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striking and vivid; Melrose by moonlight; the Monk and Deloraine on the Tomb of Michael Scott; the sudden and unexpected rencontre of Lord Cranstown and William, which "seemed like the bursting thunder cloud;" the bloodhound with his red eyes shooting fire; the fire-signals, recalling Eschylus to the memory; and above all, the exquisite ballad of Rosabelle, sweet, wild, and pathetic, rivet the charms of The Lay of the Last Minstrel. Marmion has merits of a different kind. You see the tossing plumes, the pomp and circumstance of war; the same life-giving pencil pervades every part of this historic picture; Marmion's escape from the Castle of Douglas:"Lord Marmion turn'd,-well was his need,—
And dashed the rowels in his steed,
Like arrow through the arch-way sprung,
pass there was such scanty room,
The bars, descending, razed his plume."-Canto VI. The Palmer, sitting in the faint illumination of the fire-light; Marmion, leaning over his squire, Fitz-Eustace, in the hay-loft,"in moon-beam half, and half in gloom:" and, to sum up the whole, the magnificent death of Marmion, worthy of the inspired pencil of Shakspeare;-these are sketches for immortality. For the reason already assigned, we pass by the Waverley Novels, tempting as the theme must ever be. Two or three circumstances, however, may be briefly noticed, because they offer very pleasing proofs of the facility with which this modern Enchanter built up his romantic structures out of the simplest elements. Every reader is acquainted with The Heart of Mid-Lothian, and the admirable portraiture of Jenny Deans.
Her prototype was said to exist in a woman named Helen Walker, who, being deprived of her parents at an early age, brought up and educated, by her own labours, a younger sister, who was subsequently tried for child-murder, Helen being the principal witness against her. The advocate for the prisoner explained to her the nature of the case, and urged her either to swear, as the only chance of saving the unfortunate girl's life, that her sister had made some preparation for her infant, or communicated her situation to her. But Helen's determination not to take a false oath was unconquerable-" whatever would be the consequence, she would give her evidence according to her conscience." The trial necessarily terminated in the conviction of the prisoner, who was heard to exclaim, while being removed from the bar-"Oh, Nelly, ye hae been the cause o' my death!" to which Helen Walker replied-"ye ken I bade speak the truth." But this courageous girl was about to show in its brightest lustre the daring resolution of virtue. On the very day of her sister's condemnation she had a petition drawn up, stating the peculiar circumstances of the case, and on the
evening of that day set out on foot from Dumfries for London, without a single letter or note of recommendation. Upon her arrival at the metropolis, she hastened to the house of the Duke of Argyle, at whose door she waited during three successive days, until she at length succeeded in presenting her petition, as the Duke was entering his carriage. Her filial affection and heroic piety met with their due recompense; her sister was pardoned, and she herself sent back to Scotland at the Duke's expense. She resided on the banks of the river Clouden, near the spot where a bridge crosses it on the road between Sanquhar and Dumfries; and after seeing her sister married to the person whose attachment had placed her life in peril, she expired at the advanced age of eighty-five years, and was buried in the churchyard of Irongray, in 1787.*
The death of Elspeth, in The Antiquary, will be in the memory of every reader. Ochiltree, who accompanied Oldbuck in his visit to the hut, it will be recollected, had alluded to the removal of her "auld mistress, the Countess Jocelin." This word excited the dying memory of the wretched woman. "Removed!" she exclaimed, "then we maun a' follow. A' maun ride when she is in the saddle; tell them to let Lord Geraldin know we're on before them. Bring my hood and scarf; ye wad na hae me gang in the carriage wi' my head and my hair in this fashion." She raised her shrivelled arms, and seemed busied like a woman who puts on her cloak to go abroad; then dropped them slowly and stiffly; and the same idea of a journey still floating apparently through her head, she proceeded in a hurried and interrupted manner-" Call Miss Neville! What do you mean by Lady Geraldin? Tell her that, and bid her change her wet gown, and no look so pale. Teresa! Teresa! my lady calls
Bring a candle, the grand staircase is as mirk as a gull midnight. We are coming, my Lady!" With these words she sunk back in the settle, and from thence sidelong to the floor. The scene here so vividly portrayed, is said to have been partly occasioned by an incident which occurred at the funeral of John Duke of Roxburghe. The only assistant his Grace employed for many years in arranging the volumes of his library, was a servant named Archie; in his room was a bell, never used except to summon him to his master's study. In 1804 the Duke died at St. James's Square, and his remains were carried to Scotland and deposited in the family vault at Bowden. Archie, though suffering from the severest symptoms of a liver complaint, determined to accompany his departed master, but on his arrival at Fleurs, nature sunk under the excitement. On the morning of the day appointed for the Duke's burial, the bell, which had never been used except to call Archie, rang violently; and the old servant,
* See the Illustrations of Scott, published by Fisher.
roused by the familiar sound, rose up in his bed, saying, with a faltering tone, "Yes, my Lord Duke! yes, I will wait on your Grace instantly!"—and with these words on his lips, fell back and expired.
There is yet one point on are compelled, very unwillingly, to make one or two observations-the religious character of Sir Walter Scott. The writer of these Recollections has gone somewhat out of his way to vindicate the piety of his friend. Among the remarkable traits in Sir Walter's character, he says, is to be reckoned this, that while his own conduct was ever most exemplary, yet, in the eyes of ignorant or censorious observers, he might appear to be of no religion. ** He seldom, it is true, went to church, and never engaged in religious controversy. Now, no person can require in this day to be reminded, that the just and honourable and affectionate discharge of the various duties of life does not constitute Christianity; such conduct is seen continually in Deists, and even in men destitute of any religion at all. A great English writer, with whom even the author of Waverley might have felt proud to be named, has told us that religion, of which the rewards are distant, will glide by degrees out of the mind, unless reinforced by stated calls to worship, and the all-important exercise of prayer. Undoubtedly, works, as the natural offspring of faith, are the chief corner-stones of the Christian's character; but then they must strictly and singularly be the result of continual efforts to do "the will of our Father which is in heaven." No one can read the Romances of Scott without being offended by the freedom and even levity with which scriptural allusions are often introduced; at the same time we are quite willing to admit the general tone of morality that pervades them, and to regard with feelings of dissatisfaction the attack levelled against him in an American work, in which the writer declares, after mentioning that he had read all the novels, his abhorrence of their character, and his dread of their influence upon the world.*
ART. XII.- Proposals for the Creation of a Fund to be applied to the Building and Endowment of Additional Churches in the Metropolis. By CHARLES JAMES, Lord Bishop of London. B. Fellowes, Ludgate Street.
THE second report of the Church Commissioners, which has been laid upon the tables of both houses of parliament, exhibits the truly awful state, as respects their deficiency of church accommodation, to which the inhabitants of the capital of Great
* We have noticed a few errors in chronology in this work, which the writer's absence from books will easily account for.
Britain are reduced. The growing evil is to be attributed to the gradual increase of population.
The Bishop of London, alive to the urgency of the case, and feeling himself peculiarly called upon to step into the breach, has seized the occasion to put forth a little tract, entitled as above.
"At this moment," says the Right Rev. Prelate, "there is "in the metropolis, and its suburbs, omitting all notice of those "parishes which contain less than 7000 inhabitants, a population "of not less than 1,380,000, with church-room for only 140,000, "or little more than one-tenth of the whole."
We are necessitated to infer, from this simple statement, that heathenism is around and about us, not sequestered in remote hamlets and villages, but flourishing in the very heart of the community. Good God! what a dreadful state of things to contemplate. Is it possible to recur to the fact, of tens of thousands of our fellow-citizens being utterly destitute of that spiritual knowledge which leadeth unto salvation, without feeling our blood turn cold? Do we breathe in a Christian land? Can we bear to think that our thoroughfares are crowded with beings carrying the "human form divine," yet "living without God in the world?" And this moral horror comes, however, to our very thresholds. We protest, in perfect sincerity, that were we to let our minds dwell upon the picture, and the terrible circumstances which it involves, we could not on the Lord's day acknowledge our manifold sins, nor offer up thanksgiving. Our thoughts would revert in agony to the multitude of our lost fellow-creatures, thronging the dwelling-places of the metropolis; yearning, perchance, to no purpose to obtain pastoral care; thirsting, but all in vain, for the manna from above; and who, miserable sinners, like ourselves, could they only have the message of salvation read and preached in the sanctuary of the Lord, might turn from their wickedness and live. Is not this a fearful reflection? Can we conceive, without the most harrowing sensations, the idea of hundreds of thousands of our fellow-countrymen, the fellow-countrymen of Hooker, of Taylor, and of Tillotson, breathing in this so highly favoured and celebrated city, in this advanced period of civilisation-breathing, vegetating, grovelling like the brute, "without the knowledge of God. I speak it to your shame!"
This state of things is big with considerations of no ordinary import. Waving for a moment our spiritual responsibility, fearful forebodings crowd upon us. We cannot but apprehend the sequel. Beyond a question, the times teem with awful issues. May God avert his chastisements! Plague, pestilence, and famine, may take us by surprise. We are a sinful generation, cold-bloodedly to endure the state of things unfolded by the proposals of the Bishop of London for a single day, without rushing to evangelize the land anew. For aught we can tell,
sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion, may be the instruments of God's wrath. They are the natural fruits of hardness of heart, and ignorance of his word and commandment. And the few amongst us who can read the signs of the times are half inclined to apprehend no common calamities. What a teeming population swarms in the metropolis and the environs! Who can pretend to calculate the thousands and tens of thousands who are sunk in a moral darkness, which might be said to be felt? Impressed with this mournful truth, the Society for the building and enlargement of Churches and Chapels have bestirred themselves to meet the exigency. During the last twenty-five years, thirty-three new churches, affording accommodation for 54,000 persons, have been erected in the diocese of London. But from what we have stated, it will be seen how very inadequate is this supply to the spiritual demands of our fellow-citizens. The disproportion which exists between the actual population and the provision afforded by the Church, might be styled, without any exaggeration of language, tremendous. Unless some timely remedy be applied, there can be no doubt but that the overthrow of the Establishment will be the result. Already on the sites where the lofty spire, the consecrated dome, the solemn tower should stand out to the eye, have been erected conventicles, whose roofs resound to every wind of doctrine. Indeed the friends to our apostolic ministration ought to be made aware, that in lieu of the churches and chapels of the Establishment, houses and lecture-rooms spring up on all sides, where Socinianism, and every other species of Divinité a la raison are preached; where revolutionary doctrines of the most violent description are agitated and promulgated. And what with these palaces for the human soul, and those other meritricious edifices where penny poison in the shape of gin is doled out, it is hard to say what it will all come to. In our opinion there is little to choose between them. Dram-drinking inclines to infidelity, and infidelity seeks refuge in dram-drinking. At all events these temples, under one denomination or another, are triumphing for the present. We hope only for awhile. The idol of Antichrist has been set up by our very doors; the banners of what in by-gone days would have been pronounced treason, have been unfurled; and in the place of the cross of the Redeemer, the molten image of Baal has been erected. And are these things to be endured? Shall the Church, cemented by the blood of martyrs, and whose ordinances men still profess to revere, be virtually given up and forsaken in this shameless way? Shall she be ushered to the grave like a late well-meaning, ill-requited, though not first-rate statesman, by the groans of an unhallowed generation? Shall she crumble into ruin, to be scattered, like the dust of Wickliffe, by the four winds of heaven? Providence forbid! or, if it must beif, because she will not acknowledge the golden calf and worship