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ignorant of the names of the months, and nearly the same amount knew not who was the reigning sovereign. Kingsmill, in his “Prisons and Prisoners," * varies the statement a little : three quarters of those under his chaplaincy at Pentonville could not cipher beyond addition, and a half could not write or read with understanding. Mr. Clay was one of the earliest, too, to show the enormous cost of every criminal before conviction. He computed that fourteen criminal youths cost England sixty guineas each annually, by direct loss of property; and that the annual waste by thieving could not be less than two millions sterling.
Mr. Clay seems to have had a perfect detestation of the influence of Calvinism upon the minds of his flock. “Conversion” under it, he thought, was merely the addition of selfishness for the next world to selfishness for this: the convict imagining himself justified and saved, “ election and indefectible grace" become his favorite doctrines; remonstrate with him upon his flagrant inconsistency, he will profess not to rely at all on his own merits, and declare that he knows his righteousness to be only filthy rags. Such a man, though no hypocrite, this sincere Christian, with his wholly unequalled experience of human nature, thought certain to fall by severe temptation, and turn afterwards into a sneering infidel.
The freedom with which he uttered himself on other points, in such contrast with the stereotyped self-restraint of annual reports in general, and their cowardly dread of giving offence, is shown by an eloquent contrast of the indifference of England to her home heathen with her profuse zeal to the less accessible heathen abroad, and his advocacy before a Parliamentary committee of cricket-playing on Sundays. As a pioneer in prison reform, John Clay was thoroughly fearless, wholly devoted to doing good, eminently successful in a difficult path, a victim at last to over-severe toil, from which the English government, which professed to rely upon his inquiries for most valuable information, and the English Church, which had no more efficient servant, refused to give him the effectual relief which Providence gave in their room.
* Page 39. London: Longman, Brown, & Co. Without date.
His death took place in November, 1858. Upon his tomb this legend is traced : “ They that be wise, shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever.”
C. C. Engham, Art. V. – THE CANONIZATION OF THE MARTYRS OF
Les Fêtes de Rome. Canonization des Saints Martyrs du Japon, et de
Saint Michel de Sanctis. Par J. CAANTREL. Paris : Victor
To the pious mind of M. Chantrel, who may be presumed to represent the great company of faithful Catholics, the great event of the year of grace 1862 was the solemn ceremony and the (Ecumenical Council which illustrated the spiritual primacy of the Eternal City and of the Holy Father. The emancipation of Russian serfs, the insurrection in Poland, the revolution in Greece, the civil war in America, the World's Fair in London, the deaths of kings, generals, and statesmen, are not worthy to be named in comparison with this memorable and momentous occasion, in which earth and heaven were alike interested. To attest at once his gratitude, his reverence, and his faith, M. Chantrel offers his thick volume of description and panegyric, in which the scenes, incidents, history, and spirit of the great proceeding are carefully preserved, in which the false-hearted are scourged, the faithful are praised, and the Vicar of Christ is exalted as the Vicegerent of God. In the fear that this remarkable volume may not reach the hands of many of our readers, we are moved to present a plainer and more secular narrative of that which it sets forth with ardent eloquence. We shall refrain from treating that high question of the Pope's political sovereignty, upon which M. Chantrel lavishes such strength of assertion and such wealth of vituperation, and confine ourselves strictly to the service of the canonization, for which he predicts such issues of comfort and blessing.
The fit preface to this narrative will be a few words upon the meaning and the rules of canonization in the Roman Church. There are, so to speak, three degrees in this process, to which severally belong the titles of venerable, blessed, and holy, - Venerabilis, Beatus, Sanctus. All who die in “ the odor of sanctity" are honored with the name of “ Venerabiles," which gives them only the general right to the respect and gratitude of the faithful. The “ Beati,” saints of the second degree, are made so by a solemn act and ceremony, securing to them a positive place in heaven, and a partial and local honor upon the earth. In some special order of monks, or some particular diocese, or some particular region or country, the Beati may have a public remembrance in prayers, but are not entitled to this throughout the Church. Before their pictures or relics can be exhibited, a special indulgence must be obtained for that purpose from the Pope. The pageant of Beatification is celebrated at Rome, where on two occasions we have witnessed its singular display ; but the benefit of beatification is chiefly national and local. It is probable that John Grande Peccador, who was admitted into the heavenly host in St. Peter's Basilica, in November, 1853, is now invoked only by the faithful of one Spanish province. Three general rules seem to be followed in modern beatifications: not to accept any candidates until they have been dead for at least a century; to choose those whose lives were most obscure; and to require an ample supply of miracles wrought, as a ground of the honor. No eminent man may expect the honor of sainthood while the present policy of the Church is continued, and no redundance of virtues can supply for a candidate the lack of supernatural gifts and acts.
Beatification is the preliminary to “ Sanctification.” The large company of the Beati alone is privileged to offer recruits for the highest rank in the hierarchy. Sanctification gives to the “ Christian heroes," as M. Chantrel styles them, a right to seven different honors: — 1. Their names are inscribed in the ecclesiastical calendar, in the martyrologies, the litanies, and in all the sacred catalogues ; 2. They are invoked in the prayers and the solemn offices of the Church ; 3. Temples and altars are dedicated to God in their names ; 4. Masses are offered in their honor; 5. They have a special “ feast-day," a natalitia, which is usually the anniversary of their death ; 6. Their images are exhibited in the Church, and around their heads is fixed the aureole, sign of their heavenly glory; and 7. Their relics may be shown in shrines, offered to the worship of the people, and borne in the processions. These are the earthly privileges of the saints, and to these they have a right in all parts of the Catholic world. A canonized saint belongs to no country, though all his natural life were confined to one city or one convent. It is to be presumed, moreover, that all the Beati are fit to become Sancti, and will become so in God's time and the Pope's time. Some of the Holy Orders chide the long delay; and we have heard a good Jesuit brother of the Roman College complain that the candidates from his fraternity were shamefully neglected. There is no need of complaint, however. The Church is eternal, and eternity gives room enough for justice to be done to all. In the large future of the kingdom which stands forever, all the beatified will find their right.
More than a century ago, the great Pope Benedict XIV., in his treatise on Beatification and Sanctification, laid down carefully the rules for proceeding in this holy task. Humanly considered, it is very hard for a holy soul to get into the heaven of the Church. The ordeal of all this logic and criticism is more severe than the pains of purgatory. The slow investigation and the minute precautions would seem to secure the Church against all error, and to render any mistake impossible. But the ingenious judgment of Thomas Aquinas has forestalled all cavil by enlisting in advance the testimony of God to the acts of his infallible Church. It is an easy inference, that, if the Church is the habitation of God's Spirit, its verdicts must be infallible and true. Even without these nice inquiries, its sentence concerning the saints must be received as sufficient and final, unless one will deny the Divine presence in the body of Christ on earth. The Church represents God, and the Pope represents the Church ; and what the Pope determines, that God evidently wills. The examination of witnesses in the matter of canonization is then only an extra, and for the faithful an unnecessary work. It is a
condescension of the Church to the envious world, which is insensible to more spiritual teaching. In the last decision, canonization is the single work of the Supreme Pontiff, who merely summons the heads and guardians of the several churches to ratify and consent to his own absolute decree.
Canonization is a very ancient custom of the Church, and was much more common in the earlier than in the later centuries. Catholic writers pretend to find traces of it in the letters of Cyprian; and after the time of Constantine, not only the martyrs, but many others of the pious and wise who had died in peace, were commended to the reverence of the faithful. The practice of the Popes has not been uniform. Some have admitted large numbers into the sacred company, while others have canonized sparingly, and some have refrained wholly from the act. Since the canonization of Ulric of Augsburg by Pope John XVI. in 993, only 189 ceremonies of canonization are counted, which is an average of somewhat more than twenty in a century. Since the Reformation this average has been found to be much too high. It is not desirable to have the impression of this grand ceremony weakened by too frequent repetition. Once in a generation is found to be often enough for the festival; and the effect is heightened, and the balance preserved, by multiplying the number of the individuals canonized. The saints now are summoned in companies, and the gateway is widened to admit a score at once. Heaven shall not be defrauded of its rightful increase, though its doors are rarely opened.
Within the present century there have been only three occasions of canonization. In the year 1807, Pius VII., that much-injured Pontiff, whose sufferings in the cause of the Church have established most fully his claim to the future honors of sainthood, was pleased to inscribe five new names on the sacred catalogue. Thirty-two years later, Gregory XVI. added six more to the list. The third occasion was in this past year, which introduced into the sainted company twenty-seven new members.
We shall not detain our readers by any full biographical notice of these favored servants of Christ. It is enough to state that twenty-six of them were · martyrs, and that the