« EelmineJätka »
PUNCTUALITY. NOTHING begets confidence sooner than punctuality. In business, or religion it is the true path to lionour and respect, while it procures a felicity to the mind unknown to those who make promises only to break them, or suffer themselves to be so entangled in their concerns, as to be incapable of being their own masters. Whoever wishes to advance his own interest, and to secure the approbation of others, must be punctual.
“ Punctuality,” says Dr. Johnson, “is a quality which the interest of mankind requires to be diffused through all the ranks of life, but which many seem to consider as a vulgar and ignoble virtue, below the ambition of greatness, or at. tention of wit ; scarcely requisite amongst men of gaiety and spirit, and sold at its highest rate when it is sacrificed to a frolic or a jest.”
It is said of Melancthon, that, when he made an appointment, he expected not only the hour but the minute to be fixed, that the day might not run out in the idleness of suspense. i
Of Sir William Blackstone we are informed, that in reading his lectures it could not be remembered that he ever made his audience wait even a few minutes beyond the time appointed. Indeed, punctuality, in his opinion, was so much a virtue, that he could not bring himself to think perfectly well of any one who was notoriously defective in this practice.
The late Rev. Mr. Brewer, of Stepney, when a student under the tuition of the Rev. Mr. Hubbard and Dr. Jennings, was always punctual in attending the lectures, at the tutor's house ; where the students, who then lodged and boarded in private families, were expected to assemble at set hours. One morning, the clock had struck seven, and all rose up for prayer : but the tutor looking round, and perceiving that Mr. Brewer had not yet come, paused awhile. Seeing him now enter the room, he thus addressed him : “ Sir, the clock has struck, and we were ready to begin ; but as you were absent, we supposed it was too fast, and therefore waited.” The clock was actually too fast by some minutes.
* Those,” says Mrs. H. Moore, " who are early trained to scrupulous punctuality in the division of time, and an exactress to the hours of their childish business, will have learned how much the economy of time is promoted by habits of punctuality, when they shall enter on the more important business of life. By getting one employment cleared away, exactly as the s!IĆceeding employment shall have a claim to be dispatched, they will learn two things :- that one business must not trench on the time which belongs to another business, and to set a value on those odd quarters of an hour, and even ini. nutes, which are so often lost between succes. sive duties, for want of calculation, punctuality, and arrangement. A habit of punctuality is, perhaps, one of the earliest which the youthful mind may be made capable of receiving; and it is so connected with truth, with morals, and with the general good government of the mind, as to render it important that it should be brought into exercise on the smallest occasions.”
THE REFORMER AND THE QUAKER.
A COUNTRY clergy man was boasting in a large company, of the success, he had met with in reforming his parishioners, on whom his labours, he said had produced a wonderful change for the better. Being asked in what respect, he replied, “that when he came first among them, they were a set of unmannerly clowns, who paid him no more deference than they did to one another; did not so much as pull off their hat when they spoke to him, but bawled out as roughly and familiarly as though he was their equal; whereas, now, they never presumed to address, him but cap in hand, and in a submissive voice, made him their best bow when they were at ten yards distance, and styled him your reverence at every word.” A Quaker who had 'heard the whole patiently, made answer, “and so, friend, the upshot of this reformation, of which thou hast so much carnal glory, is that thou hast taught thy people to worship. thyself.”
THE USEFUL REPROOF. Mr. Henry Staples, a holy minister of the seventeenth century, had a remarkable talent for s religious conversation. Wherever he visited, he s used to drop some useful words,, and, even on the road he would often speak to strangers con. | cerning the affairs of their souls. Having occa. sion to attend the assizes at Molingar, in Ireland, a profane butcher occupied a stall just under his window at the inn. Mr. Staples, hearing him swear, opened the casement, reproved him, and shut it again. The butcher continuing to mul. tiply his oaths, Mr. Staples set the window open, that he might the more readily continue his re. proofs, which at first he entertained with all imaginable contempt. At length however, Mr. Staples observed that the butcher whenever he dropt an oath, looked up to see whether Mr. Staples noticed it. This encouraged him to persist in his reproofs, which he did to good pur. pose; for not only a present reformation took place, but the man was led into serious reflection on his ways, and a change was produced. Some time after, when Mr. Staples came that way, he paid him the greatest respect, confessed his past folly, and thanked him for his kind reproof. To another person he said, “ This good man has saved my soul from hell !”
RESPECT TO WISE AND GREAT MEN.
THE peculiar excellencies of great men certainly deserve our admiration; and it is much better to see merit rewarded by the tribute of praise, than to behold it the occasion of envy, as is too frequently the case. We should be cautious, however, of running into an extreme; for while we justly acknowledge the talents of
the wise, we should carefully avoid the incense of flattery. The view of great qualities, and the remembrance of distinguished characters, will always be grateful to a wise and good man: but he must not forget that all the excellencies of mortals are only a few emanations from Him who is the fountain of all life, light, and perfection.
Sir Isaac Newton was so esteemed, that the Marquis de l’Hopital, one of the greatest mathematicians of the age, said to the English who visited him, “Does Mr. Newton eat, drink, or sleep, like other men? I represent him to myself as a celestial genius, entirely disengaged from matter.”
Such was the respect paid to Shakespeare by the public in general, that when the mulberry tree planted upon his estate by his own hands was cut down, not many years ago, the wood, being converted to several domestic uses, was all eagerly bought at a high price, and each single piece treasured up by its purchaser as a precious memorial of the planter.
Bishop Atterbury having heard much of Dr. Berkley, 'wished to see him ; accordingly he was introduced by the Earl of Berkley. After some time, Mr. Berkley quitted the room ; on which Lord Berkley said to the Bishop, “Does my cousin answer your Lordship's expectations ?" The bishop, lifting np his hands in astonishment, replied, “So much understand ing, so much knowledge, so much innocence, and such humility, I did not think had been the VOL. III.