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know that the theory of the Greek Church is purer than the practice, and we cheerfully accord to them the full benefit of the Confession in the Longer Orthodox Catechism: "Who are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness? They who while they love to do good, yet count not themselves righteous, nor rest on their own good works, but acknowledge themselves sinners and guilty before God; and who by the wish and prayer of faith, hunger and thirst after the justification of grace through Jesus Christ, as after spiritual meat and drink." We heartily accept the statement of Platon, the metropolitan of Moscow, "That superstition is not less destructive which leads men proudly to place dependence on their own works; for though we ought by all means to do good works, yet at the same time we are to place our hope of salvation alone on the mercy of the Saviour." And every Christian heart will unite in this petition: "Be with us sinners, O Lord, in this hour; abide in the midst of all of us, purify our hearts, and sanctify our souls; cleanse us from all the sins that we have committed voluntarily or involuntarily. Grant that we may offer unto thee reasonable sacrifices, sacrifices of benediction and spiritual incense. Let it enter within the vail, into the place of the holy of holies." (Neale's History.)
There is, certainly, reason for encouragement, as well as room for charity, in view of such orthodox formulas, and such individual confessions in high places; and especially in the progress making by the Russian Church, which is by far the most influential in the Greek Christian community.
In the Russian Church (indeed in the Sclavonic Churches) it is said that auricular confession, which was once minute and universal, is reduced to a recital of the ten commandments, with the avowal of the violation; while the priestly absolution is merely declarative: "May the Lord absolve thee." Throughout the Eastern Church "the scandals, the influence, the terrors of the Latin confessional are unknown."
Expiatory torment, or purgatory, is discarded; while the service for the dead is commemorative, and no money is paid for masses of deliverance, an omission which must tend rapidly to terminate the superstition. In the Greek Church it has been a standing custom, on Orthodox Sunday, (the first
Sabbath in Lent) to pronounce anathemas against the sixty errors, real and imaginary, which are enumerated. The Russian Church has introduced a change, omitting the exploded notions of the past, denouncing only existing errors. Preaching, which was formerly unknown, is encouraged, and is steadily increasing; and the Bible within the half century has been distributed in many regions of former destitution. In addition to this, missions have been undertaken by Russia in North-western America, in Mexico, in Siberia, and in her vast Asiatic provinces. Since 1830, Russian missionaries have been laboring with great success for the conversion of the entire population of the Aleutian Isles. As early as 1847, the Kamschadales were almost wholly won from their nomadic life to civilization and Christianity. The Lamutes on the Gulf of Okhotsk are almost entirely Christianized. There are chapels and missionaries in the Amoor territory which in 1858 came into the possession of Russia; and a mission has been established having Northern China for its prospective field. These missions are prosperous, and paganism is disappearing before their steady advance. A native ministry is being raised up on the mission ground, for which a seminary has been founded at Jokutsk. "As Russia is constantly advancing her landmarks toward the center of Asia, the Churches of Russia have an immense and most inviting missionary field awaiting their laborers." These missions will react upon the Church at home, imparting new life, and thus securing new energy.
These examples of progress (which cannot fail to exert an influence upon other portions of the Greek Church) we may connect with the steady conservatism of some hopeful features of their ecclesiastical economy; especially with the recognition of the laity, and the rejection of the Papacy. The laity (as already stated) may receive the communion in both kinds, unlike the Roman. The laity may read the Scriptures, unlike the Roman. The monastic order may receive laymen, as it does (to a greater extent than clergy) in the East, but as it does not in the West. Indeed, the institutions in the East are lay, and not clerical; while in the West they are clerical, and not lay. This is a difference which has not been appreciated by Protestants, and which must powerfully affect the
Greek Church as the laymen become more intelligent and enterprising, as they certainly will under the elevating influence of Christian progress. The sacred unction of confirmation, conferred at baptism, and so conferred upon layman as well as priest, is pointed out as symbolizing the royal priesthood of every Christian, and thus "destroying the wall of separation that Rome has raised between the ecclesiastic and the layman, for we are all priests of the Most High, priests though not pastors, in different degrees." (Quelques Mots, par un Chrétien Orthodoxe.) The rejection of the Papacy, both in theory and practice, is well established. It has been tested by the experience of all the past, and is satisfactory to the Greek Church. In all the negotiations and attempts at reunion for eight hundred years, this insurmountable obstacle has interposed. And when, so recently as 1848, Pope Pius IX. addressed a letter to the Christians of the East, exhorting them "to return to the unity of the Church," at the same time earnestly advocating the Papacy; the Greek Church, through its patriarchs, promptly rejected the invitation in their encyclic letter in this bold and decisive language: "Of the heresies which have spread over a great part of the world, for judgments known to the Lord, Arianism was one, and at the present day Popery is another. But like the former, which has altogether vanished, the latter, also, although now flourishing, shall not endure to the end, but shall pass away and be cast down, and that mighty voice shall be heard from heaven, 'It is fallen."" (Neale's "History of the Holy Eastern Church.")
ART. III.-SPONTANEOUS GENERATIONS.
FROM THE REVUE DES DEUX MONDES, (J. JAMIN.)
By the side of animals and vegetables of large size, which are well known to us, is hidden an entire world of minute creatures, which was closed to us until the microscope was discovered, and which has been revealed gradually as that instrument has gained in power. Of these beings, some are classed among the fungi, of which they have all the characteristics;
others among animals, on account of their movements and mode of nutrition. They are called infusoria, because they exist in infusions. Some of them, indeed, possess properties common to animals and vegetables, and stand on the border of the two kingdoms, between which they establish a sort of continuity.
It was at first thought that their organization was extremely simple; but by observing them with stronger magnifying powers it was discovered that they possessed complicated viscera. By nourishing them with colored substances their stomachs, which are numerous, may be rendered visible, and the movements of the food along the intestinal canal may be followed. The largest have very voluminous and fertile organs of reproduction; others, which are scarcely visible, appear deprived of them, and it is not known how they are reproduced; but observation being impossible, imagination has sought to take its place. Complete beings being discovered, some without apparent cause, without our having followed their genealogy or witnessed their birth, it was thought that they had no progenitors, and that they were spontaneously hatched in the putrefaction of organic matter. Such is the origin of the famous hypothesis of spontaneous generations, devised, like all other hypotheses, to bridge over a gap in our knowledge old as the world, often apparently closed, but always reappearing, since no sooner are the means of reproduction observed in species which were thought without them than other creatures still smaller have been discovered to puzzle us again. When the adversaries have exhausted their arguments the discussion slumbers, but it always revives with passion when new facts call up the old quarrel. I have taken part since 1860 in one of these arguments, which I shall describe without speaking of those which have preceded it. I propose merely to classify and present its main points for my readers, who will judge according to their impressions.
All superior beings, without exception, receive life from parents which they resemble, and they have no other mode of generation. The smallest infusoria and the most rudimentary vegetables are the only ones whose origin ever seems mysterious. We have then to occupy ourselves only with these, which, fortunately, are few. A short enumeration will suffice for the understanding of what follows. We find, first, the family of
ciliated infusoria, which inhabit stagnant waters. They owe this name to mobile hairs ranged like the eyebrows (cilia) on the surface of the body, which vibrate rapidly, and like numerous oars, impress on the animal with remarkable ease and a variety of gaits all the movements it has to execute. They are animals of tolerably large size, approaching in some cases a tenth of a millimetre. We are tolerably well acquainted with the details of their organization. They have several stomachs, a liver, and a voluminous organ of reproduction. Among them are found the colpods, carniverous infusoria, voracious, active, and common, whose characteristic form resembles that of the kidney-bean.
The monads, which occur still more frequently, are much smaller. It would take two thousand of them in a line to cover a millimetre. Most frequently they appear as active points. They are little known, because their minuteness conceals their interior organization. Only the largest have been observed. They have the form of an ovoid gland, split at the point, the mouth, and are armed with a sting or horn, an organ with a double name and a double purpose, to seize nourishment, and to strike the water with a vibrating movement, which gives the animal motion as a propeller a vessel. The body is covered with glands, at first small, which gradually increase, are detached, and become new beings like their parent. The monad is voracious, and always in motion, never still until it is glutted.
Descending the animal scale, we come to the family of the vibrions. The individuals composing it are reduced to thin threads, separated into numerous articulations, which are joined at the ends. They are like strings of beads, which may from time to time be shaken to pieces; but the fragments multiply and lengthen, to divide anew like the original from which they are derived. We may readily conceive the fruitfulness of such a mode of reproduction, the only one known, but which may yet not be the sole resource of the vibrions. Without head or tail, with no distinction of the extremities, destitute of every apparent organ, they are the most simple of beings, yet nature has intrusted to them one of the most necessary functions in the equilibrium of the world. They may as well be considered vegetables as animals. They are endowed with a proper mo