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purpofe? A brute arrives at a point of perfection that he can never pafs; in a few years he has all the endowments he is capable of; and were he to live ten thousand more, would be the fame thing he is at prefent. Were a human foul thus at a ftand in her accomplishments, were her faculties to be fullblown, and incapable of farther enlargements, I could imagine it might fall away infenfibly, and drop at once into a state of annihilation. But can we believe a thinking being, that is in a perpetual progrefs of improvements and travelling on from perfection to perfection, after having just looked abroad into the works of his Creator, and made a few discoveries of his infinite goodnefs, wifdom, and power, muft perifh at her. rft fetting out, and in the very beginning of her inquiries MAN, confidered in his present ftate, feems only fent into. the world to propagate his kind. He provides himself with fucceffor, and immediately quits his poft to make room for him..
He does not feem born to enjoy life, but to deliver it down. to others. This is not furprifing to confider, in animals, which are formed for our ufe, and can finish their business in a fhort life. The filk-worm, after having spun her task, lays her eggs and dies. But in this life man can never take in his full measure of knowledge; nor has he time to fubdue his paffions, establish his foul in virtue, and come up to the perfection of his nature before he is hurried off the stage. Would' an infinitely wife Being make fuch glorious creatures for fo mean a purpofe? Can he delight in the production of fuch abortive intelligences, fuch fhort-lived reasonable beings? Would he give us talents that are not to be exerted? Capacities that are never to be gratified? How can we find that wifdom which shines thro' all his works, in the formation of man, without looking on this world as only a nursery for the
next, and believing that the feveral generations of rational creatures, which rise up and disappear in fuch quick fuccef- · fions, are only to receive their firft rudiments of existence here, and afterwards to be tranfplanted into a more friendly climate, where they may spread and flourish to all eternity?
THERE is not, in my opinion, a more pleasing and triumphant confideration in religion, than this of the perpetual progrefs which the foul makes towards the perfection of its nature, without ever arriving at a period in it. To look upon the foul as going on from #trength to ftrength, to confider that he is to shine for ever with new acceffions of glory, and brighten to all eternity; that she will be still adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowledge; carries in it fomething wonderfully agreeable to that ambition which is natural to the mind of man. Nay, it must be a prospect pleafing to God himself, to see his creation for ever beautifying in his eyes, and drawing nearer to him, by greater degrees of refemblance.
METHINKS this fingle confideration, of the progrefs of a finite spirit to perfection, will be fufficient to extinguish all envy in inferior natures, and all contempt in fuperior. That cherubim, which now appears as a god to a human foul, knows very well that the period will come about in eternity, when the human foul shall be as perfect as he himself now is: nay, when she shall look down upon that degree of perfection, as much as the now falls fhort of it. It is true, the higher Nature ftill advances, and by that means preferves his diftance and superiority in the scale of being; but he knows that, how high foever the station is of which he stands poffeffed at prefent, the inferior nature will at length mount up to it, and fhine forth in the fame degree of glory. 1 H 6
WITH what aftonishment and veneration may we look into our fouls, where there are fuch hidden ftores of virtue and knowledge, fuch inexhausted fources of perfection! We know not yet what we shall be, nor will it ever enter into the heart of man to conceive the glory that will be always in referve for him. The foul, confidered in relation to its Creator, is like one of those mathematical lines that may draw nearer to another for all eternity, without a posfibility of touching it: and can there be a thought fo tranfporting, as to confider ourfelves in thefe perpetual approaches to HIM, who is not only the ftandard of perfection, but of happiness ? SPECTATOR..
ON THE BEING OF A GOD.
The world fhut out;Thy thoughts
Imagination's airy wing reprefs;
Lock up thy fenfes ;-Let no paffion fir;
WHAT am I? and from whence ?-I nothing knows,
Of that long chain's fucceffion is fo frail;
That can't be from themselves-or man; that art
To dance, would form an univerfe of duft:
ORATIONS AND HARANGUES..
JUNIUS BRUTUS OVER THE DEAD BODY OF LUCRETIA.
YES, noble lady! Ifwear by this blood, which was once
fo pure, and which nothing but royal villainy could have. polluted, that I will pursue Lucius Tarquinius the proud, his wicked wife, and their children, with fire and fword: nor will I ever fuffer any of that family, or of any other whatsoever, to be king in Rome. Ye gods! I call you to witness this my oath!-There, Romans, turn your eyes to. that fad fpectacle-the daughter of Lucretius, Collatinus'swife-fhe died by her own hand. See there a noble lady, whom the luft of a Tarquin reduced to the neceffity of being her own executioner, to atteft her innocence. Hofpitably entertained by her as a kinfman of her husband's, Sextus, the perfidious gueft, became her brutal ravisher. The chafte, the generous Lucretia could not survive the infult. Gloriouswoman!