Page images
PDF
EPUB

men.

des affligés, refuge des pécheurs, days; and I make this remark withsecours des Chrétiens, par vous nous out any depreciation of their claims offrons à votre Divin Fils l'hommage on our attention, but only to denote de nos adorations profondes, nos ac- the feelings which ought to be those tions de grâces, nos supplications et of every Christian traveller when a nos veux ; soyez notre force dans les building is before him, now in actual tribulations, notre ressource dans tous use for the glory of God and the good les besoins, notre étoile dans les dan- of eternal souls. We have especially gers : que par vous nous arrivions heu- to feel for, and serve that generation, reusement au port du salut éternel.” in which God has appointed our lot;

and antiquarian research, even though Is it uncharitable to ask, if a Church employed in churches, is indeed a which deifies Mary, can be a Church small matter when compared with of Christ?

exertion and sympathy towards But Tours and its neighbourhood is building up the living stones” of not left to Romish teaching. It has God's true temple on earth—his a large English Congregation, with a Church of believing souls!" zealous and useful Clergyman: there are also a French Protestant pastor and

Saumur was once celebrated for the flock; additions to it have been rapidly

number of its Protestant inhabitants; made, and our readers will be gratified but Romish persecution did its work to hear that the Protestant worship in so completely that “heretics” were this place was founded by the late

silenced for upwards of 150 years. A lamented and beloved Mr. Hartley. change has now, however, taken place; At Loches Mr. T. found a few Eng

and in a church built on the site of lish families, but no public worship on

the old one, where Henry IV. used to Sundays, and but few visits of clergy

worship, the pure and undefiled Gospel He therefore conducted service

is preached. Mr. T. saysand administered the Lord's Supper

“I had a note of introduction for to nine communicants. Here let us commend Mr. Trench's

the pastor, Monsieur Duvivier, who example to the imitation of all clergy- obliging manner.

received us in a very friendly and

His ministerial men travelling abroad, and avail ourselves of his own words “to recom

post is evidently one at present of

considerable difficulty and anxiety as mend an inquiry in each town which a clergyman visits, as to whether there

are all the newly established Churches

of Reformed worship in France; and are any of his countrymen in the place without the advantage of a permanent

much zeal and perseverance are reEnglish minister." And surely, in

quisite in order to form and preserve such case, travelling arrangements

a congregation amidst the many obshould be ordered, and mere scrupu

stacles which rise up, and the general lous feeling overcome, so that they

depression of Protestants in the land. who are isolated from “ the great con

Let us, however, hope that the light

of divine truth, once more kindled in gregation” at home, may be sometimes furnished with the ministrations of the

the town, will so shine in the surSanctuary abroad.

rounding darkness that the present We follow our traveller to Saumur,

little flock will year by year become and we find him making such just remarks on a Protestant Church re- Here Mr. Trench had a service for cently opened, that we lay them before

the English residents; and here he our readers :

saw a striking proof of the Mariolatry

of Rome :“I must now proceed to mention an edifice which, small as it is, and “ One of the churches in this very only just completed, gave us more city forcibly illustrates the need of gratification and interest than all the of purification such as this. In the antiquities together, pleased as we are edifice to which I allude, I saw a large with observing the relics of ancient figure of the Virgin Mary dressed in

more numerous.

I had pre

real clothes, and occupying the mid- got in about thirty chairs, and ardle niche over one of the altars., I ranged all things needful for our pure am thoroughly convinced that had a and simple form of worship. Thirtyheathen entered the place, he would

five came.

Three or four of the at once have concluded that she was number were French; but, being the divinity of the Christians. In Protestants, they were desirous of another church at Saumur, the pulpit this Christian union with us and were has inscribed on it these words alone, able to understand and follow a conJesus Maria', thus combining and siderable portion of our services. equalizing the two names with most About the same number came in the unholy disparagement to the dignity afternoon, and among them was of God. At the door of this Church Colonel P-, who, on that occasion, old women were sitting with heaps joined for the last time an assembly of long, showy wax tapers before of worshippers on earth. He was an them; they asked me to buy them, officer in our army, rather advanced and to light them in the church to the in years, and of very calm and mild honour of the Virgin. I observed bearing. He sat next to me, and I that just except at the thin and taper- exchanged with him a few words, ing top, they were hollow, like the little thinking that out of

ur small system in support of which they are company he was so soon to be sumemployed."

moned away. Not being pressed for

time, and seeing how much the serHaving arrived at Angers, our vices of our Church were needed, and, Author says:

I will add, valued by my countrymen

here, I engaged to remain at Angers “Our first object to-day was to at all events for another Sunday, find out our fellow-countrymen, and gave notice that I should administer to give them notice of my holding the sacrament of the Lord's supper, service on the morrow.

and arranged for the baptism of a viously obtained from Monsieur Ü- child during the ensuing week.” of Saumur, a list of some English residents in the place; but on asking The above is rendered peculiarly my landlord for some additional in- affecting by the fact, that Col. P. died formation on the subject, he at once suddenly on the following Tuesday, referred me to Madame P—, the wife and Mr. T. had the melancholy duty of a confectioner carrying on an ex- of reading the burial service over his tensive business in the town. I remains. While in the same tour, found her a most pleasing and ami- one or two controversies which he had, able person, and being herself a coun- suggest the following remarks :trywoman and a Protestant, she was well qualified and disposed to facili- Alluding to all the educated men tate my object. She gladly entered of the Romish Church with whom I into the design, and after speaking in have hitherto spoken at length on the highest commendation of the place such subjects in France, not excepting as healthy and prosperous, she said, one, I may confidently say that the * The only want we have is that of a real and virtual point at which ere Protestant clergyman.'

