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a-days; and, sure enough, our prelates are not impeccable; but do we ever hear chain-armour clink under their cassock, or see them mount breaches and rally infuriate warriors to battle and bloodshed? You remember the keen retort when one of these martial prelates was taken in battle, and the Pope (was it not?) wished to rescue him, as his beloved son in the Gospel, under the plea of his spiritual character; and the royal victor, exhibiting the ensanguined habiliments of war in which he had been captured, asked, "Is this thy son's coat?" Our prelates, some of them, still retain their castles, so called, just as they do their palaces; but the name is all: moat and drawbridge, portcullis and dungeon, have vanished; no soldiers mount their walls, or arrows bristle out from their loop-holes. They are now peaceful, hospitable, and charitable abodes: they ought also ever to be the abodes of eminent sanctity and self-denial, of men devoted in a peculiar manner to the service of God, and studying in all things to be a pattern to the flock: but I am speaking only of the public features of the age, and not of the deserts, good or evil, of individual character; and I think I hazard nothing in supposing that those times could not be very Christian, or the laity very peaceable, or the clergy very faithful ministers of their professed Lord, when prelates retained armies, and lived in martial feud with the neighbouring barons, and made the Church an engine for every kind of spoliation, oppression, and cruelty. Or go on, and trace the annals of this castle down to the times of the Reformation, or to its reduction to a heap of ruins by Oliver Cromwell, and say if, upon the whole, you would prefer fixing on any of those eras as a model of public and private honour, and flourishing religion, and all those virtues which moralists and historians are ever ready to assign to past ages, to the exclusion of their own. I confess I am more than sceptical on the point; for never. I believe, was there,
with all our sins and crimes and I by no means extenuate them-more of justice, benevolence, and I believe of true religion, in the world, than at this very moment. This will only add to our guilt, if we abuse our talent, or rather our ten talents; but the fact I believe to be as I have stated. Compare even the greatest atrocities of the present day (always excepting West-India slavery, which has hitherto survived on account of its evil being at a distance, and not generally know nor believed), and they are nothing in comparison with those of former ages. The history of Winchester is full of scenes most fertile in instruction on this topic; and melancholy is it to read of the frauds, rapine, injustice, battles, sieges, massacres, and other appalling calamities, which have in former ages desolated its inhabitants; but which we, who live in the halcyon times of civilization and peace, and under the full sunshine of the Gospel and the blessings of Protestantism, have never experienced, and only read of as records of days that are passed.
I suppose that the late trials of the rioters and rick-burners at Winchester exhibited as painful, disgraceful, and alarming a series of transactions, as we have witnessed in this country for many years; yet what were even these, to the revolts, rebellions, devastation, and bloodshed which often occurred by the rising of the peasantry in former ages? and how honourable the justice, the patience, the humanity, the mercy, which characterized all the legal proceedings. What a fear of unnecessary severity, of injuring a single innocent person, or of aggravating the offence and punishment of the guilty! All the country is excited, a penalty is awarded by a jury, and the business of the legislature is stopped for an explanation, because a magistrate, in the agitated moments of general alarm, had not used the delicacy which the law requires, and which became him, in the removal of a prisoner: whereas in former days, the days so often boasted of as su
perior to our own, he might have loaded his prisoner with fetters, and whips and tortures might have been used with impunity to extort a confession; and little had been said if the rioters had been attacked with the sword, and left dead by thousands in their villages. Compare the judicial proceedings I have just alluded to, with the following, which took place in this very city in "the good old times." In the year 1249, Henry the Third coming to Winchester, two merchants of Brabant accost him with tears, and say that they have been stopped and robbed of two hundred marks by persons attending his majesty's court. The jury, being of the higher classes of the citizens, and having a share in the guilt, acquit the accused. The merchants in consequence complain; and the king assembles his counsellors, who coolly tell him that Winchester is infamous for robberies, murders, and violences upon strangers, and that the jurors are accomplices. The king summons the delinquents, and complains that his own wine is openly carried away from the carts while conveying it to the castle. Another jury is convened, who find a regular conspiracy of the richest people in the place to commit these outrages. Many in consequence fly; thirty are hanged; and many more are punished in various ways. Now say the whole was a plot; and this only proves still more how wretchedly things were managed in those halcyon days of our rude forefathers.
Nor does it mend the matter to say, "Better rude than luxurious;" better a rough and somewhat unscrupulous age, than a sly, silken, effeminate generation like the present. Here, again, I would meet these eulogists of past ages. Look, for example, at the sumptuary laws of every age and country. Does not the preamble of them all run, "Whereas our ancestors were so frugal, modest, and thrifty; and we their posterity_are grown so vain, pompous, and Frenchified; be it unacted;" and so forth? Take, for ex
ample, what William of Malmsbury says of the times of King Rufus, whom I select because of his close connexion with Winchester. "Tunc fluxus crinium, tunc luxus vestitum, tunc usus calceorum, acuatis acuelis inventus; mollicie corporis certare cum fœminis; gressum frangere gestu soluto et latere nudo, incederi, adoloscentium specimen erat." So said the good monk of Malmsbury; and so, I doubt not, his predecessors said centuries before; as Latimer and Hall did afterwards, and just as we say now; and for exactly the same reason, because that human nature is always full of corruptions, and that, seeing peculiarly those which are rampant in our own days, we naturally think them worse than those of other times.
But one of the chief crying sins of all " dark ages," is oppression. The poor had virtually no rights; they were the prey of every tyrant: their richer neighbours oppressed their minds and bodies, and no man cared for their souls. Compare this with our own times; our equitable statute-book, our impartial courts of justice, our poor laws, our charitable institutions, and our schools. Never were the poor, I sincerely believe, less ground down than at present; never were their just rights so well understood or faithfully secured. In former days they were systematically kept in ignorance; and ignorance is the parent of every evil work, and next in danger to unhallowed knowledge, which last, I fear, is likely to be their bane in the present day. Thus we veer from extreme to extreme. But the Bible teaches us to avoid both dangers. It teaches us that for the soul to be without knowledge is not good; and it expressly declares that the fear of the Lord is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding. Would that the advocates for popular ignorance, and the panegyrists of knowledge without religion, would equally weigh these inspired declarations!
Not, however, my good friend,
that in those "dark ages" of the wisdom of our ancestors the rich and powerful were always better off than the poor; for if there happened to be richer still, and more powerful than they, their turn to be oppressed came in due gradation, up to the highest barons, and the monarch himself. If no one could quell the latter, the Pope and the church could, and did; witness, without going out of Winchester, the humiliating ceremony of King John kneeling before the priests in your cathedral, to be received into favour with the sovereign pontiff and his church, after his excommunication, and the tyrannical interdict upon his kingdom. In short, in those days might was right, and right was might; and it is only, I fear, recently that any nations, and those very few, are beginning to learn those equitable and self-denying lessons which the word of God would have taught them some thousands of years ago and which, even of those professed learners, practises what it inculcates! I sincerely believe our own nation does so much as any; but very imperfect is our best; and much is there wanting, to render either our domestic or our international intercourse such as the Christian can witness without a large mixture of pain.
I have been betrayed into the above topic, not because I am not, as I before said, deeply sensible of our public as well as private sins; but because I think there is in many persons a disposition to undervalue our mercies, and to speak of every thing in such a spirit of gloom and detraction as would chill the spirit of gratitude and freeze the fountains of hope. It is no palliation for modern iniquity, that former ages were iniquitous also; as, on the other hand, it is not just to attempt to augment our repentance by misrepresentations, as if we were not only wicked, but also degenerate, and more wicked than all other ages and nations. To our own Master we stand or fall: our sins being com
parative, as respects our neighbour, is not the chief point: the alarming and humbling fact is, that they are awfully positive, and committed against the Divine Majesty, and with innumerable aggravations; and are infinitely heinous, so as to be expiable only by the blood of the incarnate Son of God. These are plain facts, and they carry with them conviction; but I am not always convinced when I find comparisons made, and am told, in round terms, that never had we so profligate a parliament, so corrupt a church, so licentious a people, so much Sabbath-breaking, so much intoxication, so much fraud, so much pride in the rich, and so much discontent among the poor.
The Episcopal mansion of Wolvesey, I need not tell you, no longer exists. While King Charles was building his palace at Winchester, the munificent Bishop Morley availed himself of Sir Christopher Wren's skill to commence that noble edifice, which his successor Trelawney completed; and it is stated to have been the best modern house in Winchester when a recent prelate pulled it down. There is now, therefore, no episcopal palace in Winchester.
I must now again postpone our visit to the Cathedral, and perhaps to a few more of the antiquities of the place. But of all these, the churches and monasteries are, to my mind, and I doubt not to yours also, the most painfully interesting. Old Trussell says that Winchester had once fifty churches. "Passengers," adds he, " could no way enter into this city, either through any of the gates or the single posterns, but they must of necessity go under a church, or so close unto a church, or some oratory, that they might not touch at the entrance hereunto any thing so soon as the walls of such places; the testimonies of which are at this time (1620) by the ruins of the churches and such places." "Here was likewise an infinite number of monasteries, conventual buildings, and other religious foun-
dations." Many of those extant even when Trussell wrote, are now obliterated. Sometimes the transformations are afflictingly grotesque. Many a barn and stable has relics of the days of Saxon and Norman kings; the threshold of a cottage once, perhaps, covered the bones of a mitred abbot; a chiseled stone in a garden wall one fancies torn from the shrine of a saint; juries and magistrates assemble, and judges sit, and prisoners extend their hands, and counsel cajole, where the priests of St. Stephen's chaunted their litanies and offered their presumptuous Mass, while suppliants knelt before them and crowned heads did them reverence; and, as if to prove indeed that
time, as Bacon tells us, is the greatest innovator, on the precise spot where repose, unmarked, unhonoured, the bones of Alfred the Great, a county gaol has been erected, and the grinding of the tread-mill is heard where the monks of Hyde Abbey were wont to chaunt Masses for the repose of his soul. Such, my friend, is this changeful world. It is well if scenes like this quicken in us the feeling that it is not our rest; and lead us with more unearthly affection to Him who, amidst all that is vain and fragile here, is the same yesterday, to-day, and for
(To be continued.)
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
REVIEW OF THE ALPENSTOCK," AND
(Concluded from p. 442.) BEFORE taking our leave of Miss Morton, in our last Number, we had intended to follow her to Genoa, to visit the Protestant chapel, and to hear part of a Jesuit sermon; and also to make a pilgrimage to the Waldenses, and to hear a sermon from one of their ministers, and to collect a few particulars respecting that interesting church and people: but, our limits running short, we were obliged to omit these particulars, which we shall now supply, before grasping our alpenstock, and visiting Switzerland with Mr. Latrobe.
"On Sunday morning, we hastened to the chapel of the consul (Genoa), to join in the Protestant service. Alas! the chapel was nearly empty; for though so many English live on the hills, the congregation consisted of only twenty persons-twelve of them travellers. We had a poor twenty minutes' sermon...... I was told that at five o'clock a Jesuit would preach at St. Ambrogio; I went.-The church is enriched with marble, gilding, and painting-it was completely full, and the women being all veiled in the Genoese mezzaro, of beautifully fine white n.uslin, CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 356.
two or three yards long, put on as a scarf over their heads, and just allowing their fine features to be seen and the organ pouring forth its solemn sounds-the first effect was most striking-and a sad contrast to the English chapel. The solos were finely executed, and in the chorus, the people appeared to join with fine voices, and a willing mind. I had not, during my stay in Italy, seen such an appearance of devout worship. After vespers, a Jesuit, a venerable looking man, with the well known cap on his head, seated himself in a large arm-chair, on a platform raised in the cross aisle, on the right side of the altar. He appeared much fatigued, wiped his face, and then with a trembling voice commenced, cessary for us continually to establish the 'Cari auditori, before all things, it is nefact that out of the Catholic church there is no salvation-the creed of this church must be retained in every particular, and faithfully believed by all, who would be saved:-and having stated this very first article necessary to be remembered by all the children of the only infallible church-I shall proceed to shew you that, without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. God, through the whole Mosaic types and shadows, appointed all sacrifice for sin to be made through blood; when God asked a sacrifice of Abraham, it was that of blood; and when the great sacrifice for sin was to be made, it was that of the blood of Jesus:'-he then quoted a variety of texts in Latin, shewing the efficacy of this blood; made the most touching appeal to
