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The true way to attack vice is by setting up something else against it.
-THE REV. SYDNEY SMITH.
Worthy occupation is the most successful antagonism to vice of every kind. He who has on hand enough work to do, and is intent on doing it, has no time to foster and gratify a wanton imagination. His tastes and pleasures are too elevated and inspiring to assort with grovelling and vicious desires.
Indeed there is but one complete safe-guard from the deceitful sophistry of vicious inclinations; it is to repress their false representations by the considerations of religion. Reflect whether God can approve of the conduct to which they prompt; and if not, be assured that it is sinful, and that, however pleasing its appearance, it cannot fail to be injurious to your best interests and in all probability to the best interests of others. -REV. DR. CARPENTER.
When pleasure tempts with its seductions, have the courage to say "No" at once. The little monitor within will approve the decision; and virtue will become stronger by the act. When dissipation invites, and offers its secret pleasures, boldly say "No". If you do not, if you acquiesce and succumb, virtue will have gone from you, and your self-reliance will have received a fatal shock. The first time may require an effort; but strength will grow with use. It is the only way of meeting temptations to idleness, to self-indulgence, to folly, to bad custom, to meet it at once with an indignant "No". There is indeed great virtue in a "No", when pronounced at the right time.
It is never too late to turn from the error of our ways.
Fruitless is sorrow for having done amiss, if it issuenot in a resolution to do so no more. And in forming this resolution no time is to be lost. He who doth not resolve to-day will be much less disposed to resolve tomorrow. Procrastination in many cases is dangerous; in this, it is often fatal.
For he that once hath missed the right way
A little hole in a ship sinks it, so a little sin some times produces a man's utter ruin. We should guard against "small vices" as well as great errors.
That a man should continuously live a life of virtue
He becomes very happy and his probity shows him
As you wish others to do good unto you,
So you ever do good unto them, and you will not
A misbehaved wicked man never becomes happy,
The greatness of a man of wicked deeds does not
Vice always brings innumerable misfortunes in its train.
Good old ways of past times should not in the least be swerved from;
Bad customs of bygone times should certainly be given up.
Just as the body gets clean and hale by bathing,
So does the soul become pure and holy by good thoughts.
He who is not ashamed of vice and does not repent for it when alone,
Is base and shameless enough to practise it openly. That a man's own sins are fewer than those of another,
Should in no way be considered a justification for committing fresh sins.
So long as a single boil continues on the skin the body cannot be said to be healthy;
So long as a man has got one vicious habit in him, he enjoys no security of happiness.
Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.
A wicked man who reproaches a virtuous one, is like one who looks up and spites at Heaven; the spittle soils not the Heaven, but comes back and defiles his own person. So again, he is like one who flings dirt at another, when the wind is contrary, the dirt does but return on him who threw it. The virtuous man cannot be hurt the misery that the other would inflict comes back on himself.
Live, vile, and evil, have the self-same letters,
* A Gujarâti poet.
Avoid doing all wicked actions, practise most perfect virtue, thoroughly subdue your mind.
-DOCTRINE of Buddha.
If I am right, thy grace impart
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, oh teach my heart.
To find the better way.
The end and the reward of toil is rest.
Be all my prayer for virtue and for peace.
O God! My Father and my Friend,
THE STORY OF THE THREE ROBBERS.
Three robbers, having acquired by various atrocities, what amounted to a very valuable booty, agreed to divide the spoil, and to retire from so dangerous a vocation. When the day, which they had appointed for this pur
* Written at the age of nine.
pose, arrived, one of them was dispatched to a neighbouring town, to purchase provisions for their last feast. The other two secretly agreed to murder him on his return, that they might come in for one half of the plunder, instead of a third. They did so. But the murdered man was a closer calculator even than his assassins, for he had previously poisoned a part of the provisions, that he might appropriate unto himself the whole of the spoil. These three persons were found dead together, a signal instance that nothing is so blind and suicidal, as the selfishness of vice.