Besides these two Motives, could I need any other to ingage me in the defence of Vertue, I should find yet a very powerful one in that dutiful Affection which I pay, and which every Subject ows to a_ good Prince: Since the Queen, I am fully perswaded, would not so much rejoyce in the Accession of great Kingdoms to her Dominions, as to see the People, already happy in Her Government over them, indeavouring to make themselves and one another so, in following the great Example which She sets them of Vertue and Piety.
* * * * *
In reference to a
Vertuous or Christian
There is no so constant and satisfactory a Pleasure, to those who are capable of it, as Rational Conversation gives: And to me, depriv’d of that Enjoyment, the remembrance thereof, is, in my present Solitude, the most delightful Entertainment: Wherein some of my leisure hours will not, I hope, be mispent, should this engage me to prosecute such Thoughts as were lately suggested to me by others. The which taking their rise from a particular Enquiry, and thence proceeding to a general Consideration of the Folly and Madness of Rational Creature’s acting, as if they had no other Principle to direct or determin them, than the Incitements of their Passions and Appetites, comprehended at once the unhappiness of Mankind, both Here and Hereafter. Since those Breaches of the Eternal Law of Reason, which disorder Common-wealths and Kingdoms; disturb the Peace of Families; and make by far the greatest part of the Private Infelicities of Particular Persons in this World, are what the Sovereign Disposer of all things has ordain’d, shall render Men miserable in a future Life also.
A survey of which Moral Irregularities, as bringing into view a large Scene of Human Depravity, does indeed furnish matter for melancholy, rather than pleasing Contemplations: But the Mind is sometimes no less affected with Delight, wherein there is a mixture of sadness on Subjects, which in themselves consider’d are ungrateful, than on occasions the most welcome to us: And such a just zeal in any for the interests of Vertue, as makes them, with a Charitable concern, reflect on the miscarriages of others, and thence take occasion to examine their own Actions by the true Rules and Measures of their Duty, expresses a disposition of Mind too becoming Rational Creatures, and too seldom met withal, not to please, tho’ excited by Representations which are disagreeable; provided they are of such a matter as is not then new to our Thoughts.