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YOUNG'S NIGHT THOUGHTS,
BY WILLIAM DANBY, Esq.
OF SWINTON PARK, YORKSHIRE.
PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR,
AND J. & G. TODD, YORK; & C. UPHAM, EXETER.
An acquaintance of many years' standing, with some degree of family connexion, has given me the knowledge of the many virtues which have raised your Grace to the eminent situation in which you have been long placed, and which has induced me to offer to your Grace the dedication of these extracts from, and observations on, a work which so powerfully advocates the cause and the interests of a religion which is our best support in this world, and our highest object in the next. The Church, of which
your Grace is a distinguished member, has been considered by many pious and learned men, and particularly by the illustrious Grotius, as established on a foundation which secures its stability more than that of any other, whatever dissent from its doctrines the varying opinions and feelings of men may have produced; those doctrines are as consonant to reason, as the human intelligence of the mysteries that
religion must contain in itself, could make them; and they are no less calculated to secure that peace which, as our great Shepherd has told us, will “ give rest unto our souls."
That we all, and your Grace in particular, may enjoy that peace on earth, which is the foretaste of happiness in heaven, is the sincere wish of,
My dear Lord,
Swinton Park, October 30, 1832.
The great value of the “ Night Thoughts," and the inestimable value of the subject, certainly deserved a more able selector and commentator than I have proved myself to be. However, as no attempt of the kind, that I know of, has ever been made, I venture mine into the world, in hopes that it may induce more to read the poem itself, among those who most want its admonitions, or those who have been deterred from it by a mistaken, as to many parts of it at least, notion of its gloom and severity. If they dislike seriousness, even upon the most important subjects, their case is at least as desperate as Lorenzo's : they will, it is to be feared, have nothing but a
“ dreadful scene” before them, in the “ unconsidered" One, in the “ worlds unknown," into which they must at some time be “ wafted.” If they do not give their “consciences leave to speak" now, they will speak, “ their leave unasked," when it is too late for them to be heard with any profit.
It is singular that Young's Night Thoughts have more admirers (as I have been told) among our lighter neighbours on the continent, than amongst us
more serious Islanders ; perhaps it is from the lively imagination displayed in them, as well as from their animation. They are, however, much read among our countrymen, and a little further acquaintance with them (for which some dis