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cy and earliest youth; the alarms, the anxiety I fuffered on thy account, when, entered into the state of manhood, thy life was almost daily exposed in foreign wars; the apprehenfions, the terrors, I underwent when I saw thee so warmly engaged in our domestic quarrels, and, with heroic courage, opposing the unjust pretensions of the furious plebeians. My fad forebodings of the event have been but too well verified. Consider the wretched life I have endured, if it may be called life, the time that has passed since I was deprived of thee, O Marcius, refuse me not the only requelt I ever made to thee; I will never importune thee with any other Cease thy immoderate anger ; be reconciled to thy country ; this is all I ask : grant me but this, and we shall both be happy. Freed from those tempestuous paffions which now agitate thy soul, and from all the torments of self-reproach, thy days will flow smoothly on in the sweet ferenity of conscious virtue : and as for me, if I carry back to Rome the hopes of an approaching peace, an assurance of thy being reconciled to thy country, with what transports of joy shall I be received ! In what honour in what delightful repofe, shall I pass the remainder of my life! What immortal glory shall I have acquired !"
Coriolanus made no attempt to interrupt Veturia while she was speaking , and when she had ceated, he still continued in deep silence. Anger, hatred, and desire of re. venge, balanced in his heart those fofter passions which the fight and discourse of his mother had awakened in his breast. Veturia perceiving his irrelolution, and fearing the event, thus renewed her expoftulation : “Why dolt thou not answer me, my fon? Is there then such greatness of mind in giving all to resentment ? Art thou ashamed to grant any thing to a mother who thus entreats thee, thus humbles herself to thee? If it be fo, to what purpose should I longer endure a wretched life ?” As fhe uttered these last words, interrupted by fighs, she threw herself prostrate at his fret. His wife and children did the same ; and all the other women, with united voices of mournful accesit, begged and implored his pity.
The Volscian officers, not able unmoved to behold this scene, turned away their eyes ; but Coriolanus, "almost beside himself to fee Veturia at his feet, passionately cried out : “Ah ! mother, what art thou doing?” And tenderly pressing her hand, in raising her up, he added, in a lcw voice, " Rome is saved, but thy son is lost !"
Early the next morning, Coriolanus broke up his camp and peaceably marched his army homewards. Nobody had the boldness to contradict his orders. Many were exceedingly dissatisfied with his conduct ; but others excused it, being more affected with his filial respect to his mother than with their own interests. Hooke's ROMAN HISTORY,
Execution of Cranmer, archbilbop of Canterbury. QUEEN Mary determined to bring Cranmer, whom fhe had long detained in prison, to punishment; and in order more fully to satiate her vengeance, the resolved to punish him for heresy, rather than for treason. He was cited by the Pope to itand his trial at Rome ; and though he was known to be kept in close custody at Oxford, he was upon his not appearing, condemned as contumacious. Bonner, bishop of London, and Thirleby, bishop of Ely, were fent to degrade him ; and the former executed the melancholy ceremony, with all the joy and exultation which suited his favage nature. The implacable fpirit of the Queen, not satisfied with the future mifery of Cranmer, which she be. lieved inevitable, and with the execution of that dreadful sentence to which he was condemned, prompted her also to seek the ruin of his lionour, and the infamy of his name. Persons were employed to attack him, not in the
of difputation, against which he was sufficiently armed; but by Aattery, infinuation and address; by representing the dignities to which his character ftill entitled him, if he would merit them by a recantation ; by giving him hopes of long enjoying those powerful friends, whom his beneficent disposition had attached to him, during the course of his prosperity. Overcome by the fond love of life; terrifi. ed by the prospect of those tortures which awaited him ; he allowed, in an unguarded hour, the sentiments of nature to prevail over his resolution, and agreed to subscribe the doctrines of the papal fupremacy, and of the real presence. The court, equally perfidious and cruel, was determined that this recantation should avail him nothing ; and sent orders that he should be required to acknowledge his errors in church before the whole people ; and that he should thence be immediately carried to execution,
Cranmer, whether he had received a secret intimation of their design, or had repented of his weakness, surprised the
audience by a contrary declaration. He said, that he was well apprised of the obedience which he owed to his fovereign and the laws; but that this duty extended no farther than to fubmit patiently to their commands; and to bear, without relillance, whatever hardships they should impose upon him : that a superior duty, the duty which he owed to his Maker, obliged him to speak truth on all occasions ; and not to relinquish, by a base denial, the holy do&rine which the Supreme Being had revealed to mankind : that there was one miscarriage in his life, of which, above all others, he severely repented; the infincere declaration of faith to which he had the weakness to confent, and which the fear of death alone had extorted from him : that he took this opportunity of atoning for bis error, by a sincere and
open recantation ; and was willing to seal, with his blood, that doctrine which he firmly believed to be communicated from heaven: and that, as his hand had erred, by betraying his heart, it should first be punished, by a fevere but just doom, and should first pay the forfeit of its offences.
He was then led to the lake, amidst the insults of his enemies : and having now fummoned up all the force of his mind, he bore their scorn, as well as the torture of his punishment, with fingular fortitude. He stretched out his hand, and, without betraying, either by his countenance or motions, the least fign of weakness, or even of feeling, he held it in the flames till it was entirely consumed. His thoughts seemed wholly occupied with reflections on his former fault, and he called aloud several times, « This hand has offended." Satisfied with that atonement, he then discovered a ferenity in his countenance ; and when the fire attacked his body, he seemed to be quite intensible of his outward fufferings, and by the force of hope and resolution, to have collected his mind altogether within itfelf, and to repel che fury of the flames.--He was undoubtedly a man of merit ; poffeffed of learning and capacity, and adorned with candour, fincerity, and beneficence, and all those virtues which were fitted to render himn useful and amiable in fociety
SECTION III. Chriflianity furnifies the best consolation under the evils of life
It is of great importance to contemplate the chriltian religion in the light of confolation ; as bringing aid and re
lief to us amidst the distresses of life. Here our religion incontestably triumphs; and its happy effects, in this respect, furnish a strong argument to every benevolent mind, for wishing them to be farther diffused throughout the world. For without the belief and hope afforded by divine revelation, the circumstances of man are extremely forlorn. He finds himself placed here as a stranger in a vast universe, where the powers and operations of nature are very imperfectly known ; where both the beginnings and the issues of things are involved in mysterious darkness ; where he is unable to discover, with any certainty, whence he fprung, or for what purpose he was brought into this state of exiftence ; whether he is subjected to the government of a mild, or of a wrathful ruler ; what construction he is to put on many of the dispensations of his providence ; and what his fate is to be, when he departs hence. What a disconfolate situation, to a serious inquiring mind! The greater de. gree of virtue it possesses, the more its sensibility is likely to be oppressed by this burden of labouring thought. Even though it were in one's power to banish all uneasy thought, and to fill up the hours of life with perpetual amusement, life so filled up would, upon reflection, appear poor and trivial. But there are far from being the terms upon which man is brought into this world. He is conscious that his being is frail and feeble ; he sees himself beset with various dangers; and is exposed to many a melancholy apprehenfion, from the evils which he may have to encounter, before he arrives at the close of life. In this distressed condition, to reveal to him such discoveries of the Supreme Being as the christian religion affords, is to reveal to him a father and a friend ; is to let in a ray of the most cheering light upon the darkness of the human state. He who was before a destitute orphan, wandering in the inhofpita. ble desert, has now gained a shelter from the bitter and inclement blast. He now knows to whom to pray, and in whom to trust ; where to unbofom his forrows; and from what hand to look for relief.
It is certain, that, when the heart bleeds from some wound of recent misfortune, nothing is of equal efficacy with religious comfort. It is of power to enlighten the darkest hour, and to assuage the feverest wo, by the belief of divine favour, and the prospect of a blessed immortality, In such hopes, the mind expatiates with joy ; and, when bereaved of its earthly friends, folaces itself with the
thoughts of one Friend, who will never forsake it. Refin, ed reasonings concerning the nature of the human condition, and the improvement which philosophy teaches us to make of every event, may entertain the mind when it is at eale; may perhaps contribute to sooth it, when flightly touched with forrow : but when it is torn with any fore distress, they are cold and feeble, compared with a direct promise from the Father of mercies. This is “ an anchor 10 the soul both fure and steadfast.” This has given con fulation and refuge to many a virtuous heart, at a time when the moit cogent reasonings would have proved utterly unavailing,
Upon the approach of death, when if a man thinks at all, his anxiety about his future intereits must naturally ipcrease, the power of religious confolation is fenfibly felt. Then appears, in the most ftriking light, the high value of the discoveries made by the gospel ; not only life and immortality revealed, but a Mediator with God discovered ; mercy proclaimed, through him, to the frailties of the pen. itent and the humble, and his presence promised to be with them when they are palling through “the valley of the thaduw of death, in order to bring them safe into un. feen habitations of rest and joy. Here is ground for their leaving the world with comfort and peace. But in this see vere and trying period, this labouring hour of nature, how shall the unhappy man support himself, who knows not, or believes not, the discoveries of religion? Secretly conscious to himself that he has not acted his part as he ought to have done, the sins of his past life arise before him in fad remembrance. He wilhes to exist after death, and yet dreads that existence. . The Governor of the world is unknown. He cannot tell whether every endeavour to oblain his mercy may not be in vain.
All is awful. obscurity around him ; and, in the midst of endless doubts and perplexities, the trembling, reluctant soul is forced away from the body. As the misfortunes of life must, to such a man, have been most oppressive, so its end is bitter. His fun fets in a dark cloud; and the night of death closes over his head, full of misery.
BLArR, SECTION IV. Benefits to be derived from scenes of distress. Some periods of sadness have, in our present situation, a just and natural place; and they are requisite to the true