Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

tation, as well as Applause and Panegyrick, next to Superstition or Idolatry.

THE Fear of the Lord is the great Foundation of all those above-mentioned Virtues in this Essay. Virtues ! which are either not to be found at all in Persons that have no devout Sense of God, or else found to be very imperfectunfruitful, inconstant, unequal, and insufficient ; varying as their several Passions over-rule their Minds, sway their Spirits, gratifie their Fancies, or govern their Inclinations. Biit our virtuous Lady delights wholly in the divine Law, and sincerely professes this religious Fear to such a high Des gree of Practice, that the values her self for nothing more than her Devotion in the Beauty of Holiness; of which the her self is the liveliert Ornament: losomuch that her Virtues recommend Religion to others, and Religion it felf is honour'd by her eminent Virtues. Her pious Example makes People Profelytes, and they canó not but praise her for their Conversion. This Fear, in fine, is not only the Beginning of all, Wisdom; but likewise the grand Fundamental of all Religion, as well as the Consummation of Faith, Hope, and Charity in full Perfection. There is not one Atheist in Hell ; for the Devils themselves and All fear and tremble there, at the Ap. prehension. They know their Maker better than dubious Deifts, or Atheistical Eternalizers of Mata ter, which was made out of nothing; and can any Thing make it self, by a flat Contradiction in Terms? But who'can fairly look out of his Eye-lids, and foolishly deny the Being of a God, or not faithfully acknowledge his own incomprehensible Creation ? - PHYSIOGNOMY often proves the most mistaken Guess.Work. The Face is generally

reckon'd

reckon'd the falfest Index of the Mind. PhiloSophers are not best known by their long Beards or their severe Brows. 'Tis not the right Way to discover Virtue, which does not lie fo near - the skin. How should stroling Gypfies, Chiromancers, Physiognomifts, &c. know any Thing of People's Natures, Conditions, or Fortunes, by their Features, and the outward View of their Bodies? All Fortune-telling ought to be exploded as a vain Foolery; Palmeftry, as arrant Nonsense, or a palpable Delusion; Phyfs-Gazing, as a plausible Trick to get Money by a willing Deception; and Judicial Aftrology it felf, as no more than a ridiculous Piece of Conjuration, in Pretence only, Conjecture or Amuzement, by casting of Figures, or calculating of Nativities. Their Hands and Faces can never betray the inward Recefses of their Souls, reveal the prefent Secrets of their Hearts, shew the past Actions of their Lives, or foretel the future Contingencies of their Fates. But those Things must be left wholly to Omniscience ; with abso. lute Submisfion to the Sovereign Judgment and Determination of God himfelf alone, the great Kardiognoftes, or Heart-Searcher of the World, in his infinite Wisdom

EXTERNAL Form, Figure, or Shape; Colour, Complexion or Favour, be they never fo fine and amiable, or fulsome and disagree. able to the Eye ; are the most fallacious Critco rions of knowing a good Woman's Character, or discovering the internal Qualifications, Embellishments and Beauties of her nobler Párt. For, what and if she be hard-tavour'd,ill complexion'd, deform’d, crooked, or ugly without, by an Error of Nature ; she may perhaps yet be AH-glorious within, devout, uniform, beautiful, and divine:

That That is, the most charming and angelick Crea: ture, for the Virtues of her soul, the Brightness of her Understanding, the Exactness of her Judga ment, the Regularity of her Will, the Uprightness of her Inclinations, and the most agreeable Government of her Pasions, to the last Degree of Patience, or Perfection of Philosophy. And then again, on the other Hand; what and if she be the fairest of her Sex, the best-shap'd, and most beautiful in external Shew or Appearance; she may peradventure, notwithstanding all these excellent Outside-Ornaments, be internally vicious, deceitful, or diabolical : ' That is, foul in the Mouth, false in the Heart, foolish in her Tongue, and filthy in her Affections ; frail in the Faculties of her Intelle£t, corrupt in her Judg. ment, perverse in her Wil, loose in her Thoughts, debauch'd in her Morals, and disorderd in her Pastions, to the last Extremity of Ugliness, Deformity, or Distraction. But it must be granted, that the Beauty' of Beauties is our prudent Lady, here commended for her Modesty and Devoutness in Religion, by preferring the Fear of the Lord far before all other vulgar Praises, or vain Characteristicks : who evidently possesses the Excellencies of both the one and The other, the Inside as well as Outside-Perfeétions, and the virtuous Accomplishments of the Mind, as well as the graceful Gayeties of the Body.

