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Crypt of a Norman Chunk.
The crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral contains the ashes of our great naval hero, Nelson: and in many of our modern churches crypts are depositories for the dead, though they are now more generally called vaults or catacombs.
Many old churches, and most of those in villages, have porches; which are small arches, covering the approach to the doors. Formerly, parts of the services of baptism and marriage were performed in these porches; but their chief, and in most cases their only use now, is to afford a resting-place and retreat from the weather to the villagers who assemble in the country churchyard, awaiting the time of divine service.
An interesting part of the inside fitting-up of a church is the font, which is the vase or basin at which children are baptised. Formerly these fonts were large enough to admit of an infant being completely dipped, according to ancient usage, where it was certified that the child might "well endure it."
In improving our knowledge, however, of the external structure and interior arrangement of cathedrals and churches, we should be careful to remember that such an acquirement is of no importance compared with the benefit we derive from the spiritual purposes for which these buildings were erected. We must venerate them as places especially dedicated to God; and not deceive ourselves by supposing that the most curious acquaintance with the style and detail of the building is any part of devotion. The great and important interest connected with sacred edifices of every description, whether the magnificent cathedral or the simple village church, arises from reflection on the uses to which they are applied. It is there we meet together in Christian fellowship, and present the incense of prayer and praise to our Father and Redeemer: there, in infancy, at the font of baptism, we are dedicated to the service of God: there, at the sacred altar, we afterwards take upon ourselves the promises made for us by others in our baptism, and receive at the hands of the Bishop the Apostolic rite of confirmation, and there partake in those holy mysteries which are the pledges and memorials of our Saviour's dying love to man. There we are taught to seek a better inheritance than this world can afford: there we enter into the most sacred of social obligations, and pledge those
vows of fidelity which are the greatest sweeteners of earthly woe—the brightest promisers of worldly bliss: there, in the crypt which lies below, or in the consecrated ground around us, when the angel of death shall have received a command to strike, we deposit the ashes of those we love; and there, at last, will rest our own, in humble but trusting hope that they shall one day be recalled to life and light!
All these considerations give a sacred interest to the hallowed pile; and thus associated with some of our best, our least earthly, feelings, the study of church architecture will tend to improve our hearts while it forms our tastes and adds to our knowledge.
Taste ami elegance, though they arc reckoned only among the smaller and secondary morals, yet are of no mean importance in the regulation of life. A moral taste is not of force to turn vice into virtue; but it recommends virtue with something like the blandishments of pleasure.—Burke.
Harmless mirth is the best cordial against the consumption of the spirits; wherefore jesting is not unlawful if it trcspasseth not in quantity, quality, or season.
It is good to make a jest, but not to make a trade of jesting.—The Earl of Leicester, knowing that Queen Elizabeth was much delighted to see a gentleman dance well, brought the master of a dancing-school to dance before her: "It is," said the Queen, " his profession, I will not see him." She liked not where it was a master quality, but where it attended on other perfections. The same we say of jesting.
Jest not with the two-edged sword of God's toorrf.-^Know the whole art is learnt at the first admission, and profane jests will come without calling. If without thy intention and against thy will, by chancemedly thou hittest scripture in ordinary discourse, yet fly to the city of refuge, and pray God to forgive thee.
Wanton jests make fools laugh, and wise men frown.— Seeing we are civilized Englishmen, let us not be naked savages in our talk; such rotten speeches are worst in withered age.
Let not thy jests like mummy be made of dead men's flesh.—Abuse not any that are departed; for to wrong their memories is to rob their ghosts of their winding sheets.
Scoff not at the natural defects of any which are not in their power to amend.—Oh 'tis cruel to beat a cripple with his own crutches; neither flout any for his profession, if honest, though poor and painful: mock not a cobler for his black thumbs.
He that relates another man's wicked jest with delight, adopts it as his own.—Purge them therefore from their poison. If the profaneness may be severed from the wit, it is like a lamprey, take out the sting in the back, it may make good meat. But if the staple conceit consists in profaneness, then it is a viper, all poison, and meddle not with it.
He that will lose his friend for a jest, deserves to die a beggar by the bargain.—Yet some think their conceits, like mustard, not good except they bite. We read that all those who were born in England, in the year after the beginning of the great mortality, 1349, wanted their four cheek teeth. Such let thy jests be, that they may not grind the credit of thy friend, and make not jests so long till thou becomest one.—Abridged from Fuller.
Advice, like snow, the softer it, falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.—Coleridge.
Man loves to contemplate and to ponder on the wrecks of past ages which have escaped the destructive power of time. The smallest remains of human art, the least fragments of those fossil stones which are records of the ancient revolutions of the earth, rivet our attention, and excite our lively curiosity. An interest still more natural and more affecting, seems to belong to the living memorials of distant ages. But although it may not appear impossible, if we may trust to the calculations of Adanson, that the enormous Baobabs of Africa, may be as old as the pyramids of Egypt,* still life in general is so short, that living monuments will always seem as if only of yesterday, when contrasted with those that are lifeless.
Among ancient trees, there are few, I believe, at least in France, so worthy of attention as an oak which may be seen in the 'Pays de Caux,' about a league from Yvetot, close to the church, and in the burial ground of Allonville. I had often heard it mentioned, but in a slight manner; and I am astonished, after having examined it, that so remarkable a tree should so long have remained so little known.
This oak has sessile leaves and acorns, on footstalks, and is therefore of the true naval species. Above the roots, it measures upwards of thirty-five English feet round, and at the height of a man, twenty-six feet. A little higher up it extends to a greater size , and at eight feet from the ground, enormous branches spring from the sides, and spread outwards, so that they cover with their shade a vast extent. The height of the tree does not answer to its girth; the trunk, from the roots to the summit, forms a complete cone; and the inside of this cone is hollow throughout the whole of its height. Several openings, the largest of which is below, afford access to this cavity.
All the central parts having been long destroyed, it is only by the outer layers of the alburnum, and by the bark, that this venerable tree is supported; yet it is still full of vigour, adorned with abundance of leaves, and laden with acorns. A* We shall very shortly give papers on these interesting subjects
Such is the Oak of Allonville, considered in its state of nature. The hand of man, however, has endeavoured to impress upon it a character still more interesting, by adding a religious feeling to the respect which its age naturally inspires.
The lower part of its hollow trunk has been transformed into a chapel, of six or seven feet in diameter, carefully wainscoted and paved, and an open iron gate guards the humble sanctuary. Above, and close to the chapel, is a small chamber, containing a bed; and leading to it there is a staircase, which twists round the body of the tree. At certain seasons of the year divine service is performed in this chapel.
The summit has been broken off many years, but there is a surface, at the top of the trunk, of the diameter of a very large tree, and from it rises a pointed roof, covered with slates, in the form of a steeple, which is surmounted with an iron cross, that raises itself, in a truly picturesque manner, from the middle of the leaves, like an antique hermitage, above the surrounding wood.
The cracks which occur in various parts of the tree, are, like the fracture whence the steeple springs, closely covered with slates, which, by replacing the bark, doubtless contribute to its preservation. Over the entrance to the chapel an inscription appears, which informs us that it was erected by the Abbe" du Detroit, curate of Allonville, in the year 1696; and over the door of the upper room is another, dedicating it "To our Lady of Peace."
The oak is a tree which grows but slowly: in its youth, and to about forty years of age, it increases the most. After this period it becomes less rapid in its growth, and abates progressively. According to M. Bosc, an oak of a hundred years old, is not commonly more than a foot in diameter. It is well-known, however, from the spreading forth of the boughs, how much the growth depends upon the soil. If the calculation given by M. Bosc seems too small for the first century of the life of an oak, it becomes, on the contrary, too great, if applied to the centuries which follow, ou. account of the gradual weakening vegetative powers, the natural effect of age.
Following this clue, the Oak of Allonville, giving in the middle portion of its trunk a diameter of more than eight feet, must, according to this computation, be above eight hundred years of age; even supposing, (which is by no means allowable,) that it has always continued increasing a foot in a century. Certainly, this tree, the summit of which was majestically reared toward the clouds of old, and which has been shortened and contracted on every side, cannot for ages have grown in such proportion. One cannot but think, that its increase has been scarcely perceived for the hundred and twenty-five years since it has been converted into a chapel, by the happy thought of M. TAbbe" du Detroit. One must not then give to the tree of Allonville less than 800 or 900 summers. Perhaps, in its youth, it lent its shade to the companions of William the Conqueror, when they assembled to invade the British shore. Perhaps the Norman troubadour, on the return from the first crusade, there often sang to his admiring fellow countrymen the exploits of Godfrey and of Raymond.
In England, there are many oaks larger and loftier than this of Allonville, but none that are more interesting. In general there remain but very imperfect accounts as to the progress of growth and possible duration of trees. It is certain, that they are greater than is commonly supposed. The axe prevents almost always their natural death: and the situation alone of the Oak of Allonville, near the church, and in the burial ground, has probably rescued it from the common fate. In the present day especially, the slightest whim of the owner fells an ancient tree, reverenced by his forefathers during many centuries; an instant destroys that which pitiless time had spared for ages; that which so long a lapse of time can alone replace.
It is not so in the east. In those countries where shade is at the same time more wanted and less frequent, a large tree becomes to the inhabitants, especially if it grows near their dwellings, a precious object; and is equally respected with the far less admirable works of art with which the ancients covered those classic lands. Even among the Turks, says a traveller, "it is an enormous crime to cut down old trees, and all the neighbourhood would be ready to make any sacrifice to preserve the hospitable shade. I have often seen shops built beneath a great plane tree, which appeared to come out at the roof, and to cover them with leaves; and the walls were traversed by the branches which the owner feared to lop. Old trees are generally surrounded by a fence or bank, which serves to cover and defend them, and this in the common fields where they do not belong to any one in particular."
How far are we from such a conservative spirit!!! Happily the situation of the oak of Allonville, its consecration, and the reverence of the villagers, appear to ensure its peaceable existence, until it naturally yields to the destiny which is common to all things that live.
At the deplorable period when every thing belonging to religion was condemned, the revolutionists, having come to Allonville to burn the oak, were vigorously opposed by the country people, and the sanctuary was preserved.
As a monument at once of nature, of art, and of piety, the chapel-oak merits on all hands from naturalists that kind of pilgrimage which I have lately made, and which has given rise to this short memoir.
[Translated and abridged from the original memoir by Professor Mabo.uh, of the Botanic Garden, Rouen. 1
EARLY TRAINING OF CHILDREN.
Few persons are aware or consider, how very early in life the tempers of children begin to be formed, and consequently how soon that important part of the business of education, which consists in the training the mind to habits of discipline and submission, may be commenced.
"I wish," said a lady, some years since, to the writer of a work on education, "I wish very much to consult you about the education of my little girl, who is now just three years old."—" Madam," replied the author, "you are at least two years too late in applying to me on that subject."
The first principle of education to instil into the mind of I child, is that of unhesitating obedience. The time for doing this, is the moment at which it can be perceived that the child distinctly apprehends the nature of any command, no matter what, that is laid upon it. To ascertain this requires a little careful watching; but when it is ascertained, there should be no hesitation as to the course to be pursued. As soon as the infant clearly understands that the word "No !" signifies that it is not to do something which it desires to do, obedience to that command ought at all hazards, and under whatever inconvenience, to be enforced. In doing this, one or two collisions will generally occur between parent and child before the end of the first twelve or fourteen months, in which the patience and perseverance of the parent will be put to the test; these past, the habit of obedience is fixed in the child's mind, for the rest of its life. Seeing that nothing is to be gained by resistance, it sinks down into submission as a matter of course.
While the foundation of parental authority is thus laid, how many other great lessons is the mind of the child imbibing! Every time that it refrains from doing some forbidden thing which it desires, it is practising self-control, and self-denial, and is advancing a step towards the mastery of its passions.
Some people talk about the management of children as if it were a science, and read all the books they can find to instruct them in it. Nothing is, however, in reality, more simple. Kindness, patience, undeviating firmness of purpose, and a strict regard to principle in all our dealings with them, (means which are within the reach of all) will, under God's blessing, accomplish all that can be done by early education towards regulating the heart and understanding. And thus they will be prepared to receive the seeds of those higher moral and religious principles, by which, as heirs of immortality, they are to be educated for a better and an endless life.
The entire submission which we are entitled to require at the hands of our children, is a type of that obedience which we, on our part, owe to the Great Father of the universe. In terms sufficiently plain He has made known to us his will. Does it become us to ask Him why his will is such as we find it to be? why he has not done this thing or that thing differently from the manner in which it is done ?— Just as reasonable is it in us to do this as it would be in our infant children to refuse obedience to our commands, until their understandings should be sufficiently matured to enable them to comprehend the reasons for which they were given.
I Never loved those salamanders, that are never well but when they are in the fire of contention. I will rather suffer a thousand wrongs than offer one: I will suffer an hundred, rather than return one: I will suffer many, ere I will Complain of one, and endeavour to right it by contending. I have ever found, that to strive with my superiour is furious; with my equal, doubtful ; with my inferiour, sordid and base; with any, full of unquietness.—Bishop Hall.
TRANSLATION OF THE LATIN HYMN
O Day of wrath! that dreadful day,
When earth in dust shall pass away!
What dread shall strike the sinner dumb,
When the Almighty Judge shall come,
Every hidden sin to sum!
When the wondrous trumpets' tone,
Ringing through each cavern lone,
Calls the dead before the Throne—
When cruel Death himself shall die,
And, freed from dark mortality,
The creature to his Judge reply:
What shall Then that creature say?
What power shall be the sinner's stay,
When the just are in dismay?
Lord of all power and majesty,
Pure fountain of all piety,
Save us when we cry to thee!
O thou whose vengeance waits on sin,
Cleanse our souls from guilt within,
Ere the day of wrath begin!
With suppliant heart and bended knee,
Low stooping in the dust to Thee,
Lord! save us in extremity!
As to Equality, if by it be meant an Equality of property or condition, there is no such thing; nor was there ever such a thing in any country since the world began. The Scripture speaks of Pharaoh and his Princes in the time of Abraham, when he was forced by a famine to go down to Egypt, about 430 years after the flood. Abraham himself had, at that period, men servants, and maid servants, and was very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold. He and Lot had herdsmen and servants of various kinds; and they every where met with kings who had subjects and soldiers. The inequality of property and condition, which some silly or bad people are so fond of declaiming against, existed in the very infancy of the world, and must, from the nature of things, exist to the end of it.
Suppose a ship to be wrecked on an uninhabited island, and that all the officers perished, but that the common men and their wives were saved j there, if any where, we may meet with liberty, equality, and the rights of man—what think you would be the consequence ?—A state of Equality, and with it, of anarchy might, perhaps, subsist for a day; but wisdom, courage, industry, economy, would presently introduce a superiority of some over others; and in order that each man might preserve for himself the cabin he had built, the ground he had tilled, or the fish he had taken, all would agree in the propriety of appointing some one amongst the number, or more than one, to direct, govern, and protect the whole, by the common strength. Thus the restriction of liberty and the destruction of Equality, and all the circumstances which shallow reasoners represent as grievances in society, and subversive of the rights of man, would of necessity be introduced. No one would be left at liberty to invade his neighbour's property; some would by skill and activity become rich, and they would be allowed to bequeath, at their death, their wealth to their children; others would by idleness and debauchery remain poor, and having nothing to leave to their children, these, when grown up, would be under the necessity of maintaining themselves by working for their neighbours, till, by prudence and thrift, they acquired enough to purchase property of
their own, on which they might employ their labour. It is a general law which God has established throughout the world, that riches and respect should attend prudence and diligence; and as all men are not equal in the faculties of either body or mind, by which riches or respect are acquired, a necessity of superiority and subordination springs from the very nature which God has given us.—Bishop Watson.
