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In this extract, you will at once perceive how unnatural, how monstrous, it would be, to read all these sentences with the same tone of voice, and the same expression of countenance. The situation and circumstances of these two-rare examples of benevolence and friendship-must be considered. Look at them on the scaffold. Consult the dictates of nature in such a case. Turn your attention to the interference of Dionysius. Besides the tones of voice, and the expressions of countenance peculiar to such language, in such circumstances, there ought to be a lone characteristic, at all events supposed to be characteristic, of each of the three persons here pressed upon the notice of the hearer.
Character of John Knox.
Most of his faults may be traced to his natural temperament, and to the character of the age and country in which he lived.
His passions were strong; he felt with the utmost keenness on every subject which interested him; and as he felt, he expressed himself, without disguise and without affectation. The warmth of his zeal was apt to betray him into intemperate language ; his inflexible adherence to his opinions inclined him to obstinacy; and his independence of mind occasionally assumed the appearance of haughtiness and disdain. In one solitary instance, the anxiety which he felt for the preservation of the great cause in which he was so deeply interested, betrayed him into an advice which was not more incon. sistent with the laws of strict morality, than it was contrary to the stern uprightness and undisguised sincerity which characterised the rest of his conduct. A stranger to complimentary or smooth language ; little concerned about the manner in which his reproofs were received, provided they were merited; too much impressed with the evil of the offence to think of the rank or the character of the offender, he often “ uttered his admonitions with an acrimony and vehemence more apt to irritate than to reclaim But he protested, at a time when persons are least in danger of deception, and in a manner which should banish every suspicion of the purity of his motives, that, in his sharpest rebukes, he was influenced by hatred of vice, not of the vicious ; that his great aim was to reclaim the guilty; and that, in using those means which were necessary for this end, he frequently did violence to his own feelings.
Those who have charged him with insensibility and inhumanity, have fallen into a mistake very common with superficial thinkers, who, in judging of the characters of persons who lived in a state of society very different from their own, have pronounced upon their moral qualities from the mere aspect of their exterior manners. He was austere, not unfeeling; stern, not savage ; vehement, not vindictive. There is not an instance of his employing his influence to revenge any personal injury which he had received.
In contemplating such a character as that of Knox, it is not the man, so much as the reformer, that ought to engage our attention.
There are some examples of negation. He was austere, not unfeeling; stern, not savage. We read austere with the rising, and unfeeling with the downward slide.
Observations on the Recommendation of Ministers to the
Colonial Assemblies, in reference to Slavery.
The experienced friends of the slaves must have lost their memories or their understandings, if they had entertained a hope that such a course would produce any good effect. They saw in it, if not frustration and positive mischief, at least certain disappointment and delay. Recommendation to the Assemblies !! Why, the experiment had been tried repeatedly, during a period of twenty-six years, as well before as after the abolition of the slave-trade; and had uniformly and totally failed! The crown, the parliament, and that far more influential body, the West India Committee of this country, with Mr Ellis at the head of it, had all recommended, supplie
Cated, and even menaced, in vain. Not a single Assembly had deigned to relax one cord of their rigorous bondage ; or to adopt a single measure that had been proposed to them for the temporal or spiritual benefit of the slaves, except in a way manifestly evasive, and plainly intended, as well proved by experience, to be useless; while some of those inexorable bodies had even met the solicitations of their sovereign, and the resolutions of the supreme legislature, with express rejection and contempt. Recommendation to the Assemblies !!! To the authors of
every wrong to be redressed ! of every oppression to be mitigated ! to slave-masters, the representatives of slave-masters, hardened by familiarity with the odious system in which they have been long personally engaged, and surrounded with crowds of indigent and vulgar whites, to whom slavery yields a sordid subsistence, and the degradation of the blacks is privilege and respect! You might as well recommend toleration to Spanish inquisitors, or Grecian liberty to the Turkish Divan.
