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the commands of the superior: the second time, aster embracing, is to return the superior thanks f.r being admitted to the honour of saluting her, and for the favour of being received into the community. All this time /he holds the crucifix. She is then conducted round the choir to the second superior, who stands opposite to the first, to whom she makes a bow, and salutes her; me at the fame time salui.es the nuns in "general, as she had done before, after embracing the first superior, After having saluted the second superior, she is conducted to the side where the first stands, and salutes that row of nuns j then to where the second is, and salutes that row; then she salutes the nun that attends her, which is commonly the mistress of the novices j and lastly, she salutes the lay-sisters. In this manner ihe returns thanks to the whole community j her candle is again presented to her, and her crucifix taken away, and she is conducted again to the grate in the fame manner aS before. On her arrival she kr.ecls down, and the lay-sisters begin ringing the bells belonging to the choir in token of jOv, and the nuns sing TeDeum.
After Te Deum laudamus is fung, one of the priests makes a pathetic speech, to exhort her to humility and obedience, and the strict observance of her duty j concluding, by wishing her all the happiness that the austerity of the order she has embraced may admit of, til] the day of her death.
The new-made nun then retires, the curtain is drawn, and the grate shut. Upon leaving the choir she is permitted to visit the c,rjoir, or sacristi, in order to see her friends,
who either felicitate or reprove her, for qort-r ting them, to embrace a religious life. During the whole ceremony, the friends and acquaintances of the person received often shed tears, as if she was dead, and going to be buried} and even strangers sometimes join theirs, especially those of the softer sex. When her friends are departed, she is conducted to th.e house of the mistress of the novices, in order to receive farther instructions in the principles of the order, and continues under her tuition one year and a day, before she is admitted to take the black veil. ]n order to prove the novices, they are as severe and rigid as possible, and that with a view of trying them. If any dislike should arise on the side of the novice before the time mentioned, she is at liberty to leave the convent, and go where ihe pleases; but the nuns, if they have any on theirs, cannot oblige her to go without she thinks proper.- If she goes.out before the expiration; of her time, though it wanted but one day, she is obliged to go through the fame ceremonies as if slie had never been there before. Upon these occasions the nuns are allowed two days recreation, and the nun received is obliged to be at the expence of treating them. They are usually regaled with wine, tarts, and sweet-meats, and even the boarders are invited to partake.- The ceremony is somewhat gloomy and dismal, but has, notwithstanding, a pleasing solemnity in it, and no description I am capable of giving, can convey to the reader an adequate idea of the pleasure which a beholder receives from a real view- .
The ceremony of taking the black vW/will be given in our next.
To the Editors of the OXFORD MAGAZINE. Gentlemen
As my last attempt to elucidate a passage in, history, was honoured with a place in your; entertaining miscellany, (see our Magazine for July, prge 30.) I flatter myself that the following instructive historical anecdotes, which I have en leavoured to place in a true point of light, from an ancient manuscript, entitled, Intrigues at JVaUingford-boufe9 formerly in the library of the first earl of Anglesey, will meet with the same savour,' which will greatly oblige one who is a well-wisher to your Magazine, A. B.
"D ER HAPS it will appear very strange to * assert, but there does not want evidence to support it, that Cromwell did not love his own family so well as lord Broghil!; who, after the death of the protector, did all in his power to support Richard in the government, even in spite of his incapacitySoon after Richard had taken the reins of government into his hands, he imprudently consented to the meeting of a general council of officers, without consulting those who were called his cabinet-council. Lord Broghill Warned him for it, *is a thing of very dan
gerous consequence to his interest, and attended the meeting of that council at "Wallingford-hcufe, with lord Howard and lord Falcon bridge, who promised to assist him. On their arrival, they found above five hundred officers assembled; and after a long prayer, made by Dr. Owen, major-general Defborough rose up, and, in a tedious speech, put them in mind how gracious the Lord had been, and how greatly their arms had prospered, tho' he feared this prosperity would not last long, since several sons of Belial had crept in among them, whose sins would, in ail probability,
Intrigues at Wallingford-House.
ilraw down the vengeance of Heaven upon their heads. To prevent this, he thought it would be convenient to purge the army, and that the best method of doing It would be te propose a test, which every person who refused to lake should be turned out. The test he proposed was, that every one should swear, he did believe in his conscience, that-the putting to death the late Charles Steuart, king of England, was just and lawful.
This proposal of Deiborough was received ■with applause by the greater part of the aflemfcly, who cried out, Well moved! and the lords Howard and Falconbridge, thinking it in vain to oppose so evident a majority, left the assembly, and returned to the protector to let him know what was doing at Wallingfordhousc. Lord Broghill, vexed to fee himself deserted by his two friends, kept his feat till the assembly was silent, when he rose up in his place, and said, He was not of the fame opinion with the noble lord who had just spoken; that he was against imposing any test upon the army, as a thing which they had often declared against; and if they once began to put tests upon themselves, they would soon have different tests put upon them by other people, and, consequently, lose that liberty of conscience for which they had so often fought; that he was against the particular test proposed, because he thought it unjust, and-unreasonable, to require men to swear to the lawfulness of an action, at which they were riot present; that himself, and many other gentlemen, on whom he had his eye, were absent when the late king was put to death; and, consequently, could not swear to the lawfulness of a proceeding, the circumstances of which they were unacquainted with: but if, nevertheless, they would have a test to purge the army, he conceived he had as good a right to be the proposer, as any other man; and therefore mould take the liberty to move one, which, he hoped, would be found more reasonable, and more lawful, than that mentioned by the noble lord who spoke before him. He then proposed, that all persons Ihould be turned out of the army, who would not swear to defend the established government, under the protector and parliament. This test, he observed, was reasonable, since their own being depended upon it; and lawful, because it was to maintain the present government. He added, that if this test mould have the illfortune to be rejected in the assembly, he would move it the next day in the house of commons, where he was pretty certain it would meet with a kinder reception. Upon the conclusion of this speech, there was a louder cry of Well moved, than when Deiborough had ipoken
Whil^-the noise continued, and the assembly were in some confusion, lord Brophill left hi| place; and getting between colonels Wha.
ley and Gough, two paflionate men, and
easily fired, made use of such powerful arguments, that they were both brought over to his opinion j and each of them, in a warmspeech, declared for the test proposed by lord Broghill. Fleetwood and Deitorough, with, some of .their most trusty friends, finding Jt now impossible to carry the test, which would have modelled the army as they desired, retired to consult what was to be done j and after a short stay returned to the assembly, where they declared, that they had not at first seen all the ill consequences of imposing tests upon the army j but, from what lord Broghill had advanced, they were now fully convinced of their impropriety; to avoid which, and that they might remain united among themselves, they proposed that both the tests should be withdrawn; and to this lord Broghill at laA consented.
Perhaps few affairs were ever managed with, greater dexterity, or presence of mind, than this at WalHngford-house; or few that give us so perfect a notion of those times, and of the spirit and genius of those who made the greatest figure in them. From instances of this kind we may observe, what effects, particular kinds of government have upon human nature, and how soon trje republican spirit had diffused itself thro' the more active part of this nation j for it maybe presumed, that there never happened a freer debate in either Athens or Rome ; or where the issue was more plainly determined by the power of speaking.
The council of officers broke up about eight at night, when lord Broghill returned directly to the protector, whom he found with the lords Howard and Falconbridge. After gently reproaching his friends for deserting him in the hour of trial, he gave an account of hi& success, which filled them with surprize and satisfaction; but added, that he plainly law the council would do mischief, if they were suffered to sit any longer; and therefore humbly advised the protector to dissolve them immediately. Richard asked, in what manner he mould do it? Lord Broghill answered, that^ if his highness pleased, he would draw up a short speech for him, which he might deliver the next morning at the general council, after having sat about an hour among them. Richard
firomised to follow his advice j upon which ord Broghill immediately drew up a short speech.
The next day, at ten in the morning, the protector, according to his promise, went to the council; and, to the great surprize os the asicrably, seated himself in a chair of state, which had been placed for him. After listening about an hour to their debates, he rose up, and, with a much better grace than was expected, delivered hinise\f ia the following manner;
"Gentlemen^ Of Virtues prejudicial and true. Concluded from our loft, p. 106.
"I thankfully accept yout services; I have Considered your grievances, and think the most proper method of redressing what is amiss, is, to do it in the parliament now sitting, and where I will take care you shall have justice. I therefore declare my commission, for holding this assembly, to be void; and that this general council is now ^iffolvcd: and I desire, that such of you, as are not member! of parliament, will repair forthwith to yonr respective commands."
This speech, tho* extremely mild, was a thunder-clap in the ears of FJeetwood, Desborough, and all their party. They immediately suspected, that Jord Broghill was the author of it, and resolved to fall upon him in parliament. Accordingly, when the house met, they complained (with their eyes fixed upon lord Broghill) that they had been highly abused, and affronted, by a certain noble lord in that assembly ; that they thought themselves obliged to demand satisfaction: and therefore moved, that an address Ihould be presented to feis highness the protector, to know who advised him to dissolve the council of war, with
out the consent or knowledge of his parliament.
Lord ^roghiU's friends, who saw the storm; was pointed at him, beckoned him- to withdraw; but his lord/hip kept his feat till his enemies had finished their invectives, wh$n he rose up, and spoke as follows \ « Mr. Speaker,
"I am not against presenting this address $ b«t humbly move, that another may be presented to the protector at the same time, te* know who advised the calling of a general council of officers, without the consent or knowledge of the parliament; for, surely, if the person is guilty, who advised the dislblution of this council, those people are much more guiity, who durst advise his highness to call such a council, without either the consent or knowledge pf his parliament.1*
The parliament, who suspected the council of officers no friends to their power, were highly pleased with this second motion; they pied out, Well moved! And Fleetwood ha^ the mortification to fee himself battled a second time, by the dexterity of lord Broghill,
TN the island of Formosa, drunkenness and lewdness are acts of religion. Delights, fay those people, are the daughters of Heaven, the gifts of its goodness; to enjoy them is to honour the Deity; it is answering his kindness. Can it be questioned, that the sight of the caresses and enjoyments of love is not pleasing to the Gods? The Gods are good, and there is no offering of our gratitude more acceptable to them than our pleasures; and in consequence of this reasoning, they publicly give themselves up to every kind of prostitution.
In the kingdom of Thibet, the young women wear about their necks the gifts of lewdness; that is, the rings of their gallants: and the more they have, with the greater splendor and rejoicings are their nuptials celebrated.
It is also, in order to obtain the savour of the Gods, that the queen of the (jiagues, before declaring war, orders the most beautiful women, and the handsomest of her warriors, to appear before her; where, in different attitudes, they enjoy the pleasures of love. In hoy>- many countries, fays Cicero, are temples erected to debauchery? How many altars have been raised to prostituted women Y Besides the antient worship of Venus, do not the Banians, under the name of the goddess Banani, adore one of their queens, who, according to Gamelli Carreri, " exposed all her beauties, to the fight of her whole court, and successively lavislwd her favours to several loves* ?**
At Babylon, all the women were to encamp near the temple of Venys,, and, once in their life, by an expiatory prostitution, obtain the remission of their sins: they were not to deny the desire of the first stranger, who was for purifyintr their soul, by the enjoyment of their bodies. The-pretty and handsome had doubtless soon discharged their penance; but. they^ whom, nature had not favoured with an inviting person, may be generally supposed to have waited' a long time, till some charitable stranger had restored them to a state of peace.
The convents of the Bonzes are full of idolatrour nuns as concubines. When tired of them, they are dismissed and replaced by others j the gates of these convents are crowded by votaries, and it is generally by presents to the; Bonzes, that they obtain the high favour of being admitted. In the kingdom of Cochin, the Bramins, being desirous of giving the first" taste of the joys of love to brides, make both the sovereign and people tell them this holy work is to be committed to them: wherever they go, fathers leave them with their daughters, as husbands do with their wives.
I shall close my quotations on this head, with a passage from Julius Ficmicus Maternus, a father of the second centuvy, in his treatise' £)e err ore profanatum Religion urn. "Assyria, together with a part of Africa (says this father) worstiip the air by the name of Juno, or ^he virgin Veaua. This goddess presides o^rt
khc elements: she has her temples, where priests officiate, dressed and painted like women; they performtheir devotions in languid, effeminate accents; provoke men's desires, gratify them, and glory in their lewdness; and after these preparatory pleasures, call on the goddess with vehement vociferation's, and instrumental music, pretending to be under a divine inspiration, and to utter prophecies."
Thus there are many countries where that corruption of manners, which I call religious, is authorised by the laws, or consecrated by the religion.
What innumerable evils, will it be said, are annexed to this kind of corruption? May it not be answered, that dissoluteness is then only politically dangerous in a state, when it countervenes the law of the country, or is -blended with some other defect of the government. It is in vain to add, that the nations ■where such dissoluteness prevails are the contempt of the whole world. But without mentioning the eastern nations anÆ others, •cither savage or martial, who, though given yip to voluptuousness of every kind, are happy .at home, and formidable abroad; what nation ever excelled the Greeks! a people which to this day is the admiration and honour of human nature? Before the Pcleponesian war, an
æra fatal to their virtue, what nation, wh« country, produced so many virtuous and great men? It is however certain, that according ttj our idea of morality, the most virtuous of the* Greeks would have been looked upon in Europer as debauchees.
Let me be allowed to declare, that it has bf no means been my intention to vindicate debauchery. All I meant was only to impart clear ideas *f these two different kinds of corruption of manners, which have been too often confounded, and the general ideas of which seemed to have been dark and perplexed $ because, on a more explicit information of the true scope of the question, the importance of it may be better known, the degree of contempt assignable to these two different sorts of corruption may be better determined, and we shall better perceive that there are two different species of bad actions j some vicious in every form of government, others which in a state are pernicious, and consequently criminal, only as those actions are contradictory to the laws of those countries.
Moralists, by a clearer insight into the criL will naturally acquire a greater /kill in the cure. They may now view morality in a new point of light, and, from a vain science, improve it to a science of universal utility.
To the Editors tf the OXFORD MAGAZINE. Gentlemen*
PJease to insert the following answer to the first question proposed in your Magazine for. August (see page 67.3 and you will .greatly oblige, Gentlemen, yours,
* j *HE question concerning the Divine Prescience has been perplexed with metaphysical subtleties, and difficulties have been •started that -tend to introduce a sceptical un-certainty. But we should reflect, that the most simple objects of nature may suggest difficulties utterly inexplicable by the human intellect \ the truth and certainty of which objects is usually acknowledged. Therefore •no abstracted point of speculation is to be rejected merely on account of the difficulties that may attend it. This I thought necessary to premise, that the reader may with more candor jeview the following arguments.
It may be laid down as a theological axiom, ^hat God is .a Being endued with all possible perfection: many of his attributes are inferred from their effects displayed in the constitution of the universe, many, I say, for we infer not nil of them, since some.attributes are inherent in the diyine Being abstractedly, and have no visible connection with his works. Of this Jailer kind is Uie attribute, of Prescience, which
consists in the knowledge of suture actions and events: this knowledge must necessarily be mysterious to a creature whose ken is limited to the present moment: but that .can be no just reason to deny it: for the divine attributes excel the human faculties infinitely both in kind and degree* Ignorance of any thing, possible to be known, implies a defect, since future actions are capable of being known; that is, since the knowledge of them involves in it no contradiction in terms, we must conclude, that they are the objects of the divine Omniscience. Consequently the fall of Adam was foreknown at the creation.
To which it is replied, if God knew the. fall of Adam, whether it was possible for him to have prevented it? Here let it be considered, that the Prescience of the Deity respected only himself, it had no necesiary influence on the mind of Adam. There is an instance from analogy that may serve to illustrate the point before us. Men of sagacity, wiio are well acquainted with the disuo
fitiqns of particular persons, will form a very probable judgment concerning the behaviour qf those persons under any circumstances that may happen to them: their moral liberty of action irUl remaining inviolate, notwithstanding the previous judgment of their conduct. We may safely then argue a mi/tort ad majus, that the searcher of hearts, who had an intimate knowledge of all the powers and faculties in the mind of Adam, must know in what manner Adam would use those "powers and faculties. There is an essential difference between tha prescience of actions, and the prescience of events: the actions proceed from the free-will of moral agents, uncontrouled by any necessary impulse: the events happen in a regular series, established imme Jiately by the Creator himself. They are equally foreknown, though in a different manner. In strictness of speech, there is nothing future in respect to the1 Deity; all things appear to him in one view. Future things are as certain to him as present things are to us. w Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." At the creation of the universe ast immense plan of government was formed by infinite wisdom, extending not only to this transitory stage of our existence, but to the boundless ages of eternity. This plan is not regulated by absolute fatality, but is perfectly consistent with free agency, I mean in respect to'the actions of rational beings. The Divine Prescience has no more influence upon future actions, than our knowledge of things present has upon them. Realities are true in themselves, whether we know them or not; so likewise future actions are known to the Divine Intelligence because they will happen, they do not happen because they are foreknown.
It may be asked, why did Cod give Adam powers and faculties which he knew-he would abuse to his own prejudice? To which I an
swer, that there is a necessary imperfection ir». every creature, even the most exalted in the scale of existence, from the nature of hh being as a creature: the absolute perfection of the Creator being totally incommunicable. Either then there must have been no created being, or he must be imperfect, and consequently peccable. This peccability is more or less in proportion to the nature of the being. Superior orders of beings are less liable to deviation from their original rectitude, than the inferior, since they approach nearer to the center of perfection. Adam was more prone to temptation on account of the inferiority of his rank. Let us suppose that God might have created Adam and other beings incapable of sinning by a coercive method, his power, in such a case, would have clashed with his wisdom. His intelligent creatures would have been governed by the fame compulsive principles that actuate the natural world; and the whole creation would have been only a mechanical system, all the springs of which would move by the fame general law of necessity. There could not possibly be the least merit in any creature. It is a general rule in the moral government of God to render rational beings fit subjects of rewards and punishments, by placing them in a state of probation, wherein they may discover a meritorious disposition, or the contrary. Liberty is a sacred deposit, happy they who use it to those noble purposes which were intended by the Author of their freedom. The fall of Adam must be considered as the effect of his own voluntary depravity : he might have prevented it by duly exertinc his powers in an. humble obedience to the Divine Will. The Deity foreknew his fall, but did not cause it, and mercifully provided a remedy for fallen man, even the Lamb, stain from the foundation of the world.'
lo the Editors of the
BEING at the masquerade-ball on Monday the 10th of October, I could not avoid taking notice of a remarkable figure in a mazarinegown. Struck with the oddity of his appearance, as soon as I returned from the ball, I attempted to make a drawing of him, which, I flatter myself, is much like the original. If you choose to give us an engraving of it in your next Magazine, I doubt not but it 'will be very agreeable to your readers. From iu being a kind of satire upon
the citizens, it is very probable the character was assumed by some courtier; but, however, as the humour, if any, is general and not personal* I expect you will give it a place in your entertaining performance, which. Will oblige your humble servant,
N. B. In these Jays, when divorces are become ib faihionable, a pair of horns might be applied, with full as much propriety, to the right hon. heads at the weil-end of the town.
P. E M A 1< K*