« ElőzőTovább »
of the earliest writers after the Apostles, and many of our readers will be pleased with an extract from his writings. : ** Through Jesus Christ, the eyes of our hearts are opened. Through Him, our understanding, dark and foolish as it was, rises again into his marvellous light. Through Him, the Lord would have us to taste of immortal knowledge." “ Christ is their's, who are poor in spirit, and lift not up themselves, but are content to be low.”_" Let us obey our spiritual pastors, and honour our elders, and let the younger be disciplined in the fear of God. Let our wives be directed to what is good; to follow chastity, modesty, meekness, sincerity. Let them evidence their power of selfgovernment by their silence; and let them shew love, not in the spirit of a sect or party, but to all who fear God.” Again, “Let not the strong despise the weak, and let the weak reverence the strong. Let the rich communicate to the poor, and let the poor be thankful to God, for those through whom their wants are supplied. Let the wise exert his wisdom, not merely in words, but in works. Let the humble prove his humility, not by testifying of himself how humble he is, but by a conduct that may occasion others to give testimony to him. Let not the chaste be proud of his chastity, knowing that from God he hath received the gift of continency." “Have we not all one God, one Christ, one Spirit of Grace poured upon us, and one calling in Christ? Why do we separate, and distract the members of Christ, and fight against our own body, and arrive at such a height of madness, as to forget that we are members one of another?”
BELL-RINGING. The intention of Church bells is to call the people of God to worship in his holy Temple. Bells are
Bell-ringing. therefore for holy purposes, and the sound of the “Church-going bell” has always been grateful to a Christian's ear. It is the practice, in Catholic countries, to baptize bells ; and, whenever a bell is baptized, some persons act as godfathers and godmothers, and a prayer to this effect is offered up.
"O Lord, sanctify it by thy Holy Spirit, that, when it sounds in the people's ears, their faith and devotion may increase, the devil be afraid, tremble, and fly at the sound of it. O Lord, pour upon it thy Holy Spirit, that the fiery darts of the devil may be made to fly backwards ; and grant that all who come to the Church, at the sound of it, may be free from all temptation to sin.”
The baptizing of bells is a practice which it is neither desirable nor right for us to imitate, but yet it is a custom which shews the holy purposes which it was considered that bells were intended for. Whether those purposes are really answered in Catholic countries, it is not our present object to inqaire.—We are afraid not.—But let us ask - How is it with ourselves ?” When we hear the sweet music of the bells, on the Sabbath morning, we look upon ourselves as invited to the house of prayer : it is a sound which seems to say, “ Come, for all things are ready.” “Oh, come let us worship and fall down and kneel before the Lord our Maker.” And, when we consider how the music of these bells is produced, when we believe that they are put in motion by the exertions of the most religious men in the parish, who are anxious to worship God themselves, and not only so, but to invite others to come likewise, then the sound of the bells is not only delightful to our ears, but it is grateful to our hearts, and we come into the court of the Lord's house, with holy cheerfulness, de lighted to join in worship, “with the multitude of them that keep holy-day.”
But, in my country “ Visits," I do not always
find things as they should be. There is much, indeed, that gives me pleasure ; but some things that give me pain. I love the Protestant Church .ess, tablished in this country. This, I may be told, is because I have been brought up in it. Perhaps, in part, it may. But I think it is also because I see. that it contains the spirit of the Christian religion, and that, if all its doctrines and rules are studied and observed, it is highly calculated to keep alive in the world the knowledge and the practice of the truth. I cannot, therefore, help grieving when I see any practices prevailing which can, in the least degree, tend to bring disrespect upon our Church.
All that is wrong on the subjects of bells might, in most cases, be very easily remedied. A key of the Church is generally kept by the minister, and another by the church-wardens, and no other persons should go into the Church, or belfry, for any purpose, but such as appear satisfactory to them; and therefore the bells never need be rung at improper times, on improper occasions, or by improper persons. In many places, these things are attended to, and the delightful sound of the bells calls the congregation together at the appointed time of worship, and cheers them, on all proper occasions. In other places, where the right persons have given up the custody of the keys, much irregularity has been the consequence; and, when the power has long been used by others, without any attempt at restraint, much consideration, and gentle explanation, will, in all fairness, be due, before this power is taken away. Frequently, however, a little good advice, given in a Christian-like, friendly manner, will produce amendment.
The abuses, in some places, are great. A set of ringers will disturb the parish, whenever they are paid for making an idle day; but, when they are really wanted, on the Sunday, they are all absent, and the bells are awkwardly rung by any of the idle
: On the word Catholic.: 55 boys of the parish, to their own great danger, and the great annoyance of others.' Or, if the regular ringers are obliged to chime the people to Church, they will leave the helfry, when their work is done, without thinking of going into the Church to worship; thus shutting themselves out from that salvation to which they have been inviting others. I have often known these men go from the house of God to what has been sometimes called the house of the devil, the ale-house. I have known cans of beer to have been carried into the belfry, into the very consecrated walls of the temple of God; and I have even heard that there has been quarrelling and swearing under that sacred roof, But I will hope that this must be false. . · Let every one who is engaged to perform the office of a ringer think of the nature of his employment, and he must then see how needful it is to endeavour to lay aside all that is wrong in his own practice, and to endeavour to teach others the same. . .
ON THE WORD CATHOLIC.
YOUR Visitor is not just now at band, for reference ; if therefore the subject to which I allude has been already treated there, I have only to ask your indulgence for my intrusion.,
Much is said, in all the newspapers, of the Roman Catholics, or 66 Catholics." I think it was the Bishop of Lincoln who once noticed, in Parliament, the inipropriety of leaving out the word Roman, when speaking of that body of Christians; and it certainly strikes me, that some confusion may pos-: sibly arise in the mind of a Protestant, when dea
Cottager's Monthly Visitor. claring his belief in “ the holy Catholic Church." It may probably be useful then to say, that the word Catholic means general. Thus, the seven Catholic Epistles mean, Epistles written to Christians in general, like those of St. James, St. Peter, St. John *, and St. Jude, and not like those of St. : Paul, to particular churches or persons.
When we say we believe in the holy Catholic Church, we mean that “ Christ has formed all faithful Christians into one society +.” The Catholic Church is the whole body of Christians throughout the world united together under Christ, their spi. ritual head.
When we confess, then, that we believe that there is, and ever will be, as long as the world continues, a body of faithful Christians upon earth, and that these will be the members of the everlasta ing Church of Christ. in heaven--how ought the thoughts of this confession of our faith to teach us to seek for that holiness of heart and life, which belongs to the members of the holy Catholic Church, and which is to be our preparation for that state of everlasting holiness and happiness which our Saviour has purchased for us, and which he will give to all those who are his holy and faithful people upon earth.
INSTRUCTION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB...
LETTER THE THIRD.
(See Page 11.) Though I began, in my last letter, to give you some instruction about teaching your child to learn his letters, yet I will not suppose that you leave
+ The two last of St. John are not properly Catholic Epistles, being addressed to individuals.
† Bishop Tomline,