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Brt. forward £. 137,007 7 10
Brought up, 15,347 We have the valu
probably they had larger ation of only 28
allowance in proportion of their houses in
to their number than those the country, :. 3,026 9 5 of the lesser monasteries, Friars' houses of
if we abate upon that acwhich we have
5,000, they will the valuation, 751 20 then be .
30,000 One for each chantry and Total, ts. 140,784 19 3 free chapel,
If proper allowances are made for
Total 47,721 the lesser monasteries and houses not included in this estimate, and But as there were probably more for the plate, &c., whi came than one person to officiate in seinto the hands of the king by the veral of the free chapels, and dissolution, and for the value of there were other houses which are money at that time, which was at not included within this calcula. least six times as much as at pre- tion, perhaps they may be comsent, and also consider that the puted in one general estimate at estimate of the lands was general- about 50,000. As there were ly supposed to be much under the pensions paid to almost all those real worth, we must conclude of the greater monasteries, the their whole revenues to have been king did not immediately come immense.
into the full enjoyment of their It does not appear that any whole revenues ; however, by computation hath been made of means of what he did receive, he the number of persons contained founded six new bishoprics, viz. in the religious houses.
those of Westminster (which was
changed by queen Elizabeth into a Those of the lesser monas deanery, with twelve prebends and teries dissolved by 27 Hen. a school), Peterborough, Chester, VIII, were reckoned at Gloucester, Bristol, and Oxford. about.
• . 10,000 And in eight other sees he founded If we suppose the colleges deaneries and chapters, by convertand hospitals to have con ing the priors and monks into tained a proportionable deans and prebendaries, viz. Cannumber, these will make terbury, Winchester, Durham, about. .
... 5,347 Worcester, Rochester, Norwich, If we reckon the number in Ely, and Carlisle. He founded the greater monasteries ac also the colleges of Christ Church cording to the proportion in Oxford, and Trinity in Camof their revenues, they will bridge, and finished King's College be about 35,000; but as there. He likewise founded profes
sorships of divinity,law,physic,and Carried up, 15,347 of the Hebrew and Greek tongues,
in both the said Universities. He the poor, from every side of the gave the house of Grey Friars country, waited the ringing of the and St. Bartholomew's Hospital to alms-bell ; when they flocked in the city of London, and a perpe- crowds, young and old, to the tual pension to the poor knights of gate of the monastery, where Windsor, and laid out great sums they received, every morning, a in building and fortifying many plentiful provision for themselves ports in the channel. It is ob- and their families :--all this apservable, upon the whole, that the pears great and noble. dissolution of these houses was an “On the other hand, when we act not of the church, but of consider five hundred persons bred the state, in the period preceding up in indolence and lost to the the reformation, by a king and commonwealth ; when we consiparliament of the Roman Catholic der that these houses were the communion in all points, except great nurseries of superstition, bithe king's supremacy ; to which gotry, and ignorance; the stews of the pope himself, by his bulls and sloth, stupidity, and perhaps inlicences, had led the way. temperance;. when we consider
As to the merits of these insti- that the education received in tutions, authors are much divided. them had not the least tincture of While some have considered them useful learning, good manners, or as beneficial to learning, piety, true religion, but tended rather to and benevolence, others have vilify and disgrace the human thought them very injurious. We mind; when we consider that the may form some idea of them from pilgrims and strangers who resortthe following remarks of Mr. Gil- ed thither were idle vagabonds,who pin.
got nothing abroad that was equiHe is speaking of Glastonbury valent to the occupations they Abbey, which possessed the am- left at home; and when we conplest revenues of any religious sider, lastly, that indiscriminate house in England. “Its frater- alms-giving is not real charity, but nity,” says he, “is said to have an avocation from labour and inconsisted of five hundred establish-dustry, checking every idea of exed monks, besides nearly as many ertion, and filling the mind with retainers on the abbey. Above abject notions, we are led to acfour hundred children were not quiesce in the fate of these founonly educated in it, but entire-dations, and view their ruins, not ly maintained. Strangers from only with a picturesque eye, but all
parts of Europe were liberally with moral and religious satisfacreceived, classed according to tion.” Gilpin's Observations on the their sex and nation, and might Western Parts of England, p. 138, consider the hospitable roof un- 139; Bigland's Letters on Hist., der which they lodged as their p. 313. own. Five hundred travellers, MONASTIC, something bewith their horses, have been lodged longing to monks, or the monkish at once within its walls. While life. The monastic profession is a
kind of civil death, which in all pendent, and subject to the biworldly matters has the same ef- shop. See MONK. fect with the natural death. The MONK anciently denoted, “a council of Trent, &c., fix sixteen person who retired from the world years the age at which a person to give himself up wholly to God, may be admitted into the monas- and to live in solitude and abstitical state.
nence.” The word is derived from St. Anthony is the person, who, the Latin monachus, and that from in the fourth century, first insti- the Greek povazos, “solitary;" of tuted the monastic life ; as St. Papavos, solus, " alone.” chomius, in the same century, is The original of monks seems to said to have first set on foot the have been this: The persecutionscænobitic life, i. e. regular com- which attended the first ages of munities of religious. In a short the Gospel forced some Christians time the deserts of Egypt became to retire from the world, and live inhabited by a set of solitaries, in deserts and places most private who took upon them the monastic and unfrequented, in hopes of profession. St. Basil carried the finding that peace and comfort monkish humour in the East, among beasts which were denied where he composed a rule which them among men; and this beafterwards obtained through aing the case of some very extragreat part of the West.
ordinary persons, their example, In the eleventh century the gave such reputation to retiremonastic discipline was grown ve- ment, that the practice was conry remiss. St. Oddo first began to tinued when the reason of its retrieve it in the monastery of commencement ceased. After Cluny : that monastery, by the the empire became Christian, inconditions of its erection, was put stances of this kind were numeunder the immediate protection of rous ; and those whose security the holy see; with a prohibition had obliged them to live separateto all powers, both secular and ly and apart, became afterwards ecclesiastical, to disturb the monks united into societies. We may in the possession of their effects or also add, that the mystic theology, the election of their abbot. In which gained ground towards the virtue hereof they pleaded an ex- close of the third century, conemption from the jurisdiction of tributed to produce the same efthe bishop, and extended this pri- fect, and to drive men into solivilege to all the houses dependent tude for the purposes of devotion. on Cluny. This made the first The monks, at least the ancient congregation of several houses ones, were distinguished into soliunder one chief immediately sub-taries, cænobites, and sarabaites. ject to the pope, so as to con The solitary are those who live stitute one body, or, as they now alone, in places remote from all call it, one religious order. Till towns and habitations of men, as then, each monastery was inde- do still some of the hermits. The
cænobites are those who live in time the whole East was filled with community with several others in a lazy set of mortals, who, abanthe same house, and under the doning all human connexions, same superiors. The sarabaites advantages, pleasures, and conwere strolling monks having no cerns, wore out a languishing and fixed rule or residence.
miserable existence amidst the The houses of monks, again, hardships of want, and various were of two kinds, viz. monaste- kinds of suffering, in order to arries and lauræ.
rive at a more close and rapturThose who are now called ous communication with God and monks, are cænobites, who live angels. together in a convent or monaste From the East this gloomy disry, who make vows of living ac- position passed into the West, and cording to a certain rule establish-first into Italy and its neighboured by the founder, and wear a ing islands ; though it is uncertain habit which distinguishes their who transplanted it thither. St. order.
Martin, the celebrated bishop of Those that are endowed, or Tours, erected the first monastehave a fixed revenue, are mostries in Gaul, and recommended properly called monks, monachi; this religious solitude with such as the Chartreux, Benedictines, power and efficacy, both by his inBernardines, &c. The Mendi-structions and his example, that cants, or those that beg, as the his funeral is said to have been Capuchins and Franciscans, are attended by no less than two thoumore properly called religious and sand monks. From hence the mofriars, though the names are fre- nastic discipline extended graquently confounded.
dually its progress through the The first monks were those of other provinces and countries of St. Anthony, who, towards the Europe. There were, besides the close of the fourth century, form- monks of St. Basil (called in the ed them into a regular body, en- East Calogeri, from xados ysgav, gaged them to live in society with “ a good old man,”) and those of each other, and prescribed to St. Jerome, the hermits of St. them fixed rules for the direction Augustine, and afterwards those of their conduct. These regula- of St. Benedict and St. Bernard : tions, which Anthony had made at length came those of St. Franin Egypt, were soon introduced cis and St. Dominic, with a legion into Palestine and Syria by his of others; all which see under disciple Hilarion. Almost about their proper heads. the same time, Aones, or Euge Towards the close of the fifth nius, with their companions Gad-century, the monks, who had fordanas and Azyzas, instituted the merly lived only for themselves in monastic order in Mesopotamia, solitary retreats, and had never and the adjacent countries; and thought of assuming any rank their example was followed with among the sacerdotal order, were such rapid success, that in a short now gradually distinguished from
the populace, and endowed with century to such as devoted themsuch opulence and honourable selves to the sacred gloom and inprivileges, that they found them- dolence of a convent. This veneselves in a condition to claim an ration caused several kings and eminent station among the pillars emperors to call them to their and supporters of the Christian courts, and to employ them in community. The fame of their civil affairs of the greatest mopiety and sanctity was so great, ment. Their reformation was atthat bishops and presbyters were tempted by Louis the Meek, but often chosen out of their order; the effect was of short duration. and the passion of erecting edi- In the eleventh century they were fices and convents, in which the exempted by the popes from the monks and holy virgins might authority of their sovereigns, and serve God in the most commodi- | new orders of monks were conous manner, was at this time car- tinually established; insomuch, ried beyond all bounds. However, that in the council of Lateran that their licentiousness, even in this was held in the year 1215, a decentury, was become a proverb; cree was passed, by the advice of and they are said to have excited Innocent III, to prevent any new the most dreadful tumults and se- monastic institutions; and several ditions in various places. The mo- were entirely suppressed. In the nastic orders were at first under fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, it the immediate jurisdiction of the appears, from the testimony of the bishops, from which they were best writers, that the monks were exempted by the Roman pontiff generally lazy, illiterate, profli. about the end of the seventh cen- gate, and licentious epicures, tury; and the monks, in return, whose views in life were confined devoted themselves wholly to ad- to opulence, idleness, and pleavance the interests and to main-sure. However, the reformation tain the dignity of the bishop of had a manifest influence in reRome. This immunity which they straining their excesses, and renobtained was a fruitful source of dering them more circumspect and licentiousness and disorder, and cautious in their external conoccasioned the greatest part of the duct. vices with which they were after Monks are distinguished by wards so justly charged. In the the colour of their habits into eighth century the monastic disci- black, white, grey, &c. Among pline was extremely relaxed both the monks, some are called monks in the eastern and western pro-l of the choir, others professed vinces, and all efforts to restore it monks,and others lay monks, which were ineffectual. Nevertheless, last are destined for the service of this kind of institution was in the the convent, and have neither clehighest esteem; and nothing could ricate nor literature. equal the veneration that was Cloistered monks are those who paid about the close of the ninth actually resids in the house : in