And the drama closes, not in hopeless gloom, the agony of damned souls, but in redemption, reconciliation.
The day was beginning to dawn,--the day of his Passion, of our Redemption,--and a faint ray penetrating the narrow vent-hole of the prison, fell upon the holy and immaculate Lamb, who had taken upon himself the sins of the world.
Even when I was, afterwards, on due consideration, made sensible of my condition,--how I was cast on this dreadful place, out of the reach of human kind, out of all hope of relief, or prospect of redemption,--as soon as I saw but a prospect of living, and that I should not starve and perish for hunger, all the sense of my affliction wore off, and I began to be very easy, applied myself to the works proper for my preservation and supply, and was far enough from being afflicted at my condition, as a judgment from Heaven, or as the hand of God against me: these were thoughts which very seldom entered into my head.
Et inuenitur ibi rarius vespilio, latro, fur, homicida, iniurians, adulter, aut fornicarius, quia tales criminatores inuestigatione sollicita requiruntur, et sine redemptione aliqua perimuntur.
Labor was performed by slaves, by criminals sent over to the colonies and sold, and by "indented servants," or "redemptioners."
The laws respecting the redemptionersFootnote: The name given to these persons.
10, 5) state that the senator was also forbidden by law to undertake state-contracts (-redemptiones-); and, as according to Livy "all speculation was considered unseemly for a senator," the Claudian law probably reached further than he states.
The "Adorers of Jesus," the Redemptionists, the Brothers of the Christian Doctrine, the Brothers of the Congregation of the Holy Virgin, the Fathers of the Faith, the Order of St. Vincent de Paul--are Jesuits.
Everywhere you see the great emblem of our redemption,--on the loftiest pinnacle of the Mediaeval cathedral, on the dresses of the priests, over the gorgeous altars, in the ceremony of the Mass, in the baptismal rite, in the paintings of the side chapels; everywhere are rites and emblems betokening maceration, grief, sacrifice, penitence, the humiliation of humanity before the awful power of divine Omnipotence, whose personality and moral government no Catholic dares openly to deny.
During late centuries, their diplomatic intercourse with European princes has been scarcely relieved by a single interesting event, beyond their piratical wars and our complaisant redemptions of their prisoners.
Shall we then be so mindful of our common houses, deputed to such low occupations, and be forgetful toward that house of God, in which are expounded the words of our eternal salvation--in which are administered the sacraments and mysteries of our redemption?"--The persuasiveness of this argument is admirable, and its amiable tone and temper are infinitely more suitable than the florid appeal.