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degrading and contemptible." Note.
Professional Life, vol. iv. p. 8.
Mr. GISBORNE's sentiments are quoted in Discourse IV. p.
says farther, that “the Stage ought to recommend itself as the nurse of virtue."-" The restrictions, which, if enforced, would render the spectacles of the Stage irreproachable, are such as would neither lead it from its natural province, nor cripple its powers of entertainment.” Duties of Women, ch, viii. p. 176. 178.
DR. WILLIAM BARROW, in his excellent Essay on Education, in the chapter On Dramatic Performances at School, acknowledges the profession of an actor to be “consistent with religion and virtue.”
“ In this, and in every other part of the present disquisition, the author begs to be understood, as neither applauding nor condemning, upon his own judgment, the profession of an actor; as entering into no statement of its general merits and disadvantages, into no comparison between its respectability and that of other occupations; but as receiving it according to the estimation in which it appears to be usually held, according to the rank in which public opinion seems to have placed it, as one of the last pursuits of all that ure consistent with religion and virtue, in which a gentleman would wish his song or daughters to engage.”
To these testimonies I must add that of the ANONYMOUS AUTHOR of an excellent pamphlet, entitled, Observations on the Effect of Theatrical Representations, with respect to Religion and Morals : occasioned by the Preface to the third Volume of the works of Mrs. H. More. Dedicated to The Earl of Dartmouth, and printed at Bath, but not published. I have so frequently had occasion to quote this in the Discourses themselves (See p. 37.97, &c.) and again in other parts of these Notes, that I shall not transcribe any particular passage in this place.
Opinions to the same effect might be cited without end. The above are, however, sufficient; nor would so many have been adduced, notwithstanding what Mr. Styles has said, (see p. 103.) had not Orton, following Dr. Owen, made one of the heads, in his Serious Dissuasive from frequenting the playhouse, that " It is acting contrary to the judgment and advice of the most wise and pious men in all ages." And as they have brought forward so many authorities in favour of their view of the subject, so I can produce as formidable a phalanx in support of mine, and shall conclude the subject in ORTON's own words: “Now I think the opinion of so many judicious and holy men ought to have great weight, to lead you to suspect your own judgment, or your own piety, if you are other. wise minded : and the rather, as thus you will grieve pious ministers and fellow Christians; which ought to have some weight with you." Disc. XVII. p. 295.
LAW, with his usual force, is very happy upon this subject: " Jucunda would have a Clergyman insist upon the most material parts of religion, and not lay so much stress upon things that are only diversions. I am of your mind, Jucunda, that a Clergyman ought to insist upon the most material parts of religion; but then it does not follow that he must not lay so much stress upon things that are diversions. For as something that is called a diversion may be entirely sinful, so, if this should happen, it is as necessary for a Clergyman to call all Christians from it, as it is necessary to exhort them to keep the commandments. Religion seems to have as little to do with trades, as with diversions; yet if a trade be set up, that is in its own nature wicked, there is nothing more material in religion, than to declare the necessity of forsaking such an employment. But, after all, Jucunda, the most essential, and most material parts of religion, are such as relate to common life, such as alter our ways of living, such as give rules to all our actions, and are the measure of all our conduct, whether in business or diversion. Nothing is so important in religion to you, as that which makes you sober and wise, holy and heavenly minded in the whole course of your life. But you are for such material parts of religion, as should only distinguish you from a Jew or an Infidel, but make no difference in common life, betwixt you and fops and coquettes. You are for religion that consists in' modes and forms of worship, that is tied to times and places, that only takes up a little of your time on Sunday, and leaves you all the week to do as you please. But all this, Jucunda, is
nothing. The Scripture hath not said in vain, “ He that is in Christ is a new creature.” (2 Cor. v. 17.) All the law and the Gospel are in vain to you; all Sacraments, devotions, doctrines, and ordinances, are to no purpose, unless they make
this new creature in all the actions of your life. He teaches you the most material parts of religion, who teaches you to be of a religious spirit in every thing that you do, who teaches you to eat and drink, to labour and rest, to converse and divert yourself in such degrees, and to such ends, as best promote a pious life.
If sots and gluttons should desire a Clergyman to insist upon the most material parts of religion, and not lay so great a stress upon gluttony and intemperance, which are things that only relate to eating and drinking; they would shew that they understood religion as well as Jucunda. For every one must see, that some diversions may as much disorder the heart, and be as contrary to religion, as gluttony and intemperance. And as many people have lived and died unaffected with religion, through a course of diversions and pleasures, as through gluttony and intemperance.” p. 418.
B. p. 25. Having considered the subject of Heathenism, in another work, I shall not again enter generally upon the subject here; but will refer the reader to that, and some of the authors there quoted. I am aware, that the quoting his own works, subjects an Author, in the eyes of many, to the imputation of vanity; but, when the matter is candidly considered, I really do not see how it argues greater vanity to refer to a former work, than to have published it in the first instance. If an author publishes a work, because he thinks he can either instruct or amuse others, unless he see reason to to have altered his opinion on any point there treated, the work remains the same as when first published, and prevents the necessity of repeating what he has urged before. I therefore, without hesitation, refer the reader to
The Introductory Letter to my collection of songs, in one volume 4to. with music, published in 1805, and republished, with corrections and some few additions, as a Preface to the Collection of the words of Songs only, in 3 vols. 12mo. 1806, and 1808. The works there quoted on the subject, are
Reflections on the Grourh of Heathenism, among modern Christiáns, in a litter to a friend at Oxford; by The Rev. Wm. Jones, of Nayland. Published as a Pamphlet in 1776, and 1794, and again