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The first teaches them religion. The second inculcates in them the strongest principles of truth and justice. From the third they learn to subdue their passions; and from the fourth they acquire a contempt of danger.—Anon.
681. Rights.—Men have been told of the divine right of Kings --divine rights of Priests,---rights of Lawyers,---rights of Parliament --rights of Land Owners and of Corn Laws,---rights of Usage ---ancient Wisdom---horrors of Revolution--- have been told in fact of every thing, except the ample and single principle of wisdom, steadily to ask what is now likely to promote the greatest amount of happiness ? and steadily to stick by the answer.-Westminster Review.
682. Philosophy. The love and pursuit of wisdom : a science which investigates the laws of nature, with a view to the regulation of human conduct, and the enlargement of human power.—Anon.
683. New Testament.—The opinions or rather conjectures of the learned concerning the time when the books of the New Testament were collected into one volume, as also about the authors of that collection, are extremely different. This important question is attended with great and almost insuperable difficulties to us in these later times.
For not long after Christ's ascension into heaven, several histories .)f his life and doctrines, full of pious frauds and fabulous wonders, were composed by persons whose intentions perhaps were not bad, but whose writings discovered the greatest superstition and ignorance.
Nor was this all, productions appeared which were imposed on the world by fraudulent men as the writings of the Holy Apostles. These Apocryphal and spurious writings must have produced a sad confusion, and rendered both the history and doctrine of Christ uncertain, had not the rulers of the Church used all possible care and diligence in separating the books that were truly apostolical and divine, from all that spurious trash, and conveying them down to posterity in one volume.
Moshiem's Eccles. History.
684. A Philosopher is one who disengages himself from all former prejudices, masters his passions, and learns to think, speak, and act, according to rule and order.
He is ready to teach—but more ready to learn.
He neither lords it over the faith of others, nor suffers others to domineer over his own.
More desirous of truth than fame, he does not dispute for the sake of triumph, but being overcome he looks upon it as a victory.
pear to be.
If he thinks with few, it is not because they are few, but because there are few that think.
He speaks with the multitude in order to conformp himself to custom, without outraging truth or virtue.
To be that in reality which he is in appearance, he watches over his actions, and thus he is not at any time what he would not always ap
The opposition which his sentiments encounter, furnishes him with opportunities of improving his knowledge, which are more frequently a source of instruction than offence.
He would have philosophy to be judged of by what is said upon it, but the philosopher to be tried by his manners.
The vulgar and unphilosophic spirit is to be passionate, credulous, precipitate, and obstinate; to be a lover of the marvellous ; the dupe of antiquity or mysterious errors; to despise simple truth; to see through the eyes of others; to judge of merit by fortune ; to decide upon
truth or justice by its particular, or local ability by the authority of teachers or the voice of the multitude; to mistake sound for sense, the great speaker for the great man, the learner for the learned; to confound passion with zeal; to take faith for reason and superstition for piety, diffidence for ignorance; and lastly, to libel and undervalue the liberty of investigation and inquiry, as a species of licentiousness.
685. Secrets of History.- I was disgusted with modern history; for having strictly examined all the persons of the greatest name in the courts of princes, I found how the world had been misled by prostitute writers to ascribe the greatest exploits in war to cowards, the wisest counsel to fools, sincerity to flatterers, Roman virtue to the betrayers of their country, piety to atheists, &c. How many innocent and excellent persons had been condemned to death or banishment by the practising of great ministers
upon the corruption of judges and the malice of factions ! How many villains had been exalted to the highest places of trust, power, dignity, and profit.
Three kings protested to me, that in their whole reigns they never did once prefer any person of merit, unless by mistake or treachery of some minister in whom they confided : neither would they do so, if they were to live again. And they shewed with great strength of reason that the royal throne could not be supported without corruption, because that positive, confident, restive temper which virtue infused into a man, was a perpetual clog to public business.
I had the curiosity to inquire by what method great numbers had procured to themselves high titles of honour and prodigious estates. This discovered such a scene of infamy, that I cannot reflect upon it without some seriousness. Perjury, oppression, subornation, fraud, panderism, the betraying of their country, the perverting of justice in
order to destroy the innocent, &c. I hope I may be pardoned if these discoveries incline me a little to abate of that profound veneration which I am naturally inclined to pay to persons of high rank, who ought to be treated with the utmost respect due to their sublime dignity by us their inferiors.—Dean Swift.
686. Education. While learning to read and write is a distinction, the few who have that distinction may be less inclined to work; but when every body learns to read and write, it is no longer a distinction.
687. New Doctrines.-In all ages new doctrines have been branded as impious; and that Christianity itself has offered no exception to this rule. The Greeks and Romans charged Christianity with “impiety and novelty.” In Cave's Primitive Christianity, we are informed that the Christians were every where accounted a pack of Atheists, and their religion the Atheism.” They were denominated "mountebank impostors," and “men of a desperate and unlawful faction.” They were represented as “ destructive and pernicious to human society," and were accused of “sacrilege, sedition, and high treason.” The same system of misrepresentation and abuse was practised by the Roman Catholics against the Protestants at the reformation : “ some called their dogs Calvin ; and others transformed Calvin into Cain.” In France, “ the old stale calumnies, formerly invented against the first Christians, were again revived by Demochares, a doctor of the Sorbonne, pretending that all the disasters of the state were to be attributed to Protestants alone.”
