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character and quality of the gentleman who fent them; which I found to be as follows. Will Wimble is younger brother to a baronet, and defcended of the ancient family of the Wimbles. He is now between forty and fifty; but being bred to no bufinefs and born to no eftate, he generally lives with his elder brother as fuperintendant of his game. He hunts a pack of dogs better than any man in the country, and is very famous for finding out a hare. He is extremely well versed in all the little handicrafts of an idle man: he makes a May-fly to a miracle; and furnishes the whole country with angle-rods. As he is a good-natured officious fellow, and very much efteemed upon account of his family, he is a welcome gueft at every house, and keeps up a good correfpondence among all the gentlemen about him. He carries a tulip-root in his pocket from one to another, or exchanges a puppy between a couple of friends that live perhaps in the oppofite fides of the county. Will is a particular favourite of all the young heirs, whom he frequently obliges with a net that he has weaved, or a fettingdog that he has "made" himself. He now and then presents a pair of garters of his own knitting to their mothers or fifters; and raises a great deal of mirth among them, by enquiring as often as he meets them how they wear? Thefe gentlemanlike manufactures and obliging little humours make Will the darling of the country.
Sir Roger was proceeding in the character of him, when we faw him make up to us with two or three hazle- twigs in his hand that he had cut in Sir Roger's woods, as he came through them, in his way to the house. I was very much pleafed to obferve on one fide the hearty and fincere welcome with which Sir Roger received him, and on the other, the fecret joy which his guest discovered at fight of the good old night. After the firft falutes were over, Will defired Sir Roger to lend him one of his fervants to carry a fet of fhuttlecocks he had with him in a little box to a lady that lived about a mile off, to whom it feems he had promifed fuch a prefent for above this half year. Sir Roger's back was no fooner turned but honeft Will began to tell me of a large cock-pheafant that he had fprung in one of the neighbour ing woods, with two or three other adventures of the fame nature. Odd and uncommon characters are the game that I look for, and most delight in; for which reafon I was as much pleafed with the novelty of the perfon that talked to me, as he could be for his life with the springing of the pheafant, and therefore liftened to him with more than ordinary attention.
In the midst of this difcourfe the bell rung to dinner, where the gentleman I have been fpeaking of had the pleasure of feeing the huge jack he had caught, ferved up for the firft difh in a moft fumptuous manner. Upon our fitting down to it he gave us a long account how he had hooked it, played with it, foiled it, and at length drew it out upon the bank, with feveral other particularitics that lafted all the firft courfe. A difh of wild fowl that came afterwards furnished converfation for the reft of the dinner, which concluded with a late invention of Will's for improving the quailpipe.
Upon withdrawing into my room after dinner, I was fecretly touched with compaffion towards the honeft gentleman that had dined with us; and couldn't but confider with a great deal of corcorn, how so good an heart and fuch bufy
hands were wholly employed in trifies; that fo much humanity should be fo little beneficial to others, and fo much induftry fo little advantageous to himself. The fame temper of mind and application to affairs might have recommended him to the public esteem, and have raised his fortune in another ftation of life. What good to his country or himself might not a trader or merchant have done with fuch useful though ordinary qualifications?
Will Wimble's is the cafe of many a younger brother of a great family, who had rather fee their children ftarve like gentlemen, than thrive in a trade or profeffion that is beneath their. quality. This humour fills feveral parts of Europe with pride and beggary. It is the happiness of a trading nation, like ours, that the younger fons, though incapable of any liberal art or profeffion, may be placed in fuch a way of life, as may perhaps enable them to vie with the beft of their family: accordingly we find feveral citizens that were launched into the world with narrow fortunes, rifing by an honest industry to greater eftates than thofe of their elder brothers. It is not improbable but Will was formerly tried at divinity, law, or phyfic; and that finding his genius did not lie that way, his parents gave him up at length to his own inventions. But certainly, however improper he might have been for studies of a higher nature, he was perfectly well turned for the occupations of trade and commerce. think this is a point which cannot be too much inculcated, I fhall defire my reader to compare what I have here written with what I have faid in my twenty-first speculation.
No 109. THURSDAY, JULY 5.
HOR. Sat, 2. 1. 2. v. 3.
Of plain good fenfe, untutor'd in the schools. Was this morning walking in the gallery, when
Sir Roger entered at the end oppofite to me, and advancing towards me, faid he was glad to meet me among his relations the de Coverley's, and hoped I liked the converfation of fo much good company, who were as filent as myself. I knew he alluded to the pictures, and as he is a gentleman who does not a little value himself upon his ancient defcent, I expected he would give me fome account of them. We were now arrived at the upper-end of the gallery, when the knight faced towards one of the pictures, and as we stood before it, he entered into the matter, after his blunt way of faying things, as they occur to his imagination, without regular introduction, or care to preferve the appearance of chain of thought.
"It is, faid he, worth while to confider the "force of drefs; and how the perfons of one age "differ from thofe of another, merely by that "only. One may obferve alfo, that the general "fafhion of one age has been followed by one par"ticular fet of people in another, and by them "preferved from one generation to another. Thus "the vast jetting coat and fmall bonnet, which "was the habit in Harry the feventh's time, is "kept on in the yeomen of the guard; not with- ;
out a good and politic view, because they look "a foot-tailer, and a foot and an half broader; " befides, that the cap leaves the face expand"ed, and confequently more terrible, and fitter "to ftand at the entrance of palaces.
"This predeceffor of ours, you fee, is dreffed "after this manner, and his cheeks would be "no larger than mine, were he in a hat as I "am. He was the laft man that won a prize in the tilt-yard, which is now a common "ftreet before Whitehall. You fee the broken "lance that lies there by his right foot; he *fhivered that lance of his adverfary all to "pieces; and bearing himfelf, look you, Sir, in this manner, at the fame time he came "within the target of the gentleman who rode "against him, and taking him with incredible "force before him in the pommel of his faddle, he in that, manner rid the turnament over, "with an air that fhewed he did it rather to "perform the rule of the lifts, than expose his << enemy; however, it appeared he knew how "to make use of a victory, and with a gentle "trot he marched up to a gallery where their "mistress fat, for they were rivals, and let him "down with laudable courtesy and pardonable "infolence. I do not know but it might be exactly where the coffee-houfe is now.
ten thousand pounds debt upon it, but how"ever by all hands I have been informed that "he was every way the finest gentleman in the "world. That debt lay heavy on our houfe "for one generation, but it was retrieved by a "gift from that honeft man you fee there, a "citizen of our name, but nothing at all akin "to us. I know Sir Andrew Freeport has faid "behind my back, that this man was descended "from one of the ten children of the maid of "honour I fhewed you above; but it was never "made out. We winked at the thing indeed, "because money was wanting at that time."
Here I faw my friend a little embarraffed, and turned my face to the next portraiture. Sir Roger went on with his account of the gallery in the following manner. "This man," pointing to him I looked at, "I take to be the "honour of our houfe, Sir Humphrey de Coverley; "he was in his dealings as punctual as a tradefman, and as generous as a gentleman. He "would have thought himself as much undone "by breaking his word, as if it were to be fol"lowed by bankruptcy. He ferved his country
"You are to know this my ancestor was not only of a military genius, but fit alfo for the "arts of peace, for he played on the bass-viol as well as any gentleman at court; you fee "where his viol hangs by his basket-hilt fword. "The action at the tilt-yard you may be fure (6 won the fair lady, who was a maid of ho- as khight of this hire to his dying day. He "nour, and the greatest beauty of her time; "found it no easy matter to maintain an inte"here the stands the next picture. You fee, "grity in his words and actions, even in things "Sir, my great great great grandmother has on "that regarded the offices which were incum"the new-fashioned petticoat, except that the "bent upon him, in the care of his own affairs "modern is gathered at the waist; my grand-" and relations of life; and therefore dreaded, "mother appears as if the ftood in a large "drum, whereas the ladies now walk as if they "were in a go-cart. For all this lady was bred at court, he became an excellent country"wife, fhe brought ten children, and when I fhew you the library, you shall fee in her own hand, allowing for the difference of the lan"guage, the best receipt now in England both "for an hafty-pudding and a white-pot.
"though he had great talents, to go into em"ployments of ftate, where he must be exposed "to the fnares of ambition. Innocence of life "and great ability were the diftinguishing parts "of his character; the latter, he had often ob"ferved, had led to the deftruction of the for"mer, and ufed frequently to lament that great "and good had not the fame fignification.
was an excellent husbandman, but had re"folved not to exceed fuch a degree of wealth;
"If you please to fall back a little, because it "is neceffary to look at the three next pictures" all above it he bestowed in fecret bounties "at one view; these are three fifters. She on "the right hand, who is fo very beautiful, died "a maid; the next to her ftill handfomer, had "the fame fate, against her will; this homely "thing in the middle had both their portions "added to her own, and was ftolen by a neigh
bouring gentleman, a man of ftratagem and "refolution, for he poifoned three maftiffs to "come at her, and knocked down two deer❝ftealers in carrying her off. Misfortunes hap"pen in all families: the theft of this romp
and fo much money, was no great matter to "our eftate. But the next heir that poffeffed "it was this foft gentleman, whom you fee "there: obferve the fmall buttons, the little boots, the laces, the flashes about his clothes, "and above all the posture he is drawn in, which to be fure was his own choofing; you fee he fits with one hand on a defk writing and looking as it were another way, like an "eafy writer, or a fonneteer: he was one of "thofe that had too much wit to know how to "live in the world; he was a man of no juftice,
but great good manners; he ruined every bo"dy that had any thing to do with him, but "never faid a rude thing in his life; the most "indolent perfon in the world, he would fign a
"many years after the fum he aimed at for his "own ufe was attained. Yet he did not flacken "his industry, but to a decent old age spent the "life and fortune which was fuperfluous to "himself, in the fervice of his friends and "neighbours."
Here we were called to dinner, and Sir Roger ended the difcourfe of this gentleman, by telling me, as we followed the fervant, that this his ancestor was a brave man, and narrowly escaped being killed in the civil wars; "for, said he, "he was fent out of the field upon a private "meffage, the day before the battle of Wor"cefter." The whim of narrowly efcaping by having been within a day of danger, with other matters abovementioned, mixed with good fenfe, left me at a lofs whether I was more delighted with my friend's wisdom, or fimplicity.
N° 110. FRIDAY, JULY 6.
Horror ubique animos, fimul ipfa filentia terrent.
Virg. Æn. 2. v. 755. All things are full of horror and affright, And dreadful ev'n the filence of the night.
Ta little diftance from Sir Roger's houfe, a long 'walk of aged elms; which are hot up fo very high, that when one paffes under them, the rooks and crows that reft upon the tops of them feem to be cawing in another region. I am very much delighted with this fort of noife, which I confider as a kind of natural prayer to that Being who fupplies the wants of his whole creation, and who, in the beautiful language of the Pfalms, "feedeth the young ravens that call "upon him." I like this retirement the better, because of an ill report it lies under of being haunted; for which reafon, as I have been told in the family, no living creature ever walks in it befides the chaplain. My good friend the butler defired me with a very grave face not to venture myfelf in it after fun-fet, for that one of the footmen had been almost frighted out of his wits by a spirit that appeared to him in the shape of a black horfe without an head; to which he added, that about a month ago one of the maids coming home late that way with a pail of milk upon her head, heard fuch a rustling among the bufnes that he let it fall.
I was taking a walk in this place last night between the hours of nine and ten, and could not but fancy it one of the moft proper fcenes in the world for a ghost to appear in. The ruins of the abbey are scattered up and down on every fide, and half covered with ivy and elder bufies, and the harbours of several folitary birds which feldom make their appearance until the dufk of the evening. The place was formerly a church-yard, and has still several marks in it of graves and burying-places. There is fuch an echo among the old ruins and vaults, that if you tamp but a little louder than ordinary, you hear the found repeated. At the fame time the walk of elms, with the croaking of the ravens which from time to time are heard from the tops of them, looks exceeding folemn and venerable. Thefe objects naturally raise ferioufnefs and attention; and when night heightens the awfulnefs of the place, and pours out her fupernumerary horrors upon every thing in it, I do not at all wonder that weak minds fill it with fpectres and apparitions.
Mr. Locke, in his chapter of the affociation of ideas, has very curious remarks to fhew how by the prejudice of education one idea often introduces into the mind a whole fet that bear no refemblance to one another in the nature of things. Among several examples of this kind he produces the following inftance. "The ideas of goblins and fprites have really no more to "do with darkness than light: yet let but a "foolish maid inculcate thefe often on the mind
of a child, and raise them there together, poffibly he fhall never be able to feparate them again fo long as he lives; but darkness shall "ever afterwards bring with it thofe frightful ideas, and they fhall be fo joined, that he can no more bear the one than the other."
