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OHfISTibMAS IN OLD ENGLAND. I In August lest the Rev Mr Clark, in Mel bourne, delivered a lecture on :-- Chrismnas in, old England, its customs and its carols," and as we are now of the eve of " Christmas in Australin," for the sake of the contrast we re-publish a synopsis of the lectuso. AMr Clark, on the subsldunce of the all pluuse, said tie would ask the audience to imagine themselves turned upside down (Inughter), and placed once more in old Eng land.. Then lie would wish them to think that they were sitting round a Christmas fire, blazing and crackling and throwing its ruddy light upon the happy party of 'lriends which each might delight to be with, while tie curtains were drawn close, and blak I winter reigned without. Ile wished to tell thleln a tireside story ot how Custistcmas was observed in the olden time. Fur the earliest observances of the close of the year as a season of lestivity, he would have to go very tar back indeed; and, in fact, tihe communence rment of stch a practice was 1,st itn the glimmeuring of antiquity. Religion lost nothing by the transference of the cause of rejuiciug Iroum the glorification ol'Saturn (the uncient Saturnalia) to thankfulness for tile birth ot the Saviour. Tihe spirit of Christi unity sonctilied these time honoured lesti vals and gave them a higher meaning. Still it was a fact that theey had been much abused of old ac being made seasons for gluttony, drunk enness and excess:of every kind Mluch, how. ever, that we would look upon as great irre verence was done in a devout spirit. Thie old mniralle plays made us laulle when we read of them, but they were undertaken vey seriously. Indeed, lhe had seen a petue.n, repl useeting it as a grievance that persons interfered with th, privilege of the clergy in getting up these spectacles. (Ltughter.) l'he buys of West minster School were reckoned very good actors in this way, and thle manner in whichl they personated tile animals at Noah's fluud wa. said to be wondefully natural. The animal used to walk ill and out of the ark on all fours, and solme of them made moral reflections to the great edification of the faithful. (Laughter.) After narrating other quaint partieouLre, the leic tuder proceeded to treat of the c.no.s sunai at the sacred season. lie had diirlded them into three hleads- clerical-like-(laughter)-anld he asked the choir to oblige the audience in the first instance with " A,.esto Fidelcs," one of the most sulemn and ancient Christian thymns extant The choir then sang the hy'mn in La tinl, with a measurel anua ilnpressive resollance. Next they gave trlan,.o itbbon's carol, " As on the night before the blessed saorn," tshe swelling strains of which came with an agree. able connast to the severer chaunt. The hymns Mir Clark denuarinated Eccleeastiela CruI, and uaftewards lie asked the choir to oblige with bomne populehr religious carols. They sang -" In Excelis Uloria,"' aud " Ihe Legend uf Joseph and the A ngel," a pritnitive composition breath. ing a pious siupleiity combined with an eccen- ullsety at idea and expreasson whisc provokes an involuntary sa ile. Then they gave a joyous Stwedish ecalnl Christ was born on Christmas Day,. Wreathen the hully, twineu the hay, Christus natun hOJie. Dr.ewing to this holy morne Very easty, vary early, Chlrist was born. These was a swinging gleefulness of expression inc the music to tlhis hymn witch made It very d~hghttul. Whlen tile illustratiuns 'had been thus far proceeded wi l, Mlr Clark told his auJioucu somethinlg about the waits, which many of thcell would snd doubt reulelmber. Is, the southler parts of Englanld they were going out of lashion, but ill northern and midland counties lie could tesutfy 'lfon receall oba cvu. tionl that the practice was kept ap al
mor t as vlgorou.ly as ever. The church chnirs went round in Yorks tire to the minister's hrounB and to those of thoe leading metnbers of the con regnt ona, and, after the songs, th"ey called out tor " largess," and were entertained with cake and wine and good " YTrkshito" al,. (Laugh. ter) The choir, at Mr Clark's invi:ation, gave I God rest you, merry gentlemnel," aid n French ditty of a similar kind, In spenking of carols, he could riot avoid an allusion to Dtck en a Christmas Car," and he :ecalltted the ltrtle incident of the shrie?ing c.ild singing throughs Scrooge's keyh ,lc, " tod bless - , the rest lieing cut off by Scrooge's shying a ruler at him. " llark, the herald argetos sing was then rendered by the caloir. br (:lark us erved that ihe had not found the ceurclt nmusi: first-rate in this colony, ulthioughl he Iust say that he only" had experience of one place uo worship. (Laughter.) lie hoped tite choir of his church wou.d take n lesson froml the tidies and genstlemten on the platform. Lastly, he came to treat of the Festive Carols, atnd the first he asked for was " TIhe loar's lcead," which the singers gave out wilt much applause. Mr Clark thfen gave a description of one of the old Englhsh feasts, and revelled in his illustra tions of tihe scenes and its charecter, giving sante ludiccous ateedotes "whlch tlight be true or might not," but which pleased the studience mightily. The mistletoe was, of course, delicately touched upun, to the intense amusement of the young laites pre'ent. iHe called for another gnoo hearty song from the situsteal company, , and they respondedl with ' The Itoest Uket of old England," tand when thley canoe to tlhe verse Great llualel, 'tis said, could eat dinner for six, Which was his reason on Englnnd to fix, As tihe land where good music with cating thny (Chorus)-Oh I the roast beef of old Eng land, And oh I the Old English ronss: beef, the npplause was terrific, The whole song had to be given over againl. Lastly, Mr Clark, after giving the audience laughter to their hearta' content, treated of some of tihe qu oter associa tions of Christmas, and the choir sang ; Come mother, father, children all A happy smiling band, Come b-n; those star-eyed pledgee near, That on life's threshold stanld, The buds of our domestic wealth, The strangels in our land. Then bless the winter for its snows, And for its frost aned cold, So kindly bringing all we love Within one happy fold. (Chosua)-Uosmo roulnd the hearth, come, connie.