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reverence, and called him the Theologue; and of anything which was not to be doubted, it was enough to say, “He said it."
In the morning, they as much as possible walked alone, seeking the most retired places, where they might not be interrupted ; after which they went to the temple, or place of devotion, and then attended to their exercises. The dinner generally consisted of a little bread and honey ; and in the evening they had bread and herbs, and sometimes a pittance from the sacrifice. At the meals it was ordered that the youngest should read a lecture; after which a libation was made to the gods, and then all were dismissed with some task on which to meditate. * In this very brief synopsis of the Monks and rules of Pythagoras, it is impossible not to recognise the exact relationship with those institutions which existed, and still exist, beyond the regions of Babylon and Persia, where this great philosopher lived and travelled, and deeply studied all that came within the reach of his mind. In confirmation of the above, we also cite the authority of Jerome himself, who introduces Cheræmon the stoic descanting on the austerity and celibacy of the heathen Priests of Egypt, who renounced the world and their property, living on public contributions, refusing also to admit their relations and friends; abstained from meats and wine, and never allowed the sex to enter their institutions.
12. Coming to pagan, to imperial Rome, we see Æneas, when passing through the Elysian fields, is described as finding in those happy regions the chaste Priests only, who had lived in celibacy. There were also pagan orders who assumed the name of the god or saint whom they served : such as the Quirinales, after Quirinus or Romulus; Diales, after Jupiter ; Martiales, from Mars ; Vulcanales, Vulternales, Florales, Pomonales. They had also the fraternity of Adrian, Anthonius, Aurelius ; and they called themselves brothers, because they were united by mutual charity and alliance; and companions, because they were equal one to another, and joined in the same society.ş Some of these heathen Monks had settled revenues, as the Fratres Arvales, the Quirinales, and the Vestals. Others were mendicants; and Apuleius makes himself very merry with the holy fathers, exposing their craft, as to the way in which they got their wallets well filled by the people. Those who were devoted to the Syrian goddess lived also by begging. Some, as Lactantius|| informs us, gave up their fortunes, renounced their pleasures, and thus freed themselves from all incumbrances, that they might pursue virtue alone. So Antisthenes sold everything that he possessed but his cloak, and distributed it publicly. So his disciple Diogenes, who kept only a pouch, a dish, and a crutch. Crates cast his money into the sea, thinking he could not be virtuous and rich at the same time. Many were in the habit of inflicting severe castigations on their own persons, and shaved their heads, as those of Isis and Serapis. I There were those also dedicated to the Dodonæan Jove, a self-mortifying race,
“ Whose groves the Selli, race austere, surround;
Their feet unwash'd, their slumbers on the ground.” Certain females, also, among the Pagans, were sacred to the gods, and had
* See Dacier's Life of Pythagoras, pp. 26, 27, 197; and Gale, vol. i., pp. 137, 138, 139, to 156.
+ Lib. ii. Contra Jovinianum, in Meagher, p. 131.
In Mussard, pp. 40 and 59.
rules of the most stringent kind. And there was the famous cloister of Nuns formed by Pythagoras, over which he placed his own daughter. * And there were those devoted of the sex, referred to by Herodotus at Thebes, whom he calls “ sacred women, consecrated to the Theban Jove." These were held in great veneration, and had their sepulchres six hundred feet from the tomb of Osymándyas; and though we are unable to ascertain their exact duties, it is evident they were important, from their holding the sacred emblems, the badges of their office.t.
Then there were the Virgines Vestales, “ virgins consecrated to the worship of Vesta ;" an institution established by Numa Pompilius. Their house, or nunnery, was near to the temple of Castor. They had a ten years' novitiate ; for the same period they performed the duties of their office, and for an equal number of years instructed those who had to succeed them. So soon as they were initiated, their heads were shaved ! they were freed from parental authority, and could dispose of any property they possessed as they pleased. They wore a peculiar habit, with a white vest, having purple borders. They had also a white linen surplice, called linteum supernum, flowing to the ground, but which was tucked up when they offered sacrifice. On the head they had a close covering, called fibula, from which hung fillets. When they went abroad, great respect was paid to them; and if by accident they met a malefactor going to execution, he escaped punishment. All entrance into their temple was denied to men ; and if in any way they transgressed the laws of virtue, death was their portion. The lady Superior was called Maxima Vestalis Virgo. §
