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or principally, for their sake? Is it not a more reasonable character or conclusion which the prophet hath made, Surely every man is vanity? Man that comes into the world at the pleasure of another, and goes out by a hundred accidents; his birth and education generally determine his fate here, and neither of those are in his own power; his wit, also, is as uncertain as his fortune; he hath not the moulding of his own brain, however a knock on the head makes him a fool, stupid as the beasts of the field; and a little excess of passion or melancholy makes him worse, mad and frantic. In his best senses he is shallow, and of little understanding; and in nothing more blind and ignorant than in things sacred and divine; he falls down before a stock or a stone, and says, Thou art my God; he can believe nonsense and contradictions, and make it his religion to do so. And is this the great creature which God hath made by the might of his power, and for the honour of his majesty upon whom all things must wait, to whom all things must be subservient Methinks, we have noted weaknesses and follies enough in the nature of man; this need not be added as the top and accomplishment, that with all these he is so vain as to think that all the rest of the world was made for his sake.

Figuring to himself the waters of the sea dried up, he thus grandly describes the appearance of

[The Dry Bed of the Ocean.]

That vast and prodigious cavity that runs quite round the globe, and reacheth, for ought we know, from pole to pole, and in many places is unsearchably deep when I present this great gulf to my imagination, emptied of all its waters, naked and gaping at the sun, stretching its jaws from one end of the earth to another, it appears to me the most ghastly thing in nature. What hands or instruments could work a trench in the body of the earth of this vastness, and lay mountains and rocks on the side of it, as ramparts to inclose it?



'to vindicate and give antiquity its due praise, and to show that neither were our ancestors dunces, nor was wisdom or true philosophy born with us.' His opinion of the ancient philosophers, however, seems to have been considerably exalted by his finding in their views some traces of his own favourite theory. In this work he gave much offence to the orthodox, by expressing some free opinions concerning the Mosaic account of the creation, the fall of man, and the deluge; he even considered the narrative of the fall to be an allegorical relation, as many of the fathers had anciently taught. In a posthumous work On Christian Faith and Duties, he gives the preference to those parts of Christianity which refer to human conduct over the disputed doctrinal portions. Another posthumous treatise, On the State of the Dead and Reviving, is remarkable as maintaining the finity of hell torments, and the ultimate salvation of the whole human race. It is said that, in consequence of holding these views, Dr Burnet, notwithstanding the patronage of Tillotson, and the favour of King William, was shut out by a combination of his clerical brethren from high ecclesiastical preferment.


The last of the divines of the established church whom we shall mention at present is DR HENRY MORE (1614-1687), a very learned cultivator of the Platonic philosophy. He devoted his life to study and religious meditation at Cambridge, and strenu ously refused to accept preferment in the church, which would have rendered it necessary for him to leave what he called his paradise. The friends of this recluse philosopher once attempted to decoy him into a bishopric, and got him as far as Whitehall, that he might kiss the king's hand on the oc casion; but when told for what purpose they had brought him thither, he refused to move a step farther. Dr More published several works for the promotion of religion and virtue; his moral doctrines But if we should suppose the ocean dry, and that we are admirable, but some of his views are strongly looked down from the top of some high cloud upon the tinged with mysticism, and grounded on a philosophy empty shell, how horridly and barbarously would it which, though considerable attention was paid to it look! And with what amazement should we see it at the time when he lived, has now fallen into geneunder us like an open hell, or a wide bottomless pit!ral neglect as visionary and absurd. He was one of So deep, and hollow, and vast; so broken and confused; so everyway deformed and monstrous. This would effectually awaken our imagination, and make us inquire and wonder how such a thing came in nature; from what causes, by what force or engines, could the earth be torn in this prodigious manner? Did they dig the sea with spades, and carry out the moulds in hand-baskets? Where are the entrails laid? And how did they cleave the rocks asunder? If as many pioneers as the army of Xerxes had been at work ever since the beginning of the world, they could not have made a ditch of this greatness. According to the proportions taken before in the second chapter, the cavity or capacity of the sea-channel will

amount to no less than 4,639,090 cubical miles. Nor is it the greatness only, but that wild and multifarious confusion which we see in the parts and fashion of it, that makes it strange and unaccountable. It is another chaos in its kind; who can paint the scenes of it? Gulfs, and precipices, and cataracts; pits within pits, and rocks under rocks; broken mountains, and ragged islands, that look as if they had been countries pulled up by the roots, and planted in the sea.

