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his own Church to be a part of her, has never failed to receive from God many graces; he will have prayed much, and no prayers are left unheard; he will have made countless acts of sincere contrition, not hastily or easily with superficial formality, but with intense inwardness and desire for forgiveness; has God held aloof, unnoting? He has prepared with long hours and days of fervent longing, of deep and tremulous faith and worship, of utter humility and sense of unworthiness, to receive what he has believed to be true Eucharist; he has times out of number received it; must not those receivings have been so many spiritual Communions? He has loved God's saints and above them all His great mother; he has lived in the habit of prayer through their intercession; have they shut their ears, and refused to join his supplications with their own to the Most High? Has Mary turned away and disowned before the court of Heaven the child who has cried out to her motherhood? For the dead he has prayed often and often in every day through years. Mayhap he never saw a grave, though but a nameless hillock without cross or stone to mark it, in some weed-grown neglected
churchyard, but he has lifted up to Christ strong arms of tender supplication for that unknown sleeper, for whom, like enough, no other lip has breathed a single prayer till then. He has never seen a funeral go by without praying for the soul whose earthly part was being carried to its last low house; he has never heard the death-knell tolled without prayer for the lonely spirit gone to meet the inexorable Judge; he has never read of shipwreck, or fell mishap in mine or factory, by road or rail; of pestilence or battle or murder, but he has poured out his sad entreaty to Omnipotent Mercy for the slain or the dead. Have all these dead been ingrate ? Has none showed pity for pity, and prayed for him?
Countless, or uncounted, thousands of times he has signed himself with the ineffable sign of the sweet and bitter Cross, not with miserly haste, trivially, unthinkingly, but with deep, deep awe, invoking the Name of the Eternal One and Three. Has the signal been ignored in Heaven, and no answer flashed back to his upyearning soul?
Well, all these gifts of God Himself, free mercies, and uncovenanted, he will have taken for current graces received by every
member who wants them of the Church he has been thinking was a branch of the one Church Catholic and undivided—part of the economy of his inheritance as a child of the Church, maternal gifts as well as paternal. Gratitude and reverence forbid him to ignore the graces he has been given, and humility bids him perceive in them the efficacy or the motherhood in which he has trusted, forbids him to imagine they are anything personal to himself, which would have been given him as certainly had he held the same course though a member of some body making no claim to hierarchy or sacraments.
This is what I mean when I say that the Anglican who has believed himself a Catholic, and who begins to doubt if he can be a Catholic without becoming one, will at first accuse himself of ingratitude for maternal services rendered by the Church to which he externally does belong. I say externally" because such a one, determined to be a Catholic at all costs, even the cost of awaking to the cold fact that he must enter the Church from outside in order to belong to her, does belong to what the theologians call the soul of the Church already; and so he has not been quite wrong in ascribing the
graces he has plentifully received to his membership in the Church, the treasurehouse of God's imperial gifts, though it was not the Church he thought.
All this is said to explain how it was that a lad, from childhood in love with Catholicity and yearning towards the Church, measured his steps and looked well at the next one, pondered and dreaded and longed and scourged his longing ere he said aloud and without wavering to himself, "I will go. To be there I must get me hence, I cannot be in two places at once; this place and the place I mean are not the same, but two and opposed. To be inside I must get in. No protestations that I am within will alter my being outside."
A QUIET VOICE
Among the many kind and friendly neighbours Mrs. Burscough and her boys found at Gracechurch there was a family called Thrush, consisting, when first she went to live in the little town, of a father, mother, son and two daughters; but the son, a darkbrowed, somewhat fierce-looking young man, was in some business at a distance and seldom
came home; and the father died a few years after Mrs. Burscough's arrival. Mr. Thrush was, or had been, a very learned gentleman, and, it was said, had had plenty of money to spend in his undergraduate days at Oxford. Whether he then spent it all or whether he had had losses I do not know, but he and his family were anything but rich when Fernando knew them. Like other learned persons Mr. Thrush was rather odd-looking. He was very tall and very white, both as to his hair and as to his face, and he always walked leaning forward so that his head went much in front