Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ed down and prayed to our Lord Jesus Christ, that he would assist me to be able to pay. I had scarcely finished my prayer, when I received a letter from Charles Dalberg, Grand Duke of Frankfort, and Archbishop o.

Ratisbon, and I found enclosed in the letter two guineas,

which was four times as much as I wanted. He wrote me word that he was ready to send me every month the

same sum, as I was recommended to him by professor .

Klein, of Ratisbon. At this time, I one day heard as a stranger, a public lecture of a Protestant professor about the Catholic system, in which he asserted that the Catholic church prefers the Vulgate to the original text, and that she teaches the worship of saints, and works of

supererogation, and indulgences. I resolved, therefore,

to go to Rome, because Protestants said to me, If you should manifest your sentiments there, the inquisition would excommunicate, and perhaps burn you. Having been already recommended by the Pope's ambassador in Vienna to the Cardinal Litta, in order to permit me to enter the Propaganda, I passed Basle, in Switzerland, where I stopped two weeks with Madame Krudener, and other Protestant Christians, whom I found equal to Count Stolberg in love, and in true faith towards Christ our Redeemer. I heard them sing hymns, and sigh to be united more and more with Christ, and I found both Catholics and Protestants in Berne of the same spirit. Madame Krudener said to me, “The Gospel must be always your holy guide, the cross of Christ must educate you, you must banish from your mind every uncharitable spirit. The lion of Judah will soon appear amongst his elect who have heard his voice.” A Protestant priest presented me a little edition of an Hebrew Bible. When I arrived at Freybourg in Switzerland, I found there an Egyptian darkness amongst the Catholics; and a spirit of ignorance and intolerance similar to what I had found in Hungary. A Catholic priest took away by force my Hebrew Bible, because he observed that it was printed in a Protestant town, and therefore was, in his view, heretical. In this town I found only one Ca

tholic priest, named Girard, who was enlightened by the Spirit of Christ; and he was persecuted by the whole city, and considered and despised as a heretic. I continued my journey, and arrived in Vevay, where I found enlightened Protestant Christians, and amongst others, Lieutenant Colonel G. A Protestant clergyman, made me a present of another Hebrew Bible, and persuaded me to stay with him eight days. At the distance of nine miles from Vevay, I found two English ladies who were true Christians, and persuaded me to go to England; but I said, I will go to Rome, and see what my Pope believes. They replied, we fear you will be there in a great danger, because your sentiments are not according to the popish system. I laughed and said, I shall see whether it is true or not. From thence I went to the Valais, in Switzerland, which is inhabited by Catholics, who were as ignorant as those at Freybourg; but I saw there a very joyful scene. A simple Catholic peasant disputed as follows with a Catholic priest: Catholic Priest. The church permits not the people to read the holy Scriptures. Peasant. I read them, and have been edified very much; a peasant is also a man, and has received an understanding from God as well as a priest; and the Bible, as the word of God, is open to all mankind. You priests intend only to keep us in ignorance, but the time of ignorance is passed. He said all this with a holy and ardent zeal I myself defended him against the priest, and the priest could not answer, and was confounded and ashamed. I had a recommendation to the Superior of a Jesuit convent in B. in the Valais. The Superior received me with great kindness, and intreated me to stay some days with them ; the members of his convent are all very gentle, and have a pleasing external appearance. The Superior seemed to me to possess more Scriptural knowlege than any I had met with, and he wrote several verses of exhortation, and encouragement from Scripture in my remembrance-book.

An awful silence is observed the whole day in the convent. I there read the Catechism of Melchior Canising; he was the first who introduced the Pope in the Catechism. This is the most abominable book I ever read I asked one of them, “What is every Jesuit obliged to do He answered, “To renounce his own will, and to render a blind obedience to the Superior, whose will he is to consider as the will of Almighty God, who speaks to him always by the mouth of his superior.”

I continued my journey after I left the convent, whose character seemed to me so enigmatical. I stopped in Milan eight days, where an Italian lord gave me a letter for Cardinal Vidoni in Rome. I found some Catholic professors in Milan, who were true worshippers of Christ; they said to me, “They vend in Rome, Christ and his Gospel, but only the Pope is worshipped. You must not go to Rome, because they will put you in prison.” I said, “I will satisfy myself about it with my own eyes.” "

I was introduced to the professors of the university at Milan, and I travelled from thence to Novara, in Piemont, where l had a letter for a nun of a convent. She and all her devout sisters received me with great kindness, and showed me great hospitality. I remained three days at Novara, where I received a recommendation for Cardinal Cacciapati, and went to Turin. I was so much imposed upon by the landlords in Italy, that I had no more than a penny left when I arrived in Turin. Having recommendations from the foreign ambassadors at Berne to those at Turin and Rome, I went to Count Truchsesz, Prussian ambassador at Turin, and gave him the letter, and said to him, That I should write to my benefactor, Duke Dalberg, to solicit some more money, but I did not know where to stay at Turin, till I received it. He said to me, You need not write for money, you may stay with me and my lady eight or ten days, and I will show you the most remarkable things in this city, and will introduce you to the other ambassadors and some learned men, and after that I will give you as much as you want for your journey to Rome.

.*

I observed the church of Christ among the Waldenses in the valley of Piemont. Count T. gave me eight guineas. Mr. David Baillie of London, who understood German, was at Turin, and finding me in the house of the Russian ambassador, invited me to accompany him on his journey to Genoa at his expense. By the kindness of that gentleman, I saved my money till my arrival in Genoa, where I was recommended to the consul of Prussia, who took a passage for me in a ship for Civita Vecchia; but the wind being contrary, we anchored at a town twelve miles from Genoa, more than fourteen days. This was an occasion of sorrow, because all things were very dear, and my money diminished from day to day. I could not yet speak Italian, and no one in the ship spoke French. I observed a Dominican monk from Spain, and conversed with him in Latin. I told him that I wished not to lose so much time in so miserable a port. The Dominican replied, Patience is a Christian virtue, and we cannot be true followers of Christ without the possession of this virtue, because it proves a want of faith. I was, from this time, always in his company, and liked him as a father; he seemed to lose himself in continual meditation on the suffering Redeemer, and united to his religion a humanity which I scarcely found amongst other monks. The contrary wind arose as soon as we arrived at Leghorn, and I landed with the intention of undertaking the journey from thence to Rome on foot, because I feared I should not have enough to pay the captain, if I continued my journey by sea. By the time I had walked a quarter of a mile, I was unable to proceed on account of the heat. In the time of necessity men learn to call upon the Watchmen of Israel. The reason is this, they perceive no help on the right hand nor on the left; but above they can see a Father of mercy who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains, and who giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He who has a heart renewed by the grace of God, who is able to cry, Abba, Father, looks to that Redeemer who died for us, considers the lilies of the field how they grow, and then he begins to knock at the door of mercy; and often God is pleased to open it.

I kneeled down and prayed, perhaps, two minutes, when a coach came up, containing three gentlemen. I asked the coachman whether he had a place for me, and could convey me for a small reward to Florence. . He said, he would convey me for half a guinea. I agreed, and I accompanied the other gentlemen, amongst whom was a sea-officer of the kingdom of Piemont, who understood a little German, and talked French very well. The sea-officer asked me where I intended to go I answered, To Rome, to enter the Propaganda, for the improvement of my understanding, and to become a Missionary. He asked, why I did not agree with the coachman to convey me to Rome, as he would pay the landlord for my dinner and bring me to Rome for four guineas. I replied, Because I have only three guineas and a half. The sea-officer offered to lend me two guineas, if I would promise to return him the money when we arrived at Rome. I promised him to do it, having confidence in God’s fatherly providence, that on my arrival at Rome, he would supply me with the means to satisfy this generous sea-officer I continued my journey to Rome, and when I passed Siena, a town of Tuscany, I went to see a house which was once the habitation of a Christian lady called Catharine of Siena, whose spiritual works I had read in the German translations; she spoke with great freedom against the pomp of the Pope, and his Cardinals and Bishops. At length I arrived at the gates of Rome, where I saw the cross of Christ, upon which is painted the key of St. Peter with the inscription “Paw,” the arms of the pope, placed near the town gates. I was much surprised. I found by accident, Mess. T. and I. H. two truly converted Jews, painters from Germany, on my arrival in Rome; we knew each other by report, and they paid for me to the sea-officer the two guineas I had borrowed. They introduced me to a respectable Roman priest, who conducted me to Cardinal Litta. The Prussian, Bavarian,

« AnteriorContinuar »