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year of Queen Mary: and having a child by her, he caused Mr. Rose, a Protestant minister, to baptize it in his own house. The Papists, however, obtained information of this; and Holland having gone into the country with his child, that he might not be obliged to have the superstitious rites of the Roman Catholics performed, Bonner caused his goods to be seized, and treated his wife very harshly.
For a time he remained concealed among the followers of the truth in London, but was taken at last on May-day, 1558. Bishop Bonner, with his doctors, and a relative of Holland, who was of some note in Lancashire, tried earnestly to persuade him to recant, and again become a member of their church; but he was enabled to withstand them, and in the course of his examinations gave the following strong testimony to the power of the truth: “ It is not unknown to my master, that I was formerly of this blind religion, having that liberty under auricular confession, that I made no conscience of sin, but trusted in the Priest's absolution, he for money doing also some penance for me, after which I cared not what offences I did; so that lewdness, swearing, and all other vices, I considered of no consequence, so long as I could for money have them absolved. So straitly did I observe your ceremonies, that I would have ashes on Ash Wednesday, though I had practised never so much wickedness at night: and although I did not eat flesh upon Fridays, for conscience' sake, yet I made no conscience of swearing, dicing, or drinking all night long. And thus was I brought up, and thus have I continued, till of late that God has opened the light of his word, and called me by his grace to repent of my former idolatry and wicked life.”
After several examinations, Holland was condemned, and burned with six of his companions. The day they suffered, a proclamation was made that no one should speak unto them, upon pain of imprisonment. Notwithstanding this command, the people cried out, intreating God to strengthen them; and the martyrs likewise prayed for the people, and the restoring of his word. Holland embraced the stake, and said, “ Lord, I most humbly thank thy Majesty that thou hast called me from the state of death unto the light of thy heavenly word, and now unto the fellowship of thy saints, that I may sing and say, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts. And, Lord, into thy hands I commit my spirit. Lord, bless these thy people, and save them from idolatry.” Thus concludes this narrative; and so he ended his life, looking up into heaven, praying and praising God with the rest of his fellow-saints. For whose joyful constancy the Lord be praised.
These were the dying words of one of the last martyrs who suffered in Smithfield in the cause of truth; and surely they come to us with double power from one who was so striking a monument of divine grace.—The Domestic Visitor.
THE PLEASURE OF STUDY,
(A Letter from Bishop Hall.) I can wonder at nothing more, than how a man can be idle ; but of all others, a scholar; in so many improvements of reason, in such sweetness of knowledge, in such variety of studies, in such importunity of thoughts. Other artizans do but practise; we still learn : others run still in the same course, to weariness, to satiety; our choice is infinite : other labours require recreations; our very labour recreates our spirits. We can never want, either somewhat to do, or somewhat that we would do. How numberless are those volumes which men have written, of arts, of tongues ! How endless is that volume of the world which God hath written ! wherein every creature is a letter, every day a new page. Who can be weary of either of these ? to find wit in poetry, in philosophy profoundness, in mathematics acuteness, in history wonder of events, in oratory sweet eloquence, in divinity supernatural light and holy devotion; as so many rich metals in their proper mines, whom would it not ravish with delight? After all these, let us but open our eyes, we cannot look without seeing a lesson, in this universal book of our Maker, worth our study, worth taking out. What creature hath not his miracle ? What event doth not challenge his observation? And if, weary of foreign employment, we
desire to look home into ourselves, there we find a more private world of thoughts, which set us on work anew; more busily, not less profitably; now, our silence is vocal, our solitariness popular; and we are shut up, to do good to many. And if once we be cloyed with our own company, the door of conversation is open ; here interchange of discourse benefits us : and he is a weak companion, from whom we return not wiser. I could envy, if I could believe, that anchoret, who, secluded from the world, and pent up in his voluntary prison walls, denied that he thought the day long, while yet he wanted learning to vary his thoughts. Not to be cloyed with the same conceit, is difficult above human strength; but to a man so furnished with all sorts of knowledge, that according to his dispositions he can change his studies, I should wonder that ever the sun should seem to pace slowly. How many busy tongues chase away good hours in pleasant chat, and complain of the haste of night! What ingenuous mind can be sooner weary of talking with learned authors, the most harmless, and sweetest of companions ? What a heaven lives a scholar in, that at once in one close room can daily converse with all the glorious martyrs and fathers ! that can single out, at pleasure, either sententious Tertullian, or grave Cyprian, or resolute Jerome, or flowing Chrysostom, or divine Ambrose, or devout Bernard, or heavenly Augustine ; and talk with them, and hear their wise and holy counsels, verdicts, resolutions : yea, to rise higher, who can converse with courtly Isaiah, with learned Paul, with all their fellow Prophets and Apostles : yet more, like another Moses, with God himself in them both ! Let the world contemn us; while we have these delights, we cannot envy them : we cannot wish ourselves other than we are. Besides, the
way to all other contentments is troublesome; the only recompence is in the end. To delve in the mines, to scorch in the fire for the getting, for the fining, of gold is a slavish toil; the comfort is in the wedge; to the owner, not the labourers; whereas our very search of knowledge is delightsome. Study itself is our life, from which we would not be barred for a world. How much sweeter then is the fruit of
study, the consciousness of knowledge! In comparison whereof, the soul that hath once tasted it easily contemns all human comforts. Go now, ye worldlings, and insult over our paleness, our neediness, our neglect. Ye could not be so jocund, if you were not ignorant; if you did not want knowledge, you could not overlook him that hath it. For me, I am so far from emulating you, that I profess, I would as soon be a beast, as an ignorant rich man. How is it then, that those gallants who have privilege of blood and birth, and better education, do so scornfully turn away from these most manly, reasonable, noble exercises of scholarship? a hawk becomes their hand better than a book ;-a dog is a better companion : anything, or nothing, rather than what we ought. O minds brutishly sensual! Do they think that God made them for sport ? who, even in his paradise, would not allow pleasure without work: and if for business, either of body or mind : those of the body are commonly servile, like itself: the mind, therefore, the mind only, that honourable and divine part, is fittest to be employed of those who would reach to the highest perfection of men. And what work is there of the mind but the trade of a scholar, study? Let me therefore fasten this problem on our school-gates, and challenge all comers in the defence of it; that a man who is not a scholar cannot be truly noble. And if I make it not good, let me never be admitted further than to the subject of our question. Thus we do well to congratulate ourselves, our own happiness; if others will come to us, it shall be our comfort, but more theirs ; if not, it is enough that we can joy in ourselves, and in Him in whom we are what we are.
TRAITS OF CHARACTER IN CEYLON. I DISMISSED one of my schoolmasters, says Mr. Spalding, an American Missionary in Ceylon, for neglecting his school, and employed another man. The consequence was such as I anticipated. All the people in the village were offended, and raised a great outcry against the Padre. I had broken their customs, and committed an unpardonable offence. The solution of this is, that a person once taken into employ, always has a claim, however undeserving, to all the benefits he ever enjoyed. The longer he serves, the stronger his claim. Even a cooly, if he work for you one day, feels that you are bound to hire him the next, whether you wish for his services or not; and a beggar has a claim through life, because he has once or twice been encouraged by the gift of a few pence. Every additional favour increases your obligation to give; and this, instead of exciting gratitude, is often considered the discharge of a debt which you owed him in some “ former birth.” This feeling arises, in some degree, from the customs of this people. Every respectable gardener has his carpenter, his blacksmith, his barber, his washerman ; and should he employ any other, he commits an unpardonable offence. These men in return receive their food from the gardener. Hence, if you employ a cooly, he is your cooly; and if you give to a beggar, he is your beggar.
Another circumstance, in connexion with my turning away the schoolmaster, shows a very different, but very common, trait in the character of this people : Two or three men of high rank came to intercede for the schoolmaster; but, as he was present, I refused to hear them.
But why," said the Odigar, “will you not forgive him?” “Yes, I forgive him, but do not wish to employ him.” Does not your religion teach you to forgive ?” “When there is evidence of sincere repentance.” “ Well, try him another month; and if he does not do well, then turn him out.” “No, I have tried him already many months.” “But try him one more month, and I will be responsible for his doing well." I replied, “I have employed another master, and I want this one no more.” I then turned and went away, the almost only civil method of getting rid of this people when they visit you. Notwithstanding this, the Odigar followed me, and when alone, he said in a whisper, “ Are you going to put this new man in for a schoolmaster?” “ Yes.” “That,” said he,
“ is very well, he is a clever fellow; but as for the old master, he is an overflowing villain.” This is a life-picture of what we see every day.