Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

every action, whether in public or private life, in office or retirement, will be an elucidation of it. Has he a family? he will endeavour to rule his household in the fear of God. Has he political power and influence? he will desire to employ all, as instruments'of righteousness. He can part with his existence, but he cannot be separated from these. He can relinquish life into the hands of God who gave it, but he will scorn to hold it, on the terms of living only to dishonor Him who gave him life and breath and being. What is it to him that tyrants threaten, powers oppress, Infidels scoff, and Papists persecute? It cannot touch him: none of these things move him: they cannot alter the essential property of Truth, nor swerve him from his course of stedfast adherence to it. No! As the needle is ever attracted to the pole, so in every circumstance of life the Christian turns to Christ; the love of Christ constraineth him; becomes the animating principle :—hence the zeal, the spirit, the boldness, the fervour of the prophets, apostles, and martyrs:—hence, from the difference of the spring, the different courses of those who at the first glance have seemed alike :— hence in Erasmus and Luther, two minds working together for a while, yet in time of persecution falling apart, because not animated by the same spirit; Luther's soul was filled with love to Christ, and he braved all for that love—Erasmus confessed that he had no spirit or desire to be a martyr.* We are not all called on to be martyrs; but to take up the cross daily, and follow Christ, is the duty of every Christian: we should at all times be ready to endure the death of martyrdom, though we may not be called upon to suffer it. The moment a falling back takes place in nations, or individuals—that course begins, which if unchecked, must end in ruin. The voice of Scripture and the experience of human nature testifies this; and why need we appeal to all history, ancient or modern, sacred or profane, to corroborate this assertion. The path of pure religion and true national glory is an upward path, requiring much agonizing and striving that the acclivity may be gained, and held when it is once acquired. It is like rolling a stone upwards; the laws of nature and gravitation are against it; and pressure from without, and influence from above, are wanting, nay necessary, to ensure success. The moment of doubt is one of danger. The onward movement is arrested; to progress again, requires fresh force: a retrograde movement soon follows, and in its rapid career, where the laws of gravitation help on its course, the once ascending weight speedily comes downward, and beneath it crushes those who have faltered in their work. Thus have our ancestors faltered— thus have we faltered. The work of the Reformation went on well for a time; truth made aggressions upon error: but men after a while neglected duty; truth was little thought of, and Popery—opposed by those who cared not for the (ruth, was opposed on wrong principles. Darkness returned; Popery took advantage of it, and demanded power. There came then a feeling that Popery might be pacified. Thus from the moment that our onward career was checked, mark how soon the retrograde movement commenced—how rapidly it has gone on—how fatally it threatens to terminate!!

* See an excellent abridgment of D'Aubigne's work on the Reformation, by the Rev. E. Dalton; published by the Protestant Association, price 4s.

A free people are protected by laws framed by their own collective wisdom. Laws are not imposed upon them by a tyrant, but are made for them by themselves. Hence to a great extent they express the views and feelings of the nation. Are we not then compelled to infer that the laws which first removed the bulwarks of Protestantism, had been preceded by a national decay of Protestant principle; that those enactments were but the fruit, the result, before they became the cause of evil? Take the first of them, from the close of the last century: why were alterations made ?—did the predicted good result from them? Take the second: apply to it the same question. Try the third: take every one of them. They commenced after a calm, engendered by a forgetfulness among Protestants, that Popery was an idolatrous system, hostile to the Word of God; opposing and denouncing that Word, because it was opposed and denounced by it. A State Religion had grown up—its baneful influence was operating unseen. Expediency, rather than principle, bore sway: expediency, not that true expediency, of which it may be said, that nothing is truly expedient that is not right; but that crooked kind of expediency, which prompts the liar to falsehood,— and the thief to dishonesty,—as temporary expedients to alleviate suffering, or extricate from an unpleasant situation, though the consequence of that theft or falsehood may be the forfeiture of all previous character, the cause of losing self respect, and one step in an evil course, that can never be retraced. Which, then, of these measures, on the subject of Popery, dictated by expediency, has been attended with the predicated amount of good? Not one. We have compromised our principles to please those who must despise us for so doing. Yet, year after year, the infatuated course has been pursued. With what effect, let the results of past concession declare. Cast your eyes over Europe.and the World—give attention, but for a moment, to the British Empire. Mark how, at home or abroad, the ambition of Rome,—not satisfied, is asking more—see how in Ireland, life and property are rendered insecure, how agitation and disorder abound—mark the activity of Roman Catholics, their increase of power, the unchanged nature of the system, its unmitigated hostility to the Truth—see Rome, professing to be the friend of order and good government, teaching disloyalty, and urging to rebellion—see how, while she professes liberality, she imprisons Ensign McLaughlan for dropping a nutshell on a wafer, in Malta, and Dr. Kalley for teaching and distributing the Scriptures, in Madeira.

We enter not here into a consideration of prophecy, though we well know, from what has been fulfilled, the truth of those predictions yet to come to pass. And in the fearful crisis which many, even politicians of this world, feel, and some men fear, to be at hand,—in the approaching struggle—it may be well nigh the last one—between Rome and England, Truth and error, Scripture and tradition, Popery and Protestantism,—oh! may it be the precious privilege of each of our readers, as it is their bounden duty, to pray for grace and light, and love and Truth, and strength and wisdom, that they and their rulers, in Church and State, may be found faithful in the discharge of the trust reposed in them, and the great duties to which the times call them.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small]

1 If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."—Isaiah viii. 20.

No. 34.

JANUARY, 1843.

Vol. IV.

RANDOM REMINISCENCES OF
PORTUGAL.

By an Officer's Daughter.

On the occasion of a grand procession in honour of the Virgin at Magara, all the most beautiful boys of the neighbourhood were selected to officiate as angels; they were twelve in number, and were gaily attired in garments of gold and silver tissue, with pasteboard wings upon their shoulders. They were to surround the figure of the Virgin, and formed a very striking feature in the procession. They were all carefully dressed, and desired to keep themselves quiet until they were called to take their places by Nossa Senhora. This was, however, not easy to children under six years of age; and accordingly when the priests had taken their places, the candles were lighted, the censers filled, and the Virgin ready to start, two of the "little angels" were missing! Great was the consternation of those who had charge of them—they searched, as they thought, every possible and impossible place ;—" Until at length," said a priest, who was telling the story, " in despair I ran into a stable, the door of which I saw standing open; and there I found the two d—d little angels playing at pitch and hustle!"

A rich vinegrower, not a hundred miles from Leira, in a sudden fit of piety, built a small chapel by the side of a cross road, in a wild part of the country, and dedicated it to "Our Lord of the Crucifixion ;" a huge cross, with the figure of our Saviour nailed upon it, occupied the centre of the altar; and, to render the work of righteousness more decidedly popular and edifying in the neighbourhood, the wood which had been made use of for the purpose of constructing it, was purchased of one man in the village and its formation intrusted to another. It gave, by no means, as may be believed, a very sublime idea of that which it was designed to represent; but the intention was not the less pious, or the artist the less proud. When the building was finished, and the altar fitly arranged, an immense crowd assembled to witness the consecration. During the celebration of the Mass, the officiating priest was much impeded in his holy duties by the grimaces of an individual among the crowd, who was making most violent efforts to control his laughter, which at times broke into hysterical giggle in despite of him; in vain the astonished and angry cure frowned and stared; still the man shuffled and smirked, and as he raised his eyes to the crucifix, smothered, with increased difficulty, a fresh burst of

merriment; his neighbours murmured mass itself is that propitiation. The whole

among themselves that Senhore Joachim was certainly star dondo (quite mad). The priest looked longer and more sternly on him, but nothing availed, and during the entire Mass, the incorrigible Senhore continued to cover his face with his hands, and

epistle to the Hebrews shews that there-is no priest under the Gospel that can reconcile sinners to God but Christ, nor any other than a commemorative sacrifice of his death in the Lord's supper.

The obvious and evil tendency of masses

until his brow and ears were crimson. At for the dead, is to encourage and sanction i

the conclusion of the ceremony the enraged vicious life. The diabolical notion of in

cure ordered the delinquent before him, and dulgences and infallibility is such, that com

the following dialogue ensued:—" Man ! are mon reason, at its earliest dawn, at once

you aware that you have been commiting a starts and revolts at the adoption of such a

deadly sin, by treating with contempt the sentiment. These, with other like absurd

actual presence of your God, in the cele- and impious standards of action in fallible

bration of the most holy Mass." "Srin, mortals, have been most emphatically styled

mio Senhore," (Yes, Sir). "And wherefore, "the master-piece of the devil."

then, have you thus wilfully and deeply

sinned." "I could not help it" a fresh vran

hurst of laughter.—" Not help it! know hALNl MAKUNOr.

that I am greatly displeased." "I hope Soon after landing in Malta, I paid a

not, mio Senhore."—" But I tell you that I visit to a subterraneous cavern beneath the

am, and, moreover, I tell you, sinner as you church of St . Pubblio, at Florainne, just

are, that' Our Lord of the Crucifixion,' who out of Valetta. In this valley of vision

was here in the midst of us, fixed on you an were two bodies, which one of the monks

eye df anger and of judgment." "Oh no! informed me, laid claim to what the papal

he knows better than to do that," raising pale styles canonization, that is, to hold the

his eyes to the figure, and once more laugh- rank of saints, and stand in the calendar as

ing heartily. "Knows better!" again echoed mediators. I approached these skeletons—

the bewildered priest, who began to imagine "These," said the Monk, "claim canoni

that the man had been suddenly bereaved of zation."—" Then what are they doing

his wits. here?" "The question is not yet settled

"Yes, knows better than to be angry with at Rome."—" What question?" "Whether

me," persisted the culprit; "why Lord bless they are really saints."—"How is that?"

you, Senhore, he was a bit of my cherry tree once!"

THE MASS.

"Why, no miracles have yet been wrought by their bones, and their living relatives have not been able to defray the heavy expenses of a trial at Rome."—" What trial?" "Any human body preferring a claim to Without shedding of blood there is no canonization, must undergo a trial like those remission of sin, therefore, since no blood is in courts of law. An ecclesiastic acts as shed there can be no remission of sin in the advocate for the candidate relics, while a mass. It was not needful that Christ should second performs the part of a demon, raking offer himself often, for then he must have up whatever he can against the candidates, often suffered. Christ, then, cannot offer to prevent his attaining the high honour of himself without suffering, but he does not saintship. After both parties have finished suffer in the mass, therefore is not offered, their statements, the decision is proBy one oblation he hath for ever perfected nounced by an appointed judge."—" And them that are sanctified, therefore the sacri- who pays the process?" "Oh! the friends fice of Christ is not to be repeated, since a of the man or woman tried."—" Does the further oblation would be superfluous, which man who acts Satan's part at a trial tell all renders the pretended true and proper sacri- he knows of a candidate's faults?" "Of fice of the mass vain and useless. Where course. The man who acted this part at the remission of sin is, there is no more offering trial of the bones of St . Francis, alleged for sin. Now, the blood of Christ obtaining against that saint, that when a mere boy he that remission, the sacrifice of the mass only played at bowls; but this objection was derogates from the all-sufficiency of his true overruled."—"Are the expenses great?" sacrifice on the cross. The apostle speak- "Very; in fact, it is for want of money that ing of Christ, says, Whom God hath set these two bodies remain here unsainted." forth to be a propitiation. But no part of Any attempt at comment is superfluous.— the Bible says either that he is to be con- Wilson's Narrative of the Greek Mission, tinually set forth in the mass, or that the &c. pp. 126-7.

« ZurückWeiter »