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designed to calculate the different degrees of heat in religion, as it raged in Popery, or as it cooled and grew temperate in the reformation, it was marked at several distances, after the manner our ordinary thermometer is to this day, viz. Extreme hot, Sultry hot, Very bot, Hot, Warm, Temperate, Cold, Just freezing, Froft, Hard froft, Great frost, Extreme cold.
It is well known, that Torricellias, the inventor of the common weather-glass, made the experiment of a long tube which held thirty two foot of water ; and that a more modern virtuoso finding such a machine altogether unwieldy and useless, and considering that thirty two inches of quicksilver weighed as much as fo many foot of water in a tube of the same circumference, invented that sizable instrument which is now in use. After this manner, that I might adapt the thermometer I am now speaking of to the present conftitution of our church, as divided into High and Low, I have made fome neceffary variations both in the tube, and the fluid it contains. In the first place, I ordered a tube to be caft in a planetary hour, and took care to seal it hermetically, when the sun was in conjunction with Saturn. I then took the proper precautions about the fluid, which is a compound of two different liquors ; one of them a fpirit drawn out of a strong heady wine; the other a particular fort of rock-water; colder than ice, and clearer than cryftal. The spirit is of a red, fiery colour ; and fo very apt to ferment, that, unless it be mingled with a proportion of the water, or pent up very close, it will burst the vessel that holds it, and fly up in fume and smoke. The water, on the contrary, is of such a subtile, piercing cold, that, unless it be mingled with a proportion of the spirits, it will fink almost thro' every thing it is put into ; and seems to be of the same nature as the water mentioned by Quintus Curtius, which, fays the historian, could be contained in nothing but in the hoof, or (as the Oxford manufcript has it) the scull of an afs. The thermometer is marked according to the following figure, which I set down at length, not only to give my reader a clear idea of it, but also to fill up my paper.
Ignorance. The reader will observe, that the church is placed in the middle point of the glass, betwen Zeal and Moderation, the situation in which she always flourishes, and in which every good Englishman wishes her, who is a friend to the conftitution of his country. However, when it mounts to Zeal, it is not amiss; and when it Sinks to Moderation, it is still in admirable temper. The worst of it is, that when once it begins to rise, it has still an inclination to ascend, insomuch that it is apt to climb from Zeal to Wrath, and from Wrath to Perfecution, which often ends in Ignorance, and very often proceeds from it. In the same manner, it frequently takes its progress thro' the lower half of the glass; and, when it has a tendency to fall, will gradually descend from Moderation to Lukewarmness, and from Lukewarmness to Infidelity, which very often terminates in Ignorance, and al ways proceeds from it.
It is a common observation, that the ordinary thermometer will be affected by the breathing of people who are in the room where it stands; and indeed it is almoft incredible to conceive, how the glass I am now de fcribing, will fall by the breath of the multitude crying Popery; or, on the contrary, how it will rise when the fame multitude (as it sometimes happens) cry out in the same breath, The church is in danger.
As soon as I had finished this my glass, and adjusted it to the above mentioned scale of religion, that I might make proper experiments with it, I carried it under my cloak to several coffeehouses, and other places of resort about this great city. At St. James's coffeehouse the.liquor stood at Moderation ; but at Will's, to my extreme furprise, it subsided to the very lowest mark of the glass,
At the Grecian it mounted but just one point higher; at the Rainbow it still ascended two degrees ; Child's fetched it up to Zeal, and other adjacent coffeehouses to Wrath.
It fell in the lower half of the glass, as I went further into the city, till at length it settled at Moderation, where it continued all the time I ftaid about the Change, as also whilft I passed by the Bank. And here I cannot but take notice, that, thro' the whole course of my remarks, I never observed my glafs to rise at the same time that the stocks did.
To complete the experiment, I prevailed upon a friend of mine, who works under me in the occalt sciences, to make a progress with my glass thro’ the whole island of Great Britain ; and, after his return, to present me with a register of his observations. I guessed beforehand at the temper of several places he passed thro', by the characters they have had time out of mind. Thus, that facetious divine, Dr. Fuller, speaking of the town of Banbury, near a hundred years ago, tells us, it was a place famous for cakes and zeal; which I find by my glass is true to this day, as to the latter part of his description į tho' I must confefs, it is not in the same reputation for cakes that it was in the time of that learned author ; and thus of other places. In short, I have now by me, digested in an alphabetical order, all the counties, corporations, and boroughs in Great Britain, with their respective tempers, as they stand related in my thermometer. But this I shall keep to myself, because I would by no means do any thing that may seem to influence any ensuing election.
The point of doctrine which I would propagate by this my invention, is the same which was long ago advanced by that able teacher Horace, out of whom i have taken my text for this discourse. We should be careful not to overshoot ourselves in the pursuits even of virtue. Whether Zeal or Moderation be the point we aim at, let us keep fire out of the one, and frost out of the other. But, alas ! the world is too wise to want such a precaution. The terms High-church and Lowchurch, as commonly used, do not so much denote a principle, as they distinguish a party. They are like
words of battle, that have nothing to do with their original signification, but are only given out to keep a body of men together, and to let them know friends from enemies.
I must confess, I have considered, with some attention, the influence which the opinions of these great national sects have upon their practice; and do look upon it as one of the unaccountable things of our times, that multitudes of honest gentlemen, who entirely agree in their lives, should take it in their heads to differ in their religion.
I shall conclude this paper with an account of a conference which happened between a very excellent divine (whose doctrine was easy, and formerly much respected) and a lawyer.
ND behold a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted
him, saying, Mafter, what shall i do to inherit eternal life?
He said unto him, What is written in the law ? how readest thou?
And he answering, faid, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself.
And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour ?
And Jesus answering, said, A certain man'went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other fide.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other fide.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compaffion on him.
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine; and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence,
them to the höft : and said unto him, Take care of him ; and whatsoever thou spendeft more, when I come again, I will repay
thee. Which now of these three, thinkeft thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Luke X. 25. to 38.
towards paying the national debt by the following means. The author would have commissioners appointed to search all the public and private libraries, booksellers shops, and warehouses in this kingdom, for such books as are of no use to the owner, or to the public, viz. all comments on the holy scriptures, whether called sermons, creeds, bodies of divinity, tomes of casuistry, vindications, confutations, essays, answers, replies, rejoinders, or furrejoinders; together with all other learned treatises and books of divinity of what denomination or class soever : as also all comments on the laws of the land; such as reports, law-cafes, decrees, guides for attorneys and young clerks; and, in fine, all the books now in being in this kingdom, (whether of divi nity, law, physic, metaphysics, logics, or politics), except the pure text of the holy scriptures, the naked text of the laws, a few books of morality, poetry, music, architecture, agriculture, mathematics, merchandise, and history; the author would have the aforesaid useless books carried to the several paper-mills, there to be wrought into white paper; which, to prevent damage or complaints, he would have performed by the commentators, critics, popular preachers, apothecaries, learned lawyers, attorneys, solicitors, logicians, physicians, almanack-makers, and others of the like wrong turn of mind; the faid paper to be fold, and the produce applied to discharge the national debt. What should remain of the raid debt unsatisfied, might be paid by a tax on the falaries or estates of bankers, common cheats, usurers, treasurers, imbezzlers of public money, general officers, farpers, pensioners, pick-pockets, &c.