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THE ARGUMENT:

The Poem opens with reflecting on the vanity or ima perfection of Philosophy, und being delighted with the cheerful hope which the gospel inspires, of happiness in another state-A cursory description of several sects of Philosophers_Of the first school of Epicureansthe second the Stoicsthe Platonists, or followers of Plato-the Academics of the Lyceum and of Aristotle--Cicero-Of the modern Scepticswho have been averse to the principles of the gospel --Hobbes-Bolingbroke -- Voltaire Hume --The disservices they have done to society --Of the aim of Christianity-It gives all the sound doctrines of the various schools of Philosophy, without any of their errors-It restrains or subdues the dangerous passions of Ambition, Lust, Pride, Avarice, Revenge~ It inspires us with more than Roman fortitude-Some Roman heroes mentionedThe otherwise splendid Character, but the cowardly and base Death of Cato -The propriety for the better understanding the principles of Christianity, to attend to the life of the great author of our faith-The uufulness of investigating his character, and viewing him in his inhuman death.

VOL. I.

THE

CHRISTI A N.

BOOK THE FIRST.

S

No more by vain Philosophy misled,
From erring Reason, or from Fancy bred;
A restless wanderer, no more the mind,
In ancient schools conviction hopes to find;
But in its aim determin'd, and without
The Sophist's cavil, or the Sceptic's doubt,
Upon the Gospel fixes, as a rock,
Where fears depress not, nor afflictions shock.
Which of perennial comfort can impart,
In boundless measure to the troubled heart:

10 For Hope, that soars on more than eagle's wings, Above this vale of tears, these mortal things

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That all around us give themselves to sight;
Above the Sun and his expanded light;
O'er all these fading things that dares to rise,
Seeks life immortal, and affects the skies;
Proceeds from this; which Reason cannot deem
A cunning fable, or an empty dream;
But it will seem, will prove, as we descant,
Clear as a sun-beam, firm as adamant.

20

No more enquiring roams th’unsettled mind,
Among the learn'd Athenians truth to find.
No more attentive can it dwell on aught,
To his own school that Epicurus taught :
Who fancy'd gods, that thoughtless pleasure lov'd,
Far from the providence of man remov'd; 26
And therefore held man's happiness must lie
In the same profitless tranquillity;
And thought of this short life the fev'rish dream
Of his existence was the poor extreme. 30
And ev’n than theirs, still less can I affect,
The odious tenets of the latter sect;

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