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John Buncle by Thomas Amory


THE LIFE OF John Buncle, Esq; CONTAINING Various Observations and
Reflections, Made in several Parts of the World; AND Many extraordinary
Relations.

Foelix ille animi, Divisque simillimus ipsis,
Quem non mendaci resplendens gloria fuco
Sollicitat, non fastosi mala gaudia luxus.
Sed tacitos sinit ire dies, et paupere cultu
Exigit innocuæ tranquilla silentia vitæ.

Volusenus.


Dedication


TO THE CRITICKS, THIS JOURNAL Is most humbly DEDICATED, BY Their most humble Servant, The Author.

A PREFACE By Way of DEDICATION.

Gentlemen,
This book is not addressed to you, in order to ask your protection for its faults; or in hopes, that such valuable names at the head of it, may preserve it. Things in print must stand by their own worth. But it is offered to you, to let the world see I had that confidence in the goodness of my design in writing it, as to submit it to such great and impartial judges; and that I believe you will report your opinion in such a manner, as to procure me the esteem of the virtuous; when you find that my principal intention in this piece, is to serve the interests of truth, liberty, and religion, and to advance useful learning, to the best of my abilities:—that I have the happiness of mankind at heart, and attempt, in a historical manner, to encrease their knowledge in general; and in particular, to lead them to a pious contemplation and acknowledgment of God's unspeakable wisdom and goodness manifested in the works of the creation; —shew them the truth of the testimony of Jesus Christ concerning a divine providence, immortality, and a future state; and that as virtue advances and improves, human felicity augments, and becomes a sure prognostick of that fulness of bliss, which men of goodness and integrity are to enjoy, without interruption, frailty, and infirmity, in an unchangeable and everlasting life. This was my scheme. These things I had principally in view, when, to vindicate my character from misrepresentation and idle stories, and to illustrate my memoirs of several ladies of Great-Britain, I sat down to write a true history of my life and notions. You will see at once, gentlemen, that this is the labored part of my work. Were I able to write so as to persuade even a few to alter their way of living, and employ their time for the future, in forming and training up their moral powers to perfection, I should think myself more fortunate and glorious than the greatest genius in the temple of Fame. Indeed, gentlemen, fame or name, in this world, is not the thing I think of. Non est mortale quod opto, I can say with Lactantius: and were it within my power to choose, sure I am, that I would be for ever unknown. But that was impossible. In justice to myself, as before observed, and that tradition might not hand me down, when I am gone, in that variety of bad and foolish characters, which a malice, that knows nothing of me, whispers while I am living; it was necessary I should tell my own story. The relation was likewise requisite, to render the memoirs before mentioned intelligible. The volumes of that work, which are to be published, would be quite dark, and not so grateful as intended, without a previous account of the author's life.

This, gentlemen, is the truth of the case, and as I say as little of myself, in my relation, as I can; and as much for true religion and useful learning, as I was able, I hope, from your rectitude and judgment, that you will get me a fair hearing; and I call upon you as my patrons, and the friends to learning and truth, for your approbation of my good and pious intentions, tho' you should not be able to say one word of any excellencies in my writings. This is all I ask. As I wish well to your cause, the cause of virtue and letters, and have chiefly endeavoured, according to my abilities, to make my readers acquainted with the majesty of the Deity, and his kingdom, and the greatness of his excellency, before whom all the inhabitants of the earth, all powers and principalities, are as nothing; I hope you will, in return, favour me with your best wishes.

As to some strange things you will find in the following journal; and a life, in various particulars, quite contrary to the common course of action, I can assure you, gentlemen, in respect of the strange things, that however wonderful they may appear to you, yet they are; exclusive of a few decorations and figures, (necessary in all works), strictly true: and as to the difference of my life, from that of the generality of men, let it only be considered, that I was born in London, and carried an infant to Ireland, where I learned the Irish language, and became intimately acquainted with its original inhabitants: —that I was not only a lover of books from the time I could spell them to this hour; but read with an extraordinary pleasure, before I was twenty, the works of several of the fathers, and all the old romances; which tinged my ideas with a certain piety and extravagance, that rendered my virtues as well as my imperfections particularly mine:—that by hard measure, I was compelled to be an adventurer, when very young, and had not a friend in the universe but what I could make by good fortune, and my own address:— that my wandering life, wrong conduct, and the iniquity of my kind, with a passion for extraordinary things and places, brought me into several great distresses; and that I had quicker and more wonderful deliverances from them than people in tribulation generally receive:—that the dull, the formal, and the visionary, the hard-honest man, and the poor-liver, are a people I have had no connexion with; but have always kept company with the polite, the generous, the lively, the rational, and the brightest freethinkers of this age:—that beside all this, I was in the days of my youth, one of the most active men in the world, at every exercise; and to a degree of rashness, often venturous, when there was no necessity for running any hazards: in diebus illis, I have descended head-foremost from a high cliff into the ocean, to swim, when I could, and ought, to have gone off a rock not a yard from the surface of the deep. —I have swam near a mile and a half out in the sea, to a ship that lay off, went on board, got clothes from the mate of the vessel, and proceeded with them to the next port; while my companion I left on the beach concluded me drowned, and related my sad fate in the town. —I have taken a cool thrust over a bottle, without the least animosity on either side; but both of us depending on our skill in the small sword, for preservation from mischief. — Such things as these I now call wrong, and mention them only as samples of a rashness I was once subject to, as an opportunity happened to come in the way. Let all these things be taken into the account, and I imagine, gentlemen, that what may at first sight seem strange, and next to incredible, will, on considering these particulars, not long remain so, in your opinion; though you may think the relator an odd man. As to that, I have nothing to say. And if oddness consists in spirit, freedom of thought, and a zeal for the divine unity; in a taste for what is natural, antique, romantic, and wild; in honouring women, who are admirable for goodness, letters, and arts; and in thinking, after all the scenes I have gone through, that every thing here is vanity; except that virtue and charity, which gives us a right to expect beyond the grave; and procures us, in this world, the direction of infinite wisdom, the protection of infinite power, and the friendship of infinite goodness;—then, may it be written on my stone,—Here lies an odd man.

Thus much, gentlemen, I thought proper to say to you, that by being acquainted with the particulars relative to the complexion, and design of the author, you might the easier and the better comprehend the various things you will find in the work he dedicates to you.

I have only to add, that I wish you all happiness; that your heads may lack no ointment, and your garments be always white and odoriferous: but especially, may you press on, like true critics, towards perfection; and may bliss, glory, and honour, be your reward and your Portion.

Barbican,
Aug.
1. 1756.

Vol. 1

Prologue


Nec Vixit Male, qui Natus Moriensque fefellit.

That the Transactions of my Life, and the observations and reflections I have made on men and things, by sea and land, in various parts of the world, might not be buried in oblivion, and by length of time, be blotted out of the Memory of Men, it has been my wont, from the days of my youth to this time, to write down Memorandums of every thing I thought worth noticing, as men and matters, books and circumstances, came in my way; and in hopes they may be of some service to my fellow-mortals I publish them. Some pleasing, and some surprizing things the Reader will find in them. —He will meet with miscellany thoughts upon several subjects. He will read, if he pleases, some tender stories. But all the relations, the thoughts, the observations, are designed for the advancement of valuable Learning, and to promote whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report.

1.

About fifty years ago the Midwife wheeled me in, and much sooner than half a Century hence, in all human probability, Death will wheel me out. When Heaven pleases, I am satisfied. Life and death are equally welcome, because equally parts of my way to Eternity. My lot has been a swarthy one in this first State, and I am in hopes I shall exchange worlds to advantage. As God, without all peradventure, brought his moral creatures into being, in order to increase their Virtue, and provide suitable happiness for the Worthy, the most unfortunate here may expect immutable felicity at last, if they have endeavoured, in proportion to what power they had, to render themselves useful and valuable, by a sincerity and benevolence of temper, a disinterestedness, a communicativeness, and the practice of those duties, to which we are obliged by the frame of our Nature, and by the Relations we bear to God, and to the subjects of his government.

For my part, I confess that, many have been the failings of my Life, and great the defects of my obedience. But in the midst of all my failings and imperfections, my Soul hath always sympathised with the afflicted, and my heart hath ever aked for the miseries of others. My hand has often relieved, when I wanted the shilling to comfort my self, and when it hath not been in my power to relieve, I have grieved for the scanty Accommodations of others. Many troublesome and expensive offices I have undertaken to do good to Men, and ever social and free have I been in my demeanour, easy and smooth in my address; and therefore, I trust that, whenever I am removed from this horizon, it will be from a dark and cloudy state, to that of joy, light, and full Revelation. This felicitates my every day, let what will happen from without. This supports me under every Affliction, and enables me to mentain a habit of satisfaction and joy in the general course of my Life.

2.

The things of my Childhood are not worth setting down, and therefore I commence my Life from the first month of the seventeenth year of my Age, when I was sent to the University, and entred a pensioner, tho' I had a larger yearly allowance than any fellow-commoner of my College. I was resolved to read there, and determined to improve my natural faculties to the utmost of my power. Nature, I was sensible, had bestowed no genius on me. This and understanding are only the privilege of extraordinary persons; who receive from Heaven the happy conjunction of qualities, that they may execute great and noble designs, and acquire the highest pitch of excellence in the profession they turn to; if they will take the pains to perfect the united qualities by art, and carefully avoid running into caprice and paradox; the Rocks on which many a Genius has split. But then I had a tolerable share of natural understanding, and from my infancy was teachable, and always attentive to the directions of good sense. This I knew might rise with some labour, to a half merit, tho' it could never gain immortality upon any account: and this was enough for me. I wanted only to acquire such degrees of perfections as lay within the small sphere nature had chalked out for me.

3.

To this purpose I devoted my college-life to books, and for five years that I resided in the University, conversed so much with the dead that I had very little intercourse with the living. So totally had letters engaged my mind, that I was but little affected towards most other things. Walking and Musick were my favorite recreations, and almost the only ones I delighted in. I had hardly a thought at that time of the foolish choises and pursuits of men; those fatal choices and pursuits, which are owing to false judgments, and to a habit of acting precipitantly, without examining the fancies and appetites; and therefore, very rarely went into the pleasures and diversions which men of fortune in a University too commonly indulge in. My relaxation, after study, was my german-flute, and the conversation of some ingenious, sober friend; generally, my private tutor, who was a bright and excellent man; and if the weather permitted, I walked out into the country several miles. At this exercise, I had often one or other with me; but for the most part, was obliged to go alone. My dog and my gun however were diversion enough on the way, and they frequently led me into scenes of entertainment, which lasted longer than the day. Some of them you will find in this Journal. The history of the beautiful Harriot Noel you shall have by and by.

4.

At present, my scheme requires me to set down the method I pursued in my Readings, and let my Reader know the issue of my studies. —My time I devoted to Philosophy, Cosmography, Mathematicks, and the Languages, for four years, and the fifth I gave to History.

The first book I took into my hand, after receiving my note of admission, was the essay of that fine Genius, Mr. Locke, and I was so pleased with this clear and accurate writer, that I looked into nothing else, by reading it three times over, I had made a thorough acquaintance with my own understanding. He taught me to examine my abilities, and enabled me to see what objects my mind was fitted to deal with. He led me into the sanctuary of vanity and ignorance, and shewed me how greatly true knowledge depended on a right meaning of words, and a just significancy of expression. In sum, from the Essay my Understanding received very great benefits, and to it I owe what improvement I have made in the reason given me. If I could, I would persuade all young Gentlemen to read it over and over with great attention, and I am sure they would find themselves very richly rewarded for their pains in reading it. They would acquire that justness and truth of understanding, which is the great perfection of rational Beings.

5.

When I had done, for a time, with this admirable Essay, I then began to study the first principles of things, the structure of the Universe, the contexture of human bodies, the properties of beasts, the virtues of plants, and the qualities of metals, and was quite charmed with the contemplation of the beautiful order, and wise final causes of nature in all her laws and productions. The study had a delightful influence on the temper of my mind, and inspired into it a love of order in my heart, and in my outward manners. It likewise led me to the great first Cause, and in repeated views of harmony, wisdom and goodness in all the works of nature, rivited upon my mind a fixed conviction, that all is under the administration of a general Mind, as far remote from all malice as from all weakness, whether in respect of understanding or of power. This gave me a due affection towards the infinitely perfect Parent of Nature, and as I contemplated his glorious Works, I was obliged in transports to confess, that he deserved our love and admiration. This did also satisfy me, that whatever the order of the world produces, is in the main both just and good, and of consequence, that we ought in the best manner to support whatever hardships are to be endured for virtue's sake: that acquiescence and complacency with respect to ill accidents, ill men and injuries, ought to be our part under a perfect administration; and with benignity and constancy we must ever act, if there be a settled persuasion, that all things are framed and governed by a universal mind. —Such was the effect the study of Natural Philosophy had upon my Soul. It set beyond all doubt before me the moral perfection of the Creator and Governor of the Universe. And if this Almighty God, I said, is perfect Wisdom and Virtue, does it not follow, that he must approve and love those who are at due pains to improve in wisdom;—and what he loves and delights in, must he not make happy? This is an evident truth. It renders the cause of virtue quite triumphant.

6.

But upon Ethicks or Moral Philosophy I dwelt the longest. This is the proper food of the Soul, and what perfects her in all the virtues and qualifications of a gentleman. This Science I collected in the first place from the antient sages and philosophers, and studied all the moral writers of Greece and Rome. With great pleasure I saw, that these immortal authors had delineated as far as human reason can go, that course of life which is most according to the intention of nature, and most happy; had shewn that this universe, and human nature in particular, was formed by the wisdom and counsel of a Deity, and that from the constitution of our nature various duties arose:—that since God is the original independent Being, compleat in all possible perfection, of boundless power, wisdom and goodness; the Creator, Contriver, and Governor of this world, to whom mankind are indebted for innumerable benefits most gratuitously bestowed; we ought to manifest the most ardent love and veneration toward the Deity, and worship him with affections of Soul suited to the pre-eminence and infinite grandeur of the original Cause of all; ought to obey him, as far as human weakness can go, and humbly submit and resign ourselves and all our interests to his will; continually confide in his goodness, and constantly imitate him as far as our weak nature is capable. This is due to that original most gracious Power who formed us, and with a liberal hand supplies us with all things conducive to such pleasure and happiness as our nature can receive: —That in respect of mankind, our natural sense of right and wrong points out to us the duties to be performed towards others, and the kind affections implanted by nature, excites us to the discharge of them: that by the law of our constitution and nature, justice and benevolence are prescribed; and aids and an intercourse of mutual offices required, not only to secure our pleasure and happiness, but to preserve ourselves in safety and in life: that the law of nature, or natural right, forbids every instance of injustice, a violation of life, liberty, health, property; and the exercise of our honourable, kind powers, are not only a spring of vigorous efforts to do good to others, and thereby secure the common happiness; but they really procure us a joy and peace, an inward applause and external advantages; while injustice and malice, anger, hatred, envy, and revenge, are often matter of shame and remorse, and contain nothing joyful, nothing glorious: In the greatest affluence, the savage men are miserable:—that as to ourselves, the voice of reason declares, that we ought to employ our abilities and opportunities in improving our minds to an extensive knowledge of nature in the sciences; and by diligent meditation and observation, acquire that prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, which should constantly govern our lives: —That solid prudence, which abhors rashness, inconsiderateness, a foolish self-confidence, and craft, and under a high sense of moral excellence, considers and does what is really advantageous in life: —That justice, which constantly regards the common interest, and in subserviency to it, gives to each one whatever is due to him upon any natural claim: —That temperance, which restrains and regulates the lower appetites, and displays the grace and beauty of manners: —And that fortitude, which represses all vain and excessive fears, gives us a superiority to all the external accidents of our mortal state, and strengthens the soul against all toils or dangers we may be exposed to in discharge of our duty; as an early and painful death with virtue and honour, is highly preferable to the longest ignominious life, and no advantages can be compared in point of happiness with the approbation of God, and of our own hearts.

That if in this manner we live prepared for any honourable services to God, our fellows, and ourselves, and practice piety toward God, good-will toward men, and immediately aim at our own perfection, then we may expect, notwithstanding our being involved in manifold weaknesses and disorders of soul, that the divine goodness and clemency will have mercy on such as sincerely love him, and desire to serve him with duty and gratitude; will be propitious and placable to the penitents, and all who exert their utmost endeavours in the pursuits of virtue: And since the perfection of virtue must constitute the supreme felicity of man, our efforts to attain it, must be effectual in obtaining compleat felicity, or at least some lower degree of it.

7.

This beautiful, moral Philosophy I found scattered in the writings of the old theist philosophers, and with great pains reduced the various lessons to a system of active and virtuous offices: but this I knew was what the majority of mankind were incapable of doing; and if they could do it, I saw it was far inferior to revelation. Every Sunday I appropriated to the study of reveled Religion, and perceived as I read the sacred records, that the Works of Plato, and Cicero, and Epictetus, and all the uninspired sages of antiquity, were but weak rules in respect of the divine oracles. It is the mercy and power of God in the triumphs of grace, that restores mankind from the bondage and ignorance of idolatry. To this the sinner owes the conversion of his soul. It is the statutes of the Lord that rejoyce the heart, and enlighten the eyes. What are all the reasonings of the philosophers to the melody of that heavenly voice which crys continually, Come unto me all ye that travel and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. — And what could their lessons avail without those express promises of grace and spiritual assistance, which the blood of the new covenant confirms to mankind? The philosophy of Greece and Rome was admirable for the times and men: but it admits of no comparison with the divine lessons of our holy religion, and the charter of God's pardon granted to us by his blessed Son. Beside, the philosophers were in some degree dark and doubtful in respect of death and futurity; and in relation to this world, there is not a power in their discourses, to preserve us from being undone by allurements, in the midst of plenty, and to secure our peace against the casualties of fortune, and the torments of disappointments; to save us from the cares and sollicitudes which attend upon large possessions, and give us a mind capable of relishing the good things before us; to make us easy and satisfied as to the present, and render us secure and void of fear as to the future. These things we learn from revelation, and are informed by the sacred records only, that if we are placed here in the midst of many fears and sorrows, and are often perplexed with evils in this world; yet they are so many warnings not to set up our rest here, but to keep a stedfast eye upon the things which God has prepared for those who love him. It is the gospel informs us, there is another scene prepared for the moral world, and that justice only waits to see the full proof of the righteousness, or unrighteousness of men: that that scene will open with the judgment seat of Christ, and we shall either receive glory and immortality, if we have obeyed the calls of grace to virtue and holiness;—or, be doomed to the most dreadful miseries, if we reject the counsel of God, and live quite thoughtless of the great concerns of eternity. These considerations made me prefer reveled religion, in the beginning of my rational life. The morality of the antient philosophers I admired. With delight I studied their writings, and received, I gratefully confess, much improvement from them. But the religion of our blessed Lord I declared for, and look on the promised Messiah as the most consummate blessing God could bestow, or man receive. God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning every one of you from your iniquities. And would men but hear and obey this life-giving Redeemer, his Gospel would restore reason and religion to their rightful authority over mankind; and make all virtue, and true goodness, flourish in the earth.

8.

But I must observe that, by the religion of the New Testament, I do not mean any of those modern schemes of religion, which discover the evident marks and signatures of superstition and enthusiasm, or of knavery and imposture; those systems which even miracles cannot prove to be true, because the pieties are absurd, inconsistent and contradictory. The notions that are not characterized by the reason of things, and the moral fitness of actions, I considered as repugnant to the veracity, wisdom, and goodness of the Almighty, and concluded, that that only could be christian religion, which beared the visible marks and signatures of benevolence, social happiness, and moral fitness, and was brought down from heaven to instruct mankind in the worship of One eternal mind, and bring them to repentance, and amendment of life. This was the religion I found in my Bible. I saw with pleasure, as I thoughtfully went through the divine pages, that natural religion is the foundation and support of revelation;—supplies the defects of nature, but never attempts to overthrow the established principles of it; —casts new light upon the dictates of reason, but never overthrows them. Pure theism, and Christ the appointed Mediator, Advocate, and Judge, by a commission from God the Father, to me appeared to be the Gospel;— and the directions of the holy Spirit, to believe in one supreme independent first cause, and worship in spirit and truth this one God and Father of All, in the name of Christ Jesus; as the disciples of the Messiah; to copy after the life of our blessed Saviour, and to the utmost of our abilities, obey all his commands. —This was the religion I found in the writings of the apostles, and I then determined to regard only this Gospel-doctrine.

9.

The manner of my studying Cosmography and Mathematicks is not worth setting down, as there was nothing uncommon in it. In the one I only learned to distinguish climates, latitudes, and the four divisions of the world; the provinces, nations, kingdoms and republicks comprized therein, and to be able to discourse upon them: —And in the other, I went no further than to make myself a master of vulgar and decimal arithmetick, the doctrine of infinite series, and the application of algebra, to the higher geometry of curves. Algebra I was charmed with, and found so much pleasure in resolving its questions, that I have often sat till morning at the engaging work, without a notion of its being day till I opened the shutters of my closet. I recommend this study in particular to young gentlemen, and am satisfied, if they would but take some pains at first to understand it, they would have so great a relish for its operations, as to prefer them many an evening to the clamorous pleasures; or, at least, not be uneasy for being alone now and then, since their algebra was with them.

10.

In reading history, (my last years principal employment, during my residence in college), I began with the best writers of antient history and ended with modern times, epochs, centuries, ages; the extent of empires, kingdoms, common-wealths; their progress, revolutions, changes and declensions; the number, order, and qualities of the Princes, that have reigned over those states and kingdoms, their actions military and civil; the characters and actions of the great men that flourished under them; and the laws, the arts, learning and manners, I carefully marked down, and observed not only how the first governments were formed, but what the progress was of industry and property, which may be called the generative principle of empire.

When I had done with antient History, I sat down to the best modern stories I could get, and read of distant nations before I began to study my country's constitution, history and laws. When I had finished the histories of France, and Spain, and Italy, and Germany, and many more, then I turned to Great-Britain, and in the first place took a view of the English constitution and government, in the antient books of the common law, and some more modern writers, who out of them have given an account of this government. From thence I proceeded to our History, and with it joined in every King's reign the laws then made. This gave me an insight into the reason of our statutes, and shewed me the true ground upon which they came to be made, and what weight they ought to have. By this means, I read the history of my country with intelligence, and was able to examine into the excellence or defects of its government, and to judge of the fitness or unfitness of its orders and laws. By this method I did likewise know enough of the law for an English gentleman, tho' quite ignorant of the chicane, or wrangling and captious part of the law, and was well acquainted with the true measure of right and wrong. The arts how to avoid doing right, and to secure one's self in doing wrong, I never looked into.

11.

Thus did I read History, and many noble lessons I learned from it; just notions of true worth, true greatness, and solid happiness. It taught me to place merit where it only lies, not in birth, not in beauty, not in riches, not in external shew and magnificence, not in voluptuousness; but, in a firm adherence to truth and rectitude; in an untainted heart, that would not pollute or prostitute its integrity in any degree, to gain the highest wordly honours, or to ward off the greatest worldly misery. This is true magnanimity: And he alone can be truly happy, as well as truly great, who can look down with generous contempt upon every thing that would tempt him to recede in the smallest degree from the paths of rigid honesty, candour and veracity.



   Es Modicus Voti, presso lare, dulcis Amicis;
Jam nunc astringas; jam nunc granaria laxes;
Inque luto fixum possis transcendere Nummum;
Nec gluto sorbere Salivam Mercurialem?
Hæc mea sunt, teneo, cum vere dixeris: Esto
Liberque ac Sapiens, Prætoribus ac Jove dextro.
Sin tu, cum fueris Nostræ paulò ante farinæ,
Pelliculam veterem retines, et fronte politus
Astutam Vapido servas sub pectore Vulpem;
Quæ dederam suprà, Repeto, funemque Reduco.
Nil tibi concessit Ratio: digitum exere peccas,
Et quid tam parvum est? Sed nullo thure litabis,
Hæreat in Stultis brevis ut semuncia Recti.
Hæc miscere Nefas:——

Are you moderate in your desires, frugal, and obliging to your friends? Do you know when to spare, and when to be liberal, as occasion requires? And can you give a check to your avarice, in spight of all temptations which are laid in your way? Can you refrain from being too greedy in your pursuits after riches? When you can sincerely affirm that you are master of your self, and of all these good qualities, then you are free indeed, deed, and wise, by the propitious power of Jove and the Prætor.

But if you retain the old habits of a slave, and harbour ill qualities, under the hypocritical appearance of virtue, you are as much a slave as ever, while thus enslaved to your vices. Philosophy gives no indulgence to vice—makes no allowance for any crime. If in wagging your finger, you acted against reason, you transgress, tho' the thing be of so trifling a nature. All the sacrifices you can offer will never pass for a dram of rectitude, while your conduct is faulty. Wisdom is incompatible with folly.

When to be bountiful, and when to spare,
And never craving, or oppress'd with care;
The baits of gifts, and money to despise,
And look on wealth with undesiring eyes;
When thou canst truly call these virtues thine,
Be wise and free by Heav'n's consent and mine.
   But thou, who lately of the common strain,
Wert one of us, if still thou dost retain
The same ill habits, the same follies too,
Gloss'd over only with a saint-like show,
Then I resume the freedom which I gave,
Still thou art bound to vice, and still a slave.
Thou canst not wag thy finger, or begin
The least slight motion, but it tends to sin.
How's this? Not wag my finger, he replies?
No, friend; not fuming gums, nor sacrifice,
Can ever make a madman free, or wise.
Virtue and vice are never in one soul:
A man is wholly wise, or wholly is a fool.

This is the great lesson, that virtue alone is true honour, true freedom, and solid, durable happiness. It is indeed its own reward. There are no satisfactions equal to, or comparable with virtuous, rational exercises; nor can virtuous dispositions, and well improved moral powers be rewarded, or receive happiness suited to their nature, but from their exercises and employments about proper objects. And as virtue gives pleasure here in proportion to the improvements it makes, far beyond all that mere sense can yield, in the most advantageous circumstances of outward enjoyment; so in a state to come, it shall be so placed as its improvements require, that is, be placed in circumstances that shall afford it business or employment proportioned to its capacity, and by means thereof the highest satisfaction. —Such a basis for building moral instructions upon we find in history. We are warned in some pages to avoid the miseries and wretchedness which many have fallen into by departing from reason or virtue: — And in others, we meet with such virtuous characters and actions, as set forth the charms of integrity in their full lustre, and prove that virtue is the supreme beauty, the supreme charm: that in keeping the precepts of moral rectitude, we secure a present felicity and reward; and have a presage of those higher rewards which await a steady course of right conduct in another world. — Glorious, natural virtue! Would mankind but hearken to its voice, and obey its dictates, there would be no such Beings as Invaders, Delinquents, and Traitors, in this lower world. The social inclinations and dispositions would for ever prevail over the selfish appetites and passions. The law of benevolence would be the rule of life. The advancement of the common good would be the work of every man.

12.

The case however is; that the generality of mankind are too corrupt, to be governed by the great universal law of social nature, and to gratify ambition, avarice, and the like, employ a cunning or power, to seize the natural rights and properties of others: and therefore, to natural virtue grounded on the reason and fitness of things, in themselves, the first and principal mean of securing the peace and happiness of society, it was necessary to add two other grand principles, civil government and Religion, and so have three conducible means to social happiness. These three are necessary to the being of a publick, and of them, religion as I take it, is of the first consequence; for the choice few only mind a natural Virtue, or benevolence flowing from the reason, nature, and fitness of things; and civil government cannot always secure the happiness of mankind in particular cases: but Religion, rightly understood, and fixed upon its true and proper foundation, might do the work, in conjunction with the other two principles, and secure the happiness of Society. If mankind were brought to the belief and worship of one only true God, and to a sincere obedience to his Will, as we have it discovered in Revelation, I think, appetite and passion would cease to invade by violence or fraud, or set up for private interest in opposition to the publick stock or common good. But, alas! Religion is so far from being rightly understood, that it is rendered by some explainers the most doubtful and disputable thing in the world. They have given it more phases than the moon, and made it every thing, and nothing, while they are screaming or forcing the people into their several factions. This destroys the moment of Religion, and the multitude are thereby wandered into endless mazes and perplexities, and rendered a hairing, staring, wrathful rabble; instead of being transformed into such christians as filled the first church at Jerusalem; christians who acknowledged and worshipped God the Father Almighty, in the name of Christ, that is, under a belief of that authority and power which the Father of the Universe has, for the good of mankind, conferred upon him; and in humility and meekness, in mortification and self-denial, in a renunciation of the spirit, wisdom, and honours of this world, in a love of God, and desire of doing God's will, and seeking only his honour, were by the Gospel made like unto Christ . Golden Religion! Golden Age! The Doctrine of Christianity was then a Restoration of true Religion: the practice of Christianity, a Restoration of human Nature . But now, alas! too many explainers are employed in darkening and making doubtful the reveled Will of God, and by paraphrases, expositions, commentaries, notes, and glosses, have almost rendered revelation useless. What do we see in the vast territories of Popery, but a perfect Diabolism in the place of the religion of our Lord; doctrines the most impious and absurd, the most inconsistent and contradictory in themselves, the most hurtful and mischievous in their consequences; the whole supported by persecution, by the sophistry of learned knaves, and the tricks of jugling priests? And if we turn our eyes from these regions of imposture and cruelty, to the realms of protestants, do we not find some learned christian critics and expositors reducing the inspired writings to a dark science? without regard to the nature and intrinsick character of their doctrines, do they not advance notions as true and divine, which have not one appearance of divine Authority; but, on the contrary, mililitate with the reason of things, and the moral fitness of actions; and are so far from being plain and clear, free from all doubtfulness, or ambiguity, and suited to the understandings and capacity of men, that the darkness of them renders such pretended revelations of little service; and impeaches the veracity, wisdom, and goodness of God? Alas! too many explainers are clamorous, under the infallible strength of their own persuasions, and exert every power to unman us into believers. How the apostles argued for the great excellency and dignity of Christianity is not with them the question; so far as I am able to judge from their learned writings; but the fathers, and our spiritual superiors have put upon the sacred writings the proper explications; and we must receive the truth as they dispense it to us. This is not right, in my conception. I own it does not seem to answer the end of the Messiah's coming, which was to restore Reason and Religion to their rightful authority over mankind; and to make all virtue, and true goodness, flourish in the earth; the most perfect blessing to be sure that God could bestow on man, or man receive from God. This blessing we must miss, if human authority is to pin us down to what it pleases to call sense of scripture, and will set up the judgment of fallible men as the test of Christianity. The Christian Laity are miserable indeed, if they be put under an obligation to find that to be truth which is taught by these Leaders. In truth, we should be unhappy men, with a revelation in our churches and our closets, if the leaders had a right to make their own faith pass for the faith of the Apostles; or, if we refused it, might lance the weapons of this world at their people. What must we do then as true Christians? I think for my self, that we ought to form our judgment, in matters of faith, upon a strict, serious and impartial examination of the Holy Scriptures, without any regard to the judgment of others, or human authority whatever: that we ought to open the sacred records, without minding any systems, and from the reveled word of God learn that, Christianity does not consist in a jingle of unintelligible sounds, and new fundamentals, hewn out by craft, enthusiasm, or bigotry, and maintained with an outrage of uncharitable zeal, which delivers Christians to the flames of an eternal hell: but that, the heavenly religion of our Lord consists in looking on the promised Messiah, as the most consummate blessing God could bestow, or man receive; and that Jesus is that Messiah; in acting according to the rules of the Gospel, and in studying to imitate God, who is the most perfect understanding nature, in all his moral perfections; in becoming the Children of God by being (according to our capacity) perfect as he is perfect, and holy as he is holy, and merciful as he is merciful; and in our whole moral behaviour as like to him as possible.

In a word, to flee injustice, oppression, intemperance, impurity, pride, unmercifulness, revenge:—to practise justice, piety, temperance, chastity, humility, beneficence, placability —to turn from our iniquities to the practice of all virtue: and through the alone mediation of the only-begotten Son of God, believe in and worship the eternal mind, the one supreme Spirit, in hope of a glorious immortality, through the sanctification of the Holy Ghost: —These are the things the Lord came down to teach mankind. For the New Testament itself then we must declare, and look upon it as the only guide, or rule of faith. It is now the only deliverer of the declarations of our Lord: And the rule in our enquiry is, that every thing necessary to be believed by a Christian, is in those Books not left to be gathered by consequences, or implications; but the things necessary to obtain the favor of God promised to Christians are expressly declared. If this was not the case—if things absolutely necessary were not expressly proclaimed to be so, the gospel revelation would be no rule at all (1) [Footnote 1: 5Kb] .

13.

But it is time to tell my reader the story of the beautiful Harriot Noel, which I promised in my third memorandum. — On the glorious first of August, before the beasts were roused from their lodges, or the birds had soared upwards, to pour forth their morning harmony; while the mountains and the groves were overshadowed by a dun obscurity, and the dawn still dappled the drowsy East with spots of grey; in short, before the sun was up, or, with his auspicious presence, began to animate inferior nature, I left my chamber, and with my gun and dog, went out to wander over a pleasant country. The different aspects and the various points of view were charming, as the light in fleecy rings encreased; and when the whole flood of day descended, the imbellished early scene was a fine entertainment. Delighted with the beauties of this morning, I climbed up the mountains, and travelled through many a valley. The game was plenty, and for full five hours, I journeyed onward, without knowing where I was going, or thinking of a return to college.

About nine o'clock however I began to grow very hungry, and was looking round to see if I could discover any proper habitation to my purpose, when I observed in a valley, at some distance, something that looked like a mansion. That way therefore I moved, and with no little difficulty, as I had a precipice to descend, or must go a mile round, to arrive at the place I wanted: down therefore I marched, got a fall by the way that had like to have destroyed me, and after all, found it to be a shed for cattle. The bottom however was very beautiful, and the sides of the hills sweetly copsed with little woods. The valley is so divided, that the rising sun gilds it on the right hand, and when declining, warms it on the left.



—Veniens dextrum latus aspiciat Sol,
Lævum discedens curru fugiente vaporet.

A pretty brook here likewise babbles along, and even Hebrus strays not round Thrace with a purer and cooler stream.



Fons etiam rivo dare nomen idoneus, ut nec
Frigidior Thracam nec purior ambiat Hebrus.

In this sweet and delicious solitude, I crept on for some time, by the side of the murmuring stream, and followed as it winded through the vale, till I came to a little harmonick building, that had every charm and proportion architecture could give it. It was situated on a rising ground in a broad part of the fruitful valley, and surrounded with a garden, that invited a pensive wanderer to roam in its delightful retreats, and walks amazingly beautiful. Every side of this fine spot was planted thick with underwood, and kept so low, as not to prevent a prospect to every pleasing remote object.

Finding one of the garden doors left open, I entred immediately, and to screen my self from the scorching beams of the sun, got into an imbowered way, that led me to a large fountain, in a ring or circular opening, and from thence, by a gradual, easy, shady ascent, to a semicircular amphitheatre of ever-greens, that was quite charming. In this were several seats for ease, repast, or retirement; and at either end of it a rotunda or temple of the Ionick order. One of them was converted into a grotto or shell-house, in which a politeness of fancy had produced and blended the greatest beauties of nature and decoration. The other was a library, filled with the finest books, and a vast variety of mathematical instruments. Here I saw Miss Noel sitting, and so intent at writing, that she did not take any notice of me, as I stood at the window, in astonishment looking at the things before me, and especially at the amazing beauties of her face, and the splendor of her eyes; as she raised them now and then from the paper she writ on, to look into a Hebrew Bible, that lay open upon a small desk before her. The whole scene was so very uncommon, and so vastly amazing, that I thought my self for a while on some spot of magic ground, and almost doubted the reality of what my eyes beheld; till Miss Noel, by accident, looked full at me, and then came forward to the open window, to know who I wanted.

Before I could answer, I found a venerable old gentleman standing by my side, and he seemed much more surprized at the sight of me than his daughter was; for, as this young lady told me afterward, she guessed at once the whole affair; seeing me with my gun and dog, in a shooting dress; and knew it was a natural curiosity brought me into the garden, and stoped me at the window, when I saw her in such an attitude, and in such a place. —This I assured them was the truth of my case, with this small addition however, that I was ready to perish for want of something to eat; having been from four in the morning at hard exercise, and had not yet broke my fast. —If this be the case, says the good old man, you are welcome, Sir, to Eden-Park, and you shall soon have the best breakfast our house affords.

Upon this Mr. Noel brought me into his house, and the lovely Harriot made tea for me, and had such plenty of fine cream, and extraordinary bread and butter set before me, that I breakfasted with uncommon pleasure. The honour and happiness of her company rendered the repast quite delightful. There was a civility so very great in her manner, and a social goodness so charming in her talk and temper, that it was unspeakable delight to sit at table with her. She asked me a number of questions relating to things and books, and people, and there was so much good sense in every inquiry, so much good humour in her reflections and replications, that I was intirely charmed with her mind; and lost in admiration, when I contemplated the wonders of her face, and the beauties of her person.

When breakfast was over, it was time for me to depart, and I made half a dozen attempts to rise from my chair; but without her laying a rosy finger on me, this illustrious maid had so totally subdued my soul, and deprived me of all motive power, that I sat like the renowned Prince of the Massagetes, who was stiffened by inchantment in the apartment of the Princess Phedima, as we read in Amadis de Gaul. This Miss Noel saw very plain, and in compassion to my misfortune, generously threw in a hint now and then, for a little farther conversation to colour my unreasonable delay. But this could not have been of service much longer, as the clock had struck twelve, if the old gentleman, her father, had not returned to us, and told me, he insisted on my staying to dine with him; for he loved to take a glass after dinner with a facetious companion, and would be obliged to me for my company. At present (Mr. Noel continued) you will excuse me, Sir, as business engages me till we dine: but my daughter will chat the hours away with you, and shew you the curiosities of her library and grott. Harriot will supply my place.

This was a delightful invitation indeed, and after returning my hearty thanks to the old gentleman for the favour he did me, I addressed my self to Miss Noel, when her father was gone, and we were walking back to the library in the garden, and told her ingenuously, that tho' I could not be positive as to the situation of my soul, whether I was in love with her or not, as I never had experienced the passion before, nor knew what it was to admire a woman; having lived till that morning in a state of indifference to her sex; yet, I found very strange emotions within me, and I was sure I could not leave her without the most lively and afflicting inquietude. You will pardon, I hope, Madam, this effusion of my heart, and suffer me to demonstrate by a thousand and a thousand actions, that I honour you in a manner unutterable, and from this time, can imagine no happiness but with you.

Sir, (this inimitable maid replied) you are an intire stranger to me, and to declare a passion on a few hours acquaintance, must be either to try my weakness, or because you think a young woman is incapable of relishing any thing but such stuff, when alone in conversation with a gentleman. I beg then I may hear no more of this, and as I am sure you can talk upon many more rational subjects, request your favor, to give me your opinion on some articles in this Hebrew Bible you see lying open on the table in this room. My father, Sir, among other things he has taken great pains to instruct me in, for several years that I have lived with him in a kind of solitary state, since the death of my mother, whom I lost when I was very young, has taught me to read and understand this inspired Hebrew book; and says we must ascribe primævity and sacred prerogatives to this language. For my part, I have some doubts as to this matter, which I dare not mention to my father. Tell me, if you please, what you think of the thing.

Miss Noel, (I answered) since it is your command, that I should be silent as to that flame your glorious eyes and understanding have lighted up in my soul, like some superior nature, before whom I am nothing, silent I will be, and tell you what I fancy on a subject I am certain you understand much better than I do. My knowledge of the Hebrew is but small, tho' I have learned to read and understand the Old-Testament in the Ante-Babel language.

My opinion on your question is, that the Biblical Hebrew was the language of Paradise, and continued to be spoken by all men down to, and at the time of Moses writing the pentateuch, and long after. Abraham, tho' bred in Chaldea, could converse freely with the Egyptians, the Sodomites, and the King of Gerar; nor do we find, that any variety of speech interrupted the commerce of his son Isaac with the several nations around, or that it ever stopt Jacob in his travels. Nay, the Israelites, in their journey through the desarts of Arabia, (after they had been some hundred years in Egypt) tho' joined by a mixt multitude, and meeting with divers kinds of people, had not corrupted their language, and were easily understood, because it was then the universal one. The simplicity and distinctness of the Hebrew tongue preserved its purity so long and so universally. It could not well be degenerate till the knowledge of nature was lost, as its words consist but of two or three letters, and are perfectly well suited to convey sensible and strong ideas. It was at the captivity (2) , in the space of seventy years, that the Jews, by temporising with the ignorant victors, so far neglected the usage of their own tongue, that none but the scribes or learned men could understand Moses's books.

This I confess (Miss Noel said) is a plausible account of the primævity and pre-eminence of the sacred Hebrew, but I think it is not necessary the account should be allowed as fact. As to its being the language in Paradise, this is not very probable, as a compass of 1800 years must have changed the first language very greatly by an increase of words, and new inflections, applications, and constructions of them. The few first inhabitants of the earth were occupied in few things, and wanted not a variety of words; but when their descendants invented arts and improved sciences, they were obliged to coin new words and technical terms, and by extending and transferring their words to new subjects, and using them figuratively, were forced to multiply the senses of those already in use. The language to be sure was thus gradually cultivated, and every age improved it. All living languages are liable to such change. I therefore conclude, that the language which served the first pair would not do for succeeding generations. It became vastly more copious and extensive, when the numbers of mankind were great, and their language must serve conversation and the ends of life, and answer all the purposes of intelligence and correspondence. New words and new terms of speech, from time to time were necessary, to give true ideas of the things, actions, offices, places, and times peculiar to the Hebrews. Even Hutchinson allows there was some coinage, some new words framed. We find in the latter prophets words not to be met with in the Pentateuch: and from thence we may suppose, that Moses used words unknown to Nimrod and Heber : and that the men at Shinaar (3) had words which the people before the flood were strangers to. Even in the seventeenth century, there must have been a great alteration in the language of Adam ; and when the venerable Patriarch and his family came into a new world, that was in a different state from the earth before the deluge, and saw a vast variety of things without precedent in the old world, the alterations in nature and diet, must introduce a multitude of new terms in things of common experience and usage; as, after that amazing revolution in the natural world, not only the clouds and meteors were different, and the souls that were saved had a new and astonishing view of the ruin and repair of the system; but Noah did then begin to be an husbandman; he planted a vineyard; he invented wine; and to him the first grant was given of eating flesh. All these things required as it were a new language, and the terms to be sure with mankind encreased. The Noachical language must be quite another thing after the great events of the flood. Had Methuselah, who conversed many years with Adam, who received from his mouth the history of the creation and fall, and who lived 600 years with Noah, to communicate to him all the knowledge he got from Adam; had this Antediluvian wise man been raised from the dead to converse with the postdiluvian fathers, or even with Noah, the year he died, that is, 350 years after the flood; is it not credible, from what I have said, that he would have heard a language very different from that tongue he used in his conversations with Adam, even in the 930th year of the first man (4) [Footnote 4: 2Kb] ? I imagine, Methuselah would not have been able to have talked with Noah, at the time I have mentioned, of the circumstances that then made the case of mankind, and of the things of common experience and usage. He must have been unable to converse at his first appearance.

What you say, Madam, (I replyed) is not only very probable, but affords a satisfaction unexpected in a subject on which we are obliged, for want of data, to use conjectures. I offer up to your superior sense the notion, that the Scriptures were wrote in the language of Paradise. Most certain it is, that even in respect of our own language, for example, the subjects of Henry the 1st, would find it as much out of their power to understand the English of George the 1st's reign, were they brought up again, as the ordinary people of our time are at a loss to make any thing of the English written in the 1st Henry's reign. But when I have granted this, you will be pleased to inform me, how Abraham and his sons conversed and commerced with the nations, if the Hebrew was not the universal language in their time? If the miracle at Babel was a confusion of tongues, as is generally supposed, how did the holy family talk and act with such distant Kings and people? Illuminate me, thou glorious girl in this dark article, and be my teacher in Hebrew learning, as I flatter my self you will be the guide and dirigent of all my notions and my days. Yes, charming Harriot, my fate is in your hands. Dispose of it as you will, and make me what you please.

You force me to smile, (the illustrious Miss Noel replyed) and oblige me to call you an odd compound of a man. Pray, Sir, let me have no more of those romantic flights, and I will answer your question as well as I can; but it must be at some other time. There is more to be said on the miracle at Babel, and its effects, than I could dispatch between this and our hour of dining, and therefore, the remainder of our leisure till dinner, we will pass in a visit to my grotto, and in walking round the garden to the parlour we came from. To the grotto then we went, and to the best of my power I will give my reader a description of this splendid room.

In one of the fine rotunda's I have mentioned, at one end of the green amphitheatre very lately described, the shining apartment was formed. Miss Noel's hand had covered the floor with the most beautiful Mosaic my eyes have ever beheld, and filled the arched roof with the richest fossil gems. The Mosaic painting on the ground was wrought with small coloured stones or pebbles, and sharp pointed bits of glass, measured and proportioned together, so as to imitate in their assemblage the strokes and colour of the objects, which they were intended to represent, and they represented by this lady's art, the Temple of Tranquillity, described by Volusenus in his dream.

At some distance the fine temple looks like a beautiful painted picture, as do the birds, the beasts, the trees, in the fields about it, and the river which murmurs at the bottom of the rising ground; Amnis lucidus & vadosus in quo cernere erat varii generis pisces colludere. So wonderfully did this genius perform the piece, that fishes of many kinds seem to take their passtime in the bright stream. But above all, is the image of the philosopher, at the entrance of the temple, vastly fine. With pebbles and scraps of glass, all the beauties and graces are expressed, which the pencil of an able artist could bestow on the picture of Democritus. You see him as Diogenes Laertius has drawn him, with a philosophical joy in his countenance, that shews him superior to all events. Summum bonorum finem statuit esse lætitiam, non eam quæ sit eadem voluptati, sed eam per quam animus degit perturbationis expers; and with a finger, he points to the following golden inscription on the portico of the temple:—



Flagrans sit studium bene merendi de seipso,
   Et seipsum perficiendi.

That is, By a rectitude of mind and life, secure true happiness and the applause of your own heart, and let it be the labour of your every day, to come as near perfection as it is possible for human nature to get. This Mosaic piece of painting is indeed an admirable thing. It has a fine effect in this grotto, and is a noble monument of the masterly hand of Miss Noel.

Nor was her fine genius less visible in the striking appearance of the extremely beautiful shells and valuable curiosities, all round the apartment. Her father spared no cost to procure her the finest things of the ocean and rivers from all parts of the world, and pebbles, stones, and ores of the greatest curiosity and worth. These were all disposed in such a manner as not only shed a glorious lustre in the room, but shewed the understanding of this young lady in natural knowledge.

In one part of the grot, were collected and arranged the stony coverings of all the shell-fish in the sea, from the striated patella and its several species, to the pholades in all their species: and of those that live in the fresh streams, from the suboval limpet or umbonated patella and its species, to the triangular, and deeply striated cardia. Even all the land-shells were in this collection, from the pomatia to the round-mouthed turbo. The most beautiful genera of the sea-shells, intermixed with fossil corals of all the kinds; with animal substances become fossil; and with copper-ores; agates; pebbles, pieces of the finest marmora and alabastritæ, and the most elegant and beautiful marcasites, and chrystals, and spars. These filled the greatest part of the walls, and in classes, here and there, were scattered, as foils to raise the lustre of the others, the inferior shells.

Among the simple sea-shells, that is, those of one shell, without a hinge, I saw several rare ones, that were neither in Mrs. O'Hara 's, nor in Mrs. Crafton's grottos in Fingal, as I observed to those ladies (5) [Footnote 5: 2Kb] . The shells I mean are the following ones.

1. The sea-trumpet, which is in its perfect state, nine inches long, an inch and half diameter at its mouth or irregular lip, and the opening at the small end about half an inch. The surface is a beautiful brown, prettily spotted with white, and the pipe has fourteen annular ridges that are a little elevated, and of a fine purple colour.

2. The admiral is vastly beautiful, a voluta two inches and a half long, and an inch in diameter, at the head, from whence it decreases to a cone with an obtuse point. The ground colour is the brightest, elegant yellow, finer than that of Sienna marble, and this ground so variegated with the brightest colours, that a little more than a third part of the ground is seen. Broad fasciæ, the most charmingly varied, surround it, and the clavicle is the most elegant of objects in colours, brightness and irregularities. There is a punctuated line of variations that runs in the centre of the yellow fascia, and is wonderfully pretty. This beautiful East Indian sells at a great price.

3. The crown imperial is likewise extremely beautiful. This voluta is four inches long, two in diameter at the top, and its head adorned with a charming series of fine tubercles, pointed at the extremities. The ground is a clear pale, and near the head and extremity of the shell, two very beautiful zones run round. They are of the brightest yellow, and in a manner the most elegant, are variegated with black and white purple. It is an East Indian.

4. The Hebrew letter, another voluta, is a fine curiosity. It is two inches in length, and an inch and a quarter in diameter at the top. It is a regular conic figure, and its exerted clavicle has several volutions. The ground is like the white of a fine pearl, and the body all over variegated with irregular marks of black, which have a near resemblance of the Hebrew characters. This elegant shell is an East Indian.

5. The white voluta, with brown and blue and purple spots. This very elegant shell, whose ground is a charming white, is found on the coast of Guinea, from five to six inches in length, and its diameter at the head often three inches. It tapers gradually, and at the extremity is a large obtuse. Its variegations in its spots are very beautiful, and its spots are principally disposed in many circles round the shell.

6. The butterfly is a voluta the most elegant of this beautiful genus. Its length is five inches in its perfection, and two and a half broad at the head. The body is an obtuse cone: the clavicle is pointed, and in several volutions. The ground is the finest yellow, and beautifyed all over with small brown spots, in regular and round series. These variegations are exceeding pretty, and as this rare East Indian shell has beside these beauties three charming bands round the body, which are formed of large spots of a deep brown, a pale brown, and white, and resemble the spots on the wings of butterflies, it is a beautiful species indeed. The animal that inhabits this shell is a limax.

7. The tulip cylinder is a very scarce and beautiful native of the East-Indies, and in its state of perfection and brightness of colour, of great value. Its form is cylindric, its length four inches, and its diameter two and a half, at its greatest increase. Its clavicle has many volutions, and terminates in an obtuse point. The ground colour is white, and its variegations blue and brown. They are thrown into irregular clouds in the most beautiful manner, and into some larger and smaller spots. The limax inhabits this fine shell.

I likewise saw in this grotto the finest species of the purpura, the dolia, and the porcellana. There was of the first genus the thorny woodcock:—of the second, the harp shell :—and of the third, the argus shell.

8. The thorny woodcock is ventricose, and approaches to an oval figure. Its length, full grown, is five inches; the clavicle short, but in volutions distinct; and its rostrum from the mouth twice the length of the rest of the shell. This snout and the body have four series of spines, generally an inch and half long, pointed at the ends, and somewhat crooked. The spines lie in regular, longitudinal series. The mouth is almost round, but the opening is continued in the form of a slit up the rostrum. The colour of this American, and extremely elegant shell, is a tawny yellow, with a fine mixture of a lively brown, and by bleaching on the coasts, it gets many spots of white.

9. The beautiful harp is a Chinese; three inches and half long, and two and a half in diameter. The shell is tumid and inflated, and at the head largest. It has an oblong clavicle in several volutions, pointed at the extremity, and the other extreme is a short rostrum. The whole surface is ornamented with elevated ribs, that are about twice as thick as a straw, and as distant from each other as the thickness of four straws. The colour is a fine deep brown, variegated with white and a paler brown, in a manner surprizingly beautiful.

10. The extremely elegant argus is from the coast of Africa, and is sometimes found in the East-Indies. Its length, in a state of perfection, is four inches and a half; its diameter three. It is oblong and gibbous, has a wide mouth, and lips so continued beyond the verge, as to form at each extremity a broad and short beak. The colour is a fine pale yellow, and over the body are three brown fasciæ: but the whole surface, and these fasciæ, are ornamented with multitudes of the most beautiful round spots, which resemble eyes in the wings of the finest butterflies. The limax inhabits this charming shell. This creature is the sea-snail.

11. The concha of Venus was the next shell in this young lady's collection that engaged my attention. One of them was three inches long, and two and a half in diameter. The valves were convex, and in longitudinal direction deeply striated. The hinge at the prominent end was large and beautifully wrought, and the opening of the shell was covered with the most elegant wrinkled lips, of the most beautiful red colour, finely intermixed with white; these lips do not unite in the middle, but have slender and beautiful spines round about the truncated ends of the shell. This shell of Venus is an American, and valued by the collectors at a high rate.

12. But of all the curious shells in this wonderful collection, the hammer oyster was what I wondered at most; it is the most extraordinary shell in the world. It resembles a pickax, with a very short handle and a long head. The body of the shell is in the place of the handle of the instrument, and is four inches and a half long, and one inch and a half in diameter. What answered to the head of the pickax was seven inches long, and three quarters of an inch in diameter. This head terminates at each end in a narrow obtuse point, is uneven at the edges, irregular in its make, and lies crosswise to the body: yet the valves shut in the closest and most elegant manner. The edges are deeply furrowed and plated, and the lines run in irregular directions. The colour without is a fine mixture of brown and purple; and within, a pearly white, with a tinge of purple. This rare shell is an East-Indian, and whenever it appears at an auction is rated very high. I have known ten guineas given for a perfect one.

With a large quantity of these most beautiful shells, which are rarely seen in any collections, and with all the family of the pectens, the cardiæ, the solens, the cylindri, the murexes, the turbines, the buccina, and every species of the finest genera of shells, Miss Noel formed a grotto that exceeded every thing of the kind I believe in the world; all I am sure that I have seen, except the late Mrs. Harcourt's in Richmondshire; which I shall give my Reader a description of, when I travel him up those English Alpes. It was not only, that Miss Noel's happy fancy had blended all these things in the wildest and most beautiful disposition over the walls of the rotunda; but her fine genius had produced a variety of grotts within her grotto, and falling waters, and points of view. In one place, was the famous Atalanta, and her delightful cave: and in another part, the Goddess and Ulysses's son appeared at the entrance of that grott, which under the appearance of a rural plainness had every thing could charm the eye: the roof was ornamented with shell-work; the tapestry was a tender vine; and limpid fountains sweetly purled round.

But what above all the finely fancyed works in Miss Noel's grotto pleased me, was, a figure of the Philosopher Epictetus, in the centre of the grott. He sat at the door of a cave, by the side of a falling water, and held a book of his philosophy in his hand, that was written in the manner of the antients, that is, on parchment rolled up close together. He appeared in deep meditation, and as part of the book had been unwrapped and gradually extended, from his knee on the ground, one could read very plain, in large Greek characters, about fifty lines. The English of the lesson was this.

The Master Science.

All things have their nature, their make and form, by which they act, and by which they suffer. The vegetable proceeds with perfect insensibility. The brute possesses a sense of what is pleasurable and painful, but stops at mere sensation. The rational, like the brute, has all the powers of mere sensation, but enjoys a farther transcendent faculty. To him is imparted the master-science of what he is, where he is, and the end to which he is destined. He is directed by the canon of reason to reverence the dignity of his own superior character, and never wretchedly degrade himself into natures to him subordinate. The master science (he is told) consists in having just ideas of pleasures and pains, true notions of the moments and consequences of different actions and pursuits, whereby he may be able to measure, direct or controul his desires or aversions, and never merge into miseries. Remember this, Arrianus. Then only you are qualified for life, when you are able to oppose your appetites, and bravely dare to call your opinions to account; when you have established judgment or reason as the ruler in your mind, and by a patience of thinking, and a power of resisting, before you choose, can bring your fancy to the test of truth. By this means, furnished with the knowledge of the effects and consequences of actions, you will know how you ought to behave in every case. You will steer wisely through the various rocks and shelves of life. In short, Arrianus, the deliberate habit is the proper business of man; and his duty, to exert upon the first proper call, the virtues natural to his mind; that piety, that love, that justice, that veracity, that gratitude, that benevolence; which are the glory of human kind. Whatever is fated in that order of incontroulable events, by which the divine power preserves and adorns the whole, meet the incidents with magnanimity, and co-operate with chearfulness in whatever the supreme mind ordains. —Let a fortitude be always exerted in endurings; a justice in distributions; a prudence in moral offices; and a temperance in your natural appetites and pursuits. —This is the most perfect humanity. This do, and you will be a fit actor in the general drama; and the only end of your existence is the due performance of the part allotted you.

Such was Miss Noel's grotto, and with her, if it had been in my power to choose, I had rather have passed in it, the day in talking of the various fine subjects it contained, than go in to dinner; which a servant informed us was serving up, just as I had done reading the above recited philosophical lesson. Back then we returned to the parlour, and there found the old Gentleman. We sat down immediately to two very good dishes, and when that was over, Mr. Noel and I drank a bottle of old Alicant. Tho' this Gentleman was upwards of eighty, yet years had not deprived him of reason and spirits. He was lively and sensible, and still a most agreeable companion. He talked of Greece and Rome, as if he had lived there before the Æra of christianity. The court of Augustus he was so far from being a stranger to, that he described the principal persons in it; their actions, their pleasures, and their caprices, as if he had been their contemporary. We talked of all these great characters. We went into the the gallery of Verres. We looked over the antient theatres. Several of the most beautiful passages in the Roman poets this fine old man repeated, and made very pleasant, but moral remarks upon them.

The cry (said he) still is as it was in the days of Horace



   O cives, cives, quaerenda pecunia primum,
   Virtus post nummos.—
Unde habeas nemo quaerit, sed oportet habere.
Quorum animis, a prima lanugine, non insedit illud?

And what Catullus told his Lesbia, is it not approved to this day by the largest part of the great female world?



   Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
   Rumoresque Senium Severiorum,
   Omnes unius aestimemus assis.
   Soles occidere et redire possunt,
   Nobis, cum semel occidit brevis lux,
   Nox est perpetua una dormiendo.
Hæc discunt omnes ante Alpha & Beta puellæ.

The girls all learn this lesson before their A. B. C: And as to the opinion of the poet, it shews how sadly the Augustan age, with all its learning, and polite advantages, was corrupted: and as Virgil makes a jest of his own fine description of a paradise or the Elysian fields; as is evident from his dismissing his hero out of the ivory gate; which shews he was of the school of Epicurus; it is from these things manifest, that we can never be thankful enough for the principles and dictates of reveled religion: we can never sufficiently adore the goodness of the most glorious Eternal for the gospel of Jesus Christ; which opens the unbounded regions of eternal day to the virtuous and charitable, and promises them a rest from labour, and ever blooming joys: while it condemns the wicked to the regions of horror and solid darkness; that dreadful region, from whence the cries of misery for ever ascend, but can never reach the throne of mercy. —O heavenly religion! designed to make men good, and for ever happy: that preserves the dignity of human nature—Guards and encreases virtue—And brings us to the realms of perfect reason and excellent glory.

But (continued this fine old Gentleman) Tibulius has ever pleased me in the description of his mistress:



Illam quicquid agit, quoquo vestigia flectit.
Componit furtim subsequiturque decor;
Seu solvit crines, fusis decet esse capillis;
Seu compsit comptis est veneranda comis.
Urit seu Tyria voluit procedere pulla;
Urit seu nivea candida veste venit.
Talis in æterno felix Vertumnus Olympo
Mille habet ornatus, mille decenter habet.

These elegant lines contain an inimitably beautiful description of outward grace, and its charming effects upon all who see it. Such a grace, without thinking of it, every one should strive to have, whatever they are doing. They should make it habitual to them. Quintilian seems to have had these fine lines in view, in his description of outward behaviour: Neque enim gestum componi ad similitudinem saltationis volo, sed subesse aliquid, in hac exercitatione puerili, unde nos non id agentes, furtim decor ille discentibus traditus subsequatur. Cap. 10.—I am not for having the mein of a gentleman the same with that of a dancing-master; but that a boy while young, should enter upon this exercise, that it may, communicate a secret gracefulness to his manner ever after.

In this manner, did the old gentleman and I pass the time, till the clock struck five, when Miss Noel came into the parlour again, and her father said he must retire, to take his evening nap, and would see me at supper; for with him I must stay that night. Harriot, make tea for the Gentleman. I am your servant, sir; and he withdrew. To Harriot then, my life and my bliss, I turned, and over a pot of tea was as happy, I am sure, as ever with his Statira sat the conqueror of the world. I began to relate once more the story of a passion, that was to form one day, I hoped, my sole felicity in this world, and with vows and protestations affirmed, that I loved from my soul. Charming angel, I said, the beauties of your mind have inspired me with a passion, that must encrease every time I behold the harmony of your face; and by the powers divine, I swear to love you, so long as Heaven shall permit me to breath the vital air. Bid me then either live or die, and while I do live, be assured, that my life will be devoted to you only. —But in vain was all this warmth. Miss Noel sat as unmoved as Erycina on a monument, and only answered, with a smile, Since your days, sir, are in my disposal, I desire you will change to some other subject, and some article that is rational and useful: otherwise, I must leave the room.

To leave me, I replied, would be insupportable, and therefore, at once I have done. If you please then, Madam, we will consider the miracle at Babel, and enquire into the language of the world at that time. Allowing, as you have proved in our late conversation, that the language after the flood was quite another thing from that used in Paradise, and of consequence, that Moses did not write in that tongue which Adam and Eve conversed in; nor is Hebrew of that primevity which some great men affirm; yet, if there was a confusion of tongues at Babel, and many languages were spoken in the earth in the days of Abraham, then, how did he and his sons converse so easily with the various nations they passed through, and had occasional connexions with? For my part, I think with Mr. Hutchinson, that the divine interposition at Babel was for quite another end, to wit, to confound their confession, and cast out of their minds the name or object of it, that a man might not listen to the lip or confession of his neighbour. They were made to lose their own lip, and to differ about the words of their atheistical confession.

As to a confusion of confessions (Miss Noel replyed), it appears to me to be a notion without any foundation to rest on. The argument of Hutchinson that the word Shephah, the name for a lip, when used for the voice or speech, is never once in the Bible used in any other sense than for confession, is not good; because tho' Shephah is often generally used for religious discourse or confession; yet the phrases, other lips and other tongues, are also used for other languages, utterances, pronunciations, dialects. St. Paul, I. Cor. 14. 21. 22. applys Shephah to language or dialect in his quotation from the prophet Isaiah, ch. 28. ver. 11. 12. —He says, in the law it is written, With MEN OF other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people, and yet for all that, they will not hear me : —And the words of the prophet are, speaking of Christ promised; with stammering lips, and another tongue will be speak to this people. It is evident from this, that the Hebrew word Shephah here signifies tongues or languages, and not confessions or discourse: So the apostle applies it, and explains the prophet: and by stammering lips Isaiah means the uncouth pronunciations of barbarous dialects, or languages of the nations, which must produce in strangers to them ridiculous lips or mouths; and in this he refers undoubtedly to the stammering and strange sounds, at the Babelconfusion; when God, by a miracle and visible exhibition, distorted their organs of speech, and gave them a trembling, hesitation, and precipitancy, as to vocal and other powers: In short, the miraculous gift of tongues would in some measure affect the saints, in respect of pronunciation, as the miracle of Babel did the people of that place. (6) [Footnote 6: 4Kb] Nor is this the only place in scripture where Shephah, lip, signifies language, pronunciations, and dialects; and where there is reference to the confusion of tongues at Babel: Isaiah speaking of the privileges of the godly, says,—Thou shalt not see a fierce people, of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive, (of a deeper lip than thou canst hear, Heb.) of a stammering or ridiculous tongue, that thou canst not understand. This is enough in answer to Mr. Hutchinson and his fautors, in respect of what they say on the confusion at Babel. This proves that the word Shephah, lip, signifies language, utterance, dialect, as well as confession or discourse: and therefore, Moses, in his account of the miracle at Babel, might have meant a confusion of languages. That he did mean this, is plane not only from a tradition gone out into all the earth, which is a matter of greater regard than Mr. Hutchinson's fancy; but because the sacred oracles allude to this event. Beside St. Paul aforementioned; the royal prophet in Psalm 55. ver. 9. refers to the means of the division of tongues, and denounces a curse in terms taken from that inflicted at Babel. Swallow up, O Lord, and divide their tongues. This seems to describe the manner of that confusion;—that the substance of the one language was sunk or swallowed up in a vast chaos of universal babble: and that out of that jargon, it was again (by another act) divided or broken into many particular dissonant dialects, or tongues.

All this (I said) is very just, and gives me delight and satisfaction. I am now convinced, not only, that Hebrew was not the language of Paradise, or that Adam did not speak the tongue the old world used immediately before the confusion at Babel; but likewise, that the division there was a division and confusion of the one language then spoken; and not a confusion of confessions, as Mr. Hutchinson affirms. Inform me however, if you please, what you mean by that tradition you mentioned, which declared the miracle of Babel was a confusion of languages.

The Jews tradition (replied Miss Noel) is preserved in their Targum, and tells us, that the whole earth after the flood was of one speech, or sort of words, and when at their first remove from Ararat, they came to Shinar, they consulted to build them a city, and a tower for an house of adoration, whose head might reach to, or be towards the Heavens, and to place an image of the host of Heaven, for an object of worship, on the top of it; and to put a sword in his hand, that he might make war for them against the divine armies, to prevent their dispersion over the whole earth. Whereupon the word of the Lord was reveled from Heaven, to execute vengeance upon them, and the Lord corrupted their tongue, broke their speech into seventy languages, and scattered them over the face of the whole earth. No one knew what his fellow said: and they slew one another, and ceased from building the city. Therefore he called the name of it Babel; because there the Lord mingled together the tongues of all the inhabitants of the other. This you read in the Targum that was written before the days of Jesus Christ, as the Jews affirm: or, if not so early, yet it is a very antient book, and the doctor who composed it must certainly know the meaning of the word Shephah better than Mr. Hutchinson. It appears upon the whole, that the argument of this famous modern is without foundation.

It is indeed (I answered): But then I am not able to conceive how Abraham and his sons conversed with so many nations —or how the Hebrew that Moses writ in was preserved. Illuminate me in these things, illustrious Harriot, and from your fine understanding, let me have the honour and happiness of receiving true Hebrew lessons. Proceed I beseech you, and stop not till you have expounded to my understanding the true nature of Cherubim? What do you think of Mr. Hutchinson's Rub and Rubbim, and of his notions of Ezekiel's cherubic form.

To talk of Cherubim and Elohim (resumed Miss Noel ), and say all that ought to be said, (to speak to any purpose) of the three heads and four visages, the bull, the man, the lyon, and the eagle, mentioned in the prophet, requires more knowledge in Hebrew learning than I pretend to be mistress of, and must take up more time than there is now to spare. I may hereafter however, if you should chance to come again to our house, let you know my fancys upon these grand subjects, and why I cannot accord with Mr. Hutchinson and my father, in their notion of the Cherubim's signifying the unity of the essence, the distinction of the Persons, and man's being taken into the essence by his personal union with the second person, whose constant emblem was the lyon. This I confess appears to my plain understanding very miserable stuff. I can see no text either in the Old Testament, or in the New, for a plurality of Beings, co-ordinate and independent. The sacred pages declare there is One original perfect mind. The Lord shall be King over all the earth . In that day there shall be ONE Lord, and his name One; says the prophet Zechariah, speaking of the prodigious revolution in the Gentile world, whence in process of time, by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the worship of One true God shall prevail all over the earth, as universally as Polytheism had done before. —This I dare not observe to my father, as he is an admirer of Mr. Hutchinson, and will not bear any contradiction: but my private judgment is, that Mr. Hutchinson on the Cherubim and Elohim or Eloim, is a mad commentator, as I may show you, if we ever happen to meet again.

At present, all I can do more on the Hebrew subject, is to observe that, in respect of the preservation of the Hebrew tongue, I imagine the one prevailing language before the miracle at Babel, (which one language was afterwards called Hebrew ) tho' divided and swallowed as it were at the Tower, was kept without change in the line of Shem, and continued their tongue. This cannot be disputed, I believe. I likewise imagine, it must be allowed, that this Hebrew continued the vernacular tongue of the old Canaanites. It is otherwise unaccountable how the Hebrew was found to be the language of the Canaanites, when the family of Abraham came among them again, after an absence of more than 200 years. If they had had another tongue at the confusion, was it possible for Abraham, during his temporary sojournments among them, and in the necessities of his peregrination, to persuade so many tribes to quit their dialect, and learn his language;—or, if his influence had been so amazing, can it be supposed, they would not return again to their old language, after he had left them, and his family was away from them more than 200 years? No, Sir. We cannot justly suppose such a thing. The language of the old Canaanites could not be a different one from the Hebrew. If you will look into Bochart (7) [Footnote 7: 2Kb] , you will find this was his opinion. That great man says the Ante-Babel language escaped the confusion two ways, viz. by the Canaanites, through God's providence preserving it in their colonies for the future use of the Hebrews, who were to possess the land; and by the patriarch Heber, as a sacred depositum for the use of his posterity and of Abraham in particular.

This being the case: the Phenician or Canaanitish tongue, being the same language that the line of Heber spoke, with this only difference, that by the latter it was retained in greater purity, being in the mouths of a few, and transmitted by instruction; it follows, that Abraham and his sons could talk with all these tribes and communities; and as to the other nations he had communication with, he might easily converse with them, as he was a Syrian by birth, and to be sure could talk the Aramitish dialect as well as Laban his brother. The Aramitish was the customary language of the line of Shem. It was their vulgar tongue. The language of the old world, that was spoken immediately before the confusion, and was called Hebrew from Heber, they reserved for sacred uses.

Here Miss Noel ended, and my amazement was so great, and my passion had risen so high for such uncommon female intelligence, that I could not help snatching this beauty to my arms, and without thinking of what I did, impressed on her balmy mouth half a dozen kisses. This was wrong, and gave very great offence: but she was too good to be implacable, and on my begging her pardon, and protesting it was not a wilful rudeness, but the magic of her glorious eyes, and the bright powers of her mind, that had transported me beside my self, she was reconciled, and asked me, if I would play a game of cards? With delight I replyed, and immediately a pack was brought in. We sat down to cribbage, and had played a few games, when by accident Miss Noel saw the head of my german flute, which I always brought out with me in my walks, and carried in a long pocket within side my coat. You play, Sir, I suppose, on that instrument, this lady said, and as of all sorts of musick this pleases me most, I request you will oblige me with any thing you please. In a moment I answered, and taking from my pocket book the following lines, I reached them to her, and told her I had the day before set them to one of Lulli's airs, and instantly began to breathe the softest harmony I could make—


A SONG.


I.


Almighty love's resistless rage,
No force can quell, no art asswage:
While wit and beauty both conspire,
To kindle in my breast the fire:
The matchless shape, the charming grace,
The easy air, and blooming face,
Each charm that does in Flavia shine,
To keep my captive heart combine.

II.


   I feel, I feel the raging fire!
And my soul burns with fierce desire!
Thy freedom, Reason, I disown,
And beauty's pleasing chains put on;
No art can set the captive free,
Who scorns his offer'd liberty;
Nor is confinement any pain,
To him who hugs his pleasing chain.

III.


   Bright Venus! Offspring of the sea!
Thy sovereign dictates I obey;
I own submiss thy mighty reign,
And feel thy power in every vein:
I feel thy influence all-confest,
I feel thee triumph in my breast!
'Tis there is fix'd thy sacred court,
'Tis there thy Cupids gaily sport.

IV.


   Come, my Boy, the altar place,
Add the blooming garland's grace;
Gently pour the sacred wine,
Hear me, Venus! Power divine!
Grant the only boon I crave,
Hear me, Venus! Hear thy slave!
Bless my fond soul with beauty's charms,
And give me Flavia to my arms (8) [Footnote 8: 3Kb ] .

Just as I was finishing this piece of musick, old Mr. Noel came into the parlour, in his wonted good humour, and seemed very greatly pleased with me and my instrument. He told me, I was the young man he wanted to be acquainted with, and that if it was no detriment to me, I should not leave him this month to come. Come, Sir, (continued this fine old gentleman) let me hear another piece of your musick— vocal or instrumental—as you will, for I suppose you sing as well as you play. Both you shall have, Sir, (I replied), to the best of my abilities, and by way of change, I will give you first a song, called the Solitude.


A SONG called the Solitude.


I.


Ye lofty mountains, whose eternal snows
   Like Atlas seem to prop the distant skies;
While shelter'd by your high and ample brows
   All nature's beauties feast my ravish'd eyes:
And far beneath me o'er the distant plain
The thunders break, and ratling tempests reign.

II.


Here, when Aurora with her chearful beam
   And rosy blushes marks approaching day;
Oft do I walk along the purling stream,
   And see the bleating flocks around me stray:
The woods, the rocks, each charm that strikes my sight,
Fills my whole breast with innocent delight.

III.


Here gaily dancing on the flow'ry ground
   The chearful shepherds join their flute and voice;
While thro' the groves the woodland songs resound,
   And fill th' untroubled mind with peaceful joys.
Musick and love inspire the vocal plain,
Alone the turtle tunes her plaintive strain.

IV.


Here the green turf invites my wearied head
   On nature's lap, to undisturb'd repose;
Here gently laid to rest—each care is fled;
   Peace and content my happy eye-lids close.
Ye golden flattering dreams of state adieu!
As bright my slumbers are, more soft than you.

V.


Here free from all the tempests of the Great,
   Craft and ambition can deceive no more!
Beneath these shades I find a blest retreat,
   From Envy's rage secure, and Fortune's pow'r:
Here call the actions of past ages o'er,
Or truth's immortal source alone explore.

VI.


Here far from all the busy world's alarms,
   I prove in peace the Muse's sacred leisure:
No cares within, no distant sound of arms,
   Break my repose, or interrupt my pleasure.
Fortune and Fame! Deceitful forms! Adieu!
The world's a trifle far beneath my view.

This song delighted the old gentleman to a great degree. He told me, he was charmed with it, not only for the fine musick I made of it, but the morality of it, and liked me so much, that I was most heartily welcome to make his solitary retreat my home, as often and as long as I pleased. And indeed I did so, and continued to behave in such a manner, that in two months time, I gained so intirely his affections, and so totally the heart of his admirable daughter, that I might have her in wedlock when I pleased, after the expiration of that current year, which was the young lady's request, and be secured of his estate at his death; beside a large fortune to be immediately paid down; and this, tho' my father should refuse to settle any thing on me, or Miss Noel, my wife. This was generous and charming as my heart could desire. I thought my self the happiest of men. Every week I went to Eden-Park, one time or other, to see my dear Miss Noel, and pay my respects to her worthy father. We were while I stayed a most happy family, and enjoyed such satisfactions as few I believe have experienced in this tempestuous hemisphere. Mr. Noel was passionately fond of his daughter, and he could not regard me more if I had been his own son. I loved my Harriot with a fondness beyond description, and that glorious girl had all the esteem I could wish she had for me. Our mutual felicity could rise no higher till we gave our hands, as we had already plighted our hearts.

This world is a series of visionary scenes, and contains so little solid, lasting felicity, as I have found it, that I cannot call life more than a deception; and, as Swift says it, he is the happiest man, who is best deceived. When I thought myself within a fortnight of being married to Miss Noel, and thereby made as compleatly happy in every respect as it was possible for a mortal man to be, the small pox steps in, and in seven days time, reduced the finest human frame in the universe to the most hideous and offensive block. The most amiable of human creatures mortifyed all over, and became a spectacle the most hideous and unbearable. —This broke her father's heart in a month's time, and the paradice I had in view, sunk into everlasting night.

My heart, upon this sad accident, bled and mourned to an extreme degree. All the tender passions were up in my soul, and with great difficulty could I keep my ruffled spirits in tolerable decorum. I lost what I valued more than my life—more than repeated millions of worlds, if it had been possible to get them in exchange. This engaged, beloved partner, was an honour to her sex, and an ornament to human kind. She was one of the wisest and most agreeable of women; and her life quite glorious for piety to God, compassion to the necessitous and miserable, benevolence and good will to all, with every other grace and virtue. These shined with a bright lustre in her whole deportment, and rendered her beloved, and the delight of all that knew her. Sense and genius were in her united, and by study, reflexion, and application, she improved the talents, in the happiest manner. She had acquired a superiority in thinking, speaking, writing, and acting, and in manners, her behaviour, her language, her design, her understanding, was inexpressibly charming. Miss Noel died in the 24th year of her age, the 29th of December, in the year 1724.

This dismal occurrence sat powerfully on my spirits for some time, and for near two months, I scarcely spoke a word to any one. I was silent, but not sullen. As my tears and lamentations could not save her, so I knew they could not fetch her back again. Death and the grave have neither eyes nor ears. The thing to be done upon so melancholly an occasion, is to adore the Lord of infinite wisdom, as he has a right to strike our comforts dead, and so improve the awful event, by labouring to render our whole temper and deportment christian and divine, that we may able to live, while we do live, superior to the strokes of fortune, and the calamities of human life; and when God bids us die, (in whatever manner, and at whatever time it may be) have nothing to do but to die, and so go enter into our master's joy. This is wisdom. This good we may extract from such doleful things. This was the effect my dear Miss Noel's death had on me, and when I saw myself deprived of so invaluable a thing in this world, I determined to double my diligence in so acting my part in it, that whenever I was to pass through the last extremity of nature, I might be dismissed with a blessing to another world, and by virtue of the sublime excellencies of our holy religion, proceed to the abodes of immortality and immutable felicity.

I wish I could persuade you, reader, to resolve in the same manner. If you are young, and have not yet experienced life, believe me, all is vanity, disappointment, weariness, and dissatisfaction, and in the midst of troubles and uncertainties, we are hastening on to an unknown world, from whence we shall never return again. Whether our dissolution be near, we know not; but this is certain, that death, that universal conqueror, is making after us apace, to seize us as his captives; and therefore, tho' a man live many years, and rejoice in them all, (which is the case of very few), yet let him remember the days of darkness.

And when death does come, our lot may be the most racking pains and distempers, to fasten us down to our sick-beds, till we resign our spirits to some strange region, our breath to the common air, and our bodies to the dust from whence they were taken. Dismal situation! If in the days of our health, we did not make our happiness and moral worth correspond—did not labour, in the time of our strength, to escape from wrong opinion and bad habit, and to render our minds sincere and incorrupt; if we did not worship and love the supreme mind, and adore his divine administration, and all the secrets of his providence. If this was not our case, before corruption begins to lay hold of us, deplorable must we be, when torments come upon us, and we have only hopeless wishes that we had been wiser, as we descend in agonies to our solitary retreat; to proceed from thence to judgment. Language cannot paint the horrors of such a condition. The anguish of mind, and the torture of body, are a scene of misery beyond Description.

Or if without torment, we lie down in silence, and sink into the land of forgetfulness, yet, since the Lord Jesus is to raise us from the regions of darkness, and bring us to the sessions of righteousness, where all our actions are to be strictly tried and examined, and every one shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body, whether they have been good or evil; what can screen us from the wrath of that mighty power, which is to break off the strong fetters of death, and to throw open the iron gates of the grave, if injustice, cruelty, and oppression, have been our practice in this world; or if, in the neglect of the distressed and hungry, we have given up ourselves to chambering and wantonness, to gluttony and voluptuousness? It is virtue and obedience, acts of goodness and mercy, that only can deliver us. If we worship in spirit and in truth the most glorious of immortal Beings, that God who is omnipotent in wisdom and action, and perform all the offices of love and friendship to every man, then our Lord will pronounce us the blessed of his Father. If we do evil, we shall come forth unto the resurrection of damnation. — This merits your attention, reader, and I hope you will immediately begin to ponder, what it is to have a place assigned in inconceivable happiness or misery for ever.

14.

Having thus lost Miss Noel, and my good old friend, her worthy father, I left the university, and went down to the country, after five years and three months absence, to see how things were posited at home, and pay my respects to my father; but I found them very little to my liking, and in a short time, returned to Dublin again. He had lately married in his old age a young wife, who was one of the most artful, false, and insolent of women, and to gratify her to the utmost of his power, had not only brought her nephew into his house, but was ridiculously fond of him, and lavishly gratifyed all his desires. Whatever this little brute (the son of a drunken beggar, who had been a journey-man glover) was pleased, in wantonness, to call for, and that his years, then sixteen, could require, my father's fortune in an instant produced; while scarcely one of my rational demands could be answered. Money, cloaths, servants, horses, dogs, and all things he could fansy, were given him in abundance; and to please the basest of women, and the most cruel step-mother that ever the Devil inspired to make the son of another woman miserable, I was denied almost every thing. The fine allowance I had at the University was taken from me. Even a horse to ride out to the neighbouring gentlemen, was refused me, tho' my father had three stables of extraordinary cattle; and till I purchased one, was forced to walk it, where-ever I had a mind to visit. What is still more incredible (if any thing of severity can be so, when a mother-in-law is sovereign) I was not allowed to keep my horse even at grass on the land, tho' five hundred acres of freehold estate surrounded the mansion, but obliged to graze it at a neighbouring farmer's. Nor was this all the hard measure I received. I was ordered by my father to become the young man's preceptor; to spend my precious time in teaching this youngster, and in labouring to make the little despicable dunce a scholar. All this was more than I could bear. My life became insupportable, and I resolved to range even the wilds of Africa, if nothing better offered, rather than live a miserable slave under the cruel tyranny of those unrelenting oppressors.

My father however, by the way, was as fine a gentleman as ever lived, a man of extraordinary understanding, and a scholar; likewise remarkably just and good to all the world, except my self, after I left the University: and to do him all the justice in my power, and vindicate him so far as I am able, I must not conceal, that great as the ascendant was, which my mother-in-law had over him, and as much as he was hen-pecked by that low woman, who had been his servant maid, yet it was not to her only that my sufferings were owing. Religion had a hand in my misery. False religion was the spring of that paternal resentment I suffered under.

15.

It was my father's wont to have prayers read every night and morning in his family, and the office was the litany of the common-prayer book. This work, on my coming home, was transferred from my sister to me, and for about one week I performed to the old gentleman's satisfaction, as my voice was good, and my reading distinct and clear: but this office was far from being grateful to me, as I was become a strict Unitarian, by the lessons I had received from my private tutor in college, and my own examinations of the vulgar faith. It went against my conscience to use the tritheistic form of prayer, and became at last so uneasy to me, that I altered the prayers the first Sunday morning, and made them more agreeable to scripture as I conceived. My father at this was very highly enraged, and his passion arose to so great a height, upon my defending my confession, and refusing to read the established form, that he called me the most impious and execrable of wretches, and with violence drove me from his presence. Soon after however he sent me Lord Nottingham's Letter to Mr. Whiston, and desired I would come to him when I had carefully read it over. I did so, and he asked me what I thought of the book. I answered, that I thought it a weak piece, and if he would hear me with patience, in relation to that in particular, and to the case in general, perhaps he might think my religion a little better than at present he supposed it to be. I will hear you, he said: proceed. —Then I immediately began, and for a full hour repeated an apology I had prepared (9) [Footnote 9: 2Kb] . He did not interrupt me once, and when I had done, all he replyed was, I see you are to be placed among the incurables. Be gone, he said, with stern disdain; and I resolved to obey. Indeed it was impossible for me to stay, for my father took no farther notice of me, and my mother-in-law and the boy, did all they could invent to render my life miserable.

15.

On the first day of May then, early in the morning, as the clock struck one, I mounted my excellent mare, and with my boy, O'Fin, began to journey as I had projected, on seeing how things went. I did not communicate my design to a soul, nor take my leave of any one, but in the true spirit of adventure, abandoned my father's dwelling, and set out to try what fortune would produce in my favor. I had the world before me, and Providence my guide. As to my substance, it consisted of a purse of gold, that contained fifty Spanish pistoles, and half a score moidores; and I had one bank note for five hundred pounds, which my dear Miss Noel left me by her will, the morning she sickened; and it was all she had of her own to leave to any one. With this I set forward, and in five days time arrived from the Western extremity of Ireland at a village called Rings-end, that lies on the Bay of Dublin. Three days I rested there, and at the Conniving-House (10) [Footnote 10: 2Kb] , and then got my horses on board a ship that was ready to fail, and bound for the land I was born in, I mean Old England.

16.

The wind, in the afternoon, seemed good and fair, and we were in hopes of getting to Chester the next day: but at midnight, a tempest arose, which held in all the horrors of hurricane, thunder and lightning, for two nights and a day, and left us no hope of escape. It was a dreadful scene indeed, and looked as if the last fatal assault was making on the globe. As we had many passengers, their cries were terrible, and affected me more than the flashing fires and the winds. For my part, I was well reconciled to the great change, but I confess that nature shrunk at the frightful manner of my going off, which I expected every moment the second night. At last however, we got into Whitehaven. It pleased the great King of all the earth to bid the storm, Have done.

Four remarkable things I noticed while the tempest lasted. One was, that the Dean of Derry, Dr. Whaley, whom we had on board, (who had nineteen hundred a year from the church, for teaching the people to be Christians) was vastly more afraid than one young lady of the company, who appeared quite serene. The Dean, tho' a fine Orator at land, was ridiculous in his fears at sea. He screamed as loud as any of the people: But this young lady behaved, like an angel in a storm. She was calm and resigned, and sat with the mate and me, the second night, discoursing of the divine power, and the laws of nature, in such uproars. By the way, neither mate, nor master, nor hand, could keep the deck. The ship was left to the mercy of the winds and waves.

The second remarkable thing is, that as this young lady went into naked bed in her cabbin, the first night, before the tempest began to stir, it was not many hours till a sea struck us upon the quarter, and drove in one of our quarter, and one of our stern dead lights, where we shipped great quantities of water, that put us under great apprehensions of foundering, and filled so suddenly the close wooden bed in which Miss Melmoth lay, that had not I chanced to be then leaning against the partition, and snatched her out, the moment I found my self all over wet, and half covered with the breaking sea, she must inevitably have perished. I ran up on deck with her in my arms, and laid her almost senseless and naked there: and as there was no staying many minutes in that place, I threw my great coat over her, and then brought her down to my own birth, which I gave her, and got her dry cloaths from her trunk, and made her drink a large glass of brandy, which saved her life. She got no cold, which I thought very strange, but was hurt a little in the remove. When all was over, she protested she would never go into naked bed, on board ship, again.

The third particular is, that there were some officers on board, most monstrously wicked men, and when we were given over by the captain, and no hope he thought of being saved, these warriors lamented like young children, and were the most dismal, disturbing howlers on board: yet, when we got on land, they had done with O Lord, O Lord, and began again their obscene talk, and to damn themselves at every word to the center of hell.

The fourth thing was this. There was on board with us a young gentleman of my acquaintance, one Pierce Gavan, who had been a fellow-commoner in my time of Trinity, Dublin. The first day of the storm, he was carried over-board by a rolling sea, and fairly lodged in the ocean, at above twenty yards distance from the ship; but the next tumbling billow brought him back again. He was laid on the deck without any hurt. On the contrary, one Charles Henley, a young merchant, was beat over, and we never saw him more.

Henley was not only a man of sense and prudence, who had an honest mind, and a cultivated understanding, but by search and enquiries into the doctrines, institutions and motives of reveled religion, had the highest regard for the truths of genuine Christianity, and chose the best means in his power to make himself acceptable to God.

Gavan, on the contrary, had no sense of religion, nor did he ever think of the power and goodness of God. He was a most prophane swearer, drank excessively, and had the heart to debauch every pretty woman he saw, if it had been possible for him to do so much mischief. —Yet this man, who never reformed that I heard, and whose impieties have shocked even young fellows who were no saints, was astonishingly preserved; and Henley, who had the justest natural notions, and listened to Revelation, perished miserably? How shall we account for such things? By saying, that the world that now is, and the world that is to come, are in the hands of God, and every transaction in them is quite right, tho' the reason of the procedure may be beyond our view. We cannot judge certainly of the ends and purposes of Providence, and therefore to pass judgment on the ways of God, is not only impious, but ridiculous to the last degree. This we know for certain, that whenever, or however, a good man falls, he falls into the hand of God, and since we must all die, the difference as to time and manner, signifies very little, when there is an infinite wisdom to distinguish every case, and an infinite goodness to compensate all our miseries. This is enough for a Christian. Happy is the man, and for ever safe, let what will happen, who acts a rational part, and has the fear and love of God in his thoughts. With pleasure he looks into all the scenes of futurity. When storms and earthquakes threaten calamity, distress, and death, he maintains an inward peace.

17.

When we had obtained the wished for shore, the passengers all divided. The Dean and his lady, and some other ladies, went one way, to an inn recommended to them by a gentleman on board; the warriors and Gavan marched to another house; and the young lady, whose life was by me preserved, and I, went to the Talbot, which the mate informed me had the best things and lodging, tho' the smallest inn of the town. This mate, Mr. Whitwell, deserves to be particularly mentioned, as he was remarkable for good breeding, good sense, and a considerable share of learning, tho' a sailor; as remarkable this way, as the captain of the ship was the other way, that is, for being the roughest and most brutal old tar that ever commanded a vessel.

18.

Whitwell the mate, about thirty-six years of age at this time, told me, he was the son of a man who once had a great fortune, and gave him a university education, but left an estate so encumbered with debts, and ruined with mortgages, that its income was almost nothing, and therefore the son sold the remains of it, and went to sea with an East-India captain, in the 22d year of his age, and was so fortunate abroad, that he not only acquired riches, in four years time that he trafficked about, between Batavia and the Gulph of Persia, but married a young Indian Lady, (the daughter of a Rajah, or petty Prince in the Mogul Empire) who was rich, wise, and beautiful, and made his life so very happy, for three years that she lived, that his state was a mere Paradise, and he seemed a little sovereign. But this fleeting scene was soon over, and on his return to England with all his wealth, their ship was taken by the pirates of Madagascar, who robbed him of all he had, and made him a miserable slave for two years and upwards. That he escaped from them to the tawny generation of Arabs, who lived on the mountains, the other side of this African island, and used him with great humanity; their chief being very fond of him, and entertaining him in his mud-wall palace: he married there a pretty little yellow creature, niece to the poor ruler, and for twelve months was very far from being miserable with this partner, as they had a handsome cottage and some cattle, and this wife was good-humour itself, very sensible, and a religious woman; her religion being half Mahometanism and half Judaism. But she died at the years end, and her uncle, the Chief, not living a month after her, Whitwell came down from the mountains to the next sea coast under the conduct of one of the Arabians, his friend, and meeting with a European ship there, got at last to London. A little money he had left behind him in England, by way of reserve, in case of accidents, if he ever should return to his own country, and with this he drest himself, got into business, and came at last to be mate of the Skinner and Jenkins. His destiny, he added, was untoward, but as he had thought, and read, and seen enough in his wide travels, to be convinced, the world, and every being, and every atom of it, were directed and governed by unerring wisdom, he derived hopes and comforts from a due acknowledgment of God. There are more born to misery than to happiness, in this life: but all may die to be for ever glorious and blessed, if they please. —This conclusion was just and beautiful, and a life and sentiments so uncommon I thought deserved a memorial.

19.

Miss Melmoth and I continued at the Talbot for three weeks, and during that time, breakfasted, dined, and supped together. Except the hours of sleep, we were rarely from each other. We walked out together every day, for hours conversed, sometimes went to cards, and often she sung, delightfully sung, while on my flute I played. With the greatest civility, and the most exact good manners, we were as intimate as if we had been acquainted for ages, and we found a satisfaction in each others company, as great as lovers generally experience: yet so much as one syllable of the passion was not mentioned: not the least hint of love on either side was given, while we stayed at Whitehaven; and I believe, neither of us had a thought of it. It was a friendship the most pure and exalted, that commenced at my saving her life, in the manner I have related, and by some strange kind of magic, our notions and inclinations, tempers and sentiments, had acquired such a sameness in a few days, that we seemed as two spiritual Socias, or duplicates of each others mind. Body was quite out of the case, tho' this lady had an extravagance of beauty. My sole delight was that fine percepient, which shed a lustre on her outward charms. How long this state would have lasted, had we continued more time together, and had the image of the late Miss Noel been more effaced, or worn out of the sensory of my head, I cannot say; but while it did last, there could be nothing more strange. To see two young people of different sexes, in the highest spirits and most confirmed health, live together for twenty-one days, perfectly pleased with each other, intirely at their own disposal, and as to fortune, having abundantly enough between them both for a comfortable life; and yet, never utter one word, nor give a look, that could be construed a declaration of the passion, or a tendency towards a more intimate union;—to compleat that connexion which nature and providence requires of beings circumstanced as we were;—this was very odd. Till the clock struck twelve every night we sat up, and talked of a vast variety of things, from the Bible down to the clouds of Aristophanes, and from the comedies and tragedies of Greece and Rome to the Minerva of Sanctius, and Hickes's northern Thesaurus. Instead of Venus or any of her court, our conversation would often be on the morals of Cicero, his academicks, and de finibus; on the English or the Roman history; Shakespear's scenes of nature, or maps of life; whether the OEdipus or the Electra of Sophocles was the best tragedy; and the scenes in which Plautus and Terence most excelled. Like two criticks, or two grammarians, antiquarians, historians, or philosophers, would we pass the evening with the greatest chearfulness and delight.

Miss Melmoth had a memory astonishing, and talked on every subject extremely well. She remembred all she had read. Her judgment was strong, and her reflections ever good. She told me her mother was another Mrs. Dacier, and as her father was killed in a duel, when she was very young, the widow Melmoth, instead of going into the world, continued to live at her country seat, and diverted herself with teaching her daughter the languages of Greece and Rome, and in educating her heart and mind. This made this young lady a master of the Latin tongue and Greek, and enabled her to acquire a knowledge so various and fine, that it was surprizing to hear her expatiate and explain. She talked with so much ease and good humour, and had a manner so chearful and polite, that her discourse was always entertaining, even tho' the subject happened to be, as it was one evening, the paulo paulo post futurum of a Greek verb. These things however were not the only admirable ones in this character. So happily had her good mother formed and instructed her mind, that it appeared full of all the principles of rational honour, and devoted to that truly God-like religion, which exalts the soul to an affection rather than dread of the supreme Lord of all things, and to a conviction that his laws lead us both to happiness here and hereafter. She thorowly understood the use and excellence of Revelation, and had extracted from the inspired volumes everlasting comfort and security under the apprehensions of the divine Power and Majesty: but she told me, she could not think rites and outward performances were essential to real religion. She considered what was just and beautiful in these things as useful and assisting only to the devout mind. —In a word, this young lady was wise and good, humble and charitable. I have seen but one of her sex superior to her, in the powers of mind, and the beauties of body: that was Miss Noel. Very few have I known that were equal.

20.

The 2d day of June Miss Melmoth and I left Whitehaven, and proceeded from thence to Westmoreland. We travelled for five days together, till we came to Brugh under Stainmore, where we stayed a night at Lamb's, (a house I recommend to the reader, if ever he goes that way), and the next morning we parted. Miss Melmoth and her servants went right onwards to Yorkshire, and I turned to the left, to look for one Mr. Charles Turner, who had been my near friend in the University, and lived in some part of the north-east extremity of Westmoreland, or Yorkshire . But before we separated on the edge of Stainmore, we stopped at the Bell to breakfast, which is a little lone house on a descent to a vast romantic glin, and all the public house there is in this wild, silent road till you come to Jack Railton, the Quaker's house at Bows. We had a pot of coffee and toast and butter for breakfast, and as usual we were very chearful over it; but when we had done, and it was time to depart, a melancholy, like a black and dismal cloud, began to overspread the charming face of Charlotte, and after some silence, the tears burst from her eyes. What is the matter, Miss Melmoth, I said—what makes this amazing change? I will tell you, Sir, this beauty replyed. To you I owe my life, and for three weeks past have lived with you in so very happy a way, that the end of such a scene, and the probability of my never seeing you more, is too much for me. Miss Melmoth, (I answered) you do me more honor than I deserve in shedding tears for me, and since you can think me worth seeing again, I promise you upon my sacred word, that as soon as I have found a beloved friend of mine I am going up the hills to look for, and have paid my respects to him for a while, if he is to be found in this desolate part of the world, I will travel with my face in the next place, if it be possible, towards the east-riding of Yorkshire, and be at Mrs. Asgil's door, where you say you are to be found. This restored the glories to Charlotte's face again, and for the first time, I gave Miss Melmoth a kiss, and bid her adieu.

21.

Having thus lost my charming companion, I travelled into a vast valley, enclosed by mountains whose tops were above the clouds, and soon came into a country that is wilder than the Campagna of Rome, or the uncultivated vales of the Alps and Apennines. Warm with a classical enthusiasm, I journeyed on, and with fancy's eye beheld the rural divinities, in those sacred woods and groves, which shade the sides of many of the vast surrounding fells, and the shores and promontories of many lovely lakes and bright running streams. For several hours I travelled over mountains tremendous to behold, and through vales the finest in the world. Not a man or house could I see in eight hours time, but towards five in the afternoon, there appeared at the foot of a hill a sweetly situated cottage, that was half covered with trees, and stood by the side of a large falling stream: a vale extended to the south from the door, that was terminated with rocks, and precipices on precipes, in an amazing point of view, and through the flowery ground, the water was beautifully seen, as it winded to a deeper flood at the bottom of the vale. Half a dozen cows were grazing in view: and a few flocks of feeding sheep added to the beauties of the scene.

To this house I sent my boy, to enquire who lived there, and to know, if for the night I could be entertained, as I knew not where else to go. O'Fin very quickly returned, and informed me, that one farmer Price was the owner of the place, but had gone in the morning to the next town, and that his wife said, I was welcome to what her house afforded. In then I went, and was most civilly received by an exceeding pretty woman, who told me her husband would soon be at home, and be glad she was sure to see me at their lone place; for he was no stranger to gentlemen and the world, tho' at present he rarely conversed with any one. She told me, their own supper would be ready an hour hence, and in the mean time would have me take a can of fine ale and a bit of bread. She brought me a cup of extraordinary mault-drink and a crust, and while I was eating my bread, in came Mr. Price.

22.

The man seemed very greatly astonished at entering the room, and after he had looked with great earnestness at me for a little while, he cryed out, Good Heaven! What do I see! Falstaff, my class-fellow, and my second self. My dear friend you are welcome, thrice welcome to this part of the world. All this surprized me not a little, for I could not recollect at once a face that had been greatly altered by the small-pox: And it was not till I reflected on the name Price that I knew I was then in the house of one of my school-fellows, with whom I had been most intimate, and had played the part of Plump Jack in Henry the fourth, when he did Prince Henry. This was an unexpected meeting indeed: and considering the place, and all the circumstances belonging to the scene, a thing more strange and affecting never came in my way. Our pleasure at this meeting was very great, and when the most affectionate salutations were over, my friend Price proceeded in the following manner.

Often have I remembered you since we parted, and exclusive of the Greek and English plays we have acted together at Sheridan's school, in which you acquired no small applause, I have frequently thought of our frolicksome rambles in vacation time, and the merry dancings we had at Mother Red-Cap's in Back-Lane; the hurling matches we have played at Dolphin's-Barn, and the cakes and ale we used to have at the Organ-house on Arbor-Hill. These things have often occurred to my mind: but little did I think we should ever meet again on Stainmore-hills. What strange things does time produce! It has taken me from a town life to live on the most solitary part of the globe: —And it has brought you to journey where never man I believe ever thought of travelling before. So it is, (I replyed), and stranger things, dear Jack, may happen yet before our eyes are closed: why I journey this untravelled way, I will inform you by and by; when you have told me by what strange means you came to dwell in this remote and silent vale. That you shall know, (Mr. Price said) very soon, as soon as we have eaten a morsel of something or other which my dear Martha has prepared against my return. Here it comes, a fowl, bacon and greens, and as fine I will answer as London market could yield. Let us sit down, my friend, and God bless us and our meat.

Down then we sat immediatly to our dish, and most excellent every thing was. The social goodness of this fond couple added greatly to the pleasure of the meal, and with mirth and friendship we eat up our capon, our bacon, and our greens. When we had done, Price brought in pipes and tobacco, and a fresh tankard of his admirable ale. Listen now (he said) to my story, and then I will hearken to yours.

23.

When I left you at Sheridan's school, my remove was from Ireland to Barbadoes, to become a rich uncle's heir, and I got by my Indian airing a hundred thousand pounds. There I left the bones of my mother's brother, after I had lived two years in that burning place, and from thence proceeded to London, to spend what an honest, laborious man had long toiled to save. But I had not been above three months in the capital of England, when it came into my head to pass some time in France, and with a girl I kept made hast to the French metropolis. There I lived at a grand rate, and took from the French Opera-house another whore. The Gaul and the Briton were both extreme fine girls, and agreed so well together, that I kept them both in one house. I thought my self superlatively happy in having such a brace of females, and spared no cost in procuring them all the finery and pleasures that Paris and London could yield. I had a furnished house in both these cities, and with an expensive equipage went backwards and forwards. In four years time I spent a great deal of money, and as I had lost large sums at play, and these two whores agreed in the end to rob me, and retire with the money, where I should never discover them, I found my self in very midling circumstances, and had not six hundred pounds left in the fourth year from my uncle's death. How to dispose of this and my self was now the question. What shall I do, (was my deliberation) to secure bread and quiet? Many a thoughtful hour this gave me, and at length I determined to purchase a little annuity. But before this could be effected, I went down to Westmoreland, on an information I had received, that my two ladies were at Appleby with other names, and on my money appeared as women of fortune. But this journey was to no purpose, and I was preparing to return to London, when my wife you saw at the head of the table a while ago, came by chance in my way, and pleased me so well with her good understanding, face and person, that I resolved to marry her, if she would have me, and give her the management of my five hundred pounds on a farm, as she was a farmer's daughter, and could manage one to good advantage. Her father was lately dead, and this little mountain farm she continued to occupy: therefore nothing could be more to my purpose, if I could prevail on her to make me her husband, and with some difficulty she did, to my unspeakable felicity. She had no money worth mentioning: but her house was pretty and comfortable, and her land had grain and cattle; and as I threw into her lap my five hundred pounds, a little before we were married, to be by her disposed of and managed, according to her pleasure, she soon made some good improvements and additions, and by her fine understanding, sweet temper, and every Christian virtue, continues to render my life so compleatly happy; so joyous and delightful; that I would not change my partner and condition, for one of the first quality and greatest fortune. In her I have every thing I could wish for in a wife and a woman, and she makes it the sole study and pleasure of her life to crown my every day with the highest satisfactions and comforts. Two years have I lived with her on these wild mountains, and in that time I have not had one dull or painful minute, but in thinking that I may lose her, and be the wretched survivor. That thought does sometimes wound me. —In sum, my friend, we are the happiest of wedded mortals, and on this small, remote farm, live in a state of bliss to be envyed. This proves that happiness does not flow from riches only: but that, where pure and perfect love, strict virtue, and unceasing industry, are united in the conjugal state, they can make the Stainmore mountains a Paradice to mortals, in peace and little.

But it is not only happiness in this world that I have acquired by this admirable woman, but life eternal. You remember, my friend, what a wild and wicked one I was when a school-boy, and as Barbadoes of all parts of the globe is no place to improve a man's morals in, I returned from thence to Europe as debauched a scelerate as ever offended Heaven by blasphemy and illegal gratifications. Even my losses and approaching poverty were not capable of making any great change in me. When I was courting my wife, she soon discerned my impiety, and perceived that I had very little notion of hell and heaven, death and judgment. This she made a principal objection against being concerned with me, and told me, she could not venture into a married connexion with a man, who had no regard to the divine laws, and therefore, if she could not make me a Christian, in the true sense of the word, she would never be Mrs. Price.

This from a plain, country girl, surprized me not a little, and my astonishment arose very high, when I heard her talk of religion, and the great end of both, a blessed life after this. She soon convinced me, that religion was the only means by which we can arrive at true happiness, by which we can attain to the last perfection and dignity of our nature, and that the authority and word of God is the surest foundation of religion. The substance of what she said is as follows. I shall never forget the lesson.

The plain declarations of our Master in the Gospel restore the dictates of uncorrupted reason to their force and authority, and give us just notions of God and of our selves. They instruct us in the nature of the Deity, discover to us his unity, holiness, and purity, and afford certain means of obtaining eternal life. Revelation commands us to worship One Supreme God, the Supreme Father of all things; and to do his will, by imitating his perfections, and practising every thing recommended by that Law of Reason, which he sent the Messiah to revive and enforce: that by repentance, and righteousness, and acts of devotion, we may obtain the Divine favor, and share in the glories of futurity: for, the Supreme Director, whose goodness gives counsel to his power, commanded us into existence to conduct us to everlasting happiness, and therefore, teaches us by his Son to pray, to praise, and to repent, that we may be entitled to a nobler inheritance than this world knows, and obtain life and immortality, and all the joys and blessings of the heavenly Canaan. This was the godlike design of our Creator. That superior Agent, who acts not by arbitrary will, but by the maxims of unclouded reason, when he made us, and stationed us in this part of his creation, had no glory of his own in view, but what was perfectly consistent with a just regard to the felicity of his rational subjects.

It was this made the Apostle shew Felix the unalterable obligations to justice and equity; to temperance, or, a command over the appetites; and then, by displaying the great and awful judgment to come, urge him to the practice of these, and all the other branches of morality; that by using the means prescribed by God, and acting up to the conditions of salvation, he might escape that dreadful punishment, which, in the reason and nature of things, is connected with vice, and which the good government of the rational world requires should be inflicted on the wicked; and might, on the contrary, by that mercy offered to the world thro' Jesus Christ, secure those immense rewards, which are promised to innocence and the testimony of an upright heart. This faith in Christ St. Paul placed before the Roman governor in the best light. He described the complexion and genius of the Christian faith. He represented it as reveling the wrath of God against all immorality; and as joining with reason and uncorrupted nature, enforcing the practice of every moral and social duty.

What effect this discourse had on Felix (Martha continued) in producing faith, that is, morality in an intelligent agent, we are told by the Apostle. He trembled: but iniquity and the world had taken such a hold of him, that he dismissed the subject, and turned from a present uneasiness to profit and the enjoyment of sin. He had done with St. Paul, and sacrificed the hopes of eternity to the world and its delights.

But this (concluded Martha) will not I hope be your case. As a judgment to come is an awful subject, you will ponder in time, and look into your own mind. As a man, a reasonable and social creature, designed for duty to a God above you, and to a world of fellow-creatures around you, you will consider the rules of virtue and morality, and be no longer numbered with those miserable mortals, who are doomed to condemnation upon their disobedience. Those rules lie open in a perfect gospel, and the wicked can have nothing to plead for their behaviour. They want no light to direct them. They want no assistance to support them in doing their duty. They have a Gospel to bring them to life and salvation, if they will but take notice of it; and if they will not walk in the light of God's law, this Gospel must be their judgment and condemnation.

Say then, Sir, (Martha proceeded) can you be prevailed on to think of religion in its native purity and simplicity, and by the power of the Gospel, so act with regard to virtue and piety, that when Christ shall come not only in the power, but in the wisdom and the justice of God, to judge the world, you may be secured from that misery and distress, which is prepared for iniquity; and enjoy that eternal life, which is to be the portion of the righteous?

In this extraordinary manner did Martha Harrington discourse me, and the effect of it was (Jack Price continued), that I became a thorow reform from that hour. My rational life from that happy day commenced, and I entred seriously into my own breast, to think in earnest of that solemn judgment to come. What Martha said was so clear and strong, that I had not a thought of replying, but truth at once intirely subdued my heart, and I flew to the Son of God, to request his intercession with the Father of the Universe for the pardon of all my crimes. The dignity and end of my being has since been the subject of my meditations, and I live convinced, that every thing is contemptible that is inconsistent with duty and morality. This renders even my pleasures more agreeable. This gives eternal peace to my mind.

24.

Here Price, ended his remarkable story, and according to our agreement, I began to relate what happened to me from the time we parted at school, and concluded with informing him, that I was going in search of Charles Turner, my near friend, when fortune brought me to his house: that this gentleman lived somewhere towards the confines of Cumberland and the Northriding of Yorkshire, but where the spot was I could not tell, nor did I know well how to go on, as the country before me seemed unpassable, on account of its mountains, precipices, and floods: I must try however what can be done; not only in regard to this gentleman; but, because I have reason to think it may be very much to my advantage, as he is very rich, and the most generous of men. If he is to be found, I know I shall be welcome to share in his happiness as long as I please, nor will it be any weight to him. Price to this replyed, that I was most heartily welcome to him as long as I pleased to stay, and that tho' he was far from being a rich man, yet he had every day enough for himself and one more; and his Martha he was sure would be as well pleased with my company, as if I had been his own brother, since she knew I was his esteemed friend. —In respect of the way, he said, he would enable me to find Mr. Turner, if he could, but the country was difficult to travel, and he doubted very much if one could go to the extremity of Cumberland or Yorkshire over the hills; but we would try however, and if it was possible, find out Mr. Turner's house. Yet solely with him I must not stay, if he could be seen. I must live between both, till I got some Northern girl, and had a wife and habitation of my own; and there is (continued Price ) not many miles from me, a sweet pretty lass, the daughter of a gentleman-farmer, who is a very good man, and would, I believe, upon my recommendation, give you his girl, and a sum of money, to sit down on those hills. —This is vastly kind, Jack, I answering, said, and what I shall gratefully remember so long as I live. I may ride many a mile I am sure, and be an adventurer many a long day, before I meet with such offers again. Your sweetly situated house and good things, with a fine northern girl and money down, are benefits not to be met with every day. —But at present the object I must pursue, is my university friend, Charles Turner, and if you please to do me the great favor of guiding me so far as you can over this wild, uninhabited land, after I have stayed with you, for the first time, two or three days, and promise to abide many more hereafter, if it be in my power, we will set out in quest of what I want. As you will, my friend Price replyed: and for the present, let us be gay. Here comes my beloved, with a little bowl of punch, and as she sings extremely well, and you have not forgot I fansy our old song, we will have it over our nectar. You shall represent Janus and Momus, and I will be Chronos and Mars, and my wife Diana and Venus. Let us take a glass first—the liberties of the world—and then do you begin. We drank, and in the following manner I went on.


A SONG. 25.


Janus.


Chronos, Chronos, mend thy pace,
An hundred times the rowling sun,
Around the radiant belt has run;
   In his revolving race.
Behold, behold the goal in sight,
Spread thy fans, and wing thy flight.

Chonos.


Weary, weary of my weight,
Let me, let me drop my freight,
And leave the world behind.
   I could not bear
   Another year
The load of human kind.

Momus.


Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! well hast thou done,
   To lay down thy pack,
   And lighten thy back.
The world was a fool, e'er since it begun,
And since neither Janus, nor Chronos, nor I,
   Can hinder the crimes,
   Or mend the bad times,
'Tis better to laugh than to cry.

Chorus.


'Tis better to laugh than to cry.

Janus.


Since Momus comes to laugh below,
   Old time begin the show!
That he may see, in every scene,
What changes in this age have been;

Chronos.


Then goddess of the silver bow begin!

Diana.


With horns and with hounds I waken the day,
And hye to my woodland-walks away;
I tuck up my robe, and am buskin'd soon,
And tye to my forehead a wexing moon;
I course the fleet stag, unkennel the fox,
And chase the wild goats o'er summits of rocks,
With shouting and hooting we pierce thro' the sky:
And eccho turns hunter, and doubles the cry.

Chorus.


With shouting and hooting we pierce thro' the sky,
And eccho turns hunter, and doubles the cry.

Janus.


Then our age was in its prime,

Chronos.


Free from rage,

Diana.


—And free from crime.

Momus.


A very merry, dancing, drinking,
Laughing, quaffing, and unthinking time.

Chorus.


Then our age was in its prime,
Free from rage, and free from crime.
A very merry, dancing, drinking,
Laughing, quaffing, and unthinking time.

Mars.


Inspire the vocal brass, inspire;
The world is past its infant age:
   Arms and honour,
   Arms and honour,
Set the martial mind on fire,
And kindle manly rage.
Mars has lookt the sky to red;
And peace, the lazy good, is fled.
Plenty, peace, and pleasure fly;
   The sprightly green
In Woodland-walks, no more is seen;
The sprightly green has drank the Tyrian dye.

Chorus.


Plenty, peace, and pleasure fly;
   The sprightly green
In Woodland-walks, no more is seen;
The sprightly green has drank the Tyrian dye.

Mars.


Sound the trumpet, beat the drum,
Through all the world around;
Sound a reveille, sound, sound,
   The warrior God is come.

Chorus.


Sound the trumpet, beat the drum,
Through all the world around;
Sound a reveille, sound, sound,
   The warrior God is come.

Momus.


Thy sword within the scabbard keep,
   And let mankind agree;
Better the world were fast asleep,
   Than kept awake by thee.
The fools are only thinner,
   With all our cost and care;
But neither side a winner,
   For things are as they were.

Chorus.


The fools are only thinner,
   With all our cost and care;
But neither side a winner,
   For things are as they were.

Venus.


Calms appear, when storms are past,
Love will have its hour at last:
Nature is my kindly care;
Mars destroys, and I repair;
Take me, take me, while you may,
Venus comes not ev'ry day.

Chorus.


Take her, take her, while you may,
Venus comes not ev'ry day.

Chronos.


The world was then so light,
I scarcely felt the weight;
Joy rul'd the day, and love the night.
But since the queen of pleasure left the ground,
   I faint, I lag,
   And feebly drag
The pond'rous orb around.

Momus pointing to Diana.


All, all, of a piece throughout;
The chace had a beast in view;

to Mars.


Thy wars brought nothing about;

to Venus.


Thy lovers were all untrue,

to Janus.


'Tis well an old age is out,
And time to begin a new.

Chorus.


All, all, of a piece throughout;
Thy chace had a beast in view;
Thy wars brought nothing about;
Thy lovers were all untrue;
'Tis well an old age is out,
And time to begin a new.

26.

In this happy manner did we pass the night in this wild and frightful part of the world, and for three succeeding evenings and days, enjoyed as much true satisfaction as it was possible for mortals to feel. Price was an ingenious, chearful, entertaining man, and his wife had not only sense more than ordinary, but was one of the best of women. I was prodigiously pleased with her conversation. Tho' she was no woman of letters, nor had any books in her house except the Bible, Barrow's and Wichcott's sermons, Howell's History of the World, and the History of England, yet from these few, a great memory, and an extraordinary conception of things, had collected a valuable knowledge, and she talked with an ease and perspicuity that was wonderful. On religious subjects she astonished me.

As Sunday was one of the days I stayed there, and Price was obliged in the afternoon to be from home, I passed it in conversation with his wife. The day introduced religion, and among other things, I asked her, which she thought the best evidences of christianity? The prophecies or the miracles?

Neither: (Mrs. Price replyed). The prophecies of the Messiah recorded in the old testament are a good proof of the christian religion, as it is plane from many instances in the new testament, that the Jewish converts of that generation understood them to relate to our Lord; which is a sufficient reason for our believing them. Since they knew the true intent and meaning of them, and on account of their knowing it, were converted; the prophecies for this reason should by us be regarded as divine testimony in favor of Christ Jesus. —Then as to miracles, they are to be sure a means of proving and spreading the christian religion, as they shew the divine mission of the Messiah, and rouze the mind to attend to the power by which these mighty works were wrought. Thus miracle and prophecy shew the teacher came from God. They contribute to the establishment of his kingdom, and have a tendency to produce that faith which purifies the heart, and brings forth the new birth.

But the greater evidence for the truth of our holy religion, appears to me to be that which converted the primitive christians, to wit, the powerful influence which the Gospel has on the minds of those who study it with sincerity, and the inward discoveries Christ makes to the understanding of the faithful by his light and good spirit. This exceeds the other evidences, if the heart be honest. The Gospel is irresistible, when the spirit of God moves upon the minds of christians. When the divine power, dispensed through Christ, assists and strengthens us to do good, and to eschew evil, then christianity appears a religion worthy of God, and in itself the most reasonable. The compleat salvation deserves our ready acceptation. That religion must charm a reasonable world, which not only restores the worship of the one true God, and exhibits, in a perfect plan, those rules of moral rectitude, whereby the conduct of men should be governed, and their future happiness secured; but, by its blessed spirit, informs our judgments, influences our wills, rectifies and subdues our passions, turns the biass of our minds from the objects and pleasures of sense, and fixes them upon the supreme good. Most glorious surely is such a gospel.

But does not this operation of the spirit, (I said) which you make the principal evidence for christianity, debase human nature, and make man too weak, too helpless and depending a being? If voluntary good agency depends on supernatural influence and enlivening aid, does not this make us mere patients, and if we are not moral agents, that is, have not a power of chusing or refusing, of doing or avoiding, either good or evil, can there be any human virtue? Can we in such case approve or disapprove ourselves to God. To me it seems that man was created to perform things natural, rational, and spiritual, and has an ability to act within the reach of his agency, as his duty requires. I think the moral fitness of things is a rule of action to conduct our actions by, and that the great advantage of revelation consists in its heavenly moral lessons, and the certainty of that future judgment and retribution, which has a powerful influence upon a rational mind, and strongly inclines a reasonable being to save his soul, by so acting in this world, as to avoid everlasting misery, and ensure the favor of God, and eternal happiness in another world. This appears to me more consistent with the nature and the truth of things . It is more to the honour of human nature, if I mistake not, and gives more glory to God.

To this Mrs. Price answered, that as she was sensible of the shortness of her own understanding, and believed the faculties of the human mind in general were weak and deficient, she could not see any thing unreasonable in supposing the thing formed depended on, and was subject to the Creator that made it. It cannot be absurd surely to say, that so weak and helpless a being as a man, depends intirely on God. Where in the nature of things can we fix a standard of certainty in understanding, and stability in practice, but in the fountain of truth, and all perfection?

But to our better comprehending this matter, let us take a view of primitive Christian religion. —Christianity is a divine institution, by which God declares himself reconciled to mankind for the sake of his beloved son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on condition of repentance, amendment of life, and perseverance in a state of holiness; and that we might be able to perform the things required of us, he offers the assistance of his good spirit. This last offer, in a proper sense, is salvation; for according to his mercy, he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. By grace are ye saved thro' faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. We find, then, that there are two parts in the Christian religion: one, external and historical; the other, internal and experimental . The first comprehends what is no more to be repeated, tho' the effects are lasting and permanent, to wit, the life and good works of Jesus, his miracles, death, and resurrection; which declare him spotless virtue, perfect obedience, and the son of God with power: —And in the second part, we have that standing experience of a divine help, which converts and supports a spiritual life: It is true, both the parts have a near relation, and in conjunction produce the good ends of religion. The second is the effect of the first. Redemption from the power of sin, sanctification, and justification, are blessings wrought in us by the good Spirit of him, who without us did many glorious things, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works: And, that they who live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died for them and rose again. But, it is in the second part, that the excellence of our holy religion consists. We have no ability of ourselves to take off our minds from the things that are evil, and engage them in the work of religion and godliness. This is the gift of God. It is a continued miracle that cleanses that polluted fountain the heart, and therefore I call this experience the principal evidence of the Christian religion. It is the glory of christianity, and renders it the perfection of all religions.

That christianity (I replyed) is the perfection of all religions, is granted, but that we have no ability to save our souls without a supernatural operation on them, this is what I still have some doubt of. A careful examination of the subject, produces some hard objections, and therefore, madam, I will lay my difficulties before you, that your fine natural understanding may remove them, if it be possible. I will be short on the article, for many words would only darken it.

In the first place, then, as to man's inability to live a religious life, and practice the precepts of the gospel, it must be the effect of the human composition, or the effect of the agency of the serpent. If the former, it is chargeable upon the author of the composition; —if the latter, upon the agent which acts upon it. Man could not be culpable, I think, for a bad life, in either case. —If my nature be weakness itself—or the serpent is superior to me—what good can be required of me? can the supreme reason call for brick, where there are no materials to make it with? will you say, yes; because he gives supernatural ability to perform. But then, can this be called man's action? It is the action of the author by his miserable creature, man: and in such case, may we not say, that tho' commands are given to man to obey revealed laws, yet the obedience is performed by God ?

In the next place, as man in his natural capacity, and all his natural powers, are the work of God, and as truly derived from him as any supernatural powers can be, it follows, I imagine, that a voluntary agent's making a right use of the powers of his nature, is as valuable as his being compelled to act well and wisely by a supernatural power. To assert, then, such experiences or operations, to me seems to misrepresent the nature of a being excellently constituted to answer the good purposes he was created for. I am likewise, at present, of opinion, that depretiating our natural abilities, does not give so much glory to God as you imagine.

To this Mrs. Price replyed, that by the operation of the spirit, she did not mean that man was purely passive, and had no part in the working out his salvation, but that God co-operates with man, and without destroying the faculty of reason, improves it by convincing and enlightning the understanding, and by moving and inclining the will towards such objects as are acceptable to himself, and from those that are contrary to his gospel. The mind in this manner enlightned and affected, begins to act, and as the spirit moves upon the soul, the quickened man, under the divine direction, does all the good the scripture commands him to do, and eschews the evil he is ordered to avoid. By God thro' Christ, he practices the excellent virtues recommended in the holy books, and for this reason, the righteousness which christians bring forth, is called in scripture, the righteousness of Christ, the righteousness of God, and the righteousness of faith. Christ is the efficient. We thro' him are made able to act. Notwithstanding the weakness and incapacity of our nature, yet thro' faith in the power of God, which is given to all who believe in him, we are enabled to flee immorality and vice, and by a life of virtue and piety, to enjoy the pleasure of a sweet reflexion, and the praises of unpolluted reason.

That this is the case of man, the sacred writings declare in a thousand places, and set forth the exceeding greatness of God's power in this respect. The ministry of the gospel appears to have been ordained for this end, and the perfection of the christian religion, to rest on this particular thing. The Lord died for our sins, and rose again for our justification, that we through power received from him, (the power of his resurrection) might be made righteous. And the apostle adds, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. And that the promise of the Holy Ghost had reference not only to the great effusion of the Spirit at Pentecost, which was a solemn confirmation of the new and spiritual dispensation of the gospel; but also to that instruction which Christians of every age were to receive from it continually, if they attended to it, is evident from the promise of Christ,—I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, (the spirit of truth) that he may abide with you for ever. This spirit was to supply the place of his personal presence. It was to become a teacher and comforter to his disciples and followers to the end of time— to enlighten and incline their minds to piety and virtue—to enable them to do all things appertaining to life and godliness, and to have a faith in God's power and all-sufficiency. This is the glorious specific difference of Christianity from all other religions. We have an inward instructor and supporter always abiding with us. And what can be a higher honor to mankind, or an act of greater love in God, than for him to interpose continually, and by his holy Spirit restore the teachable and attentive to that purity and uprightness in which he at first created man? Glorious dispensation! Here is a compleat reparation of the loss sustained by transgression. We are created anew in Christ Jesus, and are made partakers of the divine nature. Surely this is the utmost that can be expected from religion. In short, (continued Mrs. Price) it is to me a most amazing thing, to see men of sense disclaim this help, argue for self-sufficiency and independency, and receive only the outward appearance of the Son of God, in a literal, historical, and formal profession of christianity! This will never do the work. The outward appearance of the Son of God only puts us in a capacity of salvation: it is the inward appearance by the power and virtue of the spirit that must save us. The end of the gospel is repentance, forgiveness of sins, and amendment of manners; and the means of obtaining that end, is christianity in the life, spirit and power of it.

You talk extremely well, madam, (I said) upon this subject, and have almost made me a convert to the notion of an inward appearance of the Son of God: but I must beg leave to observe to you, that as to what you have added, by way of explication and vindication of the operation of the spirit, to wit, that man has agency, and God co-operates with it, by which means the man is enabled to apply his agency to the performance of good; this does not seem to me to make the matter quite plain. The virtue or goodness of an agent must certainly arise from a right exercise of his own power, and how then can God's co-operating with him make him a better man? Can such co-operation add any thing to my virtue, if my goodness is to be rated in proportion to the exertion of my own will and agency. If I am not able to save a man from drowning, tho' I pity him, and do my best to preserve his life; but God gives me strength, or co-operates with me, and so the man is saved; can this add any thing to my virtue or goodness? It would be indeed an instance of God's goodness to the man; but as to myself, I did no more with the divine co-operation than I did without it. I made all the use I could of what power I had. This seems to me a strong objection against the inward appearance: nor is it all there is to object. If I see a man in a deep wet ditch, in a dangerous and miserable way, and am prompted by a natural affection, and the fitness of relieving, to exert a sufficient strength I have, to take the man out of his distress, and put him in a comfortable way; (which is a thing I really did once, and thereby saved a useful life);—in this case, there was good done by an agent, without any supernatural co-operation at all: Many more instances might be produced: but from what has been said, is it not plain, that much good may be done without any interposition;—and, with it, that no good can be added to the character of the agent?

But you will say, perhaps, that the good disposition of the agent in such cases, is supernatural operation, and without such operation, he could not make a right use of his ability. To this we reply, that if by disposition is meant a given power to distinguish betwixt motive and motive, and so to judge of moral fitness and unfitness; or, a power to act from right motives, when such are present to the mind;—these cannot be given, because they are the powers which constitute a man a moral agent, and render him accountable for his actions. Without them he could not be a subject of moral government.

And if you mean by the term disposition, God's presenting such motives to the mind, as are necessary to excite to right action; the answer is, that tho' God may kindly interpose, and in many instances, by supernatural operation, present such motives to the mind, yet such operation cannot be always necessary, in order to our doing good. —In many cases we see at once what good ought to be done, and we do it instantly of ourselves, unless the natural faculties be perverted by false principles. If our fellow-creature falls into the fire, or has a fit, while we are near him, the fitness of relieving him, and the natural compassion essential to our constitution, will make us fly to his assistance, without a supernatural operation. We want no divine impulse to make us interpose. Without being reminded, we will do our best to recover the man, if superstition or passion hath not misled the natural powers of the mind. In a great variety of things, the case is the same, and when at a glance we see the fitness of action, there is an immediate production of good.

It is not just then to assert that the heart cannot be the spring of good actions, without the actings of God. It is the seat and source of both evil and good. Man is capable of giving glory to God, and of doing the contrary. He is constituted to answer all the purposes of social felicity, and to act a part suitable to, and becoming that reason and understanding, which God hath given him to guide his steps; and he may, on the contrary, by abusing his liberty, act an unsocial part in the creation, and do great dishonour to his Maker, by the evil imaginations of his heart, and the violence his hand commits. This hath been the state of human nature from the fall to the flood, and from the flood to our time. The human race have a natural ability for good or evil, and are at liberty for the choice of either of these. If thou doest well, Cain, who hast power, and is at liberty to do evil, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, who hast power, and is at liberty to do good, sin lieth at the door. If this had not been the case of Cain, (and of others since his days), it seems to me at present, that God would act an unequal part with his creatures. Can happiness or misery be called reward or punishment, unless the creature can voluntarily chuse or avoid the thing which renders him the object of infliction or glory? I think not. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. The agency of a serpent will be no plea then, for a Cain, I suppose: nor will Abel's title to an inheritance depend only on the good brought forth in him by the Lord. —And as to a self-sufficiency or independency in all this, as often charged, I can see none, for the reason already given, to wit, that my natural powers are as much the gift of God to me as supernatural powers can be, and render me as dependent a being. They are derived from him: It is his given powers I use, and if I make a right use of them, to answer the great and wise purpose I was created for, the good application must be as valuable as if I had applied supernatural powers to the same purpose.

What you say, sir, (Mrs. Price answered) has reason in it, to be sure: but it seems inconsistent with the language of the Bible, and takes away the Grace of God intirely, and the principal evidence of the Christian religion: As to the necessary guilt of mankind, Moses says;—and God saw, that the wickedness of man was great in the earth; and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart, was only evil continually: and it repented the Lord, that he had made man on the earth, etc. And again;—The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence: and God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth. And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence thro' them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. —The prophet Jeremiah does likewise affirm, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. And St. Paul declares from Psalm 14 and 53. There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are altogether become unprofitable; there is none that doth good, no not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues have they used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways. And the way of peace have they not known.

Then as to grace, or the operation of the Spirit, to cure this miserable condition of mankind, Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the promise is unto you and your children, and to all that are afar off. This is a very extensive declaration both as to time and place. After Peter had told the people, the God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom ye slew, and hanged on a tree, him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins, and we are his witnesses of these things, and so also is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him: the apostle adds, then they, (the Gentiles) were filled with the Holy Ghost . All who obeyed, without distinction, had the Holy Ghost given them, and it was a witness to them of the truth of Christ's divine mission, and the good effects of it, according to the promise of the Lord, to wit, he shall testify of me.

St. Paul likewise tells us, if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life, because of righteousness; but if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live after the flesh, for if ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye thro' the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba Father, the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. —Here we see the necessity of having the spirit of Christ, and that those who have it not, do not belong to him. They are none of his. We may likewise observe, that it mortifies the deeds of the body, and quickens the soul to a life of holiness: the passage likewise shews, that the spirit bears witness with our spirits, and by an evidence peculiar to itself, gives us a certain sense, or understanding of it.

In short, Sir, a great number of texts might be produced, to shew not only the work and effect of the Divine spirit upon our minds; but that, it is an evidence, the principal evidence and ground of certainty to believers, respecting the truth of christianity. I will mention however only two or three more, and then shall be glad to hear what you say to those things.

What man knoweth the spirit of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God. —Ye have an unction from the Holy one, and ye know all things. These things have I written to you, concerning them that seduce you; but the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth in you, and ye need not that any teach you, but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in it. —Hereby we know that he abideth in us by his spirit, which he hath given us. Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his spirit.

What do you say to all this? do not the sacred passages I have repeated seem to declare in the planest manner the necessary iniquity of man; that this is to be cured only, and his nature rectified by the operation of the Divine spirit; and that the effusion of the spirit, both as to instruction and evidence, was not peculiar to the infancy of christianity? This appears to my understanding. The very essence of the christian religion I think from these scriptures consists in the power and efficacy of the spiritual principle.

What you have said madam, (I replied) seems strong indeed in defence of the weakness of man, and the operation of the spirit, and I should be of your way of thinking as to the manifestation of it, but that I imagine the thing may be explained in a different manner. Let us review our religion, if you please, and perhaps we may find, that another account may be given of sanctification, and the renewing the mind into a state of holiness.

When God called this world into being, his purpose was without all peradventure, that his rational creatures might enjoy the noblest pleasures, and by conforming their conduct to the fitness and relation of things, from a due regard to the authority of the first cause, by whom this fitness and relation were wisely constituted, secure all the blessings of this life, and honour, and glory, and immortality, in some future state of existence. This I think was the case. True religion was to form and fix every good principle in the human mind, produce all righteousness in the conversation, and thereby render mankind the blessed of the universal Father. They were to worship the one true God; the possessor of all being, and the fountain of all good; to believe in him, and have their trust and dependence always on him; to be pure and peaceable, gentle and full of mercy, without partiality, without hypocrisy, and so devoted to holiness and obedience, to every virtue and every good work which the law of reason can require from men; that after a long life spent in acting a part the most honourable to God, and the most advantageous to mankind, in obeying the dictates of reason, and thereby imitating the example of God; they might be translated to the regions of immortality and day, where the first and great original displays as it were face to face the perfections of the Deity, and from an all-perfect and holy being receive the vast rewards he has prepared for those, who, in this first state, have been to all the purposes of life and religion, perfect as he is perfect. For these reasons did the supreme director, the greatest and the best Being in the universe, command the human race into existence. He gave them faculties to conduct them here through various scenes of happiness to the realms of immortality and immutable felicity. It was a Godlike design.

But it was not very long before this human race became corrupt, and not only did evil in the sight of the Lord, but ceased to apprehend the first cause as one most perfect mind. The natural notions of moral perfection which reason and the light of nature supply, they no longer minded, nor thought of what is fit and reasonable to be done in every case. The passions began to influence and direct their lives: just and pure ideas of the Deity were lost, false ones took place, and the mischief and its fatal consequences became very great. It was a melancholy scene! The exalted notions of one glorious God, and of that true religion which subsists in the expectation of a future state, were no longer known, nor did the race ever think of approving themselves in the eye of an all perfect and holy being. Superstition and iniquity prevailed, and the spread of evil was wide.

God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth—the thoughts of his heart, evil continually, &c. as you have before quoted from the book of Genesis; and because the wickedness of the tenth generation was so great, and men no longer endeavoured after those perfections, which are natural and proper to rational minds;—no longer thought of conforming themselves to the divine nature, or strove to imitate the excellencies of it, tho' constituted to give glory to their Maker, and endued with a reason and understanding sufficient to teach them the rule of duty, and guide their steps in the ways of true religion; but against the light of their own minds, acted the most impious and unsociable part; therefore God repented that he had made them, that is, he did what is the product of repentance in men, when they undo, as far as it is in their power, what they repent of, and destroyed his own work by that desolating judgment, the flood. This seems to be the truth of the case. The words of Moses do not mean the state of human nature on account of the fall . They express only the wickedness of the tenth generation as a reason for the deluge at that time. There is not the least ground for asserting from this passage in the sacred historian, that man was unable to do good by his natural powers, and that his crimes were a resisting the actings of God upon his mind. The impiety of this generation was a mere abuse of free will, and acting against the plain dictates of their own minds: therefore, when wilful oppression and sensuality filled the earth, God destroyed the world by an inundation. Noah only, who was a just man, and perfect in his generation, with his family escaped.

This terrible execution of an awful vengeance on the guilty race, demonstrated to the survivors, and to all the ages to come, the great malignity of sin, and the uncontrolable supremacy of the divine government. As the venerable Patriarch and his family sailed over the bosom of the boundless ocean of waters, and above the wrecks and ruins of this terrestrial world, they adored to be sure with grateful hearts, the Almighty Father of virtue and goodness, who had so wonderfully preserved them, and were convinced by the amazing, striking evidence, that sin is the greatest infamy and degradation of our reasonable nature; that it has an insuperable repugnancy and irreversible contrariety, to our true happiness, and is infamous, pernicious, and ruinous, by the sentence of the Almighty. The dreadful event unanswerably evinced his constant actual cognizance of enormous faith and manners, and his unchangeable displeasure with them. This truth, which was learnt at first, by the expulsion from Paradise, and the sad inheritance of Mortality, they saw again republished in the most awful manner. This gave undoubtedly a very religious turn to their minds, and they determined to be sure to adhere to those excellent principles and practices, which had been, thro' God's goodness, their security in the general desolation, and to flee the contrary malignant ones which had procured that desolation on the rest. In a degree suitable to their nature and ability, they resolved to imitate the perfections of God, and to employ the powers and faculties of reason in endeavouring to be just, and righteous, and merciful. And as the amazing operation of God in the deluge called for their wonder and praise, we must think their hearts glowed with the sense of his goodness to them, and that they extolled his mercy and power in the salvation they had received. So we are told by an inspired writer. Noah restored the antient rites of divine service, and built an altar to the Lord. And the Lord smelled a sweet Savour, and said, Never any more will I curse the ground for man's sake, tho' the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; because he will not hearken to the voice of reason, and with the greatest ardor and contention of mind, labour to attain a conformity to the divine nature in the moral perfections of it; which is the true dignity of man, and the utmost excellence of human souls. Neither will I again smite any more every living creature as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Thus did God enter into a covenant with Noah, and his sons, and their seed; and as the late amazing occurrences must incline the spectators of the flood to piety and goodness; and the fathers of the postdiluvian world were careful to instruct their children in the several parts of the stupendous fact, and from the whole inculcate the Being and Perfections of God, his universal dominion and actual providence and government over all things, his love of virtue and goodness and infinite detestation of all sin; to which we may add, that the imitation of God is not a new principle introduced into religion by revelation, but has its foundation in the reason and nature of things;—we may from hence conclude, that the rising generation were persons of conspicuous devotion, and followed after the moral virtues, the holiness, justice and mercy which the light of nature discovers. They were, I believe, most excellent mortals for some time. They obeyed to be sure every dictate of reason, and adored and praised the invisible Deity ; the Supreme immutable mind.

But this beautiful scene had an end, and man once more forgot his Maker and himself. He prostituted the honor of both, by robbing God of the obedience due to him, and by submitting himself a slave to the elements of the world. When he looked up to the heavens, and saw the glory of the sun and stars, instead of praising the Lord of all, he foolishly said, These are thy Gods, O Man! A universal apostacy from the primitive religion prevailed. They began with the heavenly bodies, or sydereal Gods, and proceeded to heroes, brutes, and images, till the world was overflowed with an inundation of idolatry, and superstition; even such superstition, as nourished under the notion of Religion, and pleasing the Gods, the most bestial impurities, the most inhuman and unnatural cruelties, and the most unmanly and contemptible follies. Moral virtue and goodness were totally extinguished. When men had lost the sense of the supreme Being, the Creator, Governor, and Judge of the world, they not only ceased to be righteous and holy, but became necessarily vitious and corrupt in practice; for iniquity flows from corrupt religion, as the waters from the spring. The principles and ceremonies of the established idolatries gave additional strength to mens natural inclinations, to intemperance, lust, fraud, violence, and every kind of unrighteousness and debauchery. Long before the days of Moses this was the general case. Idolatry had violated all the duties of true religion, and the most abominable practices by constitution were authorised. The Phalli (11) [Footnote 11: 1Kb] and the Mylli (12) [Footnote 12: 1Kb] , rites that modesty forbids to explain, were esteemed principal parts of their Ritual; virgins before marriage were to sacrifice their chastity to the honor of Venus; (13) [Footnote 13: 5Kb] men were offered upon the Altars for Sacrifices; and children were burnt alive to Moloch and Adramalech. In a word, the most abominable immoralities universally prevailed; with the encouragements of religion, men were led into intemperance, uncleanness, murders, and many vices, inconsistent with the prosperity and peace of society, as well as with the happiness of private persons; and that such iniquities might have a perpetual source, the most shameful Idolatries were preserved in opposition to the knowledge and worship of the One true God. So general was this corruption and idolatry, that the infection seized the descendants of Shem, the pious race. Even Terah, the father of Abram, we find charged with it. And Abram himself was culpable I think in this respect, as the word Asebes imports. It is rendered in our Bible ungodly, but it signifies more properly idolatry, and that is what St. Paul in the 4th chapter to the Romans hints. The Apostle speaking of Abraham, says,—But to him that worketh not, but believeth in him that justifieth the ungodly, that is, an ungodly Idolater, who has no manner of claim to the blessings of God, he must be justified upon the foot, not of his own prior obedience, but of God's Mercy.

In such a calamitous state, a Revelation to restore the Law of Nature, and make it more fully and clearly known, to enforce its observance, to afford helps and motives to the better performance of what it enjoins, and relieve the guilty mind against all its doubts, would certainly be a merciful vouchsafement from God to mankind, and be much for their advantage and happiness; and therefore, in the year from the flood 428 , to provide for the restoration of the true religion, and preserve the knowledge and worship of the One true God on earth, in opposition to the prevailing idolatry, and the gross immoralities that were the effects of idolatrous principles and practices, Jehovah commanded Abraham to leave his country, his kindred, and his father's house, and proceed with his family to the land of Canaan . Here God entered into Covenants with Abraham and his posterity, to be instruments in the hands of providence for bringing about great designs in the world—that he and his posterity were to be the Church of God, and depositaries of a hope, that the Covenant limited to Abraham and his chosen seed, was to grow in the fulness of time into a blessing upon all the nations of the earth. Abraham was at this time 75 years old, and God added to the patriarchal worship the visible mark of Circumcision, as a seal of a covenant between himself and Abraham.

Yet how fit soever such a visible mark might be, to keep in remembrance the covenant between God and the family of Abraham, it was found in experience, insufficient to preserve them from the idolatrous customs of their neighbours. —Some new laws, some further constitutions of worship were to be added, or, as the family of Abraham were situated in the midst of idolaters and unrighteous ones, it was foreseen they would soon fall from the essentials of religion; and instead of preserving a right knowledge of God, of his Being, Perfections and Government, a just sense of the reverence all men owe to him, from a firm belief of his Being, Power, Dominion, Justice, and Goodness, and an hearty concern to obey the known Will of God in all things; doing what is pleasing in his sight, seeking, and hoping their perfection and happiness, in the likeness, and in the image of God; they would, on the contrary, serve other Gods, and make their idolatry, not a matter of harmless speculation, but a fountain of the most dangerous immoralities; and therefore, as it was highly fit in it self, and well becoming the wisdom of God, he gave Moses a christianity in hieroglyphics, that is, a tabernacle, a shechinah, a priesthood, an altar, sacrifices, laws moral and ceremonial, with every constituent part of the hebrew ritual; being figures of a better shekinah, temple, priest, altar, sacrifice, revelation and blessings —figurative representations of the more perfect constitutions in the days of Messiah the King. —--This was in the year 875 after the flood, and 1491 before Christ. By a ritual so becoming the wisdom of God, given for a preservative against idolatrous principles, and as a dispensation preparatory to that future heavenly religion, the Hebrew nation were guarded against the surrounding corruptions of the world, and raised up the defenders of true religion, to preserve the knowledge and worship of the One true God.

But as mankind would not follow the light of nature, which is sufficient, when attended to, for a constant universal practice of piety and morality; so neither would they be engaged by various reveled laws, from time to time given, and by the calls and lessons of many prophets, to the practice of true religion and righteousness; but as the heart is the seat and source of wickedness in man, according to the prophet Jeremiah, so even the hearts of the Jews became deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. And the Prophet goes on to shew, not the necessary inability of man without experiences, or an operating spirit within, (as you suppose, madam); but that, tho' men thus wickedly deceive one another, yet they cannot possibly by such a wilful desperate piece of wickedness deceive their Maker, because to him the most secret recesses of their hearts lie open; and, consequently, in the issue, they deceive themselves, seeing God, who knows the deceit which is lodged in their hearts, will render unto them according to their works, and according to the fruit of their doings: so that their hope and expectation will be disappointed, even as a partridge is disappointed that sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not.

And as St. Paul says from the xiv. and liii. psalm, there was none righteous, no not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God; and so on, as you madam, have quoted the verses, in which the Apostle did not intend to shew the necessary pollution of man without the help of grace; but the groundlessness of that opinion which the Jews had gone into, that they were the only people which pleased God; for they were as guilty as the Gentiles were in transgressing the law of nature. Neither of them had any legal title to justification. They were all very great transgressors. The throat of Jew and Gentile an open sepulchre: their tongues, deceit: the poison of asps under their lips: their mouths, full of cursing and bitterness: their feet, swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: Therefore the justification of the Jew as well as the Gentile must be of grace, and not of debt.

In this was manifested the inestimable love of God in the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ. Tho' Jew and Gentile were qualified to discern and do both good and evil, and the Jew had a written law as a further assistance, but nevertheless they violated the plain dictates of natural reason, and the divine precepts of the law, and by unrighteousness and impurity, rendered themselves objects of judgment and condemnation; yet the father of the universe, in compassion to mankind, sent a divine teacher from heaven, Christ, the true Prophet that was to come into the world, and by his divinely reveled testimony and authority, attempts to abolish the superstition of men, reclaim their wickedness, and bring them back to the true spiritual worship of God, and to that holiness of life and manners which is agreeable to the uncorrupted light and dictates of nature. This was love. The blessed God, in compassion to human ignorance and wickedness, contracted by men's own fault, gives them an express revelation of his will, and re-establishes the rule of pure uncorrupt religion and morality. He declares those terms of sinful man's reconcilement to him which he was pleased to accept. Grace is manifested in the gospel to turn men from their vanities, or idol service, unto the living God, who made heaven and earth, and by the doctrine and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works: —That denying all ungodlyness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearance of the great God; who will judge the world by that divine person, and great temporary minister, whom he sent before to destroy sin, and the kingdom of Satan; and to bring mankind into a perfect obedience to the will of the supreme Being. This renders christianity a heavenly thing. Revelation thus explained is beautiful and useful to an extreme degree. It does not contradict, but strengthens the obligations of natural religion.

Your account, Sir, (Mrs. Price answered) of man and religion is different indeed from mine, and I must allow your explications have reason in them: but still they do not satisfy me, nor can I part with my own opinion. Two things in particular to me appear very strange in your scheme. It seems to take away the necessity of the christain revelation, if natural religion, duly attended to, was perfect, and sufficient for virtue and holiness, and thereby to gain the favor of God. If reason alone can do the work, if men please, then what need of the gospel? —If men will consider, (and without consideration no scheme can be of service), they may as well turn their thoughts to the law of nature as to the law of grace, if there is no difference betwixt the rule of nature and the law of Christ, with regard to the knowledge of God, the maker of heaven and earth, and the worship due to him on that account, and the practice of virtue and morality.

In the next place, if I understand you right, the grace of God is of no use at all in religion, as you account for salvation. What is out of order within us, in the mind and its faculties, the will and its affections, and wants to be set right in good thoughts and works, our own reason, in your notion of religion, is sufficient to regulate, and unassisted by the illumination of the holy spirit of God, we may live in an uncorrupted state of piety and morality, and so save our souls, if we please. This is what I cannot believe. The grace of God in the gospel is the glory and comfort of the christian religion. A divine operation that renews and sanctifies the mind is an invaluable blessing, and in a manner inexpressibly charming, satisfies me beyond hesitation, that the christian religion is true, while it puts me in the actual possession of the good effects of it. The spirit of God discovers to me the state of my own mind, in all the circumstances of a christian life, sets my follies, my neglects, and my failings, in order before me, which is the first right step in order to the overcoming them; and then observing the discoveries I was not able to make my self, and having a strong faith in the divine power and sufficiency, I am enabled to gain victories my insufficient reason could never obtain. May this divine monitor then abide in my breast. It is by the heavenly assistance of the holy spirit only, as vouchsafed in the christian dispenation, that I can secure for myself eternal life. The wise and prudent of this world may think as they please of this matter, and produce reasonings against it beyond my power to answer; but for my part, I must consider it as the principle of my salvation, and think I cannot be thankful enough for the inestimable blessing. It is to me a glorious instance of the great wisdom and goodness of God.

Madam, (I replyed) in relation to your first objection, that I make no difference between reveled and natural religion, for nature is as sufficient as grace, in my account, I assure you that I think the revelation of the gospel excels the best scheme of natural religion that could be proposed; in declaring the terms of reconcilement, in demonstrating the divine wrath against sin, in the method of shewing mercy by the death of God's beloved Son, and the promise of free pardon on the condition of repentance and newness of life. This manner gives unspeakable comfort to repenting sinners. It gives the greatest encouragement to engage them to the love of God and the practice of all his commandments; an encouragement that reason could not discover. To christianity therefore the true preference is due. Tho' philosophy or the doctrine of reason may reform men, yet the christian religion is a clearer and more powerful guide. It improves the light of reason by the supernatural evidence and declaration of God's will, and the means of man's redemption is a more efficacious motive and obligation to universal obedience than nature could ever with certainty propose. A revelation that has the clearest and strongest evidence of being the divine will, must be the most easy and effectual method of instruction, and be more noticed than the best human teaching: and this will of God being truly and faithfully committed to writing, and preserved uncorrupt, must always be the best and surest rule of faith and manners. It is a rule absolutely free from all those errors and superstitions, both of belief and practice, which no human composure was ever before free from, or, probably, would have been free from, without the assistance of such a revelation. Nor is this all. This is not the only superior excellence of our holy religion.

A Mediator and crucified Redeemer brought into the Christian revelation, has a noble effect on a considering mind, and shews the reasonableness of the gospel-dispensation. The wisest and most rational heathens ever were for sacrifices and mediators, as the greatness of God was thereby declared, and that not only sin deserved punishment, but mens lives to be forfeited by their breach of the divine laws: and when a divine person, made man, like unto us, appears instead of all other mediators, by whom, as the instrument of the means of salvation, we are to offer up our prayers to the Only true God; and his voluntary dying in testimony of the truth of his mission and doctrine, is appointed to be instead of all other sacrifices, and to remain a memorial that God requires no atonement of us, but repentance and newness of life; and the spotless virtues and obedience of this divine Redeemer, are to be a most perfect and moving example for us to imitate; —this renders christianity worthy of God, and makes it the perfection of religion. Great then are the advantages which the Revelation of Christ Jesus has above mere reason, darkened by the clouds of error and a general corruption. It is the most perfect rule of life. It is the most powerful means to promote a constant uniform practice of virtue and piety. It advances human nature to its highest perfection, fills it with all the fruits of righteousness, and grants us privileges and blessings far superior to what we could attain any other way.

With regard to the second objection, that I take away the grace of God, to preserve the dignity of human nature, this is far from my intention. I do indeed think, that as the Gospel was given for the noblest purpose; to wit, to call in an extraordinary manner upon mankind, to forsake that vice and idolatry, the corrupt creed of polytheism, the guilt of superstition, their great iniquities, violent passions, and worldly affections, which are all contrary to reason, and disgrace human nature; and to practise that whole system of morality, which they must know to be most useful to them;—that they might turn to a religion which had but One object, the Great Invisible Being, all-knowing and all-sufficient, to whom all the intelligent world are to make their devout applications; because he is an infinite, independent, sovereign mind, who has created all things, and absolutely rules and governs all; possesses all natural perfections, exists in all duration, fills all space with his presence, and is the omniscient witness of all their difficulties and wants;—-and that since they were bound by all the ties of moral duty to obey this one God, and observe the rational institutions of religion, therefore they should make it the labor of their whole lives to excel in holiness and righteousness, and by virtue and piety unite themselves to God, and entitle themselves to glory at the great day: —That as this is the nature, end, and design of the christian revelation, so I do think the gospel of our salvation, the word of truth, (as an apostle calls it) is sufficient for the purpose, without immediate impulses. As we have a reasonable, intellectual nature, there is no want of mechanical powers. The words of Christ, which are the words of God, are, our life, and will, if attended to, and powerfully enable us to practise good works, and to excel, and persevere therein. I can do all these things, through Christ, who strengtheneth me, that is, through the written directions of Christ, and through the arguments and motives of the christian doctrine. To say otherwise of the gospel, is, in my opinion, injurious to it.

God may, to be sure, give special aids to men, whenever he thinks fit. He may, by an extraordinary agency, render our faculties more capable of apprehension, where divine things are concerned:—may awaken a dormant idea, which lay neglected in the memory, with unusual energy;—may secretly attract the more attentive regard of the mind, and give it an inclination and an ability of tracing its various relations, with an unusual attention, so that a lustre before quite unknown shall be (as it were) poured upon it; —the spirit of God may render the mind more susceptible and more tenacious of divine knowledge; I believe he often does by interposition, if in the spirit of Christ's doctrine we ask it of the great Father of Lights, the Author of all the understanding divided among the various ranks of created Beings; who, as he first formed the minds of angels and men, continues the exercise of their intellectual faculties, and one way or another communicates to them all the knowledge of every kind which they possess; (in which view all our knowledge of every kind may be called a revelation from God, and be ascribed, as it is by Elihu in Job, to the inspiration of the Almighty :) This the holy Spirit may do, and dissipate a prejudice that opposes truth. But this is not always necessary: nor always to be expected. It is evident from the gospel, that our Lord rather speaks of his word and doctrine, as the aids to save mens souls, than of himself, or spirit, personally considered. Abiding in him, and he in them, as necessary to their bearing fruit, signifies a strict and steady regard to his word, and the influence of that upon our minds. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you; ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you: that is, If you continue to believe in me, and to pay a steady regard to my doctrine, you will be highly acceptable to God.

In short, as no man can come unto me (says our Lord), except the Father which hath sent me draw him: that is, no man will receive my pure, sublime, and spiritual doctrine, unless he have first gained some just apprehensions concerning the general principles of religion: but if he has a good notion of God and his perfections, and desires to advance in virtue, he will come unto me, and hearken to that revelation, which contains the best directions for the performance of all the duties, and the greatest incitement to virtue, piety and devotion:—so, no man can come to the Father but by the Son, that is, by obeying the written word, and proceeding in that way in which the Son has declared it to be the will of the Father, that men should come to him, namely, by keeping God's commandments, and by repentance and amendment of life; there being no other name, or way given among men, but this way given or declared by Jesus Christ, by which they may be saved. —In all this, there is not a word of supernatural light or operation; tho' such operation, as before observed, there may be. There is not a hint of man's natural inability.

To the glorious Gospel then, the gospel of our salvation, the word of truth, the word of life, let us come, and with diligence and impartiality study it. Let us follow the truth we there find in every page, and it will enable us to triumph over the temptations of allurement and of terror. We shall become the children of God by the spirit of adoption. We shall be easy and happy in this life, and glorious and ever blessed in that which is to come. If we obey the gospel of the Son of God, and hearken to his word, he will take us under his guardian care. He descended from Heaven, to deliver us from everlasting ruin, he purchased us with the price of his own blood, and if we live up to the word of truth, he will conduct us safely through life and death, into the abode of holy and happy spirits, and at length raise our bodies from the dust, and fix our compleat persons in a state of immortal glory and felicity. —This is my sense of religion. Where I am wrong, I shall ever be glad to be set right.

Mrs. Price made no reply, and so ended this remarkable conversation. On whose side the truth is, the reader is to judge. What she says for supernatural operation is strong and pious to be sure: and considering Mrs. Price had no learning, and was almost without any reading, I thought it very wonderful to hear her on this, and many other subjects. She was such another genius as Chubb, but on the other side of the question; if she had been able to write as sensibly and correctly as she talked on several articles of religion, she would have made a good author. So much goodness and good sense I have not very often found in her kind. They merit a memorial in a journal of the curious things that have occurred to me in my life time.

28.

The 13th of June 1725, I took my leave of my friend, John Price, and his admirable wife, promising to visit them again as soon as it was in my power, and proceeded on my journey in quest of Mr. Turner . I would not let Price go with me, on second thoughts, as many sad accidents might happen in this rough and desolate part of the world, and no relief in such case to be found. If I fell, there was no one belonging to me to shed a tear for me: but if a mischief should befall Jack Price, his wife would be miserable indeed, and I the maker of a breach in the sweetest system of felicity that love and good sense had ever formed. This made me refuse his repeated offers to accompany me. All I would have was a boy and horse of his, to carry some provisions wet and dry, as there was no public house to be found in ascending those tremendous hills, or in the deep vales through which I must go; nor any house that he knew of beyond his own.

With the rising sun then I set out, and was charmed for several hours with the air and views. The mountains, the rocky precipices, the woods and the waters, appeared in various striking situations every mile I travelled on, and formed the most astonishing points of view. Sometimes I was above the clouds, and then crept to inchanting vallies below. Here glins were seen that looked as if the mountains had been rent asunder to form the amazing scenes: and there, forests and falling streams covered the sides of the hills. Rivers in many places, in the most beautiful cascades, were tumbling along; and cataracts from the tops of mountains came roaring down. The whole was grand, wonderful, and fine. On the top of one of the mountains I passed over at noon; the air was piercing cold, on account of its great height, and so subtle, that we breathed with difficulty, and were a little sick. From hence I saw several black subjacent clouds big with thunder, and the lightning within them rolled backwards and forwards, like shining bodies of the brightest lustre. One of them went off in the grandest horrors through the vale below, and had no more to do with the pike I was on than if it had been a summit in another planet. The scene was prodigious fine. Sub pedibus ventos & rauca tonitrua calcat.

Till the evening, I rid and walked it, and in numberless windings round unpassable hills, and by the sides of rivers it was impossible to cross, journeyed a great many miles: but no human creature, or any kind of house, did I meet with in all the long way, and as I arrived at last at a beautiful lake, whose banks the hand of nature had adorned with vast old trees, I sat down by this water in the shade to dine, on a neat's tongue I had got from good Mrs. Price; and was so delighted with the striking beauties and stillness of the place, that I determined to pass the night in this sweet retreat. Nor was it one night only, if I had my will, that I would have rested there. Often did I wish for a convenient little lodge by this sweet water side, and that with the numerous swans, and other fowl that lived there, I might have spent my time in peace below, till I was removed to the established seat of happiness above.

29.

Had this been possible, I should have avoided many an affliction, and had known but few of those expectations and disappointments, which render life a scene of emptiness, and bitterness itself. My years would have rolled on in peace and wisdom, in this sequestered, delightful scene, and my silent meditations had been productive of that good temper and good action, which the resurrection of the dead, the dissolution of the world, the judgment day, and the eternal state of men, require us to have. Free from the various perplexities, and troubles I have experienced by land and sea, in different parts of the world, I should have lived, in this paradice of a place, in the enjoyment of that fine happiness, which easy country business and a studious life afford; and might have made a better preparation for that hour which is to disunite me, and let my invisible spirit depart to the shades of eternity. Happy they, who in some such rural retirement, can employ some useful hours every day in the management of a little comfortable farm, and devote the greater portion of their time to sacred knowledge, Heavenly piety, and angelick goodness; which cannot be dissolved when the thinker goes, nor be confined to the box of obscurity, under the clods of the earth: but will exist in our souls for ever, and enable us to depart in peace to the happy regions. This has ever made me prefer a retired country life, when it was in my power to enjoy it. But be it town or country, the main business, my good readers, should be to secure an inheritance in that eternal world, where the sanctified live with God and his Christ. Getting, keeping, multiplying money; dress, pleasure, entry; are not only little things for such beings as we are: they are indeed sad principal work for creatures that are passing away to an everlasting state; there to lament their lost day, and talents misapplied, in dreadful agonies, in the habitations of darkness; —or, to remain for ever in the habitations of light, peace, and joy; if you have laboured to obtain, and improve in the graces and virtuous qualities which the gospel recommends. These are the treasure and possession worth a christian's acquiring. These only are portable into the eternal world; when the body that was cloathed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day, is laid in a cold and narrow cave. Take my advice then, reader. Be ready. Let us so think and act in this first state, that in the next, we may meet in the regions of purity and righteousness, serenity and joy.

30.

The lake I have mentioned was the largest I had seen in this wild part, being above a mile in length, and more than half a mile broad; and the water that filled it, burst with the greatest impetuosity from the inside of a rocky mountain, that is very wonderful to behold. It is a vast craggy precipice, that ascends till it is almost out of sight, and by its gloomy and tremendous air, strikes the mind with a horror that has something pleasing in it. This amazing cliff stands perpendicular at one end of the lake, at the distance of a few yards, and has an opening at the bottom, that is wide enough for two coaches to enter at once, if the place was dry. In the middle of it, there is a deep channel, down which the water rushes with a mighty swiftness and force, and on either side, the stone rises a yard above the impetuous stream. The ascent is easy, flat and plane. How far it goes, I know not, being afraid to ascend more than forty yards; not only on account of the terrors common to the place, from the fall of so much water with a strange kind of roar, and the height of the arch which covers the torrent all the way; but because as I went up, there was of a sudden, an encrease of noise so very terrible, that my heart failed me, and a trembling almost disabled me. The rock moved under me, as the frightful sounds encreased, and as quick as it was possible for me, I came into day again. It was well I did; for I had not been many minutes out, before the water overflowed its channel, and filled the whole opening in rushing to the lake. The increase of the water, and the violence of the discharge, were an astonishing sight. I had a great escape.

31.

As the rocky mountain I have mentioned, is higher than either Snowden in North-Wales, or Kedar-Idris in Merionethshire, (which have been thought the highest mountains in this island), that is, it is full a mile and an half high from the basis, as I found by ascending it with great toil on the side that was from the water, and the top was a flat dry rock, that had not the least spring, or piece of water on it, how shall we account for the rapid flood that proceeded from its inside? Where did this great water come from? —I answer, might it not flow from the great abyss—and the great encrease of it, and the fearful noise, and the motion of the rock, be owing to some violent commotion in the abyss, occasioned by some natural or supernatural cause?

32.

That there is such an abyss, no one can doubt that believes revelation, and from reason and history it is credible, that there are violent concussions on this vast collection of water, by the divine appointment: and therefore, I imagine it is from thence the water of this mountain proceeds, and the great overflowing and terrifying sound at certain times. To this motion of the abyss, by the divine power exerted on it, I ascribe the earthquakes; and not to vapor, or electricity. As to electricity, which Dr. Stukeley makes the cause of the deplorable downfall of Lisbon , in his book lately published, (called, The Philosophy of Earthquakes), there are many things to be objected against its being the origin of such calamities:—one objection is, and it is an insuperable one, that electrical shocks are ever momentary, by every experiment, but earthquakes are felt for several minutes. Another is, that many towns have been swallowed up in earthquakes, tho' Lisbon was only overthrown. Such was the case of the city of Callao, within two leagues of Lima. Tho' Lima was only tumbled into ruins, October 28, 1746; yet Callao sunk downright, with all its inhabitants, and an unfathomable sea now covers the finest port in Peru, as I have seen on the spot. — In the earthquake at Jamaica, June 7, 1692, in which several thousands perished, it is certain, that not only many houses, and a great number of people, were intirely swallowed up; but that, at many of the gapings or openings of the earth, torrents of water that formed great rivers, issued forth. This I had from a man of veracity then on the spot, who was an eye-witness of these things, and expected himself every minute to descend to the bowels of the earth, which heaved and swelled like a rolling sea. Now to me the electrical stroke does not appear sufficient to produce these things. The power of electricity, to be sure is vast and amazing. It may cause great tremors and undulations of the earth, and bring down all the buildings of a great city: but as to splitting the earth to great depths, and forcing up torrents of water, where there was no sign of the fluid element before, I question much if the vehemence of the elemental electric fire does this. —Beside, when mountains and cities sink into the earth, and the deepest lakes are now seen to fill all the place where they once stood, as has been the case in many countries, where could these mighty waters come, but from the abyss?. —The great lake Oroquantur in Pegu, was once a vast city. In Jamaica, there is a large deep lake where once a mountain stood. —In an earthquake in China, in the province of Sanci, deluges of water burst out of the earth, Feb. 7, 1556, and inundated the country for 180 miles. Many more instances of this kind I might produce, exclusive of Sodom, the ground of which was inundated by an irruption of waters from beneath, (which now forms the dead sea) after the city was destroyed by fire from above; that the land which had been defiled with the unnatural lusts of the inhabitants might be no more inhabited, but remain a lasting monument of the divine vengeance on such crimes, to the end of the world: and the use I would make of those I have mentioned, is to shew, that these mighty waters were from the furious concussion of the abyss that caused the earthquakes. Electricity, I think, can never make seas and vast lakes to be where there were none before. Locherne, in the county of Fermanagh, in the province of Ulster in Ireland, is thirty three miles long, and fourteen broad, and as the old Irish chronicle informs us, was once a place where large and populous towns appeared, till for the great iniquity of the inhabitants, the people and their fair habitations were destroyed in an earthquake, and mighty waters from the earth covered the place, and formed this lake. Could the electrical stroke produce this sea that was not to be found there before the destruction? Is it not more reasonable to suppose, that such vast waters have been forced by a supernatural commotion from the great abyss, in the earthquake that destroyed the towns which once stood in this place?

To this then, (till I am better informed), I must ascribe such earthquakes as produce great rivers and lakes: and where no waters appear, I believe the earthquakes are caused by the immediate finger of God; either operating on the abyss, tho' not so as to make the water break out on the earth; or by directing the electrical violence or stroke; or otherwise acting on the ruined cities and shattered places.

33.

For my part, I think it is a grievous mistake in our philosophical enquiries, to assign so much to second causes as the learned do. The government of the universe is given to matter and motion, and under pretence of extolling original contrivance, the execution of all is left to dead substance. It is just and reasonable (even Newton and Maclaurin say) to suppose that the whole chain of causes, or the several series of them, should center in him, as their source and fountain; and the whole system appear depending upon him, the only independent cause. Now to me this supposition does not appear either just or reasonable. I think the noble phænomena of nature ought to be ascribed to the immediate operation of the Deity. Without looking for a subtile elastic medium, to produce gravity; which medium Sir Isaac confesses he had no proof of; nor is there in reality such a thing in the universe; I imagine the divine Newton would have done better, if, after establishing the true system of nature, by demonstrating the law of gravity, he had said this gravity was the constant and undeniable evidence of the immediate influence of the Deity in the material universe. A series of material causes betwixt Deity and Effect, is, in truth, concealing him from the knowledge of mortals for ever. In the moral government of the world, second causes do, because free-agents act a part; but, in the material universe to apply them, to me seems improper, as matter and motion only, that is, mechanism, come in competition with the Deity. Most certainly he constantly interposes. The Divine Power is perpetually put forth throughout all nature. Every particle of matter, must necessarily, by its nature, for ever go wrong, without the continued act of Deity. His everlasting interposition only can cause a body moving in a circle to change the direction of its motion in every point. Nor is it possible for subtile matter, the supposed cause of gravity, to know to impel bodies to a center, with quadruple force at half the distance.

And as in gravity, and in the cohesion of the parts of matter, the Deity is, and acts in the motion of the celestial bodies, and in the resistance the least particles make to any force that would separate them; so is his immediate power, I think for myself, exerted not only in earthquakes and tides, but in the circulations of the blood, lymph, and chyle, in muscular motion, and in various other phænomena that might be named. Books I know have been written, and ingenious books they are, to shew the causes of these things, and trace the ways they are performed by the materials themselves: but these explications never satisfied me. I had as many questions to ask, after reading these books, as I had before I looked into them, and could find no operator but infinite power conducted by infinite wisdom.

As to the force of the moon, in raising tides, and, that spring tides are produced by the sum of the actions of the two luminaries, when the moon is in Syzygy, there is a deal of fine mathematical reasoning to prove it, which the reader may find in Dr. Halley's abstract of Sir Isaac Newton's theory of the tides; and in Dr. Rutherforth 's system of natural philosophy: but nevertheless, the concomitance of water and luminary, or the revolutions of ocean and moon answering one another so exactly, that the flow always happens when the moon hangs over the ocean, and the spring tides when it is nearer the earth, which is supposed to be in the new and full moon;—this does not prove to me, that the periodical flux and reflux of the sea is derived from mechanism. As we have two ebbs and two flows in twenty-four hours, and the moon comes but once in that time to our meridian, how can the second ebb and flow be ascribed to it? and when, beneath the horizon, in the opposite hemisphere, the moon crosses the meridian again, is it credible, that from the eastern and southern ocean, round Good-Hope and Cape-Horn, it should as soon overflow our coasts, as when it is vertical to the shores of Guinea? —If the moon (in conjunction with the sun) by pression and attraction, was the principal cause of flux and reflux, why is there no established tide on the Mediterranean-Sea, though of a vast breadth, and two thousand miles in length from the Streights of Gibraltar to the coasts of Syria and Palestine; but only some irregular and unaccountable swellings and falls in a few places of this sea, to wit, at Tunis, Messina, Venice, and Negropont ; and these swellings, as I have seen, flowing sometimes 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 times in 24 hours; in the most irregular manner; against the fixed laws of pression and attraction, ascribed to the moon and sun, on a supposition of their causing the tides? —If pression, and the strong attractive power of the moon, and the weaker influence of the sun, forces the immense ocean twice a day from its natural quietus, and rolls it in tides, why has the Caspian Sea no Tide; no swelling or flow, re-regular or irregular, excepting that sometimes, in the space of 16 years, and never sooner, it rises many fathoms, and drowns the adjacent country; to the almost ruin, sometimes, of Astracan in Asiatick Russia; as happened when I was there to embark for Persia? — If it be said, that this is properly a lake, having no communication with the ocean; yet, I answer, that it is in every quality of saltness, etc. as much a sea as any other sea; and large enough for the luminaries attraction and pression; being 500 miles from north to south, and near 400 miles in breadth from east to west: I say, large enough to avoid continuing necessarily in equilibrio, as Dr. Rutherforth says must be the case, on account of the small extent of this sea. 500 by 400 miles of sea does not require that such a sea should press equally, or that the gravity of its water should be equally diminished in every part of it, and so out of the powers, addititious and ablatitious, of the luminary; that is, the force, with which the moon encreases the waters gravity, and the force, with which the moon diminishes the waters gravity. If the moon in zenith or nadir did the work, the equilibrium of the the Caspian might be destroyed, as well as any other equilibrium of water, by force, addititious or ablatitious, or by the sum of these forces: therefore, there might, by this theory, be tides in the Caspian sea, tho' not great ones. There are small as well as great tides. The tides of the Atlantic ocean are inferior in every respect to those of the larger Pacific ocean. A quarter of a great circle of the earth, that is, an extent of ocean from east to west 90°, is only required, that the tides may have their full motion. A tide of less motion may be in such an extent of sea as the Caspian.

In the last place, how does the theory of tides account for the regular peculiarity of the flux and reflux of the Atlantic, different from all other tides; while at Bathsha in the kingdom of Tunquin, there never is more than one tide in 24 hours; and some days, no tide? —For my part, I resolve the whole into the immediate power of the Deity. This power is gravity, attraction, repulse. The inactivity of matter requires the constancy and universality of divine power to support the material universe, and move it as occasion requires; that is, as infinite wisdom sees most conducive to the benefit of his creation.

Men of fine imagination may make a wonderful display of mathematical learning in accounts of gravity, etc. combined with the principles of mechanism; and electricity, which is called the immediate officer of God Almighty; but the truth is, a constant repetition of divine acts in regular and irregular motions of the earth and the seas. The finger of God moves the land and the waters.

In the case of earthquakes, as electricity, or aerial power, is insufficient to produce them, in my opinion, for two reasons before given; to wit, that the electrical stroke is ever single and momentary, but the vibrations of the earth, in a quake, are often 3 and 4 minutes, and have held to 7 minutes— and that, besides the swelling and trembling of the earth, it has so opened at those times, as to swallow not only houses and people, but even mountains, and to send forth great rivers and vast waters. And, as subterranean fire and vapor, I think, can never do such work, for many reasons that may be offered, we must, I think, ascribe the earthquakes to the immediate impression of divine power; by which a city is tumbled into ruins in three or four minutes, in the sad manner Lisbon was destroyed the first of November, 1755. or, the water of the great abyss is with such violence moved, that it shakes the arches of the earth, and where infinite wisdom directs, is enabled by Almighty Power to open the globe with tremendous noises, and pour forth vast torrents of water, to cover a land where once a flourishing city has stood. The electric stroke cannot be more dreadful than such exertion of omnipotence. The immediate action of the Deity, to destroy, must be as efficacious surely as any subordinate agent or cause: and it must be more terrible to the mind, as there can be no supposition of accident in ruin this way: but we see as it were the almighty arm, exerting an irresistible force, that could in the same few moments that a large town and its inhabitants are destroyed, shake the whole world into one dreadful ruin, or separate it into nothing. To my apprehension, the aerial power of electricity is not so fearfully striking, as the Creator's appearing, on the spot, to shake terribly the earth: and if we consider, that it is on account of sin, that God resigns his omnipotence to his wrath, and commands his whole displeasure to arise, must not this account of an earthquake have the greatest tendency to reform the manners of the surviving people?

As to muscular motion, if it be rightly considered, it appears very plainly to proceed from a living force, impressed ab extra; that mechanism does not act as cause in this affair; but the divine power acts in the case, as it does in many different places of the human body at once, and with inexpressible variety.

Various are the accounts that learned men have given of muscular motion, and ingenious are their reasonings on the subject: but they are not satisfactory, nor do they at all explain the thing, and account for it. What is a muscle?

It is to be sure a bundle of small blood vessels, consisting of arteries and their returning veins, laid one upon another in their parallel plates, running thro' the whole length of the muscle; and at small intervals, these blood vessels, or longitudinal, red, and fleshy fibres, are contorted and bound about with small, transverse, and spiral ramifications and twinings of the nerves. This is a muscle: it has two ends, or tendons, fastened to two bones, one of which is fixed, and the other moveable; and by the contraction of the muscle, the moveable bone is drawn upon its fulcrum towards a fixed point. This is indisputable; and it is likewise certain, that the muscles are to be distinguished into those of voluntary, and those of natural or necessary motion: that the voluntary muscles have antagonists, which act alternately in a contrary direction, that is, are contracted by the command of the will, while the others are stretched, and again are extended, while the others are contracted: but the necessary muscles have contracting and extending powers within themselves, and need no antagonists.

This being the true state of the muscles, the question is, what causes that elasticity, spring, or power of contraction and restoration, which their nervous coats and fibres have, to recover themselves against a given weight or force that stretches them? The reply is, that many unanswerable reasons can be given to prove, that this contractive restitutive force does not depend on the mixture, effervescence, or rarefaction of any fluids, humours, or liquors within the body; and there is one convincing experiment that shews it.

Lay open the thorax of a dog, (as I have often done) and take a distinct view of that famous muscle, the heart, in its curious and wonderful motion, while the animal is still alive. In diastole, the muscle is very red and florid, soft and yielding to the touch, and thro' it the vital fluid glows and shines; it appears in this state fully replenished and distended with blood: but in systole, as soon as it begins to contract, and the blood rushes out by the compression of the contracting fibres, the heart loses its florid colour, and becomes pale and livid, compact and solid, and evinces that, during this state of it, the muscle contracts inwardly into its own dense substance, and takes up less space than before, till it returns to its diastole: then the blood which flowed from it with velocity, during systole thro' the coronary veins into the auricles, rushes back into it thro' the coronary arteries, restores the glowing florid colour, and inflates the muscle, in order to strain the nerves for the next contraction. It is plain from hence, that the heart has less blood and fluid in time of contraction, and that the contraction is not caused by the addition of another fluid from the nerves, as the learned have asserted.

And as to what they say of the longitudinal fibres being divided into innumerable little cells or bladders, which have communications with the blood vessels and nerves, and that in these vesicles, the blood and nervous fluid mix, ferment, and by rarefaction and expansion, swell and blow up the cells, and thereby inflate and distend the muscle, and increase its thickness, while its length is shortned:—this is so perplexed and unreasonable an hypothesis, that I am astonished how men of sense ever came to think of such a doctrine. There is no such nervous fluid to be found, to cause this fermentation, rarefaction, etc; and if there was, expansive force must lengthen as well as thicken, and the muscle could not be shortned in length, and swelled in thickness. The natural action of the fluids upon the solids is, to increase dimensions proportionably every way, that is, in the direction of the axis and conjugate diameter equally. Beside, if there was expansion, circulation must stop. The distention of the vesicles, and the rapid exit of the rarifying fluid could not be at once.

The plain account of the matter is then, that muscular motion is performed by the elasticity of the nervous fibrillæ, contracting and restoring themselves against the stretching force of the circulating blood. The contraction of the muscle straitens and compresses the blood-vessels, and forces the blood with impetuosity thro' the heart; and this squeezing or propelling force gives the fluid an impetus, that makes it return with violence upon the muscle, in the course of its circulation; then by force and impulse, it stretches the transverse and spiral nervous fibres, and so extends the contracted muscle, that drove it by contraction from itself. Upon this, the blood-vessels having obtained their due extent and capacity, the distending force of the blood of consequence ceases: but the moment it does, the contractive power of the nerves begins to act again, and restores them to a contracted dense state, by a force exactly equal to that which extended them; till the returning propelled blood re-enters the muscle, and stretches it again, as before described. Such are the two wonderful counter-forces that produce the natural involuntary motion of the heart, and carry on the circulation of the blood. You see with your eyes, in the opened live dog, this alternate contraction and extension; and as the stretching power is but a consequence of the contracting power, contraction is the spring of this wonderful action, in which our will or free agency has no concern. And to what shall we ascribe this astonishing operation, this amazing contractive power, so exactly as to time, and so constantly continued on the muscles of natural or necessary motion; till the æquilibrium by some means or other be broken, and the motion is preternaturally interrupted and suspended? Will the great mechanical reasoners say, that matter does this wonder—matter, that is blind and impotent? Stuff: We must ascribe to a cause wise and powerful, not only the original contrivance of the thing, but the execution of this extraordinary scene. While you gaze upon this noblest muscle of the dog, you see the Deity at work.

And if we turn our eyes from the muscles of mere natural involuntary motion, (which performs by a contracting power, acting within them), to those muscles which move the bones and members of our bodies, by the command of the will, how adorable is the wisdom and goodness of the Almighty Author of nature, not only in providing the animal machine with antagonistical muscles, one of which is contracted, while the other is extended; but for stimulating, contracting, and compressing the nervous elastic cords and blood-vessels, as our minds command or determine! there is no possibility of accounting for the directions at pleasure of the antagonistic muscles, but by resolving them into the continual presence and action of the first cause. He enforces and executes. It is the active principle gives energy and motion both to voluntary and necessary muscles. This, I think, is the truth of philosophy. To suppose every thing to be effect without cause, is to reduce religion and philosophy to the same desperate state. It destroys all the principles of reason, as well as of virtue and moral conduct.

To say all that can be said, in as few words as possible, upon this article, it is not only the muscular motion, necessary and spontaneous (14) [Footnote 14: 2Kb] , that is caused by the action of the Deity; but the constant motions in the stomach, lungs, intestines, and other parts of the body, are caused by an acting Divine Power. It can be demonstrated, that in the action of soft bodies upon soft bodies, the motion is always diminished; and of consequence, it must be greatly lessened in the yielding softness of the flesh and fluids of animal bodies. We see how soon water settles, after motion imprest, by the bare attrition of its parts on one another; altho' it has no obstacles to encounter, or narrow passages to move through. What then can we think of motion in such narrow twining meanders, as veins, arteries, intestines, and lacteal vessels, thro' which the fluids of animal bodies are conveyed to parts innumerable? while the blood, lymph, and chyle creep thro' such narrow winding vessels, the whole motion of those fluids must be consumed every instant by the attrition of their parts, and the force of consequence be renewed every instant. Here is a perpetual miracle. The Divine Power urges on these fluids ten thousand ways at once. Reason must confess a miraculous power indesinently and variously put forth in our bodies; while ignorance and vanity in vain attempts to account mechanically for the circulation of those fluids. We are not only fearfully and wonderfully formed in the womb, but fearfully and wonderfully preserved every minute! creating power never ceases (15) [Footnote 15: 1Kb ] .

The conclusion of the matter is, that the plain argument for the existence of a Deity, obvious to all, and carrying irresistible conviction with it, is from the evident contrivance and fitness of things to one another, which we meet with through all the parts of the universe. There is no need of nice and subtile reasoning in this matter: a manifest contrivance immediately suggests a contriver. It strikes like a sensation, and artful reasonings against it may puzzle us, but it is without shaking our belief. No person, for example, who knows the principles of opticks, and the structure of the eye, can believe that it is formed without skill in that science; or that the ear was formed without the knowledge of sounds. —This is a just argument, and forces our assent. But the great Maclaurin should not have stopped here. The plain argument for the existence of a Deity grows stronger, when we add to it what is as evident as divine contrivance, to wit, the constant interposition of God, to support and move his creatures. Original contrivance in the works of the creation is adorable. We are certain, demonstratively certain, that the heavens, the land, and the waters, and all the creatures in them contained, are the works of the living God: but it is the present performance that strikes us like a sensation. With inexpressible pleasure we see creating power with our eyes. Which ever way we turn them, we behold Almighty Power employed, and continually acting under the direction of infinite knowledge.

Since things are so, and all the works of nature, in the common voice of reason, declare the power and wisdom of the Creator, and speak his goodness in the innumerable mighty things he continually performs for our preservation and happiness, the contemplation of them should warm our hearts with the Glory of the Almighty, and make us continually praise and adore that Almighty providence, which formed and sustains not only the human race and this terrestrial globe, but numberless other worlds and their inhabitants, that hang in infinite space. These mighty things displayed, ought surely to produce the devoutest prayers, and songs of praises in no common strain; and especially, if we add to those works of nature, that second creation, the still greater work of grace. Such omnipotence in wisdom and action, and such amazing goodness as we see in the christian gospel, should, I think, engage us to love and adore so great and good a Being as our Creator, and induce us to devote our lives to him.

For my part, when I consider the mighty scene and prospect of nature, and turn my thoughts from thence to God's word, that heavenly law, which directs our will and informs our reason, and teaches us in all things how to pursue our own happiness, I am so struck with a sense of infinite wisdom, goodness, and action, that I cannot help extolling the king of the universe for the greatness of his power and mercy, and am necessarily engaged in a scene of praise and devotion. Indeed the heart must be as hard and cold as marble, that does not glow, nor is inflamed with ravishing love to the great Author of all things; after viewing with attention even one particular only in the works of nature, that material sun, which now shines out with light and beauty to animate and refresh the world; and in the creation of grace, that sun of righteousness, who sheds forth the choicest blessings of Heaven upon the inhabitants of the earth. Can we be silent, who behold and enjoy those things! alass! too many can. Neither the Heavens, which declare the glory of God, nor the days of the gospel, nor the righteousness of the new law, are regarded by them. But the wise will ever join with all their hearts, in the most exalted prayer and praise, and adore the Giver of these good and perfect gifts; for all his blessings vouchsafed us; and especially, for the charter of his pardon granted by his blessed Son, and the promises of everlasting happiness and glory in a life to come, reason must declare it just to offer up religious praise, and make the greatest mental and moral improvement we can in this first state.

34.

Another extraordinary thing I saw in the place I have mentioned, was a water on the top of a hill, which stood at the other end of the lake, and was full as high as the mountain, from the side of which, the water poured into the lake. This loch measured three quarters of a mile in length, and half a mile over. The water appeared as black as ink, but in a glass it was clear as other water, and bright in running down. It tasted sweet and good. At one end, it runs over its rocky bank, and in several noisy cascades, falls down the face of the mountain to a deep bottom, where a river is formed, that is seen for a considerable way, as it wanders along. The whole is a striking scene. The swarthy loch, the noisy descending streams, clumps of aged trees on the mountain's side, and the various shoars and vallies below, afford an uncommon view. It was a fine change of ground, to ascend from the beautiful lake, (encompassed with mountains, and adorned with trees) into which was poured from a gaping precipice, a torrent of streams; and see from the reverse of an opposite hill, an impetuous flood descending from the top to the finest points of view in the wildest glins below.

35.

What line I had with me, for experiments on waters and holes, I applied to this loch, to discover the depth, but with 300 yards of whipcord my lead could reach no ground, and from thence, and the blackness of the water, and the great issuing stream, I concluded, justly I think, that it went down to the great abyss, the vast treasury of waters within the earth. Many such unfathomable lochs as this have I seen on the summits of mountains in various parts of the world, and from them, I suppose, the greatest part of that deluge of waters came that drowned the old world. This leads me to say something of the flood.

36.

Many books have been written in relation to this affair, and while some contend for the overflowing of the whole earth to a very great height of waters—and some for a partial deluge only—others will not allow there was any at all. The divine authority of Moses they disregard. For my part, I believe the flood was universal, and that all the high hills and mountains under the whole heaven, were covered. The cause was forty days heavy rain, and such an agitation of the abyss, by the finger of God, as not only broke up the great deep, to pour out water at many places, but forced it out of such bottomless lochs as this I am speaking of on the mountains top, and from various swallows in many places. This removes every objection from the case of the deluge, and gives water enough in the space of 150 days, or five months of 30 days each, to over-top the highest mountains by 15 cubits, the height designed. The abyss in strong commotion, or violent uproar, by a power divine, could shake the incumbent globe to pieces in a few minutes, and bury the whole ruins in the deep. To me, then, all the reasoning against the deluge, or for a partial flood, appear sad stuff. Were this one loch in Stanemore to pour out torrents of water, down every side, for five months, by a divine force on part of the abyss, as it might very easily by such means do, the inundation would cover a great part of this land; and if from every loch of the kind on the summits of mountains, the waters in like manner, with the greatest violence, flowed from every side out of the abyss, and that exclusive of the heavy rains, an earthquake should open some parts of the ground to let more water out of the great collection, and the seas and oceans surpass their natural bounds, by the winds forcing them over the earth, then would a universal flood very soon prevail. There is water enough for the purpose, and as to the supernatural ascent of them, natural and supernatural are nothing at all different with respect to God. They are distinctions merely in our conceptions of things. Regularly to move the sun or earth; and to stop its motion for a day;—to make the waters that covered the whole earth at the creation, descend into the several receptacles prepared for them; and at the deluge, to make them ascend again to cover the whole earth, are the effect of one and the same Almighty Power; tho' we call one natural, and the other supernatural. The one is the effect of no greater power than the other. With respect to God, one is not more or less natural or supernatural than the other.

But how the waters of the deluge were drawn off at the end of the five months, is another question among the learned. The ingenious Keile, who writ against the two ingenious Theorists, says the thing is not at all accountable in any natural way: the draining off, and drying of the earth, of such a huge column of waters could only be effected by the power of God: natural causes both in decrease and the increase of the waters must have been vastly disproportionate to the effects; and to miracles they must be ascribed. —This, I think, is as far from the truth, as the Theorists ascribing both increase and decrease to natural causes. God was the performer to be sure in the flood and the going off, but he made use of natural causes in both, that is, of the things he had in the beginning created. The natural causes he is the author of were at hand, and with them he could do the work. The sun evaporated; the winds dried; and the waters no longer forced upwards from the abyss, subsided into the many swallows or swallow-holes, that are still to be seen in many places, on mountains and in vallies; those on the mountains being necessary to absorb that vast column of waters which rose 15 cubits above the highest hills.

A swallow is such another opening in the ground as Eldine Hole in Derbyshire (16) [Footnote 16: 2Kb] , and in travelling from the Peak to the northern extremity of Northumberland, I have seen many such holes in the earth, both on the hills and in the vales. I have likewise met with them in other countries. By these swallows, a vast quantity of the waters to be sure went down to the great receptacle; all that was not exhaled, or licked up by the winds; or, except what might be left to encrease the former seas of the antediluvian world into those vast oceans which now encompasses the globe, and partly to form those vast lakes that are in several parts of the World. These things easily account for the removal of that vast mass of waters which covered the earth, and was in a mighty column above the highest hills. Every difficulty disappears before evaporation, the drying winds, the swallows, and perhaps, the turning seas into oceans : but the three first things now named were sufficient, and the gentlemen who have reasoned so ingeniously against one another about the removal of the waters, might have saved themselves a deal of trouble, if they had reduced the operation to three simple things, under the direction of the First Cause. The swallows especially must do great work in the case, if we take into their number not only very many open gulphs or chasms, the depth of which no line or sound can reach; but likewise the communications of very many parts of the sea, and of many great unfathomable lochs, with the abyss. These absorbers could easily receive what had before come out of them. The sun by evaporation, with the wind, might take away what was raised. There is nothing hard then in conceiving how the waters of the deluge were brought away.

But as to the lake I have mentioned, into which a rapid flood poured from the bowels of the mountain, what became of this water the reader may inquire? To be sure, as it did not run off in any streams, nor make the lake rise in the least degree, there must have been a communication in some parts of its bottom, between the water of it and the abyss. As the loch on the top of the mountain I have described had no feeders, yet emitted streams, and therefore must be supported by the abyss; so this lake, with so powerful a feeder, not running over, or emitting water any way, must discharge itself in the abyss below. The case of it must be the same as that of the Caspian sea. Into this sea many rivers pour, and one in particular, the Volga I mean, that is more than sufficient, in the quantity of water it turns out in a year, to drown the whole world. Yet the Caspian remains in one state, and does not overflow its banks, excepting, as before observed, sometimes, in the space of 16 years. It must by passages communicate with the great deep. It refunds the rivers into the great abyss. The case of the Mediterranean sea is the same; for, tho' a strong current from the Atlantic continually sits through the Strait of Gibraltar, yet these waters do not make it overflow the country round it, and of consequence, they must be carried off by a subterranean passage, or passages, to the abyss.

37.

From the lake I proceeded the next morning, June 14, 1725, toward the northeast end of Westmorland, having passed the night in a sound sleep under the trees by the water side, but was forced by the precipices, to shape my course from four in the morning till eight, to the north-west, and then the road turned east-north-east, till I came to a great glin, where a river made a rumbling noise over rocks and inequalities of many kinds, and formed a very wild wonderful scene. The river was broad and deep, and on an easy descent to it, was an assemblage of stones, that ran in length about 100 feet, in breadth 30 feet, and somewhat resembling the giant's causeway, in the county of Antrim, and province of Ulster in Ireland; nine miles north east from the pretty town of Colerain . The giants causeway, reader, is a prodigious pile of rocks, 80 feet broad, 20 feet above the rest of the strand, and that run from the bottom of a high hill above 200 yards into the ocean.

The assemblage of stones I am speaking of are columns with several corners, that rise three yards above the ground, and are joined as if done by art; the points being convex and concave, and thereby lying one in another. These columns have five and six sides, a few of them seven; and a number of them nicely and exactly placed together make one large pillar from one foot to two in diameter. They are so nicely joined, that altho' they have five and six sides, as I before said, yet their contexture is so adapted, as to leave no vacuity between them; the prominent angles of one pillar fitting, and falling exactly into the hollows left them between two others, and the plain sides exactly answer to one another; so that those hexagons and pentagons of columnar marble appear as if finished by the hands of the most masterly workmen. All the pillars stood exactly perpendicular to the plane of the horizon.

Doctor Foley, in the philosophical transactions, N°. 212, speaking of the giants causeway, seems to think these wonderful pillars are composed of the common sort of craggy rock by the sea side: and the authors of the complete system of geography are of opinion, they resemble the lapis Basaltes; but some think they are a sort of marble. Now the truth is, the Basaltes of the antients is a very elegant and beautiful marble of a fine deep glossy black, like high polished steel, and is always found erect in the form of regular angular columns, composed of a number of joints, fitted together, and making pillars: so that where such pillars are seen, they are undoubtedly the columnar marble or touchstone of the antients. Dr. Hill, in his history of fossils, gives a good account of the nature of this body, and mentions several places it is to be found in; but seems not to have heard there was any of it among the northern mountains of our country.

This marble is one of the noblest productions of nature, and of all the fossil kingdom, the most astonishing body. If art is requisite for the formation of many things we see daily done with elegance and beauty; then certainly, mind itself, even the supreme mind, must have caused such effects as these astonishing marble pillars; which lie in vast compound perpendicular columns at great depths in the earth, (none in beds of strata, like the other marbles), and rise in such beautiful joints and angles, well fitted together more than six and thirty foot above ground in some places. No other way could those wonderful productions have come into being, but by that intelligent, active power, who speaks intelligibly to every nation by his works. To talk as some people do, that necessity, which destroys the very idea of intelligent and designing activity—or chance, which is an utter absurdity—or the sea, according to Telliamed, generated and formed this genus of marble, and so wonderfully distinguished it from all the other marmora; by making it into pentagon, hexagon, and septagon columns, and rendering the points of the columns convex and concave, and so amazingly joining them together, that the prominent angles of one pillar fall exactly into the hollow left between two others, and the plain sides exactly answer to one another, as before observed, while all of them stand up perpendicular, contrary to the quality of all other marbles, and some lie in beds of strata —To talk I say of the sea, a chance, a necessity, doing this, or any thing of so wonderful a kind, is to produce schemes founded in ignorance, and eversive of true knowledge, instead of giving a rational, intelligible account of the formation of the world, its order and appearances. In this wonderful production, a due attention perceives infinite art and power. Did we want that variety of things which employ the consideration of rational men, and force the tongues of thinking men to acknowledge creating power, this marble alone would be sufficient to demonstrate equal power directed by infinite wisdom.

38.

Another extraordinary thing I saw in a valley not far from that where the Basaltes stands. It is a boisterous burning spring. It rises with great noise and vibration, and gushes out with a force sufficient to turn many mills. The water is clear and cold, but to the taste unpleasant, being something like a bad egg. I judged from the nature of its motion, that the water would take fire, and having lit my torch, soon put it in a flame. The fire was fierce, and the water ran down the vale in a blaze. It was a river of fire for a considerable way, till it sunk under ground among some rocks, and thereby disappeared. After it had burnt some time, I took some boughs from a tree, and tying them together, beat the surface of the well for a few minutes, and the burning ceased. The water was not hot, as one might expect, but cold as the coldest spring could be. There are a great number of such springs in the world, but this is the largest I have read of, or seen. It differs from that of Broseley in Shropshire, within six miles of Bridgenorth, in this respect, that Broseley well will not continue to burn for any time, unless the air be kept from it; to which purpose they have enclosed it in an iron cistern with a cover to it; and to experiment the boiling a piece of meat by the fire of this spring, they clap the pot close down when they cover is taken up, and then it burns as long as they will; making the largest joint of meat fit to eat in half the time the strongest culinary fire could do the work. As to the medicinal virtues of the spring, in the mountains, I can only say, that as it has a copious sulphur, and from thence flames like spirit of wine, it is probable it might be as effectual in communicating sanity in various cases, as the famous burning spring is in the palatinate of of Cracow of the lesser Poland, mention'd in the Leipsic acts, An. 1684. p. 326. And as to the extinguishing this fire by beating it with twigs, it must to be sure be for the reason given by Mr. Denis, that as the inflammability of such springs is to be ascribed to sulphur, and to its exhalations bursting out of the water; so this floating flame, which is too subtle to heat the water, is stifled, by involving these spirits in the aqueous particles, by brushing the surface with brooms.

Conradus tells us, concerning the Polish spring, that at one time, when it was kindled by lightning, the people neglected to put it out, and the stream proceeded on fire for almost three years, and reduced all the neighbouring wood to ashes. It is really a wonderful sight to see such a river of fire, and adorable must be that power, who has caused such things. To say that matter and motion circumscribe and regulate such powers, is idle to the last degree. It is an inversion of reason. The very existence of the water and sulphur of this spring, must be by the power of the Creator constantly put forth upon it, which causes the parts to be what we call such things; and the motion of both must be an impression; for motion is not essential to matter. Nothing else could produce them, and a cause there must be equal to the various and wonderful effects of both, a cause that is infinite, wise, and powerful. The Deity is every where present, and every where active. His power is indesinently working, gives existence to the various creatures, and produces the most noble phænomena in nature. All we see, all we feel, fire and water, the universal variety of inanimate and animate creatures, are only the effects of his creating power constantly repeated. The existence of the whole world is a continual new creation; and therefore it becomes the bounden duty of all rational creatures, to worship this Almighty Power, as well for his works of creation, as for the ways of his providence. Great and wonderful are thy works, O Lord God Almighty: and just and righteous are thy ways, O King of saints: who would not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name, because thou only art holy.

39.

From the burning fountain we proceeded for half an hour in the same valley right onwards, and then turned to the left in a course to the west, for about a mile, which brought us to the bottom of a steep mountain, we must ascend, or go no farther. It was hard to get the horses over this, and no less difficult to descend with them to a deep bottom on the other side of the hill: but with great hazard to ourselves and the beasts, we came down in safety. On the top of this mountain I saw another large loch that was black as ink in appearance, tho' bright when taken up in a glass; which, (as before observed) must be owing I suppose to its top communicating with the abyss below; and in the bottom we descended to, there was a swallow larger than the one I saw before. I could make no discovery as to its depth, either by line or sound; nor did my lead touch any water. On the sloping way from the first chasm in day to the gulph, were several lateral chambers, that descended one yard in six; but tho' the bottom was hard, the horrors of the places hindered me from going far. I went to the end of the first, which was 67 yards, and having looked into the second, to which a narrow short pass leads the inquirer, I made what haste I could back; for the opening discovers a space so vast, dismal, and frightful, that it strikes one to the heart. The bottom, as far as my light could enable me to distinguish, was a continuance of stone; but neither top nor sides were to be seen. It is a horrible place.

40.

Leaving this bottom, we mounted another very high and dangerous hill, and from the top of it descended into twenty acres of as rich and beautiful ground as my eyes had ever seen. It was covered with flowers and aromatic herbs; and had, in the center of it, a little grove of beautiful trees; among which were fruits of several kinds. A flowing spring of the purest water was in the middle of this sweet little wood, and ran in pretty windings over the ground. It refreshed and adorned the field, and it was beautiful to see the deer from the hills, and the goats come down from the cliffs, to drink at these streams. The whole was surrounded with precipices that ascended above the clouds, and through one of these rocky mountains there was an opening that had a stupendous appearance.

It was a vast amazing arch, that had some resemblance of the gothic isle of a large cathedral church, and terminated in a view of rocks hanging over rocks in a manner frightful to behold. It measured an hundred yards in length, 40 in breadth, and I judged it to be fifty yards high. The pending rocks in view inclosed a space of four acres, as it appeared to me, and the bottom was so very deep that it looked like night below. What line I had could not reach it, nor could I make any thing of the depth by sound. It seemed to me to be a vast swallow that went down to the abyss. The whole was a scene that harrowed the soul with horror.

41.

By the spring in the little grove I have mentioned, I sat down at 8 in the morning, to breakfast on something that one of my squires produced from his store, while the other was looking for a passage or way onwards, between those vast precipices that surrounded us. Two hours he wasted in an enquiry, and then returned, to let me know there was no passage that he could find: the enclosed rocks were one continued chain of unpassable mountains. Here then I thought was my ne plus ultra. As the man affirmed there was no getting beyond the vast inclosing cliffs that walled in this charming spot of earth, I imagined for some time, that I must of necessity return, and give over all thoughts of getting to the borders of Cumberland or Bishoprick that way. It seemed impossible to proceed, and that was no small trouble to my mind. It was a great journey round, and if I did ride it, I knew not where to turn in on the confines of the country my friend lived on; for I had lost his directions, and had only a small remembrance of his dwelling somewhere on the north edge of Westmoreland or Yorkshire, or on the adjoining borders of Cumberland, or the county of Durham. What to do I could not for some time tell: going back I did not at all like, and therefore, to avoid it if possible, resolved to pass the day in trying if I could find any way out, without climbing the mountain again that I had lately come down. Round then I walked, once, and to no manner of purpose, for I did not see any kind of pass; but the second time, as I marched on observing the hill, I took notice of a large clump of great trees in an angle or deep corner, that seemed to stand very oddly, and in the mountain above them there appeared as I thought a distance or space that looked like an opening. I soon found it was so, and that at the back of this little wood, there lay a very narrow way, only broad enough for two horses a-breast: that it extended due west for more than a mile, and then west-north-west for a quarter of a mile, till it terminated in a plain that was several miles in circumference, and intirely surrounded with hills. This I discovered in walking the pass by myself, and then returned to bring the horses and men, through this amazing way. It was quite dark, mere night all along; and the bottom very bad. It was likewise very dangerous. It was evident from the ground, that stones had fallen from the tops of the hills; and should any descend from so vast a height on us, tho' even small ones, they would without all peradventure be immediate death.

42.

The plain we came into from the defile, was above a mile over to the opposite hills, and a-cross it was a walk of aged oaks, that seemed, in such a place, as the avenue that leads to the fairy castle of wishes. If such beings there are, as Dr. Fowler, bishop of Glocester, hath in one of his books affirmed, then here, I said, in this fine romantic region, where all the charms of the field, the forest, the water, and the mountains, are united, may be their favorite mansion, and perhaps they will admit me into their fairy castle: then commences their friendship, and when they have all breathed on me, it is but wishing for the future, and the completion of every desire is granted the moment it is formed. Would not this be compleat happiness? what do you say, reflexion?

No, (reflexion answered, as we rid up this avenue). Imagination may form fine pictures of felicity from an indulgence in every wish; but, so blind are mankind to their own real happiness, that it is oftner to the gratification than to the disappointment of their wishes that all their misery is owing. We often choose what is not consonant to the welfare of our nature, and strive to avoid those incidents which are fated in the order of incontrolable events for our good. Frequently do we labour to secure the things that debase us into slaves, and overwhelm us with calamity; but seldom do we desire, rarely do we strive to obtain those objects, and acquire that station, which are most likely to render humanity as perfect as it can be in this world, rational and godlike, and thereby crown our lives with true happiness. Many a man has pursued a Venus, an estate, an honour, with much toil and wonderful activity, and when possessed of the fancyed blessing, have been made very miserable mortals. The wished for beauty has often made even the husband wretched. An aching scar is often covered with the laurel: and in respect of envied great fortunes, gaudy is the thing without, and within very often is mere bitterness. The wisdom is, as to this world, not to get from the fairies a power of enjoying all that fancy may desire, if that was possible; but, to act well and wisely, in the most reasonable, lovely, and fair manner, and propose nothing of ourselves, but with a reserve that supreme wisdom permits it; welcoming every event with chearfulness and magnanimity, as best upon the whole, because ordained of infinite reason; and acquiescing in every obstruction, as ultimately reservable to divine providence. This (continued reflexion), in respect of this life, were there no other, is preferable to the castle of wishes, if we could find it at the end of this avenue (17) [Footnote 17: 1Kb] .

But if another life is taken into the question, the argument grows stronger against a power of enjoying all we could wish for. — As we are accountable creatures, and are pouring fast out of time into eternity, religion undoubtedly ought to be the main business of mortals;—that religion, which is a living principle, spring, or root of actions in the soul; wrought there by the hand of him that made us; and which requireth us to honour and fear God as the supreme Lord, to esteem him as the chief good; and to exercise and express that honour, that fear, and that esteem, by all the means, and in all the ways, which reason and revelation appoint for such exercise and expression; that we may gain the love of the Almighty, and obtain the established seat of happiness above: but such force hath the objects of sense upon the mind, that it is more than probable they would outweigh the distant hopes of religion, if wishing could bring in even a tenth part of what the vanity of man, and his senses would call for. It would be so far from being an advantage to mankind, if they could wish and have vast fortunes, all the pleasures, the pomps and honours of the world, that they would thereby be deprived of the rational joys of life, and be influenced to think no more of the excellency and beauty of religion, and the good consequences of serving God truly. They would not even divide themselves between this world and the other. The Idol Gods of this state would have all their service. The wish then should be for daily bread, and that the kingdom of God may come—his will be done in our souls. In these are comprized the greatest and most valuable blessings, and we are sure we can obtain them, if we will add to asking an industry and prudence in acquiring, and take care by culture, to bring up the seeds of virtue and holiness. This is enough to make us as happy here as reason can desire. We have a sufficiency to go through this world to that other where we are to be stationed for ever, and against the accidents of the way, we have the supports which innocence and virtue to the good administer. Peace and tranquillity of mind here, and hopes full of comfort with respect to hereafter, are the ingredients of our happiness; a happiness the greatest! and we are certain that he, upon whose mercy and goodness we confess we exist, will, in regard to our confidence and trust, our faith and religion, when this fleeting scene is over, make us glorious and ever blessed in the kingdom he has prepared for those that rely on the Divine Goodness, and do their best to advance the state of true virtue in the world. Let us not regret, then, the want of a castle of wishes. Let us not have a desire of that wealth, dominion and splendor, which lives in contempt of the prophets, and riots in the heinous pleasures of irreligion.

Let our great Master's Will be made the rule of all our actions, and let his interest be regarded, as our interest. Let us consult his honour, as our own honour; and having food and raiment, be content, as we are hasting away with a never ceasing pace, to the realms of eternity and unmixed bliss. This is reason and light. This only deserves our care. There is nothing worth wishing for, but the happiness of God's presence in our hearts; and the more immediate communications of his love and favour in the regions of day.

43.

Thus did reflexion entertain me, as I rid up this grand shady walk, which looked like the avenue I had read of in the Tales of the Fairies, and brought me to a natural grotto, more beautiful than Ælian's description of Atalanta's, or that in Homer, where Calypsos lived. —It was a large cavern at the bottom of a marble mountain, and without, was covered round with ivy, that clung about some aged oaks, (on either side the entrance) that seemed coeval with the earth on which they grew. Abundance of large laurel trees, in clumps, adorned an extensive area before the door; and saffron, and hyacinths, and flowers of many colours, covered in confused spots the carpet green. The beautiful ground refreshed the sight, and purified the air: and to enhance the beauties of the spot, a clear and cold stream gushed from a neighbouring rock; which watered the trees and plants, and seemed to combat with the earth, whether of them most contributed to their growth and preservation. It was a sweet rural scene. For charms and solitude the place was equally to be admired.

The inside of this grotto was a beautiful green marble, extremely bright, and even approaching to the appearance of the emerald. It was thick set with shells, and those not small ones, but some of the largest and finest kinds: many of them seemed, as it were, squeezed together by the marble, so as to shew the edges only; but more were to be seen at large, and filled with the purest spar. The whole had a fine effect, and as the cave had been divided by art into six fine apartments, and had doors and chimnies most ingeniously contrived, both the mansion and its situation charmed me in a high degree. It was a beautiful habitation indeed. On either side of it were many cottages, pretty and clean, and as sheep were feeding on the field, some cows grazing, and various kinds of tame fowl before the doors, I concluded it was an inhabited place, before I saw any one.

44.

The first human being I beheld, was an old woman, who appeared at the grotto door, and I requested her to inform me, who lived in this delightful place;—and which was my best way to Cumberland or Bishoprick? Sir, (replied the good old woman) you are welcome to Burcott-Lodge. Women only are the inhabitants of this spot: and over the hills before you, you must go, to get to the countries you mention. We are an hundred souls in all that live here, and our mistress, superior and head, is a young woman. Her name is Azora . Yonder she comes, goodness itself, and as it is now seven in the evening, too late to proceed any farther in this part of the world, you had better walk up to her, and pay her your respects. Great was my surprize at what I heard. A little female republic among those hills was news indeed: and when I came near Azora, my astonishment encreased.

She was attended by ten young women, straight, clean, handsome girls, and surpassed them in tallness. Her countenance was masculine, but not austere: her fine blue eyes discovered an excellence of temper, while they shewed the penetration of her mind. Her hair was brown, bright and charming; and nature had stamped upon her cheeks a colour, that exceeded the most beautiful red of the finest flower. It was continually as the maiden blush of a modest innocence. She was drest in a fine woollen stuff, made in the manner shepherdesses are painted, and on her head had a band or fillet like what the ladies now wear, with a bunch of artificial flowers in her hair. She had a very small straw hat on. —In her hand, she held a long and pretty crook: and as her coats were short, her feet were seen, in black silk shoes, and the finest white stockings, and appeared vastly pretty. She struck me greatly. She was a charming, and uncommon figure. When I came up to Azora, I could hardly forbear addressing her, as the son of Ulysses did the supernal,—O vous, qui que vous soiez, mortelle ou deesse (quoiqu'a vous voir on ne puisse vous prendre que pour une divinité) seriez-vóus insensible au malheur d'un fils, qui —Whoever you are, a mortal or a goddess, tho' sure your aspect speaks you all divine, can you, unmoved, behold a hapless son, by fate expelled, and urged by unrelenting rage, to wander thro' the world, exposed to winds and seas, and all the strokes of adverse fortune, till he arrived in this land of felicity and peace? —But on better thoughts, I only said, I am your most humble servant, madam, and told her I believed I had lost my way, and knew not where to go;—To which she replied, you are welcome, sir, to our hamlet, and to the best entertainment it affords: only tell me, she added with a smile, what could induce you to travel this unbeaten road—and how did you pass the precipices and rivers you must have met with in the way? —Curiosity, madam, (I answered) was one cause; that I might see a country no traveller had been in; and my next inducement, to find a valuable friend; who lives somewhere upon the northern border of this county, or Yorkshire, or on the adjoining limits of Cumberland or Durham; but on which I know not; and as I came from Brugh under Stanemore, I judged it the shortest way by a great many miles, and the likeliest to succeed in my enquiry after my friend:—then as to hills and waters, many dangerous ones I have gone over, and with great toil and fatigue have got thus far. — This (Azora said) is a rational account of your journey, and as there are many difficulties still before you, you are welcome to rest with us till you are refreshed, and able to proceed.

By this time, we reached the grotto door, and upon entring the first apartment, I saw another lady, drest in the same manner, and seemed to be of the same age, that is, about six and twenty, as I was told. This was Azora's companion and friend. She was a very pretty woman, tho' inferior to Azora in charms: but her mind was equally luminous and good. Neither she nor Azora were learned women, that is, they understood no other language than the English tongue, and in that they had but a small collection of the best books; but those few they had read well, and they had capacities to think. In reason, philosophy, and mathematicks, they were excellent, and in the most agreeable manner, discovered in conversation the finest conceptions of the most excellent things. Azora, of the two, was by much the best speaker. Her voice was delightful, and her pronunciation just; strong, clear, and various. With unspeakable pleasure did I listen to her, during three days that I happily passed with her and her companion, and received from both many valuable informations. I thought I understood algebra very well, but I was their inferior, and they instructed me; and on the fundamental points of religion, they not only out-talked me, but out-reasoned me. It is very strange, I confess. It is very true, however.

Azora, in particular, had an amazing collection of the most rational philosophical ideas, and she delivered them in the most pleasing dress, with as much ease as she breathed. She asked me, after I had feasted on an excellent supper, how religion went on in the world; and what was the condition of that which came from supernatural communication, as she phrased it? and when I told her, that our excellent divines did all that was possible for men to do, to turn the world from superstition of every kind to that express revelation which restores the dictates of uncorrupted reason to their force and authority; which teaches the knowledge of one supreme Spirit or God, and the nature of that worship which is due to a Being not confined to, or dependent upon particular places, or circumstances; but always and every where present with us: she answered, that such clergymen are glorious, and cannot be enough admired; and great is the unreasonableness of the men who opposed them, and forced them into the field of disputation, from their holy labour of instructing the people in penitential piety and sanctification: I mean the infidels and the bigots.

What can be more unjust and impious, (Azora continued) than for men to declame against a revelation which displays the paternal regard of God for his creatures, by doing more than was strictly necessary for their happiness, as they had his original law of reason before he gave them the gospel; and which enables us to extend our knowledge even as to those things which we are by nature capable of knowing; which awakens us to duty, and advises us how to walk in the ways of prudence and safety. To reject such an extraordinary method of saving us, is senseless and culpable indeed. Surely, when superstition and enthusiasm has led mankind into errors, we ought to adore the divine goodness for recommunicating a knowledge of true religion; of duty in this life, and of what we are to expect in that which is to come. We can never be thankful enough for a revelation, that has a tendency to promote the happiness of mankind both here and hereafter. The opposition, in my opinion, is without excuse; as the external evidence of history, miracles, and prophecy for the gospel, is incontestably strong, when fairly examined; must appear with force to a modest, candid, impartial inquirer; and as the internal evidence for the sacred letters, their usefulness and excellence, must be obvious to every attentive capacity, that delights in the pursuit of religion and virtue. Truth and candor, then, those infidels are strangers to. They are not fair reasoners. They are haughty, over-bearing declaimers.

Nor can I think much better (Azora said) of those great and reverend men, who preach and write to prove the weakness of human reason, and that the prime law of our creation, the law of nature, is imperfect, insufficient, and obscure; and therefore, supernatural communication was absolutely necessary; who add to this, things inconceivable and contradictory, and insist upon our believing articles too hard for rational beings. This is misrepresenting rationals, if we believe the scriptures, and is so far from being of service to the cause of christianity, (as in charity we must suppose those great men by such writing and preaching do intend) that it does, on the contrary, very greatly hurt reveled religion. It is to such wrong defences of revelation that antichristian deism owes its chief strength. Our holy religion wants not any real evidence that can be desired by the modest, candid, and impartial; but if great and learned men will deny the perfection of the primary law of God, and substitute in the place of recommunicated nature, an invented gospel, that swells with useless mysteries, and hard doctrines; great damage must fall upon the true gospel . An unintelligible religion is no religion. It can be of no concern, with regard to rational creatures; and strong minds will laugh at its pieties.

But exclusive of invented mysteries, (I said) which are to be sure sad stuff in the works of those great men, and deplorably corrupt the simplicity of the gospel, to me it is not so plane, that mankind could by reason acquire just and adequate ideas of the existence and nature of the supreme Being, or know that they had immortal souls, and would expose themselves to eternal unavoidable misery in a future state, in proportion to the demerit of their thoughts and actions in this world; but might secure everlasting felicity by worshipping one supreme, universal, omnipotent, eternal, omnipresent, and intelligent Spirit, and doing all the good we have an opportunity and power to do in this life. I question if reason can make us clear and certain on these articles. The reason of the bulk of mankind cannot do it, I think. Therefore, the gospel was absolutely necessary for the salvation of men.

Azora to this replied, that faith in Christ, and all his own institutions, were of high value indeed; and beautiful his religion appears, when it is fairly represented, as an institution that has no other end than morality, the most noble end, and the most worthy of God; and that declares the practice of all the moral offices to be superior to any inward accomplishment, or outward christian institution: but she could not allow, that christianity was absolutely necessary; for the common reason of men, without launching out into the unfathomable ocean of metaphysical subtilties, appears upon tryal to be able to discover the fundamental points of religion; and from the things that are made, from our moral capacities and powers, and from our relations to one another, to know the supreme Being, his attributes and perfections, and that we are accountable to our great Creator.

If men will think, they must perceive (without the reason of a Newton or Clarke) the existence of a spiritual influence in all the parts of inanimated matter, and the existence of their own spirits or souls. To which ever part of matter we look, we see a spirit employed. An influencing Being, endued with the faculties of perception, activity, and volition, is plane. The accidental qualities of matter, called attraction, repulsion, and communication of motion, evince that material and vegetable nature, and all the parts of inanimated matter, are actuated by one supreme and universal spirit: I say One Spirit, because it is evident from a sameness of volition, that is, from one and the same faculty of volition, manifest throughout all nature, that there are not several distinct, independent spirits. In attraction, repulsion, and communication of motion, there appears no different faculty of volition, but a different exercise of the same faculty of volition; which, for wise reasons, makes some parts of matter cohere strongly, as stone and metal,—some weakly, as earth, etc; some repel, while others attract; some elastic, and others non-elastic. In all these cases, one spirit only is the actor: that Being who holds all perfection in himself, and by an absolute command over all parts of matter, forms and manages it as his wisdom sees best;—just as his adorable providence governs us, and disposes of us, by such laws as reason, (consulting the good of the whole society) declares it to be best for us to obey: best, most surely, as it is the glory of the Almighty to be constantly and without any deviation, governed by the eternal and immutable laws of good and right, just and equal. All is the operation of one and the same universal spirit. Identity is visible. The various kinds of attraction, repulsion, etc. only shew the unlimited power of the Deity, in actuating matter as his established rules require. Were several arbitrary, supreme spirits to act over matter, the consequence would be a breach of regularity, uniformity, and constancy, in the laws of nature, and that confusion would appear instead of beauty and order.

Thus common reason confesses that there is one infinite universal, supreme spirit, who actuates and governs the universe; and from the heavens, the earth, and ourselves, we are as certain that there is a Creator and Lord of all the worlds, who directs every atom of it, and animates every material form, as we are of any thing demonstrated to us. And as he is not only the Creator but the Manager and Preserver of every being, there can be no power equal to him. He must be omnipotent. He must likewise be eternal and omnipresent; for there was no superior power to receive existence from, nor is there a superior power to confine it. As to his infinite intelligence, his being the Author and Preserver of all things demonstrates it.

In respect of the human soul (Azora continued) it is impossible for perception to proceed from the body, or from any motion or modification of parts of the body; and therefore, there must be a mind in which our ideas must be produced and exist. If the ideas of sensation may be supposed to be occasioned by the different motions of the constituent parts of the brain, yet they cannot be those motions. The motions can only enable a spiritual percipient to note them, remember them, etc: and as to reflection, the other part of the perceptive faculty, attention, and contemplation, it is not possible they can proceed from the different motions into which the parts of the brain are put; because they are employed solely about perceptions which were only in the mind. The case is the same as to many other qualities or faculties;—in the designing quality, the inventing quality, the judging quality, the reasoning quality, the compounding quality, the abstracting quality, the discerning quality, the recollective quality, the retentive quality, the freedom of will, the faculty of volition, and especially the foreseeing faculty: these cannot be the faculties of matter. Such qualities must exist ultimately and solely in mind. Can foresight, for example, be the work of matter, when it is employed about things and actions which have not yet happened, and for that reason cannot be the objects of the senses? No surely. It must be the spiritual part of the compound that acts upon the occasion: in all the intelligent faculties which we comprehend under the complex idea of understanding, spirit only can be the performer.

There is a soul or mind then in man, and that it is immortal and accountable, is as evident as that the retentive faculty, that is, retaining ideas received by reflection, does not pertain to body, but is a natural quality of the soul only, and does not proceed from its union with the body: for, as perception and retention prove the human mind to be a distinct being, and that it has qualities which cannot proceed from body, therefore it must still continue a Spirit, unless annihilated by its Creator, and must, after its separation, be endued with the qualities which are the faculties of soul only. The reason is plain. These qualities cannot be destroyed without a cause, but separation is no cause, as the quality or qualities did not proceed from, or depend on union, therefore the soul is immortal, unless we suppose what cannot be supposed, that its Creator puts an end to its being. We must know, after death, that we exist. We must remember a past existence, and call to mind every idea we had formed in this life by reflection.

As to our being accountable hereafter for the deeds we have done in this first state of existence, this can admit of no speculation; for as we have received from our Creator the eternal law of reason, which enables us to distinguish right and wrong, and to govern the inferior powers and passions, appetites and senses, if we please;—as we are endued with an understanding which can acquire large moral dominion, and may, if we oppose not, sit as queen upon the throne over the whole corporeal system; since the noble faculty of reason was given to rectify the soul, and purify it from earthly affections; to elevate it above the objects of sense, to purge it from pride and vanity, selfishness and hypocrisy, and render it just, pious and good; —of consequence, God has a right to call us to account for our conduct in this first state, and will reward or punish, in a most extraordinary manner; as the principles and actions of man have been righteous; or, his life and character stained by unjust dispositions and filthy deeds. This is plain to common reason. Every understanding must see this, how wrong soever they wilfully act. As God by his nature must abhor iniquity, and love what is honest, pure, and good; he must reward the piety and worthy behaviour of those, who act according to reason in this life, and with views beyond the bounds of time, endeavour to proceed each day to more exalted ideas of virtue: but, the mortals who deviate from rectitude and goodness, and wilfully live workers of iniquity, must expect that God, the Father of spirits, the Lover of truth, and the patron of righteousness and virtue, will proportion future punishments to present vices, and banish them to the regions of eternal darkness. From the natural lights of our understanding we have the highest reason to conclude this will be the case. The truths are as evident to a reflection, as that this world, and we who inhabit it, could not have had eternal existence, nor be first formed by any natural cause; but must have been originally produced, as we are now constantly preserved, by the supreme and universal Spirit. This is the excellent law of reason or nature. There is a light sufficient in every human breast, to conduct the soul to perfect day, if men will follow it right onwards, and not turn into the paths that lead to the dark night of hell .

Azora's religious notions amazed me, and the more, as they were uttered with a fluency and ease beyond any thing I had ever heard before. In the softest, sweetest voice, she expressed herself, and without the least appearance of labour, her ideas seemed to flow from a vast fountain. She was a master indeed in the doctrine of ideas. Her notion of them and their formation was just as possible; and in a few minutes she settled every thing relating to them. Her ideas of activity and passivity afforded me much instruction, as did her notions of space, matter, and spirit: and what is still more extraordinary, she had a fine conception of an electrical fluid, which is thought to be a discovery made very lately, and made use of it to prove, not that it is the ultimate cause of effects, but that every thing is caused and directed by an immaterial spirit. An immaterial spirit was her favorite article, and it was to me a fine entertainment to hear her on that subject; from the one supreme Spirit down to the spirit of brute animals. —But to conclude our conversation on religion; I observed to Azora, that if things were so, and the law of reason was so perfect and sufficient, then I could not see that there was any want at all of the religion of favor, since that of nature was enough to confirm us in rectitude and holiness, if we would obey its directions; and to shew us the way to the mansions of angels. Why the law of grace at so great an expence—if the rule of reason can make us good here, and for ever happy hereafter?

Azora replied, that she had before answered this question by observing, that excellent as the primary law of the creation was, yet, revelation was of the greatest use, as it enables us to extend our knowledge even as to the things which we are by nature capable of knowing; and as it restored to the world the law of reason, that is, true religion, when superstition and enthusiasm had established false religion. This renders christianity glorious were there nothing more to be said for it: But this is not all we can say.

The best of mortals are weak, and the most of them are so fully employed about things temporal, that it is impossible so much good should proceed from mere human reason as from a plain easy gospel, that delineates duty in the most intelligible manner, and contains the absolute command of the great God, to renounce vicious habits, impure desires, worldly tempers, and frame our souls to purity, sincerity, and devotion; as the only means that can secure his felicitating presence, and gain us admission to the delightful seats of separate souls made perfect. In this the gospel is far preferable to reason.

Beside, as wilful disobedience strikes at the being and government of God, and devotedness to the Lord of all the worlds, in trust and resignation, is the perfection of religion, the example of the Son of God in his humiliation, his cross, his death, make an instance of resignation so consummate and instructive, that we not only learn from it what reason cannot half so well instruct us in; I mean the amiableness of virtue, the excellency of holiness, and the merit of absolute and unreserved obedience; but, we are roused to an imitation of this grand character; both on account of its beauty, and the promise of our sitting down with Christ in his throne, if, according to our measure, we work all righteousness, and overcome our present temptations and trials, even as he also overcame, and is set down with his Father in his throne. Reason is nothing compared to this. The gospel-dispensation by this means is fitted to render us virtuous, holy, and thoroughly good, in a method the law of nature could never do.

And more than this; when the God of heaven saw his creatures and children every where going wrong, without any help amongst themselves, and therefore sent his Son to set them right; to set before them the unchangeable rule of everlasting righteousness in its original purity and perfection, and not only explain and enforce it by the most powerful considerations, but apply the commands of supreme reason to the government of the thoughts and passions of the heart; that duty and virtue in the principle and habit of universal rectitude towards both God and man, might be the practice of all the earth, and mankind become a people holy to the Lord; He, the Universal Father, the better to effect this blessed purpose, added two things to religion, which have a power that reason wants, to make us conform to God, and the eternal laws of righteousness, in principle, temper and life. One is, Christ's appearing to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, by his becoming a sin-offering . The other is the assistance of the spirit of God. The oblation of the Son, and the grace of the Father, have effects in religion, in changing and sanctifying, that reason is an utter stranger to.

The sum of the whole is, the gospel, that word of truth and power, enters the hearts, and breaks the power of sin in the soul. The holy life of Christ sets us an example, that we should walk in his steps, and obey the will of the infinitely wise Creator; that, like him, we should accord by obedience with the harmony of God's moral government, and rather die than break or obstruct it by any wilful sin. And by his being a sin-offering, he not only put an end to all sin-offerings, (which both Jews and Gentiles were wont to offer;) (19) [Footnote 19: 1Kb] but, by his being the most precious one in the universe, shewed God's great displeasure against sin, and in his obedience to the Father, even unto death, that we ought to cease from evil, and by a righteous obedience render ourselves worthy of God the Father's love. That we may do so, we have the promise of the Spirit to enable us to turn from sin and Satan to the living God, that by the acting principle of sanctification, wrought within us by the hand of him that made us, (without the least force on our will,) we may perfect our souls in purity and holiness, exercise acts of love and benevolence, and worship the one true God in and through the one true Mediator. —Reason alone, excellent as it is, cannot produce any thing like this.

The religion of favour in these respects surpasses the law of nature. By the first law of the creation, reason, we may acquire that righteousness, which is an habitual rectitude of soul, and right actions flowing from it: but sanctification, that influencing principle, which adds holiness to righteousness, belongs, as I take it, to the law of grace. It is given to those who ask it, not for the sake of, but through Christ.

All this (I answered) is just and fine, and I have only to request, for my farther instruction, that you will be pleased, madam, to explain yourself a little more on the articles of a sin-offering and grace; for I have always thought there was a darkness sat upon these parts of reveled religion, and have often wished for what I have not yet found, a head capable of giving me intire satisfaction on those points: but from what I have heard you say, I must now suppose that all my doubts, relative to the two subjects, you have the power to remove. —My power (Azora returned) is no more than a plain understanding, that in this still and peaceful region, has been at liberty to think, without being corrupted by sophistry, school-nonsense, or authority; and, as to giving satisfaction on the heads you mention, or any other, it is not what I pretend to: but my opinion you shall have since you ask it; and in the following manner Azora proceeded.

As to our Lord's becoming a sin-offering, I conceive, in the first place, that God ordained it, because he saw it needful, and necessary to answer many and great ends. It must be right, and what in the reason and nature of things ought to be, though we were not able to comprehend the reasons that made it needful. It must have been the properest way to make up the breach between heaven and earth, since infinite wisdom appointed it.

In the next place, as the death of this great person not only gave the highest attestation to the truth of his doctrine, and confirmed every word he had preached; to the encouragement of sinners to repent, and the great consolation of saints; but has afforded us such a noble pattern of obedience, as must have an influence on intelligent beings, and excite them to practise obedience to all the commands of God, and perfect resignation to his will in every case; which are some excellent reasons for Christ's dying; so did Almighty God make this farther use of it, that he appointed the blood of Christ (which was shed to produce the essence of sanctification in the soul, to wit, devotedness, trust, and resignation to the Almighty Father of the universe) to be the blood of a new covenant, shed for many for the remission of sins. This seems to me to take in the whole case. Christ by obedience to the death (which happened in the natural course of things) is held out to the world a pattern of self-sacrifice in the cause of truth and virtue—a sample of that perfect religion—not my will, but thine be done: the glorious gospel is thereby confirmed: and our redemption is effected by the blood of the Son of God. As Moses, the Mediator between God and Israel, repeated to the people the laws and judgments of God, and received their consent to the divine commands; entered this covenant in his book, offered sacrifices of praise and friendship, and then confirmed the covenant in the most solemn manner, by dividing the blood of the sacrifices into parts; one part of which he sprinkled on the altar, to ratify God's part of the covenant: and with the other part sprinkled the people, that is, the twelve princes, the heads, or the twelve pillars, which represented the twelve tribes, and then awfully cried out with a strong voice—Behold the blood of the covenant Jehovah has made with you: so did the Lord Jesus Christ, the Mediator between God and all mankind, teach the people by his gospel to rectify their notions, to regulate their affections, to direct their worship; with the judgments that were to be the consequence of disobedience, the rewards prepared for those who obey; and then declared, in relation to his death, This is my blood of the new covenant. The blood I must shed on the cross will seal, ratify, and confirm a pardoning covenant, and by virtue thereof, upon repentance and conversion, the world is washed clean through the blood of the Lamb. This, I think for myself, renders the thing very plain and easy. The death of the Son of God was taken into the plan of redemption, not to pacify God's anger; for God could be no otherwise pleased or delighted with the blood of his Son, than as his shedding it was an act of the highest obedience, and a noble pattern to all the rational creation; but his blood was made the seal of a pardoning and justifying covenant ; and by the death of Christ, (the most powerful means to prevent sin, and to draw sinners to obey the commands of heaven,) God demonstrated his love and mercy to mankind. I fancy I am clear. In this view of the matter, I can see no difficulty in being justified freely by the grace of God, thro' the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. God is the sole original and fountain of redemption. The Son, and his gospel are the great instruments. Lo! I come to do thy will, O my God, the Son declares: and the Blood he shed, the better to bring the human race to wisdom, rectitude and happiness, is appointed by our merciful, good, and gracious Father, to be the seal and ratification of a new covenant. Moloch might want a cruel and bloody sacrifice to pacify him; but the Father of the universe sent his Christ to deliver his commands, and made the death, which he foresaw would happen by his Son's delivering such commands to impious men, to be a covenant between Jehovah and the people, that Jesus should be considered as a propitiation for our sins, and his death be an eternal memorial of the Almighty's love, and abhorrence of iniquity. There can no objection lie against this. To me this appears the most rational and beautiful scheme that infinite wisdom could contrive. Most glorious and good is our God. Most happy may mortals be, if they please. The virtuous obedience of our Lord hath obtained from God a right and power to abolish death. His blood hath confirmed the covenant of grace, and his gospel hath brought life immortal into light.

As to the influence of the spirit, (Azora continued) that there is such a living principle in the human soul, cannot I think be denied, if revelation is to be believed; but the mode of influencing is not perhaps to be explained otherwise than by saying, that our gracious and good Father makes now and then some friendly impressions upon our minds, and by representing in several lights the terrors and promises of the gospel, excites our hopes and fears. As I apprehend, we can go very little further. It is easy I think to prove from the scriptures, that as the extraordinary assistance of the Holy Ghost was necessary for planting christianity at first; so is a supernatural assistance of the Holy Ghost, tho' not in so illustrious a manner, still necessary to enable us to perform the conditions of the gospel. Tho' God has recalled the more visible signs of his presence, yet to be sure he continues to influence some way or other. I cannot suppose the Holy Ghost has wholly withdrawn himself from the church. The renewing of the Holy Ghost (St. Peter says) was a promise made to them and to their children, and to those that were afar off, even as many as God should call; and as human nature has the same weakness and passions, and extravagancies of former ages, there is as much need of a divine assistance now as in the time of the apostles: nay more need, I think, at present, as miracles are ceased. There must be a weight of supernatural power to press within, as there are now no flashings from the sky, or extraordinary appearances without, to prove the certainty of our religion, and make us consider its promises, threatenings, and rules: but the way this supernatural principle acts, as before observed, is hard to determine, any more than what I have said, and instead of wasting our time in enquiries how the thing is done, our business is to render ourselves capable of so great a blessing, by not grieving this holy spirit, lest he depart from us; and resolving with the psalmist, to walk with a perfect heart, and to set no wicked thing before our eyes. We must strive to improve religious thoughts: we must labour hard to obey the written rules: God will then give us the grace sufficient for us. To our considerable talent of natural power to do good, our Father will add the advantages of his his spirit. If we desire to be good, he will make us good in conjunction with our own application and pains; by a gradual process, and human methods. If nature gives her utmost actings, the author of nature will move, and direct and assist her where she is weak. Both the grace and the providence of God may be likened to a little spring concealed within a great machine: to the known given powers of the machine, the operations of it are ascribed, and all its events imputed; yet it is the small secreted spring that directs, draws, checks, and gives movement to every weight and wheel. The case cannot be exactly alike, as a compound of matter and spirit is different from a machine: but it may suggest I imagine some imperfect idea of the affair: a very imperfect one, I confess, for if we were thinking ever so long of the matter, grace after all would be what the apostle calls it, an unspeakable gift—A gift surmounting our apprehensions as well as it does our merit. The theory of it may be perhaps too excellent for us, and our part is, not to determine how, but with honest hearts to pray, that a ray from heaven may open, and shine upon our understanding, clear it from prejudices and impostures, and render it teachable, considerative and firm; may inspire good thoughts, excite good purposes, and suggest wholesome counsels and expedients. This the divine power may easily do, without depriving us of free-will, or lessening our own moral agency. That power may extinguish an imagination we strive to get rid of: may remove an impediment we labour to be freed from: may foil a temptation we do our best to resist. If we do all we can, and implore the divine aid, there is no doubt but the Almighty may give his free creatures such powers and dispositions, as will carry them innocently and safely thro' the trial of this first state. On such conditions, God, the Father of spirits, the friend of men, the patron of righteousness and all virtue, will, without all peradventure, distribute his grace to every mortal in proportion to the measures of necessary duty.

Here Azora ended, and I sat for some minutes after in great admiration. Her fancy furnished ideas so very fast, and speaking was so very easy to her, without one pang in the delivery, or the least hesitation for hours, as she could, if she pleased, so long discourse; her judgment was so strong, and her words so proper and well placed, that she appeared to me a prodigy in speaking, and I could have listened to her with delight and amazement the whole night. But exactly at ten o'clock, the old woman I mentioned before, who first bid me welcome to Burcot Lodge, came into the chamber with candles, and Azora told me, that if I would follow Gladuse, she would light me to bed. I did immediately, after wishing the ladies good night, and my guide brought me to her own cottage, which was next door to the grotto. She shewed me into a small clean room, neatly and prettily furnished, and there I found a good bed. Down I lay as soon as I could, being much fatigued, and as the sun was rising, got up again, to write what I could remember to have heard Azora say. My memory from my childhood has been very extraordinary. I believe there are few living exceed me in this respect. The greatest part of what I read and hear, remains with me, as if the book was still before me, or the speaker going on. This enables me to write down, with much exactness, what I care to note, and I can do it for the most part in the relater's or talker's own words, if I minute it in my short hand within twenty-four hours after reading or discoursing. Upon this account, I can say, that I lost very little of all that Azora was pleased to let me hear; or, of the discourses I had with her ingenious companion, Antonia Fletcher .

When I had done writing, I went out to wait upon the ladies, and found them in their fine gardens, busily employed in the useful and innocent diversion which the cultivation of some of the greatest beauties of the creation affords. They had every kind of fruit tree in their ground, every plant and flower that grows, and such a variety of exotic rarities from the hotter climates, as engaged my admiration, and finely entertained me for many an hour, during my stay in this place. They both understood gardening to perfection, and continually lent their helping hands to the propagation of every thing. The digging and laborious work was performed by many young women, who did it with great activity and understanding, and the nicer parts these ladies executed. I was astonished and delighted with their operations of various kinds. It was beautiful to see with what exquisite skill they used the knife, managed graffs and cyons, directed the branches and twigs in posture on espaliers, and raised flowers. They had every thing in perfection in their kitchen garden and physic garden. Their fruits, roots, and herbs for the table, were most excellent: their collection of herbs for medicine the most valuable: and as the whole contrivance of the gardens was near nature, and beautiful in grass, gravel, and variety of evergreens, I was led with delight thro' the whole, till I came into the green-house. There I saw Azora and Antonia at work, and paid them the compliments they deserved.

Immediately after my arrival, breakfast was brought in there, chocolate and toasts, and the ladies were extremely pleasant over it. They asked me a great many questions about the world, and were so facetious in their remarks, and pleased with my odd account of things, that they laughed as heartily as I did, and that was at no small rate. This being done, we walked over every part of the gardens, and Azora did me the honour not only to shew me all the curiosities, and improvements she had made, in the management of seeds, flowers, plants, and trees; but, lectured on various fine objects that appeared in our way, with a volubility of tongue, and a knowledge of the subjects, that was amazing indeed. Were I to set down what she said even on sallads, cucumbers, colliflowers, melons, asparagus, early cabbages, strawberries, rasberries, currants, goosberries, apples, pears, plums, cherries, apricots, etc, and especially, her propagation of mushrooms, champignons, and buttons; this, exclusive of exotics and flowers, would make I believe an octavo: and in relation to exotics and flowers, I am sure she talked twice as much, and of every thing extremely well. I never did hear any thing like her. The discourse cost her no more than the breath of her nostrils.

But at last we came to a fish-pond, that was an acre of water, and I assure you, reader, that in half an hour's time, the illustrious Azora not only talked more of fish and ponds than the ingenious and honourable Roger North, of Rougham in Norfolk, hath written on these subjects in his excellent discourse, printed in 1713; but, mentioned many useful things relative to them, which Mr. North was a stranger to. She told me, among other matters, that there was only pike and perch in her pond, and that the reason of it was, because she loved pike above all fish, and as the jacks were fish of prey, no fish but the perch could live with them: The perch on account of the thorny fins on its back, escapes the pike's voracious appetite. She farther informed me, that the jacks in her pond were the finest in the world, as I would see at dinner, and that the reason of it was owing to the high feeding she took care they had every day: beside the entrails of what fowl and sheep her people killed for her table and themselves, the pike had blood and bran mixed in plenty, and all the frogs she could get from a neighbouring fen; for of them the jacks are most fond. This made the fish extraordinary: and as the water was current thro' the pond, and the bottom of various depths from one foot, and two feet, to six feet, that the spawn may have shallow water to lie in, and the fry shallow water to swim in, as they both required, this was the reason, that one acre of water in such a manner, produced double the quantity of fish to what a pond of still water, and a bottom all of one depth, could have. See (Azora continued) what multitudes there are. They know me, as I feed them myself every day, and tamely come up, cruel tyrants as they are, to get their meat. Here she called jack, jack, and throwing in a basket of unfortunate frogs, it was wonderful to see how those devouring monsters appeared, and voraciously swallowed the poor things.

Azora was going to proceed to another pond of carp and tench, which she had at the other end of her gardens, and let me know how that was ordered, so as to produce the largest and finest fish: but a bell rung for morning prayers, at ten o'clock, and she immediately turned towards a chapel. She asked me if I would attend divine service, and upon my answering, with pleasure, desired me to come on. In the church I saw every soul of the community assembled, and while I chose to sit on one of the benches among the people, at some distance, that I might the better observe every thing done, the ladies ascended by a few steps into a reading desk, and Azora began with great devotion, to pray in the following manner:

O Christ, our blessed mediator, pray for us that our faith fail not, and thro' thy merits and intercession, Lord Jesus, let our prayer be set forth in the sight of Almighty God as incense, and the lifting up of our hands as a morning sacrifice.

Almighty and everlasting God, thou pure and infinite Spirit, who art the great cause and author of nature, and hast established the world by thy wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by thy discretion; upon whom depends the existence of all things, and by whose providence we have been preserved to this moment, and enjoyed many blessings and undeserved advantages; graciously accept, we beseech thee, our grateful sense and acknowledgements of all thy beneficence towards us; accept, O Lord, our most hearty and unfeigned thanks for all the instances of thy favor which we have experienced; that we have the use of our reason and understanding, in which many fail, and have had refreshing sleep and quiet the past night; for delivering us from evil, and giving us our daily bread;—for all the necessaries, conveniences, and comforts, which thy liberal hand hast provided for us, to sweeten human life, and render it more agreeable than otherwise it could be in this day of our exercise, probation and trial. While we live, we will praise and magnify thy awful name, and join in ascribing with the glorious and innumerable heavenly host, honour, power, and thanksgiving to the eternal God, who sits on the throne of supremacy unrivalled in majesty and power.

But especially, O great and blessed God, adored be thy goodness for so loving the world, as to give thy only begotten Son, to the end, that all who believe in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life; for his humbling himself even to the death upon the cross, and shedding his blood for the remission of our sins. Great and marvellous are thy works of mercy, O Lord God Almighty! who can utter all thy praise? Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, small and great. Amen; allelujah. Blessing and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us dust and sin, weakness and imperfection, and enter not into strict judgment with us, thine unrighteous and unworthy servants. We confess with shame and grief, that we have violated thine holy laws, and abused thy tender mercies: that we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, and in numberless instances have offended against a most righteous governor, a most tender and compassionate Father, and a most kind and bounteous benefactor. In thought, word, and deed, many have been our offences: and many are still our imperfections. We have sinned against Heaven, and before thee, and have thereby deserved thy just displeasure. But our hope and confidence is in thine infinite mercy, O God, and that according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus, our Lord, thou wilt spare them who confess their faults, and restore them that are penitent. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for all our misdoings. Thro' faith we offer up the Lamb that was slain to the eternal God for the redemption of our souls; believing the worthiness of our Lord Jesus Christ to be a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and atonement for the sins of a repenting world, and therefore resolving, with all our strength, to imitate his spotless virtue, and perfect obedience. Pardon us, then, we beseech thee, and blot out our iniquities. Deliver us, we pray, in the name of the Lord Jesus, from the evil consequences of all our transgressions and follies, and give us such powers and dispositions as will carry us innocently and safely thro' all future trials.

Create in us, O God, pure hearts, and renew right spirits within us. Cast thy bright beams of light upon our souls, and irradiate our understandings with the rays of that wisdom which sitteth on the right hand of thy throne. Let thy holy spirit enable us to act up to the dignity of our reasonable nature, and suitably to the high character, and glorious hopes of christians: that we may subordinate the affairs and transactions of time to serve the interest of our souls in eternity: that we may shake off this vain world, and breathe after immortality and glory: that we may live in perfect reconciliation with the law of everlasting righteousness, truth, and goodness; and so comply with thy nature, mind, and will, O eternal and sovereign spirit, thou God most wonderful in all perfections, that we may fully answer the relation we stand in to thee. Relieve and ease our consciences, O blessed God, by the blood of sprinkling, according to our several conditions of body and mind; and supply us with suitable grace and strength.

We beseech thee, in the next place, Almighty Lord, to take us into thy protection this day, and suffer no Being to injure us, no mistune to befal us, nor us to hurt ourselves by any error or misconduct of our own. Give us, O God, a clear conception of things, and in all dangers and distresses, stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty to help and defend us. From sickness and pain, and from all evil and mischief, good Lord deliver us this day, and be propitious unto us, we beseech thee.

And while we remain in this world, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, secure us from every thing that is terrible and hurtful, and keep us in peace and safety. From all sad accidents and calamitous events, from all tormenting pains and grievous diseases, good Lord deliver us; and bless us with so much health and prosperity, as will enable us to pass our time here in contentment and tranquillity.

And when the time of our dissolution cometh, by the appointment of thy adorable wisdom, O Father of mercies and the God of all comforts, grant us a decent and happy exit; without distraction of mind or torments of body: let thy servants depart in peace, and suddenly die in the Lord.

We pray, likewise, for the happiness of all mankind: that they may all know, and obey, and worship thee, O Father, in spirit and in truth, and that all who name the name of Christ, may depart from iniquity, and live as becomes his holy gospel. We beseech thee to help and comfort all who are in danger, necessity, sickness, and tribulation: that it may please thee to sanctify their afflictions, and in thy good time to deliver them out of all their distresses. If we have any enemies, O Lord forgive them, and turn their hearts.

Our Father, etc.

When this extraordinary prayer was done, (which was prayed with a very uncommon devotion, such as I never had seen before) they all stood up, and Azora said, Let us sing the nineteenth psalm to the praise and glory of the most high God, and immediately raised it. Then all the people joined, and a psalm was sung to perfection indeed. Azora and Antonia had delightful voices, and as they understood music very well, they had taught this congregation so much church harmony, as enabled them to perform beyond any thing I have ever heard in any assembly of people. —The whole scene was a strange and pleasing thing. They met again at four in the afternoon; and this is the work of their every day. At ten and four they go to prayers, and after it sing a psalm; concluding always in the following way. —May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ procure us the love of God, that the Almighty Father of the universe may bless us with the heavenly assistance of the Holy Ghost.

As to the evening-office of devotion at this place, it was, exclusive of the first address, and the concluding Lord's Prayer, quite different from that of the morning; and because some readers may be pleased with a sight of another of Azora's religious compositions, I here set it down.

O Christ, our blessed mediator, pray for us, that our faith fail not, and through thy merits and intercession, Lord Jesus, let our prayer be set forth in the sight of Almighty God as incense, and the lifting up of our hands as an evening-sacrifice.

O God, who art the Father and Lord of all Beings, and the eternal and inexhaustible fountain of mercy, we beseech thee to be merciful unto us, and to blot out all our transgressions; for we truly repent of our wilful imperfections, our failings and neglects, in every instance of thy law, and our duty: and thro' faith we offer up to thee the Lamb that was slain for the redemption of our souls; believing the worthiness of our Lord Jesus to be a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and atonement for the sins of a repenting world, and therefore resolving, with all our strength, to imitate his spotless virtue and perfect obedience.

Remember not, then, O Lord, our iniquities, neither take thou vengeance for our sins; but as we sincerely believe thy holy gospel, and are truly penitent, as we intirely and willingly forgive all, who have, in any instance or in any degree, offended, or injured us, and are truly disposed and ready to make all possible reparation, if we have injured any one, have mercy upon us miserable sinners, and as thou hast promised by thy Son, pardon and forgive us all our sins, and restore us again to thy favor. Hear in heaven, thy dwelling place, and when thou hearest, accept us to thy mercy. O spare us whom thou hast redeemed by thy Son's most precious blood, and make us partakers of that salvation which thou hast appointed in Christ Jesus our Lord, and our souls shall bless thee to eternity.

And that we may no more offend thee, or transgress the rule of virtue or true religion, but may hereafter truly please thee both in will and deed, and faithfully observe the right statutes, and all thy precepts, endue us, O Lord, with the grace of thy holy spirit, that we may amend our lives according to thy holy word. Vouchsafe we beseech thee, to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of thy laws, and in the works of thy commandments; and so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom, and mind those things which are in conjunction with our everlasting welfare. —O let us be always under thy communication and influence, and give that light to our minds, that life to our souls, that will raise us to a nearer resemblance of thee, and enable us to ascend still higher, towards the perfection of our nature. Let us be transformed by the working of thy grace and spirit into the image of thy Son. Conform us to his likeness, O blessed God, and make us, body and soul, an habitation for thyself; that in our hearts we may continually offer up to thee, holy, sublime, and spiritual sacrifices.

From all evil and mischief, good God deliver us, and defend us, we beseech thee, from every thing terrible and hurtful. Take us under thy protection the remaining part of this day, and grant us a night of peace, thro' Jesus Christ our Lord.

And forasmuch as our earthly house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved, and that in a few years at farthest, it may be in a few minutes, we must descend to the bed of darkness, and acknowledge corruption to be our father, and the worms our sister and mother, grant, O everlasting God, that we may depart in peace, and by an improved principle of divine life, under the influence of the gospel, be translated to that eternal world, where God dwells, where Christ lives, and sanctified souls enjoy endless life and the purest pleasures, for evermore.

That it may please thee, most gracious and good God, to have mercy on the whole race of mankind, and to bless them with all things pertaining to life and godliness: let the light of thy glorious gospel shine upon the nations darkened by superstition, that they may worship thee who art God from everlasting to everlasting, and cultivate and establish in their minds the most pure, benevolent, and godlike dispositions. —We beseech thee for all christian churches; that their behaviour may, by the influence of thy blessed spirit, be suitable to their holy profession, and their conversation upright and unblameable. Where any have departed from the purity and simplicity of the gospel, lead them, O God, to the right practice and knowledge of their holy religion; and grant that they may feel the comfortable and sanctifying effects of it; and in their lives shew forth its praise to others. —We farther pray, most merciful Father, for all that are destitute or afflicted, either in body, mind, or estate; that from Heaven, the habitation of thy glory and goodness, thou mayest send them relief, and, if it be possible, put an end to their present calamities and troubles. O thou Father of mercies, and God of all consolation, bind up the broken in heart, and comfort those that mourn. We have a real sense of the miseries of the distressed part of mankind, and offer up for them our prayers to thee, thro' Jesus Christ our Lord.

A THANKSGIVING.

O God, the author of all good, and fountain of all happiness, we offer up our thanksgivings and praises unto thee, for thy great goodness to us, and to all mankind. We praise and magnify thy holy name for all thy mercies; for our existence, and the use of our reasoning powers and faculties; for the health and strength we enjoy, and for all the comforts and conveniencies of life: for these thy gifts we adore thee, O munificent parent of good, and pray that a deep and efficacious sense of thy goodness may remain upon our hearts, and be a principle of constant and chearful obedience to thy holy laws.

But especially we offer up the acknowledgements of our hearts and mouths for all that thy Son Jesus Christ did, and taught, and suffered, in this world, to save us from our sins, and to conduct us to true and everlasting happiness. We bless thee for the glorious gospel, and for bringing us more effectually, by revelation, to the knowledge of thee, and the practice of our duty. For this merciful appointment, and for all thy mercies, which respect another and a better life than the present; for every instance of thy tender regards to us, and for the manifold experiences which we have had of thy loving kindness; we offer up the tribute of unfeigned thanks. Our souls do magnify thee, O Lord God most excellent and good, and all the powers within us praise thy holy name. To thee be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. To thee, O thou God of love, be rendered by all beings endued with reason, all honour and obedience, both now, and for ever.

Almighty and everlasting God, who hast promised to hear the petitions of them that pray unto thee in thy Son's name, we beseech thee of thy great mercy, to accept the sacrifice of prayer and praise, which we have this evening offered up to thy Divine Majesty; and for the relief of our wants, and the manifestation of thy power and glory, grant us those things which we have requested, if thou seest it consistent with our chief and eternal good. In the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, and as his disciples, we pray, and in his words conclude the services of this day.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, etc.

After this, they all stood up, and as in the morning, Azora said, let us sing to the praise and glory of God the 148th psalm. She sung the first verse alone, and at the second, they all joined, and went through the whole in a fine and heavenly manner. Then the service concluded with this benediction.

The BENEDICTION.

May the God of grace and peace be with us and bless us. May his holy spirit keep us from falling, and preserve us blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus ended the evening and morning offices of worship at Burcot-Lodge, and as I cannot sufficiently praise, so I could not enough admire the religion and piety of this congregation. The purity of their worship was charming: and in the ladies and their people a devotion was manifest, that looked more like that of heavenly spirits, than of beings in an animal frame; who are warped with the customs of the world, and perplexed with difficulties which arise from sensible objects. They appeared in high admiration of God, endeared to his righteous government, devoted to his holy laws, and powerfully drawn to imitate him in all his imitable perfections. Not one idle word, or careless look, did I hear or see, during the whole time of divine service; but, like creatures fixed unchangeably in the interest of religion and virtue, and delighted with the joys of piety, their hearts melted in every part of their devotions, and their breasts were filled with the most grateful, transporting adorations and affections. So much beautiful religion I had not often seen in any assembly. They had a true sense indeed of the love and goodness of God, and of the grace and charity of Jesus Christ. They had all been carefully instructed by a wise and excellent man, who was not long since removed from them by death; and his daughter, the admirable Azora, in conjunction with his niece, the amiable Antonia, took all possible pains, since the decease of Mr. Burcot, to maintain the power of religion in their community, and keep the people hearty and steady in the principles and practice of it. This brings me again to the history of Azora.

Azora Burcot was the daughter of a gentleman who was once possessed of a very great fortune, but by a fatal passion for the grand operation, and an opinion of the possibility of finding the philosopher's stone, he wasted immense sums in operations to discover that preparation, which forces the fæces of infused metals to retire immediately on its approach, and so turns the rest of the mass into pure gold; communicating the malleability and great ductility of that metal, and giving it true specific gravity, that is, to water, as eighteen and one half is to one. His love of that fine, antient art, called chimistry, brought him into this misfortune. For improvement and pleasure, he had been long engaged in various experiments, and at last, an adept came to his house, who was a man of great skill in the labours and operations of spagyrists, and persuaded him it was possible to find the stone; for he, the adept, had seen it with a brother, who had been so fortunate as to discover it, after much labor and operation. The colour of it was a pale brimstone and transparent, and the size that of a small walnut. He affirmed that he had seen a little of this, scraped into powder, cast into some melted lead, and turn it into the best and finest gold. This had the effect the adept desired, and from chymistry brought Mr. Burcot to Alchimy. Heaps of money he wasted in operations of the most noble elixir by mineral and salt; but the stone after all he could not find: and then, by the adept's advice, he proceeded in a second method, by maturation, to subtilize, purify, and digest quicksilver, and thereby convert it into gold (20) [Footnote 20: 7Kb] This likewise came to nothing, and instead of the gold he expected, he had only heaps of Mercury fixed with verdegrease, (which gives it a yellow tinge), and more deeply coloured with turmeric. Gold it seemed, but, on trial in the coppel, it flew away in fumes and the adept made off. Too late this good and learned man saw he had been imposed on, and that the Spagyrists are what Dr. Dickenson calls them Enigmatistinubivagi.

Chymistry, reader, is a fine and antient art. The analysing of sensible bodies by fire, to discover their real powers and virtues, is highly praise-worthy, and the surprising experiments we make, fill the mind of an inquirer after truth, with the greatest veneration for the wonderful author of nature: but more than this is a sad romance that ends in empty pockets. Never think then of the hermetical banquet, Glauber's golden ass, or the philosopher's magical gold . By the law of honest industry, endeavour to be rich if you can, for this sole reason, that it is more blessed to give than to receive; and if that lies not within your capacity, or means, be content with peace and little. There is more true happiness in daily bread and the possession of the divine and social virtues, than in tons of gold without holiness and a strong attachment to virtue.

When Mr. Burcot found he had almost ruined himself, and that he was no longer able to live as he had done, he laid his melancholy case before his daughter Azora, and asked her advice, What he should do? To retire immediately, (Azora said) to this part of Stanemore, which was an unvalued part of his estate, and bring as many of his tenants as he could persuade to inhabit this fine tract of land:—to sell what remained of his fortune, and with the money procure as many of the necessaries or comforts of living as could be had: to get in particular some young tradesmen and their wives by offered rewards in this place; to build cottages for the people; and render the fine caverns in the rock as habitable and pleasing for themselves as art could render them. Here, (Azora told her father) we shall live more happy than we could do, if still possessed of a fortune to make an appearance in the world. We shall enjoy by industry and prudence every good thing that rational life can require, and live secured from the strokes of fortune, and the world's contempt. Strangers to vanity and the pleasures of high life, in this delightful retreat, we shall pass our happy days as in a region of goodness, knowledge, and joy; and the predominant bent of our hearts will be to wisdom, and virtue, and to ascend into the realms of perfect day. —Happy advice, (the father of Azora said), and the thing was immediately done. A colony was quickly established here, and every thing was settled and ordered in the most advantageous manner. Cattle, instruments, and grain to sow the land were sent in; cloaths and every material the little republic could want were provided, and every hand was as useful as we could wish. For four years (Azora continued to inform me), we lived in peace and tranquillity, and never once regretted the loss of our fortunes. We were happier far than when we had thousands. Industry, knowledge, and religion, were our employment. The night to come of pain and death gave us no uneasiness. We lived as the christians of the two first centuries, and rather longed for than feared that event, which is to remove us to growing brightness for ever and ever. But a fever came in among us, and swept away my father, and every man of our little republic: several women likewise perished; but a hundred souls remained. Ninety-eight women, besides Antonia and Azora. These loved me too well (Azora continued) to abandon me; and as they were happily situated, and many of them had learned their husband's trades, they agreed and swore to spend their lives with me here, and be as serviceable as possible, without admitting any men to live among us. They are so in the highest degree: they are all useful and pious as I could wish them, and under the heavens there is not a happier society of mortals. We have the best of every thing: all we want, and in reason could wish for.

Here Azora ended her relation, and I wondered greatly at what I heard; nor did my admiration lessen when I saw how she governed this community, and they employed their time. Her great understanding enlightened and directed them, in the execution of every thing serviceable and ingenious; and she lived before their eyes an example of the greatest industry, and the most exalted piety. They, on the other hand, were as useful and religious as possible, and so heartily and faithfully discharged social duties, in every instance, that they seemed as one great capacity and power at work, to promote every convenience and good. Some of them, as I have said, were at work in the gardens: others in the fields: various trades and occupations were going on within doors and without, and all were employed in ways that best subserved the general welfare. In their behaviour, there was nothing wild, insolent, or arch, to be seen: no swellings of vanity and pride: no passion to disoblige: no intention to offend: but, every one, discreet and calm; good-humoured, and very civil; worthily sustaining their various relations, and each attentive to her own incumbent duty. Their labours were but a diversion to them, and they lived in tranquillity and plenty. Their cloathing was coarse, but very good, clean, and handsome. There was not one ragged or dirty person among them; nor any with bad shoes and stockings. In all respects, they seemed a most happy community. Azora studied, to the utmost degree, the advantage and happiness of these people: and they, in return, made their duty a vigorous and chearful service. Most of the conveniences and comforts of life they had within their own little territory; flesh and fish, mutton, kid, and venison; corn for bread, every vegetable; malt-drink, meath, and cyder; all in great plenty, and most excellent; wool and flax for clothing; good candles; and wood enough for firing. What things they wanted two of them rid for to the nearest town, and not only purchased such goods with the money they got by sale of several commodities; especially knit thread stockings and gloves; but always at such times brought in some cash to their mistress, and she gave part of it among the people, to buy them little things they fansied.

As to the ten young women I mentioned, who walked after Azora when first I saw her, they were the daughters of some widows in this little republic, and by her chosen, not only to be her attendants and upper servants, and to look after her dairy, her bees, her poultry; and her aviary; (which was the finest I have ever seen, for the variety of birds, and as it was turfed, to avoid the appearance of foulness on the floor, and so large as to give the birds some freedom of flight); but, on account of their good understanding, in which they far excelled their fellows. These girls were carefully instructed by Azora and Antonia, and beside being taught the fine works of the needle, learned musick, and the elements of the mathematicks from the ladies. The eldest of these girls was but twenty, and the youngest eighteen, and they all surprized me very greatly with their quickness in answering very hard arithmetical questions. They could not only add, subtract, multiply, divide, find a fourth proportional, and extract roots of every kind, with exactness and readiness, and apply them upon all common occasions; but, were perfect in fractions vulgar and decimal. They had even gone as far in algebra as the resolution of simple equations.

Finding them one morning at figures, I asked the youngest of them, What was the number, that of it with 4 over, amounted to the same as of it with 9 over? She immediately translated the question from common language into algebra ? and quickly discovered the unknown quantity x to be x=60: Then she took it in sinthetically, of 60=40 +4=44: of 60=35+9=44. — (Sinthetically is tracing property from number: —Analetically is tracing number from property.) This made me wonder very greatly. I asked another of them, if she bought 20 loaves for 16 pence, all of them two-penny, penny, and farthing ones—how many would she have of each? She answered 5 two-penny loaves, 3 penny ones, and 12 farthing loaves; for the equations were x+y+z=20 and 8x +4y=z =64. From whence by subtraction, 7x+3y =44, and of consequence,

I asked a third, how many ways she could pay 20 l. in pistoles, guineas, and moidores, at 17 s. 21 s, and 27 s. the pistole, the guinea, and the moidore? —She replied in a very little time, 9 ways, to wit, 11 pistoles, 5 guineas, and 4 moidores—8 pistoles, 1 guinea, 9 moidores—8 pistoles, 10 guineas, 2 moidores —17 pistoles, 4 guineas, 1 moidore—2 pistoles, 2 guineas, 12 moidores—2 pistoles, 11 guineas, 5 moidores—5 pistoles, 6 guineas, 7 moidores—5, 15, 0—and 14 pistoles, 0 guineas, 6 moidores. This was a hard operation.

I asked another of these young women, if her lady gave her 297 guineas and 339 pistoles, to pay 6 men a hundred pounds a-piece in guineas and pistoles only, as was agreed, how could she contrive to pay them, and dispatch the thing? I will tell you, sir, (she answered) very soon. x represents my guineas, and y my pistoles, and 21x+17y=2000, of consequence, etc. and quickly discovered, that the first man should have 92 guineas and 4 pistoles:—the second man, 75 guineas and 25 pistoles:—the third, 58 guineas, 46 pistoles—the fourth, 41 guineas and 67 pistoles—the fifth, 24 guineas and 88 pistoles:—and the sixth man, 7 guineas and 109 pistoles. This was admirable. But is there no other way I said of paying 100 l. in guineas and pistoles, besides the six ways you have mentioned? There is no other way: (the fine girl answered). If a seventh man was to be paid 100 l. in these two kinds of money, he must be paid in one of these six methods. This was true. I was charmed with what I had heard.

While I was thus engaged with the maids, Azora and Antonia came into the room, and finding how I had been employed, they began to talk of problems, theorems, and equations, and soon convinced me, that I was not superior to them in this kind of knowledge; tho' I had studied it for a much longer time, and had taken more pains than ever they did. Their fine understandings saw at once the things that had made me sweat many an hour, and in less time than I required for an operation, they could answer the most difficult questions, and do any thing in simple quadratic equations, and in the composition and resolution of ratios. This I thought very wonderful; especially as they had been taught no longer than one year by Mr. Burcot; and that they had acquired the most abstruse part of their knowledge by their own application. —I note the thing down as one of the strangest and most extraordinary cases that ever came in my way; perhaps, that ever was heard. It is such a specimen of female understanding, as must for ever knock up the positive assertions of some learned men, who will not allow that women have as strong reasoning heads as the men.

By the way, I observe, exclusive of these two ladies, that I have seen many of the sex who were distinguished for accuracy and comprehensiveness, not only in the science, where known and required qualities are denoted by letters, but in other fine parts of learning. I have little right to pretend to any thing extraordinary in understanding, as my genius is slow, and such as is common in the lower classes of men of letters; yet, my application has been very great: my whole life has been spent in reading and thinking: and nevertheless, I have met with many women, in my time, who, with very little reading, have been too hard for me on several subjects. In justice, I declare this; and am very certain from what I have heard numbers of them say, and seen some of them write, that if they had the laboured education the men have, and applied to books with all possible attention for as many years as we do; there would be found among them as great divines as Episcopius, Limborch, Whichcote, Barrow, Tillotson, and Clarke; and as great mathematicians, as Maclaurin, Saunderson, and Simpson . The criticks may laugh at this assertion, I know they will: and, if they please, they may doubt my veracity as to what I relate of the two ladies, and the ten young women, in Burcot-Hamlet; but what I say is true notwithstanding. Facts are things too stubborn to be destroyed by laughing and doubting.

As to the ladies I have mentioned, they both did wonders in specious arithmetick; but Azora was the brightest of the two, and in pure algebra, had gone much farther than Antonia . With wonder I beheld her, while she answered the most difficult questions as fast as fingers could move; and in the solution of cubics, and the resolution of equations, both according to Des Cartes laborious method, and the better universal way, by converging series, work with a celerity and truth beyond what I have ever seen any man do. Nor was it only algebra independent of geometry that she understood. She could apply its reasoning to geometrical figures, and describe the loci of any equations by the mechanical motion of angles and lines. She was in this respect the greatest prodigy I ever saw.

But it was not on account of this excellence that I so much admired Azora, and honour her memory so greatly as I do; nor because she talked so excellently on various subjects, as I have related; but, for her knowledge of the truths of christianity, and the habits of goodness she had wrought into her soul; for the care she took of the people under her government, by communicating every felicity in her power, to their bodies and minds; and the pure religion of Christ Jesus, which she publickly maintained, in all the beauty of holiness, and in a just fervor of practice. She was herself, in her manners and piety, a fine copy of those blessed women who conversed with our Lord and his apostles: and her society, in innocence and goodness, in usefulness and devotion, seemed an epitome of the first christian church at Jerusalem. Under a just impression of the most heavenly principles they all lived, and strictly regarded their several offices. As the gospel directs, they worshipped a first cause, the Deity, as the disciples of the Christ of God, our holy mediator; and the authority of a Being of infinite wisdom, and unchangeable rectitude of nature, had made such an impression upon their minds, that they laboured continually to acquire that consecration and sanctity of heart and manners, which our divine religion requires. Excellent community! happy would Europe be, if all her states were like this people. A false religion would not then prevail; nor would superstition be the idol to which the world bows down. The evils, which now dishonour human nature, and infest society, would not be seen among us; nor those excesses of passion be known, which are the parent of discord and calamity, and render this lower world one scene of sin and sorrow: but, as revelation inculcates, as reason suggests, mankind would worship the Almighty Principle, the One God, the Only True God, with a worship suitable to the nature of a Being, who is not confined to, or dependent upon, particular places and circumstances, who is always, and every where present with us; and like the ministers attending on the glorious throne of the Monarch of the world, they would, according to their measure, be pure, benevolent mortals, and as perfect in goodness, as men can be within the degree and limit of their nature. —In a word, the Supreme Father of all things would then be the God of all christians; and in doing his will, in imitating his perfections, and in practising every thing recommended by the great and universal law of reason, (that law which God sent our Lord to revive and enforce), they would find the greatest pleasure. Such were the people of Burcot-Hamlet. Azora and Antonia were indeed most glorious women (21) [Footnote 21: 17Kb]

45.

The 18th of June, 1725, I took my leave of Mrs. Burcot and Mrs. Fletcher, (for so they would be called, as they informed me, after I had once used the word Miss), and from this fine place, proceeded on my journey, by a paper of written directions had received from them; as there was a pretty good, tho' a long and tedious way out of the mountains, if a traveller knew the passes and turnings; but otherwise, it was either impossible to go on; or, a man must journey at the hazard of his life a thousand times a day, in crossing waters and precipices.

Our first labour was to ascend a very narrow steep way in the side of a mountain, which went up due north for a full mile, and brought us to another large, standing, black and unfathomable water, on the top of this high hill. There was no appearance of any feeders to supply this frightful lake, and therefore, and on account of its blackness, the surface must communicate with the abyss. From this water we rid due east for half an hour, and then descended to a sandy valley, where flames were rising from the ground. The fire came up without noise, smoak, or smell, and appeared to me very wonderful: but such things are common in many parts of the world. In the side of one of the Apennines, I have seen a large blazing vale. The learned tell us, this is owing to rich veins of bitumen, which crops in such places, and the heat of the air between the hills, in shallow vallies, causes it to burn. This crop of bitumen, and accension by the agitation of a hot air, is well fancied, I own: but it does not give me full satisfaction. I think of this, and many other natural things, as Mr. Moyle does of the Aurora Borealis ;—that these uncommon appearances should be looked on with wonder and admiration, and raise in us a due reverence of their great Author, who has shewn his Almighty power and wisdom in forming such an infinite variety of productions in all parts of the universe. Philosophy undertakes to account for every thing. I am sure it is in many cases mistaken.

29.

Having passed the burning valley, we rid over a river, that was up to the horses bellies, very rapid, and a bad bottom, and then proceeded along a steep hill side, the course N. W. till we came to a rich low land, that was covered with flowers and aromatic shrubs, and adorned with several clumps of oak, chestnut, and white walnut trees. This plain is about twenty five acres, surrounded with stony mountains, some of which are very high and steep, and from the top of one of the lowest of them, a cataract descends, like the fall of the river Niagara in Canada, or New France, in North America. Swifter than an arrow from a bow the rapid water comes headlong down in a fall of 140 feet, which is 3 feet more than the descent of Niagara. The river here, to be sure, is not half so large as that which comes from the vast lakes of Canada, but it is a great and prodigious cadence of water, and tumbles perpendicular in as surprizing a manner, from as horrible a precipice; and in this very nearly resembles the Niagara-Fall; that as you stand below, as near the fall as it is safe to go, you see the river come down a sloping mountain for a great way, as if it descended from the clouds. It is a grand and amazing scene. The water issues from a great lake on the top of a mountain that I found very hard to ascend, and the lake has many visible feeders from hills upon hills above it, which it is impossible to climb.

30.

It was 12 o'clock by the time we arrived at this water-fall, and therefore I sat down by the side of it to dine, before I attempted to get up to the top of the precipice, and see from whence this water came. While my eyes were entertained with the descending scene, I feasted on a piece of venison pasty, and some fine ale, which, among other provisions, Mrs. Burcot had ordered her servants to put up for me: but as I was thus happily engaged, my lad, O Fin, had climbed up to the top of the water-fall, and was going to land from a tree that grew out of the rocky mountain, near the summit of the hill, when his foot slipt, and he came tumbling down in a miserable way. I expected him in pieces on the ground, as I had him full in my view. There seemed no possibility of an escape: and yet he received no harm. In the middle of the descent, he stuck in another projecting thick tree, and from it came safely down. This was a deliverance. Providence often saves us in a wonderful manner, 'till the work appointed to be finished is done, or the limited time of our trial over. In relation to such escapes, I could give myself as an instance many a time, and will here mention one extraordinary case.

31.

As I travelled once in the county of Kerry in Ireland, with the White Knight, and the Knight of the Glin (22) [Footnote 22: 4Kb] . We called at Terelah O Crohanes, an old Irish gentleman, our common friend, who kept up the hospitality of his ancestors, and shewed how they lived, when Cormac Mac Cuillenan, the Generous, (from whose house he descended) was king of Munster and Archbishop of Cashel, in the year 913 (23.) [Footnote 23: 5Kb] There was no end of eating and drinking there, and the famous Downe Falvey played on the harp. For a day and a night we sat to it by candle-light, without shirts or cloaths on; naked, excepting that we had our breeches and shoes and stockings on; and I drank so much burgundy in that time, that the sweat ran of a red colour down my body; and my senses were so disordered, that when we agreed to ride out for a couple of hours to take a little air, I leaped my horse into a dreadful quarry, and in the descent was thrown into a large deep water that was in a part of the frightful bottom, and by that means saved my life. When I came above water, I swam very easily out of the pit, and walked up the low side of the quarry as sober as if I had not drank a glass. This is a fact, whatever the critics may say of the thing. All I can say to it is, my hour was not come.

49.

Having dined, and shot a bustard that weighed forty pounds, I went on again, the course north-west for half a mile, and then, to my astonishment, it trended to the south for more than an hour; which was going back again: but at last it turned about, and for half an hour, we went to the northwest again, and then due east for a long time, till we came to hills upon hills that were very difficult to pass. We were obliged to alight at many of them, and walk them up and down, which was a delay of many hours: but we did it at last, and came into a large sandy opening, that had a number of rapid streams breaking over it, that fell from the mountains, and with the forest on the surrounding hills, formed a very wild and pleasing scene. Over this we went for half a mile, and then came to a long glin, so very deep and narrow, that it was quite night when we got to the bottom of it, tho' the sun was not yet down; and it brought to my remembrance Anchises's son, the wandering prince of Troy, when he descended to the shades below. It had the appearance indeed of some such pass, and was a frightful way, as hills, like Caucasus and Atlas, were close on either hand of us, and a river roared thro' the bottom of the steep descent; which we were obliged to walk down on foot. This could not be the right road I was certain. Azora and Antonia could never pass this deep and rapid flood. It was too much for any man to venture into, without knowing where the torrent went, or how the channel of the river was form'd.

Up then I came again to the day, and resolved to pass the night at the foot of one of the woody hills, on the margin of the streams that sounded sweetly over the shoars: but how to proceed the next morning I knew not. As my paper of directions did not mention the dark steep descent we had been down, but a little valley that lay due east, through which we were to go: no such vale could we see, and of consequence, in some turning of the road, we had gone wrong.

When I came among the trees, on the side of one of the mountains, I began to look for some convenient resting place, while my two boys were picking the bustard, and preparing a fire to roast it for supper, and wandered a good way till I saw a pretty hermitage in an open plain like a ring, and going up to it, found the skeleton of a man. He lay on a couch in an inward room without any covering, and the bones were as clean and white as if they had come from the surgeons hands. The pismires to be sure had eaten off the flesh. Who the man was, a paper lying on the table in a strong box informed me. It was called the case of John Orton.


The CASE of John Orton. 50.

I was twenty years old when Charles the Second was restored, and being master of large fortunes, and educated in an aversion to puritans and republican principles, went into all the licentiousness and impieties, which overspread and corrupted this nation, when that profligate prince ascended the throne. I drank up to the excess of the times: I debauched every woman I could get within my power, by gold, treachery, or force; maid, wife, and widow: I murdered several men in duels; and blasphemed the God of Heaven continually. The devil was my first and last toast; and, in a club I belonged to, I proceeded to such scarce credible wickedness, as to perform the part of the priest in our infernal sodality, and after using the words of consecration over the elements, gave the prophane bread and wine in the most horrible manner. I was the most abominable of mortals. Contrary to all the dictates and principles of wisdom, virtue, and honour I acted; bound myself in bondage to Satan; and lived the most execrable slave to the vilest inclinations, and most heinous habits. Scratch was the name I had for the evil one, and upon all occasions I invoked him. The last words I said every night, after lying down, were,—Scratch, tuck me in.

In this diabolical manner did I pass my life away till I was forty, and in twenty years time committed every evil that can dishonour human manners, and infest society. I was a disgrace to my species, and unworthy of the name of man.

But as I went on in this manner, and gloried only in outdoing the greatest scelerates in impiety and debauchery,—in being the chief instrument of Satan, and striving to bring every soul I got acquainted with, in subjection to the flesh and the devil; maliciously committing all manner of sin; and with greediness executing the suggestions of a defiled imagination, and the purposes of the most corrupt heart; I was struck one night with the most excruciating torments of body; and had, at the same time, such unspeakable horrors upon my mind, that I believe my condition resembled the state of the damned. The tortures all over my frame, were beyond the pains any rack could cause; but were less afflicting than the panick fear that harrowed my soul under a lively sense of eternal vengeance, for the crying enormities and impurities of my life. All my crimson crimes were held as in a mirror before me; the most diabolical impieties against heaven, and the most shocking cruelties to men; the numbers I had drank to death, and secured in the service of hell; the men I had sent to the other world by combat at pistol and sword; and the women I had ruined, not only in this life, but perhaps, for evermore; the miseries I had brought upon families, and the manifold afflictions I had been the author of for years after years, by night and by day;—all these offences I saw like the hand-writing on the wall, and in a horror and consternation of mind, that words cannot describe, lay a miserable spectacle for two nights and two days. Tormented, perplexed, and confounded, I rolled from side to side, and condemned myself and my folly in the most doleful complaints; but dared not look up to a just Judge and offended God. No slumber for this time did approach my eyes; but in agonies I shook with a frightful violence, and thought every moment, that the demons my fancy had in view, were going to force my miserable soul away to everlasting inflictions, in the most dismal cavern of hell. Spent, however, at last, I fell into a short sleep. I had half an hour's rest, and in that slumber imagined, I heard a small voice say,—As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way, and live: Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel. Rent your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Upon this I awaked, and found my pains were gone. To heaven I lift my eyes, and as the tears poured down my face, cried out to God for mercy. O God be merciful to me a sinner. Have mercy on me dust and sin, the vilest of all sinful creatures. To me belongs nothing but shame and confusion of face eternally. My portion should in justice be the lake of everlasting fire and brimstone. But O Lord God most mighty, O holy and most merciful Father, to thee belongeth infinite goodness and forgiveness. O remember not my sins and transgressions —my great and numberless provocations, and my trespasses that are grown up even unto heaven. Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies, do away mine offences. I have a hearty sense and detestation of all my abominations, and with a true contrition of heart, I repent of all my iniquities. Wash me, then, I beseech thee, O Father of mercies; wash my polluted soul in the blood of the holy Jesus, and forgive me all my sins, as I offer up a troubled spirit, and a broken and contrite heart, which thou hast promised not to despise. —And grant, O Lord God, my Father, that I may from this hour, by the guidance and direction of thy sanctifying spirit, bid a final adieu to all ungodliness and iniquity; and consecrate myself intirely to thee, to serve thee with humility, love and devotion, and for the remainder of my life, give thee the sacrifices of righteousness, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When I had thus implored the mercy of the Almighty, in a torrent of tears, with strong cryings, I found my heart quite easy, and my mind so filled with delights and comforts, that I cannot describe the strange happiness of my condition: but how to secure this felicity was the question. I was afraid of the world, and trembled when I thought of its temptations: beside, the great wickedness of my past life made it necessary that I should live in an extraordinary state of penitence, and by great mortification and piety, make what amends I could for sinning against heaven in the most atrocious manner; and wilfully, for a long series of years, breaking every law of the just and holy governor of the world. A change of mind, and common piety, were not enough for such a wretch as I had been. I was unworthy of the innocent comforts of life. I ought to breathe in sighs, and speak in groans. I resolved then to be a reform indeed, and in this part of Stanemore mountains, which I was well acquainted with, spend the remainder of my days, in the labours of a penitential piety.

As I had no relations living, I sold what estates I had left, and gave almost the whole money among the poor. With the little I kept, I bought what necessary things I should want in my solitude; and with tools and seeds, some cloaths and linnen, a few books, and other little matters, retired to this spot in the year 1681. I had some working men from the next village, to build me the little hut I live in; to sow my garden with every vegetable, and put some fruit-trees in the ground; to cut me a pile of firing from the woody hills; and make my place as convenient as my intended life could require. All this was soon done, and then I was left alone; in the possession of every thing I had a wish for in this world. It is now twenty years since my arrival here, and in all the time, I have not had one sick or dismal hour. My garden and my cottage employ me in agreeable labours, to furnish my table with roots and fruits; which is what I mostly live on; having nothing more but goats milk, and now and then a sea-biscuit; my drink being water, and sometimes a cup of meath of my own making.

When I am weary of working, I sit down to study my Bible, and in that most perfect treasure of saving knowledge, I find such joys and satisfactions as make my life a scene of heavenly happiness, and charm me into raptures the nearer I approach to the hour of my dissolution. That will be a blessed hour. By the amazing mercy of God, vouchsafed through the Lord Jesus, my crimson sins are pardoned; and when the voice of the Son of God, the thunder of the dreadful trumpet will awake all the dead, I shall have my part in the first resurrection, and ascend with the blessed to the eternal mansions of the sky. —Adored be thy goodness, most glorious Eternal. Inestimable is thy love in the redemption of sinners by the gospel, and the sacrifice of the holy Jesus!

Fellow mortal, whoever thou art, into whose hands this paper cometh, take my advice, and remember thy latter end. If, like me, thou hast been betrayed by the demons into great impieties and presumptuous sins, and hast been persuaded to abdicate heaven, and its eternal hopes, in exchange for illicit gratifications of every kind, and the pleasures of this world; then, like me, repent, and in tears and mortification, implore the mercy of heaven. Turn to the everlasting Father of mercies, and the God of all comforts, after his own manner, with humility, sorrow, and resolutions of amendment, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, implore his compassion and forgiveness, and he will repent and turn unto thee. He will wash you in the blood of Jesus, and make you whiter than snow. When he sees the sinner a great way off in tears, fasting, and prayer, he will run unto him, and fall upon his neck and kiss him. You will become the beloved of the Father, and be reinstated in the favor of the greatest and most glorious of immortal Beings. He will bless you here with that peace that passeth all understanding. He will bless you for ever hereafter with glory and honour in the kingdom he has prepared for the benevolent, the pure, and the honest. But if you continue to offend your Creator, and violate the laws of the God of heaven, then will you live exposed to judgments in this world, and most certainly will depart in confusion and misery. The demons you obeyed will gather round the pale, the guilty, the affrighted ghost of you, eager to involve your wretched spirit in their own horrors, and will drag it to their dismal regions. And when all the monuments of human power, wealth and pride shall be overthrown; the earth itself be in a blaze, and the sea turned into vapours, at the descent of the Son of God, to judge the vast congregation of the sons of men, the amazing assembly of mortals, unheard of generations raised from the grave, to have all their actions tried; every condition everlastingly determined; then will you be placed in that division which will call upon the rocks to hide them, and the hills to cover them from the face of the Judge; but in vain attempt to secret themselves from an infinite eye, and an Almighty power. Then will the terrors of the gospel stand in full force against thee, and in the dreadful sentence pronounced against the guilty you must share—Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. O dreadful doom! what a tremendous day to sinners! and to see the righteous acquitted, and before your eyes ascend in triumph and splendor into the mansions of glory, to live the happy favourites of God and Christ for never-ending ages; while you are driven forward to the infernal prison, and shut up in the habitations of eternal darkness and torments—the very thought of it, (if you will think seriously of it) is enough to curdle the blood, and wither in a moment every unlawful joy that sin can produce in bloom and glory. The despair, the sighs, the groans, the doleful shrieks, when the wicked are driven off to the regions of blackness and darkness for ever, are inexpressible. Think then. Think in time, my fellow mortal, and profit by the blood of a Saviour. Study his gospel. Hear his ministers. Regard the alarms of conscience, and submit to the influence of the holy Spirit.

And if you are not that monster of iniquity I once was, before I obtained the divine mercy, by a timely and severe repentance, yet, as in heaven, so in hell, there are many mansions, and if you do not work out your salvation according to the terms of the gospel, and make every law of Christ the rules of your behaviour—if you do not act continually as related to God, to each other, and to another world, and seek first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, you will utterly disqualify yourself for the rewards and happiness of heaven, tho' your conduct may be far from meriting the most dreadful inflictions in another world. The gains of unrighteousness, or medling with any forbidden fruit, is a violation of the laws of God that must ruin you for ever; tho' the punishment for so doing cannot be equal to the torments prepared for the tyrant and oppressor, the murderer, the adulterer, the drunkard, and offenders in the highest crimes. We must cease to do evil, and learn to do well, in order to be saved. Not according to promises and prayers at last, not according to legacies to be paid to the poor when we are dead, shall we be judged; but, as we have rectified the judgment and the will, made virtue the governor of the heart, and in all things sought God's glory, not our own. This do, and you will live.

John Orton.

May 1, 1701.

51.

This extraordinary paper surprized me very greatly, and when from reading it, I turned my eyes to the bones of John Orton, I could not help breaking out in the following reflection—And is this the once lively, gallant, drinking Jack Orton, who thought for forty years that he was made for no higher end than to gratify every appetite, and pass away time in a continual circle of vanity and pleasure! Poor skeleton, what a miserable spectacle art thou! Not the least remain of activity and joy, of that sprightliness and levity of mind, that jocund humour and frolic, which rendered thee the delight of the wild societies of thy youthful time: Grim, stiff, and horrid, is the appearance now: vain mirth and luxury, licentious plays and sports, can have no connection with these dry bones.

O Death, what a change dost thou make! The bulk of mankind are averse to serious thought, and hearken to the passions more than to the dictates of reason and religion: To kill time, and banish reflection, they indulge in a round of dissipations, and revel in the freedom of vicious excesses: Their attention is engrossed by spectacle and entertainments, and fixed to follies and trifles: giddy and unthinking, loose and voluptuous, they spend their precious hours in the gay scenes of diversions, pomp and luxury; and as if the grave and a judgment to come, were a romance of former times, or things from which they are secured, never think of these important and momentous subjects: with minds bewitched by exorbitant pleasure, and faculties enervated and broken by idle mirth and vanity, they pass their every day away without any of that consideration which becomes reasonable beings, and creatures designed for a state of immortality: but at last, you appear, and in a moment turn delight and admiration, into aversion and horror: strength, wealth, and charms, you instantly reduce to weakness, poverty, and deformity, in the first place; and then, to a skeleton, like the bones before me.

Nor is this the worst of the great revolution. When death approaches, the amusements of sense immediately fail, and past transactions, in every circumstance of aggravation, crowd into the mind: conscience reproaches loudly, the heart condemns, and the sick tremble at the apprehensions of a vengeance they laughed at in the days of diversion, and the midnight hours of the ball: as they come near the black valley, they see the realities of a future state; and agonies convulse their souls: terrors till then unknown enter their breasts; and, in anxieties that are incapable of being uttered, and expectations the most torturing, on a review of life, they pass from the plains of time into the ocean of eternity. Here lies the frame, like the dry bones before me; but, the soul is gone to the sessions of righteousness; and perhaps, the dreadful sentence of the divine justice is pronounced on it. This is a tremendous affair, that calls for timely and serious consideration. Eternity! Eternal misery! They that have done evil, to come forth unto the resurrection of damnation!

I will take thy advice then, thou glorious penitent, John Orton ; and since it is in my power to come forth unto the resurrection of life, and obtain immortality, honour, and glory, with the righteous, in the kingdom of their father, I will open the reforming gospel night and morning, and by its heavenly directions regulate my conduct. I am determined to make a wise and serious preparation for death and judgment. To the best of my power, I will provide for that day, when the prayers and charities of the righteous will be brought forth as their memorials before the tribunal of Jesus Christ.

This—this is the thing to be minded. The brightest scenes of worldly prosperity, and grandeur, are contemptible, when they do not accord with virtue and piety. Death, in a few years, blends the prince and the meanest subject, the conqueror and the slave, the statesman, the warrior, and the most insignificant, in one promiscuous ruin; and the schemes, the competitions, and the interests, which have engaged the chief attention of the world, are brought to nothing, and appear, too often, ridiculous: but righteousness is unchangeably glorious, and in the universal ruin, receives no detriment: when all human power and policy will be extinct; concealed piety and persecuted virtue, will again appear, and be owned as His by the Lord of Hosts, in that day when he maketh up his jewels.

I will love thee therefore, O Lord, my strength; yea, I will love thee: and it ever shall be my heart's desire, that my soul may behold by faith in its self, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, able and ready to change it into the same image from glory to glory, reflected upon, and conveyed to it by the Spirit of the Lord. May my portion here be this blessed transforming union, that I may be made partaker of the divine nature, by impressions from it (24.) [Footnote 24: 6Kb] I shall then have all I wish, and all I want. With a settled indifference I shall then look upon the highest advantages of this world. I shall have nothing to hope or to fear. The will of God will be to me unmixed felicity.

52.

Such was the soliloquy I spoke, as I gazed on the skeleton of John Orton; and just as I had ended, the boys brought in the wild turkey, which they had very ingeniously roasted, and with some of Mrs. Burcot's fine ale and bread, I had an excellent supper. The bones of the penitent Orton I removed to a hole I had ordered my lad to dig for them; the skull excepted, which I kept, and still keep on my table, for a memento mori; and that I may never forget the good lesson, which the percipient who once resided in it, had given. It is often the subject of my meditation. When I am alone of an evening, in my closet, which is often my case, I have the skull of John Orton before me, and as I smoak a philosophic pipe, with my eyes fastened on it, I learn more from the solemn object, than I could from the most philosophical and laboured speculations. What a wild and hot head once: how cold and still now; poor skull, I say: and what was the end of all thy daring frolics and gambols—thy licentiousness and impiety? —A severe and bitter repentance. In piety and goodness John Orton found at last that happiness the world could not give him. There is no real felicity for man, but in reforming all his errors and vices, and entring upon a strict and constant course of virtue. This only makes life comfortable; renders death serene and peaceful; and secures eternal joy and blessedness hereafter. Such are the lessons I extract from the skull of John Orton.

53.

When I had supped, I went about, to see what things Mr. Orton had left behind him in his little cottage, and I found a field bed-stead large enough for two, with a mattrass, silk blankets, quilt, and cotton curtains; two oak stools, and a strong square table of the same wood. An oak settee, on which his bones lay; a silver lamp to burn oil in; a tinder-box and matches; a case of razors; six handsome knives and forks in a case; half a dozen china plates, two china dishes; and two pint mugs of the same ware; half a dozen drinking-glasses, a large copper kettle, a brass skillet, two silver spoons, and a silver ladle; in a chest were cloaths and linnen, shoes and stockings, and various useful matters. There were pens, ink, and paper in a writing-desk, and half a score guineas; and on a shelf over it, a dozen good books; three of which were, a large English bible, Thomas a Kempis, and Sir Walter Raleigh's history of the world: under the shelf hung a plain gold watch, and a large ring sun-dial. In a dark closet, I found a box of sea-biskets, many flasks of oil for eating, and jars of it for the lamp; honey, salt, and vinegar; four dozen of quart bottles of meath, and two stone bottles, that held three gallons each, full of brandy: this I suppose was against the days of weakness or sickness. He had not used a pint of this liquor.

Having found these things within doors, I proceeded from the house to the garden, which lay at a small distance from the little thatched mansion, and contained about four acres; it had been very beautifully laid out, and filled with the best fruit-trees, and all the vegetables: but it was run to ruin and high weeds, and shewed that its owner had been long dead. I suppose he died soon after the date of his paper; for, I observed, that many prior dates had been struck out; and had he lived after the year 1701, he would, in all probability, have razed that likewise, and set down 1702. Some sudden sickness must have seized him; and perhaps, when he found himself sinking, he laid himself out naked on the wooden couch where I found his skeleton. I can no otherwise account for his having no kind of covering over him. As to his bones being so clean, that to be sure was performed by the ants. I took notice of many nests here of the larger ants, in holes under the roots of great trees.

That the pismires are the best preparers of a skeleton is not only certain from the account the missionaries give of the coming on of the ants in Pegu; when in one night's time, the vast swarms of them that approach, reduce every human creature they can fasten on to clean bones; which makes the people set fire to their habitations, when they have notice given them by a kind of small monkey they keep for the purpose of the motion of this terrible enemy: but it is plain from what I have often experimented.

When I want to make a skeleton of any small animal, I put the dead creature in a box with holes in it among the ants, in their habitations, or nests, or in such parts of the house as a whole tribe will often march to, through several rooms, in one track or certain road, to eat sugar or sweatmeats they have discovered, and then in two or three days, they will perform what the finest knife cannot execute. The big ants which are larger than a common house fly, and are seldom less than six thousand in a nest, will clear the bones of a rat in half a night's time.

There was a pretty little wooden summer-house in the centre of the garden, and in it had been in pots some curious plants and flowers. Here were various tools, and many instruments of gardening. It appeared from them, and the great variety of things in the ground, that Mr. Orton must have used himself to hard labour, and found great pleasure in his improvements and productions. There was a deal of art and ingenuity to be traced in the wild wilderness the garden was grown into. It was plain from a book, called the Carthusian gardener, which lay on a table in the summer-house, that he had made that business his study. Round this summer-house were the remains of many hives on benches, but the bees were all gone, and the stock ruined.

54.

All these things, and the place, set me a thinking, and soon suggested to my fancy, that in my condition, I could not do better than succeed Mr. Orton on the premisses; but, without turning hermit. Here is (I said) a pretty small thatched mansion, that might easily be enlarged, if more rooms were wanting; and a garden, which labour would soon restore to its usefulness and beauty, and make it produce the best vegetables in plenty. Here is fish in the waters, fowl of every kind, and deer on the mountains. Here are goats in great herds, for milk, for kids, and when cut, for excellent venison. Here is the finest water, and by getting bees, as Mr. Orton had, meath may be made that will be equal to the best foreign wine. As to the situation, it is most delightful. Nothing can be more charming than these shores and breaking waters, the rocky precipices and the woody hills, which surround this little region. What then should hinder but that I here sit down, and put an end to my adventures; as the few things that are wanting may be had at the next town, and a stock for years be in a few days secured? The man I am looking for may never be found; and if I should meet with him, his circumstances and temper may be changed: then, as to the world, I know not how to deal in any kind of business; and to live on the small fortune in my possession, must reduce me to poverty very soon. Here then it is good for me to reside, and make myself as happy as I can, if it be not in my power to be as happy as I would. I have two lads with me, who are active, useful young men, willing to work, and pleased to stay wherever I am; and if I can commence a matrimonial relation with some sensible, good-humoured, dear delightful girl of the mountains, and persuade her to be the chearful partner of my still life, nature and reason will create the highest scenes of felicity, and we shall live as it were in the suburbs of heaven. My lads too may pick up among the hills, upon scripture principles, two bouncing females: and a state will in a little time be formed. This is fine. For once in my life I am fortunate. And suppose, this partner I want in my solitude could be Miss Melmoth, one of the wisest and most discreet of women; a thinking bloom, and good-humour itself in a human figure; then indeed I must be happy in this silent, romantic station. This spot of earth would then have all the felicities. —Resolved. Conclusum est contra Manicheos, said the great St. Austin, and with a thump of his fist, he cracked the table.

55.

Thus was my head employed, while I smoaked a pipe after supper, and I determined to return to Orton's mansion, after I had found a way out of Stanemore: but the previous question was, how I should get out of the place I was in, without going back, as there appeared no passage onwards. I tried every angle the next morning, to no purpose, and in vain attempted some hills that were too steep for the horses. Down then again I went to the bottom of the black and narrow glin afore-mentioned, and with lights observed the rumbling deep river. It appeared more frightful than the first time I saw it, and there was no venturing into it. This troubled me not a little, as the water was not above eight yards broad, and there was an ascending glin on the other side of it, that appeared to rise into a fine woody country. It was not half the length of that we had descended, nor near so steep; it began to widen at the distance of a hundred yards from the water, so as to shew, at the summit, a fine plain encompassed with a sweep of forest. The view in contrast was quite charming.

For some time I stood in this perplexed condition by the water-side, and could not tell what to do, when one of the lads came running to me, to let me know, that as he carefully examined the sides of the glin we came down, he discovered to the left, about fourscore yards above the river, a pass wide enough for one horse to go through, and he believed it was a way out. This was reviving news, and upon going into it, I found that it went straight on among the mountains, like a rent, or open crack, for three hundred yards, and then turned to the left for about fifty more, when it winded a little, and began to extend wider and wider every yard, till it brought us by several turnings to the beginning of a fine valley, where we again found the river we had seen in the bottom of the deep glin, and perceived that it ended in a great water, and went off in some subterranean way. The mountains were almost close to this fine water, on either hand, for near half a mile, and made a delightful rural scene. We could see the river, as we looked up it, come tumbling on for a great way between the steep rocky precipices; and the broad bright lake it formed between vast frowning mountains, with wood and lawns in it, at the end of the vale, were altogether a view most charming. This made me more highly value Orton-Lodge.

56.

There is a cave there likewise that adds great beauty to the place, and in charms and wonders, exceeds the grot of Tunis, (a few miles east of Carthage, directly under Cape-Bonn, formerly called the promontory of Mercury), where Æneas sheltered after the storm (25.) [Footnote 25: 6Kb] ; and St. Donat's Cave in Glamorganshire, which is much more beautiful, than the African grot described in the first Æneid. (26.) [Footnote 26: 1Kb]

The cave in Stanemore is in the bottom of a perpendicular mountain of a vast height, the east side of the lake, and four yards from the shoar. The entrance is a grand sweep, high and broad as the grot, that is, in breadth 52 feet, in height 59. It is an hundred and forty seven feet long. The stone of it is extremely beautiful; of a yellow and reddish colour, bright and glittering, and beautifully variegated with arched and undulated veins of various tinges. I broke off a piece of it, and found it a congeries of plates of spar, stained with a fine mixture of colours. It is a species of the alabaster, called Marmor Onychites, on account of its tabulated zones, resembling those of the Onyx, and is very little inferior to the Ægyptian alabaster. This Stanemore stone is far beyond the Cornish and Derbyshire alabaster . The caverns there are but incrusted with a sparry substance, as I have found upon various examinations; and, as is evident to every eye that sees the workmen making the elegant vases and chimney-columns we have of the alabaster of those counties: whereas in Stanemore, this alabaster consists of strata of sparry substance, tho' somewhat coarser than this kind of Ægyptian stone.

The top of the cave is a bold arch, finished beyond all that art could do, and the floor as smooth as it is possible to make the stone. At the far end of the grot, there are a dozen rows of seats like benches, that rise one above another. The uppermost will hold but two people: on each of the others a dozen may sit with ease: they make the place look as if it was the assembly room, or council chamber of the water-nymphs. There was no water dropping from the roof of this cave; but in a thousand places, where moss had agreeably covered the walls, it crept through the sides, and formed streams that ran softly over the ground, and weared it smooth. It brought to my remembrance some very poetical lines in Lucretius :



—Noctivagi Sylvestria templa tenebant
Nympharum, quibus exibant humore fluenta
Lubrica, proluvie larga lavere humida Saxa,
Humida Saxa super viridi stillantia musco
Et partim plano scatere atque erumpere campo. And then by night they took their rest in caves,
Where little streams roul on with silent waves;
They bubble thro' the stones, and softly creep,
As fearful to disturb the nymphs that sleep.
The moss spread o'er the marbles, seems to weep.

This was exactly the case of the water in this fine cave. In the lowest harmony, it gently fell over the slanting floor, and as Oldham has it—

Away the streams did with such softness creep,
As 'twere by their own murmurs lull'd asleep.

57.

Such was the delightful spot I at last discovered, when I thought I was come to the ne plus ultra, that is, had gone on till I could go no farther; and now seeing how my way lay, I departed from Orton-Lodge betimes the next morning, leaving my lad O Fin to keep possession of the place till I returned, and with the other boy went thro' the lawns in the wood I have mentioned at the end of the vale. This brought me to a range of mountains most frightful to behold, and to the top of them, with great toil, we made a shift to climb, and from thence descended through many perils to a bottom between the hills we had come down, and some mountains that stood at a small distance from them. This low ground trended north and north-west for an hour, and then turned north-east for three hours more, a very bad way; stony and wet, and some stiff pieces of road: but the bottoms brought us at last into a large and spacious plain, that was surrounded with hills, whose tops and sides were covered with antient trees and lofty groves, and some mountains whose heads were above the clouds. Flowers and clover, and other herbs, adorned the ground, and it was watered with many never-drying streams. The plain seemed a vast amphitheatre, by nature formed; and variety and disposition refreshed the eyes whatever way they turned.

In the very center of this ground, I found a house and gardens that charmed me very much. The mansion had a rusticity and wildness in its aspect, beyond any thing I had seen, and looked like a mass of materials jumbled together without order or design. There was no appearance of rule in any part, and where a kind of proportion was to be seen, it seemed as a start into truth, by the inadvertent head of blind chance. It was the most gothick, whimsical, four-fronted thing, without, that ever my eyes beheld; and within, the most convenient, comfortable dwelling I have seen.

This edifice, which looks more like a small gothic cathedral, than a house, stands in the middle of large gardens, which are not only very fine, but uncommon, and different from all the gardens I have been in. There is no more rule observed in them, than in the house; but the plantations of trees, and plots of flowers, the raised hills, the artificial vallies, the streams that water these vales, and the large pieces of water, and lakes, they have brought in, and formed, are inexpressibly charming and fine. Wild and natural they seem, and are a beautiful imitation of the most beautiful scenes of nature. The wilderness, the openings, the parterres, the gardens, the streams, the lakes, the cascades, the valleys and the rising grounds, in the most various disposition, and as if art had little, or no hand in the designs, have an admirable effect upon the eye.

The passages from valley to valley, between the hills they have made, are not by formal straight walks, but by windings in various ways, which are decorated with little grotto's, and diversified in the manner of laying out the ground: the streams and canals sometimes serpent, and sometimes spread away. Rocks artfully placed, seem to push the waters off, and on the banks are seeming wild productions of flowers. As the hills and risings are sprinkled with flowery trees, so are these banks with all the sweets that grow. Small boats are on the running streams, and over them in many places, are winding bridges of wood, most ingeniously and finely made. These streams which they have from the mountains, supply the larger pieces of water; and in the largest of those lakes they had raised a rock, in the most natural manner. On this is a summer-house of great beauty. It is the reverse of the mansion, and has every charm that pure architecture could give it. It is large enough for a small family.

58.

When I came up to this seat, which the owners of it call Ulubræ, some gentlemen, who were in the gardens, saw me, and saved me the trouble of asking admission, by inviting me in with the greatest civility; but they seemed under a vast surprize at my arrival; and much more so, when I gave them an account of the way I had travelled. It appeared almost incredible. They had not a notion of such a journey. They told me I was in Yorkshire now, and had been so, when I ascended the high mountains that are some miles behind the hills that surround their house; but they did not imagine there was any travelling over those mountains, and the alps upon alps beyond them, to Brugh under Stanemore. The way (they said) was very bad from their house to Eggleston, or Bowes, on account of hills, waters, and wet bottoms; it was worse to travel northward to Bishoprick; and scarce passable to the north east to Cumberland: —What then must it be to journey as I had done over the northern fells of Westmorland, and the bad part of Yorkshire-Stanemore I had passed.

It was a terrible way (I replied), and what I often despaired of coming through, even at the hazard of my life. Frequently we were locked in by chains of precipices, and thought we should never find a pass: some of the mountains were so steep, that it was with the greatest difficulty we could lead the horses up and down them: and many rivers were so rapid, and rocky at bottom, that we were often in danger of being lost: beside, if fortune had not conducted us to the habitations of people we little expected to find, we might have perished for want of food, as my servant could not bring from Brugh provisions sufficient for so long and uncertain a way. All these difficulties I saw very soon; in less than a day's ride to the north from the Bell on the southern-edge of Stanemore; a little lone public-house, that lies half way the turnpike-road, on the left hand, as the traveller goes from Bowes to Brugh, Penrith, and Carlisle: but friendship and curiosity were too many for all the obstacles in the way; and in hopes of finding a beloved friend, who lives somewhere towards the northern edge of Yorkshire, or Westmorland, or on the neighbouring confines of Bishoprick, or Cumberland; and that I might see a part of England, which even the borderers on it are strangers to, and of which Camden had not an idea (27) [Footnote 27: 2Kb ] ; I went on, and have had success thus far. The journey has been worth my pains. I have beheld the most delightful scenes, and met with very extraordinary things: and should I find my friend at last, my labours will be highly rewarded indeed.

The gentlemen I was talking to, seemed to wonder very much at me and my discourse; and as the rest of the society by this time came into the parlour, they introduced me to them, and then related what I had said. They all allowed it was very extraordinary, and requested I would oblige them with some particulars that occurred. I did immediately. I told them, among other things, of my reception at Burcot-Lodge— and the skeleton of John Orton which I found in the cottage on the side of a woody hill: I let them know the goods and conveniencies I saw there, and that I was so pleased with the beauties of the place, the little mansion, the once fine gardens, and the useful things on the premisses, that I intended to return to it, and make it my summer retreat: that I had left a man there to that purpose, who was at work in the garden, and expected to be back in a month's time, with such things as were wanting to make it an agreeable and comfortable little country-house.

The philosophers wondered not a little at what they heard. If they were surprized at seeing me as a traveller in such a place, they were much more astonished at my relation. They could not enough admire Mrs. Burcot and Mrs. Fletcher. The history of the penitent Orton, they thought very strange. They told me they were glad I had a thought of making Orton-Lodge a summer retreat, and hoped it would occasion my calling upon them many times: that I should always be heartily welcome to their house, and might with less difficulty go backwards and forwards, as their lodge was at my service, whenever I was pleased to do them the favor to call. This was civil, and I returned them the thanks they deserved.

Here dinner was brought in, and with these gentlemen I sat down to several excellent dishes. There was the best of every kind of meat and drink, and it was served up in the most elegant manner: their wine in particular was old and generous, and they gave it freely. We took a chearful glass after dinner, and laughed a couple of hours away in a delightful manner. They were quite polite, friendly and obliging; and I soon found, in conversing with them, that they were men of great reading, and greater abilities. Philosophy had not saddened their tempers. They were as lively companions, as they were wise and learned men.

These gentlemen are twenty in number, men of fortune, who had agreed to live together, on the plan of a college described by Mr. Evelyn in his letter to Mr. Boyle ; but, with this difference, that they have no chaplain, may rise when they please, go and come as they think fit, and are not obliged to cultivate every one his garden. Every member lays down a hundred pounds on the first day of the year, and out of that fund they live, pay their servants, keep their horses, and purchase every thing the society requires. What is wanting at home, this stock produces, and is to be expended only at Ulubræ, for every thing necessary and comfortable, except raiment and horses. When they are abroad, it is at a plus-expence.

I call these gentlemen philosophers, because, exclusive of their good morals, they devote the principal part of their time to natural philosophy and mathematicks, and had, when I first saw them, made a great number of fine experiments and observations in the works of nature, tho' they had not been a society for more than four years. They make records of every thing extraordinary which come within their cognisance, and register every experiment and observation. I saw several fine things in their transactions, and among them a most ingenious and new method of determining expeditiously the tangents of curve lines; which you know, mathematical reader, is a very prolix calculus, in the common way: and as the determination of the tangents of curves is of the greatest use, because such determinations exhibit the quadratures of curvilinear spaces, an easy method in doing the thing, is a promotion of geometry in the best manner. The rule is this.

59.

Suppose B D E the curve, B C the abcissa=x, C D the ordinate=y, A B the tangent line=t, and the nature of the curve be such, that the greatest power of y ordinate be on one side of the equation; then y3=-x3-xxy+xyy -a3+aay-aax+axx-ayy: but if the greatest power of y be wanting, the terms must be put =0.

Then make a fraction and numerator; the numerator, by taking all the terms, wherein the known quantity is, with all their signs; and if the known quantity be of one dimension, to prefix unity, and of two, 2, if of three, 3, and you will have -3a3+2aay-2aax +axx-ayy:

The fraction, by assuming the terms wherein the abscissa x occurs, and retaining the signs, and if the quantity x be of one dimension, to prefix unity, as above, etc, etc; and then it will be - 3x3-2xxy+xyy-aax+2axx: then diminish each of these by x, and the denominator will be -3xx-2xy+ yy-aa+2ax.

This fraction is equal to A B, and therefore t is In this easy way may the tangents of all geometrical curves be exhibited; and I add, by the same method, if you are skilful, may the tangents of infinite mechanical curves be determined. — Many other fine things, in the mathematical way, I looked over in the journal of these gentlemen. I likewise saw them perform several extraordinary experiments.

60.

They make all the mathematical instruments they use, and have brought the microscope in particular, to greater perfection than I have elsewhere seen it. They have them of all kinds, of one and more hemispherules, and from the invented spherule of Cardinal de Medicis, not exceeding the smallest pearl placed in a tube, to the largest that can be used. They had improved the double reflecting microscope, much farther than Marshal's is by Culpepper and Scarlet, and made several good alterations in the solar or camera obscura microscope; and in the catoptric microscope, which is made on the model of the Newtonian telescope.

61.

In one of their best double reflecting optical instruments, I had a better view of the variety and true mixture of colours than ever I saw before. The origins and mixtures were finely visible. In a common green ribbon, the yellow, the light red and a blue, appeared distinct and very plain: the lively green was a yellow and blue: in a sea green, more blue than yellow: the yellow was a light red and a pellucid white: All the phoenomena of colours were here to be found out.

62.

In this instrument, the finest point of a needle appeared more blunt and unequal, and more like a broken nail, than I had before seen it—the finest edge of a razor was like the back of a dog, with the hair up:— the finest paper, was great hairs, cavities, and inequalities—and the smoothest plate of glass, was very rough, full of cracks, fissures and inequalities. Very different, indeed, are the things finished by human art, from the things finished by the hand of nature. The points, the edges, the polish, the angles, every thing that nature produces, appear in the instrument in a perfection that astonishes the beholder.

63.

In the views I here took of the vegetable world, with my eye thus armed, I saw many extraordinary things I had never observed before. I took notice, in particular, that a sage leaf is covered with a kind of cobweb, in which swarms of little active creatures, with terrible horns and piercing eyes, are busily employed: a mulberry leaf was an amazing flexus or net-work: we can see but 9 ribs on the sigillum Solomonis; whereas my armed eye perceived here 74: in a nettle I observed its whole surface covered over with needles of the most perfect polish, every one of which had three points, (points very different from our finest points, not flat, but to perfection sharp); and that these needles rested on a base, which was a bag of a flexible substance, in form of a wild cucumber, and filled with a sharp, poisonous liquor: this is discharged at the extremity of every point of the needles that cover the surface of the nettle: from a hole visible in every point the poison is thrown out, and excites a sense of pain; and a heat arises as the blood flows more copiously to the wounded part: By pressing with my finger the extremity of the prickles, the bag of poison fell; and on taking off the finger, it swelled again. —What a piece of workmanship is here in a nettle! Wonderful are thy works, O Lord God Almighty!

A leaf of sorrel in this microscope exhibited to my eye oblong, rough and straight atoms, sharp as needles, and from thence the tongue is twinged. In a bud cut away with a fine needle from a steeped seed of a french bean, I saw the intire plant; and in an almond so cut away, the perfect tree. Many other wonderful things I observed of the vegetable kingdom, in the microscopes of these gentlemen.

64.

As to the animal kingdom, my observations on it, in the optical instruments at Ulubræ, were so many, that I could fill a volume with the things I saw: but, as I have little room or time to spare, I shall only mention two or three. —In the double reflecting telescope, a louse and a flea were put; which are creatures that hate each other as much as spiders do, and fight to death when they meet. The flea appeared first in the box, and as he was magnified very greatly, he looked like a locust without wings; with a roundish body, that is obtuse at the end, and the breast covered with an armature of a triangular figure; the head small in proportion to its body, but the eyes large, red, and very fierce; his six legs were long, robust, and made for leaping; the antennæ short, but firm and sharp; its tail was scaly, and full of stings, and its mouth pointed into active pincers: his colour was a deep purple.

The louse in white was next brought on, and had a well-shaped, oblong indented body: his six legs were short, made for walking and running, and each of them armed at the extremity with two terrible claws: the head was large, and the eyes very small and black: its horns were short and jointed, and could be thrust forward with a spring. Its snout was pointed, and opened, contracted, and penetrated, in a wonderful manner.

65.

The first that was brought on the stage was the flea, and to shew us what an active one he was, he sprung and bounced at a strange rate: the velocity of his motions in leaping, were astonishing; and sometimes, he would tumble over and over in a wanton way: but the moment the louse appeared, he stood stock still, gathered himself up, and fixed his flashing eyes on his foe. The gallant louse did with a frown for some time behold him, and then crouching down, began very softly to move towards him, when the flea gave a leap on his enemy, and with his dangerous tail and pinching mouth, began the battle with great fury: but the louse soon made him quit his hold, by hurting him with his claws, and wounding him with his sharp snout. This made the flea skip to the other side of the box, and they both kept at a distance for near a minute, looking with great indignation at each other, and offering several times to advance. The louse did it at last in a race, and then the flea flew at him, which produced a battle as terrible as ever was fought by two wild beasts. Every part of their bodies were in most violent motion, and sometimes the flea was uppermost, but more frequently the louse. They did bite, and thrust, and claw one another most furiously, and the consequence of the dreadful engagement was, that the flea expired, and the louse remained victor in the box: but he was so much wounded, that he could scarce walk. —This battle was to me a very surprizing thing, as each of them was magnified to the size of two feet: But considering what specs or atoms of animated matter they were, it was astonishing to reflexion to behold the amazing mechanism of these two minute things, which appeared in their exertions during the fray. It was still more strange to see the aversion these small creatures had to each other, the passions that worked in their little breasts, and the judgement they shewed in their endeavours to destroy one another. It is indeed a wonderful affair: nor was it the least part of my admiration to see through the extraordinary transparencies of the louse, the violent circulation of the blood in its heart. This was as plane to my eye, as red liquor forced by a pump in several experiments through circulating glass pipes. —As to the dead flea, it was opened, and by the camera obscura or solar microscope, (which magnifies the picture of such a body as a flea, to eight feet) (28) [Footnote 28: 2Kb ] we saw the intestines distinguished and arranged in a manner that cannot be enough admired. It was full of eggs, and in every egg were many half-formed young ones.

66.

The water aranea, or great water spider, was next put in, and made a wonderful appearance in his greatly magnified state. It is the largest of the spider kind, except the native of Apulia, called the Tarantula, and is furnished at the head with a hard black forceps, which resembles that of the Apulian araneus: the colour of its oval body is a blueish black, and has a transverse line and two spots hollowed in it: its eight legs are very long, the joints large, and the little bones of the feet have different articulations: it was armed with bristles like a boar, and had claws very black, not unlike an eagle: it had eight eyes, and six of them were disposed in form of a half moon on the forehead; the other two were on the crown of the head; one to the left, the other to the right: This disposition affords light to the whole body, and as these eyes are well furnished with crystalline humours, they are sharp-sighted beyond all creatures, and so nimbly hunt down flies: the mouth was full of teeth, and they looked like short thick hairs.

In opposition to this amphibious creature, which walks on the mud at the bottom of standing waters, as well as on the banks, the silvery-green bodied spider was put into the box, which is one of the class that lives in the woods, where it squats down on the branches of trees, and throws four of its legs forward, and four backward, extending them straight along the bough; but the great water aranea, with his terrible weapon, the black forceps, in a minute destroyed it, and we took the dead body out, to put in its place the red and yellow spider, which is a larger and stronger kind: this made a battle for two minutes, and hurt his foe: but he could not stand it longer: he expired at the victor's feet.

These things were a fine entertainment to me, as I had not before seen a solar, catoptric, or improved double-reflecting microscope. I had now a nearer view of the skilful works of the supreme Artificer. With admiration I beheld the magnified objects—the wonderful arrangement of the intestines of a flea—the motion and ebullition of the blood of a louse—their forms—the various spiders, so astonishingly framed—the gnat, that elephant in so small a miniature—the amazing form of the ant—the astonishing claws and beautiful wings of a fly; the bones, nerves, arteries, veins, and moving blood in this very minute animal—the wonderful bee, its claws, its colours, and distinct rows of teeth, with which it sips the flowers, and carries the honey home in its stomach, but brings the wax externally on its thighs—and a thousand other things which manifest a Creator. In every object I viewed in the optical instruments, my eyes beheld one wise Being and supreme cause of all things. Every insect, herb, and spire of grass, declare eternal power and godhead. Not only the speech and language of the heavens, but of all the works and parts of nature is gone out into all the earth, and to the ends of the world; loudly proclaiming, that thou, O God, art Lord alone: Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, and all their hosts; the earth, and all things that are therein; therefore be thou our Lord God for ever and ever.

67.

The library belonging to these gentlemen is a very fine one, and contains many thousand volumes; but is much more valuable for the intrinsick merit, than the number of the books: and as to antient manuscripts, there is a large store of great value: they had likewise many other curious monuments of antiquity; statues, paintings, medals, and coins, silver, gold, and brass. To describe those fine things would require a volume. Among the books, I saw the editions of the old authors, by the famous printers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; editions greatly prized and sought after by most of the learned; but these gentlemen did not value them so much as the editions of the classicks, that have been published within this last century; especially the quarto editions done in Holland. They shewed me many errors in the Greek authors by the Stephens: and as to Plantin, exclusive of his negligence, in several places, his Italic character they thought far inferior to the Roman, in respect of beauty. All this was true: and it is most certain, that the best corrected books are the best editions of the classicks. They are the best helps for our understanding them. There is no reason then for laying out so much money for the old editions, when in reality the modern ones are better.

68.

One of the books in this library, which I chanced to take into my hand was the famous Vindiciæ contra Tyrannos, which came out in Latin and French in 1579, under the name of Stephanus Junius Brutus, and is a defence of liberty against tyrants. —This treatise proves, in the first place, that subjects are not bound to obey princes, if they command that which is against the law of God; as the worship of a consecrated wafer, and the theology of St. Athanasius, marionalatry, the demonalatry , and all the diabolism of popery;—2dly, That it is lawful to resist a prince, who, like James the Second, endeavours to ruin the true church, and make the superstition of Rome the religion of the land;—3dly, That it is lawful to resist a prince, when he oppresses and strives to ruin a state; as when Charles the First would exercise a power contrary to the interest of his people, contrary likewise to that of the protestant religion (29.) [Footnote 29: 11Kb] ; and when James the Second began his tyranny, by dispensing with the penal statute of 25 Car. 2. in the case of Sir Edward Hales, notwithstanding the true religion, the honour of Almighty God, the safety of the government, and the public good and peace of the nation depend upon this act of 25 Car. 2.—and 4thly, That neighbour princes or states may be, or are bound by law, to give succours to the subjects of other princes, afflicted for the cause of true religion, or oppressed by manifest tyranny. These truths are finely proved in this extraordinary book. The excellent author evinces, that justice requires, that tyrants and destroyers of the commonwealth be compelled to reason. Charity challenges the right of relieving and restoring the oppressed. Those that make no account of these things, do as much as in them lies to drive piety, justice, and charity out of this world, that they may never more be heard of.

I asked one of these gentlemen, if he knew who was the author of this book; for it was ascribed to various men:—he told me, that the learned Hubert Languet was the reputed author, as we find in De la Mare's elogium upon him; but De la Mare was misinformed by Legoux. The great Du Plessis (30.) [Footnote 30: 19Kb] was the author. D'Aubigne (31) [Footnote 31: 2Kb] , whose word is sterling, affirms it. See here (Mr. Seymour said) the 2d volume of D' Aubigne's history, book 2. ch. 2. p. 108, il paroissoit un autre livre qui s'appelloit Junius, on défense contre les tyrans, fait par M. Du Plessis, renommé pour plusieurs excellens livres. —And, (tom. I. l. 2. ch. 15. pag. 91.) D'Aubigné dits, que M. du Plessis lui a avoué qu'il en estoit l'auteur.

69.

Another extraordinary book I saw in this library, was the famous piece de libertate ecclesiastica, written against the papal usurpations, at the time his holiness, Camille Borghense, commonly called Paul V, had the memorable contest with the Venetians; and upon enquiring, who was the author of this scarce and valuable work; that was superior even to Father Paul's book upon the same subject, in defence of the liberties of mankind; Mr. Trenchard the president of the society, shewed me Cappel's assertion of the true Faith against Rosweius the jesuit. And in it the following passage, pag. 17. —In ecclesiastica antiquitate quam non esset Tyro Casaubonus, docuit A. D. 1607. libro singulari de libertate ecclesiastica, cujus jam paginæ 264. typis erant editæ, cum rex Henricus IV. Compositis jam Venetorum cum pontifice Romano controversiis, vetuit ultra progredi, et hoc ipsum quod fuerat inchoatum, supprimi voluit, ut ejus pauca nunc extent exemplaria. —And in the same book, I saw some manuscript references to Casaubon's lettres, p. 628. 632, and 647. edit. Hag.—and to one place in Scaliger's letters, p. 345. ed. 1627. — Several places I turned to, and saw that Casaubon hinted to his friends, that he was the author of the book De Ecclesiastica Antiquitate: and that Scaliger affirmed it (32.) [Footnote 32: 6Kb] — The words—Vetuit ultra progredi, et hoc ipsum quod fuerat inchoatum supprimi voluit— accounts for this being published imperfect; which all that see it wonder at.

70.

Many other extraordinary books and manuscripts I saw in this library, and a great number of fine curiosities; but I can only mention one particular more. Engraven on a beautiful Cornelian, I saw the Roman god of bounds, with these words, Concedo nulli: and one of the gentlemen asked me, what I supposed the meaning of this design? The emblem (I answered) was a very just one, and in my opinion meant, that truth must never be given up. That (it was replied) was not the meaning of it, tho' my thought was not unjust. The design is to put one in mind of death, of which terminus is the justest emblem; and he says, Concedo nulli, I favour none, I suffer none to pass the limit. There is (continued the gentleman) a little curious history depends on this. Here is a gold medallion, on one side of which you see the image of the great Erasmus, and on the other this fancy; which he always wore in a ring, and from thence I had the medallion struck. Erasmus asked the famous Carvajal, the Spanish cordelier, (just as I did you) what the meaning of this ring was. Carvajal, who had had some contests with Erasmus, and hated him greatly, said it owed its being, without all peradventure, to the pride of Erasmus, and meant, that he would never yield, right or wrong, to any one in the republic of letters. Erasmus answered, that his explication was quite wrong, and that, on the contrary, he used the device, to kill his pride, and put him in mind of death, which suffers not the greatest men to pass the short limit of time allotted them. This pleased me much, and I resolved to get the fancy on a cornelian for a seal.

71.

Another extraordinary thing these gentlemen shewed me was a hole leading to some wonderful caverns in the side of a mountain, about a mile to the north of their house. It resembles at the entrance, Penpark-hole, in Gloucestershire (33) [Footnote 33: 2Kb ] , within three miles of Bristol; but with this difference, that Penpark-hole was once a lead ore pit, and one is let down by ropes through two tunnels, to the chamber; whereas the entrance of the place I am speaking of is the work of nature, a steep and narrow descent of twenty-three yards, which I went down by having a rope under my arm, and setting my hands and feet against the sides of the passage, till I came to a flat rough rock, which opened 2 yards and a half one way, and 4 yards the other way. This little cavern was two yards high. We went from it into a more easy sloping way, which brought us downward for thirteen yards, till we came to another cavern, that was six yards long, and four and a half broad. Here we found a perpendicular tunnel, two yards wide, and sixty-seven yards deep; but where it went to, and what caused the noise below, the gentlemen who came thus far with me, could not tell; for they had never ventured into it, nor could they persuade any of their people to be let down to the bottom, tho' they had found by the lead that there was hard ground below. I will then, (I said) explore this subterranean realm, if you will let me and my lad down, with proper conveniences for an enquiry of the kind, and I dare say I will give you a good account of the region below. This (they answered) was not safe for me to do. I might perish many ways. The damps and vapours might kill me at once; or my lights by them might be put out, or kindle the vapour of the place below. But to this I said, that I was sure the noise we heard at the bottom was some running water, and wherever that was in the caverns of the earth, the air must be pure and good. So Mr. Boyle says in his general history of the air; and so I have often found it in my descents to the deepest mines. —As you please then; (the gentlemen replied): you shall have every thing you can desire, and be let down very safely, however you may fare when you get to the ground: and when you want to come up, pull the packthread you have in your hand, that will be tied to a bell at the top of the tunnel, and you shall be immediately drawn up again. These things being agreed, they let me down in a proper basket the next morning at eight o'clock, with a lighted torch in my hand, and soon after my man Ralph followed with every thing I had required. I was more than half an hour going down, for the rope was given like a jack line from the engine it came from. I saw several dismal lateral holes by the way; but no mischief or inconvenience did I meet with in my passage to the ground.

When I came to the bottom, I found I was in a chamber of a great extent, and tho' 103 yards from the day, breathed as free as if I had been above ground. A little river made a noise in its fall from a high rock, within four yards of the spot I landed on, and ran with impetuosity in a rough channel I knew not where. The water was not deep, as we found with our poles, and but three yards broad, and therefore we crossed it, at 100 yards from the fall, to get into a cavern that had an arched entrance, on the other side, within two yards of the stream. Our course to the crossing was due west, and then we went to the north, on passing the water, and walking up the second cave.

In it we ascended for 79 yards, an easy rising way, and then came to a swallow, into which a river that ran towards us fell. Our course to this place was due north, but as the flood came from the west, we turned next to that point, and by the side of this water marched 50 yards. The cavern was so wide we could not see the walls, and the roof was of a vast height.

At the end of the 50 yards, the river appeared due north again, and by its side we went for 10 more, till we came to another vast cavern, that was a steep ascending opening, down which the river very musically came. This place was so like Pool's-hole, that I might think myself in the Peak. It was just such another grand opening, up the inside of a mountain, and had not only the descending flood, but as many beautiful stalactical concretions on the rising way; which formed the most beautiful pillars, walls, and figures of the finest carved work; but in this it differed from Pools-hole, that the ascending opening in Richmondshire is much wider; the rough, open steep, much higher to the roof; and this steep reaches to the summit of the vast hills, and ends in an opening in day. We came out this way on the top of an exceeding high mountain, after we had climbed from the bottom to the upper end 479 yards (34) [Footnote 34: 2Kb] : add to this 229 yards, the way we had come from the bottom of the tunnel to the beginning of the watery steep, and our march through the mountain, from the time we parted with the gentlemen, to our getting out at the top of it, was 708 yards.

This was a laborious route, and at the hazard of our lives, many times, performed. Once, in particular, my lad Ralph fell into the river with his torch in the great ascent, and in striving to save his life, I lost the other light I carried in my hand. This reduced us to a state of the blackest darkness, and in that condition, we could not stir. It was a horrible scene. It chilled my blood, and curdled it in my veins: but I had a tinder-box, matches, and wax-candle, in my pocket, and soon recovered the desirable light; at which we lit other torches, and proceeded to ascend the rough and rocky steep, till we came to the fountain that made the descending flood. The opening upwards from that became very narrow, and the slant so great, that it was extremely difficult to go on; but as I could see the day at the end of it, I resolved to strive hard, and mount, if possible, these remaining 60 yards. In short, we did the work. As before related, we came out this way, and from the dismal caverns of night ascended to a delightful plain; from which we again beheld the glorious sun, and had the finest points of view. It was by this time noon, and under the shade of some aged trees, that grew on the banks of a great lake, on the summit of this vast hill, I sat down to some bread and wine I had brought with me for relief. Never was repast more sweet. I was not only fatigued very much; but, had been in fear as to my ever climbing up, and knew not how to get down, when I had mounted two thirds of the way. The descent was a thousand times more dangerous than the going towards the top.

72.

When I had done, I walked about to see if there was any way down the mountain's sides, to go to Utubræ, from whence I came; but for miles it was a frightful perpendicular rock, next that place, and impossible for a goat to descend; and on the side that faced Bishoprick, and a fine country house and gardens, about a quarter of a mile off, in a delightful valley, that extended with all the beauties of wood and lawn, meadow and water, from the foot of the mountain I was on, the precipice here was a terrible way for a man to venture down; but it was possible to do it with a long pole, at the hazard of his life, as the rocks projected in many places, and the side went sloping off; and therefore I resolved to descend. I could not think of going back the way I came; since I had got safe into day again, I thought it better to risk my limbs in the face of the sun, than perish as I might do in the black and dismal inside of those tremendous hills. Besides, the house in my view, might be perhaps the one I wanted. It was possible my friend Turner might live there.

With art and caution then I began to descend, and so happily took every offered advantage of jutting rock and path in my way, that without any accident I got in safety down; tho' the perils were so great, that often I could not reach from rock to rock with my pole. In this case, I aimed the point of my pole at the spot I intended to light on, and clapped my feet close to it, when I went off in the air from the rock: the pole coming first to the place broke the fall, and then sliding gently down by it, I pitched on the spot I designed to go to, though six, seven, or eight fathom off, and the part of the rock below not more than a yard broad. It is a frightful piece of activity to a bystander; but the youths on the mountains of Ireland make nothing of it: they are as expert at this work as the Teneriff men: from them I learned it; and made Ralph so perfect in the action, while he travelled with me, that he could go from rock to rock like a bird.

When we came to the ground, I sent my man before me to the house, with my humble service to Mr. Harcourt the master of it, and to let him know, that I had travelled through the inside of one of the high mountains that surrounded his house, and on coming out of the top of it, had made the precipice next him my road to the valley he lived in; that I knew not which way to turn next, in order to go to Cumberland, and begged leave to dine with him, and receive his information. —This strange message, delivered by Ralph with much comic gravity, that gentleman could not tell what to make of; as I had ordered my young man not to explain himself, but still say, that we had travelled the inside of the mountain, and came down the precipice. This was so surprizing a thing to Mr. Harcourt and his daughter, that they walked out with some impatience to see this extraordinary traveller, and expressed no little amazement, when they came near me. After a salute, Mr. Harcourt told me he did not understand what my servant had said to him; nor could he comprehend how I arrived in this valley, as there was but one passage into it at the front of his house; and my being on foot too, encreased the wonder of my appearing in the place: but whatever way I came, I was welcome to his house, and he would shew me the way in.

My arrival here, Sir, (I replied) is to be sure very strange, and would be almost incredible to hear told by another person, of one that journeyed 229 yards deep, to the foundation of this Alp, on the other side of it, then ascended a hollow way, till he got out at the top, and came down a high and frightful precipice to the vale below: But here I am a proof of the fact. I will explain how it was done; and I began to relate every particular at large.

But tell me, Sir, (Miss Harcourt said) if you please, why did you not return the way you came; since the other side of the mountain is impossible to descend, as you inform us, on account of its being a perpendicular steep; and that you must have hazarded your life a thousand times, in coming down the way you did with the pole? I tremble as I look at the place, and only with fancy's eye, see you on the descent. Beside, the gentlemen you left on the other side of the hill, will conclude you lost, and be very greatly troubled on the account.

My reason, Madam, (I answering, said) for coming down this very dangerous way, was, because I thought it, with all its perils, much safer than the inside road I had come. My activity, I had reason to think, was superior to the difficulties of the outward way, and if I should fall, it would be in the light of heaven, with a human habitation in view, that might afford me some relief, if I only broke my bones; but, if in descending the very steep and horrible caverns of the hill, which with the greatest difficulty I climbed up, I should happen to get a fall, as in all human probability I would, and break a limb in these most dismal cavities of eternal night, I must have perished in the most miserable manner, without a possibility of obtaining any relief. Nor is this all, madam. The thing that brought me here among the mountains of Richmondshire, was to find a gentleman of my acquaintance, and when I saw your house from the top of the mountain, I did not know but it might be his. I fansied it was, as the situation answered my friends description of the spot he lived on.

And if it had been his, madam, it would have put an end to all my toils; for I am a wanderer upon the face of the earth, through the cruelty of a mother-in-law; and the unreasonableness of a rich father; who has forsaken me, because I will not submit to the declarations and decisions of weak and fallible men, in matters of pure revelation and divine faith, and own the infallibility of the orthodox system. Because the assent of my mind could not go beyond the perception of my understanding, and I would not allow that the popular confession is the faith once delivered to the saints, therefore I was thrown off, and obliged to become the pilgrim you see before you.

This history of a forlorn seemed stranger to the young lady and her father than even the account of my journey through the inside of a mountain, and down a precipice that a goat would scarce venture. They were both very greatly amazed at my relation, and Mr. Harcourt was going to ask me some questions, when one of his servants came to let him know that dinner was serving up, and by this put an end to our conversation. The master of the house brought me into a fine room, and I saw on the table an elegant dinner: there was likewise a grand sideboard, and several men servants attending: miss Harcourt sat at the head of the table, and at her right hand two young ladies, vastly handsome, whom I shall have occasion to mention hereafter in this journal: two ladies more were on the other side of her, pretty women, but no beauties; and next them sat three gentlemen; sensible, well-behaved men; one of them a master of musick, the other a master languages, and the third a great painter; who were kept in the house on large salaries, to teach the young lady these things: Mr. Harcourt placed me by himself, and was not only extremely civil, but manifested a kind of fondness as if he was well pleased with my arrival. He and his daughter took great care of me, and treated me as if I had been a man of distinction rather than the poor pilgrim they saw me, with my staff in my hand. The young lady talked to me in a very pleasant manner, and as I saw the whole company were inclined to be very chearful, I clubbed as much as I could to promote good-humour, and encrease the festivity of the table. We laughed the afternoon away in a charming manner, and when we had done, we all went to walk in the gardens. Here the company soon separated, as the various beauties of the place inclined various minds to different things and parts. Some, pensive roamed in shady walks; some sat by playing fountains; and others went to gather fruits and flowers. I had the honour to walk with Miss Harcourt to a canal at some distance, and as we went, this young lady told me, she did not well understand me as to what I had said of religion being concerned in my becoming a traveller, and desired me to be a little more particular. That I will, and immediately proceeded in the following manner.

73.

My father, madam, is a man of great learning, virtue and knowledge, but orthodox to the last degree, and sent me to the university on purpose to make me a theologer, that I might be an able defender of the Creed of St. Athanasius, and convince the poor people of the country he lived in, and in good time (he fondly hoped) the inhabitants of many other countries; that notwithstanding the symbol I have mentioned is what no human apprehension can comprehend, and the judgment hath nothing to act on in the consideration of it;—that there is nothing to be understood in that symbol, nor can a man form any determination of the matter therein contained;—yet they must believe this great and awful mystery: that three persons and Gods are only one person and God; and, on peril of eternal misery, they must confess that, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, tho' three Beings, as distinct as any three things in the universe, yet are only one Being. This mystery I was to preach up in his church, (a church in a field, near his house, to which he had the right of presenting,) and enflame the people against reason, that traitor to God and religion, which our adversaries, the Christian deists, would make Lord and King in opposition to faith. I was to tell my beloved, that reason is a carnal sensual devil, and that instead of hearkening to this tempter, they must assent to those heavenly propositions, which give wisdom without ideas, and certainty without knowledge. You must believe, my beloved, that none is before or after the other. — None is greater or less than another. The infidels call this an unintelligible piece of non-sense: but it is, my beloved, a very transcendent mystery. It does, we must own, stagger and astonish us, being a thing beyond our reach to comprehend; but, it must be believed, on peril of eternal misery, as I before observed: and it is easy to be believed, for this plain reason, (given by a very learned and pious bishop of our church) to wit, that it is too high to be by us comprehended. This was the opinion of that great prelate, Dr. Beveridge, in his Private Thoughts, p. 52. to which book I refer you, my beloved, for more of his admirable reasoning on this capital article, and farther observe to you, that not only this most pious bishop, and many other most excellent prelates were of this way of thinking; but all the most admirable divines have declared in their sermons, and other matchless writings, that the more incredible the Athanasian creed is, and the fuller of contradictions, the more honour we do to our God in believing it. It is the glory of orthodox Christians, that their faith is not only contrary to the carnal mind, but even to the most exalted reason. In matters of faith, we must renounce our reason, even tho' it be the only thing that distinguishes us from the beasts, and makes us capable of any religion at all. No human arguments are to interfere in this victorious principle: the catholic faith is the reverse of rational religion, and except a man believe it faithfully, he must go into everlasting fire and brimstone (35) [Footnote 35: 2Kb ] .

In this manner, madam, like a mad bigot, a flaming zealot, and a sublime believer, was I to preach to the people of Ireland, and be an apostle for that faith which is an obedience to unreasonable commands: but unfortunately, for my father's design; and fortunately, for my soul; I was, on entring the university, put into the hands of a gentleman, who abhorred modern orthodoxy, and made the essential constitutive happiness and perfection of every intelligent being consist in the conformity of our mind to the moral rectitude of the Divine Nature. This excellent man convinced my understanding, that even faith in Christ is of an inferior nature to this: it is only the means to obtain it. Such a conformity and obedience of the heart and conscience to the will of God ought to be my religion, as it was the religion of our Saviour himself.

Thus, madam, was I instructed by a master of arts, my private tutor, and when to his lessons I added my own careful examinations of the vulgar faith, and the mind of our Lord as I found it in the books, I was thoroughly satisfied, that an act of faith is an act of reason, and an act of reason an act of faith, in religious matters;—that our Lord was not the great God; nor a part of that compound, called the Triune-God; the miserable invention of divines; but, a more extraordinary messenger than the prophets under the law, chosen by the divine wisdom, to publish the will of God to mankind, and sent under the character of his son, and spiritual ritual heir of his inheritance the church, to new form the ages, and fix such good principles in the minds of men, as would be productive of all righteousness in the conversation: that he was sent to destroy sin and the kingdom of Satan; and to bring the human race to a perfect obedience to the will of the Supreme Being .

All this, madam, was as plain to me as the sun in summer's bright day; and therefore, instead of laying aside my understanding, and believing things without any rational ground or evidence at all;—instead of going into orders, to draw revealed conclusions from revealed propositions, and by a deep logic, make scripture consequences, that have no meaning in the words, for the faith of the people; I was so free and ingenuous as to let my father know, that of all things in the world I never would be a parson, since the character obliged me to swear and subscribe to articles I could not find in my bible; nor would I, as a layman, ever read, or join in the service of reading the tritheistic liturgy and offices he used in his family. I was determined, tho' I lost his favor and large fortune by the resolution; to live and die a Christian deist; confessing before men the personal unity and perfections of the true God, and the personal mediatorial office of Jesus Christ . As St. Paul mentained the personal unity and absolute supremacy of the true God, and in his description of the Deity, did not tell the Athenians, that he was a Triune Being, to be considered under the notion of three persons, of three understandings and wills, in a co-ordinate triplicity of all divine attributes and perfections; but one individual personal Agent,—one great Spirit, or mind, self-existent, and omnipotent in wisdom and action—one Supreme Almighty Creator and Governor of the world,— the God and Father of Jesus Christ; I shall therefore, in obedience to the apostle, and to the other inspired writers, believe in and worship the same God, the One God, the only true God, as our Lord says in Matthew and Mark;—through the alone mediation and intercession of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and only begotten Son of God;— depending upon the effectual aid and assistance of the blessed Spirit, in hope of a glorious immortality. This is,—this shall be my religion, whatever I may feel from an antichristian tyranny, on account of the confession. —Tho' an outrage of uncharitable zeal should strip me of every worldly comfort, and reduce me to a want of bread. — If I should become a spectacle to men and angels by this faith, yet I will believe as Jesus Christ and his apostles have ordered the world to believe. —No unintelligible cant, or scholastic jargon for me. The Holy Ghost has in scripture expressed it sufficiently and unexceptionably clear,—that there is One Supreme Independent First-Cause of all things, a Spirit, that is, One Spirit, One God: I am God, and there is none like me: I am God, and there is none else; beside Me; with Me; none but Me. —Thus does the Holy Ghost declare; and what signify the despicable, heretical declarations of the doctors, in respect of this?

Then, as a test of Christianity, the same blessed Spirit adds,— that Jesus is the true Messiah, was sent from God to reveal his will for the salvation of man, and is the only Mediator betwixt God and man . Thus has the Holy Ghost regulated our faith and practice, and I think it incumbent on me to mind what he says, and flee the invented pieties of our theologers. —I did so, and disobliged my father. I lost his favor intirely. He would take no farther notice of me, and I became as you see a wanderer.

This discourse, delivered with my fire and action, amazed Miss Harcourt so greatly, that for some time after I had done, she could not speak, but continued looking with great earnestness at me. At last however she said, I am glad, Sir, it has been my fate to meet with you, and must, when there is more time, converse with you on this subject. My father and I have had some doubts as to the truth of the Athanasian creed; but he told me, he did not chuse to examine the thing, as it had the sanction of ages, and was believed by the greatest divines in all nations. If it be wrong, let the churchmen answer for it. But this does not satisfy me; and since I have seen one that has forsaken all rather than live a disciple of Athanasius, after a thorough examination of the system; and that you have now said some things against it that shew the folly of believing it, and make it a faith the most preposterous and unreasonable, I am determined to enquire into the merit of it, and see if christians ought to acknowledge the supreme dominion and authority of God the Father; —that the Father is absolutely God, the great God in the absolute supreme sense by nature; and the Son, only a God by communication of divinity from the Father, that is, by having received from the Father, the Supreme Cause, his being, attributes, and power over the whole creation:—or, if they ought to ascribe supreme authority, and original independent absolute dominion to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; three distinct supreme gods, and yet but one supreme God, as the church informs us in her famous creed, and thereby makes us swallow a contradiction, as I have often thought, and a doctrine against which a great number of texts can be produced. This I will examine. My reason shall be no longer silent in so important a case. If a Trinity in unity of equal minds or gods is not to be proved by the inspired writings, the doctors preaching it, and by creed requiring it, will be no justifiable plea or excuse for me, I am sensible, in the great rising day. I had better, in such case, leave all as you have bravely done, were my father so orthodox and furious a bigot as to force me to be a religionist against my conscience. What I have to beg of you, Sir, (Miss Harcourt continued) is, that you will to-morrow, oblige me with your thoughts on the texts I have marked, as produced by orthodox divines for their mysterious religion. If you make me sensible that those texts do not prove the doctrine they are brought for, and of consequence, that the doctrine of the trinity as by them taught, is the work of uninspired writers, I shall renounce it to be sure. I will no longer mistake contradictions for mysteries. The schemes and inventions of men shall not pass with me for the revelations of God (36) [Footnote 36: 1Kb] .

74.

Here Mr. Harcourt came up to us, and desired to know, (if it was a fair question) what we two had been talking so earnestly on; for it seemed at a distance to be something more than ordinary. I will tell you, Sir, his daughter replied, and immediately began to relate the whole conference, and her resolution. Your resolution (the father said) is excellent. You have not only my consent, but I recommend it to you as the noblest work you can employ any time on. For my part, Sir, (Mr. Harcourt continued, turning himself to me) I never liked this part of our protestant religion, and have often wished our public prayers had been more conformable to the simplicity of the gospel; that we had been contented with what our Master and the Holy Spirit delivered, and not made human compositions the standard of salvation: but since the church in her wisdom has thought it should be otherwise, I have submitted to her authority, and been silent on the doctrines she claims a right to determine; though some of them to me appear doubtful, and others repugnant to scripture: beside, my studies have been in other fields than that of controversy: mathematics and antiquities have employed my time, and I have neither taste nor capacity for that criticism which is necessary for the examination of such points: greatly however do I honour those who have the ability and patience to go through the work, as I must own it is of the most importance, and that the orthodox faith is a sad thing, if the truth be, after all our Athanasian believing, that Christ is no more than God's instrument, as St. Peter and St. Paul name him; a successful teacher of wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption: and that God is to be owned and praised, as the true, chief, and original cause of all spiritual blessings, according to the counsel of his own will, his own good pleasure, purpose, etc. without partner or second person, to intreat and satisfy for us. If this be the case, may the Lord have mercy on our poor orthodox souls: and as it may be so, I honour you for enquiring into the matter, and especially for your good Spirit in prefering the things that are eternal, when what you thought truth could not be held with things temporal. I have (Mr. Harcourt continued) a very great esteem for you on this account, and if I can be of service to you, I will. He imagined I might want money, and if I did, he would lend me a hundred guineas, without interest, payable on my note of hand, when I could. He immediately took out of his pocket-book a bank note for that sum, and pressed me to accept it. He likewise invited me to stay at his house, while he continued in the country, which would be for a month longer. He assured me also, that I might make it my residence after he left it, if I pleased: there would be two servants to attend me, and there was excellent mutton, and other things, for my table. Nor is this all; you shall have the key of my study.

These offers astonished me, and I said, most generous Sir, I return you the thanks of a grateful heart, and will ever remember your goodness to me with that sense such uncommon kindness deserves, tho' I cannot enjoy the benefits you would make me happy with. As to money, I do not want any yet, and when I do, it will be time enough for me to borrow, if I should find any one, like you, so benevolently disposed as to lend me cash without security and interest: and as to staying at your house, that offer I cannot accept, as I am engaged to a near and rich friend, who will be to me a subaltern providence, if he can be found, and secure me from the evils my attachment to truth has exposed me to. One week however I will stay with you, since you are so good as to invite me in this kind manner.

Here then I stayed a week, and passed it in a most happy way. Mr. Harcourt was fond of me, and did every thing in his power to render the place agreeable. His lovely daughter was not only as civil as it was possible to be, but did me the honour to commence a friendship with me, which lasted from that time till death destroyed the golden thread that linked it.

75.

Reader, this young lady, Harriot Eusebia Harcourt, was the foundress of a religious house of protestant recluses, who are still a society in that part of Richmondshire where first I saw her and her father. They are under no vow, but while they please to continue members, live as they do in nunneries, and in piety, and in all the parts of the christian temper, endeavour a resemblance of their divine Lord and Master; with this distinction however, that to the plan of the regards due from man by the divine Law to God, to his fellow-creatures, and to himself, they add musick and painting for their diversion, and unbend their minds in these delightful arts, for a few hours every day. This makes them excel in these particulars. They are great masters in all kinds of musick, and do wonders with the pencil.

Eusebia was but just turned of twenty when I first saw her, in the year 1725, and then her musical performances were admirable —her pictures had the ordonnance, colouring, and expression of a great master. She was born with a picturesque genius, and a capacity to give measure and movement to compositions of harmony. Her music at the time I am speaking of had a most surprizing power: and in painting, long before this time, she astonished. When she was a child, nine years old, and had no master, she would sketch with a black lead pencil on a sheet of paper the pictures of various kinds that came in her way, and make such imitations as deserved the attention of judges. This made her father get her an eminent master, and she had not been long under his direction, when she was able to infuse a soul into her figures, and motion into her compositions. She not only drew landskips, and low subjects with a success great as Teniers, but evinced by her paintings, that she brought into the world with her an aptitude for works of a superior class. Her pictures shew that she was not the last among the painters of history. They are as valuable for the merit of the execution as for the merit of the subjects.

76.

Her histories of the revelations of St. John, which she finished a little before her death, from the first vision to the last, demonstrate a genius very wonderful, and that her hand was perfected at the same time with her imagination. If this series of pictures is not in every respect equal to Giotto's on the same subject, (which I have seen in the cloyster of St. Clare at Naples), yet these paintings are treated with greater truth, and shew that the imagination of the painter had a hand and eye at its disposal to display the finest and compleatest ideas. The great artist is obvious in them.

The first picture of this Series is a representation of the inside of the glorious temple, (that was made the grand scene of all the things St. John saw in the Spirit), the golden-lamp-sconce, called the seven candlesticks, which afforded the sanctuary all its light, and the august personage, who appears in refulgent brightness in the vision, in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. The majestic and godlike form which the apostle beheld is wonderfully painted. He is represented with more than human majesty. Like Raphael, in his picture of the Eternal Father, in one of the Vatican chapels, she does not inspire us merely with veneration, she strikes us even with an awful terror: elle n'inspire pas une simple veneration, elle-imprime une terreur respectueuse. In his right hand, this grand person holds the main shaft that supports the six branches of the six lighted lamps, and the seventh lamp at the top of the main trunk, which gleam like a rod of seven stars, as it is written, having in his hand seven stars, and in this attitude, with his face to the apostle, he appears in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, the emblems of the churches, walking, or attending to trim them, the churches; with a sharp two-edged sword, that is, the powerful word of God, as Aaron walked to trim the real lamps with the golden snuffers. St. John is seen on the floor. He is looking in great surprize at the whole appearance, and as with amazement he beholds the divine Person in the vision, he seems struck with dread, and going to faint away; as he says in the Apocalyps,—When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead .

The next picture in this series is a continuation of, or another representation of the inside of the temple, the golden lamp-sconce of seven golden candlesticks, and the august personage in refulgent brightness, and splendors transcendently glorious; but with this difference, that in this piece, the divine personage does not hold the main shaft of the branches of lights in his right-hand, or stand in the midst of the candlesticks; but, notwithstanding his sublime dignity, is painted with a godlike compassion in his face and manner, and with the greatest tenderness raises and supports the apostle. You see him (as St. John describes him);—he laid his right-hand upon me (the hand which before held the seven stars, or lighted golden lamps, that exhibited an appearance not unlike a constellation of stars) saying unto me, fear not. I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth, even tho' I was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen. And I have the keys of hell and of death. —One almost hears these words from the lips of the august form, so wonderfully is the figure painted,— so happily has the pencil counterfeited nature: and the apostle appears to revive in transports, as he knows from the words that it is his Lord and Master is speaking to him. It is a fine picture.

The third painting in this series is the subsequent vision, in the 4th and 5th chapters of the Revelation of John the Divine. — In a part of the heavens that are opened, the throne of God is represented by a crystal seat or glory, and from it proceed flashings of a bright flame like lightning and thunder, to represent the awful majesty of the One, and One Only, True God, the Supreme Lord of all things: seven lamps of fire are burning before this throne, as emblems of the seven spirits, or principal servants of God, to shew with what purity, constancy, and zeal, the spirits of the just made perfect serve God in the heavenly church; and next them appears a crystal sea of great brightness and beauty; much more glorious than the brazen sea in the temple, which held the water for the use of the priests. This sea alludes to that purity that is required in all persons who have the honour and happiness of a near approach to God, as he manifests himself on the throne of inaccessible light, or, in the moral Shechinah in this lower world (37.) [Footnote 37: 2Kb] The next figures are the four living creatures, or cherubim of Ezekiel (which our English translation very badly renders four beasts) and they are placed in the middle of each side of the throne, in the whole circle round about, full of eyes, not only before but behind: so as to have a direct and full view every way: without-side them, on seats, are the four and twenty elders placed, in white and shining garments, with crowns of gold upon their heads. The person who sits on the throne appears in great majesty and glory, and round about his throne the most beautiful rainbow is seen; to express the glory of God, and his faithfulness to his covenant and promise: the four living creatures next the throne, who represent the angels attendant on the Shechinah, and have the appearance of a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle, full of eyes, and with six wings, to express the great understanding and power of the angels, their activity, constancy, and good will;—they are drawn in the act of adoring and praising the eternal living God; and are answered by the four and twenty elders, the representatives of the people, the churches. So inimitably are all these things painted, that the faces of the cherubim and the four and twenty elders seem to move in worship and thanksgiving: one acquainted with the divine songs, cannot help fansying that he hears the four living creatures, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come ; who for ever wast, and for ever wilt be, the one true God, the everlasting Lord: and that the elders, that is, the Christian people, reply, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

The apostle, St. John, appears in great admiration, on account of the things before him, but seems more particularly affected by a book sealed with seven seals, which the person who sits on the throne holds in his right-hand;—an angel who is painted in the act of proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof—and a lamb with seven horns and eyes, standing just before the throne, within the circles of the cherubim and elders: this Lamb, represented as a sacrifice, and with seven horns and eyes, to shew the power, wisdom, and goodness of our Lord in the work of redemption, and the accomplishment of all God's designs of wisdom and grace, engages the attention and wonder of the apostle; and as this Lamb of God receives the book from the person on the throne, a rising joy appears through the astonishment of St. John, and seems to be encreasing, as he hears the living creatures and the elders sing a new song, or hymn of a new composition, which expresses the peculiar honour of the Son of God, and our peculiar engagements to him, in these words — Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. —Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. —Blessing, and honour, and glory; and power, be unto him, that sitteth upon, the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. —And as the angels conclude this solemn act of worship by saying, Amen; and the people by worshipping him that liveth for ever and ever, the true God, who liveth and reigneth from everlasting to everlasting; and having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you in turning every one of you from his iniquities; the apostle seems in pleasure to join them, and shews a sensibility and action that is very wonderful. It is a charming picture. The divine artist has treated the whole subject with the most elaborate and beautiful expression, and with a delightful richness of local colours. This painting gives the beholder a full and fine idea of the vision (38.) [Footnote 38: 1Kb]

77.

But it was not only in painting, and in musick, that Miss Harcourt excelled: she had, when I first saw her, made great progress in her studies, and discovered in her conversation extraordinary abilities. She talked wisely and learnedly on many subjects, and in so charming a manner, that she entered into the possession of the heart, and the admiration of all that heard her: nor was it only in pure Italian, Spanish, and other languages that she could express her notions; but, in the correctest Latin she often spoke to me, and for an hour would discourse in the Roman tongue, with as great ease as if she had been talking English. She spoke it without any manner of difficulty, which was more than I could do. I was slow, and paused sometimes; but this young lady went on with that volubility of tongue the women are born with. The language being Latin was no check to her natural fluency of speech.

To all this let me add, and with truth I can add it, that Eusebia, from the time I was first acquainted with her to her death, walked in the fear of the Lord, and of consequence, in the comforts of the Holy Ghost. Religion from her infancy was her stated and ordinary business, and her sole concern to know and do her duty to God and men. The Proverbs of Solomon, and the pattern of Christ, were her study when a very young girl, and from both she acquired a conduct so prudent and evangelical, that she seemed at the greatest heights of grace and goodness which a mortal can reach, and appeared as one that had made a prodigious proficiency in divine knowledge, and in every virtue: yet there was nothing gloomy, or even formal in her behaviour: she was good-humour itself: frank and free; quite easy, and for ever chearful.

Miss Harcourt, at the time I am speaking of, that is, in the one and twentieth year of her age, had all the qualities that constitute a beauty: she was tall and graceful, and in every action, and her whole behaviour, to the last degree charming: her eyes were vastly fine, large and long, even with her face, black as night, and had a sparkling brightness as great as could appear from the refraction of diamonds: her hair was as the polished jet, deep and glossy; and yet, her complexion fresh as the glories of the spring, and her lips like a beautiful flower.

This Lady was nine years abroad with her father, who died of the plague at Constantinople in 1733, and in the course of her travels, did me the honour to write me many fine letters, in which she obliged me with her remarks on the things and people they saw in many countries. We held a correspondence together, for a considerable part of the time, and in return for her valuable favours, I sent her the best account I could give of the matters that came in my way. These letters may perhaps appear some day.

In the year 34 Mrs. Harcourt returned to England, and brought over with her some ladies, who became constituents of her claustral house. They formed the most rational and happy society that ever united, and during the life of the foundress, resided sometimes in one of the Western Islands, but for the most part in Richmondshire. Since her death, which happened in the year 45, they have lived intirely in the North of England, separated from all the world by the most dreadful mountains. They were but twelve in number for several years, but, in the sixth year of the Instituto, Mrs. Harcourt encreased it to twenty-four members, by taking in twelve eleves or disciples. The twelve seniors govern a year about in their turns, unless it be the request of the house, that the superior for the year past should continue in the office another year. This, and their easy circumstances, secure their peace, and as they are ever wise to that which is good, and simple concerning evil, they lead most happy lives: nor can it be otherwise with mortals who cultivate the grace of humility (the want of which lies at the bottom of all contentions,) and by a christian prudence, make it their main work to facilitate the practice of piety, and to promote the pleasure and the lustre of it. Glorious women! to letters, arts, and piety, they devote those hours which others waste in vanities the most senseless and despicable; and pursuant to the advice, and according to the rule drawn up by their illustrious foundress, live as beings that have souls designed for eternity. They act continually upon a future prospect, and give all diligence in making constant advances toward the perfect day. Mrs. Harcourt shewed them what an uninspired mortal could do by the means of grace: that it was possible for assisted human nature (feeble as flesh and blood is) to resist temptations the most violent, and by the supreme motives of our religion, acquit ourselves like christians. If there be a devil to assault, a corrupt heart to oppose, and many difficulties to be encountred, yet her conduct was a demonstration, that those who are heirs of the heavenly country, may chuse and prosecute their best interests, and improve the divine life to a high degree. Let us (she used to say) make salvation not only a concern on the bye, but the governing aim thro' the present life, and we shall not only live like the primitive christians, but die for our holy faith, with more resolution than the worthies of Greece and Rome, tho' death should appear in all his array of terrors. Neither adversity nor prosperity could then tempt us to drop a grain of incense before any idol, or commit any action that dishonoured the gospel. Let what will happen, in all events, we should secure the future happiness of our souls, and thereby provide for the everlasting glory and felicity of our bodies too in the morning of the resurrection.

78.

The twenty-fifth day of June I took my leave of Miss Harcourt and her father, and the rest of the good company, and on horses I borrowed, we returned to the philosophers at Ulubræ. It was nineteen miles round of most terrible road; a great part of it being deep and swampy bottom, with holes up to the horses shoulders in some places; and for several miles, we were obliged to ride on the sides of very steep and craggy mountains, in a path so very narrow, that we risked life, and passed in terror: a wrong step would have been destruction beyond recovery. It was likewise no small perplexity to find, that I was going back again, the course being south and south-west; and that there was no other way of journeying from Mr. Harcourt's to Ulubræ, but through the pass I first travelled from Westmorland; unless I rid from Mr. Harcourt's into Cumberland, and then round through Bishoprick to the valley the gentlemen lived in. On then I went at all hazards, and in a tedious manner was forced to creep the way: but to make some amends, the prospects from the hills were fine, and things very curious occurred. Groupes of crests of mountains appeared here and there, like large cities with towers and old Gothick edifices, and from caverns in their sides torrents of water streamed out, and tumbled in various courses to the most delightful vales below. In some of the vast hills there were openings quite through, so as to see the sun, at the end of three or four thousand yards; and in many of them were sloping caverns, very wonderful to behold.

79.

I found in one of them, near the top of a very high mountain, a descent like steps of stairs, that was in breadth and height like the isle of a church, for 300 yards, and then ended at a kind of door, or small arched opening, that was high enough for a tall man to walk into a grand room which it led to. This chamber was a square of 17 yards, and had an arched roof about 20 high. The stone of it was a green marble, not earthy and opake, but pure and crystalline, which made it appear very beautiful, as the walls were as smooth as if the best polish had made them so. There was another opening or door at the other side of this chamber, and from it likewise went a descent like steps, but the downward passage here was much steeper than the other I had come to, and the opening not more than one third as wide and high; narrowing gradually to the bottom of the sloping road, till it ended in a round hole, a yard and a quarter every way. I could see the day at the opening below, tho' it seemed at a great distance from me, and as it was not dangerous to descend, I determined to go down.

The descent was 479 yards in a straight line, and opened in a view of meadows, scattered trees, and streams, that were enchantingly fine. There appeared to be about four and twenty acres of fine land, quite surrounded with the most frightful precipices in the world, and in the center of it a neat and pretty little country house, on an easy rising ground. I could discover with my long glass a young and handsome woman sitting at the door, engaged in needle-work of some kind; and on the margin of a brook hard by, another charmer stood, angling for fish of some sort: a garden appeared near the mansion that was well improved; and in the fields were sheep and goats, horses, and cows: cocks and hens, ducks and geese, were walking about the ground; and I could perceive a college of bees. The whole formed a charming scene.

80.

Pleased with the view, and impatient to know who the two charmers were, I quite forgot the poor situation in which I left Tim, holding the horses at the mouth of the cavern, on the dangerous side of so high a hill, and proceeded immediately to the house, as soon as I had recovered myself from a fall. My foot slipt in the passage, about six yards from the day, and I came rolling out of the mountain in a violent and surprizing manner. It was just mid-day when I came up to the ladies, and as they did not see me till they chanced to turn round, they were so amazed at my appearing, they changed colour, and one of them shrieked aloud; but this fright was soon over, on my assuring them that I was their most humble servant, and had against my will tumbled out of the hole that was at the bottom of that vast mountain before them. This I explained, and protested that I had not a thought of paying them a visit, when curiosity led me into an opening near the top of the hill, as I was travelling on; but that when I did get through so wonderful a passage, and saw what was still more strange, when I arrived in the vale, to wit, two ladies, in so wild and silent a place, I judged it my duty to pay my respects, and ask if you had any commands that I could execute in the world? This was polite, they said, and gave me thanks; but told me, they had no favor to ask than that I would dine with them, and inform them how it happened that I was obliged to travel over these scarce passable mountains, where there was no society nor support to be had. Beside, if in riding here, you should receive a mischief, there was not a possibility of getting any relief. There must be something very extraordinary surely, that could cause you to journey over such frightful hills, and through the deep bottoms at the foot of them.

Ladies (I replied), necessity and curiosity united are the spring that move me over these mountains, and enable me to bear the hardships I meet with in these ways. Forced from home by the cruelties of a step-mother, and forsaken by my father on her account, I am wandering about the precipices of Richmondshire in search of a gentleman, my Friend; to whose hospitable house and generous breast I should be welcome, if I could find out where he lives in some part of this remote and desolate region: and as my curiosity is more than ordinary, and I love to contemplate the works of nature, which are very grand and astonishing in this part of the world, I have gone many a mile out of my way while I have been looking for several days past for my friend, and have ventured into places where very few I believe would go. It was this taste for natural knowledge that travelled me down the inside of the mountain I am just come out of. If I had not had it, I should never have known there was so delightful a little country here as what I now see: nor should I have had the honor and happiness of being known to you.

But tell me, Sir, (one of these beauties said) how have you lived for several days among these rocks and desart places, as there are no inns in this country, nor a house, except this here, that we know? are you the favorite of the fairies and genies—or does the wise man of the hills bring you every night in a cloud to his home?

It looks something like it, madam, (I answering said) and the thing to be sure must appear very strange: but it is like other strange things: when the nature of them is known, they appear easy and plain. This country I find consists, for the most part, of ranges and groups of mountains horrible to behold, and of bogs, deep swampy narrow bottoms, and waters that fall and run innumerable ways: but this is not always the case: like the charming plain I am now on, there are many flowery and delicious extensive pieces of ground, enclosed by vast surrounding hills—the finest intervals betwixt the mountains: the sweetest interchange between hill and valley, I believe in all the world, is to be found in Richmondshire, and in several of those delightful vales I discovered inhabitants as in this place: but the houses are so separated by fells scarce passable, and torrents of water, that those who live in the centre of one group of mountains know not any thing of agreeable inhabitants that may dwell on the other side of the hills in an adjacent vale. If there had been a fine spot at the bottom of the precipice I found the opening in, and people living there, (as might have been the case) you ladies who live here, could have no notion of them, as you knew nothing of a passage from the foot to the summit of yonder mountain, within side of the vast hill, and if you did, would never venture to visit that way; and as there is not a pass in this chain of hills, to ride or walk through, to the other side of them: but the way out of this valley we are now in, as I judge from the trending of the mountains all round us, must be an opening into some part of Cumberland. For this reason Stanemore hills may have several families among them, tho' you have never heard of them, and I will now give you an account of some, who behaved in the most kind and generous manner to me. Here I began to relate some particulars concerning my friend Price and his excellent wife; the admirable Mrs. Burcot and Mrs. Fletcher; the philosophers who lived at Ulubræ, to whom I was returning; and the generous Mr. Harcourt, and his excellent daughter, whom I left in the morning; and at whose house I arrived by travelling up the dark bowels of a tremendous mountain; as, on the contrary, I arrived at theirs by a descent through yonder frightful hill, till I came rolling out by a fall within, in a very surprising and comical way; a way that would have made you laugh, ladies; or, in a fright, cry out, if you had happened to be walking near the hole or opening in the bottom of that hill, when, by a slip of my foot, in descending, a few yards from the day, I tumbled over and over, not only down what remained of the dark steep within, but the high sloping bank that reaches from the the outside of the opening to the first flat part of the vale. There is nothing wonderful then in my living in this lone country for so many days. The only strange thing is, considering the waters and swamps, that I was not drowned; or, an account of the precipices and descents I have been engaged on, that I did not break my neck, or my bones: but so long we are to live as Providence hath appointed for the accomplishment of the grand divine scheme. Till the part allotted us is acted, we are secure. When it is done, we must go, and leave the stage for other players to come on.

The ladies seemed greatly entertained with my histories, and especially with my tumbling out of the mountain into their vale. They laughed very heartily; but told me, if they had happened to be sitting near the hole, in the bottom of that tremendous rocky mountain, as they sometimes did, and often wondered where the opening went to, and that I had come rolling down upon them, they would have been frightened out of their senses; for they must have thought it a very strange appearance: without hearing the history of it, they must think it a prodigious occurrence, or exception from the constant affairs of nature.

This might be, ladies, (I answered,) but from seeing me before your eyes you must own, that many things may be fact, which at first may seem to exceed the common limits of truth. Impossible or supernatural some people conclude many cases to be that have not the least difficulty in them, but happen to be made of occurrences and places they have not seen, nor heard the like of before. Things thought prodigious or incredible by ignorance and weakness, will appear to right knowledge and a due judgment very natural and accountable to the thoughts.

Here a footman came up to us, to let his mistress know that dinner was on the table, and we immediately went in to an excellent one. The ladies were very civil to me, and exerted a good humour to shew me, I suppose, that my arrival was not disagreeable to them, tho' I tumbled upon their habitation, like the genie of the caverns, from the hollows of the mountains. They talked in an easy, rational manner, and asked me many questions that shewed they were no strangers to books and men and things: but at last it came to pass, that the eldest of those ladies, who acted as mistress of the house, and seemed to be about one or two and twenty, desired to know the name of the gentleman I was looking for among these hills, and called my friend. My reason, Sir, for asking is, that you answer so exactly in face and person to a description of a gentleman I heard not very long ago, that I imagine it may be in my power to direct you right.

Madam, (I replied), the gentleman I am in search of is Charles Turner, who was my schoolfellow, and my senior by a year in the university, which he left two years before I did, and went from Dublin to the north of England, to inherit a paternal estate on the decease of his father. There was an uncommon friendship between this excellent young man and me, and he made me promise him, in a solemn manner, to call upon him as soon as it was in my power; assuring me at the same time, that if by any changes and chances in this lower hemisphere, I was ever brought into any perplexities, and he alive, I should be welcome to him and what he had, and share in his happiness in this world, while I pleased. This is the man I want: a man, for his years, one of the wisest and best of the race. His honest heart had no design in words. He ever spoke what he meant, and therefore, I am sure he is my friend

To this the lady answered, Sir, since Charles Turner is the man you want, your enquiry is at an end, for you are now at his house; and I, who am his sister, bid you welcome to Skelsmore-Vale in his name. He has been for a year and a half last past in Italy, and a little before he went, gave me such a description of you as enabled me to guess who you were after I had looked a while at you, and he added to his description a request to me, that if you should chance to call here, while I happened to be in the country, that I would receive you, as if you were himself; and when I removed, if I could not, or did not chuse to stay longer in the country, that I would make you an offer of the house, and give you up all the keys of it, to make use of it and his servants, and the best things the place affords, till his return; which is to be, he says, in less than a year. Now, Sir, in regard to my brother and his friend, I not only offer you what he desired I should, but I will stay a month here longer than I intended; for this lady, (my cousin, Martha Jacquelot ) and I, had determined to go to Scarborough next week, and from thence to London: nor is this all: as I know I shall the more oblige my brother the civiller I am to you, I will, when the Scarborough season is over, if you chuse to spend the winter here, come back to Skelsmore-Vale, and stay till Mr. Turner returns.

This discourse astonished me to the last degree—to hear that I was at my friend Turner's house,—he abroad, and to be so for another year: the possession of his seat offered me; and his charming sister so very civil and good, as to assure me she would return from the Spaw, and stay with me till her brother came home: these were things so unexpected and extraordinary, that I was for some time silent, and at a loss what to say. I paused for some minutes, with my eyes fastened on this beauty, and then said —Miss Turner, the account you have given of your brother, and the information that I am now at his house—his friendly offers to me by you, and your prodigious civility, in resolving to return from Scarborough, to stay with me here till your brother arrives, are things so strange, so uncommon, and exceedingly generous and kind, that I am quite amazed at what I hear, and want words to express my obligations, and the grateful sense I have of such favors. Accept my thanks, and be assured, that while I live, I shall properly remember the civility and benevolence of this day; and be ever ready, if occasion offered, and the fates should put it in my power, to make a due return. Your offer, madam, in particular, is so high an honour done me, and shews a spirit so humane, as I told you I was an unfortunate one, that I shall ever think of it with pleasure, and mention it as a rare instance of female worth: but as to accepting these most kind offers, I cannot do it. Since Mr. Turner is from home, I will go and visit another friend I have in this country, to whom I shall be welcome, I believe, till your brother returns. To live by myself here at my friend's expense, would not be right, nor agreeable to me: and as to confining you, madam, in staying with me, I would not do it for the world. Sir, (Miss Turner replied) in respect of my staying here, it will be no confinement to me, I assure you. My heart is not set upon going to London. It was only want of company made Miss Jacquelot and me think of it, and if you will stay with us, we will not even go to Scarborough this season. —This was goodness indeed: but against staying longer than two or three days, I had many good reasons that made it necessary for me to depart: beside the unreasonableness of my being an expence to Mr. Turner in his absence, or confining his sister to the country; there was Orton-Lodge, where I had left O Fin, my lad, at work, to which I could not avoid going again: and there was Miss Melmoth, on whom I had promised to wait, and did intend to ask her if she would give me her hand, as I liked her and her circumstances, and fansied she would live with me in any retreat I pleased to name; which was a thing that would be most pleasing to my mind. It is true, if Charles Turner had come home, while I stayed at his house, it was possible I might have got his sister, who was a very great fortune: but this was an uncertainty however, and in his absence, I could not in honour make my addresses to her: if it should be against his mind, it would be acting a false part, while I was eating, his bread: Miss Turner to be sure had fifty thousand pounds at her own disposal, and so far as I could judge of her mind, during the three days that I stayed with her at Skelfmore-Vale, I had some reason to imagine her heart might be gained: but for a man worth nothing to do this, in her brother's house, without his leave, was a part I could not act, tho' by missing her I had been brought to beg my bread. Three days then only I could be prevailed on to stay, and the time indeed was happily spent.

Miss Turner was good-humoured, sensible, and discreet, as one could wish a woman to be, talked pleasantly upon common subjects, and was well acquainted with the three noblest branches of polite learning, antiquity, history, and geography. It was a fine entertainment to hear her. She likewise understood musick, and sung, and played well on the small harpsichord: but her moral character was what shed the brightest lustre on her soul. Her thoughts and words were ever employed in promoting God's glory, her neighbour's benefit, and her own true welfare; and her hand very often, in giving to the poor. One third of her fine income she devoted to the miserable, and was in every respect so charitable, that she never indulged the least intemperance in speaking. She detested that calumny and reproach which assassinates a credit, as much as she abhorred the shedding a man's blood. The goodness of her heart was great indeed: the integrity of her life was glorious. She was perfection, so far as the thing is consistent with the nature and state of man here—as it was possible for a mortal to be exempt from blame in life, and blemish of soul. An absolute exemption from faults cannot be the condition of any one in this world: But (to the ladies I now speak), you may, like miss Turner, be eminently good, if you will do your best to be perfect in such a kind and degree as human frailty doth admit.

81.

Miss Jacquelot was by the head lower than miss Turner, and her hair the very reverse of my friend's sister, that is, black as the raven: but she had a most charming little person, and a mind adorned with the finest qualifications. Reason never lost the command in her, nor ceased to have an influence upon whatever she did. It secured her mind from being ever discomposed, and disengaged her life from the inconveniencies which a disregard to reason exposes us to. By a management it dictated, she enjoyed perpetual innocence and peace. She never uttered a word that intrenched upon piety, infringed charity, or disturbed the happiness of any one, nor at any time shewed the least sign of a vain and light spirit: yet she had a sportfulness of wit and fancy that was delightful, when she could handsomely and innocently use it, and loved to exert the sallies of wit in a lepid way, when they had no tendency to defile or discompose her mind, to wrong or harm the hearer, or her neighbour, or to violate any of the grand duties incumbent on us; piety, charity, justice, and sobriety. Every thing that reason made unfit to be expressed, in relation to these virtues, she always carefully avoided; but otherwise, such things excepted, would enliven and instruct by good sense in jocular expression, in a way the most charming and pleasing. She was very wise, agreeable and happy. She was very good and worthy.

This young lady was a great master on the fiddle, and very knowing in connoissance. She painted well, and talked in an astonishing manner, for a woman, and for her years, of pictures, sculpture, and medals. She was indeed a fine creature in soul and body.

82.

With these ladies I spent three days in Skelsmore-Vale; and the time we talked, walked, played, and laughed away. Sometimes we rambled about the hills, and low adown the dales. Sometimes we sat to serious ombre; and often went to musick by the falling-streams. Miss Turner sung; miss Jacquelot played the fiddle: and on my German flute I breathed the softest airs. We were a happy three, and parted with regret on every side. Fain would they have had me stay, and Scarborough and London should be thought of no more: but the reason of things was against it, and the 28th day of June I took my leave. Through the mountain I had descended, I went up again to Tim and my horses; who were stabled in the mouth of the cavern above, and had got provender from the vale below.

83.

The sun was rising as we mounted the horses, and struck me so powerfully with the surpassing splendor and majesty of its appearance, so cheared me by the gladsome influences, and intimate refreshment of its all-enlivening beams, that I was contriving as I rid on an apology for the first adorers of the solar orb, and imagined they intended nothing more than the worship of the transcendent majesty of the invisible Creator, under the symbol of his most excellent and nearly resembling creature; and this according to some imperfect tradition, that man, as a compound Being, had, in the beginning, a visible glorious presence of Jehovah Elohim —a visible exhibition of a more distinguished presence by an inexpressible brightness or glory: this is some excuse for the first worshippers of the solar orb: and when the thing consecrated to the imagery and representation of its Maker, became the rival of his honours, and from being a help to devotion, was advanced into the supreme object of it; yet considering the prodigious glory of this moving orb, and that all animated nature depends upon its auspicious presence, we cannot wonder that the Egyptian ruralists, without a creed, and without a philosophy, should be tempted to some warmer emotion than a merely speculative admiration, and inclined to something of immediate devotion. That universal chorus of joy that is manifested at the illustrious solemnities of opening sun-shine, might tempt the weak to join in a seemingly-religious acclamation. At least I am sure there is much more to be said for this species of idolatry, than for the papists worshipping dead men, stocks, bones, and clouts . They have not only revelation expressly against them— Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matt. iv, 10.)—Neither shalt thou set up any image or pillar. (Deut. xvi. 22.) But downright reason demonstrates that the things are useless to the preservers, and offensive to God: whereas, on the contrary, when the eye beholds that glorious and important luminary of heaven, and consider the benefits dispensed to mankind by the means of its most beautiful and invigorating beams, it might strike not only an unpractised thinker, and cause the vulgar, (who are not able of themselves to raise their thoughts above their senses, and frame a notion of an invisible Deity), to acknowledge the blessings they received, by a devotion to this fansied visible exhibition of divinity: but even some of the wise ones who were a degree above the absurdity of popular thinking, might be led to address themselves to the golden sun, in splendor likest heaven . They might ascribe the origin of their own existence, and the world's, to this seemingly adequate cause, and genial power of the system; when they beheld him returning again in the east, (as I now see him) after the gloom and sadness of the night; again the restorer of light and comfort, and the renewer of the world; regent of the day, and all th'horizon round, invested with bright rays; that all inferior nature, the earth's own form, and the supports of its animated inhabitants, seem to depend on his dispensing authority, and to be the effects of his prolific virtue, and secret operation: they might suppose, in the corruption of tradition, or when the reveled truth and direction was lost, and reason not as now in its maturity of age and observation, that some kind of glory should be given to the subordinate divinity (as they fansied) of this heavenly body, and that some homage was due to the fountain of so much warmth and beneficence. This (I imagine) may account for the earliest kind of idolatry; the worship paid to the sun. The effects of his presence are so great, and his splendour so overpowering and astonishing, that veneration and gratitude united, might seduce those ignorant mortals to deify so glorious an object. When they had lost the guard of traditionary revelation (39) [Footnote 39: 10Kb] , and wanted those helps to judgment which are derived from the experience, observation, and reasoning of past times, the specious idolatry might have been introduced, and something tolerably plausible perhaps was pleaded by the better heads of those times.

Exclusive of an imperfect notion of the Deity's appearing by Shechinah, and that the sun might be the visible exhibition (as observed); they might, in the next place, conclude from the extraordinary motion of the luminary, that he was an animated being, and noble intelligence, placed in the highest post of honor and usefulness, and employed by God as his first minister and servant; for which reason, they thought it their duty to magnify and venerate the sun, whom the Creator had exalted so high; as the chief ministers of kings are had in honor, which is reflected back on their royal masters. Thus might the novel impiety come on. They might, in the beginning, worship the sun as the Shechinah, appearing by a glorious light, or in a celestial train attending the presence, which, at so great a distance, must appear in an indistinct, luminous vision; but more generally, as the minister of God; an animated being, who had a principle of consciousness put into it; as the human body has, seated in it, a human soul; and that this glorious creature was enabled to perform the etherial journeys by its own understanding and will, and to make all lower nature happy by his benign and diffusive influence; could see as far as he is seen, and every way was fitted for the noble work he had to execute. Thus did the sun commence a God. He must, (they thought) from every appearance, in his wondrous, useful course, have the most exalted powers; be wise and benevolent, great and good. And when the worship of this luminary was once established, it could not be long before the moon was deified: and then the stars became conservators of the universe. From thence idolatry went on, and added to the heavenly bodies the emblematic doctrine, and animal apotheosis. Artificial fire was consecrated, and made the symbol of sidereal splendors. Deity was exhibited to the multitude in the forms of its effects, and innumerable orders of inferior divinities by degrees sprang up. Successive enlargements of the system of natural apotheosis prevailed; and, at last, the world, which ought only to have been regarded, as the magnificent theatre of divine perfections, was itself blasphemously adored, as the independent proprietor of them.

It is evident from hence that a reveled rule was wanting, or man had need of physics, to suppress the rising transports of a too eager gratitude, and guard against the inclination to worship this rising, lucid being, now so glorious before me; whose motion is so steady and uniform, swift, regular, and useful, that it seems to manifest itself a wise and intelligent being. Without the lights of philosophers, or the supernatural assistance of religion, it was hard for recent and wondering mortals, to refrain from worshiping that beautiful body, as they saw it proceeded with the greatest harmony, and shed innumerable blessings on them. But pure reveled religion diffuses such a light as manifests the error: and a correct and philosophic reasoning, (in this improved age the safe guide, and proper arbitrator of religion) not only refuses to address itself to that God of the antient popular theology, but proves the worship impious and absurd.

Right reason and revelation demonstrate from the matchless graces and glories of nature, which occur in great variety, and without number, wherever we turn our eyes, that there is a Creator of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; who beautifully provides for the uses and occasions of human life, and produces repeated millions of objects that bear the stamp of omnipotence, and remain perpetual monuments of the divine benevolence. Manifold are thy works, O Lord; in wisdom hast thou made them all!

And especially, when from the earth I lift up my eyes to the heavens, and behold among the wonders of the firmament, that vast and magnificent orb, the sun now rising before me, brightning by degrees the horizon, and pouring the whole flood of day upon us; the wonderful and grand scene strikes powerfully on my mind, and causes an awful impression. With sentiments of the greatest admiration, I consider the illustrious object, and feel the kindly heat of that bright luminary, inspiring me with more than usual gladness. And what power is it that supplies this fountain of light and heat, with his genial and inexhausted treasure —who dispenses it with such munificent, yet wise profusion? It must be some Almighty Being. It must be the work of the Deity, that is, the powerful, wise, and good Parent of mankind, the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of the world; for his perfections are stampt upon the work. The evidence of reason declares it. Chance or necessity cannot form or guide. An active understanding only, and intending cause, can produce, and direct: and this cause, must be all-ruling wisdom, and unlimited power, in conjunction with the most amiable goodness. This is plain to a thorough and rational examination. A supreme Being, an eternal self-existent mind, who comprehends and presides over all, must impart the benefits of that glorious creature before me, using it as an inanimate, unconscious, instrument of conveying light, heat, and prolific influences to the earth; which, by infinite power, is rendered as much active in sending the vegete juices through the vessels of all plants, as the sun is in diffusing its rays upon the surface of the globe we inhabit. The sun, and moon, and stars, are but instruments in his hand, for bringing about mechanically whatever good effects he has created them to produce. Our holy religion and philosophic reasoning evince this truth. This glorious sun bears the signatures of its author, and the finger of God is discernible every where. The wisdom and loving-kindness of the Lord are visible, whatever way we turn. His bounty appears by its constant, yet voluntary communication, and is the more to be admired as it is a never-failing principle. This rising luminary that visits our earth, is, in particular, a daily fresh instance of the divine favor; and did not God's goodness only, prevent its suspension, we should be involved in the utmost horror, nay, inevitable ruin: and when, in the evening it leaves us overspread by the darkness, to visit others with its benign influences; the change is charming, for night gives man a necessary vacation from the labours of the day. In sleep he takes the sweetest refreshment, till this rising sun, by the beneficent direction of its great Author, again appears in grace and splendor, and displays the face of nature in unspeakable beauties. Every where the bounty of the supreme Spirit I see diffused; through air, through earth, and in the waters. No place is without witnesses of his liberality; and life is the care of his providence.

Of him then should our songs be, and our talking of all his wonderful works. We should join in adoring him, and acknowledge him worthy to receive glory and honour and power, who has created all things, and for his pleasure they are and were created. And it follows, that we should likewise absolutely submit to this sovereign Being, and ever resign ourselves to his direction and disposal. Where can ignorance and impotence find so safe and sure a refuge as in infinite wisdom, and almighty power?

84.

In this manner were my thoughts employed, as we rid over the brows of many high hills, with the rising sun before me, till we descended to a narrow wet bottom, which trended due west for an hour, and brought us to the foot of another high mountain. This we ascended with the horses as far as it was possible to bring them, and from thence I climbed up to the top, by a steep craggy way, near 200 yards. This was very difficult and dangerous, but I had an enchanting prospect, when I gained the summit of the hill. A valley near a mile in breadth appeared betwixt the opposite mountains, and that on which I stood; and a river was running through it, that spread sometimes into little lakes, and sometimes fell headlong from the rocks in sounding cascades. The finest meadows, and little thickets, bordered those waters on every side, and beyond them the vast hills had a fine effect in the view: some were covered with forest; and some with precipitating streams. I was charmed with this assemblage of the beauties of nature. It is a more delightful landscape than art has been able to form in the finest gardens of the world.

85.

The descent was easy to this beautiful vale, and after I had feasted my eyes with the prospect of the place, I went down to see who lived in a house covered with creeping greens, that stood by a sonorous waterfall. Some wise one perhaps, (I said) who scorns the character of the libertine, or the sot, and to the pursuits of avarice and ambition leaves the world; to enjoy in this fine retreat the true happiness of man; by embracing that wisdom which is from above, and aspiring to an equality with saints and angels: happy man! if such a man be here. Or, it may be, some happy pair possess this charming spot of earth, and in discharging all the duties of the matrimonial relation, enjoy that fulness of satisfactions and felicities, which the divine institution was designed to produce. Happy pair indeed! if such a pair be here.

86.

But when I came near the mansion, no human creature could I see, nor, for some time, could I find an entrance any way. The gate of the garden in which the house stood was fast, and so was every window and door: but as the gardens were in fine order, and full of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, I knew it must be an inhabited place, tho' its people were from home. With my pole therefore I leaped a deep moat, which surrounded the garden, and for half an hour continued walking about it, pulling some things, and looking at others, in hopes that some one might be seen: no soul however appeared, and I was going to return to my horses, when, by accident, I came to a descent of stairs, that was planted round with shade of laurel, ever-green, and branching palm. Down I went immediately. I walked thro' a long arched passage, in which two lamps were burning, and at the end of it came to an open door, that admitted me into an entry which led to a flight of stairs. Should I go any farther, was the question? If any one within, I might greatly offend: and if it was the habitation of rogues, I might find myself in a pound. What shall I do then? Go on, (says curiosity) and bravely finish the adventure.

Softly then I ascended, listening, by the way, if I could hear any voice, and proceeded upwards, to the first floor. A door was there open, and on my tiptoes I went to look in: but, all I could see was a room well furnished, and through it I passed to another, which was likewise full of fine things, and had a door unlocked, that opened into a large library. The books were all bound in vellum, in an extraordinary manner, the collection valuable, and most judiciously ordered. Mathematical instruments of all Sorts were on a table, and every thing looked as belonging to a scholar and man of fortune. Great was my amazement, as I saw no living creature. I knew not what to think of all these things: nor did my astonishment diminish, when I went from the library into two very handsome bedchambers, and saw in one of them the apparel of a woman; in the other the dress of a man.

Musing on these matters, and looking over the books, I continued near an hour, when I turned round to depart, and saw at the door of the library I was in, a gentleman, and two young ladies in riding-dresses, who seemed more than amazed at the sight of me. The man's face I knew very well, and soon remembred he was one of the company that came over with me from Ireland in the Skinner and Jenkins, and a person I had thought a very odd man; for he never stirred out of his birth all the while he was on board, nor spoke a syllable to any one, except myself; and that only for a couple of hours after we landed; when he was pleased to single me out, and requested we might dine together; to which I said, with pleasure, Sir, and he came with miss Melmoth and me to our inn. With us he sat for the time I have said, and talked like a man of sense and virtue. He was but three or four years older than I was, and yet so very grave, that in respect of temper, he was fit for the bench. He told me, he lived in too remote a place, ever to expect to see me in the country; but he had a house in London, where he was every winter, if not hindered by sickness, and to a part of it I should be welcome, if it was agreeable to me to improve our acquaintance. Many other civil things he said, and shewed a regard for me that I little expected, and could not but wonder at. All this made me as well known to him as he was remembred by me; but he looked as it were scared at the sight of me, in the place I now appeared in; where I stood leaning on my long pole (when he came to the closet door), and was reading out the following lines in a book I chanced to take into my hand; to which I added a few reflexions:

87.

Ta peri tous theous poiei men, egou de touto einai thuma kalliston, kai therapeian megisten, ean os beltiston kai dikaiotaton seauton pareches mallon gar elpis tous toioutous, e tous iereia polla kataballontas praxein ti para ton theon agathon

Est ut dicis. Vera prædicas, vir sapiens. Quæ ad Deos spectant, pulcherrimum sacrificium et cultum esse maximum ducito, si teipsum quam optimum et justissimum præbeas. Parechein eauton os beltiston kai dikaiotaton: Præbere se quam optimum ac justissimum, pluris apud Deos quam multæ victimæ. Sperandum est enim tales potius, quam qui victimas multas prosternunt, quidpiam boni a Diis immortalibus accepturos. Quam optimum cor ac justissimum ad aras feramus, & bonum a numine semper lucrabimus.

True, most excellent sage. Rectitude and Benevolence are the perfection of rational nature, and when by philosophy, we acquire a temper, disposition and action, that are conformable to the truth of things, and continually display strict justice and universal charity, we offer the noblest sacrifice to heaven, and are consimilated with the Deity. By this divine affection, for order and goodness, we manifest a continual use and employment of ourselves for the glory of the supreme virtue, and may by this means, expect to obtain the infinite mercy of God; when slaughtered Hecatombs are despised; and the creeds of incomprehensible mysteries, and the external modes and forms of churchism, may be considered only as the weakness and blindness of reverend heads. Thousands of rams, and ten thousand rivers of oil; speculative faith, rites and ceremonies, are nothing, abstracted from that temper and affection, which unites us to the Deity, and to the whole system of rationals. Virtue and charity is religion.

88.

This passage and reflexion pronounced very loud, with an enthusiasm that seizes me when I take a classic in my hand, added greatly to the astonishment of finding me in the closet, and for some time the gentleman was not able to speak, or come forward; but at last, moving towards me, as I did to him, the moment I saw him, he said, by what strange chance have I the favor of seeing you here? Inform me, I beseech you, in the name of friendship, what surprizing accident has thrown you on this solitude; without horse or servant—and how did you get over the broad moat of water, as the two garden gates were locked?

Mr. Berrisfort (I answered), you may well wonder at seeing me in this remote and silent part of the world, and especially at my being in your study, without either horse or attendant in waiting, that you could find, on coming home; but the thing was all natural, in the common course of events, as you shall hear.

Three weeks after you left me at White-haven, I set out from that place for Brugh under Stanemore, and went from thence up the northern mountains, in search of a gentleman I had some business with, who lives but a few miles beyond you, and on my return from his house, as the road lay very high on the side of yonder vast hill, I quitted my horse out of curiosity, to climb up to the top of the mountain, and see what kind of country lay on the other side of this long range of high hills. It was with great difficulty I got up to the pike, and few, perhaps, but myself, would attempt it: I was rewarded however by the fine prospect, and seeing the descent on this side easy, and a house and large gardens before me, I could not refrain from going down to the bottom. I marched on to take a view of the mansion and improvements, and as I saw some very fine things in the gardens, and no sign of any living creature; the gates shut, and every place to appearance fastened, I leaped the moat with this pole, and after I had wandered about the ground, by accident came to the shady enclosure, in which I found the descending stairs from the garden; and seeing the lamps burning in the passage, could not avoid going down, and proceeded till I arrived at this fine library. My admiration was great, you may be sure, and the books too strong a temptation for me not to mind them. With great pleasure I looked into many of them, and at last opened the Greek writer I was reading out, when you came to the door of your study. Such were the causes that brought me where you find me.

(Mr. Berrisfort replied): Sir, I am glad there was any thing in the force and operation of casualties, that could bring you to my house, and I assure you upon my word, that you are most heartily welcome. As I lay in my cabbin on ship-board, I conceived a great regard for you, on account of many things I heard you say, and particularly, for your lively arguments with Dr. Whaley, before the storm began, in defence of the divine Unity, and against that miserable theology which the monks have invented, and continue to support, tho' it militates with the reveled truths of God, and the reason and fitness of things. I was greatly pleased with your different definitions of churchism and religion, and honoured you not a little for what you said in opposition to unintelligible mystery, and the glare of ceremony; at the same time, that you contended for the worship of the universal Father, and that sober, righteous, and godly life, which springs from the love of truth, virtue, and moral rectitude. Once more then I assure you, Sir, I am most heartily glad to see you, and I shall take it as a great favour if you will pass the summer with me in this wild country place. Every thing shall be made as agreeable as possible, and, exclusive of this closet of books, which you shall possess while you stay here, we will hunt, and set, and shoot, and enjoy all the pleasures of the field: but in the mean time, as it is now ten o'clock, we ought to think of breakfast, and he desired his sister, a most charming creature, to call for it immediately, and I soon saw several servants bring in every thing that was elegant and excellent. He told me I need be under no uneasiness about my mare and horses, for there was a steep narrow way for them to come down to his stables, about half a mile from the place I left them, and he would immediately send one of his servants to bring them.

This was vastly civil and affectionate, and I told Mr. Berrisfort, that I was under great obligations to him for his goodness, which I should ever have an extreme sense of, but I was obliged to go on upon business: a few days however I would enjoy the happiness he offered me, and we passed them in a very delightful manner.

89.

Early in the morning, we went out with the hounds, and for half a dozen hours, had the dogs in full cry before us. We had hawks and pointers in the afternoon, and enjoyed abroad all the sports of the field. Within, when our labours were over, we had the most elegant dinners and suppers; every thing, of meat and drink, that the best taste could desire: and the conversation was excellent after the repasts.

90.

Mr. Berrisfort was a man of letters and breeding; and the ladies had sense, and were no strangers to the best English books. They understood no other language than their mother tongue, but the choicest authors of every kind that our country has produced, they had read with great care. The master of Yeoverin-Green was a learned, worthy, polite man, free in discourse (if he knew his company, and liked them, but otherwise quite mute,) and he was instructive in every thing he said. His sister and cousin were very good; discreet in their behaviour, temperate in their discourse, and easy in their manner. They had no learning; they pretended to no criticism; but talked, without vanity, of the best things, and what they did say, they expressed in a most agreeable way. There was no being dull with such people, in such a place. I have seen very few young ladies in my time that I liked better than those girls. They both charmed me with their persons, their faces, their good manners, and their chat; but I could not enough admire Miss Berrisfort for one particular, in which she not only excelled Miss Fox, but all the women that I have ever seen. This was in hunting. In the field, she seemed the silver-shafted queen.

91.

Mr. Berrisfort and Miss Fox followed the dogs with caution, and never attempted any thing that could hazard their necks or their bones: but the charming Juliet Berrisfort had so violent a passion for the diversion of the field, that she was seized with a kind of enthusiasm when she heard the cry of the hounds, and as if she had been the goddess of the silver bow, or one of her immortal train, went on without a thought of her having brittle limbs. She leaped every thing to keep in with the dogs; five-bar gates; the most dangerous ditches and pales; and drove full-speed down the steepest hills, if it was possible for a horse to keep his feet on them. She frightened me the first morning I was out with her. She made my heart bounce a thousand times. I expected every now and then that she would break her neck; that neck where lillies grew. I was reckoned a very desperate rider by all that knew me, and yet, with this young lady, I paused several times at some leaps, when she did not hesitate at all. Over she went, in a moment, without thinking of the perils in her way; and then, if I broke my neck, I could not but pursue.

When glory call'd, and beauty led the way,
What man could think of life, and poorly stay?

92.

It was not in my complexion to stay, and by that means, I got a terrible fall the second day; whether by my own fault, or my horse's, I cannot tell: but as no bone was broke, and I had received no other mischief than a black eye, a bruise in my side, and a torn face, I was soon on my mare again, and by Miss Berrisfort's side. She laughed immoderately at me, while the dogs were at fault, as my bones were safe, and advised me with a humorous tenderness, to ride with her brother and Miss Fox. It was not however very long, before I had more satisfaction than I desired; for in half an hour's time, we came to some pales, which the stag went over, and I leaped first; but Miss Berrisfort's horse, tho' one of the best in the world, unfortunately struck, and cleared them in such a manner, that the lovely Juliet came over his head. She fell very safely in high grass, where I waited for her, for fear of an accident of any kind, and did not receive the least hurt; but in the violence of the motion, and the way she came down, the curtain was thrown on her breast, and she lay for some moments stunn'd upon the ground. In a minute however I snatched her up, and set her on her feet. She came to herself immediately, and thanked me for my care of her; but was vexed to the heart at what had happened. She requested I would not mention the thing to her brother, or Miss Fox, and hoped I would be so generous as not to speak of it to any one. —Miss Berrisfort (I said) it is not in my soul to extract a mirth from the bad fortune of any one; and much less is it in my power to ridicule, or laugh at a woman of distinction, for an accident like this. You may believe me, when I promise you, upon my word, and swear it by every sacred thing, that I will not so much as hint it to any mortal while you remain in this world. This gave her some relief, and by her foot in my hands, I lifted her into her saddle again. —Two benefits were from this mischance derived. One was, that for the future, this lady hunted with a little more caution, and did not take the leaps she was wont to do:—the other, that it gained me her heart, (though I did not know it for many months), and thereby secured for me the greatest happiness, against a day of distress. From the most trivial things the most important do often spring: but I proceed.

93.

Vexatious as the fall was to this young lady, it was I however that had all the pain, by the mischief I received when my horse threw me. My eye was in a sad black way, my side troubled me, and the skin was off half my face: yet I did not much mind it, as the diversion was good, and that immediately after the death of the stag, we hastened back to an excellent dinner, and some flasks of old generous wine; to which Bob Berrisfort and I sat for two or three hours. The ladies had left us, to change their dress, and walk in the gardens, and we fell into very serious chat.

I am thinking (Mr. Berrisfort said, after a considerable pause, as we sat smoaking a pipe over against each other), that the cause you gave Dr. Whaley, on ship-board, for the decay of christianity, was the best I have heard. I remember you told this divine, that it was not a want of faith in the present generation that made so many renounce christianity; for, the world were no enemies to a republication of the law of nature by the man Christ Jesus; but the thing that makes infidels, and supports infidelity, is the extravagant doctrines which the theologers have obtruded upon the church, as essential parts of christianity. Enthusiasm, absurdity, and error, and the blind and bloody scenes of cruelty and superstition, have been the great stumbling-blocks to mankind, and given the most sad, severe and lasting stabs, to the interests and success of the pure and peaceable gospel of Christ. This is just. But exclusive of this, may we not say, that there are so many seeming contradictions, and a multiplicity of obscure passages in it, that it looks as if it could not be, in its present condition, a rule of faith: and that christians differ so much about the meaning of the texts of their bible, that reason knows not what to say to a religion so variously represented. It is not only the two great camps, papist against protestant, and protestant against papist, who make the religion as different as black and white: that the reformed mission at Malabar tell the Indians they must not hearken to the jesuits, if they expect salvation; and the monks at Coromandel declare, on the contrary, to those Indians, that they will be damned to eternity, if they are converted to what the Danish ministers call christianity; which made the famous bramin Padmanaba say, that it was impossible for him to become a christian, till the learned christian priests had agreed among themselves what christianity was; for he had not erudition and judgment enough to decide in the intricate controversy: but, exclusive of this, protestants are so divided among themselves, even the church of England against the church of England—dissenters against dissenters—and give such different accounts of the reveled system, that it requires more understanding, and strict, serious enquiry, than the generality of people have, or can spare, to be able to determine in what party of the celebrated critics and expositors true religion is to be found: and when the controversy is so dark and various, and the authorized professors can never agree among themselves, what can a man of a plain understanding say to it? This makes many (I imagine) turn from the scriptures to study nature, and the general laws which are established among the several gradations, ranks and classes of beings, so far as they are connected with intelligent, moral agency. In the natural, agreeable pages of that infinite volume, we see and perceive beauty and order, art, wisdom, and goodness, and are thereby led to the Creator and Governor of the world, the universal cause, preserver, and director of nature. We discover his providence, measures and benevolence, the rules and principles of eternal, immutable wisdom and reason, and by them are compelled to confess a universal, intelligent Efficient; one infinite, eternal, omnipotent, wise, good Being, from whom all others derive, and on whom all others necessarily depend, and that continually. In short, by studying nature, we discover a God of truth, order and rectitude, and as we find perfect universal truth, and moral rectitude to be the highest perfection in the Deity, our reason informs us, that we ought to shew our love of God, by a love of these; and that a regular, uniform pursuit of them, must be the only true and rational pursuit of human happiness. Here is a plain and good religion. Can we wonder then that many study and follow nature, and disregard those interested commentators, who, like opposite counsel at the bar, multiply and make void the law by different and contradictory pleadings on it? —Here Bob ended, and lit his pipe again, while Jack laid his down, and went on in the following manner:

As christianity was instituted by its great Author and Publisher, for the benefit of mankind, it is to be lamented that the divines should so differ, concerning what genuine reveled religion is, as to cause many to renounce this standing and perpetual rule of faith and manners: but as to contradictions and inconsistencies in the apostle's writings, I have read them over several times, and never could find such things in them. Obscure passages there are a few at first sight; but a little consideration can explain them by other scriptures, if we do not, like some commentators, endeavour, by forced constructions, to adapt the sense of them to a system. This is what ruins christianity. The monks shut out the light of reason, which is to explain scripture by scripture, and in the dark, fansy a metaphysical theology: They speculate a tritheistic mystery, original sin, divine sovereignty, election, reprobation, with many other pieties, and call the things revelation, which are, in reality, an artificial, invented corruption of the gospel . The majority of the doctors insist upon it that their reverend notions are reveled religion, and where they have a power, wattle the people into them: but men who will use the human understanding their Creator has given them, and employ the reason of men in the choice of their religion, very easily perceive that unnatural representation could never come down from heaven; and that whatever the declaimers on human nature may say in praise of their gospel, it is impossible it should be inspiration, when the propositions rather merit laughter and contempt than the attention of rational creatures. This makes the Indians of any understanding flee christianity. This causes men of sense, in a free country, to declare against reveled religion. The principal offence must remain, while the majority of the clergy continue to blind the human understanding, and instead of couching the cataract, darken the souls of the people with a suffusion of mystery: to which I may add, and obstinately refuse to make use of unexceptionable, scriptural forms of expression in divine public service, though an alteration might be made without any possible danger or injury to the church, and continue to use in our liturgy unscriptural phrases, and metaphysical notions, the imaginations of weak men. While this is done, the christian religion must suffer, and of consequence, the divines who contend for mystery, and labour to destroy human reason and the powers thereof; to stifle and extinguish our common notions of things, and preclude all reasoning whatsoever upon the subject of religion; must have the blood of more souls to answer for, in the approaching day of calamity, than they now seem to imagine, while great preferments blind their understanding, and render them insolent and positive. All this however has nothing to do with the true gospel. If men would read the historical, and the argumentative parts of the sacred writings with honesty, and explain them as right reason and true criticism directs; if they would study them with that true zeal, which is guided by a good light in the head, and which consists of good and innocent affections in the heart; and have at the same time a knowledge of the customs which prevailed, and the notions that were commonly received in those distant ages and countries, they would find no inconsistencies and contradictions in the scriptures: even the difficulties would soon disappear. The sacred writings would appear to be what they are—a system of religion that answers to all our wishes and desires:—that requires of us that obedience to which as rational beings we are antecedently bound; and offers us rewards for obeying more than nature could ever claim. In the gospel, we have the religion of nature in perfection, and with it a certainty of mercy and unutterable blessings: but in natural religion, as the reason and understanding of men can collect it, our hopes of pardon and glory have but uncertain foundation. Without revelation, our hopes are liable to be disturbed and shaken by frequent doubts and misgivings of mind: but in reveled religion, that is, the moral law republished by inspired men, the promises of the gospel take in all the wishes of nature, and establish all her hopes. Blessed be God then for sending his well-beloved Son into the world. From him we have a law that is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good: and by a dutiful submission to this plain and perfect law, (in which there is no mystery, no inconsistency, no contradiction,) we are delivered from condemnation by the grace of God through Christ. Here is reason for adoring the divine goodness. The gospel gives a better evidence for the truth and certainty of life and immortality than nature before had given, and thereby displays the love that God has for the children of men.

To this Mr. Berrisfort said, that he thought my plea for original christianity was good, and allowed it was not the gospel that was faulty in mystery and obscurity, contradiction and inconsistency; but, human ignorance, and human vanity, which have loaded it with absurdities, while they excluded reasoning about it, and warped its fair and heavenly maxims to the interests of systems and temporalities. However (Bob continued), you will allow, I believe, that the sacred writers had not perpetually the aid of an unerring Spirit, and therefore are sometimes inconsistent in their accounts: that as they were sometimes destitute of divine assistance, they were liable to error when guided only by the human spirit, and did act like common men upon several occasions. This seems to be evident from the relations, and the human sentiments of the apostles. The evangelists speak of the same facts differently; and in citing prophecy, while one adapts a fact to the letter of the prophecy, another accommodates the letter of the prophecy to the letter of The fact: I mean here, the ass and colt in Matthew, and the colt only in John, and their citing Zechariah (ix. 9.) differently. And as to the other sacred writers, does not the dispute between Paul and Peter, shew a subjection, sometimes, to ignorance and error? does not the quarrel between Barnabas and Paul let us see, that one of them was mistaken, and both of them to be blamed? Tell me likewise, what you think of Mark and John's different accounts of the time of the crucifixion —and does not Matthew contradict Mark in his relation of the resurrection of Jesus?

Jack Buncle to this replied, that however some zealots may contend for the perpetual inspiration of the sacred writers, yet he could not think such doctrine necessary to the creed of a christian: Jesus only is called the truth, and was incapable of error. Christ only, in all his actions, was directed by a prophetic spirit. All other men, prophets and apostles, were sometimes left to the guidance of their own spirit; and therefore all things which they have signified to us by their words or deeds, are not to be considered as divine oracles. Nec adeo omnia, quæcunque dictis significarunt aut factis, ea pro divinis oraculis habenda. Nullus, excepto Domino, fuit unquam propheta, qui omnia egerit spiritu prophetico. So Limborch, Dodwell, and Baxter say, and of the same opinion were Grotius and Erasmus (40) [Footnote 40: 34Kb] . They assert, that the apostles, on ordinary occasions, were ordinary men. All true christian critics must allow this, and grant that, the universal inspiration of the sacred penmen, is a notion founded in the prejudices of pious men and their mistaken sense of scripture. Such infallible authority they think the best way to silence all objections, and weakly embrace the hypothesis to advance the honour of religion.

But our allowing this, and that there are some disagreements and variations in the evangelists, cannot hurt the gospel. St. Paul might reprove St. Peter, and speak himself sometimes after the manner of men; yet, we see where they had the divine assistance in their explications, and the power of working miracles to confirm their doctrine; and there, as rational and thinking men, we must allow the authority of the sacred books: the few places that have the marks of weakness, only serve to convince us, that the divine writers of the books made not the least pretension to perpetual inspiration. In suo sensu abundat —aliquid humanæ fragilitatis dissentio habet: (says Jerome.) Human frailty and their own sense honestly appear, when there was not an occasion for infallibility and miracle. But whenever the preachers of the New Testament were wanted for the extraordinary purposes of divine providence, they were made superior to the infirmities of nature: their understandings were enlarged and inlightened and an inspired knowledge rendered them incapable of error. This, in my judgment, is so far from ruining the authority of scripture, that it is the greatest confirmation of its truth. It shews the honesty of the preachers of the New Testament, in owning they were only occasionally inspired: and when the incredulous see the ingenuous acknowledgment of what is human in the inspired writings, the truth of our religion must be more conspicuous to their eyes: whereas the truths of the Testament are hid from them, by making God the dictator of the whole; because they think that impossible, and therefore conclude, the christian religion has no better foundation. In short, there is no reason to believe that the apostles were extraordinarily inspired, when they say it not; and when their discourses have in them no mark of such like inspiration. It is sufficient, (says Le Clerc), if we believe that, no prophet of the New Testament has said any thing in the name of God, or by his order, which God has not effectually ordered him to say; nor has undertaken to foretell any thing, which God had not indeed truly reveled to him:— that every matter of fact related in the books is true, and the records, in general, the truest and most holy history that ever was published amongst men, notwithstanding the writers may be mistaken in some slight circumstances: —that all the doctrines proposed are really and truly divine doctrines, and there is no sort of reasoning in the dogmatical places of the holy scriptures, that can lead us into error, or into the belief of any thing that is false, or contrary to piety:— that Jesus Christ was absolutely infallible, as well as free from all sin, because of the Godhead that was always united to him, and which perpetually inspired him; insomuch, that all he taught is as certain as if God himself had pronounced:—and in the last place, that God did often dictate to the apostles the very words which they should use. These five heads are enough to believe. We allow in these things the authority of the holy scriptures, and they who affirm more are deceived (41) [Footnote 41: 8Kb] .

The case is the same as to differences, want of exactness, and small mistakes. We may justly celebrate the harmony or agreement of the sacred writers, with regard to the principal transactions by them mentioned, as a strong proof of the integrity of the evangelists, and of the certainty of the fact. This evinces the truth of christianity: but in matters of very small moment, we must allow a want of accuracy, or slips of memory, or different informations. This cannot hurt the authority of the gospels, as it proves the honesty of the writers by shewing they did not compose by compact: and I think, that some of the evangelists having been eye-witnesses of, and actors in the facts of the several gospels; and others having written from the information of those who had got a perfect information of all things from the very beginning, is an argument solid and rational for the credibility of the evangelical history. It is sufficient. I am sure it is better to allow this, than to say the writers of the four gospels were mere organs, when the little omissions and inaccuracies observable in their records, cannot be accounted for, if we suppose that God conveyed the facts and truths through them, as pipes, to the world. It must needs be a perfect work, which the spirit of God directs.

As to St. Mark and St. John's accounts, I see no contradiction in the relations. St. John says, (reckoning as the Romans did, as he was then in Asia, and Jerusalem destroyed) that at the sixth hour, that is, six o'clock in the morning, he brought Jesus out to them again, the last time, and strove to mitigate the rage of the Jews, and save the life of Christ: but as this was what he could not do, he washed his hands before them all, to let them know he was not the author of the innocent man's death, and after that, delivered him up to the soldiers, to be crucified, when they had scourged him.

When all this was done, (says St. Mark, reckoning in the Jewish manner), it was the third hour, that is, nine o'clock in the morning, and they crucified him. This perfectly reconciles the two evangelists. There is no sign of a contradiction in the places.

As to St. Matthew and St. Mark's accounts of the resurrection of Jesus, they are not so free from obscurity, but I can see no inconsistency in them. If St. Matthew says, the Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, that might be, without a contradiction, tho' St. Mark says, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene. The case to me appears to be this. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and the other women, went with spices and ointments to embalm the body, Sunday the 28th of April, early in the morning, about six and thirty hours after it had been laid in the sepulchre, and when they arrived at the place, found not the body, but two angels, as young men in white apparel, who told them Jesus of Nazareth was risen to life again, as he himself foretold, and therefore they must make haste to his apostles, to acquaint them with the news, and let them know that they would see him in Galilee, according to his prediction. With these joyful tidings the women hastened away to the eleven disciples, and related to them what they had heard and seen. The apostles looked upon this account as a dream or vision; but however, on Mary Magdalene's assuring Peter and John apart, that she had really been in the tomb, and found it empty; from whence it was most certain, that either Jesus was risen, or they had removed his body; these apostles ran both to the sepulchre, and Mary Magdalene, went with them. Peter and John then saw, that it was as she had affirmed, and after they had viewed the tomb, the clothes, and the napkin, returned from the sepulchre, greatly wondering what was become of their master's body: but Mary continued at the monument, lamenting very greatly, that she could not see Jesus either alive or dead, and while she thus bemoaned herself, the Lord appeared to her. As St, Mark says, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast out seven devils: and after she had reverenced her dear Lord and Master, he bid her go immediately to his disciples, and tell them she had seen him: let them also know that I have assured thee, I shall quickly leave this world, and ascend to the God and Father of us all, my Father and your Father, my God and your God, unto those happy mansions where he manifests his presence in a most especial manner; there to receive full power over all things both in heaven and earth, and to prepare a place for you; that where I am, there ye may be also. Mary accordingly departed. She told the apostles that Jesus had appeared to her, and acquainted them with the joyful message.

As to the other women, it is evident that they likewise went a second time to the sepulchre, to look for the body of their master, and having in vain searched for it, were returning to the apostles, to let them know they had enquired to no purpose, when Jesus himself met them, saying All hail. Does not this reconcile Mark's account with Matthew's? I think so. To me it is so very plain from what all the sacred relators have declared of the matter, that I am astonished how Jerom could be so perplexed with the two accounts, as to say, that Mark's account, (the last twelve verses of his gospel) might be rejected here as spurious, because it was found only in a few copies of that gospel, and contradicted the other evangelists. Non recipimus Marci testimonium, quod in raris fertur evangeliis—præsertim cum diversa atque contraria evangelistis ceteris narrare videatur.

In the next place, if the account I have given was liable to any objection, and you could shew me that it was not the truth of the case; which, at present, I think impossible: If it was evident from the gospels, that the women were not a second time at the tomb, but that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other women, the first time they were all there together, yet this may be, as I apprehend, without Mark's contradicting Matthew . The meaning of the words of Mark —he appeared first to Mary Magdalene— might be, that as she and the women were returning from the monument, to tell the news to the apostles, Jesus appeared to them, and in particular, addressed himself to Mary Magdalene; directing his discourse to her, and speaking familiarly and affectionately to her, to distinguish her as his constant follower in his life-time, and one on whom he had worked a great miracle of healing. This, I imagine, might very justly be termed — he appeared first to Mary Magdalene— To appear first to any one of a company, as I take it, is to come up to, or stand before some particular person, in order to speak to such person. This, in my imagination, removes the difficulty, and reconciles Mark to Matthew: but to this explication I prefer the women's being at second times at the sepulchre; that is, Mary Magdalene a second time, when Peter and John went to the tomb, on what she had earnestly told them apart: and afterwards, the other Mary, Salome, Joanna, etc. a second time. The gospels, in my opinion, make this very plain (42.) [Footnote 42: 1Kb]

What has been said, (Mr. Berrisfort told me), seems plausible, and ought to satisfy every honest man. It gives me content: but there is one thing still that perplexes me, and that is, the various lections of the New Testament. Do they not hurt the book?

No: (Jack Buncle replied), notwithstanding the cry of infidels, and that some learned men of the church of Rome have endeavoured to shake the credit of the two testaments, and to bring the people to the papal chair, to know the truth, on account of the various readings; yet, nevertheless, they are rather an advantage and security to the sacred text than a detriment to the written word. They corroborate the authority of the sacred book, and give it additional advantages.

It is a truth that there are many various readings in Terence, Livy, Virgil, Cæsar, Thucydides, Homer, Plutarch, etc. and yet who denies the genuineness and great use of those noble authors of sense and politeness? who is so hardy as to question whether the works universally ascribed to them be their own and the product of those immortal wits? On the contrary, men of thought and clear heads, conversant in those studies, will agree that those authors of antiquity of which there are the most various readings, are rendered the most pure and correct. And why should not the various readings of the bible rather lead men of sound learning and judgment to the true meaning of the divine writers, than endanger their mistaking their genuine language and sense.

Where there are several readings, it is highly probable one of them is the original; and it is easier by their help to rectify the mistakes of some copies, for when we have only one manuscript, there may be scope for fancy; but none for judicious comparison and well-grounded criticism.

Style and language may be distinguished by a happy genius of natural sagacity, improved by true learning and proper application, as well as statues, pictures, and medals. No age can counterfeit Cicero, Terence, St. Mark, St. John, St. Paul, no more than a counterfeit picture, medal, etc. can be imposed on, and deceive the compleat masters and judges of those ingenious professions and sciences.

Secondly, there is nothing in the various lections that affects the essentials of religion, or can imply a considerable depravation of the copies, that alters or weakens one moral contained in the divine books. And therefore, though it cannot with reason be supposed, that God Almighty should work perpetual miracles to prevent the mistakes and blunders of every careless or corrupt hand, of those numerous transcribers of those sacred volumes, no more than by a resistless power and restraint to prevent all the errors and villanies committed by free and accountable creatures; yet the argument receives strength, that notwithstanding the innumerable variations, mistakes and contradictions in small matters, the all-seeing eye of Providence has so watched his own blessed and glorious revelations to mankind, that all the transcripts of that divine volume agree in the essential doctrine and grand design of christianity. This is a truth that Infidels and Papists cannot disprove.

I observe in the last place, that exclusive of the care of Providence, there could not possibly happen any detriment to our sacred records by various readings: for though in an innumerable number of copies of the gospel that were made before printing was known, and in the many translations of it into several languages, where the idioms are different, and the phrase may be mistaken, it was almost impossible there should not be various lections, and slips of amanuenses, yet the sacred volumes in the early ages of christianity, were disposed into innumerable hands, translated into so many languages, kept in so many libraries, churches, and in private families of believers, and so carefully preserved and revered as the authentic deeds and charters of eternal happiness, that they were not capable of being falsified.

Nor could those inestimable copies, scattered as they were over the then discovered world, and in the noble language so universally known and acceptable, be liable to hazards, by sudden revolutions and public disasters; because those convulsions and surprizing calamities, could not happen alike in every country at one time.

Neither could a general corruption of manners, a spirit of profuseness or superstition, nor the wicked example, and strong influence of tyrannical princes, of an apostate clergy, and atheistical ministers of state, prevail over many distant and independant nations, to endeavour to corrupt and destroy their sacred book.

On the contrary, we are to consider that christianity was the ecclesiastical law of all christian nations under the sun. The great law which assured to them their religious rights and properties, their claims and titles to immortality, to the inheritance of the saints in light, an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved for them in the heavens. Which, to every one that deserves the name of man and christian must be infinitely more dear than titles to lands on this earth. For men are naturally more watchful in a matter so dear to them, and every believer would think himself concerned, no more to let a change of consequence to pass uncorrected, than the children of this world, who are wisest in their generation, would overlook a flaw in deeds of sale, or contract, which would assert their title, and evacuate the main intention of making such indentures.

The primitive christians must be supposed to be exceeding watchful and jealous that no corruption or abuses should be put on that sacred book, more dear and valuable to them than all other interests and treasures. When these brave champions of the cross were brought to the tribunals of the heathen persecutors, and were commanded to deliver their bible to the flames, they most courageously refused it, and gave their bodies to be burnt rather than the divine book.

In short, it is easier to suppose, a new bible or a new statute book might be imposed at this time of day upon this nation, without discovery, than to suppose a forged gospel, a new testament corrupted so far as to be insufficient for the good ends Providence designed by it, could be imposed on the universal christian world. It is easier to suppose that any forgery might creep into the municipal law of any particular nation, than that all the nations, whither christianity is spread, should conspire in the corruption of the gospel: which most sacred institution is to all christians of infinitely greater concern and value than their temporal laws, and all the secular immunities and privileges which they secure to them.

And without such a wicked consert, or such an astonishing carelessness and negligence in all christian people and nations supposed (which would be a monstrous supposition) No such forgery, no such alteration of essentials could pass undiscovered in the gospel, which was spread in the hands, hearts, and memories of myriads of rational devout christians of all ranks, qualities and sex, was constantly read in private families, frequently explained in schools, and daily used in public divine offices. It was impossible then in the nature of things that there could be any such alterations or corruptions introduced into the sacred text as would affect its doctrines, morals, or truth of its historical relations, or defeat the blessed end and design of the gospel revelation in any period of time, from the beginning of christianity to this present age (43) [Footnote 43: 2Kb] .

And if from this unanswerable way of reasoning in defence of the genuine purity of the sacred scriptures, we look next upon the Providence of the Great God in this important case, is it not consonant to sound sense, and the notions that rational creatures must have of the supreme and all-perfect Being, firmly to believe that the same goodness and providence, which took care for the writing, would likewise take care for preserving these inestimable books, so free at least from corruption, that they might be sufficient for the gracious ends for which they were written, and be able to make us wise to salvation? I think so. To me it is evident, that since infinite goodness was pleased to reveal a religion, that teaches men to know Jehovah to be the true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent; his providence must not only preserve the book on which the doctrine depends, but so secure it from corruption, as to render it a plain rule to mankind. While there is a providence, the holy scriptures will remain the sacred and unalterable standard of true religion.

What you say (Mr. Berrisfort replied) seems to me to be true. I have nothing to object. But once more—let me ask you, in respect of the ascension, which followed the resurrection of Jesus, is it not very strange, that this is not mentioned by any of the apostles who are said to have been eye-witnesses of the fact, but Luke and Mark only are the relators of the thing, who were not apostles, and had all they writ from the information of the apostles. If the apostles, Matthew and John, did really see with their eyes the Lord Jesus taken up from them into heaven, might we not expect, that they would write the history of that still more wonderful transaction, as well as they had so exactly related the resurrection of Jesus? for the men, who stood gazing up into heaven, after the Lord was carried up in a cloud (as Luke says they did) not to mention so very wonderful and interesting an affair in their gospels;— and men who did not see the thing, to relate it as part of the history they had received from the apostles;—this is what astonishes me. If it was a truth, surely so important a one ought not to be omitted by those who saw it: since Matthew and John did write histories of Christ, why should they be silent on this grand article, and take no notice of it in their records? What do you say to this?

I will tell you, (I replied): in the first place, nostrum non est providentiæ divinæ rationes reddere. Placuit spiritui sancto ita dirigere calamos Matthæi et Joannis, ut narratione resurrectionis dominicæ evangelia sua concluderent. (Sic refert Philippus a Limborch). —It does not become us to call Providence to account, or assign the ways it ought to act in: infinite wisdom thought fit to appoint, that Matthew and John should end their gospels with the relation of our Lord's resurrection: the resurrection demonstrated the divine mission of Jesus Christ. To it, as a proof the most valid, and unexceptionable, our Lord referred the Jews, and therefore, to it, as the great fundamental, Matthew and John appealed: they proved it by declaring that they had conversed with Jesus Christ after he arose from the sepulchre; and when that was proved, there could be no dispute about any thing else. The divinity of the christian religion, and the ascension and glory of their Lord, rest on this base. All the blessings likewise of the gospel, regeneration, our resurrection, and life eternal, are ascribed by the apostles, Peter and Paul, to the resurrection of Christ: and for these reasons, to be sure, when John had described his Lord's resurrection, he added, —and many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book—But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through his name. We must allow then, that the account of the ascension by Luke and Mark, may be authentic, tho' not mentioned by Matthew and John.

In the next place, St. John is not totally silent as to the ascension of our Lord. In his sixth chapter, ver. 62. it is written— What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before? and in the 7th chapter, ver. 39th. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe in him should receive. For the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified. Here most certainly the apostle speaks of the ascension of his Master, and tho' he did not write the history of it, yet, not obscurely, says the thing was to be; which confirms the accounts of St. Luke and St. Mark. And since, in the 14th and 15th chapters of St. John, ver. 16. 26. the apostle declares, that Jesus foretold he would send to them, his disciples, the Comforter or holy Spirit from the Father, after his ascension to heaven; and that the apostles demonstrated by miracles, after the death of their Lord, that they had received this Comforter or divine Spirit, it follows, that the ascension and glorification of Jesus is as much asserted and confirmed by the gospel of St. John, as if that apostle, like Luke, had writ the history of it. This is evident to me. I think it is not possible to dispute it.

The sum of the whole is, that the prejudices of the pious, and the arts of the crafty and interested, have defaced the true gospel of Christ, and substituted human notions and consequences in the place of divine revelation: but let us strip the sacred records of the false glosses and systems, with which the theorists have covered it, and allow the enemy, that the apostles, sometimes wanting the unerring spirit of their Master, were liable to slight mistakes, and inadvertencies, in the representation of ordinary events; that they did, sometimes, by too great an affection for their Master's doctrine, strain some things, and cite prophecies that did not relate to Jesus in any sense at all (44) [Footnote 44: 11Kb] ;— let this be done to remove incumbrances, to clear up difficulties, and to answer objections otherwise unanswerable, and the writings of the apostles will appear to be a globe of light from heaven; to irradiate the human understanding, and conduct the sons of men to the realms of bliss. Their lessons are the dictates of the Spirit of God: their sanctions are of such force, in a certainty of future judgment and retribution, that they incline a rational to have a serious regard to them.

In a word, the religion of nature is perfect, but men are imperfect, and therefore it pleased God to send our Saviour into the world, to republish the law of reason by his preaching, and in the writings of the apostles, and by him to give many motives to men, to incite them to perform their duty, as set forth in his written laws, and in the more striking example of our Lord, his only-begotten Son. Let us be christians then, my dear Bob, and adore the divine goodness, for the life eternal prepared for the righteous, as declared in the sacred records. Let us hearken to the apostles, (who, knowing the terror of the Lord, persuade men), and so govern and conduct ourselves by the rules of revelation, that when the man Christ Jesus, who appeared in the world to redeem us, will return to judge us by the gospel, we may ascend with him to the unbounded regions of eternal day, and in ever-blooming joys, live for ever in the presence of God. —I have done. Where you think I am wrong, you will be pleased to say.

My friend replied, that he had no objection to make: he was quite satisfied; and obliged to me for my advice. Thus ended the conversation between Bob Berrisfort and Jack Buncle.

94.

The 3d day of July, I left Yeoverin-Green, and set out again for Ulubræ, to get my horses and portmanteau, but proceeded now on foot; because, by climbing over a high mountain, which it was impossible for a horse to ascend, and then walking half a mile over a shaking-bog, where a beast could not go, I was to save many miles; and beside, Mr. Berrisfort was so obliging as to send one of his servants back with Mr. Harcourt's horses, which I knew not which way to return. With my pole in my hand then I set out, and after I had bid adieu to my friends, who walked with me a couple of miles to the foot of the hills, I began to mount the Alp at Six in the morning, and at eight arrived on its summit. Here I had a fine road, due south, for an hour, till I came to a very steep descent, that led to the shaking-bog, as my paper of directions informed me. It was an ugly way down, and the better to go it, I resolved first to breakfast, and bid Tim see what he had got in his wallet. Immediately he produced a roast fowl, a manchet, and a bottle of cyder, and among some trees, on the brow of a hill, by the side of a spring, that ran off the Way I was to go, I sat down to the repast. I gave my Lad half the Bird, and the other half I dispatched in a very short Time, drank a Pint of Cyder, and was on my Feet again. I then began to descend, and in an Hour made a Shift to get to the bottom, tho' the way was bad; being very steep, wet, and slippery. I came to a dirty lane, about two hundred yards long, and that ended at the shaking-bog.

95.

This kind of bog I take to be an abyss of standing water, covered with a thin arch of earth, that is, a water communicating with the abyss so covered, or weakly vaulted over: and of this opinion I find the right reverend Erich Pontoppidan is, in his natural history of Norway. The bishop does not tell his reason for so thinking; but mine is, that I have seen in Ireland the arches of several of those bogs broken, and a deep unfathomable water at some distance from the arch. They are very dangerous, frightful places, and many of them play up and down, like a long plank, in a very surprizing Manner.

96.

To go half a Mile over such a bog, and the most elastic of them I had ever tried, was what I did not much like; tho' the author of my paper of directions, an old servant of Mr. Berrisfort, affirmed it was quite safe; and as to Tim, he would not, on any consideration, cross it. He was positive we should sink beyond Recovery. What to do then, was the question? I tried for some Time to go round the bog, at the bottom of the enclosing mountains, but that was soon found impossible, and therefore, it only remained, to go up again to the top of the hill, and try onwards for some other descent beyond the bog. We did so, and after walking two hours south-west, at a good rate, had a view of a deep glin, to which we descended by an easy slope, and marched thro' it, to the west, and north-west for two hours, till it ended at a wood. This we passed without any difficulty, as there were walks cut through it, and came out into a broad valley, that had a river very near us, and a sweet pretty cottage on the margin of the flood. I went up to the house to ask my way, and found at the door three men, the eldest of whom seemed to be about thirty years old. They asked me very civilly to walk in, and seemed to wonder not a little at seeing me and my man, in such a place, with our poles in our hands.

97.

These Men were three brothers, and Roman catholics. Two of them were gentlemen-farmers, who lived together, and jointly managed the country business. The eldest was a Franciscan frier, who came to visit them. Their good manners, in their plain dress, surprized me; and their benevolence, made me wonder a great deal more. Their maid laid a clean cloth in a minute, and brought some cold roast beef, good bread, and fine ale. They bid me heartily welcome many times, and were so frank and generous, so chearful and gay; especially the eldest of the farmers, who sang several good songs over a bowl of punch after dinner, that I could not think of leaving them immediately, if I had known my road, and was easily prevailed on to stay several days. A friendship commenced immediately between the eldest Fleming and me, and there was not one cold or cross minute in it for the few years that he lived. He loved me as his brother from the first day he saw me, and I had so great a regard for him, that with a sorrow I cannot help, I think of his death to this day. How to account for such sudden passions I know not. The thing has always appeared to me very strange. Mr. Fleming to be sure was a man of a bright and very extraordinary understanding, though no more than a farmer in this world, had a most happy temper, a generosity too great for his fortune, and was for ever chearful and free; but these things, however pleasing, could not be the cause of the sudden and lasting friendship between us, as I have been acquainted with men of fortune who equalled him in these respects, and yet they never struck me more than for the present Time. Whatever might be the cause, the fact is certain. No two men ever liked one another more than we did from the first hour of our acquaintance, and as I had the happiness of converting him to the protestant religion, it is possible, that might cement a friendship, which, a sameness of disposition had helped to produce (44.) [Footnote 44: 5Kb] . This is all I can say as to the reason of this matter. In respect of the thing, it was of the greatest service to me. My new acquired friend assisted me to the utmost of his power, in the accomplishment of my designs, in that part of the world I then was. I had his head, his hand, and his house at my service, and by them I was enabled to give a roundness to a system, that was too happy to last long.

98.

But as to the shaking bog I was to have passed to go to the gentlemen at Ulubræ Fleming told me, I had a fortunate escape in not venturing over it; for, tho' it be passable in one narrow way, about a yard broad, yet a stranger to the bog must perish in attempting to cross; as the timber causeway that was made over the great marsh, time out of mind, is invisible in many places, and one sinks for ever, the moment he steps off that way: but I will shew you an easy road (my new friend continued) to the gentlemen's house, to whom I am no stranger, and will make you acquainted with some passes thro' the mountains, that will render it easier riding over this country than you have found it. He did so, and by his guidance I arrived at Ulubræ, the 7th day of July; being the 17th day from the morning I left the philosophers. The gentlemen were startled at the sight of me, as they concluded I had perished, and had, as they assured me, mourned my sad fate: they were impatient to hear the adventure of the mountain, and by what strange means, I was jumbled all the way to Tom Fleming's; who lives so far from the hill I went into; and the road from it to his house, scarce passable for a mortal. Inform us, we beseech you, how these strange things came to pass.

Gentlemen, I said, I am extremely obliged to you for your concern for me, and will tell you my story as soon as we have dined, as the servants are now bringing the dishes in, and accordingly, when we had done, I gave them a relation in detail. They were greatly pleased with my history, and much more, to have me returned to them in safety again. If they had not seen me, they said, they could not believe the thing, and they would order the whole account to be entered in the journal of their society, as the most extraordinary case they had ever known: or, perhaps, should ever hear related again. Their secretary, as directed, writ it down in the big book of transactions, and it remains in their records to this day. — In short, reader, these worthy men were so greatly rejoiced at my being alive, when they thought me for certain among the dead, that they put the bottle round in a festal manner after dinner. We drank and laughed till it was midnight.

99.

The 8th day of July, I took my leave of the gentlemen at Ulubræ, and proceeded to the East-riding of Yorkshire, to look for Miss Melmoth. Fleming came with me as far as Eggleston to shew me the passes between the hills, and the best ways over the mountains. Many vast high ones we crossed, and travelled through very wonderful glins. Several scenes were as charming as any I had before seen, and the low ways as bad; but he knew all the roads and cross turnings perfectly well, and shortned the journey a great many miles. I had told him the business I was going on, and he requested, if I succeeded, that I would bring Miss Melmoth to his house, that his brother might marry us; and as to Orton-Lodge, which I had described to him, and told him where to find, (for he had no notion of it, nor had ever been among the fells of Westmoreland; as he thought that country unpassable), he promised me, he would go there himself, and bring with him two labouring men to assist my lad, in putting the garden and house in the best condition they were capable of receiving; that he would bring there seeds, and trees, such as the season allowed, and do every thing in his power, to render the place convenient and pleasing: he would likewise sell me a couple of his cows, a few sheep, and other things, which I should find before me at the lodge, and let me have one of his maids for my servant in the house. This was good indeed. I could not wish for more.

100.

The 9th of July, early in the morning, Fleming and I parted, and I proceeded as fast as well I could to the appointed station: but when I came up to Mrs. Asgill's door, the 2d day in the evening, July 10, and asked for Miss Melmoth, an old man, the only person in the house, told me, Mrs. Asgill had been dead near a month, and Miss Melmoth went from thence immediately after the funeral of her friend; that she had left a letter with him for a gentleman that was to call upon her; but that letter by an accident was destroyed, and where the lady then was, he could not so much as guess: he farther told me, that Miss Melmoth had sold the goods of the house, and the stock, bequeathed to her by her deceased friend, to the gentleman who inherited the late Mrs. Asgill's jointure, and she would return no more to the place. This was news to me. It struck me to the soul. Doleful tidings, how ye wound. What to do I could not tell, but as I rid to the next town, determined at last, to try if I could hear of her at York. To that city I went the next day, asked at the inns, walked the walls, and went to the assembly-room. My enquiries were all in vain. One gentleman only did I see who was acquainted with her, and he knew nothing of her present abode. From York then I proceeded the next morning to search other towns, and left no place unexamined where I could think she might be. Three weeks were spent in this manner, without hearing a syllable of her, and then I thought it was best to return to my lodge; for what signified my five hundred pounds to appear with in the world. It must be soon gone as I had not the least notion of any kind of trade; and if I joined any one that was in business, I might be mistaken in the man, and so cheated and undone. Then what could I do but carry a brown musket, or go a hand before the mast; for, as to being an usher to a school for bread, were I reduced to want, that was the life of all lives that I most abhorred. Nothing else then had I for it but my silent mountain-lodge, which kind providence had brought me to. There I resolved to go, and in that charming solitude, peruse alone the book of nature, till I could hear of some better way of spending my time.

101.

To this purpose then I went the 2d of August, 1725, to Barnard's Castle in Durham, and intended the next morning to set out for Mr. Fleming's house in Stanemore, to go from thence to my cottage on the side of a Westmorland-Fell: but after I had rid a mile of the road to Eggleston, where I purposed to dine, I called out to my lad to stop. A sudden thought came into my head, to ride first to Gretabridge, as I was so near it, to see some fine Roman monuments, that are in the neighbourhood of that village. To that place I went then, and passed the day in looking over all the antiquities and curiosities I could find there. I returned in the evening to my inn, and while a fowl was roasting for my supper, stood leaning against the house-door, looking at several travellers that went by, and some that came to rest where I did that night. Many figures I beheld, but none I knew. At last there came riding up to the inn, full speed, a young lady on a most beautiful beast, and after her, two horses more; on one of which was her man servant, and on the other her maid. She had a black mask on her face, to save her from the dust and sun, and when she lit from her horse, she did not take it off, but went with it on into the house, after she had looked for a moment or two at me. This I thought very strange. A charmer to be sure, I said. With what life and grace did she come to the ground! but how cruel the dear little rogue is, to conceal the wonders of its face. Landlord, I said to the master of the house, who was coming up to me, can you contrive a way to get me one view of that masked lady, and I will give you a pint. —Sir, mine host replied, that I can do very easily, for this lady has sent me to let you know, she wants to speak with you— with me! —Transporting news! I flew to her apartment, and there saw that dear irresistable creature, who had added to the inferior charms of face and person, that wisdom and goodness of conduct and conversation, which are the true glory of a woman . It was Miss Melmoth. She had heard I had been at Mrs. Asgill's house, and did not get the letter she left for me; which made her think of riding towards Gretabridge, on an imagination she might find me thereabout; as she remembered to have heard me say, in one of our conversations, that I intended as soon as I could, to look at the Roman antiquities in this place: but she had very little hopes (she added) of succeeding in her enquiry; as little as I had of her riding up to the inn; and this made the meeting the more pleasing. It did enhanse the pleasure indeed. It turned the amour into an adventure, and gave it that delicious flavor, which the moderns read of in the histories of past times, but rarely experience in these days. The reader that has been engaged in such a wonderful, and tender scene, can only form an idea of a felicity, which words would in vain attempt to express.

As soon as we had supped, I recited my adventures since we parted, and gave Miss Melmoth a flowery description of Orton-Lodge ; then asked, if she would bless me with her hand, and sit down with me in my pretty solitude.

Sir, (Miss Melmoth replied), if you required it, I would go with you to Hudson's-Bay, had I a hundred thousand, instead of four thousand pounds; which is my fortune, exclusive of some personal estate, which my friend Mrs. Asgill by her will bequeathed me; and the whole is at your service, to dispose of as you please.

Give me thy hand then (I said,) thou generous girl. You make me the happiest of men, and in return I swear by that one, supreme, tremendous Power I adore, that I will be true and faithful to thee, till death dissolves the sacred obligation. Twice do I swear by the great Spirit, in whose dread presence I am, with your right hand now locked fast in mine, across this table, and call on him as witness to our vows, that neither time, nor chance, nor aught but death's inevitable hand, shall e'er divide our loves. Miss Melmoth said, Amen.

102.

Early the next morning, the third of August, we rid to Eggleston, where we breakfasted, and proceeded from thence to Mr. Fleming's house, up Stanemore hills, where we arrived at nine o'clock in the evening, and had beds there that night. My friend Tom and his brother Jemmy, were gone to a fair; but the eldest brother, the Franciscan fryer, was at home, and entertained us very well. We took him with us very early the next day to Orton-Lodge, which we reached at eight in the evening, and found the house and garden in good order. My friend, Mr. Fleming, had done every thing possible, to make it a convenient and comfortable place. He had made near the Lodge two little rooms for servants, and had put a bed in the green-house in the garden for a friend. He had likewise sent there a couple of cows, some sheep and lambs, ducks and geese, cocks and hens, and every necessary he thought we might want there. Good Tom Fleming. There never was a better man, or a kinder friend, to his small power.

We had likewise fish in abundance, in the waters at the foot of our hills, and goats and kids, and plenty of wild fowl. Few things were wanting that reason could desire; and for us, who thought that happiness, that is, pleasure and repose, did not precariously depend on what others think, or say, or do; but solidly consisted in what we ourselves did feel, and relish, and enjoy, there could not be a more delightful station discovered on this globe.

To conclude, the best things that Orton-Lodge afforded, were ordered to the fire, and before they were brought on the table, the man of God threw the fillet or ribband over our hands, according to the Romish manner, and pronounced the nuptial benediction on us. Husband and wife we sat down to supper.



Thus did the stars preside with friendly rays,
And bid me hail at last the happy days,
When sheltered within this wild retreat,
Above the scorn, below the rage of fate;
Blest in a wife, a friend, and books, alone;
To this mad world, and all its plagues unknown;
The smooth-pac'd hours did sweetly pass away,
And happy nights still clos'd each happy day.

FINIS.

ADVERTISEMENT.

Next winter will be printed the second volume of Mr. Buncle's life; containing his transactions and remarks in various parts of the world;—his voyage to the South seas;—and many wonderful changes and chances he met with in the space of twenty years.

The Appendix, mentioned several times in the first volume, will be added to the second, and contain the following pieces. — No. 1. Remarks on Lord Nottingham's letter to Mr. Whiston; being an apology for the author's religious principles, which he gave in to his father. —No. 2. An answer to the Rev. Dr. Smith's third section of his book, called, A clear and comprehensive view of the being, nature, and attributes of God. — No. 3. A reply to Miss Harcourt's vindication of Athanasian religion; which converted her from the general Apostacy to that pure gospel theism, which preserves the supreme majesty of our heavenly Father, and denies an equal to the God over all Gods, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. — No. 4. A conversation with Father Fleming, a Franciscan fryer, concerning the doctrines of the church of Rome; which converted his brother, Mr. Thomas Fleming, to the religion of protestants. —No. 5. A dissertation on the antediluvians.

Vol. 2

ADVERTISEMENT.

In a book published in the year 1756, I related the principal transactions of my life, from my entrance into the university to the day of my marriage, in the year 1725; and endeavoured, by the way, to entertain my Readers with a variety of notions and remarks.

I now proceed to tell the remainder of my story, and to lay before the Public some more of my observations and hints: This second volume is chiefly a further vindication of myself; and the observations I add on subjects and matters of various kinds, are such reflections as resulted from the reason and nature of things, and were formed by a judgment free, and unbiassed by any authority. My own apology is the principal thing, interspersed with real characters of several sorts; and the additions to it, are as many solid, natural, and delicate adventitious things as came in my way. This is my book. I write with modesty, and I purpose to do good. I imagine then, that all Critics (except the Critical Reviewers) will wink at the blemishes of a laudable writing. Scholars and men of sense (who are above malevolence and the supercilious temper,) can bear deformities in a long work, and justly lay them on the imperfection of human nature. They know it is incapable of faultless productions.

Felices.

THE LIFE OF John Buncle, Esq; PART II.




Felices homines! quos stricto foedere jungit,
Et socios natura facit! sic cura levatur!
Sic augentur opes! sic mutua gaudia crescunt!

Thompson's Tuphlo-pero-gamia.

That is,

Go, happy pair! in strictest bonds ally'd!
Whom nature joins, and can, alone, divide:
'Tis thus, their riches, and their joys increase,
Their cares grow lighter, and they smile in peace.

1.

When I consider how happy I have been in the married state, and in a succession of seven wives, never had one uneasy hour; that even a Paradise, without an Eve, would have been a wilderness to me; that the woods, the groves, the walks, the prospects, the flowers, the fruits, the day, the night, all would have wanted a relish, without that dear, delightful companion, a wife; it amazes me to hear many sensible people speak with abhorrence of matrimony, and insist upon it, that wedlock produces so many troubles, even where the pair have affection, and sorrows so very great, when they have no love for each other, or begin to fail in the kind and obliging offices, that it is contrary to reason to contract, if we have a just regard to peace and satisfaction of mind, and would avoid, as much as possible, the woes and bewailings of this turbid period. If you have acquired the divine habits, marriage may unhinge them. It often forces even the pious into immoralities. True, unhappy are many a wedded pair: years of calamity this engagement has produced to thousands of mortals: it has made the most pious divines become very cruel, as I could relate: it has caused the most generous, sensible men, to murder the women they adored before they were their wives.

The History of Orlando and Bellinda.

2.

This story has been told before by the Tatler, in his 172d paper; but as he has related only by hear say, and was mistaken in several particulars, the account I give of this extraordinary affair, may be grateful to the reader.

When I was a little boy in Dublin, between seven and eight, Mr. Eustace and his Lady lived next door to my father, in Smithfield, and the two families were intimate. Being a lively prating thing, Mrs. Eustace was fond of me, and by tarts and fruit, encouraged me to run into her parlour as often as I could. This made me well acquainted in the house; and, as I was a remarker so early in my life, I had an opportunity of making the following observations.

Orlando Eustace was a tall, thin, strong man, well made, and a very genteel person. His face was pale, and marked with the small-pox: his features were good, and yet there was something fierce in his look, even when he was not displeased. He had sense and learning, and, with a large fortune, was a generous man; but passionate to an amazing degree, for his understanding; and a trifle would throw him into a rage. He had been humoured in every thing from his cradle, on account of his fine estate; from his infancy to his manhood, had been continually flattered, and in every thing obeyed. This made him opinionated and proud, obstinate, and incapable of bearing the least contradiction.

Bellinda Coot, his Lady, with whom he had been passionately in love, was as fine a figure as could be seen among the daughters of men. Her person was charming; her face was beautiful, and had a sweetness in it that was pleasing to look at. Her vivacity was great, and her understanding extraordinary; but she had a satirical wit, and a vanity, which made her delight in shewing the weakness of other minds, and the clearness of her own conception. She was too good, however, to have the least malice in such procedure. It was human weakness, and a desire to make her neighbours wiser. Unfortunately for her, she was married to a man, who, of all men in the world, was the unfittest subject for her quick fancy to act on.

But, notwithstanding this, Eustace and Bellinda were, for the most of their time, very fond. As she was formed in a prodigality of nature, to shew mankind a finished composition, and had wit and charms enough to fire the dullest and most insensible heart; a man of Orlando's taste for the sex, could not be without an inflamed heart, when so near the transporting object of desire. She was his delight for almost a year, the dear support of his life. He seemed to value her esteem, her respect, her love; and endeavoured to merit them by the virtues which fortify love: and therefore, when by his being short, positive, and unreasonable in his dictates, as was too often his wont; and on her being intemperate in the strong sentiments her imagination produced upon the occasion, which was too frequently the case; when they seemed to forget the Apostle's advice for a while, that ye love one another with a pure heart, fervently; 1 Pet. i. 22. and had strifes and debates, which shewed, for the time they lasted, that they were far from being perfect and entire, wanting nothing; then would her throwing her face into smiles, with some tender expression, prove a reconciling method at once. Till the fatal night, this always had a power to soften pain, to ease and calm the raging man.

But poor at best is the condition of human life here below; and, when to weak and imperfect faculties, we add inconsistencies, and do not act up to the eternal law of reason, and of God; when love of fame, curiosity, resentment, or any of our particular propensities; when humour, vanity, or any of our inferior powers, are permitted to act against justice and veracity, and instead of reflecting on the reason of the thing, or the right of the case, that by the influence this has on the mind, we may be constituted virtuous, and attached to truth; we go down with the current of the passions, and let bent and humour determine us, in opposition to what is decent and fit: if in a state so unfriendly as this is, to the heavenly and divine life, where folly and vice are for ever striving to introduce disorder into our frame, and it is difficult indeed, to preserve, in any degree, an integrity of character, and peace within:—if, in such a situation, instead of labouring to destroy all the seeds of envy, pride, ill-will, and impatience, and endeavouring to establish and maintain a due inward oeconomy and harmony, by paying a perpetual regard to truth, that is, to the real circumstances and relation of things in which we stand,—to the practice of reason in its just extent, according to the capacities and natures of every being; we do, on the contrary, disregard the moral faculty, and become a mere system of passions and affections, without any thing at the head of them to govern them; —what then can be expected, but deficiency and deformity, degeneracy and guilty practice? This was the case of Eustace and Bellinda. Passion and own-will were so near and intimate to him, that he seemed to live under a deliberate resolution not to be governed by reason. He would wink at the light he had, struggle to evade conviction, and make his mind a chaos and a hell. Bellinda, at the same time, was too quick, too vain, and too often forgot to take into her idea of a good character, a continual subordination of the lower powers of our nature to the faculty of reason. This produced the following scene.

Maria (sister to Bellinda) returned one evening with a five-guinea fan she had bought that afternoon, and was tedious in praising some Indian figures that were painted in it. Mrs. Eustace, who had a taste for pictures, said, the colours were fine, but the images ridiculous and despicable; and her sister must certainly be a little Indian-mad, or her fondness for every thing from that side of the globe could not be so excessive and extravagant as it always appeared to be.

To this Maria replied with some heat, and Eustace very peremptorily insisted upon it, that she was right. With positiveness and passion, he magnified the beauties of the figures in the fan, and with violence reflected so severely on the good judgment Bellinda, upon all occasions, pretended to, (as he expressed it) that at last, her imagination was fired, and, with too much eagerness, she not only ridiculed the opinion of her sister, in respect of such things, but spoke with too much warmth against the despotic tempers of self-sufficient husbands.

To reverence and obey (she said) was not required by any obligation, when men were unreasonable, and paid no regard to a wife's domestic and personal felicity; nor would she give up her understanding to his weak determination, since custom cannot confer an authority which nature has denied: It cannot license a husband to be unjust, nor give right to treat her as a slave. If this was to be the case in matrimony, and women were to suffer under conjugal vexations, as she did, by his senseless arguments every day, they had better bear the reproach and solitude of antiquated virginity, and be treated as the refuse of the world, in the character of old maids.

This too lively, though just speech, enraged Eustace to the last degree, and from a fury, he sunk in a few minutes into a total sullen silence, and sat for half an hour, while I stayed, cruelly determining, I suppose, her sad doom. Bellinda soon saw she had gone too far, and did all that could be done to recover him from the fit he was in. She smiled, cried, asked pardon; but 'twas all in vain. Every charm had lost its power, and he seemed no longer man. When this beauty stood weeping by his chair, and said, My love, forgive me, as it was in rallery only I spoke, and let our pleasures and pains be hereafter honestly shared; I remember the tears burst from my eyes, and in that condition I went away. It was frightful to look at Eustace, as he shook, started, and wildly stared; and the distress his Lady appeared in, was enough to make the most stony heart bleed: it was a dismal scene.

This happened at nine at night, and at ten Orlando withdrew to bed, without speaking one word, as I was informed. Soon after he lay down, he pretended to be fast asleep, and his wife rejoicing to find him so, as she believed, in hopes that nature's soft nurse would lull the active instruments of motion, and calm the raging operations of his mind: she resigned herself to slumbers, and thought to abolish for that night every disagreeable sensation of pain: but no sooner did this furious man find that his charming wife was really asleep, than he plunged a dagger into her breast. The monster repeated the strokes, while she had life to speak to him, in the tenderest manner, and conjured him, in regard to his own happiness, to let her live, and not sink himself into perdition here and hereafter, by her death. In vain she prayed; he gave her a thousand wounds, and I saw her the next morning a bloody, mangled corpse, in the great house in Smithfield, which stood at a distance from the street, with a wall before it, and an avenue of high trees up to the door; and not in the country, as the Tatler says.

Eustace fled, when he thought she was expiring, (though she lived for an hour after, to relate the case to her maid, who heard her groan, and came into her room) and went from Dublin to a little lodge he had in the country, about twenty miles from town. The magistrates, in a short time, had information where he was; and one John Mansel, a constable, a bold and strong man, undertook, for a reward, to apprehend him. To this purpose, he set out immediately, with a case of pistols, and a hanger, and lurked several days and nights in the fields, before he could find an opportunity of coming at him; for Eustace lived by himself in the house, well secured by strong doors and bars, and only went out now and then, to an ale-house, the master of which was his friend. Near it, at last, about break of day, Mansel chanced to find him, and, upon his refusing to be made a prisoner, and cocking a pistol to shoot the officer of justice, both their pistols were discharged at once, and they both dropt down dead men. Eustace was shot in the heart, and the constable in the brain. They were both brought to Dublin on one of the little low-back'd cars there used; and I was one of the boys that followed the car, from the beginning of James-street, the out-side of the city, all thro' the town. Eustace's head hung dangling near the ground, with his face upwards, and his torn bloody breast bare; and of all the faces of the dead I have seen, none ever looked like his. There was an anxiety, a rage, a horror, and a despair to be seen in it, that no pencil could express.

3.

Thus fell Eustace in the 29th year of his age, and by his hand his virtuous, beautiful, and ingenious wife: and what are we to learn from thence? is it, that on such accounts, we ought to dread wedlock, and never be concerned with a wife; No, surely; but to be from thence convinced, that it is necessary, in order to a happy marriage, to bring the will to the obedience of reason, and acquire an equanimity in the general tenour of life. Of all things in this world, moral dominion, or the empire over ourselves, is not only the most glorious, as reason is the superior nature of man, but the most valuable, in respect of real human happiness. A conformity to reason, or good sense, and to the inclination of our neighbours, with very little money, may produce great and lasting felicity; but without this subservience to our own reason, complaisance to company, and softness and benevolence to all around us, the greatest misery does frequently sprout from the largest stock of fortunes.

It was by ungoverned passions, that Eustace murdered his wife and died himself, the most miserable and wretched of all human beings. He might have been the happiest of mortals, if he had conformed to the dictates of reason, and softened his passions, as well for his own ease, as in compliance to a creature formed with a mind of a quite different make from his own. There is a sort of sex in souls; and, exclusive of that love and patience which our religion requires, every couple should remember, that there are things which grow out of their very natures, that are pardonable, when considered as such. Let them not, therefore, be spying out faults, nor find a satisfaction in reproaching; but let them examine to what consequences their ideas tend, and resolve to cease from cherishing them, when they lead to contention and mischief. Let them both endeavour to amend what is wrong in each other, and act as becomes their character, in practising the social duties of married persons, which are so frequently and strongly inculcated by revelation and natural reason; and then, instead of matrimony's being a burthen, and hanging a weight upon our very beings, there will be no appearance of evil in it, but harmony and joy will shed unmixed felicities on them: they will live in no low degree of beatitude in the suburbs of heaven.

This was my case: wedlock to me became the greatest blessing; a scene of the most refined friendship, and a condition to which nothing can be added to complete the sum of human felicity. So I found the holy and sublime relation, and in the wilds of Westmoreland, enjoyed a happiness as great as human nature is capable of, on this planet. Sensible to all the ties of social truth and honour, my partner and I lived in perfect felicity, on the products of our solitary farm. The amiable dispositions of her mind, chearfulness, good nature, discretion, and diligence, gave a perpetual dignity and lustre to the grace and loveliness of her person; and as I did all that love and fidelity could do, by practising every rule of caution, prudence, and justice, to prevent variance, soften cares, and preserve affection undiminished, the harmony of our state was unmixed and divine. Since the primitive institution of the relation, it never existed in a more delightful manner. Devoted to each other's heart, we desired no other happiness in this world, than to pass life away together in the solitude we were in. We lived, hoped, and feared but for each other; and made it our daily study to be what revealed religion prescribes, and the concurrent voice of nature requires, in the sacred tie. Do so likewise, ye mortals, who intend to marry, and ye may, like us, be happy. As the instincts and passions were wisely and kindly given us, to subserve many purposes of our present state, let them have their proper, subaltern share of action; but let reason ever have the sovereignty, (the divine law of reason and truth) and be, as it were, sail and wind to the vessel of life.

4.

Two years, almost, this fine scene lasted, and during that period, the business and diversions of our lone retreat appeared so various and pleasing, that it was not possible to think a hundred years so spent, in the least degree dull and tedious. Exclusive of books and gardening, and the improvement of the farm, we had, during the fine season, a thousand charming amusements on the mountains, and in the glens and vallies of that sweet silent place. Whole days we would spend in fishing, and dine in some cool grot by the water-side, or under an aged tree, on the margin of some beautiful stream. We generally used the fly and rod; but, if in haste, had recourse to one of the little water-falls, and, by fixing a net under one of them, would take a dozen or two of very large trouts, in a few minutes time.

By a little water-fall, I mean one of those that are formed by some small river, which tumbles there in various places, from rock to rock, about four feet each fall, and makes a most beautiful view from top to bottom of a fall. There are many of these falling waters among the vast mountains of Westmoreland. I have seen them likewise in the Highlands of Scotland.

At Glencrow, half way between Dumbarton and Inverary, there are some very fine ones, and just by them one Campbell keeps a poor inn. There we were entertained with water and whisky, oat-cakes, milk, butter, and trouts he took by the net, at one of the little falls of a river that descends a prodigious mountain near his lone house, and forms, like what we have at Orton-Lodge, a most beautiful scene. Several happy days I passed at his place, with a dear creature, who is now a faint in heaven.

At other times we had the diversion of taking as much carp and tench as we pleased, in a large, standing, fenny water, that lies about two miles from the lodge, in a glen, and always found the fish of this water of an enormous size, three feet long, though the general length of fish of this species is eleven inches in our ponds: this vast bigness must be owing to the great age of these fish; I may suppose, at least, an hundred years; for it is certain, that in garden-ponds, which have, for experiment's sake, been left undisturbed for many years, the carp and tench have been found alive, and grown to a surprizing bigness.

A gentleman, my near relation, who lived to a very long age, put some fish of these species into a pond, the day that Colonel Ewer, at the head of seven other officers, presented to the Commons that fatal remonstrance, which in fact took off the head of Charles, that is, November 20, 1648; and in the year 1727, seventy-nine years after, on his return to that seat, he found them all alive, and near two feet and a half in length. This demonstrates that fish may live to a very great age. It likewise proves that they continue to grow till they are an hundred years old, and then are the finest eating.

Another of our amusements, during the summer's bright day, was the pointer and gun, for the black cock, the moor cock, and the cock of the wood, which are in great plenty on those vast hills. Charlotte was fond of this sport, and would walk with me for hours, to see me knock down the game; till, late in the evening, we would wander over the fells, and then return to our clean, peaceful, little house, to sup as elegantly on our birds (1) [Footnote 1: 3Kb] , as the great could do, and with a harmony and unmixed joy they are for ever strangers to. After supper, over some little nectared-bowl, we sweetly chatted, till it was bed-time; or I played on my flute, and Charlotte divinely sung. It was a happy life; all the riches and honours of the world cannot produce such scenes of bliss as we experienced in a cottage, in the Wilds of Westmoreland. Even the winter, which is ever boisterous and extreme cold in that part of the world, was no severity to us. As we had most excellent provisions of every kind in abundance, and plenty of firing from the ancient woods, which cover many of those high hills; and two men servants, and two maids, to do whatever tended to being and to well-being, to supply our wants, and to complete our happiness. —This softened the hard rough scene, and the roaring waters, and the howling winds, appeared pleasing sounds. In short, every season, and all our hours, were quite charming, and full of delight. Good Tom Fleming, our friend, did likewise enhance our felicity, by coming once or twice a week to see us, and staying sometimes two or three days. In the summer time, we also went now and then to visit him; and, if one was inclined to melancholy, yet it was impossible to be dull while he was by. His humour, and his songs, over a bowl of punch, were enough to charm the most splenetic, and make even rancour throw its face into smiles.

5.

Two years, as I have said, this fine scene lasted; and during that soft, transporting period, I was the happiest man on earth. But in came Death, when we least expected him, snatched my charming partner from me, and melted all my happiness into air, into thin air. A fever, in a few days, snapt off the thread of her life, and made me the child of affliction, when I had not a thought of the mourner. Language cannot paint the distress this calamity reduced me to; not give an idea of what I suffered, when I saw her eyes swimming in death, and the throws of her departing spirit. Blest as she was, in the exercise of every virtue that adorns a woman, how inconsolable must her husband be! and, to add to my distress, by the same fever fell my friend Tom Fleming, who came the day before my wife sickened to see us. One of my lads likewise died, and the two servant maids. They all lay dead around me, and I sat like one inanimate by the corps of Charlotte, till Fryer Fleming, (the brother of Tom,) brought coffins and buried them all. Thus did felicity vanish from my sight, and I remained like a traveller in Greenland, who had lost the sun.

6.

O eloquent, just, and mighty death! (says Raleigh) It is thou alone puts wisdom into the human heart, and suddenly makes man to know himself. It is death that makes the conqueror ashamed of his fame, and wish he had rather stolen out of the world, than purchased the report of his actions, by rapine, oppression, and cruelty; by giving in spoil the innocent and labouring soul to the idle and insolent; by emptying the cities of the world of their ancient inhabitants, and filling them again with so many, and so variable sorts of sorrows. It is death tells the proud and insolent, that they are but abjects, and humbles them at the instant; makes them cry, complain, and repent; yea, even to hate their former happiness. It is death takes the account of the rich, and proves him a beggar, a naked beggar, which hath interest in nothing but the gravel which fills his mouth. It is death holds a glass before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein their deformity and rottenness; and they acknowledge it.

Whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded: what none have dared, thou hast done: and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world, and despised. Thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition, of man; all the powerful charms of beauty; and covered it all over with these two narrow words, Hic jacet.

Nor is this all, mighty death! It is thou that leadest to the resurrection of the dead; the dissolution of the world; the judgment day; and the eternal state of men. It is thou that finishes the trial of men, and seals their characters, for happiness or misery for ever.

Be thou then, death, our morning and evening meditation: let us learn from thee the vanity of all human things; and that it is the most amazing folly, to melt away time, and mis-apply talents, as the generality of reasonable beings do: that we were not made men, thinking, rational beings, capable of the noblest contemplations, to spend all our thoughts and time in sense and pleasure, in dressing, feeding, and sporting; or, in purchases, building and planting; but to prepare for a dying hour; that, when at the call of God, we go out of the body, not knowing whither we go, we may, like Abraham, travel by faith, and trust to the conduct of the Lord of all countries. Since we must die, and thy power, O death, we see, is uncontrolable: since to the dust we must return, and take our trial at the bar of Almighty God, as intelligent and free agents ; (for under moral government, and God is a perfectly wise and righteous governor, the wickedness of the wicked will be upon him, and the righteousness of the righteous will be upon him ;)—since we must be numbered with the dead, and our circumstances and condition indicate a future judgment, surely we ought to remove our chief concern from this world to the other, and transfer our principal regard to the immortal spirit; that in the hour of agony, a virtuous mind, purity of conscience, and good actions, may procure us the favour of God, and the guidance of his good spirit to the mansions of the blessed, where new pleasures are for ever springing up, and the happiness of the heavenly inhabitants is perpetually increasing. This is the one thing needful. Death demonstrates, that this world of darkness and error, changes and chances, is not worth fixing our heart on. To secure our passage into the regions of perfect and eternal day, should be the employment of immortal mortals.

7.

Thus did I reflect as I sat among the dead, with my eyes fastened on the breathless corps of Charlotte, and I wished, if it was possible, to have leave to depart, and in the hospitable grave, lie down from toil and pain, to take my last repose; for I knew not what to do, nor where to go. I was not qualified for the world; nor had I a friend, or even an acquaintance in it, that I knew where to find. But in vain I prayed; it was otherwise decreed: I must go on, or continue a solitary in the wild I was in. The latter it was not possible for me to do, in the state of mind I was in; overwhelmed with sorrow, and without a companion of any kind; and therefore, I must of necessity go to some other place. I sold all the living things I had to Fryar Fleming, and locked up my doors. My furniture, linen, clothes, books, liquors, and some salt provisions, instruments of various kinds, and such like things, I left in their several places. There was no one to take them, or probability that any one would come there to disturb them; and perhaps, some time or other, the fates might bring me back again to the lone place. Though it was then a desolate, silent habitation, a striking memento of the vanity and precarious existence of all human good things; yet it was possible, that hearty friendship, festivity, and social life, might once more be seen there. The force and operation of casualties did wonders every day, and time might give me even a relish for the solitude in a few years more. Thus did I settle affairs in that remote place; and, taking leave of my friend, the fryar, with my lad O Finn, rode off.

SECTION II.

Collect thy powers divine, and then drive off
That evil thing call'd fear, that slavish fiend .
Let hope, let joy, thy bosom inmates be,
Through life still cherish'd, and in death held fast.
A gracious God, loud-speaking to thy heart,
Through all his works, this truth inculcates still,
Natures's thy nurse, and providence thy friend.
Integrity, with fearless heart, ride on:
Undaunted tread the various path through life.
Day Thoughts.

1.

The sun was rising, when we mounted our horses, and I again went out to try my fortune in the world; not like the Chevalier of La Mancha, in hopes of conquering a kingdom, or marrying some great Princess; but to see if I could find another good country girl for a wife, and get a little more money; as they were the only two things united, that could secure me from melancholy, and confer real happiness. To this purpose, as the day was extremely fine, and Finn had something cold, and a couple of bottles at the end of his valise, I gave my horse the rein, and let him take what way his fancy chose. For some time, he gently trotted the path he had often gone, and over many a mountain made his road: but at last, he brought me to a place I was quite a stranger to, and made a full stop at a deep and rapid water, which ran by the bottom of a very high hill I had not been up before. Over this river I made him go, though it was far from being safe, and in an hour's ride from that flood, came to a fine rural scene.

2.

It was pasture-ground, of a large extent, and in many places covered with groves of trees, of various kinds; walnuts, chesnuts, and oaks; the poplar, the plane-tree, the mulberry, and maple. There was likewise the Phoenician cedar, the larix, the large-leafed laurel, and the cytissus of Virgil. In the middle of this place were the ruins of an old seat, over-run with shrubby plants; the Virginia creeper, the box-thorn, the jessamine, the honey-suckle, the periwinkle, the birdweed, the ivy, and the climber; and near the door was a flowing spring of water, which formed a beautiful stream, and babbled to the river we came from. Charming scene! so silent, sweet, and pretty, that I was highly pleased with the discovery.

3.

On the margin of the brook, under a mulberry tree, I dined, on something which Finn produced from his wallet, tongue and ham, and potted black cock; and having drank a pint of cyder, set out again, to try what land lay right onwards. In an hour, we came to a large and dangerous watery moor, which we crossed over with great difficulty, and then arrived at a range of mountains, through which there was a narrow pass, wet and stony, a long and tedious ride, which ended on the border of a fine country: at four in the afternoon, we arrived on the confines of a plain, about a hundred acres, which was strewed with various flowers of the earth's natural produce, that rendered the glebe delightful to behold, and was surrounded with groves. The place had all the charms that verdure, forest, and vale, can give a country. In the centre of this ground was a handsome square building, and behind it a large and beautiful garden, which had a low, thick, holly-hedge, that encompassed it. As the door of this house was not locked, but opened by a silver spring turner, I went in, and found it was one fine spacious room, filled on every side with books, bound in an extraordinary manner. Globes, telescopes, and other instruments of various kinds, were placed on stands, and there were two fine writing-tables, one at each end of the library, which had paper, ink, and pens. In the middle of the room there was a reading-desk, which had a short inscription, and on it leaned the skeleton of a man. The legend said,—This skeleton was once Charles Henley, Esq;

Amazed I stood, looking on these things, and wondered much at the figure of the bones, tack'd together with wires; once, to be sure, the master of this grand collection of books and manuscripts, and this fine room, so sweetly situated in the centre of distant groves: this skeleton had a striking effect on my mind; and the more so, as it held a scroll of parchment, on which was beautifully written in the court-hand, (to appear more remarkable, I suppose) the following lines:

"Fellow-mortal, whoever thou art, whom the fates shall conduct into this chamber, remember, that before many years are passed, thou must be laid in the bed of corruption, in the dark caverns of death, among the lifeless dust, and rotten bones of others, and from the grave proceed to the general resurrection of all. To new life and vigour thou wilt most certainly be raised, to be brought to a great account. Naked and defenceless thou must stand before the awful tribunal of the great God, and from him receive a final sentence, which shall determine and fix thee in an eternal state of happiness or misery.

What an alarm should this be! Ponder, my fellow-mortal, and remember, God now commandeth men every where to repent, because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man, whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. — Judge the world!—judgment!—the very sound is solemn. Should it not deaden some part, at least, of your concern for things temporal, and quicken your care and industry for the future life;—ought it not to make us condemn, before the dying hour, our vanity, and devotedness to bodily things, and make us employ the greatest part of our time in the acquisition of wisdom, and an improvement in virtue, that when we appear at the sessions of righteousness, a sacred knowledge, a heavenly piety, and an angelic goodness, may secure us from eternal punishment, and entitle us to a glorious eternity? Since a future judgment is most certainly the case, and the consequence eternal damnation or salvation, how contemptible a thing is a long busy life, spent in raking through the mire of trade and business, in pursuit of riches and a large estate; or in sweating up the steep hill of ambition, after fame and ambition; or in living and dressing as if we were all body, and sent into time for no other purpose, than to adorn like idols, gratify like brutes, and waste life in sensuality and vanity:—how contemptible and unreasonable is this kind of existence for beings, who were created to no other end, than to be partakers of a divine life with God, and sing hallelujahs to all eternity; to separate the creature from error, fiction, impurity, and corruption, and acquire that purity and holiness, which alone can see God. Away then with a worldly heart: away with all those follies, which engage us like fools and madmen; and let the principal thing be, to follow the steps of our great master, by patience and resignation, by a charity and contempt of the world; and by keeping a conscience void of offence, amidst the changes and chances of this mortal life; that at his second coming, to judge the world, we may be found acceptable in his sight.

What a scene must this second coming be! I saw, (says an apostle) a great white throne, and him that sat on it; from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away, and there was no place found for them; and I saw the dead small and great stand before God; and the books were opened, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books: and the sea gave up her dead, and death and hell delivered up their dead which were in them, and they were judged every man, according to their works. The secret wickedness of men will be brought to light; and concealed piety and persecuted virtue be acknowledged and honoured. While innocence and piety are set at the right hand of the judge, and the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father for ever and ever, shame and confusion must sit upon the faces of the sinner and the ungodly. Damnation will stand before the brethren in iniquity, and when the intolerable sentence is executed, what inexpressible agonies will they fall into? what amazement and excesses of horror must seize upon them?

Ponder then, in time, fellow-mortal, and chuse to be good, rather than to be great: prefer your baptismal vows to the pomps and vanities of this world; and value the secret whispers of a good conscience more than the noise of popular applause.

Since you must appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad, let it be your work from morning till night, to keep Jesus in your hearts; and long for nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing, but to have all that is within you changed into the spirit and temper of the holy Jesus. Wherever you go, whatever you do, do all in imitation of his temper and inclination; and look upon all as nothing, but that which exercises and increases the spirit and life of Christ in your souls. —Let this be your Christianity, your church, and your religion, and the judgment-day will be a charming scene. If in this world, the will of the creature, as an offspring of the divine will, wills and works with the will of God, and labours, without ceasing, to come as near as mortals can, to the purity and perfection of the divine nature; then will the day of the Lord be a day of great joy, and with unutterable pleasure, you shall hear that tremendous voice: Awake, ye dead, and come to judgment. In transports, and full of honour and glory, the wise and righteous, will hear the happy sentence, Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

This, and the skeleton, astonished me not a little; and my wonder at the whole increased, as I could find no human creature living, nor discover any house or cottage for an inhabitant. This I thought exceeded all the strange things I had seen in this wonderful country. But perhaps, (it occured at last,) there might be a mansion in the woods before me, or somewhere in the groves on either side; and therefore, leaving the library, after I had spent an hour in it, I walked onwards, and came to a wood, which had private walks cut through it, and strewed with sand. They shewed only light enough to distinguish the blaze of day from evening shade, and had seats dispersed, to sit and listen to the chorus of the birds, which added to the pleasures of the soft silent place. For about three hundred yards the walk I was in extended, and then terminated in meadows, which formed an oval of twenty acres, surrounded by groves, like the large plain I came from. Exactly in the middle of these fields, part of which were turned into gardens, there stood a very handsome stone house, and not far from the door of it, a fountain played. On either side of the water was a garden-chair, of a very extraordinary make, curious and beautiful; and each of them stood under an ever-green oak, the broad leaved Ilex, a charming shade.

4.

In one of these chairs sat an ancient gentleman, a venerable man, whose hair was white as silver, and his countenance had dignity and goodness. His dress and manner shewed him to be a person of fortune and distinction, and by a servant in waiting, it appeared, he was Lord of the seigneutie I was arrived at. He was tall and graceful, and had not the least stoop, tho' he wanted but a year of an hundred. I could not but admire the fine old gentleman.

5.

On the same chair, next to him, sat a young Lady, who was at this time just turned of twenty, and had such diffusive charms as soon new fired my heart, and gave my soul a softness even beyond what it had felt before. She was a little taller than the middle size, and had a face that was perfectly beautiful. Her eyes were extremely fine; full, black, sparkling; and her conversation was as charming as her person; both easy, unconstrained, and sprightly.

6.

When I came near two such personages, I bowed low to the ground, and asked pardon for intruding into their fine retirement. But the stars had led me, a wanderer, to this delightful solitude, without the least idea of there being such a place in our island, and as their malignant rays had forced me to offend, without intending it, I hoped they would pardon my breaking in upon them.

To this the old Gentleman replied. You have not offended, Sir, I assure you, but are welcome to the Groves of Basil. It gives me pleasure to see you here; for it is very seldom we are favoured with any one's company. It is hard to discover or make out a road to this place, as we are surrounded almost by impassable mountains, and a very dangerous morass: Nor can I conceive how you found the way here without a guide, or ventured to travel this country, as there are no towns in this part of the county. There must be something very extraordinary in your case, and as you mentioned your being a wanderer, I should be glad to hear the cause of your journeying in this uninhabited region. But first (Mr. Henley said) as it is now near eight at night, and you must want refreshment, having met with no inn the whole day, we will go in to supper. He then arose, and brought me to an elegant parlour, where a table was soon covered with the best cold things, and we immediately sat down. Every eatable was excellent, and the wine and other liquors in perfection. Miss Henley sat at the head of the table, her grandfather over-against her, and placed me at her right hand between them both. The young lady behaved in a very easy genteel manner; and the old gentleman, with freedom, chearfulness, and good manners. 'Till nine this scene lasted, and then Mr. Henley again requested I would oblige him with an account of my travels in that part of the world. This I said I would do in the best manner I could, and while he leaned back in his easy chair, and the beautiful Statia fastened her glorious eyes upon me, I went on in the following words.

7.

I am an Englishman, Sir, but have passed the greatest part of my life in Ireland, and from the western extremity of it I came. My father is one of the rich men in that kingdom, and was, for many years, the tenderest and most generous parent that ever son was blessed with. He spared no cost on my education, and gave me leave to draw upon him, while I resided in the university of Dublin five years, for what I pleased. Extravagant as I was in several articles, he never set any bounds to my demands, nor asked me what I did with the large sums I had yearly from him. My happiness was his felicity, and the glory of his life to have me appear to the greatest advantage, and in the most respected character, that money can gain a man.

But at last, he married his servant maid, an artful cruel woman, who obtained by her wit and charms so great an ascendant over him, that he abandoned me, to raise a young nephew this stepmother had, to what splendor and power she pleased. He had every thing he could name that money could procure, and was absolute master of the house and land. Not a shilling at this time could I get, nor obtain the least thing I asked for, and because I refused to become preceptor to this young man, and had made some alteration in my religion, (having renounced that creed, which was composed, nobody knows by whom, and introduced into the church in the darkest ages of popish ignorance; a symbol, which strongly participates of the true nature and spirit of popery, in those severe denunciations of God's wrath, which it pours so plentifully forth against all those whose heads are not turned to believe it), my father was so enraged that he would not even admit me to his table any longer, but bid me be gone. My mother-in-law likewise for ever abused me, and her nephew, the lad, insulted me when I came in his way.

Being thus compelled to withdraw, I set sail for England as soon as it was in my power, and arrived in Cumberland by the force of a storm. I proceeded from thence to the mountains of Stanemore, to look for a gentleman, my friend, who lived among those hills; and as I journeyed over them, and missed him, I chanced to meet with a fine northern girl, and a habitation to my purpose. I married her, and for almost two years past was the happiest of the human race, till the sable curtain fell between us, and the angel of death translated her glorious soul to the fields of paradise. Not able to bear the place of our residence, after I had lost my heart's fond idol, I left the charming spot and mansion, where unmixed felicity had been for some time my portion, and I was travelling on towards London, to see what is ordained there in reserve for me; when by accident I lost my way, and the fates conducted me to the Groves of Basil. Curiosity led me into the library I found in the plain, without this wood, from whence, in search for some human creatures, I proceeded to the fountain, where I had the pleasure of seeing you, Sir, and this young lady. This is a summary of my past life; what is before me heaven only knows. My fortune I trust with the Preserver of men, and the Father of spirits. One thing I am certain of by observation, few as the days of the years of my pilgrimage have been, that the emptiness, and unsatisfying nature of this world's enjoyments, are enough to prevent my having any fondness to stay in this region of darkness and sorrow. I shall never leap over the bars of life, let what will happen: but the sooner I have leave to depart, I shall think it the better for me.

8.

The old gentleman seemed surprized at my story, and after some moments silence, when I had done, he said, Your measure, Sir, is hard, and as it was, in part, for declaring against a false religion at your years, you please me so much, that if you will give me leave, I will be your friend, and as a subaltern providence, recompence your loss as to fortune in this world. In what manner you shall know to-morrow, when we breakfast at eight. It is now time to finish our bottle, that we may, according to our custom, betimes retire.

At the time appointed I met the old gentleman in the parlour, and just as we had done saluting each other, Statia entered, bright and charming as Aurora. She was in a rich dress, and her bright victorious eyes flashed a celestial fire. She made our tea, and gave me some of her coffee. She asked me a few civil questions, and said two or three good things on the beauties of the morning, and the charms of the country. She left us the moment we had done breakfast, and then the old gentleman addressed himself to me in the following words.

I do not forget the promise I made you, but must first relate the history of my family. I do it with the more pleasure, as I find you are of our religion, and I cannot help having a regard for you, on your daring to throw up a fortune for truth; for bravely daring to renounce those systems, which have an outward orthodox roundness given to them by their eloquent defenders, and within are mere corruption and apostacy.

The skeleton you saw in the library was once my son, Charles Henley, a most extraordinary man. He had great abilities, and understood every thing a mortal is capable of knowing, of things human and divine. — When he was in his nineteenth year, I took him to France and other countries, to see the world, and, on our return to England, married him into a noble family, to a very valuable young woman, of a large fortune, and by her he had the young lady you saw sitting on the chair near the table by me. This son I lost, three years after his marriage, and with him all relish for the world: and being naturally inclined to retirement and a speculative life, never stirred since from this country-house. Here my son devoted himself entirely to study, and amused himself with instructing his beloved Statia, the young lady you have seen. At his death he consigned her to my care; and as her understanding is very great, and her disposition sweet and charming, I have not only taken great pains in educating her, but have been delighted with my employment. Young as she is, but in the second month of her one and twentieth year, she not only knows more than women of distinction generally do, but would be the admiration of learned men, if her knowledge in languages, mathematics, and philosophy, were known to them: and as her father taught her music and painting, perhaps there is not a young woman of finer accomplishments in the kingdom.

Her father died towards the end of the year 1723, in the 39th year of his age, when she was not quite sixteen, and, by his will, left her ten thousand pounds, and Basil-House and estate; but she is not to inherit it, or marry, 'till she is two and twenty. This was her father's will. As to the skeleton in the library, it was my son's express order it should be so, and that the figure should not be removed from the place it stands in, while the library remained in that room; but continue a solemn memorial in his family, to perpetuate his memory, and be a memento mori to the living.

10.

This is the history of Basil Groves, and the late owner of this seat, and his daughter Statia. We live a happy, religious life here, and enjoy every blessing that can be desired in this lower hemisphere. But as I am not very far from a hundred years, having passed that ninety-two which Sir William Temple says, he never knew any one he was acquainted with arrive at, I must be on the brink of the grave, and expect every day to drop into it. What may become of Statia, then, gives me some trouble to think; as all her relations, except myself, are in the other world. To spend her life here in this solitude, as seems to be her inclination, is not proper; and to go into the world by herself, when I am dead, without knowing any mortal in it, may involve her in troubles and distresses. Hear then, my son, what I propose to you. You are a young man, but serious. You have got some wisdom in the school of affliction, and you have no aversion to matrimony, as you have just buried, you say, a glorious woman, your wife. If you will stay with us here, till Statia is two and twenty, and in that time render yourself agreeable to her, I promise you, she shall be yours the day she enters the three and twentieth year of her age, and you shall have with her fortune all that I am owner of, which is no small sum. What do you say to this proposal?

11.

Sir, I replied, you do me vast honour, much more I am sure than my merits can pretend to. I am infinitely obliged to you, and must be blind and insensible, if I refused such a woman as Miss Henley, were she far from being the fortune she is: But I have not vanity enough to imagine, I can gain her affections; especially in my circumstances; and to get her by your authority, or power of disposing of her, is what I cannot think of. I will stay however, a few months here, since you so generously invite me, and let Miss Henley know, I will be her humble servant, if she will allow me the honour of bearing that title. This made the old gentleman laugh, and he took me by the hand, saying, This is right. Come, let us go and take a walk before dinner.

12.

There I passed the winter, and part of the spring, and lived in a delightful manner. The mornings I generally spent in the library, reading, or writing extracts from some curious MSS. or scarce books; and in the afternoons Miss Henley and I walked in the lawns and woods, or sat down to cards. She was a fine creature indeed in body and soul, had a beautiful understanding, and charmed me to a high degree. Her conversation was rational and easy, without the least affectation from the books she had read; and she would enliven it sometimes by singing, in which kind of music she was as great a mistress as I have heard. As to her heart, I found it was to be gained; but an accident happened that put a stop to the amour.

13.

In the beginning of March, the old gentleman, the excellent Mr. Henley, Statia's grandfather and guardian, and my great friend, died, and by his death a great alteration ensued in my affair. I thought to have had Miss Henley immediately, as there was no one to plead her father's will against the marriage, and intended to send O Finn for Fryar Fleming; but when Statia saw herself her own mistress, without any superior, or controul, and in possession of large fortunes, money, and an estate, that she might do as she pleased; this had an effect on her mind, and made a change. She told me, when I addressed myself to her, after her grandfather was interred, that what she intended to do, in obedience to him, had he lived, she thought required very serious consideration now she was left to herself: That, exclusive of this, her inclination really was for a single life; and had it been otherwise, yet it was not proper, since her guardian was dead, that I should live with her till the time limited by her father's will for her to marry was come; but that, as she had too good an opinion of me, to imagine her fortune was what chiefly urged my application, and must own she had a regard for me, she would be glad to hear from me sometimes, if I could think her worth remembring, after I had left the Groves of Basil. This she said with great seriousness, and seemed by her manner to forbid my urging the thing any further.

14.

I assured her, however, that time only could wear out her charming image from my mind, and that I had reason to fear, she would long remain the torment of my heart. She had a right to be sure to dismiss me from her service; but in respect of her inclination to live a single life, I begged leave to observe, that it was certainly quite wrong, and what she could not answer to the wise and bountiful Father of the Universe, as she was a Christian, and by being so, must believe, that baptism was a memorial of the covenant of grace.

The Catholics, and the Vision-mongers of the protestant side, (the Rev. Mr. Wm. Law, and others of his row) may magnify the excellence of celibacy as high as they please, and work it into christian perfection, by sounding words and eloquent pens; but most surely, revelation was directly against them, and required the faithful to produce in a regular way .

Consider, illustrious Statia, that when the Most High gave the Abrahamic covenant in these words, I will be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, and in thy seed shall all the families, or nations of the earth be blessed; which includes an interest in God, as a God, father and friend for ever, and a share in all the blessings wherewith the Messiah, in the gospel, hath inriched the world; these inestimable blessings and promises of life and favour, were designed by the divine munificence for rising generations of mankind; and it was most certainly intended, not only that they should be received with the highest gratitude and duty, but that they should be strongly inculcated upon the thoughts of succeeding generations, by an instituted sign or memorial, to the end of the world.

Circumcision was the first appointed token or memorial, and at the same time, an instruction in that moral rectitude to which the grace of God obliges: and when the New Testament succeeded the Law, then was the covenant interest of infants, or their right to the covenant of grace, to be confirmed by the token or sign called baptism; that action being appointed to give the expected rising generation an interest in the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, that is, in all covenant blessings. But what becomes of this great charter of heaven, if christian women, out of an idle notion of perfection, will resolve to lead single lives, and thereby hinder rising generations from sharing in the honours and privileges of the church of Jesus Christ. Millions of the faithful must thereby be deprived of the token instituted by God to convey to them those covenant blessings, which his love and goodness designed for the rising generations of his people. Have a care then what you do, illustrious Statia, in this particular. It must be a great crime to hinder the regular propagation of a species, which God hath declared to be under his particular inspection and blessing, and by circumcision and baptism, hath made the special object of divine attention and care. Away then with all thoughts of a virgin life, whatever becomes of me. As God hath appointed matrimony and baptism, let it be your pious endeavour to bare sons and daughters, that may be related to God, their Father; to Jesus, their Redeemer, and first born in the family; and to all the excellent, who are to enjoy, through him, the blessings of the glorious world above. Marry, then, illustrious Statia, marry, and let the blessing of Abraham come upon us gentiles. Oppose not the gospel covenant; that covenant which was made with that patriarch; but mind the comfortable promises; I will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed. I will pour out my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. The seed of the righteous is blessed. They are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. Such is the magna charta of our existence and future happiness; and as infants descending from Abraham, in the line of election, to the end of the world, have as good a right and claim as we to the blessings of this covenant, and immense promise, I will be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, in their generations; it must be a great crime, to deprive children of this intailed, heavenly inheritance, by our resolving to live in a state of virginity. In my opinion, it is a sin greater than murder. What is murder, but forcing one from his post against the will of providence; and if the virgin hinders a being or beings from coming on the post, against the will of providence, must she not be culpable; and must she not be doubly criminal, if the being or beings she hinders from coming on the stage, or into this first state, were to be a part of the perpetual generations, who have a right to the inheritance, the blessing, and were to be heirs according to the promise made to Abraham? Ponder, illustrious Statia, on the important point. Consider what it is to die a maid, when you may, in a regular way, pruduce heirs to that inestimable blessing of life and favour, which the munificence of the Most High was pleased freely to bestow, and which the great Christian mediator, agent, and negociator, republished, confirmed, and sealed with his blood. Marry then in regard to the gospel, and let it be the fine employment of your life, to open gradually the treasures of revelation to the understandings of the little christians you produce.

This I am sure your holy religion requires from you: and if from the sacred oracles we turn to the book of nature, is it not in this volume written, that there must be a malignity in the hearts of those mortals, who can remain unconcerned at the destruction and extirpation of the rest of mankind; and who want even so much good will as is requisite to propagate a creature, (in a regular and hallowed way) tho' they received their own being from the meer benevolence of their divine Master? What do you say, illustrious Statia? Shall it be a succession, as you are an upright Christian? And may I hope to have the high honour of sharing in the mutual satisfaction that must attend the discharge of so momentous a duty? (2) [Footnote 2: 7Kb]

15.

All the smiles sat on the face of Statia, while I was haranguing in this devout manner, and her countenance became a constellation of wonders. When I had done, this beauty said, I thank you, Sir, for the information you have given me. I am a Christian. There is no malignity in my heart. You have altered my way of thinking, and I now declare for a succession. — Let Father Flemming be sent for, and without waiting for my being two and twenty, or minding my father's will, as there's no one to oblige me to it, I will give you my hand. Charming news! I dispatched my lad for the Fryar. The priest arrived the next day, and at night we were married. Three days after, we set out for Orton Lodge, at my wife's request, as she longed to see the place. For two years more I resided there; it being more agreeable to Statia than the improved Groves of Basil. We lived there in as much happiness as it is possible to have in this lower hemisphere, and much in the same manner as I did with Charlotte my first wife. Statia had all the good qualities and perfections which rendered Charlotte so dear and valuable to me; like her she studied to increase the delights of every day, and by art, good humour, and love, rendered the married state such a system of joys as might incline one to wish it could last a thousand years: But it was too sublime and desirable to have a long existence here. Statia was taken ill, of the small-pox, the morning we intended to return to Basil-Groves; she died the 7th day, and I laid her by Charlotte's side. Thus did I become again a mourner. I sat with my eyes shut for three days: But at last, called for my horse, to try what air, exercise, and a variety of objects, could do.

SECTION III.

'Twas when the faithful herald of the day,
   The village-cock crows loud with trumpet shrill,
The warbling lark soars high, and morning grey
   Lifts her glad forehead o'er the cloud-wrapt hill:
Nature's wild music fills the vocal vale;
   The bleating flocks that bite the dewy ground;
The lowing herds that graze the woodland dale,
   And cavern'd echo, swell the chearful sound.

1.

Very early, as soon as I could see day, the first of April, 1729, I left Orton-Lodge, and went to Basil-Groves, to order matters there. From thence I set out for Harrigate, to amuse myself in that agreeable place; but I did not go the way I came to Mr. Henley's house. To avoid the dangerous morass I had passed, at the hazard of my life, we went over a wilder and more romantic country than I had before seen. We had higher mountains to ascend than I had ever passed before; and some vallies so very deep to ride through, that they seemed as it were descents to hell. The patriarch Bermudez, in journeying over Abyssinia, never travelled in more frightful Glins . And yet, we often came to plains and vales which had all the charms a paradise could have. Such is the nature of this country.

Through these scenes, an amazing mixture of the terrible and the beautiful, we proceeded from five in the morning till one in the afternoon, when we arrived at a vast water-fall, which descended from a precipice near two hundred yards high, into a deep lake, that emptied itself into a swallow fifty yards from the catadure or fall, and went I suppose to the abyss. The land from this head-long river, for half a mile in length and breadth, till it ended at vast mountains again, was a fine piece of ground, beautifully flowered with various perennials, the acanthus, the aconus, the adonis or pheasant's eye, the purple bistorta, the blue borago, the yellow bupthalmum, the white cacalia, the blue campanula, and the sweet-smelling cassia, the pretty double daisy, the crimson dianthus, the white dictamnus, the red fruximella, and many other wild flowers. They make the green valley look charming; and as here and there stood two or three ever-green trees, the cypress, the larix, the balm of Gilead, and the Swedish juniper, the whole spot has a fine and delightful effect. On my arrival here, I was at a loss which way to turn.

2.

I could not however be long in suspense how to proceed, as I saw near the water-fall a pretty thatched mansion, and inhabitants in it. I found they were a religious society of married people, ten friars and their ten wives, who had agreed to retire to this still retreat, and form a holy house on the plan of the famous Ivon, the disciple of Labadie, so celebrated on account of his connection with Mrs. Schurman, and his many fanatical writings. A book called the Marriage Chretien, written by this Ivon, was their directory, and from it they formed a protestant La Trappe; with this difference from the Catholic religious men, that the friars of the reformed monastery were to have wives in their convent; the better to enable them to obtain Christian perfection in the religious life. These Regulars, men and women, were a most industrious people, never idle; but between their hours of prayer always at work: the men were employed in a garden of ten acres, to provide vegetables and fruit, on which they chiefly lived; or in cutting down old trees, and fitting them for their fire: and the women were knitting, spinning, or twisting what they had spun into thread, which they sold for three shillings a pound: they were all together in a large, handsome room: they sat quite silent, kept their eyes on their work, and seemed more attentive to some inward meditations, than to any thing that appeared, or passed by them. They looked as if they were contented and happy. They were all extremely handsome, and quite clean: their linen fine and white: their gowns a black stuff. The women dined at one table: the men at another; but all sat in the same room. The whole house was in bed by ten, and up by four in the morning, winter and summer. What they said at their table I could not hear, as they spoke low and little, and were at a distance from me, in a large apartment: but the conversation of the men, at table, was very agreeable, rational and improving. I observed they had a great many children, and kept four women-servants to attend them, and do the work of the house. The whole pleased me very greatly. I thought it a happy institution.

3.

As to the marriage of the friars in this cloystral house, their founder, Ivon, in my opinion, was quite right in this notion. Chaste junction cannot have the least imperfection in it, as it is the appointment of God, and the inclination to a coit is so strongly impressed on the machine by the author of it; and since it is quite pure and perfect; since it was wisely intended as the only best expedient to keep man for ever innocent, it must certainly be much better for a regular or retreating priest, to have a lawful female companion with him; and so the woman, who chuses a convent, and dislikes the fashions of the world, to have her good and lawful monk every night in her arms; to love and procreate legally, when they have performed all the holy offices of the day; and then, from love and holy generation, return again to prayer, and all the heavenly duties of the cloystered life; than to live, against the institution of nature and providence, a burning, tortured nun, and a burning, tortured friar; locked up in walls they can never pass, and under the government of some old, cross, impotent superior. There is some sense in such a marriage chretien in a convent. Ivon's convent is well enough. A cloyster may do upon his plan, with the dear creature by ones side, after the daily labours of the monk are over. It had been better, if that infallible man, the Pope, had come into this scheme. How comfortable has Ivon made it to the human race, who renounce the dress and pageantry, and all the vanities of time. Their days are spent in piety and usefulness; and at night, after the completorium, they lie down together in the most heavenly charity, and according to the first great hail, endeavour to increase and multiply. This is a divine life. I am for a cloyster on these terms. It pleased me so much to see these monks march off with their smiling partners, after the last psalm, that I could not help wishing for a charmer there, that I might commence the Married Regular, and add to the stock of children in this holy house. It is really a fine thing to monk it on this plan. It is a divine institution: gentle and generous, useful and pious.

On the contrary, how cruel is the Roman church, to make perfection consist in celibacy, and cause so many millions of men and women to live at an eternal distance from each other, without the least regard to the given points of contact! How unfriendly to society! This is abusing christianity, and perverting it to the most pernicious purposes; under a pretence of raising piety, by giving more time and leisure for devotion. For it never can be pious either in design or practice, to cancel any moral obligation, or to make void any command of God: and as to prayer, it may go along with every other duty, and be performed in every state. All states have their intermissions; and if it should be otherwise sometimes, I can then, while discharging any duty, or performing any office, pray as well in my heart, O God be merciful to me a sinner, and bless me with the blessing of thy grace and providence, as if I was prostrate before an altar. What Martha was reproved for, was on account of her being too solicitous about the things of this life. Where this is not the case, business and the world are far from being a hindrance to piety. God is as really glorified in the discharge of relative duties, as in the discharge of those which more immediately relate to himself. He is in truth more actively glorified by our discharging well the relative duties, and we thereby may become more extensively useful in the church and in the world, may be more public blessings, than it is possible to be in a single pious state. In short, this one thing, celibacy, (were there nothing else) the making the unmarried state a more holy state than marriage, shews the prodigious nonsense and impiety of the Church of Rome, and is reason enough to flee that communion, if we had no other reasons for protesting against it. The tenet is so superstitious and dangerous, that it may well be esteemed a doctrine of those devils, who are the seducers and destroyers of mankind: but it is (says Wallace ) suitable to the views and designs of a church, which has discovered such an enormous ambition, and made such havock of the human race, in order to raise, establish, and preserve an usurped and tyrannical power.

4.

But as to the Married Regulars I have mentioned; they were very glad to see me, and entertained me with great civility and goodness. I lived a week with them, and was not only well fed with vegetables and puddings on their lean days, Wednesdays and Fridays, and with plain meat, and good malt drink, on the other days; but was greatly delighted with their manner and piety, their sense and knowledge. I will give my pious readers a sample of their prayers, as I imagine it may be to edification. These friars officiate in their turns, changing every day; and the morning and evening prayers of one of them were in the words following. I took them off in my shorthand.

A Prayer for Morning.

Almighty and everlasting God, the creator and preserver of all things, our law-giver, saviour, and judge, we adore thee the author of our beings, and the father of our spirits. We present ourselves, our acknowledgments, and our homage, at the foot of thy throne, and yield thee the thanks of the most grateful hearts for all the instances of thy favour which we have experienced. We thank thee for ever, O Lord God Almighty, for all thy mercies and blessings vouchsafed us; for defending us the past night from evil, and for that kind provision which thou hast made for our comfortable subsistence in this world.

But above all, most glorious Eternal, adored be thy goodness, for repeating and reinforcing the laws and the religion of thy creation, by supernatural revelation, and for giving us that reason of mind, which unites us to thee, and makes us implore thy communications of righteousness, to create us again unto good works in Christ Jesus.

We confess, O Lord, that we have done violence to our principles, and alienated ourselves from the natural use we were fitted for: we have revolted from thee into a state of sin, and by the operation of sense and passion, have been moved to such practices as are exorbitant and irregular: but we are heartily sorry for all our misdoings: to thee in Christ we now make our address, and beseech thee to inform our understandings, and refine our spirits, that we may reform our lives by repentance, redeem our time by righteousness, and live as the glorious gospel of thy Son requires. Let the divine spirit assist and enable us to over-rule, conduct, and employ, the subordinate and inferior powers, in the exercise of virtue, and the service of our creator, and as far as the imperfections of our present state will admit, help us so to live by the measures and laws of heaven, that we may have the humility and meekness, the mortification and self-denial of the holy Jesus, his love of thee, his desire of doing thy will, and seeking only thy honour. Let us not come covered before thee under a form of godliness, a cloke of creeds, observances and institutions of religion; but with that inward salvation and vital sanctity, which renounces the spirit, wisdom, and honours of this world, dethrones self-love and pride, subdues sensuality and covetousness, and opens a kingdom of heaven within by the spirit of God. O let thy Christ be our Saviour in this world; and before we die, make us fit to live for ever with thee in the regions of purity and perfection.

Since it is the peculiar privilege of our nature, through thy mercy and goodness, that we are made for an eternal entertainment in those glorious mansions, where the blessed society of saints and angels shall keep an everlasting sabbath, and adore and glorify thee for ever, let thy inspiring spirit raise our apprehensions and desires above all things that are here below, and alienate our minds from the customs and principles of this mad, degenerate, and apostate world: mind us of the shortness and uncertainty of time, of the boundless duration, and the vast importance of eternity, and so enable us to imitate the example of the holy Jesus in this world, that we may hereafter ascend, with the greatest ardor of divine love, to those realms of holiness, where our hearts will be filled with raptures of gladness and joy, and we shall remain in the highest glory for ever and ever.

We live, O Lord, in reconciliation and friendship, in love and good will, with thy whole creation, with every thing that derives from thee, holds of thee, is owned by thee; and under the power of this affection, we pray for all mankind; that they may be partakers of all the blessings which we enjoy or want, and that we may all be happy in the world to come, and glorify thee together in eternity. To this end bring all the human race to the knowledge of thy glorious gospel, and let its influence transform them into the likeness of Christ.

But especially, we pray for all who suffer for truth and righteousness sake, and beseech thee to prosper those that love thee. Defend, O Lord, the just rights and liberties of mankind, and rescue thy religion from the corruptions which have been introduced upon it, by length of time, and by decay of piety. Infatuate the counsels, and frustrate the endeavours of the priests of Rome, and against all the designs of those, who are enemies to the purity of the gospel, and substitute human inventions in the place of revealed religion; prosper the pious labours of those who teach mankind to worship one, eternal and omnipresent being; in whose understanding, there is the perfection of wisdom; in whose will, there is the perfection of goodness; in whose actions, there is the perfection of power; a God without cause, the great creator, benefactor, and saviour of men: —And that the duty of man is to obey, in thought, word, and deed, the precepts of godliness and righteousness, without regard to pleasure, gain, or honour; to pain, loss, or disgrace; diligently imitating the life of the holy Jesus, and stedfastly confiding in his mediation.

In the last place, O Lord God Almighty, we beseech thee to continue us under thy protection, guidance, and blessing this day, as the followers and disciples of thy Christ, through whom we recommend our souls and our bodies into thy hands, and according to the doctrine of his religion, say, Our Father, &c.

In this manner, did these pious Ivonites begin their every day; and when the sun was set, and they had finished their supper, they worshipped God again in these words.

A Prayer for Night.

Most blessed, glorious, and holy Lord God Almighty, who art from everlasting to everlasting, God over all, magnified and adored for ever! we, thy unworthy creatures, humble our souls in thy presence, and confess ourselves miserable sinners. We acknowledge our miscarriages and faults, and condemn ourselves for having done amiss. We deprecate thy just offence and displeasure. We cry thee mercy. We ask thee pardon: and as we are quite sensible of our weakness and inability, and know thou lovest the souls of men, when they turn and repent, we beseech thee to give us true repentance, and endue us with the grace of thy sanctifying spirit, that we may be delivered from the bondage and slavery of iniquity, and have the law of the spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus. Upon thee our God, we call for that help which is never wanting, and beseech thee to give us thy heavenly assistance, that we may recover our reasonable nature, refine our spirits by goodness, and purify ourselves even as the Lord Jesus is pure. O thou Father of Lights, and the God of all comforts, inform our understandings with truth, and give us one ray of that divine wisdom which sitteth on the right hand of thy throne. O let us be always under thy communication and influence, and enable us, through the recommendation of thy Son, our mediator and redeemer, to lay aside all passion, prejudice, and vice, to receive thy truth in the love of it, and to serve thee with ingenuity of mind, and freedom of spirit: that we may pass through a religious life to a blessed immortality, and come to that eternal rest, where we shall behold thy face in righteousness, and adore and bless thee to eternity, for our salvation through him who hath redeemed us by his blood.

We praise and magnify thy goodness, O Lord God Almighty, for our maintenance and preservation, by thy constant providence over us, and we beseech thee to take us into thy special care and protection this night. Defend us from all the powers of darkness, and from evil men and evil things, and raise us in health and safety. Do thou, most great and good God, protect us and bless us this night, and when we awake in the morning, let our hearts be with thee, and thy hand with us. And the same mercies we beg for all mankind; that thy goodness and power may preserve them, and thy direction and influence secure their eternal salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom thou hast taught us to call upon thee as our Father, &c.

5.

By the way, I cannot help observing, that these disciples of Ivon are much reformed in respect of what his cloystered followers were in his time. It appears from Ivon's books, that he was as great a visionary and tritheist as his master Labadie, or any of our modern mystics now are. But these Regulars I found among the Fells, tho' on Ivon's plan, are as rational Christians as ever adorned the religion of our Master by a purity of faith. You see by their prayers, that their devotions are quite reasonable and calm. There is no rant, nor words without meaning: no feeling instead of seeing the truth; nor expectation of covenant mercy on the belief of a point repugnant not only to the reason and nature of things, but to the plain repeated declarations of God in the Christian religion. Their prayer is a calm address to the great Maker, Governor, and Benefactor of the universe; and honour and obedience to Christ as Mediator, according to the will and appointment of God the Father.

6.

Upon my asking one of these gentlemen, how they came to differ so much from Ivon, their founder, and cease to be the patrons of vision, and an implicit incomprehensible faith? He told me, they had read all the books on both sides of the question, that had been written of late years, and could not resist the force of the evidence in favour of reason and the divine unity. They saw it go against mechanical impulse, and strong persuasion without grounds, and therefore, they dismissed Ivon's notions of believing without ideas, as they became sensible it was the same thing as seeing without light or objects. Without dealing any longer in a mist of words, or shewing themselves orthodox, by empty, insignificant sounds, they resolved, that the object of their worship, for the time to come, should be, that one supreme self-existent being, of absolute, infinite perfection, who is the first cause of all things, and whose numerical identity and infinite perfections are demonstrable from certain principles of reason, antecedent to any peculiar revelation;—and confessed that the blessing, with which Jesus Christ was sent by God to bless the world, consists in turning men from their iniquities. They now perceived what the creed-makers, and Ivon, their founder, could not see, to wit, that it is against the sacred texts, to ascribe to Each Person of Three the nature and all essential attributes and properties of the One only true God, and yet make the Three the One true God only, when considered conjunctly; for if Each has all possible perfections and attributes, then Each must be the same true God as if and when conjoined; and of consequence, there must then be Three One true Gods, or One Three true Gods; Three One Supreme Beings, or One Three Supreme Beings, since to each of the three must be ascribed (as the orthodox say) any thing and every thing, that is most peculiar and appropriated to the divine nature, without any difference. In short, by conjobbling matters of faith in this manner, they saw, we had three distinct selfs, or intelligent agents, equal in power and all possible perfections, agreeing in one common essence, one sort of species, (like a supreme magistracy of distinct persons, acting by a joint exercise of the same power) and so the three are one, not by a numerical but specific identity; three Omnipotents and one Almighty, in a collective sense. This, (continued this gentleman) on searching the scriptures, we found was far from being the truth of the case. We discovered, upon a fair examination, and laying aside our old prejudices, that there was nothing like this in the New Testament. It appeared to us to be the confused talk of weak heads. In the Bible we got a just idea of One Eternal Cause, God the Father, almighty, all-wise, unchangeable, infinite; and are there taught how to worship and serve him. The greatest care is there taken to guard against the ill effects of imagination and superstition; and in the plainest language, we are ordered to pray to this blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only, (or alone) hath immortality; and this in imitation of Jesus, who in the morning very early went out into a solitary place, and there prayed . Who dismissing his disciples departed into a mountain to pray † . And he continued all night in prayer to GOD †† : We are ordered to glorify and bless this only wise God for ever § . Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ || . To God and our Father be glory for ever . —And to love him truly by keeping the commandments. Cui Jesus sic respondit: primum omnium praeceptorum est: audi Israelita. Dominus Deus vester dominus unus est. Itaque dominum Deum tuum toto corde, toto animo, tota mente, totisque viribus amato. Hoc primum est præceptum. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength. This is the first Commandment.

Et voicy le second. Vous aimerez vostre prochain comme vous même. And the second is like the first. Hunc simile est alterum, alterum ut teipsum amato. His majus aliud præceptum nullum est. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

To say it;—we became fully satisfied, that the supreme God and Governor of the world, who exists by a prior necessity, and therefore must be one, a perfect moral agent, and possessed of all moral perfections, is the sole object of religious worship: that Jesus Christ was a temporary minister, with a legatarian power, to publish and declare the spiritual laws of this Great God: and that it is incumbent on mankind to yield a perfect obedience to these spiritual laws of this Supreme Being: that is, the duty of all, to make the object proposed by Christ, his God and our God, his Father and our Father, the sole object of faith; and to expect happiness or salvation, on the term of being turned from all our inquities. This seemed a matter worthy of the Son of God's appearing in the world. Every thing else must be enthusiasm and usurpation .

7.

Here the Ivonist had done, and I was greatly pleased with his sense and piety. What a heavenly Christianity should we profess (I said) if the notions of our modern enthusiasts were as consistent with Christ's great design and profession! We should then set up the Kingdom of God, among men, and be diligent and active in promoting the laws of that kingdom. We should then believe, like Jesus Christ and his apostles, that there is but One God, the Father Almighty. There is no one good (so commonly called) but one, that is God; or only the one God † . Nullus est bonus nisi unus Deus. Castalio. (And Cant. MS. Clem. Alex. adds,— My Father who is in Heaven.) This is life eternal, to acknowledge thee, O Father, to be the only true GOD †† . It is one God who will justify § . We know that there is none other Gods but one. For to us there is one GOD the Father || . There is one GOD and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in you all . And we should confess one Mediator,—the man Christ Jesus. † We should be consistent, and not throw off those principles upon which christianity was founded, and alone could be first built. We should invite men into our religion, by representing to them the perfection of that primary law of God, reason or natural religion; by declaring the plainness and clearness of it to all attentive and well-disposed minds; and then shew them how worthy it was of the Supreme Governor to give such creatures as he has made us the gospel: that by the religion of favour, he has, with glory to himself, displayed his paternal regard for us, by doing much more than what is strictly necessary for our eternal good. God, on a principle of love, sends his Christ, to advise us and awaken us to a sense of our danger in passing through this world, in case (which he saw would be the thing) we should not constantly attend to the light we might strike out ourselves with some trouble. He calls us in an extraordinary manner to forsake vice and idolatry, and practise the whole system of morality. We might expect, that a good God, would once at least, interpose by such an extraordinary method as revelation, to turn and incline his reasonable creatures, to the study and practice of the religion of nature. This was acting like the Father of the Universe, considering the negligence and corruption of the bulk of mankind. The reason he gave us, the law of nature, was giving us all that was absolutely necessary . The gospel was an addition of what is excellently useful . What, my beloved, (might a rational divine say) can be more paternal, and worthy of the almighty Creator, than to reveal plainly the motive of a judgment to come, in order to secure all obedience to the religion of nature? Reason may, to be sure, be sufficient to shew men their duty, and to encourage their performance of it with the assurance of obtaining a reward, if they would duly attend to its dictates, and suffer them to have their due effect upon them: it may guide mankind to virtue, and happiness consequent to it, as God must be a rewarder of all those who diligently seek him, and was enough to bring them to the knowledge, and engage them in the practice of true religion and righteousness, if they had not shut their eyes to its light, and wilfully rejected the rule written in their hearts. But as this was what mankind really did, and now do; as errors and impieties, owing to an undue use or neglect of reason, became universal; (just as the case of Christians is, by disregarding the New Testament); and reason, through men's faults, was rendered ineffectual, though still sufficient, (which justifies both the wisdom and goodness of God, in leaving man for so many ages to his natural will, and so great a part of the globe to this day with no other light than the law of nature); and reason, I say, was rendered ineffectual, tho' still sufficient to teach men to worship God with pious hearts and sincere affections, and to do his will by the practice of moral duties; to expect his favour for their good deeds, and his condemnation of their evil works; then was revelation a more powerful means of promoting true religion and godliness. The gospel is a more effectual light. It is a clearer and more powerful guide: a brighter motive and stronger obligation to universal obedience than reason can with certainty propose. And therefore, though there was not a necessity for God to give a new rule in vindication of his providence, and in order to render men accountable to him for their actions; yet the divine goodness was pleased to enforce the principles of reason and morality more powerfully by an express sanction of future rewards and punishments, and by the gospel restore religious worship to the original uncorrupted rational service of the Deity. This displays his paternal regard to his children, with glory to himself. Love was the moving principle of his sending Christ into the world, to reform the corruptions of reason, to restore it to its purity, and most effectually to promote the practice of the rules of it. The gospel-revelation considered in this manner appears to be the pure effect of the divine goodness. It is a conduct accompanied with the greatest propriety and glory.

If this representation of Christianity was as much the doctrine of the church as it is of the Ivonites I have mentioned, we might then, with hopes of success, call upon the rational infidels to come in. They could hardly refuse the invitation, when we told them, our religion was the eternal law of reason and of God restored, with a few excellently useful additions: that the gospel makes the very religion of nature, a main part of what it requires, and submits all that it reveals to the test of the law of reason: that the splendor of God's original light, the light of nature, and the revelation of Jesus, are the same; both made to deliver mankind from evils and madness of superstition, and make their religion worthy of God, and worthy of men; to enable them, by the voice of reason in conjunction with the words of the gospel, to know and worship One God, the Maker, the Governor, the Judge, of the world; and to practise all that is good and praise-worthy: that we may be blessed as we turn from iniquity to virtue; and by entring cordially into the spirit of the meritorious example or exemplary merits of Christ, be determined dead to sin, and alive to righteousness: in short, my brethren, in the suffering and death of Jesus, his patient, pious and meek, his benevolent and compassionate behaviour, under the most shocking insult, indignity, and torture, we have what we could not learn from the religion of nature, a deportment that well deserves both our admiration and imitation. We learn from the perfect example of Jesus, recommended in his gospel, to bear patiently ill-usage, and to desire the welfare of our most unreasonable and malicious enemies. This is improving by religion to the best purpose; and as we resemble the Son of God, the man Christ Jesus, in patience, piety, and benevolence, we become the approved children of the Most High, who is kind and good to the unthankful and to the evil. In this view of the gospel, all is fine, reasonable, and heavenly. The gentile can have nothing to object. We have the religion of nature in its original perfection, in the doctrine of the New Testament, enforced by pains and pleasures everlasting; and we learn from the death of the Mediator, not only an unprecedented patience, in bearing our sins in his own body on the tree; but the divine compassion and piety with which he bore them. We have in this the noblest example to follow, whenever called to suffer for well-doing, or for righteousness-sake; and by the imitation, we manifest such a command of temper and spirit, as can only be the result of the greatest piety and virtue. This added to keeping the commandments must render men the blessed of the Father, and entitle them to the kingdom prepared for the wise, the honest, and the excellent.

But, alas! instead of giving such an account of christianity, the cry of the doctors is, for the most part, Discard reason, and prostrate your understanding before the adorable mysteries. Instead of a Supreme Independent First Cause of all things to believe in and worship, they give Three true Gods in number, Three infinite independent Beings, to be called One, as agreeing in one common abstract essence, or species; as all mankind are one, in one common rational nature, or abstract idea of humanity. Amazing account! A triune no infidel or gentile of sense will ever worship.

Instead of fixing salvation or moral rectitude, and our preferring the will of God, as delineated in the words of the gospel, before all other considerations, we are told of an innocent, meritorious, propitiating blood, spilt by wicked hands, and so made an acceptable sacrifice, to a Being who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. This, we are assured, satisfies all the demands of the law. Here is infinite satisfaction:—and most certainly, I add, a cool indifference as to personal rectitude. When such a faith or credulity becomes the principal pillar of trust and dependance, then mere reliance on such satisfaction to divine justice, may be a stupifying opiate, and make many remiss in the labours of a penitential piety, and that exact rectitude of mind and life, which even reason requires, to render us acceptable to the Deity. Many an appetite and passion are indulged under this subterfuge; and with little fervency or zeal for good works, men expect to partake of the heavenly joys, by trusting to the merits of their Saviour, in their last will and testament. Deplorable case! Alas! how has Christianity suffered by its doctors! The infidel laughs at it as thus preached. It becomes a by-word, and a hissing to them that pass by.

8.

As to the library of my friends, the Ivonites, it was far from being a grand one, but I saw many curious books in it which had not come in my way before. From them I made several extracts, and to gratify my reader's curiosity a little, I will here favour him with one of them.

The first book I chanced to open in this library, was the second volume of Severin Bini's edition of the Councils (3) [Footnote 3: 25Kb] , (edit. Paris, 1630) and over-against a very remarkable passage from Cyril, (p. 548) I found several written leaves, bound up in the volume, and these leaves referred to by an asterisk. The passage I call remarkable, is part of a homily pronounced by the Alexandrian Patriarch before the council of Ephesus on St. John's day, in a church dedicated to his name. In rehearsing his discourse to the Holy Fathers, the Saint cites Heb. i. 6. and then addresses himself to the apostle.

Otan de palin eisagage ton pototokon eis ten oikoumenen, legei, kai proskunesatosan auto pantes Angeloi THeou.. —--"When he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, Let all the angels of God worship him." —--Mustagogeson Euangelista, eipe kai Nun, o Makarie Ioanne, &c. —O blessed John the Evangelist, explain this mystery: Who is this first-begotten—how came he into the world? Mysterium hoc aperi, effare etiam nunc, qui voces habes immortales. Resera nobis puteum vitæ. Da, ut nunc quoque de salutis fontibus hauriamus.

This passage of Cyril I have heard several learned Roman Catholic gentlemen call a prayer, and affirm it was a proof of the Father's Invocation of saints, in the beginning of the 5th century; for St. Cyril succeeded his uncle Theophilus in the see of Alexandria, October 16, 412. But to this it may be answered,—

1. That Binius, though a zealous pleader for the catholic cause, (as the monks of Rome miscall it) was of another opinion, for he takes no notice of this passage in his notes (in calce part. 3, Concil. Ephesini, tom. 2. p. 665, &c.) and most certainly, he would not have failed to urge it, if he had considered it as a prayer, and believed it did prove the invocation of saints.

2. Nor does Bellarmine, in his treatise de sanctorum beatitudine, Henricus Vicus, de sanctorum invocatione, Gabriel Vasquez, de adoratione, or Gregorius de Valentia, de oratione, make use of this passage of Cyril, tho' they do, ex professo, and datâ operâ, diligently quote all the councils and fathers they can, to prove invocation of saints.

3. As rhetorical apostrophes, or prosopopæias, are usual in all authors, sacred or civil, this may be one in Cyril, and it seems very plain from the passage, that it was intended for no more. It appears to be a rhetorical figure, and not a prayer; such a figure as the Greek fathers were wont very frequently to use in their orations and poems.

Cyril intending, as appears by the sequel, to answer his own question with a passage in St. John's gospel, makes a long rhetorical apostrophe to the apostle, as if he were there present, then adds, Annon dicentem audimus, Oukoun akouomen legontos? But do we not hear him saying? Or, as Binius has the reading, Oukoun akouomen legontos, let us hear what St. John saith, audiamus itaque dicentem, as if they had heard John giving his answer, and then concludes with the first verse of the first chapter of his gospel, En Arche en o Logos, &c. In the beginning was the word, &c.

It is therefore very plain, that this passage of Cyril is only a part of his homily or sermon, and that in a rhetorical manner, he quotes a text from a gospel written by John about 330 years before, in answer to his own question, who the word was? For Cyril to pray to John to tell them what he had told them long before, were senseless and ridiculous; but to desire the apostle to do it in a rhetorical apostrophe, was allowable. It amounts to no more than the figurative expression in our liturgy, Hear what comfortable words our Saviour saith. Hear what St. Paul saith.

But if Cyril did in this passage truly pray to St. John, that could be no argument for popish invocation of saints ; for, if an hundred fathers in the beginning of the fourth century, had preached up, and practised invocation of saints, yet that could not make it lawful and right, since we are taught by the scriptures to direct our prayers neither to saint nor angel, but to God only, and in the name and mediation of Jesus Christ only. We are not only positively ordered by the apostles to make all our addresses and prayers to God only, and by the mediation and intercession of Jesus Christ; but are told, that God is omniscient, and so able to hear all our prayers;—all-sufficient, and therefore able to supply all our necessities; —and that his mercies in Jesus Christ are infinite. This makes our way sure in this particular.

On the contrary, the papists have no precept to pray to saints; nor any promise that they shall be heard ; nor any practice of the primitive church, for 300 years after Christ, to encourage them; and therefore, such popish invocation is a novel, groundless, and impious error .

We are told by St. Peter, (Acts v. 31.) that God had exalted the Lord Jesus Christ to be a Prince and Saviour, that is, an intercessor. —By St. Paul, (Heb. vii. 25.) that Christ is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them; (chap. ix. 24.) that he is gone to heaven (for this very end) to appear in the presence of God for us: (1 Tim. ii. 5.) that there is no other mediator betwixt God and men but the man Christ Jesus, that is, whose prerogative it is to intercede for sinners to the Divine Majesty; being an honour and dignity God hath exalted him unto, after his sufferings, and as a reward thereof: —Thus are we informed by the divine oracles, and yet, notwithstanding this, to make prayers and supplications to the Virgin Mary, and a thousand other saints, for aid or help; and to have by their merit and intercession, the gifts and graces they pray for conferred upon them;—this is a doctrine of such dangerous consequence, as it is a depriving of Christ Jesus of that grand dignity and prerogative he is now in heaven exalted to, as much as in men lies, that I should have admired how it ever came to be embraced by such as profess christianity, had not the spirit of God foretold (1 Tim. iv. 4.) that some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, (that is, seducing men) and doctrines of devils, that is to say, doctrines concerning demons, or souls of famous men departed this life; which the heathens called demons; and to whom they gave the worship of prayer or invocation, as intercessors or inferior divinities. This prophecy hinders my wondering at the thing: but then I must call such modern invocation gentilism christianized; a deplorable corruption.

Ponder then, ye Catholics, in time, and think not to excuse yourselves by arguing from the command Christians have here on earth to require each others prayers to God for them: —For, we have no command to supplicate any in heaven but only God. (Matt. vi. 8.) We have no reasonable assurance that the saints in heaven do hear our prayers, and of consequence have not the same reasons to request their prayers to God for us that we have to request the prayers of saints on earth: nor is this all: our prayers to each other in this life are only christian requests to recommend our conditions to God: offices only of kindness : no acts of religious worship.

When St. Paul was on earth, had any one on bended knees, with hands and eyes lifted up to heaven, in time of public prayer, and amidst the solemn prayers to God, beseeched him for aid and help, and for the conference of gifts and graces, he would have rent his cloathes, and said, Why do ye these things? and can we suppose, that now in heaven, the apostle is less careful to preserve entire God's prerogative.

Beside, there is a great deal of difference betwixt St. Paul's saying, Brethren, pray for us, or our requesting the prayers of the faithful here on earth for us, and praying to saints in heaven, as practised in the Roman church. Our's, are only wishes and requests; their's, solemn prayers on bended knees, made in the places and proper seasons of divine worship, and joined with the prayers they make to God. They use the same postures and expressions of devotions they use to God himself. They pray to them for help and aid, and make them joint-petitioners with Christ; relying on their merits as the merits of Christ.

In sum, in the tabernacle of this world, we are to request the prayers of every good christian for us: but in the tabernacle of heaven, we are to call on none but Him in whom we believe. As in the outward court of the Jewish tabernacle, every priest was permitted to officiate, to receive and present the devotions of the people to the divine majesty; but in the holy place, within the vail, none but the high-priest was to do any office or service : even so in the tabernacle of this world, every christian being a priest to God, has this honour conferred upon him; but in the holy of holies, in heaven, none but Christ, our high-priest, is to officiate . He only is there to appear in the presence of God for us. It is his prerogative alone to receive our prayers, and present them to the divine majesty. As none but the high-priest was to offer incense in the holy of holies, so none in heaven but Christ our high-priest is to offer our prayers to God his father. He alone is that angel to whom much incense was given, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar that was before the throne . (Rev. viii. 3.) Which alludes to the altar that was before the mercy-seat, on which the high-priest only was to offer incense.

But the catholic may say perhaps, that as on earth, men do not presently run to kings to present their requests, but obtain his favours by the mediation of courtiers and favourites; even so, it is fitting we have recourse to saints, who are favourites in heaven, that we may obtain access to God, and have our suits accepted of him. Thus have I heard some learned men of the church of Rome argue. They should consider, however, in the first place, that if an earthly prince had declared he would have no sollicitor but his son, and that all favours and royal graces should come to his subjects through his hands, and by means of his mediation; such subjects could deserve no favour, if they make their application to other favourites, contrary to their prince's command. —In the next place, if the sollicitor, the son, was out of the question, and no such one had been declared by the king, yet as we petition earthly princes by such as enjoy their presence, because they cannot give audience to all their subjects, nor do they know the worthy; but God is omnipresent, his ears always open, and his head bowed down to the prayers of his people; is no respecter of persons, but gives a like access to the beggar as to the prince, and promises to cast out none that make their application to him; it follows of consequence, that we ought to address ourselves immediately to God, and ask from him. If an earthly prince should thus invite his subjects to petition him for the supply of their wants, I should account the man no better than a fool or a madman, who would apply himself to any of the king's favourites.

The conclusion is; O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. (Ps. lxv. 2.) Since God, who is infinite in mercy, omnipresent, and omnipotent in wisdom and action, admits every man to the throne of grace, bids him ask in the name of Jesus Christ, and promises, whatever we ask in his Son's name, he will do it. —Since the practice of praying to saints is injurious to Christ, and doth manifestly rob him of his royal prerogative, which is to be the one, and only mediator betwixt God and man; for in this office, he hath no sharers or partners, according to the scripture account: As God is but one, and there is no other; so the mediator (by the appointment of God) is but one, and there is, there can be no other (4) — And since, exclusive of these unalterable things, the Roman doctors cannot be certain, that saints in heaven hear the requests of suppliants on earth, or know whether our prayers are fit to be accepted of God (5) [Footnote 5: 2Kb] ; let us reject that unlawful practice, the invocation of saints, and pray for pardon and grace (as the gospel directs) to God the judge of all, through Jesus Christ the mediator of the new covenant. This do, and thou shalt live.

N. B. Who was the author of these good remarks, these friars could not tell me; as they were in the book when they bought it. If I mistake not, they are an abstract from a letter of Bishop Barlow to Mr. Evelyn, with several additions. I have not Bishop Barlow's works by me; but I think I have seen something to this purpose, written by this prelate about one hundred years ago.

SECTION III.

"Say why was man so eminently rais'd
"Amid the vast creation; why ordain'd
"Through life and death to dart his piercing eye,
"With thoughts beyond the limits of his frame;
"But that th' omnipotent might send him forth
"In sight of mortal and immortal powers,
"As on a boundless theatre, to run
"The great career of justice; to exalt
"His gen'rous aim to all diviner deeds;
"To shake each partial purpose from his breast;
"And thro' the mists of passion and of sense,
"And thro' the tossing tide of chance and pain,
"To hold his course unfault'ring, while the voice
"Of truth and virtue, up the steep ascent
"Of nature, calls him to his high reward,
"Th' applauding smile of heav'n? Else wherefore burns
"In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,
"That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
"And mocks possession? Wherefore darts the mind
"With such resistless ardor to embrace
"Majestic forms; impatient to be free,
"Spurning the gross controul of wilful might;
"Proud of the strong contention of her toils;
"Proud to be daring?"

1.

The eighth of April, 1729, I bid the Ivonites adieu, and by their directions walked up a very steep and stony mountain, which took me two hours, and then arrived at what I had often seen before in this part of the world, a great lake, the water of which was black as ink to look at as it stood, though very bright in a cup, and must be owing, as I suppose, to its descending to the abyss: by the side of this water, under the shade of oak-trees, many hundred years old, we rid for an hour, on even ground, and then came to a descent so very dangerous and dark, through a wood on the mountain's side, that we could hardly creep it down on our feet, nor our horses keep their legs as we led them to the bottom. This declivity was more than a mile, and ended in a narrow lane between a range of precipices that almost met at top. This pass was knee-deep in water, from a spring in the bottom of the mountain we had come down, which ran through it, and so very stony, that it took us three hours to walk the horses to the end of it, though it was not more than two miles: but at last we came to a fine plain, over which we rid for an hour and a half, and arrived at a wood, which seemed very large, and stood between two very high unpassable hills. In this forest was our way, and the road so dark, and obstructed by the branches of trees, that it was dismal and uneasy to go. On however we went for a long time, and about the middle of it came to a circular opening of about four acres, in which four very narrow roads met; that we had travelled, another before us, and one on each hand. The way strait on we were cautioned by my friends not to go, as it was a terrible ride; but whether to turn to the right or left, we had forgot. I thought to the right; but my lad was positive, he remembered the directions was to take the lefthand road. This caused a stop for some time, and as I was a little fatigued, I thought it best while we paused to dine. Finn brought immediately some meat, bread, and a bottle of cyder, from his valise, and under a great oak I sat down, while our horses fed on the green. One hour we rested, and then went on again, to the left, as O Finn advised. For several hours we rid, or rather, our horses walked, till we got out of the wood, and then arrived at the bottom of a steep mountain; one side of which is in the northern extremity of Westmoreland, and the other in the north end of Stanemore-Richmondshire. This vast hill we ascended, and came down the other side of the fell into a plain, which extends south-east for near half a mile to the river Teese, that divides the north end of Stanemore from Bishoprick, or the county of Durham. Yorkshire here ends in an obtuse angle, between two mountains, and the angle, for a quarter of a mile, is filled with that beautiful tall ever-green tree, the broad-leaved alaternus, intermixed here and there in a charming manner, with the fir tree, the Norway spruce, and the balm of Gilead. It is as fine a grove as can in any part of the world be seen.

2.

Just at the entrance of it, by the side of a plentiful spring, which runs into the Teese, there stood the prettiest little house I had ever beheld, and over it crept the pretty rock-rose, the cassine, the sea-green coromilla, and other ever-green shrubs. Before the house, was a large garden, seven or eight acres of land, under fruit-trees, and vegetables of every kind; very beautifully laid out; and watered in a charming manner by the stream that murmured a thousand ways from the spring by the house-door. I have not seen a sweeter thing. It appeared so beautiful and useful, so still and delightful a place, so judiciously cultivated, and happily disposed, that I could not help wishing to be acquainted with the owner of such a lodge.

3.

As there was no other fence to this fine spot of ground but a ditch like a ha to keep cattle out, I leaped into the gardens, and roamed about for some time, to look at the curious things. I then went up to the house, in hopes of seeing a human creature either high or low. I knocked at the door, but no one could I find, though the mansion did not look like an uninhabited place. I then sauntered into the grove behind, and in a winding way of three hundred yards, that had been cut through the perennial wood, and was made between banks of springing flowers, beautiful exotics, and various aromatic shrubs, crept on till I arrived at a sleeping parlour, which stood in the middle of a circular acre of ground, and was surrounded and shaded with a beautiful grove; the larix, the phoenician cedar, and the upright savin. There was a little falling water near the door, that was pleasing to look at, and charmed the ear. Entring this room, I found the walls painted by some masterly hand, in baskets of flowers, and the finest rural scenes. Two handsome couches were on either side the chamber, and between these lit de repos was as curious a table for wood and workmanship as could be seen. Pretty stools stood near it, and one arm-chair. It was a sweet silent place, and in every respect, far beyond the sleeping parlour in the gardens at Stow . (6)

4.

On one of the couches, as it was then evening, and I knew not what to do, I threw myself down, and very soon fell fast asleep. I lay the whole night without waking, and as soon as I could perceive any day, went to see what was become of Finn and the horses. The beasts I found feeding on very good grass in the green; and my lad still snoaring under a great tree: but he was soon on his legs, and gave me the following account.

5.

About an hour after my departure from him, he saw a poor man pass over the plain, who had come down the mountain we descended, and was going to cross the Teese in a small skiff of his own, in order to go to his cottage on the other side in Bishoprick: that he lived by fishing and fowling, and sold what he got by land and water to the quality and gentlefolk, twenty miles round him. And on asking who lived in the house before us, on the skirts of the grove, he said, it belonged to a young lady of great fortune, Miss Antonia Cranmer, whose father had been dead about a year, (died in the house I saw): that she was the greatest beauty in the world, and only nineteen, and for one so young, wise to an astonishing degree: that she lived mostly at this seat, with her cousin, Agnes Vane, who was almost as handsome as she: that Miss Cranmer had no relish for the world, being used to still life, and seldom stirred from home, but to visit an old lady, her aunt, who lived in Cumberland: that she was at present there, about twenty miles off, and would soon return: that she kept four young gentlewomen (who had no fortunes) to attend her and Miss Vane; two old men servants, a gardner, and a cook; and two boys: that whenever she went from her house, she took her whole family with her, and left every place locked up as I saw. Finn's account surprised me. It set me a thinking if it was possible to get this charming girl. I paused with my finger in my mouth for a few minutes, and then bid him saddle the horses.

6.

As soon as it was possible, I went over the river to the fisherman's house, determining there to wait, till I could see the beautiful Antonia, and her fair kinswoman, another Agnes de Castro, to be sure. My curiosity could not pass two such glorious objects without any acquaintance with them.

The poor fisherman gave me a bed very readily for money, as he had one to spare for a traveller, and he provided for me every thing I could desire. He brought bread and ale from a village a few miles distant, and I had plenty of fish and wild-fowl for my table. Every afternoon I crossed the water, went to the sleeping parlour, and there waited for the charming Antonia. — Twenty days I went backwards and forwards, but the beauties in that time did not return. Still however I resolved to wait; and, to amuse myself till they came, went a little way off to see an extraordinary man.

7.

While I resided in this cottage, Christopher informed me, that about three miles from his habitation, there lived, in a wild and beautiful glin, a gentleman well worth my knowing, not only on account of his pretty lodge, and lone manner of spending his time, but as he was a very extraordinary man. This was enough to excite my curiosity, and as soon as it was light, the first of May, I went to look for this solitary. I found him in a vale, romantic indeed, among vast rocks, ill-shaped and rude, and surrounded with trees, as venerable as the forest of Fontainbleau. His little house stood on the margin of a fountain, and was encompassed with copses of different trees and greens. The pine, the oak, the ash, the chesnut tree, cypresses, and the acasia, diversified the ground, and the negligent rural air of the whole spot, had charms that could always please. Variety and agreeableness were every where to be seen. Here was an harbour of shrubs, with odoriferous flowers: and there, a copse of trees was crowned with the enamel of a meadow. There was a collection of the most beautiful vegetables in one part; and in another, an assembly of ever-greens, to form a perpetual spring. Pan had an altar of green turf, under the shade of elms and limes: and a water-nymph stood by the spring of a murmuring stream. The whole was a fine imitation of nature; simple and rural to a charming degree.

8.

Here lived Dorick Watson, an English gentleman, who had been bred a catholic in France, and there married a sister of the famous Abbé le Blanc. But on returning to his own country, being inclined by good sense and curiosity, to see what the protestants had to say in defence of their reformation, he read the best books he could get on the subject, and soon perceived, that Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, Zuinglius, Bucer, and other ministers of Christ, had said more against the Romish religion than the pretended catholics had been able to give a solid answer to. He saw, that barbarity, policy, and sophistry, were the main props of popery; and that, in doctrine and practice, it was one of the greatest visible enemies that Christ has in the world. He found that even Bellarmine's notes of his church were so far from being a clear and necessary proof that the church of Rome is the body of Christ, or true church, that they proved it to be the Great Babylon, or that great enemy of God's church, which the apostles describe.

He saw, in the first place, that there has not been, since the writing of the New Testament, any empire, but that of the church of Rome, so universal for 1260 years together, as to have all that dwell upon earth, peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues, to worship it; which is St. John's description of the new power that prevailed on the inhabitants of the earth to receive his idolatrous constitutions, and yield obedience to his tyrannical authority. And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, except those who are enrolled in the registers, as heirs of eternal life, according to the promises of the mediator of acceptance and blessing. (Rev. xiii. 8.) The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. (Rev. xvii. 15.) Bellarmine's Universality then is directly against him.

The Cardinal's second note, (continued Dorick) is antiquity, and his third a perpetual and uninterrupted duration. But on examination, I could find no ruling power, except Rome papal, so ancient, as to have the blood of prophets, and saints, and of all that were slain upon earth, of that kind for that space of time, to be found in it. (Rev. xviii. 24.) And what Rule but papal Rome had ever so long a duration upon seven hills, so as to answer the whole length of the time of the Saracen and Turkish empires.

The Cardinal's fourth note is amplitude, and it is most certain, that never had any other church such a multitude and variety of believers, as to have all nations drink of the wine of her fornication, and to gain a blasphemous power over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

The fifth note is the Succession of its bishops; and the sixth, Agreement with the doctrine of the antient church: Now it is most true, that none but Rome was ever so eminently conspicuous for so long a time for the succession of its bishops under one supreme patriarch, as to be the living image of all the civil dignities of the empire, where it was under one supreme church-head exercising all the power of the civil head: nor did ever any enemy of God's church act for so long a time like the red dragon in its bloody laws against the followers of the lamb: and yet so far agree with the primitive church in fundamental doctrines, as to answer the character of a false prophet with the horns of the lamb, that is, Christ, but speaking like the red dragon to his followers, as the church of Rome has done. (7) [Footnote 7: 7Kb]

The seventh note of Bellarmine's holy Roman catholic church, is the Union of the members among themselves, and with the head: And sure it is, that no where else but in Rome papal, has there been such an union of head and members for that length of time, as to apply the one mind of the ten kings for their agreement together, to give their power, and strength, and their whole kingdoms to the beast.

The eighth note produced by Cardinal Bellarmine, is Sanctity; and Watson saw it fairly proved by the protestant writers, that no church but Rome did ever appear so long together with such a medley of sanctity, in some doctrines, and outward appearances of a strict holiness of life, joined with the most abominable doctrines, and practices, to qualify it for the horns of the lamb, and the speech of the dragon for the idolatrous and cruel commands of the image; or, for having the form of godliness in the latter times, and yet denying the power thereof.

In short, Dorick not only found, on a careful enquiry, that the system of the church of Rome was error and turpitude, abomination, gain, and cruelty,—and her great design the very reverse of the gospel revelation, which came down from heaven to prepare men, by the practice of universal holiness and virtue, for eternal life; but likewise, that even her Cardinal's notes prove, this church cannot be, in any sense, the true church of Christ; and Bellarmine was perfectly infatuated to make choice of such things for the marks of his church, as make it the very picture of Babylon the Great. He resolved then to come out of Rome. He determined to forsake a church, which had altered the institutions of Christ, and is therefore guilty of heresy as well as schism.

This change in religion gave Dorick the highest satisfaction, (as he told me) and it was doubled by his being able to convert his beloved Adelaïde from popery to the church of Christ. But this joy had soon after some mitigation, by losing one of the most agreeable women in the world. Death robbed him of his heart's fond idol, and by that stroke he was so wounded, that he could not heal himself for a long time. He became the real mourner. He kept the reasons of his anguish continually before him, and was more intent upon spending his spirits, than his sorrows. He grew fond of solitude and silence, that he might indulge his passion, and provoke the emotion of that grief that was ready to devour him. In short, he retreated to the silent place I found him in, which was a part of his own estate, and turned hermit. He built the little villa I saw by the water-side, and formed the ground into the natural garden I beheld. Le Blanc mentions it in his letters, as an extraordinary thing, and very justly prefers it to the laboured and expensive Gardens at Chiswick, the work of the late Lord Burlington. Here Watson laid in every thing he had a mind for, and filled his closet with books. He amused and kept himself healthy by working in his garden, and when he had done abroad, went in to read. His principal study was the contemplation of the best learning, which is the true christian; and from that he went to know what the Greeks and Romans have resolved and taught. In some things, I found he was a learned agreeable man, and wondered greatly at his whim in turning hermit. I said a great deal against it, as we sat over a bottle of claret; told him he might employ his time and talents more usefully in the world, by mixing and conversing with his fellow creatures, and by a mutual participation and conveyance of the common blessings of nature and providence; and as he was not forty yet, advised him to go over the Teese, and make his addresses to Miss Cranmer or Miss Vane, both of them being most glorious girls, as I was told, and capable of adding greatly to the delights of philosophy. You have not seen two finer creatures, soul and body, than they are, if I have been rightly informed; and I think, it would be a nobler and more religious act to get one of them with child, in the state of holy wedlock, than to write the best book that was ever printed. For my own part, I had rather marry, and double-rib one of these dear creatures, than die with the character of a father of the desarts. But in vain did I remonstrate to this anchoret. Contemplation was become his Venus, from the hour he lost his Adelaïde; and he had lived so very happy in his lone state for seven years past, that he could not think of hazarding felicity by a change of life. He had all he desired. If at any time, any thing was wanting, Christopher the fisherman, who came to see him once or twice a week, very quickly got him whatever he required. This was Watson's answer to my advice, and seeing it was to no purpose to say any more, I wished my hermit health, and bid him adieu.

9.

Having, in the preceding article, mentioned the famous Abbé le Blanc, I think I ought to say something of him in this place, by adding a few remarks in relation to this extraordinary man. He was in England in the year 1735, and writ two volumes of letters in octavo, which were translated into English, and printed for Brindley in 1747. In this account of England, the French monk pretends to describe the natural and political constitution of our country, and the temper and manners of the nation; but, as is evident from his epistles, knew nothing at all of any of them.

Voltaire, however, (that wonderful compound of a man, half infidel, half papist; who seems to have no regard for christianity, and yet compliments popery, at the expence of his understanding (8) [Footnote 8: 3Kb] ; who writes the history of England with a partiality and malevolence almost as great as Smollet's, and pretends to describe the Britannic constitution, though it is plain from what he says, that he has not one true idea of the primary institutions of it, but taking this nation to be just such another kingdom of slaves as his own country, rails at the Revolution, and like all the Jacobite dunces, prates against the placing the Prince of Orange on the throne, and the establishment of the succession in the present protestant heirs; though most certain it be, that these things were the natural fruit and effect of our incomparable constitution, and are de jure: —In short, that Zoilus and plagiary,—that carping superficial critic, (as a good judge calls him); who abuses the English nation in his letters, and denies Shakespear almost every dramatic excellence; though in his Mahomet, he pilfers from Macbeth almost every capital scene: (Shakespear, who furnishes out more elegant, pleasing, and interesting entertainment, in his plays, than all the other dramatic writers, antient and modern, have been able to do; and, without observing any one unity but that of character, for ever diverts and instructs, by the variety of his incidents, the propriety of his sentiments, the luxuriancy of his fancy, and the purity and strength of his dialogue): Voltaire, I say, speaking of this Abbé le Blanc, wishes he had travelled through all the world, and wrote on all nations, for it becomes only a wise man to travel and write. Had I always such cordials, I would not complain any more of my ills. I support life, when I suffer. I enjoy it, when I read you. This is Voltaire's account of the Abbé. How true and just it is, we shall see in a few observations on what this reverend man says of our religion and clergy.

The substance of what this French monk reports, vol. II. from p. 64 to p. 75, in his letter to the President Bouhier, (9) [Footnote 9: 3Kb] is this:

1. That Cranmer, and the other doctors, who introduced the reformation into England, were downright enthusiasts, and compassed their designs by being seconded by those, who were animated by a spirit of irreligion, and by a greedy desire of seizing the possessions of the monks. It was the desire of a change established the reformation. The new doctors seduced the people, and the people having mistaken darkness for light, quitted the road of truth, to walk in the ways of error.

2. As to morals, that this boasted reformation produced no change in that respect; for the people are not purer than they were in former times, and the ecclesiastics are despised and hated for the badness of their lives. The bishops sacrifice every thing to their ambition; and the clergy of the second rank have no respect for their office. They spend the whole day in public places in smoaking and drinking, and are remarkable for drunkenness, so dishonourable to ecclesiastics. Their talk is the most dissolute, and the vice that degrades these professors, sets a bad example to sober people, and makes them the jest of libertines.

3. The only remarkable change produced by the reformation was the marriage of priests; and, exclusive of this being against the decisions of the catholic church, it is contrary to sound policy and experience. The marriage of priests diminishes the respect we should have for them. The misconduct of a woman makes the clergyman fall into contempt. The lewdness of the daughter makes the priest, her father, the object of the most indecent jests; and for the most part, the daughters of the clergy turn whores after the death of their father; who, while living, spent more of his income in maintaining himself and children in pleasure and luxury, than in works of charity. He lived profusely, and dies poor.

Beside, if the English clergy were the greatest and most excellent men, yet a great man in the eyes of the world, loses of the respect which is due to him, in proportion as he has any thing in common with the rest of mankind. A Madam Newton, and a Madam Fontenelle, would injure the illustrious men whose name they bore. Nor is this all. Those who by their disposition cannot fix that secret inclination, which induces us to love, on one person, are more humane and charitable than others. The unmarried ecclesiastics are more animated with that charitable spirit their function requires, as they have no worldly affections to divert it. People very rarely (as Lord Bacon says) employ themselves in watering plants, when they want water themselves. —In short, the English divines are the worst of men, and there is hardly any religion in England . —Thus does this French Abbé revile the English reformation and divines. He misrepresents the whole nation, and with a falshood and outrage peculiar to popery and mass-priests, that is, to devils and the most execrable religion, screams against the pure religion of the gospel, and dishonestly blackens some of the finest characters that ever adorned human nature. So very virulent is this reverend French papist against the clergy of England, that he is even positive there is not a divine in the nation knows how to behave like a gentleman.

In answer to the first article of impeachment, I observe, that it is so far from being true, that Cranmer, and the other English divines, our reformers, were enthusiasts, and compassed their designs by the assistance of those who were animated by a spirit of irreligion, and by a greedy desire of seizing the possession of the monks, (as this mass-priest asserts); that it is most certain, on the contrary, Cranmer, and the other reformers, were wise and upright christians, who, from a good understanding of religion, opposed the false pretensions of the church of Rome. They saw that popery was contrary to the true genius of christianity; its spirit insolent and cruel; and its worship, not only a jumble of the most ridiculous fopperies and extravagancies, borrowed from heathen customs and superstitions; but the impurest that ever appeared in the world: that the designs of popish Rome were contrary to all the principles of humanity; its doctrines abominable and sinful; and its offices cursed and diabolical: it was evident, I say, to the conception of these great men, (I mean Cranmer, and the other English reformers) that the Romish church was treacherous and inhuman, blood-thirsty and antichristian ; that her devotions were horrible and impious; her ministers false prophets and liars, covered and decked with the livery of Christ, but in every thing acting contrary to the salvation wrought by Jesus; and therefore these wise and excellent reformers renounced popery, and bravely declared for that religion, which promotes the good of all mankind, and inspires men to worship the Father only in spirit and in truth. They threw off the cloak and garments of antichrist: they gloriously separated from him, and joined together in purity and simplicity, to please the Lord Jehovah. There was no enthusiasm in the case, (as Le Blanc, the mass-priest, has the front to say) but, when the light of the gospel was obscured, and darkness had overspread the earth; when ignorance and superstition universally prevailed, and the immoralities of the Church of Rome were made to pass for christianity in the world; then did these reformers call the people out of Rome, and preach to them the essential truths of the faith. They called them from an idolatrous religion, and all its train of direful effects; from that sin of the first rank, which strikes at the being of a God, and ravishes from him the greatest honour that is due to him from his creature, man; they called them from the horrible service of the mass, from their addresses to angels and saints, and their worship of images; to the inward knowledge of one true God, and the worship due to him only; to the sanctification and honour, which is due to him above all things, and above every name; to the living hope in God through Christ; to regeneration, and inward renovation by faith, hope, and charity; to a holy conversation, and a faithful performance of all the commandments; to true repentance, perseverance to the end, and life eternal. To these truths, (not to be found in the religion of our travelling mass-priest) did the great, the glorious English reformers call mankind. They laboured to establish them in every thing tending to a pure faith, and good life. In this, there is not, there cannot be any enthusiasm.

And as to their being assisted by those who were animated by a spirit of irreligion, and by a greedy desire of seizing the possessions of the monks, it does not appear to be the truth of the case. Supposing there were such irreligious men, the assistance the reformers had from any great men in Henry the eighth's time, when the abbeys were destroyed, was so very little, that malice only could mention it as an objection to the reformation. Popery, in that monarch's reign, was still the established religion of England, and both sides blame this king's persecutions. If papists were put to death for denying the supremacy of Harry, protestants were no less sufferers, for opposing the adoration of the host, and other religious impieties. And after the short reign of his son, Edward the sixth, what assistance had the reformers under bloody Mary? Did she not do all that infernal popery could suggest, to destroy Cranmer, his brethren, and their reformation? And did not they, without any other assistance than what they received from the spirit of God, continue to vindicate the truth as it is in Jesus, and teach the pure doctrines of the gospel, in opposition to the frauds and vile inventions of papal Rome. Without minding the indignities, the torments, and the cruel death prepared for them, the brave honest men went on with their heavenly work, and till, the flames made them silent, endeavoured to destroy the Romish artifices and immoralities, and to spread the pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father. They were zealous, with the truth of religion on their side, and laboured to convert, out of a pure and friendly regard to the eternal welfare of mankind. They did the work, by the blessing of God, and therefore the malicious Le Blanc, the mass-priest, reviles and blackens them.

What he says of usurpation, in respect of church lands, does not deserve any notice. The reforming clergy were not the actors in that scene. It was the king and his council. And as the Pope had shewed them the way, by granting bulls for the dissolution of the lesser monasteries, they thought, since the Pope's power was taken away by a general consent of the nation, the king, the church, and the people concurring, they might, with as little sacrilege, dissolve the rest. The king and parliament (says Bishop Burnet ) could not discern the difference between greater and lesser as to the point of sacrilege. And although some uses might cease by the doctrines of the reformation, as masses for souls departed, and monks to pray the dead out of purgatory; yet there were others to employ the church lands about, as some of them were in founding new bishopricks. And if in this case, the reformers had been guilty of some wilful errors, that could be no crime of the reformation. The culpable must answer it. For the satisfaction of conscience about the reformation, there can be but three questions fairly proposed. Was there sufficient cause for it? Was there sufficient authority? And whether the proceedings of our reformation were justifiable by the rule of scripture, and the ancient church? Upon these points we ought to join issue, and I am sure the conclusion must be in the affirmative.

As to Le Blanc's second observation in relation to the marriage of priests, which our reformation he says produced, it may be answered, that the doctrine of a priest's marriage being unlawful, was borrowed by the church of Rome from the antient heretics; especially from the Manichees, who allowed marriage to their hearers, as the church of Rome doth to laymen; but forbad it to their elect, as that church doth to her priests. St. Augustin charges the Manichees wth this error. Hic non dubito vos esse clamaturos invidiamque factures, castitatem perfectam vos vehementer commendare atque laudare, non tamen nuptias prohibere; quandoquidem auditores vestri quorum apud vos secundus est gradus ducere atque habere non prohibentur uxores. De moribus manichæorum, Lib. 2. c. 18.

The first pope we read of that condemned the marriage of priests, was Syricius, the Roman, A. D. 384—398. And upon this account, I wonder Baronius had not a regard to his memory: but it has been the misfortune of his holiness since his death to fall under the displeasure of the Cardinal to that degree, that he has struck him out of his catalogue of his Romish saints. He does not tell us for what reason. Perhaps it was because this pope rather dissuaded priests from marriage than peremptorily forbad it, as appears by his letters. (Syr. epist. 1. & 4. apud Binium.)

The next pope, who distinguished himself against the marriage of priests, was the son of Bald-head, count of Burgundy, (whose granddaughter was consort to Lewis the 6th, king of France); I mean the celebrated Guy, archbishop of Vienne, who succeeded Gelasius, A. D. 1119, and had for successor in the year 1124, Lambert of Bononia, commonly called Honorius the second. Calixtus the second, pope and prince of Burgundy, was the first who absolutely forbad priests marriage, and in case they were married, commanded them to be separated. (Grat. dist. 27. c. 8.) This was in the beginning of the twelfth century. And towards the end of it, A. D. 1198, the renowned son of Count Trasimund, I mean Innocent the third, the ever memorable Cardinal Lotharius, pronounced all the marriages of priests null. And afterwards came on the council of Trent, A. D. 1545—1563, which anathematizes those who say such marriages are valid. (Sess. 24. can. 9.)

But one would think, that God sufficiently declared his approbation of such marriages, in that the whole world hath by his appointment been twice peopled by two married priests; first by Adam, secondly by Noah. And we are sure, the holy scripture tells us, That marriage is honourable in all; (Heb. xiii. 4) and places it among the qualifications of a bishop, That he be the husband of one wife, having faithful children. (Tit. i. 6.) This, saith St. Chrysostom, the apostle prescribed to this end, that he might stop the mouths of hereticks, who reproached marriage; declaring thereby that marriage is no unclean thing, but so honourable, that a married man may be exalted to the sacred throne of a bishop. (Chrysost. hom. 2. in c. 1. ad tit.) What do you say to this, Le Blanc? I fancy you never read this homily of Chrysostome. —And well might this saint think it not unbecoming a bishop to marry, when our Lord thought it not unbecoming an apostle, no not the prince of the apostles (as the Romanists will have him), for it is without doubt, that St. Peter was married; in that the scripture makes mention of his wife's mother. (Matt. viii. 14.) And Clemens of Alexandria tells us, that it was certainly reported, that when he saw his wife led to death, he rejoiced; and having exhorted her and comforted her, he called her by her name, and bid her remember the Lord. (Clemens Alex. Stromat. l. 7. p. 736. lut. 1629.) And that he was not only married, but begat children, the same Clemens in another place affirms, (Stromat. l. 3. p. 448.) Yea that St. Philip and St. Jude were also married, and had children, Eusebius is witness. (Euseb. eccles. hist. l. 3. c. 20—31.) And in like manner we find, that many of the primitive bishops were married. Charemon bishop of Nilus, St. Spiridion, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Gregory Nyssen, St. Hilary, and many more, were married men.

Nor can it be said, that they took wives while they were laymen, and after they took upon them the sacred ministry, were separated from them; since the canons, commonly called the apostles, did prohibit either bishop, priest, or deacon, to put away his wife upon pretence of religion. (See canon 5.) And if any such shall abstain from marriage, as in itself abominable, command that he be corrected, or deposed, and cast out of the church. (Canon 50.)

Now supposing these canons (notwithstanding all that Whiston has said) were not made by them whose name they bear, yet they are allowed by all to be of much greater antiquity than the first Nicene council. And when in that council it was moved, that bishops and priests, deacons and sub-deacons, might not cohabit with their wives, which they had taken before ordination, the motion was presently dashed by the famous Paphnutius, who was himself a single person. (Socrat. eccles. hist. l. 1. c. 11.) Yea a long time after this council, we meet with many popes, who were sons of bishops and priests.

Pope Theodorus, Silverius, and Gelasius I. were the sons of bishops: pope Boniface I. Felix II. and Agapetus II. were the sons of priests. (Gratian. dist. 56. c. 2.) and that we may not think this strange, Gratian himself informs us, that the marriage of priests was in those days lawful in the Latin church. (Dist. 56. c. 12.)

Nor is this doctrine to be rejected only as contrary to scripture, and to primitive and apostolical practice, but because of the abominable fruits produced in the church of Rome by it. For when the clergy might not have wives, (which God allowed), instead of them they took whores; and that wickedness so far prevailed in the church, that the Cardinal of Cambray informs us, (De reform. eccles.) many clergymen were not ashamed publickly, in the face of the world, to keep concubines. And the gloss upon Gratian says, A priest may not be deposed for simple fornication, because there are few priests to be found without that fault. This made Pius the second say, that though priests were by the western church forbid to marry for good reason, yet there was stronger reason to restore marriage to them again. (Hist. Council Trent. l. 7. p. 680.) And many in that council, were so sensible of this, that they alledged the great scandal given by incontinent priests, and that there was want of continent persons fit to exercise the ministry. (Paoli, p. 679. &c.) The Emperor and the Duke of Bavaria did therefore require, that the marriage of priests might be granted. (Paoli, p. 680. &c.) And many bishops desired that married persons might be promoted to holy orders; but this request was not granted, because, as the fathers observed, if the clergy once come to be married, they will no longer depend on the Pope, but on their prince.

To conclude this article, (and I shall do it in the words of a great man, a prelate of the church of England, now living); To make war against the very Being of their species, they, (the Romish priests) devote themselves to a single life, in blasphemous opposition to that first great command and blessing, increase and multiply.

As to Le Blanc's third observation, relating to the immoralities and bad behaviour of the English clergy; I answer, if there are several bad men among so large a body as the protestant divines are, which is not strange, as it is the common case of all societies, yet the majority of them, orthodox and other dox, are as worthy men as can be found among the human race. I am very sure my acquaintance among them has been much larger than Le Blanc's could possibly be; and I can affirm from my own knowledge, that there are very many of this order of men, not only as fine gentlemen as I have ever conversed with; but, a clergy holy in heart; superior to pride, to anger, to foolish desires; who walk as Christ also walked, and by their example and doctrine, labour to make the people what the gospel requires they should be; that is, pious and useful, pure and honest, meek and charitable; to walk by faith, and not by sight; and so pass through things temporal, that they may be sure of obtaining the things eternal. This I can say of many English divines of my acquaintance: and I may add, that this testimony from me, who am not over-fond of the clergy, (as the main of the christianity of too many of them lies in their opinion; decked with a few outward observances, says Mr. Wesley very truly, in his letter to Bishop Warburton) and only upon occasion, endeavour now to do them justice, is certainly of more weight in their favour, than the calumny and abuse of a furious bigot and mass-priest, can be to make the world have as bad an opinion of them, as popery, and its wretched emissaries, would have the public entertain. Consider this then when you read Le Blanc's letters.

On the other hand, I have had a very large and intimate acquaintance with mass-priests in my time, in many parts of the world; and, a few excellent ones excepted, I can affirm, that more wicked and more worthless men than these Romish monks, I have never seen. If adultery, fornication, drunkenness, and swearing, are crimes, then the greatest criminals I could name in these respects, are Roman-catholic priests. Let this assertion of mine be set over-against the character the Abbé Le Blanc gives the English protestant ministers. Consider all I have said, when you read this mass-priest's fifty-eighth letter, and then judge of our reformation and clergy (10) [Footnote 10: 3Kb] . —But it is time to return to the cottage of Christopher the fisherman, and see what happened to Antonia and Agness .

10.

When I came back to the poor man's cottage, he told me the ladies were come home, and as he had given Miss Cranmer some account of me, as a traveller who had journeyed into that remote corner of the world, in search of antiquities and curiosities, he did not think this lady would be averse to seeing me and hearing me too, if I contrived any plausible pretence to throw myself in her way.

Immediately then I crossed the water, went up to the house, and as I saw her and the fair Agness, her cousin, walking in the garden, near the ha, leaped it over immediately, broad as it was, and with my hat in my hand, made her a low bow, began an apology for presuming to introduce myself to her presence in such a manner, and concluded with my being in love with her charming character, before I had the honour and happiness of seeing her. What a condition then must I be in, when a heaven-born maid, like her, appeared! Strange pleasures filled my soul, unloosed my tongue, and my first talk could not be any thing but love. A deal I said on the subject, not worth repeating to the reader; and the issue of the matter was, that I became so well acquainted with this innocent beauty, that, on taking my leave, I had an invitation to breakfast with her the next morning. I was there by eight, and really and truly quite charmed with her. She was pretty as it was possible for flesh and blood to be, had a beautiful understanding; and as she had very little notion of men, having seen very few, except the two old servants who lived with her, she had not a notion of any danger that could come from conversing freely with a man she knew nothing of, and who might be an enemy in disguise.

After breakfast, I offered to go, but she asked me to stay and dine; and to sum up the matter, I did dine, sup, and breakfast with her every day, for a month, till my good priest, Friar Fleming, arrived, on a letter I had sent him, and we were married before the end of six weeks. We loved to excess, and did enhance human happiness to a high degree. She was good as an angel; and for two years we lived in unspeakable felicity. For the greatest part of that time, we were at Orton-Lodge, as she liked the wild place. There she likewise died of the small-pox, in the first month of the third year, and left me the most disconsolate of men. Four days I sat with my eyes shut, on account of this loss, and then left the Lodge once more, to live if I could, since my religion ordered me so to do, and see what I was next to meet with in the world. As grief sat powerfully on my spirits, and if not dislodged, would have drank them all up very soon, I resolved to hasten to Harrogate, and in the festivities of that place forget my departed partner as soon as I could. I laid my Antonia by my Charlotte and my Statia, and then rode off. What happened at the Wells, and all the observations I made there, and thereabout, the reader will find in my fifth section.

N. B. As I mention nothing of any children by so many wives, some readers may perhaps wonder at this, and therefore, to give a general answer, once for all, I think it sufficient to observe, that I had a great many, to carry on the succession; but as they never were concerned in any extraordinary affairs, nor ever did any remarkable things, that I heard of;—only rise and breakfast, read and saunter, drink and eat, it would not be fair, in my opinion, to make any one pay for their history.

SECTION V.

As once, ('twas in Astræa's reign)
The vernal powers renew'd their train,
It happened that immortal Love
Was ranging thro' the spheres above,
And downward hither cast his eye
The year's returning pomp to spy;
He saw the radiant God of day
Lead round the globe the rosy May;
The fragrant airs and genial hours
Were shedding round him dews and flow'rs;
Before his wheels Aurora past,
And Hesper's golden lamp was last.
But, fairest of the blooming throng,
When Health majestic mov'd along,
All gay with smiles, to see below
The joys which from her presence flow,
While earth inliven'd hears her voice,
And fields, and flocks, and swains rejoice;
Then mighty Love her charms confess'd,
And soon his vows inclin'd her breast;
And known from that auspicious morn,
The pleasing Chearfulness was born.
   Thou, Chearfulness, by heav'n design'd
To rule the pulse, that moves the mind,
Whatever fretful passion springs,
Whatever chance or nature brings
To strain the tuneful poize within,
And disarrange the sweet machine,
Thou, Goddess, with a master-hand,
Dost each attemper'd key command,
Refine the soft, and swell the strong,
'Till all is concord, all is song.

1.

In the year 1731, I arrived at Harrogate, in the West-riding of Yorkshire, in order to amuse my mind with the diversions and company of the place. It is a small straggling village on a heath, two miles from Knaresborough, which is thirteen miles from York, and 175 from London. The sulphur wells are three, on the north side of the town, about 500 yards east of the bog. They rise out of a little dry hill. The second is a yard from the first, and the third is five yards and a half from the second. The water rises into stone-basons, which are each inclosed in a small neat building of stone and lime a yard square on the insides, and two yards high, covered over with thick flagstones laid shelving.

The soil out of which these springs rise is, first, corn-mould, then a marle lime-stone, and a stratum of plaister: the lime-stone is so abraded by the salt in the water, that when dried, it swims: and where the water stagnates between the basons and the brook, the earth is ink black, and has a dry white scum, which smells like sulphur, and burns with a blue flame. The water does likewise throw up much candied sea salts, that is, salts to which sulphur adheres, and the pigeons resort from all parts to pick them up. In moist or rainy weather, these waters send forth a strong smell at a distance, and before rain, they bubble up with an impetuous force; yet neither rain nor drought increases or decreases the springs.

From the large quantities of fine flower of brimstone which these waters throw off, it is plain, that sulphur is the principal thing in them; but experiment likewise proves, that besides sulphur, the stinking well has vitriol, nitre, copper, and salt: These lie in solutis principiis in earth from which the water comes, and may be separated by operation: some, I know, deny there is any copper in these waters; but they do not consider that the glittering glebes of a gold colour found here, can be nothing else than glebes gilt with copper.

As to the diseases wherein this strong sulphur-water is proper, it is good for every thing, except a consumption. For this I recommend the Scarborough purging-chalybeate above all waters. But if, reader, you have obstructions in your liver and other viscera, and are tormented with vicious humours in your intestines; if your bowels are full of worms, the ascarides, or the broad round worm, or the worms called the dog and the wolf, from their likeness to these animals; or if, from a venereal cause, (the malady of many a priest and layman) you have an ulcer in the anus, or in the neck of your bladder, go to Harrogate; drink the stinking-water, live temperate, and you will be cured. For the scurvy, that universal disease, it is better than all other medicines. It is excellent in the jaundice, though of many years standing. It cures the asthma, the scotomia, and palsy, and in many other deplorable cases gives wonderful relief. Whatever ails you, (the consumption excepted) fly to Harrogate, and the water will do you good, if your hour be not come: and if you are well, the waters will promote long life, and make you the more able to dance with the ladies.

Four pints of water are enough for a patient, to be taken from half an hour to two hours after sun rising, upon an empty stomach. You should take some preparatory medicine; and walk drinking the waters to warm the body a little, and make the passage the easier. Some people I have known drink their dose in bed, and it does well enough: but exercise and the thin open air do better, and contribute not a little to the patient's recovery: and there is no finer fresher air in England than at this place.

In short, these wells are the strongest sulphur-water in Great-Britain, and, from the superior strength of the impregnating sulphur, it does not lose but retain the sulphureous smell, even when exposed to a scalding, and almost a violent heat; and, in distilling it, when three pints had been taken off from a gallon of it, the last was as strong as the first, and stunk intolerably.

Make haste then to Harrogate, if you are sick, and have money, and in all probability you will find the waters efficacious, unless thy distemper be a consumption, or in its nature incurable, which is the case of many, as death is the common fate of mankind.

2.

But when you are there, let me advise you to exercise as much as you can bear, without fatiguing yourself,—and in the next place, to be regular in meats and drinks, and as temperate as possible. Without these things, you will lose the benefit of the waters. No good can be expected, if men will indulge during a course of drinking the spaw, and be not only excessive in quantity, but indiscreet as to the quality, of meats and liquors.

I have known some worn-out hard drinkers come to the Wells for relief, and at the same time increase by intemperance what they had contracted by the same measure. I have likewise seen some in a diabetes drink white wine; in a cachexy, ale; in the stone and gravel, claret. I have known a man in a dropsy, eat nothing but cooling, insipid, mucilaginous foods, and drink malt-drink plentifully:—a man in a jaundice, eat nothing but flesh meat and claret:—in a scurvy, prefer the pungent, saline diet:—in obstinate obstructions, and a chronic hyppo, feed on thickning, hardning, and drying meats:— and in a hectic, vomiting, and spitting of blood, chuse only such things as increase the blood's momentum and velocity. I have known some gentlemen, who sat up late, never exercised, could not eat a dinner, and therefore would indulge in a flesh supper. — All these, and many other irregularities, have I known expect surprising effects from the waters, and when they received no benefit, say, there were no sanative principles in them. Unreasonable, unhappy men! Be temperate: regular: exercise: keep the passions within bounds: and you may expect very astonishing cures; provided your bodies are not become irreparable, and no longer tenantable : that your juices are not to the last degree glutinous and acrimonious: that the corrosiveness of your blood is not bringing on mortifications; —nor inflammations, filling, dilating, and breaking your vessels into suppuration and putrefactions. Then, live how you will, the waters can be of no use. You must pay the debt of nature by an incurable disease. Neither mineral waters, nor physic, can create and enliven new bodies, or make and adapt particular members to the old. But if you are only hurt a little, and the disease is curable, the waters will certainly be efficacious, and recover you, if you use moderate exercise (riding especially) and diversion, a strict regularity, and great temperance.

O temperance! Divine temperance! Thou art the support of the other virtues, the preserver and restorer of health, and the protracter of life! Thou art the maintainer of the dignity and liberty of rational beings, from the wretched inhuman slavery of sensuality, taste, custom, and examples; and the brightner of the understanding and memory! Thou art the sweetner of life and all its comforts, the companion of reason, and guard of the passions! Thou art the bountiful rewarder of thy admirers and followers: thine enemies praise thee: and thy friends with rapturous pleasure raise up a panegyric in thy praise.

O hunger, hunger, immortal hunger! Thou art the blessing of the poor, the regale of the temperate rich, and the delicious gust of the plainest morsel. Cursed is the man that has turned thee out of doors, and at whose table thou art a stranger! Yea, thrice cursed is he, who always thirsts, and hungers no more!

3.

As to the company at these wells, I found it very good, and was pleased with the manner of living there. In the day-time we drank the waters, walked or rid about, and lived in separate parties; lodging in one or other of the three inns that are on the edge of the common: but at night, the company meet at one of the public-houses, (the inns having the benefit of the meeting in their turn), and sup together between eight and nine o'clock on the best substantial things, such as hot shoulders of mutton, rump-stakes, hot pigeon pies, veal-cutlets, and the like. For this supper, ladies and gentlemen pay eight-pence each, and after sitting an hour, and drinking what wine, punch, and ale, every one chuses, all who please get up to country-dances, which generally last till one in the morning; those that dance, and those who do not, drinking as they will. The ladies pay nothing for what liquor is brought in, either at supper or after, and it costs the gentlemen five or six shillings a man. At one the ladies withdraw, some to their houses in the neighbourhood, and some to their beds in the inns. The men who are temperate, do then likewise go to rest.

In short, of all the wells I know, Harrogate is in my opinion the most charming. The waters are incomparable, no air can be better: and with the greatest civility, chearfulness, and good humour, there is a certain rural plainness and freedom mixed, which are vastly pleasing. The lady of pleasure, the well-drest taylor, and the gamester, are not to be found there. Gentlemen of the country, and women of birth and fortune, their wives, sisters, and daughters, are for the most part the company. There were at least fourscore ladies in the country-dances every night, while I was there, and among them many fine women.

4.

Among the company I found at this agreeable place, were six Irish gentlemen, who had been my contemporaries in Trinity-College, Dublin, and were right glad to see me, as we had been Sociorums, (a word of Swift's) at the conniving-house at Rings-end, for many a summer's evening, and their regard for me was great. They thought I had been long numbered with the dead, as they could not get any account of me for so many years; and when they saw me, at their entring the public room, sitting by a beauty, in deep discourse, God-zounds, (says one of them), there he is, making love to the finest woman in the world. These gentlemen were Mr. Gollogher, Mr. Gallaspy, Mr. Dunkley, Mr. Makins, Mr. Monaghan, and Mr. O'Keefe, descended from the Irish kings, and first cousin to the great O'Keefe, who was buried not long ago in Westminster Abby. They were all men of large fortunes, and, Mr. Makins excepted, were as handsome, fine fellows as could be picked out in all the world. Makins was a very low, thin man, not four feet high, and had but one eye, with which he squinted most shockingly. He wore his own hair, which was short and bad, and only drest by his combing it himself in the morning, without oyl or powder. But as he was matchless on the fiddle, sung well, and chated agreeably, he was a favourite with the ladies. They preferred ugly Makins (as he was called) to many very handsome men. I will here give the public the character of these Irish gentlemen, for the honour of Ireland, and as they were curiosities of the human kind.

5.

O'Keefe was as distinguished a character as I have ever known. He had read and thought, travelled and conversed, was a man of sense, and a scholar. He had a greatness of soul, which shewed a pre-eminence of dignity, and by conduct and behaviour, the faithful interpreters of the heart, always attested the noblest and most generous sentiments. He had an extreme abhorrence of meanness of all kinds, treachery, revenge, envy, littleness of mind, and shewed in all his actions the qualities that adorn a man. — His learning was of the genteel and useful kind; a sort of agreeable knowledge, which he acquired rather from a sound taste and good judgment than from the books he had read. He had a right estimation of things, and had gathered up almost every thing that is amusing or instructive. This rendered him a master in the art of pleasing: and as he had added to these improvements the fashionable ornaments of life, languages and bodily exercises, he was the delight of all that knew him.

Makins was possessed of all the excellent qualities and perfections that are within the reach of human abilities. He had received from nature the happiest talents, and he made singular improvements of them by a successful application to the most useful and most ornamental studies. Music, as before observed, he excelled in. His intellectual faculties were fine, and, to his honour I can affirm, that he mostly employed them, as he did his great estate, to the good of mankind, the advancement of morality, and the spread of pure theism, the worship of God our Saviour, who raised and sent Christ to be a Redeemer. This gentleman was a zealous Unitarian, and, though but five and twenty, (when we met at Harrogate) a religious man: but his religion was without any melancholy; nor had it any thing of that severity of temper, which diffuses too often into the hearts of the religious a morose contempt of the world, and an antipathy to the pleasures of it. He avoided the assemblies of fools, knaves, and blockheads, but was fond of good company, and condemned that doctrine which taught men to retire from human society to seek God in the horrors of solitude. He thought the Almighty may be best found among men, where his goodness is most active, and his providence most employed.

Gallaspy was the tallest and strongest man I have ever seen, well made, and very handsome. He had wit and abilities, sung well, and talked with great sweetness and fluency, but was so extremely wicked, that it were better for him, if he had been a natural fool. By his vast strength and activity, his riches and eloquence, few things could withstand him. He was the most prophane swearer I have known: fought every thing, whored every thing, and drank seven in a hand; that is, seven glasses so placed between the fingers of his right hand, that in drinking, the liquor fell into the next glasses, and thereby he drank out of the first glass seven glasses at once. This was a common thing, I find from a book in my possession, in the reign of Charles the Second, in the madness that followed the restoration of that profligate and worthless prince. But this gentleman was the only man I ever saw who could or would attempt to do it; and he made but one gulp of whatever he drank; he did not swallow a fluid like other people, but if it was a quart, poured it in as from pitcher to pitcher. When he smoaked tobacco, he always blew two pipes at once, one at each corner of his mouth, and threw the smoak of both out of his nostrils. He had killed two men in duels before I left Ireland, and would have been hanged, but that it was his good fortune to be tried before a Judge, who never let any man suffer for killing another in this manner. (This was the late Sir John St. Leger.) He debauched all the women he could, and many whom he could not corrupt, he ravished. I went with him once in the stage-coach to Kilkenny, and seeing two pretty ladies pass by in their own chariot, he swore in his horrible way, having drank very hard after dinner, that he would immediately stop them, and ravish them: nor was it without great difficulty that I hindered him from attempting the thing; by assuring him I would be their protector, and he must pass through my heart before he could proceed to offer them the least rudeness. In sum, I never saw his equal in impiety, especially when inflamed with liquor, as he was every day of his life, though it was not in the power of wine to make him drunk, weak, or senseless. He set no bounds or restrictions to mirth and revels. He only slept every third night, and that often in his cloaths in a chair, where he would sweat so prodigiously as to be wet quite through; as wet as if come from a pond, or a pail of water had been thrown on him. While all the world was at rest, he was either drinking or dancing, scouring the bawdy-houses, or riding as hard as he could drive his horse on some iniquitous project. And yet, he never was sick, nor did he ever receive any hurt or mischief. In health, joy, and plenty, he passed life away, and died about a year ago at his house in the county of Galway, without a pang or any kind of pain. This was Jack Gallaspy. There are however some things to be said in his favour, and as he had more regard for me than any of his acquaintance, I should be ungrateful if I did not do him all the justice in my power.

He was in the first place far from being quarrelsome, and if he fought a gentleman at the small-sword, or boxed with a porter or coachman, it was because he had in some degree been ill used, or fancied that the laws of honour required him to call an equal to an account, for a transaction. His temper was naturally sweet.

In the next place, he was the most generous of mankind. His purse of gold was ever at his friend's service: he was kind and good to his tenants: to the poor a very great benefactor. He would give more money away to the sick and distressed in one year, than I believe many rich pious people do in seven. He had the blessings of thousands, for his charities, and, perhaps, this procured him the protection of heaven.

As to swearing, he thought it was only criminal, when it was false, or men lyed in their affirmations: and for whoring, he hoped there would be mercy, since men will be men while there are women. Ravishing he did not pretend to justify, as the laws of his country were against it; but he could not think the woman was a sufferer by it, as she enjoyed without sinning the highest felicity. He intended her happiness; and her saying No, kept her an innocent.

How far all this can excuse Mr. Gallaspy, I pretend not to determine: but as I thought it proper to give the world the picture of so extraordinary a man, it was incumbent on me, as his friend, to say all I could, with truth, in his vindication.

Dunkley had an extensive capacity, an exquisite taste, and a fine genius. Besides an erudition which denominates what we call a man of learning, he happily possessed a social knowledge, which rendered him agreeable to every body. He was one of the men that are capable of touching every note. To all the variety of topics for conversation, the diversity of occurrences and incidents, the several distinctions of persons, he could adapt himself. He would laugh like Democritus: weep like Heraclitus. He had the short, pert trip of the affected; the haughty, tragic stalk of the solemn; and the free, genteel gait of the fine gentleman. He was qualified to please all tastes, and capable of acting every part. He was grave, gay, a philosopher, and a trifler. He had a time for all things, relative to society, and his own true happiness, but none for any thing repugnant to honour and conscience. He was a surprising and admirable man.

Monaghan had genius and knowledge, had read many books, but knew more of mankind. He laughed at the men who lost among their books the elegancy of mind so necessary in civil society. He had no relish but for nice studies and fine literature, and despised too serious and abstruse sciences. This was reckoned a fault in him by several judges: but with me it is a quere, if he was much to blame. Politeness is certainly preferable to dry knowledge and thorny enquiries. This gentleman's was such as rendered him for ever agreeable and engaging. He was continually an improving friend, and a gay companion. In the qualities of his soul, he was generous without prodigality, humane without weakness, just without severity, and fond without folly. He was an honest and charming fellow. This gentleman and Mr. Dunkley married ladies they fell in love with at Harrogate Wells: Dunkley had the fair Alcmena, Miss Cox of Northumberland; and Monaghan, Antiope with haughty charms, Miss Pearson of Cumberland: They lived very happy many years, and their children I hear are settled in Ireland.

Gollogher was a man of learning and extraordinary abilities. He had read very hard for several years, and during that time, had collected and extracted from the best books more than any man I ever was acquainted with. He had four vast volumes of common-place, royal paper, bound in rough calf, and had filled them with what is most curious and beautiful in works of literature, most refined in eloquent discourses, most poignant in books of criticism, most instructive in history, most touching and affecting in news, catastrophes, and stories; and with aphorisms, sayings, and epigrams. A prodigious memory made all this his own, and a great judgment enabled him to reduce every thing to the most exact point of truth and accuracy. A rare man! Till he was five and twenty, he continued this studious life, and but seldom went into the mixed and fashionable circles of the world. Then, all at once, he sold every book he had, and determined to read no more. He spent his every day in the best company of every kind; and as he had the happy talent of manner, and possessed that great power which strikes and awakens fancy, by giving every subject the new dress and decoration it requires;—could make the most common thing no longer trivial, when in his hand, and render a good thing most exquisitely pleasing;—as he told a story beyond most men, and had, in short, a universal means towards a universal success, it was but natural that he should be every where liked and wished for. He charmed wherever he came. The specific I have mentioned made every one fond of him. With the ladies especially he was a great favourite, and more fortunate in his amours than any man I knew. Had he wanted the fine talents he was blest with, yet his being an extremely handsome man, and a master on the fiddle, could not but recommend him to the sex. He might, if he had pleased, have married any one of the most illustrious and richest women in the kingdom. But he had an aversion to matrimony, and could not bear the thought of a wife. Love and a bottle were his taste. He was however the most honourable of men in his amours, and never abandoned any woman to distress, as too many men of fortune do, when they have gratified desire. All the distressed were ever sharers in Mr. Gollogher's fine estate, and especially the girls he had taken to his breast. He provided happily for them all, and left nineteen daughters he had by several women a thousand pounds each. This was acting with a temper worthy of a man; and to the memory of the benevolent Tom Gollogher I devote this memorandum.

Having said above, that too many men of fortune abandon the girls they have ruined, I will here relate a very remarkable story, in hopes it may make an impression on some rake of fortune, if such a man should ever take this book in his hand.

6.

As I travelled once in the county of Kildare in Ireland, in the summer-time, I came into a land of flowers and blossoms, hills, woods, and shades: I saw upon an eminence a house, surrounded with the most agreeable images of rural beauties, and which appeared to be on purpose placed in that decorated spot for retirement and contemplation. It is in such silent recesses of life, that we can best enjoy the noble and felicitous ideas, which more immediately concern the attention of man, and in the cool hours of reflection, secreted from the fancies and follies, the business, the faction, and the pleasures of an engaged world, thoroughly consider the wisdom and harmony of the works of nature, the important purposes of providence, and the various reasons we have to adore that ever glorious Being, who formed us for rational happiness here, and after we have passed a few years on this sphere, in a life of virtue and charity, to translate us to the realms of endless bliss. Happy they who have a taste for these silent retreats, and when they please, can withdraw for a time from the world.

The owner of this sweet place was Mr. Charles Hunt, a gentleman of a small estate and good sense, whom I knew many years before fortune led me to his house. His wife was then dead, and he had but one child left, his daughter Elizabeth. The beauties of this young lady were very extraordinary. She had the finest eyes in the world, and she looked, she smiled, she talked with such diffusive charms, as were sufficient to fire the heart of the morosest woman-hater that ever lived, and give his soul a softness it never felt before. Her father took all possible pains to educate her mind, and had the success to render her understanding a wonder, when she was but twenty years old. She sung likewise beyond most women, danced to perfection, and had every accomplishment of soul and body that a man of the best taste could wish for in a wife or a mistress. She was all beauty, life, and softness.

Mr. Hunt thought to have had great happiness in this daughter, though it was not in his power to give her more than five hundred pounds for a fortune, and she would have been married to a country-gentleman in his neighbourhood of a good estate, had not death carried off both her father and lover in a few days, just as the match was agreed on. This was a sad misfortune, and opened a door to a long train of sorrows. For two years however after the decease of her father, she lived very happily with an old lady, her near relation, and was universally admired and respected. I saw her many times during that term, at the old lady's villa within a few miles of Dublin, and took great delight in her company. If I had not been then engaged to another, I would most certainly have married her.

In this way I left Eliza in Ireland, and for several years could not hear what was become of her. No one could give me any information: but, about a twelvemonth ago, as I was walking in Fleet-street, I saw a woman who cleaned shoes, and seemed to be an object of great distress. She was in rags and dirt beyond all I had ever seen of the profession, and was truly skin and bone. Her face was almost a scull, and the only remaining expression to be seen was despair and anguish. The object engaged my attention, not only on account of the uncommon misery that was visible; but, as her eyes, though sunk, were still extraordinary, and there were some remains of beauty to be traced. I thought I had somewhere seen that face in better condition. This kept me looking at her, unnoticed, for near a quarter of an hour; and as I found she turned her head from me, when she saw me, with a kind of consciousness, as if she knew me, I then asked her name, and if she had any where seen me before? —The tears immediately ran plentifully from her eyes, and when she could speak, she said, I am Elizabeth Hunt. —What, Mr. Hunt's daughter of Rafarlin! I replied with amazement, and a concern that brought the tears into my eyes. I called a coach immediately, and took her to the house of a good woman, who lodges and attends sick people: ordered her clean cloaths, and gave the woman a charge to take the greatest care of her, and let her want for nothing proper, till I called next day.

When I saw her again, she was clean and whole, and seemed to have recovered a little, though very little, of what she once was: but a more miserable spectacle my eyes have not often seen. She told me, that soon after I went to England, Mr. R. a gentleman of my acquaintance of great fortune, got acquainted with her, courted her, and swore in the most solemn manner, by the supreme power, and the everlasting gospel, that he would be her husband, and marry her as soon as a rich dying uncle had breathed his last, if she would consent, in the mean while, to their living in secret as man and wife; for his uncle hated matrimony, and would not leave him his vast fortune, if he heard he had a wife; and he was sure, if he was married by any of the church, some whisperer would find it out, and bring it to his ear. But notwithstanding this plausible story, and that he acted the part of the fondest and tenderest man that ever lived, yet, for several months, she would not comply with his proposal. She refused to see him any more, and for several weeks he did not come in her sight.

The fatal night however at last arrived, and from the Lord Mayor's ball, he prevailed on her, by repeated vows of sincerity and truth, to come with him to his lodgings. She was undone, with child, and at the end of two months, she never saw him more. When her relations saw her big belly, they turned her out of doors; her friends and acquaintance would not look at her, and she was so despised, and ashamed to be seen, that she went to England with her little one. It fortunately died on the road to London, and as her five hundred pounds were going fast by the time she had been a year in the capital, she accepted an offer made her by a great man to go into keeping. Three years she lived with him in splendor, and when he died, she was with several in high life, 'till she got a cancer in her breast; and after it was cut off, an incurable abscess appeared. This struck her out of society, and as she grew worse and worse every day, what money she had, and cloaths, were all gone in four years time, in the relief she wanted and in support. She came the fifth year to a garret and rags, and at last, to clean shoes, or perish for want. She then uncovered the upper part of her body, which was half eaten away, so as to see into the trunk, and rendered her, in the emaciated condition she was in, an object shocking to behold. She lived in torment, and had no kind of ease or peace, but in reflecting, that her misery and distress might procure her the mercy of heaven hereafter, and in conjunction with her true repentance bring her to rest, when she had passed through the grave and gate of death.

Such was the case of that Venus of her sex, Miss Hunt . —When first I saw her, it was rapture to be in her company: her person matchless, and her conversation as charming as her person: both easy, unconstrained, and beautiful to perfection. —When last I saw her, she was grim as the skeleton, horrid, loathsome, and sinking fast into the grave by the laws of corruption. What a change was there! She lived but three months from the time I put her into a lodging, and died as happy a penitent as she had lived an unhappy woman. I gave her a decent private funeral; a hearse, and one mourning-coach, in which I alone attended her remains to the earth; the great charnel-house, where all the human race must be deposited. Here ends the story of Miss Hunt.

And now a word or two to the man who ruined her. Bob R. is still living, the master of thousands, and has thought no more of the wretched Eliza, than if her ruin and misery were a trifle. He fancies his riches and and power will screen him from the hand of justice, and afford him lasting satisfaction: but, cruel man, after this short day, the present life, the night of death cometh, and your unrelenting soul must then appear before a judge, infinitely knowing and righteous; who is not to be imposed upon, and cannot be biassed. The sighs and groans of Eliza will then be remembred, and confound and abash you for your falshood and inhumanity to this unhappy woman. In your last agony, her ghost will haunt you, and at the sessions of righteousness appear against you, execrable R. R.

7.

But to return to Harrogate. While I was there, it was my fortune to dance with a lady, who had the head of Aristotle, the heart of a primitive christian, and the form of Venus de medicis. This was Miss Spence, of Westmoreland. I was not many hours in her company, before I became most passionately in love with her. I did all I could to win her heart, and at last asked her the question. But before I inform my readers what the consequence of this was, I must take some notice of what I expect from the critical reviewers. These gentlemen will attempt to raise the laugh. Our moralist, (they will say) has buried three wives running, and they are hardly cold in their graves, before he is dancing like a buck at the Wells, and plighting vows to a fourth girl, the beauty, Miss Spence. An honest fellow, this Suarez, as Pascal says of that Jesuit, in his provincial letters.

To this I reply, that I think it unreasonable and impious to grieve immoderately for the dead. A decent and proper tribute of tears and sorrow, humanity requires; but when that duty has been payed, we must remember, that to lament a dead woman is not to lament a wife. A wife must be a living woman. The wife we lose by death is no more than a sad and empty object, formed by the imagination, and to be still devoted to her, is to be in love with an idea. It is a mere chimerical passion, as the deceased has no more to do with this world, than if she had existed before the flood. As we cannot restore what nature has destroyed, it is foolish to be faithful to affliction. —Nor is this all. If the woman we marry has the seven qualifications which every man would wish to find in a wife, beauty, discretion, sweetness of temper, a sprightly wit, fertility, wealth, and noble extraction, yet death's snatching so amiable a wife from our arms can be no reason for accusing fate of cruelty, that is, providence of injustice; nor can it authorise us to sink into insensibility, and neglect the duty and business of life. This wife was born to die, and we receive her under the condition of mortality. She is lent but for a term, the limits of which we are not made acquainted with; and when this term is expired, there can be no injustice in taking her back: nor are we to indulge the transports of grief to distraction, but should look out for another with the seven qualifications, as it is not good for man to be alone, and as he is by the Abrahamic covenant bound to carry on the succession, in a regular way, if it be in his power. —Nor is this all; if the woman adorned with every natural and acquired excellence is translated from this gloomy planet to some better world, to be a sharer of the divine favour, in that peaceful and happy state which God hath prepared for the virtuous and faithful, must it not be senseless for me to indulge melancholy and continue a mourner on her account, while she is breathing the balmy air of paradise, enjoying pure and radiant vision, and beyond description happy?

In the next place, as I had forfeited my father's favour and estate, for the sake of christian-deism, and had nothing but my own honest industry to secure me daily bread, it was necessary for me to lay hold of every opportunity to improve my fortune, and of consequence do my best to gain the heart of the first rich young woman who came in my way, after I had buried a wife. It was not fit for me to sit snivelling for months, because my wife died before me, which was, at least, as probable, as that she should be the survivor; but instead of solemn affliction, and the inconsolable part, for an event I foresaw, it was incumbent on me, after a little decent mourning, to consecrate myself to virtue and good fortune united in the form of a woman. Whenever she appeared, it was my business to get her if I could. This made me sometimes a dancer at the Wells, in the days of my youth.

8.

As to Miss Spence, she was not cruel, but told me at last, after I had tired her with my addresses and petitions, that she would consider my case, and give me an answer, when I called at her house in Westmoreland, to which she was then going: at present however, to tell me the truth, she had very little inclination to change her condition: she was as happy as she could wish to be, and she had observed, that many ladies of her acquaintance had been made unhappy by becoming wives. The husband generally proves a very different man from the courtier, and it is luck indeed, if a young woman, by marrying, is not undone—During the mollia tempora fandi, as the poet calls it, the man may charm, when, like the god of eloquence, he pleads, and every word is soft as flakes of falling snow; but when the man is pleased to take off the mask, and play the domestic hero; Gods! What miseries have I seen in families ensue! If this were my case, I should run stark mad.

Miss Spence's mentioning the memorable line from Virgil, surprised me not a little, as she never gave the least hint before, (though we had conversed then a fortnight) of her having any notion of the Latin tongue, and I looked at her with a raised admiration, before I replied in the following manner. — What you say, Miss Spence, is true. But this is far from being the case of all gentlemen. If there be something stronger than virtue in too many of them, something that masters and subdues it; a passion, or passions, rebellious and lawless, which makes them neglect some high relations, and take the throne from God and reason; gaming, drinking, keeping; yet there are very many exceptions, I am sure. I know several, who have an equal affection to goodness, and were my acquaintance in the world larger than it is, I believe I could name a large number, who would not prefer indulgence to virtue, or resign her for any consideration. There are men, madam, and young men, who allow a partial regard to rectitude is inconsistent and absurd, and are sensible, it is not certain, that there is absolutely nothing at all in the evidences of religion: that if there was but even a chance for obtaining blessings of inestimable worth, yet a chance for eternal bliss is worth securing, by acting as the spotless holiness of the Deity requires from us, and the reason and fitness of things makes necessary, in respect of every kind of relation and neighbour. This is the case of many men. They are not so generally bad as you seem to think.

On the other hand, I would ask, if there are no unhappy marriages by the faults of women? Are all the married ladies consistently and thoroughly good, that is, effectually so? Do they all yield themselves intirely and universally to the government of conscience, subdue every thing to it, and conquer every adverse passion and inclination? Has reason always the sovereignty, and nothing wrong to be seen? Are truth, piety, and goodness, the settled prevailing regard in the hearts and lives of all the married ladies you know? Have you heard of no unhappy marriages by the passions and vices of women, as well as by the faults of men? I am afraid there are too many wives as subject to ill habits as the men can be. It is possible to name not a few ladies who find their virtuous exercises, the duties of piety, and the various offices of love and goodness, as distasteful and irksome to them as they can be to a libertine or a cruel man. I could tell some sad stories to this purpose: but all I shall say more is, that there are faults on both sides, and that it is not only the ladies run a hazard of being ruined by marrying. I am sure, there are as many men of fortune miserable by the manners and conduct of their wives, as you can name ladies who are sufferers by the temper and practice of their husbands. This is the truth of the case, and the business is, in order to avoid the miseries we both have seen among married people, to resolve to act well and wisely. This is the thing to be sure, Miss Spence replied. This will prevent faults on either side. Such a course as virtue and piety require must have a continued tendency to render life a scene of the greatest happiness; and it may gain infinitely hereafter. —Call upon me then at Cleator as soon as you can, (Miss Spence concluded, with her face in smiles) and we will talk over this affair again. Thus we chatted as we dined together in private, and early the next morning Miss Spence left the Wells.

9.

Miss Spence being gone from Harrogate, and finding myself very ill from having drank too hard the preceding night, I mounted my horse, and rid to Oldfield-Spaw, a few miles off, as I had heard an extraordinary account of its usefulness after a debauch. There is not so much as a little ale-house there to rest at, and for six days I lodged at the cottage of a poor labouring man, to which my informer directed me. I lived on such plain fare as he had for himself. Bread and roots, and milk and water, were my chief support; and for the time, I was as happy as I could wish.

O nature! nature! would man be satisfied with thee, and follow thy wife dictates, he would constantly enjoy that true pleasure, which advances his real happiness, and very rarely be tormented with those evils, which obstruct and destroy it: but, alas! instead of listening to the voice of reason, keeping the mind free of passions, and living as temperance and discretion direct, the man of pleasure will have all the gratifications of sense to as high a pitch, as an imagination and fortune devoted to them can raise them, and diseases and calamities are the consequence. Fears and anxieties and disappointments are often the attendants, and too frequently the ruin of health and estate, of reputation and honour, and the lasting wound of remorse in reflexion, follow. This is generally the case of the voluptuary. Dreadful Case! He runs the course of pleasure first, and then the course of produced evils succeed. He passes from pleasure to a state of pain, and the pleasure past gives a double sense of that pain. We ought then surely, as reasonable beings, to confine our pleasure within the bounds of just and right.

10.

As to the place called Oldfield-Spaw, it is seven miles from Harrogate, and four from Rippon, lies on a rising ground, between two high hills, near an old abbey, about five yards from a running stream, and in a most romantic delightful situation, which resembles Matlock in Derbyshire, (ten miles beyond Derby in the Peak) so very much, that one might almost take it for the same place, if conveyed there in a long deep sleep. The same kind of charms and various beauties are every where to be seen; rocks and mountains, groves and vallies, tender shrubs and purling currents, at once surprize and please the wandering eye.

As to the mineral water at Oldfield-Spaw, it is an impetuous spring, that throws out a vast quantity of water, and is always of the same height, neither affected by rain or drought. It is bright and sparkling, and when poured into a glass, rises up in rows like strings of little beads. It has an uncommon taste, quite different from all other mineral waters that ever came in my way; but it is not disagreeable. What impregnates it I know not. Dr. Rutty I suppose never heard of this water, for it is not in his valuable quarto lately published; and Dr. Short, in his excellent history of mineral waters, (2 volumes 4to. London, 1734) says little more than that there is a medicinal spring there. What I found upon trial is, that two quarts of it, swallowed as fast as I could drink it in a morning, vomits to great advantage; and that four quarts of it, drank by degrees, at intervals, works off by siêge or stool, and urine, in a very beneficial manner. I was apprehensive of a high fever from my night's hard drinking at Harrogate, (which I could not avoid) and the Oldfield-water, operating as related, carried off the bad symptoms, and restored me to sanity in two day's time. This is all I can say of this fine water. It is very little in respect of what it deserves to have said of it.

11.

By the way, it is to me a matter of great admiration, that so many of our rich and noble not only endure the fatigues and hazards of sailing and travelling to remote countries, but waste their money, to drink spaw-waters abroad, when they can have as good of every kind in England, by riding a few miles to the most delightful places in the world, in summer time. Our own country has healing waters equal to the best in France, Italy, and Westphalia . Harrogate-water, in particular, has all the virtues of the famous baths of Aponus, within a mile of Padua in Italy, and is in every respect exactly alike. See the analysis of Aponus-water by Fallopius and Baccius, and the analysis of the English sulphur-spaw by Dr. Rutty. It is injustice then to our country to visit foreign nations upon this account. —Moffat-waters likewise are as good as any in all the world.

N. B. Moffat is a village in Annandale, 35 miles S.W. of Edinburgh. The mineral waters called Moffat-waters, lie at the distance of a long mile northward from the village, and are 36 miles from Edinburgh. The springs are situated on the declivity of a hill, and on the brow of a precipice, with high mountains at a distance, and almost on every side of them. The hill is the second from Hartfield, adjoining the highest hill in Scotland.

A vein of spar runs for several miles on this range of hills, and forms the bottom and lower sides of the wells. It is a greyish spar, having polished and shining surfaces of regular figures, interspersed with glittering particles of a golden colour, which are very copious and large.

There are two medicinal springs or wells, which are separated from one another by a small rock: the higher well lies with its mouth south east. 'Tis of an irregular square figure, and is about a foot and a half deep. The lower well is surrounded with naked rocks: it forms a small arch of a circle. Its depth is four foot and a half, and by a moderate computation, the two springs yield 40 loads of water in 24 hours, each load containing 64 or 68 Scotch pints; a Scotch pint is two English quarts. —The higher shallow well is used for bathing, as it is not capable of being kept so clean as the lower well, on account of the shallowness and the looseness of its parts.

These waters are strongly sulphureous, and resemble the scourings of a foul gun, or rotten eggs, or a weak solution of sal polychrestum, or hepar sulphuris. The colour of the water somewhat milky or bluish.

N. B. The soil on every side of the wells is thin, and the hills rocky, only just below the wells there is a small moss, caused by the falling of water from the hill above it.

Great is the medicinal virtue of these waters, in relieving, inwardly, cholics, pains in the stomach, griping of the guts, bilious and nephritic colics; nervous and hysteric colics; the gravel, by carrying off the quantities of sand, (but does not dissolve the slimy gravel) clearing the urinary passages in a wonderful manner; in curing ischuries, and ulcerated kidneys; the gout, the palsy, obstructions of the menses, old gleets, and barrenness: it is a sovereign remedy in rheumatic and scorbutic pains, even when the limbs are monstrously swelled, useless, and covered with scales. —Outwardly, ulcers, tumors, itch, St. Anthony's fire, and king's evil.

The waters are used by bathing and drinking: to drink in the morning three chopins, six pints or a Scotch quart, four English quarts, at most: between the hours of six and eleven. After dinner to drink gradually.

Medicines commonly used during the drinking of the waters are, an emetic or two at first, and a few cathartic doses. The doses sal Glauberi and polychrestum: syrup of buckthorn, and sulphur, is used along with the water.

But the cathartic prescription most in use, which was given by an eminent physician, for a general recipe, to be taken by all who should at any time use the water, is, pills that are a composition of gambozia, resin of jalop, aloes, and scammony: these to all intents are a strong hydragogue.

The large vein of spar three feet thick, runs in one direction for six miles to the wells, and crosses obliquely the rivulet at the bottom of the precipice, and ascends the hill on the opposite side. Small veins of the same spar which appears on the precipices, are on the side of the rivulet, and six small gushes of water of the mineral kind proceed from them. The rocks and stones about the tops of the wells, and in other parts of the hill and precipices, differ not from common stones, no more than the water of the small springs in the neighbourhood with the common water.

The virtue of this water was discovered by Miss Whiteford, daughter of Bishop Whiteford, in 1632. She was married in 1633. She had been abroad, and all over England, drinking mineral waters for the recovery of her health, but found little benefit, till by accident she tasted these waters in her neighbourhood, and finding they resembled those she had used elsewhere, made a trial of them, and was cured of all her disorders.

Upon this she recommended the use of them to others, and employed workmen to clear the ground about the springs, (their overflowing having made a small morass) that the poor and the rich might come, and make use of a medicine, which nature had so bounteously offered to them.

12.

The 19th of May, at that hour, when a fine day-break offers the most magnificent sight to the eyes of men, (though few who have eyes will deign to view it,) I mounted my horse again, and intended to breakfast at Knaresborough, in order to my being at Harrogate by dinner time, with my friends again; but the land I went over was so inchantingly romantic, and the morning so extremely beautiful, that I had a mind to see more of the country, and let my horse trot on where he pleased. For a couple of hours, he went slowly over the hills as his inclination directed him, and I was delightfully entertained with the various fine scenes, till I arrived at a sweet pretty country seat.

The rising sun, which I had directly before me, struck me very strongly, in the fine situation I was in for observing it, with the power and wisdom of the author of nature, and gave me such a charming degree of evidence for the deity, that I could not but offer up, in silence, on the altar of my heart, praise and adoration to that sovereign and universal mind, who produced this glorious creature, as the bright image of his benignity, and makes it travel unweariedly round; not only to illustrate successively the opposite sides of this globe, and thereby enliven the animal world, support the vegetable, and ripen and prepare matter for all the purposes of life and vegetation; but, to enlighten and cheer surrounding worlds, by a perpetual diffusion of bounties, to dispel darkness and sorrow, and like the presence of the deity, infuse secret ravishment into the heart. This cannot be the production of chance. It must be the work of an infinitely wise and good Being. The nature, situation, and motion of this sun, bring the Deity even within the reach of the methods of sense assisted by reason, and shews such constant operations of his power and goodness, that it is impossible to consider the present disposition of the system, without being full of a sense of love and gratitude to the almighty creator;—the Parent of Being and of Beauty! By this returning minister of his beneficence, all things are recalled into life, from corruption and decay; and by its, and all the other heavenly motions, the whole frame of nature is still kept in repair. His name then alone is excellent, and his glory above the earth and heaven. It becomes the whole system of rationals to say, Hallelujah.

SECTION VI.

Come, Chearfulness, triumphant Fair,
Shine thro' the painful cloud of care.
O sweet of language, mild of mien,
O virtue's friend, and pleasure's queen!
Fair guardian of domestic life,
Best banisher of home-bred strife;
Nor sullen lip, nor taunting eye.
Deform the scene where thou art by:
No sick'ning husband damns the hour,
That bound his joys to female power;
No pining mother weeps the cares,
That parents waste on hopeless heirs:
Th' officious daughters pleas'd attend;
The brother rises to the friend:
By thee our board with flowers is crown'd,
By thee with songs our walks resound;
By thee the sprightly mornings shine,
And evening hours in peace decline.

1.

While I was thinking in this manner of the sun, and the author of it, I came into a silent unfrequented glade, that was finely adorned with streams and trees. Nature there seemed to be lulled into a kind of pleasing repose, and conspired as it were to soften a speculative genius into solid and awful contemplations. The woods, the meadows, and the water, formed the most delightful scenes, and the charms of distant prospects multiplied as I travelled on: but at last I came to a seat which had all the beauties that proportion, regularity, and convenience, can give a thing. The pretty mansion was situated in the midst of meadows, and surrounded with gardens, trees, and various shades. A fountain played to a great height before the door, and fell into a circular reservoir of water, that had foreign wild-fowl swimming on its surface. The whole was very fine.

Here I walked for some time, and after roaming about, went up to the house, to admire the beauties of the thing. I found the windows open, and could see several ladies in one of the apartments. How to gain admittance was the question, and I began to contrive many ways; but while I was busied in this kind of speculation, a genteel footman came up to me, and let me know, his lady sent him to inform me I might walk in and look at the house, if I pleased. So in I went, and passed through several grand rooms, all finely furnished, and filled with paintings of great price. In one of those chambers the servant left me, and told me, he would wait upon me again in a little time. This surprized me, and my astonishment was doubled, when I had remained alone for almost an hour. No footman returned: nor could I hear the sound of any feet. But I was charmingly entertained all the while. In the apartment I was left in, were two figures, dressed like a shepherd and shepherdess, which amazed me very much. They sat on a rich couch, in a gay alcove, and both played on the German flute. They moved their heads, their arms, their eyes, their fingers, and seemed to look with a consciousness at each other, while they breathed, at my entring the room, that fine piece of music, the masquerade minuet; and afterwards, several excellent pieces. I thought at first, they were living creatures; but on examination, finding they were only wood, my admiration increased, and became exceeding great, when I saw, by shutting their mouths, and stopping their fingers, that the music did not proceed from an organ within the figures. It was an extraordinary piece of clock-work, invented and made by one John Nixon, a poor man.

2.

At length however, a door was opened, and a lady entred, who was vastly pretty, and richly drest beyond what I had ever seen. She had diamonds enough for a queen. I was amazed at the sight of her, and wondered still more, when, after being honoured with a low courtesy, on my bowing to her, she asked me in Irish, how I did, and how long I had been in England. My surprize was so great I could not speak, and upon this, she said, in the same language, I see, Sir, you have no remembrance of me. You cannot recollect the least idea of me. You have quite forgot young Imoinda, of the county of Gallway in Ireland; who was your partner in country dances, when you passed the Christmas of the year 1715, at her father's house. What (I said) Miss Wolf of Balineskay? O my Imoinda! And snatching her to my arms, I almost stifled her with kisses. I was so glad to see her again, and in the situation she appeared in, that I could not help expressing my joys in that tumultuous manner, and hoped she would excuse her Valentine, as I then remembred I had had that honour when we were both very young.

This lady, who was good humour itself in flesh and blood, was so far from being angry at this strange flight of mine, that she only laughed excessively at the oddness of the thing; but some ladies who came into the apartment with her seemed frightened, and at a loss what to think, 'till she cleared up the affair to them, by letting them know who I was, and how near her father and mine lived to each other in the country of Ireland. She was indeed extremely glad to see me, and from her heart bid me welcome to Clankford. Our meeting was a vast surprize to both of us. She thought I had been in the Elysian fields, as she had heard nothing of me for several years: and I little imagined, I should ever find her in England, in the rich condition she was in. She asked me by what destiny I was brought to Yorkshire; and in return for my short story, gave me an account of herself at large. Till the bell rung for dinner, we sat talking together, and then went down to as elegant a one as I had ever seen. There were twelve at table, six young ladies, all very handsome, and six gentlemen. Good humour presided, and in a rational delightful chearfulness, we passed some hours away. After coffee, we went to cards, and from them to country dances, as two of the footmen played well on the fiddle. The charming Imoinda was my partner, and as they all did the dances extremely well, we were as happy a little set as ever footed it to country measure. Two weeks I passed in this fine felicity. Then we all separated, and went different ways. What became of Miss Wolf after this—the extraordinary events of her life—and the stories of the five ladies with her,—I shall relate in the second volume of my Memoirs of several Ladies of Great Britain. Four of them were Mrs. Cheslin, Mrs. Fanshaw, Mrs. Chadley, and Mrs. Bissel; the fifth was Miss Farmor; all mentioned in the Preface to the first volume of my Memoirs aforesaid.

3.

A fortnight, as said, I stayed with Miss Wolf, that was; but, at the time I am speaking of, the relict of Sir Loghlin Fitzgibbons, an old Irish knight, who was immensely rich, and married her when he was creeping upon all-fours, with snow on his head, and frost in his bones, that he might lie by a naked beauty, and gaze at that awful spot he had no power to enjoy. I did intend, on leaving this lady, to be at Knaresborough at night; but the fates, for a while, took me another way. At the inn where I dined, I became acquainted with a gentleman much of my own age, who was an ingenious agreeable man. This was Oliver Wincup, Esq; who had lately married Miss Horner of Northumberland, a fine young creature, and a great fortune. This gentleman, by his good humour, and several good songs, pleased me so much, that I drank more than I intended, and was easily prevailed on to go with him, in the evening, to Woodcester, the name of his seat; which was but ten miles from the house we had dined at. We came in just as they were going to tea. There was a great deal of company, at least a dozen ladies, besides half a score gentlemen, and all of them as gay and engaging as the best-bred young mortals could be.

4.

The vill here was very odd, but a charming pretty thing. The house consisted of several ground rooms, (ten I think) detached from one another, and separated by trees and banks of flowers. They were intirely of wood, but finely put together, and all disposed with the greatest symmetry and beauty. They were very handsome without side, and the inside furnished and adorned with the finest things the owner could get for money. Easy hills, little vallies, and pretty groves, surrounded the sweet retreat, and the vallies were watered with clear streams. The whole had a fine appearance. The varied scenes for ever pleased.

5.

At this delightful place I stayed ten days, and was very happy indeed. We drank, we laughed, we danced, we sung, and chatted; and when that was done, 'twas night. But country dances were the chief diversion; and I had a partner, who was not only a wonder in face and person, (divinely pretty) but did wonders in every motion. This was Miss Veyssiere of Cumberland: the dear creature! Reader, when I was a young fellow, there were few could equal me in dancing. The famous Paddy Murphy, an Irish member of the house of commons, commonly called the Little Beau, well known at Lucas's coffee-house, Dublin: (He danced one night, in 1734, that I was at!at the castle, before the late Duke of Dorset and his Duchess, at their grace's request:) this gentleman, and Langham, the miller, who danced every night at the renowned Stretch's puppet-shew, before the curtain was drawn up, were both deservedly admired for their performance in the hornpipe; yet were nothing to me in this particular: but Miss Veyssiere out-did me far: her steps were infinite, and she did them with that amazing agility, that she seemed like a dancing angel in the air. Eight nights we footed it together, and all the company said, we were born for each other. She did charm me, and I should have asked her the question, to try her temper, if Wincup had not told me, her father intended to sacrifice her to a man old enough to be her grandfather, for the sake of a great jointure; and in a week or two she was to dance the reel of Bogee with an old monk. — Poor Miss Veyssiere! I said; What connexion can there be between the hoary churl and you,



While side by side the blushing maid
Shrinks from his visage, half afraid?

I do not wish you may feather him, but may you bury him very quickly, and be happy.

6.

Another of our diversions at Woodcester, was a little company of singers and dancers Mr. Wincup had hired, to perform in a sylvan theatre he had in his gardens. These people did the mime, the dance, the song, extremely well. There was among them one Miss Hinxworth, a charming young creature, who excelled in every thing; but in singing especially, had no equal I believe in the world. She was a gentleman's daughter, and had been carried off by one O Regan, an Irishman, and dancing-master, the head of this company. He was the most active fellow upon earth, and the best harlequin I have ever seen. Every evening we had something or other extraordinary from these performers. He gave us two pieces which so nearly resembled the two favourite entertainments called Harlequin Sorcerer, and the Genii, (tho' in several particulars better) that I cannot help thinking Mr. Rich owed his Harlequin Sorcerer to O Regan: and that the Genii of Drury-Lane was the invention of this Irishman.

You know, reader, that in the first scene of Harlequin Sorcerer, there is a group of witches at their orgies in a wilderness by moon-light, and that harlequin comes riding in the air between two witches, upon a long pole: Here O Regan did what was never attempted at Covent-Garden house, and what no other man in the world I believe did ever do. As the witches danced round and round, hand in hand, as swift as they could move, O Regan leaped upon the shoulder of one of them, and for near a quarter of an hour, jumped the contrary way as fast as they went, round all their shoulders. This was a fine piece of activity. I think it much more wonderful, than to keep at the top of the outwheel of a water-mill, by jumping there, as it goes with the greatest rapidity round. This Mun. Hawley, of Loch-Gur in the county of Tipperary, could do. He was a charming fellow in body and mind, and fell unfortunately in the 22d year of his age. In a plain field, by a trip of his horse, he came down, and fractured his skull. He did not think he was hurt: but at night as soon as he began to eat, it came up. A surgeon was sent for to look at his head. It was cracked in several places, and he died the next day. He and I were near friends.

7.

The first of June, 1731, at five in the morning, I took my leave of honest Wincup, as chearful and worthy a fellow as ever lived, and set out for Knaresborough; but lost my way, went quite wrong, and in three hours time, came to a little blind ale-house, the sign of the Cat and Bagpipe, in a lone silent place. The master of this small inn was one Tom Clancy, brother to the well-known Martin Clancy in Dublin. He came to England to try his fortune, as he told me, and married an old woman, who kept this public-house, the sign of the Cat, to which Tom added the Bagpipe. As he had been a waiter at his brother's house, he remembred to have seen me often there, and was rejoiced at my arrival at the Cat and Bagpipe. He got me a good supper of trouts, fine ale, and a squib of punch, and after he had done talking of all the gallant fellows that used to resort to his brother Martin's, such as the heroes of Trinity-college, Dublin, Captain Maccan of the county of Kerry, and many more, he let me go to sleep.

8.

The next morning, betimes, I was up, and walked into a wood adjoining to Clancy's house. I sauntered on for about an hour easily enough, but at last came to a part of the forest that was almost impenetrable. Curiosity incited me to struggle onwards, if possible, that I might see what country was before me, or if any house was to be found in this gloomy place: this cost me a couple of hours, much toil, and many scratches; but at length, I arrived at the edge of a barren moor, and beyond it, about a quarter of a mile off, saw another wood. Proud to be daring, on I went, and soon came to the wood in view, which I found cut into walks, and arrived at a circular space surrounded with a forest, that was above a hundred yards every way. In the center of this was a house, enclosed within a very broad deep mote, full of water, and the banks on the inside, all round, were so thick planted with trees, that there was no seeing any thing of the mansion but the roof and the chimnies. Over the water was one narrow draw-bridge, lifted up, and a strong door on the garden side of the mote. Round I walked several times, but no soul could I see: not the least noise could I hear; nor was there a cottage any where in view. I wondered much at the whole; and if I had had my lad O Finn with me, and my pole, I would most certainly have attempted to leap the foss, broad as it was, and if it was possible, have known who were the occupants of this strange place. But as nothing could be done, nor any information be had, I returned again to the Cat and Bagpipe.

It was ten by the time I got back, and at breakfast I told Clancy, my landlord, where I had been, and asked him if he knew who lived in that wonderful place. His name (he replied) is Cock, an old lawyer and limb of the devil, and the most hideous man to behold that is upon the face of the earth. Every thing that is bad and shocking is in his compound: he is to outward appearance a monster: and within, the miser, the oppressor, the villain. He is despised and abhorred, but so immensely rich, that he can do any thing, and no one is able to contend with him. I could relate, says Tom, a thousand instances of his injustice and cruelty; but one alone is sufficient to render his memory for ever cursed. Two gentlemen of fortune, who had employed him several years in their affairs, and had a good opinion of him, on account of a canted uprightness and seeming piety, left him sole guardian of a daughter each of them had, and the management of fifty thousand pounds a-piece, the fortune of these girls, with power to do as he pleased, without being subject to any controul, 'till they are of age. These ladies, as fine creatures as ever the eye of man beheld, he has had now a year in confinement in that prison you saw in the wood; and while he lives, will keep them there to be sure, on account of the hundred thousand pounds, or till he dispose of them to his own advantage, some way or other. He intends them, it is said, for two ugly nephews he has, who are now at school, about fourteen years old, and for this purpose, or some other as bad, never suffers them to stir out of the garden surrounded by the mote, nor lets any human creature visit them. They are greatly to be pitied, but bear the severe usage wonderfully well. One of them, Miss Martha Tilston, is in her twentieth year; and the other, Miss Alithea Llansoy, in her nineteenth. They are girls of great sense, and would, if any kind of opportunity offered, make a brave attempt to escape: but that seems impossible. They are not only so strictly confined, and he for ever at home with them, except he rides a few miles; but are attended continually in the garden, when they walk, by a servant who is well paid, and devoted to the old man her master. This makes them think their state is fixed for life, and to get rid of melancholy, they read, and practice music. They both play on the fiddle, and do it extremely fine.

Here Clancy had done, and was much more surprized at his relation than at the place of their residence which I had seen. I became very thoughtful, and continued for some time with my eyes fixed on the table, while I revolved the case of these unfortunate young ladies. But is all this true? (at last I said): Or only report? How did you get such particular information? —I will tell you, Tom answered. Old Cock is my landlord, and business often brings me to his house in the wood, to pay my rent, or ask for something I want. Besides, I sometimes bring a fat pig there, and other things to sell. My daughter likewise has sometimes a piece of work in hand for the ladies, and she and I take a walk with it there by a better and shorter way than you went. You cannot think how glad they are to see us, and they let me into all their perplexities and distress.

On hearing this, a sudden thought of being serviceable to these ladies came into my head, and I was going to ask a question in relation to it, when two horsemen rode up to the door, and one of them called House? This, says my landlord, is old Cock and his man; and immediately went out to him, to know his will. He told him, he came for the ride-sake himself, to see if any letters were left for him by that day's post at his house, and would dine with him if he had any thing to eat. That I have, (the man replied), as fine a fowl, bacon and greens, as ever was served up to any table, and only one gentleman, a stranger and traveller, to sit down to it. Cock upon this came into the room I was sitting in, and after looking very earnestly at me, said, Your servant, Sir. I told him I was his most humble, and right glad to meet with a gentleman for society in that lone place. I immediately began a story of a cock and a bull, and made the old fellow grin now and then. I informed him among other things, that I was travelling to Westmoreland, to look after some estates I had there, but must hurry back to London very soon, for my wife was within a few weeks of her time. You are a married man then, Sir, he replied. Yes, indeed, and so supremely blest with the charms and perfections, the fondness and obedience of a wife, that I would not be unmarried for all the world: few men living so happy as I am in the nuptial state. —Here dinner was brought in, and to save the old gentleman trouble, I would cut up the fowl. I helped him plentifully to a slice of the breast, and the tips of the wings, and picked out for him the tenderest greens. I was as complaisant as it was possible, and drank his health many times. The bottle after dinner I put about pretty quick, and told my old gentleman, if affairs ever brought him up to London, I should be glad to see him at my house in Golden-Square, the very next door to Sir John Heir's; or, if I could be of any service to him there, he would oblige me very much by letting me know in what way. In short, I so buttered him with words, and filled him with fowl and wine, that he seemed well pleased, especially when he found there was nothing to pay, as I informed him it was my own dinner I had bespoke, and dined with double pleasure in having the satisfaction of his most agreeable company. He was a fine politician, I said, and talked extremely well of the government and the times: that I had received more true knowledge from his just notions, than from all I had read of men and things, or from conversing with any one. The glass during this time was not long still, but in such toasts as I found were grateful to his Jacobite heart, drank brimmers as fast as opportunity served, and he pledged me and cottoned in a very diverting way. He grew very fond of me at last, and hoped I would spare so much time, as to come and dine with him the next day. This honour I assured him I would do myself, and punctually be with him at his hour. He then rid off, brim full, and I walked out to consider of this affair. But before I proceed any farther in my story, I must give a description of this man.

Cock, the old lawyer and guardian, was a low man, about four feet eight inches, very broad, and near seventy years old. He was humped behind to an enormous degree, and his belly as a vast flasket of garbage projected monstrously before. He had the most hanging look I have ever seen. His brows were prodigious, and frowning in a shocking manner; his eyes very little, and above an inch within his head; his nose hooked like a buzzard, wide nostrils like a horse, and his mouth sparrow. In this case, was a mind quite cunning, in the worst sense of the word, acute, artful, designing and base. There was not a spark of honour or generosity in his soul.

How to circumvent this able one, and deliver the two beauties from his oppressive power, was the question: it seemed almost impossible; but I resolved to do my best. This I told Clancy, and requested, as I was to dine with Cock the next day, that he would be there in the morning, on some pretence or other, and let the ladies know, I offered them my service, without any other view than to do them good; and if they accepted it, to inform me by a note, slipt into my hand when they saw me, that if they could direct me what to do, I would execute it at any hazard, or let them hint the least particular that might have any tendency to their freedom in some time to come, though it were three months off, and I would wait for the moment, and study to improve the scheme. This my landlord very carefully acquainted them with, at the time I mentioned; and by two o'clock I was at Cock's house, to see these beauties, and know what they thought of the service offered them. The old man received me much civiler than I thought he would do when he was sober, and had, what my landlord told me was a very rare thing in his house, to wit, a good dinner that day. Just as it was brought in, the ladies entred, (two charming creatures indeed), and made me very low courtesies, while their eyes declared the sense they had of the good I intended them. Cock said, these are my nieces, Sir, and as soon as I had saluted them, we sat down to table. The eldest carved, and helped me to the best the board afforded, and young as they were, they both shewed by their manner, and the little they said, that they were women of sense and breeding. They retired, a few minutes after dinner, and the youngest contrived, in going off, to give me a billet in an invisible manner. I then turned to Cock intirely, heard him abuse the government in nonsense and falshoods, as all Jacobites do; and after we had drank and talked for better than an hour, took my leave of him very willingly, to read the following note.

"SIR,
As you can have nothing in view but our happiness, in your most generous offer of assistance, we have not words to express our grateful sense of the intended favour. What is to be done upon the occasion, as yet we cannot imagine, as we are so confined and watched, and the doors of the house locked and barred in such a manner every night, that a cat could not get out at any part of it. You shall hear from us however soon, if possible, to some purpose; and in the mean time we are,"

"Sir,
You ever obliged servants,
M. T.
A. L.
"

What to do then I could not tell; but as I rid back I consulted with my lad O Fin, who was a very extraordinary young man, and asked him what observations he had made on the servants and place. He said, he had tried the depth of the water in the mote all round, and found it fordable at one angle, waist high, and about two feet broad the rock he trod on. He had stripped, and walked it over to be sure of the thing. As to the people, he fancied there was one young man, a labourer by the year under the gardener, who would, for a reasonable reward for losing his place, be aiding in the escape of the ladies; for he talked with pity of them, and with great severity of his master: that if I pleased, he would sound this man, and let me know more in relation to him: that if he would be concerned, he could very easily carry the ladies on his back across the water, as he was a tall man, and then we might take them behind us to what place we pleased: or, if it was not safe trusting this man, for fear of his telling his master, in hopes of more money on that side, then, he would himself engage to bring the ladies and their cloaths over, on his own back, with wetting only their legs, if they could be at the water-side some hour in the night. This was not bad to be sure; but I was afraid to trust the man; for, if he should inform old Cock of the thing, they would be confined to their chambers, and made close prisoners for the time to come. It was better therefore to rely entirely upon O Fin, if they could get into the garden in the night.

In answer then to another letter I had from the ladies by my landlord's daughter the next morning, in which they lamented the appearing impossibility of an escape, I let them know immediately the state of the water, and desired to be informed what they thought of the gardener's man; or, if he would not do, could they at any particular hour, get to that angle of the mote I named, to be brought over on my man's back, and then immediately ride off behind us on pillions, which should be prepared. —Their answer was, that they dared not trust any of Mr. Cock's men, but thought my own servant would do, and the scheme reasonable and seemingly safe, if they could get out. They gave me a millon of thanks for my amazing care of them, and called the immortal powers to witness the high sense they had of their unutterable obligation to me.

Waiting then for them, I staid at the little inn three days longer, and at last received a billet to let me know, that at twelve o'clock that night, which was the sixth of June, they could, by an accident that had happened, be at the appointed place, and ready to go wherever I pleased. To a minute my man and I were there, and in a few moments, O Fin brought them and their cloaths over safe. In an instant after they were behind us, and we rid away as fast as we could. Six hours we travelled without stopping, and in that time, had gone about thirty miles. We breakfasted very gaily at our inn, and when the horses had rested a couple of hours, we set out again, and rid till three in the afternoon, when we baited at a lone house in a valley, called Straveret Vale, which had every rural charm that can be found in the finest part of Juan Fernandes. A young couple, vastly civil, kept here a small clean public house, the sign of the pilgrim, on the very margin of a pretty river, and the plain things they had were as good as we could desire. Their bread, their drink, their fowl, their eggs, their butter, cheese, vegetables, and bacon, were excellent, and as they had good beds, I thought we could not do better than lie by for two or three days in this sweet place, 'till it was determined, where the ladies should fix. We were at least sixty miles from old Cock's house, and in an obscurity that would conceal us from any pursuers; for we had kept the cross roads and by-ways, and were on the confines of Westmoreland. Here then we agreed to rest for a little time. In reality, it was just as I pleased. The ladies were all acknowledgment for what I did to deliver them, and all submission to my direction. They had each of them thirty guineas in their purses, as they shewed me, but what to do after that was gone, or where to go while it lasted, to be in safety, they could not tell.

The affair perplexed me very much, and I turned it a thousand ways, without being able to settle it as I would. I had two young heiresses on my hands, who wanted more than a year of being at age, and I must support them, and place them in some spot of decency, security, and peace, since I had gone thus far, or I had injured them greatly, instead of serving them, in bringing them from their guardian's house. This took up all my thoughts for three days. I concealed however my uneasiness from them, and endeavoured to make the house and place quite pleasing to them. I kept up a chearfulness and gaiety, and we sat down with joy and pleasure to breakfast, dinner, and supper. Within doors, we played at cards, we sung, and I entertained them with my German-flute. Abroad, we walked, fished, and sometimes I rowed them up the river in a boat the man of the house had. The whole scheme was really delightful, and as the girls had great quickness and vivacity, and were far from being ignorant, considering their few years, I could have wished it was possible to stay there much longer: but it was no place for them, and I was obliged to call at Claytor, in a little time. I could not forget my promise to the lovely Miss Spence. My honour was engaged, and there was no time to lose. It is true, if I had not been engaged, I might immediately have married either the beautiful Miss Tilston, or the more beautiful Miss Llandsoy, then become my wards; but as they were minors, if such a wife died under age, I could be no gainer, and might have children to maintain without any fortune. All these things sat powerfully on my spirits, and I was obliged at last to make the following declaration to the ladies, which I did the third day after dinner.

Miss Tilston, Miss Llandsoy, I am sensible you have too high an opinion of what I have done to serve you, and think there is more merit in it than there really is; for a man of any generosity and ability would, I imagine, do all that was possible to deliver two young ladies of your charms and perfections, from the slavery and misery your guardian kept you in: I am likewise sure you believe I would do every thing in my power, to secure your happiness, and give you the possession of every blessing of time. I honour, I admire, I regard you both, to a high degree; and if I were some powerful genie, I would crown your lives with stable felicity and glory. But nature, ladies, has irrevocably fixed limits, beyond which we cannot pass, and my sphere of action is far from being large. My fortune is not very great, and thereby prevents my being so useful a friend to you as I would willingly be. However, though it is not in my power to do according to my inclination, in regard to your case, and with security place you in some station fit for your rank and worth, yet I can bring you to a spot of tranquillity, and in still life enable you to live without perplexity or care of any kind. You shall have peace and little, and may perhaps hereafter say, you have enjoyed more real happiness, for the time you had occasion to reside there, than you could find in the tumult, pomp, and grandeur of the world.

Here I gave the ladies an account of Orton-Lodge, in the northern extremity of Westmoreland, where I had lived a considerable time told them the condition it was in, the goods, the books, the liquors, and other necessaries and conveniencies that were there, and if, in that charming romantic spot, where no mortal could come to hurt them, they could bear to live for a while, I would settle them there, and get a man servant to work in the garden, and a couple of maids. I would likewise procure for them two cows, a few lambs, some poultry, and corn, and seeds for the ground: in short, that they should have every thing requisite in such a place; I would return to them as soon as possible; I would write to them often, directing my letters to the nearest town, to be called for by their man. What do you say, ladies, to this proposal? In London it is not possible for you to be: at a farm-house you might have no satisfaction: and any where that was known and frequented, you may be liable to discovery, as Cock, your guardian, will enquire every where; and if he hears of you, you will be carried home most certainly to his dismal habitation, and be used ten times worse than before. What do you think then of this scheme?

Sir, (they both replied) you are to us a subaltern power, by heaven sent to deliver us from misery, and secure our happiness in this world. We have not words to express the gratitude of our souls for this further instance of your goodness in the offer you make us, nor can it ever be in our power to make you the return it deserves. You will be pleased to accept our grateful thanks, and all we have to add at present, our prayers for your preservation and health. Conduct us, we beseech you, immediately to that sweet spot of peace you have described.

This being agreed on, the next thing to be done was to get two horses for the ladies, for mine were not able to carry double any further, if there had been a turnpike road before us; then up the mountains we were to go, where no double horse could travel; and when they were at the Lodge, they would want horses to ride sometimes, or to remove, if the necessity of their case should happen to require it: to my landlord therefore I applied upon the occasion, and he very quickly got for me not only two pretty beasts, but a young labouring man, and two country girls to wait upon the ladies. I then sent to the next town for a couple of side-saddles, gave the servants directions to go to the Rev. Mr. Fleming's house, to wait there till they heard from me, and then we set out for Orton-Lodge. Two days we spent in travelling there, feeding on cold provisions we had with us, and lying a night on the fern of the mountains. The second evening we arrived at the Lodge. There I found every thing safe, and the place as I had left it. I opened my various store-houses, to the surprize of the young ladies, and brought them many good things; biscuits, potted char, potted black-cocks, sweetmeats, and liquors of various kinds: O Fin likewise got us a dish of trouts for supper, and the two beauties and I sat down with chearfulness to our table. — Vastly amazed they were at all they saw. Every thing was so good, and the wild charms of the place so pleasing, that they could not but express the transports they were in at their present situation. The whole they said, was charming as inchantment, and in language there was not a force sufficient to express their grateful sentiments upon the occasion. This gave me much pleasure, and till the end of June, I lived a very happy life with these fine young creatures. They did all that was possible to shew their esteem and gratitude. Exclusive of their amazing fine faces, and persons, they were ingenious, gay, and engaging, and made every minute of time delightful. If I had not been engaged to Miss Spence, I should certainly have sat down in peace with these two young ladies, and with them connected, have looked upon Orton-Lodge as the Garden of Eden. They were both most charming women. Miss Llandsoy was a mere divinity!

SECTION VII.

Come all, O come, ye family of joy;
Ye children of the chearful hour, begot
By wisdom on the virtuous mind; O come!
Come innocence, in conscious strength secure;
Come courage, foremost in the manly train;
Come all, and in the honest heart abide,
Your native residence, your fortress still,
From real or from fancied evils free:
Let's drive far off, for ever drive that bane,
That hideous pest, engender'd deep in hell,
Horrid to sight, and by the frighted furies
In their dread panic Superstition nam'd.    Let rescu'd fancy turn aloft her eye,
And view yon wide extended arch; behold
Yon crystal concave, studded with the gems,
The radiant gems of heaven, that nightly burn,
In golden lamps, and gild th' ætherial space;
That smiling vault, that canopy of stars.
Or eastward turn, and see, serenely bright,
The full-orb'd moon begins her silent round:
The mountain tops, the rocks, the vales, the lawns,
By her set off, adorn'd, and made delightful.
On earth, benign, she sheds her borrowed ray,
And onward leads along her sparkling train.    Behold yon blazing sun, in glory rise:
Oceans of light he pours upon the world,
And night with all her train before him fly.
All nature smiles, rejoicing in his beams.
The feather'd kinds their morning anthem sing:
The fish skim sportive o'er the gilded lakes:
Their tow'ring tops the waving forests shew;
And op'ning flowers their various dyes display,
Perfume the air, and grateful incense yield.
It is a glorious and charming scene.    What should we fear then? this grand prospect brings
No dreadful phantom to the frighted eye,
No terror to the soul; 'tis transport all!
Here fancy roves in sweet variety.
All these, in their eternal round, rejoice;
All these, with universal praise, proclaim
Their great Creator; bountiful, benign,
Immensely good, rejoicing in his creatures.
They wake new raptures in the heart of man;
And fill his soul with gratitude immense.

1.

The first of July, just as the day was breaking, I mounted my horse, and went again from Orton-Lodge. The morning being extremely fine, and every thing appearing as in the above lines, I rid softly on for three or four hours, and was so delighted with the beauties, and an infinite variety of lovely objects my eyes were feasted with, that I did not mind the way; and instead of coming to the turning that was my road, I got into a bending valley, which ended at a range of rocky mountains. For half an hour I travelled by the bottom of these frightful hills, and came at length to a pass through them, but so narrow, that the beasts had not above an inch or two to spare on each side. It was dark as the blackest night in this opening, and a stream came from it, by the waters falling in several places from the top of the high inclosing precipices. It was as shocking a foot-way as I had ever seen.

Finn, (I said to my young man) as the bottom is hard, and you can only be wet a little, will you try where this pass ends, and let me know what kind of country and inhabitants are beyond it? That I will, said O Finn, and immediately entred the cleft or crevice between the mountains. A couple of hours I allowed my adventurer to explore this dark way; but if in that time he could make nothing of it, then his orders were to return: but there was no sign of him at the end of six hours, and I began to fear he had got into some pound. After him then I went, about one o'clock, and for near half a mile, the narrow way was directly forward, a rough bottom, and ancle deep in water; but it ended in a fine flowery green of about twenty acres, surrounded with steep rocky hills it was impossible to ascend. Walking up to the precipice before me, I found many caverns in it, which extended on either hand, and onwards, into a vast variety of caves; some of them having high arched openings for entrance, and others only holes to creep in at; but all of them spacious within, and high enough for the tallest man to walk in.

In these dismal chambers I apprehended my fellow had lost himself, and therefore went into them as far as I could venture, that is, without losing sight of the day, and cried out Finn! Finn! but could hear no sound in return. This was a great trouble to me, and I knew not what to do. Back however I must go to my horses, and after I had spent two hours in searching, shouting, and expecting my lad's return, by some means or other, I was just going to walk towards the crevice, or dark narrow pass I had come through to this place, when casting my eyes once more towards the caverns in the mountains, I saw my boy come out, leaping and singing for joy. He told me, he never expected to see the day-light more: for after he had foolishly gone too far into the caves, till he was quite in the dark, in hopes of finding a passage through the mountain to some open country, he was obliged to wander from chamber to chamber he knew not where for many hours, without one ray of light, and with very little expectation of deliverance; that he did nothing but cry and roar, and was hardly able to stand on his legs any longer, when by a chance turn into a cave, he saw some light again, and then soon found his way out. Poor fellow! he was in a sad condition, and very wonderful was his escape.

After this, we made what haste we could to our horses, which we had left feeding in the vale, and Finn brought me some cold provisions from his wallet for my dinner. I dined with great pleasure, on account of the recovery of my lad, and when we had both recruited and rested sufficiently, on we went again. We found the valley winded about the mountains for three miles, and then ended at the highest hill I had ever seen, but which it was possible to ascend. With great difficulty we and our horses got to the top of it, and down on the other side. Six mountains of the same height, whose tops were above the clouds, we had to cross, and then arrived at a bottom, which formed a most delightful scene.

2.

The Vale of Keswick, and Lake of Derwentwater, in Cumberland, are thought by those who have been there, to be the finest point of view in England, and extremely beautiful they are, far more so than the Rev. Dr. Dalton has been able to make them appear in his Descriptive Poem; (addressed to two ladies, at their return from viewing the coal-mines, near Whitehaven, that is, the late excellent Lord Lonsdale's charming daughters;) or than the Doctor's brother, Mr. Dalton, has painted them in his fine drawings; and yet they are inferior in charms to the vale, the lake, the brooks, the shaded sides of the surrounding mountains, and the tuneful falls of water, to which we came in Westmoreland. In all the world, I believe, there is not a more glorious rural scene to be seen, in the fine time of the year.

In this fine vale, I found one pretty little house, which had gardens very beautifully laid out, and usefully filled with the finest dwarf fruit trees and ever-greens, vegetables, herbs, and shrubs. The mansion, and the improved spot of ground, were at the end of the beautiful lake, so as to have the whole charming piece of water before the door. The projecting shaded fells seemed to nod or hang over the habitation, and on either hand, a few yards from the front of the house, cascades much higher than that of dread Lodore, in Cumberland, fell into the lake. There is not any thing so beautiful and striking as the whole in any part of the globe that I have seen: and I have been in higher latitudes, north and south, than most men living. I have conversed with nations who live many degrees beyond the poor frozen Laplander. I have travelled among the barbarians who scorch beneath the burning zone.

3.

Who lived in this delightful valley, was, in the next place, my enquiry, after I had admired for an hour the amazing beauties of the place. I walked up to the house, and in one of the parlour windows, that had a view up the loch, I saw a young beauty sitting with a music-book in her hand, and heard her sing in a masterly manner. She could not see me, but I had a full view of her fine face, and as I remembred to have seen her somewhere, I stood gazing at her with wonder and delight, and was striving to recollect where I had been in her company, when another young one came into the room, whom I had reason to remember very well, on account of an accident, and then I knew they were the two young ladies I had seen at Mr. Harcourt's, (see p. 374. of Memoirs of several Ladies of Great Britain,) and admired very greatly for the charms of their persons, and the beauties of their minds. Upon this I walked up to the window, and after a little astonishment at seeing me, they behaved with the greatest civility, and seemed to be highly pleased with the accidental meeting. While we were talking, their mamma came into the apartment, and on their letting her know who I was, and where they had been acquainted with me, the old lady was pleased to ask me to stay at her house that night, and to assure me she was glad to see me, as she had often heard her daughters speak of me. Three days I passed with great pleasure in this sweet place, and then with regret took my leave. These two fine young creatures were the Miss Thurloe's, and are Mrs. Lowman and Mrs. Munkley, in the Memoirs of several Ladies of Great Britain. In the 2d volume of that work, the reader will find their lives.

4.

The 5th of July I left Mrs. Thurloe's, and by the assistance of a guide, had a fine ride to the house of Friar Fleming, in Richmondshire, where I arrived by noon. I dined with this good Franciscan, and should have lain there that night, but that I could not help being melancholy, on missing my dear friend Tom, the Monk's brother, who died of a fever, as before related. From him then I parted in the evening, and rid to a Carthusian monastry, which consisted of seven monks, men of some estate, who had agreed to live together in this remote place, and pass their lives in piety, study, and gardening. I had a letter from Fleming to one of these gentlemen, the superior, letting him know I was his near friend, and desiring he would receive me as himself; that, although a protestant, I was of no party, but in charity with all mankind. This letter procured me all the kindness and honours these gentlemen could shew me. They behaved with great civility and tenderness, and gave me the best they had, good fish, good bread, good wine, excellent fruit, and fine vegetables; for as to flesh, they never eat any, by their rule.

They were all learned and devout men, very grave and silent for the most part, except when visited, but without any thing stiff or morose in their manner. They had a large collection of books, and seemed to understand them well. What time they had to spare from the hours of divine service, and working in their gardens, according to the rule of St. Benet, which they follow, they give to study, and had many volumes of their own writing; being mostly old MSS. they had transcribed, Greek, Latin, and French. Making such copies was their principal work in the closet.

5.

I stayed two days with these gentlemen, and had a good deal of useful conversation with them, on various subjects. On looking into the writings of the Rabbies, which I saw in their library, I told one of these Chartreux, that it was a wonder to me, that any one read such extravagant fabulous relations and despicable fictions as these books contained, and should be glad to know, what good could be extracted from them.

The Friar replied, that notwithstanding their being fictitious and extravagant to a high degree, yet great use may be made of the works of the Rabbies, and especially of the Talmud of Babylon (11.) [Footnote 11: 4Kb] We obtain from thence a knowledge of the customs and opinions of the Jews, which afford some benefit. In the next place, they serve to the confirmation of the history of Jesus Christ; for it appears by the Babylonish Talmud, that there was one Jesus, who had disciples, lived in such and such a place, and did and said divers things; and in the Bible many texts relating to the Messias are confirmed and explained by these books of the Rabbies, though not by them intended. This I have since found to be the truth of the case. I have read the works of the Rabbins since, and find it to be as the Carthusian said. For example;

It is said in Gen. iii. 15. I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Now the Targum of Onkelos gives the sense thus: The man shall be mindful of, or remember, what thou (satan) hast done to him in times past, and thou shalt observe, watch or haunt him till the end of days; that is, the serpent or devil should pursue and have dominion over the world till the last days, and then the prince of this world should be cast out, and the works of the devil destroyed. Beacharith Heyamim, the end of days, or last days, is, by a general rule, given by the most learned Rabbins, meant of the Messias. So Kimchi on Isa. ii. 2.—and Abarbriel and R. Moses Nachm on Gen. xlix. 1. inform us.

It is likewise very remarkable, that the Targum of Jerusalem, and that of Jonathan Ben Uziel, apply this place to the coming of the Messias. They give the words the following sense. —I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed: when the sons of the woman keeping my law, they shall bruise thy head, and when they break my law, thou shalt bruise their heel; but the wound given to the seed of the woman, shall be healed, but thine shall be incurable; they shall be healed in the last days, in the days of the Messias. —Such is the opinion of the most learned Jews:—and from thence it follows, that the Christians have not put their sense upon the text I have cited to serve their own turn; the Rabbins, we see, give the very same meaning to the place.

Again in Numb. xxiv. 17. we have the famous prophecy of Balaam: There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel. —In Isaiah xi. 1. it is written; And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots, and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. And in Jeremiah xxiii. 5. 6. Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch,—and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness. That the Christians apply these texts to the Messias, I need not inform the reader: but it must be grateful to observe, that the paraphrases of Onkelos, Jonathan, and Jerusalem, all of them expressly attribute the prophecy of Balaam to the Messias. And Rabbi Moses Hadarsan and Maimon, say, he is here called a Star, (which signifies what Malachi expresses by the Sun of Righteousness. Mal. iv. 2. and Zechariah by the East. I will bring forth my servant the East. Zach. iii. 8. as it is translated in the Vulgar, Septuagint, Arabic, and Syriac) is here, say these Rabbins, called a Star, because he should come and destroy idolatry, among the heathen nations, by becoming a light to the gentiles, and the glory of Israel.

As to the other two texts, the Jews do likewise attribute them to the Messias. Rabbi Joseph Albo, speaking of the words, The Lord our Righteousness, in particular, says expressly, that this is one name given to the Messias. Albo, Sep. ikker. lib. 2. c. 28. Thus do the Jews concur with us in the application of texts to the Messias. But what is become of this Messias, they cannot tell. They are amazed, perplexed, and confounded about him. They dispute on the article, and have the wildest fancies in relation to it. Whereas the Christians give a clear and consistent account of the Messias, and by every argument that can be desired by a rational, prove the truth of christianity.

Again: in Isa. ix. 6. we have these words: Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Or as the Alexandrian MS. hath is, He shall call his name the Angel, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty, the Governor, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the age to come. This is thought by all Christians to be a plain declaration of the Messias ; for to apply it to any mere mortal, as to Hezekiah, or Isaiah's son, cannot be done without the greatest absurdity: and therefore Ben Maimon (epist. ad Afric.) fairly yields that these words belong to the Messias, and so doth Jonathan Ben Uziel in his Chaldee paraphrase. The Talmud itself allows it. Tract. Sanhedrim. that it relates to a person not come in the time of the prophets, but to the man, whose name is the Branch, which was to come forth out of the stem of Jesse, and to grow out of his roots. My servant the Branch. Behold the man whose name is the Branch. Zech. iii. 8. and ch. xii. and Isa. iv. 1. Even the person that shall be sent; Shilo, that remarkable person God had promised to his people. So says the Talmud.

But further; as to the birth of the Messias, in respect of the manner and the place, it is thus set down by the prophet Micah, v. 2. And thou Bethlehem Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been of old, even from everlasting. —And in Isa. vii. 14. are these words, Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bring forth a son, and call his name Immanuel. In these two texts, (the Christians say) the place of the birth of the Messias, and the manner of it, are as plainly described as words can do; and if they cannot, without absurdity, be explained as relating to any other person, then it must be perverting the meaning of the records, to oppose this explication: but this the Jews are far from doing. The place is acknowledged in the Talmud, in the Chaldee paraphrase of Jonathan, and all their most famous masters declare with one voice, that Bethlehem indisputably belongs to the Messias. Exte Bethlehem coram me prodibit Messias, ut sit dominium exercens in Israel, cujus nomen dictum est ab æternitate, a Diebus seculi. (Talmud. lib. Sanhedrim, et Midrasch. The hillinic Rabbi Selemoh. paraph. Jonath. in Loc. Rabbi David Kimchi.) —And as to the manner, tho' it be true that some Jews say, the Hebrew word Gnalma signifies a young woman as well as a virgin; yet Kimchi, Jarchi, and Selemoh, three of their greatest Rabbins, confess that here is something wonderful presaged in the birth and generation of this person, and that he was not to be born as other men and women are born. What can we desire more, in the case, from an enemy? And in truth, the behold, or wonder, with which the text begins, would be nothing, if it was only that a young woman should have a child:—and as to the Hebrew word Gnalmah, if it ever does signify a young woman, which I very much doubt, yet in the translation of the Seventy, who well understood the original surely, they render the word by parthenos, parthenos in Græc ; which always signifies a virgin in the strict propriety of the phrase. And in the Punic language, which is much the same as the Hebrew, the word Alma signifies a virgin, virgo intacta, and never means a young woman.

Such are the advantages we may gain by reading the books of the Rabbins; and to me it is pleasing to see these great Hebrew masters granting so much to us for our Messias, while they hate our holy religion beyond every thing. Even the gay among the Jews, (if I have been truly informed by one who danced a night with them) have, in contempt and abhorrence of our faith, a country-dance, called The Little Jesus.

6.

The eighth of July, I left the little Chartreuse, and went from thence to Knaresborough, where I arrived that night, and resided three days. It is a fine old town, and borough by prescription, in the West-riding of Yorkshire, and wapentake of Claro. The vast hills of Craven look beautifully wild in its neighbourhood, and the rapid river Nid, which issues from the bottom of those mountains, almost encompasses the town. It is 175 measured miles from London, and the best way to it is from Ferrybridge to Wetherby, the left hand road, where there is an excellent inn, and from that to Knaresborough.

When this very antient town passed from the posterity of Surlo de Burgh, the founder of it, we know not, but we find that Henry III. Reg. 13. granted the honour, castle, and manor, to the Earl of Kent, Margaret his wife, and their issue and heirs, and that on failure of issue and right heirs, it returned again to the crown: for Edward the Second, among other lands, gave this lordship of Knaresborough to his favourite Pierse de Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, and his heirs. Gaveston was taken not long after by the Barons, in Scarborough castle, after a short siege, and on Gaversly-heath, near Warwick, was beheaded by order of the Earl of Warwick, June 20, 1312.

By the fall of the insolent Gaveston, who had been banished by the great Edward the First, but recalled and received into favour by Edward the Second, before his father's funeral was performed; by the death of this favourite, who had involved his master's interest with his own, and rendered any displeasure against himself, the want of duty to the prince (just as Lord B , and the now Outs did the other day) which ruined the miserable King; Knaresborough came again to the crown, and so continued till the 44th of Edward the Third, when this king made a grant of the honour, castle, and manor of this town, and the cell of St. Roberts; to John of Gaunt, the king's fourth son, who was Earl of Richmond, and created Duke of Lancaster, on his having married one of the coheiresses of Henry Duke of Lancaster. Other great estates were likewise given at the same time to this fourth son of Edward, that he might maintain his grandeur: and ever since, this town has belonged to the dutchy of Lancaster. It is an appendage to the crown.

Not far from this town, are two wells, as strong of sulphur as Harrogate-water, and as valuable, though no one takes any notice of them. One lies in the way to Harrogate, in a low ground by a brook-side. The other is Bitton-spaw, in a park by Mr. Staughton's house.

As to the famous dropping-well or Petrifying water, it lies on the west side of the town and river, about 26 yards from the bank of the Nid. It rises 15 yards below the top of a mountain of marle stone, and in four falls, of about two yards each fall, comes to an easy ascent, where it spreads upon the top of an isthmus of a petrified rock, generated out of the water, which falls down round it. This isthmus or rock is ten yards high, and hangs over its base or bottom about 5 yards. It is near 16 yards long and 13 broad, and as it started from the bank about fifty years ago, leaves a chasm between them, that is about three yards wide. In this chasm, you will find petrified twigs of trees, shrubs, and grass-roots, hanging in most beautiful pillars, all interwoven, and forming many charming figures; and on the common side are whole banks like Stalactilites, hard and inseparable from the rock, where the water trickles down. These petrefactions, the falling water, and the little isthmus or island being beautifully cloathed with ash, osier, elm, sambucus, servicana major, geraniums, wood-mercury, hart's-tongue, sage, ladies mantle, cowslips, wild angelica, &c. form all together a delightful scene. —The first spring of this water is out of a small hole on the little mountain, in the middle of a thick-set of shrubs. It sends out 20 gallons in a minute of the sweetest water in the world, and it is 24 grains in a pint heavier than common water.

Most people are of opinion, that petrifying water is dangerous drink, and may produce abundance of mischief, in causing the stone and gravel in the body: the original particles or principles of the stony substance called spar, which are in abundance suspended in this kind of water, must get into the flood-gates of the kidneys and ureters, (as they opine) and create great misery in a little time.

But this fear of petrefactions in living animal bodies is grounded upon neither reason nor experience; for the spar in these waters forms no petrefactions, whilst in a brisk motion, or in a temperate season, or on vegetables while they preserve their vegetating life. While there is warmth and circulation of juices, there can be no incrustation or petrefaction from the suspended stony particles. Besides, if the minims of spar are not within the spheres of sensible attraction, whilst in motion; much less are they so when mingled with the fluids of the human body: you may therefore very safely drink these limpid petrifying waters at all times, as a common fluid, if they come in your way, as the best, and most grateful or pleasant water in the world, on account of the infinitesimals, or original leasts, of spar that are in them, in vast quantities, but infinitely small particles: and if you are sick, in many cases sure I am, they are the best of medicines. Human invention has nothing equal to them for fluxes of any part of the body, or colliquations from an acid salt. So far are they from being in the least dangerous, that in all unnatural discharges, by spitting, stool, or urine; by excessive menstrual or hæmorrhoidal fluxes, in the fluor albus, diabetes, profuse sweatings; in the diarrhoea, dysentry, or lienteria (where the springs are not quite worn out:) in ulcers of the viscera, hectic fevers, atrophy, and colliquations or night sweats, there is not any thing in physic more profitable or pleasant, to recover a patient. Let your dose, in such cases, be three half-pints of Knaresborough dropping-well in the forenoon; and before you begin to drink this water, remember to take two doses of rhubarb, to cleanse off the excrements of the first viscera. You must not drink ale, drams, or punch, during a course of these waters: and take but very little red port. You must likewise have a strict regard to diet. Let it be milk, eggs, jellies, barley-broth, chickens, kid, lamb, and the like. You must avoid all salt, sharp, stimulating things, day-sleep, and night-air: but agreeable conversation, and diversions that require very little exercise, conduce to the success of this kind of water, in the distempers I have mentioned. If such diseases are curable, you may expect a restoration of health.

But, in the dropsy, jaundice, diminished or irregular menses; in hyppo, melancholy, stuffings of the lungs, obstructions of the viscera, stoppages of the lacteals and misentery, glandular swellings, king's-evil, or any case, where thinning, relaxing, opening, deterging, attenuation or stimulation are wanting, such water is death.

Note, reader, there is another excellent petrifying-water at Newton-Dale in Yorkshire, N. R. thirteen miles from Scarborough. — Another near Castle-Howard, the fine seat of the Earl of Carlisle, ten miles from York. — Another, near Skipton, in that rough, romantic, wild and silent country, called Craven, in the West-riding of Yorkshire . —And one, called Bandwell, at Stonefield in Lincolnshire, west of Horncastle, which is 122 miles from London. These springs, and many that are not to be come at among the vast fells of Westmoreland, and the high mountains of Stanemore, have all the virtues of Knaresborough dropping-well ; though Knaresborough-water is the only one resorted to by company: and as to this spring, I can affirm from my own knowledge, that it is as excellent, and truly medicinal, as the famous petrifying-water at Clermont. There is no manner of need for Britons going to the mountain Gregoire in Basse-Auvergne.

A Postilla, (12) [Footnote 12: 2Kb]

Containing an Account of Wardrew Sulphur-water, —the Life of Claudius Hobart,—and A Dissertation on Reason and Revelation.

In my account of sulphur-waters, I forgot to mention one very extraordinary spring of this kind, and therefore, make a postilla of it here, that the reader may find in one section all I have to say on mineral waters. — And as I found by the side of this water, a man as extraordinary as the spring, I shall add his life, to my account of the water, and a couple of little pieces written by him.

In Northumberland, on the borders of Cumberland, there is a place called Wardrew, to the north-west of Thirlwall-castle, which stands on that part of the picts-wall, where it crosses the Tippel, and is known by the name of Murus Perforatus, (in Saxon, Thirlwall) on account of the gaps made in the wall at this place for the Scots passage. Here, as I wandered about this wild, untravelled country, in search of Roman antiquities, I arrived at a sulphur-spring, which I found to be the strongest and most excellent of the kind in all the world. It rises out of a vast cliff, called Arden-Rock, over the bank of the river Arde or Irthing, six feet above the surface of the water, and comes out of a chink in the cliff by a small spout. The discharge is fifty gallons in a minute from a mixture of limestone and ironstone. And the water is so very foetid, that it is difficult to swallow it. The way to it is not easy, for there is no other passage than along a very narrow ledge, about nine inches broad, which has been cut off the rock over the deep river, and if you slip, (as you may easily do, having nothing to hold by) down you go into a water that looks very black and shocking, by the shade of the hanging precipice, and some aged trees which project from the vast cliff.

This dangerous situation, and its remoteness, will prevent its being ever much visited, admirable as the spaw is; yet the country-people thereabout make nothing of the ledge, and drink plentifully of the water, to their sure relief, in many dangerous distempers. — It is to them a blessed spring.

The land all round here was one of the finest rural scenes I have seen, and made a pensive traveller wish for some small public-house there, to pass a few delightful days. Its lawns and groves, its waters, vales, and hills, are charming, and form the sweetest softest region of silence and ease. Whichever way I turned, the various beauties of nature appeared, and nightingales from the thicket inchantingly warbled their loves. The fountains were bordered with violets and moss, and near them were clumps of pine and beech, bound with sweet-briar, and the tendrils of woodbine. It is a delightful spot: a paradise of blooming joys, in the fine season of the year.

8.

One inhabitant only I found in this fine solitude, who lived on the margin of the river, in a small neat cottage, that was almost hid with trees. This was Claudius Hobart, a man of letters, and a gentleman, who had been unfortunate in the world, and retired to these elysian fields, to devote the remainder of his time to religion, and enjoy the calm felicities of contemplative life. He was obliged by law to resign his estate to a claimant, and death had robbed him of a matchless mistress, of great fortune, to whom he was to have been married. The men who had called themselves his friends, and as Timon says in Lucian, honoured him, worshiped him, and seemed to depend on his nod, emou neumatos aner temethluoi, no longer knew him; jam ne agnoscor quidem ab illis, nec aspici ne dignantur me, perinde ut eversum hominis jam olim defuncti cippum, ac temporis longitudine collapsum pretereunt quasi ne norint quidem; mede anagnontes: so true (continued Mr. Hobart) are the beautiful lines of Petronius;



Nomen amicitiæ si quatenus expedit, hæret,
   Calculus in tabula mobile ducit opus.
Quum fortuna manet, vultum servatis amici:
   Cum cecidit, turpi vertitis ora fugâ.

And so sweet Ovid says was his case,



Eandem cum Timone nostro sortem
   Expertus naso, qui sic de seipso:
En ego non paucis quondam munitus amicis:
   Dum flavit velis aura secunda meis:
Ut fera terribili tumuerunt æquora vento,
   In mediis lacera puppe relinquor aquis.

So Hobart found it, and as his health was declining from various causes, and he had nothing in view before him while he appeared, but misery: therefore, he retired to Wardrew, while he had some money, built the little house I saw on a piece of ground he purchased, and provided such necessaries and comforts as he imagined might be wanting: he had a few good books, the bible, some history, and mathematics, to make him wiser and better, and abroad he diverted himself mostly in his garden, and with fishing: for fifteen years past he had not been in any town, nor in any one's house, but conversed often with several of the country people, who came to drink the mineral-water: what he had fresh occasion for, one or other of them brought him, according to his written directions, and the money he gave them, and once or twice a week he was sure of seeing somebody: as the people knew he was not rich, and lived a harmless life, they were far from being his enemies, and would do any thing in their power to serve the hermit, as they called him: but he seldom gave them any trouble. His food was biscuit, honey, roots, fish, and oil; and his drink, water, with a little rum sometimes: He was never sick, nor melancholy; but by a life of temperance and action, and a religion of trust and resignation, enjoyed perpetual health and peace, and run his latent course in the pleasing expectation of a remove, when his days were past, to the bright mansions of the blest.

Such was the account Mr. Hobart gave me of himself, (which made me admire him much, as he was but fifty then) and to convince me his temper had nothing Timonean or unsocial in it from his solitary life, he requested I would dine with him. He entertained me with an excellent pickled trout and biscuit, fine fruit, and a pot of extraordinary honey: with as much creme of tartar as lay on a sixpence, fused in warm water, he made half a pint of rum into good punch, and he talked over it like a man of sense, breeding, and good humour. We parted when the bowl was out, and at my going away, he made me a present of the following MS. and told me I might print it, if I could think it would be of any use to mankind. It was called, The Rule of Reason, with a few Thoughts on Revelation.

9.

The throne of God rests upon reason, and his prerogative is supported by it. It is the sole rule of the Deity, the Mind which presides in the universe, and therefore is venerable, sacred, and divine. Every ray of reason participates of the majesty of that Being to whom it belongs, and whose attribute it is; and being thereby awful, and invested with a supreme and absolute authority, it is rebellion to refuse subjection to right reason, and a violation of the great and fundamental law of heaven and earth.

To this best, and fittest, and noblest rule; the rule of truth, we ought to submit, and in obedience to the sacred voice of reason, resist the importunities of sense, and the usurpations of appetite. Since the will of that Being, who is infinitely pure and perfect, rational and righteous, is obliged and governed by his unerring understanding; our wills should be guided and directed by our reason. In imitation of the wisest and best of Beings, we must perpetually adhere to truth, and ever act righteously for righteousness sake. By acting in conformity to moral truths, which are really and strictly divine, we act in conformity to ourselves, and it is not possible to conceive any thing so glorious, or godlike. We are thereby taught the duties of piety, our duties toward our fellows, and that self-culture which is subservient to piety and humanity.

Reason informs us there is a superior Mind, endued with knowledge and great power, presiding over human affairs; some original, independent Being, compleat in all possible perfection, of boundless power, wisdom and goodness, the Contriver, Creator, and Governor of this world, and the inexhaustible source of all good. A vast collection of evidence demonstrates this. Design, intention, art, and power, as great as our imagination can conceive, every where occur. As far as we can make observations, original intelligence and power appear to reside in a Spirit, distinct from all divisible, changeable, or moveable substance; and if we can reason at all, it must be clear, that an original omnipotent Mind is a good Deity, and espouses the cause of virtue, and of the universal happiness; will gloriously compensate the worthy in a future state, and then make the vicious and oppressive have cause to repent of their contradicting his will. It follows then most certainly, that with this great source of our being, and of all perfection, every rational mind ought to correspond, and with internal and external worship adore the divine power and goodness. His divine perfections, creation and providence, must excite all possible esteem, love, and admiration, if we think at all; must beget truth and resignation; and raise the highest resentments of gratitude. All our happiness and excellency is from his bounty, and therefore not unto us, not unto us, but to his name be the praise. And can there be a joy on earth so stable and transporting as that which rises from living with an habitual sense of the Divine Presence, a just persuasion of being approved, beloved and protected by him who is infinitely perfect and omnipotent?

By reason we likewise find, that the excesses of the passions produce misery, and iniquity makes a man compleatly wretched and despicable: but integrity and moral worth secure us peace and merit, and lead to true happiness and glory. Unless reason and inquiry are banished, vice and oppression must have terrible struggles against the principles of humanity and conscience. Reflection must raise the most torturing suspicions, and all stable satisfaction must be lost: but by cultivating the high powers of our reason, and acquiring moral excellence, so far as human nature is able; by justice and the benevolent affections, virtue and charity, we are connected with, and affixed to the Deity, and with the inward applauses of a good heart, we have the outward enjoyment of all the felicities suitable to our transitory condition. Happy state surely! There are no horrors here to haunt us. There is no dreadful thing to poison all parts of life and all enjoyments.

Let us hearken then to the original law of reason, and follow God and nature as the sure guide to happiness. Let the offices of piety and beneficence be the principal employment of our time; and the chief work of our every day, to secure an happy immortality, by equity, benignity, and devotion. By continual attention, and internal discipline, reason can do great things, and enable us so to improve the supreme and most godlike powers of our constitution, and so discharge the duties imposed upon us by our Creator, that when we return into that silence we were in before we existed, and our places shall know us no more, we may pass from the unstable condition of terrestrial affairs to that eternal state in the heavens, where everlasting pleasures and enjoyments are prepared for those who have lived in the delightful exercise of the powers of reason, and performed all social and kind offices to others, out of a sense of duty to God. Thus does truth oblige us. It is the basis of morality, as morality is the basis of religion.

This, I think, is a just account of moral truth and rectitude, and shews that it is essentially glorious in itself, and the sacred rule to which all things must bend, and all agents submit. But then a question may be asked, What need have we of revelation, since reason can so fully instruct us, and its bonds alone are sufficient to hold us;—and in particular, what becomes of the principal part of revelation, called redemption?

The system of moral truth and revelation, (it may be answered) are united, and at perfect amity with each other. Morality and the gospel stand on the same foundation, and differ only in this, that revealed religion, in respect of the corrupt and degenerate state of mankind, has brought fresh light, and additional assistance, to direct, support, and fix men in their duty. We have histories which relate an early deviation from moral truth, and inform us that this disease of our rational nature spread like a contagion. The case became worse, and more deplorable, in succeeding ages; and as evil examples and prejudices added new force to the prevailing passions, and reason and liberty of will, for want of due exercise, grew weaker, and less able to regain their lost dominion, corruption was rendered universal. Then did the true God, the Father of the Universe, and the most provident and beneficent of Beings, interpose by a revelation of his will, and by advice and authority, do all that was possible, to prevent the self-destructive effects of the culpable ignorance and folly of his offspring. He gave the world a transcript of the law of nature by an extraordinary messenger, the Man Christ Jesus, who had power given him to work miracles, to rouse mankind from their fatal stupidity, to set their thoughts on work, and to conciliate their attention to the heavenly declaration. In this republication of the original law, he gave them doctrines and commandments perfectly consonant to the purest reason, and to them annexed sanctions that do really bind and oblige men, as they not only guard and strengthen religion, but affect our natural sensibility and selfishness. Religion appears to great disadvantage, when divines preach it into a bond of indemnity, and a mere contract of interest; but exclusive of this, it must be allowed, that the sanctions of the gospel have a weight, awfulness, and solemnity, that prove to a great degree effectual. Safety and advantage are reasons for well-doing.

In short, the evidence of the obligation of the duties of natural religion is as plain and strong from reason, as any revelation can make it; but yet the means of rendering these duties effectual in practice, are not so clear and powerful from mere reason, as from revelation. The proof of obligation is equally strong in reason and inspiration, but the obligation itself is rendered stronger by the gospel, by superadded means or motives. The primary obligation of natural religion arises from the nature and reason of things, as being objects of our rational moral faculties, agreeably to which we cannot but be obliged to act; and this obligation is strengthened by the tendency of natural religion to the final happiness of every rational agent: but the clear knowledge, and express promises which we have in the gospel, of the nature and greatness of this final happiness, being added to the obligation from, and the tendency of reason or natural religion to the final happiness of human nature, the obligation of it is thereby still more strengthened. In this lies the benefit of christianity. It is the old, uncorrupt religion of nature and reason, intirely free from superstition and immorality; delivered and taught in the most rational and easy way, and enforced by the most gracious and powerful motives .

But if this be the case, it may be asked, Where are our holy mysteries—and what do you think of our Redemption? If natural reason and conscience can do so much, and to the gospel we are obliged only for a little more light and influence, then Trinity in Unity, and the Sacrifice of the Cross are nothing. What are your sentiments on these subjects?

As to the Trinity, it is a word invented by the doctors, and so far as I can find, was never once thought of by Jesus Christ and his apostles; unless it was to guard against the spread of tritheism, by taking the greatest care to inculcate the supreme divinity of God the Father: but let it be a trinity, since the church will have it so, and by it I understand one Uncreated, and one Created, and a certain divine virtue of quality. These I find in the Bible, God, Jesus the Word, and a Divine Assistance or Holy Wind, (not Holy Ghost, as we have translated it): called a Wind, because God, from whom every good and perfect gift cometh, gave the most extraordinary instance of it under the emblem of a Wind; and holy, because it was supernatural. This is the scripture doctrine, in relation to the Deity, the Messias, and the Energy of God; of which the Wind was promised as a pledge, and was given as an emblem, when the day of Pentecost was come; and if these three they will call a Trinity, I shall not dispute about the word. But to say Jesus Christ is God, though the apostles tell us, that God raised from the dead the Man Jesus Christ, whom they killed; that he had exalted him at his right hand, and had made him both Lord and Christ; and to affirm that this Ghost (as they render the word Wind) is a person distinct and different from the person of God the Father, and equally supreme;—this I cannot agree to. If the scripture is true, all this appears to me to be false. It is a mere invention of the Monks.

As to Redemption, it may be in perfect consistence and agreement with truth and rectitude, if the accomplishment of it be considered as premial, and as resulting from a personal reward: but to regard the accomplishment as penal, and as resulting from a vicarious punishment, is a notion that cannot be reconciled to the principle of rectitude. Vicarious punishment or suffering appears an impossibility: but as Jesus, by adding the most extensive benevolence to perfect innocence, and by becoming obedient to death, even the death of the cross, was most meritorious, and was entitled to the highest honour, and most distinguished reward, his reward might be our deliverance from the bonds of sin and death, and the restoration of immortality. This reward was worthy of the giver, and tended to the advancement and spread of virtue. It was likewise most acceptable to the receiver. It no way interfered with right and truth. It was in all respects most proper and suitable. These are my sentiments of Redemption. This appears to me to be the truth on the most attentive and impartial examination I have been capable of making.

To this, perhaps, some people may reply, that though these notions are, for the most part just, and in the case of redemption, in particular, as innocence and punishment are inconsistent and incompatible ideas, that it was not possible Christ's oblation of himself could be more than a figurative sacrifice, in respect of translation of guilt, commutation of persons, and vicarious infliction; though a real sacrifice in the sense of intending by the oblation to procure the favour of God, and the indemnity of sinners: yet, as the author appears to be a Socinian, his account is liable to objections. For, though the Socinians acknowledge the truth and necessity of the revelation of the gospel, yet, in the opinion of some great divines, they interpret it in such a manner, as no unprejudiced person, who has read the scriptures, with any attention, nor any sensible heathen, who should read them, can possibly believe. They make our Redeemer a man, and by this doctrine reflect the greatest dishonour on christianity, and its Divine Author.

This is a hard charge. The Socinians are by these divines described as people who read the scriptures with prejudice, and without attention; men more senseless than the Heathens, and as wicked too; for, in the highest degree, they dishonour Christ Jesus and his religion. Astonishing assertion! It puts me in mind of an imputation of the celebrated Waterland in his second charge;—"What atheism chiefly aims at, is, to sit loose from present restraints and future reckonings; and these two purposes may be competently served by deism, which is a more refined kind of atheism. —Groundless and ridiculous calumny. True and proper deism is a sincere belief of the existence of a God, and of an impartial distribution of rewards and punishments in another world, and a practice that naturally results from, and is consonant to such belief; and if atheism aims to sit loose from restraints and reckonings, then of consequence, deism is the grand barrier to the purposes of atheism. The true Deist is so far from breaking through restraints, that he makes it the great business of his life to discharge the obligations he is under, because he believes in God, and perceives the equity and reasonableness of duties, restraints, and future reckonings. The assertion therefore demonstrates the prejudice of Dr. Waterland, in relation to the Deists .

And the case is the same in respect of the charge against the Socinians. It is the divines that are prejudiced against them; and not the Socinians in studying the New Testament. It is the grand purpose of our lives to worship God, and form our religious notions according to the instructions of divine wisdom. We examine the sacred writings, with the utmost desire, and most ardent prayer, that we may be rightly informed in the truest sense of the holy authors of those divine books; and it appears to our plain understandings, after the most honest labour, and wishes to heaven for a clear conception of holy things, that the Father is the supreme God, that is, the first and chief Being, and Agent; the first and chief Governor; the Fountain of Being, Agency, and authority: that the Christian Messiah, the Man Christ Jesus, was sent into the world to bear witness to the truth, and preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, that kingdom of God which is within you, saith the Lord, Luke xvii. 21. not a kingdom of Monks, a sacerdotal empire of power, propositions, and ceremonies. He came to call sinners to repentance and amendment of life, to teach them the law of love, and assure mankind of grace and mercy and everlasting glory, if they kept the commandments, and were obedient to the laws of heaven; laws of righteousness, peace, giving no offence, and unanimity in the worship of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: but that, if they did not repent, and cease to be hurtful and injurious; if they did not open their eyes, and turn from darkness to light, from the power of satan unto God, and put on such an agreeable and useful temper and behaviour, as would render them a blessing in the creation, they would be numbered among the cursed, and perish everlastingly, for want of real goodness and a general sincerity of heart. This the Socinians think is what Christ proposed and recommended, as the only and the sure way to God's favour, through the worthiness of the Lamb that was slain. We say this is pure religion. It is true, original christianity, and if the glorious design of our Lord is answered by his miracles and preaching, by his death, his resurrection, his ascension, and by the grace of the holy, blessed, and sanctifying Spirit, it could reflect no dishonour on christianity, and its divine author, if our Redeemer was a meer man. If by the assistance of God Almighty, a mere man performed the whole work of our redemption, all we had to do was to be thankful for the mighty blessing. The love of God in this way had been equally inestimable. The worth of Jesus would be still invaluable.

But it is not the opinion of the Socinians that Christ was a mere man. It is plain from this assertion, that the Rev. Dr. Heathcote, (in his Remarks on free and candid Disquisitions) knows nothing of them: the account they give of Jesus Christ, is very different. They say, he was a most glorious agent united to a human body, and so far from being a mere man, that he was superior to angels. He was the next in character to the necessarily existing Being. He is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person: he has an excellency transcendent, and to the life represents what is infinitely great and perfect.

If they do not allow that he made the worlds, or had an eternal generation; if they say, he had no existence till he was formed by the power of God in the womb, and assert this eminency is proper to the Man Christ Jesus; yet they are far from affirming he was therefore a mere man: no; they believe he was decreed to be as great and glorious as possible, and that God made the world for him; that he was made the image of the invisible person of the Father; an image the most express and exact; as great as God himself could make it; and of consequence, so transcendent in all perfections, that what he says and does is the same thing as if God had spoken and acted. This is not making him a mere man. No: they say he is the first of all, and the head of all creatures, whom the infinite love of God produced, to promote greatness, glory, and happiness among the creatures, by the superlative greatness and glory of Jesus; and that angels, and the spirits of the just made perfect, might have the pleasure of beholding and enjoying the presence of this most glorious Image, that is, of seeing their invisible Creator in his Image Jesus Christ . He is not a mere man; but the brightness of the glory of God, the express Image of his person, and raised so much higher than the angels, as he has inherited from God a more excellent name than they, to wit, the name of Son, and is the appointed heir of all things.

So that this Socinianism reflects no dishonour on Christianity and its Divine Author. It conduces as much to the glory of God, and the benefit of man, as any christianity can do. There is something vastly beautiful and satisfactory in the notion of Christ's being the most glorious Image of the invisible Father, whenever his existence began. The many transcendent excellencies of the Messias, in whom all fulness dwells, are exercised upon men to their happiness, and to his glory; and we learn from thence, that greatness and glory are the result of the exercise of virtue to the relief and happiness of others. The Redeemer of the world is, in this account, the next in dignity and power to the Great God; and the perfections of the Father do most eminently shine forth in him. We are hereby made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, and delivered from the power of darkness. We give thanks unto the Father, who hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love.

It is certain then that the divines have misrepresented the people, who are injuriously called Socinians, as the religion they profess is Scripture-Christianity: I say injuriously, because, in the first place, the word Socinian is intended as a term of great reproach to christians, who deserve better usage for the goodness of their manners, and the purity of their faith: and in the next place, that Socinus was so far from being the author of our religion, that he was not even the first restorer of it. He did not go to Poland to teach the people there his religious notions, but because there was a unitarian congregation there, with whom he might join in the worship of the Father, through Jesus the Mediator, as his conscience would not suffer him to assemble with those who worship a Being compounded of three divine persons.

But it is time to have done, and I shall conclude in the words of a good author in old French . The extract must be a curious thing to the reader, as the valuable book I take it from is not to be bought.

Nostre confession de foy até depuis la premiere predication de l'evangile puisque nous luy donnons la sainte ecriture pour fondement, mais il arrive de nous ce qu'il arrive dés tous ceux qui se sont detachés de l'eglise Romaine aux quels le papistes donnent malgré eux pour autheurs de leur religion Luther, Calvin, & autres docteurs qui n'ont eté que les restorateurs, des dogmes & de veritès qui s'etoyent presque perdues sous le gouvernement tyrannique de l'eglise Romaine pendant lequel l'ecriture sainte etoit devenue un livre inconnu a la pluspart de chretiens la lecture en ayant été defendue communement. Mais par un decret de la providence de Dieu le periode de la revolution etant venu chacun a commencé a deterrer la verité la mieux qu'il a pu, & comme dans chaque revolution il y a des chefs & des gens illustres, ainsi dans le retablissement des dogmes etouffès si long-tems par le papisme Luther, Calvin, Arminius, & Socin, ont été des hommes illustres & dont on a donné le nom aux religions, Vous sçaurez donc s'il vous plaist que Socin bien loin d'avoir été autheur de nostre religion n'en a pas été meme la premier restaurateur: car il n'etoit venu en Pologne que parce qu'il avoit appris qu'il s'y etoit deja formée une assemblée de gens qui avoyent des opinions semblables aux siennes: Je vous diray de plus, que la seule chose que le fait un heros dans nostre religion c'est qu'il en a ecrit des livres, mais il ny a presque personne qui les lise, car comme Socin etoit un bon jurisconsulte il est extremement long & ennuyeux; & outre que nous ne voulous point avoir d'autre livre de religion que le nouveau Testament & point d'autres docteurs que les apostres. C'est pourquoy, c'est bien malgré nous qu'on nous appelle Sociniens ou Arriens: ce sont des noms dont la malignité de nos ennemys nous couvre pour nous rendre odieux. Nous appellons entre nous du simple nom de Chretiens. Mais puisque dans cette desunion de la chretienté, on nous dit qu'il ne suffit pas de porter ce nom universel, mais qu'il encore necessairement se distinguer par quelque appellation particuliere, nous consentons donc de porter le nom de chretiens unitaires pour nous distinguer de chretiens trinitaires. Ce nom de chretiens unitaires nous convient fort bien comme a ceux qui ne voulant en aucune façon encherye sur la doctrine de Jesus Christ, n'y y subtiliser plus qu'il ne faut, attachent leur croyance & leur confession positivement a cette instruction de Jesus Christ qui se trouve dans le 17 chap. de l'evangile de St. Jean, quand il dit—Mon pere l'heure est venue, glorifiez vostre fils afin que vostre fils vous glorifie, comme vous luy avez donné puissance sur tous les hommes a fin qu'il donne la vie eternelle a tous ceux que vous luy avez donné; or la vie eternelle consiste a vous connoistre, vous qui estes le seul Dieu veritable, & Jesus Christ que vous avez envoyé. La meme leçon nous donne l'apostre St. Paul dans le 8 chap. aux Cor. disant,—qu'il n'y a pour nous qu'un seul Dieu qui est la pere duquel sont toutes choses & nous pour luy, & il n'y a qu'un seul seigneur qul est Jesus Christ, par lequel sont toutes choses & nous par luy. C'est donc a cause de cette confession que nous nous appellons chretiens unitaires par ce que nous croyons qu'il n'y a qu'un seul Dieu, pere & Dieu de nostre seigneur Jesus Christ, celuy que Jesus Christ nous a appris d'adorer, & lequel il a aussy adoré luy meme, l'appellent non seulment nostre Dieu mais son Dieu aussy selon qu'il a dit, je m'en vay a mon pere & vostre pere, a mon Dieu & a vostre Dieu.

Ainsy vous voyez que nous nous tenons aux verités divines. Nous avons la religieuse veneration pour la sainte ecriture. Avec tout cela nous sommes serviteurs tres humble des messieurs les trinitaires,—penes quos mundanæ fabulæ actio est, & il ne tient pas a nous que nous ne courrions de tout nostre coeur a leurs autels, s'ils vouloyent nous faire la grace de souffrir nostre simplicité en Jesus Christ, & de ne pas vouloir nous obliger a la confession de supplements a la sainte ecriture .

8.

The great and excellent Faustus Socinus was born at Sienna, in the year 1539, and died at Luclavie, the third of March, 1604, aged 65. His book in defence of the authority of the sacred scriptures is a matchless performance; and if he had never written any thing else, is alone sufficient to render his memory glorious, and precious to all true christians. Get this book, if you can. It is the finest defence of your Bible that was ever published. (Steinfurti, A. 1611. edit. Vorst.) And yet, such is the malignity of orthodoxy, that a late great prelate, Dr. Smalbroke, Bp. of Litchfield and Coventry, (who died A. D. 1749) could not help blackening the author when he mentioned the work: his words are these;—"And if Grotius was more especially assisted by the valuable performance of a writer, otherwise justly of ill fame, I mean, Faustus Socinus's little book De Auctoritate S. Scripturæ, this assistance," &c. 2d charge to the clergy of St. David's, p. 34. —Here the admirable Faustus, a man of as much piety, and as good morals, as hath lived since the apostles time, who truly and godly served the almighty and everlasting God, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is painted by this eminent hand a man of ill fame; and for no other reason but because his heavenly religion made him oppose the orthodox heresy of three Gods, as taught in the creed of Athanasius; and piously labour, by the purity of his doctrine and example, to keep the world from corruption.

Let us then be careful to confess the holy unitarian faith. Let us take the advice of Socinus, and be original christians . Let there not be in our religion a God compounded of three supreme spirits, equal in power and all possible perfections. Let us worship the Invisible Father, the first and chief Almighty Being, who is one supreme universal Spirit, of peerless Majesty; and, as the inspired apostles direct, let us worship him through his most glorious Image, the Man Christ Jesus; our Redeemer and Mediator, our King and our Judge.

N. B. Though the reverend Dr. Heathcote hath been very unfriendly in his account of the Christians he calls Socinians, in his Observations before mentioned, yet you are not from thence to conclude that he belongs to the Orthodox Party. He is far from it. and therefore I recommend to your perusal not only his Cursory Animadversions upon free and candid Disquisitions, and his finer Boyle-Lecture Sermons on the Being of God, but also his Cursory Animadversions upon the Controversy, concerning the miraculous Powers, and his Remarks on Chapman's Credibility of the Fathers Miracles . They are three excellent pamphlets. The first is against the scholastic Trinity. And the others on the side of Doctor Middleton, against the miracles of the Fathers.

Note Reader, Dr. Heathcote's two pamphlets on the side of Dr. Middleton, and the Rev. Mr. Toll's admirable pieces in vindication of the Doctor against the miracles of the Fathers, will give you a just and full idea of the late controversy. Mr. Toll's pieces are called—A Defence of Dr. Middleton's Free Enquiry—Remarks upon Mr. Church's Vindication —And his Sermon and Appendix against Dr. Church's Appeal.

And if you would see all that can be said in relation to this matter, get likewise Dr. Syke's Two previous Questions: and the Two previous Questions impartially considered; by the same author.

Remarks on two Pamphlets against Dr. Middleton's Introductory Discourse: —Two Letters to the Rev. Mr. Jackson, in Answer to his Remarks on Middleton's Free Inquiry: — And, A View of the Controversy, concerning the miraculous Powers, supposed to have subsisted in the Christian Church through several successive Centuries.

These pamphlets will bind into two large octavo volumes, and make a valuable collection of critical religious learning.

Note, Reader, of that admirable work, called Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum, by Socinus, Crellius, Sclichtingius, and Wolzgoenius, 6 tomes, fol. Irenopoli 1656. The first and second volumes are the writings of Socinus; the third and fourth by Crellius; the fifth by Sclichtingius; and the sixth by Wolzogenius: they are all well worth your reading, as they contain the most valuable and excellent learning; and especially Socinus and Crellius. In another place, (where you will find me alone in a solitude) I shall give some curious extracts from the works of these great, injured men, and a summary of their lives.

SECTION VIII.

When Love's well tim'd, 'tis not a fault to love;
The strong, the brave, the virtuous, and the wise,
Sink in the soft captivity together.

[1.]

From Knaresborough, I went to Harrogate again, and there found the following letter, of an old date, left for me.

"Sir,
As you told me, you intended to go to London soon, and business obliges me to ride up to the capital a few weeks hence, I should take it as a great favour, if you would make Westmoreland your way, and through Lancashire to the Chester road, that I may have your protection and guidance in this long journey."

"I am, Sir,
Your humble servant,
Maria Spence."

Cleator, six miles to
the south-west of
Wharton-Hall.

This letter surprized me. Yes, dear creature, I said, I will make Westmoreland my way to London. At four in the morning I mounted my horse, and rid to Cleator. I arrived there at six in the evening, and had travelled that day 75 miles; to wit, from Harrogate to Boroughbridge, 8; from thence to Catarric, 22; to Gretabridge, 15; to Bows, 6; to Brugh in Westmoreland, 12; to Kirby-Steven, near Wharton-Hall, 6; to Cleator, 6:—75 miles. I dined at Catarric on a hot pigeon-pye just drawn, and ale of one ear, that is, admirable, (as Rabelais means by the phrase, "We had wine of one ear," alluding to the one shake of the head to the right shoulder, when a thing is excellent); and I gave the horses another feed of corn at Bows, the George, kept by Railton the Quaker (an excellent inn, and the master of it an instructive and entertaining orator). I mention these things for your benefit, reader, that you may know where to stop to advantage, if you should ever ride over the same ground I went that day. (13) [Footnote 13: 18Kb] .

When I came to Miss Spence's door, I sent in my name by a servant, and immediately Maria came out herself to welcome me to Cleator. She told me she was glad to see me, and extremely obliged to me, for riding so many miles out of my way, to travel up with her to London; but as she had never been further from home than Harrogate, and was afraid of going such a journey by herself, she writ to me, in hopes curiosity and my great complaisance to the ladies, might induce me to take Cleator in my way to town, tho' so much about: but as so many weeks had passed since she came away from the Wells, and she heard nothing of me, she had laid aside all expectation of my coming. This made the visit the more pleasing.

In answer to this, I replied, that if I had got her letter sooner, I would have been with her long before: but that was not possible, as I had been at a little lodge and farm of mine in the northern extremity of Westmoreland, to settle things there, and returned to Harrogate but yesterday, when I had the honour of receiving your letter, and upon reading it, set out at day-break this morning to kiss your hand, and execute any commands.

2.

Here an excellent hot supper was brought in, and after it, Miss Spence said, she was surprized to hear I was an inhabitant of Westmoreland, as she had never heard of me in the north, nor seen me at Harrogate before the other day.

I told her I was a stranger in the county, and by a wonderful accident, as I travelled a few years ago out of curiosity, and in search of a friend, up Stanemore-hills, I became possessed of a lodge I had on the northern edge of Westmoreland, where I lived a considerable time, and once imagined I should never leave it, as it is the most romantic and the most beautiful solitude in the world.

While I was giving this short relation, Miss Spence seemed greatly amazed, and her uncle, an old clergyman, who had looked with great attention at me, hoped it would be no offence to ask me how old I was.

None at all, Sir, I replied. I want some months of twenty-six; and though I dance and rattle at the wells, and am now going up to London, where all is tumult and noise, yet my passion for still life is so great, that I prefer the most silent retreat to the pleasures and splendors of the greatest town. If it was in my power to live as I please, I would pass my days unheard of and unknown, at Orton-Lodge, so my little silent farm is called, near the southern confines of Cumberland, with some bright partner of my soul. I am sure I should think it a compleat paradise to live in that distant solitude with a woman of Miss Spence's form and mind.

But tell me, I request, Maria said, how did you get to the confines of Westmoreland over Stanemore hills, and what was that accident that put you in possession of Orton-Lodge? It must be a curious account, I am sure.

This, I replied, you shall hear to-morrow morning after breakfast; there is not time for it now. All I can say at present is, that it was love kept me among the mountains for some years, and if the heaven-born maid (vastly like you, Miss Spence, she was) had not, by the order of heaven, been removed to the regions of immortality and day, I should not have left the solitude, nor would you ever have seen me at Harrogate: but destiny is the dirigent: mutable is the condition of mortals, and we are blind to futurity and the approaches of fate. This led me over the vast mountains of Stanemore, enabled me to cross the amazing fells of Westmoreland, and brought me to that spot, where I had the honour and happiness of becoming acquainted with Miss Spence. Thus did we chat till eleven, and retired to our chambers.

But the old gentleman, the doctor, when he came with me into my apartment, told me we must have one bottle more, for it was his nightcap, without which he could not sleep: he then bid the servant make haste with it, and when that was out, we had another. He was a sensible agreeable man, and pleased me very much, as he appeared a zealous friend to the illustrious house of Hanover; whereas almost all the clergymen I had been in company with since I came to England, were Jacobites, and very violent ones.

3.

I remember, among other things, I asked this Divine, over our wine,—If popery is ever so corrupt, could men be debarred of their rights for an attachment to it? —Are not crowns hereditary? — And is not treason in our country stamped with so peculiar an infamy, as involving the delinquent's innocent children in the forfeitures, or penal consequences that await it, on purpose to check the rebellion of Britons by such an accumulated punishment of evil doers?

To this the doctor replied, that the exclusion of a popish prince must be lawful, if we ought to secure our property and religion, and, as in duty bound, oppose his trampling upon the laws, and his own solemn declarations. If the people have privileges and interests, they may defend them, and as justifiably oppose notorious domestic oppressions, as foreign invasions. The head of the community, has no more a licence to destroy the most momentous interests of it, than any of the inferior members, or than any foreign invader. If a king has no passion to indulge, incompatible with the welfare of his people, then, as protection and obedience are reciprocal, and cannot subsist, the one without the other, it must be a crime in the people not to honour, and obey, and assist the royal authority. It is not only the interest but the duty of the subject to obey the prince, who is true to the important trust reposed in him, and has the welfare of the people at heart. But such a king cannot be a papist. The Romish prince will not only stretch a limited prerogative into lawless power, and grasp at absolute monarchy; but will break through the most sacred ties, and subvert the rights he was sworn to guard, to re-establish popery in this kingdom. Could James the Second have kept the seat of government, and baffled all opposition, we may conclude from what he did, from his trampling upon the laws, and his own solemn declarations; from his new court of inquisition (the high commission court) to subvert the constitution of the church of England, and to lay waste all its fences against popery; from that furious act of his power, which fell on Magdalen-college, and his two cruel acts of parliament in Ireland, (repeal of the act of settlement, by which the protestant gentlemen were deprived of their estates; and the act of attainder, by which they were to be hanged, for going to beg their bread in another country, after they had been robbed of all in their own by their king, who had sworn to protect them); from hence, I say, it is plain, that if James could have sat firm upon the throne, his misguided conscience would have induced him to the most inhuman acts of violence. He would have proceeded to the barbarities, and rekindled the flames of Mary. Had he continued to reign over these kingdoms, it is most certain, that instruction and persuasion only would not have been the thing, but where instruction and persuasion failed, imprisonments, tortures, death, would have been used, to compel us to believe all the gross absurdities of Rome, their impieties to God, and contradictions to common sense. We must throw away our reason and our bibles, the noblest gifts of heaven, and neither think nor speak, but as we are bid by men no wiser than ourselves; or, we must expire under torments as great as the devil and the monks could devise. It was therefore necessary, for the preservation of our church and state, to exclude James and his popish heirs. The common welfare required this salutary precaution. The collected interest of the community is the primary end of every law.

All this, I said, seems quite right. To be sure, during that short twilight of power, which dawned upon popery in England in the years 1689 and 90, its rage was imprudent. It did discover its fury and resentment. In one of the Irish acts you have mentioned, more than 2000 people were attainted, and some of them the most noble and venerable characters in Ireland. Yet had success attended the arms of James, this would have been but the beginning of sorrows. And probably a son of christian Rome would have proscribed more in these two islands, than in heathen Rome, out of the whole vast Roman empire, were given up to destruction for their virtue, by the cruel triumvirate, Augustus, Antony, and Lepidus: And of consequence, since dear experience convinced, it was equally absurd and vain, to imagine that a popish head would govern a protestant church by any councils, but those of popish priests, as it was to imagine that a popish king would govern a protestant state by any councils, but those of popish counsellors; it must therefore be owned, that the Lords, and others, assembled at Nottingham, were just in declaring, that King James's administrations were usurpations on the constitution; and that they owned it rebellion to resist a king that governed by law; but to resist a tyrant, who made his will his law, was nothing but a necessary defence. This, to be sure, is just. But still, if crowns are hereditary, and one severe punishment of treason was intended to check all rebellion, were we not a little too hasty in the affair of the Revolution? And might we not have expected something better from the good sense and good nature of James, if we had waited a while, till he could see the folly of his proceedings?

To this the Doctor replied, that as to James's good sense, it never appeared he had any: and in respect of his many real good qualities, they were extinguished by his bigotry, and could never be of service to a protestant spirit, the spirit of freemen: it was therefore incumbent on them, who knew and loved the invaluable blessings they enjoyed, to act as they did; that is, as the wisdom of our constitution requires in such cases.

As to the crown's being hereditary,—and the severe punishment of treasons;—in respect of the first particular, there is no natural or divine law declares crowns hereditary. If a certain rule of succession has been established in most kingdoms, the single point of view in it was public good, or a prevention of those intestine commotions, which might attend an election: But as every rule is dispensible, and must give way when it defeats the end for which it was appointed; should the customary succession in a kingdom prove at any time productive of much greater evils than those it was intended to obviate, it may questionless be superseded occasionally. This point is evident from reason. Though the crown in our own country is generally hereditary, yet that right is to be set aside, if the security of our civil and religious liberty requires it. If the pretence of James was a right to dominion, in opposition not only to the sense of the legislature, but to that of the nation, then the popish prince was justly excluded, for denying the public good to be the supreme law. Had the right he claimed been established, then our religion, our liberties, and the safety of our fortunes, had been no longer our own. In case of such establishment, the glory of our constitution was no more. The sum of the matter is, the royal family of the Steuarts being Roman Catholics, makes their case similar to an extinction of it.

And as to the accumulated punishment of treason in Great Britain, that can only be designed as a powerful check to rebellion, against a king whose darling view is the welfare of the people. No infamy, forfeitures, or death, can be too severe for the man, who rebels against a prince that governs for the good of the people, and endeavours to transmit our state safe to posterity. To plot against such a sovereign is a great crime indeed. To conspire against a prince, whose life is of the utmost consequence to the community, is an enormity that ought to be stamped with a peculiar infamy, and punished in the severest manner. But it can be no treason to act against a papist, who violates every maxim of our constitution, and by every maxim of popery labours to destroy our religion and liberties. Every man may repel unlawful attempts upon his person and property, and is armed by God with authority for self-defence.

To this it was replied, that I thought the Doctor quite right, and for my own part was determined to oppose a popish prince, whenever he comes on with his unalienable and indefeasible claim, to introduce his absurd and cruel religion, to deprive us of our rational christianity, and make us slaves, instead of free-born subjects. No popish James, to write our themes, but (filling a bumper) may this nation be ever happy in a king whose right is founded upon law, and who has made it the rule of his government. May Britons ever remember the merciless rage of popery, and the envious malice of France; each ready to lay waste the whole fabric of our excellent constitution, and cry aloud, with all the embittered sons of Edom, Down with it, down with it, even to the ground. —Here the clock struck one, and we parted.

4.

Early the next morning I was up, according to my wont, and walked out, to look at the place. Cleator is one of the finest spots that can be seen, in a wild romantic country. The natural views are wonderful, and afford the eye vast pleasure. The charming prospects of different kinds, from the edges of the mountains, are very fine. —The winding hills, pretty plains, vast precipices, hanging woods, deep vales, the easy falls of water in some places, and in others cataracts tumbling over rocks,—form all together the most beautiful and delightful scenes. All the decorations of art are but foils and shadows to such natural charms.

In the midst of these scenes, and in a theatrical space of about two hundred acres, which the hand of nature cut, or hollowed out, on the side of a mountain, stands Cleator-Lodge, a neat and pretty mansion. Near it were groves of various trees, and the water of a strong spring murmured from the front down to a lake at the bottom of the hill.

5.

This was Miss Spence's countryhouse. Here the wise and excellent Maria pass'd the best part of her time, and never went to any public place but Harrogate once a year. In reading, riding, fishing, and some visits to and from three or four neighbours now and then, her hours were happily and usefully employed. History and Mathematics she took great delight in, and had a very surprising knowledge in the last. She was another of those ladies I met with in my travels, who understood that method of calculation, beyond which nothing further is to be hoped or expected; I mean the arithmetic of fluxions.

Very few men among the learned can consider magnitudes as generated by motion, or determine their proportions one to another from the celerities of the motion by which they are generated. I question if the Critical Reviewers can do it (I am sure they cannot), though they have made so licentiously free with me. They may however pretend to know something of the matter, and so did Berkley, late Bishop of Cloyne in Ireland: yet that prelate, in reality, understood no more of the method than a porter does, though he presumed to write against it, and the divine Newton, the inventor of it: I say it. But Maria Spence, in the 24th year of her age (at this time), was a master in the fluxionary way. She had not only a clear and adequate notion of fluxions, but was able to penetrate into the depths of this science, and had made sublime discoveries in this incomparable method of reasoning. She astonished me. I thought Mrs. Burcott and Mrs. Fletcher (mentioned in my first volume, p. 275.) were very extraordinary women, on account of their knowledge in algebra, and the fine answers they gave to the most difficult problems in universal arithmetic: but this sort of reasoning is far inferior to the fluxionary method of calculation; as the latter opens and discovers to us the secrets and recesses of nature, which have always before been locked up in obscurity and darkness. By fluxions, such difficulties are resolved, as raise the wonder and surprise of all mankind, and which would in vain be attempted by any other method whatsoever. What then must we think of a young woman well skilled in such work;—not only able to find the fluxions of flowing or determinate quantities, that is, the velocities with which they arise or begin to be generated in the first moments of formation (called the velocities of the incremental parts), and the velocities in the last ratio's, as vanishing or ceasing to be; but from given fluxions to find the fluents;— and be ready in drawing tangents to curves; in the solution of problems de maximis & minimis, that is, the greatest or least possible quantity attainable in any case; in the invention of points of inflection and retrogression; in finding the evoluta of a given curve; in finding the caustic curves, by reflection and refraction, &c. &c.—this was amazing beyond any thing I had seen; or did ever see since, except Mrs. Benlow of Richmondshire, with whom I became acquainted in 1739. (See Memoirs of several Ladies of Great Britain, Vol. I.) With astonishment I beheld her. I was but a young beginner, or learner, in respect of her, though I had applied so close to fluxions (after I had learned algebra ), that my head was often ready to split with pain; nor had I the capacity, at that time, to comprehend thoroughly the process of several operations she performed with beauty, simplicity, and charming elegance. Admirable Maria! No one have I ever seen that was her superior in this science: one equal only have I known, the lady a little before mentioned. And does not this demonstrate, that the faculties and imagination of women's minds, properly cultivated, may equal those of the greatest men? And since women have the same improvable minds as the male part of the species, why should they not be cultivated by the same method? Why should reason be left to itself in one of the sexes, and be disciplined with so much care in the other. Learning and knowledge are perfections in us not as we are men, but as we are rational creatures, in which order of beings the female world is upon the same level with the male. We ought to consider in this particular, not what is the sex, but what is the species they belong to. And if women of fortune were so considered, and educated accordingly, I am sure the world would soon be the better for it. It would be so far from making them those ridiculous mortals Moliere has described under the character of learned ladies; that it would render them more agreeable and useful, and enable them by the acquisition of true sense and knowledge, to be superior to gayety and spectacle, dress and dissipation. They would see that the sovereign good can be placed in nothing else but in rectitude of conduct; as that is agreeable to our nature; conducive to well-being; accommodate to all places and times; durable, self-derived, indeprivable; and of consequence, that on rational and masculine religion only they can rest the soal of the foot, and the sooner they turn to it, the happier here and hereafter they shall be. Long before the power of sense, like the setting sun, is gradually forsaking them, (that power on which the pleasures of the world depend) they would, by their acquired understanding and knowledge, see the folly of pleasure, and that they were born not only to virtue, friendship, honesty, and faith, but to religion, piety, adoration, and a generous surrender of their minds to the supreme cause. They would be glorious creatures then. Every family would be happy.

But as to Miss Spence, this knowledge, with a faultless person, and a modesty more graceful than her exquisite beauty, were not the things that principally charmed me: nor was it her conversation, than which nothing could be more lively and delightful: nor her fine fortune. It was her manners. She was a Christian Deist, and considered Benevolence and Integrity as the essentials of her religion. She imitated the piety and devotion of Jesus Christ, and worshipped his God and our God, his Father and our Father, as St. John expressly stiles the God of Christians, xx. 17. She was extremely charitable to others, and considered conscious virtue as the greatest ornament and most valuable treasure of human nature. Excellent Maria!

6.

With this young lady, and her two servants (her footman and her woman,) I went up to London. We set out from Cleator the 31st day of July, and without meeting with any mischief in all that long way, came safe to London. We were nine days on the road; and as the weather was fine, and our horses excellent, we had a charming journey. My companion was so agreeable, that had it been two thousand miles from Cleator to London, instead of 272, I should still have thought it too short. Her conversation was so various and fine, that no way should seem tiresome and tedious to him that travelled with her. Her notions and remarks were ever lively and instructive. It was vast pleasure to hear her, even on the driest and most abstruse subjects, on account of the admiration her discourse raised, and the fine knowledge it communicated, to one who understood her. I will give an instance.

7.

In riding over the mountains the first day, we missed the road in the evening, and instead of getting to a very good inn, where we intended to rest, we were forced to stop at a poor little public house, and right glad to get in there, as the evening was tempestuous and wet, dark and cold. Here we got some bacon and fresh eggs for supper, and the ale was good, which amused us well enough till nine o'clock. We then proposed to play at cribbage for an hour, and called for a pack of cards; but they had none in the house, and we were obliged to divert ourselves with conversation, till it was time to retire. Miss Spence began in the following manner.

Was Newton, Sir, or Leibnitz, the author of that method of calculation, which lends its aid and assistance to all the other mathematical sciences, and that in their greatest wants and distresses? I have heard a foreigner affirm, that the German was the inventor of fluxions.

That cannot be (I replied). In the year 1696, Dr. Barrow received from Mr. Newton a demonstration of the rule of the quadrature of curves, which the Doctor communicated to Mr. Collins; and as this is the foundation of fluxions, and the differential calculus, it is evident Mr. Newton had invented the method before that time.

In the beginning of the year 1673, Leibnitz was in England, again in October 1676; and the interval of this time he spent in France, during which he kept a correspondence with Oldenburgh, and by his means with J. Collins; and sometimes also with Newton, from the last of whom he received a letter, dated June 18, 1676, wherein is taught the method of reducing quantities into infinite series, that is, of exhibiting the increments of flowing quantities. This method was utterly unknown to Leibnitz, before he received the abovesaid letter of Newton's, as he himself acknowledges in a letter to Oldenburgh, dated August 27, 1676; for before that time, he says in his letter, he was obliged to transform an irrational quantity into a rational fraction, and then by division, after the method of Mercator, to reduce the fraction into a series.

It is likewise certain, that Leibnitz did not then understand these series, because, in the same letter, he desires Newton would explain to him the manner how he g