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Now, strike the golden lyre again ;
Has rais'd up his head,
As awak'd from the dead;
See the snakes that they rear,
How they biss in their hair,
Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand ! These are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,
And, unbury'd, remain
Inglorious on the plain.
How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glittering temples of their hostile gods ! The princes applaud, with a furious joy! And the king seiz'd a flambeau, with zeal to destroy :
Thais led the way,
To light him to his pray;
Thus long ago,
And sounding lyre,
At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame.
Enlarg'd the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds, With nature's mother wit, and arts unknown before,
Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
Or both divide ihe crown:
I.-On Truth and Integrity.-TILLOTSON. TRUTH and integrity have all the advantages of appearance, and many more. If the show of any thing be good for any thing, I am sure the reality is better;
for why does any man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it'good to have the qualities he pretends to ? For, to counterfeit and dissemble, is to put on the appearance of some real excellency. Now, the best way for a man to seem to be any thing, is really to be what he would seem to be. Besides, it is often as troublesome to support the pretence of a good quality, as to have it; and if a man have it not, it is most likely he will be discovered to want it; and then all his labour to seem to have it, is lost. There a something unnatural in painting, which a skilful eye will easily discern from palive beauty and complexion.
It is hard to personate and act a part long; for where truth is not at the bottom, nature will always be endeava ouring to return, and will betray herself at one time or other. Therefore, if any man think it convenient to seem good, let him be so indeed ; and then his goodness will appear to every one's satisfaction ; for truth is convincing, and carries its own light and evidence along with it; and will not only commend us to every man's conscience; but, which is much more, to God, who searcheth our hearts: so that, upon all accounts, sincerity is true wisdom. Par. ticularly as to the affairs of this world, integrity hath many advantages over all the artificial modes of dissimulation and deceit. It is much the plainer and easier, much the safer and more secure way of dealing in the world; it hath less of trouble and difficulty, of entanglement and perplexity, of danger and hazard in it; it is the shortest and nearest way to our end, carrying us thither in a straight line; and will hold out and last longest. The arts of deceit and cunning continually grow weaker, and less effectual and serviceable to those that practise them ; whereas, integrity gains strength by use; and the more and longer any man practiseth it the grealer service it does him, by confirming his reputation, and encouraging those with whom he hath to do lo repose the greatest confidence in him; which is an unspeakable advantage in business and the affairs of life.
A dissembler must be always upon his guard, and watch biỉnself carefully, that he do not contradict his own pretensions; for he acts an unnatural part, and therefore must put a continual force and restraint upon himself ; whereas, he that acts sincerely, hath the easiest task in the world; because he follows nature, and so is put to no trouble and care about his words and actions ; he needs not invent any pretence beforehand, nor make excuses afterwards, for any thing he hath said or done. But insincerity is very troublesome to manage.
A hypocrite hath so many things to attend to, as make his life a very perplexed and intricate thing. A liar hath need of a good memory, lest he contradict at one time, what he said at another. But truth is always consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, and sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out be. fore we are aware ; whereas, a lie is troublesome, and one trick needs a great many more to make it good.
Add to all this, that sincerity is the most compendious wisdom, and an excellent instrument for the speedy dispatch of business. It creates confidence in those we have to deal with, saves the labour of many inquiries, and brings things to an issue iri a few words. It is like travelling in a plain beaten road, which commonly brings a man sooner to his journey's end, than by ways in which men often lose themselves. In a word, whatever convenience may be thought to be in falseliood and dissimulation, it is soon over ; but the inconvenience of it is perpetual, because it brings a man under an everlasting jealousy and suspicion, so that he is not believed when he speaks the truth, nor trusted when perhaps he means honestly. When a man hath once forfeited the reputation of his integrity, nothing will then serve his turn, neither truth nor falsehood.
Indeed, if a man were only to deal in the world for a day, and should never have occasion to converse more with inankiod, never more need their good opinion or good word, it were then no great matter (as far as respects the affairs of this world) if he spent his reputation all at once, and ventured it at one throw. But, if he be to continue in the world and would have the advantage of reputation whilst he is in it, let himn make use of sincerity in all his words and actions; for nothing but this will hold out to the end. All other arts will fail; but truth and integ. rity will carry a man through and bear him out to the last.
Il. - On Doing as we would be Done unto.-ATTERBURY.
HUMAN laws are often so numerous as jo escape our memories ; so darkly, soinetimes, and inconsistently worded, as to puzzle our understandings; and they are not unfrequently rendered still more obscure by the nice distinctions and subtile reasonings of those who profess to clear them: so that under these several disadvantages, they lose much of their force and influence; and in some cases raise more disputes than, perhaps, they determine. But here is a law, attended with none of these inconven. iences; the grossest minds can scarce misapprehend it; the weakest memories are capable of retaining it; no perplexing comment can easily cloud it? the authority of nò man's gloss upon earth can (if we are but sincere) sway us to make a wrong construction of it. What is said of all the gospel precepts by the evangelical prophet, is more eminenily true of this : "It is an high way; and the way. faring man, though a fool, shall not err therein."
It is not enough that a rule, which is to be of general use, is suited to all capacities, so that wherever it is represented to the mind, it is presently agreed to; it must also be apt to offer itself to our thoughts, and lie ready for present use, upon all exigencies and occasions. And suchi, remarkably such, is that which our Lord here recommends to us, We can scarce be so far surprised by
any immediate necessity of acting, as not to have time for a short recourse to it, room for a sudden glance as it were upon it, in our minds; where it rests and sparkles always, like the Uriin and Thummim, on the breast of Aaron. There is no occasion for us to go in search of it to the oracles of law, dead or living; to the code or pandects; to the volumes of divines or moralists. We need look no farther than ourselves for it; for (lo use the apposite expression of Moses)“This commandment which I command thee this day is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldst say, Who shall go up for us to heaven; and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldst say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it?"
It is moreover, a precept particularly fitted for practice, as it involves in the very notion of it a motive stirring us: up to do, what it enjoins. Other moral maxims propose naked truths to the understandings, which operate often but faintly and slowly, on the will and passions, the two active principles of the mind of man; but it is the peculiar character of this, that it addresseih itself equally to all these powers; imparts both light and heat to us; and at the same time that it informs us certainly and clearly what we are to do, excites is also, in the most tender and moving manner, to the performance of it. We can often see our neighbor's misfortune without a sensible degree of concern; which yet we cannot forbear expressing, when we have once made his condition our own, and determined the measure of our obligation towards him, oy what we ourselves should, in such a case, expect from him; our duty grows immediately our interest and pleasure, by means of this powerful principle; the seat of which is, in truth, not more in the brain than in the heart of man; it appeals to our very senses; and exerts its secret force in: so prevailing a way, that it is even felt, as well as understood by us.
The last recommendation of this rule I shall mention is, its vast and comprehensive influence; for it. extends to