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in almost every branch of human knowledge; and how often we are obliged, in our most important temporal concerns, to decide and to act upon evidence encumbered with far greater difficulties than any that are to be found in Scripture. If we can admit no religion that is not free froin mystery, we must, I doubt, be content without any religion at all. Even the religion of Nature itself, the whole constitution both of the natural and moral world, is full of mystery; and the greatest mystery of all would be, if, with so many irresistible marks of truth, Christianity should at last prove false, Porteus's Sermon on John iii. 19.
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A MERMAID was thrown up, June, 1757, by the sea, between Burton and Swyre, in Dorsetshire, thirteen feet long. The upper part of it had some resemblance to a human form, the lower was like that of a fish; the head was partly like that of a man, and partly like that of a hoy. Its fins resembled hands : -it had forty-eight teeth in each jaw, not unlike those in the jaw-bone of a man. Hutchins's Hist..of Dorset: vol. i. p. 338. ...
· TIME OF MEMORY hath been long ago ascertained, by the law, to commence from the reign of Richard I. and any custom may be destroyed by evidence of its nonexistence in any part of the long period from his days to the present. - But, he adds in a note,) sinee, by the statute 32 Henry VII. c. 2, this period (in a writ of right) hath been very rationally reduced to sixty years, it seems unaccountable that the date of legal prescription or memory should still continue to be reckoned from an æra so very antiquated. See Litt. &170, &c. Blackstone, vol. i. p. 31. . i ..
i Les défauts de MONTAGNE sont grands. Il est plein de mots sales et deshonnêtes. Cela ne vaut rien. Ses sentimens sur l'homicide volontaire et sur la mort sont horries bles. Il inspire une nonchalance du salut, sans crainte et sans repentir. Quoiqu'on paisse dire pour excuser ses sentimens trop libres sur plusieurs choses, 'on' ne sauroit excuser, en aucune sorte, ses sentimens tout païens sur la mort. Pascal, Pensées, p. 210.
Apud varias gentes vim sibi afferre, et necem sua sponte consciscere, dignum laude et magni fuit habitum : apud Thebanos autem qui MORTÉM sibi conscivit, nulla fuite laude dignus; quin potius id crimini dabatur et probro, eoque facinore pudendam inscisiam et imperitiam coarguebat suam, velut sui carnifex immanisque naturæ foret. Athenienses vero cum nécem sibi' quisquam manu conscivisset, defuncto cadavert manu tanquam facinorosam abscindunt ; illamque divisam a corpore, inhumatam relinquunt, reliquum vero cadaver humo tegunt. Quod Platonis documentum fuit, qui censuit, optimum quemque in frácto animo vim fortunæ et incursus calamitatum potius ferre, et, nisi cum dies permissus advenerit, neminem injussu Dei mortem sibi consciscere, aut ante:
tempus tempus fato fungi oportere; idemque magnificentius præclariusque videri." Alex, ab Alex. lib. v. c. 27.
A most ludierous instance of MONKISH-superstition and mortification, as related by Moore in his Manners of France, &c. , sol ii. po$13, &c.
vernis -, Vienna. ---- We had an invitation lately froin Mons. de Breteuil to dinc on the top of inount Calenberg, where there is a convent of monks. The table for dinner was covered in a field near the convent under the shade of some trees: Madame de Ma. tignon, daughter of M. de Breteuil, did the honours; some of the finest women of Vieana, her companions were of the company. During the dessert, some of the fathers came and presented the company with baskets of fruit aud sallad from their gar. den. The ainbassador invited them to sit and the ladies pledged thein in Tokay. M. de Breteuil had previously obtained permission for the ladies to enter the convent; which they accordingly did as soon as they rose from the table, attended by all the company. : You will readily believe that the appearance of so many handsome women would be particularly interesting to a community which had never before beheld a female within their walls. This, indeed, was sufficiently evident, in spite of the gravity and mortified looks of the fathers. , One lady, of a gay. disposition, laid hold of a hule scourge which bung at one of the father's belts, and desired he would inake her a present of it, for she wished to use it when she returned home, having, as she said, been a great sinner. The father, with great gallantry, begged she would spare her, own fair skin, assuring her that he would give himself a hearty flogging on her account that very evening; and, to prove how much he was in earnest, fell directly on his knees before a little altar and began to whip his own shoulders with great earnestness, declaring, that, when the ladies should retire, he would lay it with the same violence on his naked body; for, he was determined she should be as free from sin as she was on the day of her birth. This melted the heart of the lady, she begged the. father might take no more of her faults upon his shoulders; she now assured him that, her slips had been very venial, and that she was convinced what he had already done: would clear ber as completely as if he should whip himself to the bone.. .
. The most superlative instance of fanatic malignity is to be found in the following in, vective of MILTON against the bishops of the church of England: “ But they, that by the imparing and diminution of the true faith, the distresses and servitude of their country, aspire to high dignity, rule, and promotion, here, after a shameful end in this life, (which God grant them !) shall be thrown down eternally into the darkest and deepest gulph of hell; where, under the despiteful control, the trample, and spurn, of all the other damned, who, in the anguish of their torture, shall have no other ease : than to exercise a raving and beastial tyranny over them as their slaves and negroes; they shall remain in that plight for ever, the basest, the lowermost, the most dejected, . most under-foot, and down-trodden, vassals of perdition." Milton's Treatise of Reformation, vol.i. p. 274. Jones's Essay on the Church.
The elegant author (Middleton) of the inquiry into the miraculous powers of the church has represented, that the MARTYRS were encouraged by peculiar motives to bear their harsh sentences with patience and even with joy, because they were animated by the expectation that earthly (perhaps heavenly) glory would crowix their afflic tions, that their memory would be celebrated by panegyrical orations and annual festivals, that the greatest veneration would be paid to their relies, and that the merit of their sufferings would be à sufficient expiation of sin. Now, as no traces are to be found of such expectations in the works of the earliest fathers, it seems more just to admit, that their extraordinary fortitude arose from the immediate support of the divine grace. Self-preservation is the fundamental law of our being, and is implanted by the Creator as the root from which every social and religious obligation necessarily springs. · However strong this principle may be, and however uniformly it might be supposed to operate in every state of society, the page of history and the authentic relation of credible witnesses, exhibit to us various instances in which it is sometimes counteracted and overcome. The antient inhabitant of northern Europe sought death with ardent eagerness in the field of battle, or welcomed its approach in the decline of age with expressions of savage joy. The follower of Brama, to shun the wearisome decay of lingering sickness, anticipates the hour of death and devotes himself to the fames. The Indian remains unmoved amid the dreadful preparations for his lingering cxecution, and defies, in the agonies of torture, the ingenious cruelty of his foes. The Gentoo, with steady pace and unaltered look, ascends the funeral-pile and becomes a willing sacrifice to her departed husband. In these cases we behold the effects of national custom and inveterate habit: such self-devoted victims were trained up from their birth to the contemplation of spectacles of torture and of death; and their per: petual occurrence operating upon a general obduracy of manners and temper, prepared the way for the unfeeling sacrifice of life. On contemplating the situation and 'circumstances of the early martyr, his care will appear to be widely different: he was generally taken froin the eminent ranks of Christianity, he was born in an enlightened Country, his disposition and education inclined him more necessarily to the allurements of case and peace. Unlike the savage, he was a stranger to scenes of turbulence and blood, and unaccustomed to situations that called for vigorous exertion or unremitting and hardy activity; his mind was 'actuated by keen sensibility, which is a quality that never exists in a barbarous state of society; he was alive to all the requisite'endearments of social life, and attached to the world by all those tender ties of friendship and affection which hold the heart in the most permanent captivity. Hence arose a contest between the love of God and love of life, between the suggestions of conscience and the calls of affection, between the claims of rigid duty and the expostula-- tions of violated nature. Nothing less, therefore, than a divine interference seems capable of terminating the dubious contest, and of making religion triumphant over the reluctance of humanity and the powerful attractions of the world. Moreover, the tenderness of youth and the delicacy of the female sex were frequently exposed to the same punishments: they turned from the fascinating pleasures of the world and met their fate with the same unruffied composure which distinguished the victims of more mature experience. The powerful succour which gave ardour and confidence to the first Christians was by no means confined to them; for evident instances of similar ássistance, the pious reader of the Martyrologies will proceed to appeal to the history of our own country. He will still continue to maintain, that, when the demon of pa, pistical bigotry raged, and the fires of superstition blazed in every part of Britain, the assertors of the protestant faith received powerful, support from on high. . To this auspicious source hisa gratitude will attribute the inflexible constancy of Hooper, the unruffled serenity of Rogers, and the reanimated zeal of Cranmer: nor, when he looks back to the transactions of bigotry which occur in the annals of Oxford, will he think that any other adequate cause can be assigned for the dignified resignation of Ridley and Latimer. Kett's Bampton Lectures, Serm. 3, p. 92, &c. ,.,.,
* The great, the 'wise, and the learned, of the present times ought to think it no degradation to be meek and lowly of heart, when a perfect submission of the understanding to divine truth was the characteristic of the most sublime poet, the most profound philosopher, the most devout physiologist, and the most correct moralist, who have adorned the circle of modern Literature. All ought surely to bend with awe before the throne of the divine Majesty, and acquiesce in the scriptural representations of
the divine essence, when they consider the sound and unshaken principles of MILTON, : of Bacon, of Boyle, and of Johnson. Kett's Bampton Lect. Sermon viii. p. 288, but
see p. 214.
· The rise of antichrist, strictly speaking, the beginning of the monster, was in the apostolic age. For it were easy to--trące, the pedigree of French philosophy, jacobinism, and Bayarian illumination, up to the first heresies. But it is now we see the adolescence of that. MAN OF SIN, or rather of lawlessness, who is to throw off all the restraints of religion, morality, and custom, and undo the bands, of civil society. That son of perdition who is to rise out of an open, undisguised, apostacy. That son of perdition, who shall be neither a protestant nor a papist; neither Christian, Jew, nor Heathen; who shall worship neither God, angel, nor saint; who will neither supplicate the invisible Majesty of Heaven, nor fall down before an idol. He will magnify himself against every thing that is called God, or is worshipped; and, with a bold fight of impiety, sparing far above his precursors and types in the times of paganism, the Sennacheribs, the Nebachadnezzars, the 'Antiochus's, and the heathen "Emperors, will claim divine honours to himself exclusively, and consecrate an image of himself. Bishop Horsley on Isai. xviii. p. 105, &c. See Antichrist.
a. I have little doubt that May-Day, or at least the day on which the sun "entered Taurus, has been immemorially kept as a sacred festival from the creation of the earth and man, and was originally intended as a memorial of that auspicious period, and that momentous event. Independent, however, of any particular allusion to that primæval event, which, after all, is but conjecture, the bull being in the east, the universal emblem of the supreme generative power that made the world, the period of the sun's ingress into that sign could scarcely fail of being regarded with peculiar honours by å race involved in the depth of a gross physical superstition, and devoted to the Phallic worship. This festival was observed with ceremonies wonderfully similar in countries so remote as Britain and India: for, on the first of May, when the sun enters into the sign Taurus, Englishmen unknowingly celebrate the Phallic festival of India and Egypt, and he will, perhaps, be convinced of this, when he shall recollect that the Greek word parros signifies a Pole; (and phalli, or poles, with figures of the male puu denda fastened to them, were constructed in memory of the Genitals of Osiris, slain by his brother Typhon, being found in the Nile, see vol. 2. p. 264, and carried äbout in solemn procession ;) and it is remarkable that one of the most solemn feasts of the Indoos, called that of Auruna, the day-star, falls on the sixth day of the new moon in May, and is dedicated, says Mr Holwell, to the goddess of generation, who is worshipped when the morning-star appears, or at dawn of day, for the propagation of children, and to remove barrenness. On this day, he adds, presents are usually made by parents to their sons in law, in token, probably, of the holy nuptial-rite, and the day ends with a banquet. This ancient custom of making presents to friends and relations and great men on the first day of the new year, has descended down to our own times and the new-years gift exhibits to us another remnant of Asiatic hilarity imitating the bounties of nature at the vernal season. It should seem, therefore, that the religion of the east and the old religion of Britain had a strong affinity. See Asiatic Researches, Vol. ii. p. 383. Maurice’s Ind. Antiq. vol. vi. p. 87, &c.
Quæcunque veteris testamenti citatio facta ab evangelistis et apostolis necessario resa est, et rei, de qua agebatur conveniens, nec unquam vel in citarido, vel in interpretando Veteri Testamento, labi potuerunt Novi Testamenti Scriptores. Nem quamquam facile concedimus hos sacros Scriptores suam nonnunquam sententiam protulisse, in . verbis ex V. T. desumptis, neque ad amussim exactis ; quando vel ad dictum aliquod
tantum alludebant, vel citationem suam proposito alicui, diverso ab eo quod auctor in animo habuerat, accommodabant; nemo' tamen,, cui curæ cordique est Scriptorum divi nitus inspiratorum auctoritas, facile concedet, illos ex Mose' aut Isaia citasse id quod non seripserat Moses aut Isaias. Sed pro certissimo habebit, illos accuratum semper dedisse sensum, (et si non ipsa verba,) Veteris Testamenti, ubicunque ex citatione sua deduxe runt argumentum ; tum yero præcipue, quum ex ipsissimis iïs citationibus asseruerunt- se esse probaturos, JÉSUM ÉSSE MESSIAM. Et mulra harum citationum haud exiguo