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not only so, but hulls the grain, breaks and shatters the coats of the seed, in order to get at the kernel. The hooked beak of the hawk tribe separates the flesh from the bones of the animals which it feeds upon, almost with the cleanness and precision of a dissector's knife. The butcher bird transfixes its prey upon the spike of a thorn, whilst it picks its bones. In some birds of this class we have the cross-bill, that is, both the upper and lower bill hooked, and their tips crossing. The spoon-bill enables the goose to graze, to collect its food from the bottom of pools, or to seek it amidst the soft or liquid substances with which it is mixed. The long tapering bill of the snipe and woodcock penetrates still deeper into moist earth, which is the bed in which the food of that species is lodged. This is exactly the instrument which the animal wanted. It did not want strength in its bill, which was inconsistent with the slender form of the animal's neck, as well as unnecessary for the kind of aliment upon which it subsists; but it wanted length to reach its object. Birds that live by suction have what are called by naturalists serrated or dentated bills, the inside of which, towards the edge, is thickly set with parallel or concentric rows of short, strong, sharp-pointed prickles. These prickles, though called teeth, are not for the purpose of mastication, like the teeth of quadrupeds, nor yet, as in fish, for the seizing and retaining of their prey, but for a quite different use. They form a filter. The duck, by means of them, discusses the mud, examining with great care the puddle. They break every mixture which is likely to contain her food.
If we had seen no other than the mouths of quadrupeds, we should have thought no other could have been formed. Little could we have supposed that all the purposes of a mouth furnished with lips, and armed with teeth, could be answered by an instrument which had none of these—could be supplied, and that with many additional advantages, by the hardness, and sharpness, and figure, of the bills of birds. Everything about the animal mouth is mechanical. The teeth of fish have their points turned backward, like the teeth of a wool or cotton card. The teeth of lobsters work one against another, like the sides of a pair of shears. In many insects the mouth is converted into a pump or sucker, fitted at the end sometimes with a wimble, sometimes with a forceps ; by which double provision, viz., of the tube and the penetrating form of the point, the insect first bores through the integument of
prey, and then extracts the juices. And, what is most extraordinary of all, one sort of mouth, as the occasion requires, shall be changed into another sort. The caterpillar could not live without teeth ; in several species, the butterfly formed from it could not use them. The old teeth, therefore, are cast off with the exuviæ of the grub ; a new and totally different apparatus assumes their place in the fly. Amid these novelties of form, we sometimes forget that it is, all the while, the animal's mouth; that, whether it be lips, or teeth, or bill, or beak, or shears, or pump, it is the same part diversified ; and it is also remarkable that, under all the varieties of configuration with which we are acquainted, and which are very great, the organs of taste and smelling are situated near each other.
TRIAL OF LORD COBHAM.
MILNER, 1751–1820. In the year 1413 died Henry IV. His successor Henry V. trod in his steps, and countenanced Archbishop Arundel, in his plans of extirpating the Lollards, and of supporting the existing hierarchy by penal coercions. In the first year of the new king's reign, this archbishop collected in St. Paul's church at London a universal synod of all the bishops and clergy of England. The principal object of the assembly was to repress the growing sect; and as Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, had on all occasions, discovered a partiality for these reformers, the resentment of the archbishop and of the whole body of the clergy was particularly levelled at this nobleman. Certainly, at that time no man in England was more obnoxious to the ecclesiastics. For he made no secret of his opinions. He had very much distinguished himself in opposing the abuses of popery. At a great expense he had collected, transcribed, and dispersed the works of Wicliff among the common people without reserve; and it was well known that he maintained a great number of itinerant preachers in many parts of the country, particularly in the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester, London, and Hereford.
But Lord Cobham was a favourite both of the king and of the people; and therefore to effect his destruction was an undertaking that required much caution. The archbishop however was in earnest, and he concerted his measures with prudence.
For the purpose of giving weight to his proceedings, this artful primate, at the head of a great number of dignified ecclesiastics complained most grievously to Henry of the heretical practices of his favourite servant Lord Cobham, and intreated his Majesty to consent to the prosecution of so incorrigible an offender. Cobham, alarmed at the approaching storm, put in writing a confession of his faith, delivered it to the king, and intreated his Majesty to judge for himself whether he had merited all this rough treatment. The king coldly ordered the written confession to be delivered to the archbishop. In the issue Cobham was arrested by the king's express order and lodged in the Tower of London.
On Monday, the day appointed for his examination, Arundel accosted Lord Cobham with an appearance of great mildness, and put him in mind that on the preceding Saturday he had informed him, “he was accursed for contumacy and disobedience to the holy church ;” and had expected he would at that time have meekly requested absolution. The archbishop then declared, that even now it was not too late to make the same request, provided it was made in due form, as the church had ordained.
Amidst this very interesting narrative, let not the reader for a moment forget, that his historian is always in quest of evidences of the true faith of the gospel, exemplified in practice. The trial of Lord Cobham, though in many points of view a gloomy tale, affords a remarkable and a very satisfactory evidence of this sort. This exemplary knight appears to have possessed the humility of a Christian, as well as the spirit of a soldier ; for he not only faithfully protested against the idolatry of the times, the fictitious absolutions, and various corruptions of popery, by which the creatures of the pope extorted the greatest part of the wealth of the kingdom; but he also openly made such penitential declarations and affecting acknowledgments of having personally broken God's commandments, as imply much salutary self-knowledge and self-abasement, strong convictions of sin and a bitter sorrow for the same, together with a firm reliance on the mercy of God through the mediation of Jesus Christ.
“I never trespassed against you;” said this intrepid servant of God ; "and therefore I do not feel the want of your absolution.” He then kneeled down on the pavement; and lifting up
his hands to heaven he said, “I confess myself here unto thee, my eternal living God, that I have been a grievous sinner. How often in my frail youth have I offended thee by ungoverned passions, pride, evil desires, intemperance ? How often have I been drawn into horrible sin by anger, and how many of my fellow-creatures have I injured from this cause ? Good Lord, I humbly ask thee mercy: here I need absolution."
With tears in his eyes, he then stood up, and with a loud voice cried out “Lo ! these are your guides, good people. Take notice; for the violation of God's holy law and his great commandments they never cursed me : but, for their own arbitrary appointments and traditions they most cruelly treat me and other men. Let them, however, remember, that Christ's denunciations against the Pharisees shall all be fulfilled.”
The dignity of his manner, and the vehemence of his expression, threw the court into some confusion. After the primate had recovered himself, he proceeded to examine the prisoner respecting the doctrine of transubstantiation. “Do you believe, that after the words of consecration there remains
any material bread ?” “The Scriptures,” said Cobham, “make no mention of material bread ; I believe that Christ's body remains in the form of bread. In the sacrament there is both Christ's body and the bread ; the bread is the thing that we see with our eyes ; but the body of Christ is hid and only to be seen by faith.” Upon which, with one voice, they cried, “ Heresy ! heresy !” One of the bishops in particular said vehemently, “That it was a foul heresy to call it bread!” Cobham answered smartly, “St. Paul, the apostle, was as wise a man as you, and perhaps as good a Christian ; and yet he calls it bread. The bread, saith he, that we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ? To be short with you; I believe the Scriptures most cordially, but I have no belief in your lordly laws and idle determinations ; ye are no parts of Christ's holy church, as your deeds do plainly show.” Doctor Walden, the prior of the Carmelites, and Wicliff's great enemy, now lost patience; and exclaimed, “What rash and desperate people are these followers of Wicliff !”
“Before God and man,” replied Cobham, “I solemnly here profess, that till I knew Wicliff, whose judgment ye so highly disdain, I never abstained from sin ; but after I became acquainted with that virtuous man and his despised doctrines it hath been otherwise with me ; so much grace could I never find in all your pompous instructions.”
“ It were hard," said Walden, “that in an age of so many learned instructors, you should have had no grace to amend your life till you heard the devil preach."
“ Your fathers,” said Cobham, “the old Pharisees, ascribed Christ's miracles to Beelzebub, and his doctrines to the devil. Go on; and like them ascribe every good thing to the devil. Go on, and pronounce every man a heretic, who rebukes your vicious lives. Pray, what warrant have you from Scripture, for this very act you are now about? Where is it written in all God's law that you may thus sit in judgment upon the life of man ? Hold—perhaps you will quote Annas and Caiaphas, who sat upon Christ and his apostles.”
“Yes, sir,” said one of the doctors of law, “and Christ too, for he judged Judas."
“I never heard that he did,” said Lord Cobham ; “ Judas judged himself, and thereupon went out and hanged himself. Indeed, Christ pronounced a woe against him for his covetousness, as he does still against you, who follow Judas' steps.”
At the conclusion of this long and iniquitous trial, the behaviour of Lord Cobham was perfectly consistent with the tempers he had exhibited during the course of it. There remained the same undaunted courage and resolution, and the same Christian serenity and resignation. Some of the last questions that were put to him, respected the worship of the cross ; and his answers prove that neither the acuteness of his genius was blunted, nor the solidity of his judgment impaired.
One of the friars asked him whether he was ready to worship the cross upon which Christ died.
6 Where is it?” said Lord Cobham.
“ A wise man indeed,” said Cobham, “to put me such a question, and yet he himself does not know where the thing is ! But tell me, I pray, what sort of worship do I owe to it ?”
One of the conclave answered : “Such worship as St. Paul speaks of when he says, 'God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.'»
Right,” replied Cobham, and stretched out his arms; that is the true and the very cross; far better than your cross of wood.”