in no small measure to the inspiration of pews—its empty pulpit—its mouldering his “ Task," that our countrymen are monuments—its quaintly-carved men and indebted, if not for the existence, yet wonien lying in niches, with solemn looks certainly for the character of the new and folded hands, and heraldric devices school of poetry, established first at-its silent organ-and its lonely altarBristol, and afterwards transferred to the then walk through its picturesque churchLakes, as scenery more congenial and yard, and read undisturbed for the exercise of contem

• The short and simple annals of the poor;' plative genius."

We have thus accomplished our pur- then out again into the village, and mark pose, so far as our limits would allow, in the substantial farm-house ; sit awhile reference to this subject. We fear that by the 'ingle nook,' where huge logs the poems of Cowper are but little are piled up, · Pelion on Ossa,' and blazknown by those who are now rising into ing away to all hearts' content; then life, though they were familiar to general away by the almshouse, where aged readers in the preceding age. We wish people sit listlessly at their doors, or therefore to awaken or to stimulate the tend flowers as carefully as they did minds of the readers of the Visitor, and their children, who died years and years especially the younger among them, to ago; and on by many picturesque dwelltheir perusal. The Religious Tract So- ings, until all signs of man's habitations ciety have already issued the “Task and cease, on the verge of the bleak common, other Poems," at an unprecedently cheap and some idea may be formed of an Old rate, and it is intended to publish others England scene. of his Poems and Letters, on the same Very different in their quiet beauty terms.

S. are such villages as Lexington, and indeed

all which I have seen in New England. How white and glittering those pretty

cottages, with their cheerful-looking In the old country, (I love to hear green blinds, look. There is so much that almost affectionate recognition of it,) taste displayed in their construction, that on some calm summer evening, as you every one of them, with its pillars and descend a hill side, green and fragrant veranda, and sometimes its observatory, with heath and broom blossoms, whilst a seems intended as a model for exhibition stream goes on dancing to its own music-indeed the little lightning-rods pointing at your feet, you behold a cluster of from the chimneys, seem to be the cut-off houses, whence thin, blue curling smoke ends of the cords by which they might ascends, in the valley below, from have been gently let down from cloudwhich hoary edifice arises in land—and then, surrounded as they are sombre prominence. Around it rise by beautiful trees, and adorned by tasteshadowy ancestral elms, beneath whose fully disposed gardens, and the clearest broad shadows lie in their dreamless of atmospheres around and above them, slumbers the rude forefathers of the they appear to an English eye more like hamlet;' the patriarchs of the parish, and things seen in dreams than real dwellingthe little children who died yesterday. places, so very airy, unsubstantial-lookPass on, and you enter the village-street. ing and smokeless, do they appear. And Everything has the stanıp of age upon it. instead of the ancient temple and its The cottage roofs are green with the graveyard, arises an exquisitely neat mosses of centuries. There is the old church, white and pure looking as the manor-house, with its quaint roof, its feathers of an eagle's wing; how it glitpointed gables, its monstrous doors with ters in the sunshine! And hark! from ponderous hinges, its fantastic carvings the classical, pretty turret, the bell of grotesque heads, which stand out sounds as if an angel spoke.' As yet, in bold relief against the quiet sky. And the venerable graveyard is not, for the near it is the vicarage, a neat, modest builders of the temple are its contempoedifice, where rose-trees and woodbines raries—it has no Past! Gaze within, cluster round the casement, and lift up how chaste are its adornments! There their flowers, so that they may look within. is no light from high-arched windows Before the house is a closely-mown lawn, thrown, turning the pavement to gems, across which the church flings its shadow. but green blinds soften the glare, and The old parish church-look in at one of produce a pleasantly dim-religious the low windows, and observe its large light.' " -- Local Loiterings.



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returns an engraved representation of A YEARLY festival is held at Rome, St. Anthony, and a small cross of metal. which is superstitiously devoted to the Nor is this homage confined to the lower purifying and blessing of horses and and more ignorant part of the comother animals. It is in the month of munity, for splendid equipages, attended January, and great interest is taken in by outriders in handsome liveries, do the ceremony by the people of Roman not fail to appear, to receive, as supCatholic countries. The inhabitants of the posed, the blessing of the patron saint. neighbourhood send their animals, decked On one occasion, a countryman's beast with ribands, to the convent of St. An- having received the holy water at the thony, near the church of St. Mary-the- church door, started off at full gallop; Great; and as they pass the door, the but before he had proceeded a hundred priest appearing, sprinkles each creature, yards he fell, and his rider was rolled whether it be a horse, mule, ass, cow, in the dust. The priest looked on, but sheep, goat, or dog, dipping a brush into not disconcerted, while some of the byea large bucket of, so-called, holy water, standers said, that but for the blessing that stands near. Taking off his cap, which had been pronounced, the horse too, he mutters in Latin the freedom from and his rider might have broken their evil of these animals, through the inter- necks. cession of the blessed St. Anthony, in the Such is one of the varied uses to which name of the Father, Son, and Holy holy water is applied. The rev. Dr. Ghost!

O'Croly, once a Romanist, says,

“ What The owner of the beast always gives a multitude of odd ceremonies is cona piece of money to the priest, who nected with the use of holy water! It

DecemBER, 1846.

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And their brows no laurel wear.

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is astonishing what virtue is ascribed to above all others—who, truly moved by a this consecrated element! Nothing can heavenly influence, devotes his noblest be blessed or hallowed without it: nei- energies to glorify the Redeemer, and to ther candles nor new fruits, nor new-laid help his fellow-sinners on their way to eggs, nor ships, nor dwelling-houses, heaven--yet have I no design, in my obnor churches, nor bells, nor sacerdotal servations on God's messengers, to allude vestments. It is used in all the sacra to those who publicly proclaim the gosments, before mass and after mass, and pel of peace. at the churching of women. Nothing, The

messengers of God are many, and in short, can be done without holy water. they are also good and evil; for all Even the butter-churn is sprinkled with things are his messengers that go forth it before the churning commences, that and accomplish his designs. Sometimes the cream may work the better. It puri- they are mighty as embattled monarchs, fies the air, distempers, cleanses the soul, and terrible as an army of banners, while expels Satan and his imps from haunted at other times they are mean and low. houses, and introduces the Holy Ghost

They come not forth as conquerors, as an inmate in their stead. It is gene Their hands no weapon bear; rally believed that the holy water, blessed

No falchions glitter on the thigh, at Easter and Christmas, possesses superior virtue; on which account several At one time, they are fearful to gaze tubs, or barrels full, must be blessed on on, for they are messengers of destructhese occasions, in order to supply the tion; at another, they are lovely in our increased demand.” In what a fearful eyes, as the messengers of peace. “How condition, then, are those immersed in beautiful are the feet of them that bring the superstitions of popery, while a know- glad tidings of good things,” Rom. x. ledge of them should lend a high esti- 15. Now they go forth to a kingdom. mate, and duty, and improvement of our

"Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation own advantages, and to constant effort scattered and peeled," Isa. xviii. 2; and and prayer for their deliverance.

now their errand is only to one man. "I have a message from God unto thee,' Judg. iii. 20. When we regard the varied messengers of the Almighty, and the

means whereby he accomplishes his deIt is not unlikely that the term God's signs, we see, indeed, that “ his ways are messengers may have set you thinking of not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our the white-winged Michaels, Gabriels, and thoughts." Abdiels of the Almighty. You see them We cannot always see the messengers go forth with lightning-like speed on of God, for the acts of the Holy One are their errands of mercy or judgment, and sometimes performed by viewless agents. marvel at the wondrous celerity with “ Let there be light: and there was which they perform his holy will, who light," Gen. i. 3. Sometimes they are “sitteth upon the throne,'

but imperfectly discerned. pied in the weal and woe of mortal men, passed before my face; the hair of my and now riding on the whirlwind and flesh stood up: it stood still, but I could directing the storm. But no! In using not discern the form thereof: an image the term God's messengers, I have no in was before mine eyes, there was silence, tention to speak of angels or archangels and I heard a voice saying, Shall mortal as represented by painters or sculptors. man be more just than God? shall a man

You are now, perhaps, supposing that be more pure than his Maker ?” Job iv. I have taken for my subject those who 15, 17. The agents of the Most High minister in holy things,

are not the less his accredited messen"The messengers of grace to guilty men,”

gers, because they are but imperfectly

discerned. The more we are accustomed and have, in the eye of your fancy, to regard the affairs of the world as under bishops in lawn sleeves, rectors, and cu- heavenly control ; and the more clearly rates of parish churches, or ministers of we discern, in the things which affect other congregations, as the case may be, them, the messengers of God, the more discharging the all-important duties of ready shall we be their several positions—still you are wrong To take the gold of life with life's allogam in your conception. Highly as I estimate Patient to suffer; grateful to enjoy, the ministerial office, ranking his calling Surely, while we believe that He


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who made the mammoth and the ele- with his messengers the mildew and the phant made also the moth and the ant caterpillar, and effectually do they execute -while we acknowledge that

their errand; making the garden a waste " The hand that rolled the stars along

ground, and the fruitful field a scene of Wrote all the promises,"

desolation. When Pharaoh, the hard

hearted Egyptian king, and his armed it ill becomes us not to discern the host oppressed the people of God, what messengers of the Holy One. They as

were the messengers of the Holy One ? cend and descend in their heavenly Did he send the lightning to smite them, errands : they go abroad, to and fro in the whirlwind to destroy them, or the the earth; they are about our path and earthquake to swallow them up ? No! our pillow; nor is there a spot unvisited For he can clothe the weakest of his creaor uninfluenced by their presence. God tures with power sufficient to execute his is everywhere; the mighty mountain and commands. He had angels and archthe minute sand on the sea-shore are angels at his disposal. He had armies equally his agents :

ready to obey him, for he is the Lord of The passing clouds of heaven his will obey, hosts, and can control the wills and affecAnd winds and waves-his messengers are they ! tions of sinful men. He could have sent

Weak and diminutive as is the coral the wild beasts the earth on the mission insect, as a messenger of God, it goes of destruction; but instead of this, dimiforth to do the bidding of its great Cre- nutive and impotent creatures, such as ator, and extended islands are formed in the frog, the locust, and the fly, became the sea.

The warring elements, decay, the messengers of the Almighty to plague and time, are messengers, also, of the the stubborn heart of Pharaoh. Nor was Eternal, whether swiftly or slowly they it till these had done their work, that he execute his almighty mandates. “ The sent thick darkness upon the Egyptians, monument becomes a ruin. The battle and slew their firstborn, forcing even of the elements, the withering sweep of Pharaoh to rise up in haste by night, and the lightning's fiery wing, with its ac cry unto Moses and Aaron,

you companying death peal; the slow, snail- forth from among my people." like march of unerring decay, leaving

Sometimes accidents, sometimes sickbehind the traces of its progress ; the ness, and sometimes human laws, become yawn of the earthquake; these do their the messengers of our great Creator, in work.

Upon the tangible works of man, removing human beings from the world. his temples, palaces, pyramids, monu We must not, however, nay we cannot, ments, columns, the foot of time is placed, if we duly reflect, suppose that the greatand will eventually crush them; stoné est offenders have been those who have blocks, thick-ribbed arches, roof and endured the heaviest punishments. Maleroof-tree, king-post, queen-post, beams, factors are not of necessity the worst of rafters, and all.

their species, they are only delinquents He who rules in the armies of heaven, that have happened to be discovered. and among the children of men, has There is a more fearful catalogue of mighty messengers, when he chooses to crimes than that contained in the Newdespatch them on errands of destruction. gate Calendar; and there have been Plague, pestilence, and famine, battle more fearful offenders than the culprits and murder, and sudden death. These who have perished on the scaffold and roam abroad in the world, and waste it, the gallows. Among those who have for the sins of its inhabitants; yet take been honoured among men, and had courage, thou lowly follower of thy Lord, marble monuments erected to their mefor “He shall cover thee with his fea- mory-among those who have lived in thers, and under his wings shalt thou credit, and died in apparent peace, doubttrust ; his truth shall be thy shield and less have been some of the blackest buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for monsters that ever bore the image of the terror by night; nor for the arrow humanity. Successful villany and practhat flieth by day; nor for the pestilence tised hypocrisy may escape the quickthat walketh in darkness; nor for the sighted vigilance of man, but they cannot destruction that wasteth at noonday. Be- escape the lightning glance of the allcause thou hast made the Lord, which is seeing eye of God. my refuge, even the Most High, thy In reading the word of God we can habitat ion," Psa. xci. 4–6, 9.

hardly fail to be struck by the many God

sometimes scourges the world messengers sent from the Eternal through

out the whole of the Biblical history. I discerning them than you are.

While a will mention a few of these as they occur man has the credit of being as quickto my memory. The ravens were mes- sighted as a lynx, all the time he


be sengers to Elijah, as the bears from the blind as a beetle. wood were to those who mocked Elisha. Our hopes and fears are often heralds The ram caught in the thicket was a of mercy to us, and oh! what a messenmessenger for good to Abraham and ger is the “still small voice," that aims Isaac, as the bi of the ram's horns its way to the deafest ear and the hardest was a messenger of evil to the city of heart! Not more influential than this is Jericho. Pleasant messengers were the the pealing thunder, that seems to rend cruse of oil and the barrel of meal to the both earth and heaven. This is a meswidow of Zarephath. Poor Job was al- senger that is irresistible. Dominion most overwhelmed with messengers; for and power, and riches, and wisdom, and what with the Sabeans, and the fire from strength, oppose it in vain. Compared God, and the Chaldeans, and the great with this, the torrent of the river and wind, and the plague of boils, and his the tide of the roaring ocean, are weak trying wife and injudicious friends, he and uninfluential. Has this messenger had quite as much as he could patiently been sent to you? Has it broken in endure. The handwriting on the palace upon your privacy, when the doors and wall was a most alarming messenger to windows of your chambers have been Belshazzar; and the smooth stone of closed, and when darkness has spread the brook from the sling of David was a over you its shadowy wings? Has it told very unwelcome one to the giant Go- you that “all have sinned, and come liath. Gehazi would not approve of the short of the glory of God;" that “the leprosy sent to him, but it was not, soul that sinneth, it shall die" and warned on that account, the less a messenger you to “flee from the wrath to come" from God. The same remark may be by washing in the "fountain open for made of the light from heaven that all uncleanness?” In a word, has it told blinded Saul; and the crowing of the you, that without faith in Him who died cock, that smote the conscious heart of on the cross, you have nothing to hope, repentant Peter. Those that I have and that with it you have nothing to enumerated should be regarded as the fear? messengers of the Almighty, as much as You will see, by what I have said, that the flood that drowned the world; and the pen of a ready writer might soon fill the Holy Scriptures of eternal truth, a book with a catalogue of only part of setting forth the way of salvation. the messengers of God. Try if you can

God has warning messengers, remind- not make out a much more lengthy list ing messengers, consoling messengers, than that with which I have presented and encouraging messengers. The rain- you. They say that the jackal is useful bow is his messenger of hope, and the to the king of beasts, in providing him sparkling stars are his messengers of with food; for though he does not actufaith, bidding us look upwards, when ally take the prey for the lion, he starts the world is wrapped in darkness. the game. In like manner I may be Many, too, are his messengers of joy. useful to you; for if I do no more, I at Look at spring, with its fresh buds; least start some profitable subjects for summer, with its beauteous flowers; your consideration, and do my best to and autumn, with its abundant fruits ! persuade you to pursue them. The descending dew and the fertilizing shower are kindly messengers, and so are the refreshing breezes that, morning and evening, breathe health around the land. What think you of sunshine, and the warbling of birds, and the hum of The town of Galway is remarkable for bees, and the waving of butterflies' wings? the foreign appearance it wears, and the These are messengers expressly commis un-Irish look of many of its inhabitants, sioned to make the heart happy; surely, who have dark eyes and hair, and who then, the heart ought to be grateful. are said to be descended from Spanish

Remember that I am reasoning with colonists. The principal street, that runs myself, as well as with you; for it by no in a westerly direction from the great means follows that, because I talk about square, has a number of curious arched the messengers of God, I am more apt in gateways of stone, some of them have


No. VI.

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