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It is no good sign to be indifferent with respect to what the world thinks or says of us, since it would argue either a fulness of pride, or a total lack of sensi. bility. This would be the character of such indifference, were it real ; but, in truth, it is mere affectation or pretence. If we except those that are at the very bottom of the scale of human life, and only a small proportion even of them, it may be fairly concluded that no man nor woman, is altogether indifferent about the good or bad opinion of fellow beings. So far from it, the few who lay claim to this unamiable distinction have been found, generally speaking, peculiarly rancorous and vindictive toward such as made free with their characters, or had merely spoken disrespectfully of their talents. No authors, for example, have writhed with more agony under the merited lash of criticism, or been more jealous and vindictive, than some of those who pretended to look down with cold scorn upon the whole fraternity of criticş.

Social qualities and feelings are among the primitive ingredients of our nature, and to divest ourselves of them would be to divest ourselves of humanity itself. They are rather to be cherished and cultivated, every way, and by all lawful means. It is not only right but laudable, to wish to be generally esteemed and beloved -to cultivate friendships—to avoid giving unnecessary offence and to conform to the feelings and customs of those about us, so far as may be done with a good conscience, and consistently with one's personal circumstances. It is not only right but laudable, to make it a part of our own pleasure to please others; and when we are compelled to differ with them, to do it, if possible, without rancour or bitterness.

There is such a thing as a union of condescension and firmness ; and a happy thing it is. To conde

scend in things indifferent, in things trivial, in things that touch not the conscience, nor seriously endamage or endanger one's earthly interest and welfare ; and meanwhile to go not a step farther for any persuasion whatever; no, not to please one's nearest friends that is the golden mean.

As some pretend to care for none, there are those who, on the other hand, try to please all, by becomingnot in its best sense" all things to all men.” Some do it from selfish designs altogether; and others from a too great persuadableness of temper and yieldingness of heart. These last can't bear, in any case, to be opposed or to oppose : and so they readily fall in with the sentiments and views of their present company, and side with every man they meet. Often this pliability of mind or temper is owing to a sort of amiable weakness, but it is destructive of all respectability of character.

I know not how to illustrate this point better than by the following story, which, as to substance and pith, may be regarded as undoubtedly true.

Some very long time since, Parson M-, of Massachusetts (then a British colony,) happening at Boston, bought him a wig there, and returning home, wore it at church the next sabbath. As a wig of such a size and shape was quite a novelty in that obscure place, it gave offence to almost the whole congregation, who, both male and female, repaired the next day to their minister's house, and stated their complaint, the burden of which was, that the wig was one of the Boston notions, and had the look of fashion and pride. The good-natured minister, thereupon, brought it forth, and bade them fashion it to their own liking. This task they set about in good earnest, and, with the help of scissors, cropped off lock after lock, till at last they all

declared themselves satisfied-save one, who alledged, that wearing any wig at all, was, in his opinion, a breach of the commandment, which saith, “ Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath.” This last objector Mr. M-silenced, by convincing him that the wig, in the condition it then was, did not resemble any thing either above or below.

Even so fares it with the characters that make it their aim to please every body. Slashed on this side and on that, and twisted into every shape and out of all shape, they finally come to the condition of his reverence's wig.


Of the easiness of the transition from christian civili

zation to comparative barbarism.

The philosophers of the last age expatiated often and largely on the felicitous condition of savages. Those simple children of nature, they held up to view as models of human excellence, and as possessing the greatest sum of human enjoyment. With minds unwarped by prejudice, and with hearts unsophisticated, and true to the genuine impulses of nature, their lives reflect, forsooth, the express image of primeval innocence. Knowing neither the galling fetters of law, nor the unnatural and odious distinctions of civilization, they, free as the air they breathe, roam their forests, or together enjoy the sports and pastimes of social' intercourse, without obstacle or hindrance. And what though their dwellings are smoky cabins, or nothing

better than dens and caves of the earth ? What thought their raiment, if raiment they have, is foul and squalid? And what though their scanty food is rancid and loathsome ? No matter. Being always accustomed to this way of living, they desire nothing better, and without any repinings or discontent, they joyfully receive what nature gives. Happy savage! happy in comparison with civilized man, pining under the cruel power of prohibition, doomed to delve the earth or plow the ocean, the slave of artificial wants, the prey of ambition and avarice. Thrice happy savage! Threefold more happy than the child of restraint, of labour, and of care ; threefold more happy than the slavish muckworm of civil society, maugre all his superfluous wealth and his boasted arts and institutions.

Such were the dreams of former days, even of days not long past. But they are known now to be but dreams. Subsequent discoveries have confounded the philosophism of Rosseau, and put to shame the disciples of his school. Many have run to and fro, and lenowledge has been increased. Great indeed, and far beyond all former example, has been the accession of knowledge, within the last forty years, respecting the habiters of our globe. Travellers and voyagers, have traversed as it were the whole living world in every direction. New regions have been explored. Nations and tribes formerly unknown, or scarcely known, have been closely inspected; their morals, their manners, and their modes of living, carefully noted and accurately described.--And the results are unfavourable, alike to the condition and to the character of the mere child of nature. It is found that the dim lights, which are beheld here and there amidst the thick darkness of the pagan world, sprang from patriarchal tradition ; that even in civilized countries in no wise illumed with the rays of the gospel, the most abominable idolatries and the most horrible practices in social and domestic life, are sanctioned by long and immemorial custom; and that the child of nature, the mere savage, s is every where found to be a restless, unfeeling, treacherous, and ferocious animal.”

'There is one respect however, in which philosophism has been not altogether in the wrong. It is, that the savage state is the most natural, that is to say, the most congenial with the depraved feelings and propensities of the human kind. Well-ordered, social institutions are mounds which virtue erects against vice, and which vice is ever struggling to demolish. Whereas, in what is called the state of nature, every man does what seemeth him good ; indulging, with little or no restraint,

in whatever his heart inclines him to. And, of all things in the world, this the sweetest; more gratifying than 5 to be clothed in purple, to drink in gold, and to sleep upon gold.” Nothing is more natural to man, than the love of liberty, or more delicious to his heart, than the uncontrolled enjoyment of it:of the liberty of doing as he pleases; of openly acting, every way, and in all cases, according to his inclinations, without dread of punishment or fear of shame. Upon this liberty-which indeed is the only liberty for which our fallen nature has a sincere and unreserved liking the laws of regular government, the customs and opinions of virtuous society, and above all, the institutes of a most holy religion, are galling checks.

Hence it is, in a considerable part, that the transition from civilization to savageness is much easier, than from the latter condition to the former. Almost ever, a savage feels a decided preference for his own way of life, and looks down upon the accumulated conveniencies of civilized man, not with a cold indifference, but

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