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which their own guilty conscience tells them is due to their wicked lives.
But from these two evils, so dreadful to many, blessed be God, I have but little to fear; for, as for death, I have a joyful hope that that change, come when it may, will be gloriously for the better; and besides, I trust, that He whose divine voice I have so long obeyed, will graciously support and comfort his aged servant in that trying hour. And as for sickness, I feel but little apprehension on that account, since by my divine medicine TEMPERANCE, I have removed all the causes of illness; so that I am pretty sure I shall never be sick, except it be from some intent of Divine mercy, and then I hope I shall bear it without a murmur, and find it for my good. Nay I have reason to think that my soul has so agreeable a dwelling in my body, finding nothing in it but peace and harmony between
my reason and senses, that she is very well pleased with her present situation ; so that I trust I have still a great many years to live in health and in spirits, and enjoy this beautiful world, which is indeed beautiful to those who know how to make it so, as I have done, and likewife expect (with God's assistance) to be able to do in the next.
Now since a regular life is so happy, and its blessings so permament and great, all I have still left to do, (since I cannot accomplish my wishes by force) is to beseech every man of found understanding to embrace, with open arms, this most valuable treasure of a long and healthy life; a treasure, which, as it far exceeds all the riches of this world, so it deserves above all things to be diligently fought after, and carefully preserved. This is that divine fobriety, so agreeable to the Deity, the friend of nature, the daughter of reason, and the sister of all the virtues. From her, as from their proper root, spring life, health, chearfulness, industry, learning, and all those employments worthy of noble and generous minds. She is the best friend and fafest guardian of life; as well of the rich as of the poor; of the old as of the young. She teaches the rich modesty; the poor frugality; men continence; women chastity; the old, how to ward off the attacks of death; and bestows on youth, firmer and securer hopes of life. She preferves the fenses clear, the body light, the understanding lively, the foul brisk, the memory tenacious, our motions free, and all our faculties in a pleasing and agreeable harmony.
O Most innocent and divine fobriety! the sole refreshment of nature, the nursing mother of life, the true physic of foul as well as of body. How ought men to praise thee for thy princely gifts,
for thy incomparible blessings ! But as no man is able to write a fufficient panegyric on this rare and excellent virtue, I shall put an end to this discourse, lest I should be charged with excess in dwelling so long on so pleasing a subject. Yet as numberless things may still be said of it, I leave off with an intention to set forth the rest of its praises at a more convenient opportunity.
CH A P.
THE METHOD OF CORRECTING A BAD
WAS born with a very choleric, hasty
disposition; flew into a passion for the least trifle, huffed every body about me, and was so intolerably disagreeable, that many persons of gentle manners abso
lutely shunned my company.
On difcovering how great an injury I was doing myself, I at once resolved to make this vile temper give way to reason. I considered that a man overcome by paffion, must at times, be no better than a madman, and that the only difference between a passionate and a madman, is, that the one has lost his reason for ever, and the other is deprived of it by fits only ; but that in one of these, though never so short, he may do some deed of cruelty or death, that will ruin his character, and destroy his peace for ever. A sober life, by cooling the fever of the blood, contributed much to cure me of this frenzy; and I am now become so moderate, and so much a master of my passion, that no body could perceive that it was born with me.
It is true indeed, the most temperate may sometimes be indisposed, but then they have the pleasure to think that it