The virgin in Eden: or, The state of innocency. Deliver'd by way of image and description. Presenting a nobleman, a student, and heiress, on their progress from Sodom to Canaan. With the parable of the shepherd, Zachariah, and Mary ... To which are added, Pamela's letters proved to be immodest roman online

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Online LibraryUnknownThe virgin in Eden: or, The state of innocency. Deliver'd by way of image and description. Presenting a nobleman, a student, and heiress, on their progress from Sodom to Canaan. With the parable of the shepherd, Zachariah, and Mary ... To which are added, Pamela's letters proved to be immodest roman → online text (page 2 of 11)
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fair or an intollerable Morning, and how to go to the Pof t
tion provided for its Nourifhment.

The Converts thought he would now have ended fpeak^*
ing about thefe minute Creatures, but he went on, and
carried the Point ftill further, upon the Policy and Cun*
fling of a much leiFer Being than that Infe^ which be had
'^ l^is Jf an4^


[ »3 ]

For (ceing an Ant creep ^ong, he took it up ; I challenge,
fays he, any of thofe Perfons, who value themfelves upoa
their A£livity, to go through near fo much Budnefs, or pro-
duce half the Adventures, with lefs Miftakc, than this In-
feft has been engaged in, and will pafs through before
Michaelmas^ the time of her marching into Winter
Quarters. By the Notice I have taken, continued he, of
thefe Creatures, I am convinced that they are a fubtle Ge-
neration ; they feem to have a kind of Government among
them ; and, 1 do aflure you, their Obfervation of Juftice and
Charity is fo ftridt, that it far exceeds the Management
and Honefty of moft Men. •

I have frequently, added he, fat down by their HiUs,
when they were crowding Home in an Evening, and fcen,
that when an aged Ant has deprived a young one of what
(he had been labouring for with much Induftry, others have
come in and reflored all that was taken from her, and in*
Aided a deferved Punifhment upon the Offender,

Before he pafTed off from this Hiftory, he gave the Con*
verts a Relation of the many Fatigues and Labours, he
had obferved, they went thro* to maintain themfelves, with
the manner of their getting, and hoarding up their Stores:
he told them^ they were fo knowing, that they feemed to
Converfe together at their publick Meetiri^, and under-
ftood accidental Things concerning themfdves ; for tho*
their Language be fomewhat broken and unintelligible^
yet they apprehend one another by particular Signs.

Then he brought an Example, that they never loofe their
Way when they are out upon their Progrefs. I have, (ays
he, often made it my Bufinefs to watch one of thofe Crea-
tures out of her Cell in the Morning, and follow her all
Day thro' many intricate Mazes, and k^n her run up and
^wn feveral Trees; yet, a little before Night, (he has gone
diredly to her own Apartment, {looping under a heavy
Burden, without ever miffing her Path, or turning afide.

The Converts feemed extreamly delighted with his quick
Turns of Humour, for he continued to go on at this agree«»
able Rate, very naturally, upon the Ants. Then he turned •
his Difcourfe, and fpoke of other Species, which, he faid,
had likewife very fine Notions and fome excellent Laws
pradlifed amongil them. Thus he diverted us upon thefe nice
Heads, and brought in many Infbnces of the changeable
Turns thofe Beings frequently meet with, very much re-
fembling the crols Accidents of Men,

For, fays he, after they have &iled through many vio-
]k;>.t Storms^ and formed thpir Nptes froix^ t^ lead Breath

. of

C u I

of Wind, juft as they find themfelvte deckej with bcautl*
ful Ornaments, fit for the entertainment of a few imperti«»
ncnt Joys, it is common for them, in the midft of theif
Jollity and wilder Feafts, to be taken Captive, and thrown
into fuch a ftrait Confinement as not to know whether
their Imprifonment will end in Death, or a triumphant
Efcapc. Others, as they were making glad, and the Sun
Ihining hot upon them, under the fmage of a Rainbow,
diverfifyed with Colours, have immediately funk down by
the Weight of a Cloud, or have been caft into Darknefs.
He had many of thofe Copies by him of the good and bad
Chances that often happen to irrational Beings, and ho
carried the Subje£^ fo far, as if he was capable of fpanning
all the cafual Events that ever befel any of them.

Upon his readily being fupplied with new Matter, as he
always was, he returned, in the heat of his Difcourie, to
his former Refle6^ions upon human Society, and the many
Improvements there may be made in examining the exa^
Occonomy obfervable in Animals and Infei^.

If a Man, fays he, is proud of his Knowledge, of his
Skill in curious Speculations ; Serpents and Eagles, who'
are but the Dream of a Shadow, and when they die
are foon annihilated, know more of it than he ; for
they have mahy Antidotes againft Poifon and Difeafes,
and are acquainted with the Virtue of fomc Stones for
the Cure of their little Qnes, which Phyficians value
fo much, that when they find fome of them, they
think themfelves poflefled of a Ma(s of Treafure.

Here he made a Stand, and argued very naturally upon
the ill-placed Humours of Men, rcprefenting a forma]
Prok)gue to their Vanity ; he (aid, if any one pretended
that Man was the only Being capable of receiving Reafon,
there was fome other Creatures, who had glorious Ideas
of Sorrow, Joy, and accidental Paflions, and who where
immediately, upon any fudden Surprize, tranfported from
Pleafure to Pain ; for fome of them are mightily con-
cerned at the Lois of any Creature, which they have been
long acquainted with; or when they fee their OfFsprinff
taken away. At fuch Times, faid he, I have obferved
them look wiflifully into the Places where their beloved
had lain, and either lie down there, or fetch about it
many Windings backwards and forwards, with fuch an
Appearance of Cpncem, as if they would (where it poiE-
blc) have fainted, or (bed Tears at the fad Mifchance.

As the Converts thought the old Gentleman was finiih«
ing the lafl Scene, he drew another, and (aid, there are

[ 15 3

fome irrational Animals, who very well underfland tan*
guages ; for I have obferved, that after they have told tbcit
Bufmefs to each other, they have gone to fuch a Place^
and done there fuch a Thing, and what Work they bad
begun they a£tually performed.

He was going on to fhew us, how artificially fome of
them built their Houfes, and thatch'd them over Head to
keep pfF the Violence of the Weather, when a Flight o£
Birds flew juft by him: I deny, fays hCj that any Aftro-»
loger knows fo much of Divination as thefe Animals i
He is a Fool to them in many Refpe6ls : They arc his
Matters, and teach him fome of their Arts by particular

He then (hewed us a tame Bird he kept by him,' whidi
had fo much Knowledge as to kill Serpents and other
Vermine which attempted to enter his Cave ; and after-
wards brought them to the Sight of feveral other Creatures^'
that he always kept by him, which, he faid, told him»
by their Natural Voices, as he lay in his Cave, the firft^
fecond, third, and fourth Watch of the Night.

From thence he led the Converts to a River, where they
faw feveral young Swans funing thcmfelves upon the Shore*
About an Hour ago, fays he, thele Creatures were roling upon
the Water, ballafted with Sand in the folds of their Wings,
and landed by the help of their common Mother, where
they now wait for 'her return, and though they arc but a
few Weeks old, have fo much Senfe as not to go with any
other of the Kind.

Afterwards ftooping down by the Bank of the River, he
took up a large Minnow, that he faw fwimming amidfl the
Weeds, and perceiving it to be very old, made a long Def^i
cant on the fuccelsful Voyages, which that fmall Fim had
undertaken in its time, while many blooming Fortunes had
whithered by Wrecks or Deluges. He fpoke much of its
Travels and Adventures. This Creature, (ays he, has Ca
much Subtlety, as to know how to make its efcapc and
hide itfelf out of danger, if it fees too powerful an Enemy
coming againfl it : And then he flung the Fifb again inta
its natural Element.

Having ended thefe changeable Difcourfes, be led us
back to his Cave, where he took up a Covering pf Clay,
and fhewed us engraven on Leaves' of Brafs, the fcvend
Arts and Sciences that the irrational Beings teach. The
Student, for his Information, perufed fome Part of thofe
Ihort Lefl'ons, and faw that the Dove laid down the ex-
cellent Rules of Innocencyi The Bees Induftry; The


[ .6 ]

Spiders, the Art of fplnning fine Threads; and the Liofis^
Noblcnefs of Spirit.

After reading over thefe and feveral other Laws that the
different Species of Animals obferved, and which might
very well ferve for the Inftru6tion of the politeft Nations ;
The venerable Gentleman faid, he had ftill remaining to
tell them a far more curious Relation than any he had
hitherto produced, touching the Knowledge and Chaflity
of the Beings he had been difcourfing about.

The Elephant, fays he, is the worthieft and moll fen-
fible Creature of them all : He never changes his Female ;
he loves her tenderly, whom he has chofen ; with whom
neverthelefs he does not cohabit but every third Year,
and that only five Days, and fo privately, that he is never
feen in that A(ft : But on the fixth Day he appears ; when
before all Things he goes dire£lly to fome River, wherein
he wafhes his whole Body, without returning any more
to the Herd before he is purified.

Upon hearing all thefe Inftance?, the Student told him,
at their parting, that at this Rate there were Philofophers^
and Virtuofos, even among the Animals he had mentioned ;
who fearched into many Curiofities, and made nice Obfer-
vations of Things, infomuch that he thought their Schools
of Morality were the only Places to make Men fee their
Diforders, by comparing their own irregular Conduft
with the Decency and Order obferved by thofe Animals.

At the End of thefe Speculations, Feiixy the Student,
and the Virgin, told the Hermit, that his curious Obfer-
vations would dwell upon their Minds to the lafl Period of
Life ; for that he had inflrufted them in the Laws and
Precepts of Animals and Infe£ts; Examples worthy the
Notice of the moft learned and finefl Genius of all human
and rational Beings.

Here they parted, in full Confidence that a Time would
come, when they (hould meet again in a more refined
Region, to re£tify all Error and Miflake that they here
have fellen into in their Enquiries relating either to ratio-
nal or irrational Beings.

From hence />/;>, the Student, and the Virgin, went
o;i their Journey, and in the Road ftopt at a Houfe, where
they were asked, as being Strangers, to come in and rcfl
themfelves in the Heat of the Day : As they fat looking
out of the Window they obferved coming up a Perfon of a
grave Afpe£l, but withal he had fomething fo fublime and
elevated in his Countenance, as plainly befpoke him a
Perfon of a more than ordinary Genius. His Eye was


t t7 ] . ; •

tjuick and pJercing, which denoted a h'vely . and brisk ImaA
gination ; wlien at the fame time his Afpe«Si was fo fe*
date, and his Deportment fo majcftick, as plainly denoted '
him a Man of a ftrong and folid Judgment.

Upon the Appearance of fo extraordinary a PerfonagC^ •
the Student feemed tranfportcd, and immediately rifing up .
ran out to meet him ; and after the ordinary Salutation^
defircd him to walk in and refrefh himfelf, which the otheif
readily accepted of, as the Day began to grow extremely
hot. As foon as he. had feated himfeJf, he began to enquire
who we were, how fuch a mixt Company came together,
and wlicre \^e were going ? We anfwered his Queries, and
dcfired his Directions. He feemed mightily pleafed with
our Journey, and aflurcd us wc had made the only Choice
in this World that could be of any Service to us hereafter;
For that the Plairfs of Sodcffty where all worldly-minded
Men take their Abode, are fo full of Snares and Vexation,
that no one can find any folid Satisfee^ion there j whereas
the Place you are going to, fays he, is always quiet and. .
fecurc. The Country may not appear perhaps at firft
Sight (o feir and pleafant, and inviting ; but then you -will
find this more than fufficiently fupplied by the Eafe, Com«
fort, and Satisfaction, you will perpetually enjoy. Indeed,
continues he, the Country of Sodom is extremely fertile^
and very full of rich Inhabitants ; but then it is fo fubje*^
to Storms and Earthquakes, and Eruptions of fulphureous
Matter, that I am furprized any rational Creature (hould
make his Abode there. On the contrary, in the Land of
Canaan the Air is always calm and ferene, and thelnha-*
bitants are very feldom known to fufFer any confiderable
Misfortunes. Thcfe are the Advantages you will there en- .
' joy with RefpeCl to this World only : But when I tell you,
that the Gate of Paradife is in this Country, and that
none but the Inhabitants of this Land of Promife can dc-
fcend into the Regions of the Elcfled Place, you myft
think this, beyond all Conaparifon, preferable to the othert
He then proceeded, ^ the Subject naturally led him to dif*
courfe, of a future State, and the Condition in which de-
parted Souls are placed, till they come to Judgment at the -
great Day. I have fnade, fays he, Obfervations oh thd
Accounts given by Men of great Genius, who had only
the Light of Nature, and the Helps of Human Learning
to guide them ; and they defcrlbe the Soul, as defcending
into the State of the Dead, with a Tranfccipt of what
they muft do as foon as tlicy ccme into thole Regions,

: t 18 1\

where they mufl continue till the final Diflblution of thefc
vifible Beings.

He faid feme were of Opinion, that upon the Confines
of the Dead, and in View of the other World, they de-
fcribed feveral Inhabitants, whofe Natures are wonderfully
fuited to the Situation of the Place; for Emblems of
Death, fay they, may be fuppofed to be of feveral Kinds
and Divernties.

The firft Kind arc the Shadows of old Age, Sickfiefe,
Fear, Famine, and Poverty : Apparitions terrible to be-
hold to human Nature. They prefent Death alfo as the
Rcfemblance of Toil, War, Contention, and Difcord :
All of which contribute to People this common Receptacle
of human Spirits. •

The Student reply'd, thefe Notions and Defcriptlons of
the Habitations of the Deccafcd are to be underflood of
their Abode, before the incorruptible Body be raifed and
re-united totheSouL

After this the Moralift continued his Narration with
great Exac^nels, according to the Religious Opinions of
the Antient Heathens.

Felix told him, fome were of Opinion, that the Souls
of thofe, who had liv'd InofFenfively in this Life, are per-
mitted to go into their refpecSlive Regions of Reft, till
called forth at the Great Day to be made much more re-
fined than they were before.

With Submifllon fays the Virgin, I think Innocency of
Thought, and Divine Converfation, raifes the Mind to
high and glorious Ideas, tho' at the fame time the Soul
dwells in this Tabernacle of Earth. Virtue, faysfhe, con-
veys our Meditations beyond Trifles and Vanities ; and in-
fenfibly draws us into the practice of our holy and pure Re-
ligion : It keeps the Soul alive, and carries it as it were up-
on its Wings into thofe Habitations, where unbodied Spi«
rits commune and convefe together.

The Moralift anfwered, that oftentimes Vifions and
Dreams carry him even to the Throne of the Creator ;
where he fancies he fees Angels attending their Maker, with
Songs and Hallelujahs. Says the Virgin, I believe what
you fay to be true, for frequently before I dofe my Eyes to
Sleep at Night, I think myfelf going to the State of the
Dead, the Place of Silence, a Retreat from Sorrow, Pain
and Vexation.

Says the Student, my Thoughts join with yours: I am
delighted with thefe fort of Contemplations 5 they prefent
to us the future State of Soulsi whether they be gone to thofe


■. li U i UiUMWWINIJMIllliU i i miJIJi III m i l i. »^.^ miM i H i NU . . ]. ii p|MJ i

[ 19 3

Regions of Light and Felicity, or to thofe of Sorrow
and Darkne(s. It is a Pleafure to carry our Concep-
tions into the Dominions of the other World: It
gives us fome Foretafte of the StatjC of the Deceafed.
I have read, proceeds he, that there are three Kinds of
Perfons defcribcd, as being fituated on the Borders between
Time and Eternity j and I can give no Reafon for their
being placed there in fo particular a manner, becaufe they
none of them feem to have a proper Right to a Habitation
in thofe Places, as not having fpun out the whole Thread
of their Lives, and finifhed their Term of Days allotted
them in this vifiblc World.

The firft of thefe are the Souls of Infants, who arc hur-
ried from the Face of the Earth by untimely Ends.

The fecond are of thofe who die Martyrs, or fuffer
wrongfully, or by an unjuft Sentence.

The third are of thofe who grew weary of their Lives,
and laid violent Hands upon themfelves.

As for the fecond of thefe, the Ancients add, with great .
Beauty, that the Judge of the Dead gives them a re-hear-
ing, and afligns them their Apartments, fuitable to the
Sentence pafled upon them at their fecond Trial. As for the
Souls of thofe unhappy Men who deftroy themfelves, O
how glad would they now endure Life with all its Mifery ?
But their Deftiny forbids their return to Earth.

Felix made anfwer, my Belief, fays he, is that Man is
placed in his Station of Life, like a Poft-Boy in hb proper
inn, which he mufl not quit, whatever may happen, till
he is called ofF to carry away his next Packet of Letters.

Thus the Conference went on in their feveral Difcourfes,
relating to the various Opinions of Philofophers and Others,
as to the State of the Dead and departed Souk.

At the End of this Interview the Converts left the Mo-
ralift, and proceeded on their Journey till they arrived in
the Land of Canaan^ in view of Abraham's Houfe, draw-
ing near that ancient and ftately Pile, which had a Being
Tcven from the beginning of Time.

They took a ProfpeSl of the Situation, and viewed the
Fabrick with a more than ordinary Attention : The Vir-
gin's eager Defires were fo inflamed, that (he bid the Guide
ftay awhile, that fhe might behold the Situation of the
Place with greater Conveniency ; they being now arrived
on the Top of a Hill and the Houfe feated on a little De-
fcent, furrounded with Gardens and delicate Vineyards,
fenced with lofty Cedars and fpreading Walhiut- trees.
They cfpyed a fpacious Mote, and a Bridge to let down in
Ca the

J Hi ll I I U i f ii p m. i j..t .i,ii ii ui i y i i j ii i i iMBHiii i i. Mil

.. liTiflrtiiiiwiiiiTitiriii^fiiigiiiaiiiitBitiii -

t 20 3

the Day and draw up at Night. The next remarkable
$cene was a mighty Wall raifed up with rubb'd BricJ;s, and
pver-run with Laurel Branches and Ivy. The Houfc was
built altogether of rich Marble, the 'Window Frames be-
ing made of Wallnut-tree Wood. Thus having fatisfied
their Curiofity, in beholding f6 lovely a Palace, they went
down the Hill, where there was two Rows of tall Elms
leading to the Manfion. " - -

When they came to the Gate they read the Infcription
wrote over it in Letters of Gold : In this origi^

SCENDANTS OF Moses, Aaron, THE Pro-
phets, ApostlesandEvancelists;thev


Names, and practice their Laws and
Ordinances. Felix bid the Guide knock at the
Gate, and inform the Collegians that there were three
Strangers, Converts, come from Sodoniy and were going
to Mount Stony the Nezv "JcrufaUm.

As foon as the Guide had delivered his McfTage the Bell
in the Turret rung, which was, as fuppofed, to call a ge-
neral Confultation of the Society; fo that by that time
/V//A-, the Student and the Virgin had taken a few Turns in
the ihady Walks, the Gate was opened for their admit-
tance ; where a Perfon of a venerable Afpeft, whofe Name
the Guide faid was Aiofes^ received them with all the
Civility becoming his great Anceftor. Then Jaron came
up to them, and expreflcd, in the mod pathetick Terms,
the Satisfa£tion it was to him, and to all the Collegians, in
feeing the arrival of three wealthy Profelytes from the
Tents of Sodom to Ahraham\ Houfe in the Land of

Then they were condu£^ed into a fpacious Hall, to re-
frefh themfelves after the Fatigue of a tedious Progrefs; at
thefe Words the Virgin burft forth into Tears of Joy, and
addrefled herfelf to this EfFc£l : Moft noble and worthy
Patrons, it muft needs be acknowledged that our Journey
may well be faid to be weary fome, fince we have been tra-
velling in a barren Egypty and could never, as yet, find the
way to Reft, till lighting on this faithful Guide,-Our Guar-
dian Angel, he conduced the Student, Felix and myfelf to
ypur blifsful Seat • otherwife we might have fpent a whole
Life in wandering up and down the dark Mountains of
Folly, where our Pefires carried us, ever fince the Years
of Difcretion, fo as never to entertain fo much as one fe-
jrious Thought of Death and Judgment ; The inchanting
*'" - ' ■ ' Snares

i.'U l UiW!|lJ i |iW«!-»- , I ' -:'."< ! -"JMI^

[ " ]

Snares of Bodcm extlnguiflied our Thirds, after the refrefli-
ing Streams that flow in this Land of Canaan, O that
we had laid afide our Prejudice to Virtus, and accuflomed
our feh'cs to a holy Life ! but why ftiould we repine at what
cannot be recalled. Who knows but that our Sincerity,
tho' late, may be accepted ; and that we may now be
faithful to Death, and receive the Crown of Life, the
Diadem of Glory.

Then the Student addrefled himfejf; fays he, wecanonljr

• return you the Tribute of our Thanks, for condefcending

fo far as to admit us into your Society, and this delightful

Habitation, which are far more agreeable than an. Imperial

Court crowded with Licencious Libertines. *

Felix concluded, we hope our Addrefles have not Inter-
rupted your Proceedings, or run counter to your eftablifhed
Rules ; therefore we intreat you to z^ with a free Temper,
and make us acquainted with your Difcipl/ne, which we
ihall readily obferve with the greateft Complacency and
Satisfaction of Mind. ^ '

They had no fooner ended their Speeches to Mofes^
Aarcn and Abraham^ but the Dcfcendants of the Prophets,
Apoflles and the Evangelifls came up in a Body, and made
fcveral Speeches to them, too numerous here to Record :
Then conducted the Converts into a Room to read the
Orders of the Houfe, which were hung up, and wrote in
fair Characters. Here they were left alone to imprint every
Article upon the Table of their Hearts, each Line being
fufficient to charm a Heathen into the Love of Virtue. The
firft Article was, that whenever any Inhabitant was admit-
ted into the Family,- frequent Prayers fhould be made to
the Sovereign Lord of Heaven and Earth, that he would
vouchfafe to encreafethe number of his Ele£t, and to hailen
his Kingdom; then the Bells, being eight in number,
run.g their Chimes, and made fo melodious a Sound that
/>//>, the Student and the Virgin (bed Tears of Joy, and
went up to the Chappel with the Collegians in greater
Tranfport than they ever did to a Wedding, or a Corona-
tion Day, in the Tents of Sodom.

As foon as the Student and the Virgin had entered the
holy Place, they were feated under a fumptuous Canopy, oa
the Top of which was the Figure of a Crown of curious
.Work; the Guide told them that was in Token of their
Youth, and the Victory gained over the Vanities of Life,
^nd their iafc arrival at Abraham^ Houfe in the Land of
" • r : ^ Oa

lilHIRiliiUi iiiiiiJ.,ig!LB«iH||PH»


[ 2* ]

On this extraordinary Occafion the following Prayer was
made by one of the Defcendants of the Evangalifts,

*' O Father of Mercies, and God of all Comforts, we
•* are here met together to fet forth thy Praife, and blefs
•' thy holy Name for all thy Wonders of Grace fo boun-
•' tifully (hewn to us, and to all Mankind ; but more efpe-
** cially for adding to this Family three more Souls that
•' fhall be faved, Perfons that were implanted in vicious
•* Habits, of the continual Growth, in the rank Soil of Ini-
** quity, and the Offspring of the moft luxuriant Plants in
** Satati*s Garden, and of thofe, concerning whom our
*' dear Redeemer faid it was more poflible for a Camel to
** go through the Eye of a Needle than that they ibould
** enter into his Kingdom ; Lord, here is a rich Felix
** come to work in thy Vineyard, in the eleventh Hour
•* of Life ; and two others in the fixth Hour of Life ; it
*' grieves them to the very Heart that they came no fooner,
•* and we praife thee that they are come at bft : Pour
*• down thy richeft Bleflings on them, thy humbleServants,
•* who arc defirous to change the Tents of Sodom, to live
** in Abraham's Houfe; they who have deferted the
** Prince of Darknefs to adhere to the King of Glory ; they
** are retired from the Crowds of a debauched City to en-
•* joy the Comfort of a retired Solitude ; they have for-
•* faken the Society of the Licentious to keep Company
•* with the righteous Lots in Canaan : May no Argument

2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Online LibraryUnknownThe virgin in Eden: or, The state of innocency. Deliver'd by way of image and description. Presenting a nobleman, a student, and heiress, on their progress from Sodom to Canaan. With the parable of the shepherd, Zachariah, and Mary ... To which are added, Pamela's letters proved to be immodest roman → online text (page 2 of 11)