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nor by the strained thoughts and affected witticisms, which he sometimes employs ; but he pleases by his animated and masterly representations of character, by the liveliness of his descriptions, the force of his sentiments, and his possessing, beyond all writers, the natural language of passion.

There are people in the world so selfish, that they seem to be moved with nothing but what directly affects themselves : if their own private affairs sustain no damage ; if their own little designs succeed to their wish; if their own grovelling pleasures are not interrupted ; they care not who is happy in the world, or what quarter of it is struck by the just hand of God.

Diseases, poverty, disappointment, and shame, are far from being in every instance, the unavoidable doom of man. They are much more frequently the offspring of his own misguided choice. Intemperance engenders disease; sloth produces poverty, pride creates disappointment, and dishonesty exposes to shame. The ungoverned passions of men, betray them into a thousand follies; their follies into crimes; and their crimes into misfortunes.

How many young persons have at first set out in the world with excellent dispositions of heart ; generous, charitable, and humane ; kind of their friends, and amiable among all with whom they had intercourse! And yet, how often have we seen all these fair appearances blasted in the progress of life, merely through the influence of loose and corrupting pleasures ; and those very persons, who promised once to be a blessing to the world, sunk down, in the end, to be the burden and nuisance of society.

If it be asked, how moral agents become the subjects of accidental and adventitious happiness and misery; and why they were placed in a state in which


it frequently happens, that virtue only alleviates calamity, and vice only moderates delight : the answer of Revelation is known, and it must be the task of those who reject it to give a better. It is enough for me to have proved, that man is at present in such a state. I pretend not to trace the unsearchable

ways of the Almighty, nor attempt to 'penetrate the dark. ness that surrounds his throne' : but, amidst this enlightened generation, in which such multitudes can account for apparent obliquities and defects in the natural and the moral world, I am content with an humble expectation of that time, in which every thing that is crooked shall be made straight, and every thing that is imperfect shall be done away.'

Section II.

A THOUGHTFUL judge of sentiments, books, and men, will often find reason to regret that the language of censure is so easy and so undefined. It costs no labour, and needs no intellect, to pronounce the words, foolish, stupid, dull, odious, absurd, ridiculous. The weakest or most uncultivated mind may therefore gratify its vanity, laziness, and malice, all at once by a prompt application of vague condemnatory words, where a wise and liberal man would not feel himself warranted to pronounce without the most deliberate consideration, and where such consideration might perhaps terminate in applause.

By the unhappy excesses of irregular pleasures in youth, how many amiable dispositions are corrupted or destroyed! How many rising powers and capacities are suppressed! How many Aattering hopes of parents and friends are totally extinguished ! Who but must drop a tear over human nature, when he

beholds that morning, which arose so bright, overcast with such untimely darkness; that good humour which captivated all hearts; that vivacity which sparkled in every company, those abilities which were fitted for adorning the highest stations, all sacrificed at the shrine of low sensuality; and one, who was formed for running the fair career of life in the midst of public esteem, cut off by his vices at the beginning

or sunk for the whole of it into insignificancy and contempt!—These, O sinful Pleasure, are thy trophies ! It is thus that co-operating with the foe of God and man, thou degradest human honour, and blastest the opening prospects of human felicity!

of his career,

A person of undecisive character wonders how all the embarrassments in the world happened to meet exactly in his way, to place him just in that one situation for which he is peculiarly unadapted, and in which he is also willing to think no other man could have acted with facility or confidence. Incapable of setting up a firm purpose on the basis of things as they are, he is often employed in vain speculations on some different supposable state of things, which would have saved him from all this perplexity and irresolution. He thinks what a determined course he could have pursued, if his talents, his health, his age, had been different; if he had been acquainted with some one person sooner : if his friends were, in this or the other point, different from what they are ; or if fortune had showered her favours on him. And he gives himself as much licence to complain, as if a right to all these advantages had been conferred on him at his nativity, but refused, by a malignant or capricious fate, to his life. Thus he is occupied instead of catching with a vigilant eye, and seizing with a strong hand, all the possibilities of his actual situation.

There are to be found in modern languages, va!

uable specimens of every kind of polite literature: The English language, in particular abounds with writings addressed to the imagination and feelings, and calculated for the improvement of taste.

No one, who is not so far Llinded by prejudice, in favour of antiquity as to be incapable of relishing any thing modern, can doubt, that excellent examples of every kind of literary merit are to be found among the British writers. The inventive powers of Shakespeare, the sublime conceptions of Milton, the versatile genius of Dryden, the wit of Butler, the easy gaiety of Prior, the strength and harmony of Pope, the descriptive powers of Thompson, the delicate humour of Addison, the pathetic simplicity of Sterne, and the finished correctness of Gray, might, with some degree of confidence, be respectively brought into comparison with any examples of similar excellence among the ancients.

Gentleness is the great avenue to mutual enjoy. ment. Amidst the strife of interfering interests, it tempers the violence of contention, and keeps alive the seeds of harmony. It softens animosities, renews endearments, and renders the countenance of man a refreshment to man. Banish gentleness from the earth ; suppose the world to be filled with none but harsh and contentious spirits, and what sort of society would remain ? the solitude of the desert were preferable to it. The conflict of jarring elements in chaos, the cave where subterraneous winds contend and roar, the den where serpents hiss and beasts of the forest howl, would be the only proper representation of such assemblies of men.-Strange! that, where men have all one common interest, they should sọ often concur in defeating it. Has not nature already provided a sufficient quantity of evils for the state of man? As if we did not suffer enough from the storm which beats upon us without, must

we conspire also, in those societies where we assemble, in order to find a retreat from that storm, to harass one another?

Anger is the strong passion or emotion, impres. er excited, by a sense of injury received, or in con. templation ; that is, by the idea of something of a pernicious nature and tendency, being done or intended, in violation of some supposed obligation to a contrary conduct. It is kindled by the perception of an undue privation of that to which we thought ourselves in some degree or other, entitled ; or of a posi. tive suffering, from which we claimed an exemption. These are obviously the exciting causes ; though our ignorance, or inordinate self-love, may suggest erroneous ideas respecting our claims, or render the resentful emotion very disproportioned to the offence. The pain we suffer from the injury, the unexpectedness of the offence, our wounded pride, &c. are so apt to disturb our reasoning and discriminating powers, that we are at the first instant prompted to consider every injury received, as an injury intended. Nor are there wanting numerous instances in which a heated and irritated imagination attributes design to the irrational and inanimate creation, in order to gratify the passion of resentment.

So painful is the passion of Fear, that the evil can. scarcely exist which induces anguish equal to its feelings. Innumerable are the instances in which the fear of a calamity of the greatest magnitude, has greatly exceeded the evils it brought with it; and the mind has resumed a tranquility under misfortunes, which in retrospect, appeared insupportable. Busy imagination always magnifies the evil, and casts the darkest shade over every possible concomitant. It will not suffer the supposition that any circumstance of alleviation can be attached to a state so much dreaded. But when the dreaded evil is arrived, an immediate release from the agonies of fear, is of itself a species of consolation. In the worst of circumstances, fear yields its place to sorrow; which is certainly some mitigation of suffering ;-habit reconciles to many things, which were at first repugnant to our natures

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