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Notices to Correspondents. H. H. It would certainly be more reverent to burn old Bibles than to use them as waste paper—but they can generally be given away in poor districts, for which they can be made suitable by a little care in repairing them. The same may be said of old Fonts, which it would be better to destroy than to employ for secular purposes—but there could be no difficulty in disposing of them in some of our many mission stations.
The words used by the Priest when communicating must obviously be in the first person-but they should be said privately, and the last clause omitted altogether.
It is undoubtedly compulsory on all the clergy to use the Athanasian Creed on the days appointed by the Prayer Book.
We have received from a subscriber to the Churchman's Companion one guinea for the Mission at Farringia, and we shall be very glad to take charge of any further donations which our readers may be disposed to offer to that good work, of which so interesting an account was given in our last issue.
Accepted : “Easter Morning.'
Declined with thanks : “The Boundary Line between Faith and Superstition."
" While the strong breath of Music seems,
To waft us ever on, soaring in blissful dreams." All the things the Grahames cared about soon became interesting to Elizabeth. She longed to take part in some of the good works connected with S. Stephen's; and she frequently went to the Church, becoming readily fascinated by the beauty of the services. Madame de Bosch did not altogether appreciate her pupil's new enthusiasm. A zeal for good works was doubtless estimable in the country, but considering Bessy's age and station, Madame pronounced it to be not only inconvenient but undesirable, in London. Young and well-born maidens ought not to be suffered to go among the poor, into miserable courts and alleys, where the foul air would infallibly injure the body, while the moral evil, and physical suffering with which she might be brought in contact, would as certainly have a bad effect on mind and spirits. If her ladyship would insist upon doing something for the poor, Madame would endeavour to find a harmless invalid to whom she could
go and read now and then. This seemed a very dull substitute for the crusading visions which haunted Bessy's imagination. Still, she could go to S. Stephen's, and feel lifted up into a higher spiritual state, while she heard and joined in beautiful music, and gazed on storied pane, and fretted roof, and soaring arches. She began to feel that religion was attractive; a new experience for the petted child of worldly parents. The feeling did not go very deep; but still it was the beginning of a different way of looking at life. She was touched with a sense of something infinitely solemn, vast, and mysterious, lying beyond and above her consciousness—far and yet near.
There was a
deep inner secret in life, and she began to think that the S. Stephen's people must have a key to it. “They could not believe things so intensely if they did not know them to be true by experience.” Such was Bessy's reasoning.
One day, going into the Church at five o'clock for the usual weekday evensong, she found no service. Some ladies were at work with flowers near the chancel, but Christina was not among them, as Bessy had expected when she saw what was going on. She longed to join ; however, she had not the courage to offer her assistance in decorating, so she hurried off to Claremont Street, with a hope of finding her friend at home, and perhaps of inducing her to come back to the Church with her.
She heard the sounds of music as she entered the house, and not the piano only. Charlie's powerful well-trained voice was rising high and in a solo which she recognised as part of Haydn's Creed in B flat, while the steady accompanying touch, heavy and full, was not that of Christina. George Crowther, the organist, was seated at the piano. She came in quietly, and stood listening. Christina took the second part in the chorus, while Kenneth and the organist each contributed their voices. They stood with their backs towards the door, and only Christina noted her entrance. Elizabeth smiled, and made a sign for her not to interrupt the singing. The creed went on without pause, and Elizabeth, fired with the spirit of the music, drew near and joined in; she could not help it. The singers went on, their enthusiasm gathering in strength up to the glorious close,
“Et vitam venturi sæculi. Amen. Amen.”
repeated again and again, as if the joyous strain were loth to cease. They sang it in English, however. The music was difficult, and Elizabeth, carried away by the depth of the inward meaning, paused to listen and drink in the soaring sounds. The glowing western sunlight lit up the faces of the singers with transfiguring power. The little pale chorister and his fair-haired sister seemed like pictured angels, while the insignificant features of the organist shone with the joy of true musical ecstasy. Kenneth drew back into the shade when Elizabeth joined the group, but she noticed his expression-one she had not seen on his face before-a strange pathetic look of waiting for something beyond, a hope unrealized; and she divined that to him, in “the life of the world to come,” lay the only solution of the mystery of this life
present. “He too feels the pressure of that mystery,” she said to herself.
Before the vibrations of the last Amen had fairly ceased, the organist spoke, and his remarks jarred upon Elizabeth's mood.
“Pretty well, that, we didn't stop, miss, when you came in, but the divine Haydn was speaking you see, Charlie boy, look out for that E natural to-morrow—sing it out well, and don't let 'em drop, breathe here. That bar again, please,” and he hammered down the keys more forcibly than ever, to illustrate his remarks, at the same time shrieking the notes in falsetto.
Kenneth turned away impatiently, while Christina entered into the organist's technicalities ; but suddenly catching sight of Elizabeth's face, his brow cleared, and both smiled. It was a revelation of sympathy. She came forward a step, and both stood by the window a little behind the others. “ Isn't it a pity to bring one down to earth again so quickly!” said Elizabeth.
“There will be nothing to break the charm of that music to-morrow in Church, let us hope—when it will be the means, and not the end." She looked up in inquiry--and he went on. “ Art will be in its right place, ministering to Religion ; but in order to fulfil that office nobly, the means must be as perfect as we can make them. one ought not to mind this sort of thing, as it is all for the good of the cause.”
But isn't music, and all art, something more than a means, isn't it an end in itself ?"
“If it is an end in itself, it is not the highest art, in my opinion.” "Then
you think art is not worth living for, in itself ?” said Elizabeth, disappointed. “Oh! I love music so intensely, that I long to devote
life to it—and I think Christina feels with me!” she added, smiling at her friend who now joined them, “I only wish I had Christie's gift! But I do work hard, don't I? practising most diligently every day for two hours—and I had to let a delicious book
go back to Mudie last week before I had finished it, just because I wouldn't give up my practising."
You don't know what hard work is, all the same !” said Christina, laughing. George Crowther, who had got up to go, suddenly burst forth.
“Ah, miss, I can see you're fond of music; but it takes more than two hours a day to be a real musician. You must feel that you can
So I suppose
give up everything for music-all other pleasures must be as nothing in comparison, your will must be set to work night and day, till your art becomes the life of your soul like the air you breathe !"
"I don't think this new Gospel ought to stand in the place of the old one,” said Kenneth. “You are going too far for me, George."
“ It is the noblest service we can render to our Creator !” cried the organist, his slight frame quivering with excitement. “We glorify Him in perfecting the best powers He has given us !”
· Yes, and art will help us to live the higher life if we look above and beyond it, to the true end of our existence. I don't know that by itself it has any great elevating or transforming power. But of course, if you want to attain perfection in anything, you must in a certain sense live for it, by giving your time and thought to it as far as you can-and putting up with a good deal of drudgery.”
That's it!” cried George Crowther, “but you are not to think it drudgery, in the cause of music! Good-bye, miss,” to Elizabeth, “you must excuse my freedom of speech, but it is the especial privilege of a musician to-to--render homage to his art, though he be but a humble votary, a poor organist. Charlie, come with me; I'll see you again, Mr. Grahame.” He shook hands with Christina, and rushed off.
“ There goes the true enthusiast !” said Kenneth, “but who comes here? Sydney! I thought you were gone."
“I have been talking to Mrs. Earle. You might have heard me shouting if you had not been making so much noise yourselves. Who is the good lady in the passage ?"
“Only my maid," said Elizabeth, smiling; Christina introduced Mr. Parker to her friend, and they all talked together. The conversation turned upon the Festival Services of the morrow, Ascension DayElizabeth had never heard of its being more than an ordinary holyday, and she related her surprise at finding the Church in the hands of the decorators. “I wished I were one !"
“Yes, we ought to go and help them again,” said Christina, “would you like to come now with us?”
Delightful!” cried Elizabeth. She scribbled a hasty note to Margaret, and sent Pique back to Curzon Street with it. The work progressed quickly at the Church, and she enjoyed her office, which was to help Christina, an experienced decorator. The Service was to be at eight, and she decided to remain for it. They were pressed to go into