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much the faster will the knot that connects them be drawn; so much the more will their fidelity be exercised and secured; so much the more poignant will the mutual sentiment of friendship be; and so much the more effectual their united efforts to vanquish every obstacle, to surmount every difficulty, and to force their way through dangers and calamities to the prize of their high calling, and to seize it with concurrent ardour. The feverest penury, the most manifest danger, the hardest and most costly facrifices, are at once the sustenance and the test of their generous friendship; and the more a friend can do and risk and facrifice and fuffer and laboriously acquire for his friend, so much the happier is he in the sentiment of his friendship. And of what actions and what enterprises are not such friends capable! What degree of virtue, what per: fection is unattainable to them!

And what a value, what an inestimable value must not all this confer on friendship! What ter. restrial happiness, what outward distinction, can be compared to it! None; it is of far greater value than wealth and honour and elevation and power and all the splendour of earthly thrones. With it, a man may be deprived of them all, and yet be happy; without 'it, though he had them all, his heart would never be satisfied, nor his thirst after happiness be assuaged. Even love must yield the palm to friendship. Senfual love is consumed and destroyed by enjoyment; and when it is not raised upon friendship, or does not change into it, it inevitably draws after it satiety, disgust, and averfion. The joys of friendship alone neither droop nor decay,

and the fruition of them never deadens desire. If friendship be less lively and vehement than love, it is therefore the more lasting and pure. Its objects are capable of continued advancement, of incessant perfection ; on which new beauties, new charms, new blossoms and flowers, for ever appear. It combines not flowers which bloom to-day and are withered to-morrow; it incorporates not frail materials of dust and corruption: but its connections are of souls, of fpirits, of immortal beings; beings for ever raising themselves higher above the dust, for ever approaching nearer to the Father of spirits, the original source from whence they sprung. Love generally dies on this fide the grave: but friendship extends to the regions beyond it, into the better world to come ; death only transplants it into a new scene, where its satisfactions will be purer and more perfect, and it will display itself in still nobler efforts and more glorious actions.

Great as the value of friendship is, however enviable the person that enjoys it, yet is it by no means the prerogative of the darling of fortune, a benefit to which only persons of superior stations can make pretension. No, friendship seldom takes up her abode with the rich, still feldomer with the high and mighty. She prefers the cottage to the palace, the simple manners of the private person contented with his moderate circumstances, to the pomp

and luxuries of the great ; often does she rather chuse the house of sorrow than the seat of festivity. Men of the inferior classes keep more together, are more sensible to their natural equality, cross and circumvent each other less in their views and enterprifes, are less frequently competitors for the same pre, eminence, are not so dissipated and relaxed, nor so often forget themselves amidst a multitude of extraneous objects: and the sufferer is in want of a sympathising being, one into whose breast he may pour out his sorrows, whose presence and participation will comfort' and chear him, and in whose conversation he may forget his distresses and his pains. Thus friendship yery frequently is a counterpoise to mifery, while the want of it deprives the most shining circumstances of the greatest part of their worth.

Plain confiderations ; which will not allow us to doubt that friendship is a highly covetable blessing, that it is the choicest and best privilege of life. Happy he who possesses this rare advantage, who has learnt to prize it as it deserves, and is sensible to the felicity it confers. To him it is a never-failing {pring of tranquillity and comfort, of satisfaction and joy. To him must the path of life be far smoother, more luminous and pleasant, than to the wretch who is obliged to wander through his course, without a companion, without a friend to observe his ways and partake of his pleasures, who must bear its troubles without assistance, and may ofteri fall for want of a support.

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Wouldst thou, my christian brother, know the happiness of friendship from experience; then be cautious in chusing thy friend. Herein let wisdom and virtue conduct thee. Let not the outward graces, nor friendly looks, nor a smiling countenance, nor flattering speeches, nor studied civilities, nor the first impreslion of complacency, nor every similarity in sentiment or taste, beguile thee. Give not carelessly thy heart to any one that applies for it, or who procures the present pleasure. Place not thy confidence in any thoughtless, inconfiderate person, any convivial jefter, any witling, any scorner of religion and severe morality. Connect not thyfelf with any to whom the band of wedlock, the ties. of domestic and of social life, and the still more awful relation that unites the creature with the Creator, are not sacred. In thy choice, prefer understanding and probity to all the glare of riches and the pomp of station, candour and openness of heart to the most polished sentiments and the moft amufing wit; prefer even the severest reprover to the most agreeable flatterer. Chuse for thy friend, the friend of truth, the friend of virtue, the friend of humanity, the friend of God. Rather forego a while longer the happiness of friendship, than run the least risk of finding wretchedness and mifery where thou foughtest for the purest of human delights!

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Wouldst thou, farther, enjoy the happiness of friendship, and that in a rational and lasting manner? Then form no extravagant, no romantic conceptions of it. Amuse not thyself with the notion of a friend that no where existed, or who must have been a useless or a worthless member of society if he did so exist. Be reasonable in thy demands on thy friend. Require no perfection more than hu. man, no infallibility, of him. Forget not that he is a man, a frail circumscribed creature, liable like thee to err and to mistake, and must and will be so while he is a man. Forget not that he is a father, a husband, a brother, a citizen, head or member of some larger or less society, and stands in various connections with a thousand others. Require not therefore that he should always judge exactly right, give thee constantly the best advice, have his countenance always equally bright, his behaviour always alike agreeable and pleasing, his heart ever equally open and sensible, or his interest in whatever concerns thee equally active and warm. Demand not of him that he should live only for thee, converse with thee alone; ftill lefs, that he should wound his confcience for thy service, or facrifice to thee the welfare of those who look up to him for protection and support. No, the firmest tie of friend. fhip is mutual exactitude and integrity in the difcharge of our duties, as well as mutual indulgence and patience,

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VOL. II.

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