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can take place in the discipline of the Reformed Churches without the authorization of the government.

At a later period a circular of the Minister of Public Worship affirmed that the very principle on which the Reformed Church is based subjects it to fluctuations of doctrine. Therefore, it is the political authority which shall at its will declare what are the doctrinal bases of these Churches. But if a society cannot determine its own conditions for membership, it is very evident that its liberty, and perhaps its very existence, are gone. If every citizen has a right to become a member of these Churches by the expression of his will or interest, without any condition of adhesion to its doctrine, the Church itself might as well close its doors. Against this great injustice the author of this article is waging a bold fight, and he illustrates and strengthens his position by various examples from the Protestant Churches of Switzerland and other nations, We need scarcely add that the orthodox Reformers are heartily with him; while the liberals and free-thinkers within the Church would like to stay there, and get and retain possession, by virtue of this decision of the State Council, which is certainly most absurd and unjust.

“ The Huguenot Psalter” is an article of great interest, and full of instruction regarding the famous old hymns sung by the persecuted amid their oppression. Apart from the Bible, no work among them has had a more glorious history. Its words and very melodies have grown out of their sufferings and hopes and faith ; and one can scarcely believe that the French tongue could lend itself to accents so pathetic and devout. The complete Psalter first appeared in the year 1562; and Catharine de Medici, in the hope of conciliating the Huguenot party, permitted it to be printed in no less than eleven editions in France, of which seven appeared in Paris. In the course of four years no less than sixty-two editions appeared in French in various countries; and it is now known that it has been translated into twenty-two foreign languages. With such popularity it soon became a dangerous weapon in the mouths of the Reformers, and was as good a battle-cry as they could utter. Even Henry IV., when he renounced Protestantism, entertained a wholesome fear of the effect of its hymns. He had permitted his sister, Catharine of Navarre, to hold Reformed worship in his palace of the Louvre, on condition that they would abstain from singing. One day his sister was delayed in a conference with the king, when the company began to sing to drown the tediousness of delay. The king, hearing a noise, asked the cause of it; and on being informed, he abruptly said to his sister : “Mon Dieu, go quickly and tell them to stop singing!”

Under the régime of the Edict of Nantes, the Protestants of Paris were accustomed to assemble at Charenton for worship. Every Sunday the road to this place was crowded with men, women, and children, in vehicles and on foot, going to church, and singing their hymns on the way. This so annoyed the authorities that they forbade the singing of hymns in public places; and in proportion as the famous Revocation approached, this raid on the Huguenot hymns increased. In 1663 a pastor of Nimes was banished for having published a treatise on the singing of the Psalms; while the printer was also punished for two years, and the book itself was condemned to be burned. And thus the persecution of the Psalter went on, until at last it was almost at the risk of life that spiritual hymns could be sung. This very repression made the Psalter still more dear; and the comfort that it has afforded to thousands, amid persecution and adversity, has given it a rank right beside the Bible. This article will be widely read by the descendants of the Huguenots.



FRENCH publicists have been pretty severe on the Germans for their treatment of the Jews in later years; and they and the Spaniards were quite generous in their offers toward the Russian Jews who recently left their homes in such large numbers, and came mainly to this country in preference to Palestine, France, or Spain. The Germans naturally reply that these critics would be more consistent if they practically knew more abont the matter. Two centuries ago the Jews were driven out of Spain under circumstances of great cruelty, and a few months ago the first Jewish marriage took place in Spain for all this long period. And the French themselves have scarcely any Jews within their boundaries; certainly for some pretty good reason.

While in Germany there are about 600,000, making one to every seventy-five inhabitants, there are in France only 65,000, or one to every 508 souls. The Hebrew population in France is found scarcely anywhere else than in a few of the large cities. Paris alone counts 35,000; more than in all the provinces together. Jewish synagogues are found only in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyons, Marseilles, Besançon, Bayonne, and a few other cities. In many commercial centers, counting from 30,000 to 50,000, there will be found but a few isolated Jewish families. In four of the departments there is not a single Israelite; while in some twenty there are not more than a few hundred. But a very small portion settled in France before the nineteenth century. All the others came since 1830 from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, and Turkey. Some came with millions, as the Rothschilds, Goldschmidts, Erlangers, and Oppenheims, and these have all increased their millions in France. Outside of these extremely rich Jews the greater number of the Parisian Jews are poor, and find it a struggle to secure a decent livelihood. The Frenchman is a good business man, and quite expert in making a sale on fair business principles; there is here, therefore, no room for dickering or bargaining; and for any deceptive transactions, especially in money matters, he is not much inclined. To the poorer class of Jews there is, therefore, nothing left ordinarily but the trade in ribbons, thread, and other small variety wares. Even the trade in old clothes, which elsewhere is exclusively in the hands of the Jews, is in Paris mostly monopolized by emigrant Frenchmen from the Province of Auvergue. There are a goodly number of Jews in the law, and in the civil and military service. There are Jewish prefects, cabinet ministers occasionally, quite a number of Jewish generals, and a large number of deputies to the Chambers. In industrial life the Jews have by no means the position which they hold in Germany. Their influence is all-controlling only at the Exchange; some of the largest banking and stock-dealing establishments and most of the railroad corporations have none. Consequently, they are not such a thorn in the side of the Frenchman as they seem to be in that of the German.


We notice with pleasure that the Italians themselves have begun a work that has been successfully pursued for some time in France and Spain; namely, a new publication of all the evangelical writings from the period of the Reformation. It is to be hoped that this admirable enterprise will receive an active support that will end in its consummation. In the year 1531 there issued from a cloister on the banks of Lago Mag. giore, from the pen of a Carmelite monk, a circular to the entire Christian Church of Germany, in which we find the words: “Think, dear brethren in the faith, of the bumble Canaanitish woman who begged for the crumbs that fell from the table of the Lord. Thus I, while thirsting,


take refuge in the Source of living waters; surrounded by darkness, sighing in tears, I beseech you, who know the secrets of God, send us the writings of your chosen teachers. Deliver a Lombardian city from the Babylonian captivity. There are three of us here; but who knows whether God will not from a small spark cause a great burning?”

This pious monk could scarcely imagine that from his own country there would spring forth an echo of his words. And yet the movement of the Reformation, even in Italy, in twenty years from that time, lad become so strong, spreading even to the spiritually elevated classes, that an entire literature of testimonies of evangelical faith and life had risen into prominence. But the Inquisition had with only too great effect nipped the buds of the movement in the beginning, and thus destroyed the fruit. Whole editions of devotional books were destroyed by its order, and in Rome piles of such books were burned. But by the providence of God many single copies were rescued from the general destruction, and they are discovered anew hidden in archives and libraries. These are not to disappear entirely, and it is the duty of evangelical Christianity to rescue them. From these the new Protestant communities of the Italy of to-day may draw native material for study and devotional instruction and encouragement. This important enterprise is to be under the direction of Professor Comba, of Florence, aided by colleagues in Venice, Padua, and Rome, and some even from France and Germany. They are to be printed in Florence, and sold at a very low price so as to put them within reach of all. About eight or nine works are now already announced, of which the first is "A Simple Declaration of the Twelve Articles of Christian Faith.” An appeal is being made to the Protestants of Europe to help this worthy enterprise by a generous purchase of these issues.


The French Reformed Church, as well as the French Lutheran, is now suffering under the pressure of contemporary events. They both have to bear the burden of the exclusion of religious teaching from the schools, and are obliged to provide for it themselves or do without it. There are those among them who accept willingly this new school law, but their labors in the Church are negative rather than positive. The extreme liberalism, which has such a foothold legally within the bosom of the Churches, is causing them much anxiety. In the Theological Faculty of Paris there are some faithful and immovable teachers of the Word, but even there we see an effort on the part of some to produce discord by unsound teaching. Maurice Vernes, of this body, wlio lately delivered an address, at the opening of the annual studies, contradicting the commonly received ideas of the soul and immortality, was obliged to withdraw as a teacher; but his influence is left behind him. There is doubtless existing in the Reformed Church of France a poble inheritance and a solid power of active faith, as is proved by their eager work in evangelization of the masses; but they are doomed to encounter discouraging obstacles. The record of the year last past amply attests this.

In the Lutheran Church the injuries caused by the war of 1870 are not yet overcome; pastors were driven away from their flocks; congregations were scattered; and church property and soil virtually destroyed. These Lutherans, in various unions and conferences, have appealed to their brothers in Germany for help. The two Provincial Synods, recently held in Paris and Mompelgard, were mainly occupied with the troublesome school question, bemoaning the fact that the name of God is excluded from the schools with no power on their part to repair the wound. They now find hope in the fact that there has lately been a revulsion of feeling among notable Republicans regarding the religious question, and that an evident disposition is growing to treat it with more tenderness and consideration. The President and some prefects and ministers of state are counseling less severe measures, and the last budget for Public Worship was sustained by some of those who had hitherto opposed it. The death of the great dictator in this matter may cause a change of policy, and the fierce struggles of the political factions induce the opponents of religion to cease their efforts to strike all religious organizations. The Lutherans seem to be even more helpless than the Reformed Church without aid from the State.


The “ Journal of the German Palestine Association," under the effective control of Dr. Guthes, is doing fine work in the matter of revelations of very general interest. The fourth volume has recently appeared, and from it we gather some curious information. For a series of years there have been found in the vicinity of Jerusalem small sarcophagi of limestone, whose significance has been a mystery. They are about thirty inches in length and fourteen in breadth. To what purpose have these small coffins been appropriated? They can scarcely have been cinerary receptacles; for neither the Jews nor the Christians practiced cremation. The opinion has been broached that they contain the remains of the martyrs; for they are far too small for an ordinary unnutilated corpse. A high authority is of the opinion that these miniature coffins are for the reception of the remnants of bodies taken up from graves and transported to other places, because in these cases corpses were sometimes transported from abroad. This is made probable from the fact that in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem they are most numerous, and some of them contain Greek inscriptions. A burial in Jerusalem was the most ardent desire of the Jews living in other countries; and in the Middle Ages there were very many of such transports to the Holy Land. Old Jews would go there simply to die. These little sarcophagi, therefore, probably contained the bones of those who could not go in the body, as the Chinese send home the bones of their dead to lie in their natal soil.

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