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tants in Piedmont, which, together with the "Irish | intervention of the English chief rescued from the venSt. Bartholomew," are described in the strong geance of the soldiers of Louis XIV., already marching and warm language to which the remembrance against that city to execute the orders of the court to the last extremity.' of these horrors and atrocities naturally move every Christian man, whether Romanist or Pro
testant, our author expatiates upon the zeal displayed by Cromwell to obtain redress and justice for the persecuted Waldenses, who, upon his powerful interposition, were restored to the same religious liberty which they had enjoyed undisturbed for centuries. On the authority of Neale, and we should have preferred that of an original letter or State document, we are told that, after his effectual interposition for the Protestants of Piedmont,
"This Defender of the Protestant faith, wishing to give the Pope and the petty princes of Italy a lesson calculated to strike them with terror, gave out, that as he was satisfied they had been the promoters of this persecution, he would keep it in mind, and lay hold of the first opportunity to send his fleet into the Mediterranean to visit Civita Vecchia and other parts of the ecclesiastical territories, and that the sound of his cannon should be heard in Rome itself. He further declared publicly that he would not suffer the true faith to be insulted in any part of the world.
As "Defender of the Faith," Cromwell did not, however, rashly engage in war. So far as remonstrance and negotiation could reach, sound policy, apart from religious sentiment, must have led him, as they did Elizabeth, to stipulate in all his treaties for protection, or freedom of conscience, to those professing the reformed faith. But, as is here truly said, "Cromwell was no less prudent than brave." England was never once plunged by the Protector into a religious war-a war of polemic opinion. The Protestant pastors, in the south of France, had at one time nearly instigated their flocks to actual rebellion, and Oliver, at this crisis, seems, though very cautiously, to have felt his way.
"Agents sent by the Protector into France seriously urged him to declare in favour of the oppressed and persecuted religion. The most influential French pastors corresponded with the heads of the Council of State in England. The fermentation and enthusiasm were general throughout all the south; and the Protestants, imagining the eve of their deliverance to be at hand, fasted and prayed publicly for the preservation of the Protector, calling him plainly their only hope next to God!' But Cromwell was no less prudent than brave."
We have already shown the animus of this
work, and, if further illustration were required, it might, among many other passages, be found in the moral thus drawn from the tumult at
"Had Cromwell's spirit animated the English government in our days, the iniquity of Otaheite would never have been committed; and we should not have seen the priest-party in France inveighing, on the one hand, against the three northern powers for annihilating the independence of Cracow, and, on the other, making war upon a people who have never known a master, and who, as regards moral power and political and religious life, are certainly far superior to the Cracovian citizens. The energy with which this little nation has held in check for several years the people who consider themselves the first in the world, is a pretty clear proof that it deserves to be independent. The priest-party of France, by protesting against the occupation of Cracow and by provoking the assault on Otaheite, has had the unenviable honour of furnishing the civilized world with the most notorious example in modern times of that blindness which strains at a gnat and swallows a camel."
Cromwell, we have seen, had the wisdom to reject the counsels, and refuse the supplications of the Protestant pastors of France, and the flocks they rashly instigated to insurrection. "It was by other means," says the writer of the above passage, "he should come to the support of the Protestants-by his moral influence, and not by his armies." And, as often as churchmen and theologians indulge in meddling and dictation, raise the cry of war, or counsel armed interposition, statesmen would do well to pause, and to deserve the praise bestowed upon Cromwell, for not rushing into war without first counting the cost; upon him who-when the French Protestants "fasted and prayed publicly for the preservation of the protector, calling him plainly their only hope next to God"-wisely kept England free of the quarrel.
Our author considers, and most justly, The Protector's zeal for religious liberty-for freedom of conscience-as one of his noblest characteristics. So fairly, though with a high hand, did Cromwell, as soon as his power was somewhat consolidated, carry himself among hostile sects, that his biographer, Villemain, has, upon this neutrality or vic-Catholicity of spirit, shrewdly founded a plausible
It was by his "moral influence," not the less powerful certainly from being backed by his torious fleets and armies, that he could most effectually aid the natural allies of Reformed and Revolutionized England-the Protestants of the continent. It was in this way that, at a subsequent period, he interposed for the Protestant citizens of Nismes, when called to sharp account in a quarrel with the bishop and the magistrates of the city. This, by the way, was the special act which entitles the Protector to the gratitude of Dr. Merle D'Aubigné, who, in his introduction,
charge of hypocrisy; for how, in an age when the petty distinctions of rival religious denominations, when mere forms were held of greater importance than the essentials of christianity, could Cromwell alone have remained indifferent to the watch-words and badges of sect? How could he, at that momentous period, when interference and faith were so closely allied, remain neutral and indifferent to the triumph of his own faith of Puritanism, unless, a consummate hypocrite, he really viewed each sect merely as the instrument of his ambition and statecraft, and had no religion of any kind, that was not subservient to his policy? The thought is natural in M. Villemain, though,
* One of the Author's ancestors quitted Nismes a few years after Cromwell's intervention, and found a refuge at Geneva.
we are persuaded, far from just. Cromwell, whatever varying opinions may be formed of his purely christian character, certainly believed himself a religious man. Even what Dr. Merle describes as "a Biblical affectation of language" -an affectation, by the way, coming fast into vogue in our own day-was more a characteristic of his age, than the studied utterance of hypocrisy. And the ennobling distinction will ever remain to Cromwell, that, as his mind ripened, and his power advanced, so did his elevation and expansion of spirit. His severity to the Irish Catholics was mainly that of a politician, and directed almost solely against those intriguing and restless priests whose object it was to subvert his government, and disturb the peace of the community; and the self-same policy led to his frequent checks of Presbyterian interference with his purposes.
Dr. Merle D'Aubigné makes very frequent mention, if not boast, of his own excessive liberality or perfect tolerance, though it is doubtful how far Romanists, Unitarians, Free-thinkersand all not included in the denomination evangellical, are included within his pale. He even condemns some of the acts of Cromwell, and the religious restrictions which he at first imposed upon the Catholics. Yet he considers The Protector, upon religious considerations, not merely justified, but honoured in his severity to the Irish Catholic priesthood; and it seems very probable that he considers the recent Catholic Emancipation as a wrong and most dangerous concession, going much too far, since it admits Papists into Parlia
But we must quote the passage which, with many others, justifies our conclusion, and makes us strongly doubt whether Dr. Merle be really the ultra-tolerant Protestant which he sincerely
nothing to diminish the responsibility of England and of her government: she is great in every way; but all impartial judges must acknowledge, that it is from the sevenhilled city whence flow those torrents which have inundated this interesting and unhappy nation with ignorance, superstition, servility, and wretchedness-with humiliation, famine, pestilence, and death. The papacy by vitiating the revelations of Christianity, by establishing again in the world a sacerdotal caste, which it was the object of the gospel to abolish everywhere, by retarding the nations wherever she was dominant, and by keeping them in all respects in the rear of the others will have to answer before God and man for the poverty and sufferings she has the Pope, was at the head of all christian countries, and entailed on an island, which, before it was subjected to which is now, alas! at the lowest step in the scale.
"The Oratorians, charmed, it would seem, by the fruits which the waters of Popery have produced in Ireland, have formed the pious design of introducing them into England. They are digging at the foot of the Quirinal Hill to draw from the bowels of the earth the bitter water that causeth a curse, and their friends in England are as earnestly engaged in making the canals and reservoirs for its reception. The special danger of their exertions consists in this: the workmen have been brought up in the midst of Protestantism, whose light and strength they are now turning against it. If it were merely a question of some few dirty and ignorant monks, such as Rome manufactures in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere, there would be no cause for fear. But these vermin will not creep in until later, to eat into the tree and destroy its fruits. The fashionable Oratorians have the task of clearing the way for them. If the State and the Church envy England the condition of Ireland, let them hasten to give their aid to this noble project conceived at Oxford, carrying on at Rome, and which will soon be in execution dead and living corpses, fill their hearts with sorrow and through England. But if the misery of Ireland, if its alarm; then let Church and State act energetically, each in its own sphere, and let them labour earnestly in building dykes to stop the water that cometh by the way of Edom, water as red as blood. A question of suicide is now pending in England.
"If we desire to see what Popery makes nations in these days, we have only to cast our eyes upon Belgium, which next to Ireland is the most popish country in Europe.
We shall find there a fertile soil, a land offering immense resources, and a people once at the head of European
"In these days he will be severely reproached for his manufactures and commerce, but of whom the fourth part intolerance of Popery in Ireland.
'I shall not suffer
the exercise of the mass,' he said. Let us examine the matter seriously.
"If Cromwell had truly at heart the prosperity of Ireland, it is evident that he must have desired to see that country renounce the mass and the Pope.
"Nothing can be more superficial, nothing more false, than those opinions so prevalent on the Continent and even in the British isles, which ascribe all the misery of Ireland to the absenteeism of the great gentry, to the conduct of the English government, and to other causes of a similar nature. We may admit that these circumstances have exerted a certain influence on the condition of
this unhappy people; but the true source of evil must be looked for elsewhere. Can we see the difference which exists between episcopalian England, presbyterian Scotland, and popish Ireland, and not immediately perceive the origin of the woes of the last-named country? will it be pretended that the Irish people are of a race inferior to others?
"The influence of religions is immense. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. It is the priests
who have made the Irish what they are; or rather it is a degrading religion which has debased alike priest and people a gross superstition, a corrupt system of morals, ideas false and out of date, which have robbed this nation of its energy, and engendered in it carelessness, imprudence, and misery. Priests, degraded by error, have themselves degraded their poor flocks. We would say
is now reduced to mendicancy and is dying of hunger. Will it be said that here, as in England, the government is in fault? Impossible for the Belgian government since 1831 has been the most catholic in Europe. In consequence of the prevalence of jesuitism in that kingdom, subsequent to the Revolution, the number of priests More than 400 convents has been augmented by 2600. have been opened, whence issue in all directions Franciscan friars, capuchins, and other sluggards of the same brood (we are not aware if there are any Oratorians); and these priests and monks have invaded everything, enslaved everything.
"The result soon appeared: Belgian pauperism has taken its place at the side of Irish pauperism; and în Belgium its intensity is in direct proportion to that of Popery. The wretchedness is far more aggravated in the Flemish provinces, which are entirely subject to the priests, than in the Walloon (French) provinces, which were once protestant, and whose spirit is nearer that of Protestanism. Such,' says a correspondent, is the state to which Belgium has been reduced by the clerical party in less than fifteen years. "
"If therefore Oliver Cromwell loved Ireland, if he de
sired its happiness and prosperity, he must have wished above all things to see Popery and the mass dissapear, and to behold the establishment of evangelical Christianity and of the Bible. "
Is this a true picture of the condition to which
*Mr. Newman and his friends.
Belgium has been reduced "by the priests in only
Every one is at present bringing forward his panacea for Irish misery, and Dr. Merle D'Aubigné's remedy, if not quite all that is required, is at least worthy of attention, were it only as an illustration of the ease with which some gifted men in their closets abroad can solve the most difficult problems, social, political, and religious, and lay down the law, or indicate the right path, to British legislators and rulers, who, in this case, might with advantage study at Geneva.
As the Gospel is the only means of saving Ireland, how then can we impart to its wretched inhabitants this infallible remedy?
In the first place, let there be no attempt to introduce either a clerical and traditional religion, or a rationalist and unitarian system. What we must give them is the Gospel, nothing but the Gospel, the entire Gospel. Fashionable people may amuse themselves in their drawing-rooms and boudoirs with Puseyite or Socinian notions; Chrisbut a nation requires positive and living elements. tianity in all its simplicity, with all its richness and its strength, can alone save from this mortal sickness.
"If truth is the first means, christian love is the second. Charity never faileth its effect is sure, it is a living word which shall never fall unto the earth. To preserve Ireland, there must be a great manifestation of the spirit of truth in the fruits of christian love.
"I will add, however, a third means. A respectable ecclesiastical form is necessary to encourage the poor catholics, whom the calumnies of their priests perpetually alarm with the disunion and disorder of protestant sects. In their house of bondage, they have contracted certain wants which ought to be respected. The two protestant churches, which are the most numerous in Ireland, the episcopalian and the presbyterian, present all that can be desired; but let them be circumspect, and walk together in harmony.
lyle's work has so very lately been widely dif fused, we must be chary in the use of Oliver's pithy and pregnant utterances. The following was directed against those " busy and meddling” Presbyterian ministers, as Cromwell considered them, who had taken refuge in the castle of Edinburgh, which he had invested, and who rejected his frank and politic invitation to come down, on the faith of his protection, to preach, on a Sabbath during the siege, in their respective churches. "The Scotch clergy," says Carlyle, never got such a reprimand since they first took Ordination." The letter was addressed to the Governor of the besieged fortress.
Edinburgh, 9th September, 1650. "SIR-The kindness offered to the ministers with you was done with ingenuity [ingenuously], thinking it might have met with the like. If their Master's service (as they call it) were chiefly in their eye, imagination of suffering would not have caused such a return.
