Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

of David's Psalms, —- the version interlined with music of the Walloon church — the music truly grave sweet melody. They have the organ here, because left since the church was used by the Papists, and because the Parisians are fond of musić. After the Psalms were sung, Monsieur Marron prayed. As he speaks distinctly, and with much manly firmness, we understood him passablement bien. He is one of the finest figures I have ever seen in a pulpit. His text was, Deut. xxx. 11-18. If there was not so much of the Gospel in it as good Eben. Brown would have put, we discerned nothing contrary to the truth. The Lord's Supper was dispensed — the manner much like our own, only the exhortations shorter, and the communicants receive standing. Much solemnity, not much onction. Marron's manner of delivery (as you Scots folk call it) is bold, and rather, at least for an Englishman, too theatrical. At the end of every particular the preacher pauses, uses his handkerchief, looks about him, and the congregation, too, suspend their attention for a minute, and by coughing, &c. prepare themselves for hearing, in which there is the profoundest silence, and much interest discovered in their countenances. As they consider the sermon to be less solemn than prayer or praise, many, especially of the old men, put on their hats during the time. There were four tables, and, in all, a little more than one hundred communicants. After sermon we were introduced to Monsieur Marron, who received us with much kindness. He is a man of ability. When I inform you that he has

[ocr errors]

weathered the whole revolutionary storm, and retains his head still on his shoulders, you will say he is a man of consummate prudence. Except a few months' imprisonment during the reign of terror and Robespierre, he has not suffered much during all the changes to which this poor people have been subject. We met the elders as we went out with the charity velvet purse at the end of a pole (something like the box at Stitchell); and in the street a few old women, seeing us Englishmen, modestly addressed us for a little help : · Charité, Messieurs ! pour l'amour de bon Dieu, charité !

“ I did not notice more than half - a - dozen shops shut,—the smiths, masons, carpenters, all at work as on other days,-ballads, shows, dancings, the same as on Monday. At mass, in Notre Dame, few communicants, – generally women and poor. At the elevation of the host and the procession through the extensive body of the church, no intimation that they expected any reverence from us :— much civility. Trônes pour la réparation de l'église' fixed up on every pillar. Some statues of the Virgin and other saints, with a considerable number of excellent paintings, preserved. I entered into conversation with a decent-looking man, and wondered that I saw none of the lords of the creation bending the knee at the confessional box. •Les tribunaux de conscience? point, point de confession, monsieur ; nous sommes dégoûtés de ces choses ,' said the Frenchman, shrugging up his shoulders. I witnessed a baptism; and, truly, when you see a priest performing for almost

[ocr errors]

twenty minutes the mummery of putting salt on the poor infant's tongue, a candle into its hand, anointing with oil its ears and other places I cannot put down in writing, mumbling over exorcisms in Latin, waving his hand over it to keep away the devil, &c. &c, it is no wonder that any thinking person should become sick, and long as they said) for a religion that will engage the understanding, and direct the virtuous movements of the heart.

“ The salaries of the parish priests are 401. and some 601, a year; of the bishops 4001., and 6001. for the archbishop. Without richer funds than these, or more of common sense and the Bible in their system, Popery, and even Catholicism with all its improvements, must soon give up the ghost. Soon, soon may the Protestant world be called to sing a requiem over its entombed corse!

“ Monday, Oct. 4. Held conversation with our Parisian friends on the state of religion in France. Impossible to enter into the detail. In general there are supposed to be three millions of Protestants in France, including Belgium, Switzerland, and the Cisalpine Republic. Thirty thousand in Paris, seventeen thousand at Nismes, &c. But in truth every post brings information of thousands rising up as from the dead, especially in the western and southern departments; and dothing more seems necessary than a respectable body of ministers and laymen at Paris, who shall be employed in organising the great mass, in giving prudent direction and due impulse to its

movements. I wish,' says Mr. Bogue to me, in a letter the other day, 'I could but cut out the tongues of the half of your ministers in Scotland, and put French ones in their place, and send them instantly to Amiens, Bourdeaux, Nismes, Paris, where the harvest is so great, and the labourers almost none.' There are reckoned about three hundred Protestant ministers in France; but on account of the troubles during the revolution, they have been scattered for bread over the face of the earth. The good Dr. Troissard (who translated Blair's Sermons) we met at Paris : he was obliged, for the support of a wife and eight children, to become a Spanish wool merchant; and others have been driven to similar shifts.

“ Visited the Tuileries (the palace), the Place de Carrousel, where the brave Swiss Guards were killed on the 10th August, and the Place de Concorde, where Louis was guillotined. N.B. Wherever the cannon-balls have made impression on the walls of the Tuileries, there is inscribed around it, in large letters, . Le 10me d'Août.' The scaffolding where Louis was decapitated is in part standing, with a sentinel placed over it. A gentleman informed us, that about eleven o'clock at night of that dire day he ventured into the Place de Carrousel among the dead, and with difficulty could pick his way through, so closely lay the bodies together; not the least signs of life in any, save one poor fellow, to whose mouth our friend applied his ear. He vehemently repeated the words soif, soif!' was seized with convulsions, and died. Notwithstanding the confusions

aro

of that day, nobody was now abroad all gone to rest, as if nothing had happened. There was an account of other scenes given by our friend, which made me ill; - I hurried home and went to bed.

“ To relieve your mind from this scene of blood, I will give you the heads of a sermon, which, as Mons. Marron told us that night at supper, was preached before the Prince of Orange lately, at the Hague, by a young man of great ability,—who saw things intuitively, like our Professor, and whom, on that account, the prince had greatly wished to hear. The young man's father, an ordinary preacher to the court, was ordered by his serene highness to push his son into the pulpit next Sabbath, at a moment's warning, that he might give a fair specimen of his powers; and also that the text which he should give him should be Acts, viii. 26—40. The young man was confounded; but no time to hesitate, – the prince's command required haste. After a suitable introduction, he told his noble and crowded audience that his subject contained four wonders (quatre merveilles), wbich he should make the four heads of his sermon; and if he should say any thing to which their ears had not been accustomed in that place, he hoped that bis unprepared state of mind, from his sudden call, would plead his apology; and that they would consider the things he might speak as, according to our Lord's promise, ‘ given to him in that hour.'

“ Head I. - Merveille la première : A courtier reads. Here he deplored the sad neglect in the

« ZurückWeiter »