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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.*
* Such were the sentiments of South. Shakespeare, in Troilus and Cressida, says,
Paris, and Troilus, you have both said well;
Of any true decision.
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
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.
THE HAPPY MAN,
Tuat hath learned to read himself more than all
* Its no in titles nor in rank;
To purchase peace and rest ;
either multiply, or substract at pleasure.
Its no in making muckle mair :
To make us truly blest;
And centre in the breast,
Could make us happy lang;
That makes us right or wrang.
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