« PreviousContinue »
the Commons against the fraud, it was entered he added, " is, naturally, bread and wine; but as law upon the records; and, if not lately re- is, sacramentally, the body and blood of Christ.” pealed, it remains in the statute-book to the Such was the high esteem in which Wicliffe
present day. In virtue of this spurious act, was held among the people, and the fame which Courtney, after a solemn procession, intended he had acquired in foreign parts, that the con
to strike a mysterious' awe into the minds of vocation, however willing, durst not proceed to the people, summoned our Reformer to answer extremities against him, and contented them
for his opinions before a large convocation of selves with banishing him from Oxford, the bishops, doctors, and clergy of all kinds, assem- scene of his labours and his triumphs. He
bled at Oxford, on the 19th of November 1382. retired to his parsonage at Lutterworth, where Before this imposing array stood the Rector of he prosecuted with redoubled energy his war
Lutterworth, now alone and unsupported. Lan- fare against the corruptions of the Church. caster had now deserted him. Though only in Among other tracts written at this time, one is his fifty-eighth year, he was already grey with entitled, “ The Great Sentence of Excommunipremature age, and bending under many infir- cation Explained,” in which he vindicated many mities; still, in the midst of circumstances cal- of his articles which had been condemned; and cnlated to daunt even the strongest mind, his in particular, denounced the crusade which firmness remained unshaken. His defence was Urban V. had published against the adherents such as to extort praise even from his adver- of the rival Pope Clement VII. They set up saries. It has been alleged, indeed, chiefly the standard of Jesus Christ,” he said, “ the on the authority of one of these writers, that sovereign teacher of peace, mercy, and charity, on this occasion Wicliffe made some conces- in order to murder Christians for the sake of sion, or something like a recantation, on the two knavish priests, who are manifestly Antisubject of the eucharist; and Hume, after re- christ. When shall we see the proud priest of marking with a sneer that the English Refor- Rome grant plenary indulgence to engage men mers then“ seem not to have been actuated by to live in peace, charity, and forbearance, as he the spirit of martyrdom,” has volunteered a vin- does to animate Christians to cut one another's dication of their supposed timidity, which, as throats ?" Having at this time received a citation might be expected, only gives a deeper stab to from the pope to appear before him at Rome, he their reputation. He seems to have forgotten sent him a letter of excuse, in which he says, that heresy had not yet been made punishable that “ Christ taught him more obeishe (obedi. with death, and that it was not till some time ence) to God than to man.” But the time was after the death of Wicliffe that the act De drawing near when he was to be relieved from Heretico Comburendo, or the burning of heretics, all further citation or disturbance from earthly was passed. But in point of fact, it is a gross tribunals. In 1384, he had a stroke of paralysis, mistake to suppose that Wicliffe made any con- and on the last day of December that year, as cession. Walsingham felt himself obliged to he was officiating at the communion in his own acknowledge that his confession at Oxford was church, he had a second attack of the same a re-assertion instead of a renunciation of his old disorder, by which he was struck speechless doctrine. On comparing them together, they to the ground, and soon after expired, in the are found to be identical. And neither his pre- sixtieth year of his age. “ Admirable!" exrious character, nor bis subsequent conduct claims honest Fuller, " that a hare so often afford the smallest verisimilitude to the charge hunted with so many packs of dogs, should bof vacillation. On the contrary, he defends his die at last quietly sitting in his form.” doctrine on the subject of the eucharist, de- It would occupy too much of our space to clares his determination to support it with his attempt an exposition of the theological views blood, and boldly denounces the heresy of his of Wicliffe. In its leading features, his sysopponents. “Let the spirit of the faithful tem was that of the New Testament and of the awake itself,” he said, “ and diligently inquire Reformation. Its distinctive character appears as to the nature of this sacrament, whether it be to have been a simple and supreme deference foot indeed bread, as the Gospel, the senses, and to the authority of Scripture. Hence the frereason assure us. Certain I am, that the idola- quency with which he expressed his readiness ters who make to themselves gods, are not on all occasions to hear reason, to be convinced ignorant of the nature of these gods, though of heresy, and to retract if convinced; which they pretend that there is something of deity has led some to the false conclusion that he within them.” “ This venerable sacrament," vacillated in his creed, and shrunk from ad
hering to his statements. Such do not advert secuted with the most unrelenting fury. His to the fact that his appeals always lay to the writings, wherever they could be discovered, Scripture, and that what they regard as the were devoutly committed to the flames. His language of hesitation, was indeed the expres- memory was blackened with every species of sion of a mind open to conviction, but deter- abuse, being represented by some as having mined to be guided in its convictions only by “recanted, and died conformable to the holy the Word of truth. It was on this principle, Catholic Church;" by others, as having "breath. so diametrically opposite to the spirit and genius ed forth his wicked soul to the dark mansion of of Popery, which is that of submission to hu- the black devil!” And to conclude, his very man authority under the name of the Church, bones, after mouldering in the grave for fortythat he said to the pope himself, that he took it one years, were ordered to be disinterred and as his creed" that no man should follow the pope, scattered to the four winds of heaven. This nor any saint that now is in heaven, but only last effort of impotent revenge was reserved inasmuch as he followed Christ.” It was on this for the Council of Constance, in 1428—the same principle, too, that he denounced his opponents, council which condemned his follower, John whom he compared to “ crabs that start aback” | Huss, to the flames. “ In obedience herennto," as soon as pressed to give any rational account says old Fuller, in quaint but expressive of their doctrine. In short, he stood out about phrase, “ Richard Fleming, bishop of Lincoln, a century and a half before the Reformation, the diocesan of Lutterworth, sent his officers (vulbold assertor of its fundamental tenet-the right tures with a quick scent at a dead carcass) to of private judgment in the matters of God. ungrave him accordingly. To Lutterworth
In other points, Wicliffe appears to have been they come, take what was left out of the in advance not only of the age in which he grave (small reversions of a body after so many lived, but even of times subsequent to the Re- years), and burnt them to ashes, and cast them formation. He condemned war in all its forms. into Swift, a neighbouring brook running hard Dr. Vaughan has said, that “ he considered by. Thus the brook hath conveyed his ashes the slaughter of men, under any circumstances, into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into the as opposed to the spirit and letter of Chris. narrow seas, they into the main ocean. And tianity.” Even from the extracts, however, thus the ashes of Wicliffe are the emblem of his which are given in proof of this statement, it doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world would appear that he went no further than to over." condemn war as an evil, and to urge that spirit of peace which Christianity enjoins on all men,
MASTER AND SERVANT. inspires in all its followers, and is destined,
BY THE REV. ANDREW THOMSON, A.B., EDINBURGH. eventually, to extend over all the earth.
In regard to ecclesiastical matters, our Re. In the remarks I proceed to make on this conformer held, with Jerome and the primitive fessedly important subject, I use the term "maske" Church, the identity of the office of bishop and generically, and intend that my observations shall presbyter; and in common with most of the mistresses and all others to whom has been in
bear with equal directness and force upon Reformed Churches, he condemned the notion trusted the government of families. held by Romanists, that the clergy, or councils The relation of master and servant, neces of the clergy, constituted the Church. In his sarily arises out of the inequalities of society. theological system, he was a decided predes- No sooner have men arisen above the first rude tinarian, but as zealous an advocate of the doc
elements of social life, than a division of labour trine of free grace. “The merit of Christ alone,” is found to be indispensable. To one is assigned he said, " is sufficient to redeem every man from
a higher position than to the other, according
to the means and necessities of each; and evenhell; and without the aid of any other con- tually, the one comes to serve, and the other curring cause whatever, all those who are jus- to be served. But mutual relations, of course, tified by his righteousness, shall be saved by his involve and imply mutual duties; and as this atonement. God saves us for nought."
relation, unlike that of husband and wife, or It only remains to be told, that the malice parent and child, has its origin not in affecof his enemies, which had failed during his tion, but merely in convenience, it is all the lifetime to injure the man or silence the Re- stood and distinctly specified. The whole of
more necessary that its duties be clearly underformer, vainly attempted to follow him after his what we have to advance on the duties of death. His disciples, whose numbers were daily masters to their servants may, perhaps, be conaugmenting both at home and abroad, were per- veniently arranged under one or other of the
MASTER AND SERVANT.
