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the name of the Baptist among the vulgar, for having induced so many foreigners to allow themselves to be baptized again. He keeps up a stately court, worthy of the exalted rank of his house. He maintains Italian architects in his service, and has caused them to build two most beautiful churches in his villages of Dobroviza and Vezomba, everlasting monuments to his renown and his prudence. Skilled in the Latin tongue himself, he has given his sons Polish preceptors to teach it to them, conscious of the advantage it will be to those destined to have intercourse with foreign nations."
Prince Basil Galitzin left two sons. The second, Michael, did not long survive him; but the eldest, Alexis, who had shared his father's power, and accompanied him into banishment after his fall, obtained a pardon from Peter the Great, who also restored to him a part of his inheritance, and he ultimately received the remaining portion when the Empress Anna ascended the throne.
His cousin, Prince Michael Galitzin, who had interceded for his relation's life with the emperor, afterwards became a noted general in the armies of Peter the Great, and was present at the battle of Pultova. He entered the Probijanski Regiment as a private soldier, and gained every step of his promotion, like the poorest adventurer, by his services. 'He was esteemed," says his colleague General Gordon, "by the Czar himself, and all the foreign officials; and he formed a collection of the plans of the battles and most important sieges which had taken place during that century between the different nations of Europe, that he might teach his lieutenants to avoid their errors, and profit himself by learning the method in which they had attained their success." He died in the year 1730, at the age of fifty-five.
It is a common opinion that Muscovy was in a state of simple and primitive barbarism before the reign of Peter the Great, and that his subjects owed to him not only the introduction of the benefits of civilization from western Europe, but also the corruptions which mark luxurious and superannuated states. It has often been said that he forced European civilization upon an Asiatic stock, which, if it had been allowed to progress slowly, by its natural growth would have become a more enlightened and sound, and yet as powerful an empire. But it seems very improbable that this progression would ever have been made. For Russia, which had already existed as a monarchy for more than eight hundred years, at the time of the accession of its great prince, presented the appearance of an exhausted and expiring nation,
and was fast sinking down into the present condition of the Chinese Empire, or any other of the decayed kingdoms of Asia. She was being gradually worn out by insurrections, and by attacks from the Poles, Turks, and Tartars, and all the faults of which the people have been subsequently accused existed still more flagrantly than in later times. No justice was to be obtained but by bribery, and the most shameless peculation existed in every department of the government.
It had become a kind of law that all the civil administration should be conducted by the empress's nearest of kin, so that the boyards always opposed any idea of marrying the sovereign to a foreign princess, as each hoped to connect him with his own family, and in that way obtain for himself the chief management of the empire. The peasants were miserable slaves, the soldiers marauders, and the terror of the country; the highways were infested by banditti, who were often sheltered and countenanced by the inmates of the nearest convent; the clergy, except a few bright examples in the higher ranks, were a disgrace to the name of priest; the monasteries and convents were reported by our ambassadors to be the receptacles of vice, and the nobles were dissolute tyrants.
The condition of Muscovy was fast becoming hopeless, and required some great revolution to rouse her government from the torpid state into which it appeared likely to fall. This revolution was effected, not by the headlong violence of a lawless mob, but by the strong will and discrimination of one energetic prince; and Peter the Great, when he forced her to adopt the customs of Europe, and thoroughly reorganised her institutions, rekindled in her the flame of ambition, and inspired her as it were with new life. He forestalled the extinction which the numerous precedents in history showed him must threaten his degenerate empire, and the change or renovation, which has been created in Eastern nations by foreign conquerors, was secured for Russia by the ability of her native sovereign.
C. L. J.
Now that we can, thank GOD, say that the number of Bishops in this country is increasing, and the large unwieldy Dioceses, utterly beyond the power of even the most earnest-hearted, and iron-constitu
tioned of men, are being divided, so as to bring the Bishop's influence really to bear upon the Church, and the Episcopal Office properly, in its true light and importance, before the people, we may well look forward to the day, as not being very far distant, when Confirmations will be held in the Towns once a year, and once at least in every two years, for the Country Parishes.
In view then of this happier future in store for us Churchmen, it may not perhaps be considered out of place, if I attempt to bring the subject of Confirmation somewhat prominently before the readers of this Periodical, and to discuss certain questions concerning it, which cannot fail to be of interest to all who are sincerely attached to our dear Church. I will arrange what I have to say under the following heads: A. The age of the Candidates for Confirmation.
