Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Left an orphan at the early age of ten, Richard Mayne had been brought up

in a luxurious home by a distant relative, for he had not a single near relation in the world. He had all the grace and courtliness which fit men for high society; but somehow, from the first there had stirred within his soul a yearning for a higher life, a yearning which as he grew to man's estate, was developed in an earnest desire for Holy Orders. His guardians tried in vain to laugh him out of it, and told him that if only he would give up this notion, and take to some secular profession, he might win high honours and a great name.

- What name so great,” he would answer, as the title of ambassador of the King of Kings? And what honour so high as the authority to extend His Kingdom ?”

And so Richard, young, wealthy, and courted, chose to give up the pleasures of the gay world, and consecrate his talents to the service of God. For it must not be supposed that the gay world had no attractions for him. One so well fitted to shine in it was hardly likely to be dead to its charms, only he chose to sacrifice these when there came to his inmost soul the call to the sacred ministry. And now on this Saturday evening, what were his thoughts ? Leisurely he walked along through the green fields till he came to a log of timber stretched across the half beaten track, and on the great round trunk he seated himself in full view of the town, with its countless roofs and tall chimneys. The place was new to him, for he was a perfect stranger there, but he recognised from that distance the spire of the large church in which his vows were to be spoken on the morrow.

He felt sadly lone, poor fellow, for who was there in the wide world that, knowing him, understood and appreciated the step which he was taking! Other candidates had friends and relatives interested in them, and anxious for their welfare, but no prayer of sister, brother, or guardian would ascend for him, to invoke a blessing upon his future work. Such were the thoughts which weighed upon the mind of the youth, when suddenly the evening breeze wafted from a neighbouring tower an exquisite peal of bells. Something in their tones recalled an episode of his childhood, a childhood passed in a calm, sweet home beside a mountain rill.

In quick succession there floated before his mind a vision of his fond parents; and the sound of their dear voices encouraging him to childlike trust and obedience. And from this his thoughts passed on to the possibility that from their place among the Saints above, they were watching him even now, and seeking for him those gifts of grace that they would assuredly have sought had they lived yet on earth.

And then he came down from these visionary speculations to the full assurance that the Holy Church Militant had observed a week of prayer and fasting on behalf of himself, and all others about to be ordained to any sacred office. "And,” thought he, “the great cry of intercession will not go unheard, for it will be borne to the Throne of grace by the all-prevailing Mediator, Who loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify it, and at last, present it to Himself, holy, and without blemish." With these thoughts he felt strangely comforted and strengthened.

At length the grand festival of Trinity Sunday was ushered in ; and many bearts beat high with holy fervour at thought of the vows to be recorded, the high career to be entered upon, and the Gift to be won

that day.

Richard Mayne felt lonely still, for he could not quite shake off the sense of isolation, in spite of his unwavering belief in the communion of saints. But the feeling passed away when he found himself standing in the choir, in company with the little band of devoted men awaiting the call to

Grasp, this hour, the sword of Heaven." Oh! how they prayed, those young champions of the Faith, that they might be endued with a spirit of wisdom, and of love, and of a sound mind, and strengthened to "endure hardness as good soldiers." What wonder if they came away burning with a zeal for God's glory and a compassionate love for souls ?

III. One day in the course of the summer, a traveller knocked at the door of Riversdale Parsonage, and sending in his card, asked if he might borrow the keys of the Church. The name awoke some curiosity in Mr. Lindsey's mind, for it was the same that was inscribed on a tombstone in his own churchyard; but the history of the tombstone and of the family whom it commemorated was unknown to him, for his incumbency dated from only three years previously. So he went into the hall, and handed the keys to his visitor, saying that he would gladly have lionized him but for an appointment with the church warden, whom he was expecting every minute. “But," added the clergyman,

See Eph. V. 25—27.

“I hope you will join us at our mid-day meal. A stranger may be sure of hospitality after the primitive custom in these out-of-the-way parts."

“Thank you very much,” replied the other with a smile ; " but I am not perhaps so much of a stranger as you take me to be; and I assure you that these haunts have awakened some very old and very pleasant memories."

At this point the conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the churchwarden ; and Mr. Lindsey, casting an occasional glance out of the study window, wondered what could be the history of the traveller, who lingered so long among the graves in the old churchyard.

This was one of the happiest days in Richard Mayne's life; for he it was who had come back to Riversdale (this time only as a passing guest) in the hope of throwing reality into the dreams which through fourteen years of orphanhood had served to link the present with the past. During this long period, Richard had retained a loving remembrance of his childhood's home, though his recollection of places and persons connected with it was somewhat misty. In the course of an hour's conversation with Mr. Lindsey, the

young clergyman ascertained that one, who had been the faithful attendant of his earliest years, was still residing at Riversdale, and with the instinct of heartfelt gratitude, he made his way to Mrs. Wilmot's cottage. There he found her, who had solaced him in many an infantine sorrow, and whose gentle soothing on the occasion of his mother's death he could even then vividly recall. There he found her stretched in lonely suffering on her couch. Years had aged her features, but their expression had scarcely altered, and with the aid of her once familiar voice, he was enabled to recognize his old nurse.

Sarah's joy can hardly be described, for she had never expected to see "her boy" again on this side the grave. She listened eagerly to his account of himself, and was beyond measure delighted when he told her that he had been admitted to Holy Orders on Trinity Sunday.

“O sir!" exclaimed Sarah, “ how little I guessed that we were praying for you when we kept our Ember week!” And then she told him how that time had been sanctified in Riversdale by special prayer and fast.

“ Ah !" replied Richard, "if only the observance of the Ember seasons were everywhere revived, what might not be the benefit to the clergy, and through them, to the Church they are called to serve ? Might it not fire the weak with holy courage, and the cold with ardent love, and win for the rash a spirit of counsel and strength ?”

Here was encouragement indeed! and as Richard Mayne spoke of the struggles that he had undergone to attain the wish of his life, and the hopes that he had built upon the prayers of the Church on his ordination day, Sarah Wilmot resolved that Ember week should never again pass away unheeded by her.

And now the Church in Riversdale observes each Ember-tide as it comes round; so that the week is consecrated by united prayer and acts of genuine self-denial in that remote corner of the LORD's Vineyard.

In recounting the tale, one is reminded of the fervid words of our hymn :

“O! bless the shepherd, bless the sheep,

That guide and guided both be one,
One in the faithful watch they keep,

Until this hurrying life be done.
“If thus, good LORD, Thy grace be given,

In Thee to live, in Thee to die,
Before we upward pass to Heaven,
We taste our immortality."
Bishop Armstrong.

E. L.

Correspondence. [The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of the Correspondents.]

To the Editor of the Churchman's Companion.
Answers.

nity at Poona, which necessitated their

removal to another bungalow, the trials BOMBAY MISSION.

and expense of the “Poona Sisters" SIR, — Will you kindly allow me to make have been considerable. Help thereit known through the Churchman's fore in money or kind is earnestly asked Companion that all interested both in the

to encourage and support them. Home and Foreign Mission Works of I am always glad to give information the Wantage Sisters of Mercy may ren- and to receive donations and subscripder great service to the Branch House tions for all work in the Bombay diocese. at Poona, by forwarding fancy Articles A professional having kindly offered for sale before June 20th, to the Mother to procure an American organ at a conSuperior, S. Mary's Home, Wantage, siderably reduced rate, we are anxious Berks; or at any time by sending gifts (now while the Bishop of Bombay is in to, or making purchases at S. Anne's England) to raise funds to procure the House, Westbury Road, Paddington, W. instrument for a Mission Church at

Owing to the death (after twenty-five Kolhapur. days' fever) of one of the little commu- I must not trespass upon your letter

Burns, 1850, are all books written by the Rev. (since Father) F. W.FABER.– Yours, &c., ACANTHUS.

Queries.

MUSICAL IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION.

com

SIR,—The second term of the “Musical Improvement Association” mences on July 1st, and the Secretary would be much obliged if persons desiring admittance would apply during the month of June.--Address, Miss M. E. GRANGER, Newton Grove, Leeds.

space by giving further details. But one thing you ought to know, that one of your readers has undertaken the maintenance of a native orphan at the Poona Industrial School.

It cannot be too often remembered that the Clergy and “Sisters” are ministering to our poor white people as well as to the natives.

Now while all branches of the Poona and other Missions require so much help to start them well,- -NOW your prayers and alms are of the greatest value-give therefore what you can. Do what you can-greater means and powers may be given you hereafter, but with that we have nothing to do. Now, “while we have time let us do good unto all men, and specially unto them that are of the household of faith."-A. C. MACLACHLAN, 2, Great Stanhope Street, Bath.

8. ANNE'S ORPHANAGE AND CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL, BRIDLINGTON QUAY.

SIR, Will you kindly permit me to acknowledge receipt of one guinea towards the funds of this charity? The amount was placed in the collecting box in S. Anne's Church, and an acknowledgment asked for in your periodical. With grateful thanks to the donor,Yours, &c., CHARLES F. BUTTERFIELD, Secretary.

MINE ANGEL IS WITH YOU.".

BLOEMFONTEIN MISSION,

SIR,—In answer to M. A., I beg to say, that the text “Mine angel, &c.," occurs in Baruch vi. 7.

Also that the lines quoted by LOTTIE are by Abp. Trench, and are printed in “Lyra Christiana.”– Yours, &c., J.E.M.

[NELLIE, B. T. K. and M. S., Brentwood, and C. D. give the same information, and M. E. C. M. states that Abp. Trench's lines are also to be found in “Hymns and Poems for the Sick and Suffering,” edited by Rev. T. V. Fosbery, published by Rivingtons. - ED. C. C.]

An Associate of the Bloemfontein Mission acknowledges with sincere thanks further contributions of pictures for her scrap books from Constance T.; Elizabeth ; J. M. P.; E. G. H.; from Epsom, (very nice ones); a roll of “ Illustrated London News” for 1876, postmark not visible; and a packet from Milwaukie, Wisconsin, U. S. received too late for acknowledgment in the May Churchman's Companion as requested.

FABER'S WORKS.

DIAGRAM FOR KNITTING.

SIR, -In reply to your correspondent DORA, " The Cherwell Water-Lily and other Poems,” Rivingtons, 1840; “Essay on Beatification and Canonization," Richardson, 1848 ; “Rosary, and other Poems,” Toovey, 1845; “Sights and Thoughts in Foreign Churches and Foreign People,” Rivingtons, 1842; “Sir Lancelot,” a poem, Rivingtons, 1844; “Styrian Lake, and other Poems," Rivingtons, 1842; “Spirit and Genius of the Oratory of S. Philip Neri,"

SIR,-I beg to apologise to all the first applicants for my “Diagram to teach Stocking-knitting.” I shall be glad to hear if by any miscarriage in the post any have not received them.Address, Mrs. DYRON, Kensington Park Road, W.-Yours, &c., R. B.

APPEAL FOR MR. CAFFIN'S CHURCH.

SIR,-May I ask you most kindly to acknowledge the following contributions

« ZurückWeiter »