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Life perpetually a Vindication of his own foolish Life, with the Hiftory of the Stage in his Time, even when he is in Years himself, and muft e'er long go out of this vain, and fhort, and wicked World, into another more ferious and more lasting, there to give up his Account to his Creator, how he has behaved himself in this. As if he would fet himself at the Head of a profane Set of Men now among us, who feem to have a Mind directly to infult God Almighty and his Providence, under the prefent heavy Tokens of his Displeasure. Such Men fhould confider what the Prophet Isaiah faid of old to the Jews, [If. v. 11-14.] on the like Occafion: Woe unto them that rife up early in the Morning, that they may follow firong Drink; that continue until Night till Wine inflame them. And the Harp, the Viol, and the Tabret aud Pipe, and Wine are in their Feafts; but they regard not the Work of the Lord, nor confider the Operation of his Hands; therefore my People are gone into Captivity, because they have no Knowledge; and their honourable Men are famished, and their Multitude are dried up with Thirst: Therefore Hades bath enlarged berfelf, and opened her Mouth without Measure; and their Glory, and their Multitude, and their Pomp, and be that rejoiced fhall defcend into it.
Nor ought we to forget whatBishop Sherlockobferves in his excellent Letter, Page 10, and what I myself obferved and complained of about the very fame Time, That there were no less than 15 Adver⚫tifements for Plays, Operas, Mufick, and Dancing; for Meetings at Gardens; for Cock-fighting,
Prize-fighting, &c. not, only in the Time of Lent, but after these Divine Warnings by the two Earthquakes, in one and the fame News-paper : • When, as he truly adds, we have turned a Season proper for serious Reflections, both of Body and Spirit, into a Time of Mirth and Laughter, of • Mufick, Dancing, and riotous Living.' Let me conclude this Head with a Reflection of Mr. Horton's, Chaplain to the British Factory at Legborn, relating to the Earthquake which happened there, 1742, and of which he has given a very particular and affecting Account in Print: The • Senfe of fo great a Deliverance, fays he, (for God in the Midft of Judgment remembered Mercy) produced an unanimous Refolution of the Magiftrates, Clergy, and People of Leghorn, to obferve a folemn Faft for ever on the Day it happened, prohibiting any publick or private Balls, Masquerades, or any other Diverfions of ⚫ the Carnival for that Day; with an humble Application to his Royal Highnefs the Grand Duke • of Tuscany, that Masquerades at the Theatre there might be for ever abolished. Which Request was approved, and confirmed by an Order from ⚫ the Council of Regency from Florence.'-This is a glorious Example indeed! and highly worthy of our Imitation! It is taken verbatim out of the General Evening-Poft, from Thursday, April 19, to Saturday, April 21, 1750; in which Paper is very seasonably advertised, aPamphlet,called, Jubilee Masquerade Balls at Ranelagh Gardens, a bad Re
turn for the merciful Deliverance from the late Earthquakes. Containing,
(1.) The Prefentment of the Grand Jury againft Ridotto's, Masquerades, Balls, &c.
(2.) Extract from the late Bishop of London's (Dr. Gibson's) Sermon against Masquerades.
(3.) Extract froin the prefent Bishop of London's Letter on Occafion of the late Earthquakes. (4.) A Copy of a Paper pofted up last Sunday on all the Churches and publick Places in London and Westminster; and Remarks upon it.
(5.) Reasons why Perfons of Prudence should not venture to the Masquerade at Ranelagh Gardens, advertised for Wednesday, the 25th Instant.
VI. We here in England have done a Thing that, if it were not open and undeniable to all the World, would be thought abfolutely incredible: I mean we have, by Act of Parliament, abrogated a very good Law, for the difcouraging the Poor's drinking of Gin and Spirituous Liquors; nay, have in Reality encouraged them to Drunkenness, and to the Murder of themselves, by fuch drinking. A most proper Judge, Dr. Hale, who earneftly promoted the former Bill, and oppofed its Abrogation, always judges, that about 1,000,000 Perfons every Year kill themselves by thefe fatal Liquors; and always compares it to one of the terrible Woes in the Revelation. Nor could this former Bill be abolished, till that excellent Mafter of the Rolls, and my great Friend, Sir Jofeph Jekyl, who moft zealously promoted the former Act, was dead and gone. Now that the Miniftry should be either
fo wicked themselves as to propofe the Repeal, or. fhould be able to perfuade the Parliament to confent to it, is almoft incredible. I fay perfuade the Parliament, or a Majority of the two Houses in general only; for though the Majority of both Houfes did confent, yet muft I do the Lords Spiritual the Juftice to say, that although a Majority of the whole Bench of Bishops were not prefent, yet did not one of them confent that were prefent, to fo horrible a Bill; nay, fome made vehement Speeches against it, though all to no Purpose. The Ministry got fome Money to the Government by it, and that was all they cared for. But that any human Legiflature can really give fuch an Act, fo exprefly against Morality and the Laws of God, the Force of a Law, or oblige either Judges or Subjects to fubmit to it, I am by no Means fatisfied. Nor, as I think, 'can our Parliament hope for Almighty God's fparing the People whom they reprefent, or even themselves, till this abominable Act be difannull'd. Hear what an unknown Friend of mine fays of this Matter, in a late Letter to me: That had the whole Bench of Bishops been prefent, and joined to oppofe this Bill, it had been cast out; we and our Pofterity might then have had Reafon to have bleffed them, and called them in'deed the true Phyficians both of the Souls and
Bodies of the People; Debauchery and Poverty 'would not have reigned in our Streets in the • Manner they do at prefent, and increasing every Day, without Hopes of Cure, or Thoughts of · Amendment.' Ifaiah's melancholy Lamentation
of the Jewish Nation of old, may be too juftly and fadly taken up by good Men here at this Day.
Ifaiah i. 4-9. Ab finful Nation; a People laden with Iniquity; a Seed of evil Doers; Children that are Corrupters; they have forfaken the Lord; they bave provoked the Holy One of Ifrael to Anger; they are gone away backward. Why Should ye be Stricken any more? Ye will 'revolt more and more: The whole Head is fick, and the whole Heart faint; From the Sole of the Foot, even unto the Head, there is no Soundness in it, but Wounds, and Bruises, and putrifying Sores: They have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mellified with Ointment. Your Country is defolate; your Cities are burnt with Fire; your Land Strangers devour it in your Prefence; and it is defolate, as overthrown by Strangers. And the
Daughter of Zion is left as a Cottage in a Vineyard; as a Lodge in a Garden of Cucumbers; as a befieged City. Except the Lord of Hofts had left unto us a very small Remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
I fay nothing here particularly of our unneceffary and impracticable Oaths; of our Impofitions in the Universities; of our obliging Men to take the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper for Civil Employments; of our taking away Men's Lives for Robbery or Theft; of our Luxury and Extravagance in Eating and Drinking, in Dress and Equipage, and Gaming; the general Neglect of Divine Worship in publick and private; the taking