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cy and earliest youth; the alarms, the anxiety I fuffered on thy account, when, entered into the ftate of manhood, thy life was almost daily expofed in foreign wars; the apprehenfions, the terrors, I underwent when I faw thee fo warmly engaged in our domeftic quarrels, and, with heroic courage, oppofing the unjuft pretenfions of the furious plebeians. My fad forebodings of the event have been but too well verified. Confider the wretched life I have endured, if it may be called life, the time that has paffed fince I was deprived of thee. O Marcius, refuse me not the only requeft I ever made to thee; I will never importune thee with any other Ceafe thy immoderate anger; be reconciled to thy country; this is all I afk: grant me but this, and we shall both be happy. Freed from those tempestuous paffions which now agitate thy foul, and from all the torments of felf-reproach, thy days will flow smoothly on in the fweet ferenity of conscious virtue and as for me, if I carry back to Rome the hopes of an approaching peace, an affurance of thy being reconciled to thy country, with what tranfports of joy fhall I be received! In what honour in what delightful repose, shall I pafs the remainder of my life! What immortal glory (hall I have acquired !"
Coriolanus made no attempt to interrupt Veturia while fhe was fpeaking; and when she had ceafed, he still continued in deep filence. Anger, hatred, and defire of revenge, balanced in his heart those fofter paffions which the fight and difcourfe of his mother had awakened in his breast. Veturia perceiving his irrefolution, and fearing the event, thus renewed her expoftulation: "Why dost thou not answer me, my fon? Is there then fuch greatness of mind in giving all to refentment? Art thou afhamed to grant any thing to a mother who thus entreats thee, thus humbles herfelf to thee? If it be so, to what purpose fhould I longer endure a wretched life?" As the uttered thefe laft words, interrupted by fighs, fhe threw herfelf proftrate at his feet. His wife and children did the fame; and all the other women, with united voices of mournful accent, begged and implored his pity.
The Volfcian officers, not able unmoved to behold this fcene, turned away their eyes; but Coriolanus, almost beside himself to fee Veturia at his feet, paffionately cried out: "Ah! mother, what art thou doing?" And tenderly preffing her hand, in raifing her up, he added, in a low voice, "Rome is faved, but thy fon is loft !"
Early the next morning, Coriolanus broke up his camp and peaceably marched his army homewards. Nobody had the boldnefs to contradict his orders. Many were exceedingly diffatisfied with his conduct; but others excufed it, being more affected with his filial respect to his mother than with their own interefts. HOOKE'S ROMAN HISTORY.
Execution of Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury.
QUEEN MARY determined to bring Cranmer, whom the had long detained in prison, to punishment; and in order more fully to fatiate her vengeance, fhe refolved to punish him for herefy, rather than for treafon. He was cited by the Pope to ftand his trial at Rome; and though he was known to be kept in close cuftody at Oxford, he was upon his not appearing, condemned as contumacious. Bonner, bishop of London, and Thirleby, bifhop of Ely, were fent to degrade him; and the former executed the melancholy ceremony, with all the joy and exultation which fuited his favage nature. The implacable fpirit of the Queen, not fatisfied with the future mifery of Cranmer, which fhe believed inevitable, and with the execution of that dreadful fentence to which he was condemned, prompted her alfo to feek the ruin of his honour, and the infamy of his name. Perfons were employed to attack him, not in the way of difputation, againft which he was fufficiently armed; but by flattery, infinuation and addrefs; by reprefenting_the dignities to which his character ftill entitled him, if he would merit them by a recantation; by giving him hopes of long enjoying those powerful friends, whom his beneficent difpofition had attached to him, during the course of his profperity. Overcome by the fond love of life; terrified by the profpect of those tortures which awaited him ; he allowed, in an unguarded hour, the fentiments of nature to prevail over his refolution, and agreed to fubfcribe the doctrines of the papal fupremacy, and of the real prefence. The court, equally perfidious and cruel, was determined that this recantation fhould avail him nothing; and fent orders that he fhould be required to acknowledge his errors in church before the whole people; and that he should thence be immediately carried to execution.
Cranmer, whether he had received a fecret intimation of their defign, or had repented of his weakness, surprised the
audience by a contrary declaration. He faid, that he was well apprifed of the obedience which he owed to his fovereign and the laws; but that this duty extended no farther than to fubmit patiently to their commands; and to bear, without refiftance, whatever hardfhips they fhould impofe upon him that a fuperior duty, the duty which he owed to his Maker, obliged him to speak truth on all occafions; and not to relinquith, by a base denial, the holy docrine which the Supreme Being had revealed to mankind: that there was one mifcarriage in his life, of which, above all others, he feverely repented; the infincere declaration of faith to which he had the weaknefs to confent, and which the tear of death alone had extorted from him that he took this opportunity of atoning for his error, by a fincere and open recantation + and was willing to feal, with his blood, that doctrine which he firmly believed to be communicated from heaven and that, as his hand had erred, by betraying his heart, it fhould first be punished, by a fevere but just doom, and should first pay the forfeit of its offences.
He was then led to the stake, amidst the infults of his enemies and having now fummoned up all the force of his mind, he bore their fcorn, as well as the torture of his punishment, with fingular fortitude. He ftretched out his hand, and, without betraying, either by his countenance or motions, the leaft fign of weakness, or even of feeling, he held it in the flames till it was entirely confumed. His thoughts feemed wholly occupied with reflections on his former fault, and he called aloud feveral times, "This hand has offended." Satisfied with that atonement, he then difcovered a ferenity in his countenance; and when the fire attacked his body, he seemed to be quite infenfible of his outward fufferings, and by the force of hope and refolution, to have collected his mind altogether within itfelf, and to repel the fury of the flames. He was undoubtedly a man of merit ; poffeffed of learning and capacity,, and adorned with candour, fincerity, and beneficence, and all thofe virtues which were fitted to render him useful and amiable in fociety
Christianity farnifies the best consolation under the evils of lifeIr is of great importance to contemplate the chriftian religion in the light of confolation; as bringing aid and re
lief to us amidst the diftreffes of life. Here our religion inconteftably triumphs; and its happy effects, in this refpect, furnish a ftrong argument to every benevolent mind, for wifhing them to be farther diffufed throughout the world. For without the belief and hope afforded by divine revelation, the circumstances of man are extremely forlorn. He finds himself placed here as a firanger in a vaft univerfe, where the powers and operations of nature are very imperfectly known; where both the beginnings and the iffues of things are involved in mysterious darknefs; where he is unable to discover, with any certainty, whence he fprung, or for what purpose he was brought into this ftate of existence; whether he is fubjected to the government of a mild, or of a wrathful ruler; what conftruction he is to put on many of the difpenfations of his providence; and what his fate is to be, when he departs hence. What a difconfolate fituation, to a ferious inquiring mind! The greater degree of virtue it poffeffes, the more its fenfibility is likely to be oppreffed by this burden of labouring thought. Even though it were in one's power to banish all uneafy thought, and to fill up the hours of life with perpetual amusement, life fo filled up would, upon reflection, appear poor and trivial. But thefe are far from being the terms upon which man is brought into this world. He is conscious that his being is frail and feeble; he fees himself befet with various dangers; and is expofed to many a melancholy apprehenfion, from the evils which he may have to encounter, before he arrives at the clofe of life. In this diftreffed condition, to reveal to him fuch discoveries of the Supreme Being as the christian religion affords, is to reveal to him a father and a friend; is to let in a ray of the most cheering light upon the darkness of the human ftate. He who was before a deftitute orphan, wandering in the inhofpitable defert, has now gained a fhelter from the bitter and inclement blast. He now knows to whom to pray, .and in whom to truft; where to unbofom his forrows; and from what hand to look for relief.
It is certain, that, when the heart bleeds from fome wound of recent misfortune, nothing is of equal efficacy with religious comfort. It is of power to enlighten the darkest hour, and to affuage the fevereft wo, by the belief of divine favour, and the profpect of a bleffed immortality. In fuch hopes, the mind expatiates with joy; and, when bereaved of its earthly friends, folaces itself with the
thoughts of one Friend, who will never forfake it. Refined reafonings concerning the nature of the human condition, and the improvement which philofophy teaches us to make of every event, may entertain the mind when it is at eafe; may perhaps contribute to footh it, when flightly touched with forrow: but when it is torn with any fore distress, they are cold and feeble, compared with a direct promife from the Father of mercies. This is "an anchor to the foul both fure and steadfast." This has given confolation and refuge to many a virtuous heart, at a time when the most cogent reafonings would have proved utterly anavailing.
Upon the approach of death, when if a man thinks at all, his anxiety about his future interefts must naturally increafe, the power of religious confolation is fenfibly felt. Then appears, in the moft ftriking light, the high value of the difcoveries made by the gofpel; not only life and immortality revealed, but a Mediator with God difcovered; mercy proclaimed, through him, to the frailties of the penitent and the humble; and his prefence promised to be with them when they are paffing through "the valley of the thadow of death," in order to bring them safe into unfeen habitations of rest and joy. Here is ground for their leaving the world with comfort and peace. But in this severe and trying period, this labouring hour of nature, how fhall the unhappy man support himfelf, who knows not, or believes not, the difcoveries of religion? Secretly conscious to himself that he has not acted his part as he ought to have done, the fins of his paft life arife before him in fad remembrance. He wishes to exist after death, and yet dreads that existence. The Governor of the world is unknown. He cannot tell whether every endeavour to obtain his mercy may not be in vain. All is awful obscurity around him; and, in the midst of endless doubts and perplexities, the trembling, reluctant foul is forced away from the body. As the misfortunes of life muft, to fuch a man, have been moft oppreffive, fo its end is bitter. His fun fets in a dark cloud; and the night of death closes over his head, full of mifery.
Benefits to be derived from scenes of diftrefs.
SOME periods of fadnefs have, in our present fituation, a juft and natural place; and they are requifite to the true