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Opposition to Government sometimes desirable.
The end of government is the good of mankind: and which is best for mankind, that the people should be always exposed to the boundless will of tyranny; or that the rulers should be sometimes liable to be opposed, when they grow exorbitant in the use of their power, and employ it for the destruction, and not the preservation of the properties of their people ?
Nor let any one say, that mischief can arise from hence, as often as it shall please a busy head, or turbulent spirit, to desire the alteration of the government. It is true, such men may stir, whenever they please; but it will be only to their own just ruin and perdition: for till the mischief be grown general, and the ill designs of the rulers become visible, or their attempts sensible to the greater part, the people, who are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance, are not apt to stir. The examples of particular injustice or oppression, of here and there an unfortunate man, moves them not. But if they universally have a persuasion, grounded upon manifest evidence, that designs are carrying on against their liberties, and the general course and tendency of things cannot but give them strong suspicions of the evil intention of their governors, who is to be blamed for it? Who can help it, if they, who might avoid it, bring themselves into this suspicion ? Are the people to be blamed, if they have the sense of rational creatures, and can think of things no otherwise than as they find and feel them ? And is it not rather their fault, who put things into such a posture, that they would not have them thought to be as they are? I grant, that the pride, ambition, and turbulency of private men, have sometimes caused great disorders in
commonwealths, and factions have been fatal to states and kingdoms. But whether the mischief hath oftener begun in the people's wantonness, and a desire to cast off the lawful authority of their rulers, or in the rulers' insolence, and endeavours to get and exercise an arbitrary power over their people; whether oppression, or disobedience, gave the first rise to the disorder; I leave it to impartial history to determine. This I am sure, whoever, either ruler or subject, by force goes about to invade the rights of either prince or people, and lays the foundation for overturning the constitution and frame of any just government; is highly guilty of the greatest crime, I think, a man is capable of; being to answer for all those mischiefs of blood, rapine, and desolation, which the breaking to pieces of governments brings on a country. And he who does it, is justly to be esteemed the common enemy and pest of mankind, and is to be treated accordingly.
3. Of Recreation. RECREATION is as necessary as labour or food: but because there can be no recreation without delight, which depends not always on reason, but oftener on fancy, it must be permitted children not only to divert themselves, but to do it after their own fashion, provided it be innocently, and without prejudice to their health; and therefore in this case they should not be denied, if they proposed any particular kind of recreation; though I think, in a well-ordered education, they will seldom be brought to the necessity of asking any such liberty. Care should be taken, that what is of advantage to them, they should always do with delight; and, before they are wearied with one, they should be timely diverted to some other useful employment. But if they are not yet brought to that degree of perfection, that one way of improvement can be made a recreation to them, they must be let loose to the childish play they fancy; which they should be weaned from, by being made surfeited of it: but from things of use, that they are employed in, they should always be sent away with an appetite; at least be dismissed before they are tired, and grow quite sick of it; that so they may return to it again, as to a pleasure that diverts them. For you must never think them set right, till they can find delight in the practice of laudable things; and the useful exercises of the body and mind, taking their turns, make their lives and improvement pleasant in a continued train of recreations, wherein the wearied part is constantly relieved and refreshed. Whether this can be done in every temper, or whether tutors and parents will be at the pains, and have the discretion and patience to bring them to this, I know not; but that it may be done in most children, if a right course be taken to raise in them the desire of credit, esteem, and reputation, I do not at all doubt. And when they have so much true life put into them, they may freely be talked with, about what most delights them, and be directed, or let loose to it, so that they may perceive that they are beloved and cherished, and that those under whose tuition they are, are not enemies to their satisfaction. Such a management will make them in love with the hand that directs them, and the virtue they are directed to.
ROBERT SOUTH, the son of a London merchant, was born in 1633. He was educated at Westminster, under Dr. Busby, and elected Student at Christ Church, Oxford, together with John Locke. He took Holy Orders in 1658, and, as Public Orator of the University, attracted the notice of the Chancellor, Clarendon, whose Domestic Chaplain he became.
He was a Prebend of Westminster, and in 1670 he was made a Canon of Christ Church, and was afterwards presented with the living of Islip by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.
Subsequently, he declined the Bishopric of Rochester and the Deanery of Westminster, saying that such a chair would be too uneasy for an old infirm man to sit in. He died in 1716, and was buried near his old master, Dr. Busby, in Westminster Abbey.
Mr. Hallam says of South's Sermons—They were much celebrated at the time, and retain a portion of their renown. This is by no means surprising. South had great qualifications for that popularity which attends the pulpit, and his manner was at that time original. Not diffuse, nor learned, nor 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, free from all pedantry, but abounding with those colloquial novelties of idiom, which, though now become 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, and sometimes even earnestness; but there is a masculine spirit about them, which, combined with their peculiar characteristics, would naturally fill the churches where he might be heard.' To this it may be added, that in his finer passages, such as the following extracts, South shows himself one of the greatest and subtlest masters of the English tongue.
THE CREATION OF MAN IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.
And first for its noblest faculty, the understanding : it was then sublime, clear, and aspiring, and, as it were, the souls upper region, lofty and serene, free from the vapours and disturbances of the inferior affections. It was the leading, controlling faculty; all the passions wore the colours of reason; it did not so much persuade, as command; it was not consul, but dictator. Discourse was then almost as quick as intuition; it was nimble in proposing, firm in concluding; it could sooner determine than now it can dispute. Like the sun, it had both light and agility ; it knew no rest, but in motion; no quiet, but in activity. It did not so properly apprehend, as irradiate the object; not so much find, as make things intelligible. It did arbitrate upon the several reports of sense, and all the varieties of imagination; not like a drowsy judge, only hearing, but also directing their verdict. In sum, it was vegete, quick, and lively; open as the day, untainted as the morning, full of the innocence and sprightliness of youth ; it gave the soul a bright and a full view into all things; and was not only a window, but itself the prospect. Briefly, there is as much difference