« PreviousContinue »
illustrate his whole policy. He had determined that the Canons of Toledo should reside in the cathedral-close; they resisted, and sent one Albornoz to appeal to the Pope. As soon as he was missed from the city, Ximenes sent a message to the nearest sea-port, ordering his arrest. He had set sail; but, as this contingency had been foreseen, the messenger embarked in a swift galley, outstripped the Canon, and carried a royal mandate to the Spanish ambassador, which empowered him to seize Albornoz the moment he set foot in Italy, and to send him back to Spain. These directions were executed in every point, and a severe imprisonment taught the Canon and his fellows the virtue of obedience. This was how the Archbishop generally proceeded. Nothing escaped his foresight; and the rapid execution of his schemes paralysed all resistance. It is scarcely necessary to say that he was successful. The people were instructed in the creeds and catechisms, and redeemed from heathenish ignorance, though not from priestly tyranny; the services of the church were more frequented, and were performed in a more intelligent manner; and many outward reforms were accomplished. But in the essential point-the restoration of that spirit which had prompted the best of the anchorets and monks to withdraw from things earthly, and devote themselves to religious duties with enthusiasm in this, Ximenes entirely failed. It needed a more contemplative mind than he possessed. He saw certain outward evils, but his attempts to cure them drove them inwards. Therefore his work could not be permanent. He was a reformer of manners, not of men.
We have said that Ximenes was, pre-eminently, a man of his times. And stirring days they were, when Ferdinand bore the Cross into the very heart of the Moslem power. For more than seven hundred years the empire of the Moor had been undisturbed; but now the sentence of its overthrow was pronounced, and Ferdinand and Isabella, putting themselves at the head of Spanish chivalry, determined to execute it. Every corner of the kingdom rang with the din of preparation, and eren cowled monks felt their hearts beat faster with warlike ardour. In the campaign itself, the presence of the Queen cast a courtly halo over the grim features of carnage ; and religion lent her aid to hide the horrors of war, and to transform the death of the soldier into the entrance ministered to the martyr into the everlasting kingdom of his Lord. All Europe was drawn to this arena ; and, when the fiery voluntaries charged the Moor, the sierras re-echoed the battle-cries of France, Italy, and Switzerland. Nor was England unrepresented : Earl Rivers and his retainers dazzled the Spaniards with their costly accoutrements, and confounded the valour of the Moors by the blows of their terrible battle-axes. At last, the threat, made by the King in allusion to the arms of Granada, was accomplished, and “the last seed was plucked from the pomegranate." The joy of victory was shared by every state in Christendom, while the Moors gloomily acquiesced in a fate not altogether cruel ; for they still possessed freedom in religion, and were ruled by their own laws.
In some sense, the wars of Ferdinand were the occasion of the mission undertaken by his Chancellor. Ximenes spent his novitiate at San Juan-de-los-Reyes, a fine pile of buildings gradually rising into nobler proportions in pursuance of a vow made by the Catholic sovereigns during the Granada war. In its chapel hung the heavy fetters that had cramped the limbs of Christian prisoners, and the whole building was a votive offering of Spanish valour. As the sad devotee paced the cloisters, thoughts of an enterprise that should dwarf the proud achievements of the soldier were suggested by the place. He would one day deliver the captor from his captivity, and hang the chains of his superstition in the Christian temple. In 1499, as if in rivalry of the warfare so lately hushed, Ximenes came to conquer souls where Ferdinand had only subjugated the soil. His first line of circumvallation was drawn with care ; a law was passed, securing certain privileges to all Moorish converts. He then advanced boldly to the attack. In an evil hour, the gentle Talavera, Archbishop of Granada, allowed Ximenes to join him in his mission. To translate the Scriptures, and to win gainsayers by the exhibition of the true Christian faith, had been Talavera's plan; but his impetuous colleague soon changed all that. Furnished with everything that could charm the eye or lure the greed of the Moor, this new Missionary called the principal infidel doctors to a conference, and at the conclusion loaded them with costly presents. The weight of these arguments was irresistible ; and the common people, following in the wake of their teachers, found it a pleasant thing to turn Christian. The golden bullet beat down the tower of Moslem unbelief. In four months thousands were baptized; and soon a multitude of bells, impious as they were in Mohammedan ears, were tinkling so perpetually in Granada, that Ximenes passed by the name of “Bellman.” Satire soon gave place to anger : the doings of the Archbishop were stigmatized as illegal. He answered his opponents by casting them into prison as traitors. As no open resistance ensued, the oppressor grew bolder in his high-handed policy. He burnt thousands of beautiful Arabic books in the public square ; and then issued orders to seize the children of Christian renegades, that they might be brought up in the faith their parents had abjured. At last Moorish fanaticism was aroused; the rioters besieged the Archbishop in his palace; he was in imminent peril ; his friends besought him to flee; he refused, and at daylight the Governor of the city rescued him. The rioters still continued under arms, and it was only at the intercession of Talavera, who threw himsell boldly into their midst, that they dispersed. The Governor pursued a conciliatory policy, and referred all to the King himself; but Ximenes triumphed. Hastening to Ferdinand, who was greatly enraged at the news of the revolt when it first
came to his ears, Ximenes showed him that all Moorish opposition was quieted; dwelt on the advantages which must result from all the kingdom being Christian ; and counselled the King to offer the infidels their choice between baptism into the church, or execution for high treason. This monkish dilemma was never proposed; but the rigours of the royal commission were so great, that multitudes turned Chris. tians to avoid persecution. Thus, as a contemporary shrewdly remarks, " Mohammed was in the hearts of men whose lips called on Christ.” Many emigrated; and the lot of the remainder grew worse and worse, till, in 1502, the expulsion of the Moors was decreed.
Thus Ximenes brought the story of the lamb and the wolf from fable into history. He first fouled the waters, and then punished the Moors because they did not run clear. Laws were tampered with, and solemn engagements were violated. The secular arm was brought to bear on those who were deaf to spiritual arguments. Fuel was gathered for the fires of the Inquisition. And all for what end ? For the imposition of the Christian name upon an unwilling people. Awording to our idea of Missionary efforts, a more complete failure is inconceivable: the fundamental principles of Christianity were entirely sacrificed to gain an extension of its name. In the view of contemporaries, it was a brilliant success. A whole province was won to the Church! In his mission, as in his reformation, Ximenes only considered the outward form; the spirit, the heart, the motive, were entirely overlooked in his schemes. There was need of a Luther, when reformers themselves only “made clean the outside of the cup and the platter," and the yoke of Christ was imposed with blows and cruelty on those who refused to take it upon themselves.
But, although Ximenes worshipped the “idols of his tribe" with unhappy devotion, the skill displayed by him in the execution of his plans is so marvellous that we are bound to admire it; regretting that talents so great had not been employed on a nobler and better enterprise. The court factions were unanimous in their hatred of the upstart Franciscan; and yet, far from court, he outwitted them all. Ferdinand always owed him a bitter grudge because he was Archbishop of Toledo,--a post which the monarch had long coveted for his natural son, Alphonso, boy-bishop of Saragossa. But the Royal anger was subdued by the skill of the Chancellor in placating the disaffected provinces. Favouritism entertained brilliant hopes of patronage to be secured from an absentee Bishop; but these hopes withered when it was known that the Queen's personal intercession on behalf of Mendoza, nephew of “ the great Cardinal,” was ineffectual. These labours were actually concurrent. As reformer, missionary, bishop, chancellor, be was busy in each ; and the first outlines of other plans were slowly rising in his mind.
(To be continued.)
