Obrazy na stronie

final domination of the power that prevailed ?

How far we of this land are from such a crisis, or how near to it, cannot, I apprehend, be determined with any degree of precision. One party indeed will confidently assure you, that it is just at hand: the other will assure you as confidently, that it is at a great distance, or rather that it will never arrive. One party will peremptorily pronounce, that there is neither virtue nor discernment, neither honour nor capacity, nor any good thing whatsoever, in those who espouse the other; as they, in their turn, scruple not to retaliate in the same style, and with the same vehemence.

That vulgarity, ignorance, and malignity, should behave in this manner, cannot appear wonderful. But is it not astonishing, that persons who discover breeding, sense, and good-nature, on other subjects and occasions, should often lose all command of themselves here, and, as if they were seized with a sort of delirium, the moment that politics are mentioned, break forth into " bitterness, and clamour, and "evil-speaking, and all uncharitable(6 ness?” Is it not astonishing, that such persons will allow to none the same right of private judgement which they claim to themselves, and act as if they imagined all were obliged, under the penalty of I know not what anathemas, to think ex-' actly as they think on every question of this kind, though connected with a science so extensive, so complicated, and in many particulars so abstruse? For God's fake let us, my friends, practise more modesty and candour. : .

More modesty and candour will be praca tised by that youth, who is careful to keep alive, in his own mind, a tender and uniform spirit of true religion ; for this will teach him meekness, moderation, forbear- ance with others, and diffidence in him-'

felf: it will teach him caution 6 not as to judge, that he be not judged;" a readiness to put the faireft interpretation possible on the words and actions of other men, and to hope the best concerning their aims and principles, fo long as their lives. are unexceptionable, with regard to the efsential rules of probity: it will teach him to employ his chief attention upon his own character, and the regulation of the little kingdom within. What will be the confequence ? Tranquillity, tranquillity in his own breast, a happy freedom from those angry paffions, thofe ungenerous fufpicions, thofe peevish and hafty hunours, which no one that harbours them, in whatever case, can find pleasant, which in disturbing the peace of society, disturb a man's own, which sometimes alienate, the members of the fame family from each other on the point before usy and always, impair the kind affections, and sweet sympathies, that were ordained. to be the support and consolation of for

cial life..!


Will the person then I am defcribing, fuffer no uneasiness in the midst of lo much din and difcord ? Far otherwise. ; They cannot but appear matter of deep concern to every Son of “ the Wisdom": « that is from above.” A peaceable and gentle temper can never be reconciled to rage or invective ; and every man of a' liberal mind, the natural refult of a genuine and well-informed piety, will experience, at times, much solicitude for the nation; not merely on his own account, or that of his immediate connexions, as forming a part of it, but from a regard to the great interests of religion, of human nature, and of future generations. It will affect him very sincerely, when he hears the blackest accusations, on either side, prompted by malice, by felfishness, or by wantonnefs, without a single sentiment of genuine zeal for virtue, or public good, though these indeed are made the fole pretext; when he fees the meanest flavery to vice among multitudes loud in the cry of Liberty ; when, beside the many who have

done their utmost to bring even the existence of patriotism into question, by con-i senting, for the sake of places and emoluments, to defend the very measures they had before condemned, he sees others exposing to scandal that once honoured, and, wherever it is genuine, ftill honourable character, by appearing to confound it: with an uniform and indiscriminate opposition to government on all occasions, as : the party may require; when he sees numbers selling themselves to a minister for i all services, which he may demandwhat shall we say more? when he sees promotion, opulence, and pleasure, preferred to every thing on earth or in Heaven, frequently without the least appearance of respect for the laws of either.

- As to himself, he is not ignorant that his system will be equally reprobated on both hands. His moderation and impar.. tiality will be construed into coldness.; It is well if his approving of no extreme on any subject, be not imputed to want of

« PoprzedniaDalej »