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the Messiah, is also the prophet alluded to before. He also says, that the reason why the synagogues arose disputing with Stephen was, because he endeavoured to prove that the Messiah was the prophet Moses promised, and therefore he was charged with having spoken blasphemous words against Moses.
Halhed vindicates Brothers for calling himself Christ's nephew by the following argument:-" If Christ had brothers and sisters, as is expressly proved from the Gospel, the son of any one of those must necessarily have been his nephew. Extend the line of filiation through 50, 100, or 1000 descents, the last is still a nephew,” &c.
Horne denies that it is expressly mentioned in the Gospel that Mary, the mother of Jesus, had sons and daughters. He says that brother among the ancients was used with greater latitude than at present, and applied indifferently to almost all who stood related in the collateral line, as uncles, nephews, first-cousins, &c. He says, that if James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas (Matthew, ch. xiii. v. 55.) were not born till after Christ, they would be too young to have any business with our Saviour*. (ch. xii. v. 46.) Horne is therefore of opinion, that brothers and sisters are no more than firstcousins f in the Gospel.
Halhed says, that times of calamity are peculiarly fertile in visions and prognostications, predictions and prophecies. He then animadverts to the greatness of a man who has been in the habit of writing letters to the king and queen and ministers of state ever since the beginning of 1792, foretelling many events which would afterwards come to pass, and some of which actually did.
Horne sees no merit in these predictions, it being easy enough, he says, to have anticipated many things at that time without being possessed of either the gift of prophecy, or the art of conjuration.
Mr. Halbed declares, that uprightness of intention, and candour of soul, breathe through every line of his (Mr. Brothers) composition. He thinks, if there be any deception in his prophecies, himself will be the first dupe ; and, seeing that he gives us a reference to the Scriptures, his veracity must be good.
Mr. Horne declares himself willing to meet the prophet and his advocate on tbeir own ground, giving his opinion first of all of the former character as follows :-He has been weak enough to listen to the persuasions of some designing men, who have stimulated him . without doubt to publish his book for the purpose of promoting apprehension and sedition; while in so doing he has worked himself up to a state of frenzy and enthusiasm. This author tells us, he had the
* The text here alluded to does not specify business ; besides, the age of our Saviour at this time would admit of his having grown-up brothers. However, we read of his having brethren at a very early period. (John, ch. 2. v. 12.)
op It erpressly mentioned in the Gospel, that James, Joses, &c. were the children of Mary the wife of Cleophas, and sister of the Virgin Mary. (See Matthew, ch. xxvii. v. 56.). There were three Marys (John, ch. 19. 7. 25.), of course they were only first-cousins, according to Horne's assertion.
curiosity to visit this supposed prophet, whom he thus describes :He is a middle-aged man, of mild aspect, rather tall and slender, his hair cut remarkably short, and his attire plain : he asked Mr. Horne if he had read his book, and being answered in the affirmative, talked (as the author writes) in a wild unconnected manner, referring Mr. Horne (according to Mr. Halhed's remark) to the Scriptures. In short, his whole behaviour testified a disordered mind; and the author thinks those medical gentlemen * who declared him insane had very, just foundation for their opinion.
To judge from Mr. Halbed's testimony we must suppose a contrary description of this prophet; for this writer, by an avowed approbation of his predictions, is evidently of opinion that his whole manner is connected, and himself an inspired rational being. In alluding to a late debate in a sixpenny Spouting-club (as Mr. Halhed expresses it) respecting Richard Brothers, where the question was, whether he was an impostor or madman, the author observes, that a third possibility in the subject was entirely overlooked by those eager disputants, namely, that he was neither the one nor the other.
Horne, who only slightly adverts to this, recommends in an humorous vein to the same debating society, as their next question, Which is more mad t or enthusiastic, the offender or defender ?
We shall now lay before our readers one of the most remarkable of Brothers' prophecies, with the illustrations of Halhed, and the confutations of Horne, leaving it to the judicious “to weigh the scale.".
(To be concluded in our next.)
EDITOR OF THE FREEMASONS' MAGAZINE.
SIR, N your last Number, p. 77, is an anecdote which some correking, in Vol. I. p. 166. I believe that any reader already unaca. quainted with the story, will be left as much in the dark as ever by: the anecdote jusť alluded to.
It must be observed, that the poem turns wholly on the property which Gyges' Ring possessed of conferring invisibility on the wearer
“ Form’d by a Lydian sage, with potent spell,
* We understand there was a meeting of those gentlemen who entered into the above-mentioned opinion.
† Madness and enthusiasm being almost the same, the author cannot possibly mean that the question should lie between these words-it is certainly between the OFFENDER and DEFENDEK,
and the poetic application of this ring to the admission within a Mason's Lodge, though ingenious enough, seems to have been lost sight of by your correspondent .at Tertb Haugh, who relates a part, indeed, of the history of the same Gyges, but as distant as can be conceived from that which is necessary to illustrate the poem. In short, the ring is not once mentioned. I trust that the following short relation will go something nearer to that purpose.
According to Plato, Gyges descended into a chasm of the earth, where he found a brazen horse whose sides he opened, and saw within the body the carcase of a man of uncommon size, from whose finger he took a brazen ring. This ring, when put on his own finger, and turned towards the palm of his hand, rendered him invisible; and by means of its virtue he introduced himself to the queen, murdered her husband, married her, and usurped the crown of Lydia *. I am, Sir, your constant reader,
and occasional correspondent, S. J.
MR. TASKER'S LETTERS
LETTER THE TENTH.
ON ANCIENT NEUROLOGY.
exhibits a striking proof of the truth of my observations; for, on his first appearance in the war, he makes his military debút, and handsells his Vulcanian sword, by killing, indiscriminately, almost every man that has the ill fate to come in his way. I am likewise stopped in my career; for what have we here unexpectedly? ---Read with
Dexteraque ex bumero NERVIS moribunda pependit—" the dying hand hangs from the shoulder by the nerves or tendons;" this is the first express mention of nerves in the Æneid, and naturally leads me to the dark subject of the Ancient Neurology: as what I mean to say may be almost concluded in a nut-shell, if I am erroneous I will be concisely so; for I really believe, however novel the notion may be, that the word nerve obtained its appellation from its resemblance to a bow-string; for though the nerves must necessarily have been prior
Before Christ 718.
to bow-strings, yet the use of the borv was prior to the discovery of the nerve. sveugn* was the appropriated Greek word for the string of the bow, and from thence was formed the word 70 vevgou, which in all old medical writers signifies nerve, tendon, or any round ligament promiscuously. For want of this knowledge I have heard some modern anatomists affect to ridicule the Stagyrite, with respect to his mention of the nerves of the heart; whereas, though but an indifferent anatomist, he was correctly and scientifically right in his observation; since he clearly means, the strong tendinous fibres of the heart.
Aristotle did not even know that any nerves at all originated from the brain, and therefore could not possibly allude to the par vagum, or any other nerves that might supply the heart; and therefore could allude to nothing but those well-known strong tendons, that make a constituent part of that noble muscle, and assist in its dilatation and contraction. In fact, the Greek philosophers, physiologists, and physicians, had little or no idea of the difference between what we now call nerve, tendon, or ligament; for which ever of the three had the appearance of a string, was known by the common appellation of nerve. But some modern critics have extended this idea too far when they suppose that Galen and some other writers meant to comprehend the flat and capsular ligaments under the general term of nerves. If this were the case, the complicated wound of Æneas might be explained in a few words; but your knowledge of the Greek language will teach you, that nothing was called nerve by the ancients, but what was round, and like a twisted cord.
ON PREDICTION AND FOREKNOWLEDGE. THE most important actions of our life are marked in Heaven be
fore the thoughts come into our mind of producing them; as those of our birth and death, the two extremities of our career; as also many others which mark the summit of our greatest happpiness or our misery. All the misfortunes which come into the world, or shall
veuen; whatever some Lexicographers may say to the contrary, neither veuşa nor veugou are themes, but both are derived from vw, to twist, spin, or weave; or from veuw, to nod or move.
appear hereafter, arise from the same principle of foreknowledge from the first moment of time; some happen sooner, others later, according to the order prescribed them by the Almighty Power. i would not wish any man to fasten an absolute necessity to the event of their effects, because a clear foresight may, in some measure, avoid the danger of the wound, though not the stroke. Many, to prove the necessity of all things, say, that what has happened was unavoidably to happen; but this necessity ought only to refer to the consequence, and not to a following conclusion; that is to say, supposing the thing has happened, it necessarily follows it must happen. This pecessity is then no other than the infallibility of an event in its nature free and indifferent, whether for the past or the future. For as it is a common saying, that it was necessary what has happened should happen; so, by the same rule, one may say, that what is decreed to happen will happen.
As to predictions, sometimes from the most ignorant among men, it is an error to add an implicit belief to them on all occasions; but it is certainly no fault to screen ourselves when we are threatened with an approaching rain. -Had Percillas hearkened to the advice of his friend, he would have escaped shipwreck. -Torcleya despised the accounts given him of his death three days before he died; and the little care he took of his life in an imminent danger, rendered him too secure in the moment of his misfortune.
Tarcinus said to Locrias, in the midst of a feast, that he would die in the desart if he did not drink to the gods; that is to say, if he did not implore their protection in the misfortune he had engaged himself in. This advice he neglected, and he did not fail of meeting his death in the poisoned cup that was presented to him.-Lelianus, king of the Lucques, caused Servianus to be punished for having predicted to him that he would die in an hour if he quitted his apartment, and the prediction was so true, that before the unfortunate Servianus had received the full number of stripes to which he had been so unjustly condemned, the king touched the last moment of his life.- Pbilip, king of the Macedonians, was warned by the oracle of Apollo, to beware of receiving his death by a chariot. To avoid the misfortune, the king ordered out of his dominions all the wheeled vehicles that could be found: yet, for all his precaution, he could not shun the fate ordained for him— Pausanias, who gave this monarch the stroke of death, had a chariot engraven on the hilt of his sword.
ESSAY ON A KING. A KING is a mortal god, unto whom the living God hath lent his own name for greater honour; but withal he has told him he shall die like a man, lest he should grow proud, and flatter himself that God has with his name imparted to him his nature. Of all men God has done most for them, and therefore they should not do least for him.--A king that does not feel his crown too heavy should