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or dispraise of such men is almost equally itd. Terent. But a liberal minded and benevolent soul, who embraces everyhuman being in the arms of his cbarity, who rises superior to the superstitious tribe of infallible doctors-the genus irritabile tatun; who can pierce through the guise of human distinctions, and trace Ichigi'us excellence among all orders and descriptibi of mer, be wrald clasp to his bosom, male bim room in his heart, and give bin a place in the attic story of his alitctions. He loves a generous soul, a noble spirit, with rhom he can hold sweet converse* on things human and divme; trace the awful for tsteps of a mysterious Providence,
“ fort justify the ways of God to man;" while angels ministraut, attend the enraptured strais._"0 ROCtes Panegue Deúm!"
From a melancholy dearth of such society, however, he is generally constrained to converse with the ancient and modern dead, those first of human beings, who have left us the image of their souls retiected in their immortal volumes. Here, le soinetimes seems to catch a ray of their genius; to intermingle scel with sou!; to taste the raptures of their sacred rage, and to re
* The third chapter of MALACHI seems to me to contain the most emphaticul recommendation of religious couversation that ever was penred. CICERO too speaks with an air of tiguation of men ot talents meeting together, and spending all their iine ja
iking the ram, or boldug the pail: " Quasi vero clarorum virorum aut tacitos congressus, esse opporteat, aut ludierus sermones, aut rerum colloquia leviorum."
feaden. Quest. lib. 4. This brings to my mind an anecdote, which I have sualew bere read concerning the inunortal LOCKE, who bemg ipried by a certain Vosleman to give the meeting to some of the most celebrated wits and sellolars of the age, went in great expectation of enjosing a high intellectual repast. The eard table being mtroduced after dinger, erotrary to his expeetation, he retired pepsve and chasrired to the window. Enquiry being made it he was well, he replied, “ He had ecne to five the company meeting in full coutidenee of receiving an uricomnion degree of satistation mibe conversation of such celebrated characters and he must acknowledige he felt hisiself burt at the disappointment. The curd rabie was immertitely wihdrawn, and a rich tow et svuls begun, to his no salt gratificaties.
ditate unutterable things. Oh! for a Spirit of burning, to refine these drossy natures; “ a muse of fire,” to elevate his mind to their celestial strains; and a seraph's wings to mount up to the blissful throng of the spirits of just men made perfect, around the throne of the great FATHER of the universe, and his Son, the Ever-blest!-Yet a little while, and these shadows shall flee away—these earthly tabernacles be taken down-these mortal bodies be clothed with immortality--the church militant be changed into the church triumphant—and the infinite MAJESTY of Heaven be seen without a veil, loved without a rival, and enjoyed without satiety through the long round of vast eternity!
Afacclesfield, Jan. 1, 1799.
PLEA FOR RELIGION, &c.
FRIENDS AND COUNTRYMEN:
wintestations of Her some, who have modo
THERE are few ages of the world, but have produced various instances of persons, who have treated the Divine dispensations, either with neglect or scorn. Of these, some have persisted in their folly to the latest period of their earthly existence; while others have discovered their mistake in time, and both sought and found forgiveness with God. In most ages too, there have been some, who have piously observed the manifestations of Heaven; who have cordially received the Holy Scriptures as a revelatiou from on high; and who have built their everlasting expectations upon the salvation which is therein revealed. The hopes of such persons have never been disappointed. If they have lived up, in any good degree, to their religious profession, they have always been favoured with peace of mind, and strong consolation in life; firm confidence in Christ, usually, at the hour of death ; and have frequently gone off the stage of time into eternity rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, with unspeak-, able and triumphant joy. Examples of this kind, even among illiterate men, women and children, might be produced in numbers very considerable. But how extremely different, most commonly, is the last end of those persons, who have denied and scorned the revelations of Heaven; who have rejected the Sacred Writings; and treated serious godliness with sneer and contempt?-Nay, it has frequently been known, that the first rate geniuses, and greatest men of their times, have left the world under much darkness of mind, full of doubts, and fearful apprehensions concerning the Divine favour, owing to their being deeply immersed in too secular, or literary pursuits ; to their living beneath their Christian
privileges: and spending too small a portion of their time in devout retirement, and religious exercises. Nothing, indeed, can keep the life of God cigorously alive in the soul, but these exercises. Where they are either wholly neglected, or frequently interrupted, there the power of religion languishes. Faith' and hope, price and love, joy in, and confidence towards God, grow weak; doubts and fears, disquietude of mind, and scruples of conscience prevail. The sun goes down, and sets, to this world at least, under a dark and cheerless cloud.- But where the humble Believer in Christ Jesus (the eyes of his understanding being enlightened, and his fears alarmed with a sense of danger,), lays aside every spiritual encumbrance, and the sin by which he hath been often too easily overcome; where he resolutely breaks through every snare, and lives to the great purposes for which we were all born; where, with the illustrious philosopher and physician, BOERHAAVE, and the eminent statesmen, Sir John BARNAR), the Duke of ORMOND, and Lord Carel*, he spends a due proportion of every day in private
* It was the custom of three of these great men, to spend an hour every morning, in private prayer and reading the Holy Scriptures; and of the fourth, to meditate half an hour every day upon eternity. This gave them comfort and vigour of mind to support the toil and fatigue of the day. Nay, we are told in the Life of the Duke of ORMOND, that “ he never prepared for bed, or went abroad in a morning, till he had withdrawn an hour to his closet.”
We might mention a considerable number of similar instances. John Lord Harrington, who died A. D. 1613, at the age of 22 years, was a young nobleman of eminent piety, and rare literary attainments. He was an early riser, and usually spent a considerable part of the morning in private pruyer, and reading the Sacred Writings. The same religious exercise was also pursued both in the evening and at mid-day.
Sir HARBOTTLE GRIMSTONE, Master of the Rolls, an eminent lawyer, a just judge, and a person of large fortune, who lived in the last century, “was a very pious and devout man, and spent every day at least an hour in the morning, and as much at night, in prayerand meditation. And even in winter, when he was obliged to be very early on the bench, he took care to rise so soon that he had always the command of that time, which he gave to those exercises."
This brings to my mind the case of the late Colonel JAMES GARDINER, who was slain at the battle of Preston Pans, A. D. 1745. This brave man used constantly to rise at four in the woning, and, to spend“ his time till six in the secret exercises of devotion, reading, meditation, and prayer. And if at any time he was obliged to go