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• But I agree with Mr. Robinson in thinking it very unlikely that people who could not descend from their mountains into neighbouring states, without hazarding their lives, through the furious zeal of inqui sitors, should tempt danger by affixing a visible mark on their shoes.'
This objection has great force; while Mr. Robinson's etymology seems to be rational, and is supported by au. thority.
In his usual animated and concise manner, Mr. Jones next sketches the portrait of Peter Waldo, and gives a summary of his history. He is stated to have been an opulent merchant of Lyons, and the first who furnished his countrymen with the New Testament in their own language. Being obliged to fily from Lyons, he diffused his principles in Dauphiny, Pic cardy, Germany, and Bohemia ; in the latter of which coun. tries he is said to have ended his days. Whether this distinguished person gave his name to the Vaudois, or derived it from them, is a matter not settled : the Catholics contend for the former, while the partisans of these antient sectaries maintain the latter supposition. We wish that we could follow the author into this portion of his labours; in which, with ability and success, he details the sufferings and vindicates the princia ples of what we shall beg leave, with due submission to the Catholics, and to our jure divino Episcopalians, to call an interesting part of the flock of Christ : but we cannot do much more than refer our readers to the volume itself; which, if they have not access to Perrin, will amply repay them for perusing it. A passage, however, respecting the Waldenses of the valley of Fraissiniere, which the author borrows from the incomparable Thuanus, we cannot refrain from transcribing :
6« Their cloathing is of the skins of sheep - they have no linen. They inhabit seven villages ; their houses are constructed of flintstone, with a flat roof covered with mud, which when spoiled or loosened by the rain, they again smooth with a roller. In these they live with their cattle, separated from them, however, by a fence. They have also two caves set apart for particular purposes, in one of which they conceal their cattle, in the other themselves, when hunted by their enemies. They live on milk and venison, being, through constant practice, excellent marksmen. Poor as they are, they are content, and live in a state of seclusion from the rest of mankind. One thing is very remarkable, that persons externally so savage and rude should have so much moral cultivation. They can all read and write. They know French sufficiently for the understanding of the Bible and the singing of Psalms. You can scarcely find a boy among them, who cannot give you an intelligible account of the faith which they profess. In this, indeed, they resemble their brethren of the other vallies. They pay tribute with a good conscience, and the obligation of this duty is peculiarly noted in their confession of faith. If, by reason of the civil wars, they are prevented from doing this, they carefully set apart the sum, and at the first opportunity pay it to the King's tax-gatherers.")
In this age of scepticism and refinement, Mr. Jones is not ashamed to profess his adherence to the sombre creed of Calvin: but, while he pays a due tribute to the talents, learning, and indefatigable labours of that great Reformer, and professes a high veneration for his theological system, he enters his protest in glowing terms against that foul deed of persecution which has indelibly stained his reputation. It would be injustice to the present candid and judicious historian to withhold from our readers his statements under this head; and his testimony is of too much weight for us not to avail ourselves of it, at a moment when the professed enemies of the church of Rome are attempting to bring us back to cherish a spirit and maxiins which disgraced the worst times of that church. In terms dictated by his own views, Mr. Jones is stating whát we believe is strictly correct; namely, that several of the antient sectaries entertained notions with regard to church-government, and many points of doctrine, more consonant to those of our modern Dissenters than such as were supported by Luther and Calvin. Alluding to these Reformers, he says : · « But although we may readily conceive the pleasure which it must have yielded the Waldenses, to contemplate the labours of these great men in so glorious a cause, they do not appear to have acted precipitately in interfering with them, or solliciting a union of churches. The Reformers, with all their zcal and learning, were babes in scriptural knowledge, when compared with the more illiterate Waldenses --particularly in regard to the nature of the kingdom of Christ, and its institutions, laws, and worship in general. Luther, for instance, besides that both he and Calvin always contended for a form of national Christianity - a principle which, the moment it is received into the mind, must necessarily darken it as to the nature of the kingdom of Christ; Luther, with all his zeal against popery, was never able to disentangle his own mind from the inexplicable doctrine of transubstantiation, which he had imbibed in the church of Rome. He, indeed, changed the name, but he retained all the absurdity of the thing. He rejected the word transubstantiation, but insisted strenuously on a consubscantiation - that is, the bread and wine were not changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ, but the body and blood of Christ were really and actually present in the elements of bread and wine, and were therefore literally eaten and drank by the communicants! And with respect to Calvin, it is manifest, that the leading, and to me at least, one of the most hateful features, in all the multiform character of popery adhered to him through life-I mean the spirit of persecution. Holding, as I do, many doctrinal sentiments in common with Calvin, I an prompted to speak my opinion of him with the less reserve. I
regard him as a man whom the Creator had endued with transcendent talents, and have no doubt that he knew what “flesh and blood could never reveal to him.” He seems to have been blessed with an extraordinary insight into the economy of human redemption, as revealed in the sacred writings; and his vast and capacious mind took a compre. hensive grasp of a system which angels contemplate with wonder and amazement, and in which they study the manifold wisdom of God. No mere man, probably, ever surpassed Calvin, in his indefatigable labours, according to the measure of his bodily strength, in making known to others the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus, both from the pulpit and the press; and his bitterest enemies cannot deny that the progress of the Reformation was wonderfully accelerated by his means. Yet with all these excellencies, Calvin was a persecutor! He had yet to learn, or at least to practise, that simple lesson of the kingdoin of heaven, “ Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.” Calvin could never comprehend, how another man could have as great a right to think wrong, as he himself had to think right! And that it is the sole prerogative of the King of Zion to punish his enemies and the corrupters of his truth. Upon this point his judgment was perverted by the principles of his education, and unhappily for his own character and the cause of truth, his conduct was founded upon this erroneous judgment. His behaviour throughout the whole affair of Servetus is too well known to need any explanation in this place; but I conceive it to be the im, perious duty of every friend to toleration and the rights of con, science, to express their marked abhorrence of this part of the character of Calvin. And more especially is it the duty of those, the similarity of whose theological creed to that which he contended for, hath sub. jected them to the imputation of being his followers. As an obscure and humble individual of that class, I strenuously deprecate every attempt to palliate the enormity of Calvin's conduct in the instance referred to, by pleading, as many have done, that Socinus was as bitter a persecutor as himself. For until it be made apparent to my understanding how two blacks. constitute one white, I must regard such pleas as extremely ill judged. The truth is, and it ought to be avowed, that the conduct of Calvin admits of no apology! It was a violent outrage upon the laws of humanity as well as upon the laws of God, and has fixed a stigma upon the character of that otherwise great man, which will never be obliterated. But let not the enemies of the truth from this take occasion, as they too often have done, to identify the spirit of persecution with the doctrines which Calvin held. His conduct, in this particular, has drawn tears of lamentation and regret from the eyes of thousands, since his time, on account of the reproach it has brought upon the way of truth, “ causing it to be evil spoken of," and it will continue to suffuse with all the conscious. pess of shame the cheeks of thousands yet unborn.
Various well written episodes add greatly to the value of this work ; among which deserve to be distinguished the author's accounts of the sacking of Rome by Alaric, the origin and progress of Monkery, and the rise and propagation of Mo
hammedanism; hammedanism; and the volume, particularly the latter part of it, is enlivened by a great number of very interesting anecdotes.
The able narrative, which we have been perusing, leaves on the mind impressions of the utmost detestation for the spiritual tyranny exercised by the court of Rome. Providence never made use of so terrible a scourge to chastise mankind. No power, ever outraged the interests of society, the principles of justice, and the claims of humanity, to the same extent. Never did the world behold such blasphemy, profligacy, and wantonness, as in the proceedings of this spiritual domination. It held the human mind in chairs, visited with exemplary punishment every inroad on the domains of ignorance, and plunged nations into a state of stupