Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

the mint? If the apostles might not leave the office of preaching to the deacons, shall one leave it for minting? I cannot tell you; but the saying is, that since priests have been minters, money hath been worse than it was before. And they say that the evilness of money hath made all things dearer, and in this behalf I must speak to Eng land. "Hear, my country, England," as Paul saith in his first epistle to the Corinthians, the sixth chapter; for Paul was no sitting bishop, but a walking and a preaching bishop. But when he went from them, he left there behind him the plough going still; for he wrote unto them, and rebuked them for going to law, and pleading their causes before heathen judges. "Is there," saith he, "utterly among you no wise man, to be an arbitrator in matters of judgment? What, not one of all that can judge between brother and brother; but one brother goeth to law with another, and that under heathen judges? Appoint them judges that are most abject and vile in the congregation." Which he speaketh in rebuking them; "for," saith he, “I speak it to your shame." So, England, I speak it to thy shame. Is there never a nobleman to be a lord president, but it must be a prelate? Is there never a wise man in the realm to be a comptroller of the mint? I speak it to your shame. If there be never a wise man, make a water-bearer, a tinker, a cobbler, a slave, a page, comptroller of the mint; make a mean gentleman, a groom, a yeoman, or a poor beggar, lord president!

Thus I speak, not that I would have it so; but to your shame, if there be never a gentleman meet nor able to be lord president. For why are not the noblemen and young gentlemen of England so brought up in knowledge of God, and in learning, that they may be able to execute offices in the commonweal? The king hath a great many of wards, and I trow there is a court of wards; why is there not a school for the wards, as well as there is a court for their lands? Why are they not set in schools where they may learn? Or why are they not sent to the universities, that they may be able to serve the king when they come to age? If the wards and young gentlemen were well brought up in learning, and in the knowledge of God, they would not when they come to age so much give themselves to other vanities. And if the nobility be well trained in godly learning, the people would follow the same train. For truly, such as the noblemen be, such will the people be. And now, the only cause why noblemen be not made lord presidents, is because they have not been brought up in learning.

Therefore, for the love of God appoint teachers and schoolmasters, you that have charge of youth; and give the teachers stipends worthy their pains, that they may bring them up in grammar, in logic, in rhetoric, in philosophy, in the civil law, and in that which I cannot leave unspoken of, the word of God. Thanks be unto God, the nobility otherwise is very well brought up in learning and godliness, to the great joy and comfort of England; so that there is now good hope in the youth, that we shall another day have a flourishing commonweal, considering their godly education. Yea, and there be already noblemen enough, though not so many as I would wish, able to be lord presidents, and wise men enough for the mint. And as unmeet a thing it is for bishops to be lord presidents, or priests to be minters, as it was for the Corinthians to plead matters of variance before heathen judges. It is also a slander to the noblemen, as though they lacked wisdom and learning to be able for such offices, or else were no men of conscience, or else were not meet to be trusted, and able for such offices. And a prelate hath a charge and cure otherwise; and therefore he cannot discharge his duty and be a lord president too. For a presidentship requireth a whole man; and a bishop cannot be two men. A bishop hath his office, a flock to teach, to look unto; and therefore he cannot meddle with another office, which alone requireth a whole man. He should therefore give it over to whom it is meet, and labour in his own business, as Paul writeth to the Thessalonians, "Let every man do his own business, and follow his calling." Let the priest preach, and the nobleman handle the temporal matters. Moses was a marvellous man, a good man: Moses was a wonderful fellow and did his duty, being a married man; we lack such as Moses was. Well, I would all men would look to their duty, as God hath called them, and then we should have a flourishing Christian commonweal.

But

And now I would ask a strange question; who is the most diligentest bishop and prelate in all England that passeth all the rest in doing his office? I can tell, for I know him who it is; I know him well. now I think I see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye know who it is? I will tell you: it is the devil. He is the most diligent preacher of all other; he is never out of his diocess; he is never from his cure; ye

shall never find him unoccupied; he is ever in his parish; he keepeth residence at all times; ye shall never find him out of the way; call for him when you will, he is ever at home; the diligentest preacher in all the realm; he is ever at his plough; no lording nor loitering can hinder him, he is ever applying his business, ye shall never find him idle I warrant you. And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of Popery. He is ready as can be wished for to set forth his plough, to devise as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory. Where the devil is resident, and hath his plough going, there away with books and up with candles; away with bibles and up with heads; away with the light of the gospel, and up with the light of candles, yea, at noon-days. Where the devil is resident, that he may prevail, up with all super stition and idolatry; censing, painting of images, candles, palms, ashes, holy water, and new service of men's inventing: as though man could invent a better way to honour God with, than God himself hath appointed. Down with Christ's cross, up with purgatory pickpurse, up with him, the popish purgatory, I mean. Away with clothing the naked, the poor and impotent, up with decking of images, and gay garnishing of stocks and stones; up with man's traditions and his laws, down with God's traditions and his most holy word. Down with the old honour due to God, and up with the new god's honour. Let all things be done in Latin: there must be nothing but Latin, not so much as-Memento, homo, quod cinis es, et in cinerem reverteris: “Remember, man, that thou art ashes, and unto ashes shalt thou return:" which be the words that the minister speaketh unto the ignorant people, when he giveth them ashes upon Ash Wednesday, but it must be spoken in Latin. God's word may in no wise be translated into English.

Oh that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corn of good doctrine, as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel!

65.-MAY.

THE May of the Poets is a beautiful generalization, which sometimes looks like a mockery of the keen east winds, the leafless trees

the hedges without a blossom, of late springs. In an ungenial season we feel the truth of one poetical image,—

"And Winter lingering chills the lap of May;"

but we are apt to believe that those who talk of halcyon skies, of odorous gales, of leafy thickets filled with the chorus of nature's songsters, to say nothing of Ladies of the May, and morrice-dancers in the sunshine,-have drawn their images from the Southern poets. In such a season,-which makes us linger over our fires, when we ought to be strolling in the shade of bright green lanes, or loitering by a gushing rivulet to watch the trout rise at the sailing fly,—some nameless writer has seen a single feeble swallow, and has fancied the poor bird was a thing to moralize upon :—

VOL. I.

THE FIRST SWALLOW.

He has come before the daffodils,
The foolish and impatient bird:
The sunniest noon hath yet its chills,
The cuckoo's voice not yet is heard,
The lamb is shivering on the lea,

The cowering lark forbears to sing,—
And he has come across the sea
To find a winter in the spring.

Oh! he has left his mother's home:

He thought there was a genial clime
Where happy birds might safely roam,
And he would seek that land in time.
Presumptuous one! his elders knew
The dangers of those fickle skies;
Away the pleasure-seeker flew

Nipp'd by untimely frosts he dies.

There is a land in Youth's first dreams
Whose year is one delicious May,
And Life, beneath the brightest beams,
Flows on, a gladsome holiday;
Rush to the world, unguided youth,
Prove its false joys, its friendships hollow,
Its bitter scorns, then turn to truth,
And find a lesson in the unwise swallow.

F F

Away with these wintry images. There is a south wind rising; the cold grey clouds open; the sun breaks out. Then comes a warm sunny shower. A day or two of such showers and sunshine, and the branches of the trees that looked so sere

"Thrust out their little hands into the ray."

The May of the Poets is come;-at any rate we will believe that it is shall welcome it in a glorious song :WORDSWORTH

come.

Now while the birds thus sing a joyous song,

And while the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound,

To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:

The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep,
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,
The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;

Land and sea

Give themselves up to jollity,

And with the heart of May

Doth every beast keep holiday;

Thou Child of Joy,

Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
Shepherd Boy!

Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call

Ye to each other make; I see

The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,

My head hath its coronal,

The fulness of your bliss, I feel-I feel it all.

Oh evil day! if I were sullen

While the Earth herself is adorning,

This sweet May-morning,

And the children are pulling,

*We quote Leigh Hunt from memory; for he has not printed the poem in which this line occurs, in the recent edition of his works.

« VorigeDoorgaan »