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ly from books-but from his own experience:A man who has been employed on such services, and thrice made the tour of Europe with success
That is, without breaking his own or his pupil's neck ;-for, if he is such as my eyes have seen! some broken Swiss valet de chambre,➡some general undertaker, who will perform the journey in so many months, "IF GOD PERMIT"much knowledge will not accrue :-Some profit at least ;
he will learn the amount, to a halfpenny, of every stage from Calais to Rome ;-he will be carried to the best inns, instructed where there is the best wine, and sup a livre cheaper than if the youth had been left to make the tour and the bargain himself. Look at our governor! I beseech you :-See, he is an inch taller as he relates the advantages
-And here endeth his pride, his knowledge, and his use.
But when your son gets abroad, he will be taken out of his hand, by his society with men of rank and letters, with whom he will pass the greatest part of his time.
Let me observe in the first place, that company which is really good, is very rare-and very shy. -But you have surmounted this difficulty; and procured him the best letters of recommendation to the most eminent and respectable in every capital.
And I answer, That he will obtain all by them which courtesy strictly stands obliged to pay, on such occasions,but no more.
There is nothing in which we are so much deceived, as in the advantages proposed from our connections and discourse with the literati, &c. in foreign parts; especially if the experiment is made before we are matured by years or study.
Conversation is a traffic; and if you enter into it, without some stock of knowledge, to balance the account perpetually betwixt you the trade
drops at once: And this is the reason- -how ever it may be boasted to the contrary, why travellers have so little (especially good) conversation with natives, owing to their suspicion, or, perhaps, conviction, that there is nothing to be extracted from the conversation of young itinerants, worth the trouble of their bad language, or the interruption of their visits.
The pain, on these occasions, is usually reciprocal; the consequence of which is, that the disappointed youth seeks an easier society; and, as bad company is always ready, and ever lying in waft, the career is soon finished; and the poor prodigal returns the same object of pity, with the prodigal in the gospel,
National Miseries, considered.
On the inauguration of his present Majesty.
And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded you? then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondsmen in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
HESE are the words which Moses left as a standing answer for the children of Israel to give their posterity, who, in time to come, might become ignorant or unmindful of the many and great mercies which God had vouchsafed to their forefathers;-all which had terminated in that one, of their deliverance out of bondage.
Though they were directed to speak in this manner, each man to his son, yet one cannot suppose, that the direction would be necessary for the next generation-for the children of those who had been eye-witnesses of God's providences: It does not seem likely, that any of them should arrive to that age of reasoning, which would put them upon asking the supposed question, and not be, long before-hand, instructed in the answer. Every parent would tell his child the hardships of his captivity, and the amazing particulars of his deliverance :-The story was so uncommon, so full of wonder, and, withal, the recital of it would ever be a matter of such transport, it could not possibly be kept a secret :-The piety and gratitude of one generation, would anticipate the curiosit of another ;-their sons would learn the story with their language.
This, probably, might be the case with the first or second race of people ;-but, in process of time, things might take a different turn:-A long and undisturbed possession of their liberties, might blunt the sense of those providences of GoD which had procured them, and set the remembrance of all his mercies at too great a distance from their hearts. After they had, for some years, been eased of every real burden, an excess of freedom might make them restless under every imaginary one, and, amongst others, that of their religion : -From thence, they might seek occasion to inquire into the foundation and fitness of its ceremonies, its statutes, and its judgments.
They might ask, What meant so many commands, in matters, which, to them, appeared indifferent in their own natures ?-What policy, in ordaining them?and, What obligation could there lie upon reasonable creatures, to comply with a multitude of such unaccountable injunctions, so unworthy the wisdom of God?
Hereafter, possibly, they might go farther lengths; and, tho' their natural bent was generally towards superstition, yet, some adventurers, as is ever the case, might steer for the opposite coast, and, as they advanced, might discover that all religions, of what denominations or complexions soever, were alike :-That the religion of their own country, in particular, was a contrivance of the priests and Levites ;-a phantom, dressed out in a terrifying garb of their own making, to keep weak minds in fear :-That its rites and ceremonies, and numberless injunctions, were so many different wheels in the same political engine, put in, no doubt, to amuse the ignorant, and keep them in such a state of darkness as clerical juggling requires.
That, as for the moral part of it,-tho' it was unexceptionable in itself, yet it was a piece of inVOL. III.
telligence they did not stand in want of ;-men had natural reason always to have found it out, and wisdom to have practised it, without Moses's assistance.
Nay, possibly, in process of time, they might arrive at greater improvements in religious controversy: When they had given their system of infidelity all the strength it could admit of from reason, they might begin to embellish it with some more sprightly conceits and turns of ridicule.
Some wanton Israelite, when he had eaten, and was full, might give free scope and indulgence to this talent:-As arguments and sober reasoning failed, he might turn the edge of his wit against types and symbols, and treat all the mysteries of his religion, and every thing that could be said upon so serious a subject, with raillery and mirth :-He might give vent to a world of pleasantry upon many sacred passages of his law: He might banter the golden calf, or the brazen ser pent, with great courage, and confound nimself in the distinctions of clean and unclean beasts by the desperate sallies of his wit against them.
He could but possibly take one step farther.→ When the land which flowed with milk and honey had quite worn out the impressions of his yoke, and blessings began to multiply upon his hands, he might draw this curious conclusion, That there was no Being who was the author and bestower of them,-but that it was their own arm, and the mightiness of Israelitish strength, which had put them, and kept them, in possession of so much happiness.
O Moses! how would thy meek and patient spirit have been put to the torture by such a return?-If a propensity towards superstition in the Israelites, did once betray thee into an excess of anger, that thou threwest the two tables out of