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as a stable, and to its fruit as fodder; vine-dressers and husbandmen, who love the corn they grind, and the grapes they crush, better than the gardens of the angels upon the slopes of Eden; hewers of wood, and drawers of water, who think that it is to give them wood to hew, and water to draw, that the pine-forests cover the mountains like the shadow of God, and the great rivers move like His eternity. And so comes upon us that woe of the preacher, that though God “hath made everything beautiful in His time, also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."
This Nebuchadnezzar curse, that sends men to grass like oxen, seems to follow but too closely on the excess or continuance of national
In the perplexities of nations, in their struggles for existence, in their infancy, their impotence, or even their disorganisation, they have higher hopes, and nobler passions. Out of the suffering comes the serious mind; out of the salvation, the grateful heart; out of endurance, fortitude; out of deliverance, faith ; but when they have learned to live under providence of laws, and with decency and justice of regard for each other, and when they have done away with violent and external sources of suffering, worse evils seem to arise out of their rest; evils that vex less and mortify more, that suck the blood though they do not shed it, and ossify the heart though they do not torture it. And deep though the causes of thankfulness must be to every people at peace with others, and at unity in itself;
there are causes of fear, also, a fear greater than of sword and sedition : that dependence on God may be forgotten, because the bread is given and the water sure; that gratitude to Him may cease, because His constancy of protection has taken the semblance of a natural law; that heavenly hope may grow faint amidst the full fruition of the world; that selfishness may take the place of undemanded devotion, compassion be lost in vain glory, and love in dissimulation; that enervation may succeed to strength, apathy to patience, and the noise of jesting words and foulness of dark thoughts, to the earnest purity of the girded loins and the burning lamp. About the river of human life there is a wintry wind, though a heavenly sunshine; the iris colours its agitation, the frost fixes upon
Let us beware that our rest become not the rest of stones, which, so long as they are torrent-tossed and thunder-stricken, maintain their majesty ; but when the stream is silent, and the storm passed, suffer the grass to cover them and the lichen to feed on them, and are ploughed down into dust.
And though I believe that we have salt enough of ardent and holy mind amongst us, to keep us in some measure from this moral decay, yet the signs of it must be watched with anxiety, in all matters, however trivial, in all directions, however distant. And at this time, when the iron roads are tearing up the surface of Europe, as grapeshot do the sea, when their great net is drawing and twitching the ancient frame and strength together, contracting all its various life, its rocky arms
and rural heart, into a narrow, finite, calculating metropolis of manufactures; when there is not a monument throughout the cities of Europe that speaks of old years and mighty people, but is being swept away to build cafés and gaming-houses; when the honour of God is thought to consist in the poverty of His temple, and the column is shortened, and the pinnacle shattered, the colour is denied to the casement, and the marble to the altar, while exchequers are exhausted in luxury of boudoirs and pride of reception-rooms; when we ravage without a pause all the loveliness of Creation which God, in giving, pronounced good, and destroy without a thought all those labours which men have given their lives and their sons' sons' lives to complete, and have left for a legacy to all their kind, a legacy of more than their hearts' blood, for it is of their souls' travail; there is need, bitter need, to bring back into men's minds, that to live is nothing, unless to live be to know Him by Whom we live ; and that He is not to be known by marring His fair works, and blotting out the evidence of His influences upon His creatures; not amidst the hurry of crowds and crash of innovation, but in solitary places, and out of the glowing intelli
gave to men of old. He did not teach them how to build for glory and for beauty, He did not give them the fearless, faithful, inherited energies that worked on and down from death to death, generation after generation, that we might give the work of their poured-out spirit to the axe and the hammer; He has not cloven the earth with rivers, that their white
gences which he
wild waves might turn wheels and push paddles, nor turned it up under, as it were fire, that it might heat wells and cure diseases; He brings not up Ilis quails by the east-wind, only to let them fall in flesh about the camp
He has not heaped the rocks of the mountain only for the quarry, nor clothed the grass of the field only for the oven,
of men ;
JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE.
QUEEN ELIZABETH AT OXFORD.
The approaching session could not fail to be a stormy one and Elizabeth knew, though others might affect to be ignorant, that if she was forced into a recognition of Mary Stuart, a Catholic revolution would not be many months distant.
At the beginning of August, to gather strength and spirit for the struggle, she went on progress, not to the northern counties where the Queen of Scots had hoped to meet her, but first to Stamford on a visit to Cecil, thence cound to Woodstock, her old prison in the perilous days of her sister, and finally, on the evening of the 31st, she paid Oxford the honour which two years. before she had conferred on the sister University. The preparations for her visit were less gorgeous, the reception itself far less imposing, yet the fairest of her cities in its autumnal robe of sad and mellow loveliness, suited the queen's humour, and her stay there had a peculiar interest.
She travelled in a carriage. At Wolvercot, three miles out on the Woodstock road, she was met by the heads of houses in their gowns and hoods. The approach was by the long north avenue leading to the north gate; and as she drove along it, she saw in front of her the black tower of Bocardo, where Cranmer had been long a prisoner, and the ditch where, with his brother martyrs, he had given his life for the sins of the people. The scene was changed from that chill sleety morning, and the soft glow of the August sunset was no unfitting symbol of the change of times; yet how soon such another season might tread upon the heels of the departing summer, none knew better than Elizabeth. She went on, under the archway and up the corn-market between rows of shouting students. The students cried in Latin “Vivat Regina." Elizabeth, amidst bows and smiles, answered in Latin also, “Gratias ago, gratias ago."
At Carfax, where Bishop Langlands, forty years before had burnt “Tyndal's Testaments,” a professor greeted her with a Greek speech, to which, with unlooked for readiness, she replied again in the same language. A few more steps brought her down to the great gate of Christ Church, the splendid monument of Wolsey, and of the glory of the age that was gone. She left the carriage, and with de Silva at her side, she walked under a canopy across the magnificent quadrangle to the Cathedral. The dean, after evening service, entertained her at his house.
The days of her stay were spent as at Cambridge-