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became, of course, the established language of the Western Church. Succeeding ages brought down upon the Roman empire inroads of barbarians. These barbarians had nothing but unwritten jargons of their own. If they wished to read they were obliged to learn in Latin. The Christian Missionaries preached to them, indeed, in their own barbarous dialects; and explained the sacrifice of the Mass, as our Priests now do in English. Foolish, however, the Catholic Church would have been, if she had allowed every missionary to discard the ancient language of her liturgy, for the half-formed idiom of each of these numerous tribes ; tribes, who could not even have read the translation. Oh no; she was too fond of antiquity ; but, at the same time, she provided for the instruction of these tribes, by the preaching of her missionaries. Were the Mass to have been translated at every hand's turn, errors would have crept into it; the great variety of jargons would have rendered it impossible to prevent those errors, and every individual priest would thus have become the modeller, of what the church ought to be most careful in preserving pure and correct."
“ Nor," continues the Catholic,“ did the Church, in this respect, do any more, than what the very nature of the case caused society at large to do. For, down to the thirteenth century, education was confined to the Latin tongue. By degrees
the barbarous and unwritten dialects mixed with the Latin in the mouths of the people, and formed the Italian, French, Spanish and English languages. But this formation was in progress
for centuries, before it was completed. And was the Church to be shifting and changing the words of the most sacred act of her worship, exposing it thus not only to error, but to contempt, almost every year, and in almost every place? For the jargon of this year was often obsolete next year, and what was spoken in this village, was not spoken in that. When the modern languages, however, became grammatical, would the Church have been prudent in laying aside the Latin, which was now a dead, and consequently a fixed language, in order to adopt a different tongue in every different kingdom of the world? What do the people lose by this prudence of the Church? They have translations for their own Therefore they lose nothing.–But see, what both people and clergy gain by it. If an Irish layman goes to France, he can hear mass there as he does at home. The language and ceremonies are the same. If an Irish priest goes, he can officiate for a French congregation, quite as well as a French priest. Besides, this uniformity of language and ceremonies preserves uniformity of doctrine; and by obliging all the clergy to know Latin, keeps open that general channel of correspondence in one language, which is so well adapted to preserve, united to their head, and to each other, the various and distant nations, which compose the universal family of Christ.”
“So my dear Protestant friend,” concludes the Catholic,“ say no more of our clergy keeping the people in ignorance: for I will produce to you hundreds of Catholic tradesmen, who understand more of the Christian religion, and converse more rationally upon it, than any of your proud scripturists, your would-be evangelical preachers, or even your gowned and mitred divines.
I stood upon a smooth and shelving beach
The breeze had died away, and vivid forms
On the smooth, bright surface of the water;
THE HYMN OF THE CHURCH FOR THE DEAD.
Dies iræ, &c.-(A new Translation.)
The dreadful day, the day of ire,
Around the expiring world :
Shall be in ruin hurd,
How great the trembling and the fear,
When the great trumpet's blown;
To stand at God's high throne.
Nature and death shall see amazed,
Leaving the dreary tomb ;
And guilty sinner's doom.
He shall be judge, whose piercing sight
And leaves no thought concealed,
For all his works revealed ?