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in triumphant grandeur over the nations of the wide world; angels would carry the glad news to high Heaven; every patriot would shout a loud-AMEN!!!
Your gift is princely, but it comes too late,
PROCRASTINATION has been appropriately surnamed THE THIEF OF TIME, and a bold thief it is, and what is worse, goes unwhipped of justice. It is often the parent of confusion-sometimes of poverty. Some persons appear to have been born half an hour too late, and chase that half hour through life, and are finally distanced in the race; for, by procrastinating, they are always behind hand in every thing, unless it shall be in the pursuit of vice, which is very apt to produce a little too much punctuality. An old Saxon adage reads thus, Never put off till to-morrow, what may be done to-day. The Spaniards have one that reads as follows, Never do to-day, what can be put off till to
The present condition of the two nations, is a striking commentary upon the text; the natural result of the policy of each proverb. Another adage may be cited, worthy of note, Punctuality is the life of business. Some mechanics, excellent workmen and kind-hearted men, lose all their custom, for want of punctuality.
Some farmers make double work for themselves, and perhaps sustain essential damage, by not doing work in time. Some let their accounts run, until they are drawn into the awful vortex of the law. Some lose debts, by procrastinating them into the Statute of Limitations, which was made as a check on this widespread evil. Borrowers are great procrastinators.
Most men postpone making their wills until on a sick bed, and often then, until too weak to make them clearly, and the lawyers take more of the estate than the heirs. Some persons from penuriousness, others from dread of medicine, postpone sending for a physician quite too long-others send on very trivial occasions. The latter practice is the most safe, although sometimes a theme of ridicule.
Some delay vaccination; the smallpox comes-it is then too late—the victim dies. Some ministers delay preparing their sermons until Saturday-and others do not prepare them at all. Without unusually strong natural powers, a thorough knowledge of the Bible, and the most fervent zeal and piety, they are not prepared to feed their flock. Others are sadly prone to keep the congregation waiting—arriving half an hour too late. The impatience of the hearers has soured their minds, and they are measurably unprepared to receive the word in the love of it. Punctuality in religion, is of vast importance.
The most fatal procrastination is exhibited by those who delay a preparation for death. They know not how soon it may come—and if unprepared when it arrives, their dismal fate is irrevocably fixed. Reader, lay this to heart-prepare to meet thy God.
Custom and fashion have combined to legalize promise breaking. Some men, like bad boys, promise, to avoid, and pass over an unpleasant emergency, without an intention of performing ; nay more, they often make promises they know they cannot perform. This is double lying—they make a false promise, and deceive the person to whom the promise is made, unless they have established a general reputation, and, by the laws of custom and fashion, are licensed liars; in that case they would forfeit their standing by performing their promises, and be subject to censure by this very large fraternity.
It would save much trouble and disappointment, if this numerous class would petition Congress, and obtain the passage of a law, as general, and more permanent than was the Bankrupt law, to have all notes they shall hereafter be called on to sign, to commence thus, I promise never to pay—then, if conscience should prompt them to pay, the disappointment to the creditors would not be so disastrous, as under the present improper, fictitious, and delusive phraseology. The debtor could justify his course in paying, from the example of the two spoken of in the New Testament—one promised to do, but did not, and was condemned; the other refused to do, but went straightway and performed his duty, and was approved.
A train of disastrous consequences has often rushed upon a community, like cars let loose down an inclined plane, by one man failing to perform his promise. Misfortune is sometimes the justifiable cause, but I speak
of those who promise, knowing they cannot perform, or, that the performance will at least be problematical. We have a large and increasing number of this class of bipeds in the labyrinth of life-cancers upon our body politic. Not a few pass along, and appear in style too, who live by borrowing and promising, and never paying. True, like caterpillars, when they have stripped one orchard of its leaves, they are compelled to emigrate to another; and having been well fed at the last, they appear “fat and sleek” at the next, which gives them new credit, and thus they pass through life, and move in fashionable circles, because they can keep up appearances, by swindling the industrious, under the present wide-spread system of promise making and breaking. These are the favored children of fashion, a kind reciprocity exists between them—she furnishes precedents in high life, to take off the curse of promise breaking, and they are thus enabled to be number one in her train.
In matters that are erroneously considered minor, promise breaking is very common, and extends to all classes, and a large majority of persons. Ten men make an appointment to meet at a certain time and place—one or two may be punctual; nine may get there half an hour after the time fixed, but some one generally takes an hour's grace; thus are the punctual robbed of an hour, and probably suffer by it, for punctual men are systematic, and have particular business for every hour. This is a serious evil. A friend makes an appointment to call on his or her friend at a particular time—the time arrives, the call is anxiously, perhaps impatiently waited for—the promise is broken, and not unfrequently, ill blood has been the conseqúence. One family promises to visit another on a certain day; extra money and time are expended to give the entertainment—the promise is broken, and, perhaps, their friendship too. But the vilest, most brutal, and most hellish promise breakers, are those demons of men, who promise marriage to an innocent and unsuspecting girl, and then desert, if not ruin her. Such brutes should be caged with scorpions, fed on aquafortis, and drenched with prussic acid; a mild punishment, compared with the enormity of the crime.
Finally, let those who have made promises to the great Jehovah, either by or without a profession of religion, beware how they break them. It cannot be done with impunity. He is not man, broken promises to Him, will be fearfully punished.
PRUDENCE is the combination of wisdom, reason, discretion, and common sense ; the offspring of a clear head, a correct judgment, and a good heart. It regards the past, the present, and the future; time and eternity; never shrinks from known duty; acts with coolness and decision; investigates impartially, reasons correctly, and condemns reluctantly. The prudent man meets the dispensations of Providence calmly ; views mankind in the clear sunshine of charity ; is guided by the golden rule in his dealings; cherishes universal philanthropy; and soars, in peerless majesty, above the trifling vanities and corrupting vices of the world, and lives in constant readiness to enter the mansions of bliss beyond this vale of tears.