Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ments very overpowering : but large organs of selfesteem, and love of approbation, would render the respect and admiration of the multitude so gratifying, that it would probably make up for the inconvenience.

To judge by the countenances of five of the mitred heads, they were very busy “calculating,” (as the Americans say.) They were probably making such a calculation as the following, which is on record amongst the “ good works” of that society in Spain, called the Monte di Pietad :

Sacred and Royal Monte di Pietad of Madrid, has relieved from Purgatory since its establishment in 1721, till November 1826.

1,030,396 souls at the expense of................£1,720,437 From 1st November, 1826, to 1st of November,

1827, 11,402 souls at the expense of ........ 14,276

Total, 1,041,798 souls at the expense of........., £1,734,713

A pretty species of merchandise for enlightened Europeans, calling themselves Christians in the 19th century!

When I read this calculation in print, I could not help thanking God that I was not born a member of the Church of Rome. The Church of England is not an infallible church; but her ministers dare not pretend to possess the power of shutting up the “keys” of the kingdom of heaven from poor people; they cannot, as the ministers of a protestant church, arrogate to themselves that mediatorial office which has been vested by the Most High in his well-beloved Son. There is but one mediator between God and man, even Christ.” My religion has never cost me much money. I bought a book, for which I paid one pound, about ten years since; I can open it whenever I like, and hold spiritual converse with St. Peter himself, and his fellow-labourers in the “Lord's vineyard,” St. Paul, St. James, St. Jude, St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John. I can seek for advice from the discourses of our blessed Saviour, who shed his blood for the remission of my sins, and the sins of the whole world; I can learn the language of prayer and praise from King David; wisdom and moral instruction from King Solomon; much historical information, as well as spiritual improvement, from the writings of Moses and the Prophets; and all out of the same blessed book. Thus I find the words of the Prophet Isaiah daily fulfilled to me." And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet, shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers; and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."*

It is true that I avail myself of the privilege of attending public worship on the Sabbath, because I feel deeply interested in the progress of gospel truth; and for that reason I do not always go to the one place of worship. I must confess, also, that I have been often more edified by the preaching of Presbyterian, Independent, Wesleyan, and Baptist ministers, than by those belonging to that church of which I am a baptized member. This has been particularly the case since the Bishop of Sydney, William Grant Broughton, banished from his diocese the Rev. Francis T. C. Russell, one of the most zealous and eloquent ministers of the church of Christ, that ever crossed the Pacific Ocean to be a labourer in the Lord's vineyard in Australia. But although some of the Bishop's sycophants made every exertion they could to drive him back to Ireland, from whence he came, he has

[ocr errors]

still found a " table spread” for him in this moral" wilderness ;” as he has been received into the diocese of the Bishop of Melbourne, and is now preaching the gospel in the wilds of Australia Felix.

Those wanderings of mine from one place of worship to another, have been frequently found fault with by some of my fellow-christians, who attach great importance to a regular attendance at their several parish churches; in fact, I have been told that I am no better than a "Galway Protestant,” and have yet my religion to choose, but I trust that I do not depart from the following precept of St. Peter : But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience ; that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."* .

I also feel very thankful that I was not born during the reign of Henry the Fifth, of England, as I suppose I should have suffered the fate of Lord Cobham, who, in the year 1417, was hung up with a chain by the middle, and thus, at a slow fire, burned, or rather roasted, alive, for trying to establish liberty of conscience in Great Britain. I must now ask my readers to let me exercise their patience a little longer, while I relate an adventure which this system of not staying to listen to the preacher in my parish church led me into. In the year 1839, I was obliged to go to London on particular business; I travelled from Dublin to Liverpool per steamer, with a Miss Moore, an amiable member of the Society of Friends, who was then “wasting her sweetness” behind a counter in Waterford, and travelling to London to lay in a stock of Drapery for her shop. We proceeded to London by the railway train, and during our stay in the great metropolis, occupied the same bed-room in a quiet boarding house in Liverpool-street, kept by another member of the Society of Friends. We arrived in London on a Monday evening; during the week I met with a severe disappointment in the termination of the business which brought me to London. On Saturday evening I received a letter which caused me to pass “a night of weeping;” and had it not been for the kind sympathy of my friend, Miss Moore, I should have sunk under the weight of affliction, but he who “tempers the wind to the shorn lamb," sent me one who proved " a friend in need.” Elizabeth Moore said much to cheer and comfort me, and proposed, on Sunday morning, that we should take a walk to St. James's chapel, to see the Queen. There were plenty of Quakers' meeting houses, and parish churches, between Liverpool-street in the City, and the West End; but she knew, like a “good physician," that a long walk, with an interesting object in view, was one of the best methods of calming a troubled mind; so she put up her Quaker's bonnet in the round tin box which she had made for bringing it to London, and with the quiet straw bonnet in which she travelled, and a simple, though not remarkable dress, she gave me her arm, and we walked on to St. James's chapel. I readily assented to her proposition that we should go there, because I was anxious to hear, through the medium of my own ears, what style of preaching the “Head of the Church,” in England, was accustomed to listen to. I had been for three years and a half sitting under the ministry of the Rev. Richard Ryland, one of the brightest ornaments of the Church of England, in the

* Ist Peter, iii, 15. 16.

« AnteriorContinuar »