Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

greatly increase the effect of their splendid beauty; and without the fire-fly or the humming-bird I could not realize a Nova Scotian landscape. The latter is comparatively rare in inbabited places, and so swift on the wing that it is difficult to catch a full view of them : but my little garden was frequented by a few individuals, sacred from the cruel pursuit that would sacrifice the living creature to a desire of possessing the stuffed specimen. My humming-birds came and went unmolested; and great was my delight when they ventured across my path.

All these, and many other features peculiar to the country, are spread before me now, as I linger over the retrospection: and in the midst of these I recal the houses of worship, few and far between, thinly scattered over the face of the land. The churches of the Establishment form but a small proportion of these: there are nearly, if not quite as many Popish chapels, and the different denominations of dissenters, together with the church of Scotland, have all their edifices. I remember being told that there were several Irish priests settled in various parts; and the frequent influx of emigrants from that country, chiefly Romanists, rendered it a good field for their labours. Besides, the Indians being of their communion, no doubt availed themselves of their services. At that period Popery had not become dominant in Ireland: Protestants were comparatively safe, and the drainage that persecution has since established, compelling the best and most industrious of the race to seek an asylum for their families on a distant shore, had not commenced. Neither had Popery, emboldened by the concessions of an ungodly legislature at home, presumed to lift her

head on high, as now she does, beyond the seas. I cannot estimate the magnitude of the change that twenty eventfal years have wrought, since I sojourned in Nova Scotia ; but this I know, that

superstition and disaffection had very unpromising materials to work upon in the mass of her well-principled population; and if the men of God who have latterly been raised up to tend the Lord's vineyard in that interesting colony had their hands strengthened as they ought to be, by the sympathy of their brethren at home, a noble and effectual stand would be made against the foe, in whatever shape he might manifest himself.

Popery never forgets. She cherishes a vivid recollection of every spot where the pre-eminence that she loves has been conceded to her; and she is now gone forth with a fixed resolve to regain her ancient supremacy wheresoever it once existed, and to establish it where it has not. It is probable that she will to a great extent succeed; for scripture seems to indicate that it will be in the height of glory and prosperity that her plagues shall come. As with the type, so we may expect it will be with the antitype. In the literal Babylon all was peace and safety, yea, all was triumph and success. God's Zion had been sacked, bis people slain or dispersed, and Belshazzar made himself and bis concubines drunken out of the vessels of the temple, which he polluted at will: and when the praises of his idol gods resounded, there was no mortal voice to rebuke the blasphemer. They who smote him were not the people of God, but aliens and creature-worshippers—men who stooped not, indeed, like those of the literal and of the spiritual Babylon, to adore what their own hands had

[ocr errors]

fashioned; but who, seeing the sun shining in his strength, rendered homage to the mighty element, neglectful of its eternal cause. Even such a host is gathering now, philosophizing infidels who worship the intellectual fire and put dishonour upon Him whose breath alone has kindled it. I have pondered on the singular coincidence, and marked the gradual increase of our modern Persians, who are probably destined to strike the deadly blow, so far as man's instrumentality is used, against the modern Babylon, though as yet linked in a hollow alliance on the ground of expediency for combined operation against God's Israel.

But I have digressed from the subject in hand, if indeed it can be called a digression from any subject, to advert to that which has a growing concern: with all, whether spiritual, ecclesiastical, political, historical, or geographical. The French priests who troubled Nova Scotia have long since mouldered into dust; but the spirit that animated them is alive, unchanged, stirring 'and encroaching. Ere long the struggle will re commence in that quarter also, which has been so fatally successful in Newfoundland and in Lower Canada ; and fain would I engage the sympathy, the prayers of English Christians on behalf of their compatriots in Acadia, avd of the poor rempant of the scattered tribes who inhabit its woods. It is no small part of the evil tbat they upon whom it is coming see it not impending, neither believe the tale. It is not on the surface that these things yet appear manifestly: neither are the gigantic strides of Popery traced aright by such as have not studied her character as drawn in the holy scriptures and elucidated by the pen of history, both ecclesiastical and secular.

If the spirit of slumber, and consequently of error had not fallen upon the Protestant churches, their enemy could never have made such formidable ad. vances as we live to witness: the same error that blinds them now will keep them wrapped in a false security, incensed against those who, seeing their Jerusalem encompassed with armies, premonish them of the coming evil, until this Babylonian shall have wrought his impious will, and finally sink beneath the Persian avenger.

Would it were mine to arouse the attention of God's people, few and scattered as I fear they are, throughout the province, to the workings of the combined foe among them; and to their long neglect of the injunction given by Paul to Timothy when, after describing by its alienable marks of forced celibacy and compulsory abstinence from flesh, the foul apostacy that was to come, he adds, “ If thou put the brethren in remembrance of THESE THINGS thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ.” Alas! few indeed are the pulpits from which we hear such exhortations now; and even the homilies, containing such invaluable testimony against the abominations of Popery, and which the clergy of our church are expressly enjoined to read to their flocks at stated times,-even these are laid aside. Our blessed reformers did all that in them lay to guard the fold against the return of these ravening wolves, whose attacks they plainly foresaw; but we cast far from us every weapon of defence, and invite the curse which they gave their lives to avert. What baffled Popery in the days of James II, but the use of those means which we have learned to despise? and to what can we so rationally look at once for a plan of the battle and for weapons to wield,

[ocr errors]

as to the magazine stored up for us by the matured wisdom of our forefathers ?

Nova Scotia has a powerful claim on us, both in reference to the past and the present. While other colonial legislatures have bestirred themselves in the work of insulting, thwarting and embarrassing the parent state, her loyal and right-principled council have never swerved from the honourable track of old-fashioned allegiance. Earnest in fulfilling the duties owing to their own country, they bave taken no narrow view, as though their responsibilities ended there ; but have felt and acted as members of this vast empire, personally concerned in whatsoever affected its interests, bound to promote the general welfare, and banded to resist all that is inimical to England's prosperity. Surely they deserve at our hands the acknowledgment due to such fidelity, the respect and affection of every Christian patriot. And whenever the time arrives for bringing to a sterner test this loyalty and truth-whenever Nova Scotia shall be placed in the balances wherein so many have been weighed and found wanting, may the result be what it now promises, and the good word of our God be fulfilled upon a people who, as a community, have not ceased to fear the Lord and the king,” nor meddled with them that are given to change.

My departure from that interesting scene partook more of the perilous and strange than any of my adventures there had done, singular as some of them were, Many living witnesses can testify to the fact, or I should hesitate to record it. All was fixed for the departure of the old French troops, whose joyous march from Windsor I have already related, and who with above three hundred of their comrades

« AnteriorContinuar »