As I was walking in this folitude, where the dufk of the evening confpired with fo many other occafions of terror, I obferved a cow grazing not far from me, which an imagination that was apt to ftartle might eafily have conftrued into a black horfe without an head; and I dare fay the poor footman loft his wits upon fome fuch trivial occafion.
My friend Sir Roger has often told me with a good deal of mirth, that at his firft coming to
gether useless; that the best room in it had the reputation of being haunted, and by that means was locked up; that noifes had been heard in his long gallery, fo that he could not get a fervant to enter it after eight of the clock at night; that the door of one of his chambers was nailed up, because there went a ftory in the family that a butler had formerly hanged himself in it; and that his mother, who lived to a great age, had fhut up half the rooms in the houfe, in which either her husband, a fon, or daughter had died. The knight feeing his habitation reduced to fo fmall a compafs, and himself in a manner shut out of his own houfe, upon the death of his mother ordered all the apartments to be flung open, and exorcifed by his chaplain, who lay in every room one after another, and by that means diffipated the fears which had fo long reigned in the family.
I fhould not have been thus particular upon thefe ridiculous horrors, did not I find them fo very much prevail in all parts of the country. At the fame time I think a perfon who is thus terrified with the imagination of ghosts and spectres much more reafonable than one who, contrary to the reports of all historians facred and profane, ancient and modern, and to the traditions of all nations, thinks the appearance of fpirits fabulous and groundless. Could not I give myself up to this general teftimony of man kind, I fhould to the relations of particular perfons who are now living, and whom I cannot diftruft in other matters of fact. I might here add, that not only the hiftorians, to whom we may join the poets, but likewife the philofophers of antiquity have favoured this opinion. Lucretius himself, though by the course of his philofophy he was obliged to maintain that the foul did not exift feparate from the body, makes no doubt of the reality of apparitions, and that men have often appeared after their death. This I think very remarkable; he was fo preffed with the matter of fact which he could not have the confidence to deny, that he was forced to account for it by one of the most abfurd unphilo fophical notions that ever was started. He tells us, that the furfaces of all bodies are perpetually flying off from their respective bodies, one after another; and that thefe furfaces or thin cafes that included each other whilft they were joined in the body like the coats of an onion, are fome times feen entire when they are feparated from it; by which means we often behold the fhapes and fhadows of perfons who are either dead or abfent.
I fhall difmifs this paper with a story out of Jofephus, not fo much for the fake of the story itfelf, as the moral reflections with which the author concludes it, and which I fhall here fet down in his own words. "Glaphyra, the "daughter of king Archelaus, after the death "of her two firft husbands, being married to a
"third, who was brother to her first husband, and fo paffionately in love with her that he "turned off his former wife to make room for, this marriage, had a very odd kind of a dream, She fancied that the faw her first husband "coming towards her, and that the embraced "him with great tenderness; when in the midst of the pleasure which the expreffed at the fight "of him, he reproached her after the following "manner: Glaphyra, fays he, thou haft made "good the old faying, that women are not to be trufted. Was not I the husband of thy "virginity? Have I not children by thee? How "couldst thou forget our loves fo far as to enter "into a second marriage, and after that into a third, nay to take for thy husband a man who has fo fhamefully crept into the bed of his "brother? However, for the fake of our paffed loves, I fhall free thee from thy prefent reproach, and make thee mine for ever. Glaphyra told this dream to several women of her acquaintance, and died foon after. I thought "this ftory might not be impertinent in this place, wherein I speak of thofe kings: befides that the example deferves to be taken notice of, as it contains a most certain proof of the "immortality of the foul, and of Divine Providence. If any man thinks thefe facts incredi«ble, let him enjoy his own opinion to himself,
"but let him not endeavour to disturb the belief "of others, who by inftances of this nature are excited to the ftudy of vi.tue."
-Inter filvas Academi quærere verum.
HE courfe of my laft fpeculation led me
me to carry a great weight with it. How can it enter into the thoughts of man, that the foul, which is capable of fuch immenfe perfections, and of receiving new improvements to all eternity, fhall fall away into nothing almost as foon as it is created? Are fuch abilities made for no purpose? A brute arrives at a point of perfection that he can never pafs; in a few years he has all the endowments he is capable of; and were he to live ten thousand more, would be the fame thing that he is at prefent. Were a human foul thus at a ftand in her accomplishments, were her faculties to be full blown, and incapable of farther enlargements, I could imagine it might fall away infenfibly, and drop at once into a ftate of annihilation. But can we believe a thinking being that is in a perpetual progress of improvements, and travelling on from perfection to perfection, after having juft looked abroad into the works of his Creator, and made a few discoveries of his infinite goodness, wisdom and power, muft perifh at her first fetting out, and in the very beginning of her inquiries?
A man, confidered in his present state, seems only fent into the world to propagate his kind. He provides himself with a fucceffor, and imme. diately quits his poft to make room for him. Hæres
Hæredem alterius, velut unda fupervenit undam.
Tinfenfibly into a fubject upon which I al. and come up to the perfection of his nature, be
ways meditate with great delight, I mean the immortality of the foul. I was yesterday walkalone in one of my friend's woods, and loft my felf in it very agreeably, as I was running over in my mind the feveral arguments that establish this great point, which is the bafis of morality, and the fource of all the pleafing hopes and fecret joys that can arife in the heart of a reafonable creature. I confidered those several proofs, drawn;
First, From the nature of the foul itself, and particularly its immateriality; which though not abfolutely neceffary to the eternity of its duration, has, I think, been evinced to almost a demonstration:
Secondly, From its paffions and fentiments, as particularly from its love of existence, its hortor of annihilation, and its hopes of immortality, with that fecret fatisfaction which it finds in the practice of virtue, and that uneafinefs which follows in it upon the commiffion of vice.
Thirdly, From the nature of the fupreme Being, whose justice, goodness, wifdom and veracity are all concerned in this point.
But among thefe and other excellent argufor the immortality of the foul, there is one drawn from the perpetual progrefs of the foul to its perfection without a poffibility of ever ar riving at it; which is a hint I do not remember to have feen opened and improved by others who have written on this subject, though it feems to
fore he is hurried off the stage. Would an infinitely wife Being make fuch glorious creatures for fo mean a purpofe? Can he delight in the production of fuch abortive intelligences, such short lived reasonable beings? Would he give us talents that are not to be exerted? Capacities that are never to be gratified? How can we find that wifdom which fines through all his works, in the formation of man, without looking on this world as only a nursery for the next, and believing that the feveral generations of rational creatures, which rife up and disappear in fuch quick fucceffions, are only to receive their first rudiments of existence here, and afterwards to be transplanted into a more friendly climate, where they may spread and flourish to all eternity?
There is not, in my opinion, a more pleasing and triumphant confideration in religion than this of the perpetual progrefs which the foul makes towards the perfection of its nature, without ever arriving at a period in it. To look upon the foul as going on from ftrength to strength: to confider that she is to fhine for ever with new acceffions of glory, and brighten to all eternity; that he will be ftill adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowicdge; carries in it fomething wonderfully agreeable to that ambition which is natural to the mind of man. Nay, it must be a prospect pleafing to God himself, to fee his creation for ever beautifying in his eyes, and drawing nearer to him, by greater degrees.of refemblance.
Methinks this fingle confideration, of the progrefs of a finite fpirit to perfection, will be fufficient to extinguith all envy in inferior natures, and all contempt in fuperior. That cherubim, which now appears as a god to a human foul, knows very well that the period will come about in eternity, when the human foul fhall be as perfect as he himself now is: nay, when the shall look down upon that degree of perfection, as much as fhe now falls fhort of it. It is true the higher nature ftill advances, and by that means preferves his distance and fuperiority in the fcale of being; but he knows that, how high foever the station is of which he ftands poffeffed at prefent, the inferior nature will at length mount up to it, and fhine forth in the fame degree of glory.
With what aftonishment and veneration may we look into our own fouls, where there are fuch hidden ftores of virtue and knowledge, such inex. haufted fources of perfection? We know not yet what we shall be, nor will it ever enter into the heart of man to conceive the glory that will be always in referve for him. The foul, confidered with its Creator, is like one of thofe mathemati cal lines that may draw nearer to another for all eternity without a poffibility of touching it: and can there be a thought fo tranfporting, as to confider ourselves in thefe perpetual approaches to Him, who is not only the standard of perfection but of happiness!
No 112. MONDAY, JULY 9.
̓Αθανάτες μὲν πρῶτα Θεὺς, νόμῳ ὡς διάκειται,
First, in obedience to thy country's rites,
AM always very well pleafed with a country Sunday, and think, if keeping holy the feventh day were only a human inftitution, it would be the best method that could have been thought of for the polishing and civilizing of mankind. It is certain the country people would foon degenerate into a kind of favages and barbarians, were there not fuch frequent returns of a ftated time, in which the whole village meet together with their beft faces, and in their cleanlieft habits, to converse with one another upon indifferent fubjects, hear their duties explained to them, and join together in adoration of the fupreme Being. Sunday clears away the ruft of the whole week, not only as it refreshes in their minds the notions of religion, but as it puts both the fexes upon appearing in their most agreeable forms, and exerting all fuch qualities as are apt to give them a figure in the eye of the village. A country fellow diftinguishes himfelf as much in the church-yard, as a citizen does upon the 'Change, the whole parish-politics being generally difcuffed in that place either after fermon or before the bell rings.
My friend Sir Roger, being a good church-man, has beautified the infide of his church with feveral texts of his own chooting; he has likewife given a handfome pulpit-cloth, and railed in the communion-table at his own expence. He has often told me, that at his coming to his eftate he found his parishioners very irregular; and that in order to make them kneel and join in the refponfes, he gave every one of them a hafloc and a commonprayer book; and at the fame time employed an Itinerant finging-mafter, who goes about the
country for that purpofe, to inftruct them rightly in the tunes of the pfalms; upon which they now very much value themfelves; and indeed out-do moft of the country churches that I have ever heard.
As Sir Roger is landlord to the whole congregation, he keeps them in very good order, and will fuffer nobody to fleep in it befides himself; for if by chance he has been furprized into a fhort nap at fermon, upon recovering out of it he ftands up and looks about him, and if he fees any body elfe nodding, either wakes them himself, or fends his fervant to them. Several other of the old knight's particularities break out upon thefe occafions: Sometimes he will be lengthening out a verse in the finging-pfalms, half a minute after the reft of the congregation have done with it; fometimes, when he is pleafed with the matter of his devotion, he pronounces "Amen" three or four times to the fame prayer; and sometimes ftands up when every body elfe is upon their knees, to count the congregation, or fee if any of his tenants are missing.
I was yesterday very much furprized to hear my old friend, in the midst of the fervice, calling out to one John Matthews to mind what he was about, and not difturb the congregation. This John Matthews it seems is remarkable for being an idle fellow, and at that time was kicking his heels for his diverfion. This authority of the knight, though exerted in that odd manner which accompanies him in all circumstances of life, has a very good effect upon the parish, who are not polite enough to fee any thing ridiculous in his behaviour; befides that the general good fenfe and worthinefs of his character makes his friends obferve thefe little fingularities as foils that rather fet off than blemish his good qualities.
As foon as the fermon is finished, nobody prefumes to ftir until Sir Roger is gone out of the church. The knight walks down from his feat in the chancel between a double row of his tenants, that stand bowing to him on each fide: and every now and then inquires how fuch an one's wife, or mother, or fon, or father do, whom he does not fee at church; which is understood as a fecret reprimand to the perfon that is abfent.
The chaplain has often told me, that upon a catechifing-day, when Sir Roger has been pleased with a boy that anfwers well, he has ordered a bible to be given him the next day for his encouragement; and fometimes accompanies it with a flitch of bacon to his mother. Sir Roger has likewife added five pounds a year to the clerk's place; and that he may encourage the young fellows to make themselves perfect in the church-fervice, has promifed upon the death of the prefent incumbent, who is very old, to beftow it according to merit.
The fair understanding between Sir Roger and his chaplain, and their mutual concurrence in doing good, is the more remarkable, because the very next village is famous for the differences and contentions that rife between the parfon and the 'fquire, who live in a perpetual state of war. The parfon is always preaching at the 'fquire, and the 'fquire, to be revenged on the parfon, never comes to church. The fquire has made all his tenants atheifts and tithe-itealers; while the parfon inftru&ts them every Sunday in the dignity of his order, and infinuates to them in almoft every fermon, that he is a better man than