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granite, and the gneiss, and the porphyry protrude, as the bones and strength of the primitive world. Then I pass into a lonely glen: the copsewood clothing the sides of the hills; the lake, like a lady's looking-glass,-fringed with water-lillies, as with a framework of silver and gold; the blue smoke wreathing up from the cottage, beneath the cliff; the narrow meadow, the dancing water-fall. Often when I have sat alone on a grey rock over such a valley, just as the sun was about to quench its golden glory in the Atlantic; when all the noises of peacefulness came up and met my ear; the plash of the wild duck alighting on the lake; the lay of the milk-maid carolling in the meadow; the flute of the idler at the cottage door; the crow of the grouse on the mountain side; the distant whistle of the curlew on the moor. Ob, how I have blessed thee, my God, for permitting me to witness, for giving me sense to enjoy, such repose as this, such a calm of nature, such an absence of suffering, as almost made me forget that I was in a world of sin and sorrow, and that the whole creation was indeed groaning, and man made to mourn until the times of refreshing should come from the presence of the Lord.
But, my dear Edward, I desire to be more particular; I wish to narrate a specimen of my ministerial occupations. It is very much the spirit of the present day for Protestant Clergymen to exert themselves amongst their Roman Catholic parishioners. I bless and glory in the success they have had latterly amongst them; and in this respect I hope I have not been inactive. I trust I have sought every possible access to their houses and their hearts, whereby I might open my gospel message, and preach Christ crucified, as their only hope and refuge. But I confess that, as there are many Protestants in my Cure who have not the knowledge of the truth, who profess without practice, and protest without knowledge; who can object to error in others, without embracing truth themselves; whose religion resolves itself into political partialities or antipathies, and who reverence the glorious memory of King William more than the " "glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.". Now, I have been anxious to work, especially among these party Protestants, these practical antinomians; and to say the truth, am one of those who consider that real, vital heart-working reformation, must first begin with Protestants, and then it will fly abroad with irresistible energy amongst Romanists. In the seclusion of my retired parish, I hear much of the new reformation. I hail it as a pledge from Protestants, that they know they must reform themselves. If they value the souls of others, it is a proof to me that they begin to value their own. Hope, then, I do from my inmost heart that the work is going on, and I wish it God's speed; but still of this I rest quite sure, that the work will only meet the ample success which all good men pray for, when Protestants, from the Bishop to the Deacon, from the Lord to the ploughman, become Christians, not merely in profession, but in truth, when all shall seek, not their own, but the things of Christ. And, as the Pagans in the days of primitive Christianity, were constrained to admire the beautifully consistent lives of the followers of the crucified One; as they were forced to exclaim in reverence,
Oh! see how these Christians live. As by a moral magnetism, they were drawn to adopt what they were obliged to admire; so it shall be when vital godliness finds an altar in every Protestant's breast, when the delusions of self-righteousness, and the dulness of self-satisfaction give way, like mountain mists, before the dayspring of gospel truth. Then it is that the new reformation, with its wondrous light, shall bless this land in its length and in its breadth. Then shall the fogs of man's tradition dissipate, and the selfish devices of priestcraft come to trial and to nought before the pure fire of divine truth, that shall try every man's work. My dear Edward, you know what an ardent busy-minded creature I ain, carried off in pursuit of every new fancy that starts before me; discursive as the stream that glides through one of our mountain meadows, twisting from side to side, and fondly turning back to kiss every flower of the valley ere it plunges from its glen to mix with the salt and fearful ocean. But for this once bear with me while wasting your time and my own on loose generalities. My object was to give you an item extracted out of the sum of my experience; take, then, as well as I can give it, the result of my ministrations in a single family.
I came to this parish in July, and had not been more than a month in the execution of my duties, when one day I took the direction of the mountains, in whose glens, I was informed, many Protestant families resided. Any one who has been in the district to which I allude, must have admired the magnificent groupe of mountains, that precipitously rise from the ocean shore, and in their shape, altitudes, and mural ridges, stand, as it were, the bastions of Europe, to defy the assaults of the Atlantic. Riding along the shore for some time, I then turned to the right, up a defile that opened into the gorges of the mountains; and trusting to my sure-footed poney, I wound my toilsome way along a narrow and rugged horse-path, that kept parallel to a limpid garrulous stream; at length, where the brook bounded over a ledge of rocks, and the road ascended a sharp ridge that was crowned by a castle, perched here in old times evidently to protect the defile, I descended at once into a mountain-valley, which, though surrounded by wild and serrated ranges of hills, yet contained much cultivated ground, a long reach of meadow, a bog, a lake, a village, and a church-yard, with the ruins of what was once a Catholic chapel, of which all that now remains is the double belfry, mantled over with luxuriant ivy, that makes it look like a tree cut out into the gothic style. Every one travelling through Ireland has a right to expect much that is grand, and not a little that is beautiful in what nature presents unaided by man; but he has little reason to look for any of these amenities and decorations provided by wealth, or directed by taste. An Irish village, and still less an Irish hut, form any thing but ornaments to a landscape; all the exterior appendages of an Irish cabin groupe badly in a picture, along with what is romantic or beautiful: the sow and her litter of pigs, the dunghills on each side of the door, the potatoe garden and pit; this whole conformity of discomfort, if it were set down even beside Grasmere or Derwentwater, would spoil their beautiful tout ensembles. In the present instance, I was most
agreeably disappointed; for, at the turning of a crag's point, which checked the road, and brought it down towards the lake, I saw presented before me a white-washed cottage, with a green-railed enclosure before it, and a neat little wicket gate, leading into a small garden, in which were rose-trees, common flowers, and some hollyhocks, with their luxuriant flowering stems trained against the walls, on either side of the windows. I immediately determined to find out who lived here; so, with the usual salutation, all over Ireland, on entering a house-"God save all here"-I lifted the latch and walked in. The inside did not belie the exterior; for, though there was not that circumspect and almost troublesome cleanliness that is exhibited in an English cottage, there was quite enough to denote comfort and good circumstances in the owner. There was a good deal of convenient furniture in the apartment, which seemed to answer the double purpose of kitchen and parlour; a large protruding chimney extended far out over the fire hearth, the inside of which was well lined with flitches of bacon: implements of cookery, and instruments for killing and catching game, were hung around; there was no lack of presses, dressers, and meal chests, and the decent clock clicked behind the door. An aged man was sitting dozing in a straw bee-hive chair, beside the hob; a young woman was urging her buzzing wheel, and twisting gracefully the pliant flax with fair fingers; and a neat small motherly-looking woman was sitting in the window seat, knitting her stocking, with an open Bible beside her, on which were laid a pair of spectacles as a mark. As soon as I had given my salute, the spinning wheel ceased, the elderly woman put by her knitting, and, with the urbanity that never deserts any Irishwoman; while she reached me a chair, and wiped it with her apron, she returned my salute, with "God save you kindly, Sir, won't you please to sit down?" I accepted her civility, and for a minute occupied myself in observing the place and people around me. The old man seemed arrived at extreme and imbecile age-his eyes lacked lustre-his prominent features had lost all expression--his whole form seemed to denote that it was unfit for any thing but the grave; time called for it to go hence, and be seen no more, as the wind summons away a solitary seared leaf, lingering idly on a tree in December. The younger woman, beside the spinning wheel, exhibited features that must have once been singularly beautiful; her figure was tall, and the contour of her shape very graceful; but a sallow sickliness seemed to have come over face and form, and blasted all their freshness; and there was a woefulness of countenance, a carelessness in attire, that bespoke a mind ill at ease. The elder woman, she who had reached me the chair, was the very reverse of all this: about 60 years of age, for her hair that appeared from under her clean and accurately plaited coif, was almost white; altogether, with her clean, neat, old-fashioned attire, her sweet placid countenance, her serene soft grey eye, there was a benevolent motherliness about the woman, that gave the assurance of a gentle temper, and a conscience void of offence; my eye felt a repose in looking on her, and I thought on my own dearest mother.
The Bible that lay open in the window seat gave a subject for conversation, and I congratulated her on its possession. "I trust, madam, that as you and your family have the use of God's Book, you are not devoid of his blessing." Ah, dear Sir, I hope not, to me that dear volume has been a light shining in darkness; yes, amidst trials under which some are sinking, (and here she glanced at her daughter.) and others have cast away all trust and hope, I have found, thanks be to my God for his unspeakable gift, a solace for much wretchedness, and a warrant for every hope.""I need scarcely express the supposition," said I, "that you and your family are Protestants ?""Yes, Sir; since Cromwell's wars, my husband's family have resided in this valley; a small farm has been handed down from father to son. Yonder old man is my husband's father. He was a soldier and a great traveller for the greater part of his days, and though he now forgets the things of yesterday, and has almost lost sight and hearing, he still recollects, and can recount with great precision his wounds at Minden, and his victories under Wolfe at Quebec; he is now near a hundred years of age." While she was yet speaking, a tall high shouldered man entered, who evinced by his unceremonious bearing that he was master of the house. His features were harsh and prominent, his cheeks rigid with wrinkles, which furrowed themselves in such gloomy lines that pleasure seemed never to have cast one smile around his mouth, or satisfaction its light from his deep sunk eye; his brow which was strongly overarching, showed, when his hat was laid aside, in its broad expansion, great reaches of intellect; but the grisly hair of his head, the lines of his grim countenance, the bending of his once lofty, and still muscular form, all indicated that thinking was identified with habitual suffering-such a man, if I met him in public, I would look after as he passed me, and ask who is that? if alone and in a lonely place, I would avoid, if it were possible. The man having laid aside his long gun and fowling apparatus, made me a constrained and distant salute, and sitting down in the farthest corner of the apartment, with his elbows on an oak table, and supporting his head with the open palm of his hand, he said, as if suffering under great fatigue, "Hester get me some food." This the elderly woman rose to prepare, (for the younger had disappeared immediately on the entrance of her father, into an inner apartment); and before she proceeded farther in her work, she accosted me with peculiar kindness of manner, and said, Sir, I should suppose you are the young minister that has lately taken charge of this parish; good accounts have arrived here before you. It is seldom that we can go down to church. But I have desired to see you, for I hear you preach faithfully, and look after the souls committed to your charge. May God make your ministration profitable to others, and a great crown of rejoicing to yourself. Will you, Sir, now have the condescension to stay and partake of our humble meal; you have had a long ride and must require refreshment." This kind invitation was not backed by the man of the house, and as I was indeed anxious to proceed farther up the valley, I wished the family good morning; but before I left the house, the good old woman followed me to the
threshold, pressed me warmly by the hand, and said in a suppressed voice, "Oh, dear Sir, by the love you bear your Saviour come and visit us again." This I promised and departed. In the course of the autumn, I visited almost weekly this lonely valley, and this interesting family. I seldom found the man of the house at home; at my approach he either retreated up a ravine in the rear of the cottage, into the recesses of the hills; or if, when abroad, on his return, he saw my pony at the door, his practice was, to secrete himself until I had departed. With the daughter I could never get into conversation if, according to my office, I spoke to her of religion, she only answered me by a burst of tears; if I turned the discourse to other subjects, she evaded conversation; always civil, ever gentle-still she withheld confidence, and kept her sorrows to herself with a miser's industry. With the aged man it was also impracticable to speak, with any avail, on his soul's salvation. Whenever I addressed him seriously, his face relaxed into vacancy. If I spoke of the great last things to which he was approaching, with visible rapidity—if I brought death and judgment, heaven and hell, before him, he gave a dull assent to all I said-it was indeed all very true; but true as they were, such things seemed evidently to occupy neither his hopes or his fears; the burden of his thoughts, if thoughts they might be called, rested on the ground that he had done no harm, that he was nobody's enemy but his own, that he owed no man any thing-that he went to religious duties when he could-that God was good!!! This was all I ever got out of him, and generally after a few minutes of unwilling communication, in this way, he fell off into a doze. But approach him in a worldly guise-talk to him of the German or American wars, and it was astonishing how his intellects rallied-how in spirit he dashed along the plain of Minden, or climbed the heights of Abraham; it was a curious moral study to see how the ruling passion of a mind flung off the bodily burden of half a century, when starting from his straw chair, he
"Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won."
But if the daughter was repulsive and the old soldier impenetrable, not so was Hester Armstrong, the good woman of the house. Never did I see such an exemplification of the power of the word of God in exalting the understanding and purifying the heart, than in this excellent creature. The Gospel was indeed to her, an asylum, a strong consolation, to which she fled for refuge, laying hold on the hope set before her. Amidst worldly trials, under which others of her family had either bent or broken, she stood immovable,
And sought to wing in faith her flight
From earth-born woe and care,
And soar beyond those realms of night,
Her Saviour's bliss to share.
I trust that my visits were not unattended with profit to her. To myself I know they were infinitely blessed, for I saw before me, in the garb of humility, the beauty of holiness; I saw be