I am fully persuaded that one of the best springs of generous and worthy actions is the having generous and worthy thoughts of ourselves. Whoever has a mean opinion of the dignity of his nature will act in no higher a rank than he has allotted himself in his own estimation. If he considers his being as circumscribed by the uncertain term of a few years, his designs will be contracted into the same narrow span he imagines is to bound his existence. How can he exalt his thoughts to anything great and noble, who only believes that, after a short turn on the stage of this world, he is to sink into oblivion, and to lose his consciousness forever?
For this reason I am of opinion that so useful and elevated a contemplation as that of the souls immortality cannot be resumed too often. There is not a more improving exercise to the human mind, than to be frequently reviewing its own great privileges and endowments; nor a more effectual means to awaken in us an ambition raised above low objects and little pursuits, than to value ourselves as heirs to eternity.