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tend to say that I am assured she will recover ; but have neglected it so many days or hours: but when I am fully persuaded, that if she does not, God will it contained nothing material, except an unkind inmake her death a blessing to us; and I think she sinuation, that you esteemed me a dishonest man, who, will be spared.
out of a design to please a party, had written what he
did not believe, or, as you thought fit to express (Happy Devotional Feelings of Doddridge.] yourself, had 'trimmed it a little with the gospel of
Christ,' I thought all that was necessary, after having [To Mrs Doddridge, from Northampton, October 1742.]
fully satisfied my own conscience on that head, which, I hope, my dear, you will not be offended when II bless God, I very easily did, was to forgive and pray tell you that I am, what I hardly thought it possible, for the mistaken brother who had done me the injury, without a miracle, that I should have been, very and to endeavour to forget it, by turning my thoughts easy and happy without you. My days begin, pass, to some more pleasant, important, and useful subject. and end in pleasure, and seem short because they are I imagined, sir, that for me to give you an assurance so delightful. It may seem strange to say it, but under my hand that I meant honestly, would signify really so it is, I hardly feel that I want anything. I very little, whether you did or did not already believe often think of you, and pray for you, and bless God it; and as I had little particular to say on the docon your account, and please myself with the hope of trines to which you referred, I thought it would be of many comfortable days, and weeks, and years with little use to send you a bare confession of my faith, you ; yet I am not at all anxious about your return, and quite burdensome to enter into a long detail and or indeed about anything else. And the reason, the examination of arguments which bave on one side and great and sufficient reason is, that I have more of the the other been so often discussed, and of which the presence of God with me than I remember ever to world has of late years been so thoroughly satiated. have enjoyed in any one month of my life. He en- On this account, sir, I threw aside the beginning of ables me to live for him, and to live with him. a long letter, which I had prepared in answer to When I awake in the morning, which is always be yours, and with it your letter itself; and I believe I fore it is light, I address myself to him, and converse may safely say, several weeks and months have with him, speak to him while I am lighting my passed in which I have not once recollected anything candle and putting on my clothes, and have often more relating to this affair. But I have since been cerdelight before I come out of my chamber, though it be tainly informed that you, interpreting my silence as hardly a quarter of an hour after my awaking, than I an acknowledgment of the justice of your charge, have enjoyed for whole days, or, perhaps, weeks of my have sent copies of your letter to several of your life. He meets me in my study, in secret, in family friends, who have been industrious to propagate them devotions. It is pleasant to read, pleasant to com- far and near! This is a fact which, had it not been pose, pleasant to converse with my friends at home ; exceedingly well attested, I should not have believed ; pleasant to visit those abroad-the poor, the sick ; but as I find it too evident to be questioned, you pleasant to write letters of necessary business by which must excuse me, sir, if I take the liberty to expostuany good can be done ; pleasant to go out and preach late with you upon it, which, in present circumstances, the gospel to poor souls, of which some are thirsting I apprehend to be not only justice to myself, but, on for it, and others dying without it ; pleasant in the the whole, kindness and respect for you. week day to think how near another Sabbath is ; Though it was unkind readily to entertain the susbut, oh! much, much more pleasant, to think how picions you express, I do not so much complain of near eternity is, and how short the journey through your acquainting me with them; but on what imathis wilderness, and that it is but a step from earth to ginable humane or Christian principle could you heaven.
communicate such a letter, and grant copies of it! I cannot forbear, in these circumstances, pausing a With what purpose could it be done, but with a little, and considering whence this happy scene just design of aspersing my character? and to what purat this time arises, and whether it tends. Whether pose could you desire my character to be reproached ? God is about to bring upon me any peculiar trial, for Are you sure, sir, that I am not intending the honour which this is to prepare me; whether he is shortly of God and the good of souls, by my various labours about to remove me from the earth, and so is giving of one kind and another-so sure of it, that you will me more sensible prelibations of heaven, to prepare venture to maintain at the bar of Christ, before the me for it ; or whether he intends to do some peculiar throne of God, that I was a person whom it was your services by me just at this time, which many other duty to endeavour to discredit? for, considering me circumstances lead me sometimes to hope ; or whether as a Christian, a minister, and a tutor, it could not it be that, in answer to your prayers, and in compas- be merely an indifferent action ; nay, considering me sion to that distress which I must otherwise have felt as a man, if it was not a duty, it was a crime! in the absence and illness of her who has been so ex- I will do you the justice, sir, to suppose you have ceedingly dear to me, and was never inore sensibly dear really an ill opinion of me, and believe I mean otherto me than now he is pleased to favour me with this wise than I write ; but let me ask, what reason have teaching experience ; in consequence of which, I freely you for that opinion? Is it because you cannot think own I am less afraid than ever of any event that can me a downright fool, and conclude tbat every one possibly arise, consistent with his nearness to my who is not must be of your opinion, and is a knave if heart, and the tokens of his paternal and covenant he does not declare that he is so? or is it from anylove. I will muse no further on the cause. It is thing particular which you apprehend you know of enough, the effect is so blessed.
my sentiments contrary to what my writings declare ?
He that searches my heart, is witness that what I [Vindication of Religious Opinions.)
wrote on the very passage you except against, I wrote [Addressed, November 1742, to the Rev. Mr Bourne.)
as what appeared to me niost agrecable to truth, and
most subservient to the purposes of His glory and the Had the letter which I received from you so many edification of my readers; and I see no reason to alter months ago been merely an address of common friend it in a second edition, if I should reprint my Exposiship, I hope no hurry of business would have led me tion, though I had infinitely rather the book should to delay so long the answer which civility and grati- perish than advance anything contrary to the tenor tude would in that case have required; or had it been of the gospel, and subversive to the souls of men. I to request any service in my power to you, sir, or to guard against apprehending Christ to be a mere creaany of your family or friends, I would not willingly ture, or another God, inferior to the Father, or co
CYCLOPÆDIA OF ENGLISH LITERATURE.
DR WILLIAM NICOLSOX-DR MATTHEW TINDAL
DR HUMPHREY PRIDEAUX.
ordinate with him. And you will maintain that I and I am beartily willing that, with what measure I believe him to be so; from whence, sir, does your mete, it may be measured to me again. evidence of that arise? If from my writings, I apprehend it must be in consequence of some inference you draw from them, of laying any just foundation for which I am not at present aware; nor did I ever intend, I am sure, to say or intimate anything of the
DR WILLIAM NICOLSON (1655–1727), successively kind. If from report, I must caution you against bishop of Carlisle and Londonderry, and lastly rashly believing such reports. I have heard some archbishop of Cashel, was a learned antiquary and stories of me, echoed back from your neighbourhood, investigator of our early records. He published which God knows to be as false as if I had been re
Historical Libraries of England, Scotland, and Ireported to have asserted the divine authority of the land (collected into one volume, in 1776), being a Alcoran ! or to have written Hobbe's Leviathan; and detailed catalogue or list of books and manuscripts I can account for them in no other way than by sup- referring to the history of each nation. He also posing, either that coming through several hands, wrote An Essay on the Border Lars, A Treatise on every one mistook a little, or else that some people the Laws of the Anglo-Saxons, and A Description have such vivid dreams, that they cannot distinguish of Poland and Denmark. The only professional them from realities, and so report them as facts; works of Dr Nicolson are a preface to Chamberthough how to account for their propagating such layne's Polyglott of the Lord's Prayer, and some reports so zealously, on any principles of Christianity able pamphlets on the Bangorian controversy. or common humanity, especially considering how far DR MATTHEW TINDAL (1657–1733) was a zealous I am from having offered them any personal injury, controversialist, in times when controversy was purwould amaze me, if I did not know how far party zeal sued with much keenness by men fitted for higher debases the understandings of those who in other duties. His first attacks were directed against matters are wise and good. All I shall add with priestly power, but he ended in oprsing Chrisregard to such persons is, that I pray God this evil tianity itself; and Paine and other later writers may not be laid to their charge.
against revelation, have drawn some of their wea. I have seriously reflected with myself, whence it pons from the armoury of Tindal. Like Dryden, should come that such suspicions should arise of my and many others, Tindal embraced the Roman Cabeing in what is generally called the Arian scheme, tholic religion when it became fashionable in the and the chief causes I can discover are these two : court of James II. ; but he abjured it in 1687, and my not seeing the arguments which some of my afterwards became an advocate under William III., brethren have seen against it in some disputed texts, from whom he received a pension of L200 per and my tenderness and regard to those who, I have annum. Ile wrote several political and theological reason to believe, do espouse it, and whom I dare not tracts, but the work by which he is chiefly knowi, in conscience raise a popular cry against ! Nor am I is entitled Christianity as Old as the Creation, or the at all fond of urging the controversy, lest it should Gospel a Republication of the Religion of Nature. divide churches, and drive some who are wavering, The tendency of this treatise is to discredit reas indeed I myself once was, to an extremity to wbich vealed religion : it was answered by Waterland; I should be sorry to see such worthy persons, as some and Tindal replied by reiterating his former stateof them are, reduced.
ments and arguments. He wrote a second volume Permit me, sir, on so natural an occasion, to con- to this work shortly before his death, but Dr Gibclude with expressing the pleasure with which I have son, the bishop of London, interfered, and prevented heard that you of late have turned your preaching its publication. Tindal left a legacy of £2000 to from a controversial to a more practical and useful Eustace Budgell, one of the writers in the Specs strain. I am persuaded, sir, it is a manner of using tator, and it was reported that Budgell had assisted the great talents which God has given you, which in his friend's work against Christianity. Tindal's will turn to the most valuable account with respect nephew was author of a continuation of Rapin's to yourself and your flock; and if you would please History of England. to add another labour of love, by endeavouring to Dr IIUMPHREY PRIDEAUX(1648-1724) was author convince some who may be more open to the convic- of a still popular and valuable work, the Connerion tion from you than from others, that Christian can of the History of the Old and New Testament, the dour does not consist in judging the hearts of their first part of which was published in 1713, and the brethren, or virulently declaring against their supposed second in 1717. He wrote also a Life of Mahomet bigotry, it would be a very important charity to them, (1697), Directions to Churchwardens (1707), and A and a favour to, reverend and dear sir, your very Treatise on Tithes (1710). Prideaux's Connexion' affectionate brother and humble servant,
is a work of great research, connecting the Old with P. DODDRIDGE.
the New Testament by a luminous historical sum
mary. Few books have had a greater circulation, P. S.-I heartily pray that God may confirm your and it is invaluable to all students of divinity. Its health, and direct and prosper all your labours, for author was highly respected for his learning and the honour of his name and the Gospel of his Son. piety. He was archdeacon of Suffolk, and at one
The multiplicity of my business has obliged me to time llebrew lecturer at Christ-church, Oxford. write this with so many interruptions, that I hope His extensive library of oriental books has been you will excuse the inaccuracies it may contain... My preserved in Clare Hall, Cambridge, to which college meaning I am sure is good, and, I hope, intelligible ; l it was presented by hiniself.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.