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published, on an average, twenty-five thousand volumes a minute for ten hours a day; and from three to four thousand persons have obtained a livelihood from their employment.”
OPENING OF THE WALDENSIAN CHURCH
IN TURIN Ox Thursday, the 15th of December last, the new Evangelical church * in Turin was opened for Divine worship. This chureh rises to view in one of the most frequented parts of the capital of Piedmont, in the noble street Viale del Re. Its Gothic architecture forms a fine contrast with the other recent structures that surround it; and altogether it is one of the most stately buildings of Turin. An elegant iron railing incloses it.
Over the great door that opens into the Viale del Re, you may read in letters of gold the following inscription :
“STAND YE IN THE WAYS, AND SEE, AND ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS, WHERE IS THE GOOD WAY, AND WALK THEREIN, AND YE SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS." _Jer, vi. 16.
This passage is written according to the (Italian) version of Martini, that the Clericals may not be able to say that it has been falsified in the version of Diodati. [Diodati was a Protestant. Martini made his version under Papal sanction, with notes.) Entering by the great door, you find a spacious portico, the ancient apóvaos, and on the door which leads into the interior of the church is the following inscription :
"GOD IS A SPIRIT; AND THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH."-John iv. 24,
The interior of the church has three spacious naves, supported by elegant pillars, and can seat about one thousand five hundred persons; and if more room be wanted,
• The Italian, in submission to a very doubtful usage, says "temple.” We have no such usage in England, and the word "church" is therefore substituted in this translation.-EDITORE.
galleries may at any time be added in the side naves. In the apsis, (central nave,) the chair of God's word, (pulpit,) the only and infallible authority of the Evangelic church, stands conspicuous; and under the pulpit, on a predella, or wooden base, is placed the table of the holy supper.
It was ten o'clock in the morning. The snow covered the streets of the city ; but, this notwithstanding, the spacious church was crowded with people. At half-past ten, eighteen Pastors of the Waldensian Church came out of the sacristy in their gowns, and proceeded in orderly procession to place themselves around the pulpit. The Pastor, A. Bert, preceded his colleagues, carrying the holy Bible, which he solemnly placed in the pulpit.
A chant was intoned by the choir, as it stands in the thirtieth in the Italian collection, in these words :
“ Dio che apristi il mare ai figli,” &c.[which we should not improve on by an imitation in English verse. They allude to the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, and to the like deliverance of the Waldensian Church from a bondage of ages.] After the chant, the Pastor, A. Bert, who had carried the Bible into the pulpit, having invoked the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons and one only God, read the Psalms cxxii. and cxviii., and afterwards read the consecrationprayer, a prayer which the Venerable Tavola (Board of Pastors) had directed Pastor Bert to prepare.
The prayer of consecration being ended, the choir broke out, as we may say, in a magnificent chant, with music written for it by a very celebrated master. It was the seventh of the Italian collection, which is a free translation of the famous hymn Te Deum.
During the chant the Pastor Bert came down from the pulpit, where the Minister Meille took his place, being appointed by the Venerable Tavola to preach. He first read the ten commandments of God, as they are written in the twentieth chapter of Exodus; then he read the confession of sins, and gave out a hymn, third in the Italian collection, in these words :
Peccatori redenti dal Santo," &c. This hymn was followed by the Liturgical prayer, and then the sermon.
The text read by the Minister was as follows :-“No man lighteth a candle, and putteth it under a bushel, but putteth it in a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house." (Matt. v. 15.) An analysis of the entire discourse of Signore Meille would be too long, and we must be content to say that it was altogether appropriate to the occasion, and without common places, and to cite one or two passages which appeared to produce most effect on the congregation.
He began by calling attention to the extraordinary fact of an evangelical church being opened in the capital of Piedmont. “If our persecuted fathers," said he, “could have imagined the event of this day, they could not have received a greater consolation in the fire or on the rack.” Thence he deduced the obligation of gratitude that lies on us for so great a benefit, gratitude to God, gratitude to men. And, first of all, to the large-hearted Charles Albert, of memory ineffaceable, in the present and future generations of the Waldenses; to the glorious Victor Immanuel II., his worthy son, and our excellent Sovereign ; to the Government and Parliament who have always defended the indisputable rights of liberty of conscience, whenever they have been attacked by an erroneous zeal; to the people of Piedmont, because by their dignified seriousness and numerous attendance at this service, and by the spontaneous attendance of the National Guard, they had been careful to contribute to the splendour of this service, and to the joy of this day. He then proceeded to speak of some prejudices which, either through ignorance or ill-will, had been raised against the Evangelical Church by those who wish to put the candle of the Gospel under the bushel ; and, in replying to those prejudices, he came to break down that barrier which prevents so many from profiting by the light.
He spoke of the accusation laid against our Church of being new, and demonstrated that, if they speak of novelty of doctrine, there is another Church that must be called
new, not the Evangelical, which has precisely the same doctrine that the Apostles taught; no other than that; no more than that; no less than that. If they mean historic novelty, he demonstrated that the Waldensian Church neither descends from the Reformers, nor from Peter Waldo, but is of immemorial antiquity. Against those who say that the Evangelical Church is foreign, he demonstrated that the Vaudoise Church is Italian; that it has always existed in Italy; that the same doctrines which are preached in this new edifice, were preached in the metropolitan church of Turin by Claudius, in the ninth century; that if the Waldenses do not now speak the Italian language well, it is because they possess but the last relic of it which the persecution of so many centuries has left them.
Lastly, he spoke of the charge brought by the Clericals against our doctrines, which produce, as they say, immorality, and cause discord in families, and divisions among citizens. To rebut this calumny, the orator believed that there could not be a better argument than that of appealing to the judgment of the public: and, that he might do this, he invited the public to consider where there is the purest morality, the greatest public prosperity, peace, and concord among the citizens; whether in those countries where evangelical doctrines prevail, or in those where they who entertain them are either excluded or persecuted. And on this point he referred, for the first part, to England, Holland, Prussia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States; and, for the other, to Spain, Portugal, Austria, France, Mexico, Naples, and, above all, to Rome.
And here he entered on a masterly summary of the Evangelical doctrines, making an exposition of Christian faith according to the Gospel, explained to the numerous Romanist audience what our belief is, and, taking up the idea of the text, concluded that it is the duty of every believer in the Gospel to put his candle in a candlestick, and show, by his works, the doctrine he professes. The discourse lasted more than an hour ; and not only did it not produce weariness, but it left a lively impression on the
closely crowded audience that listened, immoveable, in religious silence.
The same Minister then read the Liturgical prayer; and after it the twenty-sixth Hymn was sung, which is the Lord's Prayer put into Italian verse; and the congregation was dismissed with the benediction. A collection was made at the door in favour of the poor of Turin, without respect to the religion they profess, and the amount is sent to the * Committee of Beneficence.”
The people were wedged in close, but, thanks be to God, we had not to complain of the slightest disorder. The National Guard volunteered its presence for the maintenance of order, and to show respect to the service. The Magistrates had also taken all necessary measures to be prepared for any disorder that might happen,
The representatives of evangelical powers, resident in Turin, were all present at the opening of the new church ; and many foreigners, and distinguished personages of the country, also attended at the service.
Nor were even Priests wanting, who, in sacerdotal habit, conducted themselves with great propriety.
At two o'clock there was a French service. The Pastor Lantaret, Moderator adjunct of the Venerable Tavola, began by the reading of the word of God, and the confession of sins according to the Liturgy. Having given out the hymn, he vacated the pulpit for Pastor Revel, Moderator of the Venerable Tavola. While the first two verses of the twenty-fourth Hymn of the French collection
" Grand Dieu, nous te bénissons". were being sung, the Moderator went up into the pulpit, and, having offered an appropriate prayer, began to preach from Eph. ii. 19–22; and thence took occasion to demonstrate that the only foundation of the church is Jesus Christ, that the Apostles are the pillars, and all believers stones united by faith and charity on the only foundation, Jesus Christ. He then proceeded to demonstrate that true believers of the Gospel should form the true tabernacle of God in spirit.
At this second service there was not such pressure of