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was the effect of his exact conformity to the laws. Bu his discourse on the resuricctive to the Corinthians, bis harangue before grippuz upon his own conversion, and - the neceflity of that of others, are truly great, and may • serve as full examples to those excellent rules for the fub
lime, which the best of critics have left us. The fum * of all this discourse is, that our clergy have no farther to * look for an example of the perfection they may arrive 6 at, than to St Paul's harangues; that when h«,. under
the want of several advantages of nature, (as he himself ' tells us), was heard, admired, and made a standard 10 ' succeeding ages by t'ie belt judge of a different persuassion in religion : I say, our clergy may iearn, that how
ever instructive their sermons are, they are capable of ' receiving a great addition ; which St Paul has given
them a noble example of, and the Christian religion has s furnished them with certain means of attaining to'
The fewer gulr waris, the 112rer we resemble the godi...
was the common boast of the Heathen philosophers,
that by the eificacy of their several doctrincs, they made human nature resemblz the divine. How much mís' taken foever they might be in the several means they proposed for this end, it mait be owned that the design was great and glorious. The finest works of invention and imagination are of very little weight, when put in the 'orlance with what refines and cxaits the rational mind. Longinus excafes Homer very handiomeiy, when he says the poet made his gods like men, that he migłt make his men appear like the gods: but it must be allowed that feu veral of the ancient philosophers acted, as Cicero willies. Homer had done; they endeavoured ratlıer to make me like gods,'than gods like men..
ACCORDING to this general maxim in philofophy, forte of them have endeavoared to place men in such a state co pleasure, or indolence at least, as they vainly imagined the:
happiness of the supreme Being to confift in. On the other hand, the moit virtuous feet of philosophers have created a chimerical vise man, whom they made exempt fron passion and pain, and thought it enough to pronounce bin all-fufficient.
This last character, when divested of the glare of human philosophy that surrounds it, fignifies no more, than that a good and wife man should fo arm himself with patience, as not to yield tamely to the violence of pasfion and pain; t! at he should learn fo to suppress and contract his defires as to have fuw wants; and that he should cherish so many virtues in his soul, as to have a perpetual source of pleasure in himself.
The Chriflian religion requires, that, after having frained the best idea we are able of the divine nature, it Thould be our next Caic to conform curselves to it, as far üs our in perfections will perniit. I might mention feveral palinges in the sacred writings on this head, to which I migle add many maxims and wife sayings of moral auibors among the Greeks and Romans.
I Shall only iftance a remarkable passage to this purpose, out of fulian's Cufars. The emperor having represented all the Roman emperors with Alexander the Great, as palling in review before the gods, and striving for the fuperiority, lets them all drop, excepting Alexanc'er, Julius Crfar, Auguftus Cieur, Trajan, M'larcus
arolius, ard Conantin.. Each of thefe great heroes of antiquity lays ia liis claim for the upper place; and, in crder to it, feis forth his actions after the most advantagecus manner. But the gods, instead of being dazzled with the lustre of their actions, inquire, by Tiercury, into the proper motire and governing principle that infuenced them throughout the whole feries of their lives and exploits. Alexinder tells them, that his aim was to conquer; Julives Cajer, that his was to gain the highest post in his country; Auguftus, to govern well; Trajan, that his was the same as that of Alexander, namely, to conquer. The. question, at length, was put to Marcus Aurelius, who replied, with great modesty, “That it had always been his
care to imitate the gods. This conduct seenis to have gained him the most votes and best place in the whole assembly. Marcus Aurelius being afterwards asked to ex
plain himself, declares, that, by imitating the gods, he endeavoured to imitate them in the use of his understanding, and of all other faculties; and, in particular, that it was always his study to have as few wants as possible in himself, and to do all the good he could to others.
AMONG the many methods by which revealed religion has advanced morality, this is one, that it has given us a niore just and perfect idea of that Being whom every reafonable creature ought to imitate. The young man, in a Heathen comedy, might justify his lewdness by the example of Jupiter ; is, indeed, there was scarce any crime that might not be countenanced by those notions of the deity which prevailed anong the common people in the Ileathen world. Revealed religion sets forth a proper object for imitation, in that Being who is the pattern, as well as the fource, of all spiritual perfection.
While we remain in this life, we are subject to innumerable temptations, which, if listened to, will make us deriate from reafon and goodness, the only things wherein we can imitate the supreme Being. In the next life we meet with nothing to excite our inclinations that doth not deserve them. I shall therefore dismiss my reader with this maxim, vis. ' Qur happiness in this world
proceeds from the suppreffion of our desires, but in the • next world from the gratificatioộ of them.'
Nfonday, December 20.
Sentin te fide:i hain: 1:22. ac duizmin contemplari; quz si
tibi paria ( ut ejt) it. videtiir, hac cæleftia feruper Spectato; illa humana contemnito.
Cicero Somn. Scip. I perceive you contemplate the fiat and habitation of men;
cwhich if it appears as little to you as it really is, fix your eyes perpetually upon heavenly objects, and despise earthly.
HE following essay comes from the ingenious au
thor of the letter upon novelty, printed in a late Spectator : the notions are drawn from the Platonic way
of thinking; but as they contribute to raise the mind, and inay inspire noble fentiments of our own future grandeur. and happiness, I think it well deserves to be presented to the public. F the universe be the creature of an intelligent mind,
this mind could have no immediate regard to himself in producing it. He needed not to make trial of his omnipotence, to be informed what effects were within its icach : the world as existing in his eternal idea was then is beautiful as now it is drawn forth into being; and in the immense abyss of his essence are contained far brighter scenes than will be ever set forth to view ; it being imporfible that the great Author of nature should bound his own power by giving existence to a system of creatures fo perfeet, that he cannot improve upon it by any other exertions of his almighty will. Between finite and infinite there is an unmeasured interval, not to be filled up in cndless ages; for which reason, the most excellent of all God's works must be equally short of what his power is able to produce as the most imperfect, and may be exceeded with the same ease.
This thought hath made fome imagine, (what, it must de confeffed, is not impossible) that the unfathomed space is ever teeming with new births, the younger still inheriting a greater perfection than the elder. But as this doth got fall withia my prefent view, I Thall content myself with taking notice, that the consideration now mentioned proves; undeniably, that the ideal worlds in the divine understanding yield a prospect incomparably more ample, various, and dlelightful, than any created world can do: and that therefore as it is not to be supposed that God shculd make a world merely of inanimate matter, however diversified or inhabited only by creatures of no higher an order than brutes; so the end for which he designed his reasonable offspring is the contemplation of his works, the enjoyment of himself, and in both to be happy; having, to this purpose, endowed them with correspondent faculties and defires. He can have no greater pleasure from a bare review of his works than from the survey of his own ideas;
but we may be assured that he is well pleased in the satisa. - faction deriyed to beings capable of it, and, for whose er:
tertainment, he hath erected this immense theatre. Is not this more than an intimation of our immortality ? Man, who when considered as on his probation for a happy existence hereafter, is the most remarkable instance of divine wisdom, if we cut him off from all relation to eternity, is the most wonderful and unaccountable composition in the whole creation. He hath capacities to lodge a much greater variety of knowledge than he will be erer master of, and an unsatisfied curiosity to tread the secret paths of nature and providence : but, with this, his organs, in their present structure, are rather fitted to serve the necessities of a vile body, than to minister to his understanding ; and from the little spot to which he is chaincd, he can frame but wandering guestes concerning the innumerable worlds of light that encompass him, which, though in themselves of a prodigious bigness, do but just glimmer in the remote fpaces of the heavens; and, when with a great deal of time and pains he hath lab:ured a little way up the steep ascent of truth, and beholds with pity the groveling multitude beneati, in a moment his foot slides, and he tumbles down headlong into the grave.
THINKING on tiis, I am obliged to believe, in justice to the Creator of the world, that there is another state when man shall be better situated for contemplation, or rather have it in his power to remove from object to object, and from world to world; and be accommodated with senses, and other helps, for making the quicket and most amazing difcoreries. How doth such a genius as Sir Isaac Newton, from amidst the darkness that involves human understanding, break forth, and appear like one of another fpecies? The vast machine we inhabit, lies open to him ; he seems not upacquainted with the general laws that govern it; and while with the transport of a philosopher he beholds and admires the glorious work, he is capable of paying at once a more devout and more rational homage to his Maker. But, alas ! how narrow is the prospect even of such a mind? and how obscure to the compass that is taken in by the ken of an angel; or of a soul but newly escaped from its imprisonment in the brdy? For my part, I freely indulge my soul in the contidence of its future grandeur; it pleaft's me to think that I who know To small a portion of the works of the Creator, and with