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his searching glance. He strips vice and folly of their frippery, scatters the delusions of pride and passion, and lays down the rules of Christian faith and practice with a precision, which satisfies the intellect, while it leaves the transgressor without an excuse. "Not diffuse, not learned," says Mr Hallam,* "not formal in argument like Barrow, with a more natural structure of sentences, a more pointed, though by no means a more fair and satisfactory turn of reasoning, with a style clear and English, and free from all pedantry, but abounding with those colloquial novelties of idiom, which, though now vulgar and offensive, the age of Charles II. affected, sparing no personal or temporary sarcasm, but, if he seems for a moment to tread on the verge of buffoonery, recovering himself by some stroke of vigorous sense and language; such was the worthy Dr South, whom the courtiers delighted to hear. His sermons want all that is called unction; but there is a masculine spirit about them, which, combined with their peculiar characteristics, would naturally fill the churches where he might be heard." It is this masculine spirit which gives to the pages of South an interest which never flags, and we never turn from them without feeling, that some weakness has been overthrown, some principle placed in a clearer light, and a healthy tone of thought communicated to the mind. His place among divines may not be with the highest, but it is not far beneath them. As a clear and original thinker, and as a master of a manly and forcible style, he is surpassed by none.

"As a judge of men and manners," says the writer in the Retrospective Review, "and a careful observer of human life, South deserves the highest praise. He seldom attempts the subtleties of metaphysical disquisition, in which he did not excel; his business was with the broad realities of life. To shew that the low and contemptible things of the earth often govern the great and exalted, to teach man reasonable diffidence and modesty, to discourage unbounded hopes and expectations, to cherish noble and honourable aspirations, and to make his fellow-creatures wiser and better; to do this was the useful and honourable object of this excellent teacher. He thought, no doubt, he had said a witty thing, who called South's discourses not Sunday, but week-day sermons ;' his meaning was, we presume, if he had any, that they were written too much for worldly every-day affairs; a charge, which a very numerous class of sermon-makers have no cause to fear, who write for no day at all. South's sermons are adapted to all readers and all days; they contain innumerable thoughts and reflections which are true and striking, though not always the most obvious to a common thinker; and this is an unequivocal mark of a good writer. From him we might form a collection of useful maxims, in which sentiments the most profound and just are delivered in language the most expressive and


"His faults, like his virtues, were many and great. His intolerant and persecuting spirit we have before had occasion to notice: words were the only weapons his profession allowed him to use, but he wielded them with a terrible vigour and effect. Doubtless he would have fought with the same spirit that he wrote; for during Monmouth's rebellion, he declared he was ready, if there should be occasion, to change his black gown for a buffcoat. To his detested enemies, the Papists and Puritans, he could shew no mercy, and allow no virtue. Milton, with him, is the blind adder, who spit venom on the king's person;' Cromwell is 'Baal,' a 'bankrupt beggary fellow, who entered the parliamentMouse with a thread-bare, torn cloak, and greasy hat, and perhaps neither of them paid for;' and Sir Henry Vane, that worthy knight, who was executed on Tower Hill.' His crying sin was the contrivance of the covenant; and for this South could triumph over his unjust condemnation.

*Lit. of Europe, iv. 177.

"Satire, ridicule, and invective, he poured forth in a copious and continuous stream; but he was often carried away by the violence of the torrent, which he could neither direct nor restrain. He would always step aside to have a blow at the schismatics, to slyly insi nuate some article of his political creed, something about prerogative, or occasionally relieve himself by a discharge from his inexhaustible fund of wit and humour. This humour often bordered on grossness and indelicacy, and his wit certainly betrayed him into expressions certainly improper, if not profane. What he could not confute by argument, he would overcome by ridicule. He well knew the value of Horace's maxim.

'Ridiculum acri

Fortius et melius magnas plerumque secat res.'

"It may perhaps be objected to some of his sermons that they contain too many divisions and subdivisions, and that order leads to confusion: but all the heads of his discourse are fully examined and discussed; and the infinite variety and fulness of the man's understanding and imagination led him often to crowd into one short sermon what a modern book-maker would diffuse over a folio.

"His sermons, to be properly appreciated, ought to be carefully studied; and we may venture to say that the labour will not be unprofitable: they bear the unequivocal stamp, which a peculiar turn of mind and a great genius cannot fail to impress. The copious and energetic language of South might serve to invigorate the well-turned and rounded sentences of many a modern scribbler, which fall softly on the ear, but have not strength to penetrate farther. The man of business and active life, who has occasion to state to others what he knows himself, might be supplied from this storehouse with all the necessary stock of words and all the clearness of expression; and, if inclination prompted, or circumstances required, he might from the same magazine arm himself with the weapons of ridicule, sarcasm, invective, and abuse. It is no pedantry to say that we observe considerable resemblance between the style of South and the manner of a great Athenian orator; and it is not surprising that there should be a similarity between two men of ardent temperament, who on all subjects thought clearly and expressed themselves forcibly; both were men of strong common sense, who were deeply interested in the business in which they were engaged; both waged a long and continued warfare with enemies whom they hated, and both had, to support them, the command of a mighty and powerful language."




