Suppose, again, our young citi- cord be lighted up in the parish? Would zen prospers in his business, and they not infallibly ruin the peace, and is elected to the dignified paro

exhaust in litigation the purses both of

themselves and their fellow-parishioners ? chial office of churchwarden-he But in point of fact, no church warden enters upon his duties by swear- ever makes such a presentment. Twice ing, with 20,000 of his brethren a-year he delivers at the visitation an

swers in writing to a list of printed ques. in the same office throughout the

tions, previously sent to him by the bisbop kingdom, that he will “ present or archdeacon,' answers(it is generally all such things and persons " as to understood) frivolous and nomeaning in his « knowledge are presentable the extreme. The whole is, by all parties, .by the laws ecclesiastical of this

considered as a farce; and (if I am cor

rectly informed) the bishop or archdeacon realm.

seldom, if ever, looks at the return. If

the church warden escapes the guilt of « Now by the canons of 1603, the per- perjury, it is because, happily, he knows sons and things, which churchwardens are not what persons and things are preto present, are distinctly pointed out. By sentable by the laws -ecclesiastical of this canon 109: “If any offend their brethren, realm :' but I see not how the oath can either by adultery, whoredom, incest, or escape the censure of being a profane ceredrunkenness, or by swearing, ribaldry, mony, in which God's holy name is taken usury, and any other uncleanness, and in vain, and its sanctions given to a prowickedness of life, the church wardens, or mise not understood, or (if understood) questmen, and sidemen, in their next not intended to be performed."-pp. 56presentments to their ordinaries, shall 59. faithfully present all and every of the said offenders, to the intent that they, and Many other illustrations might every of them, may be punished by the be offered ; but our minds sicken at severity of the laws, according to their these details of legalized transgresdeserts. And by canon 110: · If the churchwardens, or questmen, or assist

rassist- sion, which are continued undisants, do or shall know any man within the turbed from age. to age: we will purish, or elsewhere, that is a hinderer of therefore close this article with the the word of God to be read or sincerely

erely impressive appeal of the respect

impressió preached, or of the execution of these our constitutions, or of a fautor of any able writer before us, thanking him usurped or foreign power, by the laws of sincerely for the labour he has this realm justly rejected or taken away, bestowed on the subject, and reor a defender of popish and erroneous doc

commending his pamphlet to the trine; they shall detect and present the same to the bishop of the diocese, or ordi

attention of all those who believe nary of the place, to be censured and that a national transgression leads punished according to such ecclesiastical on to national ruin. laws as are prescribed in that behalf.' . And by canon 1il: . In all visitations - Has not, therefore, a case been made of bishops and archdeacons, the church out for the interference of the legislature? wardens, and questmen, and sidemen, Is not God's holy name taken in vain, shall truly and personally present the under the sanction and at the requisition names of all those which behave them.. of the laws, not on a few occasions, but selves rudely and disorderly in the cburch, continually, habitually? Is not this a naor which, by untimely ringing of bells, by tional sin ? Does not this tend to destroy walking, talking, or other noise, shall the reverence due to an oath, and relax hinder the minister or preacher.'. And the bonds by which society is held toby canon 112: · The minister, church- getber? Has not the sanction of an oath wardens, questmen, and assistants of already lost much of its efficacy in reevery parish church, and chapel, shall spect of oaths of office, and in matters of yearly, within forty days after Easter, trade and revenue ? And, if it is still in exhibit to the bishop or his chancellor, a considerable degree respected in our the names and surnames of all the pa. courts of justice, can we expect that they rishioners, as well men as women, which will long escape the demoralizing effect of being at the age of sixteen, received not the present system? Has not the multithe communion at Easter before.' And plicity of frivolous and unnecessary oaths what, I would ask, would be the con- administered in our universities a mostdansequence, if the churchwardens of any gerous tendency to corrupt the very sources parish should, according to the exigency of national morality? The subject is an of their oath, present all such offenders ? awful subject, and I fear I may not have Would not an unquenchable torch of dis. done it justice. But I would in conclusion ask, if the third commandment is con- tration of events displays greater tinually, and habitually and systematically labour and caution. The author violated in this country, not merely by ho that customary and profane swearing which the laws, though under most in self of accurate information. He adequate penalties, prohibit, but in oaths has evinced considerable skill and administered at the requisition or under acuteness in testing or correcting the sanction of the laws or of those local

statements of facts made by party customs and statutes which the laws allow, will not God visit for these things ? men. After having examined and Can we, if we persist in this course, hope exposed one of the empty boasts for his blessing on the nation? These are of King Charles to the Privy serious questions, which I would earnestly Council of Scotland, respecting press upon the consideration of all those who are by the laws of the country

the growth of the royal party, he intrusted with a voice in the legislature.” expresses a feeling which has, no pp. 90, 91.

doubt, often crossed his mind in the course of his researches, when

the contrary or partial statements History of the Commonwealth of of different writers had left him in England, from its Commence

perplexity, or when the absence of ment to the Restoration of Charles ail light upon some important transthe Second. By W. Godwin. action had plunged him deeply into Vol. II. 8vo. Colburn

the ocean of conjecture. HAVING introduced the first vo- «'It is thus that history is obliged to lume of this important work to grope its way in treating of the most conthe attention of our readers, in our

siderable events. We put together seem

ings, and draw our inferences as well as number for February, 1825, it is

we may. Contemporaries who employ not necessary that we should again themselves in preserving facts, are sure to enter at large into an examination omit some of the most material, upon the of its merits. The admiration we presumption of their notoriety, and that expressed of the first volume, is

they are what every body knows. History,

in some of its most essential members, more than due to the present.

dies, even as generations of men pass off The difficulties attendant upon the the stage, and the men who were occupied undertaking, multiply as the his in the busy scene become victims of mortorian advances to that great crisis

tality. If we could call up Cromwell from

the dead, -nay, if we could call up some of public affairs, which led to the one of the comparatively insignificant acexecution of the king; and it strikes tors in the time of which we are treating, us that Mr. Godwin's talent rises and were allowed the opportunity of prowith the difficulty of his subject.

posing to him the proper questions, how

many doubts would be cleared up, how No one who is not well acquainted

many perplexing matters would be unra. with the literature of those times, velled, and what a multitude of interesting -a mass of political and theologi- anecdote would be revealed to the eyes of cal speculation, not equalled either

posterity! But history comes like a

beggarly gleaner in the field, after death, for bulk or subtlety by any suc

the great Lord of the domain, has gathered ceeding age, can possibly be aware the crop with his mighty hand, and lodged of the merit of a historian, who it in his garner, which no man can open." presents a candid and compre -pp. 29, 30. hensive statement of the trans Mr. Godwin appears to us peactions of that period, and a just culiarly distinguished, by a wise portraiture of the eminent men and ardent love of freedom. No of all parties, by which it was stigma of fanaticism, or scare-crow distinguished. The pleasure we of rebellion, can deter · him from have felt in the perusal of this doing justice to the high-born second volume, exceeds that ex. emotions of the men who concited by the first, because the secrated themselves at its shrine. composition of the work is more Through all the perplexities of graceful and easy, and the illus- party interests, and all the tangled New Series, No: 21.

3 R


threads of personal, sectarian,' or means of rigour alone, consented to call state policy. he pursues the fa. on them for a statement of what they revourite theme, and never fails to

quired, and were willing to consider wbe

ne unessential inspire into his readers a por- could win them over to the union they so tion of his own admiration and earnestly desired. But the Independents enthusiasm. We must be per- did not approve

did not approve of this mode of settling

the business, and, to the great astonishmitted, however, to say his fa

ment and scandal of their opponents, not vourite passion neither blinds bim contenteil with being tolerated themselves, to the errors and defects of the insisted upon the same privilege for Anamen who symbolise with himself. baptists, Lutherans, and the adherents of

i every kind of error, provided it were not nor to the excellencies, personal Tencies, personal fundamental,' or maintained against know

fine and public, by which many of ledge. Another question, intimately con. their opponents were characte- nected with this, and not less earnestly rized. He has all the ardour. debated, was that of ecclesiastical disci

pline, or the power of the keys. This but none of the precipitancy of an

contained in it admission to or exclusion enthusiast, and appears to look from the symbols of the Christian faith, upon the events and characters of excommunication and church censures, to. the times he chronicles with a gether with such incapacities and badges large measure of that lumen siccum

of disgrace as it might be deemed proper

to annex to those censures. The power of which is as praiseworthy and es

suppressing heretical doctrines was not sential in the historian and the phi.. complete without that addition. The losopher.

Scots, therefore, and the adherents of their We have yet seen no annalist

system in England, required that this

power should be vested exclusively, and who has so thoroughly sifted the in its full extent, in the officers and connprinciples of the three leading cils of the church. There was no ques. parties of the time, or who has

tion that the Presbyterian hierarchy and

gradation of classes and officers were to more faithfully represented the

be set up in England by law. The power ends and motives by which they of discipline waš therefore to be ceded to were respectively actuated, during the hierarchy; but it was disputed with a series of years, and through a

what limitation it was to be given ; and long course of complicated and

next the friends of liberty insisted that an

appeal should lie from the censures of the fearful transactions. The follow

church to the judgment of parliament. ing citation exhibits the relative Of course all the common topics lay open state of the Presbyterians and In in this case, against the sacrilege of referdependents in 1645. when the total ring what was done by spiritual persons in repugnancy of their mutual prin

their exercise of their functions, to the

examination and control of a lav assembls. ciples, as to the theory of govern- The power of the Independents, however, ment began to be seriously felt. was perpetually increasing. It was the

army of the new model that won the battle " It has already been mentioned, that of Naseby, and, after that victory, bad in the autumn of 1644, Cromwell moved with so much vigilance and success com. for, and obtained a Committee of the two pleted the campaign; and their exploits Houses of Parliament, to be joined with stood in strong contrast with the fluctuthe Scots Commissioners, and a Com. ations and irresolute proceedings of the mittee of the Assembly of Divines, whose commanders in former years, and with the business it should be to take into consider- inactiveness and inefficiency of the Scots ation the differences of opinion in point of army in the present year. The parties in church-government and endeavour a union, this great contention for religious and in. if possible; or, if not, to apply themselves tellectual liberty were very closely matched; to advise means by which tender con- and seldom has any struggle been carried sciences might be borne with, consistently on with more vigorous pertinacity. On with Scripture and the public peace. This one side were the City of London, the Committee was afterwards known by the London clergy, and, doubtless, the majoname of the Committee of Accommo- rity of the clergy throughout the king. dation. The Presbyterians, including the dom, the assembly of divines, and the Scots, inclined to the first part of the al- potent and combined body of the Scottish ternative here stated; and seeing that nation. On the other side were the army, their adversaries were too formidable, both the religio!18 Independents, the political in energy and ability, to be subdued by Independents, the Erastians, such as Selden

and Whitelock, and a combination of men more felicitous than all his predeof the highest degree of talent, Cromwell,

cessors upon English history, in Vane, St. John, and others. The parliament itself was nearly equally divided: conveying an intelligible and orand sometimes the one party had the pre derly narration of the facts he valent authority, and sometimes the other. wishes to represent. We do not The most earnest contention was directed

sympathise with him in all his atto the point of excommunication, in which the church demanded to be vested with a

tachment to republicanism. He fall and unlimited authority. The adver. appears to us to look at it rather saries of Presbyterian usurpation directed in the ideal than the practical. their efforts to the controlling and shack. In the former it is the most beau. ling that authority They first caused the House of Commons to call on the As

tiful, in the latter the most desembly for a specific enumeration of those formed of political systems; yet disqualifications which should be sufficient we cannot refuse our admiration to shut out the individual from a partici- to the following able passage. pation in religious ordinances, that this enumeration might be inserted in a law to

“ Changes in the political government be made on the subject. The Assembly

and constitution of a country will, by nien consented to give in an enumeration, but

of a hamane and conscientious teinper, urged the necessity of its being followed

be proposed with caution, and endeavoured with a general clause, providing for other

to be executed with wariness and moderascandals and irregularities not contained

tion. But when important alterations are in the schedule. Another point in which

absolutely required, those persons are they were thwarted about the same time,

scarcely to be censured, who, in the imwas in a vote of the House of Commons,

provement they meditate, should carry by wbich it was provided, that if any person

forward their thoughts to the best, to that . should find himself aggrieved by the pro

system which will operate in a way the ceedings of those possessing authority

most auspicious to moral courage and in any particular congregation, he should

social virtue. England can hitherto scarcely have the liberty of appeal to the Classical

be said to have exhibited any political Assembly, from thence to the provincial,

state that should excite the partiality and from thence to the national, and finally to

ałtachment of an enlarged and reflecting the parliament; thus giving to the civil

mind. Under the feudal system, the authority the superiority, in the last resort,

Lords only had a species of equality and over the ecclesiastical. Thus far the bu

power, while the cultivators of the soil siness had advanced previously to the great event of the battle of Naseby.”-pp. 62

were slaves. When that system declined,

the wars of York and Lancaster succeeded ; --66.

and it was difficult to say, what party

would finally prove the stronger, in the We have remarked in the whole

close of that universal einbroilment and of Mr. Godwin's work, a com confusion. In point of fact, the ascenmendable abstinence from bitter dancy of the Tudors followed; and, invective, and a readiness to ex

though there then existed among us many

of the elements and materials of freedom, plain, upon the most candid and

the administration was for the most part liberal principles, the mistaken no despotic. It needs no great stretch of tions and unjustifiable acts of the fairness and penetration to enable us to wise and good men of all parties.

say, whether the government of the first

two Stuarts was such, as a true friend of He seems always alive to the

man would have wished to see revived and difficulties of their situation, and perpetuated. Charles, so the firmest and the novelty of the dilemmas into -most masculine spirits of the age prowhich they were thrown; and

nounced, had forfeited his title to the

crown of a free people. He was a lover while he feels bound in conscience

of arbitary power, (we will not lay much and consistency always to lean to stress upon that ;) he had shown himself, liberal measures, and to award the in a variety of instances, a man wliose enlargest meed of his approbation

gagements and protestations were no way

to be relied on. He had waged war upon to the most tolerant party, he yet

the representative body delegated by the censures in measured phrase, and nation; nothing could extinguish the always condemns with moderation hostility of his spirit; he had applied himand temper. There is great per

self to arm his partisans in every part of

the empire, the Catholics of Ireland, and spicuity and condensation in his

hireling forces from every quarter of the statements, and we think him much world, to work his will upon the nativa. It is not a light thing for a sober and mag. for the mastery, and not for the nanimous people willingly to place at common liberties of mankind, is their head, and endow with royal preroga

à put beyond dispute. They were tivés, a man who for successive years had Pu shed their blood in the field, and sought ready to inflict on others, what to subdue their resistance and their cou. they had formerly endured themrage. Another consideration, most mate- selves, and had certainly acquired rial in the case, was the passion of a great majority of the nation for religious re

neither wisdom nor moderation by form, and the aversion with which they all the things they had suffered. regarded the old hierarchy. Surely, if They were avowed and furious change, if a new system can be commend. opposers of toleration, and though able, a more favourable opportunity could not have offered itself. The Common.

a we have seen the fact disputed by wealthmen were earnest to try of what some of the northern Presbytestuff their countrymen were made, and rians of modern times, yet they will whether, as Montesquicu says, they had allow us to say, that all history virtue enough to fit them for, and to sus.

awards to the Independents the tain a popular government. The masterspirits of this time were not contented palm of being the earliest, the with the idea of a negative liberty, that steadiest, and the most consistent should allow every man to obey the im- advocates of liberty of conscience, pulses of his own thought, and to use his Mr. Godwin's statement of facts power of body and mind as he pleased ; they aspired to a system and model of

on this point, is the most comgovernment, that was calculated to raise plete and lucid of any that has yet men to such excellence as human nature been exhibited, and we trust the may afford, and that should render them

success of his work will be cominagnanimous, frank, benevolent, and fearless, that shonld make them feel, not

mensurate to the labour it has cost merely each man for himself, and his own him, and not unworthy a nation narrow circle; but as brethren, as mem- which has always been, and still bers of a community, where all should stands, pre-eminent for its love of sympathise in the good or ill fortune, the sorrows or joys of the whole."-

liberty. pp. 497, &c.

The only point on which we feel

disposed to offer a passing reThese extracts will, we think, mark, by way of drawback, is in commend the work more effec- reference to his want of sympathy tually than any lengthened com- in the high religious attainments ments, in which we might have of many of the leading men of the been tolerated. The calm, dispas- Commonwealth. It was evidently sionate, and dignified-style of the not in the contemplation of Mr. whole performance, we cannot too G. to touch upon this feature in much commend. The industry and their character. It was possibly research of the author are amply wise, that he has here been silent. compensated by the important We cannot but commend him for light he is enabled to throw on a forbearance, which might have innumerable transactions, and the betrayed incompetence on his consistency which he is enabled to part, and only have marred the attach to the movements and mea- utility of his undertaking—at the sures of the different parties of the same time, it is a problema worthy time. The Presbyterians, indeed, the consideration of his profoundwill have little cause to applaud est philosophy—under what aushis labours, since every step of pices were generated and matured his investigation brings to light that unrivalled excellence and new evidences of their selfish and magnanimity of character, which, intolerant principles. The excel in this distant review of it, so lence of many of the men who powerfully constrain the revefigured in that party is not to be rence of his understanding, and so questioned; but that Presbyte. triumphantly captivate the best rianism was then only struggling feelings of his heart? These men

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