Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

et offrir autant que possible aux deux vallées principales la facilité d'en profiter en proportion égale."

This document was received in a communication from the Rev. Francis Cunningham,an advocate for the plan of female education, and who, on his first visit to Piedmont in 1820, contributed above 300 francs towards the “ Livre de Famille ;"-a book of devotions undertaken by the moderator, M. Bert, containing prayers, sacred poems, &c.

That judicious friend of the Vaudois-Count Waldbourg Truchsess has so far countenanced the plan of female education as to have appropriated the Countess Fontana's annual donation of 200 francs to the establishment of a girls' school at St. Jean. A similar school at St. Germain has been also formed.

(5.) The Vaudois have been usually supplied with the books requisite for their churches, schools, and families, from Lausanne and Geneva. The books principally in use are Martin's or Ostervald's Bible; the Liturgies of Geneva and Neufchâtel; Ostervald's“ Nourriture de l'Ame,” and Catechism ; the Psalter, with musical notes; and Pictet's Prayers and Hymns. The “Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge” has also kindly voted a supply of elementary books. Till within the last few years Bibles were extremely scarce amongst the Vaudois. They

are, however, particularly entitled to an adequate supply from their more opulent fellow-christians, since one of their pastors-Olivetantranslated, and their ancestors printed the first French Bible for the use of the protestant church of France, at the very era of the Reformation. In the year 1815 a correspondence took place between the present moderator and the editor, on the expediency of forming a connexion with the “ British and Foreign Bible Society;

;". it was no less urged by the friends of the Vaudois in Switzerland; and in the following year an association was formed. Upon the representation made by some benevolent persons, the society in London made a liberal grant of 500 Bibles. The editor discovered in 1823 that numerous copies remained unsold, the people being unable to defray the expense of carriage, custom-hóuse dues, &c. but this circumstance being explained, the society, by a new act of generosity, permitted the ministers to distribute the copies amongst the poor, gratis. The Rev. J. L. Jackson, who made an excursion to Piedmont in 1825, bas obtained an additional grant of 700 Bibles from the same source, and 300 copies have been given by the “ Paris Bible Society.”

Thus has it been attempted to present the reader with a rapid sketch of the valleys of Piedmont, and the character of the inhabitants; -an epitome of their history ;--and an account of the recent attempts for their benefit; from the whole of which it appears, that if the christian churches in the west are deeply indebted to the ancestors of the Vaudois, the Vaudois themselves have, at different periods, obtained the sympathy and support both of societies and individuals. So cursory a view necessarily precludes the mention of the names of many of their friends and benefactors. It should be noticed, however, that the Right Rev. Dr. Hobart, Bishop of New York, and the Rev. Lewis Way, when at Rome,-and the Rev.J.H. Stewart, when at Nice, pleaded with the English congregations for their relief; and the editor may be allowed also to add his personal obligations, for the politeness evinced in reference to facilitating the objects of his last journey to Piedmont, to the Right Hon. George Canning, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Right Hon. the Earl of Clancarty, late Ambassador at the Hague, and G. Crawfurd Antrobus, Esq., Chargé d'Affaires, at the court of Turin.

That a people whose history is so replete with the marvellous and the pathetic, and

whose adherence to a primitive faith has been for a series of ages so firm and so uniform, should have excited a more than ordinary degree of attention and respect, cannot be deemed surprising ; since, viewed in connexion with religion, their soil must be regarded as almost sacred; their rocks and caves, their temples and their dwellings, are beheld with unusual emotions; and the children of such suffering ancestors seem peculiarly entitled to our esteem. On such spots, however delightful the scenery, the principal charm consists in the association of all that presents itself to the eye, with historical recollections, consecrated as the territory has been, in an almost unparalleled degree, by the patience of the confessor, and the agony of the martyr. For himself, the editor may perhaps be allowed without the imputation of egotism to remark, that after an interval of several years, he can sincerely repeat a sentiment penned after his visit to Piedmont in 1814—that the train of feelings induced by such recollections, when treading those sequestered spots, were such as neither the treasures of art deposited in the Louvre,-at the time when the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoon, and the productions of the first masters of the Italian and Flemish schools of painting crowded its sa

[ocr errors]

loons,—nor the stupendous views of nature unfolded in the cantons of Switzerland, had possessed in an equal degree the magic to impart.

It would ill become any christian, however, either as a traveller or a reader, to sit down satisfied with the transient delight afforded by a contemplation of the face of nature, or an examination of the page of history. His feelings should not be those of the sentimental tourist, who, walking on the margin of a lake, or surveying a triumphal arch, or the ruins of an aqueduct, has no other object than to enjoy the indolent, however innocent, luxury of observation. Nor should they resemble those of the pilgrim who resorts to Palestine, to visit Bethlehem as the birth-place of his Saviour, the Jordan where he was baptized, or the sepulchre in which he is supposed to have lain. Actuated by motives of a purer kind, and feelings of a higher order, a judicious christian, keeping at equal distance from the romantic reveries of the sentimentalist, and the degrading superstition of the devotee, will traverse that ground which martyrs trod before him, not merely to admire,--still less to invoke, - but to imitate them; and prompted by that enlightened benevolence

« ÖncekiDevam »