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up between two cocks in the alley ; while his mother was preparing to clean the room. There was not a chair to sit down upon, and her appearance was more untidy than could be excusable on the busiest Saturday night.
“ I should not bave guessed that you lived within hearing of churchbells,” said M. “ You seem to have forgotten that this is Sunday.”
Mrs. Harris, with some confusion, asked him in, promising to arrange the room in a few minutes. M. refused, but offered to return in half an hour, when her husband might be at home, and the house and herself in better order.
M. presently met Harris in the street. He had traced his boy to his usual Sunday haunt, and was returning, angry and miserable, to tell his wife that they need not expect to see Ned for hours or perhaps days. He had joined a set of young thieves who met in a cellar near to play cards and drink spirits all the Sunday. “ You have tried to bring him home, of course," said M. “ Why did you leave him ?”.
“ You don't know what it is, Sir, for an honest man to shew himself among those young rogues. I once followed Ned in, and I will never go again. They would lay hold of me, and turn me out with a word from him.”
“I will go, however,” said M., “ if you will shew me the way."
“ You don't know what you would be doing, Sir; you would be in danger of your life.” .“ I think not,” said M. “So just turn back with me, will you ?”
Harris obeyed unwillingly, and retreated when he had pointed out the entrance to this place of iniquity.
M. having given his name, gently pushed past the astonished proprietor, who would have opposed his proceeding. When he stood in the doorway, the sight of the squalid groups, the sound of their untamed voices, the smell of spirits, were inexpressibly disgusting : but M. commanded his feelings and his countenance, and stood waiting till his presence was perceived. There was presently a sudden hush in the place, and then he said in a mild distinct voice, as he looked slowly round,
“ Edward Harris, it is you I want.”
Till he fixed his eye on a party of card-players in the furthest corner none knew to whom he spoke, for the frequenters of such places are not known by their own names. Ned himself had almost forgotten his. He was evidently startled by M.'s appearance, and threw down his cards; but at the instigation of one of his companions, he took them again, and held them up as a sign that he could not leave bis game.
“ I am in no great burry,” said M, descending the steps. “Give me a seat, and I will wait till your band is out.”
No one offered any opposition to his seating himself on a bench in the midst of them. He drew a candle towards him, (for no daylight penetrated here,) took a book out of his pocket, and began to read. He had not to wait long. His presence was a restraint which the people round him were eager to get rid of. If his manner had been any thing but what it was, they would have turned him out ; as it was, they urged Ned to go with him and see what he wanted, and to come back as soon as he could.
“ Are you ready, my boy?” said M., when the cards were again thrown down: and the lad followed him passively, as be made his way to the door, taking not the slightest notice of the parties on either hand.
“ What do you want with me??" said the boy. “ You are not going to have me taken up."
“ No,” said, M., “not till I see that you know what the law is, and that you break it wilfully. I am come to take you home. There stands your father. He has been working laboriously all the week, and it is hard that his rest should be broken to-day by toiling and fretting after you.”
“ He lets nobody have any rest at home," said Ned; “nor my mother neither. He would flog me this minute if you were not here ; and he will as soon as your back is turned; so I shall not go home.”
“ I am going with you,” said M.; "and as for flogging you, it is not the time for it when you are doing what he wishes. And as for peace and comfort, there can be no comparison between dinner and a good fire above ground, and the cold and dirt of yonder cellar. Fire warms one better than spirits at any time.”
By this time Ned saw with surprise the blaze of a good fire through the window of his home. His mother was tidily dressed ; Willy had his face washed and his hair smoothed, and the furniture was all in its place. In consequence of a sign from M., both father and mother refrained from any notice of the boy's absence and return. They presently perceived that M.'s coat was wet with the heavy rain. He took it off, and gave it to Ned to dry, and calling little Willy to him, he asked him if any body ever told him tales to amuse him : and presently interested him in the story of Joseph. He was not a little glad to see that Ned nearly let the coat burn while the narrative went on, and to hear Harris observe to his wife that they had once had a picture of that story, if they could but find it up to shew the child.
M. said that his children had pictures of it: and he told little Willy that if his brother would bring him to his house in the afternoon, they might look at them. He directed Ned how to find the way, and begged of him not to disappoint the child. Then seeing that the hungry boys were eyeing the boiling pot which contained their dinner, he rose to go.
“ It is not for us to ask whether you will take a bit with us,” said Harris.
“ Some day I will,” replied M., “but now I have to go further; and I must be at home when your boys come.”
“ You will come again, Sir,” said the anxious parents in a low voice, as he crossed their threshold. - .- .
-. . “ Certainly; next Sunday or sooner." And he felt pretty confident that Mrs. Harris would now finish her week's work on the Saturday night.
“ What has been done in this case, as in others," said M., when, a few weeks after, he made his report to those under whose authority and by whose support his mission was conducted," what has been done appears Trifling in the detail, but I am sure it is important in reality. We have no sudden reformation to boast of. These people have not yet attended public worship; they have not yet taken to reading the Bible, and I have not seen them in such a state that I could mention prayer to them. If they had, like others under my charge, needed assistance from our purse, the work would have been quickened ; but it is proceeding. It is something that they make a friend of me. It is something to have engaged them in any kind of observance of the Lord's-day, and to have united the family in any common interest, if it be only listening to the Bible stories I relate to the child. I have further reason to hope that the season of greater progressis at hand.”
What reason." « Last Sunday, having gone early on purpose, I rose to depart when the first bell sounded, saying that the time for service was too precious to be always sacrificed. I thought they looked wistfully after me, and I believe : a word from me will ere long make them follow me. And so convinced am I, from the changed tone of our intercourse, that any remarkable occurrence which may befal them, be it prosperous or adverse, will induce an expression of good feelings which are now strengthening in silence, that I . watch in their case with peculiar interest, for the arrival of one of those outward changes which happen occasionally to all. If we could but gain tidings of the daughter ......"
" It is not impossible. Devise the method, and the means shall not be wanting. You have done so much that it would be sinful to despair of the rest. Why should we not remind one another that our office is that of the apostles of old ? It will strengthen us to proceed upon their principle,- that it is ours to plant and to water, trusting to God to give the increase."
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF EMINENT CONTINENTAL UNITARIANS.
BERNARD OCHINO, to whom we have already had frequent occasion to allude, was born at Sienna, in Italy, A. D. 1487. He was of humble origin, and appears to have laboured under great disadvantages in early life. The deficiencies of his education, however, were amply supplied by the brilliancy of his genius; and few men ever possessed, in a more remarkable degree, the power of clothing their thoughts in striking and suitable language. He spoke his native tongue with such fluency and elegance, as at once to convince and captivate every heart.
Ochino entered the order of Franciscan Monks, called Cordeliers, at an early age; but, some cause of dissatisfaction arising, he quitted that order in disgust, and began to devote himself to the study of physic. On reflection, however, he resolved once more to resume the monkish habit, and lead a life of rigour and austerity. Accordingly, in the year 1534, he entered the order of Capuchins; and his conduct was so eminent for its piety and regularity, that he was twice elected Vicar General of the order, at Florence, in the year 1538, and at Naples in 1541. On the testimony of Ant. Mar. Gratiano, Bishop of Amelia, a zealous Catholic, Ochino has been represented as the founder of this order. This prelate, in his life of Cardinal Commendoni, relates that Ochino, having observed great laxity in the discipline of the order of St. Francis, withdrew himself, for the purpose of living more according to its ancient strictness; and that, finding some of his brethren disposed to second his views, he restored the institutions of St. Francis, in all their pristine vigour'; and, in conjunction with Matthew D'Urbino, a man of extraordinary piety and sanctity, established the order of Capuchins. But this statement cannot be true, if, as we are told, Ochino did not assume the habit of a Capuchin till 1534; for the establishment of this order took place in the year 1525, under the pontificate of Clement the Seventh, and in the year 1534, under the pontificate of Paul the Third, the number of religious belonging to it amounted, if we are to believe Spondanus, to at least three hundred.
Ochino is described, by all his biographers, as possessing an active and ingenious turn of mind, and a rich and fertile imagination. As a pulpit orator, it is said that no man ever attained a higher degree of popularity. His preaching was the theme of admiration, not only with the vulgar, but also among persons of distinction and quality. Princes and prelates were frequently in the number of bis audience; and the first cities of Italy contended for the honour of having him as their preacher. He is represented as a man of a singularly venerable aspect, with a long beard flowing gracefully down upon his breast, and a pale countenance, which bespoke the austerity of bis mode of life. He was received as an inmate into the palaces of VOL. V.
princes and nobles, where he observed the same rigour and abstinence which habitually distinguished him. In bis meals he confined himself to one dish, and that too of the plainest description; and abstained almost entirely from wine. He declined the use of the costly beds and sumptuous apartments which his hosts prepared for him, and reposed upon the bare ground, with no other covering than his own cloak; and so great was the reputation for sanctity which he had acquired throughout Italy, that the very mention of his name inspired a feeling of veneration in all who heard it. The nobility regarded him almost as something superhuman. At his approach they went out to meet him. The reception which they gave him was more like that of a sovereign prince than of a poor monk; and when he took his departure from their houses, they insisted upon accompanying him on his way, and shewing him all those marks of attention which they were in the habit of paying to persons of distinction alone.
It has been asserted by some of the biographers of this singularly gifted man, but apparently without sufficient authority, that he was appointed confessor to the Pope. A statement to this effect is advanced, with some degree of confidence, by Lubieniecius, which, however, is unsupported by any direct evidence. Bayle regards the matter as extremely doubtful; and Sandius alludes to it only as a rumour. The fact is in itself unimportant, for Ochino's popularity was such, that, in the eyes of his numerous and devoted admirers, an appointment of this kind, however deservedly bestowed, could have thrown no additional splendour upon his character.
During one of his preaching excursions into the South of Italy, in the year 1541, Ochino formed an intimacy with John Valdez and Peter Martyr, and so complete a change was wrought in him by his intercourse with these enlightened advocates of the principles of the Reformation, that he soon fell under the suspicion of heresy, and incurred the charge of having given utterance to sentiments at variance with those of the Catholic Church. In the year 1542, he was appointed to preach at Venice during Lent, where he attracted, as usual, large and crowded audiences; but having introduced into his discourses topics at variance with the discipline of his Church, he was cited to appear before the Pope's Nuncio, and dismissed with a gentle reprimand. A short time after this, Julius of Milan, a disciple of Valdez, and an intimate friend of Ochino, was committed to prison, by order of the Nuncio; and this harsh treatment of his friend drew from him the following spirited observations: “ What mode of proceeding is now left to us, Sirs? To what purpose do we undergo such troubles and hardships, o illustrious city, Queen of the Adriatic, if those who preach the truth are consigned to prison, shut up in dungeons, and loaded with chains and fetters? What security shall we now have for our own persons ? What free range will be left to truth? Would that the truth might be spoken candidly and openly! How many blind, who are now shut out from an enjoyment of the light and enveloped in darkness, would then be illuminated!” The