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he made this reply : “May the Lord of the world forgive the flave whom he has honoured, if Mirza presume again 10 lay the bounty of Abbas at his feet. Thou halt given me the dominion of a country, fruitful as the gardens of Damascus ; and a city glorious above all others, except that only which reflects the splendour of thy presence. But the longest life is a period scarcely sufficient to prepare for death. All other business is vain and trivial, as the toil of emmets in the path of the traveller, under whose foot they perish forever : and all enjoyment is unsubstautial and evanescent, as the colours of the bow that appear in the interval of a storm. Suffer me, therefore, to prepare for the approach of eternity ; let me give up my soul to meditation ; let solitude and silence acquaint me with the mysteries of devotion ; let me forget the world, and by the world be forgotten, till the moment arrives in which the veil of eternity shall fall, and I shall be found at the bar of the Almighty.” Mirza then bowed himself to the earth, and stood Glent.
By the command of Abbas it is recorded, that at these words he trembled upon the throne, at the footstool of which the world pays homage ; he looked round upon his nobles ; but every countenance was pale, and every eye was upon the earth. No man opened his mouth ; and the king first broke filerice, after it had continued near an hour.
“Mirza, terror and doubt are come upon me. I am alarmed as a man who suddenly perceives that he is near the brink of a precipice, and is urged forward by an irrefillible force : but yet I know not whether my danger is a
or a dream. I am as thou art, a reptile of the earth : my life is a moment, and eternity, in which days, and years, and ages, are nothing, eternity is before me, for which I also should prepare : but by whom then mult the faithful be governed ? By those only, who have no fear, of judgment? by those only, whose life is brutal, because like brutes they do not consider that they shall die ? Or who, indeed, are the faithful ? Are the busy multitudes that crowd the city, in a state of perdition ? And is the cell of the Dervife alone the gate of paradise ? To all, the life of a Dervise is not poflible : to all, therefore, it cannot be a duty. Depart to the house which has in this city been prepared for thy residence : I will meditate the reason of thy requelt ; and may He who illuminates the mind of the humble, enable me to determine with wisdom."
Mirza departed ; and on the third day, haviog received no command, he again requested an audience, and it was granted. When he entered the royal presence, his countenance appeared more cheerful; he drew a letter from his bosom, and having kissed it, he presented it with his right hand. My Lord !” said he, “ I have learned by this letter, which s received from Cofrou the Iman, who stands now before thee, in what manner life may be best im. proved. I am enabled to look back with pleasure, and forward with hope ; and I fall now rejoice kill to be the shadow of thy power at Tauris, and to keep those honours which I fo lately wished to resign." The king, who had listened to Mirza with a mixture of surprise and curiosity, immediately gave the letter to Cofrou, and commanded that it should be read. The eyes of the court were at once turned upon the hoary fage, whole countenance was suffuled with an honest blush ; and it was not without some helitation that he read these words.
“ To Mirza, whom the wisdom of Abbas our mighty lord has honoured with dominion, be perpetual health! When I heard thy purpose to withdraw the bleflings of thy government from the thousands of Tauris, my heart was wounded with the arrow of affliction, and my eyes became dim with forrow. But who shall speak before the king when he is troubled ; and who shall boast of knowledge, when he is distressed by doubt? To thee will I relate the events of my youth, which thou hast renewed before me ; and those truths which they taught me, may the prophet multiply to thee !
“ Under the instruction of the physician Aluzar, I obtain. ed an early knowledge of his art. To those who were fmitcen with disease, I could administer plants, which the fun has impregnated with the spirit of health. But the scenes of pain, langour, and mortality, which were perpetually rising before me, made me often tremble for myfelf. I faw the grave open at my feet; I determined, therefore, to contemplate only the regions beyond it, and to defpise every acquisition which I could not keep. I conceived an opinion, that as there was no merit but in voluntary pover: ty, and filent meditation, those who desired money were not proper objects of bounty ; and that by all who were proper objects of bounty, money was despised. I, therefore, buried mine in the earth; and renouncing society, I wandered into a wild and fequeftered part of the country. My
dwelling was a cave by the side of a bill. I drank the run. ning water from the spring, and ate such fruits and herbs as I could find To increase the austerity of my life, I frequently watched all night, sitting at the entrance of the cave, with my face to the east, religning myself to the se. cret influences of the Prophet. One morning after my noc. turnal vigil, just as I perceived the horizon glow at the approach of the fun, the power of sleep became irresistible, and I funk under it. I imagined myself ftill sitting at the entrance of
