"May you be enabled, by reading them frequently, to transfuse into your own breast that holy flame which inspired the writer!"

— Mulso [later Chapone], Hester (1727-1801)

Place of Publication
Printed by H. Hughs, For J. Walter
"May you be enabled, by reading them frequently, to transfuse into your own breast that holy flame which inspired the writer!"
Metaphor in Context
Next follow the Psalms, with which you cannot be too conversant. If you have any taste, either for poetry or devotion, they will be your delight, and will afford you a continual feast. The Bible translation is far better than that used in the Common Prayer Book: and will often give you the sense, when the other is obscure. In this, as well as in all other parts of the scripture, you must be careful always to consult the margin, which gives you the corrections made since the last translation, and is generally preferable to the words of the text. I would wish you to select some of the Psalms that please you best, and get them by heart; or, at least, make yourself mistress of the sentiments contained in them: Dr. Delany's Life of David will show you the occasions on which several of them were composed, which add much to their beauty and propriety; and, by comparing them with the events of David's life, you will greatly enhance your pleasure in them. Never did the spirit of true piety breathe more strongly than in these divine songs; which, being added to a rich vein of poetry, makes them more captivating to my heart and imagination than any thing I ever read. You will consider how great disadvantages any poems must sustain from being rendered literally into prose, and then imagine how beautiful these must be in the original. May you be enabled, by reading them frequently, to transfuse into your own breast that holy flame which inspired the writer!--to delight in the Lord, and in his laws, like the Psalmist--to rejoice in him always, and to think "one day in his courts better than a thousand!" But may you escape the heart-piercing sorrow of such repentance as that of David, by avoiding sin, which humbled this unhappy king to the dust, and which cost him such bitter anguish, as it is impossible to read of without being moved. Not all the pleasures of the most prosperous sinner could counterbalance the hundredth part of those sensations described in his Penitential Psalms; and which must be the portion of every man, who has fallen from a religious state into such crimes, when once he recovers a sense of religion and virtue, and is brought to a real hatred of sin: however available such repentance may be to the safety and happiness of the soul after death, it is a state of such exquisite suffering here, that one cannot be enough surprised at the folly of those, who indulge in sin, with the hope of living to make their peace with God by repentance. Happy are they who preserve their innocence unsullied by any great or wilful crimes, and who have only the common failings of humanity to repent of: these are sufficiently mortifying to a heart deeply smitten with the love of virtue, and with the desire of perfection. There are many very striking prophecies of the Messiah in these divine songs; particularly in Psalm xxii: such may be found scattered up and down almost throughout the Old Testament. To bear testimony to him is the great and ultimate end, for which the spirit of prophecy was bestowed on the sacred writers:--but this will appear more plainly to you, when you enter on the study of prophecy, which you are now much too young to undertake.
(pp. 59-64)
At least 32 entries in ESTC (1773, 1774, 1775, 1777, 1778, 1783, 1786, 1787, 1790, 1793, 1797, 1800).

See Hester Chapone, Letters on the Improvement of the Mind, Addressed to a Lady, 2 vols. (London: Printed by H. Hughs for J. Walter, 1773). <Link to ECCO> <Vol. 1 in Google Books><Project Gutenberg Edition>
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.