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her almutens and alma-cantaras ? The charter of Pandolf and his son Landolf, princes of the Langobards, to the abbey of Monte Cassino, sets forth that the Abbot Aligernus had prayed him, “ut pro amore Dei, nostræque patriæ salvacione concederemus atque confirmaremus cuncta qualiter hic inferius declaratur*.” Is it so certain that he was mistaken in that appreciation of the probable consequences of such a gift, that for having entertained the idea he ought to be set down with the Faustus that pores over figures and cures by the ephemerides ? It is not easy to discover how it should be so. On the contrary, that the founders of these houses were accomplishing a work such as the most enlightened lovers of their country would wish to perform in any age, is an opinion that a calm consideration of the effects resulting from them would perhaps fully justify. Are we to forget, if every other important result were to be overlooked, the immense utility of religious houses to meet the case of those men, who, as a modern author, not taking the existence of monasteries into account, says, “ have brought themselves into such circumstances that, in relation to their social and secular interests, nothing whatever can be done for them ? Men," he says, “who have possessed advantages, enjoyed opportunities, been again and again, perhaps, in positions where they might have done any thing, -such men making shipwreck of themselves, losing their character, estranging their friends, neglecting or prostituting their talents, standing at last debased by vice or branded by crime ; devoid of credit, unworthy of confidence, shunned by their former associates, and willing themselves to hang the head and escape recognition,—what on earth can be done for them ?—what can you say to them in relation to making the best of life or turning the world in any sense to account? Nothing. They had their chance and they lost it. They might have done well,—they did not. Then they cannot now. They must take the consequences of their folly, and just make up their minds to its irretrievable results. No one can help them. They are utterly ruined men so far as this world is concerned, and as such they must go to their graves. There is no possibility of reinstating them,--they cannot regain character or confidence. They can never more rise to respectability. They poured poison into the cup of life, and they must just go on drinking it to the last. Religion itself, in regard to this life, has no remedies, it is all over with them. If they were now to have the piety of apostles and the faith of martyrs ; if their inward spiritual being was to become as pure and beautiful as the most eminent saints that ever breathed, it would be of no use, or next to none. All that might very efficiently qualify them for heaven, but it would be incapable of restoring to them their lost and forfeited position

* D, Gattula, Hist. Abb. Cassiu. P. i. 66.

on earth. The social and temporal consequences of their former course the ruined cannot escape. They must take them with all their aggravations, bear them without complaint, and bow down to them as an inevitable penalty. They could only be escaped by the intervention of a miracle, by the derangement of the order of the universe, the suspension of the laws, which alone make society possible or safe *". This is assuredly a remarkable observation when it is presented to the light resulting from the fact of monastic history, which presents so many instances of ruined persons becoming possessed of an essentially new character in the eyes of the world, of honours and happiness coming upon them as a sudden reprieve, return from afar, recovery, escape, restoration, health, peace, and life, after loathsome leprosy, prodigal wanderings, practical rebellion, prostrate debasement, blighted prospects, ruined fortunes, and anguish and wailing, and desperate sorrow. This consideration alone would be sufficient to prove that monastic institutions may be in the highest as well as in the lowest sense useful to humanity; and, certainly, after taking it into account it seems to many judicious persons impossible, with any degree of fairness, to deny or question the benefit resulting from them. Let no one blush, then, for these patrons of the monastery, who were proud of what they built up in it ; nor can their election be disparaged, since they did not receive into their bosom and grace any glorious, lazy drones, grown fat with feeding on others' toil, but industrious bees that cropt the sweetest flowers, and every happy evening returned laden with wax and honey to their hive.

A recent traveller in Spain, describing the monastery of the Rio Batuecas, in Estremadura, says, “ This convent, amidst the wonders of Alpine nature, with its gardens and its sixteen hermitages on picturesque eminences, was a refuge to travellers, a light of religion, and a centre of civilization in this benighted district. These Carmelites civilized the valley ; they founded a school for the peasants, and a lodging for all wayfarers." In 1561, when it was proposed to demolish the convent of the Holy Trinity at Metz, in order to make way for some fortifications, the remonstrance of the cardinal, archbishop of Rheims, which was successful, the next year, in procuring for them another convent, called La Cour d'Orme, contained these words : “ Unless we come to their assistance a great loss will result to the whole country; for if they are obliged to migrate to other lands, and desert this city through want of a house, the citizens and inhabitants of the territory will be deprived of their pious and frequent sermons to the people,-ad populum t." The monastery of St. Vedast being without the walls of the town, the citizens of Arras, we are told, felt that they would be more secure if it

* Binney.

+ Baron, Annales S. Ord. S. Trin. 228.

stood within and in the midst of them ; therefore they pulled down the old walls, and built others, which enclosed the monastery within the city *. The fact is, though we are perhaps retracing our steps to notice it, that the prayers, and even the presence, of the religious communities were deemed a protection to states, which is a benefit that even infidels must acknowledge, since whatever inspires a population with confidence in its strength, must be socially and politically useful. The council of Autun, by the mouth of St. Leger, declared that the monks conduce to the prosperity of the whole world, “ Et mundus omnis per eorum assiduas orationes malis carebit contagiis;” and, notwithstanding the progress of knowledge, there will still be found many intelligent persons unwilling to concede that such services are wholly visionary. There are even still found persons to establish their residence near such men of prayer, for the same reason that led to the reconstruction of the city of Aix after the ravages of the Saracens in the eighth century. That city may be said to owe its existence at the present day to the oratory of St. Saviour, served by monks, in which it was believed that St. Maximin preached and St. Mary Magdalen prayed ; for it was in consequence of the monks, drawn by love and respect for this holy place, having returned to it that the people again gathered round them, which led to the rebuilding of the city to

