« PreviousContinue »
keenness and pertinacity with which they are on fall downward, and which we call grarity! taking all occasions followed out; but a modern reader sighs this postulatum, which had been thought of before, to think of vivid talents spent, with life-long perse that such power might decrease in a duplicate proporverance, on discussions which have tended so little tion of the distances from the earth's centre. Upon to benefit mankind.
Sir Isaac's first trial, when he took a degree of a great circle on the earth's surface, whence a degree at the distance of the moon was to be determined also,
to be sixty measured miles only, according to the WILLIAM WHISTON (1667-1752) was an able but gross measures then in use, he was in some degree eccentric scholar, and so distinguished as a mathe- disappointed ; and the power that restrained the moon matician, that he was made deputy professor of in her orbit, measured by the versed sines of that mathematics in the university of Cambridge, and orbit, appeared not to be quite the same that was to afterwards successor to Sir Isaac Newton, of whose be expected had it been the power of gravity alone principles he was one of the most successful ex- by which the moon was there influenced. Upon this pounders. Entering into holy orders, he became disappointment, which made Sir Isaac suspect that chaplain to the bishop of Norwich, rector of Lowe- this power was partly that of gravity and partly that stoffe, &c. He was also appointed Boyle lecturer of Cartesius's vortices, he threw aside the paper of in the university, but was at length expelled for his calculation, and went to other studies. However, promulgating Arian opinions. He then went to some time afterward, when Monsieur Picart had London, where a subscription was made for him, much more exactly measured the earth, and found and he delivered a series of lectures on astronomy, that a degree of a great circle was sixty-nine and awhich were patronised by Addison and Steele. half such miles, Sir Isaac, in turning over some of his Towards the close of his life, Whiston became a former papers, lighted upon this old imperfect calculaBaptist, and believed that the millennium was ap- tion, and, correcting his former error, discovered that proaching, when the Jews would all be restored. this power, at the true correct distance of the moon Had he confined himself to mathematical studies, from the earth, not only tended to the earth's centre, he would have earned a high name in science; but as did the common power of gravity with us, but was his time and attention were dissipated by his theo- exactly of the right quantity; and that if a stone logical pursuits, in which he evinced more zeal than was carried up to the moon, or to sixty semi-diameters judgment. His works are numerous. Besides a
of the earth, and let fall downward by its gravity, Theory of the Earth, in defence of the Mosaic ac- and the moon's own menstrual motion was stopped, count of the creation, published in 1696, and some
and she was let fall by that power which before retracts on the Newtonian system, he wrote an Essay tained her in her orbit, they would exactly fall toon the Revelation of St John (1706), Sermons on the wards the same point, and with the same velocity ; Scripture Prophecies (1708), Primitive Christianity which was therefore no other power than that of Revived, five volumes, (1712), Memoirs of his own gravity. And since that power appeared to extend as Life, (1749-50), &c. An extract from the last men- far as the moon, at the distance of 240,000 miles, tioned book is subjoined :
it was but natural, or rather necessary, to suppose
it might reach twice, thrice, four times, &c., the same [Anecdote of the Discovery of the Newtonian
distance, with the same diminution, according to the Philosophy.)
squares of such distances perpetually: which noble
discovery proved the happy occasion of the invention After I had taken holy orders, I returned to the of the wonderful Newtonian philosophy. college, and went on with my own studies there, particularly the mathematics and the Cartesian philosophy, which was alone in vogue with us at that time.
DR PHILIP DODDRIDGE. But it was not long before I, with immense pains, but no assistance, set myself with the utmost zeal to the
DR PHILIP DODDRIDGE, a distinguished nonconstudy of Sir Isaac Newton's wonderful discoveries in formist divine and author, was born in London, June his 'Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica,' 26, 1702. His grandfather had been ejected from one or two of which lectures I had heard him read in the living of Shepperton, in Middlesex, by the act the public schools, though I understood them not at of uniformity in 1662; and his father, a man engaged all at that time-being indeed greatly excited thereto in mercantile pursuits in London, married the only by a paper of Dr Gregory's, when he was professor in daughter of a German, who had fled from Prague to Scotland, wherein he had given the most prodigious escape the persecution which raged in Buhemia, commendations to that work, as not only right in all after the expulsion of Frederick, the Elector Pala. things, but in a manner the effect of a plainly divine tine, when to abjure or emigrate were the only altergenius, and had already caused several of his scholars natives. The pious parents of Doddridge early into keep acts, as we call them, upon several branches structed him in religious knowledge. I have heard of the Newtonian philosophy; while we at Cambridge, him relate,' says his biographer, Mr Job Orton, poor wretches, were ignominiously studying the fic | that his mother taught him the history of the Old titious hypotheses of the Cartesian, which Sir Isaac and New Testaments, before he could read, by the Newton had also himself done formerly, as I have assistance of some Dutch tiles in the chimney in the heard him say. What the occasion of Sir Isaac New room where they commonly sat; and her wise and ton's leaving the Cartesian philosophy, and of dis- pious reflections upon the stories there represented covering his amazing theory of gravity was, I have were the means of making some good impressions heard him long ago, soon after my first acquaintance upon his heart, which never wore out; and therewith him, which was 1694, thus relate, and of which fore this method of instruction he frequently recomDr Pemberton gives the like account, and somewhat mended to parents.' In 1712, Doddridge was sent more fully, in the preface to his explication of his phi- to school at Kingston-upon-Thames; but both his losophy. It was this: an inclination came into Sir parents dying within three years afterwards, he was Isaac's mind to try whether the same power did not removed to St Albans, and whilst there, was solemnly keep the moon in her orbit, notwithstanding her pro- admitted, in his sixteenth year, a member of the jectile velocity, which he knew always tended to nonconforming congregation. His religious imgo along a straight line the tangent of that orbit, pressions were ardent and sincere; and when, in which makes stones and all heavy bodies with us | 1718, the Duchess of Bedford made him an offer to
educate him for the ministry in the church of and have none but the birds of the air, and the beasts England, Doddridge declined, from conscientious of the field, for my companions.' scruples, to avail himself of this advantage. A To another lady, whom he styles aunt,' he adgenerous friend, Dr Clarke of St Albans, now stepped dressed the following complimentary effusion, more forward to patronise the studious youth, and in 1719 like the epistle of a cavalier poet than of a nonconhe was placed at an academy established at Kib- formist preacher worth, Leicestershire, for the education of dissenters. • You see, madam, I treat you with rustic simpli. Here he resided three years, pursuing his studies for city, and perhaps talk more like an uncle than a the ministry, and cultivating a taste for elegant litera- nephew. But I think it is a necessary truth, that ture. To one of his fellow-pupils who had condoled ought not to be concealed because it may possibly with him on being buried alive, Doddridge writes disoblige. In short, madam, I will tell you roundly, in the following happy strain :- Here I stick close that if a lady of your character cannot bear to hear to those delightful studies which a favourable pro- a word in her own commendation, she must rather vidence has made the business of my life. One day resolve to go out of the world, or not attend to any. passeth away after another, and I only know that it thing that is said in it. And if you are determined passeth pleasantly with me. As for the world about to indulge this unaccountable humour, depend upon me, I have very little concern with it. I live almost it, that with a thousand excellent qualities and like a tortoise shut up in its shell, almost always in agreeable accomplishments, you will be one of the the same town, the same house, the same chamber; most unhappy creatures in the world. I assure you, yet I live like a prince-not, indeed, in the pomp of madam, you will meet with affliction every day of greatness, but the pride of liberty; master of my your life. You frown when a home-bred unthinkbooks, master of my time, and, I hope I may add, ing boy tells you that he is extremely entertained master of myself. I can willingly give up the with your letters. Surely you are in a downright charms of London, the luxury, the company, the rage whenever you converse with gentlemen of repopularity of it, for the secret pleasures of rational fined taste and solid judgment; for I am sure, let employment and self-approbation; retired from ap- them be ever so much upon their guard, they cannot plause and reproach, from envy and contempt, and forbear tormenting you about an agreeable person, a the destructive baits of avarice and ambition. So fine air, a sparkling wit, steady prudence, and unafthat, instead of lamenting it as my misfortune, fected piety, and a thousand other things that I am you should congratulate me upon it as my happi- afraid to name, although even I can dimly perceive ness, that I am confined in an obscure village, see-them; or, if they have so much humility as not to ing it gives me so many valuable advantages to the talk of them to your face, you will be sure to hear most important purposes of devotion and philo- of them at second hand. Poor aunt! I profess I sophy, and, I hope I may add, usefulness too. The pity you; and if I did but know any one circumobscure village had also further attractions. It stance of your character that was a little defective, appears from the correspondence of Doddridge (pub. I would be sure to expatiate upon it out of pure lished by his great-grandson in 1829), that the young good nature.' divine was of a susceptible temperament, and was From his first sermon, delivered at the age of generally in love with some fair one of the neigh- twenty, Doddridge became a marked preacher among bourhood, with whom he kept up a constant and the dissenters, and had calls to various congregalively interchange of letters. The levity or gaiety tions. In 1729 he settled at Northampton, and beof some of these epistles is remarkable in one of so came celebrated for his abilities, diligence, and zeal. staid and devout a public character. His style is Here he undertook to receive pupils, and was so always excellent correct and playful like that of successful, that in a few years he engaged an assisCowper, and interesting from the very egotism and tant, to whom he assigned the care of the junior carelessness of the writer. To one of his female pupils, and the direction of the academy during his correspondents he thus describes his situation :- absence. He first appeared as an author in 1730,
•You know I love a country life, and here we when he published a pamphlet on the Means of Rehave it in perfection. I am roused in the morning viving the Dissenting Interest
. He afterwards applied with the chirping of sparrows, the cooing of pigeons, himself to the composition of practical religious the lowing of kine, the bleating of sheep, and, to works. His Sermons on the Education of Children complete the concert, the grunting of swine and (1732), Sermons to Young People (1735), and Ten neighing of horses. We have a mighty pleasant Sermons on the Power and Grace of Christ, and the garden and orchard, and a fine arbour under some Evidences of his Glorious Gospel (1736), were all well tall shady limes, that form a kind of lofty dome, of received by the public. In 1741 appeared his Pracwhich, as a native of the great city, you may per- tical Discourses on Regeneration, and in 1745 The haps catch a glimmering idea, if I name the cupola Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul. The latter of St Paul's. And then, on the other side of the forms a body of practical divinity and Christian house, there is a large space which we call a wilder- experience which has never been surpassed by any ness, and which, I fancy, would please you ex- work of the same nature. In 1747 appeared his still tremely. The ground is a dainty green sward; a popular work, Some Remarkable Passages in the Life brook runs sparkling through the middle, and there of Colonel James Gardiner, who was slain by the Rebels are two large fish-ponds at one end; both the ponds at the Battle of Prestonpans, Sept. 21, 1745. Gardiner and the brook are surrounded with willows; and was a brave Scottish officer, who had served with there are several shady walks under the trees, be distinction under Marlborough, and was aid-desides little knots of young willows interspersed at camp to the Earl of Stair on his embassy to Paris. convenient distances. This is the nursery of our From a gay libertine life he was suddenly converted lambs and calves, with whom I have the honour to to one of the strictest piety, by what he conceived to be intimately acquainted. Here I generally spend be a supernatural interference, namely, a visible rethe evening, and pay my respects to the setting sun, presentation of Christ upon the cross, suspended in when the variety and the beauty of the prospect in the air, amidst an unusual blaze of light, and accomspire a pleasure that I know not how to express. I panied by a declaration of the words, 'Oh, sinner! am sometimes so transported with these inanimate did I suffer this for thee, and are these the returns?' beauties, that I fancy I am like Adam in Paradise; From the period of this vision till his death, twentyand it is my only misfortune that I want an Eve, six years afterwards, Colonel Gardiner maintained the life and character of a sincere and zealous Chris- which was attended with convulsions. No one, my dear, tian, united with that of an intrepid and active can judge so well as yourself what I must feel on such officer. Besides several single sermons and charges an occasion ; yet I found, as I had just before done delivered at the ordination of some of his brethren, in my secret retirements, a most lively sense of the Dr Doddridge published an elaborate work, the re- love and care of God, and a calm sweet resignation to sult of many years' study, entitled The Family Expo- his will
