Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

when He speaks of Fighting the good Fight *, and running the Race + of Faith...

A Sinner, seeking for Heaven and Salvation, I would not compare to an active Gentleman rifing from his Seat; but rather to a ship-wrecked Maria ner, labouring to gain some Place of Safety.--He espies a large Rock, which rears its Head above the boisterous Flood. To this He bears away, and to this He approaches: but, whirling Winds, and dashing Waves, drive Him back to an unhappy Diftance.--Exerting all his Strength, He advances nearer ftill; and attempts to climb the desirable Eminence. When, a sweeping Surge interposes, and drenches Him in the rolling Deep.-By determined Efforts, He recovers the Space He had lost. Now, He fastens on the Cliff, and has almoft escaped the Danger. But, there is such a Numbness in his Limbs, that He cannot maintain his Hold; and such an impetuous Swell in the Ocean, that He is once more dislodged, and plunged afresh into the raging Billows. What can He do? His Life, his precious Life, is at stake. He must renew, still renew, and never intermit his Endcavours.--Neither let Him abandon Himself to Despair. The MASTER sees Him, amidst all his" fruitless Toil. Let Him cry earnestly; LORD, fave me! I perish! And HE, who commandeth the Winds and the Waves, will put forth his beneficent Hand; will rescue Himn from the devouring Sea; and set his Feet upon the Rock. Enabling him to believe, to the Salvation of his Soul.

Such, my Friend, so painful, so asiduous, are free quently the Conflicts of an awakened Sinner; before

* I Tim. vi. 12.

Heb. xii. 1, 2.

it is given Him * to reit, in peaceful Security, on thc Rock of Ages, CHRIST JESUS. Of this You may, fome Time or other, be assured, not only from my Lips, but from your own Experience.

Ther. What may happen in some future Period of Time, is beyond my Power to foresee. At present, I am apt to think, We must put a stop to the theological Lecture. Don't You remember our Engagement with Altinous ? And You will own, that Punctuality in performing our Promises, is at least a moral Virtue, if it be not a christian Grace.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

DIALOGUE VI.

SPASIO's Affairs called Him to Lone

don. He staid in Town a few Days. VA . But as soon as Bufiness was finished,

ho h e quitted the City, and haftened to his A Friend's Country-feat.-Upon his Arrival, He found some agreeable Company, who came on purpofe to spend an Evening with the Family. This Incident, gave a Respite from Controversy, and prevented the immediate Prosecution of their Debate.--As the next Morning proved mifty, and unfit for walking abroad, Theron invited Aspeia to pass an Hour in his Study.

It was situate at the Extremity of a large Galtery: which, while it conducted the Feet to a Repository of Learning, interposed between the Ear, and all the Disturbance of domestic Affairs. So that You are accommodated with every Thing, that may regale a studious Mind; and incommoded with nothing, that may interrupt a sedate Attention. Aspaso readily consented to the Proposal; but desired, first, to take a Turn in this beautiful Oblong, and divert Himself with the Decorations of the Place.

-Alp. A very short Survey, Theron, is sufficient to discover the Correctness of your Judgment, and the true Delicacy of your Taste.--Here, are no impertinent and frivolous Exhibitions, of romantic Tales, or poetic Stories. Here, are no indecent Pieces of Imagery, that tend to corrupt a chaste, or inflame a wanton Fancy.-On the contrary, I am presented with a Collection of Maps, accurately drawn by the most able Hands; and with several remarkable

Transactions of Antiquity, most eloquently told in the Language of the Pencil.—You have happily hit that grand Point, which the Gentleman of Refinement, as well as the Author of Genius, should ever keep in his View- The Union of the Beneficial with the Delightful *.

Ther. Indeed, my Afpasio, I have often been dira appointed, sometimes even shocked, in the Gardens,', the Porticos, and the Walks of some modern Vira' tuosi. Their Pourtraits and Statues are little else, but an Assemblage of elaborate Trifles. Ixion stretched upon the Wheel, or Phaeton precipitated from the Chariot. Apollo ftringing his Lyre, or Jupiter (I beg his supreme Highness's Pardon, for not giving Him the Precedence in my Catalogue) bestriding his Eagle, and balancing his Bolts.Pray, where is the Advantage of being introduced to this fabulous Tribe of Gentry? What noble Idea can they awaken, or what valuable Impression leave upon the Mind? The best We can say of such Performances, is, That they are Limning and Sculpture expensively thrown away,

This

* Omne tulit Punctum, qui miscuit Utile Dulci. Hor,

This celebrated Trumpery, One can bear with, however. But, when the Painting and Sculpture, instead of cultivating Virtue, and improving our Morals, are calculated to be the very Bane of bcth will You call this an elegant Entertainment? No: 'tis a Nuisance. 'Tis a Pest.- In the Statues, I grant, every Dimple finks, and every Muscle swells, with the exactest Propriety. The Countenance is aniinated with Life, and the Limbs are ready to start into Motion. The Picture, I am sensible, is as highly finished as the Effigy. The Distributions of Light and Shade most artfully adjusted. The Diminutions of the Perspective true to a Nicety. Nor can any Thing exceed the easy Flow of the Robe, unless it be the graceful Attitude, and almoft speaking Aspect, of the principal Figure.-But, is .. this masterly Execution an Equivalent for the most malignant Effects ? For fullying the Purity of my Fancy, and poisoning the Powers of my Imagination ?

Is it an Indication of the Owner's judicious Tafte, to prefer Regularity of Features in the hammered Block, before orderly and harmonious Affections in his own Breast? Does it bespeak a refined Disposition, or a benevolent Temper, to be so extravagantly enamoured with the Touches of a lascivious Pencil; as to expose them in the most frequented Passages, and obtrude them on every unwary Guest?-Surely, this can create no very advantageous Opinion of a Gentleman's intellectual Discernment. Much less can it raise an amiable Idea of his moral Character *. On

such

* 'Tis Pity, but the Advice of Cicero, (that great Mafter of elegant Taste, and polite Manners) was received Vol. I, R

as

« AnteriorContinuar »