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the procession of Bruges, passing along the streets, strewn with sweet flags and other herbs :
This bore the relics in a chest of gold,
On arm of that the swinging censer bung;
Another loud a tinkling hand-bell rung; Four fathers went that ringing monk behind,
Who suited psalms of holy David sung; Then o’er the cross a stalking sire inclined, And banners of the Church went waving in the wind.
“Genoa probably considers herself bound to allure her sons and daughters to devote themselves more exclusively to the invocation of St. Mary; for upon her gate towards Nice, she inscribes herself, “The City of the most holy Mary,' and M. de Genoude, in his book, expatiates with delight upon her pre-eminency among the cities of Europe, in the culte de la Ste. Vierge. Montalembert, in his introduction to the Life of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, includes among the blessings of the thirteenth century the systematizing, if not the rise of the service of the Virgin. Certainly it occupies a very prominent place in the systems of St. Dominick and St. Francis, and in the whole of that revival of religion which distinguishes the thirteenth century, an age not unfrequently misunderstood, or misrepresented, and which Mr. Gladstone, in his `Church Principles,' a writer whose sobriety of style and thought make it very unlikely that he should have any imaginative preference for a dark age, speaks of it as a time when the soil of the Church had more vigor in throwing up great plants than at present. He instances Roger Bacon, Dante, and St. Thomas Aquinas. A study of the revival of religion in the thirteenth century would bring out singularly applicable lessons both for us, and for our Roman brethren.
« The Christian elevation of the female character so notorious in the middle ages, cannot, with any thing like historical accuracy, be linked to chivalry. It would not be hard to show that it was owing mainly to the growing reverence for the blessed mother of the Lord. It is very questionable whether chivalry went nearly so deep down into the European mind, as is often said, and many vestiges of picturesque good feeling, which interest us in later centuries,
may fairly be claimed by other causes, though mostly attributed to chivalry. In addition to the influence upon female character which the reverence for St. Mary may have exercised, we must take into reckoning the amount of Christian art,churches, statues, pictures and poetry which have sprung from devotion to her.”
After all this, great indeed is our disappointment at finding Mr. Faber himself betrayed into a forgetfulness of those just and charitable principles, which, but a few pages before, we were so much gratified in hearing him advocate. Almost in the same breath in which he speaks so feelingly of the happy influences of the reverence felt for the blessed mother of the Lord, we bear him asserting that the honor paid by the Catholics to the Virgin Mary,“must surely be called adoration.” And again : “We live in an age when tendencies ripen rapidly
, and the effects of a quickened belief in, and service of the Virgin of the Assumption, and of all that is therewith connected, would speedily display themselves in a corruption of Catholic doctrine, perhaps worse than what has been hitherto,” &c. So much for Protestant consistency! of which, among many more, take a still more startling example. Mr. Faber is in no wise backward in making many and very strong admissions. In speaking of the principle of unity embodied in the Popedom, he uses this language; a deep feeling oppresses me when I reflect on the history of the Papacy. One while, the idea elevates me by its greatness; at another, it dejects me by its bold. ness. It is really an awful page in the history of man; and the lower we stoop to decipher the mysterious characters in which it is written, the more manifestly do they appear
divine.” He reverences Rome, and Rome's primacy, because of that reverential instinct which he finds in the writers of antiquity, and there was a divine sanction for it.” He regards Rome as the centre most of Europe was Christianized, and held together in union after it was made Christian.” He deplores the separation of Greece from Rome, as “an inauspicious blight on the venerable Churches of the east," and
by no means denies that
rejects the idea that the emancipation of any national Church from the subjection to Rome, has conferred upon it a “nobler individuality ;" even now he regards Rome as the legitimate capital of Christendom. He admits that even in these days the Papacy is “a captivating idea, for it seems a shorter road to unity than any other;" his foreign sympathies rest mainly with the Latin Church, and “he dares not say and will not think that the office of Rome is over."
Nor are his admissions in regard to his own Church of England, as coming from the mouth of the mysterious stranger, less remarkable than the above.
“ You put forward,” said he, “the highest possible claims for your Church, often in a tone of pharisaical self-conceit, as though the usages and belief of the greater part of Christendom were of no account whatever in your eyes; you repeatedly indulge in a very offensive sort of commiseration of Rome, forgetting, on the one hand, that you are very young,* and, on the other, Rome's communion is far more extensive, and comprehends wisdom and holiness which must demand the respect of every modest and thoughtful man. And yet, while you talk so largely of your own Church, you put no faith in her. This it is which angers me.
It is a kind of hypocrisy. You do not believe that she dare loosen the pegs of her tent cords, in order to enlarge it, lest a rough wind should blow it over in the meanwhile. This is a very bad sign indeed. For, remember, there are many suspicious characteristics which lead foreigners to think that your Church is only a Church upon paper. You are not a fasting Church; yet every other Church in the world has been so from the earliest times. Your clergy as a body do not own their apostolical lineage as essential to the construction of a Church and the administration of the sacraments. Your Church cannot excommunicate, and shrinks very uncharitably from anathematizing heresy. Your people do not believe that infants are
actually regenerated by baptism.
The commemorations of the departed are disused, and that too since your Reformation. Your clergy venture upon the liberty of marriage without respecting the example of all the other western Churches. The glory of the sacrifice of the altar is clouded among you, which must lead in the end to a clouding of the sacrifice of the cross. You do not honor tradition, which must, in the end, lead to a dishonoring of Scripture. Am I then to believe what I have been told on many sides, that your Church is but a dream and your churchmen dreamers, with an unrealized theology, not a branch of the Catholic vine, true, healthy, strong, vigorous, growing, gifted, tangible, substantial ? Ah! have you not, perchance, made an illuminated transparency, a soothing sight for quiet times, and sat before it so long and so complacently that you now venture to call it a Catholic Church ?"
Now, if the Church of England be such as she is here represented, would not a conscientious man, one enlightened beyond his brethren, be solicitous to come out of her, and unite himself to a Church recognized as possessing all the requisites, the absence of which is deplored in his own ? But how stands the case with Mr. Faber? We will allow him to explain himself in his own words, as conveyed in a warning voice through the lips of his mysterious monitor.
“ The apostle teaches us that where God finds us, where his grace comes to us, there we should remain, not seeking to be freed even from a position disadvantageous, as we deem it, to our religious advancement. You find yourself in a Church, not surely by accident, but by God's providence, what warrant have you for leaving that Church ? Who can authorize you to go away? Is private judgment your ruler ? I trust you have not so learned Christ. The presumption,-a presumption sufficiently strong to act upon, is always in favor of the circumstances in which you actually find yourself. So long as you do not believe that your Church is absolutely apostate and unchurched, her candlestick utterly removed, it is your duty to abide in her, your allegiance is due to her, and you cannot be free
* “ Vous n'etiez pas bier, vous autres," was the energetic expression of Bossuet to the minister Claude.
from it without schism and rebellion. You are a member of a Church; explain to me on Church principles, and from the precedents of Church history, what and where the door is, by which you have the power to leave her, and who is to open it for you. Let your regrets be ever so vehement, your disapproval be ever so strong, men's calumny or persecution ever so hard to bear, your own doubts ever so harassing, foreign claims ever so unanswerable, so long as there remains in your mind a conviction that it is probable or possible for your Church to be really a true branch of the Church universal, I am unable to see what can warrant you in leaving it. O beware! beware!"
We have given the reader the whole of the above curious passage as a specimen of the singular logic which a mind in the state of transition, and not fully aware of the consequences of its own principles, will venture to construct for itself. These and other blemishes, however, we could be content to overlook in consideration of such glowing passages as the following. It is a noble outburst of enthusiastic feeling which will be caught up by every bosom alive to the extraordinary religious aspect of things in the mother land.
“Nay,” said the stranger, “Rome has no cause to fear truth; she will gain by it in the end. Behold,” continued he, raising his voice, while his face kindled with solemn enthusiasm, behold, all hearts are turned towards Rome, all eyes fixed upon her in love, hope, fear, and inquiry. Long has her mysterious character been seen, in that men would not feel indifference towards her, as towards a common city, but either fond love or bitter hatred has been her portion from every one who cared for the cross at all. The contracted limits and narrow sympathies of national Churches are again being destroyed. Gallicanism, that vile, unworthy, and disloyal child of the selfish Sorbonne, is now scattered for ever to the four winds of heaven; and the fresh waters imprisoned by the salt sea in your own little island, are bursting down these barriers with a sound to which all Europe listens. Oh, the beauty of old Catholic England !
Oh, by the memory of the old Saxon saints ! I implore you as a priest consecrating in the shrines of Augustin and of Anselm, to seek daily, to feel and realize, and lean upon the Church Catholic through and beyond your own national branch; throw yourself with a bold meekness into the capacious sympathies and magnificent affections of the Church universal: hide yourself in the mighty beatings of her universal heart. Are there none to set you an example none whose meek humility and love of discipline can correct the vehemence and untutored zeal which tempts those who walk in a new path ?” “Oh yes!” I replied, “ there are lowly-minded men even in proud England, whose leaning on the Church Catholic is as bold and trustful as your own; we have men still who walk in our cloisters, singing of the king's daughter, and extolling her golden vessels. Nay, on this Asiatic shore, forgive me if I would leave behind an echo of noble English song-a melody of one who sits uncomplaining by the waters of our Babylon, even thankful for the thin shade of the willows in that thirsty land, and speaking these glorious things of the city of our God:
“Throughout the older world, story and rite,
Into the vast and viewless infinite,
Divinely and darkly labors to disclose,
• Is this, indeed," said he, “a modern English strain ? In truth it is such an image of the eternal city, as would rise to the keen vision of Austin, as he paced the Mediterranean sands, or the broad eye of Basil amid the rugged scenery of Pontus. 1 trust such sweetness may win many among you from a narrow-hearted idolatry of a national Church, for most deep and true, most solemn and tender, is their love for their own Church, who gaze from the
steeples of her streets upon the palaces and glittering pinnacles around her; and in the centre of that city, like to a most gorgeous citadel, stands the form of old Rome. See, after long neglect, how all the children of the earth, one after another, even those who are not called by her name, rise up and uncover themselves in her princely presence! See! how the whole world burns to fling itself, in one spontaneous wave of pilgrimage, upon the capital.”
Mr. Faber closes his volume with a supposed dream on board the vessel which was bearing him towards Constantinople. It shadows forth the writer's feelings and views, in reference to the present religious position of his country.
“After midnight I fell asleep and dreamed. Methought I was with the mysterious stranger on a bright sunny bank of velvet turf; a little brook murmuring near, and a copse hard by, full of meadow-sweets, the odor of which filled all the air. Every thing around spoke the voluptuous languor of midsummer. The stranger asked me to explain all the doctrines and customs of my Church. So I took a sheet of vellum and I wrote them all out in columns in a fair hand, from the calendars and rubrics of the service books. He was much pleased with it, and said it was very beautiful and good. Then he proposed we should walk up the stream some little way. So I hid the vellum among the meadow-sweets, and we walked together up the stream. heavy shower of rain came on, and we took
shelter in a cave which was in the face of the rock, all clasped with ivy, bind-weed, and eglantine. When the sun shone again, we returned to our bank and I looked for the vellum, and the rain had washed all the characters away. Upon this the stranger said I had deceived him ; that if what I had written were true, no rain would have washed it away; and he would not believe me when I said it was true: but he was very angry. However, he said he would judge for himself. So we rose up, and went a long way for many weeks, till we came to Canterbury on advent Sunday. From thence we went all over the land, throughout the parishes, and the stranger took strict note of all he saw and heard. At length we came to the banks of the Tweed. The stranger would not cross over, but he listed up his hands and blessed the land on the other side. So we turned back again towards the south, and on Ascension day we were in a forlorn and desolate chancel belonging to a spacious church. It was a dreary, unadorned place, for the beauty was lavished on the nave rather than the chancel, and over the altar, a very mournful symbol, were seven empty white-washed niches. The stranger regarded me with indignation, but did not speak. When he came out of the church he turned to me and said in a solemn voice, somewhat tremulous from deep emotion, 'You have led me through a land of closed churches and hushed bells, of unlighted altars and unstoled priests: Is ENGLAND BENEATH AN INTERDICT?'”
discover that in treating the subject a second time, Mr. Read had lost nothing of the inspiration which distinguished his first production on the hallowed soil of our forefathers. The discourse before us may be truly styled a literary gem, sparkling at every point with the rays of lofty genius, the more surpassing in their brilliancy as they gush forth in unceasing connection with a light from“ the Orient on high,” the pole-star of religious truth. With no less beauty than originality of idea, the author introduces the principal facts which he narrates, with scriptural associations, which enhance in a high degree the interest of his subject, and although he touches upon few historical incidents, the relation is accompanied with all that wisdom of reflection and ornament of style, which are calculated to insure a most instructive and most delightful perusal. After an appropriate introduction in which he alludes to the hospitality of the city of brotherly love, he thus enters upon his topic : “ We celebrate, indeed, the very
festival of hospitality ; for we are convened in commemoration of the origin of a state, whose founders, received themselves as brothers by the kindly savage, threw open their doors in turn to the friendless wanderer asking no title to their offices of love, but the common fraternity of sorrow.
“Our anniversary, it is true, is of arbitrary adoption, originally selected for the convenience of a pilgrimage to the long deserted site of the first settlement of Maryland. But it seems to have been chosen well ; at a season when the rigors and desolation of winter are forgotten in the vernal burst of universal joy; when the sunny air is vocal with music, when animal and vegetable life teem with renovated energies; and the voice of a God of love, whispering in
• The sweet south, That breathes upon the banks of violets,
Stealing and giving odor,' diffuses fresh hopes throughout creation. And was not this a proper season, to celebrate that glorious spring-time in the human heart, whose beauties, first bursting into being on the sacred soil of old St. Mary's,
gave promise that the blighting blast of religious intolerance, that so long had “frozen' up the genial currents of the soul,' had sunk with flagging wing to his boreal caves forever? It was chosen well! in this blessed • month of Mary,' which the tasteful genius of Christianity, arranging the circling year into one graceful and majestic drama of the everlasting scheme of salvation, has consecrated to especial meditation on the gentle virtues of her, in whose bosom, and upon whose bosom “the begotten from all eternity' first felt the tender throb of earthly affection! and such was a proper season to commemorate the unexampled decree by temporal power, that man should no longer measure his love to God, by the intensity of hatred for his brother!
“ But whatever fanciful circumstances we may cast around their memory, the incidents of Maryland's first existence derive no lustre from them. Radiant with their own light, too clear and bright for the illusions or decorations of fiction, there they shine forever, through the dark history of human perversity—like the fixed stars unchanging from season to season-sparks of the divinity that illumes and warms the universe!
Is this the language of exaggeration ? Unroll your maps, and detail to me the origin of the various communities that have occupied our globe. How many can you show me whose beginning was not stained by violence or fraud ? I speak not of those oriental despotisms, whose only authentic history is written in the desolation left by their marching millions, or on those stupendous monuments of pride, that only tyranny could plan, or slavery's overstrained sinews execute. But can you find one among the pirates and robbers of early Greece, whose dazzling genius blinds us to their faults, as to spots upon the sun ? Can you find one among the eastern and northern barbarians, who came down on the everlasting city as the scourge of God,' or the ruthless conquerors who ravaged in succession our maternal isles! Alas! * the trail of the serpent is over, the fairest earthly scenes, and would you behold a nation founded on faith, and hope, and charity,