Page images
[ocr errors]

• an innumerable company of angels and spirits of just men • made perfect ?

• This is certain, that our imaginations cannot be • raised too high, when we think on a place where omni'potence and omniscience have so signally exerted them• selves, because that they are able to produce a scene in• finitely more great and glorious than what we are able ' to imagine. It is not imposhble but at the consumma• tion of all things, these outward apartments of nature, • which are now suited to those beings who inhabit them,

may be taken in and added to that glorious place of • which I am here speaking; and by that means made a * proper habitation for beings who are exempt from mor' tality, and cleared of their imperfections : for so the • scripture seems to intimate, when it speaks of new hea• vens and of a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteous(ness.

* I HAVE only considered this glorious place with re'gard to the fight and imagination, though it is highly

probable, that our other senses may here likewise enjoy their highest gratifications. There is nothing which more ravishes and transports the soul, than harmony; • and we have great reason to believe, from the descriptions of this place in holy scripture, that this is one of

the entertainments of it. And if the foul of man can be so wonderfully affected with those strains of music, which human art is capable of producing, how much

more will it be raised and elevated by those, in which ' is exerted the whole power of harmony! The senses

faculties of the human soul, though they cannot be employed, during this our vital union, without proper 'instruments in the body. Why therefore should we ex'clude the satisfaction of these faculties, which we find ' by experience are inlets of great pleasure to the foul, ' from among those entertainments which are to make up

our happiness hereafter? Why should we suppose that our hearing and seeing will not be gratified with those 'objects which are most agreeable to them, and which

they cannot meet with in these lower regions of nature; • objects, which neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the heart of man to conceive? I


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]





[ocr errors]

knew a man in Christ (says St Paul, speaking of himself) * above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I can

not tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell : God knoweth) such a one caught up to the third hea

And I knew such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell : God knowetb) * how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard un* Speakable words, which it is not possible for a man to

utter. By this is meant, that what he heard was so in• finitely different from any thing which he had heard in * this world, that it was impossible to express it in such ' words as might convey a notion of it to his hearers.

• It is very natural for us to take delight in inquiries • concerning any foreign country, where we are some • time or other to make our abode; and as we all hope

to be admitted into this glorious place, it is both a • laudable and useful curiosity, to get what informations we can of it, while we make use of revelation for our guide. When these everlasting doors shall be open to

us, we may be sure that the pleasures and beauties of this • place will infinitely transcend our present hopes and ex

pectations, and that the glorious appearance of the throne

of God will rise infinitely beyond whatever we are able s to conceive of it. We might here entertain ourselves ' with many other speculations on this subject, from those « several hints which we find of it in the holy scriptures;

as whether there may not be different mansions and apartments of glory, to beings of different natures; whether as they excel one another in perfection, they are not admitted nearer to the throne of the Almighty, and

enjoy greater manifestations of his presence; whether • there are not solemn times and occasions, when all the • multitude of heaven celebrate the presence of their Ma

ker in more extraordinary forms of praise and adoration; as Adam, though he had continued in a state of innocence, would, in the opinion of our divines, have kept holy the Sabbath-day, in a more particular manner Sthan any other of the seven. These, and the like fpe!culations, we may very iprocently indulge, so long as

we make use of them to inspire us with a desire of becoI ming inhabitants of this delightful place,

[ocr errors]

“I have in this, and in two foregoing letters, treated o on the most serious subject that can employ the mind of * man, the omnipresence of the Deity; a subject which, • if possible, should never depart from our meditations. "We have considered the divine Being, as he inhabits in• finitnde, as he dwells among his works, as he is present • to the mind of man, and as he difcovers himself in a

more glorious manner among the regions of the bleffed. • Such a consideration should be kept awake in us at all • tinies, and in all places, and possefs our minds with a • perpetual awe and reverence. It should be interwoven

with all our thoughts and perceptions, and become one * with the consciousness of our own being. It is not to • be reflected on in the coldncss of philosophy, but ought

to sink us into the lowest prostration before him, who is so astonishingly great, wonderful, and holy.'

