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this Fear; that there is nothing in them now, more than in other Places to be afraid of.
76 CH A P. VIII. Of visiting Wells and Fountains : The Original of this
Custom : The naming of them of great Antiquity :
С НА Р. IX. Of Omens: Their Original: The Observation of them sinful.
CH A P. X. Of the Country Conversation in a Winter's Evening :
Their Opinions of Spirits and Apparitions : Of the Devil's appearing with a Cloven Foot : Of Fairies and Hobgoblins: Of the walking Places of Spirits; And of haunted Houses.
С НА Р. XI. The Form of Exorcising an haunted House. 123
CH A P. XII. Of Saturday Afternoon; how observed of old, by the
Ancient Christians, the Church of Scotland, and the old Church of England: What End we should obferve it for: An Exhortation to the Observation
145 CH A P. XIII. Of the Tule-Clog and Christmass-Candle; what they
may signifie; their Antiquity; the like Customs in other Places.
155 CHAP XIV. Of adorning the Windows at Christmass with Laurel :
What the Laurel is an Emblem of : An Objection against this Custom taken of.
CH A P. XV. Of the Christmass-Carol, an antient Cufiom: The common Observation of it, very unbecoming.
181 С Н А Р XVI. Of New Year's Days Ceremonies : The New Year's
Gift an harmless Custom: Wishing a good New-Year, 110 way sinful: Mumming a Cuftom, which ought to be laid aside.
С НА Р. XVII. Of the Twelfth-Day; how observed: The Wickedness of observing the Twelve Days after the common Man
199 С НА Р. XVIII. Of St. Paul's-Day: The Observation of the Weather,
a Custom of the Heathens, and handed down by the Monks: The Apostle St. Paul, himself is against such Observations: The Opinion of St. Austin upon
208 С НА Р. XIX. Of Candlemass-Day; why it is so called: The Blaf
phemy of the Church of Rome in consecrating WaxCandles.
с НА Р. XX. Of Valentine Day; its Ceremonies: What the Council
of Trullus thought of such Customs; that they had better be omitted.
225 CH A P. XXI. Of Shrove-tide; what it signifies: The Custom of the
Papists at this Seafon : That our present Customs are very unbecoming
230 CH A P. XXII. Of Palin-Sunday; why so called: How observed in the
Popish Times: What it is truly to carry Palms in our Hands on that Day.
с НА Р. XXIII. Of rising early on Eafter-Day: What is meant by the
Sun-dancing that Morn: The Antiquity of rising early on this Day: The End and Design of it: The great Advantage of it.
241 CH A P. XXIV. Of Easter Holy-days; a Time of Relaxation from Labour:
How observed in the dark Ages of Popery: That
CH A P. XXV.
Night before: This the Practice of other Nations :
CH A P. XXVI.
nal: That this Custom formerly was Superstitious ; but now may be used with Innocence.
CH A P. XXIX.
the Country People at this Time : That it seems
CH A P. XXX.
tom of the Heathens, and regulated by Gregory
296 C H A P. XXXI. Of the Harvest-Supper: A Custom of the Heathens,
taken from the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. 303
GENERAL PREFACE. Radition has in no Instance fo clearly evinced her Faith. TR
fulness, as in the transmitting of vulgar Rites and popular Opinions.
Of these, when we are defirous of tracing them backwards to their Origin, many lose themselves in Antiquity.
They have indeed travelled down to us through a long Succession of Years, and the greatest Part of them, it is not improbable, will be of perpetual Observation: for the generality of Men look back with superstitious Veneration on the Ages of their Forefathers: and Authorities, that are grey with Time, feldom fail of commanding those filial Honours, claimed even by the Appearance of hoary old Age.
Many of these it must be confessed are mutilated, and, as in the Remains of antient Statuary, the Parts of not a few of them have been awkwardly transposed: they preserve, however, the principal Traits, that diftinguished them in their Origin.
Things, composed of such flimsy Materials as the Fancies of a Multitude, do not seem calculated for a long Duration; yet have these survived Shocks, by which even Empires have been overthrown, and preserved at least fome Form and Co. lour of Identity, during a Repetition of Changes, both in religious Opinions, and in the Polity of States.
But the Atrongest Proof of their remote Antiquity, is, that they have outlived the general Knowledge of the very Causes that gave rise to them.
The Reader will find in the subsequent Pages an Union of Endeavours to rescue many of these Causes from Oblivion. If, on the Investigation, they appear to any so frivolous as not to have deserved the Pains of the Search, the humble Labourers will avoid Censure, by incurring Contempt.
How trivial soever such an Enquiry may seem to some, yet all mur be informed that it is attended with no small share of Difficulty and Toil.
A Passage is to be forced through a Wilderness intricate and entangled: few Vestiges of former Labours can be found