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to inspire. On the contrary, their tendency will be found to chill all the powers of imagination; to depress spirit as well as genius; to sour the temper and contract the heart. The highest religious spirit, and veneration for Providence, breathes in the writings of the ancient stoics; a sect distinguished for producing the most active, intrepid, virtuous men, that ever did honour to human nature.

Can it be pretended, that atheism or universal scepticism have any tendency to form such characters? Do they tend to inspire that magnanimity and elevation of mind, that superiority to selfish and sensual gratifications, that contempt of danger and of death, when the cause of virtue, of liberty, or their country, required it, which distinguish the characters of patriots and heroes? Or is their influence more favourable on the humbler and gentler virtues of private and domestic life? Do they soften the heart and render it more delicately sensible of the thousand nameless duties and endearments of a husband, a father, or a friend? Do they produce that habitual serenity and cheerfulness of temper, that gaiety of heart, which makes a man beloved, as a companion? or do they dilate the heart with the liberal and generous sentiments, and that love of human kind, which would render him revered and blessed as the patron of depressed merit, the friend of the widow and orphan, the refuge and support of the poor and the unhappy?

The general opinion of mankind, that there is a strong connexion between a religious disposition and a feeling heart, appears from the universal dislike which all men have to infidelity in the fair sex. We not only look on it as removing the principal security we have for their virtue, but as the strongest proof of their want of that softness and delicate sensibility of heart, which peculiarly endears them to us, and more effectually secures their empire over us, than any quality they can possess.

There are, indeed, some men who can persuade themselves, that there is no supreme intelligence who directs the course of nature: who can see those they have been connected with by the strongest bonds of nature and friendship gradually disappearing; who are persuaded, that this separation is final and eternal; and who expect, that they themselves shall soon sink down after them into nothing; and yet such men appear easy and con

tented. But to a sensible heart, and particularly to a heart softened by past endearments of love or friendship, such opinions are attended with gloom inexpressible; they strike a damp into all the pleasures and enjoyments of life, and cut off those prospects which alone can comfort the soul under certain distresses, where all other aid is feeble and ineffectual.

Scepticism, or suspense of judgment, as to the truth of the great articles of religion, is attended with the same fatal effects. Wherever the affections are deeply interested, a state of suspense is more intolerable, and more distracting to the mind, than the sad assurance of the evil which is most dreaded. Gregory.

67. Comforts of Religion.

There are many who have passed the age of youth and beauty, who have resigned the pleasures of that smiling season, who begin to decline into the vale of years, impaired in their health, depressed in their fortunes, stript of their friends, their children, and perhaps still more tender connexions. What resources can this world afford them? It presents a dark and dreary waste through which there does not issue a single ray of comfort. Every delusive prospect of ambition is now at an end; long experience of mankind, an experience very different from what the open and generous soul of youth had fondly dreamt of, has rendered the heart almost inaccessible to new friendships. The principal sources of activity are taken away, when those for whom we labour are cut off from us, those who animated, and those who sweetened all the toils of life. Where then can the soul find refuge, but in the bosom of religion? There she is admitted to those prospects of Providence and futurity, which alone can warm and fill the heart. I speak here of such as retain the feelings of humanity, whom misfortunes have softened, and perhaps rendered more delicately sensible; not of such as possess that stupid insensibility, which some are pleased to dignify with the name of philosophy.

It should therefore be expected that those philosophers, who stand in no need themselves of the assistance of religion to support their virtue, and who never feel the want of its consolations, would yet have the humanity to consider the very different situation of the rest of mankind. and not endeavour to deprive them of

what habit, at least, if they will not allow it to be nature, has made necessary to their morals, and to their happiness. It might be expected, that humanity would prevent them from breaking into the last retreat of the unfortunate, who can no longer be objects of their envy or resentment, and tearing from them their only remaining comfort. The atThe attempt to ridicule religion may be agreeable to some, by relieving them from restraint upon their pleasures, and may render others very miserable, by making them doubt those truths, in which they were most deeply interested; but it can convey real good and happiness to no one individual. Gregory.