MEMOIR OF MRS. JANE HUGILL,
OF STOKESLEY :
BY THE REV. GEORGE GREENWOOD. ONE of the great excellencies of the Christian religion is its gracious effect upon the intellect of its recipients. Under its stirring and fostering influence, multitudes of minds have been brought into loving and beautiful action. How many gems would have passed through the world, and faded away from human existence, unknown to fame, to the good and the great, but for this holy faith! Follow in her wake, and, where she comes, you find sterility of feeling, of thought, of effort, giving place to cultivation; and that which otherwise would have been a moral desert becomes a fruitful field. You see this in every class of society, whether in the stir of the crowded city, or in the stillness of the thinly peopled village, hamlet, or glen.
The subject of this paper is an illustration. Born in one of the Dales, within the bounds of the Whitby Circuit, where the population was sparse, and intercourse with the more influential and busy classes of the community was unfrequent, she would have lived and died comparatively unknown and unappreciated, but for her contact with religion. This broke the crust in which was enshrined a strong and vigorous mind; and discovered powers capable of serving and enjoying God, and a soul to grapple with the difficulties incidental to a life of unwavering faith in Him. Much has been said, and much has been written, about great men and their mothers : how much more loudly might we descant on the connexion of great minds and great doings with a vital Christianity!
Mrs. Hugill enjoyed the advantages of a religious training. At the commencement of a well-kept diary, she writes :—“I was born at Westerdale. My parents, Major and Sarah Williamson, being members of the Methodist Society, taught me to fear God, and keep His commandments. When but a child, I remember asking them many questions about heaven and hell.” At a very early period, as is thus manifest, she had serious impressions concerning a future state. Thoughts of the last judgment, of coming rewards and punishments, seem to have exercised a vivid and powerful influence over her mind, leading her to think what her lot would be if she were called to give an account to her Judge. One cannot but see, in her case, how precious is early and pious parental teaching. How surely does the Holy Spirit make use of such instruction, to the ultimate conversion of the soul! and what multitudes of the sainted family in the skies will, in the great day of account, stand forth as the trophies of faithful training!
But, though Mrs. Hugill was thus favoured, she had to struggle
hard and long, before she was introduced into the liberty of God's dear children. Those temptations to the fashionable and the frivolous, which so commonly captivate young people, assailed her as she grew up to womanhood, and caused her many pangs of conscience. She had often bitterly to lament her childish follies, and her disobedience to parental authority ; but would retire into privacy to seek forgiveness at the hands of God. Still, where there is the absence of true conversion, young people are easily led astray. It seems that, as she advanced in years, her inclinations were drawn more and more after the customs and maxims of the world, till a gracious providence placed in her hands a book which led her to the point upon which the whole of her future life hinged, and which she carefully treasured in grateful memory to the day of her death. “In the year 1794,” she says, “I began to read a book written by that good man, Mr. Joseph Alleine, entitled, “An Alarm to Unconverted Sinners.' This book was given by John Wesley to my grandmother, who gave it to me. I read it with serious attention. I thought it pointed out my state in so clear a manner,—that I was condemned before God; and I cried out, 'O wretched soul that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?'" From “the body of this death,” however, she was at length delivered, as every one must be who adopts the same course. Meanwhile, she attended all the means of grace within her reach ; struggled on night and day; and seems, for most of a year, to have frequently given up both fuod and sleep, in search of the "pearl of great price." " Then all at once," she says, “my burden and guilt were removed, peace and joy sprang up in my soul ; I could rejoice in a sin-pardoning, soul-saving Redeemer; and could adopt the language,
· Arise, my soul, arise,
Shake off thy guilty fears ;
In my behalf appears ;
My name is written on His hands."" How truly refreshing this old-style phraseology, all in accord with the warmth of a young convert! and how necessary to watch with devout care, lest such simplicity and fervency should decline in our days!
One cannot but admire the women of the New Testament,—their zeal, and their complete devotion to Jesus, their beloved and adored Friend. When all the rest had forsaken Him, how these lingered and wept by the Cross, while He hung there," a spectacle to angels, and the derision of men !” Mary elicits our admiration, as she hastens first to the sepulchre on the morning of the resurrection,-weeps #hen she finds not the body of Jesus,-turns to the supposed gardener, and asks so plaintively, “Sir, if thou hast borne Him hence, tell