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Spain, and lord of the Netherlands, was born at Ghent in the year 1500. He is said to have fought sixty battles, in most of which he was victorious ; to have obtained six triumphs; conquered four kingdoms; and to have added eight principalities to his dominions. An almost unparalleled instance of worldly prosperity and the greatness of human glory. But all these-fruits of his ambition, and all the honours that attended him, could not yield him true and solid satisfaction. Reflecting on the evils and miseries which he had oecasioned, and convinced of the emptiness of earthly magnificence, he became disgusted with all the splendor that surrounded him, and thought it his duty to withdraw from it, and spend the rest of his days in religious retirement. Accordingly he voluntarily resigned all his dominions to his brother and son; and after taking an affectionate and last fare. well of his son, and a numerous retinue of princes and nobility, that respectfully attended him, he : repaired to his chosen retreat, which was situated in a vale in Spain; of no great extent, watered by a small brook, and surrounded with rising grounds covered with lofty trees. A deep sense of his frail condition and great imperfection appears to have impressed his mind in this extraordinary resolu. tion, and through the remainder of his life. As soon as he landed in Spain, he fell prostrate on the ground, and, considering himself now as dead to the world.he kissed the earth, and said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked I now return to thee, thou common mother of mankind !!
A remarkable instance of the unsatisfactory na. ture of all worldly prosperity is afforded by the Emperor Septimius Severus, “ Omnia fui et nihil:
expedit.” “ I have been all things, and all is of little value," was his declaration, after having been raised from an humble station to the Imperial throne of Rome and the sovereignty of the world.
Eminence. of situation is no proof of superior happiness : hence Pope Adrian VI had this inscription put on his monument. “Here lies Adrian the Sixth, who was never so unhappy in any period of his life, as in that in which he was a Prince."
From the above circumstances we may learn to 'moderate our desires, and not to depend on any fascinating situation or earthly good, however al. luring: not, indeed, that we are to conclude that temporal blessings are to be undervalued, and that terrene enjoyments are to be neglected altogether. Nothing,” says the late Mr. Snowden,
except the grossest stupidity and ingratitude can render us insensible to temporal prosperity, and to the external means of happiness, when Providence thinks fit to bestow them upon us. When our cup overflows with blessings and we are surrounded with every thing which can render life not only comfortable but delightful, shall we, because imperfection is the indelible character of every worldly advantage, give way to melancholy and sorrow, or suffer such gloomy discontent to suppress and render vain every motive to gratitude and joy ? Forbid it reason-forbid it religion." Let us then attend to the golden mean, neither to expect a heaven in this life, nor to make it a hell by our discontent, impatience, and folly. Let us not depend on futurity, nor “overlook present happiness, in the idle hope that some future period of life will afford us more complete satisfaction; thus bartering the enjoyment of actual good for the empty shadow of vain expectation.”
ANECDOTES OF YOUNG PERSONS
“ EARLY piety,” says Henry,“ it is to be hoped, will be eminent piety. Those that are good betimes, are likely to be very good. He (Obadiah] that feared God from his youth, fear. ed him greatly."
“ Sentiments of piety and virtue,” says Mr. Bryson," cannot be impressed too early on the human mind. They are the origin of respectability in society, give relish to the innocent enjoyments of this life, and happily prepare for the fruition of consummate felicity in the life to come.”
It is related of a Mr. Baily, Minister of the Gospel in New England, that from a child he knew the holy scriptures, and from a child was wise unto salvation; giving great and constant evidence of it by his habitual fear of God. There was one very remarkable effect of it. His father was a man of a very licentious conversation. His mother one day took the child, and calling the family together, made him pray with them. His father coming to understand how the child had prayed with the family, it smote his soul with great conviction, and he became an altered man.
A child of six years of age, being introduced into company for his extraordinary abilities, was asked by a dignified clergyman, “Where God was," with the proffer of an orange..“ Tell me (replied the boy) where he is not ? and I will give you two.'
Dr. Watt's inclination for learning made an early display of itself: it is reported of him that while he was very young, before he could speak plain, when
he had any money given bim, he would say to his mother, “ A book, a book, buy a book.” He began to learn Latin at four years old. When he was about seven or eight he was desired by his mother to write her some lines, as was the custom with the other boys, after the school hours were over, for which she used to reward them with a farthing. The Doctor obeyed, and pre: sented her with the following couplet
" I write not for a farthing, but to try
“ How Iyour farthing writers can outvie." At the age of 21 or 22, he composed great part of his hymns. The following circumstance gave rise to his making of them. While he was at his father's, at Southampton, the hymns which were sung at the dissenting meeting there, were so little to the gust of Mr. Watts, that he could not forbear complaining of them to his father. His fa. ther bid him try what he could do to mend the matter. He did, and had such success in his first essay, that a second hymn was earnestly desired of him, and then a third, and fourth, &c. till in process of time there was such a number of them . as to make up a volume.
Shenstone, the poet, learned to read of an old dame, whom his Poem of the Schoolmistress has delivered to posterity; and soon received such dee light from books, that he was always calling for fresh entertainment, and expected that, when any of the family went to market, a new book should be brought him ;, which, when it came, was in fondness carried to bed, and laid by him. It is said, that when his request had been neglected, his mother wrapped up a piece of wood of the same form, and pacified him for the night.
The learned and pious Mr. Edmund Grindall, from his infancy, was biassed by a strong propensity to literature. When a boy, he used to make some valuable book or other the constant companion of his solitary walks. Passing one day through a field, with his coat or waistcoat buttoned half way up, and a volume resting in his bosom, an arrow, from some unknown quarter, lighted on his breast, and must have killed him immediately, if the book had not intercepted the point of the weapon in its way to his heart.
Ecclesiastical history furnishes us with the following instance: At Cæsarea, in Cappadocia, a . child named Cyril, in a time of heavy persecution, called continually on the name of Jesus Christ, and neither threats nor blows could divert him from it. Many children of his own age persecuted him; and his unnatural father, who was a heathen, turned him out of doors. At last they brought him before the criminal judge, who both threatened and entreated him : but he said, " I rejoice to bear your reproaches : God will receive me; I am glad that I an expelled out of our house : -I shall have a better mansion ; I fear not death, because it will introduce me to a better life.” In the end he was condemned to the flames, with a full expectation that he would recant, and save his life : but he persisted, saying,
" Your fire and your sword are insignificant: I go to a better house, and more excellent riches; dispatch me presently, that I may enjoy them.” They did so: and he suffered martyrdom amidst a throng of wondering spectators.
Emelia Geddie, of Hiltonn, in Scotland, gave very early indications of uncommon quickness of