Imágenes de páginas


To enforce this consideration, we may further observe, that the practice of religion will not only be attended with that pleasure which naturally accompanies those actions to which we are habituated, but with those supernumerary joys of hcart that rise from the consciousness of such a pleasure, from the satisfaction of acting up to the dictates of reason, and from the prospect of a happy immortality.

In the fourth place, we may learn, from this observation which we have made on the mind of man, to take particular care, when we are once settled in a regular course of life, how we tvo frequently indulge ourselves in any the most innocent diversions and tertainments, since the mind may insensibly fall off from the relish of virtuous actions, and, by degrees, exchange that pleasure which it takes in the performance of its duty for delights of a much more inferior and unprofitable nature.

The last use which I shall make of this remarkable property, in human nature, of being delighted with those actions to which it is accustomed, is to show how absolutely necessary it is for us to gain habits of virtue in this life, if we would enjoy the pleasures of the next.

The state of bliss we call Heaven will not be capable of affecting those minds which are not thus qualified for it; we must, in this world, gain a relish of truth and virtue, if we would be able to taste that knowledge and perfection which are to make us happy in the next. The seeds of those spiritual joys and rapžures, which are to rise up and flourisk in the soul to all eternity, must be planted in her during this her present state of probation. , In short, hcaven is not to be looked upon only as the reward, but as the natural effect of a religious life.


On the other hand, those evil spirits, who, by long custom, have contracted in the body habits of lust and sensuality, inalice and revenge, an aversion to every thing that is good, just or laudable, are naturally scasoned and prepared for pain and misery. Their torments have already taken root in them; they cannot be happy when divested of the body, unless we may suppose that Providence will in a manner create thein anew, and work a miracle in the rectification of their faculties. They may, indeed, taste a kind of malignant pleasure in those actions to which they are accustomed whilst in this life; but when they are removed from all those objects which are here apt to gratify them, they will naturally become their own tormentors, and cherish in themselves those painful habits of mind which are called in Scripture phrase " the worm which never dies. This notion of heaven and hell is so very conformable to the light of nature, that it was discovered by several of the most exalted heathens. It has been finely improved by many eminent divines of the last age, as in particular by archbishop Tillotson and Dr. Sherlock: but there is none who has raised such noble speculations upon it as Dr. Scott, in the first book of his Christian Life, which is one of the finest and most rational schemes of divinity that is written in our tongue, or in any other. That excellent author has shown how every particular custom and habit of virtue will, in its own nature, produce the heaven, or a state of happiness, in him who'shall hereafter practise it: as, on the contrary, how every custom or habit of vice will be the natural hell of himn in whom it subsists.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

• You must have observed, that men who frequent coffee-houses, and delight in news, are pleased with every thing that is matter of fact, so it be what they have not heard before. A victory,

A or a defeat, are equally agreeable to them. The shuttingof a cardinal's inouth pleases thein one post, and the opening of it another. They are glad to hear the French court is removed to Marli, and are afterwards as much delighted with its relurn to Versailles. They read the advertisements with the same curiosity as the articles of public news; and are as pleased to hear of a pyebald horse that is strayed out of a field near Islington, as of a whole troop that have been engaged in any foreign adventure. In short, they have a relish for every thing that is news, let the inatter of it be what it will; or, to speak more properly, they are men of a voracious appetite, but no taste. Now, sir, since the great fountain of news, I mean the war,

is being dried up; and since these gentlemen have contracted such an inextinguishable thirst after it; I have taken their case and my own into consideration, and have thought of a project which may turn to the advantage of us both. I have thoughts of publishing a daily paper which shall comprehend in it all the most remarkable occurrences in every little town, village and hamlet that lie within ten miles of London, or, in other words, within the verge of the penny-post. I have pitched upon this scene of intelligence for two reasons ; first, because the carriage of letters will be

[ocr errors][merged small]

very near


perso. electi

te ca



there face

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

very cheap; and secondly, because I may receive them every day. By this means my readers will have their news fresh and fresh, and many worthy citizens, who cannot sleep with any satisfaction at present for want of being informed how the world goes, may go to bed contentedly, it being my design to put out my paper every night at nine o'clock precisely. I have already established correspondents in these several places, and received very good intelligence.

By my last advices from Knightsbridge I hear, that a horse was clapped into the pound on the third instant, and that he was not released when the letters came away.

• We are informed from Pankridge *, that a dozen weddings were lately celebrated in the mother church of that place; but are referred to their next letters for the names of the parties concerned.

· Letters from Brumpton advise, that the widow Blight had received several visits from John Milldew'; which affords great matter of speculation in those parts.

• By a fisherman who lately touched at Hammersmith, there is advice from Putney, that a certain person, well known in that place, is like to lose his election for churchwarden ; but this being boat-news, we cannot give entire credit to it.

· Letters from Paddington bring little more than that William Squeak, the sow-gelder, passed through that place the fifth instant.

They advise from Fulham, that things remained there in the same state they were. They had intelligence, just as the letters came away, of a tub of ex-,

[ocr errors]

* Pancras, then famous for weddings.



cellent ale just set abroach at Parsons Green : but this wanted confirmation

' I have kere, sir, given you a specimen of the news with which I intend to entertain the town, and which, when drawn up regularly in the form of a newspaper, will, I doubt not, be very acceptable to many of those public-spirited readers, who take more delight in acquainting themselves with other people's business than their own.

I hope a paper of this kind, which lets us know what is done near home, may be more useful to us than those which are filled with advices from Zug and Bender, and make some amends for that dearth of intelligence which we may justly' apprehend from times of peace. If I find that you receive this project favourably, I will shortly trouble you with one or two more; and in the mean time am, most worthy sir, with all due respect,

Your most obedient
• and most humble servant.'



No. 454

It is an inexpressible pleasure to know a little of the world, and be of no character or significancy in it.

To be ever unconcerned and ever looking on new objects with an endless curiosity, is a delight known only to those who are turned for speculation. I lay ane night last week at Richmond; and being restless, not out of dissatisfaction, but a certain busy inclination one sometimes has, I rose at four in the morning, and took boat for London, with a resolution to rove by boat and coach for the next four-and-twenty hours, till the many different objects I must needs meet with


« AnteriorContinuar »