A BISHOP'S Pastoral Staff has two quaint likenesses among natural objects: a curled-up elephant's trunk, and a young budding frond of fern.
There is a theory that the soul within moulds the outer frame. Hence surface similarity suggests a corresponding similarity underlying the surface.
Whence--at least as a harmless fancy--I infer that the Staff may advantageously study an elephant's trunk as a pattern of delicately discriminating tact, copying its nicety of touch in minute matters and its vigorous hold on things broad and weighty.
Whlie the frond will teach ways of bowing gracefully, of being pliant without weakness, of profiting by light and not losing ground in darkness, of bearing storms from any quarter.
. . . But Bishops should write for me, not I for Bishops!
For my own behoof therefore I wind up by reflecting that every Christian is constituted "king and priest" in our Father's kingdom: that in consequence some grade of pastoral work devolves on each of us, if not as a dignity yet as a responsibility; and that as regards every soul within reach of our influence we all are in truth our "brother's keeper."
So that we all may meditate profitably on a Pastoral Staff.