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through a Maze of Vanity. The Head is crouded with falfe Images, and tantalized with the moft ridiculous Mifapprehenfions of Things. Some are expatiating amidst Fairy Fields, and gathering Garlands of vifionary Blifs; while their Bodies are stretched on a Wifp of Straw, and fheltered by the Cobwebs of a Barn. Others, quite infenfible of their Rooms of State, are mourning in a doleful Dungeon, or ftruggling with the rageing Billows. Perhaps, with hafty Steps, they climb the craggy Cliff; and, with real Anxiety, fly from the imaginary Danger. Or elfe, benumbed with fudden Fear, and finding themfelves unable to efcape, they give up at once their Hopes, and their Efforts; and, though reclined on a Couch of Ivory, are finking, all helpless and diftreffed, in the furious Whirlpool. So unaccountable are the Vagaries of the Brain, while Sleep maintains its Dominion over the Limbs!
BUT is This the only Season, when abfurd and incoherent Irregularities play their Magic on our Minds? Are there not Those who dream even in their waking Moments ?-Some pride Themfelves in a Notion of fuperior Excellency, because the Royal Favour has annexed a few splendid Titles to their Names; or because the dying Silkworm has bequeathed her fineft Threads, to cover their Nakedness.-Others congratulate
their own fignal Happiness, becaufe Loads of golden Lumber are amaffed together in their Coffers; or promise themfelves a most superlative Felicity indeed, when fome thousands more are added to the ufelefs Heap.-Nor are there wanting others, who gape after fubftantial Satiffactions from airy Applaufe; and flatter themfelves with, I know not what, Immortality in the momentary Buz of Renown. Are any of These a whit more reasonable in their Opinions, than the poor ragged Wretch in his Reveries, who, while fnoring under a Hedge, exults in the Poffeffion of his ftately Palace, and fumptuous Furniture ?-If Perfons, who are very Vafals to their own domineering Paffions, and led captive by numberlefs Temptations; if these Perfons pique themfelves with a Conceit of their Liberty, and fancy themfelves the generous and gallant Spirits of the Age; where is the Difference between Theirs and the Madman's Frenzy, who, though chained to the Floor, is throned in Thought, and wielding an imaginary Sceptre?--In a Word; as many as borrow their Dignity from a Plume of Feathers, or the gaudy Trappings of Fortune; as Many as fend their Souls to feek for Blifs in the Blandishments of Senfe, or in any Thing short of the divine Favour, and a well-grounded Hope of
the incorruptible Inheritance *; what are they but Dreamers with their Eyes open; delirious, though in Health? WOULD you fee their Picture drawn to the very Life, and the Succefs of their Schemes calculated with the utmoft Exactness, caft your Eye upon that fine Representation exhibited by the Prophet: It shall be even as when a hungry Man dreameth, and behold, he eateth; but he awakeeth, and his Soul is empty: Or as when a thirsty Man dreameth, and behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and behold, he is faint, and his Soul hath Appetitet. Such is the Race, and fuch the Prize, of all thofe Candidates for Honour and Joy, who run wide of the Mark of the high Calling of GOD in CHRIST JESUS. They live in Vanity, and die in Woe.Awaken us, merciful LORD, from thefe noon-tide Trances! Awaken us, while Conviction may turn to our Advantage, and not ferve only to increase our Torment. O! let our "Eyes be inlightened, "to difcern the Things that are excellent;' and no longer be impofed upon by fantastic Appearances, which, however pompous they may feem, wall prove more empty than the Vifions of
*Thefe give a facred, and home-felt Delight, Afober Certainty of waking Blifs.
+ Ifa. xxix. 8.
MILT. The Mask.
the Night, more tranfient than the Dream that is forgotten.
HAVING mentioned Sleep and Dreams, let me once again confider thofe remarkable Incidents of our Frame: So very remarkable, that I may venture to call them, a Kind of experimental Mystery, and little less than a standing Miracle. -Behold the moft vigorous Conftitution, when stretched on the Bed of Eafe, and totally refigned to the Slumbers of the Night. Its Activity is oppreffed with Fetters of Indolence; its Strength is configned over to a temporary Annihilation; the Nerves are like a Bow unftrung, and the whole animal Syftem like a motionless Log. Behold a Person of the most delicate Senfations, and amiable Difpofitions. His Eyes, though thrown wide open, admit not the visual Ray; at least distinguish not Objects. His Ears, with the Organs un-impaired, and articulate Accents beating upon the Drum, perceive not the Sound; at least apprehend not the Meaning. The Senfes, and their exquifitely fine Feelings, are overwhelmed with an unaccountable Stupefaction. You call Him a focial Creature; but where are his focial Affections? He knows not the Father that begat Him, and takes no Notice of the Friend, that is as his own Soul. The Wife of his Bofom may expire by his Side, and He lie unconcerned
concerned as a Barbarian. The Children of his Body may be tortured with the feverest Pangs, and He, even in the fame Chamber, be untouched with the leaft Commiferation.-Behold the most ingenious Scholar; whofe Judgment is piercing, and able to trace the most intricate Difficulties of Science: his Tafte refined, and quick to relish all the Beauties of Sentiment and Compofition. Yet, at this Juncture, the thinking Faculties are unhinged, and the intellectual Oeconomy difconcerted. Inftead of clofe connected Reasonings, nothing but a disjointed Huddle of abfurd Ideas: inftead of well-digested Principles, a disorderly Jumble of crude Conceptions. The moft palpable Delufions impofe upon his Imagination. The whole Night paffes, and he frequently mistakes it for a fingle Minute is not fenfible of the Tranfition, hardly fenfible of any Duration.
YET, no fooner does the Morning draw back his Curtain, and Day-light fill the Room; but he awakes, and finds himself poffeffed of all the valuable Endowments, which for feveral Hours were fufpended, or loft. He feels his Sinews braced, and fit for Action: his Senfes are alert and keen. The frozen Affections melt with Tendernefs: the romantic Vifionary brightens into the Master of Reason. And, what is beyond meafure furprizing, the intoxicated Mind works itVOL. II. E felf