Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

other. When freer and more through the Saviour of mankind; cheerful minds have not had oc, by interceding for our fellowcasion to see it accompanied with creatures ; by praying for the prothose feelings of delight and be. pagation and embellishment of nevolence which naturally attend truth, righteousness, and peace on it, they are apt to be prejudiced earth ; in fine, by longing for a against piety at large, by mistake more entire conformity to the ing this ungracious appearance will of God, and breathing alter for its genuine form: Nor has the everlasting enjoyment of his the rant of vulgar enthusiasts con- friendthip. The effects of such tributed a little to beget or a spirit habitually cherished, and strengthen the same aversion, in feelingly expressed before him, persons of a cool and speculative with conceptions more or less entemper į who have happened to larged and elevated, in language meet with such images and phra- niore or less emphatic and accuses among religionists of a certain rate, fententious, or diffuse, must strain, as ill suit the rational; pure, surely be important and happy. and spiritual nature of true devo Among these effects, may be tion. It may likewife be remark. reckoned a profound humility in ed on the other side, that people of the fight of God, a high venerataste and sensibility have not fel- tion for his presence and attridom been disgusted with the in- butes, an ardent zeal for his worsipid style too often employed on ship and honour, an affectionate such subjects, by those who pof- faith in the Saviour of the world, sess neither, or who purposely a constant imitation of his divine avoid every thing of that kind, example, a diffufive charity for from an aim at simplicity misun men of all denominations, a genderstood, or perhaps from a fear erous and unwearied self-denial of being thought too warm, in an for the sake of virtue and society, age of fashionable indifference, a total resignation to Providence, and faise refinement.

an increasing efteem for the gofWherever the vital and una- pel, with clearer and firmer hopes dulterated spirit of Christian de- of that immortal life which it votion prevails, its immediate has brought to light. It is of object will be to please Him, the last importance to seafon the whom we were made to please, passions of a child with devotion, by adoring his perfections; by which feldom dies in a mind that admiring his works and ways ; has received an early tincture of by entertaining with reverence it. Though it may seem extinand complacence the various in. guished for a while by the cares timations of his pleasure, especials of the world, the heats of youth, ly those contained in holy writ; or the allurements of vice, it by acknowledging our absolute generally breaks out and discovers dependence, and infinite obliga. itself again as soon as discretion, tions; by confesling and lament- consideration, age, or misfortunes ing the disorders of our nature, have brought the man to himself. and the transgressions of our lives; The fire ma

be covered and by imploring his grace and mercy overlaid, but cannot be entirely B

quenched

quenched and smothered. A concurrent causes ; but which, state of temperance, sobriety and ever of them shall be asligned as justice without devotion, is a cold, the principle of divine worship, lifeless, insipid condition of vir- it manife#ly points to the Sutue ; and is rather to be styled preme Being as the first author philosophy than religion. Devo- of it. The devotional taste, tion opens the mind to great con like all other tastes, has had the ceptions, and fills it with more. hard fate to be condemned as a sublime ideas than any that are weakness by all who are stranto be met with in the most exalt- gers to its joys and influences. ed science ; and at the same time. Too much and too frequent ocwarms and agitates the soul more casion has been given, to turn than sensual pleasure. It has this subject into ridicule. A been observed by some writers, heated and devout imagination, that man is more distinguished when not under the direction of from the animal world by devo a very sound understanding, is tion than by reason, lince several apt to run very wild, and is at brute creatures discover in their the same time impatient to pubactions something like a faint lish all its follies to the world. glimmering of reason, though The feelings of a devout heart they betray in no fingle cir- should be mentioned with great cumstance of their behaviour, reserve and delicacy, as they deany thing that bears the least af- pend upon private experience, finity to devotion. It is certain, and certain circumstances of the propensity of the mind to re mind and situation, which the ligious worship, the natural ten world can neither know nor dency of the soul to fly to some judge of. But devotional writsuperior being for succour in dan- ings, executed with judgment gers and distresses, the gratitude and taste, are not only highly

an invisible superintendant, useful, but to all, who have a which rises in us upon receiving true sense of religion, peculiarly any extraordinary and unexpect- engaging. The devotional spired good fortune, the acts of love it, united to good sense, and a and admiration, with which the cheerful temper, gives that steathoughts of men are so wonder- diness to virtue, which it always fully transported in meditating wants when produced and supupon divine perfections, and the ported by good natural disposiuniversal concurrence of all the tions only. It corrects and hunations under heaven in the great manizes those constitutional vices, article of adoration, plainly shew which it is not able entirely to that devotion or religious wor subdue ; and though it too often ship, muit be the effect of a tra fails to render men perfectly virdition from some first founder of tuous, it preserves them from bemankind, or that it is conform- coming utterly abandoned. It able to the natural light of rea has, besides, the most favourable fon, or that it proceeds from an

influence on all the passive virinstinct implanted in the soul it tues ; it gives a softness and sen felf. Perhaps all thefe may be fibility to the heart, and a mild

ness

to

ness and gentleness to the man- port to the mind, to cheer the ners ; but above all, it produces soul, when all others shall have universal charity, and love to

lost their influence. The greatmankind, however different in est inconvenience, indeed, that station, country, or religion. attends devotion, is its taking There is a sublime, yet tender hold of the affections, as fomemelancholy, almoft the universal times threatens the extinguishing attendant on genius, which is of every other active principle of too åpt to degenerate into gloom the mind. For when the devoand disgust with the world. De- tional spirit falls in with a mel. votion is admirably calculated to ancholy temper, it is too apt to soothe the mind, while it seems depress the mind entirely, to to indulge it, to those prospects fink it to the weakest fuperftiwhich calm

every murmur of tion, and to produce a total rediscontent, and diffuse a cheer- tirement and abstraction from the fulness over the darkest hours of world, and all the duties of life. human life.- Persons in the pride We cannot conclude this article of health and spirits, who are without adding the remark of a keen in the pursuits of pleasure, popular author, which may recinterest or ambition, have either oncile perfons of a certain taste no ideas on this subject, or treat to devotion. We are obliged, it as the enthusiasm of a weak says he, to devotion, for the nomind. But this really shews bleft buildings that have adorngreat narrowness of understand. ed the several countries of the ing; a very little reflection and world. acquaintance with nature might It is this which has set men teach them, on how precarious a at work on temples, and places foundation their boasted inde- of public worship, not only that pendence on religion is built, the they might for the magnificence thousand nameless accidents that of the building, invite the Deity may destroy it ; and that though to reside within it, but that such for fome years they should escape ftupendous works might, at the these, yet that time must impair fame time, open the mind to the the greatest vigour of health and vast conceptions, and fit it to conspirits, and deprive them of all verse with the divinity of the those objects for which, at pref- place. For every thing that is ent, they think life only worth majestic, imprints an awfulness enjoying. It should seem there- and reverence on the mind of the fore very necessary to secure some beholder, and strikes in with the permanent object, some real fup- patural greatness of the soul.

FOR THE COLUMBIAN PHENIX. THE HERMIT OK VIRGINIA, No. I. IN the time of the late Ameri- terior part of Virginia, they dis

difcan war, as a party of soldiers covered a cave of singular apwere traversing a forest in the in- pearance, which attracted their

attention.

attention. It bore the aspect of a garment of fable crape shrouded a regular improvement of art up his withered limbs ; his white on the almost perfections of pa locks hung over his shoulders,and turę. It was a lirele hillock in his filvery beard fell down upon the side of a small rocky moun. hiş breast. At the sight of the tain ; a compact, but beautiful strangers he started fuddenly from green spread itself around the his reyerie, and addreffed them care, interspersed with various in an unknown language ; they kinds of fruit trees; and a small stared at each other, for some but well cultivated garden ap- seconds, with much surprise ; peared in the midst, wherein arose the Hermit then spake to them a spring of excellent water : in hastily, in broken English, Who a folitary corner of the plain à are you? Why am I interrupted weeping willow Kung its inverted What do you want ?? The ofbranches, and mourned to the ficer of the party answered, fighing winds. The entrance to “ Father, we come not to do the cave was obstructed by the you haşm; chance has discover. twisting wild briar, interweaving ed to us your retreat; and curiits vines with the boughs of a osity led us into your dwelling : thorn" tree' ; under this was a If we have transgreffed we beg small aperture, through which a your pardon, and will retire if mán might enter by bending to our presence is disagrecable or inthe ground.

convenient ; but before we de. Smitten with fo romantic a part I beg the fayqur to offer scene, far in the wilderness, the you any affistance you desire, soldiers determined to enter and which is in our power to grant. inspect the cave ; the mouth I want nothing, replied the thereof they found barricadoed Hermit, and immediately fat with stones and pillars of wood ; down and resumed his studies these were removed, and they en: ' por could they prevail on him to tered the first

part of the

cavern, utter another word ; convinced It was a grotto stored with fruit that their company gave him unand roots, with a few rough an- eafinefs, they withdrew, and the tiquated implements of husbandry Hermit closed the doors after and materials for cooking : they them. followed a winding dark alley On their return to camp, they that led to a kind of door, which put up at a village upon the boropened into a small room that ders of the forest, about ten " appeared as if it was hewn out of miles from the hermitage, where a folid white rock, illuminated they related their adventures ; by several loop holes cut through the people informed them that the same. In one corner of this they had known this Hermit for cavern sat the venerable figure of several years, but how or when a man, on a ftool, poring over à he came there, or where he came book of, to them, unintelligible from, no one could tell; they characters ; a sort of table stood esteemed him as a kind of prophbeside him, and a couch with a et ; he had foretold many events mat of flags covered with leaves; which took place in the time

of

of the American war, long officer was journeying near the before they happened; they had place, he heard that the Hermit frequently offered him asistance, was dead; curiosity led him to the which was commonly refused, cell, when, in a niche of the rock, and when accepted he never he discovered a small box, conshewed any signs of gratitude to taining a bundle of manufcript his benefactors ; nor even thank- papers, written in the German ed them for their favours; he had language ; he brought them bome commonly made it his practice with him and procured a friend once a year to visit the sea-port, to translate them; they were and at no other time was known principally copies of letters, from to mingle with society. So fin- the Hermit to his friend in Gergular a character wrought such many, by which it was discoveran impression on the mind of the ed that he was a German by officer of the party, that he deter- birth, and on account of some mined to become more acquaint- youthful misfortunes he had ed with the Hermit, and for this chosen his present retreat. purpose, frequently visited his An obliging correspondent has cell, while he remained in those promised to favour the Editor of parts, but could never induce the Columbian Phenix with these him to converfe on any subject, papers, which will be regularly or make any further discoveries. presented to the public. Several years afterwards, as this

THE GENEROUS CARIB.

[From a late European Publication.] ON one of those happy islands morning of his days in a regular whose ever-verdant hores are fucceffion of innocent amuse. laved by the billows of the Wef ments. As he sat on the rock, tern Ocean; where nations, false. he warbled in untaught numbers, ly called ciyilized, never carried while his eyes wandered over the the desolating sword of conquest; extensive ocean, and marked the in the bofom of a thick grove of progress of the distant fails immangoes, the generous Orra had merging, disappearing, or taking fixed his habitation. From the different directions. He looked hour his eyes first beheld the light on those as the ordinary producof heaven, he had been accustom- tions of nature, though ignorant ed only to the fame delightful of their properties or their utilispot. From infancy he had been ty ; nor deemed them other taught day by day to travel the than what they seemed-vast oblands, and fupply the wants of obje&ts floating on the unstable nature from the finny produc- billows, without cause or withtions of the deep. Unaccustom- out effect. He observed the ed to the toils of cultivation, or mighty orb of day rise in all its the cares of traffic, he spent the majesty, and descend in all its

magnificence,

« ZurückWeiter »