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EASTER AT OXFORD.
In a recent number of this Maga- headed by a banner of yellow silk; zine we gave some facts respecting on it a blood-red cross, and a photothe increase of Roman Catholicism graph of Christ. The entire service in England. The writer asks, “What was intoned, and the Church decoare we to think of the religious rated with beautiful flowers. Two training of those who are ready so huge wax candles burnt on the altar. easily to adjure Protestantism, During the Communion, two priests, and to lapse into Popery?” The one on each side the altar, remained answer is simple. The religious
The religious kneeling, with hands clasped, and training of multitudes in the Angli- apparently never moved a muscle, can communion is not merely Romish while the third sang or intoned the in principle, but in practice too ; and service; in all this imitating, as in no place in England is Anglican- near as may be, the function of High ism more Popish than in Oxford, Mass in the Church of Rome. under the eye and within the juris- We need not weary our readers diction of that pre-eminent church- with a repetition of similar cereman, the Bishop of Oxford. Heremonials in the other two parishes; is a slight sketch of what took place but it will further illustrate the tenin no less than four of the parish dency of Oxford teaching, if we exchurches of that University city tract a few sentences from the last Easter Sunday.
“Oxford Illustrated Almanack and In the Church of St. Thomas'
Thomas' Churchman's Companion for 1864.” parish there were four officiating In the private devotions for the priests. Three were garbed in or- evening is the following prayer :dinary vestments, acting as acolyths; “O everlasting God, who has orbut the fourth wore a black, rather dained and constituted the services tight-fitting robe, reaching to his of angels and men in a wonderful ancles, a white surplice, or albe, over order; mercifully look upon us this that, coming below his knees; a night, and grant that as Thy Holy stole, a hood, and a chasuble; the Angels alway do Thee service in vestments suitable for a priest per- heaven, so by Thy appointment they forming mass in the Church of
may succour and defend us on earth, Rome. At the altar-for so we through Jesus Christ our Lord.” must call the table ordered by the Among the prayers to be said Prayer Book to be provided, and to daily during the week before Holy stand in the body of the Church or Communion we read as follows: in the chancel—there were two ban- “ Blessed Jesus, who art about to ners of blue silk. One of these
come to us Thy unworthy servants was adorned with the figure of a in the Blessed Sacrament of Thy pelican drawing from its breast Body and Blood, prepare our hearts blood, as the old legends have it, for we beseech Thee for Thyself.” Here the food of her young.
the real presence is taught, and the was poor, and contained nothing re- physical reception of a physical markable.
Christ. At Merton College Chapel the Of Good Friday the Almanack three priests, with their band of says, “This is the most solemn day choristers, entered the Church from of the Christian year." the vestry, chanting “Christ the Of Ascension day, “Holy Thursday Lord is risen to-day." They were ought, therefore, to be as devoutly kept, with as entire a cessation from amount of discipline within the business, as any other High Day; Church which "all good and thoughtand every real Christian will not ful men long for;" a first step in the only pray that it may be so, but also renewal of parochial life. Accordwill do his best to bring about so ingly, in two parishes in Oxford desirable a result.”
All Saints and St. Peter le BaileyOur readers will be at no loss to the vestries have taken the bishop's discover the Popish tendency of counsel, and appointed persons to these Oxford teachings. Surprise at this office. The next step will of the rapid strides of Romanism must course be to cite the Dissenter into cease in the presence of such facts. the bishop's court. And there is Anglican clergymen are industriously some danger of this; for at the sowing the seeds of Popery, and vestry meeting of Cowley parish, preparing the way for its triumphs. called to make a church-rate, the At the same time stealthy steps are Dissenting minister was actually made again to subject our necks to threatened by the rector that the the yoke, by reviving wherever prac- names of the opponents of the rate ticable the obsolete powers of the would
would be sent to the bishop, that Church In his recent celebrated that they might be cited and charge, the Bishop of Oxford recom- punished ! mended the revival of the office What with this apparition of the of Sidesmen. Their duties are de- old persecuting spirit of the Church scribed as seeing that all parish- of England, and the spread of ioners duly resort to their Church Popery both within and without upon all Sundays and Holy days, her pale, the advocates of a scripearnestly calling upon and monishing tural piety and a pure Gospel, have those who are slack and negligent; need to watch, and to be ready by and finally presenting the obdurate. every lawful means to withstand In the restoration of this office the the progress of adversaries so crafty bishop sees the revival of that safe and so powerful.
DEMONOLOGY. - No. III.
MAGIC AND WITCHCRAFT.
