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PinXCETOX, X. J.
The Stephen Collins Don:iiioii

Hamilton, James, 181A-1867.
Our Christian classics



OUR CHRISTIAN CLASSICS:

READINC48 FROM

THE BEST DTVINES.

Mitir Notices iiograpMcal antr Critital.



1/ "^

JAMES HA:M1LT0]S^, L). 1).,

ATITHOU OF "like I.V EARNKST,"' " ilOTNT OF CHIVES," " EOYAL THEAf llEi;,'" ETr ., ETC,



IN FOUK VOLUMES.
VOL. IV.



NEW YORK:
ROBERT CARTER AND BROTHERS,

No. .5 -S B R O A D W A Y .

1859.



CONTENTS.



The EiGHTEENTn Century —

Apologists,
Natural TflEOLOor,
Dr Richard Bentley,
The Atomic Theory, .
Spontaneous Greneration,
The Placing of our Planet,
William Derham, D.D.,

On Birds,
Archdeacon Paley,

Prospective Contrivances,
The Diffusion of Happiness,
The Uses of Pain,
The Christian Evidence,
Joseph Addison,
The Constancy of the Early
Christians,
Bishop Butler, .

The Mediatorial System,
Bishop Newton,

Prophecies regarding the Deso
lation of Judea,
Bishop Watson,
The Virtues of the First Chr
tians,
Bishop Home, .
A Dialogue on Philosophical
Scepticism,
Soame Jenyns, .

The Originality and Pre -em
nence of Christ and Chri.
tianity, . ,

Theologians,
Bishop Butler, . .

The Supremacy of Conscience,
On Love to God,
Bishop Warburton,

Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac
Bishop Horsley,

The Lord come to His Temple,
The Risen Redeemer,
Abraham Tucker,
Providence, .
Doing all for the Glory of God,
Reason and Passion, .
Dr Conyers Middletou,
Holy Water, . ,



1

5

5

5

7

12

14

14

20

23

26

29

32

32

32
34
36
42

43

48

48
54

54
63



64

73

73

74

78

80

82

86

88

94

99

101

104

107

109

110



Biblical Critics and Expositors, 114

Bishop Lowth, . . . 115

Personification, . . 116

The Sublime of Passion, . 120

Church Historians, . . 126
Bishop Burnet, . . 126
Character and Death of Arch-
bishop Leighton, . . 127
The Milners, . . .131
Auselm, . . . 132
Dr John Jortiu, . . 138
Cyprian, . . . 140

Pulpit Orators, . . 145

Bishop Atterbury, . . 147

Dreams and Visions, . 150
The Rainbow about the Throne, 153

Dean Swift, . . . 156

On the Trinity, . . 156

Jeremiah Seed, . . 163

True Heroism, . . 164

Occupation for the Opulent, 164

Wit Misdirected, . . 166

Daily Devotion, . . 167

Bishop Sherlock, . . 170
Christianity and its Compe-
titors, . . . 171

Archbishop Seeker, . . 174

Antidotes to Anger, . 175

Set Thine House in Order, 180

Laurence Sterne, . . 184

The Prodigal Son, . . 185

Dr Dodd, . . .189
Rules for Conversation, . 190
Anecdotes respecting Con-
versation, . . . 193

Dr Ogden, . . . litj

The Intercessor's Prayer

coming back into his own

Bosom, . . . 197

A Socratic Dialogue, . 201

The Lord's Sui)per, . 202

Philip Skelton, . . 207

Matrimonial Counsel, . 208

Bishop Porteus, . .212

The Centurion, . .212



IV



CONTENTS.



The Great Hevival, and its

Evangelists, .
Specimens,

(reorge Whitefield,

The Offering u]) of Isaac,

"What think ye of Christ ?

The last Farewell, .
John Weslev,

On the Death of Mr White
field,

A Hymn,
James Hervey,

Theron and Aspasio,

The Treasures of Snow,
Samuel Walker,

" God resisteth the Proud,'
John Berridge,

False Security, and Peace in
Believing,
William Romaine,

Gospel Obedience, .
Thomas Adam,

Resignation,
Practical and Experimental

WraTERs,
Bishop Beveridge,

Flattery and Detraction,
Lady Rachel Russell, .

Letters,
William Law,

A Father's Counsels,
Bishop Home,

The Psalms of David,
Henry Venn, .

Life in the Parsonage,

Letter to a Daughter,
John Newton, .

Things Lovely,
The Laitt,

Sir Isaac Newton,

Periods of Prophetic Insp
tion,
Sir Richard Steele,

St Paul,
Daniel Defoe, .

The Snuire and the Cottager,
Samuel Johnson,

Prayers.
Dr John Rulty,

Diary,
Hannah More.

Dilig'-nt Dick,
"William Wilberlbrcp, .

Looking unto Jtsus,
Sacred Pokthv,
Matthew Prior,



217
254
254
254
256
260
261

261
267
268
268
271
275
275
278

278
283
283
287
287

289
289
290
291
293
296
297
304
305
307
307
308
311
311
318
318

319
321
321
326
326
337
338
339
339
341
342
353
354
3G1
3ol



PAGE

The Vanity of Science, . 361

Castle- Building, . . 362

Alexander Pope, . . 363

Messiah, . . .364

The Dying Christian to his

Soul, . . .367

Dr Edward Young, . . 367
The True Land'of the Living, 369

The Awful Certainty, . 369

Dying Friends, . . 370

Time, . . .371

Piety, . . .371

The Good Man, . . 372

John Gambold, . . 374

The Mystery of Life, . 374

William Cowper, . . 375

The Author Himself, . 377

The Pardoned Sinner, . 377
The Patriot and the Martyr, 378

England, . . .380

London, . . .382
Patriotism and Providence, 383

The Pulpit, . . .384

Efnmaus, . . . 385

Cruelty to Animals, . 386
The Restoration of all Things, 387

Hymns, . , . .390

Bishop Ken, . . .390

For Morning, . . 391

For Evening, . . 393

For Midnight, . . 394

Joseph Addison, . . 396

The Traveller's Hymn, . 396

Creation's Testimony, . 397

Joseph Hart, . . .398

Gethsemane, . . 398

Augustus M. Toplady, . 400

Assured Faith, . . 400

The Rock of Ages, . . 401

A Meditation in Sickness, . 402

The Dying Believer to his Soul, 404



Edward Perron et.

Crown Him Lord of All,

Charles Wesley,
The Day of Judgment,
W'restling Jacob,
For the New Year, .
Gone Home,

Thomas Olivers,

The God of Abraham,

William Cowper,
Walking with God,
The Fountain Opened,
Light in Darkntss, .

Index, .



405

405
406
407
408
410
411
412
412
415
415
415
416

418



Om CHEISTIAN CLASSICS.



THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

APOLOGISTS.

^' Holy Herbert," as men love to call the antlior of " The
Temple," had an older brother Edward, who was created by
Charles I. Lord Herbert of Cherbury. This older brother
was a dashing soldier, a spirited diplomatist, and an accom-
plished English gentleman. Besides representing King James
at the Court of France, and distinguishing himself in the
single-combats which were still the fashion of the age, under
Maurice of Nassau he fought the Spaniards as recklessly as if
he really wished to throw his life away. But, like his devout
and gentle brother. Lord Herbert was a scholar and a genius,
and his stirring career was interrupted by occasional fits of
profound and careful meditation. There was a difference,
however, betwixt the themes of the brothers. To the pure,
meek spirit of George, the sayings of Scripture were conclu-
sive, and he craved no truth more absolute than the utterances
of the Great Amen. But in the mind of the warrior the place
of faith was pre-occupied by philosophy. Instead of sitting
under the Tree of Life, and eating the pleasant fruits, or group-
ing in bright garlands the leaves and blossoms, he addressed
himself to a different task. He analysed the soil, and expcri-

VOL. IV. A



2 THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

mcnted on the sap, and came to the conclusion, that fruits as
fair, and leaves as healing, could be manufactured by human
alchemy. Asking " What is Truth ?" he found particles of it
in every creed and worship, and by extracting them and re-
combining them under the guidance of enlightened reason, he
produced a system of natural religion, absolute, universal, and
sufficient for all purposes ! 1 . That there is a Supreme Being ;
2. That He is to be worshipped; 3. That He is best wor-
shii^jDed by the exercise of virtue ; 4. That, if repented of, sin
will be i^ardoned ; 5. And that there is a future state, wiib.
punishments for vice, and with rewards for virtue : — into these
five ultimate articles he crystallised the essence of all creeds,
and as a substitute for more cumbrous systems, offered to the
world his Eclectic Theism.

It frec^uently happens that, whilst faith is shut out at the
door, superstition gets in at the window. When Lord Her-
bert had finished his book, one object of which was to bring
into c]uestion everything like special revelation, he could not
persuade himself to publish it until he had personally received
" a sign from heaven." " Being thus doubtful in my chamber,"
he tells us, " one fair day in the summer, my casement being
open towards the south, the sun shining clear, and no wind
stirrmg, I took my book ' De Veritate' in my hands, and
kneeling on my knees, devoutly said these words : ' O Thou
eternal God, author of this light which now shines upon me,
and giver of all inward illuminations, I do beseech Thee of
TJiine infinite goodness, to pardon a greater request than a
sinner ought to make. I am not satisfied enough, whether I
ought to publish this book ; if it be for Thy glory, I beseech
Thee give me some sign from heaven; if not, I shall suppress
it. I had no sooner spoken these words, but a loud though
gentle voice came forth from the heavens — for it was like no-
thing on earth — which did so cheer and comfort me, that I
took my petition for granted, and that I had the sign I de-



HERBERT AND HOBBES. 3

manclecl : wherefore, also, I resolved to print my book. Tins,
how strange soever it may seem, I protest before the eternal
Qod, is true : neither am I in any way superstitiously deceived
herein, since I did not only clearly hear the voice, but in the
serenest sky that ever I saw, being without all cloud, did, to
my thinking, see the place from whence it came." Lord
Herbert having thus received the special communication from
heaven, which in the case of John and Paul he deemed im-
possible, sent his book to Paris to be published. It appeared
in 1624.

Quarter of a century later — that is, in 1651 — appeared the
" Leviathan," — a treatise on the nature of a commonwealth, in
which religion is referred to the will of the governor, and is
declared to be a mere matter of political convenience. The
production of one of the most powerful intellects which our
country has ever yielded, distinguished by its marvellous sym-
metry and system, abounding in caustic epigrams, annihilating
those affections and better elements of human nature of which
the writer himself knew nothing, with frequent apparent truth
ascribing the best actions to the meanest of motives, and lay-
ing the axe at the root of all religion — tliis work created a
prodigious sensation, which outlasted the long life of its author,
Thomas Hobbes of Malmsbury.* Its irreligion, its contemp-
tuous way of treating mankind, and its cleverness endeared it
to Charles II. and his jovial courtiers j whilst, among general
readers, at first carried along by its shrewd remarks and its
plain and vigorous language, many found themselves at last
involved in the meshes of its sophistry, and shut up to the
conclusion that men are miserable mutually -exterminating
machines, with no higher power to help or pity, and with no
future existence to compensate the miseries of this one.

From the dragon teeth sown by Herbert and Hobbes in
England, and by Spinoza in Holland, a mighty crop grew up
* Born April 5, 1588 ; died Dec. i, 1679.



