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And with wonder contemplate the source of all
That suffer'd such monster its name to debase.
pledge, displays a dignity of mind which elevates his character above all panegyric.
(r) This man, whose sole aim was the accumulation of pelf, reminds me of an anecdote told of a pretended proselyte, who obtained from James the First the Deanery of IVindsor. This personage was extremely fond of persuading others to acts of charity, but would never contribute himself; in consequence of which, upon application being made to the chapter of Windsor respecting some pecuniary concern, one of the prebends gave the following answer—" Qui suadet sua det.” As we are now occupied upon the subject of licensed preachers, the following statement will tend to prove that this mode of conduct is not of
very recent date.
In 1555, Mr. Tavernier had a special license, signed by King Edward VI. to preach in any place of his Majesty's dominions, though he was a layman; and he is said to have preached before the King at court, wearing a velvet bonnet or round cap, a damask gown, and gold chain about his neck. He appeared in the pulpit at St. Mary's with a sword by his side, and
a gold chain about his neck, and preached to the scholars, beginning his sermon in these words : “ Arriving at the mount of St. Mary's, in the stony stage where I now stand, I have brought you some fine biscuits, baked in the oven of charity, carefully conserved for the chickens of the church, the sparrows of the spirit, and the sweet swallows of salvation."
The production of one Imposture usually engenders many more.
Or writers, one more of this ungodly class
(s) Whether this woman is an arch impostor, or really conceives herself to be that which she pretends, is of little consequence to the community at large : her tenets have certainly fascinated many thousands; and such being the fact, she is a danger
A spirit with tenets infernal imbu'd,
ous member of society, and ought to be subjected to such punition as would either compel her to own her hypocrisy, or bring her to a just sense of the delusion under which she labours, for
Nihil in speciem fallacius, quam prava religio, ubi deorum numen prætenditur sceleribus.
Nothing has a more deceiving face than false religion, where devotion is pretended by the wicked.
Johanna Southcote, however, is not the only female who has deceived personages reputed for their wisdom and sanctity; since in Fuller's Church History, book v. p. 187, speaking of Sir Thomas More's belief in the Maid of Kent, he says,
“ I am heartily sorry that the gravity of John Fisher, bishop of Rochester, should be so light, and the sharp sight of Sir Thomas More so blinde, as to give credit to so notorious an Impostrix, which plunged them both into the King's deep displeasure.” As for Elizabeth Barton, soon after, she was executed with her complices and complotters. The papists at this day, unable to defend her forgery, and unwilling to confess her cheating, seek to salve all by pleading her to be distracted. Thus, if succeed
many of This woman asserts'she's the Saviour's elect, (t) And his bride in the trappings of prophetess deck'd;
ing she had been praised (and perchance canonized) for her devotion; now failing, she must be pardoned and pitied for her distraction.
As the following instances of individuals disseminating novel doctrines are not generally known, I shall subjoin them for the amusement and information of the reader.
Quirinus Kuhlman, a native of Breslau, who broached his extravagant opinions in the seventeenth century, is but little known. At the age of eighteen he thought himself inspired by a divine “ afflatus,” which formed itself always around his head like a globe of light. His genius was by no means inconsiderable: he wrote “ Prodromus Quinquennii mirabilis," and prepared for the press“ Le clef de l'Eternite et du Tems." In order to establishi his doctrines, he roamed through Britain, Italy, and the East: he made few proselytes, but still wandered unmolested. In 1689, however, his good fortune forsook him, for having disseminated some heterodox dogmas in Russia, the priests of that country made him expiate his heresies at the stake.