that the dawn increased ; and that as I looked earnestly for the first beam of day, a dark spot appeared to intercept it. I perceived that it was in motion it increafed in fize as it drew near, and at length I discov. ered it to be an eagle. I fill kept my eye fixed steadfastly upon it, and saw it alight at a small distance, where I now descried a fox whose two fore-legs appeared to be broken. Before this for the eagle laid part of a kid, which she had brought in her talons, and then disappeared. When I a. waked, I laid my forehead upon the ground, and blessed the prophet for the instruction of the morning. I reviewed my dream, and said thus to myself, Cofrou, thou haft done well to renounce the tumult, the business, and vanities of life : but thou hast as yet only done it in part; thou art still every day busied in the search of food ; thy mind is not wholly at rest ; neither is thy trust in Providence complete. What art thou taught by this vision ? If thou hast seen an eagle commissioned by Heaven to feed a fox that is lame, fhall not the hand of Heaven also supply thee with food, when that which prevents thee from procuring it for thyself, is not necessity, but devotion? I was now to confident of a miraculous supply, that I neglected to walk out for
my repast, which, after the first day, I expected with an : impatience that left me little power of attending to any
other object. This impatience, however, I laboured to sup. press, and persisted in my resolution : but my eyes at length began to fail me, and my knees (mote each other ; I threw myself backward, and hoped my weakness would soon in
crease to insensibility. But I was suddenly roused by the I voice of an invisible being, who pronounced these words :
• Cofrou, I am the angel, who, by the command of the Al. mighty, have registered the thoughts of thy heart, which I am now commissioned to reprove. While thou wast at. tempting to become wise above that which is revealed, thy folly has perverted the instruction which was vouchlafed thee. Art thou disabled as the fox ? halt thou not rather the powers of the eagle? Arise, let the eagle be the object of thy emulation. 1'o pain and sickness, be thou again the messenger of ease and health. Virtue is not rest, but action. If thou dost good to man as an evidence of thy love to God, thy virtue will be exalted from moral to divine
i and that liappiness which is the pledge of paradise, will be thy reward upon earth.'
" At these words I was not less astonished than if a moun. tain had been overturned at my feet. I humbled myself in the dult ; I returned to the city; I dug up my treasure ; I was liberal, yet I became rich My skill in restoring health to the body gave me frequent opportunities of cur. ing the diseafes of the soul. I grew eminent beyond my merit ; and it was the pleasure of the king, that I should stand before him. Now, therefore, be not offended ; ! boast of no knowledge that I have not received. As the sands of the desert drink up the drops of rain, or the dew of the morning, fo do I allo, who am bat duft, imbibe the inftru&tions of the Prophet. Believe then that it is he who tells thee, all knowledge is profane, which terminates in thyfelf; and by a life wasted in fpeculation, little, even of this can be gained. When the gates of paradise are thrown open before thee, thy mind shall be irradiated in a moment. Here, thou canst do little more than pile error upon error: there thou shalt build truth upon truth. Wait, therefore
, for the glorious vision; and in the mean time emulate the cagle. Much is in thy power ; and therefore much is expected of thee Though the Almighty only can give vir tue, yet, as a prince, thou mayelt stimulate those to beneficence, who act from no higher motive than immediate intereft : thou canst not produce the principle, but mayeßt enforce the practice. Let thy virtue be thus diffused; and if thou believest with reverence, thou shalt be accepted a. bove. Farewell! May the smile of him who relides in the heaven of heavens be upon thee ; and again thy name, in the volume of his will, may happiness be written !"
The king, whose doubts, like those of Mirza, removed, looked up with a smile that communicated the joy of his mind. He dismissed the prince to his govern. ment; and commanded these events to be recorded, to the end, that pofterity may know, “that no life is pleasing to God, but that which is useful to mankind."
Character of the great Founder of christianity. Never was there on earth any person of so extraordinary a character as the Founder of our religion. In him we upiformly see a mildness, dignity, and composure, and a perfection of wisdom and of goodness, that plainly point him out as a superior being. But his superiority was all in his own divine mind. He had none of those outward advantages that have distinguished all other lawgivers. He had no influence in the state ; he had no wealth; he aimed at no worldly pow.
He was the son of a carpenter's wife, and he was him. felf
a carpenter. So poor were his reputed parents, that at the time of his birth, his mother could obtain no better lodging than a stable ; and fo poor was he himself, that he often had no lodging at all. That he had no advantages of education, we may infer from the surprise expressed by his neighbours on hearing him speak in the fynagogue : "Whence hath this man these things ? What wisdom is this which is given him ? is not this the carpenter, the fon of Mary? Are not his brethren and sisters with us ?" This point, however, we need not inlist on; as from no educa. tion, that his own or any other country could have afford. ed, was it possible for him to derive that supernatural wifdom and power, that fan&ity of life, and that purity of do&rine, which fo eminently distinguish him. His first adherents were a few fishermen : for whom he was so far fron making any provision, that when he sent them out to preach repentance and heal diseases, they were, by his defre
, furnished with nothing, but one coat, a pair of fandals, and a staff.
He went about, in great humility and meekness, doing good, teaching wisdom, and glorifying God, for the space of about three years after the commencement of his ministry ; and then, as he himself had foreseen and foretold,
publicly crucihed. This is the great personage, who at this day gives law to the world. This is he, who has been the author of virtue and happiness to millions and millions of the human race. And this is he whom the wiselt and belt men that ever lived have reverenced as a Divine
Person, and gloried in as the Deliverer and Saviour