Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

the sepulchres of its martyrs, and whatever objects present them. selves to the sight, suggest something sacred to the mind, as those persons experience and feel, who, after due preparation, visit those sacred recesses.' Reflect how greatly a walk round those ancient places, which, through the majesty of religion, wonderfully recommend themselves, may contribute to excite faith and charity in the minds of spectators. There, many thousands of martyrs are presented to their view, whose blood has consecrated the very ground; they enter their churches, behold their [titulos] epitaphs, and (venerari] do reverence to their relics. Besides, as St. John ChrysosTOM has said, “ Since the heavens are as resplendent when the sun emits his rays, as the city of the Romans which contains those two lights, Peter and Paul, who transmit their rays through the whole earth: what person [auserit] will have the audacity to approach [the places where those Apostles made their] confessions, to prostrate himself before their tombs, and to kiss their fetters, which are far more precious than gold or jewels, unless she be impelled] by a feeling of the most intense devotion ? And who can refrain from tears either while beholding the cradle of Christ, and recollecting at the same time the cries of the infant Jesus in the manger ; or while adoring the sacred instrument of our LORD's passion, and then meditating on the REDEEMER of the world hanging on the cross?"

• Since, by the singular liberality of Divine Providence, these august monuments of religion are united together in this city alone, they are in reality, certain, most sweet, and pleasant pledges of that affection, by which the LORD loveth the gates of Zion above all the tabernacles of Jacob;' and they most affectionately invite all of you, my beloved children, to lay aside all delay, and to ascend that mountain in which God has been pleased to dwell.'

The main purpose of the Circular will be seen from the following extract.

• It is no secret to you, venerable Brethren, that a certain society, vulgarly called • The Bible Society,' [audacter vagari,] is audaciously dispreading itself through the whole world. After despising the traditions of the Holy Fathers, and in opposition to the wellknown decree of the Council of Trent, (Session the Fourth, on the publication and use of the Sacred Books,) this Society has collected all its forces, and directs every means to one object,—to the translation, or rather to the perversion of the Bible into the vernacular languages of all nations! From this fact there is strong ground of fear, lest, as in some instances already known, so likewise in the rest, through a perverse interpretation, there be framed out of the Gospel of CHRIST, a Gospel of man, or, what is worse, a Gospel of the Devil.

a

[ocr errors]

• Behold, venerable Brethren, what is the tendency of this Society, which, in order to the fulfilment of its impious wishes, leaves nothing unattempted. For it congratulates itself, not only on printing and publishing its various translations (of the Scriptures], but likewise on its visiting all cities, and dispersing its editions among the populace in them : beside this, that it may entice the minds of the simple, it is sometimes careful to sell [the copies 7, and at other times it delights, with an insidious liberality, to distribute them gratuitously.'

pp. 17-19. These paragraphs require no comment. It will be a happy circumstance if this publication should lead any of the Protestant enemies of the Bible Society to see whose work they have been doing. Surely, they will blush at their fellow-servant, if they are not ashamed of their livery.

Art. X. A Short Extract of the Life of General Mina. Published

by Himself. 8vo. pp. 108. Price 58. London, 1825. THIS THIS is a sort of memorial, in Spanish and English, of Ge

neral Mina's patriotic services in the Peninsula. We rejoice that he lives to tell the tale. His feats and his escapes read more like romance than history, and remind us of the exploits of the Cid, more than of any thing in modern days. He belongs to the age of Froissart,-but, indeed, so does almost every thing in Spain; or he may be considered as the Pelayo of the nineteenth century. While Mina lives, the struggle for independence cannot be terminated; and the wretched Ferdinand may yet be madc to tremble on his throne. Were Xavier but alive, the uncle and the nephew would in themselves be a host. But he perished in Mexico, the victim of his chivalrous but ill-planned attempt to break the yoke of Spain in the New World. He seems to have wanted the prudence and sagacity of his uncle; and his suffering himself to be surprised, was an error—to bim a fatal one. In every other respect, his manly, humane, heroic character, rendered him worthier of a better fate.

The profits of the present publication are avowedly dedi. cated to patriotic purposes. This will sufficiently apologize for the somewhat costly style in which this brief statement makes its appearance. We purposely refrain from giving any extract, that we may not defeat the object we have in view in noticing the publication.

Art XI. Fashionable Amusements the Bane of Youth : a Sermon.

By John Morison, Author of “ Lectures on the Reciprocal Obligationis of Life." Second Edition. 12mo. pp. 58. Price 1s, 6d.

London, 1825. TO O call upon persons, young or old, to part with any thing

which they deem pleasure, or conducive to happiness, without making them sensible of the surpassing value of what you propose to them as an equivalent, must be unavailing. . He who knew what was in man, when he called upon his disciples to renounce their worldly pursuits and possessions, uniformly accompanied his injunctions with the promise of an equivalent.,-in pleasure, in honours, or riches of a higher kind. It would be well, if preachers, in warning the young against the snares of worldly pleasure, would always bear in mind, that the only way to win the mind over to religion is, by shewing it to be the greater good. Mr. Morisc 1, with his accustomed good sense, has adopted this method in the plain, affectionate sermon before us.

· I should tremble, however,' be says, to dissuade my young friends froxn the pursuit of unsubstantial worldly pleasures, if I could not present before them something more worthy of their regardsomething more productive of security and peace. We want you to make an experiment for happiness on principles the force and intiuence of which you may not as yet have tried. We long to see you the cheerful, active, and holy disciples of Christ. For the pleasures of the world, we are anxious to see imparted to you, the witness of a good conscience, and the joys of faith. We have no wish to make you less happy, but, in reality, more so. It becomes you, at the same time, to remember, that happiness depends on a state of mind;that state of mind is religion implanted in the heart by divine grace. And where divine grace has imparted its inestimable treasures, the soul is made conscious of its stupendous wealth, and no longer covets the poor and beggarly delights of worldly minds. We only ask you, then, to make trial of true religion as a source of happiness. Till you have done so, you are unjust to yourself, as well as disobedient to the claims of the divine Redeemer, who has said, “ My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” It is only the regenerating influence of the religion of Jesus that can effectually regulate the purposes and passions of the human heart. Until we yield up our minds to the government of Heaven, we are too often blind to our best interests, and call that pleasure and happiness, which constitutes the very bane of the immortal soul. There is a spiritual disorder in the understanding and heart, which it is the province of true faith to rectify and subdue. By superinducing new convictions and new tastes, it prepares for higher and more sacred enjoyments. It delivers from worldly and dissipating amusements, not so much by bringing home the conviction of their absolute sinfulness, as by elevating the moral

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

taste, and introducing the mind into a region where it feels all the sacred freedom of a spiritual emancipation. You greatly mistake if you imagine that true Christians regret the relinquishment of their former vain pursuits. Ask them, and they will tell you, that till they did relinquish them, they were strangers to real bliss. And so it will be with you. Pleasure is an avaricious goddess ; the more she is served, the more she demands, and the less she is satisfied. Break, then, my young friends—I beseech you, break with her accursed idolatry: Though she is decked in meretricious attire, and beckons you with a smile, “ let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths; for she hath cast down many wounded; yea, many strong men have been slain by her.”pp. 44-46.

Towards the close of the sermon, Mr. Morison briefly points out some of the sources of youthful recreation which he considers to be expedient and lawful. Here, however, he uses

shortness.' He mentions healthful exercise, the pleasures of knowledge, the pleasures of society, the pleasures of doing good, and the pleasures of appropriate duty. All this is very well, but something more was desirable, than a catalogue of generalities, which would baulk the expectation of a youthful inquirer. Perhaps this is a part of the subject which addresses itself more particularly to parents. • Teach your children,' it might be said, to love Nature, to love home, make them

your companions, provide them with innocent delights, cultivate their affections, cherish in them a taste for intellectual pleasures; and then you may safely lay your parental interdict on those fashionable amusements which are the bane of youth.'

We think it might easily be proved, that no pleasure which the amusements alluded to can possibly yield, is equal to the pain inseparably attendant on a passion for such amusements. . All experience shews,' says Mr. Morison, that he who lives 'on worldly pleasures, is a stranger to real enjoyment. This is very just. The fact is, that with regard to all unnatural appetites, (and the craving for amusement is of this description,) the gratification never corresponds to the intensity of the passion, at least after the first vivid impression of novelty has passed away; but the power of enjoyment continually lessens, while the desire remains unabated and incurable. The pitiable character of the old man of pleasure, and the still more affecting counterpart in the female character, might with effect be held up to the young as a warping against surrendering themselves to the hard service of dissipation. Such subjects require to be pressed home; and such sermons as these, temperate, affectionate, and impressive, we should be glad more frequently to meet with. We cordially recommend it to our young readers.

#

Art. XII. A Vindication of those Citizens of Geneva and other Persors

who have been instrumental in the Revival of Scriptural Religion in that City : occasioned by the Statements of Mons. J. J. Chenevière and Robert Bakewell, Esq. By John Pye Smith, D.D. 8vo. pp.

78. Price 2s. London, 1825. WE have had occasion more than once to refer to the sub

ject to which this pamphlet relates : and our readers are sufficiently informed as to the origin of the theological controtroversy, of which Professor Chenevière pretends to give a summary in the articles inserted in the Monthly Repository. The present very interesting pamphlet is not merely an able exposure of the want of integrity which characterises the Professur's statement, and a candid vindication of the separatists from the Church of Geneva, but a valuable document, illustrating in a striking manner the genius of religious liberalism. In M. Chenevière's declamatory production, says Dr. Smith, « an enlightened Englishman familiarized to the principles of religious liberty, can not fail to discern, through the diffuseness of the Professor's style, and the cloudiness of his reasoning, an arrogance of pretension and an assumption of claims which would have well befitted a St. Dominic or a Gregory VII. Melancholy indeed it is, to see men who occupy the higher stations among the citizens of a renowned Protestant republic, and who boast of their glory and purity, their knowledge and virtue ; yet proving that they have not learned the first rudiments of truth and reason with regard to the rights of conscience, free inquiry, and honourable profession of religious belief.'

The Professor's own statements, stripped of their special pleading, admit it to be a fact, that •M. Malan, a minister of spotless character, rare talents, distinguished attainments, and most kind and amiable manners, was, by the intrigues of some among the clergy, first deprived of his situation as a tutor in the college, the chief support of his family ; then ejected from the pulpits of the Establishment ; then reproached as if he were committing the greatest crime, because he preached in a chapel erected in his own garden at his own expense, with the aid of some friends; afterwards dragged before the Venerable Company or Consistory, interrogated like a criminal at the bar, or rather like a victim of the Holy Office at Madrid; and finally, deprived and degraded, so far as it was in the power of M. Chenevière and his ruthless associates to degrade such a man; a man whose appearance before them forcibly

[ocr errors]

See Art. on Geneva Catechism.

Eclect. Rev. Jan, 1818.

« AnteriorContinuar »