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THE SUN AND THE CLOUD.

It is usually thought, and no doubt correctly, that in age our emotions are much deadened; but with regard to the outward things of creation mine appear to be as lively as ever.

As I stood gazing on the western sky, the orb of day was setting gloriously. From a dark cloud that ensconced the sun, regular beams of light, widening in their course, shot upwards and sideways. So clear and bright was the firmament, that the tops of the farremoved buildings were clearly defined, and the flight of pigeons that with rapid wing were wheeling round in the air, at the distance of a mile, were distinctly visible. While entranced with admiration I continued to gaze at the kindling heavens, the sun came forth from his hiding place in purple and gold, flinging upon earth and heaven such an intensity of brightness, and pouring forth such a flood of unendurable glory, that my hands clasped themselves involuntarily; and as I had no words that could relieve my heart and soul, I stood in silent ecstasy, my eyes overflowing with tears.

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THE SUN AND THE CLOUD.

I know that clouds are sent forth from the Eternal on errands of extended usefulness; that the sun is the visible light and glory of the world, calling into existence myriads of God's creatures, and executing through the wide-spread universe the almighty will of his Almighty Maker; but I felt at that moment that the bright sun and the dark cloud had, alsó, another mission to execute; to entrance my eye with beauty and brightness, to impress my heart with a sense of God's glory and goodness, and to overwhelm my spirit with unspeakable wonder, gratitude, and praise.

THE GOTHIC PILE.

I LOVE to walk in these gloomy cloisters, and to muse upon this Gothic pile, that for so many centuries has excited wonder. It is mouldering now, and discourses eloquently on the fading nature of this world's most lasting glories :

Lord, what is man! so frail, so weak !

How vain his worldly trust!
The proudest efforts of his hands

Shall crumi'o in the dust.

Look at the sculptured portico, purely Gothic; nothing can be finer. It is as rich as age and elaborate carving can make it from its pointed top to its substantial base. Regard the massy buttresses, and that goodly tower where unnumbered niches, are filled with the effigies of saints, mitred bishops, grotesque figures, and curiously wrought ornaments. But let us enter the building.

See what windows there are of painted glass ! what a spacious nave, and what extended transepts! Mark how the clustered pillars shoot up to

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THE GOTHIC PILE.

the fretted roof a hundred feet above us; and then what piles of monumental marble! The armed knights lying on their backs are sadly mutilated; their helms and hauberks have been battered ; their shields and gauntlets, and two-handed swords, have been broken ; and the iron mace that once lay at the foot of yonder tomb has been taken away. These mutilated fragments bid us look upwards for immortality ; for on earth we cannot find it.

Observe the galleries above, and double columns narrow and high, now seen, and now losing themselves in the thick walls of the building. In olden times, dark-dressed nuns might be seen there, gliding to and fro in the dim light like flitting shadows, hasting to matins or vespers.

Here and there are flights of steps of black marble, leading to different chapels; for the church was a chantry, endowed with revenue for priests to sing masses for departed souls-0

-one of the many mummeries of Popery! The altar-piece is imposing, and the stalls of dark-brown .wainscot, also, with beautifully carved Gothic canopies, and seats with strange devices. But let us descend below.

This old crypt, so rich in cobwebs and in carved work of the sculptor's chisel, looks a different place to what it did when its clustered pilasters and groined arches were lighted up with lamps hanging from the roof. There are no hooded friars

THE GOTHIC PILE.

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now, kneeling in devotion, and “bidding their beads” before the costly crucifix. Time has been, when this low-browed vault has dazzled the beholder's eye with all the glittering glory that could be imparted by richly wrought vessels of the precious metals, by decorated altars, glowing paintings, coloured glass, and sparkling jewels. Where we now stand, bald-headed monks have stood before us, in grey gown and rosary ; and mitred abbots, habited in gorgeous apparel, in vestments of purple and crimson, stiff and glittering with silver and with gold. The place is at the present time

“ Furred round with misty damps and ropy slime," and teems with unsavoury odours ; but silver censers have ere now filled it with the perfume of frankincense and myrrh. It is now silent; but the sweet voices of the young, and the deep mellow tones of age, mingled together, have rung in awful and mysterious melody through its echoing recesses, with the praise of the Virgin, instead of the praise of the High and Holy One. With what a cloud of errors and delusions has Popery enshrouded the Christian profession ; its indulgences, confessions, penances, and purgatory, sealing the word of God, bowing down to crucifixes, and seeking the intercession of saints! How earnestly should

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