Abyssinia and its Apostle

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Abyssinia and its Apostle Details

This is the story of Monsignor de Jacobis. When I began the translation of this little book at the beginning of the year, I only thought of giving my readers the biography of a holy and apostolic Bishop, living in this nineteenth century, with whose reputation for sanctity and wisdom my Eastern wanderings had made me acquainted, even before the French publication of his Life. Other and more pressing occupations made me lay aside the translation for some months, when I was induced to resume it for the following reasons. Recent political events have given to Abyssinia a fresh interest in the minds of Englishmen; and, ill addition to this, I felt that the accurate descriptions of roads, scenery, and manners, detailed in Mgr. De Jacobis' letters, together with his just appreciation of the character of the Emperor who at present rules over that unfortunate country, might perhaps be of some assistance to those concerned in the present war, and enable them to estimate better the difficulties they will have to encounter, and the character of the man with whom they have to deal. Mary Elizabeth Herbert begins: ENGLISH people in general have a suspicion and a dislike of any thing which pretends to be the life of a saint. To begin with, the idea runs counter to all their preconceived ideas and prejudices: "There are no saints," they will tell you, "out of the Bible; and as for miracles, they have ceased to exist since the days of the Apostles." We will not enter into tho discussion of these points in this little book; and yet we hope to prove to such of our readers as have the patience to follow our story, that, in this nineteenth century of progress, and railroads, and electric wires, and materialism, there yet are men leading lives of devotion and sanctity equal to any in ages of a purer and more unquestioning faith; and that God rewards such lives by manifesting through them His power and glory in a manner utterly unexplainable by human philosophy or natural causes.
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