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twards all so obliging that it was but the same thing to know and admire him.
His converse gave the world a singular pattern of harmless and inoffensive mirth; of a gentility, not made up of fine clothes and hypocritical courtship; a sweetness and familiarity that, at once, gained love and preserved respect, a gran. deur and nobility, safe in its own worth, nor needing to maintain itself by a jealous and morose distance,
Never did vice, in youth, find a more confirmed goodness : so impregnable was he against the temptations which gąin an easy access to those of his rank and quality, that they could neither insinuate into him by their allurements, nor force him by their importunities.
Nor did he think it enough to secure his mind from the infection of vice, unless also he secured his fame from the suspicion of it. Some, indeed, owe their innocence to their dulness and stupidity; and are only not vicious, because not witty enough to be takingly and handsomely wicked. His virtue was of choice; and the severest exercise of it mingled with such charms from his parts and ingenuity, that his very seriousness was more alluring than those light diver, tisements in others, which entice only because they please.
His apprehension was quick and piercing, his memory faithful and retentive, his fancy sprightly and active; and his judgment overruling them all, neither prejudicated by vulgar opinions nor easily cozened by varnished and plausible errors.
After all this, there can be nothing wanting to
make up a most complete and absolute person, but only industry to quicken his parts, and time to ripen both to perfection.
His industry was remarkable, in the assiduousness of his studies: where he spent not his hours in plays or romances, those follies of good wits ; but in the disquisition of solid and masculine knowledge, in which he outstripped even those who were to depend upon learning for their livelihood, and had no other revenue than what arose out of their fruitful and well cultivated brains.
And, as for that other, I mean time, to maturate these growing hopes, Providence hath denied it; by a sudden and surprising stroke cutting off his days, and thereby rendering that virtue, those parts, that industry, useless to us in anything but the example, and I should say unprofitable to him too, but only that which he never had opportunity to employ in this world, hath, I doubt not, fitted him for a better.
ARCHBISHOP TILLOTSON. As to the archbishop, he was certainly a virtuous, pious, humane, and moderate man; which last quality was a kind of rarity in those times. His notions of civil society were but confused and imperfect, as appears in the affair of Lord Russel. As to religion, he was amongst the class of latitudinarian divines. I admire his preserving his moderation in all times, more than his refusing the archbishopric at the time of his decay, and after a stroke of an apoplexy, and when he had the large revenue of the deanery of St. Paul's, and when the archiepiscopal promotion, he knew, would expose him to infinite abuse. But what I admire most was, his beneficence and generosity, and contempt of wealth. But see the imperfection of humanity. That moderation, coolness, and prudence (which you guessed right, is held in the highest admiration by the person you wot of — Tillotson is indeed his hero); this turn, I say, which made him so placable an enemy, made him but a cold or indifferent friend ; as you may see, in part, by that exceeding simple narrative of Beardmore (I use simple in the best sense), for so imperfect are we, as I say, that the human mind can with difficulty have that warmth of friendship kindled in it (which, after all, is what makes a two legged animal deserve the name of man), but the same heat will prove noxious to others. So that you see, if Tillotson was defective in this, I lay the blame not upon him, but upon corrupt humanity. As a preacher, I suppose his established fame is chiefly owing to his being the first city divine who talked rationally and wrote purely. I think the sermons published in his lifetime are fine moral discourses. They bear, indeed, the character of their author, simple, elegant, candid, clear, and rational. No orator, in the Greek and Roman sense of the word, like Taylor ; nor a discourser in their sense, like Barrow ; free from their irregularities, but not able to reach their heights. On which account I prefer them infinitely to him. You cannot sleep with Taylor ; you cannot forbear thinking with
Barrow; but you may be much at your ease in the midst of a long lecture from Tillotson; clear, and rational, and equable as he is. Perhaps the last quality may account for it.
MR. WILLIAM LAW.
A Life of devotion and celibacy was the choice of my aunt, Mrs. Hester Gibbon, who, at the age of eighty-five, still resides in a hermitage at Cliffe, in Northamptonshire; having long survived her spiritual guide and faithful companion, Mr. William Law, who, at an advanced age, about the year 1761, died in her house. In our family he had left the reputation of a worthy and pious man, who believed all that he professed, and practised all that he enjoined. The character of a nonjuror, which he maintained to the last, is a sufficient evidence of his principles in church and state; and the sacrifice of interest to conscience will always be respectable. His theological writings, whicb our domestic connexion has tempted me to peruse, preserve an imperfect sort of life, and I can pronounce with more confidence and knowledge on the merits of the author. His last compositions are darkly tinctured by the incomprehensible visions of Jacob Behmen; and his discourse on the absolute unlawfulness of stage entertainments is sometimes quoted for a ridiculous intemperance of sentiment and language :-" The actors and spectators must all be damned: the playhouse is the porch of hell, the place of the devil's abode, where he holds his filthy court of evil spirits : a play is the devil's triumph, a sacrifice performed to his glory, as much as in the heathen temples of Bacchus and Venus,” &c. &c. But these sallies of religious frenzy must not extinguish the praise which is due to Mr. William Law as a wit and a scholar. His argument on topics of less absurdity is spe. cious and acute, his manner is lively, his style forcible and clear; and, had not his vigorous mind been clouded by enthusiasm, he might be ranked with the most agreeable and ingenious writers of the times. While the Bangorian controversy was a fashionable theme, he entered the lists on the subjects of Christ's kingdom, and the authority of the priesthood : against the plain account of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, he resumed the combat with Bishop Hoadley, the object of Whig idolatry and Tory abhorrence; and at every weapon of attack and defence the nonjuror, on the ground which is common to both, approves himself at least equal to the prelate. On the appearance of the Fable of the Bees, he drew his pen against the licentious doctrine that private vices are public benefits, and morality as well as religion must join in his applause. Mr. Law's master work, the Serious Call, is still read as a popular and powerful book of devotion. His precepts are rigid, but they are founded on the gospel : his satire is sharp, but it is drawn from the knowledge of human life; and many of his portraits are not unworthy of the pen of La Bruyère. If he finds a spark of piety in his reader's mind, he will soon kindle