Page images

dance; and as the good christian gladdens in the service of God, when he thinks on the glory of that fervice, and the eternal joys that await him ; fol, in like manner, by seriously reflecting on the innumerable pleasures and blessings of health, and beseeching God to strengthen me in my good resolutions, immediately entered on a course of temperance and regularity. And though it was at first highly disagreeable, yet I can truly fay, that in a very little time, the disagreeableness vanished, and I came to find great delight in it.

Now on hearing my arguments, they all agreed that I had faid nothing but what was reasonable; nay, the youngest among them told me, that he was willing to allow that these advantages might be common to all men, but was afraid, they were seldom attained ; and that I must be singularly favoured of Heaven to get above the delights of an easy life,


very difficult.

and embrace one quite contrary to it ; that he did not look on it to be impossible, since my practice convinced him of the contrary, but however, it seemed to him to be

. I REPLIED, that it was a shame to relinquish a good undertaking on account of the difficulties that might attend it, and that the greater the difficulty, the more glory should we acquire: that it is the will of the Creator, that every one should attain to a long life, because in his old age, he might be freed from the bitter fruits that were produced by sense, and might enjoy the good effects of his reason; that when he shakes hands with his vices, he is no longer a slave to the devil, and finds himself in a better condition of providing for the salvation of his foul : that God, whose goodness is infinite, has ordained that the man who comes to the end of his race, should end his life without any distemper, and so


pass, by a sweet and easy death, to a - life of immortality and glory, which I expect. I hope (faid I to him) to die singing the praises of my Creator. The fad reflection, that we must one day cease to live, is no disturbance to me, though I easily preceive, that at my age, that day cannot be far off; nor am I afraid of the terrors of hell, because, blessed be God, I have long ago shaken hands with my sins, and put my trust in the mercy and merits of the blood of Jesus Chrift.

To this my young antagonist had nothing to say, only that he was resolved to lead a sober life, that he might live and die as happily as I hoped to do; and that though hitherto he had wished to be young a long time, yet now he desired to be quickly old, that he might enjoy the pleasures of such an admir

able age.


Some sensual persons give out, that I have troubled myself to no purpose, in composing a treatise concerning temperance, and that I have lost my time in endeavouring to persuade men to the practice of that which is impossible. Now this surprises me the more, as these gentlemen must see that I had led a temperate life many years before I composed this treatise, and that I never should have put myself to the trouble of composing it, had not long experience convinced me, that it is a life which any man may easily lead, who really wishes to be healthy and happy. And, besides the evidence of my own experience, I have the satisfaction to hear, that numbers on seeing my treatise have embraced such a life, and enjoyed from it the very fame blessings which I enjoy. Hence, I conclude, that no man of good sense will pay any regard to fo frivolous an objection. The truth is, those gen



tlemen who make this objection, are so unhappily wedded to the poor pleasure of eating and drinking, that they cannot think of moderating it, and as an excuse for themselves, they choose to talk at this extravagant rate.

How. ever, I pity these gentlemen with all my heart, though they deserve for their intemperance, to be tormented with a complication of distempers, and to be the victims of their passions a whole eternity.



[ocr errors]

"HAT I may not be deficient in that

duty of charity, which all men owe to one another, or lose one moment of that pleasure which conscious useful


« PreviousContinue »