« AnteriorContinuar »
Before the high celeftial arch
On ftarry poles was rear'd:
Or to their harps the fons of light
Ere men ador'd, or angels knew,
Or prais'd thy wondrous name;
And when the pillars of the world
And all this vait and goodly frame
And all the trembling ftarry lamps
Their ancient course forfake;
For ever permanent and fix'd,
Unchang'd in everlasting years,
Shall thy existence be.-Mrs. Rowe.
Myself in Him, in light ineffable!
Come then, expreffive filence, mufe his praife.-Thomson.
THE votaries to gaming fhould be fuch as want helps for converfation; and none fhould always have cards in their hands, but those who have nothing but the weather in their mouths; thus gaming would be of fervice to the republic of wit, by taking away the encouragers of nonfenfe.-Fielding.
GAMING is a vice the more dangerous as it is deceitful; and, contrary to every other fpecies of luxury, flatters its votaries with the hopes of increafing their wealth; fo that avarice itself is fo far from fecuring us against its temptations, that it often betrays the more thoughtless and giddy part of mankind into them, promifing riches without bounds, and thofe to be acquired by the moft fudden, as well as easy, and indeed pleasant means.-Idem.
THE wretch whom gratitude once fails to bind,
But fland confefs'd the brute difguis'd in man.
GOOD-NATURE is that benevolent and amiable temper of mind, which difpofes us to feel the misfortunes, and enjoy the happiness of others; and confequently pushes us on to promote the latter, and prevent the former, and that without abstract contemplation on the beauty of virtue, and without the allurements or terrors of religion.-Fielding.
TO hinder infurrection by driving away the people, and to govern peaceably, by having no fubjects, is an expedient that argues no great profundity of politics. To foften the obdurate,
to convince the mistaken, to mollify the refentful, are worthy of a statesman; but it affords a legiflator little felf-applaufe, to confider, that where there was formerly an infurrection, there is now a wilderness.-Johnson.
THE general ftory of mankind will evince, that lawful and fettled authority is very feldom refifted when it is well employed. Grofs corruption, or evident imbecility, is neceffary to the fuppreffion of that reverence, with which the majority of mankind look upon their governors, or those whom they fee furrounded by fplendor, and fortified by power.-Rambler.
ALL government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromife and barter. We balance inconveniencies; we give and take; we remit fome rights, that we may enjoy others; and, we chufe rather to be happy citizens, than fubtle difpuAs we mult give away fome natural liberty, to enjoy civil advantages; fo we muft facrifice fome civil liberties, for the advantages to be derived from the communion and fellowfhip of a great empire. But in all fair dealing, the thing bought, muft bear fome proportion to the purchase paid. None will barter away the immediate jewel of his foul-Burke.
TO meliorate the condition of human nature, can be the only rational end of government. It cannot be designed to favor one defcription of men, a minority, at the expense of all others; who, having received life from him who alone can give it, received, at the fame time, a right to enjoy it in liberty and fecurity. This was the charter of God and nature; which no mortal, however elevated by conqueft or inheritance, can annul or violate without impiety. All government, which makes not the advancement of human happinefs, and the comfort of the individuals who are fubject to its control, the prime purpofe of its operations, partakes of defpotifm.--Spirit of Defpotifm.
THE majority of men are poor and obfcure. To them all party attachments to names and families, little known as public benefactors, muft appear at once abfurd and injurious. They are the perfons who ftand in most need of protection and affiftance from the powerful. The rich, under all governments, have a thousand means of procuring either comfort or defence. It is the mafs, the poor and middling ranks, unknown to, and unknowing courts or kings, who require all the alleviation which men enlightened by knowledge, furnished with opulence, elevated by rank can afford to leffen the natural evils of life,
aggravated by the moral and artificial. Government poffeffes the power of alleviating, and fometimes of removing, that moral and phyfical evil which embitters exiflence. How deplorable, when government becomes fo perverted, as to increase the evil it was defigned to cure. Yet this has been,
and is now the cafe on a great part of the globe; infomuch that the learned and judicious Dr. Prideaux, whofe integrity is as well known as his ability, used to fay," that it was a doubt with him, whether the benefit which the world receives from government, was fufficient to make amends for the calamities which it suffers from the follies, mistakes, and maladminißration of those who manage it.”—Idem.
FEW and evil are our days, even when they proceed to their natural extent, and are attended with the common portion of health and profperity. Yet, as if a fuperfluity of years and happiness were lavished on men, the chief bufinefs of the greatest part of the governments on the whole earth has been to abbreviate life, to poison and embitter its sweetest pleafures, and add new pungency to its anguish. Yet fee the falfe glitter of happiness, the pomp and parade which fuch governments affume; obferve the gravity and infolence of fuperiority which their minifters, their statesmen, aad their warriors, affume, and you would imagine them a commiffioned regency, lord lieutenants fent by heaven to rule this lower world, and to rectify all diforders which had escaped the vigilance of the Deity. The time has been when they have actually claimed the title of God's vicegerents, and have been literally worshipped as gods by the fervile crew of courtiers— men gradually bowed down by defpotifm from the eject port of native dignity, and driven by fear to crouch under the most degrading of all fuperftition, the political idolatry of a bafe fellow-creature.-Idem.
- I LAY it down as an incontrovertible axiom, that all who are born into the world have a right to be as happy in it as the unavoidable evils of nature, and their own difordered paffions, will allow. The grand object of all good government, of all government that is not an ufurpation, muft be to promote this happiness, to affist every individual in its attainment and fecurity. A government chickly anxious about the emoluments of office, chiefly employed in augmenting its own power and aggrandizing its obfequious inflruments, while it neglects the comfort and fafety of individuals in middle or low life, is defpotic and a nuisance. It is founded on folly as well as
wickedness; and, like the freaks of infanity, deals mifchief and mifery around, without being able to afcertain or limit its extent and duration. If it fhould not be punished as criminal, let it be coerced as dangerous. Let the ftraight waistcoat be applied; but let men, judging fellow men, always fpare the axe.
For what rational purpose could we enter into life? To vex, terment, and flay each other with the fword? To be and to make miferable? No; I firmly believe, that the great King of kings intended every fon and daughter of Adam to be as happy as the eternal laws of nature, under his control, permit them to be in this fublunary ftate. Execrated and exploded be all thofe politics, with Machiavel, or the Evil Being, their author, which introduce fyftems of government and manners among the great, inconfiftent with the happiness of the majority. Muft real tragedies be forever acting on the flage of human life? Muft men go on forever to be tormentors and executioners of men? Is the world never to profit by the experience of ages? Muft not even attempts be made to improve the happiness of life, to improve government, though all arts and sciences are encouraged in their progrefs to perfection? Muft the grand art, the fublimeft fcience, that of meliorating the condition of human nature, be stationary? No; forbid it reason, virtue, benevolence, religion! Let the world be made more and more comfortable, to all who are allowed the glorious privilege of feeing the fun, and breathing the liberal air.-Idem.
THE principal objects of all rational government, fuch as is intended to promote human happiness, are two; to preferve peace, and to diffufe plenty. Such government will feldom tax the neceffaries of life. It will avoid wars; and, by such humane and wife policy, render taxes on neceffaries totally fuperfluous. Taxes on neceffaries are ufually caufed by war. The poor, however, are not eafily excited to infurrection. It is a bafe calumny which accufes them. They are naturally quiefcent; inclined to fubmiffion by their habits, and willing to reverence all their fuperiors who behave to them juflly and kindly. They deferve to be used well. They deferve coufidence. But oppreffion and perfecution may teach them to lift their gigantic arm, and then vain will be refiftance. I et not wars then be wantonly undertaken, which, befides their ijutlice and inhumanity, tend, more than any thing elfe, by increafing taxes, to compel infurrection. The poor man hears great praifes beftowed on the government he lives under, and