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and combats. 'Why not rather,' you will, perhaps, reply, 'remain on the field of battle, face the enemy, and win the crown that waits on victory? Not to fight, is to fly: it is the act of a coward.' I acknowledge it. I will not dissemble my weakness. I dare not fight in the hope of victory, from the fear that I may one day be overcome.' We cannot but remember that perfect love casteth out fear, and that this very fear of being overcome when fighting with an honest heart in the place in which GOD had plainly called him, was an evidence of imperfect faith. It is also an evidence that sin, though repented of by man and forgiven by GoD, haunts the sinner in its consequences through life. Jerome, a man of strong passions and fiery temperament, had in his youth led a life of dissipation, such as dissipation was in the declining days of Rome. That it was a life of ele

gant and learned wickedness, such as Alcibiades might have followed, there can be no doubt. Judging from his own writings, there was not an author of Greece and Rome with whom he was not familiar; and his works abound and superabound with quotations from them

all. Still, it was a life, the whole tendency of which was to acerbate the natural defects of his character, and to bring them to such a point that, notwithstanding the strictest watchfulness, and the most self-denying asceticism, we find traces of them breaking out in every part of his life. He describes himself-and very truly-under the figure of a man sleeping with a serpent close to him.

He had left Rome, in order to break off at once the temptations which beset him, and had for some time pursued in Gaul the study of divinity. On his return, his natural talents and his acquired learning placed him at once in a situation to serve the Church. All flocked for advice and assistance to the great and holy Jerome. He distrusted himself-left Rome-fled to Syria, where, for many years he led the life of a hermit.

For this we can hardly blame him: it was the natural consequence of his earlier sins. We may doubt whether the solitary life which he led-forcing him to concentrate his attention on his feelings, instead of expanding it on his duties-was wholesome, especially for a man of his ardent temperament; but we must admit that it was a choice between two dangers, and that God had not as yet called him, nor pointed out to him very decidedly his mission; neither did he spend his time in religious idleness. He acquired a perfect knowledge of the Hebrew, Syriac, and Chaldaic languages, and commenced his Commentaries on the Holy Scriptures. By letters he still kept up his communications with Rome, and visited Constantinople in order to confer with Gregory Nazianzen on the plan of explaining Holy Writ. It was at this time that Damasus, Bishop of Rome, requested him to undertake the translation of Scripture into a language understood by the Italians, who hitherto had been reduced to partial and imperfect versions of the Septuagint; and it is to this immense work, which was subsequently translated into English by Wickliffe, that we owe the first dawnings of the Reformation in England.

Up to this time, we can hardly find fault with the seclusion which S. Jerome had chosen for himself. He had no particular mission, and he was employing in the service of God those faculties which

GOD had given him in so liberal a measure: but in the year 382, Damasus convened a Council at Rome, and especially summoned Jerome, whose reputation at once placed him in a higher position than he had ever before occupied. He soon became the absolute director of the consciences of half Rome, and, as Almoner, the absolute dispenser of half the private property of it. He seems to have made an excellent use of his despotic power, for it is to those who acted under his influence, that Rome owes its first hospitals.

His principal attention was turned to the reformation of the Clergy; a subject in which a more discreet man might have made for himself enemies,-Jerome's impetuosity and unsparing severity stirred up whole hosts, who retaliated upon him by reviving reminiscences of his early life, and ascribing his present influence among the Roman ladies to similar motives.

Jerome again fled, and, leaving his glorious work unfinished, sought his cell in Bethlehem.

Who can say whether, if he had faithfully and resolutely completed it, and had succeeded, as he probably would have succeeded, his friend Damasus in the bishopric of Rome, that terrible punishment which was then hanging over the devoted city might not have been averted? It might be, on the other hand, that the faithful servant was thus removed from peril, and made the instrument of safety to others, and that Bethlehem was the ark of safety. We cannot read the counsels of the Most High; but whether it was or was not possible that the doom could by any means be averted, certain it is that within a very few years Alaric and his Huns devastated Rome, and the Goths, the Sarmatians, the Quadri, the Alani, the Vandals, and the Marcomans, burst like a deluge over the whole of the Eastern Empire.

But before this time, many of Jerome's followers had collected round him, and had founded monasteries and convents in Syria. The gates of these monasteries were thrown open to the fugitives; and such was the reputation of Jerome, that the barbarians themselves respected his sanctuary.

He died on the 30th of September, 420, and was buried in the retreat he had himself chosen. He was one of the greatest and holiest of the early saints, but still a memorable instance of the indelible nature of sin, so far as this life is concerned. His early sins, so soon repented, and so completely forsaken, not only gave occasion to his enemies, and thwarted to the very last his honest and faithful service, but besides this, they influenced his whole character, and deprived him of the moral confidence and vigour which were indispensable to withstand adequately their assaults.

"Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem
Testa diu."

Which Moore has freely rendered:

"Like a vase in which roses have once been distilled;
You may break, you may ruin the vase if you will;
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.'

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"He hath made every thing beautiful."-Eccl. iii. 11.

"Immortals, guard our sylvan loves!" the village youths and maidens said

Encircling round a fallen tree whose doom the woodman's axe had sped:

"Thrice hallowed is the yew," cried one, "which shadoweth the old

church door

Our brother he is laid beneath, and there the green grass waveth o'er ; At twilight hour our mother glides, where sleeps the unforgotten dead, Beside his grave to breathe a prayer, and mournful tears unseen to shed!"

"Kind fays, protect the silver birch that grows within the lonely dell, Where steep and stray a pathway winds adown unto the sparkling well; For when with pitchers poised we climb, sure pleasant faces seem to smile,

'Mid glancing leaves by soft winds stirred, the toilsome labour to beguile;

And ancients tell that elfin folk by glow-worm's mystic lamp of light, Count idler's steps-nor send them luck-nor waft the happy dreams of night."

"Yet three times three for hearts of oak!" out cried a gallant sailor boy;

"Our island's wooden planks I love-I love a sailor's life of joyO'er ocean wastes they bear me safe, to wander in far orient lands, Where stretch the mighty forest's arms to rivers rich with golden sands:

I'll build a barque of good tough oak! I'll reign a roving chieftain free

'Mid green savannahs-prairie wilds-then O! the noble oak for me!"

"Where gently glides a classic stream, and stately swans float slowly by

Where lotos lilies white repose amid the emerald greenerie-
Mark, drooping o'er the lucid water gracefully the willow tree,
As round its lichened stems creep ever little wavelets lazily:
It from the river margin spreadeth arbours o'er the sunny deep,
Where rest from toil the wearied boatmen who within their shallops

Then spake a maid with serious mien, her voice as music sad and sweet-"In haunted bowers the aspens thrive-those favoured trees which angels greet:

For when above shine moon and stars-when hushed the zephyr's sportive sigh,

And when prevails a peace profound, as of some solemn mystery-
The shivering aspen clearly tells-O list the vision fancy weaves-
Of many a wandering spirit's home among the trembling conscious

"The almond tree for trusting hearts," a timid whispering voice replied;

"On leafless boughs those blossoms show an emblem by true faith descried ;

No verdure, harbinger of spring, heralds forth the peerless bloomWhich, like the joy in clouded scenes, shows brighter far amid the gloom :

The martyred saints shed sweets around in shorn and darkest wintry hours,

And we a lesson blest may learn from contemplating almond flowers."

The Children's Corner.


THE joyous festival of Whitsuntide had arrived! The valleys were blooming, and the hills were green and verdant, as well as the lovely quiet dales.

It is still the custom in many villages in Silesia, on the recurrence of this festival, to ornament the doors of the farm-houses, where the daughters of the family are grown up. The lads of the village usually procure for this purpose the slender silver birch, with its shining bark and small twigs, on which they hang bright ribbons, or even silk handkerchiefs; and in the night before Whitsunday, they place them in the court-yards of the farms where the chosen fair ones dwell. The more the May trees, as they are called, that adorn the door, the greater is the honour and distinction for the maiden, for she is generally the most modest, the most industrious, and the prettiest girl in the village, and you may believe it is no little triumph for the young peasant girls, when they go to Church in the morning, to see the beautifully ornamented trees, the first thing on crossing the threshold. Generally they have learned it before from their sisters or the servants, but they pretend to look bashful and


surprised, and blush like the full blown rose in their bouquet, while the Church goers remain standing before the door, admiring the_gay_ribbons floating so merrily in the morning breeze. The lasses anticipate with pleasure this festival through the year, all on account of these May trees, which are the pride and ambition of every "Who will have the best May tree this time ?" is a question asked many days beforehand in the village. The forest-keeper laid a fine on whoever should take a birch from the enclosure; and consequently the young men are doubly anxious to show their skill and courage by procuring a beautiful tree, in spite of the prohibition. Pentecost fell this time in the month of roses, and was favoured with most beautiful weather; no clouds were visible in the heavens. Under the porch of the best farm-house of the place, stood a handsome girl, with jetblack hair, her dress was neat and clean, and the red headband well became her; her lively eyes glanced towards the path down which the lads of the village were coming from the fields on their tired horses. In general Theresa was rather haughty, but to-day she returned every greeting in a friendly manner, nay, she would even speak first to one and then to the other, and ask after the clover, or how the shearing had succeeded, all on account of the Whitsuntide trees: for the proud maiden longed to have the greatest number at her door. It is true the youths had taken some notice of the pretty Theresa; they had liked to dance with her, only sometimes she cut them off short. It was indeed said of her, that she treated the servants harshly, nay, even the poor who came to her father's premises to ask an alms; and this did not much please the young men, though others thought she was only a thrifty hostess, and would make an excellent housewife.

The whole village took it for granted, that Theresa would have the best trees at Whitsuntide, she herself was not less sure, and the evening before, she swept with her own hand, the large space before the courtyard door, where the young trees would stand the next morning.

In the dark night, long before the sun rose, the lads were moving about the village, with their hatchets in

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