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and silence the caviller.
The numberless minute and unobvious coincidences between the narrative and the epistles, have been so illustrated in a late invaluable work, as to make the authenticity of both matter of absolute demonstration; and, from such an instance of Christian influence, thus authenticated, the pretensions of Christianity itself may be brought to a summary and unequivocal test.
by his faithful followers; and let it be judged,, tentively examined, will ever satisfy the sincere, whether there is not such a correspondence between what they want, and what he professes to bestow, as occurs in no other instance in the intellectual world.-Rest for their souls, is what they anxiously sought: and, a burning fever of the mind, in which corroding care, insatiable desire, perpetual disappointment, unite in torturing, is the malady of which they uniformly complain. Is it not then wonderful to hear our Saviour so admirably adapt his language to their very feelings? Come unto me,' says he, all ye Was St. Paul, then, or was he not, an exemthat labour and are heavy laden, and I will give plification of that nobly-imagined wise man, you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn which the heathen philosophers had pictured to of me, and ye shall find rest to your souls.'-themselves; as the height of human felicity? 'He that drinketh of this water, shall thirst Does he appear to have found that rest, for again,' intimating by this very expression, the which sages panted, and which his divine masinsufficiency of every thing earthly to satisfy ter proposed to bestow? Did he possess that the mind, but he that drinketh of the water virtuous and happy superiority to every thing that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the earthly, sensual, and selfish, which was acwater that I shall give, shall be in him a well of knowledged to constitute the very essence of water springing up into everlasting life.' true philosophy? Let him that understands human nature read, and answer for himself. Let him collect all that has been spoken on this subject by Socrates or Plato, by Cicero or Seneca, by Epictetus or Marcus Antonius, and judge coolly, whether St. Paul does not substantially exemplify, and, I may add, infinitely out do it all?
Whoever is acquainted with the language of the ancient philosophers must see, that in these expressions our Saviour meets their wishes; we do not mean to say, that they had or could have any right apprehensions of that preliminary abasement which the Scripture calls repentance, and which was put to them in possession of the rest and peace for which they sought, and which Christ does actually bestow. We do not mean to say, that the pride of unassisted nature could allow them to see that they were indeed objects of pure mercy on the part of God; and that their knowledge of themselves, or of him, could be such as to bring the real spirit of their wishes to any actual coincidence with the wonderful means which God, in his goodness, had devised to satisfy them. Though they did occasionally express a sense of an evil nature, and a wish for relief from it, yet who but the author of our religion ever met those wishes? In what other instance has a moral physician thus pledged himself to relievo angonised human nature? If there be no such instance, the conclusion is inevitable: that Christianity, from the deep importance, as well as the unrivalled singularity of its overtures, justly claims our most serious inquiry, whether what has been thus promised has been actually accomplished.
Christianity has amply provided for this natural demand; for it has been ordered, that while the New Testament contains every principle necessary for the attainment of human happiness, it should also give us a perfect specimen of its own efficacy. This we according ly have in the fully delineated character of the apostle St. Paul. There is, perhaps, no human person in all antiquity, of whose inmost feelings, as well as outward demeanour, we are so well enabled to judge, as of this great Christian teacher. The particulars respecting him the Acts of the Apostles, compared with, and illustrated by, his own invaluable epistles, make up a full length portrait of him, in which no lineament is wanting. And, the wisdom of God, in this single arrangement, has furnished a body of evidence in support, both of the truth and the efficacy of our holy religion, which, when at
Horace has celebrated the fortitude of Regulus, in one of his most animated odes; but it may most soberly be asked, what was the fortitude of this pagan hero, when compared with that which was unconsciously displayed by St. Paul in his way to Jerusalem? Regulus, we are told, would not turn his eyes towards his wife or his children. In his heroism, therefore, he sinks his humanity. Not so our apostle; while he fears nothing for himself, he feels every thing for those around him. What mean ye thus to weep, and to break my heart,' says he, for I am ready, not to be bound only, but to die at Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesus.' If this be not perfect magnanimity, where was it ever exhibited ?
I will add but two instances.-One expressing the feelings which were habitual to himself; the other describing that perfection of goodness, which he wished to be pursued by others: and let the learned infidel find, if he can, a parallel for either. In speaking of himself, after acknowledging an act of friendship in those to whom he writes, he says, 'Not as though I speak in respect of want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, there with to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' What a testimonial this to the faithfulness of the offer of our Saviour, to which we have already referred! How consummately does it evince, that when he engaged to fulfil that deepest of human desires, the thirst of happiness, he promised no more than he was infinitely able to perform! The apostle's exhortation to others, is no less worthy of attention. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things
Paley's Hora Paulina.
THE WORKS OF HANNAH MORE.
are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever by abundant evidence; and that, where they things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good have been disputed, those who have agreed in report-If there be any virtue, if there be any holding them, have evidently derived a deeper praise, think on these things.' In what human influence from Christianity, both as to the conwords did genuine moral feelings ever more duct of their lives, and the comfort of their minds, Are they not, as it than those who have rejected them,-if it could completely embody itself? For who ever dewere, the very soul and body of true philosophy? not be substantiated by innumerable proofs, But what philosopher, before him, after such a would be almost self-evident, on a merely theolesson to his pupils, could have dared to add the retic view of the two cases. words which immediately follow ?-The things rived either partial strength, or mental comfort, which ye have both learned and received, and from indulging a habit of metaphysical disquisi the church, questioned the doctrines of our Saheard and seen in me, do, and the God of peace tion! And who but such have, in any age of shall be with you.' This is a most imperfect portion of that body viour's divinity, the three fold distinction in the of internal evidence, which even the most gene-divine nature, or the expiatory efficacy of Christ's ral view of Christianity presses on the attentive one oblation of himself, once offered for the sins The Scriptures are so explicit on the last menand candid mind and with even this before us, of the whole world? may it not be boldly asked, what else like this On these tioned great doctrine of our religion, that we are has come within human knowledge? characters of the gospel then, let the infidel fair- not left to infer its truth and certainty as we ly try his strength. Let him disprove, if he can, might almost do from the obvious exigencies of the correspondence between the wishes of philo-human nature. That guilt is one of the deepest sophy, and the achievements of Christianity, or destroy the identity of that common view of man's chief good, and paramount happiness. Let him account, if he can, for these unexampled congruities, on any other ground than that of the truth of Christianity; or let him even plausibly elude the matter-of-fact evidence to this truth, which arises from St. Paul's character. In the mean time, let the pious Christian enjoy his sober triumph in that system, which not in St. Paul only, but in all its true votaries, in every age and nation, it has produced-a hope a peace which passeth full of immortality,'all understanding,'-' a wisdom pure and peace. able, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and of good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.'
of the natural feelings, will not be disputed; and, that the sense of guilt has been, in every age and nation a source of the deepest horrors, and has suggested even still more horrible methods of appeasing the perturbed mind, can be questioned by none who is acquainted, however slightly, with the history of the world. Atheists in pagan countries have made this very fact the great apology for their impiety, charging upon religion itself the dismal superstitions, which appeared to them to arise from it. And Plutarch, one of the most enlightened of heathen moralists, concludes that even Atheism itself is preferable to that superstitious dread of the gods, which he saw impelling so many wretched vicis, no misery incident to man involves either tims to daily and hourly self torture. The fact If any difficulty, attending particular doctrines greater depth, or complication, than that of a of Christianity, should present itself; it will be guilty conscience. And a system of religion, well first to inquire, whether the doctrine in which would have left this unprovided for, we question be really Christian? and this can only may venture to pronounce, would have been utbe determined by a dispassionate and impartial terly unsuitable to man, and, therefore, utterly How appositely to this awful feeling, does the recurrence to the Scriptures themselves, parti- unworthy of the wisdom and goodness of God. cularly the New Testament. Whatever is clearly asserted there, follows inevitably from the doctrine of the atonement come into the christian established divinity of that which contains it. system! How astonishingly has even its geneAnd in what conceivable case can, not only hu- ral belief chased from the christian world those mility, but rational consistency, be more wisely superstitious phantoms with which paganism exercised, than in receiving, without question, ever has been, and even at this day is, haunted! 'This,' said the pious Methe obvious parts, and then no doubt can be en- But above all, what relief has it afforded to the tertained respecting the whole. Happy had it humble penitent! been for the Christian world, had this self-evi- lancthon, can only be understood in conflicts dent maxim been practically attended to; for of conscience.' It is most true. Let those then what dispute could possibly have arisen therefore, who have never felt such conflicts, about-that Word which was made flesh, and beware how they despise what they may yet be dwelt among us, being also God over all, blessed impelled to resort to, as the only certain stay for evermore? Or whether the Father, the and prop of their sinking spirits. It is a fearOr the hands of the living God.' Against this fear Son, and the Holy Ghost, in whose name we are ful thing,' says an inspired writer, 'to fall into baptised, must not be essentially divine? whether there can be any misconception in what to what resource could we trust, but that which the redeemed in heaven make the subject of the mercy of God has no less clearly revealed their eternal song: that the Lamb which was to us? Seeing, then, that we have a great slain, had redeemed them to God by his blood, high priest that is passed for us into the heavens, fession; for we have not a high priest who canout of every kindred, and tongue, and people, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our pro and nation?" not be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to
That plain and simple readers think they find each other's doctrines clearly set forth in the sacred volume, is a matter of fact, authenticated
the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy | for ministers, men of such atrocious characters, and find grace to help us in time of need.'
The use of history in teaching the choice of favourites-Flattery. Our taste improved in the arts of adulation.-The dangers of flattery exemplified.
IT is not from the history of good princes alone, that signal instruction may be reaped. The lives of the criminal and unfortunate, commonly unfortunate because criminal, will not be read in vain. They are instructive, not only by detailing the personal calamities with which the misconduct was followed, but by exhibiting that misconduct as the source of the alienation of the hearts of their subjects; and often as the remote, sometimes as the immediate, cause of civil commotions and revolutions.
as those who have been just held up to detestation. The very improvement of society, therefore, has caused the question to become one of a much nicer kind. It is no longer a choice between men, whose outward characters exhibit a monstrous disproportion to each other. A bold oppressor of the people, the people would not endure. A violent infringer, on the constitution, the parliament would not tolerate. But still out of that class, from which the election must be made, the moral dispositions, the political tendencies, and the religious principles of men may differ so materially, that the choice may seriously af fect at once, the credit and happiness of the prince, and the welfare of the country. The conduct of good and bad men will always furnish no inconsiderable means of distinction; yet at a time when gross and palpable enormities are less likely to be endured, it is the more necessary for a prince to be able accurately to discriminate the shades of the characters of public
But caution is to be learned, not from their While, therefore, every tendency to art or vices only, but from their weaknesses and er- dissimulation should be reprobated, the most rors; from their false judgments, their ignorance exact caution should be inculcated, and the of human nature, their narrow views arising keenest discernment cultivated, in the royal from a bad education, their judging from partial education. All that can improve the judgment, information, deciding from infused prejudices, sharpen the penetration, or give enlarged views and acting on party principles; their being ha. of the human mind, should be put in exercise. bituated to consider petty unconnected details, A prince should possess that sort of sight, instead of taking in the great aggregate of pub. which, while it takes in remote views, accuratelic concerns; their imprudent choice of minis-ly distinguishes near objects. To the eye of ters, their unhappy spirit of favouritism, their preference of selfish flatterers to disinterested counsellors, and making the associates of their pleasures the dispensers of justice and the ministers of public affairs.*
the lynx, which no minuteness can elude, should be added that of the eagle, which no brightness can blind, for whatever dazzles darkens. He should acquire that justness, as well as extent of mind, which should enable him to study the 'Tis by that close acquaintance with the cha- character of his enemies, and decide upon that racters of men which history supplies, that a of his friends; to penetrate keenly, but not inprince must learn how to avoid a jealous Seja-vidiously, into the designs of others, and viginus, a vicious Tigellinus, a corrupt Spenser and Gavaston, a rapacious Epsom and Dudley, a pernicious D'Ancre, and ambitious Wolsey, a profligate Buckingham; we allude at once to the minister of the first James, and to the still more profligate Buckingham of the Second Charles; a tyrannical Richelieu, a crafty Ma. zarin, a profuse Louvois, an intriguing Ursini, an inefficient Chamillard, an imperious duchess of Marlborough, and a supple Masham.
lantly to scrutinize his own. His mind should be stored, not with shifts and expedients, but with large and liberal plans; not with stratagems, but resources; not with subterfuges, but principles; not with prejudices, but reasons. He should treasure up sound maxims to teach him to act consistently; be provided with steady measures suited to the probable occasion, together with a promptitude of mind, prepared to vary them so as to meet any contingency.
History presents frequent instances of an in- In no instance will those who have the care consistency not uncommon in human nature, of forming the royal pupil find a surer exercise sovereigns the most arbitrary to their subjects, of their wisdom and integrity, than in their enthemselves the tools of favourites. He who treat-deavours to guard the mind from the deadly poied his people with disdain, and his parliaments with contempt, was, in turn, the slave of Arran, of Car, and of Villiers. His grandson, who boldly intrenched on the liberties of his country, was himself governed by the Cabal.
son of flattery. Many kings,' says the witty South, have been destroyed by poison, but none has been so efficaciously mortal as that drunk in by the ear.'
Intellectual taste, it is true, is much refined, It may sound paradoxical to assert, that in a since the Grecian sophist tried to cure the meperiod of society, when characters are less lancholy of Alexander by telling him, that 'Jusstrongly marked, a sovereign is, in some re-tice was painted, as seated near the throne of spects, in more danger of choosing wrong. In our days, and under our constitution, indeed, it is scarcely possible to err so widely, as to select,
Jupiter, to indicate that right and wrong depended on the will of kings; and all whose actions ought to be accounted just, both by themselves and others.'
Compliments are not now absurd and extra
The Romans seem to have had just ideas of the dignity of character and office attached to the friend of a prince by denominating him, not favourite, but parti.vagant, as when the most elegant of Roman po
ets invited his impérial master to pick out his
own lodging among the constellations: nor, as when the bard of Pharsalia offered to the emperor his choice, either of the sceptre of Jupiter, or the chariot of Apollo; modestly assuring him, that there was not a god in the pantheon, who would not yield his empire to him, and account it an honour to resign in his favour. This meritorious prince, so worthy to displace the gods, was Nero, who rewarded Lucan, not for his adulation, but for being a better poet than himself, with a violent death.
The smooth and obsequious Pliny improved on all anterior adulation. Not content with making his emperor the imitator or the equal of Deity, he makes him a pattern for it; protesting that men needed to make no other prayers to the gods, than that they would continue to be as good and propitious lords to them as Trajan had been.'
But the refined sycophant of modern days is more likely to hide the actual blemishes, and to veil the real faults of a prince from himself than to attribute to him incredible virtues the ascription of which would be too gross to impose on his discernment. There will be more danger of a modern courtier imitating the delicacy of the ancient painter, who, being ordered to draw the portrait of a prince who had but one eye, adopt. ed the conciliating expedient of painting him in profile.
with a lofty sincerity, the turpitude of a man in his dignified office, being obliged to countenance persons scandalous for their vices, for which by the laws of God and man, they ought to be odious and exposed to the judgment of the church and state.' In this instance superior to his great rival Sully; that no desire of pleasing the king, no consideration of expediency, could induce him to visit the royal mistresses, or to countenance the licentious favourites.
Princes have generally been greedy of praise in a pretty exact proportion to the pains which they have taken not to deserve it. Henry the VIIIth was a patron of learned men, and might himself be accounted learned. But his favourite studies, instead of preserving him from the love of flattery, served to lay him open to it. Scholas. tic divinity, the fashionable learning of the times, as Burnet observes, suited his vain and contentious temper, and as ecclesiastics were to be his critics, his pursuits of polemical theology brought him in the largest revenue of praise, so that there seemed to be a contest between him and them, whether they could offer, of he could swallow, the most copious draughts of flattery.
But the reign of James the first was the great epocha of adulation in England; and a prince who had not one of the qualities of a warlike, and scarcely one of the virtues of a pacific king, But if the modern flatterer be less gross, he received from clergy and laity, from statesmen will be, on that very account the more danger-philosophers, and men of letters, praises not only ous. The refinement of his adulation prevents the object of it from putting himself on his guard. The prince is led, perhaps, to conceive with self-complacency that he is hearing the language of truth, while he is only the dupe of a more accomplished flatterer. He should especially beware of mistaking freedom of manner, for frankness of sentiment; and of confounding the artful familiarities of a designing favourite, with the honest simplicity of a disinterested friend.
whether he might not take his subjects' money when he needed it, without the formality of parliament, indicates that one object was always uppermost in his mind ;* his familiar intercourse was employed in diving into the private opinions of men, to discover to what length his oppressive schemes might be carried; and his public conduct occupied in putting those schemes into practice.
utterly repugnant to truth and virtue, but di rectly contrary to that frankness of manners, and magnanimity of spirit, which had formerly characterized Englishmen. This ascription of all rights, and all talents, and all virtues, to a prince, bold through fear, and presumptuous because he wished to conceal his own pusillanimity, rebounded, as was but just, on the flatterers; who, in return for their adulation, were treated by him with a contempt, which not the boldest of his predecessors had ever ventured to maniWhere, in our more correct day, is the cour-fest. His inquiry of his company at dinner, tier who would dare to add profaneness to flattery so far, as to deelare, as was done by the greatest philosopher this country ever produced, in his letter to prince Charles, that, as the Father had been his Creator, so he hoped the Son would be his Redeemer ?'* But what a noble contrast to this base and blasphemous servility in the chancellor of James, does the conduct of the chancellor of his grandson exhibit! The unbending rectitude of Clarendon not only disdain- But the royal person whom we presume to aded to flatter, in his private intercourse, a master vise, may, from the very circumstance of her to whom however his pen is always too partial, sex, have more complicated dangers to resist; but it led boldly and honestly to remonstrate against which her mind should be early fortiagainst his flagitious conduct. A standing ex-fied. The dangers of adulation are doubled, ample for all times, to the servants and compa-when the female character is combined with the nions of kings, he resolutely reproved his mas-royal. Even the vigorous mind of the great ter to his face, while he thought it his duty to Elizabeth did not guard her against the powerdefend him, somewhat too strongly, indeed, to ful assaults of the flattery paid to her person. others. He boldly besought the king, not to That masculine spirit was as much the slave of believe that he had a prerogative to declare vice the most egregious vanity, as the weakest of her to be virtue.' And in one of the noblest speeches sex could have been. All her admirable pruon record, in answer to a dishonourable requestdence and profound policy, could not preserve of the king, that he would visit some of his ma-her from the childish and silly levity with which jesty's infamous associates; he laid before him
*See Howell's Letters.
The requisition was allowed in a phrase as disgustingly servile, by bishop Neile; as it was pleasantly evaded by Andrews.
she greedily invited the compliments of the artful minister of her more beautiful rival. Even that gross instance of Melvil's extravagance enchanted her, when, as she was playing on Mary's favourite instrument, for the purpose of being overheard by him, the dissembling courtier affected to be so ravished by her skill, as to burst into her apartment, like an enraptured man, who had forgotten his reverence in his admiration. It was a curious combat in the great mind of Elizabeth, between the offended pride of the queen, and the gratified vanity of the woman; but Melvil knew his trade in knowing human nature; he calculated justly. The woman conquered.
