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17. For what difference is there between him who now labours and toils for that knowledge, which in a little time he shall be easily and fully possessed of, and him that dearly buys an estate, which would other wise come to him after a short interval? Only this; That he who buys the estate, though he might have spared his money, however gets what he laid it out for. His expence indeed was needless, but not in vain. Whereas he that drudges in the pursuit of knowledge, not only toils for that which in a short time he shall have, and in abundance, but which after all he cannot compass, and so undergoes a vain as well as needless labour.

18. Again, What difference is there between him, who when he is upon business of life and death, shall alight from his horse, and stand to hear a nightingale sing, and him who having an eternity of happiness to secure, and only this point of time to do it in, shall yet turn virtuoso, and set up for learning and curiosity? It is true the nightingale sings well, and it were worth while to stand still and hear her, were I disengaged from more concerning affairs; but not when I am upon life and death. And so knowledge is an excellent thing, and would deserve my study and time, had I any to spare; but not when I have so great an interest as that of my final state depending upon the good use of it. My business now is not to be learned, but to be good.

19. For is my life so long, am I so overstocked with time, or is my depending interest so little, or so easily secured, that I can find leisure for unnecessary curiosities? Is this conduct agreeable to the present posture of man, whose entrance into this world, and whose whole stay in it is purely in order to another state? Or would any one imagine this to be the condition of man by such a conduct? Shall a prisoner, who has but a few days allowed him to make a preparation för his trial, spend that little oppor

tunity in cutting and carving, and such like mechanical contrivances? Or would any one imagine such a man to be in such a condition, near a doubtful trial of life and death, whom coming into a prison he should find so employed? and yet is there any thing more absurd in this, than to have a man, who has so great a concern upon his hands, as the preparing for eternity, all busy and taken up with quadrants and telescopes, furnaces, syphons and air-pumps?

20. When we would expose any signal impertinence, we commonly illustrate it by the example of Archimedes; who was busy in making mathematical figures on the sands of Syracuse, while the city was stormed by Marcellus, and so, though particular orders were given for his safety, lost his life by his unseasonable study. Now, I confess there was absurdity enough in this instance, to consign it over to posterity: But had Archimedes been a Christian, I should have said, that the main of his impertinence did not lie here, in being mathematically employed when the enemy was taking the city, but in laying out his thoughts and time in so unconcerning a study, while he had no less a concern upon him, than the securing his eternal interest, which must be done now or never. Nothing certainly is an impertinence if this be not, to hunt after knowledge in such a juncture as this!

21. Many other proceedings in the conduct of life, are condemned of vanity and impertinence, though not half so inconsistent with the character of man, nor so disagreeable to his present posture. The pens of moral writers have been all along employed against them who spent their short and uncertain lives, which ought to be spent in pursuing an infinitely higher interest, in gaping up and down after honour and preferments, in long and frequent attendances at court, in raising families, in getting estates, and the like. These are con

demned, not only for their particular viciousness, as crimes of ambition and covetousness, but for what they have all in common, as they are misspendings of time, and unconcerning employments.

22. Now I would fain know, Whether any of these be more expensive of our time, more remote from the main business of life, and consequently more impertinent, than to be busily employed in the niceties and curiosities of learning? And whether a man that loiters away six weeks in court-attendances, be not every whit as accountably employed, as he that spends the same time in solving a mathematical question, as Mr. DesCartes in one of his epistles confesses himself to have done? Why should the prosecution of learning be the only thing excepted from the vanities and impertinences of life?

23. And yet so it is. All other unconcerning employments are cried down merely for being so, as not consistent with the present state of man, with the character he now bears. This alone is not content with the reputation of innocence, but stands for positive merit and excellence. To say a man is a lover of knowledge, and a diligent enquirer after truth, is thought, almost as great an encomium as you can give him; and the time spent in the study, though in the search of the most impertinent truth, is reckoned almost as laudably employed as that in the chapel. It is learning only that is allowed (so inconsistent with itself is human judgment) not only to divide but to devour the greatest part of our short life; and is the only thing that with credit and public allowance stands in competition with the study of virtue: nay, by the most is preferred before it, who had rather be accounted learned than pious.

24. But is not this a strange competition! We confess that knowledge is a glorious excellence. Yet rectitude of will is a far greater excellence than brightness of understanding:

and to be good, is a more glorious perfection than to be wise and knowing, this being if not the only, certainly the principal difference between an angel and a devil. "It is far better," to to use the expression of Mr. Poiret, "like an infant without much reasoning, to love much, than like the devil, to reason much without love.

25. But suppose knowledge were a more glorious excellence than it is; suppose it were a greater perfection than virtue; yet still this competition would be utterly against reason; since we cannot have the former now in any measure, and shall have it hereafter without measure: But the latter we may have now (for we may love much, though we cannot know much) and cannot have it hereafter. Now the question is, whether we ought to be more solicitous for that intellectual perfection, which we cannot have here and shall have hereafter; or that moral perfection, which we may have here, and cannot have hereafter? And I think we need not consult an oracle, or conjure up a spirit to be resolved.

26. This consideration alone is sufficient to justify the measure we have prescribed for our intellectual conduct, that we ought to prosecute knowledge no farther than as it conduces to virtue and consequently, that whenever we study to any other purpose, or in any other degree than this, we are unaccountably, impertinently, I may add, sinfully employed. For this is the whole of man, fear God and keep his commandments,' the whole of man in this station particularly, and consequently this ought to be the scope of all his studies and endeavours.

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27. And accordingly it is observable, that the Scripture, whether it makes mention of wisdom, with any mark of commendation, always means by it either religion itself, or such knowledge as has a direct influence upon it. Remarkable to this purpose is the 28th chapter of Job; where

having run through several instances of natural knowledge, he adds,' But where shall wisdom be found, and where is the place of understanding?' As much as to say, That in none of the other things mentioned, did consist the wisdom of man. Then it follows, Man knoweth not the price thereof, neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me, and the sea saith, It is not in me.' Not in the depths of learning, nor in the recesses of speculation, • Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living. Destruction and death say we have heard of the fame thereof with our ears' as much as to say, that after this life, and then only, unless perhaps about the hour of death, men begin to have a true sense and lively relish of this wisdom. But in the mean time, God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.' And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord that is wisdom, and to depart from evil, that is understanding!' To man he said had it been to another creature, suppose an angel, in a state of security and confirmation, he would perhaps have recommended for wisdom the study of nature, and the arcana of philosophy. But having to do with man, a probationary unfixed creature, that shall be either happy or miserable eternally, according as he demeans himself in this short time of trial, the only wisdom he advises to such a creature in such a station, is to study religion and a good life.

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28. From anthority let us descend to example: and two I would particularly recommend, of men both eminently wise and learned; I mean Moses and St. Paul. The latter professedly declares,' I determine to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified. And the former complaining of the gross ignorance of his people, breaks out into this passionate wish, O that they were wise! that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!'

29. Moses had been bred a scholar as well as a courtier, and was well instructed in all the secrets of philosophy. And besides the advantages of Pharaoh's court, he had God himself for his tutor; he had conversed personally with his Maker, and therefore must needs be supposed to know what was true wisdom. But he does not make it consist in courtly education, or the mysteries of philosophy; but in considering our latter end. He wishes that his people were wise; and to this end he does not wish, that they were as well-bred, or as learned as himself, but only that they understood this, this one thing, that they would consider their latter end. This he makes the summary and abstract of all wisdom. Not unlike Plato, who defines philosophy, "the theory of death."

30. And here, if a short digression may be dispensed with, I would observe, how much Plato is in the right, and what an excellent part of wisdom it is, to consider death seriously. To make this distinctly appear, I shall shew first, that the consideration of death is the most proper exercise for a wise man; and secondly, that it is the most compendious way of making him wise that is not so.

31. First, it is the most proper exercise for a wise man. Wisdom consists in a due estimation of things; which then are duly estimated, when they are rated, both as they are in themselves, and as they are in relation to us. If they are great and extraordinary in themselves, they deserve to be considered for their own sakes; if they nearly relate to us, they deserve to be considered for ours. And on both these accounts, death and its consequences are highly deserving a wise man's thoughts.

32. For, first, They are in themselves great and extraordinary transactions, and as such, deserve the attentive consideration, even of a stander by, of any other indifferent Being, suppose an angel; even though he were no otherwise concerned in

it, than as it is a great event, a noble and wonderful scene of Providence. On this single account, death is as fit a subject for the contemplation of a wise man, as any in nature.

