• some skill in the nature of heavenly bodies;

because, says he, his inind will become more

extensive and unconfined ; and when he de• fcends to treat of human affairs, he will both • think and write in a more exalted and magni• ficent manner.

For the same reason that excellent master would have recommended the

study of those great and glorious mysteries 6 which revelation has discovered to us; to

which the noblest parts of this system of the

world are as much inferior as the creature is « less excellent than its Creator. The wisest • and most knowing among the heathens had

very poor and imperfect notions of a fu• ture state. They had indeed some uncertain

hopes, either received by tradition, or gather• ed by reason, that the existence of virtuous • men would not be determined by the separa• tion of foul and body: but they either disbe( lieved a future state of punishment and misery; or, upon

the same account that Apelles paint• ed Antigonus * with one side only towards

the SPECTATOR, that the loss of his eye might not cast a blemish upon the whole piece: so these represented the condition of man in its fairest view, and endeavoured to conceal what they thought was a deformity

to human nature. I have often observed, that « whenever the above-mentioned orator in his

philosophical difcourses is led by his argument

to the mention of immortality, he seems like • one awakened out of ileep; roused and alarmed * This fine allusion is equally ingenious and just.


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with the dignity of the subject, he stretches • his imagination to conceive something uncom

mon, and, with the greatness of his thoughts,

cafts, as it were, a glory round the sentence. « Uncertain and unsettled as he was he seems « fired with the contemplation of it. And • nothing but such a glorious prospect could • have forced so great a lover of truth as he was • to declare his resolution never to part with ! his persuasion of immortality, though it should -6 be proved to be an erroneous one. But had he • lived to see all that Christianity has brought ! to light, how would he have lavished out • all the force of eloquence in those noblest

contemplations which human nature is ca

pable of, the resurrection and the judgment • that follows it! How had his breait glowed • with pleasure, when the whole compass of « futurity lay open and exposed to his view ! • How would his imagination have hurried him • on in the pursuit of the mysteries of the incar6 natiou! * How would he have entered, with • the force of lightning, into the affections of • his hearers, and fixed their attention, in 1pite • of all the opposition of corrupt nature, upon • those glorious themes which his eloquence « hath painted in such lively and lasting colours !

• This advantage Christians have; and it was with no small pleasure I lately met with a

* Can the imagination be affected with what it cannot conceive? or the judgment with what it cann t comprchend? Christianity may benefit the orator by its revelations, but not by its mysteries.


fragment of Longinus, which is preserved, • as a testimony of that critic's judgment, at " the beginning of a manuscript of the New · Testament in the Vatican library. After that • author has numbered up the most celebrated • orators among the Grecians, he says " add " to these Paul of Tarsus, the patron of an

opinion not yet fully proved.” As a Heathen, he condemns the Christian Religion; and, as

an impartial critic, he judges in favour of the ' promoter and preacher of it. To me it seems • that the latter part of his judgment adds great

weight to his opinion of St. Paul's abilities,

fince, under all the prejudice of opinions • directly opposite, he is conitrained to acknow

ledge the merit of that apostle. And no doubt • such as Longinus dcscribes St. Paul such he

appeared to the inhabitants of those countries 6 which he visited and blefied with those doc

trines he was divinely commissioned to preach. • Sacred story gives us, in one circumstance, a

convincing proof of his eloquence, when the

men of Lystra called him Mercury 66 because “ he was the chief speaker,” and would have

paid divine worship to him, as to the God · who invented and presided over eloquence. · This one account of our apostle sets his cha

racter, considered as an orator only, above all " the celebrated relations of the skill and influ

ence of Demosthenes and his contemporaries. " Their power in speaking was admired, but

still it was thought human: their eloquence ' warmed and ravished the hearers, but still it


was thought the voice of man, not the voice 6 of God. What advantage then had St. Paul « above those of Grecce or Rome? I confess I

can ascribe this excellence to nothing but the power of the doctrines he delivered, which

may have still the same influence on his hearers, • which have still the power, when preached

by a skilful orator, to make us break out in • the same expressions as the disciples who • met our Saviour in their way to Emmaus • made use of; “ Did not our hearts burn within o us when he talked to us by the way, and “ while he opened to us the scriptures ?” I may • be thought bold in my judgment by some,

but I must affirm that no one orator has left us so visible marks and footsteps of his eloquence as our apostle. It may perhaps be wondered at that, in his reasonings upon ido

latry at Athens, where eloquence was born " and flourished, he confines himself to strict argument only; but my



remember • what many authors of the best credit have • assured us that all attempts upon the affec• tions and strokes of oratory were expressly • forbidden by the laws of that country in

courts of judicature. His want of eloquence ( therefore here was the effect of his exact con

formity to the laws; but his discourse on the • resurrection to the Corinthians, his harangue

before Agrippa upon his own conversion, " and the necessity of that of others, are truly

great, and may serve as full examples to those • excellent rules for the sublime, which the best

c of

6 of critics has left us. The sum of all this dif

course is, that our clergy have no farther to • look for an example of the perfection they may ' arrive at than to St. Paul's harangues; that 6 when he, under the want of several advantages

of nature, as he himself tells us, was heard, ad• mired, and made a standard to succeeding ages

by the best judges of a different persuafion in • religion; I say our clergy may learn that, how

ever instructive their fermons are, they are

capable of receiving a great addition; which St. · Paul has given them a noble example of, and • the Christian religion has furnished them with

certain means of attaining to.'* * This Paper, N°633, was published by Mr. Tickell in his edition of Addison's Works, as a Paper of ADDISON; but it was written originally by Dr. Zachary Pearce, the late venerable bishop of Rochester, who was likewise the author of N° 527 in this volume of the SPECTATOR; and of N° 221 in the GUARDIAN.

N° 634.

Friday, December 17, 1714.

Ο ελαχίσων δεόμεν@» έγινα Θεών.

Socrates apud Xen. · The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the



T was the common boast of the heathen phi

losophersthat, by the efficacy of several doctrines, they made human nature resemble the Divine. How much mistaken


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