[...] Addison.





LONDON: Printed for E. CURLL in Fleet-Street. MDCCXIX.


SInce these small Extracts * are become lately so much in Vogue, and Mr. Arch­deacon Echard has spoken so fully of their general Use, 'tis only thought proper to assure the Reader, that these Collections are faithfully se­lected from the Writings of that excel­lent Author whose Name they bear.

Sir Richard Steele has been chiefly my Guide in this Matter; for I have consulted no other Guardians but those marked with a Hand, nor no other Spectators but those marked with the Let­ters C. L. I. O. Those upon Milton's [Page] Paradise Lost, I have passed over, being informed that they are to be speedily published with a new Edition of that Poem.

As for the Freeholder, I never heard of any Competitor; and among the Tat­lers I cannot find any Topicks that pro­perly fall within the Scheme I have pro­posed.

The Hurry of the Bookseller (occa­sioned, as he tells me, by the pressing Demand of the Publick) has obliged me to divide this Collection into Two Parts. I thought I could not better conclude this first Part, than with that admi­rable Spectator upon the Immortality of the Soul; and the remaining Papers from which I design my farther Ex­tracts, shall follow with all convenient Speed.

Cha. Beckingham.


  • OF a good Conscience. Page 1
  • — Religious Fear. 2
  • — Justice. 4
  • — Charity. 6
  • — Knowledge. 7
  • — Nobility. 8
  • — False Gallantry. 11
  • — The Conduct of Families. 12
  • — The Qualifications of a good Wife. 15
  • — Pride. 17
  • — Industry. 19
  • — The Reproach of Idleness. 20
  • — Honour. 22
  • — Complaisance. 26
  • — The Love which we owe to our Coun­try. 28
  • [Page]Of the Guilt of Perjury. Page 30
  • — The Guilt of Rebellion. 34
  • How Ministers of State should bear an un­deserved Reproach. 35
  • Of The Practice of Morality. 41
  • — The Absurdity of a Party-Spirit. 43
  • — The Inconsistence of a Popish Prince and Protestant Subjects. 45
  • — The Decay of Piety. 48
  • — The Character of a Stateswoman. 50
  • Britons, Free-Thinkers in Politicks. 52
  • — The Preference of the Whig-Scheme to that of the Tories. 54
  • Characters of the Royal Family. 56, 64, &c.
  • The Good Man's Security against the Fear of Death. 71
  • Of True Happiness. 73
  • — Calumny; or, the Danger of Satire. 74
  • — The Dignity and Excellency of Tra­gedy. 77
  • — Avarice and Luxury. 78
  • — Fame, and the Pursuit after it. 79
  • A Check to inordinate Desires. 81
  • A Reflection on Mortality. 83
  • Upon the Immortality of the Soul. 84

MAXIMS, OBSERVATIONS, AND REFLECTIONS, Taken from the GUARDIAN, Methodized and Connected.


A Good Conscience is to the Soul what Health is to the Body; it preserves a constant Ease and Serenity within us, and more than countervails all the Calamities and Afflictions which can possibly befal us. I know nothing so hard for a generous Mind to get over as Calumny and Reproach, and cannot find any Method of quieting the Soul under them, besides this single one, of our being conscious to our selves that we do not deserve them.


REligious Fear, when it is produced by just Apprehen­sions of a Divine Power, naturally overlooks all hu­man Greatness that stands in Competition with it, and extinguishes every other Terrour that can settle itself in the Heart of Man; it lessens and con­tracts the Figure of the most exalted Person; it disarms the Tyrant and Ex­ecutioner, and represents to our Minds the most enraged and the most power­ful as altogether harmless and impotent.

There is no true Fortitude which is not founded upon this Fear, as there is no other Principle of so settled and fixed a Nature. Courage that grows from Constitution, very often for­sakes a Man when he has Occasion for it; and, when it is only a Kind of Instinct in the Soul, breaks out on all Occasions without Judgment or Discretion. That Courage which pro­ceeds from the Sense of our Duty, and from the Fear of offending him that made us, acts always in a uniform Man­ner, [Page 3] and according to the Dictates of right Reason.

What can the Man fear, who takes Care, in all his Actions to please a Be­ing that is Omnipotent? a Being who is able to crush all his Adversaries? a Being, that can divert any Misfortune from befalling him, or turn any such Misfortune to his Advantage? The Per­son who lives with this constant and habitual Regard to the great Superin­tendant of the World, is indeed sure that no real Evil can come into his Lot. Blessings may appear under the Shape of Pains, Losses, and Disappointments, but let him have Patience, and he will see them in their proper Figures. Dan­gers may threaten him, but he may rest satisfied, that they will either not reach him, or, that if they do, they will be the Instruments of Good to him. In short, he may look upon all Crosses and Accidents, Sufferings and Afflictions, as Means which are made Use of to bring him to Happiness. This is even the worst of that Man's Condition whose Mind is possessed with the habitual Fear of which I am now speaking. But it very often happens, that those which appear Evils in our own Eyes, appear also as such to him [Page 4] who has Human Nature under his Care, in which Case they are certainly avert­ed from the Person who has made himself, by this Virtue, an Object of Divine Favour.


THere is no Virtue so truly great and God-like as JUSTICE. Most of the other Virtues are the Virtues of created Beings, or accommodated to our Nature as we are Men. JUSTICE is that which is practised by God him­self, and to be practised in its Per­fection by none but him. Omniscience and Omnipotence are requisite for the full Exertion of it. The one, to disco­ver every Degree of Uprightness, or Iniquity in Thoughts, Words and Actions. The other, to measure out and impart suitable Rewards and Pu­nishments.

As to be perfectly just is an Attri­bute in the Divine Nature, to be so to the utmost of our Abilities is the Glory of a Man. Such an one, who has the publick Administration in his [Page 5] Hands, acts like the Representative of his Maker, in recompensing the Virtu­ous, and punishing the Offender.

When a Nation once loses its Regard to JUSTICE; when they do not look up­on it as something venerable, holy and inviolable; when any of them dare presume to lessen, affront, or terrify those who have the Distribution of it in their Hands; when a Judge is ca­pable of being influenced by any Thing but Law, or a Cause may be recom­mended by any Thing that is foreign to its own Merits, we may venture to pronounce that such a Nation is ha­stening to its Ruin.

JUSTICE discards Party, Friendship, Kindred, and is therefore always repre­sented as blind, that we may suppose her Thoughts are wholly intent on the Equity of a Cause, without being di­verted or prejudiced by Objects foreign to it.


CHARITY is a Virtue of the Heart, and not of the Hands, says an old Writer. Gifts and Alms are the Expressi­ons, not the Essence of this Virtue. A Man may bestow great Sums on the Poor and Indigent, without be­ing Charitable, and may be Charitable, when he is not able to bestow any Thing. Charity is therefore a Habit of Good-Will, or Benevolence, in the Soul, which disposes us to the Love, Assistance, and Relief of Mankind, especially of those who stand in Need of it. The poor Man, who has this excellent Frame of Mind, is no less intitled to the Reward of this Virtue, than the Man who founds a College.


KNOWLEDGE is indeed that which, next to Virtue, tru­ly and essentially raises one Man above another. It fi­nishes one Half of the hu­man Soul. It makes Being pleasant to us, fills the Mind with entertaining Views, and administers to it a perpe­tual Series of Gratifications. It gives Ease to Solitude, and Gracefulness to Retirement. It fills a publick Station with suitable Abilities, and adds a Lu­stre to those who are in the Possession of them.

LEARNING, by which I mean all use­ful Knowledge, whether speculative or practical, is, in popular and mixed Governments, the natural Source of Wealth and Honour. If we look into most of the Reigns from the Conquest, we shall find, that the Favourites of each Reign have been those who have raised themselves. The greatest Men are generally the Growth of that particular Age in which they flourish. A supe­riour Capacity for Business, and a more [Page 8] extensive Knowledge, are the Steps by which a new Man often mounts to Fa­vour, and outshines the rest of his Con­emporaries. But when Men are actually born to Titles, it is almost impossible that they should fail of receiving an addi­tional Greatness, if they take Care to ac­complish themselves for it.


WE ought in Gratitude to honour the Posterity of those who have raised either the Interest, or Reputation of their Coun­try, and by whose Labours we ourselves are more Happy, Wise, or Virtuous, than we should have been without them. Besides, naturally speak­ing, a Man bids fairer for Greatness of Soul, who is the Descendant of worthy Ancestors, and has good Blood in his Veins, than one who is come of an ignoble and obscure Parentage. For these Reasons I think a Man of Merit, who is derived from an illustrious Line, is very justly to be regarded more than a Man of equal Merit, who has no Claim to hereditary Honours. [Page 9] Nay, I think those who are indifferent in themselves, and have nothing else to distinguish them, but the Virtues of their Forefathers, are to be looked upon with a Degree of Veneration, even up­on that Account, and to be more re­spected than the common Run of Men, who are of low and vulgar Extraction.

After having thus ascribed due Ho­nours to Birth and Parentage, I must, however, take Notice of those, who ar­rogate to themselves more Honours than are due to them on this Account. The first are such who are not enough sen­sible that Vice and Ignorance taint the Blood, and that an unworthy Behaviour degrades and disennobles a Man, in the Eye of the World, as much as Birth and Family aggrandize and exalt him.

The second are those who believe a new Man of an elevated Merit, is not more to be honoured than an insignifi­cant and worthless Man, who is descend­ed from a long Line of Patriots and Heroes; or, in other Words, behold with Contempt a Person who is such a Man as the first Founder of their Family was, upon whose Reputation they value themselves.

[Page 10]There are some whose Quality fits uppermost in all their Discourses and Behaviour. An empty Man of a great Family is a Creature that is scarce con­versible: You read his Ancestry in his Smile, in his Air, in his Eye-brow; he has indeed his Nobility to give Employ­ment to his Thoughts; Rank and Pre­cedency are the important Points which he is always discussing within himself.

To conclude, There is nothing more ea­sy than to discover a Man whose Heart is full of his Family; weak Minds, that have imbibed a strong Tincture of the Nur­sery, younger Brothers that have been brought up to Nothing, superannuated Retainers to a great House, have general­ly their Thoughts taken up with little else.

But on the other Hand, As the Actions of our Ancestors and Forefathers should excite us to every Thing that is Great and Virtuous; so a Regard to our Poste­rity, and those who are to descend from us, ought to have the same Kind of In­fluence on a generous Mind. A noble Soul would rather die than commit an Action that should make his Children blush, when he is in the Grave, and be looked upon as a Reproach to those who shall live a hundred Years after [Page 11] him. On the contrary, nothing can be a more pleasing Thought to a Man of Eminence, than to consider that his Posterity, who lie many Removes from him, shall make their Boast of his Vir­tues, and be honoured for his Sake.


THere are a Sort of Knights-Errant in the World, who, quite contrary to those in Romance, are perpetually seeking Adventures to bring Virgins into Distress, and to ruin Inno­cence. When Men of Rank and Fi­gure pass away their Lives in these Criminal Pursuits and Practices, they ought to consider, that they render themselves more vile and despicable than any innocent Man can be, what­ever low Station his Fortune or Birth have placed him in. Title and Ance­stry render a good Man more illustrious, but an ill one more contemptible.

I have often wondered, that these Deflowrers of Innocence, though dead to all the Sentiments of Virtue and Honour, are not restrained by Compas­sion [Page 12] and Humanity. To bring Sorrow, Confusion and Infamy into a Family, to wound the Heart of a tender Parent, and stain the Life of a poor deluded young Woman with a Dishonour that can never be wiped off, are Circumstan­ces one would think, sufficient to check the most violent Passion in a Heart, which has the least Tincture of Pity and Good-nature. Would any one pur­chase the Gratification of a Moment at so dear a Rate? and entail a lasting Mi­sery on others, for such a transient Sa­tisfaction to himself? nay, for a Satis­faction that is sure, at some Time or other, to be followed with Remorse?


IT is a melancholy Thing to see a Coxcomb at the Head of a Family: He scatters In­fection through the whole House, his Wife and Chil­dren have always their Eyes upon him: If they have more Sense than himself, they are out of Countenance for him; if less, they submit their Understand­ings to him, and make daily Improve­ments [Page 13] in Folly and Impertinence. I have been very often secretly concerned, when I have seen a Circle of pretty Children cramped in their natural Parts, and prattling even below themselves, while they are talking after a Couple of silly Parents. The Dulness of a Fa­ther often extinguishes a Genius in the Son, or gives such a wrong Cast to his Mind, as it is hard for him ever to wear off. In short, where the Head of a Fa­mily is weak, you hear the Repetitions of his insipid Pleasantries, shallow Con­ceits, and topical Points of Mirth, in every Member of it: His Table, his Fire-Side, his Parties of Diversion, are all of them so many standing Scenes of Folly.

This is one Reason why I would the more recommend the Improvements of the Mind to my Female Readers, that a Family may have a double Chance for it, and, if it meets with Weakness in one of the Heads, may have it made up in the other. It is indeed an unhap­py Circumstance in a Family, where the Wife has more Knowledge than the Husband; but it is better it should be so, than that there should be no Know­ledge in the whole House. It is high­ly expedient that at least one of the [Page 14] Persons, who sits at the Helm of Affairs, should give an Example of good Sense to those who are under them, in these little domestick Governments.

If Folly is of ill Consequence in the Head of a Family, Vice is much more so, as it is of a more pernicious and of a more contagious Nature. When the Master is a Profligate, the Rake runs through the House: You hear the Sons talking loosely and swearing after their Father, and see the Daughters either familiarized to his Discourse, or every Moment blushing for him.

The very Footman will be a fine Gen­tleman in his Master's Way; he im­proves by his Table-Talk, and repeats in the Kitchin what he learns in the Parlour: Invest him with the same Ti­tle and Ornaments, and you would scarce know him from his Lord; he practises the same Oaths, the same Ribaldry, the same Way of Joking.

It is therefore of very great Concern to a Family, that the Ruler of it should be wise and Virtuous: The first of these Qualifications does not indeed lie with­in his Power; but, though a Man can­not abstain from being weak, he may from being vicious. It is in his Power to give a good Example of Modesty, [Page 15] of Temperance, of Frugality, of Reli­gion, and of all other Virtues, which, though the greatest Ornaments of Hu­man Nature, may be put in Practice by Men of the most ordinary Capacities.

As Wisdom and Virtue are the proper Qualifications in the Master of a House, if he is not accomplished in both of them, it is much better that he should be deficient in the former than in the lat­ter, since the Consequences of Vice are of an infinitely more dangerous Nature than those of Folly.

The QUALIFICATIONS of a Good WIFE, from Sir THOMAS MORE's Latin Original.

MAY you meet with a Wife who is not always stupidly si­lent, nor always pratling Non­sense! May she be Learned, if possible, or, at least, ca­pable of being made so! A Woman thus accomplished will be always draw­ing Sentences and Maxims of Virtue out of the best Authors of Antiquity: She will be herself in all Changes of Fortune, neither blown up in Prosperi­ty, [Page 16] nor broken with Adversity: You will find in her an even, chearful, good-hu­moured Friend, and an agreeable Com­panion for Life: She will infuse Know­ledge into your Children with their Milk, and from their Infancy train them up to Wisdom. Whatever Company you are engaged in, you will long to be at Home, and retire with Delight from the Society of Men, into the Bosom of one, who is so dear, so knowing, and so ami­able. If she touches her Lute, or sings to it any of her own Compositions, her Voice will sooth you in your Soli­tudes, and sound more sweetly in your Ear than that of the Nightingale: You will waste with Pleasure whole Days and Nights in her Conversation, and be ever finding out new Beauties in her Dis­course: She will keep your Mind in perpetual Serenity, restrain its Mirth from being dissolute, and prevent its Melancholy from being painful.


THERE is no Passion which steals into the Heart more imperceptibly, and covers it­self under more Disguises than PRIDE. I have been always wonderfully delighted with that Sentence in Holy Writ, Pride was not made for Man. There is not indeed any single View of Human Nature, under its present Condition, which is not suf­ficient to extinguish in us all the se­cret Seeds of Pride; and, on the con­trary, to sink the Soul into the lowest State of Humility, and what the School­men call Self-Annihilation. Pride was not made for Man; as he is,

  • I. A sinful,
  • II. An ignorant,
  • III. A miserable Being.

There is nothing in his Understanding, in his Will, or in his present Condition, that can tempt any considerate Creature to Pride or Vanity.

These three very Reasons why he should not be proud, are notwithstanding the Rea­sons why he is so. Were he not a sinful [Page 18] Creature, he would not be subject to a Pas­sion which rises from the Depravity of his Nature: Were he not an ignorant Crea­ture, he would see that he has nothing to be proud of: And, were not the whole Species miserable, he would not have those wretched Objects of Com­parison before his Eyes, which are the Occasions of this Passion, and which make one Man value himself more than another.

A wise Man will be contented that his Glory be deferred 'till such Time as he shall be truly glorified; when his Understanding shall be cleared, his Will rectified, and his Happiness assured; or, in other Words, when he shall be nei­ther sinful, nor ignorant, nor miserable.

If there be any Thing which makes Hu­man Nature appear ridiculous to Beings of superior Faculties, it must be Pride. They know so well the Vanity of those imaginary Perfections that swell the Heart of Man, and of those little super­numerary Advantages, whether in Birth, Fortune, or Title, which one Man en­joys above another, that it must certain­ly very much astonish, if it does not very much divert them, when they see a Mor­tal puffed up, and valuing himself above his Neighbours on any of these Ac­counts, [Page 19] counts, at the same Time that he is obnoxious to all the common Calamities of the Species.


IT has been observed by Wri­ters of Morality, that in Or­der to quicken Human Indu­stry, Providence has so con­trived it, that our daily Food is not to be procured without much Pains and Labour. The Chace of Birds and Beasts, the several Arts of Fishing, with all the different Kinds of Agriculture, are necessary Scenes of Business, and give Employment to the greatest Part of Mankind. If we look into the Brute Creation, we find all its Individuals en­gaged in a painful and laborious Way of Life, to procure a necessary Subsi­stance for themselves, or those that grow up under them: The Preservation of their Being is the whole Business of it. An idle Man is therefore a Kind of Mon­ster in the Creation. All Nature is busy about him; every Animal he sees re­proaches him. Let such a Man, who lies as a Burden, or dead Weight, upon [Page 20] the Species, and contributes nothing ei­ther to the Riches of the Commonwealth, or to the Maintenance of himself and Family, consider that Instinct with which Providence has endowed the Ant, and by which is exhibited an Example of In­dustry to rational Creatures.


IN comparing together the INDUSTRY of Man with that of other Creatures, I cannot but observe, that not­withstanding we are obliged by Duty to keep ourselves in constant Employ, after the same Manner as infe­rior Animals are prompted to it by In­stinct, we fall very short of them in this Particular. We are here the more inex­cusable, because there is a greater Vari­ety of Business, to which we may apply ourselves. Reason opens to us a large Field of Affairs, which other Creatures are not capable of. Beasts of Prey, and, I believe, of all other Kinds, in their natural State of Being, divide their Time between Action and Rest. They are always at work or asleep: In short, [Page 21] their waking Hours are wholly taken up in seeking after their Food, or in consuming it. The Human Species on­ly, to the great Reproach of our Na­tures, are filled with Complaints, that the Day hangs heavy on them, that they do not know what to do with themselves, that they are at a Loss how to pass away their Time, with many of the like shame­ful Murmurs, which we often find in the Mouths of those who are stiled Reasonable Beings. How monstrous are such Expressions among Creatures, who have the Labours of the Mind, as well as those of the Body, to furnish them with proper Employments; who, be­sides the Business of their proper Cal­lings and Professions, can apply them­selves to the Duties of Religion, to Me­ditation, to the reading of useful Books, to Discourse; in a Word, who may ex­ercise themselves in the unbounded Pur­suits of Knowledge and Virtue, and eve­ry Hour of their Lives make themselves wiser or better than they were before.

I shall conclude with recommending to them the same short Self-Examina­tion. If every one of them frequently lays his Hand upon his Heart, and con­siders what he is doing, it will check him in all the idle, or what is worse, [Page 22] the vicious Moments of Life; lift up his Mind, when it is running on in a Series of indifferent Actions, and encou­rage him when he is engaged in those which are virtuous and laudable. In a Word, it will very much alleviate that Guilt which the best of Men have Rea­son to acknowledge in their daily Con­fessions, of leaving undone those Things which they ought to have done, and of doing those Things which they ought not to have done.


EVERY Principle that is a Motive to good Actions ought to be encouraged, since Men are of so different a Make, that the same Principle does not work equally upon all Minds. What some Men are prompted to by Con­science, Duty, or Religion, which are only different Names for the same Thing, others are prompted to by HONOUR.

The Sense of HONOUR is of so fine and delicate a Nature, that it is only to be met with in Minds which are na­turally noble; or in such as have been [Page 23] cultivated by great Examples, or a re­fined Education.

But as nothing is more pernicious than a Principle of Action, when it is misunderstood, I shall consider HONOUR with Respect to three Sorts of Men. First of all, with Regard to those who have a right Notion of it: Secondly, with Regard to those who have a mista­ken Notion of it: And, Thirdly, with Regard to those who treat it as Chime­rical, and turn it into Ridicule.

In the first Place, true HONOUR, tho' it be a different Principle from Religion, is that which produces the same Effects. The Lines of Action, though drawn from different Parts, terminate in the same Point. Religion embraces Virtue, as it is enjoined by the Laws of God; HO­NOUR, as it is graceful and ornamental to Human Nature. The Religious Man fears, the Man of HONOUR scorns to do an ill Action: The former considers Vice as something that is beneath him, the other as something that is offensive to the Divine Being: The one, as what is unbecoming, the other as what is forbid­den. Thus SENECA speaks in the na­tural and genuine Language of a Man of Honour, when he declares, That were there no God to see or punish Vice, he [Page 24] would not commit it, because it is of so mean, so base, and so vile a Nature.

In the second Place, we are to consi­der those who have mistaken Notions of Honour, and these are such as esta­blish any Thing to themselves for a Point of Honour, which is contrary ei­ther to the Laws of God, or of their Country; who think it more honoura­ble to revenge, than to forgive an Inju­ry; who make no Scruple of telling a Lie, but would put any Man to Death that accuses them of it; who are more careful to guard their Reputation by their Courage than by their Virtue. True Fortitude is indeed so becoming in Human Nature, that he who wants it scarce deserves the Name of a Man; but we find several, who so much abuse this Notion, that they place the whole Idea of Honour in a Kind of brutal Cou­rage; by which Means we have had many among us, who have called them­selves Men of Honour, that would have been a Disgrace to a Gibbet. In a Word, the Man who sacrifices any Duty of a reasonable Creature to a prevailing Mode or Fashion, who looks upon any Thing as honourable that is displeasing to his Maker, or destructive to Society, who thinks himself obliged by this Principle [Page 25] to the Practice of some Virtues, and not of others, is by no Means to be recko­ned among true Men of Honour.

In the third Place, we are to consider those Persons, who treat this Principle as chimerical, and turn it into Ridicule. Men who are professedly of no Honour, are of a more profligate and abandoned Nature than even those who are acted by false Notions of it, as there is more Hopes of a Heretick than of an Atheist. These Sons of Infamy consider Honour as a fine imaginary Notion, that leads astray young unexperienced Men, and draws them into real Mischiefs, while they are engaged in the Pursuits of a Shadow. These are generally Persons who, in SHAKESPEAR's Phrase, are worn and hackneyed in the Ways of Men;’ whose Imaginations are grown callous, and have lost all those delicate Senti­ments, which are natural to Minds that are innocent and undepraved. Such old battered Miscreants ridicule every Thing as Romantick, that comes in Competi­tion with their present Interest, and treat those Persons as Visionaries, who dare stand up in a corrupt Age for what has not its immediate Reward joined to it. The Talents, Interest, or Experience of such Men, make them so very often [Page 26] useful in all Parties, and at all Times: But whatever Wealth and Dignities they may arrive at, they ought to consider, that every one stands as a Blot in the Annals of his Country, who arrives at the Temple of HONOUR by any other Way than through that of VIRTUE.


COMPLAISANCE renders a Su­perior amiable, an Equal a­greeable, and an Inferior acceptable. It smooths Di­stinction, sweetens Conver­sation, and makes every one in the Com­pany pleased with himself. It produces Good-nature and mutual Benevolence, encourages the Timorous, sooths the Turbulent, humanizes the Fierce, and distinguishes a Society of civilized Per­sons from a Confusion of Savages. In a Word, COMPLAISANCE is a Virtue that blends all Orders of Men together in a friendly Intercourse of Words and Acti­ons, and is suited to that Equality of Human Nature which every one ought to consider, so far as is consistent with the Order and Oeconomy of the World.

[Page 27]If we could look into the secret An­guish and Affliction of every Man's Heart, we should often find that more of it arises from little imaginary Di­stresses, such as Checks, Frowns, Con­tradictions, Expressions of Contempt, and (what SHAKESPEAR, in Hamlet, reckons among other Evils under the Sun)

— The poor Man's Contumely,
The Insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient Merit of the Unworthy takes,

than from the more real Pains and Ca­lamities of Life. The only Method to remove these imaginary Distresses, as much as possible out of Human Life, would be the universal Practice of such an ingenuous Complaisance as I have been here describing, which, as it is a Vir­tue, may be defined to be a constant En­deavour to please those whom we converse with, so far as we may do it innocently. I shall here add, that I know nothing so effectual to raise a Man's Fortune as COMPLAISANCE, which recommends more to the Favour of the Great, than Wit, Knowledge, or any other Talent whatsoever.


Of the LOVE which we Owe to our COUNTRY.


WHAT one would think should be natural to every Man, (un­der a well instituted Govern­ment) is a Desire to be Happy, and a Good-will towards those who are the Instruments of making them so.


LADIES are always of great Use to the Party they espouse, and never fail to win over Numbers to it. It has been an uncontroverted Maxim in all Ages, That though a Husband is sometimes a stub­born Sort of a Creature, a Lover is al­ways at the Devotion of his Mistress.


AS Self-Love is an Instinct planted in us for the Good and Safety of each par­ticular Person, the Love of our Country is impressed on our Minds for the Hap­piness and Preservation of the Communi­ty. There is no greater Sign of a general Decay of Virtue in a Nation, than a Want of Zeal in its Inhabitants for the Good of their Country.


AS the Love of ones Country is na­tural to every Man, any particular Nation, who, by false Politicks, shall en­deavour to stifle or restrain it, will not be upon a Level with others.


ALL Casuists are unanimous in de­termining, that when the Good of ones Country interferes even with the Life of the most beloved Relation, dear­est Friend, or greatest Benefactor, it is to be preferred without Exception.


NO Nation was ever famous for its Morals, which was not at the same Time remarkable for its Publick Spirit: And there is no Remark more common among the ancient Historians, than that when the State was corrupted with A­varice and Luxury, it was in Danger of being betrayed or sold.

The Guilt of PERJURY.


ALL Casuists who have gained any Esteem for their Learn­ing, Judgment, or Morality, have unanimously determin­ed, that an Oath is always to be taken in the Sense of that Autho­rity which imposes it; and that those, whose Hearts do not concur with their Lips in the Form of these publick Pro­testations, or who have any mental Re­serves, or who take an Oath against their Consciences, upon any Motive what­soever; or with a Design to break it, or repent of it, are guilty of PERJURY. Any of these, or the like Circumstan­ces, instead of alleviating the Crime, make it more heinous, as they are pre­meditated [Page 31] Frauds, (which it is the chief Design of an Oath to prevent) and the most flagrant Instances of Insincerity to Men and Irreverence to their Maker. For this Reason, the Perjury of a Man, who takes an Oath with an Intention to keep it, and is afterwards seduced to the Violation of it, (though a Crime not to be thought of, without the great­est Horrour) is yet, in some Respects, not quite so black as the Perjury above­mentioned. It is indeed a very unhap­py Token of the great Corruption of our Manners, that there should be any so inconsiderate among us, as to sacrifice the standing and essential Duties of Mo­rality to the Views of Politicks; and that when the Love of our Country is ac­knowledged to be a Virtue, there should be any Occasion to shew that PERJURY is a Sin.


PERJURY, with Relation to publick Oaths, has in it all the aggravating Circumstances, which can attend that Crime. We take them before the Ma­gistrates of publick Justice; are remind­ed by the Ceremony, that it is a Part of that Obedience which we learn from the Gospel; expressly disavow all Eva­sions and mental Reservations whatso­ever; [Page 32] appeal to Almighty God for the Integrity of our Hearts, and only desire him to be our Helper, as we fulfil the Oath we there take in his Presence. What then must be the Success that a Man can hope for, who turns a Rebel, after having disclaimed the divine Assist­ance; but upon Condition of being a faithful and loyal Subject? He first of all desires that God may help him, as he shall keep his Oaths, and afterwards hopes to prosper in an Enterprize, which is the direct Breach of them. Since there­fore PERJURY, by the common Sense of Mankind, the Reason of the Thing, and from the whole Tenour of Chri­stianity, is a Crime of so flagitious a Na­ture, we cannot be too careful in avoid­ing every Approach towards it.


IN a Nation which is tied down by such Religious and Solemn Engagements, the Peoples Loyalty will keep Pace with their Morality; and in Proportion as they are sincere Christians they will be faithful Subjects.


THE most fruitful Source of Fals­hood and Calumny, is that which, one would think, should be the least able to produce them; I mean a pre­tended [Page 33] Concern for the Safety of our established Religion. Were People as anxious for the Doctrines, which are essential to the Church of England, as they are for the nominal Distinction of adhering to its Interests, they would know, that the sincere Observation of publick Oaths, Allegiance to their King, Submission to their Bishops, Zeal against Popery, and Abhorrence of Rebellion, are the great Points that adorn the Cha­racter of the Church of England, and in which the Authors of the Reformed Religion in this Nation have always gloried.


WHEN a leading Man begins to grow apprehensive for the Church, you may be sure, that he is either in Danger of losing a Place, or in Despair of getting one. It is pleasant on these Occasions, to see a notorious Profligate seized with a Concern for his Religion, and converting his Spleen into Zeal.


Party-FICTIONS are the proper Sub­jects of Mirth and Laughter, their de­luded Believers are only to be treated with Pity or Contempt. But as for those Incendiaries of Figure and Distinction, who are the Inventors and Publishers of [Page 34] such gross Falshoods and Calumnies, they cannot be regarded by others, but with the utmost Detestation and Abhorrence; nor, one would think, by themselves, without the greatest Remorse and Com­punction of Heart; when they consider, that in Order to give a Spirit to a de­sperate Cause, they have, by their false and treacherous Insinuations and Reports, betrayed so many of their Friends into their own Destruction.


THE PEOPLE are made to believe, that Passive-Obedience and Non-Resistance, Unlimited Power and Indefeasible Right, have something of a Venerable and Re­ligious Meaning in them; whereas in Reality they only imply, that the KING has a Right to be a TYRANT, and that his Subjects are obliged in Conscience to be SLAVES.

The Guilt of REBELLION.


REBELLION is a Violation of all those Engagements, which every Government ex­acts from such Persons as live under it; and consequently the most base and pernicious Instance of Treachery and Perfidiousness.


WHEN in the Division of PARTIES, Men only strive for the first Place in the PRINCE's Favour; when all are attached to the same Form of Govern­ment, and contend only for the highest Offices in it; a prudent and an honest Man may look upon the Struggle with Indifference, and be in no great Pain for the Success of either Side.


MEN who have any natural Love to their Country, or Sense of their Du­ty, should exert their united Strength in a Cause that is common to all Par­ties. In such a Case an avowed Indiffe­rence is Treachery to our Fellow-Sub­jects; and a lukewarm Allegiance may prove as pernicious in its Consequences as Treason.

How MINISTERS of STATE should bear an undeserved Reproach.


A STATESMAN, who is possest of real Merit, should look upon his Political Censurers with the same Neglect that a good Writer regards his Cri­ticks, who are generally a Race of Men [Page 36] that are not able to discover the Beau­ties of a Work they examine, and deny that Approbation to others, which they never met with themselves. PATRIOTS therefore should rather rejoice in the Success of their Designs, than be mor­tified by those who misrepresent them; and consider, that not only Envy, but Vanity has a Share in the Detraction of their Adversaries.


PUBLICK-MINISTERS would like­wise do well to consider, that the prin­cipal Authors of such Reproaches as are cast upon them, are those who have a Mind to get their Places: And as for Censure arising from this Motive, it is in their Power to escape it when they please, and turn it upon their Competi­tors.


MALECONTENTS of an inferior Cha­racter are acted by the same Principle; for so long as there are Employments of all Sizes, there will be Murmurers of all Degrees.


I have heard of a Country Gentleman, who made a very long and melancholy Complaint to the late Duke of Bucking­ham, when he was in great Power at [Page 37] Court, of several publick Grievances. The Duke, after having given him a very patient Hearing, My dear Friend, says he, this is but too true; but I have thought of an Expedient which will set all Things right, and that very soon. His Country Friend asked him what it was? You must know, says the Duke, there's a Place of Five Hundred Pounds a Year fallen this very Morning, which I intend to put you in Possession of. The Gentleman thanked his Grace, went away satisfied, and thought the Nation the happiest un­der Heaven during that whole Ministry.


A Virtuous Man, who lays out his Endeavours for the Good of his Coun­try, should never be troubled at the Reports which are made of him, so long as he is conscious of his own Integrity: He should rather be pleased to find People descanting upon his Acti­ons, because when they are thorough­ly canvassed and examined, they are sure in the End to turn to his Honour and Advantage. The reasonable and unprejudiced Part of Mankind will be of his Side, and rejoice to see their common Interest lodged in such honest Hands.


A strict Examination of a great Man's Character, is like the Tryal of a suspect­ed Chastity, which was made among the Jews by the Waters of Jealousy. Moses assures us, that the Criminal burst upon the Drinking of them; but if she was accused wrongfully, the Rabbins tell us, they heightened her Charms, and made her much more amiable than be­fore: So that they destroyed the Guil­ty, but beautified the Innocent.


THE Political Faith of a Malecontent is altogether founded on Hope: He does not give Credit to any Thing because it is probable, but because it is pleasing: His Wishes serve him instead of Reasons, to confirm the Truth of what he hears. There is no Report so incredible or con­tradictory in itself, which he doth not chearfully believe, if it tends to the Ad­vancement of the Cause.


A Malecontent who is a good Believer, has generally Reason to repeat the cele­brated Rant of an ancient Father, Cre­do quia impossibile est: i. e. It must be True, because it is Impossible.


It has been very well observed, that the most credulous Man in the World is the Atheist, who believes the Universe to be the Production of Chance. In the same Manner a Malecontent, who is the greatest Believer in what is improbable, is the greatest Infidel in what is certain.


KING CHARLES the Second, when he was at Windsor, used to amuse him­self with the Conversation of the fa­mous VOSSIUS, who was full of Sto­ries relating to the Antiquity, Learn­ing, and Manners of the Chinese, and at the same Time a Free-Thinker in Points of Religion. The KING, upon hearing him repeat some incredible Ac­counts of these Eastern People, turning to those who were about him, This Learned Divine, said he, is a very strange Man! He believes every Thing but the BIBLE.


WHEN you cannot refute an Adver­sary, the shortest Way is to Libel him; and to endeavour at the making his Per­son odious, when you cannot represent his Notions as absurd.


AS Adversity makes a Man wise in his private Affairs, civil Calamities give him Prudence and Circumspection in his publick Conduct.


THE Miseries of the Civil War un­der the Reign of KING CHARLES the First, and the Consequences which en­sued upon them, did, for many Years, deter the Inhabitants of our Island from the Thoughts of engaging anew in such desperate Undertakings; and convinced them, by fatal Experience, that nothing could be so pernicious to the English, and so opposite to the Genius of the People, as the Subversion of Monarchy.


AN Army of Trumpeters would give as great a Strength to a Cause, as a Con­federacy of Tongue-Warriours; who, like those military Musicians, content themselves with animating their Friends to Battle, and run out of the Engage­ment upon the first Onset.


NOTHING can be more contempti­ble and insignificant, than the Scum of a People, when they are instigated a­gainst a KING, who is supported by the two Branches of the Legislature. A [Page 41] Mob may pull down a Meeting-House, but will never be able to overturn a Government.

Of the Practice of MORALITY.


COmmon Sense, as well as the Experience of all Ages, teach­es us, that no Government can flourish which doth not en­courage and propagate Religion and Mo­rality among all its particular Members.


Justice, Temperance, Humility, and almost every other moral Virtue, do not only derive the Blessings of Providence upon those who exercise them, but are the natural Means for acquiring the pub­lick Prosperity.


Religious Motives and Instincts are so busy in the Heart of every reasonable Creature, that a Man who would hope to govern a Society without any Regard to these Principles, is as much to be con­temned for his Folly, as to be detest­ed for his Impiety.


THE World is never sunk into such a State of Degeneracy, but they pay a [Page 42] natural Veneration to Men of Virtue; and rejoice to see themselves conducted by those, who act under the Awe of a supreme Being, and who think them­selves accountable for all their Proceed­ings to the great Judge and Superinten­dant of Human Affairs.


Prejudice and Self-Sufficiency natu­rally proceed from Inexperience of the World and Ignorance of Mankind.


AS it requires but very small Abili­ties to discover the Imperfections of a­nother, we find that none are more apt to turn their Neighbours into Ridicule, than those who are the most ridiculous in their own private Conduct.


PUNISHMENTS are necessary to shew there is Justice in a Government, and PARDONS to shew there is Mercy; and both together convince the People, that under a good Administration there is not only a Difference made between the Guilty and the Innocent; but even a­mong the Guilty, between such as are more or less criminal.


IT was a famous Saying of William Rufus, and is quoted to his Honour by [Page 43] Historians; Whosoever spares perjured Men, Robbers, Plunderers, and Traytors, deprives all good Men of their Peace and Quietness, and lays a Foundation of innu­merable Mischiefs to the Virtuous and In­nocent.


MERCY, in the true Sense of the Word, is that Virtue by which a Prince approach­es nearest to him whom he represents; and whilst he is neither remiss nor ex­treme, to animadvert upon those who offend him, that Logick will hold true of him, which is applied to the Great Judge of all the Earth; With Thee there is Mercy, therefore shalt Thou be feared.

The Absurdity of a PARTY SPIRIT.


WE seem to have such a Relish for Faction, as to have lost that of Wit; and are so used to the Bitterness of Party Rage, that we cannot be gratified with the highest Entertainment that has not this Kind of Seasoning in it: But as no Work must expect to live long, which draws all its Beauty from the Colour of the Times, so neither can that Plea­sure be of greater Continuance, which [Page 44] arises from the Prejudice or Malice of its Hearers.


SINCE the present Hatred and Vio­lence of Parties is so unspeakably perni­cious to the Community, and none can do a better Service to their Country, than those who use their utmost Endeavours to extinguish it, we may reasonably hope, that the more elegant Part of the Nation will give a good Example to the rest, and put an End to so absurd and foolish a Practice, which makes our most refined Diversions detrimental to the Publick, and, in a particular Manner, destructive of all Politeness.


IT were happy for us, could we prevail upon our selves to imagine, that one who differs from us in Opinion may possibly be an honest Man; and that we might do the same Justice to one another, which will be done us hereafter by those who shall make their Appearance in the World, when this Generation is no more.

The Inconsistence of a Popish PRINCE and Protestant SUBJECTS.


AMONG all the Paradoxes in Politicks which have been advanc'd by some among us, there is none so absurd and shocking to the most ordina­ry Understanding, as that it is possible for Great Britain, to be quietly governed by a Popish Sovereign.


WE are convinced by the Experience of our own Times, that our Constitution is not able to bear a Popish Prince at the Head of it. If any of our English Mo­narchs might have hoped to reign quiet­ly under such Circumstances, it would have been King CHARLES the Second, who was received with all the Joy and Good-will that are natural to a People newly rescued from a Tyranny which had long oppressed them in several Shapes. But this Monarch was too wise to own himself a Roman Catholick, even in that Juncture of Time, or to imagine it practicable for an avowed Popish Prince to govern a Protestant People. His Brother, King JAMES the Second, tried [Page 46] that Experiment, and tho' he was en­dowed with many Royal Virtues, and might have made a Nation of Roman Catholicks happy under his Administra­tion, yet the Grievances we suffered in his Reign proceeded purely from his Religion: And they were such as made the whole Body of the Nobility, Cler­gy, and Commonalty, rise up as one Man against him, and oblige him to quit the Throne of his Ancestors.


WE have only the Vices of a Protest­tant Prince to fear, and may be made hap­py by his Virtues: But in a Popish Prince we have no Chance for our Prosperity; his very Piety obliges him to our De­struction; and in Proportion as he is more Religious, he becomes more Insup­portable.


CAN we imagine that our British Cler­gy would be quiet under a Prince, who is zealous for his Religion, and obliged by it to subvert those Doctrines which it is their Duty to defend and propagate? Nay, would any of those Men themselves, who are the Champions for a Popish Successor, unless such of them as are professed Roman Catholicks, or disposed to be so, live quiet under a Government, [Page 47] which at the best would make Use of all indirect Methods in Favour of a Religion that is inconsistent with our Laws and Liberties, and would impose on us such a Yoke, as neither we nor our Fathers were able to bear? All the Quiet that could be expected from such a Reign, must be the Result of Absolute Power on the one Hand, and a despicable Sla­very on the other: And I believe every reasonable Man will be of the Roman Historian's Opinion, that a disturbed Li­berty is better than a quiet Servitude.


THERE is not indeed a greater Ab­surdity, than to imagine the Quiet of a Nation can arise from an Establishment, in which the King would be of one Communion, and the People of another; especially when the Religion of the So­vereign carries in it the utmost Malignity to that of the Subject: What Harmony and Correspondence can be expected be­tween them, when they cannot join to­gether in the most joyful, the most so­lemn, and most laudable Action of rea­sonable Creatures; in a Word, where the Prince considers his People as Here­ticks, and the People look upon their Prince as an Idolater!

Of the Decay of PIETY.


IT is a melancholy Reflection, that our Country, which in Times of Popery was called The Nation of Saints, should now have less Appearance of Religion in it than any other neigh­bouring State or Kingdom, whether they be such as continue still immer­sed in the Errors of the Church of Rome, or such as are recovered out of them.


IT was formerly thought dangerous for a young Man to travel, lest he should return an Atheist to his native Country: But at present it is certain, that an En­glishman, who has any tolerable Degree of Reflection, cannot be better awakened to a Sense of Religion in general, than by observing how the Minds of all Mankind are set upon this important Point; how every Nation is serious and attentive to the great Business of their Being; and that in other Countries a Man is not out of the Fashion, who is bold and open in the Profession and Practice of all Christian Duties.


THIS Decay of Piety is by no Means to be imputed to the Reformation, which in its first Establishment produced its proper Fruits, and distinguished the whole Age with shining Instances of Vir­tue and Morality. If we would trace out the Original of that flagrant and avowed Impiety, which has prevailed among us for some Years, we should find, that it owes its Rise to that oppo­site Extream of Cant and Hypocrisy, which had taken Possession of the Peoples Minds in the Times of the great Re­bellion, and of the Usurpation that suc­ceeded it. The Practices of these Men, under the Covert of a feigned Zeal, made even the Appearances of sincere Devotion ridiculous and unpopular.


THE Raillery of the Wits and Cour­tiers, in King CHARLES the Second's Reign, upon every Thing which they then called precise, was carried to so great an Extravagance, that it almost put Christianity out of Countenance. The Ridicule grew so strong and licentious, that from this Time we may date that remarkable Turn in the Behaviour of our fashionable Englishmen, that makes them shame-faced in the Exercises of [Page 50] those Duties which they were sent in­to the World to perform.

The Character of a STATESWOMAN.


IT is the Ambition of the Male Part of the World to make themselves esteemed, and of the Female to make them­selves beloved. There is no­thing which makes the Fair Sex more unamiable than Party-Rage. The finest Woman, in a Transport of Fury, loses the Use of her Face: Instead of charm­ing her Beholders, she frights both Friend and Foe. The latter can never be smitten by so bitter an Enemy, nor the former captivated by a Nymph, who, upon Oc­casion, can be so very angry. The most endearing of our beautiful Fellow-Sub­jects, are those, whose Minds are the least imbittered with the Passions and Prejudices of either Side; and who dis­cover the native Sweetness of the Sex in every Part of their Conversation and Behaviour. A lovely Woman, who thus flourishes in her Innocence and Good-Humour, amidst that mutual Spite and Rancour, which prevails among her ex­asperated Sisterhood, appears more ami­able [Page 51] by the Singularity of her Charact­er, and may be compared, with SOLO­MON's Bride, to a Lilly among Thorns.


A STATESWOMAN is as ridiculous a Creature as a Cot-Quean. Each of the Sexes should keep within its particular Bounds, and content themselves to excel within their respective Districts. When VENUS complained to JUPITER of the Wound which she had received in Battle, the Father of the Gods smiled upon her, and put her in Mind, that in­stead of mixing in a War, which was not her Business, she should have been officiating in her proper Ministry, and carrying on the Delights of Marriage. The Delicacy of several modern Criticks has been offended with Homer's Billings­gate Warriours; but a scolding Heroe is, at the worst, a more tolerable Cha­racter than a Bully in Petticoats. To which we may add, that the keenest Sa­tyrist, among the Antients, looked upon nothing as a more proper Subject of Rail­lery and Invective, than a Female Gla­diator.

BRITONS, Free-Thinkers in Politicks.


THERE is scarce any Man in England, of what Denomina­tion soever, that is not a Free-Thinker in Politicks, and hath not some particular No­tions of his own, by which he distinguishes himself from the rest of the Community. Almost every Age, Profession, and Sex among us, has its Favourite Set of Mini­sters, and Scheme of Government.


OUR CHILDREN are initiated into Factions before they know their Right Hand from their Left. They no sooner begin to speak, but Whig and Tory are the first Words they learn. They are taught in their Infancy to hate one half of the Nation; and contract all the Vi­rulence and Passion of a Party, before they come to the Use of their Reason.


AS for our NOBILITY, they are Politicians by Birth; and though the Commons of the Nation delegate their Power in the Community to certain Representatives, every one reserves to himself a private Jurisdiction, or Privilege, [Page 53] of censuring their Conduct, and rectify­ing the Legislature.


THERE is scarce a Fresh-Man in either University, who is not able to mend the Constitution in several Particulars. We see Squires and Yeomen coming up to Town every Day, so full of Poli­ticks, that, to use the Thought of an ingenious Gentleman, we are frequent­ly put in Mind of Roman Dictators, who were called from the Plough. You can scarce see a Bench of Porters without two or three Casuists in it, that will settle you the Right of Princes, and state the Bounds of the Civil and Ec­clesiastical Power, in the Drinking of a Pot of Ale. What is more usual than on a Rejoycing Night to meet with a drunken Cobler bawling out for the Church, and perhaps knocked down a lit­tle after, by an Enemy in his own Pro­fession, who is a Lover of Moderation!


IN short, there is hardly a Female in this our Metropolis, who is not a com­petent Judge of our highest Controversies in Church and State. We have several Oyster-Women that hold the Unlawful­ness of Episcopacy; and Cinder-Wenches [Page 54] that are great Sticklers for Indefeasible Right.

The Preference of the WHIG-Scheme to that of the TORIES.


THE Tories tell us, that the Whig-Scheme would end in Presbyterianism and a Common­wealth. The Whigs tell us, on the other Side, that the Tory-Scheme would terminate in Popery and Arbitrary Governments. Were these Reproaches mu­tually true; which would be most pre­ferable to any Man of Common-Sense, Presbyterianism and a Republican Form of Government, or Popery and Tyranny? Both Extremes are indeed dreadful, but not equally so; both to be regarded with the utmost Aversion by the Friends of our Constitution, and Lovers of our Country: But if one of them were ine­vitable, who would not rather chuse to live under a State of excessive Liberty, than of Slavery, and not prefer a Religion that differs from our own in the Cir­cumstantials, before one that differs from it in the Essentials of Christianity!


I would recommend to our Malecon­tents the Advice given by a great Mora­list to his Friend upon another Occasion; That he would shew it was in the Power of Wisdom to compose his Passions; and let that be the Work of Reason, which would certainly be the Effect of Time.


His MAJESTY's Character.

WE have the Pleasure at this Time to see a King upon the Throne, who hath too much Goodness to wish for any Power, that does not enable him to promote the Welfare of his Subjects; and too much Wisdom to look upon those as his Friends, who would make their Court to him by the Profession of an Obedience, which they never practised, and which has always proved fatal to those Princes who have put it to the Tryal. His Majesty gave a Proof of his Sovereign Virtues before he came to the Exercise of them in this Kingdom. His [Page 57] Inclination to Justice led him to rule his German Subjects in the same Manner that our Constitution directs him to go­vern the English. He regarded those which are our Civil Liberties, as the natural Rights of Mankind; and there­fore indulged them to a People, who pleaded no other Claim to them than his known Goodness and Humanity. This Experience of a good Prince, be­fore we had the Happiness to enjoy him, must give great Satisfaction to every thinking Man, who considers how apt Sovereignty is to deprave human Na­ture; and how many of our own Princes made very ill Figures upon the Throne, who, before they ascended it, were the Favourites of the People.

What gives us the greatest Security in the Conduct of so excellent a Prince, is that Consistency of Behaviour, where­by he inflexibly pursues those Measures which appear the most just and equita­ble. As he hath the Character of being the most prudent in laying proper Schemes, he is no less remarkable for being steady in accomplishing what he has once concerted. Indeed, if we look into the History of his present Majesty, and reflect upon that wonderful Series of Successes which have attended him, [Page 58] I think they cannot be ascribed to any Thing so much as to this Uniformity and Firmness of Mind, which has al­ways discovered itself in his Proceed­ings. It was by this that he surmount­ed those many Difficulties which lay in the Way to his Succession; and by which, we have Reason to hope, he will daily make all Opposition fall be­fore him. The fickle and unsteady Po­liticks of our late British Monarchs, have been the perpetual Source of those Dis­sensions and Animosities which have made the Nation unhappy: Whereas the constant and unshaken Temper of his present Majesty, must have a natu­ral Tendency to the Peace of his Go­vernment, and the Unanimity of his People.

Whilst I am enumerating the publick Virtues of our Sovereign, which are so conducive to the Advantage of those who are to obey him, I cannot but take Notice, that his Majesty was bred up from his Infancy with a Love to this our Nation, under a Princess, who was the most accomplished Woman of her Age, and particularly famous for her Affection to the English. Our Country­men were dear to him, before there was any Prospect of their being his Subjects; [Page 59] and every one knows, that nothing re­commended a Man so much to the di­stinguishing Civilities of his Court, as the being born in Great Britain.

To the Fame of his Majesty's Civil Virtues we may add the Reputation he has acquired by his martial Atchieve­ments. It is observed by Sir William Temple, that the English are particularly fond of a King who is valiant: Upon which Account his Majesty has a Title to all the Esteem that can be paid the most warlike Prince; tho' at the same Time, for the Good of his Subjects, he studies to decline all Occasions of mili­tary Glory; and chuses rather to be di­stinguished as a Father, than as the Cap­tain of his People. I am glad his rebel­lious Subjects are too inconsiderable to put him upon exerting that Courage and Conduct which raised him so great a Reputation in Hungary and the Morea, when he fought against the Enemies of Christianity; and in Germany and Flan­ders, where he commanded against the great Disturber of the Peace of Europe. One would think there was Reason for the Opinion of those, who make Perso­nal Courage to be an Hereditary Virtue, when we see so many Instances of it in the Line of BRUNSWICK. To go [Page 60] no farther back than the Time of our present King, where can we find, among the Sovereign Houses of Europe, any other Family, that has furnished so ma­ny Persons of distinguished Fortitude? Three of his Majesty's Brothers have fal­len gloriously in the Field, fighting against the Enemies of their native Country: And the Bravery of his Royal Highness the Prince of WALES, is still fresh in our Memory, who fought, with the Spirit of his Father, at the Battle of Ande­narde, when the Children of France, and the Pretender, fled before him.

His Love and Regard for our Consti­tution is so remarkable, that, as we are told by those whose Office it is to lay the Business of the Nation before him, it is his first Question, upon any Matter of the least Doubt or Difficulty, whether it be in every Point according to the Laws of the Land? He is easy of Ac­cess to those who desire it, and is so gracious in his Behaviour and Conde­scension on such Occasions, that none of his Subjects retire from his Presence without the greatest Idea of his Wis­dom and Goodness. His continued Ap­plication to such publick Affairs as may conduce to the Benefit of his Kingdoms, diverts him from those Pleasures and [Page 61] Entertainments which may be indulged by Persons in a lower Station, and are pursued with Eagerness by Princes who have not the Care of the Publick so much at Heart. The least Return which we can make to such a Sovereign, is that Tribute which is always paid by honest Men, and is always acceptable to great Minds, the Praise and Approbation that are due to a virtuous and noble Cha­racter. Common Decency forbids oppro­brious Language, even to a bad Prince; and common Justice will exact from us, towards a good Prince, the same Bene­volence and Humanity with which he treats his Subjects. Those who are in­fluenced by Duty and Gratitude, will rise much higher in all the Expressions of Affection and Respect, and think they can never do too much to advance the Glory of a Sovereign, who takes so much Pains to advance their Happiness.

When we have a King who has gained the Reputation of the most unblemished Probity and Honour, and has been fa­med, through the whole Course of his Life, for an inviolable Adherence to his Promises, we may acquiesce (after his many solemn Declarations) in all those Measures which it is impossible for us to judge rightly of, unless we were let in­to [Page 62] such Schemes of Council and Intel­ligence as produce them; and there­fore we should rather turn our Thoughts upon the Reasonableness of his Proceed­ings, than busy ourselves to form Ob­jections against them. The Consideration of his Majesty's Character should at all Times suppress our Censure of his Con­duct: And since we have never yet seen or heard of any false Steps in his Be­haviour, we ought, in Justice, to think that he governs himself by his usual Rules of Wisdom and Honour, 'till we discover something to the contrary.

These Considerations ought to recon­cile to his Majesty the Hearts and Tongues of all his People: But as for those who are obstinate, irreclaimable, professed Enemies to our present Esta­blishment, we must expect their Calum­nies will not only continue, but rise against him in Proportion as he pursues such Measures as are likely to prove successful, and ought to recommend him to his People.

Having thus far considered our Hap­piness in his Majesty's Civil and Milita­ry Character, I cannot forbear pleasing my self with regarding him in the View of One, who has been always fortunate. CICERO recommends POMPEY under [Page 63] this particular Head to the Romans, with whom the Character of being Fortunate was so popular, that several of their Emperors gave it a Place among their Titles. Good Fortune is often the Re­ward of Virtue, and as often the Effect of Prudence; and whether it proceeds from either of these, or from both to­gether, or whatever may be the Cause of it, every one is naturally pleased to see his Interests conducted by a Per­son who is used to good Success. The Establishment of the Electoral Dignity in his Majesty's Family, was a Work reserved for him finally to accomplish. A large Accession of Dominion fell to him by his succeeding to the Dukedom of Zell, whereby he became one of the greatest Princes of Germany, and one of the most powerful Persons that ever stood next Heir to the Throne of Great Britain. The Dutchy of Bremen, and the Bishoprick of Osnaburg, have considera­bly strengthened his Interests in the Em­pire, and given a great additional Weight to the Protestant Cause. But the most remarkable Interpositions of Providence, in Favour of him, have appeared in re­moving those seemingly invincible Obsta­cles to his Succession; in taking away, at so critical a Juncture, the Person who [Page 64] might have proved a dangerous Enemy; in confounding the secret and open At­tempts of his traiterous Subjects; and in giving him the delightful Prospect of transmitting his Power through a nume­rous and still-increasing Progeny.

Upon the whole, it is not to be doubted but every wise and honest Sub­ject will concur with Providence in pro­moting the Glory and Happiness of his present Majesty, who is endowed with all those Royal Virtues, that will natu­rally secure to us the national Blessings, which ought to be dear and valuable to a free People.

The PRINCESS's Character.

WHEN this excellent Princess was yet in her Father's Court, she was so celebrated for the Beauty of her Person, and the Accomplishments of her Mind, that there was no Prince in the Empire, who had Room for such an Alliance, that was not ambitious of gaining her into his Family, either as a Daughter, or as a Consort. He, who is now the Chief of the crowned Heads in Europe, and [Page 65] was then King of Spain, and Heir to all the Dominions of the House of Austria, sought her in Marriage. Could her Mind have been captivated with the Glories of this World, she had them all laid before her; but she generously de­clined them, because she saw the Accep­tance of them was inconsistent with what she esteems more than all the Glo­ries of this World, the Enjoyment of her Religon. Providence however kept in Store a Reward for such an exalted Virtue; and, by the Methods of its Wis­dom, opened a Way for her to become the greatest of her Sex, among those, who profess that Faith to which she adhered with so much Christian Mag­nanimity.

This her illustrious Conduct might, in the Eye of the World, have lost its Merit, had so accomplished a Prince as his Royal Highness declared his Passion for the same Alliance at that Time: It would then have been no Wonder that all other Proposals had been rejected. But it was the Fame of this heroick Constancy that determined his Royal Highness to desire in Marriage a Princess, whose perso­nal Charms, which had been before so uni­versally admired, were now become the least Part of her Character. We of the [Page 66] British Nation have Reason to rejoice, that such a Proposal was made and accept­ed; and that her Royal Highness, with Regard to these two successive Treaties of Marriage, shewed as much Prudence in her Compliance with the one, as Pi­ety in her Refusal of the other.

The Princess was no sooner arrived at Hanover, than she improved the Lustre of that Court, which was before recko­ned among the Politest in Europe; and increased the Satisfaction of that Peo­ple, who were before looked upon as the Happiest in the Empire. She im­mediately became the Darling of the Princess SOPHIA, who was acknow­ledged in all the Courts of Europe the most acomplished Woman of the Age in which she lived, and who was not a lit­tle pleased with the Conversation of one in whom she saw so lively an Image of her own Youth.

But I shall insist no longer on that Reputation which her Royal Highness has acquired in other Countries. We daily discover those admirable Qualities for which she is so justly famed, and rejoyce to see them exerted in our own Country, where we ourselves are made happy by their Influence. We are the more pleased to behold the Throne of [Page 67] these Kingdoms surrounded by a numerous and beautiful Progeny, when we consi­der the Virtues of those from whom they descend. Not only the Features, but the Mind of the Parent is often copied out in the Offspring. But the Princess we are speaking of, takes the surest Method of making her Royal Is­sue like herself, by instilling early into their Minds all the Principles of Reli­gion, Virtue, and Honour, and seasoning their tender Years with all that Know­ledge which they are capable of receiv­ing. What may we not hope from such an uncommon Care in the Education of the Children of Great Britain, who are directed by such Precepts, and will be formed by such an Example.

The Conjugal Virtues are so remarka­ble in her Royal Highness, as to deserve those just and generous Returns of Love and Tenderness, for which the Prince her Husband is so universally celebrated.

But there is no Part of her Royal Highness's Character, which we observe with greater Pleasure, than that Beha­viour by which she has so much endeared herself to his Majesty; though indeed we have no Reason to be surprized at this mutual Intercourse of Duty and Af­fection, when we consider so wise and [Page 68] virtuous a Princess possessing, in the same sacred Person, the kindest of Fa­thers and the best of Kings. And here it is natural for us to congratulate our own good Fortune, who see our Sove­reign blest with a numerous Issue, among whom are Heirs Male in two direct De­scents, which has not happened in the Reign of any English King since the Time of his Majesty's Great Ancestor Edward III. and is a Felicity not enjoyed by the Subjects of any other of the Kings of Europe who are his Contemporaries. We are like Men entertained with the View of a spacious Land skip, where the Eye passes over one pleasing Prospect into another, 'till the Sight is lost by Degrees in a Succession of delightful Objects, and leaves us in the Persuasion that there re­main still more behind.

But if we regard her Royal Highness in that Light which diffuses the greatest Glory round a Human Character, we shall find the Christian no less conspi­cuous than the Princess. She is as e­minent for a sincere Piety in the Pra­ctice of Religion, as for an inviolable Adherence to its Principles. She is con­stant in her Attendance on the daily Offices of our Church, and by her se­rious and devout Comportment on these [Page 69] solemn Occasions, gives an Example that is very often too much wanted in Courts.

Her Religion is equally free from the Weakness of Superstition, and the Sour­ness of Enthusiasm. It is not of that uncomfortable melancholy Nature which disappoints its own End, by appearing unamiable to those whom it would gain to its Interests. It discovers itself in the genuine Effects of Christianity, in Affa­bility, Compassion, Benevolence, Even­ness of Mind, and all the Offices of an active and universal Charity.

As a cheerful Temper is the necessary Result of these Virtues, so it shines out in all the Parts of her Conversation, and dissipates those Apprehensions which na­turally hang on the Timorous or the Mo­dest, when they are admitted to the Ho­nour of her Presence. There is none that does not listen with Pleasure to a Person in so high a Station, who conde­scends to make herself thus agreeable, by Mirth without Levity, and Wit without Ill-Nature.

Her Royal Highness is, indeed, pos­sess'd of all those Talents which make Conversation either delightful or impro­ing. As she has a fine Taste of the ele­gant Arts, and is skilled in several mo­dern Languages, her Discourse is not [Page 70] confined to the ordinary Subjects or Forms of Conversation, but can adapt itself with an uncommon Grace to eve­ry Occasion, and entertain the politest Persons of different Nations. I need not mention, what is observed by every one, that agreeable Turn which appears in her Sentiments upon the most ordinary Affairs of Life, and which is so suitable to the Delicacy of her Sex, the Polite­ness of her Education, and the Splendor of her Quality.


The GOOD MAN's SECURITY against the FEAR of DEATH.

THE Horror with which we entertain the Thoughts of Death, or indeed of any fu­ture Evil) and the Uncer­tainty of its Approach, fill a melancholy Mind with innumerable Ap­prehensions and Suspicions, and conse­quently dispose it to the Observation of many groundless Prodigies and Predicti­ons. For as it is the chief Concern of wise Men to retrench the Evils of Life, [Page 72] by the Reasonings of Philosophy, it is the Employment of Fools to multiply them by the Sentiments of Superstition.

There is but one Way of fortifying the Soul against these gloomy Presages and Terrors of Mind, and that is, by securing to ourselves the Friendship and and Protection of that Being, who dis­poses of Events, and governs Futurity. He sees at one View the whole Thread of our Existence, not only that Part of it which we have already passed through, but that which runs forward into all the Depths of Eternity. When we lay us down to Sleep, let us recommend ourselves to his Care; when we awake, let us give up ourselves to his Direction; amidst all the Evils that threaten us, let us look up to him for Help, and que­stion not but he will either avert them, or turn them to our Advantage. Tho' we know neither the Time nor the Man­ner of the Death we are to die, we need not be at all solicitous about it; because we are sure that he knows them both, and that he will not fail to comfort and support us under them.


TRUE HAPPINESS is of a re­tired Nature, and an Enemy to Pomp and Noise; it arises, in the first Place, from the Enjoyment of one's self; and in the next, from the Friendship and Conver­sation of a few select Companions: It loves Shades and Solitude, and natural­ly haunts Groves and Fountains, Fields and Meadows: In short, it feels every Thing it wants within itself, and re­ceives no Addition from Multitudes of Witnesses and Spectators. On the Con­trary, false Happiness loves to be in a Crowd, and to draw the Eyes of the World upon her: She does not receive any Satisfaction from the Applauses which she gives herself, but from the Admiration she raises in others: She flourishes in Courts and Palaces, Thea­tres and Assemblèes, and has no Existence but when she is looked upon.

CALUMNY; or, the Danger of SATIRE.

THERE is nothing that more betrays a base and ungene­rous Spirit, than the giving of secret Stabs to a Man's Reputation. Lampoons and Satires, that are written with Wit and Spirit, are like poisoned Darts, which not only inflict a Wound, but make it incurable. For this Reason I am very much troubled, when I see the Talents of Humour and Ridicule in the Possessi­on of an ill-natured Man. There can­not be a greater Gratification to a barba­rous and inhuman Wit, than to stir up Sorrow in the Heart of a private Person, to raise Uneasiness among near Rela­tions, and to expose whole Families to Derision, at the same Time that he re­mains unseen and undiscovered. If be­sides the Accomplishments of being wit­ty and ill-natured, a Man is vicious into the Bargain, he is one of the most mischievous Creatures that can en­ter into a civil Society. His Satire will then chiefly fall upon those who ought to be the most exempt from it. Virtue, [Page 75] Merit, and every Thing that is Praise­worthy, will be made the Subject of Ridicule and Buffoonry. It is impossible to enumerate the Evils which arise from these Arrows that fly in the Dark; and I know no other Excuse that is or can be made for them, than that the Wounds they give are only imaginary, and pro­duce nothing more than a secret Shame and Sorrow in the Mind of the suffer­ing Person. It must indeed be confessed; that a Lampoon or a Satire do not car­ry in them Robbery or Murder; but at the same Time, how many are there, that would not rather lose a considerable Sum of Money, or even Life itself, than be set up as a Mark of Infamy and De­rision? And in this Case a Man should consider, that an Injury is not to be mea­sured by the Notions of him that gives, but of him that receives it.

Those who can put the best Countenance upon Outrages of this Nature which are offered them, are not without their secret Anguish: For my own Part, I would never trust a Man that I thought was capable of giving these secret Wounds; and cannot but think that he would hurt the Per­son, whose Reputation he thus assaults, in his Body or in his Fortune, could he do it with the same Security. There [Page 76] is indeed something very barbarous and inhuman in the ordinary Scribblers of Lampoons. An innocent young Lady shall be exposed for an unhappy Fea­ture. A Father of a Family turned to Ridicule, for some domestick Calamity. A Wife be made uneasy all her Life, for a mis-interpreted Word or Action. Nay, a good, a temperate, and a just Man, shall be put out of Countenance, by the Representation of those Quali­ties that should do him Honour. So pernicious a Thing is Wit, when it is not tempered with Virtue and Humani­ty. I have indeed heard of heedless in­considerate Writers, that without any Malice have sacrificed the Reputation of their Friends and Acquaintance to a certain Levity of Temper, and a silly Ambition of distinguishing themselves by a Spirit of Raillery and Satire: As if it were not infinitely more honourable to be a good-natured Man than a Wit. Where there is this little petulant Humour in an Author, he is often very mischie­vous without designing to be so. For which Reason I always lay it down as a Rule, that an indiscreet Man is more hurtful than an ill-natured one; for as the former will only attack those he wishes well to, the other injures indif­ferently both Friends and Foes.

The Dignity and Excellency of TRAGEDY.

AS a perfect TRAGEDY is the noblest Production of Hu­man Nature, so it is capable of giving the Mind one of the most delightful and most improving Entertainments. A virtuous Man (says SENECA) struggling with Misfortunes, is such a Spectacle as Gods might look upon with Pleasure: And such Pleasure it is which one meets with in the Representation of a well-written TRAGEDY. Diversions of this Kind wear out of our Thoughts every Thing that is mean and little. They cherish and cultivate that Humanity which is the Ornament of our Nature: They soften Insolence, sooth Affliction, and subdue the Mind to the Dispensa­tions of Providence.


WHen a Government flourishes in Conquests, and is secure from foreign Attacks, it na­turally falls into all the Pleasures of LUXURY; and as these Pleasures are very expensive, they put those who are addicted to them upon raising fresh Supplies of Mo­ney, by all the Methods of Rapaciousness and Corruption; so that AVARICE and LUXURY very often become one com­plicated Principle of Action, in those whose Hearts are wholly set upon Ease, Magnificence, and Pleasure.

The most elegant and correct of all the Latin Historians observes, that in his Time, when the most formidable States of the World were subdued by the Romans, the Republick sunk into those two Vices of a quite different Nature, LUXURY and AVARICE: And accordingly describes CATILINE as one who coveted the Wealth of other Men, at the same Time that he squandered away his own. This Observation on the Commonwealth, when it was in its [Page 79] Height of Power and Riches, holds good of all Governments that are settled in a State of Ease and Prosperity. At such Times Men naturally endeavour to out­shine one another in Pomp and Splen­dor, and, having no Fears to alarm them, indulge themselves in the Enjoy­ment of all the Pleasures they can get into their Possession; which naturally produces AVARICE, and an immoderate Pursuit after Wealth and Riches.

Of FAME, and the Pursuit after it.

IT is very strange to consider, that a Creature like Man, who is sensible of so many Weaknesses and Imperfecti­ons, should be actuated by a Love of FAME: That Vice and Igno­rance, Imperfection and Misery, should contend for Praise, and endeavour, as much as possible, to make themselves Objects of Admiration.

But notwithstanding Man's Essential Perfection is but very little, his Com­parative Perfection may be very consi­derable. If he looks upon himself in an abstracted Light, he has not much to [Page 80] boast of; but if he considers himself with Regard to others, he may find Oc­casion of glorying, if not in his own Virtues, at least in the Absence of ano­ther's Imperfections. This gives a diffe­rent Turn to the Reflections of the wise Man and the Fool. The first endeavours to shine in himself, and the last to out­shine others. The first is humbled by the Sense of his own Infirmities, the last is lifted up by the Discovery of those which he observes in other Men. The wise Man considers what he wants, and the Fool what he abounds in. The wise Man is happy when he gains his own Approbation, and the Fool when he recommends himself to the Applause of those about him.

But however unreasonable and absurd this Passion for Admiration may appear in such a Creature as Man, it is not wholly to be discouraged, since it often produces very good Effects, not only as it restrains him from doing any Thing which is mean and contemptible, but as it pushes him to Actions which are great and glorious. The Principle may be de­fective, or faulty, but the Consequences it produces are so good, that, for the Benefit of Mankind, it ought not to be extinguished.


THERE is not, in my Opini­on, a Consideration more ef­fectual to extinguish inordi­nate Desires, in the Soul of Man, than the Notions of PLATO and his Followers upon that Subject: They tell us, that every Passion which has been contracted by the Soul during her Residence in the Body, re­mains with her in a separate State; and that the Soul in the Body, or out of the Body, differs no more than the Man does from himself when he is in his House, or in open Air. When there­fore the obscene Passions in particular, have once taken Root, and spread them­selves in the Soul, they cleave to her inseparably, and remain in her for ever, after the Body is cast off and thrown aside. As an Argument to confirm this their Doctrine, they observe, that a lewd Youth, who goes on in a continued Course of Voluptuousness, advances by Degrees into a libidinous old Man; and that the Passion survives in the Mind when it is altogether dead in the Body: [Page 82] Nay, that the Desire grows more vio­lent, and (like all other Habits) gathers Strength by Age, at the same Time that it has no Power of executing its own Purposes. If, say they, the Soul is the most subject to these Passions at a Time when it has the least Instigation from the Body, we may well suppose she will still retain them when she is entirely di­vested of it: The very Substance of the Soul is festered with them; the Gan­grene is gone too far to be ever cured; the Inflammation will rage to all Eter­nity.

In this therefore (say the PLATO­NISTS) consists the Punishment of a voluptuous Man after Death: He is tormented with Desires which it is impos­sible for him to gratify; solicited by a Passion that has neither Objects nor Or­gans adapted to it: He lives in a State of invincible Desire and Impotence, and always burns in the Pursuit of what he always despairs to possess. It is for this Reason (says PLATO) that the Souls of the Dead appear frequently in Coe­miteries, and hover about the Places where their Bodies are buried, as still hankering after their old brutal Plea­sures, and desiring again to enter the Body that gave them an Opportunity of fulfilling them.


WHEN I look upon the Tombs of the Great, every Emotion of Envy dies in me; when I read the Epitaphs of the Beautiful, every inordinate Desire goes out; when I meet with the Grief of Parents upon a Tombstone, my Heart melts with Compassion; when I see the Tomb of the Parents themselves, I consider the Vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow; when I see Kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider Rival-Wits placed Side by Side, or the holy Men that di­vided the World with their Contests and Disputes, I reflect with Sorrow and A­stonishment on the little Competitions, Factions, and Debates of Mankind; when I read the several Dates of the Tombs , of some that dy'd Yesterday, and some Six Hundred Years ago, I con­sider that Great Day, when we shall all of us be Contemporaries, and make our Appearance together.

Upon the IMMORTALITY of the SOUL.

I Am now led into a Subject upon which I always meditate with great Delight, I mean the IMMORTALITY of the SOUL. When I run over in my Mind the several Arguments that establish'd this great Point, which is the Basis of Morality, and the Source of all the pleasing Hopes and secret Joys that can arise in the Heart of a reasonable Crea­ture, I consider those several Proofs drawn,

FIRST, From the Nature of the SOUL itself, and particularly its Immateriali­ty; which, though not absolutely ne­cessary to the Eternity of its Duration, has, I think, been evinced to almost a Demonstration.

SECONDLY, From its Passions and Sentiments, as particularly from its Love of Existence, its Horrour of An­nihilation, and its Hopes of Immortali­ty, with that secret Satisfaction which it finds in the Practice of Virtue, and that Uneasiness which follows in it up­on the Commission of Vice.

[Page 85] THIRDLY, From the Nature of the supream Being, whose Justice, Good­ness, Wisdom and Veracity, are all con­cerned in this great Point.

But among these and other excellent Arguments for the IMMORTALITY of the SOUL, there is one drawn from the per­petual Progress of the SOUL to its Per­fection, without a Possibility of ever ar­riving at it; which is a Hint that I do not remember to have seen opened and improved by others who have written on this Subject, though it seems to me to carry a great Weight with it: How can it enter into the Thoughts of Man, that the SOUL, which is capable of such immense Perfections, and of receiving new Improvements to all Eternity, shall fall away into nothing, almost as soon as it is created? Are such Abilities made for no Purpose? A Brute arrives at a Point of Perfection that he can never pass; in a few Years he has all the En­dowments he is capable of, and were he to live ten thousand more, would be the same Thing he is at present. Were a HUMAN SOUL thus at a Stand in her Accomplishments, were her Facul­ties to be full blown, and incapable of farther Enlargements, I could imagine it might fall away insensibly, and drop [Page 86] at once into a State of Annihilation: But can we believe a Thinking Being, that is in a perpetual Progress of Improvements, and travelling on from Perfection to Per­fection, after having just looked Abroad into the Works of its Creator, and made a few Discoveries of his infinite Good­ness, Wisdom, and Power, must perish at her first setting out, and in the very Beginning of her Enquiries?

A Man, considered in his present State, seems only sent into the World to pro­pagate his Kind. He provides himself with a Successor, and immediately quits his Post to make Room for him.

Haeredem alterius, velut unda supervenit undam,

He does not seem born to enjoy Life, but to deliver it down to others. This is not surprizing to consider in Animals, which are formed for our Use, and can finish their Business in a short Life. The Silk-worm, after having spun her Task, lays her Eggs and dies: But a Man can never have taken in his full Measure of Knowledge, has not Time to subdue his Passions, to establish his SOUL in Vir­tue, and come up to the Perfection of his Nature, before he is hurried off the Stage. Would an infinitely wise Being [Page 87] make such glorious Creatures for so mean a Purpose? Can he delight in the Pro­duction of such abortive Intelligencies, such short-liv'd reasonable Beings? Would he give us Talents that are not to be exerted? Capacities that are never to be gratified? How can we find that Wis­dom, which shines through all his Works, in the Formation of Man, without look­ing on this World as only a Nursery for the next, and believing that the several Generations of rational Creatures, which rise up and disappear in such quick Successions, are only to receive their first Rudiments of Existence here, and afterwards to be transplanted into a more friendly Climate, where they spread and flourish to all Eternity?

There is not, in my Opinion, a more pleasing and triumphant Consideration in Religion, than this of the perpetual Progress which the SOUL makes towards the Perfection of its Nature, without ever arriving at a Period in it. To look upon the SOUL as going on from Strength to Strength; to consider that she is to shine for ever with new Accessions of Glory, and brighten to all Eternity; that she will be still adding Virtue to Virtue, and Knowledge to Knowledge; carries in it something wonderfully a­greeable [Page 88] to that Ambition which is na­tural to the Mind of Man: Nay, it must be a Prospect pleasing to God himself, to see his Creation for ever beautifying in his Eyes, and drawing nearer to him, by greater Degrees of Resemblance.

Methinks this single Consideration, of the Progress of a finite Spirit to Per­fection, will be sufficient to extinguish all Envy in inferior Natures, and all Contempt in superior. That Cherubim, which now appears as a God to a HU­MAN SOUL, knows very well that the Period will come about in Eternity, when the HUMAN SOUL shall be as perfect as he himself now is: Nay, when she shall look down upon that Degree of Per­fection, as much as she now falls short of it. It is true, the higher Nature still advances, and by that Means preserves his Distance and Superiority in the Scale of Being; but he knows how high so­ever the Station is, of which he stands possessed at present, the inferior Nature will at length mount up to it, and shine forth in the same Degree of Glory.

With what Astonishment and Venera­tion may we look into our own SOULS, when there are such hidden Stores of Virtue and Knowledge, such in exhausted Sources of Perfection? We know not yet [Page 89] what we shall be, nor will it ever enter into the Heart of Man to conceive the Glory that will be always in Reserve for him. The SOUL, considered with its Cre­ator, is like one of those Mathematical Lines that may draw nearer to another for all Eternity, without a Possibility of touching it: And can there be a Thought so transporting, as to consider ourselves in these perpetual Approaches to him, who is not only the Standard of Perfection but of Happiness?

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The Contents.

  • THE Benefit of Death p. 91
  • Cheerfulness preferable to Mirth 92
    • —Its Effects 94
    • —Enemies to this Happiness 95
    • —Its Benefits with Regard to the Body, and the Objects that give Rise to it 99
  • Compassion, a laudable Virtue 104
  • Hypocrisy, the various Kinds of it 105
    • —Instructions how to endeavour at the Knowledge of our Selves 106
  • The Use and Excellency of Church-Musick 111
  • The Benefit of Conversation 112
  • The Nature of Courts 113
  • Of the Infamy of a Spy, and the Caution that is necessary in trusting him 114
  • Inquisitive Suspicions rejected by great Minds 115
  • The Inquisitive Person troublesome to him­self 116
  • Reliance on God, the Christian's only Sup­port against Misfortune 117
  • [Page]The Force and Effect of Custom 121
    • The Advantages that may be derived from this Effect of Custom 122
  • The Infamy of Libels; the Interest of the Government to correct and suppress them 126
  • Of Gratitude 128
  • Of Modesty 129
  • Hypocrisy preferable to open Impiety 132
  • The Benefits of Faith and Morality consi­dered 133
  • The Immorality of Persecution 137
  • The Middle Condition of Life most desi­rable 138
  • The Means for confirming our Faith 141
  • Places of Trust best invested in Men of ge­nerous Principles 146
    • —Why Men of Learning are best qualified for such Offices 150
  • The Passion of Hope 151
    • Religious Hope 152
  • The Effects of the Spleen 154
  • Of Oratory 164
  • A Contemplation of the Omnipresence and Omniscience of GOD 170
  • The Happiness of Souls in Heaven 178


I Am very much pleased with a consolatory Letter of Pha­laris, to one who had lost a Son, who was a young Man of great Merit. The Thought with which he comforts the afflicted Fa­ther, is, to the best of my Memory, as follows: That he should consider Death had set a Kind of Seal upon his Son's Character, and placed him out of the Reach of Vice and Infamy: That while he lived he was still within the Possibili­ty of falling away from Virtue, and losing the Fame of which he was posses­sed. Death only closes a Man's Repu­tation, and determines it as good or bad.

This, among other Motives, may be one Reason, why we are naturally averse to the launching out into a Man's Praise 'till his Head is laid in the Dust. Whilst he is capable of changing, we may be for­ced to retract our Opinions: He may for­feit the Esteem we have conceived of him, and some Time or other appear to us un­der a different Light from what he does at present. In short, as the Life of any [Page 92] Man cannot be called happy or unhap­py, so neither can it be pronounced vi­cious or virtuous, before the Conclusion of it.

It was upon this Consideration that Epaminondas, being asked whether Cha­brias, Iphicrates, or he himself, deserved most to be esteemed? You must first see us Die, said he, before that Question can be answered.

As there is not a more melancholy Consideration to a good Man, than his being obnoxious to such a Change, so there is nothing more glorious than to keep up an Uniformity in his Actions, and preserve the Beauty of his Character to the last.


I Have always preferred Chear­fulness to Mirth: The latter I consider as an Act, the for­mer as an Habit of the Mind. Mirth is short and transient, Chearful­ness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into the greatest Transports of Mirth, who are subject to the great­est Depressions of Melancholy: On the [Page 93] contrary, Chearfulness, though it does not give the Mind such an exquisite Gladness, prevents us from falling into the Depths of Sorrow. Mirth is like a Flash of Lightning, that breaks through a Gloom of Clouds, and glitters for a Moment; Chearfulness keeps up a Kind of Day-light in the Mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual Serenity.

MEN of austere Principles look upon Mirth as too wanton and dissolute for a State of Probation, and as filled with a certain Triumph and Insolence of Heart, that is inconsistent with a Life which is every Moment obnoxious to the great­est Danger. Writers of this Complexi­on have observed, that the Sacred PER­SON, who was the great Pattern of Per­fection, was never seen to laugh.

CHEARFULNESS of Mind is not li­able to any of these Exceptions; it is of a serious and composed Nature; it does not throw the Mind into a Condi­tion improper for the present State of Humanity, and is very conspicuous in the Characters of those who are looked upon as the greatest Philosophers among the Heathens, as well as among those who have been deservedly esteemed as Saints and holy Men among Christians.

Its Effects.

IF we consider Chearfulness in three Lights, with Regard to ourselves, to those we converse with, and to the great Author of our Being, it will not a little recom­mend itself on each of these Accounts. The Man who is possessed of this excel­lent Frame of Mind, is not only easy in his Thoughts, but perfect Master of all the Powers and Faculties of his Soul; his Imagination is always clear, and his Judgment undisturbed; his Temper is even and unruffled, whether in Action or in Solitude; he comes with a Relish to all those Goods which Nature has provided for him, tastes all the Plea­sures of the Creation which are poured about him, and does not feel the full Weight of those accidental Evils which may befal him.

If we consider him in Relation to the Persons whom he converses with, it na­turally produces Love and Good-will towards him. A chearful Mind is not only disposed to be affable and obliging, but raises the same good Humour in those who come within its Influence. A Man finds himself well pleased he does not know why, with the Chear­fulness [Page 95] of his Companion: It is like a sudden Sun-shine, that awakens a secret Delight in the Mind, without her at­tending to it: The Heart rejoices of its own Accord, and naturally flows out into Friendship and Benevolence towards the Person who has so kindly an Effect upon it.

When I consider this chearful State of Mind in its third Relation, I cannot but look upon it as a constant habitual Gratitude to the great Author of Na­ture. An inward Chearfulness is an implicit Praise and Thanksgiving to Pro­vidence under all its Dispensations: It is a Kind of Acquiescence in the State wherein we are placed, and a secret Ap­probation of the Divine Will in his Conduct towards Man.

The Enemies to this Happiness.

THERE are but two Things which can reasonably deprive us of this Chear­fulness of Heart: The first of these is the Sense of Guilt. A Man who lives in a State of Vice and Impenitence, can have no Title to that Evenness and Tranquillity of Mind, which is the Health of the Soul, and the natural Effect of Virtue and Innocence. Chear­fulness [Page 96] in an ill Man deserves a hard­er Name than Language can furnish us with, and in many Degrees beyond what we commonly call Folly or Madness.

Atheism, by which I mean a Disbe­lief of a supreme Being, and conse­quently of a future State, under what­soever Titles it shelters itself, may like­wise very reasonably deprive a Man of this Chearfulness of Temper. There is something so particularly gloomy and offensive to human Nature in the Pro­spect of Non-Existence, that I cannot but wonder, with many excellent Wri­ters, how it is possible for a Man to out­live the Expectation of it: For my own Part, I think the Being of a God is so little to be doubted, that it is almost the only Truth we are sure of, and such a Truth as we meet with in every Ob­ject, in every Occurrence, and in every Thought. If we look into the Characters of this Tribe of Infidels, we generally find they are made up of Pride, Spleen, and Cavil: It is indeed no Wonder that Men who are uneasy to themselves, should be so to the rest of the World; and how is it possible for a Man to be otherwise than uneasy in himself, who is in Danger every Moment of losing his entire Existence, and dropping into No­thing?

[Page 97]The vicious Man and Atheist have therefore no Pretence to Chearfulness, and would act very unreasonably, should they endeavour after it. It is impossi­ble for any one to live in good Humour, and enjoy his present Existence, who is apprehensive either of Torment, or of Annihilation, of being miserable, or of not being at all.

After having mentioned these two great Principles, which are destructive of Chearfulness in their own Nature, as well as in right Reason, I cannot think of any other that ought to banish this happy Temper from a virtuous Mind. Pain and Sickness, Shame and Reproach, Poverty and old Age, nay, Death itself, considering the Shortness of their Du­ration, and the Advantage we may reap from them, do not deserve the Name of Evils. A good Mind may bear up under them with Fortitude, with Indolence, and with Chearfulness of Heart: The tossing of a Tempest does not discom­pose him, which he is sure will bring him to a joyful Harbour. A Man, who uses his best Endeavours to live accord­ing to the Dictates of Virtue and right Reason, has two perpetual Sources of Chearfulness, in the Consideration of his own Nature, and of that Being on whom he has a Dependance.

[Page 98]If he looks into himself, he cannot but rejoice in that Existence which is so lately bestowed upon him, and which, after Millions of Ages, will be still new, and still in its Beginning. How many Self-Congratulations naturally arise in the Mind, when it reflects on this its Entrance into Eternity, when it takes a View of those improveable Faculties, which in a few Years, and even at its first setting out, have made so consider­able a Progress, and which will be still receiving an Increase of Perfection, and consequently an Increase of Happiness. The Consciousness of such a Being spreads a perpetual Diffusion of Joy through the Soul of a virtuous Man, and makes him look upon himself every Moment as more happy than he knows how to conceive.

The second Source of Chearfulness to a good Mind, is its Consideration of that Being on whom we have our Depen­dance, and in whom, though we be­hold him as yet but in the first faint Discoveries of his Perfections, we see every Thing that we can imagine as great, glorious, or amiable; we find ourselves every where upheld by his Goodness, and surrounded with an Im­mensity of Love and Mercy. In short, [Page 99] we depend upon a Being, whose Power qualifies him to make us happy by an Infinity of Means, whose Goodness and Truth engage him to make those happy who desire it of him, and whose Un­changeableness will secure us in this Happiness to all Eternity.

Such Considerations, which every one should perpetually cherish in his Thoughts, will banish from us all that secret Heaviness of Heart which un­thinking Men are subject to, when they lie under no real Affliction; all that An­guish which we may feel from any Evil that actually oppresses us; to which I may likewise add, those little Crack­lings of Mirth and Folly, that are apter to betray Virtue than support it, and stablish in us such an even and chear­ful Temper, as makes us pleasing to ourselves, to those with whom we con­verse, and to him whom we were made to please.

The Benefit of CHEARFULNESS, with Regard to the Body, and the Objects that give Rise to this Chearfulness.

HAVING spoken of CHEARFULNESS as it is a moral Habit of the Mind, and accordingly mentioned such moral Mo­tives [Page 100] as are apt to cherish and keep alive this happy Temper in the Soul of Man: I shall now consider Chearfulness in its natural State, and reflect on these Motives to it, which are indifferent either as to Virtue or Vice.

CHEARFULNESS is, in the first Place, the best Promoter of Health. Repinings and secret Murmurings of the Heart give imperceptible Strokes to those de­licate Fibres of which the vital Parts are composed, and wear out the Ma­chine insensibly; not to mention those violent Ferments which they stir up in the Blood, and those irregular di­sturbed Motions which they raise in the animal Spirits. Health and Chearful­ness mutually beget each other, with this Difference, that we seldom meet with a great Degree of Health which is not attended with a certain Chearful­ness, but very often see Chearfulness where there is no great Degree of Health.

CHEARFULNESS bears the same friendly Regard to the Mind as to the Body; it banishes all anxious Care and Discontent, sooths and composes the Passions, and keeps the Soul in a perpe­tual Calm. The World in which we are placed, is filled with innumerable [Page 101] Objects, that are proper to raise and keep alive this happy Temper of Mind.

If we consider the World in its Sub­serviency to Man, one would think it was made for our Use; but if we con­sider it in its natural Beauty and Har­mony, one would be apt to conclude it was made for our Pleasure. The Sun, which is as the great Soul of the Uni­verse, and produces all the Necessaries of Life, has a particular Influence in chearing the Mind of Man, and making the Heart glad.

Those several living Creatures which are made for our Service, or Sustenance, at the same Time either fill the Woods with their Musick, furnish us with Game, or raise pleasing Ideas in us by the Delightfulness of their Appearance. Fountains, Lakes, and Rivers are as re­freshing to the Imagination, as to the Soil through which they pass.

To consider farther this double End in the Works of Nature, and how they are at the same Time both useful and entertaining, we find, that the most im­portant Parts of the vegetable World are those which are the most beautiful. These are the Seeds by which the seve­ral Races of Plants are propagated and continued, and which are always lodg'd [Page 102] in Flowers or Blossoms. Nature seems to hide her principal Design, and to be indu­strious in making the Earth gay and de­lightful, while she is carrying on her great Work, and intent upon her own Preservation. The Husbandman, after the same Manner, is employed in lay­ing out the whole Country in a Kind of Garden, or Landskip, and making e­very Thing smile about him, whilst in Reality he thinks of nothing but of the Harvest and Encrease which is to arise from it.

We may farther observe how Provi­dence has taken Care to keep up this Chearfulness in the Mind of Man, by having formed it after such a Manner, as to make it capable of conceiving De­light from several Objects which seem to have very little Use in them, as from the Wildness of Rocks and De­sarts, and the like grotesque Pieces of Nature. Those who are versed in Phi­losophy, may still carry this Considera­tion higher, by observing, that if Mat­ter had appeared to us endowed only with those real Qualities which it actu­ally possesses, it would have made but a very joyless and uncomfortable Fi­gure; and why has Providence given it a Power of producing in us such ima­ginary [Page 103] Qualities, as Tastes and Colours, Sounds and Smells, Heat and Cold, but that Man, while he is conversant in the lower Stations of Nature, might have his Mind cheared and delighted with agreeable Sensations? In short, the whole Universe is a Kind of Theatre, filled with Objects that either raise in us Pleasure, Amusement, or Admiration.

The Reader's own Thoughts will suggest to him the Vicissitude of Day and Night, the Change of Seasons, with all that Variety of Scenes which diver­sify the Face of Nature, and fill the Mind with a perpetual Succession of beautiful and pleasing Images.

I shall not here mention the several Entertainments of Art, with the Plea­sures of Friendship, Books, Conversa­tion, and other accidental Diversions of Life, because I would only take Notice of such Incitements to a chearful Tem­per, as offer themselves to Persons of all Ranks and Conditions, and which may sufficiently shew us that Providence did not design this World should be fill'd with Murmurs and Repinings, or that the Heart of Man should be in­volv'd in Gloom or Melancholy.

Every one ought to fence against the Temper of his Climate or Constitution; [Page 104] and frequently to indulge in himself those Considerations which may give him a Serenity of Mind, and enable him to bear up chearfully against those little Evils and Misfortunes which are common to human Nature, and which, by a right Improvement of them, will produce a Satiety of Joy, and an un­interrupted Happiness.

COMPASSION, a laudable Virtue.

COMPASSION does not only refine and civilize hu­man Nature, but has some­thing in it more pleasing and agreeable than what can be met with in such an indolent Happiness, such an Indifference to Man­kind as that in which the Stoicks placed their Wisdom. As Love is the most delightful Passion, Pity is nothing else but Love softned by a degree of Sor­row: In short, it is a Kind of pleasing Anguish, as well as generous Sympathy, that knits Mankind together, and blends them in the same common Lot.

HYPOCRISY, the various Kinds of it.

HYPOCRISY, at the fashio­nable End of the Town, is very different from Hypo­crisy in the City. The mo­dish Hypocrite endeavours to appear more vicious than he really is, the other Kind of Hypocrite more virtuous. The former is afraid of e­very Thing that has the Shew of Re­ligion in it, and would be thought en­gag'd in many Criminal Gallantries and Amours which he is not guilty of. The latter assumes a Face of Sanctity, and covers a Multitude of Vices under a seeming religious Deportment.

But there is another Kind of Hypo­crisy, which differs from both these, and which I intend to make my present Subject: I mean that Hypocrisy, by which a Man does not only deceive the World, but very often imposes on himself: That Hypocrisy, which con­ceals his own Heart from him, and makes him believe he is more virtuous than he really is, and either not attend to his Vices, or mistake even his Vices [Page 106] for Virtues. It is this fatal Hypocrisy and Self-deceit, which is taken Notice of in these Words,

Who can understand his Errors? cleanse thou me from my secret Faults.

If the open Professors of Impiety de­serve the utmost Application and En­deavours of moral Writers to recover them from Vice and Folly, how much more may those lay a Claim to their Care and Compassion, who are walk­ing in the Paths of Death, while they fancy themselves engaged in a Course of Virtue! I shall endeavour therefore to lay down some Rules for the Disco­very of those Vices that lurk in the secret Corners of the Soul, and to shew my Reader those Methods by which he may arrive at a true and impartial Knowledge of himself.

Instructions how to endeavour at the Know­ledge of our selves.

The usual Means prescribed for this Purpose, are to examine our selves by the Rules which are laid down for our Direction in Sacred Writ, and to com­pare our Lives with the Life of that Person who acted up to the Perfection [Page 107] of human Nature, and is the standing Example, as well as the Great Guide and Instructor, of those who receive his Doctrines. Though these two Heads cannot be too much insisted upon, I shall but just mention them, since they have been handled by many great and eminent Writers.

I would therefore propose the fol­lowing Methods to the Consideration of such as would find out their secret Faults, and make a true Estimate of themselves.

In the first Place, let them consider well what are the Characters which they bear among their Enemies. Our Friends very often flatter us, as much as our own Hearts. They either do not see our Faults, or conceal them from us, or soften them by their Re­presentations, after such a Manner, that we think them too trivial to be taken Notice of. An Adversary, on the con­trary, makes a stricter Search into us, discovers every Flaw and Imperfection in our Tempers, and though his Malice may set them in too strong a Light, it has generally some Ground for what it advances. A Friend exaggerates a Man's Virtues, an Enemy inflames his Crimes. A wise Man should give a [Page 108] just Attention to both of them, so far as they may tend to the Improvement of the one, and Diminution of the other.

Plutarch has written an Essay on the Benefits which a Man may receive from his Enemies, and, among the good Fruits of Enmity, mentions this in particular, that by the Reproaches which it casts upon us, we see the worst Side of our selves, and open our Eyes to several Blemishes and Defects in our Lives and Conversations, which we should not have observ'd, without the Help of such ill-natur'd Monitors.

In order likewise to come at a true Knowledge of our selves, we should consider on the other hand how far we may deserve the Praises and Approba­tions which the World bestow upon us; whether the Actions they celebrate, proceed from laudable and worthy Mo­tives, and how far we are really pos­sess'd of those Virtues which gain us an Applause among those with whom we converse. Such a Reflection is ab­solutely necessary, if we consider how apt we are either to value or condemn ourselves by the Opinions of others, and to sacrifice the Report of our own Hearts to the Judgment of the World.

[Page 109]In the next Place, that we may not deceive ourselves in a Point of so much Importance, we should not lay too great a Stress on any supposed Virtues we possess, that are of a doubtful Nature: And such we may esteem all those in which Multitudes of Men dissent from us, who are as good and wise as our­selves. We should always act with great Cautiousness and Circumspection, in Points where it is not impossible that we may be deceiv'd. Intemperate Zeal, Bigotry, and Persecution for any Party or Opinion, how praise-worthy soever they may appear to weak Men of our own Principles, produce infinite Cala­mities among Mankind, and are highly criminal in their own Nature; and yet how many Persons, eminent for Piety, suffer such monstrous and absurd Principles of Action to take Root in their Minds under the Colour of Vir­tues? For my own Part, I must own, I never yet knew any Party so just and reasonable, that a Man could follow it in its Height and Violence, and at the same Time be innocent.

We should likewise be very appre­hensive of those Actions which proceed from natural Constitution, Favourite-Passions, particular Education, or what­ever [Page 110] promotes our worldly Interest or Advantage. In these and the like Cases a Man's Judgment is easily perverted, and a wrong Biass hung upon his Mind. These are the Inlets of Prejudice, the unguarded Avenues of the Mind, by which a thousand Errors and secret Faults find Admission, without being observed or taken Notice of. A wise Man will suspect those Actions to which he is directed by something beside Rea­son, and always apprehend some con­cealed Evil in every Resolution that is of a disputable Nature, when it is conformable to his particular Temper, his Age, or Way of Life, or when it favours his Pleasure or his Profit.

There is nothing of greater Impor­tance to us, than thus diligently to sift our Thoughts, and examine all these dark Recesses of the Mind, if we would establish our Souls in such a solid and substantial Virtue, as will turn to an Account in that Great Day, when it must stand the Test of infinite Wisdom and Justice.

The Use and Excellency of CHURCH-MUSICK.

FREQUENT Entertainments of Divine Musick among us in our Religious Worship, would not a little purify and ex­alt our Passions, give our Thoughts a proper Turn, and cherish those Divine Impulses in the Soul, which every one feels that has not stifled them by sensual and immoderate Pleasures.

MUSICK, when thus applied, raises noble Hints in the Mind of the Hearer, and fills it with great Conceptions. It strengthens Devotion, and advances Praise into Rapture. It lengthens out every Act of Worship, and produces more lasting and permanent Impressions in the Mind, than those which accom­pany any transient Form of Words that are uttered in the ordinary Method of religious Worship.

The Benefit of CONVERSATION.

CONVERSATION with Men of a polite Genius is a very useful Method for im­proving our Natural Taste. It is impossible for a Man of the greatest Parts to consider any thing in its whole Extent, and in all its Variety of Lights. Every Man, be­sides those general Observations which are to be made upon an Author, forms several Reflections that are peculiar to his own Manner of Thinking; so that Con­versation will naturally furnish us with Hints which we did not attend to, and make us enjoy other Mens Parts and Reflections as well as our own. This is the best Reason I can give for the Observation which several have made, that Men of great Genius in the same Way of Writing seldom rise up singly, but at certain Periods of Time appear together, and in a Body; as they did at Rome in the Reign of Augustus, and in Greece about the Age of Socrates. I cannot think that Corneille, Racine, Mo­liere, Boileau, La Fontaine, Bruyere, Bossu, [Page 113] or the Daciers, would have written so well as they have done, had they not been Friends and Contemporaries.

The Nature of COURTS.

I Consider COURTS with the same regard to the Govern­ments which they super­intend, as Ovid's Palace of Fame, with regard to the Universe. The Eyes of a watchful Minister run through the whole Peo­ple. There is scarce a Murmur or Complaint, that does not reach his Ears. They have News-gatherers and Intelligencers distributed into their se­veral Walks and Quarters, who bring in their respective Quota's, and make them acquainted with the Discourse and Conversation of the whole Kingdom or Commonwealth where they are em­ployed. The wisest of Kings, alluding to these invisible and unsuspected Spies, who are planted by Kings and Rulers over their Fellow-Citizens, as well as to those voluntary Informers that are buzzing about the Ears of a Great Man, and making their Court by such secret [Page 114] Methods of Intelligence, has given us a very prudent Caution: Curse not the King, no not in thy Thought, and curse not the Rich in thy Bed-Chamber: For a Bird of the Air shall carry the Voice, and that which hath Wings shall tell the Mat­ter.

Of the Infamy of a SPY, and the Caution that is necessary in trusting him.

AS it is absolutely necessary for Rulers to make Use of other Peoples Eyes and Ears, they should take particular Care to do it in such a Man­ner, that it may not bear too hard on the Person whose Life and Conversation are enquir'd into. A Man who is capable of so infamous a Calling as that of a SPY, is not very much to be relied upon. He can have no great Ties of Honour, or Checks of Conscience, to restrain him in those covert Evidences, where the Person accused has no Opportunity of vindicating himself. He will be more industrious to carry that which is grateful, than that which is true. There will be no Occasion for him, if [Page 115] he does not hear and see Things worth Discovery; so that he naturally in­flames every Word and Circumstance, aggravates what is faulty, perverts what is good, and misrepresents what is indifferent. Nor is it to be doubted but that such ignominious Wretches let their private Passions into these their clandestine Informations, and often wreak their particular Spite or Malice against the Person whom they are set to watch.

Inquisitive Suspicions rejected by Great MINDS.

IT is observed of great and heroic MINDS, that they have not only shewn a parti­cular Disregard to those un­merited Reproaches which have been cast upon 'em, but have been altogether free from that impertinent Curiosity of enquiring after them, or the poor Revenge of resenting them.

The Inquisitive PERSON troublesome to himself.

A Man, who in ordinary Life is very Inquisitive after every Thing which is spoken ill of him, passes his Time but very indifferently. He is wounded by every Arrow that is shot at him, and puts it in the Power of every insignificant Enemy to disquiet him: Nay, he will suffer from what has been said of him, when it is for­gotten by those who said or heard it. For this Reason I could never bear one of those officious Friends, that would be telling every malicious Report, every idle Censure that passed upon me. The Tongue of Man is so petulant, and his Thoughts so variable, that one should not lay too great a Stress upon any present Speeches and Opinions. Praise and Obloquy proceed very frequently out of the same Mouth upon the same Person, and upon the same Occasion. A generous Enemy will sometimes be­stow Commendations, as the dearest Friend cannot sometimes refrain from [Page 117] speaking ill. The Man who is indiffe­rent in either of these Respects, gives his Opinion at Random, and praises or disapproves as he finds himself in Hu­mour.

A Reliance on GOD, the Christian's only Support against Misfortunes.

MAN, considered in himself, is a very helpless and a very wretched Being. He is sub­ject every Moment to the greatest Calamities and Mis­fortunes: He is beset with Dangers on all Sides, and may become unhappy by numberless Casualties which he could not foresee, nor have prevented had he foreseen them.

It is our Comfort, while we are ob­noxious to so many Accidents, that we are under the Care of one who directs Contingencies, and has in his Hands the Management of every Thing that is capable of annoying or offending us; who knows the Assistance we stand in Need of, and is always ready to bestow it on those who ask it of him.

[Page 118]The natural Homage which such a Creature bears to so infinitely Wise and Good a Being, is a firm Reliance on him for the Blessings and Conveniencies of Life, and an habitual Trust in him for Deliverance out of all such Dangers and Difficulties as may befal us.

The Man, who always lives in this Disposition of Mind, has not the same dark and melancholy Views of Human Nature, as he who considers himself abstractedly from this Relation to the Supreme Being. At the same Time that he reflects upon his own Weakness and Imperfection, he comforts himself with the Contemplation of those Divine Attributes, which are employ'd for his Safety and his Welfare. He finds his Want of Foresight made up by the Omniscience of him who is his Support. He is not sensible of his own Want of Strength, when he knows that his Helper is Almighty: In short, the Per­son who has a firm Trust on the Su­preme Being, is Powerful in his Power, Wise by his Wisdom, Happy by his Happiness. He reaps the Benefit of every Divine Attribute, and loses his own Insufficiency in the Fulness of In­finite Perfection.

[Page 119]To make our Lives more easy to us, we are commanded to put our Trust in Him, who is thus able to relieve and succour us; the Divine Goodness ha­ving made such a Reliance a Duty, not­withstanding we should have been mi­serable had it been forbidden us.

Among several Motives which might be made Use of to recommend this Duty to us, I shall only take Notice of those that follow.

The first and strongest is, That we are promised, He will not fail those who put their Trust in Him.

But without considering the super­natural Blessings which accompanies this Duty, we may observe that it has a natural Tendency to its own Reward, or, in other Words, that this firm Trust and Confidence in this Disposer of all Things, contributes very much to the getting clear of any Affliction, or to the bearing it manfully. A Person who believes he has his Succour at Hand, and that acts in the Sight of his Friend, often exerts himself beyond his Abili­ties, and does Wonders that are not to be matched by one who is not animated with such a Confidence of Success. I could produce Instances from History, of Generals, who out of a Belief that [Page 120] they are under the Protection of some invisible Assistance, did not only encou­rage their Soldiers to their utmost, but have acted themselves beyond what they would have done, had they not been inspired by such a Belief. I might in the same Manner shew how such a Trust in the Assistance of an Almighty Being naturally produces Patience, Hope, Chearfulness, and all other Dis­positions of Mind that alleviate those Calamities which we are not able to remove.

The Practice of this Virtue admini­sters great Comfort to the Mind of Man in Times of Poverty and Affliction, but most of all in the Hour of Death. When the Soul is hovering in the last Moments of its Separation, when it is just entering on another State of Ex­istence, to converse with Scenes, and Objects, and Companions that are alto­gether new, what can support her un­der such Tremblings of Thought, such Fear, such Anxiety, such Apprehensi­ons, but the casting all her Cares upon him who first gave her Being, who has conducted her through one Stage of it, and will be always with her to guide and comfort her in her Progress through Eternity.

The Force and Effect of CUSTOM.

THERE is not a common Saying which has a better Turn of Sense to it, than what we often hear in the Mouths of the Vulgar, that CUSTOM is a second Nature. It is indeed able to form the Man anew, and to give him Inclinations and Capacities altogether different from those he was born with. CUSTOM has a Mechanical Effect upon the Body, at the same Time that it has a very extraordinary Influ­ence upon the Mind.

CUSTOM has a wonderful Efficacy in making every Thing pleasant to us; our Delight in any particular Study, Art, or Science, rises and improves in Proportion to the Application which we bestow upon it; what was at first an Exercise, becomes at length an En­tertainment. Our Employments are changed into our Diversions. The Mind grows fond of those Actions she is accustomed to, and is dr [...]wn with Reluctancy from those Paths in which she has been used to walk. Not only [Page 122] such Actions as were at first indifferent to us, but even such as were painful, will by Custom and Practice become pleasant.

The Advantages that may be derived from this Effect of CUSTOM.

If we consider attentively this Pro­perty of human Nature, it may instruct us in very fine Moralities. In the first Place, I would have no Man discou­raged with that Kind of Life, or Series of Action, in which the Choice of o­thers, or his own Necessities, may have engaged him. It may perhaps be very disagreeable to him at first; but Use and Application will certainly render it not only less painful, but pleasing and satisfactory.

In the second Place, I would recom­mend to every one that admirable Pre­cept which Pythagoras is said to have given his Disciples, and which that Philosopher must have drawn from the Observation I have enlarged upon; Op­timum vitae genus eligito, nam consuetudo faciet jucundissimum, Pitch upon that Course of Life which is the most ex­cellent, and Custom will render it the most delightful. Men, whose Circum­stances [Page 123] will permit them to chuse their own Way of Life, are inexcusable if they do not pursue that which their Judgment tells them is the most lau­dable. The Voice of Reason is more to be regarded than the Bent of any present Inclination, since by the Rule above-mentioned, Inclination will at length come over to Reason, though we can never force Reason to comply with Inclination.

In the third Place, this Observation may teach the most sensual and irreli­gious Man, to overlook those Hardships and Difficulties which are apt to dis­courage him from the Prosecution of a virtuous Life. The Gods, said Hesiod, have placed Labour before Virtue; the Way to her is at first rough and difficult, but grows more smooth and easy the far­ther you advance in it. The Man who proceeds in it with Steadiness and Re­solution, will find, that her Ways are Ways of Pleasantness, and that all her Paths are Peace.

To enforce this Consideration, we may farther observe, that the Practice of Religion will not only be attended with that Pleasure which naturally ac­companies those Actions to which we are habituated, but with those super­numerary [Page 124] Joys of Heart, that rise from the Consciousness of such a Pleasure, from the Satisfaction of acting up to the Dictates of Reason, and from the Prospect of an happy Immortality.

In the fourth Place, we may learn from this Observation which we have made on the Mind of Man, to take par­ticular Care, when we are once settled in a regular Course of Life, how we too frequently indulge our selves in any the most indecent Diversions and Entertainments, since the Mind may insensibly fall off from the Relish of virtuous Actions, and, by degrees, ex­change that Pleasure which it takes in the Performance of its Duty, for De­lights of a much more inferior and un­profitable Nature.

The last Use which I shall make of this remarkable Property in human Na­ture, of being delighted with those Actions to which it is accustomed, is to shew how absolutely necessary it is for us to gain Habits of Virtue in this Life, if we would enjoy the Pleasures of the next. The State of Bliss we call Hea­ven, will not be capable of affecting those Minds which are not thus qua­lified for it; we must, in this World, gain a Relish of Truth and Virtue, if [Page 125] we would be able to taste that Know­ledge and Perfection, which are to make us happy in the next. The Seeds of those Spiritual Joys and Raptures, which are to rise up and flourish in the Soul to all Eternity, must be planted in her during this her present State of Proba­tion: In short, Heaven is not to be looked upon only as the Reward, but as the natural Effect of a religious Life. On the other Hand, those evil Spirits, who, by long Custom, have contracted in the Body Habits of Lust and Sensua­lity, Malice and Revenge, an Aversion to every Thing that is good, just, or laudable, are naturally seasoned and prepared for Pain and Misery. Their Torments have already taken Root in them; they cannot be happy when divested of the Body, unless we may suppose that Providence will, in a Man­ner, create them a-new, and work a Miracle in the Rectification of their Fa­culties. They may, indeed, taste a Kind of malignant Pleasure in those Actions to which they are accustomed, whilst in this Life, but when they are removed from all those Objects which are here apt to gratify them, they will naturally become their own Tormen­tors, and cherish in themselves those [Page 126] painful Habits of Mind which are cal­led in Scripture Phrase, The Worm that never dies.

The Infamy of LIBELS; the Interest of a Government to correct and suppress them.

THERE is nothing so scan­dalous to a Government, and detestable in the Eyes of all good Men, as defa­matory Papers and Pamph­lets; but at the same Time there is nothing so difficult to tame as a satyri­cal Author. An angry Writer, who cannot appear in Print, naturally vents his Spleen in Libels and Lampoons. Our Satyr is nothing but Ribaldry, and Billingsgate Scurrility passes for Wit, and he who can call Names in the greatest Variety of Phrases, is looked upon to have the shrewdest Pen. By this Means the Honour of Families is ruined, the highest Posts and greatest Titles are rendered cheap and vile in the Sight of the People; the noblest Virtues and most exalted Parts exposed to the Con­tempt of the vicious and the ignorant. [Page 127] Would a Government set an everlasting Mark of their Displeasure upon one of those infamous Writers, who makes his Court to them by tearing to Pieces the Reputation of his Competitor, we should quickly see an End put to this Race of Vermin, that are a Scandal to Govern­ment, and a Reproach to human Na­ture. Such a Proceeding would make a Minister of State shine in History, and would fill all Mankind with a just Abhorrence of Persons who should treat him unworthily, and employ a­gainst him those Arms which he scorned to make Use of against his Enemies.

As this cruel Practice tends to the utter Subversion of all Truth and Hu­manity among us, it deserves the ut­most Detestation and Discouragement of all who have either the Love of their Country, or the Honour of their Reli­gion, at Heart. I would therefore hum­bly recommend it to the Consideration of those who deal in these pernicious Arts of Writing, and of those who take Pleasure in the reading of them. As for the first, I have spoken of them before, and have not stuck to rank them with the Murderer and Assassin. Every honest Man sets as high a Value upon a good Name as upon Life itself; [Page 128] and I cannot but think that those who privily assault the one, would destroy the other, might they do it with the same Secrecy and Impunity.


THERE is not a more plea­sing Exercise of the Mind than GRATITUDE. It is accompanied with such an inward Satisfaction, that the Duty is sufficiently rewarded by the Performance. It is not like the Practice of many other Virtues, difficult and painful, but attended with so much Pleasure, that were there no positive Command which enjoin'd it, nor any Recompence laid up for it hereafter, a generous Mind would indulge itself in it, for the natural Gratification that accompanies it.

If GRATITUDE is due from Man to Man, how much more from Man to his Maker? The supreme Being does not only confer upon us those Bounties which proceed more immediately from his Hand, but even those Benefits which are convey'd to us by others. Every [Page 129] Blessing we enjoy, by what Means soe­ver it may be derived upon us, is the Gift of him who is the great Author of Good, and Father of Mercies.

If GRATITUDE, towards one ano­ther, naturally produces a very plea­sing Sensation in the Mind of a grate­ful Man; it exalts the Soul into Rap­ture, when it is employed on this great Object of Gratitude, on this Beneficent Being, who has given us every Thing we already possess, and from whom we expect every Thing we yet hope for.


NOthing is more amiable than true MODESTY, and no­thing is more contemptible than the false: The one guards Virtue, the other betrays it. True MODESTY is ashamed to do any Thing that is repugnant to the Rules of right Reason: False MO­DESTY is ashamed to do any Thing that is opposite to the Humour of the Company. True Modesty avoids every Thing that is criminal, false Modesty every Thing that is unfashionable. The [Page 130] latter is only a general undetermined Instinct; the former is that Instinct li­mited and circumscribed by the Rules of Prudence and Religion. We may conclude that Modesty to be false and vicious, which engages a Man to do any Thing that is ill or indiscreet, or which restrains him from doing any Thing that is of a contrary Nature.

Nor does this false Modesty expose us only to such Actions as are indis­creet, but very often to such as are highly Criminal. When Xenophanes was called timorous, because he would not venture his Money in a Game at Dice; I confess, said he, that I am ex­ceeding timorous, for I dare not do an ill Thing. On the contrary, a Man of vi­cious Modesty complies with every Thing, and is only fearful of doing what may look singular in the Company where he is engaged. He falls in with the Torrent, and lets himself go to every Action or Discourse, however unjustifi­able in its self, so it be in vogue among the present Party. This, though one of the most common, is one of the most ridiculous Dispositions in human Na­ture, that Men should not be ashamed of speaking or acting in a dissolute or irrational Manner, but that one who is [Page 131] in their Company should be ashamed of governing himself by the Principles of Reason and Virtue.

In the second Place we are to consi­der false Modesty, as it restrains a Man from doing what is good and laudable; and here I shall only dwell upon one Reflection, which I cannot make with­out a secret Concern. We have in England a particular Bashfulness in e­very Thing that regards Religion: A well-bred Man is obliged to conceal any serious Sentiment of this Nature, and very often to appear a greater Li­bertine than he is, that he may keep himself in Countenance among the Men of Mode. Our Excess of Modesty makes us shame-faced in all the Exercises of Piety and Devotion. This Humour prevails upon us daily; insomuch, that at many well-bred Tables, the Master of the House is so very modest a Man, that he has not the Confidence to say Grace at his own Table: A Custom which is not only practised by all the Nations about us, but was never omit­ted by the Heathens themselves. Eng­lish Gentlemen, who travel into Roman Catholick Countries, are not a little surprized to meet with People of the best Quality kneeling in their Churches, [Page 132] and engaged in their private Devotions, though it be not at the Hours of pub­lick Worship. An Officer of the Army, or a Man of Wit and Pleasure in those Countries, would be afraid of passing not only for an irreligious but an ill-bred Man, should he be seen to go to Bed, or sit down at Table, without of­fering up his Devotions on such Occa­sions. The same Show of Religion ap­pears in all their Foreign Reformed Churches, and enters so much into their ordinary Conversation, that an English­man is apt to term them Hypocritical and Precise.

HYPOCRISY preferable to open IMPIETY.

HYPOCRISY cannot indeed be too much detested; but at the same Time is to be prefered to open IMPIETY. They are both equally de­structive to the Person who is possessed with them; but, in Regard to others, HYPOCRISY is not so pernicious as bare-faced Irreligion. The due Mean to be observed, is to be sincerely virtu­ous, and at the same Time to let the [Page 133] World see we are so. I do not know a more dreadful Menace in the holy Writings, than that which is pro­nounced against those who have this perverted Modesty, to be ashamed be­fore Men in a Particular of such un­speakable Importance.

The Benefits of FAITH and MORALITY considered.

RELIGION may be con­sidered under two General Heads: The first compre­hends what we are to be­lieve, the other what we are to practice. By those Things which we are to believe, I mean whatever is revealed to us in the Holy Writings, and which we could not have obtained the Knowledge of by the Light of Nature; by the Things which we are to practice, I mean all those Duties to which we are directed by Reason or natural Religion. The first of these I shall distinguish by the Name of FAITH, the second by that of MORA­LITY. If we look into the more seri­ous Part of Mankind, we find many [Page 134] who lay so great a Stress upon FAITH, that they neglect MORALITY; and many who build so much upon Mora­lity, that they do not pay a due Regard to Faith. The perfect Man should be defective in neither of these Particulars, as will be very evident to those who consider the Benefits which arise from each of them, and which I shall make my present Subject.

Notwithstanding this general Divi­sion of Christian Duty into Morality and Faith, and that they have both their peculiar Excellencies, the first has the Pre-eminence in several Respects.

First, Because the greatest Part of Morality (as I have stated the Notion of it) is of a fixt eternal Nature, and will endure when Faith shall fail, and be lost in Conviction.

Secondly, Because a Person may be qualified to do greater Good to Man­kind, and become more beneficial to the World, by Morality, without Faith, than by Faith without Morality.

Thirdly, Because Morality gives a great­er Perfection to human Nature, by quieting the Mind, moderating the Passions, and advancing the Happiness of every Man in his private Capa­city.

[Page 135] Fourthly, Because the Rule of Mora­lity is much more certain than that of Faith, all the civilized Nations agree­ing in the great Points of Morality, as much as they differ in those of Faith.

Fifthly, Because Infidelity is not of so malignant a Nature as Immorality; or, to put the same Reason in another Light, because it is generally owned, there may be Salvation for a virtuous Infidel, (particularly in the Case of in­vincible Ignorance) but none for a vi­cious Believer.

Sixthly, Because Infidelity seems to draw its Principal, if not all its Excel­lency, from the Influence it has upon Morality; as we shall see more at large, if we consider wherein consists the Ex­cellency of Faith, or the Belief of Re­vealed Religion; and this I think is,

First, In explaining, and carrying to greater Heights, several Points of Mo­rality.

Secondly, In furnishing new and stron­ger Motives to enforce the Practice of Morality.

Thirdly, In giving us more amiable Ideas of the supreme Being, more en­dearing Notions of one another, and a truer State of our selves, both in Regard to the Grandeur and Vileness of our Natures.

[Page 136] Fourthly, By shewing us the Blackness and Deformity of Vice, which in the Christian System is so very great, that he who is possessed of all Perfection, and the Sovereign Judge of it, is repre­sented by several of our Divines as ha­ting Sin to the same Degree that he loves the sacred Person who was made the Propitiation of it.

Fifthly, In being the ordinary and prescribed Method of making Morality effectual to Salvation.

This I am sure is so obvious, that no one can miss it, namely, that a Man cannot be perfect in his Scheme of Mo­rality, who does not strengthen and sup­port it with that of the Christian Faith.

Besides this, I shall lay down two or three other Maxims, which I think we may deduce from what has been said:

First, That we should be particularly cautious of making any Thing an Ar­ticle of Faith, which does not contri­bute to the Confirmation or Improve­ment of Morality.

Secondly, That no Article of Faith can be true and authentick, which weakens or subverts the practical Part of Religion, or what I have hitherto called Morality.

[Page 137] Thirdly, That the greatest Friend of Morality, or Natural Religion, cannot possibly apprehend any Danger from embracing Christianity, as it is preser­ved pure and uncorrupt in the Doctrines of our National Church.

There is likewise another Maxim which I think may be drawn from the foregoing Considerations, which is this, that we should in all dubious Points consider any ill Consequences that may arise from them, supposing they should be erroneous, before we give up our Assent to them.

The Immorality of PERSECUTION.

FOR Example, in that dispu­table Point of persecuting Men for Conscience sake, be­sides the imbittering their Minds with Hatred, Indig­nation, and all the Vehemence of Re­sentment, and ensnaring them to pro­fess what they do not believe; we cut them off from the Pleasures and Advan­tages of Society, afflict their Bodies, di­stress their Fortunes, hurt their Repu­tations, ruin their Families, make their [Page 138] Lives painful, or put an End to them. Sure, when we see such dreadful Con­sequences rising from a Principle, we ought to be as fully convinced of the Truth of it, as of a Mathematical De­monstration, before we venture to act upon it, or make it a Part of our Reli­gion.

In this Case the Injury done our Neighbour is plain and evident; the Principle that puts us upon doing it, of a dubious and disputable Nature. Morality seems highly violated by the one, and whether or no a Zeal for what a Man thinks the true System of Faith may justify it, is very uncertain. I cannot but think, if our Religion pro­duces Charity as well as Zeal, it will not be for shewing itself by such cruel Instances.

The Middle Condition of Life most desirable.

THERE is a beautiful Saying in Theognis, Vice is covered by Wealth, and Virtue by Po­verty; or, to give it in the verbal Translation, Among Men there are some who have their Vices [Page 139] concealed by Wealth, and others who have their Virtues concealed by Poverty.

Every Man's Observation will supply him with Instances of rich Men, who have several Faults and Defects that are overlooked, if not entirely hidden, by means of their Riches; and I think we cannot find a more natural Description of a poor Man, whose Merits are lost in his Poverty, than that in the Words of the Wise Man: There was a little City, and few Men within it; and there came a great King against it, and besieged it, and built great Bulwarks against it: Now there was found in it a poor wise Man, and he by his Wisdom deliver'd the City; yet no Man remembered that same poor Man. Then said I, Wisdom is better than Strength; nevertheless, the poor Man's Wisdom is de­spised, and his Words are not heard.

The middle Condition seems to be the most advantageously situated for the gaining of Wisdom. Poverty turns our Thoughts too much upon the supplying of our Wants, and Riches upon enjoy­ing our Superfluities; and as Cowley has said in another Case, it is hard for a Man to keep a steady Eye upon Truth, who is always in a Battle or a Triumph.

[Page 140]If we regard Poverty and Wealth, as they are apt to produce Virtues or Vi­ces in the Mind of Man, one may ob­serve that there is a Set of each of these growing out of Poverty, quite different from that which rises out of Wealth. Humility and Patience, Industry and Temperance, are very often the good Qualities of a poor Man. Humanity and good Nature, Magnanimity, and a Sense of Honour, are as often the Qua­lifications of the Rich. On the contra­ry, Poverty is apt to betray a Man into Envy, Riches into Arrogance. Poverty is too often attended with Fraud, vici­ous Compliance, repining Murmurs, and Discontent. Riches expose a Man to Pride and Luxury, a foolish Elation of Heart, and too great a Fondness for the present World. In short, the mid­dle Condition is most eligible to the Man who would improve himself in Virtue; as I have before shewn, it is the most advantageous for the gaining of Know­ledge.

The Means for confirming our FAITH.

HAVING already endea­voured to shew the great Excellency of FAITH, I shall here consider what are the proper Means of strength­ening and confirming it in the Mind of Man. Those who delight in reading Books of Controversy, which are writ­ten on both Sides of the Question in Points of Faith, do very seldom arrive at a fixed and settled Habit of it. They are one Day entirely convinced of its important Truths, and the next meet with something that shakes and disturbs them. The Doubt which was laid re­vives again, and shews it self in new Difficulties, and that generally for this Reason, because the Mind, which is perpetually lost in Controversies and Disputes, is apt to forget the Reasons which had once set it at Rest, and to be disquieted with any former Perplexity, when it appears in a new Shape, or is started by a different Hand. As nothing is more laudable than an Enquiry after Truth, so nothing is more irrational [Page 142] than to pass away our whole Lives, without determining our selves one Way or other in those Points, which are of the last Importance to us. There are indeed many Things from which we may with-hold our Assent; but in Ca­ses by which we are to regulate our Lives, it is the greatest Absurdity to be wavering and unsettled, without closing with that Side which appears the most safe and the most probable.

The first Rule therefore which I shall lay down is this, That when by Read­ing or Discourse we find ourselves tho­roughly convinced of the Truth of any Article, and of the Reasonableness of our Belief in it, we should never after suffer our selves to call it into Question. We may perhaps forget the Arguments which occasioned our Conviction; but we ought to remember the Strength they had with us, and therefore still to re­tain the Conviction which they once produced. This is no more than what we do in every common Art or Science, nor is it possible to act otherwise, consi­dering the Weakness and Limitation of our intellectual Faculties. It is in this Manner that the Mathematician pro­ceeds upon Propositions which he has once demonstrated, and though the De­monstration [Page 143] may have slipt out of his Memory, he builds upon the Truth, because he knows it was demonstrated. This Rule is absolutely necessary for weaker Minds, and in some measure for Men of the greatest Abilities; but to these last I would propose, in the second Place, that they should lay up in their Memories, and always keep by them in a Readiness, those Arguments which ap­pear to them of the greatest Strength, and which cannot be got over by all the Doubts and Cavils of Infidelity. But, in the third Place, there is nothing which strengthens Faith more than Mo­rality. Faith and Morality naturally produce each other. A Man is quickly convinced of the Truth of Religion, who finds it is not against his Interest that it should be true. The Pleasure he receives at present, and the Happiness which he promises himself to receive from it hereafter, will both dispose him very powerfully to give Credit to it, ac­cording to the ordinary Observation, that we are easy to believe what we wish.

It is very certain, that a Man of sound Reason cannot forbear closing with Re­ligion upon an impartial Examination of it; but at the same Time it is as cer­tain, that Faith is kept alive in us, and [Page 144] gathers Strength from Practice more than from Speculation.

There is still another Method, which is more persuasive than any of the for­mer, and that is an habitual Adoration of the supreme Being, as well in con­stant Acts of mental Worship, as in out­ward Forms. The devout Man does not only believe but feels there is a Deity: He has actual Sensations of him; his Experience concurs with his Reason; he sees him more and more in all his Inter­courses with him, and even in this Life almost loses his Faith in Conviction.

The last Method which I shall menti­on for the giving Life to a Man's Faith, is frequent Retirement from the World, accompany'd with religious Meditation. When a Man thinks of any Thing in the Darkness of the Night, whatever deep Impressions it may make in his Mind are apt to banish as soon as the Day breaks about him. The Light and Noise of the Day, which are perpetually solicit­ing his Senses, and calling off his Atten­tion, wear out of his Mind the Thoughts that imprinted themselves in it, with so much Strength, during the Silence and Darkness of the Night. A Man finds the same Difference as to himself in a Crowd and a Solitude; the Mind is stun­ned [Page 145] and dazzled amidst that Variety of Objects which presses upon her in a great City: She cannot apply herself to the Consideration of those Things which are of the utmost Concern to her. The Cares or Pleasures of the World strike in with every Thought, and a multi­tude of vicious Examples give a kind of Justification to our Folly. In our Re­tirements every Thing disposes us to be serious. In Courts and Cities we are entertained with the Works of Men, in the Country with those of God. One is the Province of Art, the other of Na­ture. Faith and Devotion naturally grow in the Mind of every reasonable Man, who sees the Impressions of divine Power and Wisdom in every Object on which he casts his Eye. The supreme Being has made the best Arguments for his own Existence, in the Formation of the Heavens and the Earth; and these are Arguments which a Man of Sense cannot forbear attending to, who is out of the Noise and Hurry of human Af­fairs. Aristotle says, That should a Man live under Ground, and there converse with Works of Art and Mechanism, and should afterwards be brought up into the open Day, and see the several Glories of the Heaven and Earth, he would imme­diately [Page 146] pronounce them the Works of such a Being as we define God to be.

Places of Trust best invested in Men of ge­nerous Principles.

I AM persuaded there are few Men, of generous Prin­ciples, who would seek af­ter great Places, were it not rather to have an Opportu­nity in their Hands of obliging their particular Friends, or those whom they look upon as Men of Worth, than to procure Wealth and Honour for them­selves. To an honest Mind the best Perquisites of a Place are the Advanta­ges it gives a Man of doing Good. Those who are under the great Officers of State, and are the Instruments by which they act, have more frequent Opportu­nities for the Exercise of Compassion and Benevolence, than their Superiors themselves. These Men know every little Case that is to come before the Great Man, and if they are possessed with honest Minds, will consider Pover­ty as a Recommendation in the Person who applies himself to them, and make [Page 147] the Justice of his Cause the most power­ful Solicitor in his Behalf. A Man of this Temper, when he is in a Post of Bu­siness, becomes a Blessing to the Publick: He patronizes the Orphan and the Wi­dow, assists the Friendless, and guides the Ignorant: He does not reject the Person's Pretensions, who does not know how to explain them, or refuse doing a good Office for a Man because he cannot pay the Fee of it. In short, tho' he regulates himself in all his Pro­ceedings by Justice and Equity, he finds a thousand Occasions for all the good-natured Offices of Generosity and Com­passion.

A Man is unfit for such a Place of Trust, who is of a sower untractable Nature, or has any other Passion that makes him uneasy to those who ap­proach him. Roughness of Temper is apt to discountenance the Timorous or Modest. The proud Man discourages those from approaching him who are of a mean Condition, and who most want his Assistance. The impudent Man will not give himself Time to be informed of the Matter that lies before him. An Officer with one or more of these unbe­coming Qualities, is sometimes looked upon as a proper Person to keep off Im­pertinence [Page 148] and Solicitation from his Su­perior; but this is a kind of Merit that can never atone for the Injustice which may very often arise from it.

There are two other vicious Quali­ties which render a Man very unfit for such a Place of Trust. The first of these is a dilatory Temper, which com­mits innumerable Cruelties without De­sign. The Maxim which several have laid down for a Man's Conduct in ordi­nary Life, should be inviolable with a Man in Office, never to think of doing that to Morrow which may be done to Day. A Man who defers doing what ought to done, is guilty of Injustice so long as he defers it. The Dispatch of a good Of­fice is very often as beneficial to the So­licitor as the good Office itself. In short, if a Man compared the Inconveniencies which another suffers by his Delays, with the trifling Motives and Advanta­ges which he himself may reap by such a Delay, he would never be guilty of a Fault which very often does an irrepa­rable Prejudice to the Person who de­pends upon him, and which might be remedyed with little Trouble to him­self.

But in the last Place, there is no Man so improper to be employ'd in Business, [Page 149] as he who is in any degree capable of Corruption; and such a one is the Man, who upon any Pretence whatsoever re­ceives more than what is the stated and unquestioned Fee of his Office. Grati­fications, Tokens of Thankfulness, Dis­patch-Money, and the like specious Terms, are the Pretences under which Corruption very frequently shelters it self. An honest Man will however look on all these Methods as unjustifiable, and will enjoy himself better in a mode­rate Fortune that is gained with Ho­nour and Reputation, than in an over-grown Estate that is cankered with the Acquisitions of Rapine and Extortion. Were all our Offices discharged with such an inflexible Integrity, we should not see Men in all Ages, who grow up to exorbitant Wealth, with the Abilities which are to be met with in an ordinary Mechanick. I can not but think that such a Corruption proceeds chiefly from Mens receiving the first that offer them­selves, or those who have the Character of shrewd worldly Men, instead of searching out such as have had a liberal Education, and have been trained up in the Studies of Knowledge and Virtue.

Why Men of Learning are best qualifyed for such Offices.

It has been observed, that Men of Learning, who take to Business, dis­charge it generally with greater Hone­sty than Men of the World. The chief Reason for it I take to be as follows. A Man that has spent his Youth in Read­ing, has been used to find Virtue extol­led, and Vice stigmatized: A Man that has past his Time in the World, has of­ten seen Vice triumphant, and Virtue discountenanced. Extortion, Rapine, and Injustice, which are branded with Infamy in Books, often give a Man a Figure in the World; while several Qualities which are celebrated in Au­thors, as Generosity, Ingenuity, and Good-nature, impoverish and ruin him. This cannot but have a proportionable Effect on Men whose Tempers and Principles are equally good and vicious.

There would be at least this Advan­tage in employing Men of Learning and Parts in Business, that their Prospe­rity would set more gracefully on them, and that we should not see many worth­less Persons shot up into the greatest Fi­gures of Life.

The Passion of HOPE.

OUR actual Enjoyments are so few and transient, that Man would be a very mi­serable Being, were he not endowed with this Passion of HOPE, which gives him a Taste of those good Things that may possibly come into his Possession. We should hope for every Thing that is good, says the old Poet Linus, because there is nothing which may not be hoped for, and nothing but what the Gods are able to give us. HOPE quickens all the still Parts of Life, and keeps the Mind awake in her most re­miss and indolent Hours. It gives ha­bitual Serenity and good Humour: It is a kind of vital Heat to the Soul, that chears and gladdens her, when she does not attend to it. It makes Pain easy, and Labour pleasant.

Beside these several Advantages which rise from HOPE, there is another which is none of the least, and that is, its great Efficacy in preserving us from setting too high a Value on present En­joyments. The Saying of Caesar is very [Page 152] well known: When he had given away all his Estate in Gratuities among his Friends, one of them asked, What he had left for himself? To which that Great Man replied, HOPE. His natu­ral Magnanimity hindered him from prizing what he was certainly possessed of, and turned all his Thoughts upon something more valuable that he had in View.

I shall make but two Reflections up­on what I have said: First, That no kind of Life is so happy as that which is full of Hope, especially when the Hope is well-grounded, and when the Object of it is of an exalted Kind, and in its Nature proper to make the Person happy who enjoys it. This Proposition must be very evident to those who con­sider how few are the present Enjoy­ments of the most happy Man, and how insufficient to give him an entire Satisfaction and Acquiescence in them.

Religious HOPE.

My next Observation is this, That a religious Life is that which most a­bounds in a well-grounded Hope, and such an one as is fixed on Objects that are capable of making us entirely hap­py. [Page 153] This Hope in a religious Man, is much more sure and certain, than the Hope of any temporal Blessing, as it is strengthened not only by Reason but by Faith. It has at the same Time its Eye fixed perpetually on that State, which implies in the very Notion of it the most full and the most compleat Hap­piness.

I have before shewn how the Influ­ence of Hope in general sweetens Life, and makes our Condition supportable, if not pleasing: But a religious Hope has still greater Advantages; it does not only bear up the Mind under her Sufferings, but makes her rejoice in them, as they may be the Instruments of procuring her the great and ultimate End of all her Hope.

Religious Hope has likewise this Ad­vantage above any other Kind of Hope, that it is able to revive the dying Man, and to fill his Mind not only with secret Comfort and Refreshment, but some­times with Rapture and Transport. He triumphs in his Agonies, whilst the Soul springs forward with Delight to the great Object which she has always had in View, and leaves the Body with an Expectation of being re-united to her in a glorious and joyful Resurrection.

The Effects of the SPLEEN.

IT is a celebrated Thought of Socrates, that if all the Misfortunes of Mankind were cast into a publick Stock, in order to be equally distri­buted among the whole Species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy, would prefer the Share they are already possessed of, before that which would fall to them by such a Division. Horace has carry'd this Thought a great deal farther, intima­ting, That the Hardships or Misfortunes we lie under, are more easy to us than those of any other Person would be, in case we could change Conditions with him.

As I was ruminating on these two Remarks, and seated in my Elbow-Chair, I insensibly fell asleep; when, on a sudden, methought there was a Proclamation made by Jupiter, that e­very Mortal should bring in his Griefs and Calamities, and throw them toge­ther in a Heap. There was a large Plain appointed for this Purpose. I [Page 155] took my Stand in the Center of it, and saw with a great deal of Pleasure the whole human Species marching one af­ter another, and throwing down their several Loads, which immediately grew up into a prodigious Mountain that seemed to rise above the Clouds.

There was a certain Lady of a thin airy Shape, who was very active in this Solemnity. She carried a magni­fying Glass in one of her Hands, and was cloathed in a loose flowing Robe, embroidered with several Figures of Fiends and Spectres, that discovered themselves in a thousand chimerical Shapes, as her Garment hovered in the Wind. There was something wild and distracted in her Looks. Her Name was FANCY. She led up every Mor­tal to the appointed Place, after having very officiously assisted him in making up his Pack, and laying it upon his Shoulders. My Heart melted within me, to see my Fellow-Creatures groan­ing under their respective Burdens, and to consider that prodigious Bulk of human Calamities which lay before me.

There were however several Persons who gave me great Diversion upon this Occasion. I observed one bringing in [Page 156] a Fardel very carefully concealed un­der an old embroidered Cloak, which, upon his throwing it into the Heap, I discovered to be Poverty. Another, after a great deal of Puffing, threw down his Luggage; which, upon ex­amining, I found to be his Wife.

There were Multitudes of Lovers saddled with very whimsical Burdens, composed of Darts and Flames; but, what was very odd, tho' they sighed as if their Hearts would break under these Bundles of Calamities, they could not perswade themselves to cast them into the Heap, when they came up to it; but, after a few faint Efforts, shook their Heads and marched away, as heavy loaden as they came. I saw Mul­titudes of old Women throw down their Wrinkles, and several young ones who stripped themselves of a tawny Skin. There were very great Heaps of red Noses, large Lips, and rusty Teeth. The Truth of it is, I was surprized to see the greatest Part of the Mountain made up of bodily Deformities. Ob­serving one advancing towards the Heap with a larger Cargo than ordinary up­on his Back, I found, upon his near Approach, that it was only a natural Hump, which he disposed of, with [Page 157] great Joy of Heart, among this Colle­ction of human Miseries. There were likewise Distempers of all Sorts, tho' I could not but observe, that there were many more imaginary than real. One little Packet I could not but take No­tice of, which was a Complication of all the Diseases incident to human Na­ture, and was in the Hand of a great many fine People: This was called the SPLEEN. But what most of all sur­prized me, was a Remark I made, that there was not a single Vice or Folly thrown into the whole Heap: At which I was very much astonished, having con­cluded within my self, that every one would take this Opportunity of getting rid of his Passions, Prejudices, and Frail­ties.

I took Notice in particular of a very profligate Fellow, who I did not que­stion came loaden with his Crimes, but upon searching into his Bundle, I found, that instead of throwing his Guilt from him, he had only laid down his Memory. He was followed by another worthless Rogue, who flung away his Modesty instead of his Igno­rance.

When the whole Race of Mankind had thus cast their Burdens, the Phan­tome [Page 158] which had been so busy on this Occasion, seeing me an idle Spectator of what passed, approached towards me. I grew uneasy at her Presence, when of a sudden she held her magnifying Glass full before my Eyes. I no sooner saw my Face in it, but was startled at the Shortness of it, which now appeared to me in its utmost Aggravation. The immoderate Breadth of the Features made me very much out of Humour with my own Countenance, upon which I threw it from me like a Mask. It happened very luckily, that one who stood by me had just before thrown down his Visage, which, it seems, was too long for him. It was indeed ex­tended to a most shameful Length; I believe the very Chin was, modestly speaking, as long as my whole Face. We had both of us an Opportunity of mending our selves, and all the Con­tributions being now brought in, every Man was at Liberty to exchange his Misfortune for those of another Person.

I saw, with unspeakable Pleasure, the whole Species thus delivered from its Sorrows; tho', at the same Time, as we stood round the Heap, and surveyed the several Materials of which it was composed, there was scarce a Mortal, [Page 159] in this vast Multitude, who did not discover what he thought Pleasures and Blessings of Life, and wonder'd how the Owners of them ever came to look upon them as Burdens and Grievances.

As we were regarding very attentive­ly this Confusion of Miseries, this Chaos of Calamity, Jupiter issued out a second Proclamation, That every one was now at Liberty to exchange his Affliction, and to return to his Habitation with a­ny such other Bundle as should be deli­vered to him.

Upon this, Fancy began again to be­stir herself, and parcelling out the whole Heap with incredible Activity, recom­mended to every one his particular Pac­ket. The Hurry and Confusion at this Time was not to be expressed. Some Observations, which I made upon the Occasion, I shall communicate to the Publick. A venerable grey-headed Man, who had laid down the Cholick, and whom I found wanted an Heir to his Estate, snatched up an undutiful Son, that had been thrown into the Heap by his angry Father. The graceless Youth, in less than a quarter of an Hour, pulled the old Gentleman by the Beard, and had like to have knocked his Brains out; so that meeting the true Father, who [Page 160] came towards him in a Fit of the Gripes, he begged him to take his Son again, and give him back his Cholick; but they were incapable either of them to recede from the Choice they had made. A poor Gally-Slave, who had thrown down his Chains, took up the Gout in their stead, but made such wry Faces, that one might easily perceive he was no great Gainer by the Bargain. It was pleasant enough to see the several Ex­changes that were made, for Sickness against Poverty, Hunger against want of Appetite, and Care against Pain.

The Female World were very busy among themselves in bartering for Fea­tures; one was trucking a Lock of grey Hairs for a Carbuncle, another was making over a short Waste for a Pair of round Shoulders, and a third cheap­ning a bad Face for a lost Reputation: But on all these Occasions, there was not one of them who did not think the new Blemish, as soon as she had got it into her Possession, much more disagree­able than the old one. I made the same Observation on every other Misfortune or Calamity, which every one in the Assembly brought upon himself, in lieu of what he had parted with; whether it be that all the Evils which befal us [Page 161] are in some Measure suited and propor­tioned to our Strength, or that every Evil becomes more supportable by our being accustomed to it, I shall not de­termine.

I could not for my Heart forbear pity­ing the poor hump'd-back Gentleman, who went off a very well-shaped Per­son with a Stone in his Bladder; nor the fine Gentleman who had struck up this Bargain with him, that limped through a whole Assembly of Ladies who used to admire him, with a Pair of Shoulders peeping over his Head.

I must not omit my own particular Adventure. My Friend with the long Visage had no sooner taken upon him my short Face, but he made such a grotesque Figure in it, that as I looked upon him I could not forbear laughing at my self, insomuch that I put my own Face out of Countenance. The poor Gentleman was so sensible of the Ridicule, that I found he was ashamed of what he had done: On the other Side I found that I my self had no great Reason to triumph, for as I went to touch my Forehead, I missed the Place, and clapped my Finger upon my Upper Lip. Besides, as my Nose was exceeding prominent, I gave it two or [Page 162] three unlucky Knocks as I was playing my Hand about my Face, and aiming at some other Part of it. I saw two other Gentlemen by me, who were in the same ridiculous Circumstances. These had made a foolish Swop between a Couple of thick bandy Legs, and two long Trapsticks that had no Calfs to them. One of these looked like a Man walking upon Stilts, and was so lifted up into the Air above his ordinary Height, that his Head turned round with it, while the other made such awkward Circles, as he attempted to walk, that he scarce knew how to move forward upon his new Supporters: Ob­serving him to be a pleasant kind of a Fellow, I stuck my Cane in the Ground, and told him I would lay him a Bottle of Wine, that he did not march up to it on a Line, that I drew for him, in a Quarter of an Hour.

The Heap was at last distributed a­mong the two Sexes, who made a most piteous Sight, as they wandered up and down under the Pressure of their seve­ral Burdens. The whole Plain was filled with Murmurs and Complaints, Groans and Lamentations. Jupiter at length, taking Compassion on the poor Mortals, ordered them a second Time [Page 163] to lay down their Loads, with a Design to give every one his own again. They discharged themselves with a great deal of Pleasure, after which the Phantome, who had led them into such gross De­lusions, was commanded to disappear. There was sent in her stead a Goddess of a quite different Figure; her Moti­ons were steady and composed, and her Aspect serious but chearful. She every now and then cast her Eyes towards Heaven, and fixed them upon Jupiter: Her Name was PATIENCE. She had no sooner placed her self by the Mount of Sorrows, but, what I thought very remarkable, the whole Heap sunk to such a Degree, that it did not ap­pear a third Part so big as it was before. She afterwards returned every Man his own proper Calamity, and teaching him how to bear it in the most com­modious Manner, he marched off with it contentedly, being very well pleased that he had not been left to his own Choice, as to the Kind of Evils which fell to his Lot.

Besides the several Pieces of Mora­lity to be drawn out of this Vision, I learnt from it, never to repine at my own Misfortunes, or to envy the Hap­piness of another, since it is impossible [Page 164] for any Man to form a right Judgment of his Neighbour's Sufferings; for which Reason also I have determined never to think too lightly of another's Complaints, but to regard the Sorrows of my Fellow-Creatures with Senti­ments of Humanity and Compassion.


IT was a common Enquiry among the Antients, Why the Number of excellent Ora­tors, under all the Encou­ragements the most flourish­ing States could give them, fell so far short of the Number of those who ex­celled in all other Sciences? Herodotus says, That the most useful Animals are the most fruitful in their Generation; whereas the Species of those Beasts that are fierce and mischievous to Mankind, are but scarce­ly continued. The Historian instances in an Hare, which always either breeds or brings forth; and a Lioness, which brings forth but once, and then loses all Power of Conception. But in these la­ter Ages we have greater Causes of Com­plaint [Page 165] than the Antients had. Our Mo­derns have greater Advantages towards true and solid Eloquence than any which the celebrated Speakers of Anti­quity enjoy'd.

The first great and substantial Differ­ence is, that their common Places, in which almost the whole Force of Am­plification consists, were drawn from the Profit or Honesty of the Action, as they regarded only this present State of Du­ration. But Christianity, as it exalts Morality to a greater Perfection, as it brings the Consideration of another Life into the Question, as it proposes Rewards and Punishments of a higher Nature, and a longer Continuance, is more adapted to affect the Minds of the Audience, naturally inclined to pursue what it imagines its greatest Interest and Concern. If Pericles, as Historians re­port, could shake the firmest Resoluti­ons of his Hearers, and set the Passions of all Greece in a Ferment, when the present Welfare of his Country, or the Fear of hostile Invasions was the Sub­ject, what may be expected from that Orator, who warns his Audience against those Evils which have no Remedy, when once undergone, either from Pru­dence or Time? As much greater as the [Page 166] Evils in a future State are than these at present, so much are the Motives to Per­suasion under Christianity greater than those which meer moral Considerations could supply us with. But what is now mention'd relates only to the Power of moving the Affections. There is another Part of Eloquence, which is indeed its Master-piece, which is the Marvellous and Sublime. In this the Christian O­rator has the Advantage beyond Con­tradiction. Our Ideas are so infinitely enlarged by Revelation, the Eye of Rea­son has so wide a Prospect into Eternity, the Notions of a Deity are so worthy and refin'd, and the Accounts we have of a State of Happiness or Misery so clear and evident, that the Contempla­tion of such Objects will give our Dis­course a noble Vigour, an invincible Force, beyond the Power of any hu­man Consideration. Tully requires in his perfect Orator some Skill in the Na­ture of Heavenly Bodies; because, says he, his Mind will become more exten­sive and unconfined; and when he de­scends to treat of human Affairs, he will both think and write in a more ex­alted and magnificent Manner. For the same Reason that excellent Master would have recommended the Study of those [Page 167] great and glorious Mysteries which Re­velation has discovered to us; to which the noblest Parts of this System of the World are as much inferior, as the Crea­ture is less excellent than its Creator. The wisest and most knowing among the Heathens, had very poor and im­perfect Notions of a future State. They had indeed some uncertain Hopes, ei­ther received by Tradition, or gathered by Reason, that the Existence of virtu­ous Men would not be determined by the Separation of Soul and Body: But they either disbelieved a future State of Punishment and Misery, or, upon the same Account that Apelles painted Anti­gonus, with one Side only to the Specta­tor, that the Loss of his Eye might not cast a Blemish upon the whole Piece; so these represented the Condition of Man in its fairest View, and endeavoured to conceal what they thought was a Defor­mity to human Nature. I have often observed, that whenever the abovemen­tioned Orator, in his Philosophical Dis­courses, is led by his Argument to the Mention of Immortality, he seems like one awaked out of Sleep, rouzed and alarmed with the Dignity of the Sub­ject, he stretches his Imagination to con­ceive something uncommon, and with [Page 168] the Greatness of his Thoughts casts, as it were, a Glory round the Sentence: Uncertain and unsettled as he was, he seems fired with the Contemplation of it; and nothing but such a glorious Prospect could have forced so great a Lover of Truth, as he was, to declare his Resolution, never to part with his Per­suasion of Immortality, though it should be proved to be an erroneous one. But had he lived to see all that Christianity has brought to Light, how would he have lavished out all the Force of Elo­quence in those noblest Contemplations which human Nature is capable of, the Resurrection, and the Judgment that follows it? How had his Breast glowed with Pleasure, when the whole Com­pass of Futurity lay open and exposed to his View? How would his Imagina­tion have hurryed him on in the Pursuit of the Mysteries of the Incarnation? How would he have entered with the Force of Lightning into the Affections of his Hearers, and fixed their Attenti­on, in Spite of all the Opposition of corrupt Nature, upon those glorious Themes which his Eloquence hath pain­ted in such lively and lasting Colours?

[Page 169]This Advantage Christians have; and it was with no small Pleasure I lately met with a Fragment of Longinus, which is preserved as a Testimony of that Cri­tick's Judgment, at the Beginning of a Manuscript of the New Testament in the Vatican Library. After that Author has numbered up the most celebrated Orators among the Grecians, he says, Add to these Paul of Tarsus, the Patron of an Opinion not yet fully prov'd. As a Heathen, he condemns the Christian Religion; and as an impartial Critick, he judges in Favour of the Promoter and Preacher of it. To me it seems, that the latter Part of his Judgment adds great Weight to his Opinion of St. Paul's Abilities, since, under all the Prejudice of Opinions directly opposite, he is con­strained to acknowledge the Merit of that Apostle. And, no Doubt, such as Longinus describes St. Paul, such he ap­peared to the Inhabitants of those Coun­tries which he visited and blessed with those Doctrines he was divinely commis­sioned to preach. Sacred Story gives us, in one Circumstance, a convincing Proof of his Eloquence, when the Men of Lystra called him Mercury, because he was the chief Speaker, and would have [Page 170] paid divine Worship to him, as to the God who invented and prefided over Eloquence. This one Account of our Apostle sets his Character, considered as an Orator only, above all the celebrated Relations of the Skill and Influence of Demosthenes and his Contemporaries. Their Power in Speaking was admired, but still it was thought human: Their Eloquence warmed and ravished the Hearers, but still it was thought the Voice of Man, not the Voice of God. What Advantage then had St. Paul above those of Greece or Rome? I confess I can as­cribe this Excellence to nothing but the Power of the Doctrines he delivered, which may have still the same Influence on the Hearers; which have still the Power, when preached by a skilful O­rator, to make us break out in the same Expressions as the Disciples, who met our Saviour in their Way to Emmaus, made Use of; Did not our Hearts burn within us, when he talked to us by the Way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures? I may be thought bold in my Judgment by some; but I must affirm, That no one Orator has left us so visible Marks and Footsteps of his Eloquence as our Apostle. It may perhaps be won­dered [Page 169] at, that in his Reasonings upon Idolatry at Athens, where Eloquence was born and flourished, he confines himself to strict Argument only; but my Rea­der may remember what many Authors of the best Credit have assured us, That all Attempts upon the Affections, and Strokes of Oratory, were expresly for­bidden, by the Laws of that Country, in Courts of Judicature. His Want of Eloquence therefore here, was the Ef­fect of his exact Conformity to the Laws: But his Discourse on the Resur­rection to the Corinthians, his Harangue before Agrippa upon his own Conversi­on, and the Necessity of that of others, are truly great, and may serve as full Examples to those excellent Rules for the Sublime, which the best of Criticks has left us. The Sum of all this Dis­course is, That our Clergy have no far­ther to look for an Example of the Per­fection they may arrive at, than to St. Paul's Harangues; that when he, under the Want of several Advantages of Na­ture, (as he himself tells us) was heard, admired, and made a Standard to suc­ceeding Ages by the best Judge of a dif­ferent Persuasion in Religion: I say, Our Clergy may learn, that however instructive their Sermons are, they are [Page 170] capable of receiving a great Addition; which St. Paul has given them a noble Example of, and the Christian Religion has furnished them with certain Means of attaining to.

A Contemplation of the Omnipresence and Omniscience of GOD.

ABOUT Sun-set walking in the open Fields, 'till the Night insensibly fell upon me, I at first amused myself with all the Richness and Variety of Colours, which appeared in the Western Parts of Heaven: In Pro­portion as they faded away and went out, several Stars and Planets appeared one after another, t'ill the whole Firma­ment was in a Glow. The Blueness of the Aether was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the Season of the Year, and by the Rays of all those Luminaries that passed through it. The Galaxy ap­peared in its most beautiful White. To compleat the Scene, the full Moon rose, at length, in that clouded Majesty which Milton takes Notice of, and opened to the Eye a new Picture of Nature, which [Page 171] was more finely shaded, and disposed among softer Lights than that which the Sun had before discovered to us.

As I was surveying the Moon walk­ing in her Brightness, and taking her Progress among the Constellations, a Thought rose in me, which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs Men of serious and contemplative Natures. David himself fell into it, in that Refle­ction, When I consider the Heavens, the Work of thy Fingers, the Moon and the Stars which thou hast ordained; what is Man that thou art mindful of him, and the Son of Man that thou regardest him! In the same manner, when I considered that infinite Hoste of Stars, or, to speak more philosophically, of Suns, which were then shining upon me, with those innumerable Sets of Planets or Worlds, which were moving round their respect­ive Suns: When I still enlarged the Idea, and supposed another Heaven of Suns and Worlds rising still above this which we discovered, and these still en­lightened by a superior Firmament of Luminaries, which are planted at so great a Distance, that they may appear to the Inhabitants of the former as the Stars do to us. In short, whilst I pur­sued this Thought, I could not but re­flect [Page 172] on that little insignificant Figure which I my self bore amidst the Immen­sity of God's Works.

Were the Sun, which enlightens this Part of the Creation, with all the Host of Planetary Worlds that move about him, utterly extinguished and annihila­ted, they would not be missed more than a Grain of Sand upon the Sea-shore. The Space they possess is so exceedingly little, in comparison of the whole, that it would scarce make a Blank in the Crea­tion. The Chasm would be imperceptible to an Eye that could take in the whole Compass of Nature, and pass from one End of the Creation to the other, as it is possible there may be such a Sense in our selves hereafter, or in Creatures which are at present more exalted than our selves. We see many Stars by the Help of Glasses, which we do not dis­cover with our naked Eyes; and the finer our Telescopes are, the more still are our Discoveries. Huygenius carries this Thought so far, that he does not think it impossible there may be Stars, whose Light is not yet travelled down to us since their first Creation. There is no Question but the Universe has cer­tain Bounds set to it; but when we con­sider that it is the Work of infinite [Page 173] Power, prompted by infinite Goodness, with an infinite Space to exert itself in, how can our Imagination set any Bounds to it?

To return therefore to my first Thought, I could not but look upon my self with secret Horror, as a Being that was not worth the smallest Regard of one who had so great a Work under his Care and Superintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the Immensi­ty of Nature, and lost among that infi­nite Variety of Creatures, which in all Probability swarm through all these im­measurable Regions of Matter.

In order to recover my self from this mortifying Thought, I considered that it took its Rise from those narrow Con­ceptions which we are apt to entertain of the Divine Nature. We ourselves cannot attend to many different Objects at the same Time. If we are careful to inspect some Things, we must of course neglect others. This Imperfection which we observe in our selves, is an Imperfe­ction that cleaves in some Degree to Creatures of the highest Capacities, as they are Creatures, that is, Beings of fi­nite and limited Natures. The Presence of every Being is confined to a certain Measure of Space, and consequently his [Page 174] Observation is stinted to a certain Num­ber of Objects. The Sphere in which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider Circumference to one Crea­ture than another, according as we rise one above another in the Scale of Exist­ence. But the widest of these our Spheres has its Circumference. When therefore we reflect on the Divine Na­ture, we are so used and accustomed to this Imperfection in ourselves, that we cannot forbear in some measure ascribing it to him in whom there is no Shadow of Imperfection. Our Reason indeed assures us that his Attributes are infinite, but the Poorness of our Conceptions is such, that it cannot forbear setting Bounds to every thing it contemplates, 'till our Reason comes again to our Suc­cour, and throws down all those little Prejudices which rises in us unawares, and are natural to the Mind of Man.

We shall therefore utterly extinguish this melancholy Thought, of our being overlooked by our Maker in the Multi­plicity of his Works, and the Infinity of those Objects among which he seems to be incessantly employed, if we consider in the first Place that he is Omnipresent, and, in the second, that he is Omnisci­ent.

[Page 175]If we consider him in his Omnipre­sence: His Being passes through, actu­ates, and supports the whole Frame of Nature. His Creation, and every Part of it, is full of him. There is nothing he has made, that is either so distant, so little, or so inconsiderable, which he does not essentially inhabit. His Sub­stance is within the Substance of every Being, whether material or immaterial, and as intimately present to it, as that Being is to it self. It would be an Im­perfection in him, were he able to re­move out of one Place into another, or to withdraw himself from any thing he has created, or from any Part of that Space which is diffused and spread abroad to Infinity. In short, to speak of him in the Language of the old Philosopher, he is a Being whose Centre is every where, and his Circumference is no where.

In the second Place, he is Omnipre­sent as well as Omniscient. His Om­niscience indeed necessarily and natural­ly flows from his Omnipresence; he can­not but be conscious of every Motion that arises in the whole material World, which he thus essentially pervades, and of every Thought that is stirring in the intellectual World, to every Part of [Page 176] which he is thus intimately united. Se­veral Moralists have considered the Cre­ation as the Temple of God, which he has built with his own Hands, and which is filled with his Presence. O­thers have considered infinite Space as the Receptacle, or rather the Habitation of the Almighty: But the noblest and most exalted Way of considering this infinite Space, is that of Sir Isaac New­ton's, who calls it the Sensorium of the Godhead. Brutes and Men have their Sensoriola, or little Sensoriums, by which they apprehend the Presence, and per­ceive the Actions of a few Objects that lye contiguous to them: Their Know­ledge and Observation turns within a very narrow Circle. But as God Al­mighty cannot but perceive and know every thing in which he resides, infinite Space gives Room to infinite Knowledge, and is, as it were, an Organ to Omni­science.

Were the Soul separate from the Bo­dy, and with one Glance of Thought should start beyond the Bounds of the Creation, should it for Millions of Years continue its Progress through in­finite Space with the same Activity, it would still find itself within the Em­brace of its Creator, and encompassed [Page 177] round with the Immensity of the God­head. Whilst we are in the Body he is not less present with us, be­cause he is concealed from us. O that I knew where I might find him! says Job. Behold I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot per­ceive him. On the left hand, where he does work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him. In short, Reason as well as Revelation assures us, that he cannot be absent from us, notwithstanding he is undiscovered by us.

In this Consideration of God Almigh­ty's Omnipresence and Omniscience e­very Thought vanishes. He cannot but regard every Thing that has Being, especially such of his Creatures who fear they are not regarded by him. He is privy to all their Thoughts, and to that Anxiety of Heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this Occasion: For as it is impossible he should overlook any of his Creatures, so we may be confident that he regards, with an Eye of Mercy, those who en­deavour to recommend themselves to his Notice, and in an unfeigned Humi­lity of Heart think themselves unwor­thy that he should be mindful of them.

The Happiness of SOULS in HEAVEN.

I Have always taken a parti­cular Pleasure in examining the Opinions which Men of different Religions, different Ages, and different Coun­tries, have entertained concerning the Immortality of the Soul, and the State of Happiness which they promise them­selves in another World. For whatever Prejudices and Errors human Nature lies under, we find that either Reason, or Tradition from our first Parents, has discovered to all People something in these great Points which bears Analogy to Truth, and to the Doctrines opened to us by Divine Revelation. I was late­ly discoursing on this Subject with a learned Person who has been very much conversant among the Inhabitants of the more Western Parts of Africk: Upon his conversing with several in that Country, he tells me, that their Notion of Heaven, or of a future State of Happi­ness is this, That every Thing we there wish for will immediately present it self to us. We find, say they, our Souls [Page 179] are of such a Nature that they require Variety, and are not capable of being always delighted with the same Objects. The Supreme Being therefore, in Compli­ance with this Taste of Happiness which he has planted in the Soul of Man, will raise up from Time to Time, they say, every Gratification which it is in the Humour to be pleased with. If we wish to be in Groves or Bowers, among running Streams or Falls of Water, we shall immediately find our selves in the midst of such a Scene as we desire. If we would be entertained with Musick and the Melody of Sounds, the Consort rises upon our Wish, and the whole Region about us is filled with Harmony. In short, every Desire will be followed by Fruition, and whatever a Man's In­clination directs him to, will be present with him. Nor is it material whether the Supreme Power creates in Confor­mity to our Wishes, or whether he on­ly produces such a Change in our Ima­gination, as makes us believe our selves conversant among those Scenes which delight us. Our Happiness will be the same, whether it proceed from external Objects, or from the Impressions of the Deity upon our own private Fancies. This is the Account which I have re­ceived [Page 180] from my learned Friend. Not­withstanding this System of Belief be in general very chimerical and visionary, there is something sublime in its Man­ner of considering the Influence of a Divine Being on a human Soul. It has also, like most other Opinions of the Heathen World upon these important Points, it has, I say, its Foundation in Truth, as it supposes the Souls of good Men after this Life to be in a State of perfect Happiness, that in this State there will be no barren Hopes, nor fruitless Wishes, and that we shall en­joy every Thing we can desire. But the particular Circumstance which I am most pleased with in this Scheme, and which arises from a just Reflection up­on human Nature, is that Variety of Pleasures which it supposes the Souls of good Men will be possessed of in a­nother World. This I think highly probable, from the Dictates of both Reason and Revelation. The Soul con­sists of many Faculties, as the Under­standing, and the Will, with all the Senses both outward and inward; or, to speak more philosophically, the Soul can exert her self in many different Ways of Action: She can understand, will, imagine, see and hear, love and [Page 181] discourse, and apply her self to many other the like Exercises of different Kinds and Natures; but what is more to be considered, the Soul is capable of receiving a most exquisite Pleasure and Satisfaction from the Exercise of any of these its Powers, when they are gratified with their proper Objects; she can be entirely happy by the Satisfa­ction of the Memory, the Sight, the Hearing, or any other Mode of Percep­tion. Every Faculty is as a distinct Taste in the Mind, and hath Objects ac­commodated to its proper Relish. Dr. Tillotson somewhere says, that he will not presume to determine in what con­sists the Happiness of the Bless'd, because God Almighty is capable of making the Soul happy by Ten Thousand dif­ferent Ways. Besides those several A­venues to Pleasure which the Soul is endowed with in this Life, it is not impossible, according to the Opinions of many eminent Divines, but there may be new Faculties in the Souls of good Men made perfect, as well as new Senses in their glorified Bodies. This we are sure of, that there will be new Objects offered to all those Faculties which are essential to us.

[Page 182]We are likewise to take Notice, that every particular Faculty is capable of being employed on a very great Variety of Objects. The Understanding, for Example, may be happy in the Con­templation of Moral, Natural, Mathe­matical, and other Kinds of Truth. The Memory likewise may turn it self to an infinite Multitude of Objects, e­specially when the Soul shall have pas­sed through the Space of many Milli­ons of Years, and shall reflect with Plea­sure on the Days of Eternity. Every other Faculty may be considered in the same Extent.

We cannot question but that the Hap­piness of a Soul will be adequate to its Nature, and that it is not endowed with any Faculties which are to lye useless and unemploy'd. The Happiness is to be the Happiness of the whole Man, and we may easily conceive to our selves the Happiness of the Soul, whilst any one of its Faculties is in the Fruition of its chief Good. The Happiness may be of a more exalted Nature in Propor­tion as the Faculty employed is so, but as the whole Soul acts in the Exertion of any of its particular Powers, the whole Soul is happy in the Pleasure which arises from any of its particular [Page 183] Acts. For notwithstanding, as has been before hinted, and as it has been taken Notice of by one of the greatest mo­dern Philosophers, we divide the Soul into several Powers and Faculties, there is no such Division in the Soul it self, since it is the whole Soul that remem­bers, understands, wills, or imagines. Our Manner of considering the Memo­ry, Understanding, Will, Imagination, and the like Faculties, is for the better enabling us to express our selves in such abstracted Subjects of Speculation, not that there is any such Division in the Soul it self.

Seeing then that the Soul has many different Faculties, or, in other Words, many different Ways of acting; that it can be intensely pleased, or made happy, by all these different Faculties, or Ways of acting; that it may be en­dowed with several latent Faculties, which it is not at present in a Condi­tion to exert; that we cannot believe the Soul is endowed with any Faculty which is of no Use to it; that when­ever any one of these Faculties is tran­scendently pleased, the Soul is in a State of Happiness; and, in the last Place, considering that the Happiness of another World is to be the Happiness [Page 184] of the whole Man, who can question but that there is an infinite Variety in those Pleasures we are speaking of; and that this Fulness of Joy will be made up of all those Pleasures which the Nature of the Soul is capable of re­ceiving!

We shall be the more confirmed in this Doctrine, if we observe the Nature of Variety, with regard to the Mind of Man. The Soul does not care to be always in the same Bent. The Facul­ties relieve one another by Turns, and receive an additional Pleasure from the Novelty of those Objects, about which they are conversant.

Revelation likewise very much con­firms this Notion, under the different Views which it gives us of our future Happiness. In the Description of the Throne of God, it represents to us all those Objects which are able to gratify the Senses and Imagination. In very many Places it intimates to us all the Happiness which the Understanding can possibly receive in that State, where all Things shall be revealed to us, and we shall know, even as we are known; the Raptures of Devotion, of Divine Love, the Pleasure of conversing with our Blessed Saviour, with an innume­rable [Page 185] Host of Angels, and with the Spi­rits of Just Men made Perfect, are like­wise revealed to us in several Parts of the Holy Writings. There are also mentioned those Hierarchies, or Go­vernments, in which the Blest shall be ranged one above another, and in which we may be sure a great Part of our Happiness will likewise consist; for it will not be there as in this World, where every one is aiming at Power and Superiority; but, on the contrary, every one will find that Station the most proper for him in which he is placed, and will probably think that he could not have been so happy in any other Station. These and many other Particulars are marked in Divine Revela­tion as the several Ingredients of our Happiness in Heaven, which all imply such a Variety of Joys, and such a Gratification of the Soul in all its diffe­rent Faculties, as I have been here men­tioning.

Some of the Rabbins tell us, that the Cherubims are a Set of Angels who know most, and the Seraphims a Set of Angels who love most. Whether this Distinction be not altogether ima­ginary I shall not here examine; but it is highly probable that among the Spi­rits [Page 186] of good Men there may be some who will be more pleased with the Em­ployment of one Faculty than of ano­ther, and this perhaps according to those innocent and virtuous Habits or Incli­nations which have here taken the deep­est Root.

I might here apply this Consideration to the Spirits of wicked Men, with re­lation to the Pain they shall suffer in every one of their Faculties, and the re­spective Miseries which shall be appro­priated to each Faculty in particular. But leaving this to the Reflection of my Readers, I shall conclude, with observ­ing how we ought to be thankful to our great Creator, and rejoice in the Being which he has bestowed upon us, for ha­ving made the Soul susceptible of Plea­sure by so many different Ways. We see by what a Variety of Passages Joy and Gladness may enter into the Thoughts of Man: How wonderfully a human Spirit is framed, to imbibe its proper Satisfactions, and taste the Good­ness of its Creator. We may therefore look into our selves with Rapture and Amazement, and cannot sufficiently ex­press our Gratitude to him, who has en­compassed us with such a Profusion of [Page 187] Blessiegs, and open'd in us so many Ca­pacities of enjoying them.

There cannot be a stronger Argument that God has designed us for a State of future Happiness, and for that Heaven which he has revealed to us, than that he has thus naturally qualified the Soul for it, and made it a Being capable of receiving so much Bliss. He would ne­ver have made such Faculties in vain, and have endowed us with Powers that were not to be exerted on such Objects as are suited to them. It is very mani­fest, by the inward Frame and Consti­tution of our Minds, that he has adap­ted them to an infinite Variety of Plea­sures and Gratifications, which are not to be met with in this Life. We should therefore at all times take Care that we do not disappoint this his gracious Pur­pose and Intention towards us, and make those Faculties which he formed as so many Qualifications for Happiness and Rewards, to be the Instruments of Pain and Punishment.


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