Page images

calm and peaceful serenity, arising from the presence of Christ. And although not visible to mortal sight, yet Jesus will as surely be present to whisper those words of comfort, "It is I, be not afraid," as he was to the terrified disciples in the days of his flesh. The dying Christian, feeling all other aids ineffectual in that awful hour, will address the Saviour in such terms as these: "Abide with me, for the day of life is spent, and the night of death draweth on: abide with me, for I already feel the waters of that chill flood over which I must pass ere reaching the promised land." We shall behold Him who was once crucified for us, and whose brows were lacerated with the crown of thorns, now adorned with the diadem of glory; those who have loved and served him on earth shall then be ever with him; and this will constitute the great happiness of heaven. Will it not be a delightful thing to meet the patriarchs, the apostles, and the martyrs, and to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God? But all this must fade when put in comparison with the presence of our Lord and Saviour; for he, who constitutes the happiness of angels, shall constitute ours also; and then shall he abide with us, and we with him, through the countless ages of eternity.

S.-A.D. 1572.


THERE is not upon record a more atrocious act of barbarity than the massacre of the Huguenots in Paris, on the feast of St. Bartholomew, A.D. 1572. Treachery and cruelty went hand in hand; and amidst the fearfully numerous crimes justly chargeable on popery in its vain attempts to extirpate what it is pleased to designate heresy, this was certainly one of the blackest dye. "If I was inclined to increase the general horror," says the Duc de Sully, "inspired by an action so barbarous as that perpetrated on the 24th of Aug. 1572, and too well known by the name of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, I should enlarge upon the number, the quality, the virtues, and great talents of those who were inhumanly murdered on this horrible day, as well in Paris as in every part of the kingdom; I should mention at least the ignominious treatment, the fiend-like cruelty, and savage insults these miserable victims suffered from their butchers, and which in death were a thousand times more terrible than death itself. I have writings still in my hands, which would confirm the report of the court of France having made the most pressing instances to the neighbouring courts to follow its example with regard to the Protestants, or at least to refuse an asylum to those unfortunate people; but I prefer the honour of the nation to the satisfying a malignant pleasure, which many persons would take in lengthening out a recital, wherein might be found the names of those who were so lost to humanity as to dip their hands in the blood of their fellow-citizens, and even their own relations. I would, were it in my power, for ever obliterate the memory of a day that Divine vengeance made France groan for, by a continual succession of miseries, blood, and horror, during six

and twenty years; for it is not possible to judge otherwise, if one reflects on all that passed from that that I cannot omit what happened upon this occasion fatal moment to the peace of 1598. 'Tis with regret to the prince who is the subject of these memoirs, and to myself."

Necessary measures having been taken, and plans regularly organised, the ringing of the bells of St. Germain l'Auxerrois for matins was the signal for commencing the work of blood. The Admiral de Coligny was first put to death, in the midst of his domestics, by a man named Besmes — a dependent during his whole life of the Duke of Guise-the duke and the Chevalier de Guise remaining below. A sword being driven through his body, and a deep gash made across his face, his remains were thrown out of the window; and his head being cut off, it was, with a box of papers, containing, as was affirmed, a memoir of his own times, conveyed to the queen mother. After heaping other indignities on the corpse, it was hung on the gibbet of Montfaucon, whence the Mareschal de Montmorency caused it to be removed in the night and buried at Chantilly. The domestics of Coligny were immediately butchered, and a simultaneous work of blood commenced. Many of the attendants on the king of Navarre and the prince of Condé were put to death one by one; many persons of importance fell a sacrifice of these the most distinguished was Francis de la Rochefoucault, in whose gay and brilliant society, to use the words of Mr. Smedley, "the king professed to find extraordinary attraction; and he granted him, although a Huguenot, unreserved access to his privacy. It was seeming favourite prepared to retire from the palace, near midnight, on the eve of the massacre, that this after many hours spent in careless hilarity. More than once did the king urge his stay, that they might trifle, as he said, through the remainder of the night; or, to obviate all difficulty, the count, if he so pleased, might be lodged even in the royal chamber. But La Rochefoucault pleaded weariness and want of sleep; and in spite of all opposition, took leave of his perfidious friend and sovereign in sportive words, which implied the freedom and familiarity of their intercourse. Even when he was afterwards roused from sleep by the morning tumult at his door, no misgiving crossed his mind; he imagined that the king had followed him, to inflict one of those practical jokes which suited the boisterous taste both of the times and of the individual; and hastily throwing on his clothes, he assured the masked band, which he did not scruple to admit, and among whom he supposed Charles to be included, that he was not taken at advantage-that they could not now feel privileged to flog him, for he was already up and dressed. The reply was a thrust of the sword, by one of the disguised company, who prostrated the unsuspicious victim at the feet of his murderers."