those who held the opinion that the wisdom of the Hebrews had descended to Pythagoras, and from him to Plato, in the writings of whom and his followers he believed that the true principles of divine philosophy were consequently to be found. For such theory, it is hardly necessary to remark, there is no good foundation, the account given of Pythagoras's travels into the east being of uncertain authority, and there being no evidence that he had any com munication with the Hebrew prophets. Dr More was an enthusiastic and disinterested inquirer after truth, and is celebrated by his contemporaries as a He once observed to a friend, that he was thought man of uncommon benevolence, purity, and devotion. by some to have a soft head, but he thanked God he the idea that supernatural communications were had a soft heart.' Among his visionary notions was made to him, under the direction of God, by a parti cular genius or demon like that of Socrates; that he was unusually gifted with the power of explaining

* The two works mentioned above were originally published in Latin, under the titles De Fide et Officiis Christianorum, sud Besides his 'Sacred Theory of the Earth,' Burnet lated; though the author, apprehensive of bad consequentes De Statu Mortuorum et Resurgentium. Both have been transwrote a work entitled Archeologia Philosophica, giving from the publication of an English version of the latter, strongly an account of the opinions of the ancients concern-protested, in a note, against its being rendered into the verna ing the nature of things; with the design, as he says, cular tongue.




the prophecies of Scripture; and that, when writing on that subject, he was under the guidance of a special providence. He was, moreover, credulous as to apparitions and witchcraft, but in this differed little from many intelligent and learned contemporaries. His works, though now little read, were extremely popular in the latter half of the seventeenth century. The principal of them are, The Mystery of Godliness, The Mystery of Iniquity, A Discourse on the Immortality of the Soul, Ethical and Metaphysical Manuals, several treatises against atheism and idolatry, and a dull and tedious poem, entitled A Platonic Song of the Soul. The following two stanzas are a favourable specimen of the last-named work :—

[The Soul and Body.]

Like to a light fast lock'd in lanthorn dark,
Whereby by night our wary steps we guide
In slabby streets, and dirty channels mark,
Some weaker rays through the black top do glide,
And flusher streams perhaps from horny side.
But when we've pass'd the peril of the way,
Arriv'd at home, and laid that case aside,
The naked light how clearly doth it ray,

[Nature of the Evidence of the Existence of God.] When I say that I will demonstrate that there is a God, I do not promise that I will always produce such arguments that the reader shall acknowledge so strong, as he shall be forced to confess that it is utterly unpossible that it should be otherwise; but they shall be such as shall deserve full assent, and win full assent from any unprejudiced mind.

For I conceive that we may give full assent to that which, notwithstanding, may possibly be otherwise; which I shall illustrate by several examples :-Supthere viewing a stone in the form of an altar with pose two men got to the top of Mount Athos, and ashes on it, and the footsteps of men on those ashes, or some words, if you will, as Optimo Maximo, or To agnosto Theo, or the like, written or scrawled out upon the ashes; and one of them should cry out, Assuredly here have been some men that have done this. But the other, more nice than wise, should reply, Nay, it may possibly be otherwise; for this stone may have naturally grown into this very shape, and the seeming ashes may be no ashes, that is, no remainders of any fuel burnt there; but some unexplicable and unperceptible motions of the air, or other particles of this

And spread its joyful beams as bright as summer's day. fluid matter that is active everywhere, have wrought

Even so the soul, in this contracted state,
Confin'd to these strait instruments of sense,
More dull and narrowly doth operate;

At this hole hears, the sight must ray from thence,
Ilere tastes, there smells: but when she's gone from

Like naked lamp she is one shining sphere,
And round about has perfect cognoscence
Whate'er in her horizon doth appear:
She is one orb of sense, all eye, all airy ear.

