« AnteriorContinuar »
dare to contradict ? Mark those wise fellows of yore, who call'd themselves SPECTATORS, TATIERS, &c. (names enough to win all the women in the realm) mark them, I tell thee, how shrewdly they have interspers'd their works with commendations and censures, praise and fiattery, advice and raillery, and in short with all things capable of procuring the good graces of the female world! What then wou'd I have thee do, but follow their example? and if you like what I propose, believe me, I'll arm in the cause of the Ladies---Myself will mount the rostrum in their favour, and affist you in all things suitable for the discharge of your duty there. Be it therefore known that the STUDENT intends to make some excursions into the world, and see y what's doing there : that he intends to leave his books and cobweb-cubicle, to spruce up, and enter himself into the wortlıy fraternity of fine gentlemen, and begs the LADIES would henceforth know himn by that title ;, and the fobersuited Academic rums look on his other side, and view him still in his philosophic garb of The STUDENT.
I am, &c. Dear Brother, thine,
Cambridge, March 5, 1750.
On the abuse of SCRIPTURE in conversation,
U THoever believes the writers of the Holy Scriptures to W h ave been divinely inspired, must be sensible of the infinitely superiour excellency of those facred books to all human compofitions : and whoever confiders them as the oracles of God, (wherein the redemption of mankind is explained, and the duties necessary to the attainment of eternal salvation are laid down and enforced) must likewise allow, them to be the source of all true knowledge and useful learn
ing; ing; and from thence infer the necessity and obligation of paying the highest regard to them. A peculiar esteem and veneration is undoubtedly due to writings so eminently diftinguish'd from all others; and in order to preserve such an esteem, men should not only study them with attention, but also never speak of them but with the greatest seriousness and reverence. Every abuse of Scripture is extreamly culpable and dangerous : the contempt and derision, it meets with from infidels, is but too notorious ; and the shameful liberty, which some christians have taken in perverting it to the most wicked purposes, is equally well known. The bad effects of these abuses every man must be sensible of: there is one instance however, in which several good and well-meaning persons, as well as others, are very apt to abuse it, which is seldom taken notice of; what I mean is, a frequent and unserious alluding to it in our ordinary discourse, and therely making it the subject of our wit and mirth.
This ludicrous treatment of Scripture is now become so fashionable, that few people think there is any harm in it: yet, I am persuaded, it is very unbecoming a good christian, as being in reality a profanation of the Word of God, and therefore (to use the words of a late eminent prelate) a very great degree of impiety and profaneness. He that quotes Scripture upon every trivial occasion, seems to set no greater value on it than on the works of an heathen poet: he has recourse to both for the same end, and uses either of them without distinction, as it best serves to display his wit, and entertain the company. All he aims at is to be facetious; and if an Ode of HORACE won't serve his turn, he makes no scruple of referring to an Epistle of St. Paul.
Every man's experience will convince him of the truth of this observation. The consequence of such a practice, I think, is obvious ; namely, that a ludicrous treatment of the Scriptures must by degrees lessen our esteem for them, and make us less inclined to read them with seriousness and at
tention, and direct our lives according to the rules they prefcribe. A youth that should make the instruction of his father, or tutor, the usual subject of his wit and laughter, would not be thought to have regard for them, or be much disposed to follow them: and if he were not openly taxed with disobedience, he would at least appear greatly wanting in duty and respect. What regard then can those persons be reasonably supposed to have for the inspired writings, who are continually quoting and alluding to them in the midst of their mirth and gaiety? They may, 'tis true, have no bad design; but that their behaviour should have no bad effect (as well upon themselves as others) cannot well be imagined. Such a reverence, as is due to the Word of God, is not to be taken up in the closet, and then laid aside again, when we come into company : it must be constant and uniform, and have a proper influence upon our words, as well as upon our private thoughts and meditations. For when a ludicrous treatment of religious subjects is become habitual to us, we shall have but little relish for religious enquiries; and when Scripture is made the standard of our wit and humour, it will soon cease to be the rule of our lives and actions.
And as such a profanation of Scripture must have a very bad effect on the persons that are guilty of it; it is likewise no small encouragement to the enemies of christianity, to exult in their iniquity and vigorously promote their wicked cause. The deift and freethinker are ready enough to lay hold on every opportunity to blaspheme the Word of God; and think they have a very good argument against the divine authority of Scripture, when they see how it is treated by those who profess to believe it. No art will be wanting on their side to seduce the minds of weak and lukewarin christians : and when they have brought them into a disregard of revealed religion, a disbelief will presently follow,
Let every man therefore, that believes the Holy Scriptures, use his utmost care and diligence, to defend them against the open asaults and secret malice of the adversary; let an uniform integrity and pious conversation testify the sincerity of his faith : and in pursuance of the example of holy David, let him take heed to his ways, that he offend not in his tongue.
ADVERTISEMENT for a WIFE.
To the STUDENT.
SIR, T Don't know whether it be consistent with the plan of
your Miscellany to admit Advertisements for the promotion of Business: however if it be you will insert the inclosed.
Methinks I would have it in the Student, as that is genen rally read by People of taste and judgment, and not a little admired by the Ladies; with whom my business is at present.Lady GRAVELY reads it with a smile ; ay, and nods her head too, which is a distinguishing mark of her approbation and esteem: for her ladyship has the prudence, you must know, to talk but little ; yet, what drops from her is true sterling and of great weight.
But to our main point, Mr. Student; you must know I want a WIFE.--Hah why now you laugh!- 'Tis amazing to me, that people can't be serious! Why--I tell you again I want a WIFE !-And pray what inconsistency is there in that?
Marriage is a serious affair, and people should set seriously about it. This has been my manner of making love; yet it has so happen'd, that when I have put the question to the
lady, lady, (which has been always with a tone of voice suitable to the solemnity of the subject) I have been answer'd with a loud horse-laugh, which so raises my indignation, that I can never make a second attack on the same person.
I am at a loss to account for this. I don't want sense, as you may see by this letter : nor do I want money; nor am over and above ugly. My temper too is tollerable, and yet I have hitherto been treated ill by the ladies ; wherefore this is the Advertisement which I think proper to have inserted.
To the L ADI E S.
Who would willingly dispose of himself in
May be seen and treated with
N. B. He will fit in the middle of the shop with his face
toward the door, in order to be looked at; but Ladies who come for a view, are desired not to LAUGH; and those who have no inclination to marry, are desired not to look in ALL THE DAY.