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yond the region which he inhabits, he will find himself as much unknown as the molt obscure person around him. I Mall not degre him to consider, that in the golph of oblivion, where all human memorials are swallowed up, his name and fame muß soon be inevitably loft. He may imagine that ample honours remain to gratify ambi, tion, though' his reputation extend not over the whole globe, por last till the end of time. But let him calmly reflect, that within the narrow boundaries of that country to which he belongs, and during that small portion of time which his life fills up, his reputation, great as he may fancy it to be, occupies no more than an inconsiderable corner. Let him think what multitudes of those among whom he dwells are totally ignorant of his name and character; how many imagine themselves too important to regard him; how many are tco · much occupied with their own wants and pursuits to pay him the least attention; and where his reputation is in any degree spread, how often it has been attacked, and how many rivals are daily riling to abate it: Having attended to these circumstances, he will find sufficient materials for humiliation in the midst of the highest applause,
From all these considerations it clearly appears, that though the esteem of our fellow-creatures be pleasing, and the pursuit of it, in a moderate degree, be fair and lawful, yet that it affords no such object to defire as entitles it to be a roling principle.'
We shall now lay before our Readers, part of what our Author advances on the subject of candour, from the words-Charity-thinketh no evil.
It is necessary to observe, that true candour is altogether different from that guarded, inoffensive language, and that Audied openness of behaviour, which we so frequently meet with among men of the world, Smiling, very often, is the aspect, and smooth are the words of those who inwardly are the most ready to think evil of others. Thai çandour which is a Christian virtue, confifts not in fairness of speech, but in fairness of heart. Ic may want the blandishment of external courtesy, but supplies its place with humane and generous liberality of sentiment. Its manners are unaffeeted, and iis profesa fions cordial. Exempt, on one hand, from the dark jealoufy of a suspicious mind; it is no less removed, on the other, from that easy credulity which is imposed on by every specious pretence. It is perfectly consistent with extenfive knowledge of the world, and with due attention to our own safety. In that various intercourse which we are obliged to carry on with persons of every different character, suspicion, to a certain degree, is a necessary guard. It is only when it exceeds the bounds of prudeat caution, that it degenerates into vice. There is a proper mean between 'undistinguishing credulity, and universal jealousy, which a sound understanding discerns, and which the man of candour studies to preserve.
• He makes allowance for the mixture of evil with good, which is to be found in every human character. He expects none to be fault. less; and he is unwilling to believe that there is any without some commendable quality. In the midst of many defects, he can discover a virtue. In the midst of personal resentment, he can be just to the merit of an enemy. He never lends an open ear to those defamatory reports and dark fuggeftions, which, among the tribes of the cenforious, circulate with so much rapidity, and meet with such ready acceptance. He is not hafty to judge; and he requires full evidence before he will condemn. As long as an action can be ascribed to different motives, he holds it as no mark of fagacity to impute it always to the worst. Where there is just ground for doubt, he keeps his judgment undecided; and during the period of suspence, leans to the most charitable conftruciion which an action can bear. When he must condemn, he condemns with regret; and without those aggravations which the severity of others adds to the crime. He listens calmly to the apology of the offendes, and readily adınits every extenuating circumstance which equity can fuggeft. How much foever he may blame the principles of any sect or party, he never confounds under one general censure all who belong to that party or sect. He charges them not with such consequences of their tepeis, as they refuse and disavow. From one wrong opinion, he does not infer the subversion of all sound principles; nor from one bad action, conclude that all regard to conscience is overthrown. When he bebolds the more in his brother's eye, he remembers the beam in his own. He commiserates human frailty; and judges of others according to the principles by which he would think it reasonable that chey should judge of him. In a word, he views men and actions in the clear sunshine of charity and good-nature; and not in that dark and fullen shade which jealousy and party spirit throw over all characters.'
Such being, in general, the spirit of that charity which thinketh no evil, the Doctor proceeds to recommend, by various arguments, this important branch of Christian virtue.
