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"Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with them; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings;" but "Woe unto the wicked!" then, "it shall be ill with them; for the reward of their works shall be given them :" Isa. iii. 10, 11. This shall be the day wherein God will clear up the equity of his justice in all the inequality of his providence. And what, then, are all the fine and gay things of this world? Believe it, a poor saint, who hath on him the robe of Christ's righteousness, will be found much better clothed than ever Dives was, with all his purple.
Death Disarmed of its Sting.
ROBERT SOUTH, D.D.,
born 1633, died 1716, was very famous for pulpit eloquence. Among the late collective editions of his Works are the following: Oxford (Clarendon Press), 1823, 7 vols. 8vo, again, 1843, 5 vols. 8vo; Edin., 1843, 2 vols. 8vo; Lond., 1843, 2 vols. 8vo; Phila., 4 vols. in 2 vols. 8vo; N. York, 4 vols. 8vo.
"Of all the English preachers, South seems to us to furnish, in point of style, the truest specimens of the most effective species of pulpit eloquence. His style is everywhere direct, condensed, pungent. His sermons are well worthy of frequent and diligent perusal by every young preacher."-HENRY ROGERS: Edin. Rev., 1xxii. 82. "Nor can the ingenuity, the subtlety, the brilliancy of South, though too exuberant in point, and drawing away the attention from the subject to the epigrammatic diction, be regarded otherwise than as proofs of the highest order of intellect."-LORD BROUGHAM: Contrib. to Edin. Rev., 1856, i. 128. See also 113.
RELIGION NOT HOSTILE TO PLEASURE. That pleasure is man's chiefest good (because, indeed, it is the perception of good that is properly pleasure) is an assertion most certainly true, though, under the common acceptance of it, not only false, but odious. For, according to this, pleasure and sensuality pass for terms equivalent; and therefore he that takes it in this sense, alters the subject of the discourse. Sensuality is indeed a part, or rather one part, of pleasure, such an one as it is. For pleasure, in general, is the consequent apprehension of a suitable object suitably applied to a rightly disposed faculty; and so must be conversant both about the faculties of the body and of the soul respectively, as being the result of the fruitions belonging to both. Now, amongst those many arguments used to press upon men the exercise of religion, I know none that are like to be so successful as those that answer and remove the preju
dices that generally possess and bar up the hearts of men against it: amongst which there is none so prevalent in truth, though so little owned in pretence, as that it is an enemy to men's pleasures, that it bereaves them of all the sweets of converse, dooms them to an absurd and perpetual melancholy, designing to make the world nothing else but a great monastery: with which notion of religion nature and reason seem to have great reason to be dissatisfied. For since God never created any faculty, either in soul or body, but withal prepared for it a suitable object, and that in order to its gratification, can we think that religion was designed only for a contradiction to nature, and with the greatest and most irrational tyranny in the world, to tantalize and tie men up from enjoyment, in the midst of all the opportunities of enjoyment? to place men with the most furious affections of hunger and thirst in the very bosom of plenty, and then to tell them that the envy of Providence has sealed up everything that is suitable under the character of unlawful? For certainly, first to frame appetites for to receive pleas ure, and then to interdict them with a Touch not, taste not, can be nothing else than only to give them occasion to devour and prey upon themselves, and so to keep men under the perpetual torment of an unsatisfied desire: a thing hugely contrary to the natural felicity of the creature, and consequently to the wisdom and goodness of the great Creator.
He, therefore, that would persuade men to religion both with art and efficacy, must found the persuasion of it on this, that it interferes not with any rational pleasure, that it bids nobody quit the enjoyment of any one thing that his reason can prove to him ought to be enjoyed. 'Tis confessed, when, through the cross circumstances of a man's temper or condition, the enjoyment of a pleasure would certainly expose him to a greater inconvenience, then religion bids him quit it; that is, it bids him prefer the endurance of a lesser evil before a greater, and nature itself does no less. Religion, therefore, entrenches upon none of our privileges, invades none of our pleasures: it may, indeed, sometimes command us to change, but never totally to abjure them. Sermons.
INGRATITUDE AN INCURABLE VICE.
