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into a walking skeleton; and the most learned sage degenerate into
a hoary ideot.
Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know;
For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise,
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress
Having mentioned sleep and dreams, let me once again consider these remarkable incidents of our frame; so very remarkable, that I may venture to call them a kind of experimental mystery, and little less than a standing miracle. Behold the most vigorous constitution, when stretched on the bed of ease, and totally resigned to the slumbers of the night. Its activity is oppressed with fetters of indolence; its strength is consigned over to a temporary annihilation; the nerves are like a bow unstrung; and the whole animal system is Fike a motionless log. Behold a person of the most delicate sensations and amiable dispositions; his eyes, though thrown wide open, admit not the visual ray; at least, distinguish not objects; his ears with the organs unimpaired, and articulate accents beating upon the drum, perceive not the sound; at least, apprehend not the meaning. The senses, and their exquisitely fine feelings, are overwhelmed with an unaccountable stupefaction. You call him a social creature; but where are his social affections? He knows not the father that begat him; and takes no notice of the friend that is as his own soul. The wife of his bosom may expire by his side, and he lie more unconcerned than a barbarian. The children of his body may be tortured with the severest pangs, and he, even in the same chamber, remain untouched with the least commisseration. Behold the most ingenious scholar, whose judgment is piercing, and able to trace the most intricate difficulties of science; his taste refined, and quick to relish all the beauties of sentiment and composition; yet, at this juncture, the thinking faculties are unhinged, and the intellectual economy quite disconcerted. Instead of close, connected reasonings, nothing but a huddle of absurd ideas; instead of well-digested principles, nothing but a disorderly jumble of crude conceptions. The most palpable delusions impose upon his imagination.
whole night passes, and he frequently mistakes it for a single mi nute, is not sensible of the transaction, hardly sensible of any duration.
Yet, no sooner does the morning dawn, and daylight enter the room, but this strange enchantment vanishes. The man awakes, and finds himself possessed of all the valuable endowments, which for several hours were suspended or lost. His sinews are braced and fit for action; his senses are alert and keen; the romantic visionary brightens into the master of reason. The frozen or benumbed affections melt with tenderness, and glow with benevolence; and, what is beyond measure surprising, the intoxicated mind works itself sober, not by slow degrees, but in the twinkling of an eye recovers from its perturbation. Why does not the stupor, which deadens all the nice operations of the animal powers, bold fast its oppression? When the thoughts are once disadjusted, why are they not always in confusion? How is it, that they are rallied in a moment? And from the wildest irregularity, resembling death, how is the body so suddenly restored to vigour and agility? From extravagancies, bordering upon madness, how is the understanding instantaneously re-established in sedateness and harmony? Surely "this is the Lord's doing, and it should be marvellous in our eyes;" should awaken our gratitude, and inspirit our praise.
But, oh! my spirits fail!-sleep's dewy wand
Has strok'd my drooping lips to soft repose.
It is my opinion, that the great Lord of the Creation made sleep
a resting-place for matter, but not for spirit.
Sleep, that locks up the senses from their care,
O sacred rest!
Sweet pleasing sleep! of all the powers the best!
O peace of mind, repairer of decay,
Since sleep is so absolutely necessary, so inestimably valuable, observe what a fine apparatus Almighty Goodness has made to accommodate us with the balmy blessing. With how kind a precaution he removes whatever might obstruct its access, or impede its influence! He draws around us the curtain of darkness, which inclines us to a drowsy indolence, and conceals every object that might too strongly agitate the sense. He conveys peace into our apartments, and imposes silence on the whole creation. Every animal is bidden to tread softly, or rather to cease from its motion, when man is retiring to his repose. May we not discern, in this gracious disposition of things, the tender care of a nursing mother, who hushes every noise, and secludes every disturbance, when she has laid the child of her love to rest? So, by such soothing circumstances and gently-working opiates, " He giveth to his beloved sleep." Psa, cxxvii. 2.
Fair consort, th' hour
Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest,
Now falling with soft slumb'rous weight, inclines
We shall now presume, for the sake of imagery, that the corporeal system, with all its various passions, has been refreshed with “tir'd nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep ;" and that we shall now purBue our subject with increased vigour and delight.
Our attention will be directed, in the next place, to the powers and faculties of the MIND; for, thus far, man differs but little from the beasts that perish; but the intellectual powers of the mind place him as a link between the Deity and the brute creation.
By thee my growing parts were fram'd,
The eye, the ear, the lungs, the heart,
At last, to show the Maker's name,
Men carry their minds, as they carry their watches, content to be ignorant of the mechanism of their movements, and satisfied with attending to the little exterior circle of things, to which the passions, like indices, are pointing. It is surprising to see how little selfknowledge a person not watchfully observant of himself may have gained in the whole course of an active or even an inquisitive life. He may have lived almost an age, and traversed a continent, minutely examining its curiosities, and interpreting the half-obliterated characters on its monuments, unconscious the while of a process operating on his own mind, to impress or to erase characteristics of much more importance to him than all the figured brass or marble that Europe contains. After having explored many a cavern or dark ruinous avenue, he may have left undetected a darker recess in his character. He may have conversed with many people, in different languages, on numberless subjects; but having neglected those conversations with himself, by which his whole moral being should have been kept continually exposed to view, he is better qualified, perhaps, to describe the intrigues of a foreign court, or the progress of a foreign trade; to represent the manners of the Italians or the Turks; to narrate the proceedings of the Jesuits, or the adventures of Gypsies, than to write the history of his own mind.
The mind's the standard of the man.
Each mind, in fact, is a world within itself. It is peopled with nations, classes, and individuals. It is filled with friendships, enmities, and indifferences. It is full of the past, the present, and the future; of the springs of health, and of the engines of disease.
Here, joy and grief, hope and fear, love and hatred, fluctuate and toss the sullen and the gay, the brave and the coward, the giant and the dwarf, the deformed and the beautiful, on ever-restless waves. We find all within that we find without. The number and character of our friends within, bear an exact resemblance to those that are external. The number and character of our enemies within, are just as many, as immoderate and irreconcileable as those without. The world that surrounds us is the magic glass of the world within Lavater.
The Divinity is a boundless ocean of bliss and glory: human minds are smaller streams, which, arising at first from this ocean, seek, amid all their wanderings, to return to it, and so lose themselves in that immensity of perfection. When checked in this natural course by vice and folly, they become furious and enraged, and, swelling to a torrent, do then spread horror and devastation on the neighbouring plains. Hume,
If, Epicurus, this whole artful frame
And, like the flame, her flights to heaven aspire,
The human mind is symbolically called the Sun; as, whilst our mind therefore shines and exerts itself within us; spreading, as it were, a meridian light through the soul, we are then in our right senses, without any divine influx: but when the mind goes down, then a divine ecstasy and prophetic madness falls upon us; for when the divine light shines, the human sets: this rises again; and this is what usually happens to the prophetic race; for the mind is