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stance does not invalidate its office as a medium of God's communication with the saint. He can employ what means seem best to his wisdom in making known his will to man; and, as we stated February 18, the divine character of any vision must be deduced, not from any mode of explaining its proximate cause which our philosophy may suggest, but from its being clearly shewn to have some important ulterior object, an example of which is afforded in the case before us.

Again, it must be observed that the saint repels the idea that he had worked the miracle, which God had in reality performed at his intercession and prayers. A similar doctrine will always be found to be maintained by those holy persons at whose instance Heaven has been pleased to testify, by miraculous effects, to the sanctity of the church. The Saints never pretend to ascribe miracles to any power delegated to themselves. See August 1 and November 3.

December 7. St. Ambrose Bishop and Confessor Doctor of the Church. St. Fara Virgin Abbess.

St. Ambrose, one of the greatest luminaries of the fourth age, was son of a man of the same name, and of great temporal power, being prefect of the praetorium in Gaul. He was learned in the languages and history of Europe, and was reckoned one of the most pious, humble, and at the same time inflexible, of the Christians. In his doctrine he closely followed the opinions of the early Christians of the first and second centuries, declaring the practice of war to be wholly unlawful, and the profession of arms to be inconsistent with that of Christianity. We have met with a very learned and able pamphlet on the Doctrine of the Primitive and early Christians with respect to the unlawfulness of Warfare, by a celebrated author, Mr. Thomas Clarkson, M. A.; and from this pamphlet we have selected the following extracts, as they furnish curious matter for reflection, considering the two following circumstances in conjunction

1. That Christians found a great part of their proofs of genuineness on the apostolic catholicity or universal sameness of their opinions in all ages. 2. That the practice and even the professions of the bulk of modern Christians on this subject are at variance with those of antiquity. For if SS. Ambrose, Tertullian, Tatian, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Jerome, and Cyril, denounced all warfare as antichristian, and if the modern Christian churches admit and practise it, what becomes of the catholicity of opinion among the true

Christians? Are not the Quakers, who abjure war and refuse in any case to use arms, really in community of faith with the early Christians ? Wishing well, as we do, to the cause of Christianity, we should be rejoiced to see those apparent difficulties surmounted, and our queries replied to in a satisfactory way.-0.0.

The following are the extracts :

“ With respect to the opinions of the first Christian writers after the Apostles, or of those, who are usually called the Fathers of the Church, relative to war, I believe we shall find them alike for nearly three hundred years, if not for a longer period. Justin, the Martyr, one of the earliest of those in the second century, considers war as unlawful. He makes, also, the Devil the author of all war.

Tatian, who was the disciple of Justin, in his oration to the

Greeks, speaks in the same terms on the same subject.

From the different expressions of Clemens of Alexandria, a contemporary of the latter, we collect his opinion to be decisive also against the lawfulness of war.

“ Tertullian, who may be mentioned next in order of time, strongly condemned the practice of bearing arms.

I shall give one or two extracts from him on this subject. In his Dissertation on the Worship of Idols, he says, . Though the soldiers came to John, and received a certain form to be observed, and though the centurion believed, yet Jesus Christ, by disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier afterward ; for custom never sanctions an unlawful act.'

“ St. Cyprian, in his Epistle to Donatus, speaks thusSuppose thyself,' says he, ' with me on the top of some very exalted eminence, and from thence looking down upon the appearances of things below. Let our prospect take in the whole horizon, and let us view, with the indifference of persons not concerned in them, the various motions and agitations of human life. Thou wilt then, I dare say, have a real compassion for the circumstances of mankind, and for the posture in which this view will represent them. And when thou reflectest upon thy condition, thy thoughts will rise in transports of gratitude and praise to God for having made thy escape from the pollutions of the world. The things thou wilt principally observe will be the highways beset with robbers, the seas with pirates, encampments, marches, and all the terrible forms of war and bloodshed. When a single murder is committed, it shall be deemed, perhaps, a crime; but that crime shall commence a virtue when committed under the shelter of public authority : 80 that punishment is not rated by the measure of guilt; but the more enormous the size of the wickedness is, so much the greater is the chance of impunity.' These are the sentiments of Cyprian; and that they were the result of his views of Christianity, as taken from the divine writings, there can be no doubt. If he had stood upon the same eminence, and beheld the same sights, previously to his conversion, he would, like others, have neither thought piracy dishonourable, nor war inglorious.

“ Lactantius, who lived some time after St. Cyprian, in his Treatise concerning the true worship of God, says, “It can never be lawful for a righteous man to go to war, whose warfare is in righteousness itself.'

“ To these may be added, ss. Archelaus, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Jerom, and Cyril, all of whom were of opinion, that it was unlawful for Christians to go to war.

“ Erasmus has a very pertinent remark on the subject of the legality of Christian warfare, in reply to the arguments of those who would justify it from the conduct of St. Peter• Peter, they allege, did actually use his sword. It is true he did; but while he was still a Jew, and had not yet received the genuine spirit of Christianity. He used his sword, not in support or any disputable claim to property, not to defend goods, chattels, lands, and estates, as we do; nor yet for his own life, but for the life of his Lord and Master. Let it also be remembered, that he who used the sword in defence of his Master, very soon after denied and renounced that Master. If Peter is to be our model, and if we are so much pleased with the example of Peter fighting for Christ, we may probably approve also the example of Peter denying Christ."*

Of Winter. - This period in South Britain, Northern France, and the Low Countries, begins early in December; according to Mr. Howard, Winter begins, by the temperature, the 7th of the month, and continues 89 days, in leap years 90 days.

The mean temperature of the season in the country is 37° 76', as deduced from the averages in tables for the period from 1807 to 1816. During this period the medium temperature of the twenty four hours descends from about 40° to 34°, and returns again to the former point.

The mean height of the barometer is 29.802 inches, being .021 inches above

that of Autumn. The range of the column is greatest in this season; and in the course of twenty winters it visits nearly the two extremities of the scale of

* We pretend not to offer any opinion of our own on the above subjects. The reader who wishes to pursue it may consult Erasmus' Querela Pacis; and also the tracts of a certain Antipolemical Society established in London for the Promotion of Universal Peace.- Editor.

three inches. The mean winter range is however 2.25 inches.

The predominating winds at the beginning of Winter are the South and West : in the middle these give place to northerly winds, after which the southerly winds prevail again to the close : they are at this season often boisterous at night.

The mean evaporation, taken in situations which give more than the natural quantity from the surface of the earth, being 30.467 inches on the year, is 3.587 inches. This is a third less than the proportion indicated by the mean temperature; shewing the dampness of the air at this season.

De Luc's hygrometer averages about 78 degrees.

The average rain is 5.868 inches. The rain is greatest at the commencement, and it diminishes in rapid proportion to the end. In this there appears a salutary provision of Divine Intelligence: for had it increased, or even continued as heavy as in the autumnal months, the water instead of answering the purpose of irrigation, for which it is evidently designed, would have descended from the saturated surface of the higher ground in perpetual floods, and wasted the plains and valleys.

CHRONOLOGY.-Algernon Sidney the patriot beheaded on Tower Hill in 1683.

December 8. CONCEPTIO B. V. MARIAE.

St. Romarie Abbot. This day is a solemn festival held by the church in commemoration of the miraculous conception of the Immaculate Holy and Blessed Virgin Mother of God; and is, as Butler assures us, the joyful dawning of the bright day of mercy refulgent in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The conquest of Christianity over sin is emblematically represented, in many statues of the immaculate conception, by the Virgin standing triumphant on the globe of the world and crushing the head of the serpent recoiling round it. The religious consequences of this sacred mystery are universally known to Christians. Schlegel, in his Dramatic Literature, has given us some curious observations on the change it likewise produced in the literature of Europe, and the manners and morality of the people. See Butler xii. 159.

Junoni Jugali sive Zygiae.-Rom. Cal. Some editions of the Roman Calendar seem to place this feast on the 9th; we have, however, followed the most approved writers, regarding it as having taken place on the VI. Idus, that is, the 8th of December. January 1, February 1, and March 1, seem all to have been dedicated to Juno, which days in our Calendar the reader may refer to.

Juno was daughter of Saturn and Ops. She was sister to Jupiter, Pluto, Neptune, Vesta, and Ceres. She was born at Argos, or, according to others, in Samos, and was entrusted to the care of the Seasons, or, as Homer and Ovid mention, to Oceanus and Tethys. Some of the inhabitants of Argolis supposed that she had been brought up by the three daughters of the river Asterion; and the people of Stymphalus, in Arcadia, maintained, that she had been educated under the care of Temenus, the son of Pelasgus. Juno was devoured by Saturn, according to some mythologists; and, according to Apollodorus she was again restored to the world by means of a potion which Metis gave to Saturn, to make him give up the stone which his wife had given him to swallow instead of Jupiter. Jupiter was not insensible to the charms of his sister: and the more powerfully to gain her confidence he changed himself into a Cuckoo, and raised a great storm, and made the air unusually chill and cold. Under this form he went to the goddess, all shivering. Juno pitied the Cuckoo, and took him into her bosom. The nuptials of Jupiter and Juno were celebrated with the greatest solemnity: the gods, all mankind, and all the brute creation, attended. Chelone, a young woman, was the only one who refused to come, and who derided the ceremony. For this impiety Mercury changed her into a tortoise, and condemned her to perpetual silence; from which circumstance the tortoise has always been used as a symbol of silence among the ancients. Juno, by her marriage with Jupiter, became the queen of all the gods, and mistress of heaven and earth. Her conjugal happiness, however, was frequently disturbed by the numerous amours of her husband, and she shewed herself jealous and inexorable in the bighest degree. Her severity to the mistresses and illegitimate children of her husband was unparalleled. She persecuted Hercules and his descendants with the most inveterate fury; and her resentment against Paris, who had given the golden apple to Venus in preference to herself, was the cause of the Trojan war, and of all the miseries which happened to the unfortunate house of Priam. Her severities to Alcmeva, Ino, Athamas, and Semele, are also well known. Juno had some children by Jupiter. According to Hesiod, she was mother of Mars, Hebe, and Illithya, or Lucina ; and besides these, she brought forth Vulcan, without having any commerce with the other sex, but only by smelling a certain plant.

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