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avel's method; which prescribes, upon a total alteration of government, as a thing absolutely necessary, to cut off all the heads of those, and extirpate their families, who are friends to the old one. It was confidently reported that in the council of officers it was more than once proposed "that there might be a general massacre of all the royal party, as the only expedient to secure the government," but that Cromwell would never consent to it; it may be, out of too great a contempt of his enemies. In a word, as he was guilty of many crimes against which damnation is denounced, and for which hellfire is prepared, so he had some good qualities which have caused the memory of some men in all ages to be celebrated; and he will be looked upon by posterity as a brave wicked man.
History of the Rebellion.
CHARACTER OF CHARLES I.
But it will not be unnecessary to add a short character of his person, that posterity may know the inestimable loss which the nation then underwent in being deprived of a prince whose example would have had a greater influence upon the manners and piety of the nation than the most strict laws can have. To speak first of his private qualifications as a man, before the mention of his princely and royal virtues: he was, if ever any, the most worthy of the title of an honest man; so great a lover of justice, that no temptation could dispose him to a wrongful action, except it was so disguised to him that he believed it to be just. He had a tenderness and compassion of nature which restrained him from ever doing a hard-hearted thing; and, therefore, he was so apt to grant pardon to malefactors that the judges of the land represented to him the damage and insecurity to the public that flowed from such his indulgence. And then he refrained himself from pardoning either murders or highway robberies, and quickly discerned the fruits of his severity by a wonderful reformation of those enormities. He was very punctual and regular in his devotions: he was never known to enter upon his recreations or sports, though never so early in the morning, before he had been at public prayers; so that on hunting days his chaplains were bound to a very early attendance. He was likewise very strict in observing the hours of his private cabinet devotions, and was so severe an exacter of gravity and reverence in all mention of religion, that he could never endure any light or profane word, with what sharpness of wit soever it was covered; and though he was well pleased and delighted with reading verses made upon
any occasion, no man durst bring before him anything that was profane or unclean. That kind of wit had never any countenance then. He was so great an example of conjugal affection, that they who did not imitate him in that particular durst not brag of their liberty; and he did not only permit, but direct, his bishops to prosecute those scandalous vices, in the ecclesiastical courts, against persons of eminence and near relation to his service.
His kingly virtues had some mixture and alloy that hindered them from shining in full lustre, and from producing those fruits they should have been attended with. He was not in his nature very bountiful, though he gave very much. This appeared more after the Duke of Buckingham's death, after which those showers fell very rarely; and he paused too long in giving, which made those to whom he gave less sensible of the benefit. He kept state to the full, which made his court very orderly, no man presuming to be seen in a place where he had no pretence to be. He saw and observed men long before he received them about his person; and did not love strangers, nor very confident men. He was a patient hearer of causes, which he frequently accustomed himself to at the council board, and judged very well, and was dexterous in the mediating part; so that he often put an end to causes by persuasion, which the stubbornness of men's humours made dilatory in courts of justice.
He was very fearless in his person; but, in his riper years, not very enterprising. He had an excellent understanding, but was not confident enough of it; which made him oftentimes change his own opinion for a worse, and follow the advice of men that did not judge as well as himself. This made him more irresolute than the conjuncture of his affairs would admit; if he had been of a rougher and more imperious nature he would have found more respect and duty. And his not applying some severe cures to approaching evils proceeded from the lenity of his nature, and the tenderness of his conscience, which, in all cases of blood, made him choose the softer way, and not hearken to severe counsels, how reasonably soever urged. . . . As he excelled in all other vitues, so in temperance he was so strict that he abhorred all debauchery to that degree that, at a great festival solemnity, where he once was, where very many of the nobility of the English and Scots were entertained, being told by one who withdrew from thence, what vast draughts of wine they drank, and "that there was one earl who had drank most of the rest down, and was not himself moved or altered," the king said, "that he deserved to be hanged;" and that earl com
ing shortly after into the room where his majesty was, in some gaiety, to show how unhurt he was from that battle, the king sent one to bid him withdraw from his majesty's presence; nor did he in some days after appear before him. History of the Rebellion.
SIR MATTHEW HALE,
born 1609, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, 1660, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1671, died 1676, was alike distinguished for legal learning and private virtues.
"He was most precisely just; insomuch that I believe he would have lost all he had in the world rather than do an unjust act: patient in hearing the most tedious speech which any man had to make for himself; the pillar of justice, the refuge of the subject who feared oppression, and one of the greatest honours of his majesty's government; for, with some other upright judges, he upheld the honour of the English nation, that it fell not into the reproach of arbitrariness, cruelty, and utter confusion. Every man that had a just cause was almost past fear if he could bring it to the court or assize where he was judge; for the other judges seldom contradicted him. . . . I, who heard and read his serious expressions of the concernments of eternity, and saw his love to all good men, and the blamelessness of his life, thought better of his piety than my own."-RICHARD BAXTER.
LETTER TO HIS CHILDREN.
DEAR CHILDREN,-I thank God I came well to Farrington this day, about five o'clock. And as I have some leisure time at my inn, I cannot spend it more to my own satisfaction, and your benefit, than, by a letter, to give you some good counsel. The subject shall be concerning your speech; because much of the good or evil that befalls persons arises from the well or ill managing of their conversation. When I have leisure and opportunity, I shall give you my directions on other subjects.
Never speak anything for a truth which you know or believe to be false. Lying is a great sin against God, who gave us a tongue to speak the truth, and not false hood. It is a great offence against humanity itself; for, where there is no regard to truth, there can be no safe society between man and man. And it is an injury to the speaker; for, besides the disgrace which it brings upon him, it occasions so much baseness of mind that he can scarcely tell truth, or avoid lying, even when he has no colour of necessity for it; and, in time, he comes to such a pass that as other people cannot believe he speaks truth, so he himself scarcely knows when he tells a falsehood. As you must be careful not to lie, so you
must avoid coming near it. You must not equivocate, nor speak anything positively for which you have no authority but report, or conjecture, or opinion.
Let your words be few, especially when your superiors, or strangers, are present, lest you betray your own weakness, and rob yourselves of the opportunity, which you might have otherwise have had, to gain knowledge, wisdom, and experience, by hearing those whom you silence by your impertinent talking.
Be not too earnest, loud, or violent in your conversation. Silence your opponent with reason, not with noise.
Be careful not to interrupt another wher he is speaking; hear him out, and you will understand him the better, and be able to give him the better answer.
the business is of moment; weigh the sense Consider before you speak, especially when of what you mean to utter, and the expressions you intend to use, that they may be significant, pertinent, and inoffensive. Inconsiderate people do not think till they speak; or they speak, and then think.
Some men excel in husbandry, some in gardening, some in mathematics. In conversation, learn, as near as you can, where the skill or excellence of any person lies; put him upon talking on that subject, observe what he says, keep it in your memory, or commit it to writing. By this will glean the worth and knowledge of everybody you converse with, and, at an easy rate, acquire what may be of use to you on many occasions.
When you are in company with light, vain, impertinent persons, let the observing of their failings make you the more cautious both in your conversation with them and in your general behaviour, that you may avoid their errors.
If any one, whom you do not know to be a person of truth, sobriety, and weight, relates strange stories, be not too ready to believe or report them; and yet (unless he is one of your familiar acquaintance) be not too forward to contradict him. If the occasion requires you to declare an opinion, do it modestly and gently, not bluntly nor coarsely; by this means you will avoid giving offence, or being abused for too much credulity.
If a man whose integrity you do not very well know, makes you great and extraordinary professions, do not give much credit to him. Probably you will find that he aims at something besides kindness to you, and that when he has served his turn, or been disappointed, his regard for you will grow cool.
Beware also of him who flatters you, and
commends you to your face, or to one who he thinks will tell you of it; most probably he has either deceived or abused you, or means to do so. Remember the fable of the fox commending the singing of the crow, who had something in her mouth which the fox wanted.
Be careful that you do not commend yourselves. It is a sign that your reputation is small and sinking, if your own tongue must praise you; and it is fulsome and unpleasing to others to hear such commendations.
Speak well of the absent whenever you have a suitable opportunity. Never speak ill of them, or of anybody, unless you are sure they deserve it, and unless it is necessary for their amendment, or for the safety and benefit of others.
Avoid, in your ordinary communications, not only oaths, but all imprecations and earnest protestations.
Forbear scoffing or jesting at the condition or natural defects of any person. Such offences leave a deep impression and they often cost a man dear.
Be very careful that you give no reproachful, menacing, or spiteful words to any person. Good words make friends; bad words make enemies. It is great prudence to gain as many friends as we honestly can, especially when it may be done at so easy a rate as a good word; and it is great folly to make an enemy by ill words, which are of no advantage to the party who uses them. When faults are committed, they may, and by a superior they must, be reproved: but let it be done without reproach or bitterness; otherwise it will lose its due end and use, and, instead of reforming the offence, it will exasperate the offender, and lay the reprover justly open to reproof. If a person be passionate, and give you ill language, rather pity him than be moved to anger. You will find that silence, or very gentle words, are the most exquisite revenge for reproaches: they will either cure the distemper in the angry man, and make him sorry for his passion, or they will be a severe reproof and punishment to him. But, at any rate, they will preserve your innocence, give you the deserved reputation of wisdom and moderation, and keep up the serenity and composure of your mind. Passion and anger make a man unfit for everything that becomes him as a man or as a Christian.
Never utter any profane speeches, nor make a jest of any Scripture expressions. When you pronounce the name of God or of Christ, or repeat any words of Holy Scripture, do it with reverence and serious ness, and not lightly, for that is "taking the name of God in vain."
If you hear of any unseemly expressions
used in religious exercises, do not publish them; endeavour to forget them; or, if you mention them at all, let it be with pity and sorrow, not with derision or reproach.
Read these directions often; think of them seriously; and practice them diligently. You will find them useful in your conversation; which will be every day the more evident to you, as your judgment, understanding, and experience increase.
I have little further to add at this time, but my wish and command that you will remember the former counsels that I have frequently given you. Begin and end the day with private prayer; read the Scriptures often and seriously; be attentive to the public worship of God. Keep yourselves in some useful employment; for idleness is the nursery of vain and sinful thoughts, which corrupt the mind and disorder the life. Be kind and loving to one another. Honour your minister. Be not bitter nor harsh to my servants. Be respectful to all. Bear my absence patiently and cheerfully. Behave as if I were present among you and saw you. Remember, you have a greater Father than I am, who always, and in all places, beholds you, and knows your hearts and thoughts. Study to requite my love and care for you with dutifulness, observance, and obedience; and account it an honour that you have an opportunity, by your attention, faithfulness, and industry, to pay some part of that debt which, by the laws of nature and of gratitude, you owe to me. Be frugal in my family, but let there be no want; and provide conveniently for the poor.
I pray God to fill your hearts with his grace, fear, and love, and to let you see the comfort and advantage of serving him; and that his blessing, and presence, and direction, may be with you, and over you all. I am your ever loving father.
ROBERT LEIGHTON, D.D.,
born 1611, Archbishop of Glasgow, 1670, died 1684, was the author of a number of religious works which are still held in high estimation for their spirituality.
"Perhaps there is no expository work in the English language equal altogether to the exposition of Peter. It is rich in evangelical sentiment and exalted devotion. The meaning is seldom missed, and often admirably illustrated. There
is learning without its parade, theology divested of systematic stiffness, and eloquence in a beautiful flow of unaffected language and appropriate imagery. To say more would be unbecoming, and less could not be said with justice."-ORME: Bib liotheca Biblica.
The Greek epigram ascribed by some to Prosidipus, by others to Crates the Cynic philosopher, begins thus, "What state of life ought one to choose?" and having enumerated them all, concludes in this manner: "There are, then, only two things eligible, either never to have been born, or to die as soon as one makes his appearance in the world."
