Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

". Yes: for he it is whom God has raised up in difficult circumstances to re-establish the public worship of our fathers’ holy religion, and to be the protector of it'; he has restored and preserved public order by his profound and active wisdom; he defends the state by his powerful 'arm, and is become the anointed of the Lord by the consecration which he has received from the chief Pontiff, head of the universal church.

Q. What are we to think of those who should fail in their duty towards the emperor?

A. According to St. Paul, the Apostle, they would resist the order established by God himself, and would render themselves worthy of eternal damnation.

Q. Are the duties by which we are bound towards our emperor equally binding towards his legitimate successors, according to the order established by the constitution of the empire ?

* A. Yes, undoubtedly; for we read in sacred. scripture that God, the Lord of heaven and earth, by a disposit on of his supreme will, and by his providence, gives empires not only to a person in particular, but also to his family. pp. 79–81.

On the power of the Church, the Catechism speaks thus : “ 2. Has the Church the power of making commandments ? A. Yes, undoubtedly. 2. Who gave this power? A. God himself, in appointing her our mother."

On Fasting, the Church decrees as follows : “ 2. What i the sixth commandment of the Church?

A. Thou shalt eats meat neither on Friday nor Saturday. 2. What does this commandment forbid ? A. Eating meat on Friday or Saturday, without necessity, under pain of mortal sin.”-2. What is mortal sin? A. Mortal sin is that which occasions death to the soul, by depriving it of the life of grace?”.

The creed of the people is comprized in the following Question and Answer: “ 2. Frame an act of faith ? A. O my Gd, I firmly believe all that the holy Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church command me to believe ; because it was you, and infallible truth, who have made it known to her."

The following extract explains the doctrine of the Church of Rome, concerning the worship of the Virgin Mary, and of Saints :

Q. What prayer are you accustomed to say after the Pater?
A. The Ave Maria, a prayer which we address to the holy virgin.
Q. Why, after having spoken to God, do you address the holy virgin?

Ă. That she may offer our prayers to God, and that she may assist us by interceding with him for us.

Q. May we repeat the Lord's prayer before an image of the holy Virgin, or of any saint ? ' A. Yes, provided we intend to ask the saints to

present

this

prayer to God for us, and with us.

'Q: Do you pray to the saints as to God?

· A. Nowe pray God to give us the things necessary for us, and we pray the saints to obtain them for us from God.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Q. Then is it right to say, as it is sometimes said, that the saints bestow any thing on us?

A. We must understand that they give it us by obtaining it from God.' p. 111.

Why does the church render a particular honour to the most holy Virgin?

A. Because the most holy Virgin surpasses all other creatures in holiness, and because she has an incommunicable title.

.l. What is this title? « A. Mother of God. .Q. What does the church particularly honour in the most holy Virgin?

A. Her immaculate conception, her holy nativity, her divine maternity, the perfect obedience and profound humiliiy which she manifested on the day of the purification and presenting of Jesus in the temple ; and lastly, her glorious assumption.' 1171.

" The impropriety of this title,” (Mother of God), says the Editor, " is exceedingly great. "How would the compilers of the Catechism be pleased, if any one were to call Anna, whose daughter they say Mary was, the Grandmother of God? To call the Virgin 'tlie Mother of God, is equally wrong."

Angels likewise must have worship paid to them. “2. What must we ask of the holy angels ? A. To carry our prayers as incense of grateful savour before the throne of Jehovah."

We should far exceed our allotted bounds, did we quote but a small part of the curiosities of this book. We shall therefore close with the definition of Transubstantiation : " 2: What is the sacrament of the Eucharist? A. The Eucharist is a Sacrament which contains really and substantially the body, blood, soul, and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the forms or appearances of bread and winte."

The translation, which we understand is by a young gentleman to whom the French language is vernacular, renders the original with great faithfulness;

but it bears marks of haste. We think that it is decidedly a Gallicism to use the plural pronoun in addressing the Deity; the word hath, instead of have, has sometimes intruded in connection with this second person : the word pennance, also, is uniformly mis-spelt. A few notes are appended by Mr. Bogue, who has likewise written à sensible and pleasing Introduction to the work. In this Introduction he gives a critique of the Catechism, and makes remarks on the most prominent parts. As he has anticipated our office, we shall extract a specimen or two of his performance.

After some excellent observations on the quantity of gross error which is mixed with truth in this Catechism, the perq nicious effects of which he illustrates by comparing it to a mixture of generous wine with filthy and corrupt water, Mr, Bogue gives the following estimate of modern Popery.

• If we may judge from this specimen, the Romish religion in France is nearly the same as it was before the revolution. Much of its pomp and splendour it has lost: its immense endowments and its princely revenues are all gone ; but its spirit and its pretensions are still the same. The beast, a non descript, has lost its sleekness and its corpulence, its fat and its size : scarcely any thing remains but skin and bones, and it is chained: but it growls as loud as it did before ; and it barks as fiercely as in the days of old, at those who refuse to throw it a scp. Not one doctrine, to which Protestants objected, is laid aside : not one opinion which was abhorred as antichristian, is lopped off. From their pretensions of authority over Hea. ven, and earth, and hell; the priests have not receded one hair’s-breadth. They still claim the exclusive privilege of keeping the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and insist upon it, that they can shut, and no man open : and open, and no man shut: and that ihey can perform all the wonders to which they even in former times laid claim. Old age

has impaired none of their priestly powers ; nor has poverty lessened their authority, dignity, or strength. It may likewise be noticed, that the St. Peter of the church of Rome still shuts his gates of heaven against every Protestant: and heretics, for such is their name, can have no piea for mercy, but must be shut out from all hopes of salvation, while they continue without the pale of the Papal communion.' pp. xxiv. xxv.

The reflections with which he concludes his Introduction, in which much ingenious observation is interwoven, we beg leave to submit to the consideration of our readers.

• That Popery will, by the means now used, revive so as to acquire any thing of its former strength, is extremely questionable. A certain man of old spat in an idol's face. The man was put to death; but the idol was worshipped no more. For near twelve years, every idol in France was spit upon by the multitude; how difficult must it be to bring them to wor. ship these again ? Besides, the disuse of the Romish worship by the rising generation, has left their minds empty of any veneration for Popery and its rites. In such a case, especially at this period of the world's age, the difficulty of bringing the heart to feel the respect required, must be immense. A poor man had his house burnt to the ground; but what grieved him most was that the image which he had worshipped from his infancy was consumed in the fire. His neighbour, a carpenter, endeavoured to console him, and promised to make him a handsome new one from a pear-tree in the garden, which had escaped the flames. It was done, and it far exceeded in beauty the old black smoky idol which had been made from his grand-father's pear-tree. But with all his efforts, the man never could feel the veneration for it which he had felt for the other. In France at this time there are hundreds of Virgin Marys, saints, and angels, with new hands, new feet, new legs, new arms, new noses, new ears, and new heads, for the old were broken off by revolutionary zeal; and there are likewise new Virgin Marys, &c. without number. Is it not then likely that the young people at least, will view them in the same light that the bereaved man did his new pear-tree image ?

To this reasoning may be added another consideration, that the Romish church in France is so poor, and the emoluments of the clergy so small that unless a very great change be made in this respect, their zeal for the propagation of the system wil neither be violent nor strong.

The effects of this work on the Protestants must depend upon themselves. Some have supposed that the emperor, in his ardent desire of promoting unity of sentiment in religious matters, had designed this Catechism for their use likewise. But it is evidently not the case : every thing in it shews that it was intended as a manual for the votaries of Rome alone. At present the Protestants enjoy full liberty of conscience and worship, and a provision from the state, at least equal to that of the parochial Catholic clergy, &c. and there is no law to hinder them from propagating their system to the utmost of their power, and of attempting to draw as many converts to their communion as they possibly can. If they therefore be what they ought to be, and do what they ought to do, and exert themselves with the energy, which is employed by the lovers of Christ in England, the present regulations and publications will do them no harm. By these it will be shewn more clearly what Popery is, and prove the means of thousands embracing the Protestant faith.

Should any alteration take place respecting the Protestants, and (should) they be abridged or deprived of the religious privileges they now enjoy, of which, however, well 'informed persons say, there is at present no appearance, then infidelity and Nothing-at-all-ism must overflow the land : for it is impossible that acute, intelligent people, as the French are, can swallow down the absurdities which the Catechism contains, and which the Catholic worship exhibits. As before the revolution, all the forms of Rome may prevail, while the mass who pay some regard to them, are infidels at heart: or what is more likely, a disregard to all warship will gene: rally prevail.

In case of such a state of things being forcibly produced, and persecution rebuilding Popery on the ruins of Protestantism, it remains to be seen whether the mighty torrent of divine dispensations, which has for these seventeen years past been running over the land of popery, and carrying all her glory down with it, is to be stopped in its course by the present emperor, and diverted into another channel: or whether, as it has borne down all who have hitherto opposed its progress, it may not sweep away him and all his house, and all the builders of this renovated fabric, in order to make room for others, who shall act more according to the plan of God, in establishing truth, righteousness, and pure religion, on the face of the earth.

“ Arise, O Lord! plead thine own cause.” pp. xxvi.xxviii.

On the whole, we are ready to conclude, that there is no such thing as a gradual reformation of Popery. That the errors can be pruned away, while the truuk remains behind, seems an impossibility. Root, and trunk, and branches, must go all together. „May the time speedily arrive, when the Man of Sin shall be consumed by the Spirit of Christ's mouth, and destroyed by the brightness of his coming:

The nature of this work will be a sufficient apology for the length to which the article has been extended; and probably we should not have consulted the reader's inclination in cur, milivg it.

[ocr errors]

poor.

Art. VIII. A Letter to Samuel Whitbread, Esq. M.P. Containing Ob.

servations on the Distresses peculiar to the Poor of Spitalfields, arising from their local Situation. By William Hale. pp. 35. Price ls. Wilo

liams and Smith, 1806. MR. Whitbread has interested himself very honourably in

the improvement of the Poor Laws. In the month of May last, he stated in the House of Commons, that these regulations had for some years been under his attentive consideration, and that he proposed very soon to move certain resolutions with regard to their amendment. It is with propriety, therefore, that this letter is addressed to him. The fact that since the year 1786 the sums levied for the maintenance of the

poor

have nearly doubled, evidently proves that something in the system is wrong. A stronger proof of defect, however, cannot be adduced, than the misery and wretchedness which it has not been able to prevent, in the Parish of Christ Church, Middlesex, commonly known by the name of Spitalfields. Mr. Hale has resided there many years. He has taken a very active part in its parochial concerns; and his impartial judgement is, that its extreme distress is without a parallel in this kingdoin. It is the only district completely shut out from the benefits arising from the spirit of our Poor lawsỚ“ Here the poor literally support the

An interesting account is given of the Parish. Previously to the reign of James II. this parish was only a hamlet of St. Dunstan, Stepney; but in consequence of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, many protestants took refuge in this country: they introduced the Silk Manufactory into England; and the place of their residence in London was Spitalfields. These refugee artisans of course were not rich; but

• the leading cause of that accumulation of extreme poverty which is to be found in this neighbourhood, is the gradual removal of the more affluent people into other parishes, while their former dwellings here spon become divided and subdivided into small lodgings, which are immediately occupied by an accession of casual poor : and these, by residence, apprenticeships, and other causes, very soon gain permanent settlements in the parish.

• In proportion as trade and commerce have increased, the city has become the centre of business ;--- formerly it contained many alleys and courts of small houses, which were inhabited by various descriptions of their own paupers ;-these, however, have been all taken down one after another, and superior habitations have been erected in their places, many of which have been actually taken by the more wealthy tradesmen and manufacturers of Spitalfields; whilst the poor have been driven from their former residences into this neighbourhood, till at last almost the whole poor of the city of London are here congregated, and by degrees have obtained their legal settlement. Here the mechanics of every trade reside, who work for their employers in the city :-here dwell the carters, porters, and labourers,

« ForrigeFortsæt »