Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

IN my travels, as I walked through many regions and

countries, it was my chance to arrive at that famous continent of Universe. A very large and spacious country it is: it lieth between the Description of two poles, and just amidst the four points of

the world. the heaven. It is a place well watered, and richly adorned with hills and vallies, bravely situated; and for the most part (at least where I was) very fruitful; also well peopled, and a very sweet air. (a)

The

(a) This is the world described, in it's present ftate; where. in, notwithstanding the alteration incurred by fin, we may still discern the most lively traces of the wisdom, power, and providence of God : fince, as St. Paul fays, Rom. i. 20. “ the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen and understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead."

[ocr errors]

The people are not all of one complexion, nor yet of one Janguage, mode, or way of religion; but differ as much (it is faid) as do the planets themselves: some are right, and some are wrong, even as it happenech to be in lesser regions. (a)

In this country, as I said, it was my lot to travel; and there travel I did, and that so long, even till I had learned much of their mother-tongue, together with the customs and manners of them among whom I was. And, to speak A natural state

truth, I was much delighted to fee and hear pleafing to the

many things which I faw and heard among Leih.

them: yea, I had, to be sure, even lived and died a native among them (I was fo taken with them and their doings), had not my Master fent for me home to his house, there to do bufiness for him, and to overfee business done. (6) Now there is, in this gallant country of Universe,

a fair

(a) Here the world (with respect to its inhabitants) is delimeated in the disordered state it was reduced to by the fall of our frit parents, who involved all their patterity. Before that fatal event, all was harmony, beauty, and united praises to the beneficent Creator ; but sin introduced discord, a comparative deformity, disease, and death, and entailed a curse on the whole creation: thenceforward the mind became depraved, and debilitated in all it's faculties, so that the understanding, will, and affections, were not only totally alienated and estranged from God, but branched out into various fpecies of error and difcordancy, in proportion as mankind increased, whose hearts, being thus infected, became utterly blind, and theis imaginations vain ; giving themselves up to commit all kinds of abomination with greediness, which, in the early ages, Gen. vii. 23. provoked God, after much forbearance and long fuffering, to sweep them all off, from the face of the earth, by a deluge of water, except one family of eight persons, Noah and his children.

(6) Certain it is, that, in our natural state, the luit of the feth, the luft of the eye, and the pride of life, captivate and enfnare the foul; fo that, if the Lord did not work a miraculous change upon us by the quickening power of his Spirit, we could be content to take up with the poor, unsatisfying enjoyments of time and fenfe which this world affords, to remain unacquainted with, and regardless of, God and happiness; and, what is worft of all, (but inevitable, if unrenewed at deach) to become certain heirs of eternal misery in a future life.

a fair and delicate town, a corporation called MANSOUL; a town for it's building so curious, for it's situation fo commodious, for it's privileges so advantageous (I mean with reference to it's original), that I may say of it, as was said before of the continent in which it is placed, “There is not it's equal under the whole heaven." (a)

As to the situation of this town, it lieth between the two worlds : and the first founder and builder of it, so far as by the best and most authentic records I Scriptures. can gather, was one SHADDAI; (b) and he

The Almighty. built it for his own delight, Gen. i. 26. He made it the mirror and glory of all that he made, even the top-piece, beyond any thing else that he did in that country Yea, so goodly a town was Mansoul, when first built, that it is said by fome, the gods, at

Created angels. the setting up thereof, came down to see it, . and sung for joy. And as he made it goodly to behold, so also mighty to have dominion over all the country round about. Yea, all were commanded to acknowledge Mansoul for their metropolitan, all were enjoined to do homage to it. Ay, the town itself had positive commission, and power from her King, to demand service of all, and also to subdue those that any ways denied it.

There

a) The foul of man, being immortal, is of inestimable value. It is the breath of God, a particle of the divine nature; created, at first, in righteousness and true holiness, but now dreadfully disfigured and defiled by fin; very far (not to say wholly) gone from original righteousness. The soul is all that is intrinsically and supereminently valuable in the human composition; for according to the nature, difpofition, and bias of it, so is the whole man. The body dies, and moulders to duft: but the foul lives for ever, and, if re-united to God here, will flourish in immortal youth in a better world. The care of that precious deposit (if I may so term it) is therefore of the utmolt consequence ; for “what will it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and lofe his own soul ? or what can he give in exchange for his soul?" Matt. xxvi. 25. O may the promoting it's internal and best interests be our principal object and concern!

(6) All-fufficient; or almighty, as in the margin. Grammarians differ with respect to the etymology of this word; some deriving it from the Hebrew, others from the Greek,

There was reared up, in the inidit of this. The heart.

town, a most famous and stately palace: for strength, it may be called a castle ; for pleasantness, a paradise; for largenels, a place fo copious as to contain all the world, Ecclef. iii. 11. This place, the King SHADDAI intended but for himself alone, and not another with him : (a) partly because of his own delights, and partly because he would not that the terror of strangers should

be
upon

the town. This place SHADDAI, The powers of made also a garrison of; but he committed

the keeping of it only to the men of the town. The body,

The walls of the town were-well built;, yea, so fast and firm were they knit and compacted together, that, had it not been for the townsmen themselves. they could not have been shaken cr broken for ever.

for here lay the excellent wisdom of him that built Mansoul, that the walls could never be broken down nor. hurt, by, the most mighty adverse potentates, unless the townsmen gave consent thereto.

This famous town of Mansoul had five The five senses,

gates, at which to come out, and at which to go in; and these were made. likewise answerable to the walls, to wit, impregnable, and such as could never be opened nor forced, but by the will and leave of those within. The naines of the gates are these: Ear-gate, Eyegate, Mouth-gate, Nofe-gate, and Feel-gate.

Other things there were that belonged to the town of Mansoul; which, if you adjoin to these, will yet

give

(a) The heart of man, in it's incorrupt state, was ever afpiring towards God in adoration, love, and praise; extolling and admiring his divine perfections, and the wonders of creation, in his various works. Such a heart also God himself delighted to dwell in, Prov. viii. But alas ! how is the pure gold become dim! how is the fine gold changed! By loving the creature more than the Creator, the heart of man is become deceitful, and desperately wicked, a cage of unclean birds!'

Professor, if thy heart be idolatrous, or devoted to the world and thy lusts, thy religion is vain, thou deceiveft thine own soul; for God says to all, “My son, give me thine heart," Proy, xxij. 26,

give further demonstration to all, of the glory and strength of the place. It had always a sufficiency of provision within it's walls; (a) it had the best, Theftate of

Mansoul at first most wholsome and excellent law, that was then extant in the world. There was not a rogue, rascal or traiterous person then within it's walls : they were all! true men, and fast joined together; and this, you know, is a great matter. And to all these, it had always, so long as it had the goodness to keep true to SHADDAI, the king, his countenance, his protection, and it was his delight, &c.

Well, upon a time there was one Diabolus, (b): a mighty giant, made an assault upon the famous town of Mansoul, to take it, and make it his own habitation. This giant was king of the Blacks or Negroes, and a most raving prince he was. We will,

Devils, the

fallen angels. if you please, first discourse of the original of this Diabolus, and then of his taking of this The origin of famous town of Mansoul.

This Diabolus is indeed a great and mighty prince, and yet both poot and beggarly. As to his original, he was at first one of the servants of king SHADDÀI, by whom he was made, and raised to a most high and mighty place, yea, and was put into such principalities as belonged te

the

Diabolus.

(a) That man, as he came from the hands of God, was en dued with power sufficient to enable him to remain happy in the divine favour, though still liable to fall by the prevalence of temptation, ought to be universally allowed, as being con sonant with scripture, and agreeable to well informed reason,

This sentiment is very elegantly expressed by our own poet, Milton, in the angel Raphael's address to Adam:

6 God made thee perfe&t, not immutable:

And good he made thee; but to persevere,
He left it in thy pow'r: ordain'd thy will
By nature free, not over-rul'd by"fate

Inextricable, or strict neceffity." ” (6) The devil; a' fallen angel, an evil spirit; Satan, the adversary of God and man,

« НазадПродовжити »