Page images

I read to him various passages, of Scripture, to prove such doctrine most erroneous. He said it certainly contradicted the Word of God, and promised me he would pray for mercy and forgiveness through our Saviour alone. I lent him various books, as he could read well; and when sufficiently recovered, he attended our Male Adult Evening School, as I directed him; but being unable to obtain employment, he afterwards enlisted in a dragron regiment, and of course left the neighbourhood.

How altered the present destinies of London respecting Popery to what they once were! Here was a poor deluded man, lying on his bed, and repeating to the Protestant Missionary a doggrel of Romish intercession through a so-called saint, whose very name would be unknown to perhaps all in the neighbourhood. But how different the condition of the very locality in which that poor man resided, to its condition five hundred years since. The ball of a rifle fired from his window would have fallen upon about the spot where, at the date named, (the fourteenth century, the locality known as Black Friars was largely occupied by the monastic order of this very saint. Splendid edifices, enclosed within extensive walls and four gates, a little town within itself, possessing immunities similar, in many respects, to Oxford or Cambridge. Although within the precincts of the City, its charter exempted it from the jurisdiction of the City authorities, and its chief magistrate was its chief abbot. This was the habitation of the order of this very saint, St. Dominic, called the Dominicans or Black Friars. Pennant and others describe this establishment as splendid. It extended from N. E. to s. w., from the Old Bailey to the River Thames.

sessing singular holiness, austerity, and success in working miracles.

Supposing a Roman Catholic to deny the authority in his church of the little work alluded to, (for which, however, there is not the slightest pretence,) he cannot surely attempt to demur to the authority of Butler, universally known and admitted as an authoritative exponent of his church.

I mention these references because I have met with many Roman Catholics who never so much as heard of Saint Dominic--or perhaps half the saints of the church to which they profess to belong. How antagonist all this to the revealed declaration of our Lord and Saviour, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life : no man cometh unto the Father, but by me," John xiv. 6.

The commerce of the world now.rushes past Ludgate Hill day by day like an avalanche, and strikes, like sparks from the anvil, into every avenue around.

The bones of monks lay buried there, who, upon that very spot, once passed their lives in still cloisters, dormitories, scriptorum or study, refectory, and church grounds or gardens,

which sloped in quietude to the river-side. Criminals fled here from the arm of justice, although, did we ask the officers who perambulate their many beats upon this very spot, they would not even know, perhaps, that such a harbour for delinquents had ever existed. Kings and Queens, who now, when they pass up Ludgate Hill, are on their way to exchange greetings with the citizens of our loved city—then, as one writer says, " entered the good and comely tower at the bend of the wall," as a holy pilgrimage.

The untiring foot of speculation does not know that it treads on the mausoleums of the titled and the great, the peer and the exalted—yet there their bodies are laid, wrapped in the supposed spiritual talisman, the black robe of the order of St. Dominic Austin.

The memory of St. Dominic has passed away from the very locality of the possessions of his order. There is a moral in all this, or its recital were not the province of the spiritual instructor. It is a fulfilment of Divine prophecy—“Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up,” Matt. xv. 13.

We will detain the reader with but one observation before introducing the next case.



hundred revolutions of our globe around the sun have witnessed the result named. Very much less than five hundred more might, unless the energies of Christendom be duly aroused, suffice to re-invest our country with the papal yoke, and all its deadening influences and institutions. It is a religion suited to the carnal heart-almost seraphic music-gaudy show-tinkling bellperfume—and mummery. It is said, mankind have become too enlightened for this to be possible-but what does this assertion mean? The unconverted are yet the mass of mankind, and their utmost enlightenment is not sufficient, it is seen, to lighten them over many deep pits of folly and delusion. We have observed the enlightened in mere secular knowledge, pass from our midst into the bosom of Rome of late

years, in no small numbers. Popery appears, too, to be gaining considerable political power. Popery can intrigue in courts as well as cloisters, and always seeks temporal might. As the Popish Dean Weston observed to the Protestant ministers, in closing insolently the debate on transubstantiation, at the Convocation in Queen Mary's first parliament, “Ye have the word, but we have the sword.When it is thus with Rome, woe

be to those Protestants she meets with by the
“ Should the bold, usurping spirit dare,

Power o'er my faith and conscience to maintain,
Shall I submit, and suffer it to reign?
Call it the church, and darkness put for light,
Falsehood with truth confound, and wrong with right?
No; I dispute the evil's haughty claim,
The Spirit of the World be still its name,
Whatever called by man, ’tis purely evil,

'Tis Babel, Antichrist, and Pope, and Devil." The following case from my journals, furnishes an affecting illustration of the struggle between conscience and the power of priestly rule over mind :

[ocr errors]

“ Visited Mrs. C-, a Roman Catholic. She stated to me that her spiritual director had strongly objected to their receiving tracts, etc. Her child was very ill, so I proposed praying for its recovery. This was too much for Mrs. C.'s scruples to oppose ; the poor woman, I could see very plainly, scarcely knew what to do, although she assented, on my representing that it would be great wickedness to oppose such an act. I knelt before God and prayed for the child--a sweet little boy, and an old acquaintance of mine---meanwhile, the poor woman was in a pitiable state of perturbation, bustling about the room, moving the furniture, she knew not, I conceive, for what purpose, save to endeavour to ease the perturbation of her mind.” The spiritual thraldom, of which this is a

« PreviousContinue »