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been a schoolboy, this time he had come home a schoolmaster; and his next birthday would make him legally a man.

But deeper than that change lay the sense of another, rapidly and inevitably approaching, which would change his whole life. For it was during those holidays that Fernando definitely decided that he must be received into the Catholic Church.

He resolved, as far as he could, to instruct himself, and, almost as soon as he should be at Oxford, to put himself under the instruction of some priest. At Gracechurch there was no priest within reach. Nor did he know any Catholic priest anywhere; in fact he knew no Catholics at all.

But, meanwhile, he wrote to Cardinal Manning, who answered at once, with a clear direct brevity. As to matters of detail, this or that special doctrine, such as Indulgences, his replies were definite, plain and succinct; but he insisted on the necessity of considering, not items of belief, but the grounds of Faith. His letters, as all his letters did, went straight to the crucial point, and were never rambling, as they were never hurried. Religion, he showed, was the realm not of conjecture, but of certainty;

that certainty rested on faith, but that faith rested on revelation, and that revelation is no matter of speculation, but of assured fact. To the fact there is a Divinely accredited witness, of the fact there is a Divinely appointed guardian.

I am not endeavouring to epitomize the Cardinal's line of reply, but only to indicate the direction in which he sought to lead his enquirer's thought-not to detail of isolated points of doctrine, but to the perpetual Mission of the Holy Ghost in the Church. To epitomize the Cardinal's gist three words would serve as well as three hundred-The Divine Teacher. Perhaps it came to thisthat the ground of faith had never been human argument but Divine Revelation. Man had never been left to conjecture a god out of his own brain; God had shown Himself. The Patriarchs, the Hebrew Church and the Prophets had all been recipients of Revelation, but of a Revelation personal first, and partial afterwards. The Catholic Church was not to be worse off, without Revelation, but better off with a wider Revelation, and a Catholic Universal authority.

Uncertain faith could never be adequate to man's need, or God's dignity; certain

faith could rest only on a Divine witness. The Holy Ghost in the Catholic Church secured to man the certainty of faith. Christ's promise of the Holy Ghost to her, for all days, was His promise of Infallibility, His provision for man of a Divine Teacher, and so of certainty in faith. The denial by a Church of its own infallibility was the abdication of any claim to the presence of the Holy Ghost as the inspirer of her teaching. A Divine Teacher cannot falter or stumble. I did not mean to say even so much as this of Cardinal Manning's letters. Rather I intended to mention them as the beginning of a very close and affectionate friendship.

To only one person did Fernando speak of the resolution he had now formed of being received into the Catholic Church, and that one person was his mother. Of her sympathy he could feel sure, though her approval he could hardly expect. She only wanted him to do whatever he thought right, but she must regret that he should think that duty called him so far. No doubt, she thought of her son's change as in some sort a departure from herself, and from everything that had been planned for him. She did not dread that the change would cause any division between

him and her, but she must feel how deeply it would divide him from his other friends. Friends and relations would take offence, though she should take none; and she grieved at the prospect of his friendless opening of life. And then she felt sure he would be a priest, perhaps a monk; she would never be grandmother of his children. He might join some Order that would send him to the uttermost parts of the earth. He might become a monk in some terribly hard Order, in which her poor son, so delicate as a child, might have only cabbage to eat, and a board to sleep upon, and hair-cloth to tease his skin! If that happened, she did not think she could ever eat her own food without hating it; she, who had always denied herself that her boys might have what was best, could hardly sit down to dinner without shrinking from the memory of what harsh, scant food her lad was eating. She could not lie warm in her bed in a night of winter without shuddering to think of her son freezing on his bare board! Certainly a great faculty of imagination has its pains as well as its pleasures.

Her other two sons were already far away-with all this world's bulk between them and her-for they had gone to New Zealand

about the time that Fernando left Lichfield. Her third son she had hoped to keep near home. No doubt she had her ambitions for him, though she never had any for herself. Probably they were not very lofty or soaring, for her desires were always moderate and simple; but Fernando's little success at St. Wolstan's gave her all the ground she needed for reasonable hopes of his comfort and well-doing. I daresay she felt sure he would rise to be Head Master, with a pleasant position of respect, a good income, and house, and exactly the sort of occupation that suited him--perhaps with leisure for writing books. His becoming a Catholic would shut up every visible avenue to success, and deprive him of the position he had earned for himself during the last few years.

She was never in the faintest degree worldly, but no mother could help feeling as she did. Let it be remembered that, whatever she felt, she did not say one word to deter her son from becoming a Catholic if that were what his conscience bade him do.

What chiefly troubled her was her certainty that he would become a priest—because she feared that then he would be sent far away out of her sight and reach. And, as it turned

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