Page images
PDF
EPUB

been sent down to us? What supplication | can carry along with it more the air of truth than that which proceeded from the mouth of Him who is truth? So that to pray otherwise than he hath taught, is not only a mark of ignorance, but of folly." "We are not those," says a learned divine,* "who seek to restrain, by a form of words, the spirit of prayer, or those praying with the Spirit; but because we do not hold ourselves bound to such a form, do we consider it improper or inconvenient to use it? If we may be permitted to address the divine Being in our words, shall we, therefore, be precluded from addressing him in his own? Can we imagine that our babbling will be more grateful to him than the words of Him who is truth, and which contain wisdom that cannot err? Vain repetitions of the same prayer, are, however, by no means countenanced, either by the command of Christ, or the usage of the ancient Church." The practice is condemned by our Saviour: "Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard from their much speaking" (Matt. vi. 7). In fact, a momentary consideration of what the true nature of prayer is, will refute the practice which has obtained in one section of the Christian Church. It is not the time consumed in the attitude of supplication, not the mechanical and continuous repetition of words, which constitutes prayer; but it is the aspiring cry of a broken and contrite, or the overflowings of a grateful heart; it is the outpouring of a troubled mind, or the lowly prostration of the humble and sincere. It is a combination of hope and fear, of penitential sorrow and lively gratitude; it is the utterance of heartfelt desire, the impression of weakness, the deprecation of wrath, and the assurance of help in every time of need. If, then, in all ages of the Church some established rule and order for public worship has been laid down-and no one, as far as we can learn from Scripture, ever presumed to enter into the Divine presence without conforming himself to it-we are more than justified in following, we are surely required to follow, the practice of all antiquity, and to take advantage of such forms of prayer as have been handed down to us, more espe=cially from the times immediately subsequent

to those of the apostles; for, looking upon the great promises and leading truths of Scripture as belonging to the whole family of man, those beautiful petitions which we find

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

in the Psalms of David and in the prophets of old, are certainly suitable to us, and the more so as we live in days during which some of those grand events of which they spoke and sung, and for the advent of which they continually prayed, have glided from the uncertainty of the future to the certainty of the past.

Witsius in Symb. et Orat. Dom. Witsius and Whitby are at issue on this point. I should incline to the opinion of the former, borne out by what is recorded of the prayers of the apostolic age, that our Lord's prayer was not deemed a necessary part of our address to God, but was intended as an epitome, if I may so call it, of what prayer in general ought to be. In the Lord's prayer we have the outline; the body of the picture must be filled up according to individual wants and feelings.

With one observation I will close the subject. We have no authority whatever derived from Scripture to sanction the use in public worship of extemporaneous prayer. And, indeed, is it not consistent with sound reason to believe, that prayers read and known of all men; untainted by peculiar, or narrow, or false views of divine truth; distrusting the momentary impressions of the enthusiast, or the cold display of the phlegmatic and formalist; resting upon the practice of the primitive Church; tested by the experience of the remotest times, should be better adapted to the edification, sound instruction, and consistent piety of all, who, whatever the varieties of their outward circumstances, have need of the same spiritual nourishment, than the prayers which must of necessity take their tone, be vapid or energetic, be precise or diffuse, be scriptural or unwarranted by Scripture, according to the feelings and fancies and failings of a being like ourselves? Such prayers may be well suited to individuals, in the privacy of the chamber, but they are not calculated for the sober and solemn and stated worship of God in his holy sanctuary. Our Church is wise and judicious, in being content to express the great wants of mankind, to pray to God, and to praise him, in language that the most fastidious must admire, the greatest sinner may with truth adopt, and to which the greatest saint may say, Amen.

ON THE COMMUNION. HUMAN nature is ever in extremes; we avoid one error too often only to fall into its opposite. Thus it is in the holy communion to an extent most easily traced by its paralysing effects. We have abjured the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation; and we have done well, for, in the language of the 28th article of our Church, it "is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions:" but it is to be feared that Protestantism tends to an error

equally dangerous, because equally repugnant to Scripture, and equally overthrowing the nature of a sacrament. In our anxiety to avoid superstition, we are bringing ourselves into contact with scepticism; in our abhorrence of the blasphemy and absurdity involved in the elementary change, for which the papist contends, we have simplified and explained away, and well nigh reduced, this most sacred and mysterious rite of our religion to a mere commemora

