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man of feeling and conscience with all the attachment to his own church and country, which becomes a patriot and a clergyman, he has little of the blind nationality of a Scotsman, and less of the old rigour and sourness of a ' minister. If there exist in the whole work a vestige of partiality, (unobserved, we are persuaded, by the author himself, it will be found, not in his representations of his own countrymen, but in his character of Calvin, and in his views of the conduct of Elizabeth.
The work commences with an introductory book, in which the author traces the successive usurpations of popery with a bold and indignant hand. On this subject a Scottish minister is never at a loss. But throughout this discourse we descry more or less of the powerful hand of Dr. Campbell, to whose school, as an ecclesiastical historian, the minister of Laurence-kirk evidently belongs. It was specifically on this account, that we selected the History of the Reformation in Scotland, and assigned to it a place in immediate opposition to the last article, in order to confront, to the flimsy sophistry, the misapplied erudition, the servile subjection of understanding, the malignant bigotry displayed in that wretched work, a plain and candid statement of the successive steps by which the Christian world was subdued under that enormous tyranny, and from which, by the blessing of Providence, one half of Europe was, as we hope and trust, finally emancipated from it. Useful, however, as this deduction is, we hesitate not to pronounce it, as specifically applied to the Reformation in Scotland, the least satisfactory portion of the whole work. This ground of complaint is more particularly applicable to the concluding part. Who knows not the last and most audacious corruptions of popery which took place under Leo X.? the profligate exactions of Tetzel and Arcemboldi ? the integrity and intrepidity of Luther? In udo est Mænas et Attin. But even here, whatever is original in our author's work is excellent. It is impossible not to applaud the force and clearness with which he exposes the sophistry of Mr. Humne on the doctrine of indulgences, and the flimsy apologies of Mr. Roscoe for the character of Leo. On the one he bestows an elaborate argument, on the other a slight, but effective stroke; for he knew that he had to encounter two writers immeasurably distant from each other in point of intellect; the poison of the foriner, though artificially concealed, being drastic and masculine; while that of the latter, like some vegetable bane, is at once feeble and soporific.
Still however it might have been expected, from the active and inquisitive spirit of Dr. Cooke, that he would have narrowed his views to a point more immediately connected with the following work, that, antecedently to the introduction of the Scriptures or
the writings of the first reformers, and long before the preaching of Hamilton or Wishart, he would have traced, in the changing dispositions of the people, and in the mature depravity of the established religion, the predisposing causes of Reformation in his country. Providence, as he well knows, never employs its external instruments for the overthrow of ancient institutions, whether civil or ecclesiastical, till all is become unsound within. The Scots were always a noble people, bold, free, and, even before they became literate, intelligent and reflecting. Neither were they, like the inhabitants of the southern countries, of Europe, either predisposed by voluptuousness and sloth to receive the yoke of popery, or rendered indifferent by gaiety and dissipation to the great interests of religion. The sombre character and complexion of their country had tinctured the constitution of its natives. On the other hand, among a people so sagacious, in the dawn of light and knowledge, every generation would produce individuals competent to discover that religious establishments were constituted for the purposes of religious instruction, an end which the establishment of Scotland had long ceased to answer: that the successors of the apostles were become soldiers, sportsmen, courtiers, or, at best, lay-judges and magistrates; that the highest stations in the hierarchy were filled without regard to age or merit, by the natural children of the crown, or by the younger branches of the great families; that the benefices of ecclesiastics, which swallowed up almost one third part of the property of the kingdom, were wasted in habits of expense and riot, surpassing those of the great lay nobility; that the inferior and officiating clergy were scandalously ignorant, not of the Scriptures only, but of their own wretched formularies, that the few and infrequent instructions delivered from the pulpit and in their vernacular tongue, instead of being devoted to the momentous subjects of pure religion and morality, were wasted on the foolish and lying legends of saints; in short, that the whole of religion consisted in blind obedience to the mandates of a foreign priest, who, at his own good pleasure, adjusted the conditions of entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
Now, though much of this might with truth be affirmed of other nations during the same period, yet we conceive that, either from its remote situation, from the inordinate wealth of its ecclesiastical endowments, or some other cause, the hierarchy of Scotland, as distinct from that of the court of Rome, and we may perhaps in candour say, as uncurbed by it, had attained to a degree both of profligacy and despotism unknown in the rest of Europe. It had reached that ultimate point of moral depression, from which, in the ceaseless revolution of national character, and the natural ten
dency dency of enormous evils to remedy themselves, it must begin to reascend.
For this purpose a powerful assisting impulse was to be expected in the energetic character of the Scottish people, and this was in fact so'violent, that for some time after the subversion of popery, the state of the national religion seemed to oscillate on either side of the point of exaltation, before it became stationary, we will not say how near this point, in a sober and rational establishment of presbytery.
With all our respect for Dr. Cooke, we cannot forbear expressing some degree of disappointment, that, with a perfect and critical knowledge of that period, aided by his own acute and philosophical understanding, instead of a general and far from original invective against the universal abuses of the church of Rome at this period, he had not employed himself in tracing more distinctly the steps of its downfal in his own country; the peculiar and characteristic marks of degeneracy which were daily becoming more conspicuous, the secret ways in which the clergy were providentially led to their own destruction, together with the correspondent changes in public opinion, the great stay by which ancient establishments are upheld, or the great engine by which they are subverted; so far as it was possible to retrieve them from contemporary and popular works. To us it is evident that in that age and the next the prelates and clergy of Scotland, though no contemptible politicians in other matters, with respect to their own peculiar situation, were perfectly. dementated. They stood as insensible to their real danger, as a fortress upon a rock already undermined and about to be blown up.
According to Dr. Cooke the period of the Reformation in Scotland extended from the appearance and preaching of Patrick Hawilton in 1528 to the year 1567, when the Protestant religion and Presbyterian discipline, after the most violent struggle which the most interesting of all causes could have produced, were finally established by the legislature. Lamentable, however, as such a protracted scene of violence and suffering must appear in the contemplation of humanity, it served at least to develope the character of the two parties and of the religions which they severally maintained with so much earnestness. In the dawn of the Refor. mation, all was violence on the one side, and patient suffering on the other.
But the violence of the prelates was accompanied with an ignorance so brutal, a contempt of popular opinion and of common decency so revolting, that it contributed most powerfully to promote the cause which it unskilfully laboured to counteract; while the youth and modesty, the learning and eloquence of the principal sufferers, by exciting the pity and indignation of mankind, operated with no less effect in the same direction; so that
the people of Scotland, who never wanted' excitability,' were
In this delicate and difficult emergency, and one still more dis-
how far retaliation in imposing similar restraints ever becomes admissible, he will scarcely find a better master (we do not speak of abstract and speculative works on the subject) than our author, in his equitable and well balanced judgment on the conduct of this princess and the lords of the congregation. On the behaviour of her daughter, in that horrible tragedy, the cause of all her future sufferings, Dr. Cooke has spoken with a tenderness and reserve, highly honourable to his feelings as a man and a Scotsman. Too upright wholly to suppress his own convictions on the subject, and too independent to be overborne by the spirit of romance and quixotism, which, at the distance of two centuries, has unaccountably seized upon certain of our countrymen as well as his own, he dexterously leaves those convictions to be inferred by the sagacity of his readers ; few of whom, as we should suppose, will fail to conclude that whatever suspicions may or may not be entertamed of Mary, as having directly participated in the murder of her husband, (and surely, if the evidence of her letters be discarded, the verbal assurances of a wretch like Bothwell, in his attempt to engage the assistance of Morton, can have little weight,) yet her indecent and precipitate marriage with the man who, after the mere mockery of a trial, and the absolute necessity of an acquittal, was known to herself to stand condemned in the judgment of nine-tenths of her people, constituted her nothing less than an accomplice after the fact. Yet the youth and beauty of this enchanting woman, her royal dignity, the prejudices of her education, and the peculiar difficulties which accompanied her return from the seat of pleasure and gaiety to a barbarous country, torn in pieces by exasperated factions, would soften, if not subdue, any spirit but that of political rancour; while the strong circumstantial evidence against her of two of the foulest crimes which can stain the female
character, ought in common decency to qualify the language of panegyric, and even to abate the feelings of commiseration. The eagerness of the two parties has made them tediously circumstantial ; every rag of evidence, local or chronological, which could be produced from musty records, by one or other of these patient yet passionate investigators, has been dragged to light, and such importance have the advocates on both sides attached to their respective causes, that they seemed to expect all other business to be suspended during this grand assize, and that the world should enter with the attention and industry of juries into details of contradictory evidence, relating to facts and dates of more than two centuries. In opposition to such unreasonable claimants, Dr. Cooke, while he writes with the feelings at once of a man and a moralist, never seems to forget that in an age when books are multiplied to a prodigious extent, brevity and compression