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Sick Calls

Brownson's Quarterly Review, January, 1852.

Art. V. - Sick Calls: from the Diary of a Missionary Priest. By the Rev. Edward Price, M. A. New York: D. & J. Sadlier & Co. 1851. 24mo. pp. 388.

This is an American reprint of an English work by the Rev. Edward Price, formerly editor, we believe, of Dolman's Magazine. It appears to have been suggested by a work which enjoyed some popularity a few years since, entitled Passages from the Diary of a Physician. It is written with more than ordinary literary taste and ability, and the sev­eral scenes it sketches, most of them undoubtedly drawn from the life, are intensely interesting. They could have been sketched only by a missionary priest, of large expe­rience among the poor and the vicious of our modern com­mercial cities, although it is evident that the author has, borrowed much of the grouping and coloring from his own lively imagination.

The author has laid bare the moral wounds festering in our modern overgrown cities, and perhaps has given us even too vivid a picture of the vice and immorality with which the faithful missionary necessarily becomes ac­quainted in the discharge of his duty. But he seems to have done it from pure and praiseworthy motives, for the purpose of showing the power of religion to heal the worst moral maladies, to triumph over the hardest hearts, and to relieve and console the most miserable of our race. He manifests great tenderness to the fallen, and suffers no moral leprosy to disgust him with a soul for whom our Lord has died; and he everywhere shows a tendency to excuse the depraved, and to find in the most abandoned some tokens of grace. He has no sourness, no harshness; but, as is invariably the case with the true priest, the deeper the wounds, the greater the sinner, the more does his heart open to him, and the warmer flows his charity, to rescue him from his degradation, to cleanse his soul, to make him whole, and prepare him for the banquet of di­vine love. This is as it should be. Sinners are gained by love, and won over to our Lord, not by severity, but by the infinite tenderness of the Gospel.

Some of our occasional readers may be surprised to hear us say this, for we are supposed by not a few to have no bowels of compassion, to be dry, hard, severe, unrelenting. Perhaps we are, and whether so or not is of no importance to the public. Yet there is an obvious distinction between severity in the enunciation of principles, and harshness in their application to individuals. Principles, Christian doc­trines, dogmas of faith, are not ours, they are our Master's, and are strict, unbending, and immutable. When we are called upon to proclaim these, we have no option with re­gard to them; we have no right to harden or to soften them; we must proclaim them as they have been taught us, with unswerving and scrupulous fidelity, let them con­demn whom they may. If it is our office to declare the law, we must declare it according to the mind of the Law­giver. But in the application of the law to the condemna­tion of this or that individual, we must always lean to the side of mercy, and give him the benefit of every extenuat­ing circumstance; and even when we must condemn him, we cannot be too careful to show that it is the law that condemns him, not a poor, frail mortal like himself.

As laymen and reviewers, we have nothing to do with the application of the law to individual cases; we are only permitted to defend the truth against error, to speak, under correction of our pastors, of the law, and its condemnation of those who break it. We may say, Out of the Church there is no salvation, because the Church has herself so de­fined; we may pronounce Protestantism a damnable heresy, for the Church has anathematized it, and even natural reason rejects it; we may assert that no Protestant, living and dying a Protestant, can ever see God, and therefore declare all who are Protestants are out of the way of sal­vation, because the Church says it, and we, in being re­ceived into her communion, promised to say as much. To say this, and to add that none but Catholics can under any circumstances be saved, is in these days regarded as harsh, even cruel; and if we do so, it is supposed by many Catho­lics as well as heretics, that we forget the charity of the Gospel, and neglect that mercy with which we should al­ways temper judgment. But it should be borne in mind, that in saying this we are not judging, but simply repeat­ing the revealed and declared judgments of God, which are not our judgments, but the law or rule according to which we are to form our judgments. Whether the truths we repeat are harsh or not, the responsibility does not rest on us; but we know no right that any man has to suppose it possible for God to be harsh, severe, or unkind. St. Peter says, expressly, that there is no other name than that of Jesus under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved. Neither is there salvation in any other. God was not obliged to save any man, and all salvation is the free gift of God, for we are saved by grace. God could, with­out any right of complaint on our part, fix the conditions on which he would or would not save those who had sin­ned against him. If he has fixed those conditions, and de­clared that he will save none who are not joined to the communion of his Church, it is not harshness, but simple charity, to tell the truth, and say distinctly and energeti­cally, Out of the Church there is no salvation. We should be wanting in charity if we did not.

The charge of severity against those who insist on the doctrine of exclusive salvation, which the Church unquestionably teaches, arises from confounding the stern and un­flinching statement of what the law is with its application to individuals. "Other sheep have I," says our Lord, "who are not of this fold; them also must I bring." The Lord knoweth them that are his, and we are never at liber­ty to say that none are elected but those already in the Church. Nor are we at liberty, without supernatural reve­lation, to pronounce on the future fate of even those who have apparently died out of the Catholic communion. If they really died out of that communion, we know they are lost; but whether they did so die or not, in all ordinary cases, it is not for us to judge. We know the law, and we know it admits in this case of no exception, of no dispen­sation; but we do not know but this or that individual, whom we supposed obnoxious to its penalty, may not, in a way we know not, have been brought in reality into the fold before the soul was separated from the body. We may, indeed, have no reason to believe it, but as it was possible, we cannot say that it was not so, and therefore we cannot pronounce on its doom. As long as there is life there is hope, and therefore we can never say of any living man that he will certainly go to hell; and as we know not the actual state in which any particular soul has left the body, we cannot say that any particular departed soul is damned, although we may have strong reasons for believing, and none for not believing it. Our judgments here must be conditional, not absolute, and we must stop with saying of the living, if they die heretics or infidels they cannot be saved, and of the dead, if they have died in heresy or infidelity they arc damned.

In regard to sin of every description, in teaching, in lay­ing down the law, we must always be most rigid, for the law knows no compromise, and the judgment is certain if the sin is incurred; and here is as far as we can go. The priest, indeed, can go farther; he is appointed to judge those sinners who come to him and confess or accuse themselves of their sins. But in judging them, while he holds the law in its strictness, he takes note of all the cir­cumstances of the acts confessed, and is careful to give thc self-accused the benefit of whatever may tend to extenuate his offence. He tempers his judgment with mercy, and takes good care that he does not pronounce a heavier pen­alty than has been actually incurred. Moreover, knowing the frailty, thc rottenncss, of human nature, the seductions of the world, and the temptations of Satan, he will even when he must condemn, and it would seem even in pro­portion as he must condemn, melt in tenderness to the poor sinner, and clasp him to his bosom with a supernatu­ral charity. We apprehend that confessors feel the great­est tenderness for those penitents who have had the great­est sins to confess, the deepest and most loathsome moral wounds to disclose. The penitent, all polluted with sin, who has nothing but a long catalogue of the most loath­some moral diseases to lay bare before his confessor, is the least likely to be rudely repulsed, and is the most sure of being treated with tenderness, and having the most favorable construction put upon his sins that they will bear. The tribunal of Penance is established in mcrcy, and solely to heal the wounds of the soul, and to cleanse it from its pol­lutions; and God gives to his ministers the graces that fit them to make it not only effectual, but even attractive to those who need and will frequent it.

In our various degrees, we all in judging, not of sin it­self, not of its inherent malignity, but of individuals, are to aim at the same supernatural charity, and to overflow with real love and tenderness towards those whom we re­gard as sinners. Our Lord did not refuse to eat with pub­licans and sinners, for he came to call not the just, but sin­ners, to repentance, The humble publican, who smites on his heart, and exclaims, " God be merciful to me a sinner!" is preferred to the proud Pharisee, who stands and enu­merates his virtues, and thanks God that he is not as other men. Not always are those the world brands with infa­my the most guilty before God; and who are we that we should be harsh and unrelenting to our fellow-men, how­ever depraved they may be? Who of us has not had, and has not had every day, nay, a hundred times a day, to say, " God be merciful to me a sinner"? We may not have fallen so low as this poor brother or sister, but dare we say that we should not have fallen even lower, if we had been equally tempted, or equally exposed? Alas! no one can boast over another, and no one has any thing whereof to glory, but thc cross of Christ which redeemeth from sin. Severe, then, as we ourselves arc and must be in the work we are permitted to perform, and perhaps in, our personal disposition, for no man thoroughly knows his own heart, we like that tone of tenderness to sinners, and even aggra­vated sinners, which pervades this little volume. The au­thor contrives to make us love the sinner, and ready to die for him, without making us in the least tolerant of his sin. He makes us weep with the sinner, and rejoice with him as the waters of penance wash away his pollutions and permit us to see his soul, resplendent through the grace of the Sacramcnt with supernatural purity and loveliness.
Yet perhaps the author makes a little too much of the merely human sentiments. The distinguishing mark of the disciples of Christ is love; and this love a large portion of the uncatholic world translate into philanthropy, and another portion into mere family affections, and not a few, we fear, into a lower species of love still. We have these errors to guard against. The love which is the badge of the Christian is not sensual love, is not merely a human sentiment, whether called philanthropy or any thing else, but charity, a supernatural love, not possible save in a heart that has been regenerated and elevated by Divine grace, and which consists in loving God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves in and for him. It presupposes faith, therefore belief of the truth, and is never found out of the Church of God. The human sentiments, which are not elevated by grace, and which are purely within thc natural order, are of no value in relation to our final des­tiny, and, even though not sinful in themselves, seldom fail, owing to our corrupt nature, to become a temptation and a snare to those who indulge them. Philanthropy, as we see it now displayed, serves only to suggest vague and im­practicable schemes of reform, and to convulse the world with rebellion and revolution, ending only in anarchy or despotism. Sentiment is almost sure, if indulged, to be­come lust, and to pave the way for wide-spread licentious­ness and impurity. We have, therefore, to be extremely cautious, in these times, how we appeal to the natural sen­timents of the human heart, and use words which the world will apply to them, though we may apply them in our own minds to truly Christian affections and virtues. Our great danger is from naturalism, and we must, there­fore, be careful, in season and out of season, to insist on the supernatural affections of the Gospel.

The author, in this work, though by no means indiffer­ent to exterior refinement and the supposed advantages of wealth and worldly cultivation, leaves an impression on the reader most favorable to the poor, and especially, Englishman as he is, to the Irish poor. In studying his sketches, we feel of how little value is this world and what pertains to it, even in relation to our positive comfort and enjoyment in this life. Faith, and piety, and trust, seem to have no little power in sustaining our physical as well as spiritual existence, - a power to multiply the widow's handful of meal and cruse of oil to an abundance far more precious than the rich in general possess. How these poor, pious people live is a marvel to us; yet they do live, and often render large assistance to others of their own class. they never repine, never murmur, and seem to live con­stantly in the presence of God. We cite here a few pages from "Death-beds of the Poor."

"God bless the poor Irish! Their hearts warm to their clergy; there is a rough sublimity in their attachment to their faith, in their deep reverence for its ordinances, in their almost impassioned wel­come of its ministers, that throws a halo of religious beauty over their too often met with squalid poverty. I feel at home with them at once. I feel at the instant their father and their friend.

"Though Judy Flannagan may be nothing more than a poor Covent-Garden basket-woman, yet when the asthma is bad, ­brought on from her tramping sturdily, and in all weathers, under a load of vegetables that would make the strongest porter pause ere he encountered its enonormous weight, - still Judy Flannagan is one of nature's gentlewomen, frank, blithesome, and merry; pa­tient, resigned, and most devout; vulgar-looking, certainly, to some fastidious tastes, in her half-male, half-female attire, her crushed and faded old bonnet, and her short dudeen, ever pendant from her large and eloquently formed mouth, Judy smokes; small blame to her. She works like a horse, and in all weathers. It is her only luxury, save a strong cup of tea. She has taken the pledge, and kept it faithfully. Judy is a childless widow; her boys and girls have all died; but she has reared an orphan child, whom she picked up one night half dead with the cold and the hunger, and has given it all a mother's warm and affectionate tending. Judy has also a little pusheen, whom she rescued, when a kitten, from some wicked urchins, who were worrying it to death with a coster­monger's spiteful terrier. Pussy is now a fine, handsome, well ­behaved cat, and Judy is not a little proud or her favorite; and nothing pleases the old lady better in her evenings of rest, after her day's gallop under her heavily-freighted basket,than to sit sipping her tea with pussy in her lap, and the little orphan child at her knee, reciting with sweet and serious earnestness his page of cate­chism for tho ensuing duy. Sho sends little Tim to our large and well-conducted school; and she bids him pray, morning, noon, and night, for the good ladies and gentlemen who subscribe to such an excellent charity,

