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to that schism, which has now, for nearly three centuries, divided the Christian world, and introduced new causes of alienation, discord, and persecution, among the professors of that religion, which was intended to inculcate universal peace, charity and good will.”. Vol. 3. p. 138.
In this and several other paragraphs, Mr.R. seems to cast a reflection on the reformation, as disturbing the peace of the Christian church, and introducing a spirit of rancour and animosity. It should be remarked, however, that there is a sort of peace, which it was not the intention of the Christian Religion to promote, but rather by every possible means to disturb and overturn:-" The strong man armed keepeth his goods in peace, &c.” The very commencement of this religion greally disturbed the peace both of Jews and pagans, and the author of it himself declared, that it would cause divisions among the nearest friends and connexions. It is indeed to be lamented that wicked men should set up their banners against the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and thereby counteract the diffusion of universal peace; but true Religion ought no more to be blamed for this, than a peaceable man for endeavouring to disconcert the plans, and to divide the hearts, of a band of rebels. If indeed, as Mr. R. seeins to think, there is but little to choose between the reformed religion and that of papal Rome, then the schisın which Luther occasioned deserves the severest censure; but, with our views of the victory of truth over error, and good morals over profligacy, which attended the labours of our reformer, we shall ever find cause for exultation where Mr. R. thinks there is reason for regref.
After Luther's opposition to the sale of indulgences had excited the alarm of the church of Rome, Cajetan, the pope's legate was sent into Germany, to have a conference with Luther, and either to bring him to a recantation, or conduct him as a prisoner to Rome. In Mr. R's account of this conference, there are many insinuations of unhandsome and disingenuous conduct in Luther, while the behaviour of Cajetan is represented as particularly mild and conciliating. Seckendorf, however, whose in partiality cannot be fairly called in question, and who took uncommon pains to acquaint himself with the most minute circumstances relating to the reformation, gives a very different statement of the case. It is true that Luther was at first received with courtesy, and the legate would have been glad to persuade him to a recantation, without entering into the merits of the controversy; but when he found him indisposed to bow to any authority but that of reason and scripture, and saw that it was in vain to talk of decrees and councils, when opposed to the dictates of truth itself, the cardinal fell into a rage, and thought to awe Luther by frowns
and menaces. Luther perceiving that a controversy was never · likely to end, where it was in possible to agree upon the standard
to which it should be referred, delivered, in writing, a statemen of his opinions, on the points which were objected to him. This statement, was not only treated by Cajetan. " as irrelevant to the purpose," as Mr. R. mildly represents the case, but it was rei ceived with the greatest contempt, and tbe writer was told that his answers were those of a perfect ideot.
After Luther had waited from the Friday till the Monday following, in the expectation of being again sent for by the Legate, and it was ruinoured that, notwithstanding the pledge which had been given himn for a safe conduct, he was to be apprehended and thrown into prison, he began to think of withdrawing from the place of danger and consulting his own security. Previous, however, to his departure, he drew up a respectful letter to the Legate, in which he apologizes for any irreverent, or unbecoming, expressions against the Pontiff, which might have escaped him in the warmth of controversy but at the same time, he declares that he neither can nor will make any concessions, which would wound his conscience, or offend against the truth. To this letter he received no answer. On the day following he wrote again to the Cardinal, in a style more consonant with his usual spirit. He complains of the hardships he had sustained in coming so long a journey, the burthen he brought upon his friends in supporting his expenses, and the little prospect there was of bringing the controversy to a favourable issue: he therefore informs the Cardinal of his determination immediately to leave Augsburg. He had bowever the precaution to draw up a particular account of this whole conference, in order to prevent any misrepresentation of it from his enemies, and having made “ an appeal froin Leo X., prejudiced and misled, to Leo X. when better informed on the subject," he delivered the whole to a notary public, and immediately departed. This affair, however, assuines a different aspect in the hands of Mr. Roscoe.
