« ElőzőTovább »
disinherited by his stern and unrelenting when a boy, even if I must first bring his parent. On the day after the funeral, the gray head to the scaffold.' old man produced his brother's will, by “I accompanied him to the house of his which he became heir to all his property uncle. It was a dreadful visit The fa. except an annuity to be paid to the natural mily, had just sat down to their frugal. heir, should he ever return. Some pitied mid-day meal; and the old man, though the prodigal son who had beën disinherite for some years he could have had little ed some blamed the father-some en: heart to pray, had just lifted up his hand vied the good fortune of those who had to ask a blessing. Our shadows, as we so ill borne adversity. But, in a short entered the door, fell upon the table time, the death, the will, and the disin- and, turning his eyes, he beheld before herited, were all forgotten, and the lost him on the Aoor the man whom he fearlands being redeemed, peace, comfort, and fully hoped had been buried in the sea, happiness were supposed again to be re His face was, indeed, at that moment, stored to the dwelling from which they most unlike that of prayer, but he still hrad so long been banished.
held up liis lean; shrivelled, trembling “ But it was not so. If the furrows on band. Accursed hypocrite,' cried the the old man's face were deep before, when fierce mariner, 'dost tliou call down the he had to toil from morning to night, they blessing of God on a meal won basely from seemed to hate sunk into more ghastly the orphan? But, lo! God, whom thou trenches, now that the goodness of Provi. hast blasphemed, has sent me from the dence had restored a gentle shielter to his distant isles of the ocean, to bring thy declining years. When seen wandering white head into the hangman's hands!", through his fields at eventide, he looked For a moment all was silent--then & not like the Patriarc! musing tranquilly loud stified gasping was heard, and she on the works and ways of God; and when whom you saw a little while ago, rose my eyes met his during divine service, shrieking from bier seat, and fell down on which he now again attended with scru her knees at the sailor's feet. The terror pulous regularity, I sometimes thought of that unforgiven crime, now first rethey were suddenly averted in conscious vealed to her knowledge, struck her down guilt; or closed in hypocritical devotion. to the floor. She fixed her bloodless face I scarcely know if I had any suspicions on his before whom she knelt-but she against him in my mind, or not; but his spoke not a single word. There was a high bald head, thin silver hair, and coun sound in her conyulsed throat like the tenance with its fine features so intelli- death-rattle. 'I forged the will,' said the gent, had no longer the same solemn ex son, advancing towards his cousin with a pression which they once possessed, and firm step, .my father could not-I alone something dark and hidden seemed now am guilty-I alone must die.' The wife to belong to them, which witłrstood his soon recovered the power of speech, but forced and unnatural smile.
it was so unlike her usual voice, that I who, in the days of their former prosperi- scarcely thought, at first, the sound pro. ty, had been stained by no vice, and who, ceeded from her white quivering lips. during their harder lot, had kept himself As you hope for mercy at the great aloof from all his former companions, now judgment day, let the old man make his became dissolute and profligate; nor did escape-hush, hush, hush-till in a few he meet with any reproof from a father days he has sailed away in the hold of whose heart would once have burst asun. some ship to America. You surely will der at one act of wickedness in his be. not hang an old gray-headed man of threes loved child.
score and ten years!' “ About three years after the death of “ The sailor stood silent and frowning, his father, the disinherited son returned There seemed neither pity nor cruelty in to his native parish. He had been a sailor his face; he felt himself injured ; and on board various ships on foreign stations looked resolved to right himself, happen -but hearing by chance of his father's what would. I say he has forged my fadeath, he came to claim his inheritance. ther's will. As to escaping, let him es, Having heard on his arrival that Iris uncle cape if he can. I do not wish to hang hiin; had succeeded to the property, he came though I have seen better men run up to to me and told me, that the night before the fore-yard arm before now, for only ask. he left his home, his father stood by his ing their own. But no more kneeling. bedside, kissed him, and said, that never woman.-Holla! where is the old man more would he own such an undutiful son --but that he forgave liim all his sins-at “We all looked ghastly around, and the death would not defraud him of the plea. wretched wife and mother, springing to her sunt fields that had so long belonged to feet, rushed out of the house. We followhis humble ancestors--and hoped to meet ed, one and all. The door of the stable was reconciled in heaven. “My uncle is a open, and the mother and son entering, villain,' said he, fiercely, and I will cast loud shrieks were heard. The niserable anchor on the green bank where I played old man had slunk out of the room unob.
served during the passion that had struck visited them in their cell. God forbid all our souls, and had endeavoured to com. I should say that they were resigned. Humit suicide. His own son cut him down, nan nature could not resign itself to sucti as he hung suspended from a rafter, in a doom; and I found the old man pacing that squalid place, and, carrying him in up and down the stone floor, in his clank. his arms, laid him down upon the green ing chains, with hurried steps, and a coun. bank in front of the house. There he lay tenance of unspeakable horror. The son with his livid face, and blood-shot pro. was lying on his face upon his bed of straw, truded eyes, till, in a few minutes, he and had not lifted up his head, as the Paised himself up, and fixed them upon massy bolts were withdrawn, and the doop his wife, who, soon recovering from a creaked sullenly on its hinges. The father fainting fit, came shrieking from the mire fixed his eyes upon me for some time, as in which she bad fallen down. 'Voor if I had been a stranger intruding upon people!' said the sailor with a gasping his miserý; and, as soon as he knew me voice, you have suffered enough for your shut them with a deep groan, and pointed crime. Fear nothing; the worst is now to his son. I have murdered Williampast; and rather would I sail the seas have brought my only son to the scaffold, twenty years longer, than add another and I am doomed to hell! I gently called pang to that old man's heart. Let us be on the youth by name, but he was insensikind to the old man.'
ble he was lying in a fit. 'I fear he will « But it seemed as if a raven had awake out of that fit,' cried the old man croaked the direful secret all over the re- with a broken voice. They have come motest places among the bills; for, in an upon him every day since our condemna. hour, people came focking in from all tion, and sometimes during the night. It quarters, and it was seen, that conceal, is not fear for himself that brings them on ment or escape was no longer possible, and for my boy, though guilty, is brave-but that father and son were destined to die he continues looking on my face for hours, together a felon's death."
till at last he seems to lose all sense, and Here the pastor's voice ceased ; and I falls down in strong convulsions, often had heard enough to understand the long upon the stone floor, till he is all covered deep sigh that had come moaning from with blood. The old man then went up that bowed-down figure beside the solitary to his son, knelt down, and, putting aside well. “That was the last work done by the thick clustering hair from his forehead, the father and son, and finished the day continued kissing him for some minutes, before the fatal discovery of their guilt. It with deep sobs, but eyes dry as dust. had probably been engaged in as a sort of “But why should I recall to my reamusement to beguile their unhappy membrance, or describe to you, every minds of ever-anxious thoughts, or per hour of anguish that I witnessed in that haps as a solitary, occupation, at which cell. For several weeks it was all agony they could unburden their guilt to one and despair--the Bible lay unheeded beanother undisturbed. Here, no doubt, in fore their ghastly eyes and for them silence and solitude, they often felt re there was no consolation. The old man's morse, perliaps penitence. They chiselled soul was Glled but with one thought that out their names on that slab, as you pere he had deluded his son into sin, death, ceive ; and hither, as duly as the morn. and eternal punishment. He never slept; ing and evening shadows, comes the but visions, terrible as those of sleep, ghost, whom we beheld, and, after a prayer seemed often to pass before him, till I for the souls of them so tenderly beloved have seen the gray hairs bristle horribly in their innocence, and doubtless even over his temples, and big drops of sweat more tenderly beloved in their guilt and plash down upon the floor. I sometimes in their graves, she carries to her lonely thought that they would both die before hut the water that helps to preserve her the day of execution ; but their mortal hopeless life, from the well dug by dearest sorrows, though they sadly changed both hands, now mouldered away, both flesh and face and frame, seemed at last to give a bone, into the dust."
horrible energy to life, and every morning After a moment's silence the old man that I visited them, they were stronger, continued-for he saw that I longed to and more broadly awake in the chill silence hear the details of that dreadful catastro of their lonesome prison-house. phe, and his own soul seemed likewise de. “I kriow not how a deep change was at girous of renewing its grief_" The pri- last wrought upon their souls, but two soners were condemned. Hope there was days before that of execution, on entering none, It was known, from the moment of their cell, I found them sitting calm and the verdict-guilty—that they would be composed by each other's side, with the Bie executed. Petitions were, indeed, signed ble open before them. Their faces, though by many, many thousands; but it was all pale and haggard, had lost that glare of in vain-and the father and the son fiad to misery, that so long had shone about their prepare themselves for death.
restless and wandering eyes, and they look: * Abrat a week after condemnation ! ed like men recovering from a long and
painful sickness. I almost thought I saw of the son with his palsied fingers, and something like a faint smile of hope.- began to pinion his arms with a cord. No • God has been merciful unto us,' said the resistance was offered; but, straight and father, with a calm voice. I must not untrembling, stood that tall and beautiful think that he has forgiven my sins, but he youth, while the fiend bound him for exe. has enabled me to look on my poor son's cution. At this mournful sight, how could face-to kiss him-to fold him in my arms
I bear to look on his father's face ?. Yet -to pray for him--to fall asleep with him thither were mine eyes impelled by tlie in my bosom, as I used often to do in the agony that afflicted my commiserating days of his boyhood, when, during the soul. During that hideous gaze, he was heat of mid-day, I rested from labour be. insensible of the executioner's approach low the trees of my own farm. We have towards himself; and all the time that the found resignation at last, and are prepared cords were encircling his own arms, he felt to die.'
them not-he saw nothing but bis son “There were no transports of deluded standing at last before him, ready for the enthusiasm in the souls of these unhappy scaffold. men. They had never doubted the truth of “I darkly recollect a long dark vaulted revealed religion, although they had fatally passage, and the echoing tread of footsteps disregarded its precepts; and now that re till all at once we stood in a crowded hall, morse had given way to penitence, and na with a thousand eyes fixed on these two mi. ture had become reconciled to the thought serable men. How unlike were they to all of inevitable death, the light that had been beside! They sat down together within darkened, but never extinguished in their the shadow of death. Prayers were said, fiearts, rose up anew; and knowing that and a psalm was sung, in which their their souls were immortal, they humbly voices were heard to join, with tones that put their faith in the mercy of their Crea wrung out tears from the hardest or the tor and their Redeemer..
most careless heart. Often had I heard “ It was during that resigned and serene those voices singing in my own peaceful hour, that the old man ventured to ask for church, before evil had disturbed, or mi. the mother of his poor unhappy boy. I sery broken them--but the last word of the told him the truth calmly, and calmly he psalm was sung, and the hour of their deheard it all. On the day of his condemna. parture was come. tion, she had been deprived of her reason, “They stood at last upon the scaffold. and, in the house of a kind friend, whose That long street, that seemed to stretch name he blessed, now remained in merciful away interminably from the old prisonignorance of all that had befallen, believing house, was paved with uncovered heads, herself, indeed, to be a motherless widow, for the moment these ghosts appeared, but one who had long ago lost her hus- that mighty crowd felt reverence for hu. band, and all her children, in the ordinary man nature so terribly tried, and prayers course of nature. At this recital his soul and blessings, passionately ejaculated, or was satisfied. The son said nothing, but convulsively stifled, went hovering over all wept long and bitterly,
the multitude, as if they feared some great • The day of execution came at last.- calamity to themselves, and felt standing The great city lay still as on the morning on the first tremor of an earthquake. of the Sabbath day; and all the ordinary “It was a most beautiful summer's day business of life seemed, by one consent of on which they were led out to die ; and, the many thousand hearts beating there, as the old man raised his eyes, for the to be suspended. But as the hours ad. last time, to the sky, the clouds lay movanced, the frequent tread of feet was tionless on that blue translucent arch, and heard in every avenue; the streets began the sun shone joyously over the magnifito fill with pale, anxious, and impatient cent heavens. It seemed a day made for faces; and many eyes were turned to the happiness or for mercy. But no pardon dials on the steeples, watching the silent dropt down from these smiling skies, and progress of the finger of time, till it should the vast multitude were not to be denied reach the point at which the curtain was to the troubled feast of death Many who be drawn up from before a most mournful now stood there wished they had been in tragedy.
the heart of some far-off wood, or glen • The hour was faintly heard through there was shrieking and fainting, not only the thick prison walls by us, who were to among maids, and wives, and matrons, gether for the last time in the condemned who had come there in the mystery of their cell. I had administered to them the most hearts, but men fell down in thcir strength awful rite of our religion, and father and --for it was an overwhelming thing to beson sat together as silent as death. The hold a father and his only son now halter. door of the dungeon opened, and several ed for a shameful death. Is my father persons came in. One of them, who had a with me on the scaffold give me his shrivelled bloodless face, and small red hand, for I see him not. I joined their gray eyes, an old man, feeble and totter. hands together, and at that moment the ing, but cruel in his decrepitude, laid hold great bell in the Cathedral tolled, but
am convinced neither of them heard the cess of Ohio: and soliciting their aid and sound. For a moment there seemed to be assistance in procuring Missionaries to reno such thing as sound in the world--and side therein. then all at once the multitude heaved like “ Resolved further, That, should a Mis. the sea, and uttered a wild yelling shriek. sionary Society be organized upon the Their souls were in eternity-and I fear plan proposed by this Convention, the Bidot to say, not an eternity of grief.” shop is respectfully requested to commu.
nicate the fact and object of such Society
to the several Bishops of the United States, Protestant Episcopal Church in Ohio.
and request their aid in furthering and The attention of the friends of religion, promoting the object thereof, in such and particularly of the Protestant Episco munner as shall be deemed most expepal Church, is solicited to the following dient." documents.
In compliance with the latter of the Nero-York, October 20, 1821.
above resolutions, I beg leave to state, I am so deeply impressed with the want that the Missionary Society therein named of missionary labours in this diocess, par.
was formed by the members of our Conticularly in those new settlements where vention during their last session; and, there are many individuals and congrega and best endeavoars of all the diocess, so
that it meets with the hearty approbation Lions who are desirous, but unable to procure the services of our Church, that I far as we have as yet been able to learn. have uniformly thought it was the duty of The object of this Society, as may be seen the Episcopalians of this state to confine by perusing their Constitution, inserted on their bounty within its limits. But I feel the Journals of the Convention, is to con it impossible to resist the affecting and centrate the means of our own scattered forcible appeal from the diocess of Ohio, people in one united effort; thereby ma. the distressed condition of which, as de- nifesting that we are not wanting in our tailed in the annexed interesting docu
own exertions, however feeble, to found ments, will, I trust, excite the sympathy and build up the Church of God among us. and benevolence of the friends of religion constituting a Treasury under the guar
It is also the object of the Society, by and of the Protestant Episcopal Church. JOHN HENRY HOBART, Bishop of dianship and good faith of the whole dio. the Protestant Episcopal Church cess, to give a pledge that the donations in the State of New-York. made from abroad will be applied in the
est manner possible, and that by persons To the Right Reverend the Bishops of the
on the spot, who know the necessities of Protestant Episcopal Church in the
our people, and the means of effecting United States of America
the most good. Their Friend and Brother, the Bishop of the I have now, Right Reverend Brethren, to
To fulfil the former of these resolutions, Diocess of Ohio, sendeth greeting :
lay before you our condition, our necessi. Right REVEREND AND DEAR BRETHREN, ties, our fears, our hopes, and our prayers.
I address you on a subject of no com The Map of Ohio will show you the es. mon interest; it is that of the prosperity, tent of our charge. Our extreme parishes, and, perhaps, the existence of our Church as those of Cincinnati and Ashtabula, afe in the state of Ohio, and in the country distant, each from the other, rising three generally west of the Alleghany moun. hundred miles. In other directions their tains.
distance is not much less. On this vast That it is now my duty to address you surface our settlements are thinly scatter. I am persuaded by a consideration of my ed; and among these settlements are pastoral vows, and by referring to the re. mingled the members of our primitive commendatory resolution of the last Con. Church. Having emigrated from places vention of the diocess over which divine where the pleasant things of our Zion Providence has placed me.
