« AnteriorContinuar »
as covetous men do their quiet and repofe; they can enjoy no fatisfaction in what they have, because of the abfurd inclination they are poffeffed with for what they have not.-Spectator.
MEN irritated by oppreffion, and elevated by a triumph over it, are apt to abandon themselves to violent and extreme courfes.-Burke.
YE have heard. that it hath been faid by them of old time, Thou shalt not forfwear thyself, but fhalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
But I fay unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne:
Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jeru falem, for it is the city of the great king:
Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black:
But let your communication be, yea, yea; nay, nay; for whatfoever is more than these cometh of evil.-New Teftament, IT is great fin to fwear unto a fin, But greater fin to keep a finful oath. Who can be bound by any folemn vow, To do a murderous deed? to rob a man? To force a spotlefs virgin's chastity? To reave the orphan of his patrimony? To wring the widow from her custom'd right? And have no other reafon for his wrong,
But that he was bound by a folemn oath ?-Shakespeare.
WHOEVER confiders the number of abfurd and ridiculous oaths neceffary to be taken at prefent in moft countries, on being admitted into any fociety or profeffion whatever, will be lefs furprised to find prevarication ftill prevailing, where perjury has led the way.
While good faith reigned upon the earth, a fimple promise was fufficient to infure confidence. Oaths owe their origin to perfidy. Man was not required to call upon the God that heard him, to witness his veracity, till he deferved no longer to be believed. Magiftrates and fovereigns, to what do your regulations tend? You either oblige the man of probity to lift up his hand, and call heaven to witness, which with him is a requifition as injurious as it is useless; or you compel an oath from the mouth of a reprobate. Of what value can the oath of fuch a
man appear to you? If the oath be contrary to his own fecurity, it is abfurd. If it be confonant with his intereft, it is fuperfluous. Does it argue a knowledge of the human heart, to give the debtor his choice between his ruin and a falfehood; or the criminal his option between death and perjury? Will the man whom motives of revenge, intereft, or wickednefs, have determined to give a falfe teftimony, be deterred by the fear of committing one crime more? Is he not apprifed, before he is brought up to the tribunal of justice, that this formality will be required of him? And has he not from the bottom of his heart defpifed it, before he complied with it? Is it not a fpecies of impiety to introduce the name of God in our wicked difputes? Is it not a fingular mode of making heaven, as it were, an accomplice in the guilt, to fuffer that heaven to be called upon which never has contradicted nor ever will contradict the oath? How intrepid, therefore, muft the falfe witnefs become, when he has with impunity called down the divine vengeance on his head, without the fear of being convicted? Oaths feem to be so much debafed and proffituted by their frequency, that falfe witneffes are grown as common as robbers.-Raynal.
ONCE, gay in life, and free from anxious care,
Children of wealth, in downy pleasure bred,
And wipe the falling tear from forrow's eye.—Fentham.
HOW unnatural is the anxious defire of ariftocratical bigots to make, as they exprefs it, an eldest fon! to starve or at leaft to diftrefs, a dozen fons and daughters, in order to leave
behind them one great reprefentative, who may continue to toil in the purfuit of civil pre-eminence, for the gratification of family pride. The privileges of primogeniture eftablish petty defpots all over the land, who are interefted, and fufficiently inclined, from pride as well as intereft, to promote the spirit of defpotifm. They would have no objection to the feudal fyftem, in which the only diftinction was that of lords and vafla's. Not contented with engroffing the property which ought to be fhared among their brothers and fillers, they claim privileges in confequence of their property, and would appropriate the birds of the air and the beails of the forest for their recreation in the field, and their luxury at the table.
When the laws of nature, and eternal truth and juftice, are violated, no wonder that defpotifm advances, and man is degra ded.-Spirit of Defpotifin.
HOW terrible is paffion! how our reafon Falls down before it! whilft the tortur'd frame, Like a hip dafh'd by fierce encount'ring tides, And of her pilot spoil'd, drives round and round, The fport of wind and wave.-Barford.
O HEAV'N born patience! fource of peace and reft,
IF what we fuffer has been brought on us by ourselves, it is obferved by an ancient poet, that patience is eminently our duty, fince no one ought to be angry at feeling that which he has deferved. If we are confcious that we have not contributed to our own fufferings, if punishment falls upon innocence, or difappointment happens to industry and prudence, patience, whether more neceffary or not, is much eafier, fince our pain is then without aggravation, and we have not the bitterness of remorfe to add to the afperity of misfortune.-Rambler.
IN thofe evils which are allotted us by Providence, such as deformity, privation of any of the fenfes, or old age, it is always to be remembered, that impatience can have no prefent effect, but to deprive us of the confolations which our condition
admits, by driving away from us thofe, by whofe converfation, or advice, we might be amefed or helped; and that with regard to futurity, it is yet lefs to be juftified, fince without leffening the pain, it cuts off the hope of that reward, which he, by whom it is inflicted, will confer upon them that bear it well. -Idem.
IN all evils which admit a remedy, impatience is to be aroided, because it waftes that time and attention in complaints, which, if properly applied, might remove the caufe.-Idem.
-FOR all conncions elfe,
All private duties are fubordinate,
TO be attached to the fubdivifion, to love the little platoon we belong to in fociety, is the fift principle (the germ, as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the feries by which we proceed towards a love to our country and to man kind. The interefts of that portion of focial arrangement is a truft in the hands of all thofe who compofe it; and as none but bad men would juftify it in abuse, none but traitors would barter it away for their ovn perfonal advantage.—Burke.
GIVE peace, give healing peace to two brave nations,
Afit mankind, and fcourge the world with war,
Is what each wicked, each ambitious man,
FAIR peace! how lovely, how delightful thou!
A PEACE too eagerly fought, is not always the fooner obtained; and when obtained, it never can be every thing we wifh. The difcovery of vehement wishes generally fruftrates their attainment; and your adversary has gained a great advantage over you, when he finds you impatient to conclude a treaty. There is in referve, not only fomething of dignity, but a great deal of prudence too. A fort of courage belongs to negociation