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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 im. mortality, new at least to me, are ventured on in them. There, al:0, the writer has made an attempt to set the gross absurdi. ties 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 con. tempt and abhorrence their notions would have been received by those whom they so much admire. What degree of contempt and abhorrence would fall 10 their share, may be conjectured by the following matter of fact (iu 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 caiise ?—The cause was for his honour : !t 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 ?' il was resented by Socrates, as implying a dishonourable supposition, that he could be so incan as to have regard for any thing, even in himself, that was not immorta).
This fact, well considered, would make our infidels wiin. draw their admiration from Socrates, or make them endea. vour, by their imitation of his illustrious example, to share his glory; and consequently, it would incline them to peruse the following with candour and impartiality: which is all I desire and that, for their sakes : for I am persuaded that an unpreju diced infidel must; necessarily, receive some advantageous inpressions froin them.
July 7, 1744.
OF THE SEVENTH NIGHT.
In the Sixth Night, arguments were drawn froin Nature in proof
of Immortality: hero, others are drawn from Man; from his discontent; from his passions and powers; from the gradual growth of reason ; from his fear of death; from the naturo of hope, and of virtue; from knowledge and love, as being the most essential properties of the soul: from the order of creation; from the na ture of ambition, avarice, pleasure.-A digression on the
gran deur of the passions.-Immortality alone renders our present state intelligible.- An objoction from the Stoics' disbelief of Im. mortality answered.--Endless questions unresolvable, but on supposition of our immortality. The natural, most melancholy, and pathetic coinpluint of a worthy inan, under the persuasion of no futurity.—The gross absurdities and horrors of annihilation urged home on Lorenzo.—The soul's vast importance; from wlience it arises, &c.--The difficulty of being an Infidel; the infamy; the cause; and the character of an infidel state.-What true free-thinking is; the necessary punishment of the false. Man's ruin is from himself.—An Infidel accuses himself of guilt and hypocrisy, and that of the worst sort; his obligations to Christians: what danger he incurs by virtue; vice recommended to him; his high pretences to virtue and benevolence exploded. – The conclusion, on the nature of faith, reason, and hope; with au apology for this attempt.
THE INFIDEL RECLAIMED.
PART THE SECOND.
HEAVEN gives the needful, but neglected cail.
0 Pope, who couldst make immortals ! art thou dead ? I give thee joy ; nor will I take my leave, So soon to follow. Man but dives in death, Dives from the sun, in fairer day to rise ; his cubterranean road to bliss.
10 Yes, infinite indulgence plann’d it so ; Through various parts our glorious story runs ; Time gives the preface, endless age unrolls The volume (ne'er unroli’d) of human fate.
This, earth and skies* already have proclaim'd. 15 The world's a prophecy of worlds to come, And who, what God foretels (who speaks in things Still louder than in words) shall dare deny ? If Nature's arguments appear too weak, Turn a new leaf, and stronger read in man. 20 If man sleeps on, untaught by what he sees, Can he prove infidel to what he feels ? He, whose blind thought futurity denier, Unconscious bears, Bellerophon! like thee, Ilis own indictment; he condemns hiniself : 25 Who reads his bosom, reads immortal life ; Or Nature there, imposing on her sons, flas written fabies : man was made a lie.
* See Night the Sixth.
Why discrontent for ever harbour'd there Incurable consumption of our peace !
30 Resolve me why the cottager and king, He whom sea-serer'd reaims obey, and he Who steals his whole dominion from the waste, Repelling winter blasts with mud and straw, Disquieted alike, draw sigh for sigh,
35 In fate so distant, in complaint so near ?
Is it that things terrestrial can't content ? Deep in rich pasture, will thy flocks complain? Not so ; but to their master is denied To share their sweet serene. Man, ill at ease 40 in this, not his own place, this foreign field, Where Nature fodders him with other food Than was ordain'd his cravings to suffice, Poor in abundance, famish'd at a feast, Sighs on for something more, when most enjoy'd. 45 Is Heaven then kinder to thy flocks than theo? Not sg; thy pasture richer, but remote ; In part remote ; for that remoter part Man bleats from instinct, though, perhaps, debauch'd By sense, his reason sleeps, nor dreams the cause. 50 The cause how obvious, when his reason wakes' llis grief is but liis grandeur in disguise, And discontent is immortality !
Shall song of Ether, shall the blood of Heaven, Set up their hopes on earth, and stable here, 55 With brutal acquiescence in the mire ? Lorenzo ! no ; they shall be noblv pain'c : The glorious foreigners, distress’d, shall sigh On thrones, and throu congratulate the sigh. Man's misery declares him born for bliss ;
60 His anxious heart asserts the truth I sing, And gives the sceptic in his head--the lio.
Our heads, our hearts, our passions, and our powers, Speak the same language ; call us to the skies : Unripen'd these, in this inclemert clime,
05 Scarce rise above conjecture and mistake ;
And for this land of trifles those too strong
Reason progressive, instinct is complete ;
100 His immortality alone can tell ; Full ample fund to balance all amiss, And turn the scale in favour of the just ! His imniortality alone can solve