Whiston informs us that, some time before the publication of this book, a message was sent to him from Lord Godolphin "that the affairs of the public were with difficulty then kept in the hands of those that were for liberty; that it was therefore an unseasonable time for the publication of a book that would make a great noise and disturbance; and that therefore they desired him to forbear till a fitter opportunity should offer itself," - a message that Clarke of course entirely disregarded.
It is worthy of notice that this intercourse with Cromwell occurred when Baxter was summoned to London to assist in settling "the fundamentals of religion," and made the memorable declaration, in answer to the objection that what he had proposed as fundamental "might be subscribed by a Papist or Socinian," - "So much the better, and so much the fitter it is to be the matter of concord."
Terence was by birth an African, and was thus perhaps a fitter medium of connexion between the genius of Greece and that of Italy than if he had been a pure Greek or a pure Italian; just as in modern times the Jewish type of genius is sometimes found more detached from national peculiarities, and thus more capable of reproducing a cosmopolitan type of character than the genius of men belonging to other races.
His grandfather, William Scott of Sandgate, a suburb of Newcastle, was clerk to a "fitter" - a sort of water-carrier and broker of coals.
On the contrary, men of high rank and tried statesmanship were on that very account thought all the fitter to write the chronicles of the state they had served.
The reputation he acquired for learning and eloquence led to his being offered the see of Alexandria in succession to the deposed Athanasius at the beginning of 339, but he declined, and the council (of Antioch) chose Gregory of Cappadocia, "a fitter agent for the rough work to be done."
And if any man was to be put in the preposterous position of a secular Bible, no writer was fitter for it than Aristotle.