As a man tolerably discreet ought by no means to attempt the making of such an one his friend, so neither is he, in the next place, to presume to think that he shall be able so much as to alter or meliorate the humour of an ungrateful person by any acts of kind
ness, though never so frequent, never so obliging.
Philosophy will teach the learned, and experience may teach all, that it is a thing hardly feasible. For, love such an one, and he shall despise you. Commend him, and, as occasion serves, he shall revile you. Give him, and he shall but laugh at your easiness. Save his life; but when you have done, look
to your own.
The greatest favours to such an one are but the motion of a ship upon the waves: they leave no trace nor sign behind them; they neither soften nor win upon him; they neither melt nor endear him, but leave him as hard, as rugged, and as unconcerned as ever. All kindnesses descend upon such a temper as showers of rains or rivers of fresh water falling into the main sea: the sea swallows them all, but is not at all changed or sweetened by them. I may truly say of the mind of an ungrateful person, that it is kindness-proof. It is impenetrable, unconquerable: unconquerable by that which conquers all things else, even by love itself. Flints may be melted-we see it daily-but an ungrateful heart cannot; no, not by the strongest and the noblest flame. After all your attempts, all your experiments, for any thing that man can do, he that is ungrateful will be ungrateful still. And the reason is manifest: for you may remember that I told you that ingratitude sprung from a principle of ill nature: which being a thing founded in such a certain constitution of blood and spirit, as, being born with a man into the world, and upon that account called nature, shall prevent all remedies that can be applied by education, and leave such a bias upon the mind as is beforehand with all instruction.
So that you shall seldom or never meet with an ungrateful person, but if you look backward, and trace him up to his original, you will find that he was born so; and if you could look forward enough, it is a thousand to one but you will find that he also dies so for you shall never light upon an illnatured man who was not also an ill-natured child, and gave several testimonies of his being so to discerning persons, long before the use of his reason.
The thread that nature spins is seldom broken off by anything but death. I do not by this limit the operation of God's grace, for that may do wonders: but humanly speaking, and according to the method of the world, and the little correctives supplied by art and discipline, it seldom fails but an ill principle has its course, and nature makes good its blow. And therefore, where ingratitude begins remarkably to show itself, he surely judges most wisely who takes alarm
betimes, and, arguing the fountain from the stream, concludes that there is ill-nature at the bottom; and so, reducing his judgment into practice, timely withdraws his frustaneous baffled kindnesses, and sees the folly of endeavouring to stroke a tiger into a lamb, or to court an Ethiopian out of his colour." Sermons.
born 1635, Bishop of Worcester, 1689, died 1699, was the author of many theological treatises and sermons, of which the fullest edition was published Lond., 1710, 6 vols. fol., and Miscellaneous Discourses, 1735, 8vo. His Origines Britannica; or, The Antiq uities of the British Churches, appeared Lond., 1685, fol., 1837, 8vo, 1840, 8vo, with Lloyd on Church Government, edited by T. P. Pantin, Oxf., 1842, 8vo. Dr. John Inett's Origines Anglicanæ, vol. i., Lond., 1704, fol., vol. ii., Oxf., 1710, fol., new edition by the Rev. John Griffiths, Oxf., 1855, 3 vols. 8vo, was intended as a continuation of the Ori gines Britannica. Stillingfleet's Origines Sacræ; or, A Rational Account of the Christian Faith, &c., was published Lond., 1662, 4to, and frequently since; recently, Oxf., 1836 (some 1837), 2 vols. 8vo.
"He [the student] will begin with a defence of Revelation in general, as it lies in Grotius de Veritate Christianæ Religionis, enlarged by Stillingfleet's Origines Sacræ, which may be considered a kind of Commentary on the other's Text. The work I mean is that written by Mr. Stillingfleet; not that unfinished little work which bears the same title written when he became Bishop of Worcester."-BISHOP WARBURTON: Directions to his Student.
"Justly esteemed one of the best defences of revealed religion that ever was extant in our own or any other language."-DR. GOODWIN.
That is the truest wisdom of a man which doth most conduce to the happiness of life. For wisdom, as it refers to action, lies in the proposal of a right end and the choice of the most proper means to attain it: which end doth not refer to any one part of a man's life, but to the whole as taken together. Ie, therefore, only deserves the name of a wise man, not that considers how to be rich and great when he is poor and mean, nor how to be well when he is sick, nor how to escape a present danger, nor how to compass a particular design; but he that considers the whole course of his life together, and what is fit for him to make the
end of it, and by what means he may best enjoy the happiness of it.
I confess it is one great part of a wise man never to propose to himself too much happiness here; for whoever doth so is sure to find himself deceived, and consequently is so much more miserable as he fails in his greatest expectations. But since God did not make men on purpose to be miserable, since there is a great difference as to men's conditions, since that difference depends very much on their own choice, there is a great deal of reason to place true wisdom in the choice of those things which tend most to the comfort and happiness of life.
That which gives a man the greatest satisfaction in what he doth, and either prevents, or lessens, or makes him more easily bear, the troubles of life, doth the most conduce to the happiness of it. It was a bold saying of Epicurus, "That it is more desirable to be miserable by acting according to reason than to be happy in going against it ;" and I cannot tell how it can well agree with his notion of felicity; but it is a certain truth, that in the consideration of happiness, the satisfaction of a man's own mind weighs down all the external accidents of life. For, suppose a man to have riches and honours as great as Ahasuerus bestowed on his highest favourite, Haman, yet by his sad instance we find that a small discontent, when the mind suffers it to increase and to spread its venom, doth so weaken the power of reason, disorder the passions, make a man's life so uneasy to him, as to precipitate him from the height of his fortune into the depth of ruin. But on the other side, if we suppose a man to be always pleased with his condition, to enjoy an even and quiet mind in every state, being neither lifted up with prosperity nor cast down with adversity, he is really happy in comparison with the other. It is a mere speculation to discourse of any complete happiness in this world; but that which doth either lessen the number, or abate the weight, or take off the malignity of the troubles of life, doth contribute very much to that degree of happiness which may be expected here.
The integrity and simplicity of a man's mind doth all this. In the first place it gives the greatest satisfaction to a man's own mind. For, although it is impossible for a man not to be liable to error and mistake, yet, if he doth mistake with an innocent nind, he hath the comfort of his innocency when he thinks himself bound to correct
his error. But if a man prevaricates with himself, and acts against the sense of his own mind, though his conscience did not judge aright at that time, yet the goodness of the bare act, with respect to the rule, will
not prevent the sting that follows the want of inward integrity in doing it. "The backslider in heart," saith Solomon, "shall be filled with his own ways, but a good man shall be satisfied from himself." The doing just and worthy and generous things without any sinister ends and designs, leaves a most agreeable pleasure to the mind, like that of a constant health, which is better felt than expressed. Sermons.
There is a love of ourselves which is founded on nature and reason, and is made the measure of our love to our neighbour; for we are to love our neighbour as ourselves; and if there were no due love of ourselves, there could be none of our neighbour. But this love of ourselves, which is so consistent with the love of our neighbour, can be no enemy to our peace: for none can live more quietly and peaceably than those who love their neighbours as themselves. But there is a self-love which the Scripture condemns, because it makes men peevish and froward, uneasy to themselves and to their neighbours, filling them with jealousies and suspicions of others with respect to themselves, making them apt to mistrust the intention and designs of others towards them, and so producing ill-will towards them; and where that hath once got into men's hearts, there can be no long peace with those they bear a secret grudge and ill-will to. The bottom of all is, they have a wonderful value for themselves and those opinions, and notions, and parties, and factions, they happen to be engaged in, and these they make the measure of their esteem and love of others. As far as they comply and suit with them, so far they love them, and no farther. If we ask, "Cannot good men differ about some things, and yet be good still?" "Yes." "Cannot such love one another notwithstanding such difference ?" "No doubt they ought." Whence comes it, then, that a small difference in opinion is so apt to make a breach in affection? In plain truth it is, every one would be thought to be infallible, if for shame they durst to pretend to it; and they have so good an opinion of themselves that they cannot bear such as do not submit to them. From hence arise quarrellings and disputings, and ill language, not becoming men or Christians. But all this comes from their setting up themselves and their own notions and practices, which they would make a rule to the rest of the world; and if others have the same opinions of themselves, it is impossible but there must be everlasting
clashings and disputings, and from thence falling into different parties and factions; which can never be prevented till they come to more reasonable opinions of themselves, and more kind and charitable towards others. Sermons.
LADY RACHEL RUSSELL, the wife of Lord William Russell, who was unjustly executed for alleged treason, 1683,
was born 1636, and died 1723.
As we have remarked in another place, "her constancy to her husband in his misfortunes, her services in court as his amanuensis, and her efforts to save him from the fatal block, together with her Letters, first published fifty years after her death, have embalmed her memory in the hearts of
Letters of Lady Rachel Russell, Lond., 1773, 4to, and later editions. Of modern editions, we notice, Lond., 1821, 2 vols. 18mo; 1825, 2 vols. 12mo; with additional Letters, 1853, 2 vols. p. 8vo. See also, Life of Lady Russell and her Correspondence with her Husband, 1672 to 1682, by Lord John [now Earl] Russell, Lond., 1820, 8vo, and The Married Life of Rachel, Lady Russell, by M. Guizot, translated from the French [by John Morton], Lond., 1855, cr. 8vo.
"It is very remarkable how much better women write than men. I have now before me a volume of letters written by the widow of the beheaded Lord Russell, which are full of the most moving and expressive eloquence. I want the Duke of Bedford to let them be printed."-Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, Oct. 14, 1751: WALPOLE'S LETTERS, ed. 1861, ii. 371. See also V. 448, n., 462. "Her letters are written with an elegant simplicity, with truth and nature, which can flow only from the heart. The tenderness and constancy of her affection for her murdered lord presents an image to melt the soul."-BISHOP BURNET. FROM LADY RUSSELL TO DOCTOR FITZWILLIAM.
SOUTHAMPTON HOUSE, 17th July, 1685. Never shall I, good doctor, I hope, forget your work (as I may term it) of labour and love: so instructive and comfortable do I find it, that at any time when I have read any of your papers I feel a heat within me to be repeating my thanks to you anew, which is all I can do towards the discharge of a debt you have engaged me in; and though nobody loves more than I to stand free from all engagements I cannot answer, yet I do not wish for it here, I would have it as it is; and although I have the present advantage, you will have the future reward: and if I can truly reap what I know you design me by it, a religious and quiet submission to all providences, I am assured you
will esteem to have attained it here in some measure. Never could you more seasonably have fed me with such discourses, and left me with expectations of new repasts, in a more seasonable time than these my miserable months, and in those this very week in which I have lived over again that fatal day that determined what fell out a week after, and that has given me so long and so bitter a time of sorrow. But God has a compass and as he is all good and wise, that consid in his providences that is out of our reach, eration should in reason slacken the fierce rages of grief. But, sure, doctor, it is the nature of sorrow to lay hold on all things which give a new ferment to it: then how could I choose but feel it in a time of so much confusion as these last weeks have been, closing so tragically as they have done; and sure never any poor creature, for two whole years together, has had more awakers to quicken and revive the anguish of its soul than I have had: yet I hope I do most truly desire that nothing may be so bitter to me as to think that I have in the least offended
thee, O my God, and that nothing may be so marvellous in my eyes as the exceeding love of my Lord Jesus: that heaven being my aim, and the longing expectation of my soul, I may go through honour and dishonour, good report and bad report, prosperity and adversity, with some evenness of mind.
The inspiring me with these desires is, I hope, a token of his never-failing love towards me, though an unthankful creature, for all the good things I have enjoyed, and do still in the lives of hopeful children by so beloved a husband. God has restored me my little girl; the surgeon says she will do well. . . . Sure nobody has enjoyed more pleasure in the conversations and tender kindnesses of a husband and a sister than myself, yet how apt am I to be fretful that I must not still do so! but I must follow that which seems to be the will of God, how unacceptable soever it may be to me. Letters of Lady Rachel Russell.
SIR GEORGE MACKENZIE, born 1636, died 1691, was the author of a number of legal, moral, political, poetical and other works, but is best known as an essayist: see his Essays upon Several Moral Subjects; To which is Prefixed an Account of his Life and Writings, Lond., 1713, 8vo.
"His Miscellaneous Essays, both in prose and verse, may now be dispensed with, or laid aside, without difficulty. They have not vigour enough for long life. But, if they be considered as the elegant amusement of a statesman and lawyer,
who had little leisure for the culture of letters, they afford a striking proof of the variety of his accomplishments and the refinement of his taste. In several of his Moral Essays both the subject and the manner betray an imitation of Cowley, who was at that moment beginning the reformation of English style."-SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH: Edin. Rev., xxxvi. 5, and in his Works, ii. 120. "The Essays of Sir George Mackenzie are empty and diffuse the style is full of pedantic words to a degree of barbarism; and though they were chiefly written after the Revolution, he seems to have wholly formed himself on the older writers,
such as Sir Thomas Browne, or even Feltham."HALLAM: Lit. Hist of Europe, 4th ed., Lond., 1854,
VIRTUE MORE PLEASANT THAN VICE.
The first objection, whose difficulty deserves an answer, is that virtue obliges us to oppose pleasures, and to accustom ourselves with such rigours, seriousness, and patience, as cannot but render its practice uneasy. And if the reader's own ingenuity supply not what may be rejoined to this, it will require a discourse that shall have no other design besides its satisfaction. And really to show by what means every man may make himself easily happy, and how to soften the appearing rigours of philosophy, is a design which, if I thought it not worthy of a sweeter pen, should be assisted by mine; and for which I have, in my current experience, gathered some loose reflections and observations, of whose cogency I have this assurance, that they have often moderated the wildest of my own straying inclinations, and so might pretend to a more prevailing ascendant over such whose reason and temperament make them much more reclaimable. But at present my answer is, that philosophy enjoins not the crossing of our own inclinations, but in order to their accomplishment; and it proposes pleasure as its end, as well as vice, though, for its more fixed establishment, it sometimes commands what seems rude to such as are strangers to its intentions in them. Thus temperance resolves to heighten the pleasures of enjoyment, by defending us against all the assaults of excess and oppressive loathing; and when it lessens our pleasures, it intends not to abridge them, but to make them fit and convenient for us, even as soldiers, who, though they purpose not wounds and starvings, yet if without these they cannot reach those laurels to which they climb, they will not so far disparage their own hopes as to think they should fix them upon anything whose purchase deserves not the suffering of these. Physic cannot be called a cruel employment, because to preserve what is sound it will cut off what is tainted; and these vicious persons whose laziness forms
this doubt do answer it when they endure the sickness of drunkenness, the toiling of avarice, the attendance of rising vanity, and the watchings of anxiety; and all this to satisfy inclinations whose shortness allows little pleasures, and whose prospect excludes all future hopes. Such as disquiet themselves by anxiety (which is a frequently repeated self-murder), are more tortured than they could be by the want of what they pant after: that longed-for possession of a neighbour's estate, or of a public employment, makes deeper impressions of grief by their absence than their enjoyment can repair. And a philosopher will sooner convince himself of their not being the necessary integrants of our happiness, than the miser will, by all his assiduousness, gain them.
born 1636, Bishop of Rochester, 1684, died 1713, was the author of a History of the Royal Society of London for the Improving of Natural Knowledge, Lond., 1667, etc., 4to, and of some other works, including
"The correctest writer of the age, and comes by a studious imitation of the ancients. nearest to the great original of Greece and Rome, His sermons are truly fine."-DR. H. FELTON: Dissert. on Reading the Classics, 1711.
"His language is always beautiful. . . . All his sermons deserve a reading."-Dr. Doddridge. VIEW OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT AFFORDED BY EXPERIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY. We are guilty of false interpretations of providence and wonders when we either make those to be miracles that are none, or when we put a false sense upon those that are real; when we make general events to have a private aspect, or particular accidents to have some universal signification. Though both these may seem at first to have the strictest appearance of religion, yet they are the greatest usurpations on the secrets of the Almighty, and unpardonable presumptions on his high prerogatives of punishment and reward.
And now, if a moderating of these extravagances must be esteemed profaneness, I confess I cannot absolve the experimental philosopher. It must be granted that he will be very scrupulous in believing all manner of commentaries on prophetical visions, in giving liberty to new predictions, and in assigning the causes and marking out the paths of God's judgments amongst his creatures.
He cannot suddenly conclude all extraor