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GOD, our Neighbour, and Our Selves, which results from the Nature and Relations of Things: and this He has done in the plainest and most intelligible Manner.
In the Cause of Christianity Helabour'd as sincerely; and, with the same Clearness and Strength, produced and illustrated All the Evidences peculiar to It : not indeed, considering It, as it has been taught in the Schools or Discourses of Modern Ages; but as it lies in the New Testament itself.
And throughout All this, As his First Principle was the Unity of GOD, which He esteemed the Only Guard against Idolatry, as well as the Basis of All Moral Obedience ; fo, next to This, Nothing Seem'd to be more strong within Him, than his Inclination to settle the True Notions of Necessity and Liberty in what is called Action. This He has done in a very convincing Manner, and at the fame time demonstrated, beyond all reasonable doubt, That Freedom of Action in Man, which only can make Him at all Accountable to his Creator, as a Judge of his Behaviour. Such was the Course He ran, in the Cause of That Religion, which alone can be styled worthy of GOD to propose, or of Man to embrace !
In Natural Philosophy, and the Mathematical Knowledge necessary to It, amidst All his other Employments, He excelled, as if These had been his Darling Study. Not that He could possibly find Time Himself to make all the proper Experiments, or necessary Calculations. But He had I know not what happiness of Genius, by which he immediately comprehended what cost Others a great deal of Pains; and such a Faculty of judging of any New Systems, or Propositions, from what He knew certainly before ; and these supported by a Memory which hardly ever failed Him upon these Subjects; That He was esteemed, by the Knowers, to be One of the Best Judges, to apply to, for a Quick Determination about the Force or Failure of any Arguments, or appearing Demonstrations, in these Studies.
His Critical Skill in the learned Languages was like the Gift of Nature; fo strong and so easy in Him, that it appeared plainly, to what a Wide Extent This would have gone, had not his Other
Affairs and Studies put a necessary Stop to what He was so exquisitely framed for. Great as the Impediments were ; We See, His Memory and his Judgment in this part of Learning were so Strong and Powerful, that They shone through them all in a few Instances; and these sufficient to make All Men of Letters wish that He could have spent more of his Time this way.
It is for his honour to observe That he made this Critical Skill subservient to the Cause of Religion, as well as Polite Learning; and gave a Noble Specimen of applying it to the discovery of the True Meaning of Words and Phrases used in the Sacred Writings: without which, We do but wander in the dark, when We pretend to speak upon many of the Subjects contained in those Books.
As much as I have said already of his Excellencies in Learning; There is still One behind, which was (I had almoft faid) strictly peculiar to Him: I mean The manner of his handling Subjects of a Metaphysical and Abstra£t Nature. In this Skill, He had a Superiority fo visible; that, I think, the Greatest Masters of it
ought ought' to yield it up to Him. This Superiority appeared by his shewing that He had always clear and distinct Ideas ; by clothing them with plain and Intelligible Words ; by going no farther than these Ideas and Words could go together ; and by arguing as closely upon the abstrusest Points which He pretended to underfand, as is usual in Mathematical Deductions themselves.
IF in Any One of these Many Branches of Knowledge and Learning He had excelled only fo much, as He did in All; This alone would have justly intitled Him to the Name of a Great Man. But there is something so very extraordinary, that the same Person should excel, not only in those Parts of Knowledge which require the Strongest Judgment, but in Those which want the help of the Strongest Memory also ; and it is so seldom Seen, That One, who is a Great Master in Theology, is at the same time skilfully fond of all Critical and Clasical Learning; or Excellent in the Physical and Mathematical Studies; or well framed for Metaphysical and Abstract Reasonings: That it ought to be remarked, in how particular
a Manner, and to how high a degree, Divinity and Mathematics, Experimental Philosophy and Clasical Learning, Metaphysics and Critical Skill, All of them, ( Various and different as They are amongst Themselves,) united in Dr Clarke.
This way of speaking of Him, with regard to All these, may Sound so high; that Many perhaps who were Strangers to Him, and to His Real Excellencies, may think, I have said too much. But I am confident, (and this is my Satisfaction ) That In All that I have faid upon these Subjects, I have the Consent and Testimony of Many of the most Judicious and Learned Men, of All Denominations amongst Us ; as well Those who did not come into All his Sentiments, as Those who did.
His Preaching was what One would naturally expect from
Person of so Critical a Genius, and so fedate a Judgment. The Design and Tendency of it was not to move the Passions : nor had He any Talent this
He wisely never attempted it, becaufe He was sensible He should not fucceed if He did. And This was a Defeet; it was a Defeet