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bigh in the republic of letters; fication in the evening of their and will never be pronounced, days, than the consciousness of but with respect, by the politi. their having contributed some. cal economist. Mr. Ilume can thing to the mass of human comhave lost nothing ; has possibly fort. In short, whether we ar. gained much, by the pen of his gue upon christian, or unchrisfriend. Taking him, therefore, tian grounds, it can be the interas the letter to Mr. Strahan re. est of none but the worthless. presents him, let us contrast him and the malignant, to shut their with that servant of the Lord eyes upon their own history, Jesus Christ, Dr. Samuel Finley. and sink down in death, as a
Whatever be a man's opinions, bullock drops under the knife of one of his most rational occupa his executioner. tions in the prospect of leaving Yet strange as it may appear, the world, is to look ba upon and inconsistent as it certainly is the manner in which he has pass. with his high pretensions, there ed through it: to compare his are few things so rare as a dying duties with his conduct, and to in fidel taking a deliberate retroinquire how far he deserves the spect of life. We say a deliberapprobation or the reproach of ate retrospect ; for it is undeni. his own conscience. With a able, that on many of those who, christian this admits not of dislike the apostate Julian, waged pute. Nor will it be disputed implacable war with the Galiby a deist, who professes his leun, conscience recovering from faith in the being and providence its slumbers, has, at the hour of of God, and a state of rewards death or the apprehension of it, and punishments hereafter, pro- forced an unwilling and torment. portioned to the degree of crime ing.recollection of their deeds. or of virtue here. To such a The point of honor in their phi. one it is, upon his own princi. losophy seems to be, and their ples, a question of unspeakable utmost attainment is, to keep importance, whether he shall completely out of view, both the commence his future existence past and the future. This was with hopes of happiness, or with evidently th: case with Mr. fears of misery ? especially as he lume. Read over again Dr. relies much upon the efficacy of Smith's letter to Mr. Strahan, penitence and prayer, in procar and you will not find a syllable ing forgiveness of his faults, in- from which you could gather dulgence to his infirunities, and a that there is an bereafter, a progeneral mitigation of whatever is vidence, or a God-not a senunfavorable. Nay, the mortal tence to indicate that Mr. Blume deist, or the atheist himself, for believed he had ever committed they are not worth the trouble a sin ; or was, in any respect, of a distinction, ought, for their an accountable being. own sakes in this life, to be sc Turn now away from the phi. employed. If, with the rejec- losopher, and bear what a betion of all religious constraint, liever in the Lord Jesus Christ they have not also uprooted eve has to say. Melting into gratis ry affection of their nature, noth. tude for that mercy which he ing conld alsord them more gratis had received from his heavenly
father, he goes back to the any thing of this sort to impart, commencement of his christian his companions and encomiasts course, and desires his friend to would have shared in his plea. pray that God " would be pleas. sure, and would not have forgot. ed to let him feel just as he did ten to tell the world of its luxu. at that time when he first closed ry. Their silence was a sufficient with Christ,” and the rapture of comment. his soul came near to the bless. Let us extend our comparison edness of heaven. With deep to a particular which, more than humility he owns his sinfulness: almost any thing else, touches not a whisper of extenuation or the pride of philosophy: We apology does he utter_“I know mean the dignity displayed by not in what language to speak of the infidel and by the christian my own unworthiness-I have respectively. been undutiful.” But with great Ask Dr. Smith. He will tell tenderness, as in the presence of you that at the very time when the Omniscient, he attests his sat. he knew his dissolution was near, isfaction with time spent in his Mr. Hume continued to " divert christian duties and enjoyments. himself as usual, with correcting “I can truly say that I have his own works for a new edition; loved the service of God--I have with reading books of amuse. honestly endeavored to act for ment; with the conversation of God, but with much weakness his friends, and sometimes, in and corruption-I have tried my the evening, with a party at his master's yoke, and will never favorite game of whist.” Behold shrink my neck from it.” That the dying occupation of a caphe had been useful to others, and tain of infidelity! Of one who is instrumental in their salvation, eulogized “as approaching, as was to him a source of pure and nearly to the idea of a perfect. elevated joy. “ The Lord has ly wise and virtuous man, as, given me many souls as a crown perhaps, the nature of human of my rejoicing."
