« PredošláPokračovať »
no one would buy my flowers; and I was often tempted to lie down in the streets in despair, and die. But I looked at the violets, and thought of Mary, in whose church I had been first aroused to a sense of crime, and before whose altar I had received such sweet consolation. Thither again I bent my steps ; and there you, sir (no doubt inspired for that purpose by the Mother of Mercy) became the preserver of my life, and, under God, the saviour of my soul.”
The young man to whom these last words had been addressed, rose hastily, and took the girl's hand :
Farewell,” he whispered ; " and in your prayers remember Henri.” “My God," cried the girl, clasping her hands, “it is he himself.”— But he had disappeared before the words were uttered.
That day Lucille parted in tears from her tender nurse, and entered the asylum of the Good Shepherd. After the priest had seen her comfortably established there, he went to the church of Our Lady to thank her for the conversion of this poor girl. He found the young man there, prostrate before her altar, in floods of tears. He beckoned him from the church, anxious to give him the consolation he seemed to need.
“ You weep, my son."
“I well may weep, my father, since I have been the betrayer of that poor girl's soul. I told you that I was in search of one whom conduct of mine had driven into error. This is the very girl. I am the son of her old mistress ;—when I returned to pay these poor people a second visit, I found (as she says) that the mother had died of a broken heart, and the daughter was spoken of as a public sinner. Shocked at the consequence of my own sin, I vowed to devote the rest of my life to seeking her out and reclaiming her. I entered the Society of St. Vincent of Paul, as I thought I should there have a better chance of suc
“Be comforted, my son, be comforted; Almighty God has made you the instrument of bringing this poor soul to repentance. And great as was your sin, I do not consider it as the cause of her's.”
“ Father, I feel too truly that it was. But for me, she had remained under the protection of my mother's roof, and the guardianship of my mother's careful eye. But for me, she would have been preserved from the insulting addresses of profligates, and probably have been respectably married in her own sphere of life. My guilt deprived that soul of the pristine innocence which made it so pleasing to God. May he pardon me, in His mercy; and grant me grace to keep my resolution of remaining a member of the Society of St. Vincent, and devoting the remainder of my life to instructing the ignorant, and endeavouring, at least, to reclaim the guilty."
I heard this story partly from the lips of the superior of the Good Shepherd, and partly from the good father of the convent. One day I chanced to see a young woman kneeling in prayer by the side of a lowly grave. Her look of intense devotion first riveted my attention ; and when she laid a little basket of violets on the grave as she rose to depart, there was a gracefulness in this little act of remembrance of the dead, that made it deeply interest me. A few days afterwards, I met her again at the gates of the convent of the Good Shepherd. I asked my good friend the superior her history, which, to the best of my recollection, was given to me nearly in the words the poor girl had used in relating it. The superior added, that after leaving the asylum, she had lived as a servant for five years in a private family, a model of every virtue belonging to her state ; and that now filled with an ardent desire for the salvation of others, she had determined to become a sister of charity in the hospital of the incurables. She had come that very day to take leave of her old protectors,—the day after, she was to take the habit as a novice in the devoted order of beings among whom she was about to enrol herself. At my desire, the superior sent for her; and after a little conversation, I complimented her on her holy vocation.
“ Ah !" she answered-and there was a sincerity in her look and voice which made it impossible to doubt the true humility of her answer
-" It is not piety which calls me to this blest vocation; it is rather nature. Those only who have sinned as I have sinned, can truly appreciate the misery of the sinner's life. And it seems to me, that having myself been mercifully withdrawn from the paths of vice, I owe it to God and man to devote my life to the salvation of others who have indeed sinned as I have, but who, in all probability, have been far more grievously tempted."
How true are the words of this poor girl! None can truly appreciate the misery of sin but those who have sinned themselves. How many a fine soul has been lost, how many a noble heart has been broken, in the slavery of crime, by the pharisaical virtue of this world, which bids men shun the singer far more than it commands them to avoid the sin. Those who sit in the high places of the world,—who have comforts, and luxuries, and reputation,---who have every thing to gain by virtue, every thing to lose by vice,-turn with disgust from the heartbroken wanderer of the streets, whose first crime was perhaps but a choice between comparative wealth and positive starvation; whose second was too probably caused by the inhuman pride which has declared that sin once committed can never be atoned for,--that character once lost, can never be regained. And thus are our cities filled with crime, and our churchyards crowded with the victims of disease, of famine, and despair ; who by a spirit more accordant with that which dismissed without reproach the woman taken in adultery, might have become honourable members of society,—virtuous themselves, and the cause of virtue in those by whom they have been reclaimed.
To this noble purpose the sisters of the Good Shepherd have especially devoted themselves. Jesus Christ himself, the good Shepherd who gave his life for his flock, is the patron of their order; and the spirit of their institution is the same which gave peace to Magdalen, and which made her the first witness of the mysteries of the resurrection. We would earnestly recommend the English branch of this order, which has settled at Hammersmith, to the charity of our readers. The sisters are most anxious to avoid being a burthen to the public, by making the labour of their penitents the chief means of their support. But a certain sum of money is first required, in order to place the establishment on such a footing as will make this feasible. We entreat the alms of the charitable for this good purpose. We feel assured that, at the hour of death, they will pray more confidently for mercy, who feel that by alms thus bestowed they have been the cause of mercy to others; and most fervently we pray that the contributors to this good work may, on their entrance into eternity, receive from the hands of the good Shepherd the reward which has been promised to those who, whether by alms or by personal exertions instructing others unto justice, shall shine “ like stars to all eternity.”
