Imágenes de páginas

POSTSCRIPT. The prospects of an abundant barvest in Ireland are most cheering. Mr. Berry says, “ I travelled, this week, about thirty miles in the country, and I have never seen such signs of plents. The potatoes look healths, and no appearance of blight. May our God be praised, and may his wrath be turned awar. May abundance succeed to famine, and industry and enterprise take the place of indolence and sloth."

Mr. Bates bears a similar testimony, and speaks of the great fall in the price of provisions. He has seen no instance of blight in the crops. During the winter Indian meal was 21s. per cwt., at present it is only 128. Vegetables are plentiful, and all produce reducing in cust.

The fever, however, appears to be raging with great violence. There are 20 cases in Banbridge; in Newtonards upwards of cov; and in Belfast one person in forty of the whole population ill of fever or some other disorder.

How consoling, amidst such scenes, to find a more general tendency to attend to divine things! Surely our friends will exert themselves more and more to strengthen the mission, and increase its agency. The time is come when we may hope to reap more abundant fruits of evangelical labour.



£ & d. London-Templeton, Mr..


0 Romser-Collection and Subscriptions..... 2 13 9 Friend, by Rev. S. J. Davis............ 1 10 0 Bea alieu Rails-Ditto

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£ s. d. Astwood-James Smith and Sons, omitted

Edinburgh- per Rev. S. Davis, in March Chronicle

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234 15 3

Thanks for two boxes of clothing from the Misses Purday and Friends at Sandgate ; Mr. and Mrs. Scroxton, of Bromsgrove; Friends at Tottenham, by Rev. R. Wallace; and to Ladies at Canterbury, by Mrs. M. A. Flint.

Subscriptions and Donations thankfully received by the Treasurer, EDWARD SMITı, Esa. 60, Old Broad Street; Rev. J. AsGus, and by the Secretary, Mír. FREDERICK TRESTRAIL,

at the Mission House, Moorgate Street, London: and by the pastors of the churches throughout the Kingdom.








AMONG the sixty-seven churches in were lavished to obtain from her an Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary, expression of her wishes as to the there is one of superior pretensions to disposal of the property. The Mother sanctity known by the name of St. Mary of Mercy heard their and Major. It is situated on the Esquiline prayers, and on the 5th of August, Hill, and is said to have been con A.D. 352, she appeared in the silent secrated by Pope Liberius in the year watches of the night to the pious 367. The building is not far from the couple, to each apart, expressed her ancient temple of Juno Lucina, from gratification at their resolution, and whence several noble granite pillars intimated her will that a church have been taken, to adorn the interior should be erected on Mount Esquiline to of the temple dedicated to her successor her honour. The place and plan they in divine worship. The origin of the should find marked out by a miraculous erection is a curious specimen of one of descent of snow. They immediately the “salubrious miracles so rife among hastened to Pope Liberius. He too had the Romanists. It was under the pontifi- had the like vision. Who could doubt cate of Liberius, and in the reign of the the will of the Virgin ?

The clergy emperor Constantine, that a patrician were assembled, a procession formed, of noble and ancient ancestry, more and the patrician and his wife accomillustrious, however, for his piety than panied them to the place indicated by his birth, wished to mark in some public Mary. Sultry as was the weather, manner his devotion towards the holy nevertheless the snow lay thick on Virgin, to whom he was singularly Mount Esquiline, the place and plan of attached. Having no children, with his | the fabric were designated by the divine wife's consent he resolved to make grace of the Virgin, and the cry of "a Mary his heiress. Prayers and alms miracle!” ascended from the lips of the

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attending multitude. Public devotion | left arm the infant Jesus sits, looking was accordingly excited, and this holy at his mother, and having under his spot, so singularly privileged, became a arm a book. A star is placed on her special theatre of the Virgin's glory. right shoulder, and on her head a cross. And even now, on the anniversary of its Often had it been the consolation of our foundation, white flowers like flakes of author to see this wonderful portrait, snow fall from the fretted roof of the and it is, he says, with the most religious church, in memory of the edifying sincerity that he avers, that the impreslegend. It were easy to show that the sion produced by every view of it is most whole story is a fabrication, from the delicious; that it is indeed extremely fact that the worship of the Virgin had difficult to maintain prayer in its not, at the period referred to, reached presence, for the soul is ravished by the point implied in the narrative. sweet meditation instead, and penetrated

The church thus founded-the first with a love for every virtue, and ever dedicated to the mother of God, especially for that of purity; a virtue has since added much to its treasures possessed in so sublime a degree by that to attract the devout attendance of the incomparable virgin. To confirm his faithful, as for instance, the crib or assertions, he produces the following cradle of our Saviour ; but most of all spurious letter, purporting to be written by the possession of a miraculous portrait by Dionysius the Areopagite to the of the Virgin, painted by the evangelist apostle Paul, after having seen the Luke. It is to this wonderful painting, mother of God. We give a literal and to the honours paid it on a recent version of it, as an example of the occasion, that we desire to call the unblushing frauds exercised to this day attention of our readers. It will afford by the church of the apostacy. an affecting illustration of the supersti “I have been presented to the incomtious practices and lying stories of the parable virgin. Her aspect, all divine, votaries of Rome.

has environed me with a celestial It must, however, be premised, that splendour, and has thrown into my soul our authority for the subsequent state- a light so pure, filling it with such an ments is a pamphlet published at Rome odour of all the virtues, that neither my in the year 1835, on the occasion of a weak body, nor my broken spirit, can procession in which this portrait bore sustain the immense weight of that the prominent part. The book is dedi- felicity. The use of my senses has cated to the Cardinal Odescalchi, the forsaken me, the powers of my soul vicar-general of the late pope, by the have succumbed, at the sight of the author, Abbé Menghi D'Arville, and glory of that sublime majesty. God, authenticated by the imprimatur of the who dwelt in that august virgin, is my usual authorities.

witness, that if I had not been instructed The portrait is painted on wood. The by your divine precepts, I had believed size four feet and a half by three. The her to be the Divinity itself; being features are strongly marked, the fore- unable to conceive of a greater happihead is open, the eyes large, the nose ness, even among the blest, than that long, the lips and chin in perfect with which I was intoxicated, all unharmony with the rest of the counte- worthy as I am, in that fortunate nance, the colour of which is vivid and moment.” After these sublime words, excellent. After the eastern usage, the adds our author, one may conceive, alhead and body are veiled. The right though feebly, how great must have hand is crossed upon the left. On her been the beauty of the Holy Virgin,

and how happy we should be to possess to its evangelic origin, that must vanish her august features !

when it is considered that not only It may be asked, Whence and how many peoples, but even kings, and the came this remarkable portrait to Rome? most august personages, have paid their We will endeavour to satisfy this reason- respects to this original. Even the most able curiosity. But we are met at once illustrious pontiffs have rivalled each by the difficulty which arises from the other in zealous attachment, and have number of these authentic portraits. rendered to this precious portrait a In Calvin's time, Rome possessed at particular worship (culte). least four, one of which had been Miracles, moreover, confirm the tradiespecially dear to Luke himself, since tion. “For the entire universe, which he carried it about with him, and even God has created only for his glory, wished it to be put into his coffin when he seems to have become one vast temple, died. Besides these, a multitude of other where he has taken pleasure to maniplaces claim to possess similar precious fest the power of his divine mother, in relics. All these pretensions are, ho

favour of all those who have recourse ever, at once set aside by our author, to her by means of this venerable who avers that all are but copies of a portrait !” The most illustrious of these copy, made by St. Francis Borgia with events is that which happened under the special permission of Pope Pius V. the pontificate of Gregory the Great. from that of St. Mary Major; and that | Plague desolated the city of Rome. from authentic documents in the library Millions of persons fell before the of the Vatican, it appears to be not only scourge. The pontiff preached, vowed, probable, but certain, that St. Luke did ordered public prayers; but in vain. paint a portrait of the Virgin, and that The pest ceased not to strike down its this is the portrait. To be sure the victims. Then he turned to the mother pedigree of it is not quite complete; of God. In procession the priests nevertheless, it is more than likely, carried the portrait from its usual restindeed it may be said to be quite ing place to St. Peter's, attended by the certain, from certain monuments con- dying myriads. As it passed along, the sulted by our informant, that the mother angel of death Aled before it, forsaking of Constantine, St. Helena, after having every house, every alley, and every most zealously sought, and happily street, till on the terrace of Adrian, found the true cross, neglected nothing thenceforward called the Castle of St. to bring together every thing that had Angelo in honour of the event, a human once belonged to Mary, and in particu- form was seen returning to the scabbard lar the likeness of her august features. his bloody sword. Celestial spirits were Grave authors, men most worthy of heard to chant the anthem, Regina belief, say that this same empress carried Coeli, lætare, alleluia, quia quem meruisti it from Jerusalem to Rome. Other no portare, &c., to which the pontiff added less grave authors, however, report that his Ora pro nobis Deum. Thus the after the destruction of Jerusalem, the most ancient monuments attest the emperors Titus and Vespasian brought venerable antiquity and wondrous this portrait in triumph to the seat of powers of this marvellous portrait ! empire. Some attribute the transport Are our readers now satisfied ? Let to the emperor Constantine. Be this them, nevertheless, be assured that as it may, it was brought, and positively such puerile yet profane tales are the placed by Liberius in the church of St. religious food of the multitudes under Mary Major. If any doubt remains as ) papal sway.

It remained, however, for the name- | the pious multitude; fervour confounded take of the great Gregory, the late all ranks and conditions ; you might pope, to illustrate the unchanging powers have thought the days of primitive zeal of the miraculous portrait. Gregory were returned, when the disciples met XVI. was a special favourite of the with one accord, and were one in heart Virgin. On the day of her annunciation and soul. in 1829, he obtained many votes in the The 8th of September was the day conclave, then met to choose an occu- appointed for the procession to be pant for the papal throne. On the feast formed, to carry the sacred portrait of her purification in the following year, from its magnificent resting place to he was elected pope in the room of the church of St. Peter. Crowds of Pius VIII., whose reign was of ten religious filled the basilica, where months' duration only. On the day of already was exposed, upon a litter in the assumption of the mother of God, the form of a portable altar, the miracu1832, he issued his “immortal” encycli- lous painting. The anthem, Holy Mary, cal letter, condemning bible societies ; succour the miserable, was chanted, and on the 8th Sept. 1835, the day of prayer offered, and the procession began the Virgin's nativity, he commenced the its march. Cardinals, bishops, soldiers, grand procession of her portrait to her monks of innumerable orders, white and honour, which averted the direful grey, cowled, barefooted, sleek, and cholera from the eternal city, and holy, accompanied the virgin in her caused its ravages to cease.

beneficent progress. Every street was The faithful were prepared for this crammed with numberless crowds, great act of piety by a rescript of mingling with their recitations of the Cardinal Odescalchi, detailing the pro-rosary hymns and prayers in honour of gress of the dreadful scourge. Even the mother of God. A tempestuous Rome had not escaped. She had be- wind and a drenching rain, were unable trayed, he said, the sacred cause com- to cool the ardour of the people. The mitted to her; the holy name of God Mother of Mercy, on this day of was blasphemed; the solemnities pro- holy jubilation, received from her chilfaned ; and vice marched with raised dren striking proofs of their devotion ; head in the very streets of the holy praises, blessings, and acts of thankscity. Yes; Rome had betrayed the giving, were laid in profusion at her cause of God and holiness. She had, feet. therefore, been chastised. But Rome The procession at last reached the yet possessed a barrier to the plague, new church of St. Mary in Vallicella, to which seas and mountains could not and by a species of inspiration the holy be compared. It was Mary. Let us portrait entered it. “In short, the have recourse to her aid. She opens to litter, which served for the throne of us the arms of mercy.

Mary, entered this church triumphantly; Six of the principal churches dedi- as in ancient times the ark of the cated to the Virgin, were opened for the covenant entered into the house of devotions of the people. The numbers Obed-edom. It was placed under the resorting thither to participate in the cupola. In an instant the altars were treasures of the church, the indulgences, illuminated; the acclamations of the of which the pontiff is the sovereign people and the sound of the organ rent dispenser, soon necessitated the use of the air; and the litanies of the holy eight other temples dedicated to her Virgin were chanted.” honour The gates were besieged by For eight days the sacred deposit

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