rounding patches of cultivation, crowning the heights; and cascades and waterfalls tumbling down into the rapid stream below. Catholicism has here many indications of her supremacy. Small shrines are erected every few leagues by the side of the road, surmounted by a cross; and underneath one of these, we observed a dexterously contrived box, with a small aperture in the top, surmounted with the inscription, “ Tronc pour les âmes en purgatoire." Box for the souls in purgatory. The humble peasantry are often seen, when on the way to work, kneeling at their devotions in front of these shrines.

Passing the miserable village of La Grave, we arrived the following morning, at Briancon, a neat little town, perched like a nest, on the side of a rocky hill, and turretted with strong battlements, similar to what we saw at Grenoble. A richly clothed valley stretched below it, smoking with a hundred hamlets. As we advanced a few leagues farther, the Alpine scenery assumed an aspect of sterner sublimity. We were now once more within sight of Protestantism. As we approached the village of La Roche, the sun was shining on a few scattered huts on the opposite side of the valley of the Durance. We found it, on inquiry, to be Chancelas, one of the hamlets hallowed by the name of Neff. We had reached the termination of another week, and looked forward with no common pleasure to the morrow, to enjoy a Sabbath amid the scenes and flocks of his apostolic labors, and, if possible, to penetrate to the rocky wilds of Dormilleuse.

We left La Roche at five o'clock on a lovely Sabbath morning, in order to be in time for service at Felix Neff's nearest Alpine church, at Violins.

Our rugged pathway skirted the sides of the opposite mountain. Leaving Chancelas on the left, upon the opposite side of the ravine, we reached, after a two hours' walk, the small village of Palons, the residence of the clergyman of the valleys; and crossing a bridge which spans the rapid torrent, another half-hour brought us to the humble inn of Fressiniere. We were accompanied from Fressiniere to Violins, by one of five youthful colporteurs, who are entrusted with a large district in the South of France, extending to the valleys of Dauphiny to Marseilles and Toulon. He mentioned, that within six months, they had distributed a thousand copies of the New Testament, and eighty of the Bible, a beautifully simple and effective machinery for scattering “the leaves of the tree which are for the healing of the nations."

Continuing our ascent, we overtook a reverend patriarch wending his way to the temple of Violins. His head was whitened with seventy-four winters, and his tottering step betokened he would be the witness of few more. On making ourselves known as Protestants, a gleam of joy gathered over his countenance,-and, resting on his pilgrim staff, he stretched out his withered hand, and welcomed us as “brethren." His eye glistened as we spoke of Neff, whose name is a household word. What a change was observable from preceding Sabbaths! During these we had seen the harvest sickle busy in other parts of France; but in the wild solitudes around, work of every kind was suspended. From the elevation we had attained, one picturesque “Sabbath train" alone was visible, a succession of rustic worshippers, as far as the eye could reach, bending their steps along the valley to the little church, whose spire was beginning to peep above the clump of walnut trees which mark the hamlet of Violins.

On reaching one of the humble tenements, and obtaining admission, a characteristic group was disclosed. The father of the family was seated opposite; beside him, an interesting looking young woman, who had recently been married to his only son. The latter occupied, along with his mother, the other side of the blazing fire; and, to complete the picture, in the middle sat the clergyman, who was about to perform the morning service. On entering, we were received with hearty kindness, and shared with the pastor the homely fare his friends had placed before him. At ten o'clock we proceeded to the " temple," as they call it, and were greeted by the bon jours" of the flock, who were assembled round the door. The females, as they entered, curtsied; and, as in other protestant churches in France, sat on opposite sides from the men. As they came to their particular benches, each engaged in silent prayer,—the men covering their faces with their hats, and the women kneeling. Our friend, Jean Isaiah Alart, (whose hospitality we had just received,) acted as precentor and reader. He commenced by singing a hymn-read the 55th Isaiah, from which the text was taken, and a short liturgyafter which the pastor ascended the pulpit, and gave a plain, searching sermon. The service concluded with a hymn and prayer,-after which M. Durant, the present pastor of the Valley, ascended the reader's desk with his black gown and bands; and a man and woman presented themselves to have their marriage, which had been before performed by a Roman Catholic priest, confirmed, as one of the parties was a Protestant. They had come, for this purpose, all the way from Piedmont, the Waldensian pastors having refused to perform the ceremony. On the dismissal of the congregation, we could not help remarking the unrestrained and happy intimacy existing between the pastor and his flock,-they welcomed and conversed with him as one of themselves; and on his leaving with us, to ascend the path to Dormilleuse, with a primitive simplicity he embraced and kissed a number of them, who seemed to feel no feigned sorrow at his temporary absence.

(To be continued.)

YOUTHFUL CHRISTIANITY. WHAT is there in a youthful Christian to distinguish him from other Christians? True religion and real piety must, in many respects, be the same, whether found in the young or possessed by the old. Water, whether drawn from a fountain in the toy-cup of the child, or taken in the heavy bucket of the herdsman, is water still. "And whether we see it in an earthern cup, or in a vessel of gold-in the pitcher of a peasant, or in the reseryoir of a palace-as a drop on a flower-leaf, or as an ocean in its vasty depths, we recognize it as water still. Take an illustration from human nature. That nature is manifestly the same in the infant and in the child in the youth and in the man. There is no danger of confounding it with any other creature in any of the other kingdoms of God's creation. But as in infant and child, youth and man, there are certain distinctive features, so there are characteristics in the youthful Christian, not common to all Christians.

The figure with which our readers are all most familiar as exhibiting the nature of youthful piety, is that of

“A flower when offered in the bud.”

There is not only the pleasantness of poetry in this metaphor, there is also the beauty of truthfulness. A rose bud is not only beautiful in itself, but it has promise of a fuller development of beauty. As a bud it has bloom and form, and fragrance; but what are these now, compared with the color, and shape, and scent, which will belong to the full-blown flower? Does not this natural object describe youthful Christianity? When real religion possesses the spirit of a young person, there is the prospect of added years witnessing an increase of strength in every Christian virtue and in all godly conduct. But when a person, after he becomes a Christian, has passed the meridian of his days, he is then a partaker of the blessedness of godliness without having before him much opportunity of adorning the gospel, and of acknowledging his obligations to Divine mercy by earnest devotion of life. And therefore, our good poet has said:

“A flower when offered in the bud,

IS NO VAIN SACRIFICE.” If a full-blown flower is presented to us we admire its beauty and perfection, but we know that every moment will hasten its decline—that every beauty and charm upon it are fleeting--and that we must soon see it fall and fade from our hands. A fullblown rose is a vain-a fleeting-fading offering;-but a flower when offered in the bud, instead of bringing with it tokens of decay, brings promise of new beauties and of fresh charms.Martin's Youthful Christianity.

PLEASURES. I see that when I follow my shadow it flies me; when I fly my shadow it follows me. I know pleasures are but shadows, which hold no longer than the sun of my fortunes. Lest, then, my pleasures should forsake me, I will forsake them. Pleasure most flies me, when I most follow it.-Warwick.

LAW AND PHYSIC. Use law and physic only for necessity; they that use them otherwise, abuse themselves unto weake bodies, and light purses. They are good remedies, bad businesses, and worse recreations.--Quarles.

OUR LIBRARY ESTRAYS. We are not professed critics, but by the kindness of our friends a few works fall into our hands occasionally for notice or review. We are always happy to receive them, and to bestow on them such a reading as their merits call for. Heretofore we have seldom stepped out of our place unless we could give our full approval to the work sent; but we now find that something more is expected of us. We shall therefore from time to time devote a page or two to such as may seem to call for remark.

The Tabernacle and its Furniture* are so fully described in Holy Writ, as to leave little room for additional illustration. Dr. Kitto has, however, made them the subject of a handsome pictorial work, which brings them in a pleasing manner again before the public. The general view of the Tabernacle, with its rich hangings carefully gilt and colored, is a very interesting picture, though not without a few discrepancies which his practised eye has probably discovered. The ascent to the altar is on the east side instead of the south, and the number and arrangement of the columns at the east and west ends of the court are not authorized by the description contained in the book of Exodus. Nor are the measurements so accurate as could be wished. But on the whole the engraving affords a good idea of the original. In the description of the altar of burnt offering, the following remark strikes us as an original contribution towards the elucidation of a theme almost exhausted—“The fact that the sides of the altar were of wood seems to establish that the interior was filled up with earth ; as not only did the law require this, but the radiation of the heat must soon have else destroyed the wood, even though plated with brass." The “ horns” both of this altar and of the altar of incense, as represented by Dr. Kitto, do not appear to be figured after any known authority; they are purely ideal. This we regret, as we are not without evidence as to the form of these appendages, of which we have at least two or three good examples—in the broken altar from the Sphynx temple, and the paintings of Herculaneum.

• The Tabernacle and its Furniture, by John Kitto, D.D., &c., with Ilustrations by W. Dickes. B. L. Green.

« ForrigeFortsett »