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METHODIST QUARTERLY REVIEW.
EDITED BY GEORGE PECK, D. D.
Art. I.-“ Du Prêtre, De La Femme, De La Famille.” Spiritual
Direction, and Auricular Confession; their History, Theory, and Consequences. By M. MICHELET, Assistant Prof. in Faculty of Letters, &c. Phila.: James M. Campbell & Co. 1845.
The present condition of Popery presents a singular combination of weakness and strength. Weak in the power of inherent and prolonged vitality, it is yet strong, partly in the remaining forms of a once vigorous life, and partly in that sudden and feverish strength which is, perhaps, the last convulsive start of expiring nature. So weak that it requires the aid of Austrian bayonets and English frigates to retain possession of the very seat of its power: it is yet so strong, that this very protection is given as the price of its interposition to restrain Irish turbulence and German independence. Like a huge and creeping parasite, it grew and twined itself around the nations during the long night of the middle ages; and though strong arms have torn away many of its folds, and let in the light of heaven; and though a slow and sure decay is working at its root, yet the gnarled trunk and twisted branches still retain their hold on the various ramifications that have sprung from the yet living roots of the old Roman Empire, with at once the tenacity of life and the rigidity of death. Its political element, the Papacy, as a civil power claiming certain exclusive civil and political rights, has become weak, imbecile, effete; an image of gold with feet of clay: while its spiritual element, Popery, the mystery of iniquity, the huge and fallen archangel of Christianity, still retains its power over the minds and hearts of men. The scarlet-robed queen, though degenerated into a wrinkled and shriveled hag, has still retained the privilege of her order, the terrific power of the curse.