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tender hearted, to be pitiful and courteous, to support the weak, and to be patient towards all men." Blair.
| Irial and Execution of the Earl of Strafforil, who fell a sac.
rifice to the violence of the ines, in the
reigii of Charles the First. 1. THE Earl of Strafford defended himself against the accusations of the house of commons, with all the presence of mind, judgment and sagacity, that could be expected from innocence and ability.
His children were placed beside him as he was thus defending his life, and the Cagse of his royal inaster. Alter he had in a long and eloquent speech, delivered without premeditation, confuted all the accusations of his enemies, he thus drew to a con. clusion,
2. " But, my lords, I have troubled you too long : longer than I should have done, but for the sake of these dear pledges, which a saint in heaven has left me."-Upon this he paused, dropped a tear, looked upon bis children, and proceeded.-- What I forfeit for myself is a trifie : that my indiscretiolis should reach my posterity, wounds me io the heari.
3. " Pardon my infirmity. --Something I should have added, but am not able, and therefore let it pars. And now my lords, for nyself, I hare long been taught, that the allictions of this life are overpaid by that cterna! weight of glory, which awaits the innocent. lords, even so, with the vimost tranquillity, l.submit myself to your judgment, irliether that judgmedl be life or death. Noi mny will, but thinc, 0 God, be done !"
4. His eloquence and innocence induced those judges lo pity, who were the inosi zealous lo condema him. The
And so, my
king himself went to the house of lords, and spoke for some time in his defence; but the spirit of vengeance, which had been chained for eleven years, was now rouge ed ; and nothing but his blood could give the people sale isfaction. He was condemned by both houses of pailiament; and nothing remained but for the king to give his consent to the bill of altainder,
5. But in the present commotions, the consent of the king would very easily be dispensed with ; and imminent danger might attend his refusal. Charles, however, who loved Strafford lenderly, hesitated, and seemed reluctant; trying every expedient to put off so dreadful an office, as that of signing the warrant for his execution, While he ..continued in this agitation of mind, and state of suspense, his doubts were at last silenced by an act of great magnanimity in the condemned lord.
6. He receivert a letter from that unfortunate noblemax, desiring that bis life might be made a sacrifice to obtain reconciliation between the king and his people ; adding that he was prepared to die ; and that to a willing mind there could be no injury. This instance of noble gonerosity was but ill repaid by his master, who compli. ed with his request.
He consented to sign the fatal bill by commission, and Strafford was beheaded on Towerbill; bebaving with all that composed dignity of resoluLion, wbich was expected from his character, Goldsmith.
in Eminent instance of true Fortitude.
All who have been distinguished as servants of God, or benefactors of men; all who, in perilous situations, bave acted their part with soch honour as to ren. der their oames illustrious through succeeding ages, lave been eminent för fortitude of mind. Of this we pave one conspicuous example in the apostle Paul, whom it will be sostructive for us to view, in a remarkable occurrence of his life. Alter having long acted as the apostle of the Gentiles, his mission called him to go to Jei usalem, where he knew that he was to eacounter the utinost violeoce of bis enemies.
2. Just before he set sail, he called together the elders of his favourite church at Ephesus ; and, in a pathetie gpeech, which dues great honour to his character, gave them his last farewell. Deeply affected by their knowl edge of the certain dangers to which he was exposing himself, all the assembly were filled with distress, and melted into tears.
3. The circumstances were such, as might have conveyed dejection even into a resolute mind; and would have totally overwhelmed the feeble.
" They all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him; sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they should see his face no more." What were then the sentiments, what was the language of this great and good man? - Hear the words which spoke his firm and undaunted mind.
4. 6. Behold I go bound in the spirit, to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there ; save that the Holy Spirit witnessetb in every city, saying, that bonds and affictions abide me.
But none of these things move me; neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."
5. There was uttered the voice, there breathed the spirit of a brave and virtuous man.
Such a man knows not what it is to shriok from danger, when conscience points out his path. In thai path he is determined to walk; let the consequences be what they may. This was the magnanimous behaviour of that great apostle, he had persecution and distress full in view.
6. Attend now to the sentiments of the same excellent man, when the time of his last suffering approached : and remark the majesty and the ease, with which he looked op death. “I am now ready to be offered, and tbe time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight. I barve finished my course. I have kept the faith. Hence. Lorch there is laid up for me a crowd of righteousgess."
How many years of life does such a dying moment overbalance ? Who would not cho.se, in this manier, to go off the stage, with such a song of triumph in his mouth, rather than prolong bis existence through a wretched old age, stained with sin and shame?
The good man's comfort in affliction. 1. The religion of Christ not only arms ug with fortitude against the approach of evil --but, supposiug eyils to fall upon us with their heaviest pressure, it lightens the Joad by many consolations to which others are strangers, While bad men trace, in the calamities with which they are visited, the hand of an offended sovreign, Christians are taught to view them as the well-intended chastisements of a merciful Father.
2. They hear amidst them, that still roice which a good conscience brings to their ear : 6 Fear noi, for Lam with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God.” They apply to themselves the comfortable promises with which the gospel abounds. They discover in these the happy issue decreed to their troubles; and wait with patience till providence shall have accomplished its great and good designs.
3. In the mean time, Devotion opens to them its bles. sed and holy sanctuary ; that sanctuary in which the wounded heart is healed, and the weary mind is at rest; where the cares of the world are forgotten, where its tumults are hushed, and its miseries disappear; where greater objecte open to our view than any which the world presents-where a more serene sky shines, and a sweeter and calmer light beams on the afflicted heart. Blair.
The close of Life.
1. WHEN We contemplate the closs of life--the termination of man's design and hopes—the silence that now peigns among those, who a little while ago, were so busy, or so gay-who can avoid being togched with sensations at once awful and tender. What heart but then warms with the glow of humanity ? In whose eye does not the tear gather, on reyolving the fate of passing and short lived man ?
2. Behold the poor man, who lays down at last the burden of his wearisome life. No more shall he groan under the load of poverty and toil. No more shall be hear the insolent calls of the master, from whom he received bis scanty wages. No more shall he be raised from needful slumber on his bed of straw nor be buried away from his liomely meal, to undergo the repeated labours of the day,
3 While his humble grave is preparing, and a few poor and decayed neighbours are carrying him thither, it is good for us to think, that this man too was our brother': that for him the aged and destitute wise, and the needy children now weep- that, neglected as he was by the world, he possessed, perhaps, both a sound understanding, and a worthy heart and now is carried by angels to rest in Abrahasn's bosom.
4 At no great distance from bim, the grave is opened to receive the rich and proud man. For, as it is said with emphasis in the parable," the rich man also died, and was Denied." His riches prerented not his sharing the same fate with the poor, m-perhaps, through luxury, they accelerated his doom. Then indeed, " the mourners go about the streets" -and, while in all the pomp and magnificence of wo, his funeral is preparing, his heirs impa. tient to examine his will, are looking on one another with jealous eyes, and already beginning to dispate about the adivision of his substance.
5. 6 One day, we see carried along, the coffin of the emiling intant; the flower just nipped as it began to blos. soin in the parents view: and the text day we behold the young man or young woman, of blooming form and proinising hopes laid in an unlimely grave. While the funeral is attended by a numerons unconcerned company, who are discoursing in one another about the news of the day', or the ordinary affairs of life, let our thoughts rather follow to the house of mourning, and represent to then selves what is passing there.
6. There we should see a disconsolate family, sitting in silent grief, thinking of the sad breach that is made in their liitle society : and with tears in their eyes, looking to the chamber that is left vacant, and to every memorial That presents itself of their departed friend. By such atten. tion to the wnes of others the selosh hardness of our hearts will be gradually softened, and melted down into humanity,