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cause of his poverty. Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend, and let it not rust under a stone to be lost.” Again, in the same chapter he says, “ He that is merciful will lend unto his neighbour.”—“ Lend to thy neighbour in the time of his need.” And elsewhere, he cautions against a churlishness of expression and manner in the act of giving, and, by parity of reason, in lending. “My son, blemish not thy good deeds, neither use uncomfortable words when thou givest.' All which, is accompanied with this wholesome injunction to the other party. “ Pay thou thy neighbour again in due season. Keep thy word, and deal faithfully with him, and thou shalt always find the thing that is necessary for thee.”
Upon the whole, then, it may be fairly concluded that the precious book now under consideration-which indeed possesses every venerable attribute, with the exception of inspiration alone—is very far from alto. gether discouraging the neighbourly intercourse of borrowing and lending ; seeing the scope of its lessons on this subject is to recommend moderation and scrupulous punctuality to the one class, and a humane and generous line of conduct to che other.
One may borrow occasionally, and be the better for it, and at the same time the lender suffers no injury or inconvenience : but to banquet upon borrowing, is a beggarly way of living. If thou hast nothing in thy purse, replenish it, if possible, with thy own earnings, rather than by borrowing; or if that be impossible for the present, yet be cautious against taking more than is needful, and ever be careful to pay it back in due time. For,-to repeat the admonition aforecited, " Pay thou thy neighbour again in due season. Keep thy word, and deal faithfully with him, and thou shalt always find the thing that is necessary for thee."
I intreat the reader's particular attention to the mat
ter which I have just now rehearsed, since it comes from no ordinary authority, and is of superior excellence in itself. For the rest ; the few observations that will follow, must suffice.
In the simple old times of our author, borrowing for a premium, or on interest, was scarcely known. So that they who, in those days, banqueted on borrowing, must have done it, only in a small way, which bears no sort of comparison with the every day's experience of the present age. This thing has, with us, been carried to a wild extreme, utterly unknown to any former age, or in any other country, and a frightful mass of wretchedness has been the natural consequence. But, passing this over, what remains is, to consider the subject of borrowing, on the small scale, and according to the most general acceptation of the word.
In this sense of the term, one who borrows, contracts a debt, with respect to which every principle of honesty and honour binds him to observe the utmost punctuality. For, the lender gives up the use of his property without fee or reward. All he demands or ex. pects is, that the thing be returned in good condition, and punctually, according to promise. Wherefore, a loan is a sort of sacred debt; and to delay payment, much more never to pay, though there be no want of power, is returning evil for good, injury for kindness. Would that this vexatious frailty of character, were rare as it is common ! And, in order to a radical reform in this important particular, much attention must be paid to it in the early season of education. It is a great deal easier to form the young mind to correct habits, than to cure it of bad oncs once contracted. For which reason, children should be carefully taught to mind their promises, and more especially to restore whatever they borrow, in good condition and by the
set time. Nor is it enough, merely to give them precepts upon this subject; it must be worked into their practice, even from their earliest years.
In conclusion : there is one description of borrowers, who may fitly be termed leeches or spongers. These are persons, who, out of pure stinginess, are in the habit of borrowing of their neighbours the necessary implements of their daily business. They think it cheaper to borrow than to buy. But, generally, in the long run, they are losers hy it themselves : and, the meanwhile, in this way, they are giving a deal of trouble to those about them, whose smothered resentments and inly scoldings, are neither few nor small.
Of the principle of shame.
No point is more clear, than that moral worth is superior to every thing else which bears the name of worth; that virtue in rags is more respectable than vice in brocade.
66 In the drama of life it is not to be considered who among actors is prince or who is beggar, but who acts prince or beggar best.” So taught Epictetus, a celebrated philosopher of ancient Greece: and Pope has versifiéd him in the following couplet.
“ Honor and shame from no condition risé : Act well your part ; 'tis there true honor lies." All this is well said. That the point of honor lies, not so much in having a grand or a conspicuous part to act, but rather in acting well the part that providence allots us, is a position which admits of no dispute. But
although it contradicts the theory of almost nobody, it is contrary to the practice of almost every body.
He that aets upon the stage of life a high part, will be courted, and he that acts a low part will be slighted; though the latter should very far excel the former in all that relates to the qualities of the heart. The man that comes in with the gold ring and in goodly apparel, is respectfully invited to sit here, in a good place; while the child of poverty, whose raiment is vile, is or dered to sit there, at the footstool ; and that, without any regard to real merit or demerit. This is the fashion of the world; a fashion, which all do more or less follow.
It would in no wise be difficult to carry this train of thoughts to any reasonable length ; since the subject is no less prolific, than evincive of the distempered condition of the world we live in. But all that I farther intend is, to remark, in few words, on Shame—understood not in the sense here given it by the poet, that is to say, as synonymous with dishonour or disgrace; but as denoting a certain kind of bosom-sensation, utterly undescribable, and yet most clearly distinguishable from every other feeling of the heart.
Shame then, meaning the Sense of Shame, is one of the powerful principles of our fallen nature, and, like our other natural prineiples, it does good or mischief according to the direction it takes. It operates most powerfully in the seasons of childhood and youth, and operates, on the whole, much more good than ill; for it is a preventive of indecency, and an incentive to laudable emulation. An over diffident youth, if properly encouraged, will exert himself to arrive to such at. tainments as shall give him confidence: but an over confident one, being full of himself, thinks he has attained enough already, and of course becomes remisse I believe it would be found upon a close inspection of mankind, in past ages as well as the present, that, of truly great and excellent characters, a very large proportion had felt the pains of diffidence, and displayed upon their cheeks the blush of shame, in their juvenile days.
The most virtuous do nothing to be ashamed of before men, and the most vicious are without shame. But between the utmost limits of human virtuousness on the one side, and viciousness on the other, there is a vast interval, which is filled up with mixed characters of both sorts ; and upon them, well directed shame has a great and a powerful influence.—- Many who have not resolution enough to avoid a bad action, have yet feeling enough to be ashamed of it.” And that feeling of shame may prevent their repeating the misdeed: whereas, of an offender that is utterly shameless there is no hope.
Shame has a prodigious influence in enforcing the social laws of decency. Multitudes of people would not act so well as they do, if they were not ashamed to act worse. And it is better, at least for society, that they have the grace of shame, than no grace at all.
Vice loves the company of its like. And why? It is, that it may keep itself in countenance, or escape the confusion of shame. Vice is conscious deformity, and vicious persons are enabled to hold up their heads in society, chiefly from the knowledge or supposal that numbers about them are deformed like themselves. Whereas if one stood quite alone in the practice of vice, and at the same time had the eyes of the good upon him, he would, unless desperately hardened, be ashamed of himself. Hence, a notoriously vicious person, living in a place where all the rest were virtuous, would be impelled as it were of very shame, either to