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DESCENT OF A METEORIC STONE AT WELLS
REMARKS ON

66
THE IMAGE WHICH

vexation and sorrow which abound in from heaven ; and in the New Testament those regions. “ If we have stretched the Grammateus, or town-clerk of the out our hands to a strange God, shall Ephesians, flatters their civic pride, by not God search this out ? for he knoweth alluding to the image which fell down the secrets of the heart."

from Jupiter. It was natural that in a All the emoluments, moral and ma- superstitious age, the descent of aerolites terial, of the Establishment, belong to should be regarded with awe and venethe powers of darkness; they, therefore, ration, which was heightened by the that will fill their hands with these things, circumstance of their falling during a • must not be surprised if they sometimes violent commotion of the elements. In clasp the scorpion and cockatrice, instead a superstitious age the descent of a of the flowers of paradise.

huge substance, resembling no terrestrial production, amidst fire and smoke, and the crash of thunder, was certainly sufficient to inspire those who witnessed the event with superstitious amazement and

dread, and lead to the belief that it was FELL DOWN FROM JUPITER,” &c. the missive of a deity. If the descent

took place near a temple, the particular The Morning Chronicle, of July 3rd, divinity to whom that temple was conrecords the following circumstance :

secrated, would, of course, be supposed “On Tuesday last, as a lad named to be thus in communication with the Smith was at work in a field near Wells, earth. The fame of this would be noised which is allotted by the Bishop to several abroad, and bring crowds of the devout poor people, he was struck by a meteoric together." stone, which, passing through his hat, carried away part of his skull-bone, This is a very probable account of the entered his leg, and then passed into origin of one species of idolatry, but the the earth. The poor boy was killed tendency to this dreadfully degrading instantaneously ; but, strange to say, sin is a most humiliating subject for there did not appear to be any part of

reflection. According to the popular his body or dress at all burnt or singed.” notions of the emancipation wrought

It is not often that the descent of out by education for the human mind, aerolites is remarked; but, doubtless, we might suppose that in civilized councircumstances of this kind had much tries, or, at least, in the more intellectual connection with ancient idolatry. On this circles of those countries, men would be subject the Numismatic Society has pub- too enlightened to shew any tendency lished the following observations : towards this almost incredible folly. How

"From the various accounts which is it, then, that in every land in which have descended to us, there appear good infidelity widely spreads its ravages, or reasons for believing that many of these nominal christianity leads men to perdeities really fell on the earth, and that dition, idolatry in some form or other is in several cities the origin of stone-wor- sure to make advances ? How is it that ship may be traced to the descent of

the most powerful intellects become enaerolites....... It seems probable that the tangled in the idolatrous superstitions of Jupiter worshipped in Cyrrhestica, ob- Rome—that Paris, disenthralled from the tained the name of Karaißarns in con- trammels of Romanism, could worship sequence of the descent of an aerolite with perilous levity, such as might in in, or near, that city, the coins of which another generation have become real constantly bear the legend AIOC • KA- adoration, “ the goddess of reason"TAIBATOY.... Herodian's account of the that Englishmen, yes ! our fellow-counfar famed El Gabal exactly agrees with trymen, and those in exalted stations, the description of aerolites. This histo- can join in the worship of the abominable rian says,

that its figure was conical, and idols of the Hindoos, and sometimes its colour black, and that it was said to become as completely enslaved in body, have fallen from heaven. Other ancient soul, and spirit, to idol worship, as the writers speak of the descent of similar most depraved of the heathen ? How is objects, and the many modern authenti- it that some unbelievers, as in the case cated accounts of the fall of meteoric mentioned in Mr. Shepherd's recent masses corroborated their narrations. work, on the state of religion on the The Palladium is said to have descended continent, seriously incline to worship

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the sun, or that the most talented poet 481. a-year, without trouble or uncertainof neologian Germany, could express his ty, duty single and immediale, no weekly, wish for the return of all the gross ido- may be had also at option. There is a latry of Greece and Rome, in the follow- large family pew in the church, handing terms ?

somely fitted up, and with a stove. Both

incomes are capable of and likely to re"Ah! that your delightfulservice still existed ! How different was it then,

ceive increase,” &c. When thy temple, O Venus Amathusia,

This advertisement contains the inWas crowned with garlands !

struction of many volumes. The picture

of luxury and repose which the pastor- . And again, after painting idolatry in the merchant has drawn up of his own pasmost attractive colours :

toral life is complete : he had evidently “ Beautiful world, where art thou ? Return

been a man of taste and pleasure, and again,

had omitted nothing which could enable Thou pleasing flowery age of nature.

him voluptuously to enjoy the days that

had been given him under the sun. We All these flowers have fallen

can well imagine the charms of this reBefore the wintry blast of the north, ligious hermitage, for such places we To enrich One, among all.

have seen, and can testify that this deThis world of Gods must pass away,” &c. &c. scription does not exaggerate the attracSchiller Die Götter Griechenlandes."

tions of certain residences, where certain Alas for poor human nature ! No- clergymen, with“

easy duty,” and an thing but the gospel can effectually dis

abundant income, are said by their adpossess this demon of idolatry. The

mirers to spread an atmosphere of civiliunconverted world does not like to retain

sation and gentility around them, in God in its knowledge, and with all its

districts, which, but for their presence, attempts to exalt the human intellect, would lapse into barbarian horrors. We it cannot avert the sentence of being

do not the least seek to impugn the state“given over to a reprobate mind.”

ments of the advertiser, we can well sup-
pose that his parsonage is “a perfect
gem;" that the house is well-built and
well furnished; that there is no trouble

about the income; that the gardens teem
CLERICAL ADVERTISEMENTS.

with redundant fruits; that the cattle From the Times Newspaper, July 5, 1839. repine not, knee-deep in rich pastures ;

that the location agrees with the health " To the Clergy: an incumbent would

of the body admirably; that the road is resign directly, with patron's consent, to good; that it is broad and has a wide one not under 46 years of age, a beau

gate, and that “there be many which go tiful living, a perfect gem, one of the in thereat." The musical instruments are prettiest things in England, with excel- doubtless

very melodious; the wine, melsent new free-stone front house, in good lowed by age, is fit for the banquets of repair-facing a park, in the county of princes; and the large family pew, with Somerset, at the skirts of a small market

its cushions, footstools, and stove, is a town, with every necessary of life cheap; delightful retreat during the labours of productive garden, lawn, pleasure-ground, the liturgy and the unavoidable sermons wall-fruit; six acres of pasture adjoin- of the curate :-all this we cheerfully acing, coach-house, stabling for six horses, cede; but whether the duty is so "easy" out-houses,-no trouble as to income, as the advertisement describes may

be duty easy, spot healthy, roads and society called in question, and for this reason, good; the whole worth £280 a-year. that as the residence is doubtless intend

Terms : in-coming incumbent to pay down 19001., to indemnify present in

ed to be occupied by one who would at

least call himself a minister of the Chriscumbent's outlay on the spot, and for his tian religion, it does not seem possible to fixtures, and his old wine, worth 1801. ; defend the enjoyments of luxuries like also, for live-stock, including three cows, these by any reference to scripture--horses, and pony-carriage,-piano-forte, neither does it seem possible to justify by Stoddart, cost 85 guineas; hand-or- the open, undisguised, shameless mergan, by Flight, cost 381.; plate and linen; chandise of the pastoral charge. and a few pictures. A second living, one mile off, worth

“ Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth : for ye are

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99

dead, and your life is hid with Christ in Mohamedan predecessors; also that the

God,” is an admonition fatal to this British Government incurs herein the Tu "perfect gem;" and when we read Luke

expense of 300 pagodas paid from the x. 4, Matt. x. 10, Mark vi. 8, Acts xx. public treasury, and I named Mr. Place 35, and compare these scriptures with as the Government officer (the collector the revenues, emoluments, and delicacies of the Jaghịre) from whose time the fesof this “beautiful living,” we fear that tival has been performed by the India

" the duty” of taking possession of these Company. There

things would be anything but “easy" to “I further showed that, in one year, one who held a conscience not seared the Rajah of Mysore requested leave to with a hot iron. The “ easiness of the perform this worship himself, which was duty," means probably that the pa- conceded; but in the following year the rish has a population about whose spir- Government performed this ceremony itual wants the clergyman need not put instead of the Rajah. I proved that forth much energy—a sermon on Sunday, Mr. Place offered to the god jewels, and and an occasional baptism or funeral will a head ornament worth 1,000 pagodas

be the extent of his labour. All this may that Lord Clive, on his personal visit EP be performed by a curate; the salvation to an idol temple, offered an ornament thet e

of souls, the preaching of the gospel, the of 1,050 pagodas—that Mr. Collector gathering of a church of believers, and Garrow presented a gold necklace of 500 the edifying of the saints—these were pagodas—and that till this time the colconsiderations which the advertiser has lectors present to the god, every year, a never once entertained. He knows not lace garment of 100 rupees' value. In what these things mean; he careth for Mr. Place's collectorate he sent for all none of these things, neither does his the musicians, dancing girls (or prostipatron. The advantageous disposal of tutes), elephants, and horses, attached to

the living is all that the advertiser is the other temples of the Jaghire, in order 15 anxious to achieve.

to increase the pomp of the principal
ceremony in question, when he gave his
personal attendance, and made offerings
to the priests who recited the bedas;
and I then asked the Court whether

these facts did not remind them of Mr. MR. POYNDER has published the follow- Burke's celebrated declaration, that the ing letter in a morning paper :

servants of the East Iudia Company' “When Mr. Weeding, the East India contrive to get unbaptized in their outproprietor, suggested, on Wednesday,

ward-bound passage ?' that the offering made by the Governor- “I proved further that the GovernGeneral of India, in a heathen temple, ment order issued at Canara, so late as was possibly made by the heathen Prince 1833, fully sanctions the offerings to the who took him there, he evinced his ig- idols for procuring rain, and expressly norance of what is constantly going on allows money from the public treasury through India, and has long been the for the maintenance of this abominable subject of my public complaints at the superstition, and even directs the officiatIndia House. I have proved, in open ing priest to offer such worship. The court, that the European officer of the total money paid in that one year to the Madras Government offered a gold mar- several temples in one district was no riage necklace (an indication of the strict

less than 360 rupees.

I proved further, est union, and therefore a direct act of that the Hindoo goddess of wisdom worship) to the idol Padazier, together ('the world by wisdom knew not God.' with red silk cloth and incense; and also Cor. i). received annual offerings at the presented scarlet cloth to the priest, and public expense, and that, as a part of the money to the heathen attendants. I then

ceremony, the account books of the also read the Government order, author- Company were equally deified, and ising this expenditure from the public money gifts distributed to the heathen treasury for this idolatrous ceremony. priests. These gifts, the music, and the

“I further proved that offerings are fruit, all form a regular item in the pubannually made on behalf of the Govern- lic expenditure. mcnt to the idols at Conjeveram, near 6. There is also a god of wisdom as well Madras–no similar honour having ever as a goddess (Ganesa), who is worshiped been paid to idolatry under the rule of as duly at the charge of the Company,

INDIAN IDOLATRY

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and I read to the Court the application derane of Christ's glory, which nothing of the native officer for this very payment doth more obscure than a hot zeal, acto perform worship to this idol, after it companied with high authority without had been kept one day in the Govern- right judgment. There have been, also, ment Court House,' that is, after the which have had knowledge without any priests and prostitutes had been fed till zeal of God, who, holding the truth of the idol was moved in procession.

God in unrighteousness, shall be beaten " I could easily multiply these proofs with many stripes, while they knowing of religious offerings being made by the the will of God, do nothing according to officers and servants of the Company, their knowledge; I mean not amongst and paid for by the state, but shall only Turks and Saracens, but amongst them observe, that these different acts of who have been christened. And there worship are notoriously performed in the have been, also, those who have lost the offices of all the chief native revenue spiritual knowledge of God's word which officers, the expense of all being defrayed they had before; because they have not by the government.

followed it, nor promoted the same; but « On one occasion I showed that we rather with their mother-wits, have imhad to pay for all this abomination six pugned the wisdom of the Father, and entire days; and that nightly worship hindered the knowledge thereof, which, was then offered, the particulars of therefore, has been taken away from them: which would be wholly unfit for publica- that Christ may be righteous when he tion in England.

judgeth, threatening to him who hath not “ The only remarkable circumstance that that which he seemeth to have shall is, that Mr. Weeding was himself in be taken from him ; because to abuse court when I adduced these and many that which a man hath, or not to use it similar instances of European delin- well, is not to have it; and, also, seeing quency in openly encouraging and paying it is true that God's wisdom will not for the offerings made to idols, and that dwell in a body subject to sin, albeit it he can yet suppose the possibility of abound in carnal wisdom; for the mere the offering at Umritsir not having been carnal and philosophical understanding made by Lord Auckland, but by Runjeet of God's Scriptures is not the wisdom Singh. I will, however, suppose, for the of God, which is hid from the wise and sake of the argument, that the heathen revealed to little ones. And if to declare prince (and not the Christian governor) this or that to be the truth, requireth a offered to the heathen idol, and I will deep and profound knowledge, then then ask, in the face of this Christian either every man hath a profound knowcountry, how came Lord Auckland to ledge, or no man can call this or that the

present when this abominable idolatry truth; and yet he may be ignorant and was performed ? He had clearly no right uncertain in many things, as Apollos to sanction, by his presence, the worship was, but which things he will not of heathenism, any more than the primi- attempt to preach for the truth. As tive Christians would have permitted for myself, I trust in God I have my themselves to be present at the offerings senses exercised to discern between which were made to heathenism of old. good and evil, being, at the same time,

" I have the honour to be, Sir, your without deep and profound knowledge, most obedient servant,

in many things : and those things which " JOHN POYNDEL. I understand not, I preach not :-yea, “ New Bridge-street, June 21, 1839.” there be many things in Scripture which

I cannot discern, not with all the ex

ercise I have in Scripture, nor yet with LATIMER'S ANSWER TO THE PAPISTS.

the help of all the interpreters I have, so

as to content myself, and others, in all Latimer answers the arguments of scrupulosity that may arise. But in such the Papists, that as we cannot be certain I am wont to wade no farther into the about the truths of Scripture, so we are stream, than that I may either go over, not at liberty to teach our uncertain or else return back again, having ever knowledge:

respect not to the ostentation of my " There have been, say you, those little wit, but to the edification of them who have had a zed, but not after know- that hear me, as far forth as I can, ledge. True it is, there have been such, neither passing my own wit, nor yet and yet be too many, to the great hin- their capacity.

be

THE INQUIRER.

.

SEPTEMBER, 1839.

Wkat saith the Scripture P-Rom. iv. 3.

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD.

CHAPTER IV.

JUSTIN MARTYR, TERTULLIAN, IRENÆUS. In the technical language of church history, the Apostolical period tloses with the Fathers noticed in the last chapter; and the commencement of the Ecclesiastical era is marked by Justin Martyr. In this chapter, it is proposed to give some brief account of Justin Martyr, touching also on Irenæus and Tertullian, whose writings in order of time fall near together.

In some respects, the opening of the Ecclesiastical Period affords proof of an increment of superstition amongst professing Christians; or, at any rate, of a more determinate acceptance of those oriental and Jewish doctrines which, in the Apostolical era, had hovered round the outskirts of the Church, soliciting an affiliation amongst those who, having already forgotten the most precious portion of the faith once delivered to the saints, were in a condition to admit within the sacred inclosure the specious progeny of pagan philosophy, Jewish theosophy, and oriental mysticism. But

Justin Martyr and Tertullian, the two great names of the second period, were far better instructed in the decencies of superstition than that offensive fabulist, Hermas, “ the father of tradition," and, if not by right feeling, were preserved at least by good taste from the figments of the legendary school. That they gave too much credence to the floating superstitions of their day, and by their high authority consecrated the errors of credulity and ignorance in which their contemporaries indulged, we shall presently see; but not even Tertullian, after his lapse into Montanism, ventured to deceive the Church by revelations of his own coining : he may have believed the spurious or fanatical visions of others, but his own he propounded not ; and in some other important particulars, the aggressions of the patristic theology assume a more modest appearance in the commencement of the ecclesiastical than in “the golden age" of the apostolical period.

Justin Martyr was born at Flavia Neapolis, in Samaria, of gentile parents. His father's name was Priscus Bacchius. Epiphanius asserts that the religion of Justin Martyr was originally that of the Samaritans; but he himself informs us that he was educated in the religion of the Greeks before he became a Christian. He had carefully studied the tenets of the different philosophical sects, and successively attached himself to the Stoics, the Peripatetics, the Pythagoreans, and the Platonists. The lofty speculations of the Platonic school for a while satisfied the cravings of his inquisitive mind : “I was greatly delighted with their notions of incorporeal objects ; and the contemplation of simple ideas elevated my understanding to such a pitch, that in a short time I really thought myself to be a wise and knowing person; and I was so weak as to imagine that I should, by means of this silly chicanery, soon arrive at a knowledge of God.” Here, however, he could not ultimately rest, and he was induced to examine, and, after examination, to embrace Christianity, finding in it, as he himself expresses it, “the only sound and useful philosophy," --Tavtnv Movny ευρισκον φιλοσοφιαν ασφαλη και συμφορον. In the persecution of the Christians which took place in the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, Justin composed his First

VOL. II.

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