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"Then let me point out to you that the true Church must be that one which was established by Jesus Christ himself, and through which for more than eighteen hundred years his doctrines have been promulgated. Our Lord, before he finished his gracious mission on earth, made choice of certain on whom he bestowed an accurate knowledge of all that persons, concerned the kingdom of God, in as far, at least, as it was fitting for beings still in the flesh to know of it. He gave them a special commission to teach the rest of mankind, and to appoint teachers to succeed them, promising that He would be with their successors till the end of the world. His very words were, 'Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' And again he said to these teachers, in reference to the true Church, 'He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me.' It is evident that the Lord appointed the Church to be his messenger to mankind, and that by false teachers and false prophets, of whom he warned the faithful, he intended to predict the future existence of men who should take upon themselves to disturb and calumniate that Church, to introduce their own unauthorised opinions, and presumptuously set themselves up as lights to the world. Of such are Luther, Zuinglius, Jerome Huss, Calvin, and many others. Those whom these men have misled are undoubtedly in error; they are aliens from the true Churchthe Church of apostolic succession. How can they expect to be accepted by Christ, when they deny him in denying the Church which He founded upon earth, and approved and blessed? That very holy symbol, the sign of the cross, which has been reverenced for ages, these free-thinkers disregard and ridicule. Bertha, my heart grieves that you should be one of these lost sheep. Oh return to the true fold! Oh let the sheltering arms of holy love enfold you! Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away ?'

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Had Bertha been as well versed in the Bible as her cousin Mrs. Lindsay was, she would have recognised the last glowing apostrophe to be a quotation from the Song of Solomon, and entirely uttered in a figurative or spiritual sense. But Solomon's Song never entered her brain; probably she had never studied that not very instructive portion of the Scriptures.

She paused in doubt, surprise, and something very much akin to joy; then she said, with a sigh,


Rudolph, pray be a little more explicit. You bid me 'come away;' where should I go?"

Rudolph perceived in a second that he had been misunderstood. He felt himself in a dilemma. He hesitated for a few moments, and then

said, calmly and gravely,

"I did not mean to suggest your removing anywhere; I meant your joining the Church of which I am an unworthy member."

The expression of Bertha's face suddenly changed, but before she had recovered sufficient self-command to say one word, her Roman Catholic friend put into her hand a small volume, which he begged her to oblige him by reading.

Ask counsel from no one, judge
guide you to a right comprehen-

"Read this carefully, dear Bertha. impartially, and may the Holy Spirit sion of what is so important to you; and, may I add, so anxiously desired by me."

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Rudolph left her, and the countess sat for a short time lost in thought; at length she said to herself,

"I wonder if all Roman Catholics make everything in life subservient to their religion? How can Rudolph be so bigoted? That dreadful uncle of mine must have contrived to warp his judgment, as well as to cast that painful gloom over his once gay and buoyant spirit. He means well, however, therefore I shall read his book."



It was some days before Bertha and her self-constituted Mentor met again alone. Mrs. Lindsay, though she perceived that her presence was by no means welcome to Rudolph, and though she had no predilection for his society, considered it her duty to watch over her cousin, and leave her as little exposed as possible to "Papist machinations."

"That Von Feldheim does not care a hundredth part so much for her as she does for him," she said to herself. "He is the coolest lover that ever I saw, if lover he be at all, which I don't believe. He will never marry her unless she turns Roman Catholic, and even were she to do that, I think it is a chance if he does not give her the go-by. There is something very mysterious about him, something sinister, which I don't like. But I don't think he is plotting for Bertha's money, though. I will do the man the justice to say he does not seem a fortune-hunter. If she must needs marry one of her own countrymen, I wish she would choose that very pleasant, amiable young man, Count Rosenthal; he is a Protestant, and with him she would be safe from being either driven or enticed into Romanism."

Mrs. Lindsay was not the only individual in Bertha's house who looked with suspicion on poor Rudolph. Old Andrew had many misgivings in his own mind; he thought there was something "no just cannie about him." Andrew asked himself what good there could be in a "chiel" who was a follower of "the man of sin" (by which he meant to designate the Pope), and prayed to the saints, and fancied he could buy his salvation from the priests; why, he was hardly a bit wiser than a Hindoo or an Indian savage. The old Scotchman would then reflect with much complacency on his own superior Presbyterian knowledge, and betake himself to study "the shorter catechism," though he knew almost every line in its numerous pages by heart. However, whatever he thought, he was much too faithful and too much attached to "the leddies" to breathe to living ear one syllable of his doubts, fears, animadversions, or speculations.

The first morning that Rudolph found Mrs. Lindsay out of the way when he called, he lost no time in asking Bertha about the religious work he had lent to her. She told him that she had read it attentively, that she had not shown it or mentioned it to her cousin, and that she had reflected upon its contents, but could not agree with them.

I do not wish to annoy you, Rudolph," she added, "therefore I shall say nothing."

"You will not annoy me," he replied; "I wish to hear your objec

tions; how can I refute them if I do not? Perhaps I shall be able to explain to your satisfaction passages that may have caused you some


"I am not capable of arguing with you," she said; "but though you may be able to make the worse appear the better cause,' you will not succeed in making me believe anything against my own conviction. You have no idea how obstinate I am."

Rudolph smiled: "Obstinacy is a failing that generally accompanies weakness of mind. You are not weak-minded. Come, now, do tell me some of your objections to the book ?"

"Well, then," said Bertha, rather impatiently, "I think it is nothing but sophistry from beginning to end. The book insinuates that the Church is to be the standard of belief and not the Bible. The doctrines agreed upon and the rules drawn up by this council and that, are to take precedence of the Gospel and the works of the inspired writers. You may think that popes, and cardinals, and priests are better guides in religion than the Scriptures, but I do not."

"You think, then, that educated and uneducated-all should read and interpret the Scriptures for themselves? That none need assistance from divines or spiritual guides-in fact, that the Church should be merely a sort of empty form, and that teachers of the word of God can perfectly well be dispensed with? The study of religion, Bertha, requires deeper thought and more time than the pursuit of any science; yet you would infer that the most common and illiterate person, whose whole life, perhaps, has been devoted to labouring with his hands for his daily bread, if he could spell the words of the Bible, would be as capable of understanding it as those who have read it in its original language, who have studied all the works of the fathers of the Church, and the commentaries of the most highly-gifted men. Tell me," he continued, "do you understand everything in the Bible? The prophecies of the Old Testament, for instance, or the Book of Revelation ?"

"No, of course I do not, and I don't believe the most learned divine -Catholic or Protestant-can understand the whole of the Revelations."

"Well, you Protestants think the Bible should be put into everybody's hands. Have you read the whole Bible through?”

Bertha shook her head.

"I must confess I have not."


"I am rejoiced to hear it; there are several passages in the Bible which are quite unfit for the perusal of any pure-minded woman. mistake us, Bertha, we do not deny the Scriptures; our Church only seeks to interpret them properly to the laity. The inquirer into the important science of salvation ought not to believe whatever suggests itself to his own fancy, but ought rather to seek for a wise director and spiritual guide, and depend in all things on his advice."

"And give up, then, all liberty of conscience, all exercise of thought —become a sort of animated automaton-a tool, a mental slave ?"

"It is our duty to submit to the teaching of those who are of greater sanctity, and have more knowledge than ourselves. Remember that humility is one of the most necessary of the Christian graces, and that the most dangerous of all temptations is that which would incline us to

rely on our own unaided reason and judgment. There are many things in revealed religion which even Protestants accept and profess to believe without understanding them. Remember that now we see through a glass darkly.' But God has accorded to the appointed teachers in the true Church of Christ a clearer vision than to others; they are not 'tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine,' but are 'endowed with certain high and supernatural privileges.* That Church, of which our Lord himself distinctly said, I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,' can never fall into error in any matter of faith, or doctrines, or morals."

"Pardon me, Rudolph. But how does that assumption of perfection agree with these words-I think I quote them aright- The whole world lieth in wickedness'? And if there were no wickedness among you, what do you want with penances and indulgences ?"

