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dinary events to be the immediate finger of God; because he familiarly beholds the inward workings of things, and thence perceives that many effects which used to affright the ignorant are brought forth by the common instruments of nature. He cannot be suddenly inclined to pass censure on men's eternal condition from any temporal judgments that may befall them; because his long converse with all matters, times and places has taught him the truth of what the Scripture says, that "all things happen alike to all." He cannot blindly consent to all imaginations of devout men about future contingencies, seeing he is so rigid in examining all particular matters of fact. He cannot be forward to assent to spiritual raptures and revelations; because he is truly acquainted with the tempers of men's bodies, the composition of their blood, and the power of fancy, and so better understands the difference between diseases and inspirations.
But in all this he commits nothing that is irreligious. 'Tis true, to deny that God has heretofore warned the world of what was to come, is to contradict the very Godhead itself; but to reject the sense which any private man shall fasten to it, is not to disdain the Word of God, but the opinions of men like ourselves. To declare against the possibility that new prophets may be sent from heaven, is to insinuate that the same infinite Wisdom which once showed itself that way is now at an end. But to slight all pretenders that come without the help of miracles is not a contempt of the Spirit, but a just circumspection that the reason of men be not over-reached. To deny that God directs the course of human things, is stupidity; but to hearken to every prodigy that men frame against their enemies, or for themselves, is not to reverence the power of God, but to make that serve the passions, the interests, and revenges of men.
It is a dangerous mistake, into which many good men fall, that we neglect the dominion of God over the world, if we do not discover in every turn of human actions many supernatural providences and miraculous events. Whereas it is enough for the honour of his government, that he guides the whole creation in its wonted course of causes and effects: as it makes as much for the reputation of a prince's wisdom, that he can rule his subjects peaceably by his known and standing laws, as that he is often forced to make use of extraordinary justice to punish or reward.
Let us, then, imagine our philosopher to have all slowness of belief, and rigour of trial, which by some is miscalled a blindness of mind and hardness of heart. Let us suppose that he is most unwilling to
grant that anything exceeds the force of nature, but where a full evidence convinces him. Let it be allowed that he is always alarmed, and ready on his guard, at the noise of any miraculous event, lest his judgment should be surprised by the disguises of faith. But does he by this diminish the authority of ancient miracles? or does he not rather confirm them the more, by confining their number, and taking care that every falsehood should not mingle with them? Can he by this undermine Christianity, which does not now stand in need of such extraordinary testimonies from heaven? or do not they rather endanger it who still venture its truths on so hazardous a chance, who require a continuance of signs and wonders, as if the works of our Saviour and his apostles had not been sufficient? Who ought to be esteemed the most carnallyminded-the enthusiast that pollutes religion with his own passions, or the experimenter that will not use it to flatter and obey his own desires, but to subdue them? Who is to be thought the greatest enemy of the Gospel-he that loads men's faith by so many improbable things as will go near to make the reality itself suspected, or he that only admits a few arguments to confirm the evangelical doctrines, but then chooses those that are unquestionable? It cannot be an ungodly purpose to strive to abolish all holy cheats, which are of fatal consequence both to the deceivers and those that are deceived:to the deceivers, because they must needs be hypocrites, having the argument in their keeping; to the deceived, because if their eyes shall ever be opened, and they chance to find that they have been deluded in any one thing, they will be apt not only to reject that, but even to despise the very truths themselves which they had before been taught by those deluders.
It were, indeed, to be confessed that this severity of censure on religious things were to be condemned in experimenters, if, while they deny any wonders that are falsely attributed to the true God, they should approve those of idols or false deities. But that is not objected against them. They make no comparison between his power and the works of any others, but only between the several ways of his own manifesting himself. Thus, if they lessen one heap, yet they still increase the other; in the main, they diminish nothing of his right. If they take from the prodigies, they add to the ordinary works of the same Author. And those ordinary works themselves they do almost raise to the height of wonders, by the exact discovery which they make of their excellencies; while the enthusiast goes near to bring down the price of the true and
primitive miracles, by such a vast and such a negligent augmenting of their number.
By this, I hope, it appears that this inquiring, this scrupulous, this incredulous temper, is not the disgrace, but the honour, of experiments. And, therefore, I will declare them to be the most seasonable study for the present temper of our nation. This wild amusing men's minds with prodigies and conceits of providence, has been one of the most considerable causes of those spiritual distractions of which our country has long been the theatre. This is a vanity to which the English seem to have been always subject above others. There is scarce any modern historian that relates our foreign wars but he has this objection against the disposition of our countrymen, that they used to order their affairs of the greatest importance according to some obscure omens or predictions that passed amongst them on little or no foundations. And at this time, especially this last year , this gloomy and ill-boding humour has prevailed. So that it is now the fittest season for experiments to arise, to teach us a wisdom which springs from the depths of knowledge, to shake off the shadows, and to scatter the mists, which fill the minds of men with a vain consternation. This is a work well becoming the most Christian profession. For the most apparent effect which attended the passion of Christ was the putting of an eternal silence on all the false oracles and dissembled inspirations of ancient times.
History of the Royal Society.
"Our learned and venerable bishop delivered
himself with those ornaments alone which his subject suggested to him, and wrote in that plainness and solemnity of style, that gravity and simplicity, which gave authority to the sacred truths he taught, and unanswerable evidence to the doctrines he defended. There is something so great, primitive, and apostolical in his writings, that it creates an awe and veneration in our mind: the importance of his subjects is above the decoration of words; and what is great and majestic in itself
looketh most like itself the less it is adorned.”—
DR. HENRY FELTON.
"Beveridge's Practical Works are much like Henry's, but not equal to his."-DR. DODDRIDGE. SELF-DENIAL.
Christ hath said in plain terms, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself;" implying that he that doth not deny himself cannot go after him.
But besides that, there is an impossibility in the thing itself, that any one should be a true Christian or go after Christ, and not deny himself, as may be easily perceived if we will but consider what true Christianity requires of us, and what it is to be a real Christian. A true Christian, we know, is one that lives by faith, and not by sight; that “looks not at the things which are seen, but at those things which are not seen;" that believes whatsoever Christ hath said, trusteth on whatsoever he hath promised, and obeyeth whatsoever he hath commanded; that receiveth Christ as his only Priest to make atonement for him, as his only Prophet to instruct, and as his only Lord and Master to rule and govern him. In a word, a Christian is one that gives up himself and all he hath to Christ, who gave himself and all he hath to him; and therefore the very notion of true Christianity implies and supposes the denial of ourselves, without which it is as impossible for a man to be a Christian as it is for a subject to be rebellious and loyal to his prince at the same time; and therefore it is absolutely necessary that we go out of ourselves before we can go to him. We must strip ourselves of our very selves before we can put on Christ; for Christ himself hath told us that "no man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other." We cannot serve both "God and Mammon," Christ and ourselves too: so that we must either deny ourselves to go after Christ, or else deny Christ to go after ourselves, so as to mind our own selfish ends and designs in the world.
And verily it is a hard case if we cannot deny ourselves for him, who so far denied himself for us as to lay down his life to redeem ours. He who was equal to God himself, yea, who himself was the true God, so far denied himself as to become man, yea, a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs," for us; and cannot we deny ourselves so much as a fancy, a conceit, a sin, or lust, for him? How, then, can we expect that he should own us for his friends, his servants, or his disciples? No, he will never do it. Neither can we in reason expect that he should give himself and all the
merits of his death and passion unto us, so long as we think much to give ourselves to him, or to deny ourselves for him. And therefore if we desire to be made partakers of all those glorious things that he hath purchased with his own most precious blood for the sons of men, let us begin here,-indulge our flesh no longer, but deny ourselves whatsoever God hath been pleased to forbid. And for this end, let us endeavour each day more and more to live above ourselves, above the temper of our bodies, and above the allurements of the world: live as those who believe and profess that they are none of their own, but Christ's, his by creation: it was he that made us,-his by preservation: it is he that maintains us, and his by redemption: it is he that hath purchased and redeemed us with his own blood. And therefore let us deny ourselves for the future to our very selves, whose we are not, and devote ourselves to him, whose alone we are. By this we shall manifest ourselves to be Christ's disciples indeed, especially if we do not only deny ourselves, but also take up our cross and follow him.
Private Thoughts on a Christian Life, Part II.
THOMAS DECKER, OR DEKKER,
was well known in the reign of James I. as a writer of plays and tracts (more than fifty in number) and as a co-author with Webster, Rowley, Ford, and Johnson of various dramas. The best known of his productions is entitled The Gvll's Horne-booke, Lond., 1609, 4to; new ed., by Dr. Nott, Bristol, 1812, 4to.
"His 'Gul's Horne-Booke, or fashions to please all sorts of Guls,' first printed in 1609, exhibits a very curious, minute, and interesting picture of the manners and habits of the middle class of society, and on this account will be hereafter frequently referred to in these pages."-Drake's Shakspeare and His Times.
"The pamphlets and plays of Decker alone would furnish a more complete view of the habits and customs of his contemporaries in vulgar and middle life than could easily be collected from all the grave annals of the times."-(Lond.) Quar. Rev.
In his description of London life, in The Fortunes of Nigel, Sir Walter Scott draws largely from The Gull's Horne-Booke, of which we give some specimens.
observations: for if he once get to walk by the book, and I see no reason but he may, as well as fight by the book, Paul's may be proud of him: Will Clarke shall ring forth encomiums in his honour; John, in Paul's churchyard, shall fit his head for an excellent block; whilst all the inns of court rejoice to behold his most handsome calf. Your Mediterranean isle is then the only gallery wherein the pictures of all your true fashionate and complimental gulls are, and ought to be, hung up. Into that gallery carry your neat body; but take heed you pick out such an hour when the main shoal of islanders are swimming up and down. And first observe your doors of entrance, and your exit; not much unlike the players at the theatres; keeping your decorums even in fantasticality. As, for example, if you prove to be a northern gentleman, I would wish you to pass through the north door, more often especially than any of the other; and so, according to your countries, take note of your entrances.
Now for your venturing into the walk. Be circumspect, and wary what pillar you come in at; and take heed in any case, as you love the reputation of your honour, that you avoid the serving man's leg, and approach not within five fathom of that pillar ; but bend your course directly in the middle line, that the whole body of the church may appear to be yours; where, in view of all, you may publish your suit in what manner you affect most, either with the slide of your cloak from the one shoulder; and then you must, as 'twere in anger, suddenly snatch at the middle of the inside, if it be taffeta at the least; and so by that means your costly lining is betrayed, or else by the pretty language of compliment. But one note by the way do I especially woo you to, the neglect of which makes many of our gallants cheap and ordinary, that by no means you be seen above four turns; but in the fifth make yourself away, either in some of the semsters' shops, the new tobacco office, or amongst the booksellers, where, if you cannot read, exercise your smoke, and inquire who has writ against this divine weed, &c. For this withdrawing yourself a little will much benefit your suit, which else, by too long walking, would be stale to the whole spectators: but howsoever, if Paul's jacks be once up with their elbows, and quarrelling to strike eleven; as soon as ever the clock has parted them, and ended the
HOW A GALLANT SHOULD BEHAVE HIMSELF fray with his hammer, let not the duke's
IN PAUL'S WALKS.
He that would strive to fashion his legs to his silk stockings, and his proud gait to his broad garters, let him whiff down these
gallery contain you any longer, but pass away apace in open view; in which departure, if by chance you either encounter, or aloof off throw your inquisitive eye upon any knight or squire, being your familiar,
salute him not by his name of Sir such-aone, or so; but call him Ned or Jack, &c. This will set off your estimation with great men; and if, though there be a dozen companies between you, 'tis the better he call aloud to you, for that is most genteel, to know where he shall find you at two o'clock; tell him at such an ordinary, or such; and be sure to name those that are dearest, and whither none but your gallants resort. After dinner you may appear again, having translated yourself out of your English cloth cloak into a slight Turkey grogram, if you have that happiness of shifting; and then be seen, for a turn or two, to correct your teeth with some quill or silver instrument, and to cleanse your gums with a wrought handkerchief; it skills not whether you dined or no; that is best known to your stomach, or in what place you dined; though it were with cheese, of your own mother's making, in your chamber, or study. The Gull's Horne-Booke.
born 1639, died 1713, was the author of Sacred History, or The Historical Part of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, Digested into due Method, with Observations, 1705-9, Lond., 1794, 2 vols. Svo, and other works, of which a History of His Life, 1714, 8vo, is especially valuable on account of its description of Milton, to whom Ellwood was reader.
ELLWOOD'S DESCRIPTION OF MILTON. He received me courteously, as well for the sake of Dr. Paget, who introduced me, as of Isaac Penington, who recommended me. to both of whom he bore a good respect; and having inquired divers things of me, with respect to my former progressions in learning, he dismissed me, to provide myself of such accommodations as might be most suitable to my future studies.
I went, therefore, and took myself a lodging as near to his house (which was then in Jewin-Street) as conveniently I could; and, from thenceforward, went every day, in the afternoon (except on the first days of the week), and sitting by him in his diningroom, read to him such books in the Latin tongue as he pleased to hear me read.
At my first sitting to read to him, observing that I used the English pronunciation, he told me if I would have the benefit of the Latin tongue (not only to read and understand Latin authors, but to converse with foreigners, either abroad or at home), I must learn the foreign pronunciation. To
this I consenting, he instructed me how to sound the vowels, so different from the common pronunciation used by the English (who speak Anglice their Latin), that (with some few other variations in sounding some consonants, in particular cases, as C, before E or I, like Ch: Sc, before I, like Sh, &c.) the Latin thus spoken seemed as different from that which was delivered as the English generally speak it, as if it was another language.
I had, before, during my retired life at my father's, by unwearied diligence and industry, so far recovered the rules of grammar (in which I had once been very ready), that I could both read a Latin author and, after a sort, hammer out his meaning. But this change of pronunciation proved a new difficulty to me. It was now harder to me to read than it was before to understand when read. But
Labor omnia vincit
And so did I, which made my reading the other hand, perceiving with what earnest more acceptable to my master. He, on the all the encouragement, but all the help, he desire I pursued learning, gave me not only could; for, having a curious ear, he understood, by my tone, when I understood what I read, and when I did not; and accordingly would stop me, examine me, and open the most difficult passages to me.
Thus I went on for about six weeks' time, reading to him in the afternoons, and exercising myself, with my own books, in my chamber, in the forenoon. I was sensible of an improvement.
But, alas! I had fixed my studies in a wrong place. London and I could never agree for health. My lungs (as I suppose) were too tender to bear the sulphureous air of that city; so that I soon began to droop, and in less than two months' time I was fain to leave both my studies and the city, and return into the country to preserve life; aud much ado I had to get thither. . . [Having recovered, and gone back to London,] I was very kindly received by my master, who had conceived so good an opinion of me that my conversation (I found) was acceptable to him; and he seemed heartily glad of my recovery and return; and into our old method of study we fell again, I reading to him, and he explaining to me as occasion required.
Some little time before I went to Aylesbury prison I was required by my quondam master, Milton, to take a house for him in the neighbourhood where I dwelt, that he
might get out of the city, for the safety of himself and his family, the pestilence then growing hot in London. I took a pretty box for him in Giles Chalfont, a mile from me, of which I gave him notice, and intended to have waited on him, and see him well settled in it, but was prevented by that imprison
But now, being released, and returned home, I soon made a visit to him, to welcome him into the country.
