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is to live well with men of merit ; and I hope you will pardon me the vas nity of publishing, by this means, my happiness in being able to pame you among my friends. The conversation of
. a gentleman, that has a refined taste of letters, and a disposition in which those letters found nothing to correct, but very much to exert, is a good fortune too uncommon to be enjoyed in silence, In others, the greatest business of learning is to weed the foił; in you it had nothing else to do, but to bring forth fruit. Affability, complacency, and ge nerosity of heart, which are natural to you, wanted. nothing from literature, but to refine and direct the application of them. After I have boafted I had some share in your familiarity, I know not how to do you the justice of celebrating you for the choice of an elegant and worthy acquaintance, with whom you live in the happy communication of
generous sentiments, which contribute, not only to your own mutual entertainment and improvement, but to
the honour and service of your country. Zeal for the public good is the characteristic of a man of honour and a gen. tleman; and must take place of pleafures, profits, and all other private gra- " tifications. Whoever wants this motive, is an open enemy, or an inglorious neuter 10 mankind, in proportion to the misapplied with which Nature and Fortune have blessed bim.' : But you have a soul animated with nobler views; and know, that the distinction of wealth and plenteous circumstances, is a tax upon an honest mind, to endeavour, as much as the occurrences of life will give him leave, to guard the properties of others, and to be vigilant for the good of his fellow-subjects.
This generous inclination, no man possesses in a warmer degree than yourfelf; which that Heaven would reward with long possession of that reputation into which you have made lo early an entrance, the reputation of a man of fenfe, a good citizen and agreeable companion, a disinterested friend, and an unbiased patriot, is the hearty prayer of, TS I R,
Your most obliged
N° 83: Tuesday, June 16. 1713.
Nimirum infanus paucis videatur, eo quod.
Hor. Sat. 3. 1. 2. v. 1200
Few think these mad: for moft, like these,
HERE is a restless endeavour in the mind of man after happiness. This appetite is wrought into the original frame of our nature,
and exerts itself in all parts of the creation that are endued with any degree of thought or sense. But as the human mind is dignified by a more compre? henlive faculty than can be found in the inferior animals, it is natural for men not only to have an eye, each to his own happiness, but also to endeavour to promote that of others in the fame rank of being. And in proportion to the generosity that is ingredient in the temper of the soul, the object of its benevolence is of a larger ornarrower extent. There is hardly a spirit upon earth lo mean and contracted, as to center all regards on its own interest, exclulive of the rest of mankind. Even the sel. filh man hath some share of love, which he bestows on his family and his friends. A nobler mind hath at heart the common interest of the society or country of whicho he makes a part. And there is still a more diffusive spia rit, whose being or intentions reach the whole mass of mankind, and are continued beyond the present age, te, a fucceflion of future generations.
The advantage arising to him who hath a tincture of this generosity on his soul, is, that he is affected with a fublimer joy than can be comprehended by one who is deltitute of that noble relish. The happiness of the rest of mankind hath a satural connection with that of a team fonable mind. And in proportion as the actions of each individual contribute to this end, hc mult be thought to deserve well or ill both of the world and of himself. have in a late paper observed, that men who have no reach of thought do oft misplace their affections on the means, without respect to the end ; and by a preposterous desire of things in themselves indifferent, forego the cnjoyment of that happiness which those things are in strumental to obtata. This observation has been cons. dered with regard to critics and misers ; I shall now apply it to Free-thinkers.
Liberty and truth are the main points which these gentlemen pretend to have in view. To proceed therefore methodically, I will endeavour to Thew, in the first place, that liberty and truth are not in themselves de fireable, but only as they relate to a farther end. And, secondly, that the sort of liberty and truth, allowing them those games, which our Free-thinkers use all their. interest to promote, is destructive of that end, viz. hue man happiness; and conseqaently that species, as fuch, instead of being encouraged or esteemed, merit the detestation and abhorrence of all honest men. And, in the lalt place, I design to fhew, that under the pretence of advancing liberty and truth, they do in reality promote the two contrary evils.
As to the first point : It has been observed, that it is the duty of each particular person to aim at the hapa piness of his fellow.creatures, and that as this view is. of a wider or narrower extent, it argues a mind more or less virtuous. : Hence it follows, that a liberty of doing good actions which conduce to the felicity of mankind, and a knowledge of such truths as might either give us pleasure in the contemplation of them, or direct our conduct to the great ends of life, are valuable perfections. But thall a good man, therefore, prefer a liberty to commit murder or adultery, before the wholesonje reltraint of divine and human laws ?. Or sht!!