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There is, probably, no subject on and on one occasion besieged Taunwhich our Right Reverend Prelates ton and reduced it to ashes. But, will, for some time to come, more amidst all her achievements, she need the prayers of the church for discerned the inability of earthly the direction of Him without whom objects to fill and bound an immornothing is strong or holy, than on tal spirit, created in the image of this and other points connected with God, and sighing for that satisfaction the civil existence of our ecclesias- which God alone can bestow. “Vatical communion. The crisis is nity of vanity, and vexation of spirit," serious; but my hopes predominate she saw inscribed on the pomps of a over my fears; and I doubt not, that, court and the laurels of a tented by the blessing of God, for ages to field; and she sighed for religious come our national Zion will yet be tranquillity and retirement, in order a praise in the earth. May the Su- that she might devote herself with preme Head of his church guide and less interruption to the service of controul all ranks and degrees of men God. But, not content to secure among us, in this time of exigency, her own salvation, she was anxious to this wished-for end !
for that of her beloved husband, and I have promised not to recapitulate wished that he should take part in all the princely remembrances of her resolution. Often in vain had Winchester; but another just occurs she told him of the shortness of to me, which includes a regal anec- human life, the uncertainty of dote that I think will interest you. grandeur, and the need of prepaIt is not a tale of that sanguinary ration for death and eternity : he invader Cerdic, who was crowned in was too much immersed in the toils that city in the year 519, and made it and pleasure of state to listen to her his capital, and was buried in its cathe- remonstrances. At length she dedral—which he had converted into a vised the following stratagem.Pagan temple, after slaughtering its On an occasion
of public festivity, clergy, and nearly exterminating the when the royal pair were setting citizens. Nor is it a tale of one out on a journey, the palace of whom much rather would I write of, Winchester was sumptuously adornEthelwolph's illustrious son, Alfred; ed, and nothing was wanting that who was here educated, under St. could give magnificence to the enterSwithun; and honoured the place with tainment. Early the next morning his residence, and adorned it with Ina and Ethelburga set out on their some of his most munificent foun- expedition; but they had scarcely prodations; and whose ashes repose ceeded a mile before the queen inwithin its walls, as I mentioned in duced her husband, under some premy last letter, just where the tread- text, to return to his palace. She had mill now stands to desecrate his directed the attendants, in the meanmemory. Nor is it a memorandum time, to divest it of its glories ; so of Canute, or Edward the Confessor, that Ina on his arrival found it or a score other well-known names, silent and deserted : the splendid all closely connected with the loca- train had disappeared, not a servant lities of this venerable town; but of was to be found; the rich vessels a West-Saxon king, Ina, celebrated and furniture were gone; the halls by monkish writers for his wise laws and chambers were waste and filthy; and personal valour, for rebuilding and a litter of swine had taken posGlastonbury Abbey, and first settling session of the royal couch. With a donation of a penny per household, tears the queen addresses · her astocurrently called Peter's pence, upon nished husband. "Such,” said she, the see of Rome. His queen, Ethel- “my royal lord, is the transitory naburga, was a valorous lady, who, in ture of all sublunary enjoyments ; the absence of her husband, headed and death and eternity are at hand.” armies, and repelled South Saxons, I will give you her speech as William of Malmesbury reports it; and and thus many have fled from their to my mind it is full of pathos : duties, the better to work out their
“ Ubi sunt, domine conjux, hes- salvation. I should doubt, however, terni strepitus ? Ubi sunt aulea Si- whether the experiment has in such doniis fucis ebria ? Ubi parasitorum instances succeeded; I have known discurrens petulantia ? Ubi dædalia many Protestant cases in which it vasa, pondere metalorum mensas certainly has not; and I always ipsas onerantia. Ubi terra marique dread the result, when a pious and exquisitæ ad gulæ lenocinium ob- zealous layman, suddenly checked sonia ? Nonne omnia fucus et ven- perhaps in a mad career of sin and tus ? Nonne omnia transierunt ? Et folly, throws aside his red or blue væ his qui hæserint; qui scilicet coat for a gown and cassock, instead trahentur! Cogita quæso quam mi- of continuing in his former calling, serabiliter defluunt carnes quæ modo and demonstrating, by his example, in deliciis nutriuntur! Nonne nos what a Christian gentleman, not a qui ingurgitamur uberius putrescimus divine by profession, can do for the miserius ? Potentes potenter tor- glory of God and the good of the menta patientur, et fortioribus fortior souls of men. To retreat from the instat cruciatio."
world, in all its forms and all its al. The stratagem suceeded : Ina was lurements, is the obligation and the touched with the feeling of the vanity privilege of every servant of Christ ; of human glory,and determined to de- but there cannot be any virtue in vote himself henceforth to the service making one's house a nunnery, and of God. In what he considered that thinking to keep out sin and danger service to consist, it might be difficult by neglecting the demands and to ascertain. The name of the Sa- duties of active life. Our constant viour, I lament to say, does not occur endeavour should be to avoid tempin the queen's otherwise affecting tation, as our daily prayer is that appeal; but one cannot but hope, God would not lead us into it; but that, amidst the ignorance and super- those temptations which his provistition of a dark age and a corrupt dence calls us to encounter, his grace church, her faith had saving regard will enable us, in the exercise of faith to him; and that, in discovering the and spiritual vigilance, to resist. A vanity of the world, she had been led merchant is not to throw up his voscripturally to fix her hopes where cation and send his children to a pooralone true joys are to be found; and house, in order to avoid the temptathat her anxious wish was to lead tion to covetousness ; a king her dearest earthly friend thither wantonly to hurl away his crown also. We know, however, that, after lest the snares of a court should reigning thirty-seven years, Ina re- prove his ruin. The merchant has tired to the seclusion of a monastery, a far better arena for the exercise according to the mistaken fashion of the graces of the Holy Spirit by of the age in which he lived, instead so using the world as not abusing it; of endeavouring to devote himself to and the monarch, by imitating the the glory of God in the station of life man after God's own heart, and in which he had placed him. One endeavouring to make his court the must lament, that a royal pair who portal of heaven. Nor need either had been led to feel the vanity of a the one or the other fear that He, court, but whom duty required to who prescribes the duty, cannot give preside over it, should quit its pre- strength to perform it. If He place cincts, instead of using their influ. us in the van of the battle, he does ence to stem its corruptions. Seclu- not intend that we should seek a sion may be often an indulgence of cowardly retreat from its perils ; but spiritual cowardice; asceticism may that we should manfully fight under arise from a want of self-denial : it his banners, and become conquerors is found easier to fly than to fight : through the Captain of our salvation.
-But I must break off for the pre- of some of our European ceremonials: sent. I will not, however, send you they are grand and imposing, he says, these sheets, till I can add a few beyond all he had conceived; they pages more to my packet.
are very well for the old world;
but he certainly does not wish to September 9.-My first thought see a president of the United States on resuming my pen, and glancing installed with like honours. I doubt over what I wrote yesterday, may whether our civic, regal, or ecclesibest be expressed in the words of astical pageants now-a-days greatly Ethelburga, " Ubi sunt hesterni stre- awe the popular mind, or secure pitus ?” where are the gorgeous much reverence for authority. They pomps of that royal day—the so- might do so in the days when Ina lemn ceremonial, the costly jewels, and Ethelburga held drawing-rooms the regal vestments, the crown, the in Winchester palace; or Ethelwolph, coronets, the acclamations, the splen- as lord of the soil, issued his charter did pageant? I would not, on the score from Winchester cathedral; and the of religion, assert that somewhat of highest peer was, in truth as in splendour on such an occasion is name, but a vassal to his sovereign, culpable: very far from it: and I am and suit and service and court livery quite sure that as much of pride may were really tokens of humble proslurk in a drab coat and a Quaker cap, tration; or Whittington awed the as in an earl's robe or a countess's refractory apprentices of London by feathers. Nor do I doubt, that, to the awful splendours of his state-coach many a humble and religious mind, if he had one-and his men in the pageantries of state are burdens armour, and resplendent tags, and borne, not gratifications welcomed; swords, and maces, and multiform and that many knees, which yesterday bedizenment. But the present age bowed loyally and heartily before an is rapidly outgrowing these brilliant earthly sovereign, bowed with far manifestations of dignity—though I deeper emotion before the King of fear that base, dastardly Radicalism kings and