ARGUMENT

State of feeling produced by the foregoing Narrative--A belief in a superintending Providence the only adequate support under affliction--Wanderer's ejaculation--Acknowledges the difficulty of a lively faith--Hence immoderate sorrow--Exhortations--How received--Wanderer applies his discourse to that other cause of dejection in the Solitary's mind--Disappointment from the French Revolution--States grounds of hope, and insists on the necessity of patience and fortitude with respect to the course of great revolutions--Knowledge the source of tranquillity--Rural Solitude favourable to knowledge of the inferior Creatures; Study of their habits and ways recommended; exhortation to bodily exertion and communion with Nature--Morbid Solitude pitiable--Superstition better than apathy--Apathy and destitution unknown in the infancy of society--The various modes of Religion prevented it-- Illustrated in the Jewish, Persian, Babylonian, Chaldean, and Grecian modes of belief--Solitary interposes--Wanderer points out the influence of religious and imaginative feeling in the humble ranks of society, illustrated from present and past times--These principles tend to recall exploded superstitions and popery-- Wanderer rebuts this charge, and contrasts the dignities of the Imagination with the presumptuous littleness of certain modern Philosophers--Recommends other lights and guides--Asserts the power of the soul to regenerate herself; Solitary asks how-- Reply--Personal appeal--Exhortation to activity of body renewed-- How to commune with Nature--Wanderer concludes with a legitimate union of the imagination, affections, understanding, and reason-- Effect of his discourse--Evening; Return to the Cottage.