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labour or to devotion ; in summer, as oft with the bird that first rises, or not much tardier, to read good authors, or cause them to be read till the attention be weary, or memory have its full freight.
A work not to be raised from the heat of youth
vapours of wine, like that which flows from the
pen of some vulgar amorist, nor to be obtained by the invocation of Dame Memory and her Syren daughters, but by devout prayer to that eternal Spirit, who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim, with the hallowed fire of his altar to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases.
order the child,” the angel of the Lord answered, “ of all that I have said to the woman let her beware.”
“ She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, nor drink wine, nor strong drink."
And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson, and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.-Judges xiii. + And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples, the upright heart and pure,
Men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason to the benefit and use of
As if there were sought in knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searching and restless spirit; or a terrace for a wandering and variable mind to walk up and down with a fair prospect; or a tower of state for a proud mind to raise itself upon; or a fort or commanding ground for strife and contention : or a shop for profit or sale; and not a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator, and the relief of man's estate.- Advancement of Learning.
As water, whether it be the dew of heaven or the springs of the earth, doth scatter and lose itself in the ground, except it be collected into some receptacle, where it may by union comfort and sustain itself; and, for that cause, the industry of man hath framed and made spring-heads, conduits, cisterns, and pools; which men have accustomed likewise to beautify and adorn with accomplishments of magnificence and state, as well as of use and necessity. So knowledge, whether it descend from divine inspiration or spring from human sense, would soon perish and vanish to oblivion, if it were not preserved in books, traditions, conferences, and places appointed, as universities, colleges, and schools for the receipt and comforting the same.
LIBRARIES are as the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed.
PATENT AND LATENT VICE.
In the law of the leprosy it is said, “ If the whiteness overspread the flesh, the patient may pass abroad for clean : but if there be any whole flesh remaining, he is to be shut up for unclean.” One of the rabbins noteth a principle of moral philosophy, that men abandoned to vice do not so much corrupt manners as those that are half good and half evil.*
* Heinsius, the keeper of the library at Leyden, after being mewed up in it the whole of one year, said, “ I no sooner come into the library but I bolt the door after me, excluding lust, ambition, avarice, and all such vices, whose nurse is idleness, the mother of ignorance and melancholy herself ; and in the very lap of eternity, amidst so many divine souls, I take my seat with so lofty a spirit and such sweet content, that I pity all the great and rich who know not this happi
PHILOSOPHIZING AND THEORIZING.
The wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter which is the contemplation of the creatures of
Coleridge, in his Aids to Reflection, says, “ Where virtue is, sensibility is the ornament and becoming attire of virtue. On certain occasions it may almost be said to become virtue. But sensibility and all the amiable qualities may likewise become, and too often have become, the panders of vice and the instruments of seduction.
“ So must it needs be with all qualities that have their rise only in parts and fragments of our nature. A man of warm passions may sacrifice half his estate to rescue a friend from prison ; for he is naturally sympathetic, and the more social part of his nature happened to be uppermost. The same man shall afterwards exhibit the same disregard of money in an attempt to seduce that friend's wife or daughter.
“ All the evil achieved by Hobbs and the whole school of materialists will appear inconsiderable if it be compared with the mischief effected and occasioned by the sentimental phi. losophy of Sterne and his numerous imitators. The vilest appetites and the most remorseless inconstancy towards their object, acquired the titles of the heart, the irresistible feelings, the too tender sensibility ; and if the frosts of prudence, the icy chains of human law, thawed and vanished at the genial warmth of human nature, who could help it? It was an amiable weakness !
“ About this time too the profanation of the word love rose to its height. The French naturalists, Buffon and others, borrowed it from the sentimental novelists: the Swedish
God, worketh according to the stuff, and is limited thereby; but if it work upon itself, as the spider worketh his web, then it is endless and brings forth indeed cobwebs of learning, admirable for the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit.
and English philosophers took the contagion: and the Muse of science condescended to seek admission into the saloons of fashion and frivolity, rouged like a harlot, and with the harlot's wanton leer. I know not how the annals of guilt could be better forced into the service of virtue, than by such a comment on the present paragraph, as would be afforded by a selection from the sentimental correspondence produced in courts of justice within the last thirty years, fairly translated into the true meaning of the words, and the actual object and purpose of the infamous writers. Do you in good earnest airn at.dignity of character ? By all the treasures of a peaceful mind, by all the charms of an open countenance, I conjure you, O youth! turn away from those who live in the twilight between vice and virtue. Are not reason, discrimination, law, and deliberate choice, the distinguishing characters of humanity ? can aught then worthy of a human being proceed from a habit of soul, which would exclude all these and (to borrow a metaphor from Paganism) prefer the den of Trophonius to the temple and oracles of the God of light? can any thing manly, I say, proceed from those, who for law and light would substitute shapeless feelings, sentiments, impulses, which as far as they differ from the vital workings in the brute animals own the difference of their former connexion with the proper virtues of humanity; as Dendrites derive the outlines, that constitute their value above other clay-stones, from the casual neighbourhood and pressure of the plants, the names of which they assume; Remember, that love itself in its highest earthly bearing, as the ground of the marriage union, becomes love by an inward fiat of the will, by a completing and sealing act of