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He looked, and 'twixt the earth and sky,
Amid the noontide haze,
And grew beneath his gaze,
Showed bright on rocky bank,
Where deer and pheasant drank.
There lived and walked again,
Within her grave had lain,
Right toward his resting-place,
With that sweet smiling face. Forward with fixed and eager eyes, The hunter leaned in act to rise.
Forward he leaned, and headlong down
Plunged from that craggy wall;
An instant, in his fall;
W. C. Bryant.
ONE of the best men who lived in these dark days of ignorance and superstition was Anselm. He was born at Aosta, in Italy. His mother was a pious woman, and early gave her son a knowledge of divine things. All round where he dwelt were high mountains; and he used to think when he was a little child that God lived up above them, and once he dreamed that he went up these mountains to God, who fed him with the bread of heaven. When he was fifteen years old he wished to become a monk, and begged the abbot of a monastery near his home to receive him into his house. But the abbot was afraid his father would be displeased, and would not do as he wished. After this his mother died, and Anselm forgot what she had taught him. He became thoughtless, going after the sinful pleasures of the world, for which he was very sorry afterwards, as all will be who forsake the path of true happiness to seek the broad way of sinful pleasure.
After his mother's death his father was unkind to him, and he left his home and went into France. There he went on with his studies under the care of Lanfranc, prior of Bec, in Normandy, who was afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of William the Conqueror. When his father died he became a monk. Soon after, when Lanfranc
became abbot of Saint Stephen's monastery, he was made prior of Bec in his stead.
Some of the monks thought he was too young to be prior, and murmured at him; but Anselm was so patient and sweet-tempered that they soon came to love him very much. But there was one boy in the monastery whose name was Osbern, who was very tiresome and obstinate, and who hated Anselm. Still Anselm was very patient with him, and kind to him. At last, as Osbern understood better how kind and good Anselm had been, he grew to be very fond of him, and Anselm was as fond of Osbern, for we always love best the people we are most kind to. But Osbern fell ill and died. All through his illness Anselm was with him, nursing him, and praying with him.
When the old abbot Herluin died, Anselm was chosen in his stead; and a very good abbot he was, trying to teach the monks to serve God with heart and soul, and not only, as so many of them did, with their words or their bodies only.
Afterwards, in the year 1093, he was chosen to be Archbishop of Canterbury. William Rufus was then king. He was a very bad and violent man, and grieved Anselm much by his bad conduct. He sold the bishoprics and abbeys to those who would give most money for them, instead of letting Anselm appoint proper persons, and he kept for his own use the money that belonged to the church. At last Anselm was obliged to leave England, and he lived for three years in France and Italy.
When Rufus died, he returned. The people received him very gladly, and the new king, Henry I., was at first very kind to him. He was, however, not much better than his brother, and very soon quarrelled with Anselm. Anselm went to Rome to consult with the pope, and then to his old abbey at Bec to rest and be quiet. But King Henry became reconciled to him, and sent for him to come back to England. He came in the year 1106, and died three years afterwards.
He wrote a great many books, in which he taught the truth of God according to the Scriptures, and explained the way of salvation through Christ alone. And one thing he did when he was Archbishop of Canterbury for which his name ought always to be remembered with honour.' Up to this time men had been sold as slaves in England. They were brought to market like cattle, and sold to whoever would buy them. We can hardly believe now that it ever was so in this free and happy England, but it was. Anselm was very grieved at this, for he felt it could not be right to treat as cattle men for whom Christ died ; so at a national council of bishops and clergy held at Westminster, he got them to decide that it should not be so any more, and from that time it was forbidden to buy and sell slaves in England.
From Stories and Pictures from Church History (by kind permission of the R.T.S.)
THE FORCE OF PRAYER.
“What is good for a bootless 1 bene?”
With these dark words begins my tale ; And their meaning is, “Whence can comfort spring,
When prayer is of no avail ?” “What is good for a bootless bene?”
The falconer 2 to the lady said ; And she made answer,
6 Endless sorrow !" For she knew that her son was dead.
She knew it by the falconer's words,
And from the look of the falconer's eye
For youthful Romilly.
Is ranging high and low;
To let slip upon buck or doe.
How tempting to bestride!
With rocks on either side.
This striding-place is called the “Strid,"
took of yore :
And shall, a thousand more.