« 이전계속 »
glorious truths which had by the Divine appointment passed to herself from little Barbara. Often with the little Bible in her hand, the Bible which had come from Horace, did she trace up that little stream of living waters in the presence of Damien, as far as she was able to do, and thereby taking occasion to dilate on such views of Divine love as, with the Spirit's light shed upon them, produced a very decided effect upon both of those accustomed to hear her, working ultimately an effectual change through the regenerating influences of the Divine Spirit, in the hitherto thoughtless youth, and bringing the haughty captain of the “ Hebe” to a stand in the midst of a high and honorable worldly career.
And now, at the point where we perceive the tide of our Living Rill preparing to burst forth in two new lines, we must conclude our present number, hoping, if so permitted, to carry on our subject in that for the ensuing month.
M. M. S. (To be continued.)
THE THREE WORDS.
It was a lovely morning in October. The sky was bright, and the wind blew softly from the south-west. There was a crystal clearness in the atmosphere, and the scant and parti-colored foliage Auttered and twittered in the sunshine, as if every leaf were a living thing entrusted with ne earnest secret for its fellow. The robin sat on the topmost bough of an old apple tree beside the window, and jerked out his rapid and abrupt music, the light wind every now and then ruffling the flaming feathers of his distended throat, or startling him as it lifted the yellow leaf from its slender hold upon the bough, and launched it, like a fairy boat, upon the sunny air till swaying to and fro for a few seconds, it lighted on the garden path where its fellows lay huddled together beside the flower borders.
There are few months in the year lovelier than a fine October ; and certainly no season so favorable for recreation out of doors. The height of summer is too hot; the depth of winter, too rough and cold ; the spring, too enervating; and the warmer days of autumn too exhausting. And this day, the ninth, seemed above all others, the most inviting that could have been selected for a
long country ramble. Recalling to mind the challenge that had been thrown out many months ago, when driven by stress of weather in to the road-side ale-house, as already mentioned, it occurred to me that I could not do better than devote the morning to a visit to Spring Close, that I might see with my own eyes, what Puseyism in our part of the world really was. I was the rather moved to this by the melancholy intimations I had since met with, of its proselyting tendencies, and accordingly made up my mind to set out on this mission, provided there was likely to be service in the church I intended to visit. It was the festival of St. Denys, and I had, therefore, little doubt of the fact, as that very notable saint and martyr has found a place, not only in the Romish, but the British calendar.
My walk lay amongst scenery which possessed few commanding attractions, but at this lovely season every thing was full of beauty. The fields, the hedges, the streams, and the manycolored woods were fraught with a thousand endearing associations, and where the solitary trees skirting the roadway and alternating with corn-ricks and thatched roofs flamed out in their liveries of crimson and gold, against the dark neutral tints of the back ground, they formed such a picture as can only be met with in happy England, in its happiest aspects. I was walking beside a clear stream flanked with old willows, whose hollow and twisted stems would have furnished some good studies for the artist ; the banks were high and rugged, but not so high that I could not see distinctly the bright sand and pebbles lying in its bed. The surface, as it rippled on, was daintily embroidered by catches of sunlight, and the shadows of these ripples waved on the shining sands, faded, and disappeared alternately. Now and then a fish shot like an arrow through the water, or lay motionless and as if dreaming, near the oozy stones that lined the stream, and as my shadow crossed it, hid himself in one of the many breaks and chinks formed by the over-hanging cliff. The grasshopper was still noisy in the long grass, and as I passed, flirted his filmy wings and threw himself into the broad sun-light, describing a semicircle in the air and returning to the bank he had just left, a few paces in advance. In the hedges, the bramble was thick with blackberries; and the sloe, covered with its rich bloom, clustering in beautiful profusion
round its armed stem, gleamed pleasantly from amidst its long, straggling branches. The blackbird chuckled as he flew forward, keeping always in advance, and occasionally a covey of partridges rose from the stubble, scaring me by their well-known clutter, from my day dreams, and causing me to follow them through the air, as they floated on, and on, and on, against the dark back ground of the picture.
Many, but not weary, were the miles I traversed that morning, after leaving the pleasant companionship of that stream. There was such a delightful freshness in the air, that I never dreamt of weariness, and it was really with surprise that I saw before me at the distance only of a few small fields, the grey tower of the church of Saint Fabian, Spring Close. It stood, as country churches often do, on a gently rising ground which I was already ascending. To my left, distant a full mile from the church, stood the old quaint building of red brick, which I have before described as the domicile of the Rev. Silenus Glosenfane, distinctly visible through the lofty trees before it, now almost denuded of their foliage. The huge gilt vanes glittered in the sunshine, and the old lions keeping watch and ward on the spot entry gates might be distinctly seen against the dark mass of brickwork behind them. The solitary bell of St. Fabian was tolling at measured intervals, and though I saw no signs of an assembling congregation, I made no doubt there would be a full service at the church.
I had selected this day in preference to the Sunday, that I might the better estimate the character of the congregation. Those who live in cathedral towns must have noticed the vast disparity existing between a week-day and a Sabbath service. In the former case, those only attend who consider it in the light of a duty- who are really followers of the ordinances and institutions of the church “ through evil report and good report ;" whilst in the other, those who have any form of religion, think they may as well worship with all possible appliances, and consequently go there in preference to any more humble place of worship. The result is that the Sabbath service is thronged, while the week-day prayers are almost entirely deserted. I had calculated, therefore, that all whom I might meet with at church to-day, would be thorough-going tractarians, and that I should
consequently be enabled the better to judge of the mischiefs consequent on this new doctrine.
The church was soon reached, and I was glad to find, that I had arrived nearly half an hour before the time of service. In old churches there are usually a great many snug little nooks and corners, where the worshipper, though almost out of sight himself, may yet see much that goes on from the desk, the pulpit, and the altar. In one of these, I intended to ensconce myself, after having walked round the edifice and narrowly inspected every part. I need scarcely say that much of it had been “ done' since the induction of Mr. Glosenfane. The old screen and rood-loft had been restored, the chancel had been newly paved with encaustic tiles, a vast deal of carved wood-work had been introduced, and two hagioscopes had been cut away behind the pulpit and the reading desk, in order to enable the audience in the north and south aisles to obtain a view of the altar-piece, which consisted of a very fair copy from one of the old masters.
pews had been so far modified as to bear some resemblance to the stalls in our cathedrals, with the exception of two snug little parlors, one on each side of the chancel, which were fitted up with all the appointments necessary to make devotion as easy as possible. One of these belonged, as I found on enquiry, to the vicar; the other to the lay patron of the parish. The roof which had, until lately, been hidden by a false ceiling, was now laid open; and the cherubim blowing hurricanes ugh absentee-trumpets, intermixed with quaint corbels, and lions making pantomimic faces, were again exposed to view in all the glory of mediæval art. The altar was covered with a splendid cloth, and suitably “dressed,” for the occasion. From the centre, rose a large gilt cross, with lighted candles on each side, and two immense nosegays just in front of them. The flowers composing these, with the exception of what appeared from the distance at which I viewed them, to be a cluster of snow-berries in the centre, were all of blood-red hue-principally dahlias, though I was informed they would have been peonies, had the season of the year allowed it. These were symbolic of martyrdom, and implied that St. Denys, whose festival they graced, had thus sealed his testimony to the truth. The white buttons, I was since told, were a small species of mushroom sacred to the
same saint, and known to botanists by the name of Agaricus lactifluus, or milk-white Agaric.
Having completed my survey of the place, and the congregation beginning to assemble, I retired to a small recessed seat, formed by the projection of the organ gallery over the west entrance of the church, which I found on looking up, was ornamented with a profusion of oak carving surrounding a very good copy of a Madonna and child. The church was entered, as I have remarked, from under this organ loft, and as the congregation from the time of their entrance, kept their faces towards the altar at the opposite end, I had an admirable opportunity of seeing every thing without being seen myself.
The two first who entered the church after I had taken up my position scarcely deserve special mention. They were farmers, characteristically habited in black coats and waistcoats, drab shorts, and top boots. One of them wore a broad-brimmed hat, and had a tough cough that called forth so distinct an echo from the old roof, that you looked up instinctively to see whom it came from. Then followed a fashionably dressed lady of about thirty, leading a girl of eight or ten years old dressed like an opera figurante; and immediately behind, a somewhat younger lady acting apparently as cicerone to a fine manly fellow of about five and twenty, who seemed little moved by her attentions, but walked on abstractedly, looking carelessly about him. The first couple I recognized as the wife and daughter of the incumbent, and as the others followed into their seat, I at first conjectured they were some relations of the family. The lady, indeed, had all the insinuating sleekness of Mr. Glosenfane, and was in other respects so like him, that I had no doubt she was a younger sister. But who was that frank, hearty, happy, and yet deeplythoughtful friend who accompanied her. As he looked leisurely round on the paraphernalia of the place, greatly to the discomfiture of the young lady who seemed kindly solicitous of inducting him into all the proprieties of Puseyism, there was an expression of something like contempt upon his fine countenance, which soon, however, broke up, and rolled off, like an April shower merging into sunshine.
My attention was called away from the contemplation of this interesting group by a sharp, querulous voice outside the porch,