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uncover their heads when they recite the office of the Virgin, when they say, 'Hail, Mary,' with the hours, and 'Salve, Regina;' they kneel again when they say at the mass of the Virgin these words, Salve, Sancta Parens,' &c. &c. This devotion was pleasing to some prior of the Carthusians, and some abbot of the Cistertians, and was introduced gradually in their two orders, but it is not ancient.
"Formerly there was no kneeling in the greater part of the Churches of the west at the anthems of the Virgin, which are said at the end of the office, Salve, Regina, Ave Regina Cœlorum, Alma Redemptoris Mater ; but now we kneel at them, and the rubrics of the Roman Breviary of Pius V., and those since printed, say, in express terms, that they ought always to be knelt at, except at Easter. Nevertheless, some Catholics think that, in this respect, the worship of the holy Virgin has been carried too far, with respect to that which is due to God, and which is infinitely above that which is due to the holy Virgin.
"However this be, one of the writers of our day who has gone the furthest in this matter, is the Father Paul de Bari, Jesuit, in the book entitled, 'Paradise opened to Philagia by a hundred devotions to the Mother of God,' in which he has endeavoured to establish practices of piety towards this holy creature, which do not accord well with that wise moderation which a real theologian ought to preserve in his views. Here are some of the practices which will easily enable a judgment to be formed of all those which are scattered through the book :-' To prefer hell, if the Virgin were not the Mother of God; to ask the blessing of the Virgin, morning and evening, at one of her churches; to give the profits of play to the poor, for the love of the Virgin; to glorify the Virgin for every instance of success; to engrave and form in the heart the name of Mary; to love Jesus Christ ardently, for the love and in consideration of his holy Mother; to leave one's place in Paradise, if necessary, in order to give it up to the Virgin; to do her honour by not pronouncing the name of Mary in reading, but to substitute another first; to attempt nothing but under the guidance and favour of the Virgin; to carry her rosary or chaplet when asleep at night; to present and offer to her that which is most dear, constituting her our heiress, and wishing to be entirely her's; to present to the Virgin the heart of her son Jesus; to give alms for the love of the Virgin; to give looks full of love at the images of the glorious Virgin when passing and meeting them; to offer the good works of a month to our Lady to dispose of them,' &c.
"This good Father imagines that all these devotions are so many keys of Paradise; but I much fear that these keys are rusty, for I know, from Scripture and tradition, that something else is necessary in order to attain eternal glory."-pp. 84-90.
"The prayer that is said to have been given to St. Bernard by an angel, Hail, Mary, handmaiden of the Holy Trinity,' &c., is also extravagant in some places, and amongst others where the holy Virgin is called the Teacher and Mistress of the Evangelists and Apostles,' 'the salvation and consolation of the living and dead.' For the EvanVOL. X.-NO. XX.-DEC. 1848.
gelists and Apostles had no other teachers, and no other masters but Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost; and it is the Son of God only who is the salvation and consolation of the living and the dead.
"But the title is as extravagant as the prayer in the Hours of our Lady according to the use of Paris,' for it declares that whoever shall say it devoutly every day, shall not die without penitence, or without partaking of the holy Eucharist. Would not the belief in this encourage sinners to give themselves up to the most evil passions, in the false hope that by saying this prayer they will not die without the Sacraments, and they will not be condemned ?"—p. 90.
"The three Hail Marys' in the same Hours are extravagant. The first says, 'I beseech thee most humbly, that thou wilt protect me this day and defend me from sin and wickedness.' This only belongs to God to do by his grace. The second says, 'I beseech and request that at the hour of death thou wilt enlighten my soul with true faith.' Yet, true faith is a gift of God, and not of the holy Virgin, who, consequently, cannot enlighten us with it. The third says, 'I pray thee, that at the hour of death, thou wilt pour in, and fill my soul with Divine love.' But Divine love comes only from God, and it is for this reason that the Church so frequently asks it of Him for us in the prayers she addresses to Him."—p. 101.
"In the seven prayers called the 'Seven Joys' of the holy Virgin, the second of those which she now enjoys in heaven, is that as the sun here below enlightens all the world, so likewise the Virgin adorns and enlightens with her brightness the whole of Paradise; which is only suitable to God, from whom the holy Virgin derives all her splendour and all her glory. In another it is said, that all the choirs of angels and archangels, &c., honour and reverence the holy Virgin, and are obedient to the least sign she makes them;' which cannot be said except of God, whose ministers are the angels. In another it is said, that all those who praise the holy Virgin shall be rewarded by the Holy Father with his grace in this world, and his glory in the next;' as if it were enough to be devoted to the Virgin, in order to obtain grace and glory, without any need of keeping the law of God besides.
"In the prayer to the holy Virgin, commonly called the Obsecro, she is called the 'salvation of those who hope in her, the fountain of mercy, of grace, of pity, of gladness, of consolation, and of pardon ;' which properly only belongs to Jesus Christ."
The following criticism on the Stabat Mater is very just.
"The Stabat Mater dolorosa, being in rhyme, causes pleasure to good persons to hear it sung. But persons of real piety and enlightenment find more of rhyme than of sense and unction in it. Father Crasset, of the Society of Jesus, says, that 'it resembles the style and devotion of St. Bonaventure. Yet, St. Antoninus, and some authors, attribute it to Gregory the Great.' But there is no proof that it was by St. Bonaventure or St. Gregory the Great. It is not found amongst
the works of St. Bonaventure, nor those of St. Gregory the Great; and the citations from St. Antoninus and Philip of Bergamo, which Father Crasset has marked in the margin, to prove that it was by this pope, are false, as I have myself ascertained.
"But whatever Father Crasset may say of it, the Stabat is to be blamed, because it appears injurious to the holy Virgin. For it represents her in the extremest grief, overwhelmed with sadness, broken-hearted, trembling with horror, and bathed in tears. Nevertheless, the holy Virgin, though she was deeply afflicted in the depth of her heart, though she was a martyr in her soul, as St. Bernard says, did not permit any weakness to appear at the death of the Son of God. She was standing near the Cross of Christ (as the Gospel says). We do not read that she wept, says St. Ambrose. It is with much reason that Maldonatus affirms, that those who say that the Virgin fell fainting near the Cross do not deserve any credit; and that it is certain, on the contrary, from the Gospel, that this holy creature was present at the death of her Son with as much tranquillity of spirit, and with senses as settled, as when He spoke to her from the Cross."—p. 105.
"The Languentibus in purgatorio, a piece in rhyme like the Stabat, says that the holy Virgin is 'a fountain opened which washes away sins, and that she saves all the world without exception.' This ' fountain opened' is either Baptism, in which all sins are remitted, as the Fathers and interpreters of Holy Scripture explain the words of Jeremiah; or the death of Jesus Christ, by which our sins are pardoned. But it is too much to say that the holy Virgin has as much power as Baptism or the death of Jesus Christ. Another verse says that the holy Virgin is 'the true salvation of those that trust in her;' which is a quality peculiar to the Son of God.
"I well know that a good meaning might be given to most of these expressions; but why not give it at once? why envelope it in words which present a bad meaning?"-p. 114.
The fearfully common practice in Romish Books of Devotion, of placing the Virgin and other saints as objects of worship along with the Creator and Saviour, is thus commented on.
"In the prayer Sacrosanctæ et individuæ Trinitati, which has been said for some years in certain churches at the end of the canonical hours, all creatures are invited to render the same praise, honour, power, and glory to the humanity of Jesus Christ, to the holy Virgin, and to all the saints, as to the holy and indivisible Trinity: Sacrosanctæ et individuæ Trinitati, Crucifixi Domini nostri Jesu Christi humanitati: beatissimæ et gloriosissima semperque Virgini Maria fœcundæ integritati, et omnium sanctorum universitati, sit sempiterna laus, honor, virtus, et gloria, ab omni creatura (p. 118). Yet, there is a remarkable difference between the worship which is due to God, and that which is due to the humanity of Jesus Christ, to the holy Virgin, and to the saints. To God the worship of Latria is due, and this worship ought only to be recorded to Him. If the humanity of Jesus
Christ be considered as united hypostatically to the Word, the same worship is due to it, not absolutely and on its own account, but on account of its relation to the Word. If it is considered solely in itself, and as separated from the Word, the worship of dulia or hyperdulia is due to it. The worship of hyperdulia is due to the holy Virgin, and the worship of dulia to the saints. St. Epiphanius distinguishes very well these two last kinds of worship from that which is due to God—' Let Mary be honoured, (he says,) but let the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost be adored. Let no one adore Mary.'
"In this prayer the Trinity is put in parallel with the humanity of Jesus Christ, the Virgin, and all the saints; that is to say, the Creator with the creature, the Infinite with the finite, the Sovereign with his subjects, the Master with his servants. Is this parallel just? Is it pleasing to the Church? She does not wish even that the saints should be compared with one another. There is folly in these kinds of comparisons, says St. Jerome.
"In the Litany of the Virgin, by St. Bonaventure, the following articles might well have been omitted-'Holy Mary, who enlightenest all the world, illuminator of hearts, true salvation, spare us, Lady. That it may please thee to give eternal rest to all the faithful dead, we beseech thee to hear us. Mother most dear, and our Lady, have mercy on us, and grant us perpetual peace. Amen.' For here is attributed to the Virgin what belongs properly to God, which cannot be done without placing the Virgin in parallel with God, and without being obliged to employ explanations, which come at last to saying no more than those who speak naturally and without extravagance."—p. 130.
Such is a brief selection from the numerous instances of popular superstitions with which Thiers has made us acquainted. Unhappily, the example set by this learned and pious writer has not been followed by others, so that superstition flourishes as rankly as ever in the Church of Rome. It is this system which the Politicians of the day are anxious to endow !
ART. VI.-1. Gervinus's History of Literature; Philosophy of
2. Works of Lessing. Hamburg.
3. Works of Goethe. Cotta, Stuttgart.
4. Political and Moral Tales, Essays and Dramas. By Gutzkow. Hamburg.
5. Strauss's "Leben Jesu," and "Humanitarianism."
In the middle ages, Germany was regarded as the heart of Europe; and even now, it remains so important in social and political bearings to its neighbour states, as to justify a more than ordinary attention on our part to its prospects and its policy. Our immediate design is not to treat of the external developments of German states, and their historic fortunes; but rather to define and examine that national faith, or absence of faith, that character, literary moral and social, which we may denominate the German mind, and to which the existing state of disorder amongst our Teutonic neighbours must surely be attributed.
Though France may appear the loudest and most audacious advocate of Democracy, we are much mistaken if the democratic spirit do not finally prove to have established itself more firmly within the limits of the ancient German empire, and be not too likely there to maintain a broader and a more enduring sway. Willingly would we persuade ourselves to the contrary, but the conviction is strengthened within us from day to day, that the present state of anarchy may too possibly terminate in the consolidation, either of one democratic republic, or of a number of federal states, each possessing a republican organization of its own, and subject to a national congress; and if this end be once attained in Germany, we do not think it will soon yield to the erection of a military despotism; which is obviously prepared for "la belle France."
And indeed, though France regards itself, and is by many people considered, the great agent of the Movement which is going on around us, from authority to equality, from reverence to licence, we cannot close our eyes to the fact, that the influence of the German mind in literature, philosophy, and religion has more real weight, and is far more calculated to promote the advance of democratic principles, at least among ourselves. Voltaire, no doubt, was the first to ridicule Christianity, with seeming success and wondrous audacity; but how much more