صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


himself" One of the Old School," offers some very seasonable and patriotic advice. There areonly three chapters in the little book, the first of which is a description and recommendation of a country life; the second is a description of what the country gentleman used to be, what he became by the change of political circumstances occasioned by the events of the French revolutionary frenzy,- and what he is at present, with a recommendation of what he ought to be; and the third is on the character, habits, and manners of the peasantry. We shall make some extracts from this useful book, and, first, the country gentleman

"of the present day is placed under very different circumstances from his predecessor of a past age. The path which lay open before the latter offered few obstacles or impediments to his progress, and might be termed one of ease and tranquillity. Indeed, speaking with reference to this temporal scene, it might with truth be said that few vocations in life offered so many means for insuring contentment, and even happiness. In his own neighbourhood, and within the circuit of his immediate influence, he was almost sure to command respect and observance, and even within the bounds of his county he met with attention, and a certain degree of weight was generally accorded to his opinions and sentiments. As a magistrate and a landed proprietor-characters at that period seldom disunited—the authority which he possessed was considerable, and was exerted beneficially towards his neighbours and dependents. Residing always upon his estate, and living upon the produce of the same, he was seldom tempted to go far from home; and his visits to the metropolis were made rarely, if at all, and then only in performance of his parliamentary duties, if it so happened that he was a member of the legislature, or else to execute some business of importance. On these occasions also his family seldom accompanied him, and thus his establishment in the country was seldom broken up. The consequence of this was that the greater part, if not the whole, of his income, was expended on his estate, and in his neighbourhood, and a vast and legitimate accession of weight and influence was thus added to his name.

[ocr errors][merged small]

"It was at the latter part of the seventeenth century, and at the commencement of the eighteenth, perhaps, that this character may be said to have flourished most, and to have been in the highest perfection. After that period many different circumstances, some of which were placed beyond the control of the members of this class, whilst others, again, depended upon themselves, concurred to produce a marked and striking change. About this time an alteration took place in the state of the country: her internal and external relations having become much more extended, and the condition of affairs more complicated, the House of Commons began to assume a greater share in their direction, and an increased and lengthened parliamentary attendance became necessary. As the whole of the county members, and a considerable portion of the city and borough representatives, were composed of country gentlemen, a great change was produced in their habits of life, since they were obliged to reside for a much longer period in the metropolis; a circumstance which at the same time created an imaginary, at any rate, if not a real, necessity, for their families to follow them. By these means, the country house, which hitherto had been constantly inhabited, now sometimes became vacant for several months, and a diminution of the expenditure and influence of the country gentleman was the natural consequence. But this was not all; such was the effect produced by these lengthened residences in the capital, not only on the country proprietor himself, but in a still greater degree upon his family, that when the actual and legitimate demand for them ceased, a visit to the metropolis, which had hitherto been regarded in the light of a luxury, began now to be viewed rather as a necessary which was indispensable to their condition. The result was such as might have been expected. * But the greatest change was produced amongst the female members of the family of the country gentleman."

He concludes this chapter with some seasonable advice to the gentry of England, which it would be of essential service to the country were it followed. A longer residence in their family mansions, and a greater attention to the local affairs of their own parishes and counties, would

prevent their management from falling into the hands of demagogues and well-meaning men perhaps, but of a class unfitted by education and position in society for affairs of such importance.

The last chapter is on that extensive and important class, the peasantry; of which some would-be philosophers of the present day speak contemptuously, as if they were little better than the ground which they render productive by their labour, but who, nevertheless, have souls to be


"It is true (he says) they may not be acquainted with a smattering of some one of the mechanical sciences, they may not be able to talk in the scientific jargon acquired by attendance at a Mechanics' Institute; they may not be able to consider theories of government and legislation, to investigate the respective merits of monarchies and republics, or even to discuss the advantages of a voluntary or established church; they may not, perhaps, understand the principles of free trade, or the elements of political economy. No-but they possess knowledge which some old-fashioned persons, we are disposed to believe, will think quite as valuable, if not more so, than that which we have mentioned. They understand the cultivation of the fruits of the earth; they can describe the production of that which is emphatically called the staff of life, for they are accustomed to watch its progress, from the time when, as a little grain, it is dropped into the earth, until the period when, having attained its full measure and stature, as the ripe and golden-clustered corn, it bends before the sickle of the reaper. They can tell the names of the trees of the forest, and of the plants which adorn the fields; they can declare the times in which they put forth their leaves, and expand their many-coloured flowers;-yes! we have heard country peasants answer questions on these subjects which we firmly believe would have puzzled many a would-be scientific theorist, who, dwelling in the midst of the great city, prides himself upon the knowledge he has acquired from studying elaborate treatises on the history of vege tation, but who has neglected, in the plenitude of his conceit, to turn over the lifebreathing pages of the book of Nature."

The author concludes with recommending the system of letting out small portions of land to the labourers for the cultivation of their vegetables, a plan which has long been practised in some parts of Scotland, where it has worked well. There, in the neighbourhood of towns and large villages, a farmer allots a field for the artizans to plant their potatoes, for which he takes the contents of their dust-bins or middens; he prepares the ground, and they plant and hoe the crop, and clean the ground. These operations contribute to the health of the mechanics, who perform their agricultural labours after their daily mechanical duties are finished. This arrangement only applies to a single crop; next year another field is set apart for the same or other parties; and which is beneficial to both, as the one secures his stock of vegetables, and the other has his field manured and cleaned without expense. Were this system universally and extensively followed out, it would do away with the drunken dissipation of towns more effectually than all the tee-totalling societies from Dan to Beersheba, besides adding strength to their enfeebled inhabitants.

Roman Fallacies and Catholic Truths. London: Painter.

THESE are a series of excellent Tracts by the Rev. H. Townsend Powell, vicar of Stretton, near Coventry, called forth by the signs of the times and the unwearied attacks of the inmates of St. Mary's Priory, at Princethorpe, and which they commenced by industriously circulating amongst Mr. Powell's parishioners that the Church of England had its

origin in the Reformation, and that her ministers derive their authority from the king and parliament. This is an assertion which they know to be a calumny; but which they circulate nevertheless with a malicious intent. It is a curious and not very edifying fact that the Romanists in this empire are not only schismatical in their orders, which are derived through a foreign source; but altogether uncanonical in the mode of their derivation.

The power of the pope in England was in direct violation of the decrees of the council of Ephesus, and which being thrown off at the Reformation, he made no provision for any papal succession, which was allowed in all the three kingdoms to become extinct. It was still farther in violation of the decrees of the Ephesian council that he sent a bishop into England in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and at other times since; for "the 6th (canon) of the 1st council of Constantinople and 22nd of Antioch, condemn the Roman bishops and clergy who have intruded into the British dioceses as schismatics and heretics." In addition to this cause of schism and heresy, the originals of their succession in the three kingdoms were each consecrated by only one bishop. No doubt the essence of consecration rests with the consecrating bishop, yet the canons of the whole church require the laying on of the hands of three bishops to render such consecration valid. Mr. Palmer has shown, in his learned work on the church, that during the greater part of the last century the Romish prelates in this kingdom were consecrated by one bishop assisted by two priests! In 1771, Pope Clement XIV. granted permission to Peter Crew, a titular bishop of Waterford, to consecrate William Egan, with the assistance of two secular priests, or regulars of any orders or institute, "being in the grace and favour of the holy see. Neither is this a singular instance in Ireland, which was repeatedly acted upon during the last century, and which must render their episcopal succession entirely invalid. In 1685 there was no Romish bishop in England, when Dr. Leyburn was sent here, and who alone consecrated Gifford, who was James II.'s chaplain in 1687; and in 1688 he alone consecrated Ellis and Smith. In 1741 Bishop Petre consecrated Dr. Chaloner; and Dr. Walmsley consecrated his own coadjutor without the assistance of any other bishop or pretended bishop. Dr. Walmsley alone consecrated Dr. Gibson in 1790, and Dr. Carol also, without any episcopal assistance. From the latter, so uncanonically and irregularly consecrated, the whole Romish succession in the United States of America is derived. And not many years ago a Romish bishop was conseerated in Edinburgh by a single bishop, his appointed assistant, Bishop Cameron, having been taken very ill and so unable to officiate.


When the tables can thus be so completely turned upon the schismatical Romanists, it appears rather a bold step in them to question the validity of the orders of the catholic Church of England, which Father Courayer, the French jesuit, proved to be undeniable. But they appear at present to be smitten with a sort of judicial blindness, and are rushing on to their own destruction; "for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities Therefore shall her

[ocr errors]

1 Perceval's Rom. Schism., p. 69.

[ocr errors]


4 I

plagues come in one day, death and mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burnt with fire."

These temperate and well written tracts are published at the small price of one penny, on the first Friday in every month, and, so far as they have gone, consist of the following subjects: No. 1, Angel Worship; No. 2, Image Worship; No. 3, Adoration of the Cross; Nos. 4 and 5, Relic Worship; No. 6, Saint Worship; No. 7, Worship of the Virgin Mary; No. 8, Canonization of Saints; No. 9, Adoration of the Host. In No. 7 there are some extracts from the works of Bonaventura, one of those impious men who have been canonized, and have the word Saint prefixed to their names. The following is the Te Deum turned into the praises of the blessed Virgin, which is shocking to the feelings of every devout Christian :

"We praise thee, the Mother of God; we acknowledge thee to be a virgin. All the earth doth worship thee, the spouse of the Eternal Father. All angels and archangels, all thrones and powers do faithfully serve thee. To thee all angels cry aloud, with a never ceasing voice, "Holy, holy, holy, Mother of God.....The whole court of heaven doth honour thee as queen. The holy Church throughout all the world doth invoke and praise thee, the Mother of Divine Majesty....Thou sittest with thy Son on the right hand of the Father.......In thee, sweet Mary, is our hope: defend us for ever more. Praise becometh thee; empire becometh thee; virtue and glory be unto thee for ever and ever."

The same Saint has turned the Athanasian Creed into a symbol of faith in Mary, of which the following is an extract:

"Whosoever will be saved, before all things, it is necessary that he hold the right faith concerning Mary, which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.....He (Jesus Christ) sent the Holy Spirit upon his disciples, and upon his mother, and at last took her up into heaven, where she sitteth at the right hand of her Son, and never ceaseth to make intercession with him for us.

"This is the faith concerning the Virgin Mary, which, except every one do believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

This is an awful fallacy, and one which it is to be feared has sunk many poor souls into eternal perdition; but we hold with the author of the tract before us "That Mary is to be worshipped is a Roman fallacy. That Mary is to be honoured is a Catholic truth. The Church of Rome worships her; the Church of England (which is the Catholic church in England) honours her." The delusion must indeed be strong when men of sense and education can believe such a fallacy; and their faith must be in the last degree implicit, when they will take such monstrous doctrines on trust without exercising the judgment with which they have been endowed, and like wise men judge for themselves, as the apostle commands. The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light, and St. John especially commends the Church of Rome for this species of wisdom. And in no point of view has she exhibited more selfish wisdom than in shutting up the holy scriptures from her people with such jealous care as she has done. The word of God is so rigorously excluded from the people of Ireland that whereever it is found in the possession of any of the papists their priests deprive them of it, and lay them under those degrading penances of which we have heard so much recently. We observe in the Achil Herald of the 24th of September, that the Rev. E. Nangle makes a declaration

to which he attaches his name, and challenges inquiry, that two priests, whom he names, "did, in the exercise of their office as priests of the Church of Rome, require one of their parishioners to burn a Bible of which the said parishioner had become possessed, and to perform stations. successively at Croag-Patrick, Baall, and Lough Dearig, which stations were enjoined in the way of penance in order to obtain absolution, and which were to be performed by crawling considerable distances on the knees, to the laceration of the person."

Penances performed by crawling on the naked knees are quite common at the three stations above named, where five unimpeachable protestant clergymen have publicly declared that they have repeatedly seen people in the act of doing public penance in the indecent manner which they describe. The Rev. M. H. Seymour has "seen many hundreds of women, near his own residence, drawing up their petticoats around the lower parts of their persons, so as to expose the legs and thighs naked, in the presence of hundreds of men and women, and then prostrating themselves and crawling on their naked knees and one hand, and then holding up their clothes with the other hand, and thus crawling round what are called 'holy wells' or 'stations,' till their knees were excoriated by the gravel or by sharp stones, and the blood streaming along their legs. I have also witnessed many hundreds of men in the act of performing a similar form of penance on their bare and naked knees till the blood flowed from the wounds."

The same things are attested by others, and yet it would appear that the chief springs of these disgusting scenes, the priests, are either beginning to be ashamed of their pranks, or else that popery is now become so rampant that she will not bear Englishmen to make any remarks upon her cruelties. A priest at Liverpool prosecuted the Rev. Hugh Stowell for stating a matter of fact that a policeman had taken a man to the station house who was found crawling on his hands and knees in a rough lane near Manchester, and who himself said he was enjoined to do so as a penance, and that the priest would not administer the sacrament to him till he had done it an indefinite number of times and till the priest's vengeance was satisfied. A document to this effect was drawn up and signed by the sergeant of police, and was read by Mr. Stowell as a matter of fact, at a public meeting. The reading of this document constituted the libel for which Mr. Stowell was prosecuted, and who, by the mismanagement of his counsel, was cast in damages. Mr. Stowell has moved for a new trial in the court of Queen's bench, where the evidence which was suppressed on the former trial will be produced and published in the face of all England, when it will be known to what severe sufferings the laity are subjected by the hierarchy of that most cruel, most perfidious, and most corrupt church. Both the spirit and the performance of these Romish penances are in direct disobedience to our blessed Lord's instructions respecting prayer and fasting, in his sublime sermon on the mount. As the papists manage their discipline, their fastings and penances are evidently calculated" to be seen of men;" they sound a trumpet before them, like the pharisaical hypocrites, at their stations, at their meals, "and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.' They not only let their right hand know decidedly what their left is doing in the matter of penance and fasting, but they proclaim it ostentatiously on the hill tops, and the priests make a regular traffic of this ostentatious display of the laity, by

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »