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were few, merely to the effect that Geraldine “could recommend these works as imbued with the spirit of true loyalty and devotion to the English Church. Would not Miss Lane call at Content whenever she felt equal to the effort, and inspect the little library which was likely a year hence to be the chief intellectual solace of an exile in a foreign land ?" The note when analyzed was purely conventional, containing no expressions beyond such as might be warranted by the most ordinary courtesy, yet like some healing balm, the fragrance and the warmth of sympathy breathed in the very wording of each simple phrase. The charm was undefinable; Miss Lane could not have told why when the missive had been laid aside after a fourth perusal, its perfume and glow seemed still to hover round her. We are assured the sainted author of the “Christian Year” unceasingly besought from heaven the privilege of soothing all amongst his brethren who should stand in need of peace and consolation. Perhaps the secret of Geraldine's influence might have been in like manner revealed, could any human eye bave marked the fervour with which she knelt daily in her quiet chamber, and continually at the holy altar, to implore from the God of all comfort a kindred grace. Surely we may believe that such petitions never are unanswered by the merciful and loving SAVIOUR of mankind !
THE PSALMS OF DAVID.
“Sing unto the LORD with the harp ; with the harp, and the voice of a Psalm."
Ps. xcviii, 5.
We linger o'er the sacred page,
The glorious songs from Syrian land-
As indestructible they stand.
Finds access by a mystic spell—
And grateful love the bosom swell.
The far-off Alleluian chime,
Sounds daily in the ear that heeds ;
THE PRESENCE, THE SACRIFICE, THE ADORATION.
O fairest flowers of Israel's lore,
More precious than bright gems of earth-
C. A. M. W.
THE PRESENCE, THE SACRIFICE, THE ADORATION.1
WE do not remember ever to have seen a more forcible illustration of the old Proverb, “A little learning is a dangerous thing,” than is afforded by the recent Charge of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, in which his Lordship undertakes to settle the Eucharistic controversy authoritatively, by an appeal to the faith of the Early Church.
We have, it is well known, Palmerstonian bishops who can scarcely read a Greek Testament: we have archbishops and bishops who have been schoolmasters and college tutors, who therefore cannot be said to be without learning, but who at the same time are supremely ignorant of theology. But the Bishop of Bath and Wells was supposed really to have read some of the Fathers, and it is on this reputation, we imagine, that some of his friends have most indiscreetly urged him to an ex Cathedrá exposition of the doctrine of the Eucharist, on which he actually ventures to affirm that the English Church has been most explicit. Happily the Church of England of the sixteenth century was wiser than her nineteenth century bishop, and really defined nothing on this mysterious subject, beyond protesting against the Roman definition of transubstantiation.
The reason of course is patent to every one, viz., because there are no epithets implying honour and mystery which the Fathers, from Irenæus downwards, hesitated to lavish on the blessed Sacrament. The English Church certainly never dreamt of questioning these writers, but again and again refers to them as authorities. And to say that they do not affirm “the Presence, the Sacrifice, and the Adoration," as the Bishop of Bath and Wells did in his Charge, seems to be really something more than a mistake, it is an absolute untruth; and we do not see how his Lordship can escape from one or other horn of a dilemma,—either that he pretended to know what he did not, or
· A Letter to the Bishop of Bath and Wells on certain Statements in his Charge. By the Rev. C. S. Grueber. Parker : London and Oxford.
else that he thought himself at liberty, with the view of putting down, as he supposed, what he thought dangerous opinions, of throwing his own gloss upon the Fathers. His appeal to the Primitive Liturgies is even more unintelligible, because their testimony is still more decidedly against the Bishop.
It is painful to ourselves, as it must also have been to Mr. Grueber, thus to speak of one occupying the post of a bishop, but truth is dearer to us than courtesy, and we are not surprised to find that the Bishop has drawn down upon himself two other protests from his own Diocese besides this of Mr. Grueber's, which we can recommend, not only as supplying a needful correction of the Bishop's error, but also as containing a very complete statement of Eucharistic doctrine.
THE TEACHING OF JOY.
THE “teaching of sorrow" is very generally and very fully recognized; ; we hear from the pulpit, we read in our devotional books, our friends repeat to us in our hours of sadness the truth that “Sorrow is a teacher sent from GoD;” and so doubtless she is, and woe to those who harden their hearts against her and rebel under her visitation. Still we are, I think, too often inclined to accept as sent from God, sorrows that are in reality the result of our own sinfulness, or at least of our heedlessness; but sorrow and its lessons have been often and eloquently discoursed on; what I would now speak of is its oppositethe teaching of joy.
God's messengers are not always clad in robes of mourning or wreathed with the cypress, nor do they invariably call us with sounds of woe to follow a pathway wet with tears. He often in His mercy
sends us others in the white raiment of gladness, and crowned with fragrant flowers, who touch us with a lily sceptre and win us to follow them, with smiles and songs, to the bright land from whence they came, and who strew fair blossoms in the “narrow way,” to allure us ever onward and upward. It has been too much the fashion to despise all pleasures, and to look upon joy as a siren whose sweetness will only lead us to destruction, and to environ religion with all that is gloomy. This surely is not the teaching either of our Bible, or our Church; the former tells us that “GOD giveth us all things richly to enjoy.” It says, “Let the saints sing with joyfulness; " " Rejoice always, and again I say unto you, rejoice.” Time and space would fail did I quote all the passages from the Holy Book wherein joy is commanded. S. Paul places joy among the fruits of the Spirit, second only to love, and truly without love, neither human nor divine joy can exist. In our Church, too, how clearly rings out the note of gladness in all her services; to how many bright festivals she calls us ; yes, and never let us grudge our time or our money to enhance the beauty of her sanctuaries or the glory of her worship.
What, however, I would now dwell upon is this, that joy is sent to us from God, and has its lessons for our learning. Pure and innocent joy is a messenger of light, it has a counterfeit, the messenger
of darkness, the phosphoric gleam of whose garments may delude us unless we apply this one unflinching test; if we cannot fall on our knees and thank God for a joy and ask His blessing on it, we may be sure it is none of His sending. Let us fling the draught untasted from us, even though its jewelled cup be shivered to atoms in the fall; better, far better thus than that one drop of the poison were quaffed by us,it was an enemy who mixed it. Of old the sign of the cross was made over a goblet if poison was supposed to lurk within. So let us apply our testit is a still more unfailing one. The
сир which “Our FATHER” giveth us shall we not drink it? When He holds to our lips one of sadness He means us to taste the greatness of its bitterness, and when He gives us one of joy, He also means us to taste the fulness of its sweetness ; in either case He may see fit to remove it from our lips ere we have drained it: it is His, let Him do what seemeth Him best. Joys are not poisonous flowers planted by an enemy to retard our progress onward, “they are bright blossoms of paradise wafted to us by angel's wings to urge us upward towards the land where they grow.” They are not siren songs to lure us to destruction, they are the distant echoes of the golden harps and the angels' voices bidding us hasten to join the chorus. Poisonous blossoms and siren songs are on the right hand, and on the left, but we need not fear them, so long as we keep in the “ narrow way." “The pleasures of sin, like the apples of the Dead Sea, are fair to the sight, but crumble to ashes when we grasp them." Yes, joy is a mes. senger from GOD, and it has its uses. It has its snares also, but so has sorrow, both may tend to make us forget God by beeoming overengrossed with ourselves, and from the same cause both will often make us forgetful of those around us. The great danger of joy is the risk that in His gifts the Giver may be forgotten : daily and hourly we need to pray to be kept from this fearful sin. Let us“ rejoice always,” but let us see that “our rejoicing be always in the LORD;” let us rejoice in Him FIRST, and then all other joys will be blessed to us. Another danger is that joy sometimes binds us too firmly to earth ; and yet the same thought that prevents us from sinking under sorrow should prevent us from being too much bound to this world by joy, namely, that neither can last for ever, both are from our FATHER's hand. He can give and He can take away at His pleasure, but as we shall see, this last objection ought not to apply to holy joy.
a Gal. v. 22.
The first use of joy ought, we think, to be to increase our adoration and love of God. Surely the more we value a gift the more highly we should value and love the giver ; we should strive to value God's gifts for His sake rather than for their own. We should look upon them as proofs of His love to us, and so have our love to Him increased tenfold, and when we see how admirably He adjudges to each the very joy suited to them, we should learn more fervently to admire the infinitude of His wisdom. Then again earthly joy should make us long more ardently and strive more earnestly after that heavenly joy of which it is at best but so faint a type. If God gives us so much of beauty and of gladness here, what has He in store for us in the land which is so “very far off," where we shall “ see the King in His beauty,” and “drink of His pleasures as out of a river.” Verily "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive” what shall be hereafter; no, but every pure pleasure we enjoy here, should make us long and strive for those pleasures at God's right hand, of which they are the shadows. Our gratitude for God's innumerable mercies should make us try day by day to become less unworthy of them ; really worthy, even of the least, we never shall be in this world.
A fourth use of joy should be to make us sympathetic to all around, and to increase our charity; it should teach us to “ rejoice with those who do rejoice,” because we ourselves are glad, and joy is ever doubled when it is shared; while, blessed be God, sorrow is always diminished when we “weep with those who weep.” A grateful heart will in its happiness do all it can to increase the happiness of others, or at least to alleviate some of their distresses, and will as a thank