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poetical talents he might be possessed of. In some Sketches on this design the prefixed lines originated. But the writer was doubtful of being able to draw attention to a subject generally reckoned so trite, as it is commonly treated. Yet surely this is a theme above all others susceptible of poetical embellishment, and worthy of poetical illustration; as implying every thing grand, important, and interesting ; every thing good, boundlessly blessed and happy, beyond the most exalted and enthusiastic imagination.

But while in the midst of the scenes of war and tumult the writer amused himself, and solaced his imagination with such themes; the disastrous termination of the American war, in which all his prospects, interest, and connexions, were involy. ed, came like a death-stroke on all his views and designs in life, and rendered him almost indifferent to life itself. That event, joined to the sufferings he had undergone from disappointment, hardships, and climate, having reduced him to so low a state both of health and spirits, he had no longer either résolution, or vigour of mind left to think of assuming such an important theme as the Universal Restoration of Nature, in a poetical view. He however threw together some thoughts

prose, a few copies of which were published about forty years ago. This publication drew considerable attention, and was soon sold off;

upon it in

so that it was even with difficulty he could get a copy to assist him in the present publication.

Several inquiries and notices about that work and its Author having lately appeared in some of the public journals,* he has been induced to attempt this republication, with considerable alterations and additions.

Now, buried in the obscurity into which the extinction of all his early prospects in life by the American revolution, had thrown him, and excluded, as he has since for the most part been, from that literary and enlightened society in which his early life had passed; where, by the mutual intercourse of congenial minds, both genius and judgment might be excited, and improved; he dare no more think of resuming his original poetical plan. Indeed forty years more of retirement and obscurity, have been so far from restoring that impulse and elasticity of mind, that ardour and elevation of spirit, to which nothing once seemed unattainable, that he is sensible they are gone for ever. 66 The blast of the desert came, and laid my green head low; the spring returned with its showers, but no leaf of mine

* In the New Annual Register for 1785–VI. 276.- In the Monthly Repository for June 1818.-In the Monthly Repository for August or September 1818.–Though the work was favourably noticed in several Reviews, the writer has not the smallest vestige by which he can now refer to them. He only remembers that one of them pronounced the language to be elegant and perspicuous-with something of-considerable learning displayed which is more than, perhaps, the work will well justify.

appeared."*

Indeed the period of life for such exertions, with him, is now passed.

But he still thinks the subject of importance. And this may probably be the last opportunity he may have of suggesting it to more general attention (if the present Sketch should draw any attention); he therefore hopes the present attempt to recall some of the conceptions he had entertained upon

it

may be excused. The Christian religion has of late been not only neglected, but renounced and contemned, by men pretending to philosophy and enlarged thought; while their contempt and neglect of it really proceeds from narrowness of thought, from their not raising their minds, and extending their thoughts, to the real grandeur and importance of its nature and design; to their never having formed a conception of its real object and end-THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS.

It must indeed be confessed that the perversion and depravation, of what is called the Christian religion, in most of the states of Europe is the principal source and spring from whence the neglect of it has very naturally, nay even necessarily, arisen. I say, what is called the Christian religion, for surely the Romish superstition, as professed, and hierarchally established, in most of the European states has, in reality, less to do with genuine Christianity, as taught by the Author of that religion, than pure deism, or even the ancient heathen systems. They in general had at least some tendency to promote moral and pious sentiments and practices, whereas Romish catholicism, such for instance as is professed and practised by the perfidious Ferdinand and his execrable ecclesiastics, tends to the total extinction of all morality, all piety, all humanity, all freedom and worth of character; and aims at reducing men to a level with beasts of burden, made only for the use of such pests of human society—themselves, like natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed.

* Ossian,

And as the ministers of the altar and of the throne have in most countries been the chief instruments and promoters of these perversions and abuses, it is, no doubt, the just dispensation of providence, that they themselves should fall the first victims of the contempt of those sacred institutions of religion and government, which they have laboured so grossly to pervert and abuse. But this is not the subject now in hand.

The present writer has often thought with regret, that the doctrine of the divine interposition for restoring the perverted part of nature's works has been injured and depreciated, by the narrow and partial views given of it by many even of its sincere and well

meaning defenders ; and he wishes at least to suggest a more worthy and enlarged conception of it, and to point out some more extensive grounds on which he thinks it may be defended with advantage.

It is not proposed in the following attempt thoroughly to discuss the subject, but only to present a Sketch, or Essay, in which some hints are thrown out, some thoughts started, some views of the subject suggested, which, to the writer at least, seemed to be of importance, and to have escaped the notice of most of those who have treated of the Divine Interposition for the Redemption, and Restoration of the World.

The principal aim of the Author in the present Sketch is to draw attention to the boundless importance of the subject, and to suggest a more enlarged conception of its design, to those who may be capable of doing it more justice, and whose character and influence in the world may give it more weight and authority : and he is persuaded that the extensive idea here suggested is essential to a right conception of the great scheme of redemption; and that it must be delivered and received in some such enlarged view, to render it reconcilable with just notions of the Restorer of Nature, the Great Parent and Preserver of all Being.

One great disadvantage that has arisen from the narrow and partial design generally ascribed to the divine planof Restoration and Redemption, is, that by rendering it unworthy of our best natural conceptions of God, the most high God, possesser of heaven and earth, it has rendered it seemingly below the attention of many persons of great genius,and enlarged minds; who conceiving of it only in the partial and contracted light

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