Page images

and destroying the like a plague, to the people.

destruction of thou

sands. Their population

Our depopulation was almost incredi- is alarming. ble.


some haye thought it of much older date, even in this country, from a constitution of the stews, antiently kept at the Bank-side, Southwark, under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester, dated 1162, where it is supposed to be called burning or brenning. It is alfo fupposed to be mentioned in a manuscript of John Arden, furgeon to Rich. II. and Hen. IV. Many have contended for its being known among the antients, only under different names. Some have gone fo high as the days of Job, and suppose it to be the ulcerous diftemper with which that great man was afflicted ; insomuch, that in a Misal printed at Venice, anno 1542, there is a mass in honour of St. JoB, to be said by those recovered of this disease (See Chambers, tit. Venereal Disease) as owing their deliverance to his intercession. Others contend that David was afflicted with it, as a punishment for his sinful commerce with the wife of Uriah, and this he complains of Pf. xxxviii. 3-8. But, omitting fable and conjecture, it is certain, whether we interpret that passage literally with some, or allegorically with others, it contains something like a description of this disease, as to many of its symptoms.

However this may be, one thing may, I believe, be asserted as a fact, established by long experience, that this diseafe has never been known to exist, but from a promiscuous intercourse of the sexes.--This will produce something very like it even in brutes therefore I can see no reason against dating its

P A R A L L E L.

When the fews We fee, in this forfook the law Christian country, which God set be- the same cause profore them, obeyed ducing the same efnot His voice, nor fects. walked


origin as early as common whoredom itself, as the same cause may very fairly be presumed to produce the fame effects, though not perhaps in equal degree, nor at all times and places alike.

If we understand the word 7222-sne that maketh ashamed, or is an instrument of fame (Prov. xii. 4.) to denote an harlot or common prostitute for of such it

may be a very apt and descriptive periphrasis, and especially as the root va fignifies to be afamed through a sense of guilt (see Parkb. sub. voc.) and in this fenfe an harlct is re--an instrument of name to those who are joined to her (see 1 Cor. vi. 15. 16. 18.) - therefore I say, if we understand this passage of an barlot or common prostitute, how many men can at this moment bear testimony to the truth of what is here faid !-- whole bitter experience must lead them to subscribe to the words of Pf. xxxviii. 3. who have no rest in their bones by reason of their fin-- who have to mourn that those bones are rottenness itselfand, as Virgil expresses himself on another subject

Truncas inhonefto vulnere nares. But whether the scriptures above-mentioned, or any other parts of holy writ, do, or do not, allude to the fymptoms of the disease in question, or whether it was or was not known in Europe till the


walked therein, but As the DIVINE walked after the ima- LAW is laid aside gination of their own for a system of buheart. Jer.ix. 13,14. man imagination

Then they fell all manner of lewdinto all manner of nėss overspreads the Spiritual and fleshly land, under the vaabominations. rious forms of adul

They then com- tery and wboredom mitted adultery, and -and doubt assembled themselves helps to fill the by troops in the bar- measure of our nelots boufes.

tional iniquity. They



year 1493 (a very able and learned discussion of both which points may be found in Astruc, de Morb. Ven. lib. i. chap. I-10.) surely a restoration of that law is to be wished for, which is contrived by infinite wisdom-Concubitu prohibere vago-thus to prevent prostitution, and, of course, every dreadful confequence of it to mankind.

“ The shameful, loathsome, and often fatal dif« ease” (says the late excellent Dr. Hartley, Obr. on Man, p. 229.) “which peculiarly attends the "" vice of lewdness, may be considered as a most

unquestionable evidence of the divine will. This “ disease, with all its consequences, would cease “ among mankind, could they be brought under “ the restraints of marriage, but must ever continue “ while licentiousness continues.”

To this I will venture to add, that, licentiousness ever must continue, and even increase, while the divine laws, which are made to prevent and restrain it, are laid afide. VOL. II.


7. 8.

They were as fed Surely this is a horses in the morn- time for our deepest ing, every one neigh- and most serious ed after his neigh- recollection, when bour's wife. Jer. v. GOD seems to be

visiting our iniquiSee Ezek. xxii. 9, ties upon us, not 10,11. Hosea iv.14. the least of which,

Shall I not vist is forsaking the LAW for these things, faith which He hath fet the LORD, Jhall not before us, with remy soul be avenged of spect to the commerce such a nation

as of the Sexes, and this?

following a System Jer. v. 9.

which, in the nature of things, must lead us

into the very state in which the Fews

were, when the prophets were sent to call them to repentance, or to foretell their destruction.



See p. 294, Note.

[ocr errors]

T may not be amiss to lay before the

reader the doctrine of penance and commutation as to their original, and then it will be seen how disgraceful such notions are to an enlightened Protestant church. Theodore of Tarsus, a Grecian monk, restored among the Latins the difcipline of penance, as it is commonly termed, which had been for a long time almost totally neglected, and enforced it by a body of severe laws borrowed from the Grecian canons. This zealous prelate, who was raised to the fee of Canterbury, A. D. 668, reduced to a regular science that branch of ecclesiastical law, which is known by the name of penitential discipline. He published a Penitential, which was entirely new to the Latin world, by which the clergy were taught to distinguish fins into various classes, according as they were more or less heinous, private or public. This new penitential also contained the methods of proceeding with respect to


X 2

« PreviousContinue »