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from any attacks upon the established religion. He ap plied himself chiefly to preaching and to practical writing, in which refpect he became one of the most famous divines of his time. Though he was fummoned once or twice before the High Commiffion-Court, the moderation of his temper, and his reputation in the literary world, procured him a difpenfation from the perfecution to which his brethren were expofed. Being a ftrict follower of Calvin, he published feveral treatifes in favour of the doctrines of that reformer, which involved him in a controverfy with the celebrated Arminius. Such was his diligence, that, though he died at the age of only fortyfour years, his works comprehended three volumes in folio. If we are not mifinformed, the writings of Mr. Perkins are still held in great efteem, and continue to be much read, among the Calvinistic Diffenters.

With regard to the Scottish Divines of this period, we fhall only mention John Knox, the luftre of whose name has obfcured the reputation of those who were his fellow-labourers in the caufe of the Reformation. Such perfons as entirely approve of the religious eftablishment of Scotland, which was almoft wholly the refult of his zeal and activity, muft entertain the highest refpect for his memory. He was undoubtedly a man of diftinguished abilities, and he had a rough and bold eloquence, which was admirably calculated to produce all its effect among the people to whom it was ad dreffed. In learning he ftood upon a level with some of the most celebrated of his contemporaries; but it is impoffible to fpeak with approbation of his fpirit and temper. There was a harfhnefs and coarseness in his manners, that, in this age at leaft, must appear exceedingly difgufting. Nevertheless, when every deduc tion is made from his merit, it must be acknowledged, that his talents were fitted in an extraordinary degree for the execution of the bufinefs in which he was engaged. The praife of fincerity and piety cannot be denied him, whilst it is to be regretted that thefe virtues were accom

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panied with fo narrow and bigoted a turn of mind. In the time of John Knox, the having fuffered perfecution did not hinder men from exercifing perfecution, when it was in their power.


Amidst the endlefs theological productions of the age, ethics, as a diftinct fcience, was very imperfectly cultivatEthical writing was not, however, totally neglected. In Edward the Sixth's reign, William Baldwyn, one of the poets of that reign, publifhed a work, which he intitled,

A Treatife of Moral Philofophy, containing the Sayings of the Wife." This work, in the time of queen Elizabeth, was greatly enlarged, and became fo popular a book, that it went through feveral editions. We are not to fuppofe that it contained any depth of enquiry with regard to ethical fubjects; for it was only a collection of maxims and obfervations, taken from various authors, ancient and modern. Another production of a fimilar nature, but which did not attain to an equal degree of popularity, was called the "Book of Wifdom." "An Oration on the true Tranquility of the Mind" was published by one Bernard, of which we can only fay, that it has not, like the Difcourfe of Volufenus on the fame fubject (formerly mentioned), acquired the notice of posterity.

The principal efforts of moral writing during this period confifted in tranflations from fome of the beft ancient philofophers. Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, Seneca upon Benefits, Cicero's Offices, his Tufculant Questions, his Old Age, his Friendship, his Paradoxes, and his Dream of Scipio, were the works that were tranflated; and fuch works could not be given in the English language, without promoting, in a certain degree, the ethical knowledge of our contrymen. Nevertheless, original productions of this kind were almoft totally unknown amongst us, till at length, towards the clofe of the queen's reign, the public received a high gratification from the appearance of the First Part of Francis Bacon's Effays; concerning which we need not fay, that they opened a rich treasury

treasury of moral obfervation, and that they were worthy of the great and comprehenfive mind from which they proceeded. The name of Effays was then new to the world, and perhaps had been derived from Montaigne. Thus did Bacon introduce into England a fpecies of writing which hath fince been largely cultivated, which hath produced a vaft number of beautiful compofitions, which conftitutes a fine part of modern literature, and the history of which, and of its effects on the understanding and manners of men, will hereafter afford matter of useful and entertaining difcuffion.

Burnet, Hume, Neal, Biographia Britannica, Historical Dictionary, Berkenhout, Herbert, &c. &c.




For the Year 1789.




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