« ПредишнаНапред »
tend only to mens’ verbal declarations, we must conclude ourselves to be a nation of patriots, where there are no selfish, no narrow-spirited politicians to be met with, no not one. mens' actions and general tenor of conduct are much more expressive of their real characters than their words, it will always be easy to distinguish the real froin the pretended patriot.
In general it may be said, that the love of our country, if it be sincere, will be displayed in the same effects as the love of our dearest friends; that is, in most devoutly wishing it all increase of glory and happiness, and contributing cheerfully our best services to its safety and prosperity: and consequently the instances of this affection in individuals will be as various as their abilities and situations in life.
Magistrates and governors have a very extensive sphere of action; and the higher is their rank and authority, the greater are the opportunities they enjoy of manifesting their sincere affection to their country; for they have the power both of introducing and establishing all those laws, customs, and institutions, which are the stability of public happiness, and of preventing or abolishing all such as are destructive of it. By their prudent and equitable distribution of rewards and punishments, they take the surest method to make every man do his duty to his country, and so to have the public service carried on in the best and most effectual manner.
Inferior magistrates have a very plain track chalked out for them, by following which they will give the best proof of their real patriotism; and that is, by faithfully discharging the trusts committed to them, in an impartial administration of justice, and a due exertion of the laws upon all seditious and turbulent offenders; since nothing can contribute more to the internal peace and happiness of any community, than the restraining the excesses of lawless and desperate combinations of men, and giving a free and vigorous course to truth and justice.
Those who are in private stations will meet with frequent opportunities of manifesting their love for their country, by employing the several abilities and means which Providence has given them, to the best advantage for its service; for example, in removing, as far as they are able, all obstructions to a regular course of law and justice; in promoting all well-digested plans for public utility; in encouraging a spirit of industry and sobriety within their sphere of action and influence; in doing what they can to relieve the
wants and soften the distresses of the unfortunate, and by every act of humanity and benevolence to their countrymen and fellow-christians. -And even those of the lowest class amongst us may likewise deserve the name of Patriots, by their orderly behaviour and due submission to lawful authority ; by strictly observing the Apostle's direction of studying to be quiet, and to do their own business, and, as far as in them lies, to live peaceably with all men.
And, lastly, all men in general may be entitled to this truly honourable appellation by a proper attention to the duties of their several stations and professions, and by keeping at a distance from all those vices which have a more immediate tendency to the ruin of any community; and more especially by observing such a prudent economy in their own expences, as may secure them from the infection of that luxury, which prevails so universally, that we see all ranks of men rashly advancing into the place of those who stood before them; a folly, which, by the experience of many ages, has been found to be no less pernicious to the public than to individuals; a folly, which is destructive of all subordination, extinguishes every good and generous principle, rendering every inan a necessitous dependent, and therefore capable of any wicked
ness, however odious or contemptible; in one word, the natural parent of the traitor and the slave.
But, above all, we shall most effectually declare our love for our country by a steady and uniform practice of every social virtue, and by displaying in our lives and conversations all that greatness of soul and goodness of heart, which constitute the character of the true Christian : for then we may hope, that as we have long been the happiest nation under heaven, so this our happiness may be still more and more improved and secured to us ; that the sword of the Lord may at last rest and be still, and that our eyes may once more behold the blessing of peace; that God, out of great mercy to us, will prolong the days of our most gracious Sovereign to their utmost'extent, in order that all the blessed fruits, which may reasonably be expected from such an illustrious patron and example of virtue and piety, may take effect, and be fully established among us. Finally, that we may always be a chosen people to the Lord, and may always have the Lord for our God.
LUKE xvi. 20, 21, 22.
And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus,
which was laid" at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table : moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. --- And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.
HAT virtue should be rewarded and vice TH.
punished, is certainly no less agreeable to the feelings of nature than it is to the dictates of reason. One cannot help, therefore, expressing a secret complacency and approbation in the picture which is here exhibited to our view; one cannot help rejoicing to see this poor caitiff relieved from the miseries of distressed mortality, and rewarded with the joys of heaven in Abraham's bosom.
We are not, however, to imagine that these joys were the reward of his poverty, but rather