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cent as death', harmless' as a rose's breath to a distant passenger', yet it is rather' the state' of death than life'; and, therefore', when the Egyptians sacrificed to Harpocrates', their god of silence', in the midst of their rites they cried out, "the tongue' is an angel`," good or bad', that is' as it happens`; silence was to them a god', but the tongue' is greater; it is the band of human intercourse', and makes men apt' to unite in societies' and republics: and I remember' what' one' of the ancients` said, that we are better` in the company` of a known dog' than of a man' whose speech' is not known; for by voices' and homilies', by questions' and answers, by narratives' and invectives, by counsel' and reproof, by praises' and hymns', by prayers and glorifications', we serve God's glory', and the necessities' of men`; and by the tongue', our tables' are made to differ from mangers, our cities from deserts', our churches` from hordes of beasts' and flocks' of sheep. Since nature' hath taught us to speak, and God requires' it, and our thank fulness' obliges us, and our necessities engage' us, and charity' sometimes calls for it, and innocence is to be defended', and we are to speak in the cause of the oppressed`, and open our mouths in the cause of God'; and it is always' a seasonable` prayer, that God' would open our lips that our mouth may do the work of heaven`, and declare' his praises`, and show forth` his glory'; it concerns' us to take care that nature` be changed' into grace, necessity into choice', that`, while we speak the greatness' of God, and minister to the needs of our neighbours', and do the works' of life' and religion, of society and prudence', we may be fitted' to bear a part` in the songs of the angels', when they shall rejoice' at the feast of the marriage supper of the Lamb'.
THE DEPARTED SPIRITS OF THE JUST ARE SPECTATORS OF OUR CONDUCT ON EARTH.
From what happened on the Mount of Transfiguration`, we may infer`, not only that the separated spirits of good' men' live' and act`, and enjoy happiness; but that they take some interest in the business of this' world, and even that their interest in it has a connection` with the pursuits` and habits' of their former life. The virtuous cares which occupied them on earth', follow them into their new abode. Moses and Elias had spent the days of their' temporal pilgrimage in promoting among their brethren', the knowledge and the worship' of the true God'. They are still attentive to the same great object; and, enraptured at the prospect of its advancement', they descend on this occasion` to animate` the labours` of Jesus', and to prepare him for his victory' over the powers of hell`.
What a delightful subject of contemplation' does this reflection open' to the pious' and benevolent mind! what a spring' does it give to all the better energies of the heart! Your labours of love, your plans of beneficence, your swellings of satisfaction in the rising reputation of those whose virtues you have cherished', will not, we have reason to hope, be terminated' by the stroke' of death. No!-your spirits will still linger around the objects of their former attachment`; they will behold with rapture, even the distant` effects of those beneficent` institutions' which they once' delighted' to rear; they will watch with a pious satisfaction over the growing prosperity of the country' which they loved`; with a parent's fondness', and a parent's exultation', they will share' in the fame` of their virtuous posterity'; and-by the permission of God'—they may descend' at times, as guardian angels', to shield them from danger', and to conduct' them to glory`!
Of all' the thoughts that can enter the human mind', this' is one of the most animating' and consolatory`. It scatters flowers' around the bed of death. It enables us' who are left behind', to support with firmness', the departure of our best beloved friends', because it teaches' us that they are not lost to us for ever. They are still` our friends. Though they be now gone to another' apartment in our Father's house, they have carried' with them the remembrance and the feeling of their former' attachments`.` Though invisible' to us-they bend from their dwelling on high', to cheer' us in our pilgrimage' of duty`, to rejoice with us in our prosperity', and, in the hour of virtuous exertion', to shed through our souls`, the blessedness' of heaven. Finlayson.
Studies' serve for delight', for ornament', and for ability`. Their chief use for delight', is in privateness' and retiring`; for ornament', is in discourse'; and for ability', is in the judgment and disposition' of business. For expert men can execute', and perhaps judge` of particulars, one by one'; but the general' counsels`, and the plots`, and marshalling' of affairs, come` best' from those' that are learned'. To spend too much time' in studies is sloth; to use' them too much for ornament', is affectation'; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour' of a scholar'. They perfect nature', and are perfected' by experience; for natural abilities' are like natural plants`, that need pruning by study'; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large', except they be bounded in' by experience'.
Crafty' men contemn` studies, simple` men admire' them, and wise' men use them; for they teach not their own' use, but
that there is a wisdom without them, and above' them, won' by observation'. Read'-not to contradict and refute', not to believe and take for granted', not to find talk' and discourse'but to weigh' and consider. Some' books are to be tasted`; others, to be swallowed'; and some` few', to be chewed' and digested`: that is, some' books are to be read only in parts`; others, to be read-but not curiously'; and some few', to be read wholly', and with diligence' and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts of them made by others'; but that should be only in the less' important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; else distilled' books are like common distilled` waters'-flashy' things`.
Reading' maketh a full` man; conference` a ready' man; and writing' an exact man. And, therefore, if a man write' little, he had need have present' wit`; if he confer` little, he had need have a good memory'; and if he read' little, he had need have much running to seem to know' that he doth not`. Bacon.
CHARACTER OF MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS.
