le thinks is usual with the contemplative student. In every other point it is an accurate piece of portraiture.[R] Nature might well ask approbation of her works and variety from a man who was ever feeding his noble curiosity and never satisfying it. He, too, made a "ladder of his observations to climb to God." He, too, was "free from vice, because he had no occasion to employ it." "Such gifts," said the turbulent Bishop Atterbury of him, "I did not think had been the portion of any but angels." After this it is no hyperbole to say, as Earle does of the contemplative man, "He has learnt all can here be taught him, and comes now to heaven to see more."
Though Clarendon does full justice to Earle's personal charm, he uses the epithets "sharp and witty" to describe his published "discourses"; and the piercing severity of his wit is illustrated everywhere in this book. It is clear, however, from the sympathetic sketches that Earle's was no nil admirari doctrine, and that while he saw grave need on
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