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Elizabeth by the substitution of the following rubric, which continued to the reign of Charles II.

“ When the years of our Lord may be divided into four even parts, which is every fourth year, then the Sunday letter leapeth, and that year the psalms and lessons which serve for the xxiii. day of Februarie shall be read again the day following, except it be Sunday, which hath proper lessons of the Old Testament appointed in the table serving to that purpose."

The exception proves that in leap-years the day following the 23rd was not regarded as the feast of St. Matthias, which had proper lessons as well as Sunday, and therefore would be a constant exception occuring every leap-year, while the occurrence of a Sunday on the intercalary day could only happen on those leap-years whose first Sunday letter was F. It is plain then, that down to the last review of the liturgy, the feast of St. Matthias was always kept in our church on the 25th of February in leap-years; and the ignorance of the assertion that this was decided at the Council of Trent," is, I trust, sufficiently exposed.

But it is further to be observed, that in the old calendars there was no 29th of February, and, consequently, no psalms or lessons appointed for that day until the last review ; therefore the rule followed in leap-year was this on the 24th, the eve of St. Matthias was kept, with the psalms and lessons of the 23rd; on the 25th, the feast of St. Matthias, with the psalms and second lessons of the 24th ; on the 26th, the psalms and lessons of the 25th ; and so on. And this was the practice of the church from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the last alterations in the book of common prayer.

In the two books of Edward VI. there is a peculiar rubric for the psalms in February, which perhaps led to the anomalies about leapyear already noticed ; and as I have not seen this remarked anywhere, it may perhaps be well to mention the matter here. On the 31st day of January the psalms for the first day of the month were read; on the first of February the psalms of the second day, and so on, one day always in advance; so that on February 28th the psalms for the 29th would be read. On the first of March the psalms for the 30th of the onth were used; on March 2nd, those of the 1st; and so on, each day of March the psalms of the day before; thus the whole psalter was read twice between the 31st of January and the 31st of March. Nor was this arrangement disturbed in leap-years, because the psalms of the 25th February were then twice repeated. In the other months which consist of thirty-one days, the rule which we observe at present was enjoined—viz., to repeat on the 31st the psalms of the 30th. But this is further to be observed, that in the prayer-books of Edward VI. the psalter was not printed; so that the psalms were read, as I suppose, out of the Bible, as we now read the lessons. It was necessary, therefore, to have a separate table for the psalms, and this was referred to from the table of the lessons by a column headed Psalms, and containing a series of numbers which generally coincided with the days of the month; but in February and March differed from them in the way above explained : thus it happened that in the two books of Edward VI. the number xxv appeared in this column opposite to the 6 Kal. Mart., denoting that the 25th of the thirty portions into which the psalter had been divided, was on that day to be read ; and I have little doubt that this circumstance was the cause of the error in the rubric, “ that the xxv day of February in leape-yeares, is coumpted for twoo dayes,” in which xxv was taken from the wrong column, and is therefore really a mistake for xxiv. To those who have not an old prayer-book at hand this may perhaps be made clearer by mentioning that the 24th of February is given thus :

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The third column contains the day of the month, and the fifth the reference to the table of psalıns. It is also to be borne in mind, that in Edward's time there were no proper lessons, so that the substitution of xxiv for xxv in the rubric would be sufficient to render it consistent with the celebration of St. Matthias's-day on the 25th, or 6th Kalend.

But to return from this digression. Our present prayer-books omit the direction for repeating the psalms and lessons of February 23rd on the day following, and appoint special lessons for the 29th.

The question therefore is, whether this amounts to a change of the former practice with respect to the observance of the feast of St. Matthias in leap-years?

It is unquestionable that the feast of St. Matthias is not a moveable feast--that it is fixed to the 6th Kal. Mart., and that in leap-year the intercalary day being inserted between the 23rd and 24th, the 6th Kal., and therefore the feast of St. Matthias, must fall on the 25th of the month. And since our present calendar has given no Sunday letter for the 29th February, it is plain that F. is the letter repeated, that is, that the intercalation was inade in the same place as before ; and, consequently, the feast of St. Matthias, unless some positive rubric can be quoted enjoining the contrary, must in leap-year be observed on the 25th, especially when we consider that this has been for ages the uniform practice of the church of England, and is still the practice of every other part of the catholic church.

I am therefore, I confess, slow to believe that the intention of our last excellent revisors of the book of common prayer was to depart, in a matter so indifferent, from a usage so long established, and so universal; yet I must confess that there is a difficulty which I know not how to solve otherwise than by admitting this to be the case. Our present calendar, by appointing lessons for the 29th, and omitting all further directions, plainly intimates that the lessons of the preceding days are to be read as they are appointed in the table; if, therefore, we observe St. Matthias on the 25th, the 24th is left without first lessons, at both morning and evening prayer.

This difficulty is solved in Gilbert's Almanack, on the principle recommended by Nichols, by reading the first lessons of the 25th on the 24th, and substituting on the 25th, for the lessons appointed in the table, the proper lessons for St. Matthias's-day. This, however, appears to me so great a liberty, that I should very much hesitate to conform to it without episcopal authority; yet I do think, that as the rubric is entirely silent, and ancient usage altogether against the alteration of the feast of St. Matthias from the 6th of the Kalends, the case is one which the Bishop's authority is competent to decide. The injunction of Abp. Sancroft, to which your correspondent alludes, cannot, I conceive, be supposed to have had any weight, except during his own lifetime; and although the practice which he authorized is not exactly that which I think ought to have been enjoined, yet his authority goes far to persuade me that it was the practice intended and prescribed by our present calendar.

I. H.T.

MARTIN OF TOURS. Sir, I must give some answers to the queries put to me in your note to page 163.

As the number lies on the table of your subscribers, I do not waste your space by transcribing them.

I will first observe, that there are not many matters of assertion in history. Unfortunately it has not enough of certainty. What are assertions in form, are in substance expressions of opinion. Our taste must guide us (and mine may often misguide me) as to multiplying, or making fewer, the phrases expressive of opinion, persuasion, or the like. Since the cases are few in which they are not implied, they are (in some sense) generally superfluous.

We can of course prove nothing in history, because, in one sense, no one can prove anything in that branch of study; but I can shew, on fair grounds, that the belief to which you allude is the right one to form.

Nothing could be more absurd, as you well suggest, than to found, upon a construction of the Gennadian notice of S. Severus’s life, a conclusion that the said life was, in a particular respect, vicious; and then to argue, from the same viciousness of life thus arrived at, that the aforesaid construction ought to be put upon the story, as told by Gennadius. “ Where we can stop in history upon this principle," Heaven only knows. But nothing of that sort ever entered my contemplation.

To shew the system of imposture which had been practised by Martinus and his confederate, I appealed to the works of the latter as a very sufficient and damning testimony, to which it may be useful to add the history of Gregorius, and his highly mysterious legend of Martinus in his “ Opera Pia." While quoting a few sad things out of them, I disclaimed then, as now, the intention of “analyzing and commenting upon the documents of Martin's life and machinations," or, in other words, of occupying* half a number of your magazine in answer to a few hasty lines.

Any one that would faithfully translate the whole, (except that earlier part of “H. Sacra,” which is a mere epitome of scripture,) would throw the fullest light upon these characters.

I considered those documents as such à manifest and brazen monument of untruth, that it was nearly sufficient to refer the rev. gentleman who had taken up the point to them. The case which they present is one calculated to convict of moral falsehood, unless their material truth were to be received. Very few persons will be found (protestants) who will be inclined to bestow much doubt upon that subject.

When, however, S. Severus relates the account which his friend Posthumian gave of his visit to the solitudes of Upper Egypt and their eremites, and states, on Posthumian's authority, that, as he was walking in company with one of those solitaries, the latter gathered from a date tree the attigua ramis humilioribus poma, we are tempted to ask whether either of those Martinists had ever seen the picture of a date tree, or was acquainted with its growth and structure, and the mode of obtaining its fruit. The wild lion, who happened to be lying under it, “ modestly withdrew."

I am not disposed to entertain the alarming idea, that such books are likely to obtain credit in the country, or that many (if any at all) will hesitate to coincide with the opinion that Posthumian tells Severus he had heard expressed, “ te in illo libro tuo plura mentitum.”

At all events, his works were my premises, from which (declining a lengthened comment upon them) i concluded that that author's life had been, in great part, one of impious fraud. In consequence of the remark (from St. Martin's parish) concerning repentance, I simply observed that none was attributed to Martin, but that Severus's was on record, though not ascribed to its principal cause.

Then, if you please, we will see how it stands. Being such a man as above concluded, he ended his days on the Loire, in the deepest remorse, evinced by the dreadful penance of voluntary taciturnity,

agnoscens loquacitatis culpam, silentium usque ad mortem tenuit. (Genn. de Viris Ill., c. 19.) The account which reached Gennadius at Marseilles, about seventy years afterwards, or which he thought fit to give, was, that he had repented of having been “ deceived by the Pelagians." Their tenets consisted in abstract error concerning the nature of original sin. The subject was doctrinal and difficult, and the heresiarchs so specious and highly gifted as to impose upon the see of Rome itself, not to say over synods and councils, and to spread their misconstructions of baptism and salvation far and wide. Thousands embraced, and in a maturer hour abandoned, the error. a doctrinal lapse to regret, to avoid in future, to retract, disavow, and preach against, and do anything but keep silence. Did Augustin become ă mute when he left the impure tents of the Manichees, to whom we would not compare Pelagians ? The behaviour attributed to S. Severus is absurd, inapplicable to his alleged circumstances, inconsistent with a remembrance of the history of St. Paul, and scarcely credible : it seems to confound sin with crime, and, I may almost say, error with sin. The sentence imposed by himself or his penitentiary, was one of those which were adapted to purge (if it

It was

might be so) the worst deeds of which remorse can extort from shame the acknowledgment. Did we know nothing at all about him, save what those few lines tell us, they would still be unsatisfactory, and reason would whisper to us, that we were reading (as we often do) a half-told tale.

But since we know what his great loquacitatis culpa had really been, when we see it before us horrible, it is not difficult to substitute the adequate and appropriate cause for that one which at present does not rationally account for the effect. If we do not know that, we can scarcely be said to know anything securely, or to have any grounds remaining upon which to disbelieve anything that is said upon any subject. And if we do know it, the conclusion, that he repented in anguish and self-inflicted misery of unintentional mistakes, and of “ being deceived,” to the exclusion of these crimes, would be unreasonable and preposterous, against weight of evidence and probability of truth.

The idea, that he ended his days in silence, by way of penance, without making retractation or confession, may be dismissed at once, as it is inconsistent with the known laws of the Christian church. But if it was made, and not generally made known, and an irrelevant matter put forward in its place, then it was stifled. Had it not been stifled, the pest of Essenian, Origenian, Antonian monkery. in Gaul must have been stopped in its outset; but it continued to flourish and rebound, which shews that means were found to suppress the true causes of the old man's unhappy (though desirable) state. To do so was the more easy, since the Martinists were, in a spiritual way,

demagogues—clamour and the people were at their command. And it was, therefore, also the more necessary, as they were upheld by a power which, if fully undeceived, might be exasperated even to the destruction of their lives.

Upon the whole matter, those whom it interests must examine and judge for themselves. My object is to shew that these opinions, right or wrong, have been arrived at, in the due order of deduction, from apparent facts to strong resulting probabilities.

H.

MOORE'S HISTORY OF IRELAND.

LETTER V.

Sir,—It is my purpose in the present communication to identify the doctrines professed in the creed found in the “Confession of St. Patrick,"

" with the tenets which Pelagians and semi-Pelagians maintained, in opposition to the orthodox of their day and generation. If I succeed in doing this, Mr. Moore and other Romanists will be under the necessity either of disconnecting their patron-saint from all pretensions to the authorship of the creed in question, or of admitting that he was what the church of Rome then esteemed a heretic. It is to be borne in mind, too, that I am not concerned in the discussion of

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