4 THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

ill the following century, and it would be dreary work to
follow through its varying i^hases, the infidelity of Blount and
Toland, Collins and AVoolcot, Tindal and Morgan, Shaftesbury
and Bolingbroke, David Hume, Edward Gibbon, and Thomas
Paine in Britain, coinciding with the brilliant scepticism of
Voltaire, and the Encycloj)edists in France, and the more dis-
astrous, because more treacherous unbelief of the Neologians
in Germany. The times were favourable. Throughout the
greater part of this century, there was little faith in Europe,
and both in our own country and on the Continent, men were
glad of such apologies for debauchery, and such opiates to their
consciences as were supplied by the sentimentalism of Bous-
seau and the jests of Voltaire. It was the October of our
modern Europe. The Keformation summer was past, and the
harvest of English Puritanism and Continental Pietism had
gone home to God's garner, and now the cold earth and damp
air had only force sufficient for fungoid vegetation. A hot
sunshine is fatal to toadstools, and so is frost : but the sunny
days of faith and zeal had passed away, and the winter of war
and revolution had not yet set in. Accordingly, the right of
private judgment, the free discussion, the intellectual energy
of the Keformation passing into the sear and yellow leaf, from
the soil strewn with the honours of that noble forest nothing
sj^rang save poisonous boleti and mould of many colours — the
Phalhts fcetidns of Gibbon and Tom Paine, the Tremella, cold
and clammy, of Hume and other life-destroying parasites.

]jut if unbelief was the form in which ungodliness then
ramped and rioted, an earnest contending for the faith was the
characteristic of English theology. That century was pre-emi-
nently THE AGE OF APOLOGETICS j and without further preftxcc,
we hasten to give a few specimens of the way in which the
faith was defended by its more distinguished champions.
These may be divided into two classes — the exponents of
Natural Theology, and the advocates of Revealed Beligion.



NATURAL THEOLOGY.

DR RICHAED BENTLEY.

Amongst numberless benefactions to the cause of religion and
humanity, the Hon. Robert Boyle settled by his will an
annual stipend so as to secure the preaching of eight sermons
every year, proving the Christian religion against notorious
infidels — viz., Atheists, Deists, Pagans, Jews, and Mohamme-
dans. The first series was delivered in 1G92 by the acute,
learned, and, we arc sorry to add, litigious Tdchard Bentley.*
With much of the wit of his contemporary, South, and not a
little of his style, the lectures by the future Master of Trinity
are the most brilliant in the three well-known folios. Even
now they may be considered " light reading," and at the time
when their hits at the " Leviathan " and Hobbism could be
thoroughly appreciated, they must have been exceedingly
amusing.

STJe atomic ^Tj^eorg.

If they will still be meddling with atoms, be hammering
and squeezing understanding out of them, I would ad\ise
them to make use of their own understanding for the instance.
Nothing, in my opinion, could run us down more effectually
than that; for we readily allow, that if any understand-
ing can possibly be produced by such clashing of senseless
atoms, it is that of an Atheist, that hath the fairest pretensions
and the best title to it. We know, it is " the fool that hath
said in his heart, There is no God." And it is no less a truth
than a paradox, that there are no greater fools than atheistical
wits, and none so credulous as infidels. No article of religion,

* Bora at Wakefield, January 27, 1662 ; died at Cambridge, July 1 i,
1742.

