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spiritual pretensions of the Pope, M. About exposes the abuses of his government with an unsparing hand. He calls attention to the high rates of taxation, the inefficiency of the police regulations, the insecurity of life and property, the little encouragement to industry, the absence of manufactures, the stagnation of trade and commerce, the decline of agriculture, the consequent poverty of both peasants and princes, and the want of a middle class of proprietors and substantial citizens to incite improvements in town or country. Priests and beggars are the spontaneous and normal productions of the Papal States. The government is nominally paternal, but really despotic; education is not encouraged; the best books are proscribed, the standard of morals is low, religion itself is reduced to a series of scenic displays, degrading alike to its dignitaries and its devotees. Scholars and thinkers are distrusted ; active and ambitious men are dogged by spies, and if guilty of word or deed inimical to the existing order of things, dragged to prison. There is no incentive to honorable activity, no suitable spheres for rising talent, no great prizes worthy the high aspirations of genius. The consequence of all this is, that the classes which constitute the strength of free and enlightened states are here discontented, and by the priesthood regarded as dangerous. The priests alone bear rule alike in Church and state, and the result of this unnatural union is equally unfortunate for the proper functions, either of priest or politician. Their ecclesiastical education unfits them for secular affairs, and their political power predisposes them to perpetuate innumerable abuses in their parochial relations. Many enter the priesthood because there is no other avenue to influence, not from any sense of fitness or conviction of duty.
The present Pope is granted to be a good-natured man, but precisely for this reason is a ready instrument of evil in the hands of Antonelli, the Cardinal Prime Minister, himself a crafty and subtle politician of the Macchiavelli school. Born and reared among robbers in a mountainous district, Antonelli is described as a cunning and unscrupulous diplomat, grafted on a born bandit. He has the eyes of a snake, the nose of a vulture, and the jaws of a ferocious beast of prey. With such
a mainspring, what can be expected of the inferior machinery whose movements it directs and controls? The minds of all classes are, in fact, infected by it, as their bodies are by the deadly miasma exhaled from the adjacent Campagna.
The entire body politic is stupified by a malignant vapor which arises from the Vatican, and diffuses itself in every direction.
That M. About is not mistaken in the source of the evils by which the whole country is so afflicted, and under which it groans, appears from this, that they multiply as yon approach, and diminish as you depart from Rome, disappearing only as you pass the boundaries of the Papal, and enter the confines of other countries.
And this is Rome-once the mother of nations and Mistress of the World! Rome that “ was called eternal,” and “arrayed her legions but to conquer.”
Already, if we but listen, may we hear the voice of the avenging angel proclaim, “ Fallen, fallen, is Babylon, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” (Rev. 14:8.)
Certain it is, that a system so rotten and a rule so iniquitous as the present Papal can not long maintain even the semblance of stability, preserve its ill-gotten gains, or perpetuate its broods of besotted priests and beggars. The people, not wholly insensible to their shame, are ready to revolt as soon as the outside pressure on them is removed, and surely foreign princes can scarcely deem it for their interest or honor to keep this up much longer. There can really be no honor and but little profit in this policy. Louis Napoleon is understood to be greatly chagrined at the existence and increase of these abuses, and anxious to abstain from all appearance of countenancing them. M. About himself is regarded by many as Napoleon's secret agent, and believed to have written this very book, if not at his command, at least with his approbation, as the leading articles of which it is composed first appeared in the Moniteur.
Others deny this, and seek to discredit the revelations of M. About, by calling in question his veracity, and by assailing his personal character.
Most of these attacks on the book and its anthor have evi. dently originated with, or have been instigated by, Romish priests, both in this country and Europe.
They do not attempt to refute the reasoning, rebut the statements, or disprove the statistics of the book. This would probably be very hard work for them, and they have no stomach for it. They better understand, and are more practised in the low arts of calumny and personal vituperation. Hence, they assail M. About personally, vainly hoping to counteract the influence of the work by grossly misrepresenting the character, views, and actions of its author. But in all this we have really little or no interest. It is enough for us, and satisfies the public, that M. About confines himself mainly to facts patent to all observers ; that he gives dates, names, figures, official reports, and other authentic sources of information; and that, in the main, his opinions, though more explicitly stated and confidently urged, are substantially the same as those of other enlightened and disinterested writers and statesmen, both Italian and foreign.
What we value M. About's book for, then, is its lucid exposition of the Papal system of government, and its exposé of the infinite abuses to which that system is subject, the ineradicable evils which inhere in its very constitution and nature; an exposé which is sustained by an array of facts and figures sufficient to substantiate all that he alleges against the government, and would warrant even more sweeping conclusions, which, however, M. About as a Roman Catholic conld not con. sistently draw.
The conception, form, and style of the volume are eminently French. The author is as exuberant in wit as in wisdom, albeit the wit is not always of the most refined sort. In this respect, M. About is a cross between Pascal and Voltaire, two authors who in different ways, and from different stand-points, have succeeded pretty well in relieving the popular French mind of whatever superfluous reverence it may formerly have contracted for the Roman Pontiff and the priests who prowl through the streets of that once proud but now fallen city!
In the department of Biblical Criticism we have from the Harpers a beautiful edition of the first volume of Alford's Greek Testament.* It contains the latest and best results of the critical investigation of the text of the New Testament. The digest of various readings which is given, is of very great value to the student, for it furnishes him at a glance with the variations of different manuscripts. This digest has been arranged by combining those of Scholz, Lachman, and Tischendorf, and is probably as complete as could be expected.
The Prolegomena consist of dissertations on the origin, genuineness, languages, inspiration, time of composition, object, etc., etc., of the Gospels, and on the arrangement of the text, the various readings, and the marginal references. A full account of the Apparatus Criticus, the Manuscripts and Versions of the New Testament referred to, is also given. As we propose, when the whole work is published, to devote an article to an examination of the Critical and Exegetical Commentary, we will only say now that the value to the Biblical student of this edition of the Greek Testament, with its Prole, gomena, can not well be over-estimated. . In this connection, we would give some account of a recent very remarkable and interesting discovery of Prof. Tischendorf. Not long since, Prof. Tischendorf, under the auspices of the Emperor of Russia, visited the Convent of St. Catherineat Mount Sinai, to examine the treasures in its library. At this time the Professor discovered, though whether in the convent or not, we are not informed, a Greek MS. of the very highest value. In writing to the Saxon Minister, Von Falkenstein, he considers this MS. as belonging to the fourth century, and therefore contemporaneous with the Vatican MS. It contains a large portion of the Septuagint, the whole of the New Testament, the Epistle of Barnabas, and a portion of the Shepherd of Hermas.
* The Greek Testament: with a critically revised text. A Digest of various readings; Mar. ginal references to verbal and idiomatic usage; Prolegomena ; and a critical and exegetical Commentary. For the use of Theological Students and Ministers. By HENRY ALFORD, B.D., Minister of Quebec Chapel, London, and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. In four volumes Vol. I., containing the Four Gospels. New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1859.
If the facts in the case warrant the conclusions which Prof. Tischendorf has drawn, this MS. would promise to be of even greater value than the Codex Vaticanus itself, which has recently been published,* for that is deficient in the Epistle to the Hebrews from the 14th verse of the 9th chapter; in the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, and in the Apocalypse. This MS. has been withheld almost entirely from the public until within a short time. This edition of Cardinal Mai, although in print for several years, has not been published until now. Its text is that of the Codex Alexandrinus, with considerable variations. Its date is supposed to be of the fourth century. How or when it was placed in the Vatican no one can tell, but it has for a long time enjoyed the reputation of being the most venerable manuscript of the New Testament extant. Some of its readings are exceedingly interesting in their bearing upon the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ. St. John 1:18 reads povoyevis Oeos, the only begotten God, instead of uovoyevns viòs, the only begotten Son. 1 Peter 3: 15 reads Κύριον δε τον Χριστόν αγιάσετε, sanctify the Lord Christ, instead of Κύριον δε τον Θεόν αγιάσετε, sanctify the Lord God.
These investigations and discoveries happily coïncide with the renewed interest which is springing up in reference to the interpretation of the Scriptures.
Byronism having pretty much died out, an attempt has been made to set up Shelleyt as a sort of successor to the admiration of young men and maidens. But to this apotheosis, we demur. The character of Shelley is even less praiseworthy than Byron's. He had more failings as a man, and less genius as a poet.
Like Byron, he was wayward in youth and unprincipled in
* Codex Vaticanus. H KAINH AIAOHKH. NOVUM TESTAMENTUM GRAECE. Ex antiquissimo Codice Vaticano edidit ANGELUS MAI, S. R. E. Card. Ad fidem Editionis Romanae Accuratius Impressum. New-York: D. Appleton & Co. 1859.
+ Shelley Memorials: edited by Lady Shelley. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1859.