About two thousand Huguenots are supposed to have been murdered on the first day of the massacre, and the king and court, including Catherine and her ladies of honour, promenaded at night to view the mangled and naked remains. Among the victims were Antony de Clermont, marquis de Resnel, murdered by his own kinsman; and others of equally noble blood.

Orders were issued, enjoining the Huguenots to abstain from public and private assemblies, with the threat, that if they disobeyed, the provincial governors were instructed to "fall upon them and cut them in pieces, as enemies of the crown." From the day on which the messenger arrived, the streets of Lyons ran with blood; and the most barbarous enormities were committed in many other parts of France. At Orleans 1000, at Rouen 500 Huguenots were put to the

• History of the Reformed Religion in France.

sword. In two months the victims fell little short of 30,000, whereof one third were of Paris. On the first day of the massacre the young king of Navarre and the prince of Condé were arrested, and threats were employed to force from them a recantation of their religious principles. The former was easily tempted into compliance; but even the threat of the Bastile and of death failed to shake the constancy of Condé. At length, however, he was rather cheated than forced into compliance.

The account of the Duc de Sully is peculiarly interesting. "I was in bed, and awaked from sleep (says he) three hours after midnight by the sound of bells, and the confused cries of the populace. My governor St. Julian, with my valet de chambre, went hastily out to know the cause, and I never afterwards heard more of these men, who, without doubt, were amongst the first that were sacrificed to the public fury. I continued alone in my chamber, dressing myself, when in a few moments I saw my landlord enter, pale, and in the utmost confusion: he was of the reformed religion, and having learned what the matter was, had consented to go to mass to save his life and preserve his house from being pillaged. He came to persuade me to do the same, and to take me with him. I did not think proper to follow him, but resolved to try if I could gain the college of Burgundy, where I had studied; though the great distance between the house where I then was and the college made the attempt very dangerous. Having disguised myself in a scholar's gown, I put a large prayer-book under my arm, and went into the street. I was seized with horror inexpressible at the sight of the furious murderers, who, running from all parts, forced open the houses, and cried aloud, Kill, kill! massacre the Huguenots!' The blood which I saw shed before my eyes redoubled my terror. I fell into the midst of a body of guards; they stopped me, interrogated me, and were beginning to use me ill, when, happily for me, the book that I carried was perceived, and served me for a passport. Twice after this I fell into the same danger, from which I extricated myself with the same good fortune. At last I arrived at the college of Burgundy, where a danger still greater than any I had yet met with waited me. The porter having twice refused me entrance, I continued standing in the midst of the street, at the mercy of the furious murderers, whose numbers increased every moment, and who were evidently seeking for their prey, when it came into my mind to ask for La Faye, the principal of this college, a good man, by whom I was tenderly beloved. The porter, prevailed upon by some small pieces of money which I put into his hand, admitted me; and my friend carried me to his apartment, where two inLum in priests, whom I heard mention Sicilian vespers, wanted to force me from him, that they might cut me in pieces, saying, the order was not to spare even infants at the breast. All the good man could do was to conduct me privately to a distant chamber, where he locked me up. Here I was confined three days, uncertain of my destiny; and saw no one but a servant of my friend's, who came from time to time to bring me provisions.

"At the end of these three days, the prohibition for murdering and pillaging any more of the Protestants being published, I was suffered to leave my cell; and immediately after, I saw Ferriere and La Vieville, two soldiers of the guard, who were my father's creatures, enter the college. They were armed, and came, without doubt, to rescue me by force wherever they should find me. They gave my father a relation of what had happened to me; and eight days afterwards I received a letter from him, in which he expressed the fears he had suffered on my account, and advised me to continue in Paris, since the prince I served was not at liberty to quit it. He added, that to avoid exposing myself to an evident danger, it was necessary I should

resolve to follow that prince's example, and to go to mass. In effect, the king of Navarre had found no other means of saving his life. He was awaked, with the prince of Condé, two hours before day, by a great number of soldiers, who rushed boldly into a chamber in the Louvre where they lay, and insolently commanded them to dress themselves and attend the king. They would not suffer the two princes to take their swords with them, who, as they passed, beheld several of their gentlemen* massacred before their eyes. The king waited for them, and received them with a countenance and eyes in which fury was visibly painted; he ordered them, with oaths and blasphemies, which were familiar with him, to quit a religion that had been only taken up, he said, to serve them for a cloak to their rebellion. The condition to which these princes were reduced, could not hinder them from discovering that they should obey him with grief. The king, transported with anger, told them, in a fierce and haughty tone, That he would no longer be contradicted in his opinions by his subjects; that they, by their example, should teach others to revere him as the image of God, and cease to be enemies to the images of his mother.' He ended by declaring, that if they did not go to mass, he would treat them as criminals guilty of treason against human and Divine majesty. The manner in which these words were pronounced, not suffering the princes to doubt if they were sincere, they yielded to necessity, and performed what was required of them. Henry was obliged even to send an edict into his dominions, by which the exercise of any other religion but the Romish was forbid. Though this submission preserved his life, yet in other things he was not better treated; and he suffered a thousand capricious insults from the court-free by intervals, but more often closely confined, and treated as a criminal, his domestics sometimes permitted to attend him, then all on a sudden not suffered to appear." Y.


[To be concluded in next Number.]

AMERICAN RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS. IN classing American Christians by their theological affinities and general sympathies, it may be proper to rank the Congregationalists of New England with the Presbyterians of the south and west; at the same time, it should be remembered, that some of the nicer shades of theology, and difference of ecclesiastical organisation, have divided them into several parts. Until recently, however, they have had a tolerable fellowship, and have been accustomed to interchange relations on very amicable terms, a Congregationalist having been easily transformed into a Presbyterian, out of the bounds of New England; and, vice versa, the Presbyterian in New England could, with nearly equal facility, accommodate himself to Congregational modes-the difference between the two having been chiefly that of modes. The emigration from the east to the west and south resulted in introducing into the Presbyterian Church Congregationalists in sufficient numbers to gain a nearly equal balance of influence.

James de Segur, baron of Pardaillan, a Gascon; Armand de Clermont, baron of Piles, a Perigordin, &c. Gaston de Levis, lord of Leyran, took refuge under the queen of Navarre's bed, who saved his life. Some persons were sent to Châtillon to seize Francis de Châtillon, the admiral's son, and Guy d'Andelot's son ; but they both escaped, and fled to Geneva. Armand de Gontault de Biron was saved by fortifying himself in the arsenal.

+ As Henry went to the king, Catherine gave orders that they should lead him under the vaults, and make him pass through the guards drawn up in files on each side in menacing postures. He trembled and recoiled two or three steps back, when immediately Nançai la Chatre, captain of the guards, endeavoured to remove his apprehensions by swearing they should do him no hurt. Henry, though he gave but little credit to his words, was obliged to go on amidst the carabines and halberts. PLREFIXE'S History of Henry the Great.

From "A Voice from America to England." By an American Gentleman. London, 1839. Colburn.


The Congregationalists answer to the Independents of England, and are sympathetically, and to a great extent lineally, descendants of the Puritans. American Presbyterians adopted the faith and discipline of the Kirk of Scotland. Both bodies have ever been accustomed to regard themselves as chief among the religious sects of the country, and as having a sort of patrimonial title over the public mind, to dictate belief, and to give advice to "the powers that be." The early and long-continued political ascendancy of the Congregationalists of New England disposed them especially to assert this right, till the rudeness of democracy finally silenced and drove them from the field. The Presbyterians have been somewhat more diffident on this point, though extensively influential. The two sects together are fairly entitled to great praise for their zeal and efficiency in promoting education in its lower and higher spheres, and in the general advancement of academical and theological learning. They have also taken a leading part in the great religious and benevolent societies of the age. These institutions may be said to owe their existence to them as prime movers, and they are principally under their guidance and control. Their clergy have generally been educated men-first, in academical learning, and next in a course of professional study; and a large number could always be found among them of eminent attainments.


of colleges, and the various corps of professors in literature and science, have been extensively selected from these denominations. In a word, the Presbyterian religion, including that of the Congregationalista-which has generally been of the same theological type may be said to have been the most influential religion of the country. They are far, however, from being the most numerous.

