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shines, and as they conclude, day blesses them; but the rest of that vast expansum they give up to night and darkness, and so avoid coming near it. They have a pretty traffic with known correspondents in some little creek; within that they confine themselves, and are dexterous managers enough of the wares and products of that corner with which they content themselves, but will not venture out into the great ocean of knowledge, to survey the riches that nature hath stored other parts with, no less genuine, no less solid, no less useful, than what has fallen to their lot in the admired plenty and sufficiency of their own little spot, which to them contains whatsoever is good in the universe. Those who live thus mewed up within their own contracted territories, and will not look abroad beyond the boundaries that chance, conceit,. or laziness has set to their inquires, but live separate from the notions, discourses, and attainments of the rest of mankind, may not amiss be represented by the inhabitants of the Marian islands; who being separated by a large tract of sea from all communion with the habitable parts of the earth, thought themselves the only people of the world. And though the straitness of the conveniences of life amongst them had never reached so far as to the use of fire, till the Spaniards, not many years since, in their voyages


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from Acapulco to Manilla, brought it amongst day be them: yet in the want and ignorance of alst most all things, they looked upon themselves, "kness, 1 even after that the Spaniards had brought Teap amongst them the notice of variety of nations sins abounding in sciences, arts, and conveniences rine the of life, of which they knew nothing, they rs the looked upon themselves, I say, as the happiest and wisest people of the universe. But will for all that, nobody, I think, will imagine owled them deep naturalists, or solid metaphysi-. th star cians; nobody will deem the quickest-sighted among them to have very enlarged views in ethics or politics, nor can any one allow the most capable amongst them to be advanced so far in his understanding, as to have any other knowledge but of the few little things of his and the neighbouring islands within his commerce; but far enough from that comprehensive enlargement of mind which adorns a soul devoted to truth, assisted with letters, and a free generation of the several views and sentiments of thinking men of all sides. Let not men, therefore, that would have a sight of what every one pretends to be desirous to have a sight of, truth in its full extent, narrow and blind their own prospect. Let not men think there is no truth but in the sciences that they study, or the books that they read. To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them, is

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not to show their darkness, but to put out our own eyes. Try all things, hold fast that which is good, is a divine rule, coming from the Father of light and truth; and it is hard to know what other way men can come at truth, to lay hold of it, if they do not dig and search for it as for gold and hid treasure: but he that does so must have much earth and rub bish before he gets the pure metal; sand, and pebbles, and dross usually lie blended with it, but the gold is nevertheless gold, and will enrich the man that employs his pains to seek and separate it. Neither is there any danger he should be deceived by the mixture Every man carries about him a touchstone, if he will make use of it, to distinguish, substantial gold from superficial glitterings, truth from appearances. And indeed the use and benefit of this touchstone, which is natural reason, is spoiled and lost only by assuming prejudices, over-weening presumption, and narrowing our minds. The want of exercising it in the full extent of things intelligible, is that which weakens and extinguishes this noble faculty in us. Trace it, and see whether it be not so. The day-labourer in a country village has commonly but a small pittance of knowledge, because his ideas and notions have been confined to the narrow bounds of a poor conversation and employment the low mechanic of a country town


does somewhat outdo him; porters and coblers of great cities surpass them. A country gentleman who, leaving Latin and learning in the university, removes thence to his mansionhouse, and associates with neighbours of the same strain, who relish nothing but hunting and a bottle; with those alone he spends his time, with those alone he converses, and can away with no company whose discourse goes beyond what claret and dissoluteness inspire. Such a patriot formed in this happy way of improvement, cannot fail, as we see, to give notable decisions upon the bench at quartersessions, and eminent proofs of his skill in politics when the strength of his purse and party have advanced him to a more conspicuous station. To such a one truly an ordinary coffee-house gleaner of the city is an errant statesman, and as much superior to, as a man, conversant about Whitehall and the court, is to an ordinary shopkeeper. To carry this a little farther Here is one muffled up in the zeal and infallibility of his own sect, and will not touch a book, or enter into debate with a person that will question any of those things which to him are sacred. Another surveys our differences in religion with an equitable and fair indifference, and so finds probably that none of them are in every thing unexceptionable. These divisions and systems were made by men, and carry the mark of fallible on

them; and in those whom he differs from, and till he opened his eyes, had a general prejudice against, he meets with more to be said for a great many things than before he was aware of, or could have imagined. Which of these two, now, is most likely to judge right in our religious controversies, and to be most stored with truth, the mark all pretend to aim at ? All these men, that I have instanced in, thus unequally furnished with truth, and advanced in knowledge, I suppose of equal natural parts; all the odds between them has been the different scope that has been given to their understandings to range in, for the gathering up of information, and furnishing their heads with ideas and notions and observations, whereon to employ their mind and form their understandings.

It will possibly be objected, "who is sufficient for all this?" I answer, more than can be imagined. Every one knows what his proper business is, and what, according to the character he makes of himself, the world may justly expect of him; and, to answer that, he will find he will have time and opportunity enough to furnish himself, if he will not deprive himself, by a narrowness of spirit, of those helps that are at hand. I do not say, to be a good geographer, that a man should visit every mountain, river, promontory, and creek, upon the face of the earth, view the buildings,

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