WHO ARE TO SERVE THEM.
following heads: Judicious selection, fair re- is not yours a family over which the words of muneration, kind and respectful treatment, and the promise may be confidently uttered : “Race conscientious regard for their religious interests. unto race shall praise thee, and show thy mighty
I. The first duty, then, that I would urge upon acts?", masters is, THE JUDICIOUS SELECTION OF THOSE And if it be thus your duty to be select in
I know that, strictly the choice of your own domestics, it is equally speaking, this may rather be called a duty in your duty to be faithful in the certificate you reference to sertants than a duty to serrants, but it give of a servant where another mistress is inis so important and so intimately connected with quiring her character. There is often a shame. our subject that it cannot be omitted, and in ful want of conscientiousness in the giving of the order of remark, as well as of time, natur- certificates, so that the remark of Dr. Johnson, ally comes first.
if applied to many individuals, still would not Now, no selection on the part of a Christian be too severe: “I would attach no more value householder is entitled to the name of judicious, to the testimonial of some persons, than to an which does not secure that the party chosen be acquittal at the Old Bailey.” In this, as in if possible religious, and at all events of unques- every other department of relative duty, we tionable moral character. Apart altogether should take counsel of the golden rule, and do from the obvious remark, that no family can to others as we would that they should do to reasonably expect good service to be given us. In giving certificates, we should endeavour where the servant is not under the control of to convey our honest impression of the merits conscience, let us ask what is one of the great of the party. “Nothing extenuate, neither set ends for which the domestic constitution has down aught in malice." To make such a docubeen appointed ? Is not the family of the ment a vehicle for vindictive feeling against a Christian intended to be a nursery for heaven servant, is a degree of turpitude which even the and a type of it too? Is it not intended that current morality of the world would brand. the gentler virtues shall obtain their chief ex- But it is the certificate of high-flown superlapansion around the domestic altar? Is it not tives that is the more common evil. Yet even | meant that the whole economy and order of this is severely to be condemned, and all parties home shall point heavenward, and that all of us are eventually injured by it. The servant hershall be Joshuas in that noble resolution of the self is injured, who would probably bave becaptain of Israel's host, “As for me and my haved better had she not been led to calculate kouse, we will serve the Lord.”
on your easy good-nature, or rather, on your I am well aware that it is not always practi- I want of high conscientiousness; the family cable to obtain servants of decided piety for our that has been misled by your laudations, and families; but where the character is unformed, has found a plague in what you called a treasure; we should take heed that it is never immoral. and you most of all, in the guilt incurred by David determined that "no liar should dwell such a violation of the laws of truth and all the within his house." "Mine eyes should be upon charities of good-neighbourhood. the faithful of the land, that they may dwell II. Passing from this introductory statement with me. He that walketh in a perfect way, on the principles that should regulate us in he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit, the selection of household servants, I next shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth remark, that the master owes to his servant lies, shall not tarry in my sight.”—Ps. ci. 6, 7. A PAIR REMUNERATION FOR HER LABOURS. It And was not this a wise resolution ? Imagine may here be recommended, as a matter of no to yourselves the fearful hazard incurred by in- small practical importance, that when the indifference in this matter. You have children tended remuneration is stated, this should be for whom, if you feel like a Christian, you accompanied with a distinct and explicit statetravail as it were in birth again until Christ is ment of the nature and amount of the labour formed in them. But what if the lesson of that is expected to be given in return for it. I truth which is taught at the parent's knee, be know that this is not always possible, the duties counteracted by the example of deception and being of much too miscellaneous a nature to falsehood in the nursery?' Will not the har- admit of detailed enumeration; but even to state mony of religious influence and impression, this, is to make a somewhat nearer approach to which ought to exist in every household, be definiteness. The time of hiring or completing disturbed, and the same fountain be seen to the engagement with the servant, is evidently send forth both sweet and bitter? On the other the proper time for mentioning those particular hand, let the influence of religion be seen per- regulations of the house, compliance with which vading all departments of the household, from is imperative. I may name, as examples, the the highest to the lowest-let it be seen control hours of rising, of retiring, of shutting up the ling alike the voice of authority and the arm house, of family worship, preparation for and of servitude, like the anointing oil upon the observance of the Sabbath, and many other head of the high priest, descending even to the regulations which arise out of the circumstances skirts of bis garments; let there be a fragrant of a family that carries on its affairs by rule. atmosphere of piety in your dwelling--and then There must be no appearance of entrapping into
a bargain. And it has been justly said, that virtue, and if there be any praise, think on when once the plan is laid down, the master these things.” and mistress should be firm in requiring con- III. Masters owe to their servants KIND AND formity to it. The “kind, easy mistress,” as RESPECTFUL TREATMENT. They are servants, not she is sometimes called, who dispenses with slaves, and though occupying an humbler social conformity to family rules, and connives either status than ourselves, we should never forget at occasional transgressions of a more palpable that they possess the same human nature; that kind, or at gradual encroachments, is, in reality, they are capable of the same sense of injury or sapping the foundations of comfort in her fa- of kindness—bone of our bone, and flesh of our mily, and of virtue in her servants.*
flesh; and if they be Christians, are brethren of I have said the remuneration given to the the same Divine Redeemer, and heirs of the faithful domestic ought to be a fair one; and same blessed immortality. so says the Apostle Paul : "Masters, give unto Yet there is some danger that, from their deyour servants that which is just and equal.” pendent situation and our power over them, we Again, in the Epistle to the Ephesians, after de- shall overlook these solemn considerations, and scribing the spirit in which servants ought to make them the butt of our pride or the victims obey—“ with singleness of heart, not with eye. of our passionateness. The apostle saw this service, as men-pleasers"- - we find him immedi- danger, and wisely placed the barrier where ately adding, “And ye masters, do the same the temptation was likely to be strongest, in
things unto them;" treat them in the same this warning addressed to Christian masters, spirit as that in which I have enjoined them to “Forbearing threatening.” Avoid all uoduly treat you—in a conscientious manner, as in the irritating language, nor let your words be more sight of God, acting towards them as you would severe because you know that those to whom wish them to act towards you, if your situation they are addressed are defenceless. It is an and theirs were reversed.
act of base and unmanly cowardice, for a man This is a noble rule, to which every heart and to utter the bitterest words in the bitterest conscience loudly and instinctively responds. tones, and expend the most furious gusts of But in how many forms is it capable of being passion upon an inferior, when the same conpractically set at nought! It is violated by him duct in an equal would have been passed over who refuses to his servant sufficient food or with the slightest hint of disapproval. comfortable accommodation; and its spirit is But we overlook half the meaning of such ineven disregarded by him who takes advantage junctions as “forbearing threatening,” when of a dependant's necessities to reduce his wages we regard them as merely conveying a warning to the lowest possible rate. And the violation against over-severity. Thus, when servants are of the Divine rule is quite as palpable when the warned against "answering again,” they are servant is overwrought, as when he is underpaid. not merely required to avoid all insolence of lanDoes that master give unto his servant that guage, but to cherish and manifest the opposite which is just and equal, who imposes services sentiment of cordial respect. And so when that were never bargained for, and exacts an masters are enjoined to "forbear threatening," amount of toil that overtasks the strength and we have not exhausted the injunction until we breaks the spirit? Does he do it, who so burdens have seen it requiring of us a respectful and the energies of his dependant as to leave him no kindly demeanour, even to the humblest do." time either for mental improvement or for mestic in our family.circle. Give to your Chris. secret devotion ? Why, this is not industry, but tianity its full and legitimate influence here
, slavery; and he who exacts it is not a Chris- and it will not, indeed, make you stoop from your tian master, but an Egyptian oppressor. There proper place of dignity and authority, but it
are times in the history of the best regulated will make you considerate of their case, tender I households when there will be an unusual strain of their feelings, prompt to advise, and ready to
upon the energies—such as seasons of sickness succour, rendering your domestic sway more or of hospitality; but, as a general rule, the whole easy, because more paternal, and their submisof a servant's working hours should not be de. sion more willing, because more grateful. Remanded of her. She has a soul as precious as
member the condescension of the Persian king that of her master, and to her the fountain of to Nehemiah, his cup-bearer, when, observing life and the throne of grace are quite as free. his sorrowful countenance, he inquired of its "Masters, give unto your servants that which cause: “Why is thy countenance sad, seeing is just and equal.” Let Conscience sit as a thou art not sick? this is nothing else but divine arbitress over all your actions; let Chris- sorrow of heart," and see in it a beautiful ex. 11 tian principle touch your conduct at every point, ample of the spirit we commend. In short, our
pervading every act in the family, as well as in duty as masters is not over when we have sup, the transactions of public intercourse, and, like plied those under us with their allotment of the fabled touch of the ancient king, turning all wages and their measure of sustenance, any into gold. “Whatsoever things are lovely, what- more than their duty as servants is over when soever things are of good report; if there be any they have meted out their appointed hours of
"The Master and Mistress." London Tract Society. toil, and “accomplished, as an bireling, their
WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS.
day.” Over and above all this, the spirit that Release, help, freedom, from it none can give pervades our government as masters must be But even He by whom we breathe and live. one of such kindness that our reproofs shall be Watch, therefore, keep this giant out of door, felt to be "an excellent oil," and our dwelling Lest, if once in, thou get him out no more. found to be a home of cheerful industry, and Fools make a mock at sin—will not believe not a house of bondage.
It carries such a dagger in its sleeve ; It is a frequent matter of regret with judi.
How can it be, say they, that such a thing, cious observers, that, among so many symp- So full of sweetness, e'er should wear a sting? toms of a favourable kind in modern society, the distance—the social one I mean, between
They know not that it is the very spell the parlour and the kitchen should in many
Of sin to make men laugh themselves to hell.
Look to thyself, then, deal with sin no more, instances be so great. This may add to the
Lest He that saves against thee shuts the door. dignity of our domestic establishments, but
BUNYAN. it is more than questionable if it contributes to their happiness. We are as far as pos.
sible from wishing that the barriers of rank WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS. should be broken down. These are salutary, and nothing but evil could accrue from
BY THE LATE R. M. MʻCHEYNE, DUNDEE. their removal; let them remain as before--as high as before, but do not let them sever the all other battles we do not know how the
1. We conquer even before the batlle is done. In ties of mutual interest and sympathy. We have known of mistresses with whom it was a victory is to turn, until the battle is won. In proud boast that they did not know the names the battle of Waterloo, it was long thought that of their domestics. This folly may be fashion the French had gained; and Napoleon sent able, but it is both short-sighted and inhumane. several despatches to Paris, declaring that he | Treat your domestic as nothing better than a had won. But in the fight with the world,
hireling, and by-and-by she will become a hireling. Far better was the spirit of the olden Satan, and the flesh, we know how the victory time, when there was mutual interest without is to turn already. Christ has engaged to carry undue familiarity-less of fear, but more of true
us through. He will guard us against the darts respect; and when the servant who had spent her of the law, by hiding us in his blood. He strength in the service of the family-weeping defends us from the power of sin by bis Holy when they wept, and rejoicing when they re- Spirit, put within us. He will keep us, in the joiced -- who had seen the children grow up to secret of his presence, from the strife of tongues. manhood, and womanhood, and followed their The thicker the battle, the closer will he keep fortunes with her wishes and her prayers, came at length, in her advancing years and to us; so that we can sing already: “ I thank
We decaying energies, to be regarded as entitled to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” a local habitation and a name in the household know that we shall overcome. Though the ever afterwards. There are few lovelier pictures world were a million times more enragedof moral interest in the Old Testament history, though the fires of persecution were again to than that of Jacob standing over the grave of be kindled—though my heart were a million the aged Deborah, his mother's nurse, and the servant of three generations, and there shed times more wicked—though all the temptations ding tears. “She was buried beneath Beth-el, of hell were let loose upon me-I know I shall under an oak; and the name of it was called overcome through Him that loved me. When Allon-bachuth”-that is, the oak of weeping. Paul and Silas sang in the low dungeon, they Noble-minded patriarch! “His tears became were more than conquerors. When Paul sang, him, and his grief was just.”
spite of his thorn, “ I will glory in my infir(To be continued.)
mities,” he was more than a conqueror. SIN.
2. We gain by our conflict. Often a victory is Six is the living worm, the lasting fire;
a loss. So it was in that battle in Israel, after Hell soon would lose its heat could sin expire. the dark night in Gibeah. All Israel mourned, Better sinless in hell than to be where
for a tribe was nearly cut off out of Israel ; and Heaven is, and to be found a sinner there.
so, in most victories, the song of triumph is One, sinless, with infernals might do well ; But sin would make of heaven a very hell.
mingled with the sobbings of the widow and Look to thyself, then, keep it out of door,
orphan. Not so in the good fight of faith. Lest it get in and never leave thee more.
We are more than conquerors. We gain by No match has sin but God in all the world
our enemies. (1.) We cling closer to Christ. Men, angels has it from their station hurled; Every wave of trouble for Christ's sake lifts the Holls them in chains as captives, in despite soul higher upon the Rock. Every arrow of Of all that here below is called might.
bitterness shot after the believer makes him