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world. In the tempefts which they raife, they are always toft; and frequently it is their lot to perish.

A peaceable temper must be fupported by a candid one, or a difpofition to view the conduct of others with fairness and impartiality. This ftands oppofed to a jealous and fufpicious temper, which afcribes every action to the worst motive, and throws a black flade over every character. If we would be happy in ourselves, or in our connexions with others, let us guard against this malignant fpirit. Let us ftudy that charity" which thinketh no evil;" that temper which, without degenerating into credulity, will difpofe us to be juft; and which can allow us to observe an error, without imputing it as a crime. Thus we fhall be kept free from that continual irritation, which imagi-, nary injuries raife in a fufpicious breaft; and fhall walk among mén as our brethren, not as our enemies.

But to be peaceable, and to be candid, is not all that is required of a good man. He must cultivate a kind, generous, and fympathizing temper, which feels for diftrefs, wherever it is beheld; which enters into the concerns of his friends with ardour; and to all with whom he has intercourfe, is gentle, obliging, and humane. How amiable appears fuch a difpofition, when contrafted with a malicious or envious temper, which wraps itfelf up in its own narrow intereft, looks with

an evil

eye on the fuccefs of others, and, with an unnatural fatisfaction, feeds on their difappointments or miferies! How little does he know of the true happinefs of life, who is a stranger to that intercourse of good offices and kind affections, which, by a pleafing charm, attaches men to one another, and circulates joy from heart to heart!

K

We are not to imagine, that a benevolent temper finds no exercise, unless when opportunities offer of performing actions of high generofity, or of extensive utility. These may feldom occur. The condition of the greater part of mankind, in a good measure, precludes them. But, in the ordinary round of human affairs, many occafions daily present themselves of mitigating the vexations which others fuffer; of foothing their minds; of aiding their intereft; of promoting their cheerfulness, or eafe. Such occafions may relate to the fmaller incidents of life. But let us remember, that of small incidents the fyftem of human life is chiefly compofed. The attentions which refpect these, when fuggested by real benignity of temper, are often more material to the happiness of those around us, than actions which carry the appearance of greater dignity and splendour. No wife or good man ought to account any rules of behaviour as below his regard, which tend to cement the great brotherhood of mankind in comfortable union.

Particularly amidft that familiar intercourfe which belongs to domeftic life, all the virtues of temper find an ample range. It is very unfortunate, that within that circle, men too often think themfelves at liberty, to give unrestrained vent to the caprice of pafsion and humour. Whereas there, on the contrary, more than any where, it concerns them to attend to the government of their heart; to check what is violent in their tempers, and to foften what is harsh in their manners. For there the temper is formed. There, the real character difplays itfelf. The forms of the world dif guife men when abroad. But within his own family, every man is known to be what he truly is.-In all

our intercourfe then with others, particularly in that which is closest and most intimate, let us cultivate a peaceable, a candid, a gentle and friendly temper, This is the temper to which, by repeated injunctions, our holy religion feeks to form us. This was the temper of Chrift. This is the temper of Heaven.

BLAIR

SECTION VIII.

Excellence of the Chriftian Religion.

Is IT bigotry to believe the fublime truths of the gofpel, with full afsurance of faith? I glory in fuch bigotry. I would not part with it for a thousand worlds. I congratulate the man who is possessed of it: for, amidst all the vicissitudes and calamities of the prefent ftate, that man enjoys an inexhauftible fund of confolation, of which it is not in the power of fortune to deprive him.

There is not a book on earth, fo favourable to all the kind, and all the fublime affections; or fo unfriendly to hatred and perfecution, to tyranny, injuftice, and every fort of malevolence, as the Gospel. It breathes nothing throughout, but mercy, benevolence, and peace.

Poetry is fublime, when it awakens in the mind any great and good affection, as piety, or patriotifm. This is one of the nobleft effects of the heart. The Pfalms are remarkable, beyond all other writings, for their power of inspiring devout emotions. But it is not in this refpect only, that they are fublime. Of the Divine nature, they contain the moft magnificent

defcriptions, that the foul of man can comprehend. The hundred and fourth Pfalm, in particular, difplays the power and goodness of Providence, in creating and preferving the world, and the various tribes of animals in it, with fuch majeftic brevity and beauty, as it is vain to look for in any human compofition.

Such of the doctrines of the Gospel as are level to human capacity, appear to be agreeable to the pureft truth, and the foundeft morality. All the genius and learning of the Heathen world; all the penetration of Pythagoras, Socrates, and Ariftotle, had never been able to produce fuch a system of moral duty, and fo rational an account of Providence and of man, as are to be found in the New Teftament. Compared, indeed, with this, all other moral and theological wisdom

Lofes, difcountenanc'd, and like folly shows.

BEATTIE.

SECTION IX.

Reflections occafioned by a Review of the Blessings, pronounced by Chrift on his Difciples, in his Sermon on the Mount.

WHAT abundant reafon have we to thank God, that this large and inftructive difcourfe of our blefsed Redeemer, is fo particularly recorded by the facred hiftorian. Let every one that "hath ears to hear" attend to it: for furely no man ever spoke as our Lord did on this occafion. Let us fix our minds in a pofture of humble attention, that we may "receive the law from his mouth."

He opened it with blefsings, repeated and most important blessings. But on whom are they pro

nounced? and whom are we taught to think the happiest of mankind? The meek and the humble; the penitent and the merciful; the peaceful and the pure; thofe that hunger and thirst after righteousness; those that labour, but faint not, under perfecution! Lord! how different are thy maxims from thofe of the children of this world! They call the proud happy; and admire the gay, the rich, the powerful, and the victorious. But let a vain world take its gaudy trifles, and drefs up the foolish creatures that pursue them. May our fouls fhare in that happiness which the Son of God came to recommend and to procure! May we obtain mercy of the Lord; may we be owned as his children; enjoy his prefence; and inherit his kingdom! With these enjoyments, and these hopes, we will cheerfully welcome the loweft, or the most painful circumftances.

Let us be animated to cultivate those amiable virtues, which are here recommended to us; this humility and meeknefs; this penitent fenfe of fin; this ardent defire after righteoufnefs; this compafsion and purity; this peacefulness and fortitude of foul; and, in a word, this univerfal goodness which becomes us, as we fuftain the character of "the falt of the earth," and "the light of the world."

Is there not reason to lament, that we answer the character no better? Is there not reason to exclaim, with a good man in former times, "Blefsed Lord! either these are not thy words, or we are not Christians!" Oh, feafon our hearts more effectually with thy grace! Pour forth that divine oil on our lamps! Then shall the flame brighten; then shall the ancient honours of thy religion be revived; and multitudes be

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