Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

good night now," and kissing his cheek instead of his hand as he had used her aforetime to do, she flew up to her room to pour forth her feelings in a flood of tears, though under the persuasion that this first effort had passed off much better than she could have expected.

How often does the feeble champion of the cross sicken and faint through many discouragements in the middle of his course, and it is perhaps well it should be so, that all the glory of man's salvation, and man's conversion from first to last, may be given to him to whom only it is due. But thrice blessed are they who are made able to persevere unto the end of their earthly course! These are they who shall be set as jewels of light in the crown of their Redeemer, and amongst those blessed ones was that fair daughter of whom our narrative now speaks, and who now is gathered high in salvation, around that goodly company of pious sons and daughters of which the old rhyme thus speaks, when enumerating the hosts of the redeemed

“And there were those who pass'd life's blooming year
Beside the mournful couch of parents dear,
Renouncing all the joys of early days,

To serve their God and sing their Saviour's praise!" Such strength and courage were added to Emmeline, that in a little, a very little time, the rugged frost of her father's nature began visibly to melt before her sweetly winning daughter-like attentions, and she was greatly assisted, through the Divine favor, by an illness, which somewhere about the end of the month of November confined her parent to his couch. The disease was rheumatic gout, and he required some one to be constantly rubbing one or another of his aching members. No one could do this service to his satisfaction but Emmeline, and when she was weary, his favorite Damien. Most wonderful were the means by which the circumstances related in the foregoing pages were rescued from oblivion in this present state of man's existence, and that information brought to light which can be only given in an abridged form in the present number; for gladly, were space allowed, would the narrator tell how for many months the sweet young daughter used to bear with her irritable parent, whilst he remained in utter helplessness upon his couch, and how at length she opened boldly out to him the whole statement of those

glorious truths which had by the Divine appointment passed to herself from little Barbara. Often with the little Bible in her hand, the Bible which had come from Horace, did she trace up that little stream of living waters in the presence of Damien, as far as she was able to do, and thereby taking occasion to dilate on such views of Divine love as, with the Spirit's light shed upon them, produced a very decided effect upon both of those accustomed to hear her, working ultimately an effectual change through the regenerating influences of the Divine Spirit, in the hitherto thoughtless youth, and bringing the haughty captain of the “ Hebe" to a stand in the midst of a high and honorable worldly career.

And now, at the point where we perceive the tide of our Living Rill preparing to burst forth in two new lines, we must conclude our present number, hoping, if so permitted, to carry on our subject in that for the ensuing month.

M.M.S. (To be continued.)

THE THREE WORDS. It was a lovely morning in October. The sky was bright, and the wind blew softly from the south-west. There was a crystal clearness in the atmosphere, and the scant and parti-colored foliage fluttered and twittered in the sunshine, as if every leaf were a living thing entrusted with some earnest secret for its fellow. The robin sat on the topmost bough of an old apple tree beside the window, and jerked out his rapid and abrupt music, the light wind every now and then ruffling the flaming feathers of his distended throat, or startling him as it lifted the yellow leaf from its slender hold upon the bough, and launched it, like a fairy boat, upon the sunny air till swaying to and fro for a few seconds, it lighted on the garden path where its fellows lay huddled together beside the flower borders.

There are few months in the year lovelier than a fine October; and certainly no season so favorable for recreation out of doors. The height of summer is too hot; the depth of winter, too rouge and cold ; the spring, too enervating; and the warmer days of autumn too exhausting. And this day, the ninth, seemed above. all others, the most inviting that could have been selected for a

long country ramble. Recalling to mind the challenge that had been thrown out many months ago, when driven by stress of weather in to the road-side ale-house, as already mentioned, it occurred to me that I could not do better than devote the morning to a visit to Spring Close, that I might see with my own eyes, what Puseyism in our part of the world really was. I was the rather moved to this by the melancholy intimations I had since met with, of its proselyting tendencies, and accordingly made up my mind to set out on this mission, provided there was likely to be service in the church I intended to visit. It was the festival of St. Denys, and I had, therefore, little doubt of the fact, as that very notable saint and martyr has found a place, not only in the Romish, but the British calendar.

My walk lay amongst scenery which possessed few commanding attractions, but at this lovely season every thing was full of beauty. The fields, the hedges, the streams, and the manycolored woods were fraught with a thousand endearing associations, and where the solitary trees skirting the roadway and alternating with corn-ricks and thatched roofs flamed out in their liveries of crimson and gold, against the dark neutral tints of the back ground, they formed such a picture as can only be met with in happy England, in its happiest aspects. I was walking beside a clear stream flanked with old willows, whose hollow and twisted stems would have furnished some good studies for the artist ; the banks were high and rugged, but not so high that I could not see distinctly the bright sand and pebbles lying in its bed. The surface, as it rippled on, was daintily embroidered by catches of sunlight, and the shadows of these ripples waved on the shining sands, faded, and disappeared alternately. Now and then a fish shot like an arrow through the water, or lay motionless and as if dreaming, near the oozy stones that lined the stream, and as my shadow crossed it, hid himself in one of the many breaks and chinks formed by the over-hanging cliff. The grasshopper was still noisy in the long grass, and as I passed, flirted his filmy wings and threw himself into the broad sun-light, describing a semicircle in the air and returning to the bank he had just left, a few paces in advance. In the hedges, the bramble was thick with blackberries; and the sloe, covered with its rich bloom, clustering in beautiful profusion

[ocr errors]

round its armed stem, gleamed pleasantly from amidst its long, straggling branches. The blackbird chuckled as he flew forward, keeping always in advance, and occasionally a covey of partridges rose from the stubble, scaring me by their well-known clutter, from my day dreams, and causing me to follow them through the air, as they floated on, and on, and on, against the dark back ground of the picture.

Many, but not weary, were the miles I traversed that morning: after leaving the pleasant companionship of that stream. There was such a delightful freshness in the air, that I never dreamt of weariness, and it was really with surprise that I saw before me at the distance only of a few small fields, the grey tower of the church of Saint Fabian, Spring Close. It stood, as country churches often do, on a gently rising ground which I was already ascending. To my left, distant a full mile from the church, stood the old quaint building of red brick, which I have before described as the domicile of the Rev. Silenus Glosenfane, distinctly visible through the lofty trees before it, now almost denuded of their foliage. The huge gilt vanes glittered in the sunshine, and the old lions keeping watch and ward on the entry gates might be distinctly seen against the dark mass of brickwork behind them. The solitary bell of St. Fabian was tolling at measured intervals, and though I saw no signs of an assembling congregation, I made no doubt there would be a full service at the church.

that I I had selected this day in preference to the Sunday, that I might the better estimate the character of the congregation. Those who live in cathedral towns must have noticed the vast disparity existing between a week-day and a Sabbath service. In the former case, those only attend who consider it in the light of a duty-who are really followers of the ordinances and institutions of the church “ through evil report and good report ; whilst in the other, those who have any form of religion, think they may as well worship with all possible appliances, and consequently go there in preference to any more humble place of worship. The result is that the Sabbath service is throngea, while the week-day prayers are almost entirely deserted. I hau calculated, therefore, that all whom I might meet with at church to-day, would be thorough-going tractarians, and that I shou

[ocr errors]

consequently be enabled the better to judge of the mischiefs consequent on this new doctrine.

The church was soon reached, and I was glad to find, that I had arrived nearly half an hour before the time of service. In old churches there are usually a great many snug little nooks and corners, where the worshipper, though almost out of sight himself, may yet see much that goes on from the desk, the pulpit, and the altar. In one of these, I intended to ensconce myself, after having walked round the edifice and narrowly inspected every part. I need scarcely say that much of it had been “new done” since the induction of Mr. Glosenfane. The old screen and rood-loft had been restored, the chancel had been newly paved with encaustic tiles, a vast deal of carved wood-work had been introduced, and two hagioscopes had been cut away behind the pulpit and the reading desk, in order to enable the audience in the north and south aisles to obtain a view of the altar-piece, which consisted of a very fair copy from one of the old masters. The pews had been so far modified as to bear some resemblance to the stalls in our cathedrals, with the exception of two snug little parlors, one on each side of the chancel, which were fitted up with all the appointments necessary to make devotion as easy as possible. One of these belonged, as I found on enquiry, to the vicar ; the other to the lay patron of the parish. The roof which had, until lately, been hidden by a false ceiling, was now laid open; and the cherubim blowing hurricanes through absentee-trumpets, intermixed with quaint corbels, and lions making pantomimic faces, were again exposed to view in all the glory of mediæval art. The altar was covered with a splendid cloth, and suitably “dressed,” for the occasion. From the centre, rose a large gilt cross, with lighted candles on each side, and two immense nosegays just in front of them. The flowers composing these, with the exception of what appeared from the distance at which I viewed them, to be a cluster of snow-berries in the centre, were all of blood-red hue-principally dahlias, though I was informed they would have been peonies, had the season of the year allowed it. These were symbolic of martyrdom, and implied that St. Denys, whose festival they graced, had thus sealed his testimony to the truth. The white buttons, I Was since told, were a small species of mushroom sacred to the

« AnteriorContinuar »