Page images

painful sensations, which may sometimes be produced by the one, as well as by the other, are equally insufficient grounds for excluding either of them from taking possession of our bosoms.

14. They who insist that “utility is the first and prevailing motive,' which induces mankind to enter into.particular friendships," appear to me to divest the association of its most amiable and engaging principle. For to a mind rightly disposed, it is not so much the benefits received, as

he affectionate zeal from which they flow, that gives them their best and most valuable recommendation.

15. It is so far indeed, from being verified by fact, that a sense of our wants is the original cause of forming these amicable alliances; that, on the contrary, it is observable, that none have been more distinguished in their friendships than those, whose power and opulence, but, above all, whose superiour virtue, (a much firmer support,) have raised thern above every necessity of having recourse to the assistance of others.

16. The true distinction then, in this question, is, that although friendship is certainly productive of utility, yet utility is not the primary motive of friendship. Those sellish sensualists, therefore, who, lulled in the lap of luxury, presume to maintain the reverse, have surely no claim to attention; as they are neither qualified by reflection, nor experience, to be competent judges of the subject.

17. Is there a man upon the face of the earth, who would deliberately accept of all the wealth, and all the affluence this world can bestow, if offered to him upon the severe terms of his being unconnected with a single mortal whom he could love, or by whom he should be beloved? This would be to lead the wretched life of a detested tyrant, who, amidst perpetual suspicions and alarms, passes his miserable days a stranger to every tender sentiment; and utterly precluded from the heart-felt satisfactions of friendship.

Melmoth’s translation of Cicero's Lælius.

SECTION VI. a E-stab-lish, è-ståb'-lişh, to settle, d Com-mis-sion, kôm-mish'-ån, a fix.

trust, a warrart by which any b Iin-ina-te-ri-al-i-ty, im-må-td-re trust is held, act of committing a

al-d-te, distinctness fronı body. crime. c E-vince, d-viuse', to prove to show

[ocr errors]


first cause.

ning the


ort,) her


n, is, the

bserral tion of young trees.

e Ve-rac-i-ty, vé-rås'-e-tė, morallo Ru-di-ment, r83'-de-mênt, the unsufficier truth, truth.

first part of education. ng potens f Pro-gress, prog'-grés, course, ad- p. Ac-ces-sion, åk-sêsh’-ún,increase, vancement.

addition to. and per & Ar-rive, år-rive', to reach a placeq Beau-ti-fy, bů'-td-fl, to adorn,

embellish. by travelling. intopu

h Dis-cov-er-y, dis-kův'-úr-ė, ther Re-sem-blance, ré-zėm'-blinse, associats

finding or revealing any thing. likeness, similitude, representatoamis Success-or, sůk-ses'-år, one that tion. ceived, follows another.

s Fi-nite, fil-nite, limited, bounded gives thë k A-bor-tive, &-bör'-liv, bringing t. Cher-ubtsher’-úb,a celestial spirit. forth nothing;

u Source, sorse, spring, original, fact , th? Ca-pac-i-ty, kå-pås'-e-te, power, ability, condition.

v Math-e-mat-i-cal, måth-e-måt'-em Nur-ser-y, nůr'-sûr-re, a planta- kål, relating to mathematicks.

w Trans-port, tråns'-port, conveyriendship n Suc-ces-sion, sik-sësh'-ản, an or ance, rapture, a vessel of carderly series, line of order.

riage. On the immortality of the soul. 1. I was yesterday walking alone, in one of my friend's woods; and lost myself in it very agreeably, as I was run

ning over, in my mind, the several arguments that establish of utilit this great point; which is the basis of morality, and the endshy source of all the pleasing hopes, and secret joys, that can in the arise in the heart of a reasonable creature. I considered ave sure those several proofs drawn, first, from the nature of the ed bir soul itself, and particularly its immateriality;!. which,

though not absolutely necessary to the eternity of its dura-tion, has, I think, been evinced to almost a demonstration.

2. Secondly, from its passions and sentiments; as, par

ticularly, from its love of existence; its horrour of annihilahe seren tion; and its hopes of immortality; with that secret satistal whit faction which it finds in the practice of virtue; and tha.

uneasiness which follows upon the commissiond of vice.I tra Thirdly, from the nature of the Supreme Being, whose

justice, goodness, wisdom, and veracity,e are all concerned

3. But among those, and other excellent arguments for elis. the immortality of the soul, there is one drawn from the

perpetual progress of the soul to its perfection, without a possibility of ever arriving at it; which is a hint that I do not remember to have seen opened and improved by others, who have written on this subject, though it seems to me to carry a very great weight with it.

4. How can it enter into the thoughts of man, that the soul, which is capable of immense perfections, and of re

[ocr errors]

ho mati


ed? T

asses de

ent; a

In this point.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


ceiving new improvements to all eternity, shall fall away into nothing, almost as soon as it is created? Are such abilities made for no purpose! A brute arrives at a point section of perfection, that he can never pass: in a few years he has lo lor all the endowments he is capable of; and were ħe to live ten

le con thousand more, would be the same thing he is at present.

-5. Were a human soul thus at a stand in her accomplish- til ments; were her faculties to be full blown, and incapable lite of farther enlargements; I could imagine she might fall ha away insensibly, and drop at once into a state of annibilation. But can we believe a thinking being that is in a perpetual progress of improvement, and travelling on wie from perfection to perfection, after having just looked filhne abroad into the works of her Creator, and made a few discoveries of his infinite goodness, wisdom, and power, must thing perish at her first setting out, and in the very beginning of her inquiries?