"There can be no wickedness in the Church, Bertha, though there is among its members and followers. Happily for sinners, the Church is invested with a power for the remission of sins to those who are truly penitent, who have had recourse to the sacrament of penance, and have somewhat cancelled their sins by prayer, fasting, alms, and other good works. The Church-the apostolic Church-is 'the steward of God's mysteries,' to it was granted from its foundation the power to remit and to retain sin. There is an inexhaustible fund of spiritual treasure confided to the Church-namely, the superabundant satisfaction of Christ and his saints. Out of this indulgences are accorded-accorded under certain conditions to sinful souls here-and even available for souls in purgatory. But heretics do not believe in purgatory."

"Well, heretic as I am," said the countess, "I feel very much inclined to believe in an intermediate state—a state of probation for spirits."

"The fathers of the Church held the belief of that intermediate state," replied Rudolph. "St. Augustine says: 'During the time which elapses between death and the last resurrection, souls are detained in hidden receptacles, and, according as they are worthy or unworthy, they are in repose or affliction.'

"There are degrees of guilt and degrees of virtue in this world, and I cannot reconcile it to my ideas of the wisdom and justice of the Almighty," said Bertha, "that He should condemn all grades of sin to the same amount of punishment, and admit all who are to be saved at once into the same fulness of happiness-into the society of angels, and the souls of the just made perfect."

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Certainly; you mean to draw a distinction, and a very proper one, between venial and mortal sin. This is a doctrine of our Church, but, I think, denied by Protestants."

"It seems to me a very reasonable doctrine; and the existence of an intermediate state, where souls may be purified, is so consonant to my idea of the mercy and goodness of the Creator, that, though it may not be admitted by Protestants, and, indeed, is denounced in the articles of the Church of England, I cannot but indulge in the belief of it.”

*Protestantism Weighed in its own Balance and found Wanting. Burns and Lambert.

Rudolph looked very much pleased, and said:

"Ah! I find my old playmate is not such a heretic, after all.”

"I hope, then, that you intend to make friends, like a good Christian, and pray don't let us quarrel any more about religion. Shall I sing you some of the songs you used to like when you were a Heidelberg student ?"

Without waiting for an answer she went to the piano, and began to play some chords, for she was exceedingly frightened lest Rudolph, in the intention of following up his victory, should return to the charge, and attack her about transubstantiation, or some other Roman Catholic doctrine.

"Do you remember this ?" she asked, as she played the symphony of a pretty song. "It is one which dear Agatha and I used to scream together."


Nay, not scream, but warble together, dear Bertha."

The countess had a charming voice, which had been extremely well cultivated, therefore she sang delightfully, and Rudolph, who was passionately fond of music, looked as entranced as if he had been listening to St. Cecilia herself. Sweet dreams of the past were stealing over him -he felt again as he used to do in his happy boyish days-he forgot the present, the future, and stood gazing on Bertha with unchecked admiration and affection, which seemed to be welling up from the very depth of his soul.

At this critical moment Mrs. Lindsay made her appearance. Rudolph started, and turned deadly pale. Bertha stopped suddenly, and involuntarily exclaimed:

"Oh, Flora!"

Her tone of reproach disconcerted Mrs. Lindsay very much, but she could not make herself invisible, and to rush out of the room forthwith she thought would be rather too pointed. Her entrance had broken the spell, and Mr. von Feldheim, once more calm and self-possessed as usual, took his leave, and left the ladies to themselves.




RUDOLPH returned to his solitary apartment in no very enviable humour. He was angry at Mrs. Lindsay, and angry at himself; he sighed as he thought of the past, he groaned as he thought of the future; and the hours of the present that were fleeting so fast awayhow strangely they were made up of happiness and of torture! Little did those who thought him so cold, measured, and apathetic, dream of the conflict that was going on in his mind-the internal fever that was consuming him!

On reaching his temporary home, he found a letter from the abbot of St. Dreux awaiting him. The sight of it did not tend to calm his perturbed spirit, yet he opened it eagerly. The abbot had written to inquire what progress he was making in the good work-the conversion of the young countess. He mentioned that he had heard his niece had


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