Зображення сторінки



The author of the celebrated work intitled “ THE ANATOMY of MELAN“ CHOLY," has, in its several divisions, respectively shewn, that an inordinate pursuit of the common pleasures of life, an unrestrained indulgence of the affections of the heart, and a mistaken notion of our duties towards God, become, when carried to excess, not only the bane of virtue, and, of course, the destruction of earthly happiness, but the principal causes of that preternatural fermentation of the brain, which in time breaks down the mental beam, and precipitates the unhappy sufferers into the gulphs of melancholy, madness,

a 3


or despair. He has not, however, left the patients to linger under these maladies without hope of relief, but, while he traces the several causes from which they flow, has, like a kind physician, pointed out the means by which they may be prevented or cured; by shewing that the pleasures of life, to be truly enjoyed, must be guided by TemPERANCE; that the affections of the heart, to produce felicity, must spring from A CHASTE Mind; and that the adoration of God, to warrant a hope of eternal happiness, must be the ef. fluence of CHRISTIAN PIETÝ. “ It is

certainly of the highest importance," says a celebrated moralift, “ that, in " the common concerns of life, the “ mind should maintain its fovereignty over its own motions and affections,



“ which tend, in general, to impair the “ health of the body, to destroy the

vigour of the soul, to çast clouds of " the thickest darkness over the judg-,

ment and understanding, and to “ wrest them violently from the prin" çiples of reason and the paths of

duty; that the pasfon of Love should “ bę so wisely managed and mode, “ rated by the powers of reason, as

not to fix itself upon an improper

object, procurę base or unworthy • fuel for its flame, prevent, in its

enjoyments, the discharge of other

duties, or degenerate into disquie“ tude or disease;" and that, among “the opinions which it highly con

cerns all persons to settle and em

brace, the chief are those which " relate to the adoration of the Al


[ocr errors]

MIGHTY; the practice of the true Religion being the only foundation of that sweet tranquillity, and acquiesence of mind, which Man in

wardly enjoys; and the very fence " and bulwark of that probity which “ he is bound to exercise towards his “ fellow creatures." These are the doctrines which it seems the object of The Anatomy of Melancholy” to inculcate: but the author, in performing this taík, having, to a certain degree, so overwhelmed the strong sense, pointed wit, happy illustrations, bold metaphors, and humorous observations, which his work contains, with long, though ingenious digressions, multitudes of quotations, frequent repetitions, and other extraneous or superabundant matter, as to render the


« НазадПродовжити »