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of her mind, she controlled all her more active, and strong er qualities; and prevented them from running into excess.
3 Her heroism was exempted from all temerity ; her frisgaliży, from avarice; her friendship, from partiality; her enterprise, from turbulency and a vain ambition. She guanded not herself, with equal care, or equal success, from les is infirmities; the rivalship of beauty, the desire of admiration the jealousy of love, and the sallies of anger.
4 Her singular talents for government, were founders equally on her temper, and on her capacity. Endowed with a great command over herself, she soon obtained an uncon trolled ascendency over the people. Few sovereigns of Eng. land succeeded to the throne in more difficult circumstances; and none ever conducted the government with so uniforn. success and felicity.
5 Though unacquainted with the practice of toleration, the true secret for managing religious factions, she preserved her people, by her superior prudence, from those confusions in which theological controversy had' involved all the neigha bouring nations, and though her enemies were the most powerful princes of Europe, the most active, the most enterprising, the least scrupulous, she was able, by her vigour, to make deep impressions on their state ; her own greatnesa meanwhile remaining untouched and unimpaired.
6 The wise ministers and brave men who flourished dur. ing her reign, share the praise of her success; but, instead of lessening the applause due to her, they make great addition to it. They owed, all of them, their advancement to her choice; they were supported by her constancy; and, with all their ability, they were never able to acquire an undus ascendency over her.
7 In her family, in her court, in her kingdom, she remained equally mistress. The force of the tender passions was great over her, but the force of her mind was still superior: and the combat which her victory visibly cost her, serves. only to display the firmness of her resolution, and the lofti. ness of her ambitious sentiments.
8 The fame of this princess, though it has surmounted the: prejudices both of faction and of bigotry, yet lies still expo.. sed to another prejudice, which is more durable, because more natural ; and which, according to the different views in which we survey her, is capable either of exalting beyonu! measure, or diminishing the lustre of her character. This prejudice is founded on the consideration of her sex.
9 When we contemplate her as a woman, we are apt to be struck with the highest admiration of her qualities and, extensive capacity, but we are also apt to require some more softness of disposition, some greater lenity of temper, some of those amiable weaknesses by which her sex is distinguished. But the true method of estimating her merit,
js, to lay aside all these considerations, and to consider her Les merely as a rational being, placed in authority, and intrusted with the government of mankind.
The slavery of vice.
1'ence under which it brings the sinner, to circumstances of external fortune. One of the favourite characters of libIl esty, is the independence it bestows. He who is truly 'a
freeman, is above all servile compliances, and abject subjecon, jon. He is able to rest upon himself ; and while he regards ed lys superiors with proper deference, neither debases himself ons by cringing to them, nor is tempted to purchase their favour
by dishonourable means. But the sinner has forfeited every privilege of this nature.
2 His passions and habits, render hin an absolute depend ant on the world, and the world's favour; on the uncertain
goods of fortune, and the fickle humours of men. For it is | by these he subsists, and among these his happiness is
sought, according as his passions determine him to pursue pleasures, riches, or preferments. Having no fund within himself whence to draw enjoyment, his only resource is in things without. His hopes and fears all hang upon the
world. He partakes in all its vicissitudes; and is shaken by e every wind of fortune. This is to be, in the strictest sense, a slave to the world.
3 Religion and virtue, on the other hand, confer on the s inind principles of noble independence. "The upright man
i3 satisfied from himself.” He despises not the advantages s! (of fortune, but he centres not his happiness in them. With Ia moderate share of them, he can be contented; and contentment, is felicity. Happy in his own integrity, conscious of the esteem of good inen, reposing firm trust in the providence, and the promises of Gud, he is exempted from servile dependence on other things.
4 He can wrap himself up in a good conscience, and look forward, without terror, to the change of the world. Let all things fluctuate around him as they please, he believes tizat, by the Divine ordination, they shall be made to work trogether in the issue for his good: and therefore, having Dauch to hope from God, and little to fear from the world,
he can be easy in every state. One who possesses withi la himself such an establishment of mind, is truly free.
5 But shall I call that man free, who has nothing that is h is own, no property assured ; whose very heart is not his owia, but rendered the appendage of external things, and the sport of fortune? Is that man free, let his outward conditio, a be ever so splendid, whom his imperious passions, detain at their call, whom they send forth at their pleasure, to drudge i and toil, and to beg his only enjoyment from the casualties / of the world?
6 Is he free, who must flatter and lie to compass his ends : who must bear with this man's caprice, and that man's scorn; must profess friendship where he hates, and respect where he contemns; who is not at liberty to appear in hi : own colours, nor to speak his own sentiments; who dare: 1 not be honest, lest he should be poor!
ng Believe it, no chains bind' so hard, no fetters are so i heavy, as those which fasten the corrupted heart to this treacherous world; no dependence is more contemptihle than that under which the voluptuous, the covetous, or the ambitious man, lies to the means of pleasure, gain, or power. Yet this is the boasted liberty, which vice promises, as the recompense of setting us free from the salutary restraints of virtue.
