Imágenes de páginas

Mr. Hett *, but shall take no receipt, because I would have one from yourself, in order to engage you to begin a correspondence from which I expect to receive so much benefit and pleasure. I am greatly indebted to you, Sir, for your good prayers. I beg you would do me the justice to believe you do not want mine; being, with the utmost esteem and sincerity, dear Sir, Your most affectionate humble servant, W. WARBURTON."

“ Dear Sir, Newarke-upon-Trent, May 27, 1738. " It has been a great pain to me, that I had not an opportunity before now of returning my hearty thanks for your last very friendly letter of the 22d past. It would have been a particular pleasure to me to have taken Northampton in my way bome: but I was under prior engagements to go by Cambridge, where I stayed much longer than I intended, as not being able to withstand the importunities of my Friends. So, I have been got home but a very little time. But I do not despair of finding leisure and opportunity of paying my respects to you at Northampton, if not this summier, yet next spring.

“ You see that wretched Writer of the Weekly Miscellany (God knows from what motive) goes on with the most frantic rage against me, unawed by the public contempt and detestation. You would naturally imagine that he had some time or other received, or that he thought he had received, some personal injury from me; but you will be surprized to be told that I never, to my knowledge, saw him, or ever made him the subject of my conversation or writing, he being always esteemed by me of too infamous a character to have any kind of concern with; for, take such a man at the best, suppose him sincere, and really agitated with zeal for Religion, it was always my opinion that the very worst rogue in society is a saint run mad. I can assure you, with the utmost sincerity, that my motive in taking any notice of him, and the doing it with the temper I did, was out of pure Christian charity, to bring him to a right mind. What has been the consequence? it has but made him the more outrageous, and unchristian, and insulting. His coadjutor, Venn, publicly declared that I discovered in any Vindication such a sneaking humble spirit 26 shewed plainly I was not orthodox. What then is to be done with these men, either for my own sake, or the sake of the publick? they beginning to grow a nuisance to all virtue, to all learning, and love of truth. A poor young Fellow of Oxford did but say the other day, in a Sermon, that he thought natural reason discovered that God would pardon a returning sinner, and they fell upon hiin as the worst of heretics; he recanted, and they led him chained at their chariot-wheels in triumph through their news-papers. I bave determined what to do: having thought it proper to publish a Sermon, preached two years ago at the last Episcopal Visitation for Confirmation, on 2 Peter, cap. i. ver. 5 and following, I take an opportunity in a Preface,

* Mr. Richard Hett, Bookseller in the Poultry, and afterwards Treasurer to the Company of Stationers. See the “ Literary Anecdotes," vol. III. p. 607.


that gives the reasons of the present publication, to draw my adversary in his native colours : a thing, in my opinion, very necessary for the good of society, and no offence to Christian charity sure to expose a professed persecutor. There is a Postscript which, I dare say, you would think there was little occasion for, did I not tell you that there are London Divines who pretend to think the calumny confuted in it is none. These matters will be but little worth your notice. But the Sermon itself may deserve it more, and, I hope, may give you some entertainment. I shall therefore take the liberty of ordering one to he given to Mr. Hett for you, which I beg your acceptance of. You see how insensibly I have entered into matters, with all the liberty and freedom of a Friend. I will make no apology for that, because, I dare say, it would be displeasing to you. I know not how, dear Sir, to make my acknowledgments for the many very kind things which your partiality to me puts me upon saying, otherwise than by assuring you of my most sincere and cordial esteem and affection. What I said of your specimen was my real sentiments; and I have the highest expectations of the Work, anil so, I perceive, has the world; and I make no question of your satisfying them. I shall certainly take the first opportunity of looking into Sir Isaac.

Pray what think you of our new Cabalists ? Are they more rational than the Jewish ? Is not Hutchinson's method as much a disgrace to human nature as that of the Talmud? What think you too of the Methodists? You are nearer to Oxford. We have strange accounts of their freaks ; and Madam Bourignon's books, the French Vissionnaire, are, I hear, much inquired after by them.

“I beg my most humble service to good Mrs. Doddridge, whose guest I hope to have the pleasure and honour of being. My Mother, I thank God, is well, and joins with me in our best respects to you both. I heartily pray God long to continue and increase your happiness and health, that you may go on vigourously in his service at a time when it wants such servants.

I am, reverend and dear Sir, your most affectionate brother, and most obedient friend and humble servant, W. WARBURTON."

« DEAR SIR, Newarke-upon-Trent, Feb. 12, 1738-9. “ I am much indebted for your last kind Letter ; and I heartily wish I could make the same excuse for not acknowledging it sooner, that you have done on the same occasion. But I live in a much less comfortable neighbourhood, and at a greater distance from the few friends whose acquaintance is worth cultivating. But the knowledge of my friends' happiness always relieved my own unhappiness. The kind obliging things you say to me would, from a Courtier, very much disgust me; but coming from one whose virtues and parts I have so great an opinion of must needs be highly agreeable to me, though I thought them no more than the effects of a partial friendship, and merely on that account. Every thing you say concerning the Dedication * to the Princess of Wales I highly approve of; and I dare trust you in preserving the dignity that becomes an honest man and a Minister of Christ. All that relates to J-m, and who he is, and his affair with Count Zinzendorf, and what that is, I am an entire stranger to, and should be glad of a little information in that matter. I have heard indeed there are Priests of Hercules amongst you, as well as you know there are such amongst us. Last summer I was at Nottingham, and, saying there what I thought fit of you, I understood you was once expected to receive that Province under your care. But Providence was kinder to you than to commit that peace, which is the reward and product of your virtues, to so turbulent a people ; and thought fit to punish their unchristian zeal, by depriving them of one who could have regulated and reformed it.


“ Young Fordyce has great merit, and will make a figure in the world, and do honour to Professor Blackwellt, whom I have a great esteem for. Apropós of this last. You may remember Webster abused him in the libels he wrote against me. I hope his charge in that particular was false, as I know all his others were.

“ Manne's & is a wild ridiculous notion, and you will do well to expose it ll. Sir Isaac's is much more plausible; though this great man, in Divinity and Chronology, is as much below many others, as he is above every body in Mathematicks and Physicks.

“ Pray how do you like Chapman's Book against The Moral Philosopher?' He writes by order of the A. B. C1. You see he is civil to me. We should laugh about soine eircumstances in it were we together. Look at p. 444, and tell me whether you do not think something has been struck out after the first word of the last line but one. You see, p. 272, he goes out of his way to rectify an observation of mine, but very unluckily. He says, that what I lately said of Arnobius, as undertaking the defence of Christianity before he understood it, must be interpreted as to doctrines and precepts; which is not to be wondered at, since he wrote before he was aclmitted to baptism.' Mr. Chapman seems to have mistaken me every manner of way.

First, you see, he supposes I have left it in doubt what I meant by Arnobius's not understanding Christianity; but you know the place where I make the observation confines it to doctrine. 2. He supposes I made a wonder that he did not understand Christianity, whereas the wonder lay in his writing about it before he un

* OF “ The Family Expositor.” T.S. † David Fordyce, Professor of Philosophy in the Marischal College, Aberdeen; and elder brother of Dr. James Fordyce, tbe elegant Preacher to Young Men and Young Women.-Or David more bereafter.

I Dr. Thomas Blackwell, Prineipal of Marischal College, Aberdeen. He died March 18, 1757. See the Literary Anecdotes,” vol. V. p 641.

s Master of the Charterhouse. “Literary Anecdotes," vol. II. p. 165. || See “ Family Expositor,” V. i. 96. note (8) 140, (a) 310, (g) &c. | Dr. John Potier, Archbishop of Canterbury.


[ocr errors]


flerstood it. But, 3, I made no wonder, with regard to Arno-
bius, at all. His case and Lactantius's were brought only by
way of similitude to Modern Writers, who write about it before
they understand it. These indeed I blame, because no one who
does not understand it can write a good defence of it against
Modern Pagans. But I blamed not the ancient Apologists, be-
cause they might, and uld, write good defences without under-
standing it. You see the reason, p. 291, note (1).-So this was
an unlucky stroke of this Critic. But what ihink you of his de-
fence of ihe contested passage of Josephus ? for that is against
me too. Did you ever see such an interpretation put upon poor
Artor before ? Do you now think the world will lose much
when Bentley and Hare are gone --but observe how the latter
end of his criticism has forgot the beginning. At first he says,
* To insist upon it stilliy as a testimony unquestionable inight be
thought no great argument of inodesty, wisdom, or impartiality.
But at last he says, “I think with all this evidence we miglit
join (or agree with] the great Js. C. G. I. V. & L, in ascribing
it positively to Josephus. But, I believe, you will not so ea-
sily pardon an insinuation against me, in this note, contained in
these words : « To give it up entirely as spurious-CHIEFLY,
because it speaks so strongly in our favour--seems to be a de-
OUR FRIENDS by no means necessary by the true principles of
FreeTHINKING or the laws of INGENUITY.' You see what fol.
lies the writing for any men, or any cause but Truth, makes
people commit against honesty and charity. But all this in your
ear as a friend; for I dare say the Author thinks me under much
obligation to him for his civilities; and I never love to stille the
smoaking flax, or the least disposition towards peace and friend-
ship. I have seen an abstract of Mr. Leland's Answer, and it
seems exactly to correspond with the character you gave of it.

“ Your Eight Sermons * were extremely acceptable to me on
many accounts. I have a favourite Nephew, to whose use I par-
ticularly design them. It is my way, after I have read a book,
to give the general character of it in some celebrated lines or
other of ancient or modern Writers. I have characterized the
Author and Sermons, in these two lines on the blank leaf
before the title-page:

• O Friend! to dazzle let the vain design ;

To mend the heart, and raise the thought, be thineti'
“ Now we are upon Poetry, my Mother desires her best re-
spects to you and Mrs. Doddridge, and thanks you for the
charming little Hymn you sent her. She has got it transcribed,
I do not know how often, into a larger hand. It is not only the
language of the heart, but the language of a poetic heart.

" You cannot oblige me more than communicating to me the
* “ Sermons to Young People.” T. S.
t Ah, Friend! to dagh le let the vain design ;
To raise the thought, or touch the heart, be thrine." Poze.-T. S.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

most plausible objections against my scheme ; which I shall be glad of, not for your instruction, but for my own. They will be of use to me. I have seen Mr. Leland's reasons, against Morgan, for the Jews having a Future State. They are the common arguments employed for that purpose. Divines have a strange confused conception of this matter which I do not doubt to clear up to your satisfaction.

“ I make no doubt but you have seen Mr. De Crousaz's Critique on Pope's · Essay on Man.' I have defended our great Poet, as you will see, in some of the late Numbers of the History of the Works of the Learned;' but my name is a secret. I thought Mr. De Crousaz* maliciously mistaken ; and I thought it of service to Religion, to shew our Libertines that so noble a Genius was not of their party; which delusion they have affectedly embraced.

“ I have nothing particular to remark to you about the texts you refer to; only as to Jobn vii. 22. * Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not because it is of Moses, but of the Fathers); and ye on the Sabbath-day circumcise a man' It may be asked, why Jesus used the words in the parenthesis to the Jews, who well knew that God ordered all Abraham's posterity should be circumcised at eight days old! I reply, it was to obviate an objection that might be urged, to this effect :- How came circumcision to be ordered on a certain day, which must needs occasion a violation of that strict rest enjoined on the Sabbath ? Here the answer is admirable. Had Moses enjoined both one and the other, he probably would not have fixed the day of circumcision : but it was ordered by another covenant, which Moses could not disannul. St. Paul (Gal. iii. 17.) considers these as two different covenants. This raises our idea of the wisdom of God's providence. Had Circumcision and the Sabbath been both enjoined by Moses, it would have seemed fit, in order not so apparently to contradict the law about the rest of the Sabbath, to have relaxed the law about circumcision on the eighth day: but that relaxation would have been productive of great mischiefs ; therefore circumcision was given by another covenant, and confirmed only by this. You see, I suppose, the Sabbath to be entirely a Mosaical Rite. I do so as a day of rest, not as a day of devotion t. I am going on, as fast as my health will permit, with my Work. I desire your prayers for me, not only on this account, but for my general welfare. You never want mine. I wish that you would give so large a liberty of correction at the press. When I see your book, the reading of it may perhaps awaken some hints in me that may be worth while communicating to you against a Second Edition. “ I am, dear Sir, your most affectionate friend and brother,


Cambridge, April 4, 1739. I write to you amongst a strange mixture of entertainments and study, between the College-Halls and Libraries. The necessity * Professor of Philosophy and Mathematicks in the Academy of Lau

T. s. + See Doddridge's “ Family Expositor," note (8) on John vii. 22. T. S.



« AnteriorContinuar »