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count, and added to the former, what an all-important book muft the Bible be? what a bleffing to mankind! Language cannot exprefs the value of it. If the exhortation of a late noble author, as improperly applied to the Grecian bard, were applied to this ineftimable volume, it would be used with the stricteft propriety and decorum !

Read God's Word once, and you can read no more;
"For all books elfe appear fo mean, fo poor,
"Verfe will feem profe; but ftill perfift to read,
"And Go's Word will be all the books

you need."

In fhort, MY COUNTRYMEN, the Bible abounds with a vast variety of matter, a confused magnificence above all order; and is the fittest book in the world to be the ftandard of doctrines, and the model of good writing. We defy all the Sons of Infidelity to fhew us any thing like it, or fecond to it. Where will you meet with fuch a number of inftructive Proverbs-fervent Prayers-fublime Songs-beneficent Miracles-appofite Parables-infallible Prophecies-affectionate Epiftles--eloquent Orations-instructive

'A valuable Correfpondent, fpeaking of the prophetic fcriptures, expreffes himself in the following manner:-" Next to Altronomy, few fubjects expand the human mind more, than the view which prophecy opens to us of the government of the GREAT KING. To fee the valt nafs of materials, kingdoms, and centuries, in motion, only to the accomplishment of his purposes: to fee refractory man employed to preferve the harmony of his defigns; and the diforderly paffions, while apparently working folely in their own narrow circle, ignorantly advanc ing the fulfilment of his determination! This is a ftudy delightfully interefting, and which, in common with the contemplation of all the GREAT CREATOR's doings, elevates the mind above the oppreffion of human cares and forrows, and feems to leave her in that ferenity of admiration, which one may imagine an imperfect foretaste of part of the employment and happiness of angels."

ABRAHAM COWLEY tells us, that all the books of the Bible are "either already most admirable and exalted pieces of poefy, or are the "best materials in the world for it."

Sir RICHARD BLACK MORE fays, that "for fenfe, and for noble "and fublime thoughts, the poetical parts of Scripture have an infinite

advantage above all others put together."

MATTHEW PRIOR, Esq. is of opinion, that" the writings of Solomon "afford fubjects for finer poems in every kind, than have yet appeared in the Greek, Latin, or any modern language."


ftructive Hiftories-pure Laws-rich Promises-awful Denunciations-useful Enfamples, as are fet before us in this richly fraught magazine of all true excellence in matter


ALEXANDER POPE, Esq. affures us, that "the pure and noble, the graceful and dignified fimplicity of language is no where in fuch perfection as in the Scripture and HOMER; and that the whole book "of JOB, with regard both to fublimity of thought and morality, exceeds beyond all comparison the most noble parts of HoмER.'

Mr. NICHOLAS Rows too, the Poet, after having read most of the Greek and Roman hiftories in their original languages, and moft that are wrote in English, French, Italian, and Spanish, was fully perfuaded of the truth of Revealed Religion, expreffed it upon all occafions, took great delight in divinity and ecclefiaftical hiftory, and died at laft like a Christian and Philofopher, with an abfolute refignation to the will of GOD.

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There are few ancedotes of our celebrated English Poets which have given me more pleasure than that of poor COLLINS, who, in the latter part of his mortal career," withdrew from ftudy, and travelled with no "other book than an English Teftament, fuch as children carry to school. "When a friend took it into his hand, out of curiofity to fee what com"panion a Man of Letters had chofen-I have only one book," faid COLLINS, "but that is the best."

See JOHNSON's Lives of the Poets, vol. 4.

I must own that fuch an ancedote as this knits my heart to COLLINS more than all the excellencies of his Poetry. Sick and infirm, in the fpirit of MARY, he fits at the divine REDEEMER's feet, listening to the words of eternal life. In fuch a state of body and mind, one fingle promife, from his gracious and infallible lips, is of more real value and importance, than all the pompous learning of the most celebrated Philofophers. This, indeed, will never be properly felt and understood till we come to be in fimilar circumftances. When Dr. WATTS was almost worn out, and broken down by his infirmities, he observed in converfation with a friend," he remembered an aged minifter used to say, that the most learned and knowing Chriftians, when they come to die, have only the fame plain promises of the Gospel for their fupport, as the common and unlearned: and fo, faid he, I find it. It is the plain promifes of the Gospel that are my fupport; and I blefs GoD, they are plain promises, that do not require much labour and pains to understand them, for I can do nothing now, but look into my Bible for fome promise to support me, and live upon that."

This was likewife the caf; with the pious and excellent Mr. HERVEY. He writes about two montns before his death:-" I now spend," fays he," almost my whole time, in reading and praying over the Bible.". And again, near the fame time, to another friend: "I am now reduced to a state of infant weakness, and given over by my phyfician.. My grand confolation is to meditate on CHRIST; and I am hourly repeating thofe heart-reviving lines of Dr. YOUNG:


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and compofition, the Holy Bible? We may fay with Propertius, on another occafion,

Cedite, Romani fcriptoros; cedite, Graiï* :

And recommend to the Gentlemant, the Scholar, and the Philofopher, as well as to the illiterate Chriftian, the daily perufal of the Bible, with infinitely greater propriety, than ever HORACE did to the learned Romans the ftudy of the Grecian models:

Nocturnâ verfate manu, verfate diurnâ†.

There is another circumftance, MY COUNTRYMEN, I beg leave to submit to your confideration, which is, that

"This-only this fubdues the fear of death :

"And what is this ?-Survey the wond'rous cure ;

"And at each fep let higher wonder rife!


