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fee'; but as you mean to prescribe merely from a motive of charity, never prescribe but when you perfectly understand the disorder and its consequences; nor recommend a medicine the effect of which you are not sure of. By fol. lowing this rule you will kill none; and if you kill none, and cure but one, you will be a great physician. By ftri&tly adhering to this rule, and by the blessing of God, the lives of many were saved, and their health restored, under my care. Some good, I hope, was done, by my instrumentality, in my clerical function. Yet, madam, such have been my fins, that I have often regretted my ever having been a clergyman. My sermons, and other inore occasional documents, have frequently stuck in the throat of my conscience. Whatever I have been in other respects, I never accommodated my preachings to my own failings, but to the word of God alone. Now, madam, after all this talk, give me leave to ask you—whether you always keep ftri&tly up to those rules of life and economy, which you lay down to yourself, your family, and relations ? She answered-touch me not there, till I employ you as my father confessor; not but I could bear to confess to you, so far as the question goes, that my precepts are better than my practice, and that I labor to make my children and servants better people, than I am myself, Ask no more of me now. I shudder at the return of my own question, and am afraid both you and I border a little on hypocrisy; for what is hypocrisy, but an endeavour to appear possessed of more piety and goodness than we feel within ? Your readers will hardly suppose you so warm in reality, as your discourses speak you to be. They will, here and there, think they perceive in your writings, a great deal of artificial fire used to raise a cool cucumber, and a syllabub hard whipped into froth. If they do, madam, I cannot help it, whether the fault lies in my criti. cisms, or my performances, or in both. In no one sermon I ever preached, had I one lesson for myself and another for my hearers. My heart and conscience made always a part of the audience; and the pure word of God ever dictated to me, what I delivered to thein. Whatsoever constitutional warmth was mixed with my zeal, and much there certainly was; and however earnestly I threatened the terrors of the Lord to obstinate sinners, especially such as preach unfound doctrines to his people; I trembled when I did it, and pushed with a weapon sharp at both ends, that pointed at my own sins, as well as theirs. I can fincerely declare, I write

and

and speak on religious subjects in earnest. I never durft do otherwise. The utmost efforts of human genius, nay, of angelic eloquence, are, in my opinion, utterly inadequate to the infinite dignity, the infinite demand on wonder, on fear, on gratitude, in all points of faiih and practice of our religion. Here we cannot exceed; here we must fall short. Another reason of nearly equal force with the former, for the utmost religious warmths in a clergy mån, arise from the lamentable coldness, observable at present, among all ranks of people, to both the principles and practice of Chris. tianity. For this paralytic disorder, not cooling or relaxing medicines, but bracers and stimulants are required; and if not at hand, death must ensue. Not a lulling, but a rousing sermon should be applied to a dosing congregation. One in a lethargy may fret at the blistering-plailter, or actual cautery, that awakes him to pain, and may cry out for his former soporific emollients ; but his physician must be either very ignorant, or unfaithful, if he yields to the wish of the unhappy patient. So much, madam, far my manner of preaching. Now, as to the hypocrisy, whereof you feem to form some suspicion in me, and to avoid the offence that suspicion might excite in my mind, join yourself in the censure ; I solemnly protest there is nothing I abhor so much, as putting on a greater Thew of religion, than one feels within, that some worldly, ambitious, or finifter, or even good purpose may thereby be promoted. I never asked, or employed any one to ask, any of the ecclesiastical emoluments I have successively enjoyed; have declared they were a great deal more then I deserved; and confessed myself the vileft and most unworthy of all God's servants, and that publicly as well as privately. If my not publishing a full lift of my secret (ins, and wearing clothes to cover my nakedness, as well as to keep out the cold, make me an hya pocrite, I am then an hypocrite; but so is every man living, and every woman, you, niadam, among the reit of your sex, a great deal more so. If this is not absolutely the naked truth, a very little stripping would complete the exposure by shewing ihe despicable vanity, which too deeply blotted the fairer part of my life and conversation. Your definition of hypocrisy, fir, I close with, as better than my own; and am rejoiced to find I have little or none of it in me. Having been your mother confessor on this occasion, be assured, whenever I am disposed to be as open with any one living, you shall be my father-confessor.

ON THE CROWN OF THORNS.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S

MAGAZINE

Sir,

I CONSIDER my pains as well bestowed, if they are the I occasion of calling back to your pages so valuable a correspondent as Cephas. I hope you will allow me in the words of Gray, to call upon him—“ once again my charm altend,”—by inserting these observations, which' though they contain nothing material, are so far of consequence, as they may promote enquiries into the Holy Scripture. They are useful if they lead the traveller into that good land, which though he enter merely in quest of flowers and leaves, may, perhaps, reward his search with valuable fruit. As to the materials of the crown, both from the arguments in his letter, and from a consideration of several passages in the LXX. where the word anxvbé occurs, I am fully a convert to your opinions, as it must have been some material for fire, which I imagine the acanthus could not easily have been. My object, however, was not so much to examine into the materials of the crown, as to express a doubt which I entertained, whether they were designed or not to give pain, and whether the representation of painters in general, of thorns entering the temples, and of blood trickling down the countenance, be really correct, or merely a vulgar error. My argument was a kind of induction, endeavouring to deduce from several particulars, that the crown was intended merely for mockery, among which, was its being formed of acanthus, a soft and pliable plant. This particular, however, I give up, retaining my first idea, the reafons for which I will state to you. It is this, that the circumstance of their being twisted without hurting 'the hands of the soidiers, which seems to be allowed by Cephas at the end of his letter, seems to favour my opinion. You are perhaps of opinion, Sir, that this mock adoration of our Saviour, though provi. dentially designed, was by no means an invention of the foldiers, as appears froin a similar mockery of king Agrippa, when he touched ai Alexandria, which does not appear to have been borrowed from the circumstance related by St.

Matthew.

Matthew. You will recolle&t that the Ægyptians, probably,
from some wandering prophecies respecting the Messias,
were particularly jealous of the Jews having a king over
them. On which account, by way of derision, they dressed
up a madman in kingly ornaments, which Philo does not re-
late as a new and unusual matter, which from his style of
writing he perhaps would have done, if it had appeared to
him a new thing, and from his silence, it appears probable,
that he never read the account in St. Matthew, and it is not
likely that the Ægyptians borrowed it from the Jews. It might
have been an ancient custom somewhat analogous to our car,
rying persons about in effigy, cominon to the Fastern nations,
and particularly pointing at the Jews for their apparent
presumption, in aiming in their reduced hate, at any kind
of dominion. It might too have formed part of the provi,
dential means of keeping up a complete separation of the
Jews from the other nations, as it appears that on account
of the vast increase of population, many thousands dwelt in
the islands and continents of Europe and Asia, and particu-
Jarly in the neighbourhood of Alexandria, and in the city.
The Ægyptians, possibly from these reasons, produced the
madman thus dressed into the forum, and there paid him
a certain mock reverence. But in this instance, no pain
was either intended or inflicted. They placed a reed, opened,
(Bubnov EvgUvQYTES) on his head infead of a diadem, and a carpet,
probably of scarlet or purple, on his shoulders, instead of a
robe, and some one finding a piece of papyrus lying in the
road gave it him for a sceptre. Now as this was a mockery
of king Agrippa by proxy, it is evident that no pain was in-
tended to this person. From this, and especially because no
word in the holy Evangelist gives even by implication any
idea of pain having been infliéted; I imagine, that when the
Saviour of the world was exposed to the derision of Jews
and Gentiles, the crown of thorns was intended for mock- :
ery, and was by no means an instrument of torture. One
should, however, speak with diffidence on a subject, which, if
an error, is certainly very ancient and universal. I do not.
find that the circumstance is alluded to by the inspired
writers, or by the apostolic fathers. It is mentioned by
Chrysostom, Ambrose, and Tertullian, all of whom favour the
common opinion. Chrysostom has these words-anna nav da
σωμα ολον διολου υβριζετο, η κεφαλη δια το sεφανα, και το καλαμε--though
the word uffisero may refer more to the insult, than to any pain
infli&ted. The words of Ambrose are more express, - Co.
fonat eniin compungentes;---and Tertullian has these words,

--His

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-His implexa fævitia. - As to Chryfoftom, if we suppose his words favour the common opinion, we must allow much for the length of tiine intervening, and much for his orato. rical and Asiatic mode of speaking; for which reason, though every one must admire his genius, and be charmed with his general elegance and sweetness, he cannot always be relied on, either in trifling or more serious matters of critical disa pute. Hasselquist, as quoted by the learned Parkhurst, has these words,-" This plant'; (viz. the Naba or Nabka, of the Arabians) was very fit for the purpose, for it has many small and sharp spines, which are well adapted to give pain." -But his following words rather oppose this idea, -" The crown might be easily made of these foft, round, and pliant branches.”—These are great authorities, yet in matters where the cause of religion is by no means affected, and in matters which he has not subscribed to, (for I consider subfcription as the end of controversy, an argumentum ad hominem, which nothing should overcome) I think every man is justified in retaining his own opinion.

There is another doubt which I wish to submit to the consideration of Cephas, in hopes that he will favour me with his opinion in your pages. He will recollect that the gladia ators were not dismissed (rudi donati) till their powers were impaired and altogether useless. He has shown us that he has no pretensions to such exemptions. My present question is, whether what is commonly called the bloody sweat, was composed either wholly or in part of blood. Most of the commentators, though they allow that the words do not altogether imply this, Tecmn nevertheless, to conclude that it was either blood or coloured with blood. I think the English translations by no means appove this: in Cranmer's and Tyndale's, it is expressed in this manner." And hys sweat was like droppes of bloude, trycklynge downe to the grounde."

These, as well as our more modern version, may with to express more a similitude in fize to drops of blood, than in colour. Poole brings forward a quotation where no mention whatever is made of blood-bogus worri Ogou Go. XaTE XEITO, but he is led to imagine that it was at least coloured with particles of blood, which he supposes may be effected by the particles being forced through the skin by internal agony, which, says he, may well be,-præsertim ubi corpus rarum est ac delicatum, et sanguis fubtilis, ut in Christo indubii erat. Those who hold the same opinion, endeavour to account for i: by natural means, and to strengthen their opinion by examples which they think are in favour of it. In this,

they

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