To all' the charms' of beauty` and the utmost' elegance of external form', Mary' added` those` accomplishments' which render their impression' irresistible. Polite', affable`, insinuating, sprightly', and capable of speaking` and of writing' with equal' ease and dignity; sudden, however, and violent' in all her attachments, because her heart' was warm' and unsuspicious`, impatient' of contradiction, because' she had been accustomed' from her infancy to be treated as a queen; no' stranger`, on some occasions, to dissimulation'; which', in that' perfidious' court where she received her education', was reckoned' among the necessary arts of government; not' insensible' to flattery`, or unconscious of that pleasure' with which almost every` woman' beholds the influence' of her own' beauty`; formed' with the qualities' that we love`, not` with the talents` that we admire-she was an agreeable woman', rather' than an illustrious' queen'.
The vivacity' of her spirit, not sufficiently tempered' with sound' judgment; and the warmth of her heart', which was not at all times under the restraint of discretion; betrayed' her both into errors', and into crimes`. To say that she was always` unfortunate', will not account` for that long' and almost uninterrupted` succession of calamities', which befel her; we must likewise add', that she was often' imprudent'. passion for Darnley' was rash', youthful', and excessive`; and, though the sudden' transition` to the opposite extreme' was the natural consequence' of her' ill-requited' love', and of his' in
gratitude, insolence, and brutality'; yet neither these, nor Bothwell's' artful' addresses and important` services', can justitify her attachment' to that' nobleman. Even the manners' of the age`, licentious` as they were', are no apology for this' unhappy passion; nor can they induce' us to look on that tragical' and infamous' scene' which followed' it, with less' abhor rence'. Humanity' will draw' a veil` over this' part of her character, which it cannot approve'; and may' perhaps' prompt' some to impute her actions' to her situation', more than to her disposition'; and to lament` the unhappiness of the former', rather than accuse' the perverseness' of the latter`.
Mary's sufferings' exceed', both' in degree and duration', those tragical' distresses which fancy` has feigned', to excite sorrow' and commiseration; and, while we survey' them, we are apt altogether' to forget her frailties; we think' of her faults` with less indignation', and approve' of our tears`, as if they were shed for a person' who had attained` much`nearer' to pure virtue'. "No' man," says Brantome', "ever' beheld' her person` without admiration and love', or will read her history' without sorrow." Robertson.
BRETHREN SHOULD DWELL TOGETHER IN HARMONY.
Two' brothers, named Timon' and Demetrius`, having quarrelled' with each other, Socrates,' their common friend', was solicitous' to restore' amity` between them. Meeting, therefore, with Demetrius', he thus' accosted` him: "Is not friendship' the sweetest' solace in adversity', and the greatest' enhancement' of the blessings of prosperity'?" Certainly it is," replied Demetrius ; "because our sorrows are diminished', and our joys increased, by sympathetic participation." "Amongst whom, then, must we look for a friend?" said Socrates. "Would you search among strangers' ?-They cannot be interested' about you. Amongst your rivals' ?—They have an interest in opposition to yours. Amongst those who are much older' or younger than yourself?—Their feelings` and pursuits' will be widely different from yours. Are there not, then, some' circumstances' favourable', and others' essential', to the formation of friendship' ?" "Undoubtedly` there are," answered Demetrius. May we not enumerate'," continued Socrates, “ amongst the circumstances favourable to friendship, long acquaintance', common connections', similitude of age', and union of interest' ?" I acknowledge," said Demetrius, "the powerful' influence of these' circumstances'; but they' may subsist`, and yet others be wanting', that are essential to mutual amity. "And what," said Socrates, "are those essentials' which are wanting' in Timon` ?" "He has forfeited' my esteem' and attach
ment`," answered Demetrius. "And has he also' forfeited the esteem and attachment of the rest' of mankind? Is he devoid of benevolence', generosity', gratitude', and other social affections?" "Far be it from me," cried Demetrius, "to lay so heavy' a charge upon him. His conduct to others', is', I believe', irreproachable; whence it wounds me the more, that he should single me` out' as the object' of his unkindness`.". "Suppose' you have a very valuable' horse," resumed Socrates, "gentle' under the treatment' of others`, but ungovernable` when you' attempt to use him; would you not endeavour', by all` means', to conciliate' his affection, and to treat' him in the way most likely to render him tractable' ?-Or if you have a dog, highly prized for his fidelity', watchfulness', and care' of your flocks; who is fond of your shepherds', and playful` with them; and yet snarls whenever' you' come in his way; would you attempt to cure' him of his fault, by angry looks or words, or any other' marks of resentment? You would surely pursue an opposite' course with him. And is not the friendship of a brother of far' more' worth' than the services' of a horse', or the attachment' of a dog'? Why`, then, do you delay to put in practice' those means' which may reconcile' you to Timon`?" Acquaint` me with those means," answered Demetrius; "for I am a stranger to them." "Answer me a few questions`, said Socrates. "If you desire` that one of your neighbours should invite you to his feast`, when he offers a sacrifice', what course would you take ?"-"I would first invite' him to mine`." "And how would you induce' him to take the charge of your affairs, when you are on a journey?"-"I should be forward to do the same' good office to him, in his absence.” "If you be solicitous to remove a prejudice' which he may have received against you, how would you then` behave towards him?' "I should endeavour to convince him, by my looks`, words`, and actions', that such` prejudice' was ill'-founded`.” "And, if he appeared inclined to reconciliation', would you reproach him with the injustice he had done you?"-"No!" answered Demetrius; "I would repeat` no` grievances'." "Go'," said Socrates, "and pursue that' conduct towards your brother', which you would practise to a neighbour. His' friendship is of inestimable worth; and nothing is more' lovely in the sight of Heaven', than for brethren' to dwell' together in unity`."