Imatges de pàgina
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ticularly in France and the Saxon heptarchy; and absurdly applied the pious admonitions of St. Paul to the Corinthians cn their litigious spirit, as an example to thew, that it was lawful for churchmen to intermeddle in secular affairs : ke endeavoured to prove, that legislative power was the birthright of the clergy, that bishops held their feats by virtue of their ecclesiastical capacity, not by the baronies annexed to their fees ; and that they had hitherto inade the third estate in parlis ment*. In the course of his speech he remarked a contradiction in the motive for difpoflelling bishops of their feats in parliament, and a salvo in the bill for bishops poffeffed of temporal peerages; since, as he justly observed, noblemen who had entered into holy orders could be no less tied by the peculiar duties of their calling than commoners.'

As a proper supplement to this quotation, we shall extract the sentiments of a still higher dignirary of the church, viz. archbi. shop Laud, on the same subject.

• Some time after this, Laud published a petulant answer to lord Say. He afferted, that the fathers of the church would never have undertaken the burthen of secular affairs, if it had been inconsistent with their function; and quoted the honest industry of St. Paul, who, to support himself in a virtuous independency, laboured at the trade of tent-making, as an authority that bishops might intermeddle in state concerns. If the counsel of some bishops had been taken, he said, neither the king nor the church would have been in so bad a condition as they now were. Bishops could preach the Gospel more pub. licly, and to far greater edification in a court of judicature, or at a council, where great men were met together to draw things to an issue, than many preachers in their several charges could;

* This matter was highly disputed between the popular party in the kingdom and the royalists. The popular party called the king one of the three estates ; but Charles assumed the sovereignty over the estates, and afferted, that the estates were, the lords fpiritual, the lords temporal, and the commons. This was a very abfurd pretenfion; since no power can be superior to the legislative; and if the king is not part of the legislative, he can be oniy the executive, which is a power subordinate to the legislative.

• The lawyer Bagshaw argued, that bishops fat in parliament in virtue of their temporal baronies; and that their total absence from parliament could no more obstrust the proceedings of parliament, than the absence of any other num. ber of lords.

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befides, there was not that necessity of preaching now as formerly, when the world was little acquainted with the Gospel : he prayed God it had not got a dangerous surfeit. To fhew that parliaments had been the occasion of thedding blood as well as the clergy, he quoted the example of that noble parliament who deposed Richard II. and called it an irreligious, traitorous parliament. In this answer he made it plainly appear, that he had no idea of the sense of moral obligations ; for having taken a great deal of pains to prove the dominion of priests in the Jewish commonwealth, he foncludes, that if the law could not give rule in this kind to those that live under the Gospel, a man might reinove his neighbour's land-mark ; he might lead the blind out of the way ; he might smite his neighbour ; for theic things were only prohibited by the law.'

We hope we have here given the public a proof of our orthodoxy with respect to the present constitution of church and itate, and that the unanswerable reasoning of those two bright luminaries in both, will have a proper effect upon all who dare to be of a different opinion. Notwithstanding the majority for liberty in one house, we learn that certain forms and deli. cacies in another retarded the work of reformation ; and that the king, by tampering with the Scotch commissioners, who were in high reputation in England, at one time, bade fair to overset the whole plan of freedom In the course of our author's notes, mention is made of an attempt to correct the Ihameful abuse of distributing honours, or, in other words, to restrain the crown in the exercise of its capital prerogative. Mrs. Macaulay, perhaps, carries her reflections on this topic rather too far, because they seem applicable to the present times. We Thall not enter either upon an arraignment or defence of her sentiments ; though we think Charles I. and his father were indefensible in those peerages they created, to which an inadequate degree of property was annexed. They undoubtedly ennobled many indigent persons, whom they turned loose to grase and fatten upon the common of the public, great part of which was inclosed for their use. It is however a political problem, whether the order of nobility is rendered more conderable by being enlarged ; and we think that an English nobleman's importance and power in the state, towards the close of queen Elizabeth's reign, was more formidable than it has been in any period since that time ; neither can we imagine that the English constitution will ever be endangered by neiv creations of peerages, so long as they are joined to great property, and provided the independency, rights, and privileges, of the lower house are maintained sacred and inviolated.

Our

Our author, notwithstanding the high opinion she entertains of the patriotic house of commons of 1641, gives us the following note.

• Among those heroic exertions in the cause of Liberty which signalize this house of commons, it must be owned that the particular urgency of circumstances occasioned them to lay some very arbitrary restraints on the press. It was ordered, that all stationers and printers Mhould take the name of every person who brought any thing to them to be printed, fold, or published, that they might, under pain of incurring the fame penalty as the author, be ready to give account as they should be required. It is remarkable, that the printers themselves preferred a bill for regulating their trade, and that there ihould be no bocks printed without licence.",

Mrs. Macaulay, in her second chapter of this volume, relates the attempt of the leaders of the popular party to wrest from the king the power over the militia. Here a point of the utinoit consequence is started by Mr. St. John, who declared, that such power over the inilitia as might be necessary for the security of the kingdom, was not yet by law vested in any perfon, not even in the crown. This doctrine was new to Charles and the royalists, who always supposed that the power of the militia was unalienably fixed in the crown. . Ten propositions were drawn up by the commons, and assented to by the lords, for vesting the forts and militia of the kingdom in proper hands; and the court party making a strong opposition to this measure, ftanding committees were appointed to oblige them to comply with the propositions. Our author next mentions the attempts made to corrupt the English army by royal einisaries ; while the munition and artillery belonging to the king at Hull, were ordered not to be removed but by parliament. If we may credit Ludlow's Memoirs, and another authority quoted by Mrs. Macaulay, the four northern counties, with the plunder of London, were offered to the Scotch army, provided they would interrupt the proceedings of the English parliament. In narrating the progress of affairs in Scotland, which Charles vi. fited at this time, our historian pats a mark of reprobation upon the power which the king formerly enjoyed there, of enforcing obedience to proclamations under the penalty of hightreason. “It is (says the in a note) surprizing the Scots should ever fancy themselves a free people, whilst they permitted their prince to enjoy a prerogative which, in a manner, invested him with the whole legislative authority.'

Charles at this period diffembled fo artfully, that he pretended to be a profelyte to liberty. He made several popular promotions, and agreed that no member of the privy

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council, no officer of state, none of the judges, should be ap. pointed, but by advice and approbation of parliament; and all the officers of state were to hold their places quamdiu se bene gefserint. In short, the presbyterian church-government was now entirely restored in that kingdom ; and Charles even appeared to prcfess it. Such a consorinity certainly creates the greatest fufpicions of infincerity in the king, who had no ruling paflion equal to his hatred of presbytery and his reverence for epifcopacy. Our author has explained the reasons why he was disappointed in all his machinations. She also mentions a suggestion of Monirose to the king, that it would be for his fervice to procure the murder of the earl of Argyle, and the duke of Hamilton and his brother. That those three noblemen were at this time apprehensive of such a defign, is indisputable ; but nothing was more common in those days than the affectation of such panics by the leaders of all parties. It must be acknowleged, however, that Montrose advised his master to violent measures. This is confirmed by a letter from the queen, dated the 3 iit of May, but the year not mentioned, and which Mrs, Macaulay perhaps has not seen. It contains the following expressions :

" COUSIN, “ I have received your letter, and see by it, that you are of opinion the king's affairs in Scotland are in a very bad condition, and that this is occafioned by my refusing to hearken to the advice you gave me at my arrival ; in this I observed the king's orders *.

Thus we see that the fury of the queen and Montrose was moderated by Charles himself; and it is certain, that whatever apprehensions the Hamiltons and Argyle might affect, it was by their advice the king refused to follow the counsel of Montrose, who recommended putting all the covenanters, (no less than four-fifths of the kingdom,) to the sword. This is confirmed by Wishart, who was chaplain and historian to Mons trofe.

Our anthor's narrative of the original of the Irish massacre in 1541, is uncommonly curious.

*“ Mon Cousin, “ J'ai recue votre lettre, et par icelle vois que vous auroiez que les affaires en Ecosse font en fort mauvais etat pour le service du roy, et cela parmi negligence, pour n'avoir pas ecouté aux propositions qui n'ont été fait à mon arrive ; en cela j'ai suivi les comınardemens du roy."

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6 To secure the doininion of Ireland to the Britih crown, those lands which had been forfeited by rebellion, and others fraudulently and forcibly obtained from the inhabitants, were conferred on British planters, who, allured by gain, had gone over in large colonies to settle in that barbarous country. The old Irish held their property by a whimsical tenure, called Tanistry. Individuals had no hereditary right: a whole sept, or clan, had a title to a whole territory ; these used to chule the chieftain, who took upon him the title of king, or lord : he, thus elected, had the feignory of all the lands within his territory, with a power to make an arbitrary distribution to his vaffals, who were all tenants in villainage, and were neither qualified to be sworn on juries, or to perforin any public fervice.

The chieftain himself held the signiory but for life, and each new lord had the power to make new distribution according to his pleasure. Thus, neither the descendants of the chieftains or vafsals had a right to particular lands; but, as the lord was always chosen ont of the principal branches of the fept, the immediate descendants of the old chieftains fancied they had a right to these seignories, and fondly imagined, if they could throw off their dependance on the state of England, matters would be adjusted to their satisfaction. As, from the uncertainty of the states of the old Irish, they neglected to build, or improve their lands, and were in a manner disunited from the government, by an immediare and absolute dependance on their chiefs, who governed them in an arbitrary manner, inflicting on them what punishments they pleased, in tlie reign of James and Charles it was the particular care of the lieutenants and governors of that country to obtain surrenders, and re-grant them on English tenures. Sir Arthur Chichester, lieutenant of Ireland in king James's time, coming into his government with the advantage of a subdued rebellion, went great lengths towards the entire destruction of the Irish lordships. The customs of Tanistry and the Brehon law were in all their branches abolished; he off-red the protection of the English laws to all the natives ; sent judges into every county of Ireland ; appointed sheriffs ; prohibited the chieftains from tyrannizing over their tenants, and directed these, if they met with oppression, to complain to the ministers of justice. Steps were daily taken by the government to secure the property, as well as protect the perfons, of these barbarians; yet such was their ignorance, that they disdained these unexperienced bleilings, and envied the poffeffions of the British, whom they looked on as robbers and invaders ; notwithstanding that the instructions they had received in tillage, buildings, manufactures, and other civilized arts, was a large return for their un

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