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Frank. Die then: there is nothing to prevent thee. I will, as a friend, endeavor to facilitate thy escape from this troublesome world: I will furnish thee with a knife, a rope, or a poisoned chalice: I will accompany thee to the brink of a precipice, or to the banks of a stream. Leap boldly: and terrestrial affairs will disturb thee no longer.
Piomingo. Thou art very obliging: but, at present, I feel no inclination to trouble thee with commands of that extraordinary nature. For death we may "devoutly wish;" but dying, I apprehend, must be rather disagreeable. However, to convince thee of my respect for thy advice, I hasten to extricate myself from the embraces of sloth.
Frank. Thou dost well. Sloth is a most pernicious mistress: she smiles, soothes, seduces, and caresses; but, finally, destroys every one who yields to her blandishments. Though thou wert Samson, thou wilt lose thy strength if thou layest thy head in the lap of this Delilah! Though thou wert Ulysses, thou wilt sink to a state of brutality if thou yield to the solicitations of this Circe! Though thou wert Hercules, thou wilt become contemptible if thou become the slave of this Omphale!
Piomingo. Thou speakest well: but did I not feel an inclination for breakfast, I fancy I should be able to resist the most potent of thy arguments, and withstand thy most ardent solicitations.
Frank. I have heard that savages smoke and sleep away their time, and cannot be roused from their state of stupefaction, save by the calls of hunger or a desire of revenge.
Piomingo. Thou hast not been correctly informed. Friendship, glory, love of country, afford motives sufficiently powerful to call forth their ardor, and produce the most heroic exertions.
Frank. Wilt thou go to church?
Piomingo. I think not. To what church wouldest thou take me?
Frank. Thou art so old that I have small hopes of being so blessed as to witness thy conversion: were it not that I am discouraged by this consideration, I should
insist upon thy attending some of the calvinistic, reformed, doubly refined, and evangelical churches, where thou mightest hear the gospel preached in its purity, and be carefully instructed in the doctrines of grace.
Piomingo. What are the doctrines of grace?
Frank. We are commanded not to "cast pearls before swine." Wert thou only in a state of grace and honored with a pair of "newinvented patent" spiritual eyes, thou wouldest be able to discover the beauty of these sublime, man-depressing, and God-exalting doctrines. Ah! it is a very comfortable thing to be in a state of grace! In that case, my dear Piomingo, thou shouldest not need to be under any apprehensions of being eternally damned: thou mightest venture slyly to indulge those corruptions of thy nature which might not be purged away by the process of regeneration; but thou wouldest have to be careful not to bring reproach upon the godly by thy irregular proceedings. There was David, for instance, the royal nightingale: he made a few false steps in his progress through life; but. being one of the elect, his soul was as safe as a guinea in the iron chest of a miser: the Lord never fails to pardon the transgressions of his children.
Piomingo. Thou bringest to my recollection a man greater than David-the fighting praying canting hypocritical enthusiastic daring cruel magnanimous Cromwel; who murdered his master, and committed a few barbarities in Ireland and Scotland. He inquired, towards the end of his life, if it were certain, that the saints could not fall away and be finally lost. Being answered, that nothing was more certain, he exclaimed with exultation, "Then am I safe: for I know that I was in a state of grace!”—I am afraid that these doctrines are unfavorable to the practice of virtue.
Frank. Virtue! Evangelical christians never mention virtue, unless in the way of reproach: it is a heathenish kind of a thing-filthy rags—yea, d*** in the sight of the Lord. Any one who hopes to acquire favor with God by promoting the good of his fellow creatures is regarded by them with the utmost contempt and abhorrence, and stigmatized with the odious epithets of
legalist and moralist. They feel abundance of love and veneration for that being who from all eternity judiciously selected them as the objects of his beneficence; but they look down with in ffable contempt on a reprobate world -"vessels, of wrath fitted to destruction!" They have a great antipathy against nature and every thing natural, and are continually striving to have it brought into subjection: indeed they have been so far successful as to have brought themselves to think with pleasure of the eternal damnation of a vast majority of mankind. They have constructed a hell, a dreadful hell, in which they hope to see unbelievers eternally punished: Yea, they flatter themselves with the idea that they, the saints, shall be placed on thrones, and will have the sublime happiness of pronouncing the irreversible doom, of neverending torments, upon impenitent millions: among whom they expect to see reprobate fathers mothers brothers sisters wives and children!
Page 2, line 8th from the bottom, for there is read there are. Page 13, line 6th from the bottom, for expose read oppose. Page 143, line 18th from the top, for extortion read distortion. Page 228, line 1st for curusca read corusca.
Same page, line 5th from the bottom, after to read be.