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was to them a perennial fountain of entertainment. He had the rare and happy talent of disarming all the little vexatious incidents of life of their power to molest, by giving them some unexpected turn. And occurrences of a more serious nature, even some of a frightful aspect, were treated by him with the like ease and pleasantry; of which I could give some remarkable instances,
Surely, the life of such a man as this ought not to be forgotten! You and I, who saw and heard so much of. it, shall, I trust, never recollect it without being the better for it: and, if we can succeed in shewing it so truly to the world, that they also may be the better for it, we shall do them an acceptable service. I have heard it said, and I was a little discouraged by it, that Dr. Horne was a person, whose life was not productive of events considerable enough to furnish matter for a history. But they, who judge thus, have taken but a superficial view of human life; and do not rightly measure the importance of the different events which happen to different sortz of men. Dr. Horne, I must allow, was no circumnavigator: he neither sailed with Drake, Anson, nor Cooke; but he was a man, whose mind surveyed the intellectual world, and brought home from thence many excellent observations for the
benefit of his native country. He was no military commander; he took no cities; he conquered no countries; but he spent his life in subduing his passions, and in teaching us how to do the same. He fought no battles by land or by sea; but he opposed the enemies of God and his truth, and obtained some victories which are worthy to be recorded. He was no prime minister to any earthly potentate; but he was a mi. nister to the King of Heaven and Earth: an office at least as useful to mankind, and in the administration of which no minister to any earthly king ever exceedcd him in zeal and fidelity. He made no splendid disa. coveries in natural history; but he did what was bet. ter: he applied universal nature to the improvement of the mind, and the illustration of heavenly doctrines. I call these events: not such as make a great noise and signify little; but such as are little celebrated, and of great signification. The same difference is found be. tween Dr. Home and some other men who have been the subject of history, as between the life of the bee, and that of the wasp or hornet. The latter may boast of their encroachments and depredations, and value themselves on being a plague and a terror to mankind, But let it rather be my amusement to follow and observe the motions of the bee. Her journies are always
pleasant; the objects of her attention are beautiful to the eye, and she passes none of them over without ex. amining what is to be extracted from them: her work, manship is admirable; her economy is a lesson of wisdom to the world: she may be accounted little among them that fly, but the fruit of her labour is the chief of sweet things.
You know, sir, to what interruptions my life has been subject for thirty years past, and there is some tender ground before us, on which I am to tread as lightly as truth will permit; you will pardon me therefore if my progress hath not been so quick as you could have wished; and believe me to be, as I have long been,
Your most affectionate and
obliged humble servant,
IN publishing the Memoirs of the Life of Bishop Horne, my intention was only to give a true idea of that good man, as it presented itself to my memory and affections; and to produce an edifying book, rather than a formal history. I flatter myself it has done some good; and I hope it may do more. If any of fence has been given, I can only say it was no part of my plan: but it is a common fault with plain Christians, who know little of the world, to tell more truth than is wanted; and they have nothing left but a good conscience, to support them under the mistake.
Some few exceptions have been made to the performance by little cavillers, which are not worth men. tioning: but I brought myself into the most serious difficulty of all, by representing Bishop Horne as an Hutchinsonian; which thing (it seems) ought not to have been done; as it was strongly suggested to me, VOL. XII.