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Wouldst thou, thirdly, render the enjoyment of this happiness lasting as well as complete? Then deal circumfpectly with thy friend. The flower of friendship must be reared and tended with a gentle hand; it has need of nurture and refreshment, to preferve it from fading and withering away. Bear then with the harmless weakneffes of thy friend, though probably distasteful to thee. Impofe on him no burden that he may find difficult to bear. Give him as freely, at least, as thou receivest of him. Put him not to trials which may imply dif trust or awake fufpicion. Extort no fervices or attentions; and force not from him the fecret with which he is not willing to entrust thee. Beware of imputing to him each look, each word, each trifling action, which might not, probably, have been accompanied with a fufficient degree of energy, as a breach of friendship, when thou art once become fure of his heart. Let not the power thou haft over him degenerate into authority and rigour; or the freedom and familiarity that fubfifts between you, into a total neglect of the rules of good breeding and propriety.
Wouldst thou, lastly, enjoy the happiness of friendfhip, and learn its full value from experience; then be punctual and exact in the discharge of all the duties thou oweft to thy friend. Pay a fedulous attention to his wants, his views, and his connections; think nothing that concerns him to be indifferent to thee, but confider his interefts as infeparable
feparable from thy own. Be before-hand with him, as often as thou canft, in what he may expect or require from thy friendship; and let chearfulness and pleasure accompany and animate whatever, thou doft in his behalf. Thank him for the civilities and fervices he accepts from thee, as much as for those thou receiveft from him. Above all things be fcrupulously exact and faithful in the most important and generous demonstrations of virtuous friendship. Exhort, incite, encourage, and stimulate him to every thing that is laudable and good; and be not deterred from it by the fear of forfeiting his esteem and affection. The friendship that will not stand this trial, that will not be the firmer for it, is not deferving of that honourable name, deserves not to be cherished with all poffible care, as the chiefest felicity of life. Indeed, thou must not be discouraged by the first unsuccessful attempt. Thou must even endeavour to procure admiffion and audience to thy admonitions, thy warnings and thy reprehenfions, by every thing that is perfuafive and prevailing in friendship. Thou must even repeatedly bear with the displeasure of thy once more equitable friend, and bear it with undiminished affection. But, when he will by no means allow himself to be admonished, to be cautioned, to be reprehended by thee, if he will only endure to be flattered; then - let the bond of attachment between you be cancelled for ever. It was not dictated by wisdom and virtue, and might eafily have led thee into a fnare.
But, if thou art juftified in requiring this of thy friend, then likewise, on the other hand, take the admoni, tions, the suggestions, the remonstrances and reproofs of thy friend in good part, and, with a grateful refentment. Refpect and love him the more, that he may have lefs frequent occafions of giving thee fuch teftimonies of his esteem and affection; and fo run with him towards the mark of human perfection, to which every virtue, every fpecies of happiness, and therefore friendship, infallibly conducts.
The Value of civil and religious Liberty:
GOD, the creator and father of mankind, far haft thou elevated us above the beafts of the field! Of greater perfection and happiness haft thou rendered us capable! Thou haft imparted to us reafon and liberty. And what bleffings haft thou not granted us by them! What means of becoming ever better, ever wifer, ever happier! Yes, thou haft formed us after thy own image, and imprinted on us, thy children, evident marks of our origin from thee. By reafon and liberty we can have communion with thee, and ever approach nearer to thee, ever gain a greater resemblance to thee, the firft, the most perfect being. O God, with what privileges haft thou not endowed us, the inhabitants of the earth! How happy are we, in being that which thy love has ordered us to be! Oh might we but
ever become more intimately fenfible to our dignity and that of our brethren, and ever think and act in greater conformity with it! We are all thy children, all of divine descent, all endowed by thee with the fame privileges, all ordained by thee to perfection and happiness. And as fuch we fhould all efteem and love each other, all live together as brethren and fifters, and none mislead another from his vocation or degrade him from his dignity, but all be aiding to each other towards the attainment and mainte
nance of it. This is thy will, thou gracious parent of us all; and to do thy will is our glory and our felicity. Oh teach us then, with ever increafing fidelity to accomplish thy will, and ever more completely to enjoy that felicity. Worthily to use our own liberty, and to refpect and promote the liberty of our brethren, fhould be the honour, the moft zealous endeavour of us all! Do thou, most merciful father, put a stop to the oppreffion and tyranny of every kind under the burden whereof fo many of thy children on earth continue to figh; break the bonds that disfigure and degrade the work of thy hands; revive and raise the sentiment of their dignity almoft extinct in fuch numbers of mankind, and let the triumphs of freedom over thraldom be more confpicuous and glorious from day to day. Bless the meditations on thy word which we are now about to begin. Teach us all duly to estimate the value of liberty, and let the fentiment of it infpire us with all generous difpofitions, with difpofitions worthy of the