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taminated by the touch or mixture of any thing foreign or unsuitable. Oh! may this fair nymph never forsake her “ FIRST LOVE," nor ever suffer herself to be tempted by any inferior object, for all other objects must be inferior, to depart from the strictest fidelity to her glorious bridegroom!
I would not have presumed to say so much, were I not persuaded that the paramount subject to which your attention is happily directed, I mean Religion in general, in all its bearings, and with all its appendages, is in itself perfectly inexhaustible. To illustrate what I mean, I will here specify one or two of those numberless investigations into which it might be branched out. It is somewhere said in your first volume, that of all those who call upon the name of Christ throughout the world, but one seventh part acknowledges the Pope of Rome ! This is a point which I wish to see illustrated, and brought forward as much as possible, because the lower ranks of papists have nothing to say for themselves, but “ we are the catholic church,” and,“ our church must be true, because it is catholic," &c. &c.- it would therefore be very useful to prove to those deluded people, that though they are indeed of the Roman, yet they are very far from being of the catholic church. To facilitate the proof of the above fact, permit me to remind you that a great many years ago Dr. Gregory Sharp, Master of the Temple, published a sermon entitled, “ Want of Universality po Objection to the Christian Religion,” where, I think, he proves the momentous truth, that our holy religion pervades all countries, though no other religions have any footing wherever ours is established! The Benchers, it was said, were so struck with this, that they requested the Master to produce his authorities for what he had asserted, and accordingly he published the sermon properly authenticated. A reproduction of this evidence, improved as it might be, from later accounts, by your learned correspondents, might very properly occupy some of your columns, and might serve to shew, in the clearest light, the false pretensions of that proud church that vaunts itself to be catholic.
I will now mention what I believe to be a maiden subject, and which might not unaptly be entitled the Popish Mythology-a mythology that, I suspect, would be found on examination to be more absurd and ridiculous than the heathen. What I mean is, that there has never hitherto been, I believe, any regular or connected account, or analysis of the legends of the popish saints, nor any set of dissertations on that curious, and I am sure it would turn out, productive subject. From obscurity of situation, very great want of books, and several other reasons, I am in yself unable to undertake this, and many other things I should wish to execute; but if some of your learned friends would enter upon such a plan in carnest, or even perform it desultorily, it could not fail of being the source of great instruction, as well as entertainment. I have the life of St. Ignatius Loyola, by Father Bouhours, artfully published during the reign of James II. ; and the Life of St. Francis, by St. Benevento. I have also a little book, which I believe to be a rare one, entitled, “ The Protestant Family-Piece, or a Picture of Popery, &c.” sold by E. Matthews, at the Bible, in Paternoster Row, 1716.-the author Solomon Lowe. It consists of near one thousand quotations, exhibiting the express words of their Popes,
councils, councils, canons, and most celebrated writers, and demonstrative of the absurdities, as well as blasphemies, of the popish tenets. From this, and other books of the same tendency, many delectable extracts might be made for your use. I invite your attention, Gentlemen, more particularly, to the subject of Popish Legends, because nothing seems more likely to hasten the fall of Antichrist than such exposures : and the ruin of popery would naturally bring on that of heresy; for if once the former should fall, it would cause such an immense accession to the Orthodox Church, that the latter would not stand long.
Instead of troubling you with any farther hint, as I once intended, I shall content myself with offering you my best exertions, in which I am persuaded, your other correspondents would join me, that you may never be reduced to admit communications irrelative to your grand design. Forgive my zeal, gentlemen, if I once more beg leave to deprecate the idea of any thing unhallowed “ shouldering God's altar," as it were, in what I cannot but look upon as your consecrated pages ! Arts, sciences, topography, &c. &c. may be excellent in their way; but the brightest specimen that could be produced in any of them, would fail to charm, if it was found in the midst of a volume of Bishop Horne's sermons.
I am, &r.
P.S. If what I have proposed should lead to longer discussions than you in general approve of, we may consider that literary matter is sufficiently divisible, though not in infinitum; and permit me to hint that now and then a long article amongst inany short ones, seems more favourable to variety than if all were short.
. HOWELL'S FAMILIAR LETTERS.
A of this admirable writer, I trouble you with another which I hope will be thought not less instructive than the former; it is upon a subject that perhaps of all others affords room for melancholy reflection, when we consider how much our countrymen are addicted to this vice, and how scandalous a reproach it casts upon the profession of a Christian.
" TO CAPTAIN THOMAS B. FROM YORK,
Noble Captain, Yours of the 1st of March was delivered me by Sir Richard Scott, and I held it no profanation of this Sunday evening, considering the quality of my subject, and having (I thank God for it) performed all church duties, to employ some hours to meditate on you and send you this friendly salute, though I confess in an unusual monitory way. My dear Captain, I love you perfectly well, I love both your person and parts, which are not vulgar, I am in love with
your disposition which is generous, and I verily think you were never guilty of any pusilanimous act in your life: nor is this love of mine conferred upon you gratis, but you may challenge it as your due, and by way of correspondence, in regard of those thousand convincing evidences you have given me of yours to me, which ascertain me that you take me for a true friend. Now I am of the number of those that had rather commend the virtue of an enemy, than soothe the vices of a friend; for your own particular, if your parts of virtue and your infirinities were cast into a balance, I know the first would much outpoise the other: yet give me leave to tell you, there is one frailty, or rather ill-favoured custom, that reigns in you, that weighs much, it is a humour of swearing in all your discourses; and they are not slight but deep far-fetched oaths that you are wont to rap out, which you use as flowers of Rhetorick to inforce a faith upon your hearers who be.. lieve you never the more. And you use this in cold blood when you are not provoked, which makes the humour far more dangerous. I know many that being transported with choler, and as it were made drunk with passion by some sudden provoking accident or extreme ill fortune at play, will let fall oaths and deep protestations : but to belch out and send forth as it were whole vollies and curses in a calm humour, to verify every trivial discourse, is a thing of horror. I know a king that being crossed in his game, would among his oaths fall on the ground and bite the very earth in the rough of his passion. I heard of another king (Henry IV. of France) that in his highest distemper would swear by Ventre de St. Gris, by the belly of St. Gris : I heard of an Italian that having been much accustomed to blaspheme was weaned from it by a pretty wile; for having been one night at play, and lost all his money, after many execrable oaths, and having offered money to another to go out to face heaven and defy God, he threw himself upon a bed hard by and there fell asleep : the other gamesters played on still, and finding that he was fast asleep, they put out the candles and made semblance to play on still; they fell a wrangling and spoke so loud that he awakened : he, hearing them play on still, tell a rubbing his eyes, and his conscience presently prompted him that he was struck blind, and that God's judgments had deseryedly fallen down upon him for his blasphemies; and so he fell to sigh and weep pitifully. A ghostly father was sent for to do some acts of penance for him if he would make a vow never to play again or blaspheme; which he did, and so the candles were lighted again, which he thought were burning all the while; so he became a perfect convert. I could wish this letter might produce the same effect on you. There is a strong text that the curse of heaven hangs over the dwelling of the swcarer, and you have more powerful examples of miraculous judgments in this particular than of any other sin.
There is a little town in Languedoc in France, that hath a multitude of the pictures of the Virgin Mary up and down; but she is made to carry Christ in her right arm, contrary to the ordinary custom; and the reason they told me was this, that two gamesters being at play, and one having lost all his money, and bolted out many blasphemies, he gave a deep oath, that the whore upon the wall, meaning the picture of the blessed Virgin, was the cause of his ill
luck; hereupon the child' removed imperceptibly from the left arm to the right, and the man fell stark dumb ever after: thus went the tradition there. This makes me think of the Lady Southwell's news from Utopia, that he who sweareth when he playeth at dice, may challenge his damnation by way of purchase. This infamous custom of swearing, I observe, reigns in England inore than any where else; though a German in highest puffs of passions swears a hundred thousand sacru. ments, the Italian by the whore of God, the French by his death, the Spaniard by his flesh, the Welchman by his sweat, the Irishman by his kve wounds, though the Scot commonly bids the deril hale his soul; yet for variety of oaths the English Roarers put down all. Consider well what a dangerous thing it is to tear in pieces that dreadful name, which makes the vast fabric of the world to tremble, that holy name wherein the whole hierarchy of heaven doth triumph, that blissful name wherein consists the fullness of all felicity. I know this custom in you yet is but a light disposition, 'tis no habit I hope; let me therefore conjure you by that power of friendship, by that holy league of love which is between us, that you would suppress it before it come to that; for I must tell you that those who could find in their hearts to love you for many other things, do disrepect you for this; they hate your company, and give no credit to whatever you say, it being one of the punishments of a swearer, as well as of a liar, not to be believed when he speaks the truth.
Excuse me that I am so free with you, what I write proceeds from the clear current of a pure affection; and I shall heartily thank you and take it for an argument of love, if you tell me of my weaknesses which are (God wot) too too many; for my body is but a cargazon of corrupt humours, and being not able to overcome them all at once, I do endeavour to do it by degrees: like Sertorius' soldier, who, when he could not cut off the horse tail with his sword at one blow, fell to pull out the hairs one by one. And touching this particular humour from which I dissuade you, it hath raged in me too often by contingent fits; but, I thank God for it, I find it much purged and abated. Now the only physic I used was a precedent fast, and recourse to the Holy Sacrament the next day, of purpose to implore pardon for what had passed, and power to quell those exorbitant motions, those ravings and feverish fits of the soul, in regard there are no infirmities more dangerous; for at the same instant they have being they becomeimpieties. And the greatest symptom of amendment I find in me is, because whenever I hear the name of God blaspherned by any other, it makes my heart tremble within my breast, Now it is a penitential rule, That if sins present do not please thee, sins past will not hurt thee. All other sins have their object either pleasure or profit, or some aim or satisfaction to body or mind; but this hath none at all: therefore fye upon't, my dear Captain, try whether you can make a conquest of yourself, in subduing this execrable custom Alexander subdued the world, Cæsar his enemies, Hercules monsters; but he that overcomes himself is the true valiant Captain.
So I rest
Your true friend, Ist Aug. 1628,
TO TIJE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCIIMAN'S MAGAZINE,
January 13. 1804. DERMT me to offer a few remarks on the text i Cor. ii. 10,
1 submitted to the consideration of your readers by your correspondent F. V.C.
If the word Ayy1.25 were properly rendered spies, it would not signify men sent to spy out the Christian liberty of the Corinthians, as ir Gal. ij. 1., because the liberty liere alluded to was by Christians disallowed. I am however persuaded, that it ought not to be so rendered. I know not what authority the supporters of this interpretation bring from profane authors; the only one, which I have seen from the sacred pennen, is James ii. 2.7, where Rahab is said to have received 785 Ayyas the messengers: but because those messengers were spies, it does not therefore follou that ayyanos signifies a spy. Accuracy, in describing the charter of the men, who were sent, was not necessary to the Apostle's argument; and had he used the word vEO.VITXES which, in the history is repeatedly employed by the Septuagint, bis reasoning would have been equally conclusive, and yet vecvITXOs would have retained its usual meaning. But further; St. Paul in this chapter forcibly urges, that a woman, uncovering her head, acts against nature, against decorum, and contrary to the customs of the Jews and of the Christian churches, to which thosc, to whom he addressed himself, belonged; and if they were influenced by none of these considerations, it is not probable that they would regard what strangers, who came into their places of worship as spies, or for any other purrose, would report or think of them. . A learned critic has attempted to explain this passage by a conjectural emendation of the text: for & Solay he would read eiaca rendering EXELV ETT! TH5 22¢2.75 as xats zeoarins Eyeun in the fourth verse, and for ayyena5 he would substitute oynes. But the Apostle is complaining of an evil practice within their churches, not without: the Grecian women never came abroad uncovered, and therefore on that head admonition was unnecessary. Neither needed he to remind them of the respect due to their Priests and Bishops, a part only of the church, in a matter which excited the disapprobation, and drew down the censure or the whole. But if we reflect that the Angels, though invisible to us, are not indifferent to what passes upon earth-see Luke xv. 10. 1 Pet. i. 12. 1 Tim. v. 21. i Cor, iv. 9. that it has been an article of faith with the Jews, both under the lasv, and since the preaching of the gospel, that God was specially present by these his ministers in their temple and religious assemblies, and that the early Christians entertained the same opinion respecting their oratories and churches, proofs of which may be seen in Mede's discourse on Eecles. v. 1. then the Apostle's remonstrance will derive no little force froin the consideration, that this conduct of the Corinthian women was not more offensive to men, than to Angels, who could not, without resentment, behold a worshipper of God attired as a heathen Priestess. If therefore we take the word Ayye225 as Hammond does, to signify the holy Angels, the Apostle's arguinent will be clear and strong, the language will have a