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let him lay together all the facts which have been adduced ; let him estimate their united weight; and then say whether pure patriotism is not more than countenanced, whether it is not commanded, by Christianity,
The duty being established, it remains ta subjoin some brief remarks on the manner of fulfilling it.
The natural and most effectual method by which each individual may evince his love to his country, is by conscientiously striving to discharge, with fidelity and diligence, the fpecial duties of his station ; and by studiously availing himself of those opportunities of promoting the public good, which his rank and occupation in society afford him. The peculiar duties and opportunities of doing good, which attend different stations in life, will be distinctly considered hereafter. The present chapter is designed for observations applicable to British subjects in general.
The greatest benefit which any man can render to his country, is to contribute to the diffusion of religion and virtue, of science and learning, of intellectual and civil liberty, of general tranquillity, harmony, and competence. To attend to these objects, and to each of them in proportion to its relative importance, is the office of patriotism. There is no person who has it not in his power to promote them, in a greater or a less degree, by instruction and example. The latter mode is the more attractive ; it has the advantage too of being at all times attainable, and of being a visible incitement to numbers to whom inftruc. tion cannot easily be conveyed. Admonition itself, when thus seconded, has a grace and an energy,
which few but the most careless or the most hardened can entirely withstand. Let the man then who loves his country endeavour to render himself and his family a pattern of christian virtue, of useful but unassuming knowledge, of modest and simple manners. Let him exert himself, as far as a fit coincidence of circumstances may enable him, to impress on the hearts of his friends and acquaintance the momentous truths which are near his own. Let him select his companions, as far as may possibly be done, from the good and
the intelligent. Let him be on the watch to stem the increasing tide of luxury and diffipation. Let him be ready to reconcile disagreements, to refute calumnies, to counteract and eradicate prejudices. Let him encourage the virtuous and industrious poor ; and discounte- . inance and seek to reform the profligate and the idle. Let him patronize public institutions which are likely to cherish the spirit of religion, to enlarge the sphere of knowledge, or to dispense useful charity. Let him forward every plan which promises general benefit, though it be attended with some facri. fice of his private interest and convenience. In every way, as far as his ability and influence extend, let him advance the welfare of his fellow-subjects: let him aid them by his advice, let him relieve them by his bounty, let him befriend them by his exertions, let him remember them in his prayers. He who fulfils thefe duties is a true patriot. He may pass his life in obfcurity; he may have no opportunity of rendering splendid services to his native land; but the effect of his labours may reach even to multitudes. The brook that flows in silence through the valley, swells the
stream of the mighty river, which diffufes plenty and prosperity over empires.
There is yet one topic remaining, connected with the subject recently considered, on which it may
be advisable to make a few remarks ; and as they will relate to most of those who оссиру
and middle classes of society, they may properly be introduced in this place. The point to which I allude is the degree of attention, which persons not immediately engaged in the adminiitration of public affairs ought to pay to the conduct of Government. There are two extremes into which it is not very uncommon for men of this description to deviate. Some from a restless curiosity, some from a meddling spirit of interference, or from a desire to raise themselves into importance in the eye of their neighbours, take a busy and eager part in every public measure, frequently the most busy and eager part in those measures with the drift of which they are least acquainted; and are never satisfied except when they are engaged in the heat of political discussions, in contriving popular meetings, and in the fabrication of resolutions, petitions, addresses,
and remonstrances. By continually displaying their ignorance in open view, by obtruding on
, their fellow-citizens their crude and impracticable schemes, they preclude themselves from attaining real political weight. Their censure and approbation, alike ill-timed or misplaced, generally defeats its own object; their private affairs in the mean time are neglected, and go to ruin ; and while they represent themselves as gloriously facrificing every thing to the public good, they experience the ridicule, contempt, and dislike, which fall to the lot of vifionary and troublesome projectors. Nor is this the worst effect of their absurdity. They bring a general odium and discredit on all popular enquiry into the conduct of the Legislature, on the most falutary species of control which a people can exercise over its deputed rulers,
$ and thus contribute to rivet others in an error, opposite indeed to their own, but equally prejudicial to the welfare of society. For they who from indolence, from apathy, or from a distaste to political investigations, professedly decline all exercise of inspection and superintendence over the conduct of those to whom the management of national affairs is committed, usually