Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

alarmed him. I looked earnestly around me, to see if his guide' would again appear, but he was not in sight; and as the dark boughs of the trees closed behind Mondano, and I saw him no more, I felt that for him hope was well-nigh lost, and I trembled lest, even now, he should be rushing headlong down one of the broad roads which lead to destruction. What was his fate, I do not know, for I never saw him again.

I continued to watch Carità and her companions, who proceeded safely along the road in which Credo had left them. Often they climbed a steep hill, and at times their road lay through a dark valley ; but they never turned into any of the by-paths which were at hand, and I knew by this that they had invisible teaching and guidance. Their wreaths were rich with the most fragrant of the everlasting flowers, and they carefully guarded their robes, weeping sorrowfully when they had in any way defiled them.

I expected that Carità would have been first called to rejoin her loved Credo, but it was not so. One by one her little loved ones were taken from her side, as he had been, and she was left to console and guide those that yet remained with her; and though her sorrow for their loss was full of the bright hope of meeting them again, where their stained garments should be exchanged for robes of spotless purity, and they would dwell together amid the glories of the land towards which their steps had ever been' directed; yet her tears often bedewed the wreath she held in her hand, and caused the frail flowers which were clinging there to wither and fall away; but the everlasting blossoms yielded then a sweeter perfume, and fresh clusters of them seemed to spring up beside her path.

The last of Carità's little charges had not long been carried from her side, when one evening, as she fell asleep, the white mist gathered round her, and she smiled sweetly, for she knew that the angelic messengers had come for her; and she arose and knelt, as Credo had done, in secret communings with her unseen Benefactor. Her hands were folded meekly on her breast, and the cross on her forehead shone with a calm, beautiful light, when the angels bore her with them, and I saw her no more; but I doubted not that she had been taken, as Credo had been before her, to the land of the everlasting flowers, which she had loved while in the garden, and to cast her immortal wreath before the throne of Him Who had, by His own death, purchased that garden for her.

301

THE ENGLISH BURIAL SERVICE IN SCOTLAND.

The following paragraph, headed “Interesting Ceremonial," is from the Perth Constitutional, a Presbyterian paper :

“ In our obituary notices within the last few weeks, our readers will have seen recorded the death of two of the children of the Rev. J. C. Chanıbers, Chancellor of S. Ninian's. On both occasions, the unusual sight, in Perth, of obsequies celebrated with a degree of ceremonial which, however striking in itself, can scarcely be expected to commend itself to the severe taste of the great mass of our fellow-townsmen, seems to call for some notice from us as public journalists. In these days of railways, numbers of our people have become familiarised with the sight of an English funeral. They have seen that death, the great leveller of distinctions, in this case raises the poor to an equality with the rich, in that the same service is read over both alike, by a Clergyman habited in the same manner, for the peer and for the pauper. But they may not know that this same service admits of greater or less ceremonial, according as the person was distinguished, either by the accidents of position or station, or by intrinsic goodness. Thus, though pomp and circumstance attend the kings and queens of England to their graves, and though musical dirges wake mimic sorrow, the service, though more elaborately performed, is the same as con. signs to his long home the body of the poorest tradesman. In the cathedrals of England, or where good choirs exist, all connected with the Church are committed to their graves with more ceremonious accompaniments than are possible elsewhere. In this light, then, we suppose we are to view the circumstances attending the funeral of Mr. Chambers's child last Thursday. The funeral procession started from that gentleman's house shortly after eight o'clock in the morning. It was led by a very young boy, bearing a cross, with an interwoven crown of everlasting flower. This is, in fact, the mere revival of the mute's staff, which (originally a dressed cross) has become changed into a pondescript dressed stick. Bebind the puny cross-bearer fol. lowed six girls, as young as their leader, dressed in white, with hoods and scarfs, carrying baskets with flowers, which they scattered as the body was borne from the churchyard gate up to the chancel, and back to the grave, into which, after it was lowered, they emptied their baskets, and threw wreaths. Behind them came the bier, covered with a blue cloth, with a white cross upon it, borne by eight young females, also dressed in white, as were also the six pall-bearers. Then followed the mourners, and, behind them, the friends. We are glad, for the credit of the fair city, to be able to record, that, unusual as such a sight must have been to the thousands assembled, the most well-bred and sympathising courtesy was everywhere extended to those who took part in this mournful cavalcade. Noiseless as the path of this child, scarcely emerging from infancy, whose pilgrimage through this bustling world had been so soon accomplished, was that of those who represented that pilgrimage, proceeding through the crowded thoroughfares of the world the Church of the Redeemed. On arriving at the Churchyard gate, the Clergy and choir came out at the west door of the Cathedral, and, allowing the flower-strewers and cross-bearer to go to the front, proceeded through the Churchyard up the nave, singing the appointed sentences. The 39th Psalm was then chanted, and the Dean read the lesson. Then followed an anthem from Handel's Messiah, ‘Since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. The Communion service was then proceeded with. The Clergy and mourners alone communicated. The procession then re-formed, and moved to the grave, which was prepared in the temporary porch at the west end, the organ playing the Dead March in Saul.' The proper anthems were then sung, and the service ended. The whole effect of the service was strikingly solemn; and certainly, if ceremonial be allowable at all, we do not think that any could have been devised more expressive of what was intended. It appealed to the feelings, as was testified by the emotion displayed by many of those present, who had no connection, as spectators, with what was going on. And now we may add a word or two. We could wish that our funerals were generally conducted in a rather more orderly way. The procession remains to us; but the people, in place of arranging themselves, follow in a mixed mob, strikingly at variance with the quietness and order which ought to mark such occasions. If it be desirable to have a procession at all, is certainly advisable to have some arrangement, if only for convenience. Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. The subject, however, is one to which we may refer more lengthily on the first favourable opportunity, apart from any local circumstances."

[ocr errors][merged small]

Reader, gentle or stern, hast thou ever been in bonnie Devon, with its skies and beautiful scenery, ever changing, ever new? If so, thou wilt know well how its charms bind those whose lot is cast in that garden of England, whether health, or business, or pleasure first drew them thither. If thou hast

[ocr errors]

not, we cannot hope to paint the scenery which meets the eyeat one time

“ Streams
With wood o'erhung, and shagged with mossy rocks
Whence on each hand the gushing waters play,

And down the rough cascade while dashing fall;" and at another the old remains of some votive chapel reared in other days, by those who, tossed on the foaming billows, the sports of wind and sea, vowed

6. That if the ear
Of Heaven would listen, and its arm be strong
To save, upon the first dear spot of earth
Propitious morning showed, he would erect

A Temple to the Highest :' or of mingled scene of hill and dale, and flowing rills, whose banks are rich with wild flowers of varied huę,

“ Bedecked trim
With boughs and arbours woven cunningly.

And now especially are the features of the country cheering to the eye. The winter sleep is over, the birds are singing the spring-tide song, the awakened flowers peep from out their bed, the crocuses are gone, the lilies now are up, and the bright anemone, the flower that the wind loves, the blossom breaketh on the tree, and a voice is borne on every breeze, “ O haste to the wild woods, haste away,'

But a truce to thoughts like these. We shall be endeavouring to paint, what we can but, faintly touch. Old Devonia's glory would be weakened. Therefore will we leave it and so too Torquay, the bright, the beautiful, the fashionable resort of many, the refuge of others, who seek in its genial clime to reinvigorate their frames, weakened by the wearing hand of stern disease. Yet walk we awhile by the sea, which now lies sleeping 'neath the silent wind. Here along the rock we may rove, and casting our eyes over the wide expanse of the ocean, recall those elegant words of Barton

“ Beautiful, sublime, and glorious,

Mild, majestic, foaming free,
Over time itself victorious,

Image of eternity.
“ Sun and moon, and stars shine o'er thee,

See thy surface ebb and flow;
Yet attempt not to explore thee,

In thy soundless depths below.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Yes! thus as we pass along we well may think, tempted ever and anon to pause to realize

the grandeur of those simple words more fully. Yet Meadfoot must not ensnare us, nor Anstey's cove tempt our willing feet. A little while further, and for a moment we will pause. Yes, and well we may—a building meets our eye-a building dear to all who love the Church of England--to all who love the noble fathers of the Church in other days--for it is Bishopstowe-the home of one, whose name will hereafter be remembered with love and gratitude by succeeding ages, as it is with veneration now. Pray we then, and heartily, ere we pass, that he, whose every thought is given to the Church of Christ-he who needs not the praise of man--the noble hearted Bishop of Exeter, may yet long be spared to that distracted Churoh, whose cause he has so manfully maintained.

And now on again. Babbicombe, with its wooded slope, and graceful cottages, and lovely scenery, may provoke a meed of well-deserved praise. And here we will bid farewell to the sea, and bend our steps inland to S. Mary Church-a village, yet not a village--with its few quaint houses, memorials of other days, and its modern villas, marks of the present. And here we will pause,

for it is the end of our walk. Look we at that beautiful lich-gate, the resting place of the departed. And marking one or two tombstones that tell that faith is not dead, let us inquire for the good Vicar, of whom, perchance, thou hast heardthe well-known, and indefatigable Curate of S. John's, Cheltenham, and crave his permission to inspect bis Church. The exterior is not prepossessing, the interior may be better. Alas ! no-far otherwise. The view that met us on entering was most painful--but here it is—the engraver's art has transferred it to paper, and our readers shall judge for themselves.

« ForrigeFortsett »