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`softest bloom of roseate virginity repels the eye with excrescences and discolorations. Thus the senses, as well as the perceptions, may be improved to our own disquiet; and we may, by diligent cultivation of the powers of dislike, raise in time an artificial fastidiousness, which shall fill the imagination with phantoms of turpitude, show us the naked skeleton of every delight, and present us only with the pains of pleasure, and the deformities of beauty.
Rambler, vol. 3, P. 37.
That which is obvious is not always known; and what is known, is not always present. Sudden fits of inadvertency will surprise viligance; slight avocations will seduce attention; and casual eclipses of the mind will darken learning; so that the writer shall often, in vain, trace his memory at the moment of need, for that which yesterday he knew with intuitive readiness, and which will come uncalled into his thoughts to
Preface to Dictionary, fol. p. 10.
There is a time when the claims of the public are satisfied; then a man might properly retire to review his life, and purify his heart.
Prince of Abyffinia, p. 135.
Some suspension of common affairs, some pause. of temporal pain and pleasure, is doubtless necessary to him that deliberates for eternity, who is forming the only plan in which miscarriage cannot be repaired, and examining the only question in which mistake cannot be rectified.
It is too common for those who have unjustly suffered pain, to inflict it likewise in their turn with the same injustice, and to imagine they have a right to treat others as they themselves have been treated.
Life of Savage.
Resentment is an union of sorrow with malignity; a combination of a passion which all endeavour to avoid, with a passion which all concur to detest. The man who retires to meditate mischief, and to exasperate his own rage; whose thoughts are employed only on means of distress, and contrivances of ruin; whose mind never pauses from the remembrance of his own sufferings, but to indulge some hope of enjoying the calamities of another, may justly be num→ bered among the most miserable of human beings, among those who are guilty without reward, who have neither the gladness of pros-, perity, nor the calm of innocence.
Rambler, vol. 4, p. 137.
After the exercises which the health of the body requires, and which have themselves a natural tendency to actuate and invigorate the mind, the most eligible amusement of a rational being seems to be that interchange of thoughts which is practised in free and easy conversation, where suspicion is banished by experience, and emulation by benevolence; where every man speaks with no other restraint than unwillingness to offend, and hear, with no other disposition than desire to be pleased.
Ibid, vol. 2, p. 704.
Repentance is the change of the heart, from that of an evil to a good disposition; it is that disposition of mind by which "the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, and doeth that which is lawful and right;" and when this change is made, the repentance is complete. Convict's Address, p. 14 & 15.
Repentance, however difficult to be practised is, if it be explained without superstition, easily understood. Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from the conviction that it has offended God. Sorrow, and fear, and anxiety, are properly not parts, but adjuncts of repentance; yet they are too closely connected with it, to be easily separated; for they not only mark its sin-· cerity, but promote its efficacy.
No man commits any act of negligence or obstinacy, by which his safety or happiness in this world is endangered, without feeling the pungency of remorse. He who is fully convinced. that he suffers by his own failure, can never forbear to trace back his miscarriage to its first cause, to image to himself a contrary behaviour, and to form involuntary resolutions against the like fault, even when he knows that he shall never again have the power of committing it. Danger, considered as imminent, naturally produces such trepidations of impatience, as leave all human means of safety behind him he that has once caught an alarm of terror, is every moment seized with useless anxieties, adding one security to another, trembling with sudden doubts, and distracted by the perpetual occurrence of new expedients. If, therefore, he whose crimes have deprived him of the favour of God, Q 4
can reflect upon his conduct without disturbance, or can at will banish the reflection; if he who considers himself as suspended over the abyss of eternal perdition only by the thread of life, which must soon part by its own weakness, and which the wing of every minute may divide, can cast his eyes round him without shuddering with horror, or panting with security; what can he judge of himself, but that he is not yet awakened to sufficient conviction, since every loss is more lamented than the loss of the divine favour, and every danger more dreaded than the danger of final condemnation?
Rambler, vol. 3, p. 28 & 29.
The completion and sum of repentance is a change of life. That sorrow which dictates no caution, that fear which does not quicken our escape, that austerity which fails to rectify our affections, are vain' and unavailing. But sorrow and terror must naturally precede reformation; for what other cause can produce it? He, therefore, that feels himself alarmed by his conscience, anxious for the attainment of a better state, and afflicted by the memory of his past faults, may justly conclude, that the great work of repentance is begun, and hope, by retirement and prayer, the natural and religious means of strengthening his conviction, to impress upon his mind such a sense of the divine presence, as may overpower the blandishments of secular delights, and enable him to advance from one degree of holiness to another, till death shall set him free from doubt and contest, misery and temptation.
What better can we do than prostrate fall
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
Forbearance of revenge, when revenge is within reach, is scarcely ever to be found among Princes.
Memoirs of the King of Prussia.
Respect is often paid in proportion as it is claimed.
Idler, vol. I, p. 276.
Of the decline of literary reputation, many causes may be assigned. It is commonly lost because it never was deserved, and was conferred at first not by the suffrage of criticism, but by the fondness of friendship, or servility of flat-` tery. Many have lost the final reward of their labours, because they were too hasty to enjoy it.. They have laid hold on recent occurrences and eminent names, and delighted their readers with: allusions and remarks, in which all were interest- ed, and to which, therefore, all were attentive; but the effect ceased with its cause; the time quietly came when new events drove the former: from memory, when the vicissitudes of the world brought new hopes and fears, transferred the love and hatred of the public-to other agents, and the writer whose works were no longer as sisted by gratitude or resentment, was left to the