The persecution of the Hugonots in consequence of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, was condemned by the greatest men in France. M. d'Aguesseau, the father of the celebrated chancellor, resigned his office of Intendant of Languedoc rather than remain a witness of it: his son repeatedly mentions it with abhorrence. Fenelon, Flechier, and Bossuet, confessedly the ornaments of the Gallican church, lamented it. To the utmost of their power, they prevented the execution of the edict, and lessened its severities, when they could not prevent them. Most sincerely lamenting and condemning the outrages committed by the Roman Catholics against the Protestants at Nismes, as violations of the law of God and man, but doubting of the nature and extent, which some have attributed to them, the writer of these pages begs leave to refer to the sermon preached on them by the Reverend James Archer, a Roman Catholic priest, and printed for Booker, in Bond-street, by the desire of two Roman Catholic congregations, as expressing the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church, and of all real christians on heretics and the persecution of heretics.
The Correspondence of Bossuet and Leibniz, under the auspices of Lewis the XIVth, for the Reunion of the Lutheran Protestants to the Roman Catholic Church.
This correspondence forms one of the most interesting events in the life of Bossuet; the letters, of which it consists, and the other written documents, which relate to it, are highly interesting. We shall attempt to present our readers with a short account—
1st. Of the circumstances which led to this correspondence;
2ndly. Of the Project of Reunion, delivered by Molanus, a Lutheran Divine, and Bossuet's sentiments on that Project;
3dly. Of the intervention of Leibniz in the negotiation; and
4thly. Of the Project suggested by Bossuet, and the principal reasons, by which he contended for its reception.
It appears that, towards the 17th century, the Emperor Leopold, and several sovereign princes in Germany, conceived a project of re-uniting the Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches. The Duke of Brunswick, who had recently embraced the Roman Catholic religion, and published his Fifty Reasons for his conversion, (once a popular work of controversy), and the Duke of Hanover, the father of the first prince of the illustrious house, which now fills the throne of England, were the original promoters of the attempt. It was generally approved; and the mention of it at the Diet of the Empire was favourably received. Some communications upon it took place between the Emperor and the ducal Princes: and with all their knowledge, several conferences were held upon the subject, between certain distinguished Roman Catholic and Protestant Divines. In these, the Bishop of Neustadt, and Molanus, the Abbot of Lokkum, took the lead. The first had been consecrated Bishop of Tina in Bosnia, then under the dominion of the Turks, with Ordinary Jurisdiction over some parts of the Turkish territories. His conduct had recommended him to Innocent the XIth, and that pope had directed him to visit the Protestant states in Germany, and inform him of their actual dispositions in respect to the Church of Rome. In consequence of this mission, he became known to the Emperor, who appointed him to the See of Neustadt, in the neighbourhood of Vienna. Molanus, was Director of the Protestant Churches and Consistories of Hanover. Both were admirably calculated for the office intended them, on this occasion. Each possessed the confidence of his own party, and was esteemed by the other; each was profoundly versed in the matters in dispute; each possessed good sense, moderation, and conciliating manners; and each had the success of the business at heart, with a fixed purpose, that nothing, but a real difference on some essential article of doctrine, should frustrate the project.
The effect of the first conferences was so promising, that the Emperor and the two Princes resolved, that they should be conducted in a manner more regular, and more likely to bring the object of them to a conclusion. With this view, the business was formally entrusted by both the princes to Molanus alone, and the Emperor published a rescript, dated the 20th March, 1691, by which he gave the Bishop of Neustadt full authority to treat, on all matters of religion, with the states, communities, and individuals of the empire, reserving to the ecclesiastical and imperial powers, their right to confirm the acts of the Bishop, as they should judge adviseable. Under these auspicious circumstances, the conference between the Bishop of Neustadt and Molanus began.
But, before the events which we have mentioned took place, a correspondence on the subject of a general reunion between Catholics and Protestants had been carried on for some time, between Pelisson and Leibniz. The former held a considerable rank among the French writers, who adorned the reign of Lewis the Fourteenth; the latter was eminently distinguished in the literary world. In the exact sciences, he was inferior to Newton alone; in metaphysics, he had no superior; in general learning, he had scarcely a rival. He had recommended himself to the Brunswick family, by three volumes, which he had recently published, on the Antiquities of that illustrious House; and was then engaged in the investigation of its Italian descent, and early German shoots. The result of it, under the title of Origines Guelphicae, was published, after his decease, by Scheidius, and is considered to be a perfect model of genealogical history. He was also thoroughly conversant in the theological disputes of the times; and in all the questions of dogma, or history, which enter into them.
His correspondence with Pelisson, came to the knowledge of Louisa, Princess Palatine, and Abbess of Maubrusson. She was a daughter of Frederick, the Elector, and Count Palatine of the Rhine, and a sister, of the Duchess of Hanover. In early life, she had been converted to the Roman Catholic religion, and had the conversion of her sister, very much at heart. With this view, she sent to her, the correspondence between Leibniz and Pelisson, and received from her an account of what was passing, between the Bishop of Neustadt, and Molanus. Both the ladies were anxious, to promote the measure, and that Bossuet should take in it, the leading part, on the side of the Catholics. This was mentioned to Lewis the Fourteenth, and had his approbation. The Emperor and both the Princes, by all of whom Bossuet, was personally esteemed, equally approved of it, and it was finally settled that Bossuet and Leibniz, should be joined, to the Bishops of Neustadt, and Molanus, and that the correspondence with Bossuet, should pass through the hands of Madame de Brinon, who acted, as secretary to the Abbess of Maubrusson, and is celebrated, by the writers of the times, for her wit and dexterity in business. Thus the matter assumed, a still more regular form, and much was expected from the acknowledged talents, learning, and moderation of the actors in it, and their patrons.
The conferences between the Bishop of Neustadt, and Molanus continued for seven months, and ended in their agreeing on 12 articles, to serve for the basis of the discussion, on the terms of the reunion.
The Bishop of Neustadt, communicated these articles to Bossuet. He seems, to have approved of them generally, but to have thought, that some alteration in them, was adviseable. This being mentioned to Molanus, he published his Cogitationes Privatae, a profound and conciliating dissertation. Without entering into any discussion, on the points in dispute, between the churches, he suggested in it a kind of truce, during which, there should be ecclesiastical communion between them: the Lutherans, were to acknowledge the Pope, as the first of Bishops, in order, and dignity: the Church of Rome, was to receive the Lutherans, as her children, without exacting from them, any retractation of their alledged errors, or any renunciation, of the articles in their creed, condemned by the Council of Trent. The anathemas of that council, were to be suspended, and a general council was to be convened, in which the Protestants were to have a deliberative voice: the sentence of that council, was to be definitive, and, in the mean time, the members of each party, were to treat the members of the other, as brethren, whose errors, however great they might appear, were to be tolerated, from motives of peace, and in consideration, of their engagements to abandon them, if the council should pronounce against them. To show the probability of a final accommodation, Molanus notices, in his Dissertation, several points, in which one party imputed to the other errors, not justly chargeable on them; several, on which they disputed, merely for want of rightly understanding each other; and several, in which the dispute was of words only.
It appears that the Bishop of Neustadt, communicated this dissertation, to Bossuet, and that Bossuet was delighted, with the good sense, candour, and true spirit of conciliation, which it displayed. In his letters he frequently mentions the author, and always in terms, Of the highest praise. His own language was equally moderate and conciliating.
