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It is not the consequent result of shining talents, brilliant genius, or great learning. It has been truly said by Dr. Young, and demonstrated by thousands, With the talents of an angel, a man may be a fool. A profound scholar may astonish the world with his scientific researches and discoveries ; pour upon mankind a flood of light ; illuminate and enrapture the immortal mind with the beauties of expounded revelation ; point erring man to the path of rectitude; direct the anxious mind to the Saviour's love; and render himself powerless in the cause of truth, by imprudent and inconsistent practices.
“How empty learning, and how vain is art;
One grain of prudence is of more value than a cranium crowded with unbridled genius, or a flowing stream of vain wit. It is the real ballast of human life. Without it, dangers gather thick and fast around the frail bark of man, and hurry him on to destruction. The shores of time are lined with wrecks, driven before the gale of imprudence.
Prudence may be urged upon the reader negatively, for there are but few, who do not better know, than they practise this virtue.
It is not prudence for children and youth, to disregard the good counsel of their parents and teachers ; contracting habits, calculated to lead them into crime, and destroy their future happiness and usefulness.
It is not prudence in parents, to permit their children to grow up in idleness and ignorance, pursuing, unrestrained, the wild inclinations of corrupt naturepleasures, that will lead to corruption ; vice, that will involve them in lasting disgrace and ruin. A high responsibility rests on parents to train their children properly. The mutual comfort of both, the salvation of their souls, and the salvation of our country, depend much upon the manner in which the rising generation is trained.
It is not Prudence to contract sudden intimacies with strangers. Many wolves are wandering about in sheep's clothing; with long faces, smooth tongues, and demon hearts; seeking for some unwary lamb, whose jugular they can tap, before their true character is known, or even suspected. Genuine coin loses nothing by being tested-genuine good hearts will not depreciate, by being proved in the crucible of truth-telling time. You can extend the hand of charity, without mingling souls.
Hasty, or compulsory marriages are seldom prudent and rarely happy. After the blissful knot is tied, it is Prudence for the twain to do all in their power to render each other happy ; to both pull the same way, carefully avoiding cold indifference, cruel neglect, angry words, discordant views, and unnecessary crosses ; for love, like china, once broken, is hard to be repaired -- like the caged bird, once fled, it is hard to be regained.
It is not Prudence, but base injustice, to bear false witness against our neighbor, either by petty scandal, open slander, or willful perjury. Slander is more to be dreaded than the cholera. It is like a sulphureous fire or a charcoal gas, that suffocates as we slumber; a scorpion in the grass, inflicting an unsuspected, but deadly sting.
It is not Prudence, but cruel, to trifle with the feelings of others, by inspiring hopes only to be blasted,
and making promises only to be broken; more especially, if a female heart is concerned.
It is not Prudence to travel in the wide-beaten path of the pernicious credit system of the present day, by which debtor and creditor are not unfrequently involved in mutual ruin, and sink, embraced, in the slough of poverty.
It is not Prudence to leave a certain business, because its gains are slow, and embark in another kind, to which
you are an entire stranger. Nor is it Prudence to rush into wild and visionary speculations, because one out of a hundred may have succeeded. Slow and sure, is an old and sound adage.
It is not Prudence to place ourselves on the rack of imaginary wants, unnecessary disquietudes, and discontented minds; because we are not placed in the palace of fortune, and are not able to follow all the wild freaks of ever-varying and fickle fashion, and make as magnificent a show, or as great a dash, as many who live in splendor, until they dash their fortunes to pieces, and perhaps that of a confiding friend. Our ancestors were plain, frugal, temperate, and happy.
It is not Prudence to pine under misfortunes or disappointments. Never give up the ship while a plank floats within your reach. Industry and perseverance have, and ever can, perform wonders.
It is not Prudence to indulge in procrastination, crowding to-morrow with the business of to-day. Putting off the payment and collection of debts, often leads to a lawsuit and the loss of friendship.
It is not Prudence to take for granted all we hear, or tell it to others. - Nor is it Prudence to be blown ghout by every wind of doctrine, or fresh breeze that
passes over society. We should be wise in design, firm in purpose, and decisive in action.
It is not Prudence to make politics a profession—the business is overstocked the field is overrun with weeds; if you enter the arena, take a pick-axe and pruning-hook with you. The Augean stable needs cleansing—if you are a Hercules, go ahead.
It is not Prudence to enter your name on the list of office seekers.--This field is full of brambles and thorns.-Over the avenue of its entrance, UNCERTAINTy, is painted in glowing capitals--and over the outer gate, DISAPPOINTMENT, is written with the ink of tears.
It is not Prudence to wrangle about disputed points in modern theology-the Bible is plain, simple, sublime, complete; and so easily understood, so far as the salvation of the soul is concerned, that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err.
In short, to be Prudent, is to shun all evil, practise virtue, live in constant communion with God, and ever be in readiness to throw off our mortal coil, and take our exit, calmly and peacefully, “to that country, from whose bourne no traveller returns."
SCIENCE seems to increase, rather than diminish the number of Quacks among us, on the same principle that an increased number of solvent banks, increases the amount of counterfeit bank notes. I apply the term to all professions, not to physic alone. A very astute writer has imparted a word of consolation to Quack doctors, by recommending the employment of a Quack who can cure, but cannot explain a disease, rather than the scientific physician, who can explain, but cannot cure it. The isolated fact is true, but the principle is not susceptible of general application, and is therefore unsound.
Quack doctors need no encouragement of this sorttheir self conceit and impudence often enable them to outstrip the man of science. And they do sometimes perform wonderful cures—for many diseases are seated in the imagination, instead of the physical organs, and yield to quackery, more readily than to science. I once knew a very celebrated country physician, who always carried rye dough pills, which, aided by water gruel, strongly sweetened with West India molasses, effected astonishing cures. He was master of pathology.
We have two classes of literary Quacks, with a prolific generic organization of species, that swarm our country like locusts. The one has erudition but no genius; the other, volubility, but no depth. The first presents us with secondary sense, the other, with foaming nonsense. The one deserves respect for honest intention—the other, pity for weakness, and contempt, for impudence. The former may effect some good—the latter, little harm, but great annoyance.
All preachers are Quacks, who add to, or diminish from that infallible book—the Bible, or go out of the record.
We have mechanical Quacks, who consist of three classes. The first has genius not matured by experience and discretion, but ready to take charge of steam engines, and all machinery. The second has experience, but no genius, and is a mere machine to be ope
The third has genius, unconcentrated