« PreviousContinue »
thages about the middle of the Third Century, and dy'd a Mar-. tyr in that City. Before he curo'd Christian be taught Rhetorick with great, Reputation : How well he was qualify'd for this Profession, the learned Reader, may easily judge. ?Tis granted his Works being mostly spent on the Discipline of the Church, casuistical Resolutions and controversial Subjects, he does not often exert his Talent, and write upon the Stretch. What I have turn’d into English has strong colouring in the original, and seems design’d to touch the Passions, as well as convince the Understandinge And which is chiefly to be valued, a noble Disengagement from the World, and a Spirit of Martyrdom, is remarkably apparent, and shines out in the Writings of this Father.
St. Gregory. Nazianzen liv’d in 379. the Fourth Century; and was for
theque Cent. IV.
some time Bishop of Conftantinople. He was a Prelate of great eminence, and assisted at the Second General Council. As for his Elocution, the learned and judicious Monsieur Du Pin does not scruple to make him Biblioequal to Demosthenes.
Salvian, who comes more than an hundred Years after, was a famous Ecclesiastick at Marseilles, and an Author of no ordinary class. But having furnish'd so little of what he has done I must say no more about him.
As to my Essay on Discontent, rough Accidents and Disappointments in Life give sufficient occafion for that. And if any thing I have said prevails upon the Conduct, and proves serviceable to the Reader, I shall think my selfoblig'd in the Success, and reckon ir the best Reward of the Undertaking
To begin with a Description of
the Subject. Pain is an unac
ceptable Notice arising from some Disorder in the Body. When the Continuity of the Organ is disjoin'd, the Nerves discomposed, and the Mufcles forced into a foreign Situation ; when there's a stop upon the Spirits , when the Parts don't keep their Ranks, but are beaten out of the Figure which Nature has drawn them up in; then the Mind immediately receives a grating Information of what has happen'd: Which Intelligence is more or less troublesome in Proportion to the Disadvantage of the Accident. Now this unwelcome Sensation is what we call Pain. However, we are to observe, that these violent Impressions are no more than occasional 'Causes of our Uneasiness :
There is no natural Connection between these Damages done to the Body, and the Conscious Disturbances consequent upon them. Our Pain does not properly grow out of this Disorder, nor proceed from the Operation of these Causes by way of Physical Necessity. For if Pain was the mere result of Matter and Motion, the whole Creation would in all likelihood be a great Sufferer, and the Elements do terrible Execution upon themselves. The Sea might be frequently troubled without a Metaphor, and a lighted Faggot, it may be, feel as much as the Martyr that was burnt at the Stake. But thắt Consciousneßand Thought are never to be fetch'd out of any Revolutions of Matter and Motion, I have
fully prov'd elsewhere, whither I refer * Moral the Reader *. But tho' Pain is not proEssays,
perly struck out of any Corporeal Scufunder A fle, nor born of the Labour of the Limbs; Thought. yet God has pleas'd to make fuch an
Alliance between the Soul and Body, that when the latter suffers any remarkable Inconvenience, the other is generally made sensible of it, and oblig'd to condole the Misfortune. If we enquire into the Moral End of this Necessity, why the Soul is forced upon fuch unacceptable Sympathy, and tied down to