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or wrestling; use no jesting, nor telling of tales or foolish stories, no talk about worldly business; but let your actions and speech be such as the day is, serious and sacred, tending to learn or instruct in the great business of your knowledge of God, and His will, and your own duty.
14. After supper, and prayers ended in my family, every one of you going to bed, kneel down upon your knees, and desire of God His pardon for what you have done amiss this day, and His blessing upon what you have heard, and His acceptance of what you have endeavoured in His service.
15. Perform all this cheerfully and uprightly, and honestly, and count it not a burden to you; for, assure yourselves, you shall find a blessing from God in so doing. And remember it is your father that tells you so, and that loves you, and will not deceive you; and (which is more than that) remember that the Eternal God hath promised, "If thou turn thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
And thus I have written to you of the observation of the Lord's-day, wherein, though I have omitted many things that might have been fit to be inserted, yet you must consider that I had but a small portion of time allowed me to write while I lay at an inn, and upon that day wherein I have performed those duties which I now enjoin you. Let the original be laid up safely for your brother R, and every of you take copies of it, that you may thereby remember the counsels of
YOUR LOVING FATHER.
October the 20th, 1662.
THE HON. ROBERT BOYLE,
THE HON. ROBERT BOYLE,
Robert, seventh son and fourteenth child of Richard Earl of Cork, was born at Lismore Castle, January 25, 1627. His sufficient patrimony, and a leisure abridged by nothing except his constitutional delicacy, were devoted to the prosecution of experimental philosophy, and to doing good to his fellow-men. He first introduced the air-pump and thermometer into Britain; and, besides conducting researches which laid the foundations of pneumatical and hydrostatical science,* he was one of the first to exemplify the Baconian methods in practice, and took a prominent part in the formation of the Royal Society. But he was no less intent on the diffusion of saving truth than on the discovery of natural facts and phenomena. It was at his suggestion, and at his charge, that Dr Pocock translated "Grotius on the Truth of the Christian Religion" into Arabic; and in the hope that it might be useful to the inhabitants of the East Indian Archipelago, he printed the Gospels in Malay. He spent seven hundred pounds distributing the Scriptures in Ireland, and printed an edition of the Erse or "Irish" Bible, for circulation in the Highlands of Scotland. He corresponded with the apostolic Eliot in America, and was a bountiful contributor to the work in which he was engaged; and, when it could alleviate poverty or promote a good undertaking, his purse was always forthcoming. Thus we find him helping Burnet to publish his "History of the Reformation;" and when, in 1659, he heard of the straits to which Dr Sanderson was reduced, he sent him fifty pounds, with a request that he would go on and publish his "Cases of Conscience." His industrious, benevolent, and eminently honourable career terminated December 30, 1691, and
*Thomson's History of Chemistry, vol. i. p. 204.
his remains are deposited in the Church of St Martin's-in-theFields.*
The works of Mr Boyle fill six quarto volumes. They are chiefly philosophical; but many of them, such as "The Christian Virtuoso," "Considerations upon the Style of the Holy Scriptures," "The High Veneration Man's Intellect owes to God," are offerings laid on the altar. Our specimen is from a little volume, with the running title, "Seraphic Love," being "Some Motives and Incentives to the Love of God, patheti cally discoursed of in a Letter to a Friend."
The Greatness of God's Goodness.
I find it hotly disputed amongst divines (not only betwixt the Socinians and the orthodox, but betwixt orthodox and orthodox), whether or no God could, without violating His justice, have devised any other course for the expiation of sin than the passion and death of Christ. But, without venturing to determine whether or no God could, to redeem us, have chosen any other way, we may safely think that He has chosen the most obliging and most endearing way; displaying, in this Divine manner of rescuing us, the severest justice and the highest mercy, the greatest hatred of sin, and the greatest love to sinners; since, by those unequalled and invaluable sufferings to which He delivered up for us that Son, who is so near unto Him, that He truly said, "I and the Father are one," He at once manifested both how much He hated sin, which He so heavily punished in the person He most loved (though that surety but adopted it to free men from the insupportable vengeance of it), and how much He loved sinners, by giving up what He so loved for a ransom of those that were guilty of what He so hated. And therefore our Saviour, though He did such great things to satisfy the unbelieving and * There is an excellent Life of Boyle by Dr Birch. London: 1744.
contumacious Jews of His being their promised Messiah, would not decline death to convince them; and, though He had not seldom done so much to make Himself the object of their faith, would not be invited from the cross, though the chief priests and scribes themselves said, at His crucifixion, “Let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe on Him." And Christ, to convince the world of their unableness to emerge and recover out of that deep abyss wherein the load of sin (which in Scripture is called a weight) had precipitated fallen man, came not into the world until well nigh four thousand years of sickness had made the disease desperate, and the cure almost hopeless: so inveterate an obstinacy at once widening the distance betwixt God and man, and proclaiming the latter's disability to find, by his own wisdom, expedients of reunion. Thus Christ healed and dispossessed a dumb person, who was able to make entreaties but by the disability of pronouncing them, and might truly say to the secure world, "I am found of them that sought me not." And when our Saviour was come into the wretched world, of all the numerous miracles recorded in the gospel, He scarce did any for His own private relief. And to shew that as He endured His sorrows for our sakes, that by His stripes we might be healed, so were the joys He tasted in relation to us, we read not (which is highly observable) in the whole gospel that ever he rejoiced but once, and that was when His returned disciples informed Him that they had victoriously chased devils and diseases out of oppressed mortals, and that, by His authority, men had been dispossessed of both the tempter and punishment of sin. He conversed among His contemporaries with virtues, as well attesting what He was, as prophecies or miracles could do; and to teach man how much He valued him above those creatures that man makes his idols, He often altered and suspended the course of nature, for man's instruction or his relief, and reversed the laws established in the universe, to engage men to obey
those of God, by doing miracles so numerous and great, that the Jews' unbelief may be almost counted one. Yet were those wonders wrought for a generation that ascribed them to the devil, and returned them with so unexemplified an ingratitude, that 'tis not the least of His wonders that He would vouchsafe to work any of them for such blasphemous wretches; who were indeed, as some of the latter Jews have too truly styled themselves, in relation to their fathers, Chometz ben ya-yin, vinegar the child of wine, a most degenerate offspring of holy progenitors. He suffered so much for them that made Him do so, that He suffered the addition of misery of being thought to suffer deservedly; and He was numbered with the transgressors. And though He lived as much a miracle as any He did, yet did His condition sometimes appear so despicable and forlorn, that men could not know His deity but by His goodness, which was too infinite not to belong incommunicably to God. And though 'twere once a saying of our Saviour's, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," yet is not what is said of the love here mentioned to be understood of love indefinitely or generally considered, but only of the single acts or expressions of a man's love to his friends compared betwixt themselves. And so the alleged passage seems to mean but this, that among the single acts of kindness to a man's friends, there is not any one more highly expressive of a real and sincere love than to part with one's life for their sakes. This text, therefore, would not be indefinitely applied to the affection of love itself, as if it could not possibly be greater than is requisite to make a man content or willing to die for his friends, for he that sacrifices, besides his life, his fortune also, his children, and his reputation, does thereby express more love to them than he could do by parting with his life only for them. And he that is forward to die for those that hate him, or, at least, know him not, discloses a more plentiful and exuberant stock of love than he that does the same kindness