Images de page
PDF
ePub

purse, should go about to set up his own Arms upon the front thereof; and in Justinian's Law it was decreed, That no workman should set up his name within the body of that building, which he made out of another man's cost. Thus Christ sets us all at work; it is he that bids us to fast, and pray, and hear, and give almes, &c. But who is at the cost of all this? whose are all these good works? Surely God's. Man's poverty is so great, that he cannot reach a good thought, much lesse a good deed: All the materialls are from God, the building is His; it is His purse that paid for it: Give but therefore the glory and the honour thereof unto God, and take all the profit to thy self."-Fonseca. Quadrag. Serm.

EVERY MOTION TOWARDS GOD IS NOT A TRUE MOTION TOWARDS GOD. "There be many things that move, and yet their motion is not an argument of life: A windmill, when the wind serveth, moveth, and moveth very nimbly too yet this cannot be said to be a living creature; po, it moveth only by an external cause, by an artificiall contrivance; it is so framed, that when the wind setteth in such or such a corner, it will move, and so having but an external motor, and cause to move, and no inward principle, no soul within it to move it, it is an argument, that it is no living creature. So it is also, if a man see another man move, and move very fast in those things, which of themselves are the waies of God; you shall see him move as fast to hear a Sermon, as his neighbour doth, is as forward and basty to thrust himself, and bid himself a guest to the Lord's Table (when God hath not bid him) as any. Now the question is, What principle sets him at work? if it be an inward principle of life, out of a sincere affection, and love to God and his Ordinances, that carrieth him to this, it arguetb, that man hath some life of grace but if it be some wind that bloweth on him, the wind of state, the wind of law, the wind of danger, of penalty; the wind of fashion or custom, to do as his neighbours do: If these, or the like, be the things that draw him thither, this is no argument of life at all; it is a cheap thing, it is a counterfeit and dead piece of service.”—Mart. Day, fun Serm. 1619.

THE CHURCH ROBBED OF HER MAINTENANCE, UPON PRETENCE OF

REFORMATION.

Dionysius the Tyrant, entering into a Temple of Idolls, took away from the chiefest amongst them, a Cloak of gold; and being demanded why he did it, his answer was, This Cloak is too heavy for the summer, and too cold for winter. Taking likewise a golden beard from Esculapius, he said, That his father Apollo having no beard, there was no reason his son should wear any. But this was but a mask for his covetousnesse. And thus it is with some in these daies, they will strip the Church of her maintenance, to keep the Clergy from lazinesse; and they tell us, that the King's Daughter is all glorious within; so as they may pocket up her Rayments of needlework, and fine gold, it is no matter how she is without. They professe encouragements to the Ministers of the Gospell, and in the mean time pare off a great deal of their necesary maintenance. But let them know, That it is scandalous maintenance that makes a scandalous Minister; and that a beggarly clergy, is alwaies the signe of a bankrupt Religion."-Christ. Fonseca Serm. Quadragesimal.

MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS.

THE IRISH SOCIETY.

We have been permitted to publish the following letter, addressed to the "SECRETARY OF THE IRISH SOCIETY." Our readers, we have no doubt, will agree with us, that it is an interesting document:

MY DEAR SIR,

In the month of August or September last, my friend, the Rev. Charles Leslie, of Cork, was in this country, and wishing to see the lake of Gougane Barra and its neighbourhood, I accompanied him thither-we went in a gig. About a mile on this side of the lake there is a fine bold glen, Keamaneigh, (the glen or brake of the wild deer) and within a few hundred yards of its entrance a police station: as the glen possesses many peculiar beauties, rendered more interesting as having been the scene of the white boy insurrection, and the battle consequent upon it in 1823; we were desirous of examining it attentively, and therefore, leaving our gig at the station, we proceeded onwards on foot. The gorge of the glen is bold and magnificent, breaking abruptly upon the visitor. My companion and I were looking on at it with admiration, when a countrywoman rising from a large stone on which she had been resting herself, came and joined us: she was, I think, about 35 or 40 years of age; her countenance could never have been handsome, but the expression was frank, pleasing, and intelligent. She at once entered into our feelings, and, as if every crag and cliff were an old acquaintance and favourite, she pointed them out in succession, with a discrimination and interest that quite surprised and delighted us; she addressed us in Irish, and knew not a word of another language. My companion knew nothing of Irish, and, I understood it but imperfectly, still it would almost be impossible not to understand her; her eye and her face gave a meaning to her words, and between her and my companion I acted as a kind of interpreter. She at once connected every rock and winding with white boy recollections, and white boy struggles: her own husband had been one of the party; she described his swearing in at night as he lay by her, surrounded by their children she spoke of the terrors of the day of the battle, how she and the rest of the women of the glen and neighbourhood left their houses in the morning, taking their little ones in their arms, fearing that the magistrates and the military were coming to burn them. From a distant hill she was an eye witness of the struggle, and as Lord Bantry and the military were obliged to retreat before numbers constantly pouring in, she and her companions followed, emboldened by the success of their friends, until she and they stood on an opposite hillock overhanging the way; she then, with a mixture of shrewdness and humour, repeated some of the songs commemorative of their triumph. Having in this way received from her much information

about the scene and the battle, and allowed her feelings their full play, I endeavoured to draw her mind to something more useful. I had put into my pocket in the morning a portion of the Irish Testament, St. Matthew's gospel, in the hope an opportunity would offer of leading some person's attention to the Irish Scriptures. I read the language almost as imperfectly as I speak it, but still I hoped my acquaintance would understand something from me. I told her with seriousness of manner and voice, that what I held in my hand were the words of our blessed Lord, and that I would read a part of them to her. I opened at the sermon on the Mount, and had read but the first verse, when the accordancy of the scene with the spot on which we were standing, (for I saw her cast an upward glance to the mountain beside us) and the kindness and condescension of our Lord sitting down upon such a spot, and familiarly instructing his followers, immediately arrested her attention, and spoke to her heart. At once the expression of her countenance changed, every look of frolic and humour fled from it, and thoughtfulness and interest succeeded in their place-as I read, every beatitude called forth a lowly and grateful acknowledgment to Him who spoke in such accents of mercy, accompanied with some such remark, as showed that she entered fully into the meaning of the promise. When I read the sixth, "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," she repeated it after me, (the Irish is very expressive) and remarked, 'blessed are they indeed, for they and they only shall see God.'-After concluding the beatitudes, and speaking of them as well as I could, I turned over to the concluding verses of the 11th chapter, our Lord's invitations to the "labouring and heavy laden;" they seemed to go to her heart--she remained silent and thoughtful for some time, and then asked me earnestly was not the load there spoken of, the load of sin?" I told her it was. Again, I have to remark, that though I perfectly comprehended her every word, my inability to speak Irish is so great, that I could never have made myself understood by her, but that her intelligence helped me out, and in fact almost put words into my mouth. I was here anxious beyond measure to follow up the subject so as to show the state and guilt of the sinner, and the offices of the Saviour, and a hope was held out to me of accomplishing my object, for just at the time a girl of about twelve or thirteen years age, who could speak both Irish and English fluently joined us, and I endeavoured to employ her as an interpreter-through her I asked our companion, as she must be conscious, that in common with every other person born into the world, she was labouring under such a load, how did she hope to get rid of hers? She replied, 'through the mercy of God." In order to learn whether she understood the invitation which so struck upon her, I continued, was she to do any thing, and what was she to do to secure an interest in that mercy?" She considered for some time, and then said, 'she did not know.' I was proceeding to apply the passage, when my little interpreter, who was going on a message in another direction, would not be longer detained, and left me powerless and dumb. We had now arrived where the path which led to Gougane

of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Barra lake struck off from the high road, and we had therefore to separate. Gougane Barra is in this part of the country a place of great celebrity, remarkable for the beauties of its scenery, and as remarkable for its old chapel, and old traditions, its holy well, and the numberless miraculous cures supposed to be effected upon the faithful and penitent resorting to it. I asked our companion, had she been ever there? She told me often'-I asked for what purpose? To wash in the well, and to do penance' I asked, why she washed in the well? She hoped it would be of good to her soul.' As well as I could I endeavoured to show its inutility, but for want of suitable terms, I could not at all do it to my wishes. We then parted on our different routes, with mutual expressions of kindness and satisfaction.

[ocr errors]

My friend and I remained at the lake until the approach of evening warned us to return; we spent there at least three or four hours, and were fourteen miles from home. On returning to the spot at which we parted from our companion, our surprise was great at finding her awaiting us. She had been at home in the interim, for her blue cloak was laid aside, and as a substitute for it her stuff gown was turned up over her shoulders; she was accompanied by another woman they had been sitting, but on our appearance they rose and approached us. My friend and I were much surprised and pleased at this unexpected meeting, and saluted our acquaintance with cordiality. I asked her, how it happened that we had the pleasure of seeing her again so soon? Her companion, the stranger replied for her, 'that she had returned for the purpose of asking me one or two questions.' This second woman spoke English admirably, and evidently had been brought to act as interpreter. On turning to my old acquaintance, I saw much interest and thought in her countenance-she asked me hesitatingly, 'how we had liked the place and the holy well?' I answered, (and my answer was very well explained to her) that we were delighted with the lake and the rocks, and the mountains, but that as to the holy well, we thought there was no more virtue or holiness in its waters than in the pool at our feet. The answer evidently pained her, and at some length I tried through the interpreter to make her understand our views; but, however, unwilling to differ from one who had appeared to take an interest in her welfare, prejudice and early associations were all against me, and she replied, that she did not agree with me, neither would any of the neighbours.' Making allowances for her opinion, and considering that further efforts would be unavailing, as evening was closing I was wishing her good bye, saying, that we should not be the less friends on that account, when laying hold upon my arm to detain me, she hastily said (and never shall I forget her look, her tone, and her gesture at the time) but that was not the question I wanted to ask you; you said, Sir, on coming down the glen, that we were all lying under the load of sin, and you asked me how did I hope to get rid of mine I could not give you an answer; and I have now come back to ask you what answer I ought to give, how am I to get rid of my load? On explaining the question and

[ocr errors]

her agitation to Leslie, who was standing by just as much interested about her as I was, he exclaimed, well! there is more in this simple fact in favour of the Irish Scriptures, than in all the arguments or statements I have ever met or read.' I answered her as well as my feelings would permit, that "if with the heart she believed in the Lord Jesus Christ," though her load was as big as the mountain before us, the blood he shed for her upon the cross would wash it away. The answer appeared to restore her to peace, and she said quickly that from her heart she believed it should.' I asked her if the Saviour's blood had such power and virtue in her opinion, why then did she wash in the holy well? On her own admission she stood convicted of inconsistency, and the conviction manifestly gave her pain. She paused for a moment, and asked respectfully, was I a Priest?' I told her not; that I was a Protestant Clergyman, and that my friend beside me was another; but that we cared as much for her soul as any two priests in Ireland. She said, 'she believed we did; that she found us true men.' She then listened for a considerable time with thankfulness and interest, while I was explaining the sufficiency of the Redeemer's sacrifice to take away sin, and directing her attention to Him who alone is able and willing to save and when parting, with a look of the warmest feeling and gratitude, she held out a hand to each of us, and dismissed us on our journey with a thousand blessings.

Continuing to entertain the strongest interest for my new friend, H S(for such, before parting, I learned to be her name) I directed soon after my inspector to go into the neighbourhood, and endeavour to establish an Irish school, and to find her out, and see her if possible. He was very well received by the people, but could not establish the school, as he could procure no person capable of teaching; and she unfortunately was not at home. However, they heard him read the Irish with so much pleasure, that I made him repeat the visit, and in meeting Hhe was more successful. I should remark, I mentioned to him the entire of my interview with her, and the hold the passage of the 11th of St. Matthew took of her conscience and heart-I shall relate his interview with her, in his own words, from his journal under date of November 21:-'I asked them, (that is, a family of the name of L- -, with whom he slept,) if they knew of a woman called H- S- -? Yes, said they, she lives in the next village, she calls often here; she was telling us of two gentlemen she met that told her a deal concerning her soul, and how she may save it; sometimes she would think of one of their names, (said the man) she was all night speaking of them. I wish I could see her said I. Next morning who should come in but the same woman; 'there is the woman you wanted.' I was reading, and she looking earnestly at me I turned to that part of the chapter your Reverence read for her; she clapped both hands, and said, 'those are the very words the gentleman was reading to me, I can never think of his name.' When I told her, 'there it is says she, my blessing and the blessing of God be with him.' Again on the 10th of Dec. I sent him in the same direction, and he again met H→→; he

[blocks in formation]
« PrécédentContinuer »