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18 AdMIRA TION.—AD VERSITY.—Ad VER TISEMENTS.
represents the Ruler of all things under the endearing image of a shepherd, whose crook guides the flock safe through gloomy and desolate glens, to meadows well watered and rich with herbage. On that goodness to which he ascribed all the happiness of his life he relied in the hour of death with the love which casteth out fear. Lord Macaulay: Addison.
Admiration is a short-lived passion, that immediately decays upon growing familiar with its object, unless it be still fed with fresh discoveries. Addison.
All things are admired either because they are new or because they are great.
The passions always move, and therefore (consequently) please: for without motion there can be no delight; which cannot be considered but as an active passion. When we view those elevated ideas of nature, the result of that view is admiration, which is always the cause of pleasure. Dryden.
There is a pleasure in admiration; and this is that which properly causeth admiration: when we discover a great deal in an object which we understand to be excellent, and yet we see (we know not how much) more beyond that, which our understandings cannot fully reach and comprehend. TilLotSON.
A remembrance of the good use he had made of prosperity contributed to support his mind under the heavy weight of adversity which then lay upon him. Atterbury.
He that has never known adversity is but half acquainted with others, or with himself. Constant success shows us but one side of the world. For, as it surrounds us with friends, who will tell us only our merits, so it silences those enemies from whom alone we can learn our defects. COLTON: Lacon.
In the struggles of ambition, in violent competitions for power or for glory, how slender the partition between the w idest extremes of fortune, and how few the steps and apparently slight the circumstances which sever the throne from the prison, the palace from the tomb! So Tibui died, says the sacred historian, with inimitable simplicity, and Omri reigned.
Concerning deliverance itself from all adversity we use not to say, " Men are in adversity," whensoever they feel any small hindrance of their welfare in this world; but when some notable affliction or cross, some great calamity or trouble, befalleth them. Hooker.
Adversity borrows its sharpest sting from our impatience. Bishop Horne.
As adversity leads us to think properly of our state, it is most beneficial to us.
Dr. S. Johnson.
All is well as long as the sun shines and the fair breath of heaven gently wafts us to our own purposes. But if you will try the excellency and feel the work of faith, place the man in a persecution; let him ride in a storm; let his bones be broken with sorrow, and his eyelids loosed with sickness; let his bread be dipped with tears, and all the daughters of music be brought low; let us come to sit upon the margin of our grave, and let a tyrant lean hard upon our fortunes and dwell upon our wrong; let the storm arise, and the keels toss till the cordage crack, or that all our hopes bulge under us, and descend into the hollowness of sad misfortunes. Jeremy Taylor.
Some kinds of adversity are chiefly of the character of Trials and others of Discipline. But Bacon does not advert to this difference, nor say anything at all about the distinction between discipline and trial; which are quite different in themselves, but often confounded together. By " discipline" is to be understood anything—whether of the character of adversity or not—that has a direct tendency to produce improvement, or to create some qualification that did not exist before; and by trial, anything that tends to ascertain what improvement has been made, or what qualities exist. Both effects may be produced at once; but what we speak of is, the proper character of trial, as such, and of discipline, as such.
But, to consider this subject in its most ridiculous lights, advertisements are of great use to the vulgar. First of all, as they are instruments of ambition. A man that is by no means big enough for the Gazette may easily creep into the advertisements; by which means we often see an apothecary in the same paper of news with a plenipotentiary, or a running footman with an ambassador. An advertisement from Piccadilly goes down to posterity with an article from Madrid, and John Bartlett of Goodman'sfields is celebrated in the same paper with the Emperor of Germany. Thus the fable tells us that the wren mounted as high as the eagle, by getting upon his back.
Addison: Taller, No. 224.
The advertisements which appear in a public journal take rank among the most significant indications of the state of society of that time and place. The wants, the wishes, the means, the employments, the books, the amusements, the medicines, the trade, the economy of domestic households, the organization of wealthy establishments, the relation between masters and servants, the wages paid to workmen, the rents paid for houses, the prices charged for commodities, the facilities afforded for travelling, the materials and fashions for dress, the furniture and adornments of houses, the varieties and systems of schools, the appearance and traffic of towns,—all receive illustration from such sources. It would be possible to write a very good social history of England during the last two centuries from the information furmshed by advertisements alone.
The truth of it is, a woman seldom asks advice before she has bought her wedding clothes. When she has made her own choice, for form's sake she sends a conge d'elire to her friends.
If we look into the secret springs and motives that set people at work on these occasions, and put them upon asking advice which they never intend to take, I look upon it to be none of the least, that they are incapable of keeping a secret which is so very pleasing to them. A girl longs to tell her confidante that she hopes to be married in a little time; and, in order to talk of the pretty fellow that dwells so much in her thoughts, asks her very gravely what she would advise her to do in a case of so much difficulty.
Addison's Spectator, No. 475.
There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice. We look upon the man who gives it us as offering an affront to our understanding, and treating us like children or idiots. We consider the instruction as an implicit censure, and the zeal which any one shows for our good on such an occasion as a piece of presumption or impertinence. The truth of it is, the person who pretends to advise does, in that particular, exercise a superiority over us, and can have no other reason for it but that, in comparing us with himself, he thinks us defective either in our conduct or our understanding. For these reasons, there is nothing so difficult as the art of making advice Agreeable; and indeed all the writers, both ancient and modern, have distinguished themselves among one another according to the perfection at which they have arrived in this art. How many devices have been made use of to render this bitter potion palatable! Some convey their instructions to us in the best chosen words, others in the most harmonious numbers; some in points of wit, and others in short proverbs.
Addison: Spectator, No. 512.
Counsel is of two sorts; the one concerning manners, the other concerning business: for the Sist, the best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful admonition of a friend. The calling of a man's self to a strict account' s medicine sometimes too piercing and cor
rosive; reading good books of morality is a little flat and dead; observing our faults in others is sometimes improper for our case; but the best receipt (best, I say, to work and Best to take) is the admonition of a friend. It is a strange thing to behold what gross errors ar. d extreme absurdities many (especially of the greater sort) do commit for want of a friend to tell them of them, to the great damage both of their fame and fortune.
To take advice of some few friends is ever honourable; for lookers-on many times see more than gamesters; and the vale best discovereth the hill. There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals, which was wont to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the other.
Lord Bacon: Essay L.: Of Suitors.
Whoever is wise, is apt to suspect and be diffident of himself, and upon that account is willing to "hearken unto counsel;" whereas the foolish man, being in proportion to his folly full of himself, and swallowed up in conceit, will seldom take any counsel but his own, and for that very reason because it is his own.
Advice, however earnestly sought, however ardently solicited, if it does not coincide with a man's own opinions, if it tends only to investigate the improprieties, to correct the criminal excesses of his conduct, to dissuade from a continuance and to recommend a reformation of his errors, seldom answers any other purpose than to put him out of humour with himself, and to alienate his affections from the adviser.
Rt. Hon. George Canning:
We ask advice, but we mean approbation.
It is always safe to learn, even from our enemies—seldom safe to instruct, even our friends.
Good counsels observed, are chains to grace, which neglected, prove halters to strange undutiful children. T. Fuller.
It is by no means necessary to imagine that he who is offended at advice was ignorant of the fault, and resents the admonition as a false charge; for perhaps it is most natural to be enraged when there is the strongest conviction of our own guilt. While we can easily defend our character, we are no more disturbed by an accusation than we are alarmed by an enemy whom we are sure to conquer, and whose attack, therefore, will bring us honour without danger. But when 'a man feels the reprehension of a friend seconded by his own heart, he is easily heated into resentment and revenge, either because he hoped that the fault of which he was conscious had escaped the notice of others; or that his friend 20
AD VICE.—AFFECTA TION.—AFFECTIOAS.
had looked upon it with tenderness and extenuation, and excused it for the sake of his other virtues; or had considered him as too wise to need advice, or too delicate to be shocked with reproach; or, because we cannot feel without pain these reflections roused, which we have been endeavouring to lay asleep; and when pain has produced anger, who would not willingly believe that it ought to be discharged on others, rather than himself?
Dr. S. Johnson: Rambler, No. 40.
People are sooner reclaimed by the side-wind of a surprise than by downright admonition.
A man takes contradiction and advice much more easily than people think, only he will not bear it when violently given, even though it be well founded. Hearts are flowers; they remain open to the softly-falling dew, but shut up in the violent down-pour of rain. RICHTER.
Let no man presume to give advice to others that has not first given good counsel to himself.
If you would convince a person of his mistakes, accost him not upon that subject when his spirit is ruffled. Dr. I. Watts.
Among the numerous stratagems by which pride endeavours to recommend folly to regard, there is scarcely one that meets with less success than affectation, or a perpetual disguise of the real character by fictitious appearances; whether it be, that every man hates falsehood, from the natural congruity of truth to his faculties of reason, or that every man is jealous of the honour of his understanding, and thinks his discernment consequentially called in question, whenever anything is exhibited under a borrowed form.
Dr. S. Johnson: Rambler, No. 20.
Affectation is an awkward and forced imitation of what should be genuine and easy, wanting the beauty that accompanies what is natural.
Affectation endeavours to correct natural defects, and has always the laudable aim of pleasing, though it always misses it.
When our consciousness turns upon the main design of life, and our thoughts are employed upon the chief purpose either in business or pleasure, we shall never betray an affectation, for we cannot be guilty of it; but when we give the passion for praise an unbridled liberty, our pleasure in little perfections robs us of what is due to us for great virtues and worthy qualities. How many excellent speeches and honest actions are lost for want of being indifferent where we ought!
SIR R. Steele: Spectator, No. 38.
The wild havoc affectation makes in that part of the world which should be most polite, is visible wherever we turn our eyes; it pushes men not only into impertinences in conversation, but also in their premeditated speeches. At the bar it torments the bench, whose business it is to cut off all superfluities in what is spoken before it by the practitioner; as well as several little pieces of injustice which arise from the law itself. I have seen it make a man run from the purpose before a judge who was, when at the bar himself, so close and logical a pleader, that, with all the pomp of eloquence in his power, he never spoke a word too much.
Sir R. Steele' s Spectator, No. 38.
It is not the business of virtue to extirpate the affections, but to regulate them.
A resemblance of humour and opinion, a fancy for the same business or diversion, is a ground of affection. Jeremy Collier.
The successes of intellectual effort are never so great as when aided by the affections that animate social converse.
John Foster: Journal.
All things being double-handed, and having the appearances both of truth and falsehood, where our affections have engaged us we attend only to the former. GLANVILL: Scepsis.
We read of a "joy unspeakable and full of glory," of " a peace that passeth all understanding," with innumerable other expressions of a similar kind, which indicate strong and vehement emotions of mind. That the great objects of Christianity, called eternity, heaven, and hell, are of sufficient magnitude to justify vivid emotions of joy, fear, and love, is India'sputable, if it be allowed we have any relation to them; nor is it less certain that religion could never have any powerful influence if it did not influence through the medium of the affections. All objects which have any permanent influence influence the conduct in this way. We may possibly be first set in motion by their supposed connection with our interest; but unless they draw to themselves particular affections the pursuit soon terminates.
Affections (as joy, grief, fear, and anger, with such like), being, as it were, the sundry fashions and forms of appetite, can neither rise at the conceit of a thing indifferent, nor yet choose but rise at the sight of some things.
Hooker: Eccles. Pol., Book I.
Be it never so true which we teach the world to believe, yet if once their affections begin to be alienated a small thing persuadeth them to change their opinions. Hooker.
Affection is still a briber of the judgment; and it is hard for a man to admit a reason against the thing he loves, or to confess the force of an argument against an interest.
The only thing which can endear religion to your practice will be to raise your affections above this world. Wake.
In afflictions men generally draw their consolations out of books of morality, which indeed are of great use to fortify and strengthen the mind against the impressions of sorrow. Monsieur St. Evremont, who does not approve of this method, recommends authors who are apt to stir up mirth in the minds of the readers, and fancies Don Quixote can give more relief to a heavy heart than Plutarch or Seneca, as it is much easier to divert grief than to conquer it. This doubtless may have its effects on some tempers. I should rather have recourse to authors of a quite contrary kind, that give us instances of calamities and misfortunes and show human nature in its greatest distresses.
Addison: Spectator, No. 163.
Make the true use of those afflictions which his hand, mercifully severe, hath been pleased to lay upon thee. Attermjry.
Though it be not in our power to make affliction no affliction, yet it is in our power to take off the edge of it, by a steady view of those divine joys prepared for us in another state.
Our Saviour is represented everywhere in Scripture as the special patron of the poor and afflicted. Atterhury.
Can any man trust a better support under affliction than the friendship of Omnipotence, who is both able and willing, and knows how, to relieve him? BENTLEY.
The furnace of affliction refines us from earthly drossiness, and softens us for the impression of God's own stamp. Boyle.
But calamity is, unhappily, the usual season of reflection; and the pride of men will not often suffer reason to have any scope until it can be no longer of service.
Great distress has never hitherto taught, and whilst the world lasts it never will teach, wise lessons to any part of mankind. Men are as much blinded by the extremes of misery as by the extremes of prosperity.
Letter to a Member of the National
Afflictions sent by Providence melt the constancy of the noble-minded, but confirm the obduracy of the vile. The same furnace that hardens clay liquefies gold; and in the strong manifestations of divine power Pharaoh found his punishment, but David his pardon.
How naturally does affliction make us Christians! and how impossible is it when all human help is vain, and the whole earth too poor and trifling to furnish us with one moment's peace, how impossible is it then to avoid looking at the gospel! Cowper
Letter to Lady Hesketh, July 4, 1765.
How every hostile feeling becomes mitigated into something like kindness, when its object, perhaps lately proud, assuming, unjust, is now seen oppressed into dejection by calamity! The most cruel wild beast, or more cruel man, if seen languishing in death and raising towards us a feeble and supplicating look, would certainly move our pity.
John Foster: Journal.
There is a certain equanimity in those who are good and just which runs into their very sorrow and disappoints the force of it. Though they must pass through afflictions in common with all who are in human nature, yet their conscious integrity shall undermine their affliction; nay, that very affliction shall add force to their integrity, from a reflection of the use of virtue in the hour of affliction.
Francham: Spectator, No. 520.
A consideration of the benefit of afflictions should teach us to bear them patiently when they fall to our lot, and to be thankful to Heaven for having planted such barriers around us, to restrain the exuberance of our follies and our crimes.
Let these sacred fences be removed; exempt the ambitious from disappointment and the guilty from remorse; let luxury go unattended with disease, and indiscretion lead into no embarrassments or distresses; our vices would range without control, and the impetuosity of our passions have no bounds; every family would be filled with strife, every nation with carnage, and a deluge of calamities would break in upon us which would produce more misery in a year than is inflicted by the hand of Providence in a lapse of ages.
Robert HALl: Character of Cleanttc.
The time of sickness or affliction is like the cool of the day to Adam, a season of peculiar propriety for the voice of God to be heard ; and may be improved into a very advantageous opportunity of begetting or increasing spiritual life. Hammond.
The minds of the afflicted do never think they have fully conceived the weight or measure of their own woe: they use their affection as a whetstone both to wit and memory.
Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it.
As daily experience makes it evident that misfortunes are unavoidably incident to human life, that calamity will neither be repelled by fortitude, nor escaped by flight; neither awed by greatness, nor eluded by obscurity; philosophers have endeavoured to reconcile us to that condition which they cannot teach us to merit, by persuading us that most of our evils are made afflictive only by ignorance or perverseness, and that nature has annexed to every vicissitude of external circumstances some advantage sufficient to over-balance all its inconveniences. Dr. S. Johnson.
It is by affliction chiefly that the heart of man is purified, and that the thoughts are fixed on a better state. Prosperity, alloyed and imperfect as it is, has power to intoxicate the imagination, to fix the mind upon the present scene, to produce confidence and elation, and to make him who enjoys affluence and honours forget the hand by which they were bestowed. It is seldom that we are otherwise than by affliction awakened to a sense of our imbecility, or taught to know how little all our acquisitions can conduce to safety or to quiet, and how justly we may ascribe to the superintendence of a higher power those blessings which in the wantonness of success we considered as the attainments of our policy or courage. Dr. S. Johnson.
When any calamity has been suffered, the first thing to be remembered is, how much has been escaped. Dr. S. Johnson.
Upon the upshot, afflictions are the methods of a merciful Providence to force us upon the only means of settling matters right.
The willow which bends to the tempest often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character.
Sir Walter Scott.
The sinner's conscience is the best expositor of the mind of God, under any judgment or affliction. South.
It is a very melancholy reflection, that men are usually so weak that it is absolutely necessary for them to know sorrow and pain, to be in their right senses. Prosperous people (for happy there are none) are hurried away with a fond sense of their present condition, and thoughtless of the mutability of fortune. Fortune is a term which we must use, in such discourses as these, for what is wrought by the unseen hand of the Disposer of all things. But methinks the disposition of a mind which is truly great is that which makes misfortunes and sorrows little when they befall ourselves, great and lamentable when they befall other men. The
most unpardonable malefactor in the world going to his death and bearing it with composure would win the pity of those who should behold him; and this not because his calamity is deplorable, but because he seems himself not to deplore it. We suffer for him who is less sensible of his own misery, and are inclined to, despise him who sinks under the weight of his distresses.
Sir R. Steele: Spectator, No. 312.
Before an affliction is digested, consolation ever comes too soon; and after it is digested, it comes too late; but there is a mark between these two, as fine almost as a hair, for a comforter to take aim at. Sterne.
When a storm of sad mischance beats upon our spirits, turn it into advantage, to serve religion or prudence. Jeremy Taylor.
Sad accidents, and a state of affliction, is a school of virtue: it corrects levity, and interrupts the confidence of sinning.
That which thou dost not understand when thou readest, thou shalt understand in the day of thy visitation. For many secrets of religion are not perceived till they be felt, and are not felt but in the day of a great calamity.
Religion directs us rather to secure inward peace than outward ease, to be more careful to avoid everlasting torment than light afflictions.
Others have sought to ease themselves of all the evil of affliction by disputing subtilely against it, and pertinaciously maintaining that afflictions are no real evils, but only in imagination.
Though all afflictions are evils in themselves, yet they are good for us, because they discover to us our disease and tend to our cure.
God will make these evils the occasion of greater good, by turning them to advantage in this world, or increase of our happiness in the next. Tlllotson.
None of us fall into those circumstances of danger, want, or pain, that can have hopes of relief but from God alone; none in all the world to flee to but him. Tillotson.
All men naturally fly to God in extremity, and the most atheistical person in the world, when forsaken of all hopes of any other relief, is forced to acknowledge him. Tlllotson.
It is our great unhappiness, when any calamities fall upon us, that we are uneasy and dissatisfied. Wake.
Let us not mistake God's goodness, nor imagine because he smites us, that we are forsaken of him. Waee.