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to the baneful influences of envy, jealousy, avarice and ambition, he will enter into no conspiracies against the liberties of his country, or cabals to disturb its tranquillity; that he will refrain from detraction and calumny to ruin the characters of political rivals; that he will form no projects, employ no means, take advantage of no situation, to enrich or aggrandize himself or bis connexions, at the expense of the public. He will not engage in public affairs with the views and feelings of a gamester, selfishly regarding the distinctions and emoluments of office as stakes, to be won by artifice and fraud. Far different will be his sentiments respecting the great interests of society; far different his practice; and if he is ever honoured with the confidence of his countrymen, it will not be, because he has not deserved it.

We may expect, in the next place, that he will endeavour to understand and discharge all the positive duties he owes the state. Sensible of his importance in a country, where the aggregate will of the community, not the good pleasure of an individual, directs, he will bestow a due share of his thoughts and cares on the concerns of the public. He will bow to the majesty of the laws; and will labour by his example and influence to procure for them and their depositaries that general respect, which may supply the place of terrour in absolute governments. Whatever contributes to the security and order, to the prosperity and honour of the community, will have his heart, and, as far as practicable, his hand and his purse. He will, therefore, regard with particular favour the interests of learning, religion and virtue, bestowing his suffrages on the wise and good, and cherishing those institutions, which are designed and calculated to improve the people.

We shall be the more convinced of the necessity of virtue to the preservation of civil liberty, if we consult history. What, but the prevalence of vice, can account for the destruction of all the popular governments, which have successively appeared in the world before our own ? What, but that prostration of principle, that effeminacy of character, that selfish disregard of the interests of the state, which grow out of the indulgence of vicious propensities and passions, -envy and jealousy of superiour merit and talents, the love of ease and pleasure, of luxurious and cxpensive living, avarice, ambition, voluptuousness, and extravagance? Would the Grecian and Roman republics have lost their liberties, had they retained the simplicity and purity of manners, the integrity and vigour of character, the noble and generous devotion, to the public good, which they exhibited at some periods of their history? Was any thing wanting, but virtue, to have rendered the French revolution productive of a durable system of

free government? We all know that it was the excesses and erimes of the republic, which rendered it so short-lived, and occasioned the establishment of despotism.

The important truth I have been considering, shows the peculiar propriety of those Laws, which have for their object the protection and improvement of our morals. Such are the laws, to restrain the use of ardent spirits; to prevent gambling, vagrancy, licentiousness, and profane swearing; to enforce a due observance of the sabbath; to promote the diffusion of knowledge and piety, by encouraging schools, academies, colleges, and all institutions of learning and religion. Laws of this sort are conformable to the genius of the government; they serve as props to our political edifice; and are, therefore, eminently fit and useful. It is, indeed, this consideration, particularly, which gives our rulers their authority to interfere with the morals and religion of the people. The zeal, however, which prompts to such legislation, ought to be tempered with wisdom; for if it infringe private rights and go so far as to lose the support of public opinion, it may produce a reaction injurious to the most salutary usages and measures. By striving to obtain too much, men sometimes lose every thing.

My subject also manifests the singular folly and wickedness of unnecessarily passing laws, which have a tendency to corrupt the people ;-laws, for instance, which are apt to be productive of fraud and perjury; which are vexatious and oppressive, and, therefore, being odious to large classes of citizens, are particularly liable to be violated. I say unnecessarily, because measures of this character are, no doubt, sometimes unavoidable,—such is the order and constitution of human affairs. There is, indeed, some temptation to violate the most common and indispensable laws. This is sufficiently evinced by the frequent occurrence of crimes. While, therefore, it is the duty of rulers to refrain, as far as possible, from such measures, as involve extraordinary temptations ; it is the duty of the people, when such measures do take place, to regard them as special trials of their virtue, and as parts of those circumstances, which a wise Providence has ordered for their moral discipline and improvement.

From this source our moral and religious societies derive one of their strongest recommendations to public patronage. The Society for the Suppression of Intemperance,--the Evangelical Missionary Society,—Bible Societies,—all are valuable in this view. By promoting the improvement of individuals and classes of men, such institutions contribute to the preservation of our social system,-our fair fabric of liberty, law, morality and religion,—that inestimable order of things, which leaves us to enjoy Nero SeriesVol. II.

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all that manis capable of enjoying, and which invites us to be all that man is capable of being.

Nothing can place in a clearer light the importance of attending to the qualifications of candidates for office. If virtue is required in every citizen, it can by no means be dispensed with in those, whose examples and opinions derive weight froin their elevation in society. It is yet very common for men, either to lose sight of their consciences at elections, or to imagine that persons, who are very exceptionable in their principles and characters, may nevertheless be very good agents for the public. This absurd notion is probably suggested by the responsibility which is attached to office. Rulers, it is thought, will conduct right, because, if they do not, they will at leasi lose their places. Experience cannot, surely, have been duly attended to by those, whom such reasoning satisfies; otherwise the frequent abuses of trust, which happen, must have convinced them of its fallacy. Besides, responsibility has its limits; it influences only to a certain extent, and within a certain sphere; it does not reach to the secret practices of rulers, nor does it take cognisance of much that is omitted to be done,---of the neglect of opportunities for doing good, which keen-eyed zeal for the public service discovers and improves. Advantageous as the tribunal of public opinion certainly is, it is far from being a complete security for the faithful exercise of delegated power. Look well, then, to the characters of those, whom you clothe with authority. Consider the magnitude of the concerns intrusted to them; consider, above all things, that they are the guardians of the public morals.

