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of children. To fortify his doctrine, churches tend to bring “all persons" however, the author of the Tract has, unto them, and so to “ cast pearls to in a note, quoted from Spenser's swine," and to invent “more means

Faery Queen :" where, after his for winning souls than God has auabode in the house of Religion, the thorised," and to feed people with dwelling-place of Faith, Hope, and eloquence and pleasing delivery," Charity, the Penitent is led, by a path and to “make liturgies suitable to the difficult of access, to a retired mount, taste of the generality,” and to rewhich is represented as the abode of linquish canonical hours for those that Heavenly Contemplation

are more popular, and to “ bring

sacred things out of a chaste reserve' Thence forward by that painful path they

for these, and divers other reasons, pass : Forth on a hill, that was both steep and

the author is decidedly against the high,

building of new churches ! (see On top whereof a sacred chapel was,

p. 68-74): and, in one word, “ selfAnd eke a little hermitage thereby, Wherein an aged holy man did lie,

discipline,” which is the only way of That day and night said his devotion- coming to the knowledge of God, is

No other worldly business did apply: that which is to be recommended and His name was Heavenly Contemplation, cultivated. Here, as might be exOf God and goodness was his meditation.”

pected, there is a sneer against preachHaving, therefore, led the “good ing and pulpits, as nothing seems to men” of Oxford into the hermitage, we stir up the bile of an Oxford Tractawill there leave them, to notice, in tor so much as a pulpit. Mr. Froude conclusion, two or three other curi. would have pulpits banished altoosities of the Tract. The great mass gether from churches, of which the of the clergy are, just now, not a little proper use, he thinks, is to perform occupied in their endeavours to extend ceremonies in the canonical hours. the system of national schools, and “ It is worthy of notice,” says the are even making the national (i. e. Tract, “ that in the Parisian Breviary. clerical) education a great question in in its long services for the feast of politics : but this does not suit the dedication, composed of passages from authors of the Oxford Tracts ; they are Scripture, hymns, and homilies, there decidedly against national schools. appears no allusion to this end, as the “Church discipline," they think, should object of building churches, viz. the take the place of schools, and that, converting of persons by preaching. generally, “a principle of reserve It abounds with allusions to building should be applied to prevailing opinions up the spiritual temple, and to the on promoting religion.” This reserve awful presence of God in his sacrathe author would carry out, even to

ments. Whatever objections may be the building of churches ; for, though made to this testimony, it serves, at he considers the sacrifice (of money) all events, to prove what the religion which the building of new churches of a former age was" (69). This last requires from the subscribers emi- remark is characteristic; for truly may nently salutary, so that, viewed as an of the Oxford party, that all individual sacrifice, “there can be no their religion resolves itself into the higher or better means of promoting ascertaining the “usages” of former the cause of religion,” nor is it pos- ages. sible to devise a more acceptable Thus, then, we may understand the “ oblation;" “ for it were painful to “ sacred reserve” recommended by the think we should bestow ornaments Oxford Tractators; and thus may we on our own houses, and leave the comprehend how, according to their house of God without” (90). Yet, own words, “ there is in good men a nevertheless, inasmuch

natural reserve of expression, which

we say

as

new

is apt to veil from the world holy I was, from the beginning of my sentiments: and thus the end is ob- ministry, desirous of bringing back served, of keeping that which is holy into communion with her those Profrom dogs:' and such reserve is apt testant sectaries, who, under various to give vent to its own feelings, denominations, had separated from especially in such similitudes and dark her; and I used to have frequent sayings, as partake of the nature of discussions with such as were to be that which is infinite, and, therefore, met with in my neighbourhood, and to the world, mysterious" (59). particularly in my own parish. The

But if these holy things are to be more I spoke with them, the more kept from the dogs, why publish them persuaded I was, that the principles in tracts? Why send the wolf to on which they defended their separaroam abroad in open day-light, even

tion from the church were unsound; though dressed up in sheep's clothing?

in sheep's clothing ? but when I begun to attend with for depend upon it, the dogs will be candour to what they had to say, I keen-sighted, and keen-scented enough hardly had a conversation with any of to discover the wolf, and proclaim his

them, which did not shew me more visits with a loud clamour. This clearly than before, that the Church $6 sacred reserve" should be more

of England herself yet needed imstrictly attended to; and if tracts are provement and correction.” He then printed "ad clerum," they should not states, that he, as a churchman, was be published. The Tract on Reserve compelled to make assertions which should be given, under a promise of could not be defended by Scripture. secrecy, to the “good men” who are Some of the propositions of the 39 likely to comprehend its meaning, and

Articles so staggered him, that he accept its doctrine.

determined “ never to sign them again." -"I found myself called upon by the eighth article to affirm, that the three creeds, i.e. the apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian, might be clearly proved by Scripture.

I observed, that the arguments

by which I defended the doctrine of From the Catholic Magazine for the Trinity itself were founded, indeed, April, we have made extracts from on Scripture, but that, in attempting the following narrative of his conver- to prove to my hearers that a belief sion to Popery, which Mr. Spencer of this doctrine was absolutely necesdrew up at the English College at sary for man's salvation, I had reRome in the year 1831. He wrote course to arguments independent of it at the request of the Bishop of Scripture, and that no passage in Oppido, a small town in the lowest Scripture could be found which deextremity of Italy.

clares, that whosoever will be saved, “I took orders in the Protestant must hold the orthodox faith in the Episcopal Church of England, Decem- Trinity. I had this difficulty on my ber 22, 1822; and for seven years I mind for eight or nine months; after had the care of a parish, containing which, finding that I could not satisfy about eight hundred inhabitants, in myself upon it, I gave notice to my which is situated my father's (Earl superiors, that I could not consciSpencer's) principal residence. I entiously declare my full assent to never was very bigotted in my attach- the 39 articles..... Of course the ment to the doctrines and discipline bishop might have taken measures to of the Church of England; but seeing oblige me to resign my benefice; but no cause to doubt of their being truly he thought it more prudent to take in agreement with the word of God,

no notice of my letter, and thre

A SHORT ACCOUNT OF THE CONVER

SION OF THE HON. AND REV.
GEORGE SPENCER TO THE ROMAN
CATHOLIC FAITH.

a

He per

remained in possession of my place, the key to the right and sure intertill I embraced the Catholic faith. pretation of the written word.”

...“I must here notice a conver- The first circumstance by which it sation which I had with a Protestant pleased God, in some degree, to open minister about a year before I was a my eyes, was a correspondence into Catholic, by which my views of the which I entered with a person who use of the Scriptures were much withheld his name, but who professed enlightened, and by which, as it will to be a young man of the Protestant be clearly seen, I was yet further religion, who had been some time in prepared to come to a right under- a Catholic town abroad, where constanding of the true rule of Christian versations he had with some Catholics, faith, proposed by the Catholic and his observation of their worship Church. This gentleman was and character, had led him to doubt zealous defender of the authority of the truth of what he had been taught the Church of England against the in his childhood about Popery and various sects of Protestant Dissenters, the Reformation. He professed to who of late years gained so much be under great suspense and misery, advantage against her.

and intreated me, as a well-informceived, that while men were allowed ed Protestant, to satisfy him on a to claim a right of interpreting the few questions which he proposed. Scriptures according to their own I discovered, by means of this corjudgment, there never could be an respondence, that I had never duly end of schisms; and therefore he considered the principles of the zealously insisted on the duty of our Reformation ; that my objections to submitting to ecclesiastical authority the Catholic Church were prejudices in controversies of faith, maintaining adopted from the sayings of others, that the Spirit of God spoke to us not the result of my own observathrough the church, as well as the tions. Instead of gaining the advanwritten word. Had I been convinced tage in the controversy, I saw, and I by this part of his argument, it would owned to my correspondent, that a have led me to submit to the Catholic

great change had been produced in Church, and not to the Church of myself. I heard no more of him till England; and, indeed, I am acquaint- after my conversion and arrival at ed with one young man, who actually Rome, when I discovered that my became a Catholic through the preach- correspondent was a lady, who had ing of this gentleman-following these herself been converted a short time true principles, as he was bound to before she wrote to me.

I never do, to their legitimate consequences. had heard her name before, nor am I But I did not at this time perceive aware that she had ever seen my the truth of the position : I yet had person : but God moved her to desire no idea of the existence of divine and

pray

for my salvation, which she unwritten tradition in the church.

also undertook to bring about in the “I knew not that it was in the way I have related.

She Catholic Church that I was at length died at Paris a year before my con. to find what I was in search of; but version, when about to take the veil every Catholic will see, if I have as a nun of the Sacred Heart; and I sufficiently explained my case, how trust I have in her an intercessor in well I was prepared to accept with heaven, as she prayed for me so ferjoy the direction of the Catholic vently on earth."

Near the Church, when once I should be con- end of the year 1829, I was introvinced that she still preserved un- duced to young Mr. Philipps, eldest changed and inviolate, the very form son of a rich gentleman of Leicesterof faith taught by the apostles, the shire, whom I had often heard spoken knowledge of which is, as it were, of as a convert to the Catholic reli

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gion. We spent five hours together flock. He set before me the undein the house of the Rev. Mr. Foley, niable, but wonderful fact of the Catholic missionary in my neighbour- agreement of the Catholic Church all hood, with whom I had already had over the world in one faith, under much intercourse. I was interested one head. He pointed out to me the by the ardent zeal of this young man wonderful unbroken chain of the in the cause of his faith. I was Roman Pontiffs ; he observed to me much delighted with what I could how in all ages the church, under observe of his character.

their guidance, had exercised an more than ever inflamed with a de- authority undisputed by her children, sire to be united in communion with of cutting off from her communion all persons in whom I saw such clear who opposed her faith, and disobeyed signs of the Spirit of God; but yet her discipline. I saw that her assumpmy time was not fully come.”

tion of this power was consistent with “He was, in the meanwhile, much Christ's commission to his apostles interested in my case.

He recom- to teach all men to the end of the mended me to the prayers of some world, and his declaration, that those religious communities, and soon after who would not hear the pastors of invited me to his father's house, that his church rejected him. What right, we might continue our discourse. thought I, had Luther and his comOn Sunday the 24th January, 1830, panions to set themselves against the I preached in my church, and in the united voice of the church? I saw evening took leave of my family for that he rebelled against the authority the week, intending to return the of God, when he set himself up as an Saturday following to my ordinary independent guide. He was bound duties at home. But our Lord ordered to obey the Catholic Church : how better for me. During the week I should I then not be equally bound spent on this visit, I passed many to return to it. And need I fear that hours daily in conversation with I should be led into error, by trusting Philipps; and was satisfied, beyond all myself to those guides to whom my expectations, with the answers he Christ himself thus directed me? gave me to the different questions I No; I thought this impossible. Full proposed about the principal tenets of these impressions, I left Mr. and practices of Catholics. I now Caestrich's house. Philipps accomopenly declared myself completely panied me, and took this last occasion shaken; and though I determined to to impress on me the awful importtake no decided step till I was entirely ance of the decision I was called upon convinced, I determined to give my, to make. At length I answered, 'I self no rest till I was satisfied, and

There is no doubt of had little doubt now of what the the truth : one more Sunday I will result would be.” Mr. Philipps then preach to my congregation, and then took Mr. Spencer to Leicester, to see put myself into Mr. Foley's hands, Father Caestrich, the Catholic mis- and conclude the business. sionary established in that place. Mr. Spencer then relates, that on “Mr. Caestrich's conversation that further consideration he could not see afternoon overcame all my opposi- it to be right to preach even one tion. He explained to me, and made more Sunday as a Protestant.

The me see, that the way to come to the very next day (Sunday), “he would knowledge of the true religion is not be received into the church.” He to contend, as men are disposed to then despatched a messenger to Earl do, about each individual point, but Spencer, informing him of the unto submit implicitly to the authority expected event, not without appreof Christ, and of those to whom he hension, that the “sudden and severe has committed the charge of his shock might endanger his life.” The

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“the

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next day, at nine o'clock,

ecclesiastical lore, he might soon church received him as her child ;" have ascertained the true history of i. e. he was sprinkled afresh by the the three symbols ; for that their Roman Catholic priest. The narra- origin is subsequent by centuries to tive concludes, with stating that he the apostolical day, is confessed even was at that time in the English Col. by Roman Catholic writers of credit. lege at Rome, studying for holy Here, however, was the origin of his orders, having already received the aberrations :-he laid it down as a order of sub-deacon.

principal duty to examine the founThe first point that strikes us in this dations of the faith of the Church of narrative as worthy of observation, England, and not the foundation of is the origin of Mr. Spencer's doubts ; the faith once delivered to the saints. he could not perceive that the three The creed of the Bible, in which creeds of the Prayer-Book could, alone he ought to have been conaccording to the eighth article, be cerned, he laid aside, in order to clearly proved by Scripture. Who establish the creed of churchmen, ever was able to prove this point ? and if he thought that his duty, then Who, for instance, has ever yet been certainly he came to a right concluable to explain the assertion made in sion, for the creeds cannot be proved the apostles' and the Athanasian by the Scriptures alone, but must creed, that “ Christ descended into be supported by tradition.. hell,”

fact which is repeated The Protestant clergyman who again separately standing by itself, zealously insisted on the duty of in the third of the 39 articles*. our submitting to ecclesiastical autho. See the trouble and labour this dog- rity in controversies of faith,” and ma occasioned Bishop Pearson in his whose name we could mention, was a Exposition of the Creed, and hear forerunner of Puseyism, or, more prohim at last confessing that it was perly speaking, one of that sect which “dové-tailed into the confession about here and there has always existed in 400 years after Christ.” But why the Church of England, but which did not Mr. Spencer, instead of has only lately been consolidated into taking refuge in tradition as the that Propaganda Association, whose proper defence of the creeds, first doings now fill all England with alarm. inquire whether the church of the Such as he was, however, for he is Scriptures had any creeds at all ? not now living, his sermons converted Where can he find authority for a one young gentleman to Popery, and creed in Scripture? If Mr. Spencer was also the means of preparing Mr. had been but moderately read in Spencer for his adhesion to the Roman

Catholic creed. Many such ProWhen the articles of the Church of testant clergymen” are now preaching England were published in the reign of the same doctrine ; and it is not to be King Edward VI., the third article thus

doubted that they will be the instruappeared:-“ As Christ died for us, and was

ment of converting many "young buried, so also is it to be believed that he went down into hell. [For his body lay in

gentlemen" to the Popish persuasion. the grave till his resurrection, but his soul The pious fraud by which he was being separate from his body, remained further carried within the reach of with the spirits which were detained in

the whirlpool, seems to have been prison, that is to say, in hell, and there preached unto them, as witnesseth the place

based on two falsehoods. Mr. Spenof Peter.]” All the words between the

cer's anonymous correspondent debrackets were omitted in the 39 articles, scribed herself (1.) as being a young published ten years afterwards, in the reign

man ; and (2.) as inquiring with of Queen Elizabeth ; but the words so

anxiety into the truths of the Proomitted are nevertheless the orthodox in. terpretation of the article, according to

testant religion, though she had joined the faith of the Church of England.

the Roman Catholics before she began

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