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purpose? A brute arrives at a point of perfe&tion that he can never pass; in a few years he has all the endowments he is capable of; and were he to live ten thousand more, would be the same thing he is at present. Were a human soul 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 progress of improvements and travelling on from perfection to perfection, after having jut looked abroad into the works of his Creator, and made a few discoveries of his infinite goodness, wisdom, and power, muft perish at her. forft setting out, and in the very beginning of her inquiries its
Man, considered in his present ftate, feems only sent into. the world to propagate his kind. He provides himself with a succeffor, and immediately quits his post to make room for him..
He does not seem born to enjoy life, but to deliver it down: to others. This is not surprising to consider, in animals, which are formed for our use, and can finish their business in ; a short life. The filk-worm, after having spun her talk, 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 paífions, 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 such glorious creatures for so mean a purpose ? Can he delight in the production of such abortive intelligences, such short-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 wisdom 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 several generations of rational creatures, which rise up and disappear in such quick succesa sions, are only to receive their first rudiments of existence here, and afterwards to be transplanted into a more friendly climate, where they may spread and flourilh to all eternity?
There is not, in my opinion, a more pleasing and triumphant confideration in religion, than this of the perpetual progress which the soul makes towards the perfection of its nature, without ever arriving at a period in it. To look upon the soul as going on from Itrength to strength, to confider that Me is to shine for ever with new accessions of glory, and brighten to all eternity; that she will be still adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowledge; carries in ic something wonderfully agreeable to that ambition which is satural to the mind of man. Nay, it must be a prospect pleasing to God himself, to see his creation for ever beautifying in his eyes, and drawing nearer to him, by greater degrees of resemblance.
METHINKS this single confideration, of the progress of a finite spirit to perfection, will be sufficient to extinguish all envy in inferior natures, and all contempt in superior. That cherubim, which now appears as a god to a human soul, knows very well that the period will come about in eternity, when the human soul shall be as perfect as he himself now is: nay, when she shall look down upon that degree of perfection, as much as she now falls short of it. It is true, the higher Nature ftill advances, and by that means preserves his dia fance and superiority in the scale of being ; but he knows that, how high foever the station is of which he stands pofsessed at present, the inferior nature will at length mount up to it, and shine forth in the same degree of glory. H6
WITH what aftonishment and veneration may we look into our souls, where there are luch hidden stores of virtue and knowledge, such 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 reserve for him. The foul, considered in relation to its Creator, is like one of those mathematical lines that may daw nearer to another for all eternity, without à posfibility of touching it: and can there be a thought fo tranfporting, as to confider ourselves in these perpetual approaches to HIM, who is not only the standard of perfection, but of happiness?
ON THE BEING OF A GO.D. RETIRE:- The world that out ;---Thy thoughta.
What am I? and from whence ?-I nothing know,
Of that long chain's succession is fo frail ;
JUNIUS BRUTUS OVER THE DEAD BODY OF LUCRETIA, Yes, noble lady! I swear by this blood, which was once so 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 sword :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
oath !-- There, Romans, turn your eyes to. that fad fpectacle---the daughter of Lucretius, Collatinus's. wife-fhe died by her own hand. See there a noble lady, whom the left of a Tarquin reduced to the necessity of being her own executioner, to atteft her innocence. Hospitably entertained by her as a kinsman of her husband's, Sextus, the perfidious gueft, became her brutal ravisher. The chaste, the generous Lucretia could not survive the insult, Glorious -