N° 581.

Monday, August 16.

Sunt bona, funt quædam mediocria, funt mala plura,
Que legis

Mart. Epig. 17. 1. 1.

Some good, wore bad, fome neither one nor t’other.


AM at present fitting with a heap of letters before me,

which I have received under the character of Spectator; I have complaints from lovers, schemes from projectors, scandal from ladies, congratulations, compliments, and advice in abundance.

I HAVE not been thus long an author, to be insensible of the natural fondness every person must have for their own productions; and I begin to think I have treated my correspondents a little too uncivilly in stringing them all together on a file, and letting them lie so long unregarded. I shall therefore, for the future, think myself at least obliged to take some notice of such letters as I receive, and may possibly do it at the end of every month.

In the mean time, I intend my present paper as a short answer to most of those which have been already sent me.


The public however is not to expect I should let them into all my secrets; and though I appear abstruse to moft people" it is sufficient if I am understood by my particular correspondents.

My well-wisher Van Nath is very arch, but not quite enough fo to appear in print.

PHILADELPHUS will, in a little time, see his query fully answered by a treatise which is now in the press.

It was very improper at that time to comply with Mr G.

Miss Kitty must excuse me.

The gentleman who sent me a copy of verses on his mistress's dancing, is, I believe, too thoroughly in love to compofe corre&ly.

I HAVE too great a respect for both the universities to praise one at the expense of the other.

TOM NIMBLE is a very honest fellow, and I desire him to present my humble service to his cousin Fill Bumper.

LAM obliged for the letter upon prejudice.

I MAY in due time animadvert on the case.of Grace Grumble.

The petition of P. S. granted.
THAT of Sarah Loveit, refused.
The papers of A. S, are returned.
I THANK Ariftippus for his kind invitation.

My friend at Woodstock is a bold man, to undertake for ail within ten miles of him,

I AM afraid the entertainment of Tom Turnover will hardly be relished by the good cities of London and IVestminster.

I MUST consider further of it, before I indulge W.F. in those freedoms he takes with the ladies stockings.

I Am obliged to the ingenious gentleman, who sent me an ode on the subject of a late SPECTATOR, and shall take particular notice of his last letter,

When the lady who wrote me a letter, dated July the 20th, in relation to some passages in a lover, will be more particular in her directions, I shall be fo in my answer.

The poor gentleman, who fancies my writings could reclaim an husband who can abuse such a wise as he der VOL. VIII.



scribes, has, I am afraid, too great an opinion of my skill.

PHILANTHROPOS is, I dare say, a very wellmeaning man, but is a little too prolix in his compositions.

CONSTANTIUS himself must be the best judge in the affair he mentions.

The letter dated from Lincoln is received.
ARETHUSA and her friend may hear further from


CELLA is a little too hasty.

HARRIOT is a good girl, but must not curtsy to folks The does not know.

I must ingenuously confess my friend Sampfon BentStaf has quite puzzled me, and writ me a long letter which I cannot comprehend one word of.

COLLID AN must also explain what he means by his Drigelling.

I THINK it below my Spectatorial dignity, to concern inyself in the affair of the boiled dumpling.

I SHALL consult some Litterati on the project sent me for the discovery of the longitude.

I KNOW not how to conclude this paper better, than by inserting a couple of letters which are really genuine, and which I look upon to be two of the smartest pieces I have received from my correspondents of either sex.


< Brother SPEC,

HILE you are surveying every object that falls

in your way, I am wholly taken up with one. « Had that fage, who demanded what beauty was, lived to see the dear angel i love, he would not have asked

such a question. Had another seen her, he would him• self have loved the person in whom Heaven has made virtue visible; and were you yourself to be in her company, you could never, with all your loquacity, say · enough of her good humour and sense. I send you the

outlines of a picture, which I can no more finish than I * can sufficiently admire the dear original. I am

Your most affectionate brother,


. Good

« PreviousContinue »