« ZurückWeiter »
should be repelled from the Holy Communion : that none should maintain purgatory, invocation
do; for they think, that they shall be heard for their much speaking." (St. Matt. vi. 7.) Of repetitions, thus condemned by our blessed Saviour himself, Holy Scripture affords examples. The idolatrous priests “ called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us." (1 Kings xviii. 26.) The Ephesian worshippers of the Great Mother "all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” (Acts xix. 34.) In both these cases it is probable, that the short form used was the one habitually addressed to the supposed deity. Such addresses were common among the Pagans of antiquity. In honour of Apollo, Io Pæan! was iterated : in honour of Bacchus, Euoe Bacche! Horace says of Tigellius,
“Si collibuisset, ab ovo Usque ad mala citaret, lo Bacche ! modo summa Voce, modo hac, resonat quæ chordis quatuor ima."
Serm. I. iii. 6.
It is generally considered, that the words Io Bacche! formed the burthen of a drinking song, which the capricious vocalist persisted in repeating with every variety of musical intonation during a whole repast. It is probable, that the introduction of these words into drinking songs arose from the use made of them in religious honours paid to the imaginary god of wine. Now, however animating might have been such sounds to minds intent upon the pleasures of the table, and however exquisite the vocal powers of Tigellius, it is not surprising, that his perverse display palled upon the ears of his companions.
There is evidently a striking resemblance between the iteration of these short Pagan addresses, and that of " Hail, Mary" &c. in Latin, which the deluded Romanist repeats one hundred and fifty times at a stretch over his beads. His priests, however, it should be observed, have contrived a little variety for him in his wretched employment. At the end of every ten smaller beads, which are to be fingered while he mumbles
of saints, the six articles, bead-rolls, images, relics, lights, holy bells, holy beads, holy water, palms, ashes, candles, sepulchres paschal, creeping to the cross ; hallowing the font, oil, chrism, altars, beads; or any other such abuses and superstitions : that more than one Communion should not be celebrated in any church or chapel, in one day, except on Christmas day and Easter Sunday; that no holidays should be kept except those to which is assigned an appropriate service: and that clergymen should not carry the Sacrament to sick persons with a light or bells.
So general appeared the disposition to adopt the new ritual, that the visitors did not return a single complaint from any part of the kingdom. There was, indeed, an individual of the highest quality who set her face against the mandates of authority. The Lady Mary continued in her house to use the old Latin mass. Her pertinacity
Aves, he feels a larger one which he is to hold while repeating a Pater Noster. This " comes opportunely in to jog the memory; sufficient attention is thus excited to satisfy the conscience of the devotee, and yet no effort, no fervour, no feeling are required; the understanding may go wander, the heart may be asleep, while the lips, with the help of the fingers, perform their task; and the performer remains with a comfortable confidence of having added to his good works, and rests contented opere operato. The priests of the Romish Church have been wise in their generation, and the structure which they have raised is the greatest monument of human art, as it is of human wickedness: so skilfully have they known how to take advantage of every weakness, and to practise upon every passion of human nature." Vindic. Eccl. Angl. 475.
was no sooner known to the council, than she received a message from that body charging her to conform immediately to the established form of worship. This order she refused to obey, alleging, that during her brother's minority, no alteration could legally be made in the arrangements left by her father, and she fortified her resistance by an application to the Emperor. Charles, elated by the depression of the German Protestants, was then sufficiently inclined to interfere in his cousin's behalf. There were, indeed, those about him who objected to the use of the new Liturgy in the house of Sir Philip Hoby, then English ambassador at his court. The knight resisted this attempt to infringe the law of nations, representing that the Imperial minister was freely allowed to celebrate mass in London. At length both parties gave way. The council saw the propriety of conniving at the Lady Mary's disobedience, at least for a time, and Charles attempted not to impose his own religion upon the agents of foreign powers P.
During this summer, England was convulsed by the turbulence of the peasantry. From the spacious churches often appended to contracted parishes, as well as from the numerous parochial and manorial subdivisions, it seems reasonable to conclude, that the most fertile parts of the kingdom were well peopled at a very early period. An inconvenient redundance of population was,
Burnet, Hist. Ref. II. 165.
however, not likely to be felt until society had become tolerably settled and secure. Such had been eminently the case ever since the termination of those intestine wars which had so long raged between the rival factions of York and Lancaster. More than sixty years had now elapsed since the close of that sanguinary contest, and the national prosperity being steadily upon the increase during the whole of these years, there can be no doubt that families multiplied rapidly in all districts affording facilities for subsistence. It is no longer disputable, that a population unimpeded in its course, and seeking the necessaries of life from land alone, will quickly overspread a fruitful country of moderate extent, and eventually engender universal pauperism. A tendency to such a state would obviously be sooner felt in a community comprising numerous independent proprietors of land, than in one distinguished by a number of such persons comparatively small. Now the gentry of England had been greatly augmented in extent since the accession of Henry VII. The wars which preceded his reign had thinned the nobility; his politic law respecting entails had allowed the dismemberment of their vast estates, and a successful prosecution of peaceful pursuits had raised to opulence many families hitherto unknown. The recent dissolution of monasteries had still farther extended the bounds of genteel society. But not only had persons of independent fortune become much more numerous than they had anciently been, their habits had also become
much more luxurious and refined. Hence they were generally upon the alert to improve their estates, as the only means of keeping pace with the increasing elegance of their age. Accordingly, they enclosed waste grounds contiguous to their properties, or patches of arable land, for the purpose of laying them down in pasture”, they discouraged those petty farms in which the tenants gained a scanty living almost exclusively by tillage, and they endeavoured to throw such a number of acres together as would enable the occupant to keep a considerable stock. There can be no doubt, that these arrangements, however selfishly intended, were highly conducive to the national benefit. Their operation was gradually to cover the agricultural districts of England with handsome mansions, respectable farm-houses and buildings, extensive flocks and herds, fields excellently cultivated, and cottages inhabited in
4 An enclosure is, “ when any man hath taken away and en. closed any other men's commons, or hath pulled down houses of husbandry, and converted the lands from tillage to pasture." Charge of Mr. Hales, one of the commissioners of enclosures. (Strype, Eccl. Mem. Appendix II. 362.) This gentleman thus describes the changes which these arrangements had wrought in the population. “Towns, villages, and parishes do daily decay in great numbers ; houses of husbandry, and poor men's habitations be utterly destroyed every where, and in no small number; husbandry and tillage, which is the very paunch of the commonwealth, that is, that which nourisheth the whole body of the realm, greatly abated: and finally, the King's subjects won. derfully diminished ; as those can well declare that confer the new books of the musters with the old, or with the chronicles." Ibid, 352.: