Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

In memory of Frederick Wood. red, -that Jesus in a friendly afo Ah! dulcis Puer,

fectionate manner desired those In hoc ævo fuisti.

who were then partaking of the Sed

Passover Supper with him, to rl. Magnus ab integro sæcorum member him when they should in Nascitur ordu:

future, at the Passover, or it In illis

might be any other social supper, Dulcior et felicior eris. break bread and drink wine to. The “ History of Leeds" is in gether.

Paul alludes to and repeats the epistolary form, and from the

what he had learnt when he was phraseology appears to have been compiled by one of the Society of supernaturally instructed in the Friends. The writer says,

that

facts, &c. relative to Jesus, his

divine “ this chapel, incrusted over with

master, but does not deliver

to the Christian converts at Cogrey plaister, and shaded by trees; rinth, what he so received, rehas an interesting appearance, according with the modest simpli specting the last supper, as a di. city of rational religion."

vine command. For it would

The Friends, I fear, if fairly represented rather seem the apostle was led in “ Radclift Monthly Meeting" solely by the report made to him have lost their first love for this of their selfish sensuality, and gross simplicity of rational religion, and intemperance, lo speak of it at all. are rather allured by " words of And after staring, as Luke also learned length and thundering the pious and impressively affec

does, in a simple, touching way, sound," at which, according to a tionate allusion, made by their late learned prelate, reason stands aghast and Faith herself is half sufferings, so immediately before

kind master to his approaching confounded.

their taking place, he merely, but PRIESTLIENSIS.

very earnestly requires of them,

as they professed to partake of a Memorandum of a Conversation repast or supper together, expresson the Lord's Supper.

ly in remembrance of Christ and

of his last social repast with his 1811, Wednesday,

faithful affectionate followers, that November 27. they should partake of it in a consequence of a recent con. sober, dicent, respectful manner. versation with Mr. Mi..of N- And even though Paul might fully at Mr. J. To's, I read again the approve of such commemoration passages in Luke, and also in when decently conducted, as a Paul, where the last Passover re. token of respect, (but whether he past, of which our divine Master did or not is, perhaps, not to be partook, is noticed; and cannot known) he certainly does not in. find any thing like an institution, ist on it as, in any way command. or command, for a continued obe ed by Christ. servance of what is called the The Corinthian converts, it ap

pears to ine, were left by ibe in. It appears, and nothing further, spired apostle to judge for them. I think, can legitimately be infer- selves in this matter; as the au

In

Lord's Supper.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Irish Unitarians.-Book-Worm. No. IV.

017 thor of the epistle to the Romans, which I introduced to your notice, in like manner, left the Christians in the last number, (p. 554-558.) at Rome to their own unbiassed The Question of Witchcraft debat. judgment in regard to the observ. ed, maintains," that the opinion auce or non-observance of days, of witches hath had its foundation &c. &c.

in Heathen Fables.” This notion The manner in which the Co. my author sustains by apposite rinthians celebrated this festival, quotations from Virgil, Horace, will not be urged as reconmenda. Ovid, Tibullus, Propertius and tory of its perpetuity. Nor will Lucan. He, however, adds, “ Let the mode in which it bas generally no one think that the ingenious been observed speak very pow. poets did themselves, or any other erfully in its favour. But, with- of the wiser sort of Heathens be. out recurring to expediency, of lieve such ridiculous and absurd no Divine command were given for fopperies ; for on the contrary, its observance, and I can perceive when they speak their own minds, no proof of any, it is erroneously and not according to the fable or and improperly called a “posi. vulgar opinion, they laugh these tive institution' or ordinance absurdities to scorn.

(p. 25.) In. of Christianity;" and it is not only stances, to his purpose, he quotes not incumbent on Christians to from Propertius, Ovid, and espereceive it, but rather with a cially Horace, who “excellently, sober firmness to urge their rea- and like himself, lays it down as sons against it, as a rite gratuit. a mark or sign of one's proficiency ously appended to the pure, spiri. in moral philosophy, if he had tual religion of the New Covenant. learned to despise and laugh at Yarmouth.

