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of the Lacedemonians' virtue, and their own misconduct, gave a thunder of applause; and the old man cried out, “The Athenians understand what is good, but the Lacedemonians practise it."




SWEET Auburn ! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring

swain ; Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And parting summer's ling’ring bloom delay’d; Dear lovely bow'rs of innocence and ease, Seats of my youth, when ev'ry sport could please, How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green, Where humble happiness endear'd each scene! How often have I paused on ev'ry charm, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm, The never-failing brook, the busy mill, The decent church that topp'd the neighb’ring hill, The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, For talking age and weary pilgrims made! How often have I blest the coming day, When toil remitting lent its turn to play ; And all the village train from labour free, Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree; While many a pastime circled in the shade, The young contending as the old survey'd ; And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground, And sleights of art and feats of strength went round.

And still, as each repeated pleasure tired,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired;
The dancing pair, that simply sought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down;
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter titter'd round the place.
These were thy charms, sweet village ! sports like

these, With sweet succession taught e’en toil to please ; These round thy bow'rs their cheerful influence

shed; These were thy charms—but all these charms are fled.




Cultivate supercilious acquaintance intercourse affectation propriety obliging superiority observation behaviour contradictions reasoning connexion courtesy mortifying

perpetuation urbanity depressing CARE should be taken to cultivate, in all intercourse with friends, gentle and obliging manners. It is a common error to suppose, that familiar intimacy supersedes attention to the lesser duties of behaviour; and that, under the notion of freedom, it may excuse a careless, or even a rough demeanour. On the contrary, an intimate con

nexion can only be perpetuated by a constant endeavour to be pleasing and agreeable. The same behaviour which procures friendship, is absolutely necessary to the preservation of it. Let no harshness, no appearance of neglect, no supercilious affectation of superiority be encouraged in the intercourse of friends. A tart reply, a proneness to rebuke, a captious and contradictory spirit, are often known to embitter domestic life, and to set friends at variance; it is only by continuing courtesy and urbanity of behaviour, that we long preserve the comforts of friendship.

You must often have observed, that nothing so strong a recommendation, on a slight acquaintance, as politeness; nor does it lose its value by time or intimacy, when preserved, as it ought to be, in the nearest connexions and strictest friendships.

In general, propriety of behaviour must be the fruit of instruction, of observation, and reasoning; and it is to be cultivated and improved like any other branch of knowledge or virtue. Particular modes and ceremonies of behaviour vary in different places. These can only be learned by observation on the manners of those who are best skilled in them. But the principles of politeness are the same in all places. Wherever there are human beings, it must be impolite to hurt the temper, or pain the feelings of those with whom you converse. By raising people up, instead of mortifying and depressing them, we make ourselves so many friends in place of enemies.




Incarnation circumcise declaration determined purification testament nativity venerable revelation computation resurrection proffered espoused retirement Redeemer

magnificence wonderful testimony The incarnation of our Divine Redeemer in the womb of his Virgin Mother, was effected by the power of the Holy Ghost. In what year of the world the Saviour was born cannot now be exactly determined; but the most probable opinion is, that his nativity should be placed four years beyond our present computation. This however is certain, that in the reign of the emperor Augustus, and of Herod the Great, king of Judea, “ the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst


Mary, the virgin who gave birth to Jesus, and Joseph, to whom she had been espoused, were both of the royal house of David. Scarcely had our Lord been born, when he showed that he came not to reign amidst earthly wealth and magnificence, although it was He, to whom every knee should bend. For when God“ bringeth his first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God adore him.”(Heb. i. 6.)

This happy event was first announced to shep


herds, who were keeping their night-watches at Bethlehem, and to them, the poor, the gospel was first preached. From the poor also were they chosen, who were sent forth to bear to the nations the tidings of salvation ; that all, who had eyes to see, might see, that God chooses the weak ones of this world for his mighty works, and that not from human prudence or human labour, but from Him, come all wisdom, all power, and all grace.

According to the Mosaic law, the divine Infant was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth, and was named Jesus. And when the days of purification were ended, and his mother appeared in the temple with her Son, a venerable and devout man, named Simeon, prophesied, that he should be placed for the resurrection of many, and as a sign to be contradicted. Then came kings from distant lands in the east, and inquired in Jerusalem for the new-born King of the Jews. Hereupon, Herod trembled, and all Jerusalem with him, and, to free himself from his fears, he resolved upon the murder of the innocents. All the male children of two years of age and under, in Bethlehem, and around it, were slain. But Jesus was taken, by the command of God, into Egypt, where he remained until the death of the tyrant. After this event, he and his mother were conducted by Joseph again into the land of Israel, where they resided in domestic retirement, and where “the child grew in wisdom, in age, and in grace, before God and men.”

That this wisdom was not acquired or learned in

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