SERMON I.- Page 1.


"Her ways are ways of pleasantness."-PROV. iii. 17.

SOME objections against this truth removed, and the duty of repentance represented under a mixture of sweetness. The excellencies of the pleasure of wisdom enumerated ::

I. As it is the pleasure of the mind in reference, 1. To speculation, on the account of the greatness and newness of the objects; 2. To practice.

II. As it never satiates and wearies. The comparison of other pleasures with it; such as that of an epicure, that of ambition, that of friendship and


III. As it is in nobody's power, but only in his that has it, which property and perpetuity is not to be found in worldly enjoyments.

A consequence drawn against the absurd austerities of the Romish profession. A short description of the religious pleasure.

SERMON II.- Page 9.


"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him."- GENESIS, i. 27.

The several false opinions of the heathen philosophers concerning the original of the world. The image of God in man considered :

I. Wherein it does not consist, adequately and formally; not in power and dominion, as the Socinians erroneously assert.

II. Wherein it does consist: 1. In the universal rectitude of all the faculties of the soul, namely, of his understanding, both speculative and practical. Of his will, concerning the freedom of it. Of his passions, love, hatred, anger, joy, sorrow, hope, fear. 2. In those characters of majesty that God imprinted upon his body.

The consideration of the irreparable loss sustained in the fall of our first parents, and of the excellency of Christian religion, designed by God to repair the breaches of our humanity.

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The occasion of those words inquired into, and their explication, by being compared with other parallel scriptures, and some observations deduced from them. The explication of them by shewing,

I. How many ways Christ and his truths may be denied: 1. By a heretical judgment; 2. By oral expressions; 3. By our actions. What denial is intended by these words.

II. The causes inducing men to deny Christ in his truths: 1. The seeming absurdity of many truths; 2. Their unprofitableness; 3. Their apparent danger.

III. How far a man may consult his safety in time of persecution, without denying Christ; 1. By withdrawing his person; 2. By concealing his judgment. When those ways of securing ourselves are not lawful.

IV. What is meant by Christ's denial of us, with reference, 1. To the action itself; 2. To its circum

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Titus supposed to be a bishop in all this epistle.
The duties of which place are,

I. To teach, either immediately by himself, or
mediately by the subordinate ministration of others.

II. To rule, by an exaction of duty from persons
under him; by a protection of the persons under
the discharge of their duty; and by animadversion
upon such as neglect it.

And the means better to execute those duties, is
not to be despised, in the handling of which pre-
scription these things may be observed: 1. The ill
effects that contempt has upon government; 2. The
causes upon which church-rulers are frequently
despised. And they are either, Groundless, -
as their very profession itself, loss of their former
grandeur and privilege; or, Just, such as ignorance,
viciousness, fearfulness, and a proneness to despise
others. The character of a clergyman.


"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the

doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I

speak of myself."— JOHN, vii. 17.

An account of the Jewish aud Christian economy.
The gospel must meet with a rightly disposed will,
before it can gain the assent of the understanding,
which will appear from the following considerations:

I. What Christ's doctrine is, with relation to
matters of belief, and to matters of practice.

II. That men's unbelief of that doctrine was
from no defect in the arguments, whose strength
was sufficient, from the completion of all the predic-
tions, and the authority of miracles; and whose
insufficiency (if there could have been any) was not
the cause of the unbelief of the Jews, who assented
to things less evident, neither evident nor certain,

All comparisons import, in the superior part of
them, difference and pre-eminence, and so from the
comparison of this text arise these propositions :

I. That God bears a different respect to conse-
crated places, from what he bears to all others;
which difference he shews, 1. By the interposals of
his providence for the erecting and preserving of
them; 2. By his punishments upon the violators of
them; 3. Not upon the account of any inherent
sanctity in the things themselves, but because he
has the sole property of them, by appropriating
them to his peculiar use, and by deed of gift made
by surrender on man's part, and by acceptance on

II. That God prefers the worship paid to him in
such places above that in all others, because, 1. Such
places are naturally apt to excite a greater devo-
tion; 2. In them our worship is a more direct ser-
vice and homage to him.

