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280 , THE SABBATH SCHOLAR'S PRAYER. the simple truths of the Bible.” He afterwards spoke of the regret of parting with his friends. “ Nothing," said he, “convinces me more of the reality of the change within me, than the feelings with which I can contemplate a separation from my family. I now feel so weaned from earth, my affections so much in heaven, that I can leave you all without a regret; yet I do not love you less, but God more."
THE SABBATH SCHOLAR’S PRAYER.
Leeds, June, 1852.
STATUE OF SAN CARLO BORROMEO,
ARCHBISHOP OF MILAN. ALTHOUGH the Romish Church teaches many doctrines which are untrue, and is guilty of great wickedness, yet, there have been among its members and ministers, some excellent persons, who have laboured to do good both to the bodies and souls of men. We ought to deplore their errors, and give them due credit for their good deeds.
San Carlo Borromeo was born of a noble family, at the castle of Arona, in the year 1538, and was made Archbishop of Milan when he was only twenty-two years old. In the year 1580, the city of Milan was visited by the plague. Borromeo was a kind-hearted man, and felt for the poor sufferers. He exerted himself to afford them help. While the plague was raging, he was almost constantly visiting the sick ; supplying them with such things as they needed, and affording them the consolations of religion. For his benevolence, humility, and other virtues, he was highly esteemed. Borromeo died in the year 1584, at the age of forty-six; and was numbered among the saints of the Romish Church in the year 1610.
The remains of Borromeo are deposited in a chapel, in the Cathedral of Milan. The chapel is adorned with beautiful drapery of a crimson colour, embellished with rich silver work. When he was living, he rejected and despised worldly pomp, and wisely preferred to dispose of his wealth in relieving the distressed. His remains, covered with jewels, are exhibited in a crystal coffin.
To manifest the gratitude of his countrymen for the services which San Carlo Borromeo had rendered, a gigantic statue of him was erected. This statue is of bronze, 72 feet in height, on a marble pedestal. It stands on the border of Lago Maggiore, which is said to be the largest and most beautiful of the Italian lakes.
In the year 1630, the city of Milan was again visited with the plague. At this time, Frederigo Borromeo, & relative of San Carlo Borromeo, was Archbishop of Milan; and he nobly imitated the example of his relative, in exerting himself for the benefit of those who were afflicted with the plague. An Italian writer, Manzoni, has recorded some interesting particulars respecting the sufferings occasioned by the plague in Milan, and the efforts made by the Archbishop, and the other clergy, to render help to the sufferers.
Milan had frequently been visited by the plague, but the two most terrible visitations, were those in the year 1580, and in the year 1630. Previous to the plague breaking out in Milan, in the latter year, the pestilence had been raging in other parts of Italy ; but the inhabitants of Milan did not take warning, and neglected to use due precautions for their protection from the dreadful disease. An old physician, of the name of Lettala, remembered the awful scourge which the city had suffered fifty years before ; and he earnestly exhorted the Milanese to take prudent measures to guard against the infection being brought into the city ; but his advice was disregarded. At length, the plague was brought into the city, by some one having bought the clothes of a man who had died of the disease.
When some cases had occurred, the medical men were hooted at, and pelted by the rabble, because they asserted that the plague was in the city. But the disease soon spread with great violence, and the city was in a most awful condition. Many persons were so foolish as to attribute the disease to the agency of witchcraft. Reports were circulated that persons had been seen in the Cathedral, rubbing the seats and partitions with poisonous ointment. The city was in an uproar; and as it was suspected that the mischief had been occasioned by foreigners, they became exposed to the fury of the populace.
The ravages of the plague, and distress of the city, continued to increase, and the Archbishop, Frederigo Borromeo, was entreated to order a solemn procession, in which the body of San Carlo Borromeo should be carried through the city. The Archbishop refused for some time, doubting, as well he might, the efficacy of such means; and fearing that the bringing together a great multitude, would occasion fatal results. But the people became infuriate, and began to wreak their vengeance on persons who were foolishly suspected of practising witchcraft. One old man, nearly eighty years old, was tortured, because he was seen brushing a seat in the Cathedral with his cloak. To stop the clamour of the people, the Archbishop ordered the procession to take place. The body of San Carlo was brought forth, under a magnificent canopy, preceded by a number of women, barefooted, and in sackcloth; the trades and companies of the city, and a great number of monks and clergy, bearing lighted tapers, were followed by the Archbishop and the chief men of the city. After they had passed through the city, and prayers had been offered, the procession returned to the Cathedral.
The ignorant people had great confidence that, by means of the procession, the plague would be removed ; but it occasioned an increase of the evil it was designed to remove. The fears of the Archbishop were realised ; in conseqnence of so many people having been brought together, the infection was spread among the people, and, it is said, the number of deaths was, for some time, as many as three thousand five hundred a day. The sick were, in many cases, abandoned ; the number of medical men were so reduced by death, that it was difficult, and often impossible, to obtain medical attendance; and the number of the dead was so great, that it was needful to dig large trenches outside the city, and to employ the lowest class of persons to collect the dead, and throw the bodies into the trenches.
More than sixty of the parish priests, besides many of the monks, died of the plague. The Archbishop exposed himself as much to danger as any of the clergy. He regulated their visits, went with them to the hospitals, and wherever he could be of service; and proved himself a worthy successor of his relative, San Carlo Borromeo. He said to his clergy, “ Be ready to abandon this mortal life, rather than this our family and offspring. Guided by! charity, venture forth amid the plague, if, by so doing, you can gain a soul to Christ.”
We cannot but admire the noble, heroic, and benevolent conduct of both the archbishops, to whom we have referred, and of such of the priests and monks as followed the examples set by the archbishops. These men belonged to an awfully corrupt Church, which has most cruelly persecuted Christians, and which continues to persecute, wherever it has the power ; but they were men, who, according to the light they had, endeavoured to be useful to the bodies and souls of men.
At the present time, two respectable persons are suffering the severe punishment of being sent to the galleys for three or four years, for merely reading the Bible in their own house. Such are the cruelties now practised by the Romanists in Tuscany.
A deputation of Protestants has been sent from this country, to the Duke of Tuscany, to petition the Duke to release from prison Francesco and Rosa, his wife, who have been sentenced to long imprisonment, and treated as vile criminals for reading God's book. We pray for the success of the deputation.