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I have reason to believe you have been careful, in the time of your health, to prepare for the evil day; and have been conversant in those books which give the best directions to this purpose ; and have not, as too many do, put off the greatest work of your life to the end of it: and then you have nothing left but, as well as you can, under your present weakness and pain, to review all the errors and miscarriages of your life; and earnestly to beg God's pardon and forgiveness of them, for His sake who is the propitiation for our sins.
Comfort yourself in the goodness and promises of God, and the hope of that happiness into which you are ready to enter : and, in the mean time, exercise faith and patience for a little while, and be of good courage, since you see land. The storm you are in will soon be over, and then it will be as if it had never been ; or, rather, the remembrance of it will be a pleasure.
I do not use to write such long letters; but that I do heartily compassionate your case, and should be glad if I could suggest any thing that might help to mitigate your trouble, and make the sharp and rugged way, through which you are to pass into a better world,
a little more smooth and easy. I pray God fit us both for that great change which we must one day undergo ; and, if we be in any good measure fit, sooner or later makes no great difference. I commend you to the good Father of Mercies and God of all Consolation, beseeching Him to increase your faith and patience, and to stand by you in your last and great conflict; that, when you walk through the yalley of the shadow of death, you may fear no evil; and, when your heart fails you, and your strength fails, you may find Him the strength of your beart, and your portion for ever!
Farewell, my good friend; and, whilst we are here, let us pray one for another, that we may have a joyful ineeting in the other world. So I rest your truly affectionate friend and servant, 1795, April.
LXXXVII. Lewis Morris, Esq. to his Brother, William Morris, Comptroller of the Customs, Holyhead, on Mine-knockers. DEAR BROTHER,
Oct. 14, 1754. PRAY let me know the truth of the report, that Huy Llwyd (Hugh Lloyd) throws sticks at Newhaven ; pray inquire closely into the affair : I do not think it impossible but the äerial part of such a fellow may be condemned to act like a fool who so long acted the knave. I have heard it affirmed by very sober men in Merionethshire, that Mr. Wynne, of Ystumllyn, can do some surprising things, which we call supernatural, by producing the appearances of distant persons ; not that they are, perhaps, really above nature, but that they are done by some means that are not commonly known, or that can be accounted for; as electricity and magnetism are secrets of that kind, though really natural. Be so good as to let me know the common opinion of people in your parts about Mr. Wynne, and whether he really performed those things before sober, sensible, sedate men. I am not over credulous about those things; and scepticism is madness; for, we really know (in general) very little or nothing in comparison to what is to be known. The great Lord Bacon owns it; and that temper of mind in him brought him to inquire into the depth of Nature beyond any man that was born before hiin. People who know very little of arts or sciences, or the power of Nature (which, in other words, are the powers of the Author of Nature,) being full of conceit of their own abilities and knowledge, will laugh at us Cardiganshire miners, who maintain the existence of knockers in mines, a kind of good natured impalpable people, but to be seen and heard, and who seem to us to work in the mines; that is to say, they are types, or forerunners of working in mines, as dreams are of some accidents which happen to us. The barometer falls before rain and storins. If we did not know the construction of it, we should call it a kind of a dream that foretels rain ; but we know it is natural, and produced by natural means comprehended by us. Now how are we sure, or any body sure, but that our dreams are produced by the same kind of natural ineans? There is some faint resemblance of this in the sense of hearing; the bird is killed before we hear the report of the However this is, I must speak well of these knockers, for they have actually stood my very good friends, whether they are äerial beings called spirits, or whether they are a people made of matter not to be felt by our gross bodies, as air and fire and the like. Before the discovery of Esgair y Mwyn mine, these little people (as we call them here) worked hard there day and night; and there are abundance of bonest sober people who have heard them, and some persons who have no notion of them or of mines either ; but, after the discovery of the great ore,
they were heard no more. When I began at Llwyn Llwyd, they worked so fresh there for a considerable time, that they even frightened some young workmen out of the work. This was when we were driving levels, and before we had got any cre; but, when we came to the ore, then they gave over, and I heard no more talk of them. Our old miners are no more concerned at hearing them blasting, boring holes, landing deads, &c. than if they were some of their own people, and a single miner will stay in the work, in the dead of night, without any man near him, and never think of any fear or harm that they will do him; for, they
, bave a notion that the knockers are of their own tribe and profession, and are a harmless people, who mean well. Turee or four miners together shall hear them sometimes; but, if the miners stop to take notice of them, the knockers will also stop ; but, let the miners go on at their own work, suppose it is boring, the knockers will go on as brisk as can be in landing, blasting, or beating down the loose ; and they were always heard a little way from them before they came to ore. These are odd assertions, but they are certainly facts, though we cannot and do not pretend to account for them. We have now very good ore at Llwyn Llwyd, where the knockers were heard to work, but have now yielded up the place, and are no more heard. Let who will laugh, we have the greatest reason to rejoice, and thank the knockers, or rather God, who sends us these notices.
This topic would take up a large volume to bandle properly; and I wish an able hand would take the task upon bim lo discuss the point, perhaps some extraordinary light into Nature might be struck out of it. The word supernatural
, used among us, is nonsense; there is nothing supernatural ; for, the degrees of all beings, from the vegetative life to the archangel, are natural, real, absolute creatures, made by God's own hand; and all their actions, motions, and qualities, are natural. Doth not the fire burn a stick into ashes as natural as the air or water dissolves salt; and yet fire, when out of action, is invisible and impalpable; but where is the home or country of fire; where also is the home and country of knockers? I am, dear brother, yours affectionately,
LEWIS MORRIS. 1795, July,
LXXXVIII. Dr. Young to the Rev. Thomas Newcombe.
MR. URBAN, The following excellent letter of the great Dr. Young, will doubtless be an acceptable present to your readers. It is probably one of the last he ever wrote.
“Tothe Rex. Mr. Thos. Newcombe, at Hackney,near London.
" MY DEAR OLD FRIEND, Wellwyn, Nov. 25, 1762. “And now my only dear old friend, for your name-sake Colborn is dead, he died last winter of a cold, caught by officiating on the Fast-day: he has left one daughter, I believe, in pretty good circumstances; for a friend of his, some time ago, settled upon her twenty-pounds a year; and he, no doubt, has left her something considerable himself.
“ I am pleased with the stanzas you sent me; there is nothing in them of eighty-seven ; and if you have been as young, in your attempt on the Death of Abel, it will do you credit. That work I have read, and think it deserves ibat reception it bas met withall.
“ The libel you mention, I have not seen : but I have seen numberless papers, which shew that our body politic is far from being in perfect health. As for my own health, I do not love to complain ; but one particular I must tell you, that my sight is so far gone, as to lay me under the necessity of borrowing a hand to write this. God grant me grace under this darkness, to see more clearly things invi. sible and eterual, those great things, which you and I must soon be acquainted with; and why not rejoice at it? There is not a day of my long life that I desire to repeat; and at fourscore it is all labour and sorrow. What then have we to do? But one thing remains, and in that one, blessed be God, by his assistance we are sure of success.
Let nothing therefore lie heavy on your heart; let us rely on him who has done so great things for us ; that lover of souls, that hearer of prayers, whenever they come from the heart; and sure rewarder of all those who love him, and put their trust in his mercy.
“Let us not be discontented with this world; that is bad, but it is still worse to be satisfied with it, so satisfied, as not
to be very anxious for something more. My love and best wishes attend you both, and,
My good old friend,
E. YOUNG. “P.S. I am persuaded that you are mistaken as to your age. You write yourself 87, which cannot be the case; for I always thought myself older than you, and I want considerably of that age. If it is worth your while, satisfy me as to this particular.
LXXXIX. Letter of John Locke. MR. URBAN, THÉ following letter of the great and good Mr. Locke, is in the possession of Mrs. Frances Bridger, of Fowlers, in Hawkherst, Kent, a lineal descendant of John Alford, Esq. son of Sir Edward Alford, Knt. of Offington-place, near Arundel, Sussex, to whom it was addressed.
Ch. Ch. 12° Jun. 66. “I have not yet quite parted with you; and though you
your gowne, you are not yet got beyond my affection or concernment for you. 'T'is true you are now past masters and tutors, and it is now therefore that you ought to have the greater care of yourself ; since those mistakes, or miscarriages, which heretofore would have been charged upon them, will now, if any, light wholly upon you, and you yourself must be accountable for all your actions; nor will any longer any one else share in the praise or censure they may deserve. 'Twill be time, therefore, that you now begin to think yourself a man, and necessary that you take the courage of one. I mean not such a courage as may name you one of those daring gallants that stick at nothing; but a courage that may defend and secure your virtue and religion ; for, in the world you are now looking into, you will find perhaps more onsets made upon your innocence than you can imagine; and there are more dangerous thieves than those that lay wait for your purse,