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Holy Spirit, by which he preached to those souls who were saved in the Flood, though formerly disobedient, namely, eight persons. In the twenty-fifth sermon a new interpretation is given to Deut. xxxiii. 'v. 245, by which the passage is made a prophecy of Christ's coming; and the same is done to a passage in the book of Genesis.
June 26 and 27. Read, in Usher's edition, the Epistle of Polycarp.
28. Began the Epistles of Ignatius.
29. Read to the end of the Epistles of Ignatius, i. e. to the end of his Epistle to the Smyrnæans.
30 to July 6. Read Captain Pasley's Military Policy, &c., and part of the first volume of Horsley's Sermons. The bishop, in one of these sermons, would, I think, by his interpretation spoil the poetry of a passage in the Psalms, see p. 99. On a verse in Peter's second Epistle, (ch. iii., 16), he remarks, “although St. Peter speaks of things in it (the Bible) hard to be understood, he speaks of such things only as could never have been understood at all, had they not been revealed, and, being revealed, are yet not capable of proof or explanation upon scientific principles, but rest solely on the authority of the revelation; not that the terms in which these discoveries are made are obscure and ambiguous in their meaning, or that the things themselves, however hard for the pride of philosophy, are not of easy digestion to an humble faith.”—p. 138. Levitical rites," he says
were nothing less than
the Gospel itself in hieroglyphics, and, rightly understood, they afford the most complete demonstration of the coherence of revelation with itself, in all its different stages, and the best evidence of its truth,” &c.—p. 150. “ Men are apt, upon all occasions, to run into extremes; and it has been too much the practice of preachers, in these later ages,
in their zeal to commend what every one will indeed the more admire the more he understands it; to heighten the encomium of the Christian system, by depreciating not only the lessons of the heathen moralists, but the moral part of the Mosaic institution. They consider not that the peculiar excellence of the Christian system lies much more in doctrine than in precept.”-p. 262.
Matth. xvi. 28, he explains to refer to Judas, and by a new interpretation explains "shall not taste of death” to signify “shall not be condemned eternally.” Sermon xii. "If on any ground it were safe to indulge a hope that the suffering of the wicked may have an end, it would be upon the principle adopted by the great Origen, and by other eminent examples of learning and piety which our own times have seen,—that the actual endurance of punishment in the next life will produce effects to which the apprehension of it in this had been insufficient, and end, after a long course of ages, in the reformation of the worst characters.
But the principle that this effect is possible—that the heart may be reclaimed by force—is at best precarious; and
the only safe principle of human conduct is the belief, that unrepented sin will suffer endless punishment hereafter.”-p. 302.
July 7 and 8. Finished Horsley's Sermons. These sermons chiefly turn upon the explanation of doubtful texts of Scripture. But except in the instance of two prophecies applied to our Saviour, and of Matt. xvi. 28, I do not observe any interpretation but what may be found in Poli Synopsis. The hypotheses, raised by the Bishop, appear sometimes very fanciful. But they display generally great acuteness, and are maintained in a style of stately and nervous eloquence, Began the invectives of Gregory Nazianzen against Julian.
9 to 24. Finished the invectives of Gregory; very eloquent but somewhat unchristian. Began the third volume of Tho. Sherlock's Discourses.
24 to 31. Finished the third volume of Sherlock's Discourses. The sixth on Charity, the twelfth on “the Wisdom that is from above," and the fourteenth on "men loving darkness rather than light,” have pleased me the most.
August 11. Finished the second volume of Sherlock's Discourses.
11 to 22. Read William Sherlock on Death. Carr's Travels in Spain. Continued Madame du Deffand's Letters to Horace Walpole; and began Hephæstion in Gaisford's edition.
31. From Madame du Deffand's letters :-“ Ce que je ne concevrai jamais c'est la façon dont les
Anglois s'aiment, en ne se voyant point, en ne se donnant point de leurs nouvelles ; il faut qu'ils aient quelques genies qui leur viennent communiquer leur pensées, leurs sentimens, et leur epargnent la peine de se parler et de s'écrire.”—Vol. iii., p. 164.
September 4. Finished the fourth volume of the above letters to Walpole and Voltaire.
14. Finished the Hephæstion, and the extracts from Longinus, the philosopher, Aristides Quintilianus, and Proclus, added to it.
17. Finished the eight volumes of Mitford's History of Greece, which are all that he has yet published, and come down to the death of Philip of Macedon.
18. Finished Madame Genlis's Femmes Françaises in two volumes, lately published.
27. Began Andronicus Rhodius. Oct. 8. Finished the Sonetti e Commedie of Alfieri.
29. Finished the fifth volume of Frugoni, Parma, edit. 1789. Read Trotter's Memoirs of C. J. Fox, just published, with a few invaluable letters of that great man, chiefly on critical subjects.
November 10. Read the Epinomis of Plato. I do not find in this obscure dialogue a passage on the Trinity, which I had been taught to expect in it, for the sake of which I have read it again. Perhaps Moses is meant by ο πρώτος ταύτα κατιδών βάρβαρος úv, k. T. 1.* Vol. ix., p. 264, ed. Bip.-Tiedemann's exposition at the end of this edition is very jejune and unsatisfactory.
* “ He who first saw these things was a barbarian.”
To December 9. In Gillies' History of the World, from Alexander to Augustus, which I read, I meet with a remarkable passage at the conclusion of the 27th chap., vol. ii., p. 692, 4to edit., occasioned by a passage in Cicero's Oration for Flaccus, c. 28, respecting the Jewish religion.
Began the Animali Parlanti, poema epico, in twenty-seven cantos, by Giambatista Casti, and read the first two cantos, but, though written in á spirited and droll manner, it does not interest me enough to carry me farther.
To Dec. 31. Read le Prose di Agnolo Firenzuola, in the edition of 1552, except some of the tales which are very indecent. There is a curious passage on the perfection of the number six. A perfect number is that “le parti aliquote del quale accozzati insieme rilevano detto numero.”—Ragionamenti, p. 139. The next number which has this perfection is twenty-eight.
Finished Gillies' History of the World, from Alexander to Augustus. He is not as scrupulous in his attention to the authority of the different writers from whom he takes his facts, as Mitford. His style is more flowing, but more vulgar also, than that writer's.-Read the second volume of the Novelle Scelte, a selection judiciously made from the Decameron of Boccacio.