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mean," asked Mrs. Clinton, who had now joined the party, "that if the priest does not intend what he appears to do, he becomes a non-conductor between the Christian worshipper and his Creator? Do the Papists suppose that a sinner may be prostrate, soul, body, and spirit, before his Maker, in an agony of penitence, or in a glow of grateful devotion; but that the officiating priest being absent in mind, or careless in spirit, such prayers never can reach the Throne of Grace ?"
“So it is decreed by the Council of Trent, the chief authority in all Popish questions,” answered the Bishop. “No Romanist therefore can ever be certain that he has really received a single Sacrament of any kind in the whole course of his life. Had the priest who baptized you a right intention? and when the priest who baptized you was himself consecrated by a bishop, had that bishop the right intention ? If not, the priest's orders are not valid. He is not then, in the opinion of Papists, an actual priest. The popish Missal says,—. If any one has before him eleven wafers, and intends to consecrate only ten, not determining which ten he intends ; in these cases he does not consecrate (that is, any of them), because the intention is required.””
“ Then,” said Mrs. Clinton, “where is that secure and peaceful refuge to be found, from all uncertainty and doubt, which is promised by the Popish Church? Among Papists, more than in any other Church, the succession of bishops from the Apostolic days must be a broken chain, because who can tell what were the intentions of
those in subsequent ages who consecrated them ? If Lord Eaglescairn had been obliged to prove that when his predecessor died it was the late lord's intention and wish that he should succeed, no lawyer would undertake the case.”
Lady Edith privately thought that there could not have been a better illustration, as the last words of Lord Eaglescairn had so evidently shown that his intention was very contrary to what actually occurred in the case of the present peer being his successor.
“In the Protestant Church,” continued the Bishop, “we have only one Mediator, but in the Popish there is one in every pulpit arrogating to himself a Divine mission between God and man, to claim which no mortal that ever breathed can become entitled."
“I remember your saying long since what I never forgot,” said Allan, “that you and many other Protestant clergymen dread above all things any additional power given to the clergy, as it has often made them the greatest of tyrants."
“ Most true,” said the Bishop meditatively; " those who have the misfortune to fall under priestly domination may often feel inclined to say, like David, “Let me fall into the hands of God rather than of man. A desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall, and the Popish priests arrogate to themselves a power never bestowed on mortal man, to decide what souls shall be saved or lost. They thus assume an elective franchise, to which they can show no title. It is
not by the vote of such self-constituted electors that men are to attain a place in eternity, as he who brings the suffrages of all mankind may nevertheless be rejected. Those whom the priests hold up to the world as models of every Popish perfection may no less find mournful cause one day to exclaim, Cursed is he of whom all men speak well.'"
“I remember last year,” observed Lady Edith, seeing the funeral of a young man who had been 80 selfish, and so utterly spoiled by his parents, that he literally died a premature old man from dissipation; yet when the coffin was carried out of his old home his mother said, — My son's body goes now to the dust, but his soul is already in heaven! Every mortal would wish to canonize his deceased relatives,— it arises often from family pride or love of patronage; but no sanction can be found for doing so, and one can only account for the attempt by conidering the natural bias of human nature, which strives so strongly, so fearfully, but so vainly to interfere with the counsels of eternity.”
“My lesson is learned now of unquestioning submission to them,” said Sir Allan, in a tone of grave decision. “By all I value on earth, and that is still much,” he added, with a glance towards Lady Anne, “I shall endeavour to accept my destiny, and to be exactly what my Creator intends ;-10 live in this country where He appointed me a place, to cherish the friends He has gathered around me, to believe that Christianity consists more in
making others and myself happy than miserable, and cultivating health of mind and body, to live energetically devoted to the good of man, and to the glory of God.”
“ Then may a blessing rest for time and eternity on your active efforts! You have a very wide field of influence,” said the Bishop, pointing to the beautiful village and the scattered dwellinghouses on the bright and distant landscape ; “ therefore teach all your dependents, from your own happy example, how best to play for life's tremendous stake.”
“ It is one that I had very nearly been cheated of,” replied Sir Allan, gravely, “but now I may say in the words of L'Estrange,— He that loses anything and gets wisdom by it, is a gainer by the loss.'”
True," answered the Bishop; “and now, my dear old pupil-
“It rests with you, whether the priest be honour'd;
It rests with you, whether those fields grow corn ;
“ Yes! I must headlong into seas of toil,
Leap forth from self, and spend my soul on others.
It had long been proverbially the greatest of intellectual enjoyments to converse with the Bishop of Inverness, for every heart and intellect became enlarged under his influence, though few could fully trace the source from which so much pleasure was derived, as it was more felt than observed. The current of his conversation, abounding with traits of the finest sensibility, and mingled with inexhaustible stores of anecdote and illustration, never seemed too deep for those who were his companions at the moment; while his extensive knowledge, enlivened and illustrated by a vivid imagination, touched brightly on the profoundest subjects, like a moonbeam on the ocean, giving to all he said a sparkling vivacity most attractive and truly delightful.
Lady Edith had been sitting one morning, after Sir Allan had sufficiently recovered to come down