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theological works I am only enough acquainted to admire his meeknefs of oppofition, and his mildness of cenfure. It was not only in his book, but in his mind, that orthodoxy was united with charity.

Of his philofophical pieces, his Logick has been received into the universities, and therefore wants no private recommendation: if he owes part of it to Le Clerc, it must be confidered that no man, who undertakes merely to methodife or illuftrate a fyftem, pretends to be its author.

In his metaphyfical difquifitions, it was obferved by the late learned Mr. Dyer, that he confounded the idea of Space with that of empty space, and did not confider that though fpace might be without matter, yet matter being extended could not be without fpace.

Few books have been perufed by me with greater pleasure than his " Improvement of the Mind," of which the radical principle may indeed be found in Locke's "Conduct of the Understanding," but they are fo expanded and ramified by Watts, as to confer upon him the merit of a work in the highest degree ufeful and pleafing. Whoever has the care of inftructing others may be charged with deficience in his duty if this book is not recommended.

I have mentioned his treatifes of Theology as diftinct from his other productions; but the truth is, that whatever he took in hand was, by his inceffant folicitude for fouls, converted to Theology. As piety predominated in his mind, it is diffufed over his works under his direction it may be truly faid, Theologia Philofophia ancillatur, philofophy is fubfervient to evangelical inftruction: it is difficult to read.

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a page without learning, or at leaft wifhing, to be better. The attention is caught by indirect inftruction, and he that fat down only to reafon, is on a fudden compelled to pray.

It was therefore with great propriety that, in 1728, he received from Edinburgh and Aberdeen an unfolicited diploma, by which he became a Doctor of Divinity. Academical honours would have more value, if they were always bestowed with equal judgement.

He continued many years to ftudy and to preach, and to do good by his inftruction and example; till at laft the infirmities of age difabled him from the more laborious part of his minifterial functions, and being no longer capable of publick duty, he offered to remit the falary appendant to it; but his congrega tion would not accept the refignation.

By degrees his weakness increafed, and at laft confined him to his chamber and his bed; where he was worn gradually away without pain, till he expired Nov. 25, 1748, in the feventy-fifth year of his age.

Few men have left behind fuch purity of charac ter, or fuch monuments of laborious piety. He has provided inftruction for all ages, from thofe who are lifping their firft leffons, to the enlightened readers of Malbranche and Locke; he has left neither corporeal nor fpiritual nature unexamined; he has taught the Art of Reafoning, and the Science of the Stars.

His character, therefore, must be formed from the multiplicity and diverfity of his attainments, rather than from any fingle performance; for it would not be

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be fafe to claim for him the highest rank in any fingle denomination of literary dignity; yet perhaps there was nothing in which he would not have excelled, if he had not divided his powers to different pursuits.

As a poet, had he been only a poet, he would probably have stood high among the authors with whom he is now affociated. For his judgement was exact, and he noted beauties and faults with very nice discernment; his imagination, as the "Da"cian Battle" proves, was vigorous and active, and the ftores of knowledge were large by which his fancy was to be fupplied. His ear was well-tuned, and his diction was elegant and copious. But his devotional poetry is, like that of others, unfatisfactory. The paucity of its topicks enforces perpetual repetition, and the fanctity of the matter rejects the ornaments of figurative diction. It is fufficient for Watts to have done better than others what no man has done well.

His poems on other fubjects feldom rife higher than might be expected from the amufements of a Man of Letters, and have different degrees of value as they are more or lefs laboured, or as the occafion was more or lefs favourable to invention.

He writes too often without regular measures, and too often in blank verfe: the rhymes are not always fufficiently correfpondent. He is particularly unhappy in coining names expreffive of characters. His lines are commonly fmooth and eafy, and his thoughts always religiously pure; but who is there that, to fo much piety and innocence, does not wish R 4 for

for a greater measure of sprightliness and vigour ! He is at least one of the few poets with whom youth and ignorance may be fafely pleased: and happy will be that reader whofe mind is difpofed by his verfes, or his profe, to imitate him in all but his non-conformity, to copy his benevolence to man, and his re verence to God.


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F the birth or early part of the life of AMBROSE PHILIPS I have not been able to find any acHis academical education he received at St. John's College in Cambridge, where he first folicited the notice of the world by fome English verses, in the collection published by the Univerfity on the death of Queen Mary.

From this time how he was employed, or in what ftation he paffed his life, is not yet difcovered. He must have publifhed his Paftorals before the year 1708, because they are evidently prior to thofe of Pope.

He afterwards (1709) addreffed to the univerfal patron, the Duke of Dorset, a " poetical Letter from "Copenhagen," which was published in the " Tat"ler," and is by Pope in one of his firft letters mentioned with high praife, as the production of a man "who could write very nobly."

Philips was a zealous Whig, and therefore eafily found access to Addifon and Steele; but his ardour feems not to have procured him any thing more than

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