Изображения страниц

plies it to his contemporaries, to his must have pasture, which pastu:e if they lack audience, at times to the judges who the rest must needs fail them: and pasture they are there “in velvet cotes," who will cannot have, if the land be taken in, and ex.

closed from them." * not hear the poor, who give but a dog's hearing to such a woman in a twelve- Another time, to put his hearers on month, and who leave another poor their guard against hasty judgments, he woman in the Fleet, refusing to accept relates that, having entered the gaol at bail ;* at times to the king's officers, Cambridge to exhort the prisoners, he whuse thefts he enumerates, whom he found a woman accused of having sets between hell and restitution, and killed her child, who would make no of whom he obtains, nay extorts, pound confession :for pound, the stolen money.t From

“Which denying gave us occasion to search abstract iniquity he proceeds always to for the matter, and so we did. And at the spec. al abuse ; for it is abuse which length we found that her husband loved her cries out and demands, not a discourser, not; and therefore he sought means to make

her out of the way. The matter was thus: but a champion. With him theology a child of hers had been sick by the space of a holds but a secondary place ; before year, and so decayed as it were in a consump all, practice : the true offence against tion. At the length it died in harvest-time. God in his eyes is a bad action; the She went to her neighbours and other friends true service, the suppression of bad burial : but there was nobody at home; every

to desire their help, to prepare the child to the deeds. And see by what paths he man was in the field. The woman, in an heavireaches this. No grand words, no

ness and trouble of spirit, went, and being hershow of style, no exhibition of dialectics. self alone, prepared the child to the burial

Her husband coming home, not having great He relates his life, the lives of others, love towards her, accused her of the murder; giving dates, numbers, places; he and so she was taken and brought to Camabounds in anecdotes, little obvious bridge, But as far forth as I could learn circumstances, fit to enter the imag-through earnest inquisition, I thought in my

conscience the woman was not guilty, all the ination and arouse the recollections of circumstances well considered. Immediately each hearer. He is familiar, at times after this I was called to preach before the humorous, and always so precise, so king, which was my first sermon that I made impressed with real events and particu- sor; when his înajesty, after the sermon was

before his majesty, and it was done at Windlarities of English life, that we might done, did most familiarly talk with me in the glean from his sermons an almost com- gallery. Now, when I saw my time, I kneeled plete description of the manners of his down before his majesty, opening the whole age and country. To reprove the great, his majesty to pardon that woman.

matter ; and afterwards most hunibly desired

For I who appropriate common lands by their thought in my conscience she was not guilty ; enclosures, he details the needs of the else I would not for all the world sue for a

murderer. peasant, without the least care for con

The king most graciously heard

my humble request, insomuch that I had a parventional proprieties; he is not work don ready for her at my return homeward. In ing now for conventionalities, but to the mean season that same woman was deliv. produce convictions :

ered of a child in the tower at Cambridge,

whose godfather I was, and Mistress Cheke A plough land must have sheep ; yea, was godmother. But all that time I hid my they must have sheep to dung their ground for pardon, and told her nothing of it, only exhortbearing of corn ; for if they have no sheep to ing her to confess the truth. At the length the help to far the ground, they shall have but bare time came when she looked to suffer : I came, corn and thin. They must have swine for their as I was wont to do, to instruct her, she made tood, 10 l.sake their veneries or bacon of: their great moan to me, and most earnestly required bacon is their venison, for they shall now have me that I would find the means that she Light kangum tuum, if they get any other venison ; be purified before her suffering; for she thought so that bacon is their necessary meat to feed on, she should have been damned, if she should sufand ich they may not lack. They must have | fer without purification. So we travailed other cattle: as horses to draw their plough, with this woman till we brought her to a good and for carriage of things to the markets; and trade ; and at the length shewed her the king's kine for their milk and cheese, which they must pardon, and let her go.' live upon and pay their rents. These cattle “ This tale I told you by this occasion, that

though some women be very unnatural, and

forget their children, yet when we hear any. * Latimer's Seven Sermons before Edward VI., ed. Edward Arber, 1869. Second sermon, pp. 73 and 74.

* Latimer's Sermons, ed. Corrie, 1844, 2 vola | Latimer's Sermons. Fifth sermon, ed. Last Sermay preached before Edward VI. Arber, p. 147.

1 i. 249.

sody so report, we should not be too hasty in whilst they make martyrs.

All the believing the tale, but rather suspend our judg, writings of the time, and all the com. ments till we know the truth."*

mentaries which may be added to them When a man preaches thus, he is are weak compared to the actions believed; we are sure that he is not which, one after the other, shone forth reciting á lesson ; we feel that he has at that time from learned and unlearn seen, that he draws his moral not from ed, down to the most simple and ign books, but from facts; that his coun- rant. In three years, under Mary, nearsels come from the sold basis whence ly three hundred persons, men, women. every thing ought to come, -I mean old and young, some all but children, (rom manifold and personal experience. allowed themselves to be burned alive Many a time have I listened to popular rather than to abjure. The all-power. vrators, who address the pocket, and ful idea of God, and of the faith due prove their talent by the money they to Him, made them resist all the pro. have collected; it is thus that they tests of nature, and all the trembling of hold forth, with circumstantial, recent, the flesh., “No one will be crowned." proximate cxar,ples, with conversa- said one of them, “but they who fight tional turns of speech, setting aside like men; and he who endures to the great arguments and fine language. end shall be saved.” Doctor Rogers Îmagine the ascendency of the Scrip- was burned first, in presence of his wife tures enlarged upon in such words; to and ten children, one at the breast. He what strata of the people it could de- had not been told beforehand, and was scend, what a hold it had upon sailors, sleeping soundly. The wife of the keeper workmen, servants ! Consider, again, of Newgate woke him, and told him how the authority of these words is that he must burn that day. “Then,” doubled by the courage, independence, said he,“I need not truss my points." integrity, unassailable and recognized In the midst of the flames he did not virtue of him who utters them. He seem to suffer. “ His children stood spoke the truth to the king, unmasked by consoling him, in such a way that he robbers, incurred all kind of hate, re- looked as if they were conducting him signed his see rather than sign any to a merry marriage." A young man thing against his conscience, and at of nineteen, William Hunter, appren eighty years, under Mary, refusing tu s ticed to a silk-weaver, was exhorted by recant, after two years of prison and his parents to persevere to the end :waiting—and what waiting ! he was led

“ In the mean time William's father and to the stake. His companion, Rjaley, mother came to him, ana desired heartily, of slept the night before as calmly, we God that he might continue to the end in that are told, as ever he did in his life ; and good way which he had begun : and his mother

said to him, that she was glad that ever she was when ready to be chained to the post, so happy to bear such a child, which could ing said aloud, “O heavenly Father, I give in his heart to lose his life for Christ's name's Thee most hearty thanks, íur that sake. Thou hast called me to be a professor little pain which I sha!! suffer, which is put a

“ Then William said to his mother, Formy of 'Thee even unto death.” Latimer in bort braid, Christ hath promised me, mother his turn, when they brought the lighted (said he), a crown of joy; may you not be glad

With that his mother faggots, cried, “Be of good comfort, of that, mother? Master Ridley, and play the man: we God strengthen thee, my son, to the end, yea,

kneeled down on her knees, saying, "I pray sl.all this day light such a candle by I think thee as well-bestowed as any child tha God's grace, in England, as I trust ever I bare. shall never be put out." He then

“ Then Wiliam Hinter plucked up bir bathed his hands in the flames, and I gown, and stepped over the parlour grouridse.,

and went fo: ward cheerfully; the sheriff's ser: resigning his soul to God, he expired. vant taking him by one arm, and I his brother

He had judged rightly: it is by this by another. And thus going in the way, he met supreme trial that a creed proves its

* Noailles, the French (ard Catholic) Amstrength and gains its adherents; torbassador. John Fox, Histcry of the Acts and tures are a sort of propaganda as well Monuments of the Church, ed. Townsend, 1843 as a testimony, and make converts : vols., vi. 612, says : “ His wife and children

being eleven in number, and ten able to go, * Latimer's Sermons, ed. Corrie, First Ser- and one sucking on her breast, met him

by the mon on the Lord's Prayer i. 335.

way as he went towards Smithfield.”-T

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

you likewise.


with his father according to his dream, and he | Bishop Hooper was burned three spake to his son weeping, and saying, 'God be times over in a small fire of green wood. with thee, son William ;' and William said, "God be with you, good father, and be of good There was too little wood, and the comfort; for I hope we shall meet again, when wind turned aside the smoke. He cried we shall be merry. His father said, I hope out, “For God's love, good people, let so, William ;' and so departed. Só William

me have more fire." went to the place where the stake stood, even

His legs and according to his dream, where all things were thighs were roasted ; one of his hands very unready. Then William took a wet broom- fell off before he expired; he endured faggot, and kneeled down thereon, and read the thus three-quarters of an hour ; before Efty-first Psalm, till he came to these words, him in a box was his pardon, on condiThe sacrifice of God is a contrite spirit; a conrite and a broken heart, O God, thou wilt not tion that he would retract. Against leapise.

long sufferings in mephitic prisons Then said the sheriff, 'Here is a letter from the queen.

If thou wilt recant thou shalt against every thing which might un live; if not, thou shalt be burned.'


nerve or seduce, these men were in quoth William, ‘I will not recant, God willing: vincible: five died of hunger at Canter Then William rose and went to the stake, and bury; they were in irons night and stood upright to it. Then came one Richard Ponde, a bailiff, and made fast the chain about day, with no covering but their

clothes, Will am

on rotten straw; yet there was an unphen said master Brown, "Here is not derstanding amongst them, that the wood enough to burn a leg of him." Then said

cross of persecution” was a blessing William, Good people! pray for me; and

from God, an inestimable jewel, a make apeec and despatch quickly: and pray for me while you see me alive, good people? sovereign antidote, well-approved, to and I will pray for

Now?' cure love of self and earthly affection.” quoth miaster Brown, pray for thee! I will Before such examples the people were pray, no more for thee, than I will pray for a

shaken. A woman wrote to Bishop * Then was there a gentleman which said, Bonner, that there was not a child but I

pray God have mercy upon his soul.' The called him Bonner the hangman, an? people said, " Amen, Amen.'

knew on his fingers, as well as he knew “Immediately fire was made. Then William cast his psalter right into

his brother's hand, his pater, the exact number of those he who said, William! think on the holy pas had burned at the stake, or suffere. sion of Christ, and be not afraid of death.” And to die of hunger in prison these nin: William answered, 'I am not afraid.' Then

months. “ You have lost the hearts of lift he up his hands to heaven, and said, “ Lord, Lord, Lord, receive my spirit ;' and, casting twenty thousand persons who were in down his head again into the smothering smoke, veterate Papists a year ago." The he yielded up his life for the truth, sealing it spectators encouraged the martyrs, and with his blood to the praise of God." *

cried out to them that their cause was When a passion is able thus to sub- just. The Catholic envoy Renard due the natural affections, it is able wrote to Charles V. that it was said also to subdue bodily pain; all the that several had desired to take their ferocity of the time labored in vain place at the stake, by the side of those against inward convictions. Thomas who were being burned. In vain the Tomkins, a weaver of Shoreditch, being queen had forbidden, on pain of death asked by Bonner if he could stand the all marks of approbation. “We know fi e well, bade him try it. “Bonner that they are men of God,” cried one of took Tomkins by the fingers, and held the spectators; " that is why we car, hə hand directly over the flame,” to not help saying, God strengthen them.' terrify him.

But "he never shrank, And all the people answered, “ Amen, till the veins shrank and the sinews

Amen.” What wonder if, at the com. burst, and the water (blood) did spirt ing of Elizabeth, England cast in hes in Mr. Harpsfield's face.” | “ In the

lot with Protestantism? The threats Isle of Guernsey, a woman with child of the Armada urged her on still fur. being ordered to the fire, was delivered ther; and the Reformation became na in the flames and the infant being taken tional under the pressure of foreigr from her, was ordered by the magis- hostility, as it had become popular trates to be thrown back into the fire." I through the triumph of its martyrs. Fox, History of the Acts, etc., vi. 729.


[ocr errors]

IV. 1 Neal, History of the Puritans, ed. Toul. wn, s vols., 1793, i. 96.

Two distinct branches receiv: the

# Ibid. 719

common sap,one above, the other | attitudes. All this was very free beneath: one respected, flourishing, very loose, very far from our moch shooting forth in the open air ; he other ern decency. But pass over youthfui despised, half buried in the ground, bluster; take man in his great motrodden under foot by those who would ments, in prison, in danger, or indeed crush it: both living, the Anglican as when old age arrives, when he has well as the Puritan, the one in spite of come to judge of life; take him, above the effort made to destroy it, the other all, in the country, on his cstate, far in spite of the care taken to develop from any town, in the church of the it.

village where he is lord; or again, The court has its religion, like the when he is alone in the evening, at his country-a sincere and winning religion. table, listening to the prayer offered Amid the Pagan poetry which up to up by his chaplain, having no books the Revolution always had the ear of but some big folio of dramas, well dog's the world, we find gradually piercing eared by his pages, and his prayer-books through and rising higher a grave and and Bible; you may then understand grand idea which sent its roots to the how the new religion tightens its hold depth of the public mind. Many poets, on these imaginative and serious minds. Drayton, Davies, Cowley, Giles Fletch. It does not shock them by a narrow er, Quarles, Crashaw, wrote sacred rigor; it does not fetter the flight of histories, pious or moral verses, noble their mind; it does not attempt to extinstanzas on death and the immortality guish the buoyant flame of their fancy; of the soul, on the frailty of things it does not proscribe the beautiful : it human, and on the supreme providence preserves more than any reformed in which alone man finds the support church the noble pomp of the anciens of his weakness and the consolation of worship, and rolls under the domes of iis sufferings. In the greatest prose its cathedrals the rich modulations, the writers, Bacon, Burton, Sir Thomas majestic harmonies of its grave, organ Browne, Raleigh, we see spring up the led music. It is its characteristic not to fruits of veneration, thoughts about the be in opposition to the world, but, on obscure beyond; in short, faith and the contrary, to draw it nearer to itself, prayer. Several prayers written by by bringing itself nearer to it. By its Bacon are amongst the finest known'; secular condition as well as by its exand the courtier Raleigh, whilst writing ternal worship, it is embraced by and of the fall of empires, and how the it embraces it: its head is the Queen, barbarous nations had destroyed this it is a part of the Constitution, it sends grand and magnificent Roman Empire, its dignitaries to the House of Lords; ended his book with the ideas and it suffers its priests to marry ; its benetone of a Bossuet.* Picture Saint fices are in the nomination of great Paul's in London, and the fashionable families; its chief members are the people who used to meet there ; the younger sons of these same families : gentlemen who noisily made the row by all these channels it imbibes the els of their spurs resound on entering, spirit of the age. In its hands, therelooked around and carried on conver- fore, reformation cannot become hostile sation during service, who swore by to science, to poetry, to the liberal God's eyes, God's eyelids, who amongst ideas of the Renaissance. Nay, in the the vaults and chapels showed off nobles of Elizabeth and James I.. as in thei" beribboned shoes, their chains, the cavaliers of Charles I., it tolerates 6C2ves, satin doublets, velvet cloaks, artistic tastes, philosophical curiosity, their braggadocio manners and stage the ways of the world, and the senti

ment of the beautiful. The alliance is whom pone could advise, thou hast persuaded; ecclesiastics in'a mase were åismissed

"O eloquent, just, and mightie Death! so strong, that, under Cromweli, the what none hath dared, thou hast done ; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only for their king's sake, and the cavaliers hast cast out of the world and despised; thou died wholesale for the Church. The bast drawne together all the farre stretched two societies mutually touch and are greatnesse, all the pride, crueltie, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two confounded together. If several poeta narrow words, Hic jacet."

are pious, several ecclesiastics are

poetical, --Bishop Hall, Bishop Corbet, a methodical writer, correct and always Wither a rector, and the preacher ample, worthy of being regarded not Donne. If several laymen rise to re- only as one of the fathers of the Eng. ligious contemplations, several theo- lish Church, but as one of the founlogians, Hooker, John Hales, Taylor, ders of English pruse.

