Imagens da página

of the largest sort. If you cannot procure them otherwise, ask them in a present from the king, who, I know, has a most abundant store.'1 To the generally pacific counsel that he received Eadmer would not hearken, and quarrelling and disputing continued, until he finally returned, where his heart had always been, to Canterbury. Robert, Prior of Scone, was elected to St. Andrews, but the see remained vacant for years. On the death of Alexander, he was consecrated by the metropolitan of York, ' for the love of God, and of David, King of Scotland, waiving the claim of the Church of York, and the rights of the Church of St. Andrews.'

Alexander I. died in the year 1124. He had married Sibylla, an illegitimate daughter of Henry Beauclerc, but he left no children. 'He was certainly a most wise king, and knew well his own work,' says one of our historians ;2 and his interesting character is more fully described by Ailred of Rievaux :—' He was humble and courteous to the clergy; but to the rest of his subjects terrible beyond measure ; high-spirited, always endeavouring to compass things above his power; not ignorant of letters; zealous in establishing churches, collecting relics, and providing vestments and books for the clergy; liberal even to profusion, and taking delight in the offices of charity to the poor.'3 He founded the bishoprics of Dunkeld and Murray. One of his monastic foundations was on the island.of Inchcolm, or Inch-Columba, on the Firth of Forth. He had been driven on the little isle by a tempest, and 'he was constrained to abide three days together, through violent rage of weather and tempests ; and because he found some relief

1 See Eadmer, 133; and Hailes, Annals, vol. i. p. 57 to 67.

2 Spotswood's Hist. of Scot., p. 36.

* Aid. Gen. Reg. Angl., 368 ; cited by Hailes, vol. i. pp. 72, 73. of meat and drink by means of an hermit that dwelt wIth1n the same inch, and kept a chapel there dedicated to St. Colme, he made of that chapel an abbey,. . . endowing it with sundry lands and rents.'1 Upon the church of St. Andrews Alexander bestowed the broad lands of Cursus Apri? accompanying the gift by a strange ceremony :—' Before the lordis all, the king gart them to the altar bring his comely steed of Araby, saddled and bridlet costelie, covered with a fair mantlet of precious and fyne velvet, with his armory of Turkey that princes then used generally, and chused maist for their delight, with shield and speareof sylver white, with many a precious and fair jewel ... he made this devout offerand, baith to God and man pleasand.'3

In the next chapter I must try to relate something of that great religious life which had by this time become fairly planted in Scotland. We know what it did in the battle with heathenism, but the mission for the present and during the coming centuries of that vast system of evangelical life to all the spiritual falling off which frequently accompanies a nation's advance in wealth and greatness is even more difficult and tremendous. To us, who in our own day and land see that life being gradually revived again, it is peculiarly interesting to turn back and watch its second, as we watched its earliest establishment. For we know that those who best can nurse our sick, and feed our hungry, and clothe our naked, and take in our strangers, and visit our prisoners, are those who have 'given up all' for the sake of Him who is their only Spouse.

1 Hollinshead, p. 364.

s The lands of Cursus Apri, or Boar's Chase, were so called from a monster boar, which having devoured people and cattle . . . was at last slain by an armed multitude upon this tract of land.

a Wynton, vol. i. pp. 285, 2S6.



'Ye hermits blest, ye holy maids,
The nearest Heaven on earth.'

The Christian Year.

