« PředchozíPokračovat »
angel, kind, affectionate, and beneficent, that statedly came to his solitary recess; but that, he knows not how, has ceased to appear. But he has had recourse to some strong dream of the soul, to account for this lamented absence, or to make him forget it. And it is happy that the comforting dream has, as it were, at his will, a regularly modified shape, and can be rendered, without tiring the lofty but deluded mind, continuous and lasting. pp. 31, 32..
This is not only descriptive of the disease, but poetically sublime-and is only equalled by the description of his late Majesty's situation, in the author's sermon on the death of her late Royal Highness the Princess of Wales :-than that passage, and the call on us to meditate on death, and its effects, we know none finer in all Bossuet. Speaking of the "general sorrow" which the nation felt under the "dire calamity" of losing its beloved Princess, snatched away, with her infant, "in the bloom of youth, and amidst the splendour of greatness," the Doctor exclaims,
Can we close (our discourse) without casting a melancholy look on our aged and venerable Sovereign? No: we cannot forget him, rendered sacred, as it were, by his deep misfortune. Yes, my brethren; our love hovers round the confined and mournful abode of him whose range was once a great kingdom: we look back on what he was, and what "he did; and our regret and our sighs attend him, as if he ́1were dead. In an ideal world of his own, he is far removed from the knowledge of this general calamity. As the songs of triumph and victory, and of his kingdom's glory, that
lately rose loud to heaven, could not reach him; so, as a balance, mercifully given, he perceives not now the public woe; he hears not, understands not, what in his bright days would have wrung his soul with the bitterest anguish-for he was benevolence itself! May angels quiet the slumbers of the amiable Monarch! If his illusions continue, may they be pleasing. Where truth is rudely chased away, may innocent and delicious error feed the soul; like a delightful dream that cheats the tediousness of night, and makes pain and wretchedness to be forgotten!--pp. 39, 40.
We conclude our extracts with the following passage
Meditate often on the change in our condition which death effects. It is by a thin partition that we are here separated from what is inconceivably great and awful; for the spiritual and eternal world is near. At the moment of death, this partition is broken: the dark veil that is between us and the other world is rent; and we are instantly, amidst a new and amazing state of things, awake and conscious in the world of spirits. What a wonderful and important situation! The very thought is almost overwhelming. The spiritual world bursting in upon the soul and its faculties, in the vastness of its extent, the newness of its objects, the splendour, the glory, and the might of its inhabitants, and the importance of its demands on the stranger that has entered it, presents what is greatly filled with alarm. And do you not think that you shall then need support, and a kindly ministering hand to lead and guide you? You are not destitute. Be disciples of that Mighty Saviour, who died as your friend, but who lives for evermore; who has
gone before to provide mansions, and prepare a place of rest and delight for his followers. Seek now to be faithful; and amidst all that might appal you in that unknown land, He will bear you up ; "He will receive you to himself; that where he is, there you may be also."—pp. 31, 32. EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.
LIBERTY AND NECESSITY-FALL OF ADAM.
Through all restraint broke loose, now wings his
Not far off Heav'n, in the precincts of light,
Such I created all th' ethereal Powers
And Spirits, both them who stood, and them whor
Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.
Not free, what proof could they have given sincere
Of true allegiance, constant faith or love,
Where only what they needs must do appear'd,
What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
Their will, dispos'd by absolute decree
Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
Their freedom, they themselves ordain'd their fall.
But mercy first and last shall brightest shine."
UNCERTAINTY OF HUMAN LIFE.
A MAN is a bubble (said the Greek proverb), which Lucian represents with advantages and its proper circumstances, to this purpose, saying, All the world is a storm, and men rise up in their several genera-. tions like bubbles descending à Jove pluvio, from God and the dew of heaven, from a tear and drop of man, from nature and providence: and some of these instantly sink into the deluge of their first parent, and are hidden in a sheet of water, having had no other business in the world but to be born, that they might be able to die : others float up and down two or three turns, and suddenly disappear, and give their place to others: and they that live longest upon the face of the waters are in perpetual motion, restless and uneasy, and being crushed with a great drop of a cloud, sink into flatness and a froth; the change not being great, it being hardly possible it should be more a nothing than it was before. So is every man: he is born in vanity and sin; he comes into the world like morning mushrooms, soon thrusting up their heads into the air, and conversing with their kindred of the same pro