Monday, August 12, 2013

August 31

IT was once pointed out to me that in countenance a gray parrot and an elephant resemble each other.

But presumably the creatures themselves remain to this day unconscious ot their common type, and inhabit pastures or trees or caravans or cages without a notion that each is (with limitations) the other's looking-glass; thus living and thus dying as utter aliens even when brought face to face.

"Know thyself" is an old-established injunction, and conveys a hint that probably we do not know ourselves.

It is startling to reflect that you and I may be walking about unabashed and jaunty, while our fellows observe very queer likenesses among us.

Any one may be the observer: and equally any one may be the observed.

Liable to such casualties, I advise myself to assume a modest and unobtrusive demeanor.

I do not venture to advise you.

August 30

TACT resembles a lubricating oil, by virtue of which needful contact is guarded against degenerating into sore rubs and grazes.

According to the ancient Oriental practice of leechcraft, oil was called in to heal physical wounds.

Hear a story in point:--

The pleasure-grounds of a certain Bishop contained an apparatus for turning on and off artificial waters. One day in honor of guests, the Bishop issued orders to his servants to work the fountains: but finding that this had caused offence, on the next similar occasion he gave leave to his servants to play the fountains. Whereupon all went smoothly.

August 29


KING HEROD and his company did after a fashion anticipate the Church in making of this day a festival. Moreover it was Herod's birthday in one sense, before it became St. John Baptist's in another.

Thus emphatically are there feasts and feasts, birthdays and birthdays.

After that carnal birthday ensued the remainder of mortal life: and after the remainder of mortal life ensued what next to Herod and his crew, to the dancing daughter and the venomous mother?

"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God."

Meanwhile St. John Baptist ended his Vigil and began his Feast, ended his death and began his life.

Now there is no "after" to such a Feast, and no "next" to such a life.

"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil."

August 28

FEAST of ST. AUGUSTINE, BISHOP OF HIPPO, Doctor of the Church. Born at Tagaste, in Africa, in the year 354; died at Hippo, 430.

AURELIUS AUGUSTINE was son of Patricius, a pagan of some virtue and afterwards converted, and of Monica, a Christian saint. In early life an unbaptized Manichean heretic of strong passions and unbridled conduct, Augustine left his mother to watch, pray, agonize for him, while he rejoiced in his youth, walking in the ways of his heart and in the sight of his eyes, and not laying to heart that God for all these things would bring him into judgment.

Divine grace, however, responding doubtless to his mother's prayers for his soul, proved at length stronger than his evil will and ways: he cast off his vices as the serpent casts its skin, professed the Catholic Faith, and was baptized on Easter Eve in the year 387 by St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan.

Thenceforward, allowing for human frailty, he retained of the serpent only its wisdom, and put on harmlessness as a dove: yet not, alas! without putting it off under provocation.

In 391 he was ordained priest; and he submitted to episcopal consecration at an uncertain date, perhaps in the year 395.

In controversy he opposed both Manicheans, Donatists, and Pelagians; yet incurred suspicion of himself holding unsound views as to the doctrine of predestination: nevertheless he is looked up to as a Doctor of the Church. Despite the Spirit of Love which ordinarily ruled him, he seems to have indulged a cruelly harsh temper against the Donatists.

Yet need we not cavil at the blemishes of a saint who of his own free choice died the death of a penitent:--

"He ceased not to preach and work, till in August he was prostrated by fever; and as he used to say that even approved Christians and priests ought to die as penitents, he excluded his friends from his room, except at certain hours, caused the penitential psalms to be written out and fixed on the wall opposite his bed, and repeated them with many tears; thus by his last acts throwing over the consequences, and with them the principles, advanced in his later dangerous treatises."

August 27

One step more, and the race is ended,
   One word more, and the lesson's done,
One toil more, and a long rest follows
   At set of sun.

Who would fail, for one step withholden?
   Who would fail, for one word unsaid?
Who would fail, for a pause too early?
   Sound sleep the dead.

One step more, and the goal receives us,
   One word more, and life's task is done,
One toil more, and the Cross is carried
   And sets the sun.

August 26


A NEST implies, suggests, so much.

A circumference in comfortable proportion to its inhabitants' size.

Warmth and softness: "For so He giveth His beloved sleep."

Pure air, bright sunshine; leafy shade sufficient to satisfy a very Jonah.

A windy branch whereon to rock safely. Wind and rain heard yet little felt. A storm, indeed, sometimes, but as the exception not as the rule.

Most of all by way of comfort a nest suggests an overhanging presence of love. A brooding breast sheltering its cherished nestlings. A love ready to confront death in their defence.

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

When "room" and way are too great for us, let us think of Him Who prepared our present "nest" and carries His little ones, and Who desires to see in each of us of the travail of His Soul and to be satisfied. And Who eighteen hundred years ago comforted His disciples, saying, "In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August 25


"Rooms shalt thou make in the ark."--(GEN. vi. 14): but the literal Hebrew (see margin of Authorized Version) says not "rooms" but "nests."

NOW without for one moment calling in question that these particular "nests" were rooms, the special word employed does yet suggest a special train of thought.

The Ark: the Church. Destruction without, safety within. "A dispensation of the Gospel" is vouchsafed to man, and woe is us if we accept not the offered salvation.

We do (please God) accept it. However unworthily, we occupy rooms in the spiritual Ark: there we live, and there we hope to die.

The rooms being commodiously and thoroughly furnished unto good works, the tenants are thereby invited to perform such good works as belong to their several vocations.

So to do becomes our duty. And it is constituted no less our privilege, seeing that to crown all it has promise of a reward.

Christian duties, Christian privileges: some honest Christians do much, and upbraid themselves for not doing more. They labor and are heavy laden, they are careful and cumbered; making a task of duty, a task of privilege, a task of life, and a most formidable task of death.

The vastness and still more the loftiness of their "room" overwhelms them: "Who is sufficient for these things?" is their prevalent forlorn feeling. At times they would almost be ready (if they dared) to say: "It were better to dwell in the corner of the housetop."

They comport themselves as if too little for their own greatness. They appear like savage man consumed and dwindling away in the face of a civilization too high for him.

But wherefore contemplate their allotted room as a lofty and vast palace of wellnigh uninhabitable grandeur: as this, and as nothing more?

Our room, as God builds and makes it for us, is likewise our nest: and a nest is surely the very homeliest idea of a home.

August 24

Tradition assigns to this Saint, martyrdom in one of its most appalling forms.

HE bore an agony whereof the name
   Hath turned his fellows pale:--
But what if God should call us to the same,
   Should call, and we should fail?

Nor earth nor sea could swallow up our shame,
   Nor darkness draw a veil:
For he endured that agony whose name
   Hath made his fellows quail.


The manner of his death, said to have occurred at Albanopolis in Armenia, is equally uncertain; according to some, he was beheaded, according to others, flayed alive and crucified, head downward, by order of Astyages, for having converted his brother, Polymius, King of Armenia. On account of this latter legend, he is often represented in art (e.g. in Michelangelo's Last Judgment) as flayed and holding in his hand his own skin. His relics are thought by some to be preserved in the church of St. Bartholomew-in-the-Island, at Rome.    

Michelangelo's The Last Judgment created between 1536 and 1541. Saint Bartholomew is shown holding the knife of his martyrdom and his flayed skin. The face of the skin is recognizable as Michelangelo.

August 23


THIS Saint is concealed from us by, as it were, a double veil. Beyond his name and certain statements in which other persons are associated with him, no unquestionable mention is made of him either in the Gospels or in the Book of Acts: while his name itself, signifying "Son of Tolmai," may in a sense be regarded as no name at all.

Thus then it has pleased God to hide him from us, even in the process of showing him to us. And thus it is that he sets us an example, by becoming the blessed opposite of those who, doing good works to be seen of men, receive then and there their reward.

The Father Who seeth in secret will reward him openly.

"O how plentiful is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee: and that Thou hast prepared for them that put their trust in Thee, even before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them privily by Thine own Presence from the provoking of all men: Thou shalt keep them secretly in Thy tabernacle from the strife of tongues."

August 22

IN north Italy I observed that while the cattle are grand and beautiful beyond our English wont, the pigs are exceptionally mean and repulsive.

Thus in one characteristically lovely land what is fair shows at its fairest, what is ugly shows at its ugliest.

And if thus in the natural sphere, thus likewise in the spiritual sphere.

Christendom exhibits extremes not attainable in the outer world. Its "cattle" excel all cattle: its "swine" wallow beneath all swine.

Foulest of the foul is an unchristian Christian: no better, far worse, than any sow that returns "to her wallowing in the mire."

August 21


Ah but, that which is frivolous, selfish, idle, intrusive, is clearly not Providential.

As regards the doer, no: as regards the sufferer, yes.

I think we often quite misconceive the genuine appointed occupation of a given moment, perhaps even of our whole lives. We take for granted that we ought to enjoy a pleasure, or complete a task, or execute a work, or serve some one we love: while what we are really then and there called to is to forego a pleasure, or break off a task, or leave a cherished work incomplete, or serve some one we find it difficult to love.

Interruptions seems wellnigh to form the occupation of some lives.

Not an occupation one would choose; yet none the less profitable on that account.

How would saints speak of interruptions? One might remark, "To me they are not grievous:" and another, "For me they are safe." But would any saint observe, "Interruptions are vexatious," and there stop?

August 20


INTERRUPTIONS are vexatious.

Granted. But what is an interruption?

An interruption is something, is anything, which breaks in upon our occupation of the moment. For instance: a frivolous remark when we are absorbed, a selfish call when we are busy, an idle noise out of time, an intrusive sight out of place.

Now our occupations spring? . . . from within: for they are the outcome of our own will.

And interruptions arrive? . . . from without. Obviously from without, or otherwise we could and would ward them off.

Our occupation, then, is that which we select. Our interruption is that which is sent us.

But hence it would appear that the occupation may be wilful, while the interruption must be Providential.

A startling view of occupations and interruptions!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 19


HOW did Noah build his Ark?

We may fairly assume that he built it openly, avowedly, without any subterfuges or pretences whatsoever.

For instance. We do not suppose that he kept the Ark looking like a house, or like a land carriage, as long as possible; ingeniously erecting and maintaining scaffolding around the navigable base, but leaving door and windows full in view. Or that when the substructure could no longer be hidden, he opened an artificial creek to suggest that he had ways and means of utilizing his ark.

No. We may well believe that as he had faith enough to build his ark, so also he had faith enough not to tone it down, or color it, or gloss it over by any tinge of imposture.

Now we Christians all of us are (or ought to be) building arks "to the saving of" our souls.

How many of us are building them in unabashed openness and honesty? neither parading our religion, nor keeping it under lock and key: neither falling on our knees to seem devout (as Bishop Jeremy Taylor puts it), not starting off them to seem indevout (often the keener temptation), if we hear some one coming.

August 18


NOAH being commanded to build an Ark, built it then and there upon (as it seems) the dry ground.

A huge immovable unprecedented Ark, high and dry on land, when its only conceivable use was for the water!

Presumably the Antediluvians noticed the incongruity: perhaps they enjoyed it: possibly it confirmed them in a theory that no sane man would listen to Noah.

Up to a certain moment that old-world controversy seemed carried on between common sense and shiftless fanaticism, "for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."

Only, --there was to be an end of that generation.

The certain moment came, "the flood came, and took them all away," and after all the last word of the controversy fell to Noah.

Thus it was, and thus it is, and thus it ever will be between the world and the Church: "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

August 17

WHEN all the overwork of life
   Is finished once, and fallen asleep
We shrink no more beneath the knife,
   But having sown prepare to reap,
Delivered from the crossway rough,
   Delivered from the thorny scourge,
   Delivered from the tossing surge,
Then shall we find--(please God!)--it is enough?

Not in this world of hope deferred,
   This world of perishable stuff;
Eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard,
   Nor heart conceived that full "enough:"
Here moans the separating sea,
   Here harvests fail, here breaks the heart;
   There God shall join and no man part,
All one in Christ, so one--(please God!)--with me.

August 16


IMPOSSIBLE as in reality it is to avoid exercising personal influence, there is yet a restricted sense in which it may be withheld to the grievous hurt of those whose due it is: just as a lantern may be placed so as to hide its light.

But alas! such withholding amounts not to neutrality but to evil influence: the lantern which does not cast light casts shadow. "He that gathereth not with Me," saith the Truth, "scattereth."

On the other hand and for our encouragement, good influence may be at work where no immediate visible result ensues; where the result may not by us be traceable on earth or in time, but only in heaven and throughout eternity.

I have read a story of a date palm which lived a long while green and barren. One year without apparent cause it bore fruit. Wherefore? Because out of sight a remote kindred palm shed its fructifying pollen, and this the wind bore to impregnate the barren tree.

August 15


A PEBBLE dropped into a pool disturbs the water in a circle widening without definite boundary.

Motion displaces air, nor can we assign any limit to the extent of such displacement.

Earth revolving within space carries along with itself its own vast atmosphere.
And more or less like each of these, personal influence is certain and is incalculable; is a mighty engine inseparable from a proportionate burden of responsibility. None are too great, none too small, for this burden. St. Paul laid himself out, moulded himself, spent himself to bear it worthily; as his own words attest:--

"Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

August 14

"FRA Modesto non fu mai Priore," say the Italians: or in English, "Brother Modestus never became Prior."

"Brother Modestus was sure to make a mess of it," "Brother Modestus was a fool for his pains," --exclaim worldly worldlings and worldly churchlings in chorus.

A "mess" and a "fool" undeniably, according to their standard who in their generation are wiser than the children of light.

Inflated bladders, puff balls, loud and hollow drums: such symbols as these tally with too many of the successes and of the successful of this world.

And by comparison, Brother Modestus and his career are mere collapse: drum him out of the world!

But behold! he wishes nothing better. He has made his count for nothing to-day, all to-morrow; nothing on earth, all in heaven. He knows Whom he has believed, and is persuaded that He is able to keep all things committed unto Him against that day.

Now, he that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city.


Credit: Fra Modesto, a trappist monk, by Balli (19th century). / De Agostini Picture Library / V. Pirozzi / The Bridgeman Art Library

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 13


"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."--(ST. JOHN i. 29.)

JESUS is no mere picture of innocence, but is very Innocence incarnate. A lamb and all other things innocent and pure are His picture.

That "Voice" which His sheep hear and know is a voice not of command merely but also of winning appeal. He invites us: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." He urges us: "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." He reproaches us: "Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." He pleads for us: "Lord, let it alone this year also." He probes our hearts: "Lovest thou Me?"

Well may we read how once even in the synagogue of Nazareth "the eyes of all . . . were fastened on Him. . . . And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth."--"Full of grace are Thy lips."

And if lambs liable to sacrifice were contented and cheerful creatures (though they, indeed, in ignorance), surely "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" was far beyond such as they, contented and desirous in His self-sacrifice: "With desire I have desired," said He of the supper; and how not of the Passion? I once read a work concerning Holy Communion, devout in intention, but (as it struck me) laying stress of such a sort on our Lord's condescension and patience, as suggested that He Who willingly had lived and died for men now found it hard to put up with us sinners, and for our sake to secrete Himself in the Sacrament of his most Blessed Body and Blood. May I have misunderstood the tone of that book!

Lastly, if Christmas as we keep it in December be the actual season of our Lord's birth, then in that (as in the rest) He leaves lambs far behind Him, being born into this world at a more desolate moment than they. Earth at mid-winter is comparatively bare; leaves, blossoms and delights come back with spring.

August 12

"Behold the Lamb of God."--(ST. JOHN i. 36.)

LET us study a lamb, in hopes of learning from it something concerning our adorable Saviour. For such similitudes as are employed in Holy Scripture must contain a lesson for us.

The lamb, Divinely appointed for sacrifice, does obviously typify Christ sacrificed as our atonement.

But this is, so to say, the lamb's office, not his essence. So that we may still ask: wherefore was a lamb, rather than another living creature, chosen for so sacred a purpose?

The main answer may indeed lie beyond our reach in a region of mysteries: yet none the less some wisdom within our reach may lie upon the surface.

At first sight, then, a lamb is a picture of innocence. Its woolly white face looks as pure as a snowdrop, its voice has a plaintive tone of perpetual appeal which goes to the heart. It is cheerful, moreover, full of pretty ways and contentment. It is born when earth, arraying herself in renewed verdure, prepares to blossom as a step toward fruitfulness: it inhabits clean green meadows, and drinks sweet clean water.

August 11

"How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray."--(ST. MATT. xviii. 12, 13.)

AND so do we. So, at least, seem oftentimes to do the most fervent intercessors: red-hot for the salvation of saints, at white heat for the salvation of sinners.

Whence further it would almost appear that excellent pious people love the guilty more than the innocent, scarlet sinners more than fellow-saints.

Are any of us disheartened hereby and driven out of sympathy with our brethren? Nay, there lies an effectual remedy within reach.

Let us but humbly recognize ourselves as the sinners God discerns us to be, and we shall thankfully accept a share in the effectual fervent prayers of those who praying always faint not.

August 10


DURING the persecution under Valerian in the year 258, this heroic saint died a torturing death over a slow fire.

It is related of him as of St. Stephen, that while undergoing his agony his face was glorified as the face of an angel. His eyes gazed fixedly on heaven, his countenance remained unruffled.

To so sweet a soul, sorer perhaps than pangs of the body, had been that pang of parting when three days earlier his beloved Priest and Pope St. Sixtus went up before him by the road of martyrdom to the kingdom of peace.

   To meet, worth living for;
      Worth dying for, to meet;
   To meet, worth parting for,
      Bitter forgot in sweet:
   To meet, worth parting before
   Never to part more.

August 9

YEA, if Thou wilt, Thou canst put up thy sword:
   But what if Thou shouldst sheathe it to the hilt
Within the heart that sues to Thee, O Lord?
   Yea, if Thou wilt.

   For if Thou wilt Thou canst purge out the guilt
Of all, of any, even the most abhorred:
   Thou canst pluck down, rebuild, build up the unbuilt.

Who wanders, canst Thou gather by love's cord?
   Who sinks, uplift from the under-sucking silt
To set him on Thy rock within Thy ward?
   Yea, if Thou wilt.

August 8

HOLY Scripture bids us "run with patience the race that is set before us."

One might have anticipated that energy or zeal would be the word, rather than patience: but no, it is patience.

If not even a race, then surely nothing that appertains to duty should be done in mere hurry or depend upon impulse. Our race is for life or death, yet must it be run peacefully.

One element of excitement is far removed from it. A race it is, yet only to attain a goal, not to outstrip competitors. On the contrary, there is scarcely a greater help to one's own running than to lend a hand to a halting brother or sister.

Our mighty Forerunner Whom no saint follows except at an infinite distance, even Christ Who in all things hath the pre-eminence, ran His mortal race with glory as of the sun, and alacrity as of a bridegroom, and strength as of a giant: nevertheless He ran it with such peace and patience that He vouchsafed to become as one who carries lambs in his bosom and gently leads the feeble ones.

As of yore to our forefathers, so to-day He saith to us: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you." Now a yoke is not for standing still, but for toiling forward: and thus He promises us rest while we toil, even as He requires of us patience while we run our race.

Lord Jesus, who would think that I am Thine?
   Ah, who would think
Who sees me ready to turn back or sink,
   That Thou art mine?

I cannot hold Thee fast, though Thou art mine:
   Hold Thou me fast,
So earth shall know at last and heaven at last
   That I am Thine.

August 7


JESUS, Lord God from all eternity,
   Whom love of us brought down to shame,
I plead Thy life with Thee,
   I plead Thy death, I plead Thy Name.

Jesus, Lord God of every living soul,
   Thy Love exceeds its uttered fame,
Thy Will can make us whole,
   I plead Thyself, I plead Thy Name.

August 6


HEAVEN, Paradise, Earth, each was represented on the Mount of Transfiguration. For Christ is that Son of Man Who came down from Heaven and is in Heaven: Moses and Elias reappeared from whatever blessed abode enshrined them: St. Peter, St. James, St. John, still drew mortal breath. If brief that meeting, brief also that parting: long ago (please God) they met anew to part no more, where none who meet shall ever part again.

Well was it for St. Peter that he was not taken at his word and permitted to set up his "three tabernacles." Earth at its loftiest and loveliest is still only earth: and though God's appointment makes it "Good for us to be here," in itself and compared with the lowest place in heaven earth is not good.

Yet for a moment the eyes of an Apostle were arrested here, his heart paused here. And no marvel: for where Christ is is the Presence of God, and the Presence of God is Heaven.

August 5

OF each sad word, which is more sorrowful,
   "Sorrow" or "Disappointment?" I have heard
Subtle inflections baffling subtlest rule,
   Of each sad word.

   Sorrow can mourn: and lo! a mourning bird
Sings sweetly to sweet echoes of its dule,
   While silent disappointment broods unstirred.

Yet both nurse hope, where Penitence keeps school
   Who makes fools wise and saints of them that erred:
Wise men shape stepping-stone, or curb, or tool,
   Of each sad word.

Friday, August 2, 2013

August 4

WHEN I was in north Italy, a region rich in sunshine, heat, beauty, it struck me that after all our English wild scarlet poppies excelled the Italian poppies in gorgeous color.

I should have expected the direct contrary; the more sunshine, surely the more glow and redness: yet it appeared otherwise when I came to look.

Perhaps sheer stress of sunshine tended to bleach as well as to dye those poppies.

And if so, they aptly symbolize those "always rejoicing" Christians who are, notwithstanding, so sorrowful during the present distress.

For on earth souls need bleaching as well as developing and embellishing. Only in heaven will the sun cease to smite on the just made perfect, and the vehement east wind cease to beat on them.

August 3

THERE exists of the mezereon a certain foreign species whereof the inner bark resembles lace: insomuch that the women of the same region do actually make use of it as lace.

The plant wears its lace within, the women wear theirs without: the twain seem in some sort to make up between them one image of that "King's daughter" who being "all glorious within" is also "brought unto the King in raiment of needlework;" the lace and the needle-work in question being alike such as no needle on earth could embroider.

Yet the mezereon clad "in its own lace lining, manifests one marked superiority over women arrayed visibly in the same lace: for not they but the plant becomes our emblem of St. Peter's ideal matron "whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning . . . of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart."

The Creator of all things good has Himself decked a plant with hidden lace. Is the whole of our lace on the surface?


Daphne mezereum

August 2


"THE fields are white to harvest, look and see,
Are white abundantly.
The full-orbed harvest moon shines clear,
The harvest time draws near,
Be of good cheer."

"Ah woe is me!
I have no heart for harvest time,
Grown sick with hope deferred from chime to chime."

"But Christ can give thee heart Who loveth thee:
Can set thee in the eternal ecstasy
Of His great jubilee:
Can give thee dancing heart and shining face,
And lips filled full of grace,
And pleasures as the rivers and the sea.
Who knocketh at His door
He welcomes evermore:
Kneel down before
That ever open door
(The time is short) and smite
Thy breast, and pray with all thy might."

"What shall I say?"

          "Nay, pray.
Though one but say 'Thy Will be done,'
He hath not lost his day
At set of sun."

August 1

LAMMAS DAY. Kept in commemoration of St. Peter's miraculous deliverance "out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews."

BOTH Lamb-Mass and Loaf-Mass have been proposed as the original form of our word Lammas: which in the first case would allude to a lamb offered annually in York Cathedral; in the second would recall an English festival of first-fruits; both alike belonging to this day.

York Cathedral is dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula: and our Lord's words to him beside the Sea of Tiberias, "Feed My lambs," have led to the great Apostle's being regarded as patron of lambs.

Yet in the highest sense there is but One Good Shepherd whose own the flock is. All other men, even the holiest, can be but His under shepherds feeding "the flock of God not by constraint but willingly."

Better it is that a lamb should remind us of Christ than of St. Peter: "Behold the Lamb of God!"

And while a loaf may profitably put us in mind to bring forth fruit thirty or sixty or a hundred-fold, it may best dispose us so to do, by setting before us in a figure Christ the Bread of Life, Christ the Corn of Wheat which to quicken us fell into the ground and died.