Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

account of whose deposition (he says) the pulpits of the Eng. lish Church, and of the Dissenters, resounded with rejoicing, under the idea that the fall of popery was arrived, became a prisoner, precisely for having refused to accede to a coalition formed against England. He adds that he is now restored to that throne,

· Que lui et ses successeurs occuperont jusqu'à la consummation des siècles.

The personal infallibility of the Pope, as distinguished from that which attaches to his official character, his supposed power of deposing monarchs, and of releasing subjects from the oath of allegiance, and from the obligation of keeping faith with heretics, are indignantly disclaimed by our Author, as calumnies a thousand times refuted, and held in horror by the Catholic clergy. He thinks that those who advance them, can only feign to believe them.

Our Liturgy, he complains, still attributes to the Catholic Church, the Powder Plot, which was the crime of only a few individuals; and our Monument ascribes the fire of London to the Papists, contrary, he says, to the attestation of history.

He reminds us that our ancestors, who discovered so much attachment to the cause of liberty, were Catholics : that that great Charter which is exhibited in the British Museum, as an object of veneration, is the work of our Catholic ancestors. These remarks, however, can scarcely pass for reasoning.

The Author expresses his peculiar regret, that the equitable concessions in favour of the Catholics, should find antagonists among our clergy, especially on the Episcopal bench. He names Bishops Watson and Landaff, as honourable exceptions. The Church of England, continues M. Grégoire, is one of those which have the nearest affinity with the Roman Catholic Church: "a çircumstance which has been pointed 6 out by the Duke of Sussex in an admirable speech in favour of emancipation.'

• Mais quelque divisées que soient entre elles les societés protestantes, toutes se réunissent contre la tige dont elles sont des branches séparées. Il semble qu'elles aient pour dogme commun l'aversion contre cette Eglise Catholique, qui, traversant les siècles, elève sa tête majestueuse au milieu des sectes qu'elle voit successivement naître et s'écrouler autour d'elle."

In a similar strain of eloquence M. Berr Isaac Berr, and other members of the Parisian Sanhedrim, expatiated on the glorious pre-eminence, integrity, and duration, of their still more ancient Church, whose origin is lost in the obscurity of centuries, and of which Christianity itself is considered as only a novel and heretical branch. It is really inconceivable,' said the orator alluded to, that the Christians who have

the same origin with us, the Christians, our fellow sufferers 6 under Nero, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Adrian, and se( veral others, could, contrary to their duty, have inherited

from those irreligious nations, that hatred and that contempt, o which we at first shared together. It is really difficult to find the solution of this problem.'*

M. Grégoire pursues the subject by remarking, that if the Church of England is in danger, it arises rather from the novel sects which have sprung up in her own bosom; and he quotes a speech of Lord Sidmouth's, in which his Lordship expressed his apprehension that England would soon be reduced to the predicament of having a nominal Establishment, and a sectarian population. Instead, however, of coinciding with his Lordship in the policy which his apprehensions led him to recommend, the venerable Author observes :

• These remarks throw considerable light,-perhaps they may lead to a decision, -upon a point much agitated by your public writers ; the advantages and disadvantages of a civil establishment for any particular mode of worship. Institutions of this kind, as they may chance to be in favour of error as well as of truth, can only, in the one case, afford falsehood the aid of human props of which Truth, in the other case, stands not in need. Offspring of heaven, she triumphs by the help of means worthy of her celestial origin. Let her ministers, deeply impressed with their responsibility, unite to solid instruction, the efficacy of virtuous example, that first of preachers; they will then make real converts, while the Inquisition and Dragooning will never make persons any thing but hypocrites.'

We can make room for no further comments, but must content ourselves with giving two more extracts from this manly and spirited pamphlet. In the first, the Author is animadverting upon the dogma charged upon the Romish Church, Hors de l'Eglise, point de salut; and he attempts to get rid of the accusation, by saying that the Protestant Churches pretended, originally, to be each the only way to heaven; and be supports his remark by references to the life of Beausobre.

* All these different seets, he continues, having now fallen into latitudinarianism, since zeal has given way to indifference, are irritated at not obtaining from the Catholic Church a reciprocity of religious concession which, with regard to a point of doctrine, they will

* Kirwan's Parisian Sanhedrim, 8vo, London, 1808,

never obtain; because Truth is one, and there is no collateral path leading to the same end. I would then say, as a Catholic, to my Protestant brother,- I believe thee to be in error; my duty is to pity thee, to implore the Father of lights to illumine thee, and to do thee all the good in my power. As citizens, our rights are equal ; and if, in the case, for instance, of election to civil offices, I prefer an illiterate and immoral Catholic to an enlightened and virtuous Protestant, this partiality, which would oppress merit, and betray the interests of my country, would be a crime.

We will not weaken the following passage by translating it: it will form no inappropriate conclusion to the Article.

Quand on étudie la nature de l'homme, on entrevoit une distance énorine entre ce qu'il est & ce qu'il pourroit être. Quels progrès feroient l'agriculture, l'industrie, les sciences, si on leur consacroient seulement la dixième partie de ce que coûtent des guerres ruineuses, une représentation fastueuse, et un luxe dévorateur? En France il y a peut être deux cents villes, où, depuis quinze ans, des réceptions de princes, des décorations theatrales, des arcs triomphaux et des fêtes, ont coûté plus d'argent qu'il n'en eût fallu pour y fonder des écoles, nourrir les pauvres, et approvi. sionner les hôpitaux. Ah! si les chefs des nations connoissoient la véritable gloire et leurs vrais intérêts, que d'efforts ils déploieroient pour élever les peuples à tout ce qui est grand, pur, et sublime !

Le caractére européen a besoin d'une trempe nouvelle; en lui conservant toute la fougue de la bravoure militaire, une civilisation mal dirigée lá dépouillé du courage civil : à ce malheur, (et c'en est un grand,) on ne peut remédier qu'en reprenant pour ainsi dire la société dans ses élèmens, en travaillant à rendre meilleures la génération naissante et celles qui vont atteindre la puberté. Le vice capital de l'éducation moderne, c'st de negliger le cæur en cultivant l'esprit ; de faire beaucoup pour l'un, et presque rien pour l'autre: alors les talens qui devroient seconder les bonnes mæurs, deviennent des armes contre elles. N'espérons pas d'ailleurs que jamais les maurs puissent fleurir, si elles n'ont la religion pour appui.'

Sans la religion, les meurs, la bonne foi, l'économie, un état n'aura jamais qu'une existence précaire. Ce sont là des vérités triviales ; mais peut-on répéter trop souvent qu'il n'y a pas d'autres moyens pour resserrer les liens entre les gouvernans et les gouvernés, identifier leurs intérêts, et fonder le bonheur sur une base inébranlable ?

Art. Il. Alpine Sketches, comprised in a Short Tour through Parts of

Holland, Flanders, France, Savoy, Switzerland, and Germany, during the Summer of 1814. By a Member of the University of

Oxford. 8vo. pp. 312. price 9s. Longman and Co. 1814. OBSERVING this gentleman's designation put in all the

prominence of capitals, and having always been taught to associate every possible idea of dignity, stateliness, and majestic pomp, with the University, which we thus learn' would be incomplete without him, we do not see how we were to avoid the uncouth sensations excited by the commencement of his advertisement, and the commencement of his tour.

« Our Booksellers' windows are already crowded with Wanderings, Trips, Tours, Visits, Sketches, and Guides, and behold here is another, without pretensions, name, or preface, obtruded upon the public, whose intelłects are insulted by such an acéumulation of trash! Who is the author ?

• All very true, Sir; but a preface is an awkward thing to write in these days, when every kind of apology has long since been exhausted by our scribblers, and over-ruled by our Reviewers; besides, the author of the following pages is now again upon the road to Italy, and not in the way to write one.'-- Advertisement,

• CHAP. I. 66 Rém tibi

quam

nôris aptam dimittere noli." €" With all my heart," said I, as H- carelessly mentioned the idea. Some few objections were started; but by the help of a little Oxonian logic, they vanished; and when the carriage drew up to the door of the Crown, at Henley, our minds were made up, and accordingly four horses were ordered for Rotterdam.' p. 1.

“ Amember of the University of Oxford.”_We could not help thinking what would have become of the venerable Body, the patriarch of academies, the palladium of learning, the solemn personification of wisdom, had this one of its components, by any melancholy chance, gone overboard, or had the packet gone down!

A member of the University.”-Of what rank is he there? of what standing ? how much time has he actually sojourned in the shades of academic bowers ? what lectures has he been attending ? what books has he been studying? Is there really cause to suspect that all the influences of that revered establishment, with its hierarchy of erudite spirits, its scholastic discipline, its Grecian and Roman models of writing, its assembled tomes of the choicest literature of all subsequent ages, have left this so favoured student no better schooled, than to admire the manner of that fetid clerical baboon of literature that began a journey'thus:--"They manage these things better in France" ?

But not to prophane the image of that august rector of minds, by references wantonly protracted, we will plainly say, we should have thought that amid classical studies, in the very focus of criticism, he might have acquired a taste that would be disgusted with all such flippancy, and feeble affectation of sprightliness ;-or, perhaps, it was even meant for wit. That discipline might have instructed him that could he really have made a witty beginning, a manly simplicity of introduction is, perhaps, still far better : but, at any rate, that an artificial, tricky, and vapid smartness makes a man, and especially a college-man, appear vastly like a coxcomb.

This paltry affectation at setting off rendered us little disposed to be sanguine as to the travelling resources of our companion. Nor were we at all more favourably prepossessed by the way in which he began to make use of his learning, than by that in which he was sporting his wit.

• Leaving Paris with sentiments of individual gratitude, rather than of public esteem, he proceeded into Switzerland, where, following the maxim of Sallust,“ Quo mihi rectius videtur, quoniam vita ipsa quâ fruimur brevis est, memoriam nostri quam maximê longam efficere," he noted with feelings of fpeculiar delight, the romantic scenery, and simple character of the happy peasant, who builds his cabin in the delicious retirement and peaceful quiet of the Alpine vallies.'- Advertisement, p. vi.

More oddly, we thought, this sententious old Roman never had been dragged into modern gay company; more oddly, a passion for notoriety, and a delighted sympathy with the sweet obscure simplicity of the Alpine peasant's condition, had never come together ; more oddly, the affectation of being actuated by momentary impulse, and the acknowledgement of deep and remote-looking design, were never let to meet in ridicule of each other. What! this flippant, random spark, who frisks into an adventure at the casual suggestion of an acquaintance, is all the while gravely considering how to make the greatest noise after he is dead, and prosecutes his freak on this calculation !

Under these first impressions of something so much akin to folly, we were likely to go forward with a very cool sobriety, to see what we should in the sequel make of our man; and we are now ready to say, that he turns out better than we expected, notwithstanding that he retains, quite through, somewhat of the cast which it has puzzled and amazed so much that he could have acquired among the sages and solemnities of Oxford. If it is among the precipices of the Alps that this modification most nearly vanishes, we are not quite certain whether he there owes the improvement to taste or to fear.

Though Holland, Flanders, France, and Germany, are taxed to

« ForrigeFortsett »