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N° 580. FRIDAY, AUGUST 13.
-Si verbo audacia detur,
This place, the brightest mansion of the sky,
Confidered in my two laft letters that
I awful and tremendous fubject, the ubi
glorified body of our Saviour refides, and where all the celeftial hierarchies, and the innumerable hofts of angels, are reprefented as ⚫ perpetually furrounding the feat of God with hallelujahs and hymns of praife. This is that prefence of God which fome of the divines call his glorious, and others his majestic prefence. *He is indeed as effentially prefent in all other places as in this; but it is here where he refides in a fenfible magnificence, and in the midst of all thofe fplendors which can affect the imagination of created beings.
It is very remarkable that this opinion of God Almighty's prefence in Heaven, whether difcovered by the light of nature, or by gene. ral tradition from our first parents, prevails among all the nations of the world, whatfoever different notions they entertain of the God-head. If you look into Homer, the most ancient of the Greek writers, you fee the fupreme power feated in the heavens, and en-. compaffed with inferior deities, among whom the Mufes are reprefented as finging inceffantly about his throne. Who does not here fee the main strokes and outlines of this great truth we are speaking of? The fame doctrine is fhadowed out in many other heathen authors,fummation of all things, thefe outward apart
'ments of nature which are now fuited to thofe beings who inhabit them, may be taken in and added to that glorious place of which I am here
to pafs over the notions of the Grecks and Ro-fpeaking; and by that means made a proper
mans, those more enlightened parts of the Pa.
habitation for beings who are exempt from
As in Solomon's temple there was the • Sanctum Sanctorum, in which a visible glory appeared among the figures of the cherubims, and into which none but the high-prieft himfelf was permitted to enter, after having made an atonement for the fins of the people; fo if we confider the whole creation as one great
though at the fame time, like feveral other revealed truths, dashed and adulterated with a • mixture of fables and human inventions. But
temple, there is in it this holy of holies, into which the high-priest of our falvation entered, and took his place among angels and archangels, after having made a propitiation for the fins of mankind.
With how much skill must the throne of • God be erected? With what glorious defign is that habitation beautified, which is contrived and built by him who infpired, Hiram with wifdom? How great muft be the majefty of that place, where the whole art of creation has 'been employed, and where God has chofen to fhew himfelf in the most magnificent manner? What must be the architecture of infinite power under the direction of infinite wifdom? A fpirit cannot but be tranfported after an ineffable manner with the fight of those objects, which were made to affect him by that Being who knows the inward frame of the foul, and how to pleafe and ravish it in all its most fecret powers and faculties. It is to this majef tic prefence of God, we may apply those beau ⚫tiful expreffions in holy writ: Behold even "to the moon, and it shineth not; yea the stars "are not pure in his fight." The light of the fun, and all the glories of the world in which we live, are but as weak and fickly glimmerings, or rather darkness itself, in comparison of thofe fplendors which encompass the throne of • God.
As the glory of this palace is tranfcendent beyond imagination, fo probably is the extent of it. There is light behind light, and glory within glory. How far that space may reach, in which God thus appears in perfect majefty, we cannot poffibly conceive. Though it is not infinite, it may be indefinite: and though not fo immeasurable in itself, it may be fo with regard to any created eye or imagination. If he has made thefe lower regions of matter fo inconceivably wide and magnificent for the habitation of mortal and perishable beings, how great may we fuppofe the courts of his houfe to be, where he makes his refidence in a more efpecial manner, and difplays himself in the fulness of his glory, among an innumer able company of angels and spirits of just men made perfect?
This is certain, that our imaginations cannot be raised too high, when we think on a place where omnipotence and omnifcience have fo fignally exerted themfelves, becaufe that they are able to produce a fcene infinitely more great and glorious than what we are able to imagine. It is not impoffible but at the con
I have only confidered this glorious place with regard to the fight and imagination, though it is highly probable that our other fenfes may here likewife enjoy their highest gratifications, There is nothing which more ravishes and tranfports the foul, than harmony; and we have great reafon to believe, from the defcrip tions of this place in holy fcripture, that this Tii
is one of the entertainments of it. And if the foul of man can be fo wonderfully affected with thofe ftrains of mufic, which human art is capable of producing, how much more will it be raised and elevated by thofe, in which is exerted the whole power of harmony! the fenfes are faculties of the human foul, though they cannot be employed, during this our vital union, without proper inftruments in the body.. Why therefore fhould we exclude the fatisfaction of thefe faculties, which we find · by experience are inlets of great pleasure to the
employ the mind of man, the omniprefence of the Deity; a subject which, if poffible, fhould · never depart from our meditations. We have confidered the Divine Being, as he inhabits infinitude, as he dwells among his works, as he is prefent to the mind of man, and as he difcovers himfelf in a more glorious manner among the regions of the bleft. Such a confideration fhould be kept awake in us at all times, and in all places, and possess our minds with a perpetual awe and reverence. It should be interwoven with all our thoughts and per→
foul, from among those entertainments whichceptions, and become one with the confciouf
are to make up our happiness hereafter? Why C fhould we fuppofe that our hearing and feeing will not be gratified with thofe objects which are most agreeable to them, and which they cannot meet with in thefe lower regions of · nature; objects, "which neither eye hath "feen, nor ear heard, nor can it enter into the "heart of man to conceive? I knew a man in
nefs of our own being. It is not to be reflec ted on in the coldness of philofophy, but ought to fink us into the loweft proftration before him, who is fo aftonishingly great, wonderful, and holy.
Chrift" (fays St. Paul, fpeaking of himself) "above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the "body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) fuch a one caught up to the third heaven. And 1 "knew fuch a man (whether in the body, or "out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) "how that he was caught up into Patadife, and "heard unspeakable words, which it is not poffi"ble for a man to utter." By this is meant that • what he heard was fo infinitely different from any thing which he had heard in this world, that it was impoffible to exprefs it in fuch words, as might convey a notion of it to his
It is very natural for us to take delight in ⚫ enquiries concerning any foreign country, where • we are some time or other to make our abode; and as we all hope to be admitted into this glorious place, it is both a laudable and useful curiofity, to get what informations we can of Iit, whilft we make use of revelation for our guide. When thefe everlasting doors fhall be open to us, we may be fure that the pleasures, and beauties of this place will infinitely tran ⚫fcend our prefent hopes and expectations, and that the glorious appearance of the throne of God, will rife infinitely beyond whatever we are able to conceive of it. We might here entertain ourselves with many other fpeculations on this fubject, from thofe feveral hints which · we find of it in the holy fcriptures; as whether there may not be different manfions and apartments of glory, to beings of different natures; whether as they excel one another in perfection, they are not admitted nearer to the throne of the Almighty, and enjoy greater manifeftations of his prefence; whether there are not folemn <times and occafions, when all the multitude of Heaven celebrate the prefence of their Maker in more extraordinary forms of praise and adoration; as Adam, though he had continued in a ftate of innocence, would, in the opinion of our divines have kept holy the Sabbath-day, in a more particular manner than any other of the feven. Thefe, and the like fpeculations, we may very innocently indulge, fo long as we make use of them to infpire us with a defire of becoming inhabitants of this delightful place.
I have in this, and in two foregoing letters, treated on the moft ferious fubject that can
MONDAY, August 16.
Sunt bona, funt quædam mediocria, funt mala plura
AM at prefent fitting with a heap of letters before me, which I have received under the character of Spectator. I have complaints from lovers, fchemes from projectors, fcandal from ladies, congratulations, compliments, and advice in abundance.
I have not been thus long an author, to be infenfible of the natural fondness every person must have for their own productions; and I begin to think I have treated my correfpondents a little too uncivilly in ftringing them all together on a file, and letting them lie fo long unregar▴ ded. I fhall therefore, for the future, think myfelf at leaft obliged to take fome notice of fuchy letters as I receive, and may poffibly do it at the end of every month.
In the mean time, I intend my prefent paper as a fhort anfwer to moft of thofe which have been already fent me.
The public however is not to expect I should let them into all my fecrets; and though I ap. pear abftrufe to most people, it is fufficient if I am understood by my particular correfpondents.
My well-wisher Van Nath is very arch, but not quite enough fo to appear in print.
Philadelphus will, in a little time, fee his query fully anfwered by a treatise which is now in the prefs.
It was very improper at that time to comply with Mr. G.
I thank Aristippus for his kind invitation.
My friend at Woodstock is a bold man, to änertake for all within ten miles of him.
• Wednesdays, Fridays, and Mondays, you pres
I am afraid the entertainment of Tom Turn-If
I must confider farther of it, before I indulge W. F. in those freedoms he takes with the ladies ftockings.
I am obliged to the ingenious gentleman, who fent me an ode on the fubject of the late Spectator, and shall take particular notice of his laft etter.
When the lady who wrote me a letter, dated No 582. WEDNESDAY, OCT. 18.
The poor gentleman, who fancies my writings could reclaim an husband who can abufe fuch a wife as he defcribes, has I am afraid too great an opinion of my skill.
Philanthropos is, I dare fay, a very well-meaning man, but a little too prolix in his compofi
Conftantius himself must be the best judge in
the affair he mentions.
HERE is a certain diftemper, which is mentioned neither by Galen nor Hippocra tes, nor to be met with in the London Dispensary. Juvenal, in the motto of my page, terms it a Caceetbes; which is a hard word for a disease, called in plain English, "The itch of writing." This Cacoetbes is as epidemical as the fmall-pox,
The letter dated from Lincoln is received.
fome time or other in their lives. There is, how's
tires and lampoons, but have received little or no benefit from them; others have had their heads fattened for an hour together between a cleft board, which is made ufe of as a cure for the difeafe when it appears in its malignity. There is indeed one kind of this malady which has been fometimes removed like the biting of a Tarantu la, with the found of a mufical inftrument which is commonly known by the name of a catcall. But if you have a patient of this kind under your care, you may affure yourself, there is no other way of recovering him effectually, but by forbidding him the ufe of pen, ink, and paper.
Celia is a little too hafty.
Harriot is a good girl, but must not curtfey to
folks fhe does not know.
I must ingeniously confefs my friend Sampfon Bentstaff has quite puzzled me, and writ me a long letter which I cannot comprehend one word of.
Collidan must also explain what he means by his drigelling.
I think it beneath my fpectatorial dignity, to concern myself in the affair of the boiled dumpling.
"I shall confult fome Literati on the project fent to me for the difcovery of the longitude.
I know not how to conclude this paper bet ter, than by inferting a couple of letters which are really genuine, and which I look upon to be two of the fmarteft pieces I have received from my correfpondents of either fex,
• Brother Spec,
HILE you are furveying every object that falls in your way, I am wholly taken up with one. Had that fage, who de⚫manded what beauty was, lived to fee the dear angel I love, he would not have asked fuch a • question. Had another feen her, he would ⚫ himself have loved the perfen in whom Heaven ⚫ has made virtue visible; and were you your felf to be in her company, you could never, with all your loquacity, fay enough of her good-humour and fenfe. I fend you the outlines of a picture, which I can no more finish than I can sufficiently admire the dear origi
hal. I am
Good Mr. Pert,
If you will be long enough for me,
Your most affectionate brother,
• Good Mr. Pert,
WILL allow you nothing until you refolve me the following queftion. Pray what is the reason that while you only talk now upon
-Tenet infanabile multos
Juv. Sat. 7. ver 51.
The curfe of writing is an endles itch.
But to drop the allegory, before I have tired it out, there is no fpecies of fcribblers more offenfive, and more incurable, than your periodical writers whofe works return upon the public on certain days, and at ftated times. We have not the confolation in the perufal of these authors, which we find at the reading of all others, namely, that we are fure if we have but patience we may come to the end of their labours. I have often admired an humorous faying of Diogenes, who reading a dull author to feveral of his friends, when every one began to be tired, finding he was almost come to a blank leaf at the end of it, "Courage, lads, I fee land." On the contrary, our progrefs through that kind of writers I am now fpeaking of is never at an end. One day makes work for another, we do not know when to promise ourselves reft.
It is a melancholy thing to confider that the art of printing, which might be the greatest
blefing to mankind, fhould prove detrimental to us, and that it should be made ufe of to fcatter prejudice and ignorance through a people, instead of conveying to them truth and knowledge.
I was lately reading a very whimfical treatife, entitled, William Ramfays Vindication of Af trology. This profound author, among many myftical paffages, has the following one: " the "abfence of the fun is not the caufe of night, "forafmuch as his light is fo great, that it "illuminate the earth all over at once as clear as "broad day; but there are tenebrificous and "dark ftars, by whofe influence night is brought 66 on, and which do ray out darkness, and ob "fcurity upon the earth, as the fun does light." I confider writers in the fame view this fage aftrologer does the heavenly bodies. Some of them are ftars that scatter light as others do dark nefs. I could mention feveral authors who are tenebrificous ftars of the first magnitude, and point out a knot of gentlemen, who have been dull in concert, and may be looked upon as a dark conftellation. The nation has been a great while benighted with feveral of thefe antiluminaries. I fuffered them to ray out their darkness, as long as I was able to endure it, till at length I came to a refolution of rifing upon them, and hope in a little time to drive them quite out of the British hemifphere.
N° 583: FRIDAY, AUG. 20. Ipfe thymum pinofque ferens de montibus altis, Tefta ferat latè circum, cui talia cure: Ipfe labore manum duro terat; ipfe feraces Figat bumo plantas, & amicos irriget imbres. VIRG. Georg. 4. ver. 112. With his own hand, the guardian of the bees, For flips of pines may fearch the mountain trees; And with wild thyme and fav'ry plant the plain, Till his hard horny fingers ake with pain; And deck with fruitful trees the fields around, And with refreshing waters drench the ground. Dryden. VERY ftation of life has duties which are proper to it. Those who are determined by choice to any particular kind of bufinefs are indeed more happy than those who are determined by neceflity, but both are under an equal obligation of fixing on employments, which may be either useful to themselves, or beneficial to others: no one of the fons of Adam ought to think themfelves exempt from that labour and industry which were denounced to our first parent, and in him to all his pofterity. Thofe to whom birth or fortune may feem to make fuch an application unneceffary, ought to find out fome calling or profeffion for themselves, that they may not lie as a burden on the fpecies, and be the only useless parts of the creation.
Many of our country gentlemen in their bufy hours apply themfelves wholly to the chace, or to fome other diverfion which they find in the fields and woods. This gave occafion to one of our most eminent English writers to reprefent every one of them as lying under a kind of curfe pronounced to them in the words of Goliah," I will give thee to the fowls of the air, and to "the beafts of the field."
on the mind and body, the country affords many other amufements of a more noble kind.
Though exercises of this kind, when indulged with moderation, may have a good influence both
Among these I know none more delightful in itself, and beneficial to the public, than that of Planting, I could mention a nobleman, whose fortune has placed him in feveral parts of England, and who has always left these visible marks behind him, which thew he has been there : he never hired a houfe in his life, without leaving all about it the feeds of wealth, and beftowing legacies on the pofterity of the owner. the gentlemen of England made the fame improveour whole country ments upon their eftates, would have been at this time as one great garden. Nor ought fuch an employment to be looked upon as too inglorious for men of the highest rank. There have been heroes in this art, as well as in others. We are told in particular of Cyrus the Great, that he planted all the Leffer Afia. There is indeed fomething truly magnificent in this kind of amutement: it gives a nobler air to fome parts of nature; it fills the earth with a variety of beautiful fcenes, and has fomething in it like creation. For this reafon the pleasure of one who plants is fomething like that of a poet, who, as Ariftotle obferves, is more delighted with his productions than any other writer or artist whatfoever.
Plantations have one advantage in them which. is not to be found in most other works, as they give a pleasure of a more lafting date, and continually improve in the eye of the planter. When you have finished a building, or any other undertaking of the like nature, it immediately de cays upon your hands; you fee it brought to the utmoft point of perfection, and from that time haftening to its ruin. On the contrary, when you have finished your plantations, they are ftill arriving at greater degrees of perfection as long as fucceeding year, than they did in the foregoing. you live, and appear more delightful in every
But I do not only recommend this art to men kind of virtuous employment, and may therefore of eftates as a pleafing amufement, but as it is a be inculcated by moral motives; particularly from the love which we ought to have for our country, and the regard which we ought to bear to our pofterity. As for the first, I need only mention what is frequently obferved by others, that the increase of foreft-trees does by no means bear a proportion to the deftruction of them, infomuch that in a few ages the nation may be at å lofs to fupply itfelf with timber fufficient for the fleets of England. I know when a man talks of pofterity in matters of this nature, he is looked upon with an eye of ridicule by the cunning and felfish part of mankind. Moft people are of the humour of an old fellow of a college, who, when he was preffed by the fociety to come into fomething that might redound to the good of their fucceffors, grew very peevith; "We are always doing, " fays he, fomething for pofterity, but I would fain fec pofterity do "fomething for us.'
But I think men are inexcufable, who fail in a duty of this nature, fince it is fo safily dif charged. When a man confiders, that the putting a few twigs into the ground, is doing good to one who will make his appearance in the world about fifty years hence, or that he is per haps making one of his own descendants easy or rich, by fo inconfiderable an expence, if he finds himself averse to it, he muft conclude that
he has a poor and base heart, void of all generous principles and love to mankind.
There is one confideration, which may very much enforce what I have here faid. Many honeft minds that are naturally difpofed to do good in the world, and become beneficial to mankind, complain within themselves, that they have not talents for it. This therefore is a good office, which is fuited to the meaneft capacities, and which may be performed by multitudes, who have not abilities fufficient to deferve well of their country, and to recommend themselves to their pofterity, by any other method. It is the phrafe of a friend of mine, when ufeful country neighbour dies, that you may trace him;" which I look upon as a good funeral oration at the death of an honeft hufbandman, who hath left the impreffions of his industry behind him in the place where he has lived.
Upon the foregoing confiderations, I can scarce forbear reprefenting the fubject of this paper as a kind of moral virtue: which, as I have already thewn, recommends itself likewife by the pleasure that attends it. It must be confeffed, that this is none of thofe turbulent pleafures which is apt to gratify a man in the heat of youth; but if it be not fo tumultuous, it is more lafting. Nothing can be more delightful than to entertain ourfelves with profpects of our own making, and to walk under thofe fhades which our own induftry has raised. Amusements of this nature compofe the mind, and lay at reft all thofe paffions which are uneafy to the foul of man, befides that they naturally engender good thoughts, and difpofe us to laudable contemplations. Many of the old philofophers paffed away the greatest parts of their lives in their gardens. Epicurus himself could not think fenfual pleafure attainable in any other fcene. Every reader who is acquainted with Homer, Virgil, and Horace, the greatest geniufes of all antiquity, knows very well with how much rapture they have fpoken on this fubject; and that Virgil in particular has written a whole book on the art of planting.
This art feems to have been more especially ftate, when he had life enough to fee his proadapted to the nature of man in his primæval ductions flourish in their utmost beauty, and dually decay with him. One who lived before the flood might have feen a wood of the talleft oaks in the acorn. But I only mention this particular, in order to introduce, in my next paper, a hiftory which I have found among the accounts of China, and which may be looked upon as an antediluvian novel.
N° 584. MONDAY, AUG. 23. Hic gelidi fontes, bic mollia prata, Lycori, Hic nemus, bic toto tecum confumerer ago. VIRG. Ecl. 10. ver. 42.
Come fee what pleafures in our plains abound; The woods, the fountains, and the flow'ry ground: Here I cou'd live, and love, and die with only you, Dryden. ILPA was one of the hundred and fifty daughters of Zilpah, of the race of Cohu, By whom fome of the learned think is meant Cain. She was exceedingly beautiful, and when
the was but a girl of threefcore and ten years of age, received the addreffes of feveral who made love to her. Among these were two brothers, Harpath and Shalum. Harpath being the first born, was mafter of that fruitful region which lies at the foot of mount Tirzah, in the fouthern parts of China. Shalum (which is to fay, the planter in the Chinese language) poffeffed all the neighbouring hills, and that great range of mountains which goes under the name of Tirzah. Harpath was of a haughty contemptuous fpirit, Shalum was of a gentle difpofition, beloved both by God and man.
It is faid, that among the antediluvian women, the daughters of Cohu had their minds wholly fet upon riches; for which reason the beautiful Hilpa preferred Harpath to Shalum, because of his numerous flocks and herds, that covered all the low country which runs along the foot of mount Tirzah, and is watered by feveral fountains and ftreams breaking out of the fides of that mountain.
Harpath made fo quick a dispatch of his courtfhip, that he married Hilpa in the hundredth year of her age, and being of an infolent temper, laughed to fcorn his brother Shalum, for having pretended to the beautiful Hilpa, when he was mafter of nothing but a long chain of rocks and mountains. This fo much provoked Shalum, that he is faid to have curfed his brother in the bitterness of his heart, and to have prayed that one of his mountains might fall upon his head if ever he came within the fhadow of it.
From this time forward Harpath would never venture out of the vallies, but came to an timely end in the two hundred and fiftieth year of his age, being drowned in a river as he attempted to cross it.
This river is called to this
day from his name who perished in it, the river Harpath, and, what is very remarkable, iffues out of one of thofe mountains which Shalum withed might fall upon his brother, when he curfed
him in the bitternefs of his heart.
Hilpa was in the hundred and fixtieth year of her age at the death of her husband, having brought him but fifty children before he was dow, though no one was thought fo likely to fnatched away, as has been already related. Many of the antediluvians made love to the young wifucceed in her affections as her first lover Shalum, who renewed his court to her about ten years after the death of Harpath; for it was thould be feen by a man within ten years after not thought decent in those days that a widow the decease of her husband.
Shalum falling into a deep melancholy, and refolving to take away that objection which had been raised against him, when he made his first addreffes to Hilpa, began immediately after her marriage with Harpath, to plant all that mountainous region which fell to his lot in the divifion of this country. He knew how to adapt every plant to its proper foil, and is thought to have inherited many traditional fecrets of that art from the first man. This employment turned at length to his profit as well as to his amufement: his mountains were in a few years fhaded with young trees, that gradually thot up into groves, woods, and forefts, intermixed with walks and lawns, and gardens; infomuch that the whole region, from a naked and defolate profpect, began now to look like a fecond Paradife. The pleafastness of the place, and the agreeable difpofi