6. Man, considered only in his present state, seems sent into the world merely to propagate his kind. He sete provides himself with a successor; and immediately quits his post to make room for him. He does not seem borriere to enjoy life, but to deliver it down to others. This is not surprising to consider in animals, which are formed for our use, and which can finish their business in a short life lihei

7. The silk-worm, after having spun her task, lays herkut eggs and dies. But a man cannot take in his full measure jil, of knowledge, has not time to subdue his passions, establish his soul in virtue, and come up to the perfection of his nature, before he is hurried off the stage. Would an infinitely wise Being make such glorious creatures for so mean a purpose? Can he delight in the production of such abortivek intelligences, such short-lived reasonable beings? Would he give us talents that are not to be exerted? cạpacities that are never to be gratified?

How can we find that wisdom which shines through all his works, in the formation of man, without looking on this world as only a nursery in for the next; and without believing that the several generations of rational creatures, which rise up and disappear in such quick successions," are only to receive their first rudimentso of existence here and afterwards to be transplanted into a more friendly climate, where they may spread and flourish to all eternity?

9. There is not, in my opinion, a more pleasing and triumphant consideration in religion, than this of the per

[ocr errors]

, lars le of which he stands possessed at present, the inferiour nature estaba degree of glory. PARTIT HAP. IV. ARGUMENTATIVE PIECES.

101 ll fall and ? Are swpetual progress, which the soul makes towards the perat a poiection of its nature, without ever arriving at a period in it. ears he bilo look upon the soul as going on from strength to strength; e to live to consider that she is to shine forever with new acces

present ions” of glory, and brighten to all eternity; that she will :ccomplishe still adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowincapvedge; carries in it something wonderfully agreeable to might (ubat ambition, which is natural to the mind of man. annibil 10. Nay, it must be a prospect pleasing to God himself, that is ito see his creation forever beautifying? in his eyes; and velling drawing nearer to him, by, greater degrees of resemrust lookblance. Methinks this single consideration, of the proa few dgress of a finites spirit to perfection, will be sufficient to wer, mextinguish all envy in inferiour natures, and all contempt begin in superiour.

11. That cherub' which now appears as a god to a hute; sepman soul, knows very well that the period will come about ind. Ein eternity, when the human soul shall be as perfect as he ately quhimself now is: nay, when she shall look down updn that eem degree of perfection, as much as she now falls short of it

is true, the higher nature still advances, and by that Formed kmeans preserves his distance and superiority in the scala short lift of being; but he knows that, how high soever the station is will

, at length, mount up to it; and shine forth in the same

12. With what astonishment and veneration may we look into our own souls, where there are such hidden stores of virtue and knowledge, such inexhausted sources of perfection! We know not yet what we shall be; nor will it

ever enter into the heart of man to conceive the glory that di caps

will be always in reserve for him.

13. The soul, considered with its Creator, is like one of those mathematical lines, that


draw nearer to another for all eternity, without a possibility of touching it: and

can there be a thought so transporting w as to consider ourselves in these perpetual approaches to him, who is the standard not only of perfection, but of happiness?

Thisj It


of hisa



s for

[ocr errors]

e beings

through oking in withon

catura essions


ce here

dly cha ernit igar ne per

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

eis of

pose, quiet.






serres 8 the

while t SECTION I.


, ar a Reg-u-lar-i-ty, règ-à-lár-e-te, play, the general appearance of method, certain order.

any action, the whole mixture of

upon h 6 O-be-di-ense, o-bel-jé-énce,' sub objects.

4.1 mission to authority. i Cot-tage, kot'-tąje, a hut, a mean

istisfie c Dis-crim-i-nate, dis-krim'-e-nate, habitation.

to mark, select, separate. k Gran-a-ry, grån -&-re, a store- uans
d Un-de-light-ful,ủn-de-lite'-fůl, not house for corn...

12 Car-ni-val, kår'-ne-vål, a feast.
e In-stance, in'-stånse, importunity, m Qui-e-tude, kwi'-e-túde, rest, re.

motive, example, to offer an ex-

In Be-nig-nant, be-nig'-nånt, graf Glow, glo, to be heated, to burn. cious, kind.

| lightfu g Yield, yééld, to produce, resign, 0 A-dapt, å-dâpt', to fit, proportion. 5. 1 submit.

p In-no-va-tion, in-no-va'-shữn, in- j findes h Scene, séén, the stage part of al troduction of novelty. field 1 The Seasons.

tacho 1. Among the great blessings and wonders of the crea tion, may be classed the regularitiesa of times and sea sons. Immediately after the flood, the sacred prom abou ise was made to man, that seed-time and harvest, cold

6. and heat, summer and winter, day and night, should con- sion! tinue to the very end of all things. Accordingly, in obe- those dience to that promise, the rotation is constantly precise a senting us with some useful and agreeable alteration; and that all the pleasing novelty of life arises from these natural nith changes: nor are we less indebted to them for many of its tell solid comforts.

2. It has been frequently the task of the moralist and poet, to mark, in polished periods, the particular charms and conveniences of every change; and, indeed, such dis Dis criminate observations upon natural variety, cannot b undelightful;d since the blessing which every month bring, along with it; is a fresh instance of the wisdom and Pee bounty of that Providence, which regulates the glories of

CRA the year. We glow as we contemplate;" we feel a pro

lec pensity to adore, whilst we enjoy.

3. În the time of seed-sowing, it is the season of con th fidence: the grain which the husbandman trusts to the bosom of the earth shall, haply, yield its seven-fold re 1 wards. Spring presents us with a scenel of lively expecta- lia


[ocr errors]



« PreviousContinue »