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REMARKS ON THREE YEARS IN
After these remarks, your readers will perceive what has distressed my
mind in “Three Years in Italy." Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. In the affecting narrative there
given of the last hours of a lovely In looking over your January Num- and pious child, how painful is it ber for this year, I am arrested by to hear her, in the review of past your extracts from “ Three Years occurrences, exclaiming, “Oh mamin Italy.” It must be confessed ma, why did you let me go on by every pious traveller on the Sunday to the musical entertaincontinent, that there is an awful ment given to the king of Naples !" contempt of the Sabbath displayed And 'how unsatisfactory is what through all Popish countries. With follows! “My sister having exdeep humility must we also confess plained the particular circumstances that our own countrymen and coun to her, she recovered her compotrywomen too generally fall more sure.” She might indeed thus sior less into the same sin; and many lence, rather than satisfy, the doubts truly pious Christians, and even of the dying child; but the law of mipisters, would tremble, if they God is not so easily satisfied. I knew how much they have them- must also confess that I was much selves inadvertently conduced by distressed, at finding our authoress their example to augment this ag- and her family in attendance on all gregate of evil. I will cite only one the parades of Romish idolatry, alinstance. A lady was once urged most through a whole Christian to join a party in an excursion from Sabbath ; and then concluding the Paris, to see the grand display of day with a visit to St. Peter's to see waters playing at Versailles ; which the illumination; and afterwards to never takes place but on Sundays. the castle of St. Angelo to witness This invitation she peremptorily de- the display of fireworks. It is true clined; and on her conduct being that throughout the continent the afterwards commented upon, a neigh most striking spectacles are to be bour remarked, with an air that seen only on Sundays, and more seemed to indicate an unanswerable particularly in Italy, where these reply, “Why, the Rev.
sights are connected with, and inwhen he was here." In vain did deed form a part of, their religious she attempt to make his example festivals; but is this a sufficient less injurious by pointing out that, reason for a British Protestant to as he was on the spot, and she re violate his conscience ? No view of sided ten miles off, this made a expediency, much less of mere pleagreat difference in the way in which sure, can justify a departure from each would have passed the remain- the plain commandments of God. der of the Sunday: it was sufficient In proof of this, let us only cite from that a clergyman of so established a the Gospels two instances; for I will religious character was seen among not go back to Jewish times, as the spectators on that day. The some, strange to say, fancy that their world is severe on the conduct of moral law is less binding on us than those who profess to be not of the it was on them. Our Lord says, world ; and will take advantage of “ Pray ye that your flight be not in their inadvertences to justify their the winter, nor on the Sabbathown most flagrant breaches of the day,” The other instance is equally Fourth Commandment.
striking; “ They prepared spices
and ointments; and rested the Sab- sure that I for one could not posbath day, according to the com- sibly have had my mind properly mandment." Surely both these engaged in our own service, after were cases of great emergency; yet, such a preparation. as to the latter, the embalming of It is with reluctance I have penthe body of their beloved Lord ned these remarks; but I have done was considered actually insufficient so, considering that, common as are ground for breaking in upon the such passages as I have adverted Sabbath; and though not forbidden to in the pages of ordinary tourists, to flee for their lives on that day, their evil effects are likely to be yet the command to pray that it greatly augmented, when coming might be otherwise, sufficiently from the pen of pious and consciproves the great importance which entious writers.
A. R. our Lord attached to the exact observance of this commandment. *** Another correspondent, comThe only answer that can be given menting on the extracts in the is the miserable excuse, that "it Christian Observer from the same is but for once."
work, writes, I would only, add, in conclusion, “ The remarkable marble slab, that if the above quotations were on which I well remember seeing not so decisive as they are, there the stains left by drinking cups, would still be enough to guide the is, says the writer of Three Years in conscientious and feeling mind, which Italy, in a place supposed to have trembles at being an occasion of been a coffee-house. This is an unstumbling; for it is universally an- happy supposition to make, respectswered by foreigners, if you remon- ing a period so long before the use strate on the breach of the Fourth of coffee was known. She has also Commandment, “Why, after all fallen into a mistake about the inyou have said, I cannot see but scription at La Riccia (ancient your own countrymen crowd to our Avicia), p. 806 of your Appendix ; entertainments and spectacles as which inscription, she says, with much on Sunday as on any other truth, is common in many
churches. day.” And while we express our Virgini Deiparæ does not mean, as abhorrence of their religious parade, she says, “equal with God,” but "the purple and scarlet colour, o the mother of God." decked with gold and pearls and precious stones," may they not make a similar remark"You profess to dislike these displays of ON THE MEASURE OF THE MOLTEN pomp in religious worship; but do you not, by putting off your own simple Protestant service to attend Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. our cathedral, prove that in your hearts you adınire them?” Though W. D., in your Appendix for I feel assured that this is very far 1828, p. 814, has comunitted an from being the case with the reli error in speaking of the proportion gious part of our British population assigned to the diameter and cirabroad, yet on coming to that pass- cumference of the molten sea, as age in the narrative, “ About two “incidentally proving the accuracy o'clock all was at an end ; and we of the whole description." The and the rest of the English met at proportion of one to three is so the clergyman's apartments, &c. rough an approximation, that if the where some hearts, at least, we diameter of a circle be ten cubits, trust, were drawn to him in fervent the circumference must be more prayer;" I involuntarily answered, than thirty-one cubits and It is well said, “we trust," for I am half. If the sacred writer is to be
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
supposed to have meant to speak to take upon you this office and
whole of the service ?
It is quite
the church is indifferent to the spi
ritual qualifications of her ministers, REPLY TO UNJUST CENSURES UPON because unworthy persons thrust
themselves into the pastoral office.
Rather is it one among many inTothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. stances of human imperfection, that
the best-contrived systems of disciIn perusing “ The Modern Martyr,” pline are too often impeded by by the author of a series of popular human infirmity. Would not a religious tracts, entitled, “ The Evan- person who could hypocritically angelical Rambler," I was grieved to swer the questions in our ordination observe the following misrepresen- service, give an account of his contations of our venerable church, version, and profess a devotedness especially as the writer professes to to God as is required among the have kept his pages free from “the Dissenters, if it were likely to furleaven of a sectarian bigotry.” ther his worldly interests, though
“ The Church of England,” he he had neither experienced the one, says, 66 is a human institution, nor felt the other. founded on human authority, sup The author of the work alluded ported by human laws, and whose to, declares that his first objection emoluments and rewards are de- against the church is, “because she rived from the honours and wealth does not absolutely require the of the world : and though it incor- essential qualifications of a Newporate in its Articles, its Homilies Testament minister, in her candiand its Liturgy, the essential doc- dates for holy orders." Happy, trines of Christianity, yet it does not therefore, shall I feel, to remove so absolutely require its members to be serious a scruple; for which purspiritually-minded men.” Again: pose, I should think it sufficient to “ If I inquire from the oracles of recommend him to read with atteninspiration, what description of men tion, the affectionate and serious should be employed in the public charge given to priests at their service of the church of Christ, I am ordination; in which the bishop told that they should be good men, says, “ Consider how studious ye full of faith and the Holy Ghost, ought to be in reading and learning ardently attached to the Lord Jesus, the Scriptures, and in framing the zealous and devoted to his service, manner, both of yourselves and of &c.......But does the Church of those that specially pertain unto you, England require these essential qua- according to the rule of the same lifications in the men whom she Scriptures ;” and then let him canconsecrates to the work of the mi- didly ask, whether our church does nistry?" Let her answer for her- not absolutely require the essential self in the very first question which qualifications of a New Testament she puts to all candidates for holy minister in her candidates for holy orders" Do you trust that you are orders ? inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost,
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
1. The Book of Enoch the Prophet : stamped it with his authority, and
an Apocryphal Production, sup- have declared it to have been the posed to have been lost for Ages; production of “ Enoch, the seventh but discovered, at the Close of the from Adam.” Indeed, the lanlast Century, in Abyssinia ; not guage of St. Jude by no means imfirst translated from an Ethiopic plies that he quoted from any book MS., in the Bodleian Library. whatever, professing to be written By RICHARD LAURENCE, LL.D., by Enoch (a circumstance which Regius Professor of Hebrew. most writers on this controverted [Now Archbishop of Cashel.] subject have mistaken); and hence Oxford. 1821. 8vo. pp. xlviii. some persons have come to the and 214.
highly improbable conclusion, that 2. Three. Letters to the Lord Arch- the prophetic words attributed to
bishop of Cashel, on the recent Enoch were revealed to the Apostle Apocryphal Publications of his by immediate revelation. But this Grace, &c. &c. By the Rev. conclusion is not more improbable John Oxlee, Curate of Stone. than it is unnecessary. There is grave. York. 1827.
8vo. pp. yet another source from which this 144.
insulated passage might have been 3. The Genuineness of the Book of derived ; namely, an authentic tra
Enoch investigated. By the Rev. dition. There is nothing to forbid,
omitted in the Hebrew Scriptures
were handed down by the uninFrom the second century of the spired authors of the Jewish nation. Christian æra, down to the pre- Although it is true that, in the most sent day, great difference of opi- ancient remains of Hebrew literanion has existed among Biblical ture, history is so obscured by fable scholars with regard to a passage as to be an altogether uncertain in the Epistle of St. Jude (verses guide, yet some truth doubtless ex14, 15), which records a prophecy of ists in this mass of fiction. This “Enoch, the seventh from Adam." observation may be applied with This very remarkable passage has still greater force to the Jewish given occasion to the inquiries; records which existed in the Apowhether the Apostle cited this pro- stolic age. We know, indeed, from phecy from some book, extant in his the highest authority, that the time, bearing the name of “Enoch," Jewish doctors of that period had and whether, on the supposition of
66 made the word of God of none his having quoted such a book, he effect by their traditions ;” but still must be considered as having cited their uninspired records must have an apocryphal or a genuine work. contained some authentic narratives.
Were we to reason merely à priori, From such a source, we may rationwe should not hesitate to say that ally suppose that St. Jude gathered it is incredible that St. Jude cited the traditional, antediluvian pro- a book then extant claiming to be phecy of Enoch, under the direction the prophecies of Enoch; for, had of that infallible Spirit who preit been genuine, the Divine Spirit served the inspired writers from would not surely have suffered his error, and guided them into all own word to be afterwards lost; truth. We conclude, therefore, and had it been Apocryphal, the that the Apostle did not quote inspired Apostle would not have from any book extant in his day CHRIST. OBSERV, No. 331.
purporting to have been written by latter part of the second century. Enoch,
Dr. Laurence has, indeed, pointed This conclusion is built on an out several quotations from Enoch in hypothesis both easy and natural; the Zohar (Laurence, pp. 21, 22), and it saves us from some very and Mr. Oxlee has added several serious difficulties, or rather gets more from the same source (Oxlee, rid of some very dangerous conse- pp. 108, 109); so that if the anquences, to which we shall advert tiquity which some writers have in a future page,
The advocates claimed for this cabalistic work for the opposite opinion, it must be could be established, the date of admitted, are numerous and respect the Book of Enoch would neces. able. Those of the early fathers sarily be carried back beyond the who have adverted at all to the age of the Mishna; that is, beyond subject, and by far the greater the early part of the second cennumber of Biblical critics in mo tury; but Mr. Oxlee has given dern times, maintain that St. Jude abundant proof that the Sepher had actually before him a book extant Zohar itself is comparatively a under the name of Enoch, from modern work *.
It may, then, be which he made the quotation under confidently stated, that the earliest discussion. Nay, we are required notice of the Book of Enoch, is a to believe that the very book which quotation made from it by Irenæus, the Apostle quoted is still in exist- towards the close of century II. ence; and that it was the same It was well known to Tertullian, at (abating the spoliations of time) the beginning of century III.; to with that identical volume which Origen, a little later ; and to Ananow lies under our eye! A critical tolius, Bishop of Laodicea, in the examination of a book professedly middle of the same period. It was written by the seventh man from still extant (probably only in Greek), Adam--the only book which has in century VIII., at the close of survived the Flood !-might seem which a long quotation was made to fall more appropriately within from it by George (surnamed Synthe province of « The Retro- cellus), a monk of Constantinople. SPECTIVE Review,” than of our From that time it disappears; and publication. However, to be serious, all that was known of it at the close we propose to demonstrate, not only of the last century, is comprised in that this piece is Apocryphal, as is the insignificant fragments preserved admitted by Dr. (now Archbishop) Laurence; but that it was composed
* That we may not interrupt the argu
ment in the text, we take this opportunity in a later period than that which
of stating in a note, that Mr. Oxlee's closed the canon of the New Tes
criticisms on this subject (pp. 11–26) are tament, a point in which he is not most ably conducted. He clearly proves
that the Zohar could not have been writdisposed to acquiesce.
ten earlier than century IV., from the The summary decision of some
names it contains of the Talmudic docof the early fathers, (adopted, we tors; nor than century VII. or VIII., regret to say, by the learned
from its citing the Jerusalem Targum; late whom we have just named,
nor than century X. or XI., from its and by Mr. Oxlee), that the date of on the authority of the Sepher Jeuchasin,
quoting the Sepher Raziel. He maintains the Book of Enoch must be prior Constantinople, 1566) that the Zohar was to the Apostolic age, because it is the composition of Rabbi Moses, of Leon, quoted by St. Jude, will appear to be who flourished about 1293. It has been
stated that the original bulk of the Zohar altogether inconclusive, even from
was so great, that it would have formed a what we have already advanced. load for a camel; and that, on the Spaniards In fact, we have not a particle of plundering Heidelberg in 1620, a copy of evidence, that a book, bearing the
it was found in that university, on all the name of Enoch as its author, was
twenty-four Books of the Old Testament,
as heavy a burden as a stout known to the church before the porter could carry!