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ESSAYS AND THOUGHTS

ON

VAR10 US SUBJECTS,

AND FROM

VARIOUS AUTHORS,

&c.

ESSAYS AND THOUGHTS,

ON

VARIOUS SUBJECTS.

ABBEY LANDS.

ADVERSITY.

it, as geometry, or any other of the matheSir Benjamin Rudyard in a speech (pre-matical sciences.”—The observation may be served by Nelson, ii. 300.) mentions it as the extended to other modes of studying divinity. principal parliamentary motive for seizing the abbey lands by Henry VIII. that they would so enrich the crown, as that the people

The fiery trials of adversity have the same should never be put to pay subsidies again; kindly effect on a Christian mind, which Virand an army of 40,000 ‘men for the defence gil ascribes to burning land. They purge of the kingdom should be maintained with away the bad properties, and remove obthe overplus.

How did the matter turn out ? structions to the operations of heaven. Sir Benjamin tells us, “God's part, religion, by his blessing, has been tolerably well pre- Excoquitur vitium, atque exsudat inutilis humor ;

-Sive illis omne per ignem served; but it hath been saved as by fire ; Seu plures calor ille vias et cæca relaxat for the rest is consumed and vanished. The Spiramenta, novas veniat qua succus in herbas. people have paid subsidies ever since, and

GEORG. i. 87. we are now in no very good case to pay an Or when the latent vice is curd by fire, army.” (A more exact account of this de- Redundant humours through the pores expire; sign and its consequences may be found in Or that the warmth

distends the chinks, and makes Sir Henry Spelman's History of Sacrilege, Or that the heat the gaping ground constrains,

New breathings, whence new nourishment she takes; chap. vii.)

New knits the surface, and new strings the veins.

DRYDEN, 128.

ABELARD.

The bad tendency of Mr. Pope's Eloisa to

ALCORAN. Ahelard is remarked by Sir John Hawkins, Extravagant praises are bestowed by Sale in his History of Music, vol. ii. page 23, as and his disciples on the Koran, which equal depreciating matrimony, and justifying con- the enthusiasm of Mahomet and his followcubinage. This is founded on a false fact; ers; going every length but that of saying, Abelard was married. The original letters it was dictated by the Spirit of God—Wonare firer than even Pope's: they were pub- derful and horrible: This is not much nolished A. D. 1718, by Rawlinson, from a ticed; not mentioned, I think, in White's MS. in the Bɔdleian library. Sir John Haw- Lectures, as it should have been, and exkins, speaking of Abelard's skill in scholas- posed. (But if any reader wants satisfaction tical theology, and profligacy of manners, on the subject of Mahometanism, he will find makes the following sensible observation : ) it in Dr. Prideaux's Life of Mahomet.} “ To say the truth, the theology of the schools, as taught in Abelard's time, was merely scientific, and had as little tendency The ambitious man employs his time, his to regulate the manners of those who studied pains, and his abilities, to climb to a summit,

AMBITION.

VOL. I.

11

on which, at last, he stands with anxiety and and breaches of the mountains. Ulloa, i. fear, and from which if he fall, it must be 248. [An English gentleman, resident in with infamy and ruin. A man of like turn the East, kept one of the asses of the country in the time of Charles II. had, by like un- for his use, who was so troublesome with his wearied application, attained a like situation, noise, that he ordered a slave to strike him on the top of Salisbury spire. Every sober on the nose with a cane when he began to thinking man will say in one case what the vociferate; in consequence of which, the merry monarch said in the other: “ Make creature in a few days fell from his appetite, the fellow out a patent, that no one may and would actually have pined away and stand there but himself."

died, for want of the liberty of making his own frightful noise.]

ANGELS.

AFRICAN ANTS.

Man, a minister of Christ in particular,

ATHANASIAN CREED, should resemble them in reconciling duty The doctrines in the public service (as a with devotion. They minister to the heirs of noble author has supposed) are not the true saloation ; yet, always behold the face of cause why people of rank, &c. absent themtheir Father in heaven.

selves; but downright ungodliness, amusements, racing, hunting, gambling, visiting

and intriguing-setting out for Newmarket These insects sometimes set forward in on a Sunday, &c. Would the gentlemen of such multitudes, that the whole earth seems the turf come the more to church if the to be in motion. A corps of them attacked Athanasian Creed were struck out, &c. ? and covered an elephant quietly feeding in a

It is not true that these doctrines are pasture. In eight hours, nothing was to be acknowledged to be ill founded and unscripseen on the spot, but the skeleton of that tural by every clergyman of learning and enormous animal, neatly and completely candor;"> or that “no man of sense and picked. The business was done, and the learning can maintain them.” There have enemy marched on after fresh prey.-Such been and are many instances both of laity power have the smallest creatures acting in and clergy that hold them to be scriptural, concert.

and maintain them as such. The abettors of heresy and infidelity are not the only men of

sense in the nation, [in good manners they It is said, I think, of bishop Sanderson, certainly do not abound.] Dr. Middleton, that, by frequently conversing with his son, when he had apostatized, by men of sense and scattering short apophthegms, with little meant infidels. (This article was occasioned pleasant stories, and making useful applica- by a pamphlet styled Hints, &c. ascribed to tions of them, the youth was, in his infancy, the D. of G.] taught to abhor vanity and vice as monsters.

APOPHTHEGMS.

AVARICE.

ASSES.

1. A canine appetite inclines persons to There are wild asses in South America. take down their food in such quantities, that They have three properties which bear a they vomit it up again like dogs. So Job of moral application. * 1. Though exceedingly the rapacious greedy oppressor : “He hath swift, fierce, and untractable, after carrying swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit the first load, their celerity leaves them, their them up again:” chap. xx, 15. What is dangerous ferocity is lost, and they soon con- avarice, but such an appetite of the mind ? tract the stupid look and dulness of the asi 2. He, who flatters himself that he renine species : one of them becomes like ano- solves to employ his fortune well, though he ther ass.

2. If that more noble animal a should acquire it ill, ought to take this with horse happens to stray into the places where him, that such a compensation of evil by they feed, they all fall upon him; and, with good may be allowed after the fact, but is de out giving him the liberty of flying from servedly condemned in that purpose. And them, they bite and kick him till they leave it may be observed, that a resolution of this him dead upon the spot. 3. They are very kind, taken beforehand, is seldom carried troublesome neighbors, making a most horrid into act afterwards. Nemo unquam imperium noise; for, whenever one or two of them be- flagitiis quæsitum bonis artibus exercuit.gin to bray, they are answered in the same Tacit, Hist. i.- No one ever exercised vociferous manner by all within reach of the with virtue power obtained by crimes. sound, which is greatly increased and pro 3. The eagerness with which some men longed by the repercussions of the valleys seek after gold would lead one to imagine 't

BLIND MAN.

BLONDEL.

had the power to remove all uneasiness, and make its possessors completely happy; as

“I never had the happiness,” said the the Spaniards pretended to the Mexicans, blind man in the Princess Palatine's dream, that it cured them of a pain at the heart, to “to behold the light and the glories of the which they were subject. 4. Riches will make a man just as happy idea of the transcendent beauties I have often

firmament, nor can I form to myself the least as the emperor of Siam's white elephant, heard mentioned. Such is my sad condition ; who is ridden by nobody, lives at his ease, is and from my situation all presumptuous beserved in plate, and treated like a monarch. ings may learn, that many very excellent

5. It is worthy of observation, that Per- and wonderful things exist, which escape seus, who lost the Macedonian empire, was human knowledge.” What inestimable and infamous for his avarice; and Paulus Emi- divine truths are there not in nature, devoutly lius, his conqueror, so entirely the reverse, to be wished for, though we cannot imagine that he ordered all the gold and silver that was taken, into the public treasury, without Orat. on this princess.

or comprehend them! See Bossuet's Fun. seeing it; nor ever was one farthing the richer for his victories, though always gene

BLINDNESS OF INFIDELITY. rous of his own to others. 6. At a time when Persian bribes were

Josephus tells us, that in the last dreadful very rife at Athens , a porter humourously familiar with them to make a jest of divine

ruin of his unhappy countrymen, it was proposed, that twelve of the poorest citizens should be annually sent ambassadors to the things, and to deride, as so many senseless Persian court, to be enriched by the king's oracles of their prophets ;” though they

tales and juggling impostures, the sacred presents. Ibid.—Poor men should be made ministers of state in England, for the same

were then fulfilling before their eyes, and

even upon themselves. Hurd on the Prophepurpose.

cies, p. 434. BEARS. Their sagacity is very great. The Kamtschadales are obliged to them for what little

David Blondel's book is a magazine for the advancement they have hitherto made, either writers against episcopacy. It was drawn in the sciences or the polite arts. From up at the earnest request of the Westminster them they learned the value of simples for Assembly, particularly the Scots. It closed internal use and external application. They with words to this purpose : “By all that acknowledge the bears likewise for their we have said to assert the rights of presbydancing-masters : what they call the bear tery, we do not intend to invalidate the andance is an exact counterpart of every atti- cient and apostolical constitution of episcopal tude and gesture peculiar to this animal, pre-eminence : but we believe that, wherethrough its several functions : and this is the soever it is established conformably to the foundation and ground-work of all their other ancient canons, it must be carefully predances, and what they value themselves most served; and wheresoever, by some heat of upon. King, iii. 308, chap. v.

contention or otherwise, it hath been put down, or violated, it ought to be reverently

restored.” This raised a great clamor, and Bentley is a model for polemical preach the conclusion was suppressed. On the reing, on account of the conciseness, perspi- port getting about, John Blondel, then residcuity, and fairness with which objections are ing in London, wrote to his brother David, stated, and the clear, full, and regular manner who acknowledged that it was true. See Dú in which they are answered.

Moulin's Letter to Durel, at the end of Ben

net on Joint Prayer. BIGOTRY. Arabes artium et literarum omnium adeo

BODY AND SOUL. rudes erant, ut id imprimis curasse putentur, ne prophetam suum illiteratum (uti vulgo The reciprocal influence of these upon audiit Mahommedes) scientiæ superarent. each other is fully and clearly set forth in Spencer de Leg. Hebre. lib. ii. cap. 1, sect. the second volume of a Philosophical Essay 3.—The Arabians were so utterly unskilled on Man. Two inferences are to be drawn

First, that we in arts and sciences of every kind, that from this consideration. they seem to have been anxious, above all should stock the soul with such ideas, sentithings, not to surpass in knowledye their ments, and affections, as have a benign and prophet Mahomed, generally allowed to be salutary influence upon the body. Secondly, illiterate.

that we should keep the body, by temper

BENTLEY.

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