A POLITICAL SERMON.
“In the crowded old Cathedral all the town were on their knees.”
“That’s not preaching la morale. And it’s actionable!” a vigorous man energetically gesticulated among the crowd in the Circuit Court Room.
The subject of excitement was a sermon by the Cure.
Messire L’Archeveque, of Dormilliere, was in most respects an unimpeachable priest. He ministered to the sick faithfully, after the rites of the Church, he gave to the poor, he rendered unto Caesar. But—but, he hated Liberalism. On this point he was rabid; and as his Reverence was a stout, apoplectic person, of delivery and opinions not accustomed to criticism, it sometimes laid him somewhat open to ridicule.
How the sermon was delivered, matters little to us. Suffice it that it was a bold denunciation of the Liberals, named by their party name, and that there were some strong expressions in it:
“My brothers—when the priest speaks, it is not he who speaks,—but God.”
“My brethren, when the Priest commands you, it is the Church which commands you; and the voice of the Church is the voice of the Eternal. ... Look at France. Remind yourselves what she was in the centuries of her faith, devout and glorious, the lily among the kingdoms of the earth, because she was the Eldest Daughter of the Church. Behold her at this time, among the nations, dying in the terrible embraces of FREE-MASONRY!!”
“Take warning by her, brethren. Follow her not! It is the Liberals who have done this. Crush out the seeds of that doctrine! Let the spirits which call themselves by this name never have peace among you. Avoid them! Distrust them! Have nothing to do with that people! May the wrath of our Father descend upon them, the damnation of the infernal dungeons! and—” he brought down his book’s edge loudly on the pulpit,—“the excommunication of the Church of God, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman!”
The book was taken up once more, and slamming it down again with all its force, the good cure turned and waddled from the pulpit.
* * * * *
Since the first moments when Chrysler’s eyes rested on the village of Dormilliere from the steamer’s deck, the observations of the place and its people were to him a piquant and suggestive study.
He had been there but a few hours when he discovered its central fact. The Central Fact of Dormilliere was the Parish Church.
First, it was the centre in prominence as a feature of the view, for with the exception of the Convent school, no one of the string of cottages and buildings, stone, brick and wood, which constitute the single street of the place, presumed to rival it even in size, but all of them disposed themselves about it, and, as it were, rested humbly in its protection, particularly the Convent school itself, a plain red-brick building, which stood by its side.