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the walls, pillars, and arches: just as our reformers wisely retained a national church establishment and many rites and usages which modern innovators wish they had utterly subverted. The result of the bishop's labours was, that he converted a Saxon cathedral into a Gothic, with a skill which has been admired for ages by all beholders; and, though the fabric, with its previous and subsequent alterations, is a prodigious pile of various styles and orders, such as no man would build de novo; yet its antiquity, its massiness, its picturesque beauty, its variety, and its convenience and utility, would forbid that any man of taste or feeling would wish to raze it, and build it anew. Now I would say the same of our church: I take it as a whole, with all the dilapidations and repairs of ages: a new one might be less exposed to minute criticims, but would it, as a vast edifice, combine more of solidity and utility? Let us cleanse it; let us repair its breaches; let us remove whatever is inconsistent with its intended object; but let us retain its massy strength, its scriptural sanction, and its beauty of holiness. Sure I am, that Christianity would not gain any thing by subverting it, and giving us in its stead some flimsy modern structure, destitute of every thing of grace, ornament, or solidity.

But our church, repeat our opponents, is Popish. As well may they say that Wyckham's Gothic arches are Saxon, because they were Saxon before he re-modelled them. I remember I was one day musing among the antiquities of Winchester upon this objection of our church being Popish, when my attention was arrested, and my reverie broken, by a beautiful ancient arch which had been placed with much good taste at the entrance to a modern Gothic edifice, which proved to be the Roman-Catholic chapel, erected under the fostering care of Bishop Milner. I pass over the usual blasphemous emblem of the Divine Trinity and other Papal symbols, just to copy the

following inscription: "A. D. 1790, I, John, bishop of Centuriæ consecrated this chapel and this altar, in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary, St. Peter the Apostle, and St. Birinus and St. Swithun, confessors and bishops; and I enclosed in the altars the relics of St. Pius and St. Constantius, martyrs, and of St. Severa and St. Victoria, virgins and martyrs, &c. &c." Well, thought I, though all is not right or scriptural or enlightened among us Protestants; very far from it, and the greater our guilt and shame; yet we have no incongruities or superstitions like this. If a learned prelate, in the very heart of England, can collocate in a solemn dedication, the Virgin Mary, St. Peter the Apostle, and Birinus and Swithun bishops of Winchester, and can gravely and religiously affirm that the shreds, patches, hairs, bones, or beads, which he placed in the year 1792, in a Popish altar in that city, are genuine relics and remains of the individuals known in the legends under the names of Pius, Constantius, Severa, and Victoria, I can readily credit the most extraordinary stories which I hear of the superstitions of uneducated Papists, and the mummery of Irish stations, and Holy Wells. I must presume that the bishop of Centuriæ, (better known as Dr. Milner, the zealous antiquary and historian of Winchester,) believed what he inscribed; but then what obliquity of intellect must the Church of Rome superinduce upon its votaries, before a man of learning and acute investigation could credit such fables?

But still, it is rejoined, you are popish; not, indeed, in this particular matter of saints and relics, but in your whole system of discipline and worship. Is not your cathedral service, for example, popish; a direct relic of gorgeous barbarism, and a direful offence against Christian simplicity ? Now the simplest answer is, to shew what a Protestant cathedral would be if converted into a Papal edifice. There would be shrines, and sainted relics, and sacrificial priests, and an alleged real sacrifice, and mortuary

prayers, and penance*, and I know not how many other forms of superstition. For this is the very character of Popery, which is like its own miserere seats in the stalls of our cathedrals, which Protestantism turns down and cushions, seeing no merit in being kept awake in the service of God by no better motive than that if you sleep you will fall and lacerate your nose. No, I will not admit that there is any thing really popish in our most splendid Protestant worship, though a popish heart can make any thing so. Choral singing does not convert vernacular Christian prayers and praises into unintelligible Latin formularies fraught with superstition and false doctrine; nor do a few maces and vestments forbid the utmost simplicity of Christian truth in a Protestant pulpit, be it the

* A volume might be written on penance. Popery was a religion alternately of lax indulgence and unrelenting severity. Her first aim was to secure implicit blind obedience to her dictates; and to this her clergy were trained from their infancy, so as to lose all volition before they arrived at man's estate. In early times, the discipline of the cloister was very severe, and corporal punishment was freely inflicted for slight deviations from the strictest rules. In the eleventh century an abbot complained to Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, that with all his severity the boys under his care still made very indifferent men. • You are continually correcting the boys,' replied Anselm, and what sort of men do they make when they grow up?' O, very stupid, beastly men,' answered the abbot.

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No very good recommendation of your mode of education,' answered Anselm, if out of men you make them beasts.' 'But, now, is that our fault?' inquired the abbot. We try by all means to force them to become better; yet we cannot do it.' You force them!' said Anselm. Tell me now, my dear abbot, if you should plant a tree in your garden, and close it up tight on all sides, so that it could not put forth its branches in any direction; and then, after some years, shouldtake away the enclosure; what sort of a tree do you suppose it would be? certainly, a very useless tree, with little crooked branches twisted into each other. And whose fault would it be excepting your own, who had put such an unnatural force upon the young plant? The good abbot, it is said, took the hint and profited by

it.

pulpit of a cathedral or a village church. For the benefit of these objectors, you might describe what this very cathedral of Winchester was in the days of Popery. I will try to sketch the picture, faintly indeed, but not inaccurately. Think of the magic of tracery vaulting, spreading columns, shelving buttresses, tapering pinnacles, canopied niches, statuary friezes and corbels, ramified mullions, and historical windows. Think of the shrines and tombs, many beautiful even now amidst their dilapidations. There lies, if old chroniclers say true, Lucius, the first Christian king of Britain; there repose Saxon and Norman kings, queens, and princes in multitudes; Edgars, Emmas, Ethelreds, Ethelwolphs, Egberts, Edreds, Edmunds, Canutes, and Hardicanutes, many of whose bones tossed abroad in promiscuous heaps by self-styled Reformers*, who made

The

* I do not mean political reformers, but so-called religious reformers, who followed in the wake of better men, as false reformers ever do, for the love of mischief and plunder. If I had not restricted myself to conclude my remarks in the present letter, I should perhaps have inflicted upon you a few pages about Reformers and Reformation in church and state, as illustrated by the annals of your cathedral. We would have seated ourselves on the tombs of Bishop Morley and Bishop Hoadly, who sleep very quietly side by side in the nave, and I doubt not we should have learned some useful lessons by the retrospect. name of Hoadly is itself a volume. There he lies, with the mitre and the cap of liberty sculptured upon his tomb; the republican wand and the pastoral crozier in saltire, and Magna Charta and the New Testament reclining on each other. in justice to those who placed them there, we ought to remember that Bishop Hoadly lived, died, and was entombed long before the French Revolution, which has rendered the cap and wand of liberty the emblems of all that is unjust, cruel, bloodthirsty, and anarchical. I shall never forget the shudder of horror which I saw thrill through the spectators in the Guildhall of Bristol, nearly twenty years ago, when at a contested election the present notorious member for Preston caused those revolutionary symbols to be elevated in the midst of the assembly. I marked his looks, I heard his speeches, and noted him down in the tablet of my

But

Reformation a plea for every outrage on common decency, were collected in the chests which now adorn the sides of the choir. Think also of the long succession of ancient bishops and mitred abbots, the Alwyns, Denewulfs, Ethelwolds, Brithwalds, Walklyns, De Blois, Edyngtons, Swithuns, Wainfleets, and Wykhams (the last two were the respective founders of Magdalen and New Colleges, Oxford), whose bones moulder in those walls; and whose tombs or shrines gorgeously adorn them. Think of the thirty or fifty altars, with ministering priests kneeling before them; but especially the high altar, which West's masterpiece of the resurrection of Lazarus now adorns, but then surmounted by a colossal crucifix (the traces of which I remarked in the masonry of the splendid screen, that lace-work of stone from which it was torn at the Reformation), with its ante-pendulum of plated gold, garnished with precious stones; its tabernacles, and steps covered with embroidered work, and ornamented with pearls; its six massy silver candlesticks, intermixed with reliquaries wrought in gold and jewels; its many images of saints in their respective niches, molten in silver, and enriched with gold and precious stones, while resplendent above shone the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist, also of gold, adorned with jewels, the gift of Bishop de Blois, the brother of king

memory as a man born for evil, with the significant motto-not by anticipatory punning, for an honest trade is no disgrace -but seriously, and with alarms which Manchester and Spa Fields too speedily justified," Hic NIGER est; hunc tu Ro

mane caveto." Some noble Romans have

of late neglected the warning; they have deigned to accept his coadjutorship-I think they will in the end rue it. But I will not digress to matters of this sort;

I mentioned the name of this individual only in justice to Hoadly, to shew that the cap of liberty did not mean in his days exactly what it meant at Paris or Bristol. The controversy to which his name gave rise, has produced a powerful effect upon our church ever since, the mingled good and evil of which is too large a subject for a passing note.

Stephen; and a more interesting, though perhaps less costly offering, the crown of Canute, which he placed there, never again to wear it, in humble testimony of the power of the Supreme Lord of heaven and earth, after the well-known scene of vainly rebuking the waves of the sea at Southampton. Now, think you see the gorgeous procession enter; the cross-bearers, acolyths, and thurifers, leading the way; the bishop, the prior, and other dignified clergy, with the monks following, clad in the richest vestments of their orders, and resplendent with gold, scarlet, and embroidery; the church hung throughout with rich tapestry; a thousand wax-lights blazing on every side, and incense fuming aloft, while the well-tuned voices of the choir re-echo to the various minstrelsy of the tribune; and the mass of spectators are wrought up to the most exalted pitch-of what? of devotion? of true religion? of really spiritual love, or knowledge, or joy? Bishop Milner himself dares not affirm so much. "All this," he admits, "is not devotion;" but he asks, "Will any one deny that such exterior means are a help to excite our languid piety?" I, for one, am very much inclined to deny it. Do these things convince the judgment or improve the heart? I am quite sure that I have seen more true devotion, grounded on scriptural principles, the only basis of true devotion, in a company of villagers in a cottage, while a faithful pastor has been explaining the word of life, sitting on a rush chair, with a solitary taper in one hand, and his Bible in the other, than I should expect to witness amidst all this pride, pomp, display, and spectacle. only object in the adduction of these particulars was to rebut the unfairness of identifying the simple rites of our church, even in her cathedrals, with the vain shew and splendours of Popery. We have no pageantry, no relics, no holy water, no material sacrifice, no priesthood in the proper sense of the word; but

But my

a form of worship, simple, solid, edifying, and spiritual, administered by a man like ourselves, in a language which all understand, and with direct reference to the standard of the inspired word, which all may read and judge of, without penalty or reproach. Away, then, with the absurd charge of Popery.

And thus, my dear friend, I must hastily and abruptly cut short my "visit to a cathedral." I have written with a rapid pen, touching upon various subjects as they happened to occur to my thoughts, or were noticed in my scrap-book; and I had not time to be shorter. I have given you, as they arose, the sort of reflections which occurred to me in visiting an ancient, royal, and ecclesiastical city; and though some of them may be slight and cursory, yet I would hope that others may have awakened in your mind and my own trains of meditation of solid value. There are three stages in which it is interesting to visit any remarkable spot. There is, first, its aspect in the unbroken solitude of nature before man and his works have visibly impressed their glaring stamp upon its features.

Pleasant were many scenes, but most to

me

The solitude of vast extent, untouched

cares, and toils; its sins, and restlessness; its arts, and its literature; its trade, its manufactures, and its politics; its pleasures and pains; its churches and charities; its prisons and its palaces; and, above all, that which gives solemnity to all these, its dense masses of human beings who are to live to all eternity. There is still a third condition; the scene of decay and desolation; the site where kings and warriors, statesmen and philosophers, once were, but are not now; where the arch is broken, and the battlement decayed, and the revelry silenced, and the wail forgotten. America furnishes the first two of these conditions, but not the last. You may tread, to-day, the unbroken forest, or climb the primæval mountain, or listen to the murmurs of the vast unnavigated wave; tomorrow villages and towns are thickly clustered; the woods are felled, the teeming soil is upturned, the lake and river yield their bosom to the rapid keel, and their shores are clustered with the varied products of human industry and commerce. But America has not reached the last stage; her oldest cities, like the dwellers in them, are but of yesterday. Europe has lost the first condition, but possesses amply the other

By hand of art, where nature sowed, her- two; Asia, still older in her human

self,

And reaped her crops; whose garments were the clouds;

Whose minstrels, brooks; whose lamps, the moon and stars;

Whose organ quire, the voice of many waters;

Whose banquets, morning dews; whose heroes, storms; Whose warriors, mighty winds; whose lovers, flowers;

Whose orators, the thunderbolts of God; Whose palaces, the everlasting hills; Whose ceiling, heaven's unfathomable

blue;

And from whose rocky turrets, battled high, Prospect immense, spread out in all things round;

Lost now between the welkin and the main,

progeny, often possesses the third, while she is reverting to the first; she offers the melancholy reminiscences of a Persepolis or Palmyra, a Tadmor or a Balbec, while the once busy scene around has relapsed into the solitude of nature, before the hand of man disturbed her domain.

Which of these three is the most interesting to contemplate? Surely all are interesting, though for different reasons. I should pity the wight who could not enjoy, to the very letter, such a scene as that described in the lines above cited; who cannot rejoice to forget man, and all his

Now walled with hills that slept above boasted works, and to hold commerce

the storm.

This is the first stage. There is next the peopled city, with all its

with earth, air, and skies, with many holy musings, known only to the Christian, which carry him above

The

these material visions to enjoy com-
munion with his God. There is in
such scenes the poetry of feeling; and
I see not why there may not be the
blessedness of religion, that is, to
the man who can look to his Maker
as his Redeemer, a reconciled God
and tender Parent in Christ Jesus,
and say, 66
My Father made them
all." But this alone would be but
indolence a responsible being has
duties to perform; he cannot live
for poetry, or make groves and soli-
tudes his residence.

Then comes the second condition,
the busy mart, the crowded city;
and here, if we can find little that is
picturesque, we may find much that
is useful and if we can abstract our
mind from emotion to principle, or
direct our emotions into the channel
of our duties, this is the most inter-
esting scene, since it is fraught with
the infinite destinies of living, sen-
tient, and immortal beings. It has
associations far more affecting, right-
ly viewed, than any which are ge-
nerated amidst the sublimities of
natural scenery; and I honour the
man, who settling himself down for
conscience sake, in the very heart of a
city-even of a new American city-
without a single object to awaken a
sentimental emotion, would not ex-
change his elbowed commerce with
his species, and his opportunities of
doing good to them, to bask on the
brightest hill that ever smiled on the
loveliest solitude.

Then comes the third state,-that of decay. The poet loved to take his stand on the spot before the black and dingy town was built; the man of business, and the Christian pastor and philanthropist, will cleave to it when romantic attractions have ceased, yielding to higher claims and more important duties; the antiquary, the pensive philosopher, and the Christian moralist will seek it in decay; and in its ruins will find lessons which its hour of holiday did not furnish. Here lived, here died, races now unknown, or known only by uncertain retrospects-and I shall die too. London will be as Thebes; and CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 359.

;

St. Stephen's as the Areopagus; and Oxford as the groves of Academus and the banks of Cam as the margin of Ilyssus; and the mitres of living prelates corrode with the croziers of Anselms and Dunstans; and the names of William and Adelaide be as little known as Ina and Ethelburga, and our new churches moulder away with the dilapidated temples of our forefathers. Oh! then, my much respected and esteemed friend, seeing how short is human life, how fleeting are human prospects, how brief is time, how certain is eternity, let us so number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. Seeing "all these things," all material scenes, "shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for, and hasting unto the coming of the day of God?" We know not when our Lord shall come; but whether it be at even, at midnight, at the cock-crowing, or in the morning, may we be prepared for his approach; rejoicing to behold him, and to be for ever with him. Riches make to themselves wings and flee away, like an eagle towards heaven; nor are pleasures, honour, or wisdom more permanent. There is but one Being that is constant; one city that is immutable; one treasure that cannot corrode: may that city be our dwelling, that Being our portion, that treasure our inheritance.

Oh then be mine, the fame that cannot die!
The wisdom mine, that tells of worlds

unknown!

Be mine, the faith that lifts her tranquil eye To heaven's bright orbs, and calls them all her own!

And when the breath that wafts my parting groan

Shall lose its burden in the passing gale, And nought shall live but one frail funeral stone,

Whence soon must lapse the plaintive moss-worn tale,

Then stretched be faith's bold wing, and

swelled hope's joyful sail!

And heaven be mine, and heaven's eternal
year;

And glories bright, and ecstasies divine;
And mine, the Almighty Father's voice

to hear,

"Servant, well done! thy Saviour's joys
be thine."
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