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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 angry 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 bis 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 immortal.
This fact, well considered, would make our infidels withdraw their admiration from Socrates, or make them endeavour, by their imitation of his illustrious example, to share his glory; and consequently, it would incline them to peruse the following pages 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.
The Infidel Reclaimed.
PART II. CONTAINING THE NATURE, PROOF, AND IMPORTANCE, OF
CONTENTS. In the Sixth Night, arguments were drawn from Nature in
proof of Immortality: here, 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 nature 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 nature of ambition, avarice, pleasure.—A digression on the grandeur of the passions. - Immortality alone renders our present state intelligible.-An objection from the Stoics' disbelief of Immortality answered.—Endless questions unresolvable, but on supposition of our immortality.-- The natural, most melancholy, and pathetic complaint of a worthy man, under the persụasion of no futurity.—The gross absurdities and horrors of annihilation urged home on Lorenzo.-- The soul's vast importance; from whence 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 obligation 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 an apology for this attempt.
HEAVEN gives the needful, but neglected, call. What day, what hour, but knocks at human hearts,
To wake the soul to sense of future scenes ?
This, earth and skies' already have proclaim'd.
Why discontent for ever harbour'd there? Incurable consumption of our peace! Resolve me why the cottager and king, He whom sea-sever'd realms obey, and he Who steals his whole dominion from the waste, Repelling winter blasts with mud and straw, . Disquieted alike, draw sigh for sigh, In fate so distant, in complaint so near?
.. See Night the Sixth,
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 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. Is Heaven then kinder to thy flocks than thee? Not so; thy pasture richer, but remote; . In part remote ; for that remoter part Man bleats from instinct, though, perhaps, de
bauch'd By sense, his reason sleeps, por dreams the cause. The cause how obvious, when his reason wakes ! His grief is but his grandeur in disguise, And discontent is immortality!
Shall sons of Ether, shall the blood of Heaven, Set up their hopes on earth, and stable here, With brutal acquiescence in the mire? Lorenzo! no; they shall be nobly pain'd: : The glorious foreigners, distress’d, shall sigh On thrones, and thou congratulate the sigh. Man's misery declares him born for bliss; His anxious heart asserts the truth I sing, And gives the sceptic in his head —the lie. [ers,
Ourheads, our hearts, our passions, and our powSpeak the same language ; call us to the skies: Unripen’d these, in this inclement clime, Scarce rise above conjecture and mistake; And for this land of trifles those too strong Tumultuous rise, and tempest human life. What prize on earth can pay us for the storm ?