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ARGUMENT OF THE SECOND BOOK.
Reflections suggested by the conclusion of the former book. -Peace
among the nations recommended on the ground of their common fellowship in sorrow.–Prodigies enumerated-Sicilian earthquakes.Man rendered obnoxious to these calamities by sin.God the agent in them. The philosophy that stops at secondary causes reproved. -Our own late miscarriages accounted for. -Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontaine-Bleau.—But the pulpit, not satire, the proper engine of reformation.--The Reverend Advertiser of engraved sermons.-Petit-maitre parson.--The good preacher.-Picture of a theatrical clerical coxcomb.--Story-tellers and jesters in the pulpit reproved.--Apostrophe to popular applause. -Retailers of ancient philosophy expostulated with.--Sum of the whole matter.--Effects of sacerdotal mismanagement on the laity-Their folly and extravagance. The mischiefs of profusion.-Profusion itself, with all it's consequent evils, ascribed, as to it's principal cause, to the wape of discipline in the universities
O FOR a lodge in some vast wilderness,
. Lands intersected by a narrow frith
n! Abhor each other. Mountains interpos'd ...2 Make enemies of nations, who had else Like kindred drops been mingled into one. Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys; And, worse than all, and most to be deplor'd As human nature's broadest, foulest blot, Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat With stripes, that Mercy with a bleeding heart Weeps, when she sees inflicted on a beast. Then what is man? And what man, seeing this, And having human feelings, does not blush,' 1:1 And hang his head, to think himself a man?!'. I would not have a slave to till my ground, il l' To carry me, to fan me while I sleep, And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth, That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd. No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's Just estimation priz'd above all price, I had much rather be myself the slave, And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him. We have no slaves at home-Then why abroad? And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave, That parts us, are emancipate and loos'd. Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs Receive our air, that moment they are free; : They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
Sure there is need of social intercourse, Benevolence, and peace, and mutual aid, Between the nations in a world, that seems To toll the deathbell of it's own decease, And by the voice of all it's elements To preach the gen'ral doom *. When were the winds Let slip with such a warrant to destroy ? When did the waves so hanghtily o'erleap Their ancient barriers, deluging the dry? Fires from beneath, and meteors f from above, Portentous, unexampled, unexplain'd, Have kindled beacons in the skies ; and th' old And crazy Earth has had her shaking fits More frequent, and foregone her usual rest. Is it a time to wrangle, when the props And pillars of our planet seem to fail, And Nature with a dim and sickly eye To wait the close of all ? But grant her end More distant, and that prophecy demands
• Alluding to the calamities in Jamaica. 1 August 18, 1783.
* Allading to the fog, that covered both Europe and Asia during the whole summer of 1783.