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upon the moral errors and deviations of our nature, than the persuasion that what we perpetrate of base, sinister, and disgraceful, we shall not be allowed to conceal. Moralists have recommended to us that, in cases of trial and temptation, we should imagine Cato, or some awful and upright judge of virtue, the witness of our actions; and that we should not dare to do what he would disapprove. Devout men have pressed the continued recollection of the omnipresence of an all-perfect Being. The Roman religion, in the article here mentioned, directs us to some man, venerable by character, and by profession devoted to the cure and relief of human frailties. To do justice to the original and pure notion of the benefits of auricular confession, we must suppose the spiritual father really to be all that the office he undertakes requires' him to be. He should have with his penitent no rival passions nor contending interests. He is a being of a different sphere, and his thoughts employed about widely different objects. He should have with the person he hears, so much of a common nature, and no more, as should lead him to sympathise with his pains, and compassion. ate his misfortunes. In this case we have many of the advantages of having a living man before us to fix our attention and satisfy our communicative spirit, combined with those of a superior nature which appears to us inaccessible to weakness and folly. We gain a friend to whom we are sacredly bound to tell the little story of our doubts and anxieties, who hears us with interest and fatherly affection, who judges us uprightly, who advises us with an enlightened and elevated mind, who frees us from the load of undivulged sin, and enables us to go forward with a chaste heart and purified conscience. There is nothing more allied to the barbarous and savage character than sullenness, concealment, and reserve. There is nothing which operates more powerfully to mollify and humanise the heart than the habit of confessing all our actions, and concealing none of our weaknesses and absurdities.

Several other circumstances in the Roman Catholic religion, as it was practised in the fourteenth century, co-operated with those which have just been mentioned, to give it a powerful ascendancy over the mind, and to turn upon it a continual recollection. One of these is to be found in the fasts and abstinences of the church. These were no doubt so mitigated as scarcely to endanger any alarming consequences to the life or health of the true believer. But they at least interfered, in some cases, to regulate the diet, and in others to delay the hours of customary refection. One hundred and twenty-six days may easily be reckoned up in the calendar, which were modified by directions of this sort. Thus religion, in its most palpable form, was continually protruded to the view, and gain. ed entrance into every fainily and house.

The preparation for death is one of its foremost injunctions, · The Host, that is, the true and very body of his Redeemer, is

conducted in state to the dying man's house, conveyed to his

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chamber, and placed upon his parched and fevered tongue ; he is anointed with boly oil; and, after a thousand awful ceremonies, dismissed upon his dark and mysterious voyage. Every thing is sedulously employed to demonstrate that he is a naked and wretched creature, about to stand before the tribunal of an austere and rigorous judge ; and that his blameless life, his undaunted integrity, his proud honour, and his generous exertions for the welfare of others, will all of them little avail him on this tremendous and heart-appalling occasion.

The foregoing account of the Catholic Church is principally, from a respectable English author, who writes with a good deal of feeling, and discovers, in some parts of his account, a partiality in favour of the Catholics, and, in others an unnecessary severity. The Catholics are to be considered a large part, and at the present day, a very interesting part, of the visible Church of Christ. They have their errors, great errors, but they have always held the Scriptures to possess the bighest authority, and their Creeds, in highest repute, are scriptural and evangelical. The exertions of the present day to disseminate the scriptures among the Catholics, have been eminently successful. Much less opposition to this work is experienced than was generally expected. And, so far as opportunity has been afforded, catholics discover an unexpected solicitude to procure and read the sacred Volume. There is no more devoted or successful labourer in the Bible cause, at the present time, than the eminent Professor Van Ess, a catholic clergyman at Marburg in Germany.

The state of the catholic church has greatly meliorated since the Reformation, and their progress in improvement was never more rapid than at the present time. The number of persons devoted to the ascetic life, withdrawn from society and from usefulness, confined to the idleness of the convent, is daily diminishing. The odious tribunal of the Inquisition, if it be not already, finally abolished, surely must be soon. The increase of education and the establishment of common schools, in all catholic countries, a distinguishing characteristic of the present times, will gradually destroy many of the offensive features of their religious system. The intercourse between Cutholics and Protestants is constantly increasing, and this will lead good men to see their own deficiencies, as well as the excellencies of their Christian brethren. A system of religion that is stable, main. taining the primary principles of the gospel of Christ, not to be withdrawn from its own steadfastness, is always more safe, and a greater security to the cause of righteousness than one that is carried about with every wind of doctrine.

No civil government was ever more attentive to passing events, and to the general state of mankind, than the court of Rome. The events of the present age have given an inoise to the moral world which is irresistible. The roligion and gore erninent or nations poust and will lie adapte i to je state of the times. Individual opinion must be respected, and the minds of men must be convinced of the truths they are called to believe; and of the reasonableness of the duties they are required to practise. While the Lord Jesus sends his gospel to nations that hitherto have known him not, he sheds increasing light upon those countries in which his truth has been long obscured by the darkness of error. We trust the day of the peace of the Church is approaching, when God will give to his Son all parts of the earth for his possession. It is not to be expected that the Catholic Church will be lost, in the changes which will take place at the approach of that day : but, like every portion of the visible church, will be purified of its errors and corruptions, and be inade meet for the approbation of its Saviour. It has a liitle strength, and in an important sense, has not denied the name of The Lord Jesus.

CHAPTER II.

THE GREEK CHURCH.

The greatest division of the Christian Church that has yet {aken place, and one more ancient than any other that has become permanent, is into the Eastern and Western Churches. The respective limits of the two departments have had frequent variations, but, generally, the Eastern Church has included all who acknowledge the religion of Christianity in Asia, Africa, and the eastern parts of Europe. The Western Church includes the central and western countries of Europe, from which have sprung all the churches on the continent of America.

These two portions of Christendom have been commonly denominated in modern times, the Greek and Latin Churches.

The eastern was called the Greek Church because it included ancient Greece ; its principal centre was at Constantinople, and the public proceedings of the Church, together with their forms of worship, have been, generally, in the Greek language. The Western has been denominated the Latin Church, as its principal seat was at Rome, and the Latin language has been generally used in the liturgies and public transactions of the Church.

The primary cause of this ancient division, which became the source of great calamities to the Christian world, was the removal of the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople. This event took place in the year 330, a few years after the Emperor Constantine had embraced the Christian faith, and the pagan persecution ceased. The church, now released from the oppressions which had been endured ever since the ascension of Christ, in the enjoyment of external prosperity, decorated with the splendours of wealth and power, became

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