After some common discourse had passed between us, he called for a manuscript of his, which, being brought, he delivered to me, bidding me to take it home with me, and read it at my leisure, and, when I had so done, return it to him with my judgment thereupon.
When I came home, and had set myself to read it, I found it was that excellent poem which he entitled "Paradise Lost." After I had, with the utmost attention, read it through, I made him another visit, and returned him his book, with due acknowledgment for the favour he had done me in communicating it to me. He asked me how I liked it, and what I thought of it, which I modestly but freely told him; and after some further discourse about it, I pleasantly said to him, "Thou hast said much here of Paradise Lost; but what hast thou to say of Paradise Found?" He made me no answer, but sat some time in a muse; then broke off that discourse, and fell upon another subject.
After the sickness was over, and the city well cleansed, and become safely habitable again, he returned thither; and when, afterwards, I went to wait on him there (which I seldom failed of doing, whenever my occasions drew me to London), he showed me his second poem, called "Paradise Regained," and, in a pleasant tone, said to me,This is owing to you, for you put it into my head at Chalfont; which before I had not thought of." Ellwood's History of his Life.
WILLIAM SHERLOCK, D.D., born 1641, Prebendary of St. Paul's, 1681, Master of the Temple, 1684, Dean of St. Paul's, 1691, died 1707, was the author of more than sixty publications, chiefly books and pamphlets against Romanism, theological and political tracts, and single sermons. We notice: Discourse concerning the Knowledge of Jesus Christ and our Union with Him, Lond., 1674, 8vo; The Case of Resistance to the Supreme Powers, 1684, 8vo; Practical Discourses concerning Death, Lond., 1689, 8vo, 19th edit., 1723, 8vo; A Vindication of the Doctrine of the
Trinity, and of the Incarnation of the Son of God, Lond., 1690, 1691, 1694, 4to; Practical Discourse concerning a Future Judg ment, Lond., 1692, 8vo, 5th edit., 1699, 8vo, etc.; Scripture Proofs of our Saviour's Divinity, 1706, 8vo. A collection of his Sermons edited by Mr. White was published 1700, 8vo, 3d edit., 1719, 8vo, vol. ii., 1719, 8vo, new edit. of both vols., 1755, 2 vols. 8vo.
"He was a clear, a polite, and a strong writer, but he was apt to assume too much to himself, and to treat his adversaries with contempt: this created him many enemies, and made him pass for an insolent, haughty man."-BISHOP BURNET: Own Times, edit. 1833, iv. 388.
"On moral subjects his arguments are generally strong, exceeding proper for conviction. He is plain and manly, great and animated. His representations are exceeding awful; therefore his Death' and 'Judgment' are his best books. His book on Providence' is by many thought to be the best on that subject."-DR. DODDRIDGE.
LIFE NOT TOO SHORT.
Such a long life [as that of the antedilu vians] is not reconcilable with the present state of the world. What the state of the world was before the flood, in what manner they lived, and how they employed their time, we cannot tell, for Moses has given no account of it; but taking the world as it is, and as we find it, I dare undertake to convince those men who are most apt to complain of the shortness of life, that it would not be for the general happiness of mankind to have it much longer: for, 1st, The world is at present very unequally divided; some have a large share and portion of it, others have nothing but what they can earn by very hard labour, or extort from other men's charity by their restless importunities, or gain by more ungodly arts. Now, though the rich and prosperous, who have the world at command, and live in ease and pleasure, would be very well contented to spend some hundred years in this world, yet I should think fifty or threescore years abundantly enough for slaves and beggars; enough to spend in hunger and want, in a jail and a prison. And those who are so foolish as not to think this enough, owe a great deal to the wisdom and goodness of God that he does. So that the greatest part of mankind have great reason to be contented with the shortness of life, because they have no temptation to wish it longer.
2dly, The present state of this world requires a more quick succession. The world is pretty well peopled, and is divided amongst its present inhabitants; and but very few, in comparison, as I observed before, have any considerable share in the division. Now, let us but suppose that all our ancestors, who