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priesthood, which is now become the scorn of fools. That a numerous order of men should be consecrated to the study of the most sublime and beneficial truths, with a design to propagate them by their discourses and writings, to inform their fellow-creatures of the being and attributes of the Deity, to possess their minds with the sense of a future state, and not only to explain the nature of every virtue and mo. ral duty, but likewise to persuade mankind to the practice of them by the most powerful and engaging motives, is a thing so excellent and necessary to the well-being of the world, that nobody but a modern free-thinker could have the forehead or folly to turn it into ridicule. The light in which these points should be exposed to the view of one who is prejudiced against the names, religion, church, priest, and the like, is to consider the clergy as so many philosophers, the churches as schools, and their sermons as lectures, for the information and improvement of the audience. How would the heart of Socrates or Tully have rejoiced, had they lived in a nation where the law had made provision for philosophers to read lectures of morality and theology every seventh day, in several thousands of schools erected at the public charge throughout the whole country; at which lectures all ranks and sexes, without distinction, were obliged to be present for their general improvement And what wicked wretches would they think those men who would endeavour to defeat the purpose of so divine an institution ? It is indeed usual with that low tribe of writers, to pretend their design is only to reform the church, and expose the vices, and not the order of the clergy. The author of a pamphlet printed the other day, (which, without my mentioning the title, will, on this occasion, occur to the thoughts of those who have read it) hopes to insinuate by that artifice what he is afraid Qr ashamed openly to maintain. But there are two points which clearly show what it is he aims at. The first is, that he constantly uses the word priests in such a manner, as that his reader cannot but observe he means to throw an odium on the clergy of the church of England, from their being called by a name which they enjoy in common with heathens and in. postors. The other is, his raking together and cxaggerating, with great spleen and industry, all those actions of churchmen, which, either by their own illness, or the bad light in which he places them, tend to give men an ill impres. sion of the dispensers of the gospel; all which he pathetically addresses to the consideration of his wise and honest countrymen of the laity. The sophistry and ill-breeding of these pro. ceedings are so obvious to men who have any pretence to that character, that I need say no more either of them or their author. The inhabitants of the earth may properly be ranged under the two general heads of gentlemen and mechanics. This distinction arises from the different occupations wherein they exert themselves. The former of these species is universally acknowledged to be more honour. able than the other, who are looked upon as a base and interior order of men. But if the
world is in the right in this natural judgment, it is not generally so in the distribution of particular persons under their respective denominations. It is a clear settled point, that the gentleman should be preferred to the mechanic. But who is the gentleman, and who the mechanic, wants to be explained. The philosophers distinguish two parts in human nature; the rational, and the animal. Now, if we attend to the reason of the thing, we shall find it difficult to assign a more just and adequate idea of these distinct species, than by defining the gentleman to be him whose occupation lies in the exertion of his rational faculties; and the mechanic, him who is employed in the use of his animal parts, or the organic parts of his body. The concurring assent of the world, in preferring gentlemen to mechanics, seems founded in that preference which the rational part of our nature is entitled to above the animal ; when we consider it in itself, as it is the seat of wisdom and understanding, as it is pure and immortal, and as it is that which, of all the known works of the creation, bears the brightest impress of the Deity. It claims the same dignity and pre-eminence, if we consider it with respect to its object. Me. chanical motives or operations are confined to a narrow circle of low and little things: whereas, reason inquires concerning the nature of intellectual beings, the great Author of our existence, its end, and the proper methods of attaining it. Or, in case that noble faculty submit itself to nearer objects, it is not, like the organic powers, confined to a slow and painful manner of action; but shifts the scenes, and applies itself to the most distant objects with incredible ease and despatch. Neither are the operations of the mind, like those of the hands, limited to one individual object, but at once extended to a whole species. And as we have shown the intellectual powers to be nobler than those of motion, both in their own nature, and in regard to their object, the same will still hold if we consider their of: fice. It is the province of the former to preside and direct; of the latter, to execute and obey. Those who apply their hands to the materials, appear the immediate builders of an edifice; but the beauty and proportion of it is owing to the architect, who designed the plan in his closet. And in like manner, whatever there is either in art or nature of use or regularity, will be found to proceed from the superior principle of reason and understanding. These reflections, how obvious socver, do nevertheless, seem' not sufficiently attended to by those who, being at great pains to improve the figure and motions of the body, neglect the culture of the mind. From the premises it follows, that a man may descend from an ancient family, wear fine clothes, and be master of what is commonly called good-breeding, and yet not merit the name of rentleman. All those whose principal accomplishments consist in the exertion of the mechanic powers, whether the organ made use of be the eye, the muscles of the face, the fingers, feet, or any other part, are in the eye of reason to be esteemed mechanics.
I do therefore, by these presents, declare, that all men and women, by what title soever dis. tinguished, whose occupation it is either to ogle with the eye, flirt with the fan, dress, cringe, adjust the muscles of the face, or other parts of the body, are degraded from the rank of gentry; which is from this time forward appropriated to those who employ the talents of the mind in the pursuit of knowledge and practice of virtue, and are content to take their places as they are distinguished by moral and intellectual accomplishments.
The rest of the human species come under the appellation of mechanics, with this difference, that the professed mechanics, who, not pretending to be gentlemen, contain themselves within their proper sphere, are necessary to the well-being of mankind, and consequently should be more respected in a well-regulated commonwealth, than those mechanics who make a merit of being useless.
Having hitherto considered the human species as distinguished into gentlemen and mechanics, I come now to treat of the machines; a sort of beings that have the outside or appearance of men, without being really such. The freethinkers have often declared to the world, that they are not actuated by any incorporeal being or spirit; but that all the operations they exert, proceed from the collision of certain corpuscles, endued with proper figures and motions. It is now a considerable time that I have been their proselyte in this point. I am even so far convinced that they are in the right, that I shall attempt proving it to others.
The mind being itself invisible, there is no other way to discern its existence, than by the effects which it produceth. Where design, order, and symmetry, are visible in the effects, we conclude the cause to be an intelligent being; but where nothing of these can be found, we ascribe the effect to hazard, necessity, or the like. Now I appeal to any one who is conversant in the modern productions of our freethinkers, if they do not look rather like effects of chance, or at best of mechanism, than of a thinking principle, and consequently, whether the authors of those rhapsodies are not mere machines.
The same point is likewise evident from their own assertion; it being plain that no one could mistake thought for motion, who knew what thought was. For these reasons, I do hereby give it in charge to all Christians, that here. after they speak of free-thinkers in the neuter gender, using the term it for him. They are to be considered as automata, made up of bones and muscles, nerves, arteries, and animal spirits; not so innocent, indeed, but as destitute of thought and reason, as those little machines which the excellent author from whom I take the motto of this paper, has so elegantly described.
No. 131.] Tuesday, August 11, 1713.
The way of the slothful man is a hedge of thorns. Z Provcrus, xv. 19.
TheRE are two sorts of persons within the consideration of my frontispiece; the first are the mighty body of lingerers, persons who do not indeed employ their time criminally, but are such pretty innocents, who, as the poet says, waste away
In gentle inactivity the day.
The others being something more vivacious, are such as do not only omit to spend their time well, but are in the constant pursuit of criminal satisfactions. Whatever the divine may think, the case of the first seehms to be the most de.
‘plorable, as the habit of sloth is more invincible
than that of vice. The first is preferred, even when the man is fully possessed of himself, and submitted to with constant deliberation and cool thought. The other we are driven into generally through the heat of wine, or youth, which Mr. Hobbes calls a natural drunkenness; and therefore consequently are more excusable for any errors committed during the deprivation or suspension of our reason, than in the possession of it. The irregular starts of vicious appetites are in time destroyed by the gratification of them; but a well-ordered life of sloth receives daily strength from its continuance. “I went (says Solomon) by the field of the slothful, and the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and lo! it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.' To raise the image of this person, the same author adds, “The slothful man hideth his hand in his bo. som, and it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.' If there were no future account expected of spending our time, the immediate in. convenience that attends a life of idleness should of itself be persuasion enough to the men of sense to avoid it. I say to the men of sense, because there are of these that give in to it, and for these chiefly is this paper designed. Argu. ments drawn from future rewards and punishments, are things too remote for the consideration of stubborn sanguine youth. They are af. sected by such only as propose immediate pleasure or pain; as the strongest persuasive to the children of Israel was a land flowing with milk and honey. I believe I may say there is more toil, fatigue, and uneasiness in sloth, than can be found in any employment a man will put himself upon. When a thoughtful man is once fixed this way, spleen is the necessary conse. quence. This directs him instantly to the con. templation of his health or circumstances, which must ever be found extremely bad upon these melancholy inquiries. If he has any common business upon his hands, numberless objections arise, that make the despatch of it impossible; and he cries out with Solomon, “There is a lion in the way, a lion in the streets;’ that is, there is some diffi. culty or other, which to his imagination is as invincible as a lion really would be. The man, on the contrary, that applies himself to books, or business, contracts a cheerful confidence in all his undertakings, from the daily improve. ments of his knowledge or fortune, and instead of giving himself up to 'Thick-ey’d musing cursed melancholy, Shakspeare,
has that constant life in his visage and conversation, which the idle splenetic man borrows sometimes from the sunshine, exercise, or an agreeable friend. A recluse idle sobriety must be attended with more bitter remorse, than the most active debauchery can at any intervals be molested with. The rake, if he is a cautious manager, will allow himself very little time to examine his own conduct, and will bestow as few reflections upon himself, as the lingerer does upon any thing else, unless he has the misfortune to repent." I repeat, the misfortune to repent, because I have put the great day of account out of the present case, and am now inquiring, not whose life is most irreligious, but most inconvenient. A gentleman that has for. merly been a very eminent lingerer, and some. thing splenetic, informs me, that in one winter he drank six hampers of Spa water, several gallons of chalybeate tincture, two hogsheads of bitters, at the rate of sixty pounds a hogshead, laid one hundred and fifty infallible schemes, in every one of which he was disappointed, received a thousand affronts during the northeasterly winds, and in short, run through more misery and cypense than the most meritorious bravo could boast of. Another tells me, that he fell into this way at the university, where the youth are too apt to be lulled into a state of such tranquillity as prejudices them against the bustle of that worldly business, for which this part of their education should prepare them. As he could with the utmost secrecy be idle in his own chamber, he says he was for some years irrecoverably sunk, and immersed in the luxury of an easy-chair, though at the same time, in the general opinion, he passed for a hard student. During this lethargy, he had some intervals of application to books, which rather aggra. vated than suspended the painful thoughts of a misspent life. Thus his supposed relief became his punishment, and, like the damned in Mil. ton, upon their conveyance at certain revolutions from fire to ice, – he folt by turns the bitter changro Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce.” When he had a mind to go out, he was so scrupulous as to form some excuse or other, which the idle are ever provided with, and could not satisfy himself without this ridiculous appearance of justice. Sometimes by his own contrivance and insinuation, the woman that looked after his chamber would convince him of the necessity of washing his room, or any other matter of the like joyous import, to which he always submitted, after having decently opposed it, and made his exit with much seeming reluctance and inward delight. Thus did he pass the noon of his life in the solitude of a monk, and the guilt of a libertine. He is since awakened, by application, out of slumber; has no more spleen than a Dutchman, who, as sir W. Temple observes, is not delicate or idle enough to suffer from this enemy, but ‘is always well when he is not ill, always pleased when he is not angry." There is a gentleman I have seen at a coffee. house, near the place of my abode, who having a pretty good estate, and a disinclination to books or business, to secure himsel, from some
of the above-mentioned misfortunes, employs himself with much alacrity in the following method. Being vehemently disposed to loquacity, he has a person constantly with him, to whom he gives an annual pension for no other merit but being very attentive, and never interrupting him by question and answer, whatever he may utter that may seemingly require it. To secure to himself discourse, his fundamental maxim seems to be, by no means to consider what he is going to say. He delivers therefore every thought as it first intrudes itself upon him, and then, with all the freedom you could wish, will examine it, and rally the impertinence, or evince the truth of it. In short, he took the same pleasure in confuting himself, as he could have done in disconfiting an opponent: and his discourse was as that of two persons attacking each other With exceeding warmth, incoherence, and good-nature. There is another, whom I have seen in the park, employing himself with the same industry, though not with the same innocence. He is very dexterous in taking flies, and fixing one at each end of a horse hair, which his perriwig supplies him with. He hangs them over a little stick, which suspension inclines them immediately to war upon each other, there being no possibility of retreat. From the frequent attention of his eyes to these combats, he perceives the several turns and advantages of the battle, which are altogether invisible to a common spectator. I the other day found him in the enjoyment of a couple of gigantic blue-bottles, which were hung out and embattled in the aforesaid war like appointments. That I might enter into the secret shocks of this conflict, he lent me a magnifying glass, which presented me with an engagement between two of the most rueful monsters I have cver read of even in romance. If we cannot bring ourselves to appoint and perform such tasks as would be of considerable advantage to us, let us resolve upon some other, however trifling, to be performed at appointed times. By this we may gain a victory over a wandering unsettled mind, and by this regulation of the impulse of our wills, may in time make them obedient to the dictates of our reason. When I am disposed to treat of the irreligion of an idle life, it shall be under this head, preunt et imputantur: which is an inscription upon a sun-dial in one of the inns of court, and is with great propriety placed to public view in such a place, where the inhabitants being in an everlasting hurry of business or pleasure, the busy may receive an innocent admonition to keep their appointments, and the idle a dreadful one not to keep theirs.
• August 10, 1:13.
‘MR. Ironside,--I am obliged to you for inserting my letter concerning the demolition of Dunkirk in your paper of the seventh instant: but you will find, upon perusal, that you have printed the word three where you should have printed the word two; which I desire you would a mead by inserting the whole paragraph, and that which immediately follows it, in your very next paper. The paragraph runs thus:
“DEAR SIR,-You formerly observed to me, that nothing made a more ridiculous figure in a man's life, than the disparity we often find in him, sick and well. Thus one of an unfortunate constitution is perpetually exhibiting a miserable example of the weakness of his mind, or of his body, in their turns. I have had frequent opportunities of late to consider myself in these different views, and, hope I have received some advantage by it. If what Mr. Waller says be true, that,
‘The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new light thro’ chinks that time has made:* “Then surely sickness, contributing no less than old age to the shaking down this scaffold. ing of the body, may discover the inclosed structure more plai,'y. Sickness is a sort of early old age ; it teaches us a diffidence in our earthly state, and inspires us with the thoughts of a future, better than a thousand volumes of philosophers and divines. It gives so warning a concussion to those props of our vanity, our strength and youth, that we think of sortifying ourselves within, when there is so little dependence on our outworks. Youth at the very best, is but a betrayer of human life in a gentler and smoother manner than age. It is like a stream that nourishes a plant upon its bank, and causes it to flourish and blossom to the sight, but at the same time is undermining it at the root in secret. My youth has dealt more fairly and openly with me. It has afforded several pros. pects of my danger, and given me an advantage not very common to young men, that the attrac. tions of the world have not dazzled me very much ; and I began where most people end, with a full conviction of the emptiness of all sorts of ambition, and the unsatisfactory nature of all human pleasures,
“When a smart fit of sickness tells me this scurvy tenement of my body will fall in a little time, I am even as unconcerned as was that honest is illernian, who (being in bed in the great storm some years ago, and told the house would tumble over his head) made answer, “What care I for the house ! I am only a lodger.' I fancy it is the best time to die, when one is in the best humour: and so excessively weak as I now am, I may say with conscience, that I am not at all uneasy at the thought that many men, whom I never had any esteem for, are likely to enjoy this world after me. When I reflect what an inconsiderable little atom every single man is, with respect to the whole creation, methinks it is a shame to be concerned at the removal of such a trivial animal as I am. The morning after my exit, the sun will arise as bright as ever, the flowers smell as sweet, the plants spring as green, the world will proceed in its old course, people will laugh as heartily, and marry as fast, as they were used to do. ‘The memory of man,' as it is elegantly expressed in the Wisdom of Solomon, “passeth away as the renetobrance of a guest that tarrieth but one day.' There are reasons enough, in the fourth chapter of the same book, to make any young man contented with the prospect of death. ‘For honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, or is measured by number of years. But wisdom is the gray hair to men, and an unspotted life is old age.' He was taken away speedily, lest that “wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.” I am, yours.”
“To Nestor Ironside, Esq. grecting.
‘OLD DAD,--I am so happy as to be the hus
band of a woman that never is in the wrong,
and yet is at continual war with every body, especially with all her servants, and myself. As
| to her maids, she never fails of having at least a
dozen or fourteen in each year, yet never has above one at a time, and the last tipt comes is always the worst that ever she had in her life; although they have given very good content in better families than mine for several years together. Not that she has the pleasure of turning them away, but she does so ferrit them about, “ Forsooth” and “Mistress” them up, and so find fault with every thing they do, and talks to then so loud and so long, that they either give her immediate warning, or march off without any wages at all. So that through her great zeal and care to oke them better servants than any in the world, and their obstimacy in being no better than they can, our house is a sort of Bedlam, and nothing in order; for by that time a maid comes to know where things stand, whip. s e is gone, and so we have not another in four or five days, and this all the year round. As to myself, at the world believes me to be one of the best of husbands, and I am of
the world's mind, until my dear Patient Grizzle | cones to give her opinion about me, and then you would believe is an as bad as her maids.
Oh, Mr. Ironside, never was a woman used as she is. The world does not think how unhappy she is . I am a wolf in sileen's clothing. And then her neighbours are so ill-natured, that they refuse to suffer her to say what she pleases of their families, without either returning her compliments, or withdrawing from her oratory; so that the poor woman has scarcely any society abroad, nor any consfort at home, and all through the sauciness of servants, and the unkindness of a husband that is so cruel to her, as to desire her to be quiet. But she is coming. I am in haste, sir, your humble servant, * NICHOLAS EARRING."
‘SIR,--I hope you will not endure this dumb club, for I am the unlucky spouse of one of those gentlemen: and when my dear comes from this joyless society, I am an impertinent, noisy rattle-snake, my maid is a saucy sow, the man is a thick-skull puppy, and founders like a horse; my cook is a tasteless ass; and if a child cry, the maid is a careless bear: If I have company, they are a parcel of chattering magpies: if abroad, I am a gaggling goose; when I return, you are a fine galloper; women, like cats, should keep the house. This is a frequent sentence with him. Consider some remedy against a temper that seldom speaks, and then speaks only umkindness. This will be a relief to all those miserable women who are married to the worst of tempers, the sullen, more especially to your distressed appellant, GOODY DUMP."
‘FRIEND Nestor, Our brother Tremble hav. ing lately given thee wholesome advice concerning tuckers, I send thee a word of counsel touching thyself. Verily thou hast found great favour with the godly sisters. I have read in that mysterious book called Æsop's Fables, how once upon a time an ass arrayed himself in the skin of a lion, thereby designing to appear as one of the mighty. i. behold the vanity of this world was found light, the spirit of untruth became altogether naked. When the vainglorious animal opened his jaws to roar, the lewd voice of an ass braying was heard in the mountains. Friend, friend, let the moral of this sink deep into thy mind; the more thou ponderest thereon, the fitter thou wilt become for the fel. lowship of the faithful. We have every day more and more hopes of thee; but between thee and me, when thou art converted thou must take to thee a scripture name. One of thy writing brethren bore a very good name, he was enti. tled Isaac, but now sleepeth. Jacob suiteth thy bookseller well. Verily Nestor soundeth Baby. lonish in the earsoof thy well-wisher and constant reader, RUTH PRIM. ‘The third day of the week, profanely called Tuesday."
‘SIR,-Notwithstanding your grave advice to the fair sex not to lay the beauties of their necks so open, I find they mind you so little, that we ¥. men are in as much danger as ever.
esterday, about seven in the evening, I took a turn with a gentleman just come to town, in a public walk. We had not walked above two rounds, when the spark on a sudden pretended weariness, and as I importuned him to stay longer, he turned short, and pointing to a celebrated beauty: “What,” said he, “do you think I am made of that I should bear the sight of such snowy breasts: Oh, she is intolerably
handsome !” Upon this we parted, and I re. solved to take a little more air in the garden, yet avoid the danger, by casting my eyes downwards: but to my unspeakable surprise, I discovered in the same fair creature, the finest ankle and prettiest foot that ever fancy imagined. If the petticoats, as well as the stays, thus di. minish, what shall we do, dear Nestor If it is neither safe to look at the head nor the feet of the charmer, whither shall we direct our eyes I need not trouble you with any further description of her, but I beg you would consider that your wards are frail and mortal. Your most obedient servant, EPIMETRIUS."
No. 133.) Thursday, August 13, 1713.
Oh, fatal love of fame! Oh, glorious heat, Only destructive to the brave and great. ..?ddison's Campaign.
The letters which I published in the Guardian of Saturday last, are written with such spirit and greatness of mind, that they had excited a great curiosity in my lady Lizard's family, to know what occasioned a quarrel betwixt the two brave men who wrote-them; and what was the event of their combat. I found the family the other day listening in a circle to Mr. William, the templar, who was informing the ladies of the ceremonies used in the single comb when the kings of England permitted such tri, to be performed in their presence. He took o' casion from the chance of such judicial pr ceedings, to relate a custom used in a certai part of India, to determine lawsuits, which h produced as a parallel to the single combat. TH custom is, “That the plaintiff and defendant a thrown into a river, where each endeavours keep under water as long as he is able; and who comes up first loses the cause.' The author adds, “that if they had no other way of deciding controversies in Europe, the lawyers might e'en throw themselves in after then.’
The mirth occasioned by this Indian law did not hinder the ladies from reflecting still more upon the above-named letters. I found |. had agreed, that it must be a mistress whic caused the duel; and Mrs. Cornelia had already settled in her mind the fashion of their arms, their colours, and devices. My lady only asked with a sigh, if either of the combatants had a wife and children.
In order to give them what satisfaction I could, I looked over my papers; and though I could not find the occasion of the difference, I shall present the world with an authentic account of the fight, written by the survivor to a courtier. The gallant behaviour of the combatants may serve to raise in our minds a yet higher detestation of that false honour which robs our country of men so fitted to support and adorn it.
Sir Edward Sackrille's relation of the fight betwirt him and the lord Bruce. “Worthy SIR,-As I am not ignorant, so ought I to be sensible of the false aspersions some authorless tongues have laid upon me, in