ASTROLOGY is one of the most ancient Sciences, had in high Esteem of old, by the Wise and Great. Formerly, no Prince would make War or Peace, nor any General fight a Battle, in short, no important Affair was undertaken without first consulting an Astrologer, who examined the Aspects and Configurations of the heavenly Bodies, and mark’d the lucky Hour. Now the noble Art (more Shame to the Age we live in!) is dwindled into Contempt; the Great neglect us, Empires make Leagues, and Parliaments Laws, without advising with us; and scarce any other Use is made of our learned Labours, than to find the best Time of cutting Corns, or gelding Pigs. - - - - This Mischief we owe in a great Measure to ourselves: The Ignorant Herd of Mankind, had they not been encourag’d to it by some of us, would never have dared to depreciate our sacred Dictates; but Urania has been betray’d by her own Sons; those whom she had favour’d with the greatest Skill in her divine Art, the most eminent Astronomers among the Moderns, the Newtons, Halleys, and Whistons, have wantonly contemn’d and abus’d her, contrary to the Light of their own Consciences. Of these, only the last nam’d, Whiston, has liv’d to repent, and speak his Mind honestly. In his former Works he had treated Judiciary Astrology as a Chimera, and asserted, That not only the fixed Stars, but the Planets (Sun and Moon excepted) were at so immense a Distance, as to be incapable of any Influence on this Earth, and consequently nothing could be foretold from their Positions: but now in the Memoirs of his Life, publish’d 1749, in the 82d Year of his Age, he foretels, Page 607, the sudden Destruction of the Turkish Empire, and of the House of Austria, German Emperors, &c. and Popes of Rome; the Restoration of the Jews, and Commencement of the Millennium; all by the Year 1766; and this not only from Scripture Prophecies; but (take his own Words) - - - - ”From the remarkable astronomical Signals that are to alarm Mankind of what is coming, viz. The Northern Lights since 1715; the six Comets at the Protestant Reformation in four Years, 1530, 1531, 1533, 1534, compar’d with the seven Comets already seen in these last eleven Years 1737, 1739, 1742, 1743, 1744, 1746, and 1748. - - - - From the great Annular Eclipse of the Sun, July 14, 1748, whose Center pass’d through all the four Monarchies, from Scotland to the East-Indies. - - - - From the Occultation of the Pleiades by the Moon each periodical Month, after the Eclipse last July, for above three Years, visible to the whole Roman Empire; as there was a like Occultation of the Hyades from A. 590, to A. 595, for six Years foretold by Isaiah. - - - - From the Transit of Mercury over the Sun, April 25, 1753, which will be visible thro’ that Empire. - - - - From the Comet of A. D. 1456, 1531, 1607, and 1682, which will appear again about 1757 ending, or 1758 beginning, and will also be visible thro’ that Empire. - - - - From the Transit of Venus over the Sun, May 26, 1761, which will be visible over the same Empire: And lastly, from the annular Eclipse of the Sun, March 11, 1764, which will be visible over the same Empire.” - - - - From these Astronomical Signs, he foretels those great Events, That within 16 Years from this Time, “the Millennium or 1000 Years Reign of Christ shall begin, there shall be a new Heavens, and a new Earth; there shall be no more an Infidel in Christendom, Page 398, nor a Gaming-Table at Tunbridge!” - - - - When these Predictions are accomplished, what glorious Proofs they will be of the Truth of our Art? - - - - And if they happen to fail, there is no doubt but so profound an Astronomer as Mr. Whiston, will be able to see other Signs in the Heavens, foreshowing that the Conversion of Infidels was to be postponed, and the Millennium adjourn’d. - - - - After these great Things can any Man doubt our being capable of predicting a little Rain or Sun-shine? - - - - Reader, Farewell, and make the best Use of your Years and your Almanacks, for you see, that according to Whiston, you may have at most, but sixteen more of them.
Patowmack, July 30, 1750. R. SAUNDERS.
When the young Trader, aided by your Loan, Thrives in his Trade, a worthy Merchant grown; When, snatch'd from Ruin's Jaws by your kind Hand, The Farmer pays his Debts and saves his Land; When Good like this is done, your Money lent Brings you, besides your Interest, Cent. per Cent. In pleasing Satisfaction and Content.
Who rise to Glory, must by VIRTUE rise, 'Tis in the Mind all genuine Greatness lies: On that eternal Base, on that alone, The World’s Esteem you build, and more-your own. For what avails Birth, Beauty, Fortune’s Store, The Plume of Title, and the Pride of Pow’r, If, deaf to Virtue, deaf to Honour’s Call, To Tyrant Vice a wretched Slave you fall? Pray don’t burn my House to roast your Eggs. Some Worth it argues, a Friend’s Worth to know; Virtue to own the Virtue of a Foe. Prosperity discovers Vice, Adversity Virtue.
The Romans were 477 Years, without so much as a Sun-dial to show the Time of Day: The first they had was brought from Sicily, by Valerius Messala: One hundred and eighteen Years afterwards, Scipio Nasica, produced to them an Invention for measuring the Hours in cloudy Weather, it was by the Dropping of Water out of one Vessel into another, somewhat like our Sand-Glasses. Clocks and Watches, to shew the Hour, are very modern Inventions. The Sub-dividing Hours into Minutes, and Minutes into Seconds, by those curious Machines, is not older than the Days of our Fathers, but now brought to a surprising Nicety.
Since our Time is reduced to a Standard, and the Bullion of the Day minted out into Hours, the Industrious know how to employ every Piece of Time to a real Advantage in their different Professions: And he that is prodigal of his Hours, is, in Effect, a Squanderer of Money. I remember a notable Woman, who was fully sensible of the intrinsic Value of Time. Her Husband was a Shoemaker, and an excellent Craftsman, but never minded how the Minutes passed. In vain did she inculcate to him, That Time is Money. He had too much Wit to apprehend her, and it prov’d his Ruin. When at the Alehouse among his idle Companions, if one remark’d that the Clock struck Eleven, What is that, says he, among us all? If she sent him Word by the Boy, that it had struck Twelve; Tell her to be easy, it can never be more. If, that it had struck One, Bid her be comforted, for it can never be less.
If we lose our Money, it gives us some Concern. If we are cheated or robb’d of it, we are angry: But Money lost may be found; what we are robb’d of may be restored: The Treasure of Time once lost, can never be recovered; yet we squander it as tho’ ‘twere nothing worth, or we had no Use for it.
The Bell strikes One: We take no Note of Time, But from its Loss. To give it then a Tongue Is wise in Man. If heard aright It is the Knell of our departed Hours; Where are they? With the Years beyond the Flood: It is the Signal that demands Dispatch; How much is to be done? — — — — Be wise To-day, ‘tis Madness to defer; Next day the fatal Precedent will plead; Thus on, till Wisdom is push’d out of Life: Procrastination is the Thief of Time, Year after Year it steals till all are fled, And to the Mercies of a Moment leaves The vast Concerns of an eternal Scene. If not so frequent, would not this be strange? That ‘tis so frequent, This is stranger still.
Affect not that vain Levity of Thought, Which sets Religion, Virtue, all at nought. For true Religion like the Sun’s blest Beam, Darts thro’ the conscious Mind a heav’nly Gleam, Irradiates all the Soul, no Care allows, Calms the best Heart, and smooths the easy Brows. Yet think it not enough what’s right to know, But let your Practice that right Knowledge show. To Christians bad rude Indians we prefer; ’Tis better not to know, than knowing err. Many a Man would have been worse, if his Estate had been better. We may give Advice, but we cannot give Conduct.
Some sweet Employ for leisure Minutes chuse, And let your very Pleasures have their Use. But if you read, your Books with Prudence chuse. Or Time mis-spent is worse than what you lose. Be fully e’er you speak your Subject known, And let e’en then some Diffidence be shown. Keep something silent, and we think you wise, But when we see the Bottom, we despise. He that is conscious of a Stink in his Breeches, is jealous of every Wrinkle in another’s Nose. Love and Tooth-ach have many Cures, but none infallible, except Possession and Dispossession.
On the 15th of this Month, Anno Romæ 709, Julius Cæser was slain in the Senate-House; He fought! he conquer'd! he triumph'd! For what? For Fame.
And with what rare Inventions do we strive Ourselves then to survive. Some with vast costly Tombs would purchase it, And by the Proofs of Death pretend to live. Here lies the Great - - - - False Marble, where? Nothing but small and sordid Dust lies there. Some build enormous Mountain Palaces The Fools and Architects to please: A lasting Life in well hewn Stone they rear. CÆSAR an higher Place does claim, In the Seraphic Entity of FAME: He, since that Toy his Death, Does fill all Mouths, and breathes in all Men’s Breath; - - - The two immortal Syllables remain; But O ye learned Men explain, What Essence, what Existence this In six poor Letters is? In those alone does the great CÆSAR live; 'Tis all the conquer'd World could give, We Poets madder yet than all, With a refin'd fantastick Vanity Think we not only have but give Eternity. Fain would I see that Prodigal Who his To-morrow would bestow, For all old Homer's Life, e'er since he dy'd till now. COWLEY.
O barb’rous Waggoners, your Wrath asswage, Why vent you on the generous Steed your Rage? Does not his Service earn you daily Bread? Your Wives, your Children by his Labour fed? If, as the Samian taught, the Soul revives, And, shifting Seats, in other Bodies lives, Severe shall be the brutal Carter’s Change, Doom’d in a Thill-horse o’er rough Roads to range; And while transform’d the groaning Load he draws, Some Horse turn’d Carter shall avenge the Cause. There are lazy Minds as well as lazy Bodies. Most People return small Favours, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with Ingratitude.
With ceaseless Streams a well-plac’d Treasure flows, When spent increases, and by lessening grows. Sarepta’s Widow, hoping no Supply, Thought, on her little Store, to eat and die: Soon as she welcom’d her prophetic Guest, The Cruse f1ow’d liberal, and the Corn increas’d, Th’ Almighty Pow’r unfailing Plenty sent, The Oil unwasted, and the Meal unspent. Fond Pride of Dress is sure an empty Curse; E’re Fancy you consult, consult your Purse. Youth is pert and positive, Age modest and doubting: So Ears of Corn when young and light, stand bolt upright, but hang their Heads when weighty, full, and ripe.
What will not Lux'ry taste? Earth, Sea, and Air, Are daily ransack’d for the Bill of Fare. Blood stuff’d in Guts is British Christian’s Food, And France robs Marshes of the croaking Brood; But he had sure a Palate cover’d o’er With Brass or Steel, that on the rocky Shore, First broke the oozy Oister’s pearly Coat, And risk’d the living Morsel down his Throat. 'Tis easier to suppress the first Desire, than to satisfy all that follow it. Don’t judge of Mens Wealth or Piety, by their Sunday Appearances. Friendship increases by visiting Friends, but by visiting seldom.
Vice luring, in the Way of Virtue lies, God suffers This; but tempts not; tho’ He tries. Go wrong, go right, ’tis your own Action still; He leaves you to your Choice, of Good, or Ill. Then chuse the Good! the Ill submisly bear! The Man of Virtue is above Despair. Safe on this Maxim with the Writer rest, That all that happens, happens for the best. If your Riches are yours, why don’t you take them with you to the t’other World? What more valuable than Gold? Diamonds. Than Diamonds? Virtue.
Ye Party Zealots, thus it fares with you, When Party Rage too warmly you pursue; Both Sides club Nonsense and impetuous Pride, And Folly joins whom Sentiments divide. You vent your Spleen as Monkeys when they pass, Scratch at the mimic Monkey in the Glass, While both are one; and henceforth be it known, Fools of both Sides shall stand as Fools alone. If worldly Goods cannot save me from Death, they ought not to hinder me of eternal Life. To-day is Yesterday’s Pupil. 'Tis great Confidence in a Friend to tell him your Faults, greater to tell him his.
Ah! what is Life? With Ills encompass’d round, Amidst our Hopes, Fate strikes the sudden Wound; To-day the Statesman of new Honour dreams, To-morrow Death destroys his airy Schemes. Is mouldy Treasure in thy Chest confin’d; Think, all that Treasure thou must leave behind; Thy Heir with Smiles shall view thy blazon’d Hearse, And all thy Hoards, with lavish Hand disperse. Talking against Religion is unchaining a Tyger; The Beast let loose may worry his Deliverer. Ambition often spends foolishly what Avarice had wickedly collected.
Should certain Fate th’impending Blow delay, Thy Mirth will sicken, and thy Bloom decay; Then feeble Age will all thy Nerves disarm, No more thy Blood its narrow Channels warm; Who then would wish to stretch this narrow Span, To suffer Life beyond the Date of Man? The virtuous Soul pursues a nobler Aim, And Life regards but as a fleeting Dream. Pillgarlic was in the Accusative Case, and bespoke a Lawyer in the Vocative, who could not understand him till he made use of the Dative. Great Estates may venture more; Little Boats must keep near Shore. Nice Eaters seldom meet with a good Dinner.
She longs to wake, and wishes to get free, To launch from Earth into ETERNITY. For while the boundless Theme extends our Thought, Ten thousand thousand rolling Years are nought. O endless Thought! divine Eternity! Th’ immortal Soul shares but a Part of thee; For thou wert present when our Life began, When the warm Dust shot up in breathing Man. Not to oversee Workmen, is to leave them your Purse open. The Wise and Brave dares own that he was wrong. Cunning proceeds from Want of Capacity.
It is an amusing Speculation to look back, and compute what Numbers of Men and Women among the Ancients, clubb’d their Endeavours to the Production of a single Modern. As you reckon backwards the Number encreases in the same Proportion as the Price of the Coat which was sold for a Half-penny a Button, continually doubled.
Thus, a present Nobleman (for Instance) is 1 His Father and Mother were 2 His Grandfathers and Grandmothers 4 His Great Grandfathers and Great Grandmothers 8 And, supposing no Intermarriages among Relations, the next Predecessors will be 16 The next Ditto, 32 The next Ditto, 8192 The next Ditto, 64 The next Ditto, 16384 The next Ditto, 128 The next Ditto, 32768 The next Ditto, 256 The next Ditto, 65536 The next Ditto, 512 The next Ditto, 131072 The next Ditto, 1024 The next Ditto, 262144 The next Ditto, 2048 The next Ditto, 524288 The next Ditto, 4096 The next Ditto, 1048576
Here are only computed 21 Generations, which, allowing 3 Generations to 100 Years, carry us back no farther than the Norman Conquest, at which Time each present Nobleman, to exclude all ignoble Blood from his Veins, ought to have had One Million, Forty-eight Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-six noble Ancestors. Carry the Reckoning back 300 Years farther, and the Number amounts to above 500 Millions; which are more than exist at any one Time upon Earth, and shews the Impossibility of preserving Blood free from such Mixtures, and that the Pretension of such Purity of Blood in ancient Families is a mere Joke. Hence we see how it happens that every Nation has a kind of general Cast of Feature, by which it may be distinguished; continual Intermarriages for a Course of Ages rendring all the People related by Blood, and, as it were, of one Family.
Ere the Foundations of the World were laid, Ere kindling Light th’Almighty Word obey’d, Thou wert; and when the subterraneous Flame, Shall burst its Prison, and devour this Frame, From angry Heav’n when the keen Lightning flies, When fervent Heat dissolves the melting Skies, Thou still shalt be; still as thou wert before, And know no Change when Time shall be no more. The Proud hate Pride - in others. Who judges best of a Man, his Enemies or himself? Drunkenness, that worst of Evils, makes some Men Fools, some Beasts, some Devils. 'Tis not a Holiday that's not kept holy.
On the 6th of this Month, 1711. died in England, Mrs. Jane Schrimshaw, aged 127 Years: - - - - But England boasts some much longer Livers. James Sands, of Horburn, in the County of Stafford, near Birmingham, lived 140 Years, and his Wife 120, in a perfect State of Health till the Day of their Deaths. He out-liv’d 5 Leases of 21 Years each, all made after his Marriage. Thomas Parr, married his first Wife at 8o Years of Age, by whom he had two Children; his second Wife after he was 120 Years old, by whom he had one Child, and lived till he was something above 150. Henry Jenkins of the Parish of Bolton, in Yorkshire, died the 8th of this same Month, 1670, aged 169 Years. In these American Parts we have no such very old Men; not that the Climate is unhealthy, but because the present Inhabitants were not born soon enough.