Has Divine Providence seen fit to place us in circumstances, which present inducements and a field for the practice of virtue, which, perhaps, no other nation on earth possesses ? Are the consequences of our principles, habits, and actions, be they good or bad, of greater importance, than they would be under a different form of government? Is our situation, at the same time, singularly favourable to the development and exercise of our intellectual and moral powers? Have we an opportunity to act as rational and accountable beings,—to be literally and truly men? Is it true, also, that not only our present comfort and enjoyment, but our most valuable interests,-interests, which respect the whole of our existence,-the simplicity and purity of our divine religion, and those qualities of heart and mind and life which constitute worth of character, depend in no small degree on the continuance and healthy condition of our political organization ? And is not our responsibility proportionably great? To whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. Much is given to us,-more, than was ever bestowed on any other people. Every thing in our situation invites the culture, every thing favours the growth, of moral excellence. We are exalted to heaven in point of civil and religious privileges. We can, under God, preserve them by our virtues. "We shall lose them only by our vices. Woe to us, then, if we do lose them!

LAICUS,

THE CHARACTER OF ZOLLIKOFER.

We present our readers in the following article, with a character of Zollikofer, well known as a popular preacher during his life, and whose printed discourses have been very highly esteemed. He was born at St. Gall, in Switzerland, on the 5th of August, 1730. He was educated at the university of Utrecht, where the professors of divinity were in high repute, but used a poor system of instruction; so that Zollikofer used to say, “The little that I know, I was obliged to teach myself,-chiefly after I came to years of maturity; for I had but a miserable education.' He however became extensively known, and was greatly admired and respected. He died on the 22d of January, 1788, in the 58th year of his age.--Many of his sermons have appeared in an English dress, and even amidst the imperfections of an ordinary translation have received the approbation of many of the best judges. Their great peculiarities of manner will be found from the following sketch to be strongly marked by the characteristics of the man.

“ It is not my intention to meddle with the biography of Zollikofer, as being too imperfectly known to me, and as the worthy editor of his posthumous writings, appointed by himself, is far better qualified for the task. I shall confine myself solely to what I have been able to gather from my personal intercourse with him, and from the diligent perusal of his writings, concerning the peculiarities of his genius and of his character.

All the qualities of this man partook somewhat of privacy and retirement, but were therefore the more substantial. In his exterior no one in particular of his good qualities was discernible to any extraordinary degree: but only the result of all,--sedateness and composure. He felt deeply, and had a cold appearance. He thought much, and was taciturn. He was extremely benevolent, and not obtrusive in his kindness. The superficial observer saw nothing in him except a certain decorum, which

inspired respect, but announced no great internal activity. On a closer inspection his mind was seen to be ever at work, and his heart constantly agitated by lively emotions and even by passions.

Nobody that I was ever yet acquainted with, has had that consistency of character which Cicero before all things requires of a virtuous man, in so eminent a degree as Zollikofer. With what is called humour or caprice he was totally unacquainted. Nei . ther his countenance nor his demeanour shewed any

alteration one day more than another. He was not at one visit conversible and attentive, at another absent and pensive. He was not found at one time disposed to effusions of the heart, at another time to reserve. At all times he was the same, always in the middle way, always under the government of reason, always in a certain equipoise of his affections.

This was owing in a great measure to his being free from the ambition of shining on the spot by any of his good qualities. He seemed never to make it the subject of his thoughts how he might appear to others: he was only intent on what he was determined to be. When he had nothing more to say, he thought it no disgrace to be silent. He never held it bis duty to be lavish in complaisance on every occasion : but is in the course of the conversation, any true sentiment occurred which at the same time might prove agreeable, he uttered it with propriety and evident complacency,

It has never been my fortune to take notice of a person whe had arrived at equal perfection with Zollikofer in his thoughts and in his labours. There was in him an argumentative mind, a talent of nice discernment in matters relating to human actions and failings; a sound and vigorous judgment; the faculty of unfolding his thoughts with perspicuity; the talent of a really exquisite taste in literary composition. But these several capacities were not completely expanded by the education he received. His studies and his models were not the most perfect. The first sermons that I heard him deliver, composed in his early years, still retained some borrowed ideas, not of his own original conception,-a verbose manner of expression. They always differed from the general run of pulpit discourses ; but they did not fix the attention,—did not yield information in the degree that Zollikofer was capable of fixing the attention and of giving information. But his sermons improved upon me from year to year both in matter and in delivery, in genius and in diction. Since the time of my first intimacy with him, when I consequently began to observe him more closely, how much more abundant has his moral instruction become, how much purer and more com.

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