Sr. Before his departure,” (says Mr. R.) “he prepared an appeal frosh Leo X. prejudiced and misled, to Leo X. when better informed on the subject; for the adoption of which daring measure he excuses himself, in his last letter to the Cardinal, by attributing it to the hardships of his situation, and the advice of his friends. He did not however fail to give directions, * that after his departure, this appeal should be fixed in the great square of the city ; which directions were punctually complied with. Notwithstanding the disrespect shewn to the Cardinal by the abrupt departure of Luther, he did not exercise the powers which bad.
* Mr. R. produces no proof that Luther gave this direction: and if he bad given it, there' might be nothing indecorous in it, if proper care were taken, as it is probable there would be, to state the reasons of this unusual measure.
been entrusted to him, by excommunicating Luther and his adherents, but contented himself with writing to the Elector of Saxony, expressing his disappointment, in the conduct of Luther; and requesting that if he still persevered in his opposition to the church, the elector would send him to Rome, or at least banish him from his dominions.” Vol.3. p. 169,
But this lenity in the Cardinal may be accounted for, without reflecting much credit on his clemency. He knew very well that to excommunicate Luther would have exas- . perated Frederic the Elector, whom the pope was particularly desirous of uniting with himself as a party against the reformer; and that no good could be effected by this measure, unless the person of Luther could likewise have been apprehended. It seems, however, more than probable that, had not Luiber taken care of himself, by a timely departure from Angsburg,-in spite of the promise of safety, the Cardinal would have executed his commission, and carried him a prisoner to Roine.
After Mr. R. has concluded his account of the various interviews which took place between Cajetan and Luther, and his “ abrupt” departure from Augsburg, he endeavours to ac · count for the success of the reformer, and attributes it to two particular causes: 1. His combining his cause with that of the promoters of literature; and, 2. His offering to submit his opinions to the test of reason and scripture. That the cause which Luther espoused might be promoled by the countenance of a few of the most learned men of the, age, and . that nothing was more likely to gain credit among men of reflection, than an appeal to the only standards of truth, reason and scripture, perhaps no one will deny: but that these two circumstances will account for the whole, or even the principal part of his success, is what we can by no means admit. The fact, in-'. deed, may be doubted, whether Luther did manifest a particular desire to identity, what Mr. R. calls, his cause, with that of the promoters of literature; at least Mr. R. has given no proof of this attempt. It is very supposeable that Luther mighl wish for the support of such ien as Erasmus and Melancthon, and yet that he did not connect his cause with that of literature: and also that be might frequently represent his opponents as ignorant and stupid, without insinuating that a person could not be a man of science who opposed him. Mr. R. has himself established the. fact, that his adversaries were the most ignorant and unlearned divines of the age, and that inen of science kept aloof from the controversy. “ This attenipt, says our author, io unite the cause of literature with that of reform, is also frequently noticed by Erasmus." I know not how it has happened, says he, (Erus.. mus), but it is certain, that they who first opposed themselves to . Luther, were also the enemies of learning; and hence its friends
were less adverse to him, lest by assisting his adversariės they should injure their own cause. This,' so far from proving that Luther endeavoured to identify his cause with that of literature, proves merely that literary men consented to a neutrality in this controversy, entirely from the fear of injuring their own interests; and that, had they not apprehended disgrace from associating with his ignorant opponents, they would have gladly assisted them ; while, as circuinstances then stood, they thought it best to continue silent spectators of the contest. Nor do we think that "the
violence of his (Luther's)proceedings, and the overbearing manner · in which he enforced his peculiar opinions” were the cause of
his “ losing, in a great degree, the support of that eminent scholar.” Probably a more substantial reason for Erasmus' desertion of his friend, mpight be adduced from the flexible, courtly, time-serving spirit of this otherwise great man. - One mighi have expected that that part at least of Luther's conduci, in which he referred his measures to the test of reason and scripture, would have had the approbation of Mr. R.; but, even here, our author fancies he discovers the same art and dexterity as characterized the rest of his conduct. “ Plausible, says he, however, as this conduct may appear on the part of Luther,.it must be confessed, that its success was much beyond what might reasorably have been expected from it; and that it was, in fact, little more than a reil thrown over he eyes both of his enemies and friends.” p. 176. Surely this bears a little too hard on our reformer. Must every one then who rests his cause on reason and scripture, be suspected of cunning and artifice? or was Luther, such a motorious adept in the arts of deceit, that his siacerity can never be believed? or, can Mr. R. furnish us with any better referees than Scripture and reason, or any less likely to “throw a veil over the eyes of both enemies and friends !"--Mr. Roscoe, we ihink will never be charged, even by Roman Catholics themselves, with unjust partiality towards the German monk ;- some readers, probably will be of opinion, that the historian has advocated toa warmly, that parent of igporance and error, the religion of the family he celebrates.
(To be concluded in our next Number.)
Art. XI. War in Disguise ; or, the Frauds of the Neutral Flags.
Second Edition. 8vo. pp. 252. Price 45. 6d. Hatchard. 1805.
AT a moment of unexampled difficulty, when concurrent circumstances quaintance, both with rights and circumstances, that we can trace such a diversity of sentiment, as really exists among men of sense and principle, on this interesting topic. In a question, therefore, where the opinion of the public bas so complete a cognizance, and so powerful an operation, it is highly important to our national interests, to extend its information and correct its views.
are rapidly hastening a crinis most important to our country, the subject of this able pamphlet demands particular regard. It is a subject that depends on the acknowledged laws of Nations, and is open to the determination of every impartial examinér: it is only to a very inaccurate ac
For this purpose the work before us is eminently qualified. It begins with stating, in a forcible manner, how slightly the French nation now appears to be affected by a state of warfare, compared with the difficulties it suffered in former contests. Then, “ we distressed their trade, we intercepted the produce of their colonies ;'and thus turned the channel of wealth, at a double advantage from their revenue into our own. 6 Their expenditure was immensely increased, and wasted in defensive purposes. Through the iteration of such losses, more than by our naval victories, or colonial conquests, the house of Bourbon was vanquished by the masters of the sea. Now, their ships“ seem to have retreated from the ocean, and to have abandoned the ports of their colonies ; but it is a mere ruse de guerre. They have, for the most part, only changed their fags, chartered many vessels really neutral, and altered a little the former routes of their trade. Their transmarine sources'of revenue have not been for a moment destroyed, and at present are scarcely impaired." Thus we are in vain the rulers of the waves, and our brave sailors buffet the tempest in vain. Our enemy, therefore, gains a double advantage from carrying on his commerce under neutral flags, where formerly he sustained a double loss. This is the damnum to which our author directs the public eye; we now advert, in his own words, to the injuria.
" The colonizing powers of Europe, it is well known, have always monopolized the trade of their respective colonies ; allowing no supplies to be carried to them under any foreign flag, or on account of any foreign importers; and prohibiting the exportation of their produce in foreign ships, or to any foreign country, till it has been previously brought into the ports of the parent state.-Such, with a few trivial and temporary exceptions, has been the universal system in time of peace ; and, on a close adherence to this system, the value of colonies in the new world, has been supposed wholly to depend. .
'In the war, which commenced in the year 1756, and was ended by the peace of 1763, France, being hard pressed by our maritime superiority, and unable, with safety, either to send the requisite supplies to her West Indian Islands, or to bring their produce to the European market, under her own mercantile flag, resorted to the expedient of relaxing her colonial monopoly ; and admitted neutral vessels, under certain restrictions, to carry the produce of those islands, to French or foreign ports in Europe. Of course, it was so carried, either really or ostensibly, on neutral account; the object being to avoid capture on the passage.
But the prize courts of Great Britain, regarding this new trade as unwarranted by the rights of neutrality, condemned such vessels as were captured while engaged in it, together with their cargoes; however clearly the property of both might appear to be in those neutral merchants, on whose behalf they were claimed.
. As these vessels were admitted to a trade, in which, prior to the war, VOL. II.