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Catholics. The Protestant officers and soldiers are also compelled, at a signal from the priests, to manage the tolling of the bells.
The following address and prayers of the Bishop of Chalons, on christening six bells, in the year 1824, shews the blasphemous superstition which a Protestant bas to serve when tolling a bell for these rites. The address was published in the Paris papers of the 26th August that year.
“The bells, placed like centinels on the top of towers, watch over us, and turn away from us the temptations of the
enemy of our salvation, as well as tempests and storms. They have a voice, which serves as an organ, to express our joy and our grief. They speak and pray for us in our troubles : they inform heaven of the necessities of the earth. It is you, Mary, who will have to announce the festivals, and proclaim the glory of the Lord (Mary weighs 8,560lbs.;) and you, Anne, will be charged with the same employment. Oh! what touching lessons will you give in imitation of her whose pame you bear, and whom we honour as the purest of virgins." (Anne weighs 6,300lbs.)
The annexed are the prayers of the bishop at this christening :
"Bless, O Lord, this water with a heavenly blessing, and let the power of the Holy Spirit accompany it, that when this bell shall be sprinkled therewith, it may, whereever its tolling shall sound, cause to depart all the power of secretly plotting enemies, all the airy shades of hobgoblins, the attack of whirlwinds, the blasts of lightnings, the blows of thunderbolts, the destructions of tempests, and all the power of stormy winds. And when the children of Christians shall hear the clanging of this bell, may an increase of devotion be begotten in them, and prevail to bring down a multitude of the hosts of angels,” &c. &c.
"Grant that this bell, prepared for thy holy worship, may be sanctified by thy Holy Spirit, and when its melody shall sound in the ears of the people, may the devotion of faith be increased in them,-may the blasts of the winds become bealthful and rendered gentle, and may the RIGHT HAND OF THY POWER, displayed in the bell, uiterly silencing all aerial tempests, so that hearing it, they may tremble at it and flee before the banner of the holy cross of thy Son marked thereupon,” &c. &c.
These prayers are extracted from a copy of the Pontifi. cale Romanum.
The processions mentioned in the applications, are either for the worship of the Host when it is carried about the streets to receive the devotion of the people, or for the worship of the images of the Virgin, or of those tutelar saints to whom they ascribe the protection and welfare of their towns, monasteries, trades, &c. On these occasions, the salute, accompanied by the tolling of their bells, is fired as the wafer or image is brought out of the church by a choir of priests, praying and chanting praises to these objects, followed by a train of bishops, priests, and monks with lighted candles in their hands, and by a great multitude, with their heads bowed down, responding the prayers of the priests. Many also are seen on their knees as these objects of their worship pass. Sixty patteraroes are fired during these processions, at such intervals as to join with the prayers and other ceremonies, until the Host or image is lodged in its church again.
That the compliances into which Protestants have been drawn or forced do not arise from any reciprocal acts of courtesy from the Romish Church, is shown by the following facts:
The Romish Priesthood have urged on the troops of their communion, that it is a direliction of their faith to obey an order to attend the Protestant worship, and that any such order is a violation of their imprescriptible na. tural rights. The letter, containing this appeal to their natural right, has often been published.
Roman Catholic soldiers have refused to attend the worship of the Church of England: and they are not called to attend Protestant worship on any pretence whatever.*
When the Bishop, Clergy, and other Roman Catholics of distinction, were invited to the funeral of the late Sir Thomas Maitland, at Malta, they attended the body at the Palace, and continued in the procession so long as it could be strictly considered a civil ceremony; but they quitted the procession, filing off to their respective churches or homes, before the religious ceremonies of the Church of England began. Thus the same Bishop, Chapter of the Cathedral, and other Ecclesiastics who apply for and
* We sincerely respect this decision of conduet, both in Romish priests and soldiers. We know that decision in error is wrong, yet, because it is decision, it is respectable. The truckling and base compliances of enligâ tened Protestantism should shrink ashamed from the contrast. EDIT.
obtain the attendance of Protestants to grace their high altars, to countenance and comply with their forms of worship, and even perform functions belonging to their priests and sextons, at the same time show to the world they do not allow it to be a duty of civil service, neither a proper act of courtesy, deference, and respect from Roman Catholics to the Protestant religion, to attend its religious ceremonies.
We subjoin the following facts and statements relative to the practices in Greece:
“Adjutant-General's Office, Ionian Islands, « General Order.
Corfu, Nov. 13, 1824. Major-General Sir P. Ross, K. C. St. Michael and St. George, with all the Officers of the Garrison and Departments off Duty, will be pleased to meet his Excellency the Lord High Commissioner at the Palace tomorrow morning, at ten minutes before eleven o'clock, to attend the ceremony and procession of St. Spiridione.”
“Brigade Major's Office, Corfu, “Garrison Orders.
Nov. 13, 1824. “A Detachment, consisting of the Captain of the Day, one Subaltern, two Sergeants, three Drummers, and eighty Rank and File, with the Bands of the 18th and 28th Regiments, will parade at half past ten o'clock to-morrow morning, to accompany the procession of St. Spiridione.
When the procession shall have arrived opposite the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, the usual salute will be fired from the batteries.”
This St. Spiridione is the bones of a dead man, worshipped by the Greeks as the Guardian of the Island; the bones are splendidly dressed and brought out in a glass sedan chair in solemn procession several times a year, when the Greeks desire these bones will avert the plague, or procure them a fruitful season; and in other ways as cribe to them the great attributes of God for the worst uses of priestcraft and superstition. During the procession a canopy is carried over the bones, and this canopy is supported by the British officers, this being one of the greatest marks of devotion which individuals pay to these objects of worship. The rest of the British officers follow the bones bareheaded, some carrying lighted candles in their hands. An eye-witness has counted as many as sixty of the deluded Greeks prostrate before the Relique, dụring one procession, some throwing themselves under
the feet of the officers carrying the canopy, that its shadow might pass over them, and they receive the benefits they are led to expect from this act of adoration. The sick and lame are brought at the same time to the Relique for care, and considerable gifts of money and other offer. ings are made to it, immediately after the procession, to propitiate the favour of the bones, which then produce a considerable revenue to the proprietors of the Relique, (a family of rank named Bulgari,) and to the priests, who have a share.
It has been stated, by officers who were eye-witnesses, that on occasion of the procession, the scarlet boots of the Saint were found splashed with mud, and that this Wonder was diligently circulated in the Islands, as a proof the Saint had been out of his case to the Morea, to fight with their brethren against the Turks. Another officer told me, he heard from the Greeks that the Saint wore out several pairs of boots every year in walking abouf the island for their protection.
At Zante, the British officers are called to join the procession of Caro Lambo's TAUMB, when this object of Greek worship is carried to the sea-side and dipped in the sea, to prevent the plague crossing from the Morea. The British artillery have further to join the degrading superstition with a salute fired at the dipping of the thumb, by a signal made from the procession to the Battery. The officers are called to join three other processions annually at this island, all of which are most revolting to the principles of a Protestant.
At the processions, after the trials at Malta, Sir Frederick Adam, the Lord High Commissioner in the Ionian Islands, not only took one of the poles of the eanopy over St. Spiridione's bones, but all the ceremonies were enforced with more than usual strictness. Many officers carried eandles after the bones; and when some officers in the procession showed reluctance to take their turn in bearing the canopy, one of the Staff officers threatened to report their conduct, and threatened arrest, unless they instantly went to the canopy.
EXAMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR COMMUNION.
ECCLESIASTICAL history informs us, that during the first century after Christ, the Christian communities were di. vided into two classes-Believers and Catechumens. The persons called Believers had been solemnly admitted into the church by baptism, and instructed in all the mysteries of religion; they had access to all the parts of divine worship, and were authorized to vote in the eoclesiastical assemblies. The Catechumens had not yet been dedicated to God by baptism, but were in a state of probation, and under a course of instruction by persons specially appointed for that purpose, and were therefore admitted neither to the public prayers, nor to the holy communion, nor to the ecclesiastical assemblies, (see Patterson's Church History, p. 29, vol. II.) By this arrangement, the ignorant were brought under the constant influence of ministerial instruction-were excluded from church privileges, until they could understand and value them; while the character of the church was preserved from the injurious influx of the unworthy, and rendered honourable by the knowledge and piety of those admitted to her fellowship.
The generality of churches in modern times cannot adopt this primitive distinction or discipline, because the circumstances of most modern churches differ so very widely from the circumstances of the primitive churches. The primitive churches were planted amidst professed beathenism; the modern churches amidst professed christianity: the primitive churches were gathered from an adult population, professing heathenism; the modern churches grow up from an infant population, professing christianity a generation, who, like the Jews, who were received into the church on the eighth day, have, in their early years, been presented to the Lord, in the ordinance and covenant of baptism, and who have consequently a public claim to
* We have to apologise to our Correspondent for the interruption of his series of papers. We were compelled once and again to do so, in order to make room for more pressing matter; but we promise him upinterrupted insertion in future.