ページの画像
PDF
ePub

2

Mr. Bourne uses great. Affectation in translating the Quotation froin Selden. He has printed the Latin erroneously too: It ought to be “ in lunaris diei diliculuin, &c."--The Sabbath was not to be observed from Saturday at Noon, but from three o'Clock on that Day in the Afternoon, and whatever Part of the Day might have been called Noon at the Time he alludes to, he might have hinted to us in a Note, without confounding it in his Text with the Mid-day of this Age.

To our Author's Account of the Custom of the old Churches of England and Scotland, an Alterution may be added, of which he seems never to have heard. It is, that in the Year 1932, at a Provincial Council, held by Archbishop Mepham, at Magfield, after Complaint made, that instead of fasting upon the Vigils, they ran out to all the Excesses of Riot, &c. it was appointed, among inany other Things relative to Holy Days, “ that the So* lemnity for Sunday should begin upon Saturday “ in the Evening, and not before, to prevent the “ Misconstruction of keeping a Judaical Sabbath*.* See Collier's Ecclesiastic Hist. Vol. I. p. 551.

Our Author's Exhortation towards the Conclusion of this Chapter is, I think, liable to Misconstruction:

* Mr. Wheatly tells us, that in the East, the Church thought fit to indulge the Humour of the Judaizing Christians so far, as to observe the Saturday as a Festival Day of Devotion, and thereon to meet for the Exercise of religious Duties, -as is plain from several Passages of the Antients. Illustration of Common Prayer, p. 191.

An

An Inference might easily be deduced from it in favour of Idleness.—Perhaps_Men, who live by manual Labour, or have Families to support by it, cannot better spend their Saturday Afternoon, than in following the several Callings, in which they have employed themselves on the preceding Days of the Week.-Industry will be no bad Preparation to the Sabbath!

Considered in a Political View, much Harna : hath been done by that prodigal Waste of Days, very falsely called Holy Days, in the Church of Rome. They have greatly favoured the Cause of Vice and Dissipation without doing any essential Service to that of rational Religion.-. Complaints seem to have been made in almost every Synod and Council, of the Licentiousness introduced by the keeping of Vigils.-Nor will the Philosopher wonder at this, for it has its Foundation in the Nature of Things*

* For the Honour of human Nature, (which like the majestic Ruins of Palinyra, though prostrate in the Dust, is still respectable in its Decay) I forbear to translate the subsequent Quotation from Dr. Moresin. “ Et videre contigit. Anno 1582, Lugduni in Vigiliis " Natalium Domini deprehensos in stupro duos post Missantis Al." tare hora inter duodecimam et primam noctis, cum præter unum " aut aliud Altaris luinen, nullum esset in Templo reliquum, &c.". Deprav, Rel. Orig. p. 177.

AN

САР.

CHAP. XIII.

Of the Yule-Clog and Christmas-Candle; what

they may signifie ; their Antiquity; the like Customs in other Places.

IN the Primitive Church, Christmas-Day was always observ'd as the Lord's-Day was, and was in like Manner preceded by an Eve or Vigil. Hence it is that our Church hath ordered an Eve before it, which is observed by the Religious, as a Day of Preparation for that great Festival.

Our Fore-Fathers, when the common Devotions of the Eve were over, and Night was come on, were wont to light up Candles of an uncommon Size, which were called ChristmasCandles, and to lay a Log of Wood upon the Fire, which they termed a Yule-Clog, or Christmas-Block. These were to illuminate the House, and turn the Night into Day; which Custom, in some Measure, is still kept up in the Northern Parts. . It hath, in all probability, been derived

from

from the Sarons. For Bede tells us, That this very Night was observed in this Land before, by the Heathen Saxons. They * began, says he, their Year on the Eight of the Calends of January, which is now our Christmas Day : And the very Night before, which is now Holy to us, was by them called Mædrenack, or the Night of Mothers ; because, as we imagine, of those Ceremonies which were perform'd that Night. The Yule-Clog therefore hath probably been a Part of that Night's Ceremonies. The very Name seems to speak it, and tells its Original to every Age.

It seems to have been used, as an Emblem of the return of the Sun, and the lengthening of the Days. For asit both December and January were called Guili or 1 Yule, upon AC

count

* Incipiebant autem annum ab octavo calendarum Januarii die, ubi nunc natale domini celebramus; & ipsam noctein nunc nobis 'sacro-sanctam tunc gentili vocabulo mædrenack, i. e. matrum noctem appellabant: Ob. causam, ut suspicamur, ceremoniarum, quas in ea pervigiles agebant. Beda de Rat. Temp. Cap. 13.

+ December guili, eodem quo Januarius nomine vocatur. Guili a conversione solis in auctum diei, nomen accipit. Beda, ibid.

Gehol or Geol Angl Sax. Jol vel Jul, Dan, Sax. “ And “ to this Day in the North Yule, Youle, signifies the solemn

« Festival believe

[ocr errors]

count of the Sun's returning, and the Increase of the Days; so, I am apt to believe, the Log has had the Name of the Yule-Log, from its being burnt as an Emblem of the returning Sun, and the Increase of its Light and Heat.

-“ Festival of Christmas, and were Words used to denote a Time
“ of Festivity very anciently, and before the Introduction of
Christianity among the Northern Nations. Learned Men
“ have disputed much about this Word, some deriving it from
Julius Cæsar, others from the Word Getheoł, a Wheel, as
Bede, who would therefore have it so called, because of the
« Return of the Sun's annual Course, after the Winter Solstice.
“ But, he writing de Rat. Temp. speaks rather as an Astronomer
« than an Antiquary. The best Antiquaries derive it from the
“ Word, 01, Ale, which was much used in their Festivities and
« merry Meetings. And the I in Iol, iul cimbr. as the Ge and
Gi in Gehol, Geol, Giul, Sar, are premised only as Intensives'
“ to add a little to the Signification, and make it more emphati-
“ cal. Ol or Ale, as has been observed, did not only signifie the
“ Liquor they made Use of, but gave Denomination likewise to
« their greatest Festivals, as that of Gehol or Yule at Mid-
winter; and as is yet plainly to be discern'd in that Custom
« of the Whitsun-Ale, at the other great Festival. Elstob. Sar.
Hom. Birth. Day-Greg. Append. P. 29.

Bishop Stillingfleet has also taken Notice of this, and says,
" That some think the Name of this Feast was taken from Iola,
'“ which in the Gothick Language signifies to make merry. But
" he seems not inclinable to this Opinion, and therefore tells us,
" that Olaus Rudbeck thinks the former (viz. Its being called
“ 'so from the Joy that was conceived at the Return of the Sun)
“ more proper, not only from Bede's Authority, but because in
“ the old Runic Fasti, a Wheel was used to denote that Festival.”
Stilling. Orig. Britain,

« 前へ次へ »