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their punishment. Indeed if exemplary punishment immcdiately succeeded the perpetration of crime, the most virtuous part of society would be involved in deep and complicated distress.

Society is a complicated machine, in which almost every member sustains a necessary, although perhaps a humble of fice. If you withdraw any one, even of the subordinate parts, its effect is in a greater or less degree experienced in other parts of the system. Suppose then that the moral government of the world were such that the punishment of the wicked was not delayed for a moment-suppose you were constituted a minister of divine justice, and that, in the warmth of your indignation, you were actually to call down fire from heaven on those bold transgressors, whom you esteem worthy of instant destruction; are you certain that no one else would feel the weight of your powerful displeasure? Is the person whom you deprive of existence wholly removed from all the tender and necessary connexions of life? Are you sure you have not broken the most important link in that chain from which was suspended the fondest wishes and fairest expectations of many who are more conspicuous for their virtues, than the offender for his sins? Is it not possible the strongest hopes the most flourishing prospects and the dearest interests of an unoffending family, have been buried in the ruins of an individual?

Instead then of murmuring at the prosperity of the wicked, or questioning the rectitude of that system which permits the vicious to exist in the present state, we ought rather to admire that wonderful forbearance which is exercised in order to produce the happiness and security, the ease and enjoyment of the virtuous and the just. But there are other important reasons for the divine forbear

ance.

If punishment immediately succeeded the offence, life would not be a state of probation. Man could hardly advance his claims to the honour of being a free agent. Acting under the influence of immediate and tremendous punishment, his actions would be more the effect of constraint than of choice. His mind would be so agitated as topreclude the possibility of deliberation. He would have no opportunity of displaying the sincerity of attachment, or the purity of his motives by a voluntary and cheerful obedience. He could not walk by faith in the perfections of Jehovah, but by a slavish fear of of his displeasure. of his displeasure. Instead of a tender and indulgent Benefactor, God would rather appear to him a stern and im. placable Judge and Executioner. The heart would not be attuned to the tender feelings of religion, because fear would usurp the place of love.

Should the Divine indignation instantly crush the wretch who disobeys, our real character would not display

itself. The disposition of a man is not to be determined by a few individual acts. Good men have sometimes obscured the dignity of their real characters by a few unworthy compliances; and the most abandoned have by a few splendid deeds disguised themselves in the robes of angels of light. But God who reads the secret thoughts of the heart will judge us by our prevailing dispositions. He may discover reasons which are wholly removed from our observation, that induce him to spare those whom we should promptly destroy. They may possess correct principles which we have not been able to recognize. Possibly he who waits to be gracious perceives that by longer forbearance, by gentle and timely discipline, some latent sparks of goodness may be kindled to a flame. He who is not willing that any should perish, may prolong their existence, because, while life continues, there is a possibility of reformation.

The propriety of permitting the wicked to live and prosper will further appear, if we consider that the present life is designed to be a state of discipline and improvement, to fit us for more perfect happiness hereafter. The mixed I state of society is peculiarly calculated to answer this purpose. The crimes of the wicked call into exercise some of the noblest virtues that adorn the hearts of the righteous. Were it not for this, men would possess little more

ex

than a mere negative goodness. They would have no opportunity of displaying their sincerity, their magnanimity, patience, fortitude and forgiveness. They would lose one of the most powerful stimulants to vigilance and exertion. They could not exhibit the majesty of virtue by standing forth in the worst of times to resist the torrent of vice and immorality-to allure by their example-to reform by their instructions and reproof. Nay the very vices of the wicked may afford useful instruction to the righteous. They are enabled to avoid the dangers to which they are most posed, by observing the small beginnings and gradual progress of those vices which have ruined many around them :-By seeing this man overwhelmed with poverty and disgrace by habitual intemperance, which originated in an unguarded indulgence of social feelings and merriment;-another abandoned to the grossest profligacy and impiety, which may be traced to a neglect of public worship and the established duties of religion;-a third sentenced to make public reparation to the laws for acts of fraud and theft, proceeding from an ayaricious spirit, that was probably indulged at first in trifling deceptions and petty theftsand so of almost every other crime. They stand as beacons to point out the rocks on which others have split. Not only this, they frequently render the virtuous resolutions of the righteous more strong, by ex

hibiting sin in its most odious and disgusting forms-by presenting to our observation men whose intellectual powers might have assimilated them to angels, but whose corrupt passions have actually degraded them below the brutes ; spectacles such as these cannot fail to impress and instruct.

These are some of the reasons, which are obvious to us; and without doubt in so vast a system as that of the universe, there are many reasons which we cannot comprehend, why bad men should be continued in society. But even from those considerations which have been advanced, we think no man can regard it as a subject of disquietude or complaint that the virtuous are not indulged with uninterrupted prosperity, or that speedy and summary justice is not inflicted on the workers of iniquity.

If, however, it shall be affirmed that there are occurrences which cannot be accounted for on any of the principles which have been advanced, yet the scriptures refer us fer us to an event that will completely vindicate the moral government of God. Let not the righteous repine under the parental chastisements of God, nor distress themselves on account of the prosperity of evil doers; and let the wicked also remember that their triumphing is short; for behold the day of the Lord will come when the apparent inequalities of the present life will be adjusted, and men shall receive according to their deeds. For we must all appear before pear before the judgement seat of Christ, that every one may receive according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. A.

D. M. MANNI.

We frequently find in the annals of literature instances of longevity. Whoever wishes to display his erudition may name a considerable number. We however shall at present confine ourselves to the Tuscan Macrobius of our own day, viz. Sig. Domenico Moria Manni, a Florentine Scholar, incomparable and excellent on account of his study, manners and religion. He was born at Florence April 8th, 1690. His parents were Joseph Manni and Calerina daughter of Gio. Bootispa Patriarchi, some particular

friends admirers of his talents, assisted to instruct him in the Belles Lettres. However he was wont to call Casotti his master. Being the son of a Printer, he was obliged early to employ himself in that profession. His cultivation and assiduity perhaps, would have made him respectable in this art, equal to the Guinti, the Torrentini or the Gioliti; but the rigorous treatment of his father, in exacting from him labour and gain superior to his age, checked him. was therefore imperceptibly led into the way of the literati

He

and by force of genius particularly devoted to the study of antiquity, history and his mother tongue. By the want of patrimonial inheritance, he had much difficulty to support his studies and so much the more, being inclined to settle; he married, at the age of 39, Calerina, daughter of Baccio Cappelli, by whom he had 18 children. Notwithstanding partly by frugality and partly, industry, he was enabled not only to live reputably and educate his family, but even to purchase some lands, amongst which was a little villa with an estate near Impruneta in which he took great delight. His chief dependence was printing and some employments. An Author who prints on his own account in Italy supports the printer and book seller, but generally does not promote his own interest. In Manni, however this circumstance was not verified; because being thoroughly ac quainted from education, with the typographic economy, he was able to make considerable profit, further augmented by a skilful choice of generous patrons. His principal occupation was a place among the officers of the General Archive at Florence which he held from 1750 to 1784. The putting in order of the writings of the Archive of the Morte Cómune, intrusted to him and punctually executed in 1744, led him to this office. An employment of this nature did not divert him from his favourite studies, but rather confirmed them. Moreover the Vol. VI. No. 8.

30

Professorship of the Tuscan tongue in the seminary at Florence and the direction of the celebrated library strozziana, lately purchased by his Royal Highness, placed him more immediately in the class of the literati. He had these two posts given him in the same year, 1736; the first by the Archbishop Martelli the second by Carlo Tommaso Strozzi; whose choice was fully justified by the publication of his Lectures and putting in order and illustrating the library. It would be now time to speak of his writings, the editions he procured for the Republic of Letters, and in short, of all the acquisitions he made for it, but who would wish to undertake the task of writing his culogium? His works were SO many, that whoever would wish to comprehend them all, would scarcely be able to mention their titles. It is sufficient to say, he employed the whole time of his long life, excepting the engagements of the necessary charge and care of his family, in composing, copying and making annotations. He laid aside the pen, when the chill of constitution warned him of its approaching dissolution. There is a necessary death, which Bacon calls aridity; this was his case on the 30th Nov. 1788, when inexorable fate envied him near 17 months to compleat a century. He left six children, 4 sons and 2 daughters to survive him; but the works he has published will much longer survive. We pass over the

honours he acquired in his her death; lastly the charge country, in the different mag-of a numerous family. At the istracies, delegations and may- age of 90, he used to say that oralties he served; the pa- he seemed then to enjoy life. tents he received from the The article of Divine Provimost eminent Academies of dence was so evident to him Italy; a work dedicated to that he could not by any means him by Bali Tommaso Farset- bear the least distrust of it in ti, a noble Venetian and a others; as he used to say, he Brief of Clemente, 14 address- had seen the clearest proofs ed to him, in confirmation of his of it in his own house. He friendship when he was a monk. thanked God for having given That which more immediate him genius for application and ly concerns us at present, is study, by which he had found his character. We often look. great relief in his afflictions. for practical philosophy where He only feared he had not diit ought to be, rather than rected his labours to the glowhere it really is. Here we ry of God; therefore he often find it in a man of learning rectified his intentions, that who never received the prin- they might be approved. He ciples of science in the Uni- felt with regret, the commenversity. Manni united to a dations bestowed on him by eopious erudition and knowl- others, saying, he was not edge of the Tuscan language, worthy of it. Thus to a corthe humblest opinion of him- respondent, a nobleman of the self, great moderation, and a Venetian state, who sought consummate delicacy in point his acquaintance, in order to of honour. He was affable compile his life, he answered with every one, whether in with great energy, that the prosperous or adverse circum- seed of ambition is too much stances, sincere, respectful, cherished in the breast of men ready to forgive, cheerful, of learning, which he had alscarcely ever dejected. He ways endeavoured to stifle, reckoned amongst his domes- therefore it appeared to him tic troubles, the severities of an indiscretion, when he was his father; his sister who near the end of his days to fowas confined to her bed from ment it. One might with seven years old to the age of truth affix to his tomb this seventy-seven; his eldest son epitaph: He lived many days became foolish from a fright; for the benefit of learning, his his wife from the like acci- family and country.-Abridged dent, was rendered infirm and from the Italian Mercury, incapable of the affairs of the June, 1789. family for many years before

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