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women, and helpless children, but they would not transgress the canons of their Church by eating meat on fast days. They looked to their strict observance of these things as a merit, for which God would grant them success in their infamous work.
Throughout, indeed, good morals and holiness of heart are esteemed by the vast majority of Romanists as of less importance than the punctilious observance of superstitious rites. This spirit operates even in the treatment of the dead. Rome formerly did a brisk trade in indulgences. According to the following report, she is now as energetic in the sale of Masses for the dead :
"A remarkable trial took place in Paris, in August, 1872, in which a merchant and a condemned priest were indicted for swindling, having appropriated a large amount of money, paid to them as broker's, for procuring Masses to be said by country priests for the repose of deceased Parisians ! Several hundred thousands of such Masses are annually required in Paris, and, as the number is beyond the ability of the priests in that city to execute, country priests are sought for who will agree to perform them. This firm, seeing an opportunity to make money, opened an agency for the purpose of taking criminal advantage of this demand. They were convicted, and condemned to fino and imprisonment.
This opens up a new line of business for our speculators. Fancy men on the Exchange acting as brokers for Masses for the dead, and trying to undersell each other in the terms for which souls can be released from the pains of purgatory ! Surely these moneychangers in the temple of God need the application again of the scourge of small cords at the hands of Him whom they call Master. (See John ii
. 13–17, and Matt. xxi. 12, 13.) Rome is the only Church that pretends to the power of working miracles, but her miracles are “ lying wonders." This very claim assists us to identify her with the great apostacy. A lie told in the interests of the “Holy Catholic Church" is no sin, according to the moral philosophy of Liguori and the other doctors of Rome.
Among the curious discoveries of modern times is one which was made in Milan. It seems that in one of the faubourgs of that city was a statue of St. Madeleine, which, from time immemorial, miraculously poured its tears on infidels and heretics. After the success of the Italian revolution it wept copiously. But at length it happened that the venerated monument needed repairs, and it was necessary to remove the statue, when, behold, it was found to contain a little reservoir of water, which was heated by means of a furnace concealed in the base. The water, in evaporating, rose to the head of the statue, where it condensed, and reached to two little tubes of the eyes, when it escaped and
ran, drop by drop, over the cheeks. A very ingenious arrangement that! This discovery explains the mystery of “winking Madonnas and “weeping saints.” But what can we think of the Church that thus imposes upon the credulity of the world ? Away with such a system of imposture from the face of the earth!
And this is the “mystery of iniquity” to which our free and noble England is invited again to bow her neck. But will Englishmen indeed sell the birthright of spiritual freedom, won for them by Reformers and martyrs, for such a poisonous mess of pottage as the heresies and impostures of Rome? God forbid !
Oh, Lord, how long ? Arise, and plead Thine own cause! It is time for THEE to work, for men have made void Thy law by their tradition !
A VOICE FROM AFAR.
Camperdown, Australia, November 21st, 1882. DEAR SIR, -It grieves me to see by the papers that the Catholics, infidelity, and Sabbath-breaking are so much on the increase in the old Country, as well as here. It seems to me that we are in the latter days mentioned in the Word. I have enclosed a cutting from a newspaper, the leading Liberal paper in this colony, and I have seen by this paper that the lecturer mentioned there gets by collections every Sabbath from £30 to £40. It is in Melbourne that he lectures, but it will show you the drift of people's thoughts as generally tending to infidelity here. But we know that the Word says, “God shall bring strong delusions on them, that they shall believe a lie;" and not to believe the Bible seems to me to be one of them.
Oh, it grieves me to think of it; and at times it makes me long to get away somewhere where there are no such things. But all the world seems alike. There seems to me to be a class—and a large number, too-rising up that neither fear God nor regard man. But I can at times think over those words with sweetness, verily I know it shall be well with the righteous ;” and also that the Almighty has promised to be a wall of fire round about His Zion; but I fear at times that I shall not be able to stand in the fiery trial that seems approaching. I know feelingly that, unless the Lord of life and glory upholds me, I shall not stand one minute. But He knows my inmost desires—that I wish and long for Him to make me in His hands as clay in the hands of the potter.
I have written more than I intended when I began, and must conclude with best wishes for your welfare, temporally and spiritually.
I remain, yours respectfully, To Mr. E. Wilmshurst.
JAMES S. MORRIS.
THE BAKER'S BILL; OR, GOD THE HELPER OF
HIS POOR. A FEW years since, a family lived at the East End of the Metropolis, consisting of a man and wife and four small children, who, by the dissipated habits of the husband, were reduced to the greatest extremity of want and suffering; and when the calamity of the family was at its greatest height, the man took his flight, no one knew whither, leaving his poor wife and her almost helpless. babes to do the best they could.
that this poor woman a godly character, and was enabled in the midst of her deep distress to lift up her heart to God, and exclaim, upon a review of her afflicting circumstances, “Lord, help me!” “Lord, undertake for me?" and so on.
She was directed to try a small school for imparting elementary instruction, but she found this insufficient
meet her expenses,. although they were of the most frugal character. She was then. induced to take in washing, to add a little to her income, while, from the fatigue of the school and her own children, she had but little time or strength for this additional employment. However, with all her exertions, she could not keep out of debt, and found it quite impossible to reduce the amount of her baker's bill, four pounds, which was a great grief to her; and, although the baker never pressed for payment, but called every day with the bread as usual, it became at last so great a burden to her thatshe would say to herself, - How can I take in the man's bread, and not pay
him for it?” When the account reached the enormous amount of six pounds, she could endure it no longer, but made
up her mind to tell him that she could not think of taking in any more bread, as she could not pay for it, which she did when he next called.
“What!” exclaimed the baker, "are you going to live without bread, then ? "
“No," said the poor woman in tears ; “I cannot do that, but I am unable to pay you for what I have had.”
Here, come, take your bread," said the man. me some day, Í dare say;” and, leaving the bread, went his way.
She was astonished at the man, but this was not the first time she had had to wonder at the conduct of those who gave her credit, for often had she to acknowledge their kindness, and feel urprised that they should trust her in her reduced circumstances.
btless she found a solution of the mystery in that blessed nise, “ Thy bread shall be given thee, and thy water shall be e."
66 You'll pay Through the kindness of a friend, she had obtained the promise of a gratuity of four pounds per year, from a lady who was proverbial for her alms-deeds, &c., and who had directed this friend to pay it quarterly to the poor woman; and it was at the time when her mind was so exercised in reference to the baker's bill that one quarter became due. While sitting one evening, reflecting that she had saved up one pound, and being somewhat cast down in mind at the thought of five pounds still being wanting, she all at once thought of the quarter's money being due, and, bounding from her seat, said, " Ah ! as Mrs. is to pay me, I do not mind asking her for it, and that pound, with the other, will be better worth paying Mr. —;" so away she repaired to the friend, who lived about three miles distant. But so the Lord would have it, her friend was out of town, and would not return for three weeks. “ Three weeks !” exclaimed the poor woman, who had so dwelt upon the pleasure she should experience in paying her baker two pounds — three weeks!” said she, turning from her friend's loor. *Oh, dear Lord, what shall I do? Lord, help me!” and, b ing very fatigued with her journey, she slowly proceeded towards her home. “Ah !” said she, “shall I go to the lady herself ? Perhaps she would not be offended. Oh, if she should, I shall lose my four pounds per year. Lord, direct me what to do !" and having proceeded a step or two farther, she made a stop, saying, “ Yes; I will go to the lady herself.” She immediately turned towards the West End of the town, and with a heavy heart reached Square, nearly exhausted with the journey and her great disappointment.
With her mind greatly exercised between hope and fear, she avalked several times up and down in front of the residence of Lady F- At length, summoning all her fortitude, she rang the bell, which was quickly answered by one of the servants, who, upon ascertaining her business, spoke very kindly to her, and had her seated in the hall, that she might compose herself a little, telling her that he would go to the lady in a minute and speak for her; and, reminding her of her ladyship's great kindness, and then saying that she had nothing to fear, he withdrew. She had, previous to ringing the bell, in her heart asked the Lord to give her favoar in the eyes of the lady, and the kind words of the servant seemed quite to raise her hope. When she was beginning to feel a little more comfortable, the servant came downstairs with a message from the lady, informing her that she wished to see her immediately.
“Oh,” said the poor woman, while her heart sank within lier," if her ladyship is offended with me, I shall lose my four pounds a year!”
“Come along !” said the servant ; come along !” and almost
had to pull her upstairs. “Come along! I hope the Lord will give you favour in her eyes,” said he; and presently showed her into the room where the lady sat on a sofa.
I beg pardon, ma'am,” said the poor woman, as she entered the room. “I hope it is no offence, ma'am ; but, as Mrs. was out of town, ma'am, I thought I would take the liberty of
The lady interrupted her by saying, “Oh, you did quite right by coming, as Mrs. —was out; you did quite right in coming. Here, come here, and sit by me. And so you are poor Mrs. are you? Well, now, let me know somewhat how you get on. God bless thee, poor creature! There, sit thee here; but stop now. Before you begin, let me pay you
the pound.”. Having paid her, the poor woman, after thanking her, proceeded to give an outline of the trials and difficulties through which she had been called to pass, not forgetting to speak also of the Lord's gracious interpositions on her behalf, which she had experienced many times, during the recital of which her ladyship now and then exclaimed, “God bless thee, poor creature! Thou hast seen a great deal of trouble ;” and so on.
When the poor woman had finished her narrative, the lady said, 'Well, now, I will tell thee a little about myself. You know I am pretty well to do in life ; and, as I think it right we should do all that lays in our power for our fellow-creatures, I endeavour to do all the good I can, especially to the poor ; and, as often as health will permit, I go to church and take the Sacrament-once a month at least, as I do not think we ought to be remiss in these things; and every opportunity of doing good that comes in my way, I do what I can; and you know, Mrs. we may hope for the best.'
Well, ma'am,” said the poor woman, who did not feel very comfortable while the lady was speaking, feeling anything but satisfied with the account of herself, “I never was in your circumstances, ma'am, though I have been much better off than I am now; and, at that time, I thought as you do now-that, if I did something for the poor, and did all the good I could, that was all God required of me; and, as far as circumstances would permit, I did something for my neighbours, ma'am ; but the Lord opened my eyes to see that I was trusting to an arm of fleshthat I was building on a sandy foundation, and not on the Rock Jesus Christ, ma'am.”
“Give me back that pound !” exclaimed the lady; "give me back that pound !”
“Yes, ma'am,” continued the poor woman, nothing daunted at having to give back the money-" to see that nothing short of Christ would do to trust to, ma'am.”