To a monarch more eager to acquire fame than to deserve it, to pension a poet will be a shorter cut to renown than to dispense blessings to his country. Louis XII. instead of buying immortality of a servile bard, earned and enjoy. ed the appellation of father of his people; that Princes have in all ages complained that they people whom his brilliant successor, Louis the have been ill served. But, is it not because they great, drained and plundered, or in the emphatic have not always carefully selected their servants? language of the prophet, peeled and scattered to Is it not because they have too often bestowed provide money for his wars, his mistresses, his confidence on the unwise, and employments on buildings, and his spectacles. Posterity, howthe unworthy? Because, while they have load- ever, has done justice to both kings, and le bien ed the undeserving with benefits, they have ne-aime is remembered with affectionate veneration, glected to reward those who have served them while le grand is regarded as the fabricator of well, and to support those who have served them the ruin of his race. long? Is it not because they have sometimes a way of expecting every thing, while they seem to exact nothing? And have not too many been apt to consider that the honour of serving them is itself a sufficient reward?
By a close study of the weaknesses and passions of a sovereign, crafty and designing favourites have ever been on the watch to establish their own dominion, by such appropriate means as seem best accommodated to the turn of those weaknesses and passions. If Leonore Concini, and the duchess of Marlborough, obtained the most complete ascendancy over their respective queens, both probably by artful flattery at first, they afterwards secured and preserved it by a tyranny the most absolute. In connexions of this nature, it is usually on the side of the sovereign, that the caprice and the haughtiness are expected; but the domineering favourite of Anne exclusively assumed to herself all these prerogatives of despotic power, and exercised them without mercy, on the intimidated and submissive queen; a queen, who, with many virtues, not having had the discernment to find out, that the opposite extreme to what is wrong, is commonly wrong also, in order to extricate herself from her captivity to one favourite, fell into the snares spread for her by the servility of another. Thus, whether the imperious duchess, or the obsequious Masham, were lady of the ascendant, the sovereign was equally infatuated, equally misled.
That attachments formed without judgment, and pursued without moderation, are likely to be dissolved without reason; and that breaches the most trivial in themselves may be important in their consequences, were never more fully exemplified than in the trifling cause, which, by putting an end to the intercourse between the above named queen and duchess, produced events the most unforeseen and extraordinary. While the duke was fighting her majesty's battles abroad, and his duchess supporting his interest against a powerful party at court; a pair of gloves of a new invention, sent first by the milliner to the favourite (impatient to have them
How totally must adulation have blunted the delicacy of the latter prince, when he could shut himself up with his two royal historiographers, Boileau and Racine, to hear them read portions of his own history. Deservedly high as was the reputation of these two fine geniuses, in the walks of poetry, was that history likely to convey much truth or instruction to posterity, which, after being composed by two pensioned poets, was read by them to the monarch, who was to be the hero of the tale? Sovereigns, indeed, may elect poets to record their exploits, but subjects will read historians.
The conquest of every town and village was celebrated by Boileau in hyperbolic song; and the whole pantheon ransacked for deities, who might furnish some faint idea of the glories of the immortal Louis.-The time, however, soon arrived, when the author of the adulatory ode on the taking of Namur, in which the king and the gods were again identified, was as completely overturned by the incomparable travesty of our witty Prior, as the conqueror of Namur himself was, by its glorious deliverer
Little Will, the scourge of France,
A prince should be accustomed to see and know things as they really are, and should be taught to dread that state of delusion in which the monarch is the only person ignorant of what is doing in his kingdom. It was to little purpose that the sovereign last named, when some temporary sense of remorse was excited by an affecting representation of the miseries of the persecuted protestants, said, 'that he hoped God would not impute to him as a crime, punishments which he had not commanded.' Delusive hope! It was crime enough for a king to be ignorant of what was passing in his dominions.
There have been few princes so ill-disposed, as not to have been made worse by unmeasured