"Let us begin. says he, with observing what a necessary requisite it is to the proper discharge of all the social duties. I need noc spend time in Mowing that these hold a very high rank in the Christian system. The encomium which the Apostle in this chapter bestows upon charity, is alone suficient to prove it. He places this grace at the head of all the gifts, and endowments, which can be possessed by man; and affures us that though we had all faith fo that we could remove mountains, yet if we be deftitute of charity, it will profil us noibing. Accordingly, love, gentleness, meekness and long differing, are enumerated as diftinguishing fruits of the spirit of Christ'. But it is imposible for such virtues as these co find place in a brealt, where the propensity to think evil of others is predominan.. Charitable and candid thoughts of men are the necessary introduction to all good-will and kindness. They form, if we may speak fo, the only climate in which love can grow up, and flourish. A suspicious tcmper checks in the bud every kind affection. It hardens the heart, and estranges man from man. What friendship or gratitude can you expect from him, who views all your conduct with diftruftful eyes, and ascribes every benefit you confer to artifice and stratagem? The utmost which you can hope from one of this character, is justice in his dealings; nor even that can you be assured of; as the suspicions to which he is a prey will afford him frequent pretexts for departing from cruth, and for defending himself with the same arms which he conceives to be employed against him. Unhappy will they be who
- Galas. V. 22, 23.
are joined with him by any close connexion ; expofed to every malignant fufpicion which arises in his own mind, and to every unjot
fug. geition which the malice of others may insinuate againft them. That itore of poison which is collected within him frequently throws out its venom on all who are within its reach. As a companion, he will be fevere and satirical; as a friend, captious and dangerous ; in his domestic sphere, harsh, jealous and irascible; in his civil capacity, feditious and curbulent, prone to impure the condu& of his luperiours to improper motives, and upon loose information to condemn their conduct
• The contrary of all this may be expected from a candid temper. Whatever is amiable in manners, or useful in fociety, naturally and easily ingrafts itself upon it. Gentleness, humanity and companion fow from it, as their native spring. Open and cheerful in itself, it diffuses cheerfulness and good humour over all who are under its in. fluence. It is the chief ground of mutoal.confidence and union among men. It prevents those animofities from arifing which are the offspring of groundless prejudice; or, by its benign interpofition, allays them when arisen. In the magistrate, it cempers jutlice with lenity. Among subjects, it promotes good order and fubmiffion. It connects humanity with piety. For he who is not given to think evil of his fellow-creatures, will not be ready to cenfore the dispensations of his Creator. Whereas the same turn of mind which renders one jealous and unjuft towards men, will incline bim to be querulous and impious towards God,
. In the second place, as a suspicious, uacharitable spirit is inconfiftent with all social virtue and happiness, so, in itself, it is unrea. sonable and unjut. In order to form found opinions concerning characters and actions, two things are especially requifite, information and impartiality. But such as are molt forward to decide unfavourably, are commonly deftitute of both. Infead of poffefling, or even requiring, full information, the grounds on which they proceed are frequently the most flight and frivolous. A tale, perhaps, which the idle have invented, the inquisitive have listened to, and the cre, dulous have propagared; or a real incident which rumour, in carry, ing it along, has exaggerated and disguised, supplies them with materials of confident allertion, and decisive judgment. From an action they presently look into the heart, and infer the motive. This suppored motive, they conclude to be the ruling principle; and pronource at once concerning the whole character.
Nothing can be more contrary both to equity and to found reafon, than fuch precipitare judgments. Any man who attends to what passes within himsels, may easily discern what a complicated system the human character is, and what a variety of circumstances must be taken into the account, in order to estimate it truly. No fingle instance of conduet whatever, is sufficient to determine it. As from one worthy allion, it were credulity, not charity, to cope clude a person to be free from all vice; so from one which is censurable, it is perfectly unjult to infer that the author of it is without conscience, and without merit. Did you know all the attending cir. cumitances, it might appear in an excusable light; nay, perhaps, under a commendable form. The motives of the actos may have been entirely different from those which you ascribe to him; and where you suppose him impelled by bad design, he may have been prompted by conscience and mistaken principle. Admitting the action to have been in every view criminal, he may have been hurried into it shrough inadvertency and surprise. He may have sincerely repented; and the virtuous principle may have now regained its full vigour. Perhaps this was the corner of frailty; the quarter on which he lay open to the incursions of remptation ; while the other avenues of his heart were firmly guarded by conscience.
• No error is more palpable chan to look for uniformity from hu. man nature; though it is commonly on this supposition that our general conclusions concerning character are formed. Mankind are confiftent neither in good, nor in evil. In the present state of frailty, all is mixed and blended. The Itrongest contrarieties of piety and hypocrisy, of generosity and avarice, of truth and duplicity, often meet in one character. The purest human virtue is confiftent with some vice; and in the midlt of much vice and disorder, amiable, nay respectable, qualities may be found. There are few cases in which we have ground to conclude that all goodness is loft. At the bottom of the cbaracter there may lie fome sparks of piety and virtue, fuppressed, but not extinguished; which kept alive by the breath of heaven, and gathering Arength in secret from reflection, may, on the firf favourable opening which is afforded them, be ready to break forth with splendour and force.- Placed, then, in a situation of so much uncertainty and darkness, where our knowledge of the hearts and characters of men is fo limited, and our judgments concerning them are so apt to err, what a continual call do we receive either to fufpend our judgment, or to give it on the favourable fide ? efpecially when we consider that, as through imperfect information we are enqualified for deciding foundly, fo through want of impartiality we are often tempted to decide wrong.'
We could with pleasure extend this article to a much greater length, and present our readers with many beautiful and striking passages from this volume of Dr, Blair's Sermons; but the extracts here given, are sufficiens, we are persuaded, to justify our character of the discourfes contained in it.
The subjects of the fermons not yet mentioned are, the proper Eftimate of Human Life-the Happiness of a Future State -Death--the Character of Joseph-the Character of Hazael the Benefits to be derived from the House of Mourning-the Divine Government of the Palions of Men and the Importance of religious Knowledge to Mankind.
ART. VI. The History of the Town of Thetford, in the Courties of
Norfolk and Suffolk, from the earliest Accounts to the present Time. By the late Mr. Thomas Martin, of Palgrave, Suffolk, F. A. S. 4:0. 11. 45. sewed. Payne. 1779.
"ONEST Tom Martin, of Palgrave" - by which de
nomination he was distinguished by his friends, as well as in the list of subscribers to Grey's Hudibras in 1744-did
not owe that appellation merely to his love of good fellowship, and contempt of money; but likewise to his moral conduct, as an honest attorney :--a profession to which he was reluctantly brought up, under the care of an elder brother. Some of his objections to this employment, contained in a paper written when he was about the age of nineteen, are worth transcribing, as marking his character at that early period of his life.
OBJECTION s. (1. First, my mind and inclinations are wholly to Cambridge, having already found by experience, that I can never fettle to my present employment.
3. I always wilhed that I might lead a private retired life, which can never happen if I be an attorney. I must have the care and concern of several people's business besides mine own, &c.
s. It was always counted ruination for young persons to be brought up at home, and I am sure there's no worse town under the fun for breeding or conversation than this.
• 6. Though I Thould serve my time out with my brother, I should never fancy the study of the law; having got a taste of a more noble and pleasant study.--I have staid thus long, thinking continual use might have made it easy to me; but the longer 1 stay, the worse I like it.'
The more noble and pleasant study,' to which he alludes above, was undoubtedly that of antiquities, to which he thewed an early predilection ; appearing among the contributors to Mr. Le Neve's Monumenta Anglicana, when he was only twenty-two years of age. His taste for ancient lore must have been increased as well as gratified by the consequences following the death of Peter le Neve, Norroy king at arms; whole widow, as well as his valuable collection of British topographical antiquities, came into his poffeffion.
We are sorry to close this short account of his life and character by adding, that his distresses obliged him to dispose of many of his books a short time before his death ; and that his very large collection of antiquities, as well as scarce books, deeds, drawings, prints, and other curiosities, appears, from a relation here given, to have been in a regular course of dirperfion, by various sales that have taken place, from the time of his death in 1771, to that of the sale of Mr. Ives's collection in 1777 ; who had been a principal purchaser at all the preceding fales.
Few of our readers would be gratified by a transcript of any passages that we could select froin this history of a particular town; - thougha fenced and royal city, from the unfortunate overthrow of Boadicea, till the eltablishment of the heptarchy;'