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The snow began to fall again, as I came in sight of the farm whither I was going. Round it, in the angles of its several closes, stood here and there a rick of hay, from which, as I passed one after the other, flew clouds of sparrows. In the bleak hedge-rows, with heads turned aslant as if eyeing the slender rillet below them, threading its way among the broken ice and drooping bents of grass, I watched them for a few moments, and then saw them flocking back for shelter to the hay-rick they had just left. They knew where to rest. And well would it be if those Galatians of our own day were as single-eyed as the poor fowls of heaven. Yet, “after they have known God”- the source and sum of all goodness, blessedness, and comfort; they can turn back again to the starving and beggarly rudiments of superstition and formalism !

But the graver—the more awful, charge against these deluded and deludiog “priests" of puseyism, I had not yet examined. The poor ragged beggar-boy with whom I had conversed, who appeared scarcely able to discern between the right hand and the left, and who had apparently not one clear idea of God, of Christ, or of his own character and position with respect to them, had been accredited to the High Court of Heaven, by the sign manual only of an erring fellow-creature! Perhaps he was by no means an average specimen of the class usually admitted to the rite of baptism-but what of that? The crying atrocity remained the same. He who bears the key of David, opening and shutting, at his royal will and pleasure, solely, the great gates of heaven, had been wronged and robbed, and the unquiet conscience had been lulled to sleep by the assurance that the priest had power on earth to forgive, sins, and to admit all who asked it, to membership in Christ's holy catholic church.

I am forgetting, however, the main business of my story; and must, I fear, close it, without reaching the domicile of John Curtis, though it stands just before me, the blue smoke-wreaths from its wood fires driven aslant by the gibbering wind, against the dull grey sky beyond it. And now we are crossing the strawyard, with here and there a cow drowsily chewing the cud beside the thatched crib standing near the barn door. And Ball, the black horse, is startled, or affects to be so, by the pigs that are burying themselves in the litter.

doing in this part of the country ?”—for conversant as I was with every nook and corner in the neighbourhood, I knew he must have come from a distance.

“Father's here, sir," said he—" he come down last week, and I comed with him.".

“ And what is your father; what does he do, and where does he come from?"

He don't do nothing : he goes about,” replied the boy.
“A tramper? I suppose-is that it ?"
“The boy stared stupidly, but gave me no answer.

“Where is you father, now ?” said I, laying an emphasis on the last word.

“Down i' the wood yender,” said the boy, jerking his head in the direction indicated.

" Out of doors, this bitter day? or who does he live with ?"

“He lives along o' mother, and little Charley: but he ain't out o' doors : he's in the cartup.”

Where ?" said I, the last word being so slurred over, that I did not catch its meaning; but as the boy could give me no farther explanation, I came at last to the conclusion that he meant the cart-top or cart-tilt, where I afterwards learned that he had been.

“But what's your name,” I added, as the boy still stared stupidly in my face.

With a grave look, and a tug at his ragged and dusty hair, he handed me a dirty bit of paper, which I at first declined to look at, thinking it might be something of the begging-letter kind; but as he trotted briskly after me, when I turned away, and seemed anxious that I should see it, I took it from his hand, and read as follows :

“ This is to certify that Richard Bozwell was this day admitted by baptism into Christ's Holy Catholic Church, and made a member of the same. Meadow Parsonage,

R. PARADISE, Vicar. Fest S. Egid. 18**

“Well! my boy,” said I, when my surprise in some measure abated, “and who does this belong to-where did you get it?"

The boy grinned; but said nothing.

"Whose name is this?" I added, putting the question in another form—“who is Richard Bozwell? Is that your name, or does it belong to any one else?”.

The boy gave a nod of affirmation, but as this might be understood as an answer to either member of the sentence, I continued“Do you mean to say it's your name?".

Another nod settled the point. This ragged little fellow was the baptized party. He evidently looked upon the paper as a kind of charm. It had been given him, as I afterwards found, as a passport for admission into some puseyite school, in the parish where his father had resided some months before, and which school he had a few times attended for the sake of certain pecuniary advantages not unacceptable to his vagabond parents.

Having gleaned these facts, and ascertained the present whereabout of the boy's father, I pursued my walk with increased briskness, for the day was one that would not allow of indolence out of doors. Getting over a style by the road-side I heard a slight rustle by the hedge, and up started a fine hare. On, and on, and on-away he ran as fast as his fleet legs could carry him. The field was a wide one, comprising probably some forty or fifty acres, but he made right across it to the opposite hedge. There, I thought, he would find plenty of cover, but he presently re-appeared on the farther side, and kept on, right away to the birch wood that crowned the rising ground bounding the prospect in that direction, and looking sleepy and shadowy and unreal, amidst the wide, white landscape.

Poor thing, thought I-I wish the world would take a lesson from your caution. I meant you no harm, and could have done you none had I wished it. Out of arm's length, you would have been out of the way of mischief: beyond the gun's range you might have defied any one. But you did not linger on the skirts of danger : you could not rest till half a mile beyond its reach. How many sorrows should we escape were it so with us, and could we hear and heed the friendly warning—" Go not by itturn from it and pass away.

Trite as were these reflections, they possessed a novel force

from the peculiar incidents of this morning's walk. He who plays near the hole of the asp will sooner or later fall a victim to his folly. Parley and Compromise are near relations-almost as near, probably, as Expediency and Surrender. • I walked on, thinking of the beggar-boy and his baptismal certificate. Was it a genuine document? Of this I had little doubt from the first, and that doubt was removed when I looked at the peculiar manner in which it was dated. The first item in the charge brought against the tractarians of apostolic times—

the head and front of their offending' was their superstitious regard to days of reputed sanctity. I took out my pocket Testament, and turning to the fourth chapter of Galatians, read the ninth and tenth verses. “After that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage ? Ye observe days, and months, and times and years,--I am afraid of you!" · What! thought I, could he, who had challenged the magistrates and magnates of Rome, who could stand undaunted before kings and rulers, who had fought with beasts at Ephesus, and could look calmly on bonds, imprisonment, and death-could he fear a concession so apparently trivial, so seemingly paltry as this? And yet undoubtedly he did. Had he lived in our own day he would have told us how easy a step it was from Peter to Alphege ; from James to Hilary; from David to Dominic; from Jesus to Giles. He was determined to know no man after the flesh; and lest the jesuit with all his low cunning craftiness, should plead that Christ was no man, but God : he tells us that He was no exception to the rule, and that henceforth he had resolved, in this sense, to know even Christ no more.

Surely, if it be no light thing to turn from a full, perfect, and soul-satisfying system, to beggarly elements, it must have been a much graver matter to be “ in bondage" to them. Yet this is the pitiful position of those who are turning to such questionable saints as Egidius, or Giles, the fabled patron of cripples and mendicants - who observe his feast as a day of peculiar sanctity, of sanctity derivable, of course, solely from its association with its patron ; “ for without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the better.”

The snow began to fall again, as I came in sight of the farm whither I was going. Round it, in the angles of its several closes, stood here and there a rick of hay, from which, as I passed one after the other, flew clouds of sparrows. In the bleak hedge-rows, with heads turned aslant as if eyeing the slender rillet below them, threading its way among the broken ice and drooping bents of grass, I watched them for a few moments, and then saw them flocking back for shelter to the hay-rick they had just left. They knew where to rest. And well would it be if those Galatians of our own day were as single-eyed as the poor fowls of heaven. Yet, “after they have known God'--the source and sum of all goodness, blessedness, and comfort; they can turn back again to the starving and beggarly rudiments of superstition and formalism !

But the graver—the more awful, charge against these deluded and deluding “priests” of puseyism, I had not yet examined. The poor ragged beggar-boy with whom I had conversed, who appeared scarcely able to discern between the right hand and the left, and who had apparently not one clear idea of God, of Christ, or of his own character and position with respect to them, had been accredited to the High Court of Heaven, by the sign manual only of an erring fellow-creature! Perhaps he was by no means an average specimen of the class usually admitted to the rite of baptism- but what of that? The crying atrocity remained the same. He who bears the key of David, opening and shutting, at his royal will and pleasure, solely, the great gates of heaven, had been wronged and robbed, and the unquiet conscience had been lulled to sleep by the assurance that the priest had power on earth to forgive, sins, and to admit all who asked it, to membership in Christ's holy catholic church.

I am forgetting, however, the main business of my story; and must, I fear, close it, without reaching the domicile of John Curtis, though it stands just before me, the blue smoke-wreaths from its wood fires driven aslant by the gibbering wind, against the dull grey sky beyond it. And now we are crossing the strawyard, with here and there a cow drowsily chewing the cud beside the thatched crib standing near the barn door. And Ball, the black horse, is startled, or affects to be so, by the pigs that are burying themselves in the litter.

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