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“ If you live,” says Seneca, “according to the dictates of nature, you will never be poor; if according to the notions of the world, you will never be rich."
RIGHTS-and constitutional improvements are generally the results of a struggle, for no wrong makes a voluntary surrender; it must be met, fought, and conquered. Liberty has seldom been brought into the world without a convulsion. Treason and rebellion are terrible afflictions, but they gave us Magna Charta in one age, and in another the Constitution of 1688. Tyranny and abuse never imitate the well-bred dog, who walks quietly down stairs, just as he sees preparations are making for kicking him down. They wait for the application of the foot, and are kicked twice as far as was first intended. Had the boroughmongers conceded representation to three or four of the large towns, they would not have been all consigned to schedule A, and smothered in their own rottenness.
ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIGION.-Horace Walpole in his Letters mentions a sceptical bon-vivant, who, upon being urged to turn Roman Catholic, objected that it was a religion enjoining so many fasts, and requiring such implicit faith :“ You give us,” he observed, “ too little to eat, and too much to swallow."
SABBATH_observance of. The Americans are before us in sound opinions on this subject. In the report of the House of Representatives upon petitions for the prohibition of the conveyance of the mail on the Sabbath, the proposition is broadly laid down, that questions of religious obligation lay out of the province of legislation. It says, “ The principles of our government do not recognise in the majority any authority over the minority, except in matters which regard the conduct of man to his fellow-men.” And it defines the duty of the representative “ to guard the rights of man--not to restrict the rights of conscience.” We here quote the passage.
“ Religious zeal enlists the strongest prejudices of the human mind, and, when misdirected, excites the worst passions of our nature under the delusive pretext of doing God service. Nothing so infuriates the heart to deeds of rapine and blood. Nothing is so incessant in its toils, so persevering in its determinations, so appalling in its course, or so dangerous in its consequences. The equality of rights secured by the constitution may bid defiance to mere political tyrants, but the robe of sanctity too often glitters to deceive. The constitution regards the conscience of the Jew as sacred as that of the Christian, and gives no more authority to adopt a measure affecting the conscience of a solitary individual than that of a whole community. That representative who would violate this principle, would lose his delegated character, and forfeit the confidence of his constituents. If Congress shall declare the first day of the week holy, it will not convince the Jew nor the Sabbatarian. It will dissatisfy both, and, consequently, convert neither. Human power may extort vain sacrifices, but Deity alone can command the affections of the heart. If Congress shall, by the authority of the law, sanction the measure recommended, it would constitute a legislative decision of a religious controversy, on which even Christians themselves are at issue. However suited such a decision may be to an ecclesiastical council, it is incompatible with a republican legislature, which is purely for political, and not religious purposes.'
Josephus records, that when God was determined to punish his chosen people, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who, while they were breaking all his other laws, were scrupulous observers of that one which required them to keep holy the Sabbath-day, he suffered this hypocritical fastidiousness to become their ruin; for Pompey, knowing that they obstinately refused even to defend themselves on that day, selected it for a general
assault upon the city, which he took by storm, and butchered the inhabitants with as little mercy as he found resistance.
“Pleasant but wrong," was the naiveté of the little urchin, who, on being brought before a magistrate for playing marbles on Sunday, and sternly asked,—“ Do you know, sirrah, where those little boys go to, who are wicked enough to play marbles on Sunday ?" replied very innocently,“ Yes, your vorship, some on 'em goes to the Common, and some on 'em goes down by the river side."
SACRIFICES.-Killing and burning the harmless to save the hurtful, so that the less innocent men become, the more they destroy innocent animals. What must have been Solomon's opinion of his own sins, and those of his people, when, at the consecration of the temple, he offered a sacrifice of 22,000 oxen, and 120,000 sheep!-Ovid was clear-sighted enough to see the folly of the heathen system of sacrifice, and there is a remarkable conformity between his
“Non bove mactato cælestia numina gaudens,
Sed quæ præstanda est, et sine teste, fide”and sundry passages in the New Testament. The priesthood made no very heavy sacrifice when they gave up their share of slaughtered animals for tithes, offerings, and other pecuniary oblations.
SANCTUARY.-The abuse of impunity, arising originally from the abuse of legal severity ;-two evils aggravating, in the endeavour to correct, each other. All local privileges, the remnants of this ancient compromise, should be abolished. We need no other sanctuary than mild laws impartially administered. The king being the first magistrate of the State, and, as the head of the Church, the guardian of the public morals, why should the verge of his court enable debtors to defy their just creditors, and to defraud honest tradesmen with impunity? Why should Peers, or Members of the House of Commons, perverting their honour into a source of dishonour, violate the laws which themselves have made, and set themselves above pecuniary responsibility, by their freedom from arrest? How these privileges have been abused, is well known :-why they should be still retained, is by no means so manifest.
SATIRE.-A glass in which the beholder sees every body's face but his own.
SAW.-A sort of dumb alderman which gets through a great deal by the activity of its teeth.—N. B. A bona-fide alderman is not one of the “ wise saws" mentioned by Shakspeare, at least in“ modern instances."
SCANDAL.-What one half the world takes a pleasure in inventing, and the other half in believing.
SCANDALOUS REPORTS-says Boerhaave, are sparks, which if you do not blow them, will go out of themselves. They have, perhaps, been better compared to volcanic explosions, of which the lighter portions are dispersed by the winds, while the heavier fall back into the mouth whence they were ejected. Our scandalous journals, professedly dealing in personality and abuse, have been justly termed the opprobrium of the
age; but it is some consolation to know, that few or none of them have disgraced the liberal cause. The conservatives have the discredit of their support; the Reformers, all the honour of their enmity. Nuisances as they are, it is, perhaps, wise not to molest them, but to let them die of their own stench. Prosecutions for libel, avail little against men of
and as to personal chastisement, the rogues
“ Have all been beaten till they know,
SCEPTICISM.—“The dogmatist,” says Watts, “ is sure of every thing, and the sceptic believes nothing.”—Both are likely to be wrong, but we need not impute wrong motives to either. Scepticism may be assumed as an excuse for immorality: but Faith also may be assumed as a substitute for good works. To say that the doubters are all profligates, and the orthodox all hypocrites, would be equally removed from truth and liberality. As the worldly temptations all lean towards an acquiescence in received opinions, those who profess them, should be the last to suspect the motives of those who differ from them. Both may be good Christians, if they will but think each other to be such.
SCHISM.—“The restraining of the Word of God, and the understanding of men, from that liberty wherein Christ and the Apostles left them, is, and hath been the only fonntain of all the schisms of the Church, and that which makes them immortal ;—the common incendiary of Christendom, and that which tears in pieces, not the coat, but the bowels and members of Christ, Ridente Turca nec dolente Judæo.”—(Chillingworth's Religion of Protestants, part i. p. 152.)
SCIENCE-presents this advantage to its cultivator—that he may always hope for progression, whereas the arts, at least the ornamental ones, move in a perpetual Round Robin, the demand for novelty constantly requiring that even the most faultless perfection should be superseded by something new, which, of necessity, must be something inferior. Were Phidias, Vitruvius, and Raphael to revive, they would find that the world has retrograded in statuary, architecture, and painting ;-but could Leibnitz or Newton, revisit us, they would be amazed at our advances in mathematics and general science.
SCULPTURE.-The noble art of making an imperishable portrait in marble or bronze. There are various ways of con