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red, the fuccefsful application of it to practice depends, in a confiderable degree, powers, which no extent of understanding can confer.

Vice does not depend fo much on a perverfion of the understanding, as of the imagination and paffions, and on habits originally founded on thefe. A vicious man is generally fenfible enough that his conduct is wrong; he knows that vice is contrary both to his duty and to his intereft; and therefore, all laboured reafoning, to fatisfy his understanding of thefe truths, is ufelefs, becaufe the difeafe does not lie in the understanding. The evil is feated in the heart. The imaginations and paffions are engaged on its fide; and to them the cure muit be applied. Here has been the general defect of writings and fermons, intended to reform mankind. Many ingenious and fenfible remarks are made on the feveral dudies of religion, and very judicious arguments are brought to enforce them. Such performances may be attended to with pleasure, by pious and well-difpofed perfons, who likewife may derive from thence useful inftruction for their conduft in life. The wicked and profigate, if ever books of this fort fall in their way, very readily allow, that what they contain are great and eternal truths; but they leave no lafting impreffion. If any thing can roufe, it is the power of lively and pathetic defcription, which traces and lays open their hearts through all their windings and difguifes, makes them fee and confefs their own characters in all their deformity and horror,impreffes their hearts, and interefts their paflions by all the motives of love, gratitude, and fear, the prospect of rewards and punishments, and whatever other motives religion or nature may dictate. But to do this effectually, requires very different powers from thofe of the understanding: a lively and well regulated imagination is effentially requifite.


§ 79. On Public Preaching.
In public addreffes to an audience, the
great end of reformation is most effectu-
ally promoted; because all the powers of
voice and action, all the arts of eloquence,
may be brought to give their affiftance.
But fome of thofe arts depend on gifts of
nature, and cannot be attained by any
ftrength of genius or understanding; even
where nature has been liberal of thofe ne-

ary requifites, they must be cultivated

by much practice, before the proper exercife of them can be acquired. Thus, a public fpeaker may have a voice that is mufical and of great compafs; but it requires much time and labour to attain its juft modulation, and that variety of flexion and tone, which a pathetic difcourfe requires. The fame difficulty attends the acquifition of that propriety of action, that power over the exprelive features of the countenance, particularly of the eyes, fo neceffary to command the hearts and pas fions of an audience.

It is ufually thought that a preacher, who feels what he is faying himself, will naturally speak with that tone of voice and expreffion in his countenance, that best suits the fubject, and which cannot fail to move his audience: thus it is faid, a person un→ der the influence of fear, anger, or forrow. looks and speaks in the manner naturally expreffive of these emotions. This is true in fome measure; but it can never be fup pofed, that any preacher will be able to enter into his fubject with such real warmth upon every occafion. Befides, every pru dent man will be afraid to abandon himfelf fo entirely to any impreffion, as he muft do to produce this effect. Most men, when strongly affected by any paffion or emotion, have fome peculiarity in their appearance, which does not belong to the natural expreffion of such an emotion. If this be not properly corrected, a public fpeaker, who is really warm and animated with his fubject, may nevertheless make a very ridiculous and contemptible figure. It is the bufinefs of art, to fhew nature in her moft amiable and graceful forms, and not with those peculiarities in which the appears in particular inftances; and it is this difficulty of properly representing nature, that renders the eloquence and action, both of the pulpit and the stage, acquisitions of fuch difficult attainment."

But, befides those talents inherent in the preacher himself, an intimate knowledge of nature will fuggeft the neceffity of attending to certain external circumstances, which operate powerfully on the mind, and prepare it for receiving the defigned impreffions. Such, in particular, is the proper regulation of church-mufic, and the folemnity and pomp of public worship. Independent of the effect that these particulars have on the imagination, it might be expected, that a just taste, a fenfe of decency and propriety, would make them more attended to than we find


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they are. We acknowledge that they have been abused, and have occafioned the groffest superstition; but this univerfal propenfity to carry them to excefs, is the trongest proof that the attachment to them is deeply rooted in human nature, and confequently that it is the bufinefs of good fenfe to regulate, and not vainly to attempt to extinguish it. Many religious fects, in their infancy, have fupported themfelves without any of thefe external affiftances; but when time has abated the fervor of their firft zeal, we always find that their public worship has been conducted with the most remarkable coldness and inattention, unless fupported by well-regulated ceremonies. In fact, it will be found, that thofe fects who at their commencement have been moft diftinguished for a religious enthusiasm that despised all forms, and the genius of whose tenets could not admit the ufe of any, have either been of short duration, or ended in infidelity.

