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younger students, and gain their
Thus had the unworthy professors of a religion inculcating diligence and self-examination, acted directly opposite to its plainest injunctions, and violated as it were on system the apostolical maxims. In the very earliest age of the characters were Church, some found of a similar description abusing their high privileges, and disgracing their holy vocation. "For we hear," said St. Paul in his second letter to the church of Thessalonica," that there are which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy bodies. Now, them that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." It was no wonder that the penetrating judgment of Wickliffe, enlightened by the beams, and warmed with the fire of divine truth, should perceive the flagrant departure from true religion exhibited in these proceedings; or that, when perceived, his honest zeal should have determined him to set his face as a flint against one of the grossest corruptions of Popery. The fellows and tutors of colleges, whose authority had
been despised, and whose revenues had been diminished, had found but little relief in a statute which passed the Parliament in 1366, enacting that no youths should be received by the friars till they had attained the age of eighteen years. This statute, with their usual insolence, they dared to disregard.
When, therefore, Wickliffe was constrained to stand boldly forward as the champion of the University, though the honour of God, and a reverence for Scripture, were his leading motives, yet he could not fail but render an acceptable service to his fellow collegians. He opposed their justification of mendicity, founded on the shallow argument, that the poverty of Christ and his Apostles made them possess all things in common, and beg for a livelihood; an argument which had before been proved to be absurd by Richard Kilmyngton, Dean of St. Paul's, and Richard Fitz-Ralph, Archbishop of Armagh. He addressed a complaint to the King and Parliament. The complaint consists of four articles; the first is, that the rule laid down by Christ in the Gospel for the attainment of salvation, is more perfect than that invented by St. Francis, St. Benedict, or any other; the second asserts, that the King has power to punish ecclesiastical persons convicted of certain crimes; the third treats of tithes and offerings; and in the last he shows how Christ and his Apostles despised every worldly advantage which presented itself to them, and sought only the spiritual welfare of those to whom they were sent. He issued also another tract, exposing fifty errors maintained by the mendicants, in as many chapters*.
Dr. James published these works at Oxford in 1608, in English, entitled, “Two short Treatises against the Orders of the begging Friars." The complaint is in English in C. C. Coll. Cam.-Thirty-seven of
the fifty errors are preserved in MS. Cott.
under Tit. D. I.
But it was in his English treatises that he gained as much admiration for the comparative elegance and refinement of his phraseology, as credit for the acumen which he displayed in conducting the controversy. In some wellwritten pieces against able beggary, he lashes them with considerable severity. Christ," says he, "bad his Apostles and disciples that they should not bere a sachell, ne scrip; but look what man is able to hear the Gospel, and eat and drink therein, and pass not thence, and not pass fro house to house. Sith there were poor men enough to taken mens alms befores freres camen in, and the
earth is now more barren than it was, other freres or poor men moten wanten of this alms: but freres, by subtle hypocrisie, gotten to themselves, and letten the poor men to have these alms." He disputed also with a friar before Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, fifth son of Edward III. to whom he transmitted an account of both their arguments, premising in language indicative of humility, and of consciousness as to the admixture of human passion or extraneous remark, "To you, Lord, that herde the disputasion be geve the fyle to rubbe away the rust in either partye."
[To be continued.]
TO THE JEWS.
YE sons of Abraham, who, from shore to shore,
Behold them weeping in the willowy vale,
Where smooth Euphrates leads his silver train
Their lot is yours. Insulted, scorn'd, ye rove,
They fell, by false idolatries entic'd;
For you stiff pride and hatred spread the snare : They chain'd the prophets, but ye slew the Christ; They ston'd the servants, but ye kill'd the Heir.
Yet, ah! repent; Jehovah still is good;
With pitying eye he sees you from above.
O come, and drink your dear Redeemer's blood;
So to your heritage, the promis'd land,
Your God once more his scatter'd tribes shall bring; Again on Moriah's mount his shrine shall stand, And Christ shall reign, an universal King.
THE VILLAGE PASTOR, No. I.
THERE is something very pleas ing in sitting down in the still quiet of a winter evening, and conversing with our distant and beloved friends through the medium of a periodical work like the Christian Guardian-of telling the tale of one person's sorrows, and of another person's joys, when there is reason to hope that the narration may edify as well as amuse those who listen to it. Of this pleasure I have had a large share; for I have often intruded on the pages of your Miscellany. But, Sir, whatever may have been, or whatever now are my individual gratifications, I should long ago have ceased to trouble you with my communications, had I not been from time to time urged to go on with them. Surrounded as I am by a large and scattered flock, I could find abundant employ without ever using my pen for the public; and I should then be no longer subjected to the misconceptions or little jealousies of any. If I, then, resume my pen at the time when I had determined to lay it by, let this be my apology; namely, that I am still urged to do so as a point of duty. It has ever been my aim to select facts, and only facts, as the subject of my humble communications. I have spoken of men and things as I found them; and I have expressed my opinions and feelings with all the independence of one who writes neither for emolument nor for popular applause. Thus much of explanation, or apology, I owe to myself; especially as I never intend to enter into controversy, or write papers of reply to any who advance objections. It is your part to exclude from your pages whatever may be likely to prove injurious; and it will be mine to endeavour to rebuke, exhort, instruct, and
encourage, with all simplicity, as
sufferings mentioned in a general and uninteresting way, and now and then they might catch a passing view of her person as they hurried by her cottage window; but neither what they heard nor what they saw made any impression on some of their minds. They perceived nothing of that hand of God which so wonderfully supported her. While distant friends inquired after her welfare, many of these neighbours, as they were called, passed and repassed quite unmindful of her sufferings and her joys. Nay, while angels encamped about her bed, and delighted to watch about her path, there were to be found no small number of men and women who looked on her with contempt, and spoke of her with much disrespect. Thus it hath fared with many who now shine forth as bright suns in the kingdom of their heavenly Father. Thus it fared with prophets and apostles, with confessors and martyrs of past ages, and thus it fared with the holy and the altogether lovely Saviour, when he honoured this sinful world with his divine presence. O then, my soul, ask not, look not for the friendship of this world. It must not, it cannot be obtained but on terms which would debase thy character as a follower of the Lamb, and darken all the evidences, and blast all the consolations of the Spirit within thee. Far be it from thee to court the frown and opposition of the world; but farther be it from thee to ask or desire its smiles and approbation at the expense of conscience and of the favour of Heaven.
There is a dignity of character often found in the people of God, with which the gay and vain and ambitious part of mankind are totally unacquainted. This dignity is not conspicuous for its tendency to lead up to the honourable posts of the world. It revels not in the luxuries either of Church or State. It marches not forth in costly ar
ray either to the cathedral, the camp, or the council-chamber; nor is it necessarily connected with much learning or with the knowledge of many tongues. But it is conspicuous in a heavenly-mindedness of soul which looks down with Christian pity and holy contempt on all the vanities, the sensualities, and ambitious pursuits of a world lying in wickedness. It is conspicuous for sustaining all the afflictive dispensations of Providence with pious submission, and for often rejoicing amidst tribulation, and joying in God while passing through the very waters and fires of trial. With its conversation in heaven, it still remembers and compassionates the suffering, the ignorant, and the profane mass of mankind on earth; and it looks round and inquires where it can dry up the tear of sorrow, or instruct the uninformed, or warn and persuade the heedless sinner. It seeks the present and eternal good of all within its reach, and delights to live for others rather than for itself. Unawed by the vain and sinful customs of the world, it dares to be singular, and to pass by many things which are highly esteemed among men, because it hath learnt from Scripture that they are abominations in the sight of God. This is dignity of character, as much when found in a poor cottager as when adorning the person of a prince. And much of this dignity did my poor afflicted neighbour possess. She had passed through her days of childhood and youth as most others do, ignorant and unmindful of God and eternal concerns, and occupied and pleased with the perishing things of time and sense. What she might have been, had the Lord permitted her to grow up in health, and ease, and affluence, we know not; but not a few were witnesses of what he made her in the school of affliction, pain, and poverty. The beginning of those sanctified tribu
lations which marked and blessed much of her life, were of a very painful nature. A cancer formed itself in her mouth, and was burnt out, or rather supposed to be so, by the application of the most powerful caustics. Not long after the effects of this operation were a little surmounted, the dreadful malady appeared a second time, and was effectually removed by the knife. These, however, were but the beginning of Molly's trials in the flesh; for, soon after she had recovered this second operation, dropsical symptoms appeared, which, in defiance of the ablest medical assistance, continued exceedingly to increase; so that it became a great labour for her to climb the hill to church. A few months more passed away, and it was a painful exertion to get up and down stairs; and long before her death, the getting in and out of, and turning on her bed, were trials almost beyond the conception of those who did not witness them. For some years previous to her death her very figure was distressing; she measured more than three yards round; and after the spirit had quitted its dreary clay, sixtyseven quarts of water were drawn off from the body. To attempt the description of all, or any great part of her trials and sufferings during more than twenty years of this affliction, would be vain. They were distressingly great. Hers was a case that made almost every visitor shudder while contemplating what it is possible these bodies of ours may be called to endure. Yet, under these extraordinary and protracted, these frightful and incurable afflictions, Molly was always resigned and generally quite cheerful. In the early part of her dropsy it pleased the Lord to send a Vicar here, whose ministry was greatly blessed to many, and to Molly among others. She also gained She also gained much and increasing scriptural knowledge and spiritual improve
ment from the kind and pious instructions of the Vicar's friend and patron, the then lord of the manor, and from his amiable lady, as well by attending on their little domestic services at the Abbey, as by their occasional conversations with her at her own cottage. These were all in active health and strength long after she was an afflicted object. She lived to hear that Minister's funeral knell, and to weep over the lifeless clay of that eminent and pious lady, and to behold other inmates take up their abode at the Abbey. All these things tried her faith: but still she held on her way with her face Zion-ward, and often rejoiced in hope of the glory of God. For a considerable time after her complaint rendered her incapable of going abroad to the means of grace, several poor pious women occasionally met at her cottage and held a prayer-meeting, which was a great refreshment to her soul, But one after another of this group departed hence to be no more seen, until these refreshing seasons were quite at an end. At the time of her death only one of this company remained, and she lived at too great a distance, and was too infirm, to reach the village except now and then in the summer season. All in succession entered into their rest; while poor Molly was left to journey on, as it were alone, through the most trying portion of her earthly pilgrimage. Still she was cheerful, and enjoyed much of the presence of the Lord in her heaviest afflictions. Nor did this poor woman live merely for herself, or pass her days in vain. As a Christian and a member of society she lived for others also. With the aid of her widowed mother she took a poor motherless infant, whose parent died of the smallpox soon after it was born. This charge wholly devolved on Molly through the death of her mother; but she never repined, or repented