There is no one book extant in any language or in any country which can in any degree be compared with it [the Bible] for antiquity, for authority, for the importance, the dignity, the variety, and the curiosity of the matter it contains.
Christianity forbids no necessary occupations, no reasonable indulgences, no innocent relaxations. It allows us to use the world, provided we do not abuse it. It does not spread before us a delicious banquet, and then come with a touch not, taste not, handle not. All it requires is, that our liberty degenerate not into licentiousness, our amusements into dissipation, our industry into incessant toil, our carefulness into extreme anxiety and endless solicitude. So far from forbidding us to engage in business, it expressly commands us not to be slothful in it, and to labour with our hands for the things that he needful; it enjoins every one to abide in the calling wherein he was called, and perform all the duties of it. It even stigmatizes those that provide not for their own, with telling them that they are worse than infidels. When it requires us to be temperate in all things, it plainly tells us that we may use all things temperately; when it directs us to make our moderation known unto all men, this evidently implies that, within the bounds of moderation, we may enjoy all the reasonable conveniences and comforts of the present life.
In all ages of the world there is nothing with which mankind hath been so much delighted as with those little fictitious stories which go under the name of fables or apologues among the ancient heathens, and of parables in the sacred writings.
The joy resulting from the diffusion of blessings to all around us is the purest and sublimest that can ever enter the human mind, and can be conceived of only by those who have experienced it. Next to the consolations of Divine grace, it is the most sovereign balm to the miseries of life, both in him who is the object of it and in him who exercises it; and it will not only soothe and tranquillize a troubled spirit, but inspire a constant flow of good humour, content, and gaiety of heart.
He who undertakes an occupation of great toil and great danger, for the purpose of serving, defending, and protecting his country, is a most valuable and respectable member of society; and if he conducts himself with valour, fidelity, and humanity, and amidst the horrors of war cultivates the gentle manners of peace, and the virtues of a devout and holy life, he most amply deserves, and will assuredly receive, the esteem, the admiration, and the applause of his grateful country; and, what is of still greater importance, the approbation of his God.