Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

which they had received in the beginning; those therefore were carried in to the king, who, when he had read them, said, “Where are the men ?" To whom it was answered, “They are standing without the gate.” The king then commanded to open the gate, “ That the righteous nation," said he, “that keepeth truth, may enter in.”

Now, I saw, in my dream, that these two men went in at the gate; and lo, as they entered, they were transfigured, and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There were also that met them with harps and crowns, and gave to them the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honor. Then I heard, in my dream, that all the bells in the city rang again for joy, and that it was said unto them, “Enter ye into the joy of your Lord.” I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, “ Blessing, honor, and glory, and power, be to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever.”

Now, just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked'in after them, and behold the city shone like the sun; the streets, also, were paved with gold, and in them walked many men with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps, to sing praises withal.

· There were also of them that had wings; and they answered one another without intermission, saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.” And after that they shut up the gates; which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them.

Dr. ISAAC BARROW. 1630--1677. It is by his theological works that Dr. Barrow is most known to the public, though as a mathematician he is considered second only to Sir Isaac Newton. He was, for a time, professor of mathematics in Cambridge University, but was afterwards appointed one of the royal chaplains. He was complimented by the king as being “one of the best scholars in England." His sermons are still held in high estimation. He was remarkable for disregard of personal appearance, and on one occasion, it is said," when he preached before a London audience who did not know him, his appearance, on mounting the pulpit, made so unfavorable an impression, that nearly the whole congregation left the church."

CONCORD AND DISCORD. How good and pleasant a thing it is, as David saith, for brethren—and so we are all, at least by nature - to live together in unity! How that, as Solomon saith, better is a dry morsel and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices, with strife. How delicious that conversation is which is accompanied with mutual confidence, freedom, courtesy, and complaisance; how calm the mind, how composed the affections, how serene the countenance, how melodious the voice, how sweet the sleep, how contentful the whole life is, of him that neither deviseth mischief against others, nor suspects any to be contrived against himself! And, contrariwise, how ungrateful and loathsome a thing it is, to abide in a state of enmity, wrath, dissension ; having the thoughts distracted with solicitous care, anxious suspicion, envious regret; the heart boiling with choler, the face ever clouded with discontent, the tongue jarring and out of tune, the ears filled with discordant noises of contradiction, clamor and reproach — the whole frame of body and soul distempered and disturbed with the worst of passions! How much more comfortable it is to walk in smooth and even paths, than to wander in rugged ways, overgrown with briars, obstructed with rubs, and beset with snares; to sail steadily, in a quiet, than to be tossed in a tempestuous sea; to behold the lovely face of heaven, smiling with a cheerful serenity, than to see it frowning with clouds or raging with storms; to hear harmonious concerts, than dissonant janglings; to see objects correspondent in graceful symmetry, than lying disorderly in confused heaps; to be in health, and have the natural humors consent in moderate temper, than — as it happens in diseases — agitated with tumultuous commotions! How all senses and faculties of man unanimously rejoice in those emblems of peace, order, harmony and proportion! Yea, how nature universally delights in a quiet stability or undisturbed progress of motion ; the beauty, strength and vigor, of everything requires a concurrence of force, coöperation and contribution of help; all things thrive and flourish, by communicating reciprocal aid; and the world subsists by a friendly conspiracy of its parts; and especially that political society of men chiefly aims at peace as its end, depends on it as its cause, relies on it for its support! How much a peaceful state resembles heaven, into which neither complaint, pain nor clamor, do ever enter, but blessed souls converse together in perfect love, and in perpetual concord; and how a condition of enmity represents the state of hell, that black and dismal region of dark hatred, fiery wrath, and horrible tumult! How like a paradise the world would be, flourishing in joy and rest, if men would cheerfully conspire in affection, and helpfully contribute to each other's content; and how like a savage wilderness now it is, when, like wild beasts, they vex and persecute, worry and devour, each other! How not only philosophy hath placed the supreme pitch of happiness in a calmness of mind and tranquillity of life, void of care and trouble, of irregular passions and perturbations; but that Holy Scripture itself, in that one term of peace, most usually comprehends all joy and content, all felicity and prosperity, so that the heavenly consort of angels, when they agree most highly to bless, and to wish the greatest happiness to mankind, could not better express their sense than by saying "Be on earth peace, and good will among men.”

