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the four thousand, “he took the when the cloth was removed, and the sevenloaves and the fishes, and gave wine was brought in, nearly the thanks, and brake them.” At a same words were repeated over the common meal at Emmaus, Luke cup. Jahn quotes a form of table. xxiv. 30, he took the bread and service out of the Talmud, in which blessed it, and brake and gave to the repetition over the cup is in the those who supped with him. He precise words of the first service, attached this familiar ceremony to except a verbal alteration to achis sacramental supper,--teaching commodate it to wine instead of his disciples that as they gave bread. It does not appear that thanks to their Heavenly Father this second service was ever used for their daily bread, so especially at their ordinary meals. It was should they bless him for this bread not used by the Saviour when he fed which was his body, and this cup the multitudes, nor when he supped which was his blood.
at Emmaus, nor by Paul on shipPaul among his shipwrecked board at Melita ; and in the one in. companions al Melita, “ took bread stance in which it is mentioned, that and gave thanks to God in presence of the sacramental supper, it was of them all.” He alludes to this not a service which we initate in custom, 1 Tim. iv. 4. and 1 Cor. x. returning thanks. 30. If the reader wishes to con. It would seem then, that our sult other passages, those already manner of perfoming the religious cited, with the help of a reference duties of the table, by asking a Bible, may point them out to him. blessing and returning thanks is an
The words rendered blessed and innovation on the ancient practice, gave thanks are used interchangea. -for which I see no valid reason, bly, and therefore synonymously. though I perceive several considerCompare Math. xiv. 19 and John able ones against it. Some of these vi. 11, also Mark xiv. 22 and 1 Cor. I will state. xi. .4 ; or if the words had some 1. Two services are not essential, different shades of meaning, each and I think not conformable, to the implied the other, and both suggest nature of the duty. The meaning ed the idea of praise and thanks of the ceremony I suppose to be giving.
this : it is proper that we should From an examination ofthe Scrip- always cultivate a sense of our detures it appears that the Jews and pendance on God, and our obliga. early Christians, and our Lord him- tions to him for life and all its enjoy. self, were accustomed to perform ments; and the table furnishes a only one service at the table, and frequent and suitable occasion for that before eating. I believe no in- the expression of these grateful acstance is mentioned of a second ser- knowledgements. This expression vice, except at the communion sup. is as well made in one service as in per, and here it was a different two. One is more simple and more thing from our returning thanks. significant than two ; nor is it obIt was a distinct blessing of the cup vious to me how the object of the after supper, as the first service was duty can be so divided as to render of the bread. A custom of this two services natural and proper. kind seems at that time to have 2. The second service is a repe. been introduced at their more for. tition of the first. The form of mal and convivial meals, though it words may vary, but the thing exwas not the ancient practice. pressed is virtually the same. It is When the meat was brought upon at least so in general practice, the table, the first service was per. Common minds do not make a defiformed, and then as we should say, nite distinction between them. Qr VOL. I.--No. VIII.
if they do attempt to avoid a repeti- the rest. At boarding houses the tion, they often use words unintel- guests usually leave the table in ligibly. Thus we often hear a bless- succession. Some have finished ing asked upon the food, which is' their meal when others have just to me without meaning ; or “ that begun, and it does not suit their the food provided for us may nour convenience or their patience to ish our mortal bodies,''-wbich is wait till all are ready to leave the to me an unnatural petition, be table together. The same, and cause, so to speak, it is only praying more, is true of public dinners, and that nature may have its course, of many other occasions. I have that an effect may follow its cause. often observed at public dinners, Do we when we come to the table, that the first service was attended ask for present blessings? They with propriety, but for the second are already placed before us, and there was no place found for 6 deare present occasions of thanksgiv cency and order.” In all such ing :-such the ancients made cases, if both services be proper, them. Do we ask for future bless there is a public neglect of duty, if ings, that the supplies granted us the second be not performed; but to-day may be furnished us to-mor- if it be performed, it is done in inconrow? This is an acknowledge. gruous circumstances, and is undement of our dependance on God. voutly attended to Giving thanks is a similar sentiment I have heard of a preacher who expressed in a different form ; and adduced sixteen reasons to his peoif both may not be included in the ple, in favour of only one service :same form of words, there would I ain satisfied with these five. Nay seem to me to be a propriety in in- if four of them be taken away, verting the order of the two services there still remains to me the esamas now performed, so that we should ple of the Saviour and his ancient come around the table with thanks- people, yea and of many of the exgiving for the blessings now provi- cellent of my own generation. ded for us, and leave it with peti. The general prevalence of a custions that the same bounteous Prov. tom is no infallible evidence of its idence would supply our future propriety, -certainly it is not an wants.
imperious reason why it should If, however, the supposed distinc- not be made a matter of investiga. tion is a natural one, let him that tion. I am aware of the sensibility thinks it so, point it out, and show which many good people feel on that the one service is not involved this subject-as if the omission of in the other, and therefore not su- the one service were presumptive perfluous.
proof of insincerity in the other, or 3. It multiplies, unprofitably, re- an evident want of thankfulness to ligious services. Especially in the God. I have no wish to offend the morning. The reading of the Scrip. consciences of others, or to interfere tures is followed by the morning with their conscientious practice. prayer, and then in quick succes. As a man thinketh, so is he. If sion by the two services at the ta- my brethren judge it proper for ble. If we are not heard for our themselves, " whether they eat much speaking, are we for our ma- or drink” to begin and end with ny times speaking ?
“ looking up to heaven," I would 4. The inconvenience of the have them do so ; and I exhort all practice. I shall not dwell long men that they neglect not to acon this head. It is often necessary knowledge the bounty of the Di. for the mistress of the family to vine Providence at their meals, but remain at the table longer than that they “give thanks always for
all things to God and the Father, all things," and that his goodnessin the name of our Lord Jesus if it be not lost upon them,-leadeth Christ," always mindful that he them to repentance. giveth them “life, and breath, and
The following paper was written been no period in its history, when several months since with a view to its it was not the common haunt of being published in New York, and was profligacy, and the common abhoradapted to circumstances which then rence, I will not say, of pure reliexisted in that city. It was, however,
gion merely, but of enlightened for the time laid by, and the season
patriotism. The venerable men for which it was specially intended
who composed the Congress of the
Revolution, esteeming “ true relipassed away. But the evil still exists, gion, and good morals as the only nay, is growing up to a colossal stature solid foundation of public liberty in the land, and demands that the note and happiness," and regarding of warning be sent abroad by every "idleness, dissipation, and a genmeans of publication, to arm the public eral depravity of principles and sentiment against it. The sugges manners,” as the destruction of a tions of this paper, therefore, though free government, “ earnestly reout of place here, it is hoped may not
commended to the several States, to be profitless. The writer does not in
take the most effectual measures for
the suppressing of theatrical enterdeed expect that they will reach, to
tainments.” If, then, patriotism through this medium, the theatre
has not become a degenerate sentigoing ladies for whom they were in
ment in the daughters of the men tended, but he trusts that they will of '76, I have an argument to them find many among the readers of the against the theatre. Spectator, to lift up the voice against I need not go to history, to prove the vices of the stage, and to strive for to you its inherent demoralizing inthe recovery of that lost tone of morals,
fluence. For if the stage be betwhich gave no place to theatres among
ter now than it formerly was, its
present corruption proves it always our virtuous ancesters.
to have been bad ; or if it be worse
now, there is a stronger reason why A LETTER TO RESPECTABLE LADIES it should be abandoned. Worse it WHO FREQUENT THE THEATRE. doubtless is, than it has been in our
country; for this is the genius of In the republics of ancient the institution. Degeneracy is its Greece, a notorious corrupter of natural progress. It is the nature yotuh was banished from the com- of all public amusements of an exmonwealth, as its worst enemy. If citing and immoral character, that the theatre be tried by the same there are no natural limits to their law, it must receive the same con- licentiousness. For while they demnation. The theatre has been agitate our stronger passions, our a notorious corrupter of public mor- nicer feelings are overpowered ; als from the beginning. There has and, though they be of a na
ture to create in us some mis- those you see in the pit, how many givings, the example of the crowd are there, think you, whom the car. sustains us. We return to them riages in waiting, when the play is with our moral sense impaired; that done, set down at doors where they which almost shocked, or half dis. would by no means wish their bogusted us before, is now become som-friends or death-bed conscienfamiliar ; and some higher-wrought licentiousness is requisite to bring terms a person of his stamp-who of us up to our former pitch of excite ail men in the world “despises cant ment. . Thus beasts and blood and ultru morality," and righteousness hounds, grown too tame a specta
"over much,'-can express his appre
hensions for the stage, and storm forth cle, give place to gladiators. Thus
his threatenings against the authors of one indecency at the theatre pre
its corruption. pares us for a grosser one, till we come at length to Madame Hutin. “Until lately, the theatre in this city Novelty is the ruling law of pleas.
has, as I believe, been conducted with as
much regard to decency and public puriiy ure ; but the only novelty a licen
as possibie--at least the great eri of . tious stage admits of, is in newer which I am now about to complain, nerer degrees of corruption,-another before, I am sure, existed. Managers and another startling breach' on
have hitherto been content with having public decency.
coliected within the walls of their estab
lishments, such only as came voluntarily, The American stage has not yet
and paid their money freely. TRAPS to attained to all the refinements of allure the low, the debased, and the most the European-though it is travel- profiigate, are, I believe, the very newest ling hard to overtake them; and modes resorted to, to increase the funds hampered as it still is, by our Amer
of their treasuries. I have been assured,
from authority that admits not of dispute, ican manners, it exhibits the insti.
that in at least one of our new theatres, a tution in a state of as great purity, practice has just been commenced which perhaps, as we may ever hope to bids fair to produce more real and frightsee it. Yet how far it is, even as fully injurious results to the morals of it exists amono us from meriting youth, than the brains of the “fighteous
over-much" ever imagined could possibig a Grecian condemnation, yourselves be occasioned. Free admissions are now may be the judges.
being dispensed to the public courtezans It is a presumptive argument for of the town, in order that their vile para. the corrupting tendency of any pop
mours may be induced to follow them, ular amusement, that it attracts tho
whereby the receipts of the house may
be nightly increased; and the profits of vicious to it,--as does a horse-race,
the lessees of the saloons greatly enhanor an English boxing match. And ced in conscquence of the greater de. who compose the many at the the mand for their various species of intoxi. atre! I may not take you behind cating beverage. This, Mr. Editor, is a the scenes to show you who are
course, monstrous and unparallelled, and
will certainly lead to the most disastrous there, nor speak of the private
consequences. As an admirer of a pure character of the actors; nor can and morA! STAGE, it becomes you—it bethe impure crowd of the gallery so comes all of us--to effect, if we can, the much as be mentioned with decen- crushing in the bud of such flagitious
procedures. I shall say no inore at prescy in your presence. * But of
ent: but if the enormity be not immedi
ately cancelled--its authors--its guilty *1 will here introduce an extract authors--shall be made to tremble, by from a communication which very re- one who is neither a cently appeared in the New-York Spy,
LIBERTINE NOR A FANATIC. or Dramatic Repository. That paper is understood to be devoted to the the Alas for the purity of the stage atre, and the writer of the communi- now! Alas for our chaste school of mation is a professed admirer of the morals-if this beginning of corruption drama. It is amusing to see in what be not "crushed in the bud!” “Pub
ces to follow them ?-And.even of ous love of country, for which your those who occupy an honorable sex is so much honored ? In other seat in the boxes, how many an indi- nations it may be an idle admiration vidual may you not discover, who, of court-pageantry, or military glufor effeminateness and profligacy, ry ; but in the daughters of Ameriwere a fitter knight for Cataline, ca it is, I trust, a more enlightened than for the virtuous coinpany of sentiment. It remember the manCato. And why is it,-if the The- ly virtues of the Revolution. It atre be not a corrupting institution looks with proud complacency on - that, wherever the corner-stone that incorruptible integrity, and of a new play-house is laid, there lofty sentiment, and hardy enterevery hovel, and stall, and cellar in prise, which are the true greatness which wickedness may house itself, of a people ; and on the cowardly doubles and trebles its former vices of the dissolute it looks with a rent ? Why is it that the streets proportionate disgust. It compares and lanes leading to every haunt of our own with other countries, and infainy in the city, resound nightly rejoices in its superior freedom, but to wheels passing to and from the it rejoices more in that superior puTheatre ; and why is it that so ma- rity of manners which makes us cany heart-broken mothers, and grief. pable of freedom. The patriotism stricken sisters, mourn hopelessly then, which tolerates the Theatre, over their profligate sons and broth, is either spurious or blind. Blind, ers ?
if it does not discern the tendency This is the Theatre. I do not ask of the Theatre, and spurious if it how your patriotism can uphold it, disregards it. but I inquire, What is that gener- Were I addressing those of my
lic courtezans of the town!"-welthe profits of the saloons by increasing comed to the play-house, with “their “ the demand for their various species vile paramjours ?” “ Flagitious proce- of intoxicating beverage.” The bars dure"!“ Course monstrous and an of the Lafayette theatre, which is the parallelled," and“ disastrous" of " con least or nearly the least popular, I besequences"! Over which even Kean lieve, of the six theatres of New York, and Madame Hutin, and this “ admirer are rented for seventy-five dollars a of a moral stage' might join in consis. wcek. It is obvious that a great deal tent lamentation, because of “the of liquor must be sold to enable the morals of our youth," and because of lessee to pay this sum weekly, besides the scandal of the profession in the clearing a profit to himself. Add to eyes of the "righteous over-much." this all the liquor sold by the stalls
But why not admit the class of per- and cellars which crowd the vicinity sons you object to, and that freely, and of a theatre, and it will be seen how with open doors? Why exclude froin much dissipation, drunkenness, quar. your publie “ school of morals” those eiling, and crime, must result, from whose morals most need reform ? Are the existence of one of these institucourtezans and their paramours alone, tions. The quality of the fountain of all the wicked of our race, to be may be tested in the streams. If you shut away from all good influences ? would know what kind of morals it is For shut them out froin your charity, that the stage teaches, our prisons and and whither will they go? I know of our almshouses, and the records of our no other place of salutary discipline, courts may inform you. The recorda except the theatre, in which these of our courts have not yet been con. profligates are willing to be found. sulted on this subject, but this has Into the assembly of the righteous sometimes been done in England. over-much they are no more likely to One parish alone within the space of two fall than yourselves.
years, suffered an expense of thirteen One object of the practice which hundred pounds for criminal prosecuour censor in the Spy thus loudly ob- tions which had their origin in the jurgates, is, he tells us, to enhance theatre.