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OTHER WRITERS ON RELIGIOUS SUBJECTS.
his courage, for, on one occasion, when returning from the East, he exhibited great bravery in a fight with an Algerian pirate. At Cambridge he distinguished himself as a student, and ere long became successively Professor of Greek, of Geometry, of Mathematics, Master of Trinity, College, and finally Vice-Chancellor of his native University. His knowledge was very extensive. He was well acquainted with the ancient languages, knew mathematics thoroughly, and was deeply read in all branches of science. It is said, indeed, that had there been no Newton (who was himself a pupil of Barrow's), he would have been considered the best mathematician of his time. The later years of his life he devoted to the Church, and preached those Sermons which have made his name famous in literature. They were written with the greatest care, are remarkable for their fulness of thought, and were considered by Lord Chatham to be among the finest examples of eloquence in the English language.
CHARITY. “Is any man disappointed of his hopes or endeavours? Charity crieth out, alas! as if it were itself defeated. Is any man afflicted with pain or sickness? Charity looketh sadly, it sigheth and groaneth, it fainteth and languisheth with him. Is any man pinched with hard want? Charity, if it cannot succour, it will condole. Doth ill news arrive? Charity doth hear it with an unwilling ear and a sad heart, although not particularly concerned in it. The sight of a wreck at sea, of a field spread with carcases, of a country desolated, of houses burned and cities ruined, and of the like calamities incident to mankind, would touch the bowels of any man; but the very report of them would affect the heart of charity.”-Sermons.
Other Writers on Religious Subjects. The best of these were John TILLOTSON, Archbishop of Canterbury, a famous preacher, whose Sermons, if not always elegant, are never wanting in earnestness; DR. ROBERT SOUTH also wrote Sermons which were the delight of the Second Charles and his court, because they upheld the absolutism of the Stuarts, and lashed with unsparing satire the peculiarities of the Dissenters; and EDWARD STILLINGFLEET, chiefly distinguished as a controversialist.
PHILOSOPHERS. JOHN LOCKE (6. 1632, d. 1704) was a native of Somersetshire, who was educated at Oxford, and devoted himself to the study of medicine; but his weak health prevented his becoming a physician by profession. His medical skill, however, is said to have secured him the friendship of Lord Ashley, afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury, whom he followed into exile in Holland, where he remained for six years, and returned to England in 1688. His noble friend found him an excellent situation, which his feeble health did not allow him to keep. He was intimate with the most distinguished men of England and of France, and Sir Francis Masham offered him a home in the family mansion in Essex, where he died at the age of seventy-two. While yet a student at Oxford he was discontented with the old system of philosophy-just as Bacon had been before him—and studied carefully that new system which Bacon had substituted for it. This New Philosophy had been till now applied to the physical or material world alone. Locke applied it to the mind. His views are explained in his Essay Concerning the Human Understanding—a work on which he had been at work for eighteen years. Its style is clear and, although dealing with an abstruse subject, is easily understood.
NEW DOCTRINES. “The imputation of novelty is a terrible charge amongst those who judge of men's heads, as they do of their perukes, by the fashion, and can allow none to be right but the received doctrines. Truth scarce ever yet carried it by vote anywhere at its first appearance: new opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. But truth, like gold, is not the less so for being newly brought out of the mine. It is trial and examina. tion must give it price, and not any antique fashion; and, though it be not yet current by the public stamp, yet it may, for all that, be as old as nature, and is certainly not the less genuine.”—Essay on the Human Understanding.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON—(6. 1642, d. 1727)—was born at Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire. His father was a farmer,
From his earliest years he was fond of constructing mechanical toys, such as windmills and waterclocks. At Cambridge he made rapid progress; and, in 1669, was appointed Dr. Barrow's successor as Professor of Mathematics. Now it was that he discovered in nature the grand law of gravitation; and with this discovery his name will always be associated. He was elected a Member, and by and bye appointed President, of the Royal Society. In 1688 he became a Member of Parliament; and, in 1705, received the honour of knighthood from Queen Anne. He died in 1727, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. Newton is celebrated chiefly for his scientific works, the principal of which are the Philosophic Naturalis, Principia Mathematica, and his treatise on Optics.
