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it was so ordained that I should pass just now upon the` lake."
Thereupon, the kind-hearted fisherman left his boat, accompanied for a time the erring pilgrim, and pointed out to him the right way to his father's house. The traveller now hastened onwards with renewed courage, and as the light of his home shone between the distant trees with a clear quiet brightness, he was the more thankful for having been preserved through danger and He knocked and the door opened, and his father and mothers, brothers and sisters, hung upon his neck, and kissed him, weeping for joy.
(A POPULAR LEGEND.)
The roughest village urchin,
Who nothing spares besides,
Our LORD and Master trod; (For only thus could sinners
Be reconciled with GOD;) Upon His blessed Shoulder
The shameful Cross was borne; And with the thorny diadem
His sacred Brow was torn.
To see that dreadful sight;
Could mock and jeer that day,
A little bird was hovering
Where the wounds so cruelly bled:
One crimson thorn, the utmost
In his flight towards the sky;
(At least, so legends say,)
And he alone, of all the birds
That sing in forest green,
And let your crumbs of bread
On the window-sill be spread.
THE EDITOR'S TRIP.
MY DEAR FRIEND, You want some account of my recent trip, and you shall have it, as far as concerns the general interests of the Church. It is so rarely that one can get away from parochial cares and Editorial responsibilities, that when I can do so, and enjoy the fresh breeze, and pass along on the "iron road," at a pace which would astonish the slow coaches of other days, I feel like a school-boy let home for the vacation, and really revel in the beauties of nature, and watch, with increasing interest, the scenes, ever charming, ever new." There is
really a pleasure in having your letters following you at some country post, so that they don't reach you before you have set out for a day's pleasure, and thus you get thorough rest.
Well, to begin at the beginning. A noble engine conducted me at a glorious speed to Bristol, where I refreshed myself with the Cathedral service. Everything was orderly and decent. The music was like a finelychiselled statue, very beautiful, but very cold. There was really nothing life-like about it. The choristers sang, because they had to sing. There was nothing wrong in the mechanism, but it was machinery, after all. The more I hear Cathedral services, the more do I regret that those noble strains that thrilled a S. Augustine have no home in these sanctuaries which should be their abiding place. On this occasion, the "Te Deum," &c., were sung to fine Services, by the Rev. Sir F. Ouseley, Bart., and the anthem was one of Croft's. There was a fair attendance; and, if the people's song were used in the people's Church, I have no doubt that many, very many more would attend services in which they could bear a part, and at which they would be something more than delighted listeners.
However, it was refreshment, after all: and it is a satisfaction to travellers to be able thus to join in the worship of GOD.
The incidents of travel are pretty much the same; and
therefore imagine me next day at the end of my journey, in the midst of a warm-hearted family, who realize the blessedness of Church principles, and are alive to the privileges which the Church system offers them. Imagine them bent upon giving a quiet country parson all the enjoyment they can, and therefore not planning pic-nics nor fishing excursions, (though for "auld lang syne," a bat and ball are visible,) but considering how, in the shortest possible space of time, the greatest possible amount of information on Church matters can be gained. The result of their judicious catering I will now communicate to you, and that briefly, to get in all I can.
And first of all, as in duty bound, we visited an old College friend, to whom the Church is much indebted, and who is loved the more, the more he is known. The church of which he is Curate, has been recently restored, in a most complete and perfect manner. It is one of Mr. Scott's most successful restorations: and when I say that, I mean no small praise; as I do think that thorough Church architect is establishing many claims to the good opinion of Churchmen. The scrolls are very beautiful; as is the diaper-work in the chancel. All the arrangements and appointments for Divine Service are of the best character, and there is every facility for celebrating Divine worship decently and in order.
I had the satisfaction of inspecting a fine monument of antiquity, in the shape of an old inn, built about 1009, and where the Duke of Monmouth was sheltered during his Rebellion. We also saw the old chest that erewhile belonged to the Abbey of Glastonbury; which, amid some modern alterations, still preserves indisputable marks of its antiquity.
It was a glorious day; for, though the rain fell in the morning, the skies cleared, and we had cheerful and bright faces, and all went merry as a marriage bell. You who know our common friend so well, will readily imagine how thoroughly happy we were.
The following day was one of hard work. We began with driving up some hills, which are not second to those of Devonshire, and from the summit of which views of the most magnificent character are gained. Our object
was to see the Church of Leigh-upon-Mendip which is, altogether, a fine building; the tower being one of the noblest specimens of a Somersetshire tower: not quite equal, I must confess, to Wrington. The large "pens," which modern comfort and exclusiveness have invented, have been removed, and the old oaken benches restored, as they were in days of old. The arrangements of the Church are correct. You will be glad to learn that there is here an Industrial School, which has been attended with most satisfactory results. The proceeds of last year were very large, when we consider the smallness of the plot of ground under cultivation. There were, I believe, £49 for two acres, over and above vegetables used. Our readers will remember in our pages the account of the Finchley Schools, (upon the success of which, the promoters deserve hearty congratulation,) and those at Leigh and Mells are on a similar principle.
Thence, over a beautiful tract of country, to Chantrey, a chapelry in the parish of Whatley. This is a Cathedral in miniature. Every thing is good, yet all on too large a scale for so small a building. This is more especially the case with reference to the chancel, which gives one the idea of being overcrowded. Some of the scrolls are very well done; and I can only express the gratification I feel in adding, that this noble structure is daily opened for holy worship, and that daily GOD is praised in the beauty of holiness.
Thence we proceeded over Mells Green, (which is the most beautiful of any I ever saw,) to Frome Selwood, a town which has obtained notoriety on many accounts. All here is full of cheer. The Vicar is going on with many good works, as usual; among which we may name Schools; Juvenile and Adult College; House of Refuge; Libraries; and temporary Homes for factory females out of work.
S. John Baptist's day was indeed a great and glorious day; and I was sorry indeed that my journey took place after that festival. There was a solemn dedication feast, with its Holy Eucharist, and the gathering of rich and poor. There was the inauguration of a College for the middle classes; an ecclesiastical-looking building.
There was laid the foundation-stone of an Infants' School, and a Home for factory girls, by the Marchioness of Bath. The restoration of the noble old church, is also being proceeded with; and great boxes are gradually giving way to neat, substantial oaken benches. There is an early Morning Service at half-past five, that the workman may go out to his work until the evening, strengthened with grace from above. Such are the great works that are going on in the long-neglected parish of Frome Selwood. Truly we may say, "What hath GOD wrought!"
There was a rainbow in the cloud that hung over the good Vicar but three years ago; and the distresses of S. Barnabas' are turning out to the advantage of the Church elsewhere: and he who left that glorious structure, chanting, in broken accents, "By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept," is now once more going forth bearing precious seed; and he who has so sown in tears will yet reap in joy. That GOD may long preserve him in health and strength to do his Master's work will, I am sure, be the prayer of hundreds of the sons of England's Church. The sermon preached by him on the Eve of S. John Baptist, is very characteristic, and should, I think, be printed, in a cheap form, for general circulation in the parish, so that all might have a copy.
The day following found us in the magnificent Cathedral of Wells. What a noble building, and how carefully are the restorations being carried on! The beautiful Choir and exquisite Lady Chapel, cannot but command universal admiration. Most fully, in such a place, do we realize Wordsworth's sonnet
"Open your gates, ye everlasting piles!
Types of the spiritual Church which God hath reared;
And humble altar, mid your sumptuous aisles
But yet, on the day we visited it, the solemn teaching was unfelt by the masses that crowded its nave.