Most sure it is, and a true conclusion of experience, that a little natural philosophy inclineth the mind to atheism; but a further proceeding bringeth the mind back to religion.— Lord Bacon.
It should be remembered, that the formation of virtuous habits, and the acquirement of a virtuous temper of mind, is the work of God's holy spirit, blessing our endeavours, answering our prayers, and gradually changing us into the likeness of our Maker.
Prayer is the peace of our spirit, the stillness of our thoughts, the evenness of recollection, the seat of meditation, thereat of our cares, and the calm of our tempest: prayer is the issue of a quiet mind, of untroubled thoughts; it is the daughter of charity, and the sister of meekness.—Jeremy Taylor.
Religion deters not from the lawful delights which are taken in natural things, but teaches the moderate and regular use of them, which is far the sweeter; for things lawful in themselves, are in their excess sinful, and so prove bitterness in the end. And if in some cases it requires the forsaking of lawful enjoyment, as of pleasure, or profit, or honour, for God, and for his glory, it is generous and more truly delightful to deny things for this reason, than to enjoy them. Men have done much this way for the love of their country, and by a principle of moral virtue: but to lose any delight, or to suffer any hardship, for that highest end, the glory of God, and by the strength of love to him, is far more excellent and truly pleasant. The delights and pleasures of sin, religion indeed banishes; but it is to change them for joy that is unspeakably beyond them. It calls men from sordid and base delights, to those that are pure delights indeed. It calls to men,— "Drink ye no longer of the cistern; here are the crystal streams of a living fountain. There Is a delight in the "very despising of sinful delights, as that, in comparison with them, the other deserves not the name, to have such spiritual joy as shall end in eternal joy; it is a wonder we hasten not to choose this joy: but it is indeed because we believe not."— Leighton.
EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND, It is not scholarship alone, but scholarship impregnated with religion, that tells on the great mass of society. We have no faith in the efficacy of mechanic institutes, or even of primary and elementary schools, for building up a virtuous and well conditioned peasantry, so long as they stand dissevered from the lessons of christian piety. There is a charm ascribed to the scholastic system of Scotland; and the sanguine imagination is, that by importing its machinery into England and Ireland, it will work the same marvellous transformation there, on the character of their people, that was experienced amongst ourselves. But it is forgotten, that a warm and earnest Christianity, was the animating spirit of all our peculiar institutions, for generations after they were framed; and that wanting this, they can no more perform the function of moralizing the people, than skeletons can perform the functions, or put forth the faculties of living men. The scholastic is incorporated with the ecclesiastical system of Scotland; and that, not for the purposes'of intolerance and exclusion, but for the purpose of sanctifying education, and plying the boy ■ hood of our land with the lessons of the Bible. The scholarship of mere letters, might, to a certain extent, have diffused intelligence amongst the people; but it is mainly to the presence of the religious ingredients, that the moral greatness of our peasantry is owing. —Chalmers.
MUSINGS ON WATERLOO BRIDGE.
Yes! 'twas a fearful deed; the sun's dark flood, That rose in tear-drops, poured his setting beam, lied with solstitial splendour, blood for blood, As weeping Heaven had blushed to view the stream That stained earth's bosom ;—yet e'en thou, proud theme, Thou Waterloo, to younger names shall yield; Soon shall thy fame a distant meteor seem, known but as Agineourt or Cressy's field, While future heralds deck some newer, baser shield.
Vain, feverish man! that think'st thy insect toil
Can snatch e'en Waterloo from time's decay!
E'en while we gaze, death strips this mortal coil,
Our life an hour, our memory but a day;
And then, when every glory melts away
An- icy palace, vain yon granite pile
To tell to distant age the wild affray
No; Waterloo shall be but as a dream,
Yet then, when faithless to man's dearest pride,
The chissel'd granite yields its age-worn trust;
And yon proud arch, that spurns the crouching tide,
Shall sink, at length, a monument of dust;
Then blest shall be the memory of the just;
Whose lowly deed, in Heaven's fair page enrolled,
Shall bright survive the warrior's trophied bust,
Oh then be mine the fame that cannot die!
The wisdom mine that tells of worlds unknown!
Be mine the Faith that lifts her tranquil eye
To heaven's bright orbs, and calls them all her own!
And when the breath that wafts my parting groan
Shall lose its burden in the passing gale,
And nought shall live but one frail funeral stone, Whence soon must lapse the plaintive moss-worn tale, Then stretched be Faith's bold wing, and swell'd Hope's joyful sail!
And heaven be mine, and heaven's eternal year;
And glories bright, and extasies divine;
And mine the Almighty Father's voice to hear—
"Servant, well done! thy Saviour's joys be thine;
I would not 'scutchoned pall, or gorgeous shrine;
The plausivc tablet, or the chantry's pride,
The sculptor's emblem, or the minstrel's line;—
S. C. W.
The Governor may be deceived: or he may do wrong without being deceived: he beareth the sword, and may strike with it improperly. But if, to remedy an occasional inconvenience of this sort, you dissolve government, what will be the consequence? More mischief will be done by the people, thus let loose, in a month, than would be done by the governor in half a century.—Bishop Horne.
It is not the pleasure of curiosity, nor the quiet of resolution, nor the raising of the spirit, nor victory of wit, nor faculty of speech, nor lucre of profession, nor ambition of honour or fame, or inablement for business, that are the true ends of knowledge.—Lord Bacon.
How many instances there are, in which persons manifestly go through more pain and self-denial to gratify a vicious passion, than would have been necessary to the conquest of it. To this it is to be added, that when virtue is become habitual, when the temper of it is acquired, what was before confinement, ceases to be so, by becoming choice and delight.— Bishop Butler.
Reason is the test of ridicule, not ridicule the test of truth.
A Youthful understanding, a vigorous body, and senses in their perfection, are worth offering to that gracious God who is the author of them all; aud if they are dedicated to his service, they will be blessed and accepted. But let no man flatter himself that God will be served by him who hath lost his capacity, and can serve nothing else: that he will accept of faculties worn out in the drudgery of sin and vanity, or that he will think himself honoured when the dregs of life are poured out upon his altar. Happy are they, who under the decay of nature and the approaches of death, can look back upon the piety of their youth, and remember the employment of those years which were spent in the remembrance of their Creator! To such the infirmities of age will bring no bitterness, and death itself will have no terrors! for they who have remembered God in their best days, shall be remembered by him in their worst; and be approved and accepted by him in that great day, when " he shall bring every work into judgment."—Jones of Nayland.
West Strand, Sept. 1832.
BOOKS PREPARING FOR PUBLICATION
Under The Direction Of
THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE
APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
1. The Bible Spelling Book.
2. The Bible Lesson Book.
3. Abridgment Of Bible Iiistorv.
4. Exercises In Grammar.
5. Exercises In Arithmetic.
6. Exercises In The History Of England.
7. Exercises In Modern History.
8. Exercises In Ancient History 0. Exercises In Geography.
10. Exercises In Astronomy.
11. Exercises In Mechanics.
12. Exercises In Natural History.
13. Exercises In Botany.
14. Readings In History.
15. Readings In Biography.
16. Readings In Poetry.
17. Readings In Science.
18. Views Of Nature And Society, the Mountains.
10. Scenes And Sketches from British History, Vol. I.
20. Sadoc And Miriam, a Jewish Tale.
21. A System Of Geography.
22. Ancient History.
23. A History Of Mohammedanism.
24. A System Of Natural Philosophy.
M. A History Of England.
26. Biography Of Sacred Poets.
27. The Zoology Of The Bible.
28. The Botany Of The Bible.
29. The Geography Of The Bible.
30. Original Sermons, by the most Distinguished Living
Bishops And Pastors Of The Church, fitted to be read in Families. *«* Several of these Works form parts of Series, which will be continued from time to time
JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, 445, (WEST) STRAND.
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Hawkers and Dealers in Periodical Publications snpplied on wholesale terms try
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