Other Writers on Philosophy. Among the authors eminent in this department of learning were the Hon. ROBERT BOYLE, who showed the connection between religion and philosophy; and Dr. RALPH CUDWORTH, who wrote against many of the teachings of Hobbes.
HISTORIANS. CLARENDON (6. 1608, d. 1674). Edward Hyde was a distinguished royalist, who wrote the history of the Civil War. He was the friend and adviser of Prince Charles in his exile, and at the Restoration was rewarded with the title of Earl of Clarendon, and made Lord Chancellor of England. But after a while, Charles preferred his own way of thinking and acting, and thus the advice of his old friend was not only disregarded, but became utterly unbearable. The people, too, had taken a dislike to him. They were displeased to see him acquiring such wealth, and when they found that he the son of a country gentleman-had presumed to marry his daughter to James, Duke of York, the king's own brother. But they were enraged beyond all measure when they heard that Clarendon had had some share in the selling of Dunkirk to the French King.
Charles, who was the principal culprit himself, allowed a charge of high treason to be brought against the Chancellor, who had to flee to France, where he died in 1674. His only great work is his History of the Rebellion, which is very interesting, because it comes from the pen of a man who actually took part in the events he describes. But he was a partial historian—not because he wrote much that was untrue regarding the side opposed to his own, but because he left unwritten that which an impartial historian would certainly have recorded. His History is defective in style; but it is full of well drawn character portraits of the men who were conspicuous at the time of which he writes. Some of them, however, such as those of Charles I. and Cromwell, are drawn with a very partial pen.
CHARACTER OF CHARLES I. “He was the worthiest gentleman, the best master, the best friend, the best husband, the best father, and the best Christian that the age in which he lived produced. And if he were not the greatest king, if he were without some parts and qualities which have made some kings great and happy, no other prince was ever unhappy who was possessed of half his virtues and endowments, and so much without any kind of vice.”
CHARACTER OF CROMWELL. “He was guilty of many crimes against which damnation is denounced, and for which hell fire is prepared, though he had some good qualities which have caused the memory of some men in all ages to be celebrated; and he will be looked upon by posterity as a brave, wicked man.”-History of the Rebellion.
GILBERT BURNET (b. 1643, d. 1715) was at one time Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow, but afterwards went to London, where he became popular as a preacher and as author of a history of the Reformation. Charles II. liked Burnet very well for a while; but when that clergyman took him to task for his vices he turned his back upon him. When James II. became king, Burnet thought it advisable to retire to Holland, and was one of those who were instrumental in bringing William of Orange to England. With this Prince he
JOHN EVELYN AND SAMUEL PEPYS.
returned from his exile, and was made Bishop of Salisbury. He died in 1715. Besides his History of the Reformation, he wrote a book called The History of My Own Times, a posthumous work. It is written in a natural and interesting style, and contains an account of the important events with which he himself was so closely connected.
WILLIAM III. “Thus lived and died William III., King of Great Britain, and Prince of Orange. He had a thin and weak body, was brown-haired, and of clear and delicate constitution. He had a Roman eagle nose, bright and sparkling eyes, a large front, and a countenance composed to gravity and authority. All his senses were critical and exquisite. He was always asthmatical; and the dregs of the small-pox falling on his lungs, he had a constant deep cough. His behaviour was solemn and serious, seldom cheerful, and but with a few. He spoke little and very slowly, and most commonly with a disgusting dryness, which was his character at all times, except in a day of battle; for then he was all fire, though without passion; he was then everywhere, and looked to everything.”—History of My Own Times.
Other Historians.—JOHN EVELYN and SAMUEL PEPYS, though they did not write histories properly so-called, contributed a great deal of interesting information of a historical nature in the Diaries which they wrote.
POETS OF THE “ AUGUSTAN” AGE.
FROM 1702 TILL 1750.
Characteristics of the Period. POETS_Pope--Young-Thomson
-CollinsGray-Other Poets. DRAMATISTS—Gay-Other
Dramatists. THE period embraced by the reigns of Queen Anne, George I., and George II, is known as the "Augustan" Age of English Literature, because the number of great authors whose writings were distinguished for refinement and