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THE CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA.
(With an Engraving.) A MORE interesting, or-if worldly splendour alone be considered—a more splendid, spectacle, was scarcely ever witnessed than that which was furnished in Westminster Abbey on Thursday, June 28th, 1838, when her present Majesty,—whom God long preserve, (we use the old English form with cordial sincerity,)—was solemnly acknowledged as the rightful Sovereign of these realms. Much there was, even amidst the gorgeous pomp of royalty, to suggest the most important reflections ; much, especially, to excite some of the most powerful emotions of religion. By the established law of the land, the heir to the throne, at once, on the death of his predecessor, steps into all his rights. The maxim of the constitution is, that the King never dies ; that, in fact, there is no suspension of the royal authority. The death of a Monarch, therefore, produces here no anxious changes; opens the no bitter contentions for empire between rival candidates : the successor is designated by the law; and, to advert again to the language of the constitution, the crown is only demised, passed quietly from one to another,--so that the important business of government proceeds without interruption. The reader of history will recollect Poland; and that the iniquitous partition of an independent kingdom could not have taken place, but for that mockery of all government which had long been maintained there. The parties to which the election to the unsubstantial
VOL. IV. Second Series.
sovereignty gave rise, and which sought support and triumph in foreign aid, opened the gates of Warsaw to the spoliator. For the establishment of the hereditary monarchy, British Christians may well be thankful.
And never did Sovereign receive a more honourably distinguished homage. In addition to the formal acts of legal homage witnessed in Westminster, there had been the frank and hearty homage of thousands on thousands of her " liege men,” who witnessed, and we will say, assisted to grace, her procession from the Palace to the Abbey. The streets were lined with those who felt that they were freemen, but that they were subject to law; and that of the law, the Queen was the Constitutional Representative. None who were present can forget the rapturous enthusiasm with which the youthful Sovereign was received as she slowly passed onwards; and this enthusiasm was as far as possible removed from baseness and servility. It was at once manly and religious; and the loud cry of “ God save the Queen” was repeatedly followed by the prayer, with a low voice, but with a deeper feeling, “ Ay! may God indeed bless her !”
We said, the sight in the Abbey was splendid, -but there was that which called for Christian thankfulness and praise. The Sovereign of Great Britain went to the house of God to receive her crown. The commencement of the coronation service was a solemn act of worship. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ was acknowledged, praised, and invoked; and by the reading of the accustomed portions of Scripture as the lessons of the day, the inspiration and authority of the Bible were proclaimed. The divine character of the Christian ministry was shown by the important fact, that (by the Bishop of the metropolitan diocess) a sermon was delivered. And then, after certain parts of the imposing ceremonial of the day had been duly performed, the highest ecclesiastical officer of the state, the Archbishop of Canterbury, administered the Coronation Oath, in which the Queen most solemnly appealed to God, praying him so to help her, as she would govern according to law, administer justice in mercy, and main
tain the true profession of the Gospel, and the Protestant reformed religion, established by law. At the altar of God, kneeling, and with her right hand laid on the holy Gospel of God, she said, “ The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.” She then kissed the book. All this declaring that the people of England have put themselves and their Sovereign under the rule and under the protection of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; acknowledging his law and revelation, and professing themselves to be, nationally, his subjects. And let this principle be but faithfully carried out, and upon Sovereign and subjects shall rest the prospering blessing of the Lord of Hosts.
After the oath had been taken, several points of the ceremony were observed; and at length the Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by the Archbishops of York and Armagh, and several Bishops, took the crown from the altar, and, approaching the chair of state where the Queen was seated, placed the crown upon her head, the emblem of earthly sovereignty ; and after the acclamations which heartily acknowledged her to be Britain's rightful and chosen Queen, had subsided, the Dean, taking the Bible from the altar, delivered it to the Archbishop, who, attended as before, when he placed the crown upon her head, placed the Bible in her hands,—the book of God's promises and law, binding equally upon her and her subjects, and belonging equally to them all. The crown on her head was splendid and costly, and belonged to her alone: but she held in her hands what was beyond all price, the gift of God to prince, and peer, and peasant, by which the Monarch is taught so to rule, and the subject so to obey, as that God's blessing shall be secur
cured, and his name glorified in the wide-spread and permanent prosperity of the land.
Thus was the crown placed on the head of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria ; and there long may the “ flourish.”
BETWEEN GEORGE AND HIS MINISTER.
George. I SHALL be thankful, Sir, now, after our attention has been for some time directed to one class of scriptural subjects, if you will allow me to trouble you for a few miscellaneous illustrations. I trust that those with which you have furnished me, have assisted me to acquire a better understanding of the word of God; and I find that the better I understand it, the more I admire and love it, and the more thankful I feel for it as an invaluable gift of God.
Minister. And that will suggest to you one important argument in favour of the divine origin of this wonderful book : it will bear repeated perusal, and thorough examination. The first will discover to you fresh beauties and excellencies ; the other will not only remove difficulties, but convert into an additional reason for belief, what at first threatened to be a stumbling-block. I do not say that this argument belongs properly to the demonstrative class; but there are some minds on which it is adapted to operate with peculiar force, and, as a corroborative reason, it will always be efficient in proportion to the intelligence and honesty of those to whom it is presented. But, amongst these miscellaneous illustrations to which our attention is to be directed, what particular passages have occurred to you for notice in our present conversation ?
George. Well, Sir, one or two have occurred to me, not so much as presenting any difficulty, for I anticipate your reply,—but as capable of what is, strictly, illustration. What I want is, not so much the general reply,—which, as I said, I anticipate, and which could be given in two or three words,—as that more detailed explanation which shall show the beauty as well as the accuracy of the expression. I want them putting in the microscope, with a strong light upon them.
Minister. Yes; and, connecting the allusion with what I just now said, it is not every thing that will do for the microscope. The finest muslin appears then like coarse canvass; but the butterfly's wing, the rose-leaf, indeed,