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pels may safely be referred, * as it usually is, and by the best biblical scholars, to the destruction of Jerusalem. Concerning the visions of the Apocalypse, sublime as they are, I speak with less hesitation, and dismiss them from my thoughts, as more congenial to the fanatics of whom you have spoken than to me. And for the coming of Antichrist, it is no longer a received opinion in these days, whatever it may have been in yours. Your reasoning applies to the enthusiastic Millenarians who discover the number of the Beast, and calculate the year when a Vial is to be poured out, with as much precision as the day and hour of an eclipse. But it leaves my hope unshaken and untouched. I know that the world has improved; I see that it is improving; and I believe that it will continue to improve in natural and certain progress. Good and evil principles are widely at work: a crisis is evidently approaching; it may be dreadful, but I can have no doubts concerning the result. Black and ominous as the aspects may appear, I regard them without dismay.
* Matthew xxiv. Luke xxi. There is no difficulty in the passage, if we bear in mind that two questions were asked by the disciples; that our Lord answered both, and that they, according to their Jewish prepossessions, supposed a connection between them in point of time.
The common exclamation of the poor and helpless, when they feel themselves oppressed, conveys to my mind the sum of the surest and safest philosophy. I say with them, “ God is above,” and trust Him for the event.
SIR THOMAS MORE.
God is above,..but the devil is below. Evil principles are, in their nature, more active than good. The harvest is precarious, and must be prepared with labour, and cost, and care; weeds spring up of themselves, and flourish and seed whatever may be the season. Disease, vice, folly and madness are contagious; while health and understanding are incommunicable, and wisdom and virtue hardly to be communicated! ...We have come however to some conclusion in our discourse. Your notion of the improvement of the world has appeared to be a mere speculation, altogether inapplicable in practice; and as dangerous to weak heads and heated imaginations as it is congenial to benevolent hearts. Perhaps that improvement is neither so general, nor so certain as you suppose. Perhaps, even in this country there may be more knowledge than there was in former times, and less wisdom,..more wealth and less happiness, ...more display and less virtue. This must be the subject of future conversation.
only remind you now, that the French had persuaded themselves this was the most enlightened age of the world, and they the most enlightened people in it, .. the politest, the most amiable, the most humane of nations,.. and that a new era of philosophy, philanthropy and peace was about to commence under their auspices,..when they were upon the eve of a revolution which, for its complicated monstrosities, absurdities and horrors, is more disgraceful to human nature than any other series of events in history. Chew the cud upon this, and farewell!
THE DRUIDICAL STONES.- VISITATIONS OF
INCLINATION would lead me to hibernate during half the year in this uncomfortable climate of Great Britain, where few men who have tasted the enjoyments of a better would willingly take up their abode, if it were not for the habits, and still more for the ties and duties which root us to our native soil. I envy the Turks for their sedentary constitutions, which seem no more to require exercise than an oyster does, or a toad in a stone. In this respect, I am by disposition as true a Turk as the Grand Seignior himself; and approach much nearer to one in the habit of inaction, than any person of my acquaintance. Willing however as I should be to believe, that any thing which is habitually necessary for a sound body, would be unerringly indicated by an habitual disposition for it, and that if exercise were as needful
as food for the preservation of the animal economy, the desire of motion would recur not less regularly than hunger and thirst, it is a theory which will not bear the test; and this I know by experience.
On a grey sober day, therefore, and in a tone of mind quite accordant with the season, I went out unwillingly to take the air, though if taking physic would have answered the same purpose, the dose would have been preferred as the shortest, and for that reason the least unpleasant remedy. Even on such occasions as this, it is desirable to propose to oneself some object for the satisfaction of accomplishing it, and to set out with the intention of reaching some fixed point, though it should be nothing better than a mile-stone, or a directing post. So I walked to the Circle of Stones upon the Penrith road, because there is a long hill
which would give the muscles some work to perform; and because the sight of this rude monument which has stood during so many centuries, and is likely, if left to itself, to outlast any edifice that man could have erected, gives me always a feeling, which, however often it may be repeated, loses nothing of its force.
The circle is of the rudest kind, consisting of single stones, unhewn and chosen without any