Page images
PDF
EPUB

BUT a wise Prince, that will not take Things upon Trust only, by Reports or Recommendations at fecond Hand ; neither fee with other Men's Eyes, nor hear with their Ears: has nothing more at Heart than to provide for the due Execution of Justice, and to prevent Judgment from being perverted by Covetousness, Corruption, Bribery, Prejudice, or Respect of Perfons. He will gladly both hear and see himself, as his prudent Forefathers usd to do, upon considering the Complaints of the Poor and Aflicted ; in order either to redress their just Grievances, and relieve their real Wants, or otherwise to rectify their MiItakes in the most amicable Manner of Affe&tion and Peace, with the greatest Expedition. He will always be humbly looking into his own Breast, upon the Representation of civil Affairs ; and well knows the satisfactory Virtue of that moral Caution in the Poet of a _ ne te quasiveris extra: He is not to seek for himself among others, nor to act by the Multitude of other person's Examples, Counsels or Informations. Whereupon he chiefly considers his own Honour and Conscience, as well as Authority; and consults the publick Good of his People, in general, more than the particular Views, or the private Interest of his Courtiers. If any distressed Object, either of Justice or Mercy, happens to come in his Way, he will not overlook the Poor or neglect the Needy; but countenance the cause of the Complainant with the most agreeable Facility, as well as examine the Matter striąly with the justest Mildness, that Right may be restor'd again, and Truth adjudg’d against the most

Mighty, or incroaching Oppreffor of the Land, by a final Determination.

III. ACCORDING to the King's humble, courteous and merciful Condescension of heara ing the Petitions of the Poor himself, inferiour Magistrates or Officers will be induc'd to comport themfelves with greater Candour and better Conduct. They will proceed with the utmost Submission, Kindness of Civility by his good Example; and think themselves oblig'd to be much more easy of Access than their compassionate Sovereign or impartial Prince: from whom they folely derive their Authority, and the Honour of being improy'd in their feveral important Posts, either in Courts, Councils or Parliaments. Their Deportment will be all of a Piece with his; just, tender, affable, equal, and judicious : directed as from Above by his superiour Wisdom; not to fight or discountenance any Man's Cause with a supercilious Behaviour of Contempt, because of his Poverty.. I shall say nothing here of Cambyses's compelld Judges. We have no Occasion for such Severities. Our juster judges abhor all dishonourable Corruptions and Bribery. They will do true Justice spontaneously, and voluntarily give impartial Judgment; without being forc'd to sit upon such uneasy Cufions as the Skins of fome of their corrupt Predecesa fors. After that great Example given of the King's Clemency and Patronage, their own innate Goodness and Generosity, without any farther Influences from the Throne, will be a fufficient Motive of it self, to do a poor Fellow or his Family Fustice; out of pure Compasión for his helpless Condition, and a righteous Rea gard for his mean Circumkances. They will

K 2

neither

neither suffer him to be brow-beaten in his Evidence, nor wronged of his Right. Besides, it is an indispensable Duty injoynd them both by the Counfel of Solomon, and the Command of our Saviour, to allist such an oppressed Suf. ferer with their best Advice, Judgment and Redress; if they either affect the glorious Character of the Former, or the gracious Blessing of the Latter, by their judicial Transactions.

BUT the generous Lawyer, and the just "Advocate, are of all Mankind the most oblig'd to plead a Pauper's Cause, for the Honour of their Profession, either at civil or common Law. I do not speak as a Director, either of their Knowledge or Duty. They will take the greater Care of his Business, upon the Account of his Necessity, or Inability to right him felf in the Courts of Judicature. They will maintain his Claim, fupposing him to have a manifest Right on his Side, the more heartily; with the utmost Diligence, Fidelity and powers of Eloquence, to gain his point : even because he is forcd 'to be admitted to sue for it in that Form, through meer Want of Money. In fine, they will most strenuously exert their best Faculties of Persuafion; produce the most cogent or convincing Arguments of Reason; and leave no Stone unturn'd, no Law-Books unrevolvid, no Pleadings unalledg’d or unargud, to restore him to his own again, and put him in Posles. fion of his usurp'd Estate. Is it possible to believe, there can be fo egregious a Prevaricator in Religion, or so uncharitable a Practis cer of the Law, who would utterly reject the righteous Cause of an indigent Person, deftitute of Friends, fór Want of more money than his All, to bring it to a fair Tryal? No;, the

genes

generous Patron will not only always freely undertake, but also frankly accomplish the Affair without any Love of Lucre, Fee or Reward : and never suffer his Client to be nonsuited or cast in Court; through Negligence, Corruption, and Contempt of his Poverty under Oppression. The Greek Poet advises abundantly better than to abandon the Poor pesi Bağße Trévale: afflict him not ; let no Man be judged unrighteously, if thou canst help it by the Power of thy Pleading or Fair. Dealing. The Recovery of his Right, in the Event of an A&ion manag'd with so much Honour and Honesty, Prudence and Pity, Reputation and", good Faith, will prove a sufficient Recompence of thy Virtue at the Foot of the Account; and thy Charity shall assuredly be upon everlasting Record in the highest Court of Heaven.

POVERTY, however after all, as I take it in some Sense, has nothing in it fo contemptible, as the Vulgar often falsely imagine by vain Colours.

Contentedness is the only true Paradise of Pleasure and Satisfaction, under the Safety of an honest Conscience. The poorest Sufferers may live to find more Friends, either Above or Below, by various Vicissitudes; and perhaps meet with a Flush of good Fortune all at once to better their Condition. There may happen to be no great Distance between Expectancy, Prayer and Fruition. Present Injoyments are often fickle, and fleeting, and fugitive in the very Pursuit or. Poffeffion of them. It rain’d Manna from Heaven, and Quails fell from the Air to bę Food for the distressed Israelites. . Their providential Relief came out of the Clouds; and God, who governs the World, would not let them want

ever.

at last, to shew his miraculous Power, either for their Fidelity, Patience or Perseverance. And how much more then ought we converted Gentiles, to put our whole Trust and Confidence in him for our future Succour, Preservation and Deliverance out of the Wilderness of Affiliations, without any Murmuring or Discontentment: who is also our God; the surest Hope, the never-failing Help, and the presentest Health of our Countenance, as well as our blessed Redeemer, according to King David's sacred Soliloquy, with his Soul under Disquietude in the Psalms, XLII. Ver. 5,6,7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and elsewhere IX. Ver. 18. For the Needy shall not always be forgotten : the Expectation of the Afflicted shall not perish for

THE poorest, miserable, moneyless Perfon, may be rich in Gratitude. Gratitude is the greatest Gift, Grace and Virtue of a thankful Soul. It rayishes all his Thoughts, Words and Actions for the Good of his Benefactor; and for his Honour, either living or dead. It inriches his Heart with Praises and Prayers for the Profperity of his Protector. It fills his Breast with Transports of Joy, and Treasures of Thanksgiving for his Maker. It raises Mongments in his grateful Mind, to the immortal Memory of his Preserves. It contributes the most glo. rious Materials possible, to the everlasting Memorial of his Reliever's valuable Life. In short, Gratitude should never be despis’d, how mean soever in a just Acknowledgment of the Obligation; nor go away unaccepted or unrewarded by good Right. The poorest indigent Scholars also may, for any Thing I know to the contrary, sooneft find the Philosopher's Stone:

« PreviousContinue »