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practices he introduced into the country. He disquieted the king by his perfidious suggestions, recommending him to revise the record which had been taken of all property throughout England; and, making a new division of the lands, to deprive his subjects, both native and alien, of all that exceeded a certain amount. Having obtained the king's consent, he had all the plough-lands, which are called in English hides, accurately measured and registered, and setting aside the larger admeasurement which the liberal-minded English had made use of by order of king Edward, and lessening the estates of the farmers, augmented the royal revenues. By this diminution of the former extent of their estates, and the heavy burdens of the new and increased taxation, he shamefully oppressed the king's faithful and humble subjects; impoverishing them by the loss of their property, and reducing them from affluence to great indigence.

By Ralph's advice, the young king, on the death of the prelates, took their churches with the domains attached to them from ancient times into his own hands, and set his courtiers over the convents of monks, and the deans and canons of the episcopal sees, allowing these a small pittance out of the revenues for their maintenance, and applying the rest to his own purposes. The king's covetousness thus impoverished the churches of God, and the iniquitous practice which commenced at that time has continued to the present day to the loss of many souls. For the avaricious king, with this object, deferred appointing pastors to the churches; so that the people having no guides and the flocks no shepherds, they became a prey to the attacks of the wolves and perished from wounds inflicted by the winged

arrows of their manifold sins. This inordinate covetousness gathered into the royal treasury the wealth which the ancient English kings had freely and piously devoted to God; such as were Ethelbert, Edwin, Offa, Ethelwulf, Alfred, Edgar, and other princes as well as their great nobles. They indeed, having been converted to the faith, devoutly worshipped God, and out of their abundance made large endowments on the monks and clergy, that those special servants of the Divine law might enjoy ample means of subsistence, and be able day and night, without hindrance, to perform cheerfully the offices of divine worship, and keep perpetually the appointed vigils in places consecrated to the service of God. Thither pilgrims and wayfarers resorted in security, and there found a short repose after their fatigues, and, according to the fundamental institutions of such places, a plentiful repast, after their privations. Returning thanks to God for such unexpected refreshment, they offered devout prayers to the Creator of all things for the benefactors, long since departed, who had secured them such enjoyment of such privileges.

Before the Norman conquest, it was the practice in England, on the death of the superiors of monasteries, for the bishop in whose diocese they were to take an accurate account of the possessions of the convents, and become their guardian until the new abbots were canonically ordained. In like manner, on the death of a bishop, the archbishop took charge of the property of the see, and, with the advice of the officers of the church, appropriated it either to the relief of the poor, the repair of the churches, or other pious uses. William Rufus, in the beginning of his reign, was induced by Flambard to abolish this custom, so that he suffered

the metropolitan see of Canterbury to remain vacant three years, and seized its revenues for his own use. It is evidently unjust and contrary to all reason that what has been devoted to God by the liberality of pious kings, or laudably acquired by the stewards of the property of the church, should fall into lay hands, and be iniquitously devoted to secular uses. Nor can we doubt that, as, on the one hand, those who have consecrated to God part of their wealth have received from Him the just reward of their good deeds; so, on the other, sacrilegious intruders into sacred things will be brought to punishment by the avenging hand of God, and stripped of the possessions they have usurped to their eternal disgrace. Such is the Almighty's sure and immutable law. Recompense is graciously promised to righteous doers, while transgressors are threatened with fearful vengeance for their crimes. Every page of the sacred writings sets forth this mercy and severity, so that they are as light to every well informed mind. It is, therefore, surprising that the human heart is so prone to evil, and covets present and fleeting advantages more than future and everlasting rewards, when it is known that all things are open to the view of the Almighty, and that nothing can escape the penetration of the divine scrutiny.

The metropolis of Canterbury having languished in fear and grief and a state of widowhood, deprived of its bishop, for three years, the righteous Judge, who beholds from heaven the children of men and perceives all the world running after the vanity of vanities, visited with a severe disease the king of England who was polluted by the guilt of so many crimes. Thus punished by sickness, he had recourse to the priests of the Lord,

and laying open to those physicians of the soul the wounds of his conscience by humble confession, promised amendment of life and commanded the rulers of the church to choose an archbishop according to the will of God. It happened that at that time Anselm, abbot of Bec, had crossed over to England on the affairs of his monastery. On hearing that the king had given orders for the election of a metropolitan, Holy Church was filled with joy, and an assembly of her leading rulers was held to treat of the business on which they were summoned. At length, taking into consideration the sanctity and wisdom of the venerable Anselm, he was unanimously elected in the name of the Lord, and, very unwillingly on his part, elevated to the metropolitan see of Canterbury. Having been solemnly enthroned, this able pastor was often in great tribulation when he carefully weighed the serious and difficult burdens imposed upon him. So far from being lifted up by his high promotion, he was filled with alarm lest many of those placed under his government, who were erring from the right way, should come to perdition. He found a variety of things in his diocese which required correction. It was often his duty to censure a sinful monarch and a stubborn nobility. This exposed him to their repeated attacks, and he was twice driven into exile for his zeal in the cause of justice. Both by word and good example, he strove to improve the perverse habits of his flock: but some of them were so hardened in iniquity that he could not succeed as he wished. For, as Solomon says, the perverse are difficult to correct, and the number of the foolish is infinite

In those days the light of true holiness was dim among all orders of the state, and the princes of the

world with their subjects abandoned themselves to deeds of darkness. William Rufus, king of England, was a young man of loose and debauched morals, and his people but too readily followed his example. He was imperious, daring, warlike, and gloried in the pomp of his numerous troops. His great delight consisted in conferring the honours of knighthood on account of the worldly splendour with which it surrounded him. He took no care to defend the country folk against his menat-arms, so that their property was at the entire mercy of his young knights and squires. The king's memory was very tenacious, and his zeal either for good or evil was ardent. Robbers and thieves felt the terrible weight of his power, and his efforts to keep the peace throughout his dominion were unceasing. He so managed his subjects, either by making them partake of his bounty, or curbing them by the terror of his arms, that no one dared whisper a word in opposition to his will.

7. THE DEATH OF RUFUS AND ACCESSION OF HENRY I

[ORDERICUS VITALIS]

In 1100, Rufus was killed while hunting in the New Forest; the crown was secured by his younger brother Henry, in the absence on crusade of the elder brother Robert Duke of Normandy.

A certain monk of good repute, and still better life, who was of the abbey of St Peter at Gloucester, related that he had a dream in the visions of the night to this effect: "I saw," he said, "the Lord Jesus seated on a lofty throne and the glorious host of heaven, with the company of saints, standing round. But while in my ecstasy I was lost in wonder, and my attention was

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