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And is this all the world can give even to a King? All the grandeur it can afford. A blanket of 'ermin round his shoulders, so heavy and cumbersome, he can scarcely move under it ! A huge heap of borrowed hair, with a few plates of gold and glittering stones upon his head! Alas, what a bauble is human greatness ! And even this will not endure ! Cover the head with ever so much hair and gold : yet
Scit te Proserpina canum ; Personam capiti detrahet illa tuo. January 1, 1756, We had a large congregation at four in the morning. How much are men divided in their expectations, concerning the ensuing year! Will it bring a large harvest of temporal calamities; or of spiritual blessings? Perhaps of both : of temporal afflictions preparatory to spiritual blessings.
Monday 5, This week I wrote 6 An Address to the Clergy:” which, considering the situatioñ of public affairs, I judged would be more serviceable and more easily borne, at this time than at any other. Wednesday 14, Mr. Walsh wrote to me as follows:
REV. AND VERY DEAR SIR, " In Mr. Booker's letter are many palpable: falsehoods. But what exasperated him so, he does not tell. It was my opposing his Arian principles : my telling him, I had the same arguments to prove the Divinity of Christ, as to prove the Godhead of the Father. 1, The Father is called God, b*: so is the Son, Isa. ix. 6. 2, The Father is called Dinbe: so is the Son, Hos. i. 7. The Father is called 017: so is the Son, Jer. xxiii. 6. 3, The Father is said to be from everlasting: so the Son is called T-s, Isa. ix. 6. Not, the everlasting Sire ; but the Father or Author of Eternity. 4, The Father is said to create all things : so is the Son, Jo. i. 3, and Col. i. 16. 5, The Father is said to be Omnipresent : so is the Son, Matt. xviii. 20. 6, The Father is omniscient : so is the Son, Rev. ii. 23. 7, The Father forgives sins : so does the Son, Mark ii. 10. 8, The Father is Judge of all : so is the Son.
" But still he disputed, whether any man should pray to Christ; Igave these reasons for it: 1, All men are bound to honour the Son, as they honour the Father. But we are to honour the Father, by praying to him: Therefore, we should so honour the Son. 2, God commands, Let all the angels of God worship him. This is done, Rev. v. 13. And it is certain, praise and thanksgiving are superior rather than inferior to prayer. 3, St. Paul prayed to him, 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9. 4, St. Stephen prayed to him, Acts vii. 59. (The word, God, is not in the Original.) 5, All be. lievers in the Apostolic age prayed to bim, 1 Cor. i. 2 For what is to call upon his name, but to pray to him? " When he could not answer these reasons,
he called them cant, and said, Much learning has made thee mad. What he calls 'contempt,'
contempt,' was confronting him with Scripture and reason, in defence of the Godhead of Christ. I acknowledge, I have been an opposer of Arianism ever since I knew what I was : but especially since my late illness, during which I had such glorious evidences of the eternal power and Godhead of my great Redeemer. I bless God, I love Mr. B- as well as all mankind : But it grieves me to see the people led in the high road to hell, instead of heaven : especially at a time which calls upon all to awake, and prepare to meet their God.”
Saturday 17, and in the spare hours of the following days, I read over Mr. Pipe's Philosophia Sacra, a Treatise admirably well written, by an ingenious man, who says all that can be said, for Mr. Hutchinson's hypothesis. But it is only an hypothesis still : much supposition, and little proof.
Monday 26, I rode to Canterbury, and preached in the evening to such a congregation as I never saw there before; in which was abundance of the soldiers, and not a few of their officers.
Wednesday 28, I preached about noon at Dover, to a very serious, but small congregation. We afterwards walked up to the Castle, on the top of a mountain. It is an amazingly fine situation. And from hence we had a clear
view of that vast piece of the cliff, which a few days ago, was divided from the rest, and fell down upon the beach.
Friday 30, In returning to London, I read the Life of the late Czar, Peter the Great. Undoubtedly he was a Soldier, a General and a Statesman, scarcely inferior to any. But why was he called a Christian? What has Christianity to do either with deep dissimulation or savage cruelty ?
Friday, February 6, The fast-day was a glorious day: such as London has scarcely seen since the Restoration. Every Church in the City was more than full: And a solemn seriousness sat on every face. Surely God heareth the prayer: and there will yet be a lengthering of our tranquillity.
