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FOR JANUARY, 1810.
MORAL ESSAY ON THE NEW-YEAR'S DAY.
BY A DESCENDANT OF EZEKEL HOPKINS, BISHOP OF LONDONDERRY.
TO a religious, or reflecting mind, there is something peculi arly impressive in the annual return of this day! How many striking events have occurred since we last celebrated this memorable period! How many gratifying or af flicting circumstances have taken place; and, according to the nature of these, our hearts either glow with gratitude towards the Great Disposer of all earthly good, or our depressed spirits sink under the retrospective survey of those calamities we have been doomed to sustain.
Whilst the earth which we inhabit revolves round that glorious luminary which vivifies it's productions, and cheers all nature, by it's effulgent rays, what won derful, what unexpected transitions occur within that short period of time! how many of our fellow-creatures have unexpectedly been exalted upon the pinnacle of
mortal creatures if to-day we bask in the sun-shine of prospe rity, and to-morrow we are liable to be overtaken by adversity's darkest cloud, the question naturally occurs, where, or on whom shall we place our dependence; or where find support in the day of trouble and affliction, which seems so likely to overtake us? Where, indeed, but in that Great Disposer of all human events shall wè either find a shield against that presumptuous vanity which prosperity is so apt to excite, or a sup poit under those calamities which are invariably intended to promote some benevolent design. The Lord gave, and the Lord has a right to take from me,' said the righteous Job; and blessed be the name of the Lord."
Thus resigned and submissive to the hand of Providence ought we all to feel whenever it is his will and pleasure to deprive us of
this discourse-how many of our fellow-creatures, have had reason to bless how many more to deplore the events which have occurred, within the last twelve months! Children lost to their parents, parents bereaved of their children; husbands of their wives, wives of their husbands; and friends, those dear and tender connexions, torn asunder by the inexorable hand of death! These are trials, and God knows severe ones! yet religion holds out a soothing, a balsamic relief; for the longest period of man's life, when compared to eternity, is but as a grain of sand upon the seashore. Death can divide, but cannot prevent the reunion of those dear connexions, which seemed but to have lived for each other in this transitory world, and
realms of everlasting happiness they will meet to part no more!
What a reviving, what a consoling reflection! and with what transport does it inspire the believer's mind! a retrospect of past years seems but as yesterday, and comparatively short in the longest life; how delightfully gratifying, therefore, is the reflection that we shall rejoin those kindred spirits who were dear to us in this life!
This pleasing, this gratifying reflection, however, can only be enjoyed by those who lead a religious and moral life; for it is only to such that the joys of immortality are promised, and for those it was that our blessed Redeemer sacrificed his spotless life.
The present period of time not only calls forth our serious reflections, but inspires us with a mixture of gratitude and delight. We
loving-kindness with religious joy. Well may we rejoice-well may our hearts glow with gratitude for such an unprecedented testimony of affection as that displayed, towards us by the Son of God! who not only took our nature upon him, but patiently submitted to the grossest insults and the most degrading taunts. What an example did the Messiah set us, not only in a religious but a moral point of view. 'How often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him,' inquired one of the disciples; until seven times?' Not until seven times only,' replied our generous Instructor, but until seventy times seven.'
What a volume of precept is contained in that sentence; and yet vain man presumes to establish those baneful laws of honor, which for the most trifling and frivolous offence thinks himself authorised to take away a fellow-creature's life! It is true, he does it not with the dark intention of an assassin, because he equally hazards his own existence; yet how a real Christian can reconcile this false notion of supporting wounded honor (as it is fashionably termed) 1 confess myself unable to account; or how a man, who has thus wantonly, and in defiance of the express commands of his Maker, can lay his head comfortably upon his pillow, after having deprived a fellow-creature of that boon heaven bestowed upon him, is one of those problems my uninstructed mind has never yet been able to solve. The last year has actually teemed with instances of the nature to which I allude; yet they,
it's influence into actions at which, I have hitherto alluded to those under the cooler moments of rea- deplorable vices which are attachson, they would blush -- but from edito persons in a mare elevated petty; and even childish disputes. sphere of life, still allowing that
Another evil, more widely ex- dueling and conjugal infidelity tending in it's consequences, seems buve both within a short period of to stalk forward with rapid strides time imperceptibly crept into the - and this is conjugal infidelity; niddle classes of the state Sad an evil which involves both inno- 'proof this of the baneful force of cent and guilty in it's crime! O! example, in those who ought to ye parents, would ye but reflect become a pattern for imitatiou.! upon the incalcalable resfortunes Having lamented, without wishing which arise from the indulgence of to lash, the imperfections of hus your guilty passions, sure none man nature, it pow becomes the amongst you would be so lost to business of a moralist to touch upthe voice of nature, or the dictates on the follies, as well as the vices, of conscience, as to plunge your of the age ; a wide field this
nnocent and unprotected offspring doubtless, and of a nature to into that obloquy and shame puzzle the criticiser where to bewhich consequently overshadows gin; yet as preference is due, and them, from your deviation from ought always to be shown towards the path of rectitude. The voice the fair sex, I shall commence my of nature pleads strongly even in observations by a few remarks upthe brutat race, and the savage on the present fashionable node tigress tenderly protects and che- of dress. rishes her youoy. Shall mothers Fashion I allow to be an arbi. then, and British mothers, require trary sovereigo, and to boldly set instruction from the savage race? her laws at defiance might be as Forbid it, nature and forbid it, injudicious as to defy those of the heaven.
most potent monarch"; yet, when modesty, and even decency, are to
be sacrificed to her lascivious manIn taking a retrospective view dales, I shall admire that female of past imperfections, the mind who openly defied them. Could naturally reflects upon the nieans our grandmothers rise from the siby which those imperfections lent mansions of the tomb, and might have been avoided; and the behuld their descendents attired, sesult of this inquiry is, that un- or rather unattired, according to til the cool-blooded duelist, and the present caprices of fashion, the infringer upon domestic hap- how would they deplore the appiness, are both held in contempt, parent loss of that native modesty if not detestation, 'in that society which so peculiarly inarked both where both are received with cour- the dress and appearance of the teous civility, there is little chance daughters of Albion's native isle ! of the present age witnessing a di- It appears to me, that a remark minution of those 'vices, the ef- made by the immortal Thomson fects of which are so inuch to be has led-astray the minds of my fair dreaded, and so sincerely to be countrywomen; for he observes, deplored.
• when unadorned adorped the
most;' and God knows the present style of dress is actually undressing; for one half the body is uncovered, and the part that is, really is so thinly veiled, that the formation of every limb can be discerned, and it appears calcuJated to excite lawless passion, instead of suppressing illicit desires. Mankind are sufficiently prone to frailty without requiring a stimulus of that nature; and so ungovernable are their passions, that they not only demand the curb of rea Yon to restrain them, but the garb of modesty to keep them under
Gallantry within the last thirty years has certainly undergone a total change of forin, though not of nature; and, instead of that assiduous and polite civility, which imperceptibly crept into the affections of the artless and unsuspicious, the broad stare of rudeness, and the effrontery of inattention, have taken place, and actually seem to mark the character of the man of top. A modest young women, unaccustomed to the manners of the metropolis, is actually put out of countenance by the steady gaze which is intended to compliment ber transcendent charms; and so great is the confusion excited by this singular method of paying homage, that she is scarcely able to answer a simple inquiry put to her.
This tacit proof of innate deli cacy, is either construed into a deficiency of intellect, or to a total ignorance of polished manners.
which our forefathers would have admired, we cannot be so much astonished at the alteration of brought about in my fair countrymanners which a few years have women. The desire of pleasure is natural, and we as naturally adopt those habits which tend to produce this desirable effect: yet, would the leaders of fashion once reflect upon the advantages which are to be derived from esteem being blended with admiration, and from the self-approving voice of conscience, how willingly would they resign the applause of the giddy pleasure of obtaining the appre votaries of dissipation, for the a and the applauding sanction of bation of the judiciously virtuous, their own hearts.
MISCELLANEOUS MAXIMS. ;
Frankness is one of the greatest virtues, but it is the least rewarded.
The same generosity which makes us forget the benefits we have conferred, will prevent us from forgetting those we have received.
If men understood their true interests, they would frequently take as much pains to avoid being troubled with a great fortune as they do to acquire one. Fortune pared to a coquette; dhe may be justly com
A TRUE HISTORY.
[Continued from Vol. xl. page 502.]
IT has been observed, that it was at the governor's splendid mansion my respected father first beheld the blooming Caroline; and though many persons may ridicule the idea of an attachment formed at first sight, it was evident, that both were equally charmed. It was not merely the fine form and manly figure of my father which made him an uni versal favorite with the fair sex, but it was that soft insinuating manner which renders the possessor doubly pleasing. A bright radiance of glory likewise shone around him; his name was never mentioned without the tribute of applause; in short, he appeared the modern Hector, and my unfortunate mother, like the fair Andromache, saw in his brilliant achievements a divinity whom she adored.
During the five years my father had been absent from his native country, a wonderful alteration had taken place in his domestic affairs; both his parents had paid the debt of nature, and he had never been on terms of affection with their heir. Fifteen hundred pounds was the amount of the fortune that had been left him, which he generously divided between his two sisters. อง the
fer of his hand; and her brother, delighted at the prospect of seeing her united to a man of family and fortune, joyfully gave his consent; and, at the expiration of six weeks after their first interview, Caroline Melville became the wife of Captain C.
The Calcutta newspapers announced the marriage of Captain C and Miss Melville even be fore a letter from the former reached the English shores; and as if the transcendent charms of the lovely Caroline inspired the envy of those who were inferior to her, she was represented as springing from the lowest origin. My uncle, whose pride could only be equaled by his want of natural affection, was exasperated at the bare idea of his brother's forming an alliance with the daughter of a menial servant of Lord Darnley's; for in that light had the all-accomplished Caroline Melville been represented. My uncle, therefore, answered the letter which my father had written, describing the rich treasure providence had blessed him with in a style of sarcastic insolence and severity which it was impossible ever to forgive; and a paper war commenced between them, which only terminated in the death of my respected parent.
Unalloyed happiness falls not to the lot of hunan creatures, or my mother's would have been complete; but she could not help considering herself as the cause
of a disunion between two bro~