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mons to do tardy justice to a large proportion—and that not the least sound, loyal, or religious part-of the English nation. We would humbly suggest, however, that the chances of success, be they greater or less, cannot affect the propriety of the appeal. There is an abundant necessity that Parliament should be reminded of subjects well nigh forgotten; and more especially, that a vast deal of floating misapprehension should be remored. Once more, we say, let not the cause of Protestant Dissenters be mixed up with that of Catholic Emancipation; nor let a new test be imposed upon us by any class of political partizans,-a test relating to our opinions as Dissenters on that angry subject. Why should we be called upon to curse them at all, or to bless them at all? We neither seek to prejudice nor to help the cause of the Catholics by demanding a hearing for ourselves. We must plead guilty to a great division of opinion among ourselves with regard to the safety and expediency of conceding the Catholic claims. This arises from no faultering attachment to the sacred principles of religious liberty inherited from our forefathers. It is undoubtedly an abstract principle which we firmly hold, ' That' (to use the language adopted by the Honourable House) all citizens of the same state, living • under the same Government, are entitled, primâ facie, to equal • political rights and privileges.' But how far this primâ facie title can be made good against all the pleas of political necessity that are urged against it in the case of the Papists, the Dissenters do not feel it within their province to decide. They maintain, that no man ought to lie under civil disabilities purely on account of his religious opinions; but whether the Papists hold any political opinions as the consequence of their religious creed, which require and justify their becoming the subjects of legislative restrictions and disqualifying statutes, the Dissenters leave it to the wisdom of Parliament to determine. In the mean time, as Dissenters acknowledge no foreign jurisdiction, yield no divided allegiance, are obnoxious to no political indictment, are chargeable with no sinister designs, they humbly conceive, that no sufficient reason can exist for disallowing their claims ;-claims, the vouchers for which may be found in the Journals of Parliament, which have, again and again, been solemnly audited and attested by both Houses, and which an annual Indemnity Act may be considered as a promissory note to fulfil,-always hitherto re-issuable, but pledging and securing the eventual payment. If any stress be laid on the length of time that the Test and Corporation Acts have subsisted, as an argument for their continuance, let it be remembered, that the Test-Act and the abortive bill for relieving the Dissenters, were contemporaneous,-proceeded from the same legislators; so that the acknowledged claims of the Dissenters are of as long standing as the law of exclusion. It is impossible to justify their continued exclusion, then, on the grounds of the antiquity of the law, unless the letter of the law be held more sacred than the known and recorded intention of its framers. In all other cases, the intention of the law has been deemed binding. In fact, calumny must tax her invention for a new case, to afford a pretext for any longer withholding from Dissenters their undeniable rights, and for rewarding their ancient generosity and their long-maintained patience and forbearance with a perpetual penalty. We appeal to Cæsar and our Country.
Art. V. The History of the Church of Christ; particularly in its
Lutheran Branch, from the Diet of Augsburgh, A.D. 1530, to the Death of Luther, A.D. 1546; intended as a Continuation of the Church History, brought down to the Commencement of that Period, by the Rev. Joseph Milner, M.A. Vicar of Holy Trinity, Hull; and the Very Rev. Isaac Milner, D.D. F.R S. Dean of Carlisle. By John Scott, M. A. Vicar of North Ferriby, and Minister of St. Mary's, Hull, &c. 8vo. pp. xxx. 590. Price
12s. London. 1826. THE *HE fifth and last volume of Milner's Church History was
published in the year 1809, and brought down the History of the Reformation to the thirteenth year of its progress, and the commencement of the Diet of Augsburgh. The Dean of Carlisle died in 1820, and expectations were held out, that a revision of his papers would speedily be undertaken, and such additions to the work as he had prepared, be given without any unnecessary delay to the public. An intimation of this kind would not only be welcome to the readers of the preceding volumes, but would induce hesitation on the part of a writer who might be contemplating to proceed with the execution of the original design. No materials have yet appeared from the collections of the Dean; and no other continuator of the history having put forward his claims, that office has been at length undertaken by the very respectable person whose name is affixed to the volume before us. The admirers of the Milners will be glad that in Mr. Scott they have found a successor; and there are some circumstances which, as they connect his public character with the name of the elder of the brothers, will increase the interest with which they will receive this production from his pen. He was appointed to the same mastership of the grammar-school, the same vicarage of North Ferriby, and the same lectureship in the principal church at
Hull, which Joseph Milner had held so long : the last of these situations he resigned some years ago. What influence the feelings associated with these relations may have had in the origination of the work now under our notice, we are not able to say ; but of Mr. Scott's competency for the task which he has imposed upon himself, we have very satisfactory testimony in the portion of it which he has now.completed. Not less attached than his predecessors to the doctrines of the Reformation, and equally warm with them as an advocate of the primary principle established by its great leader, the doctrine of justification by faith, he is prepared on all proper occasions, (and these are of frequent occurrence,) both to display its excellence and scriptural pretensions, and to vindicate it from the misrepresentations and aspersions which have been employed to invalidate and defame it. He has evidently been anxious to trace, in the spirit of his predecessors, the progress of true religion, and like them, to select for distinct mention, the names of individuals most distinguished for the principles and practice of scriptural piety.
