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Holy Scripture, especially of Matthew and Mark, (for Luke and John are silent herein ;) by them it is delivered, “his garment was of camel's hair, and he had a leather girdle about his loins." Now here it seems the camel's hair is taken by painters for the skin or pelt with the hair upon it. But this exposition will not so well consist with the strict acception of the words; for Mark i, it is said, he was, võgồyμενος τρίχας καμήλου, and Matthew iii, είχε το ένδυμα από τριχών rajínou, that is, as the vulgar translation, that of Beza, that of Sixtus Quintus, and Clement the Eighth hath rendered it, restimentum habebat è pilis camelinis; which is, as ours translateth it, a garment of camel's hair; that is, made of some texture of that hair, a coarse garment, a cilicious or sackcloth habit, suitable to the austerity of his life,—the severity of his doctrine, repentance, -and the place thereof, the wilderness,,his food and diet, locusts and wild honey. Agreeable unto the example of Elias," who is said to be vir pilosus, that is, as Tremellius interprets, Veste villosâ cinctus, answerable unto the habit of the ancient prophets, according to that of Zachary: “In that day the prophets shall be ashamed, neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive;" † and suitable to the cilicious and hairy vests of the strictest orders of friars, who derive the institution of their monastic life from the example of John and Elias.
As for the wearing of skins, where that is properly intended, the expression of the Scripture is plain ; so is it said,
wear a garment of skins, which was the hence by Claudian they are called pellita first clothes that Adam wore after he had juventus. Great commanders also used sinned; for his fig-leaves were not pro to wear them; as Hercules the lion's per, and this garment also shewed both skin, Acestes the bear's, Camilla the tihis poverty and humility. For as great ger's. John's garment, then, of camel's men wear rich skins and costly furs, he hair, was not, as some fondly conceit, a was contented with a camel's skin. By sackcloth or camblet, but a skin with the this garment also he shews himself to hair on it." be another Elijah, (2 Kings i,) who This is quaint and lively enough; but did wear such a garment, and to be one the most competent authorities agree of those of whom the apostle speaks, who with our author in supposing John's garwent about in skins, of whom the world ment to have been made of a coarse sort was not worthy. Neither was it unuse of camel's hair camblet, or stuff: and ful in John's time, and before, to wear Harmer has given several instances of skins; for the prophets among the Jews, such an article being worn. the philosophers among the Indians, and s his food, fc.] See book vii, ch. ix. generally the Scythians did wear skins;
Heb. xi, they wandered about év aiyíos déguaoi, that is, in goat's skins; and so it is said of our first parents, Gen. iii, “ That God made them xırūvas oéquarivous, vestes pelliceas, or coats of skins;" which though a natural habit unto all, before the invention of texture, was something more unto Adam, who had newly learned to die; for unto him a garment from the dead was but a dictate of death, and an habit of mortality.
Now if any man will say this habit of John was neither of camel's skin, nor any coarse texture of its hair, but rather some finer weave of camelot, grograin or the like, inasmuch as these stuffs are supposed to be made of the hair of that animal, or because that Ælian affirmeth that camel's hair of Persia is as fine as Milesian wool, wherewith the great ones of that place were clothed; they have discovered an habit not only unsuitable unto his leathern cincture, and the coarseness of his life, but not consistent with the words of our Saviour, when reasoning with the people concerning John, he saith, “What went you out into the wilderness to see ? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft raiment, are in king's houses.”
Of the Picture of Saint Christopher.
The picture of St. Christopher, that is, a man of a giant-like stature, bearing upon his shoulders our Saviour Christ, and with a staff in his hand, wading through the water, is known unto children, common over all Europe, not only as a sign unto houses, but is described in many churches, and stands Colossus-like in the entrance of Notre Dame in Paris.
Now from hence common eyes conceive an history suitable
3 is known unto children, fc.] This tical figures of him, just as here describgigantic saint is not so general an ac- ed, may be found in the Gent's. Mag. quaintance in our nurseries, &c. as he for Oct. 1803. seems to have been in days of yore. An 4 Notre Dame.] Also in the cathedral amusing account of one of the ecclesias- of Christ's Church, Canterbury.- Jeff.
unto this description, that he carried our Saviour in his minority over some river of water; which notwithstanding we cannot at all make out. For we read not thus much in
any good author, nor of any remarkable Christopher, before the reign of Decius, who lived two hundred and fifty years after Christ. This man indeed, according unto history, suffered as a martyr in the second year of that Emperor, and in the Roman calendar takes up the 21st of July.
The ground that begat or promoted this opinion, was first the fabulous adjections of succeeding ages unto the veritable acts of this martyr, who in the most probable accounts was remarkable for his staff, and a man of a goodly stature.
The second might be a mistake or misapprehension of the picture, most men conceiving that an history, which was contrived at first but as an emblem or symbolical fancy; as from the annotations of Baronius upon the Roman martyrology, Lipellous, * in the life of St. Christopher, hath observed in these words; Acta S. Christopheri à multis depravata inveniuntur : quod quidem non aliunde originem sumpsisse certum est, quàm quòd symbolicas figuras imperiti ad veritatem successu temporis transtulerint : itaque cuncta illa de Sancto Christophero pingi consueta, symbola potiùs quàm historiæ alicujus existimandum est esse expressam imaginem ; that is, “the acts of St. Christopher are depraved by many: which surely began from no other ground than that in process of time unskilful men translated symbolical figures unto real verities: and therefore what is usually described in the picture of St. Christopher, is rather to be received as an emblem, or symbolical description, than any real history." Now what emblem this was, or what its signification, conjectures are many; Pierius hath set down one, that is, of the disciple of Christ; for he that will carry Christ upon his shoulders, must rely upon the staff of his direction, whereon if he firmeth himself he may be able to overcome the billows of resistance, and in the virtue of this staff, like that of Jacob, pass over the waters of Jordan. Or otherwise thus : he that will submit his shoulders unto Christ, shall by the concurrence of
* Lip. De Vitis Sanctorum.
his power increase into the strength of a giant; and being supported by the staff of his Holy Spirit, shall not be overwhelmed by the waves of the world, but wade through all resistance.
Add also the mystical reasons of this portrait alleged by Vida and Xerisanus; and the recorded story of Christopher, that before his martyrdom he requested of God, that wherever his body were, the places should be freed from pestilence and mischiefs, from infection. And therefore his picture or portrait was usually placed in public ways, and at the entrance of towns and churches, according to the received distich :5*
Christophorum videas, postea tutus eris.
Of the Picture of St. George.
The picture of St. George killing the dragon, and as most ancient draughts do run, with the daughter of a king standing by, is famous amongst Christians. And upon this description dependeth a solemn story, how by this achievement he redeemed a king's daughter: which is more especially believed by the English, whose protector he is; and in which form and history, according to his description in the English college at Rome, he is set forth in the icons or cuts of martyrs by Cevalerius, and all this according to the Historia Lombardica, or golden legend of Jacobus de Voragine. Now of what authority soever this piece be amongst us, it is I perceive received with different beliefs : for some believe the person and the story; some the person, but not the story; and others deny both.
* Anton. Castellionæ Antiquitates Mediolanenses.
5 Add also the mystical, 8-c.] First Some belicve the person, &c.] Dr. added in 3rd edition.
Pettingal published a dissertation to prove 6 and all this, &c.] First added in both the person and the story to be fabu2nd edition.
lous, and the device of the order to be
That such a person there was, we shall not contend : for besides others, Dr. Heylin hath clearly asserted it in his History of St. George. The indistinction of many in the community of name, or the misapplication of the acts of one unto another, hath made some doubt thereof. For of this name we meet with more than one in history, and no less than two conceived of Cappadocia. The one an Arian, who was slain by the Alexandrians in the time of Julian; the other a valiant soldier and Christian martyr, beheaded in the reign of Dioclesian. This is the George conceived in this picture, who hath his day in the Roman calendar, on whom so many fables are delivered, whose story is set forth by Metaphrastes, and his miracles by Turonensis.
As for the story depending hereon, some conceive as lightly thereof, as of that of Perseus and Andromeda, conjecturing the one to be the father of the other; and some too highly assert it. Others with better moderation, do either entertain the same as a fabulous addition unto the true and authentic
merely emblematical: and Dr. Byron It is very probable that Sir Thomas wrote an essay (in verse) to prove that St. was led partly by his residence at NorGregory the Great, and not St. George wich, to investigate the story of St. was the guardian saint of England. George, who is a personage of no small Against these two, and other writers on importance there. Pegge mentions the the same side, Dr. S. Pegge drew up a guild of St. George in that city, (in his paper which appeared in the 5th vol. of paper in the Archæologia,) but he was the Archæologia: vindicating the honor probably not aware that there has been of the patron saint of these realms, and from time immemorial, on [“ Lord] of that society; asserting that he was a Mayor's Day” at Norwich, an annual Christian saint and martyr-George of pageant, the sole remnant of St. Cappadocia; and distinct from the George's guild, in which an immense Arian bishop George of Alexandria, with dragon, horrible to view, with hydra whom Dr. Reynolds had identified him. head, and gaping jaws and wings, and In this paper Dr. Pegge has not mention- scales bedecked in gold and green, is ed the present chapter, which in all carried about by a luckless wight, whose probability only attracted his notice some task it is, the live-long-day, by string and years after.-In his (posthumous work pulley from within to ope and shut the called) Anonymiana, No. 54, he says, monster's jaws, by way of levying conthat "the substance of Pettingal's disser- tributions on the gaping multitude, estation on the original of the equestrian pecially of youthful gazers, with whom it figure of St. George (wbich the learned is matter of half terror, half joy, to pop author supposes to be all emblematical) a half-penny into the opened mouth of and of the Garter, may be found in SNAP. (so is he called,) whose bou of Browne's Vulgar Errors.”
thanks, with long and forked tail high Browne, however, it must be observed, waved in air, acknowledges the gift. is of the same opinion as Dr. Pegge as Throughout the rest of the year, fell Snap to the reality of St. George, his identity lives on the forage of that memorable day: with George of Cappadocia, and his dis- quietly reposing in the hall of his continctness from the Arian bishop. All queror's sainted brother, St. Andrew, these parties are agreed in declining as- where the civic feast is held. sent to the dragon part of the story.