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changer et mifcetas గోరింగోeetketinుళంగా P R E F A CE,

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9-12-47

V 58
EXPLANATION of the FRONTISPIÉCE.

AND

****E are now entering upon the Forty-fixth Volume of

the UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE, and do acknowRW Wledge ourlelves incirely obliged to our Readers and

Correspondents, for the Encouragement and Helps

they have given us during the Course of the last Year. For a long Time back, we have had great Reason to shew our Sense of Gratitude to them, but scarce ever before greater than as present: For, notwithstanding the Number of Competitors the last Year has produced, we have been distin guished by a more favourable Acceptance of our Endeavours“; and, though the present Year rather portends an Augmentation than Diminution, some new ones having already made their Appearance ; yec, far from being alarmed at the formidable Apparatus they boast of, we intend to proceed with Alacrity, relying on the same candid Approbation which has hitherto supported us.

The original Design of Magazines, together with recording the Occurrences of the Month, was to improve the Mind by useful and agreeable Researches and curious Points of Knows ledge : But several cannot help taking Notice, and we ourselves observe with Pain; that some Magazines of late Institution deviate from that Plan, assuming a Latitude of descanting on the intriguing Spirit and private Follies and Vices of our People in high Stations. This Mode of diffeminating Scandal may well be called unwarrantable; being very improperly calculated to discredit Vice, and rather seeming o propose it, as fashionable and in Vogue, to the Example of the inferior Sort; whơ 100 prone, indeed, to imitate their Superiors, should have noa thing placed before them as Patterns to copy after, but the Lives and Actions of the truly Good and Great.

In another Respect it might seem, from the Feuds and Ani. mosities, whereby Minds have been agitated these few Years paft, that Politics is become a fit Object for Magazines. Granted it might, if it did not espouse the Views of Party or Faction. But as Science, Arts, and the Muses delight in the Shade of Pesce, seeking tranquil Contemplation; undisturbed by the Tu

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multuous Noise of Broils and Contention; so we, their Votaries, having nothing more at Heart than a composed and feudled State of the Nation, think of abiding by our accustomed Plan; yet do sincerely with that Harmony may reign among all Parties, and Government once more coalesce in a perfect Confisency, pursuant to those falutary Admonitions the Goodness of our Conftitution recommends and inculcates.

We are very sensible that it is not our Business to give Instructions, much less to make Remonftrances; and that those who imagine it their Duty so to do, by often concerting wrong Measures, take necessarily a wrong Biass: For Zeal itself, through the Imbecillity of human Views, is subject to many false Steps, and, endeavouring to reform Abuses, may carry the Stroke too far: Yet known Corruptions should always feel the Weight of just Severity; and very hard Cenfures ought to be passed on feveral Things, though they may have Example, Custom, and Authority to plead for them.-Well, but may not these Exertions against Practices pernicious in their Tendency be prefsed with too great Rigour, so as to prove a Discouragement to many from ever thinking to pursue the proper Methods for a Reformation ; and may not, in general, all Abuses, by being represented more flagrant than they are in fact, serve, in the Point of being rectified, for scarce more than a Condemnation of one Extreme by running into another.

Wisdom, always influenced by Moderation and the public Utility, ought to be the Teft all dubious Affairs, creative of incestine Troubles, should be put to. This is partly expressed by our Frontispiece.

In it the amiable Figure of Virtue advises Man, who records her Instructions, that his Thoughts and Actions should aspire rather to Wisdom and Immortality, figured by their ancient Symbol, Apollo, driving the Chariot of the Sun, than be confined to the tranfienç Enjoyments of a span of Time, pointed to in the Representation of our natural Day, consisting of Morning, Noon, Evening, and Night.

Hence all, in general, should be induced to indulge at Times a serious Thought, and consider this emblematic Exbibition of Day, as the Pi&ture of Human Life, which being but short, all our Actions, as racional Beings, should tend to make it conformable to the Design of its great Author, which is, that, co be agreeable to him, it ought constantly to be under the Direction and Regulacion of Reason, that Ray of his Wisdom, which he has appointed to be our Guide. --This we have endcavoured to illustrate in the following Discourse.

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DISCOURSE on the Importance of a proper Conduct in Life,

A good Man's Steps are all with Caution trod,
At once the Charge and Fav'rite of his God;
And if he flips (as sure the best may err)

He's still supported by Almighty Care.
O few what is truly great, orna.

of consequence, that they be early put upon mental, or useful in lifc; to call such courses as will be likely to render their

the attention of mankind to objects passage through life, whether longer or shortworthy of their regard as rational and im- er, cafy and comfortable. A person's fete mortal beings; to lay down certain and efta- ting out with proper dignity is of great imblished means for attaining the true end of portance towards his future prosperity, as, our exifence; mult be a poble work, even on the contrary, one falfe fep, at the firkt the attempt would be laudable.

entrance into life, may prove irretrievable. The business of life is serious, not ludi. Mankind fix their attention upon the behacrous. No order of beings, especially the viour of a person just setting out, and, acrational, was brought into existence whole cording to the prudence, or want of judgly for pleasure and amusement; but to fill ment, they observe in the first steps he takes, Some useful place, and answer fome impor. pronounce upon the whole of his future contant end in the extensive scheme of the benc. duct. Men in active stations, especially, ficent Creator. It is therefore evidently the ought to consider, that, at their firft entrance intereft, the wisdom, and the perfection of into life, they will have the ill-will and enevery rationa) creature to be careful in pro vy of many rivals and competitors to encounperly performing the duty of his appointed ter; and ought to remember, that it will Itation, as in it he will, in the end, hind his require no ordinary degree of fagacity to glory and his happiness.

defeat the designs of those who think themAs young people have a prospect, though felves interosted to make a bad use of every precarious one, of living to old-age, it is miscarriage. NUMB. CCCXVII, VOL. XLVI.

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To this end there is nothing so indispen- tred to the crimes which have brought such fably necessary as a certain turn of mind sufferings upon us. which puts a person upon looking forward, Pleasure and pain, health and disease, sucand enables him to judge rightly of the con- cess and misfortune, reward and punishsequences of his behaviour, lo as to avoid the ment, often, at a very great distance of time inisfortunes into which rashness precipitates after the action, are made the natural, or at many, and to gain the ends which a wise and least frequent consequences of our general yirtuous man ought to pursue.

behaviour here ; to suggest to us the reasonaIt is evident to the nicanest understanding, bleness of concluding that an extensive unithat there is a fitness or unfitness, a suitable formity prevails through the whole of the diness or unsuitableness of things to one ano vine moral government, and that what we ther, which is not to be changed without see here in thadow will, in the future state, some change presuppoled in the things, or appear in substance and perfeélion, and that their circunstances. A prudential forecast it not only will, but ought to be fo, and canis the knowledge and obtervance of this pro- not be otherwise. priety of behaviour to times and circum If we consider the opposite natural tenItances, and probable consequences, accord- dencies and effects of virtue and vice, in the ing to their leveral varieties; and, like all present state, we all from thence see reason other endowments of the mind, it is also a to conclude, that the fomer is pleasing to natural gift bestowed more or less liberally the gracious Author of our being, and the upon different persons. "Some give promises latter the contrary. The natural effects of of fagacity and coolness almost from their temperance are health, length of days, and infancy; and others never arrive at the ma a more delicate enjoyment of the innocent ture exercise of foresight or reflection, but, pleasures of life. The natural effects of in spite of the experience of many years, feem gluttony, drunkenness, and lewdness, are children to the lat. Yet this faculty, at disease and pain, disgust and disappointment, the same time, is capable of great improve- and untimely death. The natural effeéts of mients in the weakest heads, could they universal benevolence, justice and charity, are but be brought to beltow a little thought the love of mankind, success in life, and and attention, or to listen to reason more peace in one's own mind. The confethan to passion.

quences to be expected from ill-will, injufIf we consider the life we lead in this tice, and selfishnels, are the contempt and haworld as a ttate of discip’ine, all is ordered tred of mankind, and punilhment by the as it should be. We enter into this life with laws of nations. When we say such an ef. minds wholly unfurnished with ideas, at fect follows naturally from such a cause, we tachments, or biasses of any kind. After a mean, that it does lo by the divine appointlittle time, we find certain propensities begin nient. For what is natural is only fo, beto act pretty strongly within us, which, in cause rectitude requires it to be fo. the main, are necessary to move us to avoid Now, if our bodily frame is fo formed that what might be hurtful, and pursue what its well-being consists in temperance, and miglit be useful to the support of the animal that an immoderate indulgence of appetite frame ; and these propensities are appointed tends to disorder and unhinge it; if the make to anticipate reason, which does not at first of the human mind, and our social state in exert itkelf. As we advance in life, we be- life, are such, that the social virtues tend to come capable of reasoning upon actions, and produce universal happiness, and all this by their consequences, and, accordingly, do in the constitution and course of nature ; if there general, reason justly enough about matters things be so, who is so blind, as not to see of right and wrong, where passion does not in all this a moral government already establind or mislead us. When we come into hlifhed under God, even in this world, and the vigorous and flouri Ahing time of life, ex- going on to perfection ? And yet, that we gited by our passions and appetites, we enter may not, by a continued course of eafe and upon various scenes of action : Yet here is happiness, be led either to such arrogance and the proper season for exercising our virtue; pride as to conclude ourselves the Lords of nafor habituating ourselves to keep constantly ture, or to fix our affections upon the present on our guard against innumerable assaults í state, we are placed in the school of afflicfor watching over our felves that we may not tion, to be broke and tamed to obedience. be surprised, and fall before temptation; or, That happiness too easily come at, and a if we fall; that, by suffering from our er constant series of fuccefs and prosperity, are pers, we may be moved to greater diligence by no means proper for us, is too evident and attention to our duty, to a stronger at- from the effects of eafe and affluence, which tachment to vitue, and a more fixed lia, very few can bear without almost losing their 3

reason

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