Imágenes de páginas

however, did light begin to shine into her mind, than she became as cheerful and happy as any of her companions.

During the first two or three years of the course of her education she did not manifest any notable facility for acquiring knowledge more than others. Indeed she was considered likely rather to be a dull scholar than otherwise ; but after obtaining a tolerable acquaintance with the first elements of language, her progress became so observable that the other pupils held her up to one another as an example for imitation. Her mind was of a very superior order, and became highly polished by intense application to study. She remained at school, as a pupil, a much longer period than is generally allowed for the education of the deaf and dumb poor. In the institutions of this country only five or six years are allowed for a deaf mute's education. This is by far too short time, even where the capacity is good, to open mind, before uncultivated, to enable them to comprehend written language, and to express their thoughts with any degree of readiness and correctness,-too short for acquiring such a knowledge of language as is necessary to fit them to read books with intelligence, and above all, to study the word of God with advantage.

When she ceased to be a pupil she became one of the assistants in the school, and taught during part of the day one of the junior classes; but in this department she did not excel, chiefly because she wanted animation. In the evenings she was employed in instructing the girls in sewing, and in this she was more successful. For some years she was thus usefully employed; but owing to a previous arrangement with her brother, she left the Institution at Whitsunday 1845, and went to keep house for him at Bannockburn. The most prominent feature in Helen Silvie's character was, the union of a very superior understanding, with the keenest sensibility of an affectionate heart. Her amiable and dutiful conduct endeared her to all with whom she was acquainted, and made her to be esteemed and loved by every member of the family under whose care she had so long been placed, as well as by all her companions in suffering. She was fond of reading, especially books of a useful and religious tendency; but the Bible, above all books, was the one she chiefly loved, and most highly prized. During her course of tuition at school, her mind was stored with the great leading principles of religion, the full benefit of which did not appear at the time, but afterwards it showed itself in the rapidity with which she grew in the knowledge of divine things, and in a high degree of sensitiveness, which induced her to dislike what was evil, and to relish in the most exquisite manner, whatever was lovely, and pure, and excellent; so that for about nine years before her death she gave satisfactory evidence that the gospel had taken hold of her mind, and had brought her under subjection to its holy and heavenly principles. She had imbibed as correct and clear ideas of her duty to God and to her fellow-men, and the destiny that awaited her at death, as most persons enjoy who have a perfect use of all their faculties. For steadiness, diligence, and perseverance, none could excel her, and no task given her was too much for her to master. At length her composition became so correct, as scarcely to be discernable to be that of a deaf-mute. Her memory was very retentive, and her intellect clear and powerful.

In her composition, she generally used the best words to express her meaning; and even on her death-bed, her words were so well selected, that they conveyed her ideas with the greatest accuracy.

There is reason to believe, that very soon after going to Bannockburn, Helen regretted having left the Institution; but it was not till a few weeks before her death that she intimated her desire to return, by causing a friend to write to ascertain if she could be allowed to occupy her former situation. “The letter," says 'her biographer, “ owing to my illness, not being answered so soon as she expected, she seems to have formed the determination of making a personal application on the subject. Accordingly, on the last day of the year 1845 she left Stirling, and arrived at Granton Pier at night. The night being -dark, and being nigh-sighted, she entrusted herself to the guidance of a gentleman who, unknown to her, had the same defect in vision as herself, to see her up the pier. When they left the steamer, instead of turning towards the town, they both went straight forward, and in an instant plunged into the sea. She was the last of the two in being taken out of the water-was taken to the hotel, and after the usual means were employed, she was restored to animation, and was able to give my name and residence. When she could be removed, she was brought to my house, and felt so happy at being again among her old friends, that she could scarcely be prevailed upon to go to bed, and thought herself much better than she really was. For a few days no danger was apprehended; but inflammation in the lungs made its appearance; and although it was temporarily subdued, there was reason to fear that the issue would be fatal. Her sufferings, which she bore patiently, were great; but on Sunday morning, the 18th of January 1846, she was relieved of them all, by her spirit leaving the mortal part, and taking its flight to those mansions prepared for the spirits of the just made perfect.

Mr. Campbell of Edinburgh, her former pastor, thus describes a visit paid to her a day or two before her decease.

“Her look was greatly altered; but her bodily weakness strikingly

contrasted with the mental activity and vigour which her countenance expressed. Imperfectly as my conversation was carried on, having to be conducted through the medium of a young friend who could use the finger language, and translated what I spoke, I have seldom left the bed-side of the dying disciple with a more lively satisfaction in the sufficiency of the gospel of Christ for our utmost necessities. She was sensibly affected by every allusion to the sufferings and sorrows of a gracious Redeemer. Indeed, at such moments she made no attempts to speak,-her heart was full, the lip quivered,—the eye was moistened with strong emotion,--and her whole countenance was expressive of joyful satisfaction.

“She viewed herself as on the brink of death; and when the faith of the gospel was spoken of as a preparation for that hour, she said, 'I cannot say I am afraid to die, yet, occasionally, a dark cloud rests upon my spirit.' I shall not soon forget the cordial assent which she gave to the truth, that as a cloud rested upon the spirit of the Divine Saviour himself when he passed through the valley of the shadow of death, his followers may not expect to be entirely exempt from such a trial. But that his life was their life, and his triumph over death the security of theirs. If her look could have been put into language, it would have been the adoring exclamation, 'My Lord, and my God!' After this, she expressed a firm persuasion of the grace and faithfulness of Jesus, but added, "the memory of my past sins makes me afraid.' According to the sentiment, that our sins are a most natural reason for terror, I added, that the gospel contemplates this very state of helplessness and natural terror, and points to his blood as the remedy; she earnestly responded to the quickening truth ; and as each passage in succession was quoted, graciously assuring the believer of the fulness of the great salvation, she signified her grateful satisfaction. This was enough. 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.'

“The conversation having been closed abruptly, her kind friend saw her no more. But he says, “I think, of her as one of the spirits of the just made perfect: and as one of that redeemed family with whom I trust to be for ever associated, if 'I find mercy of the Lord in that day.'"

Thus she found the gospel all-powerful to salvation while she lived, and richly experienced its consolations when she died in the full enjoyment of the Christian's hope.

POPERY INCONSISTENT WITH LOYALTY. We are indebted for the following singular and startling communication to the last address published by the Committee of the National Club. It places in a very serious aspect the character of the Romish church in England and Ireland; and shews pretty clearly that the Papists do not occupy that neutral position in the political world to which they lay claim. Whatever may be the real value of the Pope's ban, it is certainly an awful and weighty thought, that the Roman power is pledged to crush not only the principles of Protestantism, but the persons of all who hold that faith ; even, (to quote their own words) “ though they should be invested with imperial, regal, ducal, or any other dignity whatever.” It matters nothing, to say with honest Bunyan, that giant Pope, “ by reason of age, and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger days, is now grown so crazy and stiff in his joints that he can do little but grin and bite his nails.” The spirit of popery is essentially disloyal and trea. sonable; and we cannot but think that in this Bull we have something sufficiently tangible to sanction us in acting with extreme caution towards that body, especially as we presume there are certain pains and penalties connected with this sentence of cursing and excommunication whenever and wherever circumstances permit it to be carried out into full effect.

“ It is not perhaps generally known that our beloved queen and her Protestant subjects are declared to be excommunicated and accursed by the Irish Roman Catholic priesthood. This statement is founded on the fact, that they are so denounced by the Bull In Coenâ Domini : which was first published by Pope Martin V., about A.D. 1420, and was republished with additions by seven different Popes, at different periods up to the year 1741, when it was republished by Pope Benedict XIV., since which time, no additions have been made to it. In one of the books of moral Theology, used with the sanction of the Roman Catholic seminaries, this Bull is introduced in these words :-“This Bull Cænâ Domini, so called because it is annually solemly published at Rome on the day Canc Domini—which is said to have been published under Martin V, about the year 1420, and was added to under Leo X., Paul III., &c,”—(Peter Dens, vol. vi., page 298.) Of the existence of this Bull at the present day, there can be no

reasonable doubt. It has been admitted on oath by Irish Roman Catholic prelates-by Dr. Doyle, before a Committee of the House of Lords, April 21, 1825—by Dr. M‘Hale, before the Irish Education Commission, November 4, 1826. That it continues to be "annually delivered out,” was admitted by Lord Beaumont, a Roman Catholic Peer, in the House of Lords, so recently as the 6th of December last. The Bull itself is in print, and may be had of Messrs. Hatchard.

“This Bull is not merely a denunciation of errors, as has been stated by its defenders, but of persons ; and its first section “excommunicates and curses on the part of God Almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” (amongst others, such as “Lutherans, Calvinists, Trinitarians,") “all and singular other heretics, under whatever name they may be classed, or of whatever sect they may be.” This of necessity includes the Sovereign of these realms, who by law must be a Protestant: and the specific teaching at Maynooth is, that “heretical princes are excommunicated in the public cases contained in the Bull Cænæ Domini, and cannot be absolved by the Major Pænitentiarius (or highest authority next under the Pope for granting absolution, a Cardinal at Rome), but are reserved to the Pope himself.”—(See Peter Dens, vol. viii., page 82)

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

POWER OF FASCINATION. The influence of fascination is possessed by the Tiger, and all the feline species, over many other creatures. When one of these animals is espied by a herd of deer, particularly, they stop at once, as if struck by a spell, while the tiger lies still, his eyes fixed on them, and quietly awaiting their approach, which they seldom fail to make gradually within his spring; for the large royal tiger cannot run speedily or far.

The glow of the tiger's eye is fierce and powerful. I myself once passed a royal tiger in the night near a wood, and could plainly perceive the scintillations from his eyes. He was deterred from approaching us by the light of flambeaux, and the noise of a small drum which we carried, which was beat by a servant for the purpose of scaring him away.

Wherever tigers roam or couch, a number of birds continually

« AnteriorContinuar »