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SEASONABLE REPLY TO A RESTLESS
ATTORNEY AND CO.
AND BEHOLD, A CERTAIN LAWYER STOOD UP, AND TEMPTED HIM,
LUKE X. 25. ALL THAT SPOIL THEE, SHALL BE A SPOIL; AND ALL THAT PREY UPON
THEE WILL I GIVE FOR A PREY, JER. xxx. 16. WO UNTO YOU, LAWYERS, LUKE XI. 46.
LAWYER’S COMPLAINT, &c.
The produce of a twelvemonth's study, according to report, is at last fallen into my hands: but it is not voluminous, though it has been elaborate; which serves to convince me that the pen of the author, like the wheels of Pharaoh's chariots, dragged heavily; and no wonder when a Lawyer is willing to justify himself, Luke x. 29.
You need not have told me that you was an Attorney; your title-page proves that. It is a common saying, that a Lawyer will tell a lie for a crown; and you have not only confirmed the proverb, but have fallen the price, for you give us to know that you will tell one for a groat.
Your excellent piece is entitled, “A Dialogue between Mr. Latitat and Mr. Huntington. But, to tell the world that you carried on a dialogue with me, when you know that I never saw nor heard of you, is an absolute falsity. Besides every one who knows me knows that I would have no more fellowship or correspondence with an un
renewed lawyer, than I would with the devil, or Balaam the wizard.
"You sometimes amuse yourself with the study of anatomical subjects.' I have no doubt but you speak the truth, sir: I believe anatomy is your chief, if not your only, study. Gentlemen of your profession have ever been noted for that; and many a poor widow, 'orphan, idiot, lunatic, and inheritance, has been pillaged, plundered, dissected, swallowed up and devoured, by them. Hence we read of their eating up a man and his heritage; of their devouring widows' houses; and, for a pretence, making long prayers, for which they have received a singular promise.
My Arminian Skeleton is in the world; nor have I any objection to its being viewed or criticised by Mr. Latitat; for it is cognoscible, if you have cognoscence. A wise man will never set himself against it; and, as for the fool, he can neither overthrow nor understand it.
I do not suppose you pay any regard to conciseness when you enter an action at the pocket: you are more laconical, I take it, when you demand the fee; then it is multum in parvo, much in a little; much money, little disputing to get it, and less work for it.
What you call learning has been called ignorance and foolishness ever since the wisdom of God in a mystery has been published. Real learning consists in a saving experimental knowledge of God, and of an interest in his favour. Unlearned
men are empty professors, who are ignorant of God, and wrest his word to their own destruction.
Far be it from me ever to expect either truth or satire from you: not truth, for want of grace ; nor satire, for want of wit. The Scriptures say nothing about the charity either of Arians or Lawyers. The former rob Christ of his glory, and his church of the dignity of an everlasting righteousness: and the Saviour hints that some of the latter will be employed to sue his disciples out of their cloke; and, knowing that a cloke will hardly suffice, he tells them to give the coat also.
It is not subscribing to a creed that will make a man a Christian, any more than a scrap of Latin will make a man a lawyer. There is but one faith; that comes from God, and leads to him : and if you could prove your own faith, you would not disapprove of mine.
It is a truth, the Bible is very scanty of honest lawyers, though they are to be found in almost every body's mouth in our days. The scriptures give us an account of the church of God for upwards of four thousand years; and there is an account of one Zenas the lawyer walking with Apollos, who was to be brought on his journey and be supplied by Titus; but what he was, or where he was going, I know not; there is nothing said about his grace or his honesty.
I once spent an evening with one of the best lawyers that ever I met with; and he gave me a humorous reproof for my throw at honest lawyers;