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natural character: besides, my Lord, he who winneth a soul is wise. (Prov. xi. 30.)
One, who styles himself Cato, has written you a nervous and temperate letter; but he confines himself to a desire to shame you back to morality; but I “ cast my bread on the waters” (Eccles. xi. 1.) for a higher and a nobler prize: God grant you“ may find it after many days!” I would have you really a Christian, knowing that if the tree be good, the fruit will announce the fact. Should you be tempted to call this Cant*, I should reply, may you be preserved from adding the perpetual 0 of everlasting torture! and thereby forming, unless so preserved, a new species of Canto, far more fatal to you, than those of your Juan, immoral as they are, can possibly be to us and to our children.
* English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, line 320.
I crave the patience of the Reader, and the exercise of the amiabilities of his nature, in perusing the following pages. He must not expect, with me for his guide, to tread the towering heights of Parnassus, or fly, with winged haste, through hare-brained visions; if I can pluck a few salubrious herbs from the banks of the Pierian stream, 'tis the extent of my ability: but, leaving Parnassian heights behind, with all that Pindus yields, or Pegasus pursues, we will peep at mysteries of delightful import, and ponder over the high and fixed decrees of Universal Sovereignty.
The embellishments of high-wrought poetical fiction are delightful; so is a well-catered desert after a substantial dinner. But the hungry soul, which lacketh nutriment, could never be satisfied with a frothy temple or a gilded pyramid; with the many-coloured ice, or less substantial trifle; nor, indeed, with any of the glittering childish show. For myself, I first desire the strong meats of gospel lore, and then these sugared follies might suffice for pastime.