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Thus died Boerhaave, a man formed by nature for great defigns, and guided by religion in the exertion of his abilities. He was of a robuft and athletic conftitution of body, fo hardened by early feverities, and wholefome fatigue, that he was infenfible of any fharpness of air, or inclemency of weather. He was tall, and remarkable for extraordinary strength. There was in his air and motion fomething rough and artless, but fo majeftick and great at the fame time, that no man ever looked upon him without veneration, and a kind of tacit submiffion to the fuperiority of his genius.

The vigour and activity of his mind fparkled vifibly in his eyes; nor was it ever obferved, that any change of his fortune, or alteration in his affairs, whether happy or unfortunate, affected his countenance.

He was always chearful, and defirous of promoting mirth by a facetious and humourous converfation; he was never foured by calumny and detraction, nor ever thought it neceffary to confute them; "for they are fparks," faid he, which, if you do not blow them, will go out of themselves."

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Yet he took care never to provoke enemies by feverity of cenfure, for he never dwelt on the faults or defects of others, and was fo far from inflaming the envy of his rivals by dwelling on his own excellencies, that he rarely mentioned himself or his writings.

He was not to be over-awed or depreffed by the prefence, frowns, or infolence of great men, but perfifted on all occafions in the right, with a refolution always prefent and always calm. He was modest, but not timorous, and firm without rudeness.


He could, with uncommon readiness and certainty, make a conjecture of mens inclinations and capacity by their afpect.

His method of life was, to ftudy in the morning and evening, and to allot the middle of the day to his publick business. His ufual exercife was riding, till, in his latter years, his diftempers made it more proper for him to walk; when he was weary, he amufed himself with playing on the violin.

His greatest pleasure was to retire to his house in the country, where he had a garden ftored with all the herbs and trees which the climate would bear; here he ufed to enjoy his hours unmolefted, and profecute his ftudies without interruption.

The diligence with which he purfued his ftudies, is fufficiently evident from his fuccefs. Statefmen and generals may grow great by unexpected accidents, and a fortunate concurrence of circumftances, neither procured nor forefeen by themfelves: but reputation in the learned world must be the effect of induftry and capacity. Boerhaave loft none of his hours, but, when he had attained one fcience, attempted another: he added phyfick to divinity, chemistry to the mathematicks, and anatomy to botany. He examined fyftems by experiments, and formed experiments into fyftems. He neither neglected the obfervations of others, nor blindly fubmitted to celebrated names. He neither thought fo highly of himfelf as to imagine he could receive no light from books, nor fo meanly as to believe he could discover nothing but what was to be learned from them. He examined the observations of other men, but trufted only to his own. A a



Nor was he unacquainted with the art of recont mending truth by elegance, and embellishing the philofopher with polite literature; he knew that but a finall part of mankind will facrifice their pleasure to their improvement, and those authors, who would find many readers, muft endeavour to please while they instruct.

He knew the importance of his own writings to mankind, and left he might by a roughness and barbarity of ftyle, too frequent among men of great learning, difappoint his own intentions, and make his labours lefs ufeful, he did not neglect the politer arts of eloquence and poetry. Thus was his learning at once various and exact, profound and agreeable.

But his knowledge, however uncommon, holds, in his character, but the fecond place; his virtue was yet much more uncommon than his learning. He was an admirable example of temperance, fortitude, humility, and devotion. His piety, and a religious fenfe of his dependance on God, was the basis of all his virtues, and the principle of his whole conduct. He was too fenfible of his weakness to afcribe any thing to himself, or to conceive that he could fubdue paffion, or withftand temptation, by his own natural power; he attributed every good thought, and every laudable action, to the Father of goodness. Being once afked by a friend, who had often admired his patience under great provocations, whether he knew what it was to be angry, and by what means he had fo entirely fuppreffed that impetuous and ungovernable paffion? he anfwered, with the utmoft franknefs and fincerity, that he was naturally quick of refentment, but that he had,


by daily prayer and ineditation, at length attained to this mastery over himself.

As foon as he rofe in the morning, it was, throughout his whole life, his daily practice to retire for an hour to private prayer and meditation; this, he often told his friends, gave him spirit and vigour in the bufinefs of the day, and this he therefore commended as the best rule of life; for nothing, he knew, could fupport the foul in all diftreffes but a confidence in the Supreme Being, nor can a steady and rational magnanimity flow from any other fource than a consciousness of the divine favour.

He afferted on all occafions the divine authority, and facred efficacy of the holy fcriptures; and maintained that they alone taught the way of falvation, and that they only could give peace of mind. The excellency of the Chriftian religion was the frequent fubject of his converfation. A ftrict obedience to the doctrine, and a diligent imitation of the example of our Bleffed Saviour, he often declared to be the foundation of true tranquillity. He recommended to his friends a careful obfervation of the precept of Mofes concerning the love of God and man. He worshiped Cod as he is in himself, without attempting to enquire into his nature. He defired only to think of God, what God knows of himfelf. There he ftopped, left, by indulging his own ideas, he fhould form a Deity from his own imagination, and fin by falling down before him. To the will of God he paid an abfolute fubmiffion, without endeavouring to difcover the reafon of his determinations; and this he accounted the first and moft inviolable duty of a Chriftian. When he

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heard of a criminal condemned to die, he used to think, who can tell whether this man is not better than I? or, if I am better, it is not to be afcribed to myself, but to the goodness of God.

Such were the fentiments of Boerhaave, whose words we have added in the note *. So far was this man from being made impious by philofophy, or vain by knowledge, or by virtue, that he afcribed all his abilities to the bounty, and all his goodness to the grace of God. May his example extend its influence to his admirers and followers! May those who study his writings imitate his life! and those who endeavour after his knowledge afpire likewise to his piety!

He married, September 17, 1710, Mary Drolenveaux, the only daughter of a burgo-mafter of Leyden, by whom he had Joanna Maria, who furvives her father, and three other children who died in their infancy.

The works of this great writer are fo generally known, and fo highly efteemed, that, though it may

"Doctrinam facris literis Hebraicè & Græcè traditam, folam animæ falutarem & agnovit & fentit. Omni opportunitate profitebatur difciplinam, quam Jefus Chriftus ore & vita expreffit, unicè tran quillitatem dare menti. Semperque dixit amicis, pacem animi haud reperiundam nifi in magno Mofis præcepto de fincero amore Dei & hominis bene obfervato. Neque extra facra monumenta ufpiam inveniri, quod mentem ferenet. Deum pius adoravit, qui eft.' Intelligere de Deo unicè volebat id, quod Deus de fe intelligit. Eo contentus ultra nihil requifivit, ne idololatria erraret. In voluntate Dei fic requiefcebat,, ut illius nullam omnino rationem indagandam putaret. Hanc unicè fupremam omnium legem effe contendebat ; deliberata conftantia perfcctiffimè colendam. De aliis & feipfo fentiebat: ut quoties criminis reos ad poenas letales damnatos audiret, femper cogitaret, fæpe diceret; "Quis dixerat annon me fint "meliores? Utique, fi iple melior, id non mihi auctori tribuendum "effe palam aio, confiteor; fed ita largienti Deo." Orig. Edit.

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