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Paradise is mine! One day in the courts of the Lord is better than a thousand. (Ps. Ixxxiv. 11.) One single moment of that Blessedness, which I there hope to enjoy, I say not in the inner, but even in the outer courts, one such single moment will yield me more bliss, than all of you put together have enjoyed from the beginning to the end of the world. Oh, the happy triumph! The time appointed, the solemn Feast Day. (Ps. Ixxxi. 31.) I will end, as I commenced. Let the man, who prefers it, keep the earth for his possession. If any one among you longs to be truly happy, let him aspire to heaven, and resolve to get there. To Heaven! to Heaven ! Seek those things which are above. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col. iii. 1, 2.)"-P. 167.
The translation is remarkably well rendered; the language good and the ideas admirably reproduced: but it is greatly to be regretted that the translator has tried to adapt this book, not to the doctrines of the English Church, but to his own unauthorised, and we must add, uncatholic views, whereby he has garbled some of its finest passages, and cancelled the instruction they would have given.
REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
Histoire de la Littérature Française depuis ses Origines jusqu'en
1830. Par M. DEMOGEOT, Agrégé de la Faculté des Lettres de Paris, Professeur de Rhétorique au Lycée Saint-Louis. Paris :
Hachette. Pp. 664. We do not profess to have studied this History of French Literature with any very deep attention, but from a cursory perusal of it, it appears to üs a very well-conceived, and ably executed and useful work. M. Demogeot has brought to his task some of the highest qualifications. It is evident that he is a person of considerable erudition, and pare ticularly well versed in the literature of his country. He is, moreover, an accomplished writer and acute critic, and he has the peculiar tact of being able to say a great deal in a few words. Whether he is not also something of a philosopher-some would say a Voltairien-is at least questionable. Our author, doubtless, thinks very highly of Voltaire in some respects. He speaks of his rare intelligence, and calls him a grand homme ; but he does not hesitate at the same time to condemn his irreverence, and the injustice of his attacks against religion. He even comes to the rescue of the Church of the Middle Ages. Catholicisme," says he," a été, au moyen âge, la vie morale du monde,
a et il a droit à notre respect, à notre amour, non pas, comme quelquesuns osent le dire, parce qu'il est un frein pour l'ignorance et un auxiliaire pour la politique, mais parce qu'il recèle dans son sein et communique à tous, dans un langage simple et touchant, de grandes et sublimes vérités." (P. 465.) In speaking of Voltaire, however, and in
reprobating his many moral delinquencies, his pertinacious hostility to religion, and his disgusting impiety, we should recollect what was going on in the French Church, and the form religion had assumed, in Voltaire's time, and even before his time. As M. Démogeot reminds us, the French Church, during nearly the whole of the eighteenth century, had a far more formidable and destructively pernicious enemy
than even Voltaire himself, and the rest of the encyclopedists. “Le despotisme dis confesseurs de rois,” he justly remarks, “la révocation de l'édit de Nantes, les querelles des cinq propositions, les miracles du diacre Paris, les vices des prélats de cour, le scandale du cardinalat de Dubois, enfin l'atrocité des condamnations de Calas, de Sirven, de Labarre, d'Etallonde, voilà quels étaient alors les plus grands ennemis de la religion, voilà ce qui poussait à l'incrédulité par le dégoût !" (Pp. 465, 7.)
To those who desire to possess a brief, comprehensive, and systematic account of the history of French literature, we would recommend the volume before us. It is the best manual on the subject we are acquainted with.
Euvres complètes d' ARVISENET, Vicaire Général de Troyes, renfermant soon after his return to France. We are not informed when that return took place, but it seems to have been about the beginning of the present century. In 1803 De la Tour du Pin, Bishop of Troyes, presented Arvisenet to a canonry, and appointed him vicar-general in his diocese. Here he remained for many years, retaining the same offices under De la Tour du Pin's successors. It appears that, when near the end of his life, the good man retired to Gray, in the department of the Haute-Saône, and there closed his laborious and useful life on the 17th February, 1831.
ses nombreux ouvrages ascétiques sur les devoirs du Chrétien en général, et sur ceux propres à quelques états en particulier. S'imprime et se vend chez J.-P. Migne, Editeur, aux Ateliers Catholiques, Rue
d'Amboise, au Petit-Montrouge, Barrière d'Enfer de Paris. 1856. We are glad to see the whole works of Arvisenet collected into one volume ; and we trust that they will meet with that circulation in France to which their many substantial merits entitle them. We should have wished, indeed, that his Editor had given us more extended and detailed information respecting him than is to be gathered from the short biographical sketch prefixed to the goodly volume before us, and which scarcely contains anything that we did not bappen to be well acquainted with before. Possibly, however, the worthy Abbé has given us all the information he really had it in his power to furnish, cords respecting the life of the Author of the Memoriale appearing excessively scanty. Arvisenet was born at Langres in 1755. He studied at the College of Molsheim, where he was placed by an uncle, who was lieutenant-general of the bailliage of Langres, and vidame to the Prince-Bishop of Strasburg. Destined for the priesthood, he was afterwards sent to the well-known establishment of Laon, in Paris, where he went through the usual course of study. He there so distinguished himself by his talents and piety, that when he had finished his theological course, the chair of conferences in philosophy was entrusted to him. Hardly had he been ordained priest, than La Luzerne, the celebrated Bishop of Langres, appointed him canon of his cathedral, and archdeacon of his diocese. When the Revolution of 1789 came on, both La Luzerne and Arvisenet, having refused to take the oath exacted from all the clergy, expatriated themselves and retired into Switzerland, taking up their residence in the canton of Lucerne. Whilst in this voluntary exile, Arvisenet gave himself up to study, and to the composition of the Memoriale and other works, which he published
Arvisenet's chief work is the Memoriale Vita Sacerdotalis, known doubtless to most of our readers by the admirable edition put forth by the Bishop of Brechin, for the use of English priests. The “Memoriale” is held in very great estimation in France, especially by the members of the Gallican school ; and it seems, in some respects, to have become quite a classic. We trust the same success will attend on this side the channel the Bishop of Brechin's valuable adaptation of that work.
Arvisenet's other works, which are somewhat numerous, are the following:
Mémorial des Disciples de Jesus-Christ. After presenting remarks on the history of our Blessed Saviour, on His Divinity, on faith, and on the union which Christians ought to have with Jesus Christ, the author proceeds in this work to show how the primitive Christians were models of Evangelical virtue and holiness. Then follow rules of conduct and directions in regard to the due employment and sanctification of every hour of our life, a brief explanation of the principal Festivals of the Christian Year, and instructions bearing upon the different states and conditions of life.
Sapientia Christiana. What the “Memoriale” is for the clergy, the “ Sapientia” is for the laity. This little work contains excellent directions, and is well calculated, under God, to strengthen in the faith and in the practice of the Christian virtues whoever makes use of it. Both the youthful and the more advanced Christian may profit by its perusal. Of this work the Author himself published a French translation. Both the translation and the original Latin are given in the edition of Arvisenet's works now before us.
La Volonté de Dieu. Although the duty of submission and conformity to God's will is touched upon and enforced in the “ Sapientia Christiana,” nevertheless, by reason of the importance of this duty, which Arvisenet regards as the essential principle of the Christian's sanctification, and of the highest degree of perfection to which he can arrive here upon earth, Arvisenet decided upon composing a separate treatise on the subject. The “Volonté de Dieu" is made up of some twenty-four chapters, and is a very useful and solid work on the duty of resignation and submission to God's holy will. This treatise appears also in Latin, under the title of “ Quod vult Deus, sive Libellus de Conformitate Voluntati Divinæ."
Le froment des Elus, and Préparations et actions de gráces dans la Communion. These two works treat of very nearly the same subject, the Holy Eucharist, and frequently in the same language.
The titles alone of Arvisepet's remaining works will explain their
nature and contents. They are :- “ Maximes et Devoirs des Pères et Mères ;"_“Mémorial des Vierges Chrétiennes ;"_“La Vertu Angélique ;”—“Le bon Ange de l'Enfance ;"_" Preces ante et post
Missam, ad usum Sacerdotum ;” - “ Manuductio Juvenum ad Sapientiam.' This last work Arvisenet himself translated into French, and published under the title of “ Le Guide de la Jeunesse.”
We hope that Arvisenet's works will continue being used and appreciated, as they deserve, in France. They might even, we think, advantageously supersede the writings of other authors now in the enjoyment of far greater celebrity than Arvisenet, but to which neither their own personal position, nor the intrinsic value of those writings appear to entitle them.
Les Quatre Evangélistes expliqués par les Pères et les Docteurs de
l'Eglise. Paris : A la Librairie de Piété et d'Education d'Auguste
Vaton, Rue du Bac, 50. 1856. Pp. 568. The title of this book scarcely gives a correct and faithful idea of its character and contents. It might be supposed by some, that it contained a detailed and systematic explanation of, and running commentary upon, our Blessed Saviour's words, and the various incidents mentioned in Gospel history. It is not so, however. The plan of the work is simply this. The Author divides each chapter of the Holy Gospels into three or four parts or sections, or even more, according to the length of the chapter, and then gives an extract from some father or doctor, bearing upon, and occasionally illustrating and developing, the most important truth or incident contained in the section, something in the style of the “ Vie de Notre-Seigneur JESUS-Christ,” by the Abbé Brispot, and other works of that nature; and, in fact, had the anony, mous Author called his work “ Méditations sur les Quatre Evangélistes," the designation would have been far more correct. It must not, however, be supposed that we, in saying thus much, in any way disapprove of the work in its present shape. We only find fault with the title as likely to mislead. It is a very useful and practical work, well and cheaply got up, full of edifying thoughts and wholesome reflections (as is naturally to be expected from the very unexceptionable quarter whence they are derived), and calculated to do much good. The divines principally, and, we might almost add, exclusively cited, are the Fathers of the first ages, and S. Bernard and Bossuet.
A Presbyterian Clergyman looking for the Church. Edinburgh : Len
drum. London: Masters. This is a reprint of a work which has done good service in America. The author is the late Rev. FLAVEL MINES, who describes himself as one of three hundred Dissenting Ministers, who “ in America alone have within a few years been grafted again into the good olive-tree.” It is vigorously written, and touches on all the main points of controversy ;
and specially on those which the writer, from his own experience, knows to form difficulties with Dissenters. We have no room for any analysis of the process of thought by which Mr. Mines gradually worked himself out of the system in which he had been educated. We must note, however, as the point of special interest, that it was the inconsistency of baptizing infants, when, as he had been taught, the efficacy of the Sacrament depended entirely on the quality of the recipient, which first awakened his inquiries. It would be well if some of our own number would face the difficulty, and see if their practice and their doctrine do not need also to be brought by some means into harmony. We strongly recommend the book for circulation.
The friends of “C. F. C. P.” have done well in advising the publication of Plain Parochial Sermons. (Bell and Daldy.) The style of the Sermons is interesting; and they touch cleverly on a good many vulgar errors and prejudices, though not always quite as a thorough Catholic would do. But upon the whole we do not know many better examples of useful unaffected preaching.
We are glad to meet with a second and much enlarged edition of the Faith, Duty, and Prayers of a Christian Missionary. (Rivingtons.) It proceeds from S. Augustine's College at Canterbury, and is well calculated to assist in keeping alive that feeling of attachment to the spirit of the place, which we doubt not will be felt to be a powerful stimulus to exertion in those who issue forth from its walls.
The Plain Commentary on the Psalms, (J. H. Parker,) is now complete in two Volumes. We strongly recommend it, and hope that Mr. Parker will continue the very useful series to other portions of Holy Scripture.
We notice the Rev. H. C. STUART's Sermon, The Presence of Christ realised by Love, (Masters) as showing, in no common degree, a theological and devout mind.
As a record of successful, courageous, personal exertion, we recommend Mr. MONRO's Letter, entitled The Church and the Navvies. (Masters.) To the title itself, however, as implying a rule for general observance, as well as to much that has been recently said on the subject of Home Missions, and on peculiar kinds of preaching, we must be allowed to take exception. There is no universal panacea for our social evils, nor any one system that can be recommended for general adoption. We need zeal and energy ; we need the aid of God's grace; and the latter will not be wanting when the others are honestly applied : but we shall not now, any more than heretofore, be able to carry things by storm.
We have seldom read a more touching narrative, than A Glimpse of the Unseen. (Masters. It is an account of the last hours of a boy, who certainly seems to have realised “unseen verities with great distinctness.