Page images
PDF
EPUB

the inspired writings themselves, which approaches to this in the number of distinct and connected particulars, manifestly accomplished in the same order—not one which yields such overwhelming evidence of the divine foreknowledge.

Yet, wonderful as it may seem, this very prophecy, and every verse of it, Dr. Todd denies to have been fulfilled. Not satisfied with the sceptical rashness which thus strikes off at one blow a third part of the Christian evidence, the evidence of prophecy, he even thinks fit to charge a bishop of our Church with the fraud of garbling history and the folly of confessing it, only because he asserts the singular clearness of that accomplishment, which, as a fact, infidels themselves have been constrained to allow.

To the Editor of the Churchman. SIR-It is very evident, by the quotation made by Mr. Faber, in your February number, from Chillingworth, that if the charge of Unitarianism made against him was just, it was not owing to a neglect of “ Catholic tradition.” I say if it was just; for I believe it was not; though it has not only been revived from time to time, but has been repeated of late years by Mr. Keble.* I will, however, make the following extract from the Christian Remembrancer, which very forcibly rebuts such an imputation from that distinguished scholar and divine :

“ The senseless clamour of Socinianism has not expired with Chillingworth's personal opponents; it has been revived by succeeding writers, and employed as a means of discrediting the theology inculcated in his works, and attacking the cause of Protestantism through the opinion of some of its mightiest defenders. Nor is Chillingworth the only eminent writer who has been thus injuriously pursued with posthumous slander. I know not how it comes to pass (says Archbishop Tillotson), but so it is, that every one that offers to give a reasonable account of his faith, and to establish religion upon rational principles, is presently branded as a Socinian; of which we have had a sad instance in that incomparable person, Mr. Chillingworth, the glory of this age and nation, who, for no other cause that I know of but his worthy and successful attempts to make religion reasonable, and to discover those firm and solid foundations upon which our faith is built, hath been requited with this black and odious character. But if this be Socinianism, to enquire into the grounds and reasons of the Christian religion, and to endeavour to give a satisfactory account why he believes it, I know no way but that all considerate inquisitive men, that are above fancy and enthusiasm, must be either Socinians or Atheists.'”-Christian Remembrancer, May 1825, p. 282. Published at that time by Rivingtons,

See Russell's “ Remarks on Keble's Sermon on Tradition"-remarks which the Christian Remembrancer could approve of while it remained uninfected with Tractarianism, See Christian Remembrancer for May, 1837.

I have thought it might be useful to produce this passage at the present time, as Chillingworth does not seem of late to have been much in favour with a particular party; and since the above article was written, the “senseless clamour," if not of Socinianism, at least of Arianism, has been revived against him. I am, Sir, your very obedient servant,

PHENIX.

Reviews.

Howitt's Rural and Domestic Life in Germany. Longman and Co. We have herein a most delightful and inviting description of Germany —its cities, villages, rivers, streams, forests, mountains, gardens, parks --its princes, gentry, peasantry, professors, authors, students, artists, and every peculiarity about them. Germany and the Germans, in spite of their misguided enthusiasm on some vital subjects, present many great attractions to those desirous of selecting good scope for a tour in search of knowledge, adventure, or health. Mr. Howit tseems to have found endless enjoyment in that country, and to have participated in the most cordial and light-hearted manner in the abundant amusements of its people, whether the arrangements for them were made within doors, or far away in the quiet recesses of the forests. His work is written in his usual plain and familiar style, running frequently into comparisons and contrasts with England and her people, and carefully and honestly pointing out the respective superiorities of one country and the other. Thus his readers may readily discern what they will gain and what they will lose in scenery and society, by leaving England for Germany. Every matter of importance to a stranger is noticed by Mr. Howitt's graphic pen. He describes the nature, features, and aspect of the country with scrupulous minuteness; and the same careful exactitude is observable in his sketches of the disposition, manners, and customs of all classes of the community. Indeed, no other book in our language affords so detailed, and, at the same time, so picturesque a description of Germany and all it contains. Judiciously commencing with the first impressions, or general features of the country, he then proceeds to describe the villages and villagers, vineyards and vintages, foresters and labourers, agricultural employments, rural festivals and games, fish-ponds and game preserves, pilgrimages, sledging parties, students and their romantic notions, oddities of etiquette, female industry, lovers, servants, chimney-sweeps, literature, education, religion, politics, and every other matter, great or small

. Besides giving a general sketch of Germany, he gives separate discourses on various cities, as Heidelberg, Carlsruhe, Baden-Baden, Wildbad, Stuttgard, Munich, Tübingen, Ulm, Augsburg, Salzburg, Linz, Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Leipsic, Berlin, the Harz country, Weimar, the Broeken, Jena, &c., and he notes down everything at all interesting or instructive to be witnessed on the way, from post to post.

From the variety of matters discussed by the author, we shall select

merely such passages as are best calculated to interest our readers who may be curious to know something of religious feelings in Germany. Speaking of the farming village of Handschuhsheim, Mr. Howitt says:

“We may here take a passing view of the churchyard, as forming part and parcel of a German Dorf. It exhibited the same mixture of rudeness and adornment as the rest of the village. At the head of almost every recent grave stood a slight wooden cross, the triangular ones being Catholic; and, indeed, these black crosses stand thickly in all such places. On many were planted roses and other flowers. Some were fenced round with a trellis, and planted with carnations. But at the same time the bones of the dead lay about in a shocking manner. Where graves had been newly made, fragments of bone, numbers of teeth, and even skulls nearly whole, remained on the surface. We observed, at the base of the church, a large hole, descending into a vault, which had a strange appearance. Some of the epitaphs were curious. There was one written on a paper which was framed and glazed, and set upon a slight strip of wood, which might altogether have been carried away very readily in one's hand. One epitaph, in its general use, appeared to be the parallel of that universal one in England, beginning

“Weep not for me, my parents dear ;

I am not dead, but sleeping here.' “I copied the following specimen of it from a little oval tablet, surrounded by a sprigged border, on a carnation planted grave_Magdalene, I am called. From this world I travel. I say to my father, mother, and sisters, good night, I will see what Jesus docs.'

“Here is another :

k. Early, too early, hast thou departed from us ; carly did the still grave-night enclose thee. Sleep softly, till one day thy pious spirit shall awake with us to the everlasting peace.”

Our second extract refers more directly to the religious worship of the Germans:

“ The Catholic character of Petersthal, or the Valley of Peter, was obvious by the little images of thie Virgin in niches in the front of the cottages as we passed. These images are of the most wretched kind; little things of gaudily-coloured plaister, bought of the wandering Italian dealers. But at the head of the glen stood a little chapel, which is a perfect specimen of what you find so commonly in Catholic districts, at once indicating so much' devotion and so much poverty. This little chapel had a very simple and ancient appearance, standing at the head of that retired glen, and surrounded by the solemın woods. The altar was painted in gaudy colours of red and yellow, with its front panels papered with wall-paper. On it stood two pyramids or obelisks, painted black, covereil with white death's heads, decreasing in size upwards to the top of the obelisks. Above were little images of cherubs' heads; and one side of the crypt, where the pit is kept, was a saint, looking as if he had fainted ; and on the other, a virgin looking round at the saint in great curiosity. The censer and cups were of the commonest metal—pewter, iron, or brass. The walls were covered with the most paltry pictures. On one side of the altar hung one intended to represent a Madonna ; on the other, that of St. Wenceslans, the patron of cattle, standing on a cloud in the middle of a field, and peasants and peasantresses kneeling and praying to him; while below ran, in all directions, cattle, horses, sheep, and swine, as if filled with extraordinary rejoicing at the presence of the saint. The frames of these pictures were hung with garlands of leaves.

“ Behind the altar was a little sanctum—a scene of dirt and poverty, In a sort of cupboard lay the remains of leaden images of saints and cherubs, in a chaos of decrepitude—some without an arm, and some without a leg. There was material for making the incense, in miserable pots and boxes, leathers and dusters, giving a most deplorable idea of the means for the preparation of these ceremonies in which the Church so much delights, and in which the people believe so much efficacy to exist. A more woful exposure of the nakedness of the land, and unweaving of the enchantments of the mass, could not be. There was also the little confessional chair, with its lattice ; the priest's robes, of the plainest and commonest stuff, with a coloured print or two of the most ordinary character; a book of the Catholic faith, and a registry of the marriages, births, christenings, and so on, of the people of the valley

“ The little girl who attended us was astonished at our walking into this place. She entreated us to come out, as she was very much frightened at our going in there, it was so holy. She quite trembled with terrors and anxiety. The seats, and pulpit, and gallery were all of the most primitive construction. The front of the gallery had once been painted, but there now remained only the faintest traces of its adornment; and in its centre, over the door, stood an organ with tin pipes, most of which were broken or deranged. A lady of the party went up and tried to elicit a sound, but in vain. The little girl said it used to play, but a man came to put it in order, and it had never played since. In short, everything spoke of the poverty of the congregation, or the neglect of the Church, in a populous valley, where nearly all the inhabitants were Catholics. In the churchyard there was not a single stone of remembrance : nothing but crosses of lath, on which garlands of cut paper hung, or were laid on the graves. These garlands were made like those which used to be hung in our village churches at the funeral of a young maiden. Flowers were also, as usual, planted on the graves; and on these little lath crosses were nailed leaves torn out of their books of devotion, having rudely covered pictures of the Virgin, or some favourite saint or other.”

The above facts are certainly not much to the credit of the thinking Germans. The following facts are, however, very much to their commendation :

“ The economy and care of the German peasant afford a striking lesson of utility to all Europe. Time is as carefully economized as everything else. The peasants are early risers, and thus obtain hours of the day's beauty and freshness which others lose. As they herd their cattle and swine, or as they meet to chat, the everlasting knittingneedles are at work, and the quantities of stockings which they accumulate are astonishing.'

In reading Mr. Howitt's frequent allusion to the industry of the German ladies, we are reminded of the fact, that in England there is a lamentably small variety of female employments. What is the consequence ? Our fair countrywomen are deficient in a due degree of bodily strength, and not more than one in ten has a really good and strong constitution, the other nine being what we term delicate. To say that women are not fitted for any kind of active industrial employment is to sadly libel them, and is in no way a compliment, nor an evidence of considerate humanity. If even our ladies were taught to be a little more actively industrious, English liomes would become improved, and in reduced times of pressure they would have other resources than the badly-paid calling of millinery, glove-stitching, and other paltry finnicking light-work, inadequate to support so many bands.

Before we close the volume we will notice a point of etymology where Mr. Howitt is at fault. He says that the English word buckwheat“ gives no meaning.” We contend that it does give a meaning, and the same as in the German name of it, buck-weizen, which translated means beech-wheat, and refers to the fact of the grains resembling beech-nuts in shape. The word buck in our English words, buckwheat, Buckingham, and some other words, is of either Saxon or Teutonic origin, and significs beech. The county of Buckingham has its name from its abounding in beech-trees. So too, in some places at the present day, beech-mast is called buck-mast. He is as much at faolt bere as he was in his “ Visits to Remarkable Places,” where, because he learnt that dewberries are at the present time called so in Warwickshire, he took upon himself to abuse those authors who thought that Shakspeare's dewberries might be gooseberries, which, as Culpepper and other old writers tell us, were anciently called dewberries in some parts of England. To explain Shakspcare by the modern meaning of every word would be anything but in accordance with good criticism.

From Mr. Howitt's translation of a German nursery song to the lady-bird we quote a verse for comment :

“Mary-bird, now fly away!
Thy house it burns, thy children cry,

So sorely, oh! so sorely !"
Mr. Howitt does not notice the reason why the Germans call it
Mary-bird. We may therefore mention that the ancient Catholics
dedicated this insect to the Virgin Mary-hence Mary-bird and
Lady-bird.

England and her Interests. By John White, A.M. London :

Sherwoods. 1843. Mr. White labours here on behalf of that superhumanly amiable body of practical philosophers, the Anti-Corn Law League, and we are bound to say not very successfully.

« PreviousContinue »