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off from each other at a very sharp angle, get | God will provide the great. You have the wider apart the further they go, till at | always as much to do as you have strength last half a continent may be held betwixt to do it with. If you want wider work them,—the little deflexion from the narrow and a larger sphere, and are longing for line of Christian duty and simple faithful something greater, more noble, more ness, it is only God's mercy that will pre | splendid ; if you are ambitious, or if you vent it from leading thee away out, out, | are discontented and supercilious about out into the waste plains and doleful wil your daily duties, remember this : if you dernesses, where all sinful, and dark, and do not begin at the bottom round of the foul things dwell for ever! Take care of ladder, you cannot leap to the top. But 'the small! A little faithfulness gives the if, by patient faith, by simple dependence habit of faithfulness, and fits for large du- | upon Christ and his mercy, and feeling ties. Small infidelities are infidelities, and yourself encompassed with an awful and will produce the greater. The little thief impartial law of right which makes everygoes in at the narrow window, and opens thing dreadful that is wrong, and everythe door for all the big ones. “He that thing noble that is obedience, you seek to is unjust in that which is least, is unjust execute God's will, loving the Lord that also in much."
has done the smallest things for you,—the And as thus the smaller fits for the narrow sphere will widen and open itself; greater, in both departments, so God is and lofty tasks, and glorious work, and anot unrighteous to forget your work of sovereign authority, shall be given you in faith and labour of love, and whatsoever this life, and in that which is to come. we are capable of doing for him, depend My brother, life is all great. Life is upon it, we shall get the opportunity of great because it is the aggregation of doing. The way to get ready for, and the | littles ;-as the chalk cliffs in the South, way to ensure the possession of, the widest that rear themselves hundreds of feet above field for service, and the loftiest opportuni the creeping sea beneath them, are all ties of doing his will, is faithfully to fill made up of the minute skeletons of microthe narrow sphere in which he at present scopic animalculæ. So life, mighty and sets us. The reward for work is, more awful, with its eternal consequences,-life work on earth, and more work in heaven. | that towers beetling over the sea of eterAnd when the little candlestick has given nity,-it is made up of these minute inci“light to all that are in the house," God | dents, of these trifling duties, of these will not let any of his candles be lost, you small tasks; and if thou art not “ faithful may be sure, but he will set them up in , in that which is least," thou art unfaithful some loftier candlestick, that they may ray in the whole. out hospitable and inviting light unto wider He only is faithful that is full of faith ; circles, and bring in many from darkness | and he only does the will of the Lord, and and wandering. “Be of good cheer, Paul,” goes through life as a man ought to do, said the vision to the apostle; “thou hast who goes through it trusting in Jesus borne witness for me at Jerusalem ;” take, Christ, and relying upon him for power to as the reward and seal of my approbation, fit him for all his tasks, and for power to this" thou shalt bear witness for me at do thankfully the great and the little, seeRome!” “Well done, good and faithful ing that the “ love of Christ constraineth” servant," said the Lord; “thou hast been him, and that whatsoever he doeth, he faithful over a few things, I will make theedoeth heartily, as to the Lord Christ, and ruler over many things ; have thou do not unto men! minion over ten cities.” Do the little, and
POPERY IN ITALY.
BY THE REY. J. H. HINTON, M.A. WE—the writer is not now using the editorial we, but is speaking in the name of a small party of fellow-travellers—we spent, during the last autumn, a few weeks in the classic and lovely land of Italy—a week in Florence, and a fortnight in Rome; with great delight, of course, and with experiences which could not be transferred to paper if we were to try. We are not about, however, to make any such attempt; let those who want to know them go to the only region on the globe that can generate them.
Why, then, have we commenced this paper! In order, courteous reader, to convey to you, in such part as may be possible, our impression of what is named at the head of it—the aspect of Popery in Italy. Our view of it was, of course, very hasty and superficial, and we may be deemed scarcely entitled to give an opinion; nevertheless, and subject to all fair, or unfair, deductions, we shall state wbat we saw, and our readers, if we have any, shall judge.
The reader supposes, perhaps, that we saw the cathedrals and other magnificent ecclesiastical buildings, and nothing else. Well, these of course, but something else too, something of living and breathing Popery; and it is this which we shall endeavour to exhibit.
At Pisa, for example, we stopped one day, and the chief part of that day we naturally spent amidst that glorious cluster of ecclesiastical edifices—the Cathe. dral, the Baptistery, and the Campanile (commonly known as the Leaning Tower)justly said by some one before us to be equally felicitous in their isolation and in their grouping. While in the cathedral, our guide informed us that, at eleven o'clock, a grand mass was to be celebrated there, the day being the seven hundred and forty-third anniversary of the consecration of the edifice; and he added that the Archbishop of Pisa, who was also a cardinal, would be present. Taking a favourable position, therefore, near the high altar, we waited, and in due course we saw a ceremonial, the elaborate pomp and circumstance of which far transcended anything we had ever seen before. The variety of movements to and fro, and of genuflexions down and up, constituted an ample justification of the remark made to us by an inhabitant of Rome, whom we met in one of our walks in that city—“Ce n'est pas une église, c'est une salle à danser "-" It is not a church, it is a ball-room." This, however, is not the point. The bowing of the knee to the altar in Roman Catholic churches, we were, of course, familiar with ; but the bowing of the knee to the cardinal, who sat in state on one side of the choir, mass being performed by the grand vicar,—the bowing of the knee to the cardinal, we repeat, we were astounded at. For it was not only one, but many times—pay, every time that the knee was bent to the altar, it was also bent to the cardinal; nor was it performed in any modified manner, but with fully equal, if not greater reverence; while, on many occasions the knee was bent first to the cardinal, and afterwards to the altar. The same sentiment was, to all appearance—we might say, evidently-expressed towards both; and if one was worship, so also was the other. Our impression from this scene was that the Church of Rome carried her superstitions further in Italy than in some other countries. We did not think such an exhibition would be ventured upon in England.
Ät Rome, of course, we made an early visit to the Basilica of St. Peter. In this gorgeous edifice the high altar is under the dome, the extreme end of it being occupied by an enormous bronze chair-cover, made, more or less loosely, to fit an old chair, said to be inside, which chair also is said to be the chair of St. Peter; but whether anything is really inside, or if so, what, nobody can tell. As for St. Peter himself, there he sits against one of the massive piers in the nave, a statue
of natural size (but of the pedigree of which nothing is known), and so placed on a pedestal that the projecting toe of the right foot may be kissed by a passer by. And we saw several persons kiss it.
In the course of our stay we went to the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. The high distinction of this church is that it possesses four boards, which are said to have formed part of the manger in which the Lord was laid. These boards are preserved in a silver shrine, never opened but by an order from the Pope, and the shrine itself is enclosed in a splendid little construction, half sunk in the ground, and called the Grotto.
We perambulated the ruins of the Coliseum, the magnificent amphitheatre of ancient Rome, of course, as a matter of classical interest; ruins which, to prevent further plunder for, architectural purposes, have been consecrated. In the area of this building now stands a cross, with the words in Italian—" Whosoever kisses this cross shall have an indulgence for a year and forty days."
Having visited the church of St. John Lateran, we went also to a small church in its immediate neighbourhood, called the Scala Santa, or the Holy Stairs. Now the Holy Stairs is a flight of about twenty marble steps, said to have constituted the staircase of Pilate's house at the time when Christ was before him, 80 that he must have gone both up and down them. On approaching this highly venerated relic, an attendant ecclesiastic gave us a descriptive paper, of which he had a store in several languages, and on discovering that we were English he gave us one which is exactly reprinted below :
“One of the remembrances the most sacred of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ is certainly the Holy Stairs, it is worthy of the veneration of all Christians, since it was mounted so many times by our Divine Redeemer, and sanctified by his precious Blood during the last hours of his life.
“These Stairs, brought from Jerusalem to Rome, under the protection of the Empress Helena, about the year 326, universally celebrated, and has at all times been much frequented by both sexes, of every class, who mount the steps on their knees.
“ To engage more particularly Christians to accomplish this act of devotion, so precious and useful to the soul of the devoted, S. Leo the IV towards the year 850, and Pascal the II by his Bulle of the 5th August 1100 (first year of his election) the Original Bulle is conserved in the Archive of the Basilic of S. John of Lateran, granting 9 years of indulgence for each step of the Holy Stairs, that is mounted on the knee, with a contrite heart, praying or meditating on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Pie VII by a Decree of the Holy Congregation of Indulgences September 2 1817 renewed this indulgence, but perpetually, and declared that it may be applied also to the souls in Purgatory."
At the moment of our visit there were six or eight persons, male and female actually ascending these stairs on their knees, and it seemed as though this was going on continually.
Well, courteous reader, such are the things we saw, and things not done, by stealth, or with any attempt at disguise, but boldly and unblushingly, in the face of earth and heaven. We are aware that Popery, as thus exhibited, does not differ essentially from what it is elsewhere ; but it seemed to us to differ accidentally. It seemed as if Romish superstition was put forth variably in every place, with as much intensity as the surrounding light would permit, and in Rome, where there is no light, with an absolute and soul-crushing power. Verily, in this "valley of vision," the bones are “very many," and they are “very dry." Who shall quicken them? “Blow, O wind! and breathe upon these slain, that they may live !"
THE RELATIONS AND DUTIES OF THE CHURCH TO THE
(Concluded from our last Number.) It is obvious to mention, as the most , as he sat in his darkened solitude, to redirect of all the means at your command, ceive his visit. And rely upon it, brethren, the addressing, as suitable occasions may that, though he interpose not after the arise, the simple language of affectionate same miraculous sort, what he did for remonstrance or entreaty to those whom | Ananias in respect to Saul, he can and will you desire to lead to Christ. We are far 1 do for his faithful servants still. from advising a thoughtless and indiscrimi And even if speech should fail you, either nate forcing of religious conversation upon from diffidence or want of opportunity, the those with whom you associate; a prac pen can supply its lack of service, and will tice which, though adopted by many the often do the work more effectually even excellence of whose intentions it is impossi- | than speech itself. There are many to ble to doubt, seems to us calculated only to whom you could write though you could render repulsive the sacred themes it is de not speak to them, and many who would signed to recommend. But to him who is feel free to respond to such a mode of comon the watch for them, opportunities will munication, whose lips would refuse to not fail to present themselves, when a word reply to an oral appeal. And the silent may be aptly and profitably introduced, but eloquent message of your pen may win tending to lead the thoughts to those mo. its way where the word of the lip might mentous subjects on which you would fain fail to gain acceptance. The word is spoken fix the attention of him to whom you speak. and then passes away; but the letter abides, Let not the sense of inability for the re and, though cast aside, perhaps, for a time, quired duty deter you from the attempt we may be taken up again in some season of urge. A single sentence spoken in weak silence and seclusion, when, finding the ness and trembling, but in the spirit of real heart prepared to receive it, it may work solicitude, has often reached the heart that the result which at first it failed to effect. has remained impervious to the most care We content ourselves with suggesting fully-directed appeals of the pulpit. Re one other way in which you may promote member, your hope of success lies not in the interest of those whom we commend to the intrinsic weight of the words your falter your solicitude,-namely by acting as a ing lips may utter, but in the power of that medium of introduction between your Spirit who can make the feeblest instru pastor and the anxious and inquiring ment mighty to the fulfilment of his own spirits in his congregation. This is an purposes of grace. And do not hesitate assistance which every faithful minister froin the fear that your counsels and ap would welcome with unfeigned gratitude. peals may meet with rude rejection and re There are those, it may be, among his pulse. It may perchance be so, but even hearers, respecting whom he cherishes then an approving conscience will attest tender hopes that there is in their hearts that you have not been wanting in the per “some good thing towards the Lord God formance of your part. But usually such of Israel,” and whom he longs to take by an apprebension will prove an utterly the hand, and lead, if so it may be given groundless one. The hearts of those to him, to the Cross. But he finds it hard to whom you speak, as well as your own, are gain access to them. Their diffidence in the hand of God," as the rivers of places a barrier between him and them, water." When Ananias was bidden to re which he finds it almost impossible to pair to the house of Judas, and inquire break through. How much might be done there for Saul of Tarsus, he shrank from the by the members of his church to help him t18k of bearing even the message of God's in this matter,—and again suffer us to love to one whom he had known only as direct the special attention of young the furious persecutor of the saints. But 1 Christians to the suggestion,-by bringing the same Saviour who gave this commission under his notice cases of inquiry and hopeto his servant, had at the same time pre fulness which had escaped his eye, and by pared the heart of the suppliant penitent, encouraging those who hang back from
timidity, to enter into that intercourse with shall shine as the brightness of the firma. their minister which in their hearts they ment, and they that turn many to righteousmay have often desired, but which they ness as the stars for ever and ever;"-why have never dared to seek. You might thus, does not this radiant guerdon stir a deeper dear friends, relieve your pastors of a diffi- | thrill of holy ambition in your own breasts ? culty which often, believe us, oppresses | The honour laid on you is one that might their hearts and binders their usefulness, move the envy of the angels before the while you would lead those you desire to throne. Wide as is the range of their benefit to one to whom they might tell the ministry of love, this is a work to which it anxiety which burdens their spirit, and does not reach. When Cornelius prayed whose counsel might avail, under the for the light which he felt was dawning, blessing of God, to lead their feet into the but which he could not see, an angel stood way of peace.
before him, but his sealed lips spoke not It is almost superfluous, brethren, in the message of truth and life. He did but closing these brief practical hints, to ad bid the centurion send to Joppa, and sum. monish you of the necessity, if your efforts | mon thence a man of like passions with are to be successful, that they be illustrated himself, who should unfold to him the glad by a consistent example, and sustained by tidings of accomplished salvation. Ob! fervent prayer. The man whose life belies brethren, amidst the joys of your anticihis profession and his precepts, is like a pated glory, put not from you this, the man who laboriously rears a building with crowning joy of all, of standing before the his right hand, which he with equal throne, attended by those whom your hand assiduity casts down with his left. He who has led to Calvary, and crying in accents labours without prayer, is like a husband of humble and adoring gratitude, “Behold man who, having cast the seed into the soil, | me, and the children whom thou hast should carefully draw over it an impervious given me." covering, to shield it from those dews, and In conclusion, suffer us to remind you showers, and beams, which alone could that such a spirit of holy zeal, pervading cause it to germinate and bring forth fruit. and possessing all the members of the Whatever you do, dear friends, see to it church, will mightily re-act upon the inthat your conversation “be such as be ternal condition of the church itself. A cometh the Gospel of Christ ;” and community all whose members are thus amidst all your labours, “ pray without personally consecrated to the work of the ceasing.”
Lord, will have no time for dissension, no We had intended to close by the sug leisure to settle on its lees. It is the stag, gestion of one or two motives which might nant pool which mantles with the film of serve to animate you in the prosecution corruption, and festers with the fetid of the path of Christian effort we have odours of decay. The living stream, which ondeavoured to indicate. But time and wakens new bloom and beauty in every space forbid. We can only call upon you meadow through which it flows, runs on to awake to the appreciation of the lofty itself perennially and serenely clear; or if privilege which Jehovah confers upon you a flake of contaminating dust should cloud in calling you to this work, in thus making its brightness for a moment, one pulse of you workers together with himself. Surely, the life that is in it carries it away, and brethren, if our hearts were more in har leaves the rivulet pure and transparent as mony with the purposes of a Saviour's before, love, we should realise this privilege more “Therefore, beloved brethren, be ye promptly and gratefully than we do, should steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding esteem this work of the Lord as less a duty in the work of the Lord, forasmuch ae ye than a delight. How is it, Christian know that your labour is not in vain in the friends, that you do not grudge your Lord.” Work in joyful hope, for “this is ministers that labour which you seem so | the true saying of God.” We have, indeed, ready to regard as their exclusive function? | no confidence in that sort of spiritual arithYou ask for them that they may be made metic, which proceeds upon the principle “ wise to win souls;"_why is not this celes- that God is pledged in return for the ex tial wisdom more earnestly sought, and more penditure of a given amount of labour, to diligently practised, on your own behalf ? grant in every instance a corresponding You quote, in prayerful reference to them, amount of palpable and immediate success. the glorious promise, “They that be wise / The great Eternal does not conduct the