Page images
PDF
EPUB

not quite five-and-twenty years ago, it was a part of the systein of education for boys to stand up in classes, and read the Bible twice in every day. By these means the scripture history became thoroughly impressed in the meinory, and the simple beauties of its interesting biography made unresisted claims on the imagination. I find that, in many academies, the wholesome practice is discontinued; the Bible is read on Sundays only, and on other days selections from the British Classics in prose and verse.

Sir, I am no fanatic: I do not object to these readings as bad, but as being preposterously preferred. If the style of Addison or of Johnson be worth emulating, their lives are still more so; they derive their greatest beauties of thought and expression from the scripture, and it is an unjustifiable thing, to quit the fountain for the stream, while the former remains in its full purity and inexhaustible plenty. No style is better for the formation of an orator or a poet than the exquisite mixture of the pathetic, the sublime, and the eloquently simple, displayed in the pages of holy writ. This is the book which should, indeed, be given to the pupil, with the Horatian precept 176 baisubtrop sd od 9

bas ronilat shade foi paien Nocturnâ versate manu, versate diurná.”. - I cannot, therefore, help blaming that indifference which dismisses the volume " in which we have everlasting life” from daily perusal, and consigns the inspection of it to that day which is not devoted to study, and in which, an innocent and laudable attention to dress, altendance on divine service, the visits of parents and friends, and many minute incidents, are apt to distract the thoughts and prevent undivided attention. But, granting no such impediment shall intervene, it is not easy to suppose that what a boy reads on one Sunday he will remember till the next, in spite of the business and

amusements of the week; thus, then, he sees the holy writ by incoherent parts, and does not recollect either narrative or precept as a connected whole.

I say again that moral and entertaining readings ought to be occasionally interspersed, but ought by no means to exclude the reading of the scripture. The season of youth is that in which the beautiful narratives, and artless, affecting incidents, of the Bible, are most likely to

[graphic]

make berieficial impressions; it is also that season in which the grand and solemn displays of the gooddess and judgments of the deity will make an impression, undiminished by the efforts of perverseness, to find natural causes for events evidently supernatural. Considering the state of the tiines, and the endeavours of philosophical speculatists to beat down the barriers of christianity, the wtors of youth do not act prudently in diminishing the means of counteracting these baneful exertions: they disarm the citizens when the enemy is at the gate. 1,

I am, ;:.

Sir,
Your constant reader,
$;And humble servant,

PALINURUS.

299. bt1.500 Description of a Procession and other Roman Catholic Ce

remonies, in a letter from Sir CHARLES CORNWALL 19, Ambassador at the Court of Madrid to HENRY PRINCE of WALES, son of James the First, dated April 7, 1609)

*

N this spiritual, time, being the holy week

little matter temporal offereth:: itself worthy your Highness's reading. Only we say here, it bath pleased God, through the force of our spiritual devotions, to give us this week and the last a plentiful rain, whereby we are delivered from the doubt of a fearful famine: Our lady of a church in this town called the Attocha, accustomed in time of necessity to work these effects, was first much served and observed by the Friars, that are there her daily attendants. But their offices having no success (according to custom, when they desire to speed) she was with a solemn procession removed out of her own church to make a novena in another, where she should be sued unto by people of all manner of conditions. The procession was solemn, honoured with the presence of the Duke of Lerma (guarded with fifty of the king's halberdiers) and of many other of the principal of the nobility, and an infinity of other peuples who as the image passed by them, in none otherisott; than if God himself had been present in it, honoured it with falling down upon their knees, praying and knocking upon their breasts, most of them desiring it to be good to

them,

[graphic]
[graphic]

tended to keep them to the use of the several poor, every one having an especial service. And so many and so costly were the dishes, as the guests only tasting of a salad and a little rice, the rest, that appertained to every of them (as I am informed) they presently sold for 18 Ducats.

“ The furniture of their churches here, and the riches and lustre of the sepulchres made in every monastery (the general poverty of this kingdom considered) are almost incredible. The laity of this nation may say with David, though in another sort, zclus domus tuæ comedit me. For assuredly the riches of the temporal hath in a manner all fallen into the mouths and devouring throats of the spiritual, which if neither grace nor discretion, yet necessity will in time make the other estates see, and remedy."

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

most edifying Correspondent, Mr. Evanson, are not "yet dead within him. He who " denies" the Deity of " the Lord who brought him ;" he who denominates the doctrines of the Holy Trinity, and the Incarnation, (0. C. M. March, p. 191,)." Blaspheiny, and Idolatry, and more monstrous than paganism;" he who would abrogate the Christian Sabbath, he who asserts three entire gospels, and several chapters of St. Luke's Gospel and the Apocalypse, together with fourteen of the Apostolical Epistles to be forgeries, (and consequently charges the members of the universal Church with being either perpetrators or publishers of forgeries ;) he who denies facts supported by extrinsic evidence, as well as by the historic narrative of an Evangelist, (particularly the murder of the ipnocents by Herod's order ;) he whoin, what he calls, the dissonance of the four generally received Evangelists,"outherods Herod, and is agitated by a Rabies more furious than that which is commonly excited by Socinian slaver; might

Pol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. May 1805. Z z be

be thought steeled against ordinary strokes, and thiata plain-spoken tradesman could not inflict a blow which should make him twinge.' But such is the mighty power of TRUTH, that, urged though but by one like Jonathan Drapier, the hardiest adherent of heterodoxy writhes beneath its force; and even Mr. Eranson, who professes to fear but one Being in the universe ; (0.C.M. Ap. p.256.) and indeed he has good reason to fear him, after what he has done, spoken, and written ; trembles before your untutored carrespondent: and in proof that he is under the influence of fear, he loses his self-command, and does that very thing which he least intended to do, admits the charge brought against him.

1, roo, shall confine inyself, chiefly,' to the matter which h s arisen froin the concluding paragraph of my letter in your Magazine for January last. But, first, let me just observe upon one passage in the fallen Socinian's letter. (He fell first from Orthodoxy into Socinianism, and has since fallen lower yet" beneath that gulph profound, a lower still, &c.") He says, (last Mag. p. 257.) “ until I obtained preterment sufficient to afford une a decent competence, I had not the leisure necessary for a studious investigation of the rise and origin of the most inportant theological doctrines." So this worthy Wight subscribes first, " and after vows to make inquiry." Here is honesty! Here is singleness of heart and intention ! What can bind such slipperiness? Can articles ? Can Canong? Can oaths? Can Hemp? We have heard much of the difficulty of attaching the consciences of Papists, and of obviating the mental-reservations of Jesuits ; behold, Gentlemen, the shifting, spirit of Deists; behold the revolting evasiveness of Socinians ! But let that pass : not however unbranded.

With regard to all that took place before the Ex-minister of l'ewkesbury gave up ibe perpetual curacy of that place ;-I re-assert it. Mr. Evunson writes about it and about it, but be by no means, even in the exculpatory letter which I have elicited from him, refutes my assertions. Gentlemen, habetisconfitentem rein. I said, he gave directions to the parish-clerk; 'in saying the Nicene Creed, to go on without waiting for the minister's first repeating its articles ;-I said, the minister went on snuffling and hemming. Now what says this unhappy man who has lost cast. There were some words in

different parts of the service, to the use of which I could not

reconcile

« PreviousContinue »