As soon as it grows dusky, all the friars and pilgrims are 'convened in the chapel of the Apparition, (which is a small oratory on the north side of the holy grave) so called as being the supposed place where Christ appeared to Mary Magdalen, after his resurrection, adjoining to the apartments of the Latins, in order to go in a procession round the Church. But before they set out, one of the Latin fathers preaches a sermon, during which all the candles are put out to heighten the solemnity of the occasion. Sermon being ended, which generally lasts about half an hour, every person present has a large lighted taper put into his band, and all necessary preparations made for beginning the procession. Among the crucifix. es, there is one of a large size, bearing upon it the image of our Lord, as big as life. The image is fastened to it with nails, crowned with thorns, besmeared with blood; and so exquisitely formed, that it represents in a very lively manner the lamentable spectacle of our Lord's body as it hung upon the cross. This figure is carried all along at the head of the procession, after which the company follow to all the sanctuaries in the Church, singing their appointed hymns at every one.

The first place they visit is the pillar of flagellation, a large piece of which is kept in a little cell, just at the door of the chapel of the Apparition. There they sing their proper hymns, and another sermon is preached in Spanish, touching the scourging of our Lord. From hence they proceed in solemn order to the prison of Christ, where they pretend he was secured while the soldiers made things ready for his crucifixion. Here likewise they sing their hymn, and a friar entertains the company with a sermon in Italian.

The next visit is paid to the chapel of the division of Christ's garments, where they only sing a hymn, without adding any sermon.

Having done here, they advance to the chapel of the derision, at which, after their hymn, they have a fourth sermon in French.

From this place they go up to Calvary, leaving their shoes at the bottom of the stairs. Here are two altars to be visited; one where our Lord is supposed to be laid on the cross : another where his cross was erected. At the former of them they lay down the great crucifix upon the floor, and act a kind of resemblance of Christ's being nailed to the cross; and after the hymn, a friar preaches a sermon upon the crucifixion, in Spanish.

From hence they remove to the adjoining altar, where the crosss is supposed to have been erected. At this altar is a hole in the natural rock, said to be the very same individual one in which the fuot of our Lord's cross stood. Here they set up their cross, with the bloody crucified image upon it; and leaving it in that posture, they first sing their hymn, and then the father guardian sitting in a chair before it, preaches a passion sermon in Italian. At about one yard and a half distance from the hole in which the foot of the cross was placed, is a remarkable cleft in the rock, which in all probability was made, as it is said to have been, by the earthquake that happened when the Son of God suffered.*

Matt. xxvü. 51, 54.

That this is a natural and genuine breach, and not counterfeited by art, the sense and reason of every one who sees it (say travellers) must convince him; for the sides of it answer exactly to each other, even where they are inaccessible to the tools of a workman.

The ceremony of the passion being over, and the guardian's sermon ended, two friars personating, the one Joseph of Arimathea, the other Nicodemus, approach the cross, and with a solemn air, both of aspect and behaviour, draw out the great nails, and take the feigned body from the cross. It is an effigy so contrived that its limbs are soft and Alexible, as if it had been real flesh; and notbing can be more surprizing, than to see the two pretended mourners bend down the arms which were before extended, and dispose them upon the trunk, in such a manner as is usual in corpses.

The body being taken down from the cross, is received into a fair large winding-sheet, and carried down from Calvary, the whole company attending it to the stone of unction. This is taken for the very place where the precious body of our Lord was anointed and prepared for the burial, John xix, 3, 9. Here they lay down their imaginary corpse, and casting over it several sweet powders and spices, wrap it up in the winding-sheet, singing a hymn. After which, one of the fathers preaches a sermon suitable to the occasion.

These obsequies being finished, they carry off their fancied corpse, and lay it in the sepulchre, shutting up the door till Easter morning. And now, after so many sermons, and so long and tedious a ceremony, the weariness of the company, and the time of night, make it needful to go to rest.

The next morning nothing extraordinary passes: the afternoon of Saturday the congregation are assembled in the area before the holy grave, where the friars spend some time in singing over the lamentations of Jeremiah, which function, with the usual procession to the holy places, is all the ceremony for this day.

On Easter morning, the sepulchre is again set open very early. The clouds of the former morning are dispersed, and the fathers put on a face of joy, as if it had been the very time of our Lord's resurrection. Mass is celebrated in the morning, just before the holy sepulchre, when the father guardian has a throne erected: and be ing clothed with Episcopal robes, with a mitre on his head, he gives the host to all Christians who are disposed to receive it, several Turks standing by as spectators. This being over, they retire out of the Church, and most of the pilgrims are entertained by the father guardian at the convent.


THE famous astronomer Athanasius Kirchner having an acquaintance who denied the existence of a Supreme Being, took the following method to convince him of his error upon his own principles. Expecting him upon a visit, he procured a very handsome globe of the starry heaven, which I being placed in a corner of the room in which it could not escape his friend's obscrvation, the latter

seized the first occasion to ask.from whence it came, and to whom it belonged ; “ not to me,” said Kirchner, “nor was it ever made by any person, but came here by mere chance !” “ That," replied his sceptical friend, " is absolutely impossible ; you surely jest." Kirchner, however, seriously persisting in his assertion, took occasion to reason with his friend upon his own Atheistical principles.

« You will not,” said he, “ believe that this small body originated in mere chance, and yet you would contend that those heavenly boda ies, of which it is only a faint and diminutive resemblance, came into existence without order or design !" Pursuing this chain of reasoning, his friend was at first confounded, in the next place convinced, and ultimately joined in a cordial acknowledgment of the absurdo ity of denying the existence of a God.

[ocr errors]

SINGULAR CONFESSIONS. A PROFESSOR in one of the German universities, whose unconcern for religion in general was notorious, was not less remarkable for the care which he took in the religious instruction of his children. One of his friends astonished at this inconsistency, and asking him the reason of this conduct, he answered, “ It is because I wish my children may enjoy more peace of mind, and more content in this life, than has ever fallen to my lot : and this they can obtain by no other means than by possessing more faith than myself."

A similar acknowledgment is witnessed by the late Dr. Spence, which he received from a person of the same unhappy stamp, viz.

« The example of a perfect Atheist is very rare, and has seldom been the object of my own experience: one however, I knew, a jurist and statesman by profession, well learned and of good parts ; so well read was he in the scriptures and divinity in general, that he might have passed for no ordinary theologian. He had, though a speculative unbeliever, maintained several theses with great success; on the other hand he could, in his own opinion, account for every appearance in nature, from a theory of matter and motion; “ still,” says the relator, “ with all his belief and unbelief, he frankly confessed to me, “ that he was unhappy.And being then in a state of celibacy, further acknowledged, that “ should he ever change his situation, he was determined never to suffer the secrets of his heart to transpire to his wife and children, that in all externals he would strictly conform to the Church," adding, as one of his philosophical and political reasons, that it was better to be comforted upon a false ground than to live without any consolation."

ECCLESIASTICAL NEWS. ON Wednesday the 8th istant, was holden at Newtown, the adjournad Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Connecticut. At 10 o'clock, A. M. a procession was formed from the house of the Rev. Mr. BurNANS, consisting of the Bishop, Clerical and Lay members of the Convension, with a large number of the parishioners of the Church in theat town, and an excellent band of music. Prayers were read by the Rev. Mr. Ives of Cheshire, and a well adapted sermon delivered by the Rev. Mr. WHITLOCK, of Norwalk, from Malachi ii. 7, For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth : for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. It is but justice to say, that a crowded and uncommonly attentive assembly bore testimony, that the public services on a like occasion, have seldom been more impressively performed. A select choir of singers, accompanied by the band of instruments, are entitled to their share of notice, for having added much to the solemnity of the occasion.

After divine service the Convention was opened in form ; and in the afternoon proceeded on the business for which an adjourned session was resolved on in June last; which chiefly concerned the Episcopal Academy in Cheshire. The Rev. Dr. William Smith having resigned his place, as Principal of that Institution, the Rev. TILLOTSTON BRONSON was chosen in his room.This and other incidental matters being disposed of, the Convention, the same evening, adjourned without day, and separated in usual harmony.

On Friday the 10th, confirmation was administered at Brookfield by the Bishop of the Diocese, to between 30 and 40 persons : at which time an excellent sermon was delivered by the Bishop to a large and attentive congregation.

And on the Sunday following, the Rev. ELIJAH G. PLUMB was admitted to the order of Deacons in the Church at Newtown, and confirmation was again administered. “ On which occasion," as one remarks who was present, “be. tween 80 and 90 persons were presented, to whom the Bishop administered the solemn rite, with a dignified gravity that deeply affected a congregation of more than 1200 persons. It is worthy of remark, that among the number confirmed, there were 24 young men between the age of 14 and 21; and 34 females between 14 and 18; many of whom came to the communion, which was administered to upwards of 200. In the afternoon the Bishop delivered a sermon from Eph. iv. 21, If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus ; that inay truly be called a key to the Church.

To the piously disposed the sight must have been grateful, to behold so many youths surrounding the altar of God, in his more immediate presence, to his authorized minister, and before the whole congregation, solemnly ratifying and confirming the vows that were made in their name at their baptism, and taking on themselves the obligation to live a sober, a righteous, and a godly life. And to say nothing of piety, those who merely wish to promote sobriety of manners aud regularity of conduct, could but be pleased with witnessing such a solemn pledge of their prevalence, among the rising generation.

TO CORRESPONDENTS. THOSE who may wish to contribute their mite to the pages of the CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE, are earnestly solicited to furnish the Editor with HISTORICAL SKETCHES of the rise and progress of the Church within their

knowledge. MEMOIRS and ANECDOTES of individuals, who may have rendered themselves conspicuous by their exertions for the Church, would be a valua. ble acquisition to this Publication. Of these there must be many, the memory of whom should not be lost.

ORIGINAL LETTERS or other DOCUMENTS from eminent men, (if any such can be found) tending to illustrate the history and state of the Church, the manners, customs, and characters of the age in which they were written, would be thankfully received and, be interesting to the reader.

[blocks in formation]

And among

not how.

THE inspired writers frequently refer to the course of nature, in order to illustrate their doctrines, and enforce their precepts. The retạrping seasons, the rising and setting sun, winds and storms, snow and vapour, are made to speak God's words, to proclaim his goodness, or manifest the terrors of his divine majesty, that we may be excited to love, reverence, and fear his holy name. all such references, there is perhaps no one more apt and striking than St. Paul's illustration of the resurrection by the vegetable seed cast into the earth, which after a time springs and grows we know

That which thou soweth is not quickened, except it 'die ; and that which thou soweth, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or of some other grain, but God givethit a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power : It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. When the spirit of God dictates, we are to expect the highest beauties of composition and force of expression ; and it would be difficult to find a specimen equal to this in the whole word of God. The subject is important, and deserving an illustration to the full extent of our capacity to receive; and such we have from the pen of the Apostle. The parallel is presented in the course of nature, and it is our business to apply it to our understandings, and endeavour to learn wisdom.

The present season in a particular manner points us to this subject. Let us then once more look to the occupations of the husband. man for instruction. The labours of the field are over for the year, the crops are gathered in, and the seed for the coming year's produce committed to the ground, which even now begins to be crusted with frost, and soon will every appearance of vegetative life be covered with snow. Let not the lesson which the face of nature is thus holding forth escape your notice, but ponder it well, and improve it to your everlasting good. See here pourtrayed the mortal body of man, when the soul has departed, and it is laid in the dust,

Z z

« VorigeDoorgaan »