The Reformation

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, December 16, 1865

We acquired this leaf for the purpose of digitally preserving it for your research and enjoyment.  If you would like to acquire the original 140+ year old Harper's Weekly leaf we used to create this page, it is available for a price of $165.  Your purchase allows us to continue to archive more original material. For more information, contact paul@sonofthesouth.net

 

 

 

VOL. IX.—No. 468.]

NEW YORK, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1865.

[ SINGLE COPIES TEN CENTS.

$4,00 PER YEAR IN ADVANCE.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.


THE BIBLE AND THE MONK.

THIS remarkable picture carries us back to the time when the priests of the Roman Catholic Church denounced the possession of the Bible as a sin.

The highly interesting situation so well imagined and vividly realized in this picture must have been one of common occurrence at the period of the Reformation, and can not fail to be deeply and variously suggestive to every thoughtful person. It would be beyond our province, however, to attempt to illustrate all the bearings of such a subject as

this. The artist's principal aim and meaning are obvious enough. The situation affords scope for representing well-contrasted emotion and three distinct types of character ; while—of course assuming that the picture is addressed to a Protestant spectator—the leading intention is to show the irresistible moral and spiritual influences which in all cases of an established prescriptive creed oppose the first feeble efforts of an independent inquiry after truth. The monk is the very impersonation of that spiritual pride and arrogance which too commonly characterize the priestly profession in all ages and

circumstances. Claiming infallibility, consciously or unconsciously, he stands resenting as a personal insult the attempt to defy or escape from his authority; he scouts it as a heinous sin; he is pre-pared to consign to everlasting perdition the tenderest and most innocent of his fellow-creatures if that attempt is persevered in. The enormities of the "Inquisition," so ominously suggested in the title, are but the logical and natural consequences of such a spirit as this. The poor girl, so interesting in her sweet, intelligent beauty and gentleness, must needs quail before the monk's domineering

energy ; nor can she steel herself to a mother's agonized entreaty, or be insensible to those habitual instincts of submission and reverence proper to her sex. The aged mother—too old to learn, however ignorant—is, of course only the slave and instrument of the " holy man's" will and pleasure. In representing a young female instead of a man as possessed of the forbidden Bible, the artist has doubtless wished to indicate the all-powerful influence and blind submission which priests every where exert over and exact from women, and of which we have all seen or heard such startling revelations.

THE BIBLE AND THE MONK: FROM A PAINTING BY MR. PETTIE.]

Picture
The Reformation

 

 

  

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