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accordance with the spirit of the age decapitated, but fire came down from they chose patrons whose names were heaven and slew the wicked emperor. found in the calendar of the church, Of course, all this is mere romance, but and to them they believed their inter- it is not impossible that there was a ests at the court of heaven to be spec- Christian prince who suffered martyrially committed. Of course, there was dom under Diocletian. Many modern at first great diversity of opinion, but writers have, however, adopted another gradually the soldiers of each of the theory, which though not so pleasant, principal nations directed their devo- has, at least, the merit of plausibility. tions to the same saint, whose name In A. D. 328, Athanasius became Archand portrait were often placed on their bishop of Alexandria. He was violently banners, and who were believed to take opposed by the Arians, who denied the a profound interest in the success of the divinity of Christ. There were fearful armies severally confided to their care. struggles, and on several occasions the Their names became battle-cries, and Arians succeeded in driving Athanasius in the thickest of the fray many a sol- from his bishopric and intruding one dier believed he could discern signs of of their leaders into his place. One of their presence and coöperation. All these pretenders was George of Cappasorts of wild legends were believed con- docia, a man of bad character who had cerning them, and when the crusaders been a soldier, and who was no doubt returned home the patrons who were chosen Arian bishop because it was besupposed to have protected them were lieved he would fight for the place. In by common consent acknowledged as a popular tumult George was killed, the patrons of the countries from which and his followers took their revenge by the Christian hosts had gone forth. declaring him to have been a saint who Churches were everywhere dedicated to united in himself all the knightly virtheir honor, and in some countries they tues. Subsequently, when the true incistill occupy a pre-eminent position in dents had been forgotten, his name was popular opinion. Even in Protestant by mistake included in the orthodox countries their names are given to pa- calendar. As it was remembered that triotic societies, their emblems appear he had been a soldier his name became on the national banners, and there is no a great favorite with the crusaders, who probability that their ancient honors must have been greatly at a loss for will be forgotten. warlike saints. Legends were invented to reflect glory on his memory, and he came to be regarded as the model of chivalry. We do not vouch for this theory, but unless we accept it there is no way of identifying St. George with any known historical character.
St. George is the patron of England, and also of Genoa and of the grandduchy of Moscow. His festival is celebrated on the 23d of April.
We propose to give some account of these "champions," avoiding as much as possible the incredible legends which have clustered around their names, though it must be confessed that in several instances it is almost impossible to speak with confidence concerning the events of their lives.
st. George, of England.
ST. DENIS, OF FRANCE.
According to some writers this saint
Many of our readers have, no doubt, seen Eglish coins bearing a representation of a man on horseback, killing a dragon. This is St. George, who is said is identical with Dionysius the Areopato have been a Christian prince of Cap-gite, who was converted by the preachpadocia, who suffered martyrdom under ing of St. Paul (Acts 17: 34), and who the emperor Diocletian. According to is said to have been the first bishop of the legend he saved the life of a prin- Athens. Early French writers, howcess named Aja, by killing a dragon ever, inform us that he was the leader who was about to devour her. He went of a band of seven missionaries who to Rome for the purpose of converting came from Rome to Gaul and founded the emperor, but was imprisoned for churches in seven cities. D-nis was seven years, during which time he per- the first Christian pastor in the city of formed many miracles. Finally he was Paris. In A. D 272, during the perse
secution of Valerian, he was beheaded, of the other Christians, and that but a with several of his companions. There short period can thus be allowed for a is a ridiculous story that after his de- long and difficult voyage and the great capitation, St. Denis walked two miles work of establishing the church. with his head in his hands. This story would, however, be difficult to persuade is probably derived from the fact that Spaniards that their patron saint had in some ancient pictures he is repre- never set foot upon their shores. sented with his head in the right place, but with another head in his hands which he presents as an offering to God. The bodies of St. Denis and the other martyrs were cast into the Seine, but were recovered and buried by a wealthy Christian lady, named Catulla. Over their remains a chapel was erected, which was subsequently replaced by the celebrated Abbey of St. Denis, the burial place of the royal family. St. Louis is regarded as the protector of the kings of France, but St Denis is the patron of the country. His festival is the 9th of October.
ST. ANTHONY, OF ITALY.
St. Anthony is regarded as the founder of monasticism. He was born at a place called Koma, in Middle Egypt, in A. D. 251. From his earliest youth he was a singular person, avoiding company and refu ing to become educated. In his nineteenth year his father died, and in literal interpretation of the Scriptures be divided all his inheritance among the poor. Then he retired to the wilderness where he lived for some time under a solitary palm tree. He fasted every day until nearly evening, when he took a single meal of bread, salt, and water. In his solitary condition he
ST. JAMES, OF SPAIN.
St. James, the son of Zebedee and imagined himself especially persecuted brother of John, was one of the most by Satan, who appeared in various distinguished of the apostles of our forms, and alternately tempted and Lord. He was one of the three who threatened him. In order to escape constituted the inner circle of Christ's from his great enemy he fled into the disciples, and who were admitted to the desert on the opposite side of the Nile, most intimate transactions of His life, near the Red sea. Here he lived for from which the rest were excluded. "It twenty years in a ruined tower, having is not the least instance of that peculiar made arrangements to have a supply of honor our Lord conferred on these apos- bread brought him every six months. tles," says Fleetwood, "that at His call It was an age which delighted above all ing them to the apostleship, he gave things in self-sacrifice, and pupils gaththem a new name and title. Simon Hered round him. These built themcalled Peter, or a Rock; and James selves huts, and adopted rules for their and John, who were brothers, Boan- guidance. Others, under his direction, erges, or Sons of Thunder." founded a community at Arsinoe, which soon developed into a convent. Amoug his disciples were Hilarius and Pachomius, who were probably the first to organize the mouastic system.
During the persecution of A. D. 311, St. Anthony went to Alexandria in the hope of becoming a martyr, but his wish was not gratified and he returned
In A. D. 44 Herod Agrippa I, for the purpose of gaining favor with the Jews, executed James with the sword (Acts 12:2). There is an ancient legend to the effect that his accuser was so impressed with the courage and constancy of the apostle that, on the way to the execution, he begged his pardon, professed Christianity, and was beheaded to his hermitage. Finding himself anwith him. Spanish writers insist that noyed by numerous visitors he subseshortly after the crucifixion, the apostle quently retired still further into the wilJames visited Spain and planted Chris-derness to a mountain which is still tianity in that country. His bones are called by his name. Here he found said to be preserved in the church of two caves in which he lived alternately. St. Jago di Compostella. The story of Though he sought retirement his discihis visit to Spain is rendered improb- ples followed him, and another convent able by the fact that the apostles lin- was founded. The emperor invited him gered at Jerusalem after the dispersion to come to Constantinople, but he re
fused, saying, that a monk should never leave his monastery. He died on the 17th of January A. D. 356, aged 105 years. His place of burial was, by his direction. long kept a secret, but in A. D. 561 his bones were discovered and removed to Alexandria. In the
tenth century they were taken to France, where they are said to have been instrumental in curing a disease-a kind of erysipelas-which has since been known as "St. Anthony's fire."
The time when St. Anthony came to be recognized as the patron saint of Italy was the most flourishing period of monasticism, and its founder was almost constantly eulogized in the churches. His self-sacrificing devotion commended itself to the popular imagination, and his character was not without its effect on the development of Italian national life. Some of his writings are still extant. They furnish abundant evidence of his glowing imagination and his pro
found devotion to an ascetic life.
ST. DAVID, OF WALES.
This saint, whose name in Welsh is Dawi, flourished in the earlier part of the sixth century, and died about A. D. 544. His career is so obscured by fables that it is almost impossible to arrive at historic certainty with regard to it. He is said to have wrought miracles before he was born, and to have been attended by an angel in his infancy; The Welsh are known to take especial delight in genealogy, and St. David is confidently asserted to have been the eighteenth in descent from the Virgin Mary. His father was Sanddi, or Xantus, a prince of Ceretica, or Cardiganshire. The place of his birth is now called St Davids.
The truth seems to be that David was a distinguished theologian who triumphed over the Pelagians in a great disputation, at the synod of Brefi. Dubricius, the Archbishop of Caerleon and primate of Wales, is said to have been so greatly impressed by David's ability, that he resigned his position, and succeeded in having him appointed his sucThis story, however, has been doubted. He is said to have founded a college in the vale of Rhos, and was in every respect a model bishop. His
death occurred at St. David's, where his shrine may still be seen. His festival is celebrated on the first of March.
ST. ANDREW, OF SCOTLAND. Andrew, the apostle, was a son of Jonas, and probably a younger brother of Simon Peter. He was born at Bethsaida and had been a disciple of John the Baptist. Like his brother he was a fisherman, and followed this employment until the Lord called him to be a "fisher of men." He is mentioned in
connection with the feeding of the five thousand in the wilderness, and on several other occasions, but does not frequently appear in the gospel history. After the ascension of our Lord he is said to have preached in Scythia and Achaia, and was finally crucified at a place called Patras. The cross on which he suffered was formed of two sticks of in the form of the letter X, which is timber crossing each other at the centre
hence called "St. Andrew's cross." In order to prolong his sufferings he was fastened to the cross with cords instead
of nails, and he lived for three days, constantly praising and glorifying God.
The character of St. Andrew is believed to have been especially marked before the Reformation the Scotch peoby endurance and manly firmness, and ple regarded him as their special champion. He appears on many coins and St. Andrew's is named after him. medals, bearing his cross. The city of
ST. PATRICK, OF IRELAND.
The real name of this worthy is said to have been Calpurnius, and he was called Patricius (or Patrick) because he was of a patrician family According to the best authority he was born about A. D. 372, near Dumbarton in Scotland. His father Poritus was a Roman priest, and his mother Conquessa was a relative of St. Martin of Tours. In his sixteenth year he was seized by pirates and carried away to Ireland, and sold as a slave; but after six months he escaped and returned to Scotland. Carried off a second time and again escaping, he conceived that it was his duty to become a missionary to the Irish who were still heathen barbaria s. Having previously, according to some accounts visited
France and Italy, he passed over to his chosen field, about A. D. 432, where he labored with such extraordinary success that in thirty years nearly the whole island was converted to Christianity.
In his old age he is said to have written his "Confessions," but the authenticity of this book is doubted. He died about A. D. 464. No doubt St. Patrick was one of the noblest of the champions of Christianity who in primitive ages took their lives into the r hands and went to preach the gospel to barbarous nations. The legends related concerning him are almost innumerable. may be tue that he first suggested the shamrock a kind of clover-as the emblem of Ireland, by employing its leaf as an illustration of the doctrine of the Trinity; but we are not inclined to accept without question the popular legend that, with his crosier or staff, he drove all the venomous reptiles out of the country. Some years ago the writer was shown a little lake near Killarney, into which the saint is said to have thrown the last snake in Ireland, after first securing him in a box. "Now, listen!" said our guide, "and you can hear the old snake moaning and trying to get out of his box." Of course, we do not imagine that the Irish people seriously believe such stuff, but they are inveterate jokers, and like to relate these ancient stories for the amusement of travellers.
The legends which cluster around the names of the "Seven Champions of Christendom" are often incredible, and sometimes amusing, but they have withal a certain fascination. They tell of times so different from our own that it is hard to form a proper conception of them. We have reached a period when nations no longer commit their interests to a single saint, however exalted, and Christians are every where coming to appreciate the truth that, in all their conflicts, men need but a single champion. As Luther sings:
BY MRS. M. E. SANGSTER.
Spice and myrrh. and gold and gem=?
Only praise that's choked with tears, Only swiftly fading years; Only service incomplete, Weary hands and failing feet. Yet we venture! Yet we say: "Take our all, this Christmas Day; "Let our love and our desire
Mingle with the seraph choir, "That forever strikes this chord, "Glory to the Sovereign Lord!''"
SOFTLY He cometh,
No sound on the mountains afar;
Lowly He cometh—
This King. No robes of bright purple and gold; No pageantry royal and bold; No banner its glory to fling!
Meekly He cometh,
To sit in our earth-shade of woe;
That souls in their sonship may sing!
Quickly He cometh,
A CHRISTMAS DINNER.
An old divine once preached a Christmas sermon on the text: "Of all clean fowls ye may eat," (Deut. 14: 20), and then took occasion to describe the peculiarities of a good Christmas dinner. It would have been much better if he had chosen the text: "Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God," (1 Cor. 10: 31).
TO OUR FRIENDS.
We fe:1 certain that the circulation of THE GUARDIAN might be greatly extended, if its friends would interest themselves in its behalf. This is the best season for the work, and our friends will confer a great favor by securing as many subscribers as possible and sending the names to the publishers. Those who write for THE GUARDIAN are doing it as a labor of love,-will not some of our readers testify to a similar sentiment by obtaining at least one new subscriber?
LETTER OF THOMAS JEFFERSON.
The following is a letter of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States. Though principally devoted to business, the last paragraph is interesting as containing a reference to Napoleon Bonaparte. The original is in the possession of the editor of THE GUARDIAN, and we believe it has never been pub
Monticello, July 30, 1815. DEAR SIR-Knowing the tota! absence of all honest principle in Michie, I have thought it safest to follow your advice, and to leave no flaw in the depositons to be taken. I have therefore kept up your letter to the clerk of our court, unopened, and now return it to you in that state, with a new dedimus and notice of the execution of it on Saturday, the 26th of August. This done I hope there will be no occasion to trouble you again.
Having occasion not long since to look over an account with Craven Peyton, I observed in it an order in your favor for 60 dollars, and on reflection I could not recollect that I had ever paid it to you. I have examined my books and papers carefully, and find in fact it has never been paid. I am sorry you never reminded me of it, as there was never a time that the payment would have been inconvenient, and the decay of my memory which for some time has been very sensible, requires to be aided by that of others. I now inclose you an order for it with interest to the 31st of August, which allows time for its receipt.
We are all praying for the success of France in vindicating the right of self government, thus merging in the holiness of the principle
the crimes of the man they chuse to conduct them, and whose former life has been one continued violation of it. Your friends here
are all as well as their late unhappy bereave ments will permit them to be. I salute you with affection and respect.
THOS. JEFFERSON. The Honorable JUDGE CARK, Winchester.
During the week beginning with the 22d of October, the city of Philadelphia celebrated its Bi-Centennial anniversary. There were imposing ceremonies and magnificent processions, but to our mind the religions services by which they were preceded were more significant than all this pomp and pageantry. In all the discourses delivered on the occasion there was a proper recognition of the religious character of William Penn. It was his perfect charity, his pure beneficence, and his stainless life that made him a worthy example to succeeding generations. He was also a statesman and lawgiver who was far in adVance of his age, but his whole life was an illustration of the Scriptural promise: "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
TO SUPERINTENDENTS AND TEACH
ERS OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
The comments in the GUARDIAN Will hereafter be more full and complete. They will give not merely a general outline of the lesson, as heretofore, but a running commentary on the words, phrases and sentences of the lesson selected, and also the opinions of the Few, except leading commentators. the clergy, have Lange, Alford, L. Abbott, &c., to consult, and their want can only be met in thus making liberal but judicious selections from the best com
This announcement is made in the hope that teachers may club together in time to secure the GUARDIAN for 1883 at reduced rates, and avail themselves of the increased help.-Editor of Scholar's Quarterly, and of Comments in Guardian.