Imagens das páginas

The warden, who conducted him into the Church, is a prudent confessor, whose duty it is, to instruct the sinner, and lead him to a knowledge of the sacred Scriptures, by which the soul may pass unharmed to immortality. But sometimes tempests arise, and hurry a man to his own country, as it happened to Alexius. The temptations of the Evil One, are symbolized by these tempests, which turn the voyager from his settled course, and prevent a life of goodness. If, therefore, you feel that you are subject to certain temptations, follow the example of the holy Alexius. Assume the dress of a pilgriin--that is, take the qualities necessary for the pilgrimage of this life, and disguise yourself from your carnal and worldly father, and become a man of God. But if it fall out, that when such a one aspires to a life of penitence, his parents lament, and decry their child's contempt of the world, and his voluntary choice of poverty for the love of God.-still, it is safer to displease them, than Heaven. Obtain, therefore, a fair piece of paper, which is a good conscience, on which inscribe your life; and

then, the High Priest with the emperors will draw near-that is, Christ with a multitude of angels--and convey your soul to the church of St. Boniface that is, to eternal life, where all sanctity (or joy) abounds.



We read of a certain Roman Emperor, who built a magnificent palace. In digging the foundation, the workmen discovered a golden sarcophagus, ornamented with three circlets on which were inscribed, “ I have expended -I have given- I have kept-I have possessed—I do possess—I have lost-I am punished.” In the front also, was written, "What I expended, I have; what I gave away, I have.”(13) The Emperor, on seeing this, called to him the nobles of his empire, and said, Go, and consider amongst ye, what this superscription signifies.” The noblemen replied, “ Sire, the meaning is, that an Emperor, who reigned before your Majesty, wished to leave an example for the imitation of his successors. He therefore wrote, “I have expended'—that is, my life ; judging some, admonishing others, and governing to the best of my ability. I have given, that is; military equipments, and supplies to the needy; to every one according to his desert. ' I have kept,'—that is, exact justice; shewing mercy to the indigent, and yielding to the labourer his hire. . I have possessed, that is, a generous and true heart; recompensing faithfully those who have done me service, and exhibiting at all times a kind and affable exterior. .! I do possess,'—that is, a hand to bestow, to protect, and to punish.

I have lost, -that is, my folly; I have lost the friendship of my foes, and the lascivious indulgences of the flesh. . ' I am punished,'that is, in hell; because I believed not in one eternal God, and put no faith in the redemption.”

[ocr errors]

* (14) The Emperor hearing this, ever after regulated himself and his subjects with greater wisdom, and finished his life in peace.


My beloved, the Emperor is any Christian, , whose duty it is to raise a fair structure, that is, a heart prepared for the reception of God. If he dig deep, led onward by sincere contrition for past offences, he will find a golden sarcophagus,—that is, a mind gilded with virtue and full of the divine grace. Three golden circlets will ornament it, and these are faith, hope, and charity. But what is written there? In the first place,“ I have expended.” Tell me, my beloved, what have you expended? The good Christian may reply, “ Body and soul in the service of God." Whosoever of you, thus expends his life, will secure the rewards of eternity. The second legend saith, “ I have kept." Tell me, my beloved, what have you kept? The good Christian may answer, " A broken and contrite spirit.” The third inscription says, “ I have given.” Tell me, my beloved, what have you given? The good Christian may reply, " My whole heart to God." Et sic de cæteris.

[From hence, the morals have been abridged, and merely the chief heads of them given.]



An Emperor decreed, that whoever wished to serve him, should obtain his wish, conditionally, that he struck three times upon


palace-gate, by which those within might understand what he wanted. Now, there was a certain poor man in the Roman empire, called Guido; who, on hearing the mode by which admission to the Emperor's service was to be

« AnteriorContinuar »