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A MANLY SPIRIT,
AS OPPOSED TO
EFFEM IN A C Y.
TTE that, in times like these, when 11 a masculine virtue and deportment are become so unfashionable, attempts to recommend them, may lay his account with being deemed by the greater part sufficiently aukward, or at best romantic, in his notions. Even of the few, whose minds and manners are not yet enervated by the surrounding contagion, some will probably apprehend that he takes the subject on too high a key. They are willing, for their own share, to be as good and wise as they can in private, and perhaps secretly to cultivate the seeds of internal greatness : but to avow these dispositions openly, in the present state of the world, they would consider as the certain way to draw upon themselves a ridicule, which they are not so well prepared to sustain. The truth is, that the sentiments of an undaunted and uncomplying probity are now-a-days regarded by the many as mere theatrical rant, or fictitious heroism to be found only in books, and the imagination of here and there an idle visionary, dreaming in his closet, and wholly ignorant of life and nature. But if a Scipio, if a virtuous heathen, without any other aid than that of innate magnanimity, would not despair of the commonwealth in a dangerous conjuncture, and was justly applauded for his fortitude, shall a christian believer, who trusts in the power of God, and in the operation of truth upon the fouls of men, shall He be thought to blame, for hoping that numbers of his fellowcitizens, degenerate as they are from the sober and manly character of their forefathers, may nevertheless be in some meafure recovered; and that, when they are, their honourable exertions, in union with those of others who remain uncorrupted, may under Providence contribute to save their Country?
That she is in imminent danger from the prodigality, profligacy, and unfeeling luxury of her inhabitants, what considerate man is not ready to acknowledge ? Are not the strictness, the hardiness, and the noble spirit of our ancestors, exchanged in the generality of us, who boast our fuperior improvements, for a selfish and vicious effeminacy? Have not the follies and disorders, which were in former ages confined to the higher classes, at length infected the middle ranks of people with a degree of extravagance and vanity that is amazing? And is not the fame madness spreading from them to the lowest of the people, who are passionately ambitious of imitating those next above them as far