* It long we arrived was this—whether gave me much pleasure to supply the Bible alone, or the Bible and the this want even for a short season. I Tradition of the Church, ought to be was told that public worship had not

the rule of faith. And in every conbeen held by an English clergyman versation in which I have contended within the memory of any of the resi- against the Sacrifice of the Mass, the dents; and one of my informants was Worship of the Virgin, Purgatory, able to answer for a period of twelve &c.,

my opponent has finally appealed years.

to Tradition as his warrant. Most Sunday.-We rose early this fully do I believe that what our Savimorning to clear and prepare our our said to the Jews is still doctrinapartment for a temporary church; ally applicable on this matter: “Ye do

66

[ocr errors]

66

service in the Protestant Church, and in the evening

make the Word of God of none effect by your traditions.' And may we, as Protestants, be warned now and continue to be warned by this and eyery other warning afforded by the Church of Rome! May we resist with zeal and determination every effort made to raise Tradition out of its due place! Many such efforts are now made, and in proportion as they succeed, true doctrine must fall, and false doctrine must rise."

“I sent out,” he says, “my invitations for evening service in my room to all the English residents in the town of whom I could hear. About twenty attended.”

At Bordeaux, Mr. T. again meets with one of those proofs of Maryworship which crowd around the traveller in popish countries :

Mr. Trench endeavoured, before he left, to stimulate exertions towards a permanent Protestant ministry. His efforts have been successful; for a Bible depôt has been formed, a colporteur appointed, and the services of a clergyman obtained.

A visit to a friend on the banks of the Loire, afforded the next opportunity of gathering a little congregation on the Sabbath-day. At Nantes, Mr. T. attended the French Protestant service, held in what was once the chapel of a Carmelite monastery. The congregation was good; but the establishment of an English clergyman seemed very desirable.

We should like to notice a conversation which our author had with a French seafaring-man, in order that we might give an instance of the mischief done by the Popish doctrine of Tradition, but our limits forbid more than a mere reference to it as one of much interest. We pass, to describe a Sunday spent at Bourbon-Vendée:

" At one of the chapels in another church-that of St. Michael—are the following words in large and conspicuous characters, so placed as to meet the attention of all who pass by, Allez a Jesus par Maria:" an exact parody of the words and testimony of Scripture regarding our Saviour's office as the one mediator between God and man-an office so valued, so sacred, and so unapproachable in the estimation of every enlightened believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

How vain are the attempts of Popery to refute the charge of exalting the creature into the Creator's seat; we need only to point to the crown on Mary's head, with which the churches abound, her titles, her pictures, her altars, her devotees. These speak a fearful but intelligible creed.

During his stay at Bourdeaux, Mr. Trench's sympathies were aroused in behalf of the religious condition of the sailors, and he held a service for them twice, and had a very serious and attentive audience.

The spiritual state of Bergerac is thus described :

Protestant service is held in the town once in three Sundays, and it happened that this was the day for public worship. Accordingly, at 12 o'clock we went to the Mairie, or Town-Hall, where a comfortable, simple apartment is assigned for this purpose. We found a congregation composed of about thirty persons There are, in fact, only three or four French Protestant families in the place, and it speaks well for their conduct and zeal in behalf of their religion, that where there are so few they have obtained and maintain a service.”

“He told me that there were twenty-five Protestant Temples' in St. Foy and the neighbourhood, and that in the flourishing school for Protestants in that town, there were one hundred and thirty pupils. I also heard from the same authority, that in the department of the Charente Inférieure there were eighteen thousand Protestants, and at least fifty “temples. I also received from Mr. D— some interesting accounts concerning the sale of bibles and testa

At La Rochelle, Mr. T. attended the

ments by means of Colporteurs. He told me that at Périgueux, a Colporteur had sold in one year seventeen hundred bibles and testaments, and at another period thirteen hundred in eight months. My informant and his young colleague, whom I also saw at Luz, had sold at Barèges, Luz, and in the neighbouring mountains, in the three weeks previous to my seeing them, one hundred and seventyseven testaments and four bibles. They select a certain district, and offer the Scriptures for sale almost from house to house. The usual price is tenpence for the testaments, and from two shillings and a penny to two shillings and sixpence for Bibles.”

An excursion of 34 miles from Pau to Puyoo suggested to our traveller's mind a reflection, very common when observing localities where Protestantism exerts any influence :

“ The whole district which we traversed to-day to our sleeping-place, Puyoo (thirty-four miles) offered, in unbroken succession, that attractive

which good country houses, neat cottages, cherished gardens, and highly cultivated fields must always compose.

