« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
teach the way of salvatior. Wycliff's longer, and his father n a rage bea: Wicket Gate, The Obedience of a Chris him severely, and was eady to hang tian, or sometimes Luther's Revelation him. The preface itself invited men to of Antichrist, but above all some por- independent study, saying that “the tion of the word of God, which Tyndale Bishop of Rome has studied long had just translated. One man hid his to keep the Bible from the pecple, and books in a hollow tree ; another learned specially from princes, lest they should by heart an epistle or a gospel, so as to find out his tricks and his falsehoods ; be able to ponder it to himself even in knowing well enough, that if the the presence of his accusers. When clear sun of God's word came over the sure of his neighbor, he speaks with heat of the day, it would drive away him in private ; and peasant talking to the foul mist of his devilish doctrines.” peasant, laborer to laborer-you know Even on the admission, then, of official what the effect will be. It was the voices, they had there the pure and the yeomen's sons, as Latimer said, who whole truth, not merely speculative but more than all others maintained the moral truth, without which we cannot faith of Christ in England; * and it live worthily or be saved. Tyndale, was with the yeomen's sons that Crom the translator, says : well afterwards reaped his Puritan victories. When such words are whispered understand the Scripture unto salvation, is that
“ 'The right way? (yea and the onely waye) to through a nation, all official voices we ernestlye and above all thônge serche for clamor in vain : the nation has found the profession of our baptisme or covenauntes its poem, it stops its ears to the trouble- made betwene God and us. As for an example. some would-be distractors, and present, full, for they shall obtayne mercye. Lo, here
Christe sayth, Mat. V., Happy are the mercy. ly sings it out with a full voice and God hath made a covenaunt wyth us, to be from a full heart.
mercyfull unto us, yf we wyll be mercyfull one But the contagion had even reached to another.” the men in office, and Henry VIII. at What an expression! and with what last permitted the English Bible to be ardor men pricked by the ceaseless published. † England had her book. reproaches of a scrupulous conscience, Every one, says Strype, who could buy and the presentiment of the dark fu. this book either read it assiduously, or ture, will devote on these pages the had it read to him by others, and many whole attention of eyes and heart ! well advanced in years learned to read I have before me one of these grea. with the same object. On Sunday old folios,t in black letter, in which the poor folk gathered at the bottom the pages, worn by horny fingers have of the churches to hear it read. Mal- been patched together, in which an old don, a young man, afterwards related engraving figures forth to the poor folk that he had clubbed his savings with the deeds and menaces of the God of an apprentice to buy a New Testa- Israel, in which the preface and table ment, and that for fear of his father, of contents point out to simple people they had hidden it in their straw mat- the moral which is to be drawn from tress. In vain the king in his proc- each tragic history, and the application lamation had ordered people not to which is to be made of each venerable rest too much upon their own sense, precept. Hence have sprung much of ideas, or opinions; not to reason the English language, and half of the publicly about it in the public taverns English manners; to this day the coun. and alehouses, but to have recourse to try is biblical; 1 it was these big books earned and authorized men; the seed which had transformed Shikspeare's sprouted, and they chose rather to take England. To understand this great God's word in the matter than men's change, try to picture these yeomen Maldon declared to his mother that he these shopkeepers, who in the evening would not kneel to the crucifix any placed this Bible on their table, and read one of its chapters. Think that trated entirely in the one Being of they have no other books, that theirs whom they are the work and the pup. was a virgin mind, that every impres- pets. Earth is the footstool of this great sion would make a furrow, that the God, heaven is His garment. He is in monotony of mechanical existence ren- the world, amongst His creatures, as dered them entirely open to new emo- an Orienta, king in his tent, amidst his tions, that they opened this book not arms and his carpets. If you enter for amusement, but to discover in it this tent, all vanishes before the ab their doom of life and death; in brief, sorbing idea of the master; you see That the sombre and impassioned im- but him; nothing has an individual agination of the race raised them and independent existence : these arms the level of the grandeurs and terrors are put made for his hands these car. which were to pass before their eyes. pets for his foot; you imagine them Tyndale, the translator, wrote with only as spread for him and trodden by such sentiments, condemned, hunted, him. The awe-inspiring face and the in concealment, his mind full of the menacing voice of the irresistible lord idea of a speedy death, and of the great appear behind his instruments. And God for whom at last he mounced the in a similar manner, for the Jew, nafuneral pyre; and the spectators who ture and men are nothing of them. had seen the remorse of Macbeth * and selves; they are for the service of the murders of Shakspeare can listen God; they have no other reason for to the despair of David, and the mas existence; no other use; they vanish sacres accumulated in the books of before the vast and solitary Being who Judges and Kings. The short Hebrew extended and set high as a mountain verse-style took hold upon them by its before human thought, occupies and uncultivated austerity. They have no covers in Himself the whole horizon. aeed, like the French, to have the Vainly we attempt, we seed of the ideas developed, explained in fine clear Aryan race, to represent to ourselves Language, to be modified and connect this devouring God; we always leave ed." The serious and pulsating tone some beauty, some interest, some part shakes them at once; they understand of free existence to nature ; we but it with the imagination and the heart; half attain to the Creator, with diffithey are not, like Frenchmen, enslaved culty, after a chain of reasoning, like to logical regularity; and the old text, Voltaire and Kant; more readily we so free, so lofty and terrible, can re- make Him into an architect; we nattain in their language its wildness and urally believe in natural laws; we its majesty. More than any people in know that the order of the world is Europe, by their inner concentration fixed; we do not crush things and their and rigidity, they realize the Semitic relations under the burden of an ar. conception of the solitary and almighty bitrary sovereignty ; we do not grasp God; a strange conception, which we, the sublime sentiment of Job, who sees with all our critical methods, have the world trembling and swallowed up hardly reconstructed within ourselves at the touch of the strong hand; we at the present day. For the Jew, for cannot endure the intense emotion or the powerful minds who wrote the repeat the marvellous accent of the Pentateuch, I for the prophets and au- psalms, in which, amid the sile:Ive of thors of the Psalms, life as we con- beings reduced to atoms, nothing re ceive it, was secluded from living mains but the heart of man speaking things, plants, animals, firmament, sen- to the eternal Lord. These English sible objects, to be carried and concen- men, in the anguish of a troubled con
bureheaded, with veneration, heard or • Froude, ii. 33: “The bishops said in 1529, • In the crime of heresy thanked be God, there * Coverdale. Froude, iii. 81. hath no notable person fallen in our time.'” 1549. Tyndale's
translation. * In 1536. Strype's Memorials, appendix. | An expression of Stendhal's; it was brie Froude, iii. ch. ia.
* The time of which M. Taine speaks, and science, and the oblivion of sensible the translation of Tyndale precede by at least nature, renew it in part. If the strong fifty years the appearance of Macbeth (1606). and harsh cheer of the Arab, which Shakspeare's audience read the present author-breaks forth like the blast of a trunk ized translation.-TR.
See Lemaistre de Sacy's French translation pet at the sight of the rising sun and of the Bible, so slightly bibliaal.
of the bare solitudes,* if the menta. See Ewald, Geschichte des Volks Israel, his apostrophe to the third writer of tne Penta- * See Ps. civ. in Luther's admirable transla teuch, Erhabener Geist, etc.
tion and in the English translation
trances, the short visions of a lumin | Icon sheep. We have followed too much the ous and grand landscape, if the Semitic devices
and desires of our own hearts. We coloring are wanting, at least the seri. have left undone those things which we ought
have offended against Thy holy laws. ousness and simplicity have remained ; to have done ; And we have done those things and the Hebraic God brought into the which we ought not to have done ;
is no health in us. modern conscience, is no less a sover
But Thou, O Lord, have eign in this narrow precinct than in the Thou them, O God, which confess their faults
mercy upon iis, miserable offenders. Spare deserts and mountains from which He Restore Thou them that are penitent ; Accard sprang. His image is reduced, buting to Thy promises declared into mankind ir His authority is entire ; if He is less merciful Father, for His sake ; That we may
Christ Jesu our Lord. And grar poetical, He is more moral. Men read hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober with awe and trembling the history of life.” His Works, the tables of His Law, the nothing that
Thou hast made, and dost fergive
Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest archives of His vengeance, the proc- the sins of all them that are penitent; Create lamation of His promises and menaces; and make in us new and contrive hearts, tha: they are filled with them. Never has we worthily lamenting our sins, ana acknowledg: a people been seen so deeply imbued ing our wretchedness, may obtain o. Thee, bic
God of all mercy, perfect remissicn and forgiveby a foreign book, has let it penetrate ness. so far into its manners and writings, its imagination and language. Thence.
The same idea of sin, repentance forth they have found their King, and and moral renovation continually rewill follow Him; no word, lay or curs; the master-thought is always that ecclesiastic, shall prevail over His of the heart humbled before invisible word; they have submitted their con- justice, and only imploring His grace
Such a duct to Him, they will give body and in order to obtain His relief. life for Him; and if need be, a day state of mind ennobles man, and intro will come when, out of fidelity to Him, duces a sort of impassioned gravity in they will overthrow the State.
all the important actions of his life. It is not enough to hear this King, Listen to the liturgy of the deathbed, they must answer Him; and religion of baptism, of marriage; the latter first: is not complete until the prayer of the
“ Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wed. people is added to the revelation of ded wife, to live together after God's ordinance, God. In 1548, at last, England re- in the holy state of Matrimony? Wilt thou ceived her prayer-book * from the love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in
sickness and in health ; and, forsaking all other, hands of Cranmer, Peter Martyr, Ber: keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both nard Ochin, Melanchthon; the chief shall live ?" and nost ardent reformers of Europe were invited to compose a body of doc, scientious words. No mystic languor,
These are genuine, honest, and con. trines conformable to Scripture, and here or elsewhere. This religion is not to express a body of sentiments con made for women who dream, yearn, formable to the true Christian faith and sigh, but for men who examine This prayer-book is an admirable book, themselves, act and have confidence, in which the full spirit of the Reforma- confidence in some one more just than tion breathes out, where, beside the themselves. When a man is sick, and moving tenderness of the gospel, and his flesh is weak, the priest comes to the manly accents of the Bible, throb
him, and says: the profound emotion, the grave eloquence, the noble-mindedness, the re- “ Dearly beloved, know this, that Almighty strained enthusiasm of the heroic and God is the Lord of life and death, and of al poetic souls who had re-discovered things to them pertaining, as youth, strength,
health, age, weakness, and sickness. Christianity, and had passed near the fore, whatsoever your sickness is, know you fise of martyrdom.
certainly, that it is God's visitation. And for
what cause soever this sickness is sent unto “ Almighty and most merciful Father; We you ; whether it be to try your patience for the have erred, and strayed from Thy ways like example of others, ... or else it be sent unto
you to correct and amend in you whatsoever * The first Primer of note was in 1545 ; doth offend the eyes of your heavenly Father ; Froude, v. 141. The Prayer-book underwent know you certainly, that if you truly repent you several changes in 1552, others under Elizabeth, of your sins, and bear your sickness patiently and a few, lastly, at the Restoration.
trusting in God's mercy, ••• submitting your
se'l wholly onto His will, it shall turn to your the seats are fuli, the powerful Ho profit, and help you forward in the right way braic verses knock' like the strokes a that leadeth unto everlasting life."
a battering-ram at the door of every A great mysterious sentiment, a sort soul; then the liturgy unfolds its im. of sublime epic, void of images, shows posing supplications; and at intervals darkly amid these probings of the con- the song of the congregation, combined science ; I mean a glimpse of the divine with the organ, sustains the people's de. government and of the invisible world, votion. There is nothing graver and the ong existences, the only realities, more simple than this singing by the in spite of bodily appearances and of people ; no scales, no elaborate melody, tae brute chance, which seems to jum- it is not calculated for the gratificatior ble all things together. Man sees this of the ear, and yet it is free from the beyond at distant intervals, and raises sickly sadness, from the gloomy monot. himself out of his mire, as though he ony which the middle age has left in the had suddenly breathed a pure and chanting in Roman Catholic churches; strengthening atmosphere. Such are neither monkish nor pagan, it rolls like the effects of public prayer restored to a manly yet sweet melody, neither conthe people; for this had been taken trasting with nor obscuring the words from the Latin and rendered into the which accompany it; these words are vulgar tongue : there is a revolution in psalms translated into verse, yet lofty; this very word. Doubtless routine, diluted, but not embellished. Every here as with the ancient missal, will thing harmonizes-place, music, text, gradually do its sad work; by repeat- ceremony-to place every man, personing the same words, man will often do ally and without a mediator, in presnothing but repeat words; his lips will ence of a just God, and to form a moral nove whilst his heart remains inert. poetry which shall sustain and develop But in great anguish, in the confused the moral sense.*
gitations of a restless and hollow * Bishop John Fisher's Funeral Oration of mind, at the funerals of his relatives, the Countess of Richmond (ed. 1711) shows to ihe strong words of the book will find Countess was the mother of Henry VII., and
what practices this religion succeeded. The him in a mood to feel ; for they are liv- translated the Myrroure of Golde, and The ing, * and do not stay the ears like Forthe Boke of the Followinge Jesus those of a dead language; they enter Chryst: the soul; and as soon as the soul is beit she were not bound yet those days that
“ As for fastynge, for age, and feebleness, alstirred and worked upon, they take root by the Church were appointed, she kept them there. If you go and hear these words diligently and seriously, and in especial the holy in England itself, and if you listen to tite till one meal of fish on the day ; besides her
Lent, throughout that she restrained her appethe deep and pulsating accent with other peculiar
fasts of devotion, as Śt. Anthony, which they are pronounced, you will St. Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine, with other, see that they constitute there a national and throughout all the year the Friday and poem, always understood and always Clothes wearing, she had her shirts and girdles
Saturday she full truly observed. As to hard efficacious. On Sunday, when all busi- of hair, which, when she was in health, every ness and pleasure is suspended, be week she failed not certain days to wear, some tween the bare walls of the village time the one, sometime the other, that full often church, where no image, no ex-voto, no
her skin, as I heard say, was pierced therewith.
In accessory worship distracts the eyes, commonly was not long after five of the clock,
prayer, every day at her uprising, which
she began certain devotions, and so after their *" To make use of words in a foreign lan- with one of her gentlewomen, the matins of oui page, merely with a sentiment of devotion, the Lady; which kept her to then, she came inte mind taking no fruit, could be neither pleasing her closet, where then with her chaplain sho to God, nor beneficial to man. The party that said also matins of the day ; and after that, understood not the pith or effectualness of the daily heard four or five masses upon her knees; talk that he made with God, might be as a harp so continuing in her prayers and devotions unto or pipe, having a sound, but not understanding the hour of dinner, which of the eating day was the noise that itself had made ; a Christian man ten of the clocks, and upon the fasting day was more than an instrument; and he had | eleven. After dinner full truly she would go therefore provided a determinate form of sup- her stations to three altars daily; daily her plication in the English tongue, that his sub- dirges and commendations she would say, and jects might be able to pray like reasonable beings her even songs before supper, both of the day In their own language."--Letter of Henry and of our Lady, beside many other prayers anc VIII. to Cranmer. Froude, iv. 486.
psalters of David throughout the vear; and a
One detail is still needed to complete | ing often heard Bilney the martyr, and this manly religion - human reason. having, moreover, studied the world and The minister ascends the pulpit and thought for himself
, he, as he tells us, speaks: he speaks coldly, I admit, “began from tha: ime forward to smel with literary comments and over-long the word of God, and to forsooke the demonstrations; but solidly, seriously, Schoole Doctours, and such fooleries ;” like a man who desires to convince, and presently :: preach, and forthwith to that by honest means, who addresses pass for a seaitious man, very troubleonly the reason, and discourses only of some to those men in authority who justice. With Latimer and his con- did not act with justice. For thie was temporaries, preaching, like religion, in the first place the salient feature of changes its object and character; like his eloquence: he spoke to people of religion, it becomes popular and moral, their duties, in exact terms. One day, and appropriate to those who hear it, when he preached before the university, to recall them to their duties. Few the Bishop of Ely came, curious to hear men have deserved better of their fel. him. Immediately he changed his sublows, in life and word, than he. He ject, and drew the portrait of a perfect was a genuine Englishman, conscien- prelate, a portrait which did not tally tious, courageous, a man of common well with the bishop's character; and sense and practical, sprung from the he was denounced for the act. When laboring and independent class, the he was made chaplain of Henry VIII., very heart and sinews of the nation. awe-inspiring as the king was, little as His father, a brave yeoman, had a farm he was himself, he dared to write to of about four pounds a year, on which him freely to bid him stop the persecuhe employed half a dozen men, with tion which was set or foot, and to prethirty cows which his wife milked, a vent the interdiction of the Bible ; vergood soldier of the king, keeping equip ily he risked his life. He had done it ment for himself and his horse so as to before, he did it again; like Tyndale, join the army if need were, training his Knox, all the leaders of the Reforma: son to use the bow, making him buckle tion, he lived in almost ceasless expec on his breastplate, and finding a few tation of death, and in contempiation of nobles at the bottom of his purse the stake. Sick, liable to racking head. wherewith to send him to school, and aches, stomach aches, pleurisy, stone, thence to the university.* Little Lati- he wrought a vast work, travelling mer studied eagerly, took his degrees, writing, preaching, delivering at the and continued long a good Catholic, age of sixty ven two
mons every or, as he says, “in darckense and in the Sunday, and generally rising at two in shadow of death.” At about thirty, hav- the morning, winter and summer, to
study. Nothing can be simpler or night before she went to bed, she failed not to more effective than his eloq:sence; and resort unto her chapel, and there a large quar- the reason is, that he never speaks for ter of an hour to occupy her devotions." No marvel, though all this long time her kneeling the sake of speaking, but of doing was to her painful, and so painful that many work. His sermons, amongst others times it caused in her back pain and disease. those which he preached before the And yet nevertheless, daily, when she was in health, she failed not to say the crown of our
young king Edward VI., are not, like lady, which, after the manner of Rome, con
those of Massillon before the youthful taineth sixty and three aves, and at every ave, Louis XV., hung, in the air, in the to make a kneeling. As for meditation, she calm region of philosophical amplifi. had divers books in French, wherewith she cations : Latimer wishes to correct, would occupy herself when she was weary prayer.
Wherefore divers she did translate out and he attacks actual vices, vices which of the French into English. Her marvellous he has seen, which every one can point weeping they can bear witness of, which here
at with the finger; he too points them before have heard her confession, which be divers and many, and at many seasons in the year, out, calls things by their name, and lightly every third day. Can also record the people too, giving facts and details, sarse those that were present at any time when bravely; and sparing nobody, sets him she wa's houshylde, which was full nigh a
self without hesitation to denounce and dozen 'imes every year, what flonds of tears shere issued forth of her eyes!
reform iniquity. Universal as his mo: * See Ante, p. 81, note i.
rality is, ancient as is his text, he ap