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with gold and precious stones, dignified with a full assembly of kings and potentates, and having its walls quite covered with the brightest looking-glasses.
4. But what infinitely exceeds and quite eclipses all the rest is that boundless ocean of happiness which results from the beatific vision of the ever-blessed God; without which, neither the tranquillity they enjoy, nor the society of saints, nor the possession of any particular finite good, nor indeed of all such taken together, can satisfy the soul nor make it completely happy. The manner of this enjoyment we can only expect to understand when we enter upon the full possession of it; till then, to dispute and raise many questions about it is nothing but vain foolish talking, and fighting with phantoms of our own brain. But the schoolmen, who confine the whole of this felicity to the bare speculation, or, as they call it, actus intellectualis, an intellectual act, are, in this, as in many other cases, guilty of great presumption, and their conclusion is built upon a very weak foundation. For, although contemplation be the highest and noblest act of the mind, yet complete happiness necessarily requires some present good suited to the whole man, the whole soul, and all its faculties. Nor is it any objection to this doctrine, that the whole of this felicity is commonly comprehended in Scripture under the term of vision ; for the mental vision, or contemplation of the primary and infinite good, most properly signifies, or at least includes in it, the full enjoyment of that good; and the observation of the Rabbins concerning Scripture phrases, “That words expressing the senses, include also the affections naturally arising from those sensations," is very well known. Thus knowing is often put for approving and loving; and seeing for enjoying and attaining. Taste and see that God is good, says the Psalmist. And, in fact, it is no small pleasure to lovers to dwell together, and mutually to enjoy the sight of one another. “Nothing is more agreeable to lovers than to live together."
We must, therefore, by all means conclude, that this beatific vision includes in it not only distinct and intuitive knowledge of God, but, so to speak, such a knowledge as gives us the enjoyment of that most perfect Being, and, in some sense, unites us to him; for such a vision it must, of necessity, be, that converts that love of the Infinite Good, which blazes in the souls of the saints, into full possession; that crowns all their wishes, and fills them with an abundant and overflowing fulness of joy; that vents itself in everlasting blessings and songs of praise.
And this is the only doctrine, if you believe it, (and I make no doubt but you do,)—this, I say, is the only doctrine that will transport your whole souls, and raise them up on high. Hence you will learn to trample under feet all the turbid and muddy pleasures of the flesh, and all the allurements and splendid trifles of the present world. However those earthly enjoyments that are swelled up, by false names and the strength of imagination, to a vast size, may appear grand and beautiful, and still greater and more engaging to those that are unacquainted with them; how small, how inconsiderable do they all appear to a soul that looks for a heavenly country, that expects to share the joys of angels, and has its thoughts constantly employed about these objects! To conclude, the more the soul withdraws, so to speak, from the body, and retires within itself, the more it rises above itself ; and the more closely it cleaves to God, the more the life it lives in this earth resembles that which it will enjoy in heaven, and the larger foretastes it has of the first-fruits of that blessed harvest. Aspire, therefore, to holiness, young gentlemen, without which no man shall see the Lord.
CAMPBELL. [Thomas CAMPBELL was born in 1777 at Glasgow; he died in 1844 at Boulogne, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His reputation will chiefly rest upon his poetry; and of this his lyrics will perhaps give him the best claim to immortality. His “Specimens of the British Poets” offer favorable examples of his critical ability, and of his prose style. From this popular work the following notice of Chatterton is extracted.]
Thomas Chatterton was the posthumous child of the master of a free school in Bristol. At five years of age he was sent to the same school which his father had taught, but he made so little improvement that his mother took him back; nor could he be induced to learn his letters, till his attention had been accidentally struck by the illuminated capitals of a French musical manuscript. His mother afterwards taught him to read from an old black letter Bible. One of his biographers has expressed surprise that a person in his mother's rank of life should have been acquainted with black letter. The writer might have known that books of the ancient type continued to be read in that rank of life, long after they had ceased to be used by persons of higher station. At the age of eight he was put to a charity school, in Bristol, where he was instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic. From his tenth year he discovered an extraordinary passion for books, and before he was twelve had perused about seventy volumes, chiefly on bistory and divinity. The prematurity of his mind, at the latter period, was so strongly marked in a serious and religious cast of thought, as to induce the bishop to confirm him, and admit him to the sacrament at that early age. His piety, however, was not of long duration. He had also written some verses sufficiently wonderful for his years, and had picked up some knowledge of music and drawing, when, at the age of fourteen, he was bound apprentice to a Mr. Lambert, a scrivener, in his native city. In Mr. Lambert's house his situation was very humble, he ate with the servants, and slept in the same room with the footboy ; but his employment left him many hours of leisure for reading, and these he devoted to acquiring a knowledge of English antiquities and obsolete language, which together with his poetical ingenuity, proved sufficient for his Rowleian fabrications.
It was in the year 1768 that he first attracted attention. On the occasion of the new bridge of Bristol being opened, he sent to Farley's Journal, in that city, a letter signed Dunhelmus Bristoliensis, containing an account of a procession of friars, and of other ceremonies which had taken place, at a remote period, when the old bridge bad been opened. The account was said to be taken from an ancient manuscript. Curiosity was instantly excited, and the sages of Bristol, with a spirit of barbarism which the monks and friars of the fifteenth century could not easily have rivalled, having traced the letter to Chatterton, interrogated him, with threats, about the original. Boy as he was, he haughtily refused to explain upon compulsion, but by milder treatment was brought to state that he had found the manuscript in his mother's house. The true part of the history of those ancient papers, from which he pretended to have derived this original of Farley's letter, as well as his subsequent poetical treasures, was, that in the muni. ment room of St. Mary Redcliffe Church, of Bristol, several chests had been anciently deposited, among which was one called the “Cofre” of Mr. Canynge, an eminent merchant of Bristol, who had rebuilt the church in the reign of Edward IV. About the year 1727, those chests had been broken open by an order from proper authority; some ancient deeds had been taken out, and the remaining manuscripts left exposed, as of no value. Chatterton's father, whose uncle was sexton of the church, had carried off great numbers of the parchments, and had used them as covers for books in his school. Amidst the residue of his father's ravages, Chatterton gave out that he had found many writings of Mr. Canynge, and of Thomas Rowley (the friend of Canynge), a priest of the fifteenth century. The rumor of his discoveries occasioned his acquaintance to be sought by a few individuals of Bristol, to whom he made presents of vellum manuscripts of professed antiquity. The first who applied to him was a Mr. Calcot, who obtained from him the Bristowe Tragedy, and Rowley's Epitaph on Canynge's ancestor. Mr. Barret, a surgeon, who was writing a History of Bristol, was also presented with some of the poetry of Rowley; and Mr. Burgum, a pewterer, was favored with the • Romaunt of the Knyghte,' a poem, said by Chatterton to have been written by the pewterer's ancestor, John de Berghum, about four hundred and fifty years before. The believing presentees, in return, supplied him with small sums of money, lent him books, and introduced him into society. Mr. Barret even gave him a few slight instructions in his own profession. Chatterton's spirit and ambition perceptibly increased, and he used to talk to his mother and sisters of his prospects of fame and fortune, always promising that they should be partakers in his success.
Having deceived several incompetent judges with regard to his manuscripts, he next ventured to address himself to Horace Walpole, to whom he sent a letter, offering to supply him with an account of a series of eminent painters, who had iourished at Bristol. Walpole returned a polite answer, desiring farther information, on which Chatterton transmitted to him some of his Rowleian poetry, described his own servile situation, and requested the patronage of bis correspondent. The virtuoso, however, having shown the poetical specimens to Gray and Mason, who pronounced them to be forgeries, sent the youth a cold reply, advising him to apply to the business of his profession. Walpole set out soon after for Paris, and neglected to return the manuscripts till they had been twice demanded back by Chatterton; the second time in a very indignant letter. On these circumstances was founded the whole charge that was brought against Walpole, of blighting the prospects and eventually contributing to the ruin of the youthful genius. Whatever may be thought of some expressions respecting Chatterton, which Walpole employed in the explanation of the affair which he afterwards published, the idea of taxing him with criminality in neglecting him was manifestly unjust. But, in all cases of misfortune, the first consolation to which human nature resorts is, right or wrong, to find somebody to blame, and an evil seems to be half cured wben it is traced to an object of indignation.
In the meantime Chatterton had commenced a correspondence with the Town and Country Magazine, in London, to which he transmitted several communications on subjects relating to English antiquities, besides his specimens of Rowley's poetry, and fragments, purporting to be translations of Saxon poems, written in the measured prose of Macpherson's style. His poetical talent also continued to develop itself in several pieces of verse, avowedly original, though in a manner less pleasing than in his feigned relics of the Gothic Muse. When we conceive the inspired boy transporting himself in imagination back to the days of his fictitions Rowley, embodying his ideal character, and giving to airy nothing a “ local habitation and a name," we may forget the impostor in the enthusiast, and forgive the falsehood of his reverie for its beauty and ingenuity. One of his companions has described the air of rapture and inspiration with which he used to repeat his passages from Rowley, and the delight which he took to contemplate the church of St. Mary Redcliffe, while it awoke the associations of antiquity in his romantic mind. There was one