The ever-active and practical character of the American mind, aiming at productiveness and results, felt itself, as we imagine, somewhat trammelled by the Puritan and Presbyterian theology, and uncomfortable under the severities of its discipline. Hence that revulsion and important defection which started up, first in England, and afterwards in New England, in the form of the Unitarian body. We might trace it to Geneva, and find it forced into being by the same cause; and to Germany, and find it in the garb of a philosophy of a still looser character, and of a wider range.

These difficult theological problems, fermenting in the mind, have driven American divines from time to fime into the philosophy of metaphysics for interpretation and relief. The successive mutations and different phases which this school of theology has passed through in America, from President Edwards downward, it would be difficult to represent. Suffice it to say, that a system has at last been formed, called the theology of the new school, which stands accused by the old of corrupting the true faith, and running into dangerous heresy. It is, doubtless, a very considerable modification, not to say a radical change, of the high Calvinistic system, bringing all men within the pale of salvability on certain contingencies or conditions. Of course, the very idea of contingency or condition in the way of salvation would throw a true Calvinist into spasms, and draw from him the most unanswerable argument of horresco referens. The advocates of this new system profess not to have changed their ground, but only to have introduced a theory to explain the difficulties of the old. Certainly they have made of the system a very practical affair, and adapted it well to American taste and habits. It encourages mankind to work as well as to believe. Let loose from the chains of predestination, and in accordance with this new light, the scheme has been set on foot in America of converting the world at once, and of forcing mankind to be saved, whether they would or nota very natural excess of such emancipation of the mind,

and of the overflowings of benevolence; although it might have been anticipated, that the power of the will, advocated by this new doctrine, and backed by the workings of human depravity, would be quite as likely to present obstacles as to furnish facilities to the immediate attainment of this end.

But the Presbyterians of the old school, not particularly desirous of having the whole world fall so soon upon their hands, or not ambitious of assuming so great an enterprise, preferred the easy chair of the old system; or else, peradventure, were deeply concerned, lest some should be saved who were not elected. But the seeds of the new doctrine had been sown, and had taken root extensively within these bounds, by the amalgamation of so many Congregationalists from New England, whence these pestilent errors were supposed to be derived. The contest, stoutly maintained for many years, resulted in May 1838 in a violent schism of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, dividing it into two nearly equal parts, both claiming the style, property, and public seminaries of the sect a question yet to be settled by the civil


This great and influential denomination, therefore, originally comprehending the Congregationalists and Presbyterians, now exists in three principal parts, not to speak of the Unitarians, who went off from the Congregationalists, still bearing the same name ecclesiastically, one being called orthodox, and the other as above; or of the Cumberland Presbyterians of the west, a numerous body, and a defection from the Presbyterian Church. The distinction of old and new school divides them theologically into two classes; and the agitation of these theological points seems likely to rend them into several parts in the final issue, as some of the new school have run far a-head of their masters, and enacted some very extravagant scenes in the American religious world.

The Baptists, according to the statistical accounts, would seem to be the most numerous sect of religionists in America; although we have never been able to see how it is made out. They seem to have a faculty for taking a census of themselves, which apparently exceeds their other modes of demonstration before the public. They are certainly not usually visible in the country in that proportion which these tables of enumeration would lead us to expect. It is to be considered, however, that all who baptise by immersion, are ranked in this class; and these sects are very numerous. Besides the two leading and principal denominations of Calvinistic and Freewill Baptists, there are many others which it would be difficult to characterise.

The great proselyting power of this body seems to be vested in the one idea of immersion, which has much argument in it with those who are religiously disposed, but not sufficiently enlightened to separate principle from mode, or to distinguish between a symbol and the thing signified. Hence the ignorant and the less conspicuous in the community are brought in to swell these numbers, which may account for the fact, that they are more numerous than they appear to the eye of common observation. It is, however, to be observed, that the census of religious sects in America is always made up from their own reports; and that large abatements are generally required as a balance for the exaggerations of that sectarian pride which gratifies itself in attempts to demonstrate a comparative importance. A minister's reputation in America depends much on the number of converts he is able to report; and the comparative importance of the different sects is measured by the same rule. Hence the great efforts in making converts, and the temptation to count them before they are well made; not, however, to detract from a reasonable amount of disinterested zeal and love for souls; and hence also the inducement to swell the general reckoning.

There is a numerous and active set of American Baptists, calling themselves Christians, commonly called Christ-ians, who are Unitarians, but a very ignorant and boisterous class, who may be heard preaching and praying at a great distance off. They flourish in the back-woods; and their converts are greatly addicted to apostacy, when the earlier excitements of their religious zeal are past. But their ministers baptise in great numbers, which are of course put down in the list of converts.

The Calvinistic Baptists of the United States are by far the most respectable, among whom is to be found President Wayland, of Brown University, the Robert Hall of America, and other divines of considerable eminence. This denomination has entered with zeal into the field of foreign missions, and has a Bible Society of its own, with the special object of protecting and propagating their own views as to the mode of baptism, in translations of the Scriptures into foreign languages-the genuine esprit du corps.

The Wesleyans are a notable sect all the world over, and have distinguished themselves greatly in America. In numbers they are next to the Baptists; out having suffered but little by schism, they may be set down as by far the strongest body in consideration of their unity and numerical integrity. The habits and doctrines of this sect are well known in England, whence they originated. The powerful and creative mind of their founder has cast the body into a mould, which exhibits the same features in all parts of the world, and endowed it with a spirit which breathes the same animation in every member. Dashing aside the overgrown excrescences, and ejecting the overcharged ingredients of the schools, John Wesley prescribed to his followers a plain, common-sense theology, which required little thinking, which might be comprehended by the feeblest intellect, and easily propagated by uneducated, but ardent and aspiring men. The disciplinary principles of the sect, as invented and established by the founder, are essentially democratic, like those of the Church of Rome, in the organisation of the popular mass; and, like papacy, monarchical and despotic in the organisation of the priesthood. It is exactly that state of society to which democracy seems every where to be tending,-the consolidation of the people under the despotic sway of their leaders.

"I think," says M. de Tocqueville, " that the Catholic religion has erroneously been looked upon as the natural enemy of democracy. Among the various sects of Christians, Catholicism seems to me, on the contrary, to be one of those which are most favourable to equality of conditions. In the Catholic Church, the religious community is composed of only two elements, the priest and the people. The priest alone rises above the rank of his flock, and all below him are equal. On doctrinal points, the Catholic faith places all human capacities upon the same level. It subjects the wise and the ignorant, the man of genius and the vulgar crowd, to the details of the same creed; it imposes the same observances upon the rich and the needy; it inflicts the same austerities upon the strong and the weak; it listens to no compromise with mortal man; but, reducing all the human race to the same standard, it confounds all the distinctions of society at the foot of the same altar, even as they are confounded in the sight of God. If Catholicism predisposes the faithful to obedience, it certainly does not prepare them for inequality; but the contrary may be said of Protestantism, which generally tends to make men independent, more than to render them equal."

The disciplinary habits, the political opinions, and theological tenets, both of the Baptists and Wesleyans, are more congenial to American democracy, than those of the better educated and more accomplished religious sects. "Every religion," says the above-named author, "is to be found in juxtaposition to a political opinion which is connected with it by affinity. If the human

mind be left to follow its own bent, it will regulate the temporal and spiritual institutions of society upon one uniform principle; and man will endeavour, if I may use the expression, to harmonise the state in which he lives upon earth with the state he believes to await him in heaven."

Hence, the political opinions of America having been before determined, those forms of religion best adapted to harmonise with them were likely to prevail most; and hence the religious democracy of the Baptists and Wesleyans has acquired to itself by far the greatest numbers. The ecclesiastical organisation of the Baptists is a pure democracy, the priests and the people being all upon the same level. The priest has no orders, except the democratic authority of his lay brothers and sisters-a state of things for which the poverty of language and former usages have not yet furnished a name. That power which elevates to this honour, can at any time and at will reduce to the original and common level.

Not so, however, the Wesleyan system. Nevertheless it is democratic, for the same reason that papacy is, and on the same principles; and like papacy in America, it always proves itself democratic. It is a singular fact, that the Roman Catholic Church in America is the most thoroughly democratic of all.

As the burnt child dreads the fire, so the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, having suffered more than any other from the jealousy and early legislation of American democracy, in consideration of the fact that she was originally the established Church of Great Britain in the colonies, has been extremely careful not to meddle with the politics of the country. It took a full half-century, from the data of the American revolution, for the Church to recover a comfortable state of existence, and begin to feel that her breath was her own. The reorganisation of her ecclesiastical polity, a thing apart from episcopacy proper, and which may be adapted to the state of society in any country at discretion, was a duty which necessarily devolved upon this Church after the establishment of American independence; and it was so prudently devised as to be adapted to the popular institutions of the country, as originally set up, not democratic, but republican. The American Episcopal Church, therefore, is properly and thoroughly republican in the construction and operation of its polity.

By a scrupulous avoidance of all intermeddling with the politics of the State, and a steady adherence to her own principles, the Episcopal Church has silently worked her way into a prominent rank among the religious denominations of the country; and though not as yet numerous, as compared with those already noticed, yet it is rapidly increasing in numbers, and growing in public favour. What she lacks in a numerical point of view, she enjoys in the respectability and wealth of her members. Her present relative position to the community and to other sects is peculiarly advan tageous to herself. Compact in her organisation, consistent in her principles, unimpeachable as to the charge of meddling with politics, and aloof from the common religious agitations of the country, she is well prepared to endure the shock which the premature and forced attempts at moral and religious reformations have brought upon the American public, and to profit by it. Tired of the religious squabbles, and disgusted with the fanaticism, which have sprung up in so many quarters to interfere with civil rights, to disturb the public peace, and invade the domestic sanctuary, the more sober and reflecting, according as their relations in society will permit, are turning their eyes to the decent order and quietude of the Episcopal Church, as an inviting place of repose.

There are other Protestant denominations of Chris tians in America, of respectable character and of considerable importance, as the Reformed Dutch, the Lutheran Reformed, the Unitarians, Quakers, &c. &c.

The first of these are principally in the city and state of New York; the second in Pennsylvania; the third at Boston and vicinity; the fourth here and there, but more especially at Philadelphia, the city of William Penn. The et cæteras, including all the minor sects, are neither to be counted nor described.

The Roman Catholic Church bids fair to rise to importance in America. Thoroughly democratic as her members are, being composed, for the most part, of the lowest orders of European population, transplanted to the United States with a fixed and implacable aversion to every thing bearing the name and in the shape of monarchy, the priesthood are accustomed studiously to adapt themselves to this state of feeling, being content with that authority that is awarded to their office by their own communicants and members. Aware of the silent and insidious progress of papacy on American ground, certain of the more pugnacious Protestants have attacked the Roman Catholics furiously, and abused them so outrageously, that public sympathy has rather turned in their favour; shewing the importance of fighting the beast with suitable weapons and a skilful hand, and illustrating the truth of the maxim, that "discretion is the better part of valour."

No. I.

"THE unity and antiquity of Romanism have been
often contrasted by its partisans with the diversity
and novelty of Protestantism. The topics supply the
votary of papal superstition with fond occasions of
exultation, triumph, and bravado, Romanism, ac-
cording to its friends, is unchangeable as truth, and
old as Christianity. Protestantism, according to its
enemies, is fluctuating as falsehood, and modern as
the Reformation. The Bishop of Meaux has detailed
the pretended variations of Protestantism, and col-
lected, with invidious industry, all its real or imaginary
alterations. The religion of the Reformation, in the
statements of this author, is characterised by muta-

As to the antiquity of Romanism, it may easily be shewn how unfounded are the assertions that are so boastingly made on this point; that Christianity existed even in our own country long before the supremacy of the see of Rome was heard of, or its false doctrines had obscured the light of Gospel-truth. Its unity is that which bears more directly upon the present subject; and how utterly false are the statements usually set forth by papists on this point, will clearly be perceived by a reference merely to those disputes which arose within the pale of the Romish Church during the latter part of the seventeenth and earlier part of the eighteenth centuries, in which the Jesuits and the Jansenists distinguished themselves by an avowal of opinions utterly at variance on some most vital doctrines. Not that such disputes were confined to the period here adverted to. The history of the papacy is the history of continual conflicts of opinion, on the part of persons who pretended that the Church was an infallible guide in matters of faith, and who consequently denounced the right of private judgment, and decreed it to be unsafe that the Scriptures should be freely circulated and universally read.

