« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
mediately ordered to an attack, from which he never returned.
5. In the mean time, the siege went on with fury, aggravated on one side by obstinacy, on the other by revenge. The war between the two northern powers at that time was truly barbarous: the innocent peasant, and the harmless virgin, often shared the fate of the soldier in arms.
6. Marienburgh was taken by assault; and such was the fury of the assailants, that not only the garrison, but almost all the inhabitants, men, women, and children, were put to the sword.
7. At length, when the carnage was pretty well over, Catharina was found hid in an oven. She had hitherto been poor, but free. She was now to conform to her hard fate, and learn what it was to be a slave. In this situation, however, she behaved with piety and humility; and though misfortunes had abated her vivacity, yet she was cheerful.
8. The fame of her merit and resignation reached even prince Menzikoff, the Russian general. He desired to see her; was pleased with her appearance; bought her from the soldier, her master; and placed her under the direction of his own sister. Here she was treated with all the re spect which her merit deserved, while her beauty every day improved with her good fortune.
9. She had not been long in this situation, when Peter the Great paying the prince a visit, Catharina happened to come in with some dried fruits, which she served round with peculiar modesty. The mighty monarch saw her, and was struck with her beauty.
10. He returned the next day; called for the beautiful slave; asked her several questions; and found the charms of her mind superior even to those of her person. He had been forced, when young, to marry from motives of interest; he was now resolved to marry pursuant to his own inclinations. He immediately inquired into the history of the fair Livonian, who was not yet eighteen.
11. He traced her through the vale of obscurity, through the vicissitudes of her fortune; and found her truly great in them all. The meanness of her birth was no obstruc tion to his design. The nuptials were solemnized in pri vate; the prince declaring to his courtiers, that virtue was the properest ladder to a throne.
12. We now see Catharina, raised from the low, mudwalled cottage, to be empress of the greatest kingdom upon earth. The poor solitary wanderer is now surrounded by thousands, who find happiness in her smile. She, who formerly wanted a meal, is now capable of diffusing plenty upon whole nations. To her good fortune she owed a part of this pre-eminence, but to her virtues more.
13. She ever after retained those great qualities which first placed her on a throne: and while the extraordinary prince, her husband, laboured for the reformation of his male subjects, she studied, in her turn, the improvement of her own sex. She altered their dresses; introduced mixed assemblies; instituted an order of female knighthood; promoted piety and virtue; and, at length, when she had greatly filled all the stations of empress, friend, wife, and mother, bravely died without regret,—regretted by all.
Virtue and happiness equally attainable by the rich and the poor.
1. THE man to whom God has given riches, and blessed with a mind to employ them aright, is peculiarly favoured, and highly distinguished. He looks on his wealth with pleasure, because it affords him the means to do good. He protects the that are injured; poor he suffers not the mighty to oppress the weak.
2. He seeks out objects of compassion; he inquires into their wants; he relieves them with judgment, and without ostentation. He assists and rewards merit; he encourages ingenuity, and liberally promotes every useful design. He carries on great works, his country is enriched, and the labourer is employed; he forms new schemes, and the arts receive improvement.
3. He considers the superfluities of his table, as belong ing to the poor of his neighbourhood: and he defrauds them not. The benevolence of his mind is not checked by his fortune; he rejoices therefore in riches, and his joy is blameless.
4. The virtuous poor man also may rejoice; for he has many reasons. He sits down to his morsel in peace; his
table is not crowded with flatterers and devourers. not embarrassed with a train of dependents, nor teased with the clamours of solicitation. Debarred from the dainties of the rich, he escapes also their diseases.
5. The bread that he eats, is it not sweet to his taste? The water he drinks, is it not pleasant to his thirst? yea, far more delicious than the richest draughts of the luxurious. His labour preserves his health, and procures him a repose, to which the downy bed of sloth is a stranger.
6. He limits his desires with humility; and the calm of contentment is sweeter to his soul, than all the acquisitions of wealth and grandeur.-Let not the rich, therefore, presume on his riches; nor the poor in his poverty yield to despondence for the providence of God dispenses happiness to them both.
ECONOMY OF HUMAN LIFE.
The character of Christ.
1. WHOEVER Considers, with attention, the character of our blessed Lord, as it may be collected from the various incidents and actions of his life, (for there are no laboured descriptions of it, no encomiums upon it, by his own disci ples,) will soon discover that it was, in every respect, the most excellent that ever was made known to mankind.
2. If we only say of him, what even Pilate said of hin, and what his bitterest enemies cannot and do not deny, that we can find no fault in him, and that the whole tenour of his life was blameless, this is more than can be said of any other person that ever came into the world.
3. But this is going a very little way indeed, in the ex cellence of his character. He was not only free fron every failing, but he possessed and practised every imaginable virtue. Towards his heavenly Father he expressed the most ardent love, the most fervent yet rational devotion: and displayed, in his whole conduct, the most absolute resignation to his will, and obedience to his commands.
4. His manners were gentle, mild, condescending, and gracious: his heart overflowed with kindness, compassion, and tenderness to the whole human race. The great employment of his life, was to do good to the bodies and souls
of men. In this, all his thoughts, and all his time, were constantly, and almost incessantly occupied.
5. He went about dispensing his blessings to all around him, in a thousand different ways; healing diseases, relieving infirmities, correcting errors, removing prejudices; promoting piety, justice, charity, peace, and harmony; and crowding into the narrow compass of his ministry more acts of mercy and compassion, than the longest life of the most benevolent man upon earth ever yet produced.
6. Over his own passions he had obtained the most complete command: and though his patience was continually put to the severest trials, yet he was never overcome, never betrayed into any intemperance or excess, in word o deed; "never once spake unadvisedly with his lips.”
7. He endured the cruellest insults from his enemies, with the utmost composure, meekness, patience, and resignation; displayed astonishing fortitude under a most painful and ignominious death; and, to crown all, in the very midst of his torments on the cross, implored forgiveness for his murderers, in that divinely charitable prayer, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
8. Nor was his wisdom inferior to his virtues. The doc trines he taught were the most sublime, and the most important, that were ever before delivered to mankind; and every way worthy of that God, from whom he professed to derive them, and whose Son he declared himself to be.
9. His precepts inculcated the purest and most perfect norality; his discourses were full of dignity and wisdom, yet intelligible and clear; his parables conveyed instruction in the most pleasing, familiar, and impressive manner; and his answers to the many insidious questions that were put to him, showed uncommon quickness of conception, soundness of judgment, and presence of mind; completely baffled all the artifices and malice of his enemies; and enabled him to elude all the snares that were laid for him.
10. From this short and imperfect sketch of our Saviour's character, it is evident that he was, beyond comparison, the wisest and the most virtuous person that ever appeared in the world. KELBY, BISHOP OF LONDON.
PIECES IN POETRY.
SELECT SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPES.
Improvement of time.
EFER not till to-morrow to be wise; To-morrow's sun to thee may never rise.
If good we plant not, vice will fill the place; And rankest weeds the richest soils deface.
The noblest art.
Indulge the true ambition to excel
In that best art,—the art of living well.
Life a state of trial.
In its true light, this transient life regard:
For genuine happiness we need not roam; 'Tis doubtless found with little, and at home.
Virtue and vice progressive. The human heart ne'er knows a state of rest; Bad leads to worse, and better tends to best.
Be humble; learn thyself to scan:
Know, pride was never made for man.
Contentment is happiness
Could wealth our happiness augment?