1. FÀYOUR, if it be taken for real Kindness, or 'pretended Friendship, is most notoriously deceitful, to a great Degree of Imposition and, Flattery. Pardon the Digression. Nothing can be more rare than the former in Deed, and more common than the latter in Disguise. There's scarcé,' âný Thing to be found upon Earth so fi&titious or fallacious as humane Favour in either

[ocr errors]

Acceptation. As to the latter, where is it lodged in Reality? What Breast does it live in, pure and fincere" as it ought to be in Aaion or Prin, ciple, without any linister Design of Selfishness ; either Self-Love, Self-Conceit, or Self-Interest, for fome By-End or other, of a greater Recompence. and Retaliation? Where shall we find the Refidence of true Friendship in good Earnests without any lly Dislimulation ? Very seldom at the Court, or in the Camp, or about the Royal Exchanges in Veracity: ft either lies hid in some humble Retreats and inferiour Cottages, or else it is quite bánilh'd the Country and Kingdom, as a Cria minal or Malefactor, for its Fidelity. Perhaps Astraa carry'd it away for Company in her last Flight of Justice to Heaven. "But what Couna try. Men are Friends, in Time of Need, Adver. fity, or Tribulation? Why truly, they are meer Utopians, or a sort of unknown People, aš imaginary almost as those that are thought to live in the World of the Moon.' As to the former; it is all Pretence only or Grimace, generally speaking, and nothing else but a politick couns terfeiting of Kindness, for the most part of Conversation. The Art of Wheedling is wonderfully improv'd' of late, and requires a "New Edition of Hypocrisie, with many additional Glosses. People are all as kind as can be Teethoutwards, and look very fair in the Face; but try them to the Heart, and they are rotten or not found at the Core. Their faireft. Proinises, like ripe Fruit, often fall off the Tree by their Falle Hearted ness. Their pretended Kindnelle's generally prove all courtly Cajoleries, or Ludifications only off the Lip; fickle, inconstant, and précarious; as they frequently appear upon mány Occalions of Kaavery, Tricking, or servvi ::' :'

A avuto

ing

Itance of Diffatisfactioncileable Dini Ppd out o

ing their own private Turns; and not to be depended upon for any long Continuance or last. ing Faithfolness. Their most favourable Pretena rions, in Expression, are quickly gone in an

After-Frown, or a fantastical Pet. They suddenly vanish in a Breath at a wry Face, a wrong Look, or the least Word that is dropp'd out of Season, to their irreconcileable Diffike, Displeasure, and Dissatisfa&ion. The minuteft Circumstance of an Ačtion, how innocent or ondesigning foever, that looks a-squint upon their Lip Services ; highly disobliges their Honour, offends their Humour, provokes their Indignaa tion, breaks-off all former Favours, and forfeits any new ones for the future. But of all tem. porary Things, Court-Favour is the fullest of Uncertainty and Variation. It looks big indeed with Disembling; but is often deliver'd with Deceit, Delusion, or Disappointment. There is no Dependance upon the sudden Performance of the kind Promises of some complaisant Courtiers. But by conftant Attendance, in Length of Time, a Man may perhaps become either like a Shittle-Cock, to be toss'd up into the Air for a while at their Pleasure, or like a Tennis. Ball, to be thrown out of Play afterwards at their Diverfion. , II. FAVOUR again, if it be taken for Female Beauty, as it most properly ought to be interpreted in this place, is admirably captivate ing, egregiously delusive, and gloriously vajn. But our forward Ladies would do well not to be over-fond of such a perishable Charm, such a deceitful Gemm, or such a changeable Loadftone; which may soon lose all its Value, Virtue, and Attraction. They should not be too proud of the most precious Blessing, that is ro

shorts

« ZurückWeiter »