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reasons, I chuse rather to follow my text, and to give them an advice, of which I am sure they greatly stand in need; and that is, that they would be cautious not to run into the extreme, of undervaluing and reviling their teachers and governors.
Say not thou, fays Solomon, What is the cause obat the former days were better than these? For thou doft not inquire wisely concerning this. There is room to conjecture that Solomon spake this feelingly, and for particular reasons. There were probably in his time perverse men in Israel, who shook their foolish heads, and regretted the old days; and observed that the reign of his father David was preferable to his; and that it was better with the nation under Saul, than under the new family. Such judgments he condemns, as proceeding from malicious spleen, and senseless prejudice. To bring the matter bome to ourselves, One who were to consider the thing impartially, and found in himself. no disposition to flatter, or to rail, or to repine, would probably be of opinion that the world goes on, as the sun shines, much as it did before we were born, and that we are no worse than our progenitors : for as to public calamities, which human prudence cannot foresee, or, foreseeing, cannot prevent, it is very unreasonable to lay them to the charge of the government; and the civil Magistrate might justly say, as the king of Israel did, Am I God, to kill and to make alive ? - where
fore confider, I pray you, and see, how they seek a quarrel against me. *
One thing, only, give me leave to add, for I cannot decently stifle it, in favour of our own times; namely, that Learning,--learning, which has made a man pass for a Magician, for a Heretic, and for a Fool, and has been often observed to be a symptom of poverty,ếis no disqualification or impediment, but rather a credit and a recommendation. It has some friends and favourers, even amongst the great; and it has no enemy except Envy, which pilfers and purloins a small matter from an established character; a moderate tax upon superior abilities, and a loss which is scarcely felt.
It would be an unpardonable omission in one who has had a liberal education, not to lay hold of this occasion, and proceed to say something in behalf of Literature. We, who cannot reward it, ought at least to recommend it to those who can; and exhort and admonish them, that they would cherish and protect it, even for their own sake. We are naturally disposed to seek and to value reputation; Reputation and praise are a recompense, which our Saviour himself with his own sacred mouth conferred upon a generous action: Wherefoever, says he, this Gospel shall be preached in the
* i Kings, v. 7. -Am I God, to kill and ta make alive, that this man doth fend unto me, to recover a man of his leprosy? said the king of Ifrael. Our sovereign likewise pretends not to cure the leprosy; and yet is a rightful king, and a good ruler for all that.
whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. There is no furer way for great men to obtain it, than by patronising letters, arts, and sciences; for these are always grateful, and both willing and able to transmit the names of their friends to the latest generations. They who are not to be moved by these motives, may hope for reputation ; but they will reap as they low; and never be * praised, except by hangers-on of their own stamp and capacity, or by dedicators, whose works usually die before them, and who certainly will have no interest with posterity.
Excluded, on one account or other, from every obvious topic, and scarce knowing which way to turn, and how to proceed,- I resolved to look back to times past, and to recollect, what old annals and the voice of the public had formerly declared concerning worthy Prelates. This had a promising aspect, and seemed to open the way to inodeft, inoffensive, and instructive description. Here allo was a plentiful variety of materials, -- of every
May it happen to such, according to the prognostic of the Greek Muse: Κατθανοισα δε κασεαι,
quality that constitutes a great and a good man. Here were to be found diligence, patience, activity, candour, and integrity: here was religion without formality, liberality without ostentation, seriousness without moroseness, and cheerfulness without levity: here was gentleness to others, and selfseverity: here was useful learning, and a love of those who loved and pursued it, and a care to confer favours upon those who deserved them : here was a contempt and dislike for detracting fycophants, and fawning parasites : here was affability to inferiors: here were other bright virtues, and endearing accomplishments, which shall not be recounted; for there is already reason to fear that justice has not been done to the dignity of the subject. May the
great Author of every good gift enable us, each in our several stations, to act an honest and prudent part ; 'till we arrive at the mansions, where all earthly distinctions cease, and give place to those which are made by piety and virtue: where we shall meet with innumerable beings, better, and greater, and wiser than ourselves ; where, as none will be unhappy and discontented, there, may be room for pious Emulation, but not for Jealousy and Envy; and where all, how different soever in glory, will be united by love, and charity, and friendship, and gratitude, and condescension, and çsteem !
From the Appendix to Dr. Birch's Life of TILLOTSON,
Second Edition. Page 426. Number III,
Tuis Sermon hath been attacked by Cavillers at home and abroad, and defended by LE CLERC, in the Bibliotheque Choisie.
“ The poet feigns of 'Achilles, that by some charm, or gift of the Gods, he was invulnerable, except in the heel, &c. The wise poet instructing