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hear, but feel the reply! Forcibly grasping the youth's hand, he fostly said, “ See in what peace a Christian can die.” Shortly after he died, on the 19th of June 1719.*
This great character derived much comfort from his firin hope of another and better state.
The following were his sentiments on that head. “ 'The prospect of a future state, says he, is the secret comfort and refreshment of my soul.. It is that which makes nature look cheerful about me; it doubles all my pleasures, and supports me under all my afilic. tions. I can look at disappointments and misfortunes, pain, and fickness, death itself, with indifference, so long as I keep in view the pleasures of eternity, and the state of being in which there will be no fears nor apprehensions, pains nor sorrows.”
“ All sorts of men, fays Addison, who have gone before us into an eternal state, have left this great obfervation behind them, that upon experience they have found, that, what vain thoughts foever men may, in the heat of their youth entertain of religion, they will, sooner or later, feel the testimony God hath given it in every man's breast; which will make them serious, either by the inexprefsible fears, terrors, and agonies of a troubled mind; or the inconceivable comfort, and joy of a good conscience.
“ It is to be observed, that Christianity not only profelyted men to the belief and outward profeffion of Christianity, but had a visible and moral effect upon their lives and conduct. Never was any other cause supported with such irresistible evidence. Wherever it came it was received by multitudes, at the expence of their property, characters and lives: many of these who had hitherto lived debauched, impious and idolatrous lives, became now fober, temperate, honest and religious. This was not indeed univerfally the car, because all were not sincere in their profession ; but I was so, to an extent that no other religion could boaf Nay the Pagan religion general
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ly made men morally worse, in proportion to the zeal with which they professed it.
The remaining effect of the Spirit's effusion was the constancy and readiness with which men suffered the loss of all things, and even martyrdom itself in its most terrible forms."
-“ I cannot omit (says Mr. Addison*) that which appears to me a standing miracle in the three first centuries, I mean that amazing and supernatural courage or patience which was lhewn by innumerable multitudes of martyrs in those flow and painful torments which were inflicted on them. I cannot conceive a man placed in the burning iron chair at Lyons, and the insults and mockeries of a crouded amphitheatre, and still keeping his seat: or stretched upon a grate of iron, over coals of fire, and breathing out his soul among the exquisite sufferings of such a tedious execution, rather than renounce his religion or blaspheme his Saviour. Such trials seem to me above the strength of human nature, and able to over, bear duty, realon, faith, conviction, nay, and the most absolute certainty of a future state. Humanity, unbiaffed in an extraordinary manner, must have shaken off the present pressure, and have delivered itself out of such dreadful distress by any means that could have been suggested to it. We can easily imagine that many persons in so good a cause might have laid down their lives at the gibbet, the stake, or the block : but to expire leisurely among the most exquisite tortures, when they might come out of them, even by a mental reservation, or an hypocrify which was not without a poffibility of being followed by repentance and forgiveness, has something in it fo far beyond the force and natural strength of mortals, that one cannot but think there was some miraculous power to support the sufferer.
“ It is certain that the deaths and sufferings of the primitive Christians had a great share in the converfion of those learned Pagans, who lived in the ages of perlecution, which with some intervals and abate. ments, lasted near 300 years after our Saviour. Jus. tin Martyr, Tertullian, Lactantius, Arnobius, and others, tell us, that this first of all alarmed their curiosity, roused their attention and made them seriously inquisitive into the nature of that religion, which could endue the mind with fo much strength, and overcome the fear of death, nay, raise an earneit defire of it, though it appeared in all its terrors. This they found had not been effected by all the doctrines of those philosophers, whom they had thoroughly ftudied, and who had been labouring at this great point. The sight of these dying and tormented martyrs engaged them to search into the history and doctrines of him for whom they suffered. The more they searched, the more they were convinced ; till their conviction grew so strong, that they themselves embraced the same truths, and either actually laid down their lives, or were always in readiness to doit rather than depart from them.”.
* Evidences of the Christian Religion, Sect. vii,
ABSENCE IN CONVERSATION.
Y friend Will Honeycombe is one of those fart of men who are often absent in conversation, and what the French call a Rèveur and a Diffrait. A little before our club-time last night, we were walking together in Somerjet Garden, where Will had picked up a small pebble of so odd a make, that he said he would present it to a friend of his, an eminent Virtuoso, After we had walked some time, I made a full ftep, with my face towards the west, which will knowing to be my usual method of aking what's o'clock in an afternoon, immediately pulled out his watch, and told me we had seven minutes good. We took a turn or two more, when, to my great furprise, I saw him squirt away his watch a considerable way into the Thames, and with great fedateness in his looks, put up the pebble, he had before found, in his fob. As I have naturally an averfion to much speaking, and do not love to be the messenger of ill news, especially when it comes too late to be useful, I left him to be conyinced of his mifm take in due time, and continued my walk, reflecting on these little absences and distractions in mankind.
Monsieur Bruyere has given us the character of an abfent man. Menalcas comes down in a morning, opens his door to go out, but shuts it again, because he perceives he has his night-cap on; and examining himself farther, finds that he is but half shaved, that he has stuck his sword on his right fide, that his stock ings are about his heels, and that his shirt is over his breeches. When he is dressed, he goes to court, comes into the drawing-room, and walking upright, under a branch of candlesticks, his wig is caught up by one of them, and hangs dangling in the air : all the courtiers fall a laughing; but Menalcas laughs louder: than any
of them, and looks about for the person that is the jest of the company. Coming down to the court.gate he finds a coach, which taking for his own, he whips into it; and the coachman drives off, not doubting but he carries his master. As soon as he ftops, Menalcas throws himfélf out of the coach, croffes the court ascends the stair-cafe, and runs through all the chambers with the greatest familiarity, repo
fes himfelf on a couch, and fancies himself at home. The master of the house at last comes in ; Menalcas rifes to receive him, and desires him to fit down; he talks, muses, and then talks again. The gentleman of the house is tired and amazed ; Menalcas is no less so, but is every moment in hopes that his imper'tinent guest will at last end his tedions visit. Night comes on, when Menalcas is hardly undeceived.
When he is playing at backganimon, he calls for a full glass of wine and water ; 'tis his turn to throw ; he has the box in one hand, and his glafs in the other; and being extremely dry, and unwilling to lose time, he fwallows down both the dice, and at the same time throws his wine into the tables. He writes a letter, and flings the sand into the ink-bottle ; he writes a second, and mistakes the superscription: A nobleman receives one of them, and upon opening it, reads as follows: I wou'd have joi, boneft Jack, immediatel spon the receipt of this, tike in hay enough to serve me she Winter : His Farmer receives the cher, and is amazed to fee in it, My Lord, I received your Grace's com,