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The simplicity of Fenelon's character obtained for him a triumph on one occasion, which must have been most gratifying to his feelings, and was a testimony to the irresistible charm and power of virtue. His enemies (for, to the reproach of human nature, Fenelon had his enemies,) were mean enough to practise the shameful artifice of placing about him an ecclesiastic of high birth, whom he considered only as his grand vicar, but who was to act as a spy upon him. This man, who had consented to undertake so base an office, had, however, the magnanimity to punish himself for it. Subdued by the purity and gentleness of spirit that he witnessed in Fenelon, he threw himself at his feet, confessed the unworthy part he had been led to act, and withdrew from the world, to conceal in retirement his grief and his shame.
Fenelon was chosen by Louis the Fourteenth as a missionary to convert the Protestants of the provinces of Poitou and Saintonge. In an interview with the king before he set out upon his mission, he refused a military escort; and when the king represented the danger he might be exposed to, he answered, "Sire, ought a missionary to fear danger? If you hope for an apostolical harvest, we must go
in the true character of apostles. I would rather perish by the hands of my mistaken brethren, than see one of them exposed to the inevitable violence of the military."
In a letter to a duke he said, "The work of God is not effected in the heart by force; that is not the true spirit of the Gospel."
The different writings in philosophy, theology, and belles-lettres, that came from the pen of Fenelon have made his name immortal. The most powerful charm of his writings, is that feeling of quiet and tranquillity which they excite in the reader. It is a friend who approaches you and pours his soul into yours. You feel that you are holding an intimate communion with a pure and highly gifted mind. He moderates and suspends, at least for a while, your worldly cares and your sorrows; you enter for a time into that spirit of self-sacrifice and selfoblivion, which seems to be the key-note of all his writings. Your whole heart seems to expand with the Christian love that inspired him. We are ready to forgive human nature so many men who disgrace it, on account of Fenelon, who makes us love it.
THE SPIRITUAL LAW.
SAY not the law divine
Is hidden from thee, or afar removed;
That law within would shine,
If there its glorious light were seen and loved.
Soar not on high,
Nor ask who thence shall bring it down to earth; That vaulted sky
Hath no such star, didst thou but know its worth.
Nor launch thy bark
In search thereof upon a shoreless sea,
No dove to bring this olive-branch to thee.
Then do not roam
In search of that which wandering cannot win; At home! at home!
That word is placed, thy mouth, thy heart, within.
Oh! seek it there:
Turn to its teachings with devoted will; Watch unto prayer,
And in the power of faith this law fulfil.
"Tis sometimes good to change the tone of thought, And cast awhile the bonds of earth aside.
The smiles of gaiety, the charms of wit,
At length may pall; and from tumultuous joys
The spirit turns in weariness away.
The charms of nature then of spreading peace
May tell, and gathering thoughts of change and death
In solemn sweetness steal around the heart.
In such a mood, I stood beside the couch