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The Font it is a manger,
And wicked men lift up,
The Paten and the Cup.
Rang'd round the Holy Altar,
They take God's name in vain ; And with oaths and wicked curses
Defile the blessed fane.
They smash the storied windows
Their Saviour's Cross they hate, Alas! Alas! No human tongue
Can tell their awful fate.
Lo! the most Holy Prelates
Are brought unto the stake, And shed their very life-blood forth
For Christ's dear Church's sake.
The King is hurled from his throne,
And dragged away to die, By men as vile as those who dared
Their Lord to crucify.
God's Holy Apostolic Church
Proud rebels do malign;
Beneath the feet of swine.
Her discipline, Her wholesome rule,
The laws are all laid low; The Father is the Brother's The Son, the Father's foe.
(To be continued.)
LETTERS FROM ROME. It is our intention to insert from time to time in the Church, Warder, the “ Letter from Rome," published in the year 1729, by Dr. Conyers Middleton, Principal Librarian of the University of Cambridge; “shewing an exact conformity between Popery and Paganism; or the religion of the present Romans to be derived entirely from that of their heaTHEN ANCESTORs.” It is familiar to our learned readers ; but as our auxious endeavours have been wholly directed to the unlearned, we hope this letter will not be unacceptable to the former ; and at the same time shew the latter the origin of some of the “superstitious mummeries” which grace the splendid ritual of Rome. Brevity will oblige us to leave out much of Dr. Middleton's valuable remarks; although we shall make it appear as if it were connected in the original.
Rome, says the Doctor, is certainly of all cities in the world the most entertaining to strangers; for whether we consider it in its ancient or present state ; its civil or its ecclesiastical state ; whether we admire the great perfection of arts exemplified in the noble remains of old Rome, or the revival of the same arts in the beautiful ornaments of modern Rome ; any one, of what genius or taste soever, will be sure to find something or other that will deserve his attention and engage bis curiosity. But even those who have no particular taste or regard at all for things curious; but who travel merely for fashion's sake, and to waste time, will spend that time with more satisfaction at Rome, than any where else ; for that easiness of accommodation as to all the conveniences of life; that general civility and respect to strangers; that quiet and security which every man of prudence is sure to find in it.
As for my own journey to this place, it was not any motive of devotion that occasioned it; for my zeal was not that of visiting the “ holy thresholds of the Apostles," or of kissing the feet of their successor. I knew that their ecclesiastical antiquities were mostly fabulous and legendary ; supported by
fictions and impostures, too gross to employ the attention of a man of sense. Should we allow them that S. Peter had been at Rome (of which some learned men have doubted) yet had they not, I knew, any authentic monument remaining of him ; any visible footsteps subsisting to demonstrate his residence among them; and should we ask them for any evidence of this kind, they would refer us to the "impression of his face on the wall of the dungeon in which he was confined;" or to " a fountain in the bottom of it, raised by him miraculously out of the rock, in order to baptize his fellow prisoners ;” or to the “ mark of our Saviour's feet in a stone on which he appeared to and stopped him as he was flying out of the city from a persecution then raging." In memory of this reputed fact, there was a church built on the spot called the “ marks of the feet;" but as this church fell into decay, our Cardinal Pole built a chapel over it; but the stone itself, which their
“ is more valuable than any of the precious ones, because it is a perpetual monument and proof of the Christian religion, is preserved with all due reverence in S. Sebastian's church! They would, perhaps, appeal to the evidence of some miracle wrought at S. Peter's execution, as they do of S. Paul called after him at the “ three fountains," the place where he was beheaded. On which occasion, they allege that " instead of blood there issued only milk from his veins ; and that his head, when separated from his body, having made three jumps on the ground, raised at each place a spring of living water, which still retains the plain taste of milk," as Baronius, Mabillon, and all their gravest authors would persuade
At first I resolved not to take any notice of the fopperies and ridiculous ceremonies of the present religion of Rome ; but in this I soon found myself mistaken; for the whole form and outward dress of their worship seemed so grossly idolatrous and extravagant beyond what I had imagined, that I could not help considering it with a very particular regard ; for nothing concurred so much with my original intention of con
versing solely with the ancients, or so much helped my imagination to fancy myself wandering about in old heathen Rome, as to observe and attend to their religious worship; all thə ceremonies of which plainly appeared to have been copied from the rituals of primitive paganism ; as if they had been handed down by an uninterrupted succession from the priests of old, to the priests of new Rome.
Many of our divines have with much learning and solid reasoning charged and effectually proved the crime of idolatry on the church of Rome: the charge is denied, and with much subtlety evaded. But these controversies are not so capable of giving that conviction as I immediately received from my senses ; which are the surest witnesses of matters of fact in all cases ; with which no man can fail to be furnished who sees popery as it is exercised in Italy in the full pomp and display of its pageantry; and whilst practising all its arts and powers without either caution or reserve. This similitude of the popish and pagan religion seemed so evident and clear, and struck my imagination so forcibly, that I resolved to search into the bottom of the notion, and to explain and demonstrate the certainty of it, by exhibiting and comparing the most obvious parts of each worship. .
1. INCENSE. The very first thing that a stranger must take notice of as soon as he enters their churches, is the use of incense or perfumes in their religious offices. The first step he takes within the door will be sure to make him sensible of it by the offence he will immediately receive from the smell as well as smoke of this incense, with which the whole church contiuues filled for some time after every solemn service. This is a custom received directly from paganism ; which presently called to my mind the old descriptions of the heathen temples and altars, which are seldom or never mentioned by the ancients without the epithet of perfumed or incensed.
And in some of their principal churches, where you have
before you in one view, a great number of altars, and all of them smoking at once with streams of incense, how natural it is to imagine oneself transported into the temple of some heathen deity, or that of the Paphian Venus, described by Virgil : " Her hundred altars there with garlands crown'd,
And richest incense smoking, breathe around
Æn. I. 420.
UNDER the pagan emperors, the use of incense for any purpose of religion was thought so contrary to the obligations of Christianity, that in their persecutions the very method of trying and convicting a Christian, was by requiring him to throw the least grain of it into the censer or on the altar.
In the old bas-reliefs, or pieces of sculpture, where any heathen sacrifice is represented, we never fail to observe a boy in a sacred babit, which was always white, attending on the priest, with a little chest or box in his hands, in which this incense was kept for the use of the altar. And in the same manner still in the Church of Rome, there is always a boy in a surplice, waiting on the priest at the altar with sacred utensils; and among the rest the Thurimbulum, or vessel of incense, which being set on fire, the priest with many
ridiculous motions and crossings, waves it several times, as it is smoking, around and over the altar, in different parts of the service,
(To be continued.)
ROMANCING. ELIZABETH Glynn was the daughter of poor but honest and respectable parents in the town of - -; but her ruling passion was vain-glory, and the love of display. Her mother used to say that she was not like her other children ; for from her infancy “she was always romancing, and doing comical things in a foolish sort of a way.” Her ruling passion increased with her
years; and she gradually excited the notice of her betters who sometimes laughed at her eccentricities, and at