Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 9.djvu/511

This page needs to be proofread.


9*8. IX. JUNE 28, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


503


the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds ; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain " (2 Samuel xxiii. 3, 4). Macaulay has also referred to this sermon, and has described it as a grave and eloquent dis- course, polluted neither by flattery nor by malignity. Whether the sermon was wholly free from flattery is perhaps open to question.

The Archbishop of York, John Sharp, preached at the coronation of Queen Anne from the words : " And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers : they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet ; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord : for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me " (Isaiah xlix. 23). Sharp's Whig principles leavened his sermon, and he insisted quite as fully upon the duties of kings to their subjects as upon the duties of subjects to their king. Some of his historical references are a little amusing. He told the congregation that the first Christian king (Lucius) was a Briton, and England had also produced the first Christian emperor, Con- stantine ; and that the first king to throw off the yoke of Rome was also an English king. In one respect the archbishop's sermon forms a precedent. He promised to be brief, and was as good as his word ; subsequent Coronation preachers have copied his example.

William Talbot, Bishop of Oxford, and afterwards of Durham, preached the Corona- tion sermon for George I. His text was : " This is the Lord's doing ; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it " (Psalm cxviii. 23, 24). Talbot's was also a Whig sermon, and the preacher had no greater difficulty in deducing Whig principles from Scriptural precepts and examples than Morley and Turner in obtaining support for their political views from the same source.

John Potter, also Bishop of Oxford, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, was the preacher when George II. and Queen Caroline were crowned. His text was : "Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the Lord thy God : because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice " (2 Chronicles ix. 8). Potter's text had been used by Burnet for his sermon preached before William III. at Whitehall on the thanksgiving day for the peace of Ryswick. Burnet had made the text the starting-point of what John Evelyn called a florid panegyric, and Potter profited


by the censure Burnet had provoked, for the Coronation sermon is free from personal references to the king, and may be fairly described as a plain exposition of the text.

Robert Drummond, who preached at the coronation of George III. and Queen Char- lotte, had been Bishop of St. Asaph, held the see of Salisbury at the time of the coronation, and was afterwards translated to York. His text was almost identical with Potter's text at the previous coronation, both preachers having chosen a part of the Queen of Sheba's address to King Solomon. But Potter used the version given in the book of Chronicles and Drummond's text was: "Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel : because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice" (1 Kings x. 9). The sermon was free from panegyric, and was described by Horace Walpole as a sensible and spirited discourse.

At the coronation of George IV., Arch- bishop Vernon Harcourt of York selected the same text that Burnet had chosen when William and Mary were crowned. There were in the sermon some personal references to the king, and a pathetic mention of the long affliction of his father the late monarch.

The sermons at the coronations of William IV. and Queen Adelaide, and of Queen Victoria, were preached by Bishop Blomfield of London. The first sermon was from the words: Submit yourselves to every ordi- nance of man for the Lord's sake : whether it be to the king, as supreme " (1 Peter ii. 13), which form part of the epistle for the Corona- tion service. The sermon contained a long quotation from Cranmer's address at the coronation of Edward VI., and was criticized by Macaulay as "well enough, but not so effective as the occasion required." The sermon at the coronation of the late Queen was from the words : " And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, ana his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book" (2 Chronicles xxxiv. 31). This was the short- est of all the Coronation sermons.

J. A. J. HOUSDEN.


THE OFFICE OF CHAMPION. THOUGH this office has not been exercised since the coronation of George IV. in 1821,