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therefore, all the more beautiful, for it proved the victory of grace over nature. The victory was complete ; if nature showed sometimes a disposition to rebel, she was instantly suppressed, and nothing was seen but the meekness, gentleness, and forbearance of divine grace.
Bishop Fenwick's consideration for the feelings of others was another beautiful trait in his character. He could not bear to give the least pain to another, and he studied to hide his excessive tenderness under an affectation of harshness and severity, which, however, only made it the more apparent. He delighted to have his children, especially his clergy, around him, and was never happier than when they shared freely his boundless hospitality. Nothing could be more delightful than to mark his kindness to them and their love and veneration for him. Nothing was constrained, nothing was cold or distant. It was truly the reunion of the father and his children. No one was overlooked, no one was unwelcome ; and we have of
; ten admired the unaffected, the apparently unconscious, consideration shown to the feelings of each one present. If one had been longer absent than usual, without any sufficient reason, or seemed to show that he doubted whether he was perfectly welcome or not, the conversation was always sure to take such a turn, and without any one's being able to perceive when or how, as to make him certain that his absence had been regretted, and that, if any thing had occurred to wound his sensibility, it was unintended, and would be atoned for at any sacrifice. All this was done so naturally, so spontaneously, so unconsciously, so from the heart, that none but a very nice and practised observer could detect or suspect it.
He ever studied to make others happy, and his joy was always to see himself surrounded by glad hearts and smiling faces. He had had his trials, and trials of no ordinary severity; he had met with many things, in the administration of his diocese, to grieve his paternal heart ; but he never permitted his own afflictions to cloud his brow, or that of another. With him all was smooth and sunny, and you imagined that he was free from all solicitude, and that no care ever oppressed him. This trait in his character was strikingly displayed all through his long and painful illness. He had naturally a vigorous constitution, and had always enjoyed robust health. In 1844, he assured us that he knew sickness only by seeing it in others. When, therefore, he was taken down in the early part of the last winter, we all felt, and he must himself have felt, that it
would most likely go hard with him, and that his recovery was, at best, extremely doubtful. But his habitual cheerfulness never for a moment deserted him. He knew how much we all loved him, and how painful it would be to his flock to feel that he was suffering, and that there was danger that he would be removed from them; and he made light of his disease, continued as playful as ever, compelling us to forget, when with him, that he was ill and dying. He rarely alluded to his illness; answered to our inquiries, that he was well or very nearly well ; talked of matters and things in general, and of his plans for the Church, for his people, as if nothing ailed him, and really made one feel that his sufferings were but trifling. He would have no one afflicted on his account ; and up to the Saturday previous to his death sat in his usual place, talked in his usual lively and brilliant strain, and the
stranger admitted to his table would not have dreamed that he was not in his usual health. And yet, none of this time was he free from suffering. For nine months he had not lain down, and had no means of resting himself but in changing from one chair to another.
They who knew him were not surprised that he bore his long, tedious, and painful illness without a single complaint, a single murmur, and that he manifested never the least impatience, but exhibited throughout the whole the most perfect gentleness and resignation ; for they expected no less. He felt that suffering was good for him, and he was thankful for it. If needed as a purgatory, it was better to have it here than hereafter ; if not so needed, it would only afford the opportunity of acquiring a larger stock of merit. Death had and could have no terrors for him. To our remark, in the early stages of his sickness, that we were unable to look upon death as a thing to be dreaded, he mildly rebuked us, and replied, is a great thing to die ” ; but when the opinion of the physicians was cominunicated to him, that his disease must prove fatal, he exhibited not the least emotion, not the slightest change of look, tone, or manner.
He said his own opinion was different, but it was best to act as if it were not. He subsequently rallied, and many thought he would recover ; those who saw him daily, and knew the nature of his disease, thought otherwise. But when he was taken down for the last time, on Saturday previous to the Tuesday on which he died, when it was evident to all that his departure was at hand, and Bishop Fitzpatrick told him that hope was gone, and he must die, he
exhibited no more emotion than on the former occasion. He simply replied, calmly and in his usual tone, “ In the name of God, then, let us prepare.” He recollected himself for a few moments, and then made his confession and received the last sacraments. From that time till Tuesday forenoon, his sufferings were great and almost unremitted, but he bore thern without a murmur, without a groan; was cheerful as usual, and consoled those of his children around him as long as the power of speech remained.
of his truly edifying death we cannot speak in detail. It was what was to have been expected from his life. He retained his faculties and his recollection to the last moment. He knew the change that was taking place, but it did not take him by surprise. All his life had been but a preparation for it, yet he made all the acts and preparations the time and the occasion required. He who had never left him, who, through all his sickness, had nursed him with the tender affection of the son and the tenderer charity of the Christian, stood by him, whispering suitable aspirations in his ear, which he repeated after him. His last words were, “ In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in æternum.” As he repeated the words, half formed, the agony seized him ; he stretched forth his hands as
1 if for absolution and the last indulgence, which were given ; some one thought they heard him respond, “ Amen”; the agony was over ; the spirit was emancipated, and its joy was reflected on that countenance which had been so dear to us all.
We have nothing more to add. His monument is in the grateful recollections of his people, whom he fed with the bread of life, and governed with equal affection and wisdom for over twenty years. Everywhere in his diocese we may read the proofs of his paternal solicitude, his wisdom and energy, his devotion to the people of his charge, and of his having lived and labored with no thought but for the greater glory of God, and the advancement of the Church. He has stamped his character on his diocese, and his influence will continue to be felt till that day comes when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the heavens and the earth be dissolved. He found his diocese with only three small churches, and one priest ; he leaves it with nearly fifty churches, and as many priests. His flock was poor, small, and scattered ; his means, saving his paternal inheritance, all of which he expended for the Church, were to be created. Yet he succeeded in creating them, and, to no small extent, in providing for the wants of his diocese. He relieved the poor, paid especial attention to the education and training of the young, and finally crowned his well-spent life with the erection of that noble monument to his love of learning and his zeal for his people, the College of the Holy Cross, at Worcester, destined to be, if the youngest, yet the first, of the noble literary institutions of New England, and where the grateful student long shall kneel at his tomb, and pray that he may be like him, and his last end like his.
His remains, on the Thursday after his death, were carried in procession, an immense concourse of people following, from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to the railroad depot, from there on the cars to the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, where they were deposited agreeably to his wish and his special request. Requiescat in pace. Take him all in all be was such a man as Heaven seldom vouchsafes us. It will be long before we look upon his like again. But he has been ours ; he has left his light along our pathways; he has blessed us all by his pure example and his labors of love, and we are thankful. We bless God that he gave him to us ; we bless God that he has seen fit to remove him from his labors to his
Not Catholics alone wept his removal. Our whole city seemed to feel that one of her firmest supports was taken away. Religious differences and prejudices for the moment were hushed, for it was felt that God was speaking. The conduct of our citizens during his sickness and the funeral obsequies was what we expected from Bostonians, and induced many a regret that they are not more generally members of that Church which alone can exalt their proverbial philanthropy into charity, and give to their benevolence and energy a direction safe for themselves and glorious for humanity.
Bishop Fenwick is succeeded by his former coadjutor, the Right Reverend John Bernard Fitzpatrick, a native Bostonian, born Novenber 1, 1812. He received his early education in the public schools of this city ; he made his humanities and philosophy at Montreal, Canada, and his theology at the Seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris. He was selected by Bishop Fenwick to succeed him, and we may be permitted to trust that not all of the father we have lost will disappear in the one we have found. Long may his life be spared to us, and, when called to the reward of his labors, may he be followed by the tears and benedictions of his people! The Church is now firmly established in this diocese ; the principal obstacles have been overcome ; and its course will be constantly onward, if Catholics are only careful to practise the requirements of their holy religion.
Art. VI. — Thornberry Abbey: a Tale of the Times.
York : Dunigan. 1846. 18mo. pp. 244.
This makes the fourth number of Dunigan's Home Library, and, as a literary production, is the most finished of any number of the series which has yet appeared. It is reprinted from an English work, founded on incidents supplied by the recent extraordinary movement in the Anglican Establishment. Though we take a deep interest in our own literature, and are ready to welcome any work of merit from an American author, we think Mr. Dunigan has done well to depart from his original intention, of confining himself to domestic productions, and to include this interesting tale in his series of works for popular reading. Mr. Dunigan is one of our most liberal and enterprising publishers, and he has a laudable desire to encourage native talent, and to call forth a domestic literature for the Catholic public; but we are inclined to think his attempt somewhat premature. For the present, better works, works far better adapted to nourish and strengthen the Catholic life, may be obtained from Ireland and England, or by translation from the French and German, Italian and Spanish, than we can ourselves produce.
The time is not distant when we may engage in the work of producing a national literature in earnest and with success. There is to be an American literature which will compare favorably, and more than favorably, with the most admired literatures of the world, and this literature is to be the product of Catholic America. The present national literature is virtually infidel, and must be shortlived ; Protestantism, which is a reaction against Christianity, must soon burst and vanish in thin air, with its works ; modern civiliza. tion, as distinguished from the ancient Greek and Roman, is Christian, has been the work of the Church, and is informed with the Catholic spirit, and will not assimilate to itself what is not Catholic. It may receive it as an indigestible mass for a time, but must, sooner or later, expel it as a foreign substance. The heathen and the utmost parts of the earth are given to our Lord for his inheritance and possession, and no attempt to wrest them from him will succeed. They must all come under his law. Catholicity is the only living or lifegiving principle in the world, and no national