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children to the pains and troubles they will meet with in afterlife. Yes, be assured they will meet with quite enough, in every portion of life, including childhood, without your strewing their paths with thorns of your own providing. And often enough will you have to limit their amusements for the sake of needful study, to restrain their appetites for the sake of health, to chastise them for faults, and in various ways to inflict pain or privations for the sake of avoiding some greater evils. Let this always be explained to them whenever it is possible to do so; and endeavour in all cases to make them look on the parent as never the voluntary giver of anything but good. To any hardships which they are convinced you inflict reluctantly, and to those which occur through the dispensations of the All-Wise, they will more easily be trained to submit with a good grace, than to any gratuitous sufferings devised for them by fallible men. To raise hopes on purpose to produce disappointment, to give provocation merely to exercise the temper, and, in short, to inflict pain of any kind merely as a training for patience and fortitude—this is a kind of discipline which Man should not presume to attempt. If such trials prove a discipline not so much of cheerful fortitude as of resentful aversion and suspicious distrust of the parent as a capricious tyrant, you will have only yourself to thank for this result.
'Since the end of suffering, as a moral discipline,' says an excellent writer in the Edinburgh Review (January, 1847), on the Life of Pascal,' is only to enable us at last to bear unclouded happiness, what guarantee can we now have of its beneficial effect on us, except by partial experiments of our capacity of recollecting and practising the lessons of adversity in intervals of prosperity? It is true that there is no more perilous ordeal through which Man can pass—no greater curse which can be imposed on him, as he is at present constituted—than that of being compelled to walk his lifelong in the sunlight of unshaded prosperity. His eyes ache with that too untempered brilliance —he is apt to be smitten with a moral coup de soleil. But it as little follows that no sunshine is good for us. He who made us, and who tutors us, alone knows what is the exact measure of light and shade, sun and cloud,storm and calm, frost and heat, which will best tend to mature those flowers which are the object of this celestial husbandry; and which,when transplanted into the paradise of God, are to bloom there for ever in amaranthine loveliness. Nor can it be without presumption that we essay to interfere with these processes; our highest wisdom is to fall in with them. And certain it is that every man will find by experience that he has enough to do, to bear with patience and fortitude the real afflictions with which God may visit him, without venturing to fill up the intervals in which He has left him ease, and even invites him to gladness, by a self-imposed and artificial sorrow. Nay, if his mind be well constituted, he will feel that the learning how to apply, in hours of happiness, the lessons which he has learned in the school of sorrow, is not one of the least difficult lessons which sorrow has to teach him; not to mention that the grateful reception of God's gifts is as true a part of duty—and even a more neglected part of it—than a patient submission to his chastisements.
'It is at our peril, then, that we seek to interfere with the discipline which is provided for us. He who acts as if God had mistaken the proportions in which prosperity and adversity should be allotted tous—and seeks by hair shirts,prolonged abstinence, and self-imposed penance, to render more perfect the discipline of suffering,—only enfeebles instead of invigorating his piety; and resembles one of those hypochondriacal patients—the plague and torment of physicians—who having sought advice, and being supposed to follow it, are found not only taking their physician's well-judged prescriptions, but secretly dosing themselves in the intervals with some quackish nostrum. Thus it was even with a Pascal—and we cannot see that the experiment was attended in his case with any better effects.'
'Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; Adversity is the blessing of the New.'
The distinguishing characteristic of the Old Covenant, of the Mosaic Law, was that it was enforced by a system of temporal rewards and judgments, administered according to an extraordinary [miraculous] providence. The Israelites were promised, as the reward of obedience, long life, and health, and plentiful harvests, and victory over their enemies. And the punishments threatened for disobedience were pestilence, famine, defeat, and all kinds of temporal calamity. These were the rewards and punishments that formed the sanction of the Mosaic Law. But the New Covenant, the Gospel, held out as its sanction rewards and punishments in the next world, and those only. The former kingdom of God was a kingdom of this world. The Lord Jesus, on the contrary, declared that the new kingdom of God, His kingdom, 'was not of this world.' And so far from promising worldly prosperity to his followers as a reward of their obedience to Him, He prepared them for suffering and death in his cause, even such as He endured Himself; and pronounced them 'blessed when men should hate and persecute' them in his cause, saying, 'great is your reward in Heaven.' The Disciples were indeed taught, and through them all Christians in every age are taught, that the painful trials sent to them were among the 'things that work together for good (that is, spiritual and eternal good) to them that love God -' and that they ought not to think it'strange concerning the fiery trial which was to try them, as though some strange thing happened unto them,' but to look to the example of the Lord Jesus, and 'rejoice in Him always.'
Under the christian dispensation, therefore, chastisement is for a very different purpose from retribution; the allotment of good and evil, according to the character of each man (which is properly retribution), is reserved for the next world. The Apostle Paul points out as one of the characteristics of the Gospel, that in it God has 'commanded all men everywhere to repent, inasmuch as He has APPOINTED A DAY in which He will judge the world in righteousness.'
The novelty and peculiarity of this announcement consisted, not in declaring the Deity to be the Judge of the world (for this the Jews knew, and most of the Pagans believed), but in declaring that He had appointed a day for that judgment, before Christ's tribunal in the next world. They were henceforth to look for a retribution, not, as before with the Jews, regular, and with other nations occasionally, but prepared for all men according to the character of each; not, as before, immediate in the present life, but in the life to come.
It is true that some men, who are nearly strangers to such a habit, may be for a time more alarmed by the denunciation of immediate temporal judgments for their sins, than by any considerations relative to 'the things which are not seen and which are eternal. ' And when such denunciations rest not on uncertain predictions, but on an undeniable and notorious connexion of cause with effect,—as, for instance, of intemperance with disease, or of prodigality with penury—a salutary alarm may be created in some who are unmoved by higher considerations. But such an alarm should be regarded merely as a first step;—as a scaffolding which is to be succeeded by a building of better foundation. For, the effect thus produced, if we trust to that alone, is much less likely to be lasting, or while it lasts to be salutary, because temporal alarm does not tend to make men spiritually-minded, and any reformation of manners it may have produced, will not have been founded on christian principles. A man is not more acceptable in the sight of God than before, though more likely to attain the temporal objects he aims at, if he is acting on no higher motive than the goods and evils of the present world can supply. 'Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.'
But to look for temporal retribution, is surely inconsistent with the profession of a religion whose Founder was persecuted and crucified, and whose first preachers were exposed to 'hunger, and thirst, and cold, and nakedness,' and every kind of hardship, and were 'made the offscouring of all things;' so that they declared that'if in this life only they had hope in Christ, they were of all men most miserable.' We should consider, too, that those very sufferings were a stumblingblock to the unbelieving Jews; not merely from their being unwilling to expose themselves to the like, according to the forewarnings of Jesus, such as ' In this world ye shall have tribulation;' but still more from their regarding these sufferings as a mark of divine displeasure, and consequently a proof that Jesus could not have come from God. Because He was 'a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,' they 'did esteem Him stricken, SMITTEN OF GOD, and afflicted,' and they 'hid their face from Him.'
And it should be remembered, that the Jews, who had been brought up under a dispensation sanctioned by temporal rewards and punishments, were less inexcusable in this their error, than those Christians who presume to measure the divine favour and disfavour by temporal events.
ESSAY VI. OF SIMULATION1 AND DISSIMULATION.
DISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of policy, or wisdom —for it asketh a strong wit and a strong heart to know when to tell truth, and to do it—therefore it is the weaker sort of politicians that are the greatest dissemblers.
Tacitus saith,' Livia sorted2 well with the arts of her husband, and dissimulation of her son/ * attributing arts of policy to Augustus, and dissimulation to Tiberius; and again, when Mucianus encourageth Vespasian to take arms against Vitellius, he saith, 'We rise not against the piercing judgment of Augustus, nor the extreme caution or closeness of Tiberius.' * These properties of arts, or policy, and dissimulation, and closeness, are indeed habits and faculties several,6 and to be distinguished; for if a man have that penetration of judgment as6 he can discern what things are to be laid open, and what to be secreted, and what to be showed at half-lights, and to whom and when (which indeed are arts of state, and arts of life, as Tacitus well calleth them), to him a habit of dissimulation is a hindrance and a poorness. But if a man cannot obtain to7 that judgment, then it is left to him generally to be close, and a dissembler; for where a man cannot choose or vary in particulars, there it is good to take the safest and wariest way in general, like the going softly by one that cannot well see. Certainly the ablest men that ever were, have had all an openness and frankness of dealing, and a name of certainty and veracity; but then they were like horses well managed, for they could tell passing well when to stop or turn, and at such times when they thought the
1 Simulation. The pretending that to be which is not. 'The feigning to be what one is not by gesture, action, or behaviour, is called simulation.'—Suuth. - Sort. To fit; suit.
'It sorts well with your fierceness.'—Shakespere. 3 Tncit. Anna!, v. i. 4 Tacit. Hist. ii. 76.
5 Several. Different; distinct.
'Four several armies to the field are led, Which, high in equal hopes, four princes lead.'—Dryden. • As. That. Sec page 23. 'Obtain to. Attain to.