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mathematics. In conversation, learn, as near as you can, where the skill or excellence of any person lies; put him upon talking on that subject, observe what he says, keep it in your memory, or commit it to writing. By this means you will glean the worth and knowledge of everybody you converse with; and at an easy rate acquire what may be of use to you on many occasions.
When you are in company with light, vain, impertinent persons, let the observing of their failings make you the more cautious both in your conversation with them and in your general behavior, that you may avoid their errors.
If any one, whom you do not know to be a person of truth, sobriety, and weight, relates strange stories, be not too ready to believe or report them; and yet (unless he is one of your familiar acquaintances) be not too forward to contradict him. If the occasion requires you to declare your opinion, do it modestly and gently, not bluntly nor coarsely; by this means you will avoid giving offence, or being abused for too much credulity.
If a man, whose integrity you do not very well know, makes you great and extraordinary professions, do not give much credit to him. Probably you will find that he aims at something besides kindness to you, and that when he has served his turn, or been disappointed, his regard for you will grow cool.
Beware also of him who flatters you, and commends you to your face, or to one who he thinks will tell you of it; most probably he has either deceived and abused you, or means to do so. Remember the fable of the fox commending the singing of the crow, who had something in her mouth which the fox wanted.
Be careful that you do not commend yourselves. It is a sign that your reputation is small nnd sinking, if your own tongue must praise you; and it is fulsome and unpleasing to others to hear such commendations.
Speak well of the absent whenever you have a suitable opportunity. Never speak ill of them, or of anybody, unless you are sure they deserve it, and unless it is necessary for their amendment, or for the safety and benefit of others.
Avoid, in your ordinary communications, not only oaths, but all imprecations and earnest protestations.
Forbear scoffing and jesting at the condition or natural defects of any person. Such offences leave a deep impression; and they often cost a man dear.
Be very careful that you give no reproachful, menacing, or spiteful words to any person. Good words make friends; bad words make enemies. It is great prudence to gain as many friends as we honestly can, especially when it may be done at so easy a rate as a good word; and it is great folly to make an enemy by ill words, which are of no advantage to the party who uses
them. When faults are committed, they may, and by a superior they must, be reproved: but let it be done without reproach or bitterness; otherwise it will lose its due end and use, and, instead of reforming the offence, it will exasperate the offender, and lay the reprover justly open to reproof.
If a person be passionate, and give you ill language, rather pity him than be moved to anger. You will find that silence, or very gentle words, are the most exquisite revenge for reproaches; they will either cure the distemper in the angry man,and make him sorry for his passion, or they will be a severe reproof and punishment to him. But, at any rate, they will preserve your innocence, give you the deserved reputation of wisdom and moderation, and keep up the serenity and composure of your mind. Passion and anger make a man unfit for every thing that becomes him as a man or as a Christian.
Never utter any profane speeches, nor make a jest of any Scripture expressions. When you pronounce the name of God or of Christ, or repeat any passages or words of Holy Scripture, do it with reverence, and seriousness, and not lightly, for that is "taking the name of God in vain."
If you hear of any unseemly expressions used in religious exercises, do not publish them; endeavor to forget them; or, if you mention them at all, let it be with pity and sorrow, not with derision or reproach.
Read these directions often ; think of them seriously ; and practise them diligently. You will find them useful in your conversation; which will be every day the more evident to you, as your judgment, understanding, and experience increase.
I have little further to add, at this time, but my wish and command that you will remember the former counsels that I have frequently given you. Begin and end the day with private prayer; read the Scriptures often and seriously; be attentive to the public worship of God. Keep yourselves in some useful employment; for idleness is the nursery of vain and sinful thoughts, which corrupt the mind, and disorder the life. Be kind and loving to one another. Honor your minister. Be not bitter nor harsh to my servants. Be respectful to all. Bear my absence patiently and cheerfully. Behave as if I were present among you and saw you. Ki-member, you have a greater Father than I am, who always, and in all places, beholds you, and knows your hearts and thoughts. Study to requite my love and care for you with dutifulness, observance, and obedience; and account it an honor that you have an opportunity, by your attention, faithfulness, and industry, to pay some part of that debt which, by the laws of nature and of gratitude, you owe to me. Be frugal in my fam-'ly, but let there be no want; and provide conveniently for the poor.
I pray God to fill your hearts with his grace, fear, and love, and to let you see the comfort and advantage of serving him ; and that his blessing, and presence, and direction may be with you, and over you all.—I am your ever loving father.
ISAAC BARROW. 1630—1677.
Dr. Isaac Babrow, an eminent divine and mathematician,was the son of a linen-draper of London, and was born in that city in 1630. He studied at Cambridge for the ministry; but being a royalist, and seeing but little chance of preferment for men of his sentiments in church or state, he turned his views to the medical profession, nnd engaged in the study of anatomy, botany, and chemistry. In 1002, having been disappointed in his expectations of obtaining a Greek professorship, he determined to travel, and spent some years in visiting France, Italy, Smyrna, Constantinople, Germany, and Holland. He returned in 1050, and was elected, in the following year, to the professorship in Cambridge, for which he had formerly been a candidate, and in 1002 to that of geometry in Gresham College, London. In 1663 he resigned both of these, on being elected professor of mathematics in Cambridge University. After filling this professorship with distinguished ability for six years, he made a voluntary resignation of it to his illustrious friend, Sir Isaac Newton, resolving to devote himself exclusively to theological studies. In 1670 he was made doctor of divinity, and two years after he was appointed master of Trinity College, by the king, who remarked on the occasion mat he had given the place to the best scholar in England. He died May 4, 1677.
Dr. Barrow was a man of vast and comprehensive mind. During his life, he was more known as a mathematician, being inferior only to Newton, and the treatises he published on his favorite science were numerous and profound. They were, however, mostly written in Latin, and designed for the learned: they are therefore now but little known. Not so with his theological works. "His sermons," says Hallam, " display a strength of mind, a comprehensiveness and fertility which have rarely been equalled." Charles II. was accustomed facetiously to style him a most unfair preacher, because he exhausted every subject, and left nothing to be said by others. His sermons were of unusual length, being seldom less than an hour and a half; and on one occasion, in preaching a charity sermon, he was three hours and a half in the delivery. Being asked, on descending from the pulpit, whether he was not tired, he replied, "Yes, indeed, I began to be weary with standing so long:'' so great was his intellectual fertility, that mental fatigue seemed lobe out of the question. Dr. Dibdin remarks of him, that he "had the clotures: head with which mathematics ever endowed an individual, and one of the purest nnd most unsophisticated hearts that ever beat in the human breast." He once uttered a most memorable observation, which characterizes both die intellectual and moral constitution of his mind,—would that it could be engraven on the mind of every youth, as his guide through life,—"a Straisbt
LINE IS THE SHORTEST IN MORALS AS WELL AS IN GEOMETRY."
THE DUTY AND REWARD OF BOUNTY TO THE POOR.
He whose need craves our bounty, whose misery demands our mercy, what is he? He is not truly so mean and sorry a thing
as the disguise of misfortune, under which he appears, doth re present him. He who looks so deformedly and dismally, who to outward sight is so ill bestead, and so pitifully accoutred, hath latent in him much of admirable beauty and glory. He within himself containeth a nature very excellent; an immortal soul, and an intelligent mind, by which he nearly resembleth God himself, and is comparable to angels: he invisibly is owner of endowments rendering him capable of the greatest and best things. What are money and lands; what are silk and fine linen; what are horses and hounds, in comparison to reason, to wisdom, to virtue, to religion, which he hath, or (in despite of all misfortune) he may have if he please? He whom you behold so dejectedly sneaking, in so despicable a garb, so destitute of all convenience and comfort, lying in the dust, naked or clad with rags, meagre with hunger or pain, he comes of a most high and heavenly extraction: he was born a prince, the son of the greatest King eternal; he can truly call the Sovereign Lord of all the world his father, having derived his soul from the mouth, having had his body formed by the hands of God himself. In this, the rich and poor, as the wise man saith, do meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all. That same forlorn wretch, whom we are so apt to despise and trample upon, was framed and constituted lord of the visible world; had all the goodly brightnesses of heaven, and all the costly furnitures of earth created to serve him. Thou madest him (saith the Psalmist of man) lo have dominion over the works of thine hands; thou hast put all things under his feet. Yea, he was made an inhabitant of Paradise, and possessor of felicities superlative; had immortal life and endless joy in his hand, did enjoy the entire favor and friendship of the Most High. Such in worth of nature and nobleness of birth he is, as a man: and highly more considerable he is, as a Christian. For, as vile and contemptible as he looks, God hath so regarded and prized him, as for his sake to descend from heaven, to clothe himself with flesh, to assume the form of a servant; for his good to undertake and undergo the greatest inconveniences, infirmities, wants, and disgraces, the most grievous troubles and most sharp pains incident to mortal nature. God hath adopted him to be his child; the Son of God hath deigned to call him brother: he is a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost, a free denizen of the heavenly city, an heir of salvation, and candidate of eternal glory.1 The greatest and richest personage is not capable of better privileges than God hath granted him, or of higher preferments than God hath designed him to. He,
1 What noble sentiments I How worthy of this great and pood man! That will indeed be a KloriOdi day when man everywhere shall not only speculatively believe, but practically act upon the great Christian truth, that all men, of whatever nation, color, or condition, ore one universal brotherhood, aa all address one common Father. Then will every war be deemed a civil war—wry equally with the mightiest prince, is the object of God's especial providence and grace, of his continual regard and care, of his fatherly love and affection; who, as good Elihu saith, acceptelh not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor; for they are all the work of his hands. In fine, this poor creature whom thou secst is a man, and a Christian, thine equal, whoever thou art, in nature, and thy peer in condition: I say not, in the uncertain and unstable gifts of fortune, not in this worldly state, which is very inconsiderable; but in gifts vastly more precious, in title to an estate infmitely more rich and excellent. Yea, if thou art vain and proud, be sober and humble; he is thy better, in true dignity much to be preferred before thee, far in real wealth surpassing thee: for, better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE HUMAN BODY A PROOF OF DIVINE WISDOM.
Can any man, endued with common sense, imagine that such a body as any of us doth bear about him, so neatly composed, fitted to so many purposes of action; furnished with so many goodly and proper organs; that eye by which we reach the stars, and in a moment have, as it were, all the world present to us; that ear by which we so subtly distinguish the differences of sound, are sensible of so various harmony, have conveyed unto our minds the words and thoughts of each other; that tongue by which we so readily imitate those vast diversities of voice and tune, by winch we communicate our minds with such ease and advantage; that hand by which we perform so many admirsble works, and which serves instead of a thousand instruments and weapons unto us; to omit those inward springs of motion, life, sense, imagination, memory, passion, with so stupendous curiosity contrived; can any reasonable man, I say, conceive that so rare a piece, consisting of such parts, unexpressibly various, unconceivably curious, the want of any of which would discompose or destroy us; subservient to such excellent onf^'inn' inrnmDambiv surpassing all