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1.-EXAMPLES OF DYING INFIDELS.
The wicked is driven away in his own wickedness.....Prov. xiv. 32.
1. Mr. Hobbes was a celebrated Infidel in the last age, who, in bravado, would sometimes speak very unbecoining things of God and his Word.. Yet, when alone, he was haunted with the most tormenting reflections, and would awake in great' terror, if his candle happened only to go out in the night. He could never bear any discourse of death, and seemed to cast off all thoughts of it*. He lived to be upwards of ninety. His last sensible words were, when he found he could live no longer, “ I shall be glad then to find a hole to; creep out of the world at.”. And, notwithstanding all his high pretensions to learning and philosophy, bis uneasiness constrained him to confess, when he drew near to the grave, that he was about to take a leap in the dark.”- The writings of this old sinner ruined the Earl of Rochester, and many other gentlemen of the first parts iu this nation, as that Nobleman himself declared, after his conversion.
2. The account which the celebrated SULLY gives us of young Servin is out of the common way. “The beginning of June, 1623," says he, “ 1 set out for Calais, where I was to embark, having with me a retinue of upwards of two hundred gentlemen, or who called themselves such, of whoin a considerable number were really of the first distinction. Just before my departure old SERVIN came and presented his son to me, and begged I would use my endeavours to make him a man of some worth and honesty ; but he confessed he dared
* What an amiable character was the Heathen SOCRATES, wheri compared with this Infidel-Philosopher? Just before the eup of poison was brought him, entertaining his friends with an adınirable discourse on the immortality of the soul, he las these words: “
Whether or no God will approve my actions, I know not; but this I am sure of, that I have at all times made it my endeavour to please him, and I have a good hope that this my endeavour will be accepted by him.”
Whoʻcan doubt, but the merits of the all-atoning LAMB of GOD were extended to this virtuous Heathen? How few professed Christians can honestly make the same appeal ?-Besides, SocRATES seems to have had as firm a faith in a Saviour, then to come, as many of the most virtuous of the Israelitish nation,
hot hope, not through any want of understanding or capacity in the young man, but from his natural inclination to all kinds of: vice. The old man was in the right : what he told me having excited my curiosity to gain a thorough knowledge of young SERVIN, I found him to be at once both a wonder and a monster; for I can give no other idea of that assemblage of the most excellent and most pernicious qualities. Let the reader represent to himself a man of a genius so lively, and an understanding so extensive, as rendered him scarce ignorant of any thing that could be known; of so vast and ready a comprehension, that he immediately made himself master of what he attempted; and, of so prodigious a memory, that he never forgot what he had once learned; he possessed all parts of philosophy and the mathematics, particularly fortification and drawing. Even in theology he was so well skilled, that he was an excellent preacher, whenever he had a mind to exert that talent, and an able disputant for and against the reformed religion indifferently. He not only understood Greek, Hebrew, and all the languages which we call learned, but also the different jargons or modern dialects. He accented and pronounced them so naturally, and so perfectly imitated the gestures and manners both of the several nations of Europe, and the particular provinces of France, that he might have been taken for a native of all or any of these countries; and this quality he applied to counterfeit all sorts of persons, wherein he succeeded' wonderfully. · He was, moreover, the best comedian and greatest droll that perhaps ever appeared; he had a genius for poetry, and wrote many verses ; : he played upon almost all instruments, 'was a perfect master of music, and sung most agreeably and justly. He likewise could say mass : for he was of a disposition to do, as well as to know, all things; his body was perfectly well suited to his mind, he was light, nimble, dexterous, and fit for all exer cises; he could ride well, and in dancing, wrestling, and leaping, he was admired; there are no recreative games which he did not know': and he was skilled in almost all; the mechanic arts.
But now for the reverse of the medal: here it appeared that he was treacherous, cruel, cowardly, deceitful; a liar, a cheat, a drunkard and glutton; a sharper in play, immersed in every species of vice, a blasphemer, an atheist; in a word, in him might be found all the vices con
trary to nature, bunout, religion, and society; the truth of which he himself evinced with his latest breath, for he died in the flower of his age, in a common brothel, perfectly corrupted by his debaucheries, and expired with a glass in his hand, cursing and denying God."
It is evident from this extraordinary case, that “with the talents of an angel a man may be a fool.”. There is no necessary connection between great natural abilities and religious qualifications. They may go together, but they are frem quently found asunuter.
$. The honourable FRANCIS NEWPORT, who died in the year 1692, was favoured both with a liberal and religious education. After spending five years in the University, he was entered in one of the Inns of Court. Here he felt into the hands of Infidels, tost all his religious impressions, commenced Infidel himself, and became a mošt abandoned character, upiting bimself to a club of wretches who met together constantly to encourage each other in being critically wicked. In this manner he conducted himself for several years, till at length his intemperate courses brought on an illness, which revived all his former religious impressions, accompanied with an inexpressible borror of mind. The violence of his torments was such, that he sweat in the most prodigious manner that ever was seen. In nine days he was reduced from a robust state of health to perfect weakness; during all which time his language was the most dreadful that imagination can conceive. At one time, looking towards the fire, he said, “ Oh! that I was to lie and broil upon that fire for a hundred thousand years, to purchase the favour of God, and be reconciled to him again! But it is a fruitless vain wish: millions of millions of years will bring me no nearer to the end of my tortures, than one poor hour.
O eter nity! eternity! who can properly paraphrase upon the words --for ever and ever!”.
In this kind of strain he went on, till his strength was exhausted, and his dissolution approached; when, recovering a little breatht, with a groan 80 dreadful and loud, as if it hade not been human, he cried out, “Oh! the insufferable pangs of hell and damnation!" and so died, death settling the visage of his face in such a form, as if the body, though dead, was sensible of the extremity of torments.
It may be much questioned, whether a more affecting Narrative * was ever composed in any language, than the true history of this unhappy gentleman's last sickness and death. It is greatly to be desired, that men of all denominations would give it a serious perusal.
4. Mr. WILLIAM EMMERSON was, at the same time, an Infidel, and one of the first mathematicians of the age. Though, in some respects, he might be considered as a worthy man, his conduct through life was rude, vulgar, and frequently immoral. He paid no attention to religious duties, and both intoxication and prophane language were familiar to him. Towards the close of his days, being afflicted with the stone, he would crawl about the floor on bis hands and knees, sometimes praying, and sometimes swearing, as the humour took him t.--What a poor creature is man without Religion ! Sir Isaac Newton died of the same disorder, which was attended, at times, with such severe paroxysms, as forced out large drops of sweat that rau down his face. In these trying circumstances, however, he was never observed to utter any complaint, or to express the least impatience. What a striking contrast between the conduct of the Infidel and the Christian!
5. Monsieur VOLTAIRE, during a long life, was continually treating the Holy Scriptures with contempt, and endeavouring to spread the poison of Infidelity through the nations. See, however, the end of such a conduct. In his last illness he sent for Dr. TRONCHIN; who, when he came, found VOLTAIRE in the greatest agonies, exclaiming with the utmost horror-I am abundoned by God and man. He then said, Doctor, I will give you half of what I am worth, if you will give me six months life. The Doctor answered, Sir, you cannot live six weeks. VOLTAIRE replied, Then I shall go to hell, and you will go with me! and soon after expired.
This is the Hero of modern Infidels.! Dare any of them say-Let me die the death of Voltaire, and let my last end
• It has been sometimes called the Second Spira.
+ This extraordinary man, by way of justifyiug his own irreligious conduct, drew up his objections to the Sacred Writings much in the same way as THOMAS PAINE ; but it does not appear that they were ever laid before the public, as THOMAS PAINE's have been.
be like his? Wonderful infatuation! This unhappy gentleman occupies the first niche in the French pantheon! That he was a man of great and various talents, none can deny: but his want of sound learning, and moral qualifications, will ever prevent 'his being, ranked with the benefactors of mankind, by the wise and good. Such a Hero, indeed, is befitting a nation under judicial infatuation, to answer the wise ends of the GOVERNOR of the world. If the reader has felt himself injured by the poison of this man's writings, he may find relief for his wounded mind, by perusing carefully FINDLEY's Vindication of the Sacred Books from the Misrepresentations and Cavils of VOLTAIRE; and LEFANU's Letters of certain Jews to VOLTAIRE. The hoary Infidel cuts but a very sorry figure in the hands of the Sons of Abraham.
Since the publication of the first edition of this little work, we have 'had an account of the last days of this extraordinary man by the Abbe BARRUEL, author of The History of the French Clergy. And it is so extremely interesting, that. I will lay it before the reader in a translation of that gentleman's own words, taken from the History of Jacobinism, by the editor of the British Critic.
“ It was during VOLTAIRE's last visit to Paris, when his triumph was complete, and he had even feared he should die with glory, amidst the acclamations of an infatuated theatre, that he was struck by the hand of PROVIDENCE, and made a very different termination of his career.
In the midst of his triumphs, a violent hemorrhage raised apprehensions for his life. D'Alembert, Diderot, and MARMONTEL, hastened to support his resolution in his last moments, but were only witnesses to their mutual ignominy, as well as to his own.
Here let not the historian fear exaggeration. Rage, remorse, reproach, and blasphemy, all accompany and characterize the long agony of the dying Atheist. His death, the 'most terrible ever recorded to have stricken the impious man, will not be denied by his companions in im. piety. Their silence, however much they may wish to deny it, is the least of those corroborative proofs, which might be adduced. Not one of the Sophisters has ever dared to mention any sign given, of resolution or tranquillity, by the premier chief, during the space of three months, which elapsed from