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incapable of preparing it for death. He now fell into an agony, accompanied with a shower of tears; a cordial was administered, and he revived in a degree; when turning to the physician, who had his fingers upon his pulse, he eagerly demanded of him if he did not see that blood upon the feet-curtain of his bed. There was none to be seen, the physician assured him; it was nothing but a vapour of his fancy.--I see it plainly, in the shape of a human hand: I have been visited with a tremendous apparition. As I was lying sleepless in my bed this night, I took up a letter of a deceased friend, to dissipate certain thoughts that made me uneasy: I believed him to be a great philosopher, and was converted to his opinions : persuaded by his arguments and my own experience, that the disorderly affairs of this evil world would not be administered by any wise, just or provident being, I had brought myself to think that no such being could exist, and that a life produced by chance, must terminute in annihilation; this is the reasoning of that letter, and such were the thoughts I was revolving in my mind, when the apparition of my dear friend
presented itself before me; and unfolding the curtains of my bed, stood at my feet, cooking earnestly upon me for a considerable space of time. My heart sunk within me; for his face was ghastly, full of horror, with an expression of such an anguish as I can never describe; his eyes were fixed upon me, and at length with a mournful motion of his head--Alas, alas! he cried, we are in a fatal error! and taking hold of the curtains with his hand, shook them violently and disappeared. This I protest to you, I both saw and heard; and look! where the print of his hand is left in blood upon the curtains !"
Antitheus survived the relation of this vision very few hours, and died delirious in great agonies.
What a forsaken and disconsolate creature is -man without his God and Saviour !
Rousseau was born at Geneva; and, at a proper age, was bound 2.prentice to an artist. During his
prenticeship he frequently robbed his master as well as other persons. Before his time was expired he decamped, fled into the dominions of the king of Sardis nia, where he professed to be a catholic. By an unexpected turn of fortune he became a footman; in which capacity he forgot not his old habit of stealing. He was detected with the stolen goods ; swore that they were given him by a maid servant of the house ; the girl was confronted with him ; she denied the fact, and, weeping, pressed him to confess the truth; but the young philosopher still persisted in the lie, and the poor girl was driven from her place in disgrace.
Tired of being a serving man, he went to throw himself on the protection of a lady, whom he had seen once before, and who, he protests, was the most virtuous creature of her sex. The lady had so great a regard for him, that she called him her little darling, and he called her mamma. Mamma had a footman, who served her besides, in another capacity, very much resembling that of a husband; but she had a most tender affection for her adopted son Rousseau ; and, as she feared he was forming connections with a certain lady which might spoil his morals, she herself, out of pure virtue, took him to bed with her !_This virtuous effort to preserve the purity of Rousseau's heart, had a dreadful effect upon the poor footman, for he poisoned himself.Rousseau fell sick, and mamma was obliged to part with little darling, while he performed a journey to the south of France, for the recovery of his health. On the road he dined with a gentleman, and debauched his wife. He was returning back, he debated with himself whether he should lady a second visit or not; but fearing he might be tempted to seduce her daughter also, virtue got the better, and determined the little darling to fly home into the arms of his mamma: but, alas! those arms were filled with another. Mamma's virtue had prompted her to take a substitute, whom she liked too well to part with, and our philosopher was obliged to
shift for himself. While the little darling resided with his 'mamma, he made a tour with a young musician. Their friendship was warm, like that of most young men, and they were, besides, enjoined to take particular care of each other during their travels. They went for some time together, agreed perfectly well, and vowed an everlasting friendship for each other. But the musician, being one day taken in a fit, fell down in the street, which furnished the faithful Rousseau with an opportunity of slipping off with some of his things, and leaving him to the mercy of the people, in a town where he was a total stranger.
We seldom meet with so much villainy as this in a youth. His manhood was, however, worthy of it. He turned apostate a second time, was driven from within the walls of his native city of Geneva, as an incendiary, and an apostle of anarchy and infidelity; nor did he forget how to thieve.--At last the philosopher marries ; but like a philosopher. He has a family of children, and like a kind philosophical father, for fear they should want after his death, he sends them to the poor-house during his life time - The philosopher dies and leaves the philosophress his wife to the protection of a friend ; she marries a footman, and is turned into the street.
This vile wretch has the impudence to say, in the work written by himself, which contains a confession of these his crimes, that no man can come to the throne of God, and say, I am a better man than Rousseau.
Notwithstanding the above circumstances, it must be owned that Rousseau's writings have great literary merit, but they contain principles the most vitiating. He has exhausted all the powers of reasoning, and all the charms of eloquence in the cause of irreligion. And his writings are so much the more dangerous, as he winds himself into favour with the unwary, by an eternal cant about virtue and liberty. He assumed the mask of virtue for no other purpose than that of propagating with more certain success, the blackest and most incorrigible vice.
Rousseau expired with a lie in his mouth, and the most impious appeal to the Divine Being, that was ever made by mortal man.
“Ah! my dear,” said he just before he expired, « how happy a thing it is to die when one has no reason for remorse or self reproach!”—And then addressing himself to the Almighty, he said, “ Eternal Being! the soul that I am going to give thee back, is as pure at this moment, as it was when it proceeded from thee; render it a partaker of thy felicity!"
These examples are such as to give but little encouragement to any person, who has a proper concern for his own welfare, to embark, either in the atheistic or deistic schemes. In those cases, where conscience was awake, the unhappy men were filled with anguish and amazement inexpressible. And in those cases, where conscience seemed to be asleep, there appears nothing enviable in their situation, even upon their own supposition, that there is no after reckoning, If to die like an ass be a privilege, I give them joy of it! much good may it do them! May I die like a Christian, having a hope blooming with immortal expectations!
EXAMPLES OF PERSONS RECOVERED FROM THEIR
“ If, sick of folly, I relent, he writes
CHARLES GILDON, author of a book called the Oracles of Reason, was convinced of the fallacy of his own arguments against religion, and the danger of his situation, by reading Leslie's Short Method with a Deist. He afterwards wrote a defence of revealed religion, entitled the Deist's Manual, and died in the Christian faith.
Lord Lyttleton, author of the History of Henry the Second, and Gilbert West, had both imbibed the principles of unbelief, and had agreed together to write something in favour of infidelity. To do this more effectually, they judged it necessary to acquaint themselves pretty well with the Bible. By the perusal of that book, however, they were both convinced of their error: both became converts to the religion of Christ Jesus; both took up
and wrote in favour of it:(3) the former his Observations on the
(3) Athenagoras, a philosopher, in the second century, had entertained so unfavourable an opinion of the Christian religion, that he was determined to write against it; but upon an intimate inquiry into the facts on which it was supported, in the course of his collecting materials for his intended publication, he was convinced by the blaze of evidence in its favour, and turned his designed invective into an elaborate apology, which is still in existence.
The above Mr. West, writing to Dr. Doddridge on the publication of his memoirs of colonel Gardiner, ascribes his own conversion from a state of infidelity, into which he had been seduced, to the care his mother had taken in his education. · I cannot help taking notice," says he, “ of your remarks upon the advantage of an early education in the principles of religion, because I have myself most happily experienced it; since I owe to the early care of a most excellent woman, my mother, that bent and bias to reli. gion, which with the co-operating grace of God, hath at length brought me back to those paths of peace from whence I might have otherwise been in danger of deviating forever.”
Johnson tells us, that, “ Lord Lyttleton, in the pride of juvenile confidence, with the help of corrupt conversation, entertained doubts of the truth of christianity; but he thought afterwards it was no longer fit to doubt, or believe by chance, he therefore applied himself seriously to the great question. His studies being honest, ended in conviction. He found, that religion was true, and, what he had learned, he endeavoured to teach, by observa. tions on the conversion of St. Paul; a treatise to which infidelity has never been able to fabricate a specious answer."-Two days previous to his dissolution, this great and good man addressed his physician in these memorable words:~" Doctor, you shall be my confessor. When I first set out in the world, I had friends who endeavoured to shake my belief in the Christian religion. I saw difficulties which staggered me, but I kept my mind open to conviction. The evidences and doctrines of christianity, studied with attention, made me a most firm and persuaded believer of the Christian religion. I have made it the rule of my life, and it is the ground of my fujure hopes "