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as one of "the elect of God, holy and be- a brother's soul will gain for the benefactor loved," he has obeyed the apostolic injunc- the remission of his own sins, will stand him tion, "put on bowels of mercies, kindness, in account, as it were, on the great day of humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffer- solemn judgment, and will be a means of ing, forbearing one another, and forgiving one delivering his soul from that second death
to which the ungodly shall be consigned!
, so also do ye." But there are not only erroneous notions over, which is often referred to, as counteentertained relative to the nature of charity, nancing the unscriptural notion that almsbut also as to its value. The opinion is very deeds atone for sin. “ Above all things, prevalent that there is a certain efficacy in have fervent charity among yourselves; for almsgiving to atone for sin; not that the charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” sufficiency of the Saviour's atonement is de- This text is frequently so interpreted as to nied, or the value of the redemption pur- lead to the unscriptural notion, that the chased by his blood called in question, but charitable man will, by his philanthropy and that almsgiving is supposed to procure the beneficence, conceal or blot out his own favour of God by counterbalancing some sin transgressions; so that when he stands before to which men may be addicted.
the great white throne, his good actions, reThe church of Rome has magnified the corded in the book of remembrance, will value of alms-deeds to an extent utterly sub- avert the punishment due to his offences : versive of Scripture truth. She thus has while, in fact, the true meaning of the pasenriched her coffers and extended her in- sage is, that he who is imbued with a spirit fluence. She has fulminated her maledic- of charity will carefully conceal, palliate, tions against all who dared to question her or forgive the faults of a fellow-creature, authority on this, or on any other points. But which is well described by his hiding these the error to which allusion is made, is not faults. And this, in fact, will be the feeling confined within the pale of her communion of every true Christian. He will be exceedIt has widely spread among Protestant com- ingly cautious in pronouncing judgment upon munities, and many members of our own another; in this respect he will keep his Church cannot be brought wholly to give up mouth as with a bridle, that he offend not the notion, that in some way or other alms- with his tongue. He will be very slow to deeds have a claim to the Divine favour. mark or to magnify the mote in the eye of
St. James declares, if any do err from a brother, from a consciousness that there is the truth, and one convert him, let him know, a beam in his own. Conviction of sin will that he which converteth the sinner from the lead to self-abasement. Clothed with huerror of his ways shall save a soul from death, mility, he will be slow to condemn any but and shall hide a multitude of sins." The himself. He will think no evil of his fellowgreatest kindness that one man can perform man. He will rejoice not in iniquity, but to another is to endeavour to be an instrument in the truth. He will bear all things, believe in God's hand of furthering his salvation; all things, hope all things, endure all things. and therefore the truly charitable man will He will remember that this very principle of be far more anxious to benefit his brother's love is one grand feature of the Christian soul, than to minister to his temporal wants, character, one distinguishing mark whereby or to add to his bodily comforts. The true the servants of the Lord Jesus may be known. meaning of this passage appears to be, that “ In this the children of God are manifest, he who by bringing the Gospel, through God's and the children of the devil; whosoever blessing, home to the heart of a sinner, doth not righteousness is not of God, neither converts him from his evil course, and leads he that loveth not his brother; for this him to become a suppliant for mercy, de- is the message that ye heard from the belivers that man's soul from spiritual death ginning, that we should love one another." in this world, and eternal death, with all its In a word, he will act from Christian mohorrors, in the world to come; and so brings tives, and upon Christian principles. He him as a penitent to the foot of the cross, will seek to possess the mind, to be imbued that he obtains the perfect remission of all with the spirit, to imitate the example, and his transgressions, so that they shall not to be transformed into the image, of the appear against him for condemnation at the adorable Saviour; and the nearer he aplast great day. The benefit spoken of in proaches to this great object of his aim, the the apostle's declaration is that which he greater will be his anxiety to benefit every shall experience, who is converted, not he, child of fallen Adam. Were this spirit of who is the instrument of converting. And charity more widely diffused throughout the yet this passage of Scripture has been so world, what a different scene would present interpreted, that the good work of benefiting itself to our view! Alas! how often has
Christianity been brought into contempt, by | torious, nor to be mixed up with faith in the want of this heavenly grace in those the justification of the sinner. He will inwho boast much of the soundness of their sist on their necessity, because such is the belief and the correctness of their principles ! inseparable connexion between the two, that How frequently have the hands of the enemies where there are no works, there cannot posof the truth been strengthened, by a lack of sibly be a living, though there may be an charity in those who professed to have their historical, faith. He will take care that their hearts filled with love towards God and their relative position shall not be misunderstood. fellow - creatures ! How tremendous their And the more he inquires into the views of guilt, and how just their punishment, who, those around him, the more convinced will by inconsistency in this respect, cast a stum- he be that the error on this point is fearfully bling-block in a brother's way, and lead him prevalent. He will seek to combat this error; to reject the salvation of the Gospel ! for it has a tendency to induce men to build
It is not difficult to trace the erroneous their hopes of pardon and acceptance on views of the efficacy of charity, as atoning other than the true foundation. for sin, to their true source. They not un- trace to it much of that lack of spirituality, frequently spring from the pride of the un- which he deplores, - much of that indifferrenewed heart. Whatever tends to magnify ence, which, without a breach of charity, man, is naturally dear to man; and hence causes him to regard the spiritual state of there is a repugnance to receive those doc- those in whose welfare he is much interested, trines which are set forth in the Gospel, as in the highest degree dangerous. Experiwhich declare that after man has done all, ence will teach him, that even the delusive he is an unprofitable servant, and which make notion, that sin may be pardoned for money, him dependent for salvation on the free, will not lead the sinner to part, except grudgunmerited mercy of God in Christ Jesus. | ingly, even with a small portion of that money; These views also may, in not a few instances, and that man never becomes truly benevolent, arise from an unwillingness to begin the and energetic in administering to the relief of painful work of mortification and self-denial; the destitute, or the furtherance of any good to combat unholy desires, to crucify darling work, until the love of the Saviour is shed lasts, and to root out dearly cherished affec- abroad upon the heart, and he is then contions; for, if almsgiving can merit heaven, strained to do all that lies in his power to then heaven can assuredly be more easily promote the temporal, spiritual, and eternal FOD. The strait gate is widened, the nar- welfare of his brethren.
T. row way is rendered broader. It is a comparatively slight sacrifice, to part with a portion of our worldly goods, compared with
Biography. the sacrifice of those lusts, which, though
THE LIFE OF ST. AUGUSTINE, BISHOP OF HIPPO, they " war against the soul," and will ultimately, if not eradicated, destroy it, are yet Tuis eminent man was born in the year 354, in the so dear to the natural man, that, to relinquish city of Tagasta, in Numidia, of respectable parents. them, is, according to the Saviour's own His father, whose name was Patricius, continued a declaration, to pluck out the right eye, to
Pagan till near his death; his mother was Monica,
renowned for Christian piety. While a child, Augustine cut off the right hand.
was seized with a violent disease, and seemed upon The pernicious consequences resulting from the point of death. Filled with terror, he asked earsuch an erroneous view of charity as is here nestly for Christian baptism; but as his disorder subset forth, cannot fail to be obvious. It has a
sided as rapidly as it had advanced, the rite was
delayed, the convictions of the boy were forgotten, tendency to lower the sense of obligation and he grew up perfectly indifferent to all religion. which man ought to feel to the Saviour, for Augustine pursued his studies first at Madaura, his grace and mercy in opening a fountain afterwards at Carthage. Possessing much quickness for sin and for uncleanness: and also to lead
of parts, he made a great proficiency in literature and to lax and unscriptural notions of that holi- anxious only that he should gain credit in the world.
eloquence. This pleased his friends. They were ness of heart and life “ without which no And he, unrestrained by any religious principle, ran man shall see the Lord.” The Christian greedily into almost every kind of vice. His mother's minister requires to be continually on his warnings he despised, and would have blushed, he
afterwards acknowledged, to be thought less wicked guard, lest such erroneous opinion should be
than his companions. And when he prayed to Godentertained by any members of his flock. as even then he sometimes did - his request was, He must be careful to set forth charity as “ Convert me, O Lord; but not yet." He wished first the evidence, and not the primary cause, of
to take his fill of sin, to enjoy all those miserable pleaa state of grace.
sures which the world affords, before he took on him He will be anxious to
the hard yoke, as he then deemed it, and heavy burden shew that good deeds, whether they consist of the Gospel. in almsgiving, or in other acts of kindness or
See Augustine's Confessions, his Life by Possidonius, and beneficence, are neither of themselves meri
Milner's Church History, cent. v.
At Carthage, a remarkable change took place in to thee my own disgraces, for thy glory. What am I, Augustine's views. He had hitherto been chiefly de- left to myself, but a guide rashly conducting others to sirous of the fame of eloquence; but, by reading a a precipice? And when I am in a better state, what treatise of Cicero's, he was now attracted to the study am I but an infant feeding upon thee, the bread that of philosophy. Like the Greeks of whom the apostle perisheth not? What is any man, since he is Aesh? speaks, he anxiously sought "wisdom.” But the wis- Let the proud and the strong despise us; but we, who dom of the world he found unsatisfactory. Vicious as are weak and poor, would confess to thee." was his conduct, he had learned from his mother's At this time, Augustine maintained himself by teachmilk to pay some reverence to the name of Christ. ing rhetoric. He was first so occupied in his native And that name was no where to be seen in the writings town; but being afflicted by the death of a young of philosophers. He resolved, therefore, to read the friend whom he had perverted to Manicheism, but Holy Scriptures, to see what they were. But coming who, there is reason to hope, expired in the faith, he to that volume with a proud mind and self-sufficient went and settled in Carthage. Here he began to spirit, he could not relish it. His pride was disgusted have some doubts with respect to the superstition he with its manner; his penetration could not enter into had embraced. And as none of his acquaintance its meaning. Those who are content to be as little could satisfy his mind, they advised him to wait till children, find, in the word, Christ to be the power of the all-accomplished Faustus came to Carthage. This God, and Christ the wisdom of God; but Augustine as Faustus was an eloquent man, and, as report said, a yet disdained to be a child, and, puffed up with vain liberal and well-informed scholar. Augustine was in conceit, imagined himself possessed of manly wisdom. his twenty-ninth year when he arrived; and, on freely In this temper he met with some of the Manichees, a conversing with him, soon discovered such utter igsect of heretics, who had in their mouths the mere norance in this Manichean teacher, that, though he sound of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and were continued a Manichee, it was no longer because he always talking of the truth, the truth, yet who entertained thought their doctrines true, but because he now most absurd opinions of the works of nature, infe- despaired of discovering truth any where. Soon after, rior even to those of heathen philosophers. They he was persuaded to go to Rome to teach. In the supposed the Supreme Being to be material, and to providence of God, he was to find, as we shall see, that penetrate all nature. But their grand doctrine was, truth in Italy, which in Africa he had missed. But that there are two independent principles-a good one his mother, loath to be deprived of his society, and and an evil one. Thus they wandered into the worst fearing yet worse dangers to his soul, opposed his deblasphemies. Augustine imagined that he had here parture. He therefore set sail secretly.
“ Yet (says found the wisdom he was in search of, and eagerly he) was I preserved from the dangers of the sea, foul adopted their tenets.
as I was in all the mire of sin; and a time was coming Deeply was his mother grieved at her son's delusion. when Thou wouldest wipe away my mother's tears, In vain she reasoned with him; he was deaf to her with which she watered the earth, and even forgive expostulations. But she had at this time a singular this my base undutifulness. And what did she beg of dream, which she took to be a presage of Augustine's thee, my God, at that time, but that I might be hindrecovery. She seemed to be standing on å plank, ered from sailing? Thou, in profound wisdom, rebewailing the danger of his destruction in a bottomless garding the hinge of her desire, neglectedst the pare abyss. A person came, and asked her the cause of ticular object of her present prayers, that thou her sorrow; and, on her answer, charged her to be of mightest gratify the general object of her devotions." good cheer; for that where she was, there also her Augustine did not remain long in Rome. An applison should be. On which, she instantly beheld him cation had been made to one of the magistrates of standing by her on the same plank. When she told that city to send a professor of rhetoric to Milan. By this dream to Augustine, he endeavoured to evade its the interest of some friends, Augustine obtained the force, and said, " It might intend to exhort her to be appointment, and speedily removed to Milan, where what he was." "No," she promptly answered, "it was the court was at that time resident. The venerable not said, Where he is, there thou shalt be; but, Where St. Ambrose was then bishop of the place, a man rethou art, there he shall be.” He acknowledges that nowned for piety throughout the world. He received this answer made, even then, a strong impression on the young African like a father; and the latter conhis mind. And for years did this excellent motherceived a warm affection for the bishop; not indeed as wrestle in prayer with God for her child's conversion. a teacher of truth, which he had no longer any hope He was in the very filth of sin, sinking deeper and of finding, but as a friend actuated by paternal kinddeeper; but still she prayed. She asked a certain ness towards him. He attended his lectures chiefly bishop to reason with him, who declined, thinking that with a desire of discovering whether fame had done expostulation, at present, would make him only more justice to his reputation. But pleased with his disobstinate, and that, in a while, he would more easily courses, he was gradually brought to listen to the see the error of the course he had adopted. This bishop's doctrine. Many of his former objections to reply did not satisfy the anxious parent, who urged the faith were removed, and he became convinced of again, with floods of tears, her request. “Go, go," the falsehood of Manicheism; still, however, without said the bishop ; "it cannot be that the child of those embracing the Gospel. tears should perish." These words impressed her, At this time his mother arrived in Milan, and, she afterwards told her son, as if it were a voice from learning his present situation, expressed her humble heaven.
