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every part ; all the priests and attendants were in readiness, and the procession about to move, when suddenly the shock of an earthquake rent the edifice asunder. The young lady who was about to be doomed to the cloister, was amongst the survivors who escaped the ravages of the earthquake. She was indebted for her safety to a lover who had long paid his addresses to her against the consent of her father, and who contrived to gain admission to the church, to be a witness of a ceremony which was to blast all his hopes. The young couple retired in safety, and found an asylum in the house of the young gentleman's mother. The same visitation which had released the daughter from the convent, also liberated the father from prison, for the walls of the dungeon where he lay were separated by the violence of the earthquake. His first object was to return home—collect all his treasures—and after discovering where his daughter resided, he embarked with her on board a vessel which he purchased, for the island of St. Thomas. The ship was overtaken by pirates and plundered, and Don Beltran landed at his destination with only a few dollars in his possession. In the course of time they are noticed by the wealthy portion of the inhabitants of the island, and an offer of marriage is made to the daughter by an affluent, but very old merchant of St. Thomas's. But on the day which was compulsorily appointed for her marriage with the elderly suitor, the lover to whom she had originally betrothed herself, took the bold measure of carrying her off, thus sealing their mutual happiness. The story itself may appear to be very meagre, but it is merely the basis on which a very considerable superstructure of real incidents and events, together with descriptions of manners, customs, and domestic life, is raised.
The second tale is called the "Savannas of Varinas,' and has for its theme the adventures of a young hero, named De Castro. This youth, the son of a Spaniard, having lost his mother during his infancy, was placed under the care of an uncle, a rich farmer, in the Llanos. He grew up apace, and, when advancing to maturity, was attracted by the beauty of his cousin Juanita. During the height of his passion he was recalled by his father, and obliged to engage in a mercantile house in Caraccas. In this occupation he passed a very unpleasant time, until, by the death of his father, he became his own master, and, having time and money at his disposal, he made a voyage to Spain. At Cordova he found his paternal grandfather, who introduced him to all the sports and games of the country. Don Castro being a youth of spirit and activity, proved himself no mean combatant in the arena of the bull-fights. He became so distinguished for his courage and address, that the grandfather easily persuaded him to take a commission in the royalist army, then engaged against the insurgent forces in South America. He joined a Spanish regiment for that purpose, and in a little time appeared in the
costume of a royal officer, at the head-quarters of Murillo, then commanding the king's forces in the northern provinces ''of the South Western Continent. De Castro soon found cause to be disgusted with his new situation; Murillo availed himself of every opportunity of shewing how much be distrusted the young officer; and when De Castro's cousin, the brother of Juanita, was taken prisoner by the royalist army, no entreatries of his could prevail upon the commander-in-chief to recal the sentence of death which he had pronounced against this relation. De Castro, in the indignation of resentment, abandons the royal cause and joins the constitutional forces. He is ultimately reconciled to his Llanero friends, and terminates his heroic career by taking Juanita to his
This tale, as in the former case, is nothing more than a contrivance for placing the characters and manners of the people intended to be illustrated in various aspects, such as could not be conveniently represented in a simple narrative. Although we feel that in the plan on which the author has founded his work, the dignity of history is in some measure compromised, by its being turned into the subaltern of romance, still our reluctance to approve of that plan may partake somewhat of the prejudice which long custom is so apt to engender. Wemust, however, leave this matter to be determined by the appellate jurisdiction of the public, assuring them that the business of investigating this work will be an exceedingly pleasing and instructive occupation.
Art. IX.-1. The Moral and Intellectual Character of the Established
Clergy Described and Vindicated. A Sermon preached at the Visitation of the Bishop of Peterborough, at Oakham, in the County of Rutland, July 14, 1831. By the Rev. George Wilkins, D.D.
(of Nottingham). In No. 464 of - The Pulpit.” 2. The Present Degenerate State of the Church, A Sermon deli
vered at St. Clement Danes, on Tuesday evening, October 18, 1831.
By the Rev. N. Armstrong, A.B. In No. 465 of “ The Pulpit.” If we had been subjected to the misfortune of possessing delicate nerves, we should doubtless have felt no inconsiderable degree of annoyance, on finding that the Rev. George Wilkins, of Nottingham, a Doctor in Divinity, took an opportunity of preaching a formal sermon against THE MONTHLY Review, in the presence of a portion of the clergy of the diocese of Peterborough, and of such of the parishioners of Oakham as he or they could prevail to listen to him, in the church of that place on a week-day, in the middle of the dog-days of the last summer.
To be attacked thus from the pulpit by name, when we were not present to hear our reverend assailant, and where, if we had heard him, we should not have been allowed to reply to his angry invective, is, it must be admitted, a situation of at least some novelty, even though it might
not be one productive of much pleasure. We might here enlarge upon the uncharitableness of censuring a man in his absence, or through any medium which he is not likely to hear of for some months after the slander has been circulated; we might dwell upon the unfairness of the contest, in which the antagonists do not meet face to face, but one stabs the other in his back, and runs away, and hides himself for some time, in order to await the results of his ungenerous attack. But we utterly despise such puling strains as these. We are friends to discussion-if it be necessary, to violent discussion-we care not where, or by what instrumentality it is carried on. It signifies to us not one jot whether we be left out of it, or forced into it, whether we be inveighed against in our absence or our presence, from the pulpit or the parliament, in sermons or in satires, in publications of any description, fixed or periodical. We stand at all times prepared to maintain the cause of truth ; our journal furnishes us with the ready means of defending our arguments; and if they be drawn, as we believe they are, from the armoury of reason and of justice, if they be calculated to promote a genuine spirit of Christianity, as distinguished from that artificial system which the established church (ihat splendid imposture!) has too long substituted for it in this country, we shall throw ourselves fearlessly upon the public, and confidently demand their judgment in our favour.
It is worth observing, as a personal trait of the Reverend George Wilkins, that it was his business at Oakham to preach to the clergy of that part of the diocess, and not to the people. In fact there would have been very few persons, perhaps not ten, besides the clergy of the district, present, on the occasion when he delivered his discourse. He sets out, indeed, with admitting that he ought, after the manner of St. Paul, to address his fellow-labourers in the Christian vineyard, either on some point relating to doctrine or discipline, or to excite them to renewed exertions and vigilance in the discharge of their sacred functions. But for the non-performance of this sacred duty-the identical duty which he was appointed to perform-he assigns two reasons, which to him must have appeared perfectly satisfactory. In the first place he says, that he resides at so great a distance from Oakham, that he knows very little of his reverend brethren of that part of the diocess !-and secondly, he says, that they are so thoroughly informed of every thing that they ought to know, and reduce that knowledge so completely to practice, that he deemed it wholly unnecessary to follow, with respect to them, the example of St. Paul above mentioned ! Such is the literal meaning of his words, though they are more circumlocutory. • The circumstances,' he says, ' which render my personal labours necessary in a distant and very extensive field of operation, leave me no opportunity of knowing more than a very little of my brethren in this district, but that (very little] knowledge, while it leads me to the assurance that I cannot over-estimate their
general worth and character, tends to convince me also, that it would be presumption to offer advice to those who are, many of them, so much better qualified to give it to myself.' So then, here is a divine appointed to enlighten and exhort his clerical brethren, whom he does not know ; and whom, not knowing, he proclaims to be too perfect in their knowledge and conduct to need either his instructions or his exhortations! Verily this is very different from the language, as well as the example, of St. Paul !
This is in truth but a part of the system of polite humbug, of which the whole establishment of the Church of England is made up. The clergy of the same diocess, instead of becoming mutually acquainted, live apart from each other, or mingle like persons in ordinary society, according to the rules of the most approved stiffness and formality. Instead of assisting each other as labourers in the same vineyard, each man is working only for himself and his own family, seeking by all means promotion to the best living, and very often tainting his aspirations by the most malignant hatred of his more successful brethren. Instead of desiring to see the vineyard well filled with active and intelligent labourers, instead of advising and assisting each other in the duties which they have to perform, they very often excuse themselves after the manner, not of St. Paul, but of Mr. Wilkins, and exclaim-"really my friends, you are all so virtuous, so learned, so zealous in the execution of your duties, that I (though I have not the honour of your acquaintance) am well convinced that you are the most respectable clergymen upon the face of the earth ?”
But this is not all. Mr. Wilkins left his flock at Nottingham, where he says his field of operation is a very extensive one, for the purpose of addressing his brethren of Oakham and its neighbourhood, on some point relating to doctrine or discipline; but instead of doing that, he enters into an elaborate eulogy upon the conduct, not merely of the clergy of that district, as to whom his knowledge is so very little, but of the whole body of the clergy of England, as to whom his knowledge must of necessity have been still less !
After praising the profound learning, the varied talents, and watchful zeal, of his diocesan, the preacher divides his discourse into three points, and proposes to shew
First, that the ministers of the established church have received mercy and favour from on high, and that this mercy and favour is their great comfort and support ; secondly, “ that they renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, neither walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully:" and, lastly, that "by manifestation of the truth in doctrine and practice, they commend themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.”
With reference to the first point, he observes that it would be easy, if it were necessary, to trace out the channel of Apostolicity through all its courses and windings, whence, by a pure and perennial stream, the English clergy derive their appointment and their
authority.' We can assure Mr. Wilkins that this is a most necessary piece of information, which it would be not quite so easy for him, as he imagines, to give to the world. The courses and the windings of the channel, through which he fancies the character of Apostolicity to have descended to the Church of England, are much more intricate than he seems to be aware of. There are some daring divines, Bossuet for instance, who have taken it upon them to demonstrate, that the channel in question never found its way to the ecclesiastical establishment of this country; that the stream was in fact dammed up by the violent passions of Henry VIII., and the lamentable self-interested servility of Cranmer. We are not now going into a dissertation upon this point, we merely observe that it is one upon which grave doubts are entertained, and which therefore it would have well become Mr. Wilkins, upon such an occasion, to have explained to the very best of his ability.
As to the purity of the perennial stream of which he talks, we presume that he intended it merely as a poetical ornament of his composition. For who that is acquainted with the vices of Luther, of Henry VIII., and the many perjuries and gross violations of the most solemn engagements perpetrated by Cranmer, to go no farther, can for a moment delude himself into the belief that the stream of the reformation was a pure one ? And as to the appointment and authority of the clergy of the establishment, it is more than suspected that they have neither, so far as a divine origin is concerned. Indeed it is now pretty generally admitted, that the established clergy are little more than a mere police, collected originally from the dregs of the ancient church of this country, and converted to the purposes of the state. “ It ought long ago,” says an able writer in the Times newspaper, "and in truth and honesty, to have been admitted, that the temporal church of this country (for temporal it is in every respect) was a political establishment, more than a religious one; designed and calculated infinitely more for retaining men in their obedience to the monarchy of England, than for making them partakers of the kingdom of Heaven.'
It is in this blinded and reprobate sense, that Dr. Wilkins boasts, with so much apparent pride, of “kings having been made the nursing fathers, and queens the nursing mothers of the church ;” and of the church of this country, being bound 'in bonds of union with the state. This is but acknowledging, in other words, the political character of the establishment; a character which is undoubtedly any thing but apostolical.
The preacher seems really to think that he judiciously advocates the cause of his "order,” when he speaks of the works of the head and the heart,' which they have produced, and by means of which, he presumptuously tells us, they “ have put to silence the ignorance of foolish men;" when he enumerates their attentions to the 'manifold institutions which adorn and dignify our native land,' their reputation in the walks of literature and science,' and their