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stitution and circumstances of all. It has no affinity with any
local association, or with any national peculiarity. It is equally adapted to man, civilised and savage,-to men living in the Arctic regions, and in the torrid
It speaks to man as man. It speaks a language which men everywhere can understand, and in tones with which the springs of man's soul everywhere vibrate. It is not the religion of a nation or a class. It was made for man, and is the light of the world. Is there any emotion of the rational soul, we may well ask, which the religion of Jesus cannot sustain, or control, or dignify? Is there any fear which disturbs the human breast which the religion of Jesus is not fitted to assuage ? Is there any hope that throbs in our bosoms, or any aspiration or desire that we entertain, which the religion of Jesus does not gratify or correct? Show us a man, we care not what may be his clime or colour-we care not whether his condition in the world be that of weal or woe; and we show a religion as exquisitely adapted to the whole compass of his being as light to the eye, or sound to the ear, or air to the lungs. The religion of Jesus displays the most comprehensive and penetrating knowledge of our nature. It apprehends fully the grandeur and meanness of that nature, and, what is its distinguishing peculiarity, it satisfactorily accounts for both of them. It recognises man panting after happiness, yet miserable and unsatisfied, ever grasping at the endless and infinite, yet ever painfully conscious of his distance from it ;-it proves man beyond controversy to be what Pascal has described him,-"the glory and the scandal of the universe.”.
Christianity is fitted to every grade of intellect, and to all stages of improvement, to the mind of the sage, and to the dawning intelligence of the child. Nay, more, it affords scope for every mental idiosyncrasy, Is reason predominant in a man, Christianity has a history and a philosophy for his investigation? Is imagination predominant in a man? Christianity makes the most sublime discoveries, and hints of things more glorious. Is conscience powerful in a man? There are here the purest morality, the strongest motives, and most comprehensive requirements. Is a man distinguished by exquisite sensibility? Christianity says to him, “Love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Christianity is a religion of principles rather than of precepts, and it is this which gives it the character of universality to which we have just referred. It has no summary of commandments, or authoritative code of statutes, like those of Judaism, which was local and limited in its nature and design, but all its doctrines are presented as motives and encouragements to virtue, and in connection with the practical influence they are fitted to exert.
There are many that tell us that Christianity is a worn-out thing--an effete system-something which suited the infancy of the race of man, but which is unsuited to the mature intellectual and moral development of the present day. Much of this cant is to be found, directly or indirectly stated, in the more than semi-infidel writings of our time in England and America, as well as in Germany,-in the works of Carlyle, Emerson, Newman, Morell, Froude, Parker, Greg, and others of the same school. Where shall we find, O ye apostles of intellectual and moral development ! the people or the individual in whom the idea of Christianity is fully realised ? "Where shall we find the people or the individual whose intellectual and moral development is greater than that of multitudes who have yielded to, and rejoiced in, the truth as it is in Jesus? Where is that spot on earth in which vice is unknown, and man is all purity, all justice, and virtue, and happiness; where the character of Jesus of Nazareth is an every day character; where men, flourish in all the dignity of reason, in all the fervour of pure affection, in all the sensibilities of a refined intellect, a pure taste, and a sublime devotion towards their Creator?
If the doctrines of Christianity-startling as some of them are to speculatists, and different as some of them are from the theories of ancient and modern philosophers—are seen when carefully examined to harmonise with the essential characteristics, the individual experience, and the universal emotions of human nature ; if, when these doctrines are employed as a key to unlock the mysteries of the human heart, or as a balm for its wounds, or as a sphere for its aspirations, there be found the most exact agreement, the most delicate fitting, to what conclusion can we naturally come, but that these doctrines have come from Him who formed man, and endowed him with the intellectual and moral nature which he possesses—have come from Him who "needeth not that any should testify to Him of man, for He knows what is in man”?
And if Christianity is true, if it is from God, what is our duty in regard to it? Surely to receive it, and to yield to its elevating and purifying infuence, and to pray and labour that that influence may be brought to bear on the understandings and consciences of all our fellow-countrymen--of all our fellow-men. If we can discern the signs of the times, and if regard is to be had to the views and fears of thoughtful Christians in all parts of the world, our faith is destined to be subjected ere long to a fierce and fiery ordeal. The testing process has indeed begun. Infidelity in a form different from what it has assumed for many centuries is now boldly and industriously propagated. O that these observations on the suitableness of Christianity to man,
-on the “portable evidence,” as Dr Chalmers called it,-may tend to the confirmation of the faith of those who have perused them, and may in some degree assist them in giving to them that ask a reason of the hope that is in them with meekness and fear! Our Christianity is not. only the foundation of our immortal hopes, but it is also the security of our social and political well-being. Look to the history of France-poor, misguided, infidel France--during the last sixty years. Does not that history show a perpetual oscillation between the extremes of anarchy and despotism ? France has had absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchy; she has had the elder and the younger Bourbons; she has had the republic of Danton and Robespierre, and the republic of Arago and Lamartine; she has had the Napoleonism of the uncle and the nephew, and in what state is she now ?
“ France is tranquil,” but it is with a gagged press, a sham senate, and an imperious soldiery. “France must have more of God,” as was said by M. Monod in May 1851, “ere she can be happy.” The Christianity of Britain is her real safeguard; the Bible is our great charter. There is much ignorance of christian truth, and much profligacy among the highest and lowest classes of our population, but the intelligence and right principle of our middle classes furnish an element of hope. Let us prize, and improve, and disseminate the truth. If we abandon it, farewell peace of mind, farewell all security of life and property, farewell political freedom, farewell all that is glorious and of good report, farewell the hope of everlasting purity
THE FEMALE JESUIT AGAIN.*
It will be remembered, that in the Magazine for June last, there appeared an analysis of a remarkably interesting work, which had recently been published, under the name of “the Female Jesuit: or, the Spy in the Family.” It was indeed a strange and eventful history. A young lady was received into the house of an Independent minister in London, under the character of a convert from the errors of Popery. She made her escape from a nunnery in the neighbourhood of Lon
and this account was the more probable, as Elizabeth, the sister-in-law of the clergyman, was waiting for her by appointment, and actually saw her come out from the walls of the ecclesiastical prison-house. She represented herself to be an orphan of an old and honourable family. Her name was Marie Clifford. She had received much of lier education in convents upon the continent. Her uncle was an ecclesiastic of high rank in the Romish church. With him and with other persons she carried on a voluminous correspondence. She was in delicate health, and occasionally burst a blood-vessel, to the no small alarm of the hospitable family under whose roof she was a guest. It turned out, however, that she was a consummate impostor. This effusion of blood was procured by artificial means. Her correspondents had no existence in the world of matter. The letters she received from these imaginary persons were composed by herself, though in the handwriting of others. She was an incarnation of falsehood. When the imposture was discovered in June 1850 (having continued for about six months), she was shipped for Ostend, and instructions were given to the steward of the steamer to see her in a railway carriage to Ghent, at which place, she said, she had a friend who would take charge of her.
An account of this imposture was sent to the “ Times.” It was not inserted; and upon inquiry being made several weeks afterwards, the reason assigned was the extreme improbability of the story. A second copy was accordingly forwarded, attested by witnesses, which, however, shared the same fate as the first. Had the letter found admission into the columns of the “ Times,” the “Female Jesuit might not have appeared. There is no reason to regret this circumstance. A sale of nearly four thousand copies in less than a twelvemonth is a proof of public interest, which is rarely the fortune of any work. It at once created a great sensation. Its fate was singular. It was pronounced by many to be a pure romance, man elaborate fiction got up to cater to the public tastes, when the country was heaving to its centre with the Roman Catholic agitation. A celebrated writer of fiction was of opinion, that it had no more reality than those tales which he is perpetually spinning out from his own brain. And it was only by slow degrees that the truth became known. Mr Luke was the worthy clergyman, whose kindness was so much imposed upon. And our favourite Élizabeth is á Miss Thomson, the daughter of a London banker. Truth is stranger than fiction. The "Female Jesuit" is a veritable story.
The past history of an impostor like this could not long remain undiscovered, when her deeds were recorded in a volume of such extraordinary interest, with her portrait in the frontispiece. The first information came from Mrs Jobson, the wife of a Wesleyan minister. She called upon Mrs Luke soon after the publication of the “Female Jesuit.” Her tale was this in substance : On a Monday morning, in May 1847, a young lady called upon Mr Jobson, who was then stationed in Manchester. She was an orphan, the daughter of an officer, was under the protection and residing in the house of the Honourable B. Trelawney, of Plas Bower, in the north of Wales. She was acting as a governess to his children, and was at present upon a visit to the family of Major Ormond, at Didsbury. Being too late for the Roman Catholic service the preceding evening, she heard the sound of singing from a large chapel. She entered. Mr Jobson was preaching -the result was, conviction of sin. She came asking for spiritual instruction.
* A Sequel to the Female Jesuit; containing her previous history and recent discovery. By Mrs Luke, author of the “Female Jesuit: or, the Spy in the Family." Second Thousand. Patridge and Oakey, London, 1852. Pp. 207.
Her relations were all Roman Catholics; she was afraid of offending them. She shuddered at the curses of the Romish church. Still, the great question was What must I do to be saved ? Mr Jobson acted the part of a faithful minister. She left that week, and Mrs Jobson corresponded with her, in North Wales,-addressing her letters to Miss Lucy Grantham Gardiner, at the Honourable B. Trelawney's, etc. The correspondence was continued for some time ; and the letters of Miss Gardiner have all that minuteness of detail which is the characteristic of female writers. Of course she has a lover, a Mr Wynne, to whom she was fondly attached, but whom she cannot now marry, in consequence of the change in her religious views. Poor girl! It was a sore trial of her faith. She made her friends two short visits during this period. In one of these she was told that inquiries had been made of a clergyman at Didsbury respecting Major Ormond, but that he had never heard of him. This was awkward. Soon they received a letter from her, to the effect, that she had ruptured a blood-vessel, and that Dr Jones of Chester was afraid the consequences would be fatal. A letter of christian sympathy was sent to Wrexham post-office, as before. It was returned. Dr Jones, when referred to, knew no such person. The Lucy Gardiner of Mrs Jobson was the Marie Clifford of Mrs Luke. The handwriting was the same ; the likeness was the same.
The father of Marie or Mary G. was a farrier. She always called him a surgeon, which was true, in one sense. Her mother was a weak-minded woman, having a dangerous facility of inclining to any set of religious opinions which might suit her present interest. She laboured hard to give her daughter an education beyond her station in life. Marie did not profit by her advantages as much as she ought to have done. She was a selfish, giddy, and frivolous girl. Her earliest vices were lying and stealing. Her favourite occupation was novel-reading-from which, doubtless, she derived her desire to be thought a person of distinction, and to be upon a familiar footing with members of the aristocracy. Such a morning could scarcely be expected to usher in a bright day; and it was commonly supposed that this dark shadow of the future of her deceptions, combined with her present undutifulness, brought the doting mother to a premature grave. When about twenty or twenty-one years of age, Marie obtained a situation at Crewe Hall, Farndon, Cheshire, as governess to two little girls. This was about the year 1845. Here she commenced the practice of vomiting blood ; but the surgeon did not pay much heed to the alarming symptoms, as he discovered that the substance was not blood. She acquired more dexterity afterwards in playing this trick. She remained here for two years, and gave satisfaction. She lost her situation merely in consequence of the death of the parents of the two pupils. It was during her residence in this family, and while still in the neighbourhood of Wrexham, that she commenced her correspondence with Mrs Jobson. Had it not been for the untoward inquiries with respect to Major Ormond, the probabilities are, that she would have succeeded in establishing herself in the house of the Wesleyan minister, as she did subsequently in that of Mr Luke. It may be mentioned, moreover, that Mr Luke was about thirteen years a resident in Chester. This explains the choice she made of him, when she went to London.
Upon the loss of her situation, she paid a visit to an aunt and uncle in Manchester, who were in comfortable circumstances. Opposite their house there lives a Mr Rix, a medical gentleman, distinguished alike for skill and benevolence. The two families were on friendly terms, and Mrs Rix sometimes asked Miss G. to spend an hour or two with her, an invitation which was cordially accepted. Here she became unwell, and Mr Rix attended her. Her uncle's house undergoing some alterations, temporary accommodation was found for her elsewhere. After a fortnight's residence with her new friends, she requested Mrs Rix, as & special favour, to give her a bed at her house for one night, as some relatives had unexpectedly come, and would occupy their spare room. The request was granted; and on the night of the 22d March 1848, she slept there for the first time. She did not leave it for more than two months. She becomes worse, and cannot leave. A letter comes from a gentleman in Manchester, of great wealth, expressing a desire that Miss G. would have every attention paid to her, and pledging himself that all expenses would be paid. Behold her now an inmate in the surgeon's family.
The symptoms of her malady prove perplexing. Another medical gentleman of high standing was called in. Marie was a mystery to him also. His remark, upon leaving the house, would indicate that the mystery was moral as well as physical. “ You have got into a hobble, and I wish you out of it.” The gentle. man who had guaranteed the expenses of Marie, invited Mr and Mrs Rix, two or three times to dinner, on account of their guest. But something or other always occurred to prevent the dinners from being eaten. On one occasion, the host becomes suddenly unwell, and the dinner is postponed, as he is unable to receive his guests that day. On another occasion, Marie herself is seized with a vomiting of blood ; her mouth and lips are streaked with blood. A letter of apology is written for their non-appearance; but Marie rallies almost as rapidly as she was attacked, and undertakes to send the note to its destination by her nephew. This was unfortunate. Perhaps it was more. But whatever suspicions might be entertained were soon put to flight. A lady moving in the highest circles of Manchester, calls upon her one day. She is visited by a clergyman of eminence. Presents of game, salmon, and other delicacies, suited to an invalid, are sent her by influential friends. Presents of jewellery make their appearance; and, at last, a Prayer Book and Bible, elegantly bound, with golden clasps, in a morocco case, is left for her, with a complimentary “note from Sir W. W. Wynne.'
There is an end of all things, even of deception. A servant, one day, 27th April, finds below the upper mattress of the bedstead, used by Marie, a large number of letters and bills. Among them is found a vial of nameless ingredients. The servant assures her mistress that the guest is an impostor. A letter is found, from a personal friend of Marie, upbraiding her for falsehood and treachery. One sentence was-“ Poor deluded Mrs Rix. When her husband came home, she said, « We have a swindler in our house. I am certain that Mary G-has been duping us all the time she has been our inmate.” It was even so. The letter from the merchant, as to her expenses, was a forgery. The invitations to dinner at his house were also forgeries. These, and other letters, had been penned at her wish, and under her dictation, by several shopkeepers. The supposed gifts of fish and game were ordered from a neighbouring fishmonger,-the presents of various articles of jewellery from Mrs Rix's own jeweller, and the handsome Bible and Prayer Book from a bookseller; and, it need scarcely be added, that none of them were paid for. Her visitors had also been duped. A bottle of bullock's blood is discovered in a small trunk, which explained the frequent vomiting. She is confronted with her uncle and aunt, but seems quite unmoved. Her brother, who is a veterinary surgeon in Southport, is sent for. A man of religious principle, he is distressed at the conduct of his sister, and says, that this is not the first time she had played a like trick. To prevent legal consequences, he becomes answerable to Mr Rix for the amount which was due him. She attempts an escape, but is taken by her brother to Southport. It was in May that she went to Southport. In November of the same year, she is an inmate in a London convent. The remainder of her history, till June 1850, is given in the “ Female Jesuit.”
What became of her after this period? What is her history after she embarked for Ostend from London? She arrives in Ghent, and seeks admission at the English convent. A few days afterwards she appears in Brussels, and calls upon an English abbé, well advanced in years, of great kindness of heart. She tells her story. She was an orphan, educated as a Protestant, but was solicitous to embrace the Catholic faith. She had been partly instructed by the Rev. Mr M'Neal, priest of “the chapel of our lady,” in St John's Wood. She was advised to spend a short time in a convent, preparatory to her great task ; and her physicians, moreover, had recommended a change of climate for her health. Her friends were aware of her intention; and her guardian, the Rev. Mr Duke, had seen her on board. From boisterous weather, the steamer had been driven upon a sand-bank (which was true), and the passengers were transferred to the Rotterdam cattle-boat. In the confusion, her large trunk, containing the greater part of her wearing apparel and cash, had been lost, or left behind ; and hence she had to repair to Ghent with one small box. At Ghent and at Brussels she could not be received as a boarder, none being admitted above eighteen years of age. Fortunately she had