Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

136

Memoir respecting the Waldenses. not the result of any partiality to the of self-defence as of pleasure. After French; yet, but for the generous Easter the inhabitants of the several bterposition of Prince Bagration with parishes (each body with an elected the Commander in Chief, it would king at its head) receive each other have exposed them and their proper- with peculiar respect, fire at a mark ty to considerable danger. The Aus- with a musket ball, and afterwards trians could not withhold their admi- adjudge rewards to the most skilful, ration; and the French General This tends to cement the union of the (Suchet) published an order of the several parishes. Their marriages, day for the very purpose of acknow. baptisms, &c. usually take place in ledging such a singular instance of winter, and then they often indulge benevolence.

in their favourite amusement of dancI will mention but one moral fea. ing. In 1711, a synod prohibited ture besides, and that is, their grati. dancing, but the prohibition does not tude. They have been long indebted seem to have been attended with suc(as will be seen in the sequel) to our cess. nation for its sympathy and protection, I will next describe what I am perand especially to a British Princess suaded will interest, I wish I could (their guardian angel, if we may so add gratify, benevolent persons in speak), for her munificence. These England--the state of their schools, benefits have never been forgotten : They were once flourishing, and the on the contrary, the pastors and peo- sum of six thousand livres of Pied. ple regard the English as their best montt was annually remitted from friends—in seasons of difficulty, their Holland for the purpose of supporting chief resource ;* and I remember I fifteen great, ninety little (or winter) was very forcibly struck with the re- and two Latin schools; part of the mark of the amiable wife of one of money being reserved however, for their ministers, who told me, that the widows of ministers, for disabled they made a point of instilling into ministers, for the poor, and for an altheir children respect and esteem for lowance to five deans. The events the English from the very dawn of of the late war have entirely changed reason in their minds.

this happy aspect of affairs.

Since Having said thus much of some va the year 1810, two thousand livres per luable qualities of the mind, a few annum only (100l. sterling) have been observations may be added respecting received from Holland; and as half their manners. They are in general the people had not the means of pay, very correct, such as one might anti- ing, the schools have exceedingly de, cipate amongst a people well instruct. clined, and even run the risk of comed, little used to intercourse with the plete decay. With the exception of world, and devoted to the laborious ihe Latin schools, however, they exoccupations of ploughmen, herdsmen, ist at present (barely exist, and but ill shepherds and vine-dressers. The late provided with teachers), as charitable war, however, has in some degree persons in the valleys have hitherto injured them, as it obliged many paid for the poor. of their youth to become soldiers in They have been equally unfortuthe French service. There was also nate with regard to the pensions a fortress established by the French which Queen Mary II. granted to of late years, not far from St. Jean. thirteen schoolmasters; for this reThey have experienced, no doubt, source ļas also failed since 1797. I like most others, the melancholy truth is highly important that Christian be of the maxim, “ Evil communications nevolence should avail itself of the corrupt good manners.” The princi- occasion here presented of benefiting pal amusement of the people has in the rising generation, both in grant itself something of the martial; it is ing such an allowance as shall procuro their great ambition to be expert efficient teachers, and in suggesting marksmen; a circumstance to be the various improvements in system traced, probably as much to a motive which have lately taken place in the

• It is to the Britisb representative they bare confided their Memorial and interests at the present Congress of Vienna.

+ About 3001. sterling.

The five senior ministers are always deans.

[ocr errors][merged small]

education of the poor in our own coun- and snow in winter, no place of sheltry.

ter and rest (the church standing on The next subject that claims atten- an isolated spot), before the service. tion is the condition of their ministers He fell, at length, a victim to his exand churches.

ertions, leaving a widow and seven Each of the thirteen parishes has a daughters, the eldest only fourteen settled minister; and to each parish years old, to lament so severe a loss. several hamlets are annexed, in which The pecuniary resources for the supthere are also temples. Queen Mary port of so numerous a young family established what they term the royal are very slender indeed. When I subsidy, a grant of 400 livres (201.) stood near the grave and read this annually to each pastor; but from this simple inscription on a rude headfund nothing has been received since stone : “ 1814, J. D. (). Pasteur et the year 1797. What they call the Juge;" and when I entered his libranational subsidy, is the product of a ry and opened the books he had been collection in England about forty years used to read, and looked thoughtfully ago. Part of this is intended for the around the room which had so often widows of ministers; and ministers witnessed the prayers of a father for themselves derive from it the annual his family, and a pastor for his flock; sum of four hundred livres, which has this consideration that their circumbeen regularly received. It is ob- stances were so reduced, could not vious, from this statement, that those but awaken still deeper sympathy for pastors who have not private proper- this afflicted family. ty, must be in unhappy circumstan It has been already stated that there ces; and indeed the royal subsidy bav. are thirteen parishes ; of these my ing failed, some have been reduced short residence only permitted me to to the painful necessity of borrowing see nine. The old chapel of St. Jean money of their respective flocks. had been destroyed by persons hostile

Few would imagine that persons to the principles of the Waldenses; of learning and taste are to be found but of late years they have, with the among them, and yet there are: their assistance of friends at Turin, built a education places them on the same, new church. This seems to confirm or nearly the same, level with the what has been advanced of the segenerality of ministers in this country. rious view of the importance of reli

The Swiss Cantons, which have gion which reigns in the valleys. But ever shewn a friendly regard to the this is not all: they have likewise interests of the Waldenses, assisted erected a vew church, almost wholly them in this respect; and in 1729 an at their own expense, at St. GerEnglish lady settled a pension upon main,* an earthquake (which is no a student, which was paid through uncommon occurrence among them) the consistory of Amsterdam. Their having greatly injured the former one candidates were educated at Geneva in 1808. With regard to church goand Lausanne ; but I think I am cor- vernment, there is a moderator elected rect in stating that their pensions have at every synod; each church has a failed (the events of the late war hav- deacon, who attends to objects of ing introduced change and disorder charity; and several elders; the disinto every department), and that they cipline is less strict than formerly; will experience difficulties in future, the liturgy used in public worship is on account of the expense of an aca- that of Neufchatel; the festivals ob. demical education. I am sorry to say served are Christmas, Easter, Ascenthe case of at least some of the widows sion Day, and Pentecost. of deceased pastors is also distressing. Other particulars, with which either There are now six : one, who has a daughter, has only about 10l. a year

* The United Brethren kindly advanced she had a son, a student at Lau.

something sanne, who was compelled to serve in the army: he afterwards died at French, which they often speak; but the

† All the offices of their church are in home of his wounds. The late Mr. patvis of Piedmont is also prevalent among 0. had a very laborious parish in the them. The ancient Waldenses were Epis. mountains; often a long and fatiguing copalians with respect to church governwalk; and then, after both the in- ment, and the sermons in Italian, or a lantense heat in summer, and the rain guage in some measure similar to it.

Memoir respecting the Waldenses.

1ST personal observation or the informa: people a warm interest in the best tion of others has made me acquainted, affections of their fellow-christians. I forbear to mention in so brief a Me- Of this I am very sure, that if, inmoir, and therefore pass on to a hint stead of seeing their coudition through or two as to the means of promoting the medium of an imperfect memoir, the welfare of this valuable class of they found themselves actually in the our fellow-christians. They are clear- valleys, and, holding a history of the ly in want of pecuniary aid ; and such Vaudois in their hands, cast the eve is the benevolent disposition of Bri- around spots consecrated by the suftish Christians, that to mention this ferings of so many disciples of the fact is quite enough. Yet, however Lord Jesus, they would be filled with anxious that they should not be over esteem for the people, and a desire to looked in this age of beneficence, I promote their happiness. The evenam fully aware, that, since there are ing before I quitted them, a solitary magnificent institutions in the coun- walk afforded me full scope to indulge try which have a much higher claim such a train of feelings :-a sacred upon Christian liberality, donations luxury it may well be termed, since are chiefly to be hoped for from per- the sensations of delight were really sons whose affluence enables them, such as neither the treasures of art after subscribing to larger societies, deposited in the Louvre, nor the stuto spare something for others of an pendous views of nature unfolded in inferior description. Very many such the cantons of Switzerland, had pospersons are to be found; and one sessed in an equal degree the magic cannot for a moment suppose that they to impart. All around seemed to have will permit this interesting people, so a tendency to foster the disposition ; eminently protected by the English a torrent rushed by on the left; the in the eighteenth, to be neglected in evening was so mild that the leaves the nineteenth century. There was scarcely stirred ; and the summits of a time when the Waldenses did not the mountains, behiud which the sun so much receive as impart benefits. had just set, appeared literally above

Their college of Angrogne sent forth the clouds. The emotions produced zealous missionaries to convey pure by the scenery and recollections assoreligious knowledge to several parts ciated with it, will not be soon efof Europe, then involved in ignorance faced : it might be the last time I and superstition. They were, indeed, should see those mountains, which according to the import of their ar. had been so often the refuge of the morial bearings, a light shining amidst oppressed--those churches, where the thick darkness.* lf, in these latter doctrines of the gospel had been so days, something of the ancient splen- long and so faithfully maintained dour of their piety should, through and those friends, from whom a strandivine grace, re-appear, those Chris- ger from a distant land had received tians will have reason to esteem them- so many proofs of affectionate regard ! selves very happy, who, by their ge- Full of such thoughts as I walked nerous efforts, may be in some de along, I arrived at length at the house gree honoured as instruments of the of one of the pastors, to pass the revival. It is unquestionably the duty night. The next day he accompaof believers to endeavour to promote nied me to the limits of his parish, on and to pray for such a revival of vital the Col de Croix, which separates piety in churches once renowned, as Piedmont from Dauphine. The walk well as the diffusion of divine truth being long and tedious, he had brought among the heathen.

bread and a flagon of wine, and ob. I am sensible that this appeal in served, as he gave me the refreshbehalf of the Waldenses is in no re, ment, it was “ une espèce de commuspect worthy of the cause it under- nion" might be almost considered a takcs to advocate; yet since, how- sort of communion. We then parted ever unadorned, it has at least the with expressions of Christian esteem; simplicity of truth, and the impor- and, descending the other side of the tance of the subject to recommend it, mountain, I soon lost sight of the I could willingly cherish the hope lands belonging to the Vaudois-dethat it will secure for this excellent scendants of a class of men who were,

" Lux in tenebris ;” the arms of the for a series of ages, “ destitute, af. town of Luzerne, 'which once belonged to

flicted, tormented,

but“ of when them.

the world was not worthy!" VOL. II.

( 138 )

MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS.

THO

Difficulties on the Subject of the analogy of his actual proceedings both Resurrection.

in the ordinary course of nature and Maidstone, Feb. 12, 1815. by miracle ; and further, that he can SIR,

receive no assistance whatever, from VOUGH I by no means wish secondary means, all created exist

to interrupt your correspondent ence, whether material, mental or Credo [p. 25,] in his purpose of ob- otherwise, existing only as the pure viating the difficulties alleged by your effect of his power; and consequently Cambridge correspondent, in what being entirely at his disposal either to he conceives to be a more satisfactory preserve, remove or restore at his manner than I was enabled to do; pleasure. This was the leading subyet justice to myself, and the cause ject of our discussion, or at least I have espoused, requires that I should which I undertook to discuss ; as I correct a palpable mis-statement which perfectly coincided with him in opinoccurs at the commencement of his ion, that the hypothesis of Dr. Watts, letter, and which appears and influ- concerning “an indestructible germ ences his remarks throughout. He of matter, being the nucleus of the sets out with the phrase “ physiolo- regenerated man, is altogether a gragical correspondence" as descriptive tuitous supposition." of the Letter of Cantabrigiensis, and The question between us, therefore, consequently of the subject for our instead of being of a physiological namutual consideration. He also states, ture, and relating to the probability that the leading difficulty to be con- of a resurrection, by any such seconsidered was, whether if a man dies dary means as Credo appears to have wholly, a resurrection is within the in contemplation, was wholly theolobounds of probability. The difficulty gical, or relative to what was possible which he has not very judiciously as the pure result of the divine enersevered, is thus ingenuously and suc- gies. cinctly stated by Cantabrigiensis him Whatever Credo may be about to self : « If I die wholly a resurrection do in his next letter by way of more appears scarcely within the bounds effectually clearing up the difficulties of possibility. There may be a new of Cantabrigiensis, he has hitherto creation, but can the regenerated be done very little except misrepresenting be myself? If there be nothing to ing, and distorting his expressions, constitute my individuality but the and making heavy complaints against will and power of the Creator, I seem me, for not answering him by such reduced to the absurdity of thinking arguments as he deems most cogent. that my consciousness may be confer- In No. 1, of his remarks, he twice rered on any number of created forms." peats his misrepresention of the leadThus it clearly appears that he felt ing difficulty; and then complains of doubts concerning the possibility of a me for replying directly to it, instead resurrection by the energy of the of wandering into other topics. He is Creator alone, independent of some displeased with the length of my arsecondary means, such as the “pre- gument, and that it is metaphysical. servation of consciousness" in the in. The first of these inconveniences he terval between death and the resur- has himself sufficiently remedied, rection. He suspected that a com- though so much. at the expense of plete resurrection or restoration of vi- perspicuity and sense, particularly at tal existence after it had wholly ceased the closing sentence of his abridgment to be, involved some absurdity, and (1), that I should much rather he had consequently was not an object even left it to speak for itself in its original, of infinite power. To this difficulty uninviting condition. The reason I undertook to reply, by shewing that why it could not be physical has been it is equally in the power of the Cre- explained; it necessarily relates wholator to restore life and consciousness as it was originally to impart, preserve and withdraw those blessings : and • Excited in the second paragraph, that it is sufficiently agreeable to the Yol. viü. A. 734, should bare been experied.

Difficulties on the Subject of the Resurrection.

199 ly to the Creator and the human mind; even going to prove any one of his acyet I had hoped that the illustrations cusations. He complains that my an. derived from the familiar phænomena swer is vague ; yet according to his of sleep and dormancy, would have own account, it constantly applies to rendered it sufficiently intelligible. the point in view; viz. a resurrection The affirmative of the question with by the power and will of the Creator which it concludes is the point which alone. was to be determined, being the an Credo makes various complaints of swer to Cantabrigiensis's chief diffi- my observations in proof that the reculty, and Credo, though with rather surrection of Christ is adapted to conan ill grace, appears to admit that it firm and establish the doctrine of the is perfectly easy;

resurrection of our race to a state of The second head of his remarks immortality ; and particularly that commences with a sad distortion of some of my quotations are irrelevant, sense contained in the concluding sen- and others want evidence of my havtence of the above quotation from Cau- ing justly applied them. Now the tabrigiensis. It by no means follows, principal question here is, whether that because the whole creation is the Christ, notwithstanding bis various entire production of Jehovah, the pure appearances in his former body, which effect of his power, therefore it must surely was the most satisfactory, if be a part of his substance. His at- not the only mode in which he could tributes are all resolvable into infi- manifest himself to men remaining in nite power, wisdom and goodness; the flesh, did not in reality come out and creation is the effect, not a part of his sepulchre, and usually continue of those attributes. They are the after his resurrection in a state of incause, this in all its parts and modifi- visibility; or in which he could vot cations, whether material or discern- when present be discerned by our ible by our senses or not, is the ef. eyes or any of our senses. For if Jefect. They constitute the one indivi. sus rose to a state of invisibility, it is sible Jehovah, or self-subsisting God, evident that his body must suddenly who is necessarily from everlasting to have sustained a greater and more ineverlasting, without variableness, or explicable change than any to which shadow of a turning. This subsists our bodies are subjected in the course only as the result of his energies, and of nature, by the circumstance of his may therefore be altered, withdrawn sudden invisibility alone; and if in or renewed at his pleasure. Though this state he received life and con. Credo terms this the next difficulty of sciousness in great perfection, the Cantabrigiensis, it is in reality only single event of his resurrection must an illustration of the preceding affir. have been more extraordinary, as bemation ; shewing his reasons for sis- ing compounded of more miracles than pecting that a resurrection in case of will attend the similar resurrection of total death " is scarcely within the mankind after their bodies have been bounds of possibility ;" viz. that the dissipated and rendered invisible by supposition appears to lead to absurd a process of nature.— I observe then consequences. Here again I am com- 1st. That if he had come visibly out plained of for referring

to the creative of the sepulchre his appearance would. power of God, instead of alleging have been the chief object to attract proofs from nature. Now had I mere- the attention of the watchmen who ly referred to creative power, with. were stationed at its entrance for the out shewing that there was no ab- express purpose of securing his body. surdity in the doctrine of a complete But though the appearance of an anresurrection of the same individuals gel from heaven, a sight of which in number, as in every other respect, they could have no expectation, and by its sole energies, there would have his rolling away the stone from the been just ground for complaint. But sepulchre were distinctly observed though Credo has charged me with by them, yet no intimation whatever an argument going to prove an impos- is given of their seeing Jesus. He sibility, and also with “ cutting the must therefore have been miracuknot," and yet “ labouring," which lously concealed from their view ; for two last accusations are not very com- had they seen him, the mention of patible with each other ;-he has not this sight would have formed the prohimself advanced a single argument minent feature in their narrative. %.

« AnteriorContinua »