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Christ's Entry into Jerusalem, from the Benedictional of St. Ethelwold: Tenth Century.

HIS is one of the finest Anglo-Saxon
MSS. which we possess. It was

to be head of the church of Winchester, the Great Ethelwold, truly understanding how to preserve the fleecy lambs of Christ from the malignant art of the devil; this steward, illustrious, venerable, and mild, desirous likewise to render full fruit to God when the Judge shall come who "A prelate whom the Lord had caused weighs the actions of the whole world,

the Ancient Benedictional of the See of Winchester, as we learn from the metrical dedication prefixed, in letters of gold, of which the substance is as follows:

what each has done, and shall render such reward as they deserve-to the just eternal life, and to the wicked punishment-com. manded a certain monk subject to him to write the present book: he ordered also to be made in it many arches elegantly decorated, and filled up with various ornamented pictures expressed in divers beautiful colours, and gold; the aforesaid Boanarges caused this book to be written for him, to the intent, that he might from it sanctify the people of our Saviour, and pour forth to God holy prayers for the flock committed to his charge, that he might not lose a little lamb of his fold, but be able joyfully to say, Behold, I present you the children whom Thou gavest me to preserve; of them, by Thy propitious aid, the daring voracious wolf has stolen none away, but we stand here together, and desire to receive eternal life to be enjoyed in heaven with the High Prince whose members we are, who by right is the head and salvation of those baptized in the highsounding name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that, if they go not astray, but maintain their faith, and in their works fulfil the commandments of salvation, and banish all heresy from their heart, always striving to overcome sin, they may be joined to the Lord in heaven for ever. May Christ, the merciful Saviour and good King of the world, grant this to all sprinkled with holy baptism; and to the Great Father, who ordered the book to be written, may He give an eternal kingdom on high; and let all who behold this book always pray, this, that after the term of the flesh, I may be worthy to rest in heaven, this is the fervent prayer of the writer Godemann."

"The name of Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, is enrolled in the calendar of English Saints; and we have his life written, as it seems, by Wulstan a disciple. Ethelwold received the monastic habit from St. Dunstan, at Glastonbury, and by his recommendation was charged, first, with the government of the royal monastery, then newly erected at Abingdon, of which he was Abbot in 948, and was afterward promoted to the see of Winchester. He was consecrated Bishop on the vigil

of St. Andrew in 963, and died on the Kalends of August in 984."

"This great prelate co-operated with Dunstan and Oswald in reforming the monks and in restoring learning. He is celebrated as the refounder of the monasteries of Ely, Peterborough, and Thorney, and among the many ecclesiastical builddings which he erected or rebuilt was his own cathedral church, where he introduced monks from Abingdon in place of the secular canons."

"Various are the writings attributed to St. Ethelwold; and, like St. Dunstan, he seems to have cultivated music and the arts, and is said to have been skilled in works of metal. Happily in the Benedictional executed under his auspices, we possess one splendid proof at least of his taste and magnificence.

"But let us not pass over in silence the humble scribe Godemann. This monk of St. Swithin's was chaplain to Bishop Ethelwold, and such were his merits, that at the instance of his patron he became Abbot of Thorney about the year 970, and received the blessing from his hands.


"Although it is likely that this superb volume, filled with beautiful miniatures and ornaments of the richest design, was finished before Godemann had the government of the abbey of Thorney, we are sure of one thing, that it was executed in this country between the years 963, when Ethelwold received the episcopal mitre, and 984, when he died; and it is this known date that stamps so much value on the MS. Let us now examine it in detail.

"The MS. is a folio on vellum, measur ing eleven inches and a-half by eight and a-half, and contains one hundred and nineteen leaves, of a thick and soft quality, in extraordinary preservation; the text is what is called by printers, Roman lower case, Anglo-Saxon characters being used in some proper names: each full page has nineteen lines, with letters nearly a quarter of an inch long. The capital initials, some of which are very large, are uniformly in gold; and the beginnings and endings of some benedictions, together with the titles, are in gold or red letters. Alternate lines in gold, red, and black, occur once cr

twice in the same page. All the chrysographic parts of the Benedictional, as well in the miniatures as in the characters of the text, are executed with leaf gold laid upon size, afterward burnished: the gold throughout the MS., is solid and bright.

"The book is illuminated with thirty different miniatures; and beside the miniatures, there are thirteen pages highly illuminated, some with arches on ornamented columns; others, decorated with rectangular borders composed of flowers and devices; each page, where the opening of some principal benediction occurs, being in capital letters of gold, and where a miniature or painting fronts a decorated page, the arches, circles, or borders of both pages are made to correspond.

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Facing the benediction of the third Sunday of Advent is a miniature of the coming of the Son of Man in triumph, Rex Regum et Dominus Dominantium, which is the subject of Plate XI. The other miniatures are as follow: Plate XII. The Nativity. XIII. The Martyrdom of St. Stephen. XIV. St. John the Evangelist. XV. The Consultation of the Magi. XVI. Their Offering. XVII. The Baptism of Christ. XVIII. The Presentation in the Temple. XIX. The Entrance into Jerusalem. XX. The Maries visiting the Tomb after the Resurrection. XXI. Christ appearing to His Apostles. XXII. The Ascension. XXIII. The Descent of the Holy Ghost. XXIV. The Holy Trinity. XXV. St. Ætheldrytha. XXVI. Christ in Glory. XXVII. The Nativity of St. John the Bap. tist. XXVIII. St. Peter and St. Paul. XXIX. St. Swithin. XXX. St. Benedict. XXXI. The Death of the Blessed Virgin. XXXII. The Bishop blessing the people. This last miniature is unfinished, and parts are in red outline."

We give a specimen, namely, No. XIX., the Entrance into Jerusalem. It is a copy of the illuminated plate given in the Archæologia, to which publication we are indebted for the facts which we have recorded.

A recent writer thus describes this illumination:

"It represents the entry of our Saviour into Jerusalem. The scene, it will be observed, is depicted as it would present itself to an untravelled and uncritical AngloSaxon. The dresses of the inhabitants of Jerusalem are those of the ordinary inhabitants of an English town. The Saviour and His disciples wear the fuller robes of persons of official rank. Christ alone has the nimbus, which is cruciform. The architecture is, we may assume, a modification of that of an Anglo-Saxon city. From all this there results a naturalness of character entirely wanting in the tenth-century hie ratic art of Italy and Greece. And we may remark in passing that, from the fidelity with which these old Saxon monks adhered to native habits and accompaniments, their miniatures are of exceeding value to the historian and the antiquary, as affording a rich fund of illustrations of the costumes, arms, architecture, and manners-the contemporary life, in short-of England in the centuries preceding the Norman Conquest.

"The engraving also shews the character of 'the many arches elegantly decorated,' which Ethelwold caused to be made as a framework to the miniatures, a kind of ornament in which the Saxon illuminators were confessedly unrivalled. For its full effect the page is of course largely dependent on its divers beautiful colours and gold,' but how much they would add to its splendour will be readily conceived."

A MORNING THOUGHT.-As the dewy mist ascends from the earth to greet the rising sun, so the praises and thanksgivings of a grateful soul, refreshed by

the dew of God's blessing, are drawn forth by the beams of the Sun of Righte


C. H. W.

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44.-Can you, or any of your correspondents, inform me when, and by whom, fasting previous to the reception of the Holy Communion is first mentioned? E. B. C. and A. C.

The rite of "Fasting Communion" is said to be due to St. Paul, in consequence of the disorders which took place at Eucharists celebrated after meals, which he reprehends in 1 Cor. ii. 20-22. The custom of the Jewish Church (from whence so many Christian observances are derived) was, that no persons should take part in the morning sacrifice otherwise than fasting, a rule also to which St. Peter refers in defence of himself and fellow Apostles against drunkenness on the "Day of Pentecost." Self-examina

tion (required previous to coming to the Lord's Supper) calls on us to fast; as, on all special occasions of repentance in Holy Writ, fasting held an important place under Law and Gospel dispensations.

SS. Augustine and Chrysostom recommended the practice of Eucharistic fasting, but whether St. Polycarp did is not known for certain. SISTER FRANCES.

45.-At the village of Blissland, in Cornwall, there is a feast held every year in October, called St. Pratt. Can you, or your correspondents, give me any information respectFREDERICK. ing this Saint?

A MODERN MONK begs to inform FREDERICK that he can nowhere find any informa

tion about St. Pratt, beyond that she is comFREDEmemorated at Blissland, Cornwall.

RICK should know that the Cornish local saints are so numerous, that they rarely find a place in any book about the lives of saints; they would probably be noticed in any history of Cornwall, if such a work exists. Any good bookseller would probably tell F. whether there is such a work. Vide also article, "Cornish Saints," "Calendar of the Anglican Church." (Parker.)

46.-A SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER would be glad if any one could recommend any lessons for his class of a sufficiently amusing and interesting character.

In answer to Query 46, in the number for June of the PENNY POST, I would strongly recommend "Agathos," and "The Rocky Island," for Sunday School Allegorical Readings I have found them very attractive to the children in a Sunday School. M. C.


In answer to Query 46, A MODERN MONK strongly recommends 'Triumphs of the Cross," first series, or "Tales of Christian Heroism." By the Rev. J. M. Neale. (Masters.)

I think that A SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER might find Sundays at Encombe; or, Tales for Sunday Reading," (Warne,) useful to read to his boys. There is an extract from it in the January number of the PENNY POST for 1866. If SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER does not already know "Agathos," "The Rocky Island, and other Similitudes," by the Bishop of Winchester, also "The King's Messengers," and "The Shadow of the Cross," by the Rev. W. Adams, (Rivingtons,) I beg to recommend them.


47.-MAR will be much obliged for a good grace suitable for a Harvest Festival or Parochial gathering.

I beg to inform MAR that the 15th and 16th verses of the 145th Psalm (Prayer-book version) form a very appropriate grace for Harvest Festivals. The first and second verses of the same Psalm would do for "Grace after Meat." These with the Gloria Patri sung to a simple chant are very effective. S. D. B. Grace before Meat (to be chanted). The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O Lord: and Thou givest them their meat in due

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Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits;

He watereth the hills from above the earth is filled with the fruit of Thy works. He bringeth forth grass for the cattle: and green herb for the service of men ;

That he may bring food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man: and oil to make him a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen man's heart.

O Lord, how manifold are Thy works: in wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is full of Thy riches.

The Gloria.

The following may be sung to any L. M. hymn-tune:

To Thee, O God, our voice we raise
In accents of united praise;
Bless what Thou givest, and may we
The bounteous Giver own in Thee.


Grace after Meat (to be chanted).
O praise the Lord, for He is love,
The mighty Lord, and King of kings:
O thank the God all gods above,

From Whom eternal mercy springs.
O praise Him on His glory throne,

The mighty Lord, and King of kings, Who doth all wondrous deeds alone,

From Whom eternal mercy springs. Who by His wisdom heav'n array'd,

The mighty Lord, and King of kings: And earth above the waters laid,

From Whom eternal mercy springs. Who feedeth all that live and move,

The mighty Lord, and King of kings: Thank Him Whose heavenly Name is love, From Whom eternal mercy springs.


Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, angelic host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

A MODERN MONK suggests the following Graces. 1st. A Grace much used at Harvest Festivals in the neighbourhood:

Before Meat.

Ere Thy mercies we partake,
Bless this food for Jesus' sake:
May our bodies strengthen'd be,
And our souls rejoice in Thee;
For we know Thy love has given,
Earthly bread and bread from Heav'n.'

After Meat.

Praise to Him whose name is Good,
Who provides our daily food,

And who for our souls has given
Jesus Christ the bread from Heav'n.
Daily He our need supplies,

Daily should our praises rise. Amen.

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