« PreviousContinue »
T is the
property of that unlimited benevolence which Your Majesty has so fuccessfully endeavoured to imitate, rather to regard the mind of the offerer than the value of his oblation. Under the influence of this reflec
tion I am encouraged to lay these Effays at the foot of Your Majesty's throne.
The Sermons on the nature of the soul, which constitute part of these volumes, were originally dictated with a firm persuasion that the great and interesting doctrine of a future ftate might be proved from principles, either self-evident, or universally admitted. The first idea and many of the outlines were suggested by an accidental perufal of a work composed by the learned Lord MORNAY, Privycounsellor to King Henry the fourth of France. Sir John Davies's inimitable Poem on“ self knowledge” was but another stream from the same fountain. He happily accomplished by poetick numbers, what I have
attempted in plain prose. In one particular
“ O, many many years may you remain,
“ A happy angel to this happy land!
“ Ere you in heaven a glorious angel stand!
“ Who mak'st each place a heaven wherein thou art!"
Your Majesty, encircled with whatever the world holds desireable and glorious, cannot
but be deeply interested in the validity of religious truths, for the very idea of departing from all the elegant satisfactions of domestick life would leave a wound indelible did not Nature proclame what Revelation has confirmed---THAT THIS WORLD IS NOT OUR
“ King Agrippa, said Saint Paul, believest thou the prophets ? I know that thou believest.” So armed for the conflict, how transporting the consequence, that even the grave will boast no victory against spiritual weapons, for thus comfortably speak the oracles of truth, THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND, AND THE DEAD SHALL BE
In that blest
hour, those who have worthily worn their earthly crowns, will with rapture hear the