confidence in Christ, that, before she left the world, “For nine years," says Augustine of himself, “I she should see her son a sound believer. She became lived deceived, and deceiving others; seducing men a diligent attendant on the ministry of Ambrose, whom into various lusts, openly, by wliat are called the she honoured and loved as an angel of God, for what liberal arts, and secretly, by a false religion ; in the he had already been the means of effecting: But former, proud, in the latter, superstitious ; in all things Augustine's progress was slow. It was only by deseeking
vain-glory, even to theatrical applauses and grees that he was persuaded of the divine authority of contentious disputes; and, to complete the dismal pic- the Scriptures. He still was guilty of acts of imture, a slave to the lusts of the flesh,--so infatuated morality. And though he began to understand more was I with the follies of the Manichees; and I drew clearly the character of God, and in some measure to my friends into them, and with them practised the desire acquaintance with him, he read Plato, the impieties of the sect. The arrogant may despise me, heathen philosopher, rather than the Gospel. "I did and all who have never felt a salutary work of self- not yet (says he), in humility, hold the lowly Jesus humiliation from thee, my God. But I would confess my Lord, nor know the mysterious power of his weakDESS, that he might humble, nourish, and at length mother died in peace. Her eyes had seen the Lord's exalt heavy-laden souls. Far other thoughts had I salvation. conceived of Christ. I had viewed bim only as a man Arrived in Africa, Augustine lived for nearly three of unequalled wisdom. But of the mystery of the years upon his own estate, retired from the world; Word made flesh, I had not formed the least sus- but having then been induced to come to Hippo, a picion. When I began to conceive of the immaterial city of which Valerius was bishop, he was there, at infinite Supreme, I talked of these things like a the united desire of Valerius and of the people, orperson of experience; but was perishing, because, dained to the ministerial office. At his ordination, he roid of Christ, I desired to appear wise, was puffed wept from a deep sense of his own inadequacy to such up with knowledge, and wept not. Love, on the a station. But God giveth grace to the humble; and foundation of humility, which is Christ Jesus, was to his ministry was remarkably blessed in the edification me unknown. The books of Plato knew not this.” of the brethren, and in the defeat of various heresies. At length, he turned to the inspired volume, and Fortunatus, the great leader of the Manichees, was studied particularly the apostle Paul. The cloud, obliged to leave Hippo in confusion, when he found which had once hung over his epistles, seemed now himself vanquished in a conference with Augustine. removed; the Gospel truth became, as he read, clear Valerius, thanking God for such a helper, and feeling to bis mind.
age and infirmities steal on, did not rest till he got Yet, though confirmed in his doctrinal views, Au- Augustine appointed bishop of Hippo, in conjunction gustine's heart was still uncleansed. He was satis- with himself. Augustine, with much reluctance, acfied that the Saviour was the way; but to tread him- cepted the office, which he continued to fill alone after self that narrow path, he was still unwilling. Not Valerius's death, his zeal and laboriousness increasing able, however, to rest, he consulted Simplician, an with his authority. aged and experienced Christian, who had been the The discipline by which the Lord had exercised spiritual father of Ambrose, and, by his conversation, Augustine in his conversion produced most profitable he seemed to feel inclined to follow the Saviour. effects. An instrument was thus raised up by Him who But he had a hard battle to fight. When he would do is “wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working,” good, he found a law in his members warring against admirably fitted to oppose a heresy which soon after the law of his mind. He understood by experience sprung up in the Church. This heresy was Pelagianwhat he had read, that “ the flesh lusteth against the ism; and it has been briefly characterised as a docSpirit, and the Spirit against the flesh :" he had to trine which “ pretended to the height of purity, supcomplain with the apostle, “ Wretched man that I ported by mere human nature, exclusive of the operaann! who shall deliver me from the body of this tions of divine grace altogether." The Pelagians death ?" He frequented diligently all the means of denied the infection of original sin ; and, in short, grace, but found no comfort; when one day, St. Paul's maintained proud self-righteousness in its worst shape. epistles lying on his table, he was conversing with Augustine was at first disinclined to receive an unfatwo friends, who spoke of the self-denial of persons vourable impression against Pelagius ; but by and by, they had known, for the Gospel's sake. Augustine's the opinions of that heretic were too clearly enounced conscience was struck. He felt himself still beneath to leave any doubt of their real nature. The bishox the borden and bondage of sin : he rose up hastily, of Hippo set himself, therefore, in the strength of the and, in an agony of grief, with many tears, threw him- Lord, to refute them. A short extract from one of his self upon the ground, and cried, “How long, Lord, letters may serve to shew his sentiments. “Your wilt thou be angry? for ever? remember not my old words oblige us not to be silent concerning those who iniquities : how long shall I say, to-morrow? Why labour to corrupt what is sound; nor is it a small should not this hour put an end to my slavery ?" error for men to think they have in themselves whatThen, suddenly, he thought he heard a voice, saying, ever is obtained of righteousness and piety; and that * Take, and read ; take, and read.” Believing this God helps us no further than by the light of revelathe command of God, he rose, returned hastily to tion; and that nature and doctrine are the only grace where the book was, and, opening it, read, “ Not in of God. To have a good will, and to have love, the rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wan- queen of virtues, they say our own arbitration suffices. tonness, not in strife and envying : but put ye on the But what says the apostle ? • The love of God is shed Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Rom. xii. 13, 14. to us,' that no man may think he has it from himself.” Immediately the tempest of his soul was calmed: he It would obviously be foreign to the purpose of this was enabled to give himself up to Christ, and found brief memoir to speak at any length upon this controthat peace in believing which passeth understanding. versy: I shall only add, that Augustine lived to see He went to tell his joy to his mother, who now tri- the fruit of his labours against Pelagianism, in the mphed in the abundant answer given to her petitions. growth of Christian purity, both in his own church, The child of her prayers and tears was saved; he was and in other parts of Africa. brought into the fold of Jesus.
Besides his successful opposition to the Manichees Augustine describes in animated terms the blessed- and the Pelagians, the bishop of Hippo found himself ness he felt. “ I bowed my neck to thy easy yoke, compelled to contend with the Donatists. This sect and my shoulders to thy light burden, Christ Jesus, differed from the general church chiefly on the quesmy helper and Redeemer. How sweet was it to be tion, whether a certain individual had been rightly free! I conversed familiarly with thec, my light, my consecrated bishop. Augustine had in all bis controriches, my Saviour, and my God.” He now signified versies been remarkable for his meek and quiet spirit: to Ambrose his desire of receiving baptism ; and was lie was prevailed on, however-such is the infirmity of soon after, in the year 387, and the thirty-second of man at his best estate – to concur in certain severe his age, by that venerable bishop admitted into the measures against the Donatists, inconsistent with the Church by that rite. Very pleasant were now the true principles, not then sufficiently understood, of ordinances of religion to him. “ I could not at that toleration. But it must be said in his favour, that time (he says) be satisfied with contemplating the some of this sect appear to have been little better mystery of redemption. The hymns and songs of thy than a band of ruffians. Augustine himself was an Church moved my soul intensely; thy truth was dis- object of their hatred; and once, on a visitation of tilled by them into my heart; the flame of piety was his diocesema work he discharged frequently and kindled, and my tears flowed for joy.” Resolving to laboriously—by a peculiar providence, his guide misreturn into Africa, he gave up his employment at taking the way, he went a different road from that by Milan; but before he could depart, his excellent which he had purposed to travel: he learned after
BY CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH.
wards, that by this means he had escaped an ambushı give himself wholly to devotion. He made no will; laid for him.
he had neither money nor lands to leave. His library The writings of Augustine are voluminous, and are, he gave to the Church. Of his relations he had pregenerally speaking, very valuable. It is to be wished viously taken care. that every clergyman of our Church were, in some So lived, and so died Augustine. He did not attain measure at least, acquainted with them. He appears the crown of martyrdom; but his name is worthy to to have been very successful as a preacher. One or be had in everlasting remembrance. He was a true two anecdotes may illustrate this. “ We must not disciple of Jesus ; and is now before the throne of imagine (he says in an epistle to a friend) that a God. There, as having turned many to righteousness, man has spoken powerfully when he receives much he shall shine as a star for ever and ever. S. applause. This is sometimes given to low: urns of wit, and merely ornamental eloquence. . . . . When I endeavoured to persuade the people of Cæsarea to
PASSING THOUGHTS. abolish their barbarous sports, in which, at a certain time of the year, they fought publicly for several days, I said what I could; but while I heard only their ac
NO. IV. - THE CAPTIVE. clamations, I thought I had done nothing : when they During a day's visit to the great metropolis, wept, I entertained a hope that the horrible custom, which they had received from their ancestors, would
I had occasion to pass through one of the be abolished. It is now upwards of eight years since narrow streets of Bloomsbury ; and there, that time, and, by the grace of God, they have ever suspended from a nail, below a dirty groundsince been restrained from the practice.” Again, he floor window, I saw a cage of very small dione day said at table, “ Did you take notice of my sermon to-day, that I did not finish what I proposed ?".
mensions, in which was a full-grown lark. His friends replied, that it had astonished them at the Painful as it is at all times, and under any time. “I believe (said he) the Lord might intend circumstances, to behold any of God's creasome erroneous person in the congregation, through tures in captivity, there is something pecumy forgetfulness, to be taught, and healed; for in his hand are we and our discourses. While I was hand
liarly revolting to every humane feeling when ling the points of the question proposed, I was led the prisoner is a British bird, formed to reinto a digression, and so, without concluding the joice and revel in our own free atmosphere. subject in hand, I terminated the argument rather But in this case, something more touching against Manicheism, on which I had no design to have spoken a word.” In a few days came a merchant,
was superadded. Just on the top of the opwho threw himself at Augustine's feet, and, weeping,
posite house fell a ray of brilliant sunshine : entreated his prayers, confessing that he had lived while a casual opening between some roofs many years a Manichee; but that, by the bishop's discourses, he had, through Divine mercy, been lately
presented the most inviting track of azure convinced of his error. Augustine inquired by what
sky: and, to complete the picture, several sermon in particular he had been convinced; and was
sparrows were Auttering and twittering upon told it was by that one in which he was so singularly the tiles. The poor lark, with back deled from his intended subject.
pressed, beak pointing upwards, and wings Augustine, besides his labours in preaching, visiting, and writing, was often occupied in hearing causes,
half lifted from his sides, stood close to the which, according to the rule in 1 Cor. vi., the Christians
front of his cage, as in the very act to spring, of Hippo were used to bring before their bishop. In and rise to the spot on which his eyes were attendance upon councils he was frequent. His dress, intently fixed. But, alas ! the prison-bars furniture, and diet, were moderated between extremes. He was " given to hospitality;" and, at meals, en
were around him; and, taught by sad expecouraged reading or argument. An avowed enemy to
rience, he forbore the efforts which would slander, he had written on his table two Latin verses, but have bruised and lacerated his tender which implied, that whoever attacked the character of frame. I walked on under feelings of indig. the absent would be excluded. And once, when some bishops, his friends, broke this rule in conversation,
nant sympathy, almost regretting that the he faithfully warned them, that either these lines must
laws of property forbade my opening the cagebe erased, or that he himself would retire. He was door and setting the captive free. carefully attentive to the relief of the poor, and always I could not forget the poor lark : alike in evinced in himself a great disinterestedness of cha- the broad, busy street, in the narrow,
cheerracter. Such was Augustine. His latter days were full of
less lane, and in the spacious square, thickly trial. Genseric, king of the Vandals, had invaded set with trees and flowering shrubs, did the Africa. The city of Hippo was besieged; and, ever image of the pining prisoner haunt me. I anxious for the good of souls, the bishop earnestly believe it was the attitude of the bird, rather laboured to win over the nobleman who commanded the defence of it, to Christ. He himself was taken
than the mere fact of his captivity, that moved from the evil to come. He prayed, he said, that God
me so much. It was that he evidently felt would either free them from the siege, or endue his his doom -- that he saw his way to happier servants with patience, or take him out of the world to himself. After the city had been besieged about
scenes; and yet, from utter hopelessness of three months, he was seized with a fever, which ended
success, refrained from trying the wires, of in his death, in the year 430. He was seventy-six
which he but too well knew the unyielding years of age. He said frequently that a Christian strength. A lark! a creature made to soar, must never cease to repent, even to his last hour.
and sing at a height whereto the eye of man He had David's penitential Psalms inscribed on the wall in his illness, and read and wept abundantly; and
cannot follow him, though the ear may catch for ten days before he expired he wished to be unin- those powerful tones of free and fearless meterrupted, that, except at certain intervals, he might lody! A lark! to whom the highest tree