« ForrigeFortsæt »
they have a clergyman sent for to a dying friend. Strip then any religion of the superstitions and absurdities priestcraft has introduced, and it will every where be found of a pure nature, though perhaps not in the same degree. It is unjust and unfriendly in man to hate his brother because providence has made him the inhabitant of another soil, and follower of ano. ther faith; teach him the greater excellence, if he will listen, but do not call him heretic or unbeliever; even the deist deserves pity, for his mind is in a state of privation from the greatest solace of religious hope, and in denying a mediator he becomes forlorn and wretched.
The christian religion is pure in all its parts, and the Sermon on the Mount a perfect system of morals. The judicious restraints which are imposed upon the passions of men set the limits perhaps too narrow for human weakness absolutely to keep; but the boundaries are those of safety: thus when it is said, “ that if any man smite thee on the one cheek, turn unto him the other also,” it is not meant in its literal sense; but to shew that it is better not to resent violence with violence, and to shew also the strength of meekness, which in the just is an impregnable tower that nothing can successfully assail.
The next maxim against which new philosophers have cavilled, with as little justice as the former, is the one, “that if any man sue thee at the law and take away thy cloak, let him have thy coat also;" but the experience of common life among those who have been involved in litigation, shews the true wisdom of the precept; indeed the whole of the Sermon may very well be said to comprise the lesson of how to live, as well as how to die. What is wanting in the world is more of love and charity, and there is nothing that can disseminate them better than the precepts of christianity; I do not say this hastily, but in a long and mature consideration of the subject, I have seen the course of happy and tranquil hours that have attended
families accustomed to the duties of religion, blessed in the disposition of their minds, and in all the circumstances of their lives content and
I hope that the Man in the Moon will not be thought sententious or grave;
I assure my readers that it is not so, I am as merry and cheerful as they could wish; but I do not like to see religion, that should bind all men to each other, unjustly made a barrier to their friendly intercourse ; it is not the character it deserves, and man alone perversely misunderstands it.
The communication from the MAN At The Most Head will be in the
the next Number,
MAN IN THE MOON.
“ NAUTICUS CANTUS."
Saturday, 3d Dec. 1803.
IN a former Number I believe that I urged the expediency of employing all the latent military talent that could be found in the country. That I was not wrong in such recommendation I feel more satisfied every day. The volunteer corps ought certainly to have been officered chiefly from the line, that the influence of soldierly example might have made men soldiers. It is my duty now to speak of another department, of the spirit and talent to be found in the English navy; and here it is grateful to give a tribute to bravery and merit. The character of a naval officer is finely formed; it comprises a high sense of honour and courage, with a friendliness of nature and generosity of mind that is conspicuous even to an enemy. Our seamen are rough, hardy, and honest; regular in the points of their duty, disdaining all fatigue and danger when the service requires it. The bad part of à ship's company are only a few landsmen, who may be found among what are called wasters, or afterguard, and who may have been desperate characters on shore,
Perhaps the manners of the naval officer may have become more refined of late years; but it has not injured his spirit or bravery; in fact, where such principles govern, it is not much matter as to the manners, they cannot easily displease. We recollect, with pleasure, Lieutenant Bowling in Roderic Random, drawn from the life; and naval people still speak of Jack Cooling, a real character, who some years ago commanded the Ruby. Jack being appointed, went to Deptford, to his ship, and ascended her side with a leg of mutton in his righit hand, calling at the same time for the boatswain and the cook; the first he ordered to hoist the pendant, and the next to boil the leg of mutton. The boatswain, however, who was as rough as the commander, and who did not know him, only replied:“ Hoist the pendant for you, and be dd to ye! who the devil are you?” Jack only made a sour face at the boatswain, and unbuttoning his great coat his uniform was discovered, and the commander instantly obeyed, with many apologies for the mistake. It was not long before the ship was manned, and ready for, sea, for every seaman liked Jack Cooling. Jack having heard that it was usual to make a speech to the ship's company, had all hands called; and being a very little man, ascended an armchest for the purpose. Every tar was silent with admiration; Jack began, “ Harkee! my name's Jack Cooling, and if you don't do your duty, d-n me if I don't cool ye.”. The tars gave three cheers, and one and: all declared, that they never had heard such a fine speech in all their lives. It is impossible not to
feel high regard for the bluntness and hardihood of this honest seaman.
If, however, the manners of the officers of the navy have become more polished, they have lost nothing of their original character; and a most gallant seaman of the present day, who is an accomplished gentleman, proves how easily the characters may be united. A few
years ago a person, who had to see this officer, (since created a knight) found him preparing for the drawing-room, and was struck with the elegance of his address and manners; but having occasion to wait on him a few days afterwards, was told that he might meet him at the Royal Exchange, where he was treating with the master of a merchantman to go out a passenger to Sweden. · The gentleman went to the proper walk, on 'Change, but could see nobody like Capt. S; at last he observed a man in a blue great coat, with a silk handkerchief round his neck, of whom he thought he might make enquiries, which he did; but was perfectly astonished when he heard the stranger, on being asked if he knew Capt. Sof the navy, answer Yes, I am Capt. S. "You! what Capt. S-— who I saw the other day going to court?"-" Yes, Sir.” Nothing could equal the astonishment of the man, who declared that the Captain was the most elegant amphibious animal that he had ever seen, and that he could live just as well on shore as at sea.
There is a noble and true independence in the cha