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plain, obvious meaning, reconcileable with other parts of scripture, and consonant to the belief of the church both under the law and under the gospel.
Let me add that this is the interpretation of Fell, of Mede, and Ilooker, in our own church; of Episcopius, and Crellius, abroad.
· I am, Sir,
V. 0. O.
ON THE INFAMY ATTACHED BY THE HEATHENS TO
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTODOX CHURCILMAN'S MAGAZINE.
SIR, A S habits of lieentiousness are become so prevalent among us, A and our most public streets so crowded with prostitutes, the following information respecting the laws and customs of the heathen world for the punishment of prostitution, and the public infamy which attended it, may not be thought unworthy of a place in your valuable miscellany, as it will prove how little cause we have to pride ourselves, as an enlightened people, on the improvement of our morals and civil polity.
That great infamy did in general attend the crime of prostitution, as early as the practice itself began, there is no doubt. For though the impetuous and ill governed lusts of men made them glad of such readly opportunities for their gratification, and therefore they would not suppress them, yet natural light and natural decency could never suffer the profession to be other than shameful and scandalous. And before the great increase of impudence, the women themselves, who dealt this way, were so sensible they were out of character, that they were halt ashamed of it. An instance of all this we have upon record, amongst the ancient Canaanites, in the story of Judah and Thamar, Gen. xxxviii. For Thamar designing to draw Judah to her Tewd embraces, so dressed and placed herself as harlots in that country used to do. Now the text tells us she was veiled and sat by the highway side. Which shews, first, that the practice of those wretched creatures was even then so infamous that they could not offer them-. selves barefaced; but under veils. And, secondly, that either by authority of the government they were forbidden, or for fear of being insulted, durst not, or through some remaining sense of shame, declined to have their public stews for prostitution in cities, and great towns, but contented themselves with waiting for travellers by the road.
Agreeably to this is what Grotius cites from Chrysippus. « Lewd “ women prostituted themselves to those that inclined to them, at first " without the city, and masked; but afterwards, gathering impudence, Supplem. to Vol. V, Churchm, Mag.
" they laid aside their masks; and not being suffered by law to plant “ themselves in cities, kept their stations out of them;" which may serve to shew the general sense of antiquity in this matter.
Amongst the Athenians, common whores, however tolerated in their lewdness, were so far distinguished by disgrace (besides the infamy of their character) that they were not permitted to wear any gold about them, either in rings, lace or other ornaments; if they had, they were sold for slates, by public order.
By the customs and civil law of the Romans, it must be owned however, that common whores were tolerated. And of such lewdness Clarus is to be understood when he tells us, fornicatio simpler de Jure civili non est prohibita; and lienochius, when he speaks to the same purpose ; for as this last author observes, Fornicatio dicta est ab eo, quod Meretrices in fornicibus, hoc est, in locis abditis et obscuris habi. tabant.
It is certain, that any woman might prostitute herself in this manner at Rome. But she was obliged first to go to the Edile (the proper magistrate) and enter her name upon record, in a book for that purpose. Practising without this formality, he would set a fine upon her; and doubtless the obliging her to it was designed to check such an inclination, and summon all the remains of that modesty which is natural to the sex, to struggle against it, rather than to submit to such a shocking arowal of impudence. But of such as had the impudence thus to record themselves (whether they were married woinen or single) the law for punishing lewdness took no notice; more inter ceteres receplo ( says Tacitus) qui sutis pænarum adiersum impudicas in ipsa professione flagitii credebunt; except by subjecting them to certain incapacities, and marks of public infamy. Yet notwithstanding the general liberty of following such a profession, it was presumed, that only women of the lowest rank could follow it. And when it was discovered, that some persons of quality had so far lost their regard for honour and sense of reputation, as to give in their names to the Edile on the same score, it was thought high time to limit tlie licence within some restraint; and it was therefore decreed by the Senate, “ that no woman should be allowed this liberty of “ prostitution, whose grandfather's father, or husband, was a Roman “ knight.”
By the custom of Rome, common whores were forbid the stola, which women of reputation wore; and were confined to a black gown, to distinguish them, by way of disgrace, from women of betier character, Nor were they allowed to go to the public theatres. Domitian forbad them to be carried in litters or chairs; and the good Emperor Alex. Severus, finding the numbers of these women greatly increased, sold many of them for slaces. This last indeed was pæna extra ordinem, at the will and pleasure of the prince; not flowing from any precedent law or custom, nor settled by authority for the future; but it serves to shew the contempt in which those wretched creatures were held, and the indignation which a virtuous emperor (though a heathen) had conceived against them
A Friend to Decorum.
ON THE SOCIETY FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF VICE.
Society for the suppression of vice. It is not my intention to dwell on the string of calumnies, the ignorance, and the very angry temper of the writer. But I am inclined to think the inost effectual means of converting him and every other enemy of the institution, would be to introduce him to the quarterly general Court, when the report of the proceedings of the Society is read. He would there find that evils exist in society, of that enormity and extensive prevalence, of which the pubiic are not aware, which it is highly important to the very welfare of the community should be eradicated; and yet I will venture to affirm, can only by the exertions, the firmness, and perseverance of a collective body, formed for that very purpose. This Society have engaged in a work of no ordinary magnitude. The Augean stable they undertake to cleanse, contains more pollution than originally they had any conception, and it is well they had not, or they might have shrunk from the task. It must, however, afford to the members the highest gratification, that their labours have atchieved so much good. They have reason for self congratulation, if they have succeeded in terminating even one of the vices in their long catalogue. And this I should hope they have done. I allude to the sale of obscene prints which had been circulated through the kingdom to an astonishing extent. Many of those tradesmen, who had received orders of this description, have refused to execute them; and one in particular (it was reported) was brought so får to a sense of the turpitude of the traffic, that he has lately consigned to the flames all the prints in his possession, and abjured the trading in them for the future. What a pity so disinterested a sacrifice of worldly interest in this printseller, could not be distinguished by some appropriate honour conferred on him! It was noble, it was generous. lle acted the true patriot, and deserves the thanks of every friend to religion, virtue, and the interests of the rising generation.
REMARKS on Mr. LUDLAM's INQUIRY into the NATURE, &c.
of ASSENT to ARTICLES of RELIGION.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCIIMAN'S MAGAZINE,
OUGH I have more than once delivered my sentiments in your
valuable iniscellany on the nature of that assent, which is implied in subscribing to articles of religion, I think it necessary to do it again on the occasion of your inserting, in your last number, a paper on that subject signed T. L. which is evidently the production of my revered friend, Mr. Ludlam; being apprehensive, that the authority
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of his name may give more weight to his opinion than is, I think, in this instance, due to it from the strength of his arguments.
Mr. Ludlam lays it down as an incontrovertible truth, that " there are but two conceivable purposes, for which subscription to articles of religion can possibly be required :--either,
1. To procure an exact similarity of sentiment, a perfect unity of opinion, amongst those, who chuse to become members of a particular Church. Or,
2. To insure concord and agreement amongst the subscribers, whilst they continue members of such Church, that so it may not be harrassed by contutions, nor torn by divisions, but may continue at peace and unity within itself.”
Mr. Ludlam then shews, and he shews it by the most strict and logical deduction, that the first of these purposes is unattainable; whence, as it should seem, it necessarily follows, that the second is the purpose, which the Church really has in view, and that, therefore, her articles are not to be considered as articles of faith, but as articles of peace.
In opposition to this I contend, that, though the ultimate object of the Church, in requiring subscription to her articles, is to insure concord and agreement amongst the subscribers; yet, as the most likely, if not the absolutely necessary, means of attaining this object, she insists also on a similarity of sentiment, or a unity of opinion, amongst them: not, indeed, such an exact similarity, and such a perfect unity, as Mr. Ludlam speaks of; but such an approach towards it, as may be sufficient to answer the practical purpose in view. In other words, a mere acquiescence in, or a promise of non-resistance to, the doctrines of the Church, is not all that is required by subscription. I have before quoted to this purpose the opinion of Dr. Powell, to which I still find every reason to adhere. “ Our articles of religion,” says he, “ are not merely articles of peace, They are designed also as a test of our opinions. For, since it cannot be imagined, that men should explain with clearness, or enforce with earnestness, or defend with accuracy of judgment, such doctrines as they do not believe; the Church requires of those, who are appointed to teach religion, a solemn declaration of their faith. He, therefore, who assents to our articles, must have examined them, and be convinced of their truth.” Disc. II. Dr. Balguy also says, “ The subscription of men's names is, or ought to be, the test of their doctrines." Charge V,
Agreeably to this, the title of the articles expressly declares the design of them to be “ the avoiding of diversities of opinions, and the establishing of consent touching true religion.” This, as was natural, is delivered generally, and without any exception; yet it is sufficiently evident, that it would be an equal straining of the meaning to suppose, either that such a perfect unity of opinion was intended, as Mr. Ludlam describes in his firit proposition, or merely such a concord and agreement, as he refers to in his second.
Considering the usual and strong propensity of men to propagate their opinions, is it likely, that the articles would be articles of peace, if they were not also articles of faith? But I further contend, that, if they were actually observed as articles of peace, this would not answer
the the whole intention of the Church. It is the evident design of the Church, that the doctrines, which she lays down as true, should, according to the degree of their importance, and the exigencies of the times, be inculcated among the people; and, in order to this, that they should be believed to be true by those, who are admitted to the office of teaching the people. Suppose, for instance, that the subscribers in any particular district were Anti-trinitarians, is it to be imagined, however sincere we allow them to be in subscribing to the Articles as Articles of peace, that they would take any pains in inculcating the doctrine of the Trinity ? Might we not, on the contrary, reasonably expect, that, in such a district, the doctrine of the Trinity would not be inculcated at all? Some perhaps may say, “ So much the better.” No one, however, who has a conviction of the truth of that doctrine, will say so; and it is certain, that this canno: be the meaning of the Church, who has so expressly and solemnly declared the truth of the doctrine of the Trinity, and who, in the pains she has taken to interweave it into every part of her Liturgy, has so plainly shewn the importance, which she attaches to it.
With respect to the degrees of approach towards that unity of opinion, which the Church has in view; or, what is the same thing, with respect to the allowable variety of senses, in which an article is to be interpreted, this, as I have belore observed, is a matter of conscience, which can be determined by no general rule, applicable to every case; but must be determined by each one for himself according to his persuasion, that the sense, in which he believes an article to be true, is comprehended within those senses, in which the existing legislature, speaking by the instrumentality of the governors of the Church, allows subscription to be made. It would be easy to shew, for instance, that a variety of opinions respecting the mode, in which the depravity of human nature is to be referred to the fall, and respecting the degree of that depravity, may come within the limits of an allowed interprctation of the gih Article, entitled, “ Oj Original, or Birth-Sin.” See Dr. Hey's explanation of that article in his excellent Norrisian Lectures.
Mr. Ludlam’s conclusion is perfectly just. “ This seeming uncertainty in the attainment of truth does not at all hinder that trial of our moral character, which may be necessary for our improvement in virtue.” In fact, the question of subscription to articles of religion has nothing to do with the business of our iniprovement here, or our reward hereafter. Assent to the articles is not to be considered as the condition of salvation, but as the condition of admission into the ministry of the Church; which, as Dr. Balguy has very justly observed, ought carefully to be distinguished. - In this kingdom," says he, “ neither Church nor State claims any authority over conscience. The State obliges no man either to belicre our articles, or to profess his belief of them; only they, who dissent, are thought unqualified for the public service; and, as for the Church, it is expressly declared in the articles themselves, beth that she ought not to decrec any thing against Holy Writ, and that, besides the same, she ought not to enforce any thing to be believed, for necessity of salvation. Art. 20. But some