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tains, crosses and saintly figures preside; St. Martin and the poor man are painted over one of the city gates, and at the junction of two streets is the Virgin, with a lily in her hand. The ‘Kaiserstrasse,' and the statues on the · Kaufhaus,' recall the visit of Maximilian I. in 1499, when he astonished the Diet assembled at Freiburg by a passionate outbreak about his resolution to have a slap’ at Louis XII., even if it should cost him his crown. One very curious statue records Bernhold Schwartz's amazement at his discovery of the explosive properties of gunpowder.
If Freiburg may seem to exbibit the best side of foreign Catholicism, a visit to Einsiedeln is in one sense a painful experience, as demonstrating that genuine mediæval superstition has still its strongholds, and that thoughtful and spiritual minds are unable to control a popular system. It is something, indeed, to visit a living Benedictine Abbey, which has completed 1007 years of existence ; but when one sees its palladium, the great object of pilgrim devotion for centuries, in the form of a black image of Mary and our Lord, (compare the Vierge Noire of Chartres,) it is impossible not to remember the significance of the fact that Zwingli was once parish priest of Einsiedeln.
If Brussels is too well known to be dwelt upon in these reminiscences, what is to be said of Milan ? The Duomo, first seen by us on Sunday morning, July 5th, has been the theme of numberless descriptions. Marvellous as the exterior is, even at first sight, and before one has ascended the spire, one feels what Wordsworth seems to have recognized, the architectural want of a steeple proportionate to so vast a fabric ; and there is more of real satisfaction (in spite of the sham roof) to be derived from the interior, especially if visited at times when the light streams full upon the great gilded Rood, in its lofty position near the lantern itself. St. Charles's tomb has some right to be called the great treasure of the Cathedral; and there is another pathetic memorial of his saintly heroism, in the wooden crucifix which he carried round the city in the year of the great plague, 1576. The simple grave-stone of his nephew, Cardinal Frederick Borromeo, reminded one of Manzoni's famous tale. The peculiarities of the Ambrosian Liturgy are very interesting. We saw the two assistants leaning, at certain parts of the service, on the north and south ends of the altar ; the ancient oblation by the people' was represented by two men and two women in religious dresses, who, at the gates respectively of the sanctuary and the choir, presented wafers and wine to the celebrant ; and he, having washed his hands, not as in the Roman rite, before the Canon, but just before the Consecration, extended them in the form of a cross at the prayer of oblation, ‘Unde et memores.' But to visit the Duomo is in a way less interesting than to visit San Ambrogio. The old Basilica Ambrosia has disappeared, but the present most venerable church, with its Romanesque architecture and its remarkable frescos, may help one to imagine something of its character. Its gates are said to contain part of those which, at the Portian Basilica, were closed against Tlieodosius. And you see, behind the high
altar, the spot in all Milan which is most worthy of a pilgrimage; a dimly lighted recess, where little is to be discerned save the rough earth, over which a rude inscription announces that St. Ambrose interred there St. Gervase and St. Protase; (the two martyrs whose remains he discovered, and was carrying in procession, when after touching them, as St. Augustine testifies, a blind man received his sight;) that St. Ambrose himself was interred there, and that his body was placed along with theirs by an archbishop of the ninth century. Gold and precious stones have been lavished, to an amount well-nigh incredible, over the tomb of Carlo Borromeo; but this most sacred grave of Ambrose is unaccountably left in a bareness and poverty, which the poverty of this one despoiled church, in such a city as Milan, can neither account for nor
The pulpit of San Ambrogio rises over a sarcophagus which has an extraordinary variety of sculptured scenes; the Fall-two birds drinking from one cup-a Bacchanal procession and our Lor:, with a face like a Roman Cæsar's, and Apostles on each side of Him. Near the church is a little chapel in a melancholy condition of neglect, but proclaimed by an inscription to be the illustrious church' in which Ambrose, after having baptized Augustine, began 'Te Deum laudamus,' and Augustine answered with “ Te Dominum confitemur.' San Lorenzo's, although much modernized, is called the oldest church in Milan ; in one of its chapels is a great sarcophagus of one of the Lombard kings. San Eustorgio's, just by the Ticinese gate, is being • restored,' and has inscriptions commemorating the Dominican Peter Martyr, who in the immediate vicinity 'confuted the Manicheans;' in one of its side-chapels, moreover, is a sarcophagus called 'Sepulcrum trium Magorum,' and you are told that the “Three Kings' reposed here until Frederick I. (who, certainly, was not likely to leave any kind of treasure on the site of the city which his vengeance had destroyed,) removed them to Cologne. I must not say more of Milan, and therefore I pass over our visits to the • Cena’ in the refectory of a desecrated convent, and to the Bibliotheca Ambrosiana, which is Frederick Borromeo's real monument.
Sion, or Sitten, (the French form of the name must have been prevalent long ago, and suggested the bold inscription on the town hall,
Dominus diligit portas Sion, &c.,) is very well worth a visit, if only for the sake of its two hills, the “Tourbillon' and the “Valerie.' The latter is crowned by an ancient church, once the cathedral, but now the chapel of the seminary; (the present cathedral is in the town below.) On this eminence, which one can hardly look at without mentally repeating, 'And there He built His temple on ligh,' the prelates of Sion lived for ages as prelates; on the higher hill, in the castle, now ruinous, bearing the name of the whirlwind,' they lived as princes, holding temporal dominion over the Valais. These two hills represent most vividly the dualism of the prince-bishop's condition--a condition which often obliged the Nuncios to remind them of the paramount claims of their spiritual character, and which perhaps suggested the story of the
Elector of Mayence, who found a man dying, and bade his servants hasten for a priest.
Lausanne is an absolute contrast to Sion. It is some relief, no doubt, to exchange the unhealthy atmosphere of the Rhone valley, and the melancholy aspect of a decaying city, for the views of the Lake of Geneva, and the radiant cheeriness of the capital of the canton de Vaud. But-not to dwell on the thoughts suggested by the name of Gibbonthe interior of the beautiful cathedral seems to chill one to the heart. • The coldest and barest of our churches,' said my companion, as we looked at the two bare tables in what had once been the sanctuary, ‘is Paradise to this. After taking in the full impressiveness of this representation of Swiss Protestantism, we looked at the Service-book used in the Sunday worship, and found, to our satisfaction, that a prayer of very Catholic tone was prescribed for the Annunciation ; and also, (not without amusement,) that the minister was directed to warn off from the "Sainte Cène' 'tous ceux qui font des sectes à part pour rompre l'union de l'Eglise.' It should be added that some rich old wooden stalls remain, with figures of the Apostles in connection with the Creed; and that the southern porch retains some noble sculptures, as of angels swinging thuribles on either side of the enthroned Christ.
I have little to say of Dijon. The Cathedral of St. Benignus (his name, one remembers, was borne by one great native of Dijon, Bossuet) is chiefly interesting for the recollections of Charles the Bold assuming the ducal ring before its altar, and of Louis XI. kissing the local relics, and promising good government to the Burgundians. Another building in Dijon, the Chateau, represents the wily king's resolve to keep his new subjects in strict order. The Palais des Etats, once inhabited by Jean Sans Peur, by Philippe le Bon, and by Charles, has been disappointingly modernized.
One last word of a place associated with Bernard's struggle against Abelard, and with Thomas of Canterbury's exile. Sens has a noble Cathedral, chiefly Norman and First-pointed; the old sacristan was eager to show us ‘les vêtements de St. Thomas,' and they give one a clear notion of his majestic stature. Another very interesting memorial in the Cathedral is the tomb of Louis XVI.'s pious father, taken away in 1763 from evil to come, and buried here by his own express wish. The epitaph is guiltless of flattery when it calls on France to mourn for a Prince, 'nomine et operibus Christianum.' At the end of a long faubourg we found the very ancient church of St. Savinian, who planted the Church at Sens in the third century; in the crypt is shown a marble slab, on which, according to local tradition, his blood was collected after his martyrdom. “This basilica,' says an inscription, 'was devastated by the Vandals of this age, in 1793—plangite fideles ! and restored in 1797 -plaudite fideles! Oh that the French Church would more wisely redeem the time of respite, ere a fresh anti-Christian outbreak shall give new cause for 'plangite!'
ADVENT SUNDAY IN A COPTIC CHURCH.
