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judge of doctrines, of which God had declared the fact, concealing from man the manner. He contended, that he who, upon the whole, receives the Christian religion as of divine inspiration, must be contented to depend upon God's truth, and his holy word, and receive with humble faith the mysteries which are too high for comprehension. Above all, Swift points out, with his usual forcible precision, the mischievous tendency of those investigations which, while they assail one fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, shake and endanger the whole fabric, destroy the settled faith of thousands, pervert and mislead the genius of the learned and acute, destroy and confound the religious principles of the simple and ignorant.
It cannot be denied, that Swift's political propensities break forth more keenly in many of these discourses, than, perhaps, suited the sacred place where they were originally delivered. The sermons on the Martyrdom of Charles, on the Condition of Ireland, and on Doing Good, approach too nearly to the character of political essays. In those on Brotherly Love, on False Witness, and some others, traces of the same party violence are to be found. The Dean's peculiar strain of humour sometimes too displays itself without rigid attention to decorum, of which the singular sermon on Sleeping in Church is a curious instance.
But, on the whole, the admirers of Swift may claim for his sermons a liberal share of the approbation due to his other productions. Twelve only have been recovered by the industry of Mr Nichols, and preceding editors.
The following Form of Prayer, which Dr Swift constantly used in the pulpit before his sermon, is copied from his own hand-writing:
“ Almighty and most merciful God! forgive us all our sins. Give us grace heartily to repent them, and to lead new lives. Graft in our hearts à true love and veneration for thy holy name and word. Make thy pastors burning and shining lights, able to convince gainsayers, and to save others and themselves. Bless this congregation here met together in thy name; grant them to hear and receive thy holy word, to the salvation of their own souls. Lastly, we desire to return thee praise and thanksgiving for all thy mercies bestowed upon us; but chiefly for the Fountain of them all, Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name and words we further call upon thee, saying, • Our Father,' &c.”
DIFFICULTY OF KNOWING ONE'S-SELF.*
2 KINOS, VIII. PART OF THE 13TH VERSE.
And Hazael said, But what! is thy servant a dog,
that he should do this great thing? We have a very singular instance of the deceitfulness of the heart, represented to us in the per
*.“ When I first gave this sermon to be published, I had some doubts whether it were genuine; for, though I found it in the same parcel with three others in the Dean's own hand, and there was a great similitude in the writing, yet, as some of the letters were differently cut, and the hand in general much fairer than his, I
gave it to the world as dubious. But as some manuscripts of his early poems have since fallen into my hands, transcribed by Stella, I found, upon comparing them, that the writing was exactly the same with that of the sermon; which was therefore copied by her. Swift, in his Journal to that lady, takes notice that he had been her writing master, and that there was such a strong resemblance between their hands, as gave occasion to some of his friends to rally him, upon seeing some of her letters addressed to him at the bar of the coffee-house, by asking him, how long he had taken up the custom of writing letters to himself? So that I can now fairly give it to the public as one of his, and not at all unworthy of the author," H.