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the Reformers and the old Church of England worthies, as well as of the preachers in Roman Catholic countries, South's sermons were spoken. On the other hand, heedless of royal edicts to the contrary, Tillotson persisted in reading his discourses, and, notwithstanding the popular prejudice against this method, attained a success which has found for him too many imitators.
SELECTIONS FROM DR SOUTH.
Man in Paradise.
[This discourse was delivered in St Paul's on Lord Mayor's Day, the 9th of November 1662, and before the preacher was thirty years of age; and although he lived for more than half a century afterwards, he never again equalled, much less eclipsed, this wonderful effort. We agree with Basil Montagu that "the English language affords no higher specimen of its richness and its strength than is to be found in this beautiful sermon.” The text is Gen. i. 27, and in the following extracts we have sought to preserve as much continuity as is consistent with our limits. After stating that the image of God in man consisted in "that universal rectitude of all the faculties of the soul, by which they stand apt and disposed to their respective offices and operations," he goes on to take a survey of the understanding, the will, and the passions or affections.]
The UNDERSTANDING was then sublime, clear, and aspiring, and, as it were, the soul's upper region, lofty and serene, free from the vapours and disturbances of the inferior affections. It was the leading, controlling faculty; all the passions wore the colours of reason; it did not so much persuade as command; it was not consul, but dictator. Discourse was then almost as quick as intuition; it was nimble in proposing, firm in concluding; it could sooner determine than now it can dispute. Like the sun, it had both light and agility; it knew no rest but in
motion; no quiet, but in activity. It did not so properly apprehend, as irradiate the object; not so much find, as make things intelligible. It did arbitrate upon the several reports of sense, and all the varieties of imagination; not like a drowsy judge, only hearing, but also directing their verdict. In sum, it was vegete, quick, and lively; open as the day, untainted as the morning, full of the innocence and sprightliness of youth; it gave the soul a bright and a full view into all things, and was not only a window, but itself the prospect.
Adam came into the world a philosopher, which sufficiently appeared by his writing the nature of things upon their names: he could view essences in themselves, and read forms without the comment of their respective properties: he could see consequents yet dormant in their principles, and effects yet unborn and in the womb of their causes: . . . till his fall, he was ignorant of nothing but of sin; or, at least, it rested in the notion, without the smart of the experiment. Could any difficulty have been proposed, the resolution would have been as early as the proposal; it could not have had time to settle into doubt. Like a better Archimedes, the issue of all his inquiries was an Heureka, an Heureka, the offspring of his brain without the sweat of his brow. Study was not then a duty, nightwatchings were needless; the light of reason wanted not the assistance of a candle. This is the doom of fallen man, to labour in the fire, to seek truth in profundo, to exhaust his time and impair his health, and perhaps to spin out his days and himself into one pitiful, controverted conclusion. There was then no poring, no struggling with memory, no straining for invention. His faculties were quick and expedite; they answered without knocking-they were ready upon the first summons there was freedom and firmness in all their operations. I confess 'tis difficult for us, who date our ignorance from our first being, and were still bred up with the same infirmities about us with which we were born, to raise our
thoughts and imagination to those intellectual perfections that attended our nature in the time of innocence, as it is for a peasant bred up in the obscurities of a cottage to fancy in his mind the unseen splendours of a court. But by rating positives by their privatives, and other arts of reason, by which discourse supplies the want of the reports of sense, we may collect the excellency of the understanding then by the glorious remainders of it now, and guess at the stateliness of the building by the magnificence of its ruins. All those arts, rarities, and inventions, which vulgar minds gaze at, the ingenious pursue, and all admire, are but the relics of an intellect defaced with sin and time. We admire it now, only as antiquarians do a piece of old coin-for the stamp it once bore, and not for those vanishing lineaments and disappearing draughts that remain upon it at present. And certainly, that must needs have been very glorious, the decays of which are so admirable. He that is comely when old and decrepid, surely was very beautiful when he was young. An Aristotle was but the rubbish of an Adam, and Athens but the rudiments of Paradise. 2. The WILL was then ductile, and pliant to all the motions of right reason; it met the dictates of a clarified understanding half way. And the active informations of the intellect, filling the passive reception of the will, like form closing with matter, grew actuate into a third and distinct perfection of practice. The understanding and will never disagreed, for the proposals of the one never thwarted the inclinations of the other. Yet neither did the will servilely attend upon the understanding, but as a favourite does upon his prince, where the service is privilege and preferment; or, as Solomon's servants waited upon him, it admired its wisdom, and heard its prudent dictates and counsels, both the direction and the reward of its obedience. It is, indeed, the nature of this faculty to follow a superior guide to be drawn by the intellect; but then it was drawn as a triumphant chariot, which at the same time both follows
and triumphs: while it obeyed this, it commanded the other faculties. It was subordinate, not enslaved, to the understanding; not as a servant to a master, but as a queen to her king— who both acknowledges a subjection, and yet retains a majesty. 3. Pass we now downward from man's intellect and will to the passions.
And first, for the grand leading affection of all, which is LOVE. This is the great instrument and engine of nature, the bond and cement of society, the spring and spirit of the universe. Love is such an affection, as cannot so properly be said to be in the soul, as the soul to be in that. It is the whole man wrapt up into one desire, all the powers, vigour, and faculties of the soul abridged into one inclination. And it is of that active, restless nature, that it must of necessity exert itself; and, like the fire, to which it is so often compared, it is not a free agent, to choose whether it will heat or no, but it streams forth by natural results, and unavoidable emanations, so that it will fasten upon an inferior, unsuitable object, rather than none at all. The soul may sooner leave off to subsist, than to love; and like the vine, it withers and dies, if it has nothing to embrace. Now this affection in the state of innocence was happily pitched upon its right object; it flamed up in direct fervours of devotion to God, and in collateral emissions of charity to its neighbour. It was not then only another and more cleanly name for lust. It had none of those impure heats, that both represent and deserve hell. It was a vestal and a virgin fire, and differed as much from that which usually passes by this name now-a-days, as the vital heat from the burning of a fever. Joy-It was not that, which now often usurps this name; that trivial, vanishing, superficial thing, that only gilds the apprehension, and plays upon the surface of the soul. It was not the mere crackling of thorns, a sudden blaze of the spirits, the exultation of a tickled fancy, or a pleased appetite. Joy was then a masculine and a severe thing: the recreation
HEALTH OF SOUL.
of the judgment, the jubilee of reason.
It was the result of
a real good suitably applied. It commenced upon the solidities of truth, and the substance of fruition. It did not run out in voice, or indecent eruptions, but filled the soul, as God does the universe, silently and without noise. It was refreshing, but composed; like the pleasantness of youth tempered with the gravity of age; or the mirth of a festival managed with the silence of contemplation. Now, from this so exact and regular composure of the faculties, all moving in their due place, each striking in its proper time, there arose, by natural consequence, the crowning perfection of all, A GOOD CONSCIENCE. For, as in the body, when the principal parts, as the heart and liver, do their offices, and all the inferior, smaller vessels act orderly and duly, there arises a sweet enjoyment upon the whole, which we call health; so in the soul, when the supreme faculties of the will and understanding move regularly, the inferior passions and affections following, there arises a serenity and complacency upon the soul, infinitely beyond the greatest bodily pleasures, the highest quintessence and elixir of worldly delights. There is in this case a kind of fragrance and spiritual perfume upon the conscience; much like what Isaac spoke of his son's garments, "That the scent of them was like the smell of a field which the Lord had blessed." Such a freshness and flavour is there upon the soul, when daily watered with the actions of a virtuous life. Whatsoever is pure, is also pleasant.
Having thus surveyed the image of God in the soul of man, we are not to omit now those characters of majesty that God imprinted upon the body. He drew some traces of His image upon this also; as much as a spiritual substance could be pictured upon a corporeal. As for the sect of the Anthropomorphites, who from hence ascribe to God the figure of a man, eyes, hands, feet, and the like, they are too ridiculous to deserve a confutation. They would seem to draw this impiety from the letter of the Scripture sometimes speaking of God in this