A1r

Essays
Upon

Several Subjects
In Prose and Verse.

Written by the Lady Chudleigh.

London: Printed by T. H. for R. Bonwicke, W. Freeman
T. Goodwin, J. Walthoe, M. Wotton,
S. Manship, J. Nicholson, R. Parker, B. Tooke,
and R. Smith. 1710M DCC X.

A1v A2r

To
Her Royal Highness
The
Princess
Sophia,
Electress and Dutchess Dowager
of
Brunswick.

Madam,

The Greatness of your Birth, the
Sublimity of your Station, the
vast Extent of your Knowledge, and all
those other shining Qualities which have
rais’d you to an elevated Height, and
given you an undisputed Title to the
Respect and Wonder of Mankind; all
this stops every Approach to your Royal A2 High- A2v
Highness, and makes you to be view’d
only at an awful Distance: But just
Reflections on the inviting Sweetness of
your Temper, the charming Humility
of your Mind, and that condescending
Goodness you are pleas’d to express on
all Occasions, puts a pleasing Force on
all to whom your Fame has reach’d, (and
to whom has it not?) powerfully attracts
them, and throws your Admirers
with a delightful Trembling at your
Royal Highness’s Feet; where, together
with my self, I beg Leave to lay the
following Essays. Pardon the Presumption
of this Address, and suffer your
great Name to be their Protection from
the Assaults of Malice and Envy, and
a secure Refuge for their Author; who
is, with the profoundest Veneration, and
faithfullest Duty,


Madam,
Your Royal Highness’s most
Humble and Devoted Servant,
Mary Chudleigh.
A3r

To the
Reader.

That the Pleasures of the Mind are
infinitely preferable to those of Sense,
intellectual Delights, the Joys of
Thought, and the Complacencies arising
from a bright and inlarg’d Understanding,
transcendently greater and more satisfactory
than those of the Body, than those that owe
their Original to the Animal Life, has, through
all Ages, been an acknowledg’d Truth, a Truth
that comes attended with all the convincing
Evidences that can be desired, and will soon be
found to be undeniably so by all such as will be
at the Pains of making the Experiment.

Such as have been so happy as to have had
a Taste of these Delights, a pleasing Relish of
these internal Joys, have always been blest
with an inward Satisfaction, an unexpressible
Felicity; their Minds have been calm, easy,
and intrepid, amidst the greatest Storms, the A3 most A3v
most deafning Hurricanes of Life, never ruffled
by Passions, nor disturbed by the most
threatning, the melancholiest Circumstances of
Fortune. They have been long the dear, the
favourite Companions of my solitary Hours, and
while they are mine, I cannot only be contentedly,
but even chearfully alone; they fill up all
the Spaces, all the Intervals of Time, and
make my Days slide joyfully along.

O what Pleasures, what transporting Joys
do rational instructive Thoughts afford! What
rich Treasures do they yield the Mind! What
unexhausted Stores of Knowledge may be drawn
from them! They leave no Vacancies, no room
for dull insipid Trifles, debasing Impertinencies,
nor any of those troublesome Reflexions which
generally proceed from narrow groveling Souls,
from Souls that have not learn’d to use their
Faculties aright. Though I cannot boast of
having mine improv’d, and must with Blushes
own my Thoughts are infinitely inferior to multitudes
of others; yet, mean as they are, to
Me they prove delightful, are always welcome,
they present me with new and useful Hints,
with something that agreeably, as well as advantageously,
entertains my Mind; the Notices
they give me, I strive to improve by Writing;
that firmly fixes what I know, deeply imprints
the Truths I’ve learn’d.

The A4r

The following Essays were the Products of
my Retirement, some of the pleasing Opiates I
made use of to lull my Mind to a delightful
Rest, the ravishing Amusements of my leisure
Hours, of my lonely Moments.

’Tis only to the Ladies I presume to present
them; I am not so vain as to believe any thing
of mine deserves the Notice of the Men; but
perhaps some of my own Sex may have occasion
for such Considerations as these; to them they
may prove beneficial; they’ll in ’em be perswaded
to cultivate their Minds, to brighten and
refine their Reason, and to render all their
Passions subservient to its Dictates; they’ll
there be instructed by great Examples, read
of several Men, and some Ladies, that have
struggled with Pain, Poverty, Infamy, Death,
and whatsoever else has been accounted dreadful
among the Sufferings incident to Humanity,
without being overcome, without losing their
Resolution, or lessening their Patience; see
them chearful and smiling amidst Misfortunes,
submitting themselves with a decent Contentedness,
with a becoming Resignation to the Allwise
Disposal of their merciful Creator; they
will there learn to be easy and Mistresses of
themselves amidst Sicknesses, the Loss of
Friends, Indignities, Calumnies, and all the
other Accidents that attend Mortality; will
there be told, that the greater the Difficulties A4 are A4v
are with which they encounter, the greater
will be the Glory of the Conquest; and that
when Death has put an end to their Conflicts,
Virtue will remain victorious, and the Rewards
of a Future-state abundantly compensate for all
the Miseries of this.

I hope they will pardon the Incorrectness of
my Stile: The Subjects of which I write are
worthy of their Attention; ’tis those I recommend
to them: Truth is valuable though she
appears in a plain Dress; and I hope they will
not slight her because she wants the Ornaments
of Language: Politeness is not my Talent; it
ought not to be expected from a Person who
has but seldom had the Opportunity of conversing
with ingenious Company, which I remember
Mr. Dryden, in the Preface to one of his
Miscellanies, thinks to be necessary toward the
gaining a Fineness of Stile; this being a Qualification
I want, it cannot be suppos’d I should
understand the Delicacies of Language, the
Niceties of good writing; those things I leave
to happier, more accurate Pens: My whole
Design is to recommend Virtue, to perswade
my Sex to improve their Understandings, to
prefer Wisdom before Beauty, good Sense before
Wealth, and the Sovereignty of their
Passions before the Empire of the World: I beg
them to do me the Favour to believe one that speaks A5r
speaks it from a long Experience, That a
greater Delight, a more transporting Satisfaction,
results from a pure well-regulated Soul,
from a Consciousness of having done Things
agreeable to Reason, suitable to the Dignity of
ones Nature, than from the highest Gratifications
of Sense, the most entertaining Gayeties
of an unthinking Life.

Mr. Lintott, some time since, intending to
Reprint my Poems, desir’d me to permit him to
add to ’em a Dialogue I had in the Year 17001700,
written on a Sermon preach’d by Mr. Sprint, a
Non-Conformist, at Sherbourn in Dorsetshire:
I refusing, for several Reasons, to grant his
Request, he, without my Knowledge, bought
the Copy of the Bookseller who formerly Printed
it, and, without my Consent, or once acquainting
me with his Resolution, added it to
the Second Edition of my Poems: and that
which makes the Injury the greater, is, his having
omitted both the Epistle Dedicatory and
the Preface; by which means, he has left the
Reader wholly in the Dark, and expos’d me to
Censure. When ’twas first Printed I had Reason
to complain, but not so much as now; then
the Dedication was left intire, as I had written
it; but the Preface so mangl’d, alter’d, and
considerably shortned, that I hardly knew it to
be my own: but it being then publish’d without
a Name, I was the less concern’d: but since, not- A5v
notwithstanding the great Care I took to conceal
it, ’tis known to be mine, I think my self
obliged, in my own Defence, to take some notice
of it. I had once Thoughts of Printing it
again, together with the Dedication and Preface;
but not being willing to trouble the
World any further with what I always thought
an inconsiderable Trifle, I judg’d it advisable
to take this Opportunity to justify my self, that
it may appear I am not so blame-worthy as I’ve
been represented: ’Twas written with no other
Design, but that innocent one of diverting some
of my Friends; who, when they read it, were
pleas’d to tell me they lik’d it, and desir’d me to
Print it, which I should never have had the Vanity
to have done, but in a Compliment to them.
Sir John Brute, one of the chief Characters,
was a Name borrow’d from a Play of Mr. Vanbrugh’s,
call’d The Provok’d Wife, and design’d
as a Representative not only of all ill
Husbands, but of all vicious Men in general.
I would beg the Favour of all such as are willing
to understand my Poem, to give themselves
the Trouble of reading the Sermon which occasion’d
it; part of it was answer’d in the Preface,
and the whole paraphras’d in the Dialogue:
Some Expressions I thought too harsh to
be spoken by a Divine; for which Reason they
are repeated by Sir John Brute, who, as I’ve
already observ’d, is a complicated Character, a
Person in whom are sum’d up all the disagreeableable A6r
Qualities that are to be found among
Mankind. I assure my Readers, there are no
Reflections in it levell’d at any particular Persons
besides the Author of the Sermon; him I
only blame for his being too angry, for his not
telling us our Duty in a softer, more engaging
way: Address and good Manners render Reproofs
a Kindness; but where they are wanting,
Admonitions are always taken ill: As
Truths of this sort ought never to be conceal’d
from us, so they ought never to be told us with
an indecent Warmth; a respectful Tenderness
would be more becoming a Messenger of Peace,
the Disciple of a humble, patient, meek, commiserating
Saviour. The whole was design’d
as a Satyr on Vice, and not, as some have maliciously
reported, for an Invective on Marriage:
None can have a higher Veneration for that sacred
Union than my self; but give me leave to
say, I think it ought to be a Union of Minds
as well as of Persons and Fortunes; where it
does not happen to be so, there is the greater
Trial of Virtue, but never the less Obligation
to Duty and Respect: We ought on all Occasions
to do what becomes us, to have a Regard
to the Dignity of our Nature, and the Rules of
right Reason; and having govern’d our selves
by the Dictates of Religion and Honour, to be
contented with the secret Approbation of our
own Consciences, without being made uneasy
at the ill-grounded Reproaches of the talkative part A6v
part of Mankind, who by their being for the
generality unavoidably ignorant of our Circumstances,
cannot be capacitated to become proper
Judges of our Actions, and consequently their
Censures are too often not only highly uncharitable,
but false and injurious. I can with
Truth affirm, that in whatever I have writ, I
have had no other View, but the promoting of
Virtue; I would perswade all my Acquaintance,
particularly those of my own Sex, to be obedient
to its Commands, and always to do such
things as they may be able to reflect on with a
rational Pleasure. If in any thing I’ve written,
I’ve been so happy as in the least to contribute
to the more regular Conduct of their
Lives, I am satisfied, and shall the less regret
the unkind Reflections of an ill-natur’d Age.

I fear the Clergy will accuse me of Irreligion
for making Sir John Brute talk so irreverently
of them: but, before they condemn me, I desire
them to be so just as to consider, that ’tis
not my own Thoughts I speak, but what it
might be rationally suppos’d a Man of his vicious
Character would say on such Occasions.
The Poets are full of Examples of this kind,
particularly Milton; he makes some of his Apostate
Angels say blasphemous things of God,
and yet the judicious part of Mankind have never
blam’d him for it, because what they spoke
was agreeable to their Nature, and expressive of A7r
of their implacable Malice: ’Twould have been
absurd in him to have made his Devils personate
Saints: Characters ought to be exactly
suited to the Persons they are design’d to represent;
they are the Images of the Mind, and
ought to be drawn to the Life.

In the latter part of the Dialogue I have
spoken of such of the Clergy as are Persons of
Learning, Good Sense, and Vtirtue, with all
imaginable Respesct; the same I’ve done in the
Essay writ on Avarice; for which Reason I
think it needless to make any farther Apology.

The A7v Errata A8v

Books Printed for R. Bonwick, W. Freeman,
T. Goodwin, J. Walthoe, M. Worton,
S. Manship, J. Nicholson, R. Parker,
B. Tooke, and R. Smith.

Errata.

  • Page 6. Line 2. read Excellent Branch.
  • p. 15. l. 7. at once.

  • p. 15. l. 17. Thoughts.
  • p. 16. l. 5. ingenious.
  • p. 25. l. 8. th’.

  • p. 63. l. 19.
  • and p. 71. l. 15. Stilpo.
  • p. 104. l. 15. my.
  • p. 180.
    l. 17. them.
  • p. 185. l. 15. Porcia.
  • p. 224. Nemesis.
Essays B1r 1

Essays
Upon
Several Subjects.

Of
Knowledge.


To the
Ladies.

When I look abroad into the
World, and take a Survey of
the Rational Nature, it grieves
me to see what a vast Disproportion
there is as to intellectual Endowments
between the Men and Us: ’Tis a mortifying
Prospect to see them exalted to such a tow’ring
Height, rais’d so infinitely above the generality
of our Sex. Some few indeed may
vie with them, may shine bright in the Firmament
of Knowledge: But what are they
to the surrounding Splendors, to the Multitude
of Lights? they are lost in the glorious B Crowd, B1v 2
Crowd, and cannot be retriev’d without a narrow
Inspection, an attentive View! I wish I
could perswade all, at least the greatest part of
my Sex, those whose Circumstances do not
necessarily oblige them to lower Cares, to put
in for a Share, to enter their Claims, and not
permit the Men any longer to monopolize the
Perfections of the Mind, to ingross the Goods
of the Understanding: I would not have them
suffer themselves to be willingly dispossess’d
of their Reason, and shut out of the Commonwealth
of Learning: Neither would I
have them so far impos’d on, as to be made to
believe, that they are incapable of great Attainments.
We have already given noble and
undeniable Instances of the contrary, and can
produce a long Catalogue of illustrious Names,
can boast of Ladies. who have been as famous
for their Knowledge as their Vertue.

When ancient Greece was for her Arts renown’d,

Was for her Learning and her Honour crown’d;

The Men alone did not the Glory share,

The Muses had their Female Votaries there.

Some Women all the Depths of Knowledge trac’d,

And were with ev’ry Science, ev’ry Virtue grac’d,

Their Understanding, like a Light Divine,

Did thro’ their Lives with pleasing Splendor shine.

From thence the Roman Emulation grew,

Some Ladies there did the bright Tract pursue,

Made B2r 3

Made great Advances in the Paths of Fame,

And, rich in Learning, to her Temple came.

There a Cornelia did her Father grace,

The worthy Daughter of a Conqu’ring Race:

Not he more Glory cou’d from Carthage bring,

Than from her Pen, and from her Tongue did
spring.

In other Countries we have Trophies rais’d;

The wise Zenobia can’t enough be prais’d;

She famous, as her August Tadmor, grew,

Almost as much as its first Founder knew.

No guilty Passion e’re her Glory stain’d,

She still with Justice and with Mildness reign’d,

And when inslav’d, she never once complain’d.

Still was the same in each Extreme of Fate,

Humble when high, and when depress’d sedate.

In latter Times a great Example’s found,

A Cottage-Virtue for her Merit crown’d;

An Athenais, by her Learning led

To the bright Honours of a Royal Bed!

Admir’d, tho’ poor, both for her Mind and Face,

In both you might surprizing Beauties trace:

But ’twas the First wise Theodosius gain’d,

Such Charms he lik’d, as still the same remain’d,

Which neither Age, nor Sickness, cou’d remove,

Which still would shine, still would attract his Love.

Italian Shores with Female Praise resound,

Amalasuntha there was suff’ring found;

B2 A B2v 4

A Lady blest by Nature and by Art:

She’d all the Treasures Knowledge could impart,

A Mind well furnish’d, and a gen’rous Heart.

But these, alas! could not a Husband move,

Could not perswade his barbarous Soul to love.

Her shining Qualities glar’d much too bright,

They shew’d those Vices he had hid in Night.

Provok’d, and blushing at the shameful View,

He at the guiltless Cause invenom’d Arrows threw.

Love fled, affrighted, from his Savage Breast,

A Place too cruel for so kind a Guest.

The gentle God to Paphian Shrines retir’d,

And there his Goddess Mother’s Aid requir’d:

They join’d their Skill, their utmost Pow’r they
try’d;

But he both them, and all their Arts defy’d,

Stood unconcern’d while his fair Princess dy’d,

By him destroy’d, who shou’d have sav’d her Life:

O Wretch ! unworthy of so good a Wife:

Inhuman Prince, her Charms had Tygers mov’d,

She’d been for them, by fiercest Lions lov’d;

Thro’ wildest Desarts might have safely stray’d,

And there been by the bestial World obey’d,

By none, but treacherous Man, have ever been
betray’d.

Virtue’s no Shield, it rather does expose;

The Bad are still the Good’s inveterate Foes.

Merit in them does always Envy raise,

They hate the Persons they are forc’d to praise.

I B3r 5

I could name several others, were I not
afraid of tiring you; as Anna Commena, the
Daughter of Alexis, Emperor of Constantinople;
Margaret of Valois; Jane, Queen of
Navarre; Katherine of Portugal, Dutchess of
Braganza; and the famous Anna-Maria Schuerman:
But I think my self obliged to take notice,
that our own Island has afforded us some
great Examples; we have had a Queen Jane,
a Queen Elizabeth, and a Queen Mary, besides
some others of an inferior Degree, who
have been admir’d for their Wit and Learning;
and are now so happy as to be bless’d with a
Queen, in whom the Graces of the former
shine with an united Lustre. I cou’d name
others, who move in a lower Sphere, and are,
by all who have the Honour to know them,
accounted the Living Ornaments of their Country;
but I dare not do it, for fear of disobliging
them, and offending that Modesty which compleats
their Character, and adds a heightning
Lustre to their other Virtues, all they desire is
to approve themselves to their own Consciences,
and the Good and Wise, the fewest, but the
best Judges. As for Popular Applauses, they
shun them as troublesome Vanities, and chuse
rather to live to themselves, their Books, and
their Thoughts, than to be fatigued with the
nauseous Flatteries and insipid Impertinences
of the Age.

B3 Germany B3v 6

Germany has now the Happiness of being
bless’d with an illustrious Branch of the Brittish
Line: Hanover can boast of a Princess
who far out-shines the most celebrated Grecian
or Roman Ladies, and is Mistress of more
Learning, more admirable Qualities, than all
the Zenobia’s, Athenais’s, and Amalasuntha’s
of Antiquity.

In France, the Glory of our Sex displays it
self afresh; we see our Honour revive in the
famous Madam d’Acier: The Ladies there begin
to assert their Rights, and are resolv’d the
Salic Law shall not extend to their Minds,
shall not obtrude it self on their Intellectuals.

Let us endeavour to improve those Faculties
our kind Creator has given us, awaken our
Understanding, and employ it about Subjects
worthy of it. Would we but for some time
withdraw our Eyes from outward Objects,
and turn them inward, reflect seriously on our
selves, pry into the secret Labyrinths, the
shady, the obscure Recesses of our Souls, we
should there find the Embrio’s of Science, the
first Rudiments of Virtue, the Beginnings of
all useful Knowledge; and should hear the
soft and gentle Whispers of Truth, which to
every attentive List’ner, every humble Enquirer,
will prove a happy Guide, a kind Director;
and upon a nice Scrutiny, an exact Review,
should find a Stock of our own sufficient
to begin with, which, if well managed, will B4r 7
will not fail of yielding us plentiful Returns.
If to these Riches of our own we add Foreign
Manufactures; if we chuse the best Books,
the most instructive Conversations, and, by a
due Recollection, digest and make our own,
both what we read and what we hear, we
shall make wonderful Progresses, and prodigiously
encrease our Wealth. ’Tis commendable
to be greedy of such Treasures: Avarice is
here a Virtue: It becomes us to be covetous
of every Minute, to employ every Moment to
Advantage, and not permit our selves to be
robb’d of any part of a short Life.

If at any time we happen to be unavoidably
ingag’d in idle, trifling, unprofitable Company,
among such as can talk of nothing but
what is not worth the knowing, of the little
mean concerns of the Animal Life, their Domestick
Affairs, their Remarks upon others,
their Extolling themselves, their Complaints,
their Murmurs, and all their restless Inquietudes,
or in other Words, with the various Efforts
of their Passions, the Triumphs of their
Vanity, and the numerous Instances of their
Folly: Let us instead of censuring and despising
them, retire into our own Breasts, and
seriously ask our selves whether we are so Ignorant,
so Partial, so full of Faults, so void
of Judgement, and so deeply immers’d in Sense?
And let us carefully endeavour to avoid those
Rocks on which we see them split: Let their B4 Com B4v 8
Complaints make us calm and resign’d, their
Murmurs teach us to acquiese in the disposal
of Providence, and their uneasinesses make
us resolve at any rate to purchase an inward
Serenity and Tranquility of Mind; their
expressing so great a concern about their Houses,
their Dresses, their Diversions, and all other
merciless devourers of their Time, make us
look back with Blushes on our own Remissness,
on the sloathfulness of our Tempers, and the
deplorable emptiness of our Minds, on those
small Improvements we’ve made in Virtue,
our slow advances in Knowledge, our inconsiderable
progress in Learning, and the weak
Attacks we have made on our Passions: and
then with a hearty Sollicitude, a serious desire
of being rightly inform’d, inquire of our
selves and of our Friends, Whether we are not
as troublesome to others as they are to us?
Whether our Discourses are not as irrational
as insignificant, and to as little purpose as those
we blame? This is the Use we ought to make
of what we see amiss in others. By doing
thus, there will accrue some Advantage to us
from every Occurence of Life; we shall be
the better for every one we converse with,
and extract Wisdom out of the greatest Instances
of Folly. It will enable us to pass right Judgments
on Things, show us the vast Difference
there is between Opinion and Reason, give
us a wonderful Strength and Liberty of Mind, a Vi- B5r 9
a Vivacity and Clearness of Thought, and
keep us continually on our Guard.

What I would advise my self and others in
relation to a course of Study, should be to indeavour
to get an insight into the useful Parts
of Learning, and to attend more to Things,
than Words. Let Languages be left to the
Grammarians, and let the Rhetoricians contend
about the niceties of Style; and while they
are quarrelling about the Husk, the Shell, the
superficial worthless Part, let us be sollicitous
only for the Substance; be industriously striving
to make such Things ours, as will prove
real Accomplishments to our Minds, true and
lasting Ornaments to our Souls. And such
are the Knowledge of God, and our Selves:
These are large and comprehensive Subjects:
The First takes in the whole Creation, the
full extent of Being; and by contemplating
the Effects, we shall rise to the Cause, and as
by considering that wonderful, that amazing
Power, that inimitable Wisdom, that admirable
Beauty, that transporting Harmony, and
that immutable Order, which at first discover’d
themselves in the formation of the Universe,
and are still every where visible in it, we shall
be led to their Divine Original, to the unexhausted
Source, the Foundation of all Perfections.
So by making a due Reflection on the
Operations of our Minds, on the large extent
of our intellectual Faculties, their several Offices,fices, B5v 10
their distinct Employments, and their
Superiority to each other; the activity of our
Souls, the several Methods by which they
move and exert themselves, and exercise their
Dominion over our Bodies, we may attain to
some competent Knowledge of what we are,
and by degrees grow acquainted with our
selves.

In order to the raising our Thoughts to such
sublime Speculations, ’tis necessary that we
should be able to form to our selves clear Ideas,
should have right conceptions of those Things
on which we contemplate, to the Attainment
of which Logick will be requisite; ’twill
teach us to think regularly, to reason justly,
to distinguish between Truth and Falshood,
Things that are Simple, and such as are Compounded;
Things that are Contingent, from
such as are Necessary. And something of Geometry
will be useful to qualifie and prepare
our Minds for the Contemplation of Truth,
and for the profitable Reading of any Books:
’Twill enable us to fix our Thoughts, and
give a check to that quickness of Imagination,
which is seldom consistent with solidity of
Judgment. Physicks ought to be our next
Study, that will show us Nature, as she variously
displays her self, as she manifests her
self in material Objects, explains to us her surprizing
Phænomena, instruct us heedfully to
consider all her wonderful Productions, and trace B6r 11
trace infinite Wisdom and Power thro’ the immense
Space, from the Heights Above, to the
Depths Below; from the glorious Orbs which
roll over our Heads, to the minutest Insect
that crawls under our Feet; discover to us Beauties
which Art can never imitate, and which
common Spectators do not observe. From the
Consideration of those Divine Attributes which
conspicuously shine in the visible Creation, we
may ascend to the Metaphysicks, which is the
Noblest, the most elevated Part of Science,
that on which all the rest depend; it raises us
above sensible Objects, advances us to Things
purely Intellectual, and treats of Being, as
abstracted from Matter: ’Twill perfect our
Knowledge, and brighten our Reason; enable
us to proceed in our researches after Truth, on
steady and unerring Principles, and give us
clearer and more distinct views of the adorable
Excellencies of the Divine Nature. Geography
will make us acquainted with the Earth
we inhabit, will mark out its several Regions,
and show us how one Part is divided from another
either by Seas, Rivers, or Mountains;
’twill also be of use to abate our Pride, by representing
to us how little and inconsiderable
a Part our Globe is of the mighty Whole, and
yet as despicably small as ’tis, it appears unmeasurably
Great, if compar’d with that Point,
that nothing on which we live.

To B6v 12

To these let us joyn Moral Philosophy:
That will in some measure teach us what we
owe to God and our selves, will inform us
how we may reduce our Knowledge into Practice,
and live those Truths we have been
learning: But these things we shall be best
taught from the Sacred Volumes; our Blessed
Saviour has exalted Ethicks to the sublimest
height, and his admirable Sermon on the
Mount, is the noblest, the exactest Model of
Perfection. When we are tir’d with more intricate
Studies, we may apply our selves to
History, which that we may read with Advantage,
we ought to have some insight in Chronology,
and to render what we read the more
Intelligible, as well as in order to its making a
deeper Impression on our Memories, ’twill be
best to understand something of Geography,
and to have both the Ancient and Modern
Maps before us of those Places to which our
Books refer. History is a large Field, we
shall there see wonderful turns of Fortune,
surprizing Occurrences, and an amazing variety
of Accidents, foolish Mortals labouring for
Trifles, contending eagerly for things they
would be much happier without; some curst
in having their own Wishes, rais’d to the utmost
height of Power and Grandeur, only to
be thrown thence with the greater Obloquy
and Contempt; others pleasing themselves with
their Obscurity, and laughing at the Noise and B7r 13
and Bustle that surrounds them. With such
Amusements as these Poetry may claim a Place,
and we may at our leasure Hours, be allow’d
to entertain our selves with those Masters of
Wit and Eloquence. There’s something charming
in Verse, something that strikes the Ear,
moves the Soul, and ingages the Affection:
’Twas the first way of Writing, and in some
Countries even older than Letters; It seems to
be the voice of Infant Nature, of Nature in
her early Bloom, in her first Native Sweetness:
In it the Ancients spoke their Thoughts,
convey’d their Laws, and deliver’d the severest
Precepts of Morality: The People lik’d
the Instructions which came attended with
Delight, and as they heard them with Pleasure,
so they retain’d them with Ease.

Such Sciences as I’ve been recommending
to you, I know only so much as to make me
bewail the want of them, they are like the
Glories of the Sky, things I admire, but cannot
reach: Were I to live over my Life again,
I would make them my early Study; but I
would have you exact in that wherein I’m deficient,
Mistresses of those Excellencies to
which I han’t so much as a Pretence.

I can this Canaan only view,

The Conquest is reserv’d for you:

From thence I’ve Samples only brought;

By you the Wonders must be wrought.

I’m B7v 14

I’m much too weak for such a Toil,

Your’s be the Glory, your’s the Spoil:

Whilst I to Pisgah’s Height retire,

See your Success, and pleas’d, expire.

But, notwithstanding my Ignorance, I will
will presume to say, that the Studies I’ve been
mentioning, are all useful in their several
kinds, and will so entirely take up our Time,
that we shall have no idle Moments to throw
away on Romances and Trifles of that Nature,
which serve only to stuff the Memory,
to fill it with extravagant Fancies, with false
Notions of Love and Honour, to excite the
Passions, soften and emasculate the Soul, and
render it at once both vain and effeminate. Believe
me, the reading of ingenious Books, and
the accustoming your selves to reflect on
what you read, will in a short time recompence
all your Pains: Thinking will give you
a brightness of Thought, a clearness and distinctness
of Conception: You’ll find your
Minds fill’d with great, noble and delightful
Ideas, with such rational and agreeable Sentiments,
as will make you easie with your selves,
pleas’d with your own Conversation, and
chearful in the most retir’d Confinement, at
the greatest distance from your Friends and
Acquaintance, and render Solitude preferable
to the most diverting Company. When you
are alone, how transportingly pleasant will it be B8r 15
be to take a view of the Universe, of the vast
extent of created Nature, the not-to-be-number’d
Emanations of exuberant Goodness? To
contemplate the Superiour Regions, and their
blest Inhabitants, those bright Intelligences
who make the nearest approach to absolute
Perfection, and are at the most exalted, and
the happiest Parts of the Creation; to survey
all those solid Globes which swim in the fluid
Æther, see vast Masses of fiery Matterwhirl’d
round their Axis with an amazing, an inconceivable
Rapidity, and at the same time moving
with them their respective Vortices, and
attending Planets, to consider their Distances,
and the several Circles they describe; and
when dazl’d with an almost infinity of glorious
Objects, to turn your Thought to Prospects
no less wonderful, but nearer to you,
and more adequate to your Capacities, to the
World you inhabit, and revolve in your Minds
what you’ve read of it in General, and what
of each Country in Particular, in reference to
its Situation, People, Religion, Laws, Customs,
Cities, Animals and Plants, whatever
is remarkable in it, and peculiar to it: In a
Word, all the admirable Productions of Nature,
and the delightful Curiosities of Art.

What can be more diverting than this,
what more entertaining to Rational Beings?
And if ’tis so desirable, so improving, so unexpressibly
delectable, why should it be conceal’d,ceal’d, B8v 16
made only the Entertainment of our
Thoughts, the Companion of our Solitary
Hours? why should it not be introduc’d into
general Conversation? why should not an ingonious
Discourse be more acceptable, than a
tedious account of the Fashions? And why
may we not speak with as good a grace of the
Pyramids, as of a fine Manteau; of the Mausoleum,
as the trimming of a Petticoat? And
why should we be any more laugh’d at for
talking of Pagods, than Headdresses; or of the
Hottantots, than of the Beaux? And would
it not be to better purpose, to give an account
of the ceremonious Behaviour of the Chineses,
and the exact Civility of the Italians, than to
entertain the Present, at the expence of the
Absent, with the ill Shape of one Lady, the
awkard Mien of another, the ungenteel Tone
of a Third? And would it not be more Instructive,
as well as more Innocent, to talk of
the Victories of an Alexander, and of a sar,
of the Bravery and Courage of a Boadicia, or
a Zenobia, than of the mean, pitiful Conquests
of a Coquet, or the Amours of a Fop?
Of the uncorrupted Manners of the Ancient
Romans, of the admirable Government of the
Spartans, of that happy Equality which was
establish’d amongst them; their wonderful
Temperance, Wisdom, contempt of Riches,
and all the pompous vanities of Life; their
universal love of Virtue, and solid Knowledge,ledge, C1r 17
than all the trifling Concerns of our
Neighbours, the Management of their Families,
the Faultiness of their Conduct, their
Want of Sense, with a thousand other little
Impertinences, which perhaps none of the
Company are concern’d to know, and which,
’tis probable, are as far remov’d from Truth,
as they are from Charity?

Would not Time thus employ’d turn to a
much better Account, than if it were parcell’d
out between the Glass and the Table,
the Park and the Play-house, unnecessary Visits
and expensive Games, those merciless Wasters
of our little Stock, our small Pittance of Leisure?
From what I’ve said, I would not have
it thought I am an Enemy to any of those
things; no, ’tis their Abuse only I wou’d prevent.
Decency requires that we should take some
Care of our Dress, and the Necessities of Nature
oblige us to eat and drink; but then we
must do it without a studied Luxury, without
an unbecoming Application of Mind, without
being Slaves to our Palates, and valuing our
selves on the number and variety of our Dishes:
Neither do I think it a Fault to go sometimes
to the Play-house, or divert our selves at Cards,
provided they do not engross too much of our
Time, which is one of the chief Reasons of
my cautioning you against the last; not but
that I think there are others of almost an
equal Weight, as their augmenting an avaritiousC tious C1v 18
Humour, and exciting our Passions,
which we find by Experience they do in Persons
that are not govern’d by their Reason:
such as are, will not need to be advised by
me, they being too fond of their Time to
throw it away on Trifles; they know its
Worth, and how to employ every Minute to
Advantage. I expect to be censur’d for using
this Freedom; but if I am, I shall not be
concern’d at it any otherwise, than as I am
misunderstood: I would have my Sex as
Wise, as Knowing, and as Virtuous, as they
are by Nature capable of being; and if I can,
by my Advice, be so fortunate, as in the least
to contribute to it, I shall think my self happy.
To endeavour this is some degree of Service,
and may deserve a favourable Interpretation.

Of C2r 19

Of
Pride.

Among the numerous Vices incident to
Mankind, and in which they are unhappily
immers’d, there is none they have a
stronger Propensity to, and which they more
willingly indulge, than Pride, and none for
which they have a less Appearance of Reason.
’Tis strange that depending Creatures, such as
owe whatever they are Masters of to another,
should be so vain, as to be proud of
what they cannot call their own, and of which
’tis in the Power of Ten thousand Accidents to
deprive them; and (which is yet more considerable)
of that, which, supposing they
could have a long and full Enjoyment of, yet
it would neither add to their Happiness, nor
their Merit, nor entitle them to the Esteem
of Persons, whose Approbation is worth the
desiring.

Beauty cannot bestow Desert, nor a great
Estate Wisdom. A Man may be born to Honour,
and yet a Fool; may be able to boast
of his being sprung from illustrious Progenitors,
from a long Race of Heroes, and
yet prove the Disgrace of his Family; may
have the Knack of getting Riches, of amassingsing C2v 20
vast Treasures, and yet be hardly able to
speak common Sense; may be Master of several
Languages, well read in ancient and
modern Authors, and yet be a ridiculous Pedant;
a great Politician, and not an honest
Man; a polite Courtier, and yet a Stranger to
Virtue; an accomplish’d Beau, without having
so much Understanding as his Tailor, or
Valet-de-Chambre.

Ladies may be nicely skill’d in Dressing,
and admirable Managers of their Families, and
yet despicably impertinent; neither able to
speak nor think regularly, and as much unacquainted
with the World as with themselves:
They may indeed know the little Arts
of Pleasing, the way of carrying on Intrigues;
may be Mistresses of a modish Set of Compliments,
of the nauseous Jargon of the
Town; may be able to rail with a good
Grace, be exactly well instructed in all that
may tend to the Defamation of those they
converse with, every way qualified for the
momentous Business of a visiting Day, for
making a Tour from one Drawing-Room to
another, and yet wretchedly ignorant in all
the necessary Parts of Knowledge, destitute of
all the real Ornaments of the Mind, the true
Imbellishments of the Understanding, of all
that’s either improving or instructing, of all
that can render them amiable in the Sight of
judicious and discerning Judges, of such as are too C3r 21
too wise to be led by exterior Appearances,
who pay no Respect to empty Pretenders, and
will be so far from mistaking Clouds for Juno’s,
that instead of proving their Admirers,
they will despise them for their Folly.

For what can be more childish, what a
greater Argument of Stupidity, than to be
proud of a Face, of that which a Disease
may quickly spoil, and over which Time
must unavoidably triumph? Or, which is
much worse, only perhaps of an adventitious
Beauty of borrow’d Charms, a well-dress’d
Head, and gaudy Cloaths; of Things which,
allowing them to be praise-worthy, yet the
Commendation belongs wholly to the Tirewoman,
the Mercer, the Lace-man, and the
Manteau-maker; or of having got into the
Road of saying pretty taking Things, which
pass for Wit with those who are on the same
Level with themselves, and for which they
expect to be applauded, tho’ perhaps, on a
strict Examination, there is nothing in it that
deserves that Name, nothing in which a Parrot
might not in a short time be as good a Proficient.

