페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

quench it frequently with consideration, and let it not break out into passionate or unruly words or actions, but whatever you do, let it not gangrene into malice, envy, or spite.

Eighthly. Send your children early to learn their Catechism, that they may take in the true principles of religion betimes, which may grow up with them, and habituate them both to the knowledge and practice of it; that they may escape the danger of corruption by error or vice, being antecedently seasoned with better princi

ples.

Ninthly. Receive the blessings of God with very much thankfulness to him ; for be is the root and fountain of all the good you do or can receive.

Tenthly. Bear all afflictions and crosses patiently: it is your duty ; for afflictions come not from the dust. The great God of heaven and earth is he that sends these messengers to you, though possibly evil occurrences may be the immediate instruments of them. You owe to Almighty God an infinite subjection and obedience, and to expostulate with him is rebellion. And, as it is your duty, so it is your wisdom and your prudence: impatience will not discharge your yoke, but it will make it gall the worse, and sit the harder.

Eleventhly. Learn not only patience under your afflictions, but also profitably to improve them to your soul's good; learn by them, how vain and unprofitable things the world and the pleasures thereof are, that a sharp or a lingering sickness renders utterly tasteless. Learn how

vain and weak a thing human nature is, which pulled down to the gates of death, and clothed with rottenness and corruption, by a little disorder in the blood, in a nerve, in a vein, in an artery. And since we have so little hold of a temporal life, which is shaken and shattered by any small occurrence, accident, or distemper; learn to lay hold of eternal life, and of that covenant of peace and salvation which Christ hath brought for all that believe and obey the gospel of peace and salvation : there shall be no death, no sickness, no pain, no weakness; but a state of unchangeable and everlasting happiness. And if you thus improve affliction, you are gainers by it; and most certain it is, tbat there is no more profitable way, under heaven, to be delivered from affliction (if the wise God see it fit) than thus to improve it. For affliction is a messenger: and the rod hath à voice : and that is, to require mankind to be the more patient and the more humble, and more to acknowledge Almighty God in all our ways. And if men listen to this voice of the rod, and conform to it, the rod hath done his errand; and either will leave a man, or at least give a man singular comfort even under the sharpest affliction. And this affliction, which is bưt for a moment, thus improved, will work for us an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Twelfthly. Reverence your minister; he is a wisé and a good man, and one that loves you, and hath a tender care and respect for you. Do not grieve him, either by neglect or disrespect. Assure yourselves, that if there be any person that sets you against him, or provokes or en.

courageth any of you to despise or neglect him, that person, whoever he be, loves not you nor the office he bears. And, therefore, as the laws of the land and the Divine Providence hath placed him at Alderly, to have a care of your souls, so I must tell you I do expect you should reverence and honour him for his own, for your, and for his office sake.

And now I have written this long epistle to you, to perform that office for me that I should have done in person, if I could have taken this journey. The epistle is long, but it had been longer, if I had had more time. And though, perchance some there may be in the world, that when they hear of it will interpret it to be but the excursions and morose rules of old age, unnecessary, and such as might have been spared; yet, I am persuaded, it will find better acceptation thereof from you that are my children. I am now on the shady side of threescore years. I write to you what you have often heard me in substance speak. And possibly, when I shall, leave this world, you will want such a remembrancer as I have been to you. The words that I now, and at former times have written to you, are words of truth and soberness ; and words and advices that proceed from a heart full of love and affection to you all. If I should see you do amiss in any thing, and should not reprove you; or if I should find you want counsel or direction, and should not give it, I should not

not thankfully receive it, you would be somewhat defective in the duty you owe to God and me as

children. As I have never spared my purse to supply you, according to my abilities and the reasonableness of occasions, so I have never been wanting to you in good and prudent counsels. And the God of heaven give you wisdom, con

I am your ever loving father,

MATTHEW HALE.

LORD ROOS TO THE MARQUIS OF DOR

CHESTER*. SIR,

February 25, 1659. SURE you were among your gallypots and glister pipes when you gave your chollor so violent a purge, to the fouling of so much innocent paper, and your own reputation (if you had any, which the wise very much doubt). You had better been drunk, and set in stocks for it, when you sent the post with a whole pacquet of chartells to me, in which you have discovered so much vapouring nonsense and rayling, that it is wholesomer for your credit to have it thought the effect of drink than your own natural talent, imperfect minde and memory : for if you understand any thing in your own trade, you could not but know that the hectic of your own brain is more desperate than

* This choice specimen of patrician vituperation was addressed by Lord Roos to his father in law, the Marquis of Dorchester, in consequence of the marquis having published a letter, respecting the differences which had arisen between Lord Roos and his wife. Butler, the author of Hudibras, is said to have assisted Lord Roos in the composition of this goodly epistle,

the tertian fits of mine, which are easily cured with a little sleep; but yours is past the remedy of a mortar and braying. But I wonder with what confidence you can accuse me with the discovery of private passages between us, when you are so open yourself, that every man sees through you; or how could I disclose perfectly any thing in your epistles to my father and mother, which was not before very well known to your tutors and schoolmasters, whose instructions you used in compiling those voluminous works? Let any man judge whether I am so likely to divulge secrets as you, who cannot forbear printing and publishing. Your letters are now cried in the streets of London, with ballads on the Rump; and Hewson's Lamentations; and the lord of Dorchester's name makes a greater noyse in a close alley than “ kitchen stuffe,” or “ work for a tinker;" and all this by your own industry, who are not ashamed at the same instant to pretend to secrecy, with no less absurdity than you commit when, accusing me for using foul language, you doe outdoe Billingsgate yourself. But now you begin to vapour, and to tell us you have fought before ; so I have heard you have, with your wife and poet; but if you come off with no more honour than when you were beaten by my Lord Grandison, you had better have kept that to yourself, if it were possible for you to conceale any thing ; but I cannot but laugh at the untoward course you take to render yourself formidable, by bragging of your fights, when you are terrible only in your medicines. If you had told us how many you had killed that way, and how many

« 이전계속 »