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of the pious dispositions of the king, and of the religious effort he had made : “ Now,” she cried, “I die in peace, I have nothing to desire but paradise.” Her sufferings increasing, and symptoms of her speedy dissolution appearing, she received all the rites of the church, and after exacting a promise from her husband that her body should not be embalmed, she calmly resigned her pure soul into the hands of her Redeemer, and having the serene smile of holy tranquillity upon her lips, she expired without any agony on the 7th of March, 1802, aged forty-two years, five months, and fifteen days. Not long after her decease, the Congregation of Rites commenced proceedings for her canonization, and after instituting the necessary inquiries, and after recording many depositions in proof of her sanctity, the same congregation on the 9th of April, 1808, declared her denerable, and decided that there was sufficient ground for proceeding to the beatification; this decree was approved on the following day by Pope Pius the seventh, and he signed a commission to execute the process. The pious king survived his holy consort upwards of nine years: dead to the world, he lived to God alone, practising in seclusion the most heroic virtues, and with humility obeying the will of his religious superiors of the Society of Jesus; among whom he took the simple vows, about four years previous to his death. At length his health gave way to the attacks he so frequently experienced, and he expired wearing the habit of his order, on the sixth of October, 1811, full of charity and of good works. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth, now, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labours ; for their works follow them. Apoc, ch. 14, v. 13. D>>>>
tot HOTEGE The Diary of an Invalid, being the Journal of a Tour in
Pursuit of Health in Portugal, Switzerland and France in the years 1817, 1818 and 1819. By Henry Matthews, Esq. A. M. Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. Second Edition. Murray, MDCCXX.
It is a very old but true saying, that “ truth is great and will prevail;" but, unfortunately, in most cases, a considerable period generally elapses ere this bright attribute of heaven is per. mitted by Providence to shine forth in all her splendour, and dissipate the black chaos of error, prejudice, and bigotry. We are told, that the present age is one of the most enlightened since the commencement of christianity, not only with regard to the arts aud sciences, but likewise to religion; and that ignorance with superstition have long since received a mortal wound, while truth has reassumed 'her empire, and the pure doctrine of the gospel is spread over nearly the whole habitable globe. Such is the daily language of modern philosophers and reformers, and similar doctrines and ideas were held and promulgated by their earliest predecessors. While, however, our holy church is charged with holding the same doctrine'as in the early ages of the christian religion, and which is her glory, the most casual observer, if he has any candour, will not fail to remark that our adversaries are agreed in no point but this-determined enmity and cruel aggression, if the laws are iniquitous enough to allow of such lengths; or, false, bigotted, and illiberal charges and uncandid and sophistic argument, when we are protected from their personal violence. Although Popery, as it is most falsely called, is said to have been most desperately wounded, it would seem, that no vital part has hitherto been injured; for a week scarcely passes away without various new works on the usual topics of abuse against our church, viz.the bad lives of priests--the corruptions of Popery-the idolatrous ceremonies and pagan rites of the church, &c. These efforts would have been unnecesary if the church had been deadly wounded; and they only shew that her children and her influence too, are rapidly on the increase. Nevertheless, they do infinite mischief, and serve to create and keep alive party spirit and religious contentions; for they are written in such a way, and with so plausible an appearance of truth, that the rising generation, as well as those of more mature years, insensibly believe them, owing principally to early impressions and the unhappy prejudices of education.
A work of the above description came into my hands some time since, and setting aside some meritorious remarks on the various countries through which the author passed, there is nothing peculiarly striking in the book, other than its scandalous abuse of the church.
Mr. Matthews, it appears, left England on account of his health, and the first extract I shall make, is from his observations on the manners and habits of our worthy and reverend brethren the priests at Lisbon.
“ By the bye, I have not yet mentioned the priests, and for aught I know they are more numerous than the dogs. Doghood and Priesthood are certainly, the most thriving trades in Lisbon. It is an humiliating spectacle, to see the abject superstition in which the people are sunk and brutified. As the best things, by being corrupted, become the worst; so here, christianity exhibits a system of idolatry much more revolting than the old pagan worship. One cannot help feeling some regard for the ancient mythology which is as amusing as Mother Bunch, illustrated and adored too as it was by such divine statues. Besides, the heathens had not the means of knowing better, but who that has read the New Testament, can tolerate the contemptible mummeries, which are here practised under the name of religion? The religion of the heathens was as superior to this, as the statues of Pludias excel in beauty the tawdry and disgusting images to which these poor creatures bow down with such humble prostrations.” p. 22.
- Here is ignorance and prejudice united, led on by bigotry; for it is evident that Mr. Matthews knows little or nothing of the Catholic faith, when he says that it “ brutifies” the people; that it is a system of idolatry more revolting than the pagan worship;" that “the religion of the heathens is as superior to it as the statues of Pludias excel in beauty, &c. the images to which those poor creatures bow down with such humble prostations.”
I will ask any good and impartial Protestant, who sincerely has the welfare and happiness of every member of society at heart, whether it is not a disgrace to his profession that any man in the station of Mr. Matthews, and with his education, should publish to the world such scandalous observations on the religion of so many millions of his fellow men. Had a Catholic author written with half the illiberality on the Protestant form of worship, we should have never heard the last of it. And yet the following observations are still worse.
"What is the modern worshipping of saints and images, but a revival of the old adoration paid to heroes and demi-gods; or what the nuns, with their vows of celibacy, but a new edition of the Vestal Virgins? ... Wherever we turn indeed, 'all is old, and nothing new'... The processions are closely copied from ancient patterns; and the lustral water and the incense of the Heathen tempte remain, without any alteration, in the holy water and the censer of the Catholic church. It was this spirit of imitation, seeking to continue the pontifex of the temple in the priest of the church, which perhaps led to the doctrine of transubstantiation and the daily sacrifice of the mass, a ceremony which seems to bé copied from the victims and blood-offerings of the heathen ritual, and little con.
sistent with that religion which was founded upon the abolition of all sacrifices, &c. ... Again; the mysterious ceremonial of Isis seems to have been revived in the indecent emblems, presented by women, as votive offerings at the shrine of St. Cosmo: nay some would trace the pope himself with his triple crown on his his head, and the keys of heaven and hell in his pocket, to our old acquaintance Cerberus, with bis three heads, who kept guard as the custos of Tartarus and Elysium.... Alas, poor human nature !—The Catholic laughs at the Mussulman, we do not scruple to laugh at the Catholic,-the Deist laughs at us, and the Atheist laughs at all. What is truth? We must wait for an answer. But although all must wait the great teacher's death, to decide between them; let us repose our hopes and fears with humble confidence, in the promise of christiani. ty, not as it appears disfigured and disguised at Rome, but as it is written and recorded in the sacred volume, which in the words of Hooke, has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter." p. 90, &c.
In this extract it will be seen that the author has so com. pletely over shot his mark, that observation is needless.
“ It must be confessed that there is much more of religious observance in Catholic than in Protestant countries. Then comes the question, to what extent is it wholesome to encourage these outward observances? If too much inportance be given to them, there is danger that religion will stop there, and degeherate into a mere homage of rites and ceremonies, in the place of that homage of our hearts and lives, which the christian religion requires of us. And this is the objection which we make against the Catholics. Again, if there be no attention paid to forms, there is danger that the substance may be lost sight of, and that a religion without any rites, will soon become no religion at all; and this, I apprehend, is the objection that the Catholics make against the Protestants. Both sides agree, that some ceremonial is necessary, and it is only a ques-tion of degree between them after all. In determining this question of degree, it is not easy to lay down a rule that would be universally applicable, for it must vary with the different characters and habits of different nations; and perhaps climate would not be without its influence, in regulating the standard of propriety. For example, the natives of the south seem to have an intuitive love of show and spectacle, which forms a strong contrast with the plain simple habitudes of the northern nations. And this consideration ought perhaps to have made me more tolerant in my remarks on Catholic ceremonies abroad; for I believe that they may be less characteristic of the religion itself, than of the taste of the people."
Writers of the class to which Mr. Matthews belongs, generally say or do something to commit themselves in the course of their anti-Catholic labours, which is, at least, some consolation to us; and in the preceding extract our author has unhappily for himself, we think, become inconsistent; the conclusion of the book, aiming at a sort of apology for the base calumpies contained in the progress of the work.
At a late levee, it is stated, that Mr. Matthews had the honour to present his publication to the sovereign, with whom, let
it be fervently hoped, it will have its proper influence. After the valuable labours of the Rev. Mr. Eustace, this production must have sunk into comparative insignificance; and only from the circumstance of its being replete with gross abuse of the Catholic church and her doctrine, it would never have gone through two editions.
This, and the various other malevolent attacks of the Protestant press, shews how important it is to the interests of our body to have an impartial and moderate Catholic publication which will manfully tear the covering from the stinking carcase of bigotry and error, and “shew it up" in its disgusting original.
Thoughts on the Rights and Prerogatives of the Church and
State : with Observations on the Question of Catholic Securities. By the Rev. J. Fletcher, D. D. London, printed by A. J. Valpy, Red Lion-court, Fleet-street; sold by Messrs. Simpkin and Marshall, Stationers'-court; Booker, Bond-street; and Keating, Duke-street, Grosvenor-square.1823.
A work of this nature has long been a desideratum with the Catholic public, and we are rejoiced to find that a gentleman of Dr. Fletcher's abilities and attainments has undertaken and performed the delicate task. The grand object of this little volume is to elucidate the natural distinction between the temporal order of things and the spiritual order of things; or, if you please, to demonstrate the essential difference between the principles of civil authority and jurisdiction, and the principles of ecclesiastical authority and jurisdiction, which, since the change of religion in these kingdoms, bigotry aud ignorance have often totally confounded, and sophistry and learning have sometimes laboured to involve in deceitful obscurity.
We could have wished to have given an analytical review of this work, but as our limits will not in the present instance ad-mit of this, we must .content ourselves with presenting our