« ForrigeFortsett »
S E R A P H.
HYMNS AND POEMS.
From the best AUTHORS.
To thee, O God,
And whatsoever spirits be
To thee, in heav'nly lays,
This is their business, this their fole employ,
E DIN BURGH:
Printed by R. FLEMING, and sold by YAIR and
P R E F A CE.
NY one who considers the nature of man, must
needs own that poetry is very proper to work upon it; that it may be of excellent use unto him, and that it has in some respects the advantage of abstract reasoning and philosophy.
'Tis true, were we nothing but pure intelleet, were we stript of flesh and blood, and arriv'd at that perfect fate the saints above enjoy, then a bare abstraction of thought, and orderly ranging of ideas might serve the
But while we continue such beings as we are, while blood, and spirit, imagination and passion, make up, a part of our nature, these must have their proper objects and incentives, or we shall scarcely engage in the queft of glory: For what are these but a sort of wings to the soul? She may creep, but will hardly foar without them.
Now the great businefs of poetry (as every one knows) is to paint agreeable pictures on the imagination, to actuate the spirits, and give the paffions a noble pitch. All its daring metaphors, surprising turns, melting accents, lofty flights, and lively defcriptions, serve for this end. While we read, we feel a strange warmth boiling with. in, the blood dances through the veins, jay lightens in the countenance, and we are insensibly led into a pleasing captivity.
These are some of the genuine effects of poetry; so that without all question, it may be of excellent use to mankind, may improve our souls, and serve as a powerful charm to deter us from vice, and engage us on the side of wisdom and virtue.
But then, for the same reason, it cannot be deny'd, that it may be equally pernicious. Profane and leud