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I. They pitied a poor unfortunate boy who was worse off than themselves.
II. They did all they could to help him.
III. They did it at once.
IV. They did it cheerfully, and with all their hearts.
ST. ANTHONY'S DAY IN ROME.
A YEARLY festival is held at Rome, which is superstitiously devoted to the purifying and blessing the horses and other animals. It is in the month of January, and great interest is taken in the ceremony by the people of Roman Catholic countries.
The inhabitants of the neighbourhood send their animals decked with ribands to the convent of St. Anthony, near the Church of St. Mary the Great; and, as they pass the door, the priest appearing, sprinkles each creature whether it be horse, mule, ass, cow, sheep, or dog, dipping a brush into a large bucket of (so-called) holy-water that stands near. Taking off his cap, too, he mutters, in Latin, the freedom from evil of these animals through the intercession of the blessed St. Anthony, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
The owner of the beast always gives a piece of money to the priest, who returns an engraved representation of St. Anthony, and a small cross of metal. Nor is this homage confined to the lower and more ignorant part of the community, for splendid equipages, attended by outriders in handsome liveries, do not fail to appear to receive, as is supposed, the blessing of the patron saint.
On one occasion, a countryman's beast having received the holy-water at the church door, started off at full gallop; but before he had proceeded a hundred yards he fell, and his rider was rolled in the dust. The priest looked on, but not disconcerted, while some of the bystanders said, that, but for the blessing which had been pronounced, the horse and his rider might have broken their necks.
Such is one of the uses to which holy-water is applied. The Rev. Dr. O'Croly, once a Romanist, says, "What a
multitude of odd ceremonies is connected with the use of holy-water!" It is astonishing what virtue is ascribed to this consecrated element! Nothing can be blessed or hallowed without it: neither candles, nor new fruits, nor newlaid eggs, nor ships, nor dwelling-houses, nor churches, nor bells, nor sacerdotal vestments. It is used in all the sacraments, before mass and after mass, and at the churching of women. Nothing, in short, can be done without holy-water.
Even the butter-churn is sprinkled with it before the churning commences, that the cream may work the better. It purifies the air of distempers, cleanses the soul, expels Satan and his imps from haunted houses, and introduces the Holy Ghost as an inmate in their stead. It is generally believed, that the holy-water blessed at Easter and Christmas possesses superior virtue; on which account several tubs or barrels full must be blessed on these occasions, in order to supply the increased demand.
The late W. Collins, Esq., the painter, produced a spirited design after his visit to Rome; his biographer, in his Life, says,-Pigs dragged up squealing by the leg; kicking donkeys beaten into being blessed by their pious owners; pet dogs and cats barking and mewing as their possessors presented them to the saving water drops; cattle running hither and thither in frantic bewilderment; the chargers of regiments of cavalry, ridden reverently up, to the holy-water brush, by soldiers in full uniform, the motley crowds of spectators of the ceremony, &c., &c., produced an admirably graphic display of Italian life; which was sketched by the painter immediately after he beheld it.-London Patriot.
THE POWER OF KINDNESS.
A CERTAIN British school was remarkable for the rough and savage disposition of the boys who composed it. In consequence it had obtained the unenviable designation of "The Bull-dog School." The teacher, under whose supervision this state of things existed, and who seemed quite unable to
remedy it, was accordingly dismissed. His successor aware of these circumstances, and earnestly desiring the welfare of his charge, began by inquiring what mode or principle of action would be most likely to secure it. After much thought he concluded that kindness was the key to the boys' hearts, and observantly waited for some favourable opportunity to try its worth. Such an occasion soon occurred. One of the boys became dangerously ill. The teacher called upon him. This act was altogether without a precedent; a report was soon circulated, and a good impression was suddenly made. When the school met, the teacher informed the boys about their companion, and inquired if two would agree to call every day, and ascertain the state of his health. The idea was novel. Like new things, it was cheerfully received, and the boys acted regularly upon it. Their school-fellow had been ordered to have some wine. His parents were very poor,
and had not the means for complying with this order. The teacher became aware of the fact. He then, after telling the circumstance to his scholars, asked if they could at all help in this matter. One and another immediately cried out, "I will give a penny," "I will give a farthing," and so on according to their little resources. All countenances were bright with joy. A collection was made. The requisite sum, minus sixpence, was obtained. The master inquired if all had been given they could spare. "Yes." It was sad to be so near the attainment of their object, and yet, after all, disappointed. Silence prevailed. At last one little fellow said, "Won't you give the sixpence, teacher?" "Certainly; I only waited for you to ask me," was the reply. The wants of their sick school-fellow were met; his health was in due time restored. But the influence of this act of kindness did not cease with the occasion. The boys had felt the luxury of doing good, and the school from that time became quite reformed a proof how correctly they judge and act, who not only train the intellect, but also the hearts of the young.
WHAT I LOVE TO SEE.
I LOVE to see a child, when the father, mother, or any superior enters the room, and there is no chair by the fire in which either can sit, immediately rise and place one for their accommodation.
I love to see a child, when going to the table for refreshments, not to take a seat if there be no chair at the place usually occupied by the father or mother, or some older person, until one is placed there.
I love to see a child, when addressed by a superior, giving attention, and always answering any question with the addition of "sir," and "madam," to "no," and ". "yes."
I love to see a child, when playing with brother or sister, always gentle and kind.
I love to see a child, when sent on an errand, immediately start, and promptly perform the duty, and then at once return home.
I love to see a child when sent to school, not to loiter by the way, but reach the school-room at the time the teacher
I love to see a child, who never insults strangers in the streets-who never throws snow-balls after persons as they
I love to see a child, who runs away from the children who use profane or vulgar language, who shuns the society of the wicked.
I love to see a child, who is always obedient and respectful to parents, and who takes pleasure in rendering the many little attentions which much relieve a dear mother or a devoted father.
I love to see a child on the Sabbath, ever in the parent's pew, and always sober in countenance, and respectful in attention to the services of the sanctuary.
I love to see a child when told to do this or do that, at once perform it, and never ask, "Why, can't John do it?" "You always ask me," or, "I have all the work to do," or "John don't do anything."
In fine, I love to see a child who knows the place of
a child, and who ever conducts itself in such a manner as to secure the love of parents, and the approbation and esteem of neighbours and friends.
WHY YET DELAY?
His life went out in despair-that miserable man! If you could have seen him, could have heard him, trembling must have seized your soul. Why yet delay in coming to Christ? Do you intend to be an actor in just such a scene? The death of the impenitent is an appeal to seek God now.
Conscience warns you against delay. It has spoken to your heart with the entreaties of love, and with the remonstrance of anger; but you have lain still, counterfeiting sleep, and trying not to hear. The time is coming, dear friend, when you will sleep in death, and will awake no more. Why yet delay ?
Habit remonstrates against delay. Look back and see. Are you not farther from God than ever? What single point in your religious prospects has improved by procrastination? On the contrary, the farther you have gone on in life, the farther you have gone away from Christ. Delay towards God is progress to hell. Why yet delay ?
Sickness has testified against delay. On a bed of pain, how solemn have been your meditations! A writer observes, "Our frail bodies are tottering habitations; every beat of the heart is a rap at the door to tell us of our danger." Before your sickness is unto death, ponder well the question, Why this procrastination ?
All things above you, behind you, within you, unite with a divine combination to press religion upon your anxious thoughts. It is related of Thales, one of the Grecian sages, that being urged by his mother to a certain course, he replied, "It is too soon," and that being urged again, he replied, "It is too late." Take care, my impenitent friend, lest" too soon shall end with your soul in an eternal "too late." Why do you delay ?-Presb. Treasury.