Obrazy na stronie

Tiril.Ti Conyero

[ocr errors]



IVES are usually Read with a greater
Pleasure and Application, than any

other kind of Writing; and it must be own'd, that when rightly chosen, they give us the most useful views of Humane Nature, and the justest Representations of Virtue and Vice, with their different Consequences and Effects.

But then it's observable, that the World is chiefly fond of knowing their Story, who have Acted the most Embroyld and Bufe Parts of Life; have commanded Armies, or manag’d Surprizing Turns of State; have by Policy or War made themselves Famous, the Subject of common Observation and Dif course; or Hurry'd on by Ambition, and other Destructive Passions, have laid Countries Waste, and done fatal Mischiefs to Mankind.

And so far have Mens Inclinations been Gratify'd and Encourag'd that the World is dailymore and more over-stock'd with this fort of Lives, which, as commonly written bave a Fatal Influence upon our Minds, and prove very Pernicious to Religion. They give a




dangerous Turn to our Thoughts, and Infe&t the Soul with wrong Notions of things. The little regard that's had to Justice and Piety, in the Characters of Princes and Warriours; And the Praises that are given to all their Successful Actions, however violent and bloody; the Magnificent Descriptions of Armies and Battles, with the Glory that still surrounds the Head of the Fortunate and Bold: All these Inflime those Passions in us, which our Religion requires us to Subdue. A wild Ambition Fires the Mind, and drives it furio:sly on, in pursuit of mistaken Honour, untill at last the true Temper of Christianity is quite destroy’d; that Humility and Meekness, that Deadness to the World, and Submission to the Will of God; with that Justice and Charity to Men,wbich make up so great a part of the Christian Life: For 's will be hard to persuade Mankind that violence and Injustice are Crimes, while those who committed them are applauded in Story; or that to be Meek and Lowly, are necelary Duties, while even in Christian An.. pals, the Cruel ond vain-Glorious make the greate{t Figures, anil are the constant Subject of Panegyrick and Praise.

To remedy these Mischiefs in some meafure, It were greatly to be desir'd, that the World were furnishd with a sufficient numKer of aạother kind of Lives; of those who



bave been Great in Religion and Goodness; and study'd to Conquer their Corruptions as their most Dangerous, if not only Enemies; who have spent their Lives in the service of God, and made it their conftant Business to do Good to Mankind.

Such Lives as these, we might reasonably hope, wou'd very much serve the Interests of Relgion, by proving an Antidote to the Povson of those other Histories, which are so Destructive to it. They wou'd represent Piety, not in Notion but in Life, with all its Charms about it, and shew not only the Posfibility, but Delightful Easiness of a Religious Conversation. The Pleasure of Narrative wou'd still engage our Attention, and prevent a Weariness, which few can escape, when only Books of Reasoning and Argument are before them. And bright Examples of Holiness faithfully Represented, cou'd hardly fail of awakening good Thoughts in our Minds; of touching us with sad Refleitions upon our own Behaviour, so different from what we Read of others; and exciting strong Desires of following such Patterns.

This is the End propos’d in Publishing the following, Life. It is bop'd that the Character of One, in whom every Christian Grace did so eminently shine, may contri

bute somewhat towards raising a Spirit of i frue Religion in this Age; that the consi


[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]





| James Bonnell, Esq;


Accomptant General




Archdeacon of Armagb.
The Third Edition, with adtitions

from Pr. Bonnell's private Papers. Afark the Perfect Man, bebold the Upright ; fur

the End of that Man is Peace, Psal. 37. 37.

Printed and Sold by Joseph Downing in Baj.

tholomew Close near Smithfield, 1707.


« PoprzedniaDalej »