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• If these pare, I thout this time mana
. If these notions be true, as I verily 6 believe they are, I thought they might 6 be worth publishing at this time, for 6 which reason they are sent in this mansner to you by,
s E C T. x.
IMMORTALITY of the Soul, and a
Nofeio quomodo inhares in mentibus quasi seculorum
quoddam angurium futurorum ; idque in maximis ingeniis altiffimisque animis exifit maximè es appa. ret facillimè.
Cic. Tusc, Quæft.
To the SPECTATOR. SIR, "T Am fully persuaded that one of the
best springs of generous and wor.
thy actions, is the having generous (and worthy thoughts of our selves.
Whoever has a mean opinion of the 6 dignity of his nature, will act in no ' higher a rank than he has allotted him• self in his own estimation. If he con• siders his Being as circumscribed by the 6 uncertain term of a few years, his deGigns will be contracted into the same.
6 narrow span he imagines is to bound This Existence. How can he exalt his
thoughts to any thing great and noble, who only believes that, after a Bu short turn on the stage of this world, che is to fink into oblivion, and to lose
& his Consciousneis for ever? . “For this reason I am of opinion, that * so useful and elevated a contemplation e as that of the Soul's Immortality cannot o be resumed too often. There is not a * more improving exercise to the human "mind than to be frequently reviving 6 its own great privileges and endow«ments ; nor a more effectual means to I awaken in us an ambition raised above 6 low objects and little pursuits, than to 6 value our selves as heirs of eternity.
It is a very great satisfaction to consider the best and wisest of mankind « in all nations and ages, asserting, as " with one voice, this their birth-right,
and to find it ratify'd by an express 6 revelation. At the same time, if we turn our thoughts inward upon our
selves, we may meet with a kind of • secret sense concurring with the proofs 6. of our own immortality:
"You have, in my opinion, raised a & good presumptive Argument from the « increasing appetite the mind has to I knowledge, and to the extending its I own faculties, which cannot be accom
plished, as the more restrained perfec« tion of lower creatures may, in the « limits of a short life. I think another « probable conjecture may be raised from e our appetite to duration itself, and 6 from a reflection on our progress thro'
the several stages of it: We are com6 plaining, as you observe in a former & fpeculation, of the shortness of life, and
yet are perpetually hurrying over the parts 6 of it to arrive at certain little settlements 6 or imaginary points of rest, which are dif« persed up and down in it.
Now let us consider what happens 6. to us when we arrive at these imaginary e points of reft: Do we stop our motion,
and sit down satisfied in the settlement 6. we have gained? or are we not remo(ving the boundary, and marking out
new points of rest, to which we press c. forward with the like eagerness, and & which cease to be such as fast as we at<tain them? Our case-is like that of a e traveller upon the Alps, who should
fancy that the top of the next hill must end his journey, because it terminates his prospect ; but he no sooner arrives at it, than he sees new ground and other hills beyond it, and continues to travel on as before. .
This is so plainly every man's condition in life, that there is no one who
has observed any thing, but may observe, " that as fast as his time wears away, his 6 appetite to something future remains. • The use therefore I would inake of it,
is this ; That since Nature (as some s love to express it) does nothing in vain, " or; to speak properly, since the Author 6 of our Being has planted no wandersing passion in it, no desire which has c.not its object, Futurity is the proper s object of the passion so constantly ex. 6ercised about it, and this restlessness
in the present, this afligning our selves o over to farther stages of duration, this, o successive grasping at somewhat still to 6.come, appears to me (whatever it may 6 to others) as a kind of instinct.or natuoral symptom which the mind of man
has of its own immortality.
Etial lympsown inne came tinof the Touutis
« has ofte it at the brality of the