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A due execution of this scheme, will soon produce many converts from Popery: nevertheless, to the end it may be known, when they shall be of the true church, I have ordered a large parcel of ecclefiaftical, or church thermometers, to be made, one of which is to be hung up in each parish-church; the description and use of which, take as follows, in the words of the ingenious Isaac Bickerstaff, Efq;
THE church-thermometer, which I am now :
1 to treat of, is supposed to have been invente ed in the reign of Henry VIII. about the time when that religious prince put some to death, for owning the Pope's supremacy, and others for denying transubstantiation. I do not find, however, any great use made of this instrument, till it fell into the hand of a learned and vigilant priest, or minister, (for he frequently wrote himself both the one and the other, who was some time vicar of Bray. This gentleman lived in his vicarage to a good old age; and, after having seen several successions of his neighbouring clergy, either burnt or banished, departed this life, with the fatisfaction of having never deserted his flock, and died vicar of Bray. As this glass was first 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 ordia nary thermometer is to this day, viz. Extreme S 3
bot, Sultry hot, Very hot, Hot, Warm, Temperate, Cold, Jul? freezing, Frost, Hard frojt, Great frost, Extreme cold.
It is well known, that Torricellius, 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 uscleis, and confidering, that thirty-two inches of
quicksilver weighed as much as so many foot of · water, in a tube of the same circumference, in
vented that fizeable instrument which is now in use. After this manner, that I might adapt the thermometer I am now speaking of, to the present constitution of our church, as divided into High and Lorlig I have made fome necessary variarions, both in the tube, and the fluid it contains. In the first place, I ordered a tube to be cast, 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 Arong heady wine; the other, a particular fort of rock-water, colder than ice, and clearer than chryftal. The spirit is of a red, fiery colour; and so very apt to ferment, that, unless it be aningled with a proportion of the water, or pent up very close, it will burft the vessel that holds it, and fly up in fume and smoke. The water, on the contrary, is of such a subtile, picrcing cold,
that, unless it be mingled with a proportion of
1 of 2
that it is apt to climb from Zeal to Wrath, and from Wrath to Persecution, which often ends in Ignorance, and very often proceeds from it. In the same manner, it frequently takes its progress through the lower half of the glass; and, when it has a tendency to fall, will gradually descend from Moderation to Lukewarmness, and from Lukewarinness to Infidelity, which very often terminates in Ignorance, and always 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 almost incredible to conceive, how the glass I am now describing, will fall, by the breath of the multitude, crying Popery; or, on the contrary, how it will rise, when the same 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 coffee-house, the liquor stood at Moderation ; but, at Will's, to my extreme surprise, 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 coffee-houses 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 staid about the 'Change, as also whilft I passed by the Bank. And here I cannot but take notice, that, through the whole course of my remarks, I never observed my glass 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 occult sciences, to make a progress, with my glass, through the whole island of Great-Britain ; and, after his return, to present me with a register of his observations. I guessed, before-hand, at the temper of several places he passed through, by the characters they have had, time out of mind. Thus, that facecious 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 ; though, I must confess, 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, digefted 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 1 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