33. Or if there be within the sphere of nature, things of a greater appearance, yet there is none wherein man is so nearly concerned. Since on this depends his eternal happiness or ruin. Nothing deserves so much to be considered by him. Whether therefore we regard the greatness of the thing in itself, or its greatness with respect to us, the consideration

of death is as proper an exercise as a wise man can be employed in.

34. And as it is so fit an employment for him that is wise already, so, secondly, it is the most compendious way of making him wise that is not SO. For all wisdom is in order to happiness; and to be truly wise, is to be wise unto salvation. Whatever knowledge contributes not to this, is quite beside the mark. It is, as the apostle calls it, Science falsely so called.' The knowledge itself is vain, and the study of it impertinent.

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The Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace.

FROM causes which are not likely to occur again, the names of some of the Subscribers to the above Society have been omitted in their Annual Report for 1820. The Committee adopt this method of supplying the names that should have appeared in that Report, and they hope that in future there will be no occasion for complaints of this nature. They also take this opportunity to request that the Correspondents for different parts of the kingdom will, when they send up their subscriptions, accompany them, if possible, with a list of the Subscribers' names, or send such list as soon after as they conve niently can.

GUERNSEY.

James Agnew, Esq. Capt. Guernsey Militia; Mr. D. Bredthafft; Miss Breton; Rev. Mr. Filleul, Rector of the Parish of St. Brelade, Jersey; A Friend, by Rev. F. Perrot, Jersey; Two Friends; Rev. Mr. Hayes, Minister of the Church of England; Mrs. William Jones; Mr. Edward Thomas Le Cocq; Lieut. Le Messurier, R.N.; Mr. Dennis Le Pelley; Mr. Mauger, Surgeon; Mr. N. Moullin, Ponchez; Rev. Edward Mourant, Rector of the Forest and Torteval Parishes, Guernsey; Mr. F. Ollivier; Mr. John Ozanne; Captain Schmidt; Mrs. Seaman; Rebt. Walters, Esq.; W. H.- -Mr. Nath. Cosins should have been entered as Correspondent.

HULL.

Mr. Benjamin Barron; Mr. John Jackson, Beverley; Mr. Joseph Smith; Mr. Joseph Foster; Mrs. Elizabeth Storr.

LEWES, SUSSEX.

Correspondent, Mr. Frederiek Marten.

Mr. William Boys; Mrs. Susannah Crittenden; Mr. William Marten; Mr. John Marten; Mr. Frederick Marten; Mr. John Rickman; Mrs. Ann Saxby.

POETRY.

ODE ON PEACE.

[Written at the Time of its Proclamation.]
WEARY of War's destructive rage,
And sick'ning o'er the bloody strife
That marks a cruel, guilty age,
And long shall stain th' historic page,
Humanity indignant turns,

And Piety in ashes mourns

The barb'rous waste of human life.
O ye! who thrive on mortal gore,
Go, follow in the victor's train;
The purple field of death explore,

And feast upon the thousands slain.
Go, hear the limbless suff'rers' moan,
The shriek of pain, the dying groan;

While black Revenge breathes out its savage yell
To tunes of martial joy, and blasphemies of hell.
Go, trace the track of armies through the plains
Where cheerful Labour smil'd, with plenty crown'd;

No harvest ripens, and no herd remains,

But one wide wreck of ruin spreads around,
And lust and plunder mark their dreadful way,
With fearful pomp deriding wild dismay.
While Pity views with streaming eye,
Where cities proud in ashes lie,
And crowds in vain for refuge fly,
And widows raise their mournful cry,
And famish'd age and infants die ;
Ambition mocks their misery,

And triumphs o'er his prey.

Ah! where is now the God of love?

The genius of the Gospel where?
In vain his laws their crimes reprove,
In vain his cross their banners bear.
Religion flies the cruel race,

Who murder in her peaceful name;
Infuriate demons seize her place,

And in her mask secure their aim.

From sin the horrid discord rose,
That made of fellow-creatures foes;
Thus Cain, by hellish wrath inspir'd,
His meeker brother's blood requir'd,
And murder first began:
And envy, pride, and malice still
The restless human spirit fill
With hatred to th' Almighty will,
And cruelty to man,

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