Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

that ascrib'd to Athanafius: As if there were no Account to be given hereafter, but the Authority of the Church were fufficient to set aside that of our blessed Saviour and his holy Apostles, and to excuse all such Antichristian Practices now among us. I heartily wish that your Zeal, Integrity, and Concern for true Religion, might be made an Inftrument of bringing these most important Matters to a fair and publick Examination; for then I easily foresee the Consequence. Pure and primitive Christianity must then obtain: And the Constitutions of Christ by his Apostles, instead of humane Laws and Articles, must be the Standard of our religious Actions, and of our Faith alto. Which that they may soon be, is the earnest Endeavour and Prayer of,

Your most affectionate Servant,

WILL. WHISTON.

At the End of the fame Year, 1710, I first published my Historical Preface. It was afterwards improved, and made a real Preface to my four Volumes; which came not out till 1711. It then included, as a first Appendix, an Account of my Prosecution at, and Banishment from the Univerfity of Cambridge. But since that Edition, this laft Account was reprinted 1718, with fome Addia tions ;

I desire the future Editions may be made from that Copy. The same Thing is true of that Account of the Convocation's Proceedings with rela

tion to me; which at first was published by itself, some considerable Time before the End of the Year 1711. But this having been reprinted, and made The Second Appendix to my Historical Preface, when it was become the real Preface to my first Volume, which was published a little before the End of that Year, thither I refer the Reader.

N. B. I also read about a Year other publick Lectures, after those before-mentioned, and before my Banishment from the University : Which contained an Account of all the ancient Eclipses of the Sun and Moon, that have been preserved to us, in the very Words of the original Historians. A Coру of which Lectures was reposited in the Archives of that University. Which Lectures were afterward printed, and ought to be added at the End of fome of the fore-mentioned Astronomical, or Phyfico Mathematical Lectures.

The Reader is also to observe, that I intended the Copernious, an Astronomical Instrument by me then first invented, and afterwards published, for the Examination of all those, and indeed of all the ancient Eclipses, that could possibly be seen in any Parts of the World, of which we have any ancient Histories preferv'd, and this with much greater Ease, tho' not with quite che Exactness, than formerly by the usual tedious Calculations ; that so no Hiftorians or Chonologers might ever be at a Loss hereafter, for the Circumstances of such Eclipses as are mentioned by any ancient Author whomsoN 3

ever.

ever. Accordingly I calculated by it. the Eclipses of the Sun and Moon for four several Periods of Eclipses, i. e. for four 18y. ud. 7h. 43m. , at the Distance each from other of 800 years, i. e. for 418 to 400 Years before; and 400 to 418, and for 1200 to 1218 years after the Christian Æra: Besides thofe in my own Time from 1700 to 1718. A Table of which Eclipses, 250 in Number, I have now by me not yet published; but which ought to be added to the future Additions of these Lectures, both in Latin and English.

It must have been about the Year 1711; when I was come newly to London, upon my Banishment from the Univesity, that Dr. Clarke introduced me, into the Company of the Lady Caverly, in SoboSquare; whose Daughter by her first Husband, had been married to Bifhop Lloyd's Son ;, which occasioned her Acquaintance with that great Man, and her studying the Revelation of St. John, about which she was greatly inquisitive. She had now living with her one Sir John Hubern, a sort of a secondhand Husband, but such an one as neither owned her for his Wife, nor gave her his Name; and in short, as I learned afterward, was suspected to live with her in Fornication : However, she being a Believer, loved to have Christians of good Reputation come and dine with her, such as the thought Dr. Bradford, Dr. Clarke, and myself; as Sir John Hubern, being an Unbeliever, loved to have Persons like himself; such as Mr. Collins, and Dr. Tyndal, and where accordingly we used to meet, and to have frequent, but friendly Debates about the Truth of the Bible and Christian Religion. After some

[ocr errors]

Time, when I was informed of this very suspicious Affair, I was uneasy; and told Dr. Clarke that he had brought me into a Snare ; and desired him to let me know whether the Lady Caverly and Sir John Hubern were married or not? his Account was blind and uncertain : That he supposed they had been married somewhere beyond Sea, when she met with him in the 'Army, after some aukwark Sort or other; and that they had lived as Man and Wife ever since, cho' he would never own her for his Wife. This Account made me so uneasy, that I could not go on with my Visits to my own Satisfaction, till the Matter was better cleared up; and I desired to know the Bottom of it before I proceeded; of which I had a very good Opportunity foon offered, which I took hold of immediately: It was this ; Dining myself alone with the Lady Caverly one Saturday, I happened to say, that I design’d the next Day to go to Bow Church, of which Dr. Bradford was Minister, and indeed one of the best of all the London Ministers ; to stay the Communion with him. Upon which she said, she would also come to the Communion with me. Whereupon I went immediately to Dr. Bradford, who knew the Report of her Living in Fornication with Sir John Hubern as well as I, and desired him to deny her the Communion upon that Report ; and we would then go Home with her, and talk with Sir John about it. Dr. Bradford thanked me for my Information, and Advice, and resolved to act accordingly: So in the Morning we both came, as was agreed ; and Dr. Bradford told the Lady,

that'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

that upon Occasion of this Scandal, he must refufe her the Communion, if the offered herself: Upon which she fell into Tears; as earnestly defiring to be owned for Sir John Hubern's Wife, but not able to compass it. After the Communion was over, the Lady carried us Home in her Coach, where we found Sir John. I soon broke the Matter to him, and told him, that Dr. Bradford had been forced to do an hard Thing to the Lady Caverly, and to refuse her the Communion, because they lived as Man and Wife, but he did not own her for his Wife. I said that this Behaviour was unjustifiable, not only upon the Foot of Christianity, but of common Morality and Humanity while an Heathen ought not so unworthily to expose the Honour of a Lady. Sir John upon this Charge pretended to deny his living with her as Man and Wife, and made as if he only managed her Affairs, as a Lawyer, or a Friend only. I reply'd that the Lady was there, and knew it to be otherwise ; and that it was no doubt but he lived with her as his Wife, as much as Dr. Bradford and myself lived with our Wives. So he found this would not bear : I added, that whatever Imperfection their had been in the Manner of their fornier Marriage, Dr. Bradford and myself were both Clergymen, and would either of us, if he pleased, marry them publickly again ; in which I knew no harm. When he would not agree to that, I ventured to declare my own Opinion, that the Lady ought to leave him, as the most unexceptionable Way she could take in her present Circumstances. Dr. Bradford was too tender in that Matter to agree with

mc

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »