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Elphage the Martyr; for whose re- pulled about as remorselessly as a spective deeds I must refer you to king on a coronation day. The trathe records of Papal canonizations. dition for ages was, that it reposed For myself, I know little of any of in the chapel immediately at the back them, with the exception of the of the altar of Winchester cathedral, illustrious St. Swithun. St. El- in what was called the “ Holy Hole," phage (or Alphage) the Martyr where were usually deposited the still gives name to more, I believe, mortal relics of saints. In this than one of our old churches. Al. chapel stood his shrine, till the phage was afterwards Archbishop Cromwell iconoclasts destroyed it. of Canterbury, and was called saint Close to the Holy Hole lies an enorand martyr because the Danes stoned mous sculptured tomb-stone twelve him to death, when they sacked and feet long and five wide, which learned burned Canterbury and massacred antiquaries like you, and simple the inhabitants about a tribute which people like me, equally considered they claimed. The good odour of as St. Swithun's tomb, in the spot of too many of the Roman-Catholic highest honour in his cathedral. But saints arose rather from their prac- so it was, that when, in the year 1797, tice of Popish austerities, and de- this tomb was opened, a complete fence of ecclesiastical revenues, and skeleton was found, whereas the founding of monkish houses, and skull of the saint was known to have working pseudo-miracles, than from been deposited in Canterbury cathethose spiritual virtues which St. Paul dral. Now, as we Protestants neiattaches to the character of those ther believe that miracles are multiwho are
“ called to be saints." plied to no purpose, nor admire the Of Swithun, however, notwith- reasoning of one of the Popes—who, standing his annual forty days' des- in reply to an objection that the nupotism has brought him into popular merous professed relics of the cross disgrace in harvest time, I must in would more than make the cross justice acknowledge that he appears itself, besides being of different to have been a man of many emi- kinds of wood, that it pleased God nent virtues; and it is something thus to multiply and diversify them considerable to say that he was the in order to exercise the faith of tutor of Alfred. As a statesman, he humble believersmit follows that the stood in high repute—but I need skeleton was not St. Swithun's. But not recapitulate his well-known his- if I were either a dean or a verger tory. The circumstance of his di- of your venerable cathedral I would recting his remains to be interred in not be so easily shorn of my honours; the church-yard, instead of in the but would contend zealously that cathedral, and his alleged disap- our saint's cranium never really went probation of their being afterwards to Canterbury ; that it was a pitiful removed to that site of honour, as ambition in the monks and archindicated, according to the legend, prelates of that see to wish to rob by forty days' torrents of rain, would Winchester of one of its proudest seem to shew either unfeigned hu- glories; and that, if they ever bought mility, or a very refined excess of or stole any head at all, it was only pride aping that virtue. I see no some sexton's or beadsman's, and not reason to impute the latter, and illustrious St. Swithun’s. feel no wish to derogate from that Having slurred over so many duly sanctity which historians have attri- canonized saints, I may without inbuted to him, however much I may civility pass by the vulgar herd aforelament the superstitions of which mentioned of cardinals, bishops, lord he was the victim. But his bones chancellors, and other dignitaries. were not allowed ultimately to rest Perhaps we may have a word about in obscurity : the monks would not some of them as we walk through let him alone; and his poor body was the cathedral, where so many of
their ashes repose. Yet my heart ment in Winchester cathedralmisgives me for quitting the two whether by his own direction, or cardinals so abruptly; for if I just by others posthumously speaking wished to shew any man what the his sentiment-occurs, an incredible Church of Rome was in her palmy number of times, in every part of days, I would take him to your the ornamental work, the motto, chapter-house, and tell him it was “ Laus tibi, Christe." Let us trust into that precise spot that Cardinal that his conduct was guided by this Langton dragged his royal culprit, motive.-Theother cardinal is BeauKing John, on the twenty-sixth day fort, proverbially called “the rich of July, anno 1213, to make him cardinal of Winchester," whose swear fealty to Pope Innocent, as magnificent shrine is still one of the well as to defend the church, to finest monuments of the cathedral. re-establish good laws and abolish It has been somewhere said that wicked ones, and to maintain justice Shakspeare has exaggerated the horand right in his dominions. I never rors of this wicked man's death; could quite understand Langton's but how could such a man's death character. It did not seem patriotic be otherwise than horrible, especior scriptural that he should choose, ally occurring, as it did, within a few at the sword's point, to accept the weeks after his participation in the Pope's nomination to the arch- murder of his own nephew ? His bishoprick of Canterbury, in spite last words, as related by prose hisof the lawful prince of the country; torians, are as full of horror as the but, on the other hand, he might sin- tragedian's version of them : “ And cerely think, however absurdly, that must I then die? Will not all my the Pope was the Divinely-appointed riches save me? I could purchase conservator of the church, and the the kingdom, if that would prolong legitimate bestower of all its digni- my life. What ! is there no bribing ties; and that John, both ecclesias- of death? When my nephew the tically and civilly, was an enemy to Duke of Bedford died, I thought my his people, whom it was the cardinal's happiness and my authority greatly duty as a man and a Christian to increased; but the Duke of Glouendeavour to bring to a better sense
cester's death raised me in fancy to of his obligations, by the fulminations a level with kings, and I thought of and anathemas of the church. To nothing but accumulating still greater Langton, more than to any one in- wealth, to purchase at length the triple dividual, are we indebted for wring- crown. Alas ! how are my hopes dising from that execrable monarch appointed! Wherefore, Omy friends, the great charter of English privi- let me earnestly beseech you to pray lege; and I should hope, that both for me, and recommend my departin this and his previous conduct he ing soul to God." Yet this man hoped was really swayed by a love for his that immense posthumous bequests country, and what he considered to the poor and the church, and ten its best welfare, civil and religious; thousand masses for his soul, would and it must be remembered, that he expiate his sins. Quite as rationally was equally firm in refusing to pub- might he have trusted to the two lish the Pope's bull against the barons successive pardons which he extorted who had obtained the charter. But from his temporal sovereign under it was a high day for the mother of the great seal of England, and one abominations, drunken with power, of which was " for all sorts of crimes when a monarch thus ignominiously whatever, from the creation of the prostrated himself in a chapter-house world to the twenty-sixth of July before a monk in scarlet. I am in 1437 !” Was it possible, that, even clined to think well of Langton, from in those dark days, Popery could so the circumstance that on his monu- have blinded the eyes of any man
professing to be a Christian, to say Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen;" nothing of a bishop and a cardinal, and then, after a profession of his that he did not know that the gift of faith, and some other matters, he God could not be purchased with writes as follows : money; that our redemption was “ And now, having made this sonot perfected with corruptible things, lemn protestation of my faith, I fly such as silver and gold, but with the in much hope and confidence to the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb altar of Infinite Mercy, there to obtain without spot or blemish? But, alas ! the pardon of my sins ; which, alhe found in his own corrupt church though they are manifold and very every thing venal, even, it would grievous (thou, O Lord, only knowest seem, the triple crown itself; and he them), yet thy loving-kindness is far supposed that the exchequer of hea- greater than all the sins of all the ven was modelled after the treasury men that have lived from the beginof Rome. The best thing I remem- ning, or shall live to the end of the ber of him, religiously speaking, is world. And I do, from the bottom the only line which remained legible, of my soul, abhor and detest all the as long as two hundred years ago, sins I have ever committed, from the upon his sumptuous tomb, under his day in which I first knew sin to effigy in his cardinals robes : “ Tri- this moment. It grieveth me at my bularer si nescirem miserecordias heart that I have thus offended my tuas.” If he really knew, and com. Lord, whom I love above all things; mitted himself, to these mercies in and I do most firmly resolve from Christ Jesus, even in his last mo- henceforth to avoid sin, and all occaments, it is not for his fellow-sinners sions that may lead to it. But thou, to intervene between him and his O Lord, whose property is always God; but I confess I have but little to have mercy and to forgive, call to faith myself in the reality or efficacy mind thy loving kindnesses which of such dying repentance as his ap- have ever been of old. O remember pears to have been, and which was not the sins and offences of my youth, remorse rather than godly sorrow; nor suffer them to rise up in judgthe repentance of Judas or Voltaire, ment against me.
Look not upon rather than that of the dying thief my transgressions, but upon the face upon the cross. I say not this be- of thy Christ, crucified for me. To cause Beaufort happened to be a redeem me he gave up his soul unto Popish cardinal ; for I can give full death ; and he is most worthy on credit to what was good among whom thou shouldest look; who Papists as well as among Protestants. made satisfaction to thy justice for Did you never read the last will and my sins, and for the sins of the whole testament of Cardinal Bona, dated world. His merits I bring with me anno 1646 ? It has a sprinkling of in them alone is all my trust. This Popery in it, and yet, Protestant as is my righteousness and satisfaction, I am, and Papist and cardinal as was my redemption and propitiation. To he, I never read it without reverence these, O merciful Father, thou canst and self-abasement, and a silent aspi- deny nothing. Receive, therefore, ration, “ Sit anima mea cum tua !” my soul, at whatever hour thou shalt Do let me copy a passage for you, as think fit to call for it, since it was a specimen. I take it from an im- purchased, not with corruptible silver perfect translation, not having access and gold, but with the precious to the original Latin, which is sub. blood of thy dear Son. joined to the cardinal's works. He “ My sins I have not only conwas a very young man when he wrote fessed in private, but, could I believe it, long before he obtained his scar- it would be well pleasing to God, I let hat. He begins, “ In the name am ready to describe or proclaim of the holy and undivided Trinity, them to the world; that all who
have been led by outward appear sired : in thee I wish to live, and to ances to form too favourable an die, and to live again for ever. opinion of me, might see how pol. Dearest Jesus ! what have I more to luted a wretch I am ; how deserving do with earth; or whom do I desire of punishment and shame; how to- in heaven but thee? Into thy hands tally unworthy of honour and conso- I commend my spirit. Look upon lation.
me, O thou lover of souls, that it · My soul, at the moment of its may be well with me, and that I departure, and afterwards in its state may sweetly rest and sleep in thee. of separation, I commend, with all Let those comfortable and ravishing humility and submission, to God the words sound in my years, • ToFather, and his Son Jesus Christ, day shalt thou be with me in
paraand the Holy Spirit; whose mercy I dise!' Receive and embrace me entreat with many tears, prostrate in those arms of mercy which were before the Throne of Grace, as if I stretched out on the cross, and now lay at the point of death. Assist let perfect peace be my portion for me, O gracious Lord, in this my last ever.” hour, and look not upon my sins. So much, at present, my dear Thy hands have made me and fa- friend, for Wintonensian cardinals shioned me: O suffer me not to and popish saints. Most of these perish everlastingly. Remember thy alleged saints in Winchester, as elseword unto thy servant, wherein where, were in their day great thou hast caused me to put my workers of miracles, if we may believe trust. For thou hast said, by thy the distich which was inscribed on holy prophet, that at what time “ the Holy Hole,” where reposed soever the sinner turneth from his their mortal relics ; evil ways, all his iniquities shall be Corpora sanctorum sunt hic in pace seforgotten. Strengthened and com- pulta, forted by this hope, I venture to lift Ex meritis quorum fulgent miracula multa, up my eyes unto thee, who other. Papists have always maintained wise am not worthy to behold the the uninterrupted succession of miheight of heaven, by reason of the racles in their church, and have urged, multitude of my sins. Command in proof of the unscriptural characme, O Lord, to be received and con- ter of Protestantism, that it cannot ducted by holy angels into that pa- boast of this mark of Divine approbaradise which thy beloved Son has tion. The general, and I think the purchased for mankind by his cross fair and scriptural, reply has been, and passion. I make not this re- that miracles are no test of a true quest on account of my own merit church; that there is no promise of (for I have none), or of my own their continuance, or any necessity righteousness; but my sole trust is for their continuance, at the present in thy mercy, and in the blood of moment; and that the alleged mithy Son, my Saviour Jesus Christ. Of racles of the Church of Rome are this my trust I shall never be ashamed; either impostures, or in this my hope I shall never be tingencies, or to be accounted for confounded. Give me thy blessing, by natural causes. Recently, howO holy Jesus, and let me depart in ever, a sect has arisen among us, the peace; for I am thine : I will hold members of which assert that mithee fast, and not let thee go for racles have never ceased, that they ever. Who shall separate me from are in visible action now, and that thy love ? Thou art my salvation ; Protestantism claims her full share of whom then shall I fear? Thou art them. In proof of these positions, the strength of my life ; of whom alleged miracles, old and new, then shall I be afraid ? Behold I have been brought forward; and, in come to thee, whom I have loved; particular, several recent cases of reI hasten to thee, whom I have de- markable cures, which, it is stated,
have been wrought supernaturally is now generally admitted, by wellby a lively faith in Christ, and in an- judging persons, who have not the swer to fervent prayer. The facts and slightest belief in modern miracles, discussions which have taken place on that such extraordinary cures have the subject appear to me to have again and again taken place; but opened a new chapter in the spi- they generalize the principle of them, ritual and physiological history of and shew that this undoubted fact our species. It was formerly the habit is not confined to any one sect or naof writers, either to deny such alleged tion; that cases of this extraordinary extraordinary facts, or to feel them- character are to be found among selves called upon to admit the infe- Papists and Protestants; nay, among rence of miraculous interposition. In Pagans and Mohammedans. They this respect the Church of Rome has therefore trace them to some general been too hardly dealt with ; and principle, not of necessity connected some of her alleged miracles have with doctrinal faith or the personal been attributed to imposture, where piety of the individual. The Pronot a shadow of candid reason exist. testant advocates for modern mied for such an inference. I need not racles are divided upon the subject : go beyond Winchester for an appo- some are so perfectly convinced of site example; for Bishop Milner, the analogy which has been traced the well-known Roman-Catholic his- between the Protestant cases which torian and antiquary of that place, have recently occurred, and similar published, in 1805, a pamphlet en- ones in the Church of Rome, that titled “Authentic Documents of the they have admitted that the Popish miraculous Cure of W. White, July cases were good miracles, wrought 25th, 1805;” in alluding to which through faith in the common Saviour, he says, “ I have daily evidence be- and have embraced the Church of fore my eyes of a cure as supernatu- Rome as an auxiliary against those ral and sudden as any upon record.” of their fellow-Protestants who are The usual Protestant reply to such not convinced that miracles were inallegations has been, What juggling tended to be perpetual in the church. and mendacious impostors are these These advocates for modern miracles Papists! And lamentably true is the act fairly and consistently; but some charge in innumerable instances; as, of their brethren, shocked that the for example, the liquefaction of the Church of Rome should be allowed blood of Januarius, which no Papist as good miracles as our own, deny of common understanding but must the former, while they admit the see to be a trick of priestcraft. But latter; and were much offended with this, I am persuaded, was not a fair the Christian Observer for pointing reply, in such cases as that alluded out the analogy, and placing the to by Bishop Milner, or in those cure of Miss Stuart, or the cures Roman-Catholic cases mentioned in effected by Hohenlohe, side by side the pamphlet entitled Documents with the recent cures among ouron the Cure of Miss Fancourt.” The selves. But, though they have been reply was unphilosophical, and arose much displeased at this juxta-posifrom not knowing the vast surface tion, they have not attempted to
cures of this nature shew in what way the analogy failed; may extend; and the Roman Ca- or to account for the Roman-Cathotholics had just cause to be displeas- lic cures, while they vindicated the ed that Protestants viewed all such exclusive miraculousness of the Procases as fraudulent, and refused to testant. Their only reply was, that listen to the most solemn attestations it was impious to think for a moment of their authenticity.
that there could be any parallel beNow the late discussions, as I have tween the Protestant case and the said, have assisted to open up the Catholic; between the healing of a truth on this interesting question. It pious Scotchwoman, and that of an