« PredošláPokračovať »
professions; in consequence of which upon the continent with Mr. Dorthe advantage or mischief conse- mer, otherwise called Father Clequent upon their several modes of ment, a Jesuit, for his tutor. On action, is chargeable upon their his return it was arranged that the creeds, not limited to the character Jesuit should eventually succeed of the individual. The author gives Mr. Elliston, otherwise called Faan advantage, as must be expected ther Dennis, in the situation of dofrom every partizan, to his own side, mestic chaplain to Mrs. Clarenham's and represents the Papist asat length family. yielding to the force of truth, and The arrival of young Clarenham dying in heart a Protestant. This, brings about a visit from his former indeed, appears a necessary conse- companion, the eldest son of Sir quence from the hypothesis of the Herbert Montague; and the interauthor; it being, perhaps, impossi- views which afterwards take place ble for two persons acting, with between these two families, united candid minds and sincere intentions, in affection, but divided in faith, on opposite principles, to maintain furnish occasion for those exhibitions intercourse together, for any length of the tendency of the two creeds, of time, without discovering, sooner which it is the object of the tale to or later, which is the weaker cause; produce. The first scene of interest, and therefore the work would not in which these discussions occur, is only have been tame and insipid, the chapel of the Clarenhams, where but not founded in the nature of a portrait of St. Francis gives rise things, without some such result. to a disquisition on the subject of At the same time we admit, that, fasting. Mrs. Clarenham said of according to the old fable of the that popish saint to Ernest Monlion and the man, it would have tague, been easy for a Roman Catholic to 6. It was fastings, and mortification, and construct the characters and plot penance, which reduced him to that ema
ciated state.' on such a foundation as would have
“Ernest smiled, and replied gently, You led to a contrary conclusion. In know, my dear Mrs. Clarenham, we Prothese cases, the fable is not argu- testants see no religion in such self-inflicment. It is only a collection of tions: consequently they excite no feelings seeming probabilities, of which the of respect or sympathy in us.'
««• Do Protestants, who appeal to Scripjudgment and observation of the
ture in support of all doctrine, see there reader must decide whether they be no injunction to fast ?' demanded Doronly apparent or real.
mer, in rather an authoritative tone of The plot of the tale is as follows: voice, and looking at Ernest with an ex-- The Montagues and Clarenhams pression of mingled dignity and displeaare two neighbouring and connected “ • They see there no injunction whatever families ; the former Protestants, the about fasting,' replied Ernest : "and the latter Papists; and to heighten the fasting which is commended in the New contrast, the Protestants are Cal- effects as that’-pointing to the emaciated
Testament forbids any such display of its vinistic Presbyterians. We think painting. “Our Lord himself says, ' When this latter part of the invention in- ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad judicious, as the contrast between that they may appear unto men to fast:
countenance, for they disfigure their faces the essential principles of Protest- Verily I say unto you, they have their reantism and Popery would be best ward. But 'thou, when thou fastest, anoint seen if no other diversity perplexed thy head and wash thy face, that thou the attention. The period selected appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy
Father which seeth in secret; and thy Fafor the story is the year 1715, when ther which seeth in secret shall reward “the rebellion, in favour of the house thee openly.” of Stuart, was on the eve of breaking
“ Dormer listened with fixed attention, forth both in Scotland and in the as Ernest gravely and emphatically repeatnorth of England.” Mr. Clarenhamed the words of Christ.
«• You have described the purcst and having died, his only son was sent most holy mode of fasting,' replied he,
his countenance and manner assuming an worship, in the following descripexpression of polished mildness. And tion. do not suppose, Mr. Montague, that I mean to question in how far those of your all, at that moment, kneeling on the pave
“ The chapel was nearly full of peoplecommunion thus fast; but allow me to say, that our Catholic and Apostolic Church
ment in profound silence-every eye has shewn her heavenly wisdom in the turned with apparently intense devotion care she has taken that none of her chil- on the painting over the altar. It was dren shall neglect the performance of this
that crucifixion which had so powerfully holy duty; and those who have, as that
moved Ernest's feelings on his former visit saint did (pointing to the picture), far
to the chapel. Amongst the worshippers exceeded the injunctions of his church, in
were Mrs. Clarenham, her son, and two fasts and other mortifications, have attain- daughters, kneeling also devoutly on the ed to that angelical degree of purity which pavement, with their eyes fixed on the makes them glorious models for us, and painting; Dormer knelt near the altarwhich has, according to the decision of his hands clasped on his breast, and his the church, given them such favour with eyes fixed with an expression of adoration God, as to encourage us to trust in the
on the suffering, but beautifully resigned efficacy of their intercessions for us.'
and affecting, countenance of the picture, “All—all absolutely contrary to Scrip- Elliston was in the pulpit.” pp. 111, 112. ture,' replied Ernest, with deep serious
“ Ernest's thoughts were at last interness of voice and manner. Those open, rupted, and the profound silence in the known, stated, prescribed fasts, meritori- chapel broken, by Dormer, as he knelt, ous in proportion to the degree in which repeating, in a voice of thrilling power, the they disfigure, and emaciate, and make
words addressed to the thief upon the useless the human frame, and the neglect cross, - Verily, I say unto thee, To-day of which subjects the person to punish- shalt thou be with me in paradise.' Ellisment from his church, are in direct con
ton then began, in a strain of most vehetradiction to that private act of devotion
ment declamation, to call the attention of and humiliation, known only to God and
the people to these words. Some things the soul, which is commended by the
he said were good, and Ernest listened to Lord and Head of the true church : and
them with pleasure ; but the old man, bethe belief that the intercession of the
fore he concluded, had worked up his own spirits of men can avail us any thing, be
and the people's feelings to a state with sides the many absurdities it involves, is which Ernest could feel no emotion of in absolute opposition to the plainest sympathy. He and they were in tears ; declarations of Scriptures.
St. Paul and the chapel resounded with audible
Dormer, he however observed, "You understand Latin, Mr. Mon
was not moved: neither were Clarenham tague,' interrupted old Elliston. Be so
and Maria; but Catherine and her mother good as quote from Scripture in that lan- were deeply so.
“ Just as Elliston finished, the chapel guage.'
“ Ernest looked at Clarenham, and smil- began to darken. Ernest looked towards ed. He reddened--Dormer also reddened.
the large Gothic window by which it was * Father Dennis is right,' said he, ‘we do
lighted, and saw a thick curtain gradually not allow the correctness of your transla- descending over it. This, he supposed, tion.'
was meant to represent that miraculous “ * I do not speak Latin in the presence
darkness which accompanied the last sufof ladies,' said Ernest, turning away from
ferings on the cross; and he felt shocked the priests; but,' addressing Clarenham,
by an imitation which appeared to him so 'you will find the passage I meant to profane. Soon all was in the gloom of quote in St. Paul's Epistle to Timothy,'
departing twilight-all but the painting. (chap. ii. v. 5.)” pp. 40–43.
A lamp suspended above it, which Ernest
had not before observed, now shed its pale The progress of this argument, rays on the countenance, giving it still it will be allowed, is well managed; more the expression of suffering and exand the appeal to the authority of haustion, and throwing on the figure the the church, and the rejection of all pallidness of death. The darkness seemed
to affect the people as if it had been real, unauthorized versions are perfectly A sensation among them, as if gathering in character. Afterwards Ernest together, had a powerful effect on Ernest's Montague attends Divine service in voice, proceeding from the darkened altar,
feelings. This was increased by Dormer's the chapel, being provided with a
and pronouncing the next sacred words post of observation, where he might, uttered by Christ. These again called unseen, notice all that passed. Our forth a vehement burst of declamation readers will think he has not done from Elliston. Another and another sen
tence was thus pronounced by Dormer, injustice to that study of effect, and declaimed on by Elliston; and Ernest which charactizes Roman-Catholic began to feel wearied of the sameness of
Review of Father Clement.
[MARCH, his exaggerated expressions, and thought certed by this neglect'; and after of retiring, when, after another pause of several fruitless attempts to procure deep silence, the next sentence was pronounced, not by Dormer, but by Elliston;
a private interview, he accosted her and then Dormer began, not like old El- one morning, by demanding a few liston, with vehement, and unstudied, minutes' conversation with her,-in and ineloquent appeals to the feelings of the course of which he his hearers, but in a voice, calm, low, and thrilling, to explain the words, and point “ asked how long it was since she had out the instructions to be derived from
confessed. them. Ernest's attention was completely “ Maria hesitated. Not for a very long arrested: but it required more than even
time, Father. The truth is,' added she, Dormer's eloquence,—though every sen- a little recovered from her alarm at finding tence seemed the result of study and of herself at last compelled to have a private conviction,- -to prove what he attempted
conversation with Dormer,—the truth is, to prove. The words he preached on Father, that I have ever had the greatest were those addressed by Christ to his disciple John, on consigning to him the care
repugnance to confession. I could scarcely of his mother :- Behold thy mother.' whom I regarded as a parent.
overcome it with good old Father Dennis, The Evangelist simply adds, as the conse- “ • That repugnance is sinful, my daugh. quence of this charge— And from that
ter; and, like other sins, the more you hour that disciple took her unto his own
indulge it, the more difficulty you will find home.' Dormer, from these words, at
in subduing it.' tempted to defend the worship of the Vir- « • But, Father, if I confess my sins to gin Mary; and this, apparently, with the God ?—He only can pardon them.' most perfect sincerity.” pp. 113–116. Though Ernest could not agree in any through the medium of his priests, daugh
“God pardons those in his church thing Dormer said on this point, still he ter. The church says expressly, ' A penifelt no inclination to depart. At last he
tent person can have no remission of sins was rewarded for his long attendance.
but by supplication to the priest. Elliston pronounced the words, It is
Does the Bible say so, Father?' finished.' And never in his life before had
“ Dormer looked surprised, but said Ernest heard eloquence so powerful, as mildly, I am not in the habit of hearing that by which Dormer clearly, and from it asked whether the Church is supported Scripture, proved, that, at the moment by any authority in its decrees but its own?' these words were uttered, the stupendous "But if the church decrees what is work of redemption was finished. Ernest
contrary to the Bible?' covered his face with his hands, that he “Dormer looked still more surprised. might see none of those degrading appeals “You are on dangerous ground, daughter, to the senses, by which the powerful I have suspected that some serious error preacher was surrounded. When he again withheld you from attending to your raised his eyes, on Dormer's concluding, Christian duties. I now perceive the the darkness was dispelled. The congre
cause of your unwillingness to confess; gation still knelt; and, as if to do away
but beware, my daughter, of suffering the impression produced by the scriptural and instructive truths he had just uttered, ihoughts regarding the power of the
your heart to be hardened by unbelieving Dormer began to repeat rapidly some church. Remember that Christ himself Latin prayers, while his fine and expres
said to his Apostles,-—'Whose soever sins sive countenance, which had been lighted ye remit, they are remitted ; and also, up by the deep feeling of those important - whose soever sins ye retain, they are retruths, gradually sunk into an expression tained.' That power is still in the church; of the most excessive exhaustion and and how awful must the state of that perlanguor; and Ernest, supposing the service near a close, softly left the gallery, church retains his sins!'
son be, on whose own guilty head the and, deep in thought, bent his steps home- “ These words, but still more the sowards.
lemn tone in which Dormer pronounced “ What a mixture of error and truth! them, made Maria cold all over, and her thought he, as he slowly crossed the park. limbs tremble. pp. 117, 118.
“ Dormer perceived the impression his The eldest Miss Clarenham bad words had made, and continued : · How been led, by her frequent intercourse dangerous, my daughter, is the very first with the Montagues, to suspect the step in error! Some enemy of the truth soundness of some of the tenets of has sown the poisonous seed of unbelief in
your heart. I have seen you, daughter, the Church of Rome; and she had delighted with the cavils of a heretic. i thence been induced to be more have seen you turn looks of contempt on negligent than other members of the pictures of those saints who now reign her family in the practice of confes
in heaven : and, last of all, you have
scorned the ministrations of the priest sion. Father Clement was discon- commissioned by the church to teach you
the way of life. Daughter, you ought to “ his holiness, as General Clarenham tremble.'" pp. 124–127.
left him a power in his will to do so, The conversation closes by her makes it necessary that Miss Clarenham
chooses to dispense with that clause which delivering up to her confessor a
should be of age before the union of the Bible, which she had met with a two families, and wills that union to take secret opportunity of purchasing; place without delay.” p. 241. and with the truths of which she
No artifices are left untried, to had so far imbued her mind, that give effect to this arrangement.
But it fails. Miss Clarenham, in even the loss of it did not restore those feelings of implicit and un
the presence of several priests,
« avowed her determination to receive doubting reverence with which she her faith only from the Bible, read by herhad previously regarded every word self, in a language she understood. On of her appointed pastor. A Bible the same day Catherine professed herself indeed was afterwards presented to
a humble meinber of the Church of Rome.
In a few weeks it was decided that Maria her in a very unexpected manner;
was no longer heiress of her uncle's forand she welcomed it with a warmth, tune-which devolved on Catherine." which increased her attachment to the doctrines which she had im- Nevertheless, young Carysford bibed from it. She did not indeed, does not even so surrender his claim all at once, divest herself of her to the hand of Miss Clarenham; prepossessions in favour of the and they are married without any church in which she had been restrictions on the faith or conduct educated. But her doubts increased, of the lady. and led to a result on which the The part of the narrative, howstory hinges.
ever, which most puts to the proof There was another family, at.
the subjection of a Romish priest tached to the cause of Rome, in
to the most unwarrantable comthe neighbourhood. It was that of mands which may be conveyed to Sir Thomas Carysford. The parents him from his ecclesiastical superior, had betrothed, at an early age, the is that which regards the honoureldest son of Sir Thomas, to the able exile of young
Clarenham. eldest Miss Clarenham, conformably The task of concerting his departure to the will of her uncle, General is committed to Dormer by the suClarenham, which made it necessary perior of his order. He was a man that, previously to her marriage, she by no means fitted, by personal should declare herself a Roman. character or habit, for the execution Catholic. The Protestant feelings, of so stern an office. with which she was now beginning
“ Wherever any one resided, however to be actuated, naturally awakened poor; or in the meanest hovel, in the
visited doubts of her fulfilling this condi- them all. He appointed different houses, tion; and, to secure a point so much where the old and infirm, or sickly, desired in both families, a visit is
might with ease come to him to confess.
Particular times were set apart for one or contrived to the Carysfords, with other mode of instruction in the Romish whom the superior of the English faith : in short, nothing was heard of at Jesuits resided as domestic chaplain. the castle, or in the village, or amongst This ambitious and enterprising the new chaplain. The extreme strictness
the cottagers, but the zeal and sanctity of priest contrives to have the young of his personal devotion was guessed to heir of the house of Clarenham, be equal to his zeal for the souls of his though just returned from abroad, flock, but of this he made no display. dispatched on a confidential errand It was known only to himself and to his
God. No inmate of the castle, however, to the Pretender, and thence to though perhaps detained to a late hour Rome, where the freedom of his
out of bed, ever saw the light in Dormer's remarks on religion brings him window extinguished ; and the attendant within the power of the inquisition ; quired, however early he offered them in while, at the same time, a bull is the morning, found him already at study procured from Rome, wherein
or devotion." pp. 122, 123. CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 291.
He however submits, and, not- mispent, so inconceivably, so madly rewithstanding his knowledge of the gardless of the bearing time must have perfidy to which he is an unwilling
“ Ernest fixed his eyes intently on Dor-, party, endeavours to subdue those natural feelings of repugnance
“And at sueh moments,' asked he, which he cannot suppress, as acts
on what can you rest your hope ? Do
those penances—those self-inflictionsof rebellion against his holy mother
those acts of charity-those pious feelings church. This part of the fiction is and endeavours, which your church teaches well contrived : we caņnot pursue it are to secure your justification at the bar into detail, Suffice it to say, that
of Christ, return to your recollection so the internal conflict which Dormer with feelings of peace and security?!
as to give you courage to meet your Judge, undergoes, in this steady adherence « « The church teaches that it is best to principles subversive of his for the departing soul not to be secure,' peace, undermines his health, and, replied Dormer, when added to the mortifications question, at least with regard to hope, ir
*** • But may I ask you to answer my which he, from that cause, deems it not security?' said Ernest. a duty to render more severe, brings
" • Yes, provided you do not take my him to a premature grave !_Ernest
answer as one which would apply to those Montague, becoming acquainted Church. For me, no penance-no mor
who are really holy men in the Catholic with the terrible situation of his tification-no fasting—no means I have ever friend, Clarenham, and having rea- attempted, and I believe few ever have atson to conceive, that these priests tempted more, who had to support the alone are able to extricate him from nothing has succeeded. Sin still reigns,
external character imposed on our order, it, is brought into close communica- mingles, triumphs in all I do, and seems tion with the dying Dormer, who to laugh at every effort I make to overlearns to value the piety even of a
come it. On looking back, therefore, in heretic, and to converse with him
those awful moments, nothing returns but
sin.' confidentially on his hopes and fears « «In what, then, my dear sir, do you for eternity We extract one pas
find a refuge from despair ?'. sage from this scene. Dormer,
“ 'Tis strange,' replied Dormer,
how at such moments, one doctrine of among his other mortifications, lays
our faith stands forth so as to throw all the himself in a coffin, for which singu- others into distance and insignificance. lar mode of preparation he assigns The vastness of that sense of want felt by the following reason :
the soul seems instinctively to cling to the
infinite vastness of the means appointed by “ 'I felt a strange shrinking from the God to supply it. The death of the Son of foolish gloomy accompaniments of death, God seems alone sufficient to blot out sins resumed Dormer, in consequence, I
so aggravated and innumerable : — the suppose, of my weak state of body; and, righteousness of the Son of God alone so as you know it is my way to use means spotless as to answer the demands of the for the attainment of the ends I wish, I perfect law of God.
Christ is seen to had this brought here, (pointing to the have wrought the work alone, --and then coffin,) to familiarize myself to what long the soul asks for whom was it wrought ? association has rendered so much an ob- For man.-for all men, for whosoever ject of gloom; and even that association will: and for a time, a glorious triumphI have found wonderfully powerful in ant moment, the soul forgets all but its giving to this last depository the greatest Alinighty Saviour, and its own safety, — effect in solemnizing the thoughts. and can say - My Lord, my Saviour, my
« • It does indeed,' replied Ernest, re- hope, my all. My own righteousnesses, lieving his breast by a long drawn, heavy when I remember them in the light of sigh.
that spotless holiness, appear as a cover««Yes,' continued Dormer, when I ing of filthy rags. Purge away their filth lay myself in this coffin for my hours of as thou wilt, I lay myself wholly into thy rest,-and all is dark around me,-and I hands.' feel its narrow bounds, and recollect all " • You are, my dearest sir, in those that is combiped with being laid in it for triumphant glorious moments, a Calvinist, my last long sleep--Oh! my thoughts are a Bible Christian,' exclaimed Ernest, an too, too clearly on the verge of eternity, expresion of joy lighting up his counteI could sometimes pray even for annihila
• You once asked me whether tion—the future seems so awfully moment- Calvinists could believe a Roman Catholic ous! The question-Am I safe? without might be truly and devotedly religious : at
The past so worthless, so this moment I do.'