Obrazy na stronie

poorest classes, especially, experienced the grievous loss to them of the plentiful alms, doles, provisions that used to be daily dispensed to the needy at the gates of the abbeys and monasteries. Such callous deprivation of the Church's charity led ultimately to the enforced creation of the Poor

aw system. Notwithstanding the superstition, and too frequent worthless living associated with these ancient ecclesiastical establishments and sanctuaries, yet in their original purpose and best and purest periods, they had the great recommendations of piety, learning, beneficence, and industry. And, even in our day, when we visit the ruins of a Roche Abbey and Fountains, the poet's lines cannot but call forth an echoing refrain in our bosoms :

• The sacred taper's light is gone,
Grey moss has clad the altar-stone,
The holy image is overthrown,

The bell has ceased to toll.
The long ribbed aisles are burst and shrunk ;
The holy shrine to ruin sunk,
Departed is the pious monk,

God's blessing on his soul ! "

THE ROTHERHAM PARISH CHURCH. Although the larger tithes of this Church, formerly assigned to the Abbey of Rufford, were at the dissolution of this Abbey graspingly seized upon by the Shrewsbury family -since called the “lay tithes,” and valued at four or five hundred pounds per annum-and were thus lost to the subsequent vicars, yet the magnificent church itself remained the same, as left in its beauteous completeness by that true and noble son of old Rotherham, the Archbishop.

It is not surpassed in grandeur and beauty in Yorkshire, owing its architectural appearance to the fine taste and lordly munificence of that ecclesiastic. By his provision the great alterations and improvements of the smaller Norman church were accomplished ; including the remodelling and enlargement of the nave, the beautifying of the chancel, the addition of a chapel and a chauntry, and what is most conspicuous and memorable, the erection of the lofty and graceful steeple. In its complete presentation, the church exhibits a most beautiful architectural achievement. From whatever

[graphic][merged small]

point it is viewed—the main front from High Street, the towering proportions from the base of Church Street, the more open view from the Bridge, presenting a gloriously proportioned and symmetrical sanctuary rising above all the house-roofs, in its serene glory—the one effect is altogether sublime and beatific.

The Archbishop is considered also to have been the chief contributor of his gracious bounty to the building and endowment, with a golden image of the Virgin, of that most pic. turesque and precious chapel on the Bridge—a sacred legacy to the town—for some generations, after its disuse for religious rites, utilised for a poor-house and gaol, and now occupied as a tobacco-shop!

“ To what base uses we may return."

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


DWARD was but a young boy on his succeeding to

the throne, and, of course, was naturally under the

influence of his elders. Persecution under the “ Six Articles was speedily ended. Reformers who had fled abroad now returned to our shores, including Coverdale, Hooper, Rogers, and others. Ridley, Latimer, and other ecclesiastics began to preach against masses, images in churches, obits, &c. The more Catholic Bishops, Gardiner, and Bonner did not favour such innovations. The “ Six Articles were repealed. The Sacrament was ordered to be administered in both kinds, and private masses were abolished. The Bishops generally, following the example of Cranmer, accepted a new commission direct from the young King.

The common people were divided concerning the rival claims of Popery and Protestantism. The two religions divided the Realm. In the first Prayer Book of this reign, 1549, the Holy Communion is designated “The Supper of the Lord, and the Holy Communion called the Mass.” Communion in both kinds was allowed, and auricular confession was left indifferent. Afterwards, however, an appointed committee compared the Missals of Sarum, York, Hereford, Bangor, and Lincoln, for there were certain differences among the old Catholics Missals or Prayer Books ; and the present morning and evening services of the Book of Common Prayer were the result. The Litany, with all its marvellously touching appeals, was also composed. Uniformity of doctrine and ceremonial was aimed at, though not successfully attained. It was also a debatable matter what should be the vestments of the clergy, and the preveient feeling favoured the use of white in the priests' garments. The object in changing the liturgy was, of course, meant to extinguish

« PoprzedniaDalej »