Page images
PDF
EPUB

With pleasing Blue he arch'd the Sky,

And a Green Carpet dress’d the Ground.

3. Let'envious Atheists ne'er complain

That Nature wants, or Skill, or Care; But turn their Eyes all round in vain,

T' avoid their Maker's Goodness there.

1

DIVINE FRIENDSHIP.

SPECTATOR.

TH

*HE Man who lives under an habitual Sense

of the Divine Presence, keeps up a perpetual Chearfulness of Temper, and enjoys every Moment the Satisfaction of thinking himself in Company with his nearest and best Friend. The Time never lies heavy upon him: It is impossible for him to be alone. His Thoughts and Passions are most busied at such Hours when those of other Men are most inactive: He no sooner steps out of the World, but his Heart burns with Devotion, fwells with Hope, and triumphs in the Conscioufness of that Presence which every where surrounds him; or, on the contrary, pours out its Fears, its Sorrows, its Apprehensions, to the great Author and Supporter of its existence.

True Religion of universal Influence, and always the fame.

WHICHCOTE.

R

ELIGION doth possess and affect the whole

Man: In the Understanding it is Knowledge ; in the Life it is Obedience ; in the Affections it is

Delight

Delight in God; in our Carriage and Behaviour, it is Modesty, Calmness, Gentleness, Quietness, Candour, Ingenuity; in our Dealings, it is Uprightness, Integrity, Correspondence with the Rules of Righteousness. Religion makes Men virtuous in all Instances.-Religion itself is always the same, but Things about Religion are not always the fame; these have not in them the Power or Virtue of Religion; they are not of a fanctifying Nature ; they do not purify our Minds as Things of a Moral Nature do; so that Religion may stand without tkem.

On the Sufferings of Christ.

BURGH's Dignity of Human Nature.

B

.

EHOLD the Innocent arraigned before the

The most amiable of Characters treated worse than the most odious deserves at any human Hands. The future Judge of Mankind brought before a human Tribunal. He who did no Sin, and in whose Mouth was found no Guile, sentenced to die, and a Robber and Murderer pardoned. They, for whom the Saviour of the World came from Heaven to give his precious Life, long to imbrue their Hands in the very Blood which was to be shed for them. O the diabolical Fury of Hypocrisy detected ! crucify him, crucify him, cry the bloody Priests, and the blinded People echo back the maddening Voice. But will the Lord of Life fuffer himself to be spoiled of Life by a Set of miserable Worms, whom he can crush to nothing

He came

in a Moment? No. He lays it down of himself; no Man takes, or can take it from him. to lay down his Life for the Life of the World. And if daring Mortals will be so impious as to ftretch forth unhallowed Hands against him, the Decree of Heaven will nevertheless be fulfilled, and they who will heap Damnation upon themselves, shall be left to the Destruction they have fought. Yet hold your butchering Hands, unthinking Wretches. Or if his sacred Blood must stream to wash a finful World from Guilt, let the HighPriest with Reverence offer him on the Altar, the true, the last, the only effectual Sacrifice for Sin. So shall you, and your Nation, escape the Deftruction which hangs over you.—They harden their · rocky Hearts against all Sense of Pity. They urge their own Destruction. Let not then the Eye of Day behold fo black a Deed. Let Heaven hide its Face from such a Sight. They pierce those Hands, whose falutary Touch gave Health and Strength, and those Feet which went about doing Good. They ftretch him on the Cross. They ftop their Ears against the Groans of suffering Innocence, But the inanimate Earth feels, and shakes with Horror at the Impiety of her Inhabitants. The Rocks burst in Pieces, and Nature is in Agonies The Sleep of Death is broken by the Convulsion. The Graves open their Throats, and caft up the ghastly Dead

An unseen Hand rents the Veil of the Temple, and exposes the holy Place, into which it was forbidden to enter. His Agonies now grow stronger. His Pangs redouble. The Choirs of Angels mourn the Sufferings of their Prince.

Hell

Delight in God; in our Carriage and Behaviour, it is Modesty, Calmness, Gentleness, Quietness, Candour, Ingenuity; in our Dealings, it is Uprightness, Integrity, Correspondence with the Rules of Righteousness. Religion makes Men virtuous in all Instances.-Religion itself is always the same, but Things about Religion are not always the fame; these have not in them the Power or Virtue of Religion; they are not of a fanctifying Nature; they do not purify our Minds as Things of a Moral Nature do; so that Religion may itand without them.

On the Sufferings of CHRIST.

BURGH's Dignity of Human Nature,

B

EHOLD the Innocent arraigned before the

Guilty. The most amiable of Characters treated worse than the most odious deserves at any human Hands. The future Judge of Mankind brought before a human Tribunal. He who did no Sin, and in whose Mouth was found no Guile, fentenced to die, and a Robber and Murderer pardoned. They, for whom the Saviour of the World • came from Heaven to give his precious Life, long to imbrue their Hands in the very

Blood which was to be med for them. O the diabolical Fury of Hypocrisy detected ! crucify him, crucify him, cry the bloody Priests, and the blinded People echo back the maddening Voice. But will the Lord of Life suffer himself to be spoiled of Life by a Set of miserable Worms, whom he can cruth to nothing

lent Words their full Force, it shoald be known that they came not from the Priesthood, but the Court; and from a * Courtier, as eminent as England ever boasted.

* Sir FRANCIS WALSINGHAM.

On the Efficacy of good Example.

TILLOTSON,

GM

OOD Example is an unspeakable Benefit to

Mankind, and hath a secret Power and InAuence upon those with whom we converses to form them into the same Disposition and Manners, It is a living Rule that teacheth Men without Trouble, and lets them fee their Faults without open Reproof and Upbraiding. Besides that it adds great Weight to a Man's Counsel and Persuasion, when we see that he advises nothing but what he does, nor exacts any Thing from others, from which he himself desires to be excused. On the contrary, nothing is more cold and infignificant than good Counsel from a bad Man, one that does not obey his own Precepts, nor follow the Advice which he is fo forward to give to others.

The Advantage of Example beyond Precepts. Scot.

[ocr errors]

RECEPTS and Discourses of Virtue are only

the Pictures, and artificial Descriptions of it: A virtuous Example is Virtue animated, and exposed to our View in all its living Charms and Attractions ; and therefore by how much Nature exceeds Art, and the most accomplished Beauties

excell

« PreviousContinue »