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At a time when hypothesis and conjecture in philosophy are so justly exploded, and little is considered as deserving the name of knowledge, which will not stand the test of experiment, the very use of the term EXPERIMENTAL in religious concernments, is by too many unhappily rejected with disgust. But we well know that they, who affect to despise the inward feelings, which religious persons speak of, and to treat them as enthusiasm and folly, have inward feelings of their own, which, though they would, they cannot suppress. We have been too long in the secret ourselves, to account the proud, the ambitious, or the voluptuous, happy. We must lose the remembrance of what we once were, before we can believe, that a man is satisfied with himself, merely because he endeavours to appear so. A smile upon the face is often but a mask worn occasionally and in company, to prevent, if possible, a suspicion of what at the same time is passing in the heart. We know that there are people who seldom smile when they are alone, who therefore are glad to hide themselves in a throng from the violence of their own reflections; and who, while by their looks and their language they wish to persuade us they are happy, would be glad to change their conditions with a dog. But in defiance of all their efforts they continue to think, forbode, and tremble. This we
know, for it has been our own state, and therefore we know how to commiserate it in others -From this state the Bible relieved us-When we were led to read it with attention, we found ourselves described. We learnt the causes of our inquietude -we were directed to a method of relief-we tried, and we were not disappointed.
Deus nobis hæc otia fecit.
We are now certain, that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth. It has reconciled us to God, and to ourselves, to our duty, and our situation. It is the balm and cordial of the present life, and a sovereign antidote against the fear of death.
Sed hactenus hac. Some smaller pieces upon less important subjects close the volume. Not one of them, I believe, was written with a view to publication, but I was unwilling they should be omitted.
Charles Square, Hoxton,
Si te fortè mea gravis uret sarcina charta
HOR. LIB. I. Epist. 13.
A. YOU told me, I remember, glory, built On selfish principles, is shame and guilt; The deeds that men admire as half divine, Stark naught, because corrupt in their design. Strange doctrine this! that without scruple tears The laurel that the very lightning spares;
Laurels won in the Field of Honour.
Brings down the warrior's trophy to the dust,
B. 1 grant that, men continuing what they are
Let laurels, drench'd in pure Parnassian dews, Reward his mem'ry, dear to ev'ry muse, Who, with a courage of unshaken root, In honour's field advancing his firm foot, Plants it upon the line that Justice draws, And will prevail or perish in her cause. "Tis to the virtues of such men, man owes His portion in the good that heav'n bestows. And, when recording history displays
Feats of renown, though wrought in ancient days; Tells of a few stout hearts that fought and died Where duty plac'd them, at their country's side; The man that is not mov'd with what he reads, That takes not fire at their heroic deeds