strength and love, and may become fruitful of greater blessings, both to you and

to us.


Firstly, you ask, whether, by the revolution here, we have obtained a greater liberty to preach, and to distribute the Bible? I rejoice to be able to answer this with a decided 'Yes.' You are acquainted with the great limitations of our free congregations up till this time. The Prussian Government could not hinder our formation, and, perhaps, in the beginning, had no wish to do so, as long as it hoped that we would join the Evangelical Established Church; but as soon as the Government saw that we were opposed as much to the Casaro-papismus as to the Ecclesiastical-papismus, it took a hostile position with regard to us, and sought to hinder the formation of our Church. It was declared, that our congregations had no legal existence. They were indeed treated as not existing; our ecclesiastical functions, even baptism, were not acknowledged; every one who joined us had to pay a tax of 9s. 6d. ; and our Church members had to pay contributions for the support of the Romish clergy, church, and schools. But these were the smallest sacrifices with which we had to buy our ecclesiastical liberty; our political and civil rights were limited to a very great degree. No Christ-Catholic could be admitted to the former Parliaments. Some who were elected, were rejected, because they did not belong to any of the Established Churches; it has even happened, that the oaths of Christ-Catholics were not taken. We were, likewise, prohibited from preaching in the open air, or in a private hall. All our petitions to the ministry had no effect, till the March revolution of last year took place. A month before, we represented to Minister Eichorn his unchristian and unjust procedure, openly and earnestly, and directed his attention to the great responsibility he took upon himself, both before God and the nations of Europe, and how he provoked the judgments of God against himself and the Prussian State. And sooner than we

had anticipated, did these judgments come. You know the terrible events of last March. They have broken, with one stroke, the fetters of political and spiritual despotism. All those limitations to which we were subject till then, have been abrogated; and any one may join freely our congregations, which are now entirely separated from the Roman Church. Our civil rights have been restored to us, and Christ-Catholics are in the Parliaments of Frankfort and Berlin. We ministers can preach where

and how we please, even in the public
streets; the distribution of Bibles, the
formation of Christian societies, is hin-
dered in no degree by the State. We
have made, already, a very extensive use
of these liberties. We preached in seve-
ral places where there had not yet been
Christ-Catholic congregations, and where
now some are being formed.
weeks ago, brother Czerski was in Posen,
and preached; there was an immensely
crowded attendance; some hundreds of his
last pamphlet were sold. In general, we
have found, that it is very profitable to
preach for one another. We five minis-
ters in Prussian Poland have, accord-
ingly, come to the decision to preach for
each other once, at least, in every three
months. We have also liberty to publish
a periodical for our cause. As soon as
possible, we shall begin this publication
in the Polish and German languages. By
this, as well as the distribution of the Bible,
we will gain an influence on the rural
population. However much the Romish
priests may dislike it, they cannot hinder
it. You see how the soil for the good
seed is preparing. The Word of God is
free, and shall evince its Divine power
with us, as it has done with you. The
future promises still more than the pre-


"You wish to know, secondly, whether the Roman Church in Posen is still as fanatical and superstitious as before? I am not sure whether your before' refers to the preceding centuries, or to the time before the formation of our churches. I shall take it in the last-mentioned sense, as I suppose you had in your eye the dreadful struggles with which our Church had to separate itself from Romanism four years ago; and, with regard to this, I am glad to say, that the fanaticism of that time is not so keenly felt now. When Czerski and I held Divine service for the first time in Posen, a revolution took place, in which much blood was shed, and we escaped very narrowly. Afterwards, too, my life was endangered by fanaticism; so that I could not venture at all to walk at night, or to walk without some friends during the day. Nor could Czerski shew himself in Posen.

"At the time of the Polish insurrection in Posen, (March of last year,) their hatred against myself and my congregation, kindled up again. The priest had preached during last year, that the Christ-Catholics were the cause of the scarcity of provisions in the land, the general want of employment, and of all other calamities. The Polish revolution of 1846 did not succeed, it was said, because the Poles tolerated

the Sisters of Mercy, I could not put a stop to this weeping; because no one is allowed to touch the image but the prioress. Such miraculous images are also in south of West Prussia, in Öztochan in Poland, to which pilgrims, from a distance of twenty to thirty German miles, come, who weep along with the virgin. In Exin, in Prussian Poland, there is an image of Jesus, the hair of which grows, from time to time, and is cut under solemn ceremonies! To those who are present, complete indulgence is given. In the camp of Schroda, the 'mother of God' appeared to a Polish nobleman, telling him her Divine Son wishes the Jews, His arch-enemies, to be murdered. In consequence of this, some Jews in Wreschen were slaughtered cruelly, and frightful atrocities were committed. The priests derive also a large income from the superstitious belief of the people in ghosts. As soon as the people hear an unusual noise at evening, or at night, they are perfectly persuaded that it is a soul from purgatory which demands peace; and they engage, on the day following, the priest to read mass. The fear of evil spirits, and the belief in witchcraft, is quite common among the Poles; therefore every Pole wears something consecrated,-a scapular,' a medal, or a consecrated root; diseases are attributed to the influence of evil spirits, and are healed by consecrated herbs, or water; or if this is of no avail, a mass is bought. The mass is dedicated, generally, to one of the saints; for example, he from whom anything has been stolen, engages a mass to St. Antonius; he who suffers from toothache, to St. Apollonia, &c. This nonsense of the middle ages is at its very height here. Persons, especially females, are considered as possessed of the devil. The exorcism of the priest is still an unfailing remedy. Last year, so called heavenly letters,' or 'letters from heaven,' were sold here, which a Canon in Rome was said to have received from heaven. In these, among other things, the near destruction of the heretics was predicted.

the Christ-Catholics; and as long as these accursed heretics were in Poland, Poland should not become free. This explains why the first storm of the Polish Revolution came upon me and my congregations. On the 23d of March, all the streets resounded with the cry, 'Death to Post; death to his followers! Some of my people escaped by flight; others were massacred. I was, at the time, suffering from a violent typhus fever. A conspiracy was formed to hang me next evening; but, fortunately, the conspiracy was discovered, and I was conveyed, with my wife and family, to the fortress, where I could remain in safety and in quietness; then the priests said, that I and my children were dead, and were swallowed up by the holy earth of Poland, and that the liberty of that country was at hand. But Poland did not become free; the insurgents were defeated everywhere. I recovered, preached as usual, my congregation again assembled, then many saw how they were deceived by the lying priest, and their opinions began to change. Since then, I have held Divine service with open doors, and have accompanied funerals through the streets, and not a person opposes me in the least; on the contrary, many Poles came to me in a friendly way, bought Bibles and other books, and expressed their astonishment how wonderfully God had protected me and my congregation, whilst the plans of the priests did not succeed. As a proof of the favourable opinion in which I stand with the Poles, I may mention, that I have been elected on the 22d of this month, by universal suffrage, as a member of Parliament! When Czerski preached here, the half of the audience consisted of Poles; but there was not one sign of disapprobation-they were all indeed much affected. You see what a delightful change has taken place, in this respect, among the Poles-a change that justifies great hopes for the future. "The superstition of the Romish Church here, is certainly greater than anywhere else. Some instances of this I may give you. The sale of indulgences is the same as in Luther's time. In Culm, where I was "I have arrived now at your third quesvicar, there is a miracle-working image tion,-What is the present state of the of the mother of God,' to which 20,000 Roman Church in Prussian Poland, and pilgrims come yearly, for the sake of what hopes she entertains for the future? twelve indulgences, which several Popes One who knows the outward and inward have joined to this pilgrimage. 2500 to condition of Romanism here, must be 3000 dollars, are generally paid for these astonished how such a dilapidated building indulgences. This image possesses the can exist any longer; but perhaps this, miraculous power of shedding tears every its very condition, is the reason of its July, (conception day,) in the after-existing still. Religion here consists only between three and four o'clock, on in observing ceremonies, fasting, confessaccount of the sins of men ! As this ing, worshipping of images, saints, and image is in the Church of the Convent of relics. No idea is entertained of reli



gion influencing the heart, or improving the life. With very few exceptions, the sermons urge only an exact performance of the ceremonies. In this they are very strict; for example, whoever fasts not, gets no absolution, though he who has stolen gets it. The punishments inflicted are very superstitious and ridiculous; to go (before the rising of the sun) 700 yards, out into the fields,-to raise your head nine times towards heaven, and to exclaim, Holy Mary, pray for us,-to pray fourteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight, thirtyeight pater nosters, as many Ave's, and three-times-three creeds,-to lie, during sermon, on your face, or to make a pilgrimage to an image. If one has stolen or defrauded any one, he must give the sum for masses to the priests. So religion here is a dead thing; and the consequence is, that the Roman Catholics here are the most immoral people of the world. In our province, there are, among every 100,000 Polish inhabitants, 9000 individuals punished annually. Especially theft and drunkenness are the vices of the Polish people. A sober and orderly artizan is an exception here; thus, every year, the Polish decrease in wealth, whilst the Germans increase. The Roman clergy are despised among the educated inhabitants. Only the common Pole, who can only read or write, is blindly attached to the priest, whom he calls vicar of God.' He beholds in the priest a being that can promise him God's grace, and protect him against devil, hell, and purgatory. There are exceptions; and those mostly join our congregations. Now, every one would think, that the educated Pole, and especially the nobility, could no longer endure this corrupted clergy and their ceremonies, and would turn away from it with disgust; and this certainly would be the case, were the Polish nation free. As long as Poland is not free, nobility and clergy must keep together; for, by the last, the former have the people in their power, being themselves not favourites of the population, and can so call it to arms at any time, to fight for political and national independence. "Thus, dear friend, I have sketched

you a picture of Romanism in these provinces, as every unprejudiced observer finds it. A very dreadful picture, I grant; but, believe me, I have not taken too strong colours; I have exaggerated nothing; but told you the simple, naked, truth. Only where ignorance is combined with vice, Romanism is prospering; but where true civilization, effected by God's Word, exists, and where moral feeling is awakened, there this poisonous plant withers. Now is the time to labour for Christ. Nothing can hinder us. Our congregations are called to this work by God-they may do more in this respect, than Protestantism has done. Woe to us if we prove negligent. Rongé has done us much harm by his infidelity; but Ronge's time is past. Our congregations in Prussian Poland had never any communion with him, but always disowned him. The congregations here form now a firm ecclesiastical corporation. We, the ministers, like missionaries, go from one place to another, and preach where the people listen to us; especially we try to get schools on all our stations, in which, above all, the Bible is to be explained. In this place, I have 63 children in my school, and, if I had a larger locality, I could soon have double the number. Of course the instruction must be gratis, and, by this, the work is limited to a very great degree. I preach three times aweek,-twice on Sunday, and once every Friday; and if we get a weekly periodical, our sphere will be yet larger. Of Bibles, I have sold already 300. These were Polish Bibles, which are demanded very much, and of which I could easily sell a great many, if I could offer them for a cheap price. With regard to myself and my congregation, we had to come through severe trials last year. In the first half of the year, the Polish insurrection, in which none of us lost life; and then the cholera, which took away 40 from amongst us. God has helped through all, and shall help us also in future. On Him alone we trust, and fear not men.

"Now, dear brother, farewell,-may the grace of our common Lord be with you and yours, POST."



I think that look of Christ might seem to say,-
"Thou, Peter! art thou then a common stone,
Which I, at last, must break my heart upon?
For all God's charge to His high angels, may
Guard my foot better. Did I yesterday
Wash thy feet, my beloved, that they should run
Quick to deny me 'neath the morning sun?

And do thy kisses, like the rest, betray? The cock crows coldly. Go and manifest A late contrition; but no brother's fear. For when thy deathly need is bitterest, Thou shall not be denied, as I am here. My voice to God and angels shall attest, Because I know this man, let him be clear."

Notices of Books.

Chapters on Missions in South India. By the REV. HENRY W. Fox, B.A., late Church Missionary in Masulipatam. Small 8vo., 3s. 6d.

Tuis is an admirable little book, written by Mr. Fox, whose life and death we noticed in a former number of our Magazine. We recommend it as a volume of most pleasant and instructive reading. It is, in all respects, worthy of the learning and piety of its lamented author. It is written in a clear and simple style, and is not more remarkable for the absence of all colouring and exaggeration in its statements, than for its comprehensive and enlightened views upon the religious state of India, and the duties of a missionary. The titles of the chapters will give a general idea of the contents of the volume. 1. General duty of missions. 2. Description of South India. 3. Hindu religion. 4. Hindu philosophies. 5. Hindu worship and social habits. 6. Mode of conducting missionary work. 7. Female education. 8. Answers to objections to becoming a missionary.

As a specimen of the authors power of describing eastern scenes, we extract the following account of


"We enter now one of the chief streets, which runs right through the town, but not quite in a straight line, and we find ourselves in what might be an English alley, wide enough to admit two carts to pass with ease.

"The houses in this street are mainly of the better sort; they are not what are called 'up-stair, or two-story houses;' (in all the town, there are not twenty which have a second story;) but they are all on the ground-floor; the very best are of the following description :-The outside wall is about ten feet in height, built of brick and lime, and perhaps plastered; the roof is of rough tiles, and projects about four feet beyond the wall, so as to form a small verandah, in which, on a raised mound of brick and mortar, the owner and his friends may often be seen sitting. The summit of the sloping roof is, perhaps, fifteen feet from the ground. Entering by the door, we find ourselves in a small

court from fifteen to thirty feet square, surrounded on most of its sides by open verandahs, in one of which we discover a mat, perhaps an old couch, and probably a few coarse English engravings, or worse daubs of native art, hung on the walls. This forms the furniture of the drawing-room of the house; the rest of it is an irregular building, broken up into numerous little closets, six or eight feet square, il lighted by small windows, in which the members of the large family sleep and take their meals.

"The houses of the second class are not very unlike the former, but are more numerous; these, instead of having their walls made of brick and lime, can boast of nothing but mud for their material; occasionally white-washed, and continually repaired where the rain has washed part of them away. I have seen a palmyra, or a cocoa-nut tree, growing in the wall, or projecting from the centre of the tiled roof. As we proceed along the street, we come upon the bazaar,' or place where the shops are to be found,— the Oxford Street' of the town; these shops have no glass windows, and do not dazzle the eye by the profusion or brilliancy of their wares. A very small verandah, reaching beyond a tiny storeroom, six or seven feet square, and so low that a European can barely stand upright in it, is enlarged by two bamboo sticks. This is the shop. Within squats the shopkeeper on his mat, around him are his goods, bales of native cottons, or piles of the common earthenware vessels, or a variety of country vegetables, gourds of every shape and size, cucumbers large and small, round and long, the brinjal, or purple egg-plant, leaves of various trees and shrubs, coarse plantains and others, to suit the taste or poverty of his customers, or baskets full of grain, red rice and white rice, vetches, peas, and the endless variety of pulses, black, green, grey, and white, which the poor who cannot purchase rice are glad to obtain. Coarse canvass for bags, or hardware, consisting of old rusty bits, iron rings, knives, and an hundred articles of which it requires some ingenuity to guess the use. There are in others, strings of white or coloured bags, from those large enough to contain a single penny, to those capable of holding bundles of betel leaf, hung down from the edge of the shed, which make the shop look gay. Further on in

of the surrounding trees, while in the early morning the scene is enlivened by a number of washermen standing at the edge, and dashing the clothes they wash with the greatest violence against rough stones, placed in the water at a suitable angle. The spot resounds with a not unpleasant sound of beating, the clothes are purified, and at the same time attennated.

the street, we pass the walls of a pagoda, | a small pond, overhung with the boughs and are probably disgusted at the indecency of some of the figures on the outside; or we come upon a cluster of the huts, in which the more respectable classes of the labourers live, and which remind us of the village abodes. The best and most tidy of these are circular; a mud wall, three or four feet high, encloses a space of about ten feet diameter; from the top of it rises a peaked roof thatched, with the large fan-like leaves of the palmyra, to the height of fifteen or sixteen feet; the whole reminds the English eye of a diminutive circular corn stack with very low sides. Windows there are none; a low door, the height of the wall, allows of egress and ingress for the members of the family, whose abode this small building forms.

"Of these various classes of houses and huts, the town consists,-perhaps a dozen streets wide enough for carts to intersect each other at different points; but between them are numerous small alleys running between the houses, and just wide enough to allow two persons on foot to pass each other without touching, and turning at right angles every ten or twenty yards. In the town there are not a few pretty spots, especially during the wet and cold season: in the more retired parts, many houses have a few feet of garden attached to them, surrounded by a mud wall, and just large enough to hold a small tree, which rises above the enclosure, and which brings the brown-tiled roofs into pleasing contrast with the green foliage. In others, a space of an hundred yards is quite open, on which the grass and wild flowers are growing, the village pigs are grubbing, and the lank, ownerless pariah dogs are skulking; it is overshadowed at the side by some spreading tamarind, or banian tree, beneath which the little brown naked children are playing; a few plantain plants, with their broad, soft, and bright green leaves, peep out from some adjoining garden; and a cocoa-nut tree or two, affords a place where the screaming green and yellow parroquets may alight. Elsewhere the open space is occupied by

"Around the outskirts of the town, in and out among the trees, are scattered numerous clumps of a species of hut, distinct from those already described, and inhabited by a very numerous division of the poorest and lowest classes. Such a hut costs it owner from one to two shillings; if he build it with his own labour, the cost is probably less. He procures a number of bamboos, some as thick as a man's wrist, others as small as two fingers; cutting the stronger ones into pieces about six feet in length, he drives one end of them a foot into the sand, so as to form a sort of enclosure, ten or twelve feet square; small bamboos are tied across these, with stripes of leaves or fibres, instead of rope; and a sloping framework of a similar kind is added for the roof, supported within and in the middle by a stout post. On this bamboo framework, a number of the large palmyra leaves are tied, and the house is completed. It serves for kitchen, parlour, and all. During the hot weather, however, the males of the family enjoy, on the soft sand outside the door, a cooler repose at night than they could find within.

"Such is a native town, as yet unaitered by English improvements; some dozen or twenty large well built up-stair houses, of two stories in height, are the only marks of real civilization in regard to building. The rest of the town conveys the impression of great poverty, absence of comfort, and little knowledge of the arts of civilized life. Outside the town are a number of small fields, called compounds, in each of which is a well-built house, suited for the residency of Europeans."-(Page 43.)

THE PRESENT STATE OF GERMAN THEOLOGICAL LITERATURE. THOUGH the Germans have long main- | been, in a great measure, expelled from tained almost undisputed possession of their favourite element. Never did we the air-the peculiar province assigned see such a stand-still in German theolothem by Madame de Stäel-their theological literature. The great machine of gians seem, for the last year, to have powerful theological investigation ap

« VorigeDoorgaan »