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levelled pieces ready to discharge the deadly contents against any one who should interrupt the work.
It was but too evident that the door though iron-bound and clenched, must yield at last ! It creaked and groaned beneath the ponderous blows, while the house itself reverberated from top to bottom. On the critical position of the inmates it was frightful to think. The proprietor's resources, however, were not exhausted. Barrels filled with sand and clay were piled across the hall, while between this barrier and the door, casks of powder lay in grim repose. An infliction, hardly less fearful than that which they contemplated, awaited the assailants. The misguided men in fancied security urged each other on, and but redoubled their rage and violence as bolt and bar gave way.
It was done! With one fell stroke the now frail structure was no more, and the assailants rushing
forward completely filled the aperture. But the crisis had been foreseen, a pealing voice cried, “ now.” A lurid flash was seen, a bellowing report was heard, the mansion quivered, and all was still. Twenty human beings had passed into the eternity into which they were so ruthlessly about to thrust others, and the remaining few, destruction at their heels, fled in wild
It was morn when I approached. Already soldiers, with magistrates and police, attracted by the firing, and more especially the thunder of the explosion, came pouring in. Every one set to work, and in a space of time incredibly short, almost every trace of that wild night had disappeared.
THE people evinced no jealousy touching my intimacy at the great house. Aware of my destination, they doubtless looked on it as so much quartering on the enemy. Who knew - I might work some change. It occasioned therefore, no surprise when I appeared in decent attire, with a sum of money, the gift of my patrons; a slender token, they were pleased to observe, of gratitude that could make no return.
In process of time I felt that I came to partake of the manners and the address of those around. Doubtless, I was deficient in the courtesies characteristic of refined intercourse; but my life had been too much one of introspection, to render me justly chargeable with vulgarity or assurance. Cornelia treated me as a son. Even the austere proprietor relaxed in my presence, while the younger Cornelia displayed the outpourings of her impulsive heart, by every gentle demonstration in her power.
66 Think you,” said Cornelius, “ that denizens of the spiritual world are aware of our existence; that they take charge of our welfare, or try to alter the current of our lives ? ”
“ To their pervasive vision," I replied, “our condition cannot be unknown ; but it is with an interest modified by the loftier views and intuitions of eternity. I do not believe that they possess any power, whether for good or for ill. That lies with God, and with God alone. If the dead have no influence over our position, most assuredly we have none over theirs. We may hope, wish, implore ; but must not the less submit to the will of the Most High. Spiritual despotism, whether it affect to control us here or hereafter, is about the worst of the unhappy privileges which vain man would assume in
relation to his fellows. Pour the balm of consolation into the spirits of the sorely tried, the souls of the heart-broken ; but dictate not. O thou who wouldst so much instruct others, first instruct thyself — who made thee mediator between God and man?”
We spoke largely of the infirmity that perpetuates a dictator between one's conscience and one's God. We even thought the time perchance might come, when man should need no interpreter before the throne of grace, no spiritual advocate to plead his cause, and lay down to a fraction the costs of salvation.
It has been said the labourer is worthy of his hire, but what is the hire of the spirit ? Is it filthy lucre-sordid gain ? Say rather, is it not the glorious consciousness of a duty that has been performed—of a task that has been donem the kindling of holy desires-of an infinite expectancy, in the souls of men? How are those who