Mercy for those damned Spirits, that they might ever be taken into Favour again ; my Charity would hope even better for them, than we have found from some of our Revolters'; and that they would so behave themfelves, as not to incur a Second Forfeiture. And to carry the Resemblance yet one point farther, they do both of them agree in an implacable Malice against those of their Fellows that keep their Stations. But, alas !:What could Ingratitude do, without Hypocrify, the infeparable Companion of it; and, in Effect, the bolder, and the blacker Devil of the two ? For Lucifer himself never had the Face to lift up his Eyes to Heaven, and talk to the Almighty at the familiar Rate of our pretended Patriots. and Zealots; and at the same time to make him party to a Cheat. 'Tis not for nothing that the Holy Ghost has denounced so many Woes, and redoubled so many Caus tions against Hypocrites : plainly intimating, at once, how dangerous a Snare they are to Mankind, and no less odious to God himself : Which is sufficiently denoted in the Force of that dreadful Expression, And your Portia on Mall be with Hypocrites. You will find in the hoy Scriptures, as I have formerly observed, that God has given the Grace of Repentance to Persecutors, Idolators, Murderers, Adulterers, &c. but I am mistaken, if the whole Bible affords you any one Instance of a converted Hypocrite.

To descend now from. Truth itfelf to our own Expeorience: Have we not seen, even in our Days, a most pious, and almost faultless, Prince brought to the Scaffold by his own Subjects ? The most glorious Constitution up, on the face of the Earth, both ecclesiastical and civil, torn to pieces, and dissolved? The happiest People under the Sun enslaved ? Our Temples sacrilegiously profaned, and a. Licence given to all sorts of Herefy and Outrage ? And by whom, but by a Race,of Hypocrites, who had nothing in their Mouths all this while, but, The Purity of the Gospel ; the Honour of the King; and, the Liberty of the People : Alisted underhand with defamatory Pa. pers, which were levelled at the King himself, through the sides of his most faithful Ministers? This Project Succeeded so well against one Government, that 'tis now again set afoor against another; and by fome of the very Adors foá in that Tragedy, and after a molt gracious Pardon also; whin Providence had laid their Necks and their Fortunes at his Majesty's Feet. It is a wonder, ful thing, That Libels and Libellers, the most infarnous of Practices, and of Men; the most unmanly and sneaking of Methods, and Instruments of Mischiefs; the very, Bane of human Society, and the Plague of all Governments': It is a wonderful thing, I say, that thefe Engines and Engineers (hould ever find Credit enough in the World, to engage a Partý: But, it would be till more vorderful, if the fame Trick should pass twice apon the fame People, in the fame Age, and from the very fame Impostors. This contemplation has carried me a little out of my Way, but it has at length brought me to my Text again; for there is in the bottom of it, the highest Opposition imaginable, of Ingratitude and Obligation.

TRE Reader will in fome measure be able to judge by this Talte, what he is farther to expect : That is to fay, as to the Caft of my Design, and the Simplicity of the Stile and Drefs; for that will be the same; only accompanied with Variety of Matter. Whether it pleases the World or no, the Care is taken: And yet I could wish that it might be as delightful to others upon the Perufül, as it has been to me in the Spéculation. Next to the Gospel itself, I do look upon it as the most fove. reign Remedy against the Miseries of human Nature; and I have ever found it lo in all the Injuries and Distresses of an unfortunate Life. You may read niore of him if you please, in the Appendix, which I have bere subjoined to this Preface concerning the Authority of his Writings, and the Circumstances of his Life; as I have extracted them out of Lipfius.

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cients, three professed Enemies, In the first place Caligula, who called his Writiags Sand without Lime ; alluding to the Starts of his Fancy, and tte Incoherence of his Sentences. But Seneca was never the worse for the Centure of a Person that propounded even tie fupprelling of Homer himself; and of cafting Virgil and Liøy out of all publie. Libraries. The next was Fabius ; who tasks him for being too bold with the requeos of former times, and failing in that point himself and lite wife for being too queint and Gnical in his Expreilions : Which Tacitus impuies, in part, to 11.2 freccom « his own particular inclination, and partly to the Ilumour of the Times. He is also charged by Fabius as no Philosopher ; but svith all this, he allows bim to be a Man very ftudious and learned; cf grear Wit and Invention; and well read ip ail Scris cf Literature ; int well worth the reading, if it were only for his Norals; adding, that if his Judgment had been answerable to lis Wit, it had been much the more for his Reputation, but he wrote whatever came next ; fo that I would adrite the Reader (says he) to distinguith where he himself die not: For there are many Things in him, not only to approved but admired, and it was great Fity then be that could do what he would, Naoui pot always be the belt Choice. His third Adverty is tellus, who falls upon bim for his Stike, and a kind of Tinkling in his Senteace, but yet commeous tim for his Piety and good Counsels. On the other de Ciurila call Lim a Man of excellent Wit and Learning; Pliny, the Pris of Eonditione; Tacitungives bice the Character of wilę

Man, and a fit Tutor for a Prince: Dio reports liin to have been the greatest Man of his Age.

Of thofe Pieces of his that are extant, we shall not need to give any particular Account: And of those that are lost, we cannot, any farther than by Lights to them from other Authors; as we find them cited much to his Honour; and we may reasonably compute them to be the greater part of his Works. That he wrote several Poems in his Banishment, may be gathered partly from hin felf: but more exprelly out of Tacitus, who fays,

that he was reproached with his applying himself to • Poetry, after he saw that Nero took Pleasure in it, out a of a Design to curry Favour.' St. Jerom refers to a Discourfe of his concerning Matrimony. Lactantius takes Notice of his History, and his Books of Moralities : St. Augultinc quotes fome Passages of his, out of a Book of Superstition : Some References we meet with to his Books of Exhortations. Fabius makes mention of his Dialogues : and he himself speaks of a Treatise of his own, concerning Earthquakes, which he wrote in his Youth. But the Opinion of an epistolary Correspondence tliat he had with St. Paul,, does not seem to have much Colour fort.

Some few fragments however of those Books of his that are wanting, are yet preserved in the Writings of other eminent Authors ; fufficient to fhew the World how great a Treasure they have lost, by the Excellency of that little that's left.

Seneca, says Lactantius, that was the Divin. Inftit. fharpest of all Stoics, How great a Lib. I. Cap. 1. Veneration has he for the Almighty?

As for Instance ; discourfing of a vio. lent Death : Do you not understand, says he, the Maje fty, and the Authority of your Judge: He is the supreme Goveraor of Heaven and Earth, and the God of your Gods ; and it is upon him that all those Powers depend which we worship for Deities. Moreover in his Exor. tations : This God, fays he, when he laid the Foundations of the Universe, and entered upon the greatest and the best Work in Nature, in the ordering of the Government of the World; though he was himself all in all; yet he substituted other subordinate Ministers, as the Ser

Habit of his Commands And how many other Things does this Heathen- fpeak of God, like one of us ?

Which the acute Senoca (fays Lace tantius again) saw in bis Exhortations. Cap. 2. We, says he, have our Dependance elfewhere, and should look up to that Power, to which we are indebted for all that we can pretend to that is good.

And again, Seneca fays very well in his Morals; they worship the Images Lib. 11. Cap 2. of the Gods, fays be, kneel tothem, and adore them; they are hardly ever from them, either plying them with Offerings, or Sacriĝces : And yet after all this Reverence to the Image, they have no Regard at all to the Workman that made it.

Lactantius agaio. Ap lavective(says. Lib. 3. Cap. 15. Seneca in bis Exhortations,) is the Master-piece of most of our Philofophers; and if they fall upon the Sabje&t of Avarice Liit, Ambition, they lain out into such Excess of Bitterness, as if Railing were * Mark of their Profeffion. They make me think of Galley-pots in an Apothecary's shop, that have Reme.. dies without and Poisos within.

Lactantius fti!f. He that would know Lib. 3. cap.9. all things, let him read Sexeca ; the most lively Defcriber of public Vices, and Manners, and the smartest Reprchender of them.

And again : As Seneca has it in the Lib. 6. cap. 17. Books of moral Philofophy; He is the brave Man, whofe Splendor and Authority is the leaft part of his Greatnefs; that can look Death in the Face, without Trouble, or Surprize ; who if his Body were to be broken upon the Wheel, or melted Lead to he poure ed dove bis Throat, would be lefs concerned for the Pain itself, than for the Dignity of bearing it.

Let no Man, fays Lactantius, think bimfelf the fafer in his Wickedness for Lib.6.Gap. 14. want- of a Witness for God is omnifcient, and to him nothing can be a Secratí is is an admirable Sentence tbat Seneca concludes bis Exhortation withal. God, says he, is a great, (1. know not wliat).

an incomprehenfible Power: It is to him that we live; him, that we must approve-cuirfelves. What doess

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