« PředchozíPokračovat »
that is, fivom the comforts of it, or of feeling it only in its terrors ? How pathetic is that ex® poftulation of Job, when for the trial of his patience he was made to look upon himself in this deplorable condition! Why hafi thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am become a burden to myself? But, Thirdly, how happy is the condition of that intellectual being, who is sensible of his Maker's presence from the fecret effects of his mercy and loving-kindness!
The blefled in heaven behold him face to face, that is, are as fenfible of his presence as we are of the prefence of any person whom we look upon with our eyes. There is doubtless a faculty in Ipirits, by which they apprehend one another, as our fenses do material objects; and there is no question but our fouls, when they are disembodied, or plaeed in glorified bodies, will by this faculty, in whatever part of space they reside, be always sensible of the divine presence. We, who have this veil of flesh standing between us and the world of fpirits, must be content to know that the Spirit of God is pre: fent with us, by the effects which he produceth in us. Our outward fenfes are too gross to apprehend him; we may however taste and see how gracious he is, by his influence upon our minds, by those virtuous thoughts which he awakens in us, by those fecret comforts and refreshments which he conveys into our fouls, and by those ravishing joys and inward satisfactions which are perpetually springing up, and diffusing themselves among all the thoughts of good men. He is lodged in our very effence, and is as a foul within the soul to irradiate its understanding, rectify its will, purify its paffions, and enliven all the powers of man. How happy there
. fore is an intellectual being, who, by prayer and meditation, by virtue and good works, opens this communication between. God and his own soul! Though the whole creation frowns upon him, and
all nature looks black about him, he has his light and support within him, that are able to cheer his mind, and bear him up in the midst of all those horrors which encompass him. He knows that his helper is at hand, and is always nearer to him than any thing else can be, which is capable of annoying or terrifying him. In the midst of calumny or contempt, he attends to that being who whis: pers better things within his soul, and whom he looks upon as his defender, his glory, and the lifter-up of his head. In his deepest solitude and retirement he knows that he is in company with the greatest of beings; and perceives within himself luch real sensations of his presence, as are more delightful than any thing that can be met with in the conversation of his creatures. Even in the hour of death, he confiders the pains of his diffolution to be nothing else but the breaking down of that partition, which stands betwixt his foul and the fight of that being, who is always present with him, and is about to manifest itself to him in fulness of joy.
If we would be thus happy, and thus sensible of our Maker's presence, from the secret effects of his mercy and goodness, we must keep such a watch over all our thoughts, that, in the language of the Scripture, his soul may have pleasure in us. We must take care not to grieve his Holy Spirit, and endeavour to make the meditations of our hearts always acceptable in his fight, that he may delight thus to reside and dwell in us. The light of nature could direct Seneca to this doctrine, in a very rea markable passage among his epistles : Sacer ineft in nobis Spiritus bonorum malorumque cuftos, et obfervator, et quemadmodum nos illum tra&tamus, ita et ille nos. There is a holy Spirit refiding in us, who
watches and obferves both good and evil men, • and will treat us after the same inanner that we treat him.' But I shall conclude this discourse
with those more emphatical words in divine revelation. If a man love me he will keep my words; and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
MONDAY, JULY 26.
Quod medicorum eft
HOR. Ep. i. lib. 2. ver. 113.
Am the more pleased with thefe my papers,
since I find they have encouraged several men of learning and wit to become my correspondents : I yesterday received the following effay against quacks which I shall here communicate to my readers for the good of the publick, begging the writer's pardon for those additions and retrenchments which I have made in it.
fion, that I have long fince ceased to wonder at the great encouragement which the practice of physic finds among us.
Well-constituted governmients have always made the profeflion of a phyfi. cian both honourable and advantageous. Honer's Machaon and Virgil's lapis were men of renown, heroes in war, and made at least as much havock among their enemies as among their friends. Those who have little or no faith in the abilities of a quack will apply themselves to him, either because he is willing to sell health at a reasonable profit, or because the patient, like a drowning man, catches at every twig, and hopes for relief from the most ignorant, when the most able phyficians give him none. Though impudence and many words are
as neceffary to these itinerary Galens as a laced hat or a merry Andrew, yet they would turn very little to the advantage of the owner, if there were not some inward disposition in the fick man to favour the pretensions of the mountebank. Love of life in the one, and of money in the other, creates a good correspondence between them.
There is scarce a city in Great Britain but has one of this tribe who takes it into his protection, and on the market-day harangues the good people of the place with aphorisms and receipts. You may depend upon it, he comes not there for his own private interest, but out of a particular affection to the town. I remember one of thefe publicspirited artists at Hammersmith, who told his audience, 'That he had been born and bred there, • and that having a special regard for the place of • his nativity, he was determined to make a present
of five Thillings to as many as would accept of it.' The whole croud stood agape, and ready to take the doctor at his word : When putting his hand into a long bag, as every one was expecting his crown-piece, he drew out an handful of little pac. kets, each of which he informed the spectators was constantly sold at live shillings and fix-pence, but that he would bate the odd five shillings to every inhabitant of that place : The whole afsembly immediately closed with this generous offer, and took of all lris phyfic, after the doctor had made them vouch for one another, that there were no foreigners among them, but that they were all Hammer. smith men.
There is another branch of pretenders to this art, who, without either horse or pickle-herring, lie snug in a garret, and send down notice to the world of their extraordinary parts and abilities by printed bills and advertisements. These feem to have derived their custom froin an Eastern nation
which Herodotus speaks of, among whom it was a law, that whenever any cure was performed, both the method of the cure, and an account of the dirtemper, should be fixed in some publick place; but as customs will corrupt, these our moderns provide themselves of persons to attest the cure, before they publish or make an experiment of the prescription. I have heard of a porter, who serves as a knight of the post under one of these operators, and though he was never fick in his life, has been curs ed of all the diseases in the dispensary. These are the men whose fagacity has invented elixirs of all forts, pills and lozenges, and take it as an affront if y
you come to them before you are given over by every body else.
Their medicines are infallible, and never fail of success, that is, of enriching the doctor, and setting the patient effectually at rest.
I lately dropt into a coffee-house ať Westminster, where I found the room hung round with ornaments of this nature. There were elixirs, tinctures, the Anodyne Fotus, Englisb pills, electuaries, and in fhort more remedies than I believe there are difeases. At the fight of so many inventions, I could not but imagine myself in a kind of arsenal or magazine, where store of arms was reposited agiinft any sudden invasion. Should you be attacked by
. the enemy fide-ways, here was an infallible piece of defensive armour to cure the pleurisy : Should a distemper beat up your head-quarters, here you might purchase an impenetrable helmet, or,' in the language of the artist, a cephalick tincture : If your main body be affìulted, here are various kinds of armour in case of various onsets. I began to congratulate the present age upon the happiness men might reasonably hope for in life, when death was thus in a manner defeated; and when pain it. self would be of so short a duration, that it would but just serve to enhance the value of pleasure : Vol. VIII.