صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

of civil and religious freedom. The Protestant ruler who, at this day, should recant his Protestantism, is required to do so by reciting on oath the creed of Pope Pius IV., and then, still on oath, declaring not only that out of the Church to which he thus reconciles himself there is no salvation, and that he will hold this creed firmly himself, but also that he will cause it to be embraced and held by all who are subject to him. They who, some twenty years ago, opposed what was called "Catholic Emancipation," did so, whether they were right or wrong, on this principle; not that they were hostile to liberty, but friendly to it, and believed that it would not be right to give power to those who make it a part of their religion to deny that liberty of conscience, without which Protestants believe all liberty to be essentially imperfect.


We have read Mr. Macaulay's account of the civil war between Charles and his Parliament, which Clarendon calls the "Grand Rebellion," with great satisfaction. The vast importance of the subject keeps him serious, and almost entirely prevents the use of those sarcastic expletives which occasionally disfigure his narrative. Taken altogether, his view of English affairs from the accession of James the First to the Restoration of Charles the Second, is one of the best accounts of that series of occurrences out of which, ultimately, our present Constitution proceeded, that we possess. It is faithful, judicious, and impartial. Clarendon's " History" is on many points misleading. There is a singular mixture of honesty and dishonesty in it. He wrote under the influence of strong prejudices. He gives the whole truth; but it is not easy to collect the whole truth from him alone. The great value of his work is this, that they who have waded through contemporary histories, such as Whitelocke and Rushworth, and come almost bewildered to such modern partisans as D'Israeli and Godwin, and find their bewilderment increased by such vehement partisanship, may then, with the materials they will have acquired floating confusedly in their mind, fall back on Clarendon, and, guided by his statements and admissions, arrange them into an order which will place before them the truth as it really is. Clarendon may then be employed to correct Clarendon. His admissions may be balanced against his charges, and his eulogiums, out of the matter which his own pages supply, be reduced to their proper dimensions. His faults and excellencies are both great. Read with an empty mind, he leads to the most incorrect conclusions, if the reader follows him implicitly; though even then there will be a feeling of dissatisfaction produced by his inconsistencies: but read with a mind replete with information from other sources, the mists of his narrative will be dispersed, and he will be found an invaluable guide. He was too honest for a perfect partisan: he was too much of a partisan for a perfectly honest historian. Mr. Macaulay has threaded the labyrinth, mapped all its mazes, and may plead Clarendon himself as his grand justification. Mr. Macaulay's great charge against Charles is his perfect insincerity, his habitual faithlessness; and, unwilling a witness as is Clarendon, he furnishes abundant evidence that such was the fact. The narrative of Mr. Macaulay is almost too consecutive to admit of separate extracts. One, however, we give.


It seemed that the decisive hour was approaching, and that the English Parliament would soon either share the fate

of the senates of the Continent, [all which had sunk into inefficiency, and left the Sovereigns virtually absolute, only to be

driven from their unlawfully assumed power by the fearful revolutions of our own times,] or obtain supreme ascendancy in the State. [And by succeeding in their lawful claims of constitutional co-ordinacy, they have to the present day preserved the country from despotism, and the wild fury of revolutionary anarchy which is still shaking Europe to its centre.] Just at this conjuncture James died. Charles the First succeeded to the throne. He had received from nature a far better understanding, a far stronger will, and a far keener and firmer temper, than his father's. He had inherited his father's political theories, and was much more disposed than his father to carry them into practice. He was, like his father, a zealous Episcopalian. He was, moreover, what his father had never been, a zealous Arminian, [not, however, of the evangelical school of Arminius himself, but according to the theories of Divines like Laud,] and, though no Papist, liked a Papist much better than a Puritan. It would be unjust to deny that Charles had some of the qualities of a good, and even of a great, Prince. He wrote and spoke, not like his father, with

the exactness of a Professor, but after the
fashion of intelligent and well-educated
gentlemen. His taste in literature and
art was excellent, his manner dignified,
though not gracious, his domestic life
without blemish. Faithlessness was the
chief cause of his disasters, and is the
chief stain on his memory. He was, in
truth, impelled by an incurable propen-
sity to dark and crooked ways.
It may
seem strange that his conscience, which,
on occasions of little moment, was suffi-
ciently sensitive, should never have re-
proached him with this great vice. But
there is reason to believe that he was per-
fidious, not only from constitution and from
habit, but also on principle. He seems to
have learned from the theologians whom he
most esteemed that between him and his
subjects there could be nothing of the
nature of mutual contract; that he could
not, even if he would, divest himself of
his despotic authority; and that, in every
promise which he made, there was an
implied reservation that such promise
might be broken in case of necessity, and
that of the necessity he was the sole
judge. (Page 83.)

Mr. Macaulay seems to think that had Cromwell been allowed to assume the regal title, the Restoration of the Stuarts would not have taken place. Under his vigorous rule the country was enjoying peace. Ireland itself had an interval of repose and prosperity such as she has never enjoyed since, and which shows, with the clearness and force of mathematical demonstration, what it is that Ireland really wants. England itself began to take her right place among the European nations; the place from which the criminal folly of the restored Stuarts soon degraded her, and which she only regained as one of the consequences of the settlement of a limited constitutional monarchy. By English law, they who serve a King, de facto, are liable to none of the penalties of treason; and with this shelter, both they who loved the old English constitution, and while, on the whole, they adhered to Charles, deplored his faults, and also they who were tired of poverty and exile, would have given a submission to Oliver as King, that they would not, that, with the law as it was, they dared not, give to Oliver as Protector. The Crown was offered. Cromwell hesitated. He was a practical man, and knew well what England wanted. But there were the Republicans and Independents: he knew the strength of their opposition, and yielded to it. And from that moment the coming Restoration cast its shadow before. And we can now see that, in the order of Providence, this was permitted in wisdom and goodness. For the full settlement of the Constitution, the proper position of a responsible ministry, coming between the Sovereign and the Parliament, required fixing. We doubt whether it could have been fixed at that time. Other questions, too, had to be decided; and the elements for a satisfactory decision were not yet clearly apparent. England, therefore, had to pass through long years of misrule and tyranny, of agitation, suffering, and disgrace, before all parties were prepared to agree on that well-adjusted arrangement of principles and rules which finally took

place before the Prince and Princess of Orange were called to fill the throne vacant by the abdication and forfeiture of James the Second.

Of the reign of the second Charles, Mr. Macaulay gives a sketch which is both spirited and clear. He ably unravels the policy of Louis XIV. His object was, not to make Charles an absolute Monarch, but to make England a state which should be neither willing nor able to interfere with his own ambitious plans. He aimed, therefore, at keeping up the contests of party, because those contests prevented the nation from being formidable to himself. Charles gladly became a pensioner of Louis, because he wanted money for his pleasures, and did not want to ask it from a Parliament. But it was part of the plan of Louis to preserve the opponents of Charles from being crushed. The King, his Ministers, and his Opposition, (to employ a significant modern phrase,) were all bribed by his envoys. Charles and his Ministers took this foreign money because they were sensual, or needy, or avaricious. The others-but we quote on this subject from Mr. Macaulay, only premising that the facts are undoubted.


The jealousies were studiously fomented by the French King. He had long kept England passive by promising to support the throne against the Parliament. He now, alarmed at finding that the patriotic counsels of Danby seemed likely to prevail in the closet, began to inflame the Parliament against the throne. Between Lewis and the Country Party there was one thing, and one only, in common, profound distrust of Charles. Could the Country Party have been certain that their Sovereign meant only to make war on France, they would have been eager to support him. Could Lewis have been certain that the new levies were intended only to make war on the constitution of England, he would have made no attempt to stop them. But the unsteadiness and faithlessness of Charles were such that the French Government and the English Opposition, agreeing in nothing else, agreed in disbelieving his protestations, and were equally desirous to keep him poor and without an army. Communications were opened between Barillon, the Ambassador of Lewis, and those English politicians who had always professed, and who indeed sincerely felt, the greatest dread and dislike of the French ascendancy. The most upright member of the Country Party, William

Lord Russell, son of the Earl of Bedford, did not scruple to concert with a foreign mission schemes for embarrassing his own Sovereign. This was the whole extent of Russell's offence. His principles and his fortune alike raised him above all temptations of a sordid kind; but there is too much reason to believe that some of his associates were less scrupulous. It would be unjust to impute to them the extreme wickedness of taking bribes to injure their country. On the contrary, they meant to serve her; but it is impossible to deny that they were mean and indelicate enough to let a foreign Prince pay them for serving her. Among those who cannot be acquitted of this degrading charge was one man who is popularly considered as the personification of public spirit, and who, in spite of some great moral and intellectual faults, has a just claim to be called a hero, a philosopher, and a patriot. It is impossible to see without pain such a name in the list of the pensioners of France. Yet it is some consolation to reflect that, in our time, a public man would be thought lost to all sense of duty and of shame, who should not spurn from him a temptation which conquered the virtue and the pride of Algernon Sydney. (Page 229.)

(To be continued in our next.)



[The insertion of any article in this List is not to be considered as pledging us to the approbation of its contents, unless it be accompanied by some express notice of our favourable opinion. Nor is the omission of any such notice to be regarded as indicating a contrary opinion; as our limits, and other reasons, impose on us the necessity of selection and brevity.]

The Pilgrim Fathers; or, the Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, NewEngland, in 1620. With Historical and Local Illustrations of Principles, Providences, and Persons. By George B. Cheever, D.D. 12mo., pp. 309. Collins-We are obliged both to Dr. Cheever for this republication (with annotations) of a work so valuable and interesting, and to Mr. Collins for giving it us in so portable and cheap a form. The title-page tells the reader what he is to look for; and neither in the original "Journal," nor in the notices of the Editor, will he be disappointed. We hope it will be read as extensively as it deserves.

Memoir of Thomas Burchell, twentytwo Years a Missionary in Jamaica. By his Brother, William F. Burchell. Foolscap 8vo., pp. xii, 416. B. L. Green. Mr. Burchell was a pious and devoted Baptist Missionary, who, having returned to England on account of ill health, after lingering a few weeks, "rested from his labours," May 16th, 1846. The period of his residence in Jamaica was one of deep interest, both to the Christian and to the philanthropist. Mr. Burchell toiled hard and suffered much; but neither toils nor sufferings were vain. His brother has performed his task with judgment and ability, and furnished a useful addition to our stock of religious-biographical literature.

The Age and Christianity. By Robert Vaughan, D.D. 12mo., pp. xii, 323. Jackson and Walford.-Six Lectures, in which the characteristics of the age, and the characteristics of the age in relation to the principal aspects of Christianity, and to Christianity itself, are ably delineated. To all who feel that we are living in most eventful times, and who, while they contemplate with holy satisfaction the rule of a supreme Providence, desire to mark the progress, and trace the development, of principles that are working so powerfully in society, we recommend the thoughtful perusal of

It is re

Dr. Vaughan's statements. freshing to meet, and thus to be enabled to converse, with a man who looks at men and events in the light of simple, elevated, and elevating Christian truth. Only by such persons can they be understood.

Addresses to Children, with Introductory Suggestions to Ministers and Teachers. By Samuel G. Green. B.A., Minister of Silver-Street Chapel, Taunton. 18mo., pp. 131. B. L. Green.— Good in substance, and suitable in style and form.

Divine Authority for the Capital Punishment of Murderers. Derived from Genesis ix. 4-6; and the Eclectic Reviewer reviewed. Being the Substance of a Speech delivered at the Guildhall, Worcester, &c. By George Grove, 8vo., pp. 28. Longmans. Mr. Grove, it seems, did not convince those who heard his speech. Such meetings are usually composed of those who have made up their minds on the subject of discussion. We think, however, the argument is unanswerable; and the more we examine the question, the stronger does our conviction become.

The Light of the Week: or, the Temporal Advantages of the Sabbath, con. sidered in relation to the Working Classes. Second Sabbath Prize-Essay. By John Younger. With Engravings, by George Measom. 12mo., pp. 70. Partridge and Oakey.

The Torch of Time: or, the Temporal Advantages of the Sabbath, considered in relation to the Working Classes. Third Sabbath Prize- Essay. By David Farquhar. With Engrav ings, by George Measom. 12mo., pp. 102. Partridge and Oakey.

Of both volumes it must be said that they are handsomely got up, and are well suited for presents. Each Essay is good, and highly creditable to its author. If our English and Scotch plebeians were all such, the questions, now so much disputed, about the extension or limitation

of the elective franchise, would furnish no practical difficulties in the way of solution. A whole nation of plebeians like these would be a noble nation in the best sense of the expression. We wish that those legislators who talk such mis. chievous nonsense about the working classes, and wish, forsooth, to break down the sacredness of the Sabbath for their good, (!) would read what working men themselves say on the subject. What do Sabbath pleasure-takers care about walking in the fields, and meditating on the Author of nature, and the like? Bulk for bulk, the health, the cleanliness, the sobriety, the virtue, the mental soundness and domestic comfort, are to be sought for in those among the working classes that love and keep the Bible-Sabbath. All these Essays are characterized by a strong common sense, from which political theorists might learn some invaluable lessons.

Biblical and Theological Dictionary, designed as an Illustrative Commentary on the Sacred Scriptures. With numerous Wood Engravings. Fourth Edition, greatly enlarged. By Samuel Green. Foolscap Evo., pp. viii, 416.— Really we are coming on. Here is a "Dictionary of the Bible" brought into the size of a pocket volume. Those who can procure the larger works, of course will do so; but to those who cannot, and especially to "beginners," and young persons in Bible-classes, this carefully-condensed compendium will be of great service.

Christian Researches in Asia; with Notices of the Translations of the Scriptures into the Oriental Languages. By the Rev. Claudius Buchanan, D.D. Small 12mo., pp. 152. Ward and Co.-Oflate years, publications on the various branches of the great subject of Christian Missions have become so common, that we are in danger of becoming somewhat fastidious. We want something new and exciting. Forty years ago this was not the case; and well do we remember the interest which the publication of Dr. Buchanan's "Christian Researches" awakened. It was like the first glimpse of a wide and glorious prospect from the mountain summit. It is a book that ought not to be forgotten, and we are glad to see it republished in a form which will make it generally accessible.

By Special Commission. The Trial of Antichrist, otherwise the Man of Sin, for High Treason against the Son of God; tried at the Sessions-House of Truth. Taken in Short-Hand by a Friend to St. Peter. 18mo., pp. 170.

Ward and Co. We confess that we opened this little work with many misgivings. Few know how to make a proper use, and no more than a proper use, of their fancy, in compositions of this class. Their allegories are, for the most part, forced and unnatural, and sometimes most offensive. We were agreeably disappointed here. It is a reprint of a work published about forty years ago; and the form of a trial is so preserved as to give a pleasing air, as well as an instructive character, to the whole. The charges against the Roman Antichrist are supported by a long list of witnesses from the earliest times, including Lollard, Sawtre, Wickliffe, Huss, Luther, &c. It is a well-sustained allegory, containing a sketch of ecclesiastical history on the subject. It deserves serious perusal, and an extensive circulation.

Introductory Lectures delivered at Queen's-College, London. Foolscap 8vo., pp. viii, 352. J. H. Parker.This College is for the education of females, and is connected with the Society for the assistance of governesses. The Lectures are by the several Professors on the subjects to which their attention is respectively to be devoted. They are in number sixteen, and include addresses on English Composition, English Literature, the French Language, the German, the Latin, the Italian, and the English, History and Geography, Natural Philosophy, Theology, Vocal Music and Harmony, the Fine Arts, and Mathematics. There is also a Lecture on "The Principles and Methods of Teaching, by the Rev. Thomas Jackson, M. A., Principal of the National Society's Training-College, Battersea." The Lecturers are mostly Clergy men. The Lectures contain, however, much information on the subjects to which they refer, interesting and instructive to persons not connected with the Anglican Church; and though primarily designed for female Teachers, may be read with advantage by those belonging to the other sex.

The National Cyclopædia of Useful Knowledge. Part XXIX. 8vo., pp. 160. Charles Knight.-Progressing regularly, and with "good speed." The last word in this part is Luxembourg. We see no traces of "falling off."

The Jamaica Missionary; a Life of William Knibb, written for young Children, by G. E. Sargent. 18mo., pp. 103. B. L. Green. A good children's book.

Reasons for objecting to the Republication and Circulation of Barclay's Apology, addressed to the Society of Friends by one of its Members. 12mo., pp. 41.

« السابقةمتابعة »