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Cambridge, May 31. into frequent debates, which were always held in a committee of the wbole bouse.'
'You having been pleased to take notice of
wbat you conceived excellent in some of our • To Nestor Ironside, Esq.
English divines, I have here presumed to send
a specimen, which, if I am not mistaken, may, • SAGACIOUS SIR,
for acuteness of judgment, ornament of speech, We married men reckon ourselves under and true sublime, compare with any of the your ward, as well as those who live in a less choicest writings of the ancient fathers or docregular condition. You must know, I have a tors of the church, who lived nearest to the wife, who is one of those good women who are apostles' times. The subject is no less than never very angry, or very much pleased. My that of God himself; and the design, besides dear is rather inclined to the former, and will doing some honour to our own nation, is to walk about in soliloquy, dropping sentences to show by a fresh example, to what a height and herself of management, saying “she will say strength of thought a person, who appears not nothing, but she knows when her head is laid to be by nature enduod with the quickest parts, what-" and the rest of that kind of half ex- may arrive, through a sincere and steady pracpressions. I am never inquisitive to know tice of the Christian religion ; I mean, as taught what is her grievance, because I know it is and administered in the church of England : only constitution. I call her by the kind ap. which will, at the same time, prove that the pellation of My Gentle Murinur, and I am so force of spiritual assistance is not at all abated used to hear her, that I believe I could not by length of time, or the iniquity of mankind; sleep without it. It would not be amiss if you but that if men were not wanting to them. communicated this to the public, that many selves, apd (as our excellent author speaks) who think their wives angry, may know they could but be persuaded to conform to our are only not pleased, and that very many come church's rules, they might still live as the priinto this world, and go out of it at a very good mitive Christians did, and come short of none old age, without having ever been much trans- of those eminent saints for virtue and holiness. ported with joy or grief io their whole lives. The author from whom this collection is made,
Your humble servant, is bishop Beveridge, vol. ii. serm. I.
• PUILOTTIEUS. MOST VENERABLE NESTOR,
In treating upon tbat passage in the book of • I am now three and twenty, and in the Exodus, where Moses being ordered to lead the utmost perplexity bow to behave myself towards children of Israel out of Egypt, he asked God a gentleman whom my father has admitted to what name be should mention him by to that visit me as a lover. I plainly perceive my father people, in order to dispose them to obey him ; designs to take advantage of his passion to and God answered, 'I Am that I Ain ;' and wards me, and require terms of him which will bade him tell them, 'I Am bath sent me unto make him fly off. I I have orders to be cold to you ;' the admirable author thus discourses : him in all my behaviour; but if you insert this God having been pleased to reveal himself to letter in the Guardian, he will know that dis-us under this name or title, “I Am that I Am," tance is constrained. I love him better than he thereby suggests to us, that he would not life, am satisfied with the offer he has made, have us apprehend of him, as of any particular and desire him to stick to it, that he may not or limited being, but as a being in general, or hereafter think he has purchased me too dear. the Being of all beings; who giveth being to, My mother knows I love him, so that my and therefore exerciseth authority over, all father must comply.
things in the world. He did not answer Moses, Your thankful ward, “I am the great, the living, the true, the
everlasting God,” he did not say, “ I am the
almighty creator, preserver, and governor, of • P.S. I give my service to him, and desire the whole world,” but “ I Am that I Am :" inthe settlement may be such as shows I have timating, that if Moses desired such a bame of my thoughts fixed upon my happiness ir being God as might fully describe bis nature as in bis wife rather than bis widow.'
itself, that is a thing impossible, there being no words to be found in any language, whereby to
express the glory of an infinite being, especially No. 74.] Friday, June 5, 1713.
so as that finite creatures should be able fully Magne Parens, sanctå quàm majestate verendas !
to conceive it. Yet, however, in these words
he is pleased to acquaint us what kind of Great Parent! how majestic ! how adorable!
thoughts he would bave us entertain of him .
insomuch, that could we but rightly apprehend I will make no apology for preferring this what is couched under, and intended by them, letter, and the extract following, to any thing we should doubtless have as high and true else wbicle I could possibly insert.
onceptious of God as it is possible for creatures
to bave.'--The answer given suggests farther reveal himself, he goes out of vur common way to us these following notions of the most high of speaking one to another, and expresset b God. First, that he is one being, existing in himself in a way peculiar to binuself, and such and of himself: his unity is implied in that be as is suitable and proper to his own nature saith, “1;" his existence in that he saith, and glory. "I Am ;" his existence in and of himself, in Hence, therefore, as when he speaks of that he saith, “I Am that I Am,” that is, “I himself and his own eternal essence, he saith, am in and of myself," not receiving any thing "I Am that I Am ;" so when be speaks of from, nor depending upon any other.-~The bimself, wilh reference to his creatures, and same expression implies, that as God is only especially to his people, he saith, “ 1 Am." one, so that he is a most pure and simple be. He doth nut say “ I am their light, their life, ing; for here, we see, be admits nothing into their guide, their strength, or tower," but only the manifestation of himself but pure essence," I Am:" He sets as it were his band to a saying, “I Am that I Am,” that is, being itself, blank, that his people may write under it what without any mixture or composition. And they please that is good for them. As if he therefore we must not conceive of God, as made should say, Are they weak? I am Strength. up of several parts, or faculties, or ingredients, Are they poor? I am Riches. Are they in but only as one who “is that he is," and trouble? i am Comfort. Are they sick? I am whatsoever is in him is himself : And although Health. Are they dyivg? I am Life. Have we read of several properties attributed to him they nothing? I am All Things. I am Wisdom in scripture, as wisdom, goodness, justice, &c. and Power, I am Justice and Mercy. I am we must not apprehend them to be several | Grace and Goodness, I am Glory, Beauty, Hopowers, habits, or qualities, as they are in us; liness, Eminency, Supereminency, Perfectior!, for as they are in God, they are neither distin. All.sufficiency, Eternity, Jehohah, I Am. Whatguished from one another, nor from his nature soever is suitable to their nature, or convenient or essence, in whom they are said to be. In for them in their several conditious, that I am. whom, I say, they are said to be : for to speak Whatsoever is amiable in itself, or desirable properly, they are not in him, but are bis very unto them, that I am. Whatsoever is pure essence, or nature itself; which acting seves and boly; whatsoever is great or pleasant ; rally upon several objects, seems to us to act whatsoever is good or needful to make men from several properties or perfections in him; bappy; that l'am.” So that, in short, God whereas all the difference is only in our dif- here represents himself unto us as a universal ferent apprehensions of the same thingGod good, and leaves us to make the application in himself is a most simple and pure act, and of it to ourselves, according to our several therefore cannot have any thing in bim, but wants, capacities, and desires, by saying only what is that most simple and pure act itself ; in general, “ I Am."" which seeing it bringeth upon every creature Again, page 27, he thus discourses: 'There what it deserves, we conceive of it as of several is more solid joy and comfort, more real delight divine perfections in the same Almighty Being. and satisfaction of mind, in one single thought Whereas God, whose understanding is infinite of God, rightly formed, than all the riches
, as himself, doth not apprehend bimself under and bonours, and pleasures of this world, put the distinct notions of wisdoin, or goodness, or hem all together, are able to afford.--Let us justice, or the like, but only as Jehovah : And then call in all our scattered thoughts from all Therefore, in this place, he doth not say, “ I things here below, and raise them up aud unite am wise, or just, or good,” but simply, "I Am them all to the most high God; apprebending that I Am."
hiin under the idea, image, or likeness of any Having thus offered at something towards thing
else, but as infinitely greater, and highet, the explication of the first of these mysterious and better than all things; as one existing in sayings in the answer God made to Moses, and of bimself, and giving essence and existwhen he designed to encourage him to lead bis ence to all things in the world besides himself; people out of Egypt, he proceeds to consider as one so pure and simple that there is nothing the other, whereby God calls himself absolutely in him but himself, but essence and being * 1 Am. Concerning which he takes notice, itself; as one so infinite and omnipotent, that
that though, “I Am" be commonly a verb of wheresoever any thing else is in the whole the first person, yet it is here used as a noun world, there he is, and beyond the world, where substantive, or proper name, and is the nomi- nothing else is, there all things are, because he native case to another verb of the third person is there, as one so wise, so knowing, in these words, "I Am bath sent nie unto you." scient, that he at this very moment, and always, A strange expression ! But when God speaks sees what all the angels are doing in heaven; of himself, be cannot be confined to grammar- what all the fowls are doing in the air ; what rules, being infinitely above and beyond the all the fishes are duing in the waters; what reach of all languages in the world. And all the devils are doing in bell; what all the therefore, it is no wonder that when he would I men and beasts, and the very insects, are duium
upon earth ; as one so powerful and omnipo- can believe this, must do it with his will, and
sent time; for he cannot be the better for it. Seeing therefore we cannot think of God when he is not. Now what advantage will it so highly as he is, let us think of him as bighly be to him in this life? He shall have the more as we can: and for that end let us get above liberty to do what be pleasetb; that is, it furourselves, and above the world, and raise up nisheth him with a stronger temptation to be our thoughts higher and higher, and higher intemperate, and lustful, and unjust, that is, still, and when we have got ibem up as high to do those things wbich prejudice his body, as possibly we can, let us apprehend a Being and bis health, which cloud his reason, and infinitely higher tban the highest of them; darken his understanding, which will make and then finding ourselves at a loss, amazed, him enemies in the world, will bring him into confounded at such an infinite height of infi- danger. So that it is no advantage to any nite perfections, let us fall down in humble and man to be vicious; and yet this is the greatest hearty desires to be freed from those dark use that is made of atheistical principles ; to prisons wherein we are now immured, that we comfort men in their vicious courses. But if may take our flight into eternity, and there thou: bast a mind to be virtuous, and temperate, (through the merits of our blessed Saviour) see and just, the belief of the principles of religion this infinite Being face to face, and enjoy him will be no obstacle, but a furtherance to thee for ever.'
in this course. All the advantage a man can hope for, by disbelieving the principles of religiou, is to escape trouble and persecution in
this world, which may bappen to him upon No. 75.] Saturday, June 6, 1713.
account of religion. But supposing there be Hic est, aut nusquam, quod quærimus.
a God, and a life after this; then what a vast Hor. Lib. 1. Ep. xvii. 39. difference is there of the consequences of these - Here, or no where, we may hope to find
opinions! As !ruch as between finite and infiWhat we desire.
nite, time and eteruity.
* To persuade men to believe the scriptures, This paper shall consist of extracts from two I only offer this to men's consideration: If great divines, but of very different genius. The there be a God, wbose providence governs the one is to be admired for convincing the under- world, and all the creatures in it, is it not standing, the other for inflaming the heart. reasonable to think that he hath a particular The former urges us in this plain and forcible care of men, the noblest part of this visible manner to an inquiry into religion, and prac-world? And seeing be bath made them capable tising its precepts.
of eternal duration, that he hath provided for Suppose the world began some time to be; their eternal happiness, and sufficiently revealed it must either be made by counsel and design, to them the way to it, and the terms and conthat is, produced by some being that kuew | ditions of it! Now let any man produce any what it did, that did contrive it and frame it book in the world, that pretends to be from as it is; wbich it is casy to conceive, a being God, and to do tbis, that for the matter of it that is infinitely good, and wise, and powerful, is so worthy of God, the doctrines wbereof are might do: but this is to own a God. Or else so useful, and the precepts so reasonable, and the matter of it being supposed to have been the arguments so powerful, the truth of all always, and in continual motion and tumult, which was confirmed by so many great and it at last bappened to fall into this order, and unquestionable miracles, the relation of wbirla the parts of matter, after various agitations, has been transmitted to posterity in public and were at length entangled and knit together in authentic records, written by those who were this order, in which we see the world to be. eye and ear witnesses of what they wrote, and But can any man think this reasonable to free from suspicion of any worldly interest and imagine, that in the infinite variety which is design ; let any produce a book like to this, in in the world, all things should happen by all these respects; and which, over and besides, chance, as well, and as orderly, as the greatest bath, by the power and reasonableness of the wisdum could bave contrived them? Whoever I doctrines contained in it, prevailed so miracu
Jously in the world, by weak and inconsiderable | bebolds himself with the most contrite lowlimeans, in opposition to all tbe wit and power ness. “My present business,' says he, “is to of the world, and under such discouragements treat of God, bis being and attributes; but as no other religion was ever assaulted with; “wbo is sufficient for tbese things ?" At least, let any mao bring fortb such a book, and be who am I, a silly worm, that I should take bath my leave to believe it as soon as the Bible. upon me to speak of him, by whom alone I But if there be done such, as I am well assured speak; and being myself but a finite sinful there is not, then every one that tbioks God creature, sbould strive to unveil tbe nature of hath revealed himself to men, ought to em-tbe infioite and Most Holy God! Alas! I canbrace and entertain the doctrine of the boly not so much as begin to think of him, but scriptures, as revealed by God.
immediately my thoughts are confounded, my * And now baving presented men with such heart is perplexed, my mind amazed, my head arguments aod considerations as are proper, turns round, my whole soul seems to be unand I think sufficient to induce belief, I think hinged and overwhelmed within me. His it not upreasonable to entreat and urge men mercy exalts me: His justice de presseth me: diligently and impartially to consider these His wisdom astonisbeth me: His power af. matters; and if there be weight in these con- frights me: His glory dazzles mine eyes : siderations to sway reasonable men, that they and" by reason of his bigbness," as Job speaks, would not suffer ibemselves to be biassed by I cannot endure: But the least glimpse of prejudice, or passion, or interest, to a contrary Him makes me “ abhor myself and repent in persuasion. Thus much I may with reason de dust and asbes" before Him.' sire of men; for though men cannot believe what they will, yet meu may, if they will, consider things seriously and impartially, and yield No. 76.] Monday, June 8, 1713. or withhold their assent, as they sball see cause,
Solos ajo bene vivere, qnorum after a thorough search and examination.
Conspicitur nitidis fuudata pecunia villis, * If any man will offer a serious argument
Hur. Lib. I. Ep. av. 45. against any of the principles of religion, and
These are blest and only those, will debate the matter soberly, as one that
Whose stately house their hidtle treasure shows.
Creech. considers the infinite consequences of these tbirzs one way or other, and would gladly I ever thought it my duty to preserve peace be satisfied, be deserves to be heard what he and love among my wards. And since I have can say; but if a man will turn religion into set up for a universal Guardian, I have laid raillery, and confute it by two or three bold nothing more to beart tban the differences and jests, he doth not make religion, but himself, quarrels between the landed and the trading ridiculous, in the opinion of all cousiderate interests of my country, which indeed compremen, because he sports with his life.
hend the whole. I shall always contribute, to So that it concerns every man that would the utmost of my power, to reconcile these innot trifle away his soul, and fool bimself into terests to each other, and to make them both irrecoverable misery, with the greatest serious- sensible that their mutual happiness depends ness to inquire into these things, whether they upon their being friends. be so, or no, and patiently to consider the ar. They mutually furnish each other with all guments that are brought for them.
the necessaries and conveniencies of life; the And when you are examining these matters, land supplies the traders with corn, cattle, do not take into consideration any sensual or wool, and generally all the materials, either for worldly interest ; but deal fairly and impartheir subsistence or their riches; the traders tially with yourselves. Think with yourselves in return provide the gentlemen with bouses, that you have not the making of things true clothes, and many other things, without which and false, that the principles of religion are their life at best would be uncomfortable. Yet either true or false, before you think of them. these very interests are almost always clasbing; The truth of things is already fixed; either the traders cousider every high duty upon any there is a God, or no God; either your souls part of their trade as proceeding from jealousy are immortal, or they are not; either the scrip in the gentlemen of their rivaling them tvo tures are a divine revelation, or an imposture; fast; and they are often enemies on tbis ac. one of these is certain and necessary, and they count. The gentlemen, on the other hand, are not now to be altered. Things will not think they can never lay too great a burden comply with your conceits, and bend themselves upon trade, though in every tbing they eat to your interests: therefore do not think what and drink aud wear, they are sure to bear the you would bave to be; but consider impartially greatest part themselves. what is.'
I shall endeavour as much as possible, to The other great writer is particularly useful remove this emulation between the parties, in bis rapturous soliloquies, wherein he ihiuks and in the first place to convince the traders, of the Deity with the bighest admiration, and that in many instances high duties may be laid
upon their imports, to en.arge the general | which provides for the annual consumption of trade of the kingdom. For example, if there our people, and a stock of the value of two should be laid a prohibition, or higb duties years' consumption is generally believed to be which shall amount to a prohibition, upon the sufficient for this purpose. If the eighteen imports from any other country which takes millions above-mentioned will not raise a refrom us a million sterliog every year, and re- venue of more than one million per annum, it turns us nothing else bat manufactures for the is certain that no more than this last value consumption of our own people, it is certain can be added to our annual consumption, and this ought to be considered as the increase of that two of the twenty millions will be suffiour trade in general; for if we want these cient to add to the stock of our inland trade. manufactures, we shall either make them our- Our foreign trade is considered upon another selves, or, which is the same thing, import foot; for though it provides in part for the them from other countries in exchange for our annual consumption of our own people, it proown. In either of which cases, our foreign or vides also for the consumption of foreign nainland trade is enlarged, and so many more of tions. It ex ports our superfluous manufactures, our own people are employed and subsisted for and should make returns of bullion, or other that money which was annually exported, that durable treasure. Our foreign trade for forty is, in all probability, a hundred and fifty thou- years last past, in the judgment of the most sand of our people, for the yearly sum of one intelligent persons, bas been managed by a million. If our traders would consider many stock vot less than four, and not exceeding of our prohibitions or high duties in this light, eight millions, with wbich last sum they think they would think their country and themselves it is driven at this time, and that it cannot be obliged to the landed interest for these re- carried much farther, unless our merchants straints.
shall endeavour to open a trade to ‘Terra AusAgain, gentlemen are too apt to envy the tralis incognita,' or some place that would be traders every sum of money they import, and equivalent. It will therefore be a very large gain from abroad, as if it was so much loss to allowance, that one of the twenty millions can themselves ; but if they could be convinced, be added to the capital stock of our foreign that for every million tbat shall be imported trade. and gained by the traders, more than twice There may be another way of raising interest, that sum is gained by the landed interest, that is, by laying up, at a cheap time, corn or they would pever be averse to the trading part other goods or manufactures that will keep, for of the nation. To convince them, therefore, the consumption of future years, and when the that this is the fact, shall be the remaining markets may happen to call for them at an part of this discourse,
advanced price. But as most goods are perishLet us suppose then, that a million, or if able, and waste something every year, by which you please, that twenty millions were to be means a part of the principle is still lost, and imported, and gained by trade: to what uses as it is seldom seen that these engrossers get could it be applied, and which would be the more than their principal, and the common greatest gainers, the landed or the trading interest of their money, this way is so precainterest ? Suppose it to be twenty millions. rious and full of hazard, that it is very unlikely
It cannot at all be doubted, that a part of any more than three of the twenty millions the afore-mentioned sum would be laid out in will be applied to engrossing. It were to be luxury, such as the magnificence of•buildings, wished the engrossers were more profitable the plate and furniture of houses, jewels, and traders for themselves; they are certainly very rich apparel, the elegance of diet, the splendour beneficial for the commonwealth ; they are a of coaches and equipage, and such other things market for the rich in a time of plenty, and as are an expense to the owners, and bring in ready at hand with relief for the poor in a no manner of profit. But because it is seldom time of dearth. They prevent the exportation seen, that persons who by great industry have of many necessaries of life, when they are very gained estates, are extravagant in their luxury; cheap; so that we are not at the charge of and because the revenue must be still sufficient bringing them back again, when they are very to support the annual expense, it is hard to dear. They save the money that is paid to conceive that more than two of the twenty foreign countries for interest and warehouse millions can be converted into this dead stock, room; but there is so much hazard, and so at least eighteen must still be left to raise an little profit in this business, that if twenty annual interest to the owners; and the revenue millions were to be imported, scarce three of from the eighteen millions, at six per centum, them would be applied to the making magawill be little more than one million per annum. zines for the kingdom.
Again, a part of the twenty millions is very If any of the money should be lent at interest likely to be converted to increase the stock of to persons that shall apply the same to any of our inland trade, in which is comprehended the purposes above-mentioned, it is still the that upon all our farms. This is the trade same thing. If I have given good reasons for