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́nor resolution to set about any thing serious, and that they are ashamed to enter a place of worship, lest they should be ridiculed and despised, I would say;" to you religion is of the utmost importance. Religion teaches you, that it is better to make a good use of poverty, and to profit by it, than to make it subservient to your eternal condemnation. Religion teaches you, that if the world frown upon you, it behoveth you to turn to God, who will be always ready to receive you. Religion invites you to take off your affections from a world, which imparts to you few or none of its pleasures, and to place your whole delight in preparing yourselves for that eternal happiness, which God bath prepared for his faithful servants in the other world. Religion teaches you, that it matters little what men may think of your outward appearance, provided you are clothed with the robe of holiness and justice: and, that if you are despised, it will only be by wicked men; for the just are well assured, that if they despise the poor, they despise Christ himself. Religion holds out before them the poverty of their Lord and Master, and assures them, that, instead of its being a disgrace or dishonour to resemble him, it is their merit and their crown."-vol. i. p. 415.
Is it wonderful, we ask, that such sentiments, taken in conjunction with the almost apostolical labours and privations of the Catholic clergy, should form an indissoluble bond of union betwixt them and their parishioners?
We are pleased to observe, that a portion of these volumes has been dedicated to the clearing away those monstrous prejudices which have, for so long a period, been thrown as a distorting medium of vision before the eyes of the British public: the tongue or pen of the Rev. Gentleman could not have been more usefully employed. Among those prejudices, none have been more grossly conceived or groundlessly maintained, than the aversion which exists in the Protestant mind against the Catholic ceremonies of Good Friday: the candid reader will be pleased to meet with the subjoined explanation, at once simple and satisfactory :
On this day is performed the ceremony of kneeling before the crucifix, and kissing it. To Catholics, instructions on this subject are not necessary. They know the meaning of it, and the spirit with which it ought to be performed.-But, our places of worship are public, and curiosity draws many of our separated brethren to inspect our ceremonies. To these, an explanation will be necessary. For, as they have no other knowledge of the principles of our faith, than what they have derived from prejudice and falsehood, this ceremony will contribute to confirm their erroneous ideas, unless a full and candid explanation be given of the motives why it is performed. For them, therefore, the following remarks are intended: and as charity obliges us to presume that truth will be more agreeable to them than falsehood, I hope that they will attend to the following explanation, impartially and without prejudice, and form a decision upon it, in their own minds, according to the strict rules of candour and sincerity. The innocency or criminality of the religious ceremonies, which are observed by those of a different communion, with whose doctrines you are not perfectly acquainted, is to be ascertained, not from what appears externally, but from the interior dispositions of the heart. Thus
the act of kneeling and kissing a crucifix, although it may appear ex ternally as an act of adoration, is not in reality such, unless the inward disposition of the heart leads the person to adore the object before him, as a fit object of adoration. If there be not this inward disposition of the heart, a person may kneel before and kiss any thing that he pleases; and no adoration whatever, such at least as ought to be paid to God, can with justice be attributed to him. External actions, such as bowing, kneeling, or kissing, are not of themselves acts of adoration: they are testimonies only of respect and love. An inferior bows to his superior, but he does not adore him. A child kneels before his parent to ask his blessing, and by this act testifies his respect: a child kisses his parent, and thus testifies its love. These external actions, therefore of themselves are innocent.
But, are they, or can they be innocent, when the object before us is an inanimate object, a mere representation of the real object of our esteem, respect, veneration, or adoration? Certainly they may; and innumerable circumstances from common life, prove that they may. peers of the realm bow to the throne in the House of Lords, although the king be not seated in it: and by that act, they merely show their respect and submission to the sovereign.-A mother, who has been long, or is for ever, in this world, separated from a darling child, may, without crime, embrace its picture, or any thing that remindeth her of itmay weep over it-kiss it—and keep it with the greatest care. would be the actions of a teuder mother: and we should admire her love. We should say, that she proved herself, according to nature, a mother indeed. There are enthusiastic admirers of the great men of the worldof men, who are mortal beings like themselves, who, in their enthusiasm would not hesitate to kneel down before their statue or picture, merely because they had made themselves eminent by their victories, their political talents, or because they were pursuing an object, which their admirers eagerly wish to be accomplished, and would themselves accomplish, had they the abilities and power. And what would this prove? Not that they considered that the picture or statue was the real man; but they were enthusiastic admirers of the man himself.
The same may be done by Christians. They may testify their respectful submission to their supreme Lord, by bowing, as it were to his throne: they may, as the royal prophet expresses it, enter into the tabernacle, and adore in the place where his feet have stood; (Ps. cxxxi.) and yet be guilty of no act of idolatry.
Christians may likewise very innocently weep over, embrace, and kiss the image or picture of him whom they love. In fact, with what reason can any one attribute guilt to the pious Christian, who expresses his affection by those outward testimonies, for the God who made him,-for the God who redeemed him-for the God who is his first beginning and last end-for the God, who is much more to him than a child to its parent, or a parent to its child? He knows what it is that is placed before his eyes; he knows that it has neither life nor sense; that it is composed of earthly substance; that it is the work of man's hands; and, that it can neither see, nor hear, nor help him. But it reminds him of his beloved: it is his picture or image; it reminds him of the sufferings he endured for him on the cross: it reminds him of his infinite love for
lost man. And with these sentiments in our minds, may we not kiss, may we not weep over the representation of our suffering Jesus, in as innocent a manner as a parent over the picture of a darling child?
But, Protestants will say, why bow down, or kneel before such inanimate things? Is not this an act of adoration? No, certainly: unless a person does it with the intention of adoration. As the person, who, out of respect and admiration, kneels before the statue of his beloved hero, without any charge of idolatry, so likewise may the Christian bow, and kneel before the image or statue of the object of his admiration, without any charge of the kind being brought against him. The object of his admiration is a God-Man,-the conqueror of sin and death-the author of his faith, and the finisher of his hope-the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. And may not he express his veneration for so sublime an object, in the same manner as one worldly man will do for another? The worldling in admiring his hero, and reverencing his statue or picture, acts according to his political principles. The Christian acts according to the principles of a Christian: and, as those principles are such, which every human being ought to maintain, his actions are praiseworthy, and right.
'But why express our admiration by kneeling before such images? In the first place, the act of kneeling is not out of respect to the inanimate object before us, but to the great Being whom it is intended to represent. In the second, as that great Being is so infinitely superior to us, too great respect cannot be shown to him, nor to any thing that recals him to our mind. 'But what authority have we for such external reverence to inanimate things? The authority of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, St. Paul; "at the name of Jesus," he says, (Phil. ii.) every knee shall bow of those who are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth." If then, at the name of Jesus, which is a mere sound, every creature is commanded to bow the knee, merely because it conveys to our minds the idea of our Lord and Saviour; with greater reason may the same reverence be paid to representations, which convey that idea in a stronger light. Oh! happy would it be for this nation, were the spirit of censure, of opposition and of prejudice, banished from the land. All these observances would then be seen in their true light; and all people would acknowledge, that this embracing and kneeling were nothing more than expressions of the internal sentiments which the heart entertained for Him, whom alone we adore. All people would acknowledge, that, to treat with disrespect and contempt, either the name of God, or the image which represented to us his infinite goodness and love, would be an act of disrespect and contempt shown to God himself; and all people would acknowledge, that to respect either the name of God, or the image of his sufferings, is, in fact, a testimony of respect shown to God himself, and an act of true piety and religion.'-vol. i. pp. 328–333.
We rise from the perusal of these volumes with more elevated ideas of the dignity of man, and more deeply profound veneration for the sublime dogmas of the Christian dispensation, which they so well delineate and explain. For the character of the preacher, it is impossible to entertain any other feelings than those of affection and respect; and we can safely recommend his useful labours,
not merely to the sectarian, but to the general reader. To the Protestant, they will prove a fair exposition of the benevolence of Catholic doctrines, and the innocence of Catholic practices; to the Catholic, a most eligible book of reference or companion for the closet; and to all, an elegant transcript of an amiable, finelytoned and pious mind.
ART. III.-1. Recollections of a Service of Three Years during the War of Extermination in the Republics of Venezuela and Colombia. By an Officer in the Colombian Navy. 2 vols. 8vo. London: Hunt and Clarke. 1828.
2. Memoirs of General Miller, in the Service of the Republic of Peru. By John Miller. 2 vols. 8vo. London: Longman & Co. 1828. We have always had a great distaste for all voyages and travels by anonymous authors. There is no sensation more uncomfortable than that of being uncertain whether a narrative in which we are interested, be true or false,-nothing so disagreeable to the intellectual eye as the sometimes real, sometimes visionary prospect presented to us in a work of this kind. We feel that the knowledge we may have gained, is at the mercy of every one who chooses to question its foundation; we never dare quote a passage for fear of being called upon to prove the authenticity of the work, and we end with thinking that, except as a novel, we might as well never have read it. Formerly, much more than of late years, the most profitable speculation of the working literateurs of London was the composition of works of travels. Imagination, learning, and labour were all employed in this ingenious art; and the surest resource of an author, when his drama or his poem failed, was a fire-side journey to the East, or the grand tour, made in his dressing closet, over France and Italy. But there were in those days extraordinary facilities for the exercise of this trade. If the high-ways of the world were as open then as now, many keen eyes had not examined them, and assertions might be made without any extreme hazard of contradiction. The knowledge of what was doing from Indus to the Pole, had also as many charms as at present, but it was to satisfy curiosity that it was sought for, and curiosity will be satisfied when the desire of knowledge that may be useful, is left as craving and inquisitive as ever. Authors, therefore, might make experiments in those days on public credulity with a sure prospect of profit, because the public was served as much to its desire by a well got up fiction, as by truth; but at present, when aids to inquiry are more sought for than was, perhaps, ever the case before when every one who reads wishes to be thought fit to debate any question of public or domestic morals, and the world itself is up at arms against all that is illiberal or savours of ancient ignorance, in these circumstances nothing
which has not more than the veil of truth can obtain a character with the public; it can give no axioms, no incontrovertible arguments or new principles, and, therefore, contributes nothing to the wealth of the reading world. It is a little surprising, however, that we have lately seen an unaccountable attempt made by writers of travels, some real and others fictitious, to introduce again the anonymous mode of publishing. Whether this may or may not be judicious in a certain class of literary traders, we are not prepared to answer; but we are very sure that it is an unworthy practice in any party who have a real knowledge of the facts they relate, and who have no desire to impose falsehoods or hap-hazard truths on the public. One or two publications have appeared in this manner, the respectability of which is beyond doubt, but for the great mass of travels so sent into the world either in the present day or before our time, we believe they are totally unworthy the attention of any thinking reader. While the petty-fogging artifices of publishers, or the degrading servility of book-makers, are restricted to the compiling and vending of novels, anas, or spelling books, they are on ground they have claimed a right over from time immemorial; but we are not so satisfied of the propriety of leaving them in their usurped possession of more important branches of literature. Well written books of travels are among the most valuable contributions to general knowledge; but it is just as bad for people in general to read those which are composed by ignorant or unqualified men, as it is for them to travel themselves blind-folded and with a thousand follies in their heads. The absurd notions which have been given of men and nations by weak, ill-judging travellers, as most anonymous ones are, would fill a long list, and we believe would present a sufficiently awful spectacle to prevent a reader putting faith in any assertion of such writers.
We have said this generally, and without a more particular reference to the work on our table, than to others of a similar kind. The practice of anonymous publishing, in the case of travels, even if it did not finally do away with their authority as works of reference, would be still fraught with many disagreeable consequences-a conspicuous one of which is, the doubt which in all cases must at first prevail as to the author's opportunities of positive information. The publication before us is in this respect an example in point. It contains an account of circumstances of a highly interesting character, but which it must be allowed almost any man of some imagination might have invented to ornament and mix with facts less striking. Had now the reader a full opportunity of judging whether or not the writer's situation made it likely that he should have experienced the things he mentions, doubt would be at an end, and the narrative as useful as interesting. Again; this same work passes judgment occasionally on the characters and measures of men engaged in the country described.