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addresses light, in the opening of the third book of the poem.
Of things invisible to mortal sight. And no doubt this prayer of the poet was heard ; and so, though the natural light could find no entrance to his bodily eye, he could yet perceive things spiritual and celestial with the eye of his mind; and while sitting in darkness, as to the objects of this earth, his soul could soar into the realms of light, and there see indeed “things invisible to mortal sight.' He lived to a good old age, and died in the
The next celebrated man I have to mention to you,
is Sir Matthew Hale; one of the greatest
lawyers and judges ever known in this country, and one of the best men who flourished at the period of which we are now speaking. He lived in the reigns of Charles I, and Charles II, and died shortly after the accession of King William III. Hale had been brought up amongst the Puritans, and received a religious education. He was early taught to reverence the Bible as God's word, and to honour the Sabbath as God's day; and no doubt he felt the good effects of this training during the course of his after-life. But, at first, he seemed to be very little the better for it. He grew up gay and thoughtless; and when he entered upon the duties of his profession as a lawyer, he became completely engrossed with his studies and his business. But while he was still
it so happened, or rather I should
it was so ordered in the good providence of God, that he was brought to an entire change of principles, and feelings, and habits, in a very remarkable manner. He was one day dining with a number of gay and thoughtless companions, when a young man in the party suddenly became insensible, and was so ill that for a time his life was despaired of. Hale was deeply affected by this solemn warning. He left his friends immediately, retired into another room, and falling on his knees, prayed not only for the recovery of his companion, but for
pardon for himself, and for his conduct in having joined such foolish gaiety. Hale never forgot the impressions of that moment, nor the solemn resolutions which he then formed. He became thenceforth a truly religious man.
Hale began his life as a lawyer, at a time when it was very difficult for a man in his profession to act with justice and integrity, and yet to preserve his own safety and interests. The stormy period of the civil wars was just commencing, and there was then, as you are aware, a great deal of party spirit and strong feeling. But Hale went straight on in the path of duty, and was always ready to help and relieve any to whom he could be useful, to whichever side they might happen to belong. When Cromwell came into power, he offered Hale an honourable office in one of the public courts. The conscientious lawyer doubted whether he ought to receive the situation from a usurper; and he would not accept it, until he had asked the advice of some friends able to direct him, and had been convinced by them that he might do so consistently with duty and conscience. After the Restoration of Charles II, he was appointed by Lord Clarendon to the office of Chief Baron of the Exchequer. This too he accepted un willingly; he wished to decline the honour of knighthood altogether, and it was not without
a good deal of difficulty, that he was prevailed upon to be Sir Matthew Hale. He afterwards became chief justice of the King's Bench. This office he held until his health began to fail him, and he resigned the post only a year before his death.
Now the reason I have told you all this about Sir Matthew Hale is, that I wish you to learn two or three things from his character and example, for your own benefit; for that is, after all, the grand point to be attended to in reading the histories of great and good
There are many things for which Hale is distinguished, but I will mention only three. ---The first is his diligence. You may suppose what a busy man he must have been; occupying as he did such an important place in the country, and with so many public affairs to occupy him day after day. And yet, notwithstanding, he continued to carry on a variety of other pursuits and studies; and wrote several books, which are still useful in the world, though he himself has long since passed away. You may wonder how he found time for this. One grand secret of his accomplishing so much was, that he never wasted his minutes, as many people do, in mere idleness. early too, and spent no time in useless conversation, and very little in his necessary meals; and he even found opportunity for reading and
study when he was travelling from place to place to pursue his duties as judge. No wonder then that he accomplished so much both for himself and others.
The second thing I want you to remember in Sir Matthew Hale is his integrity,-his love of truth, and his strict justice. He used to say, that he was entrusted with the adminis. tration of justice for God, for his king, and for bis country; and therefore he must perform bis duty uprightly, deliberately, and resolutely. And accordingly he never would allow himself to be biassed by compassion for the poor, or favour to the rich ; and such was his dread of any thing approaching to bribery, that he insisted upon paying even for the presents which he received from those with whom he was engaged in the course of his profession. Sometimes he gave great offence by acting in this way ; but he had the testimony of his own conscience to assure him that he was doing right,—a conscience which he always tried to regulate by the word of God. He cared very little what men might think ; but he was most anxious to act in accordance with the directions of Him who once said, by the pen of Solomon, "A gift perverteth the ways of judgment." I rest not,” he would say,
upon my own understanding and strength, but implore and act upon the direction and