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The Late Bishop of Boston

ART. V. — The Right Reverend Benedict Joseph Fenwick, second Bishop of the Diocese of Boston.

FEW who had the honor of personally knowing the late eminent Bishop of Boston but looked upon him as a great and good man, and upon themselves as highly privileged in being permitted to love and revere him. Especially was this the case with those who were in habits of daily intercourse with him, who sat familiarly at his table, and shared his intimacy. To them he was a pleasant companion, a faithful and affectionate friend, a wise and prudent counsellor, a watchful and loving father. They have no words to say how much they loved and venerated him, or to express how deeply they feel their bereavement. They never met, and they have no hope of meeting, his equal in another ; and their grief would be more than they could bear, did they not find consolation in reflecting that it has been theirs to know familiarly one who gave them, by his virtues, a higher conception of the capacities of our common nature, and of the power and riches of diyine grace ; that they have felt the influence, enjoyed the friendship, and received the paternal counsels and blessing of one whose labors and example were a precious gift from heaven to the community in which he lived ; and that he is removed from them only to enter upon the rewards of his fidelity and life of self-sacrifice, and to be able to serve more effectually the children he so tenderly loved, by his more intimate union with the common Father of us all.

It would give us great pleasure to be able to write the life and portray the character of this eminent divine, and model of Christian prelates ; but that is an honor to which it is not ours to aspire. That honor is reserved for others, who are less recent members of the flock over which he was set by the Holy Ghost, who have known him longer and better, and can speak more worthily of the events of his active life and his invaluable services to religion in this country, and who are more entitled to the consolation of delineating, for the edification of the faithful, those traits of his character which so quickened their love of virtue, and so endeared him to their hearts. We can presume only to recall for our readers a few impressions we personally received in our short but frequent intercourse with him during the last two years of his life, — an intercourse, we need not say, we regard as one of the richest of the many blessings which a kind Providence has ever scattered with a liberal hand along our pathway in life.

We saw Bishop Fenwick for the first time in the spring of 1843. During the preceding winter our religious views had undergone several important modifications, and we began to suspect that the Catholic Church might prove to be less corrupt than we had supposed, — might, perhaps, after all, turn out to be the Church of God. Our attention was called more particularly to this point by seeing some of our essays copied with commendation into one or two Catholic journals. We had had, strictly speaking, no acquaintance with Catholics ; we had never read, hardly even seen, a single book written by a Catholic in exposition and defence of Catholic doctrines ; and we thought it singular that we should be able to write any thing acceptable to Catholics. Were we in very deed approaching the Church ? Had we unconsciously adopted principles which, if followed out, would require us to abandon our position in the Protestant world ? The question was worth settling, and we knew not how to settle it without applying to some living Catholic teacher. Accordingly, with many misgivings, after much internal conflict, and summoning up all our courage, we sought an interview with Bishop Fenwick. A young friend, who had been introduced to him, called with us ; we were shown into his room, our friend told him our name, and in a moment we were perfectly at our ease. A. lively conversation instantly ensued, on one subject and another, but with no direct reference to the point on which we wished to consult him. It was Holy Week ; his time was much taken up, and we forbore to prolong our interview beyond fifteen or twenty minutes. Requesting permission to call and see him again, when he should be more at leisure, we took our leave.
Certainly, nothing remarkable occurred in this interview ; nothing remarkable was said ; and yet we were strangely affected, and had a strong inclination, on taking our leave, to kneel and beg the Bishop's blessing. What affected us we could not have told, can hardly tell even now, and yet affected we were, and went out from his presence feeling that we were a different man from what we were on entering. We had remarked no extraordinary ability or acquirement, and what had been said on either side had been said in a lively and half-sportive strain. If one thing struck us more than another in the Bishop's character, it was his ease and agreeableness of manner, and his ready humor and pleasant wit. Yet there was, withal, so much tenderness, so much sweetness and simplicity of spirit, so much paternal sensibility, that he took instant possession of us, and we were never able afterwards to dismiss him from our mind or heart. Assuredly, on entering his room, we had no serious thought of becoming a Catholic ; but we left him with the full determination to return, as soon as he should be more at leisure, and solicit his instructions.

Certainly, we did not leave Bishop Fenwick with the impression that he was personally that remarkable man we subsequently found him. Indeed, while we were conversing with him, though he related an anecdote of himself, our thoughts were not fixed on him personally. He was not occupied with himself, and he did not permit you to be occupied with him. Persons were out of the question, and forgotten. He entered into no argument with us, and said nothing to flatter our vanity or self-love, and we went out humbled, not exalted, in our estimation. What, then, was the secret of his influence ? It was hard to say. But, in fact, the influence of the truly great man is always a puzzle, for you rarely see or suspect, at the moment, his real greatness. The men who strike u.s suddenly as great are, in general, men who are so only in this or that particular, and who, though calling forth our admiration, exert very little influence on our minds or hearts. They have certain prominences of character which arrest attention ; but on familiar acquaintance, they are almost always found to be wanting in many of the requisites of true greatness. The truly great man presents always, so to speak, an even surface, and fails, by his very greatness, to impress us at first sight with a sense of his superiority. One feels this in studying the character of Washington. His is a character of admirable proportions, remarkable for its completeness and integrity. Nothing projects from the rest, and it is only after long study and comparison that its real superiority begins to dawn upon us. It was so with Bishop Fenwick, in a remarkable degree. His character was admirably balanced ; the proportions were preserved throughout, and you were unconscious of its real superiority till you had measured the scale on which it was constructed. In company with him and others, you would often feel that he counted for the least present, till gradually you discovered that he was the life and soul of all that had been going on, and that, without intending it, without being conscious that he was doing it, he had moved each according to the operations of his own mind. Perfectly unassuming, void of all pretension, and anxious to make himself of no account, he was ever the master-spirit, and would have been, place him where or with whom you might. We have known intimately some of the most distinguished among .those our countrymen delight to honor, but in this respect we have never seen him surpassed, or even equalled.

It was over a year before we saw Bishop Fenwick for the second time. Immediately after Easter, be left Boston to attend the Provincial Council at Baltimore, and to spend some weeks on a visit to his friends in Maryland, his native State. Before he returned, we were engrossed with a new question. We could accept the Church, but hesitated to abjure Protestantism. We regretted that the Reformers, in the sixteenth century, had broken away from the Church, and set up rival and hostile communions of their own ; and we should have rejoiced, if it had been our lot to have been born and brought up in her communion. But when we came to reflect seriously on the matter, we found we could not join her communion, without saying, by our act, that we believed Protestantism to be an unsafe way of salvation. If salvation was attainable out of the Church, there could be no solid reason for joining her; if not, what was to be said of the whole Protestant world, and of those eminent Protestants whom we had been accustomed to love and honor as the glory of their age and race ? To assume that all these must be finally lost, if dying out of the pale of the Roman Catholic Church, was altogether more than we were prepared for. Could not an alternative be found ? Is there not some ground on which we may accept the Church, without abandoning our hope for our Protestant friends ? We spent a whole year in trying to discover some such ground ; but without any satisfactory success. Meanwhile, the matter began to assume a serious aspect, — began to come home to our own conscience. We had no lease of life ; we might, at any moment, be summoned to our last account ; and, if dying where we were, could we hope to see God ? There was no blinking the question ; and why, after all, should we peril our own salvation in debating whether our Protestant friends could or could not safely remain where they were ? Perhaps the greatest charity to them would be for us to obey God in his Church. Thus questioning with ourselves, but unable to come to any final decision, we thought we would once more call on Bishop Fenwick, propose to him the difficulty, and ascertain how ho would meet it.

This time we called alone. He received us in a frank and cordial manner, said he read our Review with attention, perceived that we were making some progress towards the Church ; but he was surprised that we objected to the Pope. " What can be your objections to the Pope ? " " I do not object to the Pope. Some time ago I was foolish enough to say, that the problem of the age is  Catholicism without Papacy ; but I no longer entertain that notion.    I have no objections to the Church, and the Church without the Pope would be  to  me  no  church at all."    "Why, then, arc you not a Catholic ?"    " I could be, were it not for these Protestants. I  do not like to say they are all wrong, and out of the way of salvation ; and if 1 could  discover some ground on which I could be a Catholic without saying so, 1 should have no difficulty."    " So that is  your difliculty.    Hut  why should that affect  you ?    If our  Lord has   established  his  Church,   and given her authority to teach, why should you  refuse  to obey him, till you satisfy yourself that you may disobey him with safety ?     God is just,   and  you  may  leave  your Protestant friends in his hands ; for he will  not punish them, unless they deserve it.    If they break the order he has established, obstinately refuse to  obey their lawful  pastors, and preach from their own head instead of his word, that is no good  reason for you to remain where you are, and neglect to make sure for yourself."    " True.     But I am not willing to believe that all who live and die out of the pale of the Roman Catholic Church must be finally lost.    I wish to be able to find some justification, at least some excuse, for the Protestant movement ; and it is this which has  kept me  back."    " The inquiry is no doubt an interesting one, but you find it, probably, somewhat difficult.    Have you thus far met with much success ? "    " I cannot say that I have, and I am almost afraid that I shall not succeed."    " It is not best to be hasty.    The question  is serious, and you will  do  well to  inquire further  and  longer. Perhaps you will find some excuse for the Protestant Reformation.    If you do, you will not fail to let me know it."
After some more conversation on the same topic, and on general subjects, and his assuring us that it would give him pleasure to have us call and see him when we found it convenient, we took our leave. A week later, we called again, and he lent us some books ; a fortnight later still, we called once more, and requested him to place us in charge of1 some one who would take the trouble to instruct and prepare us for admission into the Church. He immediately introduced us to bis coadjutor, now his successor, who readily charged himself with that task, and performed it with a patience and uniform kindness of which it does not become us to speak. The feelings of the convert towards the spiritual father who has poured on his head the regenerating waters, or heard the  story of his life, and in God's stead pronounced over him the words of absolution and reconciliation, are too sacred to be displayed.

What most impressed us, in this second interview with Bishop Fenwick, was the firm and uncompromising character of his Catholicity. He used not a single unkind word, in speaking of Protestants ; but with all our art, — and we did our best, — we could not extract from him the least conceivable concession. He saw clearly what held us back, and that we believed we were prepared to join the Church, if we could only have some assurance that individuals dying out of the pale of her communion need not necessarily be despaired of ; but neither by word nor tone did he indicate that he had any such assurance to give. He was a Catholic, heart and soul ; he had learned the Church as the way of salvation, but he had learned no other. What he had received, that could he give ; but nothing else. He was not the author of the conditions of salvation, and he would not take the responsibility of enlarging or contracting them. It was well for us that he was thus stern and uncompromising in his Catholicity. A man brought up a Protestant is apt to distrust the sincerity of another's faith, and, in general, looks upon a well educated and intelligent Catholic priest or bishop as acting a part, or merely speaking from his brief, without any firm conviction of what he professes. He also understands, in advance, that Catholicity is exclusive, and boldly asserts that salvation out of the pale of the Church is not possible. If, then, we had found him less uncompromising ; if we had perceived in him the least disposition to soften what seemed to us the severity of the Catholic doctrine, or to conceal or explain it away, we should have distrusted the sincerity of his faith, have failed to give him our confidence, and have lost what we had in his Church.

No man living better understood or appreciated the difference between charity and that spurious liberality which sometimes usurps its name, than Bishop Fenwick. His own heart was full of tenderness, literally overflowed with love to all men, and his- charity knew no bounds. There was nothing severe in his disposition. If he had a fault, it was in his inability to think ill of another. You could not make him believe ill of any one, especially of one who had done wrong to him. No matter how strong were the appearances, undeniable the facts, he would always find some excuse, and prove to you that you were doing the man injustice. But he had, nevertheless, no sympathy with that false liberality which fears to shock another's principles or cross his wishes. He knew that charity must often shock in order to save. In proportion to his tenderness, in proportion to the depth and fervor of his charity, did he feel it necessary to hold up the stern and naked truth, and to be studiously on his guard against dropping a single word which, through misapprehension, might tend to inspire a false confidence or induce an ungrounded hope. Wherever, then, he appeared stern and unbending, it was not from severity of temper, but from his ardent charity, his fidelity to God, and his earnest desire lo save souls.

Naturally, Bishop Fenwick was of a lively and playful disposition. He had an exlmustless fund of wit and humor, and his social qualities and conversational powers were-unrivalled. He relished a good joke, and could give and receive one with inimitable grace and delicacy. Yet his wit never left a sting ; no one enjoyed it more heartily than its victim, as we had often occasion ourselves to experience. His memory was slocked with a world of stories and anecdotes, which he would, in his moments of relaxation, relate with a grace and a charm which it would be as vain to attempt to describe as to imitate. We have listened with the intensest pleasure, for the hour together, and heard him relate anecdotes and stories with which we were perfectly familiar, and which we had ourselves previously related, perhaps a hundred times ; and we have heard him relate the same anecdote the twentieth time with as much pleasure as the first. He had the rare faculty of investing the familiar with novel charms, and he threw the hues of his own mind over whatever he touched. He was a great favorite with children, and it was difficult to determine whether he found the most pleasure in their society or they in his. It was beautiful to see the perfect sympathy between them. His own spirit was as playful, as light, as sunny, as guileless, as theirs, and he could at once touch their young hearts and gain their entire confidence. We were with him most of the afternoon of the Friday preceding his death. He was then all but dying, yet he was as cheerful, as playful, as we had known him when in perfect health ; and we sat for a long time and admired his sportiveness with a little girl, some four or five years old, who came with her mother to see him. At first he frightened her, made her tremble and cling closer to her mother ; then gradually he relaxed her fears, made her face brighten, and then laugh outright, — and all by his simple conversation. It was the last conversation of his to which we listened.

This playfulness at first deceived us, and made us draw inferences unfavorable to the depth and earnestness of his piety. We had not then learned that Catholics suppose our Lord meant what he said, when he told his disciples not to be as the hypocrites, who love to pray standing in the synagogues and the corners of the streets, and when they fasted, not to disfigure their faces, but to anoint their heads and wash their faces, so as not to appear unto men to be fasting, but to their Father in heaven. St. Matt. vi. 1 - 18. We have since learned that they do not regard the downcast look, the long face, and the sepulchral tone, to which we had been accustomed, as the peculiar marks of piety, and that they associate with religion ideas of cheerfulness and joy, not of sadness and gloom. A more really pious and devout man than Bishop Fenwick never lived, but he took as much pains to conceal his piety and devotion as Protestants do to display theirs. He, in fact, led a truly mortified life, but it was only by accident you were led to suspect it, and he would have been grieved to have had you suspect it at all.

Of Bishop Fenvvick as an intellectual man and a scholar we are not well qualified to speak. He was averse to all display, and was always so modest and unassuming that you were perpetually in danger of underrating him. Yet one was always sure to find his natural ability and his learning equal to the occasion, whatever it might be. His mind was evidently of a practical, rather than of a speculative cast. He had no special fondness for metaphysical studies and scholastic subtilties, but he was always at home in any speculative question which came up, and familiar with all the nice and subtile distinctions it might involve. His memory was remarkably tenacious, and was rarely at fault. He seemed to have read every thing, and to have retained all he read. We never, in our intercourse with him, knew a subject to be broached of which he was ignorant. He spoke several languages with ease and fluency, was an eminent classical scholar, and apparently familiar with the whole range o,f modern literature and science. No matter what the subject, however obscure or remote from his professional studies, on which you sought information, he could either give it or direct you at once to the source whence you could obtain it. That he was a sound divine, well read in dogmatic and moral theology, we suppose there can be no question ; but his favorite studies seemed to us to be history and geography, in both of which, whether general or particular, he excelled.

He had studied them extensively and profoundly. He seemed to have been present in all countries of the globe, and in all ages of the world. In history, he would not only give you the outlines of the history of a particular country, or of all countries, ancient or modern, but he would give you universal history, as a whole and in its details, in its causes, connections, and dependencies. He had been behind the curtain, in the secret cabinet-council, and had seen and mastered all the secret springs of events, great and small, and was able to trace those events out into all their ramifications and in their remotest consequences. Nothing had escaped him. In the history of his own country, which he loved as a Christian and a patriot, that is, with the affection of a son, wilhout being blind to the merits of others, he was, as may be supposed, well versed ; and he possessed a comprehensive and minute knowledge of all that concerned it, together with a multitude of details and anecdotes of its eminent men, from the earliest colonization down to the present moment, that would have made him an invaluable acquaintance to the learned and eloquent historian of the United States, who lately filled, with credit to himself, a seat in the national cabinet. He was, moreover, preeminently a business man, remarkable for his practical talents, as he evinced so clearly in the administration of his diocese, and which would have fitted him to govern a nation with equal ease and success. Upon the whole, he left on us the impression of a man of rare natural powers, of varied and profound learning, and of being the best informed man we had ever had the honor of meeting, although his native modesty and his humility concealed the fact that such was the case, as much as possible.

Bishop Fenwick could be, when he chose, a keen and subtile disputant, and he delighted to set those who were gathered round him to disputing ; but, for himself, he rarely argued, especially with the opponents of the faith. He was. of course, a perfect master of the controversy between Catholics and Protestants, but he was convinced that the best way to. reach the understanding is through the heart. It is not precisely argument the enemies of the Church most need, for their objections are less in the understanding than in the will. Their moral state is wrong ; their affections are misplaced, and it is therefore that their minds are darkened. To do them good, it is necessary to touch their hearts, and win their reason through love. Hence, he rarely resorted to argument with them. He heard them patiently, but generally replied by some appeal to
the heart and conscience. He consequently discouraged controversial preaching, and enjoined it upon his clergy to be plain and practical in their instructions, and to study first of all to make their own people earnest and devout Catholics. This is not only the best way of maintaining peace and harmony in a community where there are conflicting religious views, but really the best way of propagating the truth ; and it was his opinion that those sermons which are best adapted to send Catholics to their duties are the best to affect favorably the hearts of those who, unhappily, are out of the Church. Those of his own sermons which we had the happiness of hearing were plain and practical expositions of duty, or earnest and affectionate addresses of a loving father to the hearts and consciences of his children. They were marked by no display of learning, or even of eloquence ; and yet he could have been, if he had chosen, the first pulpit orator of the age. He had every requisite of the orator, the eye, the voice, the figure, and the manner, — a clear, rich, forcible, and elevated style, a ready command of language, extensive knowledge, an exhaustless fund of varied and felicitous illustration, a free, bold, earnest, and dignified delivery, appropriate and graceful action. But his natural modesty, his deep humility, his abiding sense of his responsibility as a shepherd of souls, made him shrink from whatever could look like display, and study to feed his flock rather than distinguish himself, and lead them to love and obey their Saviour rather than to lose themselves in admiration of their pastor.

We have spoken of Bishop Fenwick's humility. This was, perhaps, the most striking trait in his character. It gave to his whole character that placid beauty, and that inexpressible charm, which made his society so delightful, and which so endeared him to our hearts. He rarely spoke of himself, and when he did, it was always evident that his mind was not preoccupied with himself. He spoke of the transactions in which he had taken part, nay, in which he had been the sole actor, as if he had had no connection with them. He held no prominent place in his own eyes. He was not merely indifferent to praise, but seemed to have risen to that sublime degree of humility which takes pleasure in being contemned. He was happy in opportunities to humble himself the deeper before God. Through grace his spirit had become as sweet, as gentle, as docile, as that of the little child, of whom our Saviour said, — " Of such is the kingdom of heaven."    He had long ceased to live for himself, and he was incapable of thinking how this or that would or would not affect his own reputation. He chose always the lowest seat, and was anxious only to draw out and encourage others. He made himself nothing for Christ's sake, and was free and strong for whatever there was for him to do. it was a lesson and a blessing to contemplate one so truly eminent for his abilities and acquirements, able to rank with the greatest men and most learned scholars of the age, making himself of no account, completely annihilating himself, for the love of God and the good of souls, and emulous only of serving the lowest and assisting those who were most in need of being assisted. It abashed one's pride, made him ashamed of arrogating any thing to himself, and feel that nothing is truly estimable, save so far as consecrated to the greater glory of God.

It is hardly necessary to speak of this good father's tender solicitude for the flock committed to his charge. Every member was dear to him, and he took a lively interest in each one's concerns, temporal as well as spiritual. They were all his children, and no father's heart ever warmed with more generous affection, or overflowed with more tender solicitude. He lived only to serve them, and he brought all his energies to bear in devising ways and means to benefit them, both here and hereafter. Their joy was his joy, their sorrow was his sorrow. Especially was he the father of the poor. He gave every thing he had, even the very considerable estate he had inherited, and, if all were not amply provided for, it was only because his purse was not so large as his heart. He carried his kindness and paternal love even to those who did not always make a suitable return ; and possessed, preeminently, the power of rendering good for evil. No ingratitude ever discouraged him ; no unworthy recipients of his bounty ever induced him to abandon or reproach them. If, as rarely happened, some rude or violent member of his flock forgot what was due to their father, he felt no resentment, but melted in compassion for the offender. All who had any real or fancied grievances were permitted to tell their story in their own way, were listened to with patience, and dismissed with gentleness and the paternal blessing. Yet his remarkable patience and gentleness, so obvious to all who were in the way of observing his intercourse with all sorts of people, were the work of grace ; for we are inclined to think he was, naturally, somewhat impatient and irascible.    This trait in his character was, therefore, all the more beautiful, for it proved the victory of grace over nature. The victory was complete ; if nature showed sometimes a disposition to rebel, she was instantly suppressed, and nothing was seen but the meekness, gentleness, and forbearance of divine grace.

Bishop  Fenwick's consideration for the feelings of others was another beautiful trait in his character.    He could not bear to give the least pain to another, and he studied to hide his excessive tenderness under an affectation of harshness and severity,  which, however, only made it the more apparent.    He delighted to have his children, especially his clergy, around him, and was never happier than when they shared freely his boundless hospitality.    Nothing could be more delightful than to mark his kindness to them and their love and veneration for him.    Nothing was  constrained, nothing was cold or distant. It was truly the reunion of the father and his children.    No one was overlooked, no one was unwelcome ; and we have often admired the unaffected, the apparently unconscious, consideration shown to the feelings of each one present.    If one had been longer absent than usual, without any sufficient reason, or seemed to show that he doubted whether he was perfectly welcome or not, the conversation was always sure to take such a turn, and without any one's being able to  perceive  when  or how, as to make him certain that his absence had been regretted, and that, if any thing had occurred to wound his sensibility, it was unintended, and would be atoned for at any sacrifice.    All this was done so naturally, so spontaneously, so unconsciously, so from the  heart, that none but a very nice and practised observer could detect or suspect it.

He ever studied to make others happy, and his joy was always to see himself surrounded by glad hearts and smiling faces. He had had his trials, and trials of no ordinary severity ; he had met with many things, in the administration of his diocese, to grieve his paternal heart ; but he never permitted his own afflictions to cloud his brow, or that of another. With him all was smooth and sunny, and you imagined that he was free from all solicitude, and that no care ever oppressed him. This trait in his character was strikingly displayed all through his long and painful illness. He had naturally a vigorous constitution, and had always enjoyed robust health. In 1844, he assured us that he knew sickness only by seeing it in others. When, therefore, he was taken down in the early part of the last winter, we all felt, and he must himself have felt, that it
would most likely go hard with him, and that his recovery was, at best, extremely doubtful. But his habitual cheerfulness never for a moment deserted him. He knew how much we all loved him, and how painful it would be to his Hock to feel that he was suffering, and that there was danger that he would be removed from them ; and he made light of his disease, continued as playful as ever, compelling us to forget, when with him, that he was ill and dying. He rarely alluded to his illness ; answered to our inquiries, that he was well or very nearly well ; talked of matters and things in general, and of his plans for the Church, for his people, as if nothing ailed him, and really made one feel that his sufferings were but trifling. He would have no one afflicted on his account ; and up to the Saturday previous to his death sat in his usual place, talked in his usual lively and brilliant strain, and the stranger admitted to his table would not have dreamed that he was not in his usual health. And yet, none of this time was he free from suffering. For nine months he had not lain down, and had no means of resting himself but in changing from one chair to another.