Such a scene is not merely gratifying to the outward eye, but may fairly be viewed as no slight evidence of moral and social happiness among the inhabitants. And when I mention that this day we were in a very Protestant country, (for France, and that we naturally compared the appearance of this people and districts with many other departments, entirely Popish, which we had lately traversed, the observations almost universally formed by travellers as to the respective mien of different cantons in Switzerland, according to the prevalent religion, naturally recurred to my mind, and received here a testimony corroborative of their truth.”

scene

power, by the distribution of Tracts, and by religious conversation, to spread the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.

We conclude our review—if review it can be called—with some general remarks on the actual position of Protestantism in France.

Efforts are making there which, as they are based on zeal with knowledge, cannot fail to be extensively successful. Much has been done, in a quiet but effective way. The instrumentality has often been humble, but the results have been glorious. The lowly colporteur as, “ bearing precious seed,” he passes from village to village, is distributing the agencies of an immense vitality. The quickening process has been sometimes a very rapid one; and we have looked with the astonishment of delight, on whole communes passing from the false to the true faith. Indeed the spread of Evangelic truth has been so great that Rome has trembled at the sight, and her hierarchy in France has found it a matter of grave concern; and the checking of its progress, a project of the deepest moment. An extract from the last Report of the Foreign Aid Society, will clearly establish this interesting fact:

“At the fall of the empire, in 1815, the Reformed worship, including the Lutherans, reckoned four hundred and sixty-four pasteurs. In 1830, when Charles X. was dethroned, the number had risen to five hundred and forty-seven; in 1843, it was six hundred and seventy-seven ; and at this time it may safely be affirmed that they exceed seven hundred. The public grants made according to the Charter for the maintenance of those pastors have had a proportionable increase. In 1815, the sum total was 306,600 francs. In 1843, it amounted to 1,219,000 francs; and this year it will, in all probability, be still greater. So that a sum of £50,000 is now granted annually out of the public treasury of France for the salaries of Protestant pasteurs; varying from one thousand eight hundred to three thousand francs per annum each. The number of Churches have increased in the same proportion, and yet the Protest

And
now,

Mr. Trench passes from France to Spain, whither we do not intend to accompany him. We must, however, say, that in Spain Mr.Trench endeavoured, as far as it lay in his

ant population is far from being sup- which rests with the local authorities plied. There are one hundred and of each district, relative to the “autoeleven places where Protestant con- rization” of the Reformed worship, gregations are obliged to meet for furnishes a source, under Romish worship in the open air. Of the eighty influence, whence arise perpetual departments into which France is annoyances and frequent impedidivided, there are yet twenty-six in ments. We think it far from unlikely, which there is neither Church, nor that the Church of God in France may consistory, nor pastor. The Pro- have a large amount of suffering to testants scattered in those extensive undergo. The political ascendancy of provinces have no means of grace to Rome in that country is such that we which they can have access.

may without any extravagance look to

see her again quaffing that dreadful We see from this statement, that libation of holy blood which she loves Protestantism has taken considerable to drink. When that time comes, hold of France, and that it enjoys to a may the good confession of the French certain extent the support of the state. Church be the cordial and the stimuBut we are not unaware how preca- lus of the Universal Church of God! rious is its condition; we know that In the meanwhile, let us exhort our the subject of religious liberty is now readers to avail themselves of the agitating France, and it is a question present opportunity of comparative of national legislation, whether Pro- liberty, by aiding in diffusing Gospel testants shall be allowed to propagate Truth throughout the fair but guilty their peculiar doctrines by the agencies country of France; and let us beseech they choose to employ. We also all Christian travellers there, to let no know that the elements of oppression occasion pass when they may say or as regards Protestants are capable of do something for their Master. Fas being very actively worked; for the est ab hoste doceri ;-let Romish zeal communities of Protestants are often be grafted on Protestant principle. small and weak, and the vague power

TRACTARIANISM.

AN ANSWER BY THE TRACTARIANS It is to denounce the Church of

TO THE QUESTION-“WHAT IS England as being “in bondage, as TRACTARIANISM ?”

working in chains, and as teaching

with stammering lips of ambiguous It is to “say anathema to the princi- formularies"6_it is to eulogize the ple of Protestantism”t—to “ depart Church of Rome as giving“ free scope more and more from the principles of to the feelings of awe, mystery, tenthe English reformation"—to * sigh derness, reverence, and devotedness” to think that we should be separate --and as having high gifts and from Rome”3_to regard “Rome as strong claims on our admiration, reour mother, through whom we were verence, love, and gratitude."8 born to Christ."

It is to declare that “ our articles

are the offspring of an uncatholic 1 Palmer's Letters to Golightly age”—and that the communion ser2 British Critic, for July 1841. 3 Tracts for the Times.

Tracts for the Times.
Palmer's Letter.

7 Newman's Letter to Jelf. 5 Tracts for the Times.

8 Tracts for the Times.

6

4

9

Idą

« PreviousContinue »