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by Mahomet became formidable, was the as
And Babylon, that didst us waste, surance that impostor gave his votaries, that
Thyself shalt one day wasted be: whoever was slain in battle should be imme. And happy he, who what thou hast diately conveyed to that luxurious paradise bis Unto us done, shall do to thee :
Like bitterness shall make thee taste, wanton fancy had invented. The ancient Druids
Like woful objects make thee see: taught a doctrine which had the same effect,
Yea, happy who thy little ones though with this difference from Mahomet's,
Shall take and dash against the stones. that the souls of the slain should transmigrate into other bodies, and in them be rewarded according to the degrees of their merit. This is
Thursday, April 2, 1713. told by Lucan with his usual spirit.
Ne te semper inops agitet vexetque cupido; 'You teach that souls, from fleshy claims unbound, Ne pavor, et rerum mediocriter utilium spes. Seek not pale shades and Erebus profound,
Hor. Lib. I. Ep. xviii. 98. But fleeting hence to other regions stray,
Lest avarice, still poor, disturb thine ease; Once more to mix with animated clay;
Or fear should shake, or cares thy mind abuse, Hence death's a gap (if men may trust the lore)
Or ardent hope for things of little use. Creech. 'Twixt lives behind and ages yet before. A blest mistake! which fate's dread power disarms; And spurs its vot'ries on to war's alarms ;
It was prettily observed by somebody conLavish of life, they rush with fierce delight
cerning the great vices, that there are three Amidst the legions, and provoke the fight;
which give pleasure, as covetousness, gluttony, O’ermatching death, and freely cast away That loan of life the gods are bound to pay.'
and lust; one which tastes of nothing but pain,
as envy; the rest have a mixture of pleasure Our gallant countryman, sir Philip Sidney, and pain, as anger and pride. But when a man was a noble example of courage and devotion. considers the state of his own mind, about : I am particularly pleased to find that he hath which every member of the Christian world is translated the whole book of Psalms into Eng- supposed at this time to be employed, he will lish verse.
A friend of mine informs me, that find that the best defence against vice is prehe hath the manuscript by him, which is said serving the worthiest part of his own spirit pure in the title to have been done, “By the most from any great offence against it. There is a noble and virtuous gent. sir Philip Sidney, magnanimity which makes us look upon our knight' They having been never printed, I selves with disdain, after we have been betrayed shall present the public with one of them, by sudden desire, opportunity of gain, the abwhich my correspondent assures me he hath sence of a person who excels us, the fault of a faithfully transcribed, and wherein I have taken servant, or the ill fortune of an adversary, into the liberty only to alter one word.
the gratification of lust, covetousness, envy,
rage, or pride; when the more sublime part of PSALM CXXXVII.*
our souls is kept alive, and we have not repeated
infirmities till they are become vicious habits. Nigh seated where the river flows,
The vice of covetousness is what enters deepThat watereth Babel's thankful plain, est into the soul of any other; and you may have Which then our tears, in pearled rows,
seen men, otherwise the most agreeable creaDid help to water with the rain: The thought of Sion bred such woes,
tures in the world, so seized with the desire of That though our harps we did retain. being richer, that they shall startle at indiffer.
Yet useless and intouched there,
ent things, and live in a continual guard and
watch over themselves from a remote fear of II.
expense. No pious man can be so circumspect Now while our harps were hanged so,
in the care of his conscience, as the covetous The men whose captives then we lay,
man is in that of his pocket.
If a man would preserve his own spirit, and
his natural approbation of higher and more Come sing us now a Sion's lay:
worthy pursuits, he could never fall into this Oh no! we have nor voice nor hand For such a song in such a land.
littleness, but his mind would be still open to
honour and virtue, in spite of infirmities and reIII.
lapses. But what extremely discourages me in Though far I be, sweet Sion hill, In foreign soil exil'd from thee,
my precautions as a Guardian, is, that there is Yet let my hand forget his skill
a universal defection from the admiration of If ever thou forgotten be;
virtue. Riches and outward splendour have And let my tongue fast glewed still Unto my roof, lie mute in me;
taken up the place of it; and no man thinks he If thy neglect within me spring,
is mean, if he is not poor. But alas ! this desOr aught I do but Salem siug.
picable spirit debases our very being, and makes
new turn from their natural IV.
bent. But thou, O Lord, shalt not forget To quit the pains of Edom's race,
It was a cause of great sorrow and melan. Who causelessly, yet hotly set
choly to me some nights ago at a play, to see a Thy holy city to deface,
crowd in the habits of the gentry of England, Did thus the bloody victors whet, What time they enter'd first the place,
stupid to the noblest sentiments we have. The "Down, down with it at any hand,
circumstance happened in the scene of distress Make all a wasie, let nothing stand.'
betwixt Percy and Anna Bullen. One of the
centinels, who stood on the stage to prevent the * Dr. Donne's Poems, dr. Ps. 137, edit. 1719.
disorders which the most unmannerly race of
young men that ever were seen in any age fre. , from me, 0 merciful God, my life and my crown, quently raise in public assemblies, upon Percy's make me this day a sacrifice to thy will, let my beseeching to be heard, burst into tears; upon death end the calamities of France, and let my which the greatest part of the audience fell into blood be the last that is spilt in this quarrel.' a loud and ignorant laughter; which others, The king uttered this generous prayer in a who were touched with the liberal compassion voice, and with a countenance, that inspired all in the poor fellow, could hardly suppress by their who heard and beheld him with like magnaniclapping. But the man, without the least con- mity : then turning to the squadron, at the fusion or shame in his countenance for what had head of which he designed to charge, My felhappened, wiped away the tears and was still low-soldiers,' said he, as you run my fortune, intent upon the play. The distress still rising, so do I yours; your safety consists in keeping the soldier was so much moved, that he was well your ranks; but if the heat of the action obliged to turn his face from the audience, to should force you to disorder, think of nothing their no small merriment. Percy had the gal. but rallying again ; if you lose the sight of lantry to take notice of his honest heart; and, your colours and standards, look round for the as I am told, gave him a crown to help him in white plume in my beaver; you shall see it his affliction. It is cercain this poor fellow, in wherever you are, and it shall lead you to glory his humble condition, had such a lively com- and to victory.' passion as a soul unwedded to the world; were The magnanimity of this illustrious prince it otherwise, gay lights and dresses, with appear- was supported by a firm reliance on Providence, ances of people of fashion and wealth, to which which inspired him with a contempt of life, and his fortune could not be familiar, would have an assurance of conquest. His generous scorn taken up all his attention and admiration, of royalty, but as it consisted with the service
It is every thing that is praiseworthy, as well of God, and good of his people, is an instance, as pure religion (according to a book too sacred that the mind of man, when it is well disposed, to me to quote,) 'to visit the fatherless and wi- is always above its condition, even though it it dows in their affliction, and to keep himself un be that of a monarch. spotted from the world.' Every step that a man makes beyond moderate and reasonable provi. sion, is taking so much from the worthiness of his own spirit ; and he that is entirely set upon
Friday, April 3, 1713. making a fortune, is all that while undoing the He must grow deaf to the wretched,
-Minuti estrange himself from the agreeable, learn Semper et infirmi est animi exiguique voluptas hardness of heart, disrelish every thing that
Ultiois noble, and terminate all in his despicable self.
Revenge, which still we find Indulgence in any one immoderate desire or The weakest frailty of a feeble mind. appetite engrosses the whole creature, and his life is sacrificed to that one desire or appetite; All gallantry and fashion, one would imabut how much otherwise is it with those that gine, should rise out of the religion and laws preserve alive in them something that adorns of that nation wherein they prevail; but, alas ! their condition, and shows the man, whether a in this kingdom, gay characters, and those prince or a beggar, above his fortune!
which lead in the pleasure and inclinations of I have just now recorded a foot-soldier, for the fashionable world, are such as are readiest the politest man in a British audience, from to practise crimes the most abhorrent to nature, the force of nature, untainted with the singu. and contradictory to our faith. A Christian larity of an ill-applied education. A good spirit and a gentleman are made inconsistent appelthat is not abused, can add new glories to the lations of the same person; you are not to exhighest state in the world, as well as give beau- pect eternal life, if you do not forgive injuries • ties to the meanest. I shall exemplify this by and your mortal life is uncomfortable if you are inserting a prayer of Harry the Fourth of not ready to commit a murder in resentment France just before a battle, in which he obtained for an affront: for good sense as well as religion an entire victory.
is so utterly banished the world, that men glory O Lord of hosts, who canst see through the in their very passions, and pursue trifles with thickest veil and closest disguise, who viewest the utmost vengeance; so little do they know the bottom of my heart, and the deepest designs that to forgive is the most arduous pitch human of my enemies, who hast in thy hands, as well nature can arrive at. A coward has often as before thine eyes, all the events which con. fought, a coward has often conquered, but 'a cern human life; if thou knowest that my reign coward never forgave.' The power of doing will promote thy glory and the safety of thy that flows from a strength of soul conscious of people; if thou knowest that I have no other its own force; whence it draws a certain safety ambition in my soul, but to advance the honour which its enemy is not of consideration enough of thy holy name, and the good of this state ; fa- to interrupt; for it is peculiar in the make of a vour, O great God, the justice of my arms, and brave man to have his friends seem much above reduce all the rebels to acknowledge him whom him, his enemies much below him. thy sacred decrees, and the order of a lawful Yet though the neglect of our enemies may, succession, have made their sovereign: but, if so intense a forgiveness as the love of them is thy good providence has ordered it otherwise, not to be in the least accounted for by the force and thou scest that I should prove one of those of constitution, but is a more spiritual and kings whom thou givest in thine anger, take refined moral, introduced by him who died fus
Juv. Sat. xiii. 189.
those that persecuted him; yet very justly de. | as to angels; and as nothing is above these, so 5 livered to us, when we consider ourselves offend- is nothing below those. It keeps our under
ers, and to be forgiven on the reasonable terms standing tight about us, so that all things apof forgiving ; for who can ask what he will not pear to us great or little, as they are in nature bestow, especially when that gift is attended and the sight of heaven, not as they are gilded with a redemption from the cruelest slavery to or sullied by accident or fortune. the most acceptable freedom? For when the It were to be wished that all men of sense mind is in contemplation, of revenge, all its would think it worth their while to reflect upon thoughts must surely be tortured with the alter the dignity of Christian virtues; it would possinate pangs of rancour, envy, hatred, and in- bly enlarge their souls into such a contempt of dignation ; and they who profess a sweet in the what fashion and prejudice have made honour. enjoyment of it, certainly never felt the con- able, that their duty, inclination, and honour, summate bliss of reconciliation. At such an would tend the same way, and make all their instant the false ideas we received unravel, and lives a uniform act of religion and virtue. the shyness, the distrust, the secret scorns, and As to the great catastrophe of this day, on all the base satisfactions men had in each other's which the Mediator of the world suffered the faults and misfortunes, are dispelled, and their greatest indignities and death itself for the salsouls appear in their native whiteness, without vation of mankind, it would be worth gentle. the least streak of that malice or distaste which men's consideration, whether from his example
sullied them: and perhaps those very actions, it would not be proper to kill all inclinations to n which, when we looked at them in the oblique revenge; and examine whether it would not be
glance with which hatred doth always see expedient to receive new notions of what is great things, were horrid and odious; when observed and honourable. with honest and open eyes, are beauteous and This is necessary against the day wherein he ornamental.
who died ignominiously for us shall descend But if men are averse to us in the most violent from heaven to be our judge, in majesty and degree, and we can never bring them to an glory. How will the man who shall die by the amicable temper, then indeed we are to exert sword of pride and wrath, and in contention an obstinate opposition to them; and never let with his brother, appear before him, at whose the malice of our enemies have so effectual an presence nature shall be in an agony, and the advantage over us, as to escape our good-will. great and glorious bodies of light be obscured ; For the neglected and despised tenets of re- when the sun shall be darkened, the moon ligion are so generous, and in so transcendent turned into blood, and all the powers of heaven and heroic a manner disposed for public good, shaken; when the heavens themselves shall that it is not in a man's power to avoid their pass away with a great noise, and the elements influence ; for the Christian is as much inclined dissolve with fervent heat; when the earth also,
your service when your enemy, as the moral and all the works that are therein, shall be burnt man when
friend. But the followers of a crucified Saviour must What may justly damp in our minds the diaroot out of their hearts all sense that there is bolical madness, which prompts us to decide our any thing great and noble in pride or haughti- petty animosities by the hazard of eternity, is, ness of spirit; yet it will be very difficult to fix that in that one act, the criminal does not only that idea in our souls, except we can think as highly offend, but forces himself into the preworthily of ourselves, when we practise the sence of his judge; that is certainly his case contrary virtues. We must learn, and be con- who dies in a duel. I cannot but repeat it, he vinced, that there is something sublime and that dies in a duel knowingly offends God, and heroic in true meekness and humility, for they in that very action rushes into his offended prearise from a great, not a groveling idea of sence. Is it possible for the heart of man to things; for as certainly as pride proceeds from conceive a more terrible image than that of a a mean and narrow view of the little advantages departed spirit in this condition ? Could we but about a man's self, so meekness is founded on suppose it has just left its body, and struck with the extended contemplation of the place we bear the terrible reflection, that to avoid the laughter in the universe, and a just observation how little, of fools, and being the by-word of idiots, it has how empty, how wavering, are our deepest re now precipitated itself into the din of demons, solves and counsels. And as, to a well taught and the howlings of eternal despair, how willmind, when you have said a haughty and proud ingly now would it suffer the imputation of fear man, you have spoke a narrow conception, little and cowardice, to have one moment left not to spirit, and despicable carriage ; so when you tremble in vain ! have said a man is meek and humble, you have The scriptures are full of pathetical and warm acquainted us that such a person has arrived at pictures of the condition of a happy or miserable the hardest task in the world, in a universal ob. futurity; and I am confident, that the frequent servation round him, to be quick to see his own reading of them would make the way to a faults, and other men's virtues, and at the happy eternity so agreeable and pleasant, that height of pardoning every man sooner than him he who tries it will find the difficulties, which self; you have also given us to understand, that he before suffered in shunning the allurements to treat him kindly, sincerely, and respectfully of vice, absorbed in the pleasure he will take in is but a mere justice to him that is ready to do the pursuit of virtue: and how happy must that us the same offices. This temper of soul keeps mortal be, who thinks hinself in the favour of us always awake to a just sense of things, an Almighty, and can think of death as a thing teaches us that we are as well akin to worms I which it is an infirmity not to desire ?
way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" -Fungar inani
I am very far from pretending to treat these Munere
Virg. Æn. v. 885.
matters as they deserve; but I hope those gen. An empty office I'll discharge.
tlemen who are qualified for it, and called to it,
will forgive me, and consider that I speak as a Doctor Tillotson, in his discourse concern. mere secular man, iinpartially considering the ing the danger of all known sin, both from the effect which the sacred writings will have upon light of nature and revelation, after having the soul of an intelligent reader; and it is some given us the description of the last day out of argument, that a thing is the immediate work holy writ, has this remarkable passage: of God, when it so infinitely transcends all the
• I appeal to any man, whether this be not a labours of man. When I look upon Raphael's representation of things very proper and suitable picture of our Saviour appearing to his disciples to that great day, wherein he who made the after his resurrection, I cannot but think the world shall come to judge it? And whether the just disposition of that piece has in it the force wit of man ever devised any thing so awful, and of many volumes on the subject. The evangeso agreeable to the majesty of God, and the so- lists are easily distinguished from the rest by a lemn judgment of the whole world? The de passionate zeal and love which the painter has scription which Virgil makes of the Elysian thrown in their faces; the huddled group of Fields, and the Infernal Regions, how infinitely those who stand most distant are admirable re. do they fall short of the inajesty of the holy presentations of men abashed with their late scripture, and the description there made of hea- unbelief and hardness of heart. And such enven and hell, and of the great and terrible day deavours as this of Raphael, and of all men not of the Lord! so that in comparison they are called to the altar, are collateral helps not to be childish and trifling; and yet perhaps he had despised by the ministers of the gospel. the most regular and most governed imagina It is with this view that I presume upon subtion of any man that ever lived, and observed jects of this kind ; and men may take up this w the greatest decorum in his characters and de- paper, and be catched by an admonition under scriptions. But who can declare the great things the disguise of a diversion. of God, but he to whom God shall reveal them ?' All the arts and sciences ought to be employ.
This observation was worthy a most polite ed in one confederacy against the prevailing man, and ought to be of authority with all who torrent of vice and impiety; and it will be no are such, so far as to examine whether he spoke small step in the progress of religion, if it is as that as a man of a just taste and judgment, or evident as it ought to be, that he wants the best ądvanced it merely for the service of his doctrine taste and best sense a man can have, who is cold as a clergyman.
to the beauty of holiness.' I am very confident whoever reads the gos As for my part, when I have happened to atpels, with a heart as much prepared in favour tend the corpse of a friend to his interment, and of them as when he sits down to Virgil or Ho. have seen a graceful man at the entrance of a mer, will find no passage there which is not told church-yard, who became the dignity of his with more natural force than any episode in function, and assumed an authority which is either of those wits, which were the chief of natural to truth, pronounce · I am the resurrec. mere mankind.
tion and the life; he that believeth in me, The last thing I read was the twenty-fourth though he were dead yet shall be live ; and chapter of St. Luke, which gives an account of whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never the manner in which our blessed Saviour, after die:' I say, upon such an occasion, the retrohis resurrection, joined with two disciples on spect upon past actions between the deceased the way to Emmaus as an ordinary traveller, whom I followed and myself, together with the and took the privilege as such to inquire of them, many little circumstances that strike upon the what occasioned a sadness he observed in their soul, and alternately give grief and consolation, countenances; or whether it was from any pub. have vanished like a dream; and I have been lic cause? Their wonder that any man so near relieved as by a voice from heaven, when the Jerusalem should be a stranger to what had solemnity has proceeded, and after a long pause passed there; their acknowledgment to one they I again heard the servant of God utter, I know met accidentally, that they had believed in this that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall prophet; and that now, the third day after his stand at the latter day upon the earth; and death, they were in doubt as to their pleasing though worms destroy this body, yet in my hope, which occasioned the heaviness he took flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for notice of; are all represented in a style which myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not an. men of letters call the great and noble simpli. other.' How have I been raised above this city.' The attention of the disciples when he world and all its regards, and how well prepared expounded the scriptures concerning himself, to receive the next sentence which the holy his offering to take his leave of them, their fond. man has spoken! We brought nothing into ness of his stay, and the manifestation of the this world, and it is certain we can carry nogreat guest whom they had entertained while thing out; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath he was yet at meat with them, are all incidents taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord ! which wonderfully please the imagination of a There are, I know, men of heavy temper Christian reader; and give to him something of without genius, who can read these expressions that touch of mind which the brethren felt, when of scripture with as much indifference as they hey said one to another, Did not our hearts I do the rest of these loose papers. However, I
will not despair but to bring men of wit into a sures as that condition afforded, free and unin. love and admiration of sacred writings; and, as terrupted. Their manner of life gave them viold as I am, I promise myself to see the day gour of body and serenity of mind. The abundwhen it shall be as much in fashion among men ance they were possessed of secured them from of politeness to admire a rapture of Saint Paul, avarice, ambition, or envy; they could scarce as any fine expression in Virgil or Horace ; and have any anxieties or contentions, where every to see a well-dressed young man produce an one had more than he could tell what to do with. evangelist out of his pocket, and be no more out Love indeed might occasion some rivalships of countenance than if it were a classic printed amongst them, because many lovers fix upon by Elzevir.
one object, for the loss of which they will be sa. It is a gratitude that ought to be paid to Pro- tisfied with no compensation. Otherwise it was vidence by men of distinguished faculties, to a state of case, innocence, and contentment; praise and adore the author of their being with where plenty begot pleasure, and pleasure begot à spirit suitable to those faculties, and rouse singing, and singing begot poetry, and poetry slower men by their words, actions, and writings, begot pleasure again. to a participation of their transports and thanks. Thus happy was the first race of men, but givings.
rude withal, and uncultivated. For before they could make any considerable progress in arts
and sciences, the tranquillity of the rural life Monday, April 6, 1713.
was destroyed by turbulent and ambitious spi.
rits; who, having built cities, raised armies, and Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes,
studied policies of state, made vassals of the Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius
defenceless shepherds, and rendered that which Virg. Georg. ii. 485.
was before easy and unrestrained, a mean, la. My next desire is, void of care and strife,
borious, miserable conditi,an. Hence, if we conTo lead a soft, secure, inglorious life, A country cottage near a crystal flood,
sider the pastoral period before learning, we A winding valley, and a lofty wood. Dryden. shall find it unpolished, if after, we shall find it
unpleasant. Pastoral poetry not only amuses the fancy The use that I would make of this short rethe most delightfully, but is likewise more in view of the country life shall be this: An au. debted to it than any other sort whatsoever. It thor that would amuse himself by writing pastransports us into a kind of fairy-land, where torals, should form in his fancy a rural scene of our ears are soothed with the melody of birds, perfect ease and tranquillity, where innocence, bleating flocks, and purling streams; our eyes simplicity, and joy abound. It is not enough inchanted with flowery meadows and springing that he writes about the country; he must give greens; we are laid under cool shades, and en. us what is agreeable in that scene, and hide tertained with all the sweets and freshness of what is wretched. It is, indeed, commonly afnature. It is a dream, it is a vision, which we firmed, that truth well painted will certainly wish may
be real, and we believe that it is true. please the imagination ; but it is sometimes conMrs. Cornelia Lizard's head was so far turned venient not to discover the whole truth, but that with these imaginations, when we were last in part which only is delightful. We must somethe country, that she lost her rest by listening times show only half an image to the fancy; to nightingales; she kept a pair of turtles coo- which if we display in a lively manner, the ing in her chamber, and had a tame lamb run- mind is so dexterously, deluded, that it doth not ning after her up and down the house. I used readily perceive that the other half is concealed.
gentle methods to bring her to herself; as Thus in writing pastorals, let the tranquillity of having had a design heretofore of turning shep- that life appear full and plain, but hide the herd myself, when I read Virgil or Theocritus meanness of it; represent its simplicity as clear at Oxford. But as my age and experience have as you please, but cover its misery. I would armed me against any temptation to the pastoral not hereby be so understood, as if I thought nolife, I can now with the greater safety consider thing that is irksome or unpleasant should have it; and shall lay down such rules, as those of a place in these writings ; I only mean that this my readers, who have the aforesaid design, state of life in general should be supposed agree. ought to observe, if they would follow the steps able. But as there is no condition exempt from of the shepherds and shepherdesses of ancient anxiety, I will allow shepherds to be afflicted times.
with such misfortunes as the loss of a favourite In order to form a right judgment of pastoral lamb, or a faithless mistress. He may,
you poetry, it will be necessary to cast back our please, pick a thorn out of his foot; or vent his eyes on the first ages of the world. For since grief for losing the prize in dancing; but these that way of life is not now in being, we must being small torments, they recommend that inquire into the manner of it when it actually state which only produces such trifling evils. did exist. Before mankind was formed into Again, I would not seem so strict in my notions large societies, or cities were built, and com. of innocence and simplicity, as to deny the use merce established, the wealth of the world con- of a little railing, or the liberty of stealing a kid sisted chiefly in flocks and herds. The tending or a sheep-hook. For these are likewise such of these, we find to have been the employment petty enormities, that we must think the coun. of the first princes, whose subjects were sheep try happy where these are the greatest transand oxen, and their dominions the adjoining gressions. vales. As they lived in great affluence and ease, When a reader is placed in such a scene as ] we may presume that they enjoyed such plea- I have described, and introduced into such com