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“Sir," said the Bishop of London, “you know very well that Christ died upon a material cross.”
“True,” said Cobham ; "and I know also that our salvation did not come by that material cross, but by him who died thereupon. Further, I know well that St. Paul rejoiced in no other cross, but in Christ's passion and death only, and in his own sufferings and persecutions, for the same truth which Christ had died for before.”
“The day,” said Arundel, “passes away fast; we must come to a conclusion.” He then for the last time desired Lord Cobham to weigh well the dilemma in which he stood : “You must either submit,” said he, “to the ordinances of the church, or abide the dangerous consequences.”
Lord Cobham then said expressly before the whole court, “My faith is fixed, do with me what you please.”
The primate, without further delay, judged, and pronounced Sir John Oldcastle, the Lord Cobham, to be an incorrigible, pernicious, and detestable heretic; and having condemned him as such, he delivered him to the secular jurisdiction.
Lord Cobham, with a most cheerful countenance, said, “ Though ye condemn my body, which is but a wretched thing, yet I am well assured ye can do no harm to my soul, any more than could Satan to the soul of Job. He that created it, will of his infinite mercy save it. Of this I have no manner of doubt. And in regard to the articles of my belief, I will, by the grace of the eternal God, stand to them even to my very death.” He then turned to the people, and stretching out his hands, cried with a very loud voice, “Good Christian people! for God's love be well aware of these men ; else, they will beguile you and lead you blindfold into hell with themselves.” Having said these words, he fell down upon his knees, and lifting up his hands and eyes to heaven, he prayed for his enemies in the following words: “Lord God Eternal! I beseech thee of thy great mercy to forgive my persecutors, if it be thy blessed will !"
He was then sent back to the Tower, under the charge of Sir Robert Morley. · His fate was soon determined. He was dragged into St. Giles's fields with all the insult and barbarity of enraged superstition ; and there, both as a traitor and heretic, he was suspended alive in chains, upon a gallows, and burnt to death.
This excellent man, by a slight degree of dissimulation, might have softened his adversaries, and have escaped a troublesome persecution and a cruel death. But sincerity is essential to a true servant of Jesus Christ ; and Lord Cobham died, as he had lived, in the faith and hope of the gospel ; and bearing, to the end, a noble testimony to its genuine doctrines; and “ choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”
History of the Christian Church.
THE HAPPINESS OF ANIMAL LIFE.
PALEY, 1743-1805. It is a happy world after all. The air, the earth, the water teem with delighted existence. In a spring noon or a summer evening, on whichever side I turn my eyes, myriads of happy beings crowd upon my view. “The insect youth are on the wing." Swarms of new-born flies are trying their pinions in the air. Their sportive motions, their wanton mazes, their gratuitous activity, their continual change of place without use or purpose, testify their joy and the exultation which they feel in their lately-discovered faculties. A bee amongst the flowers in spring is one of the most cheerful objects that can be looked upon. Its life appears to be all enjoyment: so busy and so pleased ; yet it is only a specimen of insect life with which, by reason of the animal being half-domesticated, we happen to be better acquainted than we are with that of others. The whole winged insect tribe, it is probable, are equally intent upon their proper employments, and, under every variety of constitution, gratified, and perhaps equally gratified, by the offices which the Author of their nature has assigned to them. But the atmosphere is not the only scene of enjoyment for the insect race. Plants are covered with aphides, greedily sucking their juices, and constantly, as it should seem, in the act of sucking. It cannot be doubted but that this is a state of gratification : what else should fix them so close to the operation, and so long? Other species are running about with an alacrity in their motions which carries with it every mark of pleasure. Large patches of ground are sometimes half covered with these brisk and sprightly natures. If we look to what the waters produce, shoals of the fry of fish frequent the margins of rivers, of lakes, and of the sea itself. These are so happy that they know not what to do with themselves. Their attitudes, their vivacity, their leaps out of the water, their frolics in it (which I have noticed a thousand times with equal attention and amusement), all conduce to show their excess of spirits, and are simply the effects of that excess. Walking by the sea-side in a calm evening upon a sandy shore, and with an ebbing tide, I have frequently remarked the appearance of a dark cloud, or rather very thick mist, hanging over the edge of the water, to the height, perhaps, of half a yard, and of the breadth of two or three yards, stretching along the coast as far as the eye could reach, and always retiring with the water. When this cloud came to be examined, it proved to be nothing else than so much space filled with young shrimps in the act of bounding into the air from the shallow margin of the water, or from the wet sand. If any motion of a mute animal could express delight, it was this; if they had meant to make signs of their happiness, they could not have done it more intelligibly. Suppose, then, what I have no doubt of, each individual of this number to be in a state of positive enjoyment : what a sum, collectively, of gratification and pleasure have we here before our view!
The young of all animals appear to me to receive pleasure simply from the exercise of their limbs and bodily faculties, without reference to any end to be attained, or any use to be answered by the exertion. A child, without knowing anything of the use of language, is in a high degree delighted with being able to speak. Its incessant repetition of a few articulate sounds, or perhaps of the single word which it has learned to pronounce, proves this point clearly. Nor is it less pleased with its first successful endeavours to walk, or rather to run (which precedes walking), although entirely ignorant of the importance of the attainment to its future life, and even without applying it to any present purpose. A child is delighted with speaking, without having anything to say ; and with walking, without knowing where to go. And, prior to both these, I am disposed to believe that the waking hours of infancy are agreeably taken up with the exercise of vision, or, perhaps, more properly speaking, with learning to see.
But it is not for youth alone that the great Parent of Creation hath provided. Happiness is found with the purring cat no less than with the playful kitten ; in the arm-chair of dozing age, as well as in either the sprightliness of the dance or the animation of the chase. To novelty, to acuteness of sensation, to hope, to ardour of pursuit, succeeds what is, in no inconsiderable degree, an equivalent for them all,“ perception of ease.” Herein is the exact difference between the young and the old. The young are not happy but when enjoying pleasure ; the old are happy when free from pain. And this constitution suits with the degrees of animal power which they respectively possess. The vigour of youth was to be stimulated to action by impatience of rest; whilst to the imbecility of age quietness and repose become positive gratifications. In one important step the advantage is with the old. A state of ease is, generally speaking, more attainable than a state of pleasure. A constitution, therefore, which can enjoy ease, is preferable to that which can taste only pleasure. This same perception of ease oftentimes renders old age a condition of great comfort, especially when riding at its anchor after a busy or tempestuous life. It is well described by Rousseau to be the interval of repose and enjoyment between the hurry and the end of life. How far the same cause extends to other animal natures, cannot be judged of with certainty. The appearance of satisfaction with which most animals, as their activity subsides, seek and enjoy rest, affords reason to believe that this source of gratification is appointed to advanced life under all or most of its various forms. In the species with which we are best acquainted, namely, our own, I am far, even as an observer of human life, from thinking that youth is its happiest season, much less the only happy one.
SELECTIONS IN PROSE,
FROM MODERN AUTHORS.
ALBERT THE GOOD.
ARTHUR HELPS. It may, perhaps, be not unwelcome to the reader, that I should attempt to give some view of the character of the Prince, having had some opportunities of observing him closely during the last year or two of his life, and having since heard and carefully compared what those who knew him best could tell of him. Such an attempt to depict the Prince's character may be useful to the future historian, who has to bring before himself some distinct image of each remarkable man he writes about, and who, for the most part, is furnished with only a superficial description, made up of the ordinary epithets which are attached, in a very haphazard way, to the various qualities of eminent persons by their contemporaries. We really obtain very little notion of a creature so strangely complex as a man, when we are told of him that he was virtuous, that he was just, that he loved the arts, and that he was good in all the important relations of life. We still hunger to know what were his peculiarities, and what made him differ from other men ; for each man, after all, is a sort of new and distinct creation.
It is a great advantage, in estimating any character, to have a clear idea of the aspect of the person whose character is drawn. There are, fortunately, many portraits of the Prince Consort which possess considerable merit; still there is something about almost