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upon the poor girl's mind, for she remembers how the beautiful countess is accustomed to speak and act, at the mere bidding of her confessor; and strangely enough, though strong-minded and intelligent, Margaret seems to long for a similar bondage. And now we are introduced to a pattern parish, with a pattern parish priest; and his three curates, all busily engaged in the pleasant task of superintending the female population, after this fashion :
in It is the fashion,' said Mr. Sutherland, 'to form utopian schemes of Sisters of Charity,—and I am convinced that they would be very desirable, but until such institutions can be founded, really founded, so as to stand, Henley has seized upon the stray persons in his parish, and set them all to work for him in different ways, and according to rules, which keep them under his own control ; and so effects, not equal good, perhaps, but as much as is possible under the circumstances; and this without giving any offence.'
“District visitors, in fact,' said Margaret.
• Except that, besides the regular persons to act as visitors, he contrives to give every one something to do. Miss Debrett, for instance, is not fitted for a district visitor, but she is fitted to read to an old woman; and this he would perceive, and act upon. I have no doubt he will make her by degrees quite useful.'
• All people have not Mr. Henley's discrimination, I am afraid,' said Margaret.
• There may be a difficulty, certainly ; but caution and practice would teach a good deal, and something of the kind must always be necessary. There are many persons who would never be Sisters of Charity, and yet need definite employment.'
Margaret assented, remembering how thankfully she would have placed herself under some such guidance at Deering, instead of trying to find out duties for herself; with the risk of attempting more than she could perform, or neglecting those which lay within her sphere : and Mr. Sutherland engaged, when she came to reside in his parish, that he would give her full instruction.'--Vol. ii. p. 446.
Indeed, this clerical guidance is so minute and specific, that the reverend rector actually busied himself with providing • flannel work' for those old ladies, whose days of embroidering 'church ornaments' were over :-we hope he also superintended the cutting out. Cheered by such proofs of the vigilance and care of the English church, and her priests; withdrawn from the influence of the too-fascinating countess, who returns to Italy, to die of that only complaint which ever proves fatal to heroines of novels — consumption ; enjoying the quiet of her uncle's parish, and the inestimable privilege of the morning and evening daily service, with the absolution—'indeed a comfort to the weary spirit, to be permitted to confess the weight of the day's offences, and receive the assurance of forgiveness,'-Mar
garet is gradually brought to perceive that, whatever might be the power of the Romish church, it was certain that the English church possessed power also. Holiness could be met by holiness; zeal by zeal; self-denial by self-denial; and this, not in one place only, but wherever the principles of the church are carried out.' Eventually, therefore, Margaret Percival acquiesces in the will of Providence, which has placed her as a member of 'a true branch of the Catholic church, to which she is found to adhere;' while, on receiving the news of the Countess Novera's death, she could think of her as blest, whatever errors might have been engrafted on her faith, and she could yet humbly trust that in the English church she herself might find salvation !' What deference to Rome is here, even while striving by lengthened argumentations to prove that she is wrong: and how meekly are the claims of mother church urged against the Romanistshow different to the insulting half-notice with which the claims of dissenters are met!
• Margaret Percival' is a fair specimen of what may be called moderate tractarianism; but the last work on our list, and in many respects the most important, almost out-Puseyites Dr. Pusey. The writer attracted some attention by her former work, 'From Oxford to Rome,' addressed to young gentlemen, who looked longingly over the slight fence which separates the two communions. In the present, the lesson is addressed to the ladies, in a rather fragmentary story, describing the mental struggles of a young lady of rank and fortune, 'who, with a sincere and stedfast purpose, was minded to walk in the good old ways. We are introduced to the Lady Helen in a boudoir, where guitar and piano, silks, paints, gold ink and black ink, embroidery frame, easel, writing desk, reading desk, new books, new music, new prints, are jumbled in most admired confusion, while the lady in satin dress, and lace berthe, but with no jewellery — it was a vigil of the church, stands, exclaiming theatrically, 'None rejoices with me, none grieves with me.' This is earnestly denied by a sweet-voiced lady who enters the room, and who proves to be the faultless sister of the faultless curate, Mr. Norman. The case of Lady Helen was, it seems—
*That of numbers in our day, who have felt and responded to the nearer drawings of the Mother of their Souls. This absorbing affection having once taken hold upon the heart, there seems no room in the life for any object or attraction besides. And these times are very worldly. As converts in past ages thronged to the monastery and the convent, so among us the awakened mind, filled with zeal like new conversion, sighs for a retreat; for we cannot live in the midst of our relations, or mix with the families of our friends, or hear, or read, or see what is going on around, without feeling that to keep faithful to such a
love, conquering all the bewildering interests pressed on us from the outward, must be a hard, incessant, and continuous struggle. The reliant mind, the very one most joyfully giving up itself to the invitation of the Church, the Mistress of meekest children, that mind most dreads such struggle, is most fearful of the event of battle with the enemies of the Spirit ; and the consequence is that such a one is apt to seek refuge in flight : flight indeed to the arms of the strong, flight to the covering of the wise, but flight that perhaps will forfeit the reward of individual victory.'-p. 121.
Therefore it is that Lady Helen is counselled by her reverend adviser to mix with the fashionable world, by way of 'fighting manfully under Christ's banner.'
• Then he entered into the particulars of the town life from which she was shrinking, supposed its minutest difficulties, and showed their ready remedy. A ball or an opera, or a vainest party, attended in conformity with filial obedience, would become an occasion of more real benefit than a self-imposed task of much apparent piety. And she might carry out in many ways the suggestions already made as to regularity of life, and personal, small, but continual, sacrifices; sacrifices of taste at the table, which no curious eye could note; of superabundant sleep, which none should know of but the holy, watching angels; of ease in sitting or lying, understood by none but the own body denied its desired luxuries; sacrifices of pleasant books, of the gaze at attractive objects, of the utterance of witticisms and vivacious words which would bring a little applause. Unnumbered might be the self-denials of every day, far more really hard and more really beneficial than the total withdrawal from that position in which it had pleased God to place her under the command of her parent.'--pp. 134.
In short, it would seem she was to follow out the laudable plan of Sour Nativité,' who was accustomed to turn away her eyes, when any object more pleasing than usual was presented to them, and who always 'qualified' her savoury mess of potage with a good spoonful of soot. No wonder, that in gratitude for such 'priceless words,' Lady Helen 'knelt on the ground, to receive his parting blessing:
The lady goes to London, taking with her the curate's sister, as a sort of female confessor; but much troubled is she-and, naturally enough, we think—with 'the warfare' her spiritual guide has appointed for her. It is impossible to maintain two such contrary existences,' she exclaims. The answer of her friend is, that Heaven would not permit his little ones to be led astray, if they look up to him in the only way in which he makes his voice audible among men, in the instruction of the church, in the rule of external authority, and who having heard, determine to follow it, in blind and beseeching obedience.' Blind enough, truly! Still, 'to live in the world, and continue a life of devotion in such times, and in such a country as this, is an impracticable attempt,' urges Helen.
"The church, my Helen,' replied her friend, ‘never commands impossible tasks; what she bids, she imparts strength to perform. It was never known of her that she required the tale of bricks without having supplied the material.'
1. How has she supplied me with strength for the necessities imposed upon me?' said Helen.
"Do you ask this, Helen, you, who have known such blessedness of the sacraments, such power of prayer, such vigilance of your holy mother's help in every past season of need? You are unhappy to-day ; some secret cloud afflicts you. No, dear Helen, the church never sends her children abroad upon the arena of life without complete and tempered armour, if they will accept it from her outstretched hands.'-p. 173.
As a portion of this armour, they now, every morning, diligently read and sing together the morning service ; but it is not attended with the expected benefit, and then Miss Norman's quick apprehension perceives that it is for want of priestly intercession, We must give the following in the lady's own words :
"As to the present question, I have attempted sometimes to compensate your absence at our hour of prayer, by trying, as it were, to substitute myself for you in going through the office, but I soon felt this could not be ; the vicarious power of prayer is given only to the priests of the church.'
"What !' said Lady Helen, eagerly, do you mean that they have power to appear in prayer in our place, so that we should receive equal benefit as from our own personal presence ?'
"So much as that, I scarcely know whether I should have the sanction of the church in saying, but undoubtedly those whom they remember vicariously in the temple of Almighty God become spiritually in the presence of God, and, if themselves correspond to the high privilege, are in the way of receiving blessings of a high kind.'--pp. 175.
Lady Helen was thoughtful,'— no wonder! At length she hit on the happy expedient of requesting Mr. Norman to remember them in the daily service they taking care to fix their reading at the same hour—the very way to be wrong, since as we are told, the parish was some hundred miles off, the 'miserable sinners' might have proceeded to the jubilant part of the service, ere the words of absolution were pronounced, or those wonder-working words might have been said even before the suppliants had made confession. Whether in this case, Holy Church had power to 'annihilate both time and space,' we know not, but the result, we are told, was abundant peace.
Thus does the Catholic doctrine of the church provide against every distress. She exacts severe obedience, but she opens herself as the free fountain of power and of peace.' What utter deification of the church’is this!
But moreover, 'to fulfil the beautiful law' of the church, to its utmost letter,' Lady Helen became abundant in almsgiving, especially at the holy communion ;' for, 'who has tried,' says the writer, "and knows not the rich efficacy of this good work to the soul's health ? Indeed, we are farther told, that the church teaches us to trust that the earnest recitation of the Lord's Prayer, with alms if possible, is a blessed means of purification from the stains of the lesser sins of our daily life, as they pass over the soul ! Abundant are the graces which she publishes to the faith of acts like these'-abundant, doubtless ! The Lady Helen also indulges in occasional works of superero. gation, which are duly rewarded; such as duteously conveying a carriage full of the choicest flowers, as a gift to the altar of one of the West end churches; while the only compunction which she feels during her course of obedience,' is-not at time wasted in dissipation-nor at saints' days honored, and Sab, baths neglected—but for the sin of having attended a masquerade on a Friday! 'It was Friday,' she writes in her diary, we are astonished so puritanic a help should have been allowed,_' and there were we, some hundreds of Christian women, once and for ever baptized into his death, crowned with flowers and with jewels op a day when he wore a crown of thorns. She therefore notes how, as a judgment, she was filled with pride and vanity, and exclaims, 'Ah, how at such times as these, one sighs for that one and true refuge from oneself, and the crushing weight of one's own infirmities, which our blessed Lord reared up for his weakest children !' 'A very excellent remark,' exclaims some pious reader ; but what will he say to the completion of the sentence, and the subsequent remarks ?
• When he uttered the words to his apostles, • Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted.' How vigorously one might go on if these constantly accumulating weights could be lightened, as his mercy has provided that they might, if in every hour of spiritual sickness one could go and show' oneself 'to the priest,' and be healed, and cleansed, and sent forth strong again.
· Notes of secret wailing like these were not uncommon in the time of which we write; alas ! they are too common now. We say, alas ! not for their sake, for they are a blessed sign, but because the uttered lamentation often loses itself on vacancy. It is but, comparatively speaking, here and there one Anglican priest who as yet ventures to grasp the magnitude of the apostolical commission, and, in the name of the Merciful One emancipate the trembling spirit from its thraldom. Many and