From all which we are taught to have these three
ingredients in our devotion, desire, reverence,
and confidence.

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God's providence has its influence upon all things,
even the most fortuitous, such as the casting of lots;
which things, implying in themselves somewhat
future and somewhat contingent, are,

I. In reference to men, out of the reach of their
knowledge and of their power.

II. In reference to God, comprehended by a cer-
tain knowledge, and governed by as certain a provi-
dence, and by him directed to both certain and
great ends, in reference, 1. To societies, or united
bodies of men; 2. To particular persons, whether
public, as princes; or private, touching their lives,
health, reputation, friendships, employments.

Therefore we ought to rely on divine Providence;
and be neither too confident in prosperity, nor too
despondent in adversity, but carry a conscience clear
towards God, who is the sole and absolute disposer
of all things.

SERMON IX. - P. 68.


"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with
God.". 1 COR. iii. 19.

Worldly wisdom, in Scripture, is taken sometimes

for philosophy, sometimes, as here, for policy, which,

I. Governs its actions generally by these rules,

1. By a constant dissimulation, not a bare conceal-

ment of one's mind, but a man's positive professing

what he is not, and resolves not to be; 2. By sub-

mitting conscience and religion to one's interest;

3. By making one's self the sole end of all actions;

4. By having no respect to friendship, gratitude, or

sense of honour. Which rules and principles are,

II. Foolish and absurd in reference to God,
because in the pursuit of them man pitches, 1. Upon
an end unproportionable to the measure of his dura-
tion, or to the vastness of his desires; 2. Upon means
in themselves insufficient for, and frequently con-
trary to, the attaining of such ends, which is proved
to happen in the four foregoing rules of the worldly

Therefore we ought to be sincere, and commit our
persons and concerns to the wise and good provi-
dence of God.

SERMON X.-P. 76.




"And the children of Israel remembered not the
Lord their God, who had delivered them out of the
hands of all their enemies on every side: neither
shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal,
namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness
which he had shewed unto Israel."― JUDGES,
viii. 34, 35.

The history of Gideon, and the Israelites' beha-

viour towards him, are the subject and occasion of

these words, which treat of their ingratitude both

towards God and man. This vice, in this latter

sense, is described, by shewing,

I. What gratitude is, what are its parts, what

grounds it hath in the law of nature, of God's word,

of man.

II. The nature and baseness of ingratitude.

III. That ingratitude proceeds from a proneness
to do ill turns with a complacency upon the sight of
any mischief befalling another, and from an utter
insensibility of all kindnesses.

IV. That it is always attended with many other
ill qualities, as, pride, hard-heartedness, and false-

V. Consequences drawn from the premises,-
1. Never to enter into a league of friendship with
an ungrateful person; 2. Because he cannot be
altered by any acts of kindness; and, 3. He has no
true sense of religion. Exhortation to gratitude as
a debt to God.

SERMON XII. - Page 93.


Men are apt to abuse the world and themselves in
some general principles of action; and particularly
in this, That God accepts the will for the deed. The
delusion of which is laid open in these words, ex-
pressing, that where there is no power, God accepts
the will; but implying, that where there is, he does
not. So there is nothing of so fatal an import as the
plea of a good intention, and of a good will, for God
requires the obedience of the whole man, and never
accepts the will but as such.

Thence we may understand how far it holds good,

that God accepts the will for the deed, a rule, 1st,

whose ground is founded upon that eternal truth,

that God requires of man nothing impossible; and

consequently, 2d, Whose bounds are determined by

what power man naturally hath; but, 3d, Whose

misapplication consists in these, (1.) That men often

mistake for an act of the will what really is not so,

as, a bare approbation, wishing, mere inclination;

(2.) That men mistake for impossibilities things

which are not truly so, as, in duties of very great

labour, danger, cost, in conquering an inveterate


Therefore there is not a weightier case of con-

science, than to know how far God accepts the will,
and when men truly will a thing, and have really no

The universality of lying described. This vice

farther prosecuted, by shewing,-

I. The nature of it, wherein it consists, and the
unlawfulness of all sorts of lies, whether pernicious,
officious, or jocose.

II. The effects of it, all sins that came into the
world, all miseries that befall mankind, an utter
dissolution of all society, an indisposition to the im-
pressions of religion.

III. The punishments of it, the loss of all
credit, the hatred of all whom the liar has or would
have deceived, and an eternal separation from God.

All which particulars briefly summed up.

The life of man is, in Scripture, expressed by

walking; which, to do surely, great caution must be

taken not to lay down false principles, or mistake in

consequences from right ones; but to walk uprightly,
under the notion of an infinite mind governing the
world, and an expectation of another state hereafter.

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