صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

under the walls of an immense fortress, which rose above us, till its battlements were lost in the darkness. Then, turning at right angles, we crossed a long bridge, with shade-like statues looking down upon us from either parapet, and a dark silent river flowing underneath. I could guess what river that was. We then plunged into a labyrinth of streets of a rather better description than the one already traversed, but equally dreary and deserted. We kept winding and turning, till, as I supposed, we had got to the heart of the city. In all that way we had not met a human being, or seen aught from which we could infer that there was a living creature in Rome.

At last we found ourselves in a small square,—the site of the Forum of Antoninus, though I knew it not then,-in one of the sides of which was an iron gate, which opened to receive us, diligence and all, and which was instantly closed and locked behind us; while two soldiers, with fixed bayonets, took their stand as sentinels outside. It was a vast barnlooking, cavern-like place, with mouldering Corinthian columns built into its massive wall, and its roof hung so high as to be scarce visible in the darkness. It had been a temple of Antoninus Pius, and was now converted into the Pope's dogana, or custom-house.

In a few minutes there entered a dapper, mild-faced gentle-mannered, stealthy-paced man, with a thick long cloak thrown over his shoulders, to protect him from the night air. The Pope's dogana-master stood before us. He paced to and fro in the most unconcerned way possible; and though it was past midnight, and trunks and carpetbags were all open and ready, he seemed reluctant to begin the search. Nevertheless the baggage was disappearing, and its owners departing at the iron gate; a mystery I could not solve. At length this most affable of doganamasters drew up to me, and in a quiet way, as if wishing to conceal the interest he felt in me, he shook me warmly by the hand. I felt greatly obliged to him for this welcome to Rome; but would have felt more so if, instead of this salute, he had opened the gate and let me go. In about five minutes he again came round to where I stood, and,

grasping my hand a second time, gave it a yet heartier squeeze. I was at a loss to explain this sudden friendship; for I was pretty sure this exceedingly agreeable gentleman had never seen me till that moment. How long this might have lasted I know not, had not a person in the dogana, compassionating my dulness, stepped up to me, and whispered into my ear to give the searcher a few paulos. I was a little scandalized at this proposal to bribe His Holiness's servant; but I could see no chance otherwise of having the iron gate opened. Accordingly, I got ready the requisite douceur ; and, waiting his return, which soon happened, took care to drop the few pauls into his palm at the next squeeze. On the instant the gate opened.--Dr. Wylie.

THE GRACE OF GOD EXEMPLIFIED. It was in the spring of 1852 that the writer first became acquainted with Mr. Thomas Whitfield, at which time he was twenty-two years of age, and with his widowed mother and only sister was residing at Brind, a small village near Howden, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Then it was that the symptoms of what proved his mortal disease made their appearance; and then, too, he began earnestly to inquire what he must do to be saved. For some weeks his constant and earnest prayer was that of the publican, “God be merciful to me a sinner;" during which time he was visited by several Christian friends. One of these, a Prayer-Leader from Howden, seems to have rendered him most assistance; for it was during the night succeeding this visit, his soul, after much wrestling, entered into the glorious liberty of Christ. Although it was midnight, and there was every earthly inducement to quietly conceal the good news until a more seasonable hour, the moment he felt his fettered soul released, he burst forth in a song of praise, and awoke his mother to tell her the joyful tidings. Shortly afterwards Mr. W.'s health so far improved, that he was able to resume the lighter duties of his calling; but fearing lest with this improved state of body there might be a declension in spiritual life, the writer recommended him to unite himself with God's people, and labour for the salvation of others. He accordingly entered a Wesleyan class which was met at Brind. As soon as his strength permitted, he procured religious tracts; and failed not with these silent messengers, which he weekly distributed, to give a word of exhortation or admonition. His own kitchen, too, became a Sunday-school room, where he regularly gathered from twelve to twenty children, to teach them the blessed truths with which he was happily familiar. In addition to this, during the two following winters, he gratuitously gave week-night instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic.

The sister already alluded to, and who, up to the winter of 1852, had ordinarily enjoyed good health, took cold, and in a few weeks was evidently on the verge of another world. Previous to her illness her brother's religious counsel was treated with indifference; but now its value was fully appreciated, and with great delight would she listen to his faithful and affectionate teaching. His labour was owned, her sins were pardoned, and her happy soul passed triumphantly home.

To a contemplative mind, as was Mr. W.'s, this sad event could not fail to be painfully instructive. Improved, as it doubtless was, it furnished an initiatory lesson to himself. He felt, ere long, he must follow his only sister. So it was.

His disease, which had only lain in ambush until the proper season of attack, approached with more decisive step in the early part of 1854. He got the best medical advice the neighbourhood could supply; but all was unavailing. The tree was marked; yea, the axe was lying at the root, and of this he was now candidly apprized by his physician. Early in the morning of May 2d, he twice desired to be left alone; and when his friends returned to him the second time, he exclaimed, “All is well.” He then requested all present to gather around his bed; and, with a countenance beaming forth unspeakable joy, he told them that all his sins were pardoned, that he was going to heaven; and, beginning with his dear mother, severally

my

charged them all to meet him there. During the day he repeatedly said, “My work is done: I shall soon be with

dear sister.” After tea he desired his mother and the nurse to sing,

" There is a land of pure delight," &c. Although it was painful to refuse compliance with this, the last and dying wish of her only son, the mother's heart was so overwhelmed with grief that she was compelled to reply in the negative. A few moments afterwards, as if by superhuman power and sweetness, he broke out singing a verse or two of the above hymn; and immediately bis enraptured soul left its earthly tabernacle to enter everlasting repose.

S. F. Hovden.

A SPANISH ALARUM.. AWAKE, SPANIARDS! New and terrible dangers threaten the Catholicism of Spaniards. The Protestant Propaganda, which lately inaugurated its first attempts on our unhappy country, and which has distributed with impudence and impunity Bibles, books of devotion, catechisms, and other works quite worthy of its corruption, has, through the connivance of a club reprobated by our vigilant laws, met with tolerance in Seville, as has been lately seen in the daring display of publicity with which an act of its worship has been exercised in Malaga on the occasion of conducting and interring the corpse of a Protestant. The Propaganda, which can already reckon on periodicals in Spain to favour its views and lend a defence to its foolish pretensions, in contempt of our Catholic unity, and to the prejudice of the national dignity, considers itself authorized to carry on its heretical mission, and to preach with impunity that we ought not to venerate God in the images of His saints ; that the worship of the Most Holy Mary is idolatrous, and ought to be abolished; that we ought not to hear mass, nor to

• Translated in the Evangelical Christendom.

confess, nor take the communion ; that indulgences are a lie; that the Roman Pontiff is not the visible head of the Church; and such and such other errors and heresies, the professing of which excludes from the communion of the Church. To turn us from loyal subjects into traitors, from Christians into heretics, from sons of God into sons of the devil, from happy beings to unhappy wretches, from Catholics to infidels, and from Spaniards to barbarians, is the mission which those of the Propaganda come to exercise among us, in the country of the Cid, in the nation of Philip II., in the people of the second of May;* and who, with their Machiavelism and their Propaganda, were the cause of our losing the Americas; those who destroyed our squadrons; those who attempted to annihilate our industry ; those who set fire to our manufactories; those who blew up our bridges; those who sacked our temples; those who overthrew our rich possessions ; those who by their smuggling impeded the development of the industry of Catalonia ; those who with their politics fomented our common dissensions ; those who, in religion, aspire to make us heretics !

“Awake, Spaniards, awake against the enemies of Spanish Catholic unity!

“Awake against the propagandists of error! Awake against Lutherans and Calvinists !

“ What will our sons become, on the day that we permit them to communicate with such persons ?

“ With insidious art, those persons will gain the mastery over their simple hearts; with guineas they will tempt the faith of the poor, who see their children dying of hunger, thanks to the paralysation of commerce, the want of work, the bad state of industry, and the difficulty of following out a course of living.

“Awake, Spaniards! be on the alert against Protestantism, against those nefarious sects, the primordial cause of the evils which afflict the modern world; the cause of our

• In allusion to the mutiny in Madrid, on May 20, 1808, against the French, commanded by Murat.

« السابقةمتابعة »