Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

66

and Ridley laid down life itself, it seems as if a spirit of blindness and infatuation had possessed some of them. Go into any of the Ritualistic churches, and see whether you will not be reminded of Rome; be present at one of the 'High Celebrations,' as the mass is called in Ritualistic circles, and see whether everything does not tell the same tale of Romish ceremonial and Romish doctrine having overlaid the order for the administration of the Holy Communion in our Prayer-book."

The Ritualists, however, care for none of these protestations. They resolutely pursue their way. One of them calls attention to the fact that the Archbishop of York, himself a member of the tribunal which sat in judgment on the case, has publicly termed the Bennett judgment“ a failure of justice.”

Meanwhile,” says Mr. C. S. Roundell, an eminent churchman, " the English clergy are drifting towards Rome. They are assuming more and more the character of a priestly caste; and just so far they are sundering themselves and the Church in which they minister from the great body of the English people. . . . What is the cause of the newly-revived bitterness of Dissent towards the Church ? Why is it that the education question is being hopelessly embroiled ? Why has religion so little outward hold upon the body of all classes of the people? Why is the principle of authority everywhere discredited ? It is because priestly ascendency is abhorrent to Englishmen.”

The Marquis of Cholmondeley conducts religious services in his private church at the priory, St. Helen's, during the summer months. Lord Radstock has been delivering * Gospel addresses” at Nottingkam.

The autumnal meetings of the Baptist Union will be held this year at Nottingham, in the week beginning October 13. The lace metropolis abounds in Baptist memorials of an inspiriting character. One of the early Baptist preachers in the town was the venerable Abraham Booth, who, while he was yet a framework knitter at Sutton-inAshfield, was in the habit of performing his periodic journeys to Nottingham on foot. A Baptist church existed in the town as early as the seventeenth century. On no religious society did the hand of persecution press so heavily. Denied the rights of Christian burial, many of the early Baptists were interred in private gardens; and the curious fact is recorded by the local historians, that when a church was founded, its members sought a place of interment before

[ocr errors]

they proceeded to build a chapel. The society of General Baptists was formed in Nottingham a hundred years ago. Park-street Chapel, erected in 1724, was the third dissenting chapel built in the town; and it was within its walls, on the 31st of May, 1792, that Carey preached the famous sermon which led to the formation of the Baptist Missionary Society. It was in that discourse he embodied his thoughts in two mottoes which have been the watchwords of the missionary movement ever since :-“ Expect great things from God."

Attempt great things for God.”. The genius loci ought to make the autumnal congress of the Baptist Union this year one of the most interesting and successful that has been seen since the institution of these gatherings.

The Rev. John Pillans, President of the Surrey Congregational Union for the current year, has accompanied the Rev. Dr. Mullens on a prolonged visit to Madagascar. Before leaving England his late church at Camberwell presented him with a sum of nearly £600.

“We have,” says a contemporary, "absolutely trustworthy information of a case in which, in a wretched locality in London, some poor children were taught by one or two benevolent ladies. These never asked whether they were Protestant or Popish, but let them kneel side by side to say,

Our Father who art in Heaven." Of this Archbishop Manning heard, and he gave command that the Roman Catholic children should be withdrawn. Roman Catholics, he declared, would pray for, but could not pray with, Protestants."

During the last four months the Borough-road Congregational Church has been undergoing alterations, and has also been quite renovated, at a cost of £1500.—The memorial stone of a new Church at Aylesbury has been laid by Mr. John Kemp Welch. After the ceremony, purses to the amount of £419 were laid upon the stone.—The Rev. George Allen has resigned his position as pastor of the Wesley-place Church, Great Horton, Bradford, over which church he settled about eight months ago, and has accepted the pastorate of the church at Leith, vacant by the removal of Rev. W. J. Cox to Panmure Chapel, Dundee.-—The Rev. Geo. L. Herman, of Chatham, has accepted a unanimous invitation to become the pastor of the church at Princes-street, Gravesend.—The Rev. E. S. Bayliffe, B.A., has, after nearly twelve years' ministry at Marlborough, accepted a unanimous invitation from the Congregational Church, Tiverton, Devon.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

UNT ÉANNY'S TALES.
No. III.—The Post-OFFICE IN

THE AIR.

I “ , ,

lots of presents, a party of friends to spend the day, and real tea out of the doll's tea-things! And now she wants to choose her story! What is it to be ?"

“A fairy story." "Something strange." "Something that happened when you were a little girl.” These suggestions and many more came quickly from the lips of my little niece and of the party of little people who had assembled to celebrate her seventh birthday.

“A fairy tale, and about me!” I cried, laughing. “Why poor old Auntie knows no fairies."

Oh, doesn't she, though!” exclaimed saucy Jack. “I believe they tell her some of her stories.”

“Besides,” remarked Nelly, wisely, “there are other wonderful things besides fairies.”