Of the prose composition of Dr More, the subjoined extracts, the first from his 'Mystery of Godliness,' and the second from 'An Antidote against Atheism,' will serve as specimens

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[Derout Contemplation of the Works of God.] Whether, therefore, our eyes be struck with that more radiant lustre of the sun, or whether we behold that more placid and calm beauty of the moon, or be refreshed with the sweet breathings of the open air, or be taken up with the contemplation of those pure sparkling lights of the stars, or stand astonished at the gushing downfalls of some mighty river, as that of Nile, or admire the height of some insuperable and inaccessible rock or mountain; or with a pleasant horror and chillness look upon some silent wood, or solemn shady grove; whether the face of heaven smile upon us with a cheerful bright azure, or look upon us with a more sad and minacious countenance, dark pitchy clouds being charged with thunder and lightning to let fly against the earth; whether the air be cool, fresh, and healthful; or whether it be sultry, contagious, and pestilential, so that, while we gasp for life, we are forced to draw in a sudden and inevitable death; whether the earth stand firm, and prove favourable to the industry of the artificer; or whether she threaten the very foundations of our buildings with trembling and tottering earthquakes, accompanied with remugient echoes and ghastly murmurs from below; whatever notable emergencies happen for either good or bad to us, these are the Joves and Vejoves that we worship, which to us are not many, but one God, who has the only power to save or destroy. And therefore, from whatever part of this magnificent temple of his-the world-he shall send forth his voice, our hearts and eyes are presently directed thitherward with fear, love, and veneration.


some parts of the matter into the form and nature of
ashes, and have fridged and played about so, that they
have also figured those intelligible characters in the
But would not anybody deem it a piece of
weakness, no less than dotage, for the other man one
fully as ever to agree with what he pronounced first,
whit to recede from his former apprehension, but as
notwithstanding this bare possibility of being other-


So of anchors that have been digged up, either in
plain fields or mountainous places, as also the Roman
urns with ashes and inscriptions, as Severianus Ful.
Linus, and the like, or Roman coins with the effigies
and names of the Caesars on them, or that which is more
ordinary, the skulls of men in every churchyard, with
the right figure, and all those necessary perforations for
the passing of the vessels, besides those conspicuous
hollows for the eyes and rows of teeth, the os styloeides,
ethoeides, and what not. If a man will say of them,
some hidden spermatic power, has gendered these, both
that the motions of the particles of the matter, or
anchors, urns, coins, and skulls, in the ground, he doth
but pronounce that which human reason must admit
is possible. Nor can any man ever so demonstrate
that those coins, anchors, and urns, were once the
artifice of men, or that this or that skull was once a
part of a living man, that he shall force an acknow-
ledgment that it is impossible that it should be other-
wise. But yet I do not think that any man, without
doing manifest violence to his faculties, can at all
suspend his assent, but freely and fully agree that
this or that skull was once a part of a living man,
once made by human artifice, notwithstanding the
and that these anchors, urns, and coins, were certainly
possibility of being otherwise.

And what I have said of assent is also true in dis-
sent; for the mind of man, not crazed nor prejudiced,
will fully and irreconcilably disagree, by its own
natural sagacity, where, notwithstanding, the thing
that it doth thus resolvedly and undoubtedly reject,
no wit of man can prove impossible to be true. As
if we should make such a fiction as this-that Archi-
medes, with the same individual body that he had
when the soldiers slew him, is now safely intent upon
his geometrical figures under ground, at the centre
of the earth, far from the noise and din of this world,
that might disturb his meditations, or distract him
in his curious delineations he makes with his rod upon
Yet if any man does not as irreconcilably dissent from
the dust; which no man living can prove impossible.


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such a fable as this, as from any falsehood imaginable, assuredly that man is next door to madness or dotage, or does enormous violence to the free use of his faculties.

