Sivut kuvina

find complaints of the great want of pastors in France both Protestant and Catholic. In the Chronique Religieuse, there are various articles relating to the divisions by which the Roman Catholic church in that country is at present disturbed; one party maintaining high notions of the power of the Pope, and the other defending the liberties of the Gallican church; one treating with great harshness those priests, who, during the time of the revolution, took the constitutional oath, and the other defending their cause; one endeavouring to restore the Romish religion as it formerlly existed, and the other discovering a more liberal and enlightened spirit. It is to the latter party, that the conductors of the Chronique decidedly belong; though at the same time, they appear to be sincere and zealous Catholics.

On the whole, what we have seen in these journals, as well as what we know from other sources, affords encouragement to hope for a better state of religion in France than has previously existed in that country. Toleration is now established. There appears to be little or no restraint from public authority upon freedom of discussion. Writings, such as the journals before us, show that neither true religious sentiments nor a belief in Christianity are extinct; and those who appear as defenders of our religion, both Catholics and Protestants, seem to have just notions of what is essential to its character.

We will give a few extracts from those passages which seemed to us most likely to interest our readers.

In the Chronique Religieuse for August 10th, 1818, we find the following notice of Peace Societies.

"During some years past, Peace Societies have been forming in England, and still more in the United States of America; and particularly in Massachusetts. Their object, which is in a high degree laudable, is to prevent and put an end to war. To promote this object they have published various writings, which are read with great interest.'

After some remarks upon the sentiments of Erasmus, of the Friends, and others, it is observed;

[ocr errors]

"The writings of which we have before spoken consider the subject under every aspect, and seem to have exhausted it. It cannot be doubted that they furnish a refutation of the arguments of Lord Kaims in favor of war."

Then, after a short account of some of the topics treated of in the publications mentioned, it is added;

"Many collateral questions are discussed in these writings, which give proof of the talents and benevolence of their authors. Every one must praise their motives, whether he adopts their opinions or not. All men of mild and correct feelings will wish with them to banish forever the scourge of war. Unfortunately our hopes are not so strong as our wishes."

We feel assured that the author of the above notice had seen the writings of our countrynian Dr. Worcester, who deserves so much honour for his exertions in the cause of humanity; and to whom, more than to any other man, is to be attributed the diffusion of correct opinions and feelings on the subject of war. He is securing for himself a place among the great benefactors of mankind.

In the number for August 30, there is an eloquent and able article of considerable length in defence of the Lancastrian schools; or as they are called, Schools of mutual instruction. Les ecoles d'enseignement mutuel. They have been attacked, it seems, under religious and political pretences, upon the ground that giving instruction to the poor may tend to withdraw them from the true faith, and to render them bad subjects. They have notwithstanding multiplied rapidly. "The oldest," it is said, "have not been more than three years in existence, and we already reckon nearly eight hundred."

Our readers, we think, will be interested in the following extracts from the article just mentioned. They may serve to show the spirit of liberal and intelligent Catholics at the present day in France.

Without instruction the poor cannot read the Bible" And by what right will any one pretend to deny to a whole class of Christians, the reading of the Sacred Books, dictated by him who is Truth itself? And the reading of works composed to explain their meaning, and to inculcate sentiments of piety and love to God? Is it not manifest impiety to intercept the light and the consolations, which he sends? And who are deprived of these benefits? The most unfortunate. They, who, disinherited of almost all the pleasures of this life, have the most need, that they may not believe Providence unjust, to think upon another life, when we shall all be weighed in the same balance."

"In order to estimate the effects of instruction, it is necessary at the same time to consider those of ignorance.

"In many states of the South of Europe, the prejudice that it is necessary to keep the people in ignorance is sufficiently general among men in power. It cannot be denied that in these countries, the exterior forms of religion are punctually observed; nor can it be denied that as much as this was done by the Pharisees at Jerusalem. Let us not fear to avow, that if one should seek in Europe for models of the ecclesiastic virtues, he would find them indeed in these countries, but that these are not the places where he would find them in the greatest abundance. Among the common people, the idea of the Di

New Series-vol. I.


[ocr errors]

vinity is almost lost in a mass of gross superstitions. The observance of religious ceremonies is often considered as affording a dispensation from performing good actions, and a privilege to commit bad. Robbers stop you on the high way, wearing rosaries. A man assasinates his enemy without any remorse of conscience. A pilgrimage or a procession will wash away the crime to-morrow. The most shameful sloth nourishes the development of every vice. Conjugal fidelity, loses respect; and there are those, who, under the shelter of a scapulary, give themselves up to the worst excesses of debauchery. If the primitive christians, whose worship was so pure, could revisit such a country, what would they think?-The spirit of Christianity includes every virtue and proscribes every vice. He is not a Christian, who is not a man of virtue."

In the Archives of Christianity for November 1818 and January 1819, we find an account of the formation of a Protestant Bible Society at Paris.

Permission according to law was requested from the government, and granted in the most gracious manner. The President is the Marquis de Jaucourt, a peer of France, and member of the Consistory of the Reformed Communion. One of the Vice Presidents, is Cuvier, the celebrated naturalist, who is designated, as being one of the Lutheran church, and another the Count de Boissy d' Anglas.*

Sunday schools, it is stated in the same work, are forming in different parts of France.

A stereotype edition of Ostervald's translation of the New Testament is publishing at Paris.

Paley's Moral Philosophy has just appeared in a French translation, and is commended in both the journals.


The Herald of Peace.-A monthly magazine under this title was commenced in January last, in London. We have seen the two first numbers, which are quite respectable and interesting. The object of the work is stated to be, "to foster

* Respecting the Bible Society, above mentioned, we have been favoured with the following information.

"The Bible Society at Paris has been established by the active exertions of Mr. Leo, a German Christian and Philanthropist, assisted by the influ ence of a gentleman from Boston (Mr. S. V. Wilder) resident in Paris, who, on a late visit to his native land, procured considerable aid at NewYork from the funds of the American Bible Society, and also in Boston, from the Massachusetts Bible Society. Mr. Leo has not confined his attention to France, but was at the last dates, engaged in publish ng an edition of the New Testament in Italy-where we may probably soon hear of the establishment of a Bible Society."

the spirit of inquiry which has been raised by affording authentic information of the transactions of the various Peace Societies;"" and to form a medium of correspondence between the friends of peace in various parts of this and other countries." Agreeably to this plan, a large part of the work is occupied with articles of Intelligence, relating to the progress of pacific principles; and among these, the exertions and publications of the Massachusetts Peace Society hold the most conspicuous place. The Constitution and annual reports of this society are introduced, together with copious extracts from the pamphlets of the Rev. N. Worcester. Some of these have been republished in England for distribution, as also the Letters addressed to Gov. Strong on the subject of war, written and published in New-York, by the Rev. Dr. Whelpley.

The information contained in the Herald, of the exertions which are making, and the progress which has been effected in this excellent cause, is highly encouraging. The societies in England are well supported, and very active. Tracts to the number of 207,000 have been printed and circulated by the London Society since its foundation in 1816, besides many thousands circulated by other societies in Great Britain.

The Herald contains the addresses presented by the London Society to the Prince Regent, to the Emperor Alexander, who has returned an answer signed by his own hand, and to the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle. From this last paper the the following is an extract.

"Your Majesties have felt the evils of war, and have deplored its calamities. You have seen its temporary successes to be without profit and without honour. You have therefore wisely determined to oppose a barrier to its future encroachments and devastations.-And how is this barrier to be formed?

"Will your Majesties condescend to take an example from the administration of justice in small communities? As the maxims of jurisprudence decide between man and man, so may not the laws of a sound and Christian policy determine between contending kingdoms before the high general Tribunal of Arbiters, whom your Majesties may select for that dignified and especial office?

"And as the estates of a kingdom are assembled from time to time, to hear complaints, and to redress wrongs, so your Majesties, by assembling in person, or by distinguished representatives, will stand as Umpires, to whom will be referred all disputes in the great Christian commonwealth; and thus a perpetual Congress will be established to arbitrate between

contending States, and to promote the happiness of the world. For, indeed, your Majesties have been pleased to consider your own and other Christian States as only forming one great Christian Nation; to acknowledge yourselves as delegated by Providence to govern the several great branches as fathers of this one family; and to confess that in reality, there is no other Sovereign than HIM, to whom alone belongs all power, because in Him alone, are found all the treasures of love, science, and infinite wisdom."

The address of this Society to the Emperor Alexander, was presented to him by Mr. Clarkson, at Aix-la-Chapelle. Upon this gentleman's return to England, in a speech before the Woodbridge Bible Association, he gave an account of his interview with the Emperor; the latter part of which is too interesting to be omitted.

The Emperor said, "it had given him peculiar satisfaction, when he had heard of a Society, established in the United States of America, for the Prevention of War. This had coincided so much with his (the Emperor's) own views, and was for so great a moral purpose, that he had thought it right to signify his opinion of it to its president with his own hand. Equally happy was he now to learn, that a Society had been established in London for a similar purpose, or for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace. These societies were so many proofs to him of the moral improvement of the times, and of the spread of Gospel principles upon earth. He was of opinion, that the peaceable times prophesied of in the Holy Scriptures were hastening on, and that they would most assuredly come to pass. At this moment, the great struggle upon the earth between the Empire of Virtue and the Empire of Vice had been visibly begun. It was carrying on with vigour. The struggle would be great, and perhaps long. Vice had hitherto had a powerful dominion among men; but when he considered the progress which Christianity had made, of late years, by the institution of many estimable Societies, and the reinforcement she would receive from others, which would necessarily rise up in time, he had no doubt in his own mind, that she would triumph. Teach,' said his Majesty, the rising generation to read, and give them the Holy Scriptures, the only foundation of true morals, and you lay the axe at the root of every vicious custom. War itself, among others, must give way, wherever Christianity maintains a solid seat in the heart of man.'"

The Indo-Chinese Gleaner.-This is a quarterly publication, issued at Malacca, devoted to intelligence from China

« EdellinenJatka »