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How paffing wonder HE, who made him fuch!
What can preserve my life? or what destroy?
But there is no Oxymoron that occurs to my mind, so bold and grand as that in Dr YOUNG's piece, intitled, Refignation :
Not angels (hear it, and exult!)
Than is indulg'd to you and yours,
His care for ali was thrown;
As all had been but one.
And is he then fo near! fo kind!
How little then, and great,
His fate who yesterday did crawl
How mean!- and yet if well obey'd
The whole creation for mean man
The pow'r in exquisite extremes
Give him earth's empire (if no more)
4 Imprifon'd in unbounded space, Benighted by the fun t.
That man fhould be imprisoned in unbounded fpace, or that he fhould be benighted by the fun, the undecaying fountain of light, feems a palpable contradiction; but yet it is certain the foul of man cannot enjoy itself, but would be held, as in the miserable captivity of a prisoner, and would be involved in the horrors of a fpiritual
+ YOUNG's Works, vol,i. p. 144. Octavo edition.
night, if it was deftitute of an intereft in the favour of its Father and its GOD, though it had the illimitable space for its range, and the fun to spread around it its unclouded and perpetual luftre nay, it might be faid to be benighted by the fun, as the fun might only serve to put the foul in mind of what a greater glory it was deprived, by the lofs of the beatific sight and frui tion of Him who is to the foul, what the fun is to the body, the fource of light and joy; or, as the Pfalmift juftly exprefses himself, " whofe loving-kindness is better than life," Pfalm lxiii. 3.
To thefe inftances of the Oxymoron, we may add that expression of HORACE, where he ftiles the Epicurean philofophy mad wisdom:
I, who forfook the Gods, to ftray
4. Inftances of this Figure may be met with in the facred Writings. Prov. xi. 24. " There is ss that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there
is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it ss tendeth to poverty." So Alts v. 41. " And they," that is, the Apoftles, " departed from R 3 SS the
* Parcus Deorum cultor, & infrequens
Confultus erro; nunc retrorfum
HORAT. Od. lib. i. od. 34.
"the prefence of the council, rejoicing that they
" are dead, and your life is hid with CHRIST in
§ 5. This Figure, well conducted, may shew a bold and fuperior genius, that can make its way through the midst of dangers, and pass on fecure, in its own ftrength, on the very edge of a precipice. This Figure may fill the minds of an audience with pleasing furprife, charm them with novelty, and raise a great idea of the talents of the orator; while they find upon reflexion, that what at firft appeared contradictory is fterling fenfe, and fee it breaking out in its force and beauty, even from an expression or fentence, which they for a moment were ready to condemn as foolish and abfurd. But let me caution perfons that would make use of it, not
to be too free with this Figure, left they should feem too much to delight in conceits and riddles, and difguft by an affectation of wit. Perhaps no Figure fhould be more fparingly employed, and no Figure may require more fkifl for a right conftruction. And let me also add, that when we intend an Oxymoron, we should take. heed that we do not fall into a downright, pal-, pable contradiction: there is but a very fmall remove between the finest and the most exquisite, beauty, and the rankest and most infufferable nonfenfe. Without a due care concerning our Oxymorons, we may expect to hear of liquid rocks, folid fountains, cold conflagrations, and the like heterogeneous mixtures, to the no fmall aftonishment and deteftation of every man of understanding,
The ENANTIOSIS confidered.
§ 1. The Enantiofis defined. § 2. Inftances from VIRGIL, PRIOR, POPE, SHERLOCK, and STRADA. §3. Examples of this Figure from Scripture. 4. Obfervations concerning it.