The man of integrity. TT will not take much time to delineate the character ot! 1 the man of integrity, as by its nature it is a plain one, and easily understood. He is one who makes it his constant rule to follow the road of duty, according as the word of God, and the voice of his conscience, point it out to him. He is not guided merely by affections, which may sometimes give the colour of virtue to a loose and unstable character.
2 The upright man is guided by a fixed principle of mind, which determines him to esteem nothing but what is honourable; and to abhor whatever is base or unworthy, in moral conduct. Hence we find him ever the same; at all times, the trusty friend, the affectionate relation, the conscientious man of business, the pious worshipper, the public spirited citizen.
3 He assumes no borrowed appearance. He seeks no mask to cover him ; for he acts no studied part; but he is indeed what he appears to be, full of truth, candour and humanity. In all his pursuits, he knows no path but the fair and direct one; and would much rather fail of success, than attain it by reproachful means.
4 He never shows us a smiling countenance, while he meditates evil against us in his heart. He never praises us among our friends; and then joins in traducing us ainong our enemies. We shall never find one part of his character at variance with another. In his manners, he is simple and unaffected ; in all his proceedings, open and consistent.-BLAIR.
Gentleness. | BEGIN with distinguishing true gentleness from passive
tameness of spirit, and from unlimited compliance with the manners of others. That passive tameness, which submits, without opposition, to every encroachment of the violent and assuming, forms no part of christian duty; but, on the contrary, is destructive of general happiness and order. That unlimited complaisance, which, on every occasion, falls in with the opinions and manners of others, is so far from being a virtue, that it is itself a vice, and the parent of many vices.
2 It overthrows all steadiness of principle; and produces that sinful conformity with the world, which taints the whole character. In the present corrupted state of human manners, always to assent, and to comply, is the very worst maxim we can adopt. It is impossible to support the purity and dignity of christian morals, without opposing the world on various occasions, even though we should stand alone.
3 That gentleness therefore which belongs to virtue, is to be carefully distinguished from the mean spirit of cowards, and the fawning assent of sycophants. It renounces no just right from fear. It gives up no important truth from flattery. It is indeed not only consistent with a firm mind, but it necessarily requires a manly spirit, and a fixed principle, in order to give it any real value. Upon this solid ground only, the polish of gentleness can with advantage be superinduced.
4 It stands opposed, not to the most determined regard for virtue and truth, but to harshness and severity, to pride and arrogance, to violence and oppression. It is properly, that part of the great virtue of charity, which makes us unwilling to give pain to any of our brethren. Compassion prompts us to relieve their wants. Forbearance prevents us from retalia ting their injuries. Meekness restrains our angry passions candour, our severe judgments.
5 Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manners; and by a constant train of humane attentions, studies to alleviate the burden of common misery. Its office, there, fore, is extensive. It is not, like some other virtues, call
forth only on peculiar emergencies; but it is continually in action, when we are engaged in intercourse with men. It ought to form our address, to regulate our speech, and to diffuse itself over our whole behaviour.
6 We must not, however, confound this gentle “wisdom which is from above,” with that artificial courtesy, that studied smoothness of manners, which is learned in the school of the world. Such accomplishments, the most frivolous and empty may possess. Too often they are employed by the artful, as a snare; too often affected by the hard and unfeeling, as a cover to the baseness of their minds. We cannot, at the same time, avoid observing the homage, which, even in such instances, the world is constrained to pay to virtue.
1 In order to render society agreeable, it is found necessary to assume somewhat, that may at least carry its appearancea Virtue is the universal charm. Even its shadow is courted. when the substance is wanting. The imitation of its form has been reduced into an art; and in the commerce of life, the first study of all who would either gain the esteem, or win the hearts of others, is to learn the speech, and to adopt the manners, of candour, gentleness, and humanity.
8 But that gentleness which is the characteristic of a good man, has, like every other virtue, its seat in the heart; and, Ict me add, nothing except what flows from the heart, can render even external manners truly pleasing. For no assum. ed behaviour car. 2t all times hide the real character. In that unaffected civility which springs from a gentle mind, there is a charm infinitely more powerful, than in all the studied man. ners of the most finished courtier.
9 True gentleness is founded on a sense of what we owe to him who made us, and to the common nature of which we all share. It arises from reflections on our own failings and wants; and from just views of the condition, and the duty of man. It is native feeling, heightened and improved by prina ciple. It is the heart which easily relents; which feels for every thing that is human; and is backward and slow to inflict the least wound.
10 It is affable in its dress, and mild in its demeanour; ever ready to oblige, and willing to be obliged by others; breathing habitual kindness towards friends, courtesy to strangers, long-suffering to enemies. It exercises authority with moderation; administers reproof with tenderness; confers favours with ease and modesty. It is unassuming in opinion, and temperate in zeal. It contends not eagerly about trifles; slow to contradict, and still slower to blame; but prompt to allay dissention, and restore peace.