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I saw an open grave. A poor widow stood near it with her little ones. Yet, methought their own sufferings had set a deeper seal upon them, than sorrow for the dead.
Then I marvelled what it could be, that made the father and mother not pity their children when they hungred, nor call them home when they were in wickedness ; and the friends forget their early love ; and the strong man falls down senseless; and the young die before his time. And a voice answered, “it is intemperance.” Yea, it hath wrought many other evils, and there is mourning throughout the land because of this.”
So I returned, sorrowing. Had God given me a brother or a sister, I would have thrown my arms around their neck, and said, “ touch not your lips, I pray you, to the poison cup, but let us drink the pure water which God hath blessed, all the days of our life.”
Again I went forth, and attentively looked on what passed around. I met a beautiful boy weeping. I said, “Why dost thou mourn ?” And he replied, “My father went to the wars, and is dead. He will come back to me no more.”
I saw a woman pale and weak with grief. The sun shone upon her dwelling, and the woodbine climed to the window, and blossomed sweetly. But she beheld not their brightness. For she was a widow. Her husband had been slain in battle. There was joy for her no more.
I saw a hoary man. He sat by the way side. His head rested on his bosom. His garments were old, and his flesh wasted away. Yet he asked not for charity. I said, Why is thy heart sad?” He answered, I had a son, an only one.
I toiled from
his cradle, that he might be fed and clothed, and taught wisdom. He grew up to bless me. All my labor and weariness were forgotten.' I knew no want, for he cherished me. But he left me, to be a soldier. On the field of battle he fell. Therefore, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul shall return no more.”
I said, “ Show me a field of battle, that I may know what war means?”.
But he said, “ Thou art not able to bear the sight. I will tell thee what I have seen when the battle was done. A broad plain, covered with dead, and those who struggled in the pains of death. The earth trampled, and stained with blood. Wounded horses rolling upon their riders, and tearing with their hoofs the mangled forms that lay near them. And for every man that was there in his blood and agony, how bitter must be the mourning of the parents who reared him, or of the wife whom he protected, or of the young children who sat upon his knee. Yet is this but a little part of the misery that war createth.”
Then I said, “Tell me no more, I beseech thee, of battle or of war, for my heart is sick."
When I saw that the silver haired man raised his eyes upwards, I kneeled down by his side. And he prayed, “Lord, keep this child from anger and hatred and ambition, which are the seeds of war. And grant to all, who take the name of Jesus Christ, peaceable and meek hearts, that, shunning the deeds of strife, they may dwell at last in the country of peace, even in heaven."
The School Girl in France. R. B. Seeley, and W. Burnside.
It is related of Alexander the Great that he once said to a namesake who was a cowardly soldier, · Either change thy name or mend thy manners.' It was with some such feeling that we rose from the perusal of this book; we felt that the professing Christians whose gross inconsistencies are so powerfully, yet so truly described in its pages, ought either to renounce the name of Protestant, or act more in accordance with the laws of Christ. The object of the work is to point out to parents and guardians the danger arising from the too common practice of sending young women to France to be educated.
“ It is not (says the Author) a work of fiction, but a collection of facts, thrown together into one tale, with scarcely any additions, and a few other alterations than those which were absolutely necessary, in order to disguise names, places, and dates."
“ It has fallen to her lot, (adds the author in her Preface), to witness many of the evils attendant on the too-common practice of sending young persons to the Continent, at that very period of life when the mind is most unguarded, the feelings most susceptible, and the principles most uncertain. She has seen the snares spread for the inexperienced, the spells thrown over the warm imagination, the fascinations entwined round the youthful hearts, by that most dangerous system of false religion, which, appealing with almost irresistible power to the senses, through them prostrates the reasoning faculties, and thus silently, but surely weaves its fatal net around the unsuspecting victim. She has thus seen the foundation of a Protestant education sapped and undermined, till the promising fabric, reared by parental fondness, has been levelled with the dust, and the deluded parents left to mourn their alienated prey to the seductions of popery, or the not less probable danger of unsettled principles and practical infidelity.
It is, unfortunately, too much the custom with parents to
lull their minds into a false security on the subject; by requiring a promise from the Romish instructors, to whom they entrust their children, that no attempts shall be made to interfere with their religion; and, satisfied with this assurance, they persuade themselves that there is no cause for fear. Alas! how greatly are they mistaken! The promises thus given are often indirectly, if not directly broken ; and even where there is a conscientious adherence to the engagement, there are a thousand perils and snares inseparably and necessarily connected with a residence among, and constant intercourse with, the votaries of the Romish heresies, which can only be avoided through the special interposition of a merciful providence. Let such parents remember the daily prayer they teach their children,-“ Lead us not into temptation,”—and the solemn warning addressed to them, by Him “who seacheth the heart, and trieth the reins,”_". Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
It should be borne in mind, that the public are called upon in this volume to look at the School Girl in France" under the most favourable circumstances in which a scholar in a Catholic school could be placed. She is under the charge of a mistress, who is pledged not to interfere with the religious opinions of her pupils, and of one accustomed to plume herself on her strict adherence to her pledge. But as the author observes, there are indirect as well as direct methods of undermining the protestant principles of the young. To which class of means the following belongs, we leave to the judgment of our readers to determine.
Emily and Caroline as grandes pensionnaires were entitled to many advantages which their less fortunate companions did not possess.
“ One of these privileges was, the liberty of absenting themselves from morning prayers ;-a circumstance which they found peculiarly agreeable; for, although the French boarders were obliged to attend mass before breakfast, and the Protestant pupils alone remained, yet they were not allowed to use a Protestant form, but were compelled to
kneel round a French teacher, who read aloud a string of Roman Catholic prayers. These were partly in Latin, and altogether such as no conscientious Protestant could join in. This abuse of authority was repeated in the evening, and then no one was allowed to be absent, unless from illness.
“ This last service consisted of a number of short prayers, very few of which were addressed to God, and by far the greater part were not only unscriptural, but even blasphe
It was some days before Emily and Caroline could understand them, for they were repeated with a rapidity which it was difficult to follow; but, when once understood, they appeared sufficiently shocking. They were, indeed, begun and enderl in the name of the adorable Trinity ; but, not being presented through the intercession of the Redeemer, nor offered through his merits, they could not be acceptable to him who has so repeatedly commanded us to ask every thing “in his name." That blessed Saviour's name was scarcely used at all, in its proper sense, and his dignity, his character and his work, were openly insulted.
• There was a confession of sins, addressed to “God Al. migbty, to the blessed Mary, always a virgin, to St. Michael the Archangel, St. John the Baptist, St. Peter, St. Paul, and all the saints;" and this was followed by the request, that the aforesaid saints would " pray for them to the Lord their God.” Emily and Caroline shuddered, as, kneeling with the others before a crucifix, they were compelled to hear this anticbristian invocation. The former thought of that explicit declaration of scripture, " There is ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man Christ Jesus ;” and she felt how awfully derogatory to his dignity, and offensive to his character, such supplications must be.
“ The next thing that excited her particular notice was a short prayer, followed by the 130th Psalm in Latin, “ for the souls of the deceased faithful in purgatory; that God would, grant them the forgiveness of their sius, and that they might soon enjoy that glory which he had destined for them in hea. ven.” Emily was extremely slocked at this petition; for, besides its baving no foundation whatever in Scripture, and being decidedly contrary to the express declarations of God, it was another insult to the perfect and finished work of the Redeemer. After this came a number of short prayers, addressed to St. Joseph, and several others; then one to the different saints whose name each person present bore, and