« AnteriorContinuar »
'It is but the beginning of sorrows,' said my uncle, as he pensively looked on a field of rich corn, beaten down by the torrents of rain that so darkly usurped the place of autumn's wonted sunshine. “ It is but the beginning of sorrows : nature weeping over one of earth's fairest territories now doomed to destruction.'
“I wish I could take a different view of the matter, dear uncle : but my thoughts are sad as your own.'
• And that is sad indeed. Look where I will, "coming events cast their shadows before,” until the whole prospect is wrapped into a gloom as deep as that which preceded this transient gleam of sunshine, and which, to judge by yonder horizon, will in another hour blot the sky again with its ominous shade.'
•We all discern the signs of the sky: how strange that the great bulk even of Bible-reading men cannot discern this time!'
• Their blindness cannot long continue. We stand in a most awful position, such as threatens a general crash where all must perish save only the actual church of Christ, the company of the faithful, the spiritual house built on the Rock, and insured by the promise of Christ against the power of the gates of hell. As a humble believer in the Lord Jesus, I fear nothing: I feel my security, and rejoice in it: I know that nothing can separate me from the love of God
which is in Him-but my country, my noble, beautiful, happy native land-how can I look on and not weep with the prophetic Patriot for the hurt of the daughter of my people !'
In silence we pursued our walk, hastened homeward by the gathering clouds : at length I remarked, * The greatest aggravation of all these evils consists in the consciousness that there is yet a power lodged among us equal to the present emergency; and what seems wanting is the will to exert that power.'
• Even so: and the absence of such will is a fearful token of judicial blindness-a paralysis of the mind, threatening to prevail until the crisis shall be past, and nothing remain to us but the privilege, where God gives the grace, of suffering for the truth.'
'Do you apprehend any evil effects from O'Conpell's address to the people of England?'.
* That address is no more O'Connell's than it is yours or mine. Every sentence was framed by some member of that wily body of which he is the tool. I regard it chiefly as a token of the growing confidence in their strong position that enables the apostate priesthood so far to throw off the mask and to reveal their uphallowed purposes. You are aware of that diabolical device of Satan known under the name of Socialism : a system that seems to stand in the extreme of contrast to the superstitions of Popery; yet these extremes approximate so as to act in pow. erful concert; for the object of their deadly attack is one-even the truth, as it is in Jesus—and they have also a tendency to swell each other's ranks For, while strong minds, proud in the energy of unsanctified reason are hurried by the degrading mummeries of popery into a junction with the bold blasphe
mers of all religion, the more timid and sensitive are terrified by the daring abominations of the latter into a willingness to take shelter beneath the popish banner. I see the Antichrist of the last days rising into gigantic stature, and seeing him I tremble.' · · Uncle, when I glance at that part of the newspaper called the Court Circular, and run over the names that perpetually occur there, and class under their respective heads those who openly scorn all religious observances, and those who worship in the mass-house, I am struck with wonder and dismay.'
* And at the same time your heart bears witness to the success of a plan devised by Satan himself to hasten our ruin. That principle which from your cradle was inculcated both by example and by precept, to which the word of God subsequently was found to lend the sanction of divine authority, making it equally a duty as a delight-that principle, niece, your loyalty, seems like a tender flower beat upon by the storm, trembling and bending, and looking vainly round for something to shelter its head and to strengthen its root.'
• Dear uncle! Its root is fixed in the word of God 90 Christian can be disloyal.'
“No, God forbid! The awful straggle of the present day consists in no small measure in the effort to place in a right view the relative position of royalty. There is no charm in the title, the functions, the prerogatives of sovereignty, to supply the lack of wise and faithful counsellors; and in a monarchy so limited and fenced about as ours is, the sagest, most experienced of mature men, would find his power and influence rendered abortive in good, were he denied the privilege of choosing such helpers in the
difficult work of governing a great empire. What, then, must be the disadvantages surrounding a youthful, inexperienced female, unsuspicious of the hollow-heartedness that lies couched beneath a mask, and so encircled by a cordon of deep deception, that nothing can reach her royal ear or eye until it have undergone the contaminating process of passing through that medium? Oh, surely the foul attempt to alienate from that young maiden the hearts of a loyal, prayerful people, should operate more powerfully in drawing those hearts closer to her, and redoubling those prayers on her behalf, than could the delightful spectacle of a court and cabinet the very reverse of what they now are.'
'I wish the case was so regarded, uncle; those evil persons have laboured to rob us of our Queen, and our Queen of her true subjects.'
• Ay: the diabolical plot at which all England stands aghast, was not planned, and matured, and executed, merely to wrest from an innocent lady her fair fame. It had an origin as dark and as deep as the profoundest dungeons of the Inquisition. If the secret was revealed, and the web of iniquity unravelled to its first-spun filament, you would find at its root the envenomed mark of Ignatius Loyola deeply branded. See how the noble, open-hearted brother of the victim has been foiled at every turn, met in his anxious search by an intangible mock, and baffled by such consummate finesse as never was found to exist save in the atmosphere of genuine Popery, refined by the superhuman subtlety of the Jesuit.'
* But to what end, uncle, was this conspiracy formed, and carried into effect?'
It never was carried into effect. The noble victim met it as they had never calculated she could possibly do, because cowardly guilt cannot even conceive the bold and beauteous bearing with which innocence can confront it. She broke through the accursed net, ere it could extend its fatal meshes beyond her own harmless head, and died in the struggle—but died a conqueror. By this dispensation the torn and trampled snare is held'up, a warning to the country. But with the wickedness of the old serpent himself, its weavers make the unsightly ruin aid their purpose of bringing the sacred person of royalty into suspicion and contempt. If the real criminal were discovered it would go nigh to undo the mischief that has coșt them such infinite toil to carry so far. They are checked, but not yet driven backward.'
.Uncle, it reminds me of the terrible web spread by the giant-spider of South American woods, and which is sufficiently strong to entangle a small bird. In the present instance a dove has passed through on her heavenward flight, breaking the web, but inhaling death in an atmosphere poisoned by the baffled reptile who spun it.'
• You have been censured for openly enrolling yourself among the partizans of a cause where the
opposing minority, contemptible in numbers, are all-powerful in other respects.'
That cause, uncle, is the cause of my country, the cause of my queen, the cause of my religion. The powerful minority of whom you speak are ruining the country, degrading the sovereign, and labouring to destroy the Protestant faith.'
• Indeed, if we look upon the recent appointments to places of high trust and power, we must needs