« AnteriorContinuar »
about your Path t, when you take your midnight Range; is about your Bed, when you indulge the loofe Defire; and fpies out all your Ways, be they ever fo fecretly conducted, of artfully disguised.
SOME Minutes ago, a Passenger croffed along the Road. His Horfe's Foot ftruck the Ground, and fetched Fire from a Flint. My Eye, tho' at a Diftance, catched the View; and faw, with great Clearness, the bright Sparkles: Of which, had I been ever fo near, I fhould not have difcerned the leaft Glimpfe, under the Blaze of Day. So, when Sickness has drawn a Veil D 2
The original Words are much stronger than the Tranflation. and fignify, Thou fifteft my Path, and art familiarly or intimately acquainted with all my Ways. The former, I apprehend, denoting the exact Cognizance which the Almighty taketh, the latter implying the conftant InSpection which He exercifeth over all the Circumftances of our Conduct. Pfal. cxxxix. 2.
I beg Leave to inform the young Gentleman, whofe Name dignifies my Dedication, That this was a Remark of his honoured Father, when we rode together, and converfed in a dusky Evening. I mention this Circumftance, partly, to fecure the Paragraph from Contempt; partly, to give Him and the World an Idea of that eminently ferious Tafte, which diftinguished my deceased Friend.- -The lefs obvious the Reflection, the more clearly it discovers a
over the Gaiety of our Hearts, when Misfortunes have eclipfed the Splendor of our outward Circumftances; how many important Convictions present themselves with the brightest Evidence? Under the Sunfhine of Profperity they lay undiscovered; but, when fome intervening Cloud has darkned the Scene, they emerge out of their Obfcurity, and even glitter upon our Minds. Then the World, that delufive Cheat, confeffes her Emptiness; but JESUS, the bright and Morning-Star, beams forth with inimitable Luftre. Then, Vice lofes all her fallacious Allurements; that painted Strumpet is horrible as the Hags of Hell; but Virtue, defpifed Virtue, gains Lovelinefs from a louring Providence, and treads the Shades with more than mortal Charms.-May this reconcile me, and all the Sons of Sorrow, to our appointed Share of Suffering. If Tribulation tend to diffipate the inward Darkness, and pour heavenly Day upon our Minds; welcome Distress; welcome Disappointment; welcome whatever our froward Flesh, or peevish Paffions, would mifcal Calamities. These light Afflictions, which are but for a Moment, shall
Turn of Mind remarkably fpiritual; which would fuffer nothing to efcape, without yielding fome religious Improvement: And the meaner the Incident, the more admirable was that Fertility of Imagination, which could deduce the nobleft Truths from the moft trivial. Occurences
fit eafy upon our Spirits; fince they befriend our Knowledge, promote our Faith, and fo "work out for us a far more exceeding and eter"nal Weight of Glory *."
How has this Darkness fnatched every splendid and graceful Object from my Sight? It has dafhed the Sponge over the Pictures of Spring, and destroyed all the delicate Diftinctions of Things. Where are now the fine Tinges, that fo lately charmed me from the glowing Parterre ? The Blush is ftruck out from the Cheeks of the Rofe, and the fnowy Hue is dropt from the Lily. I caft my Eyes toward a magnificent Seat; but the aspiring Columns, and fair-exD 3 panded
2 Cor. iv. 17, The great Stephens, that Oracle of Grecian Learning, tranflates our Apostle's Phrase -xal' vπè¡CoλNν, Qua nihil magis dici aut fingi poteft. But how does the Senfe rife? How is the Idea inlarged, under Two fuch forcible Expreffions? The whole Verfe is a Masterpiece of the beautiful Antithefis, the lively Defcription, and the nervous Diction. It is one of thofe noble Paffages in the infpired Writtings, which, like fome rich aromatic Plants, cannot be transferred from their own generous and native Soil, without being impaired in their Vivacity, and lofing much of their Delicacy. Perhaps, the following Verfion may be fomewhat lefs injurious to the facred Original, than the common Tranflation; Our very light Affliction, which is but just for the prefent Moment, worketh out a far more exceeding, an incomparably great, and eternal Weight of Glory.
panded Front, are mingled in rude Confufion. Without the Sun, all the Elegance of the blooming World is a mere Blank, all the Symmetry of Architecture a shapeless Heap.
Is not this an expreffive Emblem of the Lovelinefs, which the Sun of Righteousness transfuses into all that is amiable? Was it not for JESUS and his Merits, I fhould figh with Anguish of Spirit, even while I rove through Ranks of the most beautiful Flowers, or breathe amidst a Wilderness of Sweets. Was it not for JESUS and his Merits, I fhould roam, like fome difconfolate Spectre, even through the Smiles of Creation, and the Careffes of Fortune. My Converfation in this World, though dreffed in the most engaging Forms of external Pleasure, would be like the Paffage of a condemned Malefactor through enamelled Meadows, and Bowers of Blifs, to be broke upon the Wheel, or tortured to Death on the Rack. But a daily Reflection on the LAMB's atoning Blood; a comfortable Trust that my Soul is reconciled through this glorious Expiation; this is the Ray, the golden Ray, that irradiates the Face of the Universe. This is the Oil of Beauty, which makes all Things wear a chearful Afpect; and the Oil of Gladness, which difpofes the Spectator to behold them with
Delight. This, this, is the fecret Charm, that teaches Nature, in all her Operations, so exquifitely to please.
"MAN goeth forth to his Work, and to his "Labour, till the Evening." But then his Strength fails; his Spirits flag; and he ftands in need, not only of fome Refpite from Toil, but of fome kindly and fovereign Refreshments.What an admirable Provifion for this Purpose, is Sleep? Sleep introduces a moft welcome Vacation, both for the Soul and Body. The Exercifes of the Brain, and the Labours of the Hands, are at once difcontinued. So that the weary Limbs repair their exhaufted Vigour, while the D 4 penfive
Thus applied, that fine Piece of Flattery, addreffed to the Heathen Emperor, is strictly and literally true.
Vultus ubi tuus
Affulfit populo, gratior it dies,
Which I would caft in a Chriftian Mould, and thus tranflate;
When Faith prefents the Saviour's Death,
While fuch my Views, the radiant Sun