Master Richard Raynal appears to have been a very curious young man, of great personal beauty J extre1ne simplicity, and a certain 1nagnetic attractiveness. He believed himself, further, to be in direct and constant communication with supernatural things, and would be set down now as a religious fanatic, deeply tinged with superstition. His parson ...
Master Richard Raynal appears to have been a very curious young man, of great personal beauty J extre1ne simplicity, and a certain 1nagnetic attractiveness. He believed himself, further, to be in direct and constant communication with supernatural things, and would be set down now as a religious fanatic, deeply tinged with superstition. His parson, too, in these days, would be thought little better, but at the ti1ne in which they lived both would probably be regarded with considerable veneration. We hear, in fact, that a chapel was finally erected over Master Raynal's body, and that pilgrimages were made there, And, probably, if the rest of the work had been preserved to us, we should have found a record of 11firacles wrought at his shrine. All traces, however, of that shrine have now disappeared most likely under the stern action of Henry VIII.-and Richard's name is unknown to hagiology, in spite of his parson's confidence as regarded his future beatification. It is, however, interesting to notice that in Master Raynal's religion, as in Richard Rolle's, hermit of Hantpole, there appears to have been some of that inchoate Quietism which was apt to tinge the faith of a few of the English solitaries. He was accustomed to attend mass devoutly and to receive the sacraments, and on his death-bed was speeded into the next world, at his own desire, by all the observances prescribed by the Catholic Church. His attitude, too, towards the priesthood, is somewhat uncharacteristic of his fellows, who were apt to boast 'With apparent complacency that they were neither "monk, friar, nor clerk." In other matters he is a good type of that strange race of solitaries who swarmed in England at - that time, who were under no vows, but served God as it pleased them, not hesitating to go among their fellows from time to time if they thought themselves called to it, who were looked upon with veneration or contempt, according to the opinion formed of them by their observers, but who, at any rate, lived a simple and wholesome lile, and were to some extent witnesses to the existence of a supernatural Power at whose bidding (so they believed) they were summoned to celibacy, seclusion, labour, and prayer,
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