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and which I have never met with in any quotation. Of this kind is a beautiful saying in Theognis; “Vice is covered by wealth, and virtue by poverty;" or to give it in the verbal translation, “ Among men there are some who have their vices concealed by wealth, and others who have their virtues concealed by poverty.” Every man's observation will supply him with instances of rich men, who have several faults and defects that are overlooked, if not entirely hidden, by means of their riches; and I think we cannot find a more natura. description of a poor man, whose merits are lost in his poverty than that in the words of the wise man : - There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he, by his wisdom, delivered the city ; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength; nevertheless, the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.”

The middle condition seems to be the most advantageously situated for the gaining of wisdom. Poverty turns our thoughts too much upon the supplying of our wants, and riches upon enjoying our superfluities; and, as Cowley has said in another case, “ It is hard for a man to keep a steady eye upon truth, who is always in a battle or a triumph.”

If we regard poverty and wealth, as they are apt to produce virtues or vices in the mind of man, one may observe, that there is a set of each of these growing out of poverty, quite different from that which rises out of wealth. Humility and patience, industry and temperance, are very often the good qualities of a poor man. Humanity and good-nature, magnanimity, and a sense of honour, are as often the qualifications of the rich. On the contrary, poverty is apt to betray a man into envy, riches into arrogance. Poverty is too often attended with fraud, vicious compliance, repining, murmur, and discontent.

Riches expose a man to pride and luxury, a foolish elation of heart, and too great a fondness for the present world. In short, the middle condition is most eligible to the man who would improve himself in virtue; as I have before shown, it is the most advantageous for the gaining of knowledge. It was upon this consideration plied here to a beautifsil saying (which is a flower of discourse) flattered and varnished by the public breath, i. e. frequent quotation.

but upon

that Agur founde 1 his prayer, which for the wisdom of it is recorded in holy writ. “Two things have I required of thee, deny me them not before I die. Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food convenient for me. Lest I be full and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord ? or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”

I shall fill the remaining part of my paper with a very pretty allegory, which is wrought into a play by Aristophanes the Greek comedian. It seems originally designed as a satire

upon the rich, though in some parts of it it is like the foregoing discourse, a kind of comparison between wealth and poverty.

Chremylus, who was an old and a good man, and withal exceeding poor, being desirous to leave some riches to his son, consults the oracle of Apollo upon the subject. The oracle bids him follow the first man he should see upon his going out of the temple. The person he chanced to see was to appearance an old sordid blind man,

his following him from place to place, he at last found by his own confession, that he was Plutus the god of riches, and that he was just come out of the house of a miser. Plutus further told him, that when he was a boy he used to declare, that as soon as he came to age he would distribute wealth to none but virtuous and just men; upon which Jupiter, considering the pernicious consequences of such a resolution, took his sight away from him, and left him to stroll about the world in the blind condition wherein Chremylus beheld him. With much ado Chremylus prevailed upon him to go to his house, where he met an old woman in a tattered raiment, who had been his guest for many years, and whose name was Poverty. The old woman refusing to turn out so easily as he would have her, he threatened to banish her not only from his own house, but out of all Greece, if she made any more words upon the matter. Poverty on this occasion pleads her cause very notably, and represents to her old landlord, that should she be driven out of the country, all their trades, arts, and sciences, would be driven out with her; and that if every one was rich, they would never be supplied with those pomps, ornaments, and conveniencies of life which made riches desirable. She likewise represented to him the several advantages wbich she bestowed upon her votaries, in regard to

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VOL. III.

their shape, their health, and their activity, by preserving them from gouts, dropsies, unwieldiness, and intemperance. But whatever she had to say for herself, she was at last forced to troop off. Chremylus immediately considered how he might restore Plutus to his sight; and in order to it conveyed him to the temple of Æsculapius, who was famous for cures and miracles of this nature. By this means the deity recovered his eyes, and begun to make a right use of them, by enriching every one that was distinguished by piety towards the gods, and justice towards men; and at the same time by taking away his gifts from the impious and undeserving. This produces several merry incidents, till in the last act Mercury descends with great complaints from the gods that since the good men were grown rich, they had received no sacrifices, which is confirmed by a priest of Jupiter, who enters, with a remonstrance, that since this late innovation he was reduced to a starving condition, and could not Tive upon his office. Chremylus, who in the beginning of the play was religious in his poverty, concludes it with a proposal which was relished by all the good men who were now grown rich as well as himself, that they should carry

Plutus in a solemn procession to the temple, and instal him in the place of Jupiter. This allegory instructed the Athenians in two points ; first, as it vindicated the conduct of Providence in its ordinary distributions of wealth; and in the next place, as it showed the great tendency of riches to corrupt the morals of those who possessed them.

No. 465. SATURDAY, AUGUST 23.

Quâ ratione queas traducere leniter ævum :
Ne te semper inops agitet vexetque cupido;

Ne pavor et reruin mediocriter utilium spes. HoR. HAVING endeavoured in my last Saturday's paper to show the great excellency of faith, I shall here consider what are the proper means of strengthening and confirming it in the mind of man. Those who delight in reading books of con. troversy, which are

written both sides of the question in points of faith, do

very
seld

arrive at a fixed and settled habit of it. They are one day entirely convinced of its im

on

portant truths, and the next meet with something that shakes and disturbs then. The doubt which was laid revives again, and shows itself in new difficulties, and that generally for this reason, because the mind which is perpetually tost in controversies and disputes, is apt to forget the reasons which had once set it at rest, and to be disquieted with any former perplexity, when it appears in a new shape, or is started by a different hand. As nothing is more laudable than an inquiry after truth, so nothing is more irrational than to pass our whole lives, without determining ourselves one way or other in those points which are of the last importance to us. There are indeed many things from which we may withhold our assent; but in cases by which we are to regulate our lives, it is the greatest absurdity to be waverions and unsettled, without closing with that side which appears the most safe and the most probable. The first rule, therefore, which I shall lay down is this, that when by reading or discourse we find ourselves thoroughly convinced of the truth of any article, and of the reasonableness of belief in it, we should never after suffer ourselves to call it into question. We may perhaps forget the arguments which occasioned our conviction, but we ought to remember the strength they had with us, and therefore still to retain the conviction which they once produced. This is no more than what we do in every common art or science, nor is it possible to act otherwise, considering the weakness and limitation of our intel. lectual faculties. It was thus that Latimer, one of the glorious army of martyrs who introduced the Reformation in England, behaved himself in that great conference which was managed between the most. learned among the Protestants and Papists in the reign of Queen Mary. This venerable old man, knowing how his abilities were impaired by age, and that it was impossible for him to recollect all those reasons which had directed him in the choice of his religion, left his companions who were in the full possession of their parts and learning, to baffle and confound their antagonists by the force of reason. As for himself, he only repeated to his adversaries the articles in which he firmly believed, and in the profession of which he was determined to die. It is in this inanner that the mathematician proceeds upon propositions which he has once demonstrated; and though the demorstration may have slipt out of his memory, he builds проп the truth, because he knows it was demonstrated. This rule is absolutely necessary for weaker minds, and in some mea. sure for men of the greatest abilities; but to these last I would propose in the second place, that they should lay up in their memories, and always keep by them in readiness, those arguments which appear to them of the greatest strength, and which cannot be got over by all the doubts and cavils of infidelity:

But, in the third place, there is nothing which strengthens faith more than morality. Faith and morality naturally produce each other.

A man is quickly convinced of the truth of religion, who finds it is not against his interest that it should be true. The pleasure he receives at present, and the happiness which he promises himself from it hereafter, will both dispose him very powerfully to give credit to it, according to the ordinary observation," that we are easy to believe what we wish." It is very certain, that a man of sound reason cannot forbear closing with religion upon an impartial examination of it; but at the same time it is as certain, that faith is kept alive in us, and gathers strength, from practice more than from speculation.

There is still another method, which is more persuasive than any of the former, and that is an habitual adoration of the Supreme Being, as well in constant acts of mental worship, as in outward forms. The devout man does not only believe, but feels there is a Deity. He has actual sensations of him ; his experience concurs with his reason; he sees hiin more and more in all his intercourses with him, and even in this life almost loses his faith in conviction.

The last method which I shall mention for the giving life to man's faith, is frequent retirement from the world, accompanied with religious meditation. When a man thinks of anything in the darkness of the night, whatever deep impressions it may make in his mind, they are apt to vanish as soon as the day breaks about him. The light and noise of the day, which are perpetually soliciting his senses, and calling off his attention, wear out of his mind the thoughts that imprinted themselves in it, with so much strength, during the silence and darkness of the night. A man finds me same difference as to himself in a crowd and in a soliCude: the mind is stunned and dazzled amidst that variety If objects which press upon her in a great city: she cannot

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