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the spot where the mother of their tiful the scene appeared, how calm and people lies buried.
serene the night! Peace seemed to Pursuing our journey we passed over reign in this place, which had been the a wooded hill, and in a few minutes birthplace of the King of peace. found ourselves clattering through the Next day we visited the church. streets of Bethlehem. It was near It is the oldest edifice of Christian evening now, and the sun was out of worship in the world. Built by St. sight, leaving a purple reflection on the Helena, Constantine's mother, it has clear sky. The narrow and excessively stood for fifteen hundred years, and dirty streets were thronged by a strange, its mighty walls seem even now to motley crowd. Turks strutting by, have scarcely felt the touch of time. with stolid, though I thought disdainful, It covers the most sacred spot in all faces, wicked-looking Arabs lounging the earth, the grotto where the Saviour past and eying everything and every- was born. body. Jews, with bent heads and hur- Entering the church through a low ried steps, moving along silently, stran- door we found ourselves in a spacious gers almost in their own country. edifice with a half wall keeping out of . Greek monks, Armenian priests, and sight the sanctuary and altar, and with Latin ecclesiastics of every rank, hur- too many evidences of neglect around. rying to their monasteries—all these Passing over the stone floor, which is combined to make up a rare and much worn and broken in places, we curious picture. From the short sight come to the sanctuary, where a Greek I had of the town I inferred that the congregation are now kneeling; a delay principal occupation of the inhabi- ensues, and when services have come to tants is the manufacture of crosses, an end we approach a staircase on one rosaries, and medals, which have a side while the departing Greek comlarge sale among the pilgrims who municants eye us not very amicably, come here from all parts of the world. for, strange to say, these Syrian Chris
Upon the left side of the ridge is the tians do not love one another according great church, and quite near it is the to the Gospel, but spend much of their Latin convent. Of course we stopped time in bitter and unprofitable wranat the latter, and after a plentiful meal gling. retired for the night to prepare for the However, we leave them behind us fatigue of the morrow. I here remem- and descend the staircase. A mysteber how beautiful the old village ap- rious awe takes possession of us all. peared to me as I viewed it through a With sentiments of profound veneradeep, narrow window in the convent tion we approach the birthplace of wall. The valley was lying in shadow Him who died to save us. Suddenly, when I first looked, but presently the as we near the bottom, a brilliant light great yellow orb of the moon came shines upon us. It comes from a numover the top of the great church and ber of small lamps suspended in the threw a lustre on hill and vale, while air, which cast a pure, clear lustre upon
, the bright stars of Arabia twinkled a silver star set in the floor. We and glistened in the sky. How beau- prostrate ourselves there. We have
reached the holy place, the abode of imagine the strange unspeakable revjoy, the home of peace. Here, two erence, which no devotee can resist. thousand years ago, occurred the great The great mystery of man's salvation event of human history. Upon the began here, to be finished in thirtysilver star you see it recorded before three years upon the hill of Calvary. your eyes :
In all the world there cannot be a place so holy, so suggestive, so full of inspi
ration and of reverence. DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS We left the sacred place with reluc
tance, and one day later, when we
stood again beside the monastery of No one can know the rapture which Elijah, a feeling of sadness came over fills the pilgrim's soul at the moment us as we saw the dusk coming on and when he bows in adoration where the the gray distance shrouding Bethlehem Magi knelt before him. No one can from our sight.
ABOUT THUMBS.—We suppose that the dying, as if impelled by some all our readers know that man would vague fear, seek refuge under the finnot be what he is without the thumb. gers, and when thus found are almost This little fact has been so impressed certain announcement of the end. So, upon us from our school-days that we in leaving this world, it would seem are not likely to forget it. Without that our hands, in their last desire for the thumb for a lever, we would be movement, assume, with our growing unable to hold anything tightly, and unconsciousness, the same suggestive most of the inventions of our era would position in which the hands of the be useless, not to speak of the enor- new-born babe, with faculties all dormous general power that would be lost. mant, first shape themselves. Small Let us accept the fact of having thumbs denote an affectionate disposithumbs, then, and be thankful and re- tion; long thumbs go with long heads; joice over our Darwinian friends, the short, thick, stumpy thumbs mark a apes. We did not know, however, until cruel man, and much more is told us we saw it in print lately, that the thumb of the same kind. represented intelligence and affection. Born idiots frequently come into the To
pass now to the matter of gratiworld without thumbs. Infants, until tude and ingratitude; there never was they arrive at an age when intellect any man yet so wicked as not to apdawns, constantly keep their fingers prove the one and detest the other, folded above their thumbs, but they as the two things in the whole world, soon know better, and, as the mind the one to be the most abominated, the develops, recognize the dignity and other the most esteemed. The very usefulness of the despised digit. At story of an ungrateful action puts us out the approach of death the thumbs of of all patience and gives us a loathing.
A singer of beauty and high renown
That the minstrel all went wild to greet Was the beggar waif whom they had passed,
One night before in the town's high street. But one stood by as the lady sang, And his face was glad when the plaudits rang; For well he remembered that dark, cold night.
“ 'Twas true," quoth he, as he sauntered by, “My passing words are proven right,
The world knows not where its jewels lie.” AUTHORITY.
A DISCOURSE DELIVERED BY FRANCIS JOSEPH HAGERTY.
The world moves. This assertion affairs on the part of popular opinion. can be very easily changed by declar- Scientists say that prayer is of no avail, ing that popular, or if you will, public natural causes and their effects everyopinion moves the world.
thing Public opinion cries bravo. This great agent of progress in Herbert Spencer and his followers seek worldly affairs, before whom the noblest only the advancement of the mind of and haughtiest bow in abject submission, man and the care of his material inmust certainly be more than an ordi- terests, while they demand nothing from nary character, one possessing some him, as a tribute to his Divine Former. supernatural attribute, a being so strong Public opinion here informs you that that none dare oppose its will, so august, your intellect must rule, the heart is that its presence overawes and sub- only sentiment, this is the nineteenth jects the boldest intruder to instant century not the days of lazy monks and compliance with its demands, so potent, feudal barons. that from the peasant's hut to the king's Go on still further, and when public palace all feel the effects of its power opinion stands to contemplate the dead, and hasten to shout its glory.
perishable body of a John Stuart Mill, No matter under what guise, or of it gives itself the lie direct; on the one what object in search, public opinion hand it praises his ability while living, wins respect; and having once gained but fails to answer the question: Why control asserts its power with absolute did not he who when living sought not sway, holding its subjects so firmly, that God, as the agent of goodness, but even the sun of justice so long obscured bestowed upon a frail creature in the is almost unable to reflect a single ray capacity of wife the love and adoration of honesty on the human mind.
due to his Creator, why did not he You must admit that daily the press check the onward advance of death, proclaims the doctrines of this great and show the world, that if the human slave-driver of society, and when one being is the only object of regard or boldly comes forward to question this adoration, that corporeal form which it or that idea so unanimously heralded has assumed must by its own inherent by the papers, he is either looked upon power say to death, Halt! I am not subas a fanatic or lunatic unfit to be trusted ject to thy sway, I am thy master! No, with any of the rights of manhood. an unseen, omnipotent Being rules
Pause for a moment and ask your- otherwise; and the world, with its blaselves whence this right to control your tant guide, popular will, better designated as self-willed ignorance, has to 1. Because you have the authority stand condemned before the higher to do so. power, always self-conscious of right as 2. Because the good of society at emanating from the Godhead and given large demands it. to the world in the Church, the only true
The first proposition can be quickly guide, the safest counsellor, because she and efficiently disposed of, inasmuch alone has the passport to traverse this as you are members of the Catholic transitory sphere and from her rock-faith, which is the pillar and ground of built eminence, say to the young men truth, and in her teachings cannot err. of this age : Behold, I am the only true The proof of which is self-evident and reliable AUTHORITY for you to adopt from your earliest recollections. . You and follow.
have inherited that authority as a birthThus far you have found public right, and it remains for you to guard opinion, as known in this age, to exist it jealously, protect it with all your might without authority. I request your at- and sacrifice your lives rather than surtention while presenting to you the render your title and claim to so inestiproper definition of the term.
mable a privilege, because the popular The mistake most likely to arise is, ideas of the day do not accord with the the taking of a synonyme for the word principles enunciated by your infalitself, as supposing influence, ascend- | lible guide. The second proposition, ency, and power to have the same that society has need of your assistmeaning as authority.
ance, is most certainly susceptible of Authority includes the idea of right proof. necessarily. Superior wisdom, age, and On every side you find allurements office give authority; but authority is and fascinations to draw away the of itself, and requires no collateral aid. young from the path of duty, first by
Authority is confined to that species destroying parental control, secondly of power which is determined from by fostering an over-thirst for the legitimate source. God is the source of acquisition of money as a means to all authority, an attribute which is com- gratify depraved taste and satisfy an mensurate with his goodness, his power, indomitable ambition to be considered and his wisdom. Man therefore exer- something in the eyes of the world, it cises the supreme authority over man, little matters what, provided it brings as the minister of God's authority : notoriety, either as a pugilist, spendhe exceeds that if he does anything thrift, blackguard, or politician. contrary to God's will.
Obtain power; use it; show by your Some believe power to mean author- influence you can sway a band of ity. This is not true. There is power followers to your notions; and it is of where we can or may act; there is au- very little importance if you can show thority only where we ought to act. no authority.
Therefore, I propose to show the You have gained the upper hand. necessity of Catholic young men as- While you hold the winning card, watch sociating together for benevolent and your opportunity, society knows you. social objects.
But once lose your trick-the game is