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flames, the countries which he ravaged and destroyed; and the miserable distress of all the inhabitants of the earth. When she has viewed him in this scene, carry her into his retirements: Shew her the prophet's chamber, his concubines and his wives; let her see his adultery and hear him allege revelation and his divine commission to justify his lust and his oppression.

“ When she is tired with this prospect, then shew her the blessed Jesus, humble and meek, doing good to all the sons of men, patiently instructing both the ignorant and perverse. Let her see him in his most retired privacies: Let her follow him to the mount, and hear his devotions and supplications to God. Carry her to his table, to view his poor fare and hear his heavenly discourse. Let her see him injured but not provoked. Let her attend him to the tribunal, and consider the patience with which he endured the scoffs and reproaches of his enemies. Lead her to his cross, let her view him in the agony of death and hear his last prayer for his persecutors; father forgive them, for thy know not what they do.

“When natural religion has viewed both, ask which is the prophet of God? But her answer we have already had, when she viewed part of this sceno through the eyes of the centurion, who attended at the cross. By him she spoke and said, “ truly this man was the son of God.

Here, in all things, we see, the vast superiority of the Christian religion, and its glorious author. And should we go on to compare it with all the religions in the world, it would still gain by the parallel. It would appear like gold seven times tried, which comes brighter and purer from every assay.

The religion of the world could even go but a short way in teaching men how to live; but it could not contribute a single jot in teaching them how to die. Before the Christian revelation, death was only a leap into the dark, a wrench from the precincts of day, at which the astonished soul shuddered and recoiled.

But now, how is the case altered? The Gospel lifts our eye to immortal scenes. It opens eternity before us.

It shews us a reconciled God, and Jesus the mediator seated at his right hand, It teaches us that, through his merits, the just shall live for ever, passing from one degree of glory to another, and entering deeper and deeper into the beatific vision, as their powers are continually enlargedand expanded.

Supported with the hopes of this, the death of the very feeblest of true Christians, will excel even the courage and philosophy of the boasted Socrates. When all around is mourning and sorrow and wringing of hands, the dying Christians, on whom heaven and glory begin to open, will be superlatively raised above the general weakness. He will comfort even his comforters. Dr. Young has as grand an image on this subject, as ever entered into the thoughts of man, with which I shall conclude this number.

As some tall tow'r, or lofty mountain's brow,
Detains the sun, illustrious from its height;
While rising vapors, and descending shades,
With damps and darkness drown the spacious vale:

Undampt by doubt, undarken'd by despair,
The good man, thus, augustly rears his head,
At that black hour, which general horror sheds
On the low level of th' inglorious throng!
Sweet peace, and heavenly hope, and hamblc joy,
Divinely beam on his exalted soul;
Destruction gild, and crown him for the skies,
With incommunicable lustre, bright!

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THE HERMIT, No. VI.

JULY, 1758.

À SOLEMN MEDIT:ITION ON THE LATE FAST.

EARLY on the morning of the late provincial Fast*, being much agitated with divers doubts and conjectures, and awfully impressed with the vast solemnity of the occasion, I started from my couch to meet the dawn. The sun was just peeping over the mountain-heights; and the damps and shades, that had hovered the night among fens and lowly vales, began to roll up their fleecy mantles, dripping with dew, and to fly distant away before him. Fragrance and freshness dwelt in every breeze; Nature wore her blandest aspect, and the young Summer wantoned in all her primt.

Wrapt in the depth of thought, I sought my accustomed walk along the green margin of my neighbouring river.

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. In June, 1758.

“ Most merciful Creator, said I, whose wondrous fiat called me from kindred dúst, to glory in life and reason, whose goodness supports me, whose grace evivifies me, and whose peculiar indulgence gives me to count this day, as one more added to those of my pilgrimage here+--O love unbounded, grant me to devote it, even more than all my former days, to the manifestation of thy praise and honour! 2" ;"What an important scene is now approaching! A whole province preparing to prostrate themselves in the dust, before thy sovereign mercy! Convinced of their transgression and folly, smarting under thy awful chastisements, and finding how vain is the help of man, they are about to return to thee, like the repenting prodigal, confessing that they are no more worthy to be called thy children; imploring forgiveness of past offences, praying grace for amendment, and beseeching the protection of thy right arm, against the numerous' foes that stand ready to devour them. :

," This is indeed a day of interesting consequence but what are days and seasons to me? Will the God of righteousness accept of a temporary devotion, or an occasional offering of the heart; when the whole life should be one continued sacrifice, and scene of abstinence from sin? And yet the Almighty himself has, in his holy word, commanded such particular seasons of prayer, humiliation and fasting—Here then I am forced to halt between two opinions. Either the bulk of mankind'err, by immersing themselves in the cares of this world; or I, who am sequestered from it, am in pursuit of a visionary virtue, not suited

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THE HERMIT, No. VI.

to the state of our mortality here. I am full of doubts but this reflection shall end them

“ The eternal God has placed mankind in a state of suffering and trial here. He has enjoined them a course of virtue, and called them to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow. Care and toil, therefore, must be the mortal lot; and if, in any case, their iniquities are become so general, as to expose them to public chastisement from the hand of their gracious father, their return to him must be as pubļic as their transgression has been. Now, since every individual has added to the sum of guilt, so every individual is bound to join in the stated and solemn acts of humiliation, confession, repentance and amendment. And, when this is done in simplicity of heart, and in the fervour of holiness, we need not doubt of its being heard before the throne of grace and goodness. For if we search nature through, we shall not, perhaps, find a spectacle more acceptable to the divine-benevolence, than a whole society of human creatures, prostrated in the deepest sense of guilt, humbled under their maker's rod, crying aloud for mercy and pardon througlı the Redeemer, and firmly purposed to depart from all future iniquity. One dissenting or peevish voice, on such an occasion, like a járring string in some well-tuned instrument, would be a disgrace to the whole, an abomination in the sight of God, and all his holy angels.

" But though the bulk of mankind be thus necesi sarily engaged in the cares of the world, and can only spare particular times and seasons for their more solemn acts of devotion; yet the wisdom of Provi

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