Mark G. Monday, Aug. Everyone is invited. Please enter the church from CT Discipleship Ministries is hosting this live webinar where you can learn ways to minister to, for and with older adults through worship. This year will be the first time a live broadcast will be available entirely in Spanish. One example is in providing assistance for workshops that empowers Latino youth and young adults and increases their Hwy 70 in Huntersville, TN.
This course is a two-semester advanced study that While this is a free breakfast, donations will be accepted on behalf of the Lakeshore Building Fund. Please call or text Josh Wessel at for additional information, or if you would like to volunteer. Click here for address and other CT and 1 p. And, signage is a big part of today's communication mix.
It goes beyond the roadside sign. All you need to participate in the Robert Craig who may be reached at or executive reelfootruralministries. Conflict is normal and inevitable. Training will cover new technical communication capabilities and review of other Tuesday, Aug. Noon - 2pm Bring your lunch! We gather to discuss, pray, support, and connect.
For full-time, part-time and volunteer youth Saturday, Aug. Signs depict accessibility options at Mission u. Photo: Karen H. Andrew The Daily Calendar for Prayer and Action includes a scripture reading and related activity for each day of September. Meeting begins at 9 AM. Full-time clergy are Thursday, September 3, We all have heard about Beale Street Landing and the Bass Pro Pyramid, but did you know that the rejuvenation of downtown Memphis actually started in?
Memphis historian Jimmy Ogle is Invites churches in the Memphis Annual Conference to support one or several approved ministries within our conference by taking a special offering on this Sunday. Charles Page, a world renowned scholar, author and archeologist from the Jerusalem Institute for Biblical Noon to 1 p. Child Sexual Abuse leads to other social problems like violent crime, homelessness, teen United Methodists from all over the Purchase District will join together around the connection in serving others. Teams will work on a variety of projects in each county within the district.
Sunday, Sept. Sharon Lewis-Karamoko, pastor of Bemis and Wesley Worship is central to who we are and what we do as communities of faith. Living as Christians in a digital world calls people to rethink faith values and practices with new optics. This series offers a new perspective on how to assess digital technology Women's Retreat with Dr. Thursday, Sept.
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CT and repeated at 1 p. CT sponsored by AmericanChurch Inc. Participation is free. Click here to register. Collierville, Tenn. Crop Drop and packaging event Society of St.
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Andrew Volunteers needed to sort and package surplus produce into lb. Just show up! Saturday, Sept. Noon to 2 p. Call Joe Geary jgeary memphis-umc. Once upon a time, these were full-scale productions requiring lots of children, numerous rehearsals, and elaborate props and costumes. Many churches today want to continue the tradition of offering their congregations a Christmas See full list of employers at www. The book will be sent to participants upon registration to have ready by October 3. More information and paper registration: Click here. Online registration: Click here.
Blessing of the Animals, St. Edwin's Way 5K Sunday, October 4, 2 p. There is no rain date. This race will promote wellness Young clergy event: "Revitup! The event features classes on United Methodist benefits, managing cash and reducing debt, For more information about Lakeshore Camp and Retreat Center, visit its website at www. For more info about the golf event or Hannah's Hope, visit www.
Photo above: Planning committee prepares for event. Reception to follow at home of Rev. Jamey Lee: Hollins Ave. Disability Awareness Sunday Sunday, October 11, To celebrate the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and to call for full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community.
Enter main entrance under canopy on west side of building and take elevator to the third floor. What's the secret to creating a vibrant congregation with a real sense of community and spirituality? There is no single magic answer, but group ministries are an important tool in the toolbox. This webinar offers some tips. Media training workshop October 15, , 9 a. The Christmas season is big. And, churches have a fantastic opportunity to use Christmas events, activities and ministries as catalysts for sharing faith with communities.
This webinar is about strategically promoting the church's Christmas calendar More information. Laity Sunday Sunday, October 18, Celebrate the ministry of the laity. Without the servant leadership of the laity, we would not be The United Methodist Church. Recognize and honor the laity by celebrating Laity Sunday Worship resources, sermon helps and other materials are Sunday, Oct. Monday and Tuesday, Oct. Tuesday is youth night.
Click here for church address and contact Do You Love Me? Bishop William T. Presenter Dr. Charles Kyker Monday, Oct. This webinar will offer practical advice on teaching, community listening, engaging lay leaders, and highlighting ministry opportunities in creative ways. The church is located at Poplar, Memphis, TN www. In a vine, branches are almost completely indistinguishable from one another; it is impossible to determine where one branch stops and another branch starts. All run together as they grow out of the central vine. What this vine image suggests about community, is that there are no free-standing individuals in community, but branches who encircle one another completely.
The fruitfulness of each individual branch ultimately depends on its relationship to the vine, nothing else. What matters for John is that each individual is rooted in Jesus and hence gives up individual status to become one of many encircling branches. The communal life envisaged in the vine metaphor challenges contemporary Western models of individual autonomy and privatism.
At the heart of the Johanine model is social inter-relationship and corporate accountability. To bear fruit — that is, to act in love, is a decidedly corporate act. To live as the branches of the vine is to belong to an organic unity shaped by the love of Jesus. To live according to this model then, the Church is a community in which members are known for the acts of love that they do in common with all other members.
It is not a community built around individual accomplishments, choices, or rights, but around the corporate accountability to the abiding presence of Jesus and corporate enactment of the love of God and Jesus. The triune community life of God is our inspiration and our calling. The Father is creative love revealed in the Son; the Son is redemptive love incarnate and bearing witness to the Father: the Spirit is the life-giving love, which moves between them.
Love is the basic mode of knowing, the love of God is the highest and fullest sort of knowing that there is. Bernard Lonergan. When we love we affirm the differentness of the beloved. We are passionately and compassionately involved with the life and being of that which we are loving. We are like a family called to rediscover and re-establish our original communion with each other not just because this is our beginning, but also because this is the very life of God, in whom we live and move and have our being. It is not so much that I have something to give to you — like a product called salvation — but rather it is that all I have is myself and that I give to you whole heartedly — because that is what God has done.
These beautiful words from our Prayer Book Eucharistic liturgies speak of the grace and love of God. They proclaim the heart of it; that we are utterly, unconditionally and unreservedly loved and that we are called to live and love in this same unconditional and unreserved way; that all might come to knowledge of their need of God and be reconciled to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
What we need is the strength to change our lives that comes from being truly loved. In Jesus, God pours out a love that is able to change even the most stubborn sinner! In Jesus, God injects life into this world that can create in even the most confirmed skeptic the faith and the hope that there truly is something to live for. Faith, hope and love—St. Paul says that they abide when everything else fails. In Christ, God has fulfilled the obligation of love, and has inaugurated the coming of the Kingdom, that new community of Peace and Justice and Love, which is nothing less than the redemption of the whole of creation.
God calls us individually and collectively to participate in that great adventure, the great call, that great obligation of love. That is a call to mission! There is a grace of ordination. It is often spoken about, but this has never been more abundantly clear to me than since my ordination to the episcopate. Without God I am nothing. It is through the grace of our faithful and loving God that I find myself upheld time and time again. Each day I become more profoundly aware of my need of God. I find myself often waking in the middle of the night struggling with some issue, usually some concern or even conflict within one of the communities for whom I have responsibility.
As I allow these words to work their way into my consciousness I have found that I can let the issue go and give it to God. God meets us in the Son and brings us home…. The journey into the depths of the human spirit is a journey of intense vulnerability and risk. This is something of the essence of the journey to Jerusalem and on to Calvary; perhaps most poignantly expressed in Gethsemane. A Bishop is one prepared and able to partner and encourage others on the way because he or she is already a fellow pilgrim on this journey.
A Bishop who minds the vulnerable frontiers of Spirit must do so with great tenderness and compassion, qualities which are most readily found in the person who has been prepared and continues to be prepared to face their own vulnerabilities. It can reach out and retrieve or rescue; it can prod or encourage along; it can be used in defence and it can we used by the shepherd in the middle of the fold to reach out and reassure those on the edge with a gentle touch to the back — thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
Helen-Ann you have been such a shepherd for this Diocese. You have been the priest who gathers the Diocesan family around the table of the Lord to be fed for the journey and challenged anew to respond to the call God places on the lives of each one of us. Myles, dear friend you have given more than you will ever know to us all. You have lived through separation and yet been unstinting in your love and support. Go with our love and our gratitude. God bless your future and your being together. We are grateful for all we have shared and delight that we will always be part of each other.
We have formed and shaped one another. The last month has been most extraordinary. As a Diocese we have experienced everything from birth to death - from ordination to farewell. Each event deserves its own space, but together they capture the intensity of our life together as the body of Christ. We wish the Landers all the very best as we pray for good health, long sleeps, and cool days. Darcy has spent the last two years exploring, assessing and seeking to rebuild youth ministry in the Waikato. The task has been monumental. Nevertheless, Darcy has remained positive and Christ-centred as he has built relationships across Tikanga and in the community.
We are deeply grateful for all that Darcy has done but will especially miss him for his pastoral care, humour, and wisdom. My enduring memory will be of him in a youth group huddle role-modelling prayer, encouraging the youth to pray, and demonstrating the love of Christ. Even while we were saying goodbye to Darcy we were preparing to farewell Mike Schumacher the much loved husband of our superb Diocesan Executive Administrator Jill.
We are grateful that Jill and Mike have been able to share these past few weeks together and we remember the extraordinary Christian man that he was. Despite his condition, Mike was absolutely determined to work as long as possible. His dedication to the foodbank was exemplary; his faith in God and excitement at returning his Father was inspiring. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. Bishop Helen-Ann has ministered to the Diocese for almost 4 years and in that time has experienced the highs and lows of episcopal leadership. She reflected that she has been formed by the Diocese as much as we have been formed by her.
Bishop Helen-Ann has been a wonderful gift to us in so many respects, but we are especially grateful for her work on the LiFT formation programme; the relationships she has built with schools, Trusts and civic partners; her significant theological contributions to Diocesan and provincial life; and the pastoral care she extended.
Saturday was a wonderful celebration of her life among us. Myles is widely recognised as an absolute gentleman, a superlative musician and a magnificent magician. The Hartleys will be greatly missed, but we rejoice that they will be reunited in England and acknowledge the call of the wider church on their lives.
Twenty-four hours later the Cathedral witnessed yet another farewell. The Cathedral camps will not be the same without his hilarious magic shows! While we reflect on these enormously significant events - these beginnings and endings - we remember that God is the Alpha and Omega. Therefore God embraces us in every experience - arms of consolation and arms of celebration.
We also look to and a year grounded in prayer. We take encouragement from the incarnation as we recall that God chose to become human, a refugee born to an unwed woman in the most humble surroundings. We acknowledge that through faith in Christ all things are possible and we look forward to the promise of hope. May God be with you all as you celebrate this holy nativity. May you find the love of God in one another as you embrace your discipleship and connect to your communities. We gathered to give thanks to God for the challenges of discipleship, the joy of relationship, and the transformation that has taken place in our lives and communities.
In one of our learning communities a mother occasionally brought her 8-year-old. Although he was unable to stay to the end of each session he was nevertheless very keen to listen and contribute. One evening, when the group was asked how they experienced God, this little boy was the first to share. In our last session of LiFT we asked people what the highs and lows were as well as what had changed for them. One lady reflected that the experience had enabled her to love others better. Indeed, she felt more lovable herself.
LiFT is ambitious. It sets out to create a culture in which prayer, hospitality and learning create communities of disciples. It invites people from neighbouring parishes to gather together and share their faith. We hoped 20 people might register. At 50 we were excited. At we were daunted. At graduation we were elated. Thank you to all the participants, and particularly all those local tutors and coordinators. Finally, thank you to Bishop Helen-Ann without whom this would not have happened.
She will be greatly missed. Over the past few weeks I have spent quite a lot of time in transport of one variety or another, most notably a total of about 52 hours in planes and probably about 20 hours in trains, not to mention on foot walking here there and everywhere in between! But it was an elevated form of foot transport perhaps in anticipation of this LiFT celebration that was the most unexpected and tricky. I was taken through the running order for the day of the announcement of my appointment as the bishop of Ripon. Visit farm, feed calf, herd sheep ok ; visit primary school, meet children and staff and listen to the school choir perform ok ; formal civic welcome at Ripon Cathedral with a list of local civic and military dignitaries ok , climb to top of Cathedral roof and bless new gargoyles.
Two of the gargoyles had been designed by winners of a school competition that had attracted over entries, and so I was joined in my lofty trek by various children and their families. The bishop of Leeds had opted to stay on the ground on the basis that he was carrying his iPad and that he had important pastoral work to do with the few people that had opted not to undertake this crazy climb. So with one final push I did it, and with considerable relief came face to face with the gargoyles. The Dean, invited me to take one and he would take the over. By this point the light was fading fast, so we all made the reverse journey with some considerable care!
I suspect that for some of you, maybe many of you, LiFT has felt a bit like climbing up scaffolding at times? It was only in the breaking of the bread that they recognised him, and note that this moment of recognition was so intense that they ran back to Jerusalem to tell the others what had happened!
Jesus had unfolded to them the teaching in the prophets and the writings of Scripture so that the written word suddenly became intertwined with the living word of himself. It is that living word that transformed anxiety into hope and fear into joy. My hope and prayer is that LiFT has in some way enabled you to have renewed confidence in your discipleship journeys.
Maybe some seeds have been planted that will grow and blossom in new and perhaps unexpected ways. My experience has been more often than not that God can do amazing things with either not much or something that you think has gone all wrong. Lives can be messy and complex at times, but God is in the midst of all of that, and through his Holy Spirit encouraging, enabling and transforming, calling us deeper into that perfect love that knows no end. I give thanks to God for each of you, and rejoice in the journey that we have shared together.
We have all learned a lot, not least in the area of technology! But it is to God that we give all thanks and praise, for the gift of life, the gift of learning, and the gift of one another. May we have the courage to continue our journey of discipleship in faith, joy and hope. It was a day of celebration and hope for us all. No more exit polls, no more phone calls at night from a recorded Bill or Jacinda, no more conjecture. Some of us will be pleased, some of us will be disappointed, some confused or indifferent. If you look at the first part of the service you will see this three-way relationship between God, Geoff and the Church.
Paul wrote this letter almost at the end of his life 60 from Rome to a church he had preached into faith.
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So for Paul the words of our reading are an ending, for Geoff and for us they are a beginning. He affirms and encourages them for their partnership with him in the gospel. It appears that within this community, so affirmed by Paul there was a bit of niggle going on. Now this may never happen in St Matthews Morrinsville or wherever you come from. Our response with Paul is one of praise and celebration. The reason Paul uses this hymn is to situates his teaching on relationships in the church.