During the same period, some writers of eminence appeared among those bodies of Protestant Christians who did not conform to the rules of the established church. The most celebrated of these are Baxter, Owen, Calamy, Flavel, Fox, Barclay, Penn, and Bunyan.


RICHARD BAXTER (1615-1691) is generally esteemed the most eminent of the nonconformist

Richard Baxter.

divines of this period. His first employment was that of master of the free school at Dudley, in which town he afterwards became distinguished as a preacher, first in connexion with the established church, and subsequently as a dissenting minister. His labours there are said to have been of marked utility in improving the moral character of the inhabitants, and increasing their respect for religion. Though he sided with parliament during the civil war, he was a zealous advocate of order and regular government both in church and state. When Cromwell usurped the supreme power, Baxter openly expressed his disapprobation, and, in a conference with the Protector, plainly told him that the people of England considered monarchy a blessing, the loss of which they deplored. After the Restoration, he was appointed one of the royal chaplains, but, like Dr Owen, refused a bishopric offered him by Lord Clarendon. During the persecution of the nonconformists, he was occasionally much molested in the performance of his ministerial duties; in 1685, he was, on frivolous grounds, condemned by the infamous Jeffreys for sedition, but by the king's favour obtained a release from the heavy fine imposed upon him on this occasion. Baxter, who was a man of enlarged and liberal views, refrained from joining any of those sects into which the dissenters were split; and he was in consequence generally regarded with suspicion and dislike by the more narrow-minded of them. His character was of course exposed to much obloquy in his lifetime, but is now impartially judged of, posterity having agreed to look upon him as ardently

devoted to the cause of piety and good morals, esteeming worth in whatever denomination it was found; and one who, to simplicity of manners, added much sagacity as an observer of human affairs. By many even of his contemporaries his merits were amply acknowledged; and among his friends and admirers he had the honour to reckon Dr Barrow, Bishop Wilkins, and Sir Matthew Hale. Baxter engaged in many controversies, chiefly against the principles of the Antinomians; but his writings on other subjects are likewise numerous. The remark of one of his biographers, that the works of this industrious author are sufficient to form a library of themselves, is hardly overcharged, for not fewer than one hundred and sixty-eight publications are named in the catalogue of his works. Their contents, which include bodies of practical and theoretical divinity, are of course very various; none of them are now much read, except the practical pieces, espeIcially those entitled The Saint's Everlasting Rest, and A Call to the Unconverted. The latter was so popular when published, that 20,000 copies are said to have been sold in a single year. His work entitled The Certainty of the World of Spirits fully evinced by unquestionable Histories of Apparitions and Witchcrafts, Operations, Voices, &c., is interesting to the curious. Baxter wrote a candid, liberal, and rational Narrative of the most Memorable Passages of his Life and Times, which appeared in 1696, a few years after his death. It is highly instructive, and, like Baxter's writings generally, was a favourite book of Dr Johnson. Our character of this production will be fully borne out by the following extracts:


[Fruits of Experience of Human Character.]

I now see more good and more evil in all men than heretofore I did. I see that good men are not so good as I once thought they were, but have more imperfec tions; and that nearer approach and fuller trial doth make the best appear more weak and faulty than their admirers at a distance think. And I find that few are so bad as either malicious enemies or censorious separating professors do imagine. In some, indeed, I find that human nature is corrupted into a greater likeness to devils than I once thought any on earth had been. But even in the wicked, usually there is more for grace to make advantage of, and more to testify for God and holiness, than I once believed there had been.

I less admire gifts of utterance, and bare profession of religion, than I once did; and have much more charity for many who, by the want of gifts, do make an obscurer profession than they. I once thought that talk well of religion, had been saints. But experi almost all that could pray movingly and fluently, and sist with high profession; and I have met with divers ence hath opened to me what odious crimes may conobscure persons, not noted for any extraordinary profession, or forwardness in religion, but only to live a quiet blameless life, whom I have after found to have long lived, as far as I could discern, a truly godly and sanctified life; only, their prayers and duties were by accident kept secret from other men's observation. Yet he that upon this pretence would confound the godly and the ungodly, may as well go about to lay heaven and hell together.

[Baxter's Judgment of his Writings.] Concerning almost all my writings, I must confess that my own judgment is, that fewer, well studied and polished, had been better; but the reader who can

*See note, page 425.



safely censure the books, is not fit to censure the author, unless he had been upon the place, and acquainted with all the occasions and circumstances. Indeed, for the Saint's Rest,' I had four months' vacancy to write it, but in the midst of continual languishing and medicine; but, for the rest, I wrote them in the crowd of all my other employments, which would allow me no great leisure for polishing and exactness, or any ornament; so that I scarce ever wrote one sheet twice over, nor stayed to make any blots or interlinings, but was fain to let it go as it was first conceived; and when my own desire was rather to stay upon one thing long than run over many, some sudden occasions or other extorted almost all my writings from me; and the apprehensions of present usefulness or necessity prevailed against all other motives; so that the divines which were at hand with me still put me on, and approved of what I did, because they were moved by present necessities as well as I; but those that were far off, and felt not those nearer motives, did rather wish that I had taken the other way, and published a few elaborate writings; and I am ready myself to be of their mind, when I forgot the case that I then stood in, and have lost the sense of former motives.


And this token of my weakness so accompanied those my younger studies, that I was very apt to start up controversies in the way of my practical writings, and also more desirous to acquaint the world with all that I took to be the truth, and to assault those books by name which I thought did tend to deceive them, and did contain unsound and dangerous doctrine; and the reason of all this was, that I was then in the vigour of my youthful apprehensions, and the new appearance of any sacred truth, it was more apt to affect me, and be more highly valued, than afterwards, when commonness had dulled my delight; and I did not sufficiently discern then how much, in most of our controversies, is verbal, and upon mutual mistakes. And withal, I knew not how impatient divines were of being contradicted, nor how it would stir up all their powers to defend what they have once said, and to rise up against the truth which is thus thrust upon them, as the mortal enemy of their honour and I knew not how hardly men's minds are changed from their former apprehensions, be the evidence never so plain. And I have perceived that nothing so much hinders the reception of the truth as urging it on men with too harsh importunity, and falling too heavily on their errors; for hereby you engage their honour in the business, and they defend their errors as themselves, and stir up all their wit and ability to oppose


In controversies, it is fierce opposition which is the bellows to kindle a resisting zeal; when, if they be neglected, and their opinions lie awhile despised, they usually cool, and come again to themselves. Men are so loath to be drenched with the truth, that I am no more for going that way to work; and, to confess the truth, I am lately much prone to the contrary extreme, to be too indifferent what men hold, and to keep my judgment to myself, and never to mention anything wherein I differ from another on anything which I think I know more than he; or, at least, if he receive it not presently, to silence it, and leave him to his own opinion; and I find this effect is mixed according to its causes, which are some good and some bad. The bad causes are, 1. An impatience of men's weakness, and mistaking forwardness, and self-conceitedness. 2. An abatement of my sensible esteem of truths, through the long abode of them on my mind. Though my judgment value them, yet it is hard to be equally affected with old and common things, as with new and rare ones. The better causes are, 1. That I am much more sensible than ever of the necessity of living upon the principles of religion which we are all agreed in, and uniting in these; and how much mis

chief men that overvalue their own opinions have done
by their controversies in the church; how some have
destroyed charity, and some caused schisms by them,
and most have hindered godliness in themselves and
others, and used them to divert men from the serious
prosecuting of a holy life; and, as Sir Francis Bacon
saith in his Essay of Peace, that it is one great bene-
fit of church peace and concord, that writing contro-
versies is turned into books of practical devotion for
increase of piety and virtue.' 2. And I find that it
is much more for most men's good and edification, to
converse with them only in that way of godliness
which all are agreed in, and not by touching upon dif-
ferences to stir up their corruptions, and to tell them
of little more of your knowledge than what you find
them willing to receive from you as mere learners;
We mistake men's diseases when we think
and therefore to stay till they crave information of
there needeth nothing to cure their errors, but only to
bring them the evidence of truth. Alas! there are
many distempers of mind to be removed before men
are apt to receive that evidence. And, therefore, that
church is happy where order is kept up, and the abi-
from the hearers, and where all are in Christ's school,
lities of the ministers command a reverend submission
a learning way men are ready to receive the truth,
in the distinct ranks of teachers and learners; for in
but in a disputing way, they come armed against it
with prejudice and animosity.

[Desire of Approbation.]

I am much less regardful of the approbation of man, I am oft suspicious that this is not and set much lighter by contempt or applause, than I did long ago. only from the increase of self-denial and humility, but partly from my being glutted and surfeited with human applause: and all worldly things appear most But though I feel that this hath some hand in vain and unsatisfactory, when we have tried them most. the effect, yet, as far as I can perceive, the knowledge of man's nothingness, and God's transcendent greatsense of the brevity of human things, and the ncarness ness, with whom it is that I have most to do, and the of eternity, are the principal causes of this effect; which some have imputed to self-conceitedness and morosity.

Knowledge.] [Change in Baxter's Estimate of his Own and other Men's

Heretofore I knew much less than now, and yet was not half so much acquainted with my ignorance. I had a great delight in the daily new discoveries which I made, and of the light which shined in upon me (like a man that cometh into a country where he never was before); but I little knew either how imperso much delighted me, nor how much might be said fectly I understood those very points whose discovery to: but now I find far greater darkness upon all things, against them, nor how many things I was yet a stranger and perceive how very little it is that we know, in comparison of that which we are ignorant of, and have far meaner thoughts of my own understanding, though I must needs know that it is better furnished than it

was then.

Accordingly, I had then a far higher opinion of learned persons and books than I have now; for what I wanted myself, I thought every reverend divine had attained and was familiarly acquainted with; and ness of the terms or matter, I the more admired, and what books I understood not, by reason of the strangethought that others understood their worth. But now experience hath constrained me against my will to know, that reverend learned men are imperfect, and know but little as well as I, especially those that think themselves the wisest ; and the better I am ac


quainted with them, the more I perceive that we are seduced ones believe them all, in despite of truth and all yet in the dark and the more I am acquainted charity; so in this age there have been such things with holy men, that are all for heaven, and pre-written against parties and persons, whom the writers tend not much to subtilties, the more I value and design to make odious, so notoriously false, as you honour them. And when I have studied hard to un- would think, that the sense of their honour, at least, derstand some abstruse admired book (as De Scientia should have made it impossible for such men to write. Dei, De Providentia circa Malum, De Decretis, De Pra- My own eyes have read such words and actions asdeterminatione, De Libertate Creaturæ,* &c.), I have but serted with most vehement, iterated, unblushing conattained the knowledge of human imperfection, and to fidence, which abundance of ear-witnesses, even of see that the author is but a man as well as I. their own parties, must needs know to have been altogether false: and therefore having myself now written this history of myself, notwithstanding my protestation that I have not in anything wilfully gone against the truth, I expect no more credit from the reader than the self-evidencing light of the matter, with concurrent rational advantages from persons, and things, and other witnesses, shall constrain him to, if he be a person that is unacquainted with the author himself, and the other evidences of his veracity and credibility.

And at first I took more upon my author's credit than now I can do; and when an author was highly commended to me by others, or pleased me in some part, I was ready to entertain the whole; whereas now I take and leave in the same author, and dissent in some things from him that I like best, as well as from others.

【On the Credit due to History.]

I am much more cautelous in my belief of history than heretofore; not that I run into their extreme, that will believe nothing because they cannot believe all things But I am abundantly satisfied by the experience of this so, that there is no believing two sorts of men, ay gödly men and partial men; though an honest heathờn, of no religion, may be believed, where em tyagy est religion basseth him not; yet a debauchel Christian, besides his enmity to the power and practice of Bis own religion, is seldom without some fürther diss of interest, or faction; especially when these conect, and a man is both ungodly and ambetzak, espousing an interest contrary to a holy Avarvely 18, and wise factious, embodying himself With a Meet OP TAty suited to his sport and designs; there is to be seeing his word or oath. If you read ATY MAY TATALx bitter against others, as à fering from, or as cross to his greatness, inBennet, at dicens, take heed how you believe any more thar the historical evidence, distinct from his word, everpellath you to believe. The prodigious lies which have been published in this age in matters of fact, with anblushing confidence, even where thousands or maltitudes of eye and ear-witnesses knew all to be face, doth call men to take heed what history they believe, especially where power and violence affordeth that privilege to the reporter, that no man dare answer him, or detect his fraud; or if they do, their writings are all supprest. As long as men have liberty to examine and contradict one another, one may partly conjecture, by comparing their words, on which side the truth is like to lie. But when great men write history, or flatterers by their appointment, which no man dare contradict, believe it but as you are constrained. Yet, in these cases, I can freely believe history: 1. If the person show that he is acquainted with what he saith. 2. And if he show you the evidences of honesty and conscience, and the fear of God (which may be much perceived in the spirit of a writing). 3. If he appear to be impartial and charitable, and a lover of goodness and of mankind, and not possessed of malignity, or personal ill-will and malice, nor carried away by faction or personal interest. Conscionable men dare not lie: but faction and interest abate men's tenderness of conscience. And a charitable impartial heathen may speak truth in a love to truth, and hatred of a lie; but ambitious malice and false religion will not stick to serve themselves on any thing. *Sure I am, that as the lies of the Papists, of Luther, Zwinglius, Calvin, and Beza, are visibly malicious and impudent, by the common plenary contradicting evidence, and yet the multitude of their

*These Latin titles of books signify, Of the Knowledge of God, Of Providence concerning Evil, Of Decrees, Of Predestination, of the Liberty of the Creature.

[Character of Sir Matthew Hale.]

He was a man of no quick utterance, but spake with great reason. He was most precisely just; insomuch that, I believe, he would have lost all he had in the world rather than do an unjust act. Patient in hearing the most tedious speech which any man had to make for himself. The pillar of justice, the refuge of the subject who feared oppression, and one of the greatest honours of his majesty's government; for, with some other upright judges, he upheld the honour of the English nation, that it fell not into the reproach of arbitrariness, cruelty, and utter confusion. Every man that had a just cause, was almost past fear if he could but bring it to the court or assize where he was judge; for the other judges seldom contradicted him.

He was the great instrument for rebuilding London; for when an act was made for deciding all controver sies that hindered it, he was the constant judge, who for nothing followed the work, and, by his prudence and justice, removed a multitude of great impediments.

His great advantage for innocency was, that he was no lover of riches or of grandeur. His garb was too plain; he studiously avoided all unnecessary famili arity with great persons, and all that manner of living which signifieth wealth and greatness. He kept no greater a family than myself. I lived in a small house, which, for a pleasant back opening, he had a mind to; but caused a stranger, that he might not be suspected to be the man, to know of me whether I were willing to part with it, before he would meddle with it. In that house he lived contentedly, without any pomp, and without costly or troublesome retinue or visitors; but not without charity to the poor. He continued the study of physics and mathematics still, as his great delight. He hath himself written four volumes in folio, three of which I have read, against atheism, Sadduceism, and infidelity, to prove first the Deity, and then the immortality of man's soul, and then the truth of Christianity and the Holy Scrip ture, answering the infidel's objections against Scripture. It is strong and masculine, only too tedious for impatient readers. He said he wrote it only at vacant hours in his circuits, to regulate his meditations, finding, that while he wrote down what he thought on, his thoughts were the easier kept close to work, and kept in a method. But I could not persuade him to publish them.

The conference which I had frequently with him, mostly about the immortality of the soul, and other philosophical and foundation points, was so edifying, that his very questions and objections did help me to more light than other men's solutions. Those who take none for religious who frequent not private meet

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