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saries of his religion, to many of its most prominent doctrines. ;-by the orthodox Protestant it is justly regarded as an elaborate endeavour to affix an interpretation upon the Thirty-nine Articles, diametrically opposed to that which their original framers intended. In point of fact, the Tractarians are men who, wandering among the mists of error, have stumbled upon some of the eternal landmarks of truth ; and if they still shrink from reentering in a body the fold of unity, such backwardness is to be ascribed rather to the infirmity of weak human nature, than to any dulness of apprehension or obdurateness of heart. College fellowships and livings, tutorships and professorships, are, after all, good and pleasant things, which it requires more than ordinary selfdenial to sacrifice at the shrine of principle. A very especial measure of divine grace, not accorded to many, must have been meted to him who brings himself to exchange the snug temporalities of a stateendowed Church, for the arduous and purely spiritual duties of the unendowed true one. We can enter with heartfelt sympathy and compassion into the wavering and distracted feelings of a clergyman of the Established Church, whose case, mentioned to us by one of our Vicars Apostolic, is that of a man thoroughly convinced of the truth of the Catholic religion, the impediments to whose open adoption of its communion are the wife and family, for whose maintenance he has no other resource than the proceeds of a small living !
It is easier to say how, than when, the agitation now organized in the bosom of the Church of England will terminate. The ramparts which the prejudices of three centuries have opposed to the progress of Catholic truth, have been assailed, but yet stand unbroken. Neither we, nor our children's children, may be destined to witness the gladdening and all-glorious event of our country's spiritual regeneration ; but that in the womb of coming time such a revolution is reserved, is as certain as that there is a God in heaven. The heresy of Arius desolated a larger proportion of Christendom, and for a greater lapse of time, than have been allotted by Providence to the ravages of Luther and his companions. Yet Arianism succumbed to the Church of Christ, and is no more heard of; and in the like manner, a day will arrive when, once again united under the spiritual standard of our Redeemer's visible Head upon earth, men will only remember the word Protestantism to hurl it back into deeper oblivion !
TRADITIONS OF AN ANCIENT OAK, IN
IN TWO SONNETS.
Grey Oak! if grim tradition speak aright,
Thou here didst stand long centuries ago,
And saw'st, with grief, th' onslaught and overthrow
To view the numbers, and the dread array
The conqueror brought, him thereunto assay,–
And how the dauntless Harold fighting fell,
Have oft been sung by poet, passing well;
Hast ne'er, till this, the subject been of verse,
Grey Oak! lone standing on this gentle hill!
If common fame say true, thou ow'st thy birth
To a poor simple denizen of earth,-
Through the long night, till weary grown at length,
And faint with watching, he resign'd his strength
Sleeping upon his post: the crime was death!
Undauntedly he yielded up his breath,
An oaken staff was driven his body through,-
J. P. S.
THE NAVE OF THE CHURCH.
“O si possem, Deus meus! carnem et sanguinem meum dare, pro ANIMABUS illis, quas Tu castigas!"--Ex Verbis B. Ludwinæ Virginis.
“O my God! would that I could give my flesh and blood for those souls wbich Thou chastisest!" Perhaps in the whole circle of the Church's cope of charity and consolation, there is not one so touchingly sweet as that on which we had begun to meditate in our last visit to the Nave of the Church,namely, the doctrine she teaches respecting the faithful departed. This is one of her peculiar and essential privileges, which none other may entirely assume ; and in this view, may be brought to bear against any assumption of her other dogmas, by any individual or class whatsoever, who have no claim to the authoritative teaching of Christ's vicarious Church, -or who, exerting it in practice, in theory openly disclaim it. For as our best warrant for the consoling doctrine of the Church on this head is derived from faith in all that she teaches, so others who make a selection, whether on grounds of natural reason, or, as is too often the case, of culpable ignorance or ridiculous pretence, necessarily prove that they have no innate authority but from themselves,—and hence must, on all other points retained, be wholly invalid, at least as far as administration goes, and therefore unworthy of credit, as they are powerless in authority. But the Truth of Christ is one, and Faith is one; and as truth cannot be divided, so, unless it be whole and entire, it cannot be the Truth, which, existing alone in the Church Catholic, proves that she only, being one, is true, yea, as Christ's vicar, spotless and without wrinkle, as Christ himself is THE VERY Truth!
In the olden time of man's first prevarication, death was inflicted as the crowning punishment of a life of penance, labour and sorrow, for the crime of disobedience, and as the last penalty for having done treason to God's commandments; but as the ways of God with men are ever tempered with mercy, and never a curse has been given but that it was mingled with a promise of future good,—it so happened that the first death should be a martyrdom, and the first infliction of the penalty a prophetic type of that victory over death which was to be attained hereafter, wherein sin was to work its own death, by the condemnation of The Just ONE, and which the Easter festival assures us has been as complete as it was full of joy and glory.
Thus it is from that first Easter day when human nature was enlightered in the person,-meet also for such a purpose,—of Mary the Magdalene, “Quid vidisti in via," the glorious response to which was, " that the Lord hath verily risen ;"—Death lost his sting; and what had formerly been a penalty, became now, to the eye of Faith, a privilege of access to the beatific vision, even though it were needful to pass through the fiery trial of purgation, and to dwell for awhile in a prison-house, albeit now by Christ's descent thither a prison-house of hope.
Hence it comes, that the views of the Church in relation to the dead, are so broad and full of charity. They are broad, for though the cold corpse moulders in the grave, yet men and Angels communicate with the spirit that frail tenement contained; and they are full of charity, for man by his prayers helps his fellow-man, and for his charity is repaid by the intercession of those whom he has holpen out of tribulation into holy light. And surely this alone should be motive sufficient to urge us to the performance of this so needful and spiritual a good work, without turning back on the darker picture of the human heart, and finding that haply our light conduct, or culpable (though thoughtless) example, may have been the cause of the imperfections of those who lift
up their hands out of the depths, and implore the needful help. “O Purgatory, Purgatory," were amongst the last words of one of the saintly abbots of reformed Cistertians. And it were well, in our gay moods of thoughtlessness, would we but repeat, in the silence of the heart, those words of fear. Hence, though the language of the Church, in relation to her faithful departed, is full of hope, yet is it largely tempered with awe; and the whole of her solemn office has, with the impetratory also, much of the breathing of fear in her devotions. observaveris iniquitatem Domine, Domine quis sustinebit," goes before the “ Apud Te propitiationem.” And the fearful hymn, “ Dies Iræ, Dies illa,” sets the dread judgment-seat in array, before it winds up with the
“ HUIC ERGO PARCE Deus,
PIE JESU DOMINE.”
Bearing this in mind, let us dwell for awhile on that solemn service that is said here, on the annual commemoration of All Souls. The Church, the day before, had been more than usually joyful; the lights in the sanctuary were more numerous ; the coronæ had been lit; the rood-loft bore its bright torches, and was adorned with shrubs and flowers. The vestments were of white, enwoven with threads of costly gold; the fuming censers had filled the lofty vaults with sweet odours ; and well might they be sweet that day, for it was the feast of All Hallows, whose prayers holy Angels have gathered, and offer unceasingly in the sanctuary of heaven. But in the very midst of her joy, when at its best, the Church remembers that she has other children than those she has been celebrating with so much joy,-children who shall soon be Saints ; many of whom, ere another All Hallows Mass returns, may, if holpen by our prayers, receive the joyful instead of the impetratory commemoration ; and praying for us, infuse a greater desire of our next year joining more fervently in the office which is sung for all the faithful departed. Who has not felt, in the midst of pure and holy enjoyment, when with a large circle of those we loved and had loved from olden time,—the good, fresh, golden hours of hearty infancy, when quiet mirth was in the ascendant, and the roof of the old hall, where we were wont to assemble, clustering round the rousing fire, that glistened with an almost ghostly hue the gaunt portraits that hung on the walls,-rung again with the echo of joyous laughter,who has not felt a sudden chill come over the heart, as if “ some coming event cast its shadow before," which, if it did not damp, at least sent the soul away to its silent chamber more sad and wiser than before, begetting early reflections, that tempered the departure and loss of glad faces and kind hearts, the truth of which young foresight we, in this valley of tears, have too palpably experienced in the death-broken change that has come over those fresh affections, with, alas! but one in the tomb where our Fathers lie slumbering. Gentle reader, such thoughts, such shadows, have doubtless crossed your hearts; and in the midst of rejoicing and innocent revelry, the remembrance of death, or of the dead, may have stifled thy mirth into pensiveness, and exchanged thy smile for grave thought.
In like manner, the Church (for in her uses she is ever accordant to nature, and adapts herself to the things which are consonant with the heart of man), in the very moment of her joyous remembrance of her glorified children calls to mind that while these her sons are in life, some are still in death. Therefore it is that, in the very midst of joy, a shadow seems to come over her heart; the many tapers that shone as types of heavenward joy, are all but six, in remembrance of the resurrection, extinguished; the flowers that decked the sanctuary in the presence of the Adorable Victim are rem
moved; the trappings of woe are thrown over the altar; the stole and cope of white and gold are laid