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

ther, by some unessential sacrifices, they 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- the business, and, to the great astonish.

did not approve of this mode of settling mitted, 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 nor to the excellencies, personal fundamental,' or maintained against know

kind of error, provided it were not and public, by which many of ledge. Another question, intimately contheir opponents were characte- nected with this, and not less earnestly rized. He has all the ardour, debated, was that of ecclesiastical discibut none of the precipitancy of an

pline, or the power of the keys. This

contained in it admission to or exclusion enthusiast, and appears to look from the symbols of the Christian faitb, upon the events and characters of excommunication and church censures, 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 counprinciples 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 more faithfully represented the

gradation of classes and officers were to ends and motives by which they of discipline was therefore

be set up in England by law. The power

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

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

of their mutual prin- examination and control of a lay assembly. repugnancy

their exercise of their functions, to the 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 snccess 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 inif possible; or, if not, to apply themselves tellectual liberty were very closely matched; to advise ineans 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 kingdation. 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 top 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 or and 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 uulimited 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 beauling 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 njen 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 in the schedule. Another point in which absolutely required, those persons are

tion. But when important alterations 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 which 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

attachment 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 business had advanced previously to the great

power, while the cultivators of the soil 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 embroilment 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 while he feels bound in conscience of arbitary power, (we will not lay much

crown of a free people. He was a lover 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 whose enlargest meed of his approbation cagements and protestations were no way 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 bimand temper. There is great per- the empire, tie Catholics of Ireland, and

self to arm his partisans in every part of spicuity and condensation in his bireling forces from every quarter of the statements, and we think him much world, to work his will upon the nation. It is not a light thing for a sober and mag. for the mastery, and not for the nanimous people willingly to place at their head, and endow with royal preroga

common liberties of mankind, is tives, a man who for successive years had put beyond dispute. They were 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 material in the case, was the passion of a great neither wisdom nor moderation by

ate selves, and had certainly acquired majority of the nation for religious reform, 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 commendable, a more favourable opportunity could opposers of toleration, and though not have offered itself. The Common.

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 sustain a popular government. The master

awards to the Independents the spirits 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 should 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 problenı 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 figured 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


were Christians--and Christians of Review of Nonconformity. But the highest order. We do not we can assure him, 'that his discomplain that Mr. G. has not course did not escape our attendone them justice, or that he has tion at the time of its first appearfailed to tell us, that all their high ing; and we really suspect, that qualities of intellect and heroism the full confidence we had as to its were combined with a profound speedy and extensive circulation respect for revelation; we do not


have exercised some unconcomplain that he has, after the scious influence in leading us to example of the heartless Hume, mislay it for so long a period of and the malignant Gibbon, derided time. . Mr. Ely, before this, had the men on account of their reli

presented to the public two or gion, or wounded their religion three single sermons, indicating a through the sides of the men. considerable share of talent; but There is evidently too much of rather wanting in chasteness and true greatness of soul about Mr. condensation of style. But, in G. to have betrayed him into such the present discourse, we find an folly ; but all we regret is, that he unusual quantity of thought and is morally incapable of doing jus. information, distinguished by great tice to the prime and predominant force and compression. ingredient in the characters of the sents a rapid indeed, but most vamen he admires. He has done luable history of Nonconformity, justice to their names, and to their in language at once clear and deeds ; but the inspiring cause of energetic. all their greatness, their intense After taking a comprehensive devotedness to the love of God view of the rise and progress of and man, and the conscientious the Reformation, the writer addiscipleship they had submitted to verts to that miserable policy, in the school of Christianity, is which produced the Uniformity but slightly noticed. We are not Act. He takes notice, of course, unwilling, however, to accept Mr. of the Five Mile Act, proGodwin's services as far as they nounces an eulogium on the mereach, and though we could have mory of William the Third, and wished for a deeper tinge of sym- expresses that high sense of repathetic feeling in the religious gard, which, we believe, all Disprinciple of the great men, whose senters entertain for the house of history he emblazons, we yet tender Hanover. From the second part him our best thanks for the can- of this discourse, in which Mr. dour and respect he has uni- Ely proceeds to certain general formly shown to religion and reli. positions, we quote his remarks on gious men-a candour and re- schism. spect which appear to us to indicate a state of mind, in reference to “ Separation is not necessarily schism; Nor would the separatist be necessarily particularly into the minds of the schismatic, even though the party from young, some erroneous ideas. Inwhich he might separate should be a true church; for, when Paul saw those that ste

It pre

and, therefore, how will the Church of Christianity, considerably melio

England roll away the charge of schism rated from that of his earlier years, for its separation from the Church of

Rome? or how shall we interpret the

Scripture injunction, to withdraw ourA Review of Nonconformity: a selves from such as walk disorderly? Nor

Discourse delivered at the Ordi- is the party of separatists necessarily nation of the Rev. J. Kennedy, in

schismatics, because it happens to be infe

rior in number or in power; for after the at Bury, Lancashire, September manner which the predominant voice called 7, 1825. By John Ely. Lou- heresy, did the primitive Christians wora don: F. Westley.

ship the God of their fathers. Though the

separatist were a single individual, he We certainly owe an apology to might perchance have rights, and truth, the very respectable author of this and conscience on his side.

stead of designating any period • were apostles before' him, endeavouring of persecution by particular epithet, to impose the yoke of Jewish ceremonies such, for instance, as pagan, or on the churcb'; even to them, he gave popish, we would rather represent place by subjection, no, not for an hour ;' but boldly rémonstrated with Peter, say.

every persecution as the effect of ing, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the that carnal mind which is enmity manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the against God, or, at best, of that Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to misapprehension respecting the polive as do the Jews ?"-pp. 24, 25.

litical innocence of mere theoloWe believe the author is per- gical opinion, which has clung to fectly correct when he adds

the minds of some from whom we

might have expected better things. - How reluctant the Nonconformists

Popery, indeed, as a religious were to separate from the English Church, is manifest from the whole bistory. Long system, appears to us essentially did they continue silent, hoping for better and unalterably intolerant, and times, before they ventured to disunite its tendencies to persecution are themselves. Earnestly did they petition for that liberty of conscience which was

too obvious; but we wish to do refused them. For more than a century

all the good we can to Cathodid they solicit for a comprehension. They lics, and doubt whether we are at wished not to impose their views upon all likely to obtain a patient and their brethren; all that they desired was, to be allowed liberty in certain points, in

candid hearing from them, after regard to wbich Iheir own consciences de

we have reminded them of the murred.

cruel and antichristian conduct of “ If their demur be deemed perverse their forefathers. Besides, how and vexatious, because it respected vest

many denominations of professing ments, and postures, and ceremonies ; let it be recollected, that these things stood

Christians are there, who could intimately associated with the papal super with propriety assert an entire stition, and exerted over a people, but just exemption from all culpability on emancipated from the papal yoke, a most this head! Some, besides the Cadangerous influence. Let it be recollected, that it was the principle of human imposia

tholics, have been very deeply intion, rather than the minute ceremonial to volved in this kind of criminality; which they objected. And let it be recol. and it is, therefore, quite unfair to lected, that it was not they that attached

represent the adherents of popery, so much importance to these ceremonials, they wished them to be left indifferent ;

as the only persecutors. Mr. Ely it was by their enemies that they were justly remarksinade terms of communion.”'--pp. 25, 26. "'The Nonconformist Martyrology might

constitute another folio, in which the We should very unwillingly take na

names of thousands and tens of thousands a low station assigned us among might be enrolled. They suffered fine and the opposers of the errors of po imprisonment; they dwelt in woods, and pery; but we have often thought,

went into voluntary exile; they were

treated with ribald scorn by lordig ecclethat there is something highly ob

siastics, and exposed in pillories to the jectionable, in so frequently pub hootings of the mob; their flesh was lishing cheap abridgments of Fox's branded with hot iron, and their persons Book of Martyrs; not that we at were cruelly dismembered."--p. 26. all doubt the general accuracy of . We could easily extend our his melancholy and horrifying quotations, but must content ourstatements; but we think, that the selves with recommending this disabstracted manner in which they course as one of the best on the are, for the most part, brought subject that ever came under our before the public, tends to instil, notice.

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