Thursday, February 28, 2008

Voltaire (Re Scottish Presbyterians)

"""A Church of England minister appears as another Cato in presence of a
juvenile, sprightly French graduate, who bawls for a whole morning
together in the divinity schools, and hums a song in chorus with ladies
in the evening; but this Cato is a very spark when before a Scotch
Presbyterian. The latter affects a serious gait, puts on a sour look,
wears a vastly broad-brimmed hat and a long cloak over a very short coat,
preaches through the nose, and gives the name of the whore of Babylon to
all churches where the ministers are so fortunate as to enjoy an annual
revenue of five or six thousand pounds, and where the people are weak
enough to suffer this, and to give them the titles of my lord, your
lordship, or your eminence.

These gentlemen, who have also some churches in England, introduced there
the mode of grave and severe exhortations. To them is owing the
sanctification of Sunday in the three kingdoms. People are there
forbidden to work or take any recreation on that day, in which the
severity is twice as great as that of the Romish Church. No operas,
plays, or concerts are allowed in London on Sundays, and even cards are
so expressly forbidden that none but persons of quality, and those we
call the genteel, play on that day; the rest of the nation go either to
church, to the tavern, or to see their mistresses."""""

Heh heh. C'est vraiment. Scottish presbyterians--the embodiment of zealous, xtian moralists. Jefferson, it might be recalled (no Presbyterian or Bapteet, and rather more irish than scots) kept a bust of Voltaire (the Marquis de Arouet) in his study at Monticello his entire life.

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