Imágenes de páginas

culations. Laymen, I allow it, may divert themfelves as well with fuch literary Amusements, as with Hunting, or Hawking: But for Clergymen, who are to give themselves wholly to facred Matters, Į Tim. iv. 15. To avoid foolish and unlearned Queftions, knowing that they do gender Strifes. 2 Tim. ii. 23. How they can fatisfy their Confciences in fo doing, if they be in earnest in their Religion is hard, exceeding hard, tó fay.


If any wonder that I added Dr. Hare to Dr. Bentley as a kind of Sceptick, I fhall give my Reasons for fo doing. Tho' when I first published my Effay on the Revelation, Dr. Hare greatly attended to it (which Effay had also preserved a Courtier, a Friend of mine, from Infidelity for a great while; and which, among other Books upon the Prophecies, had intirely recovered the late Lord Abercorn, a confiderable Member of the Royal Society, from his Scepticism or Infidelity; as he fully owned to me himfelf long before his Death:) Yet did Dr. Hare fo accustom himself to talk ludicrously of facred Matters; (which Mr. Rundle greatly complained of to me, when I first introduced him to Dr. Cannon and his Acquaintance.) He was for laying Wagers about the fulfilling of Scripture Prophecies, in the fame ludicrous Way: Nay when he wrote about the Difficulties and Difcouragements, to the Study of the Scriptures, he could not forbear doing it after a ludicrous Manner, tho' he seemed then to mean it very honestly: He was greatly familiar with Dr. Cannon, one of the greatest Scepticks that ever was born. He put fuch a Slight upon our most au



thentick Hiftorian Jofephus, in the Preface to his Pfalms, which hardly any but fuch Scepticks ever do. Nay he once blabb'd out to me, that grand Secret which I fuppofe Dr. Cannon had afferted: viz. that "He feared Chrift and his Apoftles were

fo weak, as to depend on the double Senfe of "Prophecies for the Truth of Christianity:" Such as Grotius and all our late modern Commentators admit of; and which even fuch ftill later learned Men as Bishop Chandler, and Dr. Clarke, made ufe of; till I, upon Sir Ifaac Newton's original Suggestion, fhewed them the contrary. It now fully appearing that fuch foolish Expofitions were fo far from being used in the firft or fecond Centuries, that they are no older than the fourth; and were indeed mainly introduced by the learned Jerome, in order to apologize for fome knavish Quotations of his out of his Hebrew Copies. [See Sacred History of the New Teftament, Page 334, 335.1 And I well remember, that when I once told Dr. Hare, that I feared Dr. Cannon had made him a Sceptick, his Reply was, That he was not fo great a Sceptick as Dr. Cannon. No, faid I, you are a better Scholar: For as Dr. Cannon thought Mathematicks themselves, with Sir Ifaac Newton's Philofophy built thereon, to be uncertain, as being no Mathematician himself; Dr. Hare being a pretty good Mathematician,could not go fo great a Length with him. But as for Dr. Cannon, he was fo thorough a Sceptick in Religion, that had not my Lord Townshend prevailed with him to the contrary, he was once refolved to have caft off his Gown and



Caffock; and refused to have allowed himself to be a Clergyman any longer; yet would he join with the Church in figning the Thirty-nine Articles, without believing them, as legal Qualifications for Preferment only,and join'd with the Athanafian Creed itself in the Cathedral at Ely, at a Time when I was there and refused it. I asked him, How one that believed fo very little, could join in a Thing fo abfurd, his Answer was, What is one Man's Meat, is another Man's Poifon. He alfo told Mr. Jackson, that if he were at Paris, he would declare himself a Roman Catholick; and if he were at Conftantinople, he would declare himself a Mufsleman, as taking Religion to be an Engine to promote Peace in this World, rather than Happiness in the next. was ready to wonder at Mr. Jackson for believing St. Paul before himself, when they were of contrary Sentiments. So great an Opinion had he of his own Sagacity. Yet when he came to write a fmall Pamphlet about the Convocation of which he was a Member, it appeared to be a very contemptible Performance: Which Opinion of mine, when I plainly told him, he had little to fay in his own Juftification. Only fo much Juftice I must do him, that when Bishop Trimnell, my old intimate Friend, and Dr. Cannon, with whom I had long had great Acquaintance, and from their natural Tempers, I thought the former would endeavour to fave me from publick Cenfure and Punishment, when I was perfecuted; and the latter would be feverer upon me, the Reverse proved true. Nor could Bishop Trimnell, the groffeft Tritheift that I ever knew, bear


one that was fuppofed to be an Arian, notwithstanding the latter Doctrines was very strongly supported, and the former utterly condemned by all Chriftian Antiquity.

[ocr errors]

Soon after Archbishop Tillotson's Death 1694, died that most excellent Lady Queen Mary. Bishop Burnet, in the Hiftory of his own Times, fays, that King William then turned himself much to the "Meditations of Religion, and to fecret Prayer: "That the new Archbishop Tenison, was often and long with him; and that he entred into fo"lemn and ferious Refolutions of becoming in all

Things an exact and an exemplary Chriftian." But he gives no particular Inftance of fuch folemn and serious Refolutions. I can give a remarkable one, that tends greatly to the Honour of both the King and the Archbishop, which I had then from my Patron Bishop Moor; who was one of thofe forrowful Company of Bishops, of whom Bishop Burnet fpeaks a little before, who attended her in her receiving her laft Communion. It was this; there was a Court Lady, the Lady Villers, with whom it was well known King William had been too familiar, and had given her great Endowments. Upon the Queens Death, the new Archbishop, whether as defired by the Queen before her Death, or of his own voluntary Motion, I do not know; took the freedom, after his Lofs of fo excellent a Wife, to reprefent to him, the great Injury he had done that excellent Wife by his Adultery with the Lady Villers. The King took it well, and did not deny his Crime, but faithfully promif

ed the Archbishop he would have no more to do with her. Which Refolution I believe he kept. I having heard another way that this Lady wondred she could never fee that King after the Queen's Death. Now for an Atteftation to this Hiftory, the Bishop added, that the Archbishop's Sermon concerning Holy Refolution, which was preach'd in the King's Lodgings at Kensington, before he appeared publickly, was defign'd particularly to confirm him in that Refolution of never feeing her no more: It is in print; and to an attentive Reader, upon this Key, will appear to agree very well with the foregoing Circumstances.

But having now mentioned two fuch eminent and learned Men, as Dr. Bentley and Dr. Hare, it will not be amifs to relate what Hand they had in fome great Affairs of Learning in their Time, wherein I was also deeply concerned myself, and particularly with relation to the Apoftolical Conftitutions, by me first introduced to publick Notice; and to the Harmony of the four Evangelists, by me a little earlier determined to include above four Years. As to the former, the Apoftolical Conftitutions. when Dr. Bentley, was about to perufe them, upon my firft proving them to be genuine, he pretended to me that he would cut the Grafs from under my Feet, as his Expreffion was, and prove them to be spurious: I reply'd, Master, you will not write against me upon that Head, for when you examine them you will find them to be genuine. Accordingly when he had, in fome Measure, examined them, he gave this for his Opinion; that


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »