图书图片
PDF
ePub

life, even more than your words, declare only against convictions, but even against your real principles.

doubts. God never shuts us up to the 6. While it is very desirable that you necessity of doing a doubtful deed, whereshould, by firm reliance on the atoning by guilt may be incurred. We always blood and precious righteousness of Christ, sin when we do an act the lawfulness of get rid of that 'fear which hath torment,' | which we are not clear about. Go not yet some fears are salutary. "The fear of into the twilight. Live in the sunlight of the Lord is a fountain of life to depart Bible truth. from the snares of death. You cannot 13. Waste not your time in idle fears fear God too much. Sanctify Him and and thoughts of the future in this world. make Him your dread. Nor can you be To you the future may be very short, too much afraid of sin. Nor can you be The things you most fear will probably too fearful of being left by God to the never disturb you. If evils come, they deceitfulness of your own heart. Many of will probably be such as no foresight of our fears are the means of our preserva- men can anticipate. “Trust in the Lord, tion. 'Be not high-minded, but fear, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the

7. Never trifle nor jest with sacred land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Dethings. It is profaneness. It must harden light thyself also in the Lord, and He the heart. It cannot fail to induce a sad shall give thee the desires of thine heart. confusion of mind. You cannot be too Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also solemn and reverent when you speak or in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. think of divine things. Never smile at a Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for witticism on divine things. Some wits

Him. are madmen.

14. Love all who love our Lord Jesus 8. Try to do something every day for Christ. Love them tenderly. Bigotry God; nay, live to Him every hour and mo and a narrow mind are great sources of ment. Be always trying. He who never misery, and great sins also. No man is fails, will never succeed. There is no more to be pitied, no man is in greater good horseman who has not been often danger, than he who rejects those whom thrown. There is no good swordsman Christ receives, or who says to any child who has not been often disarmed. There of God, 'Stand by thyself, I am holier is no good Christian who has not often than thou. You have joined the Church wept at the failure of his devices for the you prefer. That was right. But reglory of God and the happiness of man. member that there are some people in all Keep trying.

branches of the true Church of Christ, 9. Beware of superstition, fanaticism, I who please the Lord better than some in melancholy, and a morbid conscience. All the branch to which you belong. these are foes to piety. I mention them 15. Be ever ready to give a reason of together, because they are often united. the hope that is in you with meekness If any thing be not sin or duty in God's and fear; but avoid angry controversy. Word, make it not such in your creed. It is unfriendly to growth either in knowBeware of sleepless nights and nervous ledge or in grace. Friendly discussion of prostration. · Be not righteous overmuch.' even religious doctrine is often useful. Nature is feeble. Lay not upon her But you are yet a private and a feeble heavier burdens than the Lord has done. Christian. You are not now set for the Fanaticism is a wild-fire that will destroy defence of the gospel. A feeble defence intelligent piety.

is often worse than none. Be sure that 10. Think much of the goodness of God, you understand a matter before you decide and especially of his mercy to you. Christ upon it. 'He that answereth a matter is full of grace and truth. Do not forget before he heareth it, it is folly and a the bright view of things. This will shame unto him.' furnish one of the best means of estimat 16. If you shall fail of eminence in a ing your responsibility, and one of the life of piety, it will probably be as with best stimulants to exertion in behalf of a most others, by inattention to comparaperishing world. If you have no pity for tively little duties and little sins. It was the heathen, you are no child of God. the little foxes' that spoiled the tender

11. If favoured with high religious joy, grapes. All defections begin with little and seasons of sweet communion with God, things. Nothing is positively of little boast not. Vain glory is the bane of importance, which effects the honour of communion with God. When Moses' God and the safety of the soul. face shone, he covered it with a veil. 17. Be stedfast. A miserable changeSome things in religion are best known ling in the days of bloody Mary, said that only to God and our own hearts.

he was a willow, not an oak. I hope you . 12. Avoid all conduct of a doubtful will be an oak, not a willow. He whose kind. Many consciences are defiled by heart and purpose have no stability, is yielding to fashion or importunity, not not fit for the kingdom of God. The

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

Bible often says as much. If you are up the cause of the oppressed in Florence; naturally firm, still remember that grace and when another Roinan Catholic journal alone can make you spiritually so. If in the same country bad bitterly opposed you are naturally fickle, be doubly on that view of the question, and had conyour guard.

tended that Protestantism ought to be 18. Get and maintain clear views and crushed, because it tended to Socialism, deep impressions concerning the glorious the Journal des Debats retorted by pointdoctrines of salvation by grace alone. ing to England, which Protestantism, acHuman merit is naught. Ever say, 'what cording to that able journal, had made I am, I am by the grace of God.' . What what she was. With regard to the mission hast thou, which thou hast not received ? to Florence, he should observe that, as so

19. Come to Christ daily for cleansing much information had already been laid and salvation by His blood. Come as before the public upon the subject, he you came the hour you first fled to Him. should not deem it necessary upon that Come naked, guilty, defiled, poor, help- occasion to detail to them at any length less, and lost. He is all your salvation. those efforts in which he had had the

20. Often think how soon your toils, and happiness to be engaged. He believed tears, and temptations will be over, and they had acted discreetly in postponing how sweet, and pure, and unfading the until the present period the great meeting bliss of heaven will be. To be spiritually. in London for the denunciation of the minded, is life and peace. To be heavenly. atrocious persecution in Florence, because, minded, is to be eating the grapes of Eschol if they had attempted to interfere at an before we enter the promised land. An- earlier moment in the matter, they might other day, and you may be for ever with have injured that prospect of the relief to the Lord. At most a little moment' the Madiai, which they had been led to will end the warfare, and open heaven to entertain. The deputation had had good all believers.

reason to hope that the release of those victims of Romish persecution would have

been speedily effected; but they had been RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN

grossly deceived ; and not only had they

been deceived, but people in a far higher TUSCANY.

position had also been deceived. That, how

ever, was nothing more than the carrying Notes of Speeches delivered in Exeler Hall,

out of the doctrine of the Roman Catholic January 25, 1853.

Church, according to which no faith was

to be kept with heretics. If an oath were THE EARL OF CAVAN.—The subject not binding on the members of that which had cailed them together that day, Church, how could it be expected that was not limited to Tuscan persecution, any promise would be binding on them? but was seriously interwoven with our He had been associated with gentlemen own best interests. No one who had seen from different countries in the deputation the rapid and determined advance which to Florence; and he was happy to be able the gigantic system of Popery was at pre- to state that the most perfect unanimity sent making, not only in this country, but and cordiality of sentiment had pervaded throughout the whole of Europe, could all their proceedings. Many of them had fail to believe that the time had come met each other in Florence for the first when those who had hitherto looked upon time; and yet they had from the first that subject with indifference ought to be moment understood each other's wants, up and stirring. That system had already and sympathized in each other's wishes. been the ruin of every country by which He felt persuaded that they owed the it had been embraced, and had been de- happy spirit in which their labours had structive of the social, moral, and religious been conducted, and their personal safety condition of mankind. But, thanks be to throughout the journey, in a great degree, God, they had his word for it in the Apo- under Divine Providence, to the earnest calypse of St John, that Babylon would yet prayers of their fellow-Christians, not only be thrown down, never to rise again. The in this country, but throughout all Europe. mighty struggle had begun, and it was for The members of that meeting had already England well to consider what part she seen in print the correspondence which should take in it-England, which had had taken place between the deputation become the wonder of the world by means and the Tuscan minister, as well as a of Protestant truth. He was glad to find statement of the whole of the proceedings. that he had the admission of a leading He hoped that all the documents connected Roman Catholic journal in France, that it with the case would soon be published in was to Protestantism she owed her eleva. some concise and convenient form, and tion. He alluded to the Journal des Debats, that they would then become known which, greatly to its own credit, had taken throughout every portion of the kingdom, Althougb they had failed in the primary la Bible, and a magistrate could imprison object of their mission, their time bad na a man during a period of twelve months, been mis-spent. They had made inquiries on the evidence of a single policeman. as to the condition and prospects of true The law had recently been rendered still religion in the land they had visited, and more oppressive, and at present, any perthey had unhappily been led to believe son in that country, who entertained a that the difficulties and dangers with which religion contrary to the established one, the professors of that religion had to con was punishable by death. However atrotend in Tuscany, had been much greater cious those enactments might appear, they than Englishmen unacquainted with the merely carried out the principles of Popery subject could ever have anticipated. The --they merely showed that Popery had downcast look of those oppressed people not altered from what it had ever been in showed how dreadful was the persecution any country in which it had possessed to which they were subjected, while, unlimited power. through the weight of their cares, there Rev. BAPTIST NOEL.—Let them mark shone out gleams of the inward peace with the law which the Vicar of Christ, acting which they had been visited. They had in the person of the universal monarch, to contend against the hostility of masses had laid down for the guidance of his of priests, who were almost as numerous ecclesiastics. But not only had that man, as the army; against the iron rule of the who stood in the place of the Almighty Austrian force, and against the watchful upon earth-an alter Deus in terris-not vigilance of the gens-d'armes. They were only had he given that order, but the not allowed to possess any Bibles, they | Council of Trent itself—that representahad no churches or chapels, and they were tive of the universal Church-that infalnot allowed to assemble together in any lible authority in which Catholics gloried, way for any religious purpose. Whenever and from the absence of which they looked any of them did happen to get hold of a with such contempt upon members of the Bible, it was evident from their counte Protestant faith, had decreed as follows: nances that they received with intense 'It remains for the sacred synod to ad delight the words of eternal truth and sal- monish all princes, so as to afford their vation. Some of them had made applica help, that they do not perinit the things tion to be allowed to meet together, for the decreed by it to be depraved or violated by purpose of praying and of reading the heretics.'' What had the Grand Duke of Bible, in the presence of officers of police. Tuscany done but obeyed the commands of so that it could be seen that they were the Pope and of the council? He had inactuated by no sinister or political motive; terdicted the use of the Bible because the bat that application had been refused. It Council of Trent had interdicted it. He was evident, therefore, that the object of had forbidden his subjects to become Protheir persecutors was to crush Protestant-testants, and to desert the Catholic Church, ism, and to prevent the reading of God's. but he had done so because that council holy Word. There was a touching cir- had so ordained it before. The Grand cumstance connected with the captivity of Duke was by nature a mild and benevoFrancesco Madiai, which was not, perhaps, lent prince, but he had acted, in the case generally known in this country, and which of the Madiai, in pursuance of what apshowed the rigour of the Romish system peared to him to be his duty, and he (Mr of persecution. The poor man had been B. Noel) would ask those who supposed locked up alone in a cell, and so dreadful the Duke of Tuscany might have shrunk had the absolute silence of the place be- from such an obligation, what was the difcome to him, that he had begged of the ference between his position and that of governor of the prison, that his watch, the Duke of Alva, the governor of the which had been taken from him, might be Low Countries, towards the close of the sixrestored to him, in order that he might teenth century, or the position of Charles bear its ticking; but the governor had IX., at the same time king of France ? stated, in reply to that prayer, that there Both of those great men had acted upon was no need of watches for persons of the those regulations by the direct instruction prisoner's description. It was no wonder of the Council of Trent, and of the Vicar that under such treatment the poor man's of Christ, then reigning over the Catholic mind had become so depressed that be Church. There was no assignable differseemed at times to have altogether lost the ence between the case of Charles IX., use of his faculties. In order further to guided by. Pope Pius V., and the Duke elucidate the rigours employed to prevent of Tuscany, guided by Pope Pius IX. the spread of Protestant principles in Directed by the Pope who ruled the Tuscany, he would inform the meeting Church of Rome in his day, Charles IX. that in that country the police could im- had sentenced all his, Protestant subjects prison a man, during a period of eight to be exterminated, ordered a universal days, on the bare suspicion of his having massacre, and kicked the dead carcass of the greatest man in his dominions, Ad might have the effect of inducing many miral Coligny, and when his courtiers Roman Catholics to consider calmly and were overcome with the scent of the de- impartially the ground on which they caging body, declared that the smell of a stood. Let him remind them that there dead enemy was sweet to him. He had were at present going on in the sister acted so because the Church of Rome had kingdom circumstances, as regarded the taught him so to act. He had done so spread of God's truth, exceedingly similar for Catholic purposes, and was impelled to those which were going on in the king. hy Catholic regulations directed to Catholic dom of Tuscany. He rejoiced to have ends; and if the Grand Duke of Tuscany, that opportunity of speaking of the great at the present day, performed the same work which was at present being accomtragic drama, he but proved himself the plished by the Irish Society. There were legitimate successor of a king who had at this moment thousands in Ireland leav. acted under the guidance of Pope Pius V. ing the religion in which they had been If the governor of the Low Countries had bred for the simple faith of Christ, and boasted of having brought, within a short reading that faith in his Word; and there time, 18,000 sufferers to a violent death; were in Tuscany at this moment not less if he had done that under the instigation than 20,000 individuals who within the of the same Pope Pius V., and had him- last three or four years had been brought self officiated at the martyrdom of some by the perusal of God's Word to distrust of the disciples of Jesus Christ, he (Mr the Roman Catholic faith, and who were B. Noel) asked whether that governor determined on searching the inspired writpromised, as he had been, eternal happi- ings for the true religion, although be ness, by the saintly Pope of that day, was | could not say that they had as yet actually in a position in any respect different from embraced the doctrines of Protestantism, that foreign potentate who was now under It had been stated that there were not the guidance of the Romish Church, and many Bibles in Tuscany, but he differed against whose late acts they had assembled from that statement, and although great to protest. But it might be said that Pope pains had been taken by the police to find Pius IX. was a bigot; he was; but let out and to destroy the Bibles, he believed them remember, that for his bigotry and that many of them were still in existence, his intolerance the Catholic Church had and were deeply cherished by their owners. sainted him. If Pius V. for these saintly The Protestants of this country had reason atrocities had been deemed worthy of to feel ashamed at their indifference to the canonization, by what better road could Divine Word, when they considered with Pius IX. hope to arrive at sainthood than what profound devotion it was received by by directing the Grand Duke of Tuscany their oppressed brethren in Tuscany. to immolate, upon the altar of bigotry, as One gentleman in that country had told him many of their Protestant brethren as came that he had no opportunity of reading the within the reach of his power?

Bible, except by getting up in the night CAPTAIN TROTTER.-He would detail to when his servants were asleep, and when them some of the facts which had been his movements could no longer be watched brought under his knowledge during his by the spies at the other side of the street. recent mission to Florence; for he believed in the middle of the night he rose with that the more individual facts were brought his wife and children, and then read to home to their feelings, the more would them the Word of God as the only means they be inclined to enter upon an energe- of instructing them. The poor Midiais tic course of action. He came there, not were persons of a respectable class; they to tell them what Rome had been two or had been highly esteemed for their devout three centuries ago, but what she was at and consistent Christianity; they had been the present day; and he believed he could regarded with great affection even by Rostate facts which would rouse them, not to man Catholics, on account of their modest bitter and angry feelings against Roman. and amiable deportment. But their conists—God forbid that he should excite any dition was at present most deplorable. such feeling-but to a determination to During a period of ten months previous to use every effort in their power to overthrow their condemnation, they had been shut a system fraught with so many evils. He up in a prison with the lowest and most would tell them Rome was at present the degraded classes in Florence; and the hussame that she had been centuries ago, not band, as they had already been informed only in forms and in doctrine, but in her by Lord Cavan, had, since his condemnadeadly enmity to the truth of God. He tion, been denied the privilege of having believed that there were thousands of Ro- his watch, to the sound of which he was man Catholics who were ignorant alike of anxious to listen, for the purpose of rethe working of their own religious belief, lieving his painful solitude. The husband and of the true character of Protestantism; and wife were at present separated from and he hoped that meetings such as that each other, but they were upheld by the truth of God. He was heard to say that much as possible, in their dress and cerein consequence, no doubt, of the represen-monies, to the priests of the Roman Catations which had been made on their be- tholic religion. "What was the meaning half, the officials of the prison had been of all that? Surely such things could not led to treat them with greater kindness. tend to the spread of true Protestantism. He should add, however, that they were The week before last he had entered a still exposed to cruel rigours. Rosa Protestant place of worship in a large Madiai, who was suffering from a spinal town not fifty miles from London, in order complaint, had been removed to a cell so to see, as he had been told that he should damp that the shoes on her feet had be- see, the minister and the members of the come mouldy. In that cell, as it had been | congregation bowing to what was called described to him for the members of the the altar; and there he had found the minideputation, with the exception of Lord ster dressed, with very little exception, in Roden and the Count de Gasparin, had the same manner as a Roman Catholic been refused admittance to the prison priest. Let them open their eyes in time; there were a stool, a bench, and a bedstead, let them not go to sleep upon that matter. but each of those articles was kept in its Mere talking would not put down Romanplace by a chain, and they were placed so ism or Puseyism. That could only be far from one another that the prisoner done by energetic work. He had not him. could not at any time avail himself of the self sought to become a member of the advantage of a double support. He would deputation to Florence, but he would bless relate to the meeting a circumstance in God to the end of his life that he had been which he believed they would take a deep selected as one of its members. He would interest. The poor persecuted Protestants never forget their last meeting, and the in Florence had been told that on every | prayers which had been offered up in three Saturday evening, between the hours of languages. There had first been a prayer nine and eleven o'clock, their brethren, in English by Lord Roden, then a prayer throughout Europe, would unite with them in French, and then a prayer in German : in prayer; and although they could not | and all present had felt the event as a meet themselves to pray, they would ex | most happy and holy one. He would pect that at that time the prayers of their mention a fact which had recently taken fellow-Protestants in other lands would be place in Florence, and which showed how offered up in their behalf. It was a sig- unchanged the dark spirit of the Romish nificant fact that the old guillotine which Church still continued. A young woman had been put aside at Lucca had been of a distinguished family in that city had cleaned up and brought to Florence, and returned home from a convent, where she that in the month of December last an had been educated for some years; and executioner had been appointed, and was her brother, having observed on a table a at present ready to employ the instrument letter addressed by her to her confessor, against the poor Bible readers in that city. / had taken it up without any particular obA policeman was stationed at the door of ject, and, after having read a few lines, every foreign Protestant place of meeting his eyes were riveted on certain words in Tuscany, and if any native of the which appeared to him almost diabolical. country entered such a place he was im- These words were to the following effect : mediately brought to justice. In fact, the - Do you suppose, that after having been people of that country were forced to con- | under your instruction so many years, I tinue Roman Catholics, or else to submit have not been able to deceive my mother ?' to the most rigid persecution. But whom It appeared that the priest had trained up did the advocates of the Romish system this young lady to worm out the secrets of rely most upon as regarded their expecta- her own family, and to find out if the Protions in this country? They relied most testant faith was spreading among its upon the Puseyites and High Churchmen members. How awful was such a cirof England. They did not rely on the cumstance! Another remarkable case had barefaced aggressions of Popery only, but been mentioned to him. A poor man, they calculated that their work would be who had been a Roman Catholic, had been best done by those who were spreading led by reading the Word of God to become, Popery through the Church of England so to speak, a Protestant, but his wife stilí itself, by means of the chosen ministers of continued attached to the faith in which that Church. He believed that people in she had been reared. The husband told this country who did not belong to the her not to state in the confessional what Romish connection marked their books were his religious opinions, whereupon she with crosses, and doves, and bleeding said that the coufessional was like the hearts. Now, these things were the end tomb, which speaketh not. She had made of the wedge, and ought not to be counte- known to her confessor the belief of her nanced. In some of our churches he found husband, and the result was that he had the clergymen assimilating themselves as been seized, and the public did not know

« 上一页继续 »