Even still

I sometimes think even if Jesus and his mum weren’t a physical ten, they’re still morally above people or regarded as such. To put it this way, even if you’re rich and famous you’re still capable of being a jerk, pervert and the like. Even if you’re good looking, you’re not above your own vices.

Alternately speaking, even if somebody’s ugly they’re not any less of a person. You could have hypertrichosis and still be a productive religious member. You could be fat and still care for cats and dogs in churches and monasteries. God isn’t lookist by the way.

Even if you’re ugly you’re still a productive citizen and a good person. So to speak you could be attractive but deal with crippling mental health issues. Or ugly but well-adjusted. But that would involve realising something.

Twenty years in the Church (Google Books)



A Land rich in hospitals shows there is charity somewhere, and a land rich in churches shows that there is piety somewhere; but it by no means follows, that every good institution was the immediate work of a good motive or a good man.

St. John’s Church, in the new district of Lachford, is quite a case in point. “Never,” said Mr. Burcham, “did I see so much of the corrupt motives of human nature as in getting up that church. Lachford was a close borough—some drunken freemen, and some sharp attorneys, who led them like brutes by the chain of their vices, could return two members to Parliament. Beer decided the freemen; the freemen decided the election.

Lachford was also close in another respect: old Dr. Vine had had it all to himself for many years—a very good man out of the pulpit, a very useless man in. He preached Tillotsonian sermons through an eyeglass, and through his nose: still there was no alternative; for, those who drank “Church and State” felt it more than their politics were worth to go anywhere else, however desirous they might be. Strange, horrible things were done in those days. “In turning out an old chest in the Town Hall,” said the clerk, “what do you think it was brimful of? Why, certificates of A B or C D having received the Sacrament so as to be eligible for office under the old Test Act!”—The Dean Rural visiting the same church was answered by the Rector himself, when complaining of the dust and cobwebs, “Why, the fact is, our sexton is such a drunken sot we can do no better I”

Then, Lachford Church was very heavy for the voice; and as the Doctor had little energy, and read in a most drowsy and monotonous manner, the service was as sleepy a performance as can well be imagined. One old woman, whom the Doctor was visiting in a kind and consoling way — for, with all the errors of my brethren, by the bedside even of the dying pauper I am proud to declare that even the worst of us is seen to some advantage—said, “Sir, I haven’t had half a night’s sleep this week, but please God I hear one of your sermons next Sunday, then I knows I shall have a good nap.” This story circulated widely in a sense less complimentary than the poor woman intended.

To all this stagnation, if we add the fact that there were some 5000 souls under this one pastor, and only the few who were literary ever heard him preach in their own tongue, we shall not be surprised to find that while the Church party in Lachford had gone on talking about building one new church, the Dissenters had actually built five new chapels.

I said there was piety “somewhere,” or we never


should have had our new church after all. So, every year the piety of the Bishop dictated a hint at the spiritual destitution of Lachford. Then the piety of the Archdeacon suggested another hint. These dignitaries used to be received at the Rectory, as also was “the deputation” from the societies, all very hospitably; so, sometimes they, and sometimes any other clergyman, who had happened to put a note of admiration in his Clergy List opposite the name of the one Lachford and the one Church!—or, opposite the one Dr. Vine and 5000 souls! also inquired if no new church were in contemplation.

The piety of each of these parties, I say, came in aid. In course of time newspaper paragraphs more and more frequently announced church building in other places—ay, and in other parts of the same diocese: so, all conspired to say that things could not remain as they were—not for decency’s sake, not for proper public spirit. There were not a few good Christian people whose piety also helped the cause; but the greater help was when the public spirit came into play, with bustling self-importance and neck-and-neck rivalry—no weak powers in a country town.

It so happened, fortunately, that Mr. Burcham the schoolmaster, and his friend Mr. Challen, the timbermerchant, were churchwardens at the same time. Mr. Burcham was always praising Mr. Challen, and Mr. Challen as frequently lauded the public spirit of Mr. Burcham; and one day, over a friendly glass, some one said, “Now if this long-talked-of church doesn’t come to something in your year of office, gentlemen, it never will at all.” A short pithy sentence has something ominous and something stirring in it; so this mere quiz and banter acted on the ambition of this dealer in timber and this flogger of boys, like the witch’s salutation in Macbeth. “Then,” said Mr. Burcham, “I should like to be the man to lay the foundation-stone.” “And I,” said Mr. Challen, “would give 20/. to put the weathercock on the spire.”

From that hour Messrs. Burcham and Challen vowed they would immortalise themselves. “They didn’t mind if they did something the world called rash.” It was rash—very rash, indeed—and much moral courage was required at that time of day for such men to give anything above 51. for a church. If the recorded fact that “This was built when Caius and Manlius were consuls,” looked well in ancient times, what greater honour than a black board and gold letters bracketing the brotherly names of Burcham and of Challen? So they went about and talked for some few days about there being no public spirit in the town—meaning, of course, that they engrossed it all in their own persons; and eventually, after some conference with the Rector, Mr. Challen, being mayor, called a public meeting, with long notice, “to consider the propriety of having a new church to relieve the spiritual destitution of the poor of Lachford.”

Meanwhile, two or three more, to whom “time was no object,” seeing they rarely did anything with it, were added to their councils: and then Mr. Burcham gave a cabinet-dinner to Mr. Challen, and Mr. Challen had a yet larger party for Mr. Burcham. “Success to the new church,” was drunk: as also “Church and State,” which Mr. Burcham hoped never might dissolve partner


ship: though, probably, whereabouts they were joined, and the precise cuts that would part them, and which had the best of the bargain, he had never inquired.

After these two dinners, the new church had come to be talked of so much, that our churchwardens seemed taken at their word, and pledged in honour, as publicspirited men, to carry it through. They began for the honour of the borough, and were obliged to go on for the honour of themselves. In politics they were Tories—not that either of them could very accurately rehearse the articles of his political belief—few Lachford people could; but they voted on the Tory side, and were shown up at every slip in The Whig, a Dissenters’ paper. So, soon there appeared an article, saying that “the Church party of Lachford having, like Rip Van Winkle, been sound asleep for the last twenty years, was likely to be thoroughly roused up by a Tory Mayor and a Tory Schoolmaster, the latter ambitious of laying the first stone; but the Mayor, with his every-day eye to the main chance, had bargained to put a bran new weathercock (typical of his own political career) on the top of the spire, as soon as ever—not before—the said spire was built.—Very generous of him, no doubt.”

Soon after, the Tory paper replied to their “foulmouthed contemporary” in a way that pledged the whole Tory party to back up the Mayor.

By this time there was a new motive power, a new stream running through the town of Lachford; or let us say, a new current and a valuable trade-wind had set in. So, the masons, the architects, the builders, and the owners of building-land, were not long in swelling this stream and in adding their puff to this trade-wind, on purpose that it might turn their little machinery, or swell their sails, and bring grist to their respective mills. But, of all eye teeth, those of the landowners were set the sharpest. Every damp pit for “rubbish to be shot” rose wonderfully in value; as also did quarry-stone; and owners grew churchmen and charitable all in a day.

One man, whose field seemed to be the identical place that Deucalion and Pyrrha strewed with stone, seemed wonderfully liberal in offering part as a present for the church, though Mr. Challen winked and said a church would give tenfold value to the remainder.

Another said he would subscribe 50/. if the church were built on his ground; at the same time asking a price to repay the 50/. and something more. And as to the stone that was offered, some of it was quite a geological curiosity, and a fine exemplification of what building-stone ought not to be.

Homer’s race of “inventive men” is not extinct. The inventive powers of half the town and trade of Lachford were tried to turn this move to their own private account, and with just as little regard for the church as the turnspit dog has for the cook. If it is a sign something is going to happen when men talk to each other at the corners of the street, all was going well no doubt: for, Lachford people talked of nothing else. Indeed, the new church was a positive gain in that dull town, if it were only to divert and ventilate the people’s mind; for “there never was such a place for talking about each other’s concerns as our town of Lachford.”

Lachford diversions were rarities. Lachford fair was


a time to look forward to, certainly, as also was the fair ball, where the county quadrille kept as clear from the town quadrille as if there were a dread of some epidemic. This past, there was nothing to talk of, except “how dull everything was,” up to Christmas; and then, only the fat beasts and plums and raisins, all holly and red berries, till they came to ring out the old year—as if they had had enough of the old gentleman—and to ring in the new year—as if they had everything to hope from the young one.

What wonder, then, that the idea of a Church Meeting— ay, and the Bishop to preside, supported by one of the borough members at least, and ever so many county gentlemen—that this should excite pleasurable sensations in the minds of all parties?

The day for the great Church Meeting dawned at last. Every one in the town had offered a luncheon to some friends from the country. The three Misses E. wouldn’t rest till they had prevailed on their papa, a county magistrate, to come; though, he said, he knew it would end in their getting some money out of his pocket. Then Mrs. Vine was to fill the Rectory with Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth, who “had plenty of money if they would but part with it;” Mrs. Lyte, who subscribed to everything; and Mrs. Dyne, who, she was sure, ought to subscribe, for she was the widow of a canon genteelly provided for. This coterie was specially invited to lunch with the Bishop, the Archdeacon, and the first families of the county, who would thus see that our Rector’s wife could introduce great people as well as they could.

The Mayor had a splendid luncheon in the Hall, and the timber-yard coat was taken off and the mayor’s robes put on; and little Mr. Challen was for that day allowed to hand round the old corporation tankards to the first people in the land. Then the bells were set ringing, vehicles rattled in, all the town looked out, and the excitement was pretty general that day.

Mr. Challen was a practical man, of tangible results in pounds, shillings, and pence. Mr. Burcham was the same: he delighted in what he called business, and he would stick on “extras” cruelly; but for all that, when a father turned bankrupt I have known him give the boy the run of the school and the “run of his teeth” for nothing. So there might have been worse men than these to build a church.— Well, these two gentlemen had resolved on a surprise and an impression, no less than this: —

“The Churchwardens of Lachford: 251. Mr. Challen; 251. Mr. Burcham!”

All this they kept to themselves.

Just as the clock struck two, the Bishop of Z. was ushered by the Rector into the Mayor’s room, adjoining the Hall, and he at once smiled so courteously on Mr. Challen—whose face became as red as his robes — that the little man expected the pleasure of a long and flattering conversation. But no man ever went straighter to the point than the Bishop of Z., and no man could convey more without even speaking at all. So, Mr. Challen, all in a minute, found himself drawn into a quiet corner, and heard in a most confidential whisper, “Have you any paper for subscriptions, Mr. Mayor?”

“Yes, my lord, I have a”


“Headed with anything, Mr. Mayor?”

“Certainly, my lord; done in a minute:—The Churchwardens of Lachford, 25/. each.”

“Allow me—The Churchwardens of Lachford, con” jointly, 50/.—thus—much better—you see. Have this paper ready till I ask for it”—still all in a whisper—and then in the same breath, aloud —” It is your time, I think, now Mr. Mayor. So, we will proceed to your Hall for this most important business.”

All this, with his lordship, was the work of half a minute. The Town Hall was crowded with persons who came, because others came, “to make a day of it,” or because the Bishop was expected, not one in twenty caring the least whether a church were built or not. The description of a public meeting in the Acts of the Apostles is true to life,—” Some cried one thing, some another; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.”

The Bishop took the chair, and, after all had joined in a Collect for Divine Aid, Mr. Challen was asked to tell the purport of the meeting, and then four or five others rose in turn, with the usual slips of paper twirling in their fingers, and enlarged on the spiritual destitution of the poor, and the efforts made for church extension in other places; and then the Bishop, with his usual tact, and a little touch of satire at the same time, spoke.

“It was, indeed, high time he was sent for. From Lachford lips he had now heard that one part of the town was as little Christian as Timbuctoo; that pews were squared and red-curtained; and the poor had been treated much like the red men of North America, giving place

before the white till they disappeared altogether. However, he must not now be severe, though Lachford had for years been the crying shame of the diocese, because the present meeting had virtually acknowledged the duty of providing for those they had so ruthlessly thrust out. And first and foremost (“Where’s that paper?” he said, aside), “here are your respected churchwardens setting a most excellent example, and one of these gentlemen also, your mayor—your mayor — yes — (as if a bright idea struck him) therefore the representative of Her Majesty; so nothing could be more in character with the present movement, for our friend Mr. Challen,” he said, slowly and gracefully, every eye in the room having time to centre its rays on the little man’s rubicund countenance, “combined Church and State in his own person. Delightful that the movement should have originated in the laity — (here was a hit at the Rector)—a fact that while it made us, in some respects, he feared, blush for the past, also gave bright hopes of the future. However, he would say no more. There had been words enough—: now, my good Christian friends, for deeds. Yes, action, action, action! and the first to ‘rush into the breach’ were (holding up the paper, and shaking and cracking it, while pulling out his eye-glass) — were —

“The Churchwardens of Lachford . . . £50.'” “Hurray!” cried Sam Richards, Mr. Challen’s foreman in the timber-yard, digging his neighbour in the ribs. “Hurray! hurray!” vociferated Mr. Burcham’s first class, who had been sucking lollipops all the time. Of course everybody then hurrayed—nothing is more catching. “Well done our side!” shouted, gruffly and half

The Church of All Saints, East Budleigh, Part 2 (Google Books)

C 8. 8i in. (1, 4.)

Single row of leaves arranged vertically, inclining alternately to right and to left, and slightly overlapping each other.

D 1. 11J. (6, modern.)

In centre a shield bearing arms of the St. Clere family (a sun countercharged). Above it, the upper half of the figure of an angel, with bare head, and facing left. Curly hair. Hands shown holding shield. Wears a loose robe, continued for a very short distance below shield. Collar and cuffs turn over. Wings displayed over each shoulder, as though attached to the head. Below a floriated scroll.

D 2. 16i in. (1, 2, 3.)
Design similar to C 7.

D 3. 17 in. (2, 5.)

Divided into two squares. Upper sub-divided by bend dexter, lower by bend sinister. The interspaces occupied by floriated ornaments like half flowers.

D 4. 16f in. (1, 3.)

Design somewhat similar to B 4, except that the half circle is placed at the upper part, and of vesica shape.

D 5. 16J in. (1, 3, 5.)