The Milners are to be applauded for the use which they have made of materials generally accessible, rather than for the originality of their researches; and Mr. Scott's pretensions are of the same kind : the publications of Seckendorf, Sleidan, Schultetus, Fra Paolo Sarpi, Melchior Adam, and Du Pin, are bis principal authorities, in addition to which he has made use of Mosheim, Robertson, and others. The period within which he has limited the contents of the volume now before us, is that which reaches from the commencement of the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, to the death of Luther in 1546 : it includes, as its most important æras, the transactions of the above-named diet, the pacification of Nuremberg, the convention of Frankfort, the conference and diet of Ratisbon, the peace of Crespy, and the death of Luther, which_brings the history down to the eve of the Smalkaldic war. The writings of Luther are noticed and described under the dates of their respective publications; and the principal productions of the press relating to the objects of the Reformation, during the period included in the narrative, are appropriately mentioned. It is Mr. Scott's design to proceed with the continuation; and as we cannot doubt of his receiving countenance and support from the readers of Milner's History, we wish him health and every necessary advantage for the prosecution of his labours and the completion of his undertaking.
• Who is this Luther, of whom I hear so much ?' said Margaret of Austria, Governess of the Netherlands. An illiterate monk,' replied ber courtiers. For such a person, neither these VOL. XXVII. N.S.
courtiers ' nor the daughter of Maximilian could feel much respect; nor could they imagine that, in the proceedings of such an individual, an influence was exerting itself, before which the institutions and the prejudices of ages were to give way. To the powerful patrons and the numerous devotees of the Romish faith, which was sustained by the wealth, the literature, and the civil authorities of Europe, the agitations of the period by which they were disquieted, would seem to be no more than a temporary interruption of their tranquillity, and as disturbers of the peace of the church in preceding times had been overcome, it was not to be doubted by them, that she would again proclaim her triumphs, and recount with exultation the hated names of the enemies lately risen, and totally subdued. But these were fallacious calculations and deceitful hopes. A new era had commenced ; and the circumstances of past times could not furnish, as they had done, presumptions for the future. Those circumstances, however, though they gave a new character to the
age, and rendered the analogies of preceding times unavailable in the computation of consequences, were not discerned by the supporters of the old systems and customs; and as they wished, so they believed, that all things would revert to the order established and held sacred by the adherents of the old church.
If the perception of the gross corruptions of the church, and the most earnest desires of removing them, are sought for, there is scarcely an age which does not exhibit some individuals thus distinguished, by whom attempts were made to correct the prevailing abuses of their times, and to restore the light of truth. That they were unsuccessful in accomplishing great changes, is to be attributed less to their convictions and their zeal than to other causes. But the utility of their labours in resisting the spiritual wickedness of high places cannot be denied, though it may be difficult to define its extent. Their efforts formed an accumulation of influence, which was prepared to be drawn from its concealments by some happier genius in times more favourable than their own, and under brighter auspices than had arisen upon them. One mighty instrument of good which the Saxon Reformer called to his aid, forms so essential a difference, in the comparison between him and all others who preceded him in the common services to which they were consecrated, as at once to confer on him immensely superior advantages. If this auxiliary of knowledge had been at the command of some who were valiant for the truth upon the earth' in the earlier times, their names might have been still more brightly associated with the most illustrious benefactors of their species, and the Reformation miglat have received an earlier date. But it was not only by the aid of the press, that the restorers of true religion at the beginning of the sixteenth century were enabled to effect so much as they accomplished for the benefit of mankind; the extraordinary coincidence of events in the midst of which they were placed, and by the excitements of which they were supported and stimulated, was signally in favour of their high enterprise. The time was come, when the energies of Divine power were to be directed with permanent effect against the spiritual tyranny by which the world had so long been held enslaved; and the persons and the means by which they were to produce the changes introductory of light and liberty, were called forward, and associated, and controlled in the most admirable manner ; their adjustments and influence manifesting the excellency of the power to be of God. In the production of those great changes, it is not only the willing agents that will fix our attention, and supply subjects of great interest to our reflections, but the errors, the follies, the subtleties, the violence of the hostile parties, will be seen advancing the cause which they combined to destroy, and will enlarge our enumeration of examples of the wrath of man praising the Most High. Luther was the person whose part, in the regenerating process by which Europe was to assume a new appearance, was the most conspicuous and bold; and his name, by the common consent of Protestants, has been placed highest in the list of modern reformers. The intrepidity of such a man was required to lead so perilous an enterprise. A leader of milder character might have perished in the outset, or have allowed the arts of his opponents to work out his abandonment of the cause. But there were others besides Luther, who were, by their resolute spirit and their incorruptible integrity, fitted as instruments of so great a work, and who, if their acts were fewer, and their influence less extensive, were circumscribed in their efforts and in their utility only by their circumstances. Each, in his allotted station, contributed to the excitements and movements of a period remarkable for great transactions and beneficial effects, and which has connected itself, by its relation to the improvement of the human species, with the grateful recollections of all who delight in the contemplation of illustrious characters, and of actions directly or remotely tending to advance the emancipation of mankind from the bondage of superstition, and to prepare the world for the triumphs of truth and liberty. The records of such benefactors, and the history of such times, it might seem almost unnecessary to commend to those whose debt of gratitude, for the benefits derived through their means, is so large ; but there is scarcely any duty, the enforcement of which is rendered more necessary by inattention to the obliga