Изображения страниц

strength of God." No wonder then, that Sir Matthew Hale was enabled, in a remarkable manner, to execute justice in the true and strictest sense of the word.

The third thing I will mention in Sir Matthew Hale's character, is his strict attendance to religious duties, and particularly his observance of the Sabbath. Many public men, engaged as he was during the week, with such pressing business, might have been tempted to employ a portion of Sunday in work not quite in accordance with the sacredness of the day, under the plea that it was necessary or useful, -for the benefit of others, and therefore excusable, or even right. But Hale never thought or acted thus. Sunday was to him a true day of rest; and he was firmly persuaded that sabbaths spent, as he loved to spend his, in public worship in God's house, and in religious reading and conversation at home, not only ensure present enjoyment, but bring a blessing even upon the worldly occupations of the following week. And he was right. God has said, "Them that honour me, I will hon"and He has promised an especial blessing to those who honour Him by keeping holy His day. "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt


honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Hale received much earthly renown, and thus he might have been said to experience the truth of this promise, and to "ride upon the high places of the earth," in the honour which he enjoyed amongst men. And he received too the other and better part of the promise, in the "delight" which he felt in thus keeping holy that sacred day, and in the peace of mind which he enjoyed, that foretaste of the eternal sabbath which remains for the people of God.

[ocr errors]

But it is time for us to take our leave of this great and good man, and we will do so, and conclude this long chapter, with a few lines in his praise by the poet Cowper;—

Immortal Hale! for deep discernment prais'd,
And sound integrity, no more than fam'd
For sanctity of manners undefiled.



A.D. 1688-1702.

'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume ;
And we are weeds without it.

All constraint,
Except what wisdom lays on evil men,
Js evil; hurts the faculties, impedes

Their progress in the road of science; blinds
The eyesight of Discovery; and begets,
In those that suffer it, a sordid mind,
Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit

To be the tenant of man's noble form.


THOUGH there was so much to encourage William III in the commencement of his reign, he was not firmly fixed in his new kingdom without some difficulty, and some fighting and blood-shed too. Let us go once more to Ireland, and see what was the state of affairs there just at this time.

The government had been entrusted to a man named Tyrconnel, who at first appeared favourably disposed towards William, and

willing to submit to his authority. But all the time, Tyrconnel was secretly on the side of James, and desirous of restoring him to the throne, if possible, with the assistance of the Roman Catholic party. James had, as you remember, retired to France, and was living there on very friendly terms with King Louis; but now, when there seemed to be some hope of recovering the crown by means of Tyrconnel and his party, he determined to go over to Ireland, and head the army in his own person. Louis furnished him with large supplies of money, and other things necessary for the expedition; and he offered him also an army of soldiers to fight with, but this James refused, saying that if he did not succeed by the help of his own subjects, he would perish in the attempt. So they parted, and as the French king took leave of his friend, he affectionately said, "The best thing I can wish you is, that I may never see you again."

William had, meantime, commanded the Irish to lay down their arms, and submit to the new government. So when James arrived in Dublin, and was received as king by his friends there, it seemed as if the two parties must of necessity soon come to open warfare. But the Irish were not all on the side of James. The northern portion of the country, being Protestant, was devoted to the cause of

William; and James determined therefore to direct his first attacks there, and to lead his army against Londonderry. The Protestants in that city, as soon as they heard of the approaching danger, shut their gates, and determined to resist to the utmost all the attacks of their enemies. Among these brave people were a number of young men, apprentices in the town, who had learnt to love the Bible, and the religion of the Bible, and they resolved to fight and to suffer, if necessary, for their rights and privileges as Protestants.

It was indeed dreadful intelligence to the people of Londonderry, that James and his army were actually approaching. They had resolved what to do; but they knew how fearful it would be to sustain all the horrors of a siege; and great as their courage was, they were but ill prepared to resist the attacks of an enemy; for they had but a small supply of armour and horses; and the garrison was composed of people not much accustomed to fighting. They were destitute of provisions too, and the army that was approaching was headed by James himself, commanded by skilful generals, and well furnished with everything that was necessary either for fighting or besieging. This was a gloomy prospect indeed, and yet, with all these dangers before them, the noble spirited protestants of Londonderry closed

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »