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crime of Caiaphas that of Judas pales; it was far worse, but it had not the magnitude of the other, more heinous but less tragic.
In the “ Divina Commedia" Dante tells us that in one of the darkest regions of hell he came on Caiaphas crucified, or rather nailed, to the rocky floor of Malebolge, and that over his mangled body the long procession of the hypocrites in their heavy leaden cowls passed and repassed eternally. The idea is worthy the genius of the bard of Hell, though such a subject as the ultimate doom of Caiaphas is scarcely a theme for Christians to speculate on. In this, as in every other matter, “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ?”
Caiaphas' sin was a fearful one, but he has had followers in plenty. How often have even sincere Christians called on the civil sword to smite their less-informed brethren, while heresy has ever been hand in glove with Erastianism. And yet, on calm reflection, what has religion to do with heathen violence, that it should call on the unbeliever to smite where it is unable to refute; and how sure a sign of impending ruin is the calling on the soldier or the judge to do the work of the missionary or priest. The Church of Rome has never been what she was since she made up her mind to use force, and hounded on kings and princes against her rebellious subjects. We of late have seen this spirit far too prevalent among us, men whose forefathers, if anything, prided themselves on being apart from the things of this world, have called on the lay and civil tribunals to arrest the tide of the greatest revival of Christianity known for centuries, have implored the judges to silence those whom they could not refute in argument, and neglecting the law themselves, have not scrupled to profess an extreme reverence for a court to whose lightest opinion, had it been adverse, they would have scorned to show any respect; and such men, while we gladly would acquit them of bad intention, we cannot free from the stigma of hypocrisy. There is indeed a text far too little remembered in these days: “Dáre any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints ?” These words were indeed spoken of causes purely civil, what would S. Paul have said of recent proceedings which have been a disgrace to Christianity ?
THE CHURCHMAN'S COMPANION TO “HYMNS ANCIENT
BY THE REV. R. YOUNG, M.A.
It is much to be desired that men whose memories may cause the world at large to be interested in their biographies would leave behind them a clear but bare summary, without comment or bias, of the chief incidents that composed their lives. The last people to appreciate a genius are the members of his own family, and many incidents in the lives of illustrious men who have risen to eminence from obscure positions are irretrievably lost because the persons who surrounded them in their youth were too ignorant, too careless, or too dull to make any record of those interesting events; and because in later life the man of eminence himself, either from real modesty, false shame, or indifference, did not care to preserve any memorials of his youth. It is vain when years have elapsed for any chronicler to strive to regain the biographical materials that have been lost, and so the life of many a good and great man from the perusal of which his fellow-men might have become nobler, stronger, better, either remains altogether unrecorded or is related only in an imperfect and erroneous manner. Worse still however is it both for the subject of the biography and for the public who are fated to peruse it, when some imperfect and private diary kept by the departed genius falls into the hands of an incompetent and self-satisfied acquaintance, friend, or relation, who undertakes, without any qualification for the task, the duties of editor. Thus in the place of a true sketch of the life, writings, character, and genius of the departed, such as might be compared to the clear reflection of a perfect mirror, there arises a blurred and ridiculous caricature, such as can be only likened to the contorted image obtainable from a jagged piece of a broken looking-glass. Between the subject of the sketch as he really was in life and the subject of the sketch as he appears in his biography no resemblance can be traced, and the only consolation that the admirers of the departed have is the reflection that the account in the so-called biography is so incorrect, imper
fect, meagre, and inconsistent that it cannot mislead even the most careless reader.
The gifted author of " Abide with me” has suffered from the want of a biographer. The only account of his life to be obtained by the public is a short prefatory memoir written by his daughter and prefixed to the volume of his Remains, that was published in 1850. This memoir is simple and unpretending, and does not profess to be more than a mere outline. The lives of many of our most charming and popular modern sacred poets, such as Lyte, Neale, and Williams, have yet to be written, and if the characteristics of their lives and writings be permitted to be obliterated the world will have been deprived of many an useful and noble lesson.
