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doing is most likely to be attended with tranquility in time, and the most comfortable hopes with respect to eternity.
XXXIII. We have but little better evidence of the importance of many things in religion, than the earnestness of the dispute in which people engage about them; and we know, reasoning from most obvious data, how uncertain an evidence that is : for if we begin with children, the plants of zealous men, we may frequently observe how unequal to the importance of the object is the fury of the contest about the possession of the smallest toy, or the pushing of two pins !
In more robust youth-how much of the fire of the soul is thrown into à mere trial of bodily strength, even at the rique of bones and of life!
The same remark may be applied to some of the ridiculous amusements of the field !
In polite life-how important (merely through the unnecessary trouble of it) is made the point of etiquette !
In dress—how great a sacrifice of the understanding to the prevalence of fashion, which nobody attempts to know the standard, or the intrinsic use of!
In eating and drinking-how much solicitude and expenće, only to disorder and sicken the body, for a moment's gratification!
But such is the perverseness and unhappiness of poor human nature!
XXXIV. As one of our English writers found it in literature, so will it ever be found in morals and theology ; " as no author is so poor but he can keep a critick," so no religious character is so obscure but he will generally be able to maintain, not merely a critick, but a greater or lesser tribe of criticks, upon his orthodoxy and his goodness; and a man must have far better faré than Jesus Christ and all the apostles who can pass through life without censure from this kind of censors!
But this reflection, as well as a multitude of others, may receive much alleviation of its pain, from considerations of the lapsed state, or the weakness of the human mind: not to mention, but just passingly in this place, that through that weakness, which even grace itself doth not annihilate, apostleship was not always exempt from apostolical rebuke. See Gal. ii. it.
TO BE CONTINUED.
ESSAY ON FRIENDSHIP,
AT THE PANTHEON, EDINBROUGH.
A S jocund spring with flow'rs bedecks the vale,
The meads with verdure, and the fields with corn,
The inountain's sloping sides with blooming groves,
Chears the lone cot, and on the ploughman's brow
Contentinent spreads, and smiles of purest joy,
So Friendship from her lovely fingers drops
· The brightest gems which deck the human mind.
With greatness she the manly breast inspires,
And melts to gentleness its rougher pow'rs.
"Tis hers to heighten still the heav'nly glow,
Of radiant beauties wherewith Nature paints
The female cheek, and to those virtues pure
That grace the female bosom add new charms.
'Tis hers to form the dearest strongest ties
Which bind society, and to spread through all
Its various parts that pleasure which delights.
That power which'still must animate the soul
To worth and greatness must produce effects
So good, so grand, they mock the pow'r of words.
Her fairest charms oft grace th' embow'ring shade,
The far sequester'd vale, where never trod
The foot of Pride-where Pleasure ne'er diffus'd
Her poison'd sweets, nor Avarice his pow'r;
Where inad Ambition ne'er disturb'd the peace,
Nor Splendour could attract the modest eye.
The virtuous swain there feels her infinence pare,.
Sweet as the balm that scents the flowery mea,
Soft as the breeze which fans the damask rose.
In ev'ry age and clime soine virtuous minds
Have felt her gentle pow'r, and sung her praise ;
E'en with the weight of rude despotic sway,
Have rose superior to the servile herd *,
While tyrants stood abash'd, and wonder'd how
A power they felt not could exalt the mind.
E'en kings t, tho' seldom-hoary statesinen too,
Have for a while resign'd their poinp and pow'r,
And with her wander'd through her fav’rite haunts,
Gaz'd on her beauties--felt their minds expand
To purest joy-the hardy seaman too,
The soilder brave, inur'd to din of arms,
And fields of blood, to valour joins her name,
Feels her sweet influence in each scene of life,
And o'er his fallen friend drops a sad tear.
O! purest bliss ! yet not exempt from woe!
If hurt, where is the balın or hand on earth,
Can heal the bleeding wound? If disappointed,
What can fill up the void? Friends disappear,
The tomb for ever hides them from our view:
If left alone upon the verge of life,
The world a sad and dreary desert seems;
We look around, a far extended waste
Presents our view-We lift our eyes to hear'n,
The bless'd abode of pure and happy minds,
Where Friendship triumphs in her native clime,
Rises sublime above the pow'r of thought,
Beyond what e're the enraptur'd muse has sung,
Or friends on earth have ever known or felt.
SWEET Peace return !-.Thy wonted bliss restore,
Bid War's insatiate scourge prevail no more ;
Sheath the dread sword that deals destruction round,
And ev'ry ear salute with tranquil sound!.. ,
Oh! bid oppression from this land retire, 1
And Britain's sons with halcyon bliss inspire, ... .
* David, Orestes, &c.
† Damon and Pythias; under Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse.
Remove the mis'ry of domestic woes,
And hush the tumults of contending foes!
Let each with patriot zeal, all strife disown,
Be one their wishes, and their motives one!
The widow's tears, her sad corroding care,
The orphan's sighs, assist this ardent pray’r:
May virtue's impulse ev'ry purpose move,
To acts of goodness, universal love!
May he on whom propitious Fortune smiles,
Relieve that breast which adverse fate beguiles !
May noblest efforts ev'ry bosom warın,
Toaid the wretched, and the wretch disarm :
So shall they fit themselves for Jesu's reign,
The great deliv'rer of terrestrial pain;
The sov'reign soother of our woes on earth,
The blessed author of our second birth;
Whose matchless goodness forms th'angelic theme,
Who died for all, and who will all redeem!