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LXXV. – THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY
IDE. (GEORGE B. IDE, D. D., is a native of Vermont, and a graduate of Middlebury College in that State. He has been for some years pastor of the First Baptist Ch. in Springfield, Mass. His sermons, many of which have been printed. are marked by vigor of expression and a fertile fancy. He has written several popular hymns, and is the author of “Green Hollow, or the Power of Kindness," a story of real life.
Troas was a region in the northwest part of Asia Mi222, ruled over by the ancient kings of Ilium, or Troy, a famous city taken by the Greeks under command of Agamemnon. Tenedos is a small island off the coast of Troas. Phi. lippi was a town in Macedonia, in the northern part of Greece. Illyricum, now Illyria, is a country lying on the east coast of the Adriatic.]
At the port of Troas, a spot rich in memories of the olden time, with the ruins of Ilium in the distance, and the classic waves of the Ægean breaking at their feet, were
now assembled Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke — four 5 obscure and unknown voyagers, but bound on a mightier
mission than had ever before been wafted over these farfamed waters.
Across the narrow strait on which they gazed, the ships of Greece had come to the siege of Troy, and full in their 10 view lay the renowned Tenedos. Along the very coast where
they stood, the myriads of Xerxes had proudly marched, while his fleet covered the sea. And, in later days, the same isle-gemmed billows had been ploughed by many a
Roman galley, exulting in the pomp of victory. But never 15 had they borne a freight so precious, or one charged with
such vast results as that which was now to be committed to their keeping.
A lowly bark, whose name no historian has recorded, and no poet has sung, puts forth from the haven and wooes 20 the favoring breeze. No sound of trumpet announces its
departure; no shouting multitudes cheer it on its way; no banners floating from its masts proclaim the greatness of its embassy. And yet it bears destinies more grand than those of Agamemnon or Alexander.
On its deck, in the persons of those toil-worn and unregarded wayfarers, stand the messengers of the living God; and in the simple doctrine of a crucified Christ, which they
go to publish, there resides an all-conquering power, which 5 shall prostrate the idolatry of Greece, silence its oracles,
confound its philosophy, and pour upon its population the beams of heavenly truth; and which, spreading that truth to the farthest regions of the West, shall elevate its bar
barian hordes to the pinnacle of civilization, and render 10 them centres of intellectual and moral light to the again darkened East.
Speeded by propitious gales, the little craft reaches its destination. Paul treads the heroic soil of Macedon, and
begins, at Philippi, that series of evangelical conflicts and 15 successes, in which, through all the provinces of Greece,
from Corinth to Illyricum, he “fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
LXXVI. - WOLSEY AND CROMWELL.
SHAKSPEARE. (The following scene is taken from the historical play of “King Henry VIII,” Cardinal Wolsey had been prime minister of England, the possessor of enormous wealth and unbounded power, but, in losing the favor of the king, had lost all. Cromwell was a friend and member of his household, who remained faithful to his benefactor in his fallen fortunes.]
Wol. Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness !
And bears his blushing honors thick upon him ; 6 The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost,
And — when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, 10 This many summers, in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride
At length broke under me, and now has left me,
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye ;
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
Why, how now, Cromwell ?
What, amazed At my misfortunes ? Can thy spirit wonder A great man should decline ? Nay, an you weep I am fallen indeed. CROM.
How does your grace ? 20 WOL.
Why, well; Never so truly happy, my good Cromwell. I know myself now; and I feel within me A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience. The king has cured me, — 25 I humbly thank his grace, — and from these shoulders,
These ruined pillars, out of pity, taken
Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven 30 CROM. I am glad your grace has made that right use of it
Wol. I hope I have. I am able now, methinks,
* That is, the ruin which princes inflict.
Than my weak-hearted enemies dare offer.
The heaviest, and the worst,
God bless him !
That's somewhat sudden; But he's a learned man. May he continue 10 Long in his highness’s favor, and do justice
For truth's sake, and his conscience; that his bones,
What more? 15 Crom. That Cranmer is returned with welcome, Installed lord archbishop of Canterbury.
Wou. That's news, indeed.
Last, that the Lady Anne, a Whom the king hath in secrecy long married, 20 This day was viewed in open, as his queen,
Going to chapel ; and the voice is now
In that one woman I have lost forever.
Upon my smiles. Go, get thee from me, Cromwell; 30 I am a poor, fallen man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master. Seek the king :
* Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King IIenry VIII
(I know his noble nature) not to let
O my lord,
With what a sorrow Cromwell leaves his lord.
Wol. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
And, — when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
Say, Wolsey — that once trod the ways of glory, 20 And sounded all the depths and shoals of honor —
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in ;
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition :
The image of his Maker, hope to win by 't ?
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
Let all the ends thou aim’st at be thy country's,
And — Prithee, lead me in:
To the last penny; 't is the king's; my robe,