Page images

dek; whereas, there was the strongest reason for Melchizedek bus to “ thew his gratitude to Abraham," p. 13. What? did not Abraham form a confederacy, and come from Mamre, arm'd Cap-a-per, on purpose to fight for Melchizedek? Did he not risk his life to procure safety to him and the people of Salim ? Verily one would have thought this was or had been the case, or Mr Chubb, a man of great rajon! had not wrote this differtation.

He proceeds, “ nor, secondly, had he ( Abraham) any thing in the " valley of Shaveh, of his own, to make a present with, or to give “ tythes of,” p. 14. Granting that Abraham and his servants took zorbing with them but their weapons of war, and what was necessary to annoy the enemy; and that all the goods taken in battle, that were or had been the property of Bera the king of Sodom and his people, he generously returned to them: had Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of El. lafar, who form'd a powerful league, and held the balance for 12 years fucceflively; and their courtiers or favourites who attended them, and the generals and captains of their armies; had those, I say, no valyable effe&s in their train? No rich equipages? No peculiar badges or ornaments of difinzion ? If any such were found in their camp or upon them, Civilians would, perhaps, adjudge them to Abrabam, as bis legal prize and property. But nothing like this must be allow'd of; no, the wife differtator hath provided against it in the margin, p. 15. “ It is not to be fupposed that they needlessly incumbred themselves “ with goods and riches, thereby to lay a foundation of spoil for their “ enemies :" tho it's well known fome eastern nations carry, in policy, their best effects with them to battle. But it is not to be supposed of these Allyrian princes. Why? What is the matter? Were they not like ambitious princes of later days, and animated with like pasions ? This we allow, (p. 5, 6.) but if the above supposition be admitted, Abraharz will have materials to make a present of the tythe to Melchizedek, and you, wbe contemplate trutb, will be in danger of being led by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews (see p. 16, 23.) 6 who was liable “ to err, and did err in this instance, saying, unto Melchizedek, ever ibe patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoil, chap. vii. 4. " and by other scripture writers.

I may here be noted, That the construction the author of the epiftle to the Hebrews hath put on this passage in the Jewish history, (luppofing him un-inspired, determining the be who gave tythes to be Abrabam (tho', true it is, he only argues from their own received principles concerning it) is sufficiently warranted by the pious practice of warriors in ancient times, the victors usually giving gifts, and making fome presents of the spoil to the gods, and to their friends.

If the remarks above made are just, it follows: the dissertator bach not read the story with due care and attention ; hath forfeited the character of a fair and impartial writer ; and is not to be trued in bis evidence of or concerning fcripture authors,

St Clement's, Mar. 26, 1746.



Extra£t of a Letter to a Gentleman relating to Mr Gumo SAGE's Criticism, in the Misc. Corr. No. V. p. 238. Oxon, 26. Nov. 1745.

ERE I blessd with the fagacious judgment of Mr W ,

Gumjage, I might make a figure in less time, and at less expense.--As that gentleman has display'd much learning, and (undeniably) great penetration in showing that lighten upon is different from enlightening ; I imagine (in case he is willing to pursue such severe ftudies) that it would oblige the world, should he beltow some of his thoughts on two more passages of Scripture : one in Psalm xv. 4. [in the Psalter] and inform us (from the Vulgate, Septuagint and Hebrew) whether or no. He that fettetb not by himself' be not to be understood as · He that fitteth not by himself.' The other, 1 Cor. xv. 37. where he might likewise ascertain the meaning of bare grain, viz. whether bare be an adnoun, or the verb BEAR, according to some ancient orthography ?

Your bumble Servant, PHAETHON.

The Gentleman's Answer.

Hath. 3 Jan. 1746.

Take notice of your arch severity on Mr Gumfage; and, for ty) enjoin you a dissertation on With my body I thee worship.'


I ,

Of the Words With my Body 1 thee Worship; in a

Letter to a Friend. Dear Sir,

TN regard to the subject of the Differtation which you enjoin

me: as I am pretty well asur'd you requir’d it of me, not to have other people's thoughts, but my own; I shall freely let you know in what sense I understood this Expression, before ever my attention was particularly invited to consider it. The Words immediately preceding (viz, with this Ring 1 thee wed] I easily enough conceiv'd io mean that the Ring was given as a 'Token or Pledge of having mutuaily plighted their Faiths in the Agreement of Marriage. The following Sentences I look'd upon only as explanatory of the former, and a kind of virtual Recapitulation of the Engagement.

