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jects occur proper for it, is still more amiable: how many pleasing effects it produces, both with respect to the persons who are its objects, and to their benefactor, it is impossible to enumerate or fully to describe. In the persons relieved, it creates much happiness, begets the warmest gratitude, and the most hearty attachment, and prompts them both by words and actions, to make their benefactor, when they can, suitable returns; and to the generous man, it yields the pleasing satisfaction of diffusing good. ness, and of rendering a number of his fellow men happy. By dealing justly we leave no room for complaint ; but by well timed generosity, we gain the hearts of men ; and their favourable and affectionate report is an acquisition of great value, and highly pleasing to every ingenuous mind. For a righteous man, or for a man merely just, scarcely. will one die, but peradventure for a good or generous man, some would even dare to die.
Men are made to feel not only for themselves, but also for their fellow men; thus they weep with them that weep, and rejoice with them who rejoice ; they resent in various ways the injuries done to the helpless and innocent, as if done to themselves; and they feel an high degree of thankfulness for the good deeds done to their indigent brethren ; and thus a tribute of affection and praise is paid to the beneficent man by all around him.
To maintain a social intercourse with our neigh.bours of the same rank, is no doubt proper; but it is to be remembered, that a true friend is not every where to be found,—that our visits at a distance VOL. xi.
cannot be many, nor are these generally interesting. The world at large are but little acquainted with our real characters, nor are they much concerned to know them. It is in the domestic circle, within which we live, where our conduct is scrutinized, and daily viewed on every side,--that we are most thoroughly known; and when the opinion of out servants, of our dependants, and neighbours, with in that circle, however narrow it may be, is, upon trial, or upon good ground, favourable, it diffuses its influence as the sun its light and heat, through the remoter parts of society : for the public almost invariably take their opinions, whether favourable or unfavourable, from domestic reports; therefore our families, and our immediate neighbourhood, merit our first attention.
The result then is, that those who would gain the public esteem, and the friendship of the worthy, must, in the first place, be just, and then generous, as their circumstances will permit. For the conduct of those must appear in a very unfavourable light; who affect to be generous, and yet neglect to pay their lawful debts; who expend large sums upon ihows and entertainments, and leave their tradesmen's bills unpaid, and thereby expose their families to misery and want ; and who, like the Pharisees, make a shew of liberality to the poor, but endeavour to refund themselves, by devouring widow's houses, and encroach upon the rights of their simple dependants : the candidates then for substantial fame, should, with an attentive, and an impartial eye, inquire, whether there are, by negligence or otherwise, any instances of in
justice to be found, or any encroachments made on the rights of others, within their department, and correct them without delay.
The rich can defend themselves, but the poor have often no relief but in crying to God; and he will hear them. They complain too in private to the men of their own condition, and their voice is carried as upon wings, and makes, upon all ranks, the deepest impression. Promises should not be rashly made, because circumstances may occur which may render the performance difficult, or impracticable ; but when they are made, and no valid objection afterwards arises, they ought to be performed. Promises convey a certain kind of right, and therefore raise expectations; a failure, then, or omission, in these cases, creates disappointment; and disappointment, resentment, and disgust, and complaints, and many disagreeable effects.
Considering how different the characters, and tem.pers, and opinions of men are, it will easily appear, that no man can act so as to please all. Whoever attempts this, attempts an impossibility. By varying his conduct like the wind, instead of gaining applause, he incurs the contempt and displeasure of all; whereas the man who obeys the dictates, and courts the approbation of his own well informed mind, is naturally led to act his part steadily and uniformly well; and bids fairer than men of a different character not only for the enjoyment of internal peace, but for obtaining the confidence, the approbation, and • friendlhip of all the worthy and the good.
In a word, of his plan who would wish for substantial popularity, or durable fame, piety or relin
gion, must make an essential part. Excepting religion, all the other principles of human conduct, having for their objects things which daily change, must, like them, be subject to perpetual variations, and the conduct founded upon them, mutable and uncertain. Upon men thus unstable as water, what wise man can depend? Whereas the principle of religion, having God for its object, as he is unchangeable, must, in some degree, be immutable also; or to say the least, it is fixed and steady. Besides, religion, having for its object God, who is the supreme beauty, must render a man truly amiable. Whom do we wish for a companion or friend whom we can heartily love? or a counsellor upon whose integrity and faithfulness we can without suspicion depend? The man who fears God, and sets him continually before him.
Wherever piety is, it shows itself, not only by equity and beneficence to men, but by external acts of worship or devotion; where these then are wanting, we can neither love nor trust so much as we would wish. The conclusion of the whole is, that real piety is the finest ornament of the human chaI am, Sir, Yours, &c.
SIR, To the Editor of the Bee.
your last Bee, I observe a reply from Mr Thunderproof, to my observations on his '“ remarks." Mr T. wisely avoids entering into any particular discussion of the subject, and contents himself with ma
king a few straggling criticisms, that hardly deserve
In the first place, Mr T. accuses me of misquoting him, and perverting his meaning, in that part of his
remarks,” where he speaks of the pacific character of James 1. I think it is evident, from the warm and enthusiastic manner in which he mentions the pro- . longation of this monarch's life, that he wished to con'nect with it the idea of peace and prosperity. Had he lived, Mr T. asserts, to the present time, this country would have been now in a state of prosperi. ty, beyond the imagination or vanity of man to conceive. He indeed associates the “ tranquillity of the country,” with the life of James ; but this I conceive to be a useless repetition, as the predicted prosperity could arise only from the pacific inclinations of this monarch ; not surely from his talents for internal government or legislation.
Mr T's distinction betwixt “ worst,” and “ most destructive,” though curious enough, has not even the merit of a quibble or sophism. I did not say that he applied the superlative“ worst,” to the moral character of lord Chatham. This he acknowledges himself; and surely, in a political sense, the “ minister," and the “ most destructive minister,” are synonimous terms.
I afserted that Mr T. called Sir Robert Walpole the best of ministers. He denies it, and
He denies it, and says I am the first who ever said so. I beg leave to quote the paragraph, whence I drew my conclusion. After calling lord C. “ the most destructive minister that ever any nation was cursed with,” he adds, " yet this