§ 68. Advantages of Devotion. The devotional spirit, united to good sense, and a cheerful temper, gives that steadiness to virtue, which it always wants when produced and supported by good natural dispositions only. It corrects and humanizes those constitutional vices, which it is not able entirely to subdue; and though it too often fails to render men perfectly virtuous, it preserves them from becoming utterly abandoned. It has, besides, the most favourable influence on all the passive virtues; it gives a softness and sensibility to the heart, and a mildness and gentleness to the manners; but above all, it produces an universal charity and love to mankind, however different in station, country, or religion. There is a sublime yet tender melancholy, almost the universal attendant on genius, which is too apt to degenerate into gloom and disgust with the world. Devotion is admirably calculated to sooth this disposition, by insensibly leading the mind, while it seems to indulge it, to those prospects which calm every murmur of discontent, and diffuse a cheerfulness over the darkest hours of human life.--Persons in the pride of high health and spirits, who are keen in the pursuits of pleasure, interest, or ambition, have either no ideas on this subject, or treat it as the enthusiasm of a weak mind. But this really shews great narrowness of understanding; a very little reflection and acquaintance with nature might teach them, on how precarious a foundation their boasted independence on religion is built; the thousand nameless accidents that may destroy it; and that though for some years they should escape these, yet that time must impair the greatest vigour of health and spirits, and de

prive them of all those objects for which, at present, they think life only worth enjoying. It should seem, therefore, very necessary to secure some permanent object, some real support to the mind, to cheer the soul, when all others shall have lost their influence. The greatest inconvenience, indeed, that attends devotion, is its taking such a vast hold of the affections, as sometimes threatens the extinguishing of every other active principle of the mind. For when the devotional spirit falls in with a melancholy temper, it is too apt to depress the mind entirely, to sink it to the weakest superstition, and to produce a total retirement and abstraction from the world, and all the duties of life.


§ 69. The Difference between true and false Politeness.

It is evident enough, that the moral and Christian duty, of preferring one another in honour, respects only social peace and charity, and terminates in the good and edification of our Christian brother. Its use is, to soften the minds of men, and to draw them from that savage rusticity, which engenders many vices, and discredits the virtuous themselves. But when men had experienced the benefit of this complying temper, and further saw the ends, not of charity only, but of selfinterest, that might be answered by it; they considered no longer its just purpose and application, but stretched it to that officious sedulity, and extreme servility of adulation, which we too often observe and lament in polished life.

Hence, that infinite attention and consideration, which is so rigidly exacted, and so duly paid, in the commerce of the world: hence, that prostitution of mind, which leaves a man no will, no sentiment, no principle, no character; all which disappear under the uniform exhibition of good manners: hence, those insidious arts, those studied disguises, those obsequious flatteries, nay, those multiplied and nicely-varied forms of insinuation and address, the direct aim of which may be to acquire the fame of politeness and good-breeding, but the certain effect, to corrupt every virtue, to sooth every vanity, and to inflame every vice of the human heart.

These fatal mischiefs introduce them

selves under the pretence and semblance of that humanity, which the Scriptures encourage and enjoin: but the genuine virtue

is easily distinguished from the counterfeit, and by the following plain signs. True politeness is modest, unpretending, and generous. It appears as little as may be; and when it does a courtesy, would willingly conceal it. It chooses silently to forego its own claims, not officiously to withdraw them. It engages a man to prefer his neighbour to himself, because he really esteems him; because he is tender of his reputation; because he thinks it more manly, more Christian, to descend a little himself than to degrade another. It respects, in a word, the credit and estimation of his neighbour.

The mimic of this amiable virtue, false politeness, is, on the other hand, ambitious, servile, timorous. It affects popularity is solicitous to please, and to be taken notice of. The man of this character does not offer, but obtrudes his civilities; because he would merit by his assiduity; because, in despair of winning regard by any worthier qualities, he would be sure to make the most of this; and lastly, because, of all things, he would dread, by the omission of any punctilious observance, to give offence. In a word, this sort of politeness respects, for its immediate object, the favour and consideration of our neighbour.

2. Again: the man who governs himself by the spirit of the Apostle's precept, expresses his preference of another in such a way as is worthy of himself; in all innocent compliances, in all honest civilities, in all decent and manly condescensions.

On the contrary, the man of the world, who rests in the letter of this command, is regardless of the means by which he conducts himself. He respects neither his own dignity, nor that of human nature. Truth, reason, virtue, are all equally betrayed by this supple impostor. He assents to the errors, though the most pernicious; he applauds the follies, though the most ridiculous; he sooths the vices, though the most flagrant, of other men. He never contradicts, though in the softest form of insinuation; he never disapproves, though by a respectful silence; he never condemns, though it be only by a good example. In short, he is solicitous for nothing, but by some studied devices to hide from others, and, if possible, to palliate to himself, the grossness of his illiberal adulation.

Lastly; we may be sure, that the ultimale ends for which these different objects

are pursued, and by so different means, must also lie wide of each other.

Accordingly, the true polite man would, by all proper testimonies of respect, promote the credit and estimation of his neighbour; because he sees that, by this generous consideration of each other, the peace of the world is, in a good degree, preserved; because he knows that these mutual attentions prevent animosities, soften the fierceness of men's manners, and dispose them to all the offices of benevolence and charity; because, in a word, the interests of society are best served by this conduct; and because he understands it to be his duty to love his neighbour.

The falsely polite, on the contrary, are anxious, by all means whatever, to procure the favour and consideration of those they converse with; because they regard, ultimately, nothing more than their private interest; because they perceive, that their own selfish designs are best carried on by such practices; in a word, because they love themselves.

Thus we see, that genuine virtue consults the honour of others by worthy means, and for the noblest purposes; the counterfeit solicits their favour by dishonest compliances, and for the basest end. Hurd.

§ 70. On the Beaulies of the Psalms.

Greatness confers no exemption from the cares and sorrows of life: its share of them frequently bears a melancholy proportion to its exaltation. This the Israelitish monarch experienced. He sought in piety, that peace which he could not find in empire, and alleviated the disquietudes of state, with the exercises of devotion. His invaluable Psalms convey those comforts to others, which they afforded to himself. Composed upon particular occasions, yet designed for general use; delivered out as services for Israelites under the Law, yet no less adapted to the circumstances of Christians under the Gospel; they present religion to us in the most engaging dress; communicating truths which philosophy could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal; while history is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends all its charms to paint the glories of redemption. Calculated alike to profit and to please, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination. Indited under the influence of Him, to

whom all hearts are known, and all events foreknown, they suit mankind in all situations, grateful as the manna which descended from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lose their fragrancy; but these unfading plants of paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily heightened; fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellencies, will desire to taste them yet again; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best.-And now, could the author flatter himself that any one would take half the pleasure in reading his work which he hath taken in writing it, he would not fear the loss of his labour. The employment detached him from the bustle and hurry of life, the din of politics, and the noise of folly; vanity and vexation flew away for a season, care and disquietude came not near his dwelling. He rose, fresh as the morning, to his task; the silence of the night invited him to pursue it; and he can truly say, that food and rest were not preferred before it. Every Psalm improved infinitely upon his acquaintance with it, and no one gave him uneasiness but the last; for then he grieved that his work was done. Happier hours, than those which have been spent in these meditations on the songs of Sion, he never expects to see in this world. Very pleasant ly did they pass, and moved smoothly and swiftly along; ; for when thus engaged, he counted no time. They are gone, but have left a relish and a fragrance upon the mind, and the remembrance of them is Horne.


§71. The Temple of Virtuous Love.

The structure on the right hand was (as I afterwards found) consecrated to virtuous Love, and could not be entered, but by such as received a ring, or some other token, from a person who was placed as a guard at the gate of it. He wore a garland of roses and myrtles on his head, and on his shoulders a robe like an imperial mantle, white and unspotted all over, excepting only, that where it was clasped at his breast, there were two golden turtle doves that buttoned it by their bills, which were wrought in rubies: he was called by the name of Hymen, and was seated near the entrance of the temple, in a delicious


bower, made up of several trees that were embraced by woodbines, jessamines, and amaranths, which were as so many emblems of marriage, and ornaments to the trunks that supported them. As I was single and unaccompanied, I was not permitted to enter the temple, and for that reason am a stranger to all the mysteries that were performed in it. I had, however, the curiosity to observe, how the several couples that entered were disposed of; which was after the following manner: there were two great gates on the back side of the edifice, at which the whole crowd was let out. At one of these gates were two women, extremely beautiful, though in a different kind; the one having a very careful and composed air, the other a sort of smile and ineffable sweetness in her countenance: the name of the first was Discretion, and of the other Complacency. All who came out of this gate, and put themselves under the direction of these two sisters, were immediately conducted by them into gardens, groves, and meadows, which abounded in delights, and were furnished with every thing that could make them the proper seats of happiness. The second gate of this temple let out all the couples that were unhappily married: who came out linked together by chains, which each of them strove to break, but could not. Se veral of these were such as had never been acquainted with each other before they met in the great walk, or had been too well acquainted in the thicket, The entrance to this gate was possessed by three sisters, who joined themselves with these wretches, and occasioned most of their miseries. The youngest of the sisters was known by the name of Levity; who, with the innocence of a virgin, had the dress and behaviour of a harlot: the name of the second was Contention, who bore on her right arm a muff made of the skin of a porcupine, and on her left carried a little lap-dog, that barked and snapped at every one that passed by her. The eldest of the sisters, who seemed to have an haughty and imperious air, was always accompanied with a tawny Cupid, who generally marched before her with a little mace on his shoulder, the end of which was fashioned into the horns of a stag: her garments were yellow, and her complexion pale; her eyes were piercing, but had odd casts in them, and that particular distemper which makes persons who are troubled with it see objects double. Upon

inquiry, I was informed that her name was Jealousy. Tatler.

§ 72. The Temple of Lust. Having finished my observations upon this temple, and its votaries, I repaired to that which stood on the left hand, and was called the temple of Lust. The front of it was raised on Corinthian pillars, with all the meretricious ornaments that accompany that order; whereas that of the other was composed of the chaste and matron-like Ionic. The sides of it were adorned with several grotesque figures of goats, sparrows, heathen gods, satyrs, and monsters, made up of half men, half beast. The gates were unguarded, and open to all that had a mind to enter. Upon my going in, I found the windows were blinded, and let in only a kind of twilight, that served to discover a prodigious number of dark corners and apartments, into which the whole temple was divided. I was here stunned with a mixed noise of clamour and jollity: on one side of me I heard singing and dancing; on the other, brawls and clashing of swords: in short I was so little pleased with the place, that I was going out of it: but found I could not return by the gate where I entered, which was barred against all that were come in, with bolts of iron and locks of adamant: there was no going back from this temple through the paths of pleasure which led to it: all who passed through the ceremonies of the place, went out at au iron wicket, which was kept by a dreadful giant called Remorse, that held a scourge of scorpions in his hand, and drove them into the only outlet from that temple. This was a passage so rugged, so uneven, and choked with so many thorns and briars, that it was a melancholy spectacle to behold the pains and difficulties which both sexes suffered who walked through it: the men, though in the prime of their youth, appeared weak and enfeebled with old age; the women wrung their hands, and tore their hair, and several lost their limbs, before they could extricate themselves out of the perplexities of the path in which they were engaged.-The remaining part of this vision, and the adventures I met with in the two great roads of Ambition and Avarice, must be the subject of another paper.


§ 73. The Temple of Virtue. With much labour and difficulty I pass

ed through the first part of my vision, and recovered the centre of the wood, from whence I had the prospect of the three great roads. I here joined myself to the middle-aged party of mankind, who marched behind the standard of Ambition. The great road lay in a direct line, and was terminated by the temple of Virtue. It was planted on each side with laurels, which were intermixed with marble trophies,carved pillars,and statues of lawgivers, heroes, statesmen, philosophers, and poets. The persons who travelled up this great path, were such whose thoughts were bent upon doing eminent services to mankind, or promot ing the good of their country. On each side of this great road, were several paths that were also laid out in straight lines, and ran parallel with it; these were most of them covered walks, and received into them men of retired virtue, who proposed to themselves the same end of their journey, though they chose to make it in shade and obscurity. The edifices, at the extremity of the walk, were so contrived, that we could not see the temple of Honour, by reason of the temple of Virtue, which stood before it: at the gates of this temple, we were met by the goddess of it, who conducted us into that of Honour, which was joined to the other edifice by a beautiful triumphal arch, and had no other entrance into it. When the deity of the inner structure had received us, she presented us, in a body, to a figure that was placed over the high altar, and was the emblem of Eternity. She sat on a globe in the midst of a golden zodiac, holding the figure of a sun in one hand, and a moon in the other: her head was veiled, and her feet covered. Our hearts glowed within us, as we stood amidst the sphere of light which this image cast. on every side of it. Ibid.

§ 74. The Temple of Vanity. Having seen all that happened to the band of adventurers, I repaired to another pile of buildings that stood within view of the temple of Honour, and was raised in imitation of it, upon the very same model; but, at my approach to it, I found that the stones were laid together without mortar, and that the whole fabric stood upon so weak a foundation, that it shook with every wind that blew. This was called the temple of Vanity. The goddess of it sat in the midst of a great many tapers, that burned day and

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