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“ Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens.".
GEN. xlix. 14.
“ The Articles of the Church, and the Athanasian Creed, are like the
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM HONE, LUDGATE HILL.
HARVARO COLLEGE LIBRARY
Printed by Macdonald & Son
Cloth Fair, London.
It is deemed proper by the Publisher to state, that he had nearly completed the printing of the present Collection towards the close of the year 1817, when certain circumstances, which the reader may perhaps recollect, intervened to prevent its conclusion then, and to protract it until now, and enabled him to
procure the ensuing Memoir of the Author from one of his relatives.
There is no other account of him extant.
If talents, various and eminent, exerted uniformly, through a life of no very short duration, in promoting the best interests of mankind, had been attended to by the compilers of modern biography with that regard due to the highest order of merit, the public would not now have to lament the apathy or prejudice, that has left almost without any record the life and character of such a man as the author of Sermons to Asses. But this omission, so little creditable to the taste of
the times in which he lived, and to the spirit of his literary contemporaries, is now perhaps much more easily accounted for, than supplied by oral testimony, or even accurate vouchers. Time, whose scythe is incessantly employed in thinning the ranks of the living, cuts off in a few years many of those friends who were the only depositories of private anecdote, from whence alone the faithful biographer can draw his best materials for a finished portrait of real character.
The author of Sermons to Asses was not a little remarkable for possessing two opposite qualities, seldom found united in the same character. From a cheerful temperament of miud, he was on most topics facetious and playful; buť in defending the rights of civil and religious liberty, either in private conversation, or from 'the pulpit, he was grave and stern as Diogenes himself. It was one of his maxims, “that no man could be a real Christian, who was not a warm and zealous friend to civil and religious liberty." With those, therefore, who thought a Christian pulpit profaned by any allusion to the abuses of government, and the rights of a free people, he differed much: but with those of the clergy, who, from views of interest or ambition, made their pulpits subservient to the cause of arbitrary power, he differed more. The former, he had the charity to think, might be well-meaning, though weak; but the latter he denounced as the very worst of all' hypocritical knaves.' He never failed to inculcate, as sound doctrine, thať“ the gospel was the best charter of rights and liberties; and its vigilant defence against all encroachments from treachery or power, one of the first duties of a Christian.” He was