1. Pardon for infinite offence!-2. And pardon
Through means that speak its value infinite!—



3. A pardon bought with blood!-4. With blood divine!


5. With blood divine of him I made my foe!

6. Perfifted to provoke !-7. Though woo'd and aw'd,
"Blefs'd and chaftis'd, a flagrant rebel till!-
" 8. A rebel 'midst the thunders of his throne!-



9. Nor I alone!-10. A rebel universe !-
"11. My fpecies up in arms!-12. Not one exempt!-

66 13. Yet for the fouleft of the foul he dies!


14. Moft joy'd for the redeem'd from deepest guilt!


15. As if our race were held of highest rank; "And GoDHEAD dearer, as more kind to man."

We have juft read GODWIN's Memoirs of Mrs. GoDWIN, otherwife, Mrs. MARY WOLLSTONECROFT. She was a woman of confiderable powers, but of a lewd character in life, living with a Mr. IMLAY, as a wife, and having a child by him; and then, when forfaken by him, living with, and being pregnant by Mr, GODWIN, who afterwards married her. I mention thefe circumstances, because they were both profeffed Philofophers, and Unbelievers, and as a contrast to the above pious Chriftians. She attended no public worship, and during her laft illness, no religious expreffions efcaped her philofophic lips.

Let both the Greek and Roman authors yield the palm to the Sacred Writings.

t Dr. SOUTH obferves, that " he who would not read the Scripture for fear of fpoiling his ftile, fhewed himself as much a blockhead as an atheift, and to have as fmall a guft of the elegancies of expreffion, as of the facredness of the matter." Sermons, vol. 4. p. 326.

1 Read therein by day, meditate by night.


though there are several of your unbelieving brethren, who are men of confiderable natural abilities, of fome learning, and of decent morals, yet there are not a few among you, as among us, who are profane and debauched in no fmall degree, and who, therefore, are not capable of being reafoned with upon any religious topic whatever. Thefe are a difgrace to any caufe. And the more zealously they avow their party the lefs honourable it is to that party. Such men are little raised above the brutes that perifh, being earthly, fenfual, devilish. Let them but eat, drink, fleep, and indulge the bafer paffions of the human frame, they afk no more, they look no higher.-To intellectual and refined enjoyments they are ftrangers. Of literary gratifications they know little. For moral and religious pleafures they have no tafte. Immortal expectations, which exalt and enoble the mind of man, they are willing to forego. The language of their fenfual fouls, which are brutalized with indulgence, is no other than that of the ancient Epicureans:-Let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die. did they die to-morrow, the public would have no great lofs of them could they make good their hopes, that death is an eternal ceffation from fenfibility, they themselves would fuftain no material inconvenience. The best they can expect, is, to cease to be: a confummation, for fuch characters, devoutly to be wifhed!


These are the men, however, who make the greatest noise, and most violently oppofe the Religion of the Son of GOD and the Sacred Writings!

It is an honour to that Religion, and thofe Writings, that fuch men are infidels, and avow their Unbelief in the face of the world! May every unreasonable and immoral man do the fame!

It is calculated, that, when trade goes pretty well, there are, upon an average, 200,000 manufacturers in this country, who conftantly spend their working hours in idlenfs, drinking, gambling and debauchery. This large body of men may too be confidered as infidels in principle, atheists in practice, and ripe for any wicked and defperate enterprize which may arife. They are the curfe and fcum of the country; and yet they are ufually exceffively wife in their own eyes, and prudent in their own conceit. All the world are fools befides themfelves. They are great politicians, great philofophers, great divines-over their cups!-and wisdom thall die with them!


After all, MY COUNTRYMEN, if every thing befides in thefe papers fhall be defpifed by you, let the feveral examples herein recorded have their due weight upon your minds. If there is importance in any thing, it is usually to be found in the fentiments and behaviour of men, when they draw near the clofe of their earthly existence.

"Men may live fools; but fools they cannot die."

We may, indeed, be hardened in our fins, when that event draws nigh. We may brave it out against death. We may fet at defiance all the threats of heaven. But, ufually, we difcover certain fymptoms, even here, of what our future destiny is like to be. Fear, horror, indifference, hope, truft, faith, reliance, joy, will all more or lefs prevail, according as the ftate of our minds fhall be, in those folemn moments, when death is making his approach*.


There is a very affecting narrative juft published by a JOHN COOKE, of Maidenhead, in Berks, entitled Reafon paying homage to Revelation, in the Confeffion of a Deift at the gates of death. The gentleman in queftion was a very refpectable perfon of the medical profeffion in that town, and died at the age of thirty-three, He was a man of pleasure, as far as bufinefs would permit; but his favourite amusement was the card-table, at which he spent much time, and would frequently fay to Mr. Cook E, who seems to be a diffenting minifter, "I am prodigioufly fond of cards." While he was vifiting one of his patients, he was fuddenly taken ill. His confcience was alarmed. His deiftical principles, of which he had long made his boast while in health, gave way. He lamented his fad condition in most affecting and pitiable accents. Among other things, he acknowledged, with unutterable diftrefs, his neglect of the LORD's day, and the public worship of GOD. When he was well, he could fay," he was easy "without the Bible, he had no fears for his foul-he believed it would "die with his body-and he was never difturbed about these things "he could read profane hiftory with as much pleasure as another reads "his Bible." But, when he was ill, and apprehended himself to be on the brink of the grave, he was thrown into fuch unutterable agony, as to be bereft, at times, of his reafon. In the most bitter terms he bewailed his past folly-mourned over his loft opportunities-declared his full purpofe, if reftored, of attending to the great concerns of his foul-and folemnly warned his companions not to follow his example-and cried unto God for mercy. At length, after having lain for fome time in a fenseless state, he breathed out his foul with a difmal groan.

If THOMAS PAINE was as eafy and confident in his deiftical principles under the views of approaching diffolution, as he pretends, and, as I fuppose, he really was, this is by no means a fure criterion of those prin

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