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plaining "all things written in the law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning himself." (Luke, xxiv. 44.)
When he had fully instructed them in the Messianic Scriptures, he prepared for his ascension. The power of his presence drew his friends as well as his disciples close around him. And in the dusk of the evening, that he might escape the notice of the multitude, he passed out of the city eastward, crossing the Kidron, and wound round the southern flank of Mount Olivet, all following slowly and in silence, while he announced to his disciples the import and prospect of their perilous mission. "Ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Go ye, therefore, into all the world, teach all nations, and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. All power is given to me in heaven and in earth, and lo! I am with you always even unto the end of the world."
As he pronounced these words he had advanced round the southern flank of the mountain, leading his disciples, "as far as to Bethany." There, as he uttered the last words of the divine benediction, he lifted up his hands, spreading them out, perhaps over, and perhaps touching the heads of his apostles. While in this act he was parted from them. He threw aside the restraint which for the time weighed down his glorious resurrection body, and it rose majestically and was carried up into heaven; and the clouds received him out of their sight, into that spiritual and glorious world where he sat down on the right hand of the throne of God, to make intercession for us.
It was at nightfall, and the parting was so solemn and glorious, and his pathway to heaven so resplendent, and the majesty and benignancy of his ascending person so enrapturing, that his friends stood motionless and speechless, "gazing up into heaven," through the bright opening which his ascension had left in the sky. There probably they would have continued to stand had not the spell been broken by two of the heavenly visiters who had descended to witness the ascension. From the midst of the illuminated olouds, where they lingered in pity and admiration of the astonished and bereaved disciples, they descended to the earth, and "stood among them in white apparel, and said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing
up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." The charm was broken. Ascending Mount Olivet from the edge of the village of Bethany (for this was as near, and a more private way back to the city), they halted on the summit to look once more into the heavens, after their ascended Lord. But the sky had recovered its usual serenity, and spread out its calm blue canopy, lit up with the countless stars of heaven. On the spot where they halted, the piety of subsequent ages erected a magnificent church, and that same piety, sublimated into enthusiasm and credulity, transferred the scene of the ascension from the humble village of Bethany, far down on the southern flank of the mountain, to its summit. Hence the church, which is seen in the engraving, is called the Church of the Ascension. It is about half a mile due east from St. Stephen's gate, and about three hundred feet above the city. It is alone; neither tent nor hut is near it. And the only worshippers in it are a few monks; sometimes of the Greek order, and sometimes of the Armenian ; as the gold of the one outweighs, in the judgment of the Pacha of Jerusalem, the gold of the other. And not unfrequently very unchristian contests occur for the possession of the church; and in these contests, it has more than once been reduced to ashes. The traveller sees it from the northeast part of the city, sitting beautifully on the sacred Mount of Olivet; and if his piety or curiosity should lead him to ascend to it, he will be shown the footprint of our Lord, impressed in the solid rock, as he made the first bound towards Heaven. To this he will kneel, and will kiss it, if his faith waver not; or will turn away with regret and sorrow at the weak superstition that guards and worships an object Bo obviously apocryphal. In tho general uncertainty, and frequent absurdity of the sacred places shown to the traveller in the Holy Land, the free and intelligent Christian will see the wisdom and goodness of God. Had he designed those spots to be reverenced and worshipped, he would have provided for the certain knowledge of them. But in the kingdom of his Son he has made the divine glory and power to appear in the new and divine life which the gospel imparts to individuals and to nations, and not in sacred localities, or buildings, or relics.
BY MBS. C. H. E8LING.
I Iooked upon thy youthful face, It sccmed as though the gates of heaven
In all its beauty bright, Had been unclosed awhile;
Till like a sunbeam through a eloud, So radiant was that face of thine,
It gleamed with sudden light; Lit by that sunny smile.
BY EDITH MAY.
The Bride of Christ! oh, at those words there swept
Bright glories through my spirit! I was deaf
To the deep anthem. Prelate, and cowled priest,
The dim cathedral walls, the kneeling crowd,
The lattice where the black-veiled nuns looked through,
All parsed away from mine enraptured eyes!
I saw no more thy bowed form, oh my mother!
Nor his who stood far down the aisle of columns,
Hiding his bent brow with his mantle's foldl
It seems not long since I, a little child,
Trod yon cathedral floors, and in deep awe
First crossed my forehead with the holy water.
It seems not long, Jacopo, since we twain
Prayed, kneeling at one shrine; together winged
Our mated voices like paired larks to heaven,
Or, hand in hand, walked where the garden fountains
Cleft the grim lion mouths!
Have patience, Father,
Thou knowest well my father was a noble,
Rut this was for a season—Many months
The palace was deserted. Then, alone,
We wandered freely through the vacant rooms,
I, and my nurse Guiseppa. She would pause
Sometimes, by pictures of worn saints and martyrs;
Saint Lawrence in the flames, his lifted face
Pull of sublime forgetfulncss of pain;
Or Stephen, stoned and prone; perchance, to mark
Pale hermits watching in their forest caves,
With lamp and book, the inner darkness shapen
Into black fiends; or, sometimes, oh my soul!
An Ecce Homo, with dim, upturned eyes,
And red drops trickling from the crown of thorns!
All these Guiseppa scanned with reverent face,
I. in her arms held level with the canvass,
hooked on in childish fear.
There came a message
Twas early noon;
I never knew
Once more Ginevra stood
From her brow
We knew bright, silent angels
Thou eamest, Jacopo.—
Do you remember now
Still my sister's chamber
To that place
I crept at noonday. There I treasured all
Linked with Glnevra's memory. Twas now
A garland we had woven; now a kerchief
That kept the faint rose odour she had loved.
I vexed my childish brain with pondering o'er
The books she prized. Those, histories of saints,
Temptations, miracles, and martyrdoms,
I peopled all the dark nooks of the palace
With phantoms of their raising. There, concealed
All through the slumberous noontide, first I read
Of Augustine, who heard the voice of God
Speak to him in the garden, and of her,
Holy Teresa, who stood face to face
With Mary's son, and carried to the tomb
Remembrance of the vision. When I saw
How laying down love, wealth, the pride of birth.
Bowing her shoulders for the cross, this one
Frail nun obtained a saint's repute, becoming
Founder of monasteries, and of a host
The spiritual mother, all my soul
Thrilled with the rapturous history. I could dream
Only of mysteries; or if light shapes
Beckoned me to the world, there slid between
Visions of her who o'er an open book
Hung pondering steadfastly; one pale, fair hand
Outspread upon the page, and one that held
Her brow within its hollow. Womanhood
Came, and my heart's betraying echoes scarce
Answered her loitering footfall. Life grew vague,
Nothing approached mo nearly.
The first star
His footfall ring. Oh, Father, when he left,
Gone was the smile from sweet Saint Catherine's lip!
And the grave saints frowned on me, and my thought*
Shapen to prayer, put on unholy guise,
Mocking my vain devotion! Marvel not—
I was a child. Ginevra fled the world,
Like a chased dove that calms its panting heart
Under green forest boughs. Life stood unmasked.
And pleasure mocked her like a garland twined
Round a drained wine cup. As a vine that grows
Over some marble urn, a bird that builds
Under the cornice of some shattered temple,
Making its ruin echo with delight,
So to her heart, rent, filled with bitter dust,
Came one bright hope. Alas! my thrilling soul
Still quivered in the bended bow of life.
Youth was too mighty! I grew faint. My heart
Leapt at a quick word, and light tremors ran
Painfully through my limbs. My brain waxed dizzy
Over my books, and I would ponder hours
Ere I could wrest its meaning from the page
I strove to read; or if I knelt to pray,
My aimless thoughts went wandering blindly on,
The prayer I said suspended. Outward things
Unchallenged touched my senses that dull stupor
Muffled like sleep.
I stood within Saint Peter's And heard the Miserere. Through the twilight Burned thirteen starry tapers. One by one, Amid the chanting of the Lamentations, These vanished, till the last and brightest, Christ, Sank into darkness. With that hope's extinction, Like a retreating wave, the chant withdrew Beneath the cave-like shadows. Rippling echoes Tracked it to silence. Father, on my lips The stillness pressed like a remorseless hand! Above, the gray-winged twilight, like a moth Clung to the arches! I did strive to pray, But through my soul the slow-paced, cloistered thoughts Trod, saying "Miserere!" Deep the pause That from the shores of that hushed music stretched Like a black-throated chasm! I grew sick Hearing the echoes sound it! While 1 gasped, As 'twere a bird borne over an abyss On one bruised wing, athwart the chapel roof Fluttered a voice so sad, my panting heart Breathed in one gush of tears. I doubt not, Priest, White angels listening in God's presence then Leant on their harps and wept! The low notes failed Exhausted lv But as they ceased, oh heaven! As 'twere a scimitar quick bared, a shaft Hurled by a giant, a prolonged, loud shriek Leapt through the gloom, and like a dart rebounding Fell, shivered into echoes! Holy Mary! My every pulse thrilled with a separate pain! All through the crowd a light electric shiver Passed like a link. All dimly from mine eyes Fled the dark forms of priest, and cardinal, And heaven's vicegerent in his pontiff robes. I must have fallen but for one steadfast arm Girding my waist like iron. Scarce I marked How the whole choir with thick, sore sobs bewailed Christ's death. I know not what of sudden brightness Burst on my dazzled sight. Dispute it not! I saw the darkness cloven by wings that took Light like a prism, and when the rifted gloom Closed on their upward flight, my senses, prone, Met its returning pressure!
This was April; And ere my dumb soul spake again, the grape Was purple on the hills. Oh, i was weak As a young child! Jacopo in his arms Would bear me to the sea-shore, where T sat Long, vacant hours, numbering the waves, Counting the drifting clouds. They sang me songs— The music pleased me, but the married words
My dull ear noted not. Yot every day
Yet, oh heaven 1
Still, if I walked,
Oh, thou world 1
I feared to speak God's after! Then came prayers,
Fasts, and harsh penances. There was a chamber
Ginevra loved; a dim, square, lofty room,
Crossed and re-crossed by arches, paved with marbles
Stained in sea hues. One silver shining lamp
That burned behind a column, brake the night
With its still radiance. There, when midnight came,
Crept I as stealthily, with naked feet
Treading the corridors. There my faint soul
Staggered beneath its cross I The niched saints only
Might hear my heart shriek as I walled it in!
The marble where my forehead lay kept not
Count of my tears! And there, when fasts prolonged
Vanquished my sense, while Life, the jailor, slept
Came angels that unlocked the prison doors
And bade my soul go free. Athwart my brain
Flash and withdraw into the cloud of sense
That holds them captive, memories too bright
For human keeping—dumb, sweet dreams that passed
With finger laid on lip. Oh, gracious Father!
Great is my faith in penance that chains down
The senses in their cells, scourges the passions
Into meek virtues, and converts the house
Whore worldly guests held revel, to a cloister
Trod by pure visions, and upglancing prayers!
There came release. 'Twas midnight, and I seemed
They told me 'twas a dream, but felt I not
The constant pressure of the bridal ring?
And knew I not, though dim to human eyes,
How bright 'twould shine hereafterf Up to God
I sped my fresh hopes, that wing-wearied turned
To earth's most blessed shelter. Priest, as pure
As Catherine, the first nun, I wedded Heaven.
The tresses they have shorn were ne'er unbound
By love's light hand; the beauty that I laid
As 'twere a blossom, on His holy shrine
Kept sacred, ail, from love's profaning touch!
Last flod I here. With many tears, my mother,
Wouldst thou have stayed me, and Jacopo—nay!
I was appalled to look on his white lips!
Once, I remember, in my short novitiate,
When by the convent wall I paused to mark
The singing of a bird, and from above
There dropped a written scroll, oh! saints what wild
Idolatrous words defaced its blotted page!
I dared not look upon the writer's name.
'Twas sin to read, I know, for all the morn
There was that ringing through my unquiet soul,
That outvoiced organ, chorister, and priest'.
A YEAR AT AMBLESIDE.
Apter a long illness, during which I never saw a tree in leaf for upwards of five years, and passed my life between my bed and my sofa, I recovered—to my own surprise, and that of every one who knew me. In September, I crept out of doors, and lay on a bit of grass a few yards square. In October, I walked down to the sea-shore, and by degrees extended my rambles to a fine beach three miles from home. By this time there was no doubt of my being well; but it was evidently desirable to change the scene, and break off all associations of sickness with my daily habits, and I eagerly accepted the invitation of friends who lived on the banks of Windermere, to spend a month with them. That month determined my place of residence for, probably, the rest of my life.
I had seen the Lake district in a cursory way, some years before, merely passing through it on my way to Scotland. Its beauty had struck me with a kind of amazement. As I looked down into some of the vales, or around upon a wall of mountains, I was almost incredulous of what I saw. If I had been told that after a long and dreary season of hopeless illness, I should come and sit down for life in this region, I should have looked upon the prospect as one of the most marvellous of the shifting scenes of life.
Its beauty is not the only, nor to some people, the chief interest and charm of the Lake district. The mountains, by their conservative influence, have here hedged in a piece of old English life, such as is to be found nowhere else within the island. They have always hedged in a piece of the life that had passed away from the rest of the country. When the Romans were elsewhere building walls around the towns, and stretching out roads from point to point of the island, the Druids were still collecting their assemblage of wild Britons under the forest shades of this region. The remains of coppices of oak, ash, birch, and hollies, show how high up the mountain sides the ancient forest extended, and under those trees stood of old the long-bearded, shaven-headed, white-robed Druidical priests, sending up a flame of sacrifice, which scared the red deer, and the wolf, and the wild bull in their coverts, and brought the eagles from their highest perch by the scent of a prey. But even here change must come, though later than elsewhere,
and the Romans drew near, at last, to invade the region, and pave a road through it. It must have been a curious sight to the skinclad Britons who were posted as sentinels, when the Roman standards appeared among the trees, and helmets and spears glittered in the pathways of the woods. The Romans took possession of Windermere, and made a camp at its head. If the circles of stones planted by the Druids are visible here and there in the district, no less distinct are the marks of Roman occupation. In a field at the head of Windermere, the outlines of their camp arc obvious enough to the eye; and on a mountain ridge, still called High Street, are the fragments of pavement, which show that even here, above the highest tree-tops from which the British sentinels could look forth, the Roman soldiers made a road for their standards and their troops. What a sight it must have been from below! How the native mother must have shrunk back with her children into the caves of the rock, or the covert of the wood,—less afraid of the wild beasts than of these majestic invaders, against whom her husband was gone out with his scythe or his club! How she and her companions must have listened to the shock of falling trees, and the cleaving of the rocks, which gave notice that the enemy were making themselves a broad highway through the heart of the district. I always think of those cowering Britons now, when I go by the old Roman road, which descends upon Grasmere. The scene is open enough now, but I can conjure up the forests which clothed the mountain slopes down to the very brink of the Grasmere lake, in the days when the wild boar came down to drink, and the squirrel could (as the country people tell) go from Wythburn to Keswick—ten miles on a straight line,—on the tree-tops, without touching the ground.
After all, the Romans passed away before the Britons. The natives remained in considerable numbers in the fastnesses, when the glittering soldiers were no more seen on the paved ways, and the trumpets no longer echoed from one mountain peak to another. But the Saxons and Danes came in to take possession of the fertile spots as the Romans left them. They never obtained possession of the district, however. For six hundred years, the Saxons held