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499. Will Honeycomb's Account of the Siege
of Hersberg, and his Dream ......... ADDISON
theatrical Audience.......... ....... STEELE
505. On Conjurors and Revealers of Dreams ADDISON
Characters of Erastus, Letitia, Taw-
dry, and Flavilla............................ BUDGELL
plaint against a Coxcomb............... STEELE
510. On the irresistible Power of Beauty...... —
for Marriage-Sale of unmarried
N° 453. SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 1712.
Non usitata nee tenui ferar
HOR. 2 Od. xx. 1.
· CREECH. THERE is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction, that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. It is not like the practice of many other virtues, difficult and painful, but attended with so much pleasure, that were there no positive command which enjoined it, nor any recompence laid up for it hereafter, a generous mind would indulge in it, for the natural gratification that accompanies it.
If gratitude is due from man to man, how much more from man to his Maker! The Supreme Being does not only confer upon us those bounties, which proceed more immediately from his hand, but even those benefits which are conveyed to us by others. Every blessing we enjoy, by what means soever it may be derived upon us, is the gift of Him who is the great Author of good, and Father of mercies.' If gratitude, when exerted towards one another,
naturally produces a very pleasing sensation in the mind of a grateful man; it exalts the soul into rapture, when it is employed on this great object of gratitude, on this beneficent Being who has given us every thing we already possess, and from whom we expect every thing we yet hope for.
Most of the works of the pagan poets were either direct hymns to their deities, or tended indirectly to the celebration of their respective attributes and perfections. Those who are acquainted with the works of the Greek and Latin poets which are still extant, will upon reflection find this observation so true, that I shall not enlarge upon it. One would wonder that more of our Christian poets have not turned their thoughts this way, especially if we consider, that our idea of the Supreme Being is not only infinitely more great and noble than what could possibly enter into the heart of an heathen, but filled with every thing that can raise the imagination, and give an opportunity for the sublimest thoughts and conceptions.
Plutarch tells us of a heathen who was singing an hymn to Diana, in which he celebrated 'her for her delight in human sacrifices, and other instances of cruelty and revenge ; upon which a poet, who was present at this piece of devotion, and seems to have had a truer idea of the divine nature, told the votary, by way of reproof, that, in recompence for his hymn, he heartily wished he might have a daughter of the same temper with the goddess he ce·lebrated. It was impossible to write the praises of one of those false deities, according to the pagan creed, without a mixture of impertinence and absurdity.
The Jews, who before the time of Christianity were the only people who had the knowledge of the true God, have set the Christian world an example
how they ought to employ this divine talent of which I am speaking. As that nation produced men of great genius, without considering them as inspired writers, they have transmitted to us many hymns and divine odes, which excel those that are delivered down to us by the ancient Greeks and Romans, in the poetry, as much as in the subject to which it was consecrated. This I think might easily be shown, if there were occasion for it.
I have already communicated to the public some pieces of divine poetry; and, as they have met with a very favourable reception, I shall from time to time publish any work of the same nature, which has not yet appeared in print, and may be acceptable to my readers.
With heedless steps I ran,
VII. • Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
It gently clear'd my way,
VIII. • When worn with sickness, oft hast Thou
With health renew'd my face,
IX. • Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
Has made my cup rin o'er, And in a kind and faithful friend
Has doubled all my store.
• Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ;
Thy goodness I'll pursue ;
Divide thy works no more, My ever grateful heart, O Lord, Thy mercy shall adore.
A joyful song I'll raise,
To utter all thy praise.'