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is to guard against the various forms of Dissent and schism, lapsing into indifference or infidelity; in Ireland, the great enemy is Popery; and the tendency is to fly to the opposite extreme in either case; and this, in addition to differences of national character, habit, taste, &c., produces a different aspect of religious thought; so that while the Irish Church is in England commonly despised as narrow and Puritanical, there is among us a jealousy of everything that is to us a novelty introduced from England, as though favouring our justly dreaded foe. This most valuable address is one of those that ought to be carefully studied in the forthcoming report of the Congress ; for a great step is made towards reconciliation when the causes of separation are discerned and acknowledged.
The Bishop of Derry, as yet even better known as the gifted William Alexander, corroborated Dr. Salmon's views and statements. He spoke of some of the wild and desolate regions in his own diocese of Raphoe, with its parishes of ten or twenty miles long, and said that the man who would take away one clergyman from those districts would do a greater cruelty than he who removed a beacon-light from their rugged coast.
The Dean of Ripon and Colonel Shafto Adair bore testimony to the value of the Irish country clergy. The Rev. Dr. Jebb protested against the threat of reducing their numbers, and taking away some of our Bishops; and the Bishop of Oxford wound up this most interesting discussion by expressing the gratification~and, he added, instruction, he and his English brethren had derived from it.
The afternoon session of Wednesday was on the all-important question, 'How the Church may best secure and retain the attachment of her younger members ?' but of this discussion, in which the Rev. Mr. Farrar blamed the clergy for want of sympathy with the spirit of the age, and Dean Magee with his Ithuriel spear severed the truth from the falsehood, more cannot here be said ; save one word from the Bishop of Derry—'We ought to accompany in due measure the spirit of the aye; but we must never be conformed to the spirit of the world.'
That evening, instead of a session, there was a conversazione; no small gratification to the country parsons and their families, gathered from all parts of the island, and rejoicing in this rare opportunity of renewing old links of friendship, and forming
The assembly was held principally in the winter-garden of the Exhibition Palace, which was brilliantly illuminated; a cornice of lights ran all round the ceiling, and a glittering fountain played in the midst; the plants, the light, the music, all were charming, especially to those to whom such gay scenes are very rare; and kindly greetings, smiles brighter and fresher than the sparkling fountain, and voices sweeter than the music, every moment gladdened the hearts of long-severed friends.
Thursday, 1st October, began with the subject of 'Authorized and systematic lay agency,' on which the writers were Dean Howson and Mr. Gambier Parry, and the appointed speakers were Dean Atkins, Rev. Dr. Reichel, &c. This subject excited all our anti-Popery vehemence: the word sisterhood seemed to be held in abhorrence, because it is the word used by Romanists; but to the idea of sisterhoods, of women united for purposes of charity, there was no objection offered; that is, as the Bishop of Oxford explained, where they form a centre and a working-place-in fact, a religious Home for women who have not homes or domestic duties; but in the strongest manner his Lordship asserted that home is woman's proper sphere, the family her highest calling.
A fine old veteran, General Dobbs, declared that he has been for forty years a preacher to his regiment and to others, and that he desires to work in connection with the parochial clergy, as he is now in fact doing in his lay ministrations among the sailors of the port of Kingstown. Many suggestions were offered as to the best mode by which the valuable element of lay-agency can be made more efficient, and rescued from the dangers to which it is liable, by an authorized and systematic connection with the Episcopal and clerical element of the Church.
The second subject was “The working of the American and Canadian Churches ;' peculiarly interesting here, as the latter has recently undergone something like the confiscation of property with which Ireland is threatened. Where the voluntary system has thus been made necessary, its evil effects are keenly felt; and in what we heard of its working, there was not anything to reconcile us to the spoiling of our goods,'—which may God avert! but if it comes, may He enable us to take it joyfully.'
The truly venerable Bishop of Cashel spoke on this topic with the energy of old age, where often the fire burns hottest. Instead of the third session that evening, there was a choral service at St. Patrick's and a sermon by the Bishop of Oxford, on behalf of the two great Missionary Societies. His text was from St. John, xvii. 26—“And I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it.' The pressure of the crowd was so great that there was scarcely air to breathe, or space to move; yet there was nothing to disturb devotion, nothing to interfere with the rapt attention of that great multitude.
On Friday, the first question was, * How the efficiency of our Church Services may be increased ?' Some proposed small alterations in the services themselves, such as more variety in the Canticles, &c.; some suggested divisions of the services, to make each shorter; and some suggested improvements in the manner of their performance; that which took the highest tone, and made most impression, was the address of Mr. Beresford Hope, in which he said that the beauty and harmony of the services must depend on the central position given to that which is the highest and holiest rite of Christianity-ihe Holy Communion.
The Rev. Mr. Ryle, the author of many popular tracts, spoke warmly of the value of the Prayer Book as it is. From men of the most opposite lines of thought and of opinion were heard on that happy day sentiments of entire unanimity, in their love to the Church of their baptism, and their earnest desire for the best fulfilment of her ordinances, and performance of her services, (though they might, as a matter of judgment and taste, differ as to what is the best and the most impressive,) which truly marked that they were “holding the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace ! The blessing which many had sought in prayer was manifestly granted to this Congress; the spirit of a sound mind was there; and we must recognize as God's instrument for producing the happy result the gracious and loving spirit of the Bishop of Oxford, whose exquisite sympathy enabled him to anticipate and guard from needless pain the feelings and peculiarities of each; and the quiet dignity, gentle firmness, and impartiality of the Archbishop of Dublin, who spoke little, yet guided and influenced ali.
The most brilliant session was that of the mid-day of Friday, on this subject, “The influence of the increased investigation of physical science on the religious views of those engaged in such inquiries, and on Theology in general.'
Professor Jellett's magnificent oration went to show, that though in many cases the effect of such research has been to lower the religious tone, yet that there is no logical reason why it should be so. We must not venture so far beyond our depth as to attempt to give a summary of this grand disquisition on one of the most important questions of the age in which we live, but we may give a sketch of a parable by which it was enlivened. A community of ants lived under great stone, which began to move in an extraordinary manner; the movements were observed and measured, and the scientific ants formed many wise and learned theories to account for them; but in the course of their investigations they discovered an old manuscript, in which it was stated that at some remote period the stone had been lifted and dropped into its present position by a creature called a man. This tale excited great ridicule and opposition among the learned; it was contrary to all experience, and evidently an invention of the ignorant to account for what they could not explain—but in the midst of the debate, a ploughshare drove the stone aside, and by its unprecedented interference overwhelmed the whole community in ruin. The speaker concluded by an earnest appeal to natural philosophers and to theologians, beseeching them to abstain from hard thoughts and bitter words against each other.
The Rev. C. Pritchard, President of the Astronomical Society, took another view of the question; showing, that though there are many men sceptical and godless who are also men of science, as there may be such belonging to any order or class of men, yet that among the most distinguished scientific scholars, students, and discoverers, are to be found the most devout Christians; in proof of which he brought forward the instances of Newton, that child-like sage,') Pascal, and Leibnitz, Professor Faraday, Herschel, Sedgewick, &c., &c.; and our Salmon, who is all over Europe almost as much valued as a mathematician as he is at home loved and honoured as a humble follower of Christ; he also alluded to the speaker who preceded him, whose brilliant talents and wide attainments are laid at the foot of the Cross.
The eve session of this day, and the closing one of the Congress, was devoted to two essays of the deepest interest, which it is satisfactory to know will be in our power to study when the Report appears; for they contain an amount of information which it was almost impossible for common hearers to carry away under any circumstances, and quite impossible at the close of four days of intense application. The only disappointment connected with the whole arrangement was that these
papers had not been given earlier, but they were intended to hold a most prominent place, as the conclusion of the Congress. The subject was ‘Biblical Illustrationthat is, the Bible illustrated by modern science and travel;' and the writers were the Rev. H. B. Tristram and the Rev. George Williams, than whom none could be more competent to develope such a theme. We had only to regret that we had not more power left to hear and learn.
This evening was the conclusion of the whole session ; and perhaps not the least valuable portion of it was found in the kindly greetings which passed on all sides, combined with the usual form of thanks given, and thanks returned for thanks! The Dean of Cork compared this to the Abyssinian custom of crowning the parting guest with butter! where the feeling on both sides is expressed by the amount of the oleaginous glory! Never were thanks and expressions of good-will more sincere and cordial; the feeling was so genuine and so unanimous, that we could afford to laugh at the earnestness with which our Irish hearts expressed it.
We thank God for this meeting of the two branches of the Anglican Church, earnestly hoping that it may be the beginning of more sympathy on both sides. Where men differ in opinion, all the points of opposition become prominent in the distance; but when they meet in kindly intercourse, and look one another in the face, they discover how much wider is the common ground of a common Christianity on which they meet, than the diverging lines of peculiar views-how much firmer and stronger the grand foundation of our most holy faith than the towers and arsenals men have erected upon it. We Irish have been too ready with the cry of 'Puseyism,' or "Tractarianism,' meaning thereby either some indefinite evil, or else something ever so little beyond the speaker's perception of Church doctrine and practice ; and on the other side, even among those whose idol is an ideal unity, who would almost sacrifice truth for peace with communities, severed, alas! by a great gulf from the Reformed Church of England, there has been an indifference towards this their sister Church, often amounting to absolute prejudice and dislike.
We trust that this state of things is over. Never did Irishman express his sympathy with our Irish Church with more Irish enthusiasm than our friend Archdeacon Denison; and if, as he complained, England sent us only one Bishop and three Deans, we remember that that Bishop was Wilberforce, and that those Deans were the authors of books so highly prized among us, and that one of the miserable Archdeacons' was this zealous friend himself. Our own Bishop William Alexander of Derry, our northern Chrysostom, forms a golden chain between Ireland, his birth-place, and Oxford, his Alma Mater; and our William Magee will prove a rivet true as steel between his English diocese and his Mother church and University; he, as Bishop of Peterborough, is the first Irishman who has filled an English see since the Reformation.
The Congress was over; the winter-garden was again illuminated, and the sparkling fountain was playing as we left the meeting: a kind farewell; but on the next day, many who had taken part in the assemblies met again at the beautiful College of St. Columba, which was founded about twenty-five years ago, with the purpose of giving to the sons of Irish gentlemen all the educational advantages of an English public school conducted on the same principles as Radley, without severing their early associations from their native country. The pupils of St. Columba love and glory in their school-the best proof of its efficiency. The service in its little chapel is perfect, a model of united worship, of what is meant by common prayer. The sermon was preached by the Bishop of Derry, whose style is rich, ornate, deep, and flexible, as the tones of an Irish melody. There again partaking of the Holy Communion, the members of the Congress parted as they had met; being many, yet forming one bread and one body, for they are all partakers of that one bread.”
I am yours, &c.,
PORTSEA NURSERY. My dear
Perhaps the kind friends who have contributed towards 'The Nursery of the Good Shepherd' at Portsea, may like to know how it is prospering.
It is now nearly a year since attention was first called to it in the pages of "The Monthly Packet,' and since that time the number of children received each day has
gone on steadily increasing. Within the last few weeks the Nursery has been removed to a much larger and better house than the one tirst used for that purpose in White's Row. To a visitor accustomed to that more humble dwelling, the present Nursery arouses'a feeling somewhat akin to those of Cinderella, when transported from her father's kitchen to the palace of the prince; but if the first feeling be that of astonishment, the next will most certainly be one of thankfulness, that the little ones of the poor should have the advantage of breathing for so many hours a purer air than can be found in their own homes, and should have such nice large rooms to run about in, and learn to use their little legs !
The present Nursery is situated in a very respectable quiet street, and is therefore much more get-at-able by young ladies with careful mammas,' than the former one. On ringing the bell, one is ushered into the parlour, where, perhaps, one hardly feels as much at home as in the tiny room at White's Row; but the dear Face of the Good Shepherd looks down upon us from the wall, and seems to extend to us the welcome He is giving to the little lost lamb He bears on His Shoulder. The wardrobes of the babies are much increased in importance, by having a whole room appropriated to them; this is behind the parlour on the ground-floor. The one above it may be called the cradle-room,' and is entirely dedicated to somnus; while the front room adjoining it, is used for meals and recreation.' A kind of symbol of the latter use of it is suspended from the gas-pipe in the middle of the ceiling, (for the whole house, it should be mentioned, is lighted by gas,) in the shape of a wonderful bird with no legs, like the fabled bird of paradise, but which can be made to fly, greatly to the delight of babydom. Here, over the fire-place, our old friend, St. Vincent de Paul, gives us a kindly smile, and sets us a good example by nursing a rosy urchin in the queerest of little blue skull-caps.
Again, ascending the stair-case, (no longer steep and dangerous,) we come to a new set of rooms, and a new feature in the Nursery, together. The third floor of the house is appropriated to the reception of children above three years of age, which are now taken charge of at the Nursery, on the payment of twopence per day by their parents. These are taken to the infant school by one of the nurses, and at meal and other times, are trained in habits of order and reverence not possible when children of all ages are mixed indiscriminately together.
This extension of the benefits of the Nursery to those little ones just removed from actual babyhood, was conferred in consequence of the solicitations of the poor people themselves, who, as their children passed the fatal number three, were very loth that they should be deprived of so safe and comfortable an asylum. Numbers of poor mothers in Portsea gain their bread by going out ‘charing,' and while they are perforce absent from their homes from early morning until seven in the evening, the little ones are dismissed from the infant school at twelve, and again at four in the afternoon. Adesire still further to help this hard-working neighbourhood has principally led to the effort which has obtained the present roomy and convenient house; but, while we cannot but rejoice at its increased capabilities of usefulness, we must not shut our eyes to the fact that the rent of the present Nursery much more than doubles that of the old one, and calls upon all its friends in like measure to double their exertions. It would indeed be most desirable, could a sufficient sum be raised, to purchase the house, and by this means place the institution upon a firm and permanent basis.
The reception of elder children likewise entails the expense of a more experienced nurse, and a young woman has therefore heen engaged in place of one of the girls. She has the special charge of the elder children, while the matron-a most comfortable 'motherly' looking person-reigns supreme among the babies. These, with two girls, form the present staff of the establishment.
Their sleeping-rooms are at the top of the house, and form its fourth story. If we descend again to the cradle-room,' and peep into the little cots, we shall see many new faces there, and find that some of our favourites of last year have quite grown out of all knowledge.' "The baby in long clothes,' the gentle Julia, has long ago been promoted to be short coated, and to have her ten tiny toes encased in the shiniest of shoes! The baby with the beads' has lost the insignia of her royalty, but not her look of serene dignity. Some have been removed from the Nursery through their parents having moved to another place. Death has also made gaps in the little circle. There are some vacant chairs' even here; but it is chiefly the sickly ones who have been taken—those who would never have grown to be
like other children,' and we must not grieve for them. Among these, Albert the Good' has, like his illustrious namesake, passed away; and though no stately monument will be reared for him, yet many will long remember his patient smile of
greeting, and earnest efforts to give utterance to the thoughts of that poor heavy head!
The average daily attendance of children has latterly increased from fifteen to twenty-five, although just now some are at home'-not with the whooping cough'-for that was successfully combated in the Nursery—but with the measles, which of course, from its character, necessarily involves home treatment.
Since the first account of the Nursery was written, a clever young medical man has kindly given his gratuitous services, and constantly and regularly visits it. In many cases the tiny patients have greatly benefited by his treatment, while the whole community has, no doubt, reaped the advantage of his sanatory regulations. This certainty of securing really good medical advice for their children, yet further adds to the boon which the Nursery undoubtedly is to the hard-working mothers in its neighbourhood.
It remains to add, that the present Nursery is at 27, Union Street-a street, which though clean and respectable, is yet within a stone's throw of the poorest and most wretched district. Indeed, the house has a back entrance, which opens into a region of “alleys' and 'courts.' By this entrance the children are conveyed into the Nursery (through a little garden which serves for a play-ground) to the back door, which has had a kind of porch erected over it to shelter the mothers when waiting for their respective babies. When speaking of mothers, it may be mentioned that a
Mothers' Meeting' is now held in one of the rooms of the Nursery every Thursday, and presents this advantage, that while the mothers' are sewing and listening to the reading, their babies can be taken care of in another part of the building.
But enough has been said to show that the work carried on in this little institution is progressive in its character, and while increased expenses call for renewed efforts, there is much, towards another year of its existence, to lead us to thank God and take courage.?
Owing to the many kind gifts which have been received, clothing is not at present needed for the children, unless it is those hard-to-be-got articles, shoes; some old linen, however, such as table-cloths, or sheets, would be very useful ; and if some kind friend would present some neat and appropriate dresses for the nurses, it would be a good work. Those too, who want employment for their fingers, would be helping the Nursery, by sending articles that might be sold for its benefit, to
QUEEN STREET, PORTSEA. by whom all contributions are still thankfully received.
Thanking you for so kindly promising to admit this further account of the Nursery, and the Readers of the Monthly Packet,' for their ready help,
I am, &c.,
CONSEILS DE LECTURES FRANCAISES.
PAR MADAME DE WITT NÉE GUIZOT.
Mémoires de Madame du Plessis Mornay, nouvelle édition, publiée par la Société de l'Histoire de France, chez Mad. Jules Renouard, 6, Rue de Tournon.-Peu de gens, en de hors des érudits, out lu ces charmants mémoires ; l'édition publiée en 1824 était mauvaise aet fautive; les difficultés de l'orthographe du XVIe siècle avaient été multipliées à plaisir. Lá Societé de l'Histoire de France, fondeé depuis bien des années dejà par les grands historiens de notre temps et qui a donné au public intelligent tant de travaux serieux et de belles éditions a cru bon de publier une nouvelle édition des mémoires de Mad. du Plessis Mornay, la digne femme du Saint politique, militaire, et savant, que l'austérité de sa foi et de sa vie a seule empêché de briller au premier rang dans la cour de son maître bien-aimé, Henri IV. Le premier volume de ces mémoires est seul publié; il contient presque tout le manuscrit de Mad. de Mornay, accompagné de notes qui en rendent la lecture plus facile ; le second volume qui sera publié au printemps, contiendra la fin des mémoires et un grand nombre de lettres inédites de Monsieur et de Madame du Plessis Mornay, de leurs VOL. 6.