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that, though his necessities compelled him to bave more frequent recourse to arbitrary measures than his father or Elizabeth had done, be never acted but agreeably to precedent, and after the example of the most popular princes. The spirit manifested by the Commons could not fail to rouse the apprehensions of the king in relation to the power which he had been taught to regard as inherent in the crown. one concession only paved the way for the demand of another, it is not surprising that he should have endeavoured to meet violence by employing intrigue, or resolved to subdue pretensions which appeared so incompatible with the exercise of regal authority. He saw no limits, in short, to the claims which he was called upon to satisfy ; whilst, in return for his concessions, he was only assailed with new applications, enforced with an increasing importunity, and justified by an appeal to first principles which the practice of the government had at no former period either allowed or sanctioned. In this state of things, the motives of either party were viewed through an unfavourable light by the other; and to justify the steps which each was prepared to take, it became necessary to impute to their antagonists designs equally violent and purposes equally selfish with those which they themselves cherished. After the war had commenced, the Pare. liament were driven by the feeling of self-preservation to strengthen their own interests by rendering the cause of the king unpopular; and this they effected chiefly by impeaching his sincerity, and by representing that, whilst no oaths could bind him, he entertained the most deadly resentment against all who had opposed him either in the council or in the field. They gained their object. The popular party soon allowed themselves to believe that their own safety was incompatible with that of the monarch ; and thus, whilst they professed a desire for an accommodation with Charles, they never failed to afford the most indubitable evidence that a lasting peace with him was not in all their thoughts. Mr. Fox, who is by no means an advocate for the king, and even maintains that there was just grouud for suspecting his sincerity, is yet ready to acknowledge that the Parliamentary demagogues carried their suspicions much too far. “Is the failure of the negociation when the king was in the Isle of Wight, to be imputed to the suspicions justly entertained of his sincerity, or to the ambition of the parliamentary leaders? If the insincerity of the king was the real cause, ought not 'the mischief to be apprehended from his insincerity, rather to have been guarded against by treaty, than alleged as a pretence for breaking off the negociation? Sad, indeed, will be the condition of the world, if we are.
never to make peace with an adverse party whose sincerity we have reason to suspect. Even just grounds for such suspicions will but too often occur, and, when such fail, the proneness of man to impate evil qualities as well as evil designs to his enemies, will suggest false ones.”
These remarks are sensible and candid ; but the historian now before us, whilst he defends the Parliament on all occasions, even when their conduct was most violent and ambitious, speaks of Charles as follows:
“ Accustomed from his earliest years to intrigue and dissimulation, he seems, like his father, to have regarded hypocrisy as a necessary part of Kingcraft: he had reconciled his conscience to the most uncandid protestations, and had studied Divinity in order to satisfy himself of the lawfulness of taking oaths to break them. Though he loved the Church of England only as a prop to his own power, he had latterly endeavoured to persuade himself, that by upholding it he was rendering a service to religion; and he was now surrounded with clergy, who, regarding the ecclesiastical establishment with reverence, partaking in no small degree with the feel. ing of self-interest, were ready to assure him, (and well did they practise the lesson they taught) that a pious fraud which promoted such an object, was not only justifiable, but commendable in the .sight of God. Thus did his faith, instead of controlling the dictates of his will, encourage them; and the interests and welfare of his family appeared to him to demand such a sacrifice of principle. Deeply, however, must every man who regards sincerity, deplore that the firmness displayed by Charles on the scaffold was disgraced by the speech he uttered. His whole government and all his measures—as proved by authorities and documents which can admit of no dispute—had been subversive of Parliament, the privileges of the people, and in short, of the law of the land, on which alone was founded his right to govern; and yet like his two grand crimi. nal ministers, Laud and Strafford,—whose own correspondence, in the absence of all other proof, would indisputably establish their guilt—he averred on the scaffold that he had always been a friend to Parliaments and the franchises of the people.”
In a word, Charles the First was, according to Mr. Brod ie one of the weakest and most unprincipled of human beingsa disgrace to the moral and religious nature of man—a tyrant and a monster-stained with perjury and falsehood, and accustomed to study divinity only to learn how he might take oaths so as to break them with impunity-the enemy of his people, the destroyer of the constitution, the subverter of its laws, the patron of bad ministers, and the encourager of all heresy and damnable doctrines, among divines. He was besides, a hypocrite, a dissembler and a breaker of promises ; and yet, with singular inconsistency, our author represents
the promise that Charles made to his queen, not to make peace without her knowledge, as the main bar to an accommodation with the parliament. In short, he deserved to lose his head; and Mr. Brodie is not sorry that he did lose it, though on a scaffold.
The spirit of Mr. B's book, we repeat, is the worst part of it: so little to our taste, indeed, that reading it for the fourth or fifth time, we still find ourselves, at every return, as much out of humour with the author as he is with Charles's government, and, of course, as little qualified to act the part of good critics as he is to act that of a good historian. The passions should be resolutely dismissed from the breast of him who holds the pen either of history or of criticism. They confound his discernment, and distort every object upon which he fixes his eye. They call good evil and evil good, put sweet for bitter and bitter for sweet: they bring out of a man's character all the weakness which nature placed there, and add much of their own creation. Pleading guilty to the infirmity with which we charge Mr. Brodie, we are willing to allow him all the advantages of this acknowledgement; namely, that in opposing his sentiments we have done but bare justice to his literary merits, and indefatigable research; that we have fixed chiefly on those parts of his work which most excited our gall; and that, consequently, there are many beauties and historical excellencies to be enjoyed by readers of a less irritable order than we are, and to be highly applauded by such as hold the opinions or are influenced by the prejudices which stick so fast to the mind of the author. Mr. Brodie may look to the Whigs for boundless adoration; and, unless they change their character, he will not be disappointed.
ART. III. An Authentic Narrative of the Extraordinary
Cure performed by Prince Alexander Hohenlohe, on Miss Barbara O'Connor, a Nun, in the Convent of New Hall, near Chelmsford ; with a full Refutation of the numerous false Reports and Misrepresentations. By John Badeley, M.D. Protestant Physician to the Convent. 8vo.
pp. 38. 18. 6d. Whittaker. 1823. “The pretended miracles of Paganism and Popery have, I hope,” says Bishop Douglas, in his “ Criterion," when summing up his admirable « rules” for distinguishing truth from fiction, “ been sufficiently exposed by placing them in their true light, as being either the interested contrivances of imposture, or the fauciful misconceptions of credulity.” Such having been, indeed, the nature of miracles since the days of the inspired promulgators of our holy faith, we cannot desire to see a taste for them re-introduced, among other continental fashions, into our wonder-loving country. Nor are we willing that any event which has obtained
share of the public attention, should be suffered to rest under the magnifying effects of mystery, when a little trouble spent in investigation of the fact may at once dispel the cloud that overhangs it, and expose to the light whatever may have been intentionally or unintentionally. concealed.
Now, a pamphlet purporting to give an authentic narrative. of a cure performed by an individual on one side of the German Ocean upon a patient residing on the other side, without any communication had between them save and except one short epistle, and without the use of any external means, carries with it an air burdering on the miraculous, and is likely enough either to be turned to account by the infidel and scoffer, or to do serious harm amongst the credulous and wavering. It is for this reason that we have paid the earliest attention to Dr. Badeley's “ Authentic Narrative.”
That such an event as tbat recorded in the demi-official pages now before us should be termed a miracle, and boasted of as such by Roman Catholics, is no great wonder,--that it should be disbelieved “ entirely" by many Protestants may be pardoned ; and that a medical inan should discover a middle theory, and, denying the miracle, but admitting the facts, should ascribe it to some physical, or at least natural, cause, is just what might be expected. Here, however, the marvel subsists not so much in the case-a pretty clear one it would seem, wbatever name may be assigned it-but in the ingenuity which could educe from it the following conclusion: “ It forms this remarkable coincidence, that Protestants and Catholics unite, at last, in one belief ;--by faith bodies are saved here, and souls bereafter." P. 37.
We have not been aware, till now, of the general interest which the public, in England, France, and Irelaud have taken in the extraordinary recovery of Miss O'Connor, and the illiberal reports, misrepresentations, and wilful falsehoods which have been “ circulated" respecting it. Nor bave we read the illiberal disquisitions which are almost daily issuing from the press, upon this extraordinary, case ; all occasioned by Catholics attaching the word miracle to it. Even Dr. Badeley's statement, had it been merely a plain profesşional report, would not have induced us to take part in the
discussion of a case to which, in all probability, there are some hundreds of well authenticated parallels :--such a report would indeed have rendered any further observations superfuous. But little as a pamphlet of thirty-eight double-leaded pages can at any rate contain, that little is in the present instance intermixed with so many passages of ambiguous meaning, that we trust Dr. Badeley will not be offended with us if we endeavour to sum up and shew the real weight of his evidence before we send it to our readers for their verdict-thus to guard, as much as lieś with us, against any misapprehensions that may be pregnant with danger to weak minds, or furnish encouragement to wicked ones.
“ Folly begets kpavery by the most natural generation," affirms Dr. Warburton, in his “ Critical and philosophical enquiry into the causes of prodigies and miracles, as related by historians.” And again," there is a flaw which was certainly in the original formation of the mind that all its reason could not solder. But it will ever be an inlet and most hospitable harbour of imposture: of which nothing is more clear and melancholy proof than our great facility in deceiving ourselves, and our complacency and constancy in the cheat.” In order to be convinced that Bishop Warburton is right we need not turn to Livy or the Romish Calendar, to the increbible narration of Pagan prodigies, or to the lives and legendary tales of saints and martyrs; some few of whom bave this trifling slar cast upon their memory—that they certainly never did, for they never could by any possibility exist. Every day's experience proves how necessary it is to be cautious that we do not give occasion to the knavish to impose upon the simple; to be upon our guard that we do not confound faith with superstition, hope with presumption, and charity with a criminal indifference to the limits of truth and false hood.”
This being premised, we cannot but express our regret that the New Hall wonder, which it seems bas kindled some contention because, forsooth, the Catholics would attach the *word miracle to it, should not have been set at rest, as far at least as relates to Protestants, by a more distinct professional opinion with regard to the nature of the recovery and its probable causes ; or by a fuller recital of facts and corroborated evidence divested of all speculation on the religious part of the enquiry. The matter certainly is not elucidated either pathologically or theologically: but still we are bound to give Dr. Badeley credit for intending a kind act towards his friends of the convent," namely, to