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veneration of the most blessed and most august Queen of Heaven, the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, our Patron and Advocate, and to excite and cherish the devotion of the faithful as well as the salvation of souls. Therefore to be accomplished by the mercy of God and the authority of the blessed Peter and Paul, his apostles, to all and every of the faithful of Christ, truly penitent, and confessed, and refreshed by the holy communion, who morning, or noon, or evening, at the toll of the bell, shall recite "Angelus Domini annuntiavit Mariæ, et concepit: de Spiritu Sancto: Ecce ancilla Domini; fiat mihi secundùm verbum tuum: Et Verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis," with three "Ave Maria," bowing the knee devoutly, and shall pour forth their pious prayers to God for the concord of christian princes," (i. c. those who acknowledge Rome,) "the extirpation of heresies, and the exaltation of Holy Mother Church, we grant mercifully in the Lord a plenary indulgence and remission of all their sins for one day only of any month, for every one of the faithful, to be gained according to his own free choice (ad sui libitum eligendo lucrifaciendam). But on other days of the year we relax to the same faithful of Christ truly contrite, as oft as they may require it, a hundred days from the penitences enjoined to them, or in any other way due, in the accustomed form of the Church. These presents to be valid for ever (præsentibus perpetuis futuris temporibus validis.) Given at Rome, 14th September, 1724, in the first year of our Pontificate." (Dens, tom. viii. p. 429.)

We fear that the cramped, queer style of this document has been badly, because literally expressed by our version; but it suffices to show, how it is the Romish Church keeps up her opinions and practices, and why it is she takes her proofs rather from earthly presumption than scriptural authority. Dr. Murray has declared that, Dens is not binding upon Romanists, and that he held obsolete opinions; but he cannot say the same of Pope Benedict XIII., whose Indulgence is, after all, little more than a century old. Dens comes down to 1758, and the dedication to the Doctor to May, 1832. Thiers's date is 1777. To obviate all difficulties on this score either way, we have quoted Aheily, whose book is dated 1667. Whatsoever is novel: in the Church is bad; but as these modern writers quote old ones: sometimes, the Romanists may choose which period they please.

That we have not, in the above account, made our quotations from any but Romanist authors, will, doubtless, have considerable weight with our readers. It may, however, be suggested, that the practical working of the doctrines thus exposed is not such as justly to be denominated superstition. To prevent any mistakes upon that point, we close this paper with two statements, taken also from Romanist authors, the effect of which would be spoiled by any introductory remarks.

The author of a "Description of Peru," quoting Frezier (Voy. to S. Sea, 1712-1714), who is speaking of the superstitious observances of the Spaniards of Peru, in the early part of the last century-and Frezier was a Romanist-says, "That of the immaculate conception is next: the Franciscans and Jesuits have gained it such reputation, that the laity mention it before they undertake any action, even the most indifferent. When a sermon begins, at grace and at candle-lighting, in every house, they say, 'Praised be the most holy sacrament of the altar..

and the Virgin Mary, our Lady, conceived without blemish or original sin, from the first instant of her natural being.' They add to the Litanies, Absque labe concepta'-Thou who art conceived without blemish. In short, this sentence is foisted in at all times, when it can neither serve for the instruction nor the edification of the faithful; and the expressions in the hymns they sing in honour of that opinion are so singular, that Frezier has inserted one of them to show the Spanish taste, which is only fond of metaphors and extravagant comparisons, taken from the sun, the moon, and the stars, or from precious stones this often carries them into a sort of ridicule, and an out-of-the-way flight, which they take for sublime. Thus, in the hymn before-mentioned, the poet assigns the Virgin the moon for her foot-stool, and the stars for the embroidery of her veil, at the same time he places her house in the sun, which of consequence must include them all.*. He is much mistaken also when he says, that the devil is bursting with rage to see the devotion of the Virgin in repute in Peru: for that devotion is certainly too much intermixed with vice and sensuality to make us believe it can be very meritorious to them..... Besides, they all live in a state of presumption of their salvation, grounded on the protection of the Virgin and the saints; which they believe they merit by some brotherhood exercises, wherein the friars have associated them, without seeming to be sensible that the prime devotion consists in the reformation of heart, and practice of good morals..... Hence it proceeds, continues he, that those people scarce know what it is to pray to God; for they only address themselves to the Virgin and the saints. Thus the accessories of religion almost extinguish the principal."-Relation of the Earthquake at Lima, 1746; to which is added a Description of Peru, p. 273-276.

In the interesting account of the earthquakes in Calabria and Sicily, in the spring of 1783, given by Botta (Storia d'Italia, continuata da quella del Guiccardini, sino al 1789, di Carlo Botta; Libro quarantesimonono,) the following particulars are related, which we have partly abridged, to save space. He very properly observes, than in rough and un-illuminated minds, religious observances easily degenerate into super stition; and that in countries afflicted as Calabria was, things occurred which in part produced laughter and in part compassion. Extraordinary apparitions, portentous predictions, stupendous rites and ceremonies, occurred; miraculous images either moved of themselves, spoke, or sweated blood. In Messina they prayed to the Virgin's milk, and to her

How very like this is to the imagery of Rev. xii. 1. The "woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars," mustė surely have suggested this notion. Probably this passage was read and interpreted of the Virgin by the priests, who took care to say nothing about the " labour" in ver. 2, or of the Romish dragon in ver. 3. How could persons without the Scriptures detect the cheat, or know whether it was said of a Virgin at all? Frezier does not seem to have surmised the origin of the fable. For two or three positive applications of Scripture, such as Psalms CX. and CXXX., where our Lady is put in the place of our Lord, see a useful little tract, from the Oxford Press, 1834, called "The Churchman's Manual," p. 19.

In these respects proving, it might be added by us, that Christianity in modern Italy has only served to perpetuate the superstitions of Paganism received from ancient Italy for all these particulars are enumerated by Livy and others a hundred times.

autograph letter, to save the city from destruction; and a procession with torches at noon-day was formed of priests and friars, the last of whom carried either the vial of miraculous milk, or the letter, (o l'ampolla del latte miracoloso, o la lettera parimente miracolosa,) at the sight of which the people fell prostrate to the earth (si stramazzavono) weeping and praying. Botta next tells us,-"There was a story that St. Francis di Paola appeared at the great window of the church at Melazzo, whence he was seen to bless the people. At Rossano the Madonna was made to appear in the church, and consoled the congregation there assembled. Those who were not the cause of this believed it; those who did it did not believe it, but knew that times of alarm fill tender minds with superstition."

Speaking of what occurred at Cosenza, he says, "There the people adore a Madonna, called in the country la Madonna del Piliero. There is a vulgar tradition, that whilst in very ancient times the plague raged and desolated Calabria, all at once there sprouted forth (pullulò) upon the cheek of the statue of this Madonna, which was kept in the Cathedral, a pestilential plague-spot (gavocciolo.) The people had much entreated it, to obtain the cessation of this scourge. Now, when the sore appeared on the cheek, the guardians bawled out:-Gentlemen, Gentlemen, and ye people of Calabria, hear, and be of good courage, and thank God and the Madonna del Piliero; for the plague will cease, since the Madonna has taken it all upon herself (assunta sopra di se) as the Redeemer took upon himself (assunse... the same term) by his passsion and death all the sins of men: behold! behold! upon the sacred countenance the plague-spot! behold the plague-spot! And thus," adds Botta," as the tradition and legend will have it, the plague ceased."

During the earthquake at Cosenza, whilst the people were "humbly praying in the cathedral, and, at every trembling of the earth, shouting Misericordia! Misericordia! all at once a canon named Monoco, knave enough after all, (assai buon fante del resto,) as the tale goes, with his Stentorian voice, such as he had, cried out, all the people suddenly turning to him, Miracle! Miracle! the earthquake is at an end: behold the Madonna takes it on herself; look at her face, how it is all cracked: Miracle! Miracle! And all the people cried Miracolo! Miracolo! What the good canon might think of this scene I know full well: truly the face was cracked, but by the oldness of the wood. The earthquake lasted a little longer, because it had already lasted a long time. As to the aforesaid plague-spot, it was nothing else than a natural stain of the wood. But there obtained then a notion amongst the people, and obtains yet amongst devout old women, (donnicciuole) that the plaguespot and the cracks, had come for the cessation of the plague and the earthquake; and that the Madonna del Piliero had produced the miracle. A land, truly, of miracles was then Calabria, since there was there no city or village which had not its adoration, and saw not some portent, and from it did not recognize either the vehemency or the cessation of the scourge." (tom. x. p. 198-201.) The last anecdote might have illustrated our observations on the earthquake at Philippi (Physica Sacra," No. 2, CHRISTIAN REMEMBRANCER, vol. xvii. p. 612.) but it suits our present subject as well; and from it, and the statement of Frezier, we may infer, that the doctrines respecting The Virgin, as elucidated from Dens,

Abelly, &c. when put into practice, prove the teachers of them to be hypocrites and blasphemers, and their ignorant, yet pious followers, to be the dupes of the sheerest imposture, even in the midst of the most awful calamity which ever desolated a country; which actually overwhelmed cities, towns, and villages, in a universal destruction; and which, as Botta tells us, strewed the ground with " rubbish, ruins, fragments of buildings, and half-burned broken timbers," over which, singing hymns for their preservation, though they were "without food, clothing, or covering," and had all either "broken limbs, dead parents, or ruined houses," returning thanks for the compassion and miracle of God"-to use Botta's words, "lo devole radice di pietà anche nella miseria.”— praiseworthy principles of piety, although in misery-they stumbled and staggered, with their bottle of Virgin's milk! Do we doubt the good intention of these wretched Calabrians? By no means :-that would be unchristian. But do we blame the troop of priests and friars, who arranged this mummery? Undoubtedly; because if they were not fools they must have been "knaves."

W. B. C.




MR. EDITOR,-I send you the following passages, which are from the pen of one who is certainly no Ultra-Protestant. Whatever weight Mrs. Trollope's opinions may deserve to have, I do not think her statements of facts have been yet proved to be unworthy of credit. Certainly the contents of the following passages are at least worthy of some attention to the mind of AN ENGLISH PROTESTANT.

"I am deeply convinced that the Clergy of the Church of Rome feel more hope of recovered power fluttering at their hearts now, than they have done at any time during the last half century; nor can I think they are far wrong in this. The share which the Roman Catholic priests, of this our day, are said to have had in the Belgian revolution, and the part, more remarkable still, which the same race are now performing in the opening scenes of the fearful struggle which threatens England, has given a new impulse to the ambition of Rome, and of her children. One may read it in the portly bearing of her youthful priests, one may read it in the deep-set meditative eye of those who are older. It is legible in their bran-new vestments of gold and silver tissue; it is legible in the costly decorations of their renovated altars; and deep, deep, deep is the policy which teaches them to recover with a gentle hand that which they have lost by a grasping one. How well can I fancy that, in their secret synods, the favourite text is, 'No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up, taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.' Were they a whit less cautious, they must fail at once; but they tickle their converts before they think of convincing them. It is for this that the pulpits are given to young and eloquent men, who win the eye and ear of their congregations long before they find out to what point they wish to lead them. But while the young men preach, the old men are

not idle; there are rumours of new convents, new monasteries, new orders, new miracles, and of new converts, in all directions. This wily, worldly, tranquil-seeming, but most ambitious sect, having, in many quarters, joined themselves to the cause of democracy, sit quietly by, looking for the result of their work, and watching, like a tiger that seems to dose, for the moment when they may avenge themselves for the long fast from power, during which they have been gnawing their heart-strings.

"But they now hail the morning of another day. I would that all English ears could hear, as mine have done, the prattle that prophesies the downfal of our National Church, as a thing certain as rain after -long drought. I would that English ears could hear as mine have done the name of O'Connell uttered as that of a new apostle, and his bold bearding of those who yet raised their voices in defence of the faith their fathers gave them, triumphantly quoted in proof of the growing influence, both of himself and his popish creed, which are in truth one and inseparable !"-Trollope's Paris and the Parisians, vol. i. pp. 73-75.

"There is something exceedingly curious, and, perhaps, under our present lamentable circumstances, somewhat alarming, in the young and vigorous after-growth of the Roman Catholic religion, which, by the aid of a little inquiry, may be so easily traced throughout France. Were we keeping our own National Church sacred and guarded, both by love and by law, as it has hitherto been from all assaults of the Pope and Mr. O'Connell, it could only be with pleasure that we should see France recovering from her long ague-fit of infidelity; and as far as she is concerned, we must in christian charity rejoice, for she is unquestionably the better for it; but there is a regenerated activity among the Roman Catholic Clergy, which, under existing circumstances, makes a Protestant feel rather nervous.

"The great influence which the religion of Rome has of late regained over the minds of the French people, has, I am told, been considerably increased by the priests having added to the strength derived from their command of pardons and indulgences,-that which our Methodist preachers gain from the terrors of hell. They use the same language, too, respecting regeneration and grace; and as one means of regaining the hold they had lost upon the human mind, they now anathematize all recreations."-Ibid. pp. 403-405.

"Whether the returning power of this pompous and aspiring faith (Popery) will mount as it proceeds, and embrace within its grasp, as it was wont to do, all the great ones of the earth, is a question that it may require years to answer; but one thing is at least certain-that its ministers will try hard that it shall do so: whether they shall succeed or not.. ... One great one they have certainly already got besides King Charles the Tenth-even the immortal Daniel : and how little consequence you may be inclined to attach to this fact, it cannot be considered as wholly unimportant, since I have heard his religious principles and his influence in England alluded to in the pulpit here, with a tone of hope and triumph, which made me tremble." -Ibid. p. 406.

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