But being now arrived nearly at the end of this road, it will be desirable, before taking leave of it, to pause at two signals pointing to the centre, which are formed by a consideration of the contrast between those who loved and those who detested these institutions. As was asked on The Road of Priests, in reference to the secular clergy,—who in the first place were their friends ? Clearly in the foremost rank of those attached to them we must count the common people, the lower classes, the industrious classes ; in fact, the majority of each nation. No institutions can ever be more popular than these. When overthrown by the violence of men invested with

governmental power, it is the people who mourn for them. This was the case both in England and in every other country. In England the people rose in their favour. They struggled for a century, but they struggled against property, and they were beat. They well might struggle ; for as long as the monks existed, the people, when aggrieved, had property on their side ț: In Sweden the peasants cried out that “they would keep the monks and the monasteries, and that they would rather feed at their own cost tban banish them.” The knight of La Mancha saying emphati

* Ant. de Yepes, Cron. Gen. ii. 403.
+ Monuments sur l'Apost. de S. M.-Magd. en Provence, 508.
# Sibyl.

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cally, “I would not fail, though barefooted friars themselves should entreat me to the contrary,” adopted only a popular way of expressing how much he loved them. When Paris, meeting Juliet going to confession to the cell of Friar Laurence, says to her,

“ Do not deny to him that you love me,” she replies

“ I will confess to you, that I love him.” The youth of both sexes loved the friar, and as in the song in Meister Karl's Sketch-book, would find a place for him among “the fellows” that they liked best. The monastery, as we observed in the beginning, is the favourite bourne of the common people's excursions. The pilgrims to Mount Serrat, which house contained a confessor for every language in Europe, used to be so numerous, that the historian of that abbey says, “ No one, without having seen them, could believe it. They average,” he says,

every day in the year from four to five hundred; but on festivals there are four or five thousand, to each of whom the abbey supplies lodging, bread, wine, salt, oil, vinegar, and fire*." • The people of Scandinavia,” says Olaus Magnus, “flocked on pilgrimage, braving regions which no road traversed, and mountains covered with snow, and fearless of the tempests which raised the waters of the lakes, to arrive, after a journey of forty days, at the monastery of our Lady of Wadstena 7." The people, the lower classes of society, every where regarded with horror any persecution of the religious orders. When the bodies of certain Portuguese monks, opposed to the government of Castille, who had been thrown into the Tagus in their habits, were taken out of the river by some fishermen, those good men in their simplicity deemed the river cursed, and refused to exercise their trade until the archbishop, condescending to their opinion, consented to take off the supposed interdict. The instance may

be cited to show with what intense affection and reverence the religious were regarded by the hardy sons of industry.

In the Sarum office, the glory of the Benedictins of Canterbury, St. Thomas, is saluted as the object of the people's loveplebis amor. So might all the great luminaries of the cloister have been qualified. Could any one that loved their wholesome counsel but love the givers more? In the second place, no one can doubt but that it is persons eminent for virtue and wisdom who entertain this regard for the religious orders ; as, in fact, it was nothing but a deep religious and moral sentiment which lay at the bottom of the popular opinion respecting them. Some men

* D. de Montegut, Hist. de Mt. Ser.
+ De Moribus Septent. lib. xiii. c. 50.

affect to doubt the connexion between institutions of such a kind and true religion. But what can be more in accordance with natural piety, and with the Bible, too, than to show honour to those who consecrate their lives in an especial manner to the honour of their Creator, proving themselves his friends and worshippers by conferring benefits on mankind ? “ Mihi autem nimis honorificati sunt amici tui Deus,” said, quoting the very words of the Bible, the lover of these men and of these institutions. “I honour those,” they add with Salvian, “who follow our Lord in sanctity and poverty ; I honour them as imitators of Christ ; I honour them as his images, as his members *.” For fourteen centuries, at least, the monastery was protected by all the friends of Christianity, saying, “ Quoniam placuerunt servis tuis lapides ejus t." Who can describe with what reverence and tenderness such men founded and maintained these temples to purity and sweetness, making their hands the organs of a work that saints, they said, would smile to look on, and good angels clap their celestial wings to give it plaudits ? What a demonstration was witnessed of religious regard when the first stone of such an edifice used to be laid! Truly this house which is about to be built must be very dear to men of good will, when the mere prospect of its being raised excites them to such fervour! All the brethren or sisters of every religious order existing in the neighbourhood walk in procession ; all the children of the town, whose parents cannot be all blind to their own domestic interests, follow the cross, clad in white and crowned with flowers ; a model of the future building is carried with them, and all the workmen who are to be employed in the construction follow with religious respect. Then, again, mark with what devotion the ancient monastery, when only seen from afar, is saluted by those religious travellers whose names are synonymous with enlightened Christianity! The day of our arrival at Clairvaux,” says Dom Ruinart, speaking of Mabillon, “ he did nothing but recite hymns and canticles all the way. When, on emerging from the forest, we caught sight of the holy house, he alighted, prostrated himself on the ground, and then pursued the rest of the way on foot, continuing to pray in such a rapture that he took no notice of what I said to him ; and so we arrived at the gate of the monastery.”

That the successors of the Apostles should love those who adopted an apostolic life, seems as natural as that men of parliamentary creation should be attached to things of parliamentary origin; and accordingly, such in general, as appears from ecclesiastical history, was the fact. No instance, probably, can be discovered of a bishop eminent for sanctity, who was not also a

* Salv., advers. Avaritiam.

+ Ps. cl.

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