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has not attempted to disguise his unqualified disapprobation in some cases, and his abhorrence in others, of that, which the spurious liberality of the day, if it does not profess to admire and encourage, at least tolerates and forbears to reprove. That this will be more especially the case with respect to his strictures on the mummeries of the Roman Catholic Church we do not doubt; but to shew that he is not unprepared for this, we cannot do better than quote his own words, which sufficiently prove, that while he expects the censure, he neither dreads, nor would avoid it by the sacrifice of a high and conscientious principle.
I do not consider, (lie observes on this head,) either my language or my reprobation too severe, particularly at a time when that IDOLATROUS SIMULATION of Christianity, not content with being tolerated in these dominions, is daily growing more insolent in its demands, and although itself the most despotic, intolerant, and exclusive of creeds, pretends to feel aggrieved because not placed upon the same footing as the National Church. Place it on that tooting, and its moderation will quickly display itself in striving, per Jai et net as, to extirpate what it would then behold only as a rival. If the concessions it has obtained produce no gratitude, further concessions will only stimulate it to open hostility. It is enough to have the company of a muzzled hyena; remove that muzzle —it is already almost gnawed through—and the consequence may be easily predicted.—P. vi.
It is with this conviction firmly implanted in his breast that Mr. Wilson enters upon what may almost be termed a religious tour through France and Italy ; a route, every part of which, as indeed he himself remarks, has been so repeatedly gone over before, that unless there may be some novelty in the writer, who thus offers the record of his impressions and opinions, there can be little or none in his materials. Now it is precisely these impressions and opinions which form, as in the case of his last work, the most valuable and instructive, as well as amusing portion of the volume before us; and as it is with them that we principally concern ourselves, we shall at once introduce the reader into the author's company within the walls of St. Peter's, where, after a description of that stupendous fabric, and the impression it never fails to produce on the spectator, he extends his speculations beyond mere architectural description. After alluding to the splendid paintings with which its walls are adorned, "Little," he goes on to reply to Dr. England's arguments in favour of them—
Little is it to be wondered at that a form which addresses itself so strongly to the senses as that of the Catholic Church does, should still retain such influence over those who profess it as to blind them to its errors. It is impossible for a Protestant—nay, even a bigoted one, to remain coldly insensible to the fascination ot the religious pomp and pageantry which are so abundantly displayed in this splendid basilica. Yet to admiration would, perhaps, succeed a different feeling, should he happen to witness the superstitious reverence here paid to the bronze elhgy of St. Peter himself. This figure, which is on the side of the high altar, beneath the dome, is said to be a true likeness of tbe apostle, and represents him seated in a marble chair, beneath a canopy of metal, and holding two keys in his left hand. The foot, which projects a little beyond the pedestal on which it rests, bears testimony to th« fervour of his devotees, the metal being quite polished by the innumerable kisses it has received from their lips. This practical devotion—among a thousand similar instances—seems rather to contradict the assertion of Catholic writers, who assert that the images of their saints are intended only to excite religious fervour, and that they are not held to be objects of actual devotion, or possessing any peculiar sanctity in themselves. As the sole apology tor what is quite indefensible by any argument, drawn from Christianity itself, it may be very well for them to put such construction upon it; yet do the generality of Catholics—supposing them to he not merely nominally such—limit themselves within those bounds f—do they attribute no positive efficacy to the immediate contact of such images? To reply in the negative would be to contradict daily evidence and experience; why, then, are not some pains taken to extirpate the error which has thus crept into the Romish Church? If, entirely wrested from its nrigiual purpose, the use of images is found to lead to a monstrous and universal abuse, the sooner images, relics, and other amulets of that kind are abolished, the better. According to the apologists for them, images, at least, are non-essential—nothing further than incentives to spiritual worship—consequently might safely and consistently be abandoned, when discovered to occasion most serious error. For a serious error assuredly it is to suppose that the touch of a piece of metal can avail any thing; or that a prayer recited before a senseless statue can be more efficacious or more acceptable to heaven than if offered up to the living and omnipresent God, who alone knoweth all our thoughts, and can read our innermost hearts. Dull and sluggish of mind indeed must those be, who cannot fix their thoughts in prayer without having some sensible object before their eyes. But the error, it is to be feared, is not only gross in itself, but also something more than a merely speculative one. Hardly should we find those who are so openly immoral in their general conduct that it is impossible to suspect them of hypocrisy, so frequently display their devotion after this fashion, did they not actually believe that the simple mechanical act of religion was an equivalent for their sins, and that upon such easy terms they can keep a fair debtor and creditor account with heaven. No better result is to be expected from a practice permitted in direct opposition to the expressed will of God himself, who has forbidden the use of "graven images," declaring that he his a "jealous God," and claims the whole of our worship.—Pp. 305—307.
In the course of a very lively and interesting description of the ceremonies of the Holy Week, Mr. Wilson mentions that of washing the feet of the representatives of the apostles, on which he makes some very sensible observations.
Seated together in a row were the representatives of the apostles, one of whom was of truculent bandit-like aspect, being intended, as we were informed, to personate Judas. They were all dressed in gowns of fine flannel, with silk sashes round their waists, and had white caps and shoes. Each of them in turn bared one of his feet, which was just wetted, in a kind of dish, and then wiped dry and kissed by the Pope. This piece of pompous humility on the part ol the Holv Father is any thing but edifying; most remote, in fact, from the christian virtue it is intended to show forth. It looks like something studiedly forced and unnatural, being altogether inconsistent with modern usages. At the best it can be considered in no other light than that of a piece of state etiquette of the Popes; a mere form, quite as flattering to their pride as to any better feeling. Among the successors of St. Peter the world has seen many Judases, who, no doubt, performed such solemn act of humiliation without the least violence to their feelings, their haughtiness, and their arrogance.
It costs us very little to be humble, when we are assured that, so far from thereby incurring the sneers and contempt of the world, we shall gain its admiration; for which reason, I cannot help thinking that those Roman ladies of rank who, in imitation of the Holy Father, officiously display their devotion by wasning the feet of pilgrims, undertake an office of very questionable merit. To relieve the necessitous by actual services and assistance; to do works of piety that have some real beneficial object in view; to edify others both by our counsel and our conduct; and to strive to exhibit the christian graces in the general tenor of our lives;—this is to imitate the Saviour worthily: not so when we play, upon some particular occasion, a merely assumed part; where what, under different circumstances, might be humility, is to procure us distinction. There is one convent in particular at Rome where this farce (I was going to term it) of feet washing is carried on during this season to a great extent:—princesses, duchesses, and other dames of high rank and title, repair thither to show off their excess of humility, or else to do penance for their every day pride — Pp. 321,322.
That we may not entirely lose sight of the traveller in the theologian, we shall conclude our extracts from this able work with an account of one of the most interesting ecclesiastical edifices in " The Eternal C'ty."
One of the most ancient churches in Rome, in respect of origin, if not of structure, is that of the Lateran, famed as the seat of so many general councils of the Church, and one of the four chief basilicas—it having been founded bv Constantine in the early part of the third century. The present structure, however, in front of which stands a lofty Egyptian obelisk, covered with hieroglyphics, was erected in the seventeenth century, and exhibits the bad taste of that period. The principal front is later, having been built about 1735, by Alexander Galilei, an architect who has shown far greater taste in the splendid Corsini chapel, that forms one of the chief attractions of the interior. This last is of extraordinary richness: marbles, gilding, painting, sculpture—all are profusely employed, yet so discreetly, and with such elegance of taste, that the eye finds no excess. The cloisters belonging to this church form quite an architectural studio, being surrounded by an arcade of small arches resting upon columns placed in pairs—that is, one before the other—which exhibit extraordinary variety both in their shafts and capitals. Some of the shafts are twisted singly; others compounded of two twisted together: some, again, with plain surfaces; others enriched by flutings, cablings, carvings, and different modes of embellishment; many of which might furnish ideas, even were they objected to as models. There are also other curiosities shown here of a more startling kind: among the rest, a marble fragment which passes for the identical stone on which the cock crowed at the time of St. Peter's denial of his Master!! Surely this must be intended by the very Catholics themselves as a burlesque upon those relics to which their Church attaches so much importance: if not, it is an instance of fatuity that almost exceeds belief.—Pp. 313, 314.
With this extract we take our leave for the present of Mr. Wilson and his book, regretting that the late period of the month at which it came into our hands prevents our doing it full justice. Its contents, however, are so interesting in themselves, and so germane to the objects of the Christian Remembrancer, that we shall probably recur to them in a future number.
Christian Philosophy; or an Attempt to display, by Internal Testimony, the Evidence and Excellence of Revealed Religion. By Vicesimus Knox, D.D. with an Introductory Essay., by the Rev. Henry Stebbing, M.A. forming Vol. XIX. of the Sacred Classics. London : Hatchard. Pp. xxxi. 308. A Work which, in the language of the editor, affords satisfactory evidence that the most comforting and important truths of the gospel are established on a basis of unanswerable argument.
A Short Method with the Romanists; or the Claims and Doctrines of the Church of Rome examined, in a Dialogue between a Protestant and a Romanist. By the Rev. Charles Leslie, Author of a " Short Method with the Deists." Edinburgh: It. Grant. London: Hurst and Seeley. Dublin: W. Curry. 1835. Pp. 199.
An admirable and conclusive tract.
Republished at a most convenient
A Letter to Charles Lushington, Esq. M.P. in Reply to a Remonstrance, addressed by him to the Lord Bishop of London, on account of his Lordship's having recommended in his late Charge to theClergyofhis Diocese, the Letters to a Dissenting Minister, signed L. S. E. Annexed are Answers to the Eclectic Review, the Evangelical and Congregational Magazines, the Ecclesiastical Journal, and to a certain pamphlet, entitled, "A Reply to the Letters of L. S. E. by a Congregationalist." By the Rev- M. A. Gathercole. London : VV hittuker and Co. Pp. 86.
We have, in the course of our editorial labours, had a vast variety of pamphlets subjected to our notice, bearing the impress of high natural talent and great acquirements; but seldom have we had the c>nd fortune to revel in the
pages of a tract so admirable, in every point of view, as the one before us. We would not stand in Mr. Lushington's shoes to be knouted by Mr. Gathercole for a golden prebend; and as for the poor, miserable, illfared scribblers, whose "keen hatred, and round abuse of the Church," has brought them under the lash, we almost doubt whether our pity is not greater than our contempt. If any man thinks the writer has been too severe, let him read these few words, and we are quite sure all false compassion will evaporate.
After having convicted you [Lushington] of to many downright falsehoods, in the preceding pages, the public will not require another word to shew them whether or not your name or fame be unsullied by the "practice of malignant defamation." The spite and malice which you have so abundantly manifested not only against me, but against the Church, and almost every thing connected with her, are scarcely to be equalled within the compass of any other pamphlet of the same size.—P. 65.
This anti-churchman, we are happy to say, from the registration, is not likely again to mis-represent Ashburton!
Subscription no Bondage; or the Practical Advantages afforded by the Thirty-nine Articles. With an Introductory Letter on the Declaration, which it is proposed to substitute for Subscription to the Articles at Matriculation. By Rusticus. Oxford: Parker. London : Rivington. Cambridge: Deighton. Pp. vii. 185.
A Letter to his Grace the Duke of Wellington, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, upon the principle and tendency of a Bill, now before Parliament, entitled, "A Bill for Abolishing Subscription to Articles of Religion in certain Cases. By the Rev. Frederick Oakeley, M.A. Fellow and Tutor of Balliol College. Oxford: Parker. London: Rivingtoii5. Pp. 25.
The clamour raised by Dissenters against the discipline of our universities is neither more nor less than the note of preparation for an attack on the Church. But the purest portion of the community seem to have penetrated the flimsy veil of schismatical duplicity; and a better spirit is abroad, which cannot fail to be encouraged by pamphlets, written with that knowledge of the subject, and powerful language, by which the above are characterised.
The Necessity of a National Church cotuidered, in a Series of Letters to the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, Bart. iyc. $c. By the Rev. Charles Catok, M.A. of Brasennose College, Oxford. Utters I. II. III. IV. Pp. 75. London : Baldwin and Co. Ireland. Addressed to the Right Hon. the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in Parliament assembled. Being Letter V. on the Necessity of a National Church. By the Rev. Charles Cator, M.A. of Brasennose College, Oxford. Pp. 18. London: Baldwin and Co. We have, on more than one occasion, had to speak of the zealous and faithful discharge of parochial duty by which Mr. Cator is so eminently distinguished; and are satisfied that no one can rise from the perusal of the above letters without feeling grateful to him for his unwearied exertions in' behalf of that Church, of which he is so worthy a minister. In the second letter, he clearly shows that the principle and foundation of the Christian Church is a matter of necessity, arising out of Christianity itself, and that there must either be a national religion, or no religion.
The Christian Keepsake, and Missionary Annual. Edited by the Rev. William Ellis. 1836. London: Fisher, Son, & Co. Pp. 202.
It is with pleasure we have perused this volume, which contains much that is pleasing and instructive, both in prose and poetry. The Recollections of Mr. Wilberforce; the Memoir of the late Dr. Moirison, the first Protestant missionary in China; together with numerous other papers, written
by authors of acknowledged talent;— these we promise to our readers will afford them a treat not inferior to any offered by the christian annuals which at this period issue from the press. The volume contains seventeen plates, illustrative of the subjects annexed to each, all of which are executed in the first style. We recommend the " Christian Keepsake" as an elegant and instructive present to the pious reader. The following, by T. Aveling, Esq. we offer as a sjiecimen of the poetic talent evinced throughout.
Whene'er the clouds of sorrow roll,
And trials 'whelm the mind;
Dry up the trembling tear,
"Fear not," thy God is near.
When dark temptations spread their snares,
And earth with charms allures; And when thy soul oppress'd with fears,
The world's assault endures;—
Thy fainting spirit cheer,
"Fear not," thy God is near.
And when the last, last hour shall come,
That calls thee to thy rest,
A welcome, joyful guest; —
No ills shall meet tbee there; Angels shall whisper to thy soul,
"Fear not," tby God is near.
Ten Plain Sermons, chiefly on particular occasions; to which ere added, Two Assize Sermons, preached in the Cathedral Church of Salisbury, in the year 1835. By the Rev. Fulwer William Fowle, Rector of Allington, and Perpetual Curate of Amesbury. London: Rivingtons. Pp. xxiv. 299.
These sermons are dedicated to the Bishop of Salisbury, published by subscription, and to gratify the author's mother. They are the evidences ot" zeal, piety, aud a desire to do good. A high political tone, in favour of our national institutions and national character, runs through them.