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tions were completely disregarded both by the court and the university.

The Duke of Lancaster and Lord Henry Percy promised him their protection. The former was at the head of the regency, during the minority of Richard II. who had recently acceded to the throne; and the latter was Earl Marshal of the kingdom. This powerful patronage greatly disconcerted the Popish adherents, while it gratified the commonalty, who generally regarded the accused with veneration. But Courtenay, a fiery zealot, determined to prosecute the affair, and obtained the concurrence of the more moderate Sudbury.

On the 19th of February 1377, the Reformer appeared at St. Paul's to account for his doctrines. His approach resembled a triumphal entry, rather than the answer to a citation. He was attended by the royal Duke, the noble Earl, and four bachelors of divinity, with their suite, who could hardly make their way through the crowd, which curiosity had brought together on the occasion. As they proceeded, his friends encouraged him, telling him that his judges were unlearned in comparison with himself. But such suggestions, added to the turbulent manner in which the Marshal entered the church, and the irritation which ensued, were circumstances discreditable to the solemnity of the cause, and little calculated to prepare this servant of God to look to Heaven for support, rather than to an arm of flesh. When the Bishop saw the tumult, he told the Marshal, that if he had known how he would have played the master in that church, he would have hindered him from coming thither. Lancaster replied warmly, that the Earl should execute his authority, whether he would or not. On their arrival at our Lady's chapel, where the court was held, the Duke and other Barons sat down with the episcopal judges, and Percy called to Wickliffe to be seated also. This



fresh indignity provoked Courtenay to reply, that a clergyman ought to stand when cited before his ordinary. My Lord Bishop," said the Duke, you are too arrogant; and all in confidence with your relations; who yet shall not be able to help you; they shall have enough to do to help themselves.". 66 Sir, answered Courtenay, "I place no confidence in my relations, nor in any man else, but in God himself, in whom I ought to trust, and who will enable me to speak the truth." The Duke then muttered, "Rather than I will take these words at his hands, I will pluck him by the hair of his head out of the church!" The bystanders, who had been eagerly listening to this strange conversation, caught up these words, which being spread among the crowd, the whole assembly was thrown into a ferment, the citizens declaring that they would rather die than suffer their Bishop to be insulted. The confusion now became so general, that the delegates were forced to break up the court, after hastily forbidding Wickliffe to preach or write any more in defence of those articles which were objected to him *.


As the Doctor showed no disposition to obey this injunction, the same prelates cited him to appear before them again in the ensuing year; but hoped, by appointing the court to be held in the archiepiscopal chapel at Lambeth, to avoid unpleasant interruption. But his doctrines were approved of by so many of the substantial citizens, and of the common people, that a great multitude rushed into the chapel, and endeavoured by words and signs to overawe the judges. Though at that period the ecclesiastical court had no power to imprison for obnoxious opinions, yet his partisans were fearful of the consequences of this second cita

* Fuller's Church History, Book iv. cent. 14.-Barnes, Edw. III. B. iv.

tion. The Queen Mother ordered Sir Lewis Clifford to go and peremptorily forbid them to proceed to any definitive sentence. This absolute message from the court, joined to the evident disposition of the people to protect their favourite, so appalled the delegates, that they dismissed the accused a second time without going far into his case, contenting themselves as before with an admonition to desist from maintaining his positions both in the pulpit and the schools. On this second escape an ingenious historian appositely quotes Mark, ii. 32; "They feared the people, for all men counted John that he was a prophet indeed." If we may credit such partial chroniclers as Walsingham, Knighton, &c. Wickliffe delivered in a paper of qualification, which though it did not amount to a recantation of sentiments, yet exhibited a vacillating policy and metaphysical subtlety, so unlike his wonted honesty and fearlessness, that it adds another testimony to those on record of the frailty of our common nature, even in the subjects of divine grace. That his main Protestant positions were not however relinquished, is fairly deducible from the continued opposition of the Papal advocates; and if a writer like Hume, who seldom fails to favour us with a

gratuitous sarcasm on a serious character, has thought proper to observe, that "Wickliffe, notwithstanding his enthusiasm, seems not to have been actuated by the spirit of martyrdom; and in all subsequent trials before the prelates, he so explained away his doctrine by tortured meanings, as to render it quite innocent and inoffensive;" we must recollect that infidel historians of the eighteenth century are scarcely better judges of Christian prudence on the one hand, than were superstitious narrators of the fourteenth century, of Christian purity, on the other. We have greater pleasure in noticing, that, as it has

happened to others in like circumstances, a revulsion of the warmth of his natural temper, and perhaps remorse at his late pusillanimity, excited him to more zealous exertion than before; and he is represented as going about bare-footed, in a long frieze gown, preaching every where occasionally to the people, and without any reserve in his own parish.

The disgraceful contest for the triple crown which took place on the death of Gregory XI. known in ecclesiastical record as "the Great Western Schism," was too favourable an opportunity for exposing the vain pretension of the Bishop of Rome to infallibility, and the vicarship of Christ upon earth, to be omitted by a man of such sagacity and penetration as our great Reformer. Most thinking persons in Europe were disgusted at the mutual excommunications of the two rival Pontiffs, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Bari, and Robert of Geneva; princes and courtiers sided with either, as suited their private policy; and honest Papists, such as the Archbishop of Florence, took a middle course, and said, that "as there must be one Christ's Vicar upon earth, if more than one should be created at the same time, it seemed not necessary to believe, that this man in particular, or that, was lawfully elected, but only that one of them was*. Wickliffe accordingly issued a keen pamphlet "On the Roman Pontiff, and the Dispute of the Popes;" which showing the absurdity of their claim to infallibility, paved the way for another "On the Truth of Scripture;" in which he contended for the necessity of translating the Bible; affirmed that the will of God was therein plainly revealed; that the law of Christ was sufficient to rule the Church; and that any disputation not originally produced from thence must be accounted profane.

*Bower, vol. vii. p. 36.

His great exertions, and vexatious treatment from the delegates, seem to have brought on a dangerous fit of sickness, in 1379, at Oxford. The Mendicants, feeling sore under the chastisement which he had inflicted, sought to take advantage of his enfeebled state, and hoped to induce him to retract some of his charges and reasonings against them. They chose a grave doctor of each of their orders, with whom they associated four substantial laymen, termed Aldermen of the Wards, and instructed them to wait on him for this purpose. The solemn deputation were ushered into his presence. They first wished him health and recovery. Then they reminded him of the great injuries he had done them, exhorting


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him, like a true penitent, to acknow-
ledge his error, and die in charity
with all mankind. He suffered
them to proceed for some time, till
seeming to gather strength from in-
dignation at their hypocrisy, he or-
dered his attendant to raise him
on his pillow, when, with a severe
countenance, and in a firm tone,
he said, "I shall not die, but live,
and declare the evil deeds of the
friars." Such a spirited reply from
one whom they thought sinking into
his grave, astounded them like a
clap of thunder, and they hurried
from his presence with the convic-
tion, that he would indeed live
longer, and give them further un-
easiness *.

* Bale, Appendix, p. 469.
[To be continued.]



WITH the first ray of dawning light

That cheers these wistful eyes,

Dear Saviour! chase its clouds of night,

And bid my heart arise.

On me with beams of mercy shine;
Thy grace in me display;

With changeless love thy power combine,
And drive these shades away.

Too long my soul has sat in gloom,
As this thick darkness tells:

O when wilt Thou command to bloom
The desert-where she dwells?

No morning-showers, no evening-dews,
On these lone wilds descend;
But speak the word--they'll not refuse
With healing to attend.

Speak only, Lord!-the waste shall smile, And blossom as the rose;

And Sharon's sweets shall breathe the while, Where now the brier grows.

Then Joy shall spring, and Hope shall flee
No more this drooping breast;
And Peace shall come, and make with me
Her everlasting rest!

R. T.


JANUARY 1820, AGED 25.

wild mountains, where man sel-
dom comes, where the world,
with all its busy cares, seems to
be buried under one's feet; and
little is seen but the wide expanse
of sky, inviting, as it were, medita-
tion upon celestial objects. But
there the Spirit of God comes-
there it found out the young person
of whom I am about to speak-it
nursed and ripened this sweet
flower on the side of her barren
moors-it caused her to shed a de-
lightful fragrance even in the desert

and then transplanted her into
the paradise of heaven. I know
not what first led her to feel the
importance of religion; nor does it
much matter. There seems to me,
Mr. Editor, something presump-
tuous, and something nearly allied
to the "foolish questions" which
we are taught to avoid, in under-
taking to lay down the precise pe-
riod when the work of grace com-
mences in the soul. Even in those
sudden conversions which are well
authenticated, the subjects of them
can generally revert to former striv-
ings and convictions, and other
circumstances, which argued a spi-
ritual guidance, though some ser-
mon, or other means, enabled the
sinner instantaneously, as it were,
to come forth from the grave of
trespasses and sins. Suffice it to
say, that Miss Varley always spoke
of her coming down to our church
as the beginning of the change
which took place in her spiritual
condition; and to her dying day
she blessed God for directing her
steps thither. During the few years
that she lived on earth as a
creature," she came to worship in
our temple as often as she could;
but there was a more powerful
hinderance than the distance or the
badness of the roads. She had got
hired into the vineyard, and she



To the Editor of the Christian


A MINISTER feels peculiar pleasure in recording the exemplary life and peaceful death of one, to whom his labours have been blest by the great Head of the Church. He is not, however, justified in obtruding upon public notice narratives which, however interesting to himself and a limited circle, are devoid of those traits and characters which render them acceptable to the generality of readers. Feelings of this nature, added to a multiplicity of other occupations, and not a small burden of afflictive dispensations, have prevented my preparing for your work, some particulars of Miss Agnes Varley, of Barley Bank, in Tatham Fells. It was not that I did not feel persuaded myself that these particulars were calculated, with God's blessing, to be generally useful and interesting; but I feared lest, amidst the many striking productions of the press, in these happy days of Zion's prosperity, they should not appear so to others. I was jealous of myself, and apprehensive lest, in this instance, my judgment should be blinded. I am tempted, however, to employ a vacant hour in fulfilling a long-standing promise to the relatives of the deceased, and in offering for your insertion an obituary which holds out many instructive lessons to young persons.

Some of your readers, Mr. Editor, will perhaps remember the account of William S. which appeared in the Christian Guardian, and which has since been published as a sixpenny tract. It was not far from his humble dwelling that Miss Varley lived. Her father, who is a respectable yeoman, occupying his own estate, resides amidst the high

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pitied her neighbours in the fells, who were standing idle in the market-place. She wished that they should partake with her of the present happiness of a life spent in her Redeemer's service, as well as of its future prospects. She considered what she could do to glorify God, in that station of life in which he had placed her, and she determined upon establishing a Sunday school. This of course kept her at home generally on the Sunday. She also became interested for the poor heathen; attended some of our missionary meetings; determined upon soliciting the subscriptions of her neighbours; called at almost every house for some miles round; and the result of these exertions was a quarterly remittance to me of 11. 7s. 1d. from the first of her efforts to her death. She prevailed upon the Clergyman of the chapelry to allow me to preach two sermons; one for her Sunday school, and the other for the Church Missionary Society. Never shall I forget these events. I went up, on both occasions, after the duties of my own church; and such interesting scenes I have seldom witnessed. chapel is most romantically situated in a wooded valley below Miss Varley's residence. As we approached it, we saw the dwellers on the hills and in the vales hastening along the mountain sides to the house of God. Presently we discovered that the chapel-yard was crowded; and on entering the chapel, it was with considerable difficulty that I squeezed through the aisle into the reading-desk. There certainly was not a single standing-place empty in the whole chapel, and the windows, in all directions, were darkened by the heads of the outside hearers. It was no easy matter, after service, to know where to place the collectors: at length they took their station at the gates of the chapelyard. Scenes such as these amply repay one for a little toil, and I returned to my vicarage nearly at FEB. 1822.


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midnight, thankful for having witnessed such things. Miss Varley was also unwearied in visiting the sick in her neighbourhood; and in administering, as she was able, spiritual advice and comfort.

I pause here, having concluded one part of my narrative, which seemed to me full of instruction. See here a young person, and a person too in the humbler walks of life, improving her talent to the glory of God and the good of her fellow-creatures! My dear young readers, neither youth nor humbleness of station deprives you of responsibility. You have talentsyou must give an account. Is your heart right with God? Do you feel the immense value of the soul, the importance of the eternity into which you are hastening, the suitableness and the excellence of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ? Do you love your neighbour, and long that many should be saved along with yourself? Then depend upon it, you will find work for you in the vineyard. You may employ your strength, your money, your influence, to a good as well as bad purpose. It is certain you will, in one way or another, do much for Christ, or much for the devil, while you live upon the earth; much to help others into the paths of salvation, or to countenance them in the paths of destruction. O! remember the doom of him who hid his talent in a napkin and neglected to improve it. Be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, and working while it is called to-day. It was natural to hope that this dear young Christian would long have been continued to bless her neighbourhood by her zealous though unassuming exertions. The ways of the Almighty, however, are in the great deep, and past finding out by the wisdom and ingenuity of his creatures. The summons was sent to her to die, in the midst of much usefulness-of health and activity, and in the midst too of prospects of


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