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the Way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures? I may be thought bold in my Judgment by fome; but I'mult affirm, That no one Orator has left us fo vifible Marks and Footsteps of his Eloquence as our Apoftle. It may perhaps be wondered at, that in his Reasonings upon Idolatry at Athens, where Eloquence was born and flourifhed, he confines himself to ftri&t Argument only; but my Reader may remember what many Authors of the beft Credit have affured us, That all Attempts upon the Affections and Strokes of Oratory were exprefly forbidden, by the Laws of that Country, in Courts of Judicature. His Want of Eloquence therefore here, was the Effect of his exact Conformity to the Laws. But his Difcourfe on theResurrection to the Corinthians, his Harangue before Agrippa upon his own Converfion, and. the Neceffity of that of others, are truly great and may ferve as full Examples to thofe excellent Rules for the Sublime, which the beft of Criticks has left us. The Sum of all this Difcourfe is, That our Clergy have no farther to look for an Example of the Perfection they may arrive at, than to St. Paul's Harangues; that when he, under the Want of feveral Advantages of Nature, (as he himself tells us) was heard, admired, and made a Standard to fucceeding Ages by the beft Judge of a different Perfuafion in Religion, I fay, our Clergy may learn, That, however inftructive theirSermons are, they ⚫ are capable of receiving a great Addition; which St. Paul has given them a noble Example of, and the Chriftian Religion has furnished them with certain Means of attaining to..

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No.634. Friday, December 17.

I

Ὁ ἔλαχιςων δεόμενος ἔγγιςα θεῶν.

Socrates apud Xen.

T was the common Boaft of the Heathen Philofophers, that by the Efficacy of their feveral Doctrines, they made Human Nature refemble the Divine. How much mistaken foever they might be in the feveral Means they proposed for this End, it must be owned that the Defign was great and glorious The finest Works of Invention and Imagination are of very little Weight, when put in the Balance with what refines and exalts the rational Mind. Longinus excuses Homer very handsomely, when he says, the Poet made his Gods like Men, that he might make his Men appear like the Gods: But it must be allowed that several of the ancient Philofophers acted as Cicero wishes Homer had done; they endeavoured rather to make Men like Gods, than Gods like Men,

ACCORDING to this general Maxim in Philofophy, fome of them have endeavoured to place Men in fuch a State of Pleasure or Indolence at leaft, as they vainly imagin'd the Happiness of the Supreme Being to confift in. On the other Hand, the most virtuous Sect of Philofophers have created a chimerical wife Man, whom they made exempt from Paffion and Pain, and thought it enough to pronounce him All-fufficient.

THIS laft Character, when divested of the Glare of Human Philosophy that furrounds it, fignifies no more, than that a good and wife Man fhould fo arm himself with Patience, as not yield tamely to the Violence of Paffion and Pain; that he should learn fo to fupprefs and contract his Defires as to have few Wants; and that he

fhould

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fhould cherish fo many Virtues in his Soul, as to have a perpetual Source of Pleasure in himself.

THE Chriftian Religion requires, that, after ha ving framed the best Idea, we are able, of the Divine Nature, it fhould be our next Care, to conform our felves to it, as far as our Imperfections will permit. I might mention several Paffages in the facred Writings on this Head, to which I might add many Maxims and wife Sayings of Moral Authors among the Greeks and Romans.

ISHALL only inftance a remarkable Paffage to this Purpose, out of Julian's Cafars. The Emperor, having represented all the Roman Emperors, with Alexander the Great, as paffing in Review before the Gods, and ftriving for the Superiority, lets them all drop, excepting Alexander, Julius Cæfar, Auguftus Cæfar, Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, and Conftantine. Each of thefe great Heroes of Antiquity lays in his Claim for the upper Place; and, in order to it, fets forth his Actions after the moft advantageous Manner. But the Gods, inftead of being dazzled with the Luftre of their Actions, enquire, by Mercury, into the proper Motive and governing Principle that influenced them throughout the whole Series of their Lives and Exploits. Alexander tells them, That his Aim was to conquer: Julius Cæfar, That his was to gain the highest Poft in his Country: Auguftus, To govern well: Trajan, That his was the fame as that of Alexander, namely, To conquer. The Question, at length, was put to Marcus Aurelius, who reply'd, with great Modefty,That it had always been his Care to imi-. tate the Gods. This Conduct feems to have gained him the most Votes and beft Place in the whole Affembly. Marcus Aurelius being afterwards asked to explain himfelf, declares, That, by imitating the Gods, he endeavoured to imitate them in the Ufe of his Understanding, and of all other Faculties; and, in particular, That it was always his Study to have as few Wants as poffible in himself, and to do all the Good he could to others.

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AMONG the many Methods by which revealed Religion has advanced Morality, this is one, That it has given us a more juft and perfect Idea of that Being whom every reasonable Creature ought to imitate. The young Man, in a Heathen Comedy, might justify his Lewdnefs by the Example of Jupiter, as, indeed, there was. fcarce any Crime that might not be countenanced by thofe Notions of the Deity which prevailed among the common People in the Heathen World. Revealed Religion fets forth a proper Object for Imitation, in that Being who is the Pattern, as well as the Source of all spi、 ritual Perfection.

WHILE we remain in this Life, we are fubject to innumerable Temptations, which, if liften'd to, will make us deviate from Reafon and Goodness, the only Things wherein we can imitate the Supreme Being. In the next Life we meet with nothing to excite our Inclinations that doth not deserve them. I fhall therefore difmifs my Reader with this Maxim, viz. Our Happizefs in this World proceeds from the Suppreffion of our Defires, but in the next World from the Gratification of theme

Monday,

No. 635. Monday, December 20.

Sentio Te fedem Hominum ac Deum contem plarique fi tibi parva (ut eft) ita videtur, hæc cæleftia femper Spectato; illa bumana contemnito.

T

Cicero Somn. Scip.

HE following Effay comes from the ingenious Author of the Letter upon Novelty, printed in a late Spectator: The Notions are drawn from the Platonick way of Thinking, but as they contribute to raise the Mind, and may infpire noble Sentiments of our own future Grandeur and Happiness, I think it well deferves to be presented to the Publick.

F the Universe be the Creature of an intelligent Mind,

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this Mind could have no immediate Regard to himfelf in producing it. He needed not to make Trial of his Omnipotence, to be informed what Effects were within its Reach: The World as existing in his eternal Idea was then as beautiful as now it is drawn forth into Being; and in the immenfe Abyss of his Effence are contained far brighter Scenes than will be ever fet forth to View; it being impoffible that the great Author of Nature fhould bound his own Power by giving Exiftence to a Syftem of Creatures fo perfect that he cannot improve upon it by any other Exertions of his Almighty Will.. Between Finite and Infinite there is an unmeafured Interval not to be filled up in endless Ages; for which Reason, the moft excellent of all God's Works must be equally fhort of what his Power is able to produce as the most imperfect, and may be exceeded with the fame Eafe.

THIS Thought hath made fome imagine, (what, it must be confeft, is not impoffible) that the unfathomed Space is ever teeming with new Births, the younger

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