· Most true, Nelly; and half the real things that happen every day are as curious as any fairy tale that was ever written ; but we do not think about it, because they are so common. It is so, Willie, so you needn't look so unbelieving. However,” I continued, “this time what I shall tell you will be uncommon. We could not have anything common for Effie's birthday story, could we? It shall be wonderful, it shall be true. Something that really happened to a little girl I knew, and as strange as if it had happened in fairyland, and the name shall be · The Post-office in the Air.""

Quick as thought they all grouped themselves round me, under the old tree that overshadowed the smooth lawn, and with Effie, as their queen, in the place of honour, announced themselves as ready for my story. So I began.

A year or two ago, at the window of a large house in a strange city, a disconsolate little face might be seen looking out with earnest eyes. The city was Paris, the house was a French school, and the face belonged to a little girl, nine years old, named Eva Stanley. She was naturally a very merry girl, but just then there was scarcely a face in that house that did not look grave, except the very

little ones, who laughed and played as usual. It was during the siege of Paris that my story took place. You can, some of you, remember hearing about the war between.the French and Germans. Your

[ocr errors]

papa showed you the places on the map, and read you accounts of it in the newspapers.”

And we made bandages and shirts, Auntie,” said Alice.

Yes; every one in England did what they could to help the poor wounded soldiers. Well, you know too what a siege means, so I need only tell the very little ones that for months no one could get in or out of Paris. No one could bring food or help of any sort to those who were shut up within its walls. And what some found harder to bear than almost anything else, no letters could come, no news of their friends outside, nor could they send news of themselves. A great many sad stories could be told of that sad time; but I must return to little Eva, and tell you how it happened that she, an English girl, should have been left in the French city. She was the only child of parents in London, and had been sent to a friend of her mamma's, a lady who kept a school in Paris, that she might learn the French language perfectly. When older she would probably travel with her father and mother, and you know if you travel in countries where they do not speak English, it is very necessary for your comfort, and for the comfort of those with you, that you should understand what people say and be able to answer them. Think of this, Alice and Arthur, when you are sighing over French verbs and German exercises ! I think you would have been amused to hear all the little girls in Madame Rivière's school chattering away in French, which

you find so difficult, but then they would be equally astonished to hear your English talk. Arrangements had been made for Eva to be brought home by an old servant, but her sudden illness had delayed it, and Mr. Stanley could not possibly leave home himself. Other friends promised to take charge of the child, but every one had their own affairs to think of, and it was put off too long. The gates were shut, and Eva was left in the school. Madame Rivière was a good woman, very kind to all her pupils, and she loved Eva for her mother's sake. So at first the little English girl was very well off; she had plenty of companions, for the school was not broken up; but as weeks went by and nothing was heard from the beloved friends who used to write so regularly, her heart sank. Her good governess too was very anxious. Who could tell what might happen before she and all the pupils could be restored to their homes.

“However, there was nothing to be done. Nothing but patience and trust in God for any one during that gloomy time of waiting. Madame Rivière wisely continued daily school work, thinking it best to employ the children's minds as much as possible ; but when the time of liberty came, which used to be so longed for, it was sad to see the grave

little group that wandered about the old garden, trying to amuse themselves, as of old, with their pets and playthings. Eva's special pet was a beautiful pigeon. It had been given her by the old French gardener, who took a fancy to the pretty little English girl, who used try, and talk to him. “Bluebell,' as she called it, from its beautiful blue plumage, soon became quite tame, and so fond of her little mistress, that she would fly to her and perch on her shoulder as soon as she saw her, and would often wake her in the morning by pecking at the window. Out of school hours they were always together, and even in school hours sometimes a tapping would be heard, and all the little heads turned round, and voices would cry, “Look, it is Eva's pigeon ;” till the governesses were obliged to request that Mademoiselle Eva would shut up her pet till lessons were over.

“ Meanwhile news came up from the city that endeavours were being made to communicate with the outside world by means of balloons and of carrier pigeons, and large sums were being offered for the latter birds. Great excitement was caused by this hope, however small, of hearing from friends once more, and crowds besieged the post-office daily. There was excitement, too, in little Eva's mind. Her beautiful Bluebell, she felt sure, was a carrier pigeon—the old man had told her so—but she would never let it go, whatever they offered for it, so she exclaimed, as she stroked its soft feathers. But it might bring you a message from your mamma,' suggested her friend Louise. This idea made Eva very thoughtful, and she asked Madame Rivière about it. The result was that the good schoolmistress made several expeditions into the town, had consultations with those in authority, and then it was decided that Eva's pigeon must go with some more to be packed in a basket, well supplied with food and water, and sent off, with many more such baskets, in a balloon. Some were directed to London, some to other places. Important despatches and news of all sorts was sent with them, and it was hoped that answers would be brought back by these wonderful little messengers. Eva's name was mentioned as one of those wanting news, and it required all her faith and all her hopes to enable her to bear the parting with her favourite.

And now a dreary time of waiting had to be borne, and other troubles came to make it worse. Food became scarce, and consequently very dear. The poor suffered most, but all felt it. Poor

« ElőzőTovább »