« НазадПродовжити »
While all these changes take place A short mass having been performwithout, preachers are succeeding ed by priests and choir, the great door each other every half hour in the pul is opened, and the people crowding inpit within the cathedral. At length to the Praca are met by the little chilone loud sonorous stroke on a gong, dren and young girls strewing flowers or some other metallic substance, is over the streets, by the graceful heard from the sacristy, announcing youths swinging silver censers and the hour of noon, and then in an in- filling the ambient air with light colstant, as if by magic, the wooden umns of costly incense; by bands blinds without and the black curtains playing the most inspiriting airs; by within are gone from the windows, the masquers and others in ordinary cosveil which had concealed the altar tume sending off rockets and Roman disappears, and a blaze of light fills candles, and by hundreds of artisans the edifice, displaying a scene re- bearing fire-arms, the sharp report of splendent with gold and gems, tapers which, mingling with the booming of and flowers; while simultaneously cannon, the braying of trumpets, and with the pouring in of the light, thrill- the soft chimes of bells, filled ing and enthusiastic voices singing, the air with a most indescribable * Christ is risen! Christ is risen!” din. join the peal which, like a roar of In a few moments, however, & triumph, had burst from the organ. cloud overshadows the scene--a cloud
When the multitude have sufficient, which comes not silently but with a ly recovered the stunning effects of whirring, joyful noise, and with the this scene to separate cause and beat of fleet pinions. Every one effect, they perceive that every pillar looks up, and behold, there are the and column from pedestal to chapiter is doves—dores in hundreds, sent off by enwreathed with gorgeous ranuncu- nuns, and monks, and other devotees, lases and snowy lilies, mingled with to proclaim in their broad-winged the rich green leaves of the allegro flight the welcome news that “ Christ campo, that crowns and garlands of is risen !" silver leaves and artificial dew-drops Having witnessed all this, and are scattered profusely, yet with artis. while the joyful excitement is still tic taste, over the high altar and the unabated, you enter your home, Tarious side altars; while pendent imagining that nothing of the peculiar from that masterpiece of art—the usages or customs of a place in which sculptured ceiling of native juniper- you are a stranger can follow you are rich chaplets of gold leaves and there, save the sounds which float in gems, seeming as if ready to fall on through your shaded windows ; but and cruwn the heads of the worship- an agreeable surprise awaits you. pers.
The Madeirans are too gentle and After a short interval, the bishop, affectionate in their dispositions to for in dazzling robes, wearing his jewelled get in a time of such universal joy, mitre, and followed by a train of even the stranger who may differ priests in gorgeous vestments, is seen from them in religion, and, accordingstanding in front of the high altar, ly, you find awaiting you a little girl, which on this occasion is covered with neatly dressed, and bearing in her a white satin cloth, worked in silver, hands a dish covered with a white while huge candelabras, inlaid with lace veil. She has been sent by the precious stones, glcam in front of the nuns, and delivers her present with a recesses known as the diaconicum suitable message. and the prothesis. In the former are Uncovering the dish you sce a kept the vessels belonging to the altar, wreath of flowers round the edge, and and in the other the breal and wine in the centre a littlo lamb made of used at the celebration of the mass. sugar, lying amidst almond comfits of
every delicate shade of Magenta, blue, singularly-named dishes are comand violet. A wreath of sugar-flow- posed of eggs and sugar. The first ers crowns the head of the lamb, and is passed through a hair sieve, falling a similar one graces its neck.
in a heap of rings and curls on the With this picturesque gift you may dish; the other is made into thick sometimes receive a present of royal slices, and lies on the dish drowned eggs and heavenly bacon. These in sweet syrup.
THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY.
Nothing in the history of the hu- discoveries of science within the last man mind can be more obvious, even century, the increase of commercial to a superficial observer, than the and mechanical industry, the settlefact that every age has possessed ment and growth of America with its intellectual features peculiar to itself, vast resources of wealth, are sufficient growing out of its own particular to account for a material change in the need. Thus we find the mental ac- intellectual status of Christendom. tivity of one period setting in a strong Science by increasing the means of current toward moral and metaphysi- human enjoyment has increased the cal speculation and of another toward extent of human wants; these, by the scientific discovery. When one has force of habit in one class and the obtained predominance, the other has stimulus of ambition in another, hare been measurably neglected.
become in time absolute necessities. At the present time, however, the Thus men engage in eager strife to fact is otherwise. The diligence attain what all unite in esteeming cs. heretofore manifested in the conquest sential to human happiness. of special subjects is now diffused Now since our nature has moral over a greater area ; and the enerand intellectual longings—however gies of the mind, instead of being con- subdued by the engrossing occupations centrated upon the profound and ex- of active life-which are still absolute haustive knowledge of a few branch- and imperative, up to a certain point, es of learning, are directed to the it would seem that instruction to suit acquisition of a general knowledge of the exigency of the times must be many. Hence, popular instruction to conveyed in such a manner and by day, to be successful, must be simpli- such means as the opportunities and fied and condensed, rendered suitable inclinations of mankind require. You to popular apprehension and fixed at may easily gain attention to truth by a point demanding the least amount a concise, simple mode of addressing of mental labor and promising imme- the intellect, demanding but little timo diate and tangible results.
