Tuesday, June 23, 2009

count thy actions...

The Unitarian Miscellany and Christian Moniter was an early propounder of Unitarianism and was edited by FWP Greenwood among others. One of its goals was to:

"...endeavour, in every number of the Miscellany, to introduce one or more essays, entirely free from controversy, which shall have for their sole purpose the excitement and exercise of the pious affections, and the inculcation of the pure and holy morality of the Gospel. And it is our earnest prayer to God, that they may be productive of good"

I found this poem, a fine exposition of the Boston Unitarian position, in v. 4 from 1823:

"Rules for long Life

The following energetic lines are by Thomas Randolph, a poet who wrote with considerable reputation near the beginning of the seventeenth century.

Take thou no care how to defer thy death,
And give more respite to this mortal breath.
"Would'st thou live long? the only means are these,
'Bove Galen's diet, or Hippocrates'.
Strive to live well; tread in the upright ways;
And rather count thy actions than thy days.
Then thou hast lived enough amongst us here,
For every day well spent I count a year.
Live well; and then, how soon soe'er thou die.,
Thou art of age to claim eternity.
But he that outlives Nestor, and appears
T'have past the date of grave Methuselah's years,
If he his life to sloth and sin doth give,
I say he only was, he did not live."


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