Lord of lords, in earnest has had some hand in the business ; suit that He would bless with His and that this green-eyed monster, holy unction from above this national combined with an unsparing demand ratification of sacred vows and dutiful for economy, has usurped some of homage. I am not herald or anti- the honours of good sense. No quary sufficient to decide whether man, I suppose, who looks at the some of the ceremonies, still used in signs of the times, doubts that in certain of our public investings, in- the course of the next half-century augurations, and honorary rites, may scarcely a vestige will survive of not possibly offend directly against many of our ancient cumbrous religion, being grounded on ancient usages; and that much of what we superstitious, papistical, or despotic, now, from long association, consider usages : but I incline to think that as meet, ornamental, and dignified, most of these things offend more will be thought as idle as the tricking against good taste than against reli- out of a harlequin. Already an imgion; that they are gew-gaws, rather portant part of my Lord Chancellor's than vices; and that a man of sense, Pelion-super-Ossa habiliments, inwho happens officially to take a part tended doubtless, on true phrenoloin them, may perform his grave ab- gical principles, as an external indisurdity without any offence to his cation of vast internal cerebral de. conscience : they are not things to velopment, is said to exhibit fearful his taste, but, if they please others, symptoms of degeneracy; and our he is willing to make his share of prelates, with alarm be it whispered, personal sacrifice. An American have long tended to radical curacknowledges the gorgeous splendour tailment in this craniological ap
pendage to their high station ;-in martial clangor and dulcet melody; short, there is no knowing where and gold and jewels shine resplenmatters may end.
dently around; and all eyes are turnBut, to speak seriously, is it noted to one favoured object; and banthe duty of judicious persons—I do ners float, and acclamations rend the not, of course, mean in trifles, but air, and every window and house-top upon the whole, and in weightier is thronged with eager spectators; and matters—to add a counterpoise to all is joyous pomp and festive magnithe popular side of our modern march ficence-But I turn again, and the of intellect; to sober, rather than gaudy scene has vanished : the hero hurry on the movement, and that has passed by ; his attendants have even in some instances where it may disappeared; the crowded street is be rushing to what is abstractedly deserted; silence reigns around; and right; and, in particular, in many a melancholy feeling of solitude and matters of office, courtesy, and pre- desolation chills the heart, such as I scription, to incline to what innocent remember came over me when in the usage sanctions, rather than what loneliness of evening I visited the novelty covets, or à priori philoso- scene of that greatest of modern paphy may perhaps prefer? I am sure geants, the coronation of George the that in that sacred office with which, Fourth, and thought of the splendour my dear friend, it is your happiness of the festival, and beheld the yetand mine to be invested, that feeling remaining relics of the temporary is far more safe which dreads inno- fabrics erected for the solemnity, vation, than that which loves it for still clad in their scarlet trappings, its own sake; and particularly in but of which in a few hours not a younger men. To be willing to vestige would survive, to tell to the change where change is solid im- passing wanderer the anxious preprovement, but to oppose it where paration and princely cost and emuit is only dubious novelty, is a lous magnificence of the short-lived mean between extremes which few spectacle. “Ubi sunt aulea Sidomen know how to obtain. The niis fucis ebria ? Ubi parasitorum eager try experiments, the cautious discurrens petulantia ? Ūbi dædalia fear even to adopt results ; one ec- vasa, pondere metalorum mensas ipclesiastic relegates us to the consti- sas onerantia ? Nonne omnia fucus tutions of Pope Otho, another is for et ventus ?” new-modelling every thing; and, Such is the fashion of this world; between the two, moderate and well- and so it passes away. The Apostle judging men scarcely know where might have found (excuse my repeatto oppose and where to yield. ing a few thoughts which I remem
"Ubi sunt hesterni strepitus ?” ber having years ago penned elseAlas! with the years beyond the where) many other mortifying chaFlood; or with the antique pagean- racteristics of earthly grandeur. He tries which, age after age, echoed might have said, that the fashion of through the halls and castles whose the world is base and degrading; mouldering relics, in connexion with that it draws down the soul from its the passing topic of the day, have destined elevation, to chain it to a suggested these reflections. Often sordid mass of clay, which must have I been struck with that remark- soon perish, “ with all that it inhaable expression of the Apostle, “The bit.” Or he might have said, that fashion of this world passeth away.” it is unsatisfactory; that it cannot I imagine to myself a gorgeous pro- fill the mind of a creature formed in cession ; I see pampered steeds, and the image of God, and sighing for proud trappings, and costly robes, immortality and eternal life. He and refulgent armour, and wreathes might have taken us, as Lord Chesand coronals; and I hear alternate terfield does, behind the scenes, and
exhibited the “beggarly elements" shall exist, to enjoy his favour and of its proudest enjoyments; the partake of the felicity which he im“ dirty ropes and tallow candles” parts. which furnish its superficial pomp;
Excuse, my friend, this digression, and thus lead us to exclaim, with if it be one. It is, indeed, commonthousands of sated voluptuaries, place, and will fit any scene of worldly “ Vanity of vanity, vanity of vani- magnificence, from the days of Ina ties ! all is vanity.” Or he might and Ethelburga to those of William have told us of its instability ; that it and Adelaide : but not the less imis a vessel in a storm, which sinks portant is it on that account, or less under our tottering step when we necessary to be every day and hour most need support, and leaves us impressed upon our hearts; that, nauseated and giddy with its fit. seeing the vanity of all that is merely ful fluctuations. Or he might, above of earth, we may apply our hearts to all, have told us that the fashion of heavenly wisdom, and seek those the world is wicked; that it tends to things which are above, where Christ draw the heart from God; and to fill sitteth, at the right hand of God. the throne, designed for the sole occu- It is of infinite importance for men pation of the Creator, with objects as in the full career of life and worldly sinful as they are trifling, as incom- enjoyment to be seriously reminded patible with the duties of a holy being of such topics. Well was it for Ina as the dignity of an immortal one. to have at hand one who could so
But the Apostle gives the world, tenderly whisper to him, in the midst as it were, its fairest chance. Allow of his careless splendour and transithat it were all that its votaries wish tory enjoyments, “ Væ his qui hæor imagine, and that it were neither serint, qui scilicet tranhentur!” Many sinful nor unsatisfactory, still it is a man exposed to similar temptations transient,—its fashion passes away. has owned the power of such conIt is like the mirth of fools, which jugal solicitude : nor do I think I the wisest of men compares to the should transgress the bounds of afmomentary blaze and crackling of fectionate loyalty if I should express thorns under a pot. Let it be as a hope, or a wish, that our beloved highly decorated as you please, still and gracious monarch, amidst the its finery is soon out of date: it has cares and distractions of his exalted nothing intrinsically valuable or im- sphere, may have found a kindred perishable in it: it cannot be thrown adviser. into the crucible, and melted down Sept. 10.--As the secular memointo something still beautiful or pre- rialists of the town of Winchester cious: it is a shadow, a pageant, a
boast of her ancient kings, princes, gilded trifle, worth nothing when the and warriors, when she was the metrogilt has worn off. In the morning polis of England, so her ecclesiastical of the resurrection it will appear but panegyrists boast that their see has as a dream : we shall wonder how given to the church ten saints, to it could even for a moment have de- Rome two cardinals, to England lighted or deceived us. “Ubi sunt nine lord chancellors, and some “ hesterni strepitus ? ” But the thirty prelates of the illustrious order Christian's world, in addition to all of the Garter, besides other farits other claims, is eternal: it is not famed churchmen in every departonly pure and satisfying, but it is ment of dignity supposed to be comnever-ceasing: when heaven and patible with the priestly office. I earth shall pass away, that word and fear that the lives of some of those those promises on which he relies worthies did not greatly adorn their shall be, like their Divine Author, un spiritual office. The saints are, changeable; and while God exists, Birinus, Agilbert, Eleutherius, Hedthe church of Christ, ransomed by da, Swithun, Frithstan, Brinstan, his blood, and purified by his Spirit, Ethelwold, Elphage the Bald, and Christ. OBSERV. No. 357.