Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

that deep pathos, and expressive eloquence, for which his writings are so generally admired.

"I earnestly entreat your Eminence,” he writes, "to take it not ill of me, that I solicit your paternal indulgence for the poor people of this province. I am perfectly sensible of the importunity of such applications; but, my lord, if the troubles of the flock do not reach your knowledge by means of the shepherd, from what other quarter will you be apprized of them? Long since have all states and conditions in this province urged me to acquaint your Eminence with their deplorable situation ; not from a spirit of murmuring against one who deserves too well of their heartfelt gratitude, but simply from their confidence in your love, which borrows my voice to declare its sincerity.

" It is a matter of public notoriety, my lord, that the province of Auvergne, without commerce and almost without resources, is nevertheless, of all the provinces of the kingdom, oppressed by an undue proportion of taxation. The council are aware of the fact, that the subsidies amount to more than six millions; a sum which the king would not derive from all the lands in Auvergne if he were sole possessor. Thus it is, my lord, that our country-people live in a state of the most abject misery,—without beds, without furniture, and, for one half of the year, even without barley-bread, which constitutes their only food, and which they are forced to snatch from their children's mouths, in order to pay the contributions. In my annual visitations, this sad spectacle is continually before my eyes. Yes, my lord, the fact is undeniable :-there is not, throughout France, a people more poor and more wretched than this. Even the very negroes of our islands are infinitely more happy than they ; for, though they labour, yet be they clothed and nourished, themselves, their wives, and their little ones; whereas our peasants, who are the most industrious in the kingdom, cannot, with all their labour, niggard and rough though it be, earn a livelihood for themselves and their families, by reason of the burden of taxation. If a collector can be found in the province to speak another language, he will sacrifice truth and conscience to his own paltry interests.

" For the rest, my Lord, I heartily beseech your Eminence not to attribute what I have taken the liberty to write to any excess of episcopal zeal. Above every other duty which I owe to you, that by which I am especially bound is truth ; and so far from exaggeration, I protest, my Lord, that I cautiously strive to express myself so as to afflict your feeling heart as little as possible."

The letter thus concludes :

“ It is in this confidence that I have ventured to address you. A father may be approached without dread; and in pleading for his children, one may use a little importunity in full assurance that his displeasure will not be incurred. To the end of my life,

"I am, my Lord,” &c. Two years after the date of this letter, of which the result is unknown, the virtuous and celebrated prelate died at Beauregard. His entrails were desposited in the church of that place, at the entrance into the choir; but his body was removed to Clermont, and interred in the cathedral. The inhabitants of Beauregard, influenced by the most pure and grateful affection for their benefactor, requested permission to accompany his remains to the tomb; and the whole procession followed in tears.

LINES ON A CROSS,

Formed from a Fragment of the Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, Somersetshire,

said to have been the first Christian Church founded in Great Britain, and the Sepulchre of King Arthur.

Ie, as of yore, when Time was young,
A stone could breathe, and find a tongue;
I ween, old relic, thou right well
The tale of other days couldst tell.
Say, wer't thou hewn, when Truth's fair star
Beamed on our Island from afar ?
And Faith, despite our circling main,
Rear'd her pure shrine and simple fane?
Beneath thee did the good and brave
Bear princely Arthur to his grave?

Then patriot join'd with saint, and then
Our priests were all our countrymen.*
Our faith and worship then were one,
Just as his father, pray'd the son,
And, walking in the Gospel light,
Scorn'd murky Rome's delusive night.
Didst thou behold her sway arise ?
That mighty mystery of lies !
Where the sear'd conscience, bound to sin,
A godless pardon sought to win!
Baal and Moloch's votaries vile
The sacred temple then defile ;
Mingle for gain their poison'd bowls,
And for base lucre cheapen souls !
Then Paganism hail'd again
Her incens'd shrine, her victim slain,
Her cleansing pains beyond the grave,
Her fabled fires and lustral wave.
Oft hast thou seen the tonsur'd throng
In due procession stream along,
Hast view'd each trick, each poor pretence,
To lure the soul by things of sense.

. On the British Church.

See Bishop Stillingfleet's " Origines Britannicze."

[ocr errors]

But they are gone!-- with fawning brow,
The Tempter stoops to conquer now;
And Error, tired of cells and caves,
Seeks in the busy world her slaves !
Whilst Britain's church, long overgrown
With noxious weeds, like this old stone,
Burst forth, when genial Truth drew nigh,
And hail'd the day-spring from on high.
She, faithful Witness, understood
To shun the ill and choose the good;
Stripp'd from her shrine the stranger's dross,
But cherish'd truth, and kept the cross.

THE FRUSTRATION OF PRAYER.
"My soul cleaveth unto the dust : quicken thou me according unto thy word."

Vain the heart's homage,--prayer is vain
If yet some “cursed thing" remain ;
If the arm'd man still keep the field,
Too weak to reign, too strong to yield.
Bring not, with half averted eyes,
To God a blemish'd sacrifice ;
Nor with prevaricating heart
Of thy vow'd gift withhold a part.
Spirit of truth, controlling guide!
Bend to thy will my stubborn pride,
Since self at length must stoop, must bow,
Oh teach me to surrender now!

J. R.

BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATIONS.

BOATS OF REEDS AND RUSHES.

" And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and

daubed it with slime, and with pitch, and put the child therein ; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink."- Exod. ii. 3.

“Our boat was ballasted with earth taken from the river's banks very stiff and rich soil, without stones. With this same mud the sides of the boat were plastered, at those parts in the fore-half of the vessel where movable planks were placed, in order to raise the gun-whale higher; the mud filled up the crevices, and prevented the water from gushing in, as would otherwise be the case. This mud was so rich and slimy, and when dry so firm and impervious, that, together with the strong reed that grows on the banks, it is easy to conceive how the niother of Moses constructed a little ark, which would float ; she then placed it among the flags in order that the stream might not carry it down." - Joweti's Researches, 167. TOL. XVIII.

4 B

NO, IX.

[ocr errors]

We learn from Strabo, lib. xvii. and all antiquity, that boats made of reeds, and the Egyptian papyrus, were used very early :

“ Sic cum tenet omnia Nilus

Conseritur bibulo Memphytis cymbra papyro.”—Lucan. From Lucan it also appears that boats nearly similar were very early in use amongst the Venetians and Britons:

“ Primum cara salix inadefacto vimine, parvum
Toxitur in puppem, cæsoque induta Juvenco
Victoris patiens tumidum supernatat amnom :
Sic Venetus Stagnante Pado ; fusoque Britannus

Navigat oceano." Pliny mentions some boats used by the Æthiopians, which he calls plicatiles, because, he says, they used to fold them up together, and carry them upon their backs, whenever they came to a cataract; and such, Herodotus tells us, (Clio. c. 194, vi. p. 195,) were used by the Babylonians. His words are—" Of all that I saw in this country, next to Babylon itself, what to me appeared the greatest curiosity, were the boats. These, which are used by those who come to the city, are of a circular form, and made of skins. They are constructed in the parts above Assyria, where, the sides of the vessels being formed of willow, they are covered externally with skins; and having no distinction of head or stern, are modelled into the shape of a shield. Lining the bottoms of the boats with reeds, they take on board their merchandize, and thus commit themselves to the stream.”

A boat much resembling this is constantly used on the Severn and Wye, called a corracle.

“ When Stabrobates, the Indian king, heard of these great armies, and the mighty preparations made against him, he did all he could to excel Semiramis in every thing; and first he built of great canes four thousand river boats: for abundance of these canes grow in India about the rivers and fens so thick as a man can scarce fathom. And vessels made of these reeds (they say) are exceedingly useful, because they will never rot or be worm-eaten."Diod. Sic. b. ii. c. 2. p. 62.

The Cahetes, a South American tribe, were remarkable for using boats, the fabric of which was something between thatch and wickerwork, being of a long and strong kind of straw, knit to the timbers. These they made large enough to carry ten or twelve persons.”Southey's Brazil, p. 44.

FOREIGN ECCLESIASTICAL INTELLIGENCE. The Duke of Orleans is about to send to the Empress of Austria a Book of Prayers, of which the text is to be printed in brilliant blue letters upon white watered silk leaves, and the initial letters in gold, illuminated with arabesques of the most vivid colours. Each page will be surrounded with a vignette border, stamped in gold, by a process used only in the royal printing office. The titles of the chapters are to be adorned with delicate foliage and figures painted by the hand; and the volume will contain fifty vignettes or pictures, painted by the first artists in France, surrounded by typographical ornaments in gold. The lining of the volume will be in cloth of gold, with the double

headed eagle of Austria, embroidered in velvet; the edges of the leaves will be chased in the style of the oriental MSS., and the ribands for marking the places will have at their ends small gold medallions, with the initials of the Empress in enamel. The binding is to be adorned with bas-reliefs in chased gold, representing subjects taken from the history of the Virgin, divided from each other by carvings in ivory, and black and gold enamel. All the bosses are to be formed of emeralds, and the clasps composed of the animals which are emblems of the four Evangelists.

Protestant CHURCH IN France.—According to a recent census of the Protestant Church in France, it appears that there are ninety consistorial churches of the reformed worship, which extend into fifty-five departments. The duty is performed by 359 pastors, and sixteen suffragans. There are eight vacancies. In the department of the Gard there are the greatest number of Protestants. It contains seventeen consistories. The Ardèche has seven ; the Drôme, the Lôt-etGaronne, the Lozère, and the Deux-Sèvres, have each five; the Hérault and Tarn, four each; the Charente and Gironde, three each ; the Dordogne, the Haut and Bas-Rhin, and Tarn-et-Garonne, two each ; and the rest of the departments, one each. Some of the consistories have only two or three pastors each; the greater number have from four to seven ; and that of Strasbourg alone, nine. The Lutherans have thirty-one consistorial churches, distributed among six inspections, and extending into eight departments. The general consistory is at Strasbourg; and the six inspections are at Weissembourg, Brouxweyler, Strasbourg, Montbelliard, and two at Colmar. It is singular that Paris is within the inspection of Strasbourg. The worship is conducted at Strasbourg, with great pomp, by not less than twenty-four pastors. There are four at Colmar, four at Montbelliard, and three at Paris. In all there are 225 pastors in the exercise of their functions.

A Medal of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.--The clergy of Munich have lately interfered to prevent the service of a medal of the Immaculate Conception, of which a silversmith has lately circulated a great number, which had been blessed by the Archbishop. A printed advertisement of these medals announces that Louis Philippe wore a similar charm on the day of Fieschi's attempt; and his Jate escape from the pistol of Alibaud has created an implicit faith in their miraculous powers, which has caused them to be purchased by thousands.

COLLECTANEA. FREEMASONRY.—The following facts connected with the brotherhood are collected from the “ Freemasons' Pocket Companion," a manual published by a brother of the Apollo Lodge, 711, Oxford :-St. Alban, the first martyr for Christianity in England, was a supporter of the mystery ; among the subsequent superintendents we find the names of St. Swithin, King Alfred, and Athelstan. The first grand lodge of England met at York in 926, according to a charter from Athelstan.

« AnteriorContinuar »