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tersperses Facts and Speeches of his own injudiciously. He is an Author of great Piery, and deduces all second Causes from their original Providence. What chiefly recommends his Book is his relating the Disputes on Religion in his Time, not much differing from those of ours.
Of the Latin Writers, I mult preter Tacitus for the Use of a Statesman ; no Aathor writes with greater Fidelity or more Conciseness. His Work is not only an History, Lat a Garden and Nursery of instructive Precepts. What is there in Morality he does not touch upon? What in the Affections or Pasions of human Nature he does not explain? His Reflections and Sentences are every where interspersed without breaking the Thread of his History, or confusing his Narrative. He is a Writer which ought to be in the Hands of all Perfons employ'd in publick Bufinets.
Saliufi, had his History come whole to us, had probably taken the first, bar by these little Remains extant we can rather admire than make a Judgment of him. He seems a Writer the most like Thucydides of all the Latins, and what is said of the one is applicable to the other.
Livy writes in a diffusive and pleafing Style, rather a Master of Eloquence than civil Prudence. He is, in my opinion, in many places dull and full of Tautology.
Quintus Curtius is an exact Historian, if there ever was any such. He is eloquent in his Orations, admirable in his Judgment, accurate without our perceiving it. His Subject is barren, chiefly the Wars of Alexander ; but he shews, had his Field been larger, thathe could have given admirable Inftructions on the other parts of civil Prudence.
Cæfar has related his own A&tions with great Modesty, Openness and Accuracy. They are Commentaries and so promise only a simple and exact Narrative. The Advantage to be gain'd from him is chiefly in mi. litary Life, and that not from his Words, but by forming your Judgment from the Account of his Actions.
In the Ages which follow'd the Decay of the Empire, no Historian is found of any Figure.
Ammianus Marcellinus must, if any, have the Preference.
Lambertas Scafnaburgensis, Rodericus Tolot anüs have wrote as well as that Age would allow : The lait of the Spanish Affairs, the other of the Germans But in our Fathers Time this and all other Learning reviv’d.
Pbilip Comines may be compared to any of the Anticnts. He wonderă folly penetrates and opens to us the secret Springs and Arcana of Princes Councils, and from thence instructs us with unusual and useful Insights into the Motions and Wheels of human Actions, and that in a full Manner after the Example of Polybius; and whac encreuses his Value was his being in a great Degree illiterate, yet knowing in Things, and endow'd with an excellent Judgment from Nature, but unacquainted with Books, and is norant almost of the Rules of Grammar.
Paulus Æmilius, who wrote in French and of the French Afairs, tho' no Frenibman. He was drawn from Italy to the Service of Louis XII. and seems to have renew'd the true and antient Method of writing History. His ReAections and Sentences are frequent and equal :0 the Antients. He is a di. ligent Observer of Facts, and a severe Judge of ihem. His Faults are,
chac he is vain, obscure sometimes in his Siyle, and an Afector of obsolete Words. Francis Gwiciardin a prudent and kilful Writer; and who renders Dd
his Readers also fuch. He is open and faithful, free from Passions, except. ing that of Hatred, which in some Places he discovers against Duke Urbini. He may be counted the first Writer of thisAge, tho' he cannot be compared with the Antients. His work is prolix, he insists on Trifles, and is often languid.
Paulus Fozius is an Author to be look'd on for the various Matter of his Writings. He judges well, where not carried off by Affection, which he visibly is in all Subjects relating to his Country, and the Medici. In his Speeches he is frequently languid and trifling.
of the Antients those Authors that may be recommended are Aristotle's Politicks, Plato's Republick and Xenopbon's Cyrus.
In Ethicks, Plutarch, fome Books of Seneca, Jesus of Sirach. In a Criticisın on a Poetic Piece 6 Things are to be particularly observ'd. 1. The History. 2. The Beauty of the Language. 3. The Force of the Words. 4. The Propriety of the Epithets. 5. The Justness of the Figures. 6. The Sense of the Allegories.
of a Letter, relating to Mr Pope's Universal Prayer from Mr Le Franc, Advocate General of the Court of Aids, at Montalban, &c. which Prayer Le Franc calls a pernicious Essay; and of Mr Pope he says, ' Undoubt
edly a Poetical Enthusiasm has in this case, milled him from his true • Principles, and prevented him from perceiving, that those pretended
Philosophical Ideas contained in his Verses, have no folid Foundation, even tho' they were not carried to Impiety.' You, Mr Urban, seem displeased at that Letter, accuse Le Frane of contradi&ting himself, of not being sincere, and of being a Bigot. I shall make a few Observations upon that celebrated Prayer, which, if they are well grounded, will serve as an Apology for Mr Le Franc's Concern'at his being an Inftrument of spreading so pernicious an Essay.
Thon great 6ft Cause, leaft widerfood,
Wbe all my Sonjé confir'd
To see the Good from II;
Loft Confrience free, and Will. Mr Pope, I presume, in Imitatiod of the Lord's Prayer, has before he.somics in his Pesitions, a Preface confiling of the thice first Stanzas.
How verbose, and how far short of the great Original! But 'uis not faulty in the Wordiness only, 'tis so in a Respect much more momentous, and that is for telling the Father of all a Pack of Lies, or at least' for affirming, what no Mortal does or ever will be able to comprehend. • Thou, lays he, has confin'd all my sense to know, but this, that thou • art good, and I am blind.' Is not the Wisdom and Power of God as plain and perspicuous as his Goodness? Yea verily, and and leis liable to Objection : And then, pray what does he mean by, “ I am blind ?' With what Face can I tell him who gave me Eyes, that I cannot see? But this humble Confession of his Blindness, is inserted with an Intent, perhaps, to render his Prayer truly Catholick : For a Person that believes he can see, can never possibly believe Transubstantiation.
Well; but tho' che Goodness of the Father of all, and his own Blind. ness, were all he knew ; tho' his Knowledge was confined within that Compass; yet, in the very next Words he tells him, that. Họ gave him • in, this dark Estate, to see the Good from III, that is to say, cho' I am blind yet I see, and I know what thou confinest
from knowing, at the same time that thou givest me that Knowledge. This is true Catholick Doctrine. But fupposing that these Assertions are consistent, and do not imply a Contradiction, can every one affirm with Truth, that thou gave me in this dark Estate to see the good from ill?! Mr Pope, who has an infallible Church to guide him, may talk to the supreme Being in a peremptory Manner ; but a poor illiterate Indian should be more modeft; and, I am sure, the excellent Socrates would have chosen rather to take another Dose of Poison, than thus to have expressed himself to the Author of his Being. The Sentiment is certainly far from Truth. But a modern Deist, perhaps, may have Vanity enough to approve of it; for whom, it may be, it was calculated, that he allo, when he prays, may join in this Universal Prayer.
And binding Nature fast in Fate, This is a Prayer composed for every Body, and here is a Part of it which no Body understands. What is Nature and what is Fate? And how great the Impropriety, of acquainting the first Cause, that one is bound fast by the other, without the least Insight into the Qualities of ei. ther of them? But the Mahometans are thought to be great Fatalists, and the Calvinists, Predestinarians: So that this unintelligible Line, probably, was placed here, with a View to comprehend them.
• Left Conscience free,' This may very likely be true ; but then it is a Truth, that, I doubt, will not find Admittance at Rome, that Mother and Mistress of all Churches, nor in Spain, rtugal, or France. And this, together with this honeft Stanza
Let not this weak, unknowing Hand
Presume thy Bolts to throw,
On each I judge thy Foe. is, as may not unreasonably be thought, one Cause of those Qualms of Conscience of Mr le Franc, for having translated into French this pernicious Eflay. He complements Mr Pope, indeed, for his Courage in profelling the Catholick Religion in the Heart of London, while as, in Truch, there is no Manner of Danger of doing it at London. But would he profess such a Sort of a Catholick Religion at Madrid or at Rome; why then, I would say-Mr Pope is a Man of Courage. Į shall make no farther Observations upon this, than that these generous Principles of Liberty, these mild undamning Sentiments, will utterly exclude all real Roman Catho. licks from the Use of this Catholick or Universal Prayer. • Left Conscience free and Will
??. That the Will is free, is absolutely false in numberless Instances. Is the Prisoner at Liberty not to reflect upon his Canfinement? the Criminal, his Guil? the hungry Person, Vicluals ' or the thirsty Drink? If by Freedom of Will is meant Liberty of Action, that still is a Problem never to be solved. Milton has finely imployed the Devils, in the Absence of their Chief, in Meditations upon that great Question.
Other's apart set on a Hill retir'd
In Thoughts inore elevate, and reason'd high
Fixt Fate, free Will, Forc-ks.owledge ab/olute,
found 110 End in wandring Mazes lof. For my felf, I stand in doubt,' whether any, besides him whose Ways are past finding out, is able fully to comprehend that extensive Propotirions, the Wül is free.' So far for the Preface, now follow the Peria rions,'
What Constiente di&tates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
Thai, more than Heav'n pursue. Father Clement and Racaillac murder'd Henry the 3d and 4th of France, and Father Garnet, Fauks, Digby, &c. would have blown up the Parliament House, in the Time of King James I. I do not doubt, but with a very good Conscience. But, I believe, there are few at present, who desire to be taught of God, to perlue the Dictates of such Conscien, ces. Had Mi Pope instructed us to beg for an enlighten'd Conscience, and turned inio Verlé, those fine Words of the Holy Scriptures, that which • I see not, teach thou me.' Then, supposing that granted, we might, after leaving out that theatrical Rant about Heaven and Hell, heartily proceed in his Words, What Conscience dictates.' But here, we inso. lently tell him we see good from ill, and pray for Resolution to act ac. cordingly. In Conlequence of which Principles, the Innocent are daily murder'd, the Inquisition fourishes; and the Kingdom of Christ is thought to be advanced by Ways and Means the most cruel and most iniquitous,
What Blellings tby free Bounty gives,
Let me nct cast away,
T'erjong is to obey.
This is as odd an Elevation of Thought, as, I believe, was ever offered to the divine Being, not at all inferiour to any of the Scots Presbyterian Eloquence. Let me not caft away, but receive what Blessing: thou giv'st . me, which will lay me under no Sort of Obligation, or inake me indebt“ed to thee, my receiving them being a fufficient Payment for them.' I doubt those Bletings cannot be supposed to be worth much, if the bare Acceptance of them can be a full and adequate Price for them. But to crown all, comes in that dapper Line, 'T'enjoy is to obey.'
A divine Thought, a moft incomparable Maxim for the debauched and the voluptuous! To proceed,
If I am right, thy Grace impart,
Still in the right to fay;
Excellent Liges! But how come they here? I have just told him, to whom I address myPrayer that • I see the Good from III.? If that was true, furely I am able to know whether I am in the right or not. So that there seems to be no Occasion for any ifs or ands in the Business ; neither indeed do I apprehend that the Catholick Church allows any Room for Doubt. That's peculiar to Hereticks, who have no Center of Unity, no visible Authority, no
a thousand Things besides. Wherefore I do not know but these Hints of an unsetled uncertain Condition may contain something of that Impiety Le Franc shrugs his Shoulders at, and seems so uneasy that he has helped to propagate in the World.
Whereas therefore, Mr Pope has succeeded so ill in what he calls, The Universal Prayer. I shall beg leave to present you with one, suitable to every one's Condition, and which every one, that acknowledges a God, may join in-lincerely and with a good Conscience, whether he be Jew, Turk, Heathen or Christian.
• Our Heavenly Father, unto thee be all Honour, Glory, Praise, and • Thanksgiving; may the Kingdom of Darkness and Iniquity be abolished, " and that of Light, Righteousness, and true Piety prevail ; may all of • us become faithful, and in all Respects obedient Subjects unto thee the • blessed and only Potentare, so that thy Will may be done on Earth, • even as it is in Heaven. Grant that we may daily receive Things ne
ceffary for our Support. Our Offences pardon, as we pardon Offences " that are committed against us. Lay no Temptations in our Way, nor • suffer us to be led away by them. But deliver us from every Thing • hurtful and inconvenient for us, our glorious and almighty King.'
If any Objecțion can be made against this Prayer, it must be against these Words, pardon as we pardon; but do the most cruel, malicious, and sevengeful, never forgive any Faults in their Wives, Children, Servants, Neigbours, Friends, &c? If they forgive; fo may they be forgiven: If they do not, they have so much of the Devil in them, that 'cis no Matter whether they say any Prayers at all or no. If you please to dublish this, you will oblige,
Sir, Your Humble Servant,