The next point of inquiry respecting question is whether demons apart demons that claims attention, is, from the human body possess miracuwhether they are possessed of miracu- lous power, and if so, whether they lous power, and whether they can can communicate this power. The impart this power to man. It has been
man. It has been strength of demoniacs can scarcely seen that demoniacs generally have be called miraculous. A miracle is manifested extraordinary strength. a suspension of the ordinary laws of This fact exites no astonishment. If nature, or an act above those laws, or our spirit be the source of our strength independent of them. To raise a it may easily be supposed that an tempest by a word-to allay a storm increase of spiritual influence would —to fill the air with thunder and be accompanied by a proportionate lightning-to change a man into a increase of physical power." But the horse, or a rod into a serpent—to in
flict or cure diseases by a word or I only am escaped alone to tell look, would be without the usual thee.' Job. i. 12-19. On a subcourse of nature ;– would be to sequent occasion, Satan went forth exert a power not naturally possessed from the presence of the Lord, and by man, and therefore a miraculous smote Job with sore boils from the power. Is this power possessed by sole of his foot unto his crown. Job demons? In the investigation of ii. 7. In these instances Satan evithis point Scripture is our only safe dently exercised miraculous power. guide.
The elements are under his control; In the Book of Job we read that the lightning of heaven is at his Satan exercised some such power as command; he summons the mighty this.
God gave his servant Job into wind at his pleasure; and he afflicts the hand of Satan to torment him, at his will the body of Job. If this and thus prove him. “The Lord power be possessed by Satan the said unto Satan, behold, all that he prince of demons, may it not also be hath is in thy power; only upon possessed by his angels? himself put not forth thine hand. So It is stated in the Book of Exodus, Satan went forth from the presence that miracles were performed by the of the Lord. And there was a day magicians of Egypt. Their power when his sons and his daughters must have been imparted to them by were eating and drinking wine in Satan or demons. In resisting Moses their eldest brother's house : and and Aaron, the servants of the true there came a messenger unto Job God, who wrought miracles to suband said, “The oxen were plowing, stantiate the claims of Him whose and the asses feeding beside them : servants they were, the magicians and the Sabeans fell upon them, and would be assisted by the deities they took them away; yea, they have served, the enemies of the true God. slain the servants with the edge of It must be borne in mind that the the sword; and I only am escaped whole conflict between Moses and alone to tell thee.' While he was yet Pharaoh, seems to resolve itself into speaking, there came also another, a contest between the God of the and said, 'The fire of God is fallen Hebrews and the gods of the from heaven, and hath burned up the Egyptians. Hence God declares to sheep, and the servants, and con- Moses, “I will pass through the land sumed them, and I only am escaped of Egypt this night, and will smite alone to tell thee.' While he was all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, yet speaking, there came also another, both man and beast; AND AGAINST and said, The Chaldeans made out ALL THE GODS OF EGYPT I WILL EXEthree bands, and fell upon the camels, CUTE JUDGMENT : I am the Lord.” and have carried them away, yea, and Ex. xii. 12. In accordance with slain the servants with the edge of this declaration is the record (Num. the sword; and I only am escaped xxiii. 4), “For the Egyptians buried alone to tell thee.' While he was yet all their firstborn which the Lord speaking, there came also another, had smitten among them: upon and said, 'Thy sons and thy daughters their gods also the Lord executed were eating and drinking in their judgment.” Hence the plagues. Some, eldest brother's house : and, behold if not all of them, had especial there came a great wind from the reference to the religion of the wilderness, and smote the four corners Egyptians, and were calculated to of the house, and it fell upon the bring their gods into contempt. A young men, and they are dead; and serpent was a typical representation
of the presiding divinity of Egypt. whom they all gave heed from the The river Nile, whose waters were least to the greatest, saying, This turned into blood, and were rendered man is the great power of God.' And offensive and noisome, so that the to him they had regard, because that fish died, was held in high estima- of long time he had bewitched them tion, and regarded as a god. The with sorceries.” It is hard to believe frog was the emblem of man in that all the people would have said, embryo. There was a frog-head god “This man is the great power of and goddess: the former was supposed God," if he had not performed to represent the creative power. The miracles. The expression, “ beforebeetle was held in peculiar veneration time,” in the 9th verse, would support by the Egyptians, and yet it became this opinion. It would seem that his their tormentor, and they were com- power was stopped when Philip pelled to trample under foot creatures
To Christ and his disciples that they were wont to adore. Their the demons were subject. Philip gods then would render the Egyptians had cast out some demons in Saall possible help, and the result is maria. In the presence of Philip, stated (Ex. vii. 11, 12): "Then armed with the Spirit, Simon might Pharaoh also called the wise men have found himself deserted by his and the sorcerers : now the magicians patron demon, and bereft of his of Egypt they also did in like manner
This circumstance might with their enchantments. For they account for his ready belief in cast down every man his rod, and Philip. they became serpents, but Aaron's The close connection between rod swallowed up their rods.” After idolatry, or the worship of false gods, Moses turned the water into blood, and devil worship, helps us to underand brought up frogs upon the land stand the power both of the magiof Egypt, it is written that the magi- cians of Egypt and of Simon. cians of Egypt did so with their Idolatry was not merely the worship enchantments. Ex. vii. 22, viii. 7. of idols: it was the worship of spirits To say that the magicians imposed associated with the idols. The golden upon Pharaoh, Moses and Aaron, is calf was not worshipped by the simply absurd— Moses would have Israelites; it was the medium through detected and exposed the imposture which they would present worship
to in a trice. Besides
, how could the Jehovah. The worship of the world magicians tell what miracles Moses was devil-worship.
In support of would work ? Moreover the state- this statement the
following passages ments of the Bible are simple and may be cited :-"They sacrificed unto definite, plain and positive, and it is devils, not to God.” “And they shall difficult to reconcile a disbelief of the no more offer their sacrifices unto miracles of the magicians with be- devils, after whom they have gone a coming reverence for the Sacred whoring.” “Yea, they sacrificed their Scriptures.
sons and their daughters unto DEVILS, Similar power was probably pos- and shed innocent blood, even the sessed by Simon the magician, a
blood of their sons and their sorcerer mentioned Acts viii. 9–11. daughters, whom they sacrificed unto “ But there was a certain man called the IDOLS of Canaan.” Deut.xxxi. 17; Simon, which beforetime in the same Lev. xvii. 7; Ps. cvi. 37, 38. “What city used sorcery, and bewitched the say I then that the idol is any thing, people of Samaria, giving out that or that which is offered in sacrifice to himself was some great one. To idols is any thing? But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, much as the altars of Pagan gods. they sacrifice to devils, and not to Such worship is devil worship; and God: and I would not that ye should it is not a just occasion of astonishhave fellowship with devils. Ye ment that the devil should help his cannot drink the cup of the Lorde priests and worshippers. Satan, the and the cup of devils : ye cannot be New Testament informs us, is to work partakers of the Lord's table and with all power, and signs, and lying of the table of devils.” 1 Cor. x. wonders. 19–21. The struggle of Satan from In the present day, however, Satan the beginning has been to obtain the seems more anxious to be forgotten, worship of men. He offered Christ that his existence not being susthe kingdoms of this world, and all pected, he may work more effectively. the glory of them, if He would fall This is a rationalistic age ;-and down and worship him. Elymas the rationalism, as much as, if not more sorcerer, called by Paul, “the child than, superstition, secures the triof the devil,” sought to turn away umphs of Satan. It must not, howSergius Paulus from the faith. In ever, be forgotten that gold, honour, order to strengthen their votaries in and pleasure are as much Satan's their delusion, Satan and his angels representatives as idols, and that to may work miracles on their behalf, many it may be said, “These are and thus accomplish their wishes your gods." and answer their prayers; and God Of course it must be understood in retributive justice may permit that the power of demons is not men who hate the truth, and will not unlimited. Satan had permission retain the knowledge of God, to be from God to afflict Job, and the thus strengthened in a lie by demons. elements were laid at his command The power of the magicians of Egypt for this purpose. The power of the is then no matter of surprise, and magicians of Egypt was limited; and none can tell to what extent magic at the fourth miracle of Aaron they obtained among the heathen, who employed their enchantments without being idolators were worshippers of success. They then found that they the devil. Even in the present day were contending with a power suGod may permit demons to exert perior to their deities, and said, “This
If men will deal in is the finger of God.” This confession the occult arts, and profess a league when their enchantments failed, inwith Satan, Satan may come and dicates that on the former occasions ratify that league by occasional aid. they had indeed wrought miracles. As success emboldens, he may thus But whilst this power of Satan was secure his prey, although his aid limited, it is manifest from the narcannot be relied upon. The preten- rative that its exercise was a very sions of magicians should be closely common thing. Satan went out investigated ; but if all attempts to from the presence of the Lord and discover imposture fail, it would not commenced his malignant proceedbe very absurd to suppose them ings against Job, with a despatch helped by evil spirits.
which showed him to be well trained May not some of the miracles of in such proceedings. The magicians the Church of Rome be thus ex- of Egypt set to work with their enplained? The worship of saints and chantments without any hesitation, the Virgin Mary is as much idolatry manifested no doubt as to the result, as the worship of the heathen. The and were disappointed when they demons lurk about such altars, as could go no further. Whilst then