the heart, and rose from his seat, apparently warmed by his subject, and entered upon what we owed to God for his great mercy. Whitefield himself could never have appeared more in earnest; his manner was such as to make error conclusive with the unwary. He then enumerated the various bounties of God in the gifts of nature, of providence, and grace; shewed that God required our hearts in return-even real devotion of life; and then, as if utterly exhausted, he sat down :-but presently, having made free use of his handkerchief, he again added in a trembling and subdued voice"This sacrifice is daily renewed at our altar, and our services daily remind us of what we owe to the Blessed Virgin, for giving up her Son to death: let us, therefore, implore her benediction.' Here, rising from his chair, be turned himself to her image on the altar, fell on his knees, and in the most impassioned strain, and weeping, seemed to agonize for her compassionaddressing her by every endearing name, and giving her all the titles and attributes due only to the wise God our Saviour; and, at a given moment, all the people joined in her praise: Jesus, and his blood, and its efficacy, seemed forgotten, and there seemed no more of Christianity in the multitude than in that of Ephesus, when they exclaimed, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. By this sad mixture of truth and error, the missions here have influence -but unhappily the erroneous part alone seems operative." Vol. ii. pp. 214-216. "On Monday we inquired for the Protestant burial-ground. A woman that lived in the ruined convent had the key. As we walked by her side, we heard not the simple annals of the poor, but the history of many whom riches and literature and beauty could not detain from the unrelenting summons of death. • She does not rest here,' was the answer, as we inquired where they had placed Lady E. M., but in the old burial-ground, beneath the Campo Santo; there, under that rock, close upon the shore; it is not used now, but the Principessa had so great a desire to be buried by her sister, that they placed her there on the shore.' It is a solitary, beauteous spot; above it the grass waves freshly, and beneath it the waves continually dash the foam of their surges; affection, in its wild desires, could not have found a sweeter restingplace for a beloved friend. The Cavaliere
told us at Naples, that when explaining the word haughty' to her ladyship, in Italian, she said, I hope I shall not be haughty....... We entered a small enclosure on this lofty hill, surrounded by a wall, and planted with roses.-Within are very simple tombs which speak of travellers, widows, and mariners. One alone speaks with the confidence of a believer I know that my Redeemer liveth.'
"It was a childish feeling, but it gave us satisfaction to think, that friends dying at Genoa would not be thrown to the dogs, and that their dust would be allowed to mingle earth to earth." Vol. ii. pp. 217, 218.
"With much delay and difficulty we at length obtained our passports for the vallies of the Vaudois. About twentyone thousand Protestants inhabit the valleys between the Pelice and Clusone, who are there, in a beautiful natural temple, free to worship God according to their conscience. They live by the culture of their lands; a stone fixes their boundary, beyond which they cannot purchase. The village of La Torre is beautifully situated amidst wooded Alps, above which rise the more lofty snowy peaks. The church is one mile from the village of La Torre, at a spot called Sta Marguerite. On the 3d of June, Whitsunday, we followed the happy, simple congregation up the hill. The pastor and moderator, Mr. Bpreached from the words- We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the praise may be of God, and not of men.' appeared about sixty years of age,-his countenance was much worn by trial. He opened his discourse by shewing the nature of the treasure-even the Gospel of Christ,-quoting, from an old writer, these words amidst the pagans all was God but God, and amongst the Jews, their vain traditions, and their prejudices, hid the true God, and effectually shut out the light, light originally received from God.' He observed that the Gospel was a treasure that enlightened the intellect, and offered as a proof, the state of the Apostles before and after the day of Pentecost. The Gospel is indeed a treasure,' said he, for it shews us the means of obtaining Divine favour, and grace to sanctify the heart. When these wonderful effects are considered, we are astonished that this ministry should be committed to earthen vessels; yet such has been the pleasure of God, for this plain reason, given as plainly by the Apostle, that the praise may be, not of men, but of God and now, my dear brethren, and friends in Christ, how is it with us? we have this treasure likewise, but in earthen vessels, that the praise may be of God. It is Christ who must be our strength in weakness: the Gospel of grace is committed to us earthen vessels; we impart it to you still earthen vessels; but it is in its own nature beyond pearls and gold. If we seek in this treasure Christ, he supports us by its promises; it is then a treasure which enlightens our understandings and sanctifies our hearts, and thence we devote to him our hearts and our lives.'
"Four times in the year the Vaudois receive the sacrament; we saw about five hundred approach, and celebrate the love of Christ. The service began by reading