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Inform our last invention how to raise
A. It gulld mankind will such great idiots be,
Q. Learned Apollo, tell me why
4. A question taken in answer's stead,
The Happy Man.
On whose rough strand alternate tempests roar,
Hence, with an unfhock'd mind, he casts his eye.
an easy gale ;
Then shakes his head, with pity, at their fate,
Ardon me, Chloris, nor my rudeness blame,
I little thought a frost cou'd breed a flame;
been black, I cou'd have shun’d the blow,
But you are cold, and fair, and ev'ry way like snow.
These publick fooleries will never do.
But when in publick form your actions move,
Q. Whether all the account that the Scripture gives us of what passed between our Saviour and Satan, during the temptation, was all really done, as it seems to be represented or in great measure a vision; as particularly that part of it, in which the devil is said to have set our Saviour on the pinnacle of the temple; and again when he took him up upon an high mountain, where he was shewon all the kingdoms of the world and their glory: which our understandings can't conceive possible to have been effe&ted at all, or at least in folbort a time. This question, I hope will be less troublesom to you, because 'tis upon a subject, that in this season, I may reasonably suppose, bath been more than once offered to your thoughts. However, in taking notice of this, as I believe you will not displease the publick, so yous may be certain to oblige particularly one that has the honour to be known by some of the society, and is, upon thas account, with more than ordinary respect, Gentlemen,
Your most humble Cervant, A. B.
A. We esteem the whole as really, and not visionally performd, upon the following accounts.
1. Since the Gospels are written in fo plain, cafy and familiar a style, we cannot reasonably Suppose, that visional representations would be exhibited to us uns der the notion of realities.
2. Instances are impertinently cited from the Prophets, whose lofty strains are so widely different from the plainness of the Gospels.
3. To say that part only of fo memorable a paffage is a vision, when every part of it is in the very fame manner related to us; this is still more directly opposite to evangelical style; and yet that the whole Thould be a vision, we cannot admit for the subsequent Teasons; for,
1. Were the paffage allow'd to be a vision, we could give little or no account of the several particulars represented in it; wbercas,
2. We can give a very good account of them as in reality perform'd; which, if desired, shall be here
3. The close of the passage in St. Luke destroys the notion of a vision; for thus it is concluded, When the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season, namely, till the time of his passion, when he says to the harden's Jews, this is your hour and the power of darkness. As therefore his passion was real, lo consequently his temptation must be real too.
4. It immediately follows in St. Luke, And Jefus return'd in the power of the Spirit into Galilee. Now had the whole performance been no other than a vision, there would have been no mention made of such a return as this; for then the meaning of the expression must have been, that the vision ceas'd. But this coult not be done in the power of the Spirit, since for him to make a vi. fion to cease, which he himself was the author of, is not an act, but a cessation of power.
5. Were the whole a vision, we could not suppose, that two Evangelifts would so exactly concur in repre
senting a visional appearance under the same formality of a real history; but
6. As for the objection, that the devil could not shew our Lord all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, it will casily vanish, if we but consider these particulars:
1. The writers of those times call’d the Roman empire by the name of world; and that the Scriptures bave once at least made use of the same style, we have an undeniable instance in St. Luke ii, 1.
2. There is a figure calld fynecdoche, which puts a part for the whole. If therefore the devil Mhew'd our Saviour such a part of the Roman empire, as gave him a sensible conception of the whole, he might not improperly be said to shew him all the kingdoms of the world; but,
3. If it be objected (as indeed it is) that towns, villages and fields, which alone could be seen from a mountain, are not properly the glory of the world, which consists rather in numerous attendants, costly attire, and stately palaces, that if the devil represented all these, as it were in landskip, upon the plain below, which might be view'd to the best advantage from the eminence of a mountain: and this best comports with that particular expression, Ina moment of time.
Q. I should be extreamly oblig'd to you for your opinion concerning original sin; whether it consisted literally in eating the forbidden apple? or, &c.
A. To turn plain matter of fact, fo unaffectedly related, into a rhetorical allegory, is of dangerous confequence, and not to be allow'd of; and therefore reasonable that famous rule, we should never depart from the letter, but upon palpable necessity. We should therefore do well to learn not to be wife above that which is writ. ten.
Q. I beg your opinion in this case: which of the two ancient philosophers ( Heraclitus or Democritus) you take to be in the right for their reverse transportation at the follies of the age ?
A. Both of them were guilty of excess in fo continual a transport, and therefore neithes in the right:
but for once, to give you a satisfaction beyond the tenor of your request, Apollo will be fo generous, as to enter upon the comparison, and declare his sentiments.
Those two philosophers differently display'd themselves at the wickedness of mankind, under different notions; the one under the notion of human misery, the other under that of folly : but to the question, whether it be the most commendable, to weep or to laugh at the vices of the age, we reply, that this may be consider'd two ways, with respect either to the manner, in which we our selves are affected with them; or to the method of reforming those who are guilty of them. With respect to the former, we give the preference to Heraclitus. Wickedness is of too serious a concern to be the object of our laughter; and therefore pious those expressions of the Psalmist, Mine eyes run down with water, because men keep not thy law. With respect to the latter, both the opposite affections may be usefully applied; for not impertinent (though otherwise intended) that paffage in the poet,
Si vis me flere, dolendum est primum ipfe tib.mm which may be imitated thus,
Shall I my fond career with tears contioul ?
Thý tears may move my sympathizing foul. But we give the preeminence to the Democritick method, agreeable to that other passage in the poet,
Fortius dos melius magnas plerumque fecat res; which may
be also imitated thus, Let Heraclitus weep, but ridicule
More forcibly corrects the vicious fool. Q. Whether, or by what medicine (internal or external) the beginning of the suffusion of the eye (commonly called á cataract ) may be cur'd, before it comes to a perfect state ?
A. The suffusion of the eye, feated between the cornea and crystalline humour, is a gross watery recrement of the blood, transmitted thither by the internal carotide artery, whereupon after hydragogues have been given, it is very proper in a plethorick body freely to let blood, and afterwards topicks may be