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felves before him, in the Contemplation of our own Worthlessness, and of his transcendent Excellency and Perfection. This would imprint in our Minds such a constant and uninterrupted Awe and Veneration as that which I am here recommending, and which is in reality a kind of inceffant Prayer, and reasonable Humiliation of the Soul before him who made it.
THIS would effectually kill in us all the little Seeds of Pride, Vanity and Self-conceit, which are apt to shoot up in the Minds of such whose Thoughts turn more on those comparative Advantages which they enjoy over fome of their Fellow-Creatures, than on that infinite Distance which is placed between them and the Supreme Model of all Perfection. It would likewise quicken our Desires and Endeavours of uniting our felves to him by all the Acts of Religion and Virtue.
SUCH an habitual Homage to the Supreme Being would, in a particular manner, banish from among us that prevailing Impiety of using his Name on the most trivial occasions.
I find the following Passage in an excellent Sermon, preached at the Fur
neral of a Gentleman who was an Honour to his Country, and a more diligent as well as successful Enquirer into the Works of Nature, than any other our Nation has ever produced.
He had the profoundest Veneration for the Great God of Heaven and
Earth that I have ever observed in
The very Name of God was never mentioned by him (without a Pause and a visible Stop in
his Discourse;, in which, one that knew him most particularly above
twenty Years, has told me, that he was so exact, that he does not remember to have observed him once to fail in it.
EVERY one knows the Veneration which was paid by the Jews to a Name so great, wonderful and holy. They would not let it enter even into their religious Discourses. What can we then think of those who make use of so tremendous a Name in the ordinary Expressions of their Anger, Mirth, and most impertinent Paffions Of those who admit it into the most familiar Questions and Affertions, ludicrous Phrases and Works of Humour? not to mention those who violate it by
solemn Perjuries? It would be an Affront to Reason to endeavour to fet forth the Horror and Profaneness of such a Practice. The very mention of it exposes it fufficiently to those in whom the Light of Nature, not to say Religion, is not utterly extinguished. O
Monday, November 10.
Fungor vice cotis, acutum Reddere quæ ferrum valet, exfors ipfa fecandi.
T is a very honeft Action to
be studious to produce oI ther Men's Merit; and I
make no fcruple of saying I
have as much of this Temper as any Man in the World. It would not be a thing to be bragged of, but that it is what any Man may be master of who will take pains enough for it. Much Observation of the Unworthiness in being pained at the Excellence of another, will bring you to ą Scorn of your self for that Unwilling
nefs : And when you have got so far you will find it a greater Pleasure than you ever before knew, to be zealous in promoting the Fame and Welfare of the Praise-worthy. I do not speak this as pretending to be a mortified self-denying Man, but as one who has turned his Àmbition into a right Channel. I claim to my self the Merit of having extorted excellent Productions from a Person of the greatest Abilities, who would not have let them appeared by any other means; to have animated a few young Gentlemen into worthy Purfuits, who will be a Glory to our Age; and at all Times, and by all posible means in my Power, undermined the Interests of Ignorance, Vice, and Folly, and attempted to fubftitute in their stead Learning, Piety, and good Sense. It is from this honest Heart that I find my self honoured as a Gentleman-Usher to the Arts and Sciences. Mr. Tickell and Mr. Pope have, it seems, this Idea of me. The former has writ me an excellent Paper of Verses in Praise, forfooth, of my self ; and the other enclosed for my perufal an admirable Poem, which, I hope, will shortly see the Light. In the mean time I cannot fup
press any Thought of his, but insert his Sentiment about the dying Words of Adrian. I won't determine in the Case he mentions; but have thus much to say in favour of his Argument, that many of his own Works which I have seen, convince me that very pretty and very fublime Sentiments may be lodged in the fame Bosom without diminution to its Greatness.
Was the other day in Company I
with five or fix Men of fome Learning; where chancing to mention the famous Verses which the Emperor Adrian spoke on his Death-bed, they were all agreed that 'twas a Piece of Gayety unworthy that Prince in those Circumstances. I could not but difsent from this Opinion: Methinks, it was by no means a gay, but a very ferious Soliloquy to his Soul at the point of his Departure; in which Senfe I naturally took thefe Verses at my first reading them when I was very youngs 6 and before I knew what Interpretation the World generally put upon them.