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congregation of priests of the oratory of Rome in 1540. During the service, and after the sermon, it was usual for this saint, among other pious exercises, in order to draw youth to church and keep them from secular amusements, to have hymns, psalms, and other spiritual laudi, or songs, sung either in chorus or by a single favourite voice, divided into two parts, the one performed before the sermon, and the other after it. The subject of these pieces were sometimes the good Samaritan; sometimes Job and his friends; the prodigal son; Tobit with the angel, his father, and his wife, &c. All these, by the excellence of the composition, the band of instruments, and the performance, brought the oratory into such repute, that the congregation became daily more numerous; and thence this species of sacred musical drama, wherever performed, in process of time, obtained the general appellation of Oratorio.”

Paulinus, bishop of Nola, in Campania, is supposed to have been the first who introduced bells into christian churches, about the year 400; hence their latin name, Campana. Bede is the first of our historians who mentions them. Croyland Abbey had the first ring of bells in England, which were put up in Edgar's reign; they were six in number. The abbey itself was begun to be built in 720. Yet bells were not invented by Paulinus, for the Jews, Greeks, and Romans used them, although not for religious purposes; the latter were summoned by them to their baths, and called them Tintinnabula; these were made of iron or brass. The Jews made use of trumpets to assemble the people to worship. Sounding boards are so used at this day by the monks in Egypt, and also in Greece, where they still strike on them with a mallet. William the Conqueror first commanded the eight o'clock bell to be rung, that his subjects might at that time put out their fires and candles; hence it was called the curfew or cover-fire-bell: some authors say he ordered it to prevent nightly meetings against his government; but in truth, it was an ecclesiastical establishment used in monasteries on the continent long before, to prevent fires, as the houses were made of wood. Many protestant authors have laboured to prove that the soul-bell, which is to the present day rung in most of the parishes of the king

dom, was originally intended to warn the hearer that a soul was departing this world, that so prayers might be offered up for the sick person. But these persons confound the passing with the soul-bell, and wilfully disguise the truth, for Bede clearly and positively states, in his account of the death of St. Hilda, that upon hearing the sound of the bell, the nuns prayed for her departed, and not for her departing soul. The passing bell was rung when the dying person was supposed to be in the last agony, to solicit the prayers of the faithful for the departing soul. In the " In the "Diary of Robert Birril," preserved in the fragments of "Scottish History," published at Edinburgh, 1798, is the following entry: "1556. The 25th of October, verd came to the towne of Edinburghe, from the queine, yat her majestie was deadly seike, and dysyrit ye bells be runge, and all the peopill to resort to ye kirk to pray for her, for she was seike, that none lipned her life." The intention of the pancake-bell, which is still rung in some parishes at 12 o'clock at noon on Shrove Tuesday, was originally to warn apprentices to quit their work, that they might assist their mistresses in making pancakes, in order that all fat and meat dripping might be consumed previous to Lent, which would commence on the following day.

St. Vitalianus, Pope, is said to have first introduced organs into churches, about the year 657; thinking that the sound of that noble instrument would increase the devotion of the people.

Painted windows were placed in churches in this country about the time of Henry the third, who began his reign in the year 1216; the best glass paintings in this kingdom, are in York Minster, the priory of Great Malvern, in Worcestershire, and in Fairford Church, near Gloucester; the latter was taken in a ship bound for Rome, by John Fons, Esq. in Henry the seventh's reign; Fons built the church for its sake, and it furnished twenty windows; in one, is the devil driving an old woman to hell in a wheelbarrow.

When the taking Tobacco first became prevalent in Europe, the use of it in churches, in any shape, was strictly forbidden; so much so, that, in 1621, pope Urban the eighth published a decree of excommunication against all who should take snuff

in the church; because then already some Spanish ecclesiastics used it during the celebration of mass. In 1690, pope Innocent XII. excommunicated all who should be guilty of using snuff or tobacco in the church of St. Peter at Rome: but in the year 1724, Pope Benedict the fourteenth, revoked the bull of excommunication published by Innocent.


Abbé Dubois' Letters on the State of Christianity in Iudia. (Continued from Vol. II. page 533.)

We shall present our readers with one more extract from our author concerning the utility of circulating bibles. It is written in his best style and deserves more than one perusal. We should apologise to the reader for returning again to the same subject, but it is a subject which cannot be too much insisted upon at the present day. Beset as we are with Biblefools and fanatics, every catholic should be possessed of ready arguments, and positive facts, to put them to silence and shame. Thus then our author continues:

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"I will now say a few words on the project of enlightening the Hindoos by the translation of the Holy Scriptures, and their circulation among them. But as I have already treated this subject in a former letter, what I have to add shall be confined to a few short remarks. It appears to me, that we are a little too much disposed to over-rate the effects that we fancy the naked divine work ought to produce on the mind of an ill disposed heathen nation. We judge of the effect it ought to produce on them, by those it produces on ourselves, who have been brought under its instructions; who received it in our early years from christian parents; and who have, perhaps, made it our principal study in our maturer age. To start in the work of proselytism by exhibiting at once to the view of the pagans of any nation whatever our holy books, is, in my opinion, to commence our labours where we ought to finish them; it is to build an edifice before having laid its foundations; it is the same as to require from an apprentice in mechanics, to form a complicated machine, without supplying him tools for the purpose; it is worse, it is to call upon a man, just come out of the hands of nature, upon a savage, whom we would wish to make a perfect mechanic, and to whom, after showing a model composed of a great number of complicated wheels and springs, we should say, "Here lies your model; learn your trade from it: when you have succeeded to imitate it, we will receive you into the profession of a mechanic. We say nothing more to you on the subject. Take the model in your hand, and shift for yourself; commence by finding out iron mines, extract the iron from the ore, make your axes, your saw and other tools, fell your trees, work your timber,

your wheels and your springs, and finish your machine." Would not the savage, on hearing such language, be disposed to think that his master intended to make a jest of him? or if he believed that he spoke seriously, would he not be ap palled at the task imposed on him, and in his despair would he not break in pieces the model left in his hand, and fly again to his forest and native wilds. We have many instances of christians accustomed to read and interpret the Holy Scriptures, passing from one sect to another, and endeavouring to justify this change by the meaning, or the liberal interpretation of the word of God; but I have never heard of a single instance of a pagan having been converted to any sect of christianity by the simple reading of the naked text of our sacred books. This is certainly the primitive source from which our faith is derived, and the foundation on which it is built; but it is so far above the comprehension of our unprepared understanding, that it wonld be unreasonable on our part to expect an uncultivated and unassisted mind to be able to decide for itself, and to build his faith on it alone.

Our holy records afford us a striking instance of the insufficiency of this means alone, to build up one's faith, in the example of the Eunuch of Candace, (Acts viii.) who probably was not a man of common parts or education. He was returning from Jerusalem, and sitting in his chariot, was reading on his way Isaias the prophet. Philip, warned by an angel, passed on the same road, and prompted by the spirit he ran to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaias, and said," Understandest thou what thou readest?" Hear now the candid answer of the Eunuch: "And he said, How can I understand it, except some man should guide me? And he desired that he would come up, and sit with him." &c. "Then Philip opened his mouth, and preached unto him Jesus." &c. (See the whole of this edifying occurrence in the quoted chapter.) Far be from me the thought of failing in the least in profound respect and veneration for the sacred word of God or of detracting a single particle from the salutary effects it is calculated to produce on a well-disposed person, who makes it his study, with the intention of becoming acquainted with his duties as a man and à christian. But I repeat it, to exhibit the Scriptures to an unprepared pagan, to build up his faith upon them, or even to excite in his mind a spirit of inquiry, or a desire to know the truth, is, in my humble opinion, an absurd proceeding. I believe that I may, without presumption, assert the same with respect to the native christians in general. I have now under my religious control between 7000 and 8000 persons of this description; and I should be very much perplexed indeed, were I among so large a number, desired to point out four individuals capable of understanding the meaning of the Bible, and to whom the reading of the naked text of the Holy Scriptures would prove of the least utility. I have composed for the instruction of this my large flock, a short catechism comprised within ten or twelve pages, explanatory of the principal truths of the christian religion. This small composition is worded in the simplest and plainest manner, and to make it better understood, I have also repeatedly explained it in various ways to my congregations; yet I find after so much trouble, the great majority of them do not understand it. Now, I beg leave to ask of any candid and unprejudiced person, of what utility can the Holy Scriptures be to persons unable to nnderstand a short catechism of ten pages, composed in the plainest style? It is of no utility to distribute bibles if you have not well-founded hopes that they will be read, and their meaning understood. Now, I have every reason to apprehend, that as long

as they shall be translated into the almost unintelligible style in which we see the versions already executed, there is not the remotest hope of their being of the least utility even to the best disposed persons, and that (as I observed in a foregoing letter) those loose and spurious versions will only tend to increase the contempt of the prejudiced natives against Christianity, and prove on the whole detrimental to its interests."

We should wish to indulge a hope that the good Abbé has drawn a little on fancy, when he describes the ignorance of his own flock. We cannot forget that these very men of whom he is speaking, are the descendants of Father Bouchet's flock, whose labours we have recorded in our late numbers. They were not so in his days. Are the people or the pastor changed? But we refrain out of pity to push our author too far on this It is a delicate point.


We shall conclude with the following whimsical story, which reminds us much of a scene in Tim-bobbin, where an Urchin being found, the wise men of the village were assembled to deliberate and determime what it was. But though so ridiculous, it is perfectly credible, and to the honour of the Bible Society be it spoken, just what they might expect to happen.


Being in a neighbouring village, three or four months ago, I received there the visit of some christians living in the Bellay distriot, in a place called Talairu. where between thirty and forty Tilinga Christian families reside. After the ordinary marks of respect and the usual compliments, one of my visitors took a book out of a small bag, and without uttering a single word laid it at my feet. On opening it, I found it was a translation into Tilinga of the gospel of St. Matthew; and before saying any thing about it, I wished to be acquainted with the opinion of my visitors on the work. Having interrogated them for the purpose, the person who had delivered it to me began the following curious account: saying, that some months back two christians of their village went to Bellay on some business, and hearing that a European gooroo or priest, (whom from their account I understood to be a protestant missionary,) was living in that place, they went to pay him a visit; that they had been very kindly received by him, and that after a good deal of conversation chiefly on religious subjects, the gooroo, on dismissing them, had made them a present of the book, strongly recommending them to have a chapter of its contents read every Sunday in the chapel to the assembled congregations; that there being only five or six individuals among the congregation who could write and read, on their return they had called on them, and delivered the book to them; that these persons had assembled together for the purpose of reading it, and becoming acquainted with its contents; but that they were unable to understand the meaning of a single chapter; that in their perplexity they had applied to some pagans living in the same village, to assist them in expounding the book; but no one amongst them were able to understand any thing about it; that they were then disposed to believe that the


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