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great advances in divine love, that the firft moment the was allowed to pay her adoration to the CRUCIFIX, the fervency of her pious passion burst forth with fuch extacy, that thic eagerly snatched the holy object to her arms, and embraced it with a tranfport so warmly affectionate, that streams of tenderness rushed from her eyes.”

It is truly said by a celebrated English writer,

be: “ of the utmost importance to guard gainst extremes of every kind in religion. We nust beware, lest by seeking to avoid one rock, ve split upon another. It has been long the ubject of remark, that SUPERSTITION and ENTHUSIASM are two capital sources of delu. Lion : Superstition, on the one hand, attaching men with immoderate zeal to the ritual and external points of religion; and Enthufiasm, on the other, directing their whole attention to internal emotions, and mystical communications with the {piritual world; while neither the one nor the other has paid sufficient regard to the great moral duties of the Christian life. But running with intemperate eagerness from these two great abuses of religion, men have neglected to observe that there are extremes opposite to each of them, into which they are in hazard of precipitating themselves, Thus the horror of Superftition

has

has sometimes reached so far as to produce contempt for all external institutions ; as if it were poflīble for Religion to subsift in the world without forms of worship, or public acknowledgment of God. It has also happened, that some who, in the main, are well affected to the cause of goodness, observing that persons of a devout turn have at times been carried away by warm affections into unjustifiable excesses, have thence hastily concluded that all Devotion was a-kin to Enthusiasm; and separating Religion totally from the heart and affections, have reduced it to a frigid observance of what they call the rules of Virtue." · These extremes are to be carefully avoided. True devotion is rational and well founded; and consists in the lively exercise of that affection which we owe to the Supreme Being, comprehending several emotions of the heart, which all terminate in the fame great object.

These are among the evils which an irrational Solitude is capable of producing upon an unrestrained and misdirected imagination : but I do not mean to contend indiscriminately, that Solitude is generally to be considered as dangerous to the free indulgence of this delightful faculty of the mind. Solitude well chosen, and rationally pursued, is so far from being either the open

enemy

enemy or the treacherous friend of a firm and fine imagination, that it ripens its earliest shoots, strengthens their growth, and contributes to the production of its richest and most valuable fruits. To him who has acquired the happy art of enjoying in Solitude the charms of Nature, and of indulging the powers of Fancy without impairing the faculty of Reason,

Whate'er adorns The princely dome, the column, and the arch, The breathing marble, and the sculptur'd gold, Beyond the proud poffeffor's narrow claim, His happy breast enjoys. For him the Spring Distills her dews, and from the filken gem Its lucid leaves unfolds : for him the hand Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn. Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings; And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes The setting fun's effulgence, not a strain From all the tenants of the warbling shade Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake Fresh pleasure, unreprov'd. Nor thence partakes Fresh pleasure only : for the attentive mind, By this harmonious action on her powers, Becomes herself harmonious. Wont so oft In outward things to meditate the charm Of sacred Order, foon she seeks at home To find a kindred order, to exert Within herself this elegance of love,

This

Of

This fair infpir'd delight: her tempered powers
Refine at length; and every passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze
On Nature's face, where, negligent of all
These lesser graces, she assumes the port
Of that Eternal Majesty that weigh'd
The world's foundations, if to these the mind
Exalts her daring eye, then mightier far
Will be the change, and nobler. Would the forms
Of servile custom cramp her generous powers?,
Would sordid policies, the barbarous growth

fignorance and rapine, bow her down
To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear?
Lol the appeals to NATURE, to the winds
And rolling waves, the sun's unwearied course,
The elements and seasons : all declare
For what the eternal Maker has ordain'd
The powers of Man. We feel within ourlelves
His energy divine: he tells the heart
He meant, he made us to behold and love
What he beholds and loves, the general orb
Of Life and Being'; to be great like him,
Beneficent and active. Thus the men
Whom NATURE's WORKS CAN CHARM, with God

himself
Hold converse; grow familiar, day by day,
With his conceptions, act upon his plan,
And form to his the relish of their souls,

'n ole piire, ris eitt
!!.:'

Em94
CHAPTER THE FIFTH. 1:14

THE EFFECTS OF SOLITUDE ON A

MELANCHOLY MIND..

A

DISPOSITION to enjoy the filence of

fequeftered Solitude, and a growing diftáste of the noisy tumults of public life, are the earliest and most general symptoms of approaching melancholy. The heart on which felicity was used to fit enthroned, becomes senseless to the touch of pleasure ; the airy wing of high delight sinks proftrate to the earth on broken pinions ; and care, anxiety, chagrin, and regret, loads the mind with distempering ideas, and renders it chearless and forlorn. The dawning fun, and heaven-lighted day, give no pleasure to the fickened senses of the unhappy fufferer. His only pleasure is to commune with his own griefs;”. and for this purpose he seeks fome gloomy glen,

“ Where bitter boding Melancholy reigns “ O'er heavy fighs and care-disorder'd thoughts:"

But a mind thus disposed, however it may for a time console its sorrows* by retiring from the

world,

I 3

* METODORUS, in one of Seneca's Epistles, says, that there is always a mixture of pleasure in the indulgence of forrow :

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