"The Council of Trent," he says in one of his letters, "is our stay; but we shall not use it to prejudice the cause. This would be, to take for granted, what is in dispute between us. We shall deal more fairly with our opponents. We shall make the council serve, for a statement, and explanation, of our doctrines. Thus, we shall come to an explanation, on those points, in which either of us imputes to the other, what he does not believe, and in which we dispute, only because we misconceive each other. This may lead us far; for the Abbot of Lokkum, has actually conciliated the points so essential, of Justification, and the Eucharist: nothing is wanting in him, on that side, but that he should be avowed. Why should we not hope to conclude, in the same manner, disputes, less difficult, and of less importance? Cela se peut pousser si avant, que M. l'Abbe de Lokkum, a concilie, actuellement les points si essentiels, de la justification, et du sacrifice de l'Eucharistie, et il ne lui manque de ce cote la, que de se faire avouer. Pourquoi ne pas esperer de finir, par les memes moyens, des disputes, moins difficiles, et moins importantes?"
With these rational and conciliatory dispositions, Bossuet, and Molanus, proceeded. But, after this stage of the business, Molanus disappears, and Leibniz comes on the scene.
A Letter, written by Bossuet to M^me de Brinon, having been communicated by her to Leibniz, opened the correspondence between him and Bossuet. In that letter, Bossuet declared explicitly, that the Church of Rome, was ready, to make concessions, on points of discipline, and to explain doctrines, but would make no concession in respect to defined articles of faith; and, in particular, would make no such concession, in respect to any which had been defined by the Council of Trent. Leibniz's Letter to M^me de Brinon, in answer to this communication, is very important. He expresses himself in these terms;
"The Bishop of Meaux says,
"1st. That the Project delivered to the Bishop of Neustadt, does not appear to him quite sufficient;
"2dly. That it is, nevertheless, very useful, as every thing must have its beginning:
"3dly. That Rome will never relax from any point of doctrine, defined by the church, and cannot capitulate, in respect to any such article;
"4thly. That the doctrine, defined in the Council of Trent, is received in and out of France by all Roman Catholics;
"5thly, That satisfaction may be given to Protestants, in respect to certain points of discipline, or in the way of explanation, and that this had been already done in an useful manner, in some points, mentioned in the Project of the Bishop of Neustadt.
"These are the material propositions, in the letter of the Bishop of Meaux, and I believe all these propositions true. Neither the Bishop of Neustadt, nor those who negotiated with them, make any opposition to them. There is nothing in them, which is not conformable to the sentiments of those persons. The third of them in particular, which might be thought, an obstacle, to these Projects of Accommodation, could not be unknown to them; one may even say, that they built on it."
It seems difficult to deny, that, in this stage of the business, much had been gained to the cause of reunion. The parties were come to a complete understanding on the important articles of Justification, and the Eucharist; and it was admitted, both by Leibniz, and Molanus, that, in their view of the concern, an accommodation might be effected, between the Roman Catholic, and Lutheran churches, though the former, retained all her defined doctrines, and, in particular, all her doctrines, defined by the Council of Trent. The question then was, what should be done in respect to the remaining articles in difference between the churches? It is to be wished, that it had been left to Bossuet, and Molanus, to settle them, in the way of amicable explanation, in which they had settled, the two important articles, which we have mentioned. It is evident, from the passages, which we have cited, from Bossuet, that it was his wish, that the business should proceed on that plan, and that he had hopes of its success. Unfortunately, the business took, another direction: Leibniz proclaimed, that after every possible explanation should be given, the Lutheran church would, still retain, some articles, contrary to the defined doctrines, of the Church of Rome, and anathematized, by the Council of Trent. To remove the final effect of this objection, Leibniz held out Molanus's first project, that the Lutherans should express a general acquiescence, in the authority of the church, and promise obedience, to the decisions of a General Council, to be called, for the purpose of pronouncing, on these points; and that, in consequence of these advances, on their part, the anathemas of the Council of Trent, should be suspended, and the Lutherans received, provisionally, within the pale, of the Catholic church. To bring over Bossuet to this plan, he exerted great eloquence, and displayed, no common learning.
But the eloquence, and learning, of Leibniz, were without effect. In language, equally temperate and firm, Bossuet, adhered to his text, that in matters of discipline, or any other matter, distinct from faith, the Church of Rome, would show the utmost indulgence to the Lutherans; but that, on articles of faith, and specifically, on those propounded by the Council of Trent, there could be no compromise. This, however, he confined to articles of faith alone: and even on articles of faith, he wished to consult the feelings of Protestants, as much as possible. He offered them every fair explanation of the tenets of the council; he required from them no retractation, of their own tenets:
"Molanus," he says, "will not allow retractation to be mentioned. It may be dispensed with; it will be sufficient, that the parties acknowledge, the truth, by way of declaration or explanation. To this, the Symbolical Books, give a clear opening, as appears by the passages, which have been produced from them, and will appear, by other passages, which may be produced from them."
If Bossuet was thus considerate, in what regarded faith, it will easily be supposed, how indulgent his sentiments were, in respect to all, that merely regarded discipline. A complete confession of faith, being once obtained from the Lutherans, he was willing, to allow them, if they required it, communion under both kinds; that their Bishops, should retain their Sees; and that, where there was no Bishop, and the whole body of the people, was Protestant, under the care, of a superintendant, that superintendant, should be consecrated their Bishop; that, where there was a Catholic Bishop, and a considerable part of the diocese, was Lutheran, the superintendant, should be consecrated priest, and invested with rank, and office, that the Lutheran ministers, should be consecrated priests; that provision should be made for their support; that such of their bishops, and ministers, as were married, might retain their wives, and that the consciences of those, who held possessions of the church, should be quieted, except in respect, to hospitals, whose possessions he thought, could not conscientiously be withheld, from the poor objects of their foundations; and that every other arrangement should be made, by the church and state, which would be agreeable, to the feelings, and prejudices, of their new brethren.
Such were the advances made by Bossuet; and much discussion on them, took place, between him, and Leibniz. It continued ten years. They are very learned, and a scholar will read them with delight; but, unfortunately, they rather retarded, than promoted, their object. The real business ended, when Molanus quitted the scene. We shall close this article, with the following extract from the last letter but one, written by Bossuet, on the subject. It is addressed to Leibniz, and bears date the 12th August, 1701, ten years, after his first letter, on it was written:
"Among the divines of the Confession of Augsburg, I always placed M. Molanus, in the first rank, as a man, whose learning, candour and moderation made him one of the persons, the most capable I have known, of advancing the NOBLE PROJECT OF REUNION. In a letter, which I wrote to him some years ago, by the Count Balati, I assured him, that, if he could obtain, the general consent of his party, to what he calls, his Private Thoughts, Cogitationes Privatae, I promised myself, that, by joining to them, the remarks, which I sent to him, on the Confession of Augsburg, and the other Symbolic writings of the Protestants, the work of the Reunion would be perfected, in all its most difficult and most essential points; so that well disposed persons might, in a short time, bring it to a conclusion."
The passage is so important, that it is proper to present it to the reader in Bossuet's own words.
"Parmi les Theologiens de la Confession d'Ausbourg, j'ai toujours mis, au premier rang, M. l'Abbe de Lokkum, comme un homme, dont le scavoir, la candeur, et la moderation le rendolent un des plus capables, que je connusse, pour avancer CE BEAU DESSEIN. Cela est si veritable, que j'ai cru devoir assurer ce docte Abbe, dans la reponse que je luis fis, il y a deja, plusieurs annees, par M. le Comte Balati, que s'il pouvoit faire passer ce qu'il appelle ses Pensees Particulieres Cogitationes Privatae, a un consentement suffisent, je me promettois qu'en y joignant les remarques, que je lui envoyois, sur la Confession d'Ausbourg, et les autres ecrits Symboliques des Protestans, l'ouvrage de la Reunion seroit acheve dans ses parties les plus difficiles et les plus essentielles; en sorte qu'il ne faudroit a des personnes bien disposees, que tres peu de tems pour la conclure."
Dom. de Foris, the Benedictine Editor of the new edition of the works of Bossuet and the Abbe Racine, Abrege de l'Histoire Ecclesiastique are very severe in their censures of the conduct of Leibniz in the negotiations for the Reunion, and attribute its failure to his presumption and duplicity. To the writer of these pages, it appears clear, that Leibniz was sincere in his wishes for the reunion; and that, if he occasioned its failure, it was unintentionally. While the business was in the hands of Bossuet, and Molanus, it was a treaty, not for the reunion of the Roman Catholic church, and all Protestant churches, but for the reunion of the Roman Catholic church, and the Lutheran church; and to this, Molanus's endeavours to reconcile differences, were directed. Leibniz, whose principles in religion, were much wider, than those of Molanus, seems to have wished, that the negotiation should be placed, on a broader basis, and extended to a reunion of the church of Rome, with every denomination of Christians. This gave the negotiation a different direction, and in a great measure, undid what had been, so happily begun. We have seen, that, to the very last, Bossuet, called out for Molanus, and entertained great hopes, that, if the matter were left to Molanus, and him, the noble Project of Reunion, would be crowned with success. There is no part of Bossuet's literary or active life, in which he appears to greater advantage, or in a more amiable light, than on this occasion.
Attempt in the reign of Lewis the XV. to effect an union between the Church of Rome and the Church of England.
Of all Protestant churches, the national church of England most nearly resembles the church of Rome. It has retained much of the dogma, and much of the discipline of Roman Catholics. Down to the sub-deacon it has retained the whole of their hierarchy; and, like them, has its deans, rural deans, chapters, prebends, archdeacons, rectors, and vicars; a liturgy, taken in a great measure, from the Roman Catholic liturgy; and composed like that, of Psalms, Canticles, the three creeds, litanies, epistles, gospels, prayers, and responses. Both churches have the sacraments of baptism, and the eucharist, the absolution of the sick, the burial service, the sign of the cross in baptism, the reservation of confirmation, and order to bishops, the difference of episcopal, and sacerdotal dress, feasts, and fasts. Without adopting all the general councils of the church of Rome, the church of England has adopted the first four of them; and, without acknowledging the authority of the other councils, or the authority of the early fathers, the English divines of the established church, allow them to be entitled, to a high degree of respect. On the important article of the eucharist, the language, of the Thirty-nine Articles, sounds very like, the doctrine of the church of Rome.
At the time, of which we are speaking, the doctrines of the high church, which are generally considered to incline to those of the Roman Catholics, more than the doctrines of the low church, were in their zenith; and in France, where the ultramontane principles on the power of the Pope had always been discountenanced, the disputes of Jansenism were supposed to reduce it very low. On each side, therefore, the time was thought favourable to the project of Reunion.
It was also favourable to it, that, a few years before this time, an event had taken place, which naturally tended to put both sides into good humour.
On the occasion of the marriage of the Princess Christina of Wolfenbuttell, a Lutheran, with the archduke of Austria, her court consulted the faculty of theology of the University of Helmstadt, on the question,
"Whether a Protestant Princess, destined to marry a catholic prince, could, without wounding her conscience, embrace the Roman Catholic religion?" The faculty replied, that, "it could not answer the proposed question, in a solid manner, without having previously decided, whether the catholics were, or were not engaged in errors, that were fundamental, and opposed to salvation; or, (which was the same thing), whether the state of the catholic church was such, that persons might practise in it, the true worship of God, and arrive at salvation." This question the divines of Helmstadt, discussed at length; and concluded in these terms: "After having shown, that the foundation of religion, subsists in the Roman Catholic religion, so that a person may be orthodox in it, live well in it, die well in it, and obtain salvation in it, the discussion of the proposed question, is easy. We are, therefore, of opinion, that the most Serene Princess of Wolfenbuttell, may, in favour of her marriage, embrace the catholic religion."
This opinion is dated the 28th of April 1707, and was printed in the same year at Cologne. The Journalists of Trevoux inserted both the original and a French translation of it in their journal of May, 1708.
Under these circumstances, the correspondence in question took place. It began, in 1718, through Doctor Beauvoir, chaplain to Lord Stair, his Britannic majesty's ambassador at Paris. Some conversation, on the reunion of the two churches, having taken place, between Doctor Dupin, and him, he acquainted the archbishop of Canterbury, with the subject of them. This communication, produced some compliments from the archbishop, to Dr. Dupin, and these, led the latter, to address, to his grace, a letter, in which he mentioned generally, that, on some points in dispute, the supposed difference between the two communions was reconcileable. The correspondence getting wind, Doctor Piers, pronounced a discourse in the Sorbonne, in which he earnestly exhorted his colleagues, to promote the reunion, by revising those articles, of doctrine, and discipline, which protestants branded with the name of papal tyranny; and contended, that, by proscribing the ultramontane doctrines, the first step to the reunion would be made. The discourse, was communicated to Dr. Wake: in his answer, he pressed Dr. Dupin, for a more explicit declaration, on the leading points, in controversy.
In compliance with this requisition, Doctor Dupin drew up his Commonitorium, and communicated it, to several persons of distinction, both in the state, and church of France. He discussed in it, the Thirty-nine Articles, as they regarded doctrine, morality, and discipline. He insisted on the necessity of tradition, to interpret the scriptures, and to establish the canonicity of the books, of the Old and New Testament. He insisted on the infallibility, of the church, in faith, and morals; he contended, that the sacrifice of the mass, was not a simple sacrament, but a continuation of the sacrifice of the cross.
The word Transubstantiation, he seemed willing to give up, if the Roman Catholic doctrine, intended to be expressed by it, were retained. He proposed, that communion under both kinds, or under bread alone, should be left, to the discretion of the different churches, and consented, that persons in holy orders should retain their state, with such provisions, as would place the validity of their ordination, beyond exception. The marriage of priests, in the countries, in which such marriages were allowed, and the recitation of the divine service in the vulgar tongue, he allowed; and intimated that no difficulty would be found in the ultimate settlement of the doctrine, respecting purgatory, indulgences, the veneration of saints, relics, or images. He seems to have thought, that the Pope can exercise, no immediate jurisdiction, within the dioceses of bishops, and that his primacy invested him, with no more than a general conservation, of the deposit of the faith, a right to enforce, the observance of the sacred canons, and the general maintenance of discipline. He allowed, in general terms, that there was little substantially wrong, in the discipline of the Church of England; he deprecated all discussion, on the original merit of reformation, and he professed to see no use in the Pope's intervention, till the basis of the negotiation, should be settled.
The answer of the archbishop, was not very explicit. It is evident from it, that he thought, the quarrels on Jansenism, had alienated the Jansenists and their adherents, from the Pope, much more, than they had done, in reality. He was willing to concede, to the Pope, a primacy of rank and honour, but would by no means allow him, a primacy of jurisdiction, or any primacy, by divine right. On the other points, he seemed to have thought, that they might come to an agreement, on what they should declare, to be the fundamental doctrine of the churches, and adopt, on every other point of doctrine, a general system, of christian toleration.
The correspondence, which is very interesting, may be seen, in the last volume of the English translation, of Doctor Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History. To facilitate, the accomplishment of the object of it, Doctor Courayer, published his celebrated treatise, on the Validity of English Ordinations.
Both Dr. Wake, and Dr. Dupin. were censured, by the members of their respective communions, for the parts, which they had taken, in this business. Several rigid members of the English Church, and even some foreign protestants, blamed Dr. Wake, for what they termed, his too great concessions. In France, the worst of motives, were imputed to Dr. Dupin, and his associates; they were accused, of making unjustifiable sacrifices, in order to form an union, between the Jansenists, and the members of the English Church. Even the regent, took the alarm: he ordered Dr. Dupin, to discontinue the correspondence, and to leave all the papers, respecting it, with the minister. This was done, but the most important of them, have been printed, in the interesting and extensively circulated publication, which has been mentioned.
Miscellaneous Remarks on the Reunion of Christians.
It does not appear, that subsequently to the communications, between Archbishop Wake, and Dr. Dupin, any attempts for a general, or partial reunion of christians, were made in the last century: but, early in the present, Napoleon, conceived the project, of effecting, such a reunion. He is said, to have particularly had in view, the catholicizing, as it was termed, the northern part, of Germany. To forward his design, many works were published: one of them, the Essai sur l'Unite des Cultes, of M. Bonald, is written, with great ingenuity. That Essay, and several others by the same author, were inserted in the Ambigu of Peltier, and deserve the attention, of every reader. Though they contain some things, to which a Roman Catholic writer, would object, they are evidently written, by a Roman Catholic pen.
The first point to be considered, by those, who meditate the project of reunion, is, its practicability—those, who are disposed, to contend for the affirmative, will observe, the number of important articles, of Christian Faith, in which, all Christians, are agreed, and the proportionally small number of those, in which, any Christians disagree.
All Christians believe,
1st. That there is one God;
2d. That he is a Being, of infinite perfection;
3d. That he directs all things, by his providence;
4th. That it is our duty to love him, with all our hearts, and our neighbour, as ourselves;
5th. That it is our duty, to repent, of the sins we commit;
6th. That God, pardons the truly penitent;
7th. That there is a future state, of rewards, and punishments, when all mankind shall be judged, according to their works;
8th. That God, sent his Son, into the world, to be its saviour, the author of eternal salvation, to all, that obey him;
9th. That he is the true Messiah;
10th. That he taught, worked miracles, suffered, died, and rose again, as is related in the four gospels;
11th. That he will hereafter, make a second appearance on the earth, raise all mankind from the dead, judge the world in righteousness, bestow eternal life on the virtuous, and punish the workers of iniquity.
In the belief of these articles, all Christians, the Roman Catholic, all the Oriental churches, all the members of the Church of England, all Lutherans, Calvinists, Socinians, and Unitarians, are agreed. In addition to these, each division, and subdivision of Christians, has its own tenets. Now, let each settle among its own members, what are the articles of belief, peculiar to them, which, in their cool deliberate judgment, they consider as absolutely necessary that a person should believe, to be a member of the church of Christ; let these articles be divested of all foreign matter, and expressed in perspicuous, exact, and unequivocal terms; and, above all, let each distinction of Christians, earnestly wish, to find an agreement, between themselves and their fellow Christians:—the result of a discussion conducted on this plan, would most assuredly be, to convince all Christians, that the essential articles of religious credence, in which there is, a real difference among Christians, are not so numerous, as the verbal disputes, and extraneous matter, in which controversy is too often involved, make them generally thought.
Still,—some articles will remain, the belief of which, one denomination of Christians, will consider to be the obligation of every Christian, and which other Christian denominations, will condemn. On some of those, a speedy reunion of Christians is not to be expected: but, to use the language of Mr. Vansittart, in His excellent letter to the reverend Dr. Marsh and John Coker, Esq.,
"There is an inferior degree of Reunion, more within our prospect, and yet perhaps as perfect as human infirmity allows us to hope for; wherein, though all differences of opinion, should not be extinguished, yet they may be refined, from all party prejudices, and interested views, so softened by the spirit of charity, and mutual concession, and so controuled by agreement, on the leading principles, and zeal, for the general interests of christianity, that no sect, or persuasion, should be tempted to make religion, subservient to secular views, or to employ political power, to the prejudice of others.—The existence of Dissent, will, perhaps, be inseparable from religious freedom, so long, as the mind of man, is liable to error: but it is not unreasonable to hope, that hostility, may cease, though perfect agreement, cannot be established. IF WE CANNOT RECONCILE ALL OPINIONS, LET US RECONCILE ALL HEARTS."
These pages, cannot be closed better, than by these golden words!!!
* * * * *
[Footnote 001: Tom. xi. p. 1. 200.]
[Footnote 002: De Institutiones Clericorum, L. iii. c. xviii. &c.]
[Footnote 003: In his "Recueil des Ecrits pour servir d'eclaircissement de l'histoire de France, 2 vol. Paris 1798."]
[Footnote 004: "Roswede, or Aroswethe, a nun in the monastery of Gardersheim, lived in the reigns of Otho II. and III. towards the end of the tenth century. She composed many works in prose and verse. In 1501, some of her poems, on the Martyrdom of St. Denys, the Blessed Virgin, St. Ann, &c. were printed at Nuremburgh. Her verses in praise of Otto II. would be tolerable, if they were not Leonines: there are in them some errors of prosody." Bib. Univers. et Histor. Vol. ii. p. 46.]
[Footnote 005: For a fuller account of Feudal and Civil Jurisprudence, the writer of these pages begs leave to refer to his work, entitled, "HORAE JURIDICAE SUBSECIVAE, being a connected series of Notes respecting the Geography, Chronology, and Literary History of the principal Codes and original Documents of the Grecian, Roman, Feudal, and Canon Law." 1 vol. 8vo.]
[Footnote 006: It is entitled, "Martiani Minei Felicis Capellae Carthaginiensis, Viri Procunsularis, Satyricon, in quo de Nuptiis Philologiae et Mecurii libri duo, & de septem artibus liberalibus libri singulares. Omnes, et emendati et Notis sive Februis Hug. Grotii illustrati. Ex Officina Plantiniana, Apud Christophorum Raphelingium Academiae Lugduno-Bat. Typographum M. D. C." [Transcriber's note: Apostrophic date 1600] The Dedication to the Prince of Conde follows: then, Encomiastic Verses by Scaliger, and Tiliabrogus. The two works are then inserted, with an address to the reader, Errata, and Various Readings. Afterwards, Hugeiani Grotii Februa in Satyricon Martiani Capellae: this contains his notes. They are preceded by an Engraving of Grotius. Round it, is written, "Anno M. D. C." [Transcriber's note: Apostrophic date 1600] Hora Ruit. AEt.xv. Under the engraving the following verses are printed,
"Quem sibi quindenis ASTRAEA sacravit ab annis, Talis, HUGEIANI GROTII ora fero."]
[Footnote 007: "Corrections"—or more literarily, "Purifications".]
[Footnote 008: These words were used by Grotius for his motto.]
[Footnote 009: Fabricii Bibliotheca Latina, Lib iii. c. 15. In 1794, John Adam Goez published the "Treatise on the Marriage of Philology and Mercury" separately, in a duodecimo volume: he mentions, in the preface, an edition of it by Walthard. It is on the authority of Goez that we have assigned the age of Capella to the third century: others place him in a much later period.]
[Footnote 010: Montucla. Histoire des Mathematiques, Vol.ii. p.657.]
[Footnote 011: Vol. 9. p. 147. ii. 1.]
[Footnote 012: A similar exclusive claim in respect to the Indian seas, under the grant of Pope Alexander VI., was set up by the Portuguese; similar claims to the Ligustic and Adriatic seas, have been and still continue to be made by the Genoese and Venetians. Those, who seek for information on the subject, should consult the Dissertation of Bynkershook de Dominio Maris, and note 61 to the recent edition of Sir Edward Coke's Commentary upon Littleton.]
[Footnote 013: "Mais, dites vous, dans ce tems meme, le jeune Pison pouvolt avoir dix ans: Grotius faisoit bien des vers a cet age. Je le scais, mais les Grotius sont ils bien commune! combien d'enfans trouveres vous de dix ans, qui ayent nonseulement assez du feu pour faire des vers, mais encore assez de jugement pour en juger sainement." Gibbon's Posthumous Works, 8vo. vol. i. p. 520.—"Salmasius," says Mr. Gibbon in another part of the same entertaining publication, (vol. v. p. 209), "had read as much as Grotius; but their different modes of reading had made the one an enlighten'd philosopher; and the other, to speak plainly, a pedant puffed up with an useless erudition."]
[Footnote 014: Bentivoglio, Histoire des Guerres de Flandres, l, xxviii.]
[Footnote 015: Bella plusquam civilia. Lucan.]
[Footnote 016: Those who wish to obtain a clear, concise, and exact notion of Calvinism and Arminianism, will usefully peruse the account of them in Mr. Evans's "Sketch of the Denominations of the Christian World." The thirteenth Edition is now before us, and we believe that it has been often since reprinted.]
[Footnote 017: Mosheim's Ecc. Hist. Cent. xvi, ch. 2. Sec. 3. part 2.]
[Footnote 018: Chalmer's Biographical Dictionary, Title "Arminius."]
[Footnote 019: A short and clear account of Arminianism is given by Le Clere, in his Bibliotheque ancienne et moderne, Vol. II. Art. 3. p. 123.]
[Footnote 020: The best discussion of this subject, which has fallen into the hands of the writer, is Bourduloue's Sermon sur la Predestination.]
[Footnote 021: English Translation of Burigni's Life of Grotius, pp. 43, 44, 45.]
[Footnote 022: Vol. i.]
[Footnote 023: Letters from and to Sir Dudley Carleton, during his Embassy in Holland, from January 1615-16[**Modern presentation.] to December 1620. London, 1757, p. 84,—Sir Dudley Carleton's Letters abound with harsh expressions respecting Grotius. The Editor of this correspondence has inserted (p. 415) a letter from Grotius to Dr. Lancelot Andrews, written from the Castle at Louvestein. "This letter," says the Editor, "which was never printed before, deserves a place here, not only for its elegance and spirit, and its connection with the subject of the work, but likewise in justice to the memory of the great writer, as it contains his own justification of his conduct, which may be compared with the less favourable accounts of it in the preceding letters of Sir Dudley Carleton. The original is extant among the manuscripts in the library of the late Sir Hans Sloane, bart. now part of the British Museum."—"Utinam," says Grotius in this letter, "D. Carleton mihi esset plus aequior; cui mitigando propinqui mei operam dant. Sed partium, studia mire homines obcaecant."]
[Footnote 024: The history of this Synod, and of the whole controversy upon Arminianism, is contained in Brand's History of the Reformation: the account of the synod in these pages, is principally extracted from the French abridgment of that work, in 3 volumes 8vo. The Calvinian representation of the Arminian doctrines, and the proceedings of the synod, may be seen in the late Mr. Scott's Articles of the Synod of Dort, to which he has prefixed the History of the Events which made way for that Synod: it is severely censured by Mr. James Nichols, in his Calvinism and Arminianism compared. Introd. cxlii.
The Abridgment of Brand's History, was translated into the English language and published in 1724-25[**Modern presentation.] by M. de la Roche. He concludes his Preface to it by observing, that "No good man can read the work without abhorring arbitrary power, and all manner of persecution." The persecution of the Scottish Non-conformists by the Episcopalians, and the persecution of the Remonstrants by the Contra-Remonstrants, were attended with this enormity, that, in most other instances, when one denomination of christians has persecuted another, it has been on the ground that the errors of the sufferers were impious, and led the maintainers of them to eternal perdition, and therefore rendered these wholesome severities, as the persecutors term them, a salutary infliction. But, when the Protestant Episcopalian persecuted the Scottish Non-conformist, or the Contra-Remonstrant persecuted the Remonstrant, he persecuted a Christian who agreed with him in all which he himself deemed to be substantial articles of faith, and differed from him only about rites and opinions, which he himself allowed to be indifferent.—See Mr. Neale's just remark, Vol. II. ch. vi.]
[Footnote 025: In 1765, Lord Hailes published a beautiful edition of "The Works of the Ever-memorable Mr. John Hales of Eaton, then first collected together," in three volumes, at Glasgow. It is to be lamented that he did not accompany it with a full biographical account of Mr. Hales.
"His biographers," says Mr. Chalmers, "all allow that he may be classed among those divines who were afterwards called Latitudinarians." May he not be termed the founder of that splendid school? Perceiving that the minds of men required to be more liberally enlightened, and their affections to be more powerfully engaged on the side of religion than was formerly thought necessary, they set themselves, to use the language of Bishop Burnet, "to raise those who conversed with them to another sort of thoughts, and to consider the Christian religion as a doctrine sent from God, both to elevate and to sweeten human nature. With this view, they laboured chiefly to take men from being in parties from narrow notions, and from fierceness about opinions. They also continued to keep a good correspondence with those who differed from them in opinion and allowed a great freedom both in philosophy and divinity." (Burnet's History of his own Times. Vol. I. p. 261-268, oct. edit.) Hales, Chillingworth, Taylor, Cudworth, Wilkins, Tillotson, Stillingfleet, and Patrick, were among their brightest ornaments. They were in some respects hostile to the Roman Catholics: in hoc non laudo.—See the Writer's History of the English, Irish, and Scottish Catholics. Vol. III. c. lxviii. sect. 1. 3d edition.]
[Footnote 026: "King James," says Mr. James Nichols, in his Calvinism and Arminianism compared, p. 242, "sent a deputation of respectable British divines, for the double and undisguised purpose of condemning the Remonstrants, but especially Vorstius, (whom his Majesty had long before exposed to the world as an arch-heretic), and of assisting the Prince of Orange in his design of usurping the liberties of the United Provinces, and assuming the supreme authority. The Elector Palatine sent his Heidelberg divines for the same family purpose; and the Duke of Bouillon employed all his influence with the chief pastors among the French reformed."]
[Footnote 027: The words of the former are remarkable: "The errors of public actions, if they be not very gross, are with less inconvenience tolerated than amended. For the danger of alteration, of disgracing and disabling authority, makes that the fortune of such proceeding admits of no redress; but being howsoever well or ill done, they must ever after be upheld. The most partial spectator of our synodal acts cannot but confess, that, in the late discussion of the Remonstrants, with so much choler and heat, there was a great oversight committed, and that,—whether we respect our common profession of Christianity, 'quae nil nisi justum suadet et lene,' or the quality of this people, apt to mutiny by reason of long liberty, and not having learned to be imperiously commanded,—in which argument the clergy should not have read their first lesson. The synod, therefore, to whom it is not now in integro to go back and rectify what is amiss, without disparagement, must now go forward and leave events to God, and for the countenance of their actions do the best they may." Letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, 11 January 1619.]
[Footnote 028: Nichol's Calvinism and Arminianism compared, Vol. II. p.592]
[Footnote 029: Decline and Fall, Ch. LIV. towards the end.]
[Footnote 030: The writers who have given an account of the Synod of Dort are mentioned by Fabricius, Bib. Graeca, Vol. XI. p. 723. Some useful observations upon the proceedings of the Synod may be found in "Mr. Nichols's Calvinism and Arminianism compared." It is much to be wished that the promised continuation of this work should speedily make its appearance.
But no work upon this famous Synod deserves more attention than "Johannis Halesii, Historia Concilii Dordraceni, J. Laur. Moshemius Theol. Doct. et P.P.C. ex Anglico Sermone latine vertit, variis observationibus et Vita Halesii ausit. Accessit ejusdem de auctoritate Concilii Dordraceni Paci Sacrae noxii, Consultatio. Hamburgi, 8vo." M. Le Clere's criticism on this work (Bibliotheque ancienne et moderne Vol. 23, art. 4.) contains much valuable information upon the Synod, and a summary of the life and writings of Mr. Hales.—Des Maizeaux published a curious account of them in 1719.]
[Footnote 031: Pfaffii Hist. Literaria, vol. ii. p. 303.]
[Footnote 032: Burigni's Life of Grotius, lib. ii. sect. 12.]
[Footnote 033: Cent XVII, sect. 2, Part 2 (Note Y.)]
[Footnote 034: Mr. James Nicholls's Calvinism and Arminianism compared. Vol. i. p. 597, 600, 634, 636.]
[Footnote 035: See Mr. Dugald Stewart's first Dissertation, sect. III.]
[Footnote 036: See Joannis Christopheri Locheri Dissertatio Epistolica Historiam libelli Grotiani De Veritate Religionis Christianae complectens, 1725, in quarto; and the Journal de Scavans for the year 1724.]
[Footnote 037: See Nichols's Calvinism and Arminianism compared, vol. i. p. 289.]
[Footnote 038: On the respect, which the Church of England considers to be due to the writings of the early Fathers, see the excellent Appendix to the Sermons of Dr. Jebb, the Right Reverend Bishop of Limerick.]
[Footnote 039: Vol. iii. L. 38. This letter merits a serious perusal.]
[Footnote 040: Dict. Historique, Preliminaire, p. xxix.]
[Footnote 041: Vol.1. p. 121]
[Footnote 042: Those, who will read his life, published by the writer of these pages, with other Tracts, in 1819, will not, it is believed, think this too strong an assertion. Is it not to be earnestly hoped, that in the distress by which we are now visited, and the greater distress with which we are threatened, many St. Vincents will appear?]
[Footnote 043: Mosheim's Ecc. Hist. ch. ii. sect. ii. part. ii. and Bynkershock's Quest. Juris publici, lib. ii. ch. 18.]
[Footnote 044: Le Clerc, (Bib. Anc. et Mod. vol. xxiii. Art. iv.) strenuously objects to this representation of Dr. Mosheim. "The Arminians," he says, "have introduced no dogma as necessary to salvation, which was unknown to the framers of their Confession of Faith; neither have they retrenched from it, any article essential to faith." He however observes, "that there are many ways of explaining dogmas." Now, the same dogma explained in two ways, amounts to two dogmas.]
[Footnote 045: See the third part of "the last of Bossuet's Six Addresses to the Protestants," and the passages which he cites in it from Jurieu.
For the actual state of Religious Doctrine, both in the Lutheran and Reformed Churches of Germany, the reader may usefully consult, "The State of the Protestant Religion in Germany, in a series of Discourses preached before the University of Cambridge, by the Rev. Hugh James Rose, M.A. 8vo. 1825;" and "Entretiens Philosophiques sur la Re-union des differens communions chretiens, par feu M. le Baron Starck, Ministre Protestant, et premier predicateur, de la Cour de Hesse Darmstadt, &c. 8vo. 1818;" and "Tabaraud's Histoire des Re-unions des Chretiens."]
[Footnote 046: Tom. XLVI. Art. 12. p. 208.]
[Footnote 047: Page 283.]
[Footnote 048: Page 284, 285.]
[Footnote 049: Page 286.]
[Footnote 050: Page 287.]
[Footnote 051: Page 288.]
[Footnote 052: Page 288.]
[Footnote 053: Page 291.]
[Footnote 054: Page 292.]
[Footnote 055: Page 293.]
[Footnote 056: Page 294.]
[Footnote 057: Page 296.]
[Footnote 058: Page 298.]
[Footnote 059: Page 299.]
[Footnote 060: Page 300. M. Le Clerc, (Sentimens de quelques Theologiens de Hollande, dix-septieme Lettre) defends Grotius with great ability against the charge of Socinianism: he justly observes, that, his abstaining from unpleasing propositions, his silence on offensive doctrines, and his conciliating expressions, should not too easily be accounted proofs, of belief of his precise sentiments of any particular tenets. Grotius, says Le Clerc, was like an arbitrator, who, to bring to amity the parties in difference, recommends to each, that he should give something of what he himself considers to be his strict right.]
[Footnote 061: Ep. 363. p. 364]
[Footnote 062: Ep. 491. p. 195.]
[Footnote 063: Ep. 494. p. 896.]
[Footnote 064: Ep. 1706. p. 736.]
[Footnote 065: Comparison of Calvinism and Arminianism. vol. ii. p. 560.]
[Footnote 066: Ib. Vol. ii. p. 609.]
[Footnote 067: Ep. 1538. p. 573, 690, 926.]
[Footnote 068: Ep. 528. p. 400.]
[Footnote 069: "Those," says Mr. James Nichols,
"who wish to behold the praises to which HUGO GROTIUS or HUGH DE GROOT, is justly entitled, and which he has received in ample measure from admiring friends and reluctant foes, may consult SIR THOMAS POPE BLOUNT's Censura celebriorum Authorum. His well earned reputation is founded on too durable a basis to be moved by such petty attacks as those to which I have alluded in a previous part of this introduction (p. xxi.), or those of Mr. Orme in page 641.
"That a man so accomplished, virtuous, fearless, and unfortunate, should have had many enemies, among his contemporaries, is not wonderful. But the number of those who evinced their hatred to him, or to his philanthropic labours, increased after his decease, when they could display it with impunity. 'This very pious, learned, and judicious man,' says Dr. Hammond, 'hath of late, among many, fallen under a very unhappy fate, being most unjustly calumniated, sometimes as a SOCINIAN, sometimes as a PAPIST, and, as if he had learnt to reconcile contradictions, sometimes as both of them together.'
"One cause of the Charge of SOCINIANISM being preferred against him, has been already mentioned, (p. xxxiii.) and it is more fully explained in pages 637, 642. The reader will not require many additional reasons to convince him of the untenable ground for such an accusation, when he is told that VOETIUS, one of the most violent of his enemies, laid down this grand axiom—'To place the principal part of religion in an observance of Christ's commands is RANK SOCIANISM!' To such a practical observance of the requisitions of the Gospel, by what name soever it might be stigmatized, Grotius pleaded guilty. He says (p. 637) 'I perceive this was accounted the principal part of religion by the Christians of the primitive ages; and their various assemblies, divines, and martyrs taught, 'that the doctrines necessary to be known are exceedingly few, but that God forms his estimate of us from the purpose and intention of an obedient spirit.' I am likewise of the same opinion, and shall never repent of having maintained it.'
"But as the charge of POPERY is of the utmost consequence, I have discussed this topic at great length, (pp. 566, 746), and have proved (pp. 549, 561), that Grotius was as little attached to the principles or the practice of the Romish church as the most zealous of his accusers. Whatever tends to vindicate the conduct of Grotius in this matter, will operate still more powerfully in favour of Archbishop Laud. The design of Grotius is well described by Dr. Hammond, in a Digression which he added to his Answer to the Animadversions on his Dissertations; in which he says,
"'For the charge of Popery that is fallen upon him, it is evident from whence that flows,—either from his profest opposition to many doctrines of some Reformers, Zuinglius and Calvin, &c. or from his Annotations on Cassander, and the Debates with Rivet consequent thereto, the Votum pro pace and Discussio.'
"For the former of these, it is sufficiently known what contests there were, and at length how profest the divisions betwixt the Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants; and it is confessed that he maintained (all his time) the Remonstrants party, vindicating it from all charge, whether of Pelagianism or Semi-Pelagianism, which was by the opposers objected to it, and pressing the favourers of the doctrine of Irrespective Decrees with the odious consequences of making God the author and favourer of sin, and frequently expressing his sense of the evil influences that some of those doctrines were experimented to have on men's lives. And by these means it is not strange that he should fall under great displeasure from those who, having espoused the opinion of Irrespective Decrees, did not only publish it as the THE TRUTH and TRUTH OF GOD, but farther asserted the questioning of it to be injurious to God's free grace and his Eternal Election, and consequently retained no ordinary patience for or charity to opposers. But, then, still this is no medium to to infer that charge. The doctrines which he thus maintained were neither branches nor characters of Popery, but asserted by some of the first and most learned and pious Reformers. Witness the writings of Hemingius in his Opuscula, most of which are on these subjects. Whereas on the contrary side, Zuinglius and others, who maintained the rigid way of Irrespective Decrees, and infused them into some of this nation of ours, are truly said, by an excellent writer of ours, Dr. Jackson, to have had it first from some ancient Romish Schoolmen, and so to have had as much or more of that guilt adherent to them, as can be charged on their opposers. So that from hence to found the jealousy, to affirm him a papist because he was not a contra-remonstrant, is but the old method of speaking all that is ill of those who differ from our opinions on any thing; as the Dutchman in his rage calls his horse an ARMINIAN, because he doth not not go as he would have him. And this is all that can soberly be concluded from such suggestions, that they are displeased and passionate that thus speak.
"As for the Annotations on Cassander, &c. and the consequent vindications of himself against Rivet, those have with some colour been deemed more favourable toward Popery; but yet I suppose will be capable of benign interpretations, if they be read with these few cautions or remembrances:
"First. That they were designed to shew a way to peace whensoever men's minds on both sides should be piously affected to it.
"Secondly. That he did not hope for this temper in his age, the humour on both sides being so turgent, and extremely contrary to it, and the controversy debated on both sides by those 'who,' saith he, 'desire to eternize, and not to compose contentions,' and therefore makes his appeal to posterity, when this paroxysm shall be over.
"Thirdly. That for the chief usurpations of the papacy; he leaves it to Christian princes to join together to vindicate their own rights, and reduce the Pope ad Canones, to that temper, which the ancient canons allow and require of him; and if that will not be done, to reform every one in their own dominions.
"Fourthly. That what he saith in favour of some Popish doctrines, above what some other learned Protestants have said, is not so much by way of assertion or justification of them, as to shew what reasons they may justly be thought to proceed upon, and so not to be go irrational or impious as they are ordinarily accounted; and this only in order to the peace of the christian world, that we may have as much charity to others and not as high animosities, live with all men as sweetly and amicably, and peaceably, and not as bitterly as is possible, accounting the wars and seditions, and divisions and rebellions, that are raised and managed upon the account of religion, far greater and more scandalous unchristian evils, than are the errors of some Romish doctrines, especially as they are maintained by the more sober and moderate men among them, Cassander, Picherel, &c.
"Fifthly. What he saith in his Discussio, of a conjunction of Protestants with those that adhere to the Bishop of Rome, is no farther to be extended, than his words extend it. That there is not any other visible way to the end there mentioned by him, of acquiring or preserving universal unity. That this is to be done, not crudely, by returning to them as they are, submitting our necks to our former yokes, but by taking away at once the division, and the causes of it, on which side soever; adding only in the third place, that the bare primacy of the Bishop of Rome, secundum Canones, such as the ancient canons allow of, (which hath nothing of supreme universal power, or authority in it,) is none of those causes, nor consequently necessary to be excluded in the [Greek: diallaktikon], citing that as the confession of that excellent person Philip Melancthon. So that in effect, that whole speech of his which is so solemnly vouched by Mr. Knott, and looked on so jealously by many of us, is no more than this, 'that such a Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, as the ancient canons allowed him, were, for so glorious an end as is the regaining the peace of christendom, very reasonably to be afforded him, nay absolutely necessary to be yielded him, whensoever any such catholic union shall be attempted, which as it had been the express opinion of Melancthon, one of the first and wisest Reformers, so it is far from any design of establishing the usurpations of the Papacy, or any of their false doctrines attending them, but only designed as an expedient for the restoring the peace of the whole christian world, which every disciple of Christ is so passionately required to contend and pray for.'
"At the conclusion of the Doctor's Continuation of the Defence of HUGO GROTIUS, he thus expresses himself:
"'As this is an act of mere justice and charity to the dead,—and no less to those who, by their sin of uncharitable thoughts towards him, are likely to deprive themselves of the benefit of his labours,—so is it but a proportionable return of debt and gratitude to the signal value and kindness, which in his lifetime, he constantly professed to pay to this church and nation, expressing his opinion, "that of all churches in the world, it was the most careful observer and transcriber of primitive antiquity," and more than intimating his desire to end his days in the bosom and communion of our mother. Of this I want not store of witnesses, which from time to time have heard it from his own mouth whilst he was ambassador in France, and even in his return to Sweden, immediately before his death; and for a real evidence of this truth, it is no news to many, that, at the taking his journey from Paris, he appointed his wife, whom he left behind, to resort to the English Assembly at the Agent's house, which accordingly she is known to have practised.'"]
[Footnote 070: Calvinism and Arminianism compared, Introduction, cxxxii.]
[Footnote 071: A dialogue on the Reformation was also in the contemplation of Mr. Gibbon: "I have," he says in the Memoirs of his life and writings, "sometimes thought of writing a dialogue of the dead, in which Luther, Erasmus and Voltaire should mutually acknowledge the danger of exposing an old superstition to the contempt of the blind and fanatic multitude."]
[Footnote 072: Vol. i. p. 269, of the 8vo. edition of his works.]
[Footnote 073: A full account of the writings of Wicelius, and of his projects of Pacification, is given by Father Simon in the Biblioteque Critique, par M. de Sainjore, Tom. ii. ch. 18. He concludes it, by observing, that
"the great love which Wicelius had for the peace of the church, might induce him to use expressions, somewhat harsh, but which really ought not to be censured with too much rigour. It is evident that his only view was to be useful to persons of his own time, to whom he consecrated the latter part of his life.—I do not recollect to have read that he was censured at Rome, and the Spanish Inquisitors seem to have observed the same moderation in his regard."]
[Footnote 074: XVI. Cent. Book V. p. 41, in the Englsh translation.]
[Footnote 075: See Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, Cent. XVII. ch. ii. sect. ii. Part II.]
[Footnote 076: Eccles. Hist. Cent. XVI. ch. ii. sect. iii. Part. II.]
[Footnote 077: Observat. Hallen, 15 t. p. 341.]
[Footnote 078: It is a prayer addressed to Jesus Christ, and suited to the condition of a dying person who builds his hope on the Mediator. M. Le Clerc has inserted it at length in the Sentimens de quelques Theologiens de Hollande, 17 Lettre, p. 397.]
[Footnote 079: Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, 2d Vol. p. 502. 2d Edition.]
[Footnote 080: The author's "Confessions of Faith," mention this convention, its dissolution, and the subsequent union of the Helvetian, and Bohemian protestant congregations, in the Synods, held at Astrog, in the years 1620, and 1627. The original settlement of these churches, was in Bohemia, and Moravia. Persecution scattered the members of them: a considerable number of the fugitives, settled at Herrenhut, a village in Lusatia. There, under the protection and guidance of Count Zinzendorf, they formed themselves into a new community, which was designed to comprehend their actual and future congregations, under the title of "The Protestant Church of the Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren of the Confession of Augsburgh." That Confession is their only symbolic book; but they profess great esteem for the eighteen first chapters of the Synodical Document of the church of Berne in 1532, as a declaration of true Christian Doctrine. They also respect, the writings of Count Zinzendorf, but do not consider themselves, bound by any opinion, sentiment, or expression, which these contain. It is acknowledged, that, towards the middle of the last century, they used in their devotional exercises, particularly in their hymns, many expressions justly censurable: but these have been corrected. They consider Lutherans and Calvinists, to be their brethren in faith, as according with them in the essential articles of religion; and therefore, when any of their members reside at a distance from a congregation of the United Brethren, they not only attend a Lutheran, or Calvinist church, but receive the Sacrament, from its ministers, without scruple. In this, they profess to act in conformity to the Convention at Sendomer. The union, which prevails both among the congregations, and the individuals which compose them, their modest and humble carriage, their moderation in lucrative pursuits, the simplicity of their manners, their laborious industry, their frugal habits, their ardent but mild piety, and their regular discharge of all their spiritual observances, are universally acknowledged and admired. Their charities are boundless, their kindness to their poor brethren is most edifying; there is not among them a beggar. The care, which they bestow, on the education of their children, in forming their minds, chastening their hearts, and curbing their imaginations,—particularly in those years,
"When youth, elate and gay, Steps into life and follows, unrestrained, Where passion leads, or reason points the way." Lowth.
are universally acknowledged, universally admired, and deserve universal imitation.
But, it is principally, by the extent and success of their missionary labours, that they now engage, the attention of the public. These began, in 1732. In 1812, they had thirty-three settlements, in heathen nations. One hundred and thirty-seven missionaries, were employed in them: they had baptized, twenty-seven thousand, four hundred converts: and such had been their care, in admitting them to that sacred rite, and such their assiduity, in cultivating a spirit of religion, among them, that scarcely an individual, had been known, to relapse into paganism. All travellers, who have visited their settlements, speak with wonder, and praise, of the humility, the patient endurance of privation, and hardship, the affectionate zeal, the mild, and persevering exertions of the missionaries; and the innocence, industry and piety of the converts:—the European, the American, the African, and the Asiatic traveller speaks of them, in the same terms: and, that they speak without exaggeration, the conduct both of the pastor, and the flock in the different settlements of the United Brethren in England, incontestibly proves. Whatever he may think of their religious tenets, Talis cum sitis, utinam nostri essetis, must be the exclamation of every christian, who considers their lives. Those, who desire further knowledge of this amiable, and worthy denomination of Christians, will find it in David Cranz's ancient and modern History of the Brethren, printed at Barby, 1771, and the two continuations of it, Barby, 1791, and 1804. The History has been translated into English; and is become exceedingly scarce; the Continuations have not been translated. Mr. La Trobe, the Pastor of the United Brethren in London, has published a Concise Historical Account of the Protestant Church of the United Brethren adhering to the Confession of Augsburgh.]
[Footnote 081: Epist. 1706, p. 736.]
[Footnote 082: Ib. Epist. 613.]
[Footnote 083: Epist. part. I. Epist. 432. part II. Epist. 53. The French public strongly suspected the Cardinal of this design. It gave rise to the celebrated libel, entitled "Optatus Gallus," Grotius, (Lit. 982.) notices a prophecy of Nostradamus, then in circulation:
"Celui qui etait bien avant dans le regne, Ayant chat rouge, proche, hierarchie, Apre et cruel, et se fera tant craindre, Succedera, a sacree Monarchie."
If the event in question had happened, Nostradamus would have passed, with many for a prophet.]
[Footnote 084: Eclaircissemens de l'edit de Nantes, page 1. c. 6.]
[Footnote 085: V. 2. p. 38, 148.]
[Footnote 086: We are grieved to add, that he allowed the right of a sovereign to persecute for religion.]
[Footnote 087: This article is extracted from Oeuvres Posthumes de Bossuet, vol. i. Nouvelle edition des Oeuvres de Bossuet, vol. ii. Leibnizii Opera, studio Ludovici Dutens, vol. i. and v. And the Pensees de Leibniz, vol. ii. 8vo.]
[Footnote 088: Tom. xiii.]
[Footnote 089: See the Appendix to the Sermons of Dr. Jebb, the present excellent Bishop of Limerick.—Cadel, 1824.]
* * * * *
Luke Hansard & Sons, near Lincoln's-Inn Fields, London.
* * * * *
By the same Author,
THE LIFE OF ERASMUS:
HISTORICAL REMARKS ON THE STATE OF LITERATURE BETWEEN THE TENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES.