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quence. I have been telling of a great, and to me, a most happy change in my way of living. Now all changes, tho' from the worst to the best habits, are, at first, disagreeable, I found it fo; for having long accustomed myself to high feeding, I had contracted such a fondness for it, that though I was daily destroying myself, yet did it, at first, cost me some struggle to relinquish it. Nature, long used to hearty meals, expected them, and was quite dissatisfied with moderate repasts. To divert my mind from these little dissatisfactions, I used immediately after dinner, to betake
myself to fome innocent amufement or use. ful pursuit, such as, my devotions, my book, music, &c.
But to return.-Besides the two foregoing important rules about eating and drinking, that is, not to take of
any thing, but as much as my stomach could easily digest, and to use those things only
my I have very
which agreed with me. carefully avoided all extremes of heat and cold, excessive fatigue, interruption of my usual time of rest, late hours, and too close and intense thinking. I am likewise greatly indebted for the excellent health I enjoy, to that calm and temperate state in which I have been careful to keep my passions.
The influence of the passions on the nerves, and health of our bodies, is so great, that none can possibly be ignorant of it. He therefore who seriously wishes to enjoy good health, must, above all things, learn to conquer his passions, and keep them in subjection to reason. For let a man be never so temperate in diet, or regular in exercise, yet still fome unhappy passion, if indulged to excess, will prevail over all his regularity, and prevent the good effects of his temperance; no words, therefore, can adequately express the wisdom of guarding
against against an influence so destructive. Fear, anger, grief, envy, hatred, malice, revenge and despair, are known by eternal experience, to weaken the nerves, disorder the circulation, impair digeftion, and often to bring on a long train of hysterical and hypochondriacal disorders' ; and extreme sudden fright, has often occasioned immediate death.
On the other hand, moderate joy, and all those affections of the mind which partake of its nature, as chearfulness, contentment, hope, virtuous and mutual love, and courage in doing good, invigorate the nerves, give a healthy motion to the fluids, promote perspiration, and affilt digestion; but violent anger (which differs from madness only in duration) throws the whole frame into tempest and convulsion, the countenance blackens, the eyes glare, the mouth foams, and in place of the most gentle and amiable, it makes a man the most frightful and terrible of all animals. The effects of this dreadful passion do not stop here ; it never fails to create bilious, inflammatory, convulsive, and sometimes apoplectic disorders, and sudden death.
SOLOMON was thoroughly sensible of the destructive tendencies of ungoverned passions, and has, in many places, cautioned us against them. He emphatically styles “envy a rottenness of the “ bones;” and says, that “ wrath flay“eth the angry man, and envy
killeth “ the silly one* ;' and, “ that the wick“ ed shall not live out half their days."
* The reader will I hope excuse me for relating the following tragical anecdote, to confirm what the benevolent Cornaro has' said on the baneful effects of
In the city of York in England, there dieds ome time ago, a young lady by the name of DFor five years before her death, she appeared to be lingering and melancholy. Her flesh withered away, her appetite decayed, her strength failed, her feet could no longer sustain her tottering emaciated body, and her dissolution seemed at hand. One day she called her intimate friends to her bed-fide, and as well as the could, spoke to the following effect :
For as violent gales of wind will soon wreck the strongest ships, so violent passions of hatred, anger, and forrow, will soon destroy the best constitutions.
However, I must confess to my Shame, that I have not been at all times
so “ I know you all pity me, but alas ! I am not worthy of your pity ; for all my misery is entirely owingto the wickedness of my own heart. I have two fisters ; and I have all my life been unhappy, for no other reason but because of their prosperity. When we were young, I could neither eat nor sleep in comfort, if they had either praise or pleasure. As soon as they were grown to be women, they married greatly to their advantage and satisfaction: this galled me to the heart ; and though I had several good offers, yet thinking them rather unequal to my sisters, I refused them, and then was inwardly vexed and distrefied, for fear I should get no better. I never wanted for any thing, and might have been very happy, but for this wretched temper. My sisters loved me tenderly, for I concealed from them as much as posible this odious passion, and yet never did any poor wretch lead so miserable a life as I have done, for every blessing they enjoyed was a dagger to my heart.' 'Tis this Envy, which, preying on my very vitals, has ruined my health, and is now carrying me down to the grave. Pray for God of his infinite mercy may forgive me this horrid fin; and with my dying breath I conjure you all, to check the first risings of a passion that has proved so fatal to me."