Add many lesser numbers in account,not only holds true as to the increase of money, but also may serve as a rule to the knowledge of the advance of every thing else, especially of proficiency in virtue. Reason, besides its ordinary influence, requires the constancy of application and address which is necessary and usual in all other affairs. Whereas, on the contrary, the irregular proceedings and inconsistent silly assertions of some [p. 450] philosophers do not only lay rubs in the way, and break the measures of a virtuous improvement, but seem to give great advantage to vice, during their lingering and idling upon their journey, to tempt them into by-paths, or over-persuade them to return whence they set out. Astronomers tell us that planets, after they have finished their progressive motion, for some small time acquiesce and become stationary, as they term it. Now in the study of philosophy it is not so; there is no point of rest or acquiescence during the whole procedure, for the nature of progress is to be always advancing, more or less. The scales in which our actions are, as it were, weighed cannot at all stand in equilibrio, but our soul is continually either raised by the addition of good, or cast with the counterpoise of evil. Therefore, as the oracle told the Cirrhaeans that they ought to fight continually, day and night; so you and every wise man ought to be perpetually upon your guard, and if you can be assured that you maintain a constant combat with vice, that you are always at enmity with it and never so much as come to terms, or receive any diversions, applications, or avocations, as so many heralds from the enemies' camp, in order to a treaty with it; then you may, with a great deal of confidence and alacrity, go on with the management of your warlike expedition, and very reasonably at last expect a conquest, and enjoy a crown of righteousness for your reward.
Your total will to a vast sum amount,
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1 Hesiod, Works and Days, 361.
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