"Judy is now eight and fifty years old, but is hale and hearty, barring an occasional touch of asthma, and an impression on her heart, which comes on periodically upon the anniversary of her de­ceased husband's death. She then invariably stays at home, sports a bit of well-preserved crape about her cap, and says her beads all day, and most devoutly, for the repose of his soul. On that night she gives a solemn lecture to the light-hearted, laughing little Tim, as he cuddles up to his' granny's' knee, and whose curly-pated little brow she kisses, with many a tear, with many a fond Irish phrase of endearment. Her fondness for that child is wonderful. She knew his history. He was a child of shame. He was the offspring of a farmer's daughter of her own town-land in Ireland, who was betrayed and ruined by a villain, who had promised her marriage, but who never fulfilled his pledge. The poor girl fled from her home, followed her seducer to London, but all to no avail. She lay-in at a poor lodging-house for Irish tramps, was neglected, and died broken-hearted. The child was shifted about from one neighbor to the other; was alternately starved and petted, until it crawled forth, in the absence of its rough and temporary guardian, to a neighboring court, where old Judy found it; and who, on learning its history, deposited the chubby infant in that well-worn repository, the empty basket on her head, and trudged stoutly home with her precious freight to her little snug parlor in Bedfordbury. I have a faint recollection that, upon this eventful finding of the grandson of her gossip, she rapt out a very suspicious oath, that as long as she had a bit and a sup to share, little Tim should be no ways beholden to anyone for his support. Right faithfully has she kept her word. As regular us clock-work Judy comes to my confessional every Saturday night, and receives, each Sunday morning, the Holy Sacrament. She has long made a beautiful preparation for heaven: God grant that she may get there, and pray for her director, if he should survive her.

"Judy has had this last week a bad attack of asthma, is confined to her bed, and consequently out of work. A few shillings this afternoon made the old creature's heart and lips most eloquent with grateful thanks.

"But my ministrations were not confined to her. My list of sick calls was long, and extended to many remote and squalid locality. In many of these visits, my inner mind was fed with many a thank­ful thought, with many a prayer of gratitude to God, on beholding the bright evidences of piety in the sick and virtuous poor, - in those who forgot not God in the days of their youth, who persevered through the hard working days of manhood; and who, in the gray­haired, decrepit day of old age, sick and patient, resigned and dy­ing, have so joyfully received the Church's last solemn and com­forting administrations. God's peace and benison be with them! They, and such as they, are my greatest comfort; the holy souls whose last peaceful moments I feel the greatest reverence, the greatest hope, in witnessing. In them I feel most the wondrous power of my sacred ministry. In their upturned, dying gaze of reverential love, - in their deep, sorrowful, and earnest tone of contrition for the past, and entire resignation to God, - committing, with childlike, most innocent confidence, the departing souls to the God that made them, saved them, preserved them, and sustained them to that terrible hour of nature's dread and last conflict with ever impending death, - in their last yearning, pitiful look of love to their weeping children, - in their tender and most Christian-like exhortation to them to lead good lives, to love their holy faith, - in their peculiar and most touching piety in receiving the last sacraments of the Church; - in all this I have great joy, and wonderful compensation for the fatigues, and annoyances, and risks I run in attending the sick beds of the poor.
" And even when the dying Catholic has led any thing but a Christian life, but has been favored by God's mercy with long and protracted illness, - when the mind has had time to enter into itself, - when the great truths of eternity have had time and oppor­tunity to penetrate into that hitherto closed heart, and sow in that hitherto sterile soil the seeds of true repentance, - and when those blessed seeds of repentance have been watered daily, and hourly, and nightly, by tears of true contrition and bewailment, - when the deep and darkened well of ignorance and despair has beert sounded and enlightened by the bright and searching rays of God's ineffable faith and grace, and that cold and stony heart been warmed and softened with the merciful influences of the omnipresent, all-merciful Redeemer, - the change is as great and glorious and consolatory as that upon which the two chosen sisters of Israel gazed, - the resurrection of Lazarus from his four days' de­tention in the grave."-pp. 274-279.

It is the prayers of these poor Irish, perhaps, of that poor apple-woman that sits meekly and uncomplainingly day after day, in all weathers, at the corner of the street, wait­ing almost in vain for a customer for her scanty supply of fruit, saying as it were her beads from morning to night, that will bring down the blessings of God upon our coun­try, and make us a Christian people. We import rare and costly merchandise from all countries, but the most pre­cious freightage our ships bring home is these poor, pious Irish men and women, who, if they have nothing else, are rich in grace, and have learned every thing worth learning, in having learned to pray.
We glanced the other day in-to a Protestant newspaper, The Christian Register, we believe, in which the editor was contrasting the little labor and large incomes of our clergy with the great labor and small incomes of Protestant min­isters. We would recommend him to read the following sketch of" A Missioner's Sunday Work."
"Weighed down, frequently exhausted, by his heavy and laborious duties; a London priest is but ill prepared to meet the increased exertions of the Sunday, and especially the duties of the pulpit. I will exemplify this by briefly narrating one Sunday's work, which I went through in the month of May, three years ago.

"I must first premise, that I heard the confessions of nearly a hundred penitents the evening before, and that it was past midnight before I retired to rest, completely fatigued, and longing for a good night's sleep, to set me up for the labors of the ensuing day. I was not, however, thus to be gratified. I had been asleep little more than an hour, when my dreamless slumbers were rudely disturbed by a sick call of an urgent nature. It was one of my penitents, who was dying. Go I must; so, hurrying on my clothes, I got ready my ritual, the holy oil, and the pix, containing the blessed Sacrament. It was a miserable, stormy night, and about two o'clock when I started. The poor dying man resided in a little street near the New Road, that was nearly two miles distant. There was no cab to be found in any of the neighboring stands, so, buttoning my great-coat tight, 1 trudged on as fast as the gusty wind allowed me.

"At length, after a long and weary walk, I reached my poor penitent. I had attended him a few days previous, and heard his confession. Happy it was I did so. His malady had gained rapidly and fearfully upon him. He was now speechless: he wished to say something more in confession, but could not. A low, inar­ticulate moaning was all I heard. His countenance, pale, anxious, and bedewed with the agony of approaching dissolution, was at times fearfully convulsed. He clasped and wrung his emaciated hands together, raised himself partially in his bed, and when he could not make himself understood, fell back on his pillow, with anguish stamped on every fading lineament. His hearing, however, was perfect, and to each question I propounded he answered by signs. I remained long with this poor, dying brother. By de­grees his agitation lessened; his features lost their haggard restless­ness, - a look of calm and holy resignation succeeded his former troubled state of mind; and as I read in a low and distinct tone the beautiful and consolatory prayers of the Church, previous to administering the last sacraments for the dying, big and to me blessed tears flowed plentifully down his wasted cheeks. That heart, so soon to be stilled by the mighty hand of death, was now reconciled to its Father and its God. A look of meek and unrepining resignation, of an entire trust in the merits of his only Re­deemer, stole over his face, like a dying sunset on a wasted land, when he received for the last time Him who died for his sins on the cross.

"He was much spent when I applied the holy anointing, but his lips moved ceaselessly in prayer. The last blessing, and solemn Plenary Indulgence for the dying, completed my ministerial duties; and, with a few earnest exhortations to resign himself with a humble yet pious confidence to the mercy of his God, I returned to my home and my bed.

"It was long before I got to sleep. I thought again find again on the dying scene I had witnessed. I thought again and again on the folly of those who delay their repentance to their last hour. Happy it was for that poor dying man, that he had repented, confessed in time; for in his death hour speech was denied him. I thought over, in sadness of heart, of the many whom I had attended in their last hour, who were like him thus similarly afflictcd; who had lost the power of confessing their sins, but who, for many years, had lived strangers to their religious duties. They had lived the usual lives of sinners, reckless, unrepenting, confident that all would be well with them at their last hour; but when that last hour came, they sank overwhelmed with that stern and holy truth: 'As a man lives, so shall he die.'

"A shuddering came over me, as I thus recollected on the miserably unprepared state in which a soul, so stained with crime, so unpurified by repentance, is thus hurried suddenly before its God. Four o'clock struck,- then five, and I fell asleep. At seven I was called to hear confessions. I arose, tired and unrefreshed; my head throbbing, and very much inclined to sleep the whole day: but it might not be. Duty, imperative duty, was before me, and the day's toil began again.

"I heard confessions till nine: I then said mass. Now, I thought, I should have a quiet hour to prepare and recollect my thoughts for my approaching sermon at eleven. No such thing. In the middle of my breakfast there came another sick call. It was a sore trial for my patience; for through a press of business, through being very unwell, I had thought little of my approaching sermon. But the sick call must be attended to, and I went. It was a melancholy, though too frequent case; one of delirium tremens. Drink, miserable drink, had reduced an unhappy man to the last stage of premature decay. He possessed the wreck of once noble features; had been once in affluence, but drink, insa­tiate drink, had thus prematurely destroyed him. He, too, was on his death bed, but he knew it not; his consciousness had deserted him. He was in bed, and his wasted form exhibited, in all its hideousness, the staring wildness and restless, unappeasable anxiety that characterize his malady, as well as the universal trembling whence it derives its name. The tendons of his hands and arms were spasmodically convulsed. His knees were sometimes, for a few minutes, drawn up to his chin, and then his feet would be thrown forwards with extraordinary force, and at times, lilm the fatal disorder tetanus, or lock-jaw, the body would form an arch, resting on the head and the heals. The most mournful and appall­ing groans would then issue from his dark and crusted lips, - more like the expiring howl of a wild beast, than the voice of agony from a human being. Alas that an immortal being should thus live, should thus die!

"It was a quarter to eleven when I reached home, with my nerves completely unstrung by the terrible scene I had just wit­nessed. But, nerves or no nerves, I must preach my sermon, and in twenty minutes I had a glimmering of what I intended to say. I entered the pulpit; the chapel was intensely hot, - thermometer at ninety-two. A severe headache, great languor, and mental de­pression, gave me indifferent grounds of hope that I should make even a tolerable discourse. However, God in his infinite mercy strengthened me for the contest. As I proceeded, and warmed Wilh my subject, my languor left me, my ideas shaped themselves clearer in my mind, and I preached a few home truths on the evils of a death-bed repentance. But if any strangers had been present, they would have little thought on what I had gone through before preaching that sermon.

"Human nature, however, is seldom outraged with impunity. My powers of mind and body had been taxed beyond their strength; for an hour I felt thoroughly prostrate, but fresh duties were to be performed; I had to christen at a quarter pust one. I descended to the hot and reeking chapel, scarcely able to sland, and baptized about ten children. This long ceremony over, I played with a bit of dinner, for I was too faint to eat. At three, vespers. Afler vespers, I heard several confessions. Scarcely had my last peni­tent departed, when a violent ring at the door-bell told me plainly enough there was a sick call. I was right. Away I had to go, post haste, to a dying woman. She, poor thing, died before I reached her. I found her on her humble bed, the room full of weeping relatives; the bereaved hushand bowed down by hopeless grief, and a stillborn infant by the sidc of its dead mother. This was another trying scene to go through and it is in scenes like these that the consolatory power of religion is so admirably shown. I made them all kneel down, while I read the prayers for a depart­ed soul; and while they prayed the mercy of Heaven for that departed soul, though they wept much, they were comforted.

"It was now six o'clock, and I had the evening service to per­form, and to preach at seven. There was no time to be lost, so I took a cup of tea, and buckled myself to my task. But it is severe mental labor to summon your languid thoughts to their post of duty, when sinking under long continued and excessive fatigue. But mind triumphed over matter. I got through the long evening service, preached as usual, without showing any signs of distress, though I was nearly fainting several times. The evening service over, I had again several confessions to hear, - those of poor ser­vant-girls, who are only allowed to attend their chapel on a Sabbath night.

"The reader may now imagine my hard day's work was over. No such thing. I had all my office to recite; for until then I had not a minute of the day to myself. It was eleven when I finished. Then came another sick call; and at twelve I retired to rest, as tired and exhausted as any individual in her Majesty's dominions.

"Now, in penning this sketch, I entreat the reader to believe that I am uninfluenced by any miserable feeling of vanity in thus publish­ing the details of a Sunday's missionary toil. I have selected this Sunday, because the events, from several causes, are better fixed in my memory than others; but I have passed many such Sundays, and some of them of even much greater severity. I do not even publish it to the world as any thing uncommon or out of the way. Many of my respected brethren in London do usually as much, and some even more, as their average routine of Sunday work. They might, as a body, justly challenge a safe competition for pious, and well-regulated, and persevering priestly exertion, with any ec­clesiastics in Christendom. But in humility and silence they have done their appointed work, and they have done it well. They have won, by their own personal piety, by their unwearied zeal and exertions, the respect, the gratitude and unshaken affections, of their flocks. But they look not for their reward on earth; they humbly expect it in heaven." - pp. 290 - 297.

What would one of our Boston ministers say to such a Sunday's work, and yet it is only an ordinary Sunday's work of many a Catholic priest in our midst. The Protes­tant minister hardly knows the meaning of "a sick call," and rarely is he ever required or expected to visit his sick parishioners at unseasonable hours, or when fatigued by other labors, or weary with doing nothing. As for incomes, it is enough to say, that the Church of England alone has a larger revenue than the whole Catholic Church througb­out the world. The Protestant minister has, no doubt, to perform much hard work, and endure much wear and tear of mind and body, as well as of conscience; but it is so not because the work itself is much, but because the poor minister has to do it himself alone, without any of those gracious helps from above which render the heaviest labor light.

Our Protestant editor, in the same article, complains of our clergy because they visit their people mainly for spirit­ual purposes, and make more of providing for the soul than for the body. He is greatly scandalized that we have in Boston, for instance, so many poor Catholics, and that our clergy, in visiting them, look after their spiritual rather than their worldly interest. He is of opinion, that the first care of the priest should be to attend to thc bodies of his people, remove their poverty, set them up, and help them to be­come well to do in the world, and look to their souls or spiritual interests, if at all, afterwards. He is displeased that our missionaries in China take so much pains to bap­tize children exposed by their parents, and near dying, in­stead of laboring to remove the poverty which causes the exposure. In all this we see that he is a true Protestant, and has a great concern for the body, and very little for thc soul. If the body is only provided for, the soul, he seems to think, may be left to shift for itself. We wish he would tell us where our clergy are to get the means to remove all the poverty of the thousands flooding into thc country, reduced to want by Protestant oppression and misrule in Ireland; and what our missionaries could do in China, where they have hardly ever been able to appear without being doomed to martyrdom, to improve the public and private economy of that over-peopled empire. But, after all, we do not remember that our Lord ever promised to remove poverty and want from the world, or that he ever gave his Church a commission to make all men rich in this world's goods; we are not aware that the Catholic clergy are under any special obligation to take care of paupers, or that they any more than Protestants can be called upon to relieve the bodily wants even of the Catholic poor. In olden times, when the public made the clergy their almoners, they took care of the poor, and they would do it now and in this community, if it chose to intrust them with the means, and at a tithe of what it now costs. It is the duty of wealth to contribute to the wants of the poor, and the wealth of this community is in the hands of thc Protestant ministers and their Protestant friends.

It is worthy of note, that, though the Church has only a spiritual mission, and is charged especially only with the salvation of souls, yet in all countries where she is not op­pressed or persecuted the wants of the poor are amply provided for. You will look in vain in Austria, Italy, or Spain, or even France, for such squalid poverty as meets you in London, Dublin, Glasgow, Boston, and New York. Protestants, even though attending primarily to the body, and perhaps because caring for it at the expense of the soul, are responsible for the greater part of the abject poverty of the modern world. The most frightful pov­erty to be met with is in countries ruled by Protestants. There may be much of this poverty among the Catholic subjects of Protestant governments, and if so, it is be­cause those governments have never given them an equal chance with their Protestant subjects. The Catholic poor in this country were made poor before they came here, and most of them by the skill and energy, in oppressing and brutifying, of your boasted Anglo-Saxon race, or that "bul­wark of the Protestant religion," Great Britain. And, after all, what does Protestantism do for the poor? In Ireland and in this country it is willing to do something for poor Catholics, on condition that they consent to become Prot­estants, - to sell their souls for a mess of pottage. But in general it has done nothing to increase the wealth or to diminish the poverty of the world. Great Britain and the United States have the appearance of being wealthy, be­cause they have mortgaged posterity; but neither of them is wealthy enough to pay its public and private debts. Let credit be suspended, and there be no longer the means of taxing future generations for the support of the present, and let each be called upon to settle up its accounts with futurity, and they would both be found insolvent, and Great Britain would be unable to transmit as much value to the next generation as she received from Catholio Eu­rope. Both have borrowed more from the future than either has enhanced the capital it inherited. Your vast commerce, and your industrial establishments for the fabrication of luxuries, have done nothing to enrich you, and, in an economical point of view, have been worse than a dead loss. So much for neglecting the soul and living for the body.

But we are very free to confess that our clergy do labor for the soul rather than the body of their flocks, and are far more attentive to their spiritual than to their bodily wants, for they are Christians, not heathens or carnal Jews, and they have a firm faith that, though a man should gain the whole world and lose his own soul, it would profit him nothing. Strange as it may seem to Protestant ministers, our clergy do not regard their ministry as a sham, and their services as useless. They believe that their ministry is from God, and that their services are really necessary in the Divine economy of salvation. He who, by baptizing one exposed infant just ready to die, has secured the ad­mission of a soul to the beatific vision of God, has thus gained for it an eternity of bliss, which infinitely outweighs all the worldly good of the whole human race from the be­ginning to the end of time. The loss of one soul is a greater 1oss than the loss of all the material wealth of the universe; and would you have our clergy devote themselves to the body at the hazard of losing the soul? Do not sup­pose, because you esteem the world as first, that therefore our clergy do or should.

Nevertheless, our clergy are not indifferent to the physi­cal sufferings of their people, and do more than you can dream of to relieve and solace them. They would also thank you for what you do, if you would consent to aid them without insisting upon conditions destructive to the souls of our suffering poor. We have many children running about the streets, idle, vicious,- criminal occasionally it may be, and we are sorry it is so; but they may retain something of the true faith, and one day be brought to penitence and be saved. Were we to intrust them to your charity, whatever they might gain in worldly respec­tability, they would be pretty sure to lose their souls. We would rather see them bad Catholics than even good Prot­estants; for the bad Catholic, as long as he retains a single spark of faith, has something to which the minister of God can appeal, has some relics of a conscience, and may one day be led to repentance, and be saved; but if our children were taken from us and trained up Protestants, or as Prot­estants would insist on their being trained, there would be as good as no hope at all of their ever seeing God.

Here is the great reason why our clergy cannot do more to relieve the poverty which many of their people suffer. They are themselves poor, and Protestants arc not willing to aid them except on conditions that cannot be accepted. We who are Catholics have faith, and with us eternity is a reality. We must train up our children to live for God. We cannot always do it, indeed, and no training will al­ways be sufficient; but we must do the best we can. Protestants have no faith; the world to come is to them a pleasant or an unpleasant dream, and the only reality they recognize is this world and what pertains to it. They there­fore would educate, and do educate, for this world alone. They cannot come in contact with our children without exerting npon them a pestiferous influence, and hence we can hardly ever be grateful to them for their benevolent aid, their well-meant liberality. They can never consent to aid us in saving our children from the evil influences to which they arc subjected, in our own way, and in accord­ance with our own religion; but they must get them away from us under the tuition and influence of their own min­isters, who should be termed Skralinger, or the Black-Death. Hence we are frequently obliged to repulse their offers of assistance, and to prefer to see our children starve in the streets to their being relieved by Protcstant liberality.

Aftcr all, it is necessary to be on our guard against the Protestant habit of coupling rags and dirt with vice. The Yankee identifies virtue with external cleanliness and thrift, and wherever these are wanting he can discover noth­ing but the seal of eternal reprobation. He has no con­ception that it is possible for virtue to have an unwashed face, to dwell in a dark court and a dirty tenement, or that a man who has no capacity for rising in the world can ever get into heaven. Yet we would rather take our chance with the dwellers in these filthy courts, and dirty garrets and cellars, than with the rich whose palaces front broad and spacious streets, and who are externally so clean and neat. The pious poor are the jewels of the Church; hardly shall the rich enter into the kingdom of heaven. Moreover, we believe the most abject of our poor have even in this world more solid enjoyment, more true happiness, than the rich and the great. We would relieve actual suffering wherever wc find it, but we would not make the poor rich if we could, for wc do not believe that increase of riches is ever desirable. This world is but an inn; we lodge in it but for a night, and what matters the inconvenience which we may be required to put up with? If we gain heaven it is nothing, and if we fail of heaven, the memory of it will be lost in the presence of an infinitely greater ca­lamity.