The rise of Jansenism, the alarm which it caused to its opponents, and the persecutions to which it led, form an important feature in the history of the Church of Rome. The doctrines espoused by the followers of Jansenius were utterly repugnant to their adversaries; and the Protestant reader can scarcely fail to derive instruction from an acquaintance with this great con

troversy. He will perceive how unfounded is the assertion, that, amidst the jarring of Protestant sects, the Romish Church presents the beautiful spectacle of a city at unity within itself; that this unity is an evidence of its being built upon the true foundation; that its doctrines are to be embraced with implicit faith, its decrees to be regarded as infallible, and its requirements, however revolting to common sense, or the notion of a pure and spiritual religion, are yet to be attended to, and complied with, under pain of eternal damnation.

• The Variations of Popery. By Samuel Edgar. 2d edition. Seeleys. 1838.-This work contains a vast fund of information relative to the Church of Rome.

In presenting to our readers a brief sketch of Jansenism, it may be well, in the first place, to give some account of its illustrious founder, who testified, even while acknowledging, as we shall find, to its unlimited extent, the supremacy of the papal see, that he was under the influence of vital religion, and that God was pleased, amidst the darkness of popery, to enlighten, to a great extent, the eyes of his spiritual understanding, and to impress his heart with a sense of the value of the Gospel.

Cornelius Jansenius, who was called for a short season to fill the see of Ypres, was the son of John Otto, and born at Acquoy, near Leerdam in Holland, Oct. 28, 1585. His parents were strict Romanists. He studied first at Utrecht, and afterwards at Leyden, where he received the name of Jansen, or son of John, and which being Latinised, as was then customary among authors, he was usually called Jansenius. Naturally of a feeble constitution, he suffered much from hard study, and was consequently recommended to travel through France. He went to Paris, where he became intimately acquainted with M. du Vergier de Hauranne, afterwards Abbé of St. Cyran. Both had been students at Louvain (whether at the same time, however, is disputed); and now they applied closely to classical and philosophical learning, and soon became remarkable for their progress in theology. The health of Janseuius not improving, he accompanied his friend to Bayonne, and resided in his house six years. M. de Hauranne became canon of the cathedral, and Jansenius master of a newly-founded college. Their leisure time was devoted to the study of the Fathers, especially St. Augustin, whose views on the doctrines of grace appeared to them to be consistent with the word of God. An old-fashioned chair, fitted up with cushions, and a writing-desk, was long afterwards shewn as his study. In this he was accustomed to read, write, and sleep, as it generally formed his bed. His sleep was usually limited to four hours out of the twenty-four. After six years the two friends returned to Paris; and in 1617 Jansenius went to Louvain. Two years afterwards he obtained a doctor's degree, and was made director of the college of St. Pulcheria, which was completed under his inspection, and its rules drawn up by him. He visited the Spanish court in 1624, and also 1625, for the purpose of opposing the Jesuits, who had attempted to establish professorships of their own at Louvain, to grant degrees independent of the university. His mission was successful; to which the hatred of the Jesuits towards him may in no small measure be ascribed-a hatred which extended not only to himself, but to all who were supposed to have embraced his doctrines.

The fame of Jansenius began now to spread. His works bore marks of deep research and profound thought: one of these, entitled Mars Gallicus, grievously offended the Cardinal Richelieu, who is supposed at that period to have been aiming at creating France into a patriarchate, and that he himself should be the first to fill the office. Jansenius, after no small

The history of this contest is to be found in many authors, who have either given a relation of the whole, or treated apart some of its most interesting branches. The writers that ought principally to be consulted on this subject are, Gerberon and Du Mas the former espousing the cause of the Jansenists, the latter favouring the Jesuits.-MoSHEIM, note.

« PreviousContinue »