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Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays
those painted clouds that beautify our days;
each want of happiness by hope supplied,
and each vacuity of sense by PRIDE :
These build as fast as knowledge can destroy ;
in folly's cups still laughs the bubble joy.
One prospect loft, another still we gain,
and not A VANITY is given in vain.


Amidst those inequalities of condition, which the state of human life requires, where it was necessary that some should be rich, and others poor, that some should be eminent and distinguished, and others obscure and mean, how seasonable is that good opinion which

every one entertains of himself; that self-complacency with which he prefers himself to others;

Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf,


And that fond hope, which is ever pleafing him with Vol.IV.


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the prospect of future pleasures and advantages in life. Without those flattering sensations, vain as they often are, how totally insupportable would this world become to many of its inhabitants. Whereas, by means of them, PROVIDENCE hath wisely balanced the inequalities of condition among mankind. It hath contrived to diffuse pleasure through all ranks; and to bring the high and the low nearer to a level with each other than might at first be supposed. It hath smoothed the most rugged tracts of human life; and hath gilded with rays of borrowed light its most dreary scenes.

We are also intended by PROVIDENCE to be connected with one another in society. By means of fociety our wants are supplied, and our lives rendered comfortable; our capacities are enlarged, and our virtuous affections called forth into proper exercise. In order to confirm our mutual connection, it was necessary that some attracting power should pervade the human breast. Nothing could more happily fulfil this purpose, than our being so formed as to desire the good efteem of others.

Had such a propensity been wanting, Society must have proved an unharmonious and discordant state. Instead of mutual attraction, a

repulsive repulfive power would have prevailed. Among men who had no regard to the approbation of one another, all intercourse would have been jarring and offensive. For the wisest ends, therefore, the desire of praise was made an original and powerful principle in the human breast.

To a variety of good purposes it is subservient, and on many occasions co-operates with the principle of virtue. It has given rise to most of the splendid, and to many of the useful, enterprises of men. It has animated the patriot, and fired the hero. It awakens us from floth, invigorates activity, and stimulates our efforts to excel. The desire of praise is also connected with all the finer sensibilities of human nature. But while the love of praise is admitted to be a natural, and, in so many respects, an useful principle of action, we are to observe, that it is entitled to no more than our secondary regard. It has its boundaries set, by transgresing which, it is at once transformed from an innocent into a most dangerous paffion. More facred and venerable principles claim the chief direction of human conduct. All the good effects which we have ascribed to the desire of praise, are produced by it when remaining in a fubordinate station. But when passing its natural line, it becomes the ruling spring of conduct; when the regard which we pay to the opinions of men, incroaches on that reverence which we owe to the voice of conscience and the sense of duty; the love of praise having then gone out of its place, instead of improving, corrupts; instead of being a VIRTUE, it becomes a


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Paffions, like elements, though born to fight,
pet, mix'd and soften’d, in his work unite.
Love, Hope, Joy, fair pleasures smiling train,
HATE, Fear, and Grief, the family of pain;
these mix'd with art, and to DUE BOUNDS confin'd,
make and maintain the balance of the mind :
the lights and shades, whose well-accorded strife,
gives all the strength and colour of our life.


Passions are strong emotions of the mind, occasions ed by the view of approaching good or evil. They are original parts of the constitution of our nature ; and therefore to extirpate them is a mistaken aim. When properly directed they are subservient to very useful ends. They rouse the dormant powers of the soul. They are even found to exalt them. They often raise a man above himself, and render him more penetrating, vigorous, and masterly, than he is in his calmer


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