With a sus Chillingworth, set philosophy and rea- tained gravity and simplicity, he shows son by the side of dogma. Accord the Puritans that the laws of nature, ingly we find a new literature arising, reason, and society, like the law of lofty and original, eloquens and mod Scripture, are of divine institutior; erate, arned at the same time against that all are equally worthy of respeo the Purcans, who sacrifice freedom of and obedience, that we must not sac intellect to the tyranny of the text, and rifice the inner word, by which God against the Catholics, who sacrifice reaches our intellect, to the outer word, independence of criticism to the tyr. by which God reaches our senses ; that anny of tradition; opposed equally to thus the civil constitution of the the servility of literal interpretation, Church, and the visible ordinance of and the servility of a prescribed inter- ceremonies, may be conformable to the pretation. Opposed to the first appears will of God, even when they are not the learned and excellent Hooker, one justified by a clear text of Scripture ; of the gentlest and most conciliatory of and that the authority of the magismen, the most solid and persuasive of trates as well as the reason of man logicians, a comprehensive mind, who does not exceed its rights in establishin every question ascends to the prin- ing certain uniformities and disciplines ciples, * introduces into controversy on which Scripture is silent, in order general conceptions, and the knowl- that reason may decide :edge of human nature ; † beyond this,

“For if the natural strength of man's wit * Hooker's Works, ed. Keble, 1836, 3 vols., may by experience and study attain unto such The Ecclesiastical Polity.

ripeness in the knowledge of things human, t Ibid. i. book i. 249, 258, 312 :

that men in this respect may presume to build “ That which doth assign unto each thing somewhat upon their judgment; what reason the kind, that which doth moderate the force have we to think but that even in matters diand power, that which doth appoint the form vine, the like wits furnished with necessary and measure of working, the same we term a helps, exercised in Scripture with like dili“ Now if nature should intermit her course,

gence, and assisted with the grace of Almighty

God, may grow unto so much perfection of and leave altogether, though it were but for knowledge, that men shall have just cause, awhile, the observation of her own laws; if when any thing pertinent unto faith and religthose principal and mother elements of the

ion is doubted of, the more willingly to inworld, whereof all things in this lower world cline their minds towards that which the senare made, should lose the qualities which now

tence of so grave, wise, and learned in that they have ; if the frame of that heavenly arch faculty shall judge most sound.” * erected over our heads should loosen and dissolve itself; if celestial spheres should forget This “natural light” therefore must their wonted motions, : . . if the prince of the not be despised, but rather used so as lights of heaven, which now as a giant doth run his unwearied course, should as it were

to augment the other, as we put torch through a languishing faintness, begin to stand to torch; above all, employed that we and to rest himself:. what would become may live in harmony with each other of of man himself, whom these things now do all serve? See we not plainly that obedience of

other creatures on earth to whom nature hath creatures unto the law of nature is the stay of denied sense, yet lower than to be sociable the whole world?

companions of man to whom nature hath given “ Between men and beasts there is no pos- reason; it is of Adam said, that amongst the siihty of sociable communion because the beasts he found not for himself any meet well-spring of that communion is a natural de companion.'. Civil society doth more contem light which man hath to transfuse from him- the nature of man than any private kind of sol. telf into others, and to receive from others into itary living, because in society this good of nimself, especially those things wherein the

ex- mutual participation is so much larger than cellency of nis kind doth most consist. The otherwise. Herewith notwithstanding we are chiefest instrument of human communion there- not satisfied, but we covet (if it might be) to fore is speech, because thereby we impart mu- have a kind of society and fellowship even with tually one to another the conceits of our rea- all mankind." sonable understanding. And for that cause,

* Ecc. Pol. i. book ii. ch. vii, 4, p. 405. sceing beasts are not hereof capable, foras- † See the Dialogues of Galileo. The samo much as with them we can use no such confer- idea which is persecuted by the church at ence, they being in degree, although above! Rime is at the same time defended by the


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »