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prevailed at their birth; and as they, as well as all institutions of their Church, are unchanged and unchangeable, their constitution still gives evidence of their origin. They are an active order of women, uncloistered, bound by no irrevocable vows; their yearly engagements being yearly renewed; free each year to return to the world and its ways; but after their long five years' preliminary probation, I believe almost never known to do so. During that probation many withdraw, many are found not to have the vocation that is so necessary; many too, are dismissed.
But these Sisters are accused of trying to bring people to their own Church. I believe they really do so, and, what is more, I believe if you make Sisters of Charity in England, they might try to do the same thing
Protestant ladies who visit the Paris hospitals say, the Sisters wish to turn the Protestants there into Catholics; and they are extremely indignant at their proselytising spirit; but the same good ladies may tell you with Christian thankfulness and joy, that some poor Romanist has read their books or heard their words, and come to them when he or she came out, and so forth.
All proselytising, however, is at present prohibited by law in France, and stringently in the hospitals on both sides.
Even in the case of young Protestants educated at convents, the consent of parents or guardians is requisite before they can be baptized into that Church.
Still I admit the fact that the Sisters will do all they can to convert whoever they believe requires to be converted. It is a fundamental principle of
. their constitution that they are to bring wanderers to the fold, and they admit of no fold but one-the Church of Rome. We do not imitate them in this belief, yet we do imitate them, nay, rather we go before them, in wishing to make converts, not of a whole hospital, or of a whole ward of a hospital, but of a whole country, or of a large portion of a country. Protestants
out at the Sister as a perverter, who wishes to lead the dying creature in France to what she believes to be the truth. Protestants rejoice in the zeal that converts the whole people of Ireland; the Roman Catholics admire the one and abhor the other. This is all natural. A Sister tried to convert
she must be zealous. I asked her why she wished to do so. She answered, candidly, that it was because she liked me; she thought that with my good heart it was a pity I should be lost.
“ You think then, I must be so ?”
“Because the Gospel says it; our blessed LORD has said, Out of the Church of Rome there is no salvation."
“Show me that,” I cried, “show me, in the Gospel, this saying of our LORD and I will be made a child of that Church as quickly as any one can make
me." She believed then it was St. Paul who had said it.
Well, let us find those words even said by St. Paul, and I will be converted.”
It was a mistake. But still the fact remained so, and in her opinion.
“But how do you know it?”
“Ah! that is just as if I told you, no doctor, but my doctor, could save your life; and you ask me, , how I know that, and I answer, because he says it.”
. “Go! you are naughty! we must pray for you,” she cried, and went off to her work; a more useful one, I dare say, than controversy.
The heretic she left smiling soon breathed a sigh. Strange! Christians standing together on the broad platform of charity,-meeting in spirit in the illimitable circle of the love of God in Christ JESUS-yet separated one from the other by a seemingly impassable gulf !
English people in their simplicity call High Church people papists, or Romanists, or niore politely Roman Catholics. The true Roman Catholic calls them arch-heretics; and, with the exception of the few who walk over to their fold regards them as a thousand times worse than all other heretics.
I was amused some time since when visiting a French lady of some rank in Paris who had lately been in London. She told me, not knowing what my creed or religion was, that she had been in a
house where there was a young lady who was a “pooseyeete," and that she saw her in her own room engaged in reading the Bible.
" I said to her,” she went on, “My dear, is it possible that you, a young girl, are going to make your own religion out of that book ?”
“Oh!" I said, interrupting her unfortunately, without waiting to hear the young lady's answer, “ do you think then, that the pooseyeetes take their religion out of the Bible ?”
“I am sure I do not know where else they can take it from," she answered, with the least little degree of indignation.
Well, you will say I have a fatal facility in writing. Once more adieu.
In some of the curious old towns of France, there is generally to be found a quarter more especially curious than the rest; where the poor people, living in their own old ways, costumes, and even institutions, appear to be quite unaffected by all the changes that have swept over the world in general, and over their own nation more particularly. Revolutions as well as fashions seem to leave them where they were, and what their forefathers had been.
In one such nook of an old fortified French town, I once was; and the spot this portion of the inhabitants had taken for their localization was between the inner and outer walls; there they lived, forming a little nation of their own, speaking their own patois, wearing their own dress, regulated by their own notions, and having very little in common with their neighbours except their religion. The houses they inhabited were built in parallel lines, each row, instead of a name, being called by a number, which was put up on a board at the end of the row.
As I walked down this locality one bright Sunday, thinking what a curious, and far-bebind generation appeared to inhabit it, a little band of clean, fresh