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shalsea, and Horne gained nothing by his eagerness but a stigma upon himself and his brethren.'—Vol. i. pp. 489–491.
Here it is to be observed that the Bill so much reprobated by our historian, is a bill debated and carried, not in an Upper House of Convocation, but in an English House of Commons; and we not only see it carried there, but approved by the Lords, with the large number of Catholic peers who had seats there, and assented to by the Queen. It is clear that if it was a severe and oppressive enactment, the guilt of that severity and oppression rested on the gravest, the most honest, and the wisest of the lay statesmen about Elizabeth. Every student of history knows, and no man better than Mr. Froude, that, under the Tudors, it was common to pass such laws without the slightest thought of their being generally enforced. In this case, too, it must be observed, the penalty of the first refusal did not go beyond deprivation and a loss of property. The enforcement of the Act in a second instance, where the refusal might expose the recusant to the penalties of treason, was left to be wholly optional, and no man dreamt of that step as being other than a very rare one.
We have then to look at the passage eited bearing these facts in mind. Horne regarded Bonner as belonging to his diocese of Winchester. Bonner grounded his refusal to take the oath on a series of quibbles, and did so, as was his wont, in the most offensive manner. The exception which denied Horne to be a bishop was only one of these. The difficulty thus raised was one of a sea of embarrassments of this nature, consequent on the imperfect legislation which has never ceased to characterize the Anglican Church. Had Cranmer completed his digest of ecclesiastical law, and thus severed the legislation of the reformed Church of England entirely and for ever from the past, no such question as this could have been raised. But that digest was not perfected, and our Acts of Parliament on Church matters have left a large portion of the old canon law to come into force in such cases. According to those unrepealed regulations Bonner was right. Horne was not Bishop of Winchester. The citation sent to him was not valid. But this point has nothing to do with the purpose with which we call attention to the preceding extract.
Horne, Bishop of Winchester, requires Bonner to take the oath. The effect of Bonner's refusal would be, that he would be formally deprived of ecclesiastical office, and his substance would be at the mercy of the crown. On this fact Mr. Froude grounds the following assertions, in effect, if not formally. First, that Horne not only expected that the secular power would
Not true that men of strong faith cannot be tolerant. 85
thus punish Bonner, but that he intended to go further, and to press the oath a second time, and on Bonner's refusal, to call for his being sent to the block. Second, that what Horne would thus have done in respect to Bonner, the English prelates were all prepared to join in doing towards the whole of his brethren! Surely this is a very grave accusation. Where is the evidence ? We ask in vain. The only reference given is to Strype, and in that reference we find nothing more than the paper in which Bonner sets forth the sort of defence made by him. It does not furnish a particle of evidence as to the bloody-minded intentions thus attributed to the whole bench of bishops. Mr. Froude, we believe, is incapable of conscious unfairness; but his mind seems to have its fits of humour on such questions. At times he appears as if disposed to startle his readers by saying very unexpected things. There are connections in which he can utter great and noble words in behalf of men on whom the philosophical world has rarely bestowed even a scant justice; and there are other times in which he will say of good men the very things which bad men would wish him to say of them.
Protestants under Elizabeth had indeed much to learn on the subject of religious liberty ; but to say that they had as much to learn on that subject as the Papists themselves, is to do them great wrong. Protestantism was ascendant during the reign of Edward IV, and Protestant ecclesiastics were in great power during all that reign, but no drop of Romanist blood was shed. Bonner and Gardiner were in the hands of those ecclesiastics. They insulted prelates and laymen almost without limit. But not a hair of their head was injured. We know the course of things under Mary. Look on this picture, and on that. What the man did who preceded Edward VI. was a matter for which neither Protestants nor Romanists can be held responsible. Had the government of Elizabeth proceeded so far as to send Bonner to the stake, there would have been scarcely a comparison between its deed and the deeds with which that brutal man was chargeable. We earnestly hope that in a second edition Mr. Froude will be led to reconsider some passages of this nature in his history which greatly mar the general caution and integrity of his narrative.
Unfortunately, among the lessons which Mr. Froude appears to have learnt from Mr. Carlyle, and which he has not yet forgotten, is the maxim, that all religionists who claim exclusive
possession of truth,' are, in proportion to their sincerity, intolerant and persecuting. The consequences of this paradox should have sufficed to prevent any thoughtful man from adopting it. If true, mankind may be said to be doomed, by the necessities of their condition, to become either sceptics caring nothing for truth, or bigots cutting men's throats to uphold it. In such cases, the only hope the world can have of tranquillity, is in the probability that society may some day become so wise as to be indifferent to the distinctions between true and false; or rather, so happy as to be wholly ignorant of such differences. Amity should be expected in proportion to the absence of truth; the contrary in proportion to its presence. But may not a man be convinced that the truth which he holds is truth necessary to salvation, and be at the same time convinced, and in no less a degree, on another point-namely, that, right as it may be in him to believe as he does, it would be as certainly wrong in him to attempt to force that belief upon others? The Teacher who prohibited the rooting up of the tares growing among the wheat, and said let both grow together until the harvest, certainly seemed so to think. It is no doubt true that some of the most earnest religionists have been, and apparently as the consequence of their earnestness, among the most zealous persecutors. But both logic and fact show, that it does not follow that men zealous to convert their fellows to their own faith, must of necessity evince a passion for burning the bodies of such persons when they happen to find their souls incorrigible. What is wanting in such cases is not that men should be less zealous, but that their thinking should be broader, and that their truth should be more comprehensive, embracing their whole duty. The study of the human mind should teach us this lesson, and the book whence the truth necessary to salvation must be derived reiterates it in a hundred forms.