Even the Jews observed this day with a peculiar solemnity. The form of prayer, which was used in their Synagogue, began, Come, and let us return unto the
for he bath tarn and he will heal us:' And concluded with those remarkable words : Incline the heart of our sovereign Lord King George, as well as the hearts of his Lords and Counsellors, to use us kindly, and all our brethren, the children of Israel : That in his days and in our days, we may see the restoration of Judah, and that Israel may dwell in safety, and the Redeemer may come to Zion. May it be thy will! And we all say, Amen.'
Monday 23, I paid another visit to Canterbury, but came in too late to preach.
Tuesday 24, Abundance of soldiers and many officers came to the preaching. And surely the fear and love of God will prepare them either for death or victory. Wednesday 25, I dined with Col.
who said, No men fight like those who fear God: I had rather command five hundred such, than any regiment in his Majesty's army.”
Thursday 22, I had so severe a cold, that I could hardly speak to be heard. However, I preached morning and evening as I could, and the next day returned to
Monday, March 1, I set oụt for Bristol. Some time after, I received the copy of another letter, dated March 2, from the Rev. Mr. Davies in Virginia, part of which I have subjoined:
" When the books arrived, I gave public notice after sermon, and desired such negroes as could read, and such white people as would make good use of them, and were not able to buy, to come to my house. For some time after, the poor slaves, whenever they could get an hour's leisure, hurried away to me, and received them with all the genuine indications of passionate gratitude. All the books were very acceptable, but none more so than the Psalms and Hymns, which enabled them to gratify their peculiar taste for psalmody. Sundry of them lodged all night in my kitchen. And sometimes when I have awaked, at two or three in the morning, a torrent of sacred psalmody has poured into my chamber. In this exercise some of them spend the whole night.
66 The good effects of this charity are already apparent. It convinces the heathen, that however careless about religion the generality of the white people are, yet there are some, who think it a matter of importance. It has excited some of their masters to emulation, and they are ashamed, that strangers on the other side of the Atlantic ocean, should be at such pains to teach their domestics, while themselves are negligent about it. Such of the negroes as can read already, are evidently improving in knowledge. It has excited others to learn to read : For as I give books to none but such as can read, they consider them as a reward for their industry. And I am told, that in almost every house in my congregation, and in many other places, they spend every leisure hour, in endeavour. ing to learn. Many do this, from a sincere desire to know the will of God. And if some should do it from the meaner principle of vanity or curiosity, yet I cannot but rejoice, that it renders them the more capable of receiving instruction. To all this I may add, that the very distributing these books, gives me an opportunity of speaking seriously, and with particular application to many who would not otherwise come in my way.
6. There are thousands of negroes in this colony, who still continue in the grossest ignorance, and are as rank Pagans now, as they were in the wilds of Africa. Not a few of these are within the bounds of my congregation. But all are not of this character. Upon some my ministry of late has been successful. Two Sundays ago, I had the pleasure of seeing forty black faces at the Lord's table, several of whom give unusual evidence of their sincerity in religion. Last Sunday, I baptized seven or eight, who had been catechised for some time. Indeed many of them appeared determined to press into the kingdom, and I am persuaded will find an abundant entrance, when many of the children of the kingdom are shut out.
“ I have distributed some of the books among the poor white people, with a charge to circulate them among such of their neighbours, as would seriously read them, that they might be as extensively serviceable as possible. And some of them have since discovered to me, what solemn impressions they received in reading them.
" I sent a few of each sort to my friend Mr. Wright, minister of Cumberland, about ninety miles hence, where there are not a few negroes thoughtful about Christianity, and sundry real converts. And he informs me they have met with a very agreeable and promising reception. He takes much pains in instructing them, and has set up two or three schools among them; where they attend on Sundays, before and after sermon : for they have no other leisure
Wednesday 3, I found Bristol all in a flame, voters and non-voters being ready to tear each other in pieces. I had not recovered my voice, so as either to preach, or speak to the whole Society : but I desired those members who were freemen, to meet me by themselves; whom I mildly and lovingly informed how they ought to act, in this hour of temptation. And I believe the far greater part of them received, and profited by the advice.