Judith Sargent Murray Society
JSM's dates: 1751-1820
The Repository. No. VI.
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This essay appeared in the February 1793 edition of the Massachusetts Magazine under the name "Constantia."


The Repository. No. VI.
 
PLATONISM.
"I commit to your faithful credence, the eternal memory of our everlasting friendship, the inviolable memory of our unspotted friendship, the sacred memory of our vowed friendship." -- Thus wrote Spencer to his friend Harvey -- nor was this a sexual attachment: Go then ye base defamers -- ye who avow that male and female are requisite to consummate a tender, a warm, an ardent passion -- go ye thus who argue -- go and learn wisdom of the bards of other times. -- Here was an intercourse steady as the sunshine of pure unabating love could render it -- its source, its progress, and its maturity was wholly intellectual. -- Celestial beings, from their bright Elysium, look down with pleasure, and regard with benign complacency the sons and daughters of amity -- Hail ye pure spirits -- all hail ye happy, ye distinguished souls -- ye who wear the silken bandage, and are capable of the joys of friendship -- this globe hath not felicity more rational or refined to bestow, and you are constantly pointing each other to that abode, where alone your happiness can be augmented -- in the beatified world indeed, a total deprivation of evil; and a perfection of knowledge, must place you upon the summit of bliss inessable. Mean time -- doth humanity induce a fault, with genuine delicacy it will be pointed out, or with amiable tenderness it will be but barely hinted -- disguised perhaps under the veil of metaphor, or, if otherwise, proposed almost as a virtue, and by such gentle methods, improvement, and even reformation will be obtained. How rationally do sentimental friends pass their lives -- a constant succession of intellectual pleasures wing their hours. Now the labours of ancient bards feast their delighted spirits -- soon the grave historian dignifies, informs, and enlarges their views -- alternately they read, write, and converse -- conversation expands their souls, and their grateful tongues dwell upon past, present, and expected good -- If the name of JESUS hath vibrated sweetly upon their ear -- then will our EMMANUEL become the basis, the cement, and the divine author of their most aspiring hopes -- and, exalted by the merits of their adorable head, they will look forward to a residence in the paradise of their GOD.

CONSTANTIA

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2007 © Bonnie Hurd Smith

Independent scholar and author Bonnie Hurd Smith is the president and CEO of History Smiths, a marketing company that works with businesses to incorporate history -- their own and their community's -- into their branding, marketing, and community outreach to attract customers, boost customer loyalty, and secure a high status reputation in the communities they serve.