« EdellinenJatka »
before: and then we are in the other world, when we can see it, and converse with it: thus St. Paul tells us, “That when we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; but when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord, 2 Cor. 5, 6, 8. And, methinks, this is enough to cure us of our fondness for these bodies, unless we think it more desirable to be confined to a prison, and to look through a grate all our lives, which gives us but a very narrow prospect, and that none of the best neither, than to be set at liberty to view all the glories of the world.
What would we give now for the least glimpse of that invisible world, which the first step we take out of these bodies will present us with ? There are such things as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive : death opens our eyes, enlarges our prospect, presents us with a new and more glorious world, which wc can never see while we are shut up in flesh; which should make us as willing to part with this veil, as to take the film off of our eyes which hinders our sight.'
“As a thinking man cannot but be very much affected with the idea of his appearing in the presence of that Being, whom none can see and live,' he must be much more affected, when he considers that this Being whom he appears before, will examine all the actions of his past life, and reward or punish him accordingly. I must confess, that I think there is no scheme of religion besides that of Christianity, which can possibly support the most virtuous person under this thought. Let a man's innocence be what it will, let his virtues rise to the highest pitch of perfection attainable in this life, there will be still in him so many secret sins, so many human frailties, so many offences of ignorance, passion, and prejudice, so many unguarded words and thoughts, and, in short, so many defects in his best actions, that without the advantages of such an expiation and atonement as
Christianity has revealed to us, it is impossible that he should be cleared before his Sovereign Judge, or that he should be able to 'Stand in his sight.' Our holy religion suggests to us the only means whereby our guilt may be taken away, and our imperfect obedience accepted.
"It is this series of thought that I have endeavoured to ex. press in the following hymn, which I have composed during this my sickness.
"There is a noble hymn in French, which Monsieur Bayle has celebrated for a very fine one, and which the famous author of the Art of Speaking calls an admirable one, that turns upon a thought of the same nature. If I could have done it justice in English, I would have sent it you translated; it was written by Monsieur Des Barreaux, who had been one of the greatest wits and libertines in France, but in his last years was as remarkable a penitent.
Grand Dieu, tes jugemens sont remplis d'equité;
“ If these thoughts may be serviceable to you, I desire you would place them in a proper light; and am ever, with great sincerity, Sir, Your's,' &o.
We last night received a piece of ill news at our club, which very sensibly afflicted every one of us. I question not but my readers themselves will be troubled at the hearing of it. To keep them no longer in suspense, Sir Roger de Coverley is dead. He departed this life at his house in the country, after a few weeks sickness.. Sir Andrew Freeport has a letter from one of his correspendents in those parts, that informs him the old man caught a cold at the county sessions, as he was very warmly promoting an address of his own penning, in which he succeeded according to his wishes. But this particular comes from a whig justice of peace, who was always Sir Roger's enemy and antago
1 “Mr. Addison was so fond of this character that a little before he laid down the ‘Spectator' (foreseeing that some nimble gentleman would catch
his pen the moment he quitted it) he said to our intimate friend, with a certain warmth in his expression which he was not often guilty of, I'll kill Sir Roger that nobody else may murder him.'”—The Bee P.
26. On this Chalmers sensibly remarks, that “the killing of Sir Roger has been sufficiently accounted for, without supposing that Addison despatched him in a fit of anger: for the work was about to close, and it appeared necessary to close the club; but whatever difference of opinion there may be concerning this circumstance, it is universally agreed that it produced a paper of transcendent excellence in all the graces of siniplicity and pathos. There is not in our language any assumption of character more faithful than that of the honest butler; nor a more irresistible stroke of nature than the circumstance of the book received by Sir Andrew Frea port.
Budgell's story is another version of the reason Cervantes gave for killing his hero ;—para mi fola nacio Don Quixote, y yo para el. Shakespere's motive for the early death of Mercutio, in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, has been accounted for by a similar fiction.—*
nist. I have litters both from the chaplain and Captain Sentry which mention nothing of it, but are filled with many particulars to the honour of the good old man. I have likewise a letter from the butler, who took so much care of me last summer when I was åt the knight's house. As my friend the butler mentions, in the simplicity of his heart, several circumstances the others have passed over in silence, I shall give my reader a copy of his letter, without any alteration or diminution.
" HONOURED SIR, “KNOWING that you was my old master's good friend, 1 could not forbear sending you the melancholy news of his death, which has afflicted the whole country, as well as his poor ser vants, who loved him, I may say, better than we did our lives. I am afraid he caught his death the last county sessions, where he would go to see justice done to a poor widow woman, and her fatherless children, that had been wronged by a neighbouring gentleman; for you know my good master was always the poor man's friend. Upon his coming home, the first complaint he made was, that he had lost his roast-beef stomach, not being able to touch a sirloin, which was served up according to custom ; and you know he used to take great delight in it. From that time forward he grew worse and worse, but still kept a good heart to the last. Indeed we were once in great hopes of his recovery, upon a kind message that was sent him from the widow lady whom he had made love to the forty last years of his life; but this only proved a lightning before his death. He has bequeathed to this lady, as a token of his love, a great pearl necklace, and a couple of silver bracelets set with jewels, which belonged to my good old lady his mother: he has bequeathed the fine white gelding, that he used to ride a hunting upon, to his chaplain, because he thought he would be kind to him, and lias