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impressive eloquence. Such qualities are those which are found in our greatest masters-not only in the sermons of Barrow, but in the essays of Francis Bacon and the speeches of Edmund Burke.
Few men have been more entirely unselfish than Barrow. Considerations of personal advantage had no influence with him. He seems to have habitually acted under a supreme sense of duty, from which no allurements could seduce, and no difficulties repel him. Many illustrations of this steadfast adherence to principle have already been given, in the previous pages. It may be added, that when he became Master of Trinity, some special exceptions were made in his favour, which, it was supposed, would be very acceptable to him. With his own hand he struck the clauses from the deed as being inconsistent with the rights of the university.
Yet with all this steadfast adherence to principle, he made friends amongst all parties and sects. He lived and died without a single enemy. Hill concludes his biography by a whimsical complaint of this. “If,” he says, “I could hear of any accusation, against which I might vindicate our friend's fame, it would take off from the flatness of my expressions; or a well-managed faction, under the name of zeal, for or against the Church, would show well in story - but I have no shadows to set off my piece.” Similar is the testimony of Archbishop Tillotson, who speaking of Sins of the Tongue, says of him, “As he was exemplary in all manner of
conversation,' so especially in this part of it; being of all men I ever had the happiness to know, the clearest from this common guilt, and most free from offending in word;' coming as near as is possible for human frailty to do to the perfect idea of St James's perfect man; so that in these excellent discourses he hath only transcribed his own practice. All the rules which he hath given he most religiously observed himself.”
Barrow's tastes were simple, his wants few. The only excess in which he indulged was fruit, and his biographer is at some pains to clear him from the imputation of being intemperate in the use of it. In all other things he was remarkably abstemious. He cared not for luxuries, and was most averse to hoarding. Contempt for wealth, which forms a trite common-place in ethical treatises, was with him a habit. He resigned his
. preferments very quickly, as soon as he could live without them. He might have died a rich man, but he willingly surrendered most of his rights. He left nothing behind him but his library, which, however, was so admirably selected, that it sold for more than it cost. His bookseller died, having received several hundred pounds for his “Euclid” without accounting for it. Barrow refused to allow the widow to be troubled, and would say nothing about the matter. Once only he was known to wish for money. He was heard then to say that he wished he had £500. “That is a great sum for a philosopher to desire,” rejoined a friend; "what would you do with so much?” Barrow explained that
with this sum his sister could be comfortably married. Singularly enough, within a few months, this very sum came into his possession, and was expended as he proposed.
Barrow was a most voluminous writer. His theological works alone fill three folio volumes; and they represent but a small part of the productions of his pen. . He was cut off just in the prime of life, when, having at length succeeded in disentangling himself from secular studies, he was beginning to devote all the powers of his vigorous intellect to theology.
The following selections from his sermons, expositions, and controversial treatises may be commended to the reader in the words of Archbishop Tillotson, their first editor : “In the mean time, I heartily recommend these sermons to thy serious perusal; and shall only say this of them, that as they want no other kind of excellency, so, particularly, they are animated throughout with so genuine a spirit of true piety and goodness, that he must either be a perfectly good, or prodigiously bad man, that can read them over without being the
, better for them.”
EXPOSITION OF THE LORD'S PRAYER.
THE DUTY AND BLESSEDNESS OF PRAYER GENERALLY
AMONG all the duties prescribed to us by our religion, the rendering due worship to God is in nature, and for consequence, the principal: God thereby being most directly honoured and served, we from it immediately deriving most ample and high benefits. To the performance of which duty we are furnished with excellent direction and assistance from that prayer which our Lord, at several times and upon several occasions, dictated and recommended to his disciples, both as a pattern according to which they should regulate their devotions (“ Pray thus," or in this manner, saith he in St Matthewl), and as a form, in which they should express them. Unto it therefore we should carefully attend as
· Matt. vi. 9; Luke xi. 2.
to our best rule; and we should frequently use it as our best matter of devotion; to the well-performing of both which duties, it is requisite that we should distinctly understand the particulars contained therein, in order to which purpose we shall endeavour to explain them. But first let us premise a few words in general about prayer.
Prayer, in its latitude of acceptation, doth comprehend all devotion, or worship immediately addressed unto Almighty God,' consisting of praise, which we render to God in regard to his perfections and glorious works, of submissive gratulation, declaring our satisfaction in all the dispensations of his most wise and just providence, of thanksgiving, for the numberless great benefits we have received from him, of acknow. ledging our total dependence on him, and our subjection to him, of professing faith in him, and vowing service to him, of confessing the sins we have committed against him, with the guilt and aggravation of them, of deprecating the wrath and punishment due to us for our offences, of petition for all things needful and convenient for us, of intercession for others, whose good we, according to duty or charity, are concerned to desire and promote. Prayer, I say, although, according to its most restrained sense, it only doth signify one of these particulars, namely, the petition of what is needful or expedient for us, yet in its larger acceptation, it doth comprise them all. And so we may well take it
I Tim. ii. 1.