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honour, or of happiness; and in the long perspective which is before them, their imagination creates a world where all is to be enjoyed. Let the scenes which they now may witness, moderate but not extinguish their ambition;~ while they see the yearly desolation of nature, let them see it as the emblem of mortal hope;—while they feel the disproportion between the powers they posssess, and the time they are to be employed, let them carry their ambitious eye beyond the world;—and while, in these sacred solitudes, a voice in their own bosoms corresponds to the voice of decaying nature, let them take that high decision which becomes those who feel themselves the inhabitant* of a greater world, and who look to a being incapable of decay.'* I should not (said Mr. Constance in conclusion) have directed your attention to this subject, which is somewhat of a solemn cast, but that I find you apt for such a lesson. Your becoming solicitude for improvement assures me that you are desirous of storing your minds with knowledge; and I know of no book from which you may extract lessons more worthy of your consideration, or from the study of which you may derive greater satisfaction, han the book of Nature, and the book of God."
* Alison's Sermons.
True to its character for dreariness, November was ushered in with continued rain and a clouded atmosphere. Notwithstanding which our party was as numerous as on the previous evenings, and little notice was taken of the weather, further than that it was seasonable. Mr. Constance, however, being agreeably surprised by the strong muster of friends, uttered an exclamation of astonishment on entering:—" What, all assembled !" cried he: " in such a night as this too, when the rain pours down in torrents, and not a star is to be seen to guide you home!" And as he spoke he assumed a look of wonder, which the youthful party were at a loss how to interpret. Indeed, it formed an amusing scene to observe the amazement depicted in their countenances, as they seemed to wait for the conclusion of his sentence; and whether they might resume the seats from which they had risen on his entrance. "How is this?" he again exclaimed : " what could have induced you to come?" After a moment's pause, one of the little visitors, bashfully peeping from under her eyelids, said: "We came, Sir, to pay our respects to you and to Mrs. Constance. We also thought it a pity that, having been regular in our attendance for ten months, we should fail in the eleventh, because the rain came down rather more heavily than common." "Bravely answered," returned Mr.
Constance, taking her by the hand: "may you always be found thus earnest in every good work, and persevering to the end in what you esteem your duty. And now," he added, playfully quoting the poet,
'Stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
At the conclusion of their refreshments, William was reminded that there was a very heavy calendar for their consideration on this evening. "And as I perceive," said Mr. Constance, looking over the almanack, " that some of the festivals will probably require a lengthened notice, it will be well if we immediately commence on our labours.
William bowed assent; and having informed them that the term November, as it implied ninth, was expressive of the station which the month held in the ancient calendars, as also that the Saxons named it Wynt Monath, because of the winds now prevalent, he proceeded to explain the origin of the day styled All Saints, kept by our church on the 1st of this month.
"It is a festival held in honour of saints generally, I suppose," said Angelina.
William. It is so: the term " saint" is supposed to have been applied formerly to all believers, though latterly only to those holy persons canonized by the Pope, and who were considered worthy of being supplicated and invoked by the professors of the Catholic faith. Owing, however, to the violent persecutions carried on against the Christians in the first ages of the church, the number of believers who laid down their lives in support of the cause, was so exceedingly great, and consequently there were so many days devoted to the remembrance of their sufferin
that it was at length found impossible to keep an anniversary of each separately; and it was resolved that the church should appoint one day expressly for the commemoration of saints generally.
• Mu. Constance. The origin of this particular festival of All Saints is attributed to a gift made by tlie emperor Phocas to Pope Boniface, of the Roman Pantheon; which, from being the Temple of all the Pagan Deities, became, by consecration, dedicatory to all saints, or all martyrs; but, since the period of its first ordination, a more extensive consecration has taken place, and our qhurch is now understood to celebrate, not only saints triumphant, or those who have entered into peace, but also those now militant on earth; and the lessons for the day, which are beautiful and appropriate, tend to the encouragement of all believers in the path so nobly pursued by our holy predecessors; and, by describing the happiness of saints in heaven, are calculated to urge us to a more firm and resolute practice of those things which will ensure for us a similar reward.
William. The Catholics, who believe that the terra of suffering, or purgatory after death, may be shortened by the supplicatory prayers of the devoted on earth, also hold a fast on the 2nd of this month, for the peace of departed souls. It is styled All Souls, and was first celebrated in the ninth century, by Odilen, abbot of Cluny, and soon afterwards became general.
Mr. Constance. It is more than probable, I think, that the custom of praying for the dead, in the early Christian church, received its origin from the idolatrous Pagans, who, it is known, were wont to sacrifice at the tombs of the deceased, and to offer gifts to their manes. But we will now attend to the two next days, William, which are of particular import.
William. You mean the landing of King William, and the Gunpowder Plot.
Mr. Constance. I do: hut perhaps it will be necessary to preface your statement of those great events, by a short review of the occurrences which led to them. Those of our young friends who have studied the history of England, are aware that they arose out of a struggle for Catholic ascendency. From the time of the Reformation, in the reign of Henry VIII. to the firm establishment of Protestantism by William III., the English nation was in an almost constant state of agitation, occasioned by religious differences, and the endeavours of each party to obtain the supremacy. The short reign of Edward VL was no sooner closed, than Mary, a bigoted and gloomy Catholic, succeeded in repealing all those acts with regard to religion which had passed in the reign of her predecessors, Henry and Edward; and for the five years which she afterwards lived, Catholicism prevailed. On the accession of Elizabeth, in 1558, and in the first year of her reign, those laws which militated against the Protestants were repealed, and the religion established in the same form as we now have the happiness to enjoy it. Elizabeth, in matters of theology, wonderfully succeeded, since of 9,400 beneficed clergymen, about 120 only refused to comply with the Reformation; notwithstanding which, her reign was in some measure imbittered by the frequent attempts of the Catholics to restore the old order of things; and among others, the famous Armada of Spain was intended by Philip as an effort to exterminate the reformed religion. It, however, providentially failed, and with it the hopes of the Catholics seemed entirely dissipated; when, on the death of Elizabeth, and immediately after the accession of James I. another project was.set on foot for the re-establishment of Popery. This was no other