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different to what he intended'; in consequence, it is said, of an intimation which he received through a voice from heaven, that the King of Kings came meek and lowly, riding on an ass, and not in a procession which displayed all the pomp and circumstance of war. The emperor, therefore, immediately dismounted from his horse, and walked through the city barefoot, himself carrying the cross.
MARIA. And pray where was it deposited ?
Mr. CONSTANCE. You will please to remember, that with regard, to this exaltation of the cross, as with many other circumstances noted in the calendar, there is a sprinkling of the fictitious. It is no doubt within your recollection, that when the day called “ Invention of the Cross” was considered by us, we were told that its identity was made manifest through the miraculous recovery of a siek woman, who touched it; so also was its identity ascertained by Heraclius, for when he attempted to defile the hallowed cross, by laying hands on it while attired in his imperial robes, it could not be moved from the ground; but, no sooner had he stripped himself of his gay apparel, as directed by the voice from heaven, than he was enabled to convey it away with the utmost facility. So, at least, says the legendary narrative ; and which, no doubt, gave rise to the festival of the Holy Cross. It was deposited in the Great Church of the Twelve Apostles at Constantinople.
William. This day was called “Rood Mass” day by the Saxons, from the common custom of placing an image of our Saviour upon the cross, in the rood-loft built in churches over the passage that leads to the chancel. Innumerable miracles were attributed to these roods ; in the working of which much depended, no doubt, upon the image of the crucifixion ; for at Boxley Abbey, in Kent, one of them was discovered, which had springs whereby
the eyes and lips moved, and the whole head turned, at the pleasure of those whose interest it was to work upon the credulity of the ignorant. It was termed the Rood of Grace, and in the year 1537, was exhibited at St. Paul's Cross : a sermon was preached upon it, and it was then broken to pieces.
Mrs. Constance. It will now be some relief to us, after the mention of these obsolete festivals, to attend to the characters of St. Lambert and St. Matthew, whose names are next noted. Pray who was St. Lambert?
WILLIAM. He was Bishop of Utrecht, in the time of King Pepin I. He had received a religious and learned education in his youth, and as his parents were opulent, and his abilities great, his advancement in the church , was rapid. In the early part of his life, however, his progress received a check, by the death of his patron, Childeric the Second, which happened in 673; Lambert was then expelled from his office, and passed seven years in devotional exercises at the monastery of Stavelo. After which time he was restored by Pepin, who appears to have had a great admiration for him ; but, unfortunately for Lambert, the king's partiality roused the jealousy of one of his courtiers, who employed assassins to murder him, on the 17th of September, 708.
Mr. CONSTANCE. That I believe is doubtful, William. It is stated that his patron, King Pepin, unable to bear the reproaches of this pious man, for the irregularities of his life, was induced, by the persuasive tongue of his favourite concubine, to have him put to death, and therefore sent an armed force to attack him in his own house. It is, of course, a difficult matter now to ascertain the fact, but from the character which Lambert appears to have borne as an energetic and zealous divine, exerting his powerful talents to abolish idolatry and suppress vicé, I think it probable that his life might have been sacrificed by
the king, to satisfy the malignant passion of her who, no doubt, had a greater influence over him than the divine.
MARIA. Are any miracles ascribed to St. Lambert ? MR. Constance. None at all, I believe.
MARIA. Then I think that of itself is miraculous ; for I believe he is the first in the calendar to whom superstition has not attributed some marvellous deed.
Mr. CONSTANCE. Although St. Lambert's name was of sufficient celebrity in ecclesiastical history, to induce our Reformers to retain his name in the calendar, as of a pious divine, it does not appear that he originally attracted much attention from the Romish priests ; for it was not until the year 1240, five centuries after his decease, that any particular notice was taken of his martyrdom. He held a place in the calendar, as one who died in defence of the church ; but Robert, bishop of Leeds, in a general chapter of the Cistercian order, was the first to procure the ordination of a feast to his memory. But let us hear the biography of St. Matthew, whose memory is commemorated by our church on the 21st of this month.
CHARLES. Is it the Evangelist who wrote the first Gospel, of whom you are going to speak ?
WILLIAM. Yes, it is; and to that gospel I shall refer you for an account of the manner in which he was called by Christ to follow him.
CHARLES. I remember it. Matthew was sitting at the “receipt of custom” at Capernaum, when our Lord commanded him “ to follow him," with which request he immediately complied.
Mrs. CONSTANCE. He did so ; and thereby resigned a lucrative employment, and followed Jesus for the rest of his life.—But say where he was born, William ?
William. At Nazareth in Galilee; but he resided chiefly at Capernaum, on account of his filling the office of a publican.
ARTHUR. Pray what were the duties of that office?
WILLIAM. The business of a publican was to collect tolls or taxes for the Roman state. Thus St. Matthew was employed as a toll-gatherer, to collect tribute of such as had occasion to pass the lake of Galilee. Although a lu
by the Jews, who held the employment of a publican in abhorrence, from the objections they entertained to paying tribute money to the Romans; as also for the shameful system of extortion practised by the more covetous of the publicans, and to which the nature of the office gave ample opportunity.
MR. CONSTANCE. The Jews not merely entertained dislike for the Romans in exacting heavy demands from them; but considering themselves as the peculiar or chosen people of the Lord, they questioned whether it were lawful to pay tribute at all. Impressed, therefore, with this belief, as also that they would, at no distant period, be relieved from their burden, by the appearance of the Messiah, they looked with particular contempt on the office, and subjected any of their own nation who filled it, to various civil and religious disabilities. St. Matthew, therefore, was chosen by our Saviour from the most degraded of the community. But you have not stated who were his parents.
WILLIAM. His father's name was Alpheus, a Jew of the tribe of Isachor. Matthew was also known by the name of Levi. When called into the service of his divine Master, he gave a dinner at his own house to a great number of friends, whom he exhorted to Christianity. He. then laboured with the rest of the apostles till after the ascension of Jesus, and ultimately travelled into Judea, where he resided for eight years; which place he quitted for Ethiopia, the scene of his martyrdom, in the year 60. His death was occasioned by a blow with a halbert, which forms an emblem in all representations of him.
MARIA. In addition to which, he also appears sitting with a pen in his hand, and a scroll before him. An angel is also placed at his left shoulder, who appears to be instructing him what to write. When was his festival first instituted ?
WILLIAM. In the year 1090; from which it is inferred that he died a natural death, or otherwise he would have received an earlier notice. It is also a disputed point where he wrote his gospel, and whether it was written, as some contend, in Hebrew, and afterwards translated into the Greek by St. James the Less,or whether he wrote it in both those languages. It is, however, admired for its clearness of narration and great impartiality.
MR. CONSTANCE. The history of St. Matthew appears to be buried in more than usual obscurity: it is not, I believe, satisfactorily ascertained whether he ever left Judea; and from the silence of the early Fathers, it is very reasonably inferred that he died a natural death. The well-accredited fact, however, of his having left an occupation affording many opportunities for amassing wealth, strongly evinces his firm belief in the mission of our Lord; he therefore followed him as directed, and remained, for the rest of his life, an arduous labourer in the conversion of the world.
CHARLES. There are two festivals noted for the 26th, Old Holyrood and St. Cyprian: I remember nothing particular concerning them; what have you gleaned, William ?
WILLIAM. As to the festival of Old Holyrood, nothing need be said, since it is merely an extra day of homage to the Holy Cross or Holy-rood, already mentioned ; but St. Cyprian requires further notice. He was a Carthaginian by birth, and a professor of rhetoric in his native city, He was born in the third century. His conversion to Christianity was considered by him as the happiest circum