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melancholy catastrophe is alluded to by the author himself, in his preface to the first volume of his “Treatise on Happiness." In these pages he has described his helpless condition, in language which must affect the reader even to tears; and he gives the names of a number of distinguished individuals, who had laboured under the same affliction. He concludes by observing, that he was not equal to the least of those worthies in fame, but, that he was equal to the greatest in misfortune. And it may be here remarked, that the greater part of his valuable works were composed after he lost his sight; and, therefore, he is entitled to a place in this collection. This eminent christian, in alluding to his loss of sight, proceeds with the following pious remarks. “It has pleased God, that in a few years I should finish the more pleasant and delightful part of life, if sense were to be the judge and standard of pleasure, being confined, (I will not say condemned) to retirement, and solitude. In this state, conversation has lost much of its former air and briskness; study, which is the only employment left me, is clogged with this weight and incumbrance, that all the assistance I can receive from without, must be conveyed by another's sense, not my own; which, it may easily be believed, are instruments, or organs, as ill fitted and awkwardly managed by me, as wooden legs and hands, by the maimed. Should I ambitiously affect to have my name march in the train of those, although not all equally great ones, Homer, Appius, Aufidius, Didymus, Walkup, Pare, Jean C. Aveugle, &c. all of them eminent for their service and usefulness, as well as for their affliction, of the same kind with mine; even this might seem almost a commendable infirmity; for the last thing a mind truly great and philosophical puts off, is, the desire of glory. But the truth is plainly this, the vigour and activity of my mind, the health and strength of my body, (being now in the flower of my age,) continuing unbroken under this affliction, I found, that if I did not discover some employment that might entertain it, it would weary out itself with fruitless desires of, and vain attempts after, its wonted objects. That the life of man is to be esteemed by its usefulness and serviceableness in the world, a sober reflection upon this, wrought me up to a resolution, strong enough to contemn all the difficulties the loss of my sight could represent to me, in an enterprize of this nature. Thus you see on what principles [ became engaged in this work; I thought it my duty to set myself some task, which might serve at once to divert my thoughts from a melancholy application on my misfortune; and entertain my mind with such a rational employment as might render me most easy to myself, and most serviceable to the world.” Notwithstanding this great privation, Mr. Lucas continued to discharge the duties of his holy calling, with a zeal and fidelity that would have done him credit, even if he had possessed all his bodily powers in the highest perfection. His learning, his talents, and his misfortunes, procured for him the patronage of some of the leading men of the times, who were anxious to reward such uncommon merit. He took the degree of doctor in divinity, and was installed prebendary of Westminster, in 1696. He died in June, 1715, and was in
terred in Westminster Abbey, but no stone or monument marks his grave. He was greatly esteemed for his piety, and learning, and his writings will preserve his fame. He wrote “ A Treatise on Practical Christianity;” “An Enquiry after Happiness ;” “The Morality of the Gospel;" “ Christian Thoughts for every Day of the Week ;” “ A Guide to Heaven;" “The Duty of Servants;” and “Sermons;" in five volumes. He also made a Latin translation of the “Whole duty of man," which was published in 1680. He left a son of his own name, who was bred at Sydney College, Cambridge, where he took his Master of Arts degree, and published some of his father's sermons. Of Dr. Lucas, Mr. Orton, has given the following character from Dr. Doddridge's MSS.
“His style is very peculiar, sometimes exceedingly fine, nearly approaching to conversation; sometimes grand and sublime; generally very expressive. His method not clear, but his thoughts excellent; many are taken from attentive observation of life; he wrote, as entirely devoted to God, and superior to the world. His “Practical Christianity," is most valuable, and also his “Enquiry after Happiness,” especially the second volume.” Orton speaks of reading the latter work a sixth time. The pious Mr. Hervey, in speaking of this work says, “May I be permitted to recommend as a treasure of inestimable value, and a treatise particularly applicable to my subject, “Dr. Lucas's Enquiry after Happiness;" that part, especially, which displays the method, and enumerates the advantages of improving life, or living much in a little time; chapter III. page 158 of the 6th edition.-An
author, in whom, the gentleman, the scholar, and the christian, are most happily united; a performance, which in point of solid argument, unaffected piety, and a vein of thought amazingly fertile, has, perhaps, no superior. Nor can I wish my reader a more refined pleasure, or a more substantial happiness, than that of having the sentiments of this entertaining and pathetic writer, woven into the very texture of his heart.”
The treatise on “Practical christianity,” is earnestly recommended also, by Sir Richard Steele, in the Guardian, No. LXIII.
To these great names, I must add that of the Rev. John Wesley, who warmly recommends the Treatise on happiness, to his people, as one of the most valuable books a christian can read. I will close this imperfect sketch of Dr. Lucas's life, by one short quotation from his inimitable work. In this passage will be seen, how much this great and good man felt, under this greatest of all privations, the loss of his sight.
“I am sensible that these heads of remark occur often; and though it be under different aspects, yet, 'tis possible that I may sometimes light upon the same thoughts, nay, peradventure the very same words; 'tis against my will if I do; but I want sight, to revise my papers, and am glad to disburden my iemory as fast as I can; and therefore charge it with nothing that I have once entrusted to writing ; and the toil of recollecting my thoughts, scattered up and down like Sybils oracles in dispersed leaves, by a hand which 'tis impossible for me to direct, or animate, is