« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
mind away from the immediate neighbourhood of Penzance, it is recalled by the striking appearance of the grand old Mount, which now, (a milder day than when this sketch was begun,) stands enclosed in the "triple-coloured" arch of the rainbow ;-reflecting the strong beams of the mid-day sun-the rock shows such majestic contrasts of light and shade, that a devout imagination might easily have conceived the "great vision of the guarded mount," the apparition of the Archangel S. Michael. Many indeed are the aspects of beauty which the "hoar rock" presents-now standing clear against the morning light, among sunny waves, and a luminous vapour at its base-now looming through a pinkish mist, anon reflecting itself as in a mirror in calm and lake-like waters—or finest of all, perhaps, as we saw it the other evening from Marazion1—when a mass of densest shade rose in graceful outline against the sunset, whose bars of fire and burnished gold were stretched across a sky of pale greenish blue ;-the gay colours were reflected in the waters and increased by contrast the blackness of the shadow.
The history of the Mount has been as striking and varied as are its different aspects. From the earliest ages it has been associated with devotion. The legend of S. Michael dates A.D. 494; before then it was dedicated to the Sun and called Dinsul. The fame of the vision drew to the Mount the first pilgrim, S. Keyna,2 who was a daughter of a Prince of Brecknockshire. She was one of the many Irish saints to whom Cornwall owes its early Christianity, and after whom she has named so many of her churches.
S. Keyna founded a nunnery on the site of the vision, and afterwards a monastery was endowed by King Edward the Confessor. The annals of the Mount since then have been connected with many important episodes, which have been duly recorded by historian or bard. Poets, indeed, have often made the Mount their theme: Milton's reference to the vision in his Lycidas must be well known. He says it “looks towards Namancos and Bayona's hold." A poet of a much older date says, "It pointeth still at Spain," referring to the way in which the rock fronts that distant shore.
of Glasnith itself is entirely destroyed, but its site, a collection of dwelling houses with very fertile gardens attached, still retains the name of College. This property also belongs to the writer's family.
1 A painfully suggestive name, as is also Market Jew Street at Penzance. 2 This Saint is popularly known through Southey's poem:
"There is not a wife in the west country
But has heard of the Well of S. Keyne."
A graceful writer on Cornwall of the last century has a poem on the Angelic Vision,-some of its verses shall close this sketch.
"S. Michael's Mount, Le Hore Roke in the Wode,
Yon chasmy crag precipitous, whence from
While like a meteor gleamed his silver beard
Be thine,' the archangel cried,
Oft as the solitary rock whose brow
The dawn, or choral hymns at eventide,
Soft as the still wave soothed the distant sail
As to the seaman's ear the melting murmur died."
M. F. D.
INVENTION OF THE HOLY CROSS.
"Si ascendero in cœlum, tu illic es, si descendero in infernum, ades."-Ps. cxxxix. 8.
'Twas at the break of morning,
I longed with longing sore
To see with open vision
"Canst thou tell me, stranger, pilgrim,
"Ne'er thy Holy Rood," they answered,
Then I met a little maiden,
Bright as starlight were her eyes,
And she touched me as I sorrowed,
Standing near with half surprise.
"Lo the Cross," she said, "thou seekest,
See it shining on my brow,
From the holy Font baptismal,
'Tis mine for ever now."
Then I smiled, and there beside me
And the little maiden staid,
A youth so brave and earnest,
Could I say my Master 'nay ?'”
Then I bowed my head in reverence,
For, behold, I learned the place
Where the LORD has left the Christian
This relic of His grace.
Not within some stately temple,
Or some reliquary fair,
But upon the brow of Meekness,
Within the heart of Prayer.
ON THE ATHANASIAN CREED.
A LETTER TO A LAYMAN.
BEFORE entering on the subject of the doctrines laid down in the Athanasian Creed, and of the clauses called " damnatory," by which they are sought to be protected, we must take a brief view of the state of the religions and the philosophies of the world, in its two great
divisions then existing, of the Christian Church, and of those who were without it. Then it will be seen that the clauses in question were directed properly and primarily against the latter only, and not against the former at all.
There were the writings of Plato, who had unquestionably adopted many doctrines of the Jews and of the Eastern philosophers; for example, that of a "Trinity" and of the "Word" (of GOD,) though with many imperfections; those of the Grecian Jews themselves, and of the Easterns who adopted much of the primeval learning of the Chaldeans, and of the ancient Fire-worshippers. These systems all contained originally a faint and imperfect outline, a foreshadowing of the Christian scheme, and of the doctrine and existence of angels.
Some had an idea of the unity of GOD (differing herein from the Greek and Roman mythologists,) and all believed in some sense in the immortality of the soul and a future state of existence.
These foreign systems in the first age of the gospel had mostly come to be united in different schools and under different teachers into a system called Gnosticism, that which S. Paul alludes to as knowledge "science" in our translation,)
or Gnosticism falsely so called (or 1 Tim. vi. 20. It admitted the facts of the Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of CHRIST, but it taught of CHRIST otherwise than as the Apostles both as to His two Natures and one Person, and built up a system of doctrine different from theirs, and so far antagonistic to it, that one must be accepted or the other; they could not be received together. It is against the doctrines and the system of these schools that the clauses in question are directed.
But first it must be said that these antagonistic systems were originally so outside the Church that there was no communion between those who held them and the Church. They diverged: no person belonged to both at once. If a Christian passed, like Demas (2 Tim. iv. 10,) to the antagonistic, he ceased to be a Christian. If a Gnostic came to the Church, he received Christian Baptism and adopted the Apostolic system of faith, and the single and particular Apostolic doctrines.
But at the close of the third century, Queen Zenobia, then Queen of the East, made Paul of Samosata, a chief teacher of this antagonistic system, Archbishop of Antioch, the chief see of the East, and the great "University" or school for training the clergy of the East. He with his followers gradually taught throughout the East several of the chief
antagonistic doctrines of the Gnostics, and when the clergy of Antioch, as Arius, Nestorius, and others, went into other provinces and dioceses, their teaching was opposed by the Church, and they themselves in synods and councils were condemned.
Thus, in brief, heresy, i.e., antagonistic doctrines to those of the Apostles, from having been outside the Church, got to be conveyed inside it and to be taught; and doctrines which were not originally taught by the Apostles came to be at least disputed about, treated as possibly true, and in some places-e.g., in the East-received as truth at least by many.
Against these hostile systems of doctrine the four great councils of the Church were held, and the teachers of them and their followers were condemned, and compelled either to renounce their opinions and come into the Church, or, if they would not do this, they had to form communions of their own.
Against these Jewish, Platonic, and Eastern doctrines the clauses of the Creed are directed. The Church is as an armed ship. There is safety for her own crew behind her bulwarks and in her tiers, and her guns are pointed to destroy the enemy, not to sweep her own decks.
The opposite doctrines to those of the Church are not stated in the Creed, but are understood by those who use it. It is the duty of the Church to state the truth. She is not bound also to state heresy, but when a doctrine is laid down it is understood that there is another not mentioned, and the one laid down is said to be true, the one not mentioned is condemned.
Thus there are two opposite systems and doctrines, and they cannot be harmonized the system and doctrines of the Apostles and the Church, and the system and doctrines of those opposed to and outside the former. If we believe that right faith is any element of salvation, the Church is bound to warn us against all particular wrong doctrines; and this, and no more, is done in this Creed.
And it should not be forgotten that the followers of these antago nistic systems became eventually the most licentious and depraved livers, far beyond comparison, of whom history makes any mention. They aimed originally at a purely intellectual salvation, if we may so call it, and not a moral one at all, and, so that their intellect was cultivated in all their learning, they not only cared nothing for their moral life, but depraved it purposely. Neither in doctrines nor in