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prise, he came out a Quaker. Seeing myself surrounded with a body of Freethinkers, and scoffers at religion, who were making themselves merry at the fober looks and thoughtful brows of those who had been in the cave; I thrust them all in, one after another, and locked the door upon them. Upon my opening it, they all looked, as if they had been frighted out of their wits, and were marching away with ropes in their hands to a wood that was within sight of the place. I found they were not able to bear themselves in their first serious thoughts; but knowing these would quickly bring them to a better frame of mind, I gave them into the custody of their friends till that happy change was wrought in them.

The last that was brought to me was a young woman, who at the first sight of my short face fell into an immoderate fit of laughter, and was forced to hold her lides all the while her mother was speaking to me. Upon this I interrupted the old lady, and taking her daughter by the hand, Madam, said I, be pleased to retire into my closet, while your mother tells me your case. I then put her into the mouth of the cave, when the mother, after having begged pardon for the girl's rudeness, told me, that she often treated her father and the gravest of her relations in the same manner; that she would fit giggling and laughing with her companions from one end of a tragedy to the other; nay, that she would sometimes burst out in the iniddle of a fermon, and set the whole congregation a staring at her. The mother was going on, when the young lady came out of the cave to us with a composed countenance, and a low curtsy. She was a girl of such exuberant mirth, that her visit to Trophonius only reduced her to a more than ordinary decency of behaviour, and made a very pretty prude of her.

After having performed innumerable cures, I looked about me with great fatisfaction, and faw all my patients walking by themselves in a very pensive and musing posture, so that the whole place seemed covered with philosophers. I was at length resolved to go into the cave myself, and fee what it was that had produced such wonderful effects upon the company; but as I was stooping at the entrance, the door being something low, I gave such a nod in my chair, that I awaked. After having recorered myself

from

from my first startle, I was very well pleased at the accident which had befallen me, as not knowing but a little stay in the place might have spoiled my Spectators.

N° 600.

Wednesday, September 29.

Solenque fuum, fua fidera norunt,

Virg. Æn. 6. v. 641.

Stars of their own, and their own suns they know.

Dryden.

of Afric.

HAVE always taken a particular pleasure in exami

ning the opinions which men of different religions, different ages, and different countries, have entertained concerning the immortality of the soul, and the state of happiness which they promise themselves in another world. For whatever prejudices and errors human nature lies under, we find that either reason, or tradition from our first parents, has discovered to all people something in these great points which bear analogy to truth, and to the doctrines opened to us by divine revelation. I was lately discoursing on this subject with a learned person, who has been very much conversant among the inhabitants of the more western parts

Upon his conversing with several in that country, he tells me that their notion of heaven, or of a future state of happiness, is this, that every thing we there wish for will immediately present itself to us. We find, say they, our souls are of such a nature that they require variety, and are not capable of being always delighted with the same objects. The supreme Being, therefore, in compliance with this taste of happiness which he has planted in the foul of man, will raise

up

from time to time, say they, every gratification which it is in the humour to be pleased with. If we wish to be in groves or bowers, among running streams or falls of water, we shall immediately find ourselves in the midst of such a scene as we desire. If we would be entertained with music and the melody of sounds, the confort arises upon our wish, and the whole region about us is filled with harmony. In short, every desire will be fol

lowed

lowed by fruition, and whatever a man's inclination directs him to will be present with him. Nor is it material whether the supreme Power creates in conformity to our wishes, or whether he only produces such a change in our imagination, as makes us believe ourselves conversant among those scenes which delight us. Our happiness will be the same, whether it proceed from external objects, or from the impressions of the Deity upon our own private fancies. This is the account which I have received from my learned friend. Notwithstanding this fystem of belief be in general very chimerical and visionary, there is fomething sublime in its manner of confidering the influence of a divine Being on a human soul. It has also, like most other opinions of the Heathen world upon these important points, it has, I say, its foundation in truth, as it supposes the souls of good men after this life to be in a state of perfect happiness, that in this state there will be no barren hopes, nor fruitless wishes, and that we shall enjoy every thing we can desire. But the particular circumstance which I am most pleased with in this scheme, and which arises from a just reflection upon human nature, is that variety of pleasures which it fupposes the souls of good men will be pofsessed of in another world. This I think highly probable, from the dictates both of reason and revelation. The soul consists of many faculties, as the understanding, and the will, with all the senses, both outward and inward; or, to speak more philosophically, the soul can exert herself in many different ways

of action. She can understand, will, imagine, fee, and hear, love, and discourse, and apply herself to many other the like exercises of different kinds and natures; bui what is more to be considered, the soul is capable of receiving a most exquisite pleasure and fatiffaction from the exercise of any of these its powers, when they are gratified with their proper objects : she can be entirely happy by the satisfaction of the memory, the sight, the hearing, or any other mode of perception. Every faculty is as a dilină taste in the mind, and hath objects accommodated to its proper relish. Dr Tillotson fomewhere fays, that he will not presume to determine in what consists the happiness of the blest, because God Almighty is capable of making the soul happy by ten thou

sand

fand different ways.

Besides those feveral avenues to pleasure which the soul is endɔwed with in this life; it is not impollible, according to the opinion of many emirent divines, but there m.iy be new faculties in the luuls of good men made perfect, as well as new senses in their glorified bodies. This we are sure of, that there will be new objects offered to all those faculties which are ef. fential to us.

We are likewise to take notice, that every particular faculty is capable of being employed on a very great variety of obje&ts. The understanding, for example, may be happy is the contemplation of moral, natural, mathematical, and other kinds of truth. The memory likewise may tura itself to an infinite inultitude of objects, especially when the soul thall have passed through the Space of many millions of years, and shall rellect with pleasure on the days of eternity. Every other faculty may be considered in the same extent.

We cannot question but that the happiness of a soul will be adequate to its nature, and that it is not endowed with any

faculties which are to lie useless and unemployed. The happiness is to be the happiness of the whole man, and we may easily conceive to ourselves the happiness of the soul, whilst any one of its faculties is in the fruition of its chief good. The happiness may be of a more exalted nature in proportion as the faculty employed is fo; but as the whole foul acts in the exertion of any

of its particular powers, the whole foul is happy in the pleasure which arises from any of its particular acts. For notwithstanding, as has been before hinted, and as it has been taken notice of by one of the greatest modern philofophers, we divide the soul into several powers and faculties, there is no such division in the soul itself, since it is the whole foul that remembers, understands, wills, or imagines. Our manner of considering the memory, understanding, will, imagination, and the like faculties, is for the better enabling us to express ourselves in such abstracted subjects of speculation, not that there is any such division in the soul itself. SEEING then that the foul has

many

different faculties, in other words, many different ways of acting; that it can be intensely pleased, or made happy by all these VOL. VIII.

O

different

or,

we

man,

different faculties, or ways of acting; that it may be endowed with several latent faculties, which it is not at present in a condition to exert; that we cannot believe the foul is endowed with any faculty which is of no use to it; that whenever any one of these faculties is transcendently pleased, the soul is in a state of happiness; and in the last place, considering that the happiness of another world is to be the happiness of the whole man; who can que{tion but that there is an infinite variety in those pleasures we are speaking of; and that this fulness of joy will be made

up of all those pleasures which the nature of the soul is capable of receiving ?

We shall be the more confirmed in this doctrine, if observe the nature of variety with regard to the mind of

The soul does not care to be always in the same bent. The faculties relieve one another by turns, and receive an additional pleasure from the novelty of those objects about which they are conversant.

REVELATION likewife very much confirms this notion, under the different views which it gives us of our future happiness. In the description of the throne of God, it represents to us all those objects which are able to gratify the senses and imagination : in very many places it intimates to us all the happiness which the understanding can poslibly receive in that state, where all things shall be revealed to us, and we shall know even as we are known; the raptures of devotion, of divine love, the pleasure of conversing with our blessed Saviour, with an innumerable host of angels, and with the spirits of just men made perFect, are likewise revealed to us in several parts of the holy writings. There are also mentioned those hierarchies or governments, in which the blessed shall be ranged one above another, and in which we may be sure a great part of our happiness will likewise confift; for it will not be there as in this world, where every one is aiming at power and superiority; but, on the contrary, every one will find that station the most proper for him in which he is placed, and will probably think that he could not have been fo happy in any other station. These, and many other particulars, are marked in divine revelation, as the several ingredients of our happiness in heaven, which all imply such a variety of joys, and such a gratification of the soul

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