The many difficulties that attend the practical art of making religion influence the manners and lives of mankind, by acquiring a command over the imagination and paffions, have made it too generally neglected, even by the most eminent of the clergy for learning and good fenfe. These have rather chofen to confine themfelves to a track, where they were fure to excel by the force of their own genius, than to attempt a road where their fuccefs was doubtful, and where they might be outfhone by men greatly their inferiors. It has therefore been principally culti vated by men of lively imaginations, poffeffed of fome natural advantages of voice and manner. But as no art can ever become very beneficial to mankind, unlefs it be under the direction of genius and good fenfe, it has too often happened, that the art we are now fpeaking of has become fubfervient to the wildest fanaticism, fometimes to the gratification of vanity, and fometimes to still more unworthy purposes.

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does in ours. What fhews its great de pendance on the imagination, is the remarkable attachment it has to poetry and mufic, which Shakespeare calls the food of love, and which may, with equal truth, be called the food of devotion. Mufic enters into the future paradife of the devout of every fect and of every country. The Deity viewed by the eye of cool reafon, may be faid, with great propriety, to dwell in light inacceflible. The mind, ftruck with the immenfity of his being, and with a sense of its own littleness and unworthinefs, admires with that diftant awe and veneration that almost excludes love. But viewed by a devout imagination, he may become an object of the warmest affection, and even paffion. The philofopher contemplates the Deity in all thofe marks of wisdom and benignity diffufed through the various works of nature. The devout man confines his views rather to his own particular connection with the Deity, the many inftances of his goodness he himself has experienced, and the many greater he ftill hopes for. This eftablishes a kind of intercourfe, which often interefts the heart and paffions in the deepeft manner.

The devotional tafte, like all other tastes, has had the hard fate to be condemned as a weakness, by all who are ftrangers to its joys and its influence. Too much and too frequent occafion has been given, to turn this fubject into ridicule.-A heated and devout imagination, when not under the direction of a very found understanding, is apt to run very wild, and is at the fame time impatient to publifh all its follies to the world.The feelings of a devout heart fhould be mentioned with great reserve and delicacy, as they depend upon private experience, and certain circumftances of mind and fituation, which the world can neither know nor judge of. But devotional writings, executed with judgment and tafte, are not only highly useful, but to all, who have a true fente of religion, peculiarly engaging. Ibid.

§ 81. Advantages of Devotion." The devotional fpirit, united to good fenfe and a chearful temper, gives that fteadiness to virtue, which it always wants when produced and fupported by good natural difpofitions only. It corrects and humanizes thofe conftitutional vices, which it is not able entirely to fubdue; and though it too often fails to render men perfectly virtuous, it preferves them from


becoming utterly abandoned. It has, be fies, the most favourable influence on all the pative virtues; it gives a softness and senfibility to the heart, and a mildness and gentenefs to the manners; but above all, it produces an univerfal charity and love to mankind, however different in ftation, country, or religion. There is a fublime yet tender melancholy, almost the univerfal attendant on genius, which is too apt to degenerate into gloom and difguft with the world. Devotion is admirably calculated to foothe this dipofition, by infenfibly leading the mind, while it feems to indulge it, to thofe profpects which calm every murmur of difcontent, and diffufe a chéarfulness over the darkest hours of human life.-Perfons in the pride of high health and fpirits, who are keen in the purfuits of pleafure, interet, or ambition, have either no ideas on this fubject, or treat it as the enthusiasm of a weak mind. But this really fhews great narrowness of understanding; a very little reflection and acquaintance with nature might teach them, on how precarious a Foundation their boafted independence on religion is built; the thousand nameless accidents that may deftroy it; and that though for fome years they should efcape thefe, yet that time muft impair the greatest vigour of health and fpirits, and deprive them of all thofe objects for which, at prefent, they think life only worth enjoying. It should feem, therefore, very neceffary to fecure fome permanent object, fome real fupport to the mind, to chear the foul, when all others fhall have loft their influence.-The greateft inconvenience, indeed, that attends devotion, is its taking fuch a faft hold of the affections, as fometimes threatens the extinguishing of every other active principle of the mind. For when the devotional fpirit falls in with a melancholy temper, it is too apt to deprefs the mind entirely, to fink it to the weakest fuperftition, and to produce a total retirement and abstraction from the world, and all the duties of life. Gregory.

§ 82. The Difference between true and falfe Politeness.

It is evident enough, that the moral and Chriftian duty, of preferring one another in honour, refpects only focial peace and charity, and terminates in the good and edification of our Chriftian brother. Its uíe is, to soften the minds of men, and to draw them from that favage rufticity, which engenders many vices, and difcredits

the virtues themselves. But when men had experienced the benefit of this complying temper, and further faw the ends, not of charity only, but of self-intereft, that might be answered by it; they confidered no longer its juft purpose and application, but ftretched it to that officious fedulity, and extreme fervility of adulation, which we too often observe and lament in polifhed life.

Hence, that infinite attention and confideration, which is fo rigidly exacted, and fo duly paid, in the commerce of the world: hence, that proftitution of mind, which leaves a man no will, no fentiment, no principle, no character; all which difappear under the uniform exhibition of good manners: hence, thofe infidious arts, thofe ftudied difguifes, thofe obfequious flatteries, nay, thofe multiplied and nicelyvaried forms of infinuation and addrefs, the direct aim of which may be to acquire the fame of politenefs and good-breeding, but the certain effect, to corrupt every virtue, to foothe every vanity, and to inflame every vice of the human heart.

These fatal mischiefs introduce themfelves under the pretence and femblance of that humanity, which the fcriptures encourage and enjoin: but the genuine virtue is eafily diftinguished from the counterfeit, and by the following plain figns.

True politenefs is modeft, unpretending, and generous. It appears as little as may be; and when it does a courtesy, would willingly conceal it. It choofes filently to forego its own claims, not officiously to withdraw them. It engages a man to prefer his neighbour to himself, because he really efteems him; because he is tender of his reputation; because he thinks it more manly, more Christian, to defcend a little himfelf than to degrade another. It refpects, in a word, the credit and eftimation of his neighbour.

The mimic of this amiable virtue, false politeness, is, on the other hand, ambitious, fervile, timorous. It affects popularity: is of. The man of this character does not folicitous to please, and to be taken notice offer, but obtrude his civilities; because he would merit by this affiduity; because, in despair of winning regard by any worthier qualities, he would be fure to make the most of this; and lastly, because of all things, he would dread, by the omiffion of any punctilious obfervance, to give offence. In a word, this fort of politenefs refpects, for its immediate object, the



favour and confideration of our neighbour.

2. Again; the man who governs himfelf by the fpirit of the Apotle's precept,

feit folicits their favour by dishonest compliances, and for the baseit end.



expreffes his preference of another in fuch § 83. On religious Principles and Behaa way as is worthy of himself: in all innocent compliances, in all honeft civilities, in all decent and manly condefcenfions.


On the contrary, the man of the world, who refts in the letter of this command, is regardless of the means by which he conducts himself. He refpects neither his own dignity, nor that of human nature. Truth, reason, virtue, all are equally betrayed by this fupple impoftor. He affents to the errors, though the most pernicious; he plauds the follies, though the most ridiculous; he foothes the vices, though the moft flagrant, of other men. He never contradicts, though in the fofteft form of infinuation; he never difapproves, though by a refpectful filence; he never condemns, though it be only by a good example. In fhort, he is folicitous for nothing, but by fome ftudied devices to hide from others, and, if poffible, to palliate to himself, the groffnefs of his illiberal adulation.

Laftly; we may be fure, that the ultimate ends for which these different objects are pursued, and by fo different means, muft alfo lie wide of each other.

Accordingly, the true polite man would, by all proper teftimonies of refpect, promote the credit and eitimation of his neighbour; because he fees that, by this generous confideration of each other, the peace of the world is, in a good degree, preferved; because he knows that thefe mutual attentions prevent animofities, foften the fiercenefs of men's manners, and dispose them to all the offices of benevolence and charity; because, in a word, the interefts of fociety are best ferved by this conduct; and becaufe he underftands it to be his duty to love his neighbour.

The falfely polite, on the contrary, are anxious, by all means whatever, to procure the favour and confideration of those they converfe with; because they regard, ultimately, nothing more than their private intereft; because they perceive, that their own felfish designs are beft carried on by fuch practices: in a word, because they love themjelves.

Thus we fee, that genuine virtue confults the honour of others by worthy means, and for the noble purposes; the counter

Religion is rather a matter of fentiment than reafoning. The important and interefting articles of faith are fufficiently plain. Fix your attention on these, and do not meddle with controverfy. If you get into that, you plunge into a chaos, from which you will never be able to extricate yourfelves. It spoils the temper, and, I suspect, no good effect on the heart.


Avoid all books, and all conversation, that tend to shake your faith on those great points of religion, which fhould ferve to regulate your conduct, and on which your hopes of future and eternal happiness depend.

Never indulge yourselves in ridicule on religious fubjects; nor give countenance to it in others, by feeming diverted with what they fay. This, to people of good breeding, will be a fufficient check.

I wish you to go no farther than the Scriptures for your religious opinions. Embrace thofe you find clearly revealed. Never perplex yourselves about fuch as you do not understand, but treat them with filent and becoming reverence.

I would advise you to read only fuch religious books as are addreffed to the heart, fuch as infpire pious and devout affections, fuch as are proper to direct you in your conduct; and not fuch as tend to entangle you in the endless maze of opinions and fyftems.

Be punctual in the stated performance of your private devotions, morning and evening. If you have any fenfibility or imagination, this will establish such an intercourse between you and the Supreme Being, as will be of infinite confequence to you in life. It will communicate an habitual chearfulness to your tempers, give a firmness and fteadiness to your virtue, and enable you to go through all the viciffitudes of human life with propriety and dignity.

I wish you to be regular in your attendance on public worship, and in receiving the communion. Allow nothing to interrupt your public or private devotions, except the performance of fome active duty in life, to which they fhould always give place. In your behaviour at public wor

hip, obferve an exemplary attention and gravity.

That extreme ftrictness which I recommend to you in thefe duties, will be confidered by many of your acquaintance as a fuperftitious attachment to forms; but in the advices I give you on this and other fubjects, I have an eye to the spirit and manners of the age. There is a levity and diffipation in the prefent manners, a coldness and liftleffness in whatever relates to religion, which cannot fail to infect you, mes you purpofely cultivate in your minds a contrary bias, and make the devotional one habitual.

Gregory's Advice.

84. On the Beauties of the Pfalms. Greatnefs confers no exemption from the cares and forrows of life: its fhare of them frequently bears a melancholy proportion to its exaltation. This the Ifraelitish monarch experienced. He fought in piety, that peace which he could not find in empire, and alleviated the dif quietudes of itate, with the exercises of devotion. His invaluable Pfalms convey thofe comforts to others, which they afforded to himfelf. Compofed upon particular occafions, yet defigned for general ufe; de fivered out as fervices for Ifraelites under the Law, yet no lefs adapted to the circumftances of Chriftians under the Golpel; they prefent religion to us in the most engaging drefs; communicating truths which philofophy could never inveftigate, in a style which poetry can never equal; while hiftory is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends all its charms to paint the glories of redemption. Calcalated alike to profit and to pleafe, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination. Inaited under the influence of him, to whom all hearts are known, and all events foreknown, they fuit mankind in all fituations, grateful as the manna which defcended from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perufals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lofe their fragrancy; but thefe unfading plants of paradife become, as we are accuffomed to them, ftill more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily heightened; fresh odours are emitted, and new fweets extracted from them. He who hath once tafted their excellencies, will defire to take them yet again: and he

who taftes them ofteneft, will relish them beft. And now, could the author flatter himself that any one would take half the pleasure in reading his work which he hath taken in writing it, he would not fear the lofs of his labour. The employment detached him from the bustle and hurry of life, the din of politics, and the noife of folly; vanity and vexation flew away for a feafon, care and difquietude came not near his dwelling. He arofe, fresh as the morning, to his tafk; the filence of the night invited him to purfue it; and he can truly fay, that food and reft were not preferred before it. Every Pfalm improved infinitely upon his acquaintance with it, and no one gave him uneasiness but the last; for then he grieved that his work was done. Hap pier hours than thofe which have been fpent in these meditations on the songs of Sion, he never expects to fee in this world. Very pleafantly did they pafs, and moved fmoothly and fwiftly along; for when thus engaged, he counted no time. They are gone, but have left a relish and a fragrance upon the mind, and the remembrance of them is fweet.


§ 85. The Temple of virtuous Love.

The structure on the right hand was (as I afterwards found) confecrated to virtuous Love, and could not be entered, but by fuch as received a ring, or fome other token, from a perfon who was placed as a guard at the gate of it. He wore a garland of rofes and myrtles on his head, and on his fhoulders a robe like an imperial mantle white and unfpotted all over, excepting only, that where it was clafped at his breast, there were two golden turtle doves that buttoned it by their bills, which were wrought in rubies: he was called by the name of Hymen, and was feated near the entrance of the temple, in a delicious bower, made up of feveral trees that were embraced by woodbines, jeffamines, and amaranths, which were as so many emblems of marriage, and ornaments to the trunks that fupported them. As I was fingle and unaccompanied, I was not permitted to enter the temple, and for that reafon am a ftranger to all the myfteries that were performed in it. I had, however, the curiofity to obferve, how the feveral couples that entered were difpofed of; which was after the following manner: there were two great gates on the backfide of the edifice, at which the whole crowd was let out. At one of these gates

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