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agitate and employ her upon what is to come. These are the passions of hope and fear.
By these two passions we reach forward into futurity, and bring up to our present thoughts, objects that lie hid in the remotest depths of time. We suffer misery, and enjoy happiness, before they are in being; we can set the sun and stars forward, or lose sight of them, by wandering into those retired parts of eternity, when the heavens and earth shall be no more.
way, who can imagine that the existence of a creature is to be circumscribed by time, whose thoughts are not? But I shall, in this paper, confine myself to that particular passion which goes by the name of hope.
Our actual enjoyments are so few and transient, that man would be a very miserable being, were he not endowed with this passion, which gives him a taste of those good things that may possibly come into his possession.
“ We should hope for every thing that is good, (says the old poet Linus,) because there is nothing which may not be hoped for, and nothing but what the gods are able to give us." Hope quickens all the still parts of life, and keeps the mind awake in her most remiss and indolent hours. It gives habitual serenity and good humour. It is a kind of vital heat in the soul, that cheers and gladdens her, when she does not attend to it. It makes pain easy, and labour pleasant.
Besides these several advantages which rise from hope, there is another which is none of the least, and that is, its great efficacy in preserving us from setting too high a value on present enjoyments, The saying of Cæsar is very well known. When he had given away all his estate in gratuities among his friends, one of them asked what he had left for himself? to which that great man replied, Hope. His natural magnanimity hindered him from prising what he was certainly possessed of, and turned all his thoughts upon something more valuable that he had in view. I question not but every reader will draw a moral from this story, and apply it to himself without
direction. The old story of Pandora's box (which many of the learned believe was formed among the heathens upon the tradition of the fall of man) shews us how deplorable a state they thought the present life without hope. To set forth the utmost condition of misery, they tell us, that our forefather, according to the Pagan theology, had a great vessel presented him by Pandora: upon his lifting up the lid of it, says the fable, there flew out all the calamities and distempers incident to men, from which, till that time, they had been altogether exempt. Hope, who had been enclosed in the cup with so much bad company, instead of flying off with the rest, stuck so close to the lid of it, that it was shut down upon her.
I shall make but two reflections upon what I have hitherto said. First, that no kind of life is so happy as that which is full of hope, especially when the hope is well grounded, and when the object of it is of an exalted kind, and its nature proper to make the person happy who enjoys it. This proposition must be very evident to those who consider how few are the present enjoyments of the most happy man, and how insufficient to give him an entire satisfaction and acquiescence in them.
My next observation is this, that a religious life is that which most abounds in a well grounded hope, and such an one as is fixed on objects that are capable of making us entirely happy. This hope in a religious man, is much more sure and certain than the hope of any temporal blessing, as it is strengthened not only by reason, but by faith. It has at the same time its eye perpetually fixed on that state, which implies in the very notion of it, the most full and the most complete happiness.
I have before shewn how the influence of hope in general sweetens life, and makes our present condition supportable, if not pleasing; but a religious hope has still greater advantages. It does not only bear up
the mind under her sufferings, but makes her rejoice in them, as they may be the instruments of procuring her the great and ultimate end of all
Religious hope has likewise this advantage above any other kind of hope, that it is able to revive the dying man, and to fill his mind not only with secret comfort and refreshment, but sometimes with rapture and transport. He triumphs in his agonies, whilst the soul springs forward with delight to the great object which she has always had in view, and leaves the body with an expectation of being reunited to her in a glorious and joyful resurrection.
I shall conclude this essay with those emblematical expressions of a lively hope, which the Psalmist made use of in the midst of those dangers and ad. versities that surrounded him; for the following passage had its present and personal, as well as its future and prophetic sense. “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and
my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
No. 475. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4.
-Quæ res in se neque
moduna Habet ullum, eam consilio regere non potes.
It is an old observation, which has been made of politicians who would rather ingratiate themselves with their sovereign, than promote his real service, that they accommodate their counsels to his inclinations, and advise him to such actions only as his heart is naturally set upon. The privy counsellor of one in love must observe the same conduct, unless he would forfeit the friendship of the person who desires his advice. I have known several odd cases of this nature, Hipparchus was going to marry a, common woman, but being resolved to do nothing without the advice of his friend Philander, he consulted him upon the occasion. Philander told him his mind freely, and represented his mistress to him in such strong colours, that the next morning he received a challenge for his pains, and before twelve o'clock was run through the body by the man who had asked his advice. Çelia was more prudent on the like occasion; she desired Leonilla to give her opinion freely upon a young fellow who made his addresses to her. Leonilla, to oblige her, told her with great frankness, that she looked upon him as one of the most worthless---Celia, foreseeing what a character she was to expect, begged her not to
go on, for that she had been privately married to him above a fortnight. The truth of it is, a woman seldom asks advice before she has bought her wedding-clothes. When she has made her own choice, for form's sake, she sends a conge d'elire to her friends.
If we look into the secret springs and motives that set people at work on these occasions, and put them upon asking advice, which they never intend
to take, I look upon it to be none of the least, that they are incapable of keeping a secret which is so very pleasing to them. A girl longs to tell her confidant, that she hopes to be married in a little time, and, in order to talk of the pretty fellow that dwells so much in her thoughts, asks her very gravely, what she would advise her to do in a case of so much difficulty. Why else should Melissa, who had not a thousand pounds in the world, go into every quarter of the town, to ask her acquaintance whether they would advise her to take Tom Townly, that made his addresses to her with an estate of five thousand a year? 'Tis very pleasant, on this occasion, to hear the lady propose her doubts, and to see the pains she is at to get over them.
I must not here omit a practice that is in use among the vainer part of our own sex, who will often ask a friend's advice, in relation to a fortune whom they are never likely to come at. Will Honeycomb, who is now on the verge of threescore, took me aside not long since, and asked me in his most serious look, whether I would advise him to marry my Lady Betty Single, who, by the way, is one of the greatest fortunes about town. I stared him full in the face upon so strange a question; upon which he immediately gave me an inventory of her jewels and estate, adding, that he was resolved to do nothing in a matter of such consequence without my approbation. Finding he would have an answer, I told him, if he could get the lady's consent, he had mine. This is about the tenth match which, to my knowledge, Will has consulted his friends upon, without ever opening his mind to the party herself.
I have been engaged in this subject by the following letter, which comes to me from some notable young female scribe, who, by the contents of it, seems to have carried matters so far, that she is ripe for asko ing advice; but as I would not lose her good-will, nor forfeit the reputation which I have with her for