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.


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.

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 able 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.


  • 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 fices, 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 ceal’d, 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 ledge, 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 tious 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 sing 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.


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


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 stinctly, 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 cause 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 ness 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 sponding 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 ing 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 poses, 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 nour, 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 guage 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 der’d 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 ous, 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 done, 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 cating 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 vour 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 table 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 not 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 tage, 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 plain 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 ties, 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 fronts 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 fin’d 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 jury, 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 mong ’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 zens, 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 sary 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.


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.


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.


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


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 after, 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 mies, 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 portunities 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 ons 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 kind, 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 midst 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 nour, 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 quainted 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 tures 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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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 out 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.