Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

to a whole legion of Christians, || to his Ægytiaca, in defence of
consisting of more than six thou- this miracle ; as also, what is al-
sand men, who were said to have leged against it by Dan Lauroque,
suffered martyrdom by the order in a discourse upon that sub-
of Maximian. Though this story ject subjoined to the Adversaria
hath never wanted patrons, yet it Sacra of Matt. Lauroque, his
is disbelieved by many. Dr. Jor- father. The controversy between
tin, in his usual facetious way, Sir Peter King and Mr. Moyle
says, that it stands upon the au- upon this subject is also worthy
thority of one Eucherius, bishop of attention.
of Lyons, and a writer of the fifth LENT, a solemn time of fast-
century, who had it from Theo-ing in the Christian church, obser-
dorus, another bishop, who had ved as a time of humiliation before
the honour and felicity to find the Easter. The Romish church, and
reliques of these martyrs by reve- some of the Protestant communion,
lation, and perhaps by the smell maintain, that it was always a
of the bones!

fast of forty days, and, as such, LEGION THUNDERING, of apostolical institution. Others a name given to those Christians think that it was of ecclesiastiwho served in the Roman army of cal institution, and that it was Marcus Antoninus, in the second variously observed in different century. The occasion of it was churches, and grew by degrees this:—when that emperor was at from a fast of forty hours to war with the Marcomanni, his a fast of forty days. This is army was enclosed by the enemy, the sentiment of Morton, bishop and reduced to the most deplora- Taylor, Du Moulin, Daille, and ble condition by the thirst under others. Anciently, the manner of which they languished in a parch-observing Lent among those who ed desert. Just at this time they were piously disposed, was to abwere remarkably relieved by stain from food till evening: their a sudden and unexpected rain. only refreshment was a supper, and This event was attributed to the it was indifferent whether i: was Christians, who were supposed to flesh or any other food, provided have effected this by their pray- it was used with sobriety and moers; and the name of the thunder- deration. Lent was thought the ing legion was given to them, on proper time for exercising more account of the thunder and light- abundantly every species of cha. ning that destroyed the enemy, Krity: thus what they spared of their while the shower revived the faint- own bodies by abridging them of ing Romans. Whether this was a meal, was usually given to the really miraculous or not, has poor: they employed their vacant been disputed among learned men. hours in visiting the sick and They who wish to see what has those that were in prison; in enbeen said on both sides, may con- tertaining strangers, and reconsult Witsius Dissertat. de Legune ciling differences. The Imperial Fulminatrice, which is subjoined || laws forbad all prosecution of men

1

in criminal actions that might|nicles, which are for the mast bring them to corporal punishment part the same with the books of and torture during the whole sea- Samuel and kings; and other parson. This was a time of more ticular chapters in other books, than ordinary strictness and devo- either because they contain the tion, and therefore, in many of names of persons, places, or other the great churches, they had reli-matters less profitable to ordinary gious assemblies for prayer and readers. The course of the first preaching every day. All public lessons for Sundays is regulated games and stage-plays were prohi- after a different manner: from bited at this season, and also the Advent to Septuagesima Sunday, celebration of all festivals, birth-some particular chapters of Isaiah days, and marriages. The Chris- are appointed to be read, because tians of the Greek church observe that book contains the clearest four Lents; the first commences on prophecies concerning Christ. the fifteenth of November; the Upon Septuagesima Sunday, Gesecond is the same with our Lent; nesis is begun; because that book, the third begins the week after which treats of the fall of man, Whitsuntide, and continues till the and the severe judgment of God festival of St. Peter and St. Paul; inflicted on the world for sin, best and the fourth commences on the suits with a time of repentance first of August, and lasts no lon- and mortification. After Genesis ger than till the fifteenth. These follow chapters out of the books Lents are observed with great of the Old Testament, as they lie strictness and austerity, but on Sa- in order; only on festival Sunturdays and Sundays they indulge days, such as Easter, Whitsunday, themselves in drinking wine and&c., the particular history relausing oil, which are prohibited on ting to that day is appointed to be other days.

read ; and on the saints' days the LESSONS, among ecclesiasti-church appoints lessons out of the cal writers, are portions of the holy moral books, such as Proverbs, scriptures read in churches at the Ecclesiastes, &c., as containing time of divine service. In the an- ||excellent instructions for the concient church, reading the scrip-duct of life. As to the second tures was one part of the service lessons, the church observes the of the catechumen, at which all | same course both on Sunday's persons were allowed to be pre- and week-days; reading the Gossent, in order to obtain instruc-pel and Acts of the Apostles in tion. The church of England, in the morning, and the Epistles in the choice of lessons, proceeds as the evening, in the order they follows:-for all the first lessons on stand in the New Testament; exordinary days, she directs to be- cepting on saints' days and holy gin at the beginning of the year days, when such lessons are apwith Genesis, and so continue till pointed as either explain the mysthe books of the Old Testament tery, relate the history, or apare read over, only omitting Chro- ply the example to us.

LEUCOPETRIANS, the || sacrifices. Libations were also name of a fanatical sect which in use among the Hebrews, who sprang up in the Greek and Eastern poured a hin of wine on the vicchurches towards the close of the tim after it was killed, and the twelfth century: they professed to several pieces of the sacrifice were believe in a double trinity, reject-aid on the altar ready to be coned wedlock, abstained from flesh, sumed in the flames. treated with the utmost contempt

LIBERALITY, bounty'; a gethe sacraments of baptism and the rous disposition of mind, exertLord's supper, and all the various itself in giving largely. It is branches of external worship ; thus distinguished from generosiplaced the essence of religion in trand bounty:-Liberality implies internal prayer alone; and main-acts of mere giving or spending; tained, as it is said, that an evil generosity,acts of greatness; bounbeing, or genius, dwelt in the ty, acts of kindness. Liberality breast of every mortal, and could is a natural disposition; generosity be expelled from thence by no proceeds from elevation of sentiother method than by perpetual ment; bounty from religious mosupplication to the Supreme Be- tives. Liberality denotes freeing. The founder of this sect is dom of spirit; generosity, greatsaid to have been a person called ness of soul ; bounty, openness of Leucopetrus, and his chief disciple heart. Tychicus, who corrupted by fa LIBERALITY of sentiment, natical interpretations several a generous disposition a man feels books of scripture, and particu- towards another who is of a diflarly St. Matthew's gospel. ferent opinion from himself; or,

LEVITY, lightness of spirit, in as one defines it, “ that generous opposition to gravity. Nothing can expansion of mind which enables be more proper than for a Chris- it to look beyond all petty distinctian to put on an air of cheerful- tions of party and system, and, in ness, and to watch against a mo- the estimate of men and things, rose and gloomy disposition. But to rise superior to narrow prejuthough it be his privilege to re- dices.” As liberality of sentijoice, yet he must be cautious of ment is often a cover for error that vilatility of spirit which and scepticism on the one hand, characterise the unthinking, and and as it is too little attended to mark the vain professor. To be by the ignorant and bigotted on cheerful withoui levity, and grave the other, we shall here lay before without austerity, form both a our readers a view of it by a mashappy and dignified character. terly writer. “A man of liberal

LIBATION, the act of pour sentiments must be distinguished ing wine on the ground in divine from him who hath no religious worship. Sometimes other liquids sentiments at all.

He is one have been used, as oil, milk, wa- who hath seriously and effectuter, honey, but mostly wine.- ally investigated, both in his BiAmongst the Greeks and Romans ble and on his knees, in public asit was an essential part of solemn li semblies and in private conversa

tions, the important articles of those of that man crawl, and hum, religion. He hath laid down and buzz, and, when on wing, sail principles, he hath inferred conse- only round the circumference of quences; in a word, he hath adopt- a tulip. Is it conceivable that ed sentiments of his own. capability so different in every

“ He must be distinguished also thing else should be all alike in from that tame undiscerning do- religion? The advantages of manmestic among good people, who, kind differ. How should he who though he has sentiments of his hath no parents, no books, no tuown, yet has not judgment to es-tor, no companions, equal him timate the worth and value of one whom Providence hath gratified sentiment beyond another. with them all; who, when he

“ Now a generous believer of looks over the treasures of his own the Christian religion is one who knowledge, can say, this I had of will never allow himself to try to a Greek, that I learned of a Ro. propagate his sentiments by the man ; this information I acquired commission of sin. No collusion, of my tutor, that was a present of no bitterness, no wrath, no undue my father; a friend gave me this influence of any kind, will he ap- branch of knowledge, an acquaintply to make his sentiments receiv- ance bequeathed me that? The able; and no living thing will tasks of mankind differ; so I call be less happy for his being a the employments and exercises of Christian. He will exercise his life. In my opinion, circumstances liberality by allowing those who make great men; and if we have differ from him as much vir- not Cæsars in the state, and Pauls tue and integrity as he possibly in the church, it is because neither can.

church nor state are in the cir“ There are among a multitude cumstances in which they were in of arguments to enforce such a the days of those great men. Push disposition, the following worth a dull man into a river, and enour attention.

danger his life, and suddenly he “First, We should exercise libe- will discover invention, and make rality in union with sentiment, be- efforts, beyond himself. The world cause of the different capacities, is a fine school of instruction. Poadvantages and tasks, of mankind. verty, sickness, pain, loss of chilReligion employs the capacities of dren, treachery of friends, malice mankind, just as the air employs of enemies, and a thousand other their lungs and their organs of things, drive the man of sentiment speech. The fancy of one is to his Bible, and, so to speak, bring lively, of another dull. The judg-him home to a repast with his bement of one is elastic ; of an-nefactor, God. Is it conceivable other feeble, a damaged spring. that he, whose young and tender The memory of one is retentive ; heart is yet unpractised in trials of that of another is treacherous as this kind, can have ascertained the wind. The passions of this and tasted so many religious truths man are lofty, vigorous, rapid; as the sufferer has ? VOL. II.

D

XS

We should believe the Chris- | what was the practice of Christ s tian religion with liberality, in the suppose we were to institute a third second place, because every part question, Of what TEMPER was of the Christian religion inculcates Christ? generosity. Christianity gives us a “ Once more; We should be character of God, but, my God! liberal as well as orthodox, bewhat a character does it give! cause truth, especially the truths Gop

LOVE. Christianity of Christianity, do not want any teaches the doctrine of Provi- support from our illiberality. Let dence; but what a providence ! the little bee guard its little hoUpon whom doth not its light arise! ney with its little sting ; perhaps Is there an animalcule so little, or its little life may depend a little a wretch so forlorn, as to be for- while on that little nourishment. saken and forgotten of his God? Let the fierce bull shake his head, Christianity teachers the doctrine and nod his horn, and threaten his of redemption ; but the redemp. enemy, who seeks to eat his flesh, tion of whom ?m-of all tongues, and wear his coat, and live by his kindred, nations, and people; of death: poor fellow! his life is in the infant of a span, and the sin- danger; I forgive his bellowing ner of a hundred years old : a re- and his rage. But the Christian demption generous in its principle, religion is that in danger? and generous in its price, generous in what human efforts can render its effects: fixed sentiments of Di-that true which is false, that odivine munificence, and revealed ous which is lovely? Christianity with a liberality for which we is in no danger, and therefore it have no name. In a word, the gives its professors life and breath, illiberal Christian always acts con- and all things except a power of trary to the spirit of his religion ; injuring others. the liberal man alone thoroughly “ In fine, liberality in the prounderstands it.

fession of religion is a wise and in“ Thirdly, we should be liberal, nocent policy. The bigot lives at because no other spirit is exempli- home; a reptile he crawled into fied in the infallible guides whom existence, and there in his hole he we profess to follow. I set one lurks a reptile still. A generous Paul against a whole army of un- Christian goes out of his own parinspired men : Some preachty, associates with others, and Christ of good-will, and some of gains improvement by all. It is a envy and strife. What then? Persian proverb, A liberal hand is Christ is preached; and I therein better than a strong arm.

The do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. dignity of Christianity is better One eateth all things, another eat supported by acts of liberality eth herbs; but why dost THOU than by accuracy of reasoning ; judge thy brother? We shall all but when both go together, when stand before the judgment-seat of a man of sentiment can clearly Christ.' We often enquire, What state and ably defend his religious was the doctrine of Christ, and principles, and when his heart is

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »