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entirely disappears, and the terrible and sublime blaze out together. We have continually about us

animals of a strength that is considerable, but not pernicious. Amongst these we never look for the .sublime; it comes upon us in the gloomy forest, and in the howling wilderness, in the form of the lion, the tiger, the panther, or rhinoceros. When. ever strength is only useful, and employed for our benefit or our pleasure, then it is never sublime; for nothing can act agreeably to us, that does not act in conformity to our will; but, to act agreeably to our will, it must be subject to us, and therefore can never be the cause of a grand and commanding conception. The description of the wild ass, in Job, is worked up into no small sublimity, merely by insisting on his freedom, and his setting mankind at defiance; otherwise the description of such an animal could have bad nothing noble in it. «Who hath loosed,' says he, the bands of the wild ass? whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the voice of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture.' The magnificent description of the unicorn, and of the leviathan, in the same book, is full of the same heightening circumstances: “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee? canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? wilt thou trust him because his strength is great ?--Canst thou draw out leviathan with a hook? will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever? shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him ? In short, wheresoever we find strength, and in what light soever we look upon power, we shall all along observe the sublime the concomitant of terror, and contempt the attendant

on a strength that is subservient and innoxious. The race of dogs, in many of their kinds, have generally a competent degree of strength and swiftness; and they exert these, and other valuable qualities which they possess, greatly to our conve. nience and pleasure. Dogs are indeed the most social, affectionate, and amiable animals of the whole brute creation ; but love approaches much nearer to contempt than is commonly imagined ; and accordingly, though we caress dogs, we borrow from them an appellation of the most des ble kind, when we employ terms of reproach; and this appellation is the common mark of the last vileness and contempt in every language. Wolves have not more strength than several species of dogs; but, on account of their unmanageable fierceness, the idea of a wolf is not despicable; it is not excluded from grand descriptions and similitudes. Thus we are affected by strength, which is natural power. The power which arises from institution in kings and commanders has the same connexion with terror. Sovereigns are frequently addressed with the title of dread Majesty. And it may be observed, that young persons little acquainted with the world, and who have not been used to approach men in power, are commonly struck with an awe which takes

away the free use of their faculties. When I prepared my seat in the streets,' says Job, the young men saw me and hid themselves. Indeed so natural is this timidity with regard to power, and so strongly does it inhere in our constitution, that very few are able to conquer it, but by mixing much in the business of the great world, or by using no small violence to their natural dispositions. I know some people are of opinion, that no awe, no degree of terror, accompanies the idea of power;

and have hazarded to affirm that we can contem-; plate the idea of God himself without any such emotion. I purposely avoided, when I first cons sidered this subject, to introduce the idea of that great and tremendous Being, as an example in an argument so light as this; though it frequently occurred to me, not as an objection to, but as a strong confirmation of my notions in this matter.

I hope in what I am going to say I shall avoid presumption, where it is almost impossible for any mortal to speak with strict propriety. I say, then, that whilst we consider the Godhead merely as he is an object of the understanding, which forms a complex idea of power, wisdom, justice, goodness, all stretched to a degree far exceeding the bounds of our comprehension; whilst we consider the divinity in this refined and abstracted light, the imagination and passions are little or nothing affected. But because we are bound, by the condition of our nature, to ascend to these pure and intellectual ideas through the medium of sensible images, and to judge of these divine qualities by their evident acts and exertions, it becomes extremely hard to disentangle our idea of the cause from the effect by which we are led to know it. This when we contemplate the Deity, his attributes and their operation, coming united on the mind, form a sort of sensible image, and, as such, are capable of affecting the imagination. Now, though, in a just idea of the Deity, perhaps none of his attributes are predominant, yet, to out imagination, his power is by far the most striking. Some reflection, some comparing, is necessary to satisfy us of his wisdom, his justice, and his goodness. To be struck with his power, it is only necessary that we should open our eyes. But whilst we contemplate so vast an object under the arm, as it were, of almighty power, and invested upon every side with omnipresence, we shrink into the minuteness of our own nature, and are, in a manner, annihilated before him. And though a consideration of his other attributes may relieve in some measure our apprehensions, yet no conviction of the justice with which it is ex. ercised, nor the mercy with which it is tempered, can wholly remove the terror that naturally arises from a force which nothing can withstand. If we. rejoice, we rejoice with trembling; and even whilst we are receiving benefits, we cannot but shudder at a power which can confer benefits of such mighty importance. When the prophet David contemplated the wonders of wisdom and power which are displayed in the economy of man, he seems to be struck with a sort of divine horror, and cries out, 'Fearfully and wonderfully am I made! A heathen poet has a sentiment of a similar nature: Horace looks upon it as the last effort of philosophical fortitude, to behold, without terror and amazement, this immense and glorious fabric of the universe:

Hunc solem, et stellas, et decedentia certis
Tempora momentis, súnt qui formidine nulla

Imbuti spectant. Lucretius is a poet not to be suspected of giving way to superstitious terrors : yet when he supposes the whole mechanism of nature laid open by the master of his philosophy, his transport on this magnificent view, which he has represented in the colours of such bold and lively poetry, is overcast with a shade of secret dread and horror :

His tibi me rebus quædam divina voluptas
Percipit, atque horror, quod sic Natura tua vi

Tam manifesta patet ex omni parte retecta: But the Scripture alone can supply ideas answerable to the majesty of this subject. In the Scripture, wherever God is represented as appearing or

'speaking, every thing terrible in nature is called up to heighten the awe and solemnity of the divine presence. The psalms, and the prophetical books, are crowded with instances of this kind. The earth shook,' says the Psalmist, the heavens also dropped at the presence of the Lord.' And, what is remarkable, the pointing preserves the same character, not only when he is supposed descending to take vengeance upon the wicked, but even when he exerts the like plenitude of power in acts of beneficence to mankind. • Tremble, thou earth! at the presence of the Lord; at the presence of the God of Jacob; which turned the rock into standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters!' It were endless to enumerate all the passages both in the sacred and profane writers, which establish the general sentiment of mankind con. cerning the inseparable union of a sacred and reverential awe, with our ideas of the Divinity. Hence the common maxim, Primos in orbe deos fecit timor. This maxim may be, as I believe it is, false with regard to the origin of religion. The maker of the maxim saw how inseparable these ideas were, without considering that the notion of some great power must be always precedent to our dread of it. But this dread must necessarily follow the idea of such a power when it is once excited in the mind. It is on this principle that true religion has, and must have, so large a mixture of salutary fear; and that false religions have generally nothing else but fear to support them. Before the Christian reli. gion had, as it were, humanized the idea of the Divinity, and brought it somewhat nearer to us, there was very little said of the love of God. The followers of Plato have something of it, and only something; the other writers of Pagan antiquity,

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