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provided with necessaries, fuffered great hardships by the way. After having consumed all the corn they could find, they were obliged to live upon herbs, and even upon the bark and leaves of trees. Thus harassed and fatigued, a pestilence began to complete their misery ; and, after a fatiguing journey of forty-five days, in which they were pursued rather by vultures and beasts of prey than by men, they came to the Hellespont, where they had crossed over ; and marched from thence to Sardis. Such was the end of Xerxes' expedition into Greece: a measure begun in pride, and terminated in infamy.
Charader of Martin Luther. As Luther was raised up by Providence to be the author of one of the greatest and most interesting revolutions recorded in history, there is not perhaps any person, whose character has been drawn with such opposite colours. In his own age, one party, Itruck with horror and inflamed with rage, when they saw with what a daring hand he overturned every thing which they held to be sacred, or valued as beneficial, imputed to him not only all the defects and vices of a man, but the qualities of a demon. The other, warmed with admiration and gratitude, which they thought he merited, as the restorer of light and liberty to the Christian church, ascribed to him perfections above the condition of humanity ; and viewed all his actions with a veneration bordering on that, which should be paid to those only who are guided by the immediate inspiration of Heaven. It is his own conduct, not the undistinguishing cenfure, nor the exaggerated praise of his contemporaries, which ought to regulate the opinions of the present age concerning him. Zeal for what he regarded as truth, undaunted intrepidity to maintain it, abilities both natural and acquired to defend it, and unwearied industry to propagate it, are virtues which shine so conspicuously in every part of his behaviour, that even his enemies must allow him to have poffessed them in an eminent degree. To these may be added, with equal justice, such purity, and even austerity of manners, as became one who assumed the character of a reformer ; such fan&ity of life as suited the doctrine which he delivered ; and disinterestedness fo perfect, as affords no_slight presumption of his lincerity.
Superior to all selfish confiderations, a stranger to the ele. gances of life, and despising its pleasures, he left the honours and emoluments of the church to his disciples ; remaining satisfied himself in his original state of professor in the university, and pastor to the town of Wittemberg, with tie moderate appointments annexed to these offices.
His extraordinary qualities were alloyed with no incon. siderable mixture of human frailty, and human passions. These, however, were of such a nature, that they cannot be imputed to malevolence or corruption of heart, but seem to have taken their rise from the fame source with many of his virtues. His mind, forcible and vehement in all its operations, roused by great objects, or agitated by violent passions, broke out, on many occasions, with an impetuolity which astonishes men of feebler fpirits, or such as are placed in a more tranquil situation. By carrying fome praise-worthy dispositions to excess, he bordered sometimes on what was culpable, and was often betrayed into actions which exposed him to censure. His confidence that his own opinions were well founded, approached to arrogance ; his courage in asserting them, to rashness; his firmness in adhering to them, to obstinacy ; and his zeal in confuting his adversaries, to sage and fcurrility. Accustomed himself to consider every thing as subordinate to truth, he expected the same deference for it from other men; and, without making any allowances for their timid. ity or prejudices, he poured forth, againlt those who disappointed him in this particular, a torrent of invective min. gled with contempt. Regardless of any distinction of rank or character, when his doctrines were attacked, he chastifed all his adversaries indiscriminately, with the same rough hand : neither the royal dignity of Henry VIII. nor the eminent learning and ability of Erasmus, screened them from the abuse with which he treated Tetzel or Eccius. But these indecences of which Luther was guilty must not be imputed wholly to the violence of his temper. They ought to be charged in part on the manners of the age. Among a rude people, unacquainted with those maxims, which, by putting continual restraint on the palfions of individuals, have polished society, and rendered it agreeable, disputes of every kind were managed with heat; and strong emotions were uttered in their natural language without reserve or delicacy. At the same time, the works of learned men were all composed in Latin ; and
they were not only authorised, by the example of eminent writers in that language, to use their antagonists with the most illiberal fcurrility ; but, in a dead tongue, indecences of every kind appear less shocking than in a living language, whose idioms and phrases seem gross, because they are familiar.
In palling judgment upon the characters of men, we ought to try them by the principles and maxims of their own age, not by those of another. For although virtue and vice are at all times the fame, manners and customs vary continually. Some parts of Luther's behaviour, which to us appear molt culpable, gave no disgust to his contemporaries. It was
It was even by some of those qualities which we
are now apt to blame, that he was fitted for accomplishing the great work which he undertook. To rouse mankind, when funk in ignorance or superstition, and to encounter the rage of bigotry armed with power, required the utmost vehemence of zeal, and a temper dar. ing to excess. A gentle call would neither have reached, nor have excited those to whom it was addressed. A spirit more amiable, but less vigorous than Luther's, would have fhrunk from the dangers which he braved and surmounted. Towards the close of Luther's life, though without a perceptible declension of his zeal or abilities, the infirmities of his temper increased upon him, so that he daily grew more peevish, more irascible, and more impatient of contradiction. Havirg lived to be witness of his own amazing success; to fee a great part of Europe embrace his doctrines ; and to fhake the foundation of the Papal throne, before which the mightiest monarchs had trembled, he discovered, on some occasions, symptoms of vanity and self applause. He must have been indeed more than man, if, upon contemplating all that he actually accomplished, he had never felt any sentiment of this kind rising in his breast.
Some time before his death he felt his strength declining, his constitution being worn out by a prodigious multiplicity of business, added to the labour of discharging his min. isterial function with unremitting diligence, to the fatigue of constant study, besides the composition of works as vo. luminous as if he had enjoyed uninterrupted leisure and retirement. His natural intrepidity did not forsake him at the approach of death. His last conversation with his friends was concerning the happiness reserved for good men in a future world ; of which he spoke with the fervour and delight, natural to one, who expected and wished to enter soon upon the enjoyment of it.
The good and the bad man compared in the seafon of adversity.
RELIGION prepares the mind for encountering, with for: titude, the most severe shocks of adversity ; whereas vice, by its natural influence on the temper, tends to produce dejection under the flightest trials. While worldly men enlarge their poffeffions, and extend their connexions, they imagine that they are strengthening themselves against all the possible vicissitudes of life. They say in their hearts, “My mountain stands strong, and I shall never be moved." But fo fatal is their delusion, that, instead of strengthening, they are weakening that which only can support them when those vicisitudes come. It is their mind which must then fupport them; and their mind, by their sensual attachments, is corrupted and enfeebled. Addicted with intem. perate fondness to the pleasures of the world, they incur two great and certain evils ; they both exclude themselves from every resource except the world ; and they increase their sensibility to every blow which comes upon them from that quarter.
They have neither principles for temper which can stand the assault of trouble. They have no principles which lead them to look beyond the ordinary rotation of events ; and, therefore, when misfortunes involve them, the prospect must be comfortless on every fide. Their crimes have disqualified them from looking up to the aflistance of any higher power than their own ability, or for relying on any better guide than their own wisdom. And as from principle they can derive no support, so in a temper corrupted by prosperiry they find no relief. They have lost that moderation of mind which enables a wise man to accommodate himself to his situation. Long fed with false hopes, they are ex asperated and stung by every disappointment. Luxurious and effeminate, they can bear no uneasiness. Proud and presumptuous, they can brook no opposition. By nourishing dispositions which so little suit this uncertain state, they have infused a double portion of bitterness into the cup of wo ; they have sharpened the edge of that sword which is lifted up to smite them. Strangers to all the temperate fatisfactions of a good and a pure mind; strangers to every pleasure except what was seafoned by vice or vanity, their adversity is to the last degree disconfolate. Health and opulence were the two pillars on which they reted. Shake either of them, and their whole edifice of hope and comfort falls. Prostrate and forlorn, they are left on the ground ; obliged to join with the man of Ephraim, in his abject lamentation, They have taken away my gods, which I have made, and what have I more ?"-Such are the causes to which we must ascribe the broken fpirits, the peevish tem. per, and impatient passions, that so often attend the declining age, or falling fortunes of vicious men.
But how different is the condition of a truly good man, in those trying fituations of life! Religion had gradually prepared his mind for all the events of this inconstant state. It had instructed him in the nature of true happiness. It had early weaned him from an undue love of the world, by discovering to him its vanity, and by setting higher prospects in his view. AMictions do not attack him by surprise, and therefore do not overwhelm him. He was equipped for the storm, as well as the calm, in this dubious navigation of life. Under those conditions he knew hinifelf to be brought hither ; that he was not always to retain the enjoyment of what he loved ; and therefore he is not overcome by disappointment, when that which is mórtal, dies ; when that which is mutable, begins to changg ; and when that which he knew to be transient, passes awala
All the principles which religion teaches, and all the habits which it forms, are favourable to strength of mind. It will be found, that whatever purifies, fortifies also the heart. In the course of living righteously, soberly, and piously,” a good man acquires a fleady and well-governed Spirit. Trained, by divine grace, to enjoy with moderation the advantages of the world, neither lifted up by fuccefs nor enervated by sensuality, he meets the changes in his lot without unmanly dejection. He is inured to temperance and restraint. He has learned firmness and selfcommand. He is accustomed to look up to that Supreme Providence, which difpoles of human affairs, not with reve. rence only, but with truit and hope.
The time of prosperity was to him not merely a season of barren joy, but productive of much useful improvement. He had cultivated his mind. He had stored it with useful knowledge, with good principles, and virtuous dispositions.