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of this philosophy. Numerous reforms, generally laudable, sometimes hurried on without sufficient regard to time, to place, and to public feeling, showed the extent of its influence. The rulers of Prussia, of Russia, of Austria, and of many smaller states, were supposed to be among the intiated.
The Church of Rome was still, in outward show, as stately and splendid as ever; but her foundation was undermined. No state had quitted her communion, or confiscated her revenues; but the reverence of the people was everywhere departing from her.
The first great warning stroke was the fall of that society which, in the conflict with Protestantism, had saved the Catholic Church from destruction. The order of Jesus had never recovered from the injury received in the struggle with Port-Royal. It was now still more rudely assailed by the philosophers. Its spirit was broken; its reputation was tainted. Insulted by all the men of genius in Europe, condemned by the civil magistrate, feebly defended by the chiefs of the hierarchy, it felland great was the fall of it.
Nor were the calamities of the Church con fined to France. The revolutionary spirit, at tacked by all Europe, beat all Europe back, became conqueror in its turn, and, not satisfied with the Belgian cities and the rich domains of the spiritual electors, went raging over the Rhine and through the passes of the Alps. Throughout the whole of the great war against Protestantism, Italy and Spain had been the base of the Catholic operations. Spain was now the obsequious vassal of the infidels. Italy was subjugated by them. To her ancient principalities succeeded the Cisalpine republic, and the Ligurian republic, and the Parthenopean republic. The shrine of Loretto was stripped of the treasures piled up by the devotion of six hundred years. The convents of Rome were pillaged. The tricoloured flag floated on the top of the castle of St. Angelo. The successor of St. Peter was carried away captive by the unbelievers. He died a prisoner in their hands; and even the honours of sepulture were long withheld from his remains.
It is not strange that in the year 1799, even sagacious observers should have thought that, The movement went on with increasing at length, the hour of the Church of Rome was speed. The first generation of the new sect come. An infidel power ascendant-the Pope passed away. The doctrines of Voltaire were dying in captivity-the most illustrious preinherited and exaggerated by successors, who lates of France living in a foreign country on bore to him the same relation which the Ana- Protestant alms-the noblest edifices which baptists bore to Luther, or the Fifth-Monarchy the munificence of former ages had consecratmen to Pym. At length the Revolution came. ed to the worship of God, turned into temples Down went the old Church France, with all of victory, or into banqueting-houses for poliits pomp and wealth. Some of its priests pur-tical societies, or into Theophilanthropic cha chased a maintenance by separating them- pels-such signs might well be supposed to in selves from Rome, and by becoming the au- dicate the approaching end of that long domi thors of a fresh schism. Some, rejoicing in nation. the new license, flung away their sacred vest- But the end was not yet. Again doomed to ments, proclaimed that their whole life had death, the milk-white hind was still fated not been an imposture, insulted and persecuted to die. Even before the funeral rites had been the religion of which they had been ministers, performed over the ashes of Pius the Sixth, a and distinguished themselves even in the Ja- great reaction had commenced, which after the cobin Club and the Commune of Paris, by the lapse of more than forty years appears to be excess of their impudence and ferocity. Others, still in progress. Anarchy had its day. A more faithful to their principles, were butch-new order of things rose out of the contusionered by scores without a trial, drowned, shot, new dynasties, new laws, new titles; and hung on lamp-posts. Thousands fled from amidst them emerged the ancient religion. their country to take sanctuary under the shade of hostile altars. The churches were closed; the bells were silent; the shrines were plundered; the silver crucifixes were melted down. Buffoons, dressed in copes and surplices, came dancing the carmagnole even to the bar of the Convention. The bust of Marat was substituted for the statues of the martyrs of Chris-peared alone amidst the ruins of a world which tianity. A prostitute, seated in state in the had passed away. The republic of Holland chancel of Notre Dame, received the adoration was gone, and the empire of Germany, and the of thousands, who exclaimed that at length, Great Council of Venice, and the old Helvetian for the first time, those ancient Gothic arches League, and the house of Bourbon, and the had resounded with the accents of truth. The Parliaments and aristocracy of France. Europe new unbelief was as intolerant as the old su- was full of young creations-a French empire, perstition. To show reverence for religion a kingdom of Italy, a Confederation of the was to incur the suspicion of disaffection. It Rhine. Nor had the late events affected only ter was not without imminent danger that the ritorial limits and political institutions. The dis priest baptized the infant, joined the hands of tribution of property, the composition and spirit lovers, or listened to the confession of the of society, had, through great part of Catholic dying The absurd worship of the Goddess of Europe, undergone a complete change. But Reason was, indeed, of short duration but the the unchangeable Church was still there. Some deism of Robespierre and Lepaux was not less future historian, as able and temperate as Pronostile to the Catholic faith that the atheism of fessor Ranke, will, we hope, trace the progress Clootz and Chaumette. of the Catholic revival of the nineteenth cen
The Arabs had a fable that the Great Pyra mid was built by antediluvian kings, and alone, of all the works of men, bore the weight of the flood. Such as this was the fate of the Papacy. It had been buried under the great inundation; but its deep foundations had remained unshaken; and, when the waters abated, it ap
mry. We feel that we are drawing too near cur own time; and that, if we go on, we shall be in danger of saying much which may be supposed to indicate, and which will certainly excite, angry feelings. We will, therefore, make only one observation, which, in our opinion, is deserving of serious attention..
During the eighteenth century, the influence of the Church of Rome was constantly on the decline. Unbelief made extensive conquests in all the Catholic countries of Europe, and in some countries obtained a complete ascendency. The Papacy was at length brought so low as to be an object of derision to infidels, and of pity rather than of hatred to Protestants. During the nineteenth century, this fallen Church has been gradually rising from her depressed state, and reconquering her old dominion. No person who calmly reflects on what, within the last few years, has passed in Spain, in Italy, in South America, in Ireland, in the Netherlands, in Prussia, even in France, can doubt that her power over the hearts and minds of men is now greater than it was when the "Encyclopædia" and the "Philosophical Dictionary" appeared. It is surely remarkable, that neither the moral revolution of the eighteenth century, nor the moral counter-revolution of the nineteenth, should, in any perceptible degree, have added to the domain of Protestantism. During the former period, whatever was lost to Catholicism was lost also to Christianity; during the latter, whatever was regained by Christianity in Catholic countries, was regained also by Catholicism. We should naturally have expected that many minds, on the way from superstition to infidelity, or on the way back from infidelity to superstition, would have stopped at an intermediate point. Between the doctrines taught in the schools of
the Jesuits, and those which were maintained at the little supper parties of the Baron Holbach, there is a vast interval, in which the human mind, it should seem, might find for itself some resting-place more satisfactory that either of the two extremes. And at the time of the Reformation, millions found such a resting-place. Whole nations then renounced Popery without ceasing to believe in a first cause, in a future life, or in the Divine authority of Christianity. In the last century, on the other hand, when a Catholic renounced his belief in the real presence, it was a thousand to one that he renounced his belief in the Gospel too; and when the reaction took place, with belief in the Gospel came back belief in the real presence.
We by no means venture to deduce from these phenomena any general law: but we think it a most remarkable fact, that no Christian nation, which did not adopt the principles of the Reformation before the end of the six teenth century, should ever have adopted them Catholic communities have, since that time, become infidel and become Catholic again but none has become Protestant.
Here we close this hasty sketch of one of the most important portions of the history of mankind. Our readers will have great reason to feel obliged to us if we have interested them sufficiently to induce them to peruse Professor Ranke's book. We will only caution them against the French translation-a performance which, in our opinion, is just as discreditable to the moral character of the person from whom it proceeds, as a false affidavit or a forged bil of exchange would have been; and advis them to study either the original, or the English version, in which the sense and spirit c. the original are admirably preserved.
COWLEY AND MILTON.*
"Referre sermones Deorum et
I HAVE thought it good to set down in writing | an hour on the river." To this they bʊm cheer fully consented, and forth we walked, Mr. Cow. ley and I leading Mr. Milton between us, to the Temple Stairs. There we took a boat, and thence we rowed up the river.
memorable debate, wherein I was a listener, and two men of pregnant parts and great reputation discoursers; hoping that my friends will not be displeased to have a record both of the strange times through which I have lived, and The wind was pleasant; the evening fine; of the famous men with whom I have con- the sky, the earth, and the water beautiful to versed. It chanced in the warm and beautiful look upon. But Mr. Cowley and I held our spring of the year 1665, a little before the sad-peace, and said nothing of the gay sights around dest summer that ever London saw, that I went us, lest we should too feelingly remind Mr. to the Bowling-Green at Piccadilly, whither at Milton of his calamity; whereof, however, he that time the best gentry made continual resort. needed no monitor, for soon he said, sadly, There I met Mr. Cowley, who had lately left "Ah, Mr. Cowley, you are a happy man. What Barnelms. There was then a house preparing would I now give for one more look at the sun, for him at Chertsey, and till it should be finished and the waters, and the gardens of this fair he had come up for a short time to London, that city?" he might urge a suit to his Grace of Buckingham touching certain lands of her majesty's whereof he requested a lease. I had the honour to be familiarly acquainted with that worthy gentleman and most excellent poet, whose death hath been deplored with as general a consent of all powers that delight in the woods, or in verse, or in love, as was of old that of Daphnis or of Gallus.
"I know not," said Mr. Cowley, "whether we ought not rather to envy you for that which makes you to envy others; and that especially in this place, where all eyes which are not closed in blindness ought to become fountains of tears. What can we look upon which is not a memorial of change and sorrow, of fair things vanished, and evil things done? When I see the gate of Whitehall, and the stately pillars of the Banqueting House, I cannot choose but think of what I have seen there in former days, masques, and pageants, and dances, and smiles, and the waving of graceful heads, and the bounding of delicate feet. And then I turn to thoughts of other things, which even to remember makes me blush and weep; of the great black scaffold, and the axe and the block, which were placed before those very windows; and the voice seems to sound in mine ears, the lawless and terrible voice which cried out that the head of a king was the head of a traitor. There stands Westminster Hall, which who can look upon and not tremble to think how time, and change, and death confound the counsels of the wise, and beat down the weapons of the mighty? How have I seen it surrounded with tens of thousands of petitioners crying for justice and privilege! How have I heard it shake with fierce and proud words, which made the hearts of the people to burn within them! Then it is blockaded by dragoons and cleared by pikemen. And they who have conquered their master go forth trembling at the word of their servant. And yet a little while, and the usurper comes forth from it, in his robe of ermine, with the golden staff in one hand and the Bible in the other, amidst the roaring of the guns and the shouting of the people. And yet again a little while, and the doors are thronged with multitudes in black, and the hearse and the plumes come forth, and the tyrant is borne, in more than royal pomp
After some talk, which it is not material to set down at large, concerning his suit and his vexations at the court, where indeed his honesty did him more harm than his parts could do him good, I entreated him to dine with me at my lodgings in the Temple, which he most courteously promised. And that so eminent a guest might not lack a better entertainment than cooks or vintners can provide, I sent to the house of Mr. John Milton, in the Artillery Walk, to beg that he would also be my guest. For, though he had been secretary, first to the Council of State, and after that to the Protector, and Mr. Cowley had held the same post under Lord St. Albans in his banishment, I hoped, notwithstanding, that they would think themselves rather united by their common art than divided by their different factions. And so indeed it proved. For while we sate at table they talked freely of many men and things, as well ancient as modern, with much civility. Nay, Mr. Milton, who seldom tasted wine, both because of his singular temperance, and because of his gout, did more than once pledge Mr. Cowley, who was indeed no hermit in diet. At last, being heated, Mr. Milton begged that I would open the windows. "Nay," said I, "if you desire fresh air and coolness, what should hinder us, as the evening is fair, from sailing
A Conversation between Mr. Abraham Cowley and Mr. John Milton, touching the Great Civil War.-Set down by a Gentleman of the Middle Temple.
money? Had they not taken from the king his ancient and most lawful power touching the order of knighthood? Had they not provided that, after their dissolution, triennial parlia ments should be holden, and that their own power should continue till of their great condescension they should be pleased to resign it themselves? What more could they ask? Was it not enough that they had taken from their king all his oppressive powers, and many that were most salutary? Was it not enough that they had filled his council-board with his enemies, and his prisons with his adherents? Was it not enough that they had raised a furious multitude to shout and swagger daily under the very windows of his royal palace? Was it not enough that they had taken from him the most blessed prerogative of princely mercy; that, complaining of intolerance themselves, they had denied all toleration to others; that they had urged against forms scruples childish as those of any formalist; that they had persecuted the least remnant of the Popish rites with the fiercest bitterness of the Popish spirit? Must they besides all this have full power to command his armies and to massacre his friends?
a royal sepulchre. A few days more, and his head is fixed to rot on the pinnacles of that very hall where he sat on a throne in his life, and lay in state after his death. When I think on all these things, to look round me makes me sad at heart. True it is that God hath restored to us our old laws, and the rightful line of our kings. Yet, how I know not, but it seems to me that something is wanting,-that our court hath not the old gravity, nor our people the old loyalty. These evil times, like the great deluge, have overwhelmed and confused all earthly things. And, even as those waters, though at last they abated, yet, as the learned write, destroyed all trace of the Garden of Eden, so that its place hath never yet been found, so hath this opening of all the floodgates of political evil effaced all marks of the ancient political paradise."
"Sir, by your favour," said Mr. Milton, "though, from many circumstances both of body and fortune, I might plead fairer excuses for despondency than yourself, I yet look not so sadly either on the past or on the future. That a deluge hath passed over this our nation I deny not. But I hold it not to be such a deluge as that of which you speak, but rather a blessed flood, like those of the Nile, which in its overflow doth indeed wash away ancient landmarks, and confound boundaries, and sweep away dwellings, yea, doth give birth to many foul and dangerous reptiles. Yet hence is the fulness of the granary, the beauty of the garden, the nurture of all living things.
"I remember well, Mr. Cowley, what you have said concerning these things in your Discourse of the Government of Oliver Cromwell, which my friend Elwood read to me last year. Truly, for elegance and rhetoric, that essay is to be compared with the finest tractates of Isocrates and Cicero. But neither that nor any other book, nor events which with other men have, more than any book, weight and authority, have altered my opinion that, of all the assemblies that ever were in this world, the best and the most useful was our Long Parliament. I speak not this as wishing to provoke debate, which neither yet do I decline."
Mr. Cowley was, as I could see, a little nettled. Yet, as he was a man of a kind disposition and a most refined courtesy, he put a force to himself, and answered, with more vehemence and quickness, indeed, than was his wont, yet not uncivilly. "Surely, Mr. Milton, you speak not as you think. I am indeed one of those who believe that God hath reserved to himself the censure of kings, and that their crimes and oppressions are not to be resisted by the hands of their subjects. Yet can I easily find excuse for the violence of such as are stung to madness by grievous tyranny. But what shall we say for these men? Which of their just demands was not granted? Which even of their cruel and unreasonable requisitions, su as it were not inconsistent with all law and order, was refused? Had they not sent Strafford to the block and Laud to the Tower? Had they not destroyed the Courts of the High Commission and the Star-Chamber? Had they not reversed the proceedings confirmed by the voices of the judges of England in the matter of shipVOL. III.-53
"For military command, it was never known in any monarchy, nay, in any well ordered republic, that it was committed to the debates of a large and unsettled assembly. For their other requisition, that he should give up to their vengeance all who had defend the rights of his crown, his honour must have been ruined if he had complied. Is it not therefore plain that they desired these things only in order that, by refusing, his majesty might give them a pretence for war?
"Men have often risen up against fraud, against cruelty, against rapine. But when before was it known that concessions were met with importunities, graciousness with insults, the open palm of bounty with the clenched fist of malice? Was it like trusty delegates of the Commons of England and faithful stewards of their liberty and their wealth, to engage them for such causes in civil war, which, both to liberty and to wealth, is of all things the most hostile. Evil indeed must be the disease which is not more tolerable than such a medicine. Those who, even to save a nation from tyrants, excite it to civil war, do in general but minister to it the same miserable kind of relief wherewith the wizards of Pharaoh mocked the Egyptian. We read that when Moses had turned their waters into blood, those impious magicians, intending not benefit to the thirsting people, but vain and emulous ostentation of their own art, did themselves also change into blood the water which the plague had spared. Such sad comfort do those who stir up war minister to the oppressed. But here where was the oppression? What was the favour which had not been granted? What was the evil which had not been removed? What further could they desire?"
