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in the formation of man, without looking on this world as only a nursery for the next, and believing that the feveral generations of rational creatures, which rife up and disappear in fuch quick fucceffions, are only to receive their firft rudiments of existence here, and afterwards to be tranfplanted into a more friendly climate, where they may fpread and flourish to all eternity.
THERE is not, in my opinion, a more pleafing and triumphant confideration in religion, than this of the perpetual progrefs which the foul makes towards the perfection of its nature, without ever arriving at a period in it. To look upon the foul as going on from ftrength to ftrength, to confider that she is to fhine for ever with new acceffions of glory, and brighten to all eternity; that she will be still adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowledge; carries in it fomething wonderfully agreeable to that ambition which is natural to the mind of man. Nay, it must be a profpect pleafing to God himself, to fee his creation for ever beautifying in his eyes, and drawing nearer to him, by greater degrees of resemblance.
METHINKS this fingle confideration, of the progrefs of a finite spirit to perfection, will be fufficient to extinguish all envy in inferior natures, and all contempt in fuperior. That cherubim, which now appears as a God to a human foul, knows very well that the period will come about in eternity, when the human foul fhall be as perfect as he himself now is : : nay, when she shall look down upon that degree of perfection, as much as fhe now falls fhort of it. It is true, the higher nature ftill advances, and by that means preserves his distance and fuperiority in the scale of being; but he knows that, how high foever the station is of which he ftands poffeffed
feffed at prefent, the inferior nature will at length mount up to it, and shine forth in the fame degree of glory.
WITH what aftonishment and veneration may we look into our fouls, where there are fuch hidden stores of virtue and knowledge, fuch inexhaufted fources of perfection! We know not yet what we shall be, nor will it ever enter into the heart of man to conceive the glory that will be always in referve for him. The foul, confidered in relation to its Creator, is like one of those mathematical lines that may draw nearer to another for all eternity, without a posfibility of touching it: and can there be a thought so tranfporting, as to confider ourselves in thefe perpetual approaches to Him, who is not only the standard of perfection, but of happiness!
CHA P. V.
BEING OF A GOD.
ETIRE; The world fhut out;-Thy thoughts
Imagination's airy wing reprefs ;
Lock up thy fenfes ;-Let no paffion stir ;
Wake all to Reafon ;-Let her reign alone ;
Then, in thy Soul's deep filence, and the depth
WHAT am I? and from whence ?-I nothing know,
Of that long-chain'd fucceffion is fo frail;
Can every part depend, and not the whole?
I'm ftill quite out at fea; nor see the shore.
Whence earth, and these bright orbs?-Eternal too?—
Would want fome other Father;-Much defign
To dance, would form an univerfe of duft:
Has matter none? Then whence these glorious forms,
ORATIONS AND HARANGUES,
JUNIUS BRUTUS OVER THE DEAD BODY OF
YES, noble lady, I fwear by this blood, which was once
fo pure, and which nothing but royal villainy could have polluted, that I will purfue Lucius Tarquinius the proud, his wicked wife, and their children, with fire and fword: nor will I ever fuffer any of that family, or of any other whatsoever, to be King in Rome. Ye Gods, I call you to witness this my oath!-There, Romans, turn your eyes to that fad spectacle-the daughter of Lucretius, Collatinus's wife-she died by her own hand. See there a noble lady, whom the luft of a Tarquin reduced to the neceffity of being her own executioner, to atteft her innocence. Hofpitably entertained by her as a kinfman of her husband's, Sextus, the perfidious gueft, became her brutal ravisher. The chafte, the generous Lucretia could not furvive the infult. Glorious woman!
woman! But once only treated as a flave, fhe thought life no longer to be endured. Lucretia, a woman, disdained a life that depended on a tyrant's will; and fhall we, fhall men, with fuch an example, before our eyes, and after five and twenty years of ignominious fervitude, fhall we, through a fear of dying, defer one fingle inftant to affert our liberty? No, Romans, now is the time; the favourable moment we have fo long waited for is come. Tarquin is not at Rome. The Patricians are at the head of the enterprize. The city it abundantly provided with men, arms, and all things neceffary. There is nothing wanting to fecure the success, if our own courage does not fail us. And all thofe warriors, who have ever been so brave when foreign enemies were to be fubdued, or when conquefts were to be made to gratify the ambition and avarice of Tarquin, be then only cowards, when they are to deliver themselves from flavery? Some of you are perhaps intimidated by the army which Tarquin now commands. The foldiers, you imagine, will take the part of their general. Banish fo groundless a fear. The love of liberty is natural to all men. Your fellow-citizens in the camp feel the weight of oppreffion with as quick a fense as you that are in Rome: they will as eagerly feize the occafion of throwing off the yoke. But let us grant there may be fome among them, who, through bafenefs of fpirit, or a bad education, will be disposed to favour the tyrant. The number of these can be but fmall, and we have means fufficient in our hands to reduce them to reafon. They have left us hoflages more dear to them than life. Their wives their children, their fathers, their mothers, are here in the city. Courage, Romans, the Gods are for us; thofe Gods, whofe temples and altars the impious Tarquin has profaned by sacrifices and libations made with polluted hands, polluted