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Prize-fighting, &c. not only in the Time of · Lent, but after these Divine Warnings by the two
Earthquakes, in one and the same News-paper : • When, as he truly adds, we have turned a Season
proper for serious Reflections, both of Body and • Spirit, into a Time of Mirth and Laughter, of • Musick, Dancing, and riotous Living. Let me conclude this Head with a Reflection of Mr. Horton's, Chaplain to the British Factory at Legborn, relating to the Earthquake which happened there, 1742, and of which he has given a very particular and affecting Account in Print: - The
Sense of so great a Deliverance, says hes (for • God in the Midst of Judgment remembered
Mercy) produced an unanimous Resolution of the Magistrates, Clergy, and People of Leghorn, to observe a solemn Fast for ever on the Day it
happened, prohibiting any publick or private ' Balls, Masquerades, or any other Diversions of • the Carnival for that Day ; with an humble Ap
plication to his Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Tuscany, that Masquerades at the Theatre there
might be for ever abolished. Which Request ' was approved, and confirmed by an Order from ' the Council of Regency from Florence.'-This is a glorious Example indeed! and highly worthy of our Imitation! It is taken verbatim out of the General Evening-Poj, from Thursday, April 19, to Saturday, April 21, 1750 ; in which Paper is very seasonably advertised, a Pamphlet,called, Jubilee Masquerade Balls at Ranelagh Gardens, a bad Re
turn for the merciful Deliverance from the late Earthquakes. Containing,
(1.) The Presentment of the Grand Jury against Ridotto's, Masquerades, Balls, &c.
(2.) Extract from the late Bishop of London's (Dr. Gibson's) Sermon against Masquerades.
(3.) Extract froin the present Bishop of London's Letter on Occasion of the late Earthquakes.
(4.) A Copy of a Paper posted up last Sunday on all the Churches and publick Places in London and Westminster ; and Remarks upon it.
(5.) Reasons why Persons of Prudence should not venture to the Masquerade at Ranelagh Gardens, advertised for Wednesday, the 25th Instant.
VI. We here in England have done a Thing that, if it were not open and undeniable to all the World, would be thought absolutely incredible : I mean we have, by Act of Parliament, abrogated a very good Law, for the discouraging the Poor's drinking of Gin and Spirituous Liquors ; nay, have in Reality encouraged them to Drunkenness, and to the Murder of themselves, by such drinking. A most proper Judge, Dr. Hale, who earnestly promoted the former Bill, and opposed its
Abrogation, always judges, that about 1,000,000 · Persons every Year kill themselves by these fatal Li
quors ; and always compares it to one of the terrible Woes in the Revelation. Nor could this former Bill be abolished, till that excellent Master of the Rolls, and my great Friend, Sir Joseph Jekyl, who most zealously promoted the former Act, was dead and gone. Now that the Ministry should be either
so wicked themselves as to propose the Repeal, or should be able to persuade the Parliament to consent to it, is almost incredible. I say persuade the Parliament, or a Majority of the two Houses in general only; for though the Majority of both Houses did consent, yet must I do the Lords Spiritual the Justice to say, that although a Majority of the whole Bench of Bishops were not present, yet did not one of them consent that were present, to so horrible a Bill; nay, some made vehement Speeches against it, though all to no Purpose. The Ministry got some Money to the Government by it, and that was all they cared for. But that any human Legislature can really give such an Act, so expresly against Morality and the Laws of God, the Force of a Law, or oblige either Judges or Subjects to submit to it, I am by no Means fatisfied. Nor, as I think, can our Parliament hope for Almighty God's sparing the People whom they represent, or even themselves, till this abominable Act be disana null’d. Hear what an unknown Friend of mine says of this Matter, in a late Letter to me: 'That • had the whole Bench of Bishops been present, and • joined to oppose this Bill, it had been cast out ;
we and our Posterity mighe then have had Rea
son to have blessed them, and called them in • deed the true Physicians both of the Souls and • Bodies of the People ; Debauchery and Poverty • would not have reigned in our Streets in the • Manner they do at present, and increasing every
Day, without Hopes of Cure, or Thoughts of • Amendment.' Isaiah's melancholy Lamentation
of the Jewish Nation of old, may be too juftly and sadly taken up by good Men here at this Day.
Ifaiab i. 4-9. Ab sinful Nation; a People laden with Iniquity; a Seed of evil Doers ; Children that are Corrupters; they have for saken the Lord; tbey bave provoked the Holy One of Israel to Anger ; they are gone away backward. Wby pould ye be stricken any more? Ye will 'revolt more and more : The whole Head is fick, and the whole Heart faint ; from the Sole' of the Foot, even unto the Head, tbere is no Soundness in it, but Wounds, and Bruises, and putrifying Sores : They have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mellified with Ointment. Your Country is desolate ; your Cities are burnt with Fire; your Land Strangers devour it in your Presence ; and it is defolate, as overtbrown by Strangers. And the Daughter of Zion is left as a Cottage in a Vineyard ; as a Lodge in a Garden of Cucumbers; as a besieged City. Except the Lord of Hofts had left unto us a very small Remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah,
I say nothing here particularly of our unneceffary and impracticable Oaths ; of our Impofitions in the Universities ; of our obliging Men to take the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper for Civil Employments ; of our taking away Men's Lives for Robbery or 'Theft ; of our Luxury and Extravagance in Eating and Drinking, in Dress and Equipage, and Gaming ; the general Neglect of Divine Worship in publick and private ; the taking
the Name of God in vain ; Cursing and Swearing; the little Care there is in Parents, and Malters of Families, to train up their Children and Servants in Religion; the numerous Whoredoms and Adulteries ; the frequent Murders and Robberics, &c. because my good Friend, Mr. Overal, has prevented me, in his excellent Paper, already fet down by me in these Memoirs, Pag. 410-422. And as to Adultery and Fornication, Dr. Cobden, has prevented me allo, in his excellent Sermon at Court, Dec. 11, 1748 ; an Extract out of which has been already inserted also, Pag. 629, 630, 631. Only because none of these Writers, no, not the Bishop himself, has complained of the Excess and Nicety in the Apparel of Women of Quality ; and because I had myself done no more formerly than give a gentle Reproof to it, Pag. 460, priùs, I shall here add the long and terrible Complaint of this Vice, and the Threatenings of God against it, by Isaiab the Prophet; where, though the particular Shape of many of the Ornaments be liable to great Difficulties, yet is not the general Meaning and Purport of the Texų liable to any Difficulty at all. Which Text I Ihall therefore set down at large, and recommend the Consideration of it, and Amendment acccording to it, to the Ladies of this Generation, as highly necessary upon the prefent Judgments of God, and divine Warnings derived from him ; of which good Men and Women ought to be greatly sensible.
Ifa. ii, 16-25. 16. Moreover, the Lord faith, Because the Daughters of Zion are haughty,