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Big with the beams which from her mother flow,
One evening, while the cooler shade she sought,
Since they would go, before them wisely went;
* That is, if the Church of England would be reconciled to Rome, she should be gratified with a delegated portion of innate authority over the rival sectaries; instead of being obliged to depend upon the civil power for protection.
+ Alluding to the exercise of the dispensing power, and the Declaration of Indulgence.
And drank a sober draught; the rest, amazed,
* The ten-horned monster, in the Revelations, was usually explained by the reformers as typical of the Church of Rome.
+ There was a classical superstition, that, if a wolf saw a man before he saw the wolf, the person lost his voice:
Jam fugit ipsa: lupi Mærin videre priores.
Dryden has adopted, in the text, the converse of this superstitious belief.
That, since the sky was clear, an hour of talk
Which well she hoped, might be with ease redress'd,
Considering her a well-bred civil beast,
*Although the Roman Catholic plot was made the pretence of persecuting the Papists in the first instance, yet the high-flying party of the Church of England were also levelled at, and accused of being Tantivies, Papists in masquerade, &c. &c.
THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.
And doom'd to death though fated not to die.-P. 119.
The critics fastened on this line with great exultation, concluding, that doomed and fated meant precisely the same thing. Faith, Mr Bayes," says one of these gentlemen, "if you were doomed to be hanged, whatever you were fated to 'twould give you but small comfort.”* This criticism is quite erroneous; doom, in its general acceptation, meaning merely a sentence of any kind; the pronouncing which by no means necessarily implies its execution. In the criminal courts of Scotland, the sentence is always concluded with this formula, " and this I pronounce for doom." Till of late years, a special officer recited the sentence after the judge, and was thence called the doomster,t an office now performed by the clerk of court. The criticism is founded on the word doom having been often, and even generally, used as synonimous to the sentence of heaven, and therefore inevitable. But in the text, it is obvious that the doom, or
* Hind and Panther Transversed.
+ This office was usually held by the executioner, who, to this extent, was a pluralist; and the change was chiefly made, to prevent the necessity of producing that person in court, to the aggravation of the criminal's terrors.
sentence, of an earthly tribunal is placed in opposition to the decree of Providence.
The bloody Bear, an independent beast,
The sect of Independents arose to great eminence in the Civil Wars, when the enthusiastic spirits were deemed entitled to preferment upon earth, in proportion to the extravagance of their religious zeal. Hume has admirably described their leading tenets, or rather the scorn with which they discarded the principles of other religious sects; for their peculiarities consisted much more in their neglect and contempt of all forms, than in any rules or dogmata of their own.
"The Independents rejected all ecclesiastical establishments, and would admit of no spiritual courts-no government among pastors-no interposition of the magistrate in religious concerns -no fixed encouragement annexed to any system of doctrines or opinions. According to their principles, each congregation, united voluntarily and by spiritual ties, composed, within itself, a separate church, and exercised a jurisdiction, but one destitute of temporal sanctions, over its own pastor and its own members. The election alone of the congregation was sufficient to bestow the sacerdotal character; and, as all essential distinction was denied between the laity and the clergy, no ceremony, no institution, no vocation, no imposition of hands, was, as in all other churches, supposed requisite to convey a right to holy orders. The enthusiasm of the Presbyterians led them to reject the au thority of prelates to throw off the restraint of liturgies to retrench ceremonies to limit the riches and authority of the priest ly office. The fanaticism of the Independents, exalted to a higher pitch, abolished ecclesiastical government disdained creeds and systems neglected every ceremony and confounded all ranks and orders. The soldier, the merchant, the mechanic, indulging the fervours of zeal, and guided by the illapses of the spirit, resigned himself to an inward and superior direction, and was consecrated, in a manner, by an immediate intercourse and communication with heaven."
Butler thus describes the Independents:
The Independents, whose first station
A mongrel kind of church dragoons,
And in the saddle of one steed,
The Saracen and Christian rid,