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should enter this poor tenement of clay; but, according to thy holy promises, be my sins forgiven, and my soul washed white from all transgression.”
Then, taking a consecrated Host from the vase, he placed it between the lips of the dying girl, and, while the assistant sounded the little silver bell, said,
“ Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam eternam."
And the kneeling crowd smote their breasts and responded in one solemn voice,
The priest then anointed the invalid. When these ceremonies were completed, the priest and his attendants retired, leaving the mother alone with her dying child, who, from the exhaustion caused by the preceding scene, sank into a deathlike sleep
“Between two worlds life hovered like a star,
The long twilight of the summer evening stole on; the shadows deepened without, and the nightlamp glimmered feebly in the sick-chamber; but still she slept. She was lying with her hands clasped upon her breast,—her pallid cheek resting upon the pillow, and her bloodless lips apart, but motionless and silent as the sleep of death. Not a
a breath interrupted the silence of her slumber. Not a movement of the heavy and sunken eyelid, not a trembling of the lip, not a shadow on the marble brow, told when the spirit took its flight. It passed to a better world than this :
“There's a perpetual spring, -perpetual youth;
No joint-benumbing cold, nor scorching heat,
H. W. LONGFELLOW,
THERE is another circumstance connected with the institutions of the Church, which has not, in general, been so much noticed as it deserves. I allude to its penitentiary system, which is the more interesting in the present day, because, so far as the principles and applications of moral law are concerned, it is almost completely in unison with the notions of modern philosophy. If we look closely into the nature of the punishments inflicted by the Church at public penance, which was its principal mode of punishing, we shall find that their object was, above all other things, to excite repentance in the soul of the guilty ; and in that of the lookers-on, the moral terror of example. But there is another idea which mixes itself up with this—the idea of expiation. I know not, generally speaking, whether it be possible to separate the idea of punishment from that of expiation; and whether there be not in all punishment, independently of the desire to awaken the guilty to repentance, and to deter those from vice who might be under temptation, a secret and imperious desire to expiate the wrong committed. Putting this question, however, aside, it is sufficiently evident that repentance and example were the objects proposed by the Church in every part of its system of penance. And is not the attainment of these very objects the end of every truly philosophical legislation ? Is it not for the sake of these very principles that the most enlightened lawyers have clamored for reform in the penal legislation of Europe? Open their books—those of Jeremy Bentham for example—and you will be astonished at the numerous resemblances which you will everywhere find between their plans of punishment and those adopted by the Church.
THE remission of sins, which takes place in the sacrament of Baptism, and that in Confession, are both equally gratuitous; both are equally founded on the faith of Christ; both equally require penitence in the adults ;-but there is this difference, that, in the former, nothing is especially prescribed by God beyond the rite of ablution ; but, in the latter, it is commanded, that he who would be made clean, shall show himself to the priest, and confess his sins; and that, afterward, he shall, at the sentence of the priest, subject himself to some punishment, which may serve as an admonition for the future. And, whereas God appointed His priests to be the physicians of the soul, He willed that the malady of the patient should be made known to them, and his conscience bared before their eyes : whence the penitent Theodosius is related to have said wisely to Ambrose, “ 'Tis thine to prescribe and compound the medicines : 'tis mine to receive them.” Now the medicines are the laws which the priest imposes on the penitent, as well that he may