« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
You may have observed, for I have observed it myself, a proneness in age to suppose that wisdom and grey hairs, almost of necessity, go together. A consciousness of my own want of knowledge convinces me this is an error. Old Humphrey is “feelingly persuaded,” that if he lived a hundred years, no one would mistake him for a Solon or a Socrates; and could he deceive himself into a contrary belief, it is not likely that he could persuade you to adopt his opinion. He lays no claim to your attention on the score of unusual discernment and intelligence.
But a man, without being wiser than his neighbours, may do some little good in his generation, by noting down singular occurrences and useful observations and reflections. It is barely possible for any one, with furrows on his brow, to have passed his days without having seen something of a striking kind that another has not seen; without having heard something of an impressive character which others have not heard. Surely these things may be made both interesting and instructive.
From the time of my early boyhood I have had the habit of keeping my eyes and my ears wide open to the busy world about me; and for many years it has been my custom to keep a commonplace book of passing thoughts and occurrences. Oh, what a strange medley of matter does it contain ! Sometimes my remarks have been made hastily, as sudden impulses have called them forth; at other times they have been written down with greater reflection and care. A selection from these diversified materials, and a sprinkling of other matter, constitute the following pages. Many of my Observations have already appeared in "THE VISITOR," and been received with a degree of indulgence that has laid me under a grateful obligation.
When the heart is full of kindness to our fellow creatures, a little thing will make it overflow: I hope it will be found that mine has often been in this situation ; and when the heart is filled with gratitude to God, an elephant or an ant–a sunbeam or a butterfly—the visible things of God's glorious creation, and especially the revelations of his blessed word, will dispose it to “ rejoice alway," and to “sing of mercy :" I trust that mine has not unfrequently been in this exulting attitude. But enough-I begin to trespass on your forbearance, and hasten, therefore, to subscribe myself, in the bonds of Christian fellowship,