Imágenes de páginas

other testimonies to his divinity, he is expressly affirmed to be God. With these evidences, we need not be careful respecting the fate of Eve's declaration.

I will mention, in conclusion, what has often struck me, and perhaps others, as the occasion of Moses recording this passage, according to the rendering of the received translation; namely, to account for the name given to her first-born, as he records other expressions for the like purpose, as in the cases of Seth and Noah. I think it probable there was no other object in it.

U. Y.

PRO-POPERY SOPHISTRY. MR. EDITOR,– Before this letter can reach the public eye, the. death warrant of the British Constitution will have been sealed; but even were it otherwise, I should hope to produce little influence by argument in quarters where alone argument could be beneficial. The reasons which, within the space of two months, have converted princes, prelates, nobles and senators, are evidently of a nature which comes not within bow-shot of logic. But there is still a great and powerful tribunal, even that of public opinion, before which crowns, coronets, and mitres must submit to be arraigned. Connected intimately as this question is with our Christianity and our Church, I shall not deem it necessary to apologize in again trespassing on your kindness, by offering some remarks on one of the wretched sophisms, by which this ruinous measure has been supported.

The argument is, “ That the Church of England can never be endangered so long as it retains its present purity." We know, indeed, that as far as its individual members are concerned, all the powers of earth and bell can never touch their SALVATION, so long as they are true to their profession. But this is quite a different thing from the safety of the Church Establishment, or even the temporal immunity of its constituent members. Did the purity of Latimer, Ridley, Hooper, and thousands of others, preserve them from the utmost terrors of Popish barbarity, or protect their pure Church from the most savage persecution ? Did even the cries of innocent infants preserve them from the flame and the steel ? Did the purity of our Church afford her any safeguard against the usurpation of the detestable bigot, James? Did the pure and heroic resistance of the seven Bishops produce any relenting softness in the heart of that callous tyrant? But, attached as I am to my Church, and pure as I believe her to be, I cannot believe her purer than the primitive. And did the purity of that Church prevail against a Herod, a Nero, or a Diocletian? Still more, did the purity of Him, concerning whom it is written, that “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as He is pure,"— did even his spotless purity protect him from the cowardly cruelty of a governor who suffered his fears to betray his conscience, and from the malice of a ferocious hierarchy, who thirsted for his sacred blood ? What then has the purity of the Church to do with its temporal safety?

Having noticed this gross perversion of reasoning, which runs in the very teeth of history, human nature, experience and tendency, I will not

seek much further to occupy your valuable pages. Allow me, however, in a few words, to express,—not my surprise, for we are now abundantly taught the "nil admirari,” but-my feelings at seeing your contemporary, the Christian Observer, swept along the vortex of conversion; condescending to become the adulator of an apostate and traitorous faction, and this too, in the holy name of Christianity! publishing, and complacently commending a long letter of the Rev. Daniel Wilson, a letter which not a little detracts from his consistency, and from his former fame (whether well earned or not I will not say). Let me further intrude to notice an expression which appears in my last letter. I am there made to call Popery Catholicism. If such an expression could have escaped my pen, I most certainly and most decidedly retract it; and I cannot but regret, by the way, that your publication, whose manliness, uprightness, consistency, good sense, and sound Christianity, I admire and reverence in the very highest degree, should have sanctioned a loose and incorrect mode of speaking, which really confounds the most essential distinctions, and passes a condemnation on Protestantism. Let us leave such terms to the Daniel Wilsons, and Sidney Smiths.


KING'S COLLEGE. Mr. Editor,—It gives me sincere pain, and I think a similar feeling must be excited in the breasts of many staunch and uncompromising Protestants, to observe the very ominous aspect of affairs with regard to King's College, London. There does not exist in the United Kingdom a person more entirely hostile than myself to the measures which have recently received the sanction of the Legislature. Yet I cannot think that the best way of counteracting the injurious effects of those measures will be to cripple a great institution, which, in its maturity, may perhaps become a signal bulwark of our tottering Church. There can be no doubt, that, as matters stand, the whole discipline of King's College may be administered by Papists ; but it would be so easy to insert in the statutes appointing the Council, the words “ being Protestants,” and the general feeling of the proprietors is so decidedly in favour of such an amendment, that subscribers ought certainly to wait till this is done, before they withdraw their names. The step once taken, the Institution may be ruined, and repentance arrive too late. Supposing such to be the event, what would be gained ? The unholy coalition of Popery and Infidelity would establish itself impregnably, without a single opposing circumstance, in the Gower-street Institution. There must, even in the most unfavourable state of King's College, exist a tendency to check united hostility to religion, which cannot but prove salutary, and may be so in the very highest degree.

Excuse these hurried remarks ; but the emergency of the occasion would not allow me entirely to keep silence on the subject, and I shall be happy to see it treated by those who are in every respect far better qualified for the purpose than myself.

I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, ECCLESIASTICUS.

[ocr errors]


By analogous Reference to the Practice of other Nations.

DIVINATION. It would far exceed our limits to enter fully upon so extensive a subject as that included under the term divination. Suffice it to say, that the Jews at all periods of their history resorted to every mode adopted by their idolatrous neighbours of penetrating into futurity. With respect to the first of these, alluded to in Genesis xliv. 5, we know that one of the most celebrated monarchs of the Persians, the great Giamschid, together with Alexander and others, referred to prophetic cups, and Pliny alludes to a similar practice in his time. That wands and staffs were used for similar purposes is also known to us, on the authority of Strabo, who speaks of the rods held by the Magi during their religious ceremonies.

Gen. xliv. 5.--" Is this the cup whereby he divineth ?"

Ezek. xxi. 21.-—" For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination : he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver."

Hosea iv. 12.--"My people ask counsel at their stocks, their staff declareth unto


Tacitus (de Moribus Germanorum, ch. x.) thus explains their mode of divination by twigs or wands: The branch of a forest tree is cut into small pieces, which being all distinctly marked, are thrown at random on a white garment. With fervent prayers the priest, raising his eyes to heaven three times, holds up each segment of the twig, and as the marks rise in succession, interprets the decrees of fate.

The method taken by the Noaaid or Lapland Priest to recover stolen goods is this. He comes into the tent where he has reason to suspect the thief is to be found, and pouring a quantity of brandy into a dish, which then reflects the features of any person looking into it, he makes a number of grimaces over it, and appears to consider it with very great attention. After some length of time employed in this way, he takes the suspected Laplander aside, charges him with the fact, declares that he saw his face plainly figured to him in the dish, and threatens to let loose a swarm of ganic flies upon him, who shall torment him until he makes restitution.-Acerbi's Travels, Vol. ii. p. 312.

The king, who was one of our company, this day, at dinner, I observed, took particular notice of the plates; this occasioned me to make him an offer of one, either of pewter or of earthenware. He chose the first, and then began to tell us the several uses to which he intended to apply it. Two of them were so extraordinary, that I cannot omit mentioning them. He said that whenever he should have occasion to visit any of the other islands, he would leave this plate behind him at Tongataboo, as a sort of representative in his absence, that the people might pay it the same obeisance they do to himself in person. He was asked what had been usually employed for this purpose, before he got this plate; and we had the satisfaction of learning from him that this singular honour had been hitherto conferred on a wooden bowl, in which he washed his hands. The other extraordinary use to which he meant to apply it in the room of his wooden bowl was to discover a thief; he said that when any thing was stolen and the thief could not be found out, the people were all assembled together before him, when he washed his hands in water in this vessel; after which it was cleaned, and then the whole multitude advanced, one after another, and touched it in the same manner as they touch his foot when they pay him

obeisance. If the guilty person touched it he died immediately upon the spot, not by violence, but by the hand of Providence; and if any one refused to touch it, his refusal was a clear proof that he was the man.-Cooke's Third Voyage, B. 2. c. 8.

In the Temple Kurumado, in a corner to the left, within a large wooden grate, we took notice of a sexangular lanthorn covered with black gauze, which could be turned round like a wheel, and is said to be of great service in discovering unknown and future things. We were told likewise that a large book of their gods and religion lay in the same lanthorn, of the contents whereof they would or could give us no particulars, and only would make us believe that it was a very strange and miraculous thing.-Kampher, Japan, Vol. i. p. 600. .

The conjuror fills a pewter bason or a brass pan full of water, then sets up a stick on each side, from the tops of the sticks he stretches a small cord, and from the centre of that cord suspends a grain of pepper by a thread just to touch, but not in the water: he then dips his fingers in the water and flirts them in the culprit's face; if he is guilty, a white film immediately covers his eyes, which deprives him of sight, and causes most excruciating pain; but if he is innocent, it has no effect. After the guilty person has made his confession, the conjuror departs.History of Sierra Leone.

Before the Sumatrans go to war, they kill a buffalo, or a fowl that is perfectly white, and by observing the motion of the intestines, they judge of the good or ill fortune that will attend them. The priest who performs this ceremony had need to be infallible; for if he predicts contrary to the event, he is sometimes put to death for his want of skill. Marsden's Sumatra.

In the Rudhiradhya-ya, or sanguinary chapter, translated from the Calica Puran, there are a variety of curious omens explained according to the direction in which the head of a human victim, buffalo, &c. falls when severed from the body.- Asiatic Researches. Vol. V.

The Scythians have amongst them a great number who practise the art of divination. For this purpose they use a number of willow twigs in this manner: They bring large bundles of them together, and having untied them, dispose them one by one on the ground, each bundle at a distance from the rest. This done, they pretend to foretell the future, during which they take up the bundles separately, and tie them together again. They take also the leaves of the limetree, which, dividing into three parts, they twine round their fingers; they then unbind it, and exercise the art to which they pretend.—Herodot. B. 4.

The inhabitants of the Pelew islands entertained so strong an idea of divination, that whenever any matter of moment was going to be undertaken, they conceived they could, by splitting the leaves of a particular plant that was not unlike our busrush, and measuring the strips of this long narrow leaf on the back of their middle finger, form a judgment whether it would or would not turn out prosperous. It was noticed by several of our people that the king recurred to this supposed oracle, on different occasions, particularly at the time they went on the second expedition against Artingall, when he appeared to be very unwilling to go aboard his canoe, and kept all his attendants waiting till he had tumbled and twisted his leaves into a form that satisfied his mind and predicted success. Our people never observed any person but the king apply to this divination.- Wilson's Pelew Islands.

The Afghaum pry into futurity by astrological and geomantic calculations, and by all sorts of divination and sortilege. Amongst other modes they form presages from drawing lots, from the position assumed by arrows poured carelessly out of a quiver. I remember a conversation which I had (immediately before Shauh Shooja's great struggle against his competitor in 1809) with one of that prince's Persian Ministers, who told me that he had now good reason to rely with certainty on his master's success. I listened with attention, expecting to hear of a correspondence with some of the great lords of the other party, and I was a good deal surprised to find the minister's confidence arose entirely from the result of some augury from the position of arrows.-Elphinstone's Account of Caubul, p. 223. VOL. XI. NO. VI.


Mr. John Rawlins, when a prisoner on board a Turkish vessel, thus describes a singular mode of divination by arrows. Upon the sight of two great ships, feared to be two Spanish men-of-war, a deep silence is commanded in the ship; after that all the company give a great shriek; sometimes the sails are all taken in, and perhaps presently after hoisted out again, as the conjuror presages. There are also a cutlass and two arrows laid on a cushion, one for the Turks, the other for the Christians, and a curtlase: then this wise man reads, and some one or other takes the two arrows in his hand by their heads; if the arrow for the Christians comes over the head of the arrow for the Turks, it foretels they will be taken; if the arrow for the Turks comes over the head of that for the Christians, they think themselves sure of success. The curtlaxe is taken up by a child or some person that is a stranger to the matter, and it is much minded if it lie on the same side or no. They observe lunatics too, for the conjuror writes down their sayings in a book, grovelling upon the ground as if he whispered to the devil.-Harris's Voyages, p. 371.


MR. EDITOR,—In D'Oyly and Mant's Bible, the latter note upon the word idols (D'

E N x), Gen. xxxi. 19, is “ The Teraphim were probably the pictures or statues of some of Rachel's ancestors, and taken by her for the preservation of their memory, when she was about never to return to her country and father's house again. Laban had abused them to idolatry.”Dr. Lightfoot. But perhaps she did it rather to wean her father from his idolatrous habits, and to prevent him from discovering the road she had taken, if we suppose them to have been the receptacles of evil spirits, and kept for the purpose of divination, which the Syriac word 9; 2, inquirens, implies.

Laban, in the 29th verse, speaking to Jacob, calls the God of Abraham by the name 758, and, in the verse following, calls his own Teraphim by the same name; which is certainly very natural, supposing him to have been an idolater. Jacob, in the 32d verse, bids him search for his Teraphim, calling them, doubtless from a sense of his own innocence, by the same name '758; but, in the 37th verse, he asks him, in seeming derision and contempt, whether among all his furniture he had found any of his household utensils, not repeating the

mentioned word
.ביתך מכל כלי־ but ,אלהי

That these Teraphim, čidwda, were a kind of images or busts, answering to the Lares or household gods of the Romans, seems very probable. The Sanscrit 21, tara, a house, and T, pa, to protect, denote the Teraphim to be a species of inferior idols, kept and worshipped under the idea of the protection they afforded to the house, and consequently rank the cognate Teraphim among the Lares or Dii familiares, and not among the Penates; which, according to Livy, were idols of a distinct order from the Lares; the latter were of human, the former of divine origin. The O'n were, as Rabbi D. Kimchi says, “ fictas ab Astrologis ut futura prædicerent, et humana forma factas, ita ut cælestis influentiæ essent capaces.” In Ezekiel xxi. 26, we find the king of Babylon consulting them; " he made his

« AnteriorContinuar »