were freely and in abundance ministered, The latter is in the words following: they remember their past enjoyments as 6 Whereas there are many vacant congre- bungry persons think on their former gations of the Church in this state which feasts of plenty. They are, both from are unable to support ministers, and reading and experience, too well informed - numerous, members of our communion, to enjoy the crude things of modern date scattered over an extensive country, desti- which are offered to them in place of their tute of the ministrations of the word and former delights; and they are too pious sacraments; therefore,
not to hope, trust, and believe that they “ Resolved, by this Convention, That the shall have the good things of the Gospel Right Rev. the Bishop be requested to Kingdom extended to them. In this situa. prepare and transmit, to the Bishops of tion they sit, like the captive Israelites by the respective diocesses in the United the muddy waters of Euphrates' stream, States, an address, setting forth the great waiting, with sighs and tears, for redemptrecessities of the Church within the dio- tion to the Church of God; for tha:
blessed time when the word and sacra duous work assigned me, but to you, my ments can, with any thing like constancy, Brethren in the Lord ? Think not, I en be ministered among them. Besides in treat you, that I do this without due con. numerable individuals dispersed through. sideration. By what is in print I am ap. out our state, there are forty-eight places, prised of your wants among your own containing our little flock, mostly in cir. Aocks. I see the need you have to apply cumstances similar to the above. These your own resources at home. But wants I have hitherto visited once a year. I as well as riches are relative. They are have witnessed their joy at meeting, and small or great only by comparison. A fatheir grief at parting. Their passionate mily may be in want, and charity should inquiries, prompted by their love of Zion, begin at home; but if a neighbour be dying and especially by the danger of the rising for want of relief, who can refuse that re. generation's being enticed every day from lief and be innocent ? her order and beauty into the paths of sin, ?'his, in the eyes of all reflecting perschism, and infidelity; their passionate sons, is our case. Our parishes and peoinquiries for some prospects of relief in ple are too dismembered and too poor to the enjoyment of faithful Missionaries, maintain qualified ministers of the word almost every where repeated, have suns and sacraments. They have made their deep into my heart, and caused my tears efforts according to their utmost ability, to mingle with theirs. “While all others," and they find all is insufficient. Should say they, "enjoy these blessings, why are they be suffered to fail in this diocess, we deprived of them? Has thai Church, what will remain of the Church in the which we deem emphatically primitive, west? They will soon disperse. No funds no zeal to assist their distressed brethren -no clergy-and soon no people. Thus, in the wilderness; while all others, of even should prosperous days return, thero modern date, compass sea and land to will be no foundation on which to build a make proselytes?".
future superstructure. Our parishes and places of holding die Seeing so little hopes of fostering our vine service are mostly distant from each little flocks which we had formed in the other from fifteen to sixty miles; and the wilderness, even the clergy we had, some amount of parochial services is hardly so of them, began to think of removing to much as of five clergymen to supply them more flourishing regions, and leaving
the all. Though these are faithful, I fear, be. rest to mourn out their days in useless ef. yond their strength, yet what are they forts and hopeless solitude. But the Lord among so many congregations, and at such hitherto bath helped. Their faith in the distances ? To keep, from Ecclesiastical expected relief, which this instrument imextinction, the little flocks already form. plores, has as yet bore up their spirits.-ed, they have, in many instances, encom.
« We will make this last effort, say wę, passed so great a field of duty that, before and God in his mercy will smile upon us. ihey have finished their circuit, their for. This shall occupy our nightly dream and mer labours are no more seen; their fen. daily prayer. The fathers of our common ces against error are thrown down, the Church, the chief labourers in Christ's weeds of sin are grown, and their whole vineyard, will not suffer this rose in the ground is laid waste. Too often have I west, which God's own right hand hath witnessed this with mine own eyes--too planted, to be blasted in its bud, its beauty often have I seen the lambs of the fold de. to fade thus yntimely, and its fragrance to voured, because a shepherd was too far cease from us for ever. They will, under distant to hear their cries. What must be God, send forth labourers, faithful minis my feelings under such circumstances, the ters; they will incite their people to give beatings of your own bosoms, as you read liberally of their abundance; and we yet this, can best express.
shall see the prosperity of our beloved In doing the duty above alluded to, [ Zion." have found the labours of a Missionary in. Right Reverend Brethren, separable from those of the Episcopate ; I have now, surrounded by my manifold and, to a person of my age, this assemblage cares, finished my address to you on this, of fatigue is more than can be borne. In. of all others dwelt upon through my cessant speaking in private as well as in whole life, the most important and mopublic, in teaching the rudiments of Chris mentous subject; and thus, according to tianity to the young, in explaining and my weak ability, have done my duty. With defending the first principles of our reli- prayers the most sincere, I commit the gion to the ignorant opposer, have already event of it to the wisdom, the goodness
much impaired my voice and my general and mercy of him who, ta found and erect lealth; and, should this state of things a Kingdom here on earth, shed his precious continue, to all human view, my strength blood for us. Whatever this event may will soon be brought down in my journey, be, whether prosperous or adverse, I hum. and my days will be shortened.
bly implore his divine grace to make me So circumstances, where can I, under submissive to his holy will and pleasure. divine Providence, look for aid in the ar. The person who is the bearer of this to