"These questions," said Mr. Milton, austere ly, “have indeed often deceived the ignorant, but that Mr. Cowley should have been so beguiled, I marvel. You ask what more the Parliament could desire? I will answer you
in one word, security. What are votes, and statutes, and resolutions? They have no eyes to see, no hands to strike and avenge. They must have some safeguard from without. Many things, therefore, which in themselves were peradventure hurtful, was this Parliament constrained to ask, lest otherwise good laws and precious rights should be without defence. Nor did they want a great and sig nal example of this danger. I need not remind you that, many years before, the two houses had presented to the king the Petition of Right, wherein were set down all the most valuable privileges of the people of this realm. Did not Charles accept it? Did he not declare it to be law? Was it not as fully enacted as ever were any of those bills of the Long Parliament concerning which you spoke? And were those privileges therefore enjoyed more fully by the people? No: the king did from that time redouble his oppressions as if to avenge himself for the shame of having been compelled to renounce them. Then were our estates laid under shameful impositions, our houses ransacked, our bodies imprisoned. Then was the steel of the hangman blunted with mangling the ears of harmless men. Then our very minds were fettered, and the iron entered into our souls. Then we were compelled to hide our hatred, our sorrow, and our scorn, to laugh with hidden faces at the mummery of Laud, to curse under our breath the tyranny of Wentworth. Of old time it was well and nobly said by one of our kings, that 'an Englishman ought to be free as his thoughts. Our prince reversed the maxim; he strove to make our thoughts as much slaves as ourselves. To sneer at a Romish pageant, to miscall a lord's crest, were crimes for which there was no mercy. These were all the fruits which we gathered from those excellent laws of the former Parliament, from these solemn promises of the king. Were we to be deceived again? Were we again to give subsidies, and receive nothing but promises? Were we again to make wholesome statutes, and then leave them to be broken daily and hourly, until the oppressor should have squandered another supply, and should be ready for another perjury? You ask what they could desire which he had not already granted. Let me ask of you another question. What pledge could be given which he had not already violated? From the first year of his reign, whenever he had need of the purses of his Commons to support the revels of Buckingham or the processions of Laud, he had assured them, that as he was a gentleman and a king, he would sacredly preserve their rights. He had pawned those solemn pledges, and pawned them again and again; but when had he redeemed them? 'Upon my faith,'-Upon my sacred word,' Upon the honour of a prince,'-came so easily from his lips and dwelt so short a time on his mind, that they were as little to be trusted as the 'By these hilts' of an Alsatian dicer. "Therefore it is that I praise this Parliamen for what else I might have condemned. If what he had granted had been granted graciously and readily, if what he had before promised had been faithfully observed, they
could not be defended. It was because he had never yielded the worst abuse without a long struggle, and seldom without a large bribe; it was because he had no sooner disentangled himself from his troubles than he forgot his promises; and, more like a villanous huckster than a great king, kept both the prerogative and the large price which had been paid to him to forego it; it was because of these things that it was necessary and just to bind with forcible restraints one who could be bound neither by law nor honour. Nay, even while he was making those very concessions of which you speak, he betrayed his deadly hatred against the people and their friends. Not only did he, contrary to all that ever was deemed lawful in England, order that members of the Commons House of Parliament should be impeached of high treason at the bar of the Lords; thereby violating both the trial by jury and the privileges of the House; but, not content with breaking the law by his ministers, he went himself armed to assail it. In the birth-place and sanctuary of freedom, in the House itself, nay, in the very chair of the Speaker, placed for the protection of free speech and privilege, he sat, rolling his eyes round the benches, searching for those whose blood he desired, and singling out his opposers to the slaughter. This most foul outrage fails Then again for the old arts. Then come gracious messages. Then come courteous speeches. Then is again mortgaged his own forfeited honour. He will never again violate the laws. He will respect their rights as if they were his own. He pledges the dignity of his crown; that crown which had been committed to him for the weal of his people, and which he never named, but that he might the more easily delude and oppress them.
"The power of the sword, I grant you, was not one to be permanently possessed by parlia ment. Neither did that parliament demand it as a permanent possession. They asked it only for temporary security. Nor can I see on what conditions they could safely make peace with that false and wicked king, save such as would deprive him of all power to injure.
"For civil war, that it is an evil I dispute not. But that it is the greatest of evils, that I stoutly deny. It doth indeed appear to the misjudging to be a worse calamity than bad government, because its miseries are collected together within a short space and time, and may easily at one view be taken in and per ceived. But the misfortunes of nations ruled by tyrants, being distributed over many centuries, and many places, as they are of greater weight and number, so are they of less dis play. When the devil of tyranny hath gone into the body politic he departs not but with struggles, and foaming, and great convulsions. Shall he, therefore, vex it forever, lest, in going out, he for a moment tear and rend it? Truly this argument touching the evils of war would better become my friend Elwood, or some other of the people called Quakers, than a courtier and a cavalier. It applies no more to this war than to all others, as well foreign as domestic, and, in this war, no more to the