Christ is our DNA- have his mind- attitude, mind set in all things because it will spill out in humility as we relate with one another. When we do humility in the face of Christ we see each person equally loved, valued and gifted by God, different and equal. That mind set of humility, risk, grace and guts is grounded in our shared experience of Christ, it leans us into overcoming the niggles and towards the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
Christ is out DNA. When I left theological college the principal prayed for each student and gave them a verse. I stood in line- wonderful promises- I have chosen and appointed you to bear much fruit; I am with you always to the end of the age; come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Warmth filled the space. Students glowed as they walked back to their seats. I walked back to my seat confused and a tad disappointed until later I listened again:. Let us remind ourselves that this is another plural, corporate YOU. I have to say it is quite a challenge for any Christian community to discern the priorities of God and do them.
Life in relationship with God, with others and in ourselves is going to be hard work that takes effort BUT we are not on our own. This reminds us that being church is not about close-knit, niggle- less, happy, self absorbed, comfortable community. We need to listen so that we can shine like stars visible and voiced in the places where Christ calls us to be. Fair question, this is about partnership — Geoff is priest in community in the Morrinsville team, he has deep connections. To enable us to be star-shine we need encouragement, support, relationship.
St Paul has finished his race. The predictable circuit has become cross-country. Our work in community with him will be to carry him in prayer, sometimes slow to a walk and journey on together. As Geoff takes his place in the people of God as priest, this ministry is about the three-way relationship of Christ, the Church universal, and the local Church of St Matthews.
Further, their mandate made it clear that they were not to re-litigate the theological work already completed elsewhere. Ultimately, their job was to present a structure in which all parties could coexist peacefully. This has not been easy. Nevertheless, our mandate as Christians is to love one another, forgive one another, and seek to be the bride of Christ in all that we do as a church.
To help you understand the Report's recommendations we have prepared this summary Fact Sheet that concludes with a series of recommendations:. This year Bishop Philip has done considerable work in the area of Kinship and Compassion. That first part is now available for you to watch. It's just 40 minutes long, but it invites you to watch Fr Greg 's talk and engage with what it means to "belong to one another. Fittingly, The Ven. Anne attended the Gathering in Chicago during July where over Deacons, Deaconesses and Diaconal ministers from 28 countries met together.
It was here that Anne was elected. The Gathering takes place every four years, the next being in Darwin , where Anne will be involved in the planning. Between Gatherings, the members of each Region meet together with a real sense of mutual support and excitement sharing and learning from each other. Thanks to the support of the St. Methodist Deacons were welcomed this year. New Zealand thus becomes part of Diakonia Asia and Pacific, joining Australia and fifteen other associations.
The purpose of DANZA is to encourage and support the ecumenical diaconal community and to foster an understanding of the history, traditions and function of the diaconate. Diaconal ministry, in its divergent expressions is thriving around the world. Meeting together in Wellington, electing officers and speaking about the future as DANZA, deacons felt excited to be part of a much larger movement. There was a strong sense that mission focused diaconal ministry is life giving to our churches and communities.
We trust that this enthusiasm will give new momentum to encourage others to consider ministry as a Vocation Deacon. Deacon School gathered in Wellington, May Unfortunately, our treasured male Deacons were unavailable for this photo. Sandy is kneeling on the right in the photo; with Deacon Anne standing at her shoulder wearing a scarf. Simon invited us to engage with the notion of social transformation; to build dreams from humble foundations. He reminded us that small sustainable changes inevitably contribute to social transformation. Simon further encouraged us to respond to the Gospel and be agents of change ourselves.
We heard several inspiring examples of local initiatives before Simon revealed the Catalyst Housing Project. For the past couple of years BAF as Catalyst Housing has been working towards a major social housing development in one of New Plymouth's most deprived suburbs.
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Jason outlined the critical work that the Red Cross does in New Zealand with respect to disaster relief and receiving refugees. The number of refugees worldwide is overwhelming and we are privileged in Hamilton to be able to settle families escaping persecution. Her courage, gratitude and determination reminded us of the many luxuries that we take for granted in Aotearoa. If you have any bikes or bike parts you are willing to donate please contact Stephen stephen waikatoanglican.
May God bless you richly. To see the work of the Red Cross in action check out this video. With a sprinkling of gentle exercise, a quiz, laughter and a delicious morning tea the official opening of the Tainui Day Centre at St Barnabas, Opunake occurred on Monday 17 July. The Tainui Day Centre is focused on making a real difference combating the challenge of loneliness and social isolation facing many elderly people in our communities. The Tainui Day Centre provides an opportunity for guests to connect and enjoy the company of others while participating in social activities, games and gentle exercise and a morning tea.
The programme already has 20 guests. The programme is for those of any religious or cultural background who may live alone or may be in need of companionship, help and support. This is an exciting development as we know there is a growing need for the programme, especially with our ageing population. On Saturday morning she was interviewed by Brian Vickery on Radio Hokonui to explain the purpose of the work being undertaken and to share her enthusiasm for the project.
You can listen to her interview here. A few days ago, I posted a reflection on the feast of Corpus Christi. His answer: that as long as we commit to being 'in Christ' then we can make progress in participating in God's mission. In mid-July I shall be spending a few days in Tonga teaching clergy. I am looking forward to sharing with them, and learning from their insights. Together we will be discerning how best we can be 'in Christ' with one another. Now you won't be surprised that space features in this reflection too!
Back to Mars again, or not quite. It tells the story of three astronauts who are on a simulated mission to the red planet. More than that, it is a probing study of how their loved ones are affected by their prolonged absence, as well as the effect of isolation on the astronauts' sense of identity. It will be a discovery of distance. An understanding of what the word far can mean. Three individuals living in close proximity to one another on a journey which will stretch human appreciation of how far one can go.
In the novel, the astronauts interact, but it is the journey of their inner lives and that of their families 'on earth' that gives the narrative a feel of the infiniteness of outer space. The opportunity and risk in any relationship lies in the bringing together different identities to make something new.
An opportunity because that something new is full of potential. A risk, because it takes hard work and failure may at times be the result. The risk lies in our choosing at times to go it alone and to forget the other exists. Put simply, we cannot afford to veer into the territory of the latter. This is why Paul's words are both important and helpful. Important because they remind us of the central focus of Jesus Christ, and helpful because they point us to the means by which we stay together: it through Christ's body that we are united.
That deeper sense of unity has been on display in the response to the horrific Grenfell tower fire in London. Communities that have already been affected by terror attacks have instinctively come together to provide support and relief. But divisions have also been highlighted, which underlines the all too real fragility within society. Scratch the surface here too, and you can see where the fracture lines run.
These grooves of vulnerability lie in all our relationships, sacred as well as so-called secular. The key is not to become overwhelmed, and that is why we need each other. We cannot afford to walk alone, rather together we must speak out against injustice and pain, advocating for that cry of mercy that is always a breath away.
Our feet are firmly planted on earth, much like the astronauts in the story who are only pretending to journey to Mars. But questions about our direction of travel, and our capacity to sustain life on the way are mission critical for us at this time. I recently re-watched the film 'The Martian.
The narrative follows Watney's survival, his discovery and eventual recovery by his crew. Early on in the film, Watney manages to grow a crop of potato plants. He does this by using his own waste matter as fertiliser, with a flame-filled balloon providing the moisture. As NASA for obvious reasons banned all hazardous material from the mission, Watney is stuck for ideas until he discovers a wooden crucifix belonging to a crew-member, a personal item that was allowed to go on board. Watney takes the crucifix, and makes a comment that in the circumstances Jesus probably wouldn't mind helping him out.
The wood provides the fuel that enables the flame to ignite and over time, the crops to grow. By the end of the film, Watney has lost weight, his body has taken the toll of months of poor nutrition and exposure to the radiation of Mars. But he survives. Many people know that I am endlessly fascinated by space, something I have my father to thank for. Even though science wasn't my forte in school, arguably I've charted a heavenly path of another variety, and my love of space hasn't lessened; if anything it has grown.
On a clear night, step outside and look up. How can we not be moved by the sight of stars and planets, and by the tiny bright dot of the International Space Station as it flies overhead on its 90 minute orbit of our planet earth? Today is the feast of Corpus Christi, when we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist. Jesus took bread and wine, gave thanks, and commanded us to do likewise in remembrance of him. The fragility of Jesus' body, broken on the cross, became the tool for salvation, the bold reality of his resurrection brought hope and life to the early church, as it continues to do so today.
Ordinary things: wood, bread, wine took on new meaning. Like so much of the story of our journey with God, life in its rawness became life in its fullness. It is that fullness of life that we remember today. Christ's body, in bread and wine, becomes part of us when we participate in the Eucharist. This being 'in Christ' is something that the Apostle Paul talks about a lot in his letters to the various communities who received his letters.
Paul was well aware of the frailty of humanity and its tendency to divide rather than unite. At the end of the film, Mark Watney is safely back on earth; he sits on a bench and spots a tiny shoot coming out of the ground below; 'hey there' he remarks. The scene then shifts to an astronaut candidacy class. Watney tells the class that facing the reality of death in space is an inevitability.
He tells them to accept it, to get to work, and solve one problem and then the next, and then you get to come home. At the end of our lives we will 'come home' to God, and the mystery of our lives will reach a fullness beyond our understanding. This day as we remember Christ's body, we give thanks that we can participate in the continuing of his mission on earth.
We pray for all those who are caught up in the distress of this world; may we reach out to one another in love and compassion. May we have the courage to notice the little things, the tiny signs of new life; in Christ may our brokenness become whole. Click on the link for more information. And we can kiss coffee and chocolate goodbye for the five days! I did have a friend who shall remain anonymous offer to sponsor me if she could come and eat a creambun in front of me.
Some friend! Wondering where the money will go? Over the past few months, I've had the honour of being chaplain to the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic netball team. I used to play netball at school, but the sport doesn't have an especially high profile in the UK, so I hadn't given it much thought until I came to New Zealand. I had an indication of its relative importance here during a visit I made to the St Paul's Collegiate Tihoi campus. The co-director of the campus invited me to watch a Diamonds vs Silver Ferns match on TV that's Australia vs NZ for those not in the know of the sporting names!
So when the invitation came to consider supporting the Magic, I said 'yes' without hesitation. Chaplaincy in this context is very much a ministry of presence. The incarnational aspect of priesthood asks us so often to simply stand alongside, witnessing to our faith. So that is what I have done.
I have gone along to training when I can, and been there at home games, where the post-match debrief in the locker room or shed depending on the term you use can be uplifting and raw at the same time. It has been an immense privilege. But more than anything I've been in a position of learning.
And this has made me reflect on what I have observed and experienced, and how this might translate into the life of the church. Here are seven points for further thought and reflection:. Something you learn quite quickly is that each netball team has a different personality. I won't go into too much detail about this, as I don't want to give away what might be described as 'trade secrets'! As an outsider this was incredibly affirming. As church, how do we welcome the stranger? Secondly , it's really important both to keep the ball moving, and to treasure it.
Now this might sound like a contradiction, so bear with me while I try to explain it as best I can! In a game of netball you have three seconds before you have to pass the ball on. Three seconds is actually longer than you might think. But you need to be strategic about where you pass the ball!
The ball needs to be kept in the team's possession you don't want what's called a 'turn over' to occur where the opposition intercepts and takes the ball , but it also needs to keep moving towards the goal area as quickly as you can! As church, how good are we at treasuring our inheritance while at the same time keeping it moving? Thirdly , and related to the second point is the frequency of the word 'hustle. It means 'get a move on'; don't be lethargic, lift your game! I have been tempted to use the word when processions of choir and clergy seem to be stuck as Bishop I am always last in the line!
As church, how do we respond when we seem stuck in our ways, unable to move? Mark is in a hurry to tell his story, and I wonder sometimes how eager we really are to witness to the good news about Jesus Christ? Fourthly , it's really important to focus on one game at a time. Every game counts, so a loss is a loss, you can't dwell on it, but must immediately switch your focus to preparing for the next game.
Equally if you win, that game also is the in past, and the next game is like starting all over again. As church, how good are we at focusing on one project at a time? How able are we to move on from failure? Fifthly , when things go wrong, you don't point the finger of blame at one person, rather you figure out how the team can all work together to make things better. That doesn't need much explanation, but it represents a fundamental learning point for the church. How often do we rush to a culture of blame, rather than deciding to tackle challenging situations positively together?
Sixthly , there's a fine line between becoming resigned to loss, and thinking you can still push for the win. At a certain point in a game, the goal margin between the teams can begin to widen. The crucial thing here is for the team to consciously keep playing as if they could win. In netball if you come within five points of the opposition at the end of the game, you still secure a point, and that can have a crucial effect on where a team sits in the results table.
I've spent a bit of time in conversation with the High Performance Sport Psychologist, and he helped me understand the importance of this insight. It's basically saying 'don't give up'! As church, are we too quick to give up sometimes? Finally , every person matters in the team: the players, the coaches, the physio, the trainer, the video analyst, the manager, the friends and families. Each person is valued. Again, I don't need to say much more than that!
In our church communities, how do we value the gifts and skills that we bring to the table? Some of these insights above are echoed in the widely read book about the All Blacks written by James Kerr: Legacy. What the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life , , Constable. The world of sport might seem far from that of the church, but as the above suggests, we have much to learn from it. Equally, through the conversations that I have had with players and staff, perhaps they have learnt something about the way in which the church can support and uphold people and celebrate the gifts that God has given them.
Reflection is always a useful tool. Sometimes I wonder if it is God's way of helping us gain perspective on situations, both good and bad? That's the role of the Holy Spirit, cajoling us, nudging us always to be the people that God is purposing us to be. The end of a day gives us an opportunity to review and think back on the day, and commit it to God's mercy. New worlds have been opened up to me, and I have been amazed at the networks of people that I have connected with. As a rule, I stay away from engaging in debates on Twitter, however one issue has prompted me to dabble my fingers on the keyboard of engagement, which has caused me to reflect.
I've made no secret of my opposition to any move towards legislating for euthanasia. Earlier in the year I joined a much respected retired bishop in making a submission to the parliamentary select committee. It was a short but important stand in support of some of our most vulnerable members of society. I won't rehearse the submission we made here, but my views are clear, and my Christian faith underpins my perspective. My impression here in New Zealand is that our media does not necessarily report on this topic in a balanced way.
Powers, and it amply justifies the fame he had won in other performances by the harmonious blending of such particular excellences as he had exhibited in separation. It indeed illustrates his capacities for the highest range of historical portraiture and characterization, and will occasion regrets wherever similar subjects have in recent years been confided to other artists. We have heard that it is in contemplation to place in the park of our own city a colossal figure of Mr.
Webster, by the same great sculptor. It is fit that while Charleston glories in the possession of this counterfeit of her dead Aristides for in the indefectable purity of his public and private life Mr. Calhoun was surpassed by no character in the temples of Grecian or Roman greatness , New-York should be able to point to a statue of the representative of those ideas which are most eminently national, and of which she, as the intellectual and commercial metropolis of the whole country, is the centre.
For plastic art, Mr. Webster may be regarded as perhaps the finest subject in modern history, and the head which Thorwaldsen thought must be the artist's ideal of the head of Jove, when modelled to the size of life, in the fit proportions of such a statue as is proposed, would be more imposing than any thing that has appeared in marble since the days of Praxitiles.
This figure of Mr. Calhoun is considerably larger than that of the great senator. The face is represented with singular fidelity as it appeared ten years ago. The incongruous blending of the Roman toga with the palmetto must be borne: civilization is not sufficiently advanced for the historical to be much regarded in art; and our Washingtons, Hamiltons, Websters and Calhouns, must all, like Mr. Booth and Mr.
Forrest, come before us in the character of Brutus. With this exception as to the design, every critic must admit the work to be faultless; and Charleston may well be proud of a monument to her legislator, which illustrates her taste while it reminds her of his purity, dignity, and watchful care of her interests. By the wreck of the ship Elizabeth, the left arm of the statue was broken off, and the fragment has not been recovered.
Nell Gwynne has been the heroine of a dozen books, in the last ten years, and a very interesting work respecting her life and times is now being published in The Gentleman's Magazine. We copy the following article, with its illustrations, from the Art Journal , in which it appears as one of Mrs. Hall's "Pilgrimages to English Shrines. There may be some who will object to the application of so honored a term to the dwelling of an actress of lost repute; but surely that may be a "shrine" where consideration can be taught—where mercy is to be learned—and—that which is "greater" than even faith and hope—charity!
However agreeable may be the present, and we have no reason to complain of it in any way, there is inexhaustible delight in reverting to the past. We do not mean living over again our own days; for though, if we could "pick and choose," there are sundry portions of our lives we might desire to repeat, yet, beginning from the beginning, taking the bad and the good "straight on," there can be few, men or women, who would willingly pass again through the whole of a gone-by career.
And this, properly considered, is one of our greatest blessings; stifling much of vain regret, and teaching us to "look forward" to the future. We have always had, if we may so call it, a domestic rambling propensity; a desire to see "dwellings," not so much for their pictorial as their, so to say, personal celebrity: and sometimes, as on our visit to Barley Wood, this longing comes upon us at the wrong season, when a cheerful fire at "home" would be a meet companion.
It is now six years ago—six years, last month—that, pacing along Pall Mall, we paused, and turned to the left hand corner of St. James's Square, full of painful and un-English memories of the Asiatic court of the second Charles; the sovereign who had endured adversity without discovering that "sweet are its uses;" who had "suffered tribulation" without "learning mercy"—the king who makes us doubt if, as a people, we have any claim to what is called "national character"—for the change that came over England, within a few brief years, from gloomy fanaticism to reckless license, is one of the marvels that give to history the aspect of romance.
We had been walking round Whitehall, [B] recalling the change that had swept away nearly all relics of the past in that quarter, and strolled so far out of our home-ward [Pg 10] path to look at the house in Pall Mall recently removed from its place which tradition says was the dwelling of Nell Gwynne, besides her apartment at Whitehall, to which she was entitled by virtue of her office as lady of the bed-chamber to a most outraged queen. One of our friends remembers supping in the back room on the ground-floor of that very house, the said room being called "the Mirror Chamber," because the walls were panelled with looking-glass [C].
There are others who affirm that Nelly lodged at the opposite side of Pall Mall, because Evelyn gossips of her leaning from her window, "talking to the king," who was lounging in St. James's Park, thereby wounding the propriety of many, who think vice only vice when it becomes notorious. Evelyn was always sadly perplexed by his faithful and high devotion to Charles, the king, and his abhorrence of the vices of Charles, the man; while Pepys jogged on, sometimes in the royal seraglio, sometimes at church, sometimes with my Lady Castlemaine, sometimes with "Knip" at the "king's house," seeing, admiring, and repeating—his morality held in abeyance; and yet always, even to the kissing of "Mistress Nelly," "a sweet pretty soul," companioned by his wife.
If Pepys was a curiosity, what must Madame Pepys have been! The scene in St. James's Park to which Evelyn refers, was an index to the age [E]. Blessed as we are in the knowledge that nowhere in England are the domestic virtues better cultivated or more truly flourishing than in our own pure and high-souled court, we are almost inclined to treat as a mythological fable, the history of Whitehall during the reign of Charles the Second.
No one trait of the father's better nature redeems that of the son. His life was indeed. He was not worthy even of the earnest devotion which the poor orange-girl, of all his favorites, alone manifested to the last. Poor Nell! No one would plunge into crime, merely for the sake of being redeemed therefrom; no one take the sin, who looked first at the shame, hideous and enduring as it must be—however overshadowed by the broad wings of mercy; the burn of the brand can never be effaced, however skilfully healed. And when the wit, the loveliness, the generosity, the fidelity of "Madame Ellen," when the memory of the well-spent evening of her checkered life, and the allowance we make for the early impressions of a young creature, called upon to sing her first songs in a tavern, and sell oranges in the depraved and depraving saloon of "the King's House;"—when all these aids are exerted to excite our sympathy, we only accord the sentiment of pity to "poor Nell Gwynne!
While looking at the house said to have been inhabited by this " femme d'esprit par la grace de Dieu! Near as it is to our own, we were doubtful of the way, and determined to inquire of our opposite neighbor, who keeps the old Brompton tollbar. Whereabouts is it? It is a very old dilapidated house, by the side of a little stream that runs into the Thames somewhere by Old Chelsea.
I think you must have heard of it. It was once inhabited by the famous Nell Gwynne. Nell Gwynne! We walked on. His is a low house, ma'am—his name in the window—you can't pass it, for the birds and white mice. And is there no one left, we thought, to tell where the witty, light-hearted, true-hearted Nelly lived—she who was the friend of Dryden and Lee, the favorite of Lord Buckhurst, the rival of the Duchess of Cleveland, the protector of the soldiers of England—the one unselfish friend of the selfish Charles?
Is there no one in a district that once echoed with the praise of her charities—no one to tell where she resided, but Hill, the old [Pg 12] rat-catcher? We proceeded through the prettily-built, but gangrened-looking, cottages located in Thistle Grove, once called Brompton Heath, or Marsh, we forget which, until the sounds of traffic reminded us that we were in the Fulham road. Presently the sharp voice of a starling, just above us, attracted our attention. The old rat-catcher invited us to enter.
He is a man of powerful frame, with a massive head, fringed round with an abundance of gray hair, with deep well-set eyes, and a quiet smile. Two sharp, bitter-looking, wiry-haired terriers began smelling, casting their sly eyes upwards, to see if we feared them or were friendly to their advances, and, after a moment or two, seemed sufficiently satisfied with the scrutiny to warrant their wagging their short stumpy tails in rude welcome.
The room was hung round with cages of the songbirds of England—some content with their captivity, others restless, and passing to and fro in front of the wires, eager for escape. Strong inclosures, containing both rats and ferrets, were ranged along the sides of the small room; the latter, long, yellow, pink-eyed, and pink-nosed creatures, lithe as a willow wand, courting notice; while the rats, on the contrary, moved their whiskers in defiance, and, with bright, black, determined eyes, sat lumped up in the distant corners of their dens, ready 'to die game,' if die they must.
Gay-colored finches, the gold and the green, graced the window in little brown bob cages; while mice of all colors, from the burnt sienna-colored dormouse, who was more than half asleep within the skin of an apple which it had scooped out, to the matronly white mouse, who was sitting composedly amid a progeny of thirteen young ones, attracted groups of little gazers, every now and then dispersed by the larger terrier, who ran out amongst them, snarling and threatening, but doing them no harm. Nell's old house," he replied to our inquiries; "Nell Gwynne's house at Sandy End, where runs the little river they deepened into a canal—the stream I mean that divides Chelsea from Fulham—Sandford Manor House!
Ay, that I do, and I'd match it against any house in the county for rats! Ah, a pretty woman might catch a king, but it's only a kind one that could tame the wild birds of the air; I know that; I'll show you the way with pleasure. A bird, I'm thinking, remembers longer than a Christian does. Poor Tom's wife is married again, but the starling still calls for its master. It's hard to say, what they do or do not know; the bird often wrings my heart; but for all that, I could not part with him. We walked on, until we came to the "World's End. The hardest day's work I ever had was digging an old rat out of that bank.
There was nothing in the sight of those green, grim walls to excite any feeling of romance. Yet positively our heart beat more rapidly than usual for a minute or two—"a way it has" when we are at all interested. We turned down a lane seamed with ruts, by the side of a paling black with gas tar.
We passed two or three exceedingly old houses, and one in particular with three windows in front. It was evident that the paling had been run across the garden, which must have been very extensive. After waiting a few minutes for permission from the master of the gas-works, to whom the Manor House belonged, to enter, an elderly man of respectable appearance opened the gate, and told us he resided there, and that the servant would show us all over the house.
The rat-catcher commenced poking his stick into the various mounds of earth wherever there was the appearance of a hole, and his dogs became at once busy and animated. There was but one of the three walnut trees said to have been planted by royal hands, remaining, and that stood gnarled, and thick, and stunted, close to the present entrance—bent it was, like a thing whose pleasantest days are gone, and which cares not how soon it may be gathered into the garner.
A circular plot of thick green grass was directly opposite the hall door, and in its centre grew a young golden holly, some of the turf being cleared away from round its root. This was encircled by a fair gravel walk, leading to the house, which was entered through a rustic porch, covered with ivy; very old and rampant it was, and its deep heavy foliage, so densely green, had a pall-like look, as it rustled and sighed in the sharp keen air. It was flanked by two cypress trees, well-shaped and well-grown. Dank ivy and deep cypress where the living Nell would have twined roses and passion-flowers!
You see the old door-way when under the porch; it is of no particular order, but massive and pointed,—the [Pg 13] hall is like the usual entrance to old-fashioned country-houses, panelled with oak. The staircase is very remarkable, as Mr. Fairholt's sketch will show; broad twisted iron rods, of great thickness, springing from the oak square pillars which flank the turnings, and assisting to support the flight above. The room on the right is large, the ceiling low, the windows deep set in the thick walls. A very gentle looking little maid was nursing a pretty white cat by the fire; her young fresh face and bright smile were like sunbeams in a tomb; what did she there?
We could fancy old withered crones in such a dwelling, rather than a fair tender child, and yet she looked so happy, and so full of joy! The opposite room had been fitted up as a kitchen, and was clean and cold. We paced up the stairs so often trodden by Nell's small feet, when they descended briskly to meet the lounging heavy footfalls of her royal master, whom she loved for himself, and careless of her own future, as she was of her own person, cared more for the honor of the indolent Charles, than ever he cared for his own!
In nature, in feeling, in all honors save the one , how superior was the poor orange-girl to her rivals; they envied and slandered each other, disdaining no article to fix the fancy of the king, who desired nothing more than that they should all live peaceably together, and was not able to comprehend why they did not agree when he endeavored to please them; they copied each other—but Nell resembled only herself.
Instead of going like the generality of her sex from bad to worse, the more her opportunities of evil increased, the better she became. The ladies of the court swore, drank, and gambled; it was the fashion to be coarse and vicious, and the more coarse they were, the better they pleased the English Sultan; and if the poor orange-girl endeavored to keep her lover by what bound him to others,—where's the wonder?
Her manners had their full taste of the time; but we look in vain elsewhere for the generous bravery, the kind thoughts, the disinterested acts, which have retained her in our memories. Both rooms were furnished, but cold and gloomy; the floor of what the girl called her dressing-room was chippy and worm-eaten. Why should the gentleman tell a story? She never bestowed much time upon her toilet; and Burnet, who was particularly hard upon her at all times, says that, after her "elevation," she continued "to hang on her clothes with the same slovenly negligence;" and, truly, Sir Peter Lely, would make it appear that all the "ladies" of the court, however rich the materials that composed their dresses, and well assorted the colors, "hung" them full carelessly over their persons; nay, it would be difficult to imagine how they could stand up without their dresses falling off; they certainly have a most uncomfortable look [G].
However she dressed, she certainly [Pg 14] succeeded in winning, and even keeping, the fancy for we may doubt if he had any affection for the ministers of his vices of Charles until the end. And although Burnet was marvellously angry that at such a time the thought of such a "creature" should find its way into the mind when it was about to lay aside the draperies of royalty for the realities of eternity—yet the only little passage in the life of the voluptuary that ever touched us was, his entreaty to his brother James, "Not to let poor Nelly starve! Unfortunately the most powerful female influence in the Cabinet has generally been exercised by worthless women; an argument, if one were needed, to prove that a woman is little tempted to interfere with State affairs if her mind is untainted, and directed to the source of woman's legitimate power.
How loathsome was the King's subjection to the abandoned vixen, my Lady Castlemaine!
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And yet how powerful must have been her beauty! Can we not, in fancy, see her now,—stepping out of her carriage at Bartholomew Fair, whither she had gone to view the rare puppet-show of "Patient Grizzle," hissed when recognized by the honest mob; yet upon turning the light of her radiant and beautiful face towards them, they exchange their jibes and curses for admiration and hurras.
Until the publication of Mrs. From such women as Madame de Grammont and Lady Ossory the untitled actress could have met no offence; for women of high virtue are merciful; women who affect it, are not. We could fancy Nell's silver laugh, passing along those damp walls of Sandford Manor House; we could imagine her leaning from that window, conversing with, and rallying, her royal "lover," who stands beneath, amid the flowers, once so bright and abundant, where only weeds and stinging thistles were to be seen this winter-time.
As for him, wisdom came not with years; "consideration" never whipped the offending Adam out of him—in his character there was no "nettle," but there was no "strawberry. He leans his white and jewelled hand upon his hip, and, with a faded smile, listens to her mingled love and reproof. She talks of the old soldiers, and wonders why the builders pause in the erection of the Hospital, for lack of cash, [Pg 15] when certain ladies sport new diamonds, and glitter in fair coaches; and he tells her he will take her, if she likes, from where she is, and give her the palace by the water-side, in exchange for her sweet words and sweeter smiles.
She will none of this, but answers she would rather content her in the humblest house in his dominions, so that the soldiers who fought his battles should be worthily lodged in their old age. He repeats to her the last bit of Sedley, and diverts her with news of a new play, for well he knows those who once lived by the buskin love the buskin still: [H] and she listens, and is pleased, but returns to her first theme; and, provoked at last by an indifference she cannot understand, she becomes bitter, and then Charles laughs at "little pig-eyed Nelly.
We composed our thoughts, or rather we aroused from those waking dreams in which all indulge sometimes—more or less. The house contains fourteen rooms—and must have been pleasant, long ago, as a retreat where poor Nell could bring her titled children—whom she doubtless loved with all the enthusiasm of her ardent nature.
We crossed the garden, but could find no trace of the pond in which tradition reports Madam Ellen's mother to have been drowned. Not long ago, a very old woman resided in Chelsea, whose grandmother, it was said, was Nell's stage-dresser; this was before old Ranelagh was built over, and when the site of Eaton Square was intersected by damp pathways and nursery-gardens. We entered the meadows at the back, to see how the house looked from thence, which greatly delighted the rat-catcher's terriers.
Modern "improvement" long spared this locality. When we knew and loved it first, we could see the Thames from our windows in one direction, and Kensington Gardens in another. But old houses, standing within their own park-like inclosures, and old trees and green fields, are nearly all gone. Many hereafter will do pilgrimage to her shrine with a far deeper feeling of respect, than, with all our charity, we can bestow upon Sandford Manor House.
If the women of England could forget this period of our history, which, as Mrs. Jameson truly and beautifully observes, "saw them degraded from objects of adoration to servants of pleasure, and gave the first blow to that chivalrous feeling with which their sex had hitherto been regarded, by levelling the distinction between the unblemished matron and her 'who was the ready spoil of opportunity'"—if this were possible, it might be well, like Claire, when she threw the pall over the perishing features of Julie, to exclaim—.
We should learn to speak of him, not as distinguished for "gallantry," but as the monarch who reduced those he insulted by his love below the level of the poor Georgian slave, who knows no higher destiny than to glitter for a few short moons as the star of the harem. But if some of the women of that court were deeply degraded—if the termagant and imperious Castlemaine; the lovely and intriguing Denham; the coquettish, cold, and cunning Richmond; the innately-dissipated and unrestrainable Southesk; the equivocal Middleton; the rapacious, prodigal, and insinuating Querouaille,—are rendered infamous in our national history—let us not confound the innocent with the guilty.
We can point out to our daughters, for admiration and example, the patient, affectionate, and enduring Lady Northumberland, the beloved sister of Lady Rachel Russel; the beautiful Miss Hamilton; the peerless Lady Ossory; the matchless Jennings;—women passing through the ordeal of the Whitehall court, at such a time, with unstained repute, may be well believed to have possessed innate virtue and true feminine dignity.
We have not classed Nell Gwynne among the court profligates; nor can we so describe her. She was most unfortunate, but not innately vicious; we may say so without danger to others. Neither the circumstances of her life or death hold out temptations to follow her example. She endured vexation and contumely enough, during the most brilliant period of her life, to embitter even a less sensitive spirit than hers.
The deep and earnest love she bore the worthless king, must have been a sore scourge to her own heart. The very piety of her nature, overcome as it was by circumstances, and the lack of those virtues which, slow of growth, only attained strength during the last seven years of her life, and were not deemed unworthy the Christian forbearance and even commendation of Doctor Tennison, [J] whose funeral sermon preached in memory of the poor orange-girl, proves that she must have suffered much from the reproofs of conscience, even when her sin to all appearance most revelled in its "glory.
That there must have been great good, and great fascination, in Nell Gwynne, is proved by the kind of memory in which her name is enshrined. We wonder she was so good—we sorrow at the impurity,—not so much of the beset actress, as of her position. We know that, though fallen, she was not depraved.
She was not avaricious, nor intriguing, nor ill-tempered, nor unjust. Her regard for literature though she could hardly sign her own name proved the up-looking of her better nature; and her charity was unbounded. Shall we—reared and instructed in all righteous ways—shall we show less charity to the memory of one who in her latter days rose out of the slough into which circumstance—not vice—had plunged her?
Shall we be less charitable than the bishop who honored her memory and his own character by recording her benevolence, her penitence, her exemplary end? The good bishop's testimony renders it needless that we "point a moral. Who but One can judge the heart? Let charity hold up her warning finger, often, when we "think evil:" and consideration, "like an angel" come, when harsh judgment dooms an "erring sister.
The beautiful Banqueting-house of Inigo Jones was crowded among a heterogeneous mass of ugly buildings connected with the exigencies of the court. Beside the houses, to the spectator's left, was a large garden extending to the river, with fountains and parterres. A small garden also projected into the river in front of the buildings; and here Charles used to view the civic processions of the Lord Mayor, who on the day of his taking the oaths at Westminster, generally gratified the sovereign and other sight-seers with a pageant on the Thames, in some degree adulatory of the monarch.
The king resided here so constantly, that the most striking pictures of his private manners are recorded to have happened at Whitehall, and for which the graphic pages of Pepys, Evelyn, and De Grammont may be consulted. Whitehall, indeed, has obtained its chief interest from its connection with the Stuarts. The Banqueting-house, erected by James I. Pennant says, "it was the first good one on the left hand of St.
James's Square, as we enter from Pall Mall. The back room on the second floor was within memory entirely of looking-glass, as was said to have been the ceiling. Over the chimney was her picture, and that of her sister was in a third room. Martin's-in-the-Fields, leaving that parish a handsome sum yearly, that every Thursday evening there should be six men employed for the space of one hour in ringing, for which they were to have a roasted shoulder of mutton and ten shillings for beer.
This very littleness of detail has made his Memoirs the most extraordinary picture we possess of the times. He appears to have been a coarse but shrewd man, and fully alive to the faults of his master. James's appears to have attracted little attention, and to have been left to the guidance of nature alone.
Charles seems to have had Versailles in view when he laid it out from Le Notre's design. A long straight canal was formed in its centre from a square pond which existed at its foot near the Horse Guards. Rows of elm and lime trees were planted on each side of it, an aviary was formed in that place still called the "Bird Cage Walk;" and in the large space between this walk and the canal, and nearest the Abbey, an extensive decoy for wild fowl was constructed, popularly termed "Duck Island," and of which the famous St.
Evremond was appointed a salaried governor. Charles, who was exceedingly fond of walking, and who tired out many a courtier who tried to keep up with his quick pace, was continually seen here amusing himself with the birds, playing with the dogs, or feeding the ducks. On the opposite side of the canal, three broad walks were constructed and shaded with trees, one for coaches, the other for walking, and the central one for the game of "Pall Mall," an athletic exercise of which the king and the gentlemen of the day were fond.
The game consisted in driving a ball through a ring at the extremity of the walk, which had a narrow border of wood on each side of it to keep the ball within bounds. The floor of this portion of the park was made of mixed earth, covered with sea-sand and powdered shells as at Versailles. The park was much secluded, except on this side, which was that only accessible to the public in general. There, Spring Gardens, with its bowling-greens and gaming-tables, seduced the idle and dissipated, until the Mulberry Garden which stood on the site of Carlton Gardens put forth its attractions; and which, as Evelyn says, became "the only place of refreshment about the town for persons of the best quality to be exceedingly cheated at.
The Mall ceased to be the resort of royalty at the death of Charles, but it continued to be the fashionable promenade until the close of the last century. The characteristic gables of the roof, which so well marked its age, and display the taste of the period when it was constructed, are removed, and the house is so much modernized as to lose the greater part of its interest, and at first sight induce a doubt of its antiquity. The extensive gardens still remain, and some very old houses beside it, with a characteristic old wall bounding the King's road, inclosing some venerable walnut trees.
Three years ago, a pretty view of these old houses, with Nell's in the back-ground, might have been obtained from the adjacent bridge over the brook: but now a large public house, "the Nell Gwynne," obstructs the view, a row of small "Nell Gwynne cottages" effectually block the path, and the primitive character of the scene has passed away for ever. Vandyke's habits are those of the times; Lely's, a sort of fantastic night-gown fastened with a single pin. The little wooden house of the old rat-catcher has been swept away, and he is obliged to locate himself and his live stock in some back lane, where none but his friends can find him; and as he is disastrously poor, their number is very limited.
Martin's, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. In that sermon he enlarged upon her benevolent qualities, her sincere penitence, and exemplary end. When, says Mrs. Jameson, this was afterwards mentioned to Queen Mary, in the hope that it would injure him in her estimation, and be a bar to his preferment, "And what then? It is not enough that we repeat our Saviour's words, "Go and sin no more:" we must give the sinner a refuge to go to. Asylums calculated to receive such ought to be more sufficiently provided in England. One lady, as eminent for her rare mental powers as for her charity and great wealth, is now trying an experiment that does her infinite honor; she has set a noble example to others who are rich and ought to be considerate; safe in her high character, her self-respect, and her virgin purity, she has provided shelter for many "erring sisters,"—in mercy beguiling.
Of all her numerous charities, this is the truest and best; like the fair Sabrina she has heard and answered the prayers of those who seek protection from the most terrible of all dangers—. What woman had ever before relations so illustrious! Daughter of Godwin and wife of Shelley! These few words unfold a remarkable history, unparalleled, and unapproached in romantic dignity.
In the dedication to her of the noble poem of The Revolt of Islam , Shelley says:. As a child I scribbled; and my favorite pastime, during the hours given me for recreation, was to 'write stories. My dreams were at once more fantastic and agreeable than my writings. In the latter I was a close imitator—rather doing as others had done, than putting down the suggestions of my own mind.
What I wrote was intended at least for one other eye—my childhood's companion and friend; but my dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed—my dearest pleasure when free. I lived principally in the country as a girl, and passed a considerable time in Scotland. I made occasional visits to the more picturesque parts; but my habitual residence was on the blank and dreary northern shores of the Tay, near Dundee.
Blank and dreary on retrospection I call them: they were not so to me then. They were the eyry of freedom, and the pleasant region where unheeded I could commune with the creatures of my fancy. I wrote then—but in a most common-place style. It was beneath the trees of the grounds belonging to our house, or on the bleak sides of the woodless mountains near, that my true compositions, the airy flights of my imagination, were born and fostered. I did not make myself the heroine of my tales. Life appeared to me too common-place an affair as regarded myself.
I could not figure to myself that romantic woes or wonderful events would ever be my lot; but I was not confined to my own identity, and I could people the hours with creations far more interesting to me at that age, than my own sensations. Her connection with Shelley commenced in , and she gives this account of the following year, in which she wrote her famous novel, Frankenstein :. My husband, however, was from the first, very anxious that I should prove myself worthy of my parentage, and enrol myself on the page of fame. He was for ever inciting me to obtain literary reputation, which even on my own part I cared for then, though since I have become infinitely indifferent to it.
At this time he desired that I should write, not so much with the idea that I could produce any thing worthy of notice, but that he might himself judge how far I possessed the promise of better things hereafter. Still I did nothing. Travelling, and the cares of a family, occupied my time; and study, the way of reading, or improving my ideas in communication with his far more cultivated mind, was all of literary employment that engaged my attention. In the summer of , we visited Switzerland, and became the neighbors of Lord Byron. At first we spent our pleasant hours on the lake, or wandering on its shores: and Lord Byron, who was writing the third canto of Childe Harold, was the only one among us who put his thoughts upon paper.
These, as he brought them successively to us, clothed in all the light and harmony of poetry, seemed to stamp as divine the glories of heaven and earth, whose influences we partook with him. But it proved a wet, ungenial summer, and incessant rain often confined us for [Pg 17] days to the house. Some volumes of ghost stories, translated from the German into French, fell into our hands. There was the History of the Inconstant Lover, who when he thought to clasp the bride to whom he had pledged his vows, found himself in the arms of the pale ghost of her whom he had deserted.
There was the tale of the sinful founder of his race, whose miserable doom it was to bestow the kiss of death on all the younger sons of his fated house, just when they reached the age of promise. His gigantic, shadowy form, clothed like the ghost in Hamlet, in complete armor, but with the beaver up, was seen at midnight, by the moon's fitful beams, to advance slowly along the gloomy avenue. The shape was lost beneath the shadow of the castle walls; but soon a gate swung back, a step was heard, the door of the chamber opened, and he advanced to the couch of the blooming youths, cradled in healthy sleep.
Eternal sorrow sat upon his face as he bent down and kissed the forehead of the boys, who from that hour withered like flowers snapt upon the stalk. I have not seen these stories since then; but their incidents are as fresh in my mind as if I had read them yesterday. There were four of us. The noble author began a tale, a fragment of which he printed at the end of his poem of Mazeppa. Shelley, more apt to embody ideas and sentiments in the radiance of brilliant imagery, and in the music of the most melodious verse that adorns our language, than to invent the machinery of a story, commenced one founded on the experiences of his early life.
Poor Polidori had some terrible idea about a skull-headed lady, who was so punished for peeping through a key-hole—what to see I forget—something very shocking and wrong of course; but when she was reduced to a worse condition than the renowned Tom of Coventry, he did not know what to do with her, and was obliged to dispatch her to the tomb of the Capulets, the only place for which she was fitted. The illustrious poets also, annoyed by the platitude of prose, speedily relinquished their uncongenial task.
One which would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror—one to make the reader dread to look around, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. If I did not accomplish these things, my ghost story would be unworthy of its name. I thought and pondered—vainly. I felt that blank incapability of invention which is the greatest misery of authorship, when dull Nothing replies to our anxious invocations. Have you thought of a story? I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative. Every thing must have a beginning, to speak in Sanchean phrase; and that beginning must be linked to something that went before.
The Hindoos give the world an elephant to support it, but they make the elephant stand upon a tortoise. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give form to dark, shapeless substances, but cannot bring into being the substance itself. In all matters of discovery and invention, even of those that appertain to the imagination, we are continually reminded of the story of Columbus and his egg.
Invention consists in the capacity of seizing on the capabilities of a subject, and in the power of moulding and fashioning ideas suggested to it. Many and long were the conversations between Lord Byron and Shelley, to which I was a devout but nearly silent listener. During one of these, various philosophical doctrines were discussed, and among others the nature of the principle of life, and whether there was any probability of its ever being discovered and communicated.
They talked of the experiments of Dr. Darwin I speak not of what the Doctor really did, or said that he did, but, as more to my purpose, of what was then spoken of as having been done by him , who preserved a piece of vermicelli in a glass case, till by some extraordinary means it began to move with voluntary motion. Not thus, after all, would life be given. Perhaps a corpse would be re-animated; galvanism had given token of such things: perhaps the component parts of a creature might be manufactured, brought together, and endued with vital warmth.
Night waned upon this talk; and even the witching hour had gone by, before we retired to rest. When I placed my head upon my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie.
I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision—I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world. His success would terrify the artist; he would rush away from his odious handywork, horror-stricken. He would hope that, left to itself, the slight spark of life which he had communicated would fade; that this thing, which had received such imperfect animation, would subside into dead matter; and he might sleep in the belief that the silence of the grave would quench for ever the transient existence of the hideous corpse which he had looked upon as the cradle of life.
He sleeps; but he is awakened; he opens his eyes; behold the horrid thing stands at his bedside, opening his curtains, and looking on him with yellow, watery, but speculative eyes. The idea so possessed my mind, that a thrill of fear ran through me, and I wished to exchange the ghastly image of my fancy for the realities around. I see them still; the very room, the dark parquet , the closed shutters, with the moonlight struggling through, and the sense I had that the glassy lake and white high Alps were beyond. I could not so easily get rid of my hideous phantom; still it haunted me. I must try to think of something else.
I recurred to my ghost story,—my tiresome unlucky ghost story! Swift as light and as cheering was the idea that broke in upon me. What terrified me will terrify others; and I need only describe the spectre which had haunted my midnight pillow. I began that day with the words, It was on a dreary night of November , making only a transcript of the grim terrors of my waking dream. The next year Shelley and herself were in Buckinghamshire, where the great poet wrote The Revolt of Islam.
In the spring of , they quitted England for Italy, and their eldest child died in Rome. Soon after, they took a house near Leghorn—half way between the city and Monte Nero, where they remained during the summer. The Cenci and several other poems were written here. The summer of they passed at the Baths of Lucca, and in the autumn went to a villa belonging to Lord Byron, near Venice, whence they proceeded to Naples, where the winter was spent; after which they visited Florence, and in the fall of took up their residence at Pisa.