Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

friends, certainly not such friends as yourself, whom I have known so long, and from whose correspondence I have received both pleasure and profit.

The master of Benet* made me a visit this summer;' and I was extremely pleased to hear him speak with uncommon regard of your son; he does not speak lightly, and never insincerely.

We have had and still enjoy the finest season imaginable, which, with other reasons, would des tain me longer here, but I am thinking of London, for the voice and countenance of every individual friend will at present have its use in the support of the king's government. Through the feeble help of treacherous allies, our neighbour-king is certainly too much for ns; and, I think, we have nothing to do but to practise Phocion's policy, who advised his countrymen not to quarrel with Alexander, till they found they could beat him. I wish some of our great men could practise another piece of his policy, which was, to divert the arms of that grand monarque. But Phocion is a name of bad omen. He lived when the Grecian state was expiring.

Rutherforth's antagonist is a ladyt, the wife of a clergyman in Northumberland; I cannot recollect her name. I am, dear sir, your affectionate friend, &c.

• Mr. Castle.

+ Mrs. Cockburn. Her works were alterwards published by Dr. Bircb. The pamphlet to which the archbishop bere. alludes, is entitled, “ Remarks on the Principles aud Reasonings of Dr. Rutherforth’s Essay on the Nature and Obligation of Virtue."

LETTER XXXVIII.

ARCHBISHOP HERRING TO THE REV. DR. BENSON.

REV. SIR,

Kensington, Feb. 2, 1747-8. I CANNOT satisfy myself with having sent a cold and common answer of thanks, for your volume of most excellent and useful sermons. I do it in this manner with great esteem and cordiality. I thank you, at the same time, as becomes me to do, for your very obliging good wishes. The subject on which my friends congratulate me, is, in truth, matter of constant anxiety to me. I hope I have an honest intention, and, for the rest, I must rely on the good grace of God, and the coun. sel and assistance of my friends.

I think it happy, that I am called up to this high station, at a time when spite, and rancour, and narrowness of spirit are out of countenance; when we breathe the benign and comfortable air of liberty and toleration; and the teachers of our common religion make it their business to extend its essential influence, and join in supporting its true interest and honour. No times ever called more loudly upon Protestants for zeal, and unity, and charity. I am, reverend sir, your assured friend.

LETTER XXXIX.

ARCHBISHOP HERRING TO WILLIAM DUNCOMBE,

ESQ.

DEAR SIR,

Croydon-house, Jan. 25, 1756. I THANK you for your entertainment of the 13th instant, and return you most heartily my best wishes for every thing to you, which is truly estimable. Your judgment is right. Whitfield is Daniel Burgess redividus; and, to be sure, he finds his account in his joco-serious addresses. The other author*, in my opinion, with good parts and learning, is a most dark and saturnine creature. His pictures may frighten weak people, that, at the same time, are wicked; but, I fear, he will make few converts, except for a day. I have read his “ Serious Thoughtst," but, for my own part, I think the rising and setting of the sun

• Mr. John Wesley.

+ « On the Earthquakes at Lisbon.” If what the author had advanced in his pamphlet had been true, the earth, by the return of“ the great comet," (as he calls it) in 1758, would have been set on fire, and burned to a coal; as he affirmed that the comet, in this revolution, would move not only in the same line, but in the same part of the line, in which the earth moves. This strange mistake arose from Mr. Wesley's confounding the comet of 1089, whose period is 75 years, with that of 1680, whose period is 575 years, and applying, totiden verbis, what Dr. Halley says of the latter, which will not appear till 2255, and whose trajectory will coincide with the earth's orbit, to the former, which did appear in 1758, but never approached nearer 10 the body of the earth than four millions of miles.

is a more durable argument for religion than all the extraordinary convulsions of nature put together. Let a man be good on right principles, and then, imparidum ferient ruinæ ; so far, Horace was as good a preacher as any of us. For myself, I own I have no constitution for these frights and fervours; and, if I can but keep up to the regular practice of a Christian life, upon Christian reasons, I shall be in no pain for futurity; nor do I think it an essential part of religion, to be pointed at for any foolish singularities.

The subjects you mention, of the methodist preaching, are excellent in the hands of wise men (not euthusiasts). Religion, for the practice of the world, must be plain and intelligible to the lowest understanding. This is self-evident; and the Gospel itself assures us, that “ the love of God is keeping his commandments :" and what need we farther evidence? As to their notion, that men are by nature devils, I can call it by no other name than wicked and blasphemous, and the highest reproach that man can throw upon his wise and good Creator. I am, dear sir, your assured friend,

LETTER XL.

ARCHBISHOP HERRING TO WILLIAM DUNCOMBE,

ESQ.

DEAR SIR,

Croydon-house, June 22, 1756. You may be sure, if I had been in any good condition of health or spirits, you would not have been

so long without thanks for your last kind letter. I continue extremely out of order; I think it a confirmed dropsy; and though I am sure Dr. Wilmot has done all that art and friendship can do for me, I rather lose ground. I have now been near half a year in this dismal way, worse than the acutest pain, because of its duration : and every thing I take feeds the distemper, at the same time it prolongs life; for

“ Ready of the port t obtain,

I'm shipwreck'd into life again.” I know who sent me hither, and how much it is my duty to attend his summons for a removal; but life is over with me, and I sometimes, in my airings, repeat two pretty lines of Parnell,

“ But what are fields, or flow'rs, or air to me?
Ab! tasteless all, if nut enjoyed with thee,

O Health !”
I ain, dear sir, your, &c.

LETTER XLI.

FRANCES COUNTESS OF HERTFORD, AFTERWARDS

DUCHESS OF SOMERSET*, TO DR. ISAAC WATTS,

SIR,

Grosvenor-street, Feb. 23, 1729-30. I COULD not have been so long without making any acknowledgments for the favour of your excel.

* This lady was the daughter of the boyourable Mr. l'hynde, brotber to the lord visconot Weymouth. She inarried Algernon, earl of Hertford, son of Charles Seymour, duke of Somer,

« НазадПродовжити »