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here speaking, must proceed with increased vehemence.
Finally: The last and worst consequence of this spirit is its unhappy influence on a man's future interest. It devours that time which is necessary to secure it; it diverts that attention without which it can never be prosecuted with effect; and it goes to form that character which is utterly inconsistent with the felicity of a future state, Amidst the serenity of the heavenly regions, there can be no place for those unquiet tempers, those malevolent dispositions, or those turbulent passions, which so often deform our low political atmosphere. The censures of vanity, of presumption, or malignity, are for ever banished thence, with all those who indulge them; which, if no other consideration prevailed, should be sufficient to check a curiosity, that, besides its unfavourable aspect on his present comfort, so much endangers a man's final happiness.
There are only two things (as some have well observed) that are necessary for any
one to know, and these demand his most inquisitive and diligent search, namely, religion, and his own business; with this knowledge he may come to act both the part of a good man and of a good citizen; without it, he must certainly fail in one of them, and may perhaps fail in both.
II. On the second part of the rule now before us, namely, Not to admit a disposition to hunt after small or unknown grievances, the following general remark may be sufcient.
To live contentedly under the best government, it is necessary not to go curiously in search of mischief; like certain patriots belonging to a little German state, who some years ago, as I remember, beset the court with their clamours, and upon being asked what grievances they laboured under, made answer, “ None that they knew of; but that as some such might exist, they came to search after them.” Men that will thus go in quest of trouble, deserve to find it; and in a world such as this, they seldom need to go far without meeting with what they seek. A prudent man will be otherwise minded; if he enjoy at present his liberty and property, he will not idly torment himself with imaginations of dangers he does not see, or of distresses that he does not feel; and will leave it to the public guardians to watch against evils that are too remote for his optics: and should they even come home to his sense and feeling, he will be careful not to aggravate them, or rashly to charge them upon those at the helm of affairs; remembering that it is the lot of human life to suffer under innumerable calamities, in spite of all human precaution or vigilance.
It is the misfortune of some men to reap no other fruit from their patriotism than their own fears and jealousies. The national credit is in danger, trade is declining, foreign nations are conspiring against us, or some dreadful plot is hatching at home against our rights and liberties; though they see every man going his own way, and acting as his interest or his pleasure dictates, and every market crowded with wares and customers. Should it be said, these are no
infallible signs of national prosperity,—at least it must be allowed that they are no infallible signs of approaching beggary and chains: and while any hopeful symptoms remain, a true patriot will augur well of his country.
Citizen, is, To beware of any unnecessary or
A CONSIDERABLE portion of every nation consists of those, who, from the necessity they are under to earn their bread by daily labour, have no leisure to attend to the general interests of the community; and, if they had, are without sufficient ability to understand, or influence to promote them. The only way in which it is possible for this numerous class of citizens to serve their country, is by a faithful and diligent appli
* By a party is here meant, any body of men, the chief design of whose association is the public good; when this design is changed for some other of private interest or ambition, the party then becomes a faction.