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world, out even its most lawful and allowed concerns, render men unable to enter, and unworthy to be received into the true state of Christianity:
2d. That he, who is busied in an honest and lawful calling, may on that account be as well rejected by God, as he who is vainly employed in foolish and idle pursuits.
3d. That it is no more pardonable to be less affected to the things of religion, for the sake of any worldly business, than for the indul. gence of our pride or any other passion,
It farther teaches us
4th. That Christianity is a calling that puts an end to all other callings.
5th. That we are no longer to consider it as our proper state or employment to take care of oxen, look after an estate, or attend the most plausible affairs of life; but to reckon every condition as equally trifling, and fit to be neglected for the sake of the one thing needful.
Men of serious business and management, generally censure those who trifle away their time in idle and impertinent pleasures, as vain and foolish, and unworthy of the Christian profession.
But they do not consider, that the business of the world, where they think they show such a manly skill and address, is as vain as vanity itself; they do not consider, that the cares of an employment, an attention to business, if it has got hold of the heart, renders men as vain and odious in the sight of God, as any other gratification.
For though they may call it an honest care, a creditable industry, or by any other plausible name; yet it is their particular gratification, and a wisdom that can no more recommend itself to the eyes of God, than the wisdom of an epicure.
For it shows as wrong a turn of mind, as false a judgment, and as great a contempt of tbe true goods, to neglect any degrees of piety, tor the sake of business, as for any the most trifling pleasures of life.
The wisdom of this world gives an importance, an air of greatness to several ways of life, and ridicules others as vain and contemptible, which differ only in their kind of vanity; but the wisdom from above condemns all labor as equally fruitless, but that which labors after everlasting life. Let but religion determine the point, and what can it signify, whether a man forgets God in his farm, or a shop, or at a gaming table? For the world is full as great and important in its pleasures as in its cares; there is no more wisdom in the one than in the other; and the Christian that is governed by either, and made less affected to the things of God by them, is equally odious and contemptible in the sight of God.
And though we distinguish betwixt cares and pleasures, yet if we would speak exactly, it is pleasure alone that governs and moves us in every state of life. And the man who, in the business of the world, would be thought to pursue it because of its use and importance, is as much governed by his temper and taste for pleasures, as he who studies the gratification of his palate, or takes his delight in running hares and foxes out of breath.
For there is no wisdom or reason in any thing but religion, nor is any way of life less vain than another, but as it is made serviceable to piety, and conspires with the designs of religion to raise mankind to a participation and enjoyment of the divine nature.
Therefore does our Saviour equally call men from the cares of employments as from the pleasures of their senses; because they are equally wrong turns of mind, equally nourish the corruption of our nature, and are equally nothing when compared to that high state of glory, which by his sufferings and death he has merited for us.
Perhaps Christians, who are not at all ashamed to be devoted to the cares and business of the world, cannot better perceive the weakness and folly of their designs than by comparing them with such states of life as they own to be vain and foolish, and contrary to the temper of religion.
Some people have no other care than how to give their palate some fresh pleasure, and enlarging the happiness of tasting. 'I desire to know now wherein consists the sin or baseness of his care?
Others live to no other purpose than to breed dogs, and to attend the sports of the field.
Others think all their time dull and heavy, which is not spent in the pleasures and diversions of the town.
Men of sober business, who seem to act the grave part of life, generally condemn these ways of life.
Now I desire to know upon what account they are to be condemed? For produce but the true reason why any of these ways of life are vain and sinful, and the same reason will conclude with the same strength against every state of life but that which is entirely devoted to God.
Let the ambitious man but show the folly and irregularity of covelousness, and the same reason will show the folly and irregularity of ambition.
Let the man who is deep in worldly business but show the vanity and shame of a life that is devoted to pleasures, and the same reasons will as fully set forth the vanity and shame of worldly cares. So that whoever can condemn sensuality, ambition, or any way of life, upon the principles of reason and religion, carries his own condemnation within his own breast, and is that very person which he despises, unless his life be entirely devoted to God.
For worldly cares are no more holy or virtuous than worldly pleasures; they are as great a mistake in life, and when they equally divide or possess the heart, are equally vain and shameful as any sen. sual gratifications.
It is granted that some cares are made necessary by the necessities of nature; and the same also may be observed of some pleasures; the pleasures of eating, drinking, and rest, are equally necessary; but yet if reason and religion do not limit these pleasures by the necessities of nature, we fall from rational creatures into drones, sots, gluttons, and epicures.
In like manner our care after some worldly things is necessary; but if this care is not bounded by the just wants of nature; if it wanders into unnecessary pursuits, and fills the mind with false desires and cravings; if it wants to add an imaginary splendor to the plain demands of nature, it is vain and irregular; it is the care of the epicure, a longing for sauces and ragouts, and corrupts the soul like any other sensual indulgence.
For this reason our Lord points his doctrines at the most common and allowed employments of life, to teach us, that they may employ
our minds as falsely, and distract us as far from our true good, as any trities and vanity.
He calls us from such cares, to convince us that even the necessaries of life must be sought with a kind of indifference, so that our souls may be truly sensible of greater wants, and disposed to hunger and thirst after enjoyments that will make us happy forever.
But how unlike are Christians to Christianity! It commands us "to take no thought, saying what shall we eat, or what shall we drink?" Yet Christians are restless and laborious till they can eat in plute.
Ít commands is to be indifferent about raiment; but Christians are full of care and concern to be clothed in purple and fine linen: it enjoins us to take no thought for the morrow, yet Christians think they have lived in vain if they do not leave estates at their death. Yet these are the disciples of that Lord who saith, “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
It must not be said, that there is some defect in these doctrines, or that they are not plain enough taught in the Scriptures, because the lives and behaviour of Christians is so contrary to them; for if the spirit of the world and the temper of Christians might be alleged against the doctrines of Scripture, none of them would have lasted to this day.
[From Life Illustrated.]
HOW PRIESTS ARE EDUCATED. A ROYAL commission has been inquiring into the great Catholic College in Maynooth, in Ireland, where more than half of the Irish priests are educated. The report of the commissioners makes the world acquainted with the modes of instruction, the discipline, the manners and customs of that important institution.
The number of students is about five hundred, and they are all supported by the funds of the college and the parliamentary grant. The average age of the students on entering is between eighteen and nineteen, and they remain at the college eight years. They are selected by the bishops from the most promising pupils of the diocesian semináries. The qualifications for admittance is a slender school-boy knowledge of Latin and Greek. The commissioners say that "the students are generally very deficient in primary education—that is, in correct reading and writing of the English language." The famine, it appears, nearly annihilated the Irish preparatory schools, and, consequently, a large number of the students sent to Maynooth are raw, ignorant youths, just able to translate a few books of Virgil and a few of the Dialogues of Lucian.
Over the portals of Maynooth might be written: “Who enters here leaves Liberty behind.” The students are absolutely prohibited from visiting each other's rooms on any pretext, or for any purpose! No conversation is allowed at meals. No student dare go one step beyond the college walls without leave. Every Wednesday, if the
reads the Bible aloud; but afcommunion. chapter he is sometimes
weather is fine, the whole body is marched out into the country, under strict surveillance; and during the walk, it is a very serious offense for the students to leave the ranks. The teachers live quite apart from the students; there is no intercourse between them of a social or friendly character. Students from the same diocese associate exclusively with one another; and this role is so strictly enforced, that a wilful violation of it might be visited with expulsion. The dean.is at liberty to open all letters and papers addressed to the students, and he exercises a strict censorship over their private reading. Neurspapers are absolutely prohibited! The utmost vigilance of the faculty is directed to their complete exclusion; but, we are happy to know, that their efforts are not always successful. No freedom of action is allowed to the students; in all respects they are treated as children; and children they remain, in all respects but one-innocence.
In winter, all rise at six; in sommer, at five. Two hours of every day are devoted to religious exercises; nine hours to study, and four hours and a half to meals and recreation. During the hours of stody, one of the deans walks up and down the hall, overlooking the students-students, remember, who are from eighteen to thirty years of age. On rising in the morning, they are required to spend half an hour in prayer and meditation; before going to bed, an equal period in prayer and examination of conscience. There is mass daily in the chapel, which all must attend; and once in two weeks all are required
a allowed to read a literary work. Twice a year there is what the Catholics call a “retreat" at the college, which last four days, and during which all intercourse between students is forbidden. Silence reigns within the college walls. . Every student is supposed to be praying and meditating continually, and he is expeeted to fast within an inch of his life.
The knowledge acquired by the inmates of Maynooth is, as might be supposed, very limited. For the first four years they are chiefly confined to mathematics and the classical languages; the last four years are devoted to theology and Hebrew. The student has no tutor to whom he can apply for assistance in his difficulties, and the classes are so large that he is not called up to recite more than once in two weeks. One essay in Latin, Greek, or English, is required weekly from each, but it is seldom corrected. The annual examinations, say the commissioners, are so loosely and hastily conducted, that they afford no means of judging of the proficiency of the students. There is scarcely any instruction given in physical science, none in history; and no modern language is attempted except French. Once or twice during the last year of the course, each student is called upon to preach a sermon before the superiors of the college, who n make a few remarks upon the performance.
In this way the spiritual guides of the Irish people are trained for their important duties. They issue from the college, in which they have been incarcerated for eigbt years, ignorant of the world and unacquainted with its history, with no experience of the trials, sorrowe, and temptations of human life, habituated to mental servitude, and drilled to uniformity in feeling, opinion, and habit. The Maynooth system is the clerical idea of education fally carried out. When we
SERIES IV.- VOL. VI.
consider for how many ages it was the only system on which higher education was conducted, and that in a large proportion of Protestant colleges the plan of Maynooth has been merely modified, not essentially changed, we cannot but wonder at the past progress of the human mind, and still more at the strides it is now making towards complete emancipation. Man learns in spite of his appointed teachers, rather than by their assistance.
We know that Roman Catholic education is eminently calculated to subject mind, and body, and feelings to obedience; and that a church like the Romish, where this enslaving principle is exercised over every one from very childhood, the priests cannot be educated in any other way. But we naturally ask, What do they learn or study in the long space of eight years, after having been already initiated, at least in the classical languages, without the study either of the natural sciences, history, or politics? We will tell you: They study church history at large, but in their own sense, being prohibi. tod from reading books on this topic which come from suspicious or heretical authors. On this subject, all circumstances of men and facts that would put the church, or the lieads of the church, in an unfavorable light, are carefully covered or retrenched; their authors, enemies of the church, are described as monsters of iniquiiy-enemies of God and his holy church. History, consequently, is a vile handmaid for hierarchical purposes. They study the Bible, but in a way to scare at once all our Protestant elergymen and divines, with commentaries filling a dozen of huge folio volumes. And thus they are prohibited from seeing with their own eyes, and judging by their own reason. In fact, it is a crime for a Roman Catholic to interpret Scripture in any other way than that prescribed by the church.
Furthermore, the theology of the church is a systematic science-a science, I say, because they call it so; otherwise, there is no such thing as science in it. Howbeit, this science is given commonly in eight or nine octavo volumes, consisting of propositions, with pretended proofs of them from Scripture, the Fathers, and even old Aristotle. The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas, is an enormous folio, which would fill up 24 of our common 8vo's, of 1,000 pages each. And this is only a summa.
Finally, the ceremonies of the church have to be studied, too, and are fully studied. The neglect of them in any particular involves a sin; and if this happens in the ceremonies of the mass, it is a mortal sin, and a negligent priest may easily commit a dozen mortal sins in
This may give an idea of the employment of their time; an idea of