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in the devotion of his treasure, his singular accomplishments, and his glorious life to that service,- so patient and wary in the long game of diplomatic mining and countermining he must play against the crowned conspirator of the Escorial, — so highminded, resolute, and true, through the years of that terrible warfare, and the dark web of treachery he must unravel, and the long-baffled malice which at length achieved his assassination; "the three Henries," whose portrait Motley gives so admirably, in whose lives were gathered up the threads of destiny that France had been spinning through her cruel half-century of religious wars, the pitiful, effeminate, priest-ridden king, for once roused to a vindictive energy strong enough to strike down with an assassin's hand his cousin of Guise, the wicked, resolute, scarred leader of the League, and the greater third, the hero of Navarre, whose life embodies all the romance, the passion, and the tragedy of the time; the Tudor sovereigns of England, father and daughter, whose troubled reigns- in these late years first rightly interpreted to us-represent so much of the hardy bravery, the wise, bold statesmanship, the proud, stanch nationality of Britain in its grandest era; Maurice of Nassau, and John Barneveldt, representing in their alliance, that had so cruel and unjust an end, the victorious strength and constitutional freedom of the great Republic; Wallenstein, whose name, looming and ominous, stands for all the horror and atrocity of the Thirty Years' War, the dark, implacable chief of a hundred thousand bandits, the would-be founder of an empire of lawless force, prince-general of a state of soldiers, with the one vein of visionary superstition that fascinates our imaginative sympathy, and the one delicate thread of human love that, through the first of historic dramas, binds that stern heart to ours; the good and great Gustavus, fair, ruddy, of large Scandinavian stature, and with veins pulsing with the valor of the hardy North, the champion of Order in front of that dark Princedom of Misrule, hero and martyr of humanity, whose costly blood ransomed the nations from their dismal threatening doom; Richelieu, the great Cardinal, to whom country was more than Church, the first master of modern state-craft,-lean, austere, tormented by the malady that cut at his vitals like a knife, yet always of wake
ful intellect and unbending will, who subdued the proud provincial nobles to the inexorable centralism of his policy, who hunted the Huguenots implacably as rebels, yet granted them equal justice as humbled and loyal subjects, the tru est and sincerest representative of a system that carried with it all that is worst in the despotism of modern Europe; and, lastly, the Puritan chieftain, the Lord Protector of English freedom, in whom we know not whether the fervor of piety, or military skill, or statesmanship, or sturdy Saxon sense, is plainest to be seen in the character he plays in the great drama, now, as its last scene closes, holding in his pitiless grasp the courtly, treacherous monarch, victim of his own falsehood, and martyr of that system of tyranny which his death was impotent to save; - what age, what period of human annals, has the group of names that shall stir recollections vivid as these, recollections of passions still warm to our touch, of struggles whose fervor calls up answering pulsations in the heart and the life of to-day!
We should overcrowd our pages if we were to refer, even by name, to the writers of these late years who have undertaken to illustrate the great epoch of which we write. Besides, the religious histories of the Reformation, its biography and its theology, we have a singular wealth and vigor of general history brought to the task of portraying the period and the men. The recent volumes of Michelet, imperfect and disappointing as a connected story, abound in admirable sketches, throwing vivid light on passages of the Huguenot era of France. Froude, with patient, thoughtful, gentle, conscientious partisanship, is presenting a view of the Tudor period of England, which, with whatever faults of reticent partiality it may be charged, is infinitely valuable as a contribution to our knowledge of the time and the people, as well as for its vindication. of historic names from old and vulgar prejudice. Of our countryman Motley's admirable histories we have spoken already, if not as fully as we would, yet enough to show how clearly we perceive in him the finest appreciation of any historian we can name, of the temper of the period, and the unparalleled interest and importance of the issue at stake in it. And to no promised work do we look forward with such eager
interest as to that story of the Thirty Years' War- for which may his present honorable mission afford him the fit material and opportunity—that shall close worthily the grand gallery of pictures illustrating the century of convulsions from which our modern liberties had their birth.
We have mentioned these names, the first that occur, simply to illustrate the sort of filling out which the meagre outline needs that we find in any historic "text-book." We close by expressing again the very great satisfaction every student will feel, who can revive his faded recollections, or make his first studies, of the Reformation period under guidance so able, so candid, so learned, and so complete as that of Dr. Gieseler.
Memorial Volume of the First Fifty Years of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Boston. 1861.
Ir is not without a tender reverence that we could wish to turn to the history of half a century of missions, — to a fit record of those hearts of fire and faith which have lived and died "for the conversion of the world." To nurture upon the simple and sincere conceits of a child's heart, through many years of patient silence, an enthusiastic dream of a dying life. on the darkest Afric shore, will make the whole heart forever kind to the true enthusiast of redemption. That meeting of the American Board in which it became a cruel certainty to us that hardly any even seemed to believe the world's peril from God's wrath, we could not indeed forget, but we hoped to find in this "Memorial " such a history of the fervent few as would amply justify the intense sympathy which we felt impelled to offer. We are utterly disappointed. Rev. Rufus Anderson has produced a cold and calculating official report, -a painful blue-book. The spirit of the official stifles the heart of the historian. We were instantly reminded of the
proposal, at a meeting of the Board, to have "a season of prayer," when the discussion of the slavery question seemed tending to a decision perilous to conservative support. Dr. Anderson avoids his subject under the cover of a vigilant effort to be pious. He seems half conscious that a thorough and candid history of the half-century of the Board and its missions would put in peril a considerable portion of "the funds of the Board." In the first vigor of his effort to edify "the patrons of the Board," in his report of the Jubilee meeting, there is an absurd subjection of the Christian to the official. Speaking of the receipts and the payment of the debt, he says: "This auspicious result was owing to the spirit of uncommon liberality which God was pleased to give to the friends of the enterprise generally, but more especially to a well-planned effort for the removal of the debt, suggested by a mercantile friend in Boston." That contrast between the suggestions of God's Spirit and those of a mercantile friend in Boston clearly indicates an official expectation of falling back upon the mercantile friend again, whenever the result of the movement of the Holy Ghost upon the friends of the enterprise generally shall be not wholly satisfactory. It is one indication of a fact which we first saw with unaffected horror, that the Board's Holy Ghost is guaranteed by certain rich and blameless Pharisees of benevolence, who like to be hinted at in reports and memorials.
The labored effort to avoid the vital topics of this history is seen in the references to the subject of slavery. This subject has been much discussed in the meetings of the Board, awakening at times an absorbing interest, and in 1846, as Dr. Hopkins's Historical Discourse mentions, "a difference of views in regard to the best method of dealing with slavery" led to the formation of the "American Missionary Association," on a pronounced antislavery basis. The reader of the "Memorial" will in vain consult the Index for any record of the matter. Let him look, however, for "votes by yea and nay," and he will find the following specimen of the red tape of the missionary circumlocution office: "The first time in which the Board is known to have decided a disputed question by a call of the roll of members, and the formal response of 'Yea'
or Nay,' was at Brooklyn, N. Y., in the year 1845. It was upon the adoption of a report on the subject of slave-holding in churches under the care of missionaries of the Board, made by a committee appointed the previous year. There have been only two other occasions on which this method was resorted to, and those were in connection with the same subject, at Hartford in 1854, and Philadelphia in 1859. The reader is referred, for the more important proceedings of the Board in relation to this matter, to the minutes of the annual meetings at Brooklyn in 1845, Boston in 1848, Hartford in 1854, Utica in 1855, and Philadelphia in 1859." What is "this matter" here spoken of? Is it "votes by yea and nay"? The grammatical structure of the passage implies this, though a slight examination shows that this structure is a contrivance for hiding in four lines of a bare reference the history of the proceedings of the Board in relation to slavery. The meeting in 1848 is mentioned as one in which "this matter" came up. Of the next meeting Dr. Anderson says: "The meeting at Pittsfield, in 1849, is known to have been preceded by an extraordinary amount of prayer, owing to a prevalent anxiety lest alienating discussions should arise; and it will be remembered by those who were present as a season of the most elevated Christian enjoyment." The subject of slavery was kept out by this "extraordinary amount of prayer," and the pious record of the fact is a significant illustration of the way in which the support of conservative piety has been secured. Dr. Anderson mentions, that the meeting at Hartford in 1854, when a vote on the subject of slavery was taken by yea and nay, "was perhaps the largest ever held, save the fiftieth," the Jubilee meeting; but he does not tell us that a desire to put the Board right on the subject of slavery gathered this unusual number of members. He might be excused from informing us whether he was the timid official who proposed "a season of prayer" to avert that vote by yea and nay, interesting as it would be to hear of that brave and eloquent divine who successfully resisted the "extraordinary amount of prayer" policy, and compelled decided action, at the risk of seeming to prefer the convictions of an honest conscience to the suggestions of the Board's Holy Ghost.