tion of the sufferings of Christ: in denying the bodily
presence of the Lord in his holy supper, do not many
of us virtually deny the reality of his spiritual presence
also? O, no wonder that the sacred table is so little
thronged; no wonder that the generality even of those
who do attend come so seldom, when the very essence
of the sacrament is disregarded, and our souls incapa-
citated for its reception by the numbing influence of a
cold and proud unbelief. I have spoken of these
two errors as in direct opposition to each other; like
most extremes, they may be traced to precisely the
same cause-to that carnal mind, which, however
developed, is, and ever must be, at enmity with God.
To a carnal and literal interpretation of this divine
mystery is owing the Romish doctrine of transub-
stantiation; and to the very same carnal interpretation,
-that which led the Jews to strive among themselves,
saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
(John, vi. 52); and which induced even Christ's own
disciples to exclaim, "This is a hard saying; who
can hear it?" (ver. 60.) It is the very same carnal in-
terpretation which now beguiles Protestants into their
besetting sin of rejecting too much. In both cases man
errs, because his faculties are so under the dominion
of sense, that he cannot receive the ideas of real and
spiritual as existing together. On the one hand, the
reality is debased into corporeal presence; on the
other, so attenuated to meet our imperfect comprehen-
sion of spirit, as to do away with the reality of the
Divine presence altogether.

port our natural bodies, has appointed this sacrament
to be the spiritual sustenance of our souls; and as
loathing its wholesome food is a sure sign that there is
some disease in the body, so not desiring this spiritual
sustenance is an equally sure sign that there is some
disorder in the soul. A growing appetite for its
proper nutriment is in the latter, as in the former,
the best proof of returning health, with this only dif-
ference, that being for healing as well as for support,
we must begin even while still indisposed for it, certain
that perseverance will work a cure, and create the
wished-for relish. O, that men would but give the same
credence to those who are most intimate with the ordi-
nances of religion, that is so generally accorded to
those most familiar with any mere earthly subject.
An invalid from his birth will listen with interest to
one who can tell him that he was for years in the same
state, and by what means he was restored; he will
easily believe the advantages of health, for he feels the
weakness and pain of his own condition, and sighs for
relief. But with the diseased soul it is not so ;-it
feels its misery, yet instead of seeking release, it per-
versely argues, that misery is its portion. In vain
those who have made trial set forth the efficacy of the
prescribed remedy; in vain they assert, "we were
equally wretched and dissatisfied; we were worn by
contending passions, and wasted by corroding cares;
but by the grace of God we have been renewed, and we
are happy." It cannot deny its own disease and pain;
but it chooses rather to believe that there is no other
state, than to give credit to those who can affirm from
experience that health is attainable. That this should
be the case with the openly careless and indifferent, is
matter of less surprise; spiritual blessings sound to
them like a description of the pleasures of industry in
the ears of the indolent, in direct opposition to all
their notions of enjoyment: but our own brethren-
those who have taken some steps in seeking renova-
tion, who are constant at the house of God, and Sun-
day after Sunday unite in the same prayers-surely it
might be expected that they would listen to fellow-
travellers who have gone a little further on the same
road, and would fain persuade them forward to a ban-
quet the most delightful and the most invigorating of
any set before us during our pilgrimage. It is not by
an occasional attendance at the Lord's table that we
can hope to participate in the full benefit of that holy
sacrament; the very being contented with such casual
observance is of itself a proof that we have not yet
learned its value. Do any wish to learn? let them
come, with a lowly and implicit belief that in some
way, far, far beyond the utmost stretch of our grovel-
ling apprehensions, Christ does really and truly com-
municate himself to us in this sacred ordinance; let
them draw near-not once or twice-not now and
then, but constantly. They will perhaps for awhile
find no alteration; their dispositions will be equally
perverse, their wills equally unruly, the communion
equally unsatisfactory; but let them persevere in faith,
and gradually they will feel the real presence of Christ
in his appointed sacrament, by the gradual growth of j
their own souls in conformity to him. They will per-
ceive, with an assurance tenfold stronger than mere
words can give, that on every fresh participation their
souls are more closely united to him, and receive new

But let us remember it is not the doctrine of the Church of England I am thus contrasting with that of Rome: her doctrines may be overlooked, as well as too many of her ordinances set aside; but, blessed be God, they are untouched by the varying atmosphere around. The Church herself-in accordance with the Saviour's own words at its institution, with the apostolical comment, and with the writings of the early fathers, to whom, as nearer the fount, we naturally look for greater purity-maintains the real presence of Christ in the communion as administered at her altars. She asserts that "if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy sacrament, then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood;" and, in the name of the communicants, she has appointed the officiating priest to pray that they may so eat the flesh of Jesus Christ, and drink his blood, that their sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and their souls washed through his most precious blood."

