« ZurückWeiter »
with regard to the ahove-mentionod doctrines. I found that they were reully doctrines of the New Testament. By decrees I discovered more niul more their material influence in improving, ennobling, and felicitating tlie human soul; and thus gradually, and imperceptibly, but on that account,with fuller conviction likewise, and steadfastness, I became a follower and asserter of those distinguishing tenets of the protestant system of religion.
As n teacher of Christianity, I have never Inst sight of the doty of reading and discussing its doubts and difficulties. I have made myself acquainted with the most important writings, not only of ilie unbelievers and scoffers of religion, but likewise especially with those, in which even protestant divines dispute the common tenets of Christianity. I have found much contained in them, and have received much, information from them; as welt in regard to the better explanation of many passages o: the New Testament, as to the clearej comprehending ..of the Spirit of the Old Testament, and tarestablishing a mure satisfactory devclopement of several doctrines. But all (he inquiries which I made upon the subject, or with n view to it} and again, roorc particularly the daily devotional use <tf the New Testament, have led me to the firmest conviction in the truth ol Christ's miracles, and of those of his apostles, of the supernatural miraculous origin of the books of the Bible; and likewise in the truth of the doctrines of the eternal di•v'miiy of the Redeemer, and Holy Ghost, ofthemeritnrinussatisfaction of it,&c.&c. Ami at the end of these inquiries, this at least I can assert with perfect safety, that my religious belief, monifold and weighty as its defects certainly are, is notwithstanding as unbiassed and unbigottcd, as that of any other indifferent person, not appointed to the office uf christian minister.
I know that most of the arguments in this work are no longer fashionable: and pulmps will be despised and rejected hy many ** antiquated and discarded.* But simple remedies are no less effectual, though ant fashionable, and the naturally red healthy cheeks of unimpaired Innocence, am stilt really beautiful, alcfcoogh
laereis groat, propriety in tbe expnurion
il»jpa«. **««'>.«» applying to gooro,
al^st • si^bj.iujiog leas; in a
fashion may induce persons to cover thcir's with arcihcial colour. Time, however, which is the lest of all things,eve* coini ucts men at last back to the simplicity and beauty of uaiuic. In like loaiiiicr. though not so rapidly, yet as surely in the event, the mind of mail returns back to the unsophisticated and wholesome lessons of truth. The embellishments of fallacy are cancelled by time: while the decisions ol truth receive from.it a more secure establishment.
In addition to all this, I protest beforo the Almighty, that no hours of my whole life have been productive of greater happiuess to ine, than those which I have spent in an intercourse with Christianity, and in the more faithful and happv prac> tice of it. The more intimate my acquaintance with it, the more deeply was my heart atFected by its majesty, ami sublimity. And the more i was able to conform my life and soul to its doctrines and precepts; the more confirientlv did my inmost feelings assure me, that i was respectable, elevated, andhappy. Tlic latter years of my life have been lull of afflictions; some ol tlicm the most severe: but I have had none more, distressing thaw those which proceeded from the neglect and violation of pure Christianity. While I continued perfectly faithful to this, in the midst of the most painful sufferings I was tranquil, serene, elate, and cbpefful. The pleasures of my life were fax more numerous than its afflictions; but none were more sensibly felt by me'than those which arose from the practice of Christianity. Or rather, without this the most exquisite joys were weak and* insipid. 'This nlone seasoned every earthly pleasure; mid the hours passed away with real happiness, when I thoU"lit and acted in imitation of Christ. °
If then this confession, drawn from me by gratitude to Christianity, and this work, which proceeded from the bottom of n sensible heart, rilled with thankfulness and reverence,, iiiojr awaken and conduct the render to similar veneration and love towards this rrliginn; I intrcat hun to pray to God, that in every one of my retnnmiiig days, Christ may dwell more and more in ine. Gdttingen, April 6. 1785. 'g
To the Editor of.the Munlhtj, Afagazine.
THE puWislun* m your MagntWe; Ute tolWwwg account of my si; am u\ obtaining spring Wrwi>. mx
duce many others to obtain so necessary at present settled among the friends of
and desirable an article of life, in a part reform.
of Middlesex where the inhabitants have I. Repeal of the Septennial; which of
been detened from the attempt, under course revives the Triennial act.
an idea that it could not be prorurrd at II. All male freeholders paying to
• less depth than between 2, and 300 assessed taxes, to exercise the right of
Having perused Mr. Middlelon's Sur- III. The worst of the Boroughs to be
vey of Middlesex, and collected all the done away, by compulsory payments to
information I could, us to wells sunk at be settled by Parliament, (and not as
Pnddiugton, Kingsbury, and other places under Mr. Pitt's plan, by encreased bid
adjoining the parish of Wiisden, I de- dings); and their share in the represen
teimined to sink a well at Neasdon, a tation to be transferred to the unre
pleasant rural village iii that parish, and presented towns, Stratford on Avon,
situated on an eminence bit wren li.e Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, &C
Erigeware and Harrow Road*, liming so as that the number of the Members
engaged George, the will digger, he remain as at present, begun on the 13th of March last, and I think that it cannot be denied,
on the 12th of May instant, at the depth that this plan of reform brings us back
of 1G6 feet, he bored six feet into a bed much nearer than we are at present to
of gravel, which produced water that the spirit of the antient English constitu
rose gradually for rive days, and now tion, and to the time principle ofrvpre
stands 104 feet deep in the well. The sentation. I wish the idea therefore to
water is excellent and rather soft. The be circulcated in your Magazine, which
stratas were as follow: is so extensive a medium or intelligence. Feet. That the plan is temperate, cannot,
Yellow or top clay - - - - 38 I think, reasonably be disputed. That
Stone --. 2 it would be very considerably beneficially,
Blue clay- -------- 96 and permanently efficacious, I strongly
Red clay --------- 30' hope.
Neither this, nor any plan can succeed.
Total - - - - 1C6 unless the public mind, extensively, de- liberately, and upon due information
Many shells and other curious things adoP.t ''< nml cxPresf t,,at a«°P"on in
were found in the clay, and at 84 feet P"W'C meetings, and by numerous s.gna
deep a large piece of wood was takeu ture>- A"d l( ">'» be d°nc, ?r»'» » eon
up, which, at first, appeared like silver, *,cfI0n of'ts necessity and utility, I have
but, upon being exposed to the air, turn. I|U e. doubt of lts ,,hen! but not """"J5'
ed black and cracked into small pieces. "^ing its way ,n Parliament.
The inhabitants of Wiisden may now . J should h°Pe> "'at as to the second and be encouraged to render water-tanks, better classoi boroughs, where there is a chalk drains, and fiheiingstoi.es, useless, re8ular corporation, but a small number by sinking »i Us in certain districts of the ?' *otc,.rs> as,at Bury bt- Edmunds, Slratparish at a joint expence, which would fo.rd> &c. "lat TM<i representation there fall very easy upon individuals, and tend WI' >,e improved by adding the Freegreatly'to'benefit their healths at all holders of the borough town for the electimes, and especially in a dry season of tlon of representatives to the corporate the year. Your'»,'&c. !?tera- ., C. Lofft. Botuell-court, London, James Iiale. Iras'on' A% »V"0918(A May, 1809."
P.S. George sank a well tact year for For the Monthly Magazine.
Mr. Warm, at Kingsbury Green, 1J8 feet CRITICAL SURVEY OF LESSlNo's WORKS, deep, which now stands 60 feet in water, (Continued from p. 340, vol. 34.)
nther h,rd but excellent water. Kingsbury 5. rflHK Monk of Libanon is in fact Green >• about two miles from Neasdon. J[ „ $econi, part> Qr continUation of
»•_ .i xr ,., w Natliau the Wise. After an elapse of
For the Monthly Magoune. yeara> lhe salre clmracters co^ene
Reform in Parliament of the itErat- anew on the same topics, and compare
Sentation of the Commons. their theories with observation and cx
I BELIEVE you may take the under- perience. Saludin is now sick; his last
written as a correct outline, us far as hour apparency approaches: the chrisS'
dans of Jerusalem have sent to his relief a monk of Libation, distinguished for medical skill. The tender attentions of Sittah to her brother, recall those unsurpassably beautiful scenes of Euripides, iii whicti Electro watches the perturbed Orestes. During a pause? of fever, Saladin is desirous of seeing Nathan. Nothing can be more equitable than the manner in which the poet paints the emptiness and impotence of those consolations, which the sceptic has to offer over a death-bed, to the troubled conscience. From an unpublished version of the poem, this striking interview shall be given.
Seine: ibe afartmtnt of SaUA'tn, -who reptits tn a itfa in an akvue.
IA LA DIN, pushing asiie the curtain.
Abdallah, .Come oigh., and wipe my foieheaik Ah! how weary!
It seems as if thy slumbers were not tranquil, not so refreshing as we wish'd: thy dreams hive harrow*J oft' thy brow that peaceful
smoothness, which sleep else gives the sufferer.
I have been in other worlds—alas! how weak I feelwhere light and darkness strove more hor
than lite and death within my soul.—Is
Nathan , ",
come yet, Abdallah?
I am anxious, Sultan, to understand precisely these allusions.
SAL A DIM.
The ring, the enchanted opal ring, whose
glitter drew me into this maze. It was a talc, that slid so unexpectedly, so gently, into my open and unguarded soul; shedding so much forbearance and humaneness o'er my consenting heart; it scem'd to close at once the mouth ol'each precipitate intolerant decider. Ah! indeed some strength of mind is needful to withstand, particularly when—excuse me, Nathan— the teacher hat been first announced to ut, from lips of praising thousands, by the name of the wise man. I took it as thou gavest it; and little thought, O Nathan, that so soon the judges thousand thousand years for me would have an end. Now I must die. And
then— in this uncertainty, and with my ring alone, am sucomon'd up before the judge. O! Nathan, how, it'l have been deceiv'd?
And, Sultan, how, if all have been deceiv'd?
There lies the sting. Thus would, with all
his love, thy father be a cheat—have given, for truth, to his own son, who languish'd after light, mere error. Nathan, how can Cod, our
father, have given illusion, error, to mankind?
What—if his creatures bad not strength to
the purest rays of truth.—What, if illusion, or a faint morning, twilight upon earth, were for the human faculties, while here, their highest scope; and on yon tide the
tomb first the untemper'd noon of truth broke on
ut. rl,( -^.
Cod leads ut step by step unto perfection: and many are the grades and shades of illusion «^^1^C between deep night and the broad day of
wisdom. mri^sm Usri ,
What we call truth it merely man's opinion, a web of human pride, rash notions prated to all-remembering credulity, by old Tradition's tongue. Troth lies to*
for, our horison far. Cod—he it truths
Must err r T
must fail? If**,, Ujon flpiy^st ha*? Spoken
,tss»>|ll N aawrww^ *"a| ff iWtJMp • 4 0 ^''"wh*tm.
Thou—unless alone of all mankind, thou »rt excepted from the lot of man: unless thotionly art th* infallible, the wise.—Ye sceptics, is then nothing true, but that we're fools?
Be calm, have patience, Sultan, accept man as he is—if he should err, can't here below infallibly decide,— earth is but earth a dull and lightless body.
Ay»—but the soul, my Nathan.
Bt it light; be it a quenchless spark of fire etherial; or what you will. So long as night inwraps this light; so long no tone, no ray, no image comes to thy soul, but thro' ear, eye, or
nerves; but what thro' flesh, or bone, or wand'ring
juices, 'according to the nature and arrangement of thy material part, is modified into a thought for thee, and thee alone, which could not dwell another human soul: 10 long must feelings, Instincts, passions, , . form
opinion—error be each mortal's lot, and what seems truth to one stand with
another for proven falshood.
No: that goes too far. Then would each image to himself in (lower, tun, mac, a different something; because
each Met not with the same eyes. But do we,
Nathan, rot understand each other; although each bears with his own ears only? Language be my pledge, that, between man and truth, at
'leiit no such entire antipathy exists, as thou maintainest. Many as our words, so many commonly consented truths.
So many images by all acknow leged,
which strike on one more strongly than
another, and irritate in different degrees our several passions. Tell me, Saladin, is passion, truth; vice, truth? Is avarice, or tyranny, or sneaking murder, truth: or all of monstrous, that the human wish by images of sensuality is cheated into?
Nathan, O beware least with thy wisdom thou impair thy virtue. Little hy little, ore short footstep more, and io we all are togues, and must be rogues, and my good worthy Nathan—no, to think It wereblasphcrfiy, were Crime. Man, thy conclusions cannot be just; for if truth be illusion, tacu >o niust virtue.
Is it not contingent? It is the circumstances amid which a iucky chance has plac'd thee—'us the land allotted for thy country—'tis the men with whom thou dwcllest—'tis thy meat, thy
diink, nay e'en the very air that bathes thy brow, and above all the early bending given to thy yet tender force*, education, paternal prejudice, and the first thrust with which1 Pate hurls thee into life's career, hence is thy virtue, man. Soil, weather,
climate, these shape the tree.
The upshot comes of course I we have at worst to die, and all is over: truth's but a dream ; "virtue, an accident. Troth, Nathan, thou 'art a sage indeed; and
hast philosophiz'd me nearly into magnets. How—grows there not upon the self-same
soil beside the goodly stem the crooked dwarfling.*
The fau!c perhaps was in the- seed; perhaps a grab, or an u.iheeded gust of wind, cr any of the thousand petty causes, whose action and reaction hold together this wondrous frame of things.
But, my good friend, man is not quite a block, a log of wood obeying" mere external laws. Is he Chain'd to the earth he springs from? In the
east is it too sultry for thy virtue, fly* go to the pole. If wine pt'ovoke'tby Wood, drink water: if thy neighbour, seek a better. What cubs 1hy freedom, does not therefore
exclude it. Else what were freedom?
A'mere play on wordsf a leading string, with which good easy man believes he strays alone, yet can't advance further than hii conductress Providence permits. "Tis, if you will, a whirling car— we bovs get in, and shout to our companions proudly: "how fast we drive"! but round
and round the eternal measur'd circle of the world we are but dragg'd.
Fie, Nathan, do not squander upon such tales, which thou thyself believ'st
but, thy ready wit. Thou dost not talk in earnests, for how could'st thou, who bast a thousand rimes 'in life b'crcome tho'e enemies of virtue the passions, arid the craving* of our Knsrs, with one sword-stroke of reason, thur assert i Thou ait but seeking artfully to keep truth out ofiighr. Bat, Nathan, u reputation is now no longer mine.
* NAT Ti • x,
N /i'rnAN. Anal would to God it never had been, bularlui. 'I`hc few Worthy and noble souls should only act, live after truth, and leave their deeds behind them. ‘ All dispuution ifand whut be truth wastes the fair hours hcstuwkl so sparingly upon the wanderer, who for hisjourney hal not one hour too much. The lazy man may fling himselfalong beneath the shade, and with his fellow weigh .md ascertain haw far he has to go-is this the road? are we come wrong ?-but let ua with fresh strides haste to the goal; we then, I ween, shall. know how fu it wan, and, if wc have not chosen the shortest road, our industry at least will have made up for muny u roundabout. :ALA nm. lily pilgrimage is almost at an end; but, friend, its goal I see not. I am confounded. Live after truth, thou uyst, and yet not know what truth muy be, nor even can to know it; but trudée along hip-hazard, north or south. NATHAN. Not much there needs or truth to be a man. “ There is aged; he pious and fear him: trust he will crown thy virtue, scourge thy vice." That is enough. s rtunnt. And shall we not inquire what is this god? and huw we should be pious ? how act to win his favor? how he scourges, and how rewards? and, when heypunishcs, whither the iinnner goes? r|A'tn.n|. ls there not water enough to cleanse with in Dumescus? s.u.A\>1N. Noltreacn can cleanse the conscience ofits sin; no Hume can purify the sullied heart before the sightot God. How can I know whether, it God is just, to guilt afoe, I too shall he forgiven. U my Nuthin, ‘tis thot, ‘tis that, which wounds me, which impela tue to make the dn-acl inquiry, not, as ersf, the idle love oidiepu'.\:.on. Deith itselfis nothing bu: a step across ; ning-,v rhreslinle ; but u troubled moment, and all is over. The intoxicated willdarc the s\rid:,_nm.l boldly spring avaunt, faieax he may without. But :hure`a no nrt, can drug tlir conscience into bold delirium, tele to the night of death its v.'.il.er`ul eye, and teach it .it futurity to sport. . ' Those with .i sober conscienic, Nathan. NATM AN.
sn LenniThat is-not punish with severity, but punish, if he is master of the world. What would become of kingdoms, if mxnlrind might \vith impunity maize sport oflzw, rob, murder? NATHAN. Where thc law smites but the guilty, what has the good to fear? ` s.u.AnxN. The good-ay heWhst should the good man hear ?-but criminals. ' ` r~:A1'u.\ N. Abandon to the sentence of their judge; and gaze rejoicing ut the glorious harvest, that ripens fur the doings ofthe just ~ ' in better worlds. The more the soul below is veil‘d in darkness, the more full of rapture ' . * must he the paffage to the sunny day of shining' truth. We here have yet to wmder thro‘ many u labyrinth on this murky earth : from thee the fettcrsdrop. Soon thy free soul may hail yon clearer heaven, and eaglewing`d soar to her God, the eternal only source of light and bliss. U might I follow, sultanUod he thy guidel sA1..u;xN. No; no; that cannot he; that were unsuitable ; my lot is other. Euch talks but as he feels; thou canst not tell howit is here with me.-just, pious, good, are lovely words; and hippy who can speak them . :ind feel no dagger digging at his brent! Ah, Nathan, halt thou never stain‘d thy life-‘ not with one crime ? , xu\1‘n/rw. Oh! who is free from fsults, my dearest sultan-in the sight ot'God pure, yet :A man! ` s.ax./ibut. Speak’|t thou of faults, just man, away I Come not to sully thy white virtue beside n criminal! Off! dost than know mel dost thou know Saladin P NATHAN. Who knows him lot, the generous, the impartial, and the just, the tolerant friend of maui Who knows him not, the pious Suladin? s A LAUI N.
1 The rubber too,
the blood-hound, Nathan, ton, K;|°w‘;; thou ~ not him who has |pill‘d more of unolfending blood than thuumnd murderers, whom the sword of \-engc;\n\‘.e refufd to spare-ewlio, to rapaciuus wixhez, tn wild lmbition, ucririckl his dirty- ~ |131 ¢°¥B€iencu-el!! Kno»v`rt thou not him? S .CIMA Zh