Графични страници
PDF файл

God justifies the ungodly through faith in Christ, and that man is regenerated by the Spirit of adoption, imparted to the justified believer immediately on his becoming such, the whole system of Rome was not only false, but antichristian. With the Lollards it was but as day before sunrise : but though there might be obscurities, there was yet true light.

2. Of these men, thus witnessing in their day against errors which went to enslave the body and destroy the soul, one

Lollards' Tower. And where is Lollards' Tower?

[blocks in formation]

a quarter of a mile above Westminster-Bridge, from which the building to which it belongs may be plainly seen. Lollards' Tower is a portion of what is now the archiepiscopal palace of the chief spiritual officer of the Anglican Episcopal Church. Lollards' Tower is part of Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was built by Archbishop Chicheley, who held the primacy from 1414 to 1443, and by whom the Lollards were severely persecuted. It is situated at the west of the chapel, and to the north of the gardens. It contains, among other apartments, the Post-room, so called from a large pillar, or post, in the midst, which supports the roof. On the west side, looking to the Thames, are three pointed windows, and opposite is the doorway of the chapel, a large circular stone arch, enclosing two pointed ones, in the Norman style, surmounted by the arms of Archbishop Land.

From this place, by a low-pointed door, and spiral stone staircase, the tower is ascended, at the very top of which is a small room, about twelve feet long, and nine broad. This room is entered by a small pointed stone doorway, barely sufficient for one person to pass at a time. There is an inner, and also an outer door, both of strong oak, with fastenings to correspond. The first thing that arrests the attention on entering, is the large iron rings fastened to the wainscot which lines the walls. There are eight of these rings still firmly fixed, about breast-high: three on the south side, four on the west side, and one on the north side. The wainscot, the ceiling, and the floor of this chamber are all of oak, and

near an inch and a half in thickness. It has two very small windows, narrowing outwards, one to the west, and one to the north. There is a small chimney on the north side. Upon the side walls are various scratches, some initials, some half sentences, cut out with a knife at different times by those who have been the inmates of the room.

The exterior has a fine venerable appearance, and is the only part of the old palace remaining that is built entirely of stone. The building itself consists of a large tower fronting the Thames, and a smaller square projection, somewhat receding from it: the whole building is five stories high. The larger tower has in front a number of fine windows, which give light to the several apartments, now devoted to various purposes, as lodgings, &c. Between the two windows of the third story is the beautiful niche, in which originally stood the statue of Thomas à Becket, the sculpture of the upper part of which is still fresh and sharp. The lower stories are now used as cellars. The whole is finely shaded by the venerable trees of what is called the “Bishop's Walk.”

It is plain that this particular portion of Lambeth Palace has been a prison.

3. But why this particular name? It is repeatedly said that “the Church of Rome never persecuted.” What occasion, then, had the Archbishop for a prison ?—The case was thus. They who were suspected of heresy were taken up by Church officers, just as persons accused of civil crimes were taken up by the constable. For these heretics, whose numbers were multiplying in Archbishop Chicheley's times, a secure prison was necessary, and by the Archbishop's orders one was built; and as for a long time these prisoners would be Lollards, their name was at length attached to the place of their confinement. Here they were chained, and hence brought before their spiritual Judge for examination; and if he decided against them, he did not order them to be punished, but, by a mockery which rendered the whole proceeding more criminal and atrocious, he delivered them into the hands of the secular power, further to deal with them according to law, praying them to be as merciful as they consistently could,

knowing very well that this delivery to the secular power, was, in all cases, delivery to the flames. Such days, however, are gone by. May they never return!

SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATIONS. Gen. xlv. 27. When he saw the wagons,&c.—The Hebrew word seems to be fairly rendered by the word “wagons.” Wheel-carriages of some kind or other are certainly intended ; and as, from other passages, we learn that they were covered, at least sometimes, the best idea we can form of them is, that they bore some resemblance to our tilted wagons. With some small exception, it may be said that wheel-carriages are not now employed in Africa or Western Asia ; but that they were anciently used in Egypt, and in what is now Asiatic Turkey, is attested not only by history, but by existing sculptures and paintings. It would seem that they were not at this time used in Palestine, as, when Jacob saw them, he knew they must have come from Egypt. Perhaps, however, he knew this by their peculiar shape. The only wheel-carriages in Western Asia with which we are acquainted are, first, a very rude cart, usually drawn by oxen, and employed in conveying agricultural produce in Armenia and Georgia; and then a vehicle called an Arabah, used at Constantinople and some other towns towards the Mediterranean. It is a light covered cart without springs; and being exclusively used by women, children, and aged or sick persons, (see ver. 19,) would seem, both in its use, and as nearly as we can discover, in its make, to be no bad representative of the “wagons” in the text. No wheelcarriage is, however, now used in a journey.-Knight's Illustrated Commentary.



(Concluded from page 118.) When poetry is chiefly employed about feeling, and the expressions of feeling, modern language describes it by the term, sentimental. The word is vague and general, but so is that which it is employed to designate. Writers of sentimental poetry, unless their talent be of a high order, are often indistinct, and even meaningless. But to anything of this kind, Charles Wesley never approaches. He writes under the influence of feeling, but while he feels, he likewise thinks, and it is the thought, the thought as influenced by the feeling, that supplies the subject of his verse. We again say, that his poetry may be described in two words,-it is molten thought. It is therefore never vague, never indistinct. The reader, if capable of understanding spiritual subjects, may always understand what is before him.

But while this is the general character of his poetry, the particular class of thoughts and feelings which are expressed in it, is not less strongly marked. His poetry is lyrical; it is adapted to musical purposes, whether it was always designed for them or not, and the lyrics thus given us are hymns on the various subjects connected with the spiritual life of the Christian. We seldom find any excursions into the field of nature; seldom any references to man viewed in any other light than as the subject of the moral government of God, and the object of redeeming mercy and grace. He is the poet of Scripture, and of religious experience. They, therefore, who are incapable of relishing the beauties of divinely-revealed and evangelical truth, and who feel no interest in the great struggle and contest for everlasting life, will never be readers of the poetry of Charles Wesley.

Perhaps a more decided illustration of the natural ungodliness of the human heart can scarcely be furnished, than the fact presents, that there are many lovers of poetry to whom that of Charles Wesley is utterly a sealed book. In astronomy, nothing is more wonderful than the provisions which counteract the influence of disturbing forces, and maintain the order of the universe. Terrestrial nature is full of beautiful compensations. But they who profess to admire all this, even to rapture, see nothing admirable in the provisions of the cross. And yet, what grander theme can poetry possibly find than that scheme of moral restoration, and dominion, and government, styled emphatically in Scripture, “the redemption which is in Christ Jesus ?” All that is great in

righteousness and law, all that is kind in mercy and redemption, the harmony of the moral perfections of the eternal Godhead, the manifestation of divine purity and love, and even sympathy, in the man Christ Jesus,--all such subjects, blending the most attractive beauty with the most awful and yet admirable sublimity, are brought before us in the Gospel; well styled, " the glorious Gospel of the blessed God.” And then, what feelings are there either so powerful, or belonging so completely to every member of the human family, as those which are developed during the process of the spiritual life, from its commencement, to its final triumphs over death and the grave, and its consummation in the glorious presence of God? Others, at best, are partial and temporary: these are universal, and connect themselves with man as destined for immortality. The pains of repentance, the joys of faith, the sacred raptures of hope and love, the tranquillity of submission, the activities of devoted obedience, feelings such as these belong to truth, and to man as influenced by truth; and unhappy is he who cannot understand them, still more unhappy should he venture, as too many do venture, to despise them.

Such, however, are the subjects of the poetry of Charles Wesley. Its characteristics are clearness and strength of expression. His words express his thoughts; and his thoughts so truly suggest the feelings with which they are occupied, that the reader, if at all acquainted with the great realities of the “life " which “is hid with Christ in God," finds these very feelings reproduced in his own mind. If, on the one hand, the number of those whom he influences be limited by the subjects to which he confines himself; on the other, where he influences at all, he influences with a power which few have equalled, none surpassed.

Nor must his verse be overlooked. His language is marked by strength and fulness. Many of his expressions, fully opened out, would give large paragraphs of important thought. And his shorter pieces have often the terseness and point of the genuine epigram. Indeed, could he have laid aside his Bible,—or overlooked the facts, that, of the Bible, redemption by Christ is the grand theme, and that the blessed

« ПредишнаНапред »