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pray, and incongruous to be present at the prayers of others;” and, very consistently with this, he considered himself no more as a moral agent, or subject of either reward or punishment. In this way of thinking and talking he unalterably and obstinately persisted to the end of his life, though he afterwards suffered, and even requested prayers to be made for him. Some time after his secession from the Old Jewry, he retired to Shepton Mallet, his native place; and though in his retirement he was perpetually contending that his powers of reason and imagination were gone, yet he was as constantly exerting both with much activity and vigor. He amused himself sometimes with translating parts of the ancient Greek and Latin poets into English verse; he composed little pieces for the use of children; an English Grammar and Spelling Book ; an abstract of the Scripture History, and a collection of Tables, both in metre; and with much learning he brought together, in a short compass, all the Themata of the Greek and Latin tongues ; and also compiled a dictionary to each of those works, in order to render the learning of both these languages more easy and compendious. Of these performances none have been made public; but what shewed the strength and vi. gor of his understanding, while he was daily bemoaning the loss of it, were two works composed during the two last years of his life, defence of christianity against Woolston and Tindal. He wrote an answer to Woolston's fifth discourse on the miracles of our Saviour intitled, A fit rebuke for a ludicrous infidel, with a preface concerning the prosecution of such writers by the civil power. The pre
face contains a vigorous plea for liberty, and is strongly against prosecutions in matters of religion; and, in the answer, Woolston is as well managed as he was by any of his refuters, and more in his own way, too. His book against Tindal was called, A defence of the religion of nature and the christian revelation, against the defective account of the one, and the exceptions against the other, in a book intitled, christianity as old as the creation; and it is allowed to be as good a one as that controversy produced. He intended to dedicate it to queen Caroline; but as the unhappy state of his mind appeared in the dedication, some of his friends very wisely suppressed it, as sure to defeat the use and intent of his work. The copy, however, is preserved, and, as it is a great curiosity, we here present it to the reader.
“Of all the extraordinary things that have been rendered to your royal hands since your first happy arrival in Britian, it may be boldly said what now bespeaks your majesty's acceptance is the chief. Not in itself, indeed is it a trifle unworthy your exalted rank, and what will hardly prove an entertaining amusement to one of your majesty's deep penetration, exact judgment, and fine taste, but on account of the author, who is the first being of the kind, and yet without a name.
He was once a man, and of some little name, but of no worth, as his present unparalleled case makes but too mani. fest; for, by the immediate hand of an avenging God, his very thinking substance has, for more than seven years, been continually wasting away, till t is wholly perished out of him, if it
be not utterly come to nothing. None, no not the least remembrance of its very ruins, re mains; not the shadow of an idea is left, nor any sense, so much as one single one, perfect or imperfect, whole or diminished, ever did
appear to a mind within him, or was perceived by it. Such a present, from such a thing, however worthless in itself, may not be wholly unacceptable to your majesty, the author being such as history cannot parallel: and if the fact, which is real, and no fiction or wrong conceit, obtains credit, it must be recorded as the most memorable, and indeed astonishing, even in the reign of George II, that a tract, composed by such a thing, was presented to the illustrious Caroline ; his royal consort needs not to be added. Fame, if I am not misinformed, will tell that with pleasure to all succeeding times. He has been informed, that your majesty's piety is as genuine and eminent as your excellent qualities are great and conspicuous. This can, indeed, be truly known to the Great Searcher of hearts only. He alone, who can look into them, can discern if they are sincere, and the main intention corresponds with the appearance: and your majesty cannot take it amiss, if such an author hints, that his secret approbation is of infinitely greater value then the commendation of men, who may be easily mistaken, and are too apt to flatter their superiors. But, if he has been told the truth, such a case as his will certainly strike your majesty with astonishment, and may raise that commiseration in your royal breast, which he has in vain endeavoured to excite in those of his friends, who, by the most unreasonable and ill-founded conceit in the world, have imagined that a thinking being could, for seven years together, live a stranger to its own pow. ers, exercises, operations, and state, and to what the Great God has been doing in it and to it. If your majesty, in your most retired address to the King of kings, should think of so singular a case, you may, perhaps, make it your devout request, that the reign of your beloved sovereign and consort may be renowned to all posterity, by the recovery of a soul now in the utmost ruin ; the restoration of one ut. terly lost at present amongst men. And, should this case affect your royal breast, you will recommend it to the piety and prayers of all the truly devout who have the honour to be known to your majesty: many such, doubtless, there are, though courts are not usually the places where the devout resort, or where devotion reigns; and it is not improbable that multitudes of the pious throughout the land may take a case to heart, that, under your majesty's patronage, comes thus recommended. Could such a favour as this restoration be obtained from heaven by the prayers of your majesty, with what transport of gratitude would the recov. ered being throw himself
at your majesty's feet, and, adoring the Divine Power and Grace, profess himself,
“ Your Majesty's
A complication of distempers, contracted by his sedentary life (for he could not be prevailed on to refresh himself with air and exercise,) brought on a mortification, which put a period to his labours and sorrows about the latter end
of 1732. He was, unquestionably, a man of uncommon abilities and learning. His management of Woolston shewed him
to have also vivacity and wit; and, notwithstanding that strange conceit which possessed him, it is remarkable that he never appeared feeble or absurd, except when the object of his frenzy was before him.
Many curious circumstances have been mentioned of Dr. Watts, respecting the strength of imagination ; but, as it does not appear that they are founded on any certainty, we shall entirely omit them here.
THE Christian religion, says. Dr. Campbell, has always been understood to require faith in its principles, and faith in principles requires some degree of knowledge or apprehension of those principles. But the schoolmen have devised an excellent succedaneum to supply the place of real belief, and this they have denomi. nated implicit faith, an ingenious method of reconciling things incompatible; to believe every thing, and to know nothing. Implicit faith has been sometimes styled fides carbonaria, from the story of one who, examining an ignorant collier on his religious principles, asked him what it was that he believed. He answered, “I believe what the church believes.” The other rejoined, “What, then, does the church believe?” Hereplied readily,“The church believes what I believe.” The other, desirous, if possible, to bring him to particulars, once more resumed his enquiry.
“ Tell me, then, I pray you, what