W. A. these kind of fables.”

Somnia, terrores magicos, miracula,
Irish Unitarians.

sagas,
SIR,

Nocturnos lemures, portentaque Thes

sala rides? In Wakefield's “ Account of

Epist. ult. L. 208. Ireland,” an elaborate work just published, in two large 4to vol

My author adds an instance

from Seneca (Lib. iv. Nat. Quæst.) umes, I find a list of the Protestant Dissenting meeting houses in " reproving the credulous simpliDublin, in which two, viz. Strand city of elder times," by a reference Street and Eustace. Street, which

to a law of the Twelve Tables,

which forbad to charm a neigh. are denominated Presbyterian are

bour's fields, 50 said to be also Unitarian. (Vol. ii.

as to destroy p. 608.) If any of your readers their produce by withholding or can give further information on

unseasonably producing rain. Ca. this subject, they will oblige pro- cantassit; rudis adhuc antiqui.

vetur ne quis alienas fruges exbably more persons than

A, B.

tas credebat et attrahi imbres
cantibus et repelli. (27.)

This chapter concludes" with
Book.Worm.- No. IV.

the judgment of Nero, the empe. SIR, October 13, 1812. ror, who, ambitious of being chief The second chapter of the work in every ihing, especially desiring

4

to command the gods, as well as by timely running away or by acon-
men, did, in order thereunto, stant enduring of torture." (P.39.)
eagerly apply himself to the study My author adds, that "after
of magic which after his utmost the founding of the Duminicon and
endeavours, he forsook and de. Franciscan Fryars, and the setting
spised, finding it to be vain, and up an office of Inquisition, the
to promise that wbich it cannot world grew full of devils and
perform.” (p. 28.) It is worthy witches.” At the close of this
of remark inat Mr. Farmer, at chapter mention is made of two
the close of ch.ii.§ 3. of the Dis. writers in the sixteenth century,
sertation on Miracles, refers to who were honourably distinguish-
the passage above recited from ed from the crowd,
Seneca, and quotes from Pliny, Rari Nantes in gurgite vasto.
Nat. Hist. L. 30, the instance of " Alviat a famous civil lawyer,
Nero.

who gave an ingenious auswer to
The third chapter is designed a bishop, as may be seen in bis
to shew to what a gainful purpose Parerga, where he handsomely
the Papal church bas applied the describes the vain and monstrous
opinion of witches, and especially credulity of some divines in this
" when the Inquisition had got- question of witchcraft ; and Care
ten foot in many kingdoms and dan, wbo, handling this business
countries, what an incredible of witches and witchcraft, observe
number of people were frequently ed it to be full of covetousness
tormented and burnt for the crime and folly, as any one may read
of witchcraft; which they had so in his book de varietate rerum."
entwisted with heresy, or the deny. (P. 39.)
ing of pop'itical authority, that, The fourth chapter is entitled,
in seeking out witches, in torment. Arguments to prove that there is
ing and putting them to death, no such thing as a Witch in Scrip-
they did at once gratify, as well ture; and That there is no such
the ambition and usurped power' thing as a Witch at all. The first
of their lord the Pope, as their argument is taken" from the dif.
own insatiable covetousness and ference between vulgarly reputed
thirst after other men's goods." witches, and those which our
(P. 37.) We are then informed, translators of the Bible call so :
that " in 1518 the inquisitors put kings, queens and princes, priests
to death a great many inchanters, and philosophers, and wise men
which they bad found oui, for- of this world,-King Manasses
sooth, in the Venetian territuries; and Queen Jezabel," instead of
where such was the extortion and “the witches now-a-days, poor,
covetousness in their proceedings, silly, contemptible people,-this
that the country rose up against old gammer and that old good.
them.” Also, “ Nicolaus Re, wife.” (P. 41.)
migius, a Lorrain judge," is said The second argument is drawn
to have confessed that in the from the denial of " spirits and
time of his judicature, in the space the resurrection of the dead," by
of sixteen years, there were about the Sadducees, who “ had the five
800 witches put to death, besides Books of Moses in high esteem
as many more that escaped, either and regard." (P. 42.) My author

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

must have exposed himself to ob- abominable actions of witches jectors by this alliance, yet he is against both man and beast. With. far enough from advocating the pe. out question, it would have in. culiar doctrines of the Sadducees, flicted upon them the severest pun. but merely argues that “either ishments, and, for the discovery of they did not understand Hebrew, their secret and devilish contracts, or if they did, the notion of witch- it would have laid down sufficient craft doth not appear in Moses," marks for trial ;” as, on another otherwise they could not have de. occasion, '“ it made use of that nied the existence of spirits. horrible and amazing trial, by

“ The different practices ascrib. the bitter water which caused the ed unto our vulgarly supposed curse." (P. 46.) witches, and those in our transla. My author next argues “ from tion of the Bible,” furnish “ the the iniserable poverty of vulgarly third and last argument, that there reputed witches, that they are is no such thing as a witch in wrongfully accused.” He is not scripture.- Our modern witches willing to believe that they have practise a secret occult art, and such a power with the devil as to itis a great art to discover them make him to do wonderful things by several strange signs and horrid at their command, when they never tortures. But those whom our command him to fetch them money translators call witches in the Bible, and bread.” He then proceeds to practised what they did openly," "charge those wboobstinately otherwise “ how impossible had it maintain there are witches, either been for Saul to turn them all out with irrationality or impiety. Irraof Israel, as we read he did, tional to think that the devils are (1 Sam. 28).” My author adds, creaturesfullofmalice, and breath

a proclamation now.a-days, set ing nought but mischief against out to that purpose, would avail the whole race of man, and that nothing, and only serve to move they suffer a man to live, when they the laugbter of those who stood by can so easily kill us at the com. to hear it.” (P. 44.)

mand of a witch. But if you evade That there is 66110 such thing as this, by saying that devils cannot a witch in scripture,” is the first hurt us without God's permission, argument to prove that there is no 'tis impious to concern the great such a thing as a witch at all,” be. God with witchcraft.” (P.47.) This canse on this subject," the scrip- opinion is sustained by the au. tures could not be silent, without thority of Calvin, who, “in his the charge of imperfection.” For Sermons on the two first chapters "the Jews were forbidden to meddle of Job, takes a great deal of pains with strange women of other na- to explode this opinion of God's tions, and should there be no cau. permission, and shews, by several tion given against their meddling examples, that God doth not with strange creatures, as it were, barely permit, but orders and de of another world. That law which termines the actions of devils and so detested the murder of men, wicked men, affirming that if apes that it made them merciful to their could speak, they would speak neighbours' beasts, could never wiser than those men who talk of pass over in silence, the cruel and God's permitting,” (P. 48.)

The last argument against the glorious celestial stars, that are nio reality of witchcraft is, “ that it way obnoxious to diabolical powascribes unto the devil an omnipo. ers.” My author considers ** them tent power; insomuch that no who think otherwise, to approaeh rational man, by the light of rea- unto the opinion of the Persiuns, son, shall be able to tell from the who held there were two great history of the gospel, whether beings, both almighty, both at Chrisi were a witch or no.” My mutual and perpetual war; one author immediately adds, accord- the author of all good, the other, ing to the theory of miracles which the author of all evil.” (P. 50.) Mr. Farmer ably maintained and in this connection is quoted at illustrated, a century later; "for, large, in the Latin original, “ a let some men think what they very seasonable decree made by please, the holiness of his doctrine the Council of Ancyra, more anis not the thousandth part such a cient than the Nicene Council, proof of his acting by a divine wherein they declare to ali Chrispower, as the miraculousness of tians the heathenishness of this be his works. But, alas ! what were lief and opinion.” (P. 52.) his miracles, or how were they to The fifth chapter, entitled, An be valued, if malicious creatures, Answer to their Arguments who without a divine commission en- endeavour: to prove there are abling them thereto, can make Witches, consists chiefly of an frogs and serpents raise the dead, enumeration, rather sarcastic, of and give law unto the winds and the stories retailed on the subject seas.” This passage introduces the of witchcraft and the haunts of author's diabolical creed, which, spirits. Yet, to the believers in however unsupported by a rational such marvellous tales, the author interpretation of scripture, is makes the following unexpected, qualified and harmless, compared though qualified concession, the with any creed which had appeared first sentence of which reminded in the middle of the seventeenth me of his cotemporary Milton ; century, or with the present popu. lar doctrine of Devils.

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the “I believe that devils are aërial Unseen;

both when we wake and whea

earth creatures : and though they may we sleep. have more skill, agility and strength. than men, yet that they act as

"I firmly believe there are men do, by applying of natural many thousands of spirits, made of agents and patienis to one another an incorporeal matter, too fine to in this sublunary world. But as be perceived by the senses of men. for the world æiberial and celes. Nor will I gainsay the authority tial, I suppose they have no of so many in the world, who af. power there. Consequently, that firm they have seen and heard the in spight of them the wind bloweth strange things which I just now where it listeth, and that the sea. mentioned ; supposing that these sons of the year, as also the fruits spirits may often play mad pranks of the earth are neither of them among us. But still, I demand a promoted or hindered by them, but reason why I should believe that immediately depend upon the mo. they do so, upon the account of a tions and mutual aspects of the contract made with with any man

« AnteriorContinua »