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of the Great Social Law enjoining it upon each to
yiell place to each.
In the crowded streets of a great city, where multitudes are passing in opposite directions, while some are crossing obliquely, and others at right angles, it is necessary for every one to give way a little to those he meets; by which means they all have a free passage. Were the whole multitude to pass directly onward, without any one's yielding an inch of ground to any body else, all would be obstructed more or less, and confusion must ensue.- Or, if a churlish individual should take it in his head to march forward in a straight line, and in no case make way for man, woman nor child, nor even for a procession, he would be sure to jostle against some or other at almost every step; and would receive many an insult for his obstinacy and impudence.
And considerably so it is in our journey through life, and with respect to our general intercourse with mankind. “ In the march of life no one's path lies so clear as not in some degree to cross another's; and if each is determined, with unyielding sturdiness, to keep his own line, it is impossible but he must both give and receive many a rude shock.” In society, in neighborhoods, and even among close friends, there will spring up rivalries and be sometimes a clashing of opinion, and if all were mutually obstinate, there could be no bounds nor end to contention. Whereas by the exercise of mutual condescension, social harmony is preserved and the pleasures of society enjoyed.
The exercise of condescension is ranked among the precepts of the gospel, and is enjoined as a duty upon christians, who are expressly told from divine authority, to be patient towards all men—to be courteous. Hence it follows, that the extremely obstinate man, who will not yield an ace in matters of interest or opinion, but runs foul of every thing that chances to cross his path, does really transgress the rules of the gospel, as well as those of decorum.
Here let me not be misunderstood. Condescension has its bounds, and those bounds are strongly marked. One should never yield opinions, much less principles, that are of great and serious importance. One should never sacrifice conscience to please friends, or for fear of foes. One should never “ follow a multitude to do evil.” One should never suffer himself to be conformed to the world in vicious practices and customs, or in fashions which, though innocent in themselves, are too expensive for him to follow. One should never yield any thing to importunity, which self-justice forbids him to yield at all. In these points the person who would go through the journey of life well, must be firm and inflexible. But in matters of indifference, or of no serious consequence, whether respecting opinion or interest, a yielding, accommodating spirit, is not only desirable, but a moral and christian duty. And even in points which are not to be yielded, one should maintain firmness in such a manner, if possible, as to make it evident that he acts from principle rather than from obstinacy.
It would be easy to apply these observations to the various relations of social life, in all which the custom of well-ordered society imposes upon us a regard for the opinions and feelings of others; but more particularly are they applicable to those in the married state, for it is here that mutual obstinacy of temper meets with daily and hourly opportunities and occasions of collision. « Trifles light as air” are perpetually disputed between them, and with as much warmth and pertinacity as if they were articles of faith.
Courtesy of manners, is the congruous drapery of a benevolent mind, and is both seemly and pleasing at all tiines, and in every relation of life. Nor does it need any laborious study to attain it; a great part of the essence of courtesy, or of genuine poilteness, is exprest in these three words, “ Never prefer yourself.” This rule of social intercourse, which is of excellent use, is the more highly to be regarded, as it is drawn, not from the school of pagan philosophy, but from the pure fountain of the gospel. One of the parables of our blessed Saviour begins thus"When art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room." That is, in modern phrase, prefer not thyself.
They who carefully abstain from giving to themselves any undue or even questionable preferences, will seldom meet with incivilities from others.
of the necessity of learning how to use money.
“ To know
THERE is one inferior or subordinate branch of knowledge, which great learning overlooks, and great genius contemns : though, in all ages of the world, learning and genius have suffered distressing hardships and perplexities for the lack of it; I mean the knowledge of the use of money.
This is, it must be owned, a vulgar kind of knowledge; amply possessed, not unfrequently, by minds of the baser sort. So far from entering into the scope of scholastic education, few are more destitute of it than some of the deepest scholars. The studies they pursue are altogether foreign from this, and the classical authors which they most admire, speak of it with contempt. It is the ambition of the studious boy to be a fine scholar. This object, along with virtuous dispositions, embraces, in his estimation, every thing desirable in character. After a painful and laudable course of exertions, he attains it. He steps forth into the busy world in the majesty of learning. By all men that are scholars themselves, his parts and his progress are admired. He has great talents, rare talents, shining talents, and all sense but common sense. He knows the reputed number of the visible stars in the firmament, and not a few of them he can call by their names. He has explored the depths of natural philosophy. In metaphysical acumen he is keen, and can split hairs, as with an edge finer and sharper than a razor's. In the most celebrated languages of antiquity, and perhaps in several modern languages, he is marvellously skilled. But, with respect to that ordinary traffic, which all, who have bodies to feed and clothe, must be concerned in, he knows less than a market boy of the age of twelve. And how will he ever get this kind of knowledge? His books teach it not, and besides, to make it an object of practical attention, is repugnant alike to his habits and feelings. Thus richly endowed, and, meanwhile deplorably lacking, he steps into the busy world :—and experience tells the rest.
It is no uncommon thing to find men of excellent parts and profound erudition, who, nevertheless, of the little affairs of practical life, are as ignorant as children. In their dealing they are exposed to daily impositions: the sharks of society prey upon them, and they perceive it not. If they employ laborers they know neither how to direct them, nor how to estimate their services; and are quite as likely to find fault with the honest and faithful, as with those who defraud them and artfully cover the cheat. If they enjoy an income, which, rightly managed, would be competent, it melts away in their improvident hands, and they suffer want. In whatever pertains to abstract science, they are entitled to rank with the great; but in every thing that relates to the supply of their daily necessities, or those of their families, they are least among the little. Though they have an accurate knowledge of the map of the heavens and of the earth, as they know nothing, or next to nothing, of the things about them, they are more pitiable for their ignorance than enviable for their learning.
This sort of helplessness does not, however, befal the learned only; it is alike common to the inheritors of opulence. As they who, from childhood, have been alta gether engaged in scientific pursuits, know less of the economy of a family, than of the economy of the visible heavens; so they that are born to the inheritance of wealth, are naturally inclined to despise the very name and appearance of economy, as little and mean. Possessing a superfluity of money earned and acquired for them by others, they squander, rather than spend; and, in'a very little while, the fruits of a whole age of pain
ful industry are utterly wasted and gone :-not always from any uncommon evilness of heart, but sometimes, nay often, from merely the lack of ordinary prudence ; of that worldly prudence, the study or observance of which they deemed beneath their condition.
“ The love of money” (not money itself) is the root of all evil.” There is almost no evil, to which the inordinate love of money has not given birth or aid. But if things were to be estimated merely by the abuse of them, Literature, Science, the light of Reason, and even Reason itself, must fall under reproach. What though money be the idoi of griping avarice and the pillar of devouring ambition ? What though it ministers in a thousand ways, to the lusts of men ? What though, to many, it opens the flood-gates of vice?
What though the sordid seek it as the chief good, and the knavish snatch it by fraudulent means ?-Is money itself in fault ? Is it not a blessing after all ? If it be not a blessing, then it follows, t! at the naked, famishing savage, is in a condition as eligible as the well-fed and well-clothed European or American; that vile, smoky cabins, are as comfortable as choice houses; and that civilization itself is no better than the forlorn state of nature.
Money is indeed a great blessing, and the knowledge of using money as not abusing it-charitably whenever charity calls, but always discreetly-is an interesting branch of knowledge, and well deserves a place in our systems of education. For it is far more important to learn to guide our affairs with discretion, than to be learned in the various foreign languages. Nor is any science else so often and so urgently needed, as home. ly household science-or practical skill in managing those little domestic and personal concerns which every day of life brings along with it.
Sully, one of the greatest Ministers that ever guided the affairs of France, or indeed of any other country, says, in his Memoirs : “ I regulated my domestic affairs in such a manner, that the king of Navarre confessed to me afterwards, that I owed the greatest part of the esteem with which 'le honored me, to the prudent economy he observed in the disposition of my affairs. It was my youth only that made this disposition appear