Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

and such a temptation, or offered violence to any of his exorbitant desires. This is a delight that grows and improves under thought and reflection ; and while it exercises, does also endear itself to the mind; at the same time employing and enflaming the meditations.

And tell me so of any outward enjoypent that mortality is capable of. We are generally at the mercy of men's rapine, avarice, and violence, whether we shall be happy or no: for if I build my felicity on my estate, I am happy as long as the tyrant, or the railer will give me leave to be so. But if I can make my duty my delight; if I can feast, and please, and caress my mind with the pleasures of worthy speculations or virtuous practices ; let greatness and malice vex and abridye me if they can. My pleasures are as free as my will ; no more to be controuled than my choice, or the unlimited range my thoughts and my desires.

of

This discourse is commended in the Tatler, No. 205, Vol. IV. in these terms: “ This ad- . mirable discourse was preached at court, where the preacher was too wise a man not to believe the greatest argument in that place, against the pleasures then in vogue, must be, that they lost greater pleasures by prosecuting the courses

they were in. This charming discourse has in it whatsoever wit and wisdom can put together. This gentleman has a talent of making all his faculties lear to the great end of his hallowed profession. Happy genius! he is the better man for being a wit.”

South distinguished himself likewise by his controversy with Sherlock, ou the subject of the Trinity. His tracts on this subject are, 1. Animadversions upon Dr. Sherlock's book, entitled Vindication," &c. 2. Tritheism charged upon Dr Sherlock’s new notion of the Trinity in the Godhead.

Sherlock had defined the Trinity to be Three eternal minds, of which two proceeded from the Father; and the three rendered one by a reciprocal consciousness. South treats this notion in the following ludicrous manner :

The soul of Socrates, (says he) vitally joined with a female body, would certainly make a woman ; and yet according to this author's principle (affirming that it is the soul only which makes the person) Socrates with such a change of body, would continue the same person, and consequently be the same Socrates still. And in like manner for Xantippe, the conjunction of her soul with another sex, would certainly make the whole compound a man; and nevertheless Xantippe would continue the same person, and the same Xantippe still; save only, I confess, that upon

such ex change of bodies with her husband Socrates, she would have more right to wear the breeches than she had before.

This sarcastic illustration of the conse. quences of Sherlock's doctrine is said to have contained an allusion to the particular domestic situation of that divine, who resembled Socrates in the point of matrimonial felicity.

During the heat of this controversy, Dr. T. Burnet published his Archæologia, in which he assails with considerable force the divine authority of the Old Testament. These three divines, forming a Trinity not in unity, excited the sportive wit of some cotemporary poet, who satyrizes them in the following humorous ballad, to the tune of A Soldier and a Sailor, &c.

A Dean and a Prebendary
Had once a new vagary ;
And were at doubtful strife, sir,
Who led the better life, sir;
And was the better man,
And was the better man,

The Dean, he said that truly,
Since Bluff was so unruly,
He'd prove it to his face, sir,
That he had the most grace, sir;
And so the fight began,
And so the fight began.

When Preb. replied like thunder,
And roar'd out, 'twas no wonder,
Since gods the Dean had three, sir,
And more by two than he, sir ;
For he had got but one,
For he had got but one.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

That as for father Adam,
With Mrs. Eve his madam,
And what the Serpent spoke, sir,
Twas nothing but a joke, sir,
And well-invented fam,
And well-invented flam.

Thus in this battle royal,
As none would take denial,
The dame for which they strove, sis,
Could neither of them love, sir,
Since all had given offence,
Since all had given offence.

She therefore slily waiting,
Left all three fools a prating :
And being in a fright, sir,
Religion took her flight, sir,
And ne'er was heard of sincey
And ne'er was heard of since,

« PreviousContinue »