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but a cold principle, and not able to maintain our variable resolutions in a constant and settled way of goodness. I have practised that honest artifice of Seneca, and in my retired and solitary imaginations, to detain me from the foulness of vice, have fancied to myself the presence of my dear and worthiest friends, before whom I should lose my head, rather than be vitious; yet herein I found that there was nought but moral honesty, and this was not to be virtuous for his sake who must reward us at the last. I have tried if I could reach that great resolution of his, to be honest without a thought of heaven or hell; and, indeed, I found, upon a natural inclination and inbred loyalty unto virtue, that I could serve her without a livery; yet, not in that resolved and venerable way, but that the frailty of my nature, upon an easy temptation, might be induced to forget her. The life, therefore, and spirit of all our actions is the Resurrection, and stable apprehension that our ashes shall enjoy the fruit of our pious endeavours ; without this, all religion is a fallacy, and atheists have been the only philosophers.”

With these remarks on the Resurrection and

the Day of Judgment, passages strongly conceived, and vigorously expressed, I shall conclude my selection from Sir Thomas Browne's Confession of Faith, reserving what he has written with equal energy of thought and felicity of language, on the subject of Charity, and which forms the second part of his Religio Medici, to a subsequent number.

No. XV.

Mihi visus eram lato spatiarier agro:
Agmina gemmatis plaudunt coelestia pennis,
Pura triumphali personat æthra tubâ.


I seem'd to wander in a spacious field ;
The trumpet shakes the sky, all æther rings,
Attendant angels clap their starry wings.


In the ninth number of these Essays, and in the letter which I have there inserted as written by Mr. Eastburn, my readers will, no doubt, recollect a slight notice of Mr. HillhoUSE, as the author of a poem entitled “ The Judgment, a Vision,” to which was annexed, on my part, a promise of taking it into consideration in à subsequent portion of these volumes. It is with no small pleasure that I now enter upon the redemption of this pledge, fully satisfied,

that, in so doing, I shall gratify many beside myself.

The subject, indeed, seems naturally to in's troduce itself here, for we have just closed the preceding number by a very striking passage on the necessity of a Day of Retribution, both in a moral and religious point of view; and the poem I am about to expatiate upon, places the scene before us with a strength and distinctness of imagination, with a vividity and force of colouring, which cannot but excite emotions at once intensely interesting and awfully sublime.

A theme, however, more arduous, or, from preceding associations, more difficult to execute with propriety and effect, could scarcely have been chosen ; for, as the author has observed in a short notice prefixed to his work, “beside its intrinsic difficulties the subject labours under a disadvantage too obvious to have escaped notice. It has so generally occupied the imaginations of believers in the Scriptures, that most have adopted respecting it their own notions: whoever selects it as a theme, therefore, exposes his work to criticism on account of its


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theology, as well as its poetry; and they who think the former objectionable, will not, easily, be pleased with the latter. The object, however, was not to declare opinions; but simply to present such a view of the last grand spectacle as seemed the most susceptible of poetical embellishment."

Yet undeterred by the extreme hazard which must unavoidably attend the choice of a topic so hallowed and momentous in its nature, several of our own poets have ventured to essay their powers in describing the horrors and the mercies of the Last Day. Among these, Young and Ogilvie may be mentioned as taking the lead in the couplet metre, and Glynn and Bruce, in blank verse.

Of the production of the first of these poets, Johnson has remarked, that while

many paragraphs are noble, and few are mean, yet the whole is languid; the plan is too much extended, and a succession of images divides and weakens the general conception; but the great reason why the reader is disappointed is, that the thought of the Last Day makes every man more than poetical, by spreading over his mind a general obscurity of sacred horror,

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