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This short description will give some idea of the vast size of the building, and of the great labor that must have been bestowed
it. In the midst, however, of this splendour, it is a sad reflection, that these buildings were often dedicated to the most contemptible animals, and that they were raised by a multitude of oppressed and degraded beings, at the command of some ambitious and cruel tyrant.
SECOND SUNDAY AT GENEVA.
I Have often considered that among the various privileges derived from the love of reading, there are few more sweet than that of being enabled so to profit by the labors of others, as to visit foreign lands without enduring the fatigues and privations of the traveller ; and to be as it were transported into distant regions, without being subjected to those pains and toils which all persons experience who are willing to barter their rest and comfort in order to obtain a wider view of the wonderful works of God, and of the various devices and caprices of the human race.
Yet it is not every one that has travelled who possesses the delightful power of conveying even an intelligent mind, on the wings of fancy, to the regions which he has visited, or of bringing before his reader so much of what he has himself seen and felt, as shall enable him in some degree to see and feel with himself. Far be it from me to pretend to the possession of that superior gift; nevertheless, as my former communications have been pronounced to be generally of an interesting nature, I feel myself encouraged to proceed with my account of the various Sundays spent by me on the Continent, not doubting that my reader will be fully satisfied with the variety of facts which it will be in my power to bring forward. My last communications were from Geneva, and the present are from the same place. I gave an account of my having formed an acquaintance with a respectable old gentleman. I shall call him my new friend, not choosing to give his real name. Whilst taking iny breakfast with my family in a large common room at the inn the
next morning, he was introduced. He entered as a person well known by mine host and his satellites, and he informed me that he came to fulfil his promise, namely, to conduct me to where I might, during my residence at Geneva, associate with persons, who although still feeling themselves, with the holy apostle, subject to all the infirmities of a corrupt nature, yet earnestly desired to be set free, having this confidence, that being in Christ their victory over sin and death was assured, inasmuch as being members of the one glorious Head, their redemption was complete in him, although the period of the full manifestation of that redemption was not yet arrived. I will confess that it was more than a second after the worthy gentleman had finished his speech before I was able to answer him, not quite comprehending the signification of his words, perhaps because his language was not my mother tongue; perhaps because the sentiment he desired to express was not quite clear to me; which perceiving, he spoke again, altering his mode of expression.
“ What I would say, my good sir, is this,” he added, “ that if it is agreeable to you, I will introduce you to a family where
you will be received, not merely as a lodger, but as a christian brother; a family of which the principals have no hope, no confidence, no assurance, but in the merits of the Redeemer-who receive him as their Saviour in the fullest sense of the word, and who having been brought to the knowledge of him by the Father, are assured of sanctification by the Lord the Spirit, and thus travel gladly forward in the path of life, in the perfect confidence that what has been commenced by him who cannot lie and cannot change, will be finished in them, notwithstanding all human infirmity and unbelief."
“ I understand you now, sir,” I replied, “ and I am ready to attend you.” With that I took up my hat and followed the leadings of my respectable guide. When all is said which can be said of Geneva, it must be acknowledged that the interior of the town is by no means to be admired : parts of it are extremely old, the buildings are immensely high and heavy, the wood work clumsy, the shops dark, and with the exception of one new street, making no appearance; and in many places the houses seeming to be tumbled one upon
another without form or plan, shewing masses of gable ends, wooden galleries in dilapidated conditions, crumbling turrets and clock houses, with sundry other irregularities, seen more clearly from the inequality of the ground on which they are situated. Yet all without and around this ancient city is magnificent and lovely: the town is surrounded with ramparts or green enbankments, where are beautiful walks, and long avenues of horse chesnutsma tree more excellent for its beauty and shade than from any other benefit it affords to mankind; and from beneath these shady walks who shall say what wonders of creation are extended before the eye, whether that eye is turned towards the Jura on one side, or the Salevés on the other; whether it rests on the snow-crowned mountains of Chamouny, or on the calm bosoin of the lake, or on the fair fields and ample meadows which are in the vicinity of the town, or on the villages and country houses sparkling among the trees with their copings and spires of bright tin-all is fair and smiling and various, inviting to the praise of Him who created all things for his own glory. Hence, when having passed through the Porte de Rive, and over the bridges which traverse the ditches of the town, I was not surprised to find myself presently in a region where beautiful trees and green lawns mingled themselves with the houses, which were scattered singly or in two and three together amongst gardens and plantations. “Here," said my companion, “I bring you to the ancient place of the habitation and possessions of the Bishop of Geneva. We still call this small green lawn the Bishop's Meadow. On our right hand, within that wall, stands what is left of the palace of the prelate ; those venerable chesnut trees clustered together in that garden mark the place—but we have acknowledged no human bishop since the time of Calvin. Would to God that in these days we had not, by a public act of our national church, also renounced the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls ; but come on,” he said, “God has his hidden ones even in this degenerate city, nay, every where throughout the whole world he has his chosen ones; and if we look closely into scripture we shall find that there is no promise that under the present order of things the sheep are to be otherwise than
a scattered lock; ay,” he added, " and a flock too, which by reason of the corruption of their natures, even in this their destitute and scattered condition, fail not to push at each other with shoulder and with horn; but so it is, and so it will be, till the true Shepherd return, and gather them to himself; then shall they be all fed on the high mountains of Israel, and they shall dwell quietly in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods."
My worthy friend, thus speaking, opened a door in the wall on our right, and brought me into a beautiful garden, where the odour of many flowers burst upon one sense, whilst the song of birds and hum of bees provided an equally delightful feast for another. - We call this place le pré fleuri,"? said my guide, “a place of blossoms and promises; do you understand
my allusion, my good sir ? Many who have tarried a while here, as you and I may do, for I call this my
home at present, have dated the first budding of their better hopes from their residence within these walls; and yet we pretend not here to perfection. We are poor, erring, sinful mortals there is much that is amiss in us, but I trust that the love of God reigns in our hearts, and that this divine and living prin. ciple acts unceasingly as a counteraction of the deadly workings of our corrupt nature.”
I had given myself up to the guidings of my new friend, and I therefore said little in answer to this; and inasmuch as I am not permitted to extend my communications beyond a certain point, I shall simply add, that he took me to the house which was situated in the centre of this fair garden, introduced me to the family, and all arrangements being made, I with my children found myself established in charming apartments in this house before the afternoon of this very day.
But whereas I must not lose sight of my principal object: I shall pass over the next five days of my history, and proceed to the account of the manner in which we spent our first Lord's day in this our new abode.
One previous remark, however, must be made. I have observed in a former communication that the Jewish sabbath, being a day of formal or exterior observances, might, according to the strict letter of the law, be enjoined on persons having no spiritual discernment or feeling. Not so the Lord's day, which is enjoined on Christians by spiritual obligations. It follows, then, that according to the regular course of human affairs, the Lord's day cannot be set apart from a worldly manner of life during the week, to be kept according to the Divine will by a mind filled up with worldly feelings and worldly habits. That rest which is merely external and formal, may succeed a six days spent in dissipation or unsanctified labor ; but that rest which is spiritual, cannot alternate with ụpholy occupations, and any attempt to unite it to do so, must necessarily fail.
The whole system of Popery consists of an effort to balance a life of vice against a variety of forms, the one being set against the other as in a debtor and creditor account: hence their multiplied penances, prayers, holy days, distinction of meats, &c. &c. whereby, in some instances, the body is worn out, whilst the maladies of the soul remain not only uncorrected, but confirmed ; inasmuch as all ideas of merit to be obtained by a man's own effort only, tend to darken the understanding, and to make the case of the individual more desperate, by rendering him less apprehensive of his danger, and less willing to accept a remedy. I have been led to this remark by consi. dering that if my second Sunday at Geneva was one of the happiest I ever spent, this happiness, or rather this fitness of my mind to enjoy the privileges of that day (humanely speaking), did not so entirely proceed from the desirable manner in which every thing was arranged that day, as from the mode in which we, the members of the household, had spent the previous six days. We were assembled in a boarding-house, and took our meals in a large saloon : being all of us professing Christians -perhaps I may say more, all serious, well-intentioned persons, but otherwise various and imperfect, every one being peculiar in one way or another—some talking too much, others too little, some too loud, some too low; one person being slow and prosaic, another inclining to be dictatorial, and so on; but one and all acknowledging the great truths of religion, and feeling his spiritual interests, and those of his fellow-creatures, to be paramount to all other concerns. Hence during the week, we had often spoken together of the covenant mercies