Two unequal-sized square panels: upper (larger) similar to corresponding one of B 3. Lower has an architectural flower.

D 6. 16f in. (1, 2, 3.)

Upright double symmetrical leaf-like scroll ornament.

D 7. 12 in. (1, 3.)

Divided by oblique lines into five compartments, three being oblique squares, and two triangular (above and below), occupied by floriated ornaments.

D 8. 6 in. (1, 2, 3.)

Plain roundels, arranged vertically, and touching each other. Border on one side only. Is the narrowest pewend in the church.

E 1. 12 in. (4, 6.)

Full length figure of an angel, with wings, three-quarter face looking to left. Long loose habit reaching to the feet; high up in the neck and with loose sleeves—no hands shown.

Bears a shield (in centre of panel) containing arms of the St. Clere family. Lower fifth, contains a square formal architectural leaf.2

E 2. 16 in. (4)

Divided into two squares. In the lower is an architectural flower, with the petals much crumpled. The upper is divided by a cross saltire, containing formal half flowers, similar in character to that in the lower division.

E 3. 16 in. (1, 3, 7.) Vide plate 5.

Large-sized female head and neck in upper half, in profile, looking to right; wearing close-fitting cap, completely enveloping hair and ears. Neck rests in an ornament shaped like a cornucopaeia, and terminating in a flower. On the restored portion the letters A. W. are incised.

E 4. 16f in. (1, 2, 3, 4.)

Double symmetrical scroll-like ornament. Carving poor and shallow.

E 5. 16f in. (1, 3, 4.)

Two square divisions. Upper occupied by two vertical fish-like bodies, placed symmetrically, and facing each other. Mouths wide open, showing teeth; upper jaws connected by a ring. Between the two is a vertical ornamental standard. Lower divided by bend dexter, with floriated ornaments in the spaces.

E 6. 16f in. (1.)

Of similar design to C 7.

E 7. 11J in. (1, 4, 7.)

Leaves arranged vertically and alternately—terminating in an alligator-like head, with open mouth displaying large teeth.

E 8. 9 in. (1, 4.)
Stalk and leaves.

F 1. llf in. (5.) Vide plate 6, a.

At base, a sitting figure almost nude (has a sash round the waist), with a grotesque face. Upholds a shield, charged above with a greyhound current (rather mutilated), below an owl. In upper part of panel is a helmet inclined, and surmounted with crest of a dog. Eepresents the arms of the Ford family. The Fords were related by marriage to the St. Clere family. a Vide illustration in D. A. xxii. 280.

F 2. 16| in. (No stamp mark.)

Panel divided into spaces by a cross saltire above and below, united in the centre. The middle interspace occupied by a full face with arabesque border. The other divisions contain floriated ornaments. Two formal flowers at base.

F 3. 16 J in. (4.)

Two and a half circular compartments, sub-divided into vesica-shaped spaces (6 in all) containing floriated ornaments.

F 4. 16 J in. (No stamp mark.)

Upper half contains female figure to the waist. Body in full front, but head in profile to the left, and covered with cap of folded material, fitting closely. Under garment rises high in the neck, and is fastened by a plain band-like brooch. Tight-fitting dress, cut low and square in the front, with a loose piece over the shoulders like a sash. In lower half a decorated scroll-like ornament.

F 5. 161 in- 0. 2, 3, 4, 5.)

Long saltire-wise cross. Upper division contains an ungainly-looking head with long hair, and wearing a flat cap (coronet ?). Face in profile to the left. The other spaces contain floriated ornaments.

F 6. 111 in. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)

Panel divided symmetrically into spaces, formed by half circles in apposition at their convex surfaces, and terminating above in a circular compartment containing a head in profile, similar to, but smaller than that in F 5. All the spaces occupied by formal floriated ornaments. Apparently by the same carver as F 5.

F 7. 8 in. (1, 2, 3, 5.) Vide plate 6, b.

In upper fourth of panel the head and shoulders of a female figure (?), remarkably well designed and carved. The face in profile to the left. Head covered with a close-fitting decorated cap, concealing the hair and ears. Over this, tilted forwards, is a hat of soft material, with turned-up brim, and decorated with a feather. It is retained in place by a band, passing round the back of the head. Dress high up in neck. Tightfitting jacket, with shoulder-pieces. In lower threefourths a branched foliated stem. Border of similar design to A 2 and A 6.

F 8. 17 in. (1, 3, 5.) Vide plate 4.

A half-length female figure, shown above a hatch or hall-door (?), occupies the upper part of the panel. Face in profile, looking towards the left, at the representation of a large bird, trussed ready for cooking, and suspended in the left-hand upper corner. Head covered with a close-fitting cap, formed of one piece folded, or of bands, united at their edges. In shape it is similar to the diamond headdress of the Tudor period, there being a slight angle in the centre of the forehead; the border passes almost directly backwards to the temples, from whence two lappets project forwards, towards the lower part of the cheek (covering the ears), the hair being shown in the angle so formed. The cap has a decorated edging (of lace ?). A wide ornamental band or carcanet surrounds the neck. The gown, cut low and square in front, displays a portion of the under – garment. There is a broad-shaped waistband; this and the edging of the gown are of decorated material; otherwise the latter is plain. The sleeves are rolled up above the elbow, so as to leave the arms bare. A platter is held in the left hand, while the right is employed in grasping the tail of a dog, occupying the lower part of the panel. This animal has a long body, with smooth skin; the tail is long, and so is the head, with its long flap ears. It is apparently intended to represent a turnspit dog, although the forelegs are not depicted of the form generally possessed by that race.3

F 9. 16J in. (1.)

Very large leaves. Lower part of panel plain. Border unlike that of any other, consisting of plain, undecorated roundels.

F 10. 16f in. (1.)

Long bend sinister, with contorted foliated ornaments in the divisions.

F 11. 15J in. (1, 3, 4.)

Two squares, each containing a large formal architectural leaf.

* Vide illustration and description in Jesse’s Anecdotes of Dogs (Bonn’s ed.), 418. The dog worked inside a hollow drum like :\ squirrel in its cage, and when once in motion had to continue running. ” When we consider that a large solid piece of beef would take at least three hours before it was properly roasted, we may form some idea of the task a dog had to perform in turning a wheel during that time.” In Chambers’s Book of Days (i. 490) there is an engraving of a dog so employed.

F12. 12 in. (4.)

Two squares; upper divided by bend sinister, with floriated ornaments; lower contains full flower.

G 1. 16J in. (1, 6.)
Massive leaves.

G 2. 17 in. (1, 3, 4.)

Interlacing stalks, not symmetrical.

G 3. 16| in. (1, 3.)

Scroll, with flower-like ornaments; in the upper left angle a small face upturned, with wing-like ornaments on either side.

G 4. 16J in. (No stamp-mark.)

Interlacing bands or stalks, not symmetrical.

G 5. 16f in. (1, 3.)

A large bearded head in profile, facing left, situated in the concavity of an arabesque ornament, and terminating in a scroll-like decoration. It bears some resemblance to, and has been called, the decorated head of an Indian.

G6. 17 in. (1,4.)

Long bend sinister dividing floriated ornaments.

G 7. 16f in. (4, 6.)

A large shield of oblique form, containing the arms of the St. Clere family, with various quarterings (of the Courtenay, Chiverton, and Yarty families). At base, a contorted, scroll-like ornament. Above it is a halflength figure, with face in profile to the right; head covered with a close-fitting cap, with a protecting knob behind. Habit rather loose, folded across the breast, and with a deeply cut scalloped border. Upper part of sleeve puffed, rest closely-fitting, with turned-up cuff.

G8. 17 in. (1,4.)

General design and treatment similar to B 4.

G 9. 16J in. (1, 4, 6.)

Upright fish-like figure, terminating below in an ordinary fish tail; above in the head of an animal with mouth open, showing large tongue. Scroll-like ornaments attached to lower part of body.

History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic, Volume 2 (Google Books)

Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 66. who graduated at the college of

The doctor Pedro Salazar de Santa Cruz. Mendoza’s biography of his illus- 6 ” Non hoc,” says Tacitus with trious relative is a very fair speci- truth, “praecipuum amicorum mumen of the Spanish style of book- nus est, prosequi defunctum ignavo making in ancient times. One event questu: sed qua? voluerit memiseems to suggest another with nisse, qnas mandaverit exsequi.” about as much cohesion as the Annales, lib. 2, sect. 71. rhymes of ” The House that Jack ‘Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., built.” There is scarcely a place epist. 143. — Carbajal, Anales, or personage of note, that the grand MS., afio 1494. — Salazar de Mencardinal was brought in contact doza, Cron. del Gran Cardenal, lib. with in the course of his life, whose 2, cap. 45.

history is not made the theme of A foundling hospital does not

profuse dissertation. Nearly fif- seem to have come amiss in Spain,

ty chapters are taken up, for ex- where, according to Salazar, the In one of her interviews with the dying minister, Chapter

the queen requested his advice respecting the nom- —

ination of his successor. The cardinal, in reply, earnestly cautioned her against raising any one of the principal nobility to this dignity, almost too exalted for any subject, and which, when combined with powerful family connexions, would enable a man of factious disposition to defy the royal authority itself, as they had once bitter experience in the case of Archbishop Carillo. On being pressed to name the individual, whom he thought best qualified, in every point of view, for the office, he is said to have recommended Fray Francisco Ximenez de Cisneros, a friar of the Franciscan order, and confessor of the queen. As this extraordinary personage exercised a more important control over the destinies of his country than any other subject, during the remainder of the present reign, it will be necessary to put the reader in possession of his history. 8

Ximenez de Cisneros, or Ximenes, as he is Birth or


usually called, was born at the little town of Tor

wretched parents frequently destroyed their offspring by casting them into wells and pits, or exposing them in desert places to die of famine. “The more compassionate” he observes, “laid them at the doors of churches, where they were too often worried to death by dogs and other animals.” The grand cardinal’s nephew, who founded a similar institution, is said to have furnished an asylum in the course of his life to no less than 13,000 of these little victims! Ibid., cap. 61.

8 Salazar de Mendoza, Cron. del Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 46. —. Gomez, De Rebus Gcstis, fol. 8.

The dying cardinal is said to have recommended, among other things, that the queen should repair any wrong done to Joanna Beltraneja, by marrying her with the young prince of the Asturias; which suggestion was so little to Isabella’s taste that she broke off the conversation, saying, “the good man wandered and talked nonsense.”

Part delaguna, in the year 1436,9 of an ancient but

. -— decayed family.10 He was early destined by his

parents for the church, and, after studying grammar at Alcala, was removed at fourteen to the university of Salamanca. Here he went through the regular course of instruction then pursued, devoting himself assiduously to the civil and ccinon law, and at the end of six years received the degree of bachelor in each of them, a circumstance at that time of rare occurrence.11

Rome.”. Three years after quitting the university, the young bachelor removed by the advice of his parents to Rome, as affording a better field for ecclesiastical preferment than he could find at home. Here he seems to have attracted some notice by the diligence with which he devoted himself to his professional studies and employments. But still he was far from reaping the golden fruits presaged by his kindred; and at the expiration of six years he was suddenly recalled to his native country by the death of his father, who left his affairs in so embar

9 It is singular, that Flechier should have blundered some twenty years, in the date of Ximenes’s birth, which he makes 1457. (Hist. de Ximencs, liv. 1, p. 3.) It is not singular, thatMarsollier should. Histoire du Ministcre du Cardinal Ximenez, (Toulouse, 1694,) liv. 1, p. 3.

10 The honorable extraction of
Ximenes is intimated in Juan Ver-
gara’s verses at the end of the
Complutensian Polyglot:

“Nomine Ctinerfiu clari de atirpe poren-

“Et mentis Ihctua darter Ipse aula.”
Fray Pedro de Quintanilla y

Mendoza makes a goodly genealogical tree for his hero, of which King Pelayo, King Pepin, Charlemagne, and other royal worthies are the respectable roots. (Procemia Dedjcatoria, pp. 5-35.) According to Gonzalo ae Oviedo, his father was a poor hidalgo, who, having spent his little substance on the education of his children, was obliged to take up the profession of an advocate. Quincuagenas, MS.

Catholic School Journal, Volume 16

Time – Volume 55 – Page 74

Briton Hadden – 1950 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
New York Greyhound Wins “Best Hound In Show” Award Professional dog handler Nate Levine poses English and … was not Alessandro Serenelli, Maria’s repentant murderer (now, after 27 years in jail, a lay brother in a Catholic monastery).
books.google.com.ph › books
Encyclopedia of Monasticism

William M. Johnston – 2013 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Soon a few of these active communities began to feel a call to become integrally monastic, that is, to curtail their active involvements in order to take on enclosure, local stability, and the full Divine Office and to proclaim themselves Benedictines. … It was first located in the Isle of Dogs in London’s dockland (1896-1898) and then, from 1906 on, on Caldey Island, off the southern coast of Wales, another …
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Indiana’s Catholic Religious Communities

Jim Hillman, ‎John Murphy – 2009 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
The ministries of Catholic religious communities expand beyond the schoolhouses and hospitals to touch Catholics and … sister from Monastery Immaculate Conception provides veterinarian services for an elderly gentleman’s seeingeye dog.
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The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change …

Richard Rohr – 2019 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From one of the world’s most influential spiritual thinkers, a long-awaited book exploring what it means that Jesus was called “Christ,” and how this forgotten truth can restore hope and meaning to our …
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Buddha is the Center of Gravity – Page 23

Josho Sasaki – 1974 – ‎Snippet view
Once you become a Catholic monk, you have to stay in the monastery and follow its rules all your life. A Catholic monastery creates a different, separate world. … While Joshu Osho and the monk were talking, a puppy dog trotted up. The Zen …

Catholic School Journal, Volume 16


TRAINING DOGS The Monastery of St. Bernard in the Alps, is known the World over for its hospitality, its famous Dogs and its trained rescue brigade. The Dogs wander through the Mountains day and night, in search of travellers lost in the snow

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Each Dog carries a small keg in which

are eatables and brandy to refresh the traveller and strengthen him for his trip through the snow drifts to the Monastery. The insert shows A Monk training Dogs for rescue work in the Alps.

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To Be Director General.

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Institution for Crippled Children.

St. Edmund’s Home for Crippled Children, in charge of the Sisters of Bon Secours, at Philadelphia, will be formally opened on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, when the Most Rev. Archbishop Prendergast will speak. At the pres ent time there are nearly sixty Cath olic children in non-Catholic institu tions for the crippled in Philadel phia. –

Poland’s Good Friend Is Dead. enryk Sienkiewicz, the Polish novelist, best known in this country as the author of “Quo Vadis,” is dead at Vevey, Switzerland. The novelist had devoted much of his time recent !y…to Polish relief worw. Born of a Lithuanian family at Okreya, Podla ***, about 74 years ago, Sienkiewicz *S*oved to Poland because of the ºn war, and was educated at the $.”…ity of Warsaw. In 1877, he Coth * tº the United States where with -L § he founded near Los Angeles, —j’; on the plan of Brook Farm W ike Brook Farm the settlement

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New Catholic World, Volume 29 (Google Books)

IN the legends of the saints and in Holy Scripture a great stress is laid upon names. They are shown to be full of significance for the future career which they are to adorn. It will be seen in the course of these pages whether our English St. Dunstan did not justify his name in his life. Dunstan signifies a mountain and a rock,+ and in Holy Scripture a very particular meaning is attached to both, the one signifying the desire after eternal things, the other the immutability of the soul which seeks after God in the storm and whirlwind of this world.

Herstan and Kynedritha, Dunstan’s parents, were both noble. They lived in the neighborhood of Glastonbury, a monastery whereof popular tradition ascribed the foundation to angelic hands, but which at that time bore few signs of the angel’s workmanship about it, being an insignificant building in the midst of a swamp. On the feast of the Purification which preceded Dunstan’s birth his mother was assisting at the Candle Mass which gives its name to the solemnity, when suddenly the tapers of the whole congregation went out. Before conjecture had shaped itself as to the cause of the occurrence, Kynedritha’s candle enkindled as of itself, and communicated fresh light to all in the church. The sign fitly expressed the particular work of the child who was so soon to be born to enlighten not Glas

* Memorials of St. Dunstan. Edited from various MSS. by Professor Stubbs.

+ Quod et montem et petram sonat.

tonbury only, nor even the monastic order in England, but the whole Saxon nation. The child was brought into the world under the reign of Athelstan in the year 925. When he had grown up to be a boy his parents brought him to Glastonbury, in accomplishment of a promise concerning him, probably, which they had made to God. Here whilst they prayed in the church Dunstan had a dream. An old man in white, of shining appearance, conducted him round the monastery, drawing a plan of buildings which, he said, the boy should one day erect on that spot. Long years afterwards Abbot Dunstan remembered the heavenly lesson. But on this occasion he was left by his parents to be educated at Glastonbury. He seems to have been no idle scholar, but to have taken only too kindly to his studies. Irish monks, in the ardor of their philosophical pursuits, much frequented Glastonbury at that time. Under their guidance Dunstan ate and drank his fill of Holy Scripture.” The ardent boy had a soul full of poetry and the thirst for knowledge, yet his body was weaker than his desires. His overtaxed brain gave way, and he became so ill that both parents and doctors despaired of returning health. Yet God used extraordinary means to raise his young servant to life and strength. One night the sick youth got up out of his bed and left the house, meeting, says William of Malmesbury, a pack of barking dogs, who ran * William of Malmesbury, p. 257.

straight at him.” Dunstan recognized something more than a dog in one of the most savage of the troop, and he administered a sound beating with his stick, which he seems to have used the convenient precaution of taking with him. He climbed a mason’s ladder, and reached the end of his nocturnal journey, the church, by means too unaccountable to be explained. The next morning he was found asleep in a portico between two watchmen, perfectly sound and well. If the heaven-enkindled flame on the Purification denoted the coming of one who should restore light and purity to the sanctuary, the mysterious dogs and his illness so preternaturally cured may be taken as a further illustration of his energetic and powerful working. Once more Dunstan set himself to his former studies with an ardor so undiminished that its fame reached the ears of King Athelstan. He acquired a special proficiency in two sciences which apparently have no very strong analogy, music and mathematics. The harp became Dunstan’s constant companion, his relaxation, and the instrument which he was never weary of using to sing the divine praises. Dunstan’s vocation seems to us to be one of the strange things in his strange life. It might have been supposed that the extraordinary graces he had received would have naturally engendered a call to the service of the altar; but it was not so. In this case it was Dunstan’s parents who moved him to receive minor orders, lest he should

slight the evident tokens of divine

pleasure; and Dunstan agreed to

take up the yoke for fear of seem

pressed him.” But about this time, being fifteen or sixteen, he was introduced to Athelstan, who held his court in the western shires, and so managed to combine attendance on the king with service at the altar. The talented boy soon rejoiced in the highest favor shown to any courtier. His melodious harp charmed and soothed the royal spirit. In the house of a certain noble matron the same harp, untouched by human fingers, executed an antiphon to the words, “The souls of the blessed rejoice.” # In the height of Athelstan’s favor Dunstan’s purity of heart did not forsake him. As he listened to the heavenly strain he prepared his soul for tribulation. His enemies had, indeed, taken umbrage at his excellence, and they determined to get rid of him; for as long as he stayed at court he absorbed their master’s attention. They mooted an accusation of sorcery which forced Dunstan to retire; but they moreover tried to put a violent end to him and his fascinating manners. They waylaid his horse, trampled him under foot in the mud, and left him there to help himself as best he could. Dunstan managed to get up in order to gain a friend’s house which was near at hand, but he was so unsightly an object that the said friend’s dogs would have sprung upon him had not his caressing voice made them think better of it. They brought him to the house with their canine signs of approbation, wagging tails, which caused Dunstan to say in the sadness of his heart: “I see that the order of nature is reversed; for whilst my friends are as cruel as beasts, dogs are as kind as men.” After this first painful experience of court Dunstan retired to Winchester, where a near relation of his, Elfege, was bishop. Although in minor orders, Dunstan had renounced neither the world nor the flesh,” so that when Elfege urged him to become a monk he put the bishop off with playful answers, sometimes even pretending to see no merit in the religious life. Good Bishop Elfege, however, took the matter seriously to heart, and he prayed earnestly that Dunstan might be brought to graver thoughts by bodily sickness. His petition was heard. Dropsy, or king’s evil, had the merit of working a thorough change in Dunstan, who rose from his bed with the resolution to embrace the counsels. In the silence and solitude of Glastonbury he was to prepare for his future career-that is, in order to become the counsellor of kings he was to begin by learning obedience. William of Malmesbury paints in one single line a graphic picture of his working at the already ancient monastery : “There he applies his hand to work, his lips to prayer, his soul to heaven.”f Another biographer describes the cell which Dunstan built for himself at Glastonbury, though, he says, “I cannot find a word which will at all express it, as it was much more like a tomb than a human abode.”f It was not more than fifteen feet long by two and a half wide, its height about that of a man. An aperture in the wall served as a door and a window; but, concludes the monk biographer, “the wide and spacious walls of cities may not be compared to this narrow cell, by the grace of

ing ungracious to those who so
* William of Malmesbury, p. 256.

* Ne praecipientibus durus videretur.
t “Gaudent in coelis animae sanctorum.”
: P. 26o.

* Irrepserat enim jam adolescenti voluptatum fomes.—Ibid.

t “Ibi manus applicabat operi, labia psalmis, animos coelis,” p. 262. … + Vita, auctore Osberno, p. 83.

which many forms of disease are now cured and the fury of demons is assuaged.” In the meantime Athelstan died at Gloucester, in 941, and was succeeded by his brother, Edmund I. How long a time elapsed before Dunstan was again called to court does not transpire, but we should place it not earlier than 944, when he would still have been full young to act as a royal counsellor. But now he had the additional strength and maturity which are gained from a religious training, and there is some difference noticeable between the harp-playing youth whose music had found the way to Athelstan’s heart, and the professed monk whose motto at Edmund’s court seems to have been, “Render to Caesar those things which are Caesar’s, and to God those things which are God’s.” The king’s special choice of Dunstan was, it must be remembered, the sole ground for the influence which he exercised over the affairs of the nation. His whole soul was bent upon a strict administration of justice, which cardinal virtue he found in a singularly languid condition. In this matter he was altogether as good as his word, causing transgressors to be punished with severity; but, not unnaturally perhaps, the courtiers revolted. The ardent monk. with his sweeping reforms could not be tolerated, and Edmund, forgetting his own gracious invitation, hastily ordered Dunstan to quit the court. Shortly afterwards there was a royal hunt at Cheddar. In the heat of the sport the king pursued the deer over hill and dale till at length he was led to the brink of a steep declivity, and could no longer rein in his horse. On the point of certain death, he bethought himself, as is the wont

of men at these critical moments, that he had wronged no man but Dunstan, his friend, whom he had condemned without hearing. He resolved that, if God would save him by Dunstan’s merits, he would make good his bad treatment. He had hardly come to this determination when the horse, whose hoofs were already on the edge of the descent, became as tractable as a lamb; the king regained his mastery over the animal, and was delivered from all danger. His gratitude was royal. Without any delay he called for Dunstan and proposed that they should proceed together to Glastonbury. Arrived there, he offered up fervent prayers of thanksgiving, and, pressing Dunstan’s hand with great affection, he led him to the vacant abbatial chair, and proclaimed him abbot, promising at the same time to supply all possible needs from his treasury. This event is referred by Professor Stubbs to the year 946. The date of Dunstan’s ordination is very uncertain, though the event was rendered noteworthy by Elfege’s prophecy. Dunstan received Holy Orders from the same Bishop of Winchester who had taken so paternal an interest in his vocation, and who now bestowed a similar dignity on two others. He distinctly foretold the future career of the three youths anointed as priests of God by his episcopal hands. “To-day,” he said, “by the grace of God I have imposed hands on three men, the first of whom will be the archbishop of Canterbury; the second will one day succeed me in this see; the third will throw off the veil of religion and end his life in a mire of licentiousness.”* Even the

*Auctore Osberno, p. 262.


number three will not always exclude a Judas.

To pass over in silence Dunstan’s holy charms to gain the hearts of great ladies to God would be to omit a very characteristic feature of his life. A certain Ethelfleda, who was, it seems, related to King Athelstan, having once listened to Dunstan’s burning words, was so enraptured with the sweetness of eternal life that she could not make up her mind to return home or to leave the spot, but chose to live and die near to blessed Dunstan.* In our own days many would be the criticisms on such a step. It might be called running after a priest, or a silly attachment which should be nipped in the bud by its object; but friendships vary in their nature somewhat after the fashion of souls, and if our Lord drew all men after the odor of his ointments, why should not his servants have the power of discerning the true love of God from the idle seekers after a vain-glorious excitement ? Ethelfleda then established herself in the vicinity of Glastonbury, giving herself up to prayer and good works. When the hour of her departure drew near she sent for her holy confessor, and, having made her confession with many tears, Dunstan exhorted her to detach herself from all earthly things, that the prince of this world might find no part in her heart. He returned to Glastonbury for the night, and there in the church had a vision of the Mystic Dove, who entered with great brightness into the house of the dying Ethelfleda. The vision caused him to go back to his royal penitent, whom he heard conversing behind her curtain with an invisible guest. Who, Dunstan asked, was her visitor?

* P. 86.

It was God, answered Ethelfleda in quiet ecstasy, who came to take away all her fears of death. The noble lady’s last recorded words to Dunstan explain what kind of friendship theirs had been : “I thank you heartily, my dearest and best friend, because, owing to your advice and to your prayers, I am now going to God. There is one thing which I still ask, and beg for if I may, as a last favor: that at early dawn you would bring me the precious Body and Blood of our Lord, that, fortified by these life-giving mysteries, I may not be confounded in the gate when I shall speak to my enemies.”* When on the morrow Dunstan had car. ried her last Communion to Ethelfleda, she happily departed to eternal rest. It was during the peaceful days at Glastonbury that William of Malmesbury places Dunstan’s famous encounter with the devil which has given rise to the story that the saint “pinched his nose.” The young monk then-for the incident properly occurred before his nomination as abbot-being very clever with his fingers, was often solicited by the neighboring people to do a little smith’s work for them. One evening, as he was thus engaged, the devil, under the appearance of a petitioner, appeared at his window. Dunstan did not discover the fraud, and set himself to do as he was asked, when the devil began to insinuate very bad thoughts, though always under the gloss of a certain decorum. The saint accordingly heated his tongs and caught the arch-deceiver by the jaw. “Nor would the pestilent creature have escaped,” quaintly remarks William of Malmesbury, “unless he had resorted to his

usual artifices and melted away in the night air.”* It is a curious fact that at a retired village in Protestant England the tongs wherewith “St. Dunstan pinched the devil’s nose” are still produced as a sort of victorious trophy. { Dunstan’s dream as a child will be remembered. Thrice he received supernatural warnings of his future career. As a boy he was shown his work as abbot of Glastonbury; as a monk he again looked on a sort of panorama of his life in the silence of the night; and once more, at King Edred’s court, he had the most significant vision of all concerning his future primacy. These particular signs have the merit of showing Dunstan’s vivid faith in the communion. of saints; for in general dreams form the subject of our daily thoughts. A monk called Wulfred, whom a close friendship had united to Dunstan, died. After a short time he appeared in his earthly form to his friend, and foretold to him all the events of his life in detail. But Dunstan was of a practical mind, and heard the prophecy with caution, saying in his characteristic way: “These are fine things which you promise, but by what sign am I to trust them?”f Then Wulfred seemed to take him by the hand to the place before the church which was almost entirely covered with the tombs of the dead. “Here,” he replied, “a priest shall be buried in three days who is now perfectly sound. His body shall be brought from the western side to be buried.” Having uttered these words, he vanished, and Dunstan

* P. 88. voL. xxix.–51

awoke. On the morrow he had
scarcely recounted the dream to
* P. 263.
+ At Mayfield, in Sussex.
+ P. 265.

the other monks when a priest came to the monastery seemingly for no other purpose than to fix upon his tomb. Having seen the small space still left unoccupied in the church-yard, he asked the monks as a great favor that his body might there be laid to rest. He had hardly departed before he was taken ill, and in three days Wulfred’s prophecy was accomplished to the letter. The young abbot now remembered the specific vision he had had as to the enlargement of Glastonbury, and, with his eminently practical mind, he set himself to add a tower and aisles to the church, whilst at the same time he bethought himself of the monks who should pass from their earthly to their heavenly paradise. He enclosed the cemetery, which became under his rule “like a beautiful garden secluded from all noise or thoroughfare,” * where the bodies of the monks might truly be said to rest in peace. But Dunstan’s ardent spirit rejoiced rather in the spiritual weal of the living than in the temporary repose of the dead. From all parts vocations flocked to Glastonbury. It was the centre which formed holy monks, abbots, and bishops who perpetuated Dunstan’s example throughout England. He had a strong comprehension of the axiom that vice is fostered by ignorance, and to this conviction must be traced the impulse given to learning under his rule. Some notion may be gained of the scheme carried out at Glastonbury by citing the example of Ethelwold, one of the monks thus formed by Dunstan. About this Ethelwold Dunstan had one of his significant dreams. He thought that within the monastic enclosure he saw a * P. 272.

tree whereof the branches embraced the whole of England. They were laden with monastic habits, but one at the extreme top appeared to be larger and more prominent than all the rest. The abbot gazed and was perplexed, when a venerable old priest in his dream thus enlightened him: “The tree,” he said, “is this island; the habit at the top signifies the religious merit of thy monk Ethelwold. The others are the souls of those monks whom he shields from the devil by his piety, and whom he protects under the shadow of his righteousness.”* These words are full of meaning when it is considered how many Ethelwolds were formed by Glastonbury. Under these circumstances it can hardly be wondered at if Dunstan’s relations with the devil were of a somewhat unpleasant character. The persecution he endured from “that pestilent creature” bears a strong resemblance to that inflicted in our own times on Jean Baptiste Vianney, the holy curé of Ars. Thrice in one night he was assailed by the devil, who appeared to him under three different forms; but Dunstan, whose courage is proved by the legend itself, quietly laughed him to scorn for changing his form. The abbot had a brother, Wulfric by name. He died, and on the day of the funeral, for some cause which is not specified, Dunstan stayed behind with one boy, who survived to recount the extraordinary fact which took place. They were walking in the court, awaiting the return of the monks from the cemetery, when an immense stone was flung at Dunstan. It carried off his cap or cowl, rolling heavily beyond him; but the unseen agency which had hurled it * P. 273.

was fully revealed when the monks came to examine it. The stone could hardly be lifted from the ground, and was of a kind entirely unknown in Somersetshire. Soon after the accession of Edred to the throne in 947, Dunstan seems to have taken up his partial abode at the king’s palace, dividing his time between Glastonbury and the court. During the nine years of his reign Edred suffered from the most persistent ill-health, which caused him to look to Dunstan as to his right hand for the administration of his kingdom, and he made him his treasurer. According to William of Malmesbury, those were palmy days for England. This time Dunstan met with no opposition from the spirit of envy and unrighteousness. He possessed the king’s ear and governed his counsels, and practically worked out the Biblical precept, “Fear God and honor the king.” Edred wished very much to see his favorite Dunstan a bishop, but the prime minister was inflexible even to the prayers of Queen Elfgiva, the king’s mother, who had been charged by him to use her powers of persuasion. “Be assured, lady,” said Dunstan, “that I will never become a bishop during your son’s lifetime.”* However, Dunstan’s high-minded resolution was not apparently ratified in heaven. The following night he had a curious dream. He seemed to be returning from a pilgrimage to Rome at a spot from which its walls are visible, and which used in consequence to be called by pilgrims the Mountain of Joy, as the place whence they could descry the bourne of their desires. Here he was met by the apostles St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Andrew,

each holding a sword. On those of St. Paul and St. Andrew their names were written, but St. Peter’s sword contained the words in golden letters, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” Whilst the apostles offered their swords to Dunstan, St. Andrew greeted him as a special friend, and, partly in allusion to his name, partly to give a point to his words, he said, “Take up my yoke, for I am meek and humble of heart.” Then Dunstan received a sharp blow on his hand from St. Peter, with the intimation that this was the punishment for the bishopric refused, and that in future he was not to be so stubborn. After this chastisement Dunstan awoke, and inquired of a monk sleeping near who it was that had struck him. Upon a negative answer he said confidently: “Now, then, I know, my son, who it was.” He did not sleep again that night, but passed it in prayer till the early dawn, when he imparted his dream to Edred. The king, possessed by a spark of prophecy, explained the words written on St. Peter’s sword as signifying Dunstan’s future promotion to the archbishopric of Canterbury, where the principal church is dedicated to our Lord.” But in spite of the familiarity apparent between the king and his chief counsellor, Dunstan was absent at the time of Edred’s death. The sickly king was carried off suddenly at last, and Dunstan had his wish not to be burdened with fresh cares whilst his ailing master required all his energy. On his way to the royal death-bed Dunstan received a supernatural intimation that the king “slept in God,” + and enjoined his companions to pray for Edred’s soul. When he reached the palace he found a sad instance of the proverbial self-seeking of courtiers. They, who had formerly flattered their master during his life, fied from his corpse, which could give them nothing. Dunstan mourned over the sight. He and his monks watched by the royal remains till they were buried with becoming honors at Winchester. The abbot retired to Glastonbury for a short breathing-time. “Yet, although,” says his biographer, “he had chosen Mary’s part, he did not disdain Martha’s solicitude.” * A beam from a tower in course of erection was stopped in its descent by the holy sign of the cross which Dunstan made upon the air; but whereas the good rejoiced at his miraculous power, the wicked were thereby moved to greater envy of his gifts. With Edred’s decease in 955 a new phase begins in the life of Dunstan. Hitherto he had served deserving sovereigns, and had been generally treated by them with grateful appreciation; but now an unworthy successor ascended the throne of Alfred. Edwy or Edwin the Fair, whose short reign began by profligacy (956) and ended in grief (959), brought discord into his kingdom by bad and ambitious women. The scene of his coronation has been often described. The spiritual lords of England, its bishops and abbots, were gathered together for the ceremony, but, as they sat afterwards at the banquet, the king suddenly retired. A cer

*P. 279.

* P. 281. t “Modo,” inquit, “Edredus rex obdormivit in Domino.”

tain woman, Elgiva, who was near

ly related to him, and her daughter

had inspired the lust of the king,

and for their company he forsook

the great ones of his land. Who *P. 282.

would go and call him back to his duty ? To do so implied the hatred and revenge of a bad woman in power, which revenge would last as long as the king’s passion for her. Dunstan and his kinsman, Bishop Kinsige, offered themselves for the perilous task, but it was Dunstan who used a gentle violence with the king. The crown of England was on the floor, strange emblem of its wretched possessor. Replacing it on the king’s head, Dunstan drew him by the arm back to the banqueting-hall; but Elgiva, turning to him with a dreadful look, exclaimed: “Because you are impertinent enough to draw the king away from the couch whether he will or no, I will take care that you never forget this day nor me as long as I can help it.” * The queen’s words—for she attained the object of her ambition— were not vain. Her vengeance pursued Dunstan and made England an unsafe place for the courageous abbot of Glastonbury. Dunstan set sail for Flanders, narrowly escaping the loss of his eyes—a punishment ordered by Elgiva to be inflicted on her enemy. At that time the monastic life in Flanders flourished under Count Arnulf, whose father had married a daughter of Alfred; and thus it came to pass that on different sides of the German Ocean two of his grandsons, Edred and Arnulf, were simultaneously carrying on monastic revival. Dunstan’s cause, therefore, was warmly adopted by Arnulf, who received him at Ghent and allotted him a monastery, where, far from being looked upon as a stranger or an exile, he was treated as a friend and a superior.f Aless kind treatment, as he learned by revelation, would have been his at Glaston*P.284. + P. 235.

bury. He seemed one night to be in the choir there, and to hear his monks singing an antiphon from the words of Job: “Why have you detracted the words of truth, whereas there is none of you that can reprove me?” but they could not complete the chapter, in spite of various attempts which they made. Then Dunstan urged them to go on : “However, finish what you have begun.” But he heard a voice saying: “These words are hidden from them because they shall never carry out what is in their thoughts—that is, to depose thee from thy post in this monastery.” His flight took place in the year 956. In the meantime affairs did not prosper with Edwy. The Mercians revolted against him, and peace was only arrived at by the division of the kingdom (958), Edwy retaining the country south of the Thames only, and his brother Edgar taking the rest of England. Edgar was but sixteen when he became king, and already he showed some decided character by recalling Dunstan, the devoted friend of his family. After Dunstan’s return to England his life shapes itself into two principal aspects—his work as an ecclesiastical reformer, and his labors as a politician who had before his mind’s eye a great principle to which he was always and singularly faithful. It is only from this double point of view that we can form an adequate notion of the man, and defend his memory from the imputations of those who have pretended to trace a fanatical hand in his reforms, or an inordinate desire to meddle with state affairs in his undoubted capacity for guiding the counsels of a young king. More weight was in the first instance

given to his position by the episcopal consecration which he received on his return from Flanders. According to a custom in force at the time, he was probably consecrated a shire-bishop, pending the vacancy of a see. Three years elapsed between this and his final dignity as primate; for in 959, after the death of Edwy, his mysterious dream was fully accomplished and he became Archbishop of Canterbury. He had previously governed the dioceses of Worcester and London. There is perhaps no better test of an apostolic spirit than the fearless correction of those who occupy high places. King Edgar himself seems unfortunately to have been no model in his private life, and once he fell into the sin of seducing a noble maiden at Wilton, who, if not a nun, subsequently took the veil to free herself from his importunity. Dunstan, moved to holy anger, went to remonstrate, when Edgar, putting out his hand, would have led him to the throne. But the archbishop, evading his touch, said with spirit: “Do you dare to touch the pastor’s hand when you did not fear to seize a virgin given to God P You have seduced the spouse of your Creator, and do you think to please the spouse’s friend by a bit of flattery I will not be the friend of one whom Christ opposes.”* When Edgar had bewailed his sin Dunstan imposed a penance with no sparing hand. The king was not to wear his crown for seven years; he was to fast twice a week and to give large alms. In short, he who had robbed God of one virgin was to found a convent which would give him back many spouses. If, as we are proud to boast, the English character becomes early

* Osbern, p. 111.

apparent in the nature of its free and healthy laws for the good of the lowest British subject, then we must acknowledge that Dunstan was a representative Englishman. Edgar’s constitutions bear the impress of a strong and thoroughly English individuality, except, indeed, the institution of the Hundred, which seems to have been an administrative idea inherited from the old German system. Peace, order, and the rights of the subject are the undercurrent of Edgar’s secular ordinances concerning the remedial jurisdiction of the king, the regular holding of the popular courts, the general system of security for appearance in the gemots, and the uniformity of coins and measures. The claims of the individual English citizen are fairly and clearly recognized in these early ordinances: “I will that every man be worthy of folk-right, as well poor as rich, and that righteous dooms be judged to him.” And again in the Supplementum three points are insisted upon which are of fundamental importance to the prosperity of the state: First and foremost come duties towards God and religion; secondly, the proper balancing of power between the sovereign and his thanes; and, thirdly, the legal freedom of the Danes. The development of these early principles points to the religious mind of the English even amidst the errings of heresy, the independent English monarchy, the free and generous nature of English hospitality toward strangers. Edgar’s words in one instance at least mark the guidance of Dunstan. He says: “I and the archbishop command that ye anger not God.” The ecclesiastical laws enacted may be divided into two classes; the first are call

ed the sixty-seven canons of Edgar, and concern religious observances and the guidance of the clergy. Professor Stubbs recognizes Dunstan’s hand in some of the number. For instance, “That no priest receive a scholar without the leave of the other by whom he was formerly retained ”; “that every priest do teach manual arts with diligence”; “that no learned priest reproach him that is less learned, but mend him if he know how”; “that no noble-born priest despise one of less noble birth; if it be rightly considered, all men are of one origin.”* The penitential canons form the second class of which we spoke, but they are much less individual. Dunstan’s claim to be viewed as a spiritual ancestor of the great St. Gregory VII. lies in the apostolic strife which he waged against the excesses of the clergy. It is not easy to explain the falling away of the Anglo-Saxon priests without a deep knowledge of the period, but certain causes of degeneracy appear on the surface. Civilization, in its first stage, does not always act favorably upon the moral life of a country, and it may safely be said that the refining process begun by St. Augustine had been interrupted by two and a half centuries of internal growth impeded by foreign invasion. The ceaseless incursions of the Danes had had a depressing, not an elevating, effect upon the Saxons; and now, at the latter end of the tenth century, they were little more than half-civilized barbarians, knowing, indeed, those things which they ought to do, but possessing not energy wherewith to do them. Fear had cast out love, instead of the reverse.* Thus William of Malmesbury describes the clergy as “given up to worldly things, addicted to games of chance, equal to or surpassing seculars in their love of dress and in their licentiousness, intent upon food even to shameful excess, ignorant of letters as if it were a disgrace to priests to be learned, scarcely knowing the meaning of the words their sacred calling ordered them to say so often.” In this state of things any man courageous enough to set up a high ideal of perfection would deserve more gratitude than the founder of a world-wide empire. Yet this is what Dunstan did by the illustration he gave to monastic life, in itself a faithful carrying out of the counsels. He enacted that every see should be filled by a monk or an abbot, who should be able to serve as an example to his diocesans, pending the time when the secular clergy awoke to the nature of their sacred vocation. Dunstan would tolerate no compromises, no half-hearted attempts to serve God and the flesh; it was to be a question of living according to the canons or of expulsion from the service of the altar.” He was also the stanch enemy of any violation of the sacrament of matrimony, justly regarding the purity of Christian marriage as the tie-beam in the frame-work of society. Dunstan himself founded five monasteries, and the monks formed at Glastonbury, or put forward by his exertions, carried the vigor of their primate into their new dioceses. Ethelwold, a monk of Glastonbury, and Abbot of Abingdon, and afterwards Bishop of Winchester, built innumerable monasteries, raising Ely and Thorney from their foundations. His clergy at Win

* Preface. + Perfecta autem charitas foras mittit timerem.

chester, placed before Dunstan’s alternative, had chosen to leave the spot rather than to be reformed. The same course was pursued by Oswald at Worcester, and by Wulfsige at Sherborne.” Dunstan put great zeal into the work of visitation, but no monastery attracted him more than Glastonbury. Primate though he was, he became a simple monk within those peaceful walls. On one of these occasions a story is told which is touching, as revealing the nature of Dunstan’s relations with his former brethren, and the simplicity of heart to which God loves to confide the secrets of his providence. He had gone out one day into the court-yard before the church, where a single monk was walking. Arrived at a certain spot, Dunstan heard a voice from heaven saying, “Come, come, Elfsige, come.” The archbishop, understanding the intimation, turned to the monk with the words, “Prepare yourself, brother, and make ready the viaticum which will enable you to undertake so important a journey. For your hour is at hand.” # In a very few days Elfsige went indeed to his reward. But the good times of Edgar and Dunstan were drawing to a close. The king died in 975, and was succeeded by his son, Edward II., the Martyr. A great reaction heralded in the new reign. By the help of the nobles the expelled clergy sought to recover their footing, and the archbishop was publicly confronted with his numerous enemies at a council held at Winchester. According to William of Malmesbury, a crucifix spoke thrice to relieve the archbishop’s mind from the anxiety caused by the unruly priests. And

* “Aut canonice vivite aut ecclesiis exite.”

*P. 302. + P. 306. + P. 308.

as if that were not enough, a second palpable sign confirmed the justice of his claims. At a second council the floor gave way beneath the assistants who were upbraiding that “strong pillar of the church, Dunstan,”* he alone remaining safe and erect. This miracle silenced at last the angry tongues of his enemies, and caused the archbishop’s decision to be universally accepted. The history of England during the last twenty years of the tenth century is disastrous in the extreme. No sovereign appeared with the capabilities of Edgar, and the country’s energies were sapped by Danish invasions and by an incompetent and worthless ruler at home. Ethelred the Unready deserved his nickname. The shadow of the cruel murder by which he came to the throne hung over his reign, as Dunstan had prophesied that it would. On the day of his coronation the archbishop is said to have predicted the disasters which subsequently came to pass: “Because you aspired to the throne through your brother’s death, whom your ignominious mother stabbed, the sword eager for your blood shall not be taken away from your house all the days of your life. It shall slay some of your kindred until the kingdom shall be transferred to a strange nation whose language and customs are foreign to the people you govern.”f The peace and glory of Dunstan’s legislation were soon forgotten in the weariness of present strife, but his holy life remained as a shining light after the fame of lower things had passed away. To those alone it is given to

*… Validissimum illum Ecclesiae murum, Dunstanum dico. t Osbern, p. 115.

shine to others who have first consumed all seeking of self in the love of God. In his archiepiscopal palace Dunstan divided his time between prayer and study, devoting the early hours of the morning to the correction of faulty manuscripts. The equal distribution of justice, the preservation of the sacred character of matrimony, the protection of widows and orphans, the pacification of those who were estranged one from another, were the objects which lay nearest to the archbishop’s heart. Charity towards the poor and zeal for the monastic order constituted, as it were, the flames upon which his ardor spent itself. His preaching was forcible and earnest, tender to the good, but unsparing towards sin. Dunstan never performed any great ceremony without shedding abundant tears. “In the day,” holy David says, “the Lord hath commanded his mercy, and in the night his song.”* Nocturnal prayer has a special value in God’s eyes, and in it the archbishop was proficient, never, as his biographer records, taking his full allowance of sleep. Thus, after the turmoils of his life, he tasted before death of the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding. The end was at hand, though there was no appearance of a decline. It was Ascension day, 988. Dunstan preached three times to his people with an unwonted vigor and unction, and at the third sermon he left them his legacy. Let them, he besought them, have charity and love one for another ; it was the only means of becoming united to God. This brotherly tenderness was the pledge our Lord had bequeathed to his disciples, and now he left it to them as his parting

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gift. Then he told them that he should be no longer with them, for that he was to depart to his true resting-place in heaven. After Mass, nevertheless, the archbishop went to dinner, where he was full of a holy mirth, making himself all things to his brethren. A sudden illness fell upon him, and he grew constantly worse till the Saturday. When Matins were over the archbishop knew that the hour was near at hand when he should see God face to face. He summoned his household for the parting, bitter indeed to them, but sweet to one whose heart had been for so long fixed on heaven. Extreme Unction was administered, then the holy Viaticum, and, whilst the hidden God still dwelt within his breast, Dunstan cried out: “Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum misericors et miserator Dominus, escam dedit timentibus se.” They were his last words, a farewell to earth, full of gratitude to God for the greatest of his gifts. Dunstan was in his sixty-fourth year. This short record would fulfil its

aim could it fix the attention of some future biographer of St. Dunstan. The broad outlines only of his career have been given here, both because the details would require a larger space, and bécause in a sketch we feared by dwelling too much upon them to take away from the vigor of the salient points. The indifference and rudeness of the age, the vices of those who should have supported him, make Dunstan’s own sanctity all the more forcible. It is as if in a poor collection of pictures we were to come upon the work of a great master. Another attribute of his holiness must be borne in mind. At a time when men left the world because it was so bad that their hearts sickened at the prospect of bettering it by their presence, Dunstan sanctified himself in the atmosphere of courts, thus showing forth in his own example the strength engendered by obedience, and the weight carried with it by a steady purpose which looks to God for its accomplishment.

Catholic World, Volume 13 (Google Books)

I have been particularly struck with their love for, and their power over, the animal world. They seemed to live nearer the heart of nature than other mortals, and perceived there diviner harmonies. Perhaps this sympathetic relation sprang from the belief that, as the whole natural world participated in the fall of man, so it has its part in the fruit of our Saviour’s Passion. At least, they believed that animals, in common with man, received life from God and exist through him. “All creatures,” says Denis the Carthusian, “partake of the divine, eternal, and uncreated vol. XIII.-35

The saints respected in animals that divine wisdom which Albertus Magnus tells us, in his book on animals, is to be recognized in their instinct. Dr. Newman says: “Men of narrow reasoning may smile at the supposition that the woods and wild animals can fall into the scheme of theology and preach to the heart the all-pervading principles of religion; but they forget that God’s works have a unity of design throughout, and that the author of nature and of revealed religion is one.” Dr. Faber saw throughout creation a threefold manifestation of God,

typifying his being, the generation of the Son, and the procession of the Spirit. Sanctity seems to restore man to his primeval relation to nature, and give him back the power he possessed in Eden over the animal world. The Holy Scriptures tell us of beasts and birds sent to minister to the wants of man, and how the very lions reverenced the prophet Daniel. Animals were submissive to man before his fall, and they went obediently into the ark at the command of Noah. Such things are renewed and repeated in the lives of the Christian saints. It is not more wonderful that a raven should bring St. Paul the Hermit half a loaf every day for sixty years, and a whole one when visited by St. Anthony, than that one should feed the prophet. St. Gregory of Nazianzen relates that St. Basil’s grandmother, St. Macrina, having taken refuge with her husband in the forests of Pontus during a persecution, was miraculously fed by stags. St. Bega, when a hermitess in a cave on the Cumberland coast, lived in supernatural familiarity with the sea-birds and the wolves of Copeland forest, and they in part supplied her with food. St. Roch is usually represented with the dog that used to accompany him in his pilgrimages. When St. Roch had the plague, the dog went daily into the city and returned with a loaf of bread for his master. Among the old legends that embody the popular idea of the veneration of the animal world for holiness, is that of the Flight into Egypt. It is said the lions and leopards crept out of their lairs to lick the baby hands of the infant Jesus. When Christians, in the times of persecution under the Roman emperors, were thrown to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre, there are many examples of these usually ferocious

animals refusing to touch the holy victims, as in the well-known instances of Andronicus and Tarchus. St. Blaise is depicted surrounded by a variety of animals, such as the lion and the lamb, the leopard and the hind, who seem to have laid aside their animosity. This saint was obliged, in the persecution of the reign of Diocletian, to take refuge in a cave of the mountains. It was the haunt of wild beasts, whose ferocity he so disarmed that they came every morning, as if to ask his blessing, says the old legend. One day, he met an old woman in distress for the loss of her only earthly possession, a pig, which had been carried off by a wolf. Such power had St. Blaise over the animal world, that when he ordered the wolf to bring back the pig he obeyed. Some time after, the woman killed her pig and took a part of it to St. Blaise, who had been thrown into prison and left without any food, thereby preventing him from starv1ng. St. Jerome is represented, in Christian art, with the lion he healed, and which remained with him. The legend tells us the saint made the lion guard the ass that brought his fagots from the forest. One day, the lion went to sleep in the woods, and the ass was stolen. The lion returned home with drooping head, as if ashamed. St. Jerome made him bring the fagots in place of the ass, which he did till he discovered his old friend in a caravan of merchants, whom he so terrified that they confessed their sin to St. Jerome and restored the ass. There is a very similar legend of the Abbot Gerasimus, who lived near the river Jordan. We are told, in the lives of the fathers of the desert, of one of them who was carrying provisions across the desert to his brethren. Wearied with his burden and the long journey, he called to a wild ass he espied to come and aid him, for the love of Christ. The ass hastened to his assistance, and bore the father and his load to the cells of his brethren. St. Aphraates dispersed the army of locusts that threatened the country around Antioch. St. Martin commanded the serpents, and they obeyed him. And we read how the wolf-hounds, hungry and fierce, that were kept for the chase, respected St. Walburga when she went, late at night, to visit the dying daughter of a neighboring baron. It would almost seem as if these animals recognized, as an able writer says, the presence of Him who lulled the tempest with a word in the souls in whom he dwells. Tradition records the fondness of one of the twelve apostles—the loved apostle John—for animals. Every one has heard of the tame partridge he took pleasure in feeding. He was seen tending his bird by a passing hunter, who expressed his surprise to see the apostle, so renowned for his age and sanctity, thus employing his time. St. John asked him if he always kept his bow bent. “That would soon render it useless,” said the hunter. “So do I unbend my mind in this way for the same reason you unbend your bow—to prevent its becoming useless.” Perhaps he derived his love for animals from his ancestress Rebecca, who showed the kindness of her nature in offering to water the camels of the stranger. Eliezer saw it, and began wooing her for his master’s son. There are numerous instances in which animals instinctively betook themselves to the saints for protection. A hind, pursued by dogs, took refuge with St. Giles in his cave near

the mouth of the Rhone. The hunters, following on his track, found the wounded beast crouching beside the saint, who protected him. The hind remained with St. Giles, who fed on his milk. This saint is represented in paintings with the animal beside him. “Ane hind set up beside Sanct Geill,” says Sir David Lindsay. There is a similar legend about St. Procopius, a hermit, with whom a hunted hind took refuge. As St. Anselm was riding to the Manor of Herse, a hare, pursued by hunters, sought shelter under the housings of his mule. St. Anselm wept, but the foresters laughed, and the hounds stood around at bay. The saint said: “This poor hare reminds me of the soul of a sinner beset by fiends eager to seize their prey.” He ordered the hunters not to pursue the hare, which fled. So a deer took refuge from hunters in the cell of St. Aventin, a hermit who lived on an island in the Seine. One night a bear attacked his hut with furious cries. The saint betook himself to prayer, and at dawn found the animal, subdued and gentle, lying at his door licking his paw. The saint saw it was pierced by a thorn, and drew it out, when the beast went quietly away into the forest. When a person, who lived for a time with St. Aventin, caught some fish, the saint threw them back into the river, saying: “Go, little creatures, return to your element and food and remain there at liberty: my element and food are Jesus Christ, to whom I wish to return, that in him I may live for ever.” St. Bartholomew, a hermit of Farne, was so gentle in his movements that the wild sea-birds were not afraid of him. He allowed no one to molest them. He tamed an eider-duck, which daily fed out of his hand. One day, as St. Bartholomew was

sitting on the sea-shore, a cormorant pulled the edge of his garment with its bill. He followed the bird, and found its young had fallen into a fissure in the rocks. He rescued them from danger.

St. Helier, a hermit in the isle of Jersey, lived for years on a barren crag overlooking the sea. Attention was called to the place of his retreat by the flight of the birds who shared the rock with him, and he was beheaded by his pagan discoverers.

The marine animals would fawn on St. Cuthbert while he was praying by night on the island of Farne. The eider-ducks are called by the islanders to this day “St. Cuthbert’s ducks.”

So the nuns of Whitby “exulting told ‘

“How sea-fowls’ pinions fail, As over Whitby’s towers they sail, And sinking down, with flutterings faint, They do their homage to the saint.”