Art. IV.-(1.) Report of the Thirty-third Meeting of the British Associa
tion for the Advancement of Science. Newcastle Daily Chronicle
Office. 1863. (2.) History of the Royal Society; with Memoirs of the Presidents.
By CHARLES RICHARD WELD. Two Vols. London: Parker. 1848.
It is just about two hundred years ago since men of science began to assemble in this country for the promotion of experimental philosophy, The Royal Society,our earliest corporation of savans—may be said to date from the year 1660. Week by week a number of learned individuals were accustomed to meet in a room in Gresham College-once the mansion of the mer.
chant-prince by whom the Royal Exchange was founded and after listening to sundry piquant communications, or witnessing sundry still more piquant experiments, these virtuosi might be seen strolling through their repository of rarities,' or wandering under the 'fair colonnade' of the building, engaged in pleasant chat respecting the last new phenomenon they had brought to light. For the purpose of comparing primitive with modern research it may not be amiss to take a peep at the philosophers of Bishopsgate Street under the rule of the second Charles, before we look in upon their representatives, recently assembled at Newcastle-upon-Tyne under the happier government of Queen Victoria.
Foremost, by virtue of his office, our attention is attracted to the President, Sir Robert Moray. This was a man of considerable attainments, universally beloved, a special favourite with his sovereign (for in Charles's season of adversity he had once contrived a plan for the prince's escape at Tynemouth); pious withal, for he spent many hours each day in devotion; and animated by such zeal for the Society that he was regarded as its very life and soul :' yet, with the credulity which was characteristic of the age, this worthy knight signalized his accession to office by handing in a paper concerning Barnacles,' in which he adopted the popular notion that geese might be produced from certain shells; for had he not, with his own eyes, seen a number of such shells attached to trees, and each containing a little bird, so perfectly shaped that nothing was wanting to complete its resemblance to a sea-fowl, except life? Next to Sir Robert, the visitor would naturally single out the Honourable Robert Boyle. Him the learned Boerhaave described as the ‘heir to the genius of the great Verulam,' and the revealer of the 'secrets of fire, air, water, animals, vegetables, and fossils.' Like the President, Boyle was a devout man; for a thunderstorm at Geneva had changed the whole course of his life, and given a pensive colouring to all his pursuits : nor was he less facile of belief than his leader; for he had full faith in the cures of Greatrix the Stroker, and interested himself in the vagaries of an unclean spirit in France. To no one, however, could science look with more confidence; for his wealth and station gave him the command of vast resources, and his active penetrating intellect made him the father of chemistry, the founder of pneumatics, and the patron of experimental philosophy at large. There, too, a frequent visitor, was that most dashing of inquirers, Dr. Wilkins. It was he who startled his contemporaries by descriptions of submarine arks, in which men might accomplish long voyages at the bottom of the sea as safely as if they were fishes ; of lamps which would burn in their sepulchres for thousands of years ; of boats fitted up with wheels and sails which were to be driven by the wind on land ; of machines by which a child might, theoretically at least, uproot an oak or work a saw-mill by means of its breath ; of a language which was to be spoken by all mankind, and so counteract the confusion of tongues; and above all, of a flying chariot, by which enterprising persons might reach the moon, and hold converse, or even carry on commerce, with the lunary'inhabitants. Near him, perhaps, sits the still more illustrious but far less fantastic Christopher Wren. This, in truth, was a marvellous man. Whilst yet a mere boy he surprised his friends by the fabrication of various ingenious machines ; at college Evelyn spoke of him as a 'miracle of a youth ; subsequently he distinguished himself as anatomist, astronomer, and architect ; his inventions and discoveries were said in the end to amount to fifty-three; his fame ran the round of Europe before most other men have emerged from the shell of obscurity in their own country ; and when he died he left behind him a finer and more lasting monument' than has been reared to any monarch that ever ruled in the land. Not less noticeable in that assembly is Robert Hooke, a man of such restless ingenuity that he was supposed to have originated more mechanical contrivances than any previous philosopher, having whilst a youth devised not less than thirty different methods of flying alone ; and yet, withal, a man of so cynical a temperament that he quarrelled with most of his associates in turn, and what was worse still, displayed so jealous a disposition that it was difficult to start a new scheme withont appearing to poach on his preserves; for when Newton, at a later period, produced his theory of gravitation, Hook, like an angry lord of the manor, flew out to warn the illustrious astronomer that he was a trespasser, and that the identical principle had already been appropriated by himself. To such an extent, indeed, did he carry this spirit of selfishness, that he locked up many of his projects in his own brain ; for he told Wallis that, amongst other things, he had discovered a particular mode of ascertaining the longitude at sea, and doubtless bore to his grave many a valuable secret, as he would have borne the iron chest, full of gold, found in his house after his death, had it been portable in another world. And there, too, we might have observed Sir Kenelme Digby, a man of many adventures, for be had seen service against the Algerines, and been engaged in various other naval enterprises; but who afterwards devoted much of his time to fantastic speculations on soul and body, and made himself remarkable by his experiments upon his wife, the