« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
to inspire. On the contrary, their tendency tented. But to a sensible heart, and parwill be found to chill all the powers of ticularly to a heart softened by past enimagination ; to depress spirit as well as dearments of love or friendship, such genius; to sour the temper and contract opinions are attended with gloom inexthe heart. The highest religious spirit, pressible ; they strike a damp into all the and veneration for Providence, breathes pleasures and enjoyments of life, and cut in the writings of the ancient stoics; a off those prospects which alone can comsect distinguished for producing the most fort the soul under certain distresses, where active, intrepid, virtuous men, that ever all other aid is feeble and ineffectual. did honour to human nature.
Scepticism, or suspense of judgment, Can it be pretended, that atheism or as to the truth of the great articles of reuniversal scepticism have any tendency to ligion, is attended with the same fatal efform such characters? Do they tend to fects. Wherever the affections are deeply inspire that magnanimity and elevation of interested, a state of suspense is more inmind, that superiority to selfish and sen- tolerable, and more distracting to the sual gratifications, that contempt of dan- mind, than the sad assurance of the evil ger and of death, when the cause of virtue, which is most dreaded.
Gregory. of liberty, or their country, required it, which distinguish the characters of pa- 67. Comforts of Religion. triots and heroes? Or is their influence more favourable on the humbler and There are many who have passed the gentler virtues of private and domestic age of youth and beauty, who have relife? Do they soften the heart and render signed the pleasures of that smiling seait more delicately sensible of the thousand son, who begin to decline into the vale of nameless duties and endearments of a years, impaired in their health, depressed husband, a father, or a friend? Do they in their fortunes, stript of their friends, produce that habitual serenity and cheer- their children, and perhaps still more tenfulness of temper, that gaiety of heart, der connexions. What resources can this which makes a man beloved, as a com- world afford them? It presents a dark and panion? or do they dilate the heart with dreary waste through which there does the liberal and generous sentiments, and not issue a single ray of comfort. Every that love of human kind, which would delusive prospect of ambition is now at render him revered and blessed as the pa- an end; long experience of mankind, an tron of depressed merit, the friend of the experience very different from what the widow and orphan, the refuge and sup- open and generous soul of youth had port of the poor and the unhappy? fondly dreamt of, has rendered the lieart
The general opinion of mankind, that almost inaccessible to new friendships. there is a strong connexion between a The principal sources of activity are tareligious disposition and a feeling heart, ken away, when those for whom we laappears from the universal dislike which bour are cut off from us, those who aniall men have to infidelity in the fair sex. mated, and those who sweetened all the We not only look on it as removing the toils of life. Where then can the soul find principal security we have for their virtue, refuge, but in the bosom of religion? but as the strongest proof of their want of There she is admitted to those prospects that softness and delicate sensibility of of Providence and futurity, which alone heart, which peculiarly endears them to can warın and fill the heart. I speak here us, and more effectually secures their em
of such as retain the feelings of humanity, pire over us, than any quality they can whom misfortunes have softened, and possess.
perhaps rendered more delicately sensiThere are, indeed, some men who can ble; not of such as possess that stupid persuade themselves, that there is no su- insensibility, which some are pleased to preme intelligence who directs the course dignify with the name of philosophy. of nature: who can see those they have It should therefore be expected that been connected with by the strongest those philosophers, who stand in no need bonds of nature and friendship gradually themselves of the assistance of religion to disappearing; who are persuaded, that support their virtue, and who never feel this separation is final and eternal; and the want of its consolations, would yel who expect, that they themselves shall have the humanity to consider the very soon sink down after them into nothing; different situation of the rest of mankind. and yet such mea appear easy and cons and not endeavour to deprive them of
what habit, at least, if they will not prive them of all those objects for which, allow it to be pature, has made necessary at present, they think life only worth ento their morals, and to their happiness.-- joying. It should seem, therefore, very neIt might be expected, that humanity cessary to secure some permanent object, would prevent them from breaking into some real support to the mind, to cheer the last retreat of the unfortunate, who the soul, when all others shall have lost can no longer be objects of their envy their influence. The greatest inconveor resentment, and tearing from them nience, indeed, that attends devotion, is their only remaining comfort. The at- its taking such a vast hold of the affectempt to ridicule religion may be agree- tions, as sometimes threatens the extinable to some, by relieving them from guishing of every other active principle restraint upon their pleasures, and may of the mind. For when the devotional render others very miserable, by making spirit falls in with a melancholy temper, them doubt those truths, in which they it is too apt to depress the mind entirely, were most deeply interested; but it can to sink it to the weakest superstition, and convey real good and happiness to no to produce a total retirement and abstracone individual.
