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others, but by doing what was strange. Were Astley to preach a sermon standing upon his head on a horse's back, he would collect a multitude to hear him; but no wise man would say he had made a better sermon for that. I never treated Whitefield's ministry with contempt; I believe he did good. He had devoted himself to the lower classes of mankind, and among them he was of use; but when familiarity and noise claim the praise due to knowledge, art, and elegance, we must beat down such pretensions.", He would not allow much merit to Whitefield's oratory. “ His popularity, Sir (said he), is chiefly owing to the peculiarity of his manner. He would be followed by crowds were hę to wear a night-cap in the pulpit, or were he to preach: from a tree.”
He said, “ John Wesley's conversation is good, but he is never at leisure. He is always obliged to go at a certain hour. This is very disagreeable to a man who loves to fold his legs, and have out his talk, as I do."
At another time, he said, “I have read Dr. Blair's sermon on Devotion, from the text Cornelius, a devout man.' His doctrine is the best. limited, the best expressed; there is the most warmth without fanaticism, the most rational transport. There is one part of it which I disapprove, and I'd have him correct it; which is, that
he who does not feel joy in religion is far from the kingdom of Heaven! There are many good men whose fear of God predominates over their love. It may discourage. It was rashly said. A noble sermon it is indeed. I wish Blair would come over to the church of England."
He talked of Lord Lyttelton's extreme anxiety as an author, observing, that “ he was thirty years in preparing his History, and that he employed a man to point it for him; as if (laughing) another man could point his sense better than himself.” Mr. Murphy said, he understood his history was kept back several years for fear of Smollet. Johnson. " This seems strange to Murphy and me, who never felt that anxiety, but sent what we wrote to the press, and let it take its chance."-MRS. THRALE. “ The time has been, Sir, when you felt it.”-J. “ Why really, Madam, I do not recollect a time when that was the case."
Lord Lyttelton's Dialogues he deemed a nugatory performance.
“ That man (said he) sat down to write a book, to tell the world what the world had all his life been telling him."
He attacked Lord Monboddo's strange speculation on the primitive state of human nature; observing, “Sir, it is all conjecture about a thing useless, even were it known to be true. Knowledge of all kinds is good: conjecture as to
things useful is good; but conjecture as to what it would be useless to know, such as whether men went upon all four, is very idle.”
The conversation turning upon Mr. David Hume's style, Johnson said, Why, Sir, his style is not English; the structure of his sentences is French. Now the French structure and the English structure may,
in the nature of things, be equally good; but if you allow that the English language is established, he is wrong. My name might originally have been Nicholson, as well as Johnson; but were you to call me Nicholson now, you would call me very, absurdly.”
Dr. Adams had distinguished himself by an able answer to David Hume's “ Essay on Miracles.' He told Mr. Boswell he had once dined in company with Hume in London ; that Hume shook hands with him, and said, “You have treated me much better than I deserve;" and that they exchanged visits. Mr. B. objected to treating an infidel writer with smooth civility. “ Where there is a controversy concerning a passage in a classic author, or concerning a question in antiquities, or any other subject in which human happiness is not deeply interested (Mr. B. argues), a man may treat his antagonist with politeness and even respect; but where the controversy is concerning the truth of religion,
it is of such vast importance to him who maintains it to obtain the victory, that the person of an opponent ought not to be spared. If a man firmly believes that religion is an invaluable treasure, he will consider a writer who endeavours to deprive mankind of it as a robber ; he will look upon him as odious, though the infidel might think himself in the right. A robber who reasons as the gang do in the · Beggar's Opera, who call themselves practical philosophers, and may have as much sincerity as pernicious speculative philosophers, is not the less an object of just indignation. An abandoned profligate may think that it is not wrong to debauch my wife; but shall I therefore not detest him ? and if I catch him in making an attempt, shall I treat him with politeness? No, I will kick him down stairs, or run him through the body; that is, if I really love my wife, or have a true rational no. tion of honour. An infidel then should not be treated handsomely by a Christian, merely because he endeavours to rob with ingenuity. I do declare, however, that I am exceedingly unwilling to be provoked to anger; and could I be persuaded that truth would not suffer from a cool moderation in its defenders, I should wish to preserve good humour, at least, in every controversy ; nor indeed do I see why a man should lose his temper while he does all he can to refute
an opponent. I think ridicule may be fairly used against an infidel; for instance, if he be an ugly fellow, and yet absurdly vain of his person, we may contrast his appearance with Cicero's beautiful image of Virtue, could she be seen. Johnson coincided with me and said, “When a man voluntarily engages in an important controversy, he is to do all he can to lessen bis antagonist, because authority from personal respect has much weight with most people, and often more than reasoning. If my antagonist writes bad language, though that may not be essential to the question, I will attack him for his bad language.'”_ADAMS. “ You would not jostte a chimney-sweeper.”—JOHNSON. “ Yes, Sir, if it were necessary to jostie him down."
He censured Lord Kaimes's Sketches of the History of Man,' for misrepresenting Ciarendon's account of the appearance of Sir George VilHiers's ghost, as if Clarendon were weakly credulous; when the truth is, that Clarendon only says, that the story was upon a better foundation of credit than usually such discourses are founded upon; nay speaks thus of the person who was reported to have seen the vision, “ the poor man, if he had been at all waking;" which Lord Kaimes has omitted. He added, " in this book it is maintained that virtue is natural to man, and that if we would but consult our own hearts