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my own meditations, when I felt that something unusual had occurred? The carriage seemed to be dragged by an animal that was bounding and plunging. This, however, only lasted for a brief period, when the train came to a dead halt. I looked out and beheld a scene that baffles all description. The engine was thrown off the rails and buried in the sand, and the tender shattered to atoms. The front carriages were also all shattered, and the thick buffer-rods were bent over like slender wires. The passengers, panic struck by the concussion, fled from the carriages to the cover of a shed as soon as the motion was stopped. I found they were all more or less injured or stunned by the shock. Indeed I was the only person in the train that escaped without any injury. It would appear that the shock had spent its force upon the front carriages, so that it did not extend to the one in the rear where I was seated. I could hardly believe that the uneasy motion which I felt amounted to a collision. It would appear that, by some unaccountable mistake, the pointsman had so shifted the switches as to throw the train into the luggage-depot at what was formerly Nine Elms station, instead of allowing it to pass on to the station at Waterloo Bridge. The train, in consequence, came in contact with a waggon drawn by two horses, under the guidance of one of the servants. After the collision, the passengers soon disappeared, as we were now in the outskirts of the city. As I found I was mercifully preserved from all injury, I stayed behind to render assistance to any that might have been hurt. A few engineers and porters were soon on the spot, and with lighted torches we examined the state of matters. Some way behind we found the two horses lying dead. The spectacle was a very repulsive one. I think it is William Von Humboldt that remarks the striking contrast between the dead bodies of animals on the battle field and human corpses. In the former case there is nothing to redeem the repulsiveness of death, whereas the human features are often lighted up with a beam of intelligence. The child just released from the pains of death has its features often illuminated with a smile of more than earthly beauty, as if already catching the rays of glory beaming through the portals of the heavenly city. And who that has gazed on such a spectacle has not had the doctrine of the soul's immortality far more deeply impressed on his heart than by volumes of metaphysical arguments.

On searching still more narrowly, we found a man lying insensible on the ground, with a fearful wound on his head. We got him conveyed to a wooden pent-house, where he soon exhibited some symptoms of animation. A doctor was soon found, and I waited to help him in dressing the wounds. The poor man, when he was able to speak, proved quite delirious. His constant cry was, "let me alone." As there was, besides the contusion on the head, a compound fracture of the pelvis, the case was pronounced hopeless. I endeavoured to seize a calm moment to inform him of his solemn position on the verge of eternity, but his only answer was, "let me alone." Alas! how often is this the feeling of many on the verge of eternity, who cannot urge the plea of delirium. How often is a minister called to administer spiritual counsel, where he can see plainly that the only wish of the dying man

is to be let alone, and not disturbed with thoughts of eternity. How often, too, do friends with false delicacy say, "let him alone; he cannot bear to be disturbed." The poor man was afterwards carried to St. Thomas' Hospital on a stretcher. On inquiring in the morning, I found that he was still living, but that he was not expected to survive many hours. Only one casualty would be set down for this fearful collision, in calculating the safety of railway travelling; the whole number who were stunned, or more or less injured, would be entirely left out of account. Now, I am persuaded that, although none of these cases might be reported, some received a shock that night from which they will never recover. The injury may not be immediate death, and yet the ultimate consequences may be most disastrous. If such cases were allowed for, a truer estimate would be formed of the danger of railway travelling, and of the need of far greater precautions in protecting human life.

It was with a very perturbed and uneasy frame of mind I pressed through the throng in the streets on that memorable night. On my way home I crossed Westminster Bridge; and as I paused about the centre, to contemplate the mighty city, with its rushing stream of life, and its pulsations responding to my own throbbing heart, I could not but envy the calm feelings which dictated from the same spot the following beautiful lines of the late poet laureate :—

"Earth has not anything to shew more fair.
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty.
This city now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning,-silent, bare;
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples, lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep,
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt a calm so deep;
The river glideth at his own sweet will;
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep,
And all that mighty heart is lying still.'


My trip to London has been to me like the falls of Niagara to the smooth current of the St. Lawrence. It has been a sudden breach of continuity in the calm even tenor of a country minister's secluded life. the calm is now all the more deep, when felt in contrast with that week's turmoil and excitement. I cannot but deeply sympathise with those who have to spend all their days in the feverish bustle of a large city. It is not good for man to be for ever involved in a whirl of excitement. Man's soul cannot be nourished; his deepest wants cannot be met, unless he can spend some of his time "in a wise passiveness." But as God's work must be done in the city as well as in the country, it is good that there are busy spirits who find the excitement of a city life to be their natural element.

And now, kind reader, I must bid you farewell. If you have fol lowed me thus far, I must greatly commend your patience and your in

dulgence towards the gossiping narrative of a country minister of the old school. I am proud of my class; and my deepest and most earnest prayer is, that the country ministers of Scotland may long maintain that character which has gained for them so deep a place in the affection and esteem of the rural population. Long may the country manse realise the picture drawn of it by Wordsworth in the following Sonnet :

"Say, ye far-travelled clouds, far-seeing hills,
Among the happiest-looking homes of men,
Scattered all Britain over, through deep glen,
On airy upland, and by forest rills,

And o'er wide plains, cheered by the lark that trills
His sky-born warblings;-does aught meet your ken
More fit to animate the poet's pen;

Aught that more surely by its aspect fills

Pure minds with sinless envy, than the Abode

Of the good Priest, who, faithful through all hours
To his high charge, and truly serving God,

Has yet a heart and hand for trees and flowers,
Enjoys the walks his predecessors trod,

Nor covets lineal rights in lands and towers.'

The Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland. Illustrated by ROBERT WILLIAM BILLINGS and WILLIAM BURN. William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London.

THE Country of a warlike and devoutly disposed people, where for centuries on centuries war and peace had alternated-where feudal strife had prevailed-where religion, intermingled with powerful superstition, had borne sway-and where the government was monarchical, is certain to present the most interesting architectural remains. It is so as respects France, Germany, England, and Scotland. We have around us the palace of sovereignty--the fortified castle of the restless and ambitious baron--the gorgeous cathedral and abbey-the ornate and beautiful village church, diversifying the landscape with its graceful attributes, and pointing backwards to ancient ages of munificence. In such fine relics of the past we notice one striking difference betwixt Scotland, for example, and Northern America.* In the United States, we find but the present as matter of conception. Man is busy chiefly about materialism in its lower aspect, that of pecuniary gain-although mind, too, has its province and its work. Towns and villages spring up as if by magic-or, like the gourd of the prophet, the production of a night.

The ruined temples, tombs, and public buildings of central America, and especially the antiquities of Mexico, indicate the civilization and wealth of a remote period in the history of that part of the world. The traveller, amidst vast solitudes, occasionally stumbles upon an ancient ruin, the melancholy memorial of a time long anterior to that fatal epoch when the Spaniards landed on the shores of the new world-the ministers of cruelty and bigoted superstition, and grasping devotees of mammon.

All about those aggregations of houses is modern,-bran new in workmanship-all fresh and raw, as it were, from the builder-almost every erection smacking of the utilitarian-a house, a store, a huge hotel, a quay. Those seats of industry would seem rather like the encampments of a migratory people, than the stable habitations of civilized man. All bespeak Saxon energy, without its traditions and its venerable patriotism. The pioneer (worthy of being drawn by the pencil of Cooper) enters the forest, hatchet in hand, and clears away space for a dwelling. Others succeed the first energetic adventurer. Many press upon the heels of the few. Human habitations cluster together-municipal institutions are gradually formed-a community under the grand and leading rules of social life is formed. We have here a new location-a city of America. The stumps of the trees, or the boundless prairie, or unreclaimed forest around, reminds one that all is of yesterday—a sudden innovation upon ground untrodden by the foot by man since the creation of our planet. In contemplating the scenery of the new world there are few materials for solemn thought. The vast still river-the forest realizing something of infinitude-the dreary interminable uniformity of plain are suggestive indeed of creative power-of magnitude of capacity for the future ambition or industrial energy of man, but of little more. We do not so despair of American intellect as to doubt that there are some of our republican kinsfolk who would give their finest improvised city for Glasgow Cathedral or York Minster-and who would rather possess the ruins of Melrose Abbey, with its beautiful sculpture and glorious oriel window, than one of their best harbours. We think we could calculate on finding a taste of this kind in Washington Irving. Be this as it may, it is certain, that in no respect is an old country more distinguished from a new than by its monuments, ancient buildings, and hoary ruins. We allow that too much may be made of such matters by certain worshippers of the antique. Men may plead to inspirations in contact with ancient scenes, which, after all, is but an excuse for mental indolence elsewhere, or even for worse, as the proper materials and befitting disposition existing, sober, elevated, and devout thought is practicable everywhere. There is, however, a solemn musing begotten amidst the scenes of ancient piety and greatness, which comports exquisitely with man's higher nature, or rather takes its vitality, if not its form, from the etherial divine property within us. In such circumstances, the present is displaced by the past-the coarse and sordid gives way to a more spiritual and generous aspiration-and mortal interests and passions recede or are softened down, in dealing with the beings and associations of former generations. While the tangible memorials of history are contemplated around, the busy imagination peoples the desert, and converses with the kings, and heroes, and saints of chronicles, and annals of the ancient times-creating for itself a glowing romance such as poets love to dream of. There is certainly a moral influence in such contemplations properly conducted. "That man," says Dr. Johnson, "is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force on the plains of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona."

It would be idle, in this age of locomotion, to set down so trite a statement, as that Scotland abounds in most interesting, in some cases, gorgeous ruins. The rigid feudality prevalent in this country-the strifes of the nobles with one another, and the ambition of those proud and fierce magnates, all tended to stud the country with fortified houses -the ruins of which are. now seen in every stage of decay throughout the land. Many of those palatial places of strength have not alone their legends of love, and war, and demonology, but occupy an important place in history, on account of the transactions of which they were the scenes--the great personages they have accommodated or sheltered-or the sieges they have sustained from the days of Edward the usurper downwards. We have now but one habitable palace to be a memorial of Scottish independence. Posterity will ever lament the destruction of Linlithgow palace, where James IV. had his court before the fatal battle of Flodden, and where the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots first saw the light. It is melancholy to reflect that this irreparable loss of one of our main architectural treasures-a grand portion of the opima spolia of ancient regal sovereignty-may have been due to the cowardly dragoons of Hawley, lodged within the palace apartments at the time of the last Jacobite rebellion in 1746. During the war, it was intended to convert the remains of the palace into a French prison, but the design was not carried out, owing, as Sir Walter Scott has it, to the interposition of Lord Melville, whose patriotism in saving the place from such profanation, the novelist enthusiastically acknowledges. Coming to the domain of ecclesiastical architecture, there is before us most astonishing materials of study and explanation. In no country in Christendom was the Church so favoured as in Scotland, presenting a bright reverse to the days of Fiars' courts,-litigated augmentations of miserable stipends, and annuity-tax riots. Nor should this liberality be wholly ascribed to superstition, for to that it could not have been altogether due. The magnificent edifices erected for divine service, and the accommodation of the clergy, attest the generosity of past ages, in many cases, we trust, pure and sacred in some of its elements. As has been remarked in the work before us, in describing the Chapel Royal, Holyrood," the pomp and even the comfort of the earthly sovereign were far more lightly esteemed than the glory of Him in whose praise the ecclesiastical architects raise their stately fabrics." The Cathedral of St. Magnus, Kirkwall, is described by our authors as the "noblest unmutilated specimen of ecclesiastical architecture in Scotland." This pile, placed "far amid the melancholy main," is the more wonderful from its distance from the usual abodes of civilisation and of courtly refinement. It would seem as if a Church, which had formed, in the absence of orthodoxy, its most powerful buttress in the fine arts, had resolved to enshrine its power in some grand and imperishable structure, whose contrast with surrounding squalor and insignificance as manifested in the huts of Norwegian mariners and fishermen, would symbolise its lofty claims to homage over the passive ignorant mind of man besotted and enslaved by superstition. Glasgow Cathedral, too, since happily the city congregations have got rid of chilling Gothic magnificence, and are appro

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