« AnteriorContinuar »
devils, and the requirements of divine justice, will be awful; but he is assured of the divine favour and support, and this assurance inspires joy, even in the prospect of his agony. Hence he exclaims, “ I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." I shall not be moved from my purpose, nor fail in its execution. The Saviour knew, too, that his sufferings would be vicarious; that he would have to suffer as a substitute for sinners; that he must take the place of the guilty criminal; and that, in atoning for him, he must experience an awful degree of agony in his soul, and finally die on the cross as a sacrificial victim. The prospect is dreadful; but he knows that his anguish will be but temporary. Though his soul must agonize under the pressure of human guilt in this world, it shall not be doomed to the sinners' hell in the next; and though his body must die and be laid in the tomb, yet it shall not, like the bodies of sinners, be doomed to putrefaction, but shall rise again on the third day. Animated by these assurances, his joy increases, and he further exclaims, " Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not abandon my soul to hell, nor wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more."
This interpretation of the prophecy is further sustained and illustrated by the facts which have fulfilled the prediction. We have said that the prophecy speaks of the twofold nature of Christ-his soul and his body ; declaring that the one shall not be abandoned to hell, nor the other to corruption. But this language clearly implies a previous state of suffering, in which both should participate. If both were to be delivered and glorified, both were to share in the previous humiliation and pain. Now, if we turn to the history of the Redeemer's passion, death, resurrection and ascension, the facts present us with a most remarkaöle fulfilment of the prediction.
The Redeemer did suffer both in body and in soul, and both body and soul were delivered and glorified as the Psalm foretold. The Redeemer suffered in his body from the buffeting, the scourging and cruel treatment of the Roman soldiers; from the crown of thorns, the burden of his cross, and the lingering yet racking pains of crucifixion; and, finally, his body died and was laid in the gloomy sepulchre. But unspeakably more awful were the pains and anguish of his soul. The soul of the blessed Redeemer endured a hell of suffering in the work of human salvation. “It pleased the Father to bruise him: he put him to grief, and his soul was made an offering for sin." These sufferings were endured by the Redeemer's soul, not when it was separated from the body, for it was then in paradise, but they were endured some hours before his death. In the garden of Gethsemane, the powers of hell were let loose upon him, and the burden of human guilt crushed bim to the earth. “His soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death;" and " being in an agony, he sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Never was sorrow like unto his sorrow. It was beyond the agony of a soul in hell. The sorrows of death compassed him, and the pains of hell gat hold upon upon him: he found trouble and sorrow. All this was necessary in effecting our redemption; but his sufferings were temporary. They were not protracted beyond his death. His soul was not abandoned to hell. Though he suffered for the sinner in this world, he was not consigned to the sinner's hell in the next. This was not necessary, for his sufferings on earth were sufficient to make a full atonement for all mankind. While he hung on the cross, his mental anguish was brought to an end; and, conscious that his spirit would have an immes diate entrance into happiness, he said to the dying thief, “ 'I his day shalt thou be with me in paradise;" and when expiring, he exclaimed, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."
As his soul was not abandoned to hell, so neither did his flesh see corruption. The mortality of his body was, indeed, continued longer than the agony of his soul ; but this also was temporary. His flesh rested in hope. On the third day he arose from the dead, and thence his reign of commingled triumph and glory begins. Afterwards he ascended on high, led captivity captive, and took his seat at the right hand of God, where there is fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore. Thus the passage of the Psalmist affords no sanction to the figment of purgatory, or to the notion of a local descent into hell; but receives its accomplishment in the termination which God gave to the Saviour's mental agony on the cross, and the resurrection of his body from the tomb, and the glorification of both soul and body at the right hand of God.
MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES, ANECDOTES, &c.
AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE OF ARIOSTO. LODOVICO ARIOsto, the Italian poet, and difficulties, and at his return and author of Orlando Furioso," was was highly favoured. Then, at his born at the castle of Reggio, in Lom- leisure, he again applied himself to his bardy, in 1474. His father, who was poem ; but soon after he incurred the major-domo to Duke Hercules, lived Cardinal's displeasure for refusing to to the extent of his fortune, so left accompany him into Hungary, by but little at his death. Ariosto, from which he was so discouraged that he his childhood, showed great marks of deferred writing for fourteen years, genius, especially in poetry. His even till the Cardinal's death. After father being utterly unlearned, and that he finished by degrees, in great rather regarding profit than his son's perfection, that which he begun with inclination, compelled him to study great expectation. Duke Astolfo ofthe civil law ; in which having fered him great promotions if he plodded some years to no purpose, he would serve him; but preferring quitted it for more pleasing studies, liberty to grandeur, he refused this yet often lamented, as Ovid and and other great offers from princes Petrarch did before him, and our and cardinals, particularly from own Milton since, that his father Leo X., from all whom he received, banished him from the muses. On notwithstanding, great presents. The which occasion one cannot help ob- Duke of Ferrara delighted so much serving, how cruel and impolitic it is in his writings that he built him a for parents to force their children house in Ferrara, with a pleasant from those prevailing studies to which garden, where he used to compose their genius leads them, and make his poems. These were highly esthem apply to others which, as they teemed by all the princes in Italy, hate, can never be a credit or advan- who sent him many presents and tage to them.
great offers, but he said " he would At the age of twenty-four Ariosto not sell his liberty for the best carlost his father, and found himself dinal's hat in Rome." In his diet he perplexed with family affairs. How was temperate, and so careless of ever, in about six years he was, for dainties that he was fit to have lived his good parts, taken into the service in the world when they fed upon of Don Hippolito, Cardinal of Este. acorns. At this time he had written nothing Ariosto began one of his pieces in but a few sonnets; but now he his father's lifetime, when the followresolved to write a poem, and chose ing incident shows the remarkable Bayardo's “ Orlando Inamorato," for talent he had for poetry. His father a groundwork. However, he was pre- one day rebuked him sharply, chargvented writing for a great many years, ing him with some great fault, but and was chosen as a fit person to go on all the while he returned him no an embassy to Pope Julio II., where answer. Soon after, his brother he gave such satisfaction that he was began on tho same subject; but he sent again, underwent many dangers easily refuted him, and with strong
arguments justified his own behaviour. “Why, then," said his bro ther, “ did you not satisfy my father?" "In truth,” said Lodovico, “I was thinking of a part in my drama, and methought my father's speech to me was suitable to the part of an old man chiding his son, that I forgot I was concerned in it myself, and considered it only to make it part of my work."
Ariosto was tall, of a melancholy complexion, and so absorbed in study and meditation that he often forgot himself. His portrait was painted by Titian in a masterly manner. He was honoured with the laurel by the hands of the Emperor Charles V. He was naturally affable, always assuming less than was his due; yet never putting up with a known injury even from his superiors. He was so fearful on the water, that whenever he went out of a ship, he would see others go before him; and, on land, he would alight from his horse on the least apprehension of danger. How inconsistent this with that fiery imagination which could so well describe
the courage, strength, and marvellous intrepidity of an Orlando Furioso, as well as of many other renowned and valiant knights, and valiant ladies too! For, certainly, he was much fitter to handle the pen than the swoid, and to write advantageously the achievements of others, than afford matter of panegyric, at least, in the manner of these heroes whose praises he delighted to sing.
He lived to the age of fifty-nine, and towards his latter end grew infirm, and by taking much physic injured his stomach. He affirmed that he was willing to die: and the rather because he believed, and the greatest divines were of opinion, that after this life we should meet and know our friends; saying to those that stood by, “that many of his friends were departed whom he had a great desire to see; and that every hour seemed to him as a year till he might visit them." He died in Ferrara, in the year 1533; and there was scarce a man that could write but honoured him with an epitaph.--Seleoted by J. Horner,
SKETCH OF A SHORT VISIT TO EYAM.
(To the Editor.) DEAR BROTHER, -An esteemed friend of mine, a distinguished menaber of the Society of Friends, in the course of last summer visited Eyam, in Derbyshire, and has since drawn up the following account of the occurrence. At my solicitation he has placed a copy at my disposal. On perusing it, I thought it might prove acceptable and interesting to many of your readers. If you should concur in opinion with me and insert it in your pages, you will oblige
Yours, very sincerely, &c., Manchester, 5th Dec. W. S.
years 1665 and 1666, destroyed in less than twelve months nearly fourfifths of its inhabitants, was still more remarkable on account of the individual who, from a clear con viction of religious duty, continued to dwell there, in active usefulness, during the awful visitation and desolation of the place. He remained in the very midst of it, even while the plague was raging with unabated fury, to give counsel, example, outward help and spiritual comfort to the poor sufferers who were being cut off at all ages, and at one time in almost every hour of the day! This noble-minded philanthropist was William Mompesson, rector of the parish, and probably one of the greatest patriots and patterns of Christian disinterestedness, and devotion to the good of others, that ever adorned the English name. This truly benevolent pastor, finding that any individual leaving the district might be a me.
DEAR FRIENDS,-It was a beautiful summer day, in the eight month of the year 1851, when a small party, of which I was one, paid a visit to the deeply-interesting village, or little town of Eyam (there commonly pronounced Eem), situated in the * Peak” district of the county of Derhy. This village, so famed on account of the plague which, in the
dium for conducting the direful disease even to the depopulation of one-half of the kingdom, earnestly exhorted the inhabitants to remain in faith; and through divine assist ance to prepare themselves to meet the destroying angel without dread, and the Judge of all the earth with joy and not with grief. He stood, like Moses on the hill of Rephidim, animating and encouraging his people to put their trust in the arm of divine power, and in that only-himself being a practical example of the doctrines and precepts which he taught; and marvellously he succeeded in his efforts, far beyond any precedent of the kind hitherto recorded in the annals of Great Britain. It is stated by the celebrated Anna Seward, the friend of Dr. Johnson and a native of Eyam, that “not an individual was known to pass the boundary" prescribed-not one left thedale which hemmed in the plague! but all regarded, in the vigour of true love and confidence, the sound advice of their minister and friend; they observed his rules as with the heart of one man. Noble patriots one and all!
Another minister, an Episcopalian Nonconformist,* named Thomas Stanley, likewise proved himself truly valiant in this cause of mercy and goodwill to his fellow-mortals, whilst the angel of death was hovering over the place. His name, however, in history, is but little known. Yet his good works are recorded on high.
Before attempting a description of the surrounding scenery, I may men tion that William Mompesson had a beloved wife, who stayed in this valley of death to share her husband's anxieties, dangers and duties, in soothing the sorrows and sufferings of the people; when, alas! at the age of twenty-seven, she also fell a victim to the levelling scourge, leaving him, then a year older than herself, to struggle on a mourner and a pilgrim in the earth till the seventy-first year of his age. He died, and was interred at Eakring, in Nottinghamshire, in
* In those days there were clergymen who, wbile advocates for Episcopacy, could not conform to other Church regulations en joined by the Court of Parliament.-W.S.
1708. The writer of this sketch. with feelings he cannot describe, read the epitaph of this dear and excellent woman, whose body was consigned to the silent tomb in the public graveyard at Eyam, and a translated inscription, written in Latin by her husband, will be seen further on. They had two little children, George and Elizabeth ; but these babes were removed to a distance ere the plague had assumed its virulence. They never saw their mother again. On the morning of the 22nd of the eighth month, 1666, William Mom pesson and his wife were walking arm in arm in the fields adjoining the rectoryshe dwelling on her usual theme, their two absent children when suddenly she exclaimed, “O Mompesson! the air! how sweet it smells !" The meaning he too well understood; the words entered his soul, and his heart sank within him. She had taken the distemper; the symptoms grew more manifest. She became delirious; and before night no hope of her recovery was entertained. How severely the good man felt on the loss of his partner, and how little hopes he had of escaping the death-plague, may be seen from the following extract of a letter he addressed to his patron and friend, Sir George Saville, dated “Eyam, Sepr. 1, 1666 :"
"HONOURED AND DEAR SIR,—This is the saddest news that ever my pen could write; the destroying angel having taken up his quarters within my habitation. My dearest wife has gone to her eternal rest, and is invested with a crown of righteousness, having made a happy end. Indeed, had she loved herself as well as me, she had fled from the pit of destruction, with the sweet babes, and might have prolonged her days ; but she was resolved to die a martyr to my interest. My drooping spirits are much refreshed with her joys, which I think are unutterable. Sir, this paper is to bid you a hearty farewell for ever, and to bring you my humble thanks for all your favours; and I hope you will believe a dying man, I have as much love as honour for you, and I will bend my feeble knee to the God of heaven, that you, my dear lady, and your children, and their children, may be blessed with external and eternal happiness.
* Dear Sir, let your dying chaplain recommend this truth to you and your family, that no happiness or solid comfort can be found in this vale of tears like living a pious life. And pray ever remember this rule Never do anything upon which you dare not first ask the blessing of God.
* Ww. MOMPESSON." In two months after, he again wrote a letter to another friend, in which appears the following descriptive pas sage: "The condition of this place has been so sad that I persuade my self it did exceed all history and example. I may truly say that our place has been a Golgotha—the place of a skull; and had there not been a remnant of us left, we had been as Sodoma, and been like unto Go. morrah.' My ears never heard such doleful lamentations, and my eyes never beheld such ghastly spectacles. Now, blessed be God! all our fears are over, for none have died of the infection since the eleventh of October, and all the pest-houses have been long empty. I intend (God willing) to spend most of this week in seeing all woollen clothes fumed and purified, as well for the satisfaction as for the safety of the country.” Again he writes: * Here has been such burning of goods that the like I think was never known; and indeed in this we have been too precise. For my part, I have scarcely left myself apparel to shelter my body from the cold, and have wasted more than needed, merely for example."
But to return to the narrative. Nothing daunted by his close bereavements and trials, this good pastor still pursued his godly course; and for better security, instead of preaching in his spacious steeple house, he assembled his hearers within the narrow precincts of a very deep dell, whilst himself stood high above them, in a natural cavern or curiously-excavated rock, offlinty combination, with several arched apartments twelve or eighteen feet liigh. From this unhewn edifice he raised his voice on their behali in testimony and in prayer. In honour of the awful and solemn
event, this singular rock has ever since been known by the name of “Cucklet Church." All the regulations prescribed by William Mompesson were conceived, fraught and carried into effect with uncommon wisdom and prudence; and they were adopted to the letter. For instance, the congregations, who were gathered at least two days in the week for the solemn purpose of divine worship, assembled in Cucklet Dale, in the open air, without touching one another. An imaginary cordon was drawn around the village," beyond which none ever passed," says the native poetess before alluded to. Springing wells and running streams were se. lected, on the sides of which the people from the country, living beyond the prescribed circle of half a mile on every side of the infected village, placed provisions and other requisites at the dawn of morning; when, at a fixed but remote period of the same day, certain of the poor inhabitants went and put their money in the waters and fetched the articles there left for their support. The points chosen were on all sides, in order that the restilential effluvia might not be altogether in one direction, or as the wind blew. This arrangement was doubtless contrived to meet, in a measure, the many alarms in which the neighbouring people indulged; in some instances, of a very curious character. One of these remarkable anti-contagious receptacles may be found northward of Eyam, and is to this day called “ Mompesson's Well." The plague has long since disappeared, we hope for ever; but this beautiful little fountain and water-course still con tinues to bubble and to flow within half a mile of this village of the Peak. May it ever contribute towards the health of the inhabitants, and be the preserver from every defilement of the body--the plague of intemperance included !
“Few or no instances are on record," says William Wood, a living native poet, historian, and weaver, “ of the extinction of life, in a joint number of mortals, attended with such trying and appalling circumstances, as the plague at Eyam in