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be clouded with some calamity very grievous to him, or the disorder of vapours to a melancholy temper, I say, if he is tempted to some suspicion that it is possible it may be other than he believes (pray observe), such a surmise or thought, nay, the belief, cannot drive him to any horror: he fears no evil, because he is a good man, and with his life all sorrows end too; therefore, it is not to be denied, he is the wisest man who lives by the Scripture rule, and endeavours to keep God's laws. First, his mind is in peace and tranquil. lity; he walks sure who keeps innocence, and takes heed to the thing that is right: 2dly, he is secure God is his friend, that Infinite Being; and he has said, “ Come unto me ye that are heavy laden, my yoke is easy :" but guilt is cer. tainly a heavy load, it sinks and damps the spirits. “ A wounded spirit who can bear!” And the evil subtil spirit waits (I am persuaded) to drive the sinner to despair; but godliness makes a cheerful heart.
Now, O man! let not past errors discourage: who lives and sins not? God will judge the obstinate, profane, unrelenting sinner, but full of compassion to the work of his own hand, if they will cease from doing evil and learn to do well, pray for grace to repent, and endeavour, with that measure which will be given, if sincerely asked for; for at what time soever a sinner repents (but observe, this is no licence to sin, because at any time we may repent), for that day we may not live to see ; and so, like the fool in the parable, our lamp be untrimmed when we are called upon. Remember, that to forsake vice is the beginning VOL. V.
of virtue: and virtue certainly is most conducive to content of mind and a cheerful spirit. He (the virtuous man) rejoiceth with a friend in the good things he enjoys ; fears not the reproaches of any; no evil spirit can approach to hurt him here, or accuse him in the great day of the Lord, when every soul shall be judged according as they have done good or evil. Oh, blessed state! fit for life, fit for death! In this good state I wish and pray for all mankind; but most particularly, and with all the ardour I am capable of, to those I have brought into the world, and those dear to them. Thus are my fervent and frequent prayers directed. That you may die the death of the righteous, and to this end, that Almighty God would endue you with all spiritual wisdom, to discern what is pleasing in his sight. i
DUKE OF WHARTON TO LADY JANE HOLT.
DEAR SISTER, Madrid, June 19, N. S. 1726. My name has been so often mentioned of late in the public prints, and consequently the subject of private conversation, that my personal friends (you in particular) may with reason expect to know from myself, what steps I have taken, and what were the reasons of my present resolutions.
As to the reasons of my conduct, I do not think it proper to write them directly to you; I must refer you to some papers you will see published through all Europe. I will not trust the good
manners or the good nature of my enemies, by writing any thing to you that might expose you to trouble; for it would sharpen the prosecutions begun against me, if you should suffer the least inconvenience for your tenderness to me.
Whatever relates to myself gives me no uneasiness; every virulent vote, every passionate reproach, and every malicious calumny against me, are so many real commendations of my conduct; and while you and my sister Lucy are permitted to live quietly and securely, I shall think our family has met with no misfortune, and has no claim therefore to the compassion of its truest friends.
I know your concern and affection for me, and I write chiefly to give you comfort, not to receive any from you; for, I thank God, I have an easy contented mind, and that I want no comfort. I have some hopes, I have no fears, which is more than some of your Norfolk neighbours can say of themselves. I desire your prayers for the success of my wishes, and the prosperity of my family. I scorn the false pretended compassion of my enemies, and it would grieve me much more to receive the real pity of my friends. I shall not wonder if, at first, you be affected with the warmth of the proceedings against me, and should show some concern at the attempts made to strip our family of its title, and to rob them of their estates; but you will soon change your mind, when you consider that my real honour does not depend on Walpole, or his master's pleasure; that a faction may attaint a man without corrupting his blood ; and that an estate seized for a time by violence and arbitrary power is not irrecoverably lost. The word late is now become the most honourable epithet of the peerage ; it is a higher title than that of Grace; and whenever you hear me spoke of in that manner, I beg you to think as I do, that I have received a mark of honour, a mark dignified by the Duke of Ormond, Earl Marishel, and others.
You that have often read Lord Clarendon's History, must needs know, that, during the reign of Cromwell and the Rump Parliament, the whole peerage of England was styled the late House of Lords. There was then no want of late dukes, late earls, and late bishops; and why should that now be reckoned a reproach to a single peer, which was then the distinguishing title to the whole body? Was that impious usurper Cromwell the fountain of honour ? Had he who murdered one king any more power to taint the blood of his fellow subjects than his illustrious successor, who had fixed the price upon the head of another? For, as Lord Harcourt finely observes in his speech on Dr. Sacheverell, there is little or no difference between a wet martyrdom or a dry one. Can a high court at present, or a secret committee, tarnish the honour of a family? Is it a real disgrace to be condemned by Macclesfield, Harcourt, Townshend, or Trevor? Is it a dishonour to be robbed of a private fortune, by those who have stripped the fatherless and widow, who have sold their country, who have plundered the public? No, my dear sister, assure yourself that this unjust prosecution is a lasting monument erected to the honour of our family; it will serve to render it illustrious to after ages, and to atone for the unhappy mistakes of any of our misguided ancestors. If it should end with me, it would, however, have outlived the liberty of England.
Those honours, wbich we received at first from the Crown, can never be more gloriously interred than in the defence of the injured rights of the crown, than in the cause of the rightful monarch of Britain, the greatest of princes and the best of masters. But I forget myself by enlarging too far on a subject that may not be so conveniently mentioned in a letter to you. My zeal for my country, my duty to my sovereign, my affection to you, and my respect to my family, and its true bonour, have carried on my pen further than I intended. I will only add, that no change in my circumstances ever shall lessen my tender concern for you or my sister Lucy, to whom I desire you should present my love; and charge her, as she values my friendship, never to marry without my consent. Be assured, that no distance of place, nor length of time, shall abate my affection for you : and my enemies shall find, whenever I return to England, it shall be with honour to myself, and with joy to my friends; to all those I mean who wish well to the church of England, and to their native country. Neither shall any thing ever tempt me to abandon that cause which I have deliberately embraced, or to forsake that religion wherein I was educated. Wherever I am, I shall always be, dear sister, your sincere friend and brother,