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utmost concern to her. The cares or pleasures of the world strike in with every thought, and a inultitude of vicious examples give a kind of justification to our folly. In our retirements every thing disposes us to be serious. In courts and cities we are entertained with the works of men ; in the country with those of God. One is the Province of art, the other of nature. Faith and devotion na. turally grow in the mind of every reafonable man, who sees the impressions of Divine Power and Wisdom in every object, on which he casts his eye. The Supreme Being has made the best arguments for his own Existence, in the for- * mation of the heavens and the earth, and these are arguments which a man of sense cannot forbear attending to, who is out of the noise and hurry of human affairs. Aristotle says, that should a man live under ground, and there converse with works of art and mechanism, and Thould afterwards be brought up into the open day, and see the several glories of the heaven and earth, he would immediately pronounce them the works of such a Be. ing as we define God to be. The Psalmist has very beautiful strokes of Poetry to
this purpose, in that exalted ftrain, The heavens declare the glory of God: And the firmament Bewetb bis bandy-work. One day telleth another : And one night certifieth another. There is neither speech nor lan. guage : But their voices are beard among them. Their sound is gone out into all lands: And their words into the ends of the world. As such a bold and sublime manner of thinking furnishes very noble matter for an Ode, the reader may see it wrought into the following one.
The spacious Firmament on bigb,
Whilst all the stars that round ber burn,
What though, in folemn silente, all
Amid their radiant orbs be found ?
your gay gentlemen of the town, + who being attended at his entry with a • servant of his own, besides a country
man he had taken up for a guide, ex• cited the curiosity of the village to • learn whence and what he might be. • The countryman (to whom they ap
plied as moft easy of access) knew lito tle more than that the gentleman came < from London to travel and fee fashions,
and was, as he heard say, a Freethinker : What religion that might be,
he could not tell; and for his own o part, if they had not told him the man I was a Free-thinker, he should have • guessed by his way of talking, he was
little • little better than a Heathen ; excepting I only that he had been a good gentle
man to him, and made him drunk twice o in one day, over and above what they • had bargained for.
I do not look upon the simplicity of this, and several odd enquiries with ( which I shall trouble you, to be won• dered at, much less can I think that
our youths:' of fine wit, and enlarged r understandings, have any reason to • laugh. There is no necessity that every « squire in Great-Britain should know what o the word Free-thinker stands for ; .but it were much to be wished, that
they who valued themselves upon that • conceited title, were a little better in"structed in what it ought to stand for ;
and that they would not persuade them« felves a man is really and truly a Free
thinker in any tolerable sense, merely .. by virtue of his being an Atheist, or an • Infidel of any other distinction. It may
be doubted with good reason, whether “there ever was in nature a more abject, · Navish, and bigotted generation than the • tribe of Beaux Esprits, at present fo « prevailing in this island. Their preten• lion to be Free-thinkers, is no other