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our fairest provision pass from our grasp when on the eve of fulfilment ; how often do we find that it was but the distance that lent its hue of enchantment* to the mountain that lay before us, half in shadow, half in sunshine; that when we reached the height all was dreary, barren, and desolate—which the sun had lately gilded—yea gildeth still, to lure on others to the like disappointment ! How often have we joined in the chase, with the cool breeze of morning on our cheeks, and carried along by the inspiriting bay of the dogs, and the life that is imparted to our steeds, rush on, over hill and dale, in that most exciting and fascinating of all human sports; till, having gained our end, we turn away jaded and weary from the paltry carcass ! Some set their store by wealth, and it passes away, and leaves them poverty-stricken in the midst of a thousand ungratified schemes of vain ambition and empty honour. Some would bask them in the sunshine of royal favour, and in the glitter of high rank, but how soon is the one turned away from them, and the other palls in the very enjoyment. Some give themselves to labour for a great name, and worldly science, and sickness comes to strike them in the very secret of their hearts, and what pleased them once, now pleases them no more. Some again, build a shrine to affection, and in the bosom of domestic life seek a quieter enjoyment, and more natural repose than what the turmoil of the busy world can afford. But, oh! how often does death come into the happy family, and bereavement on bereavement succeed; first opening wide a dreary blank, and then making the worldly heart callous to what should have sent it, all in tears, to seek for consolation at the foot of the Cross of JESU. Well then may we say, if this were all that we dwelt here for, well might we repeat with St. Bernard, that “it is troublous, it is burthenous, it is perilous, bird-lime like, and slippery, shrouded in darkness, and beset with the snares of sin; where the soul is in danger, where the spirit is afflicted, and all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” But it is far otherwise with such as sit within the PORCH OF THE
As with a talismanic wand, and to her alone is given this power, she can touch the stone and it becomes gold; she speaks, and the stricken spirit is soothed ; she weeps, and the callous heart is softened. Instead of glancing off from its hard front, it becomes
* " 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
CAMPBELL, Pleasures of Hope.
sweetly wounded with the arrows of God's love,* and glowing like fire in the thurible, is made warm with the flame of devotion, and glows like fine gold. Yea, she speaks, and all things are changed. What before had charms, these now have all passed away : what the soul loved, she fears, what she feared she loves. She loved the perils of the world, and had no dread of its many temptations. Now she trembles at the quicksands that surround and fill her sinful heart, and loves not the gaily-dressed allurements of the world, nor the voice of the charmer, charm he never 80 wisely. Once she trembled at affliction-she quivered in secret at the peril of loss, and death, which she knew was hanging but by a single hair over all she loved; now she willingly goes with the Magdalene, to weep tears of intercession at her brother's grave, and shares, in spirit, the sorrowful watch of our blessed Mother at the Cross of JESU. Afflictions, bereavements, loss of health and wealth, now fall lightly on her, for the wand of the talisman has waved over all, and she feels that in the worst and lowest depth of her abasement, that her heart has been changed, for it can glow the while LIKE FINE GOLD IN THE FURNACE.
For as gold tried in the furnace, so is the heart of the Christian in this short but fiery trial. “ All things work together for good unto them that love God," says the apostle. If mercies come down showerlike, and temporal prosperity brighten the path with all that the heart could wish, she knows that they are trials sent to teach her to love them not-means of grace-mammons of iniquity—that by good use will
reap for her a plenteous harvest of intercessors among the forlorn and the poor, whose cry, whether of blessing or vengeance, shall assuredly be heard ; and she knows that through their means she may be“ received into everlasting dwellings." If sorrows come,
and heavy afflictions, she knows that they are sent but to make her more conformable to Him who was a MAN OF SORROWS and acquainted with grief. If poverty, she knows that He was born in a stable, and laid in a manger, and that his garments were divided by lot before him, as he hung naked on the cross. If temptations, she knows that he also was tempted; that all his beloved too have had to pass through this dreary valley, but that he will make a way for her, as he has done for them. If
* “Sagittaverus cor nostrum caritate tuâ ; et verba tua congésta in sinu cogitationis meæ urebant, et accendebant me valdè." Sti. Augustini Conf. 1. ix. c. 2.
“ Thou hast pierced my heart with the arrow of thy love, and thy words laid up in the bosom of my thought, burn within me, and inflame me exceedingly.
bereavements, she knows that no pang of domestic anguish can over pass that of the sword that pierced the heart of Mary, as she stood by the Cross, or received in her arms the lifeless body of her only Son. “Weep then with her, weep with her over her crucified Son, and mourn with her- As long as life within thee plays,"* for “ blessed are they that mourn, and they shall be comforted.” From all this what do we gather?-but that troublous, and burthenous, and perillous as this world's course is, still it is good for us to be here.
Come, then, and remembering who they are that look down on us in fair sculpture from over THE POBCH, let us look up to the holy angels, kneeling in adoration to the patron saints,to our blessed Mother and her holy Son, and to God over all; and calling in our scattered thoughts, let us take good heart, while we, as it were, chant the Asperges, assured of "watch, cherishing, protection, visitation, and defence ;"+ and lifting up our souls in thankful reverence, let us build three tabernacles for our refreshment, while we still remain here.
Let us build one then to Moses ; to him by whose instrumentality was given the holy law, that embodied in palpable language the divine commandments to man. Let us build a tabernacle to him who with a strong arm and mighty power brought forth Israel from the bondage of Egypt, and led them to the borders of that happy land whose first fruits were but a symbol of that heavenly vine by which all who are within the pale of God's Church are nourished and made strong; for we too, like them, are called from the bondage of a satanic Egypt; we too must pass through a long penance, the weary penance of this life, but not like them are we fed with the bread that perisheth, but with that better manna, that food of the angels, that bread of the strong, which in our weakness and abasement assures us that we shall find rest and
* Fac me verè tecum flere “ With thee weeping in communion,
With thee crucified in union,
Long as life within me plays.
Joined with thee in grief and plaining,
Such the boon thy servant prays.” Hymn, “ Stabat Mater.”—Mr. Wackerbarth's translation. + Oratio “Exaudi” post Asperges. “ Exaudi nos, Domine Sancte, Pater omnipotens æterne Deus : et mittere digneris sanctum angelum tuum de cælis, qui custodiat, foveat, protegat, visitet atque defendat omnes habitantes in hoc habitaculo. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen."
peace in the holy land of promise, in that new Jerusalem that awaits the souls of God's humble servants, when they have passed over the troublous waters of this life, and been saved from being engulphed by clinging to the wood of the Cross.
Let us build then a tabernacle to him that gave a voice and authority to the tradition of the just, which albeit small, yet flowed pure through the turbid waters of the general corruption; to him who by God's express command, enibodied in legal rites, the traditional oblations and typical ceremonies to be fulfilled in the latter days in the persons of our blessed Redeemer, and his everlasting Spouse ; whether it were the mystic baptism, that by a rite in blood foreshowed the better purity of the Christian sacrament of regeneration, purchased in the blood of our adorable Redeemer, the “ LAMB OF GOD," or whether it be in the wondrous
manna, " that bread of heaven, having in it all that was de. licious," or the mystic sacrifices of blood; the offerings of the finest flour ; the authority of the priesthood-appertaining not to his person but to his office; so that even Caiaphas, who impiously gave his voice for the death of Jesus, yet before bad prophecied in the gift of his function, that one should die that year for his people. Or whether it be for the legal examination of mysterious sin, such as is typified in the instance of leprosy, or in the waters of jealousy,—an examination that included the necessity of open confession to them. Or whether it be in the fearful doom that befel the schismatic Core, Dathan, and Abiram, who were swallowed quick into the yawning gulph, or whether it be for the institution of the council of seventy, or the canonical observance of feasts and festivals ; above all the paschal solemnity; or whether it be for the appointment of the priestly vestments, which, in their minutest details, are so full of mysteries, (" tot sacramenta, quot verba," as St. Jerome says of the mysterious Apocalypse of St. John), rising from the simple vesture of the Levite to that wondrous plate on which were inscribed the Urim and Thummin, that is, DOCTRINE and
For these, and infinite more, it were seemly and good to build to him a tabernacle, where we might for a while repose, and cheer our hearts with the long chain of evidence, that is developed in the law, of God's love to man; and of the single end for which all was vouchsafed.
And what is this end ? Truly it is the fulfilment of all in these latter times, in the oblation of our beloved Saviour on the cross for our redemption, and the perfecting of the vicarious power of His spouse THE Church; for the appliance of his merits and graces, through her sa.
craments, to the souls of the faithful, in the communion of saints, as long as this world shall last. For as the law was but the written completion of what had long been unwritten, bearing along with it unwritten power, and traditional influence ; so, in the latter times, those that were before complete in themselves, but imperfect in regard to man, were first made perfect in the person of Christ, and then by him communicated to the princes of his Church, and their successors, to whom was given the power of communicating His grace,—a power that is to this day as fresh and unimpaired as is the brightness of the material sun az brilliant and untouched by age, from that third day of creation, when God said let light be made, and the light was made, and was by Him concentrated into that glorious orb that ever since
“ Hath ruled the day, With genial influence and untarnished ray." So also, has God, in his surpassing mercy, set the light of his Church like a beacon on a hill, that cannot be hid, to dispense with lavish hand “the genial influence” He first imparted. Like a pure and hallowed spring—though much water has been drawn from Her fountain-yet is it not exhausted, but rather like charity, that grows more pure by exercise, it seems to flow the more copiously, the more her streams of gladness are poured forth on the hearts of men.
Let us build also a tabernacle to Elias>that is to say, to the spirit of prophecy,—to those who afar off saw as it were come the prince and king of prophets. Oh ! how rich is the array of saintly men, that from the earliest blood of Abel, that spoke in prophecy, from the mystic king of peace, whose offering of bread and wine so wonderfully spoke of that Eucharistic sacrifice, which under the species of these two, has been such a gift of gifts to the faithful until now—till the Nunc dimittis of the venerable Simeon, which expressed the very fullness of gratitude, and entire content. How shall we speak in fitting language of that long unbroken line, that everywhere prophesied, first of our blessed Redeemer and then of his kingdom-that kingdom which shall have no end, where the lion should lie down with the lamb, where the child should play with the aspic, the desert should blossom as Carmel, where the rose of Sharon should spring in the desert places, and the chaste lily in the valleys; where the corn of the elect should flourish in the plains, and the vine budding forth VIRGINS. “Prophecy concerning these bones, and behold, saith the Lord GOD, I will