II. We now proceed to consider the monastic institutions of Popery.
I. And where, we ask, emphatically, did Papal Rome commence her course of monkery, but in Egypt itself, where the system had been matured and admired amongst the Heathen? a fact which makes it easy to account for the wonderful similarity existing betwixt the fraternities of idolatrous Asia and so-called Catholic Europe. And it is a truth which the Romish historians never attempt to deny, that from Egypt, and the adjacent regions, those institutions travelled into Italy, and other northern countries. Think, also, of the time when they began, a period of little more than three centuries after the advent of our Saviour, when innumerable other superstitions and ceremonies had been admitted into the Christian church, to captivate the Heathen, and to make up for what they had lost. And it is most needful to remember, that long before the establishment of monasteries, the ascetics of the church were in great reputation. They lived without rules, in cells and caves, in the wilderness; and it was in about A.D. 300, when they were brought into communities by Antonius, or, as some say, by Pachomius,|| and were called Cænobitæ, which is precisely the same name as was given by Pythagoras to those under his rule. From that period, the Catholic fraternities spread into France, Italy, Britain, and other countries; and it is most probable that Anthony was the first Abbot of a monastery : he died A.D. 361.9T
2. Some suppose the Tabennisians to be a very early, if not the earliest,
* Gale, vol. ii., part i., p. 212.
Godwin, edit. 1680, p. 65.
Emilliane, p. 2; to whom I am principally indebted for the following notices of the various orders.
order; and Sozomen gives a particular account of it.* Pachomius was the founder. The holy brethren were clothed in skins, and had cassocks without sleeves, to show that their hands were never ready to do evil; and hoods, to denote they were like little children, who wore things of the same fashion ; and their girdles showed they were ever ready to serve God. In these things they no doubt imitated the brotherhood established by Pythagoras and others, who had apparel differing from laymen, and had long robes and fringes, and various things to impose on the people.
The Tabennisians had to eat in a common refectory in silence, with a veil on their heads, wearing woollen caps adorned with red nails; they slept in their clothes, on chairs instead of beds; and though three were placed in a cell together, they were not allowed to speak to each other ! They had to pray twelve times in the day, and the same number in the night; and such was their celebrity, they soon increased, in Tabennæ alone, to thirteen hundred ; and in the course of a few years, Pachomius had nine thousand under him.
3. The Eustatians were probably the next in antiquity, and were established in Armenia. They despised marriage, and refused to eat flesh, bringing to your recollection the Pythagoreans, who did the same things.
4. The order of St. Basil, as well as all others, had a strict novitiate, which varied in length of time; their food was stinted, and they abstained from flesh, had to wear a girdle, paid perfect obedience to their Superior, and never returned to their parents. Those who came not at the exact time fixed for dinner were not allowed to eat till the next day. In token of humility, they had to wear sackcloth, and were never to speak to females alone.
5. Those in the order of Studites were termed “no sleepers," probably because worship was kept up continually, which was easily accomplished, by the brethren taking the devotions in turns, as did the pagan Monks of Thibet.
6. The rule of St. Augustine enjoined the most strict obedience towards the Superior ; and that which was heard out of the monastery was to be communicated to him. If any member proved stubborn after the first and second correction, he was to be denounced as a rebel. In persecution, if forced to retire, all were to accompany the Superior, and were not to murmur. In going abroad, two brethren were always to be together, and they were never to eat out of the monastery; they were not to receive letters in secret, nor could they go to the baths, excepting in such company as was appointed by the Superior. All had to attend prayers at canonical hours, and were to keep silence while eating, and to listen attentively to what was read. The Laterans wore a white woollen cassock, which reached to their heels, and had over it a kind of surplice. They made vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity, though it would appear that some of these were little attended to.
7. The Monks of St.Genevieve were called the “sleeping Fathers," because they kept their eyes all but closed, in order that they might not be defiled by anything that was to be seen.
8. The first monastery of St. Bene't was built upon the site of an old temple of Apollo, which the Patriarch of the order had pulled down for that purpose. Immense revenues soon flowed into the institution from farms, and towns, and provinces; and the holy Fathers showed how well
* Sozom., Hist. Eccles., lib. iii., cap. 14.
they could reconcile their minds to the responsibilities, and riches, and pleasures of this naughty world. Some of the rules were to tell their most secret sins to the Abbot; and they were not to speak without being asked to do so; and when permitted, it was to be in a low voice, and in few words. They were to hang down their heads, and have their eyes on the ground, and were to go to the church two hours after midnight. When a Monk was disobedient, he was to be chastised. All had to eat in silence; and anything being wanted, a sign must be made for it. Those who went late to church, or to the table, had to be punished ; and no one could receive a letter without permission. The novice was to have at least one year's probation; and the Superior being angry, the Monk must throw himself at his feet till he shall bid him arise.
9. The Carthusians built cells in a horrid desert, and lived in silence ; they never tasted flesh, and only partook of fish when given to them; and their bread was made of bran.
10. The Feuillans abstained from flesh, and fish, and eggs; also from milk in any preparation; and from oil, salt, and wine ; living only on pulse and water.