and not very severe thought, when It would need but little argument you cannot secure it by presenting to show how these conditions of the subject in a more profound way, by knowledge have been brought about. more elaborate proofs or by more subThe vast development and wonderful tle and comprehensive views. If • Prospectus of The Catholic Publication Society.
knowledge, therefore, cannot be imTract No. 1, "Indifferentism in Religion and
parted in such a way as to suit both its Romedy." No. 2, " The Plea of Sincerity." the capacity and convenience of men, No. 3, " Tho Forlorn Hope." No. 4, * Prisoner of Cayenne."
it can rarely be communicated at all.
What is deemed the most important ished by those higher considerations pursuit of a man's life is that to which readily suggest themselves to which he will pay the greatest atten- a religious mind. tion. If he cannot attain mental im. We are now prepared for the quesprovement by means he considers tion, Are we doing our duty in this easy and agreeable, the probabilities matter? But to bring it nearer home are that in a great majority of cases and to address the more immediate he will neglect it. There, however, circle of our readers, Are we Catholic there is but little difficulty. When- Christians doing what we know to be ever a public necessity is fully recog- required of us in the education of our nized, the means of supplying it will not people with sufficient faithfulness to be long wanting. Hence, we see at the satisfy an enlightened conscience ? present time every art and science Engrossed in more selfish pursuits, reduced to its elementary principles have we not rather neglected this and presented to the public mind in business and turned it over to others plain rudimentary lessons, so that, who are only more responsible than while comparatively few are deeply ourselves? We speak to Catholic layversed in any one subject, the great mass men when we say it is greatly to be of thinkers are well informed in the gen- feared that we are not wholly blameeral outlines of many.
less. And here one word as regards What has been said with regard to the relative positions of clergy and matters more strictly intellectual may laity in the church and their mutual be affirmed with almost equal truth of want of co-operation in such things such as are purely moral. You may as may fairly come under the charge instruct a hundred men in their duty of both. by means of a tract of ten pages, set. Everyone knows that among all ting forth incentives to virtue in a co- sects of Protestants the laity perform gent argument or forcible appeal, no inconsiderable amount of labor where you would scarcely be able to and share no little responsibility with obtain a hearing from one by means the pastor. As teachers and superof an elaborate essay on ethics, how. intendents of Sunday-schools, leaders ever able or convincing. Now, it is of Bible classes, heads of missionary evident that a duty, carrying all the societies and the like, their influence weight of deep obligation, rests upon is much felt and their usefulness those who hare the higher interests highly appreciated by their co-religof mankind at heart to provide for ionists. Among Catholics, where the them the means of moral and intellect- priests have generally three times the ual improvement; and not only so, ministerial duty of Protestants to perbut to furnish it in such a shape as form, the pastor of a church gets little shall be most acceptable and produc- or no aid from the laity. His mission tive of the most hopeful and lasting may extend over twenty miles of results. That such an obligation ex- territory, and he is expected not only ists, is apparent from the general to administer the sacraments to both establishment of public and common sick and well, but to do all that is necschools and from the numerous ef- essary in the religious training of the forts constantly made to disseminate children. In fact, the instruction of knowledge among the masses. The the young is generally looked upon as ends here proposed, however, are ani- belonging peculiarly to his office. mated by a sentiment of general be. And yet it cannot be denied that wellnevolence or political expediency. disposed laymen of moderate intelliIf, then, we owe to society the moral gence can at times, acting under his and intellectual advancement of the advice and counsel, very materially people from motives of public interest, assist the overworked priest without surely our obligations are not dimin- trenching in the least upon his vocation. The benefit of such assist- lic faith and morality, however conance could not but be sensibly felt reyed to the understanding, are valuin those parishes which receive the able aids even to the worthy reception services of a priest in common with of the sacraments. others. In the more thinly populated It is to supply the deficiencies here districts of our country the want of aimed at that this enterprise, with the priests is a crying necessity, known hearty approbation of several prelates, and felt by cvery prelate in the land. has been undertaken, which, if it shall It is morally impossible after mass said receive the cordial support of the on Sunday morning, at two points Catholic public, will produce results perhaps fifteen miles apart, that the the extent of which is not to be easily priest can preach a sermon and attend foreseen. Those persons who have atto other duties arising from the urgent tempted the task are actuated with and imperative wants of his cure. a settled determination that it shall He cannot administer holy baptism, succeed ; and it is not to be be. hear confessions, visit the sick, bury lieved, in a matter of so great the dead, say mass, recite his office, moment, that they are to be left attend to church temporalities (no without the substantial help of Cathsmall affair in some instances of its olics throughout the country. A self) and yet find time to give the society has been formed, and its work requisite instruction to his people. has already begun, styled “ The Catho
We can but be aware that regular lic Publication Society," to which the pulpit instruction is a most effectual attention of our readers was called in mode of promoting piety and one of our last number. This society prowhich we ought not to be deprived. poses to issue short tracts and pam- . We require at least all the agencies phlets conveying that species of instrucfor this purpose enjoyed by others. tion required by Catholics in the The people, too, are eager for, it. most entertaining form, so as to enMark the strict attention with which gage the attention, affect the hearts, Catholic congregations follow every and suit the wants of all classes. To word of the preacher, and mark, too, none would such a blessing be more the effect of an earnest and appropri- welcome than to the poor, who are in ate sermon! It is plainly visible up- an especial manner, from thcir very on the faces of old and young. In defencelessness, under our protection. addition to this, the command given These, though they may not read in IIoly Scripture to preach is imper- themselves, can listen to their chilatirc. Are we not, then, bound to dren, taught at school, who can read more than ordinary exertion to come for them. Thus, in a simple narraply with it?
tive or dialogue some important pracSuch, unfortunately, is the prone- tical truths may be impressed upon ness of men to forget their religious the mind which shall do good servico duties that they require precept upon in a moment of temptation. It is by precept, often renewed and diligently these means that other denominations urged upon their minds. Surrounded are instructing their people and proby teinptation, forgetfulness of the ducing an influence on many outside great practical truths of religion is not of their own communions. stringe in the absence of direct spirit- The number of Catholics in this ual teaching. The sacraments of the country, already large, is constantly church, especially the holy sacrifice of increasing, and unless we do somethe altar, undoubtedly do much to ar- thing of the kind here suggested, rest spiritual decline in the people; but others will attempt it in our stead. no one will deny that frequent ap- Religious tracts from Protestant sociepeals to the conscience, and judicious ties are flying over the country like instruction in the principles of Catho- leaves before the autumn wind, and it
would not be remarkable if our own sets wholesome limits to human people were brought within the range knowledge, and is able to give of their influence.
adequate answers to great social and Beside this, there is another field moral problems, is best adapted to in which we have not only the right impress minds of this class. The to work, but which we cannot, reading of three pages has before or at least ought not to, neglect. now convinced a man of the error of There are thousands of young his whole philosophical system, and men in the land of fair educa- may do it again. tion who, impelled by necessity or The spirit of Catholic charity takes ambition, flock to the great commer in all sorts and conditions of men. cial centres. These, careless in mat- The mission of the church is well deters of religion, having no settled fined, and may be summed up in one principles of faith, often called upon word, namely, to convert the world to to confront great dangers and tempta- God; and as every day brings its tions, seldom attend any place of wor- blessings upon labors that have been ship; or if so, only to relieve the en- alrcady undertaken to secure this obDai of Sunday. These are souls to be ject, we have reason to hope that new cared for. They need instruction up- efforts and fresh zeal, well directed, on cardinal points of the Christian will produce abundant fruits. faith. They may have received some. We cannot close this notice of the thing akin to it in early youth, but it Catholic Publication Society without has been forgotten. They are diffi- 'adverting to one means of usefulness cult to reach, and in no way can which we think it is especially fitted access to them be gained more to promote. readily than by the publications of Such has been the virulence of liosthis society. A few words of earnest tility to the Catholic religion in days advice, a hint as to the end of a gone by, such the monstrous credulity vicious career, or a warning of the and unreasoning prejudice of its foes, uncertainty of life, may excite reflec- that it is not surprising to find a true tion, and reflection is the first step to- knowledge of the Catholic faith exward reformation.
ceedingly rare. Within the last twenAt a time like the present of vast ty years, however, a great change has intellectual activity, when myriads of taken place. The general blamelessbooks are produced on all subjects ness of life in those who honor their embracing every description of teach- religion, fidelity to social and political ing, there must be abroad not only a duties, and charity toward our enemies, great mass of error, but a great num- have not been without precious results. ber of unstable minds ready to receive At the present moment religious bigit. Men imperfectly educated, striv otry can no longer animate the batred ing to master subjects far beyond alike of wise and simple. One who their comprehension, trained to no comes prepared to censure, must come logical modes of thought, restrained prepared also for the conflict of truth. by no respect for authority, confound- Statements, facts, and opinions aro ing scepticism with freedom of closely scrutinized. Everything is inquiry, are often led by a dan- not now taken upon trust. The attigerous curiosity to examine certain tude of controversy begets caution. fundamental questions which lie at the Now, what advantages may we not rootofall knowledge, and which can only hope to reap from this one isolated be safely handled by the most learned fact? A fair hearing for the true cxand profound. Such is the class of position of Catholic doctrine; not docpersons peculiarly to be benefited by trine carefully prepared with exterior Catholic teaching. A theology posi- show of fairness and then imputed to tire and satisfying to the soul, that us for the purpose of being more casily