that her visit to Trophonius only reduced her to a more than ordinary decency of behaviour, and made a very pretty prude of her. After having performed innumerable cures, I looked about me with great fatisfaction, and saw all my patients walking by themselves in a very pensive and musing posture, so that the whole place seemed covered with philosophers. I was at length resolved to go into the cave myself, and see what it was that had produced such wonderful effects upon the company; but as I was stooping at the entrance, the door being somewhat low, I gave such a nod in my chair that I awaked, After having recovered myself from my first startle, I was very well pleased at the accident which had befallen me, as not knowing but a little stay in the place might have spoiled my SPECTATORS.

N° 600. Wednesday, September 29, 1714.

Solemque suum, sua fidera norunt.

Virg. Æn. vi. 641. • Stars of their own, and their own suns they know.'


T HAVE always taken a particular pleasure I in examining the opinions which men of different religions, different ages, and different countries, have entertained concerning the immortality of the soul, and the state of happiness


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which they promise themselves in another world. For, whatever prejudices and errors human nature lies under, we find that either reason, or tradition from our first parents, has discovered to all people something in these great points which bears analogy to truth, and to the doctrines opened to us by divine revelation. I was lately discoursing on this subject with a learned person, who has been very much conversant among the inhabitants of the more western parts of Africa*. Upon his conversing with several in that country he tells me that their notion of heaven or of a future state of happiness is this, that every thing we there with for will immediately present itself to us. We find, say they, our souls are of such a nature that they require variety, and are not capable of being always delighted with the same objects. The Supreme Being, therefore, in compliance with this taste of happiness which he has planted in the soul of man, will raise up from time to time, say they, every gratification which it is in the humour to be pleased with. If we wish to be in groves or bowers among running streams or falls of water, we shall immediately find ourselves in the midst of such a scene as we defire. If we would be entertained with music and the melody of sounds, the concert arises upon our with, and the whole region about us is filled with harmony. In short, every desire will be followed by fruition ; and whatever a man's inclination directs him to will be present with him. Nor is it material whether the Supreme Power creates in conformity to our wishes, or whether he only produces such a change in our imagination as makes us believe ourselves conversant among those scenes which delight us. Our happiness will be the same, whether it proceed from external objects, or from the impreslions of the Deity upon our own private fancies. This is the account which I have received from my learned friend. Notwithstanding this system of belief be in general very chimerical and visionary, there is something sublime in its manner of considering the influ ence of a Divine Being on a human soul. It has also, like most other opinions of the heathen world upon these important points ; it has, I say, its foundation in truth, as it supposes the fouls of good men after this life to be in a state of perfect happiness; that in this state there will be no barren hopes, nor fruitless wishes, and that we shall enjoy every thing we can desire. But the particular circumstance which I am most pleased with in this scheme, and which arises from á just reflection upon human nature, is that variety of pleasures which it supposes the

* The person alluded to here was probably Dean Lancelot Addison, “ diutinis per Europam Africamque peregrina

« tionibus, rerum peritia fpeétabilis.This amiable clergy· man, the father of the author of this Paper, published « An

« Account of West Barbary, &c.” As the Dean died in his 71st year, April 1703, this Paper was probably written in his life-time, many years, a dozen at least, before the date of its publication in the SPECTATOR. See Tat. with Notes, Vol. VI. No, 235, p. 162, Note; Dr. Johnson's “ Lives of English Poets;" Vol. II. p. 381. Edit. 8vo. 1781; and “ BIOGR. BRIT,” Art. ADDISON, (Lancelot.)



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souls of good men will be poffeffed of in another world. This I think highly probable, from the dictates both of reason and revelation. The foul consists of many faculties, as the understanding, and the will, with all the senses both outward and inward; or, to ipeak more philosophically, the soul can exert herself in many different ways of action, She can understand, will, imagine, see, and hear ; love, and discourse, and apply herself to many other the like. exercises of different kinds and natures; but, what is more to be considered, the soul is capable of receiving a most exquisite pleasure and fatisfaction from the exercise of any of these its powers, when they are gratified with their proper objects; she can be entirely happy by the satisfaction of the memory, the sight, the hearing, or any other mode of perception. Every faculty is as a distinct taste in the mind, and hath objects accommodated to its proper relish. Doctör Tillotson somewhere says that he will not presume to determine in what consists the happiness of the blessed, because God Almighty is capable of making the soul happy by ten thoufand different ways. Besides those several avenues to pleasure which the foul is endowed with in this life, it is not impossible, according to the opinions of many eminent divines, but there may be new faculties in the souls of good men made perfect, as well as new senses in their glorified bodies. This we are sure of; that there will be new objects offered to all those faculties which are effential to us.


We are likewise to take notice that every particular faculty is capable of being employed on a very great variety of objects. The understanding, for example, may be happy in the contemplation of moral, natural, mathematical, and other kinds of truth. The memory likewise may turn itself to an infinite multitude of objects, especially when the soul thall have palled through the space of many millions of years, and thall reflect with pleasure on the days of eternity. Every other faculty may be considered in the same extent.

We cannot question but that the happiness of a foul will be adequate to its nature ; and that it is not endowed with any faculties which are to lie useless and unemployed. The happiness is to be the happiness of the whole man ; and we may easily conceive to ourselves the happiness of the soul while any one of its faculties is in the fruition of its chief good. The happiness may be of a more exalted nature in proportion as the faculty employed is so: but, as the whole soul acts in the exertion of any of its particular powers, the whole soul is happy in the pleasure which arises from any of its particular acts. For, notwithstanding, as has been before hinted, and as it has been taken notice of by one of the greatest modern philosophers *, we divide the foul into several powers and faculties, there is no such division in the soul itself, since it is the whole soul that remembers, understands, wills, or imagines. Our manner

* Locke,


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