John TILLOTSON, 1630-1694. Tillotson was educated in the puritanic faith, but embraced the principles of the Church of England, of which he became a distinguished preacher, and finally Archbishop of Canterbury. He was a moderate churchman, and did a great deal in favor of the non-conformists. Ilis wife was a niece of Oliver Cromwell. The only endowment he left her, at his death, was his sermons, which, on account of his great celeb, rity, sold for two thousand five hundred guineas. They are held in great estimation at the present time.

ADVANTAGES OF TRUTH AND SINCERITY. Truth and reality have all the advantages of appearance, and many more. If the show of anything be good for anything, I am sure sincerity is better; for why does any man dissemble, or seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have such a quality as he pretends to?— for to counterfeit and dissemble is to put on the appearance of some real excellency. Now, the best way in the world for a man to seem to be anything, is really to be what we would seem to be. Besides that, it is many times as troublesome to make good the pretence of a good quality as to have it; and if a man have it not, it is ten to one that he is discovered to want it, and then all his pains and labor, to seem to have it, are lost. There is something unnatural in painting, which a skilful eye will easily discern from native beauty, and complexion.

It is hard to personate and act a part long; for when truth is not at the bottom, nature will always be endeavoring to return, and will peep out and betray herself, one time or another. Therefore, if any man think it convenient to seem good, let him be so indeed, and then his goodness will appear to everybody's satisfaction; so that, upon all accounts, sincerity is true wisdom. Particularly, as to the affairs of this world, integrity hath many advantages over all the fine and artificial ways of dissimulation and deceit; it is much the plainer and easier, much the safer and more secure way, of dealing in the world; it has less of trouble and difficulty, of entanglement and perplexity, of danger and hazard, in it; it is the shortest and nearest way to our end, carrying us thither in a straight line, and will hold out and last longest. The arts of deceit and cunning do continually grow weaker, and less effectual and serviceable to them that use them; whereas integrity gains strength by use; and the more and longer any man practiseth it, the greater service it does him, by confirming his reputation, and encouraging those with whom he hath to do to repose the greatest trust and confidence in him, which is an unspeakable advantage, in the business and affairs of life.

Truth is always consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, and sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware ; whereas a lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention upon the rack, and one trick needs a great many more to make it good. It is like building upon a false foundation, which continually stands in need of props to shove it up, and proves at last more chargeable than to have raised a substantial building at first, upon a true and solid foundation; for sincerity is firm and substantial, and there is

nothing hollow or unsound in it, and because it is plain and open, fears no discovery, of which the crafty man is always in danger; and when he thinks he walks in the dark, all his pretences are so transparent, that he that runs may read them. He is the last man that finds himself to be found out; and whilst he takes it for granted that he makes fools of others, he renders himself ridiculous.

John LOCKE. 1632 – 1704. Locke is most celebrated as the author of An Essay concerning Human Understanding, of which it has been said, by a distinguished writer, “ Few books have contributed more to rectify prejudice, to undermine established errors, to diffuse a just mode of thinking, to excite a fearless spirit of inquiry, and yet to contain it within the boundaries which nature has prescribed to the human understanding."

He also wrote upon Civil Government, Education, Reasonableness of Christianity, &c. His health was always feeble ; he never married, but found a home at different times with the Earl of Shaftesbury, and with Sir Francis Masham.

FROM THE PREFACE TO THE ESSAY ON THE HUMAN

UNDERSTANDING. Were it fit to trouble thee with the history of this essay, I should tell thee that five or six friends, meeting at my chamber, and discoursing on a subject very remote from this, found themselves quickly at a stand by the difficulties that arose on every side. After we had a while puzzled ourselves, without coining any nearer a resolution of those doubts which perplexed us, it came into my thoughts, that we took a wrong course, and that, before we set ourselves upon inquiries of that nature, it was necessary to examine our own abilities, and see what objects our understandings were, or were not, fitted to deal with. This I proposed to the company, who all readily assented; and thereupon it was agreed, that this should be our first inquiry. Some hasty and undigested thoughts, on a subject I had never before considered, which I set down against our next meeting, gave the first entrance into this discourse; which, having been thus begun by chance, was continued by entreaty, written by incoherent parcels, and, after long intervals of neglect, resumed again, as my humor or

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »