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power for a new obedience. Let a man go to Christ for salvation, and he not only receives pardon of his sins, but, according to the terms of the New Covenant, because his sins and iniquities are no more remembered, God puts His laws into his mind, and writes them in his heart. "We love Him, because He first loved us." Only let a man realize for himself the redeeming fatherly love of God in Christ, and there springs up in his soul a childlike love, the free impulse of a life devoted to God, Instead of the former opposition between God's will and the will of man, they are united and made one. The law no longer appears as a written code of rules, opposed to a will estranged from God; but the spirit of the law is transfused into the inner life of the believer. It becomes a part of himself. It is written on his heart. He delights in it after the inward man. There is a willing obedience instead of a forced conformity. "Oh, how I love Thy law; it is my meditation all the day." Here again, then, does the "ministration of the spirit" excel the "ministration of the letter." The Gospel produces that obedience to the law, which the law itself could not command. It sanctifies as well as justifies. It heals man's nature, as well as purges his guilt.
The parallel might be easily expanded, but enough has been suggested to show the Divine wisdom of the inspired word. We gain a fresh assurance of the spiritual character of the Gospel. It deals with things unseen, and does not ask for external magnificence. We are not to find its glory in symbolism and outward ceremonial. It is no reason that, because Solomon's temple was fragrant with cedar, and glittering with golden pomegranates, and cloudy with incense, and gorgeous with the robes of its priesthood, therefore Christianity should be thus attired.* It is rather just the very reason why it should not; for here is one of the strongest points of contrast. We go back to a defunct system, when wo aim at pageantry and pomp. What was lawful once, is sin and folly now. We turn from the living to the dead when thus we act; and were Paul to speak now to us, who "have been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light and true knowledge of God and of His Son Jesus Christ,"t his language might be sterner than to the neophytes of Corinth,—" But now, after ye have known God, them the appearance of being merely a very subordinate part of or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"
• One of the earlier and best known by adopting the very practices, -which
of our modern perverts has alleged that appeared to the former Incumbent of
he was attracted to Romanism by find- St. James', Ryde, so unwarranted by
ing nothing in our Church order cor- her as to compel his secession. Doctors
responding to the Ritual of Exodus and certainly differ, and it seems time that
Leviticus. It is strange that the in- our Law Courts should tell us what
cumbents of St. Alban's and St. Ethel- are "the ornaments of the Church and
burga's should satisfy themselves in the ministers thereof." remaining in the Church of England t Fropcr Preface for Whit Sunday.
Great were the privileges of Israel. Ours could hardly be spoken of in higher terms, and yet they are nothing to ours. We have the last best gift of heaven. There will be nothing higher or better till the restitution of all things. How shall we conserve that for which we are all so deeply responsible? Shall we not seek day by day to know the "ministration of righteousness" better, to live on it more, to purify our souls by the love of the truth, to realize increasingly our true standing as men, redeemed, pardoned, justified, in Christ Jesus? It is only vigorous spiritual health that will repel spiritual epidemics. The
"low fever ranges round to spy The weakness of a people or a house;"
and it is only the sound and strong that can venture into infected atmosphere and not be tainted. May we sue out for ourselves, and claim as our rightful inheritance, through the New Covenant, the power of the indwelling Spirit to expel sin; tracing Christ through the whole of His word, as the end of the law and the prophets, and evermore growing in grace. The light on Moses' countenance gradually died away. The Christian may daily gain such clearer insight into the Gospel of his Lord, that the reflection of His glory may be ever deepening in him, and brightening ever; even as the Apostle's contrast culminates in the sublime thought,—"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF MARIAN WORSHIP, AS EXHIBITED IN ROMAN MONUMENTS.
Roma Sotterranea; or, Some Account of the Roman Catacomb*. Compiled from the works of Commendatore de Rossi, with the consent of the Author. By Rev. J. 8. Nortlicote, D.D., President of St. Mary's College, Oscott, and Rev. W. R. Brownlow, M.A. Longmans. 1867.
A History of Ancient Christianity and Sacred Art in Italy. By C. J. Hemans. Williams and Norgate, London. 1866.
Feom various causes, upon which we need not now dwell, a great impulse has been given of late years to the study of Vol. 68.—No. 383. 5 M
primitive Christian Art. Early monuments are still in existence, many but recently discovered, not a few of them either all but unknown or known only in disguise, which are of the highest importance for their bearing upon disputed questions of doctrine or of discipline. And of all the fields for such research open to the student, none is more rich in hidden treasure than "Subterranean Rome;" no records of Primitive Christendom more suggestive than the rude frescoes depicted on the walls qf the Catacombs, or the simple inscriptions there to be read.
The history of these "Catacombs," to use the name1 by which they are popularly known, abounds with an interest all its own, quite apart from all reference to the controverted questions of these our own days; though upon these also, as we have already intimated, their evidence is of the highest value. We speak of their history absolutely; but we should rather gay their history as far as at present it admits of being written. For all that as yet has been determined concerning them, is confessedly imperfect. And though there is much that may now be regarded as conclusively established, there is also much that still is, and probably will yet remain, subject for conjecture, rather than for well grounded and certain conclusion.
The " Roma Sotterranea," edited by Dr. Northcote and Mr. Brownlow, is a compendium of what has been written on the subject by Cavaliere De Rossi of Rome, more particularly of a work, as yet incomplete, the title of which they have preserved in their own volume. No one living is so fitted to be the historian of the Catacombs as the distinguished antiquary we have just named. But the language (Italian) in which his book is written, and in these days of "short and cheap" publications, we fear we must add, its size, and cost, nay, even the exactness of its research and great learning,—all these combine to deter many English readers from making acquaintance with its contents. And this being so, we think that the compilers of the volume before us have done good service, in laying before the English public a summary of the results of De Rossi's investigations. Their book would have been more valuable if they had adhered more religiously than they have done to his guidance. For in spite of the deep importance to doctrinal questions, now controverted, of the monuments with which De Rossi has to deal, yet has he, as far as we have observed, the rare merit of stating his facts exactly and impartially, precisely as he finds them, instead of selecting, manipulating, and more or less disguising them, so as to suit a predetermined conclusion.
1 This namo properly applies only at a time when all the otheis had
to one particular cemetery beneath the passed into oblivion. Hence it was
church of St. Sebastian, which from that, when the older cemeteries were
early times was known as "Ad Cata- discovered in the sixteenth century,
cumbas" (this last probably a barba- the special designation of that one
rous corruption of a Greek word). This cemetery became a generic term «p
porticular cemetery was easily acces- plied to them all. sible, and was still known and visited
We greatly regret, on many grounds, that we cannot extend the same praise to the compilers of the volume now before us. Had they confined themselves to questions of archaeological research, as does, for the most part, the learned writer whose works they have epitomised; or if, embarking on questions of theology, they had treated of them with the exactness2 of statement and representation, the fulness of research, the strictness of logical inference, of which his archaeological writings at least present an admirable example,—had they made it their one end and aim to present all the facts before them fully and impartially to their readers, as men who believed that facts, as they are in themselves, are far more precious than facts as Dr. Northcote and his coadjutors would wish them to be,—had this been so, we at least should have welcomed heartily the great addition which they might have made to the limited knowledge hitherto attainable of the true history of the early Roman Church. But, as things are, it is impossible to read through their volume, after studying those of De Rossi, without being reminded again and again of the loss we have sustained, in exchanging the guidance of a genuine Roman archaeologist for that of an English (and Roman) divine.
In saying this, let us not be misunderstood. The book edited by Dr. Northcote may be regarded as made up of two parts, and presenting two distinct characters. The greater part of the volume is devoted to questions of historical and antiquarian research concerning the construction of the Catacombs, their relative dates, their pictorial ornamentation, and the like. And in this portion of their work, in which theological questions are only very indirectly and remotely involved, the editors have trodden carefully in De Rossi's steps; and have done their own part, in translation and arrangement, extremely well. And in spite of the defects upon which we are about to dwell, we gladly commend this first part of their book as the best available summary of the facts of chief importance in the history of the Roman Catacombs. It is in the later part of their book, where their subjects are such as to command the interest of a far wider circle of readers, that the present editors have conspicuously failed. How indeed, being- what they are, should they have done otherwise than fail? For in these later chapters (their Book IV.), they deal with controversial questions, which for many centuries past have been, as they still are, at issue in Christendom. And these are questions upon which (as we shall shortly see) the monuments of primitive Christianity bear a testimony the very reverse of that which a Roman controversialist would desire. And though a layman, such as De Rossi, engaged in arcbasological enquiry, may be content to state facts simply ns he finds them, two Englishmen, once, but now no longer, members of the English Church, and one of them President of a Roman Catholic Seminary at Oscott, can hardly be expected, in the nature of things, to be other than mere controversialists, when engaged upon a subject such as theirs. And if men enter upon the study of the Catacombs, as these editors seem to have done, with a primary view to find there testimony in behalf of modern Romanism, they set themselves to a task involving one of two alternatives. Either they must shot np their books, and lay aside their pen, as soon as they have attained to anything like an accurate knowledge of their subject; or they must acquire (as indeed they seem to have done) that peculiar faculty, which was pithily described by one of old time. They must combine the power of being blind to what other men see, with that of seeing that which to all but themselves is invisible. They have to deal with facts of Christian antiquity. But a constraining necessity is upon them that those facts shall be Romanised. Unconsciously, therefore, (of intentional misrepresentation, it is unnecessary to say, we do not for a moment accuse them,) they conceal both from themselves, and from others, all that is out of harmony with Roman prejadiceSj and they import into what is before them, ideas utterly unknown4 to the ages with which they have to deal.
J Even when he attempts to prove own conclusions, presents an honour
what, in our judgment, it is impossible ablo contrast to the manipulation of
to prove (as in his descriptive comment ancient pictures of which we have to
upon the Imagines selects Deiparce Vir- complain on the part of Dr. Northcote.
ginia), tho fidelity with which he re- See below, p. 828. produces monuments destructive of his
One of two alternatives, we said. But we were wrong. For yet a third course is possible, and this was actually followed—to his credit be it said—by the author (Mr. Hemans) whose work stands second upon our list. We have no personal knowledge of the writer, and we repeat only what we have heard stated as matter of notoriety, when we say, that at one time, like Dr. Northcote, he became a "convert" (so-called) to Roinanism.
'We can hardly suppose that we do matter trifling in itself, but like *
-wrong in inferring from this book that floating straw indicative of the set of
the "Rev. W. R. Brownlow, M.A., of the stream) will be found at p. 138,
Trinity College, Cambridge," does not where the writer speaks of St. Lucius
now hold orders in the English Church. (Bishop of Rome) as reigning at Konw
4 An amusing instance of this (a in the year 252 A. D.