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favour.. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols ; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the aftlictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. We see in needleworks and embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have a dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground. Judge, therefore, of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed"; for prosperity doth best discover vice, and adversity doth best discover virtue.


Some kinds of adversity are chiefly of the character of TRIALS, and others of DISCIPLINE. But Bacon does not advert to this difference, nor say anything at all about the distinction between discipline and trial; which are quite different in themselves, but often confounded together.

By discipline’ is to be understood, anything—whether of the character of adversity or not—that has a direct tendency to produce improvement, or to create some qualification that did not exist before ; and by trial, anything that tends to ascertain what improvement has been made, or what qualities exist. Both effects may be produced at once ; but what we speak of is, the proper character of trial, as such, and of discipline, as such.

A college tutor, for instance, seeks to make his pupils good seholars; an examiner, to ascertain how far each candidate is such. It may so happen that the Tutor may be enabled to

'Felicities (rarely used in the plural). «The felicities of her wonderful reign. - Atterbury.

* Sad. Dark-coloured. •I met him accidentally in London, in sad-coloured clothes, far from being costly.'—Walton's Lives.

3 Incensed. Set on fire ; burned.

form a judgment of the proficiency of the pupils; and that a candidate may learn something from the Examiner. But what is essential in each case, is incidental in the other. For, no one would say that a course of lectures was a failure, if the pupils were well instructed, though the teacher might not have ascertained their proficiency; or that an examination had not answered its purpose, if the qualifications of the candidates were proved, though they might have learnt nothing from it.

A corresponding distinction holds good in a great many other things; for instance, what is called 'proving a gun,' that is, loading it up to the muzzle and firing it—does not at all tend to increase its strength, but only proves that it is strong. Proper hammering and tempering of the metal, on the other hand, tends to make it strong.

These two things are, as has just been said, very likely to be confounded together: (1.) because very often they are actually combined ; as e.g., well-conducted exercise of the body, both displays, and promotes, strength and agility. The same holds good in the case of music, and various other pursuits, and in none more than in virtuous practice.

(2.) Because from discipline and from trial, and anything analogous to these, we may often draw the same inference, though by different reasonings: e.g., if you know that a gunbarrel has gone through such and such processes, under a skilful metallurgist, you conclude à priori that it will be a strong one; and again you draw the same inference from knowing that it has been “proved. This latter is an argument from a sign ; the other, from cause to effect. So also, if you know that a man has been under a good tutor, this enables you to form an à priori conjecture that he is a scholar ; and by a different kind of argument, you infer the same from his having passed an examination.

Great evils may arise from mistaking the one of these things for the other. For instance, children's lives have been sacrificed by the attempt to make them hardy by exposing them to cold, and wet, and hardship. Those that have been so exposed are (as many of them as survive) hardy ; because their having gone through it proves that they were of a strong constitution, though

· Rhetoric, part i, chap. II.

it did not make them so. The 'proving' of a gun is the cause, not of its being strong, but of our knowing it to be strong. And it is wonderful how prevalent in all subjects is the tendency to confound these two things together : e.g., Balak says to Balaam, 'I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed. And this must have been true, if Balaam was a true prophet; but the mistake was, to suppose that his curse or blessing brought on these results, when, in truth, it brought only the knowledge of the divine designs and sentences.

Different kinds of adversity, and also of prosperity, (for both are equally trials, though it is only adversity that is usually called such,) differ in this respect from each other, some being more of the character of Discipline, and others of Trial.

Generally speaking, a small degree of persecution and oppression is more of a discipline for humanity, than very great' and long-continued. It is everywhere observed that a liberated slave is apt to make a merciless master, and that boys who have been cruelly fagged at school are cruel faggers. Sterne introduces a tender-hearted negro girl, of whom it is remarked that she had suffered oppression, and had learnt mercy,' as if this was a natural consequence. It would have been more true to have said, Although she had suffered much oppres. sion,' &c.

Most of the early Reformers were intolerant. Most bitter was the persecution, in the Low Countries, of the Arminians by the Calvinists, who had very recently been delivered from persecution themselves. And a people who have been so long and so severely persecuted as the Vaudois, and yet retain, as they do, a mild and tolerant character, give strong evidence of the domination of a real christian principle.

The celebrated · Pilgrim Fathers,' who fled from the tyranny of Laud and his abettors, to America, and are described as having "sought only freedom to worship God, had no notion of allowing the same freedom to others, but enacted and enforced the most severe penalties against all who differed from

I See, in Lord Macaulay's History, a case of most atrocious cruelty perpetrated by Presbyterians who had witnessed cruel persecution of themselves or their fathers. -Vol. iv. p. 781.

burgh Roaring in


them, and compelled the ever-venerated Roger Williams, the great champion of toleration, to fly from them to Rhode Island, were he founded a colony on his own truly christian system, One of the principal founders of the New England colony remonstrated with these persecutors, saying (in a letter given in a late number of the Edinburgh Review), 'Reverend and dear sirs, whom I unfeignedly love and respect, it doth not a little grieve my spirit to hear what sad things are reported daily of your tyranny and persecution in New England, as that you fine, whip, and imprison men for their consciences. First, you compel such to come into your assemblies as you know will not join you in your worship; and when they show their dislike thereof, or witness against it, then you stir up your magistrates to punish them, for such, as you conceive, their public affronts. Truly, friends, this your practice of compelling any, in matters of worship, to that whereof they are not fully persuaded, is to make them sin; for so the Apostle (Romans xiv. 23) tells us; and many are made hypocrites thereby, conforming in their outward acts for fear of punishment. We pray for you, and wish you prosperity every way; hoping the Lord would have given you so much light and love there, that you might have been eyes to God's people here, and not to practise those courses in a wilderness which you went so far to prevent. They replied, • Better be hypocrites than profane persons. Hypocrites give God part of his due—the outward man; but the profane person giveth God neither outward nor inward man. You know not if you think we came into this wilderness to practise those courses which we fled from in England. We believe there is a vast difference between men's inventions, and God's institutions : we fled from men's inventions, to which we else should have been compelled; we compel none to men's inventions.'

About the same time Williams sent a warm remonstrance to his old friend and governor, Endicott, against these violent proceedings. The Massachusetts theocracy could not complain that none showed them their error: they did not persevere in the system of persecution without having its wrongfulness fully pointed out.

• Had Bunyan,' says the Reviewer,” opened his conventicle in


i Oct. 1855, p. 564.

Par 510.

Boston, he would have been banished, if not whipped ; had Lord Baltimore appeared there, he would have been liable to perpetual imprisonment. If Penn had escaped with either of his ears, the more pertinacious Fox would, doubtless, have ended by mounting the gallows with Marmaduke Stephenson or William Leddra. Yet the authors of these extremities would have had no admissible pretext. They were not instigated by the dread of similar persecution, or by the impulse to retaliate. There was no hierarchy to invite them to the plains of Armageddon; there was no Agag to hew in pieces, or kings and nobles to bind with links of iron. They persecuted spontaneously, deliberately, and securely. Or rather, it might be said, they were cruel under difficulties. They trod the grapes of their winepress in a city of refuge, and converted their Zoar into a house of Egyptian bondage; and, in this respect, we conceive they are without a parallel in history.'

On the other hand, a short or occasional oppression is a good discipline for teaching any one not very ill disposed to feel for others.

Lord Macaulay beautifully illustrates this from the tale of the Fisherman and the Genie, in the Arabian Nights. The genie had at first vowed that he would confer wonderful gifts on any one who should release him from the casket in which he was imprisoned ; and during a second period he had vowed a still more splendid reward. But being still disappointed, he next vowed to grant no other favour to his liberator than to choose what death he should suffer. Even thus, a people who have been enslaved and oppressed for some years are most grateful to their liberators; but those who are set free after very long slavery are not unlikely to tear their liberators to pieces.'

Sickness is a kind of adversity which is both a trial and a discipline: but much more of a discipline when short, and of a trial when very long. The kindness of friends during sickness is calculated, when it is newly called forth, to touch the heart, and call forth gratitude; but the confirmed invalid is in danger of becoming absorbed in self, and of taking all kinds of care und of sacrifice as a matter of course.

of death is another kind of adversity which has both

4 is much more of a wholesome discipline when

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