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was (in Boston) the confidant and counsellor of all; and one of the lessons most frequently impressed upon their children by mothers, was, in all the troubles and difficulties of life, to go to M. Cheverus, ask his advice, and follow it”!

We have no fear that men will be misled by these and similar exaggerations. That, which has given us most pain, is, that a life of such various and solid merit should have been prepared in that loose and eulogistic style, which always lessens the weight of a writer's opinions, and detracts so much from the authority of his statements. Mere actors upon


stage may be tricked out with this factitious glory; but the names of those, who by their purity and truth have given dignity to man, should be recorded in characters as plain, true, chaste, and substantial, as themselves. We need not say, therefore, how much we have been disappointed in the work before us. We see and feel its defects. But the author has brought to our notice a really good man, of whom we before knew little more than the name; and, however pompously he may have done it, we cannot find it in our hearts to be very severe on one who has introduced us to so pleasant and instructive an acquaintance. We conscientiously commend the book to others. We regret that it is not more worthy of its subject; but, in the absence of a better, we believe that even this may do good. Of the two translations that have just appeared, the Boston is decidedly the best; being more literally exact, and purer English. It should be added, that it is a translation of the entire work; while Mr. Walsh's is much abridged. The life of Cheverus ought to be among the most valuable religious biographies of the age. In these times of philosophical refinement, when the good old spiritual truths, that the apostles and their followers had believed for centuries, must be etherealized, in order to escape the appearance of vulgarity, it is delightful to fall in with a man, who is content to serve his Maker by a life of usefulness and prayer, and then go down to his grave in the hopes of a religious faith. The piety and philosophy of the day are becoming squeamish and diseased. There is a want of straight-forward, progressive energy. Instead of bringing out their faculties by robust and active virtue, and cherishing their sensibilities by the healthy exercise for which they were given, our young people are puling over their natures with a sickly fondness. The buds of spring are overshadowed by the skies of autumn. The expanding impulses of youth are pinched and frozen by those chilling habits of reflection, which are as unnatural and debilitating to them, as they are graceful and strengthening to the mature man. Children, whose business it is to grow, must have a theory of human life. The duties of home, offices of common sympathy and politeness, must be neglected, the exercises of private, spontaneous prayer passed by, and the poor left shivering at the door, until our young philosophers can make

is derived from a“ Memoir of Bishop Cheverus,” published in the Boston Monthly Magazine, edited by the late Samuel L. Knapp, Esq., for June, 1825. Bishop Cheverus," says the writer of this " Memoir," “ numbered among his most intimate friends a large circle of intellectual females of the Protestant faith, and many of them moving in the higher walks of life. In his judgment and friendship they reposed implicit confidence; and not only consulted him themselves, but taught their children, in every painful or delicate exigency of their lives, to call on him for counsel and direction. They knew his bosom would be a safe repository of their secrets and their griefs, and that his wisdom would suggest the most honorable course of duty. In truth it may be said, that he had as many confidential communications out of the confessional as in it.” — See the Translator's Preface to the Boston edition of the work which is the subject of the present article. It should be added, in justice to M. Huen-Dubourg, (who is said to be an ecclesiastic of elevated character,) that, improbable as many of his statements appear, his Boston translator has shown, with respect to some of them, certainly, that there is no reason to believe them to be mere fabrications of his own imagination.


their minds as to the course which will most effectually secure their own improvement.

Nothing could be a more effectual antidote to all this than the life of a man like Cheverus; and it is a matter of regret that such a life we do not possess. But the work before us does something. It is written in the most perfect good faith. The author has no doubt that every word is true. His credulity reminds us of the golden times of papal authority. And in our age of skeptical rashness even this is rather refreshing. He does not darkly pry into the secret fountains of thought. His work is shallow ; but it makes no pretensions to philosophy; and we are rejoiced for once to be allowed to draw inferences for ourselves. If it afford but little direct insight into the human soul, the lesson indirectly taught is beyond price. After all the deductions that we are obliged to make — and they are very great - it does hold up to us one whose thoughts and sensibilities, finding always a ready vent in action, made him at once a thoroughly happy and a thoroughly good man.

. No specific directions are given, by which the soul, in its struggles with sin and doubt, may be calmed; nor is the author competent to give them; but he brings before us a life of active piety and beneficence, more efficacious, we believe, than all the philosophical prescriptions of the day.

We wish to give a slight sketch of the life of Cheverus. For many of the facts we shall state, we have no authority but the work of Dubourg. We shall confine ourselves, however, to such statements as harmonize with what we know from other sources of the cardinal's character. If in any instance the letter should prove false, we feel assured that the general impression it may give is true.

John, Cardinal de Cheverus, was born at Mayenne in France, Jan. 28, 1768. He was ordained a priest in 1790; banished from France in 1793; remained three years in England, which he left for America in 1796. He was made Bishop of Boston in 1808, and returned to France in 1823, where he was consecrated Bishop of Montauban. In 1826 he was made Archbishop of Bordeaux, and, soon after, a Peer of France. In the spring of 1836 he was raised to the dignity of Cardinal, and died July 19th of the same year.

Born of an honorable family, educated in childhood by a mother worthy of such a son, at the age of twelve he dedicated himself to the service of God, and already began his work of devotion, charity, and virtue. At school he was among all his companions the most light-hearted in his sports, the most diligent in his studies. As a child the only punishment he feared was, that he might be thought unworthy to join with his parents in their evening worship. At the age of thirteen he was thrown into a college, where teachers and pupils were alike infected by the loose morals and general contempt for religion, which marked that disastrous period in France; yet there his fasts, his prayers, and weekly communion, were rigidly observed. And with all this severity towards himself, such were his kindness and gentleness towards others, such his vivacity and talents, his purity and sincerity, that among scoffers and infidels, young men of profligate sentiments and lives, he not only commanded universal respect, but seems to have been the favorite of all.

A generous spirit of self-sacrifice was perhaps the leading feature of his life. At the age of thirteen, against the advice of his attorney, he put an end to a law-suit by giving up all his claims, just at the time when it was about to be decided in his favor ; because he feared, that, in gaining the suit, he should ruin the adverse party. He came to England, an inexperienced young man, ignorant alike of the people and the language, with less than sixty dollars for his whole resources. The English government proffered assistance. He gratefully declined their aid, saying, that the little he had would answer till he might get some knowledge of the language, and then he could support himself, though it should be only by working with his own hands. In a few months, by his industry in teaching, he was able not only to provide for himself

, but to contribute something also to the support of his unfortunate countrymen. Before leaving England, by a legal instrument he renounced all claim on his paternal estate, and set out on his mission to America, feeling himself freed from every weight that might bind him to the world, and prepared to engage in that cause, which had first been spread through the world by the labors of twelve poor fishermen. When about to depart from America he again gave up all his property, even his library, and left Boston with nothing but the same trunk that he had brought with him twenty-eight years before.

Whether his income were large or small, his own mode of living was the same. At Boston he had but one small room. The chairs were of the most ordinary kind; often there were not enough of these to accommodate his visitors; and then his bed, which consisted only of some boards, raised a little above the floor and covered with a thin mattress, was used to supply the deficiency. While bishop of Boston he split his own fire-wood and, while Archbishop of Bordeaux, not unfrequently brought it in with his own arms. This,” he said, “is the only way of being waited upon to one's taste," and then it left such resources for the poor.

The generosity of Cheverus was not only connected with rigid economy, but pervaded by a nice sense of justice. While glad to spend all his income, he was never willing to exceed it, however pressing the call might seem. He did not feel at liberty to trust to Whitfield's “ bank of faith” for the payment of his debts. In building the Catholic church in Boston, when the funds were exhausted, he stopped the work, and forbade a single stone to be laid, until new resources were obtained. Offers of credit were made, but not accepted. “The funds," he replied, “ depend on the generosity of others, and as I can


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not be answerable for them, I will not expose any one to loss.

He felt that to be a very suspicious generosity, which consists merely in the giving of alms. In preaching once upon this subject, he took for his text the raising of the dead child by the prophet Elisha. At first the prophet sent a servant to lay his staff upon the child ; but all to no purpose.

It was not till he went himself, took the child in his arms, and breathed into it his own breath, that the limbs were warmed. So in our charities. “ As the dew,” he sometimes said, “refreshes the earth which has been parched by the burning sun, so a kind word is worth more than a gift to the soul withered and dried up by misfortune.” Such was the almost womanly tenderness of his nature, that wherever trouble and sorrow were, whether among rich or poor, there was always enough to engage his sympathy. He did not muse in solitude on human misery, but was everywhere employed amid poverty and distress. During the yellow fever in Boston, amid the general consternation caused by a new and fatal disease, the poor were often deserted by their kindred, and left alone without assistance and without hope. To these wretched beings Cheverus hastened, calmed their imaginations, which were often more diseased than their bodies, raised and turned them in their beds, and performed for them services, the most disgusting and humiliating, were it not that charity ennobles whatever it inspires. In vain did his friends represent, that he ought not thus to expose himself. " It is not necessary,” he replied, “that I should live, but it is necessary that the sick should be taken care of, the dying assisted.” While others were flying from the pestilence, he stood (though not “alone,” as his French biographer declares,) among the dead and the dying with a calmness which seemed to suspect no danger, and a humility which was hardly conscious of a sacrifice in that which was admired as an act of lofty self-devotion.

Át Montauban an unusual inundation was sweeping away many habitations of the poorest citizens. He rushed to the spot, ordered boats to their assistance, and himself directed the works till all were secured. He then threw open his palace, and received into it three hundred houseless beings. Only one poor woman was left out; who feared to come in because she was a protestant. The good bishop ran to her and with the words,

we are all brethren here, especially in misfortune,” placed her among the rest.

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