Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

yielded themselves to systematic and abandoned profligacy. This reverend gentleman has come out in a tone of high and holy remonstrance against that system of episcopal government in England which prevents the preaching of the Gospel to the poor, and seeking out the wretched and the lost to redeem them from their retreats of vice and crime. He proposes and urges that the restraints of episcopal authority, operating in so many forms against the erection and support of new places of worship, which would otherwise be done by voluntary effort, should be removed, as unwarrantable and injurious, and an abuse of power; that leave should be given to preach the Gospel in unconsecrated places-in any building and in the streets—as did Christ and his apostles; as faithful ministers of Christ have done in all ages; as did Whitefield and Rowland Hill; as other denominations are now doing with great success; and he offers himself to the bishop of his diocess, as willing to lay aside this improperly. assumed and unbecoming dignity of the ministers of Christianity, to go forth into the streets—" into the highways and hedges"-to compel the wretched wanderer and the lost to turn their feet from the way to hell to the path of heaven. He proposes this, as the only remedy for the wants of the metropolis-for the wants of the country-for the wants of the world. He remonstrates in no equivocal terms against so much power lodged in the hands of bishops. It will not be understood that Mr. Noel speaks against episcopacy, but against the abuse of episcopal authority in connexion with the state.

Whether demonstrations of this kind, which are beginning to show themselves in the English church, and which constitute a hopefully-redeeming feature, will be crushed by authority, remains to be decided. Some imagine that the Church of England may be so reformed, as an establishment in connexion with the state, as to answer the design of Christianity. For myself I have only to say—that I am not simply diffident, but I do not believe it. day: then the number of persons visiting those shops would be 269,437 divided by 7, or 38,491.

" Thirty-eight thousand four hundred and ninety-one persons—the women and children being nearly equal to the men--habitually attend these four. teen shops : how many, then, must contribute to the support of the other 4059 shops with which the metropolis is disgraced! Either immense multitudes must be infected with this vice, or else those who are infected must be ruinously devoted to its indulgence. It is well known how it grows upon those who yield to it; and some idea of the degree in which it prevails in London may be formed from the fact, that above 23,000 persons are annually taken up by the police for drunkenness alone. The numbers taken up by the police for drunkenness in the years 1831, 1832, and 1833, were as follows:

Males. Females. Total. 1831

19,748 11,605 31,053 1832

20,304 12,332 32,636 1833 : :

18,268 11,612 29,880,"

OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE.

When first I passed through Oxford in a coach, without stopping except to change horses, I was quite disappointed in the appearance of that famous seat of learning. I had imagined the various edifices constituting the architectural beauties and grandeur of the university to be scattered here and there, insulated in the midst of academic groves, deriving no less charms from these accidents than from the more substantial forms of the edifices themselves; whereas, in a run through one of the principal streets of the city, the eye meets only a solid mass of masonry, not unlike any other compact town of England, with here and there some more imposing features and walls, which seem to indicate antiquity, scaled and crumbling by time, and affording hints that these are the buildings of the university. But not “the shade of a shadow” of a grove presents itself. All is naked walls, bristling occasionally with pinnacles, and now and then a tower, a cupola, and a spire, not unworthy of the supposed place, and yet not very remarkable. The scaled and apparently crumbling walls of the university buildings and of the churches, owe this appearance (a very ugly feature) to the character of the stone of which they are constructed. In a century or two after they have been quarried and laid up in walls, exposed to the action of the atmosphere, large chips begin to scale off from almost the entire surface; and in two or three hundred years, the walls become so ragged and so dilapidated as to require to be new faced or rebuilt. Hence the difference in the appearance of the colleges, some of them having been repaired, while others exhibit all the pride of a young antiquity-smoky, ragged, and crum

bling.

All the magnificence of the City of Oxford, consisting principally in the university, was founded by Roman Catholics. Christ Church College, the largest of all, was founded by Cardinal Wolsey with a truly splendid project; but his fate prevented its entire execution. The great bell weighs 17,000 lbs., the clapper 342 lbs. The dining hall is 115 feet long, 40 broad, and 50 in height, the roof supported after the manner of Westminster Hall, the walls hung with scores of the finest portraits of the most remarkable characters in English history, and is altogether a most magnificent room. It has the reputation of being the best refectory in the kingdom-a singular praise for a college of literary men. The library of this college is one of the grandest and most imposing models of architecture, containing a large and the choicest collection of paintings.

A college is composed of one or two principal quadrangles, enclosing open courts; some have gardens attached, surrounded by high and impassable walls, richly set with trees and shrubbery, and adorned in the highest perfection. They make enchanting promenades. Every college, with its gardens, is as much a prison, when the gates are closed, as a penitentiary. The buildings are not lofty, being ordinarily limited to two and three stories. Towers and temples are numerous, and the pinnacles innumerable. In some positions of the large quadrangle of All Souls are to be enjoyed the finest possible views of the university-of temples, towers, pinnacles, and church steeples, and among them the dome of Radcliff Library. The town and all the world are excluded from the view, and nothing presents itself but these varying and countless features of the perfect and grand of architectural device.

The colleges, in number 19, and 5 halls, were founded respectively as follows:-University College, in 872, by Alfred the Great ; Baliol in 1263—1268; Merton in 1264; Exeter, 1314; Oriel, 1326; Queen's, 1340; New College, 1386; Lincoln, 1427; All Souls, 1437; Magdalen, 1456; Brazen Nose, 1509; Corpus Christi, 1516; Christ Church, 1525; Trinity, 1554 ; St. John's, 1557; Jesus, 1571; Wadham, 1613: Pembroke, 1624; Worcester, 1714; St. Mary Hall, 1239; Magdalen Hall, 1487; New Inn Hall, 1360; St. Alban Hall, 1230; St. Edmund Hall, 1269. These institutions, 24 in number, constitute the University of Oxford. The above dates do not all of them indicate the precise periods of the first establishments of these schools, but are the earliest commonly specified in their history.

The Radcliff Library is properly a temple on a magnificent scale, and from the promenade around the base of its dome is one of the finest panoramas in the world, comprehending the entire of Oxford, with all its colleges and every prominent feature under the eye; and beyond the city a vast and beautiful country in every direction.

The Bodleian Library, though large, containing 400,000 volumes and 70,000 manuscripts, is yet more remarkable for its richness and rarities, and is sufficiently notorious for its invaluable stores.

Magdalen College is most remarkable for its incomparable tower; for its chapel, as recently renewed in a style of most exquisite perfection; for a painting of Christ bearing his cross; and for the extent of its gardens and pleasuregrounds, among which is Addison's Walk.

To have any tolerable notion of Oxford University, either in its external features, or in its internal economy as a society of students and of the learned, requires leisure, and opportunity of intimate and close observation.

The members on the books of Oxford University for 1835

are 5,251; but considerably less than half of this number are usually resident there.

The population of Oxford City is 23,000. The university is quite too renowned to require any notice of its greatness from me,

Eight miles from Oxford, towards Birmingham, are Blenheim Park and Palace, bestowed upon the Duke of Marlborough, the Wellington of Queen Anne's reign, for his military achievements on the continent against the French, -taking its name in honour of the battle of Blenheim, on the Danube. The present duke is in disgrace, makes no society with those of his own rank or with the world, buries himself in his botanical garden, has suffered the park to run to waste, and would have sold the pictures of the palace, if his son and heir had not stepped in his way by an injunction from chancery. The palace and the vast estate appertaining are a proud monument of royal munificence, bestowed in reward of services done to the country by the great captain of the beginning of the eighteenth century. It was once a royal hunting-park, and the grounds are still exceedingly romantic. The collection of paintings at Blenheim are among the richest treasures of the kind in England. The library and chapel of this palace are uncommonly interesting of their kind.

CAMBRIDGE. Joe Walton' is the coachman, or driver, as we say in America, of the Star Coach between London and Cambridge, 54 miles, which distance to and fro, making 108 miles, Joe drives every day in the year except the Sabbath. I once saw a notice in the Times, that Joe had completed his last 312 days without failure of having performed his daily journey, making in all for the year, 33,969 miles, having rested on the Sabbath. I myself performed this journey with Joe, that is, I went down to Cambridge one day in the afternoon, and returned in the morning a few days afterward. I know not how many years Joe Walton has performed this task of travelling 108 miles every day except the Sabbath. I was not aware that he was such a proidigous traveller when I happened to be a passenger in his coach. But certainly I never travelled more expeditiously or more pleasantly. He generally runs through 54 miles in five hours; and from that to five and a half. The country for the most part is level, and the road is fine as possible. We buzz along, not stopping more than two or three minutes to change horses, and sometimes not more than one minute.

As I was dining with a friend of mine, of the medical profession, accomplished, I may say, in a very high degree, and with not less of instinctive discernment than professional skill, I mentioned Joe Walton's extraordinary travelling the

year out and in, and from year to year, never failing to make his daily journey from Cambridge to London and back again, the Sabbath excepted.

" It is because he rests upon the Sabbath,” said Mr. – “No man or beast could ever perform such service independent of the rest of that day. And that he can do as long as he can do any thing, and be none the worse for it.”

“That is worth marking," I said, “especially as coming from you."

Ay, and I suppose you will put it in a book when you get home to America.

"A chiel's amang us taking notes,

And 'faith he'll prent it.' Whatever use, however, you may make of it, it is an undoubted truth : No man or brute could last in such service without the rest of the Sabbath. The Sabbath for man is an ordinance of nature, as well as of Revelation-or an ordinance adapted to nature. We cannot do without it-or that which is tantamount.”

I did indeed think this worth marking, and therefore I record it. It is an extract from the conversation of a man whose opinion is worthy of great respect. And it is of the more value, first, because he did not say it as a religionist; and next, because it was not forced from him, but suggested by the story. The case of Joe Walton was before us. It was remarkable. How could he travel 108 miles a day, and continue it from year to year? He could not, except for the rest of the Sabbath. With this interval of repose, the service, being reasonable, might be performed in perpetuity. Nay, it is not in perpetuity. The rest of the seventh day breaks up the order, and prevents the immature wasting and decay of powers, worked for such a portion of time to the extent of their ability

Joe Walton's task is not to be estimated by a simple consideration of his sitting upon the coachman's box, holding the reins, and carrying the whip for ten or eleven hours a day. He has a responsibility, which he feels, and which weighs upon him : the lives of his passengers, amounting in all perhaps, and on an average, to 24 individuals a day: their comfort and pleasure, their luggage and parcels, besides verbal messages or errands, in great number and variety, committed to his charge at Cambridge, picked up on the route, stowed away in his brain, to be discharged at London and replaced by others, not less numerous or various, demanding his attention on his way back, and at the end of his journey. He has to please and to serve all the world, that is, all sorts of people, in all sorts of things. Joe Walton's daily task, therefore, is by no means trifling. And yet he works it out, apparently without fatigue, by resting on the Sabbath.

« AnteriorContinuar »