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it: Religion and virtue are the great phyficians of the soul; patience and resignation are the nursing-mothers of the human heart in sickness and in sorrow; conscience can smooth the pillow under an aching head, and Christian hope administers a cordial even in our last moments, that lulls the agonies of death : But where is the need of these had this discovery been established ? why call in physicians and refort to cordials, if we can hold danger at a distance without their help? I am to presume therefore, that every human being, who makes his own will his master, and goes
all lengths in gratifying his guilty passions without restraint, must rely upon his own will for keeping him out of all danger of future trouble, or he would never commit himself fo confi. dentially and entirely to a master, which can give him no security in return for his blind obedience and devotion : All persons of this description I accordingly set down in the lump as converts to the doctrine of the learned gentleman, who advanced the interesting discovery above-mentioned, but who unluckily missed some step in the proof, that was to have established it. B 2
To what lengths of credulity they may really go is hard to say, but some such hopes as these must buoy them up, because I cannot think that any man would be wilfully wicked, fraudulent, perfidious, avaricious, cruel, or whatever else is detestable in the eye of God, if he saw death, his messenger, at the door ; and I am even unwilling to believe, that he would be wantonly guilty, was he only convinced, that when death shall come to the door, he must be obliged to admit him ; for if this be so, and if admission may not be denied, then hath death a kind of visitatorial power over us, which makes him not a guest to be invited at our pleasure, but a lord and master of the house, to enter it as his own, and (which is worst of all) without giving notice to us to provide for his entertainment. What man is fuch a fool in common life, as to take up his abode in a tenement, of which he is sure to be difpoffefsed, and yet neglect to prepare himself against a surprise, which he is subject to every moment of the day and night? We are not apt to overlook our own interests and safety in worldly concerns, and therefore when the soul is given
up to fin, I must suspect fome error in the brain.
What shall I say to persuade the inconsiderate that they exist upon the precarious sufferance of every moment, that passes over them in fucceffion? how-shall I warn a giddy fool not to play his antick tricks and caper on the very utmost edge of a precipice? Who will guide the reeling drunkard in his path, and teach him to avoid the grave-stones of his fellow-fots, set up by death as márks and signals to apprise him of his danger? If the voice of nature, deposing to the evidence of life's deceitful tenure from the beginning of things to the moment present, will neither gain audience nor belief, what can the moralist expect ?
Which of all those þeadlong voluptuaries, who seemn in such hafte to get to the end of life, is possessed of the art of prolonging it at pleasure ? to whom has the secret been imparted ? Either they are deceived by a vain hope of evading death, or there is something in a life of dissipation not worth preserving. I am astonished at the stupidity of any man, who can deny himself the gratification of conícious integrity : The proud man must
be a consummate blockhead to take such wearisome pains for a little extorted flattery of the most servile fort, and overlook. the ready means of gaining general respect upon
the noblest terms: Is it not an abuse of language and an insult to common sense for a filly fellow to announce himself to the world as a man of pleasure, when there is not an action in his life, but leaves a fting behind it to belye the character he professes ? Can one fellow-creature find amusement in tormenting another? Is it possible there can be a recreation in malice, when it Nanders the innocent; in fraud, when it cheats the unsuspecting; in perfidy, when it betrays a benefaaor? If any being, who does me wrong, will justify himself against the wrong by confessing, that he takes delight in injury, I will own to one instance of human depravity, which till that Niall happen I will persist to hope is not in existence : The fact is that all men have that respect for justice, that they attempt to shelter their
worst actions under it's defence; and even those contemptible pilferers of reputation, who would be as much unknown by their names as they are by the concealment of them,
qualify (I am persuaded) the dirty deed they are about by some convenient phantom of offence in the character they assault ; even their hands cannot be raised to strike without prefacing the blow by saying to themfelves—This man deserves to die. Foolish wretches, what computation must they make of life, who devote so great a portion of it to miseries and reproaches of their own creating!
Let a rational creature for once talk common sense to himself, and if no better words than the following occur to his thoughts, let him make use of them; he is heartily welcome to the loan.
“ I know there is a period in approach, “ when I must encounter an enemy to my
life, whose power is irresistible: This is a
very serious thing for me to reflect upon, “and knowing it to be a truth infallible, I “ am out of hope, that I can so far forget “ the terms of my existence, as totally to ex
pel it from my thoughts: If I could fore“ see the precise hour, when this enemy will
come, I would provide against it as well “ as I am able, and fortify my mind to re“ ceive him with such complacency