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rience both as Confessor and as Penitent, and he assures us that "

filthy communication” is inseparable from the confessional. Nay, so notorious are the abuses to which it is made subservient, that the Popes have on two occasions been obliged to enact the most severe laws against Confessors who should attempt the seduction of their female penitents. As this is a subject little understood in a Protestant country, we shall cite a few sentences in further illustration of the immoral tendency of this abominable institution, from the amusing and wellwritten volume, entitled “ Letters from Spain,” which escaped our notice on its first publication, but which we have since perused with very high gratification. It contains by far the best account of the moral state of Spain and of the character of the Andalusian Spaniards, their manners, babits, and customs, that is to be found in our language. Though Don Leucadio is obviously a nom de guerre, he is not to be confounded with the Don Estebans or Espriellas, and other imaginary personages; and for the biographical narrative it contains of a Spanish clergyman, we have understood that the Editor of the Letters is indebted to the Author of the Tract under review. From this narrative we cite the following paragraph.

• The effects of confession upon young minds, are generally unfavourable to their future peace and virtue. It was to that practice I owed the first taste of remorse while yet my soul was in a state of infant purity....... These evils affect nearly equally the two sexes; but there are some that fall peculiarly to the lot of the softer. Yet, the remotest of all-at least as long as the Inquisition shall exist–is the danger of direct seduction from the priest. The formidable powers of that odious tribunal have been so skilfully arrayed against the abuse of sacramental trust, that few are found base and blind enough to make the confessional a direct instrument of debauch, The strictest delicacy however, is, I believe, inadequate fully to oppose the demoralizing tendency of auricular confession. Without the slightest responsibility, and, not unfrequently, in the conscientious discharge of what he believes his duty, the confessor conveys to the female mind the first foul breath which dims its virgin purity. He, undoubtedly, has a right to interrogate upon subjects which are justly deemed awkward even for maternal confidence; and it would require more than common simplicity to suppose that a discretionary power of this nature, left in the hands of thousands of men beset with more than common temptations to abuse it, will generally be exercised with proper caution.'

When the Rev. Mr. Townsend visited Spain in the year 1786, he conversed freely with several Inquisitors, who assured him, that so long as Celibacy was enforced on the priesthood, the Inquisition was necessary as a safeguard of public morals, Vol. XXV. N.S.


being the only effectual check upon the abuses of the Confessional! The Editor of Doblado's Letters remarks, in a note subjoined to the fotegoing citation :

' I must observe, that the degree of delicacy, or its opposite, in a confessor-besides the individual influence of virtue and good breeding-must greatly depend upon the general refinement of the people among whom he exercises his powers. Such is the state of manners in England, that few or none, I will venture to say, among its Catholic females, will probably be aware of any evil tendency in auricular confession. I would not equally answer for Ireland, especially among the lower classes.'

If it be said that these are abuses, the fact that they exist, and that no law can reach them, nothing short of a secret ecclesiastical tribunal independent of the laws, like the Inquisition, is in itself sufficient to prove what is the true character of the institution. But in cases in which auricular confession does not pollute, it enslaves. • Let those who, in England, are 'trying every method of disguising the Roman Catholic doc'trines,' says Mr. White, shew me, a single pious book of com

mon reputation in the Roman Catholic Church, which does not make untimited obedience to a confessor the safest and most ' perfect way to salvation.' Here is a fair challenge: it comes to the point on a question of fact.

• I should not hesitate,' he adds, to assert it in the hearing of all the world: in the same proportion as a Roman Catholic has an under. standing and a will of his own upon religious matters, or matters connected in any way with religion, in that same degree he acts against the duties to which he is bound by his religious profession. The Roman Church makes the confession of every sin by thought, word, or deed, necessary to receive absolution from a priest ; and teaches that, without absolution, when there is a possibility of obtaining it, God will not grant remission of sins, The most sincere repentance, according to the Romanists, is not sufficient to save a sinner without confession and absolution, where there is a possibility of applying to a priest. On the other hand, they assert, that even imperfect repentance, a sorrow arising from the fear of hell, which they call attrition, will save a singer who confesses and receives absolution. The evident object of doctrines so inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the Scriptures, is, no doubt, that of making the priesthood absolute masters of the people's consciences. They must, some time or other, (every Roman Catholic is, indeed, bound to confess at least once a year, under sentence of excommunication,) intrust a priest with the inmost secrets of their hearts; and this, under the impression that if apy one sin is suppressed from a sense of shame, absolution makes them guilty of sacrilege. The effects of this bondage, the reluctance which young people especially have to overcome, and the frequency of their making up their minds to garble confession, in spite of their belief that they increase the number and guilt of their sins by silence, are evils which none but a Roman Catholic priest can be perfectly acquainted with.

It needs scarcely be pointed out how much the evil is aggravated by the celibacy of the clergy, which removes them from the operation of all those moral checks supplied by parental feeling and the domestic relations. Fathers, indeed, a large proportion of them are, but their children are the offspring of guilt. In France, in Spain, in all the Romish states, la niece, or some equivalent designation, serves only as a conventional disguise of notorious fact.

Here then is the root of the system, and the opposition of the Church of Rome and the priests of Ireland to the Bible Society,--and not less the greater part of the opposition raised against it by Protestant priests within the English hierarchysprings from the very reasonable conviction that the circulation of the sacred volume will tend to withdraw the consciences of men from priestly thraldom. “ Great is Diana of Ephesus," for “ by this craft we get our wealth.”. The truth or falsehood of particular tenets held by the Church of Rome, is a matter of small concern to her priesthood; nay, that Church is a theologi. cal Proteus, and can assume almost any form at will to conciliate or to deceive; but touch her dominion, her spiritual authority, and she becomes in a moment bristled with anathemas. Chargé her with idolatry,and she can answer with sophisms and subtilties, disclaiming what she cannot defend. Charge her with cruelties, and she can retaliate, however unfairly. Anecdotes, true or false, are a small shot which she can with ease shake off; and they prove nothing. Imputations of disloyalty and dishonesty are calumnies on the Roman Catholics, which disgrace and injure those only who have recourse to this species of

warfare But the point on which the Protestant advocate ought to be prepared to close with the Romanist, is the spiritual usurpation on which the whole system binges. We wish that this were better understood. It would shew that the only source of danger is the power of the priesthood, which the whole policy of the English Government towards Ireland has tended to consolidate and uphold. Let civil liberty be established, and from priestly thraldom the nation will not be long before it emancipate itself. Never have civil liberty and Popery been found in combination : it is impossible from their very nature, that they should long co-exist. * We have seen this exemplified in Spain, and a similar struggle, but more concealed, is going forward in France. Give the Irish their civil rights, and their spiritual liberty will pot be long delayed. They will then enter into the constitutional attachments, the hereditary feelings of Britons, and say to their priests, Our swords are the king's, our consciences are our own.

Art. IX. Cottage Comforts, with Hints for promoting them, gleaned

from Experience; enlivened with authentic Anecdotes. By Esther Hewlett. 12mo. pp. 236. Price 2s. 6d. London. 1825. NHE Author of this domestic cyclopedia (for such it might

be denominated) is extensively known as the Writer of a number of popular religious tracts and other smaller works of considerable merit. But no work, if we mistake not, that she has hitherto published, will be so generally acceptable and become so deservedly popular as this comprehensive little volume. It comprises no fewer than 742 articles, arranged under the following capital heads :-Moral Character. Choosing, Taking, and Entering upon a Cottage. Income and Expenditure. Cottage Economy; including Brewing, Bread-making, Curing Bacon, Cookery, Wine-naking, Washing, &c. Keeping Animals, Poultry, and Bees. Gardener's Calendar. Management of Infants. Hints on Sickness and Accidents, including Domestic Medicine and Cookery for the Sick. Education of Children. Recreations. Cottage Library. Good Neighbourhood, and Concluding Advice.

Mrs. Hewlett speaks with great diffidence of her inability to satisfy herself in the execution of her present performance, and she candidly invites any friendly suggestions which may tend to its improvement. So far as we have examined its multifarious contents, they appear to us uniformly characterised by the economical knowledge and sound practical sense which are the fruit of experience grafted on a vigorous understanding. The remarks on the management of Infants are, in particular, highly useful and judicious; and the pharmacopeia is kept within the proper limits of cottage practice. A few paragraphs will sufficiently shew the popular and lively style in which these hints and observations are conveyed.

• 84. Needle-work is reckoned a very dead penny.. I do suppose it is but it is at any rate better than being idle, and it should be remembered that it does not wear out or dirt the clothes like more laborious work.

*85. Lace-making I do call a dead penny indeed; the poor women who live by it, look like walking spectres. I have been assured by a family who were all brought up to lace-making, that the whole of their diet consisted of potatoes and tea—that they never rose from their pillow even to take a meal--but that the first thing in the morning, their mother put on the tea-kettle, and the 'tatoe pot, and brought them some whenever they were a hungered,' filling up the tea-pot as often as it became empty, throughout the day; and that by this close and ruinous application, they earned barely enough for this wretched supply of food, and just a Sunday's gown once in two years or so. The appearance and wardrobe of that family, and of lace-makers in general, confirm the statement, No wonder they are a miserable, pale-faced, puny set, the prey of hysterics, vapours, and spasms-quite helpless and notionless in common things, and utterly unfit to bear, rear, or manage a family. I do not, of course, recommend lace-making to eke out the income of the cottager's wife.

. 86. Of knitting I think very differently. It is work that may be taken up and laid down in a moment. A set of needles may be bought for a


and a ball of worsted for another. It may be done at any light, or with a child in the arms ; and when you are tired of stirring work, knitting serves very well for a rest. In summer time, you can take a walk in your garden, and knit as you go, and a pair of knit stockings, when they are done (at little odds and ends of time) are worth at least three pair of the best wove ones that you can buy. A thrifty cottager's wife has no stockings for her husband or herself but what she knits, at least until she has children old enough to do them for her. A good knitter, too, may generally get employment if she chooses to take it in.

And if the scraps of time so employed add but sixpence to her weekly income, it is not to be despised. She may sit and blow the fire long enough before she finds sixpence in the ashes, or loll over her hatch long enough before she sees one roll down the street.

*87. Binding of shoes is generally performed by women, and one who acquires the habit of doing it neatly, and expeditiously, may generally get good employment at the best shops.

*88. If a young wife has an opportunity of going out for a day's work in a respectable family, I think it is a pity she should neglect it, or fancy herself above it. She is well fed through the day, has her shilling or fifteen pence clear to bring home at night, and often

supper for herself and her husband ; besides, there is an advantage in keeping, up

connexion with such families—you have a friend in case of sickness or difficulty.' pp. 41, 2.

The following paragraph, cautioning the good woman to let this mode of employment interfere as little as possible with the husband's comforts, contains advice not less needful than salutary. No. 720 may be referred to as another specimen, shewing an experimental acquaintance with the habits of cottagers, and great good sense. On the whole, we would strongly recommend that this little volume should be added to every vestry library and every cottage library in the country : the purchase money will soon be saved, if the Author's hints are attended to.


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