11. St. Dominick, who established the order bearing his name, made himself popular by his ferocity against the Albigenses. His Monks could not possess anything of their own, had to live on alms, and had to fast nearly seven months in the year, and not to eat flesh, excepting in case of sickness. They were obliged to keep perfect silence in certain places and hours.
12. The Carmelites were named, by Pope Honorius IV., Brothers of the Virgin Mary ; and they had the same privileges as other mendicant Friars, with this addition,—they were exempted most graciously from the pains of purgatory!
(To be concluded in our next.)
THE SENSE OF FORGIVENESS.
(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.) No doctrine of holy Scripture can by possibility be more deeply interesting and important than that of a sinner's justification before God, consisting as it does in the full and free forgiveness of all past sin; so that the connexion between guilt and punishment is broken off, and the happy partaker of this blessing is invested with all the privileges of righteousness. Till this momentous change in a man's relation to God takes place, it is impossible that he should be happy ; for the wrath of God abideth on him; he is under actual condemnation; and is liable every moment to die in his sins, and be plunged into hell. There are persons who, in their indiscreet zeal to exalt the privilege of entire sanctification to God, speak disparagingly of justification, and of the spiritual influence and enjoyments which are connected with it. But such persons have very imperfect apprehensions of divine truth, and need an Aquila and Priscilla to “expound unto them the way of God more perfectly." Justification is one of the greatest blessings that fallen inen can receive at the hands of God; inasmuch as it is the foundation of all their safety and happiness both in time and eternity. Without it, there is no peace of conscience, no regenerating and sanctifying grace, no well-grounded hope of eternal life. But all these blessings follow in its train. Well may it therefore be said, (Rom. iv. 6-8,) “ David describeth the BLESSEDNESS of the man to whom God. imputeth righteousness without works, saying, BLESSED are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. BLESSED is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Nor does “this BLESSEDNESS come” exclusively upon the circumcised race. It is equally free for sinners of the Gentiles ; for it flows from the mere mercy of God, which is “ wide as the world ; ” it is conveyed through the sacrifice of Christ, which “taketh away the sin of the world ;” and it is offered to every guilty soul of man, upon the one and simple condition of faith in Christ, exercised in a penitent state of the heart : so that, at whatever time any man truly believes in the Saviour, he passes from death unto life ; he receives the Holy Ghost, the seal and witness of his adoption ; and he becomes an heir of life eternal : the Spirit which seals him as the child and property of God, at the same time renewing his whole moral nature,
According to the general tenor of holy Scripture, when any man is actually “pardoned for all that he hath done,” he ENJOYS the favour and the peace of God; in consequence of which he can, with childlike confidence, place himself under the divine protection, and contemplate the solemnities of death and eternity, not only without the terror which guilt inspires, but with cheerful hope. This was the doctrine of the Wesleys; and hence they taught their spiritual children to sing,
“How happy every child of grace,
WHO KNOWS HIS SINS FORGIVEN! ‘This earth,' he cries, is not my place;
I seek my place in heaven.'".
For their teaching on this subject, they were strongly censured by Bishop Warburton, Dr. Church, and a host of inferior writers. Yet they steadily persevered in bearing testimony to this truth, which they found to be perfectly scriptural, and realized in the personal experience of ten thousand witnesses. Their sons in the Gospel also maintain, with equal tenacity, that every believer in Christ is justified ; and that the BLESSEDNESS of the justified is not merely nominal and imaginary, but real and permanent.
To this doctrine I have lately met with a consenting testimony, which has afforded me great gratification, and which I doubt not will be equally acceptable to your numerous readers. It is that of the Rev. “Richard Chevenix Trench, M.A., Vicar of Itchen-Stoke, Hants; Professor of Divinity, King's College, London; Examining Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Oxford ; and late Hulsean Lecturer : " and occurs in the second edition of his learned and instructive “ Notes on the Miracles of our Lord,” just published, pp. 202, 203. This very able writer thus expresses himself :
“The absolving words, Thy sins be forgiven thee, (Matt. ix. 2,) are not to be taken as optative inerely, as a desire that it might be so, but as declarative of a fact. They are the justification of the sinner; and, as declaratory of that which takes place in the purposes of God, so also effectual, shedding abroad the SENSE OF FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION IN THE SINNER's HEART. For God's justification of a sinner is not a mere word spoken about a man, but a word spoken to him, and in him ; not an act of God's immanent in himself, but transitive upon the sinner. In it there is the Love of God, and so THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THAT LOVE SHED ABROAD IN HIS Heart in whose behalf the absolving decree has been uttered.”
In a note the learned writer adds, “It will be seen that I have used