« AnteriorContinuar »
A Un-spea-ka-ble, ûn-spè'-kå-bl, not|m Phid-i-as, fid'-e-ás, a celebrated to be expressed.
statuary of Athens. i Flour-ish, Aůr'-rish, to prosper, n Prax-it-e-les, pr ks-lt-d-léz, a boast.
famous sculptor of Magna Græ
cia. The importance of a good Education. 1. I CONSIDER, a human soul, without education, like marble in a quarry: 'which shows none of its inherenta. beauties, until the skill of the polisher fetches out the col. ours, makes the surface shine, and discovers every ornamental cloud, spot, and vein, that runs through the body of it. Education, after the same manner, when it works upon a noble mind, draws out to view every latent virtue and perfection, which, without such helps, are never able to make their appearance.
*2. If my reader will give me leave to change the allu‘sion so soon upon him, I shall make use of the same instance to illustrate the force of education, which Aristotle has brought to explain his doctrine of substantial forms, when he tells us that a statue lies hid in a block of marble; and that the art of the statuary only clears away the superfluousa matter, and removes the rubbish. The figure is in the stone, and the sculptore only finds it.
3. What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul. The philosopher, the saint, or the hero, the wise, the good, or the great man, very often lies hid and concealed in a plebeian,' which a proper education might have disinterred, and have brought to light. I am therefore much delighted with reading the accounts of savage nations; and with contemplating those virtues which are wild and uncultivated: to see courage exerting itself in fierceness, resolution in obstinacy, wisdom in cunning, patience in sullenness and despair. A. Men's passions operate variously, and appear in different kinds of actions, according as they are more or less rectified and swayed by reason.
When one hears of negroes, who,
the death of their masters, or upon changing their service, hang themselves upon the next tree, as it sometimes happens in our American plantations, who can forbear admiring their fidelity, though it expresses itself in so dreadful a manner?
þ. What might not that savage greatness of soul, which appears in these poor wretches on many occasions, be raisi ed to, were it rightly cultivated? And what colour of ex
cuse can there be, for the contempt with which we treat this part of our species; that we should not put them upon the common footing of humanity; that we should only set an insignificant" fine upon the man who murders them; nay, that we should, as much as in us lies, cut them off from the prospects of happiness in another world, as well as in this;: and denyi them that which we look upon as the proper means for attaining it?
6. It is therefore an unspeakablek blessing, to be born in those parts of the world where wisdom and knowledge flourish;' though, it must be confessed, there aré, even in these parts, several poor uninstructed persons, who are but little above the inhabitants of those nations of which I have been here speaking; as those who have had the advantages of a more liberal education, rise above one another by seve eral different degrees of perfection.
7. For, to return to our statue in the block of marble, we see it sometimes only begun to be chipped, sometimes rough hewn, and but just sketched into a human figure; sometimes, we see the man appearing distinctly in all his limbs and features; sometimes, we find the figure wrought up to great elegancy; but seldom meet with any to which the hand of a Phidiasm or a Praxitelescould not give several nice touches and finishings.
SECTION II. a Dif-fi-cult, dif-fe-kült, hard tole En-joy, én-jde', to feel with pleas.
please, troublesome. b Pos-i-tive, P 7 -7 -tỉy,real, direct.f Seu-sa-tion, sốn-sao-shin, percepc En-join, én-join , to direct, to or tion by the senses. der.
g Ex-alt, ig2-t', to elevate, to exd Ben-e-fit, bên'-3-fit, a kindness, tol. advantage, to help.
h Rap-ture, råp'-tshůre, ecstacy,
On Gratilude. 1. There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind, than gratitude. It is accompanied with so great inward satisfaction, that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. It is not like the practice of many other virtues, difficulta and painful, but attended with so much pleasure, that were there no positive command which enjoinede it, nor any recompense laid up for it hereafter, a generous mind would indulge in it, for the natural gratification which it affords.
2. If gratitude is due from man to man, how much more
from man to his Maker: The Supreme Being does not only confer upon us those bounties which proceed more immediately from his hand, but even those benefitsd which are conveyed to us by others. Every blessing we enjoy, by what means soever may be derived upon us, is the gift of Him who is the great Xuthor of good, and the Father of mercies. 3. If gratitude, when exerted towards one another, naturally produces a very pleasing sensation in the mind of a grateful man, it exalts: the soul into rapture, when it is employed on this great object of gratitude; on this beneficent Being, who has given us every thing we already possess, and from whom we expect every thing we yet hope for.
