« PreviousContinue »
or Injustice. They correct Sloth, cbastise Lust, teach Prudence, encourage Diligence, and gloriously represent all otber moral Virtues with an Air of the most lively Veneration and lasting Felicity. There's no Room left here for obliging some Humourists, by glossing over their vicions Actions, or flattering their Offences.
Indeed the late laborious Dr. Patrick raises A mighty Dispute upon the insuing Royal Lesson; and strenza ously contends, that this Chapter ought not to be ascrib'd to Bathsheba and Solomon, as if it was all meerly Cunje&ture, without the least Ground, or any good Reason to be asign’d for it: But that this King Lemuel was fome other Prince, in a foreign Country, whose Mother's Name was unknown, though believ'd to be of a prophetick Spirit; that she was ratber a Jewish Lady, not Bathsheba, marry'd to some Prince of another distant Kingdom; and that Lemuel, her supposed Son, was not Solomon, but some great person, or a different Prince in Chaldæa. But the learned Grotius fancies Hezekiah to be the King bere mention'd or meant, under the Name of Lemuel, upon a very sender Reason; only because this Chapter follows the Collection of Solomon's, Proverbs, Chap. 25. made by his Servants: And hure judiciously soever, or otherwise, I leave to the Determination of wi, Ser Disputants. After All, the Doctor himself grants, wbich is sufficient for the Justification of the Method of my Proceeding; that, it is generally taken for granted, both by Hebrew and Christian Writers, that King Lemuel, whose Mother gave him the Precepts contained in this Chapter, was Solomon: Whom Bathsheba took Care early to instruct in his Duty; being, as some of no small Name fancy, die vinely inspir'd with the Gift of Prophecy. So much for the Matter in Debate ; with as much Brevity as porfible, and without wholly omitting this Variety of Opinions: which, at full Length, would be highly impertinent to my present Undertaking.
Howfoever that be in the Controverfy among the Learned, my fole Business in this Book will be only Practical. i hall de like the Whetfone in Horace; fungar vice cotis--to Sharpen-up Religion and Morality a little, or to give a keener Edge to the Practice of both in this dull Iron-Age. I shall endeavour to whet People to all Virtues, by gently correcting or curing their contrary Vices. Good wholfome Counselo moral Advice, and a little smart Satyr, will not burt tbeir Perfons, and do them no great Harm as to their Manners. I have not study'd tbe Art of Rhetorick or soothing Language, so much as a good Life and some instructive Lampoon in . the Performance. A Moral Writer should rather chuse • to ałt the Part of prudent Physician, than to play the Flatterer or fine Orator. And if bis Physick be proper. for the Patient, it is no Master for the Plainness of the Pill without gilding, or the Bitterness of the Pocion without obliging tbe Palate. However, I bave been as Tender as possible in the following Touches; without either those extreme Severities of probing the Wound too deep on the one Hand, or those defective Indulgences of Palliating tbe Cure on the orber: At least without any Favour, Flattery or Affection on eitber Side, accarding to the Nature of their Distempers and Indispofitions.
Panegyrick and Satyr are so carefully mingled in this Composition, that we hope it will prove a tolerable, boneft, inoffensive Family-Book; a Lesson of moft Duties both Civil and Domestick, or a kind of Looking-Glass, at least for Ladies, and other young people, to see their Virtues and Vices in at full View: fairly representing both Wisdom and Folly in their proper Colours as well as real Complexions.
1. As to the Panegyrick; It commends only the Good, and rewards Virtue with the most deserved Honours of Applause. Who would ever have blam'dPliny Junior, for fo magnificently praising the Civil Virtues of the Emperour Trajan; if be had not defac'd all his Excellencies, and fully'd bis Glories by the extreme Cruelty which be exercised against the Profeffours of Christianity. 'Tis im;
possible to extol a wise, just and righteous Prince or Prin. cess with too much Magnificence; so long as the Panegyrist keeps within the Rules of good Faith and Bounds of good Manners. They justly deserve the highest Encomiums of Rhetorick; require the loudest Harangues of Eloquence, and demand the loftiest Flights both of Art and Nature, by their fingular Merits, upon the Pinnacle of Honour and Virtue. Virtuous People are the most valuable, praise-worthy and inestimable. They should wear Crowns of Laurel, for their better Distinction. They cannot be too well recommended, in the brightest Chara&ters and finest Eulogies of Glory, to the Esteem, Reverence and Admiration of the World. But whosoever was the Author of the Satyr against Virtue, Poet or Pedant, he only acted the part of the Antipodes to common Reason. 'Twas no more than a vain Piece of Blasphemy against her unblemish'd Beauty,without burring her establish'd Character.
II. As to the Satyr ; It condemns only the Bad, and punishes Vice with the most deserved Lashes of Disgrace. Who could ever yet find Fault with Juvenal, the Prince of Satyrifts, for dispraising the Vices, Follies and Vanities of degenerate Rulers or Regents, Noblemen or Magistrates, &c. with so much Severity; when they still peremptorily persisted in their corrupt Practices, and proceeded in their licentious Courses of living with the utmost Irreligion as well as Immorality? It is impossible to degrade such levd Debauchees sufficiently with the greatest Invectives against their Viciousness. "Who can spare their foaring aloft in the Height of Pride and Ambition, Cruelty and Oppression, Treachery and Falshood. They cannot be debased too low, or disgraced by the smartest Strokes of the Pen, mith too much Abborrence and Detestation, for their unpardonable Liberties. But what little lewd, vile Wretches foever, shall become Encomiasts of Vice after all: Such Libertines will certainly merit the inost exquisite Punishments, or Reproaches of Life, that Satyr çan invent; not to pursue the Metaphor of the
be 11. As to thirbthe most de evith Juvenal,
Lash any fartber, among common Offenders, either to the Cart, or the Whipping-Poft, for Currection. Greater Perde fons may perhaps prosper in their Iniquities for a while, and flourish by such disolute Practices. But lo then the Chaff they are like, according to the Royal Psalmist, suddenly scatter'd in the Whirl-Wind! All their Bleflings are driven away at a Blast of the divine DispleaJure. Their false Glory goes off in a Breath of Air. The Levity flies apace, and nothing of Value remains unvanifhd. Who therefore can forbear checking Vice, either walking in the Counsel of the ungodly, standing in the Way of Sinners, sitting in the Seat of the Scornful, riding, triumphant in the Chariot of Vani. ty, or unlawfully Domineering in the full Career of a prosperous Iniquity, Wickedness and Injustice ?
This impartial Composition then, or exact Mixture of the Moralities and Immoralities of People; as well in Praise of the Good and Virtuous,according to their Me. rits, as in Dispraise of the Bad and Vicious, according to their Demerits, among both Sexes, young or oldi peradventure may have its de fired Effect, either of obliging the One, or reforming the other, upon a strict Perusal of the Book to the closer Praktice of their Duties. However, in fine, 'ris hop'd the candid Reader will easily perceive, that I have said nothing of Party-Malice, ima modesty är Immoderation in this work, or at least I think so, according to the best of my knowledge : and have Advanc'd no new Doctrines to offend any Kingdom ; where either the sacred Scripture is not reckoned difaffected to the Government of it, or the Government of it is not really disfat isfied with the sacred Scripture. But without any farther Prefacing, this Royal Lesson contains the Character of a virtuous King and Queen; and they who best deserve it, are most truly intitld to the greatest Glories of its Coronation. Adieu.
Lexander lov'd his Master next his Father, 18 les Arts and Sciences require great Masters, 20 T X Adultery, a most crying a reigning Sin, 25
po Almsgiving, agreeable both to Godê Man,68 Advantages of Poverty, set forth by Examples, 91 Acts of Oblivion, not so prudential Assassines deserve what they design,
121 Avarice, an unaccountable Vice,
135 Arria's Love to Pætus, descanted,
180 Atheism, a flat Contradi&tion to Senfe, Affe&tion cannot be bounded by Sea or Land,
206 Arts, useful in all Callings, Asistance and Forgiveness, Effects of Charity, 256 Apparel, as old as our First Parents, Array, internal better than external Ariadne's Clew, a rare Instance of Love, 280 Ambition, destructive of all Government, 299 Adversity, the truest Test of Friendship, i Admonition, proper for Youth,
330 Adam, invested with universal Dominion, 349
171 Benefits of Marriage, recounted,
165 Bullion, imported, only inriches a Kingdom, 202 Beit, is best Cheap in all Markets,