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As towering flame from Nature's funeral pyre :
750 Well pleased to learn from Thunder's impotence, Death's pointless darts, and Hell's defeated storms.'
But these chimeras touch not thee, Lorenzo ! The glories of the world thy sevenfold shield. Other ambition than of crowns in air,
755 And superlunary felicities, Thy bosom warms. I'll cool it, if I can; And turn those glories that enchant, against thee. What lies thee to this life proclaims the next. If wise, the cause that wounds thee is thy cure. 760
Come, my Ambitious ! let us mount together, (To mount Lorenzo never can refuse !) And from the clouds, where Pride delights to dwell, Look down on earth.- What seest thou ? wondrous
things ! Terrestrial wonders, that eclipse the skies. 765 What lengths of labour'd lands; what loaded seas ! Loaded by man for pleasure, wealth, or war! Seas, winds, and planets, into service brought, His art acknowledge, and promote his ends. Nor can the' eternal rocks his will withstand : What level'd mountains ! and what lifted vales ! O'er vales and mountains sumptuous cities swell, And gild our landscape with their glittering spires. Some mid the wondering waves majestic rise, And Neptune holds a mirror to their charms. 775 Far greater still ! (what cannot mortal might ?) See, wide dominions ravish'd from the deep! The narrow'd deep with indignation foams. Or southward turn, to delicate and grand, The finer arts there ripen in the Sun.,
730 How the tall temples, as to meet their gods, Ascend the skies! the proud triumphal arch Shows us half heaven beneath its ample bend. High through mid air, here streams are taught to flow,
Whole rivers there, laid by in basons, sleep. 785 Here plains turn oceans; there vast oceans join, Through kingdoms channel'd deep from shore to shore, And changed Creation takes its face from man. Beats thy brave breast for formidable scenes, Where fame and empire wait upon the sword ? 790 See fields in blood; hear naval thunders rise ; Britannia's voice! that awes the world to peace. How yon enormous mole projecting breaks The mid-sea, furious waves! their roar amidst Outspeaks the Deity, and says, 'O Main ! 795 Thus far, nor farther; new restraints obey.' Earth's disembowel'd! measured are the skies! Stars are detected in their deep recess ! Creation widens! vanquish'd Nature yields ! Iler secrets are extorted ! Art prevails !
800 What monument of genius, spirit, power!
And now, Lorenzo ! raptured at this scene,
To fiatter thy grand foible, I confess
PREFACE. As we are at war with the power, it were well if we were at war with the manners of France. A land of levity is a land of guilt. A serious mind is the native soil of every virtue, and the single character that does true honour to mankind. The soul's immortality has been the favourite theme with the serious of all ages. Nor is it strange : it is a subject by far the most interesting and important that can enter the mind of man. Of highest moment this subject always was, and always will be : yet this its highest moment seems to admit of increase at this day; a sort of occasional importance is superadded to the natural weight of it, if that opinion which is advanced in the Preface to the preceding Night be just. It is there supposed that all our Infidels (whatever scheme, for argument's sake, and to keep themselves in countenance, they patronize) are etrayed 'into their deplo crror by some doubt of their immortality at the bottom : and the more I consider this point, the more I am persuaded of the truth of that opinion. Though the distrust of a futurity is a strange error, yet it is an error into which bad men may naturally be distressed; for it is impossible to bid defiance to final ruin, with out some refuge in imagination, some presumption of escape, And what presumption is there ? there are but two in Nature; but two within the compass of human thought; and these are, --That either God will not or cannot punish. Considering the divine attributes, the first is too gross to be digested by our strongest wishes; and, since Omnipotence is as much a divine attribute as Holiness, that God cannot punish is as absurd a supposition as the former. God certainly can punish, as long as wicked men exist. In nonexistence, therefore, is their only refuge; and, consequently, nonexistence is their strongest wish; and strong wishes have a strange influence on our opinions ; they brąs the judgment in a manner almost incredi'ble. And since, on this member of their alternative there are some very small apnearances in their favour, and none at all
on the other, they catch at this reed, they lay hold on this chimera, to save themselves from the shock and horror of an immediate and absolute despair.
On reviewing my subject, by the light which this argument, and others of like tendency, threw upon it, I was more inclined than ever to pursue it, as it appeared to me to strike directly at the main root of all our infidelity. In the following pages it is, accordingly, pursued at large, and some arguments for immortality, new at least to me, are ventured on in them. There, also, the writer has made an attempt to set the gross absurdities and horrors of annihilation in a fuller and more affecting view than is (I think) to be met with elsewhere.
The gentlemen for whose sake this attempt was chiefly made, profess great admiration for the wisdom of heathen antiquity : what pity it is they are not sincere! If they were sincere, how would it mortify them to consider with what contempt and abhorrence their notions would have been received by those whom they so much admire. What degree of contempt and abhorrence would fall to their share, may be conjectured by the following matter of fact (in my opinion,) extremely memorable. Of all their heathen worthies, Socrates (it is well known) was the most guarded, dispassionate, and composed; yet this great master of temper was angry, and argry at his last hour ; and angry with his friend; and angry for what deserved acknowledgment; angry for a right and tender instance of true friendship towards him. Is not this surprising ? what could be the cause ?— The cause was for his honour : It was a truly noble, though, perhaps, a too punctilious regard for Immortality : for his friend asking him, with such an affectionate concern as became a friend, 'Where he should deposit his remains ?' it was resented by Socrates, as implying a dishonourable supposition, that he could be so mean as to have regard for any thing, even in himself, that was not immorta).
This fact, well considered, would make our infidels withdraw their admiration from Socrates, or make them endeavour, hy their imitation of his illustrious example, to share his glory; and consequently, it would incline them to peruse the jollowing with candour and impartiality : which is all I desire: . and that, for their sakes : for I am persuaded that an unprejudiced infidel must; necessarily, receive some advantageous impressions from them.
OF THE SEVENTH NIGHT.
In the trw Night, arguments were drawn from Nature in proof
of Imini wlity: here, others are drawn from Man; from his dis-
reasut, from his fear of death; from the nature of hope, and