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well-informed members of the establishment towards such a happy consummation. Would that it were accomplished-that this great nation, separated by religious anarchy for three hundred years from the centre of Catholic unity, may ere long bow to the chair of St. Peter.
THE BIRTH, OR, CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT.
Night's sable curtain draws, the hastening clouds
EDINBURGH HOLY GUILD OF ST. JOSEPH.
(Concluded from our last.)
Bishop Gillis, in continuation, observed, that if one word was wanting to prove the benefits which this Society produced to society at large, he hoped they would agree with him that it was to be found in the single and affecting circumstance which he was about to mention : Who did they think had gained one of the first prizes for the vidiest house? Why, it was a poor blind woman, who played upon a hand-organ in front of, he believed, the Physicians
' Hall. (Great applause.) Now, one word upon the Book of Honour. This book he had great pleasure in presenting to the Holy Guild of Sl. Joseph. (Applause.) It was at present a blank book ; but he was happy to say that most honourable materials had been furnished for decorating its pages. In that book was to be contained the honorary members of the Guild, but for whom it would be impossible, with the best wishes in the world, for them to attempt the distribution of prizes. In the second place, it would contain the names of the successful competitors; and the honoured name of Rose M‘Cormack, the blind woman, would appear in the first place. All the names of the benefactors of the Society would also be inserted there; as well as the names of those individual members whose public conduct deserved more than ordinary praise. If they had arisen to an honourable place in society, or otherwise exerted themselves, their names would go down to posterity in the Book of Honour, which would henceforth become one of the public insignia of the Guild, and would be carried before them in all their public processions. He hoped that before they met again, the book would contain the name, or at least the approbation, of their beloved Queen. (Loud cheers.) Without further preface, he begged to drink the successful competitors. (Loud cheers.)
Rev. Mr. M ́Donald, chaplain of the Society, returned thanks, and proposed the health of Bishop Gillis, to which that prelate shortly replied.
Rev. Mr. Reid proposed the health of Mr. Menzies of Pitfodels, and the other honorary members of the Society. Cheers.)
Mr. Fletcher of Dunans, advocate, said, I am about to propose the health of our Protestant brethren. (Loud applause.) I hope I shall not be accused of egotism when I state, that in my native parish I was born the only Catholic in it, and that I am still the only Catholic there—if I were not afraid of committing a bull, I should say the only resident Catholic, for I do not reside there. (Laughter.) I was thus early cast upon my Protestant brethren; and if all the virtues of the Protestants which I have experienced were to be de. clared by me-If I were to speak of the kindness of those Protestant brethren among whom I was born and with whom I lived, I would give you the idea that I was a great latitudinarian. If I were allowed to offer a word of advice to my brother Catholics, I would say, beware of distrusting your Protestant brethren. If you think that a man has a sinister purpose when he is kind to you, it is a false, a fatal feeling. The man who holds out his band to me, why, I take it, and shake it. (Laughter and applanse.)— Mr. Fletcher con. cluded by giving, amidst loud cheering, “Our Protestant Brethren.”
Mr. Simpson said that he had come as a iere spectator of the proceedings of this truly Christian institution. This meeting was an edifying sign of the times; times how different from those when a ruffian Protestantism, sixty years ago, burned the houses and chapels of Catholics in both capitals; the inmates and worshippers flying for their lives. Compare those scenes with this
peaceful meeting of charity and love; the work of Catholics, yet applauded, in the face of their country, by some of the most distinguished men in Protestant Scotland. The cordial union here of sincere adherents of both faiths -faiths uncompromised by the closest brotherly love-in one voice applauding those who visit the “fatherless and widows in their affliction,” and declaring the couviction, to which the intelligence and morality of the age are making nearer and nearer approaches, that man is not the judge of the acceptableness of the worship, and that there is “One who seeth and judgeth.” He (Mr. S.) was willing to be called an agitator of national education, with the humble merit of having first proclaimed it in the streets and highways-a sort of chronological, trumpet distinction. In doing that, he was also the first to sound aloud that education, to be national, must be impartial to all religious sects. Forty thousand of his countrymen, in twenty-five large towns, listened to him, and cheered him on. He might say, in passing, without egotism, that a few months ago he addressed, by request, in London, 500 Jews, of all ranks, on the advantage of Infant Education; and 200 children of Israel are now assembled in an infant school. Was this to compromise his own faith, or one even of its forms! He would be happy to meet 500 Mahometans for the same purpose. He (Mr. S.) was present in the House of Lords, and heard the principles of impartial education avowed by the minister of the crown who presides over national education, for which he (Mr. S.) had himself been buffeted for years, and heard this amid the cheers of the best of England's nobles. After some remarks on the value of agitation, and a happy allusion to Mr. Mainzer as an agitator, Mr. S. concluded with repeating his thanks, in the name of his Protestant friends and his own, for the compliment só eloquently paid them, and so cordially responded to by their Catholic brethren.
PRAYER AND PRAYER-BOOKS.
The last number of the Dublin Review contains an article headed as above, redolent of devotional feeling, and high and lofty aspirations. As a specimen of Christian eloquence, it is quite a gem, and it is impossible for any one to rise from the perusal of the article without feeling that the gifted author has won his way to the heart, and enkindled a fire which may not, we hope, cease to burn. The writer begins by presenting a two-fold scene, outwardly descriptive of two classes of worshippers, not imaginary, but real.
