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state in which he found the British mission under Major Harris. He expected to be received with cordiality by the king, and to proceed at once to the residence in Ankobar. Instead of this, however, he was detained a prisoner, and was threatened with personal indignity, and when subsequently he reached the British officer, a dispute ensued for which it is somewhat difficult to account. We confess that so far as our information extends, our sympathy is with Mr. Johnston, at the same time it becomes us in candour to acknowledge that that information is scarcely such as entitles us to pronounce a judgment. That the embassy has not accomplished any object commensurate with the expence which it involved, may be acknowledged without criminating the capacity or prudence of Major, now Sir William Harris, but there are circumstances alleged by our author which, if true, will satisfactorily account for its failure. An attempt appears to have been made to take advantage of the ignorance of the king, and it is no marvel therefore that he should have been led to regard the English with mistrust and dislike. Mr. Johnston alludes to this with sufficient distinctness in the following passage.
“An answer had been sent to me by Capt. Harris the day before by the messenger now in prison, confined by the Wallasmah for having brought a letter for me, after the king had issued orders that all correspondence between the English already in the country and those arriving should be prevented. Mr. Scott was not at all surprised when i informed him of the circumstance, though I certainly considered such a proceeding to be very much at variance with the conditions and stipulations I was given to understand were contained in the commercial treaty. I could not help remarking this, and Mr. Scott then candidly admitted the king did not know the character or purport of the paper he had signed ; and had only been made aware of the new responsibilities he had incurred, by a sharplyworded expostulatory letter, written by Mr. Krapf, in accordance to the dictation of Captain Harris, on an occasion subsequently to the signing of the treaty, when despatches and letters coming up from the coast were intercepted and detained for some time by the orders of the king. Singularly enough, this information was corroborated by Ohmed Medina, who told me that my letter from Dinnomalee had not been carried to Captain Harris, but to the king, who wanted to find out whether the English were his friends or not, and was trying my disposition and that of the commander (Captain Harris) by this harsh treatment of me; a kind of experiment, in fact, to see what would be borne by us, and how far he had limited his authority by attaching his signature to the treaty. Any idea of granting public benefit, at the expense of his prerogative was never entertained for a moment, the intentions of the king being limited to shewing personal favour alone, which he is ever ready to concede even now to English travellers, much as he complains of the conduct of the
Vol. XVII. E e
Mission to Shoa as regards their political misdoings; more espe.cially of the great insult offered to him by the unfortunate letter before alluded to, and which was worded so unguardedly, that the king, on receiving it, might well, considering his great regard for Mr Krapf previously, turn to him and say, in a tone that implied more of sorrow than of anger, · Did you write that, my father?''vol. ii. pp. 21-23.
Mr. Johnston represents the religious faith of the Shoans, as involved in considerable obscurity, and shrinks from any attempt to elucidate it. 'I dare not,' he says, 'attempt any elucidation of the faith professed by the negoos and monks of Shoa; they certainly have no universal creed, nor any articles to define what is orthodox belief and what is not. The chief principle of religion with the heads of the church in that country seems to be to think upon the subject exactly as the negoos do; for if they do not, they are very soon considered in the light of heretics.
The Church Missionary Society, it is well known, have for some time laboured in Abyssinia, and at one period with good prospect of success. This prospect however has been overclouded, and according to our traveller, mainly by the interposition of political agencies. "Who can help regretting,' he remarks, 'the great mistake of the missionary in calling political aid to his assistance, but he erred solely by his zeal to extend his opportunities of conferring good upon his fellow creatures. He grieves now for influence founded upon respect that is gone for ever; and from my heart I sympathize with him, for the utter prostration of hope that Abyssinia should become the centre of enlightenment for the rest of the unhappy continent of Africa.' It is not indeed to be wondered at that the agents of a society framed and supported by a state church, should readily avail themselves of such assistance. It was accordant with their creed, was in harmony with the constitution of the hierarchy whose name they bore, and might, by minds trained after their fashion, be expected to promote their religious calling. But as in all similar cases, so in this, the most calamitous results fol- lowed a departure from the laws of Christ. The interposition of political influence awakened the suspicion of the civil power. The teacher of Christianity lost his distinctive and ennobling character; his hold on the confidence of the people was sacrificed ; he became an object of mistrust; and is now a wanderer from the land which once promised a cheering return to his pious labours.
Of Mr. Johnston's religious tenets we know nothing more than the volumes before us supply. From a passage in the first volume, (p. 269), we conclude that they pertain to the unitarian school, in the ultimate prevalence of which as the
sect to whom is reserved the glory of reuniting in one faith, the present divided family of man,’ he appears to exercise the fullest confidence. In this anticipation we do not of course indulge, as we cannot agree with him in the too favourable view which he takes of Islamism. Differing on this point, which is only incidentally alluded to, we part from him with respect as a sensible and candid writer, in whose company it is pleasant to travel, and from whose pages both amusement and instruction may be derived.
Art. III. Geschichte der geistlichen Bildungsanstalten. Mit einem Vorworte, enthaltend: Acht Tage im Seminar von St. Euseb. in Rom. Von Dr. Augustin Theiner. Mainz, 1835.
Histoire des Institutions d'Education Ecclesiastique. Par Augustin Theiner, traduit de l'Allemand par Jean Cohen, Bibliothécaire à St. Geneviève. Paris, 1841.
WE have separated this work from others which were named with it in a previous article, that we might by a distinct, and purely biographical, notice of it, obtain a place for some remarkable details, for which there would not have been room, in a mixed article, bearing upon practical objects, and secure a greater variety of interesting matter, relating to the seminaries of Romanism, than would otherwise have been practicable. It is the production of a man whose course has excited no small attention on the continent, especially in Italy and Germany. The younger of two brothers, who under the influence of Thaddaeus Dereser, capitular of the cathedral at Breslaw and professor of theology in the university, some time since took a prominent part in the Silesian movement for the restoration of a German national church, in opposition to the ruling ultramontane principles, he became known to the learned world by the publication of his able work on the constrained celibacy of the Roman clergy, ‘Die erzwungene Ehelosigkeit der Katholischen Geistlichkeit,” printed in two volumes at Altenburg, in 1828. This work to which, though written almost wholly by himself, the name of his brother, John Anthony, was also prefixed, was not only distinguished for the diligence and care with which the very numerous original sources of information had been investigated, but was, besides, remarkable as the work of a man under twenty-four, who had in early life contended with great privations, being the son of a poor shoemaker, who was able to afford him no assistance in his studies. Through the reputation this work acquired for him, he obtained, in the E E 2
following year, the degree of doctor of laws from Halle; on which occasion he published his ‘Commentatio de Romanorum pontificum espistolarum decretalium antiquis collectionibus.” Almost immediately after this, assisted by a stipend from the Prussian ‘Ministry of Instruction,’ he set out on a tour through Germany, England and France; a tour so remarkable in its consequences, as described by himself in the preface to his work now under review, that we must communicate a short account of it to our readers. This preface is dated November, 1833, four years after he had commenced his tour; and is in the form of a letter to a friend, who had written to him in October, 1832, on the state of his religious opinions. Our abstract of it will necessarily extend to several pages, but those who think it out of place in an article on the continental seminaries are at perfect liberty to skip it. It would appear that he commenced his travels with a mind very ill at ease, dissatisfied with the principles which had placed him in a hostile position to Rome, but equally suspicious of all influence which savoured of the papacy. He speaks, indeed, of the pure intentions which had actuated him; but the whole narrative shows that religion, as a bond of truth riveted upon the conscience, had no part in him. His letter commences with a description of the state of his feelings at Vienna, just as he had begun to experience the vanity of a religious reform, based chiefly upon a material and pseudo-philosophical theology, and had fallen under the influence of a sentimentalism, not the less sickly because arrayed in the garb of religion. “I preserve a lively recollection of the painful and distressing hours which I passed in Vienna, destitute of faith, yet with an ardent desire to attain it. Notwithstanding the extreme cold and thick snow, for it was the depth of the severe winter of 1829, I never once failed to attend the regular service at St. Stephen's church. I mingled with the pious throng, and leaning against apillar, I listened at a distance to those celestial symphonies, in the sweet hope that their melodious tone would re-establish the troubled harmony of my soul; and often shed tears of regret over my loss of faith, the christian's most precious treasure. More than once I envied the venerable and devout old man by whose side I stood, as in the vicinity of a refreshing oasis, in order to see if in his tranquil and happy look I could discover the joy and pleasure which the spirit breathes which puts its confidence in God. But I remained too much shut up within myself for such impressions to suffice to reconcile me with myself. I avoided all intercourse with the ministers of our religion by the advice of my own family. Every black gown was an object of suspicion to me. At this time I should have repulsed Fenelon himself as an imposter, if he had come to me to offer his advice. My friends and a portion of my family, dissatisfied with the unexpected impression which the religious life of Austria had made on my mind, prevailed upon me to abridge my stay in Vienna, and proceed to England (a country, they said, of true religious liberty), postponing for the present my journey into Italy. I was determined, by a remarkable circumstance, to follow their counsel. Two of my best friends in Vienna, men respectable as well for their profound learning as for their position in society and nobleness of character, neglected nothing to dissuade me from going to Rome. They assured me with the utmost seriousness that two Jesuits had introduced themselves into the imperial library, whither I went to work every day, and that having placed themselves opposite to me at the table where I sat, they had secretly taken my portrait to send to Rome. Such a statement, so attested, left me no room to hesitate as to whither I should go, for I did not imagine at that time that the devil would push his infernal stratagems so far.”
It will not surprise our readers that the sentimental simpleton, whose hope thus hovered between the tones of the organ, and the physiognomy of a pious, it may be, but more probably, imbecile old man, was totally unable to appreciate the protestantism of England, or the spirit of English piety. His representation of protestantism is indeed revolting. Protestantism itself would be so, were the representation true. Though quite unworthy on its own account of a place in the abstract we are giving of Dr. Theiner's religious vacillations, we shall insert part of it as a specimen of ecclesiastical portraiture. It is the protestant life of England depicted by a Silesian Romanist; and, strange to say, a Romanist who had spent some of his best years in investigating the enormities resulting from constrained celibacy in that church. The author has been speaking of religious separation, and forgetful of our Lord’s words, “I came not to send peace, but a sword;’ he imagines that by quoting some of Luther's complaints concerning the sectarianism which followed so closely in the train of the reformation, he has disposed of the whole protestant cause. He then adds:
“If after this we cast a scrutinizing glance at the social degeneracy of the protestant church in England, we are seized with astonishment at the strange aspect it presents. How common it is to see the dear little children of the pastor of souls clambering up the pulpit to the side of their papa (!) and throw down slips of paper to their playfellows (!!) while their father reads tranquilly and undisturbed, his written sermon; his monotonous delivery being diversified by nothing but a few bizarre and ungraceful gestures, or soporific sighs . Meanwhile, his worthy spouse, seated on the pulpit stairs (!!!) is waiting impatiently for the end of his long and wearisome discourse. This ended, the preacher, with his wife and children, passes to a room which they call the vestry, where they begin, like a tribe of shopkeepers, discussing with the parishioners the sees to be exacted for ecclesiastical service (!) The wife attempts to soften the hearts of the faithful, by representing to them the destitute state of her household(11)