Combe on the Constitution of Man.
688. The Slave of Ambition.—A purchased slave has but one master; an ambitious man must be a slave to all who may conduce to his aggrandisement.—La Bruyere.
689. “Great wits have short memories" is a proverb, and as such has undoubtedly some foundation in nature. The case seems to be, that men of genius forget things of common concern, unimportant facts and circumstances, which make no slight impression in every-day minds. But sure it will be found that all wit depends on memory ; i. e. on the recollection of passages either to illustrate, or contrast with, any present occasion. It is probably the fate of a common understanding, to forget the very things which the man of wit remembers. But an oblivion of those things which almost every one remembers, renders his case the more remarkable, and thus explains the mystery.-Shenstone.
690. Drunkenness. tor's heart.--Feltham.
The drunkard hath a fool's tongué and a trai691. A man without money is a body without a soul -À walking death-a spectre that frightens every one. His countenance is sorrowful, and his conversation languishing and tedious. If he calls upon an acquaintance he never finds him at home, and if he opens his mouth to speak he is interrupted every moment, so that he may not have a chance to finish his discourse, which, it is feared, will end with his asking for money. He is avoided like a person infected with disease, and is regarded as an incumbrance to the earth. Want wakes him up in the morning, and misery accompanies him to bed at night. The ladies discover that he is an awkward booby — landlords believe that he lives upon air, and if he wants any thing of a tradesman, he is asked for cash before delivery.—Anon.
692. Or Envy.-The envious man is in pain upon all occasions which ought to give him pleasure. The relish of his life is inverted; and the objects which administer the highest satisfaction to those who are exeropt from this passion, give the quickest pangs to persons who are subject to it. All the perfections of their fellow-creatures are odious. Youth, beauty, valour, and wisdom, are provocations of their displeasure. What a wretched and apostate state is this! to be offended with excellence, and to hate a man because we approve him! The condition of the envious man is the most emphatically miserable; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in another's merit or success, but lives in a world wherein all mankind are in a plot against his quiet, by studying their own happiness and advantage.--Steele.
693. Most Dangerous of Prejudices.--Some of the darkest and most dangerous prejudices of man arise from the most honourable principles of the mind. When prejudices are caught up from bad passions, the worst of men feel intervals of remorse, to soften and disperse them: but when they arise from a generous though mistaken source, they are hugged closer to the bosom, and the kindest and most compassionate natures feel a pleasure in fostering a blind and unjust resentment.—Lord Erskine.
694. Credulity. To distrust all, and believe all, is equally bad and erroneous; of the two, the safest is to distrust. For fear, if it be not immoderate, puts a guard about us that does watch and defend us; but credulity keeps us naked, and lays us open to all the sly assaults of illintending men: it was a virtue when man was in his innocence; but since his fall, it abuses those that own it. -Feltham.
695. Causes of Valour.—The love of glory, the fear of shame, the design of making a fortune, the desire of rendering life easy and agreeable, and the humour of pulling down other people, are often the causes af that valour so celebrated among men.-Rochefoucault.
696. Zeal without Knowledge.- I was called to Wigan the other day and saw two or three thousand men burning the effigy of Tom Paine, and shouting Church and King. Of the whole of the number, I was well-informed, there were not ten who knew the alphabet.--Dr. Currie.
697. The Romans were a nation of men, and friends to their species, lovers of liberty and despisers of life, when these two blessings were incompatible.—They propagated politeness and laws: and hunted down tyrants and barbarity, wherever they came. They taught mankind to distinguish between manly obedience, proceeding from rational consent, which is the allegiance of subjects,—and involuntary submission extorted by fears and force, which is the lot and condition of slaves. Their religion was of a piece with their politics, and part of them—the civil magistrate was either the priest himself, or the priest was prompted by him; and the only piece of priestcraft which the old republican clergy
the good of the commonwealth. The hands of the government were not tied up from encouraging public spirit, by the paltry fear of alarming the ecclesiastics. Every principle and every action, which promoted their present liberty and prosperity, was lawful, virtuous, and religious, in the eyes of that noble people; — who had no idea of the encroachment of liberty upon religion, nor of the church's clashing with the state, nor of the creature's contending for superiority with its creator;
-these were monsters yet unborn, and absurdities as yet uninvented, which lived not till liberty was dead, and till old women succeeded heroes. The Romans preserved their freedom so long as they preserved their virtue. At last, ambition and bribery seized the senate house, and were followed by every evil art and every wicked purpose. The corruption began with the great, who spread it among the people, and debauched them in order to enslave them. Shews, farces, and masque. rades, made them idle, and dependent on those who gratified them with these fine sights and diversions. At long run, their highest ambition was to live and see shews. In the end, being fully purged of all sense of virtue and liberty, the whole Roman people, that had conquered the world and polished it,they who had deposed tyrants and set mankind free,–became themselves an easy prey to a traitor of their own raising.
698. Bounty.—He that spends to his proportion, is as brave as a prince; and a prince exceeding that, is a prodigal: there is no gallantry beyond what is fit and decent. A comely beauty is better than a painted one. Unseemly bounty is waste both of wealth and wit.—Feltham
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