B. The best methods to be adopted in persuading them to come. C. Their preparation and instruction for the sacred rite.
With respect to the first division of the subject, let me say at once, that I am perfectly aware of the fact, that the Bishops, as well as the parsons, are by no means agreed as to the exact number of years which must have passed over the head of a Candidate, before he or she may be deemed eligible for Confirmation; but notwithstanding the great diversity of opinion which is known to exist on this point, I venture to believe, that a very simple, and practical test might be applied in these days of School Boards, and compulsory education, in order to ascertain, whether the intending candidate had, according to the directions of the Prayer Book, come to a competent age," viz., if the child has passed, or is at the time in the fifth standard of a Public Elementary School, provided of course, that the parish priest is satisfied with respect to the spiritual condition of the candidate, and the knowledge possessed of the Creed, the LORD's Prayer, and the ten commandments. I cannot conceive how any Bishop can justly reject any who can present these credentials, on the plea of too tender years. Yet it is I suppose a fact only too well known, that with many of their Lordships, size and age seem to count for a great deal more than real competency and mental ability. Now this is very much to be lamented, for what are the consequences arising from the practice of refusing all, or nearly all, candidates who are not at the least fifteen years of age? let them say who know what it is to be set down in country parishes, ay and in the towns too, where the maxim is "All hands help," and where the children are at fourteen and fifteen, expected to be bringing in (if boys)
almost as much grist to the mill as the chief bread-winner himself;— when once they leave school to earn their living, (and but few remain after eleven years of age) they are, in too many instances, out of reach of the parson's influence, and but rarely can he fall in with them for a friendly chat, or obtain an opportunity of speaking a word for the Great Master. Hard at work all day long, they are generally too tired in the evenings for study or good reading, even if they felt a a desire for it, and the short time which intervenes between supper (as it is called,) and bed-time, is spent in the easiest and pleasantest relaxation that comes to their hand. Night schools may attract and reach a few, but only a few, and these the best generally, not always the ones whom the parson wishes most to get hold of. Sunday schools are of course the best agency, but here again, I think it will be found,
that in far too many cases the scholars of fifteen years of age are few.
It is I am convinced a truth which cannot be gainsaid, that unless children are confirmed whilst they are at school, in the majority of the country parishes they slip away from the Church's influence and guidance, are lost in the service of worldly masters, Confirmation is utterly neglected and a priceless blessing missed.
It may be suggested that care should be taken to impress upon all children before they leave school to commence the hard life-long struggle with their little hands for their daily bread, the importance of Confirmation, and to instil into their minds the great good they will derive therefrom, and that they must come and offer themselves as soon as they are old enough, in three or four years' time perhaps. Three or four years' time! Ah, the good seed falls, alas, not always on fruitful soil. Three or four years' time! What may not have taken place in that most impressionable period? The child, good-hearted, clean-souled, turned out into the world to fight the battle of sin in tenfold more severe a form than ever it had encountered before, hitherto for the most of the day under the guidance and discipline of its teachers, restrained, curbed, directed,-now sent forth unstrengthened by those sevenfold gifts, to mix with men who care but little, or possibly nothing at all, for God or His laws. What must be the sad result in far too many cases? With the freedom from restraint, the desire so strong within the young to be thought men, and the daily endeavour more and more to imitate their elders in what they consider manly, and "the proper thing to do," will it take three years, or half the time, to unlearn nearly all the good? will it take three
years, or half
the time, for the good seed to be almost completely choked in those young hearts, so prone to evil, and now so little trained to good? No, it is most unkind, ay, cruel in the extreme, to delay the bestowal of the blessing of Confirmation, and of that to which Confirmation leads, upon CHRIST's little ones-to starve His lambs.
My second point, viz. "The best methods to be adopted in order to obtain candidates for Confirmation," is a very important one, and cannot easily be satisfactorily dealt with; although here again I am persuaded that the parson must turn to the day school in the parish, and from that quarter most largely draw them. With respect to the elder ones of his flock who have never been confirmed, and who seldom or never come to church, nothing remains to be tried but personal contact, and this is of course the strongest and most effective means of all. They must be sought after, the shepherd must go and seek these sheep, they will not come to him, not even to church, and nothing will ever be of much use to the parson, towards attaining his object, unless he obtains a knowledge of their characters, their wants, and particularly their fears and drawbacks-getting by some means or other a sufficient acquaintance with these, he can then show a real interest and concern in their welfare, by helping them in their weak points. All this demands constant and unwearied, and undeterred efforts on his part, carried on it may be for a long period, and not attempted for the first time about a week or two before the day fixed for Confirmation. here again in all this the same difficulty meets us, as we have noticed before, viz. How can this personal intercourse and interest be commenced, and sustained with those who are no longer scholars in our Day or Sunday schools, but are gone forth to "their work and to their labour until the evening ?"
Night schools, Bible classes, Communicants' classes, must of course be instituted and ever diligently worked, for without such means, I am persuaded little or nothing towards this work can be done; the great, and perhaps paramount usefulness of such classes, consisting in the fact, that the influence which those who attend them have over others who are as yet " without," is most powerful, and will, if anything can, lead the wanderers back; since the influence for good, as well as for evil, that one workman has over another is certain in the long run to tell with greater effect than any amount of talking, reasoning, or persuasion on the part of the parish priest. The great work then that they have to do, should ever be kept before the mind of each member of such