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prejudices, and their resolute adherence to all the tenets of the system to which they attach themselves ? But let the question of right be argued, let the examination of claims to religious control become part of the business of the Roman Catholic, and the papal supremacy itself may possibly be detected as belonging to the number of tyrannical usurpations.
Mr. Brown expresses his wish, rather than his expectation, that the discussions on the Catholic Question may terminate in the removal of the pains, penalties, and disabilities, to which the Catholics are still liable, and in the securing to professors of the Protestant faith, the full enjoyment of those rights of conscience, to which they have long so strenuously and effectually asserted their right. But what are rights of conscience ? Do they not belong to men as men? Can they attach to any partieular denomination of religionists as such ? Rigbts of conscience are antecedent to religious profession. The full enjoyment of the rights of conscience, is itself one of those rights. They are evidently inclusive of such things as come directly under the sole cognizance of every individual, the judgement of which belongs exclusively to himself, and for the neglect or improvement of which he is not answerable to man. Rights of conscience are in the strictest sense, personal rights; they cannot therefore be, in the very nature of things, matter of regulation by human laws, which are limited to political objects. In all his political compacts, therefore, and in every act of submission to civil authority, there is the exception of those rights on the part of every individual. Rights of conscience are so peculiar and so sacred, that in all their extent, they are, in reference to civil legislatures, extra-judicial; the responsibility which they involve, has no relation to human tribunals. The full enjoyment of the rights of conscience includes the exercise of those rights without molestation or hinderance; for no person can fully enjoy a right, the exercise of which exposes him to external restraint. The rights of conscience are the perfect freedom of the mind in all matters of religious opinion and practice. So entirely personal are these rights, that no individual may lawfully question another in relation to them. The very knowledge of them by a second party, can result only from the voluntary communication of the first. No man can be compelled to declare his religious sentiments. To make distinctions, therefore, between mankind, in reference to rights of conscience, is palpably wrong. To refer to the distinction between Protestants and Papists, as a religious distinction, in connexion with those natural rights, in the manner the Author has named them, is extremely impertinent to the case. A Jew, a Mahommedan, a Hinduo, a Catholic, are all respectively, equally with a Protestant, possessed of the rights of conseience, and equally entitled to the privilege of asserting them. By what title does the Protestant hold those rights, which will not apply to the others ? Those rights belong to men individually and universally : the religious appellations which they bear, and all the varieties of their religious opinions and practice resulting from the rights which they respectively exercise, must not be confounded with the right itself. Nor, as the right is the same in all, can there possibly be any superiority in one human being, as the basis of legislative interference or control, over another.
Mr. B. speaks of the proper ascendency of the religion of « the state." By this is meant, that the religion of some persons shall entitle them to consideration and benefit from the government of their country, which are to be withheld from other persons not of the same religion. Is this in accordance with the acknowledgement that the full enjoyment of the rights of conscience, is the unalienable right of all mankind? Is this compatible with the reservation of the whole right of judging men for their religion to the supreme Being ?
The proper' ascendency of religion, consists in its genuine influence on the heart, in its producing love to God and love to man, and purifying the affections from sin. A political ascendency is utterly remote from the Divine purpose, as respects the end of religion, and is altogether foreign to the spirit of Christianity: the “ kingdom of Christ is not of this world." It is, however, a political ascendency that is intended by the phrase “ proper ascendancy' in Mr. Brown's Inquiry; and he represents the religion of the State, as equitably entitled to possess a political ascendency. How can it be so entitled in equity? Our Author is a meinber of a Church, in which, as he relates, (p. 41) · The Son is confessed to be of the same • substance with the Father, in the very words which the first • Christian emperor propounded to the first general council! This is a privilege which we have no occasion to envy Mr. Brown, since we belong to a religious community in which we express our faith in the very words which Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles propounded. But what equity can there be in regarding a person who chants or reads the Nicene creed*, as possessed of a more worthy political character, than another who possibly never heard of it? Does the reception of this or of any other tenet, included in the creeds and formularies of the Church with which he holds communion, make Mr. Brown, in respect of civil capacity, superior to another man, who receives a different creed, or who satisfies himself with
Mr. B. (p. 41.) should have written Nicene, instead of Athanasian, the term ouoouciou not occurring in the latter.
the volume of revelation, as it was imparted to mankind?. He will not, we presume, maintain the affirmatiye. Political ascendency in some, imports political degradation in, others. If the former be founded on equity, so must the latter., Mr. Brown, therefore, does virtually assert, that a, large proportion of the members of the community, are with justice politically degraded. Is there equity, let him inform us, in attaching incapacity to persons who reject the tenets of the Nicene Creed, or any other particular religious dogmas, solely on that account, or for any reason which is strictly a religious one ? Would there be equity in a law which should attach political pravity to every person who might be born , in a particular district of this kingdom ? Such a law., would be evidently monstrous ;, it would punish where there was no crime, And is it less monstrous to degrade politically, any member of the cominunity, for his religious opinions, as such, which he can as little resist or refuse to receive as his sentiments, as, a child can resist its coming into the world? There is a', necessity in ethics, as in physics. There may be policy in giving the professors of a particular religious creed civil pre-eminence, but there is no equity in the measure, and it is only by one of the grossest abuses of language, and of religion too, that political ascendency in any class of religionists, is represented as the proper ascendency of religion. Christianity presents invariably the same aspect to all mankind; it neither proposes nor requires that a difference in the political character and relations of meir, should be greated either by its reception or its rejection. These it leaves unaltered and in violate, Whatever therefore be the religious profession of any of the members of the community, that circumstance in itself can never legitimately constitute the measure of their rights, or the test by which civil government is to pronounce on their political character. Art. II, The Civil and Military History of Germany, froin the Land
ing of Gustavus to the Conclusion of the Treaty of Westphalia. By the late Francis Hare Naylor, Esq. In Twó Vols. 305. Murray, London, 1816. THE civil, military, and ecclesiastical annals, the political
institutions and the historical geograplay, of the Germanic Empire, form, in their combination, a subject of such dignity, and difficulty, as to excite our wonder that no writer equal to the work has yet been found to take it up. We have many, valuable illustrations of different sections of the great plan ; but a luminous and coherent projection of the whole is, in our own language at least, yet to be effected. We wish that such an undertaking had suggested itself to the Author of the volumes before us, as we are persuaded that, in many important respeets,
he was well qualified for the task. Judging from the present work, he seems to have been a man of a clear head and a sound understanding, and of reasonable diligence. His chief defect arises from his ambitious imitation of Tacitus and Gibbon. He narrates distinctly; his statements are fair and intelligible; but his comments are never very profound, and his attempts at the pithy and ornate, never at all successful. Since, however, it suited better with Mr. Naylor's views, to give us a part only, we are glad that he has made choice of so interesting a portion, and treated its in the main, with so much ability and industry. Mr. N. has deserved well of his reader. He keeps up the attention, and it requires nothing more than common and easy application, to preserve unbroken in the mind, the chain of a narrative which, unless skilfully treated, must have appeared painfully complicated. . The Emperor and King Charles V., after having kept Europe in continual agitation by his wars and intrigues, resigned his German sceptre to the hands of his brother Ferdinand, and retired with a broken constitution and debilitated mind, to a Spanish monastery. Ferdinand, though very slenderly endowed with honourable or liberal principles, seems to have been sufficiently aware of the policy of not unnecessarily kindling the slumbering embers of religious strife. The treaty of Passau, wrested from the baffled genius and declining fortunes of Charles Vi, by the consummate artifice and energy of Maurice of Saxony, had established the ecclesiastical liberties of Germany, upon an apparently firın foundation, and Ferdinand had neither the talents, the leisure, nor the power, either to sap or to destroy them. His son and successor, Maximilian II., is supposed to have imbibed from his tutor, Wolfgang Severus, sentiments favourable to the Lutheran faith ; but the reign of Rodolph, who succeeded his father in 1576, was one uninterrupted series of weak, persecuting, and injurious measures. In his reign it was, that the Evangelical Union and the Catholic League, were formed, thus separating the states of the Empire into two conflicting parties, and involving Germany in the borrors of intestine war.
He was succeeded by Matthias, whose mind seems not to have been indisposed to pacific measures, but bis intentions were completely frustrated by the obstinate and bigoted character of the Duke of Styria, whose schemes were never arrested in their origin or progress, either by the dictates of honour or the scruples of conscience. This artful and flagitious prince, who, under the title of Ferdinand II. ascended the throne left vacant by the death of Matthias, gave himself up to the control and direction of the Jesuits; and, in bis desperate efforts to establish the unlimited despotism of his sceptre and his creed, plunged Germany into the deepest ruin, and involved himself in perpetual and profitless anxiety.". In the outset of his reign, bis situation was embarrassing; nearly the wbole of his dominions were in a state either of actual rebel. -Jion, or of ill-concealed disaffection ; but while some recommended flight, and others treacherous concession, he disdained to temporize, and though his capital was in a state of siege, he remained undaunted at his post.
. This determination was scarcely embraced, when the doors of the apartment flew violently open, and gave admission to a band of .men clad in armour. These were persons of rank and consideration among the disaffected party, and came as delegates from the circle of Austria, to demand permission for the states to confederate with the Bohemians. Though firmly resolved to endure every indignity, rather than subscribe to an instrument which would have invested rebellion with legal authority, Ferdinand expostulated with the deputies upon the impropriety of their behaviour, in presenting their petition in so unconstitutional a manner. Ferdinand, wilt thou sign?” was the laconic reply; while, seizing his robe, the spokesman insinuated, by a menacing gesture, that a refusal might be attended with personal hazard. -4,4 At this perilous crisis, when called upon to decide between honour and life, the trampling of horses was distinctly heard in the court of the palace. The breast of Ferdinand beat high with hope that some, unexpected succour was arrived. That hope was converted into certainty, when the trumpets sounded with a triumphant flourish, announcing victory. Overwhelmed with consternation, the intruders fed, nor thought themselves secure till they had found an asylum in the camp of the besiegers.' p. 99-100.
The war with the Bohemians, who were led by the gallant patriot Count Thurn, the various movements of the Germanic States, the romantic exploits of Christian of Brunswick, and of that most brilliant of adventurers Count Mansfeldt, are described with brevity, but with much ability; we must, however, refer to the work itself for the details of these interesting events. After various desultory and consequently unsuccessful attempts to restrain the ambitious and encroaching politics of Austria, the Protestant alliance was consolidated under the auspices of Christiern IV. king of Denmark, wbo, at the head of a formidable force, took the field against the generals of Ferdinand. But these generals were men not formed to be mastered by the genius of Christiern ; they were Tilly and Wallenstein; the first, the ablest routinier of his day, and the second, though far his inferior, we venture to affirm, in military skill and sagacity, attained a yet far greater name by the extravagance of bis ambition, the desperate magnificence of his designs, and the unextenuated misery of bis end. Tilly was capable of effecting important results with inadequate instruments; Wallenstein, with extraordinary means, often failed of accomplishing his