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before that once respectable image. But what has become of the thunderbolt, which he held in his hand to chastise the world ; and what is that he has got in its place? His conductor would tell him, that it was only a piece of rope, with knots upon it, to chastise himself; adding, that he was now doing penance for his long usurpation; and that the thunder had long ago been put into better hands.-However, he would soon find, that even these saints sometimes change their names, according to the enthusiastic caprice of the people ; and from this versatility, he would still be in hopes, in process of time, to see his friend Jupiter re-assume his bolt and his dignity.
Do you remember old Huet-the greatest of all originals ? One day, as he passed the statue of Jupiter in the capitol, he pulled off his hat, and made him a bow.--A Jacobite gentleman who observed it, asked him why he paid so much respect to that old gentleman. -For the same reason, replied Huet, that you pay so much to the Pretender. Besides, added he, I think there is rather a greater probability that his turn will come round again than that of your hero; I shall therefore endeavour to keep well with him, and hope he
will never forget that I took notice of him in the time of his adversity.
Indeed, within the course of my own observation, I can recollect some of the most capital saints in the calendar, who have been disgraced by the people, and new names given to their statues. When we were in Portugal last war, the people of Castel Branco were so enraged at St. Antonio, for allowing the Spaniards to plunder their town, contrary, as they affirmed, to his express agreement with them, that they broke many of his statues to pieces ; and one that had been more revered than the rest, they took the head off, and clapped on one of St. Francis in its place; whose name the statue ever after retained. Even the great St. Januarius himself, I am told, was in imminent danger during the last famine át Naples. A Swiss gentleman assured me, that he had heard them load him with abuse and invective ; and declared point-blank, that if he did not procure them corn by such a tine, he should no longer be their saint. However, such instances are but rare ; and in general the poor Catholics are fully indemnified for these sudden fits of passion and resentment, for
the fall persuasion of the immediate presence and protection of their beloved patrons.
I have observed with pleasure, that glow of gratitude and affection that has animated their countenances; and am persuaded that the warmth of the enthusiastic devotion they often feel before their favourite saints, particularly their female ones, must have something extremely delightful in it; resembling, perhaps, the pure and delicate sensations of the most respectful love. I own I have sometimes envied them their feelings; and in my heart cursed the pride of reason and philosophy, with all its cool and tasteless triumphs, that lulls into a kind of stoical apathy these most exquisite sensations of the soul. Who would not choose to be deceived, when the deception raises in him these delicious passions, that are so worthy of the human heart, and for which, of all others, it seems to be the most fitted ? But if once you have steeled it over with the hard and impenetrable temper of philosophy; these fine-spun threads of weakness and affection that were so pliable, and so easily tied, become hard and inflexible, and for ever lose that delicate tone of sensibility that put them
mto a kind of unison and vibration with
every object around us; for it is certainly true, what has been said of one part of our species, and may almost with equal justice be applied to the whole,
“ That to their weakness half their charms we owe."
I remember Dr. Tissot told me, he had a patient that actually died of love for Christ; and when in the last extremity, seemed still to enjoy thegreatest happiness; calling upon him with all the fondness of the most enthusiastic passion. And from what I have often observed before the statues of the Virgin and St. Agatha, I am persuaded, they have many inamoratos that would willingly lay down their lives for them.
Now, pray don't you think too, that this personal kind of worship is much better adapted to the capacities of the vulgar than the more pure and sublime modes of it, which would only distract and confound their simple understandings, unaccustomed to speculation ; and
h that certainly require something gross and material, some object of sense to fix their attention ?-This even seems to have been the opinion of some of the sacred writers, who often represent God under some material form.
Were you to attempt to give a countryfellow an idea of the Deity ; were you to tell him of a being that is immaterial, and yet whose essence penetrates all matter ; who has existed from all eternity, and whose extension is equally boundless with his duration ; who fills and pervades millions of worlds, and animates every object they contain; and who, in the sublime language of our poet,
Though changed through all, is yet in all the same, Great in the earth, as in the etherial frame : Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees ; Lives through all life, extends through all extent; Spreads undivided, operates unspent. To him no high, no low, no great, no small; He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.”
Now, what do you imagine he would think of such a being? I am afraid his understanding would be so bewildered, that he could not think at all. But set up before him the figure of a fine woman, with a beautiful child in her arms, the most interesting object in nature; and tell him she can procure him every thing he wants; he knows perfectly well what he is