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in proportion to the contents of the body in which it resides, so does the latter; in individuals it is small, in societies greater, and in populous and extensive empires most powerful. As the one acts with power in proportion to its distance, so does the other; for we constantly find, that a small benefit bestowed on men, as individuals, will influence them much more than a larger, which they may receive from national prosperity; and a trifling loss, which immediately affects themselves, is more regretted than one more considerable, which they feel only through the medium of public calamities. In another respect, also, they greatly resemble each other; they are both productive of many mischiefs, yet both necessary to the wellbeing and preservation of the whole. It is attraction that plunges us in the ocean, dashes us against the rocks, tumbles us from the precipice, and pulls down the tottering fabric on our heads; but it is this also that constitutes all body, that binds together the terrestrial globe, guides the revolving planets in their courses, and without it, not only the whole material system would be dissolved, but I am inclined to think, that matter itself must be annihilated; for, matter being infinitely divisible, without this property, it must be infinitely divided; and infinite division seems to be nothing less than annihilation: for without attraction there could be no cohesion, no solidity, and without solidity no matter. In like manner, self-interest, or what we mistake for it, is the source of all our crimes, and most of our sufferings. It is this that se. duces the profligate, by the prospect of pleasure; tempts the villain, by the hopes of gain; and bribes the hero with the voice of fame: but it is this also that is the source of all our connexions, civil, religious, political, and commercial; that binds us together in families, in
cities, and in nations, and directs our united labours to the public benefit; and without its influence, arts and learning, trade and manufactures, would be at an end, and all government, like matter by infinite division, would be annihilated.
The natural world subsists by a perpetual contention of the elements of which it is composed; the political by as constant a contest of its internal parties, struggling for superiority. In the former, the great system is carried on by a continual rotation of good and evil, alternately producing and succeeding each other. Continual sun. shine produces tempests; these discharge themselves into refreshing rains; rains cause inundations, which, after some ravages, subsiding, assist commerce and agriculture, by scouring out the beds of rivers, and fertilizing land; and sunshine returns again-so in the latter, long peace, the political sunshine, generates corruption, luxury, and faction, the parents of destructive wars; war for a time awakens national vigour, and pours down wealth and plunder, then causes inundations of poverty and distress; distress calls forth industry, agriculture, and commerce, and peace returns once more.
As night and day, winter and summer, are alternately circulated over the various regions of the globe, so are poverty and wealth, idleness and industry, ignorance and science, despotism and liberty, by a uniform process, arising from their own natural constitutions, and their invariable effects upon each other. In poor countries, necessity incites industry, and cheapness of provisions invites traders and manufacturers to reside; this soon introduces wealth, learning, and liberty; and these are as soon followed by profusion, faction, and licentiousness; commerce will keep no such company; but, like a bird
of passage, migrates to climes by poverty and cheapness better adapted to her constitution; these, in their turns, grow rich, civilized, free, dissolute, and licentious, in the same manner, and are successively deserted for the same reason, and the same circle is again renewed.
In the material world, the constant circulation of the air, and flux and reflux of the tides, preserve those elements from a putrid stagnation; so in the political, controversies, civil and religious, keep up the spirits of national communities, and prevent them from sinking into a state of indolence and ignorance; but if either exceed the bounds of moderation, their consequences are extremely fatal; the former producing storms and inundations, and the latter anarchy and confusion. Lord Bacon observes, that war is to states what exercise is to individuals; a proper proportion may contribute to health and vigour, but too much emaciates and wears out a constitution.
Thus, by a wise and wonderful disposition of things, material and intellectual, God has infused into them all powers and propensities greatly analogous, by which they are enabled and compelled, in a similar manner, to perform their respective parts in the general system, to restrain their own excesses, and to call back each other whenever they too far deviate from their destined ends; and has said unto every thing, as well as to the ocean, to night and day, to winter and summer, to heat and cold, to rain and sunshine, to happiness and misery, to science and ignorance, to war and peace, to liberty and despotism, “ Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther.” These amazing instances of infinite wisdom in the economy of things, presenting every where an analogy so remarkable, are well worthy of our highest admiration; yet have been
but little observed, because these divine dispositions appear to us to be no more than the necessary consequences of previous causes, and the invariable operations of nature, and we forget that nature is nothing more than the art of her Omnipotent Author.--Soame Jenyns' Disquisitions.
Intemperance.—Those men who destroy a healthful constitution of body by intemperance, and an irregular life, do as manifestly kill themselves, as those who hang, or poison, or drown themselves.--Sherlock.
III. Suspicion.—There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little; and, therefore, men should remedy suspicion by procuring to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother.—Lord Bacon.
: IV. Historians.—We find but few historians of all ages, who have been diligent enough in their search for truth; it is their common method to take on trust what they distribute to the public, by which means, a falsehood once received from a famed writer becomes traditional to posterity.—Dryjden.''
Punishments. The punishment of criminals should be of use: when a man is hanged he is good for nothing. Voltaire.
VI. Duty of Parents.-The last duty of parents to their children is that of giving them an education suitable to
their station in life; a duty pointed out by reason and for the greatest importance of any. For, as Puffendorf very justly observes, it is not easy to imagine or allow, that a parent has conferred any considerable benefit on his child by bringing him into the world, if he afterwards entirely neglects his culture and education, and suffers him to grow up like a beast, to lead a life useless to others and shameful to himself.-J. Blackstone.
VII. '; voll The Wisdom of our Ancestors.-Of all the authorities to which men can be called to submit, the “Wisdom of our Ancestors" is the most whimsically absurd; we are an older generation than they were, and since experience is the consequence of age, we must necessarily be wiser, They, in their successive generations, laid aside absurdities which had descended to them from their fathers; that was a piece of wisdom on their parts which we might imitate with advantage. Our great grandfathers believed that the earth was a broad platter on the back of a tortoise; our grandfathers threw overboard that blessed specímen of hereditary wisdom, and declared the earth to be a ball, round which the sun and planets revolved; our fathers made a second change, their theory drove the earth from its state of quietude, and sent it spinning through infinite space, while the sun, which had hitherto capered with amazing velocity from one end of heaven to the other, was destined for the future to repose quietly in the centre of the system. Each of these alterations has been styled Atheism, and the authors threatened with crucifixion by the clergy, or with St. Stephen's fate by an ignorant mob. No improvement of importance has ever been proposed, which was not at the first onset denounced