A man like Lord Selbourne whose "Book of Praise,” and whose lecture on Hymnology, prove that he has found time amidst his laborious political and professional duties to take an interest in the subject of sacred song, would be the best fitted to treat in an exhaustive and masterly style this interesting subject. He was perhaps one of the ablest of our Lord Chancellors, inasmuch as the diverse special qualities for which many of his predecessors were individually remarkable are found combined in bim. He has the eloquence of Erskine, the industry of Campbell, the acumen of Eldon, the religiousness of Hatherley. Now singular as the assertion may seem, it is nevertheless true that the qualifications required to make a good Lord Chancellor also tend to make a good biographer. A biographer should be eloquent, in order that he may tell his hero's story in an interesting manner; he should be industrious, in the accumulation of the materials for bis work, acute in their arrangement and analysis; and religiously conscientious in relating an “unvarnished tale,” neither “aught extenuating nor setting down aught in malice." If the subject of the biography be a sacred poet—and more especially a sacred Church poet—there are required in his biographer over and above the qualifications already enumerated, a devout spirit of Churchmanship and a cultivated imaginative mind. There can be no doubt of the thorough churchmanship of one who like Lord Selbourne refused a seat on the woolsack rather than injure even the weakest limb of the Anglican Church, and who exercised his patronage during his tenure of office in the most sound and yet liberal spirit. There can be equally little doubt of the scholarship of one who was an Oxford Double First. At some future time then, perchance when Lord Selbourne shall have wearied of the arena of
political strife—which sooner or later must pall upon a calm, judicious mind—he may occupy his leisure hours in, and benefit his fellowcountrymen by, the production of some noble biographies of our modern sacred poets—biographies that shall be worthy alike of the elevated characters of which they shall treat, and of the eminent ability of the man who shall write of them. This would be indeed to consecrate genius to a holy purpose, and to free one of our leading politicians from the reproach so often made against our public men, since the time when Goldsmith asserted it of Burke that they give up to party what was meant for mankind. Until such a biographer fitted alike mentally and morally for the task shall appear, the public will have to be contented as best they may with such poor sketches as are now submitted to them.
At Kelso, a town situated on the junction of the Tweed and the Teviot, amid the most romantic scenery of the Scotch border, Henry Francis Lyte was born on the 1st of June, 1793. His father was a retired army officer, and his mother was a pious, earnest woman, who devoted herself to the early training of her son. In his youth the future poet was doubtless oftentimes lulled to rest by the songs of the Border minstrelsy, and was delighted with the stirring tales of the Border raids. In the immediate neighbourhood was Berwick, whose High Street had been the scene of many a fierce contest. Eildon, where Thomas the Rhymer was said to have lived, “Hinchmore's haunted spring," Tyronensian Abbey, that like the holy house at Loretto was supposed to have been miraculously conveyed through the air ; Roxburgh, with its famous castle: Jedburgh, where the doubleheaded axes had been forged for many a fray: Melrose, romantic in “the pale moonlight :” Ettrick, associated with the name of the poet Hogg : the braes of Yarrow celebrated by Wordsworth, and Selkirk and Dryburgh Abbeys. Ten years after the birth of Lyte, the Scotch poet Aird was born in the same district. The home of the great wizard of the north himself at Abbotsford was not so far away
but that Sir Walter Scott would oftentimes visit Cheviotdale in his search after materials for his works on Scottish Minstrelsy. Indeed as a boy Scott lived at Sandyknowe, near Kelso, and celebrated the ruined tower of Smaetholm, which is close by, in his ballad "The Eve of 8. John.” He afterwards laid the scene of his “Lay of the Last Minstrel” in the Border country. Amidst the romantic scenery, the historical associations, and the living imaginative writers that then surrounded him, who can wonder that the child soon developed into the poet, and that “he lisped in numbers, for the numbers came ?”
From Kelso at nine years of age Lyte was removed, in order to be sent to Portora school, situated at Enniskillen amidst the beautiful scenery of Loch Erne. Such institutions as the English Public Schools are altogether unknown in Ireland. But the four schools of Royal foundation, of which Portora school is one, make the nearest approximation to the tone and the standard of the English Public Schools. The education he received at this school, under Dr. Burrows, afterwards Dean of Cork, must have been sound and thorough, as having matriculated at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1812, he was enabled to obtain in the following year an open Classical Scholarship. At the time of his entrance, the Chancellor of the University was the Duke of Cumberland, afterwards King of Hanover. The Vice-Chancellor was Lord Chief Justice Downes, and the Provost was the celebrated mathematician Dr. Elrington, afterwards Bishop, first of Limerick and then of Leighlin and Ferns. The representative of the University in Parliament was H. C. Plunket, afterwards Lord Plunket, who attained to the Lord Chancellorship of Ireland. Distinguished men presided then over the destinies of the University.
All Europe was watching with intense interest the brilliant but ineffectual struggles of the great Napoleon, who crippled by the difficulties of the Russian campaign, was pressed on all sides by the combined forces of an aroused Europe, while Wellington in the Peninsula was steadily advancing on his triumphal march towards France.
It was natural therefore that the authorities in selecting the subject for the Vice-Chancellor's prize poem in 1812 should choose “The Battle of Salamanca," a victory won in Spain by Wellington over the French marshal Marmont, on July 22, 1812. A prize of £20, called the Vice-Chancellor's prize, is given annually in the University of Dublin for the best English poem, and is open for competition to all students under the standing of M.A. In the year of his entrance Lyte obtained this prize, the subject of the poem being, as has been stated, “ The Battle of Salamanca." Sir W. Scott had sung in the preceding year the glory of the victory won by Wellington in 1811, Fuentes d'Onore. Lyte obtained the prize again in the following year, the subject of the poem then being “Richard Ceur de Lion," and on this occasion his production was considered to be of such merit, that it was appointed to be publicly read before the Chancellor of the Uni