"The Ministers in England are supported, and have liberty to preach the Gospel; though not to rail, nor,
under pretence thereof, to overtop the Civil Power, or debase it as they please. No man hath been troubled in England or Ireland for preaching the Gospel; nor has any minister been molested in Scotland since the coming of the army hither. The speaking truth becomes the ministers of Christ. When ministers pretend to a glorious Reformation, and lay the foundations thereof in getting to themselves worldly power, they may know that the Sion promised will not be built with such untempered mortar.
"On the 12th of September, Cromwell sent another letter to the governor, to refute the complaints made by the inhabitants, and particularly by the ministers.
"You say,' writes Oliver, "you regret that men of civil employments should usurp the calling and employment of the ministry; to the scandal of the Reformed Kirks. Are you troubled that Christ is preached? Is preaching so exclusively your function? Doth it scandalize the Reformed Kirks, and Scotland in particular? Is it against the Covenant? Away with the Covenant, if this be so! I thought the Covenant and these professors of it could have been willing that any should speak good of the name of Christ: if not, it is no Covenant of God's approving; nor are these Kirks you mention in so much the spouse of Christ.
"Another question here occurs: To gain the Irish people, must we not first put out of sight that which "You err through mistaking of the Scriptures. offends them, break the bonds which unite the episco- Approbation [i. e. ordination, solemn approbation and palian church to the state, and by giving the former power-appointment by men] is an act of conveniency in respect ful community more liberty, give it also greater energy and life?"
The Rev. Baptist Noel and Sir Robert Inglis, "one of the most estimable Christians and public men in England," are quoted ere it is farther said
"If it were clearly established that the cause of evangelical Protestantism in Ireland has been abandoned by the state, then our own exertions would, under God's blessing, have far more strength and efficiency. Faith which worketh by love has power in spiritual things only. "Such thoughts as these were not altogether foreign to Cromwell. Although he desired to have recourse to the law against the chiefs of Popery, he was willing to behave very differently towards the people."
It will be found an
of order; not of necessity, to give faculty to preach the
If the acts of Cromwell, where policy interfercă, were not always consistent with a real and enlarged toleration, his sentiments were in general free and noble, and far indeed in advance of most of those around him, whether lay or clerical. In one of his remarkable speeches he thus rebukes the members of his Parliament, many of them of Readers, unacquainted with previous works the sect to which he himself belonged, as well as relating to The Protector, will often find the the Presbyterians, for their encroaching and inquotations from the letters and speeches of tolerant spirit, and direct attacks upon the reliCromwell not the least interesting and instruc-gious freedom of their fellow-subjects. tive portion of this volume; but as Mr. Car- "Is there not yet upon the spirits of men a strange
"What greater hypocrisy than for those who were oppressed by the bishops to become the greatest oppressors themselves, so soon as their yoke was removed? I could wish that they who call for liberty now also had not too much of that spirit, if the power were in their hands-As for profane persons, blasphemers, such as preach sedition; the contentious railers, evil-speakers, who seek by evil words to corrupt good manners, persons of loose conversation-punishment from the civil magistrate ought to meet with these.'"
Highly as our author lauds Cromwell, or the spirit of an age, fostered, if not formed, by the genius of the Protector, some blemishes are discovered in this great Christian hero, and some in the new system of government. One was, that "religion was too closely allied with politics;" and on this head Dr. Merle D'Aubigné makes one of the most instructive discourses to be found in his whole volume. But as his opinions on Church establishments, or the alliance of Church and State, are very well known in this country, the topic may be passed. The example of Cromwell is often pointed out to the present rulers of England, but they may probably, and not altogether unjustly either, draw very different conclusions out of the same facts from some of those to which Dr. Merle D'Aubigné has come. Men often interpret history, as they do scripture, very much to square with their preconceived notions, interests, wishes, or favourite line of policy. What, in the middle of the nineteenth century, Cromwell would have done with the Roman Catholics of Ireland, with the great bulk of the Irish nation in other words, can only be surmised from the manner in which he acted in his own time; and this certainly does not lead to the conclusion that he would have adopted the counsel and guidance of the bigoted Anti-Catholic party. Dr. Merle D'Aubigné says in one place
"The prudent firmness with which Oliver combated these extremes of religious parties, at a time when they were so potent, and when the true principles of liberty were not generally acknowledged, deserves our highest admiration. Even his adversaries have confessed it. Mr. Southey, although a zealous Episcopalian, and an enemy to the commonwealth, and who regarded the disastrous restoration of Charles II. as the salvation of England, says in his Book of the Church:- Cromwell relieved the country from Presbyterian intolerance; and he curbed those fanatics who were for proclaiming King Jesus, that, as his Saints, they might divide the land amongst themselves. But it required all his strength to do this, and to keep down the spirit of religious and political fanati
“Perhaps his zeal was the more remarkable, as it did not reach the point to which many of his friends had arrived the separation, namely, of Church and State. In his third speech, even when professing the doctrine of an established State religion, he boldly claims liberty of conscience for all. He says, 'Every sect saith, O give me liberty! But give it him, and to his power-he will not yield it to any body else!.... Where is our ingenuousness? Liberty of conscience is a thing that ought to be very reciprocal. I may say it to you, I can say it: All the money of this nation would not have tempted men to fight upon such an account as they have here been en
gaged in, if they had not had hopes of liberty of conscience better than Episcopacy granted them, or than would have been afforded by a Scots Presbytery, or an English either. This, I say, is a fundamental. It ought to be so. It is for us and the generations to come.'
Why did Cromwell, when he stood forth as the champion of religious liberty, maintain the principle of a special Church established by the State? It has been supposed that he was guided by political considerations, being unwilling to strip the public authority of every sort of direction in religious matters, which exert so great an influence over the people. In the speech we have just quoted, he assigns another reason: The supreme magistrate should exercise his conscience in erecting what form of church government he is satisfied should be set
Modern statesmen, while emulating Cromwell's zeal, must not lose sight of his "prudent firmness" in checking hostile sects. The power which Cromwell claimed for the chief magistrate, of erecting whatever form of religion his conscience dictated, stretches far enough; but, while asserting this power, he was too wise to attempt setting up his own sect, though, from political as well as personal causes, it enjoyed much of his favour and patronage. Dr Merle D'Aubigné, however, thinks that, though the Protector" went very far in religious liberty, it was still not far enough.". "Had he left all sects free, without protection as without restraint-had Evangelical Episcopacy, in particular, been able to move freely-religion would have escaped that narrow mannerism, that cant with which it has been reproached sometimes, perhaps with reason, by men of the world." This seems true liberality, though it must be kept in mind that all sects holding what are termed evangelical doctrines are only here meant, at least if the above sentiment is to be reconciled with other parts of the book which we have already cited.
Though the whole of this work may rather be described as a panegyric than a Life or “Vindication" of the Protector, some of his errors, as we have seen, are hinted at, or pointed out, though many more are palliated. One leading fault is, however, repeatedly dwelt upon for reproof and warning. From fanatical enthusiasm from spiritual pride, or an over-weening self-sufficiency-Cromwell, and many good men of his time, claimed, in following frames and moods, to be acting under the immediate inspiration and guidance of the Spirit of God; thus rejecting, or, at least, neglecting the "more sure word of prophecy."
This delusive arrogancy Dr. Merle D'Aubigné never fails earnestly to rebuke. One illustration of this species of delusion may serve for all. Before the parliamentary military leaders had openly, or in deeds, declared the purpose upon which they were pretty well resolved beforehand, namely, of "calling Charles Stuart, that man of blood, to sharp account for the blood he had shed, and the mischief he had done," they assembled in conclave, and for three days were exercised in prayer in Windsor Castle; and here our author inquires "who can entertain any doubt of their uprightness, of their true piety, and lively faith?" There may be room for grave doubts; but no one can question that the crisis was come, and that it was full time to be resolved
and up and doing. As in nearly every simi- | like every reasonable man who understands and lar case, recorded in profane history, the answer to these solemn prayers was exactly such as might have been foretold; and, notwithstanding his admiration of the fervent piety of the chiefs who thus combined secret political deliberation with public diets of prayer, our author is constrained to inquire
"And yet, were they really in the right path? We entertain some doubt on this point. There is perhaps no case in which we see more clearly the importance of being enlightened on the true principles of christian conduct. When the leaders of the army wished to know what they ought to do, they examined into what they had done when they felt happiest and nearest to God: such are not the means prescribed by Heaven. They should have asked themselves, What does God command us in "His Word?" It is not by our feelings that He will guide us, but by his commandments. Our feelings may lead us astray. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. The Word of God never misleads us.' A Christian's walk is in the divine commandments: to act according to one's own sensations, one's interior illumination, is the walk of the mystic. If the officers assembled at Windsor did not then fall into fanaticism, they were at least in a path which might lead to it; and some of them fell into it afterwards.”
Under similar impulses of a mind already made up, Oliver, after some natural relenting and great apparent spiritual conflict, signed the deathwarrant of Charles I.
The temper in which a man, or body of men, commences such devotional exercises, as those described below, ever argues 66 a foregone conclusion." Such men seek not guidance that squares not with their own views. What a sad picture of gross self-delusion, if not worse hypocrisy, it presents!
"It was this which guided him in the sentence passed on Charles, and freed him from all his doubts and scruples. John Cromwell, at that time in the Dutch service, had come to England with a message from the Prince of Wales and of Orange to endeavour to save the king's life. When introduced to his cousin Oliver, he reminded him of the royalist opinions he had formerly entertained at Hampton Court. The latter, still uncertain as to the line of conduct which he ought to pursue, replied, that he had often fasted and prayed to know the will of God with respect to the king, but that God had not yet pointed out the way. When John had withdrawn, Cromwell and his friends again sought by prayer the path they ought to follow; and it was then the parliamentary hero first felt the conviction that Charles's death alone could save England. From that moment all was fixed: God had spoken; Oliver's indecision was at an end; it remained now merely to act and accomplish that will, however appalling it might be. At one o'clock in the morning, a messenger from the General knocked at the door of the tavern where John Cromwell lodged, and informed him that his cousin had at length dismissed his doubts, and that all the arguments so long put forward by the most decided republicans were now confirmed by the will of the Lord. Enthusiasm, then, was the cause of Cromwell's error. This is a fault in religion; but may it not extenuate the fault in morals?"
Dr. Merle D'Aubigné here advances some rather questionable opinions; for what enormity has not been committed while the perpetrator has most sincerely believed that, instead of obeying his own evil and blinding passions, he was obeying the will, and promoting the glory of God? He, however, acknowledges that, in this instance, the Lord spoke not by Cromwell, and that the execution of the King was an unnecessary step; though,
loves civil liberty, he fully recognizes the necessity of the Revolution, independently of the special reasons for which he chiefly values it, namely, the destruction or extirpation of Popery in the British Islands- of that anti-christian faith, which he maintains that Charles I., like all the Stuarts, systematically strove to establish.
This "error in religion"-the fatal and presumptuous error of obeying the passionate impulses of his own secret desires, under the warrant of an imaginary direct answer to prayer, instead of soberly searching out the will of God as declared in the Scriptures-our author considers "the only important blemish to be found in Cromwell." At the same time," he adds, "it is the key which His piety opens and explains his whole life. was sincere, but it was not always sober." And yet, how does the Doctor account for Cromwell's uniform sobriety of mind, and calm, consummate wisdom in the field, the cabinet, and in the early councils of the rebel leaders? The key does not fit every ward of the lock. Dr. Merle D'Aubigné condemns the death of the Royal martyr (as Charles I. is still fancifully called), but yet palliates the deed, while, what many will regard as worse acts in his hero appear to him to require no laboured vindication, or rather to merit praise. Of the fearful campaign in Ireland, he adopts Mr. Carlyle's view, without basing that view upon the same large, if untenable, premises.
Of the death of Charles, it is said
"The death of the king must for ever bear in history a mark of reprobation. We condemn it in the most explicit manner. But if the ideas of Milton and of so many Englishmen in the seventeenth century are erroneous, their error is akin to that of Melancthon, Farel, and Calvin, and of the churches of Berne, Zurich, Schaffhausen, and Basle, in the case of Servetus. We shrink with as much horror from the death of the heretic as from that of the despot. We abhor these executions, as we abhor the piles of John Huss, of Savonarola, and of the thousands of victims whom Rome has immolated. And yet we should take the peculiarities of the times into consider
It is surely going far enough for a lover of religious freedom to place the heretic and the despot in the same category; as if their errors or guilt were at all equal either in degree or kind, as if an individual entertaining some speculative opinion or dogma of belief, which his fellow-Christians condemn or disapprove, were as dangerous to society as the acts of the chief magistrate who, by secret intrigue and open force, seeks to subvert the constitution, and destroy the rights and liberties which he is appointed to guard. Those who admit that the death of Servetus was a crime in any sense-and some hardy spirits, we believe, even in our enlightened time, do not scruple to justify what Dr. Merle D'Aubigné "shrinks from with horror"-must confess that the unhappy heretic who used no weapons but his pen and his tongue, was much less criminal than the despot, who, according to our author, sought at once to crush the liberties of England, and to introduce popery - who had "with one hand torn the timehonoured charters of the nation, while he stretched the other towards the despotic pope of Rome."