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THE

BRITISH CLASSICS :

VOLUME THE FORTY-EIGHTH.

CONTAINING THE

FOURTEENTH VOLUME

OP

SWIFT’S WORKS.

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SERMON ).

THE

DIFFICULTY

OP

KNOWING ONE'S SELF.*

SECOND KINGS, viii. PART OF THE 13TH VERSE.

And Hazael said, But what! is thy servant a dog, that

he should do this great thing ?

We have a very singular instance of the deceitful.
ness of the heart, represented to us in the person of -
Hazael: who was sent to the prophet Elisha, to inquire
of the Lord, concerning his master the king of Syria's

* When I first gave this sermon to be published, I had some doubts
whether it were genuine; for, though I found it in the same parcel
with three others in the Dean's own hand, and there was a great
similitude in the writing, yet as some of the letters were differently
cut, and the band in general much fairer than his, I gave it to the
world as dubious. But as some manuscripts of his early poems have
since fallen into my hands, transcribed by Stella, I found, upon com-
paring them, that the writing was exactly the same with that of the ser-
mon! which was therefore copied by her. Swift, in his Journal to that
lady, takes notice that he had been her writing-master, and that there
was such a strong resemblance between their hands, as gave occasion
to some of his friends to rally him, npon seeing some of her letters
addressed to him at the bar of the coffee-house, by asking him how
long he had taken up the custom of writing letters to himself ? So

recovery. For the man of God, having told him that the king might recover from the disorder he was then labouring under, began to set and fasten his countenance upon him of a sudden, and to break out into the most violent expressions of sorrow, and a deep concern for it; whereupon, when Hazael, full of shame and confusion, asked, “Why weepeth my lord ?” he answered, “ Because I know all the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel; their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child." Thus much did the map of God say and know of him, by a light darted into his mind from Heaven. But Hazael, not knowing himself so well as the other did, was startled and amazed at the relation, and would uot believe it possible, that a man of his temper could ever run out into such enormous instances of cruelty and inhumanity. “What !” says he, “is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing ?”

And yet, for all this, it is highly probable, that he was then that man he could not imagine himself to be; for we find him on the very next day after his return, in a very treacherous and disloyal manner, murdering his own master, and usurping his kingdom : which was but a prologue to the sad tragedy, which he afterward act. ed upon the people of Israel.

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that I can now fairly give it to the public as one of his, and not at all unworthy of the author. H.--Lord Orrery says, “ this Sermon was evidently not composed by the Dean." As his Lordship, however, has not given any reason for this assertion, it still claims a place in the collection, and will be acknowledged to be no discredit to our Author. It was originally printed from a copy apparently written by the Dean; and the only doubtful circumstance was, its not having a title, nor any mark when or where preached, as the other Sermons had. N.

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