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given, more deservedly merited.” Frances arose, and with forced calmness, attenipted to kneel to receive the parting benediction, but her trembling limbs refused their support. She resumed her seat, and . yielded to a flood of tears. Father Adrian reproved her not, he sympathized with, encouraged, cheered her, for he feared lest her fortitude should forsake her when it was most needed. At last Frances spoke; “Father, before we part I wish to ask one question, or rather, to make you acquainted with words that rushed, last night, so forcibly on my mind that I could not drown them. I was naturally enough occupied with reviewing the past few weeks, the various conversations that had passed between me and my parent, the soleinn assurances I had given her of having abandoned all wish for a life of seclusion; then I thought of the train of stratagems laid to entrap poor Clara, when words which I had not heard for years, rang in my ears, 'Lie not one to another.'
6 I know well where I heard them; it was in the Protestant Church to which I once went in England, they were read from the Protestant Bible, but the force with which they occurred to my mind last night, was such as to make me think they were whispered by more than a human voice. Tell me, dear Father, from your knowledge of Scripture, are they the words of God ?”
“ What conclusion did you draw from these words ?”
“ That I had been wrong in not speaking the truth,” said Frances, sadly, “indeed, till you persuaded me, I always shrunk from deception as mean and degrading.”
“ I grieve you have chosen the hour in which you are called to prompt and energetic action to discuss an unprofitable and abstract question. The place in which you heard those words might well lead you to question their goodness, and the effect they would have on your inind, of deterring you from the work of love you have commenced, lest you should be guilty of a pious fraud, plainly shows the source from which these suggestions proceed.”
66 What, then, do you advise me to do?"
“ To dismiss those fears as groundless, to keep steadily in view that the end of all this deception is the salvation of souls and the promotion of our faith, and then calmly and collectedly to summon all your energies for the duty that lies before you."
A few minutes more closed the interview. Father Adrian gave his parting blessing to Frances, and then retired to his own apartment, accompanied by a member of his flock, with whom he remained closeted the next hour.
The old clock had slowly tolled the hour of ten, and the domestics had assembled for family worship in the accustomed manner, having twice pulled the large bell which called together the various members of the family, when Father Adrian, who had for some minutes been patiently waiting, expressed surprise at the non-appearance of the ladies, observing they should not have been so imprudent as to have extended their walk to so late an hour.
After the lapse of an hour spent in fruitless search, alarm was excited among the domestics, who set out in various directions through the gardens and woods. The night was spent in anxious but unavailing
inquiry, and early the next morning Father Adrian, accompanied by old John, went to communicate the melancholy intelligence to Mrs. Cleves, the former endeavouring to soften it by every means which consideration or apparent kindness could suggest.
Mrs. Cleves heard the sad news with all the deep distress of a mother, but the eye of Clarice sparkled with indignation that she vainly endeavoured to suppress, though she succeeded in bridling her tongue till alone with her mother, then, tenderly throwing her arms around her, she exclaimed, “Oh, Frances, my deluded, my unhappy sister! Why, dearest mother, why did you not believe me? I saw it too clearly, but was not believed. Oh, Clara, my unsuspicious cousin, how have you been deceived ?”
“ What do you suspect, Clarice?” said her mother trembling.
“Suspect !” said Clarice in a transport of grief and anger, “ that this is the vision revealed to Frances in the letter I told you of. She is gone to some punnery or convent where we shall never hear of her more, and by craft or force they have taken Clara with her to renounce the errors or share in the punishments of heretics."
“And do you believe Father Adrian knows where they are ?”
“ Yes, dear mother, I do believe it, and was only restrained by your presence from reproaching him with the cruel treachery and deep-laid hypocrisy of which I believe him guilty.”
“ Clarice,” said her mother in a firmer voice, “ broken-hearted as I am, and needing consolation as I do, I will not allow you to utter such unjust words against a character so heavenly, so holy as Father Adrian; banish, I beseech you, these injurious suspicions, or, at least, never more utter them in my presence." · Convinced that the present was not the season for altercation, Clarice inquired what steps should be taken to gain any intelligence of the lost ones, begging her mother instantly to return to Ardennes, which request was immediately complied with. Arrived there, Clarice's first care was to examine the apartments of her sister and cousin, where everything remained in their usual condition, excepting that a crucifix, an image of the Virgin, and some devotional books were removed from the room occupied by Frances, which confirmed Clarice in her belief that her sister's departure was premeditated. Vain was all inquiry, for all that could be gathered was this, that the gardener had seen the ladies, shortly before sunset, pass through the gate that led into the park, as they had done frequently at that hour.
A week passed without any intelligence; but on the eighth day two letters were delivered by a youth, who stated that he had received them from an aged man, with the strictest injunctions to deliver them safely. The youth was a stranger, and had departed immediately on delivering them. One of these letters was from Frances entreating Father Adrian to pardon her, and obtain her mother's pardon, to whom she dared not write, lest natural feelings of affection should overcome her resolution of retiring from the world and taking the veil, requesting him to assure her mother and sister that she was happshappier far than she had ever felt before. They night see her again and know of her abode, but not till the indissoluble and irrevocable vows were taken which should sever her from all earthly ties for ever. The letter addressed to Mrs. Cleves was an anonymous one, stating to be written by the abbess of a convent to which Frances (who had long been the loved and chosen of heaven) had been divinely called in a sudden and miraculous manner. Of the departure of Frances the abbess asserted that Father Adrian was ignorant, and also her daughter, and vain would be every attempt to unravel the circumstances which had led to the sudden and unintended step on the part of Frances. This letter, which was long, and written in a strain of high-wrought enthusiasm, congratulated Mrs. Cleves as most blest and honoured in being the mother of such a daughter, beloved and peculiarly selected by the Virgin and Saint Francis to the signal performance of holy and devoted deeds.
When Clarice entered the room in which her mother was sitting, she found her in a strong hysterical fit, which was followed by a nervous fever of some weeks' continuance, during which Father Adrian soothed, comforted, and consoled her, and so well succeeded that she was, on her recovery, again seen to smile, though faintly, and talk with pleasure of the prospect of seeing her daughter Frances a veiled and cloistered nun!!
But we must change the scene.
'Tis twilight tide, and the shadows of evening are falling. Silence -deep, painful silence-reigns throughout the Castle which so oft resounded with the infant voices of Hubert and Clara. The master of that castle, the father of that daughter, so fondly, so dearly beloved, is alone in his easy yet restless chair. His daughter's harp stands by his side; its strings unstrung and broken, hang down neglected ; and the father feels it an emblem of his own heart, well-nigh crushed and desolate. Yet why? Whence this bitter sorrow? Has the child of his affection repaid his love with coldness and ingratitude ? Has she forsaken the guide of her youth, and forgotten the covenant of her God? No. What, then, is her crime ?
“Her crime, immortal truth, 'tis thine to tell,
Her only crime is loving thee too well.” Yes; the light of Gospel truth had pierced the dark mists of Romish darkness, and fallen with their mild lustre on Clara's heart. She had received the truth in the love of it, and this is the cause why her aged parent, who loves her as his own soul, sits alone in the solitude of his castle in the bitterness of his soul, knowing that his child is confined within the walls of a convent, that she may learn not to blaspheme, and that she may at last, by means of a wholesome salutary severity, be restored to his paternal arms and the tender maternal bosom of the Church of Rome.
From the sadness of his reflections, Sir Hubert was aroused by the entrance of Father Joachim. A momentary struggle passed through the heart of the aged parent, but he subdued his feelings, and asked in a voice cold and calm, though weak and faltering, “Has the remedy succeeded ? Is the disease of heresy removed ? Is there hope that my apostate child will yet be restored ?”
“ The disease is desperate, obstinate, beyond my most fearful anticipations; but the remedy applied shall be desperate also. If solitary
confinement in the convent cells be ineffectual, the convent dungeons are most dark and gloomy; seldom have they failed to reclaim the most inveterate."
“ Nay,” said Sir Hubert, with all the momentary affection of a parent's heart, “talk not of the dungeons. My Clara, my unhappy child, to what have I exposed thee! Remember, Father, you gave me a solemn promise that gentleness and love alone should be shown to my miserable daughter."
« And what is mercy, and what is love, but to pluck her as a brand from the burning, to save the soul that must otherwise perish. It was thus you reasoned in the case of Philippe. Does not it equally apply to the object of your own affections ?”
Sir Hubert groaned, and turned away to conceal the deep emotion of his soul, when fixing a look of piercing wildness on the priest, who shrunk from his stedfast gaze, he exclaimed, “I consented, indeed, that you should immure my child in the convent walls for three long months, but your life shall answer for hers if you restore her not to me again at the expiration of that period reclaimed or unreclaimed. Depart for ever from my roof, lest I lose my reason, and embrue my hands in the blood of him who has caused the death of my once lovely child.”
The Father kindly laid his hand on Sir Hubert's arm. “ Dear brother and companion through this weary pilgrimage, I pity you from my heart. Fear not; your daughter's life is safe. The lady abbess and her noble cousin pass many an hour in pleading with and praying for her conversion. Calm those excited feelings; dispel the tumult of your breast, and prepare your mind for more holy thoughts: then, et us together address the throne of grace, and plead for the lamb who has wandered so far from our fold.”
(To be continued.)
THE POWER OF POPERY IN IRELAND.
(From the Protestant Elector.) The power which the Roman priesthood hold over their people in various parts of Ireland, though still great, is rapidly diminishing; and were it not that the State upheld there, by legislative endowment, a priesthood to perpetuate error, the work of enlightenment, evangelization, moral and spiritual improvement, would proceed more rapidly.
We denounce Popery and endow it. We believe it wrong, and yet teach it. By, voluntary efforts we are seeking to evangelize Pagan nations, but lending the national sanction of the British name to Papalize Ireland and our colonial possessions. Sowing the wind, we must expect to reap the whirlwind. There is One who will not be mocked -cannot be deceived; whose word is truth, and whose blessing rests upon those who individually and nationally honour that word and the author of it. They who honour him he will honour. They who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.
When England was but little, and her empire small compared with other nations, she seemed to have been made the cradle of the Reform
ation, and to have been especially blessed for her national devotedness and adherence to the cause of scriptural truth. She was made and has continued the greatest of the nations, with an empire more extensive, a population more numerous, commerce more prosperous, than any nation before enjoyed.
Have we not just reason to expect the reverse of this by withdrawing our protest against Rome, and seeking an alliance with the apostacy?
That Ireland has been misgoverned is too true, and England suffers for it, and will yet suffer. But we shall not improve the condition of Ireland or our own, by riveting the chains of error, darkness, and superstition upon her people.
Still less will the proposed diplomatic relations with Rome obviate the difficulty.
Free course has long been allowed to the agents of a foreign power for the introduction into Ireland of Bulls subversive of the laws and constitution of Great Britain. This ought not to have been the case.
Let none of our readers think us bigoted or intolerant for making such an assertion.
Even various Papal nations on the Continent have forbidden the introduction of rescripts from Rome, inconsistent with the constitution of the country, the due administration of the laws, the independence of the civil power, and the welfare of the community.
Such regulation seemed essential for their protection.
The necessity of it is founded upon this circumstance, that as soon as Papal Bulls are received they become laws of the country ; and it is but consonant with order that no new law should be enacted without the authority of those by whom a country is governed.
The opinions of the Roman Catholic population have been moulded after the model of Popery in its worst form ; and vainly shall we endeavour to rule when laws directly opposite are instilled under the venerated name and sanction of religion.
We have allowed Romanism to form opinion in Ireland, and it is now seeking, through the medium of Ireland, to rule in the affairs of England.
In order to estimate the real value of Romish pledges, it is requisite not only to observe the theory of Rome's theological and moral system, but to advert to the practical development of that theory, and the operation of those principles. With these the pages of history and present events abundantly supply us.
Thus, from the fruit we may estimate the tree, and infer the cause from the effects produced. Experience of common life, the language of philosophy, and the voice of Scripture, concur in pointing out this as the best criterion.
Men—parties—Churches-sects, may disavow motives, but with results before us, we have a more faithful index than the tongue or pen of those who may use language to hide and obscure, rather than to display their meaning.
If we find that promises once made have been faithfully adhered to, and the plighted vow once given has been preserved inviolate, we may be led to form a different estimate of Popery than we at present have, and may condemn those who have condemned it. · But if we find the reverse of this to be actually the case,-if we