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beyond death, and consequently recompence or chase tise eternally. These therefore, as universal and une doubted truths, should in my opinion be first res ceived. They will at least keep us from impiety and atheism, and together lay a foundation for God's service; and the hope of a better life. Besides, it will reduce men's minds from uncertain and controverted points, to a solid practice of virtue; or when we fall from it to an unfeigned repentance, and purpose through God's grace to amend our sinful life, without making pardon so easy, cheap, or mercenary, as some of them do. Lastly, it will dispose us to a general concord and peace: for when we are agreed concerning these eternal causes and means of our salvation, why should we so much differ for the rest ? since as these principles exclude nothing of faith or tradition, in what age or manner soever it intervened, each nation may be permitted the belief of any pious miracle that conduceth to God's glory ; without that, on this occasion, we need to scandalize or offend each other ; the common truths in religion formerly mentioned, being firmer bonds of unity, than that any thing emergent out of traditions (whether written or unwritten) should dissolve them. Let us, therefore, establish and fix these catholic or universal notions. They will not hinder us to believe whatsoever else is faithfully taught upon the authority of the church. So that whether the eastern, western, northern, er southern teachers, &c. and particularly whether my lord of Rochester, Luther, Eccius, Zuinglius, Erasmus, Melancthon, &c. be in the right, we laics may so build upon those catholic and infallible grounds of religion, as whatsoever superstructures of faith be raised, these foundations yet may support them.
This work has deservedly obtained a high character. “ Lord Herbert (says Nicholson) acquitted himself in this history with the like reputation as the lord chancellor Bacon gained by that of Henry VII. For in the public and martial part, this honourable author has been admirably particular and exact, from the best records that were extant; though as to the ecclesiastical, he seems to have looked upon it as a thing out of his province, and an undere taking more proper for men of another profession." This work is said to have been written at the request of Charles. Hence, the common sentiments of politeness towards his master, probably rendered the author more partial towards his hero, than any contempla tion of his arbitrary character can justify.
4. Expeditio Buckinghami Ducis in Ream Insulam. This tract was written in 1630, though not published till 1656.
5. His lordship was also a poet ; and his poetry on occasional subjects was published in 1665, by his son Henry Herbert, dedicated to Edward lord Herbert, his grandson.
In respect of philosophical opinion, lord Herbert has been usually classed with Spinosa and Hobbes; with the latter of whom, he is known to have been upon terms of intimacy. But it appears, that he stopped short of the ne-plus-ultra scepticism of those distinguished philosophers; and that he was not only a confirmed theist, but was susceptible of no small degree of religious enthusiasm. Of this last assertion, the following anecdote from his own life will furnish a sufficient proof:
Being doubtful (says he) in my chamber one fine day in the summer, my casement being open towards the south, the sun shining clear, and no wind stirring, I took my book De Veritate in my hands, and kneeling on my knees, devoutly said these words - O thou eternal God, author of this light which now shinés upon me, and giver of all inward illuminations, I do beseech thee of thine infinite goodness to pardon a greater request than a sinner ought to
make. I am not satisfied enough, whether I shall publish this book; if it be for thy glory, I beseech thee give me some sign from heaven ; if not I shall suppress it! I had no sooner spoke these words, but a loud, though yet gentle noise, came forth from the heavens, for it was like nothing on earth, which did so cheer and comfort me, that I took my petition as granted, and that I had the sign I demanded; whereupon also I resolved to print my book. This, how strange soever it may seem, I protest before the eternal God is true; neither am I any way superstitiously deceived herein, since I did not only clearly hear the noise, but in the serenest sky I ever saw, being without all cloud, did; to my thinking, see the place from whence it came.
The life, whence the above extract was taken, was written by himself. It lay in MS. till 1792, when it was printed in a thin 4to. with a portrait; and it is remarkable as being the first instance of auto-biography.
Lord Herbert was a man of extensive knows ledge, derived both from books and from observation. He was well versed in languages and in the theory of the liberal arts, and is justly ranked among the first philosophers of his time. To these valuable qualifications he superadded the spirit of a hero and the polish of a gentleman.
Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher of Malmsbury, was born at Malmsbury in Wiltshire, in 1588. His father was minister of that town. It is remarkable, that while his mother was pregnant, the Spanish armada was on the English coast, at which she was so much alarmed, that it induced a premature delivery.
Having attained to considerable proficiency at school in the learned languages, Hobbes entered, in 1603, at Magdalene-Hall
, Oxford, whence, on the recommendation of the principal of that society, he was taken into the family of the right honourable William Cavendish, lord Hardwicke, (soon after created earl of Devonshire,) as preceptor to his son, William lord Cavendish, with whom, in 1610, he made the tour of France and Italy.