66

"I thank thee, O Father," says our blessed Lord, "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." Truly of the doctrine of Christ's presence in the communion it may be said, that it is revealed unto babes. To understand it requires the exercise rather of the moral than the intellectual faculties. It wants no peculiar acuteness of discrimination, no deep powers of reasoning; but it does require that inward disposition, without which no Gospel-truth can be received into the soul, a confiding humility, a child-like trust in the revelations of our heavenly Father, even although we may not comprehend how these things can be. The same God who has appointed the food which shall sup

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

fort

ROGER HOLLAND.*

ROGER HOLLAND was first an apprentice to one Mr. Kempton, at the Black Boy, Watling Street. He was, in every sense of the word, licentious-a lover of bad company, and, more than all, a stubborn determined papist: one of whom it might be said, that a miracle could only effect his conversion. Dissipated as he was, his master had the imprudent confidence to trust him with money; and having received thirty pounds on his master's account, he lost it at the gaming-table. Knowing it was impossible to retain his character, he determined to withdraw to France or Flanders. With this resolution, he called early in the morning on a discreet servant in the house, named Elizabeth, who professed the Gospel, and lived a life that did honour to her profession. To her he revealed the loss his folly had occasioned, regretted that he had not followed her advice, and begged her to give his master a note of hand from him acknowledging the debt, which he would repay, if ever it were in his power; he also entreated his disgraceful conduct might be kept secret, lest it should bring the grey hairs of his father with sorrow to a premature grave.

The maid, with a generosity and Christian principle rarely surpassed, conscious that his imprudence might be his ruin, brought him the thirty pounds, which was part of a sum of money recently left to her by legacy. "Here," said she, "is the sum requisite. You shall take the money, and I will keep the note; but expressly on this condition, that you abandon all lewd and vicious company-that you neither swear nor talk immodestly, and game no more; for should I learn that you do, I will immediately shew this note to your master. I also require that you shall promise me to attend the daily lecture at Allhallows, and the sermon at St. Paul's every Sunday; that you cast away all your books of popery, and in their place substitute the Testament, and the Book of Service, and that you read the Scriptures with reverence and fear, calling upon God for his grace to direct you in his truth. Pray also fervently to God to pardon your former offences, 1 and not to remember the sins of your youth, and ever dread to break his laws, or offend his majesty; so shall God have you in his keeping, and grant you your heart's desire." We must honour the memory of this excellent domestic, whose pious endeavours were equally directed to benefit the thoughtless youth in this life, and that which is to come. May her example be followed by the present generation of servants, who seek rather to seduce by vain dress and loose manners the youths who are associated in servitude with them! God did not suffer the wish of this excellent domestic to be thrown upon a barren soil; within half a year after, the licentious Holland became a zealous professor of the Gospel, and was an instrument of conversion to his father and others, whom he visited in Lancashire, to their spiritual comfort and reformation from popery.

M

+

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

|

supplies of his Holy Spirit; and instead of thinking that invitations to his table come too often, they will wish, and, in the firm reliance that with God all things are possible, fervently pray, for an universal return to that more frequent administration for which our Church has provided. S. S.

Queen Mary's reign, and a child was the fruit of their union, which Mr. Holland caused to be baptised by obliged to fly; and Bonner, with his accustomed imMr. Rose, in his own house. For this offence he was placability, seized his goods, and ill-treated his wife. After this, he remained secretly among the congrega. tions of the faithful, till the last year of Queen Mary, when he, with six others, was taken not far from St. John's Wood, and brought to Newgate upon Mayday, 1558.

His father, pleased with his change of conduct, gave him forty pounds to commence business with in London. Upon his return, like an honest man, he paid the debt of gratitude; and rightly judging that she who had proved so excellent a friend and counsellor would be no less amiable as a wife, he tendered her his hand. They were married in the first year of

From "Milner's Fox's Martyrs."

He bore testimony with firmness, before the cruel Bonner, to the sincerity with which he had come from the service of sin and ignorance to embrace the cause of Christ, and take his yoke upon him. Finally, with his associates, he was condemned to the flames, and therein finished his course with constancy and unshaken faith and charity.

The day they suffered, says the historian, a proclamation was made, prohibiting every one from speaking or talking to, or receiving any thing from them, or touching them, upon pain of imprisonment, without either bail or mainprize. Notwithstanding, the people cried out, "God strengthen them!" They also prayed for the people, and the restoration of His word. Embracing the stake and the reeds, Holland said these words: "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 he ended his life, looking towards heaven, praying to and praising God, with the rest of his fellow-saints. These seven martyrs were consumed June 27, 1558.

THE TRIAL OF THE SEVEN BISHOPS.* "One of those tragic spectacles of justice violated, of religion menaced, of innocence oppressed, of unarmed dignity outraged, with all the conspicuous solemnities of abused law, in the persons of men of exalted rank and venerated functions, who encounter wrongs and indignities with mild intrepidity."-Sir James Mackintosh.

Or all the studies calculated to engage the attention, to enlarge the mind, and to strengthen and purify the heart, there is none more delightful or instructive, than the biography of the worthies of the Anglican Church. There is no species of the highest human excellence, of which these holy men have not left us an exemplar; there is no field of learning or science which they have not extended and adorned; there is no rampart of the Christian faith which they have not either reared or fortified by their matchless and accumulated erudition; and so great and so various are the treasures of theological literature which they have bequeathed to the world, and more especially to their fellow-countrymen,- for they spoke in the common tongue,—that were the writings of dissent entirely consumed by some modern Omar, and the works of the divines of our English Establishment, alone remained extant, the loss would be but little felt, and but a mere stone would have been dislodged from the unshaken fortress of Christianity. Reverse the case, however; suppose the literature of dissent preserved, and that of the Church destroyed, where would be the glory of our English theology?— where those noble and impregnable defences, constructed by the hand of a Pearson, a Bull, a Waterland, a Butler, and a Magee,

From "The (Coburg) Church."

against which the infidel and Socinian level their objections and cavils, only to be shivered into a thousand fragments?

Take our divines from the cloistered study, and the halls of learning, and observe how they demean themselves in times that prove the temper of a man, and refine, or consume him, in the fires of persecution. Behold the fabric of our reformed Church slowly rising under the patient care of Cranmer, and subsequently watered by his blood. How beautifully, as we sit abstracted from the external world, with our eyes open but not employed, and with our mental vision thereby rendered the more intense, do a thousand mitred and crosiered forms glide across our path, and suffuse the surrounding imaginary scene with a mellow and celestial light! Meekly and thoughtfully, the kindred spirits of Usher, Leighton, and Sancroft seem to hold solemn converse. Juxon irradiates his martyred monarch's scaffold with the mild lustre of faith and hope. Jeremy Taylor, the earliest champion of toleration, indulges in his divine contemplations, and hangs not his harp upon the willows, though he weeps, and remembers Zion. The much-calumniated, the munificent, the sincere, the good Laud lays his grey hairs upon the block, committing his soul to God, and his fame to the charitable judgment of posterity. Hall, | the assertor of the divine right of episcopacy, is buffetted by indignities, which his learning, moderation, and piety provoked. Ken and Lake withstand the tyrant James, and oppose their crosier and "unsullied lawn" to the axe and blood-dyed garments of Jefferies. Wilson traverses the Isle of Man, and the deserted Manxmen are only restrained by the bishop himself from bursting the prison-doors, within which a godless and arbitrary governor had dared to thrust him. Barrington, Burgess, and Van Mildert, appear before us, laying the foundations of institutions dedicated to the service of Christ, and expending sums, such as monarchs might give, noiselessly and secretly in the alleviation of human misery. But where would be the limit, if we were to recount each name that has adorned the annals of our English hierarchy? Here and there a solitary exception,-a worldly, an ambitious, or an unlearned prelate is thrust unworthily, by court-favour, or some sinister means, into the apostolic seat; worse even than this, there have been bishops, but few, very few indeed, fit compeers for Judas Iscariot, but in no greater proportion to the rest of their brethren than he to the twelve disciples: yet making all these deductions, and recollecting that the chief pastors of our Church are, after all, but frail men like ourselves, we may safely assert that the bishops of the Church of England, as a body, by their courage at the stake, their learning in the closet, their eloquence in the pulpit, their labours in their dioand their presence in the senate, have faithfully discharged the duties of their awful calling, and drawn their country. down the blessings of Heaven upon

