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rations of events or statements of facts; but more particularly in works, the object of which is to make us better acquainted with our own nature, a writer, whose meaning is everywhere comprehended as quickly as his sentences can be read, may indeed have produced an amusing composition, nay, by awakening and re-enlivening our recollections, a useful one; but most assuredly he will not have added either to the stock of our knowledge, or to the vigour of our intellect. For how can we gather strength, but by exercise? How can a truth, new to us, be made our own without examination and self-questioning-any new truth, I mean, that relates to the properties of the mind, and its various faculties and affections? But whatever demands effort, requires time. Ignorance seldom vaults into knowledge, but passes into it through an intermediate state of obscurity, even as night into day through twilight. All speculative truths begin with a postulate, even the truths of geometry. They all suppose an act of the will; for in the moral being lies the source of the intellectual. The first step to knowledge, or rather the previous condition of all insight into truth, is to dare commune with our very and permanent self. It is Warburton's re'mark, not the Friend's, that of all literary exercitations, whether designed for the use or entertainment of the world, there are none of so much importance, or so immediately our concern, as those which let us into the knowledge of our own nature.
Others may exercise the understanding or amuse the imagination; but these only can improve the heart and form the human mind to wisdom.
The recluse hermit ofttimes more doth know
Of the world's inmost wheels, than worldlings can.
Is an epitome of God's great book
Of creatures, and men need no farther look.
The higher a man's station, the more arduous and full of peril his duties, the more comprehensive should his foresight be, the more rooted his tranquillity concerning life and death. But these are gifts which no experience can bestow, but the experience from within: and there is a nobleness of the whole personal being, to which the contemplation of all events and phænomena in the light of the three master ideas, announced in the foregoing pages, can alone elevate the spirit. Anima sapiens, says Giordano Bruno,-and let the sublime piety of the passage excuse some intermixture of error, or rather let the words, as they well may, be interpreted in a safe sense-anima sapiens non timet mortem, immo interdum illam ultro appetit, illi ultro occurrit. Manet quippe substantiam omnem pro duratione eternitas, pro loco immensitas, pro actu omniformitas. Non levem igitur ac futilem, atqui gravissimam perfectoque homine dignissimam contemplationis partem persequimur,
* Eclogue. The words in italics are substituted.-Ed
ubi divinitatis, naturæque splendorem, fusionem, et communicationem, non in cibo, potu, et ignobiliore quadam materia cum attonitorum seculo perquirimus; sed in augusta Omnipotentis regia, immenso ætheris spatio, in infinita naturæ geminæ omnis fientis et omnia facientis potentia, unde tot astrorum, mundorum, inquam, et numinum, uni altissimo concinentium atque saltantium absque numero atque fine juxta propositos ubique fines atque ordines contemplamur. Sic ex visibilium æterno, immenso et innumerabili effectu sempiterna immensa illa majestas atque bonitas intellecta conspicitur, proque sua dignitate innumerabilium deorum (mundorum dico)adsistentia, concinentia, et gloriæ ipsius enarratione, immo ad oculos expressa concione glorificatur. Cui immenso mensum non quadrabit domicilium atque templum;-ad cujus majestatis plenitudinem agnoscendam atque percolendam, numerabilium ministorum nullus esset ordo. Eia igitur ad omniformis Dei omniformem imaginem conjectemus oculos, vivum et magnum illius admiremur simulacrum ! -Hinc miraculum magnum a Trismegisto appellabatur homo, qui in Deum transeat quasi ipse sit Deus, qui conatur omnia fieri sicut Deus est omnia; ad objectum sine fine, ubique tamen finiendo, contendit, sicut infinitus est Deus, immensus, ubique totus.*
*De monade, &c. A wise spirit does not fear death, nay, sometimes—as in cases of voluntary martyrdom-seeks and
If this be regarded as the fancies of an enthusiast, by such as
deem themselves most free,
When they within this gross and visible sphere
by such as pronounce every man out of his senses who has not lost his reason; even such men may find some weight in the historical fact that from
goes forth to meet it, of its own accord. For there awaits all actual beings, for duration eternity, for place immensity, for action omniformity. We pursue, therefore, a species of contemplation not light or futile, but the weightiest and most worthy of an accomplished man, while we examine and seek for the splendor, the interfusion, and communication of the Divinity and of nature, not in meats or drink, or any yet ignobler matter, with the race of the thunder-stricken; but in the august palace of the Omnipotent, in the illimitable etherial space, in the infinite power, that creates all things, and is the abiding being of all things.
There we may contemplate the host of stars, of worlds and their guardian deities, numbers without number, each in its appointed sphere, singing together, and dancing in adoration of the One Most High. Thus from the perpetual, immense, and innumerable goings on of the visible world, that sempiternal and absolutely infinite Majesty is intellectually beheld, and is glorified according to his glory, by the attendance and choral symphonies of innumerable gods, who utter forth the glory of their ineffable Creator in the expressive language of vision! To him illimitable, a limited temple will not correspond-to the acknowledgment and due worship of the plenitude of his majesty there would be
* Poetical Works, I. p. 99.-Ed.
persons, who had previously strengthened their intellects and feelings by the contemplation of principles-principles, the actions correspondent to which involve one half of their consequences, by their ennobling influence on the agent's own soul, and have omnipotence, as the pledge for the remainder-we have derived the surest and most general maxims of prudence. Of high value are they all. Yet there is one among them worth all the rest, which in the fullest and primary sense of the word is, indeed, the maxim, that is, maximum,
no proportion in any numerable army of ministrant spirits. Let us then cast our eyes upon the omniform image of the attributes of the all-creating Supreme, nor admit any representation of his excellency but the living universe, which he has created!-Thence was man entitled by Trismegistus, the great miracle, inasmuch as he has been made capable of entering into union with God, as if he were himself a divine nature; tries to become all things, even as in God all things are; and in limitless progression of limited states of being, urges onward to the ultimate aim, even as God is simultaneously infinite, and every where all !
Giordano Bruno, the friend of Sir Philip Sidney and Fulk Greville, was burnt under pretence of atheism, at Rome, on the 17th of February, 1599-1600. (Scioppio ends his narrative in these words: Sic ustulatus misere periit, renunciaturus, credo, in reliquis illis, quos finxit, mundis, quonam pacto homines blasphemi et impii a Romanis tractari solent. Hic itaque modus in Roma est, quo contra homines impios et monstra hujusmodi procedi a nobis solet.—Ed.) His works are perhaps the scarcest books ever printed. They are singularly interesting as portraits of a vigorous mind struggling after truth, amid many prejudices, which from the state of the