THE ecclesiastical revival which Alexander I. had carried on energetically was in a measure perfected by his brother David I., the youngest and the greatest of the sons of St. Margaret, who endowed the Church with such lavish munificence that he was accused by James VI. of being 'a sair saint to the Croon.' The irregular, semi-religious, and sometimes wholly secular fabric of those who, from their impossible endeavour to make the most of both worlds, have been called the 'comfortable Culdees,' had fallen to pieces, and was now superseded by the religious life of the Catholic Church. That system offered to the happy souls who were called to it a life of close union with God, but for this it required in return certain vast renunciations, in the observance of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. 'Voluntary poverty, in imitation of Him who had not where to lay His head; voluntary obedience, as following Him who, for our sakes, was subject to Joseph and Mary, the works of His hand; virginal purity, at the foot of Him Who was the Virgin Son of a Virgin Mother, become those higher exceptional graces—the ideal, in short, of Christianity, the highest manifestations of the results of the Gospel: a law, not for all, but for the few: yet these few, lights of the world in their several generations.' l The rules of different Orders varied; these essential requirements, 'the three eternal foundations of monastic life,'2 did not vary. What is told of the monasteries of this country is taken from a valuable work on the subject by John Spotiswood. He says, 'All our churches formerly belonged.either to Regulars or Seculars. The Regulars followed the rule of Augustine, bishop of Hippo in Africa, of St. Bennet, or of some private statutes approved by the Pope; and lived, slept, and took their diet together under the same roof. They were either canons, monks, or friars, and their houses were called abbacies, priories, or convents. The Seculars had their private rules composed by their chapters, or borrowed from other colleges abroad. . . . They lived separately in their cloisters, or in private houses near to their churches, and were governed by a dean or provost.'3 The Canons-Regular of St. Augustine were introduced into Scotland by Alexander I. and his queen Sibylla. We had twenty-eight houses of this order.4 Scone, Loch Tay, Inchcolm, and St. Andrews

1 Bishop of Brechin on the Thirty-Nine Articles, vol. ii. pp. 626, 627.

% Montalembert, Monks of the West, vol. i. p. 503.

* Spotiswood's Religious Houses; Keith's Scottish Bishops, ed. Russell. p. 383.

4 Scone, in Stormont, upon the Tay; Loch Tay, in Perthshire; Inchcolm; St. Andrews; Loch Leven; Portmoack, in St. Serf's Isle, in Leven Water; Monymusk, in Aberdeenshire; the Isle of May, in the Firth of Forth; Pittenweem, in Fifeshire; Carlisle; Holyrood; St. Mary's Isle, near Kirkcudbright, in Galloway; Blantyre, in Clydesdale; Rowadill, in the Isle of Harris ; Crusay, Oronsay, Colonsay, in the Western Isles; Cambuskenneth; Insula Sti. Colmoci, in Menteith; Rosneath, in Dumbartonshire; Inchwere founded by Alexander I.; and in the reign of King David, Jedburgh, Cambuskenneth, Holyrood, and the Isle of May were founded. The Reformed Canons-Regular of the Premonstratensian Order are said to have been brought to Scotland from the mother-house at Premontrd in France, in the reign of David, by Fergus, Lord of Galloway. In the same reign monasteries were prepared for them at Soulseat in Galloway, Whithorn, Tungland, Holywood, and Dryburgh, and Feme in Ross were founded under Alexander II. The great Benedictine Order owed its origin to St. Benedict, or Bennet, a native of Italy, who lived in the fifth century. Upon his foundation many orders were erected, either as modifications or reforms of the original rule.1 The principal of these were the Cistercian, the Cluniac, the Carthusian, the Tyronensian, the Arrovensian, the Belvacensian, and the Order of Vallis-Caullium, and all had houses in Scotland. We had thirty monasteries of the various branches of the Benedictines.2 The monastery of Coldingham, restored by King Edgar in 1097 or 1098, is thought to be the oldest foundation of this order in Scot

mahome, in the Loch of Monteith; Jedburgh, in Teviotdale; Restennet, in Angus; Canonby, on the river Esk, in Roxburghshire; Inchaffray, in Strathem; Strathfillan, in Perthshire; Scarinche, in the Isle of Lewis; Abernethy, in Perthshire.

1 The Cistercian derived its name from Citeaux in Chalons, and was instituted by St. Bernard early in the twelfth century; the Cluniac, from Clugni in Burgundy, by Odo in the tenth; the Tyronensian, from Tyron in France; the Carthusian, a very austere order, was founded by Bruno, a native of Cologne, in the desert of Chartreux, near Grenoble; the Arrovensian was from Aronaise, the Belvacensian from Beauvais ; and the order of Vallis-Caullium originated in the Val-des-Choux in Burgundy.

2 Coldingham, in Berwickshire; Dunfermline; Urquhart, in Moray; Kelso; Lesmahagow, Kilwinning, in Ayrshire; Aber

« AnteriorContinuar »