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THE CHRISTIAN PARLOR MAGAZINE.

and we should call corresponding action here infidelity. Indeed, we believe there is more infidelity, than Roman Catholicism, this day among the intelligent class of Italians. Thus, while by adapting itself to the institutions of every new country into which it introduces itself it gains a foothold and spreads, it loses in its own land, by adhering to its old superstitions and nonsense, 'which the spirit of the age rejects. We believe th $: Italy in heart is nearly half infidel, and that Paris itself is scarcely more sceptical than the very seat of his Holiness—Rome. What this infidelity will work is inore than any one can tell. What influence it will have on political matters will depend on circumstances which no one can foresee or predict. But one thing we think is certain-however much the form of the Catholic religion may prevail, the pope will constantly lose power ull his spiritual will become what his temporal throne now is, a mere shadow. Indeed, there is a tradition now in Rome among the lower classes that this is the last pope that will ever sit on the throne. We are surprised to find this in the mouths of the ignorant. Whether Italy will ever assume again, under any dynasty or form of government, her appropriate place among the nations of the earth, is very doubtsul. If she does, she will be the first na. tion that has grown old with decay, and again become regenerated. In this respect, nations follow the law of human life. If age once seizes upon them they never grow young again. They must first die and have an entirely new birth, while this new birth never immediately succeeds the death. Everything there is old

cities, houses, and churches. The whole economy of outward life must be changed to fit the spirit that is now abroad in the world. Indeed, we have no faith in the multitude of conspiracies with which Italy is filled. The struggling spirit is not strong enough, or at least cannot be sufficiently combined. The poor and suffering have become too poor. They are beggars that do not care enough for liberty to fight for it; while those who should guide the popular will, seem to lack the steady energy that inspires confidence. The love of pleasure and its pursuit take from the manliness of the Italian character, so necessary to a republican form of government. The northern provinces are far better in this respect than the southern. In Genoa, for instance, there is a great deal of nerve and stern republicanism remaining which may yet recall the days of Spinola. But the moral and religious renovation is a still more desperate undertaking. It is easier to revolu. tionize a corrupt church, than reform it, as Luther most fully proved. But a religious revolution in Rome necessarily involves a political one, and reason as men will; they must go together. The church and state are one and indissoluble, and the death of either involves the destruction of the other. But “what is writ is writ," and religion must yet revive amid those ruins. The scarlet robes of the cardinals correspond so perfectly with the description in the Revelations, that the Protestant believer is startled as he looks on them. They seem to wear the insignia of the condemned, and flaunt out before his eyes the apparel which utters beforehand their doom.

THE

D YING INDIAN CHILD.

A Private letter, received from a missionary { sensible that the time of her departure was near. in India, contains the following interesting ac- She looked at the narrow coffin, and the dark count of the death of a little child, one of the grave, and at the mysteries of eternity, and in first fruits of missionary labors at the station. view of all, rejoiced with joy unspeakable and

“ A branch of this dear native church is full of glory. She had fixed her hope on forming in heaven. Two have gone to join Christ, she had committed her soul to him, she the redeemed host during the year from our or- was assured he would never leave nor forsake phan girls. They had not been admitted to her. All was bright around, before, and within communion, but they were the acknowledged her, as she calmly awaited the arrival of the lambs of the flock. They both died rejoicing messenger that was to take he hence.

The in Christ, though both quite young, about ten night before her death, after the prayers of the years. The death of one was truly triumphant. family had been closed in the adjoining room She was sick but a short time, yet she was wiere she could hear, her teacher, Mrs. T.,

THE DYING INDIAN GIRL.

327

went to her and asked her if she would say her prayers before she went to sleep. I have said them, was her reply. Dear girl, she felt that her Saviour was near, and her joyful soul could not wait until a late hour before she poured out her feeble accents into the ear of him who died to save her. She had no desire to get well or to stay with us; she longed to go and be with Jesus, and be free from sin. She died about nine o'clock in the morning, and as her spirit was departing, she called for the reading of the 14th chapter of John. What a beautiful chapter for meditation at the moment of crossing Jordan! Happy spirit! she has entered the mansions which her Saviour had gone before to prepare for all them that love him. She is now satisfied, having awaked with his likeness. Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like hers.'"

This incident awakened in my mind interesting reflections connected with the missionary work. We are too apt, in watching the results of these labors, to look for such as are of a general and public nature, and to overlook those, which, though far less pretending or imposing in their appearance, are by no means possessed of less interest. The accounts, too, which we have in public journals and documents, dwell more upon the outward aspects of the cause, than upon the private details of the work which are often by far the most interest. ing. It is therefore refreshing, as we are looking towards the land of darkness, straining our eyes to catch even the glimmerings of light, to be transported across the wide ocean, and though surrounded by the blackness of

paganisin, to be permitted to take our stand by the dying bed of a heathen once, but one now redeemed and justified, and just ready to be glorified through the blood of Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God. And the more refreshing is it when we look back a few years and remember what must have been the state of the one now falling asleep in Jesus, had she remained ignorant of Christ and of his salvation. A dark cloud hung over her at her birth. The day had not dawned, nor had the day-star arisen upon her heart. All around was darkness, and had not God in his mercy sent, and man in obedience to his grace carried, thither the sweet message of his love, darkness would have still brooded over her soul. And how cheerless would have been the closing scene! No Saviour's arm could have been underneath to support the wasting frame and the sinking spirit. No sweet consolations could have min

gled with the pains of the dying strise. No hope of heaven could have shed its hallowed radiance around her couch, and lighted up the dark and uncertain future. All, all must have been hopeless and cheerless. But how different the scene now that she has heard the glad tidings of great joy, and they have been carried to her heart hy the spirit of God! There is no shuddering fear of the grim messenger, but he is welcomed with a smile as the harbinger of glory, the messenger of him who, having redeemed, has sent to call her home. She starts not back from the dark

grave,

but

says, "Since Jesus has lain there, I heed not its gloom,' and cheerfully walks down into the tomb. Hope, bright heaven-born hope, irradiates the future and points to the land of the blest, where the sorrows of earth shall never enter, and its sins shall ne'er be known. As sweetly and peacefully does she fall asleep in death to awake in heaven, as ever in smiling infancy she closed her eyes at night to open them again in the morning. With joy we follow her spirit in our imagination, as it leaves the clay tabernacle and ascends to him who gave it, to rejoice eternally in his presence.

The peculiar fitness of the portion of Scripture which this little orphan, and once beathen, but now Christian child, selected as the theme of meditation while she walked through the dark valley, had never so forcibly struck my mind before ; but what could be more appropriate at such an hour ! “ Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” These are just the words for a dying saint to dwell upon, while leaving the shores of time and launching upon the broad ocean of eternity; and more than once, since receiving the letter from which I made the extract, when called to attend the children of God to the brink of the flood, as in the discharge of duty I am often called, I have taken the Bible and read these touching and sweetly consoling words of the Redeemer; and methinks that when I come, myself, to lie down upon a dying bed, nothing can give me more peace or more effectually drive away the fears of death, than to hear this gracious assurance from the Saviour, that he has gone to prepare a place for each one of his friends in the mansions of his Father's house, and that where he is there we shall be also.

G.

THE FOREST DEAD.

A RIVER ran with lucid swell

The forest glens along,
And wakened on the evening air

A flood of liquid song ;
The moonbeams lay in silver sheen

Upon its glassy wave,
Or quivered in the diamond dew

Its wealth of gems that gave.

And on its banks of verdant hue

In floral beauty bright,
I strangely thought no step but mine

Would tempt the stilly night;
And like some lone ascetic throned

Upon my moss-grown seat,
Sat in the shadow of the wood

Its dreamy forms to greet.

But soon the sleeping mound that lay

Upon its flower-girt bed,
Called up its peopled shades to pay

The dim rites of the dead;
And forth a band of forest sons

Their dark-browed daughters led,
And silently their chieftains came

With slow and spirit tread.

Their solemn faces, cold and stern,

Turned to the pale-robed moon,
And on their unforgiving lips

The muttered orison;
No dew-drop from the leaf they shook,

Nor stirred the pensile stem,
But passed on Fancy's silent wing,

That first had wakened them.

And there is not in glen or glade

As wben that river ran,
Or in the forest depths—a path

But whispers of its clan,
That dwelt in peaceful freedom there,

And chased the agile deer,
Or brought with feathery arrow down,

The wild bird in the air.

There's not a leaf-clad tree that smiles,

In greenness on the eye,
But whispers of the noteless dead

That 'neath its branches lie;
The waters on their silent breast

Bear records of the past-
Its names are written on the sky,

Are echoed on the blast.

REMINISCENCES OF A COUNTRY CONGREGATION. 329

Sleep on, ye deeply injured race,

Your memory cannot die,
For earth hath chronicled your names—

Your wrongs are blazoned high;
Your forms will haunt our pathway still,

Till with a mighty tread,
We sweep the ancient forest down-

The archives of the dead.

C. M.

REMINISCENCES OF A COUNTRY CONGREGATION.

and power

That “Old White Meeting-House,” and the “Grave-Yard,” and good Mr. Rogers, have come back to me with such freshness of lineament

of impression, that I have half flattered myself into the idea that those who read these sketches, have caught something of the same regard for those scenes that fills my own old heart. And why should they not love them as well as I? These are no fancy sketches, and their charm lies not in my pen or pencil; rather the lights and shades in which I must clothe them, are a damage to them, and it is, therefore, an aim of mine to spread them out just as they lie in my mind's eye, so that, as far as possible, the reader may see them just as I see them, though he cannot love them as one must who can say, with the school-boy who displays his knowledge of Virgil by reciting in Latin, “ All of which I saw and part of which I was !!

And now, as faithful historians, come we to the people of that congregation. Come from your graves, old men and women of my native parish, come stand up before me while I draw your portraits and write your history! But they come not. Of all that were the men and women grown when I was a boy, how few of them are there now! A few years ago I broke away from the city, and made a flying visit to the old town. I reached there on Saturday. No one knew me. A friend, yes, one whom I had grown up with from childhood, and knew me as well as an own brother, nodded to me as I passed, as they do to all strangers in the country, but the smile of recognition was wanting, and I felt truly a stranger in a strange land. I stopped and claimed his acquaintance without mentioning my name, and he looked steadily at me, but declared he had never seen me before. Alas, what work time inakes with us! I look in the glass, but can see no change ; and why

should others find it out? Yet I see it in them, and they in me. Tempora mutantur," &c. Times change, and we change with them. We are hastening to the great and last change.

On Sunday I went to church in the new meeting house on the site of the old one; and what a change was here! The square pews had yielded place to the modern cushioned slips, the high pulpit overhung with a threatening sounding-board which I was always afraid would one day fall and crush poor Mr. Rogers when he preached so loud as to make it and me shake, had been supplanted by a railed platform and desk. But these were nothing to the change in the faces of the people. Those old familiar faces! Where were they? I looked here, and I looked there, and everywhere, but I found them not, and shall not find them till the “ old marble” of the grave-yard breaks at the sound of the last trump, and the tomb resigns its trust, Holy men ; the salt of the earth ; men of faith and prayer; men of God! Some of you were like Enoch, and no wonder that God took you ; one was like Elijah, and went after him; and many of you were men of whom the world was not worthy, and so earth lost you that heaven might gain you! Peace to your ashes ! O that each of you had left a son in your own image to perpetuate your name and your virtues! Good men were always scarce, and will be scarcer now that you are gone.

They were farmers mostly, those men were. They wrought with their own hands in the fields and the threshing-floor, and were INDEPENDENT men, if there ever were independent men on the face of the earth. There was no river, or canal, or rail-road, by which their produce could be transported to market, and by which the vices of the city could be transported to them; and thus were they saved from many of the sources of corruption that blight the vil.

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lages which the march of improvement has which he was remarkable, foresaw the misreached. Olten we

see a secluded hamlet chief the practice was begetting, and determined where purity and peace nestle as in their native to lift up a standard against it. Accordingly, heaven, till the rage of the times drives an iron the Old White Meeting-House” thundered pathway right through its heart, a great tavern with an anti-drinking blast, in which the evils rises by its side, fashion, folly and vice, come of the practice in all their moral, physical, and along in the cars and stop, and then farewell social bearings, were set forth in words that to the quietness and virtue of that rural abode. fell like burning coals on the heart, and elecNot so was it with our town. When the harvest trified the congregation. The good people wonwas gathered and thresbed, the farmers loaded dered and meditated. There must be something up their wagons with the great bags, and drove in it, or Mr. Rogers would not have brought it off thirty or forty miles to market, and returned home to them with such pungency and power. with some of the comforts, and a few of the They thought of it with earnestness. Mr. luxuries, of life; the rest of their wants being Rogers visited some of the largest farmers and readily supplied from the farm and the country proposed to them to try the experiment of store. Thus were their days spent in the haying and harvesting” one season without peaceful pursuit of the most honorable and It was such a strange idea, that almost worthy calling to which man was appointed. every one said it would be impossible to find Fewer temptations, and more pleasures, cluster men to do the work, and the crops would rot around the path and home of the farmer, than in the field. But two or three of the best of of any other man. He is not free from the them were induced to try it. The result was reach of sin or sorrow, it is very true, and who most happy. They gave the hired men the is? Adam was a farmer, and the forbidden usual cost of the rum as an advance upon their tree stood in the middle of his garden, and sin wages; they were perfectly satisfied. The entered and made his Paradise a prison. But work was done in better time and in better of all earthly callings, there is none in which style, and the experiment was pronounced on there is so much to lead the soul to God, to take all hands, successful beyond controversy. The it away from the vanities of the world, to train result was proclaimed through the town. The the mind for communion with heaven, and pre- next year it was tried by several others, and pare it for unbroken intercourse with heavenly soon it became a general practice among the and divine things, as in that of the farmer who farmers of that congregation, although the date with his own hands tills the field, breaks up of the temperance reformation is some years the fallow ground, sows the seed, prays and this side of that movement which was as de. waits for the early and latter rain, watches the cided and important as any one instance of respringing of the grain, rejoices in the ripening form which has ever since been made. Indeed, ear, gathers the sheaves in his bosom and with I have now a sermon which this same Mr. thankful heart fills his storehouse and barn, Rogers preached against the use of intoxicating and sits down content with the competent por- drinks, from the text, “ Who hath woes,” &c., tion of good things which have fallen to his and which was delivered and printed before I lot.

was born, yet I can remember the opening of But let us come back to our farmers. They the modern temperance reformation. were men of principle and prayer. I will give Yet there was very little intemperance even an instance of the power of principle among prior to this period. There were a few drunkthem. Long, long before the era of the present ards whose portraits I would add to these temperance reform, Mr. Rogers, the minister, sketches, but that they are very much like awoke to the evils resulting from the use of unto modern drunkards; and their portraits are ardent spirits, even in an agricultural district not very pleasant pictures. There was not, like that in which he lived. The farmers, in however, one in that whole town so given to those days, were wont to purchase their rum by the use of rum, as a man whose house I passthe barrel and to drink it freely, not only with. ed yesterday, and who is now on his thirteenth out any apprehensions of its ever doing them hogshead of rum; he is seventy years of age, any harm, but in the firm persuasion that they he buys his rum by the barrel, and drinks could not do without it, and that it was one of steadily, year in and year out, and hopes to live the blessings of Providence, of which they 1o exhaust some hogsheads more! The geneshould make a free use with thankfulness. ration of such men, we trust in God, is rapidly But Mr. Rogers, with a long-sightedness for drawing to a close, and that they may leave no

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