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"O Lord, if I have not wrought heard without, and soon a mob of sincerity in my soul, if my word armed men assailed the gates. Some cometh not from Thee, smite me in thirty monks barricaded the doors this moment with Thy thunder, and and fought in their long white let the fires of Thy wrath consume robes as bravely for their beloved me."
prior as ever Knight Templar for In the awful silence of that mo- the tomb of Christ. “Let me go ment he stood motionless, when and give myself up,” he said, seeksuddenly a beam of golden light, ing to quell the strife. “I am the striking on the pale and furrowed sole cause of this myself.” « Do not face, lit it up as with a celestial abandon us,” they cried. “You will halo. “ Behold the answer," said be torn to pieces, and then what each man in his heart and many shall become of us?" Yielding to with their lips. Then, with the their entreaties, he summoned them yearning solicitude of a father for to the choir that they might seek his children about to be orphaned,
God in prayer. he stretched out his wasted hand, Meanwhile the frantic mob set and, in a voice in which tears trem- fire to the doors, scaled the walls bled, pronounced the benediction on and burst into the choir. The civic the people—“ Benedictione perpetua, guards soon entered and led away, benedicat vos, Pater Eternus." as prisoners, Savonarola and his in
But the curse of Rome was trepid friend, Fra Dominico. A terror to all weaker souls than that brutal mob, made up of the very of the intrepid martyr. The Pope dregs of the city, clamoured for his threatened, unless Savonarola were blood and wreaked their rage upon silenced or imprisoned, to lay the their unresisting victim.
He was whole city of Florence under an kicked, smitten, spat upon, and bitinterdict, which should cut it off terly reviled. “ This is the true from all intercourse with the world, light,” cried a low ruffian, as he and render its merchants and citi- thrust a flaring torch in his face. zens liable to the confiscation of Other wretches buffeted him with their goods. That argument con- their fists, and jeered, like another quered. The voice through which mob in the presence of another God spoke to Europe was soon si- Victim, “Prophesy who it is that lenced forever.
smote thee." But, like the Master Despairing of the reform of the wbom he served, who, when He was Church by the Pope, Savonarola buffeted answered not, the patient had written a letter to Charles VIII., confessor endured with meekness urging the convocation of a General the very bitterness of human ragu Council for that purpose.
This and hate. He was thrust into prison, letter was intercepted by fraud and
brought to trial. sent to the vindictive Borgia, who Charles VIII, died, and all hope of thereupon launched new fulmina- General Council or of succour for tions against his victim. These Savonarola was at an end. The new terrors influenced the magis. Pope and his creatures had their trates of Florence to abandon the victim in their power. prior to his impending fate, and at
“During many days,” says the histor an last to become the instruments of his of the event, “the prior was subjected to ruin.
alternate examination and torture. He For the last time Savonarola ad. was drawn up from the ground by ropes dressed in words of cheer and coun
knotted round his arms, and then sudsel the brethren of San Marco. As
denly let down with a jerk, which wrench
ed all the muscles of his sensitive frame. they were assembled for evening Fire, too, was at times put under his feet. prayers, sounds of tumult
How often torture was applied to him we
have no means of learning. One witness this 23rd day of May, 1498, aged (Violi) declares that he had seen him, in
forty-five years, the greatest man of one day, hoisted by the rope no fewer
his day-great on every side of him, than fourteen times!”
great as a philosopher, a theologian, In his lonely cell, in the intervals
a statesman, a reformer of morals of his torture, the brave soul turned
and religion, and greatest of all from the strife of tongues to com- as a true man of God-died in a mune with God. With his muti.
way which was worthy of him, a lated hand he wrote his meditations,
martyr to the truth for which he which are still extant, on the thirty- had lived." first and fifty-first Psalms. "I shall “ Lest the city should be polluted place my hope on the Lord,” he
by his remains,” says a contemsaid, “and before long, I shall be set free from all tribulation.”
His doom had long been decreed. Alexander Borgia had declared that Savonarola should be put to death even though be were John the Baplist. Sentence of death was there. fore pronounced upon him and on his two devoted friends, Fra Dominico and Fra Salvestro.
On the morning of the 23rd May, 1498, after early communion in the prison, the destined victims walked together to the place of doom in the great square of the ordeal and of the “ Bonfire of Vanities." The Pope's commissioner stripped off their gowns and pronounced the last anathema: “I separate you from the Church militant and triumphant." "That,” replied with a calm, clear voice, the hero soul of Savonarola, “is beyond your power.” A vast mob surged around the scaffold and STATUE OF DANTE, FLORENCE. the martyr pyre, but he seemed to see them not. With unfaltering porary, his ashes were carefully step and with a rapt smile upon his gathered and tbrown into the pale, worn face, he went to his Arno.” death. His last words were, like In the narrow cell at San Marco, those of his Lord and Master and of in which Savonarola wept and the proto-martyr, Into Thy hands, watched and prayed, hangs a conO Lord, I commit my spirit.” His temporary painting of this tragic comrades in life and in death with scene, and by its side a portrait of equal dignity met their fate. They the martyr monk with his keen were first hanged till dead and then dark eyes, his eagle visage, his pale burned to ashes. As the torch was cheek, and his patient thought-worn applied, writes the biographer," from brow. In a case beneath are his the storied Piazza, the saddest and vestments, his crucifix, rosary, Bible most suicidal · burning' that Flor. and MS. sermons. As we gaze on ence had ever witnessed sent up its these relics, thought and feeling flame and smoke into the bright overleap the intervening centuries, heaven of that May morning. On and we seem brought into living
contact with the hero-soul, who on the ruins of freedom, “and for counted not his life dear unto him long centuries the light of Florence for the testimony of Jesus.
was extinguished." The ungrateful city which exiled In fitting words a recent biograor slew her greatest sons, Dante and pher of the great Reformer thus Savonarola, was overtaken by a concludes his fascinating memorials swift Nemesis. Soon the Medici of his life: returned in power, and long ruled
“It seemed like the acting of a piece it with an iron hand. When Rome,
of historical justice when, nearly four the proud city of the Seven Hills,
hundred years after the martyrdom of “that was eternal named,” was be- the prior, the late King Victor Immanuel sieged, taken and sacked by a opened the first parliament of a united foreign army, the prophetic words Italy in the city of Florence, and in the
venerable hall of the Consiglio Maggiore. of the great prior were remembered.
The representative assembly, which gathFlorence for a time again drove
ered in the hall of Savonarola's Great the Medician tyrants from power. Council, bridged over centuries of darkAgain "the Council elected, and ness and misruie, connecting the aspiraproclaimed Christ the King of Flor- tions of a hardly-won freedom in the ence, and the famous cry, Viva.
present with those of a distant and gloriGesu Christo Nostro Re,' was once
ous past, and secured permanently, let
us hope, for the whole of Italy the premore the watch word of the city.”
cious liberties for which the Monk of San But despotism was again installed Marco died."
You have heard these tales : let me tell you
one, A greater and better than all. Have you heard of Him whom the heavens
O hear these tales, ye weary and worn,
Who for others yield up your all ;
And then will the fruit appear :
Will return many fold in the ear.
adore, Before whom the hosts of them fall?
CITY, RICE SWAMP AND HILL; OR, MISSIONARY
TRIUMPHS IN INDIA.
The headline of this article is the with the vastness, complexity and title of a “Manual of Missions,” by difficulty of the Church's problem in W. Johnson, B.A., Missionary of the that strange land. It is proposed, London Missionary Society in Cal- in this paper, to follow the leadercutta for thirty-one years. Such a ship of this veteran, and so far as writer expressing his convictions, our limits will allow he shall speak detailing his experiences, and mak- for himself. ing his suggestions, is certainly not The field open for our inspection, open to Lord Dufferin's criticism of if not the world, is a large fraction “the intelligent traveller who has of its babitable surface, and a larger come to India for three months with fraction of its human masses. If the intention of writing an encyclo. Russia be excepted, the continent of pædic work on its government and Europe will about cover the area of people, and who is therefore able to the Indian Empire. The last census speak in a spirit of infallibility de- gives 280,000,000 as its population. nied to us lesser men.” Mr. John- Two religio-political communitiesson's long and close contact with the Hindus, numbering 200,000,000, the Indian peoples, as well as his and the Mohammedans, 50,000,000 extensive experience in missionary include the larger part of the people. work among them, makes him a safe Burmah, recently annexed, gives guide in any attempt on our part to 10,000,000, who are Buddhists in rebecome more perfectly acquainted ligion and Mongolian in race.
These are in their turn divided against spiritual wickedness in high and subdivided into nationalities places.” distinct and different from each The difficulties of this field are as other in race, language, customs, numerous as its human millions, as character and civilization. The varied as their languages and cusdivergence here is as great as is to toms, and as gigantic as their hoary be found in the climate of the coun- systems of idolatry. With reference try, as it varies from the sweltering heat of the southern plains to the cool and bracing atmosphere of the northern mountains. Both ends of the scale of civilization are in India. Perhaps nowhere else will one be in so good a position to study the various stages of the development of the human animal, from the naked and savage bill-man, with his stone hatchet and arrow-heads, his headhanting and polyandrous habits, to the Europeanized native gentleman, polished, refined, literary, and of advanced political ideas. This is upon the surface everywhere visible.
There is another India, that “of hoary superstitions and errors, of deep prejudices, of ancient traditions, of long transmitted antipathies. Into this deeper and darker India the missionary has to descend, to familiarize himself with it, and there to wrestle against principali ties, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,