They who knew him were not surprised that he bore his long, tedious, and painful illness without a single complaint, a single murmur, and that he manifested never the least impatience, but exhibited throughout the whole the most perfect gentleness and resignation ; for they expected no less. He felt that suffering was good for him, and he was thankful for it. If needed as a purgatory, it was better to have it here than hereafter ; if not so needetl, it would only afford the opportunity of acquiring a larger stock of merit. Death had and could have no terrors for him. To our remark, in the early stages of his sickness, that we were unable to look upon death as a thing to be dreaded, he mildly rebuked us, and replied, " It is a great thing to die " ; but when the opinion of the physicians was communicated to him, that his disease must prove fatal, he exhibited not the least emotion, not the slightest change of look, tone, or manner. He said his own opinion was different, but it was best to act as if it were not. He subsequently rallied, and many thought he would recover ; those who saw him daily, and knew the nature of his disease, thought otherwise. But when he was taken down for the last time, on Saturday previous to the Tuesday on which he died, — when it
must die, he was evident to all  that his departure was at hand, and Bishop Fitzpatrick told him that hope was gone, and he exhibited no more emotion than on the former occasion. He simply replied, calmly and in his usual tone, " In the name of God, then, let us prepare." He recollected himself for a few moments, and then made his confession and received the last sacraments. From that time till Tuesday forenoon, his sufferings were great and almost unremitted, but he bore them without a murmur, without a groan ; was cheerful as usual, and consoled those of his children around him as long as the power of speech remained.

Of his truly edifying death we cannot speak in detail. It was what was to have been expected from his life. He retained his faculties and his recollection to the last moment. He knew the change that was taking place, but it did not take him by surprise. All his life had been but a preparation for it, yet he made all the acts and preparations the time and the occasion required. He who had never left him, who, through all his sickness, had nursed him with the tender affection of the son and the tenderer charity of the Christian, stood by him, whispering suitable aspirations in his ear, which he repeated after him. His last words were, " In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in teternum." As he repeated the words, half formed, the agony seized him ; he stretched forth his hands as if for absolution and the last indulgence, which were given ; some one thought they hear 1 him respond, " Amen"; the agony was over ; the spirit was emancipated, and its joy was reflected on that countenance which had been so dear to us all.

We have nothing more to add. His monument is in the grateful recollections of his people, whom he fed with the bread of life, and governed with equal affection and wisdom for over twenty years. Everywhere in his diocese we may read the proofs of his paternal solicitude, his wisdom and energy, his devotion to the people of his charge, and of his having lived and labored with no thought but for the greater glory of God, and the advancement of the Church. He has stamped his character on his diocese, and his influence will continue to be felt till that day comes when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the heavens and the earth be dissolved. He found his diocese with only three small churches, and one priest ; he leaves it with nearly fifty churches, and as many priests. His flock was poor, small, and scattered ; his means, saving his paternal inheritance, all of which he expended for the Church, were to be created. Yet he succeeded in creating them, and, to no small extent, in providing for the wants of his diocese. He relieved the poor, paid especial attention to the education find training of the young, and finally crowned his well-spent life with the erection of that noble monument to his love of learning and his zeal for his people, the College of the Holy Cross, at Worcester, destined to be, if the youngest, yet the first, of the noble literary institutions of New England, and where the grateful student long shall kneel at his tomb, and pray that he may be like him, and his last end like his.

His remains, on the Thursday after his death, were carried in procession, an immense concourse of people following, from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to the railroad depot, from there on the cars to the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, where they were deposited agreeably to his wish and his special request, llequicscat in pace. Take him all in all he was such a man as Heaven seldom vouchsafes us. It will be long before we look upon his like again. But he has been ours ; he has left his light along our pathways ; he has blessed us all by his pure example and his labors of love, and we are thankful. We bless God that he gave him to us ; we bless God that he has seen fit to remove him from his labors to his rest.

Not Catholics alone wept his removal. Our whole city seemed to feel that one of her firmest supports was taken away. Religious differences and prejudices for the moment were hushed, for it was felt that God was speaking. The conduct of our citizens during his sickness and the funeral obsequies was what we expected from Bostonians, and induced many a regret that they are not more generally members of thatCliurch which alone can exalt their proverbial philanthropy into charity, and give to their benevolence and energy a direction safe for themselves and glorious for humanity.

Bishop Fenwick is succeeded by his former coadjutor, the Right Reverend John Bernard Fitzpatrick, a native Bostonian, born November 1, 1812. He received his early education in the public schools of this city ; he made his humanities and philosophy at Montreal, Canada, and his theology at the Seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris. He was selected by Bishop Fenwick to succeed him, and we may be permitted to trust that not all of the father we have lost will disappear in the one we have found. Long may his life be spared to us, and, when called to the reward of his labors, may he be followed by the tears and benedictions of his people ! The Church is now firmly established in this diocese ; the principal obstacles have been overcome ; and its course will be constantly onward, if Catholics are only careful to practise the requirements of their holy religion.