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to escape their sins. The true sinfulness of their sin, and the true nature of repentance, and the true terms of forgiveness, and the true spirit of effectual repentance, these great features of true systematic preaching of the Gospel, can only be found in the doctrines of the Church. Unless there is a belief in the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, all is wrongly-all imperfectly done; the foundation is not laid on Gospel truth, but on mistaken and deficient views of it. Those who in Holy Baptism were indeed regenerate, and then fell from grace given, take of course far too tender a view of their sin, if they are taught that they were never new-born, never children of God, never members of Christ, never influenced by the Spirit, but have the regenerating gift yet to receive. We see at once how they can excuse their fall, they are told they were in an unconverted, unregenerate state; "how could we have stood, how could we have resisted the devil or our own lusts," they may well ask,-" when we were carnally alienated from God?" Though they may see that their course was sinful, they will at once palliate it by saying it was natural, and that no grace gave them the power of resisting the motions of the natural man. They fly to a doctrine that dilutes their guilt; they do not see it in its true blackness, as a continued grieving of the Holy Ghost, as the daily desecration of temples of the Holy Ghost; and thus they only repent of lesser sinfulness than that for which they are really accountable before God; repentance, at all times apt to fall short in depth and intensity, starts with too low a standard, and thus falls infinitely beneath the requirements of the case. How grievous is it to think that those who come to houses of repentance should there be checked in their proper task, instead of receiving sound teaching! The Apostle St. Paul teaches the Church the true mode of dealing with those who have fallen into hurtful lusts; he lays down the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, as both giving them the real view of the nature of their sin, and of the hope of pardon and renewal of spiritual life, when he exclaims to this very class of sinners (for though his appeal is addressed to the sinners of the stronger sex, it is of course applicable to both), "What, know ye not that your bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, for ye are not your own?"
In any true penitentiary this should be the foundation, the ground-work of all teaching. The sinners must be told that they have sinned against the Holy Ghost, and their own bodies which He has consecrated; here they see the heinousness of their sin; and in the same words that represent the greatness of their guilt, is contained the call to repentance, and the hope of a revival of "What?" he argues, their spiritual life. 66 do you see what you
are about? Hasten to quit your sins; repent of yielding your consecrated bodies to such guilty ways; the very presence of the Holy Ghost, which is still in you, not utterly quenched or driven out, is a call to repentance, and full of promise of pardon.' Penitentiaries deeply imbued with these divine principles are required in these perilous times, that the Church may fulfil its office in calling sinners to repentance. May God raise up friends for the Magdalenes of our day! We will only add, that we observe with pleasure, that a Church penitentiary is about to be formed.
The details of the proposed measure are comprised in an interesting publication by the Rev. J. Armstrong, Vicar of Tidenham, and author of several valuable works. We cordially wish success to his benevolent efforts.
VOL. XI.-NO. XXI.-MARCH, 1849.
ART. II.-Florentine History, from the earliest authentic records to the accession of Ferdinand the Third, Grand Duke of Tuscany. By HENRY EDWARD NAPIER, Captain in the Royal Navy,
F.R.S. 6 vols. London: Moxon. 1846-1848.
"WE judge of the future, divining from the past," is at once the foundation and the fruit of all physical science and all historical philosophy. But, alas! though this principle holds equally true in the affairs of life as in the phenomena of nature, the passions and interests of mankind exert such a disturbing influence on their judgment in matters of human action, that the stern and cutting rebuke of our Lord, addressed by Him to those who represented the public opinion of that day, may be applied with equal correctness to the thinking majority of almost every age.
"When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red; and in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day, for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"
And yet it should not be so; for the laws of Providence are as invariable as those of nature. The principle of cause and effect is as clearly discernible in the history of communities as in that of material forms. As the diseases of the body are produced by the action of particular forces, and recognized by the appearance of special symptoms, so is it with Churches and States-in every instance the same cause, under the same circumstances, must and will produce the same effect. There is no such thing as an exception to a Divine law, whether that law refer to man or to nature, to Providence or to grace. For the laws of God are but the various reflections of His eternal and unchangeable attributes, more or less affected by the medium through which they are transmitted, or the surface on which they rest.
If history be studied with a continual reference to this transcendent principle, with a view not merely to amuse or entertain— not to defend a cause or support an opinion-but to discover, and, having discovered, to attune the mind and direct the conduct of mankind in accordance with the universal laws of God's providential government-then it is the noblest of studies, always excepting those which bear immediate reference to the salvation of man. By such a course we may arrive, as surely as by a reverent study of nature, at an apprehension and contemplation of the glory
of the Godhead, as manifested in His works. Thus may we learn to train our thoughts and feelings in unison with the attributes of the All-holy; thus may we secure for ourselves and others the temporal prosperity annexed to a certain line of action, by the irreversible decree of the All-powerful.
There is, too, another light in which the study of history may be made available to the highest temporal and spiritual needs of man, in that it develops the strife of human passion, and displays the whole strength and weakness of man; placing before our eyes in energetic action all those forces which lurk in the inner being of every one, with more or less capacity of power; and representing, with clear outline and lively colouring, the virtues and the vices which alternately bless and curse the individual and the community. Studying history in this manner, we see in it a powerful and truthful delineation of man as he universally is; of ourselves as we might become, were we subjected to the same influences, and actuated by the same motives. And thus we learn lessons of moral and practical wisdom, which are equally profitable for a true knowledge either of mankind in general, or of that deeper mystery, our own heart.
With objects similar to these, Captain H. E. Napier has compiled, with great care and great clearness, the six thick volumes of his Florentine History, a work which strikingly illustrates the terrible energy and the powerful effects, both for good and evil, of unbalanced principle and undivided power. Monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, and ecclesiastical ambition appear upon the Italian stage; now singly dominant, and now contending at one time for supremacy, at another for existence. And each in its turn changes from the benefactor to the scourge of the people, nay, frequently exhibits, at the same moment, qualities and tendencies which raise whilst they lower, which curse whilst they bless, the state or the town subjected to their influence; affording incontestable evidence that neither of these principles is, without the counterpoise of its antagonistic element, capable of producing either εὐνομία or εὐπραξία, of ensuring the just regulation and due administration of the laws, or the solid and permanent welfare of the people. The Florentine history tells us, like that of every state which has ever existed, that we might as well expel either hydrogen or oxygen from water, as aristocracy or democracy from social and political life; it tells us that we might as well expect a human body to walk erect without a spine, as a state to be permanently prosperous without the presence of monarchy. Nor is the Florentine history less profitable as a picture of human life in many of its most interesting aspects, as a magazine of the most stirring impulses and striking incidents. There is
the wild disorder of the darker ages: there is the heroic lawlessness of the ensuing: there is the creative energy of awakening civilization-awakened by freedom to weep over its fall: there is the dark and dreary despotism of succeeding times: and lastly, there is the glorious reign of Leopold the First, one of the few great men whose greatness is attested, not by misery which he has inflicted, but by the blessings which he has conferred upon his fellow-creatures. Every scene indeed of this five-act drama can furnish instruction to those who seek it.
And then there are tales of vengeance to chill the blood; and of sorrow to force the tear; and of wild generosity, and high honour, and passionate love to charm the fancy and enlist the feelings.
Italy has, indeed, ever been the land of all that is wonderful and beautiful either in art or nature; each province, nay, each town, possesses its own charter of renown, its own claim on the sympathies of mankind. And Tuscany demands pre-eminently our notice and our gratitude, in that she has twice been the civilizer of Western Europe.
It was to Tuscany that the able and beneficent Tarchun led his well-appointed and well-disciplined colony, bringing with him the art and science of Assyria and Egypt, and introducing those civil and political institutions, the beneficent influence of which is still felt in the Old World, and has now reached the New. It was to Tuscan wisdom and Tuscan skill that Rome owed all that was valuable in her constitution, and all that raised her in earlier ages above the wild tribes of the mountain and the wood. To Mastarna, the Servius Tullius of Roman romance, she owed those political and municipal institutions, which, however impaired by the sordid self-interest and ungoverned violence of her native barbarians, were the foundation of her greatness, and have been the original from the more or less exact copies of which Europe has thenceforth been pleased to mould her forms of civic order and national strength. From Tuscany, Rome obtained her public ceremonies and her religious rites. From Tuscany, her architecture. In fact, Tuscany was to Rome what Aristotle was to Alexander, though she requited her as Joash did Jehoiada.
And again, in after times, it was a Tuscan, the Lucumo Mecanas, whose fostering care supported, guarded, and brought forward the poets of the Augustan age; Virgil would have been a homeless outcast, Horace a needy adventurer, but for the protection and generosity of that truly great man. Nor was his systematic and universal patronage of true genius in every department of taste and letters his only merit; he possessed another excellence of equal value, especially in the eyes of a reviewer.