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ters of Faith.” Mr. Ward, relying partly on the word “their," which appears to be a plural relative to a singular antecedent—viz: "the Church of Rome”-would have us believe that this article condemns the faith, not of the abstract Church of Rome, but of certain of its concrete members; and he challenges " any objector to give any meaning to the article, word by word, which can by possibility bring the formal doctrine of Rome within its scope." This challenge is thrown out in all the honest confidence of Italics. The point, after all, is of no very great importance, because if Canterbury (or, rather, Downing-street) has not condemned Rome, Rome has certainly condemned both Downing-street and Canterbury. But so bold a challenge should not be passed by, and we therefore essay our skill.
In the first place, then, we suggest that by the words “the Church of Rome ;" the article means neither “the abstract Church” nor its “concrete “members;" but the Concrete Church—the Church, not as an abstraction, but as a living, breathing, concrete, spiritual corporation. Using the word Church in this sense, the article first maintains that as Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred, so has Rome. But in what have these corporations erred ? Why, first,“ in “ their living”—“their” referring to Jerusalem and Antioch as much as to Rome; and “living" being referrable in part, perhaps, to the immoralities of individuals, but more especially to the habitual acts and modes of life allowed, sanctioned, and encouraged by the said corporations; e. g., celibacy of the clergy (condemned by the thirty-second article,) vows of celibacy by laymen, &c. &c. In the same way the words “their manner of ceremonies,,” means not the ceremonies of individual members of the Church of Rome—which is sheer nonsense—but the public and authorised ceremonies of the four Churches spoken of—their ceremonies. In like manner the said four Churches have erred “in matters of Faith.” Place a semicolon after the second "erred” and the whole difficulty is cleared up. The point is of no earthly importance except to Mr. Ward's conscience, but it may just as well be set right.
From the Waterford Chronicle, May 15, 1844.
THE ABBEY OF MOUNT MELLERAY. As advocates of the poor and the forsaken--of those who are homeless and pennyless, friendless and unknown, strangers among countless thousands in the world of woe and worthlessness, we hail the monastic institution of Mount Melleray, as an oasis in the desert-a green spot to please the eye and take the heart captive. The value of such institutions is not known in this degenerate age of ours. Monasteries formerly adorned the land ; monasteries, where the poor received relief, because the donors were religious ; and the recipients of that relief accepted it as Heaven's gift, and prayed for their benefactors. Thus was charity “twice blessed”-it blessed him that gave and him that received. To-day we have workhouses, in which every vestige of home is destroyed. Only think of the exquisite, the heart-touching beauty of the Scottish song
“ These fifty years, John Anderson, my Joe,” and ask yourselves is it not the eruption of a new-fangled barbarism which could check that feeling. In the workhouse even the old are persecuted, who have no son, no daughter, to
“Rock the cradle of declining age;"> have persecutors in the place where there is no home. The aged couple who have lived together for half a century—whose hearts are intertwined round each other-Siamese twins in moral affection—to whom separation would be death; these, even these, are dragged from each other, by the cold blooded and murderous hand of that cool, and calculating, and heartless utilitarian thing called Scottish economy. Again, we say, that we rejoice in the establishment of monastic institutions as blessings in the land. If we believe the Scriptures, we must rejoice that in our land are to be found holy men-rare exemplars of virtue, sufficient to redeem the guilt of the isle from God's visitation. Ten just souls would have saved the criminal cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; and ought not we to rejoice that we have hundreds such souls amongst us--men given to God and the poor? And it is not only that, but the rare edification of their example-beacon lights to priests and to people. Even the pious preist runs from the bad world, and seeks a retreat among those holy people where his zeal is re-animated, his heart influenced with holy ardour, his spirit purified, and he returns to his flock refreshed for work in the vineyard of Christ, with his shield buckled on, " to fight the good fight," and win the battle. The once barren heath is now reclaimed, through the industry of the monks, and allords practical evidence as to what might be done in improving our waste lands, had we the benefit of a fostering or protective Legislature. From what We can learn it costs 601. to transplant or transport an emigrant, and give him any thing in the way of a settlement. If the emigration-mongers would only Link what such a sum could effect for a poor man and his family at home, we would not be so ready to part with our people and our money. In the mere Teclaration of the former waste, on which the Monastic Institution of Mount Melleray is situated, the monks have set a fine example to our aristocracy. But the goodness of the monks extends far beyond what may be called physical industry. Their chapel, or rather church, is ever open to the people, who can enjoy the sacrifice of the Mass; and whenever fever or any other epidemic invades the poor, the monks are zealous coadjutors of the secular clergy. The weary traveller, no matter from what part of Ireland or the world, finds a resting place and relief at their gates; and the children of the surrounding poor have that richest of secular blessings--the benefit of sound moral education, which is further improved by expositions of Christian doctrines. Here are multitudinous advantages. But these are not all. There are at present twenty poor men employed at Mount Melleray throughout the year, at ninepence per day; and thus is support afforded to almost one hundred individuals, taking, as we may, the average of families at five. Here is an epitome of good, moral, and religious--and of physical comfort also, achieved by one institution ; and let no one tell us that a multiplication of such institutions would not be God's own gift to our land. May the cursed Poor Law, a practical outrage on religion, be soon overthrown, and may we have a revival of the good old times, when the rich felt that they were Ileaven's stewards, and that it was a sacred obligation to relieve the poor.
MY SCRAP-BOOK.—THE REFORMATION.
No. 1. Luther.—Mr. Hallam says in his “Introduction to the Literature of Europe, in the 15th 16th and 17th centuries :">
" In the history of the Reformation Luther is incomparably the greatest name. We see him, in the skilful composition of Robertson, the chief figure of a group of gownsmen, standing in contrast on the canvass with the crowned rivals of France and Austria, and their attendant warriors, but blended in the unity of that historic picture. This amazing influence on the revolutions of his own age, and on the opinions of mankind, seems to have produced as is not unnatural, an exagerated notion of his intellectual greatness. It is admitted on all sides, that he wrote his own language with force and purity; and he is reckoned one of its best models. The hymns in use with the Lutheran church, many of which are his own, possess a simple dignity and devoutness, never, probably, excelled in that class of poetry, and alike distinguished from the poetry of Sternhold or Brady, and from the meretricious ornament of later writers.
* But, from the Latin works of Luther few readers, I believe, will rise without disappointment. Their intemperance, their coarseness, their inelegance, their scurrility, their wild paradoxes, that menace the foundations of religious morality, are not compensated, so far at least as my slight acquaintance with them extends, by which strength or acuteness, and still less by any impressive' eloquence. Some of his treatises, and we may instance his reply to Henry VIII., or the book “against the falsely-named order of bishops,” can be described as liitle else than bellowing in bad Latin. Neither of these books display, as far as I can judge, any striking ability. It is not to be imagined, that. a man of his vivid parts fails to perceive any advantage in that close grappling, sentence by sentence, with an adversary, which fills most of his controversial writings ; and in scornful irony he had no superior. His epistle to Erasmus prefixed to the treatise, De servo arbitrio, is bitterly insolent in terms as civil as he could use. But the clear and comprehensive line of argument which enlightens the reader's understanding, and resolves his difficulties, is always wanting. An unbounded dogmatism, resting on an absolute confidence in the infallibility, practically speaking, of his own judgment, pervades his writings ; no indulgence is shown, no pause allowed, to the hesitating ; whatever stands in the way of its decisions, the fathers of the church, the schoolmen and philosophers, the canons and councils, are swept away in a current of impetuous declamation; and as every thing contained in Scripture, according to Luther, is easy to be understood, and can only be understood in his sense, every deviation from his doctrine incurs the anathema of perdition. Jerome, he says, far from being rightly canonised, must, but for some special grace, have been damned for his interpretation of St. Paul's epistle to the Romans. That the Zwinglians, as well as the whole church of Rome, and the Anabaptists, were shut out by their tenets from salvation, is more than insinuated in numerous passages of Luther's writings. Yet he had passed himself through several changes of opinion. In 1518, he rejected auricular confession ; in 1520, it was both useful and necessary; not long afterwards it was again laid aside. I have found it impossible to reconcile, or to understand, his tenets concerning faith and works; and can only perceive, that if there be any reservation in favor of the latter, not merely sophistical, of which I am hardly well convinced, it consists in distinctions too subtle for the people to apprehend. These are not the oscillations of the balance in a calm understanding, conscious of the difficulty which so often attends the estiinate of opposite presumptions, but alternate gusts of dogmatism, during which, for the time, he was as tenacious of his judgment as if it had been uniform.
It is not impossible that some offence will be taken at this character of his works by those who have thought only of the man; extraordinary as he doubtless was in himself, and far more as the instrument of mighty changes on the earth. Many, of late years, especially in Germany, without holding a single one of Luther's more peculiar tenets, have thought it necessary to magnify his intellectual gifts. Frederick Schlegel is among these'; but in his panegyric there seems a little wish to insinuate that the reformer's powerful understand
ing had a taint of insanity. This has not unnaturally occurred to others, from the strange tales of diabolical visions Luther very seriously recounts, and from the inconsistencies as well as the extravagance of some passages. But the total absence of self-restraint, with the intoxicating effects of presumptuousness, is sufficient to account for aberrations, which men of regular minds construe into actual madness. Whether Luther were perfectly in earnest as to his personal interviews with the devil, may be doubtful; one of them he seems to represent as internal.?"-pp. 513-516.
From the Foreign Quarterly Review. “ Martin Luther was the representative of the democratic spirit of the reformation ; there seems to be among friends and enemies a marked dislike to grappling with the character of this remarkable man, and his true biography remains yet to be written. Judging only from his own works, his character seems to be one that "he who runs may read ;" he was a coarse, vulgar minded man, endowed with strong common sense, and a thorough contempt for every thing that is commonly called “humbug,” in which he included the rules of conventional morality, rules in every age of mankind devised rather for cloaking vice than encouraging virtue.—Many of his actions appear like a bravado to the public opinion of his age; for instance, his marriage with a nun and his sanction of polygamy; but it is doubtful whether a man of inferior energies, less uncompromising boldness, and, it must be added, less impudence, could have fought the battle, which it was the glory of Luther to maintain. It is utterly absurd to canonize him as a saint, and still more so to condemn him as the worst of sinners. Luther was the great man of his age, the faithful representative of all its wisdom and all its folly; to inquire whether, in every part of his arduous struggle, and in every action of his harassed life, he preserved the methodical rules devised by society, is scarcely less absurd than to ask, was a general dressed in the fashion when he led his army to battle, or à successful prime minister skilled in the etiquette of a ball-room."
“The reformers battled for freedom of opinion, and were themselves the greatest enemies of that freedom. The burning of Servetus in Geneva, the persecution of Anabaptists in Germany, of Arminians in Holland, of Puritans in England, of Prelatists in Scotland, and of Papists in every Protestant country, threw a suspicion on the motives of the Reformers, which rendered their cause frequently unpopular. They felt the inconsistency, and they attempted to excuse it by shuffling evasions, by monstrous fictions, or by an impudent assumption of the infallibility which they had condemned in the church of Rome. Hence there is an appearance of meanness, trickery, and selfishness, in the early history of the reformation, which it is utterly absurd to deny, because it is utterly impossible to conceal.”