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Preces meæ non sunt dignæ :
Inter oves locum præsta,
Worthless though the prayers I tell,
Where the sheep redeemed are,
From the accursed crew divide,
With broken contrite heart I bend;
Day of groans and sighs and fear,
Holy Jesus, Glorious King,
[The following lines were sent to us for insertion in the last number, but unavoidably omitted, among others, for want of room. We now insert them, trusting that they may not be unacceptable to our readers, although the season is past to which they apply.]
AN EASTER LAY.
The Lord is risen.'-St Luke xxiv. 34.
That blessed morning breaks,
Ho! all ye powers on earth thy ransom
The grave now yields her dead, And that triumphant head Wakes, on this morn the world's victorious King.
Burst forth, thou dazzling sun:
Set then in blood no more;
Let all thy powers combine
In which the Lord of Life vouchsafed To view with holy joy this blest and
for man to die.
CRUDEN, Easter, 1848.
SAYINGS OF GOOD MEN.
If a man's private house wherein he dwelleth be decayed, he will never cease till it be restored again; yea, if his barn wherein he keepeth his corn be out of reparations, what diligence useth he to make it in a perfect state again! If the stable of his horse, yea, the stye for his swine, be not able to hold out water and wind, how careful is he to do cost thereon! And shall we be so mindful of our common base houses, deputed to so vile employment, and be forgetful of the house of God, wherein be entreated the words of our eternal salvation, wherein be administered the sacraments and mysteries, of our redemption.' (Homily for repairing and keeping clean, and comely adorning of Churches.) So spoke our forefathers, and who does not feel that there is strength and eloquence in their plainness? And with far more force might we contrast our lavish prodigality in all that ministers to our ease and comfort, in all that can charm the eye with grace and splendour, or beguile an hour of life with melody or perfume. The needless equipages, the voluptuous plate or jewels, the single entertainment given at a cost which would raise a Church to God, &c.-Baugh on the Duties of the Rich.
Men are led into the temptation to withhold their alms from the poor and destitute, under a plea that they must be provident for themselves. There is something shocking in the very statement. And yet it is to be feared that there are persons who refuse all applications for alms of all kinds, both for the bodies and for the souls of men, on the plea that they cannot afford it; that 'charity begins at home,' and the like. They do so in the belief that what they save in this manner is laid up in store for their own future security, forgetting that they thereby rob God of His due; that they tempt Him in a high degree to strip them of the wealth they use so unworthily; that they provoke Him to send the moth, the canker, and the rust, to eat away their stored treasures, and to leave them naked and
poor. There are, I say, some people who systematically refuse all alms, especially those that are asked of them for spiritual mercy, for the spreading of Christ's kingdom by missions among the heathen, and for the ministry of repentance among our outcast and fallen people.
But we must not limit what has been said to those that absolutely refuse to give alms at all. There are others, making up, indeed, the greater part of society, who do give, but upon no rule of proportion to their wealth. They give, in all forms of charity, sums incalculably small compared with the outlay made upon themselves, their dwellings, families, tables, pursuits, refinements. They stint themselves in nothing so much as in alms-giving. When they make retrenchments, it is with their alms they begin. It is here they first feel the pinch of poverty. Their charities are cut down first. What would they not give to the poor, or to the work of the Church, if only they had the means; if only their ability were as large as their compassion! And yet, perhaps, they never give an entertainment to their rich friends and neighbours, or in some way gratify their pleasures, at less cost than their whole year's charity. They live up to their income in every thing else. It is in the fifth or tenth which they might give back to God, that they begin their provident economy, and lay up for themselves hereafter that which is due to Christ's poor now. What ought to be the bread of the hungry, they turn into a stone; and so in the day of their own necessity they will find it.'-Archdeacon Manning.
DIOCESE OF BRECHIN-CATTERLINE,
ON Monday the 1st May, being the Festival of St Philip and James, the foundation stone of the new Church, now being erected for the village of Catterline and neighbourhood, and which, by the desire of a lady who has contributed largely to the funds for its erection, is to be dedicated to St Philip the Apostle,-was laid by the Right Rev. the Bishop of Brechin, assisted by the following members of his Diocese:-the Rev. J. Stevenson, Catterline; J. Smith, Muchalls; J. Moir, Brechin; R. K. Thom, Drumlithie; C. T. Erskine, Stonehaven; and D. Greig (deacon), Dundee.
The Bishop commenced the service with a very appropriate and impressive address, setting forth the importance of the work he had come to perform,-viz. to lay the foundation stone of a building to be separated from all common and profane uses, and set apart and made holy unto the Lord, and in which God's faithful people would meet at the appointed times to offer up their prayers unto, and to sing the praises of the Almighty God-in which, as time flowed on, their children would be duly and regularly received into Christ's Mystical Body by Holy Baptism, and so from children of wrath and heirs of death, be made children of grace and heirs of eternal life, and to which the faithful themselves would come upon Solemn Festivals to plead in behalf of themselves, and of the whole Church, the Sacrifice of the Lord's Body and Blood. It was then, indeed, an important work to build a temple to the Lord suitable for His holy worship; and thanks be to God, one which the members of His Church in this land, after long trying, withering years of persecution, were now free to do; but while they were mindful, and did their utmost to erect a temple suitable for the worship of a Holy God, they must never forget that Christians were the true Church-the true temple of the Lord and that they must give their utmost diligence to build up and beautify this living temple, and to make it delightful to the Lord, by leading lives of prayer, lives of faith, lives of holiness, and lives of charity.
The Bishop concluded his address, which was listened to with deep attention and reverence, by impressing on his hearers the important truth that it was only by adorning their holy profession by a corresponding life, that they for whose use the present building was to be erected, and of which he was now about to lay the foundation stone, could expect to render it a source of blessings to themselves and to their children after them. He doubted not but it would be the earnest endeavour of all who now heard him to walk worthy of the holy vocation wherewith they were called, and so to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. As by the brilliant shining of their light before men, to aid in leading those who were without to come and glorify with them their Father in heaven; and as a present evidence of this their pious resolution, he begged them to unite with him in humble fervent prayer to God for this blessing on the work of their hands, for except the Lord build the house, their labour would be but lost who build it.' That this might be done decently and in order, a proper office had been provided for the occasion, in which it
was his earnest desire and hope that every one should take part devoutly and reverently.
The Service used on this occasion was 'An order for laying the Foundation Stone of a Church or Chapel, London 1846.' And at the time appointed by the Rubric for the placing of the stone, a leaden box, containing a brass plate having engraven on it the dedication of the Church, was placed in a cavity of the stone. The dedication was as follows: † In. nomine. Dei. † Amen. Qui . super. fundamentum. Apostolorum. et. Prophetarum. ipso. summo. Angulari. lapide. Christo. † Jesu. Edificavit. Ecclesiam . et. in. honorem. Beati . Apostoli. Philippi. primum. lapidem . hujus. Oratorii . posuit Alexander. Episcopus. Brichinensis. quo. verbum. Dei . quotidie · sonet. precesque. fidelium. ascendant. Anno Salutis 1848.
The proper Psalms, the 84th, 127th, 87th and 122d were very effectively chanted in the old tones which have been so long in use in the Scottish Church, and which there is good reason to believe have come down to us from that first nursery of Scotland's early sanctity and saints, the Monastery of St Colomba in Iona—a place which it must ever afflict the pious heart, mourning over the departed glories of the olden time, to remember still lies desolate and in ruins, with no prospect of its being again restored and made what it once was, 'the chief seat of dignity in the Scottish Church.' O! that it might please God to put into the heart of some one of Briton's wealthy sons, to do with Iona's hallowed ruins, what has been done with the sister abbey of St Augustine, Canterbury. This, indeed, would be a work as glorious and honourable as man could undertake, and would be discharging a debt of gratitude which has been acknowledged to exist by one of England's worthiest priests. There is scarcely any institution which Englishmen have reason to remember with feelings of equal gratitude; for from this retreat of piety came forth those heralds of the Gospel who taught the greater part of our rude forefathers.
From this retreat, called from its founder Icolmkill, or 'St Colomba's Isle,' the savage clans of the Highlands received the benefits of knowledge and the blessings of religion. And no doubt it was so appointed by God's providence, that Christianity should be planted in North Britain at the very time when it was nearly driven out from the south, that the means of its restoration might be at hand. A very few years afterwards (that is, after the ancient Britons, with their Prince Vortigern, had called in the Saxons to their aid against the Scots and Picts) the last British Bishops retreated with the remnant of their