Gregory tion from the world, and all the duties of life.
Ibid. 68. Advantages of Devotion. The devotional spirit, united to good $ 69. The Difference between true and sense, and a cheerful temper, gives that
false Politeness. steadiness to virtue, which it always wants It is evident enough, that the moral when produced and supported by good and Christian duty, of preferring one natural dispositions only. It corrects and another in honour, respects only social humanizes those constitutional vices, peace and charity, and terminates in the which it is not able ly to subdue; good and edification of our Christian and though it too often fails to render brother. Its use is, to soften the minds of men perfectly virtuous, it preserves them men, and to draw them from that savage from becoming utterly abandoned. It rusticity, which engenders many vices, has, besides, the most favourable influence and discredits the virtuous themselves. on all the passive virtues; it gives a soft. But when men hadexperienced the benefit ness and sensibility to the heart, and a of this complying temper, and further saw mildness and gentleness to the manners; the ends, not of charity only, but of selfbut above all, it produces an universal interest, that might be answered by it; charity and love to mankind, however dif- they considered no longer its just purpose ferent in station, country, or religion. and application, but stretched it to that There is a sublime yet tender melancholy, officious sedulity, and extreme servility almost the universal attendant on genius, of adulation, which we too often observe which is too apt to degenerate into gloom and lament in polished life. and disgust with the world. Devotion is Hence, that infinite attention and conadmirably calculated to sooth this disposi- sideration, which is so rigidly exacted, tion, by insensibly leading the mind, while and so duly paid, in the commerce of it seems to indulge it, to those prospects the world : hence, that prostitution of which calm every murmur of discontent, mind, which leaves a man no will, no and diffuse a cheerfulness over the darkest sentiment, no principle, no character; all hours of human life. Persons in the pride which disappear under the uniform exhiof high health and spirits, who are keen bition of good manners: bence, those in the pursuits of pleasure, interest, or insidious arts, those studied disguises, ambition, have either no ideas on this those obsequious flatteries, nay, those subject, or treat it as the enthusiasm of a multiplied and nicely-varied forms of inweak mind. But this really shews great sinuation and address, the direct aim of narrowness of understanding; a very little which may be to acquire the fame of reflection and acquaintance with nature politeness and good-breeding, but the might teach them, on how precarious a certain effect, to corrupt every virtue, to foundation their boasted independence on sooth every vanity, and to inflame every religion is built; the thousand nameless vice of the human heart. accidents that may destroy it; and that These fatal mischiefs introduce themthough for some years they should escape selves under the pretence and semblance these, yet that time must impair the great of that humanity, which the Scriptures enest vigour of health and spirits, and des courage and enjoin; but the genuino vistue
is easily distinguished from the counter- are pursued, and by so different means, feit, and by the following plain signs. must also lie wide of each other.
True politeness is modest, unpretend- Accordingly, the true polite man ing, and generous.
would, by all proper testimonies of remay be ; and when it does a courtesy, spect, promote the credit and estimation would willingly conceal it. It chooses of his neighbour ; because he sees that, silently to forego its own claims, not offi- by this generous consideration of each ciously to withdraw them. It engages a other, the peace of the world is, in a man to prefer his neighbour to himself, good degree, preserved; because he knows because he really esteems him; because that these mutual attentions prevent anihe is tender of his reputation ; because he mosities, soften the fierceness of men's thinks it more manly, more Christian, to manners, and dispose them to all the descend a little himself than to degrade offices of benevolence and charity; beanother. It respects, in a word, the cause, in a word, the interests of society credit and estimation of his neighbour. are best served by this conduct; and
The mimic of this amiable virtue, false because he understands it to be his duty politeness, is, on the other hand, ambi- to love his neighbour. tious, servile, timorous. It affects popu- The falsely polite, on the contrary, are larity: is solicitous to please, and to be anxious, by all means whatever, to protaken notice of. The man of this cha- cure the favour and consideration of those racter does not offer, but obtrudes his they converse with ; because they regard, civilities; because he would merit by his ultimately, nothing more than their private assiduity; because, in despair of winning interest; because they perceive, that their regard by any worthier qualities, he own selfish designs are best carried ou by would be sure to make the most of this; such practices; in a word, because they and lastly, because, of all things, he love themselves. would dread, by the omission of any Thus we see, that genuine virtue conpunctilious observance, to give offence. sults the honour of others by worthy In a word, this sort of politeness re- means, and for the noblest purposes ; the spects, for its immediate object, the favour counterfeit solicits their favour by dishoand consideration of our neighbour. nest compliances, and for the basest end. 2. Again: the man who governs him
Hurd. self by the spirit of the Apostle's precept, expresses his preference of another in
§ 70. On the Beaulies of the Psalms. such a way as is worthy of himself; in
Greatness confers no exemption from all innocent compliances, in all honest the cares and sorrows of life: its share of civilities, in all decent and manly con- them frequently bears a melancholy prodescensions.
portion to its exaltation. This the IsraelOn the contrary, the man of the world, itish monarch experienced. He sought in who rests in the letter of this command, piety, that peace which he could not findin is regardless of the means by which he empire, and alleviated the disquietudes conducts himself. He respects neither of state, with the exercises of devotion. bis own dignity, nor that of human His invaluable Psalms convey those comDature. Truth, reason, virtue, are all forts to others, which they afforded to equally betrayed by this supple impostor. himself. Composed upon particular ocHe assents to the errors, though the most casions, yet designed for general use; depernicious; he applauds the follies, livered out as services for Israelites under though the most ridiculous; he sooths the Law, yet no less adapted to the cirthe vices, though the most flagrant, of cumstances of Christians under the Gosother men. He never contradicts, though pel; they present religion to us in the in the softest form of insinuation; he most engaging dress ; communicating never disapproves, though by a respectful truths which philosophy could never insilence; he never condemns, though it vestigate, in a style which poetry can never be only by a good example. In short, equal; while history is made the vehicle he is solicitous for nothing, but by some of prophecy, and creation lends all its studied devices to hide from others, and, charms to paint the glories of redemption. if possible, to palliate to himself, the Calculated alike to profit and to please, groseness of his illiberal adulation. they inform the understanding, elevate the
Lastly; we may be sure, that the ulti- affections, and entertain the imagination. mate ends for which these different objects Indited under the influence of Him, to
whom all hearts are known, and all events bower, made up of several trees that were foreknown, they suit mankind in all situ- embraced by woodbines, jessamines, and ations, grateful as the manna which de- amaranths, which were as so many emscended from above, and conformed itself blems of marriage, and ornaments to the to every palate. The fairest productions trunks that supported them. As I was of human wit, after a few perusals, like single and unaccompanied, I was not pergaihered flowers, wither in our hands, mitted to enter the temple, and for that and lose their fragrancy; but these unfa- reason am a stranger to all the mysteries ding plants of paradise become, as we are that were performed in it. I had, howaccustomed to them, still more and more ever, the curiosity to observe, how the beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily several couples that entered were disposed heightened ; fresh odours are emitted, and of; which was after the following mana new sweets extracted from them. He ner: there were two great gates on the who hath once tasted their excellencies, back side of the edifice, at which the whole will desire to taste them yet again; and he crowd was let out. At one of these gates who tastes them oftenest, will relish them were two women, extremely beautiful, best.–And now, could the author flatter though in a different kind; the one have himself that any one would take half the ing a very careful and composed air, the pleasure in reading his work which he other a sort of smile and ineffable sweethath taken in writing it, he would not fear ness in her countenance: the name of the the loss of his labour. The employment first was Discretion, and of the other detached him from the bustle and hurry Complacency. All who came out of this of life, the din of politics, and the noise gate, and put themselves under the direcof folly; vanity and vexation flew away tion of these two sisters, were immedifor a season, care and disquietude came ately conducted by them into gardens, not near his dwelling. He rose, fresh as groves, and meadows, which abounded the morning, to his task; the silence of in delights, and were furnished with every the night invited him to pursue it; and he thing that could make them the proper can truly say, that food and rest were not seats of happiness. The second gate of preferred before it. Every Psalm im- this temple let out all the couples that proved infinitely upon his acquaintance were unhappily married: who came out with it, and no one gave him uneasiness linked together by chains, which each of but the last; for then he grieved that his them strove to break, but could not. See work was done. Happier hours, than veral of these were such as had never been those which have been spent in these medio acquainted with each other before they tations on the songs of Sion, he never ex- met in the great walk, or had been too pects to see in this world. Very pleasant- well acquainted in the thicket, The enly did they pass, and moved smoothly and trance to this gate was possessed by three swiftly along; for when thus engaged, he sisters, who joined themselves with these counted no time. They are gone, but wretches, and occasioned most of their have left a relish and a fragrance upon the miseries. The youngest of the sisters was mind, and the remembrance of them is known by the name of Levity; who, with sweet.
Horne, the innocence of a virgin, had the dress
and behaviour of a harlot: the name of the $71. The Temple of Virtuous Love.
second was Contention, who bore on her The structure on the right hand was(as right arm a muff made of the skin of a I afterwards found) consecrated to vir- porcupine, and on her left carried a little tuous Love, and could not be entered, but Jap-dog, that barked and snapped at every by such as received a ring, or some other one that passed by her. The eldest of the token, from a person who was placed as sisters, who seemed to have an haughty and a guard at the gate of it. He wore a gar- imperious air, was always accompanied land of roses and myrtles on his head, and with a tawny Cupid, who generally on his shoulders a robe like an imperial marched before her with a little mace on mantle, white and unspotted all over, ex- his shoulder, the end of which was cepting only, that where it was clasped at fashioned into the horns of a stag: her his breast, there were two golden turtle garments were yellow, and her complex. doves that buttoned it by their bills, which ion pale; her eyes were piercing, but bad were wrought in rubies: he was called by odd casts in them, and that particular disa the name of Hymen, and was seated near temper which makes persons who are trouthe entrance of the temple, ir a delicious bled with it sec objects double. Uport
inquiry, I was informed that her name ed through the first part of my vision, and was Jealousy,
Tatler, recovered the centre of the wood, from
whence I had the prospect of the three § 72. The Temple of Lust.
great roads. I here joined myself to the Having finished my observations upon middle-aged party of mankind, who this temple, and its votarius, I repaired to marched behind the standard of Ambi- . that which stood on the left hand, and tion. The great road lay in a direct line, was called the temple of Lust. The front and was terminated by the temple of of it was raised on Corinthian pillars, with Virtue. It was planted on each side all the meretricious ornaments that ac- with laurels, which were intermixed with company that order; whereas that of the marble trophies,carved pillars, and statues other was composed of the chaste and of lawgivers, heroes, statesmen, philosomatron-like Ionic. The sides of it were phers, and poets. The persons who adorned with several grotesque figures of travelled up this great path, were such goats, sparrows, heathen gods, satyrs, and whose thoughts were bent upon doing monsters, made up of half men, half beast. eminent services to mankind, or promote The gates were unguarded, and open to all ing the good of their country. On each that had a mind to enter. Upon my going side of this great road, were several paths in, I found the windows were blinded, that were also laid out in straight lines, and let in only a kind of twilight, that and ran parallel with it; these were most served to discover a prodigious number of of them covered walks, and received into dark corners and apartments, into which them men of retired virtue, who proposed the whole temple was divided. I was here to themselves the same end of their stunned with a mixed noise of clamour journey, though they chose to make it and jollity: on one side of me I heard in shade and obscurity. The edifices, at singing and dancing; on the other, brawls the extremity of the walk, were so conand clashing of swords: in short I was trived, that we could not see the temple so little pleased with the place, that I of Honour, by reason of the temple of was going out of it: but found I could Virtue, which stood before it: at the gates not return by the gate where I entered, of this temple, we were met by the godwhich was barred against all that were dess of it, who conducted us into that of come in, with bolts of iron and locks of Honour, which was joined to the other adamant: there was no going back from edifice by a beautiful triumphal arch, and this temple through the paths of pleasure had no other entrance into it. When the which led to it: all who passed through deity of the inner structure had received the ceremonies of the place, went out at us, she presented us, in a body, to a figure an iron wicket, which was kept by a that was placed over the high altar, and dreadful giant called Remorse, that held was the emblem of Eternity. She sat on a a scourge of scorpions in his hand, and globe in the midst of a golden zodiac, drove them into the only outlet from that holding the figure of a sun in one hand, temple. This was a passage so rugged, and a moon in the other : her head was so uneven, and choked with so many veiled, and her feet covered. Our hearts thoras and briars, that it was a melan- glowed within us, as we stood amidst choly spectacle to behold the pains and the sphere of light which this image cast difficulties which both sexes suffered who on every side of it.
Ibid. walked through it: the men, though in the prime of their youth, appeared weak
$ 74. The Temple of Vanity. and enfeebled with old age; the women
Having seen all that happened to the wrung their hands, and tore their hair, band of adventurers, I repaired to another and several lost their limbs, before they pile of buildings that stood within view could extricate themselves out of the of the temple of Honour, and was raised perplexities of the path in which they in imitation of it, upon the very same were engaged. The remaining part of model; but, at my approach to it, I this vision,
and the adventures I met with found that the stones were laid together: in the two great roads of Ambition and without mortar, and that the whole fabric Avarice, must be the subject of another stood upon so weak a foundation, that paper.
Ibid. it sbook with every wind that blew.
This was called the temple of Vanity. 73. The Temple of Virtue.
The goddess of it sat in the midst of a With much labour and difficulty I pass. great many tapers, that burned day and