1-N. take thee, &c.—Accordingly, With my Body 1 thee werpipi' seem’d to mean no more, than that by virtue of the above Contract the Woman shou'd be entitled to Power over his Body, (1 Cor. vii.4.) which, thereby being made subject to her, might, nat in:properly, be faid to queifhip, i.e. (in the common Acceptation of the Word) to pay Homage or Obedience in the Exercise of due Benevolence. These were the Thoughts of my uninform'd Judgment, which as yet I perceive no Reason to alter,

I have,

I have, since the Receipt of Yours, had recourse to Wheatley on the Common Prayer, and Hooker's Ecclef. Polit. and had the pleasure to find their Opinions not entirely different. I have learnt, from the former, &c. that Worship’ is of Saxon Original ; and signifies in that Language, as in ours, Dignifying, or Dignity, and (what there's no Danger of its being mistaken for, in the Place above cited) Adoring or Adoration : So that the Word Honour might be (and in King Charles the Ild's Reign was promis'd to be) substituted in lieu of Worship-The Reason of its not being done, tho' Mr Wbeatley is at a Loss for it, may possibly have been, that, in the Days of so great a Gallant as Cbarles, it was fear'a the Emendation wou'd disoblige the Ladies ; who (ever conscious of their own Excellency) might have been apt to miftake the Meaning of the Expression: As denoting the A&t of a SHperior towards an Inferior,

Dear Sir, your very affe&tionale, Oxon. 23 Jan. 1746.

and obedient Servant,



A LETTER to the Rev. Dr Free; occasioned by his

late ODE in Imitaiion of Horace. Rev. Sir, S I received no little pleasure in the perufal of your GUARDIAN,

I have, out of a mere principle of gratitude, thought proper to inform you of it. But for fear you should think that my delight could arise only from my ignorance, I shall make bold to trouble you with my sentiments on your performance; from whence, I hope, you'll be induced to conclude that my approbation is entirely confiftent with reason.

I mait indeed confess that several eminent poets have obliged us with several IMITATions of Horace, which have been esteemed worthy of the Roman, and for the elegance of the expresion, delicacy of thought, and true poetic fire, almoft equal to the original: but yet it must be acknowledged that they have produced nothing like your GUARDIAN; nor have been able to fink so low into their author's meaning. 'Tis in your incomparable piece, that we meet with none of that enthusiasm, for which some famous authors have been so notorious. All there is calm, and peaceable; 'tis there that you shew us that you have all your passions subject to your reason; and as you are in your own person convinced of the happiness of such a state, you have taken care not to roufe, but lay asleep the passions of your readers. So anxiously have you trod the road which leads from imperfection, and carries you directly to the true PROFUND! For Longinus in his Essay informs us that a great source of imperfection lies in that kind of writing which moves the pasfions ; that it is a fure sign of emptiness, and an undeniable token of drunkenness. But hear him in his own words : for no one can suppose you to be an entire stranger to


(or, if

them. Tovrớ waçéresteet Pitoy ti xoxías sido ir TOIS TIAOETIKOIE Esci εξ ΠΑΘΟΣ άκαιρον και κενόν Πολλα γαρ ώσπερ εκ μέθης τινα σαραφέρούλα» TIAOH I. And indeed, Cecilius, who wrote a treatise on the same fub. ject, has wholly omitted the pathetic, I suppose, as thinking it incompatible with the true PROFUND. And in this opinion he is defended by Longinus himself, who informs us, 5. 8. p. 38. of the fame edition, that ΠΑΘΗ τινα διερωτα ύψος και ταπεινα ευρίσκεται. Which, to fave you the trouble of consulting a lexicon, I translate thus; “ That kind of writ“ ing which is employed in moving the pasions, and the true fublime,

you please, profund) are a mile asunder, so that wherever “ we find the former, we must expect an entire abfence of the latrer.” Having vindicated you from any censure on this point, by so great an authority, I beg leave to proceed.