St. Serf, an old Scottish monk, had a pet ram which he had raised and used to follow him about. The laird of Tillicoultry stole the animal and “ate him up in pieces small.” Being accused of the theft, the laird declared on oath that he had neither stolen nor eaten the ram. Whereupon, so runs the old legend, the ram “bleated in his wayme”! The saint predicted that no heir born to the estate of Tillicoultry should succeed to his patrimony, which prediction has been verified down to our own time. During the last two centuries Tillicoultry has been in the possession of thirteen different families, and in no case has the heir born to it become the owner. Lord Colville, a distinguished soldier of the time of James VI., retired to his estate of Tillicoultry to spend the rest of his life in retirement. Walking on the terrace one day, he slipped while looking up at an old hawthorn tree, and fell down

the bank and was instantly killed. The estate was afterwards sold to the Earl of Stirling, at whose death it was sold to Sir Alexander Rollo, and so it has passed from one family to another down to our time. In 1837, it was bought by Mr. Stirling, who was accidentally killed. His brother, not the born heir, succeeded him, but sold it in 1842 to Mr. Anstruther, who in turn sold it to his brother, the present proprietor. St. Richard, Bishop of Winchester, through excessive tenderness for the animal world, hardly ever ate any meat. When he saw any lamb or chicken on his table, he used to say: “We are the cause of your death, ye innocent ones. What have ye done worthy of death P” He thought as Frederick Schlegel, who remarks: “The sorrows of beasts are certainly a theme for the meditations of men, and I could not agree to the justice of regarding it as a subject unworthy of reflection, or of permitting sympathy with them to be banished from the human breast.” St. Richard’s love extended to the whole natural world. In the time of his troubles he used to retire to the parsonage of a country curate, not far from Winchester, to find solace in communion with nature. His friend loved to look at him walking in the garden watching the unfolding of the flowerbuds or amusing himself by budding and grafting, forgetful of the wrath of the king and the number of his enemies. A graft which the owner regarded with great pride having died, Richard regrafted it. It lived and bore fruit. Many stories are told of the love of St. Waltheof, Abbot of Melrose, for animals, and, in particular, of his affection for the old gray horse which he constantly rode, and used playfully to call Brother Grizzle (Fraser Ferrandus). He was even known to discipline himself for having killed an insect, saying he had taken away the life of one of God’s creatures which he could not restore. His gray horse was well known in the valley of the Tweed. The humble abbot rode him, with his own luggage and that of his few attendants slung on before him, including the boots of his groom. He appeared before his kinsman, the King of Scotland, in this array. Waltheof’s brother was ashamed of him, but the king was so edified that he knelt to ask the abbot’s blessing, and granted him all his petitions, saying: “This man hath put all worldly things under his feet, but we are running after this fleeting world, losing soul and body in the pursuit.” Sophronius, writing in a more remote age, says: “Going to New Alexandria, we found Abbot John, who had spent eighty years in that monastery, so full of charity that he was pitiful also to brute animals. Early in the morning he used to give food to all the dogs that were in the monastery, and would even bring grain to the ants and the birds on the roof.” And, at a later day again, at Citeaux a great number of storks built their nests around the abbey, and, on going away for the winter, would hover over the monks working in the fields, as if to ask their blessing, which was given them. We are told in the annals of Corby that the novices had an otter which they kept for a long time in the refectory. And the success of Friar Baddo in training a dog is spoken of There was a peculiar breed of black dogs in the Abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes, called the dogs of St. Hubert. The birds of Croyland would feed from the hands of St. Guthlac, the hermit, and alight on his head and

shoulders, and the fish would come up out of the water for the food he gave them. So a white swan was for fifteen years in the habit of coming up from the marshes and flying around St. Hugh of Lincoln, and then alighting to eat from his hand, sometimes thrusting its bill into his bosom. This swan survived the saint many years, but, after his death, returned’ to its old wild habits, avoiding all human beings. St. Columba used to feed the seabeaten herons that alighted on the island of Iona. The sparrows would descend and eat out of St. Remi’s hand. And the birds would hover around the hermits of Montserrat and eat from their hands. Hugo of St. Victor shows his familiarity with the habits of animals by his allusions to them in his instructions. Digby relates that in 1507 there was a lamb in the convent of Muri that used to go to the choir at the sound of the bell and remain during the chanting of the divine office. When the matin bell rang, it would run around the corridors and knock its head against the door of each cell till it had roused the inmate, and, on going to the choir, if it saw one vacant stall, it would return to the dormitory and bleat for the missing one. St. Philip Neri could not bear to witness the slightest cruelty to animals, and would caution the coach. man not to run over one. And even wild animals would respond to his tenderness by their familiarity with him, and dogs would leave their masters to follow him. Seeing one of his congregation tread on a lizard as he was passing through the court, St. Philip said to him: “Cruel fellow, what has that poor little animal done to you ?” He was greatly agitated at seeing a butcher wound a dog with his knife. A boy having brought him a bird, St. Philip through pity ordered it to be let out at the window. Shortly after, he expressed regret for having given the bird its freedom, for fear it might die of hunger. Louis, one of his young penitents, had two little birds which he gave St. Philip. He accepted them on condition the giver would come every day to see after them, wishing to exert a good influence over the youth. One day Louis came and found the saint ill in bed, and one of the birds perched on his face. It then fluttered around his head, singing very sweetly. St. Philip asked Louis if he had accustomed the bird to do so. Louis replied in the negative. St. Philip tried in vain to drive the bird away, and finally had the cage brought, when it went in as if through obedience. Father Pietro Consolini, of the Oratory, tells a curious story of a good brother who worked in the kitchen. In order to satisfy his devotion for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, he would put a cat upon the kitchen table, and order it to keep watch while he was absent. Then he would go off to church with a peculiar confidence in God. The cat, as if remembering the submission due to man in his primitive state of innocence, used to mount the table as desired, and remain there, as if on guard, till the good brother returned. St. Anthony of Padua also was full of love for animals, as well as of nature in general, as he showed by constant allusions in his sermons. He was always dwelling with delight upon the whiteness and gentleness of the swans, the mutual charity of the storks, the purity and fragrance of the flowers of the fields, etc., etc. When preaching once to sinners who refused to listen to him,

he suddenly turned away from them, and, appealing to the animal world, asked the fish of the water to hearken to him. The old legend tells how they lifted their heads in great numbers from the water to listen to his words. St. Bernard would deliver the bird from the snare of the fowler, and the wild hare from the hounds. St. Ignatius Loyola admired the beauty, wisdom, and power of the Creator in his creatures. He was often rapt in contemplation before an insect, a flower, or a blade of grass. St. Francis de Sales so constantly manifests an extraordinary love of nature in his writings that they have been compared to the sacred veil of Isis, on which was embroidered all created things. Here is an extract taken at random from his writings, which lose their rare bouquet in translating: “It had been snowing, and there was in the Court, at least, a foot of snow. Jean swept a small space in the centre, and scattered grain on the ground for the pigeons to eat. They came in a flock to take their food there with wonderful peace and quietness, and I amused myself with looking at them. You cannot imagine how much these little creatures edified me. They did not utter a sound, and those who had finished their meal immediately made room for others, and flew a short distance to see them eat. When the place was partly vacated, a quantity of birdlings that had been surveying them came up, and the pigeons that were still eating drew up in one corner to leave the more space for the little birds, who forthwith began to eat. The pigeons did not molest them. “I admired their charity, for the pigeons were so afraid of annoying the little birds that they crowded together at one end of their table. I admired, too, the discretion of the little mendicants, who only asked alms when they saw the pigeons were nearly through their meal, and that there was enough left. Altogether, I could not help shedding tears to see the charitable simplicity of the doves, and the confidence of the little birds in their charity. I do not know that a sermon would have affected me so keenly. This little picture of kindness did me good the whole day.” And again, in writing to Madame de Chantal on the repose of the heart on the divine will, he says: “I was thinking the other day of what I had read of the halcyon, a little bird that lays on the sea-shore. They make their nests perfectly round, and so compact that the water of the sea cannot penetrate them. Only on the top there is a little hole through which they can breathe. There they lodge their little ones, so if the sea rises suddenly, they can float upon the waves with no fear of being wet or submerged. The air which enters by the little hole serves as a counterpoise, and so balances these little cushions, these little barquettes, that they are never overturned.” There is in the Louvre a charming little picture by Giotto of St. Francis preaching to the birds. The saint’s face, with an earnest, loving expression, is looking up at the birds, that, with outstretched necks and half-open beaks, appear to catch his words. The old legend which this painting illustrates with all the artist’s vividness in presenting a story, is equally charming in its simplicity. It is as follows: As St. Francis was going toward Bivagno, he lifted up his eyes and saw a multitude of birds. He said to his companions: Wait for me here while I preach to

my little sisters the birds. The birds all gathered around him, and he spoke to them somewhat as follows: “My little sisters the birds, you owe much to God your Creator, and ought to sing his praise at all times and in all places, because he has given you liberty, and the air to fly about in, and, though you neither spin nor sew, he has given you a covering for yourselves and your little ones. He sent two of your species into the ark with Noah that you might not be lost to the world. He feeds you, though you neither sow nor reap. He has given you fountains and rivers in which to quench your thirst, and trees in which to build your nests. Beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to praise the Lord.” As he preached, the birds opened their beaks, and stretched out their necks, and flapped their wings, and bowed their heads toward the earth. His sermon over, St. Francis made the sign of the cross, and the birds flew up into the air, singing sweetly their song of praise, and dispersed toward the four quarters of the world, as if to convey the words they had heard to all the world. The sympathy of St. Francis of Assisi with nature, both animate and inanimate, is well known. He has been styled the Orpheus of the middle ages. Like the Psalmist, he called upon all nature to praise the Lord : “Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons and all ye deeps; fire, hail, snow, ice, stormy winds which fulfil his word, mountains and all hills, fruitful trees and all cedars, beasts and all cattle, serpents and all feathered fowls.” The very sight of a bird incited St. Francis to lift his soul to God on the wings of prayer. Crossing the lagunes of Venice on his way from Syria, he heard the birds singing, and said to his companions: “Let us go and say the divine office in the midst of our brethren the birds, who are praising God.” But finding they diverted his attention from his office, he said: “My brethren the birds, cease your song till we have fulfilled our obligations to God.” The birds ceased their song till the saint gave them permission to resume it. Preaching in the open air, in the environs of Alviano, St. Francis could not make himself heard on account of the number of swallows. He stopped and addressed them: “My sisters the swallows, you have spoken long enough. It is only right that I should have my turn. Listen to the word of God while I am preaching.” Meeting a young man who had caught a number of doves, he looked on them with eyes of pity, and said: “O good young man I entreat thee to give me those harmless birds, the scriptural emblems of pure, humble, and faithful souls, so they may not fall into cruel hands and be put to death.” The young man gave them to St. Francis, who put them in his bosom, and said to them in the sweetest of accents: “O my little sisters the doves so simple, so innocent, and so chaste, why did you allow yourselves to be caught?” He made nests for them in the convent, where they laid and hatched their young, and became as tame as hens among the friars. St. Francis was often seen employed in removing worms from the road that they might not be trampled on by travellers, remembering that our Divine Redeemer compared himself to a worm, and also having compassion on a creature of God. He revered the very stones he trod on, so that he sometimes trembled in walking over them, recalling him who is the chief corner-stone of the spiritual edifice.

He wished the brothers when they cut wood in the forest to leave some shoots in memory of Him who wished to die for us upon the wood of the cross. A flower reminded him of the rod of Jesse which budded and blossomed, and whose perfume is diffused throughout the world. He sometimes wished he were one of the rulers of the land, that at Christmas he might scatter grain by the wayside and in the fields, that the birds also might have occasion to rejoice on that festival of joy. Before his death, St. Francis made a great feast at Christmas, to which he invited the animals. He prepared a manger in the woods, in which there was straw, an ox, and an ass. A long procession of friars, followed by a crowd of people bearing torches and chanting hymns, descended the mountain. Mass was offered, and St. Francis preached on the birth of Christ, after which, filled with a . holy joy, he went through the fields bursting forth into a hymn, calling upon the vines, the trees, the flowers of the field, the stars of heaven, and the Sun, and all his brethren and sisters throughout nature, to rejoice with him, and to unite with him in blessing their Creator. A wolfravaged the environs of Agobio to the great terror of the people. St. Francis went forth armed with the sign of the cross, and commanded his brother the wolf, in the name of Christ, to do no more harm. The wolf, that was making furiously at the saint with distended jaws, stopped short, and lay down meek as a lamb at his feet. Then St. Francis laid before the wolf the enormity of his offence in devouring men made in the image of God, and promised that if he would henceforth abstain from his ravages he should be fed daily by the inhabitants. The wolf signi

fied his assent to the arrangement by placing his paw in that of St. Francis. Then the saint took the wolf to the market-place, and made known to the people the compact he had made. They ratified the agreement to feed the wolf daily till the end of his days, and for two years he went from door to door to get his food, harming no one, at the end of which time he died, greatly to the sorrow of all. Frederick Ozanam says in this legend, which may provoke a smile : “The animal that preys upon the spoils and lives of men is the representative of the people of the middle ages, fierce and terrible when their passions were excited, but never despaired of by the church, who took their blood-stained hands in her divine ones, and gently led them on till she succeeded in inspiring them with a horror of rapine and violence.” St. Francis would salute in a friendly manner the cattle in the pastures. Once, seeing a lamb among the goats and cattle, he was filled with pity, and said to his brethren, “So was our sweet Saviour in the midst of the Pharisees and Sadducees. A merchant that happened along bought the lamb and gave it to St. Francis. It was confided to some nuns, who carefully tended it, and of its wool spun and wove a garment for the saint, who often kissed it tenderly and showed it to his friends. Going to Rome, St. Francis took the lamb with him and, when he left, gave it

to a pious lady. The lamb followed her everywhere, even to church. If she did not rise early enough in the morning, he would strike his head against her bed till he roused her. St. Francis would weep if he saw a lamb about to be killed, recalling Him who was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and would sell his very garments to save it from death. He loved the ant less than any otherinsect, because it was so thoughtful for the morrow. Of the whole animal world, he cared the most for birds, who loved him too, and at his death joyfully sang his triumphant entry into heaven. The larks, in particular, assembled at an early hour on the roof of the cell where the dead saint lay, with songs of extraordinary sweetness that lasted for several hours. An infinite number of such examples could yet be cited, but enough have been given to show how the animal world lays aside its ferocity in proportion as man returns to his primitive state of innocence. This is quite in accordance with our idea of the millennium : The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. If, then, sanctity brings man back to his true relations to the Deity, and restores him to his primitive relations with nature, let us work our way back to Eden by our purity, fasts, vigils, and prayers.

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It will be the aim of this article to point out some consequences which result from the essence and properties of the supernatural term, considered respectively to the term of substantial creation. They go to establish the absolute supremacy of the supernatural term over substantial creation. We shall give them in as many propositions.

1st. In the general plan of the cosmos, the supernatural term in itself and in its application, forming that Aart of the cosmos which may be called the supernatural order, takes precedence of substantial creation, or the natural order.

This proposition is easily proven. The greater the intensity of perfection in a being, the nobler is the being; or, in other words, the greater amount of being a thing contains or exhibits, the higher is the place which it occupies in the ordinate location and harmony of the cosmos. The principle is too evident to need any proof, and we assume it as granted. Now, we have shown that the supernatural term in itself and in its application is by far more perfect than substantial creation; because it is a higher and more perfect similitude of Christ and of the Trinity; because it is the complement and the perfection of nature, and enables it to be joined with the Theanthropos, and through him to be ushered into the society of the three divine persons, communicating with their life, and thus arriving at the palingenesia

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cal state. Consequently, the supernatural in the cosmic plan must take precedence of substantial creation, and in the intention and design of the creator must precede nature.

2d. The supernatural is the end of substantial creation, and third end of the exterior action of the infinite.

In a series of means co-ordinate with each other, and depending one upon another in order to attain a primary object, that which in force of the excellence and perfection of its nature precedes others, is to be considered as end in respect to those means which follow next to it in dignity of nature; otherwise the means could have no relation whatever with each other, and the primary end could not be attained. In a series of means co-ordination implies dependence, and this dependence is established by the superiority of the one, and inferiority of the other. Hence the superior means in the series becomes end respectively to inferior means in the same series. Now, we have demonstrated that the supernatural term precedes nature in excellence and intensity of perfection; it becomes, therefore, in the harmony of the cosmic plan, the end of the substantial moment; as the Theanthropic moment is end in reference to the supernatural, and as God’s manifestation of his infinite excellence and perfections is the end of the Theanthropos, and thus the primary end of the cosmic plan is obtained.

“All things are yours,” said St. Paul of those in whom the supernatural term is realized: “you are Christ’s; Christ is God’s.”

3d. The supernatural term is the A body left to itself by the ordinary

“exemplar and type of substantial creation. For it is the end which determines and shapes the nature of the means. The creative intelligence of the infinite, by contemplating the end which it has in view, and the essential laws of being residing in his nature, which is the Being, shapes and fashions mentally the nature and properties of the means. Hence it is evident that, the supernatural term being the end of substantial creation, it stands towards it as the exemplar and type to its copy. 4th. The supernatural term is the mediator between the Theanthropos and substantial creation. This last proposition is a consequence of the preceding ones. For, if the supernatural term precedes substantial creation in excellence and perfection of being, if it is its end and its type, it is evident that, in the general order and harmony of the cosmos, its natural place is between the Theanthropos and substantial creation. Consequently, it is mediator between them. Of course, the intelligent reader will easily understand that this mediatorship is not one merely of place and location, but a mediatorship of action; since the terms here in question are all agents. These four properties of the supernatural moment, which, we flatter ourselves, have been demonstrated and put beyond the possibility of doubt, will enable our readers to see the philosophy of various other truths held by Catholicity, and denied by rationalism, Pantheism, and Protestantism. And, first, the possibility of miracles follows evidently from these principles. A miracle is a sensible phenomenon superseding or contrary to the established laws of corporal creation.

law of gravitation should fall to the ground. Suppose it should hover between heaven and earth without any support, it would present a phenomenon contrary to the natural law of bodies. It would be what is called miracle, from the word miror, to wonder or to be amazed, because our intellect is always astonished when it cannot see at once the cause of an effect. The possibility of such phenomena contrary to the established laws of nature has been denied by Pantheists and rationalists, both for the same reason, though each draw that reason from a different source. The Pantheist, who admits that the cosmos is nothing but that primary indefinite something which is continually developing itself by a necessary interior movement, denies the possibility of miracles on the ground that the development of the infinite being necessary, and being performed according to the necessary laws of being, the development must necessarily be uniform, and the phenomena resulting from it always the Sanne. The rationalist, though not admitting the germinal primary activity of Pantheism, asserts the absolute immutability of the laws of creation, and consequently cannot concede the possibility of any contravention to the results of those laws, without supposing their total overthrow. We hold that the possibility of miracles follows clearly from the properties of the supernatural moment; for, if the supernatural moment precedes nature in force of its intrinsic excellence and perfection of being, if it is the end and type of the natural order, it is perfectly evident that the whole natural order is dependent upon and subject to the supernatural order by the law of /hierarchy, and consequently it is evident that the laws governing the sensible order are also dependent upon and subject to the supernatural order, and must have been determined and fashioned in such a manner as to serve every purpose of that same order. Hence, if the supernatural term, in order to assert itself before created spirits, to prove its own autonomy, its necessity, requires a phenomenon contrary to the established law of sensible creation, those laws must necessarily give way before their hierarchical superior, otherwise the whole order of the cosmos would be overthrown. This consequence is absolutely inevitable; and any one who has followed us in the demonstration of the intrinsic superiority of the supernatural term over substantial creation, cannot fail to perceive it. But to make it better understood we shall enter for a moment into the very heart of the question. Let us take, as an example, the law of gravitation. Why do bodies left to themselves fall to the ground 2 The natural philosopher, with a look of profound wisdom, will answer at once, because of the law of gravitation. Now, if our philosopher claims to give no other answer but that which is within the sphere of his researches, the answer is correct; because his science of observation can carry him no further. But if by the word gravitation he should pretend to give a satisfactory ultimate reason of the phenomenon of the fall of bodies, his answer would make a metaphysician laugh. The law of gravitation | Indeed . But what is that law P Does it exist in the body, or in God? or has it an existence independent of both 2 If it exists in the body, how can it be a general law, when each body is an individuum ? If it exist in God, how is it broken or altered.

or destroyed, when the phenomenon of a miracle affects only a particular, body ? If it has an existence independent of both, what is it? Is it a god, or a Platonic idea, and, if so, whence does it derive the force to assert itself over God’s creation ? These few questions, and many more which we could bring forward, show that to account for the fall of bodies by the law of gravitation, is to give no particular or satisfactory reason for the phenomenon. We have already given one theory, the theory of the most profound metaphysicians of the world, that no finite beings can act without the aid of God; that God must really and effectively excite them to action, aid them during the action until it is accomplished; because he is necessarily the first and the universal cause. Therefore, bodies as well as higher beings are absolutely dependent upon God for their action; and that which natural philosophers call the law of gravitation, or any other law, such as attraction, repulsion, and so forth, in itself is nothing more than the action of God upon bodies. Now, God in acting in and upon bodies has certainly a plan and an order marked out in his mind, according to which he acts in and directs them. This order he has derived from the infinite laws of being, which are his very essence, and consequently, in this sense, that order is stable and immutable. But it must be borne in mind that this order marked out in the mind of God, according to which he acts in and directs bodies, is not the whole order of the cosmos. It is only a part, a moment, and the most inferior of all. Consequently, it is an order subject to and dependent upon the order of the other and higher moment, and upon the universal order of the cosmos. Hence the same divine essence, the eternal model and

type of everything, at the same time that it marks out the order for the acting in and directing of bodies, subjects it to the order of higher moments, and to the cosmological, universal order. In the application, therefore, of this eternal order marked out by his infinite essence, God acts in and directs bodies according to the stable and immutable order proper to this moment, until an exception is necessary. But when the order of higher moments and the universal order demand an exception, the order of the direction of bodies, being inferior, must necessarily yield to the superior, and the sensible order must, so to speak, be suspended for that occasion. We have said, so to speak, because even then the sensible order is not altered or broken, as rationalism imagines; it is the application of the general sensible order to a particular body which is suspended. It is not the objective order, but the subjective particular realization of it, which is superseded. Let us take as example the law so often mentioned. The general order established in the mind of God with regard to acting in bodies is to make them gravitate toward the centre of the earth. Suppose an exception of this law becomes necessary to assert the supernatural order. God, upon that particular occasion, does not apply the general law in a particular body, but acts in it contrary to that law. Is the law of gravitation broken or altered in consequence of that exception ? If the law were an essential property of bodies, a natural consequence of their essence, it would be. But the law in its general and objective essence exists in God only; it does not exist in the body; and consequently it cannot be altered by a suspension of its application in a given case. Were God to act otherwise than

to admit such exceptions in the subjective application of the order of sensible creation, he would go against reason, and act contrary to his essence; for in that case he would prefer a particular and inferior order to the general and superior order of the whole cosmos. The true principles, then, in the present matter are the following: 1st. The laws according to which bodies act and are directed do not exist in bodies, but are an order marked out in the mind of God as derived from his infinite essence. 2d. This order is an element, and an inferior one, of the universal order of the whole cosmos, and consequently, by the law of hierarchy, is subject to that same universal order. 3d. This sensible order is always stable and permanent in itself and in its objective state, but in its application to particular bodies is subject to variation when this variation is demanded by a superior order, or by the universal order of the cosmos. The reader will observe, after what we have said, how futile is the argument of rationalists that a miracle is impossible because the laws of bodies are immutable. Certainly, if the laws exist in the bodies. But the laws of bodies, as we have said, are nothing more than the order marked out in the mind of God, according to which he acts in and directs them, and, this order being universal and objective, is never changed or altered. Only its application in particular bodies on a particular occasion is not made, or made in a contrary sense, because such is the requirement of the universal order. If this be kept in view, every difficulty will vanish in reference to this matter; for this is exactly that which prevents rationalists, from understanding the possibility of miracles—their want of perception that it is God who acts in every sin

gle body. They inagine a general principle, as if it were self-existing, which pervades all the bodies, which ought to be destroyed to permit the exception. Now, this is a mere phantom. It is God, we repeat it, who applies the order marked in his mind in every single body, which in his mind only is universal and objectively immutable, but subjectively, in its application, it need not be constant, except so long as no exception is required. Our natural philosophers of the rationalistic school imagine the law of bodies to be a sort of demigod, stern and immutable, particularly loth of and averse to being disturbed, and consequently cannot see the possibility of a miracle. The second truth which follows from the attributes of the supernatural moment, is that prayer governs the tuniverse. Prayer, taken in its strictest acceptation, is the universal mode of action of spirits elevated to the supernatural moment. To understand this rightly, it is necessary to observe that every moment of the action of God, considered in its term, is possessed of a particular mode of action resulting from and befitting its essence and attributes. Thus, substantial creation, or the whole aggregate of being included in this moment, acts as it were by apprehension and volition. In spiritual beings, this manner of acting is strictly and properly so; in inferior beings, like the brutes, it is less so, but bears a great resemblance to it, for the animal has apprehensive faculties, though wanting in the power of generalization and abstraction, and confined within the concrete and in the individual; and he has also instincts and tendencies leading toward the object apprehended. The vegetable kingdom acts according to the same

manner, though more materially; for it apprehends the elements required for its growth from the earth and the atmosphere, and, assimilating them to itself by an interior force, is able to develop itself. Every one is aware that the general laws of matter are those of attraction and reful. sion, which bear a resemblance, though a faint one, to the law of apprehension and volition. Now, the particular mode of acting in persons elevated to the supernatural moment is by prayer, which is composed of various elements according to various relations under which it is considered. It may be considered in itself, its essence and nature, and in the persons to whom it has reference. The persons are the infinite and the finite. In itself, prayer is divided into two moments—a deprecatory moment, and a life-giving moment. A deprecatory moment—because the effect of the prayer, resting absolutely on the free will of the infinite, cannot be claimed by the finite as a right, but as an effect of an infinite, goodness yielding to a supplication; and in this sense it implies the following elements on the part of the finite: 1st. An acknowledgment, theoretical and practical, of the infinite as being the absolute and universal source of all good; and of the absolute dependence of the finite upon the infinite in all things; this acknowledgment arising in the finite from the consciousness and feeling of its finiteness both in the natural and the supernatural order. 2d. A gravitation, natural and supernatural, on the part of this finite toward the infinite, as the origin and the preserver of the being in both orders, as the mover of its natural and supernatural faculties, and as the final complement of both.

3d. A cry to the infinite for the satisfaction of this aspiration. 4th. A firm and unshaken reliance of being satisfied in this aspiration, founded both on the intrinsic goodness and on the personal promises of the infinite. These four elements on the part of the finite are absolutely necessary to constitute a prayer in its deprecatory sense; and they are either implicitly or explicitly to be found in every prayer. The spirit who bows before the infinite must acknowledge theoretically and practically that God is the Master and Lord of all things, the infinite eternal source of all being and all perfection; he must acknowledge and be conscious freely and deliberately that his being comes from God, and that that same divine action which created and elevated it must maintain it in existence, aid it in the development of its faculties, and bring it to its final completion. He must freely and deliberately yearn after all this, and have firm reliance that the infinite will maintain his being, aid it in its growth, and bring it to its full bloom in the palingenesia. On the part of the infinite, prayer in this same deprecatory sense implies an action of God existing and aiding the finite in producing the aforesaid four acts necessary to constitute a prayer. If we regard prayer in its lifegiving moment, it implies two elements: one on the part of the infinite, the other on the part of the finite. On the part of the infinite, it implies a real actual and personal communication, a giving of himself by a personal intercourse to the finite; and, on the part of the latter, a personal apprehension of the infinite, and an assimilation of and transformation into the infinite. We cannot refrain here from quoting a beautiful page of a French writer in explanation of this

last element: “When man’s will, lifted by an ardent desire, succeeds in putting itself in contact with the supreme will, the miracle of the divine intervention is accomplished. Prayer, which renders God present to us, * is a kind of communion by which man feeds on grace, and assimilates to himself that celestial aliment of the soul. In that ineffable communication, the divine will penetrates our will, its action is mingled with our action to produce but one and the same indivisible work, which belongs whole and entire to both ; wonderful union of grandeur and of lowliness, of a power eternally fecund, and of a created activity which is exhausted by its very duration, of an incorruptible and regenerating element with the infirm and corruptible elements of our being; union, which believed in invariably, though conceived in different manner by the savage tribes as well as by the most civilized nations, has been under different forms, and in spite of the errors which have obscured it, the immortal belief of humanity.”f Now, we maintain that prayer, understood in all its comprehension, besides the effect which it produces in its own natural sphere, is also the hierarchical superior of the action of the whole substantial creation; and that, consequently, the latter must yield to the former, whenever they should happen to come in conflict with each other; and thus, under this respect, it may be said that prayer governs the world. This may be proven by two sorts of argument; one as it were exterior, the other intrinsic to the subject. The first is drawn from the properties of the supernatural moment. For, if this moment is superior to substantial creation, if it is the end and type of it, every one can see that the mode of acting of elevated spirits—spirits in whom the supernatural moment is realized and concreted—must necessarily precede and be superior to the mode of action of substantial creation, and that the latter must necessarily be subject to the former—unless we abolish and deny the universal law of hierarchy presiding and ruling over all the moments of the exterior action of God, and founded on the intrinsic and respective value of beings. Actio sequitur esse is the old axiom of ontology. If the being of the supernatural moment is superior to the being of substantial creation, the mode of action of the first must also, in force of that axiom, be superior to the mode of action of the latter. When, therefore, a natural law, a law of substantial creation, comes in opposition with a true prayer, a prayer made with all the conditions which its nature requires, the natural law must yield and give way to prayer. The second argumentis drawn from the essence of prayer as a life-giving agent. What is prayer in this sense P It is an actual communication of the finite with the infinite, an actual participation of the infinite and his attributes; it is a possession which the finite takes of the infinite, the appropriation, the assimilation of the infinite. It is the finite transported and transformed into the infinite. For in it the mind of the finite takes hold of the mind of the infinite, and is, as it were, transformed into it; the will and energy of the finite grasps the will and the almighty power of the infinite, and is changed, as it were, into it; the person of the finite is united to the person of the infinite, and is assimilated to him. Now, it is evident that prayer understood in this sense is no longer an act of the finite alone, but an act

* Orig. De Orat. f Gerbet, Le Dogme Generateur de la Pieté Catholiyue.

of both the finite and the infinite; it is the result of the energy of both. Its efficacy and energy therefore must be as superior to the energy of all substantial creation as the infinite is superior to the finite. Consequently, it is evident that when a natural law pregnant with finite energy comes in conflict with a prayer impregnated, so to speak, with infinite energy, the former must yield to the superior force of the latter. Prayer governs the world also in a sense more general than the one we have hitherto indicated for it. The sum of all the actions of substantial creation has been so disposed, and is so ruled and governed, as to be always subject to the sum of all the actions of the supernatural moment, and this for the same reasons developed above. Here it can be seen with how much reason those philosophers who call themselves rationalists sneer and wax indignant at the fact, constant in time and place, of the importance which mankind has attached to prayer for physical reasons, as for rain, for fair weather, for a good harvest, and the like. They show evidently how far they are from understanding the sublime hierarchical harmony of the cosmos, which the simple ones of the earth, who have faith in God, instinctively feel and acknowledge. For if God did not create the cosmos at random without a plan or design, he assuredly must have followed and maintained the necessary relations of things. Now, if substantial creation and its mode of action is hierarchically—that is, in comprehension of being—inferior to the supernatural term and its mode of action, if the latter is the end and type of the former, and if they are not to be kept apart, but to be brought together into unity and harmony, and must thus harmoniously

act, it is clear to the rudest understanding that the one mode of action must be subject to the other, and that consequently, when a prayer is in opposition with the realization of natural law, the natural law must yield, and the prayer must prevail. Nor will it do to say that if such were the case the natural order would no longer enjoy any stability or permanence, because some prayer or other might come continually in opposition to it. For the whole series of actions of substantial creation is marked out eternally in the mind of the infinite. Likewise the whole series of actions of the supernatural moment is marked out in the same mind; they are brought together in beautiful harmony in the same divine intellect from all eternity. God has foreseen when and how a prayer would require the suspension of the natural law, and has willed and decreed it, so that no suspension of natural law, consequent upon a prayer, can take place which has not been foreseen and arranged harmoniously from all eternity; and if we could for a moment cast a glance into the mind of the infinite, we should see an infinite series of actions of substantial creation; an infinite series of actions of the supernatural moment; all intertwined in a most harmonious whole, and the different exceptions here and there only linking together the two orders, putting them in bolder relief, and enhancing the beauty and harmony of the whole cosmos. The theory which we have been vindicating explains also a phenomenon so frequent and so common in the history of the Catholic Church—the saint who works miracles, or the Thaumaturgus. A saint is one in whom a certain fulness of the supernatural term resides, and hence a certain fulness of the particular mode of action belongvol. XIII.-36

ing to that moment. A saint can pray well; therefore he can work miracles, and does oftentimes. Protestantism has not only denied most of the miracles not recorded in the Bible, but has gone so far as to deny the possibility of such miracles ever occurring after the establishment and propagation of Christianity, on the plea that they are no longer necessary. It was but a logical consequence of its doctrine of justification. If man is not really made holy in his justification, if he does not receive in his soul the term of the supernatural moment as really inherent in him, it is clear he cannot have or possess the mode of action of that moment, still less a certain fulness of it. Consequently, neither is he elevated above substantial creation, nor is his mode of action superior to the action of that same moment, and therefore he cannot exercise a power and an efficacy which he has not. In other words, a man justified according to the Protestant doctrine cannot be a saint intrinsically, and cannot consequently pray. And how could he work miracles P. It was natural to deny such possibility. But endow a man with the supernatural term in a certain fulness, and hence suppose him possessed of a fulness of its mode of action intrinsically superior in energy to the mode of action of substantial creation, and you may suppose he is likely to exercise it, and work miracles oftentimes. As to the plea of necessity, it is absolutely futile. A miracle would be necessary even after the establishment of Christianity in all times and places, which, by the bye, has not been accomplished yet, if for no other reason, in order to assert and vindicate from time to time the existence and the supremacy of the supernatural over the natural.

The third truth emanating from the qualities of the supernatural moment is that those created persons in whom the term of that moment is realized are essentially mediators between the Theanthropos and substantial creation.

The principle follows evidently from the fourth quality essentially belonging to the supernatural term, that of being mediator between the other moments, the hypostatic and the substantial.

For if the term of that moment in intensity of being and perfection hold a place between the other two moments, it is evident that those in whom the moment is realized must hold the same middle place and be, consequently, mediators. Hence, it appears how the Catholic doctrine of the intercession, and, by logical consequence, of the invocation, of saints, is a cosmological law, as imperative as any other law of the cosmos. For what does the word mediator mean? Limiting the question to location or space, it signifies a thing placed or located between two others; in a hierarchical sense, confining the question to being and essence, it expresses a thing in essence and nature inferior to one and superior to another; in the same sense, confining the question to action and development, it exhibits a thing in its action and development inferior to the action and development of one and superior in the same to another. The person, therefore, in whom the supernatural term is realized is mediator in the sense of being in essence, nature, attributes, action, and development, superior to the same things of substantial creation, and inferior to those of the Theanthropos. Now, as the cosmos is not governed by the law of hierarchy alone, but also by the law of unity and communion, and as these laws

imply a real and effective union and communication of being and action between the terms of the cosmos, it follows that the person in whom the supernatural term is concreted is in real and effective communication with the Theanthropos, as inferior, and in real and effective communication, as superior, with substantial creation; he is in communication with the former as subject and dependent, with the latter as superior, and with both as medium; that is, a recipient relatively to the Theanthropos, as transmitting what it receives from the Theanthropos relatively to substantial creation; both relations being exercised by the person elevated in every sense, either as receiving from the Theanthropos and transmitting to substantial creation, or as representative of substantial creation before the Theanthropos. And as we are speaking of moral persons, that is, free, intelligent agents, in what can these relations consist but in this, that elevated persons, acting as mediums, may intercede and obtain favors for created persons from the Theanthropos, and these may invoke their intercession in their behalf? The doctrine, therefore, of the intercession and the invocation of saints is a cosmological law, resulting from the law of hierarchy, unity, and communion, and governing the relation of purely created persons with those elevated to the supernatural Innonment. It must be here remarked that the mediatorship of persons elevated is not confined only to persons in their mere natural state, but it extends also to persons elevated to the supernatural moment, because the supernatural term admits of variety of degree, some persons being endowed with a certain fulness of that moment, some with much less. Those in whom the fulness is realized are

hierarchically mediators between the Theanthropos and other elevated spirits possessing a less amount of that term, and can consequently intercede for the latter. It must be remarked, in the second place, that the law governs the cosmos not only in its germinal state, but also in its state of completion and perfection; and we cannot possibly discover or imagine by what logical process Protestantism, which admits this law in the germinal and incipient state of the cosmos, denies it to exist between persons elevated to the state of palingenesia and those who are yet in the germinal state. This denial, so far as we can see, could be supported only by the supposition that as soon as an elevated person reaches its final development, every tie of union, every bond of intercourse, is immediately broken asunder between him and other persons living yet in the germinal state of the cosmos. But how false and absurd this supposition would be is evident to every one who at all understands the exterior works of God. The cosmos being measured by time, is essentially successive; in other words, all the elements of the cosmos cannot possibly reach their final completion at one and the same time, the law of variety and hierarchy necessarily forbidding it. It is absolutely necessary, then, that some elements should reach their final perfection first and some afterwards, in proportion as they come to take place in the cosmos successively. If, therefore, by one element of the cosmos reaching its final development all intercourse were to be broken between it and all other elements which have not reached so high a condition, it would follow that the cosmos would never be one, never in harmony, until all had reached their final completion and the creation of more elements

entirely ceased. It would be a continual disorder and confusion until the end of the world. Now this is absurd, since unity and harmony must always govern and adorn God’s works. Nor can we see any intrinsic reason why it should be broken. The only plea alleged by Protestants in support of this suspension of all communion between the spirits in palingenesia and those living on earth, is that there can be no possible means of communication between them. They express this idea commonly by saying that the saints in heaven cannot hear our prayers. How philosophical this plea is we leave it to the intelligent reader to determine. Suppose we had no direct answer to give to this plea, the absolute necessity of the cosmos being one and harmonious would make a true philosopher infer that the infinite must have found a means whereby to keep up this communication, though it might be unknown to us what that means actually is. But the direct answer is at hand. The Word of God is essentially the life of the cosmos. He is the type of all the essences, of all the natures, of all the personalities, of all the acts composing the cosmos. The cosmos, in all these respects, is reflected in the Word. “All that was made in him was life.” (St. John.) Now, all elevated spirits are united to and live in the Incarnate Word. The spirits or persons in the germinal state are united to his person by the supernatural essence and the supernatural faculties of intelligence and of will. This forms the essential union between them and the Theanthropos. The spirits in the final state are united to him in the same substantial sense, with the exception that their supernatural essence has reached its utmost completion, their supernatural intelligence is changed into intuition, and their supernatural will has immediate possession of God. The consequence of these principles is that the spirits in the germinal state produce acts of invocation to the spirits in the final state, and these acts are reflected or reproduced in the Theanthropos as the type and the intelligible objective life of the cosIn Os. The spirits in the final state see, by intuition, in the Theanthroposall those acts of invocation of the spirits in the germinal state, and thus come to know what the spirits on earth claim from them. As orator and audience, living in the same atmosphere, can hold intercourse with each other, because the words uttered by the orator are transmitted by the air to the ears of his audience, so the spirits on earth and the spirits in heaven hold intercourse with each other, because they live in the same medium. The spirits on earth making acts of invocation to their brethren in heaven, these acts are reflected or reproduced in the Theanthropos, and from him reverberate and reach the -eyes of the spirits in heaven living in him, and thus they come to the knowledge of the wants and prayers of their brethren on earth. But why such interposition of persons when we could go directly to the Theanthropos ? Does this not detract from the mediatorship of Christ P Why, but because the cosmos must be one P Why, but because all the elements of the cosmos must communicate with each other ? And how can this doctrine detract from the mediatorship of Christ when he is made the source, the origin, the end of everything 2 If Catholic doctrine claimed this intercourse independently of the Theanthropos, it would certainly detract from his me

diatorship. But do we not establish and centre this mediatorship of the saint entirely in the Theanthropos? The last truth which follows from the essence of the supernatural term is what is called the worship of saints. This truth is not only a cosmological law, but an ontological principle, since, considered in its simplest and most ultimate acceptation, it implies nothing more than the duty incumbent on every moral agent to acknowledge, theoretically and practically, the intrinsic value of being. Suppose a certain being is possessed of a hundred degrees of perfection, so to speak, I cannot, without a flat contradiction to my intelligence, which apprehends it, deny or ignore it; I cannot, without a flat contradiction to my expansive faculty or will, which is attracted by it, fail to appreciate it practically. Now, the worship of saints, against which Protestantism has written and said so much, is founded entirely on that ontological principle. The saint is possessed of a certain fulness of the supernatural term. The supernatural intelligence

of other elevated spirits apprehends

this fulness, and the supernatural will of the same spirits cannot fail to value it. This theoretical and practical appreciation is esteem, and when expressed outwardly is honor and praise. By the ontological principle of recognizing the value of being, therefore, it is evident that the Catholic theory of the worship of saints is not only theologically lawful, but eminently philosophical. Protestantism, in denying this worship, follows the same principle without being aware of it. It starts from its own doctrine of justification, which consists, as we have seen, not in the interior cleansing of the soul from sin and in its elevation to the supernatural moment, but in an external application to it of the merits of Christ. The example of the cloak is most appropriate. Suppose a man, all filthy and loathsome; cover him with a rich and splendid cloak, so as to hide the filth and loathsomeness, and you have an example of Protestant justification. It is all foreign, outward, unsubjective. Now, apply the ontological principle of the value of being to a saint of this calibre, and it is evident that you cannot esteem and value him because he is worth nothing subjectively, and hence the denial of the

worship of saints is a logical consequence of the Protestant doctrine of justification, and an application, in a negative sense, of the ontological principle of the value of beings. On the contrary, admit the Catholic doctrine of justification, whereby a man is not only cleansed from sin, but elevated to a supernatural moment, receiving as inherent in him a higher and nobler nature and higher and nobler faculties, and it is evident that you must acknowledge this, value, esteem, and honor it.


So that there were in the mountain monasteries like tabernacles, full of divine choirs of men singing, reading, praying; and so great an ardor for fasting and watching had his (St. Antony’s) words enkindled in the minds of all that they labored with an avidity of hope and with unceasing zeal in works of mutual charity, and in showing mercy to those who needed it, and they seemed to inhabit a sort of heavenly country, a city shut off from worldly conversation, full of piety and justice. Who, looking at such an army of monks—who, beholding that manly and concordant company, in which there was none to do harm, no whisper of detraction, but a multitude of abstinent men and an emulation of kind offices, would not immediately break forth into the words: How beautiful are thy tabernacles, O Jacob, and thy tents, O Israel! As woody valleys, as watered gardens near the rivers, as

tabernacles which the Lord hath pitched, as cedars by the waterside (Num. xxiv. 5, 6) P

The disciple of an aged and famous monk was once assailed by temptation. And, when the old man saw him struggling, he said to him : Do you wish me to ask God to take away this trial from you ? But he answered: I see and consider, father, that though I wrestle painfully, yet out of this labor I bear fruit. But ask this of God in thy prayers, that he may give me patience to endure. And his father said to him: Now I know, my son, that thou hast made great progress, and surpassest Inc.

Let no man, when he has despised the world, think that he has left anything great.—From the Life of blessed Abbot Antony, by St. Athanasius.