Nativity of the B. V. Mary.
AN ANGLICAN PROTEST.
Amongst the religious delusions peculiar to our separated brethren of the Anglican communion, there is none which has tended more to prevent the well disposed of that body from uniting themselves to the Ancient Church, than the fanciful idea that their bishops are successors of the Apostles by virtue of a pretended right, jure divino, on the part of Matthew Parker, to the chair and authority of St. Augustine of Canterbury. This claim, we need not observe, has been always repudiated by Rome, and can never be acknowledged, inasmuch as the requisites necessary to make it valid were wanting. Yet notwithstanding the radical defect in their titles, the Anglican bishops, some of them at least, act as if they were invested with divine authority, though questioning the rights and prerogatives of the Holy See. An extraordinary instance of the high pretensions of the Anglican episcopacy has lately occurred in the person of Dr. Broughton, bishop of Australia, who, upon the return of the Most Rev. Dr. Polding to Sydney, to take possession of that archiepiscopal see to which he had been appointed by His Holiness Pope Gregory XVI, took a protest, on the ground that such appointment is an invasion of the rights of the see of Canterbury, as vested in the person of the Most Rev. Dr. Howley !!! We subjoin a circular letter, addressed by Dr. Broughton to his clergy,—the protest itself, and some remarks thereon, from the Australasian Chronicle of the 28th and 30th of March last.
"Sydney, The Festival of the Annunciation (25th March), 1843. “ Reverend Brother,-An occasion of no ordinary importance, and of no less difficulty, constrains me to summon you to the support of the Church entrusted to our keeping; and to claim your assistance, unitedly with that of the whole body of the clergy, to guard it from harm and loss.
Subjoined to this communication you will find a declaratory protest, which, in fulfilment of my part of the common obligation, I have promulgated in resistance to recent acts of the See of Rome; such acts being in breach and contravention of the canonical laws, usages, and common order of the housebold of faith.
“In calling your attention to this defensive measure, I am not studious of your instruction only; but it is my desire that, in communicating to the flock under your charge the decision which I have formed in this matter, you will explain at the same time the necessity to which I have been reduced. You will therefore take care to read in the hearing of your congregation, during the celebration of divine service, and at the close of the Nicene Creed, on
some Sunday or other festival which may be most convenient after the receipt hereof, all that Protestation which is hereunto subjoined. I recommend also that you take occasion to notify to your parishioners the just grounds upon which that instrument has been drawn up; and, after full deliberation, executed, published, and placed upon record in the registry of this diocese, as a perpetual testimony against the attempted invasion of the See of Rome.
“ To aid you in the execution of this necessary duty, I proceed to point out to you in what respect, and to what extent, the act against wbich I have thus solemnly protested does, by immediate and necessary consequence, infringe on our undoubted ecclesiastical rights and independence, according to the principles of that Catholic Church to which we have never ceased to belong.
“The inference from the establishment of an archbishoprick with metropolitan privileges within the limits of the province of Canterbury, must unavoidably be, that it is intended thereby to deny to the primate of all England any rightful possession of metropolitan jurisdiction within the limits of the new or assumed archbishoprick. Moreover, the erection of the city of Sydney, within this already existing diocese, into an episcopal see, amounts to a denial that there is a lawful bishop of Australia according to the canons and usages of the Church. These are consequences which I could not witness in silence. They may not be universally perceived, or at once admitted ; but there will be no dispute concerning them among such as are conversant with the system of the Church. According to its general rule, there can neither be two metropolitans of one province, nor two bishops in the same diocese. The one of these proceedings would involve a reversal of the canons of the Church, the other a contradiction of the ordinance of the Lord. The heads of the Roman Catholic Church are perfectly aware of the truth of these assertions. Their present proceeding is therefore an act of direct and purposed hostility towards us; since it could not have been adventured upon by them, except they had held, and had meant hereby to proclaim their persuasion, that we have no canonical bishop, no Catholic Church, no such administration of the holy sacraments among us, as shall be effectual to everlasting salvation.
“ The favourite and governing impression with the many you will find to be, that the matters in controversy might be adjusted by a tacit compact or mutual connivance, according to which each should pursue its own measures without interference on the other part. It will, therefore, be proper for me to explain to you that we, at least, could neither propose nor accept such a compromise, which would make us parties in fact to the establishment of a permanent schism in the body of Christ's Church.
“ It is not necessary that I should enter very deeply into a statement of the grounds upon which we constantly protest against the right of the Bishop of Rome to exercise jurisdiction within or over any portion of the Church beyond his own proper, actual, and immediate diocese and province; the range of which was determined by usage and canonical authority many centuries ago. But although such our denial of his supremacy be sufficiently known, yet in