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peated in new language. The constitution of the world requires that it should be so. And while we peruse the writings of a Porteus, a Wilberforce, a Gisborne, &c. we shall be satisfied that the present age does not want strenuous supporters of the religion of Christ, who have expressed themselves either in an elegance of style adapted to the refinements of an improved state of literature, or with a strength of words well calculated to enforce the importance of the subject.
When the interests of religion are properly discussed, it will be found that they are as far as possible from gloomy apprehensions or morbid melancholy. Wit and learning, chearfulness and good humour, ought all to be the associates of pure christianity. In many instances we have seen them connected: in some, constitutional terrors too much encroached upon a sense of duty. Addison is an instance of the one, Johnson of the other; yet both contributed highly, by their lives and writings, to the improvement of piety. I shall use the language of the latter when he discusses
the merits of the former, and beg to be understood as applying the expressions equally to both. The latter part of the sentence is, in my mind, a true description of what a book of piety ought to be." Addison not
only made the proper use of wit himself, “ but taught it to others; and from his “ time it has been generally subservient to “ the cause of reason and of truth. He “ has dissipated the prejudice which had “ long connected gaiety with vice, and “ easiness of manners with laxity of prin
ciples. He has restored virtue to its "dignity, and taught innocence not to be - ashamed. This is an elevation of literary
character, “ above all Greek, above all - Roman fame.” No greater felicity can ás
genius attain than that of having purified “ intellectual pleasure, separated mirth from
indecency, and wit from licentiousness; “ of having taught a succession of writers, " to bring elegance and gaiety to the aid “ of goodness; and, if I may use expres“sions yet more awful, of having turned many to righteousness * * Johnson's Life of Addison.
No XXVI. No XXVI.
On religious Friendship.
Of friendship's fairest fruits, the fruit most fair
In the voyage of life, every proper accommodation is afforded us by a kind Providence, to protect us in so perilous a passage. However fertile we may be in resources, however guarded against dangers, however fortified against calamities, we are liable to be assailed from unexpected quarters, and it is impossible for us to be acquainted with the certainty of our safety. In this critical situation we call aloud for help: and help is near us in a variety of shapes. We are in the hands of a merciful preserver; and though he does not always work a miracle for our security (if that alone may be called M 2
a miracle which is superior to the general and known laws of nature) yet he continually administers to our comfort by exciting the humane affections of mankind.
Under the name of friendship many heroic actions have been performed. The records of heathen antiquity are full of them; and even in the modern history of the world some instances occur of dangerous “ hair“ breadth 'scapes,” in the service of this deity. At present I mean not to court her smiles. Though the principle from whence friendship proceeds be allowed to be both amiable and virtuous, yet if it so far deviate from the ordinary course of nature as to attach itself solely to one object, and with the enthusiasm of romance to endeavour to accomplish that alone, we may venture to suspect that it is not to be found among the fruits of the Spirit, where meekness, gentleness, and joy preside.
Having beheld the fervours of heroic friendship, let us turn our eyes on that amiable affection of the mind which is tempered by the religion of Christ. An objection indeed may be made, that the profes
sion of private friendship, or, as it may be called, of exclusive esteem, so warmly delineated by the pen of the moralist, is contrary to that universal love inculcated by our universal Redeemer. To this the elegant allusion of bislop Porteus will be a sufficient
( Within the wide circumference or of christian charity,” he says, " allowed to form as many smaller circles “ of benevolence as we please. It requires
only that our affections should move in :46 them under the controul of that sovereign " law of universal love, which, like the “ great principle of attraction in the mate“ rial world, is diffused throughout our ". inoral system, to guide, direct, and regu“ late the whole, and to restrain, within
proper limits, every subordinate sentiment, .66 and inferior movement of the soul *.”
" When this regulation of the affection rises to the view, it brings with it all the benefits which it was intended to produce. With an eye of kindness bent on all, it turns to
Bishop of London's Disc. Vol. I, S. 18.