But were Mankind what they vainly fancy
themselves to be, had they all those Perfections
in reality, which they only possess in
Dreams, as large Shares of the Goods of
Fortune as they could desire, or their Avarice
grasp, and as much Honour and Power as the C3 most C3v 22
most aspiring Ambition could wish for, yet
they ought not on this account to set a higher
Value on themselves, or be so weak as to expect
it from others, nothing of this kind being
in it self really estimable.

Would not that Man deserve to be laugh’d
at, who should be proud of the Beauty of his
Horse, of the Gilding of his Coach, or the
Trimming of his Liveries? And are not all
other external Things as foreign to him as
these? If any thing would justify our Vanity,
it would be the Indowments of the
Mind, our having larger Shares than others
of those Perfections which are the Glory of
the rational Nature, more adequate Conceptions
of Things, clearer and brighter Idea’s,
quicker and more penetrating Apprehensions,
truer and more solid Judgments, more orderly
and better regulated Thoughts. But if, instead
of admiring our selves for being above
others in intellectual Accomplishments, we
did with a serious Attention reflect on the
Narrowness of our Faculties, the small, the
inconsiderable Proportions we have of those
Abilities which are requisite towards the Attainment
of those Sciences which enrich and
enoble the Soul, how little (by reason of the
Shortness of our Views) ’tis that we are capable
of knowing, and of that little, that almost
nothing, which lies within our Kenn; how
ignorant we are, as being either too slothful, or C4r 23
or too much clogg’d with Earth, to raise our
Eyes, and make farther Discoveries, methinks
it should give a Check to our tow’ring
Imaginations, damp the Wings of our Pride,
and much lessen that good Opinion we are
too apt to entertain of our selves.

But if, after having made these Reflections,
we farther consider, that there being a Scale
of Beings, which reaches from the first Cause
to the most imperceptible Effect, from the infinite
Creator to the smallest of his Productions,
we have reason to believe, that as we see an
innumerable Company of Beings below us,
and each Species to be less perfect in its
Kind, till they end in a Point, an indivisible
Solid: so there are almost an infinite Number
of Beings above us, who as much exceed us, as
we do the minutest Insect, or the smallest
Plant, and, in comparison of whom, the most
elevated Genius’s, the greatest Masters of Reason,
the most illuminated and unweary’d Enquirers
after Knowledge, are but Children,
such as hardly deserve to be of the lowest
Form in the School of Wisdom, we cannot
but have contemptible Thoughts of our selves,
cannot but blush at our own Arrogance, and
look back with Shame on the several Instances
of our Folly.

Methinks I see those bright Intelligences,
those exalted Understandings, who by the Dignity
of their Nature, are raised to sublime C4 Sta- C4v 24
Stations, to the most intimate Union that
created Minds can have with the Supream
Good, viewing us with a scornful Smile,
but with a Scorn that is mix’d with Pity.
It moves them to Compassion to see poor
wretched Mortals chusing Servitude, and hugging
Chains; proud of Toys, and fond of
Bubbles; drawing Fairy-Rounds, and courting
Shaddows; boasting of Sight, yet blindly
stumbling on, and tumbling headlong down
from Precipice to Precipice, till they are lost
in a retrieveless Depth; they, and their vain
Designs, for ever hid in endless Night. Such
is the Farce of Life, and such is the last concluding
Scene: And can there be anything in Moments
thus employ’d to authorize our Pride?

O let us rather sink into the Earth,

Into that Dust from whence we came,

And, mindful of our humble Birth,

All unbecoming Thoughts disclaim.

As well may Flies their Exaltation boast,

Because they in the Sun-beams play;

Because they feel the Warmth of each reviving
Day,

Extend their Silken Wings, and o’er the flo’wry
Meadows stray.

As well may Ants with a prepost’rous Pride

Their fellow Worms deride,

And fancy they, of all the Reptile Host,

Are the most diligent and wise;

Because with Toil and Care

They for contingent Wants prepare;

As C5r 25

As Man be proud, whom nobler Forms despise

For that in which his greatest Glory lies;

His Fame, his Riches, and his pompous Train,

With all those Things which make th’ aspiring
Wretch so vain,

They view with Scorn, as being not design’d

To constitute the Bliss of humane Kind,

Or satisfie the impetuous Cravings of the Mind.

II.

Sure we should much more humble be,

If we our selves could see:

But few, alas! but few,

Can bear the sad, the melancholy View,

They with Disgust avoid the Sight,

And turn ’em from the searching Rays of Light,

More pleas’d to wander in the dusky Shades
of Night:

Where only seen by Lunar Beams,

Which weakly glimmer on the Streams,

And but a faint Reflection yield

To ev’ry Grove, and ev’ry Field.

By that pale, that feeble Flame,

Which has of Light no more but Name;

They but like fleeting Phantoms show,

And nor themselves, nor others know;

In Ignorance immers’d, and pleas’d with being so.

III.If C5v 26

III.

If Lambent Fires around their Temples blaze,

In Fancy’s flatt’ring Glass they gaze,

And, fond of the transporting Sight,

Give way to Raptures of Delight.

Too fierce their Joys, too quick their Sense,

They cannot bear what’s so intense:

No more they Reason’s Laws obey,

No more regard what Truth does say:

But when th’enkindled Vapours cease to shine,

Then they sigh, and then repine;

As much they grieve, as they rejoyc’d before,

With Tears their vanish’d Splendors they deplore;

Till some false Fire again they view,

Till Hope bids them some distant Light pursue.

By it urg’d on, from Place to Place they run;

But still the nimble Flame do’s its Pursuers shun:

Yet they th’unequal Chase renew,

Till tir’d and panting by delusive Streams,

They fainting sink, and only quench their Thirst
in Dreams

’Tis a great Truth which the Son of Syrach
tells us, when he says, “That Pride was
not made for Man.”
Sure nothing can be
more unbecoming a Creature, a Creature that
had his Original from nothing, and who is
every Moment sustain’d by an Almighty
Power, and who as at first he could not give
himself Life, nor any of the Enjoyments that
attend it; so neither can he continue them one C6r 27
one Minute: His Being, and all he falsly calls
his own, depends on God, as the Light does
on the Sun; and should he withdraw the
Irradiations of his infinite Goodness, withhold
his Divine Influence but for one single
Now, he would necessarily and immediately
sink into his first Nothing; and who, as he
has a precarious Being, so he has a short and
limited Prospect, is condemn’d to Plato’s Cave,
sees nothing but Shadows, takes Phantoms for
Realities, and empty Sounds, reverberated
Eccho’s for rational Discourses: The Light
is at a vast Distance behind him, and he is so
stak’d to the Earth, so fasten’d down to the
animal Life, that he cannot turn to it, can
make no Discoveries, till he is releas’d by
Death, freed by that happy Dissolvent from
the Clog of Mortality, from those thick Mists
in which he’s invelop’d, from every thing that
obscures his View, retards his Flight, and
keeps him from ascending to the Region of
Spirits, the intellectual World, the bright
Field of Truth and Light.

Dart, O thou eternal Wisdom, some Rays of
thy Divine Splendour into my Soul, illuminate
my Understanding, give me a Sight of my self,
of my Imperfections, of all my Frailties, of the
Dulness of my Apprehension, which, by its
being too closely united to the Body, is fill’d
with sensible Images, crowded with imaginary Ap- C6v 28
Appearances, like the first Matter, dark and
full of Confusion, and hardly receptive of pure
Idea’s, of simple intellectual Truths; discover to
me the Errors of my Judgment, the false Notions
I have of Things, and the early Prejudices
with which ’tis fetter’d, the Obscurity and
Weakness of my Reason, the Incoherence and
Disorder of my Thoughts, the Depravity of
my Will, the Strength of my Passions, and
my too close Adhesion to the Delights of
Sense.

O that thou would’st be pleased to purifie
and brighten my Imagination, make it strong
and regular, fit to contemplate thy Divine Essence,
and form becoming Idea’s of thy adorable
Attributes; Pardon the Failures of my
Judgment, and give me a clearer View of
Things; Inspire me with a Rectitude of Will,
a Love of Order; strengthen my Reason, and
give it the entire Sovereignty over my Passions:
Take off my Affections from sensible
Objects; let me have no Desires but for thy
Self, no Aims but for thy Glory.

O let thy Goodness fill the whole Capacity
of my Nature, let thy infinite Perfections
employ my Thoughts, and exclude the little
Concerns of Life, the momentary Pleasures of
a deceitful World; but, above all things,
imprint in me a reverential Awe of thy Divine
Majesty, of the vast Disproportion that there
is between Being it self and Nothing, between the C7r 29
the Incomprehensible Creator and a poor weak
finite Creature, between Wisdom and Ignorance.

O make me humble, and when I find any
Temptation to Vanity, any Inclination to despise
others, and put too high a Value on
my self, to be proud of external Advantages,
teach me to retire into my own Breast, to set
a Guard on my Thoughts, to be very careful
of my Words, nicely circumspect in my Actions,
that nothing may be seen in the remaining
Moments of my Life that’s either derogatory
to thy Honour, or unbecoming thy
Creature.

Accursed Pride taught Angels to rebel,

Govern’d by That, immortal Spirits fell

From Heav’nly Seats, and Mansions all Divine,

Where they did with a spotless Brightness shine;

Where Light, as glorious as Meridian Day,

Did all around its lustrous Beams display,

And where Delights, for Mortals much too high,

Did them with unexhausted Joys supply,

They sunk to Realms of Darkness and Despair.

No Light but that of livid Flames was there;

A pale, a dismal, melancholy Sight:

All there was Horror, all did there affright,

And there they still must live, excluded from
Delight.

This C7v 30

This dang’rous Mischief I with Care will shun,

Will never be by haughty Thoughts undone.

My self I know, and by that Knowledge taught,

My Soul have to a humble Temper wrought.

Nothing that’s mine shall proud Idea’s raise;

Weak little Minds still fondest are of Praise.

’Tis want of Sense that does Mankind elate,

The Wise consider their dependant State;

How short their Views, how little ’tis they know,

By what slow steps thro’ Nature’s Labyrinth go,

Where, like mean worthless Worms, they to superior Beings show.

Of C8r 31

Of
Humility.

Of all the Virtues which adorn the humane
Nature, there is none more amiable
than Humility: ’Tis the most charming
Ornament of the Mind, that which gives the
finishing Stroke to all its other Perfections; it
invites the admiring Spectator, and joins Love
with Veneration; while Pride, like the fiery
Guardian of Paradise, keeps us at a Distance,
and mixes Fear and Aversion with the Honours
we pay the Great.

But ’tis highly advantageous to us on several
other Accounts, besides that of the Service it
does us in giving us a Title to the Affection
of those we converse with: It makes us watchful
over our selves, fences us against Flattery,
furnishes us with a necessary Diffidence, a
needful Circumspection, keeps us reserv’d and
silent, modest and respectful, attentive to what
is said, and willing to be instructed, makes us
easie in Conversation, not apt to be passionate,
dogmatical or imposing, ever ready to submit
to the Decision of Reason, and never better
pleas’d, than when we make a Part of the
Triumphs of Truth.

The C8v 32

The humble Mind is still improving, always
employ’d in discovering its Defects, and
in filling up Vacancies; it sees its own Worthlesness,
and blushes at it, feels every Malady,
and endeavours to cure it; while the Proud
are despising and censuring others, this is finding
fault with it self. While they are rediculing
Mankind, making uncharitable Reflections,
malicious Remarks, ruining Reputations, misconstruing
innocent Actions, making wrong
Comments on Words, and magisterially dictating
to all about them: This is nicely examining
it self, making a narrow Scrutiny into
every Intention, following the Soul into her
most hidden Recesses, tracing her through all
the Labyrinths of Thought, through all the
intricate Mazes of the Understanding; and
then passing an impartial Judgment on whatever
it finds amiss: ’Tis always ready to acknowledge
its Errors, to beg Pardon for its
Faults, and still places Reproofs among the
greatest Favours; is never tempted to envy
the more Deserving, nor concern’d to see
others more valued; is neither to be provok’d
by Contradictions, nor inrag’d by Affronts;
the first it can bear with Ease, because the
Knowledge it has of its own Ignorance keeps
it from being tenacious of its Sentiments, or
too much bigotted to its own Notions; and
the other it can sustain with Patience, support
with a becoming Temper, because it assumes nothing D1r 33
nothing to it self, lays no Claim to Praise.
Now such a Disposition cannot but be infinitely
desirable, as being the Source of an uninterrupted
Serenity, and the Foundation on which
the noblest and most beautiful Superstructures
imaginable may be raised.

The tow’ring self-sufficient Mind

Hastily leaves the World behind;

Like Icarus, does soar too high,

Too near the melting Heat does fly:

It tempts the Dangers it should shun,

And by Presumption is undone:

While such as with a prudent Care,

By small Essays for Flight prepare;

Who raise themselves by slow Degrees,

First only perch upon the Trees,

Or on the Summit of some Hill,

E’re they their great Designs fulfil,

There prune their Wings, and thence with
Fear

Explore the dusky Atmosphere;

Which having done, they higher rise,

And trembling mount the upper Skies:

Then, more embolden’d, take their Way

Thro’ purest Air to brightest Day,

May roam at large in Fields of Light,

And safely leave both Earth and Night.

D Those D1v 34

Those who rise by such secure Steps, who
mount gradually, who frequently try their
Strength, often use and extend their Wings,
and for some considerable time fly near the
Ground, (where should they fail, their Fall
would not be very hazardous) before they
venture to soar aloft, will, by their Prudence
and necessary Caution, be able to maintain
their Station, to live in the Heights to which
their Industry and Merit have elevated them,
and will be so happy as to see themselves out
of danger of being involv’d in the Misfortunes
of the Phaetons of the World, who think themselves
capable of driving the Chariot of the
Sun, of ordering the Affairs of the Universe,
of managing the great Machine of Nature, and
were the admirable Frame now to be set together,
wou’d, with the audacious Alphonsus,
be so arrogant, as to presume to advise the Almighty
Architect, and think themselves wise
enough to assist him in the Government of the
World. ’Tis wonderful that Men should be so
little acquainted with themselves, be such
Strangers to the Narrowness of their Faculties,
to the Limitedness of their Understandings !
But that which is most amazing is, that such
as have the smallest Share of Sense, who are
but one Remove from Idiots, should have a
high Opinion of their Reason; that Blockheads
should take themselves to be Wits, and
Fools set up for Teachers of Wisdom.

They D2r 35

They whose Fire does dimly shine,

In Smoke hid from themselves remain;

Their Heat cannot their Dross refine,

Nor chase thick Vapours from their Brain:

They think they see, yet still are blind,

Think they alone are blest with Sight.

This, for their Good, has Heav’n design’d,

That they may still enjoy Delight:

For if it should the Vail remove,

They quickly would themselves despise;

From Ignorance proceeds their Love,

In that alone their Dotage lies.

Self-love and Ignorance please the generality
of Mankind; they make the bitter
Draught of Life go down; they not only
quicken and exhilerate their Spirits, give a
Relish to all their Enjoyments, but make them
easie in every State, under every Circumstance:
They support the poor Man, and comfort
the Miserable, make the Great Man exult
amidst ten thousand Cares, the haughty Courtier
fawn and wheedle, the proud affected
Fop, the empty tawdry Beau, the fantastick
noisy Woman, pleas’d and satisfy’d with themselves;
they keep the greatest part of the
World in Humour, and are of as much Use
to Fools, as Wisdom is to Men of Sense:
For were their Eyes open, their Understandings
enlighen’d, could they see themselves distinctly,D2 stinctly, D2v 36
view their Faces in Mirrours that
would not flatter, they would blush at the
comical Representation, and fancy they rather
saw Monkeys playing Tricks, than Men acting
rational Parts; rather a Company of Buffoons
diverting a sensless Mob, than intelligent
Beings, than Pretenders to Wisdom. Thus
they appear to us, and thus we appear to them:
Those we laugh at this Day, perhaps will
laugh at us to Morrow; and those very Qualities
we admire in our selves may render us
despicable to others. Thus the Frolick goes
round, and we scorn, and are scorn’d by
Turns.

Now, should any body be so generous, as
to endeavour to undeceive us, so kind as to
tell us, that we have no reason to be so childishly
fond of our selves, that we foolishly view
our selves at the magnifying End of the Perspective,
that we set too high a Value on our
Possessions, on our Persons, our Acquirements,
and the Endowments of our Minds, exalt
Mole-hills into Mountains, think our selves
Giants in Understanding, when we are but
Pygmies in Sense; Narcissus’s for Beauty,
when perhaps we have no more Pretence to it
than the Thersites’s or the Esops of the Age,
we should grow angry, so little are we able
to bear the Language of Truth. Such obliging
Reprovers would meet with Socrates’s Fate
they would make Enemies, engage the greatest part D3r 37
part of Mankind against them. Humility is
a solitary Virtue, few desire her Society, she
palls their Joy, abates their THumor, lowers their
tow’ring Imagination, and gives them a mortifying
Prospect of themselves: They praise
her because they think it decent to do so, because
’tis for their Reputation; but they keep
her at a Distance, will not make her an Inmate,
will not treat her as a Friend, lest she
should grow too familiar, should presume to
unmask them, and by discovering them to
themselves, rob them of the Satisfaction of
fancying they have some Pretence for their
Pride.

Had Socrates been unsollicitous about the
Reason why Apollo pronounc’d him the wisest
of Men, he had remain’d secure; had he acquiesced
in the humble Thoughts he had of
himself, he had been exempted from the Persecution
of his ungrateful Country-men; but
when he resolv’d to try if he could find any
wiser than himself, when he begun the allarming
Search, when he pull’d his Athenians
out of their belov’d Asylum, endeavour’d to
convince them of their Ignorance, to perswade
them they were not the Persons they took
themselves to be; that in pretending to know
Things, they only render’d their Folly the
more conspicuous; and that they fell infinitely
short of him, to whom the God gave so
desirable a Title, on no other Account but becauseD3 cause D3v 38
he humbly disclaim’d all Knowledge, all
Pretences to Wisdom, he made them his implacable
Enemies: Not only the Politicians,
the Masters of Eloquence, and the Poets,
but also the Tradesmen, those whose Enquiries
ought to have been confin’d to their Shops,
to the Business of their respective Callings;
both the Wits and the Fools, the Nobles and
the Peasants, the Boasters of Sense and the
brutish Multitude, were all inraged against
him, and he fell the glorious Martyr of
Truth. Who would not envy such a Fate?
and much rather chuse to be the humble, patient,
dying Socrates, than the haughty, passionate,
vain-glorious Alexander? Methinks,
I see him take the Cup, and with a meek,
forgiving, chearful Air, a Look that speaks
Content, and shows a modest, a submissive
Temper, drink off the welcome Draught. O
how much happier was he, than his Accusers!

Give me a lowly Mind, a Mind like his, and
take who will the Trifles of the Earth; from
them my Soul has long been wean’d. Where-
e’er I look, there’s nothing tempting; nothing
without deserves my Notice, and within my self
I cannot see enough to merit my Regard; my
Thoughts are dark, confus’d, and full of Error,
and there’s not any thing that I can truly
say I know; with him I freely own my Ignorance:
But O! I fear I have not yet attain’d his D4r 39
his Firmness, his calm unalter’d Temper: I
could not, like him, without Emotion, bear
Reproaches, hear unconcern’d my self expos’d,
and made the publick Jest: Calumnies like his
would grate upon my Spirits, make my Life
uneasie, and prove much worse to be endur’d,
than Poverty, or Pain, or Death it self. But
what’s the Source of this? From whence
proceeds this Tenderness? This Sense of Ills
which have their Being but in Fancy, are
Creatures of Opinion: Alas! it must proceed
from Pride. Were I as humble, my Apprehensions
sure would be the same with his,
and I should be as little mov’d at Censure as
Applause, which, till I am, I have no Pretence
to Happiness; my Satisfaction will not
be my own, but in the Power of every envious
Wretch, of every base Detractor; which
to prevent, I will strive to learn this needful
Lesson, prepare my self for what may happen,
will still encourage depreciating Thoughts, accustom
my self to Reprehension, to be told my
Faults; and if it be in Anger, yet to bear it
with a mild and gentle Temper.

Reproaches often useful prove,

Malice may be as kind as Love;

No matter what the Bad intend,

If I’m the better, I’ve my End:

If that I to my self propose,

I shall defeat my greatest Foes.

D4 Of D4v 40

Of
Life.

Would we accustom our selves to speak
the strict Language of Truth, to fix
Idea’s to our Words, we should not talk so
improperly as generally we do, should give
Things their true Appellations, call them by
their right Names, learn to distinguish between
our selves and our Instruments of Action, betwixt
immortal Souls and perishing Bodies,
betwixt Life and Death, and appropriate each
to its proper Subject. We should then know,
that to live is essential to a rational Soul; and
that when we speak of Dying, we do not understand
what we mean.

Socrates was much in the right, when he
derided Crito for asking him how he would be
buried? What can be more pleasant than to
hear him answer, “Just as you please, if you
can but catch me, and if I do not give you the
Slip”
and then to see him turn to his lamenting
Friends, and, smiling, tell them, “He fancies
this Socrates, who now discourses with you,
is the Thing that shall see Death by and by; he
confounds me with my Corps.”

Life D5r 41

Life is still the same, still adheres to its
Subject, is not liable to any Alteration: What
once truly lives, will live for ever.

Beasts, and all the sensitive Creation, are
but Matter variously modify’d; the same may
be affirm’d of Vegetables, of Humane Bodies,
and of all corporeal Substances in general;
and what we call Dying, is only an assuming
a new Form, an appearing in a new Shape.
Matter is in a perpetual Fluctuation; some
Parts fly off, and others are added: We are
not entirely the same we were Yesterday, and
we shall not have, some few Years hence,
one of those Particles which are now constituent
Parts of our Bodies; the Matter remains,
but the accidental Figurations alter: The restless
Attoms shift Places, and there is nothing
perfectly solid in corporeal Nature.

None but immaterial Substances are fix’d,
they are not extended, and therefore not divisable,
and consequently not capable of being
made greater, or render’d less, of having any
thing added to them, or taken from them;
they must be still what they are, still possess
the Perfection essential to their Nature, still
enjoy that Degree of Being, which they derive
from Being it self, those Degrees of Life
which they at first imbib’d from its inexhaustible
Fountain.

Upon the whole, if our Souls are immortal,
if by the Purity and Simplicity of their D5v 42
their Nature, they are not liable to the least
Mutation, and may as soon cease to be, as
to be what they now are, and shall be for
ever, as to their essential Properties: And if
if these are our selves, if to these alone we
owe the distinguishing Denomination of Rational
Creatures, ’tis absurd for us to talk of
Dying, the Body being but the Habit of the
Soul, I will not say the Ornament, that being
too Poetical, too good an Epithet for a
Lump of Dirt.

’Tis the House she dwells in during her
Probation, in which she continues while it is
Tenantable; but when it ceases to be so, she
takes another Lodging; sometimes, before it
decays, she is call’d off by the Great Master
of the Family, and commanded to go to some
other Room, to take up her Residence in some
other Apartment.

Would any Person in his Wits be afraid of
leaving a dismal melancholy Prison, for a glorious
delightful Palace; a close gloomy Cell
for the open balmy Air, the chearful Light
and wide Expanse of Heaven; a corruptible
State for the World of Life; and a few walking
Shadows, fleeting Dreams, Phantoms, as
little known to themselves as others, for real
Substances, for spiritual Beings, exalted Understandings,
Divine Forms of the first Rank,
the sublimest Order?

Let D6r 43

Let us be no more concern’d for our Bodies,
than for our Cloaths; no more troubled
at the wearing out of the one than the
other, as looking upon them to be almost
equally foreign to us, there being indeed
this only Difference between them, That our
Bodies are the Garments we first put on, those
that are nearest to us; the other superadded
Habits, Things owing to Decency, to Custom,
and too often to Effeminacy, Luxury, and
Pride. On both these we are allow’d to bestow
some Regard; to nourish our Bodies, to
defend them from Injuries, to keep them as
long as tis possible in the same Degree of
Strength and Beauty, in which we receiv’d
them from our bounteous Maker, and to prevent
their being dishonour’d and polluted by
immoral Actions, to observe a Decorum, a
Neatness in our Dress, a Conformity to establish’d
Modes.

But ’tis our selves we ought chiefly to mind;
to our Souls we ought to confine our intentest
Care; those it becomes us to cultivate, to
improve and adorn.

The Pains we bestow on the two first are
lost, they turn to no Account; but the Labour
we are at about the last will bring us in
a wonderful Return; those Ornaments they
acquire here, will continue their’s for ever;
and those necessary Truths they learn now
will be eternally their’s in that future State, where D6v 44
where Knowledge, in all Probability, will be
everlastingly progressive; and the greater Advances
they make in Virtue here, the happier
will they be there, where none but the Good,
the Just, the Wise, the considering Part of
Mankind shall find Admittance.

Such only those Delights shall share,

Which in Perfection still are there;

Delights too great for us to know,

While we’re thus hood-wink’d here below;

While we to Flesh are thus confin’d,

To Flesh, that Darkner of the Mind;

That Medium, which obscures the Light,

That worse than an Egyptian Night:

But when we’ve thrown this Veil aside,

Dispell’d those Shades, which Day does hide;

When from the Cells in which we lie,

All Thought, to glorious Heights we fly:

We then shall Truths with Clearness see,

Shall then as wise as knowing be;

As finite Intellects can prove,

As much possess, as much shall love,

And all our rapt’rous Hours employ

In highest Extacies of Joy.

Of D7r 45

Of
Death.

Since I’ve a long time thought, that the
Fear of Death is the occasional Cause of
the greatest part of those mean dishonourable
Actions which are done in the World; none
will, I believe, think it a Misemployment of
my time, seriously to consider, what ’tis renders
it so formidable, makes it so dreadful not
only to the Vicious, but also to the Pretenders
to Virtue, not only to those who by their immoral
Lives have consign’d themselves over to
eternal Punishments, but to those who promise
themselves glorious Rewards, and talk of Heaven,
as of a Place, where they hope to be
everlastingly happy.

’Tis not to be wonder’d at, that such as are
immers’d in the Delights of the Animal Life,
who lie wallowing in sensual Pleasures, whose
Understandings are so darkned by the Interposition
of their Passions, that they cannot see
one Ray of intellectual Light, can discover
nothing beautiful beyond the Kenn of their
Senses, should be unwilling to leave a World
they are acquainted with, for an unknown
Futurity; a State fitted to their deprav’d Faculties,
to their brutish Inclinations, for a place of D7v 46
of Horror and unexpressible Misery, or at least
where they shall cease to Be, and at once lose
both themselves and their Pleasures, themselves
and their Hopes, all their Happiness, all
their Expectations: But I cannot see how such
as have nobler Views, who boast of being
above sensible Allurements, of having their
Affections not only disengag’d from terrene
Objects, but fix’d on such as they acknowledge
to be transcendently, infinitely better,
both as to their Magnitude and Duration, can
answer it to their Reason; how can they be
sollicitous for Life, can shrink back, grow pale,
and tremble, when Death makes its Attack:
’Twould be more consonant to their Principles
to meet it with Smiles, to welcome it with
Joy; for if they are really what they are willing
to be thought, if they have lov’d Virtue
for her self, have seen the Charms that are in
Truth, endeavour’d to live up to the Dignity
of their Nature, to make as near Approaches
as ’tis possible to the divine Perfections, ’tis
contradicting themselves, making their Actions
give the lye to their Words; for their Unwillingness
to Die cannot then be suppos’d to proceed
from Fear, there can be no room for that
debasing Passion in a purify’d Mind, in a Soul
transported with the ravishing Prospect of approaching
Felicity, neither can it be the Result
of their Fondness for present Enjoyments, as
being things too mean, too despicable, to be much D8r 47
much esteem’d, or parted from with reluctance;
therefore may I not be allow’d, without
breach of Charity, to suspect that there’s
some darling Vice within, some conceal’d Passion,
which disturbs their Consciences, or ties
them, nails them to the World, or that they
have not such well-grounded Hopes, such clear
distinct Views as they would be thought to
have?

I know we are told by those who are willing
to excuse themselves, as being asham’d to
own their Weakness, that Death is what Nature
abhors, and Self-preservation cogenial with
our Being, a Principle implanted in us by our
Creator; from whence they draw this Conclusion,
that ’tis their Duty to be tenderly
concern’d for their Lives, anxiously careful of
them, and that they ought to use their utmost
Industry to ward off every Blow: Now such
a Solicitude as this, I think, betrays an unmanly
Imbecility, and plainly discovers a Truth
they are willing to hide; and that is, that
their Passions are too strong for their Reason,
and they more fond of Earth than Heaven,
more pleas’d with the Delights they are actually
possess’d of, than those of which they
think there is only a remote Possibility: Besides
too many, especially those of my own
Sex, have from their Infancy imbib’d wrong
Notions of Life and Death, have been taught
to think the one a real Good, and the other an essential D8v 48
essential Evil; and to these false Idea’s all the
Disorders we see in the World owe their Original:
For what can be more natural, than for
such as believe Life to be a necessary Good, to
endeavour to preserve it, and render it pleasant,
by shunning with the greatest Abhorrence
whatever is disgustful and destructive to it?
This occasions an effeminate way of Living,
an indulging their Humours, a Fear of every
little Accident, every slight Indisposition, and
subjects them to the basest, vilest Actions;
there is nothing they will stick at, to assure
themselves the Continuance of what they are
so childishly fond of: Now the Fear of Death
cannot be but the unavoidable Consequence of
such an immoderate Love of Life: They look
upon it as the Grave of all their Hopes, the
Extinguisher of all their Joys, as an Out-let
into a dismal melancholy State, a dark unknown
Somewhere, a World of Spirits, of Beings
they’ve been taught to dread; and therefore
’tis no wonder to see them dress it up
with all the Circumstances of Horror, and
then fly from the frightful Monster they have
made, and shun it, tho’ with the Loss of their
Innocency, their Honour, and all they ought
to esteem valuable. This I take to be the true
Source of that Treachery, that Covetousness,
that Cowardice, and, in a word, of all that
Swarm of Vices which overspread the World,
and, like an epidemical Contagion, infest all Man- E1r 49
Mankind: But wou’d they with unprejudic’d
Minds, and an unclouded Reason, view both
the one and the other in a proper Light, they
would see that they are in themselves neither
good nor evil; for were they either necessary
Goods, or necessary Evils, they would be unalterably
and eternally so, not only to this or
that individual Man, but to the whole Species,
which Experience tells us they are not; for
what one flies from, another courts; and while
some are sedulously, scandalously labouring to
prolong a precarious Being, others are pleasing
themselves with the Hopes of a speedy Dismission,
and impatiently wishing for a sudden
Exit.

Now, I think both the Extremes are equally
faulty: Life ought to be look’d on as a
thing indifferent, to be devoted to Virtue, made
subservient to the Soul, and carefully employ’d
to the noblest Purposes; enjoy’d without Anxiety
while ’tis permitted to be ours, and when
the Almighty Donor thinks fit to resume it,
to be parted with without a Murmur, but by
no means to be despis’d or thrown away;
that would be a Reflection on infinite Wisdom,
an unbecoming Return to divine Bounty; as
’tis his Gift, we ought to receive it with Reverence,
and restore it with Submission, to maintain
the Post in which he sets us with Honour,
and when he calls us to another Station, we
ought to go to it chearfully, but not think of E quitting E1v 50
quitting the first till he gives us leave.

Such a Temper of Mind as this is, I think
to be indispensably necessary in order to both
our Living and Dying well; ’twill make us
our own, and wholly independent on things
without us; keep us calm amidst Storms, easy
amidst Disappointments, and happy in all the
Emergencies of Life.

To get a just Concern for things that do not
belong to me, such a Concern as they deserve,
and no more, has been the Business of several
Years; and I hope I have at last attain’d, I
will not be so vain as to say the whole of
what I’ve been striving for, but some few Degrees,
some small Beginnings of that Fortitude,
that equal and uniform Steadiness of Mind
which is so necessary an Ingredient of Happiness,
and without which we should be continually
worry’d with dismal Apprehensions,
discompos’d by every Accident, frighted by
every little Pain, every Harbinger of Death,
and should stand shivering on the Bank of that
vast Abyss into which we must plunge, thro’
which we must all pass.

To Die, is no more than to Sleep; ’tis but
a going from one Place to another, a leaving
the Round we have been a long time treading,
an enlarging our Views, and pleasing ourselves
with newer, nobler, and more entertaining
Prospects.

These E2r 51

These were the Thoughts I lately had of
it, these my Reasonings about it, when I had
Cause to believe my Fate inevitable, when nothing
but a wonderful over-ruling Providence,
nothing but the peculiar Care of my Guardian
Angel, could have secur’d my Life. When I
saw the Precipice, and at the same View saw
my self falling from its Top, tumbling to the
Bottom with an impetuous Motion, an amazing
Violence, I then found the Advantage of
a strong, a firm Resolution, and of being disengag’d
from the World; I had nothing to
pull me back again to the Earth, to make me
unwilling to leave it; I cou’d with Joy have
taken my Flight to the Upper Regions, there
have assum’d an Ætherial Vehicle, and made
a Tour, thro’ all the shining Fields of Light.

Thro’ the pure Æther wing’d my way,

And view’d the Works of Art Divine;

Seen boundless Love it self display,

And Wisdom in Perfection shine:

With the bright Natives of the Sky,

And such as once frail Mortals were,

Had rang’d thro’ all the Realms on High,

And trod the liquid Plains of Air,

Where something new would still delight,

Something my Knowledge still improve;

Would me to Songs of Praise invite,

To soft harmonious Hymns of Love.

E2 But E2v 52

But since ’tis the Will of God I should live
longer, let me exercise the same Act of Resignation,
be willing to wait a while for those
Pleasures which I then had in view, and to
which I pleas’d myself with the Hopes of my
being swiftly hast’ning; and as it becomes me
chearfully to devote to his Service that Life he
thinks fit to prolong, and be very thankful for
escaping those Mischiefs which are generally
the unhappy Consequences of such dangerous
Falls; so let me resolve to employ all my coming
Moments in gratefully acknowledging his
Favours, and in endeavouring to advance his
Glory, and next to that, in the Improvement
of my own Mind; in the diligent and unwearied
Pursuit of Truth, the Exaltation of my
intellectual Powers, and assuring to myself such
Goods as are accommodated to Rational Beings,
and perfective of their Nature: such as will
contribute to my present Happiness and future
Felicity, to my unspeakable Satisfaction here,
and the transporting Delights of a blessed Eternity:

Where Night her sable Wings shall ne’er display,

Nor rising Vapours hide refulgent Day;

Where Health, and Peace, and Pleasures all divine,

Shall mix their Charms, shall all in one combine,

Then dart themselves into each happy Breast,

And give them Raptures not to be exprest;

Inebriating E3r 53

Inebriating Joys, too great for Sense,

Which heav’ny Forms can only bear, and God
dispense;

Where Hopes shall cease, and Wishes have an end,

And our Fruitions our Desires transcend;

Where no Disgusts, no Griefs, shall Entrance find,

Nothing disturb the Quiet of the Mind;

Where Death’s unknown, and Life is only found,

Where with immortal Wreaths the Good are
crown’d,

And all together join in Songs of Praise,

Together tune their sweet melodious Lays;

The grateful Tribute of their Voices bring,

And find no other Business, but to Love and Sing.

E3 Of E3v 54


Of
Fear.

Fear is a Passion which strangely disorders
and weakens the Mind, breaks all
its Measures, and unavoidably subjects it to a
thousand Inconveniences: ’Tis generally the
Effect of a too tender and effeminate Education,
of those fatal Impressions which are made
on us in our Infancy, in the first Dawnings of
our Reason, by the Folly and Mismanagement
of Servants, of such as are unhappily
intrusted with us, either by the Laziness or
Imprudence of our ill-advis’d Parents.

’Tis to These poor Children owe their false
Notions of Things; they stuff their Memories
with dreadful Stories of Apparitions, are still
frightning them from Evil, when they should
be encouraging them to do well, representing
Death to them in the most hideous Shape that
their Imagination can form, making them tremble
to be alone, and afraid of being one Minute
in the Dark: ’Tis by such Methods as these,
that they sink their Spirits, and render them
Cowards from their Cradles. And is it to be
wonder’d at, that Children thus us’d should
have a Meanness in their Tempers? These
Beginnings, these unregarded Embrio’s of Basenessness E4r 55
and Pusillanimity, have too often deplorable
Effects, and in their riper Years precipitate
them into vile and unworthy Actions:
Whereas they ought to make them familiar
with Death, should tell them ’tis no more than
they do every Night: ’Tis but an undressing
themselves, and lying down to Sleep; the only
Difference is, that ’tis a longer, sweeter
Rest; but a Cessation from the Hurry and
Toil of Life; no more than walking from
one Room to another; only changing Places
and Company, and looking on new Objects;
and assure them, that their Graves will prove
no more uneasy to them than their Beds: And
to make them the more intimately acquainted
with the Truths they would inculcate, they
should by degrees accustom them to the Sight
of the Dead, make them conversant with Objects
of Mortality, which they’ll find will in a
short time harden them, and make them no
more afraid of seeing dead human Bodies, than
they are of looking on those of brute Animals
in that state; it being nothing but Use, that
renders the one less shocking than the other:
And instead of terrifying them with idle Tales
of Spirits in horrid Shapes, Spectres delighting
in Mischief, haunting Houses, and doing a
thousand improbable ridiculous things, and
telling them of Witches metamorphos’d into
more Shapes than Proteus ever assum’d, or
Ovid dream’d of; they should make it their E4 Business E4v 56
Business to possess them with rational and becoming
Idea’s, pleasant and entertaining Notions
of separate Beings; tell them such as are
good, are blest with Beauty, Wisdom, and
Happiness, are full of Kindness and Compassion,
and ever ready to do friendly Offices to
Mankind, and that those which are bad, are
by the infinite Goodness of God restrain’d from
doing Mischief, and not permitted to act according
to the Malignity of their Nature; that
they are govern’d by Laws peculiar to them,
and cannot move beyond their assign’d Bounds;
and they may assure themselves, that almost
all those dreadful Stories of Ghosts, with which
the World has been so long impos’d on, are
Fables, the Creatures of Imagination, Chimera’s
form’d in the Brain, and nothing else but the
Effects of a disorder’d Fancy; and to convince
them that they are really so, that they are only
the Result of Fear, use them to be by themselves,
to be as chearful, as easy, and well
pleas’d in the Night as in the Day, to think
themselves as safe in the greatest Darkness as
in the clearest Light.

Of this we have an Instance among the
Spartans, who always went from their publick
Halls without Lights, the Use of them being
forbidden by Lycurgus, to the end that they
might accustom themselves to walk boldly in
the Dark.

To E5r 57

To prevent their doing mean and dishonourable
Actions, let them be taught to reverence
Truth, to abhor a Lye, to abhor it for it self,
from a Sense of the Baseness and Deformity of
it, and not from a slavish Dread of Punishment;
perswade them, that their abstaining from what
is evil ought to proceed from innate Principles
of Virtue, from a noble Disdain, a native Bravery
of Spirit, and a commendable Scorn of
being out-done by others; carefully cherish
every Seed of Honour, blow up every little
Spark of Courage into a Flame; inure them to
Pain, make them in love with Labour; teach
them to slight Sickness, to laugh at little Uneasinesses,
at trivial Indispositions; blame them
when they complain; use them to Hunger and
Thirst, to bear Heat and Cold; and, as their
Reason grows stronger, and their Judgments
more solid, inspire them with contemptible
Thoughts of those who sink beneath the Dignity
of their Nature, who forget what is owing
to their Character, what it becomes them
to do as they are Men, the noblest Part of the
visible Creation; give them right Idea’s of
Things, instruct them in the Method of giving
every-thing its proper Place, its just Value
in their Esteem; endeavour to raise their
Thoughts above Riches, Grandeur, the Favour
of the Great, nay Life it self; at least,
strive to bring them to an Indifference, to a
being unconcern’d whether they enjoy them or E5v 58
or not: and when you’ve brought them to a
state of Independency, they will have nothing
to fear, no Temptation to be Cowards.

This Method which I’ve propos’d, would
be of wonderful Use towards the Regulation
of Manners, and would have an universal Influence
on the Morals of Mankind: For whatever
the World may think to the contrary, ’tis
impossible to be Good and not Magnanimous:
Virtue and Cowardice are incompatible; they
cannot subsist in the same Subject. A Man
who has a just Value for himself, will scorn
to cringe and fawn, or by a Word, an Action,
or a Look, belye his Conscience, or deviate
from his Character; he will still be steady to
himself, firm to his Principles, and neither to
be shaken by Menaces, discourag’d by Difficulties,
frighted by Dangers, nor yet discompos’d
by the impending Horrors of an approaching
Fate, and at the same time equally Proof against
the more hazardous Attacks of Vice, the
inviting Allurements of Sense, and the importunate
Sollicitations of Pleasure; as great a
Stock of Courage, as great a Strength of Resolution,
being requisite to resist the one as the
other, or rather more; the last being not to
be conquer’d by less than an Herculean
Strength. Ulysses found it much more difficult
to escape the Syrens, than all the rest of
his Enemies; those fatal Charmers were more
powerful, more formidable, than Polyphemus, or E6r 59
or the Lestrigones; and more carefully to be
avoided than Scylla and Charybdis: but the
good Man passes them by with an equal Assurance,
an equal Fortitude; his Courage is still
the same; ’tis universal; it meets every Danger,
and bravely makes a Stand against every
Difficulty, against whatever dares oppose it:
He carries all his Treasure within himself;
’tis securely lodg’d within his own Breast; he
has nothing that another can take from him:
And he that has nothing to lose, has nothing
to fear, nothing to shake him, or in the least
imbitter his Enjoyments: He maintains his
Station with Honour; he’s not afraid of Poverty,
he can be chearful in a Prison, pleas’d in
Exile; and so far from dreading Death, that
he dares meet it, dares look it in the Face
without a change of Colour, and is so far from
shunning it, that he welcomes it with Smiles,
and dies as he liv’d, consistent with himself,
full of Serenity and Peace.

O how happy shou’d I be, could I attain
such an unshaken Steadiness of Mind, such a
firm fearless Temper! I see its Beauty, feel
the Truths I write, have struggled long to
disingage my self from every Clog, from every
thing that ties me fast to Life: I never yet
could find a Fondness in my Nature for any of
those Trifles to which the Most confine their
Happiness, for which they labour, sweat, and
toil, condemn themselves to anxious Days and restless E6v 60
restless Nights, and which too many are content
to purchase at the Expence of Innocence,
of Honour, of all they ought to value. Riches
to me were never tempting, nor did I ever covet
Grandeur; my Wishes were contracted to
a narrow Space, and my Desires but few;
and now, with Joy, I find, that this Indifferency
does every Day encrease; my inward
View extends, and every outward Object lessens;
and, if I know my self, I could, without
a Murmur, relinquish my Right to every
thing besides my Friends and Books; they are
the whole I value, to me the Joys of Life;
and yet even these I can give up at my great
Master’s Call, and all alone enjoy my Solitude,
and feast upon the sweet Repast of Thoughts,
that delicious Banquet of a Mind at Peace and
easy with it self. This being the present Temper
of my Soul, the resign’d and chearful
Frame in which I find my self, may I not be
allow’d to hope I shall in time obtain the Conquest
I so much desire, see every Passion subject
to my Reason, and this among the rest,
which I shall find the easier to subdue, because
it never yet had much Dominion over me.

Let such as value Life be full of Fear,

It is a Trifle much below my Care:

To distant Objects I direct my Sight,

To Prospects pleasant, permanent, and bright:

Celestial E7r 61

Celestial Glories I still keep in view,

With eagerest Haste the dear Delights pursue.

The Virtuous, cloath’d with Rags, I’ll dare to
praise

And make the Poor, if Good, the Subject of
my Lays;

But will not be to servile Flatt’ry brought:

My Tongue shall speak the Language of my
Thought.

The Great, if vicious, with Contempt I’ll shun,

And will not be to base Compliance won

By Bribes, or Threats; nor wealthy Fools caress,

Nor a Respect for gawdy Fops express:

True to my Self, and unsubdu’d by Fear,

I’ll meet each Storm, and every Pressure bear;

Maintain my Post until I’m call’d away,

And then the Summons with a chearful Look
obey.

Of E7v 62

Of
Grief.

Grief is a Passion, which most People
believe it becomes them to indulge:
They tell us, ’Tis what the Miseries incident
to the human Nature exacts from us; and
that, as not to be concern’d for their own Misfortunes,
would be Stupidity; so to be unmov’d
at the Afflictions of others would be
the Height of Barbarity. The greatest part of
Mankind are led by Opinion, and what they
have once taken for Truth, they will never be
at the Labour of examining. They are almost
as much afraid of Innovations in Matters of
Reason, as in those of Faith. Besides, ’tis
painful to form a new Set of Thoughts, to deviate
from the beaten Road, to run counter to
establish’d Maxims, to wander in unknown
Paths, and follow Reason to her solitary Recess.
They are every Day regal’d by their Senses,
and so encompass’d by the Pleasures that attend
them, so totally absorb’d in the Delights
of the animal Life, that they cannot disengage
themselves, cannot so much as dart one single
Glance beyond their thick Atmosphere, beyond
that Region of Vapours, to which they
are fatally confin’d. That which afords them a E8r 63
a present Satisfaction, they fancy to be good,
and by Consequence that which deprives them
of it to be evil. On this Hypothesis they
ground all their Arguments, and from hence
draw all their Conclusions. Health, Riches,
Relations, Fame, Honours, &c. they take to
be constituent Parts of Happiness, and therefore
their Contraries must necessarily bring
Misery. These Mistakes run them into innumerable
Absurdities, involve them in inextricable
Errors, and render them obnoxious to
the Insult of every prevailing Passion, liable to
the Shock of every cross Accident, every unexpected
Disappointment; and ’tis no wonder,
while they are govern’d by such wrong Notions,
to see them excessively griev’d for the
Death of Relations, lamenting the Loss of
Wealth, sad and dejected when in Disgrace,
add impatient when depriv’d of their Health.
This being the natural Result of such Principles
as their’s, and while they adhere to them,
they may as well cease to be, as cease to be
unhappy.

Nothing but viewing Things in a due Light,
looking on them as they really are, learning
to distinguish between what is and what is not
ours; what we may bestow upon our selves,
and what is given us by another, and to put a
Value on them according to their true Estimate;
to make a Difference between what will
be always our own, and what we must part with, E8v 64
with, will exempt us from Uneasinesses, and
make us Masters of our selves. Now, that
we may do this effectually, we ought to consider,
with all imaginable Accuracy and Circumspection,
with all the Nicety and Exactness
we are capable of, the particular Advantages
that will accrue to us from the Possession
of those Blessings which are generally known
by the Name of Temporal or Contingent
Goods; and that we may be the better acquainted
with their Nature, let us strip them
from all their artificial Coverings, wash off
their glaring Colours, and view them as they
are in themselves, and then see if they will
appear the same to us as they did to the ancient
Philosophers.

To begin with those that are accounted the
most valuable, what is that Life, of which
we take so much Care, for which we are so
childishly solicitous? And what real Good
does it prove to us? Is it not a vain Repetition
of the same Acts, a constant Combat betwixt
Reason and Folly, a walking blindfold, and a
conversing with Shadows, a dark melancholy
Passage into a better State, a World of Light
and Joy? Is it rational to be fond of our
Road, to be willing to continue in our Inn,
to think our selves wrong’d when we are call’d
into the Port, commanded to quit the Ship,
and assign’d to another, a more honourable
Post? Is it not ridiculous to call that a Good which F1r 65
which is so precarious, and which, if it were
in it self estimable, would be so to all Mankind?
But that ’tis not so, is evident: Socrates
would not save his Life when ’twas in his
Power to do it; he preferr’d Obedience to
the Law, before his own Safety; Regulus had
no Concern for it; several of the ancient Heroes
and Heroines despised it, and the Martyrs
took their Leaves of it not only willingly,
but with Transports. Let us then blush at
our own Weakness, and no longer give it a
Name it does not deserve. Let us put it to
that Use for which it was given us, employ it
to the best Advantage while ’tis ours, and,
when ’tis call’d for, give it back chearfully;
while we have it, strive to possess it with Indifferency,
express neither a Weariness of it,
nor a Fear to lose it; neither a Desire, nor an
Unwillingness to die.

And let us, in reference to our Friends and
Kindred, manage our selves with the same
Equality of Temper: If when we have lost
any of those dear Relatives, we find our selves
discomposed, if the natural Tenderness of our
Souls inclines us to melancholy Reflections,
let us resist the first Beginnings of Sorrow,
and reason our selves into a calm Resignation:
Let us consider, that they were only lent us,
and are not wholly lost, have but changed
their Place, are only gone before us, and it will
not be long before we shall enjoy them again: F Besides, F1v 66
Besides, how can we be thought to love them,
if we do not rejoice at their Happiness? ’Tis
a Contradiction to talk of our Affection, and
at the same time to grieve at their being in
Possession of an unchangeable Felicity. What
Construction would any considering Person put
on such a Sorrow? Would he not be tempted
to think it proceeded from a mean narrow Principle,
from Self-Interest; and that, to gratifie
a foolish Fondness, we would be contented
to have them once more Partners with
us in the Uneasinesses and Impertinences of
Life?

Some will perhaps readily grant, that if
our Friends and Relations are good, it will be
a Fault to mourn immoderately for their
Death; But, supposing they are not so, ’twill
be barbarous not to grieve for them, because
we should then have too much Reason to
doubt of their eternal Happiness. To this I
answer, in the First place, That we cannot,
without giving an ill Character of our selves,
call such Friends as are not virtuous; and,
in the Second place, if our Relations are ill,
they have no Right to our Affection. Our
Pity they may claim, but not our Love; for
that we ought not to bestow on Persons we
have any just Cause to fear are hated by
God. While they are living we must use
our utmost Endeavours to reclaim them, must
tell them of their Faults, represent to them the F2r 67
the Dangers into which they are precipitating
themselves, the inexpressible Miseries to which
they are hastening; but if they still continue
vicious, and die loaded with Crimes, to grieve
much for them would be unbecoming us: We
may at their Exit give them a few Sighs, may
commiserate their Condition, and express a
Concern for their having made themselves so
deplorably unhappy; but, I think, neither
Reason nor Religion will allow of any
more.

Health is another thing from which they
cannot part without infinite Regret: ’Tis, I
own, a very valuable Blessing, and that which
gives a Relish to the other Enjoyments of
Life; but yet I can by no means allow its
Deprivation to be a real Evil, since it does
not impede the Operations of the Mind, nor
put the Will under any Confinement, it cannot
hinder us from being virtuous, from acting
according to the Principles of Honour,
nor from proceeding in our Search after Truth;
Our Thoughts may be well employ’d amidst
the sharpest Pains, and we may in time overcome
them by a Strength of Resolution: Of
the Truth of this, the Lacedæmonian Boys
were an undeniable Proof: To what inhuman
Discipline did they submit! What cruel Scourgings
did they endure! What Barbarities did
they inflict on each other! And yet with what
Constancy did they bear them! and all to F2 pur- F2v 68
purchase a little Vain-glory, to have the empty
Satisfaction of being applauded, of being
thought courageous and undaunted. With
what a wonderful Patience did Anaxarchus
bear his Tortures! With what a Composure
of Spirits, what a Sedateness of Mind, did
Possidonius talk to Pompey! The Extremity of
his Pain occasion’d no Pauses in his Discourse,
no Alteration in his Face, extorted no Complaints
from his Tongue! Now, had Pain been
an Evil, it would have been so to these, as
well as the rest of Mankind; but ’tis evident
it was not so to them, and therefore is not so
in its own Nature. ’Tis our Effeminacy
makes us dread it, ’tis that renders it so insupportable,
and makes us yield to every Attack,
makes us shew an indecent Feebleness of
Mind: The way not to be guilty of such
Follies, not to be surpriz’d, is, in the midst of
our Health to prepare for Sickness; when we
are perfectly easie, to resolve not to be shock’d
by Pain, to observe every Approach it makes,
and contend with it, meet it with Courage,
consider that it cannot be avoided, that Lamentations
are childish, Groans can give no
Relief, that Tears and Sighs are Arguments
of Weakness; and that, as Pity can do us no
Good, so it is below us to desire it; and that,
if our Pain is violent, ’twill quickly put an
End to our Lives, free our Souls from their
cumbersome Loads, and restore them to their pri- F3r 69
primitive Activity, to that Vivacity and Purity
of which they were originally possess’d. If
they are moderate, they are an Exercise of
Patience, and will not only teach us Temperance,
but be of use to disengage us from
the World, will make us attend to the Bettering
of our Minds, the subduing of our
Passions, and the preparing our selves for that
State, where, in Bodies compos’d of the purest
Particles of Matter, and adapted to the
noblest Purposes of Life, we shall be blessed
with perfect Indolence, with everlasting
Ease.

Next to these, Fame and Riches claim a
Share, and ’tis difficult to determine which
Mankind are fondest of; Indeed some sordid
Souls, some Sons of Earth, who, like the
Brutes, are always looking downward, who
love Gold for it self, and have no farther Aims,
but those of being rich, may terminate their
Happiness in their Bags, and be capable of
grieving for nothing else but the Loss of their
idoliz’d Treasures; But the generality of Men
value Wealth for the Reputation that attends it,
and are pleas’d with having it said, that they are
Owners of great Estates, and if they happen
to lose them, they are almost as much troubled
at their being thought poor, as at their
being really so: The Contempt which usually
attends Poverty is what they are concern’d
at; they cannot bear the Thoughts of being F3 slighted F3v 70
slighted and neglected; their Pride is rouz’d,
their Self-love alarm’d, and they are touch’d
in the most sensible, the tenderest part of
their Souls; That which makes them so eager
for Fame in general, is their being so full
of themselves; they wou’d ingross Respect,
would be look’d on with Honour and Veneration:
Now, whatever lessens them, whatever
darkens their Splendor, they think insupportable;
every Aspersion grieves them, every
Slander stabs them to the Heart; they
are not proof against the slightest Reflection,
the weakest Attacks of Envy: And what can
be vainer, what more irrational than this?
What real Good can accrue to us from the
Praises of others? Or what real Evil can their
Censures bring on us? Why should we be
Slaves to Opinion, and govern our selves by
the capricious Humours of Persons as fallable
as our selves, of Persons who perhaps will be
one Day our Friends, and the next our Enemies;
this Day will admire and court us, to
Morrow decry and shun us? But suppose
they were constant, steady in their Applauses,
assiduous in their Addresses, and firm in their
Friendship, of what Advantage would it be?
Would it make us either the better as to
our Morals, or the wiser as to our Intellectuals,
add any thing to what is truly ours, augment
our Virtue, or give us a surer Title to a blissful
Eternity? And may we not be as easie, as F4r 71
as happy without it? As well pleas’d with
the Approbations we give our selves, with
the Plaudits of our own Consciences, as with
the united Acclamations of a Multitude? And
is it not infinitely more eligible to approve our
selves to God, and those glorious Spirits, to
whom we are going, and whose Society we
hope to enjoy for ever, than to leave the
World with the vain Hopes of a posthumous
Fame, of a Reputation which can do us no
Service, and which we shall be either ignorant
of, or despise.

Wealth, if seriously consider’d, is of as little
Moment: We know a Zeno, a Crates, a
Stilpho a Fabricius, and many others, have
been happy without it; nay, they have contemn’d
it, look’d on it as a Clog, an Impediment
to Virtue; And shall we be griev’d
for the Loss of that, which some of the best,
as well as the wisest Men of the Age in
which they liv’d, thought a Burden? Epictetus
was more throughly easie, possess’d a higher
Satisfaction, and tasted more of the true Delights
of Life in his little mean Cottage, than
his cruel Master could boast of, tho’ honour’d
with the Favour of an Emperor, and enjoying
the Effects of his Bounty in the greatest,
the most magnificent Court in the World;
And are there any amongst us expos’d to greater
Hardships than those he chearfully underwent?
And after he had his Freedom, and F4 was F4v 72
was esteem’d by Princes, did he not make the
same Poverty his Choice? Suppose we were
stripp’d of all the Conveniences of Life, must
we therefore be necessarily miserable? Will
not Nature be easily satisfy’d? Do not the
Springs afford us Liquor, the Earth Roots and
Herbs, the Trees and Bushes Fruit? Is there
not something shocking in eating Flesh, something
barbarous in the taking away the Lives of
harmless Creatures? And are there not People
that live without it? Don’t the Indian Faquirs
and Brahmens live as poorly as the meanest of
our Beggars, or rather more meanly, they never
eating any Flesh, and drinking nothing but
Water; their Houses are the Galleries of their
Temples, and their Beds (as Monsieur Bernier
tells us) are three Inches thick ofAshes,
and yet are not they contented? Do not they
live as pleasant Lives as any of their rich Mahometan
Neighbours? The same may be
said in all other Instances; and it may with
Ease be demonstrated, that Poverty, tho’ in
the greatest Extreme, can be no Evil, can
do no real Injury to the Soul, and therefore is
not to be dreaded; and if it is our Lot to
be expos’d to it, we ought to resolve not only
to bear it with a decent Resignation, but with
Courage, and such an unshaken Greatness of
Mind as may make it evident to the World that
we are above being disturb’d at what they
think so formidable, and deprecate as an Evil.

After F5r 73

After these things I know nothing that deserves
Consideration, unless it be Banishment,
or the being confin’d to a Prison: As for the
first, it has not, in my Opinion, so much as
the Shadow of an Affliction; and such as
complain of it are rather to be laugh’d at
than pity’d: What can be more pleasant than
Liberty? What more desirable than an Opportunity
of enlarging one’s Prospect? What
more delightful than a new Scene of Things,
than to gaze on Variety of Objects, to have
fresh Subjects of Contemplation, and to be
introduced into a different Set of Company?
Virtue will everywhere procure Friends; but
if it should not, yet the Good cannot fail of
being agreeable to themselves, and every Place
they are in, every thing they see will afford
them Entertainment, and render even Solitude
diverting. Imprisonment, I cannot but own,
has a much juster Pretence to be the Object of
Grief: ’Tis uneasie to be confin’d, to be abridg’d
of one’s Freedom, to have one’s View
shorten’d, and to be deny’d the Conversation
of one’s Friends: But even this, as uncomfortable
as it is, may be supported; the Thoughts
cannot be immur’d, they enjoy an entire Liberty:
All that have the Use of their Reason
may, if they please, make themselves easie;
but such as have the good Fortune to lay in
beforehand a large Stock of Knowledge and
useful Learning, will not only be easie, but happy; F5v 74
happy; their Minds will expand themselves,
and reach from the Beginning of Time to the
final Consummation of all things; they’ll take
a Survey of the Past, the Present, and the
Future, view Nature in all her Changes, and
please themselves with the Variety of her
Productions, and will consider, with an attentive
Regard, all the Transactions of Mankind,
what Figures they have made, what mighty
Empires they have rais’d, what dreadful Devastations
they have caus’d, what Mischiefs
their Passions have involv’d them in, and what
Enemies their Vices have made them to themselves
and the rest of their Species: And can
such as have so large a Field to range in be
properly said to be Prisoners? Can they want
any thing to make them pleasant? And can
there be any room left for Complaints? The
Body is but the Instrument of the Soul; while
the last has its Freedom, ’tis no matter for the
Confinement of the first; its Murmurings are
below its Notice. ’Tis not in the Power of
our greatest Enemies to exclude our Virtues;
they cannot deprive us of the Pleasures of a
good Conscience, of the inward Satisfactions
of the Mind; and while these are ours, ’tis
impossible to be wretched.

Besides the things I have mention’d, I know
none that deserve a Place in the Catalogue of
Troubles, none of that ought to be rank’d among
the Occasions of Grief, and amidst them all, I F6r 75
I know none so powerful, but that they may
be conquer’d; Reason is given us for that purpose,
and we have none to blame but our
selves, if we do not make that Use of it for
which it was design’d. Let us then resolve
to trouble the World no more with tedious
Accounts of our Sufferings, nor indulge our
selves in making dismal Reflections on the disagreeable
Circumstances of our Lives; let us
not put it in the Power of every trifling Accident
to ruffle our Minds, and disturb our
Peace; let us accustom our selves to make
little Experiments of our Strength, to use our
selves to little Trials, to consider beforehand
what may happen, and then prepare for it.
Premeditation will keep our Minds sedate and
cool, firm, and ready for an Assault, prevent
Surprizes, put us in possession of a pleasing
Serenity, a delightful Calmness of Soul, and
such a Chearfulness of Temper, as will discover
it self in our Faces, and manifest it self
in all our Actions.

I would not have my Readers think I perswade
’em to what’s impracticable, to Flights
beyond the reach of Nature: The Advice I
give, I assure them I’ve follow’d; I’ve had
Troubles to struggle with, Difficulties to conquer;
have met with Uneasinesses enough to
extort Complaints; a great many of those
things which are call’d Afflictions; have past a
considerable part of my Time in Solitude, and divided F6v 76
divided my Hours between my Thoughts and
my Books: At first I repin’d at my Fate,
thought my self hardly dealt with, could not
forbear finding fault with the unequal Distributions
of Providence, the Unkindness of Relations,
and the too little Regard they often
have for the Happiness of such as it becomes
them to be tenderly concern’d for: and when
I found my self dispirited, and sinking under
the Pressure, good God! with what Pleasure
did I think on that which most believe to be
the greatest of temporal Evils! How amiable
did Death appear to me! With what Delight
could I have retir’d into a dark silent Grave,
and in that welcome Recess, that quiet desirable
State, have taken an everlasting Leave
of all my Misfortunes! But O it was thy Will
that I should Live: Without thy Permission I
durst not quit my Post; the awful Deference
that I bore to thee calm’d all my Passions, allay’d
my Discontent, reduc’d me to some degree
of Acquiescence, to some faint Resolutions,
some weak Endeavours; but my Reason
was not yet strong enough to assist me; Without
thy divine Aid, I’d still been groveling in
my melancholy Shades, been sighing out my
Hours, condemn’d to all the Tyrannies of
Grief, and left a Prey to my own Thoughts;
thou wert pleas’d to illuminate my Mind, to
dissipate its Clouds, to spread a chearful, a reviving
Warmth, through every part of my despondingsponding F7r 77
Soul, to bid my Passions be still, and
subject to the Laws of Reason.

From that auspicious Moment I begun to
get new Strength, my Understanding grew
brighter, and I’d a clearer View of Things: I
found I’d magnify’d Objects, had swell’d my
Afflictions to a larger size than really they
were, had created Phantoms of Grief, frighted
my self with Monsters of my own forming,
and given the Name of Evil to Things which
my enlightned Reason told me were not so;
This made me resolve to make a narrow Scrutiny
into my self, to examine by what Principles
I was govern’d, what my Sentiments of
Good and Evil were; how agreeable to the
Dictates of Truth; what those Things were
which deserv’d my Concern, and for the Loss
of which I could justify my Complaints; of
what kind those Evils were whose Presence
made me uneasy; and whether I could defend
my Conduct before the Bar of impartial Reason.
At length, on a severe Enquiry, I found
I had proceeded on wrong Grounds, had gone
in the common Road, taken up the Notions of
the ignorant unthinking Vulgar; had call’d
Things by those false Names they give them;
then acknowledging my Errors, and asham’d
of my Folly, I resolved to be no longer influenc’d
by my Passions, no longer discontented
about Trifles, Things wholly foreign to me,
such as were no Appendages of my Happiness; to F7v 78
to keep a constant Guard over my Thoughts;
and as soon as I found any Disturbance within,
any Tendency to Sorrow, Anger, Fear,
or any other Disquieters of my Repose, I made
a timely Resistance, never left contending till
I’d vanquish’d my Opposers, and argu’d my
self into a patient Submission, a calm Acquiescence
of Temper.

I quickly found this Method to be highly
advantageous; the more I made use of it, the
more Ground I got; every Step was an Advance,
a pressing nearer to that Tranquillity
of Mind at which I aim’d. O how beneficial
was it to me, when I saw the best of Mothers,
best of Friends, rack’d with tormenting Pains,
all pale and full of Anguish, meekly giving up
her Soul, and taking her last, her dying Farewel!
and at the same time an only Daughter,
a Daughter worthy of my Love, threatned
with impending Death, a Death which swiftly
came to end the dismal Tragedy! Had I not
then been arm’d with Resolution, how wretched
had I been, how much a Slave to Grief! I
consider’d they were not lost, were still the
same to me, full of the same Tenderness, the
same affectionate Concern, and would perhaps
’ere long meet me with Ecstacies of Joy, and
be my kind Conductors to those peaceful Seats,
those Mansions of Delight, where they are
now possessing everlasting Pleasures, and joininging F8r 79
with the Celestial Choir in grateful Songs
of Love and Praise.

I’m now fully convinc’d, that the All-wise
Disposer of Events knows what is fittest for
me, and has been pleas’d to order all Things
for the best; Whatever has been disgustful,
whatever has given me Trouble, has been
most afflicting among the melancholy Circumstances
of my Life, has had its Use, has tended
to the Improvement of my Mind, the Exercise
of Virtue, and the fortifying of my
Soul. Prosperity enervates, but Adversity
gives a manly Firmness, fences us against the
Allurements of Sense, the tempting Blandishments
of Life, makes us retire into our selves,
and seek Satisfaction where ’tis only to be
found.

From what I’ve said, I would not have it
thought that ’tis a Stoical Apathy I’ve been recommending,
and that in order to the being
happy, I would have Persons insensible; no,
I design no such thing: I allow them to delight
in what they possess, to be thankful for
Life, careful of Health, to enjoy Riches, to
endeavour to get and preserve Reputation, to
be pleas’d with Honours, to love their Friends
and Kindred, and to be sollicitous for them;
but then I would have all this done without
disturbing their Minds, and without grieving
for such Disappointments as they may probably
meet with in reference to each of them: in F8v 80
in a word, I would have them keep them
without Anxiety, and part with them without
Murmurs, still remembring, that it becomes
them to prefer the Serenity of their own
Minds before all other Concerns.

Of G1r 6581

Of
Riches.

Were we to form Judgments only from
outward Appearances, from the general
Practice of the World, should we not be
inclin’d to think Riches the Summum Bonum
the chief, the only Good of Mankind, that
without which ’twere impossible for them to
enjoy the Felicity appropriated to their Nature?
What else could be a Temptation strong enough
to make them sacrifice their Ease, their
Quiet, their Health, their Liberty, their
Fame, and what ought to be infinitely more
dear, their Virtue, their Honour, their Conscience,
and all their future Hopes, to their
Avarice? What prevalent enough to make
them prize a great Estate more than an unspotted
Innocence, a glittering Treasure more than
a bright Understanding, and the Reputation
of being richer than their Neighbours, more than
that of being better and more rational? By
what can they demonstrate a greater degeneracy
of Soul, a higher pitch of Frenzy, than in
making it the Business of their Lives, the chief
Employment of their few flying Hours, of that
short Portion of Time which was given them
for much nobler, much more important Purposes,G poses G1v 6682
to add Acre to Acre, Field to Field,
and by all the little, mean, sordid Arts of Saving,
the base unworthy Methods of Gain, to
accumulate Wealth, and add one heap of Dirt
to another.

Such are much more cruel to themselves
than the Poets feign the Harpies were to Phineus;
they deny themselves the Conveniences
of Life, languish for what’s their own, and
starve while they’re surrounded with Plenty:
Like Midas, they turn all things into Gold,
and then, like him, are curs’d with the Fruition
of what they passionately coveted, and as
much unsatisfied with Plenitude, as they were
with Want, as voracious and as craving as
when they had nothing; always contriving
how to get more, and as anxiously studious
how to keep what they have gotten; restlesly
busy by Day, watchful and fearful by Night,
ever envying the Rich, and harassing the Poor,
suspicious of being wrong’d, distrustful of their
Neighbours, tyrannical to their Servants, niggardly
to their Children, and wretchedly penurious
to their Wives, a Curse to themselves,
and a Plague to all that have the Misfortune
to be near them, who lose all the Pleasures of
Life, entail Infamy on their Names, and run
the hazard of being everlastingly miserable only
for the Vanity of having it said after their
Death, that they have left a great Estate, have
aggrandiz’d their Family, without considering that G2r 6783
that they must not only be answerable for the
Injustice they’ve been guilty of in gaining their
Riches, and for the little Good they’ve done
with them, but for all the Mischiefs they
may do those to whom they leave them; every
Crime they occasion, every Vice they cherish,
every Passion they raise, will be charg’d
on them, and not only add to the Terrors of
their awaken’d Consciences, but, like a mighty
Weight, press them down, and sink them
full of dreadful Apprehensions, of tormenting
Remorses, and unconceivable Horrors, to the
lowest, blackest, and more direful part of their
infernal Prison.

And they are equally blame-worthy who
employ their Wealth in the Service of their
Ambition, their Pride, their Luxury, and
their other Vices; who value themselves upon
their Money and what it procures, big
sounding Titles, glorious Equipages, magnificent
Houses, rich Cloaths, and that Train of
cumbersom Vanities which a large Estate draws
after it; or who waste it in Intemperance, in
gratifying their Palats, who place their Happiness
in making the nearest Approaches they
can to the brutal part of the Creation, and are
never better pleas’d than when their Understandings
are clouded, and their Reason thrown
into a kind of Stupor, who divide their Time
between Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping, and
are more delighted with a fine-made Dish than G2 with G2v 6884
with a wise Discourse, with the dear Relish of
their delicious Wines than with the most ingenious
entertaining Company; and who, were
it put to their choice, would rather be the
Sardanapalus’s, the Apicius’s, or Vitellius’s of
the Age, than the Epaminondas’s, Aristides’s,
or Antoninus’s; that is, had rather be the very
Dregs of Mankind, than some of the most exalted
Parts of the Rational Nature.

Unhappy Wretches! How are they tost
from one Extreme to the other! forc’d to be
avaricious in order to be wastful, extravagant
and stingy by turns; now flattering, soothing,
prostituting their Consciences, stooping to the
basest, vilest, most unbecoming Actions, guilty
of Perjuries, dip’d in Blood, and loaden
with the Imprecations of the Oppressed; at
other times, scornful, insulting, Pretenders to
the highest Generosity, the greatest Liberality,
and the most diffusive Charity, still inconsistent
with themselves, a Prey to every ruling
Vice, to every domineering Passion.

Now all this proceeds from having a wrong
Notion of Things, from thinking that to be
valuable which really is not so, from not
knowing how to distinguish between those
Things which contribute to our Happiness,
and such as are no essential Parts of it; that is,
betwixt what we may call our own, and what
does not belong to us: Among which, I reckon
Dignities and Riches, together with that Honour,nour, G3r 6985
Respect, and Reputation, which result
from them; Things which, upon a due and
serious Reflection, all must own we may be
without, and yet be happy. Felicity consisting
in the inward Peace and Satisfaction of the
Mind, and is the Product of those internal
Joys which spring from an inlightned Understanding,
a well-regulated Judgment, a rectified
Will, and an unpolluted Conscience, and
not from any thing that is external, what we
can neither bestow on our selves, nor keep
when ’tis ours.

Of the Truth of this I would, if ’twere possible,
convince the World, especially those of
my own Sex; I would not have them fond of
Wealth, or afraid of Poverty, neither look on
the one as a real Good, nor on the other as a
real Evil; but learn to put a right Estimate on
Things, to prize them only according to their
true Value, to think the Riches of the Mind the
only desirable Possession, Virtue and Wisdom
to be more inestimable Treasures than the
brightest Jewels, Knowledge much better than
Gold, and the Government of their Passions
infinitely preferable to the most ambition’d
Empire: They would not then be so busy
about Trifles, so much concern’d about their
Dresses, the Ornaments of their Houses, the
making a splendid Appearance, and raising the
Envy of each other: Neither would they be
under the Temptation of selling their Liberty; G3 they G3v 7086
they would, in their Marriages, prefer Virtue
before a Title, good Sense before an Estate, and
chuse a Man of Honour in Rags, rather than
a vicious Prince, though he were Master of the
World. If all would imbibe these Principles,
what Order, what Beauty would there be!
what an universal Harmony! All would be
guided by the noblest Maxims, by the unerring
Dictates of Truth: Riches, when in such
Hands, would be a Blessing, and never be bestow’d
but on such as deserv’d ’em, and knew
how to employ ’em to the best Advantage:
Parents would not then sacrifice their wretched
Children to their Interest, and rather chuse
to see them live miserably than poorly, as being
more sollicitous for their being rich than
happy: We should see no more unsuitable
Matches; no Force would be put on Inclinations,
Virtue and Vice would not be join’d,
the Meek would not then be constrain’d to
sigh out their Hours with the Passionate, the
Humble subjected to the insupportable Humours
of the Proud, nor the Liberal chain’d
to the Covetous, confin’d to their Reverse, to
what is diametrically opposite to their Temper;
the Golden Age would be renew’d, and we
should fancy our selves among the first happy
Mortals, the innocent Inhabitants of the Anti-
Diluvian Earth, the ancient Patriarchs, whom
the Holy Scripture stiles the Sons of God.

O that G4r 7187

O that ’twere in my power to reduce that
into practice which I so much wish! Wou’d I
had Eloquence enough to perswade my Readers
to encourage Virtue, by making their
Wealth the Reward of just, brave, and laudable
Actions! If my Heart does not deceive me,
I would readily do what I earnestly recommend;
and were I Mistress of a great Estate,
would much sooner leave it to a pious Servant
than a vicious Son: I own no Relations but
what are founded on Virtue, no Friendships
but what spring from a joint Love of Truth;
and would rather, were I left to my Choice,
live with a Socrates in his Prison, than be the
Companion of an Antony amidst the Excesses
of a luxurious Court, much rather have been
the Wife of a Crates, or an Epictetus; of a
Husband poor as the first, and deform’d as the
last, than the Partner of a Throne with a Tiberius,
a Caligula, a Nero, or a Heliogabalus.

Me sacred Virtue moves alone;

I will no Rival Passion own:

Begone, begone, in vain ye sue,

I’ll to my firm Resolves be true:

No more shall Riches tempt my Sight

With their false, their glaring Light:

Before me when the Phantoms play,

From them, with Scorn, I’ll turn away;

Defy their Power, and slight their Art,

And still be Mistress of my Heart.

G4 The G4v 7288

The only Use I know Riches are of, is the
having it in one’s Power to help the Needy,
to do Good to the Indigent. I assure the Reader,
were they given to me on condition, I
should wholly keep them to my self; I would
not accept of a Gift so clog’d: But such a Supposition
ought not to be made; ’tis unfit to
imagine so much as a remote possibility of such
a Narrowness of Mind in God; in him who
is Goodness it self, and gives to all his Creatures
with an unbounded Munificence, and
whom we cannot in any thing please better,
than in imitating the Benignity of his Nature,
and in endeavouring to be Bountiful as he is
Bountiful; which tho’ we cannot be in effect,
yet we may be in desire; we may wish well
to all; and those we cannot make Rich, we
may by our Advice endeavour to make Easie,
Patient and Resign’d; tho’ we cannot give
them Gold, yet we may teach them Wisdom,
and by inspiring them with a Love of Virtue,
Probity, and Truth, put them in possession of
the most valuable Treasures, Treasures without
which all others would be Curses instead
of Blessings, and consequently should deserve
to be plac’d among their chiefest Benefactors,
as having made them the greatest, the most
inestimable Present.

Of G5r 7389

Of
Self-Love.

We are born with a strong Desire of being
happy; ’tis a Principle coæval
with our Souls, it grows with us, and will
prove as lasting as our Beings; ’tis the Centre
to which all our Motions tend, it gives a Byass
to our Actions, a sort of Fermentation to our
Spirits, makes us press forward, keeps our
Thoughts bent, and always ready, with a
precipitous Eagerness, a violent Impetuosity
to rush on every Appearance of Good, to
grasp whatever has but the Resemblance of
Happiness, or, what is infinitely more deplorable,
too often obtrudes upon us real Evils
for seeming Goods: But this is wholly owing
to the Depravity of our Judgments, and the
Darkness of our Understandings; for none, no
not the most profligate Wretches, chuse Evil,
as Evil: Were it unmask’d, did it appear as
it is, they would shun it with the greatest
Abhorrency, fly from it with the utmost Detestation;
’tis the specious Vizard that deludes
them, the tempting Case that allures them:
The beautiful Cover conceals the ugly Face,
hides the natural Deformity, and proves pernicious
to the unwary Spectators, makes them mis- G5v 7490
mistake that for their Interest, which is not
so, and, with the fond Narcissus, place their
Affection on a wrong Object; makes them,
like him, pine for Trifles, and foolishly address
themselves to charming Nothings, Shadows
of Felicity, to Things much below the
Notice of Pretenders to Reason.

Such as endeavour, by darkening other People’s
Reputations, to make their own shine
the brighter; who basely cringe and flatter to
get Favour, lye and perjure themselves to serve
a Cause, to strengthen a Party, or promote
what they call an Interest, who without Scruple
make use of all the little mean Arts of raising
an Estate, all the vile cheating ways of
getting Money, fancy they love themselves;
’tis that mistaken Imagination which involves
them in all the Injustice and Folly with
which they are chargeable: First, it blinds
their Judgment, and then corrupts their Reason;
and when that’s done, hurries them impetuously
on, and on a sudden plunges them
into an Abyss of Crimes, a Fathomless Depth
of Guilt: Whereas, were they but so happy
as to have right Notions of Good and Evil;
did they but know wherein their true Interest
consisted, what would give them lasting Reputations,
intitle them to the highest Honours,
and put them in Possession of the most
valuable Treasures, they would soon make use
of different Methods, fix their Esteem on nobler G6r 7591
nobler Objects, and love themselves with a
more rational Affection, an Affection which
would exert it self in the most generous Acts
of Kindness; they would then be sensible that
they cannot be Enemies to others, as to themselves,
that every Breach of Justice, every
Violation of Truth, and every Infringement
of Charity, is a Wrong to themselves; that
’tis impossible for them to calumniate, or deceive
their Neighbours, without injuring their
own Souls; can’t amass Treasures, purchase
Titles, or raise themselves to Honours by
undue Ways, without deeply wounding their
own Consciences, drawing on themselves unavoidable
Mischiefs, and running the Risque of
being everlastingly miserable. Such Considerations
as these would have a vital Influence on
their Lives, and soon make them universal
Blessings; the more they lov’d themselves,
the more they would love others, would
endeavour to make them feel the same Truths,
and see the same Beauties. That glorious Reward,
which is always the Recompence of
virtuous Actions, would be still in view, and
that secret Satisfaction, that internal Pleasure,
which arises from the Sense of having done
what they ought, would sweetly lead them
on, and make them take an inexpressible Delight,
an inconceivable Complacency in doing
Good. O how happy should we be, were
we all equally convinced of this important Truth! G6v 7692
Truth! how securely should we then live, in
how much Innocence and Peace! The World
would then be one continued Scene of Pleasure,
one great Family of Love.

Love quickly would the World unite,

In ev’ry Breast erect its Throne,

Mankind to solid Joys invite,

Joys to poor Mortals now unknown.

Friendship would then no Traffick prove;

But, by much nobler Precepts taught,

All like th’ Angelick Forms above,

Would be one Soul, one Mind, one Thought:

To them ’twould then uneasie grow,

To them a Self-denial be,

The smallest Disrespect to show,

Where they superior Merit see.

Then, influenc’d by a Law Divine,

They would become each other’s Care,

The general Good would still design,

And seek their own Advantage there.

But this will never be, while they are impos’d
on by their Senses, while they look on
their Passions as part of themselves, and fancy
to resist them is to offer Violence to their Nature:
If they are blam’d for their Folly, so
far are they from owning that they are culpable,
that they plead for their Faults, turn
Advocates for their Crimes, call in their Senses as G7r 7793
as Auxilaries to assist them, and would, if it
were possible, subborn their Reason to give
Evidence for them; they make use of all the
Artifice and Industry imaginable to hide them
from themselves; they put on them the Appearances
of Virtue, and represent them to their
Imagination under wrong Figures, under false
Names. Avarice they call a Love of Temperance,
Moderation, Prudence, and a laudable
Concern for Posterity: Prodigality, a being
careful of their Reputation, Generosity, Liberality
and Magnificence: Pride, a setting a due
Value on themselves: Fear, a becoming Caution,
a putting a true Estimate on Life. Thus
they turn to themselves only the wrong Sides
of Objects, contribute to their own Delusion,
are accessary to their own Captivity, and do as
much as in them lies to reduce their Souls to
the worst Slavery. If at any time they seem
averse to one Passion, ’tis either because it is
not agreeable to their Constitution, or suitable
to their present Circumstances, or else they
abandon it, in order to the indulging some
other; and if they happen to be allur’d by
some transient Glimpse of hope of a future
Reward (which the worst of Men have one
time or other experimented) or be deterr’d by
the terrifying Dread of a future Vengeance
from gratifying a Vice, they think it a great
piece of Self-denial, a very meritorious Action;
Whereas, according to the strict Languageguage G7v 7894
of Truth, to act contrary to the Dictates
of Reason, to subject the Soul to the Body,
the Intelectual Faculties to the Senses, and the
Understanding to the Passions, is, properly
speaking, the greatest, the only Self-denial,
the most convincing Proof of their being their
own Enemies. Could they quiet these internal
Disturbers, allay the Storms they raise in their
Breasts, and reduce their Minds to a peaceful
Silence, they would in that happy Calm, that
Cessation of their Passions, be at leisure to
attend to the Calls of their Consciences, and
the Perswasions of Reason; they would hear
the soft Whispers of Truth, and be no longer
deaf to its Remonstrances; the Divine Light
would dart it self into their Understandings,
give a new Turn to their Thoughts, inform
their Judgments, rectify their Wills, and make
a through, a wonderful Change, an advantageous
Alteration, transform them into something
so beautiful, so worthy of Esteem, as
would at once justifie their having a Kindness
for themselves, and entitle them to the Love
and Veneration of Mankind.

Of G8r 7995

Of
Justice.

There is no Virtue more talk’d of, and
pretended to than Justice, and yet perhaps
none less understood, and worse practised.

The greatest part of Mankind are chain’d
to what they call their Interest, incessantly tugging
at the Oar, imploy’d in the tiresome Service
of their Vices, or in the no less troublesome
Gratification of their Humours: Reason
has no Superiority over them; her Voice is too
soft, her Whispers too low to be heard amidst
so much Hurry and Noise. She delights in
a calm Mind, chuses to reside in the inmost
Recess of a silent compos’d Soul; such unhappy
Wretches, such unthinking Creatures,
cannot bear her Reproofs, cannot endure her
gentlest Admonitions, her kindest, most endearing
Perswasions. Whatever runs counter
to their Vices, gives a Check to their rapacious
Desires, sets Bounds to their Avarice, or attempts
to stop them in their impetuous Career,
offends them. They think it an Injury
to be kept from committing Crimes, from
doing Wrong; and, what is most to be wonder’dder’d G8v 8096
at, so much are they govern’d by their
Passions, that what they are apt to censure in
others, to load with the highest Imputations,
and place in the blackest Catalogue of Sins,
they not only wink at in themselves, but are
so audacious, as to own them publickly, and
plead for them as equitable Actions.

The sordid starving Miser exclaims against
Covetousness in others, though at the same
time he cruelly oppresses the Poor, encroaches
upon his Neighbours, robs them of their
Rights, cheats them in Buying and Selling, injures
the Orphan, makes his Children miserable,
his Wife a Servant, and his Servants
Slaves; yet he pretends to abhor these things,
fancies himself to be at the remotest Distance
from them, and would be believ’d to have the
highest Detestation for them; none complains
more of the Injustice of others, tells you
longer Stories of the hard Usage he has met
with, the Law-suits he is unhappily involv’d
in, the Trespasses that are done him, the Damages
he sustains from ill Men; In short, all
the Misfortunes that surround him, all the
Troubles that break in upon him, like an overflowing
Torrent.

Now, this would never be, if Men had
right Notions of Justice, if they knew how
to distinguish between Good and Evil, were
attentive to Reason, and willing to hearken to
the Voice of Truth, ready to permit it, to set them H1r 97
them Rules of Living, and then make it the
Judge, not only of their Words and Actions,
but of their very Thoughts, they being the
vital Principles, the Springs, the Masterwheels
that put the rest in Motion; and, that
being done, submit to its decisive Sentence,
and resolve, after having once chosen it for
their Director, to pay it a constant uniform
Obedience, to give themselves up entirely to
its Conduct, and to do nothing without its Approbation;
and whenever they are contriving
a Design, or about to perform any Action, I
would desire them to view it in the clearest
Light, to bring it to the severest Test, to examine
it before the Bar of Conscience, and seriously
ask themselves this necessary Question:
Is what we are now going to do, what we
would willingly have done to our selves?
Would we be so used, so spoken of? And if
they find they would not, then they ought
carefully to avoid it.

This Method would entitle them to Treasures
infinitely greater, infinitely more valuable
than those transient ones which they are in
pursuit of, would give them the Possession of
an internal Tranquility, of an inexpressible Satisfaction,
of those pure and lasting Pleasures
which result from Innocence, from the Sense
of having done what they ought. O how
happy, how delightful will it render their
Days, how easie and undisturb’d their Nights! H1 They H1v 98
They will hear nothing but Praise, nothing
but Repetitions of their just, generous, and
honourable Actions; they will have no melancholy
upbraiding Thoughts, no black Idea’s
obtruded on their Imagination, nothing to
interrupt their Rest, to render their Sleep less
pleasant. The same may be said of all others;
there are none but will find a strict Adherence
to the immutable Laws of Truth and Justice,
very advantageous; they will make them easie
to themselves, as well as to those they converse
with, render them universal Blessings,
and bestow on them the Honour of being Conservators
of the Order of the World, of that admirable,
that beautiful Order, which owes its
Origin to the Almighty Creator, to that infinite
Wisdom which made the Universe.

The Rich will then perceive, that they are
under an Obligation of doing all the Good
they can with their Wealth; that they are but
Stewards, Persons intrusted by another, by
the Proprietor of all things, and by him employ’d
to be the Distributers of his Bounty,
the Bestowers of his Gifts on the Needy, and
the Rewarders of Merit; that the Great,
those that are rais’d above the rest of Mankind,
that are incircled with Honours, and
possess’d of Grandeur, are made more powerful
than their Fellow-Mortals, with no other
Design, but that they may protect the Innocent,
right the Injur’d, encourage the Virtuous,ous, H2r 99
punish the Ill, and by their Menaces
fright the Vicious from their execrable Practices.
The Lovers of Pleasure will, by
these Laws, be taught to regulate their Conduct,
to keep within the Bounds of Honour,
to do nothing that may deserve a Reproof, or
occasion a Blush, nothing that they can be
justly reproach’d for, either by their own
Consciences, or the World, will be deterr’d
from the barbarous, the ungenteel Custom of
diverting themselves at the Expence of their
Neighbours Reputations, will scorn to do them
Wrong only to make themselves Sport: They
will be acted by better, by nobler Principles,
proceed on more becoming Motives, and
place their Delight in something much more
innocent, as well as more exalted.

How happy would the World be, were
Mankind influenc’d by these Rules! They
would then be induc’d to do good Actions
from the Beauty they see in them, from their
Agreeableness to Reason, to that Truth which
speaks within them, from that Justice which dictates
to their Souls, because they tend to the Honour
of God, and are universal Blessings, Blessings
not only to those to whom they are done,
but to those who do them; and they would
not then be so vain, so childishly proud, as to
expect Applauses for doing what they ought,
or be angry for not being thank’d for performing
Actions, which if they had left undone,H2 done, H2v 100
they would have deserv’d to have been
punish’d.

When we talk of Gratitude, of Generosity,
of Retributions, of making Returns for Favours,
we do but complement the Persons to
whom we speak, do but sooth their Vanity,
humour their Pride, treat them as we do
froward Children, give them Rattles to keep
them quiet, our Discourse is not according to
the strict Language of Truth. Did we tye
our selves to that, we should tell People, That
such as boast of their being highly generous,
of their showing a more than ordinary Liberality,
are either performing Acts of Justice,
or giving the World Specimens of their Imprudence.
Charities ill bestow’d are real Mischiefs
to Persons that receive them, and to
those that give them; and if they are conferr’d
on the Good, on the Deserving, they are
what they may challenge, Things to which
they have a legal Claim, Kindness being a
Debt due to Humanity; and that they have
no other Business here but to be useful and serviceable
to each other; that they are all parts
of one great Community, and obliged by the
Laws of their Creation to be assistant to each
other, to do all the friendly Offices they can
for every one they are acquainted with, nay,
they ought to extend their Regard to the
whole Species; some they may relieve, others
advise; to some may be beneficial by vindicating H3r 101
their Fame, to others by defending them
from Dangers; to their Inferiours by Acts of
Charity, by endeavouring to make them easie,
to render them as happy as their Condition
will bear, as they can be here, and by instructing
them in necessary Truths, to put
them in the Way of being so for ever; to
their Equals, by all the endearing Instances
of Kindness, all the Demonstrations of a sincere
and hearty Affection, of a zealous and
active Esteem; to their Superiors by paying
them all imaginable Services, giving them all
the convincing Testimonies of a dutiful Concern,
of a real and disinteress’d Respect; and
as for such as are not within the Verge of
their Acquaintance, the Sphere of their Knowledge,
they may wish them well, and afford
them a Room in their Prayers. If these things
were universally observ’d, there would be no
Place for Complaints.

If all did what became them in their respective
Stations, were just from an inward
Principle, from that internal Delight and
Complacency they take in doing good and
commendable Actions, a Delight which terminates
in it self, has no regard to Praise, to sordid
Gain, or to any little base Design, how
great would be our Felicity! how much
would Earth resemble Heaven!

H3 ’Twould H3v 102

’Twould like the blest Millennium prove,

That Prototype of Joys above,

Where Truth th’Ascendant still shall gain,

Justice shall triumph, Virtue reign:

Where having view’d each other’s Heart,

And found them void of Fraud and Art,

Free from Avarice, free from Hate,

Sincerely good, and firm as Fate,

We shall our Souls in one combine,

Shall join them with a Knot Divine,

A Knot so closely, strongly ty’d,

That nothing shall the Bond divide;

And that it may be sure to last,

Love, with a Smile, shall bind it fast:

Where we shall equal Plenty have,

None be poor, nor none a Slave;

None shall wrong, nor none complain,

A peaceful Temper there shall reign.

The tender Lamb and Wolf shall play,

The Kids among the Lions stray;

The lowing Herds with Bears shall feed,

No Guardians, no Protectors need;

So mild, so gentle shall they prove,

They at a Child’s Command shall move;

Their little Leader, pleas’d, obey,

And follow where he leads the Way.

Weak Infants shall with Serpents sport,

Unhurt, shall to their Dens resort.

None H4r 103

None there shall any Mischief do,

None there their native Fierceness shew.

Goodness Divine shall there abound,

And Mercy spread it self around,

Shall every where it self display,

Into each Breast it self convey:

Delights so pure, intense, and strong,

Shall fill their Minds, and swell their Song,

That they’ll their Thousand Years employ,

In one Extatick Now of Joy.

O thou, who art Justice it self, make me, I
humbly beseech thee, like thee in this, and
all thy other communicable Attributes. Let
my whole Life be conformble to that immutable
Order which thou hast establish’d in the
World, to that universal Reason which ought
to govern all intelligent Beings: Let that Divine
Pleasure it affords imprint it self sweetly
on my Thoughts, display it self in my
Words, and powerfully influence all my
Actions; Let my Understanding clearly see
that Amiableness, that Train of Beauties,
that Concatenation of Charms there is in
what it loves; and enable my Judgment to
form strong and convincing Conclusions of
that Truth it embraces, that my Affection may
become the Result of a deliberate and rational
Choice, not the Product only of Chance, or
a warm Imagination. Let me act from the
highest, the most exalted Principles, endeavourH4 vour H4v 104
to be exactly just in all my Transactions,
my Discourses, and all the various Circumstances
of Life, and this without having a
Regard either to Applauses here, or Recompences
hereafter, without being brib’d by Secular
Advantages, or frighted by the Threatning
of an eternal Vengeance, as much doubting
were I sway’d only by such Motives,
I should (supposing there were no such Inducements)
desist from doing what I ought,
and become negligent in the Pursuit of Virtue,
deficient in Matters of the most important
Moment: Assist me in banishing from
my Mind all false Notions, whatever may
serve to heighten my Pride, encrease may Vanity,
raise my Anger, or augment any uneasie
Resentment: When I have done good Offices,
been kind to the Distress’d, liberal to the
Needy, affectionately concern’d for those with
whom I converse, and ready to serve them to
the utmost Extent of my Power, let me not
expect Retributions, nor be troubled if I am
not thank’d, nor upbraid those to whom I
have been friendly with their Forgetfulness,
but contentedly retire into my self, and there
seek that Satisfaction which accrues from having
done what becomes me: And on the contrary,
if I have done any thing to which the World
thinks fit to affix the Epithet of Generous, any
thing that attracts Regard, and looks like an
Act of uncommon Bounty, let me consider, that H5r 105
that all I have is thine, that it was given me
to be laid out for thy Glory, and that while I
detain it from the Indigent, I am incurring
thy Displeasure, drawing Guilt on my self,
and robbing my Soul of those Joys, which are
the inseparable Companions of a just and innocent
Life, a benificent and chearful Temper,
and depriving my self of those transporting
Euge’s, those ravishing Benedictions, which at
the final Judgment, the great Day of Retribution,
shall consummate the Bliss of the Righteous.

That Bliss to which I longing haste,

Those Joys I even faint to taste.

Say, ye bright Forms, who once were Men,

Would you assume your Flesh agen,

And leave your Beatifick Sight,

For all the World can call Delight?

O no! You’d all things here decline

But for a Glimpse of what’s Divine;

And if one Glance so dear wou’d prove,

How much must full Fruition move?

Of H5v 106

Of
Anger.

Anger in the moral World, is the same
that a Hurricane is in the natural; it
raises a violent Tempest in the Soul, clouds
the Judgment, overturns the Reason, shatters
the Understanding, puts a resistless Force on
the Will, crouds the Memory with black Idea’s,
with infernal Images, Thunders from the
Tongue, Darts pointed Lightning from the
Eyes, sometimes breaks forth into Flouds of
Tears, and too often vents its Fury in Deluges
of Blood: It throws the Thoughts into
the utmost Confusion; they appear like a
troubled Sea, where Billow meets with Billow,
one Wave with deafning Horrour breaks
upon another; sometimes the mounting Surges
almost reach the Sky, and then are on a sudden
thrown low as the Center of the Earth:
The Mind is furiously agitated, the whole
Body disorder’d; there is nothing within but
Hurry and Tumult, nothing to be seen without
but Fierceness and Rage, Convulsive Motions,
staring Eyes, broken Sentences, frightful Looks,
Faces pale as Death, or red as Blood: In a
word, a Mixture of Folly and Madness, Man and H6r 107
and Beast blended together, or rather something
more savage; something crueller than
hungry Lions, than provok’d Tigers.

Would you represent the angry Man to
your self, would you form a lively Idea of
him in your Imagination, fancy you heard
Cerberus barking, and at the same time saw
the Furies with their Torches flaming, their
Eyes casting forth malignant Flashes, the nauseous
Froth forcing a Passage thro’ their distorted
Lips, and the dreadful Vipers hissing
round their ghastly Heads; yet this, and whatsoever
the most pregnant Invention can add, to
render it more hideous, will not come up to
the ugly, the monstrous, the horrid Original.
Could he see himself, he would be so far from
falling in Love with his own Resemblance, that
he would do the World a Kindness, and at once
free Mankind and himself of one of the greatest
Plagues, their most insupportable Burdens:
But he is too much blinded by his Passion, to
be able to discern his own Deformity, or the
Devil that possesses him. Lucifer himself had
not more Pride, nor a larger Share of Envy
and Malice; and were his Power as great,
the Effects would be as deplorably pernicious;
he would soon spoil the beautiful Order of
Things, destroy the Harmony of Nature, and
reduce the World to its original Confusion, its
primitive Chaos, to an Anarchy like that
which he has in his own Breast.

How H6v 108

How unhappy! how unexpressibly miserable
are they who condemn themselves to so
rigorous, so shameful a Slavery, who put it in
the Power of every trivial Accident, of every little
Disappointment, to harrass and torture their
Minds; and whom, if you would be spiteful, if
you would give your self the Liberty of gratifying
an ill-natur’d Pleasure, you might with
a Glance, a Word, or an Action in it self innocent
and well intended, but dexterously manag’d,
blow into a Flame, and deprive of all their
Peace, all their Satisfaction, and make ’em as ragingly
impatient as a blind Polyphemus, or a
disappointed Ajax. While the Frenzy lasts,
you might have the Diversion to see them,
like that Grecian Hero, exercising their Valour
on Brutes, and mistaking Hogs for Agamemnons
or, like Don Quixote, fighting with
Wind-mills, and doing things more ridiculously
extravagant than any that are to be found
in Romances. What greater Punishment could
their most implacable Enemies wish them?
And what Objects are there in the World that
more deserve our Compassion? And what
would be more generous, more becoming Christians,
the Followers of a meek, tender, patient,
and commiserating Master, than to endeavour
to restore them to the Use of their Reason,
resettle them in the Possession of themselves,
reinstate them in those Privileges, to
which their Humanity gives them an indisputabletable H7r 109
Right, and of which ’twas impossible
for them to have been disseiz’d, without their
own Consent.

In order to the compassing a Design, which
will prove so universal a Good to Mankind,
so unexpressibly beneficial to the whole
Community, it will, in the First place, be
best to enquire, what those things are which
generally excite Anger? And when we have
exactly weigh’d them, and heedfully consider’d
all their Circumstances, we will put into the
opposite Scale that Calmness, Easiness, Sedateness,
Firmness, and Tranquility, that inward
Complacency and Joy, together with those
outward Demonstrations of Love and Veneration,
which are the inseparable Attendants of
a humble, quiet and dispassionate Temper, and
see which will preponderate.

Anger proceeds from an Opinion of our
being injur’d either in our Persons, Reputations,
or Possessions: Now though all Evils of
this kind are imaginary, as having no Existence
in Nature, yet to a disturb’d Fancy
they appear real, and will sensibly afflict, till
we free our selves from them by the Use of
proper Remedies, by having Recourse to Philosophy,
the Physick of the Soul, that Catholicon
which will cure all its Maladies, enable
it to throw off all its peccant Humours,
strengthen and invigorate its Constitution, give
a Clearness and Vivacity to its visive Faculty, and H7v 110
and render it capable of taking a thorough
View of Things, of seeing them as they are,
of rightly distinguishing between what is truly
ours, and what is anothers; between what
has its Dependancy on us, is free, and cannot
be hinder’d from being ours, and what has
not its Dependance on us, but is subject to
another, and may be denied us at pleasure;
of discerning the Difference betwixt the
Things we ought to wish for, and those we
ought to shun; the Objects of our Desire,
and those of our Aversion.

Of the first kind are our Inclinations, our
Opinions, and all the Operations of our Mind,
all that comes within the Verge of our Will,
whatever we can give our selves, and continue
in our own Power: The second are such
Things as are without us, such as we receive
from another; I mean, all such as are vulgarly
known by the Name of the Goods of Fortune,
Things which are not within the Sphere
of our Activity, within our Reach, or at our
Disposal, which no more belong to us than
they do to separate Beings, or inanimate
Lumps of Matter: Till we can thus revolve
them in our Minds, assign them their proper
Stations, place them in opposite Ranks, and
are intimately acquainted with their specifick
Discrimination, we can never be easy, never
be happy, never be Masters of our selves; cannotnot H8r 111
know what to have a Repugnance against,
or on what to fix our Desires.

Now such as know that their Bodies, their
Reputation, their Kindred, their Friends, their
Acquaintance, their Servants, their Wealth,
their Honours, their Places, or whatever else
serves to swell the Catalogue of contingent
Goods, are Things foreign to them, Things
that do not in the least concern them; some
of them such as they cannot get without indefatigable
Toil, without little mean Compliances,
without hazarding their Liberty, their
Integrity, their Sincerity, all that ought to be
dear to the Lovers of Virtue, to all such as
make Truth the Standard of their Actions, the
Criterion by which they desire to be try’d;
and that for others, they must be obliged to
the favourable Concurrence of several Things
to compass them, to a propitious Conjunction
of lucky Hits, to make them theirs; and if
they at the same time consider, that there are
as many Ways of losing them as there are of
gaining them, and that they cannot assure
themselves of them for the short Duration of a
Moment, they will look on them with Indifference,
as Things infinitely below the attentive
Regard of a rational Soul, much less of
an affectionate Tenderness.

The deeper Impression such Thoughts as
these make upon them, the farther will they
withdraw themselves from them, the more they H8v 112
they will be upon their Guard, the better prepar’d
to encounter every cross Accident; nothing
will be surprizing, nothing new, or unexpected;
they will, as Epictetus says, when
they remove an earthen Cup, consider, that
’tis Brittle, and may easily be broken; and
they will from such inconsiderable Instances,
from Things which have the lowest place in
their Esteem, rise to such as are higher and
more valuable, to such as have a nearer Relation
to them: If their Parents, their Kindred,
their Friends, those that are oblig’d by the
Ties of Blood, of Honour, of all that’s estimable
among Men, to treat them with Affection
and Respect, should prove unkind, treacherous,
and malicious, they will quiet themselves
by reflecting on the Fickleness of Human
Nature, by considering that Inconstancy
is the Characteristick of both Sexes, and ’tis
as easy to find a Phoenix as a Person that is always
the same: The Philosopher who made a
narrow Scrutiny for an honest Man, might
with as little hopes of Success have search’d
for a faithful Friend, they being equally difficult
to be found.

If their Children prove disobedient, they’ll
remember ’tis natural for Youth to be rash,
headstrong, fond of themselves, impatient of
Restraint, and violently hurried on by their
Passions, and therefore the Follies they are
guilty of are not to be wonder’d at, and that ’tis I1r 113
’tis more disagreeable to Reason for them to be
moved at them, than for the others to do
them.

If such as are making their Approaches to
the Grave, who are taking their Leave of Life,
and all its Enjoyments, prove their Enemies,
if they oppress them, detain their Rights from
them, and treat them inhumanly, they will
be so far from being enrag’d, that they will
look with pity on the Infirmities of their Age,
and be ready to impute their Failures to their
true Cause, to the Decays of their Understanding,
their repeated Acts of Injustice, to the
mistaken Love of themselves, and their insatiable
Thirst after Riches, which unhappily encreases
proportionately to their Incapacity to
use them, to the Boundlesness of their Desires,
and the making Wealth the Center to which
they direct all their Aims, and for which they
hope to be valu’d when they’ve nothing else
left to recommend them.

If the Great endeavour to injure them, if
they insult over them, they will look with
Scorn on their Attempts, will consider them
on the same Level with themselves in respect
of their Souls, and of those Materials whereof
their Bodies are jointly compos’d, as Parts of
the same Community, of the same Order of
Beings, and distinguish’d from one another only
by a few adventitious Advantages, Things
that have no intrinsick Worth in them, and I conse- I1v 114
consequently can confer none on their Possessors,
but derive all their Value from the Opinion
of others; they will likewise reflect on
the Limitedness of their Power, that after all
their Threatnings, they can extend it to nothing
that is truly their own, that they can’t
rob them of their Virtue, their Constancy,
their inward Serenity, the unspeakable Delights
of a well-satisfied Conscience, of a regular,
calm, and intrepid Mind.

If their Equals abuse them, if they make it
their Business to defraud them of their Legal
Rights, to injure them either in their Persons
or their Fame, they will, if ’tis possible, secure
themselves from Violence and Contumelies,
will endeavour to justify themselves, will
avouch their Innocency, and strive to undeceive
those they converse with; but if the
World will still think them culpable, they
will despise the invidious Censurers, and quiet
themselves with the Plaudits of their own
Breast, with the Knowledge of their own Innocency,
without once condescending to any
thing so mean, as to express a Dissatisfaction;
no, they will still make a brave Defence, a
noble Resistance, will stand firm against every
Attack, and if they must lose the Day, they’ll
fall with Honour, die without Complaints, or
so much as a Change of Countenance, without
making indecent Reflections, doing or saying
any thing that might give the nicest Observer occasion I2r 115
occasion to call their Conduct in question.

If they are their Inferiors that displease
them, they’ll look on them as Persons below
their Anger; and ’twill be alike to them whether
the Provocation proceeds from Insolence
or Carelessness, from Contempt or Inadvertency,
from Dullness or Obstinacy, from Want
of Sense or Malice: Let the Motive be what
it will, they are resolv’d not to give ’em so
great an Advantage over them, as to put it in
their Power to discompose their Minds: They
know Injuries consist only in Opinion, and
that they can’t be wrong’d, can’t be affronted,
unless they themselves contribute to it; there
must be the Concurrence of their own Will to
make it an Evil; therefore they prudently
fence against the first Impressions, the first
Ebullitions of Passion, and think themselves
sufficient Gainers if at any Rate they can purchase
so great a Blessing as Constancy.

And as for Riches, they will consider, that
they are not essentially necessary, that Nature
is contented with a little; that the way to enjoy
them, is to keep the Heart loose from them,
to be unconcern’d whether we have them or
not, and by little Trials to prepare for greater,
to bear small Losses unmov’d, always remembring,
that Poverty with Contentment, is much
more desirable than a plentiful Estate with
Uneasiness and an anxious Sollicitude, it being
better to suffer all the Extremities of Hunger, I2 Thirst, I2v 116
Thirst, and Cold, and preserve a compos’d,
chearful, and resigning Temper, a steddy, firm,
and undaunted Greatness of Mind to the last
Gasp, than to live amidst the greatest Affluence
of Wealth, with a Soul full of Disturbance
and insatiable Desires, a Soul which neither
knows how to keep, nor how to part with
what it has, which pierces it self with what it
grasps, turns its Blessings into Punishments, its
Joys into Fears, and the Bounties of Heaven
into Occasions of Mischief both to it self and
others.

They farther consider, That Titles and Places
of Trust, their being advanc’d to honorable
Posts, to dazling Heights, to Stations above
the Kenn of vulgar Eyes, will not justify their
being Proud, Imperious, Passionate, Cruel,
and Revengeful; no, they’ll rather make them
more watchful over themselves, more vigilant
Inspectors of their own Actions; they will
check every peevish Humour, suppress every
arrogant Thought, every malicious Suggestion,
every furious Motion, will arm themselves
with Patience, put favourable Constructions
on every Occurrence, mild and charitable Interpretations
on whatever they see or hear,
will strive to sweeten their Minds, to free
them from Perturbations, from the dangerous
Sallies of an ungovern’d Anger, of an unmanageable
Rage, and all the other ill Effects of
a brutish forbidding Temper; and in order to the I3r 117
the rendring themselves fit to be belov’d, will
assume a soft engaging Air, a humble and inviting
Mein, and, as far as they are able, endeavour
to imitate that Goodness to which
they owe their Exaltation, and make it their
Care to become universal Blessings, as knowing
they have no other way of making themselves
valu’d by the rational, the thinking
part of Mankind.

None but the Mob, the Dregs of the Creation,
will prize the Beast for its Trappings,
or honour it the more because it carries a Goddess;
others will know how to distinguish between
the poor worthless Bird and its gay borrow’d
Plumes; betwixt the gawdy Outside,
and the contemptible Wretch that owns it;
will laugh behind the Scenes, to see a Pigmy
strut in Buskins, now act the fiery Son of Peleus,
the mad Orestes, the greedy Midas, the
enrag’d Cambyses, the revengeful Coriolanus,
the cruel Marius, the bloody Sylla, and the
inhumane Nero, personating by turns all the
Monsters of Antiquity; Such become Phalaris’s
and Procrustes’s to themselves and others;
they share in the Torments they inflict; their
Passions exercising the same Barbarities on them,
they do on such as have the hard Fate to be
subjected to their Tyranny.

’Tis unaccountably strange, that while the
Bears, the Wolves, the Foxes, the Apes, and
all the numerous Individuals of the Bestial I3 Kingdom, I3v 118
Kingdom, are kind to their own Species, never
quarrel among themselves, nor break the
Union made by Nature, when press’d by Hunger
they fall on different Kinds, or on Man,
the Common Enemy, but are never known,
though urged by Famine, or the most voracious
Appetite, to feed upon themselves, or any
of the same Denomination; That Men should
become fond of ruining each other, should thirst
for each other’s Blood; that a Glance, a Word,
a Mistake, a seeming Neglect, a few useless
Trifles, Toys fit only for Children and Fools
to fight and cry for, should set them together
by the Ears, and make them prove Beasts of
Prey to one another: How will they worry
each other for a little Dirt! with what Eagerness
snatch the half-chew’d Morsels from each
others Mouths! The Shadow of an Injury,
the bare Opinion of a Wrong, is enough to
make them bite and scratch, and murder Reputations,
do the vilest, most execrable Actions.

Now if, upon the whole, we would consult
our Reason, would with a cool, a silent,
calm Attention, listen to the Director that is
within us, we should quickly be convinc’d of
the Deformity of this Vice, of its Contrariety
to the immutable Order of Things, of its fatal
Consequences, the innumerable Mischiefs it
produces, the Irrationality of its Conduct, and
the Impetuosity of its Motions, we should then, I4r 119
then, with the highest Detestation, behold all
those deplorable Effects of Rage with which
Histories are crowded, gaze on the angry Man
with an instructive Horror, view him in every
outrageous Transport, in every terrifying
Fit of Madness, and having well consider’d
every monstrous Feature, turn us from the
frightful, the tremendous Image, to its charming
Opposite, the chearful, patient, mild, forgiving
Man; see him still constant to himself,
still easy, gentle, bountiful, and kind, pleas’d
with a little, and still contented, even when
that little’s lost: Unmov’d he stands the Shock
of Malice and of Envy, by Innocence and Virtue
made invulnerable, slights the invenom’d
Darts of spightful Tongues, and goes unalter’d
on in the same steady Course.

Such was the good, the much-wrong’d Socrates
at Home a peevish and ill-humour’d
Wife disturb’d his Peace, Abroad the mercenary
Aristophanes expos’d him to the Hatred
and Derision of his ungrateful Country-men:
He saw himself made a publick Jest, despis’d,
scorn’d, and pointed-at by every mean Athenian,
charg’d with Impiety, accus’d of Crimes
to which he was a Stranger, and at length
unjustly sentenc’d; yet all this he bore without
a Murmur; his Defence was meek, sedate,
unmix’d with sharp Invectives, yet there
was nothing low or whining in it, nothing
that look’d like Fear, or an unmanly Love of I4 Life; I4v 120
Life; no, he talk’d of Death as of a Thing he
wish’d for; and when he might have liv’d,
when his Friends had made it easy for him to
escape, he refus’d to owe his Life to what
might look like Guilt, and would not break
those Chains the Laws had bound him with:
When the fatal Cup was given him, he took
it with a calm untroubled Look, with such a
Look as spoke the inward Quiet of his Mind,
and drank it with a Soul resign’d; no Sighs,
no Groans, were heard; no indecent Struggles
seen; all was of a piece, all beautiful, and all
instructive. His firm Belief of Immortality,
of that eternal Joy to which his Soul was
hastning, of that Reward which injur’d Virtue
meets with in a Future-state, was his Support,
and made his Passage easy.

Another Instance we have in Epictetus that
last and best of all the Stoicks, who, though
diseas’d and lame, and born a Slave, a Slave
to an imperious, vicious, humorous Master,
yet still retain’d his Evenness of Temper.
When his cruel Lord, to try his Patience,
made it his Diversion to bend his Leg, he
calmly bore the Pain, and only told him smiling,
“He would break it;” which when the inhuman
Beast had done, he only meekly said,
“I told you, you would do it.” What a Philosophick
Strength of Mind was here! Methinks
I see him in his little House, that mean, that
despicable Cell, that something below a Cottage,tage, I5r 121
that had not so much as the weak Defence
of a Door, and could boast of no other Ornament,
but a poor Earthen Lamp, instructing
his admiring Pupils, and teaching them at
once by Precept and Example; they saw him
still the same when bound and free, when a
Slave to Epaphroditus, and when the Favourite
of Emperors; Poverty was still his Choice,
Virtue his only Treasure, and to do Good his
sole Delight: How does he combate every
Vice, contend with every Passion! How admirable
are those Rules he has prescrib’d us!
As never any knew better how to suffer, so it
must be own’d, that never any Philosopher
taught it better: Socrates was the Man he
propos’d to himself for an Example; and certainly
none was ever a more exact Imitator of
his Life: He renounc’d all other Pleasures,
but those of the Mind, and preferr’d Tranquility
and Indolency of Soul, before all other
Possessions: In order to the attaining of which,
he gives his Disciples very useful Lessons,
of which these following ones are some.


“If having consider’d what things have their
Dependance on you, and what have not, you
resolve to look on nothing as yours, but what
is truly and really so, it will not be in the
Power of any Accident to disturb you, or divert
you from what you have propos’d to
your self; no body shall check or disappoint
you; you shall accuse no body, shall complain‘plain I5v 122
of nothing, receive no Harm, have no
Enemy; for no Man will be able to do you
any Prejudice; and certainly a Life so totally
exempt from all Perturbation, must needs be
above Anger, Grief, or Fear, absolutely free,
and unexpressibly happy.”

He farther bids them, in every Action they
undertake, consider first with themselves, and
weigh well the Nature and Circumstances of
the Thing; nay, though it be so slight an
one as going to Bathe, he bids them represent
to themselves, what Accidents ’tis probable
they may meet with; That in a Bath is often
rude Behaviour, dashing of Water, justling for
Passage, scurrillous Language and Stealing, and
having done this, he says, They may the
more securely do the thing; and he tells
them, after such prudent Preparations as these,
should any thing that’s disgustful intervene,
this Reflection will presently rise upon it;
Well, but this was not the only thing I propos’d;
that which I principally intend, is to
keep my Mind and my Reason undisturb’d;
and this, I’m sure, can never be effected, if
I suffer every Accident to discompose me: He
adds, That which gives Men Disquiet, and
makes their Lives miserable, is not the Nature
of the Things as they really are, but the
Notions and Opinions which they form to
themselves concerning them; Therefore whenever
we meet with Hinderances and Perplexities,ties, I6r 123
or fall into Troubles and Disorders, let
us be just, and not lay the Blame where it is
not due, but impute it wholly to our selves
and our prejudicate Opinions.

Next, in order to their keeping themselves
easie, he bids them not to trouble themselves
with wishing that Things may be just as they
would have ’em, but be well pleas’d that they
should be exactly as they are: Again, on every
fresh Accident, he advises them to turn
their Eyes inward, and examine how they
are qualified to encounter it: If Labour and
Difficulty come in their Way, they will find
a Remedy in Hardiness and Resolution; if they
lie under the Obloquy of ill Tongues, Patience
and Meekness are a proper Fence against
it: And he says, If they accustom themselves
always to act after this manner, occurrent Objects
will have no Prevalence over them.

In the next place, he tells them, They must
never use themselves to say they have lost any
thing, but only restor’d it: As for Instance,
If they lose their Estates, they are not to say,
They are taken from them, but paid back to
the Giver; then he supposes them to make
this Objection, but they were Knaves who
defrauded us; to which he replies, What’s
that to the purpose? Or, how does it concern
you by what means, or what Hand, he that
gave it, resumes it to himself? Trouble not
your selves therefore about these Matters; but I6v 124
but while he permits the Enjoyment, use it as a
thing that’s not your own, but another’s, and let
your Concern and Affection for it be just such
as Travellers have for an Inn upon the Road.

If you indeed, says he, are willing to improve
in Virtue, you must never allow your
self in such mean Thoughts as these; I must
solicitously follow the Business of my Calling,
or else I and my Family shall starve; I
must take pains with this Son of mine, must
chide and chastise him, or he’ll be ruin’d.
These are the Misgivings of an anxious Mind,
and unworthy a Philosopher, whose first Care
should be the Quiet of his own Breast. Perhaps
some will say, this has too much of the
Stoick in it to be propos’d for an Example;
but I think such as disaprove of it will injure
Epictetus, if they suppose he would not have
People follow the Business of their Calling,
or correct their Children; he does not blame
the thing, but the manner of doing it; a
convenient Provision may be made for a Family,
and all due Care taken of a Son, and
yet the Mind kept quiet and undisturb’d.
In order to the gaining such a calm easie
Temper, he advises us to use our selves to
little Trials; if a Cruse of Oil be broken, or
a Pint of Wine stollen, he bids us reflect immediately,
that this is the Purchase of Constancy
and a compos’d Mind; and since nothing
can be had Gratis, he that buys these so cheap has I7r 125
has a good Bargain: So again, he says, When
you call your Servant, consider ’tis possible
he may not attend; or if he does, he may not
obey your Command; however it be, have a
care you do not give him so great an Advantage
over you, as to put it in his Power to
ruffle and unsettle your Mind.

Again, that Person is properly my Lord and
Master, who hath it in his Power to gratify my
Wishes, or make me afraid; to give me what I
desire to have, or to take from me what I’m unwilling
to part with: The only way then to preserve
one’s Liberty, is to restrain one’s Passion,
and to have neither Desire nor Aversion for any
thing in the Power of others; for he that does
not so, is sure to be a Slave as long as he lives.

Again, let it be your constant Care to behave
your self in all the Affairs of Humane
Life with the same Decency that you would
at a publick Entertainment; If any thing be
offer’d you, receive it with Modesty; if it
pass by you, and be sent to another, do not
with-hold it from him, or keep what was
not intended for you; if it be not yet come
down so low, show not your self impatient, nor
snatch at it greedily, but wait contentedly till
it comes to your Turn.

Again, remember, that when any Man reviles
or strikes you, ’tis not the Tongue that
gives you the opprobrious Language, or the
Hand that deals the Blow, that injures or affrontsfronts I7v 126
you; but ’tis your own Resentment
of it that makes it such to you; When therefore
you are provok’d, ’tis owing entirely to
your Apprehensions of Things; therefore
you ought to be very careful that you are
not transported with Rage; for if you can
but so far subdue your Passion, as to get time
for cooler Thoughts, you will with Ease attain
to a good Government of your self.

Again, if you happen to be told, that another
Person hath spoken ill of you, never give
your self the Trouble of refuting the Report,
or excusing the thing; but rather put up all
with this Reply, That you have several other
Faults; and that if he had known you better,
perhaps he would have believ’d he had reason
to have spoken worse.

If we can chearfully permit each Observer
to be a Censurer of our Actions, can, without
the least Emotion, bear Reproof, bear it not
only from a Friend, but from an Enemy, can
satisfie our selves with an Appeal to Heaven;
and if we have Failures, can be content to have
them known, and, full of humble Sorrow, be
thankful to such as blame us for ’em, we have
got above the World, above the Earth’s magnetick
Force, the Whirls of grosser Matter,
and are securely settled in that calm, that
peaceful Region, where all is bright, serene
and quiet: Vain-glory then will vanish, Ambition
be no more, nor will there be room for I8r 127
for Ostentation left; Anger will be depriv’d of
its most powerful Aids, its Foundation will be
struck at, and when that fails, the Superstructure
soon will sink.

Thus I have epitomiz’d this good Man’s
Rules, at least such as concern this Subject.
There are others I might recommend for their
excellent Precepts on this Topick, as Seneca,
Plutarch, and Marcus Aurelius; but I think
neither of them equall’d those great Masters
of Morality, Socrates and Epictetus: Their
Writings and their Lives had something more
agreeable, were more of a Piece; there were
no darkening Shadows in their Characters, no
Incoherencies or Contradictions, and, if I am
not mistaken, fewer Errors in their Doctrines:
As for Seneca, when I read him, I cannot but
admire his Flights of Fancy, the Delicacy of
his Wit, and the Sharpness of his Stile; Satyr
seems to be his Province, and he, like another
Hercules, destin’d to encounter Monsters:
Who ever reprehended Vice with greater Severity?
How much does he blame Avarice,
Pride, Ambition, Ingratitude, Cruelty, &c.
how pathetically recommend Continency, Temperance,
Justice, Poverty and every thing
that it becomes a good Man to approve of?
He carries me away with the Stream of
his Eloquence; but when I reflect on the
Character that’s given him by some Historians,
I’m shock’d, I stem the Tide, and strive I8v 128
strive to swim against the Torrent: I am
strangely startled to find him revenging himself
on Claudius, by ridiculing him in the Panegyrick
his Royal Pupil spoke at his Apotheosis,
amaz’d to see so strict a Pretender to Virtue,
suspected to be a Consenter to Nero’s Matricide,
and a Defender of that horrid Villany,
one who too plainly show’d his Approbation,
by seeking plausible Reasons to give it a Colour:
To hear him praise Poverty, one wou’d
have thought he had chosen, with Diogenes,
to have liv’d in a Tub, had been a Stranger to
the Luxury of Courts, to the Pomps of Life,
at least had known them only by Report, and
not Experience, and had been so great a Despiser
of Riches, that he would rather, with
Crates, have thrown his Wealth into the Sea,
than have been, by his Extortion, the Occasion
of an Insurrection in Britain: But
when I read the Apology Causin has made for
him, I please my self with Hopes, that what
has been said to his Prejudice is false: I consider,
that the Good have been always malign’d,
and that Merit has been ever the Object
of Envy.

And as for Plutarch, I acknowledge him to
have been a great Man; his Lives of illustrious
Men, is a useful and noble Work: but, in
my Opinion, he does not seem to have a right
Notion of Good and Evil; he praises several
Things that are in themselves blame-worthy, as K1r 129
as ’twill be easy for any Person to observe who
reads him attentively, and of which there are
numerous Instances in his Treatise of famous
Women, where several Ladies are applauded
for Actions which I should have judg’d to be
criminal, and where many things which to me
appear Faults, are by him esteem’d Virtues:
When he gives an Account of the Spartan Institutions,
how many shocking Things are
there in them, which he tacitly commends?
Now such a Procedure as this may prove of ill
Consequence to an unwary injudicious Reader,
who may be apt to be too much sway’d by so
great an Authority.

As for the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus,
he was a Prince who liv’d in the constant
Practice of all sorts of Virtues; nothing
can be finer than his Writings, nothing more
instructive; but his leaving such a Successor
as Commodus, left an irreparable Blemish on
his Life, and tarnish’d a Fame, that would
have been otherwise eternally glorious: He
was not ignorant of the vicious Disposition of
his Son; he cou’d not but know that he was
unfit for so great a Charge: If he had been
true to his Principles, he ought to have been
led by nothing but Truth, to have own’d
no Relation, no Kindred, but what was
founded on Virtue; not to have valu’d Commodus
the more for being his, but to have
look’d on him with the same Indifference that K he K1v 130
he would have done on a Stranger; and, without
having the least regard to the Character of
a Son, look’d with an impartial Eye on the
Qualities of his Mind, the natural Propensities
of his Soul; and if, after all the Care he had
taken of his Education, he had discover’d in
him an Inclination to Evil, he ought, in spight
of all the Reluctancies of Nature, the importuning
Tendernesses of a Father, to have disinherited
him, and adopted a worthier Man,
one of a consummate Virtue, one in whom he
had reason to believe the Roman People would
be happy: This it became a Philosopher to
have done, as ’tis what all others, in parallel
Cases, ought to do. And I think I may boldly
venture to affirm, that nothing would more
effectually tend to the Reformation of Manners:
Men would then find it their Interest to
be good, at least to appear so; and though it
might have no inward Force, might not affect
the Heart, yet it would influence the Practice,
and prove more prevalent than either Sermons
or Laws.

There are in History several other shining
Examples of Patience and Moderation, of
Calmness and Evenness of Temper: Who can
enough commend Lycurgus, for not only pardoning
Alcander when he was given up to
him by the People, and he had it in his Power
fully to revenge himself for the Loss of his
Eye, by taking away his Life, but making it his K2r 131
his Business to cultivate and meliorate his savage
cholerick Temper, to make him hate
those Vices he had formerly indulg’d, and of
a wild, debauch’d Youngman, to render him
one of the soberest and most prudent Citizens
of Sparta.

Augustus was a greatMaster of his Passion,
of which he gave a memorable Instance in his
pardoning Cinna, who was engag’d in a Conspiracy
against him; as the Action was noble,
so his manner of doing it had something in it
peculiarly brave; for after he had convinc’d
him that he knew the whole Plot, together
with the Certainty he had of his being in it,
he reminded him of his Obligation to him,
bid him remember, that when he found him
in Arms against him, he gave him both his
Life and Fortune, and then told him, notwithstanding
his Ingratitude, he freely forgave
him; adding, that the Life he once bestow’d
on him as an Enemy, he would now give him
as a Traitor and a Parricide, and then generously
promis’d him this should be the last Reproach
he would ever give him, and that for
the future there should be no other Contest
between them, but which should exceed the
other in point of Friendship; and to assure him
of his Sincerity, he made him Consul: This
gentle, kind, and generous Usage, made him,
of an inveterate Foe, become a faithful and an
affectionate Friend.

K2 ’Twere K2v 132

’Twere easy to give many more Instances of
this kind; Histories are full of them; and some
may be found in our own Annals, as well as
in those of foreign Kingdoms: We can boast
of a Royal Martyr, who calmly bore ten thousand
Indignities, who without repining, endur’d
a long Imprisonment, saw himself treated
by some of his insolent Subjects, as if he
had been one of the meanest of his People, or
the vilest of Malefactors, heard himself reproach’d
and wrongfully accus’d, and at last
sentenc’d to Die by those to whom he stood
doubly Related, both as a Father and a Soveraign;
and yet all this he saw, and heard,
without Emotion, was still Master of his Temper,
still meek, patient, and forgiving; no
passionate Expressions, no opprobrious Language,
once escap’d him; he lost his Crown
and Life without a Murmur, dy’d the same
he liv’d, the same submissive, gentle, mild,
Religious Prince.

And now, as if the Doctrine of a Metemphychosis
were true, we seem to see him animate
another Body, to live once more in one
of his immortal Line, in that unequal’d Queen
who fills his Throne, and is the Glory of her
Sex, the Joy of all her Subjects, all they
could wish to make them happy: She inherits
every shining Quality that was admir’d in
him; like him, she had Misfortunes to contest
with, was made the common Theme, the Sport K3r 133
Sport of envious Tongues, was blacken’d by
invenom’d curst Detractors, by vicious Wretches,
who, like the Birds of Night, cou’d not
endure the Lustre of her Virtue; but she,
like some firm Rock, bore all the dashing Surges,
they roar’d in vain, in vain they broke
themselves against her; she undaunted saw
each rising Billow, and stood collected in her
Self, safe in her Innocence, and kept unmov’d
by the innate Greatness of her Mind: Her
Enemies she pitied, but knew not how to
hate; that was a Passion foreign to her Soul;
not one revengeful, discontented, one uncharitable
Thought, was ever harbour’d there:
And when from her Retirement, from her obscure
and humble State, Heav’n call’d her to
a Throne, she unalter’d mounted to the height
of Power; was still the same; obliging, humble,
merciful, and ready to forgive; so far
from reflecting on the Indignities she had suffer’d
that, like a kind indulgent Parent, that
looks with a commiserating Eye upon the Follies
of his Children, she freely pardons every
past Offence, and, like that infinite Goodness
whose Representative she is, to all extends her
Kindness, and with a Maternal Tenderness, an
endearing Sweetness, caresses all her Subjects,
and takes them into her Protection: For them
are all her Cares, her Toils, while they enjoy
their Rights, and Plenty pours her Blessings
on them: ’Tis her whole Study to keep them K3 safe, K3v 134
safe, and make ’em happy, and to defend them
from those affrighting Ills which ravage all the
neighbouring Nations: They see no bloody
Fields, nor hear the murdering Cannons roar,
a sacred Quiet fills her happy Land.

Our Days are crown’d with soft Delights,

With undisturb’d Repose our Nights:

The Golden Age revives again,

Bears Date from her auspicious Reign:

The Wicked from her Court are fled,

And drooping Truth erects her Head:

See! See! she rises dazling bright!

The Clouds are fled that hid her Light!

Lo! Justice does with Pomp descend,

On her each Virtue does attend;

From her, their Rays themselves disperse,

And all the wide Circumference bless:

With Joy Religion now appears,

And void of Doubts and void of Fears,

Does all her native Charms display,

Is pure as Light, and bright as Day:

Such as she was, when first she rose,

When first she did her Beams disclose;

When Conscience was supreme within,

And happy Man was free from Sin:

When Goodness for it self was lov’d,

And none by servile Fear were mov’d:

When Nature govern’d void of Art,

And Love was regnant in each Heart:

When K4r 135

When Merit was esteem’d alone,

And spightful Censures were unknown:

Those Times she will again restore,

And add new Joys unknown before:

She comes! she comes! ordain’d by Fate,

Both to Reform and Shield her State!

Like favour’d Israel’s Guardian Light,

She leads us through the Shades of Night:

In vain Egyptian Foes pursue;

She fearless does the Troublers view;

Their Chariots move but slowly on,

Their Wheels are off, their Strength is gone:

Surrounding Waves their Fury show,

And they no Place of Safety know:

Aurora does with Pomp arise,

Returning Day adorns the Skies:

When it has reach’d Meridian Height,

We from the Shore shall please our Sight

With the fam’d Trophies of the Fair,

And say, these who our Terror were,

By whom we’ve been so long opprest,

Depriv’d of Peace, depriv’d of Rest,

Who did for our Destruction wait,

Are made themselves the Prey of Fate.

But the greatest, the most amazing Instance
is yet behind, the Original which she has
copy’d, and of which her Life has been
a beautiful Transcript; I mean our kind
compassionate Redeemer, who as far surpasses
the most celebrated Patterns of Antiquity, as K4 the K4v 136
the Sun in his Noon-day Glory does the
little Glow-worms, that adorn the Night;
who, when in the highest Exaltation, when
encompass’d by adoring Angels, when sitting
at the Right-hand of the Paternal Glory, and
rais’d by his Union with the Deity to a
Station inconceivably sublime, infinitely above
the brightest Intelligences, the first and noblest
Orders of created Beings, left those glorious
Regions, those blissful Seats of pure unclouded
Light, where Peace, and Joy, and Harmony
Divine for ever dwell, and in a mean Disguise,
a despicable Form, a mortal Shape, came
humbly down, by wondrous Pity led, to save a
sinking World, a World which knew not how
to prize so vast a Favour, which barbarously
abus’d its Benefactor, return’d Neglect and
Scorn for boundless Love, with Obloquies repay’d
his Kindness, and made him suffer all
the Indignities that Malice could invent, or
Rage inflict. Though all was his, the whole
Creation the Product of his Word, the Efflux
of his All-commanding Fiat, yet he was poorer
than the meanest of his Vassals, had nothing
he wou’d call his own; no, not so much as
Birds or Beasts possess: Poverty he made his
Choice, Humility and Meekness the constant
Practice of his Life: Yes, He, in whom was
every Virtue, every Excellence, all Perfections
in the Abstract, was pleas’d to make these
his darling Attributes, and they are those he chiefly K5r 137
chiefly recommends to us, as being highly useful,
indispensably necessary for Creatures plac’d
in a dependent State, a State of Trial, becoming
Creatures which at first were rais’d from
nothing, and are every Moment tending to
the Grave.

O let us heedfully observe each Step he
made, and keep exactly in the unerring
Track. Teach me, O my Saviour, to be
lowly, as thou wert; when tow’ring Thoughts
arise, and swell my Soul, remind me of the
humbling Wonders of thy Life: O let me
view Thee in each condescending Act, in
each debasing Circumstance, attend thee from
the Stable to the Prison, from the Manger to
the Cross, see thee reproach’d, revil’d, and spit
upon; scourg’d, crown’d with Thorns, and crucify’d
between two Malefactors; and, to compleat
thy Sufferings, rail’d on and mock’d by
the insulting Croud, mock’d in thy greatest,
thy most poinant Agonies, the last and sharpest
Pangs of Death; yet still replete with Patience,
meek, and full of Love, still offering
up thy Self a willing Sacrifice for base ungrateful
Men, for Enemies, for those who
triumph’d in thy Shame, and look’d with
Pleasure on thy Pain. From this stupendous
Sight! this Miracle of Kindness! this unequall’d
Instance of Forgivenness, Mildness,
and endearing Goodness! O let me inward
turn my Eyes, and view my self, inspect the secret K5v 138
secret Movements of my Soul, the hidden
Springs of Thought, and see, concern’d, each
Deviation, how much I vary from thy Precepts,
how far I am from following thy
Example.

Alas! small Disappointments shock me, Reproaches
damp my Spirits, or stir up angry
Thoughts; Fame is what I’m too fond of;
the secret Plaudits of my Conscience, the Pleasures
of a Mind averse to Vice, and passionately
loving Virtue, are not enough to yield me
an untroubled Satisfaction; I would by all be
thought to be what really I am; but this I fear,
my Saviour, is the Effect of Pride. O let me
be contented with thy Approbation, delighted
with the internal Euge’s of thy Spirit, and
wholly unconcern’d for popular Applauses, the
injudicious Praises of the Multitude.

Give me, I humbly pray thee, that Poverty
of Soul, to which thou hast annex’d a
Blessing, a State of Mind remote from Avarice,
from eagerly desiring such things as most believe
to be constituent parts of Bliss: Whatever
I possess, let me esteem it but as ’tis thy
Gift, value it no more than it deserves, enjoy
it without a childish Fondness, and be ever
ready to part with it without Reluctance,
without an unbecoming Murmur; let me be
still the same, contented with my Lot, sedate
and calm in every Circumstance of Life;
let not my small Attainments, those things which K6r 139
which Vanity is but too apt to magnifie, stir
up indecent Thoughts, make me greedy of
Respect, and angry when I’m disappointed.
Alas! that little which I know, I owe to thee;
my self, and all I am, are thine; I’m wholly
owing to thy Goodness, and kept in Being by
thy Power; What then have I to boast of?
to be acquainted with thy Excellencies shall
be my Study, and to conform my Will to
thine the Business of my Life: Like thee,
I’ll strive to bear Indignities and Wrongs, to
bear them meekly, to support them with a
chearful, free, untroubled Look, to be unmov’d
at Calumnies, dispassionate and mild,
when treated ill; so far from Anger and Revenge,
as not to countenance one unkind recriminating
Thought: Like thee, I’ll labour
to do good, to be compassionate and pitiful to
all; Cruelty shall have no Harbour in my
Breast; Tenderness is connatural to my Soul,
it I’ll extend unto my greatest Enemies; for
them I’ll pray, and, if ’tis in my Power, will
freely serve: None will I purposely offend or
grieve, no not the poorest, meanest of Mankind,
for them, as well as me, thy Blood
was shed; Riches and Honours make no essential
Difference, our Bodies are the same, our
Souls are equal, and in the future State the
virtuous Beggar shall be possess’d of Glories
greater far than all the Monarchs of the Earth
do now enjoy: Nor shall my Mercy be confin’dfin’d K6v 140
unto the Humane Race, but be extended
to the brutal Kind; they sure are more than
Machines, are sensible of Pain, and I cannot,
without a sort of Horrour, without some Sentiments
of Pity, see them tortur’d; they are
part of thy Creation, and may claim the Good
adapted to their Nature, and ought not to be
treated cruelly to gratify a savage Inclination,
or divert a sanguinary Temper; I could with
Pleasure let them live, and satisfy my self with
Roots and Herbs, and Fruits, the cheap and
wholsome Viands Nature does provide, those,
with the milky Treasure of the Flocks and
Herds, would yield me a delicious Feast, and
more regale my Taste, than all the study’d
Luxury of Courts.

O let me aim at nothing but doing Good,
at imitating, as far as a frail Creature can, thy
great Example; give me a comprehensive Charity,
an universal Love, a peaceful, quiet, and
well-order’d Mind, a Soul not fetter’d with
mean, narrow Principles, not tainted with corroding
Envy, but gentle, placid, easie to forgive,
inclin’d to think the best, and ever ready
to pay a chearful Deference to superior Worth,
never more pleas’d than when I can oblige,
desirous where’er I come to encrease those mutual
Kindnesses, which are the Bands that knit
Mankind, those sacred Ties which should endear
us to each other; and when by these
previous Dispositions, these faint Resemblances of K7r 141
of thy Perfections, I’m fitted for a happier
Life, O take me to thy self, and in that State
where nothing is disturbing, where Anger is
unknown, and black Detraction dares not
enter, where all past Troubles are forgot, are
swallow’d up in Joy and endless Bliss, let me
for ever, ever dwell, and sing thy Praise.

Then I no more shall grieve, no more complain,

No more th’ Attacks of angry Tongues sustain:

But with the Wise, the Good, Sincere, and Kind,

Shall undisturb’d enjoy the Pleasures of the Mind.

Of K7v 142

Of
Calumny.

’Tis a great, but melancholy Truth, that
as this Age encreases in Politeness,
in Finenesses of Learning, in Niceties of good
Breeding, and in the Punctilio’s of an exact
Civility; so it proportionbly decreases in Justice,
Sincerity, that affectionate Concern it becomes
us to have for each other; and in all
those commendable Qualities, those antiquated
Virtues, which were the Ornaments of earlier
Times. Alas! there are not so much as the
Footsteps left of that noble Simplicity, native
Plainness, unartificial Kindness, and uncorrupted
Integrity, which appear’d in the Infant
World, and from thence, as from a pure
uncorrupted Fountain, ran for some Ages unmix’d
with foreign Streams, till an overflowing
Deluge of Vice broke down the Banks,
and by pouring in its muddy and polluted Waters,
robb’d them of their natural Purity.
We may trace them in the first Histories, see
them meliorating the Egyptian Soil, affording
rich Production in the ancient Persia, diffusing
themselves thro’ Greece, and plentifully watering
the Roman Commonwealth, till, like the Rivers K8r 143
Rivers of Paradise, they were lost in the Abyss,
and, after the fatal Inundation, remain’d undistinguish’d
from the great Mass of Liquids,
from whence, I fear, nothing less than the general
Conflagration, the last refining Fire,
will be able to extract them: We see nothing
amongst us but the very Dregs, the nauseous
Sediment of that universal Corruption; there’s
hardly any thing left that looks like the Work
of God, that has the Impress of Divine Goodness,
the Stamp of infinite Justice, or any
Participation of the Eternal Truth. The generality
of Men seem to have Treachery interwoven
with their Nature, something that’s
Diabolical in their Temper: Malice, Pride,
Envy, and Uncharitableness seem to make up
the Composition of Humanity; they fill their
Thoughts, influence their Actions, and discover
themselves in their Discourses.

Should any of the Natives of the superior
Regions look through our thick Atmosphere,
and take a Survey of Humane Affairs, would
they not think this Globe to be rather a Den
of insociable Monsters, than a well regulated
World, inhabited by rational Creatures? Wou’d
they not be amaz’d to see Persons courting
those, whose Ruin they are meditating; entertaining
those with all the indearing Expressions
of an engaging Tenderness, to whom they
are at the same time, privately resolving to do
all the ill Offices imaginable, and bestowing the K8v 144
the highest Encomium’s, the most luscious
Praises, the most dawbing nauseous Flatteries
on such as they despise, not only scorn, but
hate? ’Twould make them wonder, or rather
smile, to see ’em with a respectful Air, a humble
Mien, an obliging inviting Aspect, fawn
on the present, and even tire them with their
Caresses, and as soon as absent, say a thousand
scandalous Things of them, and prove busier
than Fame, with all her Tongues, and Eyes,
and Ears: If any has a shining Character, is
remarkably eminent, either for Wit, Virtue,
or Learning, such an one is a Butt, against
which they shoot all their Arrows; his Virtues
are represented as counterfeit, his Wit as
borrow’d, and his Learning as Pedantry: Envy
comes into their Assistance, and brings the
Furies with her, who, glad of the Employment,
convey their favourite Vipers, the dreadful
restless Mischiefs, into each invenom’d Breast;
then, possess’d with hellish Fury, fraught with
more than an infernal Rage, like greedy Bloodhounds,
they incessantly pursue the Good, and
strive to extinguish Merit: Virtue is their
Aversion, they hate it as the Birds of Night
do Day; and since by Vice weigh’d down,
they cannot rise to others Excellencies, they
strive to sink them to their own mean despicable
Level, and by invidious Falshoods, sly
Insinuations, closely-manag’d Whispers, all the
subtle Arts of dexterous Malice, hope to raise darken- L1r 145
darkening Mists, and cloud their Lustre, and
would if it were feasable, draw an Egyptian
Veil, a thick impenetrable Night, over their
dazling Fames.

’Tis strange that they should hate what
calls for Love, be made Enemies by that which
should excite Respect, and kindle Admiration:
Methinks, that Pride, to which they owe their
base detracting Temper, should spur them on
to generous Emulation; instead of railing on
them, they shou’d endeavour to outvy them,
to exceed them in every praise-worthy Quality,
in every intellectual Grace: This would be
a commendable Ambition, a noble glorious
Pride; but, alas! they are too lazy to attempt
it: To calumniate strongly they think the
easier Way, and if it does not make them
equal, (which is what they aim at) at least
it gratifies their Envy. But, as malicious as
they are, they dare not tell them, that they
hate them; Virtue commands an outward Veneration,
extorts an awful Reverence; this
makes them flatter, and promise everlasting
Friendship to those whom they detest, cringe
to those that they would trample on, and hug
the Men that they would stab. Thus the
Vicious have not only Pride and Folly in
their Composition, but also Sloth and Cowardize:
They are a Medly of all that’s ill,
of all that’s detestable in the whole Creation;
and ’tis no wonder they abhor the Good, since L they L1v 146
they are so diametrically opposite; Light and
Darkness might as well subsist together.

With as much Ease may Fire and Ice combine,

Together in one Subject meet;

As well may Heat condense, and Cold refine;

Things be at once both soure and sweet;

As well may Cinthia’s Beams adorn the Day,

Or Phœbus gild the dusky Night,

Weak Babes with hungry Lions play,

Or Lambs in ravenous Wolves delight.

Tho’ I have a great many Follies to blush
at, numerous Faults to correct, yet I can,
with a safe Conscience, say, Envy is none of
the Number: I can, with a great deal of
Pleasure and Satisfaction, behold superior Merit,
and give it the Applause it deserves: I
abhor Detraction in others, and will never
practise it my self. That Golden-Rule, of
“doing to others, as I would have others do to
me,”
is ever present to my Thoughts, and I
resolve to make it the governing Principle of
my Life. If our Enemies abuse us, if they
strive to sully our Reputation, we ought to
endeavour to do our selves right, by representing
Matters as they really are, by shewing
them in a true Light; but this must be done
calmly, without an anxious Concern, an indecent
Solicitude, without retaliating the Injury,jury L2r 147
returning Calumny for Calumny, or giving
ourselves the liberty of using abusive
Language, such mean, base, ungenerous Revenges
being things we ought to abominate;
nothing of that kind being on any account allowable.

We are commanded to forgive the greatest,
the most provoking Offences, and to do good
to our most implacable Enemies; but were it
not a Duty, yet methinks it should be agreeable
to our Inclinations, to those natural Propensities
we find in our selves to Kindness:
Methinks our Souls should shrink at any thing
that looks but like Inhumanity: There is a
secret Pleasure in doing friendly Offices; we
gratify our selves in it, and cannot, without
delight, look back on all Instances of that nature.
If at any time, through Inadvertency,
we have reported any thing to the Prejudice or
Disreputation of others, we ought to reflect
on it with Trouble, and endeavour to make
them all imaginable Reparation; and this, not
only if we were the first Reporters, but if we
receiv’d it from others, and were only their
Eccho’s; and we should have just Cause to
think our selves chargeable both with Injustice
and Pusillanimity, if we should hear any slander’d
in our Presence, without taking their
part, and endeavouring to clear their Innocency;
and this it becomes us to do, without
considering whether they are our Friends or L2 our L2v 148
our Enemies, our Kindred or Strangers, it being
a Debt we owe to the whole Rational
Nature.

’Tis upon the same Account I think it highly
criminal, or, to give it the softest Epithet
it will bear, very blame-worthy, to speak Ill
of the Dead: For Heaven’s sake let ’em lie
quiet in their sacred Repository; the Grave is
an Asylum none ought to violate; let their
Ashes remain undisturb’d. There is not a
Possibility of their vindicating themselves, and
therefore it is unjust, as well as cowardly and
base, to accuse them: Were it done with a
good Design, as ’twas among the ancient Egyptians,
’twere not faulty: There, as soon as
any Person was dead, he was brought into
publick Judgment; the publick Accuser was
heard, and if he prov’d that his Conduct had
been ill, his Memory was condemn’d, and he
was depriv’d of Sepulture; this was of admirable
Use, because it made the People have a
Veneration for their Laws, and kept them in
perpetual Awe, by letting them see that they
were capable of reaching them even after
Death; and they being a serious, considering
People, had a great Concern for their Reputation,
and dreaded nothing more, than the
Thoughts of intailing Infamy on their Memories
and Families: But if the Deceas’d was not
convicted of any Crime, he was then allow’d
an honourable Interrment, and they joyfully gave L3r 149
gave him the Praises due to his Merit: This
Way to them appear’d highly equitable; and
it could not but please the Virtuous, to be assur’d
that their Names would be transmitted
with Honour to Posterity: By this Means the
Vicious were aw’d, and the Good secur’d from
having their Actions misrepresented; their
Fame continu’d bright, there being none that
durst attempt to obscure it. But among us
they find no Respect; with a savage Barbarity
we pull them out of their silent Sanctuary,
tear them in pieces, and make them suffer
a sort of second Death.

Next to this, nothing can be more inhuman,
than to Rail at the Absent, nothing
more ungenerous, ungenteel, and indeed more
imprudent: The speaking the Truth to the
Disadvantage of others, can (I think) never
be excus’d but in one single Instance; and that
is, when ’tis done in order to the preventing
any of our Acquaintance from confiding in ’em
by reason of their being Strangers to their
Tempers, their Inclinations, and the particular
Designs they may be carrying on; for it
would be very cruel, as well as highly unjust,
to permit an innocent Person to be impos’d on
by the Perswasions and Insinuations of another
to their prejudice; but this ought to be done
in private, and with due Respect to their Weakness,
that is, Care ought to be taken, that it
be not divulg’d to their Disgrace: but in most L3 ’tis, L3v 150
’tis, I fear, either the Effect of Envy, of Malice,
or of Folly, a childish inconsiderate Talkativeness,
an Emptiness of Mind, Barrenness
of Invention, and a not knowing how else to
entertain Persons as ignorant, as ill-natur’d,
and as impertinent as themselves.

After they have talk’d of their Cloaths, of
the Affairs of their Kitchen, of the Faults of
their Servants, and all their other Domestick
Trifles, what can the poor dull Creatures say
next, if they are not permitted to abuse and ridicule
their Neighbours, to make Reflexions
on their Conduct, to enquire into their Concerns,
the minutest Circumstances of their Families?
And provided it keeps up the languishing
Conversation, ’tis no matter whether
what they hear, or what they report, be true
or false; the one pleases ’em as well as the
other, or rather, the last is more agreeable to
their Taste. O how will they hug a calumniating
Story! How dear to them are the
Spreaders of Reproaches! After the first Compliments
are over, they must sacrifice somebody’s
Reputation to the Lady they visit, or
she will think her Entertainment lost, her Tea
cast away.

Nor are the Men wholly excusable; tho’
I must own we ought to bear the greatest part
of the Blame, and that they do not wrong us
in fixing an Odium on us on this account;
yet they are not altogether guiltless: Such amongmong L4r 151
’em as are Studious, who divide their
Time between Books and Contemplation, cannot
find Leisure for any thing so idle, so mean,
so much below the Dignity of their Nature;
their Thoughts are employ’d on sublimer Subjects,
and they cannot, without pain, stoop to
any thing that’s trifling, much less to any
thing that’s contradictory to their Reason, to
the immutable Laws of Truth, and those
Rules which every intelligent Being prescribes
to it self: But for others, either those who devote
themselves to the Pleasures and Gayeties
of the Town, who know no Happiness besides
that of Dressing, of Sweating beneath a Load
of Hair, of Lolling in a fine gilt Coach, eating
at a French Ordinary, taking some Turns
in the Park, and concluding the Farce in a
Tavern; or their Antipodes, the plain, frugal,
Country Gentlemen, who are too wise to value
themselves upon fine Cloaths, nice Breeding,
exact Sense, and polite Language; they
take a better, a more discreet Method, they
leave their ancient venerable Houses, their
long worm-eaten Pedigrees, their Demeans,
and their Mannors, together with their noble
Coats of Arms, to speak for them, and while
they are doing them Right, they strut about
among their cringing Tenants, insult over
their trembling Servants, hector their Wives,
and pay Visits to their Sheep and Oxen, or
make a Noise with their Dogs, and are as L4 much L4v 152
much pleas’d with running down a timerous
Hare, as the General of an Army would be
with winning a Battle; and as proud of bringing
back the poor vanquish’d Creature, as Emilius
was of leading Perseus in Triumph: They
love their Money too well, are too fond of
their Mammon, to throw it away in Ragou’s,
in hard-nam’d Dishes; they are for the old
English way of living, for eating such Meat as
will prevent their Spirits from being too volatile,
their Imaginations too sprightly, and their
Apprehensions too quick; they prudently consider,
that the momentous Business of the
Country requires Solidity, that the administring
Justice among their noisy litigious
Neighbours, makes it necessary for them to
have the Wisdom of Solomon, and the Patience
of Job, and they know not where to find either
of them, unless it be in a Bottle; to that
they have Recourse, with that they solace
themselves; and ’tis in those dear Hours which
they consecrate to Bacchus, that they give
themselves the liberty to be witty at the Expence
of their Neighbours; then it is they
play with Reputations as well as Words, and
spare neither our Sex, nor their own; but
they are the less culpable of the Two, because
what they say is more to divert themselves,
than design’d to vent either their Vanity
or their Malice, and is rather owing to the
Liquor than the Men; whereas the First have L5r 153
have nothing else in their view: ’Tis to gratify
their Pride, their Spight, their Ill-humour,
that they make a Jest of all Mankind: They
look upon themselves as the finest, the wittiest,
the beautiful’st, the most accomplish’d
Part of the Creation, and are so vain as to
fancy, that every one that sees ’em cannot
avoid having the same Opinion of them that
they have of themselves; they are their own
Idols, and pay Adoration to nothing but
themselves: From such, Justice is not to be
expected, neither are their Censures to be
much deprecated.

But these are Practices which are not consistent
with the Order of Things, and which
we must by no means allow ourselves in; the
Dead ought to be safe where we are, and so
should the Absent, whom we are never to
make the Subject of our Diversion: To ridicule
them for personal Defects, is highly barbarous
as well as profane; ’tis not only an abusing
them, but a reflecting on their Maker,
who being Almighty as well as Omniscient,
not only sees, but is able to revenge the Affront:
If they are accidental Imperfections, ill
Habits, contracted Indecencies, or Failures in
the ceremonious Parts of good Breeding, it becomes
us not only to pity them, but to consider,
that we may sometimes do Things as absurd,
Things that as much deserve to be
laugh’d at; besides, we ought to remember, that L5v 154
that our Ridiculing them intimates that we
weakly think them necessary, when indeed they
are so intirely accidental, that they have been
reckon’d good Breeding, not only in our Climate,
but in other Parts of the World; and
the variable Humour of Mankind may in a
short time make them so again. What is
thought to be a Civility in one Country, is
accounted a Rudeness in another: Custom
bestows a Beauty, a Decorum, on outward
Forms, and renders that graceful and becoming
in one Place, which is ungenteel and
shocking in another: ’Tis our Ignorance, and
the Narrowness of our Minds, makes us apt
to be disgusted at whatever appears strange or
unusual to us.

If any of our Acquaintance have real
Faults, we ought in the softest Language, and
the most engaging Manner imaginable, to tell
them of ’em, and be sure so to manage the
Matter, that they may be convinc’d, that what
we say is the Effect of Kindness, of the Affection
we have for them; and at the same time
we make known our Dislike, let us earnestly
beg them to do us the same Favour; for there
are none but want Advice, as much as any of
those to whom they presume to give it. If
they are Strangers to us, ’tis fit for us to be
silent, and not seem to take notice of what we
cannot mend; but we must always carefully
avoid joining with others in exposing them, and L6r 155
and never, out of a Vanity of Talking, mention
what we have heard to their Disgrace,
nor let it make an Impression on our Minds to
their Prejudice; for ’tis highly unjust to believe
the ill Things we hear of others, till we
are well assur’d of their being true, till we
have undeniable Proofs of it from their own
Mouths, or by ocular Demonstration.

All these Things we ought religiously and
constantly to observe, without having an Eye
either to Applause, or private Interest; no,
they are Things below our Regard, Things
too inconsiderable to be made the Motives of
our Actions: We should never say we love
but where we really do so; never shew Respect,
but where we think ’tis due; never
commend, but where we suppose they merit
it; in a word, our Hearts should still join
with our Tongues, and always dictate to ’em,
our Faces declare our Thoughts, and every
Action prove the Voice of Truth.

How admirably well were these Rules practis’d
in Sparta! She was never happier, than
when there was an Equality among her Citizens,
than when Luxury and all effeminate
Pleasures were banish’d, when all were oblig’d
to live frugally, to eat publickly, to practise
an universal Temperance; they had no Temptation
to do or say ill Things, nothing to covet,
none to envy: Riches, if they had had ’em,
would have been of no Use, where there was nothing L6v 156
nothing to purchase, no Reputation to gain by
them, and where all were upon a Level, the
Noblemen no wealthier than the meanest of
the People, the Kings than the most inconsiderable
of the Citizens; where all were imbark’d
in one common Interest, all intent on
the same Design, concern’d for nothing but the
Honour and Safety of their Country, and
their mutual Improvement in Virtue; there
could be no room left for Hatred, Malice, Envy,
Pride, Ambition, Injustice, or any other
Vice; no, the wise Lycurgus in extirpating
Riches, and introducing a happy Equality among
his Lacedæmonians, gave them at once
all the Virtues: There Love might have been
seen triumphant; Love, pure, disinteress’d,
and constant; all were Friends, all were for
bettering each other, for making one another
not only wiser, but more virtuous, for advancing
each other’s Fame, and so far from repining
at the growing Reputation of their
Neighbours, that they were pleas’d with it,
and generously strove to encrease it; and so
far were they from being angry when others
were preferr’d before them, that they rejoyc’d
at it; of which we have a memorable Instance
in Pædaretus, who not being admitted into the
List of the Three Hundred, who were chosen
to make good the Pass at Thermopyle in Thessaly,
against Xerxes, return’d home full of
Joy and Satisfaction, telling his Fellow-Citizens,zens, L7r 157
“That he was very glad to find, that
there were in Sparta Three Hundred better
Men than himself.”
The Saying of Argilconide
was as remarkably brave, who asking some
Strangers who came from Amphipolis, If her
Son Brasidas dy’d as it became a Spartan?
They gave him the Praises due to his Merit;
and, to make her the greater Complement,
added, That he kadhad not left his Equal in Lacedæmon;
She, instead of being pleas’d with
so high an Encomium, interrupted them, and,
willing to do Justice to her Country-men, told
them, “That indeed Brasidas was a valiant Man
but there were in Sparta many more valiant
than he.”
Where there was so much Kindness,
so true, so affectionate a Concern for
each other, where they would as soon wrong
themselves, as their Friends, as soon be false to
their own Souls, as to those to whom they’d
promis’d to be faithful, there could be no such
thing as Detraction, as ridiculing the Absent,
and endeavouring to lessen them in the Opinion
of others. The Men at their publick
Tables both taught and practis’d the Art of
Conversation: There was to be learn’d the way
of being witty, without reflecting; of being
facetious, without injuring Reputations, and
of taking a Jest, with the same Innocence and
Temper with which it was given: And they
were also instructed in that prudential necessarysary L7v 158
Lesson, of not divulging what was talk’d
of there; by this means they were accustom’d
to Secrecy; a childish Inquisitiveness was discourag’d,
and their Discourses kept from being
misrepresented: The old Men put the
Young in Mind of their Duty, and were as
much concern’d for them, and as careful of
their Education, as if they had been their
Fathers, or Tutors: Each had his Lover, who
was an Observer of his Actions, a faithful
Monitor, an Encourager of him in Virtue
and every laudable Quality, and an equal
Sharer with him in his Honours and Disgraces,
his Rewards and Punishments: The
Women took the same Care of those of their
own Sex, and made it their Business to make
the young Beauties, for whom they had a
Kindness, as good, as ingenious, and as judicious
as they were capable of being: And if
several happen’d to love the same Person, so
far was it from creating any Reservedness or
Jealousie among them, that it rather strengthen’d
their Friendship, and made them use
their utmost Endeavours to render the happy
Favourite Possessor of all imaginable Perfections.

How unexpressibly great would be our Felicity,
did we follow their Example! there
would then be no Animosities, no Slanderings,
no ill Offices render’d to those with whom we L8r 159
we converse; a pure and chaste Passion would
be predominant in every Breast, a Heavenly
Flame warm every Mind, and a diffusive Charity
impregnate every Soul; we should then
be ever ready to think the best, to put the
most candid Interpretation on Actions, should
be always kind, always just, ever ready to pay
a Deference to Merit, and constantly, industriously
careful either to hide, or at least extenuate
the Faults of those with whom we converse.

Would I could exactly practise those Rules
I presume to prescribe to others, and be my
self an Example of those Precepts I would inculcate:
If my Heart deceives me not, ’tis
what I earnestly desire; and though, through
the Frailties incident to Humanity, and the
want of keeping a strict Guard over my Passions,
I may sometimes do those things I
blame, may be too easily provok’d, too apt to
resent Injuries, to take Appearances for Realities,
to censure such as my Imagination represents
to me as Enemies, too much inclin’d to
listen to the disadvantageous Characters I have
heard given of others; yet I can truly say,
I do not approve of them, they are things for
which my Reason severely checks me, Nusances
of which I am every hour endeavouring
to cleanse my Soul: I see something infinitely
amiable in those things I recommend, some- L8v 160
something superlatively excellent, something
that ingrosses my Affection, and claims the Preference
in my Heart.

I.

Sincerity’s my chief Delight,

The darling Pleasure of my Mind:

O that I cou’d to her invite

All the whole Race of Humane Kind:

This Beauty, full of tempting Charms,

I freely tender to their Arms.

II.

Take her Mortals, she’s worth more,

Than all your Glory, all your Fame,

Than all your glitt’ring boasted Store,

Than all the things that you can name:

She’ll with her bring a Joy Divine,

All that’s good, and all that’s fine.

III.

Will soon your Hearts in one unite,

No disagreeing Interest leave;

Love shall to all things give a Right,

And Men shall never more deceive:

Slander and Envy then shall cease,

And Friendship every where encrease.

IV.The M1r 161

IV.

The World shall then as happy be,

As ’twas in Saturn’s blissful Reign,

All who the wondrous Change shall see,

Will think that Age restor’d again,

And bless their Fate for being born,

Where Truth does ev’ry Breast adorn.

M Of M1v 162

Of
Friendship.

Among the numerous Blessings which our
bountiful Creator has bestow’d on Humane
Kind, there’s none in which a pious and
well-regulated Soul takes a greater Complacency,
than in the Union she has with such as
by their acquir’d Excellencies approach nearest
to Perfection; that is, such as by a constant
Contemplation of Truth, a steady Adherence
to the Dictates of Reason, and a chearful and
unweary’d Exercise of Virtue, have enlarg’d
their Views, enlighten’d their Understandings,
freed their Minds from Prejudices, from mean,
narrow, and unbecoming Sentiments, from
false Notions of Things, and who by submitting
their Passions to the Government of their
nobler and more exalted Faculties, have obtain’d
a happy, an unshaken Serenity, an inward
Purity, a great, firm and well-grounded
Satisfaction, and who, without being byass’d
by Interest, elated by Pride, made restless by
Ambition, cramp’d by Avarice, or sour’d by
Envy, are sweetly and gently led on to a Degree
of Eminence, resembling, as near as may
be, that of the Divine Nature.

To M2r 163

To such as these, she seems to be drawn
by a magnetick Force, a pleasing Violence,
by irresistable Charms. At first she feels a secret
Veneration, perceives an awful Respect, a
growing Esteem; but the nearer she advances,
the more intimately she’s acquainted with the
Virtue she admires, the more her Esteem encreases,
the more her Affection augments, and
the more ardent is her Love; she then incessantly
presses forward, and never rests till she
becomes one with the dear Object of her
Choice; one by the holiest, firmest, and most
indissoluble Union; a Union not cemented by
Wealth, not founded on Greatness, not the
Result of a fickle Humour, a childish Tenderness,
nor an indecent Fondness, nor yet the
Product of external Beauty, the Embellishments
of Art, the Delicacies of Wit, or any
of those other Accomplishments, which make
so many Votaries among the many, the unthinking
part of Mankind, but owing its Original
to much nobler Causes, springing from
sublimer Motives, more rational Inducements,
from the Resemblance they bear to the eternal
Truth, the infinite Wisdom, the great Examplar
of all Perfection.

But, alas! such a Union as this can hardly
be hop’d for, till we are freed from our Bodies,
from these heavy Lumps of Matter,
which depress the Mind, and hinder its Operations,
not only sink it to the Earth, but M2 fasten M2v 164
fasten it there; till our Souls are fully at
Liberty, and can act with their native Vivacity
and Fervour, till we are disengag’d from
our Passions, and all little ungenerous Designs,
mean Suspicions, unkind Reflections, and all
the other Frailties of Humanity, and nothing
shall be left that can hide us from each other’s
View, nothing that can hinder our Thoughts
from being visible, our Integrity from being
fully known, or keep the Sincerity of our
Intentions from being as manifest as the Light.
Then shall we have a Regard for Virtue, abstracted
from all other Considerations, and an
Affection for each other much greater than
Imagination can form, or Words express;
such an Affection, as none but the blest Possessors
of the Celestial Regions have yet experimented.

Such wondrous Friendship, wondrous Love,

As constitutes their Bliss Above;

And such a strong refining Fire,

As melts them into one Desire,

Makes both their Aims, their Thoughts the
same,

And leaves them different but in Name.

O how happy should we be, could we
thus mingle Souls, thus anticipate the State of
Bliss, and taste a Part of those Pleasures here,
which are to consummate our Felicity hereafter,after, M3r 165
and to be the delightful, the ravishing
Entertainment of a joyful Eternity!

But most have wrong Notions of the Blessings
I am recommending, they prostitute the
sacred Name, and call that Friendship, which
is rather a Confederacy in Evil. Whoever
espouses their Quarrels, flatters them in their
Vices, or sooth them in their Pride, they think
deserve the Title of Friends; and they also
fancy the Appellation due to all such as ’tis
their Fortune to be related to, either by Affinity,
or the closer Ties of Blood, without considering
their Merit, or being concern’d whether
they are virtuous, Lovers of Justice, and such
as act from an internal Principle or not; these
are things they can dispense with, and which
they look on as unnecessary Qualifications.

As these widen the Inclosure, throw down
the Mounds, and lay the sacred Ground in
common, so some on the other Side too much
streighten it, confine it to too narrow a Compass,
are avaricious in their Kindness; and
while they say ’tis impossible, according to the
strict Sense of the Word, to be a Friend to several
at once, they betray a Littleness of
Mind, a Narrowness of Soul, a strange Unthoughtfulness,
never considering what are the
Attractives, the Motives to Friendship; that
’tis Virtue alone which ought to tye the Knot,
and that whoever has it, has an indisputable
Right to our Affection; and that the greater, M3 the M3v 166
the more perfect it is, the greater, the more
fervent ought to be our Love. The Good
find themselves united by a secret Sympathy,
by an Agreement of Inclinations, a Conformity
of Judgments, and a Resemblance of Souls;
they all pursue the same Ends, are busied
in the same Search, and tend to the same
Center.

The Objections which are commonly made
against such general Friendships, are, in my
Opinion, very weak. They who are for confining
it to one, say, That to suppose more,
destroys the Notion, and obstructs all the Operations
and Offices of it. For Instance, to
succour and assist a Friend in his Distress, is an
indisputable Duty; but if we put the Case
of two such standing in need of our Aid at
the same time, and not only so, but desiring
Kindnesses, which are inconsistent and repugnant
to each other; which way shall we
turn our selves? How shall we discharge our
Obligations, when our relieving one must be
a Prejudice to the other?

Again they say, Suppose a Secret is imparted
to us by one of our Friends; if we reveal it,
’tis a base dishonourable Breach of Trust, and
unpardonable Violation of Friendship; on the
other side, if we do not discover it to our
other Friends, we are unfaithful to them;
it being a receiv’d Maxim, that in a true and
entire Friendship there must be no Reserve.

As M4r 167

As for the first Objection, ’tis highly improbable
that ever any such Case will happen:
Few, or none, have ever met with Misfortunes
exactly alike; some Circumstances have been
different, something or other has weigh’d down
the Scale, there has been some little Disproportion
in their Sufferings, and then a
Friend so qualified, as I suppose he ought to
be, before he deserves that Name, will not repine
at the Kindness shewn to another, who
needs it more than himself; but allowing their
Distress to be equal, yet in that Case a generous
Person, one who knows what it is to
love, will not be displeas’d at the Assistance
given to another of equal Merit, of equal Virtue
with himself, but will contentedly wait
the Leisure of his Friend, and believe, that
what he did was the Result of Reason, and
proceeded neither from Partiality nor Neglect:
Besides, that Compassion, that Commiseration,
which is always a part of his Character, will
incline him to interest himself in the Wellfare
of a virtuous Man, and make him rejoice
at the Good that’s done him.

In answer to the second Objection, give me
leave to say, That such Friends as I am speaking
of have no Secrets, nothing that they would
conceal from one another, nothing that they
are asham’d or afraid of having known; they
have learn’d to reverence themselves, to have a
Regard for their Consciences, and are too well M4 ac- M4v 168
acquainted with the Dignity of their Nature,
to do any thing below it, any thing that
should raise a conscious Blush, or cause an
uneasy Reflexion: In all other Matters, in
what concerns their Families or Fortunes, I
suppose them to have an equal Interest; and
’tis irrational to talk of perfect Friendships, to
believe them to be but one Soul, and at the
same time to fancy there will not be an entire
Communication of Thoughts: Truth is
but one, and as that unites them to it self, so
it will also link them to each other, will at
once become the Cause and the Object of their
Love.

If I may presume to speak my Opinion, I
think there is nothing of weight in that Maxim
which says, There ought to be no Reserves
among Friends; for if my Assertion be granted,
there can be no such thing: But if I should
so far comply with the Generality of Mankind
as to allow it to be true, and that some of my
Friends had Matters of moment to impart to
me, which they would have conceal’d from
the rest, yet in that case it refers only to my
self, and to what is properly mine; and in all
things of that kind, I’m ready to own, that
they have an absolute and indisputable Right:
But my Friend’s Secrets are not of that number,
and ought not to be dispos’d of without
their Leave: ’Twould be Robbery in me, to
give that to another which is none of my own; they M5r 169
they are only deposited in my Breast, and are
thought to be safe there; my Fidelity is confided
in, and they are believ’d to be as secure
in my Custody, as they could have been had
they remain’d in their own: What can be baser,
what more ignominiously treacherous,
more highly dishonourable, than to betray
such a Trust, to give up such a Treasure? A
good Man would be so far from desiring it,
that he would rather abhor me, and shun me
as a Monster, if I should but offer to do it:
As he would do nothing but what’s exactly
equitable himself, so he would expect that I
should govern my self by the same Rule: But
let all that make this Objection assure themselves,
that as the Wise and the Virtuous (and
’tis of such alone I’ve been talking) neither
say nor do any thing they would have hid
from the World) so they are far from a useless
Curiosity, from having an Inclination to
pry into the Concerns of others; their
Thoughts and their Time are employ’d in
Things much more important, much more
necessary, in endeavouring to make each other
better, in encreasing their Knowledge, and in
preparing themselves for that eternal Happiness,
that unexpressible Felicity to which they
are jointly hastening.

There are other Mistakes about Friendship,
which I think deserve to be taken notice of;
as, That in chusing a Friend, we ought not only M5v 170
only to regard rigid Virtue and Honesty, but
to esteem Sweetness, Liberality, and Obligingness
of Humour equally necessary: This
I think to be wrong, the two first being only
requisite, or to speak more properly, the
whole, that we ought to look after, as including
in them all the rest: For a Man that’s
truly vertuous, who acts from a Principle of
Justice, and sees a Beauty in it, will always
be easy to himself and others, always pleasant,
and always doing good Offices; and sure
the Conversation of Persons so qualified can
never be flat and heavy; where their Virtues
are equal, there can be no Disparity in their
Dispositions and Humours, no Discontent or
Peevishness, no dismal Melancholy, or forbidding
Sourness, no distasteful Haughtiness, or
brutish Anger; no, where Reason governs
there will be no disorderly Passions, no Storms
to ruffle the Mind, nor Clouds to overcast it;
all will be calm and bright, all harmonious
and regular; the Soul will be full of Satisfaction,
and take a Complacency in her self; her
Joys, like the Rays of the Sun, will diffuse
themselves, and from her, as from their Centre,
extend to every part of the Circumference,
will give a taking Sprightliness to the
Actions, a pleasing Vivacity to the Discourse,
and an inviting Chearfulness to the Looks.

There M6r 171

There is another thing which I think to be
a Mistake; and that is, That whenever we
cease to love a Friend, we are in danger of
mortally hating him; of this Consequence
I’m no way assur’d: According to the Notion
I have of Friendship, Goodness is the proper
Object of Love; wherever it appears, it attracts
my Esteem; and those Persons in whom
it shines with the greatest Lustre, have the
largest share of my Affection, of which it shall
not be in the power of any Accident to rob ’em
while they continue constant to themselves;
but if they deviate from Virtue, if they cease
to be what they were when my Kindness for
them begun, they have no reason to be angry
with me if I withdraw my Affection; ’tis
themselves they ought to blame, I’m still the
same, still a Lover of that Virtue which they
have forsaken, that Truth which they have
abandon’d; to those, and not to them, was I
united; and as it would be absurd in them to
lay the Fault on me, and fancy I have justly
deserved their Hatred, when they themselves
made the Defection, first broke the sacred
Bond, so it would be equally irrational in me
to hate them, since ’tis themselves they have
injur’d, and not me; that being not to be
done without the Concurrence of our own
Will. For if we suppose the worst that can
happen, that those who were once our dearest
Friends, should prove our most inveterate Enemies,mies, M6v 172
that such as once did us obliging Offices,
who had the same Care of our Reputation,
the same Concern for us as for themselves,
and the same Solicitude for our Happiness as
for their own, should pursue us with unwearied
Malice, load us with Calumnies, and
make it their business to shew the utmost Efforts
of Spight; yet if we still preserve the
inward Calmness and Serenity of our Minds,
are still meek, humble, patient, and forgiving,
they have done us no Prejudice, inflicted
no Evil on us, depriv’d us of nothing that
was truly our own, nothing that had an intrinsick
Value in it: Besides, all Good Men
will consider, that the Bad, as well as the Miserable,
have a Right to their Pity, and that
their greatest Enemies are to have a share in
their Prayers.

There are other Things which deserve to
be animadverted on, but I’ll wave them, to
prevent giving the World occasion to believe,
that what I write is only the Result of a contentious
Humour, an assuming Vanity, and an
Inclination to find Fault; they are Things foreign
to my Temper, and I am too sensible
of my own Insufficiency to play the Dictator:
’Tis Truth I would find out; to that all my
Researches tend: I have no Passions to gratify;
and as for Applause, if I had it I should not
be the better for it; such visionary Satisfactions,
are Things I have no Fondness for: If my M7r 173
my Sentiments happen to be wrong, yet I am
sure my Aims are right, since I have no farther
Design than that of informing my self and
others.

I know most People have false Idea’s of
Things; they think too superficially to think
truly; they find it painful to carry on a Train
of Thoughts; with this my own Sex are
principally chargeable: We are apt to be misled
by Appearances, to be govern’d by Fancy,
and the impetuous Sallies of a sprightly Imagination,
and we find it too laborious to fix
them; we are too easily impos’d on, too credulous,
too ready to hearken to every soothing
Flatterer, every Pretender to Sincerity,
and to call such Friends as have not the least
Title to that sacred Name; and therefore to
prevent my self, and those for whom it becomes
me to have a tender Regard, from being
deceiv’d, I have, with all the Attention of
Mind I am capable of, seriously consider’d
what Qualifications are requisite in order to
the constituting of a noble, disingag’d, and
lasting Friendship, such a Friendship as the
most reserved, the strictest Observers of the
Rules of Virtue, need not blush to own, and
such an one as nothing can lessen, nothing can
shake, and which will prove as immortal as
the Soul in which ’tis seated.

God M7v 174

God is the only desirable Object, as comprehending
in himself all the Degrees of Perfection;
in him, as in its Source, is whatever
we here either love or admire: He is Truth,
Goodness, Justice, Beauty, Wisdom, &c. In
all Created Beings, they are Derivations from
him, Streams flowing from him as their Fountain,
Irradiations from the inexhaustible Spring
of Light: Now as much as we see of these
divine Excellencies in those with whom we
converse, so much we ought to love them, and
by a Parity of Reason, must expect no more
Esteem from them than is the just necessary
Result of our having those Attractives in our
selves, which are the Motives of our Kindness
to them.

Would we always resolve to govern our
selves by this Principle, and in chusing our
Friends act according to the Dictates of right
Reason, and never suffer our selves to be guided
by Opinion, by the mistaken Sentiments
of the Vulgar, the erroneous Notions of the
Most, the unconsidering part of Mankind, we
should never have occasion to repent our
Choice, there not being so much as a possibility
of our being mistaken in it. Then external
Appearances would not move us; Titles,
Grandeur, Wealth, and all those other Trifles
which dazzle the Common People, and insensibly
engage their Affections, would lose their
Force, and prove no Incentives to us.

We M8r 175

We should esteem Things according to their
real Worth, to their innate Value, and not admire
Persons for their Learning, but their
Wisdom; not for their Knowledge, but their
Virtue; not for being Powerful, but Just;
not for being Rich, but Good, nor yet because
they are in a Capacity of serving what
we falsly call Interest, but because they are
Lovers of Truth, and Masters of their Passions:
not that I think Learning and Knowledge,
and all those other Things which are
commonly reckon’d among the Goods of Fortune,
ought to be slighted; they are useful,
but not necessary Qualifications; the two first
embellish and render Conversation instructive
as well as agreeable; and when they are join’d
with the rest, very much raise and brighten a
Character, and place their Possessors on a greater
Height, in a more advantageous Light, and
render them capable of making their Virtues
appear more conspicuous; but if they are
Owners only of such Things as are generally
known by the Name of contingent Goods, and
destitute of necessary ones, they are publick
Mischiefs, Enemies to themselves and all the
World: Their Learning serves only to heighten
their Pride, and increase their Vanity;
their Knowledge renders them impertinent,
talkative, positive, imposing, impatient of Contradiction,
and violent Maintainers of their
own Opinions; their Power gives them opportunitiesportunities M8v 176
of wronging the Innocent, of insulting
over the Weak, of oppressing the Poor,
and of doing whatever their Ambition, their
Avarice, their Malice, and Revenge, shall
suggest; and Riches will but feed their Luxury,
augment their Intemperance, or else increase
their insatiable Desire of grasping more,
and by creating a sort of canine Appetite in
the Soul, make her miserable amidst the greatest
Plenty.

But now if my Friends have Wisdom, if
they should happen to have no very considerable
share of what the World calls Learning,
yet they are capable of advising me, of assisting
me in the Conduct of my Life, of telling
me what to chuse, and what to avoid; and if
they have Virtue, they will disswade me from
doing what is ill, be as sollicitously careful of
me as of themselves, and keep as constant a
Guard over my Words and Actions as over
their own, and would be as much troubled to
see me faulty, as if they were so themselves:
And I dare appeal to any considering Person,
whether this would not prove of greater Advantage
to me, than if they could lead me
through the whole Circle of the Sciences,
could explain to me all the abstruse Phænomena
of Nature, and make me thoroughly acquainted
with all its secret Springs, its inperceptible
Movements. If they were just, they
would think themselves obliged on all Occasionsons N1r 177
to do that to me which they would have
done to themselves; and as they would not be
flatter’d, or dealt insincerely with, would not
willingly be slander’d, nor indulge themselves
in any thing that should reflect on their Honour,
or blacken their Consciences, the same
Method they would observe in reference to
me: Would no more flatter me than themselves,
no more be unfaithful to me than to
their own Souls, as soon blast their own Reputations
as mine, and have as true a Concern
for every thing that relates to me, as if the
Case were their own, and all they had dear in
the World were at stake, and as they would
for every Failure, every Mismanagement, call
themselves to a strict Account before the impartial
Bar of Reason, and not allow themselves
in any thing derogatory to their Character,
or contradictory to that Virtue of which they
think it their Glory to make a Profession, so
they would act the part of Censors to me, and
let no Word, no Action of mine, pass unremark’d,
nothing unreprov’d that could not
stand the severest Test, would make it their
Endeavour to brighten my Understanding, to
inform my Judgment, to rectify my Will, and
throughly awaken all my intellectual Powers:
And if they have Goodness, which is a Word
of a large Signification, and comprehends in it
Piety, Humility, Sincerity, Integrity, and universal
Charity, a wishing well to all Mankind,N kind, N1v 178
they will endeavour to inspire me with
the same Sentiments by which they are govern’d,
will labour to make me as pious, as
humble, as sincere, upright, and as much
pleas’d with doing kind and friendly Offices as
themselves.

Now are not these possess’d of the most
valuable Treasures? And are they not, though
they should happen to be cloath’d in Rags, or
confin’d to Cottages, or Prisons, to be prefer’d
to the greatest Monarchs on Earth? Such as
these are the Friends that I would chuse, and
these the Things I would expect from them,
and what they may promise themselves from
me; for I would desire nothing but what I
would return, no Testimonies of Esteem but
what I would pay: But alas! where are such
Friends to be found. I may please my self
with charming Idea’s, Court Phantoms of my
own creating, and from those Inclinations I
find in my own Breast, those innate Propensities
to Kindness, which seem to be interwoven
with my Being, to be of a piece with my
Soul, draw uncommon Schemes of Friendship,
of something so fine, so pure, so noble, so
exalted, so much beyond whatever the World
has yet known of Love, so wholly intellectual,
so entirely abstracted from Sense, that I must
never hope on this side Heaven to meet with
any that will come up to so exact a Model, to
so Angelick a Perfection, or at least that will think N2r 179
think me worthy of so near a Relation, of such
a free, generous, and entire Exchange of
Thoughts: But if ’twere ever my good Fortune
to be blest with such Friends as I have
been describing, I should be continually afraid
of losing them; and if they would resolve to
make me compleatly happy, they must have
no separate Interest, no Concerns of their own
that they would conceal from me, nothing
that looks like a Distrust, like a Disregard,
like a not reposing an entire Confidence in
me; and they must, by observing all the engaging
Niceties, all the endearing Punctilio’s
of Friendship, make it their Business to convince
me, that they are really what they pretend
to be, there must be no Neglects, no
Coldnesses, nothing that may abate the Fervour
of the Flame, nothing that may stagger
the Belief; Promises must be exactly performed,
Services zealously paid, every thing
done with an endearing Kindness, an Air of
Tenderness, and in a Manner irresistibly winning.

N2 Of N2v 180

Of
Love.

As there is a Scale of Beings, so there are
Degrees of Perfection, Beauties continually
flowing from their divine Source in various
Measures and Proportions, and dilating
themselves through the whole Creation:
Wherever we cast our Eyes, we may see them
displaying their Charms; by Day shining in
the glorious Fountain of Light, by Night glittering
in ten thousand Stars; sparkling in
Gems, pleasing the Sight in Gold, delighting
the Eye in lofty Trees, in the admirable Colours
of Fruits and Flowers, in the florid
Green of Plants and Grass, and in the amazing
Mechanism of Insects and Reptils, those
surprizing and inimitable Finenesses which by
the help of Glasses are discoverable in their
minute Bodies, usefully entertaining it with
the exact Proportion of Parts, and the wonderful
Variety of Shapes in Birds, Beasts, and
Fishes: in these, they appear like little Rivulets;
but into Man, the Master-piece of the
visible Creation, they disembogue their scatter’d
Streams: We may plainly see all those
Excellencies which have been singly Objects of N3r 181
of Admiration, uniting themselves in the Humane
Nature, which, that it may be the more
considerable, has the Superaddition of Reason,
which raises it as much above the sensitive
Kingdom, as much above Brutes, as they are
superior to those who have only a vegetative
Life, and they to the inanimate parts of the
Creation, which are generally allow’d to be
only accidental Concretions of Matter.

Now all these have a Claim to our Regard,
according to their respective Values; they are
all Participations of Being, and consequently of
Beauty; and as they rise higher and higher,
and partake more of each, so ought our Esteem
to encrease with them: It becomes us awfully
to contemplate the Almighty Creator in all
his Works, every where to trace his Wisdom
and Power: Where they are least conspicuous
they challenge Wonder; but where they appear
in their full Lustre, they call for both
Admiration and Love: The last I take to be
a Passion which ought never to be appropriated
but to the noblest Objects: To say that we
love any thing that is below us, that is of a
Rank inferiour to us, is to talk amiss, ’tis a
talking without joining Idea’s to our Words;
or if ’tis true, that we do so, ’tis an irrational
Affection.

Indeed God pronounc’d all his Creatures
good, as such we ought to look on them, and,
as I said before, proportion our Esteem to their N3 Worth; N3v 182
Worth; but none of them have any pretence
to the lowest degree of our Love but those of
our own Species; in them that external Beauty
which is seated in the Face, discovers it self
in the Shape, in the Symetry of Parts, the
Delicacy of the Complexion, the Vivacity and
attracting Sweetness of the Eyes, and the
Agreeableness of the Air, will authorize our
having a Kindness for them, and justify our
treating them with Respect; but we must take
care that our Esteem be adequate to the Subject,
and that it do not degenerate into an indecent
Fondness, an ill-grounded Dotage, a
foolish Inclination, commonly as transient as
its Cause, as little to be rely’d on as those Perfections
from whence it springs: We shall do
well to consider, that ’tis built on a sandy
Foundation, ten thousand Accidents may shake
it; but supposing they should not, yet in a
short time ’twill totter, and fall of it self;
those Charms which support it will fail, Youth
will vanish, Age tarnish the brightest Colours,
wrinkle the smoothest Skin; Deformity will
succeed to Beauty, Weakness to Strength, and
Dulness to the charming Gayety and Sprightliness
of greener Years; the most majestick among
Mortals, those whose awful Miens imprint
Veneration, and enforce Respect, must
bend beneath the Load of Years, unavoidably
yield to the Infirmities and Decays which
necessarily attend a long Life; and such as admir’d N4r 183
admir’d them only for those Graces, for those
exteriour Beauties, will certainly cease to love
them as soon as they are lost, there being nothing
left in which their Desires may centre,
therefore they follow the wandring Fugitives
to each new Face, are in a close pursuit of
Things in their Nature transitory, always
shifting Places, Things made up of Parts that
are ever in Motion, still altering their Forms,
and assuming new Figures.

Now what can be more incongruous to our
Pretences, more unworthy of intelligent Beings,
than to be too much pleas’d with such
fleeting Accomplishments, such vanishing Ornaments,
which as they are Impresses of that
first Beauty, of that original Perfection from
whence they proceed, may be allow’d to delight
us, to create in us a Complacency for
their Possessors, but none of them, strictly
speaking, are Objects of Love, that is a Passion
much too spiritual, too pure, too exalted,
to be prostituted to any thing that is corporeal;
’tis seated in the Mind, and fitted for the
Contemplation of intellectual Beauties, it finds
Charms in the Understanding, sees Graces in
the Soul, infinitely preferable to any that are
to be found in the most exquisite Works of
Nature: It likes nothing but what is truly amiable,
what is really attracting, and what
will never cease to be so; scorns to unite it
self to any thing which Age can alter, and N4 over N4v 184
over which Death can triumph; it chuses
what is as immortal as it self; ’tis Truth to
which it adheres; Virtue’s the Centre to which
it tends, from that it derives its Original, and
to that alone it owes its Nourishment.

Now this divine Flame can exert it self no
where but in Subjects equally good, in Souls
govern’d by the same Principles, acting by the
same unchangeable Rules; there must be a
joint Inclination to Virtue, a like Sense of Honour,
the same Notion of Justice, as great an
Ardour for Truth, and an exact Conformity
of Thoughts; ’twill not reside where there’s
the least Disparity, where there’s any thing
impure, or debasing, any thing that can in the
least abate its Fervour.

But where shall we find such a Passion,
such a happy Agreement! where is that Pair
to be found, whose Hearts are fasten’d by
such a divine, such an indissoluble Cement, so
generous and sublime an Affection? Such Lovers
fear no Rivals, admit of no Distrusts, are
Strangers to Jealousy, Inconstancy, and all the
other Perturbations of Sense: Their Fire burns
too bright, is too intense to be extinguish’d,
is too ardent to admit of any Coldnesses, any
Neglects: They are one, and can no more be
unkind to each other than to themselves; are
but one Mind, one Soul in different Bodies,
and can no more cease to Love, than to Be.

Profane N5r 185

Profane Histories pretend to give us some
Instances of perfect Friendships; they boast of
a Pylades, and an Orestes, but we ought to
look on this as a Fiction, as a Story, drest up
by the Poets, and as little to be credited as that
of Pollux, who, they tell us, was so kind as
to give his Brother an equal share of his Immortality:
The greatest Example of this sort
that I’ve met with in any of their Records, is
that of Damon and Pythias, and next to them
Scipio and Lælius, Epaminondas and Pelopidas,
Blosius and Tiberius Gracchus may claim a
place: And, for the Honour of my own Sex,
give me leave to mention Hipparchia and Crates,
Parcia and Brutus, Sulpitia and Lentulus,
Arria and Petus, Paulina and Seneca; but
these are infinitely out-done by two illustrious
Names, by a Royal Pair, whose unpresidented
Friendship has the Honour to be recorded
in the Sacred Writ; I mean Jonathan and
David.

Where was there ever seen a nobler, firmer,
a more sacred Union! How admirable was it
in its Beginning, its Progress, and its Conclusion!
Where shall we meet with one so generous,
so humble, so condescending, so tenderly
affectionate, so unalterably constant as Jonathan,
and so reciprocally kind as David!
Who, without Wonder, can see the Son of a
King, the Heir Apparent of a Crown, a Prince
bred up amidst the Flatteries of a Court, amidstmidst N5v 186
a Crowd of fawning Sycophants, caressing
a poor despicable Shepherd, one hardly
known in Israel, not only giving him those
Praises which were due to the Defender of his
Country, the Conqueror of the great Goliath,
but bestowing on him his Heart, himself; the
noblest Present he could give, or Love cou’d
ask!

That which breeds Envy in narrow groveling
Minds, begets Respect in brave and generous
Tempers: When he saw that Youth,
who was too weak to wear the ponderous
Garb of War, who fearless went to meet Gigantick
Force, arm’d with no other Weapon
but a Sling, return Triumphant, and bringing
in his Hand the Trophy of his Victory, his
Head, who had bid Defiance to a mighty Host,
and with his Looks had almost gain’d the Day,
he felt a secret Pleasure in his Mind, the beginning
of a growing Flame; he admir’d his
Courage, gaz’d with Wonder on him, with
fix’d Attention heard him speak; each Word
encreas’d Esteem, and fan’d the kindling Fire;
he found himself urg’d sweetly on, drawn by
a delightful Violence to knit his Soul to his;
Love firmly ty’d the Knot, and made them
one: From that dear moment they had no separate
Interest, no Reserves, nothing that they
could call their own: David to Jonathan was
dearer far than Empire, than Glory, nay than
Life; his only Business was to serve him, his Happiness N6r 187
Happiness his whole Concern: When his Merit,
join’d with the Acclamations of the People,
had made the King his Enemy, he, with
the intensest Zeal, became his Advocate, defended
his Innocency, and, tho’ ’twere with
the hazard of his Life, spoke what became a
Friend; neither the Threatnings of an angry
Father, the Jealousy of Power, nor yet the
Slights and Disregards that constantly attend
a Man disgrac’d, and out of Favour with his
Soveraign, cou’d make him hide his Thoughts;
the Injury done to David, the Dishonour
thrown upon him by his enrag’d suspicious
Father, made him unmindful of himself; his
only Care was to secure him, to secure the
Man whom he had cause to think was Heaven’s
peculiar Favourite, and destin’d to wear the
Jewish Crown; but with the generous Jonathan
these Considerations had no Force, his
Affection made them all invalid. When full
of Grief he went to tell him his Life was
sought, and that he must by Flight endeavour
to preserve it, how joyful was their Meeting!
how loth were they to part! None but such
as feel the Agonies of Death, those last dissolving
Pangs which separate the Soul and Body,
those lov’d Companions, can have a true Idea
of their Sorrow: How tenderly did they express
their Passion, with what Ardour, what
Sincerity, renew their Vows! What Protestations
did they make of everlasting Kindness! But N6v 188
But when the fatal Minute came, the dire disjoining
Moment, how difficult was it to leave
each other! how many were the Essays they
made! Sighs stop’d their Words, and they
could only look their Thoughts, and by Embraces
tell the inward Struggles of their Souls,
the Pain they felt in being rent asunder! And
when ’twas done, how sad were both! What
melancholy Thoughts had Jonathan when he
reflected on the Sufferings of his Friend, those
many Hardships, those numerous Dangers, to
which he was expos’d! And when he had been
pursu’d from place to place by cruel Saul, and
forc’d at last to make the Wilderness of Ziph
his Refuge, he found him there; so indefatigably
kind is Love, so busy, so inquisitive; it
fears no Hazard, declines no Toil, dares any
thing, is restless till it can oblige; by it inspir’d,
he visited the much wrong’d David,
the persecuted Innocent; his Friendship still
was firm, his Constancy unshaken; the poor,
the hated, the forsaken Fugitive, was still as
dear to him as if he had been a Monarch, and
fill’d the greatest Throne on Earth. O with
what Joy did he again behold him, with what
transporting Pleasure! How did he strive to
alleviate his Grief, and comfort him in his
Distress! His Words, like Balm, distill’d themselves
into those smarting Wounds his envious
Fate had made; he bid him not to fear; told
him the God he serv’d would keep him safe, would N7r 189
would shield him from the Fury of his Father;
assur’d him the divine Decree would
stand, and that he should possess the Kingdom,
should fill the Jewish Throne, and he himself
be next to him in Power. The promis’d Exaltation
of his Friend did not abate his Love;
he could well-pleas’d Descend to let him Rise;
and look on his Advancement as his own. O
with what Satisfaction did they talk of what
should be hereafter! with what Delight confirm
their sacred Oaths! How full of Hopes
were they the Time would come when they
should live together, and undisturb’d enjoy the
Sweets of Conversation, the most delicious
Banquet of the Mind, that Entertainment
which only such a Love as theirs could give,
a Passion so refin’d.

But O how blind are Mortals! how far
from being able to pry into the Secrets of Futurity!
When they believe they’ve almost
reach’d the Goal, they’re farthest off. Alas!
how sad had been the Parting of Jonathan and
David, had they then known that they must
meet no more! Sure Heaven in Kindness to
them, conceal’d the fatal Truth; it knew they
could not bear the killing News, and kept
them still in Hopes of being happy, in expectation
of succeeding Bliss, till the retrieveless
Blow was given, and Jonathan was snatch’d
away by Death, till he, together with his
Royal Father, fell bravely in the Field of Honour,nour, N7v 190
and nobly died the Victims of their
Country. But when the dismal Tidings
reach’d the Ears of David, what Tongue can
tell his Grief! ’twas great beyond Expression:
He had lost the whole he lov’d, the best of
Friends, one in whom he durst confide, to
whom he safely cou’d impart his Thoughts,
who with him always shar’d his Joys, and
bore an equal Part in every Trouble, or rather
took the Burden on himself, was still his
kind Adviser, still his Director in every Strait,
in every cross Emergency of Fortune. O! in
what pathetick Language does he speak his
Grief, how elegantly tell his Sorrow! how
generously bewail the Death of Saul! He
ever paid him the Respect due to a Father and
a King. The Injuries he did him never rais’d
his Passion, or made him do an unbecoming
Action: No, so far was he from being guilty
of any thing that look’d but like Revenge, or
an ambitious Thirst of Empire, that when it
was in his Power to kill him, he refus’d it,
shun’d, with the utmost Detestation, the very
Thoughts of Regicide: He knew that God,
who promis’d him a Crown, would, in his
own due time, bestow it on him; and as he
in his Life rever’d him, so after his Death he
treated him with Honour, gave him the Praises
due unto his Character, due to the Father of
his dearest Friend. Full of Concern for both,
full of the tenderest Sentiments that Grief could N8r 191
could cause, or Love inspire, he thus express’d
his Thoughts, and paid the noblest
Tribute to their Fame.

Ah! wretched Israel! all thy Beauty’s fled!

Thy darling Sons, thy great Defenders dead!

Upon thy Mountains they, lamented, dy’d,

Who for thy sake the worst of Ills defy’d,

Saw Death unmov’d, undaunted met their Fate,

Resolv’d to save, or fall the Victims of the State.

See! low as Earth thy mighty Chiefs are laid,

They who were as superior Pow’rs obey’d;

Who with Majestick Miens, and Airs Divine,

So lately did in glitt’ring Armour shine,

Led on thy Troops, and, full of martial Fire,

Into each Breast did noble Warmth inspire,

Fearless rush’d on, and stem’d the bloody Tide,

Bravely they fought, and then as bravely dy’d.

Let none in Gath the dreadful News relate:

With Care conceal the conquer’d hero’s Fate.

May none our Loss in Askelon proclaim;

Be silent, all ye busie Tongues of Fame;

Lest with a barbarous Joy, a savage Pride,

Philistine Beauties our just Grief deride;

Lest charming Off-springs of polluted Beds,

Shou’d, with an impious Scorn, erect their Heads;

With artful Dances, and triumphant Lays,

Express their Joy, and their curst Dagon praise.

On N8v 192

On Gilboa’s Heights let no more Dew be found,

Let no soft Rain enrich the Rising Ground;

Let them no more a florid Verdure know,

No more large Crops of springing Plenty show;

No more let Flocks and Herds there Pasture find,

Nothing be left to feed the feather’d Kind;

Nothing be left that can the Priest supply,

Nothing that can on sacred Altars die:

For there the Warriour’s Shield was cast away;

For there the Shield of Saul neglected lay,

As if no hallow’d Oil had on his lofty Head

Its odorous Drops with Regal Honour spread.

Back from the Feasts of War, the Banquets of
the Slain,

The Bow of Jonathan did not return in vain;

Nor thence the Sword of Saul unglutted came;

Where-e’er he fought, it got him Spoils and
Fame.

They both were fraught with Graces all Divine,

Attracting Sweetness did with Greatness join:

The Father laid Authority aside,

The Son made Filial Duty all his Pride.

They mutual Kindness their whole Business made,

And now they undivided rest in Death’s calm
peaceful Shade.

Not tow’ring Eagles, when by lofty Flights,

They reach’d the Summit of Aerial Heights,

Were O1r 193

Were half so nimble, half so swift as they,

Nor did fierce Lions with such Strength seize on
their trembling Prey.

Ye lovely Daughters of a holy Sire,

Your sparkling Eyes must lose their native Fire;

Tears must obscure those beauteous Orbs of Light;

Your Sovereign has to all your Grief a Right.

In moving Accents mourn o’er vanquish’d Saul,

He do’s for your intensest Sorrow call;

He, who with tenderest Care did you supply,

Cloath’d you with Scarlet of the richest Dye:

With Gold embroider’d o’er your Garments were,

And glitt’ring Gems adorn’d your flowring Hair.

To these he added many Presents more,

Added Delights to you unknown before.

Amidst the Scene of War, the Horrors of the
Day,

How did the Mighty fall a long contested Prey!

Surrounded by their Foes, did full of Wounds
expire,

Vast Seas of Blood put out their martial Fire.

O Jonathan! thou noblest of thy Kind,

Thy Fate was equal to thy Godlike Mind!

Upon thy Heights on slaughter’d Bodies laid,

Thou hast thy own immortal Trophy made!

O what convulsive Pangs for thee I feel!

Love strikes much deeper than the sharpest Steel:

O My O1v 194

My Pleasure’s gone, my Joys are wholly fled,

All, all is lost, my very Soul is dead:

I’m but the Eccho of my self, a Voice of Woe,

In thee I liv’d, now no Existence know.

While thou wert mine, Heav’n had not sure in
store

One dear Delight, one single Blessing more

That I cou’d wish, to heighten my Content:

Fancy it self could nothing more invent:

The whole I cou’d desire in thee I found,

My Life was with continual Raptures crown’d,

And all my Hours but one soft blissful Round:

The Thoughts that thou wert mine made all my
Sorrows cease,

Amidst my num’rous Toils gave me a Halcyon
Peace;

Contemn’d was ev’ry Danger, ev’ry Pain,

Love made me chearfully the greatest Ills sustain.

When thou wert absent, then my busie Mind

Did in thy dear Remembrance Solace find,

Revolv’d thy Words, on each kind Accent stay’d,

And thy lov’d Image in my Breast survey’d;

Fancy’d thy Eyes each tender Glance return’d,

And with engaging Sweetness for thy David
mourn’d:

But when thou didst me with thy Presence bless,

O who th’ Extatick Transports can express!

Words are too poor, and Language wants a Name

For such a pure, immortal, fervent Flame!

A while I look’d, a while could only gaze,

My Face, my Eyes, my Heart, betray’d my glad
Amaze;

My O2r 195

My Soul to thine would force her speedy Way,

Panting she stood, and chid her hindring Clay:

Trembling with Joy, I snatch’d thee to my Heart,

Did, with tumultuous Haste, my thronging
Thoughts impart:

Troubl’d, thou heard’st me my past Toils relate,

My Suff’rings did a kind Concern create,

And made thee, sighing, blame the Rigour of
my fate.

O with what Pity, what a moving Air,

Did’st thou then vow thou would’st my Hazard’s

Promis’d eternal Faith, eternal Love,
share,

And kind to me, as my own Soul didst prove;

Nay, kinder far, no Dangers didst decline,

Expos’d thy Life to add a longer Date to mine!

Such an Affection to the World is new,

None can such wond’rous Proofs of Friendship
shew!

Not the fair Sex, whom softest Passions move,

Can with such Ardour, such Intenseness love.

But thou art lost! for ever lost to me!

And all I ever priz’d is lost with thee.

Honour, and Fame, and Beauty lose their Charms,

I’m deaf to the harmonious Sound of Arms;

Deaf to the Calls of Glory and of Praise,

I’ll near thy Tomb conclude my wretched Days:

In mournful Strains employ my Voice and Lyre,

And, full of Grief, by thy lov’d Corps expire.

O2 How O2v 196

How soon, alas! the mighty are destroy’d!

Who can the dreadful Stroke of Fate avoid!

How are they fallen! who but lately stood

Like well-fix’d Rocks, and dar’d the raging Floud!

They who dispers’d their missive Terrors round,

From whom their Foes a swift Destruction
found,

Now lie, like common Men, neglected on the
Ground.

Of O3r 197

Of
Avarice.

What can be more amazing than to
see wise and rational Beings, Beings
design’d for the highest and noblest Enjoyments,
and richly furnish’d with Faculties fitted
for the Contemplation of the greatest,
best, and most exalted Objects, wilfully withdraw
their Regards from things worthy of
themselves, and of that infinite Perfection
from whom they derive their Original, and
fix them on Earth, on that dull heavy Element,
from whence their Bodies, those Prisons
of their Souls, those cumbersome Machines
in which they act, at first were taken,
and by indulging a greedy avaricious Humour,
be fond of sinking to the lowest, the most despicable
Level, should, before they are necessitated
to it by the indisputable Laws of their
Creation, the irreversible Decrees of Nature,
be in haste to return to it again, uneasie till
they are reunited to their primitive Dust! Is
it not an unaccountable Madness for such as
are Masters of vast Treasures, not to be contented
with the bountiful Dividend of Providence?
For those that have great Estates to O3 be O3v 198
be continually contriving how they shall encrease
them? Who can, without wonder
mix’d with the highest Detestation, see the
generality of Men stick at nothing, though
never so base, so injurious, so oppressing, that
may promote their Designs? Such as are covetous
of Titles, and greedy of Power, what
will they not do to gratifie their Desires, to
gain what they so eagerly wish for? What
vile Offices will they boggle at, what servile
Compliances will they not stoop to, what
Friend or Kinsman will they not sacrifice,
whom will they scruple to ruine, whose Reputation
will they not murder, to get or secure
the Grandeur, the Honour, the Power,
or the Riches they so much prize?

The Poor, whose Lives are one continued
Toil, and every Bit of Bread they eat the
Purchase of their Sweat, who, wrap’d in
Rags, encounter all the Inclemencies of Air,
contend with Winter-Storms and Summer-
Heats, and, who when tir’d with the laborious
Business of the Day, must either make the
Earth their Bed, or creep into low squallid
Cells, Places as little to be lik’d as Dens
of savage Beasts, will play the Villain, flatter,
steal and lye, do any thing that’s ill to
lengthen out a wretched Being, and get a
larger Share of those mean things they covet.
Such as are rais’d a little higher, can call some
Fields, some Heaps of Dirt their own, are still O4r 199
still conversing with their fellow Brutes, still
cultivating every Spot of Earth, considering
Night and Day how to encrease their Store,
what Crafts to use, what false, sly, undermining
Tricks, how to defraud their Neighbours,
to trespass on the Rich, and grind the Poor,
while those above them make them feel
Wrongs as great as those they do, oppress
them as much as they do others, and by
Ways as equally unjust, as despicably base,
rob them of what is their Due, and then prophanely
call their lawless Gains the Gift of
Heaven, the just Reward of Industry and
Prudence: If by a lucky Hit, or a continu’d
Series of close Penuries, sordid Methods, by
making nuptial Bargains, spunging on the Publick,
cajoling weak unthinking Princes, by
Rapine, Extortion, Usury, or an excessive
Thrift, their wretched Ancestors have damn’d
themselves to leave them great and wealthy;
they are proud of the Acquest, look big, and
value themselves on what they ought to blush
at, and strive by ways as altogether ill, as unwarrantably
wicked, to add to what they have
left them: Wealth thus continued in a Race,
they call Gentility, Riches long enjoy’d, they
think ennobles Blood, and Gold does make it
run more pure: They having nothing properly
their own to attract Respect, no shining
Qualities to fix the Attention of the Crowd,
and gain their Admiration, are forced to seek O4 for O4v 200
for something foreign, something that they
know will dazzle common Eyes; which being
found, they seize it with a voracious
Greediness, their Souls stick to it; the more
they have, the more they covet, they love it
with an unsatisfy’d Desire, continue thirsty at
the Fountain, and still with wide stretched
Arms, are grasping all that they can
reach.

Good God! in this degenerate Age, where
are there any to be found entirely free from
this accursed Vice! the Young are taught betimes
to like it, instructed from their Cradles
to be fond of Trifles, to cry for Baubles, like
Apes to scamble, scratch and fight for scatter’d
Nuts, for Toys as little worth; As they
encrease in Years, their Avarice grows with
them, their craving Appetite torments them,
they still find something to desire; the Objects
indeed are various, but the Passion’s still
the same; that, like their Shadow, grows
larger towards the Evening of their Life, gets
Ground upon them in their declining Moments,
and never leaves them till they are in
their Graves, are lost to all the Joys of
Sense.

And can there be a more preposterous Folly,
a greater Instance of Stupidity, than to be
fond of things that cannot long be their’s, and
slight those real Goods, which, if they please,
they may possess for ever? That ’tis the highest O5r 201
highest Frenzy, every one will own; all with
one Voice will blame the griping Usurer, laugh
at the meager half-starv’d Wretch, who pines
for what’s his own, sits hugging of those Bags
he dares not open, and makes an Idol of that
Wealth, which he should use: Yet all concur
to carry on the Farce, each acts a Madman’s
Part in the great Bedlam of the
World.

One gets to feed his Pride, another spares
to gratifie his Vanity, a third loves Money for
it self, loves it with an abstracted Passion;
and if he had not Wife, nor Children, Kindred,
nor Friends, would still dote on his
Heaps, and to encrease them, deny himself all
the Conveniences of Life. The Tradesman
will use all his Slights, his finest Artifices, to
cheat his Customers, will lye and swear, and
palm ten thousand Falshoods on them to vend
his Goods; his Profit is his God, and Poverty
the only Devil he’s afraid of. The Mariner
will venter on the roughest Sea, contend
with rising Surges, deaf’ning Winds and complicated
Horrors, nay, slight even Death it
self, when Gain’s in view: For it, will
the Physician meet the greatest Danger, endure
the most offensive Stenches, look on the
ugliest, the most loathsome Objects; and,
what is more, will, with the Patience of a
Stoick, a smiling courtly Air, and a respectful
Silence, bear with the Impertinence and senseless O5v 202
senseless Jargon of Children, Women, Fools,
and Mad-men: For it, the Lawyer pleads, it
gives an oily Smoothness to his Tongue, endues
him with a powerful Elocution, extends
his Lungs, and makes him talk with Fire,
heightens his Courage, and prompts him on to
undertake the blackest Cause; for dear bewitching
Gold he’ll stretch the Statutes, rack
the Law, and often make it speak in the Defence
of Guilt; the Client who brings most
Guineas with him is ever welcomest, and
much more in the right than his Opponent.
The Men of Pleasure will rack their Tenants,
miserably oppress their poor Dependants, attend
whole Mornings at the great Man’s Levée,
become base whining Supplicants for a Boon,
and do whatever is requir’d, for some advantageous
Post, for some ambition’d Favour. The
fine Lady will be guilty of ten thousand stingy
Actions to make a gay Appearance, to outshine
her Neighbours; will almost starve her
Family, defraud her Servants, and send the
Needy cursing from her Doors, rather than
want Supplies for her Diversions, a Fund for
Basset, Ombra, Pickett, or any other of those
Games her Avarice makes her fond of. The
Country-Wife will be the Turn-key of her
Goal, like Argus, still inspect her Under-
Brutes, watch all their Motions, observe each
Bit they eat, will talk of nothing but the Arts
of Saving, and thinks no Knowledge necessary, but O6r 203
but what instructs her how to get: She, by
a profitable Chymistry, turns all things into
Gold, her good Housewifry is the true Elixir,
by it she converts Beasts, Birds, Trees, Plants,
Flowers, and all the other Products of her
Care into the noblest Metal, into that glittering
Bullion which she loves so well, that, like
Vespasian, she would not scruple to extract it
from the meanest Things: While she’s thus
idly busie, her Husband applauds his Fortune,
thinks himself happy in having a Partner,
whose Intellectuals are commensurate
with his own, and who kindly shares with
him in the Toil of growing rich: While
they are sordidly employ’d in scraping Dirt
together, the Soldier takes a more compendious
Way of being wealthy; he burns and
plunders, wades through Blood for Gain; exposes
his Life for Pay, rushes on Cannons,
and fearless runs on Points of Swords, for
Gold: Nor are they only mercenary Wretches,
such as fight for Bread, that are thus greedy;
the Great are equally blame-worthy; Princes
themselves are as avaricious as the poorest of
their Subjects: What else makes those that
are possess’d of spacious Dominions, of large
and flourishing Kingdoms, to be encroaching
on the Territories of their Neighbours, still
rendring them and their People miserable, and
carrying Devastation and Confusion with them
where-ever they extend their Arms, and by this O6v 204
this means render themselves publick Mischiefs,
when they were design’d for universal
Blessings.

What were the Sesostris’s, the Alexanders,
the Pompeys, the sars, and all the other
celebrated Heroes of Antiquity, together with
all the latter Conquerors, the Tamerlanes, the
Caliphs, the Attila’s, the Aureng-Zebs, and all
the other Disturbers of the World, but glorious
Robbers, illustrious Thieves? And wherein
did sar differ from the Pirates he executed?
He was only mightier, but not less criminal,
his Power was an Umbrage for his
Faults, and his Lawrels became his Protectors.

How happy was Sparta while she despis’d
Riches! She had the Honour of being the
chiefest, the most valued City of Greece, till,
in the Reign of Agis, Gold and Silver again
found a Way thither; and Lysander, by bringing
in rich Spoils from the Wars, unhappily
fill’d her at once with Covetousness and
Luxury.

Unfortunate Conquerors! how much better
had it been for you never to have been
victorious, than to have prov’d the occasional
Corrupters of your Country! And how cou’d
those things you gave them be properly call’d
Goods, since they only serv’d to make their
Possessors wicked?

How O7r 205

How infinitely preferable is that Poverty,
which is accompany’d with Innocency and
Content, to Wealth purchas’d by Rapine
and Injustice, and kept with Anxiety and
Remorse?

What good, nay, what considerate Man
would not much rather have chosen to have
been the poor just Aristides, than the rich
impious Callias; the Divine Plato, than the
suspicious, barbarous Dionysius; the virtuous
Epaminondas, than Alexander the Pherean;
the contented Marcus Curius, than the greedy,
sordid Perseus? But the generality of Men
are too apt, like the last, to place their Happiness
in Riches, to permit Covetousness to
be the governing Passion of their Souls,
that to which every other Vice must strike
Sail.

Nor are the Laity alone chargeable with
this reigning Vice; ’tis not contented to erect
its Throne in the outward Court of the
Temple, in the less holy part of the sacred
Edifice, but audaciously enters the Sanctum
Sanctorum
, insolently triumphs over those who
by the Dignity of their Function ought to
be exempted from its Jurisdiction: Not that
all are its Captives; no, there are some who,
like the good Angels, keep their Station, still
fight under the Banner of the Great Messias,
and are so far from yielding the least Subjection
to Mammon, that they bravely resist all the Efforts O7v 206
Efforts of Avarice, as scorning to have it said,
that they are master’d by their Money, are
Vassals to their Wealth, who think it their
highest Glory to be Almoners to infinite
Goodness, to be the Distributors, and not the
Ingrossers of the Heavenly Bounty; and who,
following the Advice of their Blessed Saviour,
are not sollicitous about corruptible Riches, but
wisely lay up for themselves such durable
Treasures, as will be their’s for ever, their’s
in a future, an eternal State; can bear Poverty,
not with a Stoical Apathy, but a Christian
Resignation, and contentedly trust Providence
with the remaining Moments of their
Lives, as not doubting but their kind Benefactor,
that God to whom they owe their
Being, and who extends his Care to the least,
the most inconsiderable Parts of his Creation,
who gives Food to the Fowls, Beauty
to the Flowers of the Field, and a delightful
Verdure to the Grass, will not neglect the
Creatures whom he has vouchsafed to form
after his own Image, and who have the Honour
to be particularly dedicated to his Service,
and to be separated from the rest of Mankind
by the distinguishing Characters of Divinity.

But these, alas! are but few, if compar’d
with the Multitude; their Number, like that
of perfect Animals, being but small, in comparison
of those Swarms of Insects, which are every O8r 207
every where discoverable throughout the vast
Extent of Nature.

’Tis, I fear, a Truth too evident to be deny’d,
that too many of them are as greedy
as covetous, and as incroaching as any of their
poor ignorant Neighbours, more sollicitous
for their Tithes, than for the Salvation of
their Parishioners, much more busily employ’d
in manuring their own Glebe, than
in improving the Minds of such as are under
their Care; in a Word, as much concern’d
for Earth, as it becomes them to be for Heaven.

Religion in all Ages has been the specious
Bait, and Priests the luckiest Anglers: In
the Heathen World, a blind Zeal, a bigotted
Devotion, and a superstitious Dread of Hell,
enrich’d their Temples, adorn’d their Shrines,
and made their Altars vie with the glittering
Canopy of Heaven. Mankind were then imimmers’d
in Vice, inslav’d by their Passions,
and influenc’d by sensible Idea’s; the Love of
sensual Pleasure had taken so deep Root in their
Hearts, that nothing was capable of shaking it:
They had gross Notions of Good and Evil,
and their having them was almost unavoidable,
because, the Poets, who were their Præceptors,
had given their Divinities not only all the
Infirmities incident to the Humane Nature,
but all those Passions and Vices, to which by a fa- O8v 208
a fatal Depravity, a deplorable Depradation,
’twas unhappily subjected.

Who could be more infamous than their
Jupiter, guilty of greater Enormities than
their Apollo, their Mars, their Bacchus, their
Mercury, and the rest of their Gods? Who
more haughty, more passionate, more malicious,
revengeful, and jealous than their Juno,
more shamefully lascivious than their Venus,
more fierce and bloody than their Bellona?
Their Deities being such profligate Monsters,
’twas hardly possible that their Worshippers
should be vertuous; but there being still left
in their Souls some faint Shadows of Truth,
some pale Glimmerings of the Celestial Light,
some imperfect Notices of their original Purity,
they found an inward Principle, an unseen
Comptroller of their Actions, something that
made them uneasy to themselves, that pall’d
their Joys, and fill’d them with disturbing
Reflexions, which like frightful Spectres star’d
them in the Face amidst their criminal Pursuits;
these Terrors were exceedingly increas’d
by the Poets, their dismal Description
of Hell and those baleful Rivers that surrounded
it, the tremendous Forms with which ’twas
fill’d, the ghastly howling Cerberus, the dreadful
Chimæra, the horrid Furies, the fatal Sisters,
the inexorable Judges, together with
the flaming Tartarus, where they were told
were to be seen the Giants, the Danaides, and with P1r 209
with them Tantalus, Ixion, Sysiphus, and all
the other poetical Sufferers; these Stories
made melancholy Impressions on their Imaginations;
they were afraid of the Punishments
their Guilt might render them obnoxious to;
they were conscious to themselves of their being
continually under the severe Inspection of
a divine Nemesis; were willing to escape the
expected Vengeance, and yet at the same time
loth to part with their darling Crimes: Of
this the Priests took Advantage, and propos’d
their making an Attonement by Sacrifices, and
put them into a method of rendring the Gods
propitious, by erecting magnificent Temples;
thus they perswaded them, that they might by
external Performances make amends for the
Irregularities of their Lives, and complement
them into a Connivance at their Faults: By
this Artifice, they made themselves considerable,
and, like Phidias, shar’d in the Honours
they had procur’d for them: By their pretended
Miracles, their counterfeit Sanctity,
and their dubious Oracles, they not only rais’d
glorious Structures, and encreas’d their Revenues,
but render’d themselves necessary, and
made the trembling Multitude obedient to their
Precepts: Only a few enlightned Understandings,
a few elevated Genius’s, saw thro’ their
Tricks, discover’d their Legerdemain: In those
dark Ages, none among them, but a Socrates,
a Plato, and some of their Disciples, were acquaintedP quainted P1v 210
with the Perfections of the Deity,
and knew what would please him; none but
such as they, knew that his Temple ought
to be a purify’d Heart, and, that virtuous
Thoughts, innocent Intentions, holy Discourses,
just and charitable Actions, were the only
acceptable Sacrifices; but ’twas not in their
Power to undeceive the People; Socrates dy’d
in the Attempt, and others found it lost-labour
to endeavour to stem the Current: Superstition
prevail’d, and every Day made new Conquests;
to that we owe some of the greatest
Edifices of Antiquity; ’twas that which rais’d
the stately Temple of Belus, that famous one
dedicated to Diana at Ephesus, and that of Jupiter
at Olympia, together with those so much
celebrated in Greece and Rome; neither did
that costly Bigotry expire with those mighty
Empires and flourishing Commonwealths mention’d
in ancient Story, nor bear the same
Date with their Religion; no, it has ever since
appear’d on the Stage of the World, and the
Priests have still made Use of the same Arts to
inrich themselves, and buoy up their Reputation.

In the new-discover’d World, the great
Continent of America, the Spaniards found at
Cusco, the Metropolis of Peru, the wonderful
Temple of the Sun, together with the four
adjoining ones, of which one was dedicated to
the Moon, the second to the Planet Venus, the P2r 211
the third to Thunder and Lightning, and the
fourth to Iris; all which, if we may credit
History, were admirably Built, and so richly
Adorn’d, that they might vie with the finest
Structures of Antiquity: With these the Pagods
or Temples of Siam may claim a place;
nor ought those many magnificent Mosques to
be forgotten, which are the beautiful Ornaments
of several of the Mahometan Cities: All
which are undeniable Proofs of the Truth of
what I’ve been asserting; for among those
heated Zealots, there was nothing but Smoak,
nothing but exterior Shows, their Fire did not
yield a vital Heat, did not burn bright, their
Understandings were obscur’d, thick clammy
Fogs, impenetrable Veils of solid Night were
plac’d between them and their Reason, they
could not discern what was good, nor shun
what was ill; what Vice presented as eligible,
with that they clos’d, and in all Cases appeal’d
to their Senses, and yielded to their
decisive Sentence; by them were madly hurried
on; and if at any time a rising Doubt
check’d their Career, if their Consciences grew
troublesome, they this way still’d their Clamours,
and hop’d to bribe superior Powers
by outward Marks of Veneration: Nor were
these the Sentiments only of the Ignorant, the
Idolatrous Part of Mankind; they got Footing
also among the Jews, among the peculiar Favourites
of Heaven, a People preserv’d by P2 Wonders, P2v 212
Wonders, and conversant with Miracles, instructed
by the most sublime of Philosophers,
or rather taught by God himself; yet this
People, this illuminated Nation, when their
great Legislator had been but a while absent
from them, found themselves so strongly byass’d
by their natural Inclination to Idolatry
(and the numerous Divinities they had so
lately seen worship’d in Egypt being present to
their Minds) that they could not be easy
without having some sensible Representation to
which they might pay their Adoration; this
made them apply themselves to Aaron, and
desire him, with so much Earnestness, to make
them Gods. Good Heaven! How quickly did
he yield to their Intreaties! What Mischiefs
did he bring on his wretched Nation!

The sacred Priest the sensless Mob obey’d;

’Twas Aaron who the Golden Folly made:

From Egypt he the lov’d Idea brought,

The Calf was then imprest upon his Thought,

There, by his Fancy, so exactly wrought,

That ev’ry Trace unalter’d did remain,

The Lines were deeply carv’d within his Brain;

Thence, by Traduction, lineally convey’d

On all his Sons the spreading Mischief prey’d:

The tainted Stock did dire Effects produce,

Venom was mix’d with all its vital Juice:

Th’ P3r 213

Th’ impoison’d Juice with Swiftness did ascend,

As quick as Thought to loftiest Boughs extend,

And thence, by subtile Paths, to lower Branches
tend,

Did on each Leaf, each slender Fibre seise:

Moses himself encreas’d the curstDisease,

When, by a wondrous Skill, an Art divine,

To Ashes he their Apis did calcine,

And with their Liquor mix’d the glitt’ring Dust,

Too much he added to their native Thirst:

The crouding Atoms throng’d into the Brain,

Too close they stuck to be expell’d again:

The sacred Tribe not only Suff’rers were,

Others had in their Guilt an equal Share;

The painful Hunger all alike opprest,

The rav’nous Vultur prey’d on ev’ry Breast,

The Love of Gold its Poison did dilate,

Dispers’d it self throughout the wretched State;

From them into the Christian Church it came;

The Christian Church deserv’d an equal blame,

Too fond it grew of Grandeur, Wealth, & Fame.

For not only the ignorant Pagans, the dull
stupid Jews, the foolish deluded Mussulmen,
but the enlightned Christians, the Pretenders
to more Knowledge, clearer Views, and more
elevated Understandings; not only those of
the former, but the present Age, have been
too much govern’d, too much influenc’d by P3 popular P3v 214
popular Notions, too much sway’d by Opinion.

What glorious Piles, what vast Buildings,
did Superstition raise, in both the Eastern and
Western Empires! both at Constantinople and
Rome! What was formerly more august than
St. Sophia! and what at present more magnificent
than St. Peter’s!

The Grecian and Roman Clergy took equal
Care to provide for themselves and their Religion;
the Honour of the Church, and their
own private Advantage, went hand in hand;
their Interests were too closely link’d ever to
be sever’d: they every where had wonderful
Harvests; the Bigotry of past Ages pour’d
down plentiful Showers of Manna on them,
and they gather’d it with an indefatigable
Toil; and that it might be safe, laid it up in
the Ark, put it into a sacred Repository, where
’twas out of Danger of being profan’d, of being
touch’d by unhallow’d Hands. By a sort
of spiritual Magick, they drew almost all the
Wealth of every Country into which they came
within their sacred Circle: By this means
the Caloyers of Mount Athos built, and so
richly endowed their Monasteries; and by
it the several Orders of the Church have establish’d
themselves in almost all Parts of Europe,
and everywhere amass’d vast Treasures:
in Spain and Italy they have an unlimited
Power; and in those two Kingdoms Poverty is P4r 215
is everywhere to be seen, except in the
Churches, the Palaces of Princes, those of
the Pope, and Cardinals, and the other dignified
Clergy, together with the Houses of the
Religious.

How mean, how dejected are the Italians!
how much degenerated from their ancient
Bravery! How little do they resemble those
warlike Romans who Conquer’d the World,
and gave Law to almost all Mankind! How
much has their Country lost of its former
Fertility, their Cities of their Beauty, and
their Towns of their Riches! Their Altars
have ingross’d their Treasures, and those who
would be thought the Imitators of an humble
suffering Master, of one who while he was
here did not think fit to call any thing his
own, nay, was so far from being rich, that
he had not those common Conveniences of
Life which the brute Animals enjoy’d, became
Competitors with their Princes, and
equal to Crown’d Heads for Wealth and Grandeur:
Cou’d an unprejudic’d Spectator take
them to be the Successors of poor plain Fishermen,
of those Apostles who when they received
their sacred Mission, were strictly commanded
in all their Journeys, in their long
and painful Peregrinations through the World,
to take with them neither Silver nor Gold,
nor any other Necessaries, but to depend entirely
on Providence, and to be contented to P4 receive P4v 216
receive their Maintenance from the Charity
of well-disposed People, from Persons powerfully
influenc’d by that Spirit of Love, that
tender and endearing Affection which in the
Infancy of the Church distinguish’d the Christians
from those of all other Religions?

Now ’tis not for such Men as these to pretend
to Reform Mankind, to assume the Chair,
and act the Dictators: They must first begin
at home, must first pull down the Golden
Calf which still remains inshrin’d in their
Hearts, must sever the glaring Particles, and
disperse them among the Needy; shew by
their Practice how Riches ought to be used,
to whom they ought to be given, and how
they may be made Incentives to Virtue, before
they preach it to others. They cannot
but know, that Examples have always been
more prevalent than Precepts, and that we are
sooner prevail’d on by what we see, than by
what we hear: A Man who lives the Truths
he teaches, cannot fail to inculcate them;
they have a resistless Force, and carry Convictions
with ’em: We cannot avoid believing
those whose Words and Actions are of a piece,
and who by the little Regard they have for
Riches, make it evident that they are above
’em who use ’em with the same Indifferency
that a Passenger does the Conveniences he
meets with on the Road, thinks ’em no more his P5r 217
his own, no more conducing to his Happiness

I’m afraid what I have said on this Subject
will be misunderstood by the fiery Bigots of
all Parties: Such as are warmly engag’d in
the Interest of the Establish’d Church, will
accuse me of Profaneness and Irreligion for
speaking against the Erecting magnificent Edifices
for the Worship of God, and both they
and the Sectaries will be offended with me for
presuming to find fault with them for endeavouring
to enrich themselves, and improving
the Ignorance and Credulity of the Common
People to their secular Advantage: They are
all apt to run away with a thing as soon as
they have read it, without affording themselves
the leisure to examine it, and are not,
amidst the Noise and Hurry of their Passions,
capable of discerning between Truth and Falshood,
and consequently can’t make right
Judgments: By such I expect to have it said,
that what I have writ on this Head is a Satyr
on the Clergy in general; they will not allow
themselves time to consider, that I have put a
Distinction between such as are good, and
such as are not so; that to the first I have
paid all the Deference due to their Character,
have given all the Praises they deserve; and
that ’tis the last, those that are the Blemishes
of their Order, the Reproaches of their sacred
Function, their Antipodes whom they pretend to P5v 218
to imitate, and the Reverse of that Master
whom they would have the World believe
they serve, I take the Liberty to find fault
with; ’tis their Avarice I censure, their making
Religion a Mask for their Covetousness
what I deplore: As for the Aspersions which
I doubt will be cast upon me, I assure the
Readers if they misinterpret my Words they’ll
very much wrong me in it; for I can with
much Truth affirm, that I am so far from being
an Enemy to the worshipping of God in
Churches magnificently built and finely adorn’d,
that I think the Places appropriated to
his Service cannot be too august, nor too curiously
embellish’d. I consider, that he who
is Beauty it self, Perfection in the Abstract,
and has been pleas’d to impress some part of
his adorable Excellencies on whatever he has
made, the whole Universe being a charming
Transcript, a fair and dazling Copy of those
beautiful Idea’s which from all Eternity were
in the Divine Intellect, cannot be pleas’d with
being worship’d in mean contemptible Places,
in Structures inferior to those we build for our
selves; this is farther evident to me from the
Tabernacle Moses was commanded to make,
and of which he had the Pattern given him
by God himself while he was with him on
the Mount: Every thing in it was admirable;
the Utensils that belong’d to it, and the Sacerdotal
Habits, had peculiar Beauties: How rich P6r 219
rich were all the Materials, how lively the
Colours, how glorious the Gildings, and how
curiously wrought, how delicately fine the
Embroideries! ’Tis yet more demonstrable
from that stupendous Fabrick rais’d by Solomon,
that surprizing Piece of Architecture,
where every thing was exactly Regular, Beautiful,
and Magnificent.

There being in the Divine Nature no Vicissitude,
no Change, nothing that has the
least Resemblance to that Inconstancy of Humour
which is to be found among us, ’twere
absurd to suppose, that what pleas’d him in
those Ages should offend him in this: When
he commands us to worship him in Spirit and
in Truth, he does not forbid us to join outward
Testimonies of Respect with inward and
rational Services: The Places in which we
pay our Adoration ought doubtless to bear
some Analogy to his Nature, to have all the
ornamental Graces, all the Finenesses we are
capable of bestowing on them; it, in my Opinion,
arguing a Want of that due Reverence
which it becomes us to have for the Divine
Majesty, to let those Edifices which are intended
for the Solemnization of his publick
Worship, be destitute of handsom Embellishments,
of any thing that may be of use to excite
Devotion, and demonstrate that profound
and awful Veneration which ’tis fit for Creaturestures P6v 220
to pay to their infinitely great, and unexpressibly
bountiful Creator.

I think I have said enough on this Topick
to justify my self; I shall only add, that I
could wish, that such as have the Honour to
attend at the Altar, would give those that are
committed to their Charge, great Idea’s of
God, endeavour to inspire them with noble
and becoming Notions of his incomprehensible
Perfections, and make it their Business to banish
out of their Minds all slavish Fears, all
superstitious Dreads, and make it their Study
to raise them from sensible Representations to
intellectual Views.

Such among them as strive to do Good,
who desire no more than will serve to render
their Lives tolerably easy, and who, if they
are blest with an Affluence of Wealth, are no
farther pleas’d with it than as it puts them in
a Capacity of relieving the Indigent, and rewarding
the Vertuous, I think I cannot sufficiently
esteem; but such as make greater Advances,
who for the Propagation of the Christian
Faith, and out of the tender Regard they
have for such as by their Ignorance and Immorality
are in Danger of being everlastingly
miserable, chearfully expose themselves to the
extremest Poverty, the severest Hardships, and
the greatest Hazards that Mankind can be obnoxious
to, have not only a Title to my
Esteem, but a just Claim to my Admiration.

I have P7r 221

I have but one thing more to say, which I
had forgot to mention sooner, and that is,
that I am not against their having handsom
Revenues, Settlements independant on the capricious
Humour of the People; I am so far
from it, that as I would have Churches not
only decent, but magnificent, so I would have
those who have the Honour to be the Ambassadors
of Heaven, not only have enough to
render their Lives commodious and pleasant,
not only what is sufficient to secure them from
Penury and Contempt, but such a Maintenance
as may help to support their Character,
and which, if they are rais’d to Dignities,
may enable them to live suitably to them;
but then I would not have their Riches employ’d
in aggrandizing their Families, made
the Fewel of Vice, laid in as a Fund for Luxury,
distributed with a partial Hand, made
the Reward of Flattery, appropriated to a
Party, or made use of to carry on ambitious
Designs, but confer’d with a prudent and distinguishing
Bounty.

If I’d a Fortune equal to my Mind,

I like, my bounteous Maker, would be kind,

Wou’d spread my Wealth with greedy Pleasure
round,

Near me no needy Wretches shou’d be found;

But still the Good shou’d have the largest Share,

Both of my Love, my Riches, and my Care;

For P7v 222

For them I’d seek, to their Relief wou’d fly,

Prevent their Prayers, and all their Wants supply.

But since, O my God, thou hast not thought
fit to intrust me with such Advantages of being
charitable as others are bless’d with, let my
Desires supply the Defect of Actions, and let
the little I’m capable of doing be acceptable;
my Mite have a place in the Treasury, and that
Cup of cold Water, which I give with an Eye
to thy Honour, and the Order of things, that
beautiful Order which thou hast establish’d in
the World, receive a joyful Euge at the great
Day of Retribution.

That Day, when Clangors all Divine,

Shall be the Harbingers of Fate;

When dazling Glories all around shall shine,

And God descend in State:

Officious Clouds shall gladly meet,

Shall croud into one solid Mass beneath his Feet,

That God who here our Flesh was pleas’d to wear,

For us Contempts and Pains to bear,

And all the Frailties of our Nature share;

That God, who fell a Sacrifice of Love,

Now comes with glorious Terror from Above:

He comes! he comes! to judge Mankind!

To judge that World for which he dy’d!

The Good shall still the same kind Saviour find,

The Bad be forc’d to own that Justice which
they have defy’d.

II.See! P8r 223

II.

See! in the clear expanded Air,

A Throne for him Angelick Forms prepare:

Angelick Forms, whose Number do’s transcend

Those sparkling Orbs of Light,

Which give a pleasing Lustre to the Night,

And render even its dusky Horrours bright,

Which far exceed those num’rous Heaps of Sand,

Which check the Sea, and bound the Land,

And betwixt both the lasting Barriers stand.

He sits sublime, while they attend,

While they their joyful Homage pay,

While they before him humbly bend,

And at his Feet their shining Honours lay,

Refulgent Crowns, which if compar’d with those
below,

Like radiant Suns to glimmering Glow-worms
show.

III.

At his Command they bid the Dead appear,

Th’ affrighted Dead the powerful Mandate hear:

All that have trod the Stage of Life arise,

And on the dread Tribunal fix their Eyes;

The Rich, the Poor, the Princes, and their Slaves,

Come trembling up from their deserted Graves,

From their close Mansions, full of anxious Fear,

They come to breathe superior Air.

Those whose past Lives have pious been,

Who to their Reason calm Submission pay’d,

And ne’er their Passions willingly obey’d,

With P8v 224

With less Concern leave their obscure Retreat:

But O! what Tongue their Horrors can repeat,

To whom their Crimes relentless Furies prove,

Who now are curss’d with what they once did
love!

They can’t the sad Remembrance shun,

But must for ever view the Faults which they
have done:

Each do’s a Nemisis appear,

And each do’s justify their Fear:

Not the least Glimpse of Hope remains,

No Joy to mitigate their Pains,

Despair has bound them fast with Adamantine
Chains.

They wish, but wish in vain,

They cou’d return to their first Source again,

Back to that Nothing whence they rose,

Or in some deep Abyss cou’d find Repose,

Cou’d in the darkest Shades of Night

Conceal themselves from all revealing Light.

IV.

These he will separate by his Pow’r Divine,

To each their proper Place assign:

And as a Shepherd with the tend’rest Care

His Sheep do’s from his Goats divide,

Do’s richest Pastures for the first provide,

Lets them exulting feed on his Right-hand,

While on his Left the Goats neglected stand;

So for the Good the noblest Station he’ll prepare,

And then in Accents soft as Air,

In Q1r 225

In the still Voice of gentlest Peace and Love,

That Voice which will extatick Raptures move,

Which welcome to their Souls as chearful Light
will prove;

To them he’ll with Fraternal Kindness say,

Come ye, whom my Great Father’s pleas’d to
bless,

Come, and immortal Joys possess,

With Raptures come to that exalted State,

Long præ-ordain’d for you by Fate,

That Kingdom destin’d your’s, e’re since that Day

On which he did the World’s Foundation lay.

V.

For me, when hungry, by Compassion led,

You readily with wholsome Viands fed;

And when the sultry Heat had made me dry,

Did with refreshing Draughts supply;

When wand’ring alone, I sought Relief,

You on my Suff’rings Pity took,

With an endearing Sweetness calm’d my Grief,

And with a kind inviting Look,

A gen’rous Hospitable Air,

Receiv’d the friendless Stranger to your Care.

When I the greatest Poverty endur’d,

When naked bore the Fervour of the Day,

And in the Night, expos’d to piercing Cold, uncover’d
lay,

You me with Cloaths from both Extreams secur’d;

And, when in Pain, I languish’d void of Rest,

You kindly came to visit the Distress’d.

Q When Q1v 226

When to a Prison I was close confin’d,

You found me out, and with unweary’d Love,

Became the dear Physicians of my Mind:

Like sovereign Balm did your Discourses prove,

Into my Soul they gently were convey’d,

And clos’d those Wounds which cruel Grief had
made.

VI.

Then shall the Righteous, full of Wonder, say,

When, our dear Saviour, did we thus to Thee!

O how could Thirst and Hunger on Thee prey,

Who art from all our Frailties free,

Secure from all the Suff’rings of Humanity!

Or how could’st thou, who ev’ry Place dost fill,

Be any where a Stranger found,

Thou, who with Glory crown’d,

Art Lord of all,

The higher Orbs, and this inferior Ball!

Sickness could not its Power to Thee extend,

On whose Almighty Will,

Both Causes and Effects depend,

In whose blest Frame, with Harmony Divine,

The diff’rent Particles combine,

No noxious Humours there

Are found to mix with poisonous Steams, or with
malignant Air.

Cou’d Space Infinity confine,

Or what’s immense be within Limits brought,

What’s much too vast for Place, and spreads beyond
th’ Extent of Thought!

VII. Then Q2r 227

VII.

Then shall their God from his resplendent Throne

Thus to th’ astonish’d Just reply,

Since I for you left my Celestial Height,

And to my Self your Nature did unite,

Made it my own by that mysterious Tye:

The suff’ring Good as Brethren I esteem,

To me they’re dear, my Blood did them redeem;

The suff’ring Good, tho’ poor, are priz’d by me,

I can thro’ Rags interior Merit see.

Whatever Kindnesses to them you do,

All the Regards to them you shew,

With an Affection to Mankind unknown,

With an Affection wonderful and new,

I’ll take as if design’d for me alone;

And your Reward shall prove

Worthy my Self, and my unbounded Love.

VIII.

Then turning to the Left, with Looks severe,

With Looks that a Majestick Terror wear,

Depart, he says, depart, ye Curs’d, from me,

From Life and Joy, to everlasting Misery;

To Fire condemn’d, and never-ceasing Pains,

To those dire Realms, where, bound in horrid
Chains,

Th’ Apostate Prince, and his infernal Train,

Devoted to retrieveless Woes remain.

When Thirst and Hunger, with rapacious Haste,

Upon my fainting Entrails prey’d,

When Sickness did my sinking Spirits waste,

With me you never stay’d:

Q2 Not Q2v 228

Not once you strove to lessen my Distress,

Show’d no Desire to make my Suff’rings less:

When dying, with a base insulting Pride,

My Groans you laugh’d at, did my Sighs deride:

When in your Streets I wander’d in the Night,

Helpless and tir’d, you with a scornful Eye,

From me kept off, or turn’d regardless by;

While in Distress you thought you had a Right

To treat me ill, and exercise your Spight:

And, when in Fetters, I neglected lay,

You ne’er did one condoling Visit pay.

IX.

Tho’ self-condemn’d, th’ unhappy Wretches strive

To keep a while their dying Hopes alive;

Low as the Dust their trembling Knees they bend,

And toward Heaven enfeebl’d Arms extend,

With mortal Sadness and dejected Eyes,

Looks where Despair does visibly appear,

Joyn’d with a conscious Shame, and a tormenting
Fear;

With fault’ring Lips, and a weak broken Tone,

They to their dreadful Charge reply:

O when, they sighing cry,

Did we so impious prove,

So void of Gratitude and Love?

When did’st thou to this Earth descend,

And in a mean Disguise,

Thy Creatures into Faults surprize?

Since unto us thy Wants were never known,

O let our Ignorance for our Crimes attone:

We Q3r 229

We never knew thou hungry wert, or dry,

Nor yet bewilder’d in the Glooms of Night;

Nor cou’d we think that thou couldst Garments
need,

Could’st need our poor supply,

Who sit’st enthron’d on high,

In Robes of dazling Light,

Robes glorious as the Sun in his Meridian Height:

Or could’st be sick, from whom Health does
proceed,

Or made a Prisoner, who dost Nature sway,

And whom superior and inferior Pow’rs obey.

X.

Th’ avenging Judge shall then to them reply,

In vain you on your weak Defence rely;

What you’ve alledg’d can’t make your Guilt the
less,

You must my Justice, and your Crimes confess:

You knew my Laws, knew their Observers prov’d

My Favourite Care, the Objects that I lov’d:

Yet them you’ve treated with a barbarous Scorn,

As if they were for your Diversion born,

Left destitute of Pow’r to be your Prey,

Design’d your Slaves, and form’d but to obey;

But know, mistaken Wretches, ’twas on me

You threw the Pain, the Shame, the Infamy;

’Twas me you did despise,

I was the Subject of your Cruelties:

To me th’ Indignity was shown,

On me each Obloquy was thrown,

I each Affront resented as my own:

Q3 Then Q3v 230

Then with a Frown that made their Grief compleat,

Made it as piercing, as ’twas great,

He did once more their dreadful Doom repeat;

His Voice, like Thunder, awful Fear imprest,

It struck a Terrour in each guilty Breast;

It scatter’d Horrour wheresoe’er it came,

And fill’d with dire Amaze the universal Frame:

’Twas heard from Heights above, to Depths
below,

None cou’d from it to close Recesses go;

It was in vain from it to run,

No Place there was where they the dreadful Sound
cou’d shun.

Take them, he said, ye Messengers of Fate,

Into the flaming Gulph let them be thrown,

Where they shall know, when ’tis too late,

Too late shall own,

Their Business lay in being good alone;

In Offices of Love,

In being just, compassionate, and kind,

And in a Charity so unconfin’d,

It should it self to all Mankind extend,

And, like my wond’rous Mercy, know no End.

Past Actions shall torment them there,

Their Thoughts shall Furies prove,

Shall fill their anxious Souls with Fear,

With deep Remorse and black Despair,

Still shall they lash, and still shall blame,

Shall still excite an inward Shame;

A Shame, which shall for ever present be,

And like their other Pains, extend to vast Eternity.

XI. But Q4r 231

XI.

But ye, who liberal were and kind,

Who made good Works your chiefest Care,

Bestow’d your Alms with an impartial Mind,

Resolving all that needy were

Shou’d freely of your gen’rous Bounty share;

Who knew no Parties, but to Virtue true,

Her Vot’ries pity’d in Distress,

Thought a Concern was to their Suff’rings due,

And strove those Suff’rings to redress,

The noblest way your Kindness did express;

Look’d without Scorn upon their mean Estate,

Defended them from Envy, Pride and Hate,

And buoy’d them up amidst the cross Events of
Fate;

Shall now be for your righteous Deeds repay’d,

And hence with Pomp to Heav’nly Seats convey’d,

Where you, with me, shall feast on Joys Divine

Like me, shall with distinguish’d Glory shine.

Q4 Of Q4v 232

Of
Solitude.

Had not Society been that for which
we were design’d by infinite Wisdom,
there would not have been so strong a Byass
in our Inclinations, such Pleasures affix’d
to Conversation, such irresistible Charms in
agreeable Company; something that by a secret
Sympathy, an internal Force, a pleasing
sort of Violence, seems to link us to each
other, and makes us delight in a mutual Communication
of Thoughts, a reciprocal Exchange
of Sentiments.

Besides, ’tis not probable that Faculties so
bright as ours, were given us to be conceal’d,
like Sepulchral Lamps intended only to inlighten
Urns, and spread their useless Rays
around their small Circumference. Doubtless
they were design’d for greater, much nobler
Purposes; their Splendour was to be
more extensive, like the Sun, to be every
where conspicuous: They were to be the
Objects of Esteem, to attract Respect and
Veneration, by which their Influence might
become more prevalent, and they thereby
render’d capable of being universal Blessings.

Such Q5r 233

Such as had exalted Understandings, were
not to live wholly to themselves, to shine in
private, but to be Guides to those of less
elevated Sense; the Ignorant, the Novices in
Knowledge, to be Scholars to the Masters of
Reason; such as had learn’d only the Elements,
the first Rudiments of Virtue, were to be instructed
both by the Precepts and Examples of
such as had made it their long and constant
Practice, and who, by continual Conflicts,
had got the Mastery of their Passions, the entire
Government of themselves; the Rich were
made so, that they might reward Merit, and
supply the Necessities of the Poor; the Great
were made powerful, that they might become
publick Blessings, Defenders of the Distress’d,
Protectors of the Innocent, and Revengers of
the Injur’d.

From what I’ve said, it seems evident, that
we were not created wholly for our selves, but
design’d to be serviceable to each other, to do
Good to all within the Circle of our Acquaintance,
and some way or other render ourselves
useful to those we converse with; for
which reason Solitude ought never to be our
Choice, an active Life including in it much
greater Perfection: But if it is our Fortune to
live retir’d, to be shut up in a Corner of the
World, and deny’d the Pleasures of Conversation,
I mean those Delights which naturally
result from rational and instructive Discourses, we Q5v 234
we ought to endeavour to become good Company
to our selves, ought to consider, that
if we husband our Time well, improve our
Abilities, lay in a rich Stock of Knowledge,
and by our Diligence and Industry, make a
happy Progress in the necessary, as well as the
pleasant Parts of Learning, we shall be always
agreeably employ’d, and perfectly easie, without
calling in auxiliary Aids, be chearful alone,
and very entertaining to our selves, without
being obliged for any part of our Satisfaction
to those Diversions, of which the generality of
Mankind are fond.

What can afford a higher, a more masculine
Pleasure, a purer, a more transporting Delight,
than to retire into our selves, and there
curiously and attentively inspect the various
Operations of our Souls, compare Idea’s, consult
our Reason, and view all the Beauties of
our Intellect, the inimitable Stroaks of Divine
Wisdom, which are visible in our Faculties,
and those Participations of infinite Power,
which are discoverable in our Wills?

Without us there is nothing but what will
be a fit Subject for our Contemplation, and
prove a constant and delectable Entertainment.
If we look on our Bodies, the Fineness of their
Composure, the admirable Symmetry and
exact Proportion of their Parts, that Majesty
which appears in the Face, that Vivacity
which sparkles in the Eye, together with that noble Q6r 235
noble and commanding Air which accompanies
every Motion, will afford ample Matter for
Meditation: If we extend our View to the
sensitive and vegetative Kingdoms, make a
strict Scrutiny into the Individuals of each respective
Kind, consider their Forms, their Properties,
their Uses, and their peculiar Virtues;
and if to these we add the inanimate
part of the Creation, and observe Nature as
she’s there luxuriantly exhibiting her Skill in
numberless Productions, we shall find abundant
Matter for Thought to work upon; but
if we widen our Prospect, and look beyond
the narrow Confines of this Globe, we shall
be pleasingly confounded with a charming Variety
of Objects, be lost in a delightful Maze,
shall stray from one Wonder to another, and
always find something new, something great,
something surprizingly admirable, and every
way worthy of that infinite, that incomprehensible
Wisdom, to whom they owe their
Original.

Thus may we delightfully, as well as advantageously,
employ our selves in our Studies,
in our Gardens, and in the silent lonely Retirement
of a shady Grove.

By Day, the verdent Fields, the lofty Hills,
the winding Rivers, the murmuring Brooks,
the bleating Flocks, the lowing Herds, the
melodious Birds, the beautiful Insects, the
pretty little Reptiles, together with the vast Ex- Q6v 236
Expanse of Heaven, and that glorious Spring
of Light which adorns it, and imprints a pleasing
Lustre, imparts a delightful Diversity of
Colours to every thing on which it shines,
will suggest fresh Hints: At Night ten thousand
lovely Objects will entertain us, unnumber’d
Orbs of Light roll over our Heads, and
keep our Thoughts agreeably employ’d.

If at any time we find, that too strict an
Attention, too great an Intenseness of Soul,
brings a Languor on our Spirits, we may
have Recourse to Books; in them (if judiciously
chosen) we shall be sure to meet with
rational Amusements, something that will instruct,
as well as please; will make our Hours
slide easily along, and yet prevent their being
lost.

Dear to the Gods Ambrosia prov’d,

As dear are Books where they’re belov’d;

They’re still the Mind’s delicious Treat,

Its healthful, most substantial Meat;

The Soul’s ennobling, sprightly Wine,

Like Nectar sweet, and as Divine:

Castalian Springs did ne’er produce

A richer, more spiritous Juice.

When by’t inspir’d, we fearless rise,

And, like the Giants, brave the Skies.

Pelion on Ossa boldly lay,

From thence both Earth and Sea survey:

On Q7r 237

On them the huge Olympus throw,

Then to the tow’ring Summet go,

Thence take a View of Worlds on High,

From Orb to Orb with Pleasure fly;

Still upward soar, until the Mind

Effects do’s in their Causes find,

And them pursue till they unite

In the bless’d Source of Truth and Light.

But none can be thus happy in Solitude,
unless they have an inward Purity of Mind,
their Desires contracted, and their Passions absolutely
under the Government of their Reason.
Learning without Virtue will not, cannot
bestow Felicity: Where there is an internal
Disturbance, a Tumult of Thought, a
Consciousness of Guilt, and an Anxiousness of
Soul, there can be no easie Reflections, no
satisfying Pleasures; no, there must be Innocency,
Calmness, and a true Understanding
of the Value of Things, before the Soul can
take a Complacency in herself. To render a
private Life truly easie, there must be Piety,
as well as humane Knowledge, uncorrupted
Morals, as well as an Insight into Nature, a
Regardlessness of Wealth, at least no eager Solicitude
for it, a being wean’d from the World,
from its Vanity, its Applause, its Censure, its
Pomp, all that it has of inticing or disturbing,
all that it can give, or take away; for withoutout Q7v 238
an absolute Independence on all things
here, we cannot properly be said to enjoy our
selves; and without we do so, we cannot be
happy alone.

Give me, O my God, I humbly pray
Thee, such Qualifications of Mind as may render
me easie in every State, useful to others,
and agreeable to my self. When I’m in Company,
enable me according to my mean Capacity,
to do Good both by my Discourse and
my Actions; and when I am retir’d from the
View of others, and only visible to thy Divine
Majesty and my self, let my Thoughts be
still employ’d either in bettering my own
Mind, or in contemplating thy Works, busy’d
in praising, admiring and loving Thee, and in
making fresh Discoveries of thy wonderful
Wisdom, of that amazing stupendous Skill,
which may every where be observ’d throughout
the whole Creation, till thou art pleas’d
to call me to my Grave, where, while my
Body lies, O let my Soul, wash’d clean in the
pure Streams of her dear suffering Saviour’s
Blood, ascend to that bless’d Place, where happy
Ghosts possess uninterrupted Joys.

Where new and brighter Objects I shall see,

Objects which with my intellectual Sight agree:

Find Wonders greater than these here below,

And what I see shall with Exactness know:

Shall Q8r 239

Shall then no more be to my self confin’d,

But live with Crouds of Spirits ever kind,

Cœlestial Forms from every Passion free,

But Love, blest Bond of their Society;

That sacred Bond, which do’s their Hearts unite,

Do’s them to Friendship’s pleasing Sweets invite,

To Sweets which we can never here possess,

To Joys which only separate Souls can bless;

When freed from Earth, and all its base Alloy,

They taste such Pleasures as shall never cloy;

Pleasures, whose Gust is much too high for
Sense,

Too strong, too pure, too lasting, too intense;

Joys to exalted Reason only known,

Of which not here the smallest Glimpse is shown:

What we call Friendship does from Interest rise,

’Tis mean, ’tis vile, ’tis what the Good despise;

Is but a Trade, a Trafficking for Gain.

How few are they who little Tricks disdain,

Scorn wheedling Arts, and uncorrupted Truth
maintain?

But those Above, those wise, those spotless Minds,

Are still sincere, it there the noblest welcome
finds,

Love reigns supreme, and its diffusive Fire,

Warms every Breast, do’s every Heart inspire;

Its Flames still rise, till that dear happy Day,

When Heav’nly Glories all their Pomp display;

When Q8v 240

When new Delights shall bless their wond’ring
Eyes,

And they in shining Bodies mount the Skies,

Shall meet their God in Extasies Divine,

And to his Love each meaner Bliss resign.

Finis.