Page images
PDF
EPUB

The Author of " Heroes of the Bible" makes his first appearance as a writer, we believe, in the present work. Though he has acquired some reputation as a metropolitan preacher, it does not seem to us probable that this performance will establish his fame as an author. It is wanting in nearly all the elements of a good book on the "Heroes of the Bible." There is little analysis or appreciation of character; no individuality of thought or style. It is a compilation rather than a production. Sometimes we have a display of considerable descriptive power, but an excess of false eloquence spoils much that otherwise would be excellent. The writer might advantageously study the lesson taught by Bacon,-"Words are but the images of matter; and except they have life of reason and invention, to fall in love with them is all one as to fall in love with a picture." We regret to be constrained thus to animadvert on a young beginner. One feature in our author commands our admiration and love—his earnest advocacy of pure evangelical truth. We have no doubt that in process of time he may be able to write a good book. Let him wait a while. The world will not meantime perish for lack of intellectual supplies, and his own mind may undergo a beneficial process.

Nuns and Nunneries: Sketches compiled entirely from Romish Authorities. London: Seeleys, 1852, pp. xii, 342.

THERE are two distinct points of view in which this work may be regarded. It treats of practical questions which are beginning to awaken public notice, and which will demand ere long the attention of the legislature; but independently of its bearings on subjects of temporary interest, it is a valuable contribution to the natural history of our

563

operating in extensive fields of investi-
species. It is the fruit of patient industry
gation, and the view that it takes of the
whole subject is comprehensive, careful,
and candid. The determination of the
writer to draw from the resources
furnished by adherents of the church
of Rome exclusively is kept in view
throughout, and in many critical or
delicate cases the originals are given as
well as translations. Avoiding flippancy,
harshness, and hasty generalization,
dealing with the Conventual System as
a fact which for many centuries has
been exerting immense influence on the
condition of human society, he illustrates
its character and effects fairly, gravely,
philanthropically, and piously.
natural result on the mind of the
The
reader is a conviction, that however
devout might be the intention of the
founders of these institutions, or how-
ever pure the motives which have led
many to enter them or to encourage
others to become their inmates, the
state of angelic superiority which is
sought cannot be attained; human
nature cannot bear the effort; irregu-
larity and crime, misery and debase-
ment ensue.
mens of humanity placed in unnatural
The most amiable speci-
circumstances, deprived of legitimate
opportunities and enjoyments, exposed
to unlooked-for temptations, become
corrupt and corrupters, degraded and
vile. Thus it has been in successive

ages, as is shown in these pages, wher-
ever the effects of the system have been
developed, whether among the Anglo-
English nunneries after it, in Germany,
Saxons before the Conquest, or in the
or France, or Italy, or Spain.

Countess of Arundell's letter to the
The volume commences with the
Editor of the Catholic Standard, in
which she resented as an insult to
Roman Catholic ladies the proposal that
legislative measures should be taken to
hinder the retention of females in con-

vents by force, and the fallacy of her observations is pointed out. The ceremonies by which nuns are consecrated are described, including the espousal, the crowning, and the curse; extracts from the breviary, which becomes their daily study, are given, and its tendencies displayed; the mysteries of confession and penance are in some degree unveiled, and Liguori's book, "The true Spouse of Christ, or the Nun Sanctified by the Virtues of her State" is analyzed; convent discipline and the physical restraints with which it is connected are illustrated, and the evidence of history to the tendency and consequences of the system is largely adduced. Having shown that the Church of Rome is avowedly guilty of "binding down young and inexperienced girls by a vow which can never be shaken off, to a life which they may find, when their woman's nature developes itself, they are unfit for,” and that the church of Rome, in addition to spiritual weapons, and the power of shame and ignominy which she flings upon the poor girl, who after noviciate would return to the world, "uses bolts and bars and lofty walls, and all the arrangements of a prison," the author demands that the prisoners "should have the liberty of telling whether they are immured by their own free will, or whether they desire to exercise the privileges of freeborn British subjects. He sets forth the principles of British law as applicable to persons confined in lunatic asylums, and in some cases to deeds executed by a married woman, in which the commissioners sign a declaration that she was examined by them separately and apart from her husband, touching her knowledge of the contents of the said deed and her consent thereto, and declared the same to be freely and voluntarily executed by her."

“ "Surely, then, with these precedents before us, a bill might be framed, such

as Roman catholic members of Parliament might themselves support, which, without any offence to them, should vindicate the majesty of the law.

"The Act of Parliament need not assert nor suppose that women are kept in nunneries against their will; but it may provide against the possibility of such an evil.

"The provisions of the Act need not be complicated.

"I. Every house, in which communities of females bound by religious vows reside, should be registered and licensed.

"II. A register should be kept in every such house of all the inmates, giving both their real names and surnames, as well as the conventual name, or name in religion, by which the individual is known in the sisterhood.

"III. Certain officers of high respectability should be charged, by the Lord Chancellor, with the duty of visiting all such houses within the district, who should have the right of examining the register, and seeing every individual in the house.

"IV. These visits should take place at least four times in the year, and without previous notice; and the nuns should be questioned, apart from the Abbess, Lady Superior, or other elder nuns, and, above all, from the Priest or Confessor, as to whether she remains within their walls of her own free will.

"It should be the duty of these visitors to state to each nun, that if it is her desire to quit the nunnery she can do so at that moment; and it should be the duty of the visitors further to see that the person so wishing to quit the nunnery should be placed either under the care of her natural guardian or friend, or under the protection of some discreet and respectable married female until an order could be obtained from the Court of Chancery."

BRIEF NOTICES.

Sermons. By DANIEL KATTERNS. London: Snow. Svo., pp. 462.

Laconic as this title is, to those who know Mr. Katterns it is ample. It is even more expressive than it would have been had the announcement been made in a greater number of words. It indicates quietly the absence of all ostentation, parade, pretence, and verbosity In a sermon by Mr. Katterns, we always expect solid, scriptural, pertinent thought, clearly expressed in appropriate language; the reader who looks for this in these discourses will not be disappointed. Their number is two and twenty. The subjects are, Providence-Temptation-Secret Prayer-Jacob wrestling with God-The Sacrifice of Isaac-Christian Contentment- A Good Conscience - Mary an Example of Meditation-Christ the true Melchizedek-Man Self-destroyed, but not Selfsaved-The Pillar of Salt-A Meditation on the Cross-The Unbelief of Thomas-The Hopes and Aspirations of the New Creature-the King of Kings-Peter Forewarned-On Adoption-The Value of the Soul-the Holy Spirit -The Life and Character of Hezekiah-Paul before Agrippa-the Life, Character, and Death of David. If, as we believe, these sermons may be taken as a fair specimen of the author's pulpit exercises, the church at Hackney may be congratulated on its peculiar privileges; and persons who being confined from public ordinances desire to avail themselves of printed sermons will find these pages well adapted to their spiritual improvement.

Sermons. By the Rev. GEORGE SMITH, Minister of Trinity Chapel, Poplar, London. London: Snow. 1851. 8vo., pp. xv., 444. An apology is due to Mr. Smith for the length of time that this volume has stood upon

our shelves unread. Our consolation is that he knows the heart of a working man, and has had experience of the hindrances and disappointments of purpose which are continually besetting all dissenting ministers who are willing to labour. To these he adverts as having impeded his compliance with wishes which had been frequently expressed, till at length the deacons of the church under his care presented a formal request to him to publish a volume, consisting of such sermons as he thought most likely to benefit his own people, and to prove acceptable to other persons among whom his ministry has occasionally been exercised. He has justified their procedure by producing a work which is equally honourable to his mental powers and his spiritual attainments. The sermons, he observes, "while not so closely connected any one with the rest as to lay claim to the character of a body of divinity, are yet so varied and generally related as to contain something like an outline of Christian truth in its doctrinal, experimental, and practical developments." The subjects are, The Spirituality of God-the Exclusive Theme of the Christian Ministry-the Doctrine of Justification by Faith-Angelic Studies of Divine WisdomReligious Decision - Neglect of Relative Obligations-the Fire on the Jewish Altar-the

[blocks in formation]

This volume and that of Mr. Katterns form an excellent pair. There is a great resemblance between them in every thing relating to sentiment and style; and as they are brought out by the same publisher, and have the same external aspect, he who possesses either, if he is pleased with it, would certainly be gratified if he were to procure the other.

Charles Knight's Imperial Cyclopædia. Dedicated by Permission to Her Majesty. Subdivision: The British Empire. Part XII. Middleton-Parson'stown. London: half-a

crown.

For once, we have detected an error in this generally accurate and instructive publication. In the article on Nova Scotia it is said, "There are several colleges in the province: King's College at Windsor, on the plan of Cambridge and Oxford; Dalhousie College at Halifax, on the model of Edinburgh College; a general institution at Pictou; a Baptist College at Horton; and Acadia College, a Roman Catholic seminary at Halifax."-Acadia College is the Baptist College at Horton, of which Dr. Cramp is the principal, whom there is no danger of the Romish hierarchy claiming, unless they were getting up an Auto da Fé in assigned to him would doubtless be very the province, in which case the position prominent.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS,

Approved.

