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volous, not to say, pernicious, amuse
I shall confine myself to one, whofe influence is as malignant as its practice is univerfal; and, to fet this in the ftrongest point of view, I shall adopt the manner of La Bruyere. I frequently obferve with concern and follicitude four beings of erect form and amiable countenance, endowed with the power of reafon, able to clothe their thoughts in language, and to arrange them in fuch a manner as to improve others, as well as amuse themselves, fit for several hours together, in almost total filence, placing a fet of painted papers in different pofitions and combinations, with the appearance of the greateft attention to this childish employment. This is commonly called Card-playing.
Other amusements tire by their repetition, or disguft by their famenefs; but this enchanting diverfion is always agreeable. The card-player fits down with a cool deliberation and unabated ardour, which might be laudably excited on more important objects. He fits down to wafte thofe precious moments which can never be recalled, even though he be commonly a lofer on such occafions: and when a man's affaires are totally deranged, and in utter confufion, I am afraid the reflection may too often be very juftly applyed to fuch perfon which the King of Pruffia once made on one of his generals, when he found fault with his regiment at a review, "Et ce n'eft pas surprenant, vous jouez tant aux cartes." This wife monarch rightly concluded, that it was no wonder a man, whofe attention was fo much employed on cards, fhould neglect things of greater moment.
It is difficult to account for fuch excefs of folly, but by attributing this almost universal practice to the prevalence of fashion, that most cruel and capricious of tyrants. The truth is, few men have strength of mind fufficient to oppofe its edicts, because they are fupported by fuch numerous con
formifts; but are fooner drawn afide from what is right by the force of example than allured to it by the strongest arguments, and the moft pathetick eloquence. The laugh of the world too is what they cannot endure: to avoid it they comply with customs they difapprove, though it be fometimes to their own ruin.
A modern writer has very judiciously remarked-" the dismal effects which the continued practice of gaming has fometimes been obferved to produce in the difpofitions of the mind, and the moft effential parts of the character, destroying every idea of economy, engroffing the whole time, undermining the beft principles, perverting the qualities of the heart, rendering men callous to the ruin of acquaintances, and partaking with a favage infenfibility in the spoils of their unwary friends." What he has faid upon gaming in general will hold good in a certain degree as to the smallest tendency towards that pernicious cuftom, which must ever be confidered as inimical to the benevolent affections of the human heart.
This fafhionable amusement levels all distinctions, and bids fair to eradicate from among thofe who aim at politenefs all knowledge but of the different games, and to leave them without a with but for lucky hands.
I will close my reflections with only one more remark. People who conftantly play at cards have their thoughts fo entirely engroffed by this favourite amufement, that, when the cards are not actually in their hands, they are perpetually talking over the turns and incidents of the game (their ideas being confined to that fubject) to the great disguft of others, and the no fmall injury of themfelves; for who can expect, or fuppofe, that a man can pay any attention to his more ferious concerns, or perform with propriety the common duties of life, whofe mind is thus at all times engaged on fuch contemptible objects?
THE character of the King of Praf- able ftrokes of it, ftrongly resembles
FOR THE LONDON MAGAZINE.
MAXIMS OF CHARITY, WITH ANECDOTES OF THE AUTHOR, MR. PETER STERRY. (Continued from our laft, page 174.)
Have always a most tender compaffion for, and moft fenfible fympathy with, all mankind, even amidft their greatest deformities and defilements, as brethren allied to me by a double confanguinity.
All nations that dwell upon the face of the earth God hath made of one and the fame blood; and by one and the fame blood all nations have been redeemed. The Lord Jefus gave himself a ranfom for all to be teftified (ev napos dos) in the proper times. Each perfon which hath his part in this ranfom hath his own proper time for its difcovery in him. Thine may be fooner. This perfon alfo, now most of all loft in the depth of all evils, may have his proper time yet to come for the taking off the difguife that veils the manifeftation of the glory of the Son of God in him. But as his time comes later fo may it come with a fuller glory.
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tune-its difeafe. Good is the only object of the will. As the needle touched by the loadstone is governed in its motions and its reft by the Pole; fo is the will moved and attracted by that alone which affects it with a fenfe of good.
St. Paul fays, "Sin deceived me and then flew me.' No perfon is willingly deceived in his apprehenfions of truth, or disappointed in his expectations of good. Every evil is a degree of death. When it appeareth like itself all things fly from it as from death. But as Cupid in the form of the young and beautiful Afcanius, by treacherous embraces breathed a fatal poifon into the veins of the Carthaginian Queen; fo doth fin by the deep and myfterious enchantments of the prince of darknefs change itfelf into the most alluring refemblance of the heavenly Image, compofed of truth and goodness meeting in one immortal form. Thus it infinuates itself into the eyes and hearts of God's creatures; fills them with falfe pleafurés, and enflames them with a falfe love. Yet fill in the midst of thefe enchantments-yea, under the power of darknefs and death itself, as the Athenians had an altar infcribed "to the unknown God!" furrounded Receive one another into the glory with altars proftituted to the fervice of of God, is the rule of St. Paul. Di- falfe divinities; fo the understanding vines diftinguish between the perfon and will according to the proper quatogether with the nature of the devil lity of their natures exift in every fpiand the evil. The perfon-the nature rit, as altars in a temple, burning with fprings forth from God and fo is good: their own facred fire and afpiring to hath a divinity and glory in it:--a the higheft heaven, through all the divine root--a divine image. It fub- clouds of darknefs that obfcure and fifts in its original, and is maintained opprefs them. by a continual emanation from the bofom of the Supreme Glory. Thus thou art to receive every perfon, even though clouded with the greateft evils as he is the work of Nature and of God:thy neighbour, thy brother, and friend.
Forgiving one another freely for Christ's fake, is the exhortation of St. Paul. Read his name in every part and point of the earth: the darkest, the loweft, the leaft; and forgive the fpots that shade the luftre of any object of creation for the fake of that holy name that is engraven on it.
-No evil as evil is the nature or choice of any being; but its misfor
If any perfon then be unhappily fallen into any evil, "let thofe who are fpiritual restore fuch a one in the spirit of meekness." Apply reproofs to evil perfons in the proper feafon, as a brother would adminifter an antidote to a brother who by mistake had been furprized, and had drank in poison:-or
as one hand would apply a healing medicine to the other that had fuffered a wound.
If thou art an angel and haft to do with a devil, ufe no reviling language: for the highest of angels is diftinguithed with a character of honour for "bringing no railing accufation" against Satan himself. Preferve thy felf from that bitter zeal on which St. James fets fo odious a mark-branding it with the fire of hell.-Let thy zeal be like the lightning from heaven which by its pure yet piercing qualities melts the fword, but harms not the fcabbard. The zeal of fome may be compared to the locufts of the bottomlefs pit defcribed in the Revelations, which had faces like men; their hair foft and delicate as women's; their crowns were those of angels: - but below they were ferpents, and " they had venomous ftings in their tails."Let not thy zeal be like a culinary fire black, footy, and devouring; but like the fire from the golden altar mingled with incenfe; that carries up what it feeds on as a facrifice to heaven..
I frequently reafon thus with myself "If I be lifted up to heaven by various excellencies, together with Corazin and Bethfaida, from whence I look down upon another far beneath me, lying like Sodom and Gomorrah in a loathed deep of darknefs, pollution, and difgrace, let me check the fwellings of vanity, and reprefs the haughtiness of triumph by reflecting, that what lies fo far beneath me in the abhorred plain may have a better ground of excellence at the bottom than myself. Its principle hidden deeply within itself may be fuperiour to mine: and had the feed of wisdom, love, and virtue, which hath been fown in me, been fown with the like advantage there, it would have far excelled me in its fruits. Yea, let me indulge the generous thought, that it may not only have a better ground, but a divine feed hidden deeply within that ground, beneath all its rugged and unpromifing appearances; beneath all the coldnefs and inactivity of its winterfeafon, which may vegetate in its proper fpring, and flourish as the garden of LOND. MAG. April 1785.
God.- -Thus let me think, and let thefe thoughts inftruct me to love every other perfon removed to the greatest distance from me, yea, caft down to the greatest depth beneath me, as my neighbour, my brother, and myself.
This love in the latitude in which I have recommended it contains all that is good in man, and all that is acceptable to God. "If (the Apoftle fays) I give all my goods to feed the poor, and my body to be burnt, and have not charity, I am nothing?"-Is there (a perfon whofe views of charity are contracted by the vulgar acceptation of the word may afk) is there any charity fuperiour to that of giving all our goods to feed the poor?-Is there any love to God (the zealot will afk) more divine than his who gives his body to be burnt for his caufe?—Yes, there is a charity that tranfcends them both-a charity which must be the fpring and principle of both, or they will be efteemed as nothing.-This is the charity which I am fpeaking of, which "vaunteth not itself" above any of the works of God, but preferves the unity of the fpirit-the defign and end of the eternal Workman, in the bond of peace, This is that "charity which behaveth not itself unfeemly, and feeketh not her own:"-breaketh not in on the harmony of the whole, nor divides itfelf from the whole by a particular felf-love. In the univerfal melody of the divine wifdom, and in the general establishment of creation, it confidereth itself as a part; and all parts as related to itself, having one perfection and one joy together.
This is the charity which bearethor as it may be better rendered in or der to make it diftinct from the word fuffer, which occurs in the fame verfecovereth or comprehendeth all things. It
throws a luftre, a pleafing comelinefs, on every object, and comprehends every being in its good wifhes. Nothing is abandoned by it: for " it believeth all things and hopeth all things." Like. its divine principle in the godhead it hath unreftrained complacency in all his works, and pronounces them good. It believeth all things to be the tabernacles of the Divinity, like that in the wilderness,
wilderness, which though moving through the barren defert-a land of graves of fiery ferpents and beafts of prey, yet answer to their original pattern on the Mount:-and though covered with a coarfe tent that hath felt the fury of the elements, yet within are filled with the prefence of Jehovah himself-the glory of him who is all
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I have a request to make to my reader for his fake and my own, i. e. to perufe this difcourfe with the fame fpirit with which it was written. Charity "thinketh no evil."—It would think all the good of every subject, either perfon or thing, which it is capable of. Let no dark corner be left in his bofom where fufpicions, prejudices, and animofities, may lurk like fome odious and envenomed animals within the hollows of a building, to creep forth unfeen, and give a deadly wound to the unfufpecting.
If the rich man in hell, next to the quenching thofe flames which burnt upon himself, made this his requeft to heaven, "that his brethren might be preferved from coming to that place of torment;" how much more, in proportion to the fuperiority of their benevolence, do the bleffed inhabitants of the heavenly world, inspired with the
ardours of a god-like charity, long to prevent the mifery of others, and to bring them to the participation of their incorruptible joys? Let charity inftruct thee, gentle reader, to believe, that the obfcure and unnoticed author, according to the uncontroled freedom of that love, which gilds without diftinction the cottage and the palace, may have caught fome facred beam that hath led him fo near to the borders of divine truth as to discover fomething of heaven and of the spirit of its happy refidents. Let the fame meek and amiable inftructor raise within thy breast this candid fentiment, that as the filver-feathered doves flying before Eneas, guided him to a tree laden with golden boughs in the midst of a pathlefs, obfcure wood, fo this difcourfe aiming at a resemblance of those beautiful and lovely birds, may, though it flies on a weak and trembling wing, be fent forth, to allure and guide thee to the tree of life which grows in the midft of the Paradife of God;" and as thou paffeft on thou mayeft find even in the obfcurities and tumults of thefe earthly fhades fomething of heaven opening on thy mind-and ftill opening farther and farther, and endlefsly raifing itfelf to greater heights and fpreading itself to a wider compass.
(To be continued.)
TO THE EDITOR OF THE LONDON MAGAZINE.
To me it feems clear they have proceeded in their charges without the fmaileft foundation: no evidence has yet been ftated, that can be fairly alledged to fix upon him either vice or crime. Let his years and conduct be
impartially confidered; it is utterly incredible that a life of fuch intenfe mental application as Chatterton's, could have allowed of either bodily ftrength or inclination to indulge in vicious courfes. In his infancy nothing occurs that diftinguishes him much from other boys. During the period of his apprenticeship, the ftrictnefs and fobriety of his conduct is acknowledged by all; the day was spent in his master's office; in the evening he conftantly retired to his mother and fifters; their fociety was his only recreation, and how amiable and engaging does it make him appear! On his arrival in London
every circumftance hitherto published, demonftrates that profligacy in him was an impoffibility: a boy of fixteen, whofe governing maxim (aftonishing!) was Diligence and Abftinence, who hardly allowed himself three hours fleep at night, who fat up all the remaining hours writing poetry, who drank only water or tea, who eat in the most fparing manner, and seldom ever tafted animal food, muft, I do infift upon it, annihilate thofe impulfes fo natural, and even excufeable, though dangerous, at that age. The truth of the old adage, Sine Cerere et Baccho, in a certain degree, is unquestionable; all the experienced admit that, and it may be affirmed that the Holy Auftin's ftratagem could not have been more effectual than the fevere tegimen of
Has Chatterton died in debt? Has he defrauded a friend? No fuch thing. In what then confifts his guilt? That his ingenuity has baffled learning and fagacity in a matter harmless and indifferent, of pure amufement. In fpite of critical gravity, I doubt the world will but rank this offence as one of the innocent impoftures, no way prejudicial, rather diverting and pardonable. Whether the name of Chatterton or Rowley belongs to my book, I find I have my money's worth; I am entertained: would I could fay as much of the two reverends, and their ponderous quarto's! One cannot help wondering what could in this cafe provoke the wrath of men of their seniority, worth, and abilities, against one whofe extraordinary talents and youth fhould rather have biaffed in his favour. We can only form conjectures; it arofe, perhaps, from mifjudged zeal, fomething of profeffional duty; Chatterton, in a few paffages, forcibly expreffed indeed, has alluded with fome difrefpect to revealed religion: reprehenfible as this may be, great allowances should be made for his age, and want of due information;
above all, the triumph of fuch a mind on the fuppofed difcovery of a truth, and the boldness of fetting at defiance early imbibed notions; a little more maturity, enquiry, and reflection, would have brought him right again.
The lively and amiable author of Love and Madness merits the highest applaufe; his difcernment pierced through the gloom of prejudice and invective; his generous humanity impelled him to defend the innocent; it is to be hoped his further researches have not been discontinued; that fince he traced out the woman at whofe house Chatterton died, he may before thishave overcome her repugnance to be feen and interrogated; and that the world may be favoured with new particulars of the youthful phenomenon. What a mournful idea prefents itself, when we confider this defolate boy in his laft hours! Alone in this huge city; in dreary folitude amidst this vaft aggregate of unfocial beings; abandoned to defpair, and not a fellow-creature to foothe his frenzy, or ftretch forth a hand to fave him. A fatality as extraordinary as his genius feems to have attended Chatterton; never able to attract notice during life, yet create fuch a blaze the moment of his death. What might not have been expected, had better fortune thrown him in the way of the learned and candid Tyrwhitt, with knowledge and studies fo congenial to the mind of Chatterton? Fostered and directed by fuch a guide, to what amazing heights might not his genius have foared? But thefe fuppofitions are, perhaps, extravagant; perfection is not to be attained; it is rather more probable that premature force would have been foon expended: I have ever obferved that extraordinary exertions of nature in the growth of plants, and the lower fpecies of animals, have terminated in rapid decay. I am, Sir, your's, &c.
HUMANI NIHIL ALIENUM.
DAVID GARRICK, Efq. fome years ago, had occafion to file a bill in the Court of Chancery against
an attorney at Hampton, to fet afide
an agreement furreptitiously obtained for the purchase of a house there, and Nn 2