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A man who is guilty of these, or of any sins, is no more a Christian, than he, who was merely circumcised, under the law, was a Jew; as St. Paul said, “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter ; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Romans ii. 28, 29.) So he is not a Christian, which is one outwardly; for though he cannot be a Christian unless he be baptized, yet it does not follow that every one, who is baptized, is therefore a Christian; but he is a Christian who is one inwardly; and baptism is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the letter ; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Had the above cruelties been mentioned to be exposed, and to shew how contrary they are to the spirit of Christianity, all had been well; but, as they now stand, they certainly appear to be represented as a part of the Christian character, and tauntingly to censure it.
In the play of Pizarro, likewise, there are some taunting speeches made by the Peruvians to The Christians, as if reflecting upon the whole race: whereas Pizarro was certainly not a Christian in reality, whatever title he might assume to himself, or be called by; and his sins cannot with any justice be imputed to Christianity.
C. p. 27. This use of the term fate occurs frequently in Douglas : Lady Randolph says, But Randolph comes, whom fate has made
Lord. A. I.
Ruling fale decreed,
brave brother should in battle save
A. III. Yet afterwards she attributes her son's preservation to a higher
O! sovereign mercy! 'Twas my child I saw!
Snatch'd from the waves and brings me to my son. Ditto. And Norval, speaking of the parents of the Hermit, who had killed his own brother, says,
They were dead: kind heav'n had clos’d their eyes
Hard is his fate ; for he was not to blame!
A. IV. The Tragedy of Osway opens with these lines,
Oh! how capricious, Fortune, are thy ways:
And plunge him in the vast abyss of woe.
Fortune, I fear me, Sir, has meant you ill,
pays your merit with that scanty pittance, Which my poor hand and humble roof can give. A. I. S. 2. Alicia, afterwards, speaking to J. S. on the subject of her adulterous love with Edward, says,
Sure something more than Fortune join'd your loves :
Ditto. But we find the same ideas in the Night Thoughts. Speaking of Narcissa, the author says,
Fortune fond had built her nest on high.
N. III. I. 85.
With all their wishes freighted! Dr. Dodd, a man certainly of considerable piety, notwithstanding his errors, in his Thoughts in Prison, written under a near prospect of death, says,
The hour is come:
Week the third.
In the Comedy of The Conscious Lovers, there is an odd mixture of Providence, Fortune, and Fate; and, if the author admitted the first, there seems to be no reason why it should not have been retained throughout. When Young Bevil is giving an account to Humphry of Indiana, Humphry says,
Fortune here seem'd again to smile on her. Afterwards, where Young Bevil mentions the villain who " dragging her by violence to prison,” he adds, “ Providence at the instant interposed, and sent me to relieve her.” Humphry. “ 'Twas Providence indeed!” A. I. S. 2. Young Bevil, indeed, says, " sent me by miracle,” which words I consider as going much too far.
Isabella, in her first interview with her brother, Mr. Sealand, when she finds he does not recollect her, says,
« I will observe this interlude, this sport of Nature and of Fortune.” A. V. S. 3.
Afterwards, where Mr. Sealand bids Indiana “ Take comfort," she replies, " All my comfort must be to expostulate in madness, to relieve with phrensy my despair, and, shrieking, to demand of Fate, why — why was I born to such variety of sorrows?” Ditto.
Mr. Sealand, speaking of his daughter, calls her “the second bounty of Providence to me.” A. IV. S. 2. And, again,
“ How vain, how weak is human prudence ! what care, what foresight, what imagination could contrive such blest events to make our cliildren happy, as Providence, in one short hour, has laid before us.” A. V. S. 3. The Play concludes with these lines,
Whate'er the generous mind itself denies,
The secret care of Providence supplies. In The Lakers, Sir Charles says to his servant : “ Your parents, though they were poor, were honest, and by their birth deserved better than they received from the hands of Fortune.” A. I. S. I.
In The Fashionable Lover, A. IV. S. I. Aubrey considers hima self as under the guidance of Providence: “ All-disposing Provi. dence! who hast ordain'd me to this hour, and through innumerable toils and dangers, led me back to this affecting spot, can it be wondered at, if I approach it with an anxious aching heart, uncertain am,
if I have still a child or not?” In The Surrender of Calais, Providence is mentioned in a proper
• What shall we do with our children, Madelon?” She replies,
“ If your endeavours be honest, La Gloire, Providence will take care of them, I warrant you." A. II, S. 1.
La Gloire says,
In the first editions of Percy were the following lines,
To doubt her virtue were suspecting heaven,
I tremble. Why does terror shake
A. III. Which are thus altered in the edition in Mrs. More's Works, 1801.
Away! nor doubt a virtue so consummate.
I tremble. Why does terror shake
D. p. 28. I feel no small degree of apprehension at entering upon
of my subject, as I shall have to censure that, which hath given pleasure to so many persons from their earliest years, and to which habit hath reconciled them, perhaps, without sufficient, or any consideration.
If it be allowable to represent any of the inhabitants of the invisible world, I am clear that it ought to be only according to those ideas which are founded in truth, and not according to those which are fictitious. Scripture hath certainly revealed to us much upon the subject of Angels, but it appears to me still to be wrong to embody them on the Stage. Mrs. More mentions The Masque of Conus as "an exquisite piece” to reud; but I do not exactly understand whether she would allow it to be represented even in an Eutopian Theatre. I must confess I would not, even were the subject better treated than I consider it to be. For, though the Attendant Spirit is intended to represent one of the ministering Spirits (Heb. i. 14.) or Guardian Angels of Scripture, for The Lady says,
He, the Supreme Good, t whom all things ill
1. 217. Yet the Spirit, at his first entrance, says,
Before the starry threshold of Jove's court
Among'st the enthron’d Gods on sainted seats.
tributary gods, blue-haird deilies, Bacchus, Circe, and Comus. His
'Tis not vain or fabulous,
Dr. Johnson says, in praise of Shakspeare, that he
Prologue on the opening of Drury-Lane Theatre, 1747. But Shakspeare, in his imagining, has borrowed from heathenism and the superstitions of later times, and decked them with spoils from the Scriptures of Truth,* with which he certainly was very conversant. The Tempest is a very remarkable proof of this. The general idea of the Tempest, the Shipwreck, and the Island, is taken from the account of St. Paul's Shipwreck on the Island of Melita, mentioned in Acts, ch. xxvii. and xxviii. Prospero says to Miranda, respecting the wreck,
* In the Tragedy of Osway, when he is led away to prison, Dorne says,
All gracious Heaven! upon this land look down,
A. I. This is evidently an allusion to the miraculous deliverance of St. Peter from prison, mentioned, Acts xvi. 26. It is presumptuous to expect such an interference now, There is likewise a doubt expressed, whether Providence will do him right, and there is likewise a prayer offered to Angels. The author embraces this opportunity of censuring his own performances, where he sees occasion, equally with those of others,