As for your ftyle, it is fo fimple, fo natural, and so plain, that on first reading one wou'd be at a stand to determine whether it were verse or proje. For as you have avoided spoiling the sense by too great an affectation of good rhime, fo likewife have you avoided spoiling the rhime by too great an affectation of sense. So well have you disdained all appearance of art, which, as Seneca acquaints us, is an indication of a narrow mind, that most of my acquaintance are of opinion that you know none. When, on the contrary, they should, for that very reafon, look upon you as one of the most artful fellows in the world : for they must know, that artis eft celare artem: and I will defy them to produce any poet who has shewn less.

Perspicuity is undoubtedly the chief ornament, as to be understood, is the chief end, of writing. That you possess both these qualifications may be evinced from hence; that there is not one of the meaneft capacity, but what understands every word in your piece. And how cou'd it be otherwise, when it is nothing but a copy of his daily discourse?

I have indeed heard fome, whom the world esteems for their learning and judgment, calling your piéce a very low, mean and wretched performance; nay, the finplest piece of Atuff they ever saw in their lives. But how juftly they merit the esteem of the publick, I leave you to judge ; for, is there one word in their invective, which is not a great recommendation to you, or what you do not really deserve? As for their objection to the piece, drawn from its lowness; I beg leave to inform these angry gentlemen, that it is a great sign of its solidity. Their objection drawn from its meannols, is, in part, answered already; but I Thall add, that it is as much a sign of its goodness, as a plain dress is of a true gentleman. The fimpiicity of it cannot, surely, be blamed; when that was one of the noblest characteristics of the golden age ; an age, that always enjoyed the truest wisdom. Besides, let me ask whether or no fimplicity be not a sign of innocence? And will they look upon innocence as criminal? "Tis the advice of a very great genius, * that “ imitators fou'd

copy the examples in their own way;” who tells us thar, “ divers " have by this means attained to depths whereunto their own weight cou'd never have carry'd them.” And who sees not that you, by

imitating Pearce's Lorgir. Ed. Tirt. l.cud. 1.7. 22. Ari of Staking, chap. gil..

imitating T. S. and J. H. (who perhaps might have been of your own funétion) are become one of the deepest writers that ever wrote.--I could here cite several lines out of your inimitable ode, to illustrate this truth, were it not to be seen in every line.

As I have studied your piece with no less industry than admiration, examined its beauties, and made myself mafter of its particularities, I cou'd easily show upon what principle your imitation is founded ; tho' fome are so foolish as to think it founded on none. And as from hence I imagine that you designed that they shou'd be secret, I promise you, I shall never let any one know that you ever made use, or have heard of the art of finking ; no not even the ninth chapter, which treats of imitation.

But to conclude, which I believe you are desirous I shou'd ; there is to great a resemblance in your expressions with the translators of our psalms; you have made Horace so good a Christian ; and have shewn fo little study, and so much of nature throughout your ode, that it jusly deserves the

Sibi quivis fperet idem of HORACE.

I em, Sir, without flattery, your Admirer.

[ocr errors]


Oxon, Nov. 13, 1742. HE Spectator, I think, somewhere makes mention of a set of

philosophers, who flourish'd in his time ; and are not yet extinct, in our two famous universities; call'd by the name of LounGERS: (See Mag. Vol. XVI. p. 322) but, I do not remember that I have ever read, or heard of such a sect, as I have lately discover’d here ; which, for distinction's fake, I shall call Dormers.

You must not expe&t that I shou'd give you a particular account of their tenets ; let it fuffice to mention some of the chiefeft of them.

The first, taken from the wisest of men, is ; That in much learning there is forrow.-Accordingly, they are very cautious, not to run into any excess that way; they are so temperate herein, that, whatever calls (publick or private) they may have to the contrary, they seldom take book in hand, unless it be to save the expence of a soporific draught.

The next, and no less favourite maxim, is; to take no thought for the morrow ; but, to let the morrow provide for itself.—They heartily believe, that wine was made to rejoice the heart of man; and, that it is & treasure to be defir'd in the dwellings of the wife. So that, one may see those gentlemen, rising from their beds about noon (often later) and enjoying themselves 'till one the next morning, over a bottle ; at which time, like ghosts at the approach of day, they return to their dark abode, the bed-chamber.

It is held a heinous offence among them, to rise before eleven, upon any account, unless it be, that (having forgot to lock their door) they get up to turn the key, left they shou'd be disturb'd, and immediately pop into bed again. Their

greatest enemy is Time, which, as it destroys all things, they are bound (according to their principles) to destroy, in their turn; and, NOVI,


« PreviousContinue »