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comfort with you, as you never thought the Word contained for you; therefore no marvel if the tempter do trouble you when you should hear, as the fowls cumbered Abraham when he should offer sacrifice. For be ye well assured that this is an unfallible ?ijjn that some excellent and notable good is toward you, when the Devil is so busy lo hinder your hearing of the Word, which of all other things he doth most envy unto you: therefore as he pointed Adam to another tree lest he should go to the Tree of Life, so knowing the Word to be like the Tree of Life, he appointcth you to other business, to other exercises, to other works, and to other studies, lest you should hear it and be converted to God, whereby the tribute and revenue of his kingdom should be impaired. Therefore mark how many forces he hath bent against one little scripture, to frustrate this counsel of Christ, Take heed how you hear! First, he labours all that he can to stay us from hearing: to effect this he keeps us at taverns, at plays, in our shops, and appoints us some other business at the same time; that when the bell calls to the sermon, we say like the churlish guests, we cannot come. If he cannot stay us away with any business or exercise, then he casts fancies into our minds, and drowsiness into our heads, and sounds into our ears, and sets temptations before our eyes; that though we hear, yet we should not mark, like the birds which fly about the church. If he cannot stay our ears, nor slack our attention as he would, then he tickleth us to mialike something which was said, and by that makes us reject all the rest. If we cannot mislike any thing which is said, then he infecteth us with some prejudice of the preacher; he doth not as he teacheth, and therefore we less regard what he saith. If there be no fault in the man, nor in the doctrine, then, lest it would convert us and reclaim us, he courseth all means to keep us from the consideration of it, until we have forgot it. To compass this, so soon as we have heard, he takes us to dinner, or to
company, or to pastime to relieve our minds, that we should think no more of it. If it stay in our thoughts, and like us well, then he hath this trick: instead of applying the doctrine which we should follow, he turns us to praise and extol the preacher; 'he made an excellent sermon; he hath a notable gift; I never heard any like him.' He which can say so, hath heard enough; this is the repetition which you make of our sermons when you come home, and so to your business again till the next sermon come: a breath goeth from us, and a sound cometh to you, and so the matter is ended." —Iiejjbt Smith's Sermons, p. 300.
Stroulers, or Dandies of Henry Smith's days.
"They which will be Strouters, shall not want flatterers which will praise every thing that they do, and every thing that they speak, and every thing that they wear, and say it becomes them well to wear long hair; that it becomes them well to wear bellied doublets; that it becomes them well to jet in their going; that it becomes them well to swear in their talking.—So the humour swelleth, and thinks with itself, if they will look upon me when I do set bnt a stout face upon it, how would they behold me if I were but in apparel? If they do so admire me in silks, how would they cap me, and courtesy me, and worship me, if I were in velvets? If I be so brave in plain velvet, what if my velvet were pinkt, or cut, or printed? So they study for fashions as lawyers do for delays, and count that part naked which is not as gaudy as the rest; till all their body be covered over with pride, as their mind with folly. — As Saul said to Samuel, ' honour me before this people,' so the proud man saith to his chain, and his ruffs, and his pinks, and his cuts, 'honour me before this people.' All that he speaketh, or doth, or weareth, is like Nebuchadnezzar's palace, which he built for his honour. This is their work '212
HENRY SMITH — SHAFTESBURY.
so soon as they rise, to put a pedlar's shop upon their backs, anil colour their faces, and prick their ruffs, and frisle their hair: and then their day's work is done; as though their office were, to paint a fair image every morning, and at night to blot it out again."—Iienbt Smith's Sermons, p. 207.
Livings given to Children t or to the wholly Unlearned f
"Hash Ah said,' I will not offer the child to God before he be weaned,' that is, before he be taken from the dug. But now they offer their children to God before they be weaned, before they can go, before they can speak; and send them to fight the Lord's battles before they have one stone in their hand to fling at Goliath; that is, one scripture to resist the tempter. This is either because the Patrons or the Bishops have lime upon their fingers, which makes them like blind Isaac, that they take no heed whom they bless."—Hekht Smith's Sermons, p. 143.
Itch for curious Questions in Divinity.
"Paul rebuked them which troubled their heads about genealogies; how would he reprove men and women of our days, if he did see how they busy their heads about vain questions, tracing upon the pinnacles where they may fall, while they might walk upon the pavement without danger. Some have a great deal more desire to learn where Hell is, than to know any way how they may escape it; to hear what God did purpose before the world began, rather than to learn what he will do when the world is ended; to understand whether they shall know one another in Heaven, than to know whether they belong to Heaven. This rock hath made many shipwrecks, that men search mysteries before they know principles; like the Bethshamites which were not content to see the Ark, but they must pry into it, and finger it.
Commonly the simplest men busy their heads about the highest matters; so that they meet with a rough and crabbed question, like a knob in the tree; and while they hack and hew at it with their own wits to make it plain, their saw sticks fast in the cleft, and cannot get out again: at last, in wrath, they become like malecontents with God, as though the Scripture were not perfect; and either fall into despair, or into contempt of all. Therefore it is good to leave off learning where God hath left off teaching; for they which have an ear where God hath no tongue, hearken not unto God, but to the tempter, as Eve did to the serpent."—Hexbt Smith's Sermons, p. 449.
Views of a Sceptic in sporting Paradoxes.
^ The reason, perhaps, why men of wit delight so much to espouse these paradoxical systems, is not in truth that they are so fully satisfied with 'em, but in a view the better to oppose some other systems, which by their fair appearance have helped, they think, to bring mankind under subjection. They imagine that by this general Scepticism, which they would introduce, they shall better deal with the dogmatical spirit which prevails in some particular subjects. And when they have accustomed men to bear contradiction in the main, and hear the nature of things disputed at large; it may be safer (they conclude) to argue separately, upon certain nice points in which they are not altogether so well satisfied. So that from hence, perhaps, you may still better apprehend why, in conversation, the Spirit of Raillery prevails so much, and notions arc taken up for no reason besides their being odd and out of the way."—ShaftesBury's Characteristics, vol. 1, p. 95.
French Prophets ridiculed at Bartholomew Fair.
"Not contented to deny these prophesy ing Enthusiasts the honour of a persecution.
we have delivered 'em over to the cruellest contempt in the world. I am told, for certain, that they are at this very time the subject of a choice Droll or Puppet-Show at Barflcmy-TsAi. There, doubtless, their strange voices and involuntary agitations are admirably well acted, by the motion of wires, and inspiration of pipes. For the bodies of the prophets, in their state of prophecy, being not in their own power, but (as they say themselves) mere passive organs, actuated by an exterior force, have nothing natural, or resembling real life, in any of their sounds or motions : so that how awkwardly soever a Puppet-Show may imitate other actions, it must needs represent this passion to the life. And whilst Bartlemy-Toir is in possession of this privilege, I dare stand security to our National Church, that no sect of Enthusiasts, no new venders of prophecy or miracles, shall ever get the start, or put her to the trouble of trying her strength with 'em, in any case." — Shaftesbury's Characteristics, vol. 1, p. 27.
Experiments on the Alphabet by a Fanatic in Prison.
"I »ev once a notable Enthusiast of the itinerant kind, who being upon a high spiritual adventure in a country where prophetic missions are treated as no jest, was, as he told me, committed a close prisoner, and kept for several months where he saw no manner of light. In this banishment from Letters and Discourse, the man very wittily invented an amusement much to his purpose, and highly preservative both of health and humour. It may be thought, perhaps, that of all seasons or circumstances here was one the most suitable to our oftmentioned practice of Soliloquy; especially Bince the prisoner was one of those whom in this age we usually call Philosophers, a successor of Paracelsus, and a Master in the Occult Sciences. But as to Moral Science, or any thing relating to Self-converse,he was a mere novice. To work therefore he went
after a different method. He tuned his natural pipes, not after the manner of a musician, to practise what was melodious and agreeable in sounds, but to fashion and form all sorts of articulate voices the most distinctly that was possible. This he performed by strenuously exalting his voice,and essaying it in all the several dispositions and configurations of his throat andmouth. And thus bellowing, roaring, snarling, and otherwise variously exerting his organs of sound, he endeavoured to discover what letters of the Alphabet could best design each species, or what new letters were to be invented, to mark the undiscovered modifications. He found, for instance, the letter A to be a most genuine character, an original and pure Vowel, and justly placed as principal in the front of the alphabetic order. For having duly extended his under jaw to its utmost distance from the upper; and, by a proper insertion of his fingers, provided against the contraction of either corner of his mouth ; he experimentally discovered it impossible for human tongue, under these circumstances, to emit any other modification of sound than that which was described by this primitive character. The vowel O was formed by an orbicular disposition of the mouth, as was aptly delineated in the character itself. The vowel U, by a parallel protrusion of the lips. The other vowels and consonants, by other various collisions of the mouth, and operations of the active tongue upon the passive gum or palate. The result of this profound speculation and long exercise of our prisoner, was a Philosophical Treatise, which he composed when he was set at liberty. He esteemed himself the only Master of Voice and Language, on the account of this his Radical Science and Fundamental Knowledge of Sounds. But whoever had taken him to improve their voice, or teach'em an agreeable or just manner of Accent or Delivery, would, I believe, have found themselves considerably deluded." — Shafteshubt's Characteristics, vol. 1, p. 287.
Cultivation of Temper. "Ir happily we are born of a good nature; if a liberal education has formed in us a generous temper and disposition, wellregulated appetites and worthy inclinations; 'tis well for us, and so indeed we esteem it. But who is there endeavours to give these to himself, or to advance his portion of happiness in this kind? Who thinks of improving, or so much as of preserving his share, in a world where it must of necessity run so great a hazard, and where we know an honest nature is so easily corrupted? All other things relating to us are preserved with care, and have some art or economy belonging to 'em; this which is nearest related to us, and on which our happiness depends, is alone committed to chance: And Temper is the only thing ungoverned, whilst it governs all the rest." — Shaftesbury's Characteristics, vol. 2, p. 293.
Love of the Wonderful. "Fob, what stronger pleasure is there with mankind, or what do they earlier learn, or longer retain, than the love of hearing and relating things strange and incredible f How wonderful a thing is the Love of Wondering, and of raising Wonder! "Tis the delight of children to hear tales they shiver at, and the vice of old age to abound in strange stories of times past. We come into the world wondering at everything; and when our wonder about common things is over, we seek something new to wonder at. Our last scene is, to tell wonders of our own, to all who will believe 'em. And amidst all this, 'tis well if Truth comes off but moderately tainted." — Suafteshubt's Characteristics, vol. 2, p. 325.
Superstition always according to the Number of those who practise upon it. "'twill, however, as I conceive, be found unquestionably true, according to political
arithmetic, in every nation whatsoever, 'That the quantity of Superstition (if I mayso speak) will, in proportion, nearly answer Me number of Priests, Diviners, Soothsayers, Prophets, or such who gain their livelihood, or receive advantages, by officiating in religious affairs.' For if these Dealers are numerous, they will force a Trade. And as the liberal hand of the magistrate can easily raise swarms of this kind where they are already but in a moderate proportion; so where, through any other cause, the number of these, increasing still by degrees, is suffered to grow beyond a certain measure, they will soon raise such a ferment in men's minds, as will at least compel the magistrate, however sensible of the grievance, to be cautious in proceeding to a Reform." — Suaftesdubt's Characteristics, vol. 3, p. 46.
Well fur us that Beasts do not act in
"Well it is, perhaps, for Mankiiul, that though there are so many animals who naturally herd for Company's sake and mutual Affection, there are so few who for Conveniency and by Necessity are obliged to a strict union, and kind of confederate state. The creatures who, according to the economy of their kind, are obliged to make themselves habitations of defence against the seasons and other incidents; they who in some parts of the year are deprived of all subsistence, and arc therefore necessitated to accumulate in another, and to provide withal for the safety of their collected stores; are by their nature, indeed, as strictly joined, and with as proper affections towards their public and community, as the looser kind, of a more easy subsistence and support, are united in what relates merely to their offspring and the propagation of their species. Of these thoroughly associating and confederate animals, there are none I have ever heard of who in bulk or strength exceed the Beaver. The major-part of these Political Animals, and creatures of a joint stock, are as incon215
SHAFTESBURY — MRS. CAREY.
?iiJerable as the race of Ants or Bees. But bad Nature assigned such an economy as tliis to so puissant an animal, for instance, as the Elephant, and made him withal as prolific as those smaller creatures commonly are; it might hare gone hard perhaps with Mauhind: And a single animal, who by his proper might and prowess has often decided the fate of the greatest battles which have been fought by human race, should he have grown up into a society, with a genius for architecture and mechanics proportionable to what we observe in those smaller creatures; we should, with all our invented machines, have found it hard to dispute with him the dominion of the continent." — Shaftesbury's Characteristic*, vol. 3, p. 220.
The French more Moral than the English.
"These can be no doubt that the habits of the people are more moral in France than in England: how they have been induced, is the question: not by any superiority of education, for that has been completely neglected, and few of them can either write or read. The more independent state of the women, and their consequent greater influence in society, may be one cause, and a less diffusion of wealth and luxury another; a strict police assists, and their living more together in their father's family is likewise favourable to virtue. It is no uncommon thing, in any station of life, for a man to have his sons, and their wives and children, residing with him, in peace and harmony. The ties of kindred are drawn closer in France than in England; and the laws respect the principle, for they do not allow near relations to bear testimony against each other; the prohibition extends, I believe, as far as to nephews and nieces." — Mas. Caret's Tour in France, p. 31.
Family Republics in Auvergne. "Sbvebai. small family republics have been established between five and six cen
turies in the vicinity of Thiers. One of these communities consists of about thirty or forty individuals, who carry on their occupations together, and bring their profits to the common stock. They make laws and regulations for themselves, living in perfect equality, and dining at the public table. I must remark here, that these sticklers for equality will not allow the women any shore in its enjoyments. They will not even suffer them to dine at the same time with themselves; conceiving probably, like other sons of liberty, that a fair division is made of the moral obligations, when the rights are assigned to the men, and the duties to the women.
"These communities were in a declining state at the beginning of the Revolution, when the Voyage en Auvergne was published."— Mas. Cabet's Tour in France, p. 347.
Trade of Criticism in Shaftesbury's time.
"These is, I know, a certain species of Authors who subsist solely by the criticising or commenting practice upon others, and can appear in no other form besides what this employment authorizes them to assume. They have no original character or first part; but wait for something which may be called a Worh, in order to graft upon it, and come in for sharers, at second hand.
"The pen-men of this capacity and degree, are, from their function and employment, distinguished by the title of Answerers. For it happens in the world that there are readers of a genius and size just fitted to these answering authors. These, if they teach 'em nothing else, will teach 'em, they think, to criticise. And though the new practising critics are of a sort unlikely ever to understand any original book or writing; they can understand, or at least remember and quote, the subsequent reflections, flouts, and jeers, which may accidentally be made on such a piece. Whcre-ever a gentleman of this sort happens, at any time, to be in company, you shall no sooner hear a new book