Sidor som bilder

THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.-ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST'S DAY. The Feast of St. John the Baptist falling on this Sunday, the usual lessons are replaced by those specially appointed for this festival.

This, and the Nativity of our blessed Lord, are the only birthdays celebrated by the Church; the reason for which is, that St. John was, even in the manner of his birth, a forerunner and type of our Saviour, for his conception followed upon a direct message from heaven, and he was from the first dedicated to the Lord. The third chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, chosen for the second morning lesson, gives an account of his preaching and baptizing, and in the second evening lesson we read an account of his beheading in prison, of which a fuller account, however, is given in the sixth chapter of St. Mark's Gospel. In the Gospel for the day we have the full account of the circumstances of his birth and life.

In the Collect for St. John the Baptist's Day we pray for grace to follow the doctrine of the holy Baptist in truly repenting, constantly speaking the truth, boldly rebuking vice, and patiently suffering for the truth's sake.

The Collect for this Sunday teaches us to imitate the hearty prayers of Hannah, and, like her, trust in God to defend and comfort us in all our dangers and adver



This Apostle was first made acquainted with the advent of the Messiah by his brother, St. Andrew. His original name was Simon, but when he was brought by his brother to Jesus he received the name of Cephas; from thence he is called Peter, both names signifying a rock or stone. He afterwards resumed his trade as fisherman for a year, when he was called to the Apostleship at the same time with his partners, James and John, after the miraculous draught of fishes recorded in St. Luke's Gospel (v. 10). Of the three disciples who were permitted to be present with our Lord on great occasions St. Peter was one as at the raising of Jairus's daughter, at the transfiguration, in the storm when our Lord walked on the sea, when he essayed to do the same, but from want of faith failed. St. Peter was sent to take the fish, in whose mouth a coin was found, wherewith our Lord paid the tribute demanded of Him. He it was who, according to our Lord's prophecy, denied Him thrice whilst in the house of Caiaphas, and he was the first of the Apostles to whom our Lord appeared after His resurrection. In most of the chapters in the Acts of the Apostles mention is made of St. Peter. The first selected lessons to be read on this day are from the Apocrypha, and teach us the advantages of the fear of the Lord, and a good understanding of His ways. The second lessons relate the cure of the lame man at the gate of the Temple, St. Peter's sermon, by which three thousand men were converted, and the answer made by him and St. John before the council of the Jews.

THE ADVANTAGES OF AN ESTABLISHED LITURGY.-If the prayers of the Church were left to the private conceptions or extemporary effusions of every minister of the Church, what a lamentable worship and Bervice of God should we have in many conJegations! We had sad experience of this in those days when our Liturgy was laid aside; what impertinences, what tautologies, what bold and familiar addresses to the Divine Majesty! what saucy expostulations | with Almighty God! then what blasphemies were heard in the house of God from the men of those times! And it is observable, that these impertinences, yea, and impieties,

are incident not only to the meaner sort of dissenters from our Liturgy, but even to the principal men and chief leaders among them, of which I could give you some sad instances, but I delight not to rake in that dunghill. Indeed, the public prayers were in those days, in many places, so absurd and ridiculous, that by them religion itself was exposed to the scorn and contempt of the irreligious, and I am apt to think that from hence, as one main cause, first proceeded that irreligion and atheism which hath since overspread our sinful nation; for enthusiasm and a fanatic religion too often ends at last in no religion.-Bishop Bull.



[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Verily there is a reward for the righteous:

Thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
O be Thou our help in trouble: for vain is the help of man.

From the ends of the earth will I call upon Thee, when my heart is in heavine
Nevertheless, my soul, wait thou still upon God: for my hope is in Him.
Thy loving-kindness is better than the life itself.

All men that see it shall say, This hath God done.

Thou, O God, art the hope of all the ends of the earth,

And of them that remain in the broad sea.

O come hither, and hearken, all ye that fear God;

And I will tell you what He hath done for my soul.

Let the people praise Thee, O God: yea, let all the people praise Thee.
Praised be the Lord daily,

Who helpeth us, and poureth His benefits upon us.

When I am poor; and in heaviness: Thy help, O God, shall lift me up.
Let all those that seek Thee be joyful and glad in Thee.

O what great troubles and adversities hast Thou showed me:
And yet didst Thou turn and refresh me;

Yea, and comfortedst me on every side.

Prayer shall be made ever unto Him, and daily shall He be praised.
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart.
The help that is done upon earth, He doeth it Himself.

God is the Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.

At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are fallen.
Thy way is in the sea, and Thy paths in the great waters.

He was so merciful, that he forgave their misdeeds, and destroyed them not
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name.

O deliver us, and be merciful unto our sins, for Thy name's sake!
Turn us again; turn Thee again, thou God of hosts:

Shew the light of Thy countenance, and we shall be whole.

Oh! that My people would have hearkened unto me.

God standeth in the congregation of princes: He is a Judge among gods.

Make their faces ashamed, O Lord, that they may seek Thy name.

One day in Thy courts is better than a thousand.

Mercy and truth are met together:

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Give ear, Lord, unto my prayer: ponder the voice of my humble desire.
Very excellent things are spoken of Thee, thou City of God.

Even from my youth up, Thy terrors have I suffered with a troubled mind.
Thou art my Father, my God, and my strong Salvation.

O teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
His faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.

The waves of the sea are mighty and rage horribly:
But yet the Lord, who dwelleth on high, is mightier.
Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, O Lord.

O come, let us worship, and fall down, and kneel before the Lord, our Maker.
Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is King.

There is sprung up a light for the righteous,
And joyful gladness, for such as are true hearted.
O shew yourselves joyful before the Lord the King.
The Lord is King; be the people never so impatient.
The Lord is gracious: His mercy is everlasting.
I will walk in my house with a perfect heart.

Out of heaven did the Lord behold the earth.

That He might hear the mournings of such as are in captivity,

And deliver the children appointed unto death.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins.

Lord, how manifold are Thy works: in wisdom hast Thou made them all.

He hath been alway mindful of His covenant and promise.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Remember me, according to the favour that thou bearest unto Thy people.

O that men would therefore praise the Lord for His goodness,

And declare the wonders that He doeth for the children of men.

. Through God we shall do great acts:

It is He that shall tread down our enemies.

He shall stand at the right hand of the poor,

He shall drink of the brook in the way:

Therefore shall He lift up His head.

. The merciful and gracious Lord hath so done His marvellous works,

That they ought to be held in remembrance.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Who is like unto the Lord our God, that hath His dwelling so high,

And yet humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and earth.
Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord,

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name, give the praise.
What reward shall I give unto the Lord for all His benefits?

For His merciful kindness is ever more and more towards us.

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.

O that my ways were made so direct, that I might keep Thy statutes.

My soul hath long dwelt among them that are enemies unto peace,

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.

I was glad when they said unto me: We will go into the house of the Lord.
Our soul is filled with the scornful report of the wealthy.

Our help standeth in the name of the Lord,

Who hath made heaven and earth.

They that put their trust in the Lord, shall be even as the mount Sion.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy,

Lo, children are an heritage and gift that cometh of the Lord.

Blessed are all they that fear the Lord, and walk in His ways.

Let them be turned backward as many as have evil will at Sion.

For with the Lord there is mercy: and with Him is plenteous redemption.
O Israel! trust in the Lord: from this time forth for evermore.

We will go into His tabernacle, and fall low on our knees before his footstool.
How good and joyful a thing it is, brethren, to dwell together in unity.
The Lord, that made heaven and earth, give thee blessing out of Sion.

I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

For He is gracious, and His mercy endureth for ever.

We sat down and wept, when we remembered Thee, O Sion.

Though the Lord be high, yet hath He respect unto the lowly.

I will give thanks unto Thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Sure I am that the Lord will maintain the cause of the helpless.

Let my prayer be set forth in Thy sight as the incense:

When my spirit was in heaviness, Thou, Lord, knewest my path.

Enter not into judgment with Thy servant, O Lord.

Blessed are the people who have the Lord for their God.

The Lord is loving unto every man: and His mercy is over all His works.

O put not your trust in princes, nor in any child of man:

Great is our Lord, and great is His power: yea, and His wisdom is infinite.
For He spake the word, and they were made :

Let the saints be joyful with glory: let them rejoice in their beds.

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.

DUTIES OF CHURCHWARDENS.-"In the first place, the requirements of the law are (Caron 85), That the churchwardens or questmen shall take care and provide that the churches be well and sufficiently repaired, and so from time to time kept and maintained. That the windows be well glazed, and that the floors be kept paved plain and even; and all things there in such an orderly and decent sort, without dust or anything that may be either noisome or unseemly,

as best becometh the house of God, and is prescribed in a homily to that effect. The like care they shall take that the churchyards be well and sufficiently repaired, fenced, and maintained with walls, rails, or pales, as have been in each place accustomed, at their charges unto whom by law the same appertaineth; but especially they shall see that in every meeting of the congregation peace be well kept.'"-From the Charge of the Archdeacon of Oxford.

[merged small][graphic]

HE hill of Rockendeane is one of the roughest, and steepest, and stoniest in Wales; indeed, in ancient documents, it is often quaintly mentioned

as "ye wearisoume hill of Rockendeane," but rough, and steep, and "wearisoume" though it be, I love it dearly, for it is connected with my earliest associations and experiences. There, as an urchin of three years old, I had my first tumble, and rose with cut knee and damaged nose, but with sharpened wits and increased wisdom; there I first learnt to guide my rough Shetland, and how often, eluding the combined vigilance of mother, sister, and nurse, would I run to the old half-way elm, and, seating myself under its flickering shade, watch the panting team come tugging up the steep, the snowy foam flaking their brawny chests, their dappled polished loins streaming with

sweat, while alongside plodded the shirted, loose-breeched carter, with sunburnt brow and echoing whip, the personification of health, and strength, and mid-day toil. Even when I had escaped from petticoat government, and, with a suitable amount of boyish contempt thereof, had imbibed plenty of pluck, and an inverse ratio of Latin grammar, though I got in and out of scrapes with equal celerity, had received with Spartan-like endurance a dozen thrashings from the hands of the stern village pedagogue, and had strong hopes of being soon proclaimed dux of the school (the summit of my worldly ambition), yet my greatest delight was to spend the Saturday's half-holiday with old Janie Williams on the top of Rockendeane Hill! She was my Welsh nurse, and while I, with a true 13-year old appetite, demolished slice after slice of


her home-made bread, and took long draughts of foaming milk from one of the old brown earthenware mugs, which stood ranged in file on the tall chimney-shelf (for Janie was comfortably off, and had a cow and a calf of her own, and crockery to boot), she would sit and tell me tale after tale, story after story, which being all more or less visionary, all more or less connected with the legendary of the country, possessed an undying interest for me. One legend in particular I remember-Janie told it me not long before she died; the title also pleased my fancy, for Janie always gave a title to her garrulous narrations: she called this one "The Lord of Rockendeane," and if it please you, dear reader, so will I :

[ocr errors]


On the evening of the first of November, in the year of grace 1515, a horseman as slowly winding up the Hill of Rockendeane, which, nolens volens, must be surmounted ere you can reach the little village of the same name down in the valley. Dusty and weary looks the traveller, dusty and weary looks the stout cob on which he is mounted: ah! Hill of Rockendeane, thou hast taxel the patience and tried the temper of many a wayfarer, and of none more than the said traveller and his jaded beast: but courage, ye weary pair, companions in


"Ye have not wings, ye cannot soar,
But ye have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees, by more and more."
Therefore, Excelsior! and onward!

It was difficult to determine who or what our traveller was, for his black velvet beaver was drawn low over his brow, while the voluminous folds of his dark cloak were studiously arranged to baffle intrusive curiosity, and escape observation. On a nearer view we might have seen a stern swarthy countenance, a well-formed, closely compresed mouth, dark deep-set eyes, and a lefty brow, shaded with iron-grey hair, and furrowed by the pains, turmoils, and pasons of fifty years. But see! the pair have already reached the hill-top; the cob stops and utters a chuckling neigh, whether of self-congratulation on the speedy prospect of reaching his homestead, or of greeting to those unshod colts, who, with erected ear and inflated nostril, are peering at him over

the brambled fence, I know not; but the sudden stand-still has had the effect of arousing his master, who awakes from his day-dream with a start, and, shaking off his lethargy, turns to survey one of the most glorious and extensive of Cambrian landscapes. See! he bares his brow, and gazes on the out-spread variegated map beneath him; on one particular spot he lingers with filling eye and trembling lip. It is his ancestral home, the Castle of Rockendeane, with its grey towers and ivied buttresses; and, as he gazes, his eye regains its wonted fire, while, involuntarily extending his nervous arm, he cries in the sonorous tongue of the Latin Church, "Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax, hominibus bonæ voluntates." Well may the Lord of Rockendeane (for it is none other than he) re-echo the words carolled nearly 1600 years before by the choir of holy angels, for the same God who had founded those rugged hills, and softened into grace that fertile vale, had watched over him in temptation, borne with him in iniquity, and brought back the prodigal an absolved and repentant sinner to the bosom of his Church.

The early youth of the Lord of Rockendeane had been passed as page to one of the leading nobles in the turbulent court of Edward IV.; he subsequently took an active part in the bloody War of the Roses, where his valour, and the havoc he made in the enemies' ranks, gained him the cognomen of the "Welsh Scythe." His popularity with the king, together with his haughty overbearing deportment, had made him many enemies at court, and on the death of the monarch he was compelled to retire from public life, and take refuge in his native fastnesses from the hatred and malice of self-raised foes; here, in the castle of his ancestors, he lived the life of a bandit, rather than that of one descended from a line of Cambrian princes, passing his days in violence, his nights in debauchery, and venting the fury of disappointed ambition on his unfortunate neighbours and helpless vassals.

One only among his savage retinue boldly opposed his wickedness, and openly rebuked his deeds of rapacity and cruelty; this was none other than Llewellyn, the friend and counsellor of his childhood, and priest of Rockendeane. Sixty years sat lightly on that erect, iron-sinewed frame, and had but

« FöregåendeFortsätt »