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writing, enter into their thoughts, and imbibe their sense. There is no need of tying ourselves up to an imitation of any of them : much less to copy or transcribe them. For there is room for vast variety of thought and style; as nature is various in her works, and is nature still. Good authors, like the celebrated masters in the several schools of painting, are originals in their way, and different in their manner. And when we can make the same use of the Romans as they did of the Grecians, and habituate ourselves to their way of thinking and writing, we may be equal in rank, though different from them all, and be esteemed as originals as well as they.

And this is what I would have you do. Mix and incorporate with those ancient streams; and though your own wit will be improved and heightened by such a strong infusion, yet the spirit, the thought, the fancy, the expression, which shall flow from your pen, will be entirely your own.


MORALS OF THE ANCIENT CLASSICS. A GREAT advantage of studying the classics is, that from a few of the best of them may be drawn a good system and beautiful collection of sound morals. There, the precepts of a virtuous and happy life are set off in the light and gracefulness of clear and moving expression; and eloquence is meritoriously employed in vindicating and adorning religion. This makes deep impressions on the minds of young gentlemen, and charms them with the love of goodness so engagingly dressed,


and so beautifully commended. The Offices, Cato Major, Tusculan Questions, &c. of Tully, wat not much of Epictetus and Antonine in morality, and are much superior in language. Pindar writes in an excellent strain of piety as well as poetry; he carefully wipes off all the aspersions that old fables had thrown upon the deities; and never speaks of things or persons sacred, but with the tenderest caution and reve

He praises virtue and religion with a generous warmth; and speaks of its eternel rewards with a pious assurance. A notable critic has observed, to the perpetual scandal of this poet, that his chief, if not only excellence, lies in his moral sentences. Indeed Pindar is a great master of this excellence, for which all men of sense will admire him; and at the same time be astonished at that man's honesty who slights such an excellence ; and that man's understanding, who cannot discover many more excellences in him. I remember, in one of his Olympic Odes, in a noble confidence of his own genius, and a just contempt of his vile and malicious adversaries, he compares himself to an cagle, and them to crows: and indeed he soars far above the reach and out of the view of noisy fluttering cavillers. The famous Greek professor, Duport, has made an entertaining and useful collection of Homer's divine and moral sayings, and has with great dexterity compared them with parallel passages out of the inspired writers : by which it appears, that there is no book in the world so like the style of the Holy Bible as Homer. The noble historians abound with moral reflections upon tbe conduct

of human life; and powerfully instruct both by precepts and examples. They paint vice and vilJany in horrid colours; and employ all their reason and eloquence to pay due honours to virtue, and render undissembled goodness amiable in the eye of mankind. They express a true reverence for the established religion, and a hearty concern for the prosperous state of their native country.

Xenophon's memorable things of Socrates, is a very instructive and refined system of morality : it goes through all points of duty to God and man, with great clearness of sense and sound notion, and with inexpressible simplicity and purity of language. The great Socrates there discourses in such a manner, as is most proper to engage and persuade all sorts of readers; he argues with the reason of a philosopher, directs with the authority of a lawgiver, and addresses with the famiarities and endearments of a friend.

He made as many improvements in true mo. rality, as could be made by the unassisted strength of human reason : nay, he delivers himself in some places, as if he was enlightened by a ray from heaven. In one of Plato's divine dialogues, Socrates utters a surprising prophecy of a divine person, a true friend and lover of human nature, who was to come into the world to instruct them in the most acceptable way of addressing their prayers to the majesty of God.

I do not wonder when I hear that some prelates of the church have recommended the serious study of Juvenal's moral parts to their clergy. That manly and vigorous thor, so perfect a master in

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the serious and sublime way of satire, is not unacquainted with any of the excellences of good writing; but is especially to be admired and valued for his exalted morals. He dissuades from wickedness, and exhorts to goodness, with vehemence of zeal that can scarce be dissembled, and strength of reason that cannot easily be resisted, He does not praise virtue and condemn vice, as one has a favourable, and the other a malignant aspect upon a man's fortune in this world only; but he establishes the unalterable distinctions of good and evil; and builds his doctrine upon the immoveable foundations of God and infinite Providence.

His morals are suited to the nature and dignity of an immortal soul : and, like it, derive their original from heaven.

How sound and serviceable is that wonderful notion in the thirteenth satire, That an inward inclination to do an ill thing is criminal : that a wicked thought stains the mind with guilt, and exposes the offender to the punishment of heaven, though it never ripen into action! A suitable practice would effectually crush the serpent's head, and banish a long and black train of mis. chiefs and miseries out of the world. What a scene of horrour does he disclose, when in the same satire, he opens to our view the wounds and gashes of a wicked conscience! The guilty reader is not only terrified at dreadful cracks and flashes of the heavens, but looks pale and trembles at the thunder and lightning of the poet's awful

The notion of true fortitude cannot be better stated than it is in the eighth satire, where



he pressingly exhorts his reader always to prefer his conscience and principles before his life ; and not be restrained from doing his duty, or be awed into a compliance with a villanous proposal, even by the presence and command of a barbarous tyrant, or the nearest prospect of death in all the circumstances of cruelty and terrour. Must not a professor of Christianity be ashamed of himself for harbouring uncharitable and bloody resentments in his breast, when he reads and considers that invaluable passage against revenge in the above-mentioned thirteenth satire? where he argues against that fierce and fatal passion, from the ignorance and littleness of that mind which is possessed with it; from the honour and generosity of passing by and forgiving injuries: from the example of those wise and mild men, of Chrysippus and Thales, and especially that of Socrates, that undaunted champion and martyr of natural religion; who was so great a proficient in the best philosophy, that he was assured his malicious prosecutors and murderers could do him no hurt; and had not himself the least inclination or rising wish to do them any; who discoursed with that cheerful gravity, and graceful composure, a few moments before be was going to die, as if he had been going to take possession of a kingdom; and drank off the poisonous bowl, as a potion of immortality.


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