Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

“ The servant is not above his lord, and he is not wiser than that which is written. Hence, the greatness of the man which is great enough to change his mental vectures into chariots of royal purple and gold; and his mien gradually puts on robes of majestical flowing."

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

“ As the sermon from his lips proceeded, some joy tenderly wept;' others responded in deep, sympathetic tones, yet others became noiseful, possessed with that spirit which shines equally at a dead-wake or a figary, though clothed in an appearance better painted by Milton:

"Earth trembled from her entrails, as again
In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan.'

Evidently the bishop did not savor this as of true knowledge. Gently was wrought into his speech a rebuke to all excessive demonstrations.

66 The storm immediately subsided, and emotion disappeared. The sun came out, and every man looked on his neighbor as though he could smile. The sympathetic silence of true souls is more grateful to a great man than the hoarsest and loudest echoes of meaningless minds.

" There is a character sifting at these Conferences. The name of each member (and by member I mean travelling preacher, so called, as no other belongs to this body,) is read aloud. He retires from the audience room, and the question is asked which involves the sift. If they are really faithful to this line of mark, they do well. A good institution would this

prove in other denominations. But how entirely silent are the newspaperial organs of the sect which has a new exile from the Paradise of Innocence! As though silence were a proposition whose demonstration insures the success of oblivion! Thank God! there is a secular press which is emancipated from the serfdom of priestcraft!

“How pleasant must be the sensations of these ministers who wait to hear their appointments read off for the year! A. B., who has been to college, and knows an enthymeme from the syllogism, and the year when rotary pumps were invented, is portioned off to Valley-Hack, which has a church of thirteen paying members, no one of whom owns but three books, viz: the Bible, the Life of John Wesley, and Memoirs of · Hester Ann Rogers. A young man of talents is A. B., and under an imprescriptible career would make a fair show of a man; as it is, the service of manpleasing and stone-rolling will cramp his motions, deaden his energies, and file his teeth so that he will not know himself when forty years old - unless he discovers an aptitude for Methodistical sycophancy and sound, in which event he may ultimately be sent to a city charge, which, though greater in numbers and wealth than Valley-Hack, has scarcely more resources of an intellectual nature.

" But even this is not to last more than two or three years consecutively, at the longest. By-and-by he is passed over to the superannuated list, and gets a paltry. stipend. What a career for a free man in a free

land! What an illustration of the Latin proverb, 'Anguillam cauda tenes!'

(The two foregoing notes were pencilled in the note-book by his friend, while Israel was engaged in finding a hymn for an old lady who sat next him.)

AMONG THE EPISCOPALIANS.

CHAPTER I.

THE EPISCOPAL ORDINATION.

When reading the history of Mr. Wesley's work in England, Israel noticed these words written by him two years before his death : “I declare once more, that I live and die a member of the Church of England, and that none who regard my judgment or advice will ever separate from it.”

He had, therefore, considerable curiosity to make some investigations in this faith and practice, before arriving at the decision to which he was constantly aiming. A favorable opportunity for observation was soon presented. A friend of that religious organization invited him to be present on the occasion of the ordination of several presbyters or priests, by the bishop of that diocese.

His Episcopal friend called his attention, with no little enthusiasm, to the superior architecture of their church.

"In all these things, we transmit, as nearly as possible, the most ancient and reverential symbols of the pure church of Christ and his apostles,” he said, while he went on to explain to Israel the beauties of the Gothic order, which he believed to have originated from an avenue of over-arching trees. “Doubtless," he

« VorigeDoorgaan »