SECTION III. a Eq-ui-ty, ék'-kwé-tė, justice,lg Re-tal-i-ate, ré-tål-e-ate, to give right.
like for like. b In-ex-o-ra-ble, in-éks'-6-rå-bl, not h Ex-or-bi-tant, égz-ör'-be-tånt,
to be entreated, not to be moved enormous, excessive. by entreaty.
i Pre-scribe, pre-skribe', to order, e Con-scious, kón'-shủs, inwardly direct.
persuaded, admitted to the know-k Suc-ces-sion, súk-sésh'-ún, lineal ledge of any thing, knowing from order. memory.
2 Haz-ard, håz'-ård, chance, danger, d Frail-ty, fråle'-té,weakness, insta to risk. bility.
m Re-gion, rejun, country tract of e Mu-tu-al, mů'-tshů-ål, reciprocal. space. f For-bear-ance,
fr-bare-ange,n Mag-nan-i-mous, mag-nân-e-mas, command of temper.
great of mind.
On Forgiveness. The most plain and natural sentiments of equitya concur with divine authority, to enforce the duty of forgive
Let him who has never in his life done wrong, be allowed the privilege of remaining inexorable." But let such as are conscious of frailtiesd and crimes, consider forgiveness as a debt which they owe to others. Common failings are the strongest lesson of mutuale forbearance.' Were this virtue unknown among men, order and comfort, peace and repose, would be strangers to human life. A. Injuries retaliated according to the exorbitant" measure which passion prescribes,' would excite resentment in return. The injured person would become the injurer; and thus wrongs, retaliations, and fresh injuries, would circulate in endless succession, till the world was rendered
a field of blood. Of all the passions which invade the human breast, revenge is the most direful.
3. When allowed to reign with full dominion, it is more than sufficient to poison the few pleasures which remain to man in his present state. How much soever a person may suffer from injustice, he is always in hazard' of suffering more from the prosecution of revenge. The violence of an enemy cannot inflict what is equal to the torment he creates to himself, by means of the fierce and desperate passions which he allows to rage in his soul."
-4. Those evil spirits who inhabit the regions of misery, are represented as delighting in revenge and cruelty. Bat all that is great and good in the universe, is on the side of clemency and mercy. The Almighty Ruler of the world, though for ages offended by the uprighteousness, and insulted by the impiety of men, is “ long suffering and slow to anger.".
5. His Son, when he appeared in our nature, exhibited, both in his life and his death, the most illustrious example of forgiveness which the world ever beheld. If we look into the history of mankind, we shall find that, in every age, they who have been respected as worthy, or admired as great, have been distinguished for this virtue. ;
-. Revenge dwells in little minds. A noble and magnanimous" spirit is alwavs superior to it. It suffers not from the injuries of men those severe shocks which others feel. Collected within itself, it stands unmoved by their impotent assaults; and with generous pity, rather than with anger, looks down on their unworthy conduct. It has been truly said, that the greatest man on earth can no sooner commit an injury, than a good man can make himself greater by forgiving it.
Motives to the practice of gentleness. . To promotes the virtue of gentleness, we ought to view our characterb with an impartial eye; and to learn, from our own failings, to give that indulgence, which in our turn we claim. It is pride which fills the world with so much harshness and severity. In the fullness of selfestimation, we forget what we are. We claim attentions to which we are not entitled. We are rigorous to offences, as if we had never oftended; unfeeling to distress, as if we knew not what it was to suffer. From those airy regions. of pride and folly, let us descend to our proper level.
2. Let us survey the natural equality on which providence has placed man with man, and reflect on the infirmities common to all. If the reflection on natural equality and mutual offences, be insufficient to prompt humanity, let us at least remember what we are in the sight of our Creator. Have we none of that forbearance to give one another, which we all so earnestly intreat from heaven? Can we look for clemency or gentleness from our Judge, when we are so backward to show it to our brethren? ----3. Let us also accustom ourselves, to reflect on the small moment of those things, which are the usual incentives to violence and contention. In the ruffled and angry hour, we view every appearance through a false medium. The most inconsiderable point of interest, or honour, swells into a momentous object; and the slightest attack seems to threaten immediate ruin. -4. But after passion or pride has subsided, we look around in vain for the mighty mischiefs we dreaded. - The fabrick, which our disturbed imagination had reared, totally disappears. But though the cause of contention has dwindled away, its consequences remain. We have alienated' a friend; we have embittered an enemy; we have sown the seeds of future suspicion, malevolence, or disgust.
5. Let us suspend our violence for a moment, when causes of discord occur.. Let us anticipate that period of coolness, which, of itself, will soon arrive. Let us reflect how little we have any prospect of gaining by fierce contention; but how inuch of the true happiness of life we are certain of throwing away. Easily, and from the smallest chink, the bitter waters of strife are let forth; but their course cannot be foreseen; and he seldom fails of suifering most from their poisonous effect, who first allowed them to flow,