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ever be improved into the nobleness, the deliciousness, the permanency of Friendship? I say, No. For in the first place, it depends on a correspondence of such dispositions, and such proceedings, as neither of the two persons supposed to entertain it can heartily approve in the other, or in himself. Let licentious men do their utmost, they never will be able to procure for vice, the calm, the settled sanction of the soul : and be assured, you will find it difficult to love in good earnest, and with much perseverance, any one whom you cannot esteem, or to continue your admiration of that in another, which you are forced upon reflection to condemn in yourselves. Nor will the greatest natural advantages, acquired calents, or external accomplishments, no, nor yet the most important services by which it is pollible for a companion to recommend himself, be able in your better judgement, and at a cooler hour, to compensate the want of those moral qualifications, that
clear integrity, that genuine worth, which can alone beget a rational, tender, lasting respect and reliance.
To flatter your vanity, to indulge your, caprice, to promote your merriment, your pleasure, or your schemes of whatever sort, is one thing: to command the applause of your reason, and charm the feelings of your heart, is quite another. People of little delicacy can be gratified with favours from the fouleft hands; and people of no fincerity. can smile most graciously on. those whom they despise or detest: but a man of virtue, though he may often see it necessary to make use of those who have none, and though he will always do justice to their abilities and actions so far as they merit praise, will never, never think of ranking them among his Friends, or profess to treat them as such. True Friendship has that purity of motive, that majesty of sentiment, as to shun and scorn the prophane herd, those unhallowed
and ignoble creatures who would offer to intrude upon its intimacy. “ Can two “ walk together, except they be agreed ? " What fellowship hath righteousness “ with unrighteousness ? and what com“ munion hath light with darkness?”. Men who have loft, in the spirit of the world, the powers of just discrimination, and sweet sensibility, may say what they will: but benevolence and selfishness, truth and falsehood, humility and pride, can never happily coalesce or mingle.
This leads me to add, that there can. be no cordial communication, where there is not a consent of minds, in those points which are exempted from the uncertainty of change, and the contention of rivalship; a privilege, which the objects pursued by the men of the world must never claim, and which is only enjoyed by those whose wishes spring forward into eternity. It has been well remarked, that good souls are kindred souls, because goodness is the
fame in every one, influencing the mind by the same principles, and pointing it to the same designs, in all the highest concerns of life. In reality, the ultimate aim of the best characters is alike directed to one great, unalterable, and undivided portion, which they wish and hope to enjoy together, in the regions of perfect Friendship; while the bad are severally following fome favourite interest here, in a thousand tracks which perpetually cross and interfere with each other. As their confederating principle is the gratification of their paffions, it must unavoidably happen, that whenever those paffions vary into oppofite lines, as is for ever the case, fufpicions and jealousies, heats and animofities, will of course arife; and the fame persons, who seemed yesterday inseparable Friends, shall to-morrow become inveterate foes, from the mutability of their apprehenfions, and the contrariety of their ends. The desires of bad men are like the unclean fpirits defcribed by our Saviour, as " walking through dry 63 places, seeking reft and finding none." Believe me, Gentlemen, it is only in the peaceful paths of Wisdom and Piety that human beings can find a happiness, which, while it fatisfies each individuals, unites them in the bonds of divine and everlasting love.
The votaries of Vice, and the fools of Fashion, may vaunt if they please of their: reciprocal regards, of that jovial society in which they try to relieve the weariness of appetite, and thofe polite visits which: they pay one another to escape from themfelves: but, as they meet without cordiality, so they converse without confidence, and part with coldness, if not disgusto Such at least is the general run of those that have out-lived the fondness of youth, to which indeed scarcely any thing comes. amiss, but which, when it ceases afterwards to ferment the mind, leaves alli there vapid and dead, if not excited by: Luperior principles