, though the surprise of the news was almost sitor, Containing a Version and Paraphrase of the New as great as if my child had been seized in full health ; Testament, with Critical Notes, and a Practical Im- for everybody before told me she was quite in a safe provement of each Section. This compendium of and comfortable way. I had now no refuge but prayer, Scriptural knowledge was received with the greatest in which the countenances of my pupils, when I told approbation both at home and abroad, and was them the story, showed how much they were disposed translated into several languages, Doddridge con- to join with me. I had before me Mr Clark's book of tinued his useful and laborious life at Northampton the Promises ; and though I had quite forgotten it, for many years; but his health failing, he was, yet so it happened that I had left off, the Sabbath in 1751, advised to remove to a warmer climate for before, in the middle of a section, and at the begin. the winter. The generosity of his friends supplied ning of the sixty-fifth page, so that the fresh words ample funds for his stay abroad, and in September which came in course to be read were Matt. xxi. 22, of the same year he sailed from Falmouth for Lisbon. And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, He arrived there on the 21st of October, but sur believing, you shall receive;' the next, “If ye abide vived only five days, dying October 26, 1751. The in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what solid learning, unquestioned piety, and truly Catholic ye will, and it shall be done to you ;' then followed, liberality and benevolence of Dr Doddridge, secured Whatsoever ye shall ask my Father in my name, he for him the warm respect and admiration of his con- will give it you ;' 'Ask and receive, that your joy temporaries of all sects. He heartily wished and may be full ; Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name prayed for a greater union among Protestants, and that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the longed for the happy time when, to use his own words, Son ;'. 'If ye ask anything in my name I will do it; the question would be, not how much we may and the Lord shall raise him up. These scriptures
and at last, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, lawfully impose, and how much we may lawfully dispute, but on the one side what we may waive, and falling thus undesignedly and unexpectedly in my on the other what we may acquiesce in, from a prin- way, at that moment, and thus directly following each ciple of mutual tenderness and respect, without dis- other, in the order in which I have transcribed them, pleasing our common Lord, and injuring that great felt great encouragement earnestly to plead them in
struck me and the whole family very sensibly; and I cause of original Christianity which he hath appointed us to guard. As an author, the reputation prayer, with a very firm persuasion that, one way or of Doddridge depends chiefly on his'' Family Expo- another, God would make this a very teaching cir sitor, to which the only objection that has been cumstance to me and the family. Then Mr Bunyan urged, is the occasional redundance of some of his but i' told him it was matter of conscience to me to
came, and pleaded strongly against blistering her ; paraphrases. His interpretation of particular texts follow the prescriptions of the doctor, though I left and passages may also be variously judged of; but the issue entirely to God, and felt a dependence in the solid learning and research of the author, his him alone. I then wrote you the hasty lines which I critical acuteness, and the persuasive earnestness of hope you received by the last post, and renewed my his practical reflections, render the work altogether applications to God in secret, reviewing the promises an honour to English theological literature. Dr which had so much astonished and revived me in the Doddridge was author of what Johnson calls ‘one family, when those words, the prayer of faith shall of the finest epigrams in the English language.' save the sick,' came on my heart, as if it had been The subject is his family motto, Dum vivimus from the very mouth of God himself ; so that I could vivamus,' which, in its primary signification, is not not forbear replying, before I was well aware, 'then very suitable to a Christian divine, but he para- it shall ;' and 'T was then enabled to pray with that phrased it thus:
penetrating sense of God's almighty power, and with Live while you live, the epicure would say,
that confidence in his love, which I think I never had And seize the pleasures of the present day.
before in an equal degree ; and I thought I then felt Live while you live, the sacred preacher cries,
myself much more desirous that the child might be And give to God each moment as it flies.
spared, if it were but a little while, and from this ill. Lord, in my views let both united be ;
ness, as in answer to prayer, than on account of her I live in pleasure when I live to thee.
recovery simply, and in itself, or of my own enjoy.
ment of her. I lay open all my heart before you, my Our specimens of Doddridge are exclusively from dear, because it seems to me something of a singular his letters.
experience. While I was thus employed, with an
ardour of soul which, had it long continued, would [The Dangerous Ilness of a Daughter.]
have weakened and exhausted my spirits extremely,
I was told that a gentleman wanted me : this grieved (Written from Northampton, August 1740, to Mrs Doddridge.] me exceedingly, till I found it was Mr Hutton, now
When I came down to prayer on Lord's day morn- of the Moravian church, whose Christian exhortations ing, at eight o'clock, immediately after the short and consolations were very reviving to me. He said, prayer with which you know we begin family worship, among other things, 'God's will concerning you is, Mrs Wilson (who has indeed showed a most prudent that you should be happy at all times, and in all cir. and tender care of the children, and managed her cumstances; and particularly now, in this circumtrust very well during your absence) came to me in stance; happy in your child's life, happy in its health, tears, and told me that Mr Knott wanted to speak happy in its sickness, happy in its death, happy, in its with me : I immediately guessed his errand, especially resurrection ! He promised to go and pray for it, and when I saw he was so overwhelmed with grief that he said he had known great effects attending such a could scarcely utter it. It was natural to ask if my method. child were dead! He told me she was yet alire, but So it was, that from that hour the child began to that the doctor had hardly any hopes at all, for she mend, as I wrote word to you by him that evening, was seized at two in the morning with a chilliness, I and by Mr Ofley yesterday morning. I cannot pretend to say that I am assured she will recover ; but have neglected it so many days or hours : but when I am fully persuaded, that if she does not, God will it contained nothing material, except an unkind inmake her death a blessing to us; and I think she sinuation, that you esteemed me a dishonest man, who, will be spared.
out of a design to please a party, had written what he
did not believe, or, as you thought fit to express (Happy Devotional Feelings of Doddridge.] yourself, had 'trimmed it a little with the gospel of
Christ,' I thought all that was necessary, after having [To Mrs Doddridge, from Northampton, October 1742.)
fully satisfied my own conscience on that head, which, I hope, my dear, you will not be offended when I i bless God, I very easily did, was to forgive and pray tell you that I am, what I hardly thought it possible, for the mistaken brother who had done me the injury, without a miracle, that I should have been, very and to endeavour to forget it, by turning my thoughts easy and happy without you. My days begin, pass, to some more pleasant, important, and useful subject. and end in pleasure, and seem short because they are I imagined, sir, that for me to give you an assurance so delightful. It may seem strange to say it, but under my hand that I meant honestly, would signify really so it is, I hardly feel that I want anything. I very little, whether you did or did not already believe often think of you, and pray for you, and bless God it; and as I had little particular to say on the docon your account, and please myself with the hope of trines to which you referred, I thought would be of many comfortable days, and weeks, and years with little use to send you a bare confession of my faith, you ; yet I am not at all anxious about your return, and quite burdensome to enter into a long detail and or indeed about anything else. And the reason, the examination of arguments which have on one side and great and sufficient reason is, that I have more of the the other been so often discussed, and of which the presence of God with me than I remember ever to world has of late years been so thoroughly satiated. have enjoyed in any one month of my life. He en- On this account, sir, I threw aside the beginning of ables me to live for him, and to live with him. a long letter, which I had prepared in answer to When I awake in the morning, which is always be yours, and with it your letter itself; and I believe I fore it is light, I address myself to him, and converse may safely say, several weeks and months have with him, speak to him while I am lighting my passed in which I have not once recollected anything candle and putting on my clothes, and have often more relating to this affair. But I have since been cerdelight before I come out of my chamber, though it be tainly informed that you, interpreting my silence as hardly a quarter of an hour after my awaking, than I an acknowledgment of the justice of your charge, have enjoyed for whole days, or, perhaps, weeks of my have sent copies of your letter to several of your life. He meets me in my study, in secret, in family friends, who have been industrious to propagate them devotions. It is pleasant to read, pleasant to com- far and near! This is a fact which, had it not been pose, pleasant to converse with my friends at home ; exceedingly well attested, I should not have believed ; pleasant to visit those abroad—the poor, the sick ; but as I find it too evident to be questioned, you pleasant to write letters of necessary business by which must excuse me, sir, if I take the liberty to expostuany good can be done ; pleasant to go out and preach late with you upon it, which, in present circumstances, the gospel to poor souls, of which some are thirsting I apprehend to be not only justice to myself, but, on for it, and others dying without it ; pleasant in the the whole, kindness and respect for you. week day to think how near another Sabbath is ; Though it was unkind readily to entertain the sus. but, oh! much, much more pleasant, to think how picions you express, I do not so much complain of near eternity is, and how short the journey through your acquainting me with them ; but on what imathis wilderness, and that it is but a step from earth to ginable humane or Christian principle could you heaven.