[It should be understood that insertion in this list is not a mere announcement: it expresses approbation of the works enumerated,-not of course extending to every particular, but an approbation of their general character and tendency.]

The Pictorial Family Bible, according to the authorized version: containing the Old and New Testaments. With copious original notes, by J. KITTO, D.D. London. Parts 28 and 29.

The Eclectic Review, August, 1852. Contents:I. India and our supply of Cotton. II. Life and III. Pococke's India in Greece. Poetry of Delta. IV. Autobiographies of Gillies and Jerdan. V. The Limits of Testamentary Bequests. VI. The Grenville and Rockingham Correspondence. VII. Binney's Tower Church Sermons. VIII. Oxford Review of the Month. University Commission. Literary Intelligence. London: Ward and Co.

The Foreign Evangelical Review. No. II. August, 1852. Contents:-I. Morell's Philosophy of Religion. II. The Arnaulds. III. Grinfield's Apology for the Septuagint. IV. Theology of the Intellect and that of the Feelings. V. The Mosaic Legisla

tion. VI. Keill on Joshua. VII. The True Test of an Apostolical Ministry. VIII. University Education. IX. William Penn. Plagiarisms from Pascal. Edinburgh. Price 28. 6d.

INTELLIGENCE.

CHAPEL REGISTRATION ACT.

The following is printed verbatim from the New Act of Parliament, entitled, "An Act to amend the Law relating to the certifying and registering Places of Religious Worship of Protestant Dissenters," as issued by the Queen's Printer. It is dated 30th June,

1852.

ANNO DECIMO QUINTO ET DECIMO SEXTO

VICTORIE CAP. XXXVI. REGINE.

deacon, or to any Justices of the Peace at their General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace, or be certified to or registered in the Court of any Bishop or Archdeacon, or be recorded at the Quarter Sessions, and the certifying to any Bishop or Archdeacon, or Justices of the Peace, or the certifying to or registering or recording in any such Court or at the Quarter Sessions, after the Time aforesaid, or the Certificate of any registering therein, given after the Time aforesaid by any Bishop or Registrar or Clerk of the Peace, shall be void and of no Effect; and the Registrar of every Bishop and Archdeacon, and the Clerk of the Peace of the County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Place in which such Places of Meeting respectively are held, shall, within Three Calendar Months next after the passing of this Act, make a Return to the Registrar General of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, according to a Form to be provided by him for the Purpose, of all such Places of Meeting which, up to the Time when this Act shall come into operation, shall have been certified to and registered in the Court of the Bishop or Archdeacon respectively, or have been certified to the Justices of the Peace, or recorded at the Quarter Sessions; and it shall be lawful, instead of certifying any such Place of Meeting to the Bishop or Archdeacon, or to the Court of any Bishop or Archdeacon, or to the Quarter Sessions, to certify the same in Writing to the said Registrar General, through the SuAs-perintendent Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages of the Union, Parish, or Place in which such Meeting shall be held, and the said Superintendent Registrar shall forthwith transmit the said written Certificate to the Registrar General, who is hereby required to record the same in a Book to be kept by him for that Purpose at the General Register Office; and the certifying any such Place of Meeting to the Registrar General as aforesaid shall have the same Force and Effect as if the same were certified to the Bishop or Archdeacon, or to the Justices of the Peace at their General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace; and the said Registrar General shall give to every Person demanding the same a Certificate that any such Place of Meeting has been duly certified.

Whereas by an Act passed in the First Year of the Reign of King William and Queen Mary, intituled "An Act for exempting their Majesties' Protestant Subjects dissenting from the Church of England from the Penalties of certain Laws" (1 W. and M. Sess. 1. c. 18.) it was enacted, that no Congregation or Assembly for Religious Worship should be permitted or allowed by that Act until the Place of the meeting of such Congregation or Assembly had been certified to the Bishop of the Diocese, or Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry, or the Justices of the Peace at their General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the County, City, or Place in which the Meeting shall be, and registered in the Bishops' or Archdeacons' Courts respectively, or recorded at the Quarter Sessions: And whereas by another Act passed in the Fiftysecond Year of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Third, intituled "An Act to repeal certain Acts and to amend other Acts relating to Religious Worship and semblies, and Persons teaching or preaching therein" (52 G. 3. c. 155), Enactments were made for certifying and registering the Places of Mee..ng of certain Congregations and Assemblies for Religious Worship of Protestants: And whereas it is expedient that such Places of Meeting should no longer be certified to or registered in the Court of any Bishop or Archdeacon, or be certified to any Justices of the Peace, or be recorded at the Quarter Sessions, but that such other Provision for the Certification and Registration thereof should be made as is hereinafter contained: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That

I. No Place of Meeting of any Congregation or Assembly for Religious Worship of Protestants dissenting from the Church of England shall from and after the passing of this Act be certified to any Bishop or Arch

II. For every such Certificate of such Registration the Parties so registering such Places of Worship shall pay to the Superintendent Registrar a Fee of Two Shillings and Sixpence, and it shall not be lawful for him on any Ground whatever to demand or take any greater Fee or Reward for the same.

III. The Registrar General shall in every Year make out and cause to be printed a List of all existing certified Places of Worship which shall have been returned to him as aforesaid, and also of all such other Places of Worship as shall from Time to Time be certified to and recorded by him as aforesaid, and shall state in such List the County and Superintendent Registrar's District within which each of such Places of Worship is situated, and the Religious Denomination to which it belongs, and shall cause a copy of such List to be sent to every Superintendent Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England; and such Lists shall be open at all reasonable Times, without Fee, to all Persons desirous of inspecting the same.

The following circular to Superintendent Registrars will assist in understanding the course to be adopted by parties about to occupy a new place of worship.

General Register Office, June 29, 1852. SIR,-I herewith transmit to you, by direction of the Registrar General, a copy of "An Act to amend the Law relating to the Certifying and Registering Places of Religious Worship of Protestant Dissenters," which has this day received the Royal Assent. Under this Act, certain duties will devolve upon the Registrar General, and upon Superintendent Registrars, for the performance whereof, so far as the latter are concerned, I am directed to convey to you the following instructions:

You are probably aware that under the law as comprised in the Act of 1 William and Mary, c. 18 (commonly known as the Toleration Act), and that of 52 George III. c. 155, no Congregation or Assembly for Religious Worship of Protestants, at which there should be present more than twenty persons, besides the immediate family and servants of the person in whose house or upon whose premises such Meeting, Congregation, or Assembly should be had, was permissible or allowable, until the place of such meeting had been certified either to the Bishop of the Diocese, or to the Archdeacon of the Archdeaconry, or to the Justices of the Peace at the General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Place in which such meeting should be held; and it was further requisite that every such certified place of Meeting should be registered in the Court of the said Bishop or Archdeacon, or be recorded at the said General or Quarter Sessions.

The recent statute, however, having altered the law in this respect, by providing that no place of Meeting of any Congregation or Assembly for Religious Worship of Protestants dissenting from the Church of England shall in future be certified in the manner above recited, but that in lieu thereof every

|

such place shall be certified in writing to the Registrar General through the Superintendent Registrar of the District in which such Meeting shall be held, it becomes necessary that you should be immediately furnished with the means of carrying the Act into operation in your District, whenever an application shall be made to you by persons desirous of availing themselves of its provisions.

You will accordingly receive herewith a supply of blank Forms of Certificate, for the use of any persons who may hereafter require them for the purpose of certifying, as a place of Religious Worship for Protestant Dissenters, any Building, Room, or Place in your District which has not already been so certified under either of the Statutes of 1 William and Mary, c. 18, and 52 George III. c. 155, before cited. You will have the goodness, therefore, to present two of these Forms to any applicant, upon request, with an intimation that when properly filled up and signed in duplicate, they are to be returned to you, with a fee of 2s. 6d., which you will be entitled to receive and retain for your own use; you will thereupon transmit the Certificates by post to the Registrar General, who will forthwith cause the same to be recorded as the Act directs, and will return one of the Forms to you, in order that you may deliver it back to the person from whom you received it.

It is very possible, however, that you may occasionally have presented to you, for registration in this office, Certificates made out not upon the printed Form, nor in exact accordance with it; in either case you will have the goodness not to reject them, but to forward them to the Registrar General, who will himself decide whether to record them pursuant to the Act, or to return them, through you, to the parties for amendment. Should the latter course be adopted by him, you will be so good as to place in the hands of the parties, along with the defective Certificates when returned to you, two of the prescribed printed Forms, with a request that these may be used in lieu of the former, and that when they have been filled up and signed in duplicate, they may be left with you to be dealt with as before directed.

A further supply of these Forms, when needed, will be sent to you at any time, on your written application.

You will have the goodness to fill up and sign, and forthwith return to the Registrar General, the enclosed printed acknowledgment of the receipt of those now sent.

The Registrar General will forward to you in the year 1853 and in each subsequent year (as directed in section 3), a printed list of all existing certified places of Religious Worship belonging to Protestant Dissenters in England and Wales. It will behove you to preserve these Lists carefully as official

« PreviousContinue »