Sivut kuvina

these men see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waters thereof. They mount up to heaven, they go

down again to the depths, their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits-end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad because they be quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.'

"By the way, how much more comfortable, as well as rational, is this system of the psalmist, than the pagan scheme in Virgil, and other poets, where one deity is represented as raising a storm, and another as laying it? Were we only to consider the sublime in this piece of poetry, what can be nobler than the idea it gives us of the Supreme Being thus raising a tumult among the elements, and recovering them out of their confusion, thus troubling and becalming nature ?

“Great Painters do not only give us landscapes of gardens, groves, and meadows, but very often employ their pencils upon sea-pieces: I could wish you would follow their example. If this small sketch may deserve a place among your works, I shall accompany it with a divine ode, made by a gentleman“ upon the conclusion of his travels.

[ocr errors]

How are thy servants blest, O Lord !

How sure is their defence!
Eternal wisdom is their guide,

Their help Omnipotence.

so é. e. By himself. So early had a spirit of piety taken possession of Chis excellent man's mind!H.


* In foreign realms, and lands remote,

Supported by thy care, Thro' burning climės I pass'd unhurt,

And breath'd in tainted air.


Thy mercy sweetned ev'ry soil,

Made ev'ry region please;
The hoary Alpine hills it warm'd,

And smooth'd the Tyrrhene sens.


*Think, O my soul, devoutly think,

How with affrighted eyes Thou saw'st the wide extended deep

In all its horrors rise !


*Confusion dwelt in ev'ry face,

And fear in ev'ry heart; When waves on waves, and gulphs in gulpline

O’ercame the pilot's art.


“Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,

Thy mercy set me free,
Whilst in the confidence of pray'r

My soul took hold on thee.


. For tho' in dreadful whirls we hung

High on the broken wave,
I knew thou wert not slow to hear,

Nor impotent to save.


* The storm was laid, the winds retir'd,

Obedient to thy will;
The sea that roar'd at thy cor mand,

At thy command was still,


* In midst of dangers, fears, and death,

Thy goodness I'll adore,
And praise thee for thy mercies past;

And hurably hope for more.


My life, if thou presery'st my life,

Thy sacrifice shall be;
And death, if death must be my doom,

Shall join my soul to thee.'


Ægritudinem laudare, unam rem maximè detestabilem, quorum est tandem Philosophorum ?


What kind of philosophy is it, to extol melancholy, the most detestable thing in na'ure ?


ABOUT an age ago it was the fashion in England, for every one that would be thought religious, to throw as much sanctity as possible into his face, and, in particular, to abstain from all pearances of mirth and pleasantry, which were looked upon as the marks of a carnal mind. The saint was of a sorrowful counte. nance, and generally eaten up with spleen and melancholy. A gentleman, who was lately a great ornament to the learned world, has diverted me more than once with an account of the reception which he met with from a very famous independent minister, who was head of a college in those times. This gentleman was then a young adventurer in the republic of letters, and just fitted out for the university with a good cargo of Latin and Greek. His friends were resolved that he should try his fortune at an election

Anthony Denley, who died 1711.-V. Tatler, Nos. 11, 25, 26, 44.-G. 9 Dr. Thomas Goodwin, S. T. P. President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and one of the assembly of divines who sat at Westminster. Mr. Hood says,

“ Dr. T. Goodwin, and Dr. Owen, were the atlasses and patriarchs of independency. Dr. Goodwin attended his friend and patron, 0. Croniwell, on his death-bed. The Doctor's portrait, said to be a strong likeness, with a smoke cap on his head, is prefixed to his works in 2 vols. folio 1681.-C.

VOL. VI.--21*

which was drawing near in the college, of which the independent minister, whom I have before mentioned, was governor.

The youth, according to custom, waited on him in order to be examined. He was received at the door by a servant, who was one of that gloomy generation that were then in fashion. He conducted him, with great silence and seriousness, to a long gallery which was darkened at noon-day, and had only a single candle burning in it. After a short stay in this melancholy apartinent, he was led into a chamber hung with black, where he entertained himself for some time by the glimmering of a taper, till at length the head of the college came out to him, from an inner room, with half a dozen night-caps upon his head, and religious horror in his countenance. The young man trembled; but his fears increased, when, instead of being asked what progress he had made in learning, he was examined how he abounded in grace. His Latin and Greek stood him in little stead; he was to give an account only of the state of his soul, whether he was of the number of the elect; what was the occasion of his conversion; upon what day of the month, and hour of the day it happened; how it was carried on, and when compleated. The whole examination was summed up with one short question, namely, . Whether he was prepared for death?' The boy, who had been bred up by honest parents, was frighted out of his wits at the solemnity of the proceeding, and especially by the last dreadful interrogatory; so that upon making his escape out of this house of mourning, he could never be brought a second time to the examination, as not being able to go through the terrors of it.

Notwithstanding this general form and outside of religion is pretty well worn out among us, there are many persons, who, by a natural uncheerfulness of heart, mistaken notions of piety, or weakness of understanding, love to indulge this uncomfortable way of life, and give up themselves a prey to grief and melan.

choly. Superstitious fears and groundless scruples cut them off from the pleasures of conversation, and all those social entertainments, which are not only innocent, but laudable; as if mirth was made for reprobates, and cheerfulness of heart denied those who are the only persons that have a proper title to it.

Sombrius is one of these sons of sorrow. He thinks himself obliged in duty to be sad and disconsolate. He looks on a sudden fit of laughter as a breach of his baptismal vow. An innosent jest startles him like blasphemy. Tell him of one who is advanced to a title of honour, he lifts up his hands and eyes ; describe a public ceremony, he shakes his head : shew him a gay equipage, he blesses himself. All the little ornaments of life are pomps and vanities. Mirth is wanton, and wit profane. He is scandalized at youth for being lively, and at childhood for being playful. He sits at a christening, or a marriage-feast, as at a funeral; sighs at the conclusion of a merry story, and grows devout when the rest of the company grow pleasant. After all, Sombrius is a religious man, and would have behaved himself very properly, had he lived when Christianity was under a general persecution.

I would by no means presume to tax such characters with hypocrisy, as is done too frequently ; that being a vice which [ think none hut he, who knows the secrets of men's hearts, should pretend to discover in another, where the proofs of it do not amount to a demonstration. On the contrary, as there are many excellent persons, who are weighed down by this habitual sorrow. of heart, they rather deserve our compassion than our reproaches. I think, however, they would do well to consider, whether such a behaviour does not deter men from a religious life, by representing it as an unsocial state, that extinguishes all joy and glad. ness, darkers the face of nature, and destroys the relish of Being itself.

« EdellinenJatka »