« PreviousContinue »
in his original Frame and Constitution. But then, His Sentiments and Expression were so masterly; His way of explaining the Phraseology of Scripture, by collecting, and comparing together, all the Parallel Places truly relating to any Subject, was fo Extraordinary and Convincing ; that such a Delight of Satisfaction went along with it, as more than made amends for the Want of the Other. And in this Method of Preaching, He was so universally acceptable, that perhaps there was not a Parishioner He had, of any Rank, ( whatever might be his way of thinking in our divided World,) who was not always pleased at his coming into the Pulpit; or who was ever weary of his Instructions from thence. However We difer in Some mátters, We desire to See No other Person in the Pulpit; was, I know, a Saying amongst Them. And it is for their honour, that I mention it.
THESE Accomplishments of Nature and Learning not only made his Preaching thus Exeellent; but render'd his Co12versation amongst his Friends in fo high a degree Useful and Instructive, that It might be styled An Easy Continuation of his own Studies, and a School of Knowledge to Those who partook of it. Indeed, if I might be allowed to judge in What that peculiar Excellence. lay, which most distinguished Him from other Great Men; I would place it in That Readiness of Thought, and Clearness of Expression, which hardly ever failed Him, when His Opinion was asked, upon All forts of Important and Trying Questions, The Pleasure and Satisfaction which appeared where He conversed with any Freedom, could not but be very great ; to hear Many of the Difficulties which had perplexed very Able Men in their feveral Professions and Studies, though started all on a sudden, vanishing almost as suddenly ; lessening continually as fast as He spake, and generally ending with his Discourse. Here indeed, it was That He triumph'd without a Rival. They who fancied Themselves in Doubts never to be satisfied, often found Light from Him, after having vainly tried to find it elsewhere : and They who did not see to the End of their Difficulties immediately, yet had This Comfort, That They always understood Him, as far as He went; and
at least that Satisfaction which is the next to finding out the whole Truth, I mean The Satifaction of being convinced that it was in vain to expect it. Those who knew. Him, have been daily Witnesses to what I now fay, in Mathematical and Critical, as well as Theological and Metaphycal Subjects : Upon the last of which indeed, He was one of the very few, who could, or would, always talk intelligibly. His Discourse of this fort was without one Word or Term, which he was not as ready to give a plain Sense to, as He was to make use of it; and in a Style which he would take as great a pleasure to adapt to the Understanding of All perfons of Sense, as Many would do, to raise their Language even out of their own reach, as well as that of Others. For He judged, That as the Use of Language was to express Thoughts ; so Those founds could not be justly called Language, which represented No Thoughts at all. Such was his Conversation amongst his Friends : always far removed from Pedantry; and never arising from his own affectatiom of introducing Learning into it; but from the Enquiries of Others, or the Occafons which naturally and unavoidably
WHAT added a Forcę to his Preaching and Instructive Discourse, was his own Unblameable Example, and Personal Conduct, in all the Duties of a Man, and a Christian. His Piety was Manly and Un-.
the most. folid Grounds, and free from all Pomp and Shew. The Charity of his Temper and Good-will was as extensive as the Whole Rational Creation of God. The Charity of his Affiftance and Beneficence, as Extenfive as the Circumstances of his Family would prudently admitt.' His Love of the Religious and Civil Liberties of Mankind, was a Ruling and Powerful Principle in His Heart and Practice. In a word, His Morals, from the first of his Days, to the last, were without Reproach. There was an Innocence and Inoffensiveness remarkable through his whole Behaviour : And his Life, when He came into the View of the Great World, was Ornament and Strength to that Religion which his Pen so well defended.
No wonder that a Person of such a Genius, and such Acquirements was fought
after by the greatest Lovers of Virtue and Knowledge. This was his Case, to such a Degree, that, thro' his last Years, He could command but
little time for his own Studies, even in the Morning ; and after the Morning was over, He was almost Every day invited and press’d amongst his Friends abroad ; not only Those of his own Parish, who were equally desirous of his Company; but many in all the other Parts of the Town.
The Chief Persons of the Law will forgive Me, if I can't pass over the Singular Regard They paid to this Great Man : which was so remarkable, that it seemed to be a sort of Contest amongst them, who should shew it most. The Lord High Chancellor, The Master of the Rolls, The Lord Chief Baron, and several of his Brethren the Learned Judges, (not to mention Others) will, I am confident, esteem it their Honour to have it said, since it can be faid with Truth, That there never yet appear'd a Divine amongst Us, (not related to Them by his Office,) who received such continued and such particular Marks of the highest Respect from fo many Ornaments of that Honourable
. Profesion, as He