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150 young men may write for the Latin verse, one gets the prize ; but 150 have been induced to read and think, invent and compose, and are all gainers in the end. Had you
determined to exert yourself in the Latin verses, I intended to write to you very fully on the subject. “The siege and destruction of Jerusalem by Titus,” is, in whatever light viewed, one of the finest and most fruitful topics that could have been proposed,—the tremendous fulfilment of prophecy uttered by Moses, before the Israelites had even entered the land of Canaan,—the fulfilment of the prophecies of our Lord and Saviour,—the subject of a description by Josephus, which is one of the most affecting pieces of writing ever produced by the eloquence of man. Bear with my pedantry while I quote one short passage : it is from the fifth chapter of the sixth book of the Jewish war ; which chapter is entitled, «Η των Ιουδαίων εκ του Ναού καιομένου ταλαιπωρία.” I am particularly struck with the following words, τών τε γαρ Ρωμαϊκών ταγμάτων αλαλαγμός ήν συμφερομένων, και των στασιαστών πυρί και σιδήρω κεκυκλωμένων κραυγή, του τε απολειφθέντος άνω λαού τροπή τε μετ' εμπλήξεως εις τους πολεμίους, και προς ΤΟ ΠΑΘΟΣ οιμωγαί συνεβόα δε τοις επί του λόφου το κατα την πόλιν πλήθος ήδη δε πολλοί το λιμώ μαραινόμενοι και μεμυκότες, ως είδον το του ναού πύρ, εις οδυρμους πάλιν και κραυγήν ευτόνησαν συνήχει δ' ή τε περαία, και τα πέριξ όρη, βαρυτέραν ποιούντα την ορμήν· ήν δε του θορύβου τα πάθη φοβερώτερα.
I envy not the obtuseness of that man who can read this portion of Josephus' History unmoved. His account of the miseries and crimes of the famine is full of all the dark and
overpowering dignity of Æschylus,—when compared with the prophecy of Moses in the xxviii chapter of Deuteronomy, it is a confirmation of the truth of God's word to make unbelievers repent and adore. The passage which I have quoted, presents images of horror and distraction that almost deafen me as I read. You know, (to illustrate the feelings I experience by a familiar example,) Hogarth's picture of the enraged musician,-it stuns you to look at it. Such is the effect of this passage from Josephus on me.
Edinburgh, January 27, 1818. MY DEAR D
I am much pleased with some parts of your letter to your mother received yesterday. But I am not by any means sure that you are doing the best and wisest of all things, by committing yourself so unreservedly to the guidance of that chivalric sentiment of honour, of which you speak so earnestly. You will be much more secure if you take religion for your director and ruler. “ Before honour," says the wisest of inspired men, “is humility,”—the distinguishing Christian virtue. The origin of honour is human
compact and opinion ; the source of religion is Divine. The effect of the principles in practice is as different as their origins. Much as I respect the sentiments of the Chevalier Bayard, the Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche, I should have infinitely less confidence in the votary of honour, than in the humble unpretending Christian. The man of honour may perform the duties, and fulfil the obligations of life, but I know that the genuine faithful Christian will perform them on principles which the opinions of the world cannot effect. There is a secret root of pride in this honour which I am alarmed at. The man of honour says, I must do nothing beneath myself; nothing to disgrace myself, i. e. to disgrace myself in the opinion of other men of honour. Now here is pride, and here is the setting up a measure of right and duty other than the law of God. The consequences of such a proceeding are clear, and they are exemplified in the daily lives of men of honour. Take, O take, my beloved son, the precepts of Him who died to save you, for your guide.—He will tell you that in the two commandments, Love to God and to your neighbour, you will find the source of all moral duty,—these precepts contain all that the law of honour contains, and much more. “In keeping of these you will have great reward, even the tranquillity of a conscience void of offence toward God and man,” a reward not always the result of a life of honour merely. Do
not imagine by this that I despise the sentiment as an instrument of good, let it be under the control of Christianity, and it will do no harm. But I would, nevertheless, wish my son to walk by a higher rule. A man of honour disdains a falsehood-well, a Christian does the same from a nobler principle, “ Lying lips are an abomination to the God whose he is, and whom he serves.” But, a man of honour may be a drunk. ard, a debauchee, a seducer, without losing his character. He
He may revile his God and Saviour - he may profane the sabbath-break the commandments of the second table—without forfeiting this distinction. All this while what is his real state? He is dishonoured, disgraced, wretched, and miserable, in the eyes of every one who judges by the only law which will not deceive us. The only true honour which I know any thing about is the honour of a Christian,the high and holy distinction of one who is taught of God, and guided by God's Spirit,—who lives every day as in the presence of the judge to whom he is accountable, and who has the power to decide his eternal destiny.
al destiny. Forgive me for all this admonition, my dear son, but I am indeed very anxious to do the little good that may yet be in my power to you, and others most dear to me; and to warn you against taking counsel from the deception of your own heart, or the vain opinions of the world ; rather than from that law by which we are to be judged at the
last day. I beg you to do me the favour to get and read Sir Richard Steele's beautiful little book, called “The Christian Hero." I think no writer has ever set this important question in a more interesting light. I recommend the book to you most earnestly, and pray God to bless your perusal of it. It is, I suppose, easily to be found in your booksellers’ shops ; if not, you will probably find it in the College Library. I once thought of publishing a new edition of it, it is
You may judge of the sincerity and earnestness with which I write to you on this point, when I tell you that I am oppressed with business and very unequal to it; yet I could not omit an opportunity of doing good, or at least attempting to do good to my dear son. Adieu, my dear son, with love from all here, and with my prayers for God's blessing on you, I am your affectionate father and most sincere friend,
DANIEL SANDFORD. The chapel is recovering fast, the damage will not, I trust, exceed £250,
Edinburgh, May 26, 1821. MY DEAREST
It is not easy for me to express the satisfaction with which I read your last kind letter; and observed the just and pious views with which you contemplate your future pro