« AnteriorContinuar »
467. On the Love of Praise--Character of Ma-
472. Proposal that the rich Sick should assist the
474. Letter complaining of Country Manners and
480. Letters from a country Gentleman to Pha-
woman married to a Cotquean...
tunes to Judgments
Character of a Templar in Love
487. Essay on Dreams..
in young Ladies
Letter from Horace to Claudius Nero
of the Jews
Anecdote of a Portuguese Minister of
Pope Leo X....
ters of Erastus, Letitia, Tawdry, and Fla-
507. On party Lies
against a Coxcomb
510. On the irresistible Power of Beauty
Marriage-Sale of unmarried Women
No. 453. SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 1712.
Non usitatâ nec tenui ferar
HOR. 2 Od. xx. 1.
No weak, no common wing shall bear
THERE is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction, that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. It is not like the practice of many other virtues, difficult and painful, but attended with so much pleasure, that were there no positive command which enjoined it, nor any recompence laid up for it hereafter, a generous mind would indulge in it, for the natural gratification that accompanies it.
If gratitude is due from man to man, hów much more from man to his Maker! The Supreme Being does not only confer upon us those bounties, which proceed more immediately from his hand, but even those benefits which are conveyed to üs
by others. Every blessing we enjoy, by what means soever it may be derived upon us, is the gift of Him who is the great Author of good, and Father of mercies.
If gratitude, when exerted towards one another, naturally produces a very pleasing sensation in the mind of a grateful man; it exalts the soul into rapture, when it is employed on this great object of gratitude, on this beneficent Being who has given us every thing we already possess, and from whom we expect every thing we yet hope for.
Most of the works of the Pagan poets were either direct hymns to their deities, or terfded indirectly to the celebration of their respective attributes and perfections. Those who are acquainted with the works of the Greek and Latin poets which are still extant, will upon reflection find this observation so true, that I shall not enlarge upon it. One would wonder that more of our Christian poets have not turned their thoughts this way, especially if we consider, that our islea of the Supreme Being is not only infinitely more great and noble than what could possibly enter into the heart of an heathen, but filled with every thing that can raise the imagination, and give an opportunity for the sublimest thoughts and conceptions.
Plutarch tells us of a heathen who was singing an hymn to Diana, in which he celebrated her for her delight in human sacrifices, and other instances of cruelty and revenge; upon which a poet who was present at this piece of devotion, and seems to have had a truer idea of the divine nature, told the votary, by way of reproof, that, in recompence for his hymn, he heartily wished he might have a daughter of the same temper with