communicate such a letter, and grant copies of it! I cannot forbear, in these circumstances, pausing a With what purpose could it be done, but with a little, and considering whence this happy scene just design of aspersing my character! and to what purat this time arises, and whether it tends. Whether pose could you desire my character to be reproached ! God is about to bring upon me any peculiar trial, for Are you sure, sir, that I am not intending the honour which this is to prepare me; whether he is shortly of God and the good of souls, by my various labours about to remove me from the earth, and so is giving of one kind and another-so sure of it, that you will me more sensible prelibations of heaven, to prepare venture to maintain at the bar of Christ, before the me for it ; or whether he intends to do some peculiar throne of God, that I was a person whom it was your services by me just at this time, which many other duty to endeavour to discredit! for, considering me circumstances lead me sometimes to hope ; or whether as a Christian, a minister, and a tutor, it could not it be that, in answer to your prayers, anıl in compas- be merely an indifferent action; nay, considering me sion to that distress which I must otherwise have felt as a man, if it was not a duty, it was a crime! in the absence and illness of her who has been so ex- I will do you the justice, sir, to suppose you have ceedingly dear to me, and was never more sensibly dear really an ill opinion of me, and believe I mean otherto me than now he is pleased to favour me with this wise than I write; but let me ask, what reason have teaching experience ; in consequence of which, I freely you for that opinion? Is it because you cannot think own I am less afraid than ever of any event that can me a downright fool, and conclude that every one possibly arise, consistent with his nearess to my who is not must be of your opinion, and is a knave if heart, and the tokens of his paternal and covenant he does not declare that he is so ? or is it from any. love. I will muse no further on the cause. It is thing particular which you apprehend you know of enough, the effect is so blessed.
my sentiments contrary to what my writings declare !
He that searches my heart, is witness that what I [Vindication of Religious Opinions.] wrote on the very passage you except against, I wrote [Addressed, November 1742, to the Rev. Mr Bourne.]
as what appeared to me most agreeable to truth, and
most subservient to the purposes of His glory and the Had the letter which I received from you so many edification of my readers ; and I see no reason to alter months ago been merely an address of common friend- it in a second edition, if I should reprint my Exposiship, I hope no hurry of business would have led me tion, though I had infinitely rather the book should to delay so long the answer which civility and grati- perish than advance anything contrary to the tenor tude would in that case have required; or had it been of the gospel, and subversive to the souls of men. I to request any service in my power to you, sir, or to guard against apprehending Christ to be a mere creaany of your family or friends, I would not willingly | ture, or another God, inferior to the Father, or co
ordinate with him. And you will maintain that I and I am heartily willing that, with what measure I
DR HUMPHREY PRIDEAUX.
DR WILLIAM NICOLSON (1655–1727), successively kind. If from report, 1 must caution you against bishop of Carlisle and Londonderry, and lastly rashly believing such reports. I have heard some archbishop of Cashel, was a learned antiquary and stories of me, echoed back from your neighbourhood, investigator of our early records. He published which God knows to be as false as if I had been re
Historical Libraries of England, Scotland, and Ireported to have asserted the divine authority of the land (collected into one volume, in 1776), being a Alcoran ! or to have written Hobbe's Leviathan; and detailed catalogue or list of books and manuscripts I can account for them in no other way than by sup- referring to the history of each nation. He also posing, either that coming through several hands, wrote An Essay on the Border Laws, A Treatise on every one mistook a little, or else that some people the Laws of the Anglo-Sarons, and A Description have such vivid dreams, that they cannot distinguish of Poland and Denmark. The only professional them from realities, and so report them as facts; works of Dr Nicolson are a preface to Chamberthough how to account for their propagating such layne's Polyglott of the Lord's Prayer, and some reports so zealously, on any principles of Christianity able pamphlets on the Bangorian controversy. or common humanity, especially considering how far DR MATTHEW TINDAL (1657–1733) was a zealous I am from having offered them any personal injury, controversialist, in times when controversy was purwould amaze me, if I did not know how far party zeal sued with much keenness by men fitted for higher debases the understandings of those who in other duties. His first attacks were directed against matters are wise and good. All I shall add with priestly power, but he ended in opposing Chrisregard to such persons is, that I pray God this evil tianity itself; and Paine and other later writers may not be laid to their charge.
against revelation, have drawn some of their weaI have seriously reflected with myself, whence it pons from the armoury of Tindal. Like Dryden, should come that such suspicions should arise of my and many others, Tindal embraced the Roman Cabeing in what is generally called the Arian scheme, tholic religion when it became fashionable in the and the chief causes I can discover are these two : court of James II. ; but he abjured it in 1687, and my not seeing the arguments which some of my afterwards became an advocate under William III., brethren have seen against it in some disputed texts, from whom he received a pension of £200 per and my tenderness and regard to those who, I have annum. He wrote several political and theological reason to believe, do espouse it, and whom I dare not tracts, but the work by which he is chiefly known, in conscience raise a popular cry against ! Nor am ! is entitled Christianity as Old as the Creation, or the at all fond of urging the controversy, lest it should Gospel a Republication of the Religion of Nature. divide churches, and drive some who are wavering, The tendency of this treatise is to discredit reas indeed I myself once was, to an extremity to which vealed religion : it was answered by Waterland ; I should be sorry to see such worthy persons, as some and Tindal replied by reiterating his former stateof them are, reduced.
ments and arguments. He wrote a second volume Permit me, sir, on so natural an occasion, to con- to this work shortly before his death, but Dr Gibclude with expressing the pleasure with which I have son, the bishop of London, interfered, and prevented heard that you of late have turned your preaching its publication. Tindal left a legacy of £2000 to from a controversial to a more practical and useful Eustace Budgell, one of the writers in the Specstrain. I am persuaded, sir, it is a manner of using tator, and it was reported that Budgell had assisted the great talents which God has given you, which in his friend's work against Christianity. Tindal's will turn to the most valuable account with respect nephew was author of a continuation of Rapin's to yourself and your flock; and if you would please History of England. to add another labour of love, by endeavouring to Dr HUMPHREY PRIDEAUX(1648-1724) was author convince some who may be more open to the convic-of a still popular and valuable work, the Connexion tion from you than from others, that Christian can of the History of the Old and New Testament, the dour does not consist in judging the hearts of their first part of which was published in 1715, and the brethren, or virulently declaring against their supposed second in 1717. He wrote also a Life of Mahomet bigotry, it would be a very important charity to them, (1697), Directions to Churchwardens (1707), and A and a favour to, reverend and dear sir, your very Treatise on Tithes (1710). Prideaux's Connexion' affectionate brother and humble servant,
is a work of great research, connecting the Old with P. DODDRIDGE.
the New Testament by a luminous historical sum
mary. Few books have had a greater circulation, P. S.-I heartily pray that God may confirm your and it is invaluable to all students of divinity. Its health, and direct and prosper all your labours, for author was highly respected for his learning and the honour of his name and the Gospel of his Son.
piety. He was archdeacon of Suffolk, and at one The multiplicity of my business has obliged me to time Hebrew lecturer at Christ-church, Oxford. write this with so many interruptions, that I hope His extensive library of oriental books has been you will excuse the inaccuracies it may contain... My preserved in Clare Hall, Cambridge, to which college meaning I am sure is good, and, I hope, intelligible ; l it was presented by himself.