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a juft medium ought to be preserved between too many and too few. With refpect to religious worship in particular, fuperfluity of ceremonies quenches devotion, by occupying the mind too much upon externals." The Roman - Catholic worship is crowded with ceremonies : it resembles the Italian opera, which is all sound, and no sentiment. The Presbyteriãn form of worship is too naked : it is proper for philosophers more than for the populace. This is fundamentally the cause of the numerous feceflions from the church of Scotland that have made a figure of late: people dislike the established forms, when they find less animation in public worship than is desired ; and without being sensible of the real cause, they chuse paftors for themselves, who supply the want' of ceremonies by loud 1peaking, with much external fervor and devo
* External how figures greatly in dark times, when nothing makes an impression but what is vi. fible., A German traveller (Hentzner) talking of Queen Elisabeth, thus describes the solemnity of her dinner. While she was at prayers, we saw her. cable set out in the following folema manner.
The frequent ablutions or washings a, mong the Mahometans and others, as acts of devotion, show the influence that
“ A gentleman entered the room bearing a rod, and « along with him another who had, a table-cloth, - which, after they had both kneeled three times “ with the utmost veneration, he spread upon the " table, and after kneeling again, they both reti“ red. :-Then came two others, one with the rod “ again, the other with a falt-cellar, a plate and “ bread; when they had kneeled, as the oth
others “ had done, and placed what was brought upon
the table, they too retired with the fame cere« monies performed by the first. At last came an « unmarried lady, (we were told she was a Countess), “ and along with her a married one, bearing a ta«fting-knife; the former was drefled in white fiik; " who when she had prostrated herfelf three times, “ in the most graceful manner, approached the “ table, and rubbed the plates with bread and salt, $with as much awe as if the Queen had been pre“ fent : when they had waited there a little while, “ the yeomen of the guard entered, bareheaded, « cloathed in fcarlet, with a golden rose upon their “ backs, bringing in at each turn a course of “ twenty-four dishes, served in plate most of it gilt ; of these dishes were received by a gentleman in the
fame order they wcre brought,' and placed upon
the table, while the lady-taster gave to each of the to guard a mouthful to eat, of the particular dili " he had brough:, for fear of any puilon. During " the time that this guard, which confits of the
the flightest resemblances have on the ignorant. Because purification, in several languages, is a term applicable to the
so talleft and stouteft men that can be found in all " England, were bringing dinner, twelve trumpets
and two kettle-drums made the hall ring for half
an hour together. At the end of this ceremonial « a number of unmarried ladies appeared, who, s with particulár folemnity, lifted the meat off the “ table, and conveyed it into the Queen's inner and
more private chamber, where, after the had « chosen for herself, the rest goes to the ladies of " the court.” Forms were greatly regarded among the old Romans, dresses appropriated to different ranks ; lictors, axes, bundles of rods, and other enfigns of power ; military merit rewarded with triumphs, ovations, 'crowns of gold, of leaves, &c. &c. Such appearances strike the multitude with respect and awe : they are indeed despised by men of plain fenfe'; but they regain their credit with philofophers. Excessive courage, the exertion of which is visible, was the heroism of the last age : “ I shall “ never esteem a king,” said the great Gustavus Adolphus, “ who in battle does not expose himself « like a private man.” By acuteness of judgement and refinement of taste, we cling to the substance and difregard forms and ceremonies. External Ahow, however, continues to prevail in many in. stances. A young man is apt to be captivated with beauty or dress : a young woman, with equipage or a a title. And hence, many an ill-forted match, Vol. IV, Uu
mind as well as to the body, shallow thinkers, milled by the double meaning, įmagine that the mind, like the body, is purified by water.
The fect of Ali use the Alcoran translated into the Persian language, which is their native tongue,
The feet of Omar esteem this to be a gross impiety ; being persuaded, that the Alcoran was written in Arabic, by the Angel Gabriel, at the command of God himself. The Roman Catholics are not then the only people who profess to speak nonsense to God Almighty; or, which is the same, who profess to pray in an unknown tongue.
At meals, the ancients poured out some wine as a libation to the gods : Christians pronounce a short
grace. The gross notion of Deity entertained by the ancients, is exemplified in their worshipping and facrificing on high plaçes; in order, as they thought, to be more within fight. Jupiter in Homer praises Hector for facrificing to him frequently
and Strabo observes, that the Persians, who used neither images nor'altars, facrificed to the gods in high places. ". Balak carried Balaam the prophet
to the top of Pisgah and other mountains, to sacrifice there, and to curse Israel. The votaries of Baal always worshipped in high places. Even the fage Tacitus was infected with that absurdity. Speaking of certain high mountains where the gods were worshipped, he expresses himself thus : Maxime cælo appropinquare, precesque mortalium a Deo nusquam propius audiri *.
Ceremonies that tend to unhinge mora.. lity, belong more properly to the following section, treating of the connection between religion and morality.
It is now full time to take under confia deration an objection to the sense of Deity hinted above, arguing from the gross conceptions of deity among many nations, that this sense cannot be innate. The objection is not indeed directly stated in the following passage, borrowed from a justlycelebrated author ; but as it perhaps may be implied, the passage shall be fairly transcribed. The universal propensity
to believe invisible intelligent power, being a general attendant on human ** As approaching nearer to heaven, the pray
of mortals are there more diftinctly heard." DUOTI 371 485U ulica i os