“On the one side, we seem to ourselves to behold a venerable sanctuary, be its country and character what it may; whether the dark and awful precincts of the holy house at Loreto; or the silver crypt in which St. Charles Borromeo lies enshrined; or one of our own ancient pilgrimages, the chapel of St. Cuthbert or St. Thomas, restored to its ancient beauty and splendour. Around the object of common veneration are scattered various suppliants; pot marshalled into ranks by vergers' wands, but as greater earnestness or greater humility, as pious curiosity or desire of concealment prompts, nearer or more afar; some in the bright glow of burning tapers, or of sunbeams streaming through richly-stained windows; some half veiled in the mysterious shadows of clus. tered pillars or secluded nooks. There we see the Belgian matron, hooded and cloaked in her dark flowing drapery, a breathing, but motionless figure,a living Van-Eyck; on another side we have the German peasant, with arms outstretched as though on a cross, in deep and earnest supplication; further back we find the Swiss pilgrim, leaning on his staff, as, rosary in hand, he kneels with hoary head and flowing beard bowed lowly down; and in front of all, and pressing on nearer to the shrine, the Italian, in the bright attire of the Abruzzi, kneeling as though reclining backwards, in the attitude of Canova's Magdalen, with her hands clasped upon her knees, and her glowing upturned countenance streaming with tears.
“ On the other side is another scene. The altar and its appurtenances are finished in the best style of most approved upholstery; the tightly fitted carpet is well covered to secure its holiday freshness, the marbling and graining are unexceptionable in colour and in varnish. Here, too, are worshippers ; the Parisian dame reclining on her tall chair pridieu, with her silver-mounted prayer-book, the English seat-holder surrounded by all the luxury of worsted. worked cushions and morocco-bound books of devotion.”
The author by no means insinuates that of the actors in the two scenes the second class may not be as devout and as fervent as the first, and observes, very justly and philosophically, that babit has so much influence on our most sacred duties, that it is probable
“ That those first described would be as unable to pray, and be as cold in their supplications, were they placed amidst the soft accompaniments of the others' prayers, as these would be if dropped down alone and unsupported on the cold pavement of an old Gothic church. But, somehow or other, the eye and the thought seem to find something more akin to the avowed purpose of both scenes, in the outward bearing and appearance of those who compose the first. If a painter desired to represent a fervent suppliant, he certainly would look on it for his models; if a poet wished to describe the prayerful outpourings of an afflicted heart, he would make them be expressed in its outward forms; nay, if the preacher or moralist should seek to stir up his hearer or reader to a fitting observance of devotional duties, he would surely draw his imagery, and illustrate his meaning from the same source."
Anxious “not to blame, but to correct,” the object of the contrast is to present accurate types of two species of prayers, and two classes of prayer-books, now in use amongst Catholics,-the ancient or liturgical and truly ecclesiastical, and the modern, multifarious, and unauthoritative. Of the former, the reviewer observes that in them
"Are combined all the powerful and the beautiful, the deep and the sublime, the holy and the poetical, which minds and hearts, gifted by hearen with little less than inspiration, could mingle together. The spirit of celestial harmony pervades their words, and combines their phrases, and weaves them into sentences and strains of marvellous art. In them we admire a rich and mellow tone, and almost playful variety, now passing from the grave to the cheerful, as if by a sudden burst, then descending gradually from the sublime to the familiar, with no loss of dignity. Everything is heartfelt, soul-deep: the sob of contrition, the De profundis of the spirit, comes from the innermost caverns of a hollow, sorrow-worn breast; the song of thanksgiving, its Te Deum, springs blithe and light from quivering lips, as if to carol among heavenly choirs. The voice of ancient priests must needs, one would think, have been of a rich and solemn modulation, now unknown on earth, to have had such beautiful sentences allotted to it to utter; and the multitudes who answered must have made a sound like to the noise of many waters, to have inspired such responses. What a fitness in the selection of every versicle; what refinement in the choice of allusions and illustrations; what exquisite taste in the application of Holy Writ to every want; what simple and natural, yet most sublime poetry pervading every office, even where metre is excluded ; what a noble elevation of thought and expression in the more didactic portions! There is a fragrance, a true incense, in those ancient prayers, which seems to rise from the lips, to wind upwards in soft, balmy clouds, upon which angels may recline, and look down upon us as we utter them. They seem worthy to be caught up in a higher sphere, and to be heaped upon the altar above, at which an angel ministers.
The notice of the latter, the “much longer compositions of former times,” is thus introduced :
“The so-called Reformation, wherever it fell, hlighted all warmth and tenderness, and introduced a totally new system of prayer. We know that some persons, enamoured of the services of the Anglican Church, find great aptness and beauty in their very barrenness, and consider it a fitting expression of the state of mourning in which that establishment put itself, or was put, on its separation from unity. We own we cannot take this view, for which no historical evidence can be offered. It was the dry puritanism of the times that influenced the compilers of its service-books. It was the shadow of the Geneva gown and cap that hung over them, a baneful night-shade, a joy-killing upas-tree to all devotion and cheerful piety that came within reach of its heartless influence. The prayer-book kept a sort of meagre breviary service in the morning and evening prayer; but every hymn and antiphon was lost, and the beautiful alternation of cheerfulness and solemnity, the mixture of the didactic and the lyric, found in the day offices, was totally swept away. In the communion service, too, the peculiar beauties of the old liturgies, to which we will in due