One of the most ancient Churches in Christendom is that of Alexandria, founded by St. Mark, the Evangelist, whom tradition tells us was also its first Bishop. Of that once famous Church but a remnant is left at this day, for Islamism reigns supreme through the length and breadth of Egypt, and but a handful of native Christians now exist in the land where the great St. Athanasius fought so bold a fight for the Catholic Faith. These Egyptian Christians, now called Copts, from Coptos, a city in the Delta to which many of the early Christians fled to escape the persecutions of the Roman Emperors, are a poor degraded set of people, ignorant and superstitious; still one cannot but regard them with great interest. They are the only living representatives of the ancient Egyptians; the Coptic language still used in their Church services is the only remains of the language of the Pharaohs, and many early Christian customs, long since disused in other Churches both Eastern and Western, are retained by them. One must also respect and revere them for having kept firm to the faith of their forefathers, in spite of the contempt and ill-treatment which has been heaped upon them by their Mahometan rulers and fellow-countrymen. They are not even allowed to wear the dress of the true believer, but are marked out as they walk along the street by a round black turban and black garment; white or coloured ones, which are worn by everyone else, being prohibited to them.
In Cairo, the Copts live in a quarter to themselves, separated from the rest of the town by a large heavy wooden door which is locked at night. Through narrow streets only just wide enough to allow of a donkey to pass, we made our way very early one Sunday morning, in order to be present at their service. The church, a fine large one, is not yet finished, all the windows being still unglazed; but this matters little in the soft balmy climate of Cairo, where few of the natives even sleep in houses with glazed windows. When we arrived we found the nave of the church crowded with worshippers, all men, who were squatting on their heels on the floor, there being no seats of any kind; the women were by themselves in little galleries or chambers, partitioned off by latticed wooden screens, somewhat after the fashion of the ladies' gallery in the House of Commons. To one of these places we were escorted, and were heartily welcomed by all the veiled females within, who evidently rejoiced much at the unexpected pleasure of some Europeans among them. They made numerous salaams, and placed us on the floor by their sides, while they felt our gloves and our dresses with great curiosity, asking many questions, to none of which, however, could we give any answer, as at that time we had not acquired even the few words of Arabic we afterwards picked up. Their curiosity exceeded their devotion, and as their shrill voices were at times louder than those of the priests below, we were anxious to escape from them, and guided by a turbaned sacristan, at last made our way to the flat roof of the church, from which, through a window in the dome, we were able to look down upon the whole building, and watch every part of the service. The nave was spread with handsome Turkey carpets, on which the men squatted, their heads covered with their turbans, but their feet bare, as everyone took off his loose morocco slippers at the door of the church and placed them by his side. The command, ‘Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground,' is still literally obeyed in the East, both by Christians and Mahometans; and on entering the presence of a superior, an Eastern as naturally removes his shoes as a Western does his hat.
Having taken his own place on the carpet, each Copt made several profound salaams, with his face towards the altar, prostrated himself on the ground-touching it with his forehead, and then stood up with folded arms, standing, not kneeling, being the position required by their Church
The body of the church was separated from the sanctuary by a high screen, behind which was the altar, where were several priests dressed in the ugliest vestments I ever saw-white, with a huge cross of variegated colours embroidered on the back and continued over the hood, which was so much drawn over the head as almost to hide the face. The stone altar was very simple; it stood out from the wall, and had nothing on it but a candle at each of the four corners, and the sacred vessels, which were of course covered up.
On a throne outside the screen sat the Patriarch of Alexandria, the head of the Copt Church, and the successor of St. Athanasius, a venerable-looking man, in gorgeous robes, with a high mitre on his head, and in his hand a small gold cross, which he held up at times to the people, who reverently kissed it. Before him was a lectern, lighted by little wax tapers; and here stood a little boy, who, acting the part of deacon, in a loud shrill voice read the Gospel, first in Coptic; and then, this being a dead language, and unintelligible to both priest and people, he repeated it in Arabic.
In the early Christian Church, a kiss of peace was given throughout the congregation at a certain part of the service, the remains of which custom we still see in the bow given by one priest to the other in the Roman Church; but among the Copts, the actual custom itself is still retained. The Patriarch first embraced one of the priests, who did the same by another; and when this kiss of peace had passed from priest to priest and deacon, one of them stepped forward to the door of the screen, put up his fingers to his mouth, kissed them, and then touched the fingers of the foremost man of the congregation, who repeated the action, till the kiss passed round throughout the whole of the congregation. When the Mass itself began, the Patriarch left his throne ; and going within the screen,