frailty will admit”—his most se. What think you, now, reader, rious employment is “diverting of Mr. Hume and Dr. Finley, himself.” Just about to yield with regard to their retrospect up his last breath, and “divertof life? Who evinces most of ing himself.” From what? Let the good and the virtuous man? them answer who know that Whose reflections, is it rea there are apt to be troublesome sonable to conclude, were the visitors to the imagination and most delightful? Iis, who let the conscience of one who has none of them escape his lips ? or prostituted his powers to the his, whose words were inade. purpose of spreading rebellion quate to express their abundance against the God who made him! or their sweetness ? No; the “ Diverting himseli!” With one had not delightful recollec. what? With correcting his own tions to communicate. High works for a new edition ! a happiness is never selfish. The considerable portion of which overflowing heart pours off its 66 works" is destined to prove exuberance into the bosom of a that justice, mercy, faith, and friend. And had Mr. II, had all the circle of both the duties
and cbarities, are obligatory on. verted” with the chances of the ly because they are useful; and, cards, and the edifying converby consequence, that their op- sation to which they give rise ! posites shall be obligatory when Such is the dignity of this almost they shall appear to be more perfectly wise and virtuous useful that the religion of the man”-Such a philosopher's pre. Lord Jesus, which has “brought paration for death! life and immortality to light,” is Let us leave him at the card. an imposture-that adultery is a table, and pay a second visit to bagatelle ; and suicide a virtue ! Dr. Finley. From his gracious With what? With reading books lips not a trifling word escapes. of amusement. The adventures In his aident soul, now ready to of Don Quixote, the tales of speed its flight to the spirits of the genii ; a novel, a tragedy, a the just, there is no room for farce, a collection of sonnets ; “diversion,” for “ correcting" any thing but those sober and compositions ; for “books of searching treatises which are fit amusement ;” or for 6 for one who “ considers his lat. whist.” The everlasting life of ter end.” With what ? With those around him—the spiritual the conversation of his friends; prosperity of a congregation such as Dr. Smith, and Dr. Black, dear to him—the interests of his another famous in fidel, who, as Redeemer among the nationsthey had nothing inviting to dis- these, these are the themes which cuss about futurity, and Mr. H. fill his thoughts and dwell upon could not bear the fatigue of ab. his tongue. "Oh that each of struse speculation, must have en- you,” says he to the spectators tertained him with all that jejune of his pain, may experience, small talk which makes great what, blessed be God, I do, when wits look so very contemptible, ye come to die.”— when they have nothing to say. love to the people of Princeton : With what? With an evening tell them that I am going to die, party at his favorite game of and that I am not afraid of death. whist! A card table! and all The Lord Jesus take care of his that nagseous gabble for which cause in the world." the card table is renowned! The The manner in which Mr. H. question is to be decided, wheth. and Dr. F. directly contemplat. er such stupendous faculties as ed death, and the effects of death, had been lavished upon Mr. presents another strong point of Hume, were to be blasted into contrast. It is evident from the annihilation; or expanded to the whole of Dr. Smith's narrative, vision and fruition of the Infi. that the former confine?, or Nite Good; or converted into wished to confine, his view to inlets of endless pain, despair, the mere physical event-to the and horror ? A question which bodily anguish which it might might convulse the abyss, and create, and its putting a period to move the thrones of heaven—and earthly enjoyments. The whole while the decision is preparing of the philosopher's “ magnan. preparing for him, Mr. H. sits imity” centers here. Allowing down to a gaming board, with to his composure under these gambling companions, to be “dis views of death, as much as can
166 Give my
reasonably be demanded, we do H. looks at death as it affects not perceive in it all that “mag- the atiairs of this world. Dr. nanimity” which is perceived by F. as it involves eternal issues. Dr. S. Thousands who had no Mr. II. according to his own nopretensions to philosophical pre- tions, had nothing to encounter eminence, have been Mr. H.'s but the struggles of nature ; and cquals on this ground. If he nothing to lose but a few tem. had succeeded in persuading him. poral enjoyments. Before Dr. self, as his writings tend to per. F. was the tribunal of God, and suade others, that the spirit of the stake at hazard was an im. man, like the spirit of a beast, mortal soul. An error here is “goeth downwards;" that when irretrievable ; the very thought the breaih should leave his body, of its possibility is enough to there would be an end of Mr. shake every fibre of the frame; Ilume—that the only change and proportionably precious and would be to "turn a few ounces certain must be that religion of blood into a different chan. which can assure the believer of nel'-to vary the form of a his safety, and convey him with cluster of corpuscles, or to scat. peacefulness and pleasure to his ter a bundle of perceptions up father's house. and down through that huge col. This being the case, let us lection of impressions and ideas weigh the consolations of the ----that stupendous mass of noth- philosopher against those of the ings, of which his philosophy christian. had sagaciously discovered the Dr. Smith has made the most whole material and intellectual of them io behalf of the former; world to be composed--If this but a very little scrutiny will were all, we cannot discern in show that they are light and what his magnanimity consisted. meagre indeed. “I am dying," It is chiefly as a moral event, they are the words of Mr. H. that death is interesting--as an “as easily and cheerfully as event which, instead of putting my best friends could desire.” an end to our existence, only
"When he became very weak,” introduces us to a mode of ex says Dr. Black, “it cost him an istence as much more interesting effort to speak ; and he died in than the present, as eternity is such a happy composure of more interesting than time. mind, that nothing could exceed
It is this view that chiclly en- it.” gaged the attention of Dr. Fin. We are not without suspicion, ley. In common with others, that on the part of Mr. Il. there he was to undergo the pains of is some affectation here, and on dissolution. But he rested not the part of his friends, some pretin these. Ile fixed his eye upon ty higli colouring. In the month that new form which all his re of a christian,
composure," lations to God, to holiness, to " cheerfulness," "complacen. sin, and the inhabitants of the cy,” “ resignation,” “ happi. future world, were shortly to ness," in death, have an exqui. assume. The reader, we doubt site meaning. But what meannot, perceives the immense dis. ing can they have in the mouth parity between these cases. Mr. of one, the very best of whose
expectations is the extinction of he can, a reason that shall satis. his being? Is there any “com fy a child, why one who has placency" in the thought of lived without God, should find perishing ? any “happiness” in “complacency” in death. Noth. the dreary and dismal anticipa. ing but that “hope which maktion of being blotted out of life? eth not ashamed,” is a It is a farce: It is a mockery equal to such an eliect. But of every human feeling ; and "hope” beyond the grave, is a every throbbing of the heart word which had no place in Mr. convicts it of a lie. But Mr. Hume's vocabulary, because the Home expected a better state of thing had no place in his soul. existence-Way, talk not of that. It is plain, however, that he There is not, cither in his own
Felt his ruling passion strong in death. expressions, or those of his friends, the faintest allusion to Whatever his decay had weakerfuturity. That glorious light ed, his desire to see 66 the down. which shines through the grave fall of some of the prevailing upon the redeemed of the Lord, systems of superstition,” which, was the object of his derision. with Mr. Hume, meant neither No comfort from this quarter. more nor less than the destrucThe accomplishment of his earth- tion of christianity, in every ly wishes, and the prosperity of modification retained its whole his near relatives, are the only vigor. And thus, while vent. reasons assigned for his cheer- ing his spite at the only " sysfulness. But these are insuffi- tem” which ever could render cient. In thousands, and ten death comfortable ; he goes to thousands, they have not availed Lucian's Dialogues, and edifices to preclude the most alarming his friends with chattering nonforebodings; and why should sense about Charon and his boat! they do more for Mr. liume? O cæcus hominum mentes! Noth.
In the next place, how shall ing can be more blind and inwe interpret his resignation?" fatuated than the fanaticism of Resignation to what? To the philosophy “falsely so called.” divine will ! O no! God was With this puerile levity before not in all his thoughts. But our eyes ; and this contemptideath was at hand, and he could ble babbling sounding in our not escape; he submitted to a
ears, we must listen to tales of stroke which it was impossible Mr. Hume's magnanimity, com. to avoid. And all that is said of placency, and resignation ! his “ composure," and "cheer. From a barren exhibition of falness,” and “resignation,” and atheism, let us repair once more "complacency,” when measur. to the servant of God.
in Dr. ed by the scale of truth, amounts Finley, we see a man dying not to no more than a sottish uncon. only with cheerfulness, but witla cern set off with a fictitious gai. ecstasy. Of his friends, his wife, ety. It is easy to work up a his children, he takes a joyful fine description ; and it is often leave ; committing all that he most fine, when most remote held most dear in this world, not from the fact. Let any infidel to the uncertainties of earthly between the poles produce, if fortune, but to the promises of