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if he was provided with them, his sensations may be easily imagined. His knees bent under him, and he felt himself absolutely incapable of advancing or receding a single step. Meanwhile, in the twinkling of an eye the panther reached him. Sporting with its prey, in the manner of a cat with a mouse which she has taken, the ferocious animal began to take different positions, varying into attitudes, and seeking to touch him with its foot, as if to tantalize him; then removing suddenly to the distance of some paces, darted rapidly upon him. The poor youth understood very well, by what he had heard of the unhappy fate of others in a similar case, in what manner this frightful sport was to terminate; he believed that his last hour was come. In this frightful position, destitute of all human succour, he did not, however, forget the lessons of his Christian education, which taught him, that in every extremity man has an invisible friend, the Lord and Maker of animals and men, whose ears are ever open to the cry of the distressed, and who, if he sees it expedient for us, can at any time rescue us from danger. He recommended himself to God, in secret, but fervent prayer. At that instant a noise was heard: it was an Arab horseman, armed with a gun, who approached with the intention of passing by the spot. Affrighted in its turn, the panther took to flight, at the moment when, bereft of all strength, and almost sinking to the earth, he whom it had kept a prisoner, was about to become its victim. He returned to the monastery, pour
ing out his heart in gratitude to heaven, for having so miraculously preserved him from imminent danger.
No product here the barren hills afford,
At night returning, every labour sped,
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHURCH.
consummated doubtful Mesopotamia illumination timorous Egypt
prevaricated courageous Lybia covenant
inseparably proselytes The work of redemption had been consummated; the son of God had returned to his throne in heaven, after he had left to his apostles the command to preach the Gospel to every creature. For this vast undertaking they required greater strength and illumination—the gifts of the Holy Ghost, to await whose descent they remained at Jerusalem, as they had been directed by their Lord. In the mean time they performed nothing except the election of another apostle, Matthias, in the place of him who had prevaricated. On the festival day, on which the giving of the Old Law on Mount Sinai was celebrated, the perfection of the New Covenant in the Christian Church was effected. The Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles and assembled disciples in the form of fiery tongues, and imparted itself to the new-born Church, that was then collected in one place. Henceforth it continued as the living soul inseparably infused into the body of the Church, preserving it in unity of faith and love. Its influence upon the apostles soon became visible: weak as they were before in faith, doubtful and timorous, they now displayed minds full of faith and of understanding, fervent, courageous, and undaunted, which not even the threat of death could subdue. The festival had drawn to Jerusalem Jews and proselytes from every nation of the earth. These, Parthians and Medes, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, and of the provinces of Asia ; Jews from Egypt, Rome, and Lybia ; Cretes and Arabians, stood in astonishment when they heard, in their own languages, the wonderful things of God, spoken by the apostles; and so powerful was the effect of
the inspired word of God, coming from the mouth of Peter, that in one day three thousand converts added themselves to the Church. Many of these, returning to their native lands, bore with them the seeds of the divine word; so that the apostles, when they went from Jerusalem to preach to the whole world, found in many places the way opened before them. The cure of the lame man in the portico of the temple, and the discourse addressed to the wondering multitudes, by St. Peter, increased the number of believers to five thousand. But the princes of the Jews could no longer remain silent; the priests and sadducees, enraged by the intelligence of our Lord's resurrection, hastened to the temple, seized Peter and John, cast them into prison, and on the following day, placed them before their tribunal. When the prince of the apostles spoke to the council, proving the necessity of believing in Him whom they had crucified, his accusers could do no more than dismiss him, with a severe prohibition of again teaching in the name of Christ. “ Judge ye, if it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God," was the generous answer of the disciple of Christ.