« ПредишнаНапред »
(p. 557). This represented his men easier than to feign a hypothesis" tal peculiarity. As a general illus- (p. 57), but few more difficult than tration of such a distinction, it may to make one good. Waterton spoke be said that a person may make all of “ Selborne's immortal naturalobservations possible on a complica- ist,” whom his editor alludes to as ted subject, and yet be devoid of the one of his few favourite English aucapacity or mental training to thors. It would have been well had weave them into a theory or system, he studied him to more purpose that will immediately, or at any time, than he did, in two respects at least; meet with acceptance. Waterton that in every branch of natural hiswas not a “man of science " in the tory, facts are everything, and theoproper sense of the word (whatever ries and difficulties nothing, and that he might have been as a taxidermist among naturalists of the right stock, and ornithologist), so that his editor's opprobrious names and abusive epiwords are out of place when he says: thets should find no place. It is to
As a man of science, he has never, be hoped that for the future, no one in my opinion, obtained his rightful will maintain that Waterton “ rarely place” (p. 133), meaning by that, that ventured upon a statement which he he was a “naturalist the first of his had not abundantly verified,” or own time, and in no age surpassed” that “in all his pryings into animal (p. 1); and for other reasons than that ways, his accuracy was extreme," "he provoked many enemies by his and, above all, that “to this hour advocacy of truth and exposure of he has not been convicted of a error” (p. 133). “Few things are single error.”
TATERTON literally dosed his | Paganism in Europe. That nat
readers with his Romanism, ural adhesion becomes amazingly which makes it a subject of legiti- strengthened in the case of Romanmate comment here. Let almost ism, the most subtle and successful, any religion of purely human origin, the best organized, and apparently with a regular priesthood, become the most permanent of religions of established and acquire a history corrupt human nature, based on and traditions, and hardly any rea- certain scriptural truths, or some of sonable means can extirpate it, al- their aspects, and innumerable suthough it may disappear when its perstitions, that took possession of followers, uninfluenced from with an originally divine building, or the out, quarrel among themselves, and, framework of it, and turned it into as in the case of Mahometanism, another structure, and applied it, move like an avalanche, carrying with with its traditions and associations, it every object in its course. The for the most part, to other purposes less reason a devotee has for believ- and towards other objects than the ing in the origin and truth of such original ones. By systematically a religion, the greater seems the and perseveringly stimulating and difficulty in getting him to renounce manipulating the religious instincts it, particularly among Asiatic races, and faculties from their very birth, and as was illustrated in the fall of it has taken a transcendent hold on
the imagination and obedience of tion. Romanism, by captivating its followers, notwithstanding the the senses, with its seductive music, clouds of witnesses--moral and in- incense, and gorgeous ceremonial, tellectual, historical and biblical and forms of worship generally, and that surround it, and question, dis- particularly the mass and confession, pute and disprove all its peculiar and absolution, that enthrall the soul, dogmas. It is then no wonder that becomes part of his nature, which Romanists should remain Roman- he will not and cannot doubt any ists (for a religion of some kind, more than he would his own existcoming to them from without, they ence, or that of the amulets on his must have) when men of the great- person to keep him constantly reest candour, diligence, and capacity minded of being a “son of the have had to undergo a struggle Church;” but if such a thought is somewhat like a convulsion in na- entertained it becomes a heinous ture, before they could break the offence, that requires a correspondspell that bound them, and a similar ing penance before it can be forstruggle in acquiring a new faith, given. The very essence of his reboth taking place at the same time, ligion is to believe and receive and frequently leaving the person a everything taught by his Church, roaring infidel. Little chance, there- and close his ears against everything fore, is there of such impulsive and to the contrary. In short, the worillogical, and, in some respects, weak- shipper is passive in the hands of minded men (to say nothing of wo- the priest, who undertakes everymen) like Waterton, by their own thing for him on his yielding imefforts or the assistance of others, plicit obedience to his commands, as being apt to renounce the faith in those of the Church; and the priest which they were carefully reared becomes to him the door-keeper of before their earliest recollection, heaven, without whose permission under the impressive influence of the there is no admittance. absolute submission of their parents, On the other hand, we have the and the ghostly nature of the priests' priest so far raised above every diginstruction and ceremonial, and em- nity known to man that even kings brace another which holds as an in secret grovel at his feet, and reabomination that which they for-ceive from him pardon and a passmerly worshipped, in the face of the port to purgatory, or have them wonderfully efficient means used by withheld, or rendered of no efthe priests in looking after their fect even if given, according to "sheep,” and guarding them against the intention or inattention of the "wolves," which, of course, in the priest when pronouncing them, clude everything outside of their or the quality, reality or fold.
pleteness of the confession ;* and Here we have the most absolute there they remain till released obedience and belief in THE by the alms and suffrages of the CHURCH, whatever it may teach, faithful paying for masses for their and the consequent safety in the deliverance; which masses will be other world, by virtue of paying dues, and discharging, easily per- should have some meaning in connec
* The following passage of Scripture formed duties, and making confes- tion with the every-day confession of a sion and receiving absolution from Romanist to his priest, on the strength time to time, and especially at the of which he is absolved, and placed in the hour of death, at the hands of the position of never having sinned :visible, audible, and tangible being
“Godly sorrow worketh repentance with whom the devotee has to do, the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
to salvation, not to be repented of; but perhaps his own child or near rela -2 Cor. vii. 10.
said as long as they are paid for, that, in the language of St. Paul to for the Church does not publicly Timothy, are ever learning and profess to know or teach when souls never able to come to the knowledge are released, and passed to a state of the truth;" and (which is not so of final happiness. In virtue of his surprising) among those who have consecration, which separates him little more knowledge of religion from all earthly relations, the priest than the instinct of nature—"that inbecomes a member of a world-wide tellectual and emotional want that caste, that is exalted above any is as common to man as instinct is order that can be conceived, and to the brute creation for the ends that secures him provision for life, which it has to serve."* almost as if he were independent of Every religion of which we have Providence for a sustenance; as well any knowledge, except what has as immunity against arrest or punish- been revealed in the Scriptures, ment by any person or power out- seems to have sprung from the exside of the Church, where Roman- ercise of this natural instinct, which ism is completely in the ascendant was doubtless accompanied originEven if raised from the dunghill, he ally by a revelation. So deep is the is yet eligible to the office of our darkness and mystery surrounding “sovereign lord the Pope," who is the origin and degradation of re"above all principalities and powers;" ligion, and the innumerable forms and although filling an humble posi- of worship and superstition to which tion in the Church, and yielding they gave birth, that we may disimplicit obedience to his superiors, miss the questions from contemplahe can confess and pardon even tion so far as they could illustrate that superhuman dignitary, as if, in any one, in whole or in part, known short, he were a part of the God- to us, except in the matters of sachead itself; for priests confess and rifice and prayer. But even these pardon priests on all occasions, no are worthy of little regard, inasmuch less than the most ignorant devo- as in the cases of the enlightened tees. And let anyone wallow in the Greeks and Romans, St. Paul tells mire every day of his life, he can us that “the things which the Gengo to the priest and make confession tiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and receive forgiveness, paying, of (demons) and not to God” (1 Cor. course, a fee on the occasion. The x. 20). And the prayers which acmost memorable events in the lives companied their sacrifices, as well of priests, before or after consecra- as their supplications in general, no tion, are the first sin they pardoned, matter how sincere they were, doubtand the first wafer they converted less went in the same directioninto a god to be worshipped. This certainly to beings that existed only
mystery of iniquity” is propagated, in the imaginations of the worshipbodíly and mentally, from age to pers; as illustrated by Plato—the age, and becomes the daily life, divine and godlike Plato--when he and hope for happiness in a future said, “Let us pray," and thus began: state, of countless millions; and the “O Pan, and ye other gods of this dignified sacerdotal position in so place;" and by Socrates when he ciety, as well as the “bread and said, “ Crito, we owe a cock to Æsbutter," of the principals, managers, culapius; pay it, and by no means or governors, with no apparent pros neglect it.” God did not altogether pect of it ever coming to an end. abandon men to themselves, “for And not only that, but it makes the invisible things of him from the converts among ritualists, and that creation of the world are clearly floating part of the population, of both sexes and all ages and classes, * Disquisition on the Gipsies, p. 502.
seen, being understood by the things wants or vices of its members, the
for when the Gentiles, which have oxen and garlands unto the gates,
502. Here we have the human mind, f The other instance when St. Paul while possessing its wants and was taken for a god was on the island of natural instincts intact, presenting a
Melita or Malta, when a viper fastened
on his hand as he laid a bundle of sticks vacuum in regard to religious know on a fire. The barbarous people present ledge, into which an impostor or en- immediately concluded that, having just thusiast could force his way, but escaped shipwreck, he must have been a with much difficulty, and keep pos- murderer, whom vengeance would not
suffer to live. “But after they had look. session through the religion he
ed a great while, and saw no harm comc introduced, till dispossessed by to him (for he shook off the beast into some other; the devotions or whims, the fire and felt no harm'], they changed
been established in modern times, afterwards even fight for, as "the in the memory of people hardly faith of their ancestors,” or mainpast the middle of life, is illustrated tain it for contention or filthy lucre's by Mormonism, which has a much sake, or make it supply the place greater hold upon its followers than generally filled by all the religions the world is aware of, or willing to known among men?
When such a believe.
revelation had been perverted, God The conclusion to be drawn could with much more reason and would be, that human nature was justice not merely“ give them over formerly, as it is now, capable of in- to a reprobate mind," as he did the venting a religion, and setting up a heathen, but" send them strong deworship, and establishing a priest- lusion that they should believe a lie, hood, manufacturing it out of noth- that they all might be damned who ing, as it were, having everything to believed not the truth, but had pleasseek where nothing was to be found, ure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. except the natural instinct of man ii. 11, 12). to receive, and the faculty to act on, We read of the Apostles healing what was presented to it. Why, people or striking them dead, or then, could not that self-same hu- bringing them to life again (which man nature, as it got gradually con- no priest will attempt to do), but verted to or absorbed in it, and never of their having pardoned their then born into it, take an actual sins, for the apparent reason that revelation, complete in itself, and God alone does that with the really applying to this life and the next, penitent and believing; while the and create from or out of it a re- other gifts, being visible and tangiligion and worship completely its ble acts, obvious to every one, would own, but much superior to common serve the purpose of advancing the Paganism, using its facts, ideas and religion preached, which the pardon phrases only to twist and pervert of sins could not do, and was therethem to other purposes and to fore foreign to the mission of the wards other objects than the origi- Apostles, as applicable to any other nal ones,” and adding “innumer- offences than those connected with able superstitions” to it; so that it church discipline. But the fountain became a religion of nature, or for the washing away of sins as Paganism, which its followers would against God, claimed by a priest,
ignorant and immoral as he sometheir minds, and said that he was a god” times is, never runs dry or freezes, (Acts xxviii, 1–6). Deification among the Pagans seems
particularly while the applicant's to have been a common occurrence, but money holds out; while St. Peter it was only that of the true benefactors of mankind that took root and flourished. * This seems to have been the “natural It was the rule among the heathen em- history" of man :-First, we have the race, perors of Rome, extending sometimes to with the exception of Noah and his fam. members of the imperial family. Thus ily, destroyed by the flood (Gen. vi. 5-8), Tacitus says that Tiberius forbad the without apparently improving it ; next, "forms of religious worship" at the the confusion and scattering of it at Bafuneral of his mother, Livia, the widow bel; then the Jews—who " received the of Augustus; which was unnecessary, as law by the disposition of angels and did "it was her desire not to be deified.” not keep it”-dispersed over the earth, Claudius, however, rendered her “divine for their wickedness; and lastly, the way honours," as related by Suetonius. And in which the Christian Revelation was a daughter of Nero, dying before she was sooner or later treated. All these cast four months old, we are told by Tacitus, a certain light over the “darkness and “ was canonised for a goddess : a temple mystery surrounding the origin and deg. was decreed to her, with an altar, a bed radation of religion, and the innumerable of state, a priest, and religious cere forms of worship and sưperstition to monies."
which they give birth.”