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ty, who does not, in the strongest Terms, condemn an avaricious penurious Temper, as a Contradiction to every thing that is noble, generous, wise, and good, in human Nature. Had Cutler and Hopkins lived among Heathens and Barbarians, they would have been despised and condemned, by Men of Sense and Virtue, as a Disgrace to human Nature, and a Reproach to Reason and common Sense. Contempt of Riches has, in all Ages and Nations, been regarded, by the truly great and noble, as the infallible Mark of agreat and noble Soul, and was the distinguishing Character of all the illustrious Heroes and eininent Philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome. Seneca is mentioned, by fome, as an Exception from this general Rule ; but, whatever his Practice might be, his Principles and Precepts were different; and what Wonder is it to see a Heathen contradicting his Principles in his Practice, when we daily fee Christians do the same. Riches are then only a Blessing, and their Poffession honourable, when they fall into generous Hands, and are employed to generous and honourable Purposes; in doing good, and making others happy, in supporting the Distressed and Miserable, and encouraging and rewarding indigent Merit. But when I see a Man, without one useful or amiable Quality, exalted above measure on account of his great Riches, without considering how they were acquired, and how they are employed, who fancies that any thing external to a Man, any thing that may be common to either good. or bad, and which is too commonly the Lot of the most worthless Part of Mankind, can render a Man truly valuable or honourable, he must be a very silly Creature, without any Pretensions to Greatness or Sound
ness of Mind, to true Honour, or good Understanding, A rich Knave or Fool differs in nothing from a poor one, but in the Aggravation of his Guilt, or the Oftentation of his Folly. Would you see a compendious and beautiful View of all that Wit and Reason can dictate upon this Subject ?-You will find it in Mr. Pope's excellent Esay upon the true Use of Riches,
M OR have the Proud and the Ambitious a better IV Title to Honour and true Greatness of Mind, than the Selfish, the Penurious, and Voluptuous; though, as Salluft long ago observed, * Ambition has a nearer Resemblance of Virtue than Covetousness, as it has the Appearance of a just and laudable Appetite for Power and Fame, which even wise and good Men are fond of; but Covetousness is a stupid Love of Money, which no Man of Sense or Virtue could ever be guilty of coveting. But whatever Similitude there may seem to be betwixt Pride and Honour, Ambition and true Greatnefs of Mind, they are as far asunder as the Swelling of a Dropsy, from a full and robust Habit of Body. That the Root of Pride is Folly, that Ignorance is the Mother of Vanity, I shall endeavour to prove, and whether Ignorance and Folly be consistent
* Quod tamen vitium propius virtutem erat, nam gloriam, honorem, imperium, bonus & ignavus æquè fibi exoptant: Avaritia pecuniæ ftudium habet, quam nemo fapiens concupivit. Sall.
with true Honour and Greatness of Mind, let the fillieft Reader judge.
Whatever Turn the Folly may chance to take, in whatever Form or Colour it may appear, it is the fame empty Bubble, diversified by some accidental Circumstance of Position, or the Medium through which it appears. Pride, in every Shape, is but Folly in a different Dress. It appears in the most ri- : diculous Light, when it grows out of the external and accidental Advantages of Birth and Fortune, in which, as we could have no Share, so, by Consequence, we could have no Merit. The Man that exalts himself above measure upon the Antiquity and Nobility of his Family, without those useful and amiable Qualities, which alone can make Men valuable and honourable, discovers as great a Defect of Sense, as of true Honour, or Greatness of Mind.
It is certain that the virtuous Descendants of virtuous and honourable Ancestors, who not only support, but improve and increase, the original Fund of Family Merit, by a Train of correspondent Actions, stand upon the highest Ground, are placed in the most advantageous Light, and have fairer Opportunities of exerting a juft and decent Superiority, than those, though of equal Merit, who want those Distinctions, and are intitled to all that Esteem and Respect which will ever be paid, by Men of Senfe and Virtue, to those, who, in Shakespear's Phrase, bear their Honours meckly. But if a worthless Wretch grows vain and infolent upon the Merit of his Ancestors, and demands Respect and Submission from wiser and better Men than himself, purely on account of an empty Title, or a superior Estate, the Demand is ridiculous and
Right to the
Advice, Comfortsies: but no Man
unreasonable, being grounded on no Pretensions, or Shadow of Merit. A Man of superior Knowledge, Strength, or Fortune, which he employs upon all Öccasions for the Good and Benefit of others, has a Right to the Esteem and Gratitude of those who receive Protection, Advice, Comfort, or Pleasure from the Communication of his Excellencies; but no Man has any real Merit, or Claim of Respect, from others, because his Ancestors were great and good Men, whilft he himself wears their honourable Distinctions to his own Shame. A pompous Title and glaring Equipage may attract the Attention and Reverence of the undiscerning Vulgar, whilst nothing but real Merit, an open, sincere, and generous Heart, can have any Kind of Pretension to the Esteem and Affection of the Wise and the Good. A great Soul lies very often concealed under mean Appearances, and many a sad Wretch has glittered with all the external Badges of Honour, who, in a virtuous Age and Nation, would have been thought a Disgrace to the Pillory.
To set this Matter in a clearer Light, let us examine a little into the Ground and Foundation of this Family Merit, and see whether it will be sufficient to support that grand Superstructure that human Vanity generally raises upon it. If the Honour of Families consists in being able to trace back their Pedigrees to distant Ages, till they lose themselves in the Darkness and Obscurity of an unknown Antiquity, we are all equally honourable in this respect, being all descended from an Original equally antient, the same common Father of Mankind; but if it consists in having our Ancestors diftinguished by honourable Offices, Titles, Pofts, and Radges of Honour, and great Estates, this
requires requires other previous Considerations in order to settle their Merit upon a just and solid Foundation. Let it be seriously enquired how these Estates were acquired; how these Titles and Honours were obtained. When when we see a vain Man, puffed up with an Opinion of his superior Wealth, we naturally turn our Thoughts upon the Methods by which it was raised, and the Uses that are made of it. If it were raised by virtuous and honourable Means, by God's special Blessing upon the Industry, the Frugality, the Courage, the Knowledge, the Integrity, and the Piety of their virtuous Ancestors, there is a solid Ground of inward Satisfaction, if not of Glory; and if it be employed to such, and such only, Purposes as Reason and Religion direct; to Acts of Generosity, Hospitality, and Charity, the Owner of such a Fortune has double Reason to rejoice in his Portion, and to expect the Reverence and Affection of those who receive Comfort and Allistance from the Overflowings of his Prosperity: But if, on the other hand, the boasted Fortune were founded in Sacrilege or Blood, Rapine or Fraud, Oppression or Vice, private or public Plunder, the Original is corrupt, the Title is criminal, and the Tenure dishonourable; it is (as the Physicians, fay) an Error in the first Concoction, which can never be rectified in the second; what is unjustly got, is as unjustly detained; whatever is, in its own Nature, wrong, can never, by any Length of Time or Prefcription, be made right; and the Iniquity and Difhonour that cleave to an unjust Poffeffion can never be done away; though, in the Opinion of the World, they may, by Length of Time, be diminished, or intirely forgotten. So as to Titles, if they were really