Sayfadaki görseller


heavenly Father; and when the Christian opens its hard cold
hands, and looks into them, there are to be found gracious ler-
ters full of love, bearing an invitation to come home, a call
from the new Jerusalem to come up and see. When death with
the one hand covers our eyes, and deprives of the light of the
stars, with the other it rends in pieces the vail, and so makes
way for our being set immediately under the refreshing beams
of the Sun of righteousness, without the least appearance of a
cloud through the long days of eternity. Now that his way
in the sea, and his path in the deep waters, and his footsteps
are not known, we must believe loving-kindness in all the
mysterious passages of Providence: we shall in due time see a
wheel in the wheel, and be taught how to decipher the dark
characters; we shall, with an agreeable surprise, perceive an all-
wise Providence in all its intricate, oblique, and seemingly.con-
trary motions, to have been a faithful servant to the divine pro-
mise; so that we must say Amen to Heaven's disposals, and cry
out in the dark and gloomy night, Hallelujah. I should cer-
tainly make an apology for giving you so much trouble, but al-
low it to be written to the Lord's prisoner of hope with you, as
I design it, though the direction bears your name. The fault
of its length will, I hope, appear less when taken in that view.
My affectionate respects to Mrs Boston, with yourself, are of-
fered, by him who is, Very dear Sir, yours very affectionately,
in the straitest bonds,


NO 10. A letter from Professor Hamilton to the Author, refernoftra vel aliis ecclefiis reformatis receptæ : et, fi contigerit illud opus publicum fieri, opinor minime indignum effe eruditorum seria attentione, quo origo et autoritas accentuationis He. braicæ penitus considerentur et examinentur, ut aliquid reperiatur cui ut certo fidendum in tanta tamque gravi quæftione, de qua docti hucusque adeo disputarunt. Hæc funt quæ tuis fupra memoratis respondere lubuit; quæ spero te benevolenter accepturum, ut quæ proveniunt ex animo optime erga te dispofito. Quod reltat, omnia fausta tibi precatur, et sincere optat,-Vir Reverende, Frater dilectiflime, -tui observantiflimus, tibique deditiflimus, Datum Edinæ, Nov. 20. 1728.

red to p. 434. 6. 12. at Hamilton. Vir Reverende, Frater dilectiflime, Tuas Aug. 13. datas accepi, et cum delectatione perlegi : nam multa continent attentione digna ; et quod ad levandos scrupulos meos, circa certitudinem et utilitatem ftigmatologiæ Hebraicæ, prosunt, quamvis non possum dicere illos penitus sublatos esse ; utinam possem. Scio autem te optare ut sincere tecum agam, nec cupere assentationes blandientes, quas nec mihi cordi est dare, nec tibi, ut puto, accipere. Verum, ut antea, in meis, fine fuco, id quod vere mihi animi fuit de opere tuo lubens teftatum feci, ita nunc rursus idem repetam; nempe, illud inligne documentum præbere indefeffæ tuæ diligentiæ, et improbi laboris, in eo concinnando ; nec non quod, ex bono et laudando animi affe&tu erga divina eloquia, molimen illud arduum et onerofum suscepisti, et profequutus es, in duobus illis voluminibus de ftigmatologia facra ; quæ, ut voluifti, perlegi ; et tibi ago gratias, qui id agendi facultatem mihi dederis. Nunc autem infuper addam, exceptionibus meis in præmissis epistolis de hoc opere non obftantibus, nihil a me obfervatum fuifie, dum opus illud perlegerem, quod, quatenus judicare potui, contrarium erat doctrinæ puræ theologiæ in



No 11. Extrait of a letter from Mr Grant to the Author, dated

June 8. 1730, mentioned p. 471. 1.6. at Fourfold

My former letters to our worthy and dear friend Me Hogg, will give you a tolerable account of that rare gentleman Sir Richard Ellys, and of your obligations to him ; tho' I own it is much above me to give either his character, or expreis how much you are obliged to him. But I cannot help saying, that I do fincerely think, that there is ground of many thanksgivings to sovereign grace, that we have in our island a gentleman of his rank, (being one of the first for birth and eitate in England), and one of the ableft scholars in it, who, I hope and am persuaded, is such a pleasant scholar in Christ's school, and is let in to the wonders and glories of free grace, and whose soul thirsts after further and further discoveries of the purity and beauty of the gospel. He has many a time warmed my heart, to hear him speak of that subject. He speaks indeed of grace like one that has seen its glory, felt its power, and talted its sweetness. There is one amongst many lovely accounts he was pleased to communicate to me, which I am fatisfied will be pleasing to you, viz. that when he was a bigotted Arminian, God was pleased to give an old gentle. woman, of an understanding entirely weak as to every thing but free grace and the mystery of Christ, an uncommon concern about him, at whose notions of Christ and grace he was wont to laugh. However, a sovereign and gracious God made this weak woman conquer this Goliath, and teach this Rabbi. O! with what respect he talks of her memory! and (! what a glorious demonitration does he reckon rich a one of the reality of divine teaching, who knows nothing of the worlů, has weak understanding of all the concerns of human life, but knows more of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven than thoufands of scholars, nay, and thousands of divines ! She died full of the faith and hopes, that God would la care of him, and keep him by his power through faith to falvation, Your Fourfold State has engaged his heart to you: he has made presents of it to several of his friends, and made another great man, Sir John Philips, purchase it, who says, free grace is his Bible, and admires your book, reads it daily himself, and kes all his family read it. This gentleman, Sir Richard assures me, is a man of great worth, and has a great concern about the declining of religion, and has a noble public spirit for doing good.