But now, leaving the various periods and conditions of life, let us, with great brevity, run over those things which are looked upon to be the greatest blessings in it, and see whether any of them can make it completely happy. Can this be expected from a beautiful outside? No: this has rendered many miserable, but never made one happy. For suppose it to be sometimes attended with innocence, it is surely of a fading and perishing nature, "the sport of time or disease." Can it be expected from riches? Surely no: for how little of them does the owner possess, even supposing his wealth to be ever so great! what a small part of them does he use or enjoy himself! And what has he of the rest but the pleasure of seeing them with his eyes? Let his table be loaded with the greatest variety of delicious dishes, he fills his belly out of one; and if he has a hundred beds, he lies but in one of them. Can the kingdoms, thrones, and sceptres of this world confer happiness? No: we learn from the histories of all ages, that not a few have been tumbled down from these by sudden and unexpected revolutions, and those not such as were void of conduct or
courage, but men of great and extraordinary abilities. And that those who met with no
such misfortunes were still far enough from happiness is very plain from the situation of their affairs, and, in many cases, from their own confession. The saying of Augustus is well known: "I wish I had never been married, and had died childless." And the expression of Severus at his death, "I became all things, and yet it does not profit me." But the most noted saying of all, and that which best deserves to be known, is that of the wisest and most flourishing king, as well as the greatest preacher, who, having exactly computed all the advantages of his exalted dignity and royal opulence, found this to be the sum total of all, and left it on record for the inspection of posterity and future ages, Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. All this may possibly be true with regard to the external advantages of men, but may not happiness be found in the internal goods of the mind, such as wisdom and virtue? Suppose this granted; still that they may confer perfect felicity they must, of necessity, be perfect themselves. Now, shew me the
man who, even in his own judgment, has attained to perfection in wisdom and virtue: even those who were accounted the wisest, and actually were so, acknowledged they knew nothing; nor was there one among the most approved philosophers whose virtues were not allayed with many blemishes. The same must be said of piety and true religion, which, though it is the beginning of felicity, and tends directly to perfection, yet, as in this earth it is not full and complete itself, it cannot make its possessors perfectly happy. The knowledge of the most exalted minds is very obscure, and almost quite dark, and their practice of virtue lame and imperfect. And indeed, who can have the boldness to boast of perfection in this respect when he hears the great Apostle complaining of the law of the flesh, and pathetically exclaiming, Who shall deliver me from this body of death? Rom. vii. 24. Besides, though wisdom, and virtue, or piety, were perfect, so long as we have bodies, we must at the same time have all bodily advantages, in order to perfect felicity. Therefore the satirist smartly ridicules the wise man of the Stoics. "He is," says he, "free, honoured, beautiful, a king of kings, and particularly happy, except when he is troubled with phlegm." Since these things are so, we must raise our minds higher, and not live with our heads bowed down like the common sort of mankind; who, as St. Augustine expresses it, "look for a happy life in the region of death." To set our hearts upon the perishing goods of this wretched life and its muddy pleasures, is not the happiness of men, but of hogs. And if pleasure is dirt, other things are but smoke. Were this the only good proposed to the desires and hopes of men, it would not have been so great a privilege to be born. Theological Lectures.
SAMUEL BUTLER, born 1612, died 1680, acquired great reputation by his poem of Hudibras, and was also the author of some prose Characters (in the style of Earle, Hall, and Overbury). which appeared in his Remains in Verse and Prose, published from the original MSS., with Notes by Robert Thyer, Lond., 1759, 2 vols. 8vo; later edition from the original MSS., Lond., 1827, 8vo, and royal 8vo: vol. i. only published.
A SMALL POET
is one that would fain make himself that which nature never meant him; like a fanatic that inspires himself with his own
whimsies. He sets up haberdasher of small poetry, with a very small stock, and no credit. He believes it is invention enough to find out other men's wit; and whatsoever he lights upon, either in books or company, he makes bold with as his own. This he puts together so untowardly, that you may perceive his own wit has the rickets by the swelling disproportion of the joints. You may know his wit not to be natural, 'tis so unquiet and troublesome in him: for as those that have money but seldom are always shaking their pockets when they have it, so does he when he thinks he has got something that will make him appear. He is a perpetual talker; and you may know by the freedom of his discourse that he came lightly by it, as thieves spend freely what they get. He is like an Italian thief, that never robs but he murders, to prevent discovery; so sure is he to cry down the man from whom he purloins, that his petty larceny of wit may pass unsuspected. He appears so over-concerned in all men's wits, as if they were but disparagements of his own; and cries down all they do, as if they were encroachments upon him. He takes jests from the owners and breaks them, as justices do false weights and pots that want measure. When he meets with anything that is very good, he changes it into small money, like three groats for a shilling, to serve several occasions. He disclaims study, pretends to take things in motion, and to shoot flying, which appears to be very true, by his often missing of his mark. As for epithets, he always avoids those that are near akin to the sense. Such matches are unlawful, and not fit to be made by a Christian poet; and therefore all his care is to choose out such as will serve, like a wooden leg, to piece out a maimed verse that wants a foot or two, and if they will but rhyme now and then into the bargain, or run upon a letter, it is a work of supererogation. For similitudes, he likes the hardest and most obscure best: for as ladies wear black patches to make their complexions seem fairer than they are, so when an illustration is more obscure than the sense that went before it, it must of necessity make it appear clearer than it did; for contraries are best set off with contraries. He has found out a new set of poetical Georgies-a trick of sowing wit like clover grass on barren subjects, which would yield nothing before. This is very useful for the times, wherein, some men say, there is no room left for new invention. He will take three grains of wit, like the elixir, and, projecting it upon the iron age, turn it immediately into gold. All the business of mankind has presently vanished, the whole world has kept holiday;
there has been no men but heroes and poets, no women but nymphs and shepherdesses: trees have borne fritters, and rivers flowed plum-porridge. When he writes, he commonly steers the sense of his lines by the rhyme that is at the end of them, as butchers do calves by the tail. For when he has made one line, which is easy enough, and has found out some sturdy hard word that will but rhyme, he will hammer the sense upon it, like a piece of hot iron upon an anvil, into what form he pleases. There is no art in the world so rich in terms as poetry; a whole dictionary is scarce able to contain them; for there is hardly a pond, a sheepwalk, or a gravel-pit in all Greece but the ancient name of it is become a term of art in poetry. By this means small poets have such a stock of able hard words lying by them, as dryades, hamadryades, aönides, fauni, nymphæ, sylvani, &c., that signify nothing at all; and such a world of pedantic terms of the same kind, as may serve to furnish all the new inventions and "thorough reformations" that can happen between this and Plato's great year. Characters.
JOHN PEARSON, D.D.,
born at Snoring, Norfolk, 1612, became Bishop of Chester, Feb. 9, 1672-73, and
died in 1686. His best-known work is An
Exposition of the Creed, Lond., 1659, 4to.
"A standard book in English divinity. It expands beyond the literal purport of the Creed itself to most articles of orthodox belief, and is a valuable summary of arguments and authorities on that side. The closeness of Pearson, and his judicious selection of proofs, distinguish him from many, especially the earlier, theologians. Some might surmise that his undeviating adherence to what he calls The Church is hardly consistent with independence of thinking; but, considered as an advocate, he is one of much judgment and skill."-HALLAM: Lit. Hist. of Europe, 4th ed., 1854, iii. 298.
THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST.
The ascent of Christ into heaven was not metaphorical or figurative, as if there were no more to be understood by it, but only that he attained a more heavenly and glorious state or condition after his resurrection. For whatsoever alteration was made in the body of Christ when he rose, whatsoever glorious qualities it was invested with thereby, that was not his ascension, as appeareth by those words which he spake to Mary, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. Although he had said before to Nicodemus, No man [hath] ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven,