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quoted in Didron's Christian Iconography, ed. Bohn, p. 375.) The Cross manifests to men of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation—north, and south, and east, and west,“ what is the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of the Love of CHRIST, which passeth knowledge.” (Ephes. iii. 18.) And a learned Prelate of our own Church reminds us how “the ancient Church loved to contemplate the Cross of CHRIST, dying for the sins of the whole world, as expressing by its quadriform dimensions the universality of those attributes here ascribed by the Apostle to God's love in CHRIST. The Cross of Christ has all the dimensions of which the Apostle speaks. By it He ascended up on high, and led captivity captive; by it He descended to the lowest parts of the earth, and by it He extendeth Himself to the length and breadth of the whole world. In the elevation of the Cross we see an emblem of His Divine power; in its depression we recognise His human condescension ; in its extension we see an image of the diffusion of the Gospel throughout the world, and of the union of all men in Him. .... S. Augustine often applies the dimensions of the Cross to illustrate the true character of the spiritual life of those who are crucified to the world in CHRIST. The firmness and stability, the heavenward tendency, the world-wide extension of the Cross symbolise the constancy, and faith, and hope, and expansive charity of the Christian. . . . Hoc signo crucis omnis actio Christiana describatur." (Wordsworth on Ephes. iii. 18.)
As regards the SIGN OF THE CROSS—which the Western Church makes from above to below, and from left to right, but the Eastern Church from right to left (Didron's Ch. Icon. p. 411, note)—it was actually used in the wave breast and heave shoulder of the Mosaic ritual (Exod. xxix. 24, 26, 27; Lev. vii. 34; Numb. xviii. 11,) and therefore can neither be meaningless nor displeasing to Almighty God. And this action was early made use of by the Christians as an outward declaration of their Faith, intended at once to remind them of their LORD, and to consecrate every action, occasion, and thing to His service. In Holy Baptism, in the Holy Eucharist, in the ordination of Clergy, in the consecration of Churches, and in all Benedictions the Sign of the Cross held its place and had its part. “In prayer the most esteemed attitude was with the hands folded so as to represent that sacred form [or rather the primitive Christians extended their arms in prayer,] the Blessed Body in the LORD's Supper was received in the right hand, so placed across the left as to make this Sign; and
further all the common events of daily life were by the faithful consecrated and dedicated to their Crucified Master by it, thereby also reminding themselves Whose they were, and what the obligations they as bearers of the Cross, were under.” (“ The Fathers of the Church,” Vol. i. p. 194, Hayes.) The words of Tertullian are well known. “At every advance and movement, at all goings out and comings in, when dressing and putting on the shoes, when washing, at meals, on lighting of lamps, at bed time, on sitting down, whatever act of our lives we are engaged in, we mark our forehead with the Sign of the Cross.” (Tertullian de Corona Militis, c. ii.) And S. Cyril of Jerusalem in his instructions to catechumens saith thus, “Let us not be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, but though another hide it, do thou openly seal it on thy brow: that the devils beholding that princely Sign may flee away trembling. But make thou this Sign when thou eatest and drinkest, sittest or liest down, risest up, speakest, walkest; in a word, on every occasion; for He Who was here crucified is above in the heavens.” (Catech. Lect. iv. 14.) And S. Chrysostom saith,
From earliest life encompass thy children with spiritual armour, and instruct them to seal the forehead with the hand; and before they are able to do this with their own hand, do you imprint upon them the Cross.” (1 Cor. Hom. xii. s 7.) “ Blessed Cross ! title of glory, ensign of victory, signet of eternal redemption !" (S. Pet. Dam. in Neale's Mediæval Preachers, p. 72.)
Modern Protestant writers may protest against such language, but the ancient Church had no such scruples, for S. Augustine could thus address the Cross; “ The Cross of Christ is the cause of all blessedness to us : it frees us from blindness, it restores those who are in darkness to light, those that were at war to peace, joins to God those that were aliens, brings nigh those that were afar off, turns strangers into citizens, puts an end to discord, is the firm basis of peace, is the abundant largess of all gifts.” (See Neale's Mediæval Preachers, p. 69, note.) How many have been preserved from imminent danger by the simple Sign of the Cross traced upon the breast or forehead. Again and yet again has it caused the spirits of darkness to tremble and turn to flight, it has driven away evil thoughts and caused good ones, it has protected the virginity of women and the Faith of believers, it has inspired men with Hope, Resignation, Courage, and Devotion; it has enabled CHRIST's servants to perform mighty works in His Name, and, if we may believe the accounts of miracles wrought in early times, it has even brought the dead to life again. (See Cal. of P. Book Illust. p. 143.)
The world hates both the Symbol and Sign of the Cross, and would fain trample the one under foot, and utterly abolish the other : but “stat Crux dum volvitur orbis !” Whilst our own Branch of the Catholic Church orders the use of this Holy Sign in the Office for Baptism, and stoutly maintains its lawfulness and significance in the XXXth Canon of 1603, thus saying : “The honour and dignity of the name of the Cross, begat a reverend estimation even in the Apostles' time, (for aught that is known to the contrary,) of the Sign of the Cross, which the Christians shortly after used in all their actions : thereby making an outward show and profession, even to the astonishment of the Jews, that they were not ashamed to acknowledge Him for their LORD and SAVIOUR, Who died for them upon the Cross. And this Sign they did not only use themselves with a kind of glory, when they met with any Jews, but signed therewith their children, when they were christened to dedicate them by that badge to His service, Whose benefits bestowed upon them in Baptism the name of the Cross did represent. And this use of the Sign of the Cross in Baptism was held in the Primitive Church, as well by the Greeks as the Latins, with one consent and great applause. At what time if any had opposed themselves against it, they would certainly have been censured as enemies of the name of the Cross, and consequently of CHRIST'S merits, the Sign whereof they could no better endure. ... The abuse of a thing doth not take away the lawful use of it. Nay, so far was it from the purpose of the Church of England to forsake and reject the Churches of Italy, France, Spain, Germany, or any such like Churches, in all things which they held and practised, that, as the Apology of the Church of England confesseth, it doth with reverence retain those ceremonies, which doth neither endamage the Church of God, nor offend the minds of sober men ; and only departed from them in those particular points, wherein they were fallen both from themselves in their ancient integrity, and from the Apostolical Churches which were their first founders.”
Whilst then our own spiritual Mother, the English Church, expressly retains and defends the use of the Sign of the Cross in the Office or Holy Baptism, so also would she seem to allow her children to follow the custom of the Primitive Church in this matter at other times also, and would permit them to use this blessed Sign, as each man may
find needful or convenient for his soul's health : only requiring her children “in all things to follow and keep the rule of charity; and every man to be satisfied with his own conscience, not judging other men's minds or consciences.” For among “ certain notes for the more plain explication and decent ministration of things contained” in the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. (1549,) and placed in the end of that book—a book which even the Second Act of Uniformity (which enjoined the use of the Prayer Book of 1552) described as "a very godly order .... agreeable to the Word of God and the Primitive Church"-we find the following, wise and loving words : As touching kneeling, crossing, holding up of bands, knocking upon the breast, and other gestures, they may be used or left, as every man's devotion serveth, without blame.”
Reviews and Notices. We can certainly say that since the death of Dr. Neale, the Church has not possessed any one among her sons and daughters possessed of so much poetic promise as the author of A Martyr Bishop, and other Verses, (Masters.) The latter half of the volume is not equal to the first; but some of the earlier pieces are really brilliant. The death of Bishop Patteson is beautifully commemorated, so also is Keble, and there are some very pretty poems which betoken that the author is no stranger to Scotland ; but perhaps the one most calculated to enlist general sympathy is that headed, “ July 19, 1873,” which we give at length.
“ It burst upon a startled land like a sudden passing bell,
The tidings of the loss of him we knew and lov'd so well.
A great and shining light is quenched-our Wilberforce is dead.'
O fatal hour! O dire mischance ! so cries our want of faith,
“ Were the dumb beast's eyes open'd, then, that Messenger to see,
And bow in meek obedience ? men know not how these things be :
One moment—and the calm face lay upturn'd upon the sod.
Before the sore-imprison'd soul might pass the golden gate :
The Master saith, 'It is enough: well done, thou faithful servant ! “Oh! call not his untimely death, in whatsoever station,
Whose life on earth hath been a lifelong course of preparation :
Is gather'd, perfect and entire, into the Master's hand.
O wise and saintly soul! whose works among us perish not,
That here, on that bright summer day, our holy Bishop died.” Some of the metres are rather peculiar, and occasionally therefore a line is somewhat hard to read : but this really is not a fault in the author, for whom, if perseverance is not wanting, we predict a useful and successful career.
Miss Lipscomb's First Truths for the Little Ones (Masters) is the work of one who understands how to write for children. The subjects too are well selected, both from the Old and New Testaments, and reverently treated, and we have no doubt that the little book will be found useful to many priests and teachers. We must however object to speaking of the Holy Eucharist under the title of “the LORD's Supper.”
A new and somewhat abridged edition of John Brown the Cordwainer, (Mowbray,) is published at the low price of one shilling, and is dedicated to Mr. Powell, the energetic Secretary of the “ Church of England Working Men's Society.”
Mrs. Streatfield's Little Garland of the Saints, and other Verses (Mowbray) is much to be commended. The poetry has quite the right ring, and the stories are full of interest, and at the same time free from extravagance. Nevertheless there is a good deal of obscurity in some places, as it is difficult to see the connection between the Saint commemorated and the flower associated with him or her. A few notes would obviate this difficulty, and we would suggest that in a new edition they should be added.
The Te Deum, with illustrations, by Helen J. A. Miles, (Mozley and Smith,) is good in conception, and the drawings are not bad, but the effect of the engravings is very much spoiled by the eyes of the several figures being all so many black specks.
Dr. Pusey, with his usual bravery, has come forward with a long defence of the doctrine of Confession and Absolution, against which designing persons have contrived to stir up so insane a cry. It is well known by all com. petent observers that Confession has been the chief instrument through which the higher tone of religion prevailing happily in our day has been