[ocr errors]

NO 12. A letter from the Author to Sir Richard Ellys, Bt, men.

tioned p. 470. l. 14. at Ellys. Honoured Sir, Etterick-manse, June 13. 1730. It was no small encouragement to ine, to find by my good friend Mr John Grant's letters, that you had been pleafed to read the fpecimen of the Eifay on the Hebrew accentuation, lately sent from this place ; that you relished the design of that effay, and thewed a favourable inclination in the matter. This was unto me ground of thankfulness to the Sovereign Disposer of all, and natively

issued in determining to do myself the fatisfaction of expressing, by a line, the warm sense I have of your favour, though I cannot pretend to the honour of your acquaintance.

It is very natural to think, that such a work falling, ‘just s because so it seemed good in the light of the Father,' to the fhare of an obfcure person, living in a desert, exercised with a variety of personal and domestic trials, and under fome uncommon disadvantages beside, must needs with him remain in obscurity, unless it obtain the countenance of one of your Honour's character in the learned world ; and that especially at this time of day, when, in the depth of fovereign wisdom, so many learned men of all denominations reckon any such work a mere laborious trifling; because they believe not the divine original and authority of the points themselves, on which the essay is made.

That I was led to the study of the Hebrew accentuation, was owing purely to the conduct of Providence, bringing Cross's Taghmical Art into my hand ; and through the divine favour falling on the scent, I was carried into the belief of the divine original and authority of that accentuation as itigmatological ; seeing glaring evidence of the fame, in my reading of the sacred Hebrew text, shining by means thereof with its own intrinsic light. And therefore I am inclined to think, that, after all that has been said, on both sides of the question, by the learned, the most habile method of conviction therein, is ty " come and fee;" and that a happy explication, or ge

nuine representation of the nature of the accentuation of the Hebrew Bible, in its natural and artless contrivance, is the only thing wanting to procure it the fame awful regard with the other parts of the sacred text. This is what is aimed at in the essay, though I am not so weak as to think I have fully reached it : but I have the fondness to imagine, that, being brought forth to the public view, it might poflibly minifter occasion unto some learned men to enter into a further considera. tion of that matter ; and so set it at length in a due light, to the increase of scripture-knowledge in the churches of Chrift.

I have now fent off the Englith copy of the essay, hoping that, through the favourable conduct of Providence, it may come safe to London. It is what I wrote at first, while I was not dreaming of putting it in Latin ; the which I was afterwards engaged in, by the advice of some, for whose judgement I had a great deference. And in case of its coming fafe to my friend's hand, I humbly intreat, that, if your affairs will permit, you will be pleased to take the trouble of glancing it over ; to the end you may have a more clear view of the nature of the work, and may be fully satisfied in the point of your affording or denying it your countenance : for, bating fome alterations which I found ground for making, when the Latin copy was written, the former is the same with the latter.

If, upon perufal of the English copy, your favourable inclination shall continue, I will presume to beg your advice to Mr Grant, as to his management of the affair.

The weight and importance of the matter, and the justice of allowing one to express a due gratitude, will, I hope, plead excuse for offering you the trouble of this from a stranger; who craves leave to subscribe himself, — Honoured Sir, - your Honour's very obedient, most humble fervant, T. Boston.

NO 13. Sir Richard Ellys's Answer, referred to p. 487. 1. 28.

Dec. 16. 1730.
I received yours with great pleasure; and can assure you, it
is not for any want of respect that I have been so long in re-
turning you my thanks for it. Believe me, from what I have
read of yours, and the character I have from others concern-
ing you, I have the highest regard for you. The Fourfold
State, which I went through with much satisfaction, has given
me no small idea of your piety; and I have some reason to think,
your Elay on the Hebrew accentuation may in time give the
learned world as great a value and esteem for your knowledge
in that abstruse part of literature. I cannot pretend to much
depth in any part of learning; in this I must own myself en-



tirely ignorant : but this I know, if it fucceeds, it is a glorious work, as it must necessarily be subfervient in the highest degree towards settling our minds, and composing our differences, in these fad distracted times. Has Providence directed you to rules for the ascertaining the sense of scripture, or at least for reducing it in some good measure to a greater certainty than heretofore ? For my own part, I had rather be author of such a book, than master of the Indies.

After I have said this, Sir, I hope I need not add much to assure you, I will do whatever lies in my power to serve you in this noble design. The very failing in an attempt of this nature has its merit :

Magnis tamen excidit aufis; you know, is given as no mean character.

The specimen has been shewed to Mesf. Schultens and A: braham Gronovius, the two best judges of that sort of learning at Leyden, or perhaps in all Holland. I shall not trouble you with their answer, our common friend Mr Grant having undertaken to send it you verbatim; but this I must say, it plea

The specimen is, I suppose, before this time, in the hands of Mr Loftus at Rotterdam, who has promised me to examine it himself, put it into the hands of others, and then give me his and their impartial sentiments.

And now, Sir, I have a favour to beg of you, or rather I insist upon it, that you think of me sometimes in your most retired hours. It is what I defire with some earnestness; and rece kon I have a fort of right to it, as being your hearty wellwilher and friend, though unknown to you, as well as, dear Sir; your very humble servant,


NO 14. A second letter from the Author to Sir Richard Ellys,

mentioned p. 487. b. 15. at retentis. Honoured Sir,

Etterick-manse, Dec. 31. 1730. Often have I been made to adore that sovereign gracious hand, which pointed into the much-neglected path travelled

in, in the MSS. fome time ago sent from hence; and which, in : dependence upon him, opened a paffage through several thic

kets there, in which I found myself entangled; having frequently been in such a situation therein, that when I had set down one foot, I knew not where to set down another. But when, by the divine favour, I had got through it in some meafure, such as was comfortable to myself, and might, I apprehended, be of some use to the church of God, my friendless circumstances were perplexing. These have for several years been matter of exercise to me; and, I am not ashamed to own,

« ÖncekiDevam »