ceses,

It would be difficult to say which is the brightest period of our episcopal annals,-whether the reign of Mary, when five of the bishops joined the "noble army of martyrs" in heaven; whether the era of the grand rebellion, when our venerable and loyal prelates, with their inferior clergy, were either incarcerated, compelled to fly or abscond, and in many in

stances harassed unto death; or whether the crisis of
the Revolution, when the holy fathers of our Church
resisted the king in his might, and yet, rather than
violate their conscience, involved themselves in his
downfall, to which their firmness had mainly contri-
buted. The details of the two former periods are
perused with more of a painful and shuddering in-
terest, and more strongly excite our horror, indigna-
tion, and compassion; but the latter is a spot in Eng-
lish history, on which we can gaze with not less of
interest, albeit of a nature different and not so har-
rowing; while at the same time we can survey it with
a degree of rejoicing and patriotic exultation, to which
we could not give way when recalling the Popish fires
of Oxford, or the Puritan atrocities of the tyrannical
Long Parliament.

James II., in his infatuated attempt to subvert the
civil and religious liberties of England, was fully aware
that the principal barrier to his unhallowed project
was the Church of England. Having therefore as-
sumed the guise of toleration, as a mask to his de-
signs, and as a snare to entrap the Dissenters into his
support, he issued, on the 27th April, 1688, the cele-
brated Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, in which
he claimed the illegal power of dispensing with the
penal laws against Dissenters and Roman Catholics,
and which had for its real object the destruction of the
Protestant faith, and the restoration of Popery to its
long-lost ascendency and power. A subsequent order
from the king was directed to the bishops, command-
ing them to cause his declaration to be read at the
usual time of divine service, by the clergy in their
respective dioceses. The bishops, as the sentinels of
the national religion, took alarm at this arbitrary vio-
lation of the laws, and after due consultation deter-
mined not to comply with the royal mandate, but pre-
sented a respectful petition to James, remonstrating
against the illegality of the power which he had as-
sumed. The days appointed for the reading of the
declaration soon drew nigh, and so nobly and faith-
fully were the bishops sustained by the great body of
the clergy, that "not more than two hundred in all,"
states Sir James Mackintosh, "are said to have com-
plied out of a body of ten thousand." Irritated at this
disobedience, the king, on the 8th June, ordered the
seven prelates who had signed the petition to be com-
mitted to the Tower, on the plea of having published
a seditious libel against the sovereign and his govern-

ment.

The names of these venerable champions of our faith are William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury; William Lloyd, bishop of St. Asaph; Francis Turner, of Ely; John Lake, of Chichester; Thomas Ken, of Bath and Wells; Thomas White, of Peterborough; and Sir Jonathan Trelawney, of Bristol. Had they but lifted up a finger, the people would have But in meekness risen in a mass to their rescue. and lowliness, without any attempt to excite the popular sympathy, nay, with the strongest desire and effort to suppress it, they proceeded to the barges that were The populace exto convey them to the Tower. Thouprayers. pressed their feelings in tears and sands begged the blessing of the bishops, even running into the water to implore it. Multitudes, kneeling and supplicating Heaven for their deliverance,

laugh, or a shout of joy," which the chief-justice soon gave over attempting to check, rang ominously through the court. Lord Sunderland, the king's prime minister, who had already become a secret Romanist, appeared as a witness; and after having gone through the ordeal of being hooted and hissed, and denounced as a "Popish dog" by the clamorous multitude around the doors, came into the court colourless, trembling, downcast, bowed beneath a load of public obloquy and self-reproach. Williams, one of the crown lawyers, on making some indiscreet allusion, was also received with a general hiss.

lined the banks of the Thames as they passed. On landing at the Tower, several of the guards, and even some of the officers, knelt down to receive their blessing: and it was observed at the time, and deemed a mark of special providential interference, that on the evening of the bishops' commitment, when they attended divine service in the chapel of the Tower, the second lesson was the sixth chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, wherein they were exhorted, "to approve themselves ministers of God, with patience, in afflictions, in imprisonments."

The same manifestation of popular feeling continued unabated throughout the following days. The nobility, of both sexes, hastened to proffer their solace and assistance to the venerable prisoners, and to beg their blessing; the soldiers on guard, despite the reprimand of their commanding officer, drank their healths; and dense masses of true-born Englishmen thronged around the Tower, as if ready, should occasion arise, to do battle for the passive guardians of the common liberties. Even the dissenting ministers, though so long silent in behalf of the Protestant cause, now came forward in many instances, with a noble forgetfulness of all past dissensions, and sent a deputation to visit and encourage the prelates, whom they had before opposed.

On the 15th June, the bishops were brought before the Court of King's Bench, by a writ of habeas corpus; and after having pleaded" not guilty" to the charge alleged against them, were liberated on their own undertaking to appear on the trial, which was appointed to take place on the 29th of June. On this occasion, both when repairing to, and when leaving the court, they were greeted with undiminished symptoms of the general affection and enthusiasm in their favour. Weeping crowds kneeling in a lane to receive their apostolic benediction-twenty-nine peers offering to be their sureties, and, together with numerous gentlemen, attending them in court-shouts and buzzas unrestrained even in the presence of the judges -the bishop of St. Asaph, detained in Palace-yard by a multitude, who kissed his hands and garments-the archbishop received with military honours and on bended knees by the soldiers posted at Lambeth to guard him—the bells of Westminster Abbey ringing out a jubilant peel, and bonfires and festivities in the streets at night, and outrages offered to Roman Catholics, all these were prophetic incidents which were doubtless conveyed to the bigot king. How great, therefore, must have been the infatuation that led him to disregard the MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, which the hand of a nation was writing on his palace-walls!

The day of the ever-memorable TWENTY-NINTH of June beheld the bishops entering the court, supported and attended as before. The four judges were on the bench; the attorney and solicitor generals, and two other eminent lawyers, appeared for the crown; while among the counsel retained for the prisoners were the names, so dear to every Protestant, of Finch, an ancestor of the present Earl of Winchelsea, and of Somers, afterwards the great lord chancellor and statesman. The trial, which proceeded in the usual form and lasted during the whole day, was frequently interrupted by unusual and irrepressible outbreaks of the feelings of the audience. On every turn of the case unfavourable to the prosecution, "a triumphant | kindling of bonfires.

At length the counsel on either side had done their part, and the chief-justice proceeded to sum up the evidence to the jury. Two of the bench, Wright (the chief-justice) and Allybone, considered that the petition amounted to a libel; Holloway and Powell pronounced it to be no libel. The jury retired in the evening, and could not concur in a verdict until six o'clock on the following morning. At ten the prelates were brought into court, and the jury, through their foreman, delivered in their verdict-NoT GUILTY.

The shouts that arose within the court at the annunciation of this glorious result, were instantly caught up by the assembled thousands from without. With the rapidity of the fiery-cross-the war-sign of the Highlands-stunning acclamations of triumph rushed from one end of the metropolis to the other, and were not long before, swelled by the thousand voices of the soldiers, they thundered in the ears of the monarch himself, then occupied in the camp at Hounslow. The jurors were caressed as national deliverers, with a warmth of gratitude that it would be cold-hearted to call extravagant. The bishops, preserving the same equanimity which they had evinced throughout every stage of the proceedings, and inculcating submission and respect to the higher powers, escaped as privately as possible from the overwhelming gratulations which the exultant metropolis was desirous of pouring upon them. Some renegade and faithless churchmen fared according to their deserts, and were assailed with the reproaches and derision of the multitude. Nothing could stem the tide of universal joy. Its first ebullition was such as did honour to the piety of a Protestant nation for the people, grateful for so signal a deliverance, crowded to the churches, and performed their devotions with an earnestness and ecstacy, and vehemence of gesture, unwonted in the character of English worship. Other more usual exhibitions of public rejoicing succeeded in the evening. Bonfires blazed even before the king's palace, and were not quenched till the morning of Sunday; windows were illuminated; bells pealed; the Pope was burnt in effigy; feasting filled the streets; fire-works and firearms added to what a witness of the scene described as a very rebellion in noise ;" and the excessive exuberance of delight, as might have been expected, in too many instances ran over into license and disorder. The country was infected with the contagious and boisterous transports of the city; the principal towns in the kingdom shared in the triumph; and the grand jury of Middlesex, although sent out no less than three times, refused to find bills against several persons who had been indicted for the disorderly

66

« PreviousContinue »