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her, and she entered upon it;—how well prepared you may easily conceive,- she did not care. Her first mistress was particularly neat in her person and house; and in order to have a servant like herself had taken SUSAN BROWN, thinking, as she was so young, she might train her up in her own way: but Mrs. MARTIN's plans were far too troublesome for Susan: to be obliged to have every meal on the table at the exact time, and to be ever careful not to break, soil, or damage any thing, were such intolerable fetters, that, rather than wear them, she returned home with the same childish apology to her displeased parents,

Mrs. MÁRTIN was too particular; I can't help it.'

“ SUSÁN gained a second place, which she imagined would exactly suit her, for her mistress was as untidy as herself; but here were other trials. She was often sent with messages, of which she generally forgot the most essential part. Once, having made a mistake in some important task of this kind, she was severely reprimanded, but thought to calm her angry mistress by saying, "My memory is so bad, Ma'am; but I can't help it.' This would not do, and she was quickly dismissed.

66 Two situations more were obtained for her; one she soon left because her temper: was so bad, and it seems) she could not help it.'- The other was in a serious family, and there she heard of that religion which, if sought and found, would have roused her sleeping spirit, and enabled her to do all things;' but it is to be feared, though she must have perceived her want of its holy and invigorating influence, that of this, as of lesser deficiencies, she said, or thought, - I cannot help it;'-for no effect was ever known to reşult from the instructions she received. What be,

EMINENT BRITISH CHARACTERS.

165

came of SUSAN, after leaving this family, I do not know; but such habits, if persisted in, could only lead her to want and misery here, and still deeper woe hereafter. Let us leave the contemplation of so distressing a spectacle of human nature, but learn from it, that indifference to good is as baneful to ourselves as the pursuit of evil; and that fancying things to be impossible, makes them so."

0.

EMINENT BRITISH CHARACTERS.

No. 1.

JOHN WICKLIFF. John WICKLIFF was born about the year 1324, in the parish of Wickliff, near Richmond, in Yorkshire. He was educated at Oxford, first in Queen's, and af. terwards in Merton College, of which he was Fellow. Having acquired the reputation of a man of great learning and abilities, in the year 1361 he was chosen master of Baliol Hall, and in 1365 constituted Warden of Canterbury College, by the founder, ArcaBISMOP SIMON DE Islip; but was, in 1367, ejected by the regulars, together with three secular fellows. He thought their proceedings arbitrary, and therefore appealed to the Pope; but, instead of his receiving redress, in 1370 the ejectment was confirmed. This disappointment doubtless confirmed his enmity to the see of Rome; for he had long before written against the Pope's exactions and corruptions of religion. However, his credit in the University continued; for having taken the degree of D.D., he read public lectures with great applause; in which he frequently exposed the impositions of the mendicant friars. About this time he published a defence of his Sovereign, EpWARD III., against the Pope, who had insisted on the homage to which his predecessor King Joon had agreed.* This defence was the cause of Wickliff's

*. The following is the oath alluded to ; and which the abject spirit of Joun allowed to be imposed upon him by the Pope. I, John, by the grace of God, King of England, and Lord of introduction at court, and of his being sent as one of the ambassadors, in 1374, to Bruges, where they met the Pope's nuncios, to settle several ecclesiastical matters relative to the papal authority. In the mean time, WICKLIFF was presented by the King to the rectory of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire; and in 1375, he obtained a prebend in the Church of Westbury in Gloucestershire. WICKLIFF continued hitherto to oppose the papal authority without moles. tation; but in 1377, a bull was sent over to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to COURTNEY, Bishop of London, ordering them to secure this arch-heretic, and lay him in irons : the Pope also wrote to the King, requesting him to favour the Bishops in the prosecution; and he sent a bull to Oxford, commanding the University to give him up. Before these bulls reached England, EDWARD IIf. was dead, and WICKLIFF, protected by John, Duke of Lancaster, uncle to Richard II., favoured by the Queen, and supported by the citizens of London, eluded the persecution of Pope Gregory IX., who died in 1378. In 1379, this intrepid reformer presented to Parliàment a severe paper against the power of the Pope, and the tyranny of the church of Rome; wrote against the papal supremacy and infallibity; and published a book on the truth of the Scriptures, intending to prepare

the way for an English translation of them, in which he had made considerable progress. In 1381, he published Sixteen Conclusions, in the first of which he exposed the doctrine of Transubstantiation. These Conclusions being condemned by the Chancellor of Oxford, Wickliff appealed to the King and Parliament; but being deserted by the Duke of Lancaster, he was obliged to make a confession at Oxford, Ireland, in order to expiate my sins, from my own free will

, and the advice of my Barons, give to the church of Rome, to Pope INNOCENT and his successors, the kingdom of England, and all other prerogatives of the crown. I will be faithful to GOD, to the Church of Rome, to the Pope, my master, and pay him a tribute of a thousand marks; to wit, seven hundred for the kingdom of England, and three hundred for the kingdom of Ireland."-See Hume's History of England.

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and, by an order from the King, was expelled the University. He now retired to his living of Lutterworth, where he finished his translation of the Bible. This translation, which has been published in one volume, quarto, and of which there are several manuscript copies in the libraries of the Universities, British Museum, &c., is a very literal translation of the Latin Vulgate.

In 1383, he was suddenly struck with the palsy; a repetition of which put an end to his life in December, 1384. He was buried in his own church, where his bones were suffered to rest in peace till 1428, when, by an order from the Pope, they were taken up

and burned. Besides a number of other works which have been printed, he left a large collection of manuscripts, an accurate list of which may be seen in Bishop TANNER's Bib. Brit. Hib. Some of them are in the Bodleian Library, others in the British Museum, &c.

THE ORIGIN OF MAKING THE CROSS IN WRITING.

“WITHRED, King of Kent, in a charter granted to the Abbess EABBA, A.D. 693, or 695, acknowledges that, being illiterate, he had marked it with the sign of the Holy Cross. This is said to be the first charter that was ever granted in writing. Archbishops and Bishops were frequently too illiterate to write their own names, and only made their marks to the acts of Councils. Hence the phrase signing, for subscribing to a deed, is taken from persons, who could not write, usually making the sign of the cross in place of their name, in confirmation of any legal deed; and strongly proves the universality of the practice formerly."*

What a contrast with the present age, when every poor child can learn to write, if he be so inclined, as well as obtain an acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures.

CIRCULATING LIBRARIES. “PAMPHILUS was a Presbyter of Cæsarea. He lived A. D. 294. In him were united the Philosopher and the Christian. Of an eminent family, and large fortune, he might have aspired to the highest honours; but he withdrew himself from the glare of temporal grandeur, and spent his life in acts of the most disin. terested benevolence. He was remarkable for his unfeigned regard to the Sacred Scriptures, and for his unwearied application in whatever he undertook. A great encourager of learning and piety, he not only lent books, especially copies of the Scriptures, to read, but when he found persons well disposed, made them presents of his manuscripts, some of which were transcribed with the greatest accuracy by his own hand.* He erected a library at Cæsarea, which, according to ISIDORE, of Seville, contained 30,000 volumes. This collection seems to have been made merely for the good of the Church, and to lend out to religiously-disposed people. ST. JEROME particularly mentions his collecting books for the purpose of lending them to be read.Dr. A. CLARKE remarks, “This is, if I mistake not, the first notice we have of a Circulating Library.”+

* WHITAKER's History of Manchester, 4to, vol. ii. p. 232.

ORIGIN OF THE METRICAL VERSION OF THE PSALMS,

BY STERNHOLD AND HOPKINS. THOMAS STERNHOLD had been Groom of the Robes to Henry VIII., had received from him a legacy of one hundred marks, and was continued in his post by EDWARD VI.I He appears to have been a pious man, since it was from a dislike to the loose and wanton ballads, sung by the courtiers of EDWARD, that he first undertook his version of the Psalms, thinking that the courtiers would sing them instead of their sonnets; but they did not, some few only excepted. He was assisted by John HOPKINS, an obscure clergyman and schoolmaster of Suffolk. The

* Townley's Ilustrations of Biblical Literature, vol. i. p. 110. + DR. A. CLARKE’s Succession of Sacred Literature, vol. i. p. 227.

TOWNLEY's Illustrations, &c. vol. iii. p. 114.

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