Sivut kuvina
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

rious, it is not requisite that they be exempt from necessity, but that they be free from constraint. 4. That the Semipelagians err greatly in inaintaining that the human will is endowed with the power of either receiving or resisting the aids and influen·ces of preventing grace. 5. That whoever affirms that Jesus Christ made expiation, by his sufferings and death, for the sins of all mankind, is a Semipelagian.

It will be observed, that the Jansenists hold some opinions not very much unlike some of the Calvinian tenets. Many of the English catholics are attached to Jansenism.

The history of the Roman Catholic Religious Orders may be concluded by the following account of a Society formed a few years ago in America, under the title of the Order of St. Sulpicius. The author is indebted for this information to an amiable Benedictine Monk.

The persons forming this society were fortunate enough to escape the horrors and dangers of the French Revolution ; and saving a small remnant of their property, they took resuge in the United States, and established themselves at Baltimore ; where, conformably to their profession, they engaged themselves to communicate religious and literary instruction. In the beginning their labours were confined to the instruction o! young men, destined for the church; but the candidates for the priesthood being few in that country, they afterwards admitted respectable persons of every description, to the participation afforded by their institution. Those that protess the catholic communion are regularly instructed in the doctrines and practices peculiar to their church ; whilst the Protestants are merely obliged to attend the places of worship to which they respectively belong. By this impartial and equitable line of conduci, proper discipline, and a strict attention to their professional duties, they have founded one of the most respectable literary establishments of the present day. Their course of education, is not limited to the study of Greek and Latin, Literature, Philosophy, and the different branches of the Mathematics ; but comprehends the liberal and ornamental arts ; as dancing, music, botany, natural history; and the living languages.

Besides these advantages that may be considered purely Icoal and academical, the benefits of this college are extendeid to the whole country. The inhabitants of Baltimore and its via cinity are particularly benefitted by the residence of these worthy ecclesiastics; for, notwithstanding their professional duties, they do not neglect the cultivation of these arts which are subservient to the comforts of life. They hare a regular portion of land, sufficient to furnish their numerons coramunity with abundance of fruit and vegetables of every kind; and they have naturalized many exotics ; including a great number of the productions of the West Indies, without any shelter or arlificial heat. In their green and hot-houses they raise such plants as cannot thrive in the open air, for the purpose of bot: anical improvemnent, and the benefit of the curious. They have

also erected an elegant little church, in the most ancient style of architecture. Thus they contribute to diffuse a taste for the fine arts ; while the labouring, and manufacturing parts of the comrnunity are benefitted by obtaining employment under them.

The following authorities have been consulted in describing the Roman Catholic religion, and religious ceremonies ;— The Creed of Pope Pius IV.:-The Decrees and Catechism of the Council of Trent :-The Catholic Christian Instructed and many other authors.

In addition to the previous full details of the catholic religion and ceremonies, the reader will be gratified and instructed by the following eloquent passages from the Life of Chaucer :-

The authors or improvers of the Romish religion were per. fectly aware of the influence which the senses possess over the heart and the character. The buildings which they constructed for the purposes of public worship are exquisitely venerable. Their stained and painted windows admit only a “dim religious light.” The magnificence of the fabric, its lofty and concave roof, the massy pillars, the extensive aisles, the splendid choirs, are always calculated to inspire the mind with religious solem. nity. Music, painting, images, decoration, nothing is omitted which may fill the soul with devotion. The uniform garb of the monks and nuns, their decent gestures, and the slowniess of their processions, cannot but ca]] off the most frivolous mind from the concerns of ordinary life. The solemn chaunt and the sublime anthem must compose and elevate the heart. The splendour of the altar, the brilliancy of the tapers, the smoke and fragrance of the incense, and the sacrifice, as is pretended, of God himself, which makes a part of every celebration of public worship, are powerful aids to the piety of every sincere. devotee. He must have a heart more than commonly hardened, who could witness the performance of the Roman Catbolic worship on any occasion of unusual solemnity, without feeling strongly moved.

Whatever effect is to be ascribed to such spectacles, was generated in ways infinitely more multiform in the time of Chaucer, than in any present country of the Christian world. linmense sums of money had been bequeathed by the devout and the timorous to pious and charitable purposes. Beside the splendour of cathedrals and churches not now easily to be conceived, the whole land was planted with monastic establishments. In London stood the mitred abbeys of St. John and of Westminster, in addition to the convents of nuns, and the abodes of monks and of friars, black, white, and grey. Every time a man went from his house he met some of these persons, whose clothing told him that they had renounced the world, and that their lives were consecrated to God. The most ordinary spectacle which drew together the idle and the curious, was the celebration of some great festival, the performance of solemn masses for the dead, or the march of some religioups

procession, and the exhibition of the Bon Dieu to the eyes of an admiring populace. Henry VIII., the worse than Vandal of our English story, destroyed the inhabitants and the memori. als which belonged to our ancient character, and exerted himself to the best of his power to make us forget we ever had ancestors. He who would picture to himself the religion of the time of Chaucer must employ bis fancy in rebuilding these ruined edifices, restoring the violated shrines, and collecting again the scattered army of their guardians.

Besides every other circumstance belonging in the religion of this period, we are bound particularly to recollect two distinguishing articles of the Roinan Catholic system ; prayer for the dead, and the confession of sins. These are circumstances of the highest importance in modifying the characters and sentiInents of mankind. Prayer for the dead is unfortunately liable to abuses, the most dangerous in increasing the power of the priest; anxt the inost rediculous, if we conceive their masses (which were often directed to be said to the end of time) and picture to ourselves the devout of a thousand years ago shoving and elbowing out, by the multiplicity of their donations of this sort, all posterity, and leaving scarcely a bead to be told to the memory of the man who yesterday expired. But, if we put these and other obvious abuses out of our minds, we shall probably confess that it is difficult to think of an institution more consonant to the genuine sentiments of human nature, than that of masses for the dead. When I have lost a dear friend and beloved associate, iny friend is not dead to mc. The course of nature may be abrupt, but true affection admits of no sudden breaks. I still see my friend ; I still talk to him. I consult him in every arduous question ; 1 study in every difficult proceeding to mould my conduct to his inclination and pleasure. Whatever assists this beautiful propensity of the mind, will be dear to every feeling heart. In saying masses for the dead, I sympathise with my friend. I believe that he is anxious for his salvation ; I utter the language of my anxiety. I believe that he is passing through a period of trial and puritication ; I also am sad. It appears as if he were placed bevend the reach of my kind offices ; this solemnity once again restores to me the opportunity of aiding him. The world is busy and elaborate to lear hiin from my recollection ; the hour of this mass revives the thought of him in its tenderest and most awful form. , Aly senses are mortified that they can no longer behold the object of their cherished gratification"; but this disadvantage is mitigated, by a scene, of which my friend is the principle and essence, presented to my senses.

The practice of auricular confession is exposed to some of the same objections as masses for the dead, and is connected with many not less conspicuous advantages. There is no inore restless and unappeasable propensity of the mind than the love of communication. The desire to pour out our soul in the ear of a confident and a friend. There is no more laudable check

« EdellinenJatka »