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z - 11C ENGi ISH READER. PART |
- Charity. 1. CHARITY is the same with benevolence or love; and is the term uniformly employed in the New Testament, 1o denote all the good affections which we ought to bear towards one another. It consists not in speculative" ideas of fool benevolence, floating in the head, and leaving the eart, as speculations too often do, untouched and cold. Neither is it confined to that indolent good nature, which makes us rest satisfied with being free from inveterate" malice, or ill will to our fellow-creatures, without prompting us to be of service to any. 2. True charity is an active principle. ... It is not proper.| ly a single virtue; but a disposition residing in the heart, as a fountain" whence all the virtues of benignity," candour, forbearance, generosity, compassion, and liberality, flow, | as so many natives streams. From general good-will o all, it extends its influence particularly to those with whom we stand in nearest connexion, and who are directly with In the sphere of our good offices. 3. From the country or community to which we belong, it descends to the smaller associations of neighbourhood, relations, and friends; and spreads itself over the whole circle of social and domestic life. I mean not that it inports; a promiscuous undistinguished affection, which gives every man an equal title to our love. Charity, if we should endeavour to carry it so far, would be rendered an imprac. ticable virtue; and would resolve itself into mere words, without affecting the heart. . . 4. True charity attempts" not to shut our eyes to the distinction between good and bad men; nor to warm our' hearts equally to those who befriend, and those who injure us.--It reserves our esteem for good men, and our comple. cency for our friends. Towards our enemies it inspires. forgiveness, humanity, and a solicitude for their wessare, It breathes universal candour, and liberality of sentiment It forms gentleness of temper, and dictates affability" of manners. o 5. It prompts corresponding sympathies with them who rejoice, and them who weep. It teaches us to slight and despise no man. Charity is the comforter of the afflicted, the protector of the oppressed, the reconciler of differences, the intercessor" for offenders. It is faithfulness in the friend, publick spirit in the magistrate, equity and patience in the judge, moderation in the sovereign, and loyalty in the subject. * (, ; |
6. In parents, it is care and attention; in children, it is reverence and submission. In a word, it is the soul of social life. It is the sun that enlivens and cheers the abodes" of men. It is “like the dew of Hermon,” says the Psalmist, “ and the dew that descended on the mountains of Zion, where the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for ever more.” BLAIR.
1. NoNE but the temperate, the regular, and the virtuous, know how to enjoy prosperity. They bring to its comforts the manly relish of a sound, uncorrhpted mind They stop at the proper point, before enjoyment degenerates into disgust, and pleasure is converted into pain. They are strangers to those complaints which flow from. spleen, caprice, and all the fantastical" distresses of a vi tiated" mind. While riotous indulgence enervates both the body and the mind, purity and virtue heighten all the powers of human fruition.* - * 2. Feeble are all pleasures in which the heart has no share. The selfish gratifications of the bad, are both narrow in their circle, and short in their duration. But prosperity is redoubled to a good man, by his generous use of it. . It is reflected back upon him from every one whom he makes happy. In the intercourse of domestick affection, in the attachment of friends, the gratitude of depend'ents, the esteem and good-will of all who know him, he sees blessings multiplied around him, on every side. 3. “When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: because I de-. livered the poor that cried, the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready we perish came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing with joy. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame: I was a father to the poor; and the cause which I knew not I searched out.” 4. Thus, while the righteous man flourishes like a tree
planted by the rivers of water, he brings forth also his fruit in its season: and that fruit he brings forth, not for himself alone. He flourishes, not like a tree in some solitary desert, which scatters its blossoms to the wind, and communicates neither fruit nor shade to any living thing: but like a tree in the midst of an inhabited country, which to some affords friendly shelter, to others fruit; which is not only admired by all for its beauty; but blessed by the traveller for the shade, and by the hungry for the sustenances it hath given. BLAIR.
e Ex-tract,èks-träkt',to draw out of. On the beauties of the Psalms. 1. GREATNEss confers no exemption" from the cares and
sorrows of life: its share of them frequently bears a melan
choly proportion to its exaltation. This the monarch of Israel experienced. He sought in piety, that peace which he could not find in empire; and alleviated the disquietudes of state, with the exercises of devotion. His invalu
ble” Psalms convey those comforts to others, which they
afforded to himself. 2. Composed upon particular occasions, yet designed for general use; delivered out as services for Israelites under the Law, yet no less adapted to the circumstances of Christians under the Gospel; they present religion to us in the most engaging dress; communicating truths, which philosophy" could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal; while history is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends all its charms to paint the glories of redemption. 3. Calculated alike to profit and to please, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination. Indited under the influence of HIM, to whom all hearts are known, and all events foreknown, they suit mankind in all situations; grateful as the manna
which descended from above, and conformed itself to every alate. p 4. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few |.. like gathered slowers, wither in our hands, and ose their fragrancy: but these unfading plants of Paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily heightened; fresh odours are emitted," and new sweets extracted from them. He who has once tasted their excellences, will desire to taste them again; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best.
5. And now, could the author flatter himself, that any one would take half the pleasure in reading his work, which he has taken in writing it, he would not fear the loss of his labour. The employment detached him from the bustle and hurry of life, the din of politicks, and the noise of folly. Vanity and vexation flew away for a season; care and disquietude came not near his dwelling.— He arose, fresh as the morning, to his task; the silence of the night invited him to pursue it; and he can truly say that food and rest were not preferred before it.
6. Every psalm improved infinitely upon his acquaint, ance with it, and no one gave him uneasiness; but the last for then he grieved that his work was done. Happier. hours than those which have been spent in these meditar tions" on the songs of Sion, he never expects to see in this world. Very pleasantly did they pass; they moved smoothly and swiftly along: for when thus engaged, he counted no time. *h. are gone, but they have left a relish' and a fragrance upon the mind; and the remembrance of them is sweet. HORNE.
==== SECTION X.
a Mon-arch, mēn'-nārk, a king, alf Flex-i-bil-i-ty, fléks-&-bil'-&-té,
sovereign. - pliancy, compliance. b An-nals, &n'-nālz, histories digest-g Len-i-ty, lèn'-&-té, mildness, mer ed in the order of time. cy, tenderness. c De-nom-i-na-tion, dé-nóm-è-nā'-|h De-port-ment, dē-pört'-mênt, conshān, title, appellation. duct, behaviour. d De-lin-e-ate, dē-lin-è-àte, tow Trans-mit, trans-mit', to send srom paint, describe. one place to another.
e Con-cil-late, kön-sil'-yåte, to gain over, reconcile.
Character of ALFRED, king of England.
1. THE merit of this prince, both in private and public; life, may, with advantage, be set in opposition to that of any monarch" or citizen, which the annals" of any age, o any nation, can present to us. He seems, indeed, to be the complete model of that perfect character, which, undel the denomination" of a sage or wise man, the philosophers have been fond of delineating," rather as a fiction of their
imagination, than in hopes of ever, seeing it reduced to
practice: so happily were all his virtues tempered together; so justly were they blended; and so powerfully did each prevent the other from exceeding its proper bounds.
2. He knew how to conciliate the most enterprising spirit with the coolest moderation; the most obstinate perseverance, with the easiest flexibility; the most severe justice, with the greatest lenity; the greatest rigour in command, with the greatest affability of deportment;" the highest capacity and inclination for science, with the most shining talents for action.
3. §. also, as if desirous that so bright a production of her skill should be set in the fairest light, had bestowed on him all bodily accomplishments; vigour of limbs, dignity of shape and air, and a pleasant, engaging, and open countenance. By living in that barbarous age, he was deprived of historians worthy to transmit his fame to posterity; and we wish to see him delineated in more lively colours, and with more particular strokes, that we might at least perceive some of those small specks and blemishes, from which, as a man, it is impossible he could be entirely exempted. HUME.
calumniates. l Tol-er-a-tion, tol-ūr-à-shān, perd In-vec-tive, in-věk'-tiv, abusive, mission.
satirical. m Fac-tion, fak'-shān, a party in a
e Pan-e-gyr-ick, pán-nē-jér'-rik, an state. eulogy, an encomiastick piece. In Pru-dence, próð'-dènse, wisdom J An-i-mos-i-ty, an-nē-mós-sé-té, applied to practice. vehemence of hatred. o Con-tro-ver-sy, kón'-trö-vèr-sé, g Te-mer-i-ty, té-mêr'-e-té, rash-| dispute, quarrel. ness, folly. o