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To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
I enclose you some extracts from Hollinshed’s Chronicles, reign of Edward VI., which represent so admirably that piety of that amiable young Prince, and of the venerable Bishop Ridley, that I doubt not you will readily insert them in your miscellany, for the gratification of your readers. C. B.
* It chanced the reverend father in God, maister Doctor Ridleie, then bishop of London, to preach before the king's majestie at Westminster. In the which sermon, he made a pitieful and godlie exhortation to the rich, to be merciful unto the poore, and also to move such as were in authoritie, to travell by some charitable waie and meane, to comfort and releeve them. Whereupon the king's majestie being a prince of such towardnesse and vertue for his yeares, as England before never brought forth, and the same also being so well reteined and brought up in all godlie knowledge, as well by his deere uncle, the late Protector, as also by his vertuous and learned scholemaisters, was so careful of the good government of the realme, and chief.
Christ, Ossery. No. 126.
lie to doo and prefer such things, as most speciallie touched the honor of Almighty God. And, understanding that a great number of poore people did swarme in this realme, and chieflie in the citie of London, and that no good order was taken for them, did suddenlie, and of himselfe, send to the said bishop, as soon as his sermon was ended, willing him not to depart untill that he had spoken with him, (and this that I now write was the verie report of the said Bishop Ridleie), who, according to the king's commandment, gave his attendance. And so soone as the king's majestie was at leasure, he called for him, and made him to come unto him in a great gallerie at Westminster, where there was present no more persons than they two, and therefore made him sit downe in one chaire, and he himselfe in another, (as it seemed) were before the comming of the bishop there purposelie set, and caused the bishop (maugre his teeth), to be covered, and then entered communication with him in this sort. “First, giving him most hartie thanks for his sermon and good exhortation, he therein rehearsed such speciall things as he had noted, and 2 Z
that so manie, that the bishop said: • Trulie trulie, (for that was commonlie his oth), I could never have thought that excellencie to have been in his grace, that I beheld and saw in him.’ At the last, the king's majestie much commended him for his exhortation for the reliefe of the poore. But, my lord (saith he), ye willed such as be in authoritie-to be careful thereof, and to devise some good order for their reliefe, wherefore I think you meane me; for I am in the highest place, and therefore am the first that must answer unto God for my negligence, if I should not be careful therein; knowing it to be the expresse commandment of Almightie God, to have com|..." of his poore and needie memers, for whome we must make an accompt unto him. And trulie, my lord, I am before all things most willing to travell that waie, and I doubt nothing of your long and approved wisdome and learning, who having such goode zeale as wisheth help unto them, but that also you have had some conference with others what waies are best to be taken therein, the which I am desirous to understand, and therefore l praie you saie your minde. “The bishop thinking least of that matter, and being amazed to heare the wisdome and earnest zeale of the king, was (as he saide himselfe) so astonied that he could not well tell what to saie: but after some pause said, that as he thought at this present for some entrance to be had, it were good to practise with the citie of London; because the number of the poore there are verie great, and the citizens are manie, o, wise: and he doubted not, but they were also both pity ful and mercifull, as the maior and his brethren, and other the worshipful of the said citie. And that, if it would please the king's majestie, to direct his gratious letter unto the maior of London, willing him to call unto him such assistants as he should thinke meet, to consult of this matter, for some order to be taken therein, he doubt
Piety and Benevolence of King Edward VI.
[June ed not but good should follow thereof. And he himselfe promised the king to be one himselfe that should earnestlie travell therein. “The king forthwith, not onelie granted his letter, but made the bishop tarrie untill the same was written, and his hand and signet set thereto, and commanded the bishop not onelie to deliver the said letter himselfe, but also to signifie unto the maior, that it was the king's speciall request and commandment, that the maior should therein travell, and as soon as he might convenientlie give him knowledge how farre he had proceeded therein. The bishop was so joious at the having of this letter, and that he had now an occasion to travell in that matter, wherein he was marvellous zealous, that nothing could more have pleased and delighted him : wherefor he went the same night to the maior of London, who then was Sir Richard Dobs, knight, and delivered the king's letter and shewed his message with effect. “And in the end after sundrie meetings, (for by meane of the good bishop it was well followed), they agreed upon a book, which they had devised: wherein first they considered of nine special kinds of poore people, and those same brought in these three degrees: The poore by impotencie—poore by casualtie– thriftlesse poore.—I. The poore by impotencie are also divided into three kinds, that is to saie, 1. The fatherlesse poore man's child; 2. The aged, blind, and lame; 3. The diseased persons by leprosie, dropsie, &c. &c.—II. The poore by casualtie are of three kinds, that is to saie, 4. The wounded souldier; 5. The decaied householder; 6. The visited with grievous disease.—ll I. The thriftlesse poore are three kinds in like wise, that is to saie, 7. The rioter, that consumeth all; 8. The vagabond, that will abide in no place; 9. The idle person, as the strumpet and others. “For these sorts of poore were provided three severall houses: first, for the innocent and fatherlesse, which is the beggar's child, and is indeed the seed and breeder of beggerie, they provided the house that was late Graie-friers in London, and is now called Christe's Hospitall, where the poore children are trained in the knowledge of God, and some vertuous exercise, to the overthrow of beggerie. For the second degree is provided the Hospital of Saint Thomas in Southworke, and Saint Bartholomew in West Smithfield, where are continually at leaste two hundred diseased persons, which are not onlie there lodged and cured, but also fed and mourished. For the third degree they provided Bridewell, where the vagabond and idle strumpet are chas. tised and compelled to labour, to the overthrow of the vicious life of idlenesse. They provided also for the honest decaied householder, that he should be relieved at home at his house, and in the parish where he dwelled, by a weeklie reliefe and pension. “And for a further reliefe, a pe. tition being made to the king's majestie for a licence to take in mortmaine, or otherwise, without licence, lands to a certaine yearlie value, and a space left in the patent for his grace to put in what summe it would please him, he, looking on the void place, called for pens and inke, and with his own hands wrote this summe, in these words, (four thousand marks by yeare), and then said, in the hearing of his councell: Lord God, I yeeld thee most hartie thanks, that thou hast given mee life thus long to finish this work to the glorie of thy name!’ After which foundation established, he lived not above two daies, whose life would have been wished equall to the patriarchs, if it might have pleased God so to have protracted the same.”
It should seem, that this arrangement was not made without due consideration; although King Edward did not live above two É. after
completing the plan, Sir Richard Dobbes was mayor in 1551, but the king died July 6th, 1553.
To the Editorof the Christian Observer.
It is with feelings of regret that I enclose you a copy of the oath administered to every boy admitted on the foundation at St. Mary's College, Winchester; yet I am induced to request the insertion of it in your work, in hopes that some of your readers may have the means of applying to ū. whose authority can put a stop to so improper, and, I must add, immoral a practice. Any oath administered to boys of the age of fourteen must be objectionable; bu; this is an oath that must be broken by every one who takes it. The statutes of the college, I believe, prescribe particular dresses and customs, which are not at present insisted on, yet, according to the 9th section of the oath, the boy who does not follow every instruction of the statutes is forsworn. The same may be said of the 6th section, which attaches perjury to every boy who uses a reproachful expression to his school-fellow, or applies it to one of his masters. Are not the habits of schoolboys sufficiently known, to convince every thinking man that it is impossible to prevent these practices, and that the weight of the oath only adds to the crime, without diminishing the chance of its being committed I hope that, in these more enlightened times, the precautions established by William of Wykeham, to secure his foundation from the fangs of usurpers, will be no longer thought necessary. Your sincere well-wisher,
five marks, or forty pounds by the year. “2. Also I swear, that if I shall happen to know any secrets of the college, I will not reveal the same to any stranger, to the loss or prejudice of the same college. “3. Alo, that I will be helpful to the said college in any business that may concern the bettering and increase of the goods, lands, and revenues thereof, or the maintenance of the rights or the privileges of the same; and that I will do my best endeavours to promote their affairs by my faithful advice and furtherance, so long as I live in this world, to what state soever hereafter I shall come. w “4. Also, that I will not procure the diminution or change, or abolishing the number of persons appointed by the founder's statutes to live in the said college, nor (as much as in me lies) will suffer the same to be made, or any way consent thereunto. “5. Also, that I will keep all the statutes of the said college, made by the Right Rev, Father in God, William of Wykeham, founder thereof, so far as they concern me, according to the plain, literal, and grammatical sense and meaning thereof; and (as much as in me lies) cause the same to be kept and observed by others; and that I will not admit of any other statutes, ordinances, interpretations, and injunctions derogating from, or repugnant to, the said statutes, or the true meaning thereof, by whomsoever they shall be made §. it be by the same said Wiliam of Wykeham, during his life;) neither will I consent unto the same, or be governed by them, or make any use thereof. “6. Also, that I will not be a talebearer or detractor, or one that shall stir up strife, quarrels, and dissensions between the fellows and scholars of the said college, by making odious comparisons betwixt jo" and person, kindred and kinred, country and country, or by
upbraiding any one with the baseness of his birth, poverty and meanness of his friends, or any way tending to the disgrace and disparagement one of another. “7. Also, that I will not make any unlawful conspiracies or confederacies at home or abroad against the statutes of the said college, or the state, honour, and profit thereof; against the warden, subwarden, schoolmaster or usher, or any fellow or scholar thereof; nor will I procure or permit the same to be made by others (as much as in me lies); nor will give aid, counsel, or assistance, or wittingly be present at the same, or willingly consent thereunto: and if I know any that shall procure or make any such conspiracies as aforesaid, I will reveal the same to the warden, subwarden, and bursars of the said college, either by word or writing; and that I will (as much as in me lies) conserve the tranquillity, peace, and honour of the college, and unity of the members thereof, by all the means I can, and also cause the same to be conserved by others. “8. Also, if it should so happen (which God forbid), that for my demerits I should be expelled or removed from the said college by virtue of the statutes of the same, I will not trouble nor molest the warden, subwarden, or any of the fellows, or the schoolmaster, or the usher thereof, for my said expulsion, nor cause them to be troubled or molested by others in my behalf; but do renounce all actions, complaints, or appeals to be made in any court whatsoever, civil or ecclesiastical, and all letters of princes and great persons, whereby 1 might recover my state, interest, or possession in the said college; and the same I will renounce in writing, if I, be put to it, in my expulsion or removal aforesaid. “9. Also, that I will observe and keep all the statutes and ordinances of the said college, so far as they concern me, or otherwise I will
humbly submit to the penalties appointed and limited in the same, without any opposition or contradiction thereunto. “10. Also, that I will not procure any dispensation against this oath of mine, or against the statutes and ordinances of the said college, or any of them; nor willingly suffer such dispensations to be procured for me, or offered to me, whether it be in general or special terms, or in what form soever it may be ; I will not consent unto it, or make use of it.—So help me God?”
--To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
The important letter, under the signature of “A Christian” in your last number, is well entitled to general attention; but it seems in a peculiar degree to merit the notice of our senators; of those who will soon be called upon to legislate for the future government of our Indian empire. The able and pious writer has brought together a body of evidence, in proof of the moral debasement of the natives of India, so authoritative and irresistible, as must, one would think, convince the most callous advocate for the doctrine of erpediency”, and the most indifferent to the duty of disseminating Christianity in India, that the moral and religious improvement of our subjects, in that quarter of the globe, can now be no longer delayed, without a breach of duty to the millions who depend on us for instruction, no less than for protection, and (unless revelation be a fable) without a moral certainty of our incurring the Divine displeasure by the neglect. Those who oppose every scheme for attempting the amelioration of the moral and religious condition of the natives of India, profess to do so chiefly from an apprehension of some political danger that may, they * See Hall's celebrated Sermon, entitled,
* The Sentiments proper for the present Crisis.”
conceive, attend the attempt. In the ranks of these alarmists, is to be found a writer for whose talents and character I profess to entertain great respect. He has, in a recent publication, lent the weight of his authority to what, I must be permitted to say, appears a prejudiced and an unfair view of this serious subject. The writer to whom I allude is Colonel Malcolm ; his work -is entitled “A Sketch of the Political History of India.” This author declines all discussion on “ the duty of Great Britain to introduce the Christian religion into India.” Upon that point he declares himself “to be too ignorant to presume to offer an opinion!” He confines his observa...tions to the policy of the proceeding, as it may affect our political interests; and he endeavours to shew its inexpediency and impolicy, by arguments drawn from the conduct and demeanour of those natives who have from time to time become converts to Christianity, and from the policy heretofore pursued, by the Portuguese and the French in India, relative to native Christians.
I will not do Colonel Malcolm the injustice which he does himself, by supposing him to be so ignorant as not to know, that (in the words of the revered Swartz), “ it is ENGlAND's duty to make known the revelation of the true God to her Indian subjects.” But waving this point, I shall, after producing what appears to me an objectionable passage in the Colonel's work, say a few words on the assumptions which he there seems to regard as self-evident and undeniable propositions, and upon which he relies for the support of his conclusions.
Before I proceed, however, it may be proper to inform your readers, that I also resided long in India, having frequently traversed the Peninsula north and south in every direction, and with as favourable opportunities, perhaps, as most men, of extensive personal intercourse with all ranks and descriptions of natives.