Billeder på siden


which Rome has at heart to teach in our days.

You will doubtless be curious to know in what terms this clerical publication speaks of the Virgin, of her privileges, and her acts. I will give some extracts verbatim from a single number. "Mary is the Sovereign of earth and heaven, the eldest daughter of the Most High. God associated her in his thought at the creation of the world, to which she was to bring salvation. We ought to love Mary more than all other creatures together, more than ourselves, more than our own life. Mary was already known in all the ancient traditions of paganism. She came into the world to combat Satan, to conquer, and overthrow him. All the texts in the Proverbs and the Song of Solomon which speak of the Eternal Wisdom, refer to Mary. In the order of Divine appointments, as Jesus possesses the first place among men, Mary occupies the first among women. Jesus is their Redeemer, and Mary their co-redeemer (a barbarous word to express a blasphemous doctrine). What was the joy of all the angels at the birth of Mary, who came to redress so efficaciously the ills of humanity, to open heaven to so many souls by her merciful protection, and rescue millions of sinners from the abyss of sin! The unhappy children of Adam had been awaiting Mary for four thousand years! Benighted travellers, she is the benignant star which conducts you to the end of your journey; wretched captives, Mary comes to break your chains, and to restore to you the liberty of the children of God; poor exiles, she will bring you back to your country, to the feet of your Heavenly Father; ye poor, Mary will be your support; ye afflicted, your consolation; sinners, your refuge. Mary is our mother in all things!"

This is enough. The authors of this journal justify fully their motto, "All for Mary! nothing without Mary This is their religion, their faith, their worship, their hope. Christianity has given way completely to Mariolatry. If this were the work of some obscure fanatics, it would inspire us simply with pity. But the Rosier de Marie is, I repeat, authorised, sanctioned, recommended by the votes of the episcopacy; and represents a notable portion of the Romish clergy of France. How then dare the apologists of the Pontifical Church accuse Protestants of calumny, when we say that, in this degenerate communion, the Father, the Son, and the Holy


Spirit have been subordinated and sacrificed to a mortal creature? Have we not under our eyes the most striking proofs of this idolatry?


I wrote to you (Evangelical Christendom, p. 224) that Protestant chaplains had voluntarily offered themselves to carry to our soldiers during the campaign in Italy the consolations of their holy ministry. Information from different quarters had convinced us that this work of brotherly love has been abundantly blessed. New Testaments, religious tracts by thousands, have been circulated in the ranks of the French regiments. There was a remarkable contrast between the labours of the chaplains of the two communions. The priests distributed among their soldiers chaplets, medals of the Virgin, charms of all sorts. Our pastors encouraged their co-religionists to read the Word of God and to pray.

In the military hospitals, these chaplains have been received without difficulty, thanks to the protection of Marshal Randon, Minister of War, who belongs himself to the Protestant religion. The nuns, or Sisters of Charity, whose office it was to tend the wounded, saw with displeasure these heretics uttering prayers by the bedside of the sick; but they durst not and could not shut the doors against them.

We have cause, therefore, to bless the Lord for our share in this enterprize. But sad tidings have just been published by our Protestant press. M. Vallette, president of the commission relative to the chaplains, writes: "M. Muntz, that faithful servant of Christ, whose last letter testified his peace and joy in the service of the Lord by our sick and wounded soldiers, died of an attack of apoplexy, at Milan, on the 2nd of August."

During the war in the Crimea, two of our chaplains, MM. Chardon and Babut, paid with their life the noble devotion with which they carried to the dying soldiers the word of the Gospel. Now a third victim has fallen at his post, which merits also to be called the field of honour. M. Muntz, a Lutheran pastor, was a faithful and zealous minister of Christ. He had joyously suspended his peaceful functions as a country pastor at the voice of duty. He has departed this world in the accomplishment of his task. The name of Muntz will not figure in the pompous bulletins of our victories; but we have the assurance that it was inscribed in the Book of Life. The Protestant Churches of France may



glory in having produced men of such faith from its commencement such excellent and love.


An affecting ceremony took place last month in the church of the "Oratoire," at Paris. Twenty pastors or ministers of the Gospel, belonging to different ecclesiastical denominations, but united in the same convictions and the same hope, were present. The object of the meeting was to ordain two students of the Mission House, on the eve of their departure for the South of Africa. MM. Mabile and Garmond (these are the names of the new missionaries) have gone through a solid course of study, which has the better qualified them to proclaim, in those distant countries, the good news of salvation. Their faith and piety inspired perfect confidence in the committee.

Pastor Frederic Monod implored the blessing of God on the object of the meeting. Then M. Casalis, Director of the Institution of Missions, who has himself passed twenty years in the interior of the Cape of Good Hope, gave the young candidates some counsels dictated by his own experience; all the assembly was interested and edified by this discourse. At length, after a few words from one of the mis sionaries, Pastor Grandpierre offered a touching prayer, to consecrate these new labourers to the Lord. MM. Garmond and Mabile then left for London in company with M. Casalis, and they have just embarked for their destination.

May they find beyond the seas stations quiet and sufficiently protected by public authority! Our French missions among the tribes of Southern Africa have been exposed to painful trials. After the revolution of 1848, the receipts sensibly declined, the Mission-house at Paris had to be closed from motives of economy, and consequently no new labourers could go to sustain their weary brethren. At length, when this storm had passed, sanguinary troubles broke out among the Boors, or old Dutch colonists, and the natives. One or two stations, previously flourishing, were entirely devastated and burnt. The converts with their pastor were obliged to take refuge among arid mountains, carrying with them nothing but their Bibles. These deplorable scenes have occurred within the last two years. The wise and firm intervention of the English Government has re-established peace; but great losses have been sustained by our missionaries and their flocks. Let us hope that this work, which has borne

fruit, may again pursue its course in peace under the blessing of the Lord. The thirteenth report of

[blocks in formation]

has been recently published. It contains interesting details of the progress of the Gospel in our land. In vain the priests and the magistrates, to whom they communicate their intolerant spirit, raise obstacles, sometimes in arbitrarily closing the doors of a chapel, at others, in hindering the foundation of a school; the zeal and perseverance of the servants of God are stronger than the malice of men.

The Central Committee, established at Paris, has several auxiliary societies in the North of France, Normandy, the Centre, South and West, Bearn, &c. Not having space to analyse this long report, I will cite only some facts relative to the section of Northern France; they will give an idea of the rest.

The Evangelist of Crevecoeur writes: "It is a great joy to those who take an interest in the advancement of the kingdom of our Saviour, to be able to testify, from their own observation, how, in a locality where formerly ignorance and incredulity reigned, a great number of souls have come to know Christ, and are faithful to His Word. Having been for four years at the head of this flock, I can speak upon good grounds. The work strengthens and widens. Our converted brethren are highly esteemed by the Roman Catholic population."

Also, at Fresnoy-le-Grand, the pastor writes, that morality has made remarkable progress, even among those who have not declared themselves for the Evangelical faith. General opinion is more severe on certain acts. Family life takes the place of life in the public-house, and the Sabbath is more and more respected.

At Illies, a village near Lille, the following has taken place : "One Sunday," says the pastor, says the pastor, "our young people had come to Church in their finest clothes. It was the fête of the village. They intended to go to the ball, and to follow the multitude. But prayer and meditation on the Word of God made such an impression upon them, that all together they went to lay aside their decorations, and assembled at a third religious meeting."

Such are the effects of Christian preaching. God grant that they may one day embrace the whole of France!

X. X. X.




Up to the present year, the students of the Theological School of Geneva, founded by the Société Evangélique, received ordination in the countries where they were to exercise their ministry; this year several students assigned weighty motives inducing them to request that they might be ordained at Geneva; and their request has been complied with. There were, in fact, four who desired this belonging to four different countries-M. Ruffet, from the Canton de Vaud; M. Pronier, of Geneva; M. Vernier, from France; and M. Duclos, from Canada.

Their ordination took place in the Oratoire, on Lord's-day, June 26, at two o'clock, in presence of a large congregation. Fourteen ministers and professors of theology connected with the Churches to which the candidates stand related were present at the solemnity; and among them one from Africa, and one from the French Protestant Church of Canada. M. Testat, pastor at Orbe, Canton de Vaud, presided. He called on Pastor Sibleyras to offer prayer; and then Pastor Moroy made a statement of the circumstances which had led to the service, and of the examination of the candidates on the preceding evening by the Ordination Conference. He stated, that the Church in which M. Ruffet was about to exercise his ministry, having recognised the spiritual gifts bestowed upon him, and having in a general assembly expressed their desire to receive him as their pastor, and that he should be ordained at Geneva, the General Committee of the Société Evangélique, with which the Church had communicated, referred the matter to the ministers and theological professors of the school; and he then read their reply. As this reply is an exposition of principles, we lay it before our readers ::


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

view from which we have considered the subject.

"And first, as to the nature of ordination, we conceive it to be the duty of all Christians to make known the Gospel according to the gifts they have received; and though we are clearly of opinion that God has instituted offices in His Church which ought not to be suppressed, we do not regard ordination as designed to form a caste in the Church, a special hierarchy of clergy and priests.

"But the following appears to us to be involved in ordination according to the Word of God :

[ocr errors]

"There is, then, in the first place, an institution which is founded upon the sacred Scriptures, according to which we find the imposition of hands given in different cases to the Lord's servants-an institution of so much importance, that St. Paul says to Timothy (1 Eph. v. 22), Lay hands suddenly on no man, and elsewhere (Heb. vi. 1, 2), speaking of principles which are said to lie at the foundation, the Scripture places laying on of hands with the doctrines of repentance, faith towards God, baptisms, of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. In the second place, in this act, a testimony is given to the subject of it by those who perform it, that they acknowledge him to be distinguished by purity of doctrine, by piety, by knowledge, by prudence, by the calling of and the capacity necessary to a minister of Christ. Lastly, in the imposition of hands there is an appeal to the Most High, a solemn and efficacious prayer, if it is offered in faith, designed to bring down upon the candidate and upon his ministry the blessings of the Head and Saviour of the Church, by the communications of His Holy Spirit.

"If we are asked who are called to perform this act, we reply, If the servant of God about to be ordained is to be engaged in missionary work, whether among pagan nations or elsewhere, his ordination should take place by the care of those who send him forth. Thus we find, in Acts xiii., that Paul and Barnabas, when they were setting out upon their first work of evangelisation, received the laying on of hands from the teachers and prophets at Antioch. We think, then, that if the Société Evangelique of Geneva sends forth an evangelist


to preach the kingdom of God, he should be ordained by those brethren, teachers or others, servants of Christ, who, at Geneva, best correspond to those who are mentioned by the Evangelist Luke in the passage re

ferred to.

"If he is called to take the pastoral office in a Church in which there are not persons qualified, by the necessary discernment, to perform this important act according to the rule of the Scriptures (and this is generally the case in newly-formed Churches), such a Church should call in the aid of brethren who stand in the nearest relation to it, and who are amongst those who have assisted in founding it, or in directing its steps.

"Applying these principles to the case in hand, we find that there are more than thirty Churches or stations, situated in different countries, which have been founded or succoured and sustained by the Société Evangélique of Geneva.

"We remark still further, that one of these Churches, that at has, in a meeting of all its members, on Lord's-day, April 10, unanimously invited Louis Ruffet, of the Canton de Vaud, formerly a student of our Theological School, to settle among them for the work of the ministry, and has requested the brethren of Geneva united in the Société Evangélique to charge themselves with the ordination of M. Ruffet, that he may discharge the pastoral functions among them as soon as possible; of which we are informed by a letter from the said Church of the 13th of April, 1859.

"We believe, therefore, that the brethren in the holy Gospel, pertaining on the one hand to the before-mentioned Churches whom God has brought together, and on the other to the work of evangelisation which is carried on in Geneva, ought to regard it as a duty imposed upon them by the Divine Head of the Church, to take into their serious consideration the simultaneous requests of M. Ruffet and of the Church at

touching his ordination.

"But, at the same time, remembering that the universal Church of Christ is one, and wishing to avoid whatever is sectarian, we declare that, faithful to the principles of Christian brotherhood and the true Evangelical catholicity, we joyfully invite every faithful minister, whatever his country or his Church, to take part in such acts,

whether the present one or any that may resemble it, and we willingly admit to it every candidate placed in similar circumstances, and in whom we recognise the evidence of his having been called by the


"Such, gentlemen and dear brethren, are the principles which we wish to make known to you, and not to you only, but also, if that is necessary, to all those brethren in Jesus Christ who may take an interest in these matters. We are," &c.

This report being finished, the President (Pastor Testat), delivered the ordination charge. Afterwards each of the four candidates gave a confession of his faith, and declared his design to consecrate himself to the pastoral work. Their several addresses exhibited a striking unity of doctrine in a no less striking diversity of form.

The sacred energy with which M. Pronier, putting his hand upon the Bible, declared his belief in the inspiration of the entire Scriptures, and that they were the Divine rule of his faith; the manner in which M. Vernier united the greatest exactness of doctrine with a simple, living, and practical piety; the grace with which the Canadian brother spoke, and the deep life which was manifested in his words, alike touched the assembly.

After the delivery of these four addresses, Pastor Pertuzon and Professor Pilet implored the influence of the Holy Spirit to rest upon the hearts of the candidates, and upon their ministry. Pastor Duprat read from the New Testament those passages which relate to the institution of the ministry, and some of the precepts addressed by St. Paul to Timothy. Professor La Harpe gave the confession of faith, in conformity with which the ordination had taken place, using for this purpose the Evangelical Confession of Geneva, which the candidates, on the preceding evening, had freely declared to exhibit their views. Then the four young brethren fell on their knees, and the pastors present laid their hands on them, each pro nouncing a passage of Scripture appropriate to the solemn act. After they had riser from their knees, Professor Merle d'Aubign addressed them in words of exhortation and expressed the devout hope that Chris would abide in them, and that they woul abide in Christ and bring forth much fruit Professor Gaussen terminated the whol service with prayer.




We have had letters lying before us for some time past detailing the circumstances of the apprehension and imprisonment of an agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society while engaged in selling the sacred Scriptures, and one letter written by himself from his prison; but we have refrained from publishing them, as we knew that efforts were being made to obtain his liberation, which might possibly have been frustrated, or at least hindered, by publicity. Those efforts, however, have not been attended with success; and in a letter from a high authority in Gibraltar, received a few days ago, we are told that it is now become the duty of every friend of truth to do what he can to rescue the victim from the horrors of a Spanish prison, and from the terrible sentence of twelve years of a penal colony to which he is liable.

Under these circumstances, we can hesitate no longer to lay the facts before the public. Public sympathy and the influence of public opinion are often found of sufficient potency to effect what other means have failed to accomplish. At all events, much prayer will, as we trust, be elicited by making the case known; and the prison doors, as in another memorable instance, may be opened by an agency against which human authority avails nothing.

Martin Escalante, for that is the name of the Christian brother of whom we write, is a British subject, and a member of the Wesleyan Church at Gibraltar. He was sent in the month of May last to visit some Spanish fairs, held about that time in several towns of Andalusia, to sell copies of the Bible in his capacity of colporteur. He had proceeded about forty miles towards Cadiz (as far, that is, as Vejer de la Frontera), when he was apprehended, and his stock of Bibles taken from him. This occurred on the 3rd of May. He was placed in a dark, damp, lock-up, a literal "blackhole," till the 6th, when he was marched to the prison at Chiclana, thirty miles nearer Cadiz, and about ten miles from that city. Here he spent eighteen days in a cold, damp dungeon, and suffered much from fever. He was finally removed to the prison at Cadiz. There is but little to choose in a Spanish prison, and that which he now occupies is loathsome in the exWe almost shrink from offending

our readers with some of his statements, but perhaps it is better, odious and disgusting as the literalities are, that they should be made known. He says, for example, that he is not only surrounded with sin and sorrow, but with filth and with "myriads of lice, like wild deer." He is, moreover, thrown together with 140 men of the worst possible character, one of whom, he says, is a murderer of no less than four persons; and from them, night and day, he hears nothing but words of blasphemy, while he is closely watched, lest he should say anything to them on the subject of religion.

We learn, also, from one of the letters, that in a Spanish prison there are no beds, and that the rations of food are so bad and so scant that any poor wretch left to himself, and without resources, would die slowly but surely of starvation. He has, therefore, to hire a mattress, and get his food supplied from without at fabulous prices. He says himself, that to get a breakfast or a dinner, or to send a letter to the consul, or the post, costs him gold.

The offence with which he is charged is twofold. In the first place it is a violation of Spanish law to circulate the Scriptures without notes which have the sanction of the ecclesiastical tribunals: and in the second, all books printed in the Spanish language in a foreign country, except some dictionaries and scientific works, are absolutely prohibited, and all traffic in them is contraband. The Bibles he was employed to distribute and sell, were those of Scio's text, of course without notes, according to the Bible Society's rule, and printed in this country.

It will be seen at once in what light the Spanish authorities would look at the case. It will of course be alleged that the question is not at all one of religion, or, properly, of the Bible, but simply of smuggling contraband goods. And no doubt this renders it all the more difficult to be dealt with by British consuls, or the British Government.

Being, however, a British subject, he applied for the protection of the British Consul at Cadiz; and his friends at Gibraltar have brought the case under the notice of the Governor of that place and of the British Minister at Madrid; hitherto, however, as we have stated, with no success. They applied, also, to have him bailed, but this

« ForrigeFortsæt »