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they must be very rash indeed to venture an engagement in the open field.. . While the furgeon was attending the wound which confined me, he told me a diverting story of a young Swiss recruit, who, when his regimentals were making, had procured, a round iron plate, bordered with small holes, which he desired the taylor to fasten on the inside of his coat, above his left breast, to prevent his being lot through the heart. The taylor being a humorous fellow, faftened it in the seat of his breeches; and the cloaths being scarce on his back when he was ordered to march into the field, having no opportunity to get this aukward miltake re&tified before he found himself engaged in' battle, and being obliged to fly before the enemy, in endeavouring to get over a thorn hedge in his way, he unfortunately stuck fast 'cill he was overtaken by a foe, who, on his coming up, gave him a push in the breech with his bayonet, (with no friendly design,) but it luckily hit on the iron plate, and pushed che young foldier clear out of the hedge. This favourable circumftance made the Swiss honestly confess thaç the taylor had more sense than him. felf, and knew better where his heart lay.
CHARACTER of the FAMOUS REFORMER, JOHN KNOX.
By Dr. STUART.. T HIS remarkable innovation (the introduction of episco. i pacy] was hardly introduced into the church, when it loft John Knox, its strongest support and firmest friend. The zeal which he had displayed in overturning popery, and in refifting the despotic projects of Mary of Lorraine, have diftinguished and immortalized his name ; and, upon the establishment of che reformation, he continued to act with fortitude, according to his principles. His piety was ardent, and his activity indefatiga. ble ; his integrity was superior to corruption, and his courage could not be taken by dangers or death. In literatuse and learning his proficiency was slender and moderate, and to philo. fophy he was altogether a stranger. His heart was opea, his jadgement greater than his penetration, his tempor fevere, his behaviour rustic. The fears and contempt he entertained of popery were extravagant; and while he propagated the reformed doctrines, he fancied he was advancing the purposes of heaven. From his .conviction that the ends he had in view were the noblest which can a&aate a human creature, he was induced to imagine that he had a title to prosecute them by all the methods within his power. ' His motives of conduct were difinterested and upright, but the ftrain of his action and life deserves not commendation. He was ever earnest to promote the glory of God; but he perceived not that this sublime maxim, in its uglimited exercise, confifts not with the weakness and imperfections of man. It was pleaded by the murderers of cardinal Beas kon, and he fcrupled not to consider it as a fufficient vindication of them. It was appealed to by Charles IX. as his apology for the massacre of Paris į and it was urged by Ravaillac, as his juftifying motive for the affassination of Henry IV. The mot enormous crimes have been promoted by it, and it ftimus lated this reformer to cruel devastations and outrages. Charity, moderation, the love of peace, patience, and humanity, were not in the number of his virtues. Papifts, as well as popery, were the objects of his detestation ; and though he had riten to eminence by exclaiming against the perfecutions of priefts, he was himfelf a perfecutor. His fufpicions that che queen was de termined to re-establish the popith religion, were rooted and uniform; and upon the most frivolous prétences he was (trenu. ous to break that chain of cordiality which ought to bina coge ther the prince and the people. He inveighed againft her government, and insuited her person with virulence and indecency It flattered his pride to violate the duties of a subject, and to fcatter fedition. He affected to direct the politicians of his age; and the ascendant he maintained over the people, drew to him their respect and obeisance. He delivered his sentiments to them with the most unbounded freedom; and he fought not to frain or to disguise his impetuosity, or his peevilhness. His ad'vices were prefied with heat ; his admonitions were pronounced with anger ; and whether his theme was a topic of policy, or of faith, his knowledge appeared to be equally intallible, He wished to be confidered as an organ of the divine will. Contradiction enflamed him with hoftility, and his resentments took a deep and a lasting foundation. He considered the temporal interelts of society as inferior to the ecclefiaftical ; and, anacquainted alike with the objects of government, and the nature of man, he regarded the truggles of ambition as impious and prophane ; and knew por that the individual is carried to happiness and virtue on the side of his paftons, and coat admira. tion and eminence are chiefly to be purenased by the vigour, the fortitude, and the capacity which are exerted and dilplayed in * poblc occupations. He incalcared retirei and ascetic virtues, · He preached the unlimited contempt of this world ; he was a mortal enemy to gaiety and mirch ; and it was his opinion, that human life ought to be consumed in the solemnities of de, votion, in sufferance, and forrow. The pride of success, the spirit of adulation, the awe with which he struck the gaping and ignorant multitude, inspired him with a superlative concep tion of his own merits. He mistook for a prophetic impulse the illusions of a heated fancy ; and, with an intemperate and giddy vanity, he ventured at times to penetrate into the future, and to reveal the mysteries of Providence. Not contented with being a faint, he aspired to be a prophet. In discharging the functions of his ministry, his ardour was proportioned to his fincerity. Affiduous and feryent toils, watchful and anxious cares, wasted his strength, and hastened his dissolution. He saw it approach without terror, spoke with exultation of the services which he had rendered to the gospel and the church, and was almost constantly in prayer with the brethren. His confidence of a happy immortality was secure and firm, and disdained the flightest mixture of suspicion or doubt. He surrendered his fpirit with chearfulness, and without a struggle. It belongs to history to describe with candour his virtues as well as his imperfections ; and it may be observed, in alleviation of the latter, that the times in which he lived were rude and fierce ; and that his passion for converts, and his proneness to persecution, while they rose more immediately out of the intenseness of his belief, and the natural violence of his temperament, were keenly and warmly fostered by his professional habits. The members of every fpiritual polity are necessarily employed in extending its glory, and in advancing its interests ; and, in that age, the conAicts between the popish and protestant doctrines had been driven to their wildest fury. To protect religion, is the apparent end of every form of ecclefiaftical government ; yet the articles of faith held out by each being discordant and hoftile, the guides of every church are in a continual warfare. They contend respectively for the tenets entrusted to them ; and where they are not corrupted by the riches of their establishmeat into an indolent indifference, that brings religion into contempt, they are ftrenuous, like our reformer, to encrease their consequence, to diffuse the malevolent dislike of their religionist, and to kindle into ferment and agitation the angriest and the most incurable paffions of mankind. They give a check to religion in its happiest principle of universal benevolence; they are guards to prevent the truth from taking its boldest and widest range : the advantages they produce, compensate not their calamities ; and perhaps it would be fortunate for human affairs, it the expence, the formalities, and the abuses of religious establishments, were for ever at an end ; if fociety were deprived alike of the sovereign ponciff with his tiara, the stalled bishop,
and the mortified presbyter ; if no confeflions and creeds were held out as standards of purity and doctrine ; jf faith and futurity were left un fettered, like philosophy and science, and if nations were not harnessed in opinions, like horses to a carriage. .,
The Difference between TRUE and FALSE POLITENESS. TT is evident enough, that the moral and christian duty of I preferring one another in honour, respects only social peace and charity, and terminates in the good and edification of our chriftian brother. Its use is, to soften the minds of men, and to draw them from that savage rusticity which engenders many vices, and discredits the virtues themselves. But when men had experienced the benefit of this complying temper, and further saw the ends, not of charity only, but of self-interest, that might be answered by it, they considered no longer its just purpose and application, bát stretched it to that officious sedülity, and extreme fervility of adulation, which we too often observe and la. ment in polished life.
Hence, that infinite attention and confideration, which is fo rigidly exa&ted, and so duly paid, in the commerce of the world: hence, that prostitution of mind, which leaves a man no will, no sentiment, no principle, no character; all which disappear under the uniform exhibition of good manners : hence, those insiduous arts, those studied disguises, those obsequious flatteries, nay, those multiplied and nicely varied forms of insinuation and address, the direct aim of which may be to acquire the fame of politeness and good breeding ; but the certain effect to corrupt every virtue, to sooth every vanity, and to enflame every vice of
the homan heart.
These fatal mischiefs introduce themselves under the pretence and semblance of that humanity which the scripturés encourage and enjoin ; but the gengine virtue is easily diftinguished from the counterfeit, and by the following plain figns:
Trae politeness is modest, unpretending, and generous. It appears as little as may be ; and when it does, a courtesy would willingly conceal it.' It chuses filently to forego its own claims, not officiously to withdraw them. It engages a man to prefer his neighbour to himself, because he really elteems him ; because he is tender of his reputation ; because he thinks it more manly, more christian, to descend a little himself, than to degrade ano. ther. It respects, in a word, the credit and estimation of his neighbour.
· Thé mimit of this amiable virtue, falfe politeñefs, is, ón' the other hand, ambitious, sérvile, timorous. It affects popularity; is solicitous to please, and to be taken notice of. The man of this character does not offer, but obtrude his civilities ; because he would merit by this assiduity ; because, in despair of winning regard by any worthier qualities, he would-be fure to make the most of this į and lastly, because of all things he would dread, by the omission of any punctilious observante, co give Offence. In a word, this sort of politeness respects, for its immediate ob. ject, the favour and confideration of our neighbour. :
Again : The man who governs himself by the spirit of the sea apostie's précept, of being all things to all men, expresses his preference of another in such a way as is worthy of himfelf; in all innocent compliances, in all honeft civilities, in all đécent and
manly condescensions. .. " On the coritrary, the man of the world, wħo rests in the lettet
of this coumand, is regardless of the meanis by which he conducts himself. He respects neither his obón dignity, nor that of human nature. Truth, reafon, virtúe, all are equally betrayed by this supple impostor. He assents to the errors, though the most pernicious; he applauds the follies, though the most ridiculous; he fooths the vices, though the most nagrant, of other men. He never contradi&ts, though in the softest form of ini. nuation ; he never disapprovës, though by a respectful silence; he never condénins, though it Be only by a good example. In Thort, he is solicitous for nothing, but by some studied devices to hide from others, and, if possible, to palliatë tổ himself, the grofsness of his illiberál adulation.
Lastly : we may be fure that the ultimatë ends for which there diffcrent objects are pursued, and by To different means, mutt also lie wide of each othër.
Accordingly, the true polite man would, by all proper tefti. monies of respect, promote the credit and estimation of his neighbour ; because he fees, that, by this generous confideration of each other, the peace of the world is in a good degree preserved ; becaufe he knows that these mutual attentions prevent animofities, foften the fierceness of men's manners, and dispose them io all the offices of benevolence and charity ; because, in a word, the interests of society are best served by this conduct ; and because he under fands it to be his duty to love his neighbour.
Thus we see, that genuine virtue consults the honour of others by worthy means, and for the nobles purposes ; the counterfeit Tolicits their favour by dishonest compliances, and for the bafeft end..