Recommendution to the Assemblies ! of course terminating with the rising inflection, accompanied with the tone of indignation. This tone of indignation increased, if possible, at the sea cond Recommendation. To the authors of every wrong, etc. takes the same inflection and tone. If Turkish Divan be read with the rising inflection, it must be on some idea being understood. It might be thus expressed – You might as well recommend toLeration to Spanish inquisitors, or Grecian liberty to the Turkish Divan, as to these Assemblies, to slave-masters, elc.
Two brothers, named Timon and Demetrius, hav. ing quarrelled with each other, Socrates, their common friend, was solicitous to restore amity between them. Meeting, therefore, with Demetrius, he thus accosted him : “ Is not friendship the sweetest solace in adversity, and the greatest enhancement of the blessings of prosperity.?” “Certainly, it is," replied Demetrius: “ because our sorrows are diminished, and our joys increased, by sympathetic participation.” “ Amongst whom, then, must we look for à friend?” said Socrates ; « Would you search among strangers ? They cannot be interested about you. Amongst your rivals ? They have an interest in opposition to yours. Amongst those who are much older, or younger than yourself? Their feelings and pursuits will be widely different from yours. Are there not, then, some circumstances favourable, and others essential, to the formation of friendship ?" *** Undoubtedly, there are," answered Demetrius. “ May we not enumerate,” continued Socrates,
amongst the circumstances favourable, to friend. ship, long acquaintance, common connections, similitude of age, and union of interest ?” " I acknowledge,” said Demetrius," the powerful influence of these circumstances ; but they may subsist, and yet others be wanting that are essential to mutual amity." “ And what,” said Socrates, “are those essentials which are wanting in Timon ?" He has forfeited my esteem and attachment,” answered Demetrius. " And has he also forfeited the esteem and attachment of the rest of mankind?” continued Socrates. • Is he devoid of benevolence, generosity, gratitude, and other social affections ?” Far be it from me,' cried Demetrius, “ to lay so heavy a charge upon him. His conduct to others is, I believe, irreproachable ; and it wounds me the more that he should single me out as the object of his unkindness."
Suppose you have a very valuable horse," resumed Socrates, « gentle under the treatment of others, but ungovernable when you attempt to use him ; would you not endeavour, by all means, to conciliate his affection, and to treat him in the way most likely to renders him tráctable ?--Or, if you have a dog, highly prized for his fidelity, watchfulness, and care of your focks, who is fond of your shepherds, and playful 2 with them, and yet snarls whenever you come in his
way; would you attempt to cure him of his fault, by i cangry looks or words, or by any other marks of re
sentment? You would surely pursue an opposite course with him. And is not the friendship of a brother of far more worth than the services of a horse or the attachment of a dog? Why, then, do you delay to put in practice those means which may reconcile you to Timon ?”. “Acquaint me with those means," answered Demetrius, “ for I am a stranger to them.” “ Answer me a few questions," said Socrates. “ If you desire that one of your neighbours should invite you to his feast, when he offers a sacrifice, what course would take?"- " I would first invite him to mine." 66 And how would
induce him to take the charge of your affairs, when you are on a journey ?”' I should be forward to do the same good office to him in his absence.”
“ If you be solicitous to remove a prejudice, which he may
have received against you, how would you then behave towards him?"-" I should endeavour to convince him, by my looks, words, and actions, that such prejudice Was ill-founded.”
• And if he appeared inclined to reconciliation, would you reproach him with the injustice he had done you?"_" No,” answered Demetrius; “ I would repeat no grievances."
" Go," said Socrates, “ and pursue that conduct towards your brother, which you would practise to a neighbour. His friendship is of inestimable worth ; and nothing is more lovely in the sight of Heaven, than for brethren to dwell together in unity.
What inflection at prosperity, certainly it is, replied Demetrius, participation, for a friend, said Socrates, strangers, about you, mivals, to yours, older, yourself, from yours, of friendship, answer. ed Demetrius, etc. ? Why? The sentence, May we not enumerate, has a few particulars. The inflection of union of interest will depend on whether we think the sense requires may to be come empliatic. In all questioning states this must never be overlooked. Here, too, Socrates' tone of voice must be considera ed different from Demetrius',-a circumstance essential to good reading.