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A FEW WORDS ON TIME.
YOUNG. A few words on time may not be an inappropriate commencenient to our volume. A year well begun, generally ends well, and our readers, by observing this rule, and acting up to it, may find our axiom a true one; at any rate they can be no losers by the trial. Theophrastus says, “Nothing is more precious than time, and those who mispend it are the greatest of all prodigals.” “Whatever,” observes Dr. Johnson, “we see on every side, reminds us of the lapse of time, and the flux of life; the day and night succeed each other; the sun also rises, attains the meridian, declines, and sets, and the moon every night changes its form : the day has been considered as an image of the year, and a year as a representation of life; the morning answers to the spring, and the spring to childhood and youth; the noon corresponds to the summer, and the summer to the strength of manhood; the evening is an
emblem of autumn, and autumn of declining life ; the night shows the winter, and the winter the end of life: thus time goes on, and so does our life, and yet so little do we consider the effects of time, that we are continually surprised at the alterations it makes.
“Let us also reflect upon the shortness of our life; when we have deducted all time absorbed in sleep, appropriated to the calls of nature, spent in dress and visiting, torn from us by disease, or lost in weakness and languor, we shall soon find that part of our duration very small in which we enjoy health and are actively employed : of these very few years we should be so frugal as to let no moment slip without being well employed in devotion, necessary business, or the improvement of the mind.
“He that hopes hereafter to look back with satisfaction upon past years, must learn to know the present value of single minutes; for this purpose he must be determined to guard against those who would make him as idle as themselves : life is con: tinually ravaged by invaders; one steals from us an: hour, and another a day; one conceals the robbery: by hurrying us into unnecessary business, another by lulling us into foolish amusements, and the depredation is continued till some, having lost all their time, they have no more to lose. The story: of Melancthon affords a striking lecture on the value of time; which was, that whenever any ap... pointment was made with him, he expected that put: only the hour but the minute might be fixed, that.: so he might not lose the smallest portion of time. ::
" An Italian philosopher expressed in his motto: " that time was his treasure;" an estate, indeed, which will produce nothing without cultivation, but will always abundantly repay the labors of industry, if no part of it be suffered to lay waste by negligence, or laid out for show rather than use."
The pious and learned Dr. Blair observes, “ Time is a sacred trust committed to us by God, of which we must give an account hereafter. Part of it is intended for the concerns of this world, and part of it for the next; if we delay till to-morrow what ought to be done to-day, we overcharge the morrow with a burden which does not belong to it.
“ The best way to improve time is to do every thing in order. He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows out that plan, carries on a thread which will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life ; but where no plan is laid, all things lie huddled together in one chaos, which admits neither of distribution nor review. The bulk of men profess highly to value time as the measure of their continuance on earth, and yet, with respect to separate parcels, they squander it away. But he who is orderly in the distribution of his time, may be justly said to redeem it, and in one short space to prolong it, as he lives much in a short space." ..
Pursuing these reflections further, we may quote the following from the Rev. Mr. Hewlett's Sermons:-“ Avoid idleness as the bane of happiness, and the great corrupter of the soul. Cultivate industry, and diligently improve the small portion of time allotted to human life, from almost every motive that can interest and engage the heart of man; from a regard to cheerfulness and health ;-from the natural desire of knowledge, the love of excellence, and the enviable distinction of power; from the benevolent wish to communicate happiness and relieve misery; and lastly, from an earnest desire of fulfilling the measure of duty required of us by the Almighty Father, and of ' so passing through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal.'"
WHAT IS TIME? I asked an aged man, a man of cares, Wrinkled, and curled, and white with hoary hairs, “ Time is the warp of life,” he said, “Oh, tell The young, the fair, the gay, to weave it well !” I asked the ancient, venerable dead, Sages who wrote, and warriors who bled ; From the cold grave a hollow murmur flowed, “ Time sowed the seed we reap in this abode!”. I asked a dying sinner, ere the tide Of life had left his veins :-" Time !” he replied; “ I've lost it! Ah, the treasure !” and he died. I asked the golden sun, and silver spheres, Those bright chronometers of days and years : They answered, “ Time is but a meteor glare !” And bade us for eternity prepare. I asked the Seasons, in their annual round, Which beautify, or desolate the ground; And they replied (no oracle more wise,) “ 'Tis Folly's blank, and Wisdom's highest prize!” I asked a spirit lost; but oh, the shriek That pierced my soul! I shudder while I speak; It cried, “ A particle, a speck, a mite Of endless years, duration infinite!”Of things inanimate, my dial, I Consulted, and it made me this reply :“Time is the season fair of living well The path of glory, or the path of hell.” I asked my Bible; and methinks it said, “ Time is the present hour—the past is fled ; Live! live to day! to-morrow never yet On any human being rose or set.” I asked old Father Time himself, at last, But in a moment he flew swiftly past: His chariot was a cloud, the viewless wind His noiseless steeds, which left no trace behind. I asked the mighty angel, who shall stand, One foot on sea, and one on solid land; “ By heavens,” he cried, “I swear the mystery's o'er : Time was,” he said, “but Time shall be no more !”
Marsden. In reply to the question-What is Time ? Dr. Young says :-“ Time is the stuff that life is made of.” And the Rev. Mr. Colton says :-" Time is the most indefinable yet paradoxical of things: the past is gone, the future is not come, and the
present becomes the past, even while we attempt to define it, and, like a flash of lightning, at once exists, and then expires. Time is the measure of all things, but is itself immeasurable, and the great discloser of all things, but is itself undisclosed. Like space, it is incomprehensible, because it has no limit, and it would be still more so if it had. It is more obscure in its source than the Nile, and in its termination than the Niger; and advances like the slowest tide, but retreats like the swiftest current. It gives wings to pleasure, but feet of lead to pain; and lends expectation a curb, but enjoyment a spur. It robs beauty of her charms, to bestow them on her picture, and builds a monument to merit, but denies it a house; it is the transient and deceitful flatterer of falsehood, but the tried and final friend to truth. Time is the most subtle yet the most insatiable of depredators, and by appearing to take nothing is permitted to take all; nor can it be satisfied, until it has stolen the world from us, and us from the world. It constantly flies, yet overcomes all things by flight; and although it is the present ally, it will be the future conqueror, of death. Time, the cradle of hope, but the grave of ambition, is the stern corrector of fools, but the salutary counsellor of the wise, bringing all they dread to the one, and all they desire to the other; but, like Cassandra, it warns us with a voice that even sages discredit too long, and the silliest believe too late. Wisdom walks before it, opportunity with it, and repentance behind it: he that has made it his friend will have little to fear from his enemies, but he that has made it his enemy will have little to hope from his friends."
Zeno says :- Man seems to be deficient in nothing more than a right improvement of time;" and certainly, if people would pay a little more attention to the right use of so valuable a com