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No. 579. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11.
Odora canum vis.
VIRG. Æn. iv. ver. 132.
stationers, into whose bands the printing of the Bible is committed by patent, made a very remarkable erratum, or blunder, in one of their editions for, instead of Thou shalt not commit adultery, they printed off several thousands of copies with thout Ibalt commit adultery. Archbishop Laud, to punith this their negligence, laid a considerable fine upon that company in the Star-Chamber.
By the practice of the world, which prevails in this degenerate age, I am afraid that very many young profligates, of both sexes, are pofíeffed of this fpurious edition of the Bible, and observe the commandment according to that faulty reading
Adulterers, in the first ages of the church, were excommunicated for ever, and unqualified all their lives fro:n bearing a part in Christian assemblies, notwithstanding they might seek it with tears, and all the appearances of the most unfeigned repentance.
I might here mention fome ancient laws among the heathens, which punished this crime with death; and others of the same kind, which are now in force among several governments that have embraced the reformed religion. But because a subject of this nature may be too serious for my ordinary readers, who
are very apt to throw by my papers, when they are not enlivened with something that is diverting or uncommon; I shall here publish the contents of a little manufcript lately fallen into my hands, and which pretends to great antiquity, though, by reason of fome modern phrases and other particulars in it, P cán by no means allow it to be genuine, but rather the production of a modern fophift.
It is well known by the learned, that there was a temple upon inount Ætna dedicated to Vulcan, which was guarded by dags of so exquisite a smell (say the historians) that they could difcern whether the persons who came thither were chalte or otherwie.' They used to meet and fawn
such as were chaste, carelling them as the friends of their master Vulcan; but flew at those who were polluted, and never ceafed barking at them until they had driven them from the temple.
My manuscript gives the following account of these dogs, and was probably deligned as a comment upon this story.
· Thefe dogs were given to Vulcan by his Gister Diana, the goddets of hunting and of chastity,
having bred them out of some of her bounds, in ( which she had obferved this natural inftinet and
fagacity. It is thought the did it in spite to Venus, • who, upon her return home, always found her • husband in a good or bad humour according to the « reception which she met with from his dogs. They • lived in the temple several years, but were such
snappish curs, that they frighted away moft of the
votaries. The women of Sicily made a folemn • deputation to the priest, by which they acquainted « him, that they would not come up to the temple « with their annual offerings unless he muzzled his ( mastiffs ; and at last compromised the matter with • him, that the offering should always be brought by • a chorus of young girls, who were none of them
• above seven years old. It was wonderful (says the
author) to see how different the treatment was
which the dogs gave to these little miffes, from that ( which they had thewn to their mothers. It is said ! that a prince of Syracuse, having married a
young Lady, and being naturally of a jealous tem
per, made such an interest with the priests of this • temple, that he procured a whelp from them of this
famous breed. The young puppy was very trou. ! blesome to the fair lady at first, insomuch that the
solicited her husband io send him away; but the
good man cut her short'with the old Sicilian.pro( verb, Love me, love my dog.'. From which time • The lived very peaceably with both of thein. The • ladies of Syracuse were very much' annoyed with • him, and several of very good reputation refused Ito come to court until he was discarded. There I were indeed some of them that defied his fagacity :
but it was obferved, though he did not actually bite them, he would growl at them most confoundedly.
To return to the dogs of the temple: after they • had lived here in great repute for several years, it • fo happened, that as one of the priests, who had • been making a charitable visit to a widow who live
ed on the promontory of Lilybæum, returned home pretty late in the evening, the dogs flew at him
with so much fury, that they would have worried • him if his brethren had not come in to his aslistance; • upon which, says my author, the dogs were all of
them hanged, as having lost their original instinct."
I cannot conclude this paper without wishing, that we had some of this breed of dogs in Great Britain, yhich would certainly do justice, I should say ho.' nour, to the ladies of our country, and shew the world the difference between pagan women and those who are instructed in founder principles of virtue and religion.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13.
-Si verbo audacia detur,
Ovid. Met. I. i. ver. 175;
? This place, the brightest manfion of the sky, I'll call the Palace of the Deity.
CONSIDERED in my two last letters that awa
« ful and tremendous subject, the ubiquity or omnipresence of the Divine Being. I have shewn • that he is equally present in all
, places throughout ! the whole extent of infinite space. This doctrine ! is fo agreeable to reason, that we meet with it in
the writings of the enlightened heathens, as I might fhew at large, were it not already done by other hands. But though the Deity be thus eflen
tially present through all the immenGty of space, " there is one part of it in which he discovers him
self in a most transcendant and visible glory. This s is that place which is marked out in fcripture, under the different appellations of Paradise, the
third Heaven, the throne of God, and the habita« tion of his glory. It is here, where the glorified
body of our Saviour resides, and where all the ce« lestial hierarchies, and the innumerable host of an.
gels, are represented as perpetually surrounding the seat of God with Hallelujabs, and hymns of praise. This is that presence of God which some
« of the divines call his Glorious, and others his « Majestatic Presence. He is indeed as essentially pre« fent in all other places as in this; but it is here I where he resides in a sensible magnificence, and in • the midst of all those fplendors which can affect the imagination of created beings.
• It is very remarkable, that this opinion of God • Almighty's presence in heaven, whether discover« ed by the light of nature; or by a general tradition • from our first parents, prevails among all the na« tions of the world, whatsoever different notions o they entertain of the Godhead. If you look into « Homer, that is, the most ancient of the Greek writ
ers, you see the supreme power feated in the hea
vens, and encompassed with inferior deities, among i whom the muses are represented as singing inces• fantly about his throne. Who does not here see ( the main strokes and outlines of this
great truth s we are speaking of? The same doctrine is shadow. • ed out in many other heathen authors, though at o the same time, like several other revealed truths,
dathed and adulterated with a mixture of fables
and human inventions. But to pass over the no$ tions of the Greeks and Romans, those more en:
lightened parts of the pagan world, we find there
is scarce a people among the late discovered nas • tions who are not trained up in an opinion, that • heaven is the habitation of the divinity whom they o worship.
• As in Solomon's temple there was the Sanctum Sanctorum, in which a visible glory appeared among the figures of the cherubim, and into
which none but the high-priest himself was per(mitted to enter, after having made an atonement " for the fins of the people; so, if we consider the
whole creation as one great temple, there is in it • this Holy of Holies, into which the high-priest of our salvation entered, and took his place a