a2



6 THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

tliough as demonstrable as the nature of tlie thing can admit,
liatli credibility enough for them. And yet these same
cautious and quick-sighted gentlemen can mnk and swallow
down this sottish opinion about pcrcii:)ient atoms, wliich
exceeds in incrcdibiUty all the fictions of ^sop s fables. For
is it not every whit as likely, or more, that cocks and bulls
might discourse, and hinds and panthers hold conferences
about religion, as that atoms can do so ? that atoms can invent
arts and sciences, can institute society and government, can
make leagues and confederacies, can devise methods of peace
and stratagems of war? A.nd, moreover, the modesty of
mythology deserves to be commended j the scenes there are
laid at a distance : it is once upon a time, in the days of yore,
and in the land of Utopia, there was a dialogue between an
oak and a cedar : whereas the Atheist is so impudently silly,
as to bring the farce of liis atoms upon the theatre of the pre-
sent age ; to make dull, senseless matter transact all public
and private affairs, by sea and by land, in houses of parlia-
ment, and closets of princes. Can any creduhty be com-
parable to this ? If a man should affirm, that an ape, casually
meeting with pen, ink, and paper, and fixlling to scribble, did
happen to write exactly the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes,
would an Atheist believe such a story? And yet he can
easily digest as incredible as that ; that the innumerable
members of a human body, Avliich, in the style of the Scrip-
ture,* " are all written in the Book of God," and may admit of
almost infinite variations and transpositions above the twenty-
four letters of the aljjhabet, were at first fortuitously scribbled,
and by mere accident compacted into this beautiful, and noble,
and most wonderfully useful frame which we now see' it
carry. But this will be the argument of my next discourse,
which is the second proposition drawn from the text, that the
admirable structure of human bodies, whereby they arc fitted

* Psalm cxxxix. IG.



SPONTANEOUS GliNERATION. 7

to live, and move, and be vitally informed by the soul, is un-
questionably the workmanship of a most wise, and powerful,
and benelicent Maker : to which Almighty Creator, together
with the Son and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory
and majesty and power, both now and from henceforth ever-
more. Amen,

.spontaneous feneration.

But, secondly, we affirm that no insect or animal did ever
proceed equivocally from putrefaction, unless in miraculous
cases, as in Egypt by the divine judgments, but all are gene-
rated from parents of their own kind, male and female ; a disco-
very of that great importance that perhaps few inventions of this
age can pretend to equal usefulness and merit, and which alone
is sufficient (if the vices of men did not captivate their reason)
to explode and exterminate rank Atheism out of the world.
For if all animals be propagated by generation from parents of
their own species, and there be no instance in nature of even a
gnat or a mite, either now or in former ages, spontaneously
produced, how came there to be such animals in being, and
whence could they proceed ? There is no need of much study
and deliberation about it ; for either they have existed eter-
nally by infinite successions already gone and past, which is in
its very notion absurd and impossible, or their origin must be
ascribed to a supernatural and divine power that formed and
created them. Now, to prove our assertion about the seminal
production of all living creatures, that we may not repeat the
reasons which we have offin-ed before against the first mechani-
cal formation of human bodies, which are equally valid against
the spontaneous origin of the minutest insects, we appeal to
observation and experiment, which carry the strongest con-
viction with them, and make the most sensible and lasting im-
pressions. For, whereas it hath been the general tradition and



8 THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

belief that maggots and flies breed in putrefied carcasses, and
l^articularly bees come from oxen, and hornets from horses, and
scorpions from crab-fish, &c., all this is now found to be fable
and mistake. That sagacious * and learned naturalist, Fran-
cisco Redi, made innumerable trials with the putrid flesh of all
sorts of beasts and fowls, and fishes and serpents, with cor-
ru23ted cheese, and herbs, and fruits, and even insects them-
selves ; and he constantly found, that all those kinds of putre-
faction did only afi'ord a nest and aliment for the eggs and
young of those insects that he admitted to come there, but
produced no animal of themselves by a spontaneous forma-
tion : for, when he suffered those things to putrefy in hermeti-
cally sealed glasses, and vessels close covered with paper — and
not only so, lest the exclusion of the air might be supposed to
hinder the experiment, but in vessels covered with fine lawn,
so as to admit the air and keep out the insects — no li\^ng
thing was ever produced there, though he exposed them to the
action of the sun, in the warm climate of Florence, and in the
kindest season of the year. Even flies crushed and corrupted,
when enclosed in such vessels, did never procreate a new fly,
though there, if in any case, one would have expected that
success. And when the vessels were 02)en, and the insects had
free access to the aliment within them, he diligently observed
that no other species were produced but of such as he saw go
in and feed, and deposit their eggs there, which they would
readily do in all putrefaction, even in a mucilage of bruised
sjDiders, where worms were soon hatched out of such eggs, and
quickly changed into flies of the same kind with their parents.
And was not that a surprising transformation indeed, if,
according to the vulgar opinion, those dead and corrupted
spiders spontaneously changed into flics 1 And thus far we
are obliged to the diligence of Redi ; from whence we may
conclude, that no dead flesh, nor herbs, nor other putrefied
bodies, nor anytliing that hath not then actually cither a vcge-



SHOWERS OF FROGS. 9

table or animal life, can produce any insect. And if we slioidd
allow, as he did, that every animal and plant doth natu-
rally breed and nourish by its substance some peculiar insect,
yet the Atheist could make no advantage of this concession as
to a like origination of mankmd. For surely it is beyond
even an Atheist's credulity and impudence, to affirm that the
first men might proceed out of the galls and tumours of leaves
of trees, as some maggots and flies are supposed to do now ;
or might grow upon trees, as the story goes about barnacles;
or perhaps might be the parasites of some vast prodigious
animals, whose species is now extinct. But though we sup-
pose him guilty of such an extravagant folly, he will only shift
the difficulty, and not wholly remove it; for we shall still
expect an account of the spontaneous formation of those moun-
tainous kind of animals and men-bearing trees. And as to
the worms that are bred in the intestines and other inward
parts of li\ing creatures, their production is not material to our
present inquiry, till some Atheist do affirm, that his own ances-
tors had such an original. I say, if we should allow this con-
cession of Redi, it would do no service to our adversaries : but
even here also they are defeated by the happy curiosity of ]\Ial-
pighi and others, who observed and discovered, that each of
those tumours and excrescences of plants, out of which gene-
rally issues a fly or a worm, are at first made by such insects,
which wound the tender buds with a long hollow trunk, and
deposit an egg in the hole with a sharp corroding liquor, which
causeth a swelling in the leaf, and so closeth the orifice : and
^yitllin this tumour the worm is hatched, and receives its ali-
ment, till it hath eat its way through.

And then, as to the vulgar opmion, that frogs are made in
the clouds, and brought cloAvii by the rains, it may be thus
easily refuted : for at that very instant, when they are sup-
posed to descend, you may find, by dissection, their stomachs
full of meat newly gathered or partially digested ; so that



10 THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

they had lurked before in the day-time in holes and bushes
and gi-ass, and were then invited abroad by the freshness of a
shower. And by this tune we may understand, what credit
and authority those old stories ought to have about the mon-
strous productions in Egypt after the inundation of the Nile,
of mice and frogs and serpents, half flesh and half mud ; nay,
of the legs, and arms, and other limbs of men, et qiiicqind
Gi'ceda mendax; altogether as true as what is seriously related
by Helmont, that foul linen, stopped in a vessel that hath
wheat in it, will in twenty- one days time turn the wheat into
mice : which one may guess to have been the philosophy and
mformation of some housewife, who had not so carefLiUy
covered her wheat but that the mice could come at it, and
were there taken napping, just when they had made an end of
their cheer. Corn is so innocent from this calumny of breed-
ing of mice, that it doth not produce the very weevils that
live in it and consume it j the whole course of whose genera-
tion and periodical changes hath been curiously observed and
described by the ingenious Lewenhoeck. And, moreover, that
we may deprive the Atheist of all hopes and pretensions of
argument from this baffled opinion of equivocal insects, we
will acquaint him from the most accurate observations of
Swammerdam, that even the supposed change of worms into
flies is no real transmutation ; but that most of those members,
which at last become \isible to the eye, are existent at the
beginning, artificially complicated together, and covered with
membranes and tunicles, which are afterwards stript off and



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