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One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading,
MILTON'S PARADISE REGAINED.
It only remains now to speak of the prevention and cure of blasphemous thoughts. Here it must be premised, that these being for the most part injections of Satan, no effectual remedy can be prescribed with respect to them, any more than with regard to his other devices. Do what we will, he may continue to vex, though he may not be permitted to hurt us. We are exhorted to wash our hearts from wickedness, that corruption being more subdued, Satan might not find so much upon which to fasten his temptations. It is the foulness of our hearts that gives him such an advantage; keep, therefore, your hearts with all diligence, and find out the special causes and occasions of such wicked thoughts.
Imagination, employed in its most trivial exertion, is often called fancy. A sublime poet is a man of vast imagination, a witty author is a person of lively fancy.
Imagination has no limits, and is a sphere which you may move on to eternity.
Imagination is a boundless, restless faculty, free from all engage ments; it digs without a spade; sails without ships; flies without wings; builds without expense; fights without bloodshed; striding in a moment from the centre to the circumference of the world; by a kind of omnipotency, creating and annihilating things in an instant; and marrying things divorced in nature.
The ethereal flame of imagination requires a conductor as much as an electric fluid.
By the flattering pencil of imagination the cold skeleton of abstract reasoning assumes living and vermillion flesh; by that, the sciences flourish and are embellished; woods speak, echoes sigh, rocks weep, marble breathes, and all inanimate bodies are inspired with life; it is that which adds to the tenderness of an amorous heart, and poignant taste of pleasures. Man a Machine.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
This is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
The poet's eye, in a fine phrenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The form of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
In poetry, imagination deifies the striking objects of nature; soars into an ideal world; aggrandizes temporal beings; assembles scattered lines of beauty; creates unknown essences; and (astonished at its own work) takes its visions at last for realities.
Bitusbé on the marvellous. The delight of sensual intercourse is ascribed chiefly to the imagination. Were it not for this, a man would be as happy in the arms of a chambermaid as a duchess; which is not the case.
Dr. S. Johnson.
Imagination, in a poet, a faculty so wild and lawless, that, like a bigh-ranging spaniel, it must have clogs to it, lest it out-run the judgment. Dryden.
When nature's meaner springs,
Fir'd to impetuous ferments, break all order ;
Tyrants in sov'reign uproar, and impose
Of non-existents and impossibles;
Who can describe them? fragments of old dreams,
Borrow'd from midnight, torn from fairy fields
And dance and riot wild in reason's court,
Where seas and skies are blended, while my soul,
Ah, when will these tumultuous scenes be gone?
And pay their duties to the ruling mind.
By imagination, we understand a creating power, possessed by the mind, enabling it to form numberless ideas, which are not the
immediate result of external impressions, or of recollection. By the imagination, every man creates thoughts; they are entirely his own, and they might never have existed, had they not occurred to his individual mind. It is by the force of imagination that certain images, fancies, and conceits, frequently present themselves, although they may not be authorized by reason, nor have any prototype in nature. Cogan.
Imagination is properly the act of the mind, which assembles, compounds, and divides its ideas out in the order in which they first came into the mind: for that is the province of memory; but in any order, and upon any principle it chooses. It ranges abroad through the immense magazine and repository of ideas treasured up there; aud joins together, or separates, at pleasure, ideas, qualities, and forms. It may be called the servant, or labourer of the mind, continually employed to bring before it its amazing storehouse of materials, with which it builds up its conclusions, It is the patient drudge, toiling for the common benefit and assistance of all other powers. Without imagination, we cannot reason. The office of the understanding is merely that of the judge, to pass sentence upon the cause before it; the imagination collects and arranges the evidence, and brings it before the deciding power, in such a form as may lead to an accurate and judicious determination.
Barnes's Manchester Memoirs. Imagination, not being tied to the laws of matter, it may, at pleasure, join that which nature hath severed, and sever that which nature hath joined. Lord Bacon.
Imagination sometimes puts sceptres into our hands, or mitres on our beads; shifts the scene of pleasure with endless variety; bids all the forms of beauty sparkle before us; and gluts us with every change of visionary luxury. Idler.
After all, imagination is but transient; the gay colouring which it gives at the first glance, you lose, when brought into execution; like those various figures in the gilded clouds, which while we gaze long upon, to separate the parts of each imaginary image, the whole faints before the eye, and decays into confusion. Pope's Letters.
Come, let us reason together, saith the Lord.
The word Reason, in the English language, has different significations; sometimes it is taken for true and clear principles; some times for clear and fair deductions from those principles; and sometimes for the cause, and particularly the final cause. But the consideration I shall have of it here, is in a signification different from all these: and that is, as it stands for a faculty in man; that faculty whereby man is supposed to be distinguished from beasts, and wherein it is evident he much surpasses them.
Why am I led thus captive by my will,
While reason, faithful guide, for ever warns
To break the yoke! Reason, resume thy sway,
Inspire my soul with ev'ry heavenly thought,
And show me wisdom's paths; direct my steps,
Deprived of reason, we should differ in nothing, but in shape, from the brutes! and unless that reason is in the mind, what a poor and defective animal is man! He must feel wants which he knows not how to supply; he must be deprived of advantages, for which he can receive no possible compensation. Were he to enjoy all the animal and all the social pleasures, he would still find a vacuity. It is essential, therefore, for his happiness, that the mind should be cultivated, by means of a proper education; and that every individual, according to the situation in which he is likely to be placed, should be enabled to partake of those mental pleasures, to which the human species is entitled.