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vine from the shopboard, or the anvil; or from whistling to a team, come to preach to a congregation. These were the peculiar, extraordinary privileges of the late blessed times of light and inspiration : otherwise nature will still hold on its old course, never doing anything which is considerable without the assistance of its two great helps -art and industry. But above all, the knowledge of what is good and what is evil, what ought and what ought not to be done in the several offices and relations of life, is a thing too large to be compassed, and too hard to be mastered, without brains and study, parts and contemplation.*

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* Such were the sentiments of South. Shakespeare, in Troilus and Cressida, says,

Paris, and Troilus, you have both said well;
And on the cause and question now in hand
Have gloz’d, but superficially; not much
Unlike young men, whom Aristotle thought
Unfit to hear moral philosophy :
The reasons you allege, do more conduce
To the hot passion of distemper'd blood,
Than to make up a free determination
'Twixt right and wrong; for pleasure and revenge
Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice

Of any true decision.
Lord Bacon, in stating the objections made by divines to
the advancement of learning, says, “ They urge that know-
ledge is of the nature and number of those things, which are
to be accepted with great limitation and caution ; that the
aspiring to overmuch knowledge was the original temptation
and sin, whereupon ensued the fall of man.” To which
Lord Bacon answers, “ the divines do not observe and con-
sider, that it was not that pure and primitive knowledge of
nature, by the light whereof man did give names to other




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We know how great an absurdity our Saviour accounted it for the blind to lead the blind; and to put him that cannot so much as see, to discharge the office of a watch. Nothing more exposes to contempt than ignorance. When Samson's eyes were out, of a public magistrate he was made a public sport. And when Eli was blind, we know how well he governed his sons, and how well they


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creatures in paradise, as they were brought before him, according to their proprieties, which gave the occasion to the fall; but it was that proud knowledge of good and evil, with an intent to shake off God and to give law unto himself.”

So too, in his tract on education, he says, “Is it not a wise opinion of Aristotle and worthy to be regarded : That young men are no fit auditors of Moral philosophy, because the boiling heat of their affections is not yet settled, nor attempered with time and experience. And to speak truth, doth it not hereof come that those excellent books and discourses of ancient writers, (whereby they have persuaded unto virtue most effectually ; representing as well her stately majesty to the eyes of the world, as exposing to scorn popular opinions in disgrace of virtue, attired as it were, in their parasite coats) are of so little effect towards honesty of life and the reformation of corrupt manners ; because they use not to be read and revolved by men mature in years and judgment, but are left and confined only to boys and beginners. But is it not true also that young men are much less fit auditors of policy than morality, till they have been thoroughly seasoned with religion and the knowledge of manners and which he doth perfectly know? what herb or flower, or worm that he treads on, is there whose true essence he knoweth! no, not so much as what is in his own bosom; what it is, where it is, or whence it is, that gives being to himself. But, for those things which concern the best world he doth not so much as confusedly see them; neither knoweth whether they be. He sees no whit into the great and awful majesty of God. He discerns him not in all his creatures, filling the world with his infinite and glorious presence. He sees not his wise providence, overruling all things, disposing all casual events, ordering all sinful actions of men to his own glory.* As travellers in a foreign country make every sight a lesson; so ought we in this our pilgrimage. Thou seest the heaven rolling above thine head, in a constant and unmoveable motion; the stars so overlooking one another, that the greatest show little, and the least greatest, all glorious ; the air full of the bottles of rain, or fleeces of snow, or divers forms of fiery exhalations ; the sea, under one uniform face, full of strange and monstrous shapes beneath ; the earth so adorned with variety of plants, that thou canst not but tread on many at once with every foot; besides the store of creatures that fly above it, walk upon it, live in it.

lest their judgments be corrupted and made apt to think that there are no moral differences true and solid of things; but that all is to be valued according to utility and fortune."

Vol. i. 258,


Thou idle truant, dost thou learn nothing of so many masters ? +

* Century ii. 82.
† Art of Divine Meditation, chap. iv.


the great;

Tuat hath learned to read himself more than all
books; and hath so taken out this lesson that he
can never forget it; that knows the world, and
cares not for it; that after many traverses of
thoughts, is grown to know what he may trust to,
and stands now equally armed for all events; that
hath got the mastery at home, so as he can cross
his will without a mutiny, and so please it, that he
makes it not a wanton: that in earthly things
wishes no more than nature ; in spiritual, is ever
graciously ambitious; that for his condition, stands
on his own feet, not needing to lean upon
and can so frame his thoughts to his estate, that
when he hath least, he cannot want, because he is
as free from desire, as superfluity; that he hath sea-
sonably broken the headstrong restiness of prospe-
rity, and can now manage it at pleasure. Upon
whom all smaller crosses light as hailstones upon a
roof: and for the greater calamities, he can take
them as tributes of life, and tokens of love; and if
his ship be tossed, yet is he sure his anchor is fast.
If all the world were his, he could be no other than
he is, no whit gladder of himself, no whit higher
in his carriage, because he knows contentment is
not in the things he hath, but in the mind that
values them.* The powers of his resolution can


* Its no in titles nor in rank;
Its no in wealth like Lon'on bank,

To purchase peace and rest ;

He can

either multiply, or substract at pleasure.
make his cottage a manor, or a palace when he
lists; and his homeclose a large dominion; his
stained cloth, arrass; his earth, plate ; and can


Its no in making muckle mair :
Its no in books: its no in lear,

To make us truly blest;
If happiness hae not her seat

And centre in the breast,
We may be wise, or rich, or great,
But never can be blest:
Nae treasures, nor pleasures,

Could make us happy lang;
The heart ay's the part ay,

That makes us right or wrang.
-In early youth among my native hills
I knew a Scottish peasant who possessed
A few small crofts of stone-encumbered ground;
Masses of every shape and size, that lay
Scattered about beneath the mouldering walls
Of a rough precipice; and some apart,
In quarters unobnoxious to such chance,
As if the moon had showered them down in spite,
But he repined not. Though the plough was scared
By these obstructions, “ round the shady stones
A fertilizing moisture,” said the swain,
“ Gathers, and is preserved; and feeding dews
“ And damps, through all the droughty summer day,
“ From out their substance issuing, maintain

Herbage that never fails; no grass springs up “ So green, so fresh, so plentiful, as mine!”

Excursion, 4to. 240. This truth then ought to be deeply printed in minds studious of wisdom and their own content, that they bear their happiness or unhappiness within their breast; and that all outward things have a right and a wrong handle: he that

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