« ForrigeFortsæt »
makes it exceeding proud. The ap- stood in occasional opposition to the pointed censor of all other men, finds Crown, but there was a constant bickhimself at once in the possession of ering between it and the courts of power, and how many reasons are common-law. And here let one obthere at hand why he should increase servation be made. It is a remark of it! Must he not govern in order to Blackstone, and it is one of those re
guide and instruct? And mark how marks which, having been once made, I well he is provided for the strife of are therefore frequently and without Bas ambition ! "It is the rudest game of examination repeated—that the clergy, E life, and no ion involves in such in the contempt they displayed for our
continuous struggle, or leads to such common law, had acted contrary to terrible reverses, as the love of power. their usual policy - had overreached But he whose ambition is intermingled themselves--and, by withdrawing from with his religion, may at once be ela- the national jurisprudence, had allowed ted by the passion, and animated in a brotherhood of lawyers to rise up in the conflict, and yet be fortified against the country as keen-witted as themits perils and disasters.
Is his course
selves, and who proved the most awk. prosperous ?-he has the natural ani. ward enemies they had to deal with. mation of hope and enterprise, and This remark betrays an inattention the sense of triumph steals upon his both to the current views of the heart. Is it clouded with adversity ? clergy, and to the nature of that juris-he has other consolations than the prudence which it is supposed they world—which to disappointed ambi. refuse to preside over. The early tion is a dead thing—can possibly Christians held it a sacred duty to supply. While he succeeds, the vic- determine their differences amongst tory is his—if he fails, the cause is themselves; they could not enter God's. He was responsible, not for courts of justice profaned by heathen success, only for endeavour; and the superstitions. When this objection very shame of his defeat is transferred no longer prevailed, and judicial into his triumphant but guilty opponent. stitutions were purged from Pagan He conquers, and his adversary lies idolatries, the clergy still retained this at his feet; he is subdued, and he obligation of determining amongst Wraps himself in the consciousness of themselves, for the sake of decency duty, or rises into the glory of mar- and propriety, their own disputes ; tyrdom. There are few characters and courts were granted them for this more captivating to the imagination purpose by the first Christian em. than his who displays this combination peror. They obtained their judicial of piety and ambition. Enough of privileges on the very ground that human pride remains to rejoice in the they would not appear and carry on a victory, but nothing of human weak litigation before lay tribunals. It was ness to give terror to defeat. Such a only, therefore, by extending their man, even at the height of his power, own courts, and grafting the civil on seems superior to his own acquisition; the canon law, that they could possess he makes no boast-he abases himself themselves of any share of the jurisin profound humility; he is nothing- prudence of a country, and this course knows of nothing but the great ser- they never showed themselves slack vice he is set to perform-meanwhile or unskilful in pursuing. Not only he has usurped the thunders of Hea- was it adverse to the current of ven, and is governing the world! opinion, it was never within their
Of this mixed character we con- power to take a prominent part in the ceive Becket to have been. He en- administration of our common law. tered on his high office resolved to be This, during feudal times, was necesthe stanch and faithful champion of sarily placed in the hands of the milithe Church; he opposed his crosier at tary baron, who alone could enforce all hazards to the monarch's sceptre;
the execution of its decrees; not to and, overcome by violence, he sunk mention that the law itself, as in the on the altar of his cathedral, greater case of the judicial combat, was often and more triumphant in his death than such as a Christian clergy could not the most complete success could have possibly have administered. And be. rendered him in life.
fore the country and its jurisprudence In England, the Church not only were somewhat humanized, the lawa
bred in the king's court, the curia burdens of feudal tenure,) without al. regis, had grown up into a distinct and lowing this fact to be first determined powerful profession.
by a court of law, they proceeded imIn Saxon times, the bishop occasion. mediately to adjudicate upon any ally sat with the earl or sheriff in the question relating to it.
These encounty court; but this was considered croachments the common law, with its
an indecorum which the Saxon prohibitions, was perpetually resisting, church, by reason of its remoteness Some departments of jurisprudence from the source of orthodoxy, had the Courts Christian contrived, howfallen into ; and William, at the Con- ever, to appropriate; and what perhaps quest, separating the bishop, placed is rather singular, considering the va. him in a court of his own. When the rious revolutions that have passed over clergy had thus obtained their own their heads, bave contrived to retain courts, they cannot be accused of any to this day. It is still an ecclesiastical remissness or reluctance in administer- court which gives efficacy to the testa. ing their canon or civil law, and in ment of the deceased, or authorizes drawing to those courts cases which the distribution of his goods, if he died belonged to the decision of the king's intestate, to the next of kin. As it was judges, which was the only method the duty of all good Christians to leave they had of participating in the juris- something to the Church for prayers prudence of the country. Every act and masses, the clergy, anxious that which savoured of religion was made such good intentions should not be a subject for their spiritual jurisdic- frustrated, took charge themselves, in tion. If it were a question of debt, the first instance, of all the goods and and the obligation had been sanctioned chattels of the defunct. It is still an by an oath, although in essence a mere ecclesiastical court which enquires into civil contract, they laid claim to de. the validity of the marriage contract, termine the controversy. If land were which listens to the matrimonial commerely asserted to be held in frankalplaint, and grants a relaxation of those moigne, (to have been a free gift to the bonds which nothing, however, but an Church, and exonerated from
the usual act of the legislature can dissolve.
4. Sweet Morn! from countless cups of On lands and seas, on fields and gold
woods, Thou liftest reverently on high And cottage roofs and ancient spires, More incense fine than earth can hold, O, Morn! thy gaze creative broods, To fill the sky.
While night retires.
6. The lark, by his own carol blest, By valleys dank, and river's brim, From thy green harbours eager Through corn.clad fields and wizard springs;
groves, And his large heart in little breast O’er dazzling tracks and hollows dim, Exulting sings.
One spirit roves.
7. The broad-helm'd oak-tree's endless With healthful pulse, and tranquil fire, growth,
Which plays at ease in every limb, The mossy stone that crowns the hill, His thoughts uncheck'd to Heaven The violet's breast, to gazers loath, aspire, In sunshine thrill.
Reveal'd in him.
15. Where'erthe vision's boundaries glance From earth, and earthly toil and strife, Existence swells with teeming power,
To deathless aims his love may rise, And all illumined earth's expanse Each dawn may wake to better life, Inhales the hour.
With purer eyes.
16. Not sands, and rocks, and seas im- Such grace from thee, O God! be mense,
ours, And vapours thin and halls of air; Renew'd with every morning's ray, Not these alone, with kindled glance, And fresh’ning still with added flowers, The splendour share.
Each future day.
17. To Man is given one primal star ; One day-spring's beam has dawn'd
below; From thine our inmost glories are, With thine we glow.
18. In Man, O Morn! a loftier good, Like earth, awake,and warm and bright With conscious blessing, fills the soul, With joy the spirit moves and burns ; A life by reason understood,
So up to thee, O Fount of Light ! Which metes the whole.
Our light returns.
By selfish force are lavish'd all away,
Misused by pride and gain, while power impure
5. When through the ranks of grave ancestral state Poor Baseness creeps, and saps whate'er was great, Chokes with sweet baits a nation's vital breath, And decks it out to be a prey for death ;
13. The glittering legends fraught with smooth delight, The names revered, and blazonries of right, All ties of living love, pride, ease, and trust, Laws, charters, customs, quiet, crash to dust;
14. While madd’ning stars in new-found courses wheel, And earth's invaded bases quake and reel, Each frantic wish, and strange deluding cry, Like mountain flames and ashes, leap on high.
19. Yet o'er the whirl of ruin, ʼmid the shock That smites all towers, makes all foundations rock, It is thy arm, O God! which, wrapt in cloud, Weighs down the strong, and thunderstrikes the proud.
21. And thus, through all Destruction’s ’whelming course, A hopeful promise works with secret force, O'er those remains, immense and shatter'd soil, Bids new-born powers with happier purpose toil,
23. Uprear'd to loftier height on surer ground, A nation lifts the head serene and crown'd, And o'er the waste of battle-fields and graves, With strong feet stands, and sun-bright pinions waves.