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years were spent amidst the peace-and the prosperity-and the unanimity-and the apparently interminable stability by which the long years of the reigns of the two last Georges were distinguished.

No doubt there are many persons who have passed through all the glories of that long period— and who yet are now running, under the impulse of a spirit of innovation, into the worst excesses of scornful feeling against all that they have seen and witnessed. But this is only what might have been expected in any such period of excitement as that which is now in progress-for at all times there are vast multitudes of persons who live entirely at the mercy of the impulses of the moment-and whose minds are constitutionally destitute either of that stedfast and calm reflection-or of that healthy tone of feeling which are necessary for enabling them to form a just estimate of even the best blessings that may have fallen to their lot. Yet, even amidst these, there are thousands who, when the impulse of present circumstances has passed or been abated, will look back with sentiments corresponding to those I have been endeavouring to describe, to the years that made up their boyhood and youth-and who, when the right cord of their heart is touched, will willingly

admit that these were the years of true enjoyment --and that one of the best blessings of existence is to have been born in a period when society was not only prosperous but peaceful—and when full scope was given to all the energies, of which the various individuals composing society, might be in possession.

But there are thousands and tens of thousands whose minds are entirely in unison with the cords I have been attempting to touch—and who look upon the attempts that are made to cover the long years of Britain's glory with infamy, as one of the worst symptoms of the state of the public mindand a fearful omen of the coming years of misery and degradation through which it is destined to pass.

At all events, history will do justice to the times that are gone by-and when the progress of events shall have made present times, with all their exciting causes and pernicious errors, but a part of the past, the voice of truth and of calm reflection will proclaim, in tones that will command universal assent, that the years we have been reviewing were indeed among the most brilliant and happy that have ever made part of the history of any people.


"Time runs his ceaseless course."

It is amusing to observe to what an extent men who live in times of long continued stability may be brought to believe that the state of the world in which they exist is the last that is to take place --that however the "stream of time" may continue "to run," it is to pass innocuously by the institutions with which they have become familiar—or at least, that whatever slight alterations may be made on existing systems, conformably with the obvious change of circumstances which in successive generations must take place, still their opinions and their institutions, civil or sacred, are certainly destined-in their substantial elements-to continue till the end of time.

This disposition never was more strongly manifested than in the case of a great multitude of those whose lives had been spent amidst the state of things

described in the preceding section-who never having seen any remarkable change of circumstances in the public institutions, with which, from their infancy, they had been familiar, could not bring their imaginations to conceive that any great change in the general system of the country could ever take place—and who, believing themselves to be possessed of the most perfect form of civil polity that had ever existed among men-and of systems of faith and of opinion more liberal and more accordant with right reason than any others of which they had any knowledge-had come to a deliberate, or at least a perfectly formed conviction, that in all these circumstances there was undoubted ground for the belief that all subsequent times might learn of them, but that their modes of living, or systems of doctrine, could not possibly be supplanted by any changes which human thought could be conceived as likely to undergo.

And the fact is, that this conviction prevailed in many minds to such an extent, that when circumstances arose that seemed to threaten their former modes of belief or of policy, they met such apparent alterations only with a feeling of ridicule as to the absurdity of all such attempts—and carried, in their very looks, an expression which it was amusing to notice, when it was at any time hinted, that

nothing in this world is destined for a permanent duration-and that the institutions amidst which they had lived could not possibly be for ever exempted from the universal law. In plain words, it was the unhesitating belief of such persons, that their systems of polity and of opinion would be the very last things that were destined to perish, when the entire frame of this terrestrial world was about to meet its final consummation.

The acknowledged superiority of the constitution, civil and ecclesiastical, of these kingdoms, no doubt contributed much to give to this natural suggestion the hold which it had obviously taken of the public mind—and the very victories which the arms of Great Britain had achieved over all the neighbouring nations—and especially over those who had given their assent to principles of a different order, seemed but an additional reason for clinging to the belief that Providence would, in all coming time, work powerfully in behalf of the same cause -and that," till time should be no more," no weapon formed against this goodly and sacred bulwark of sound principle and of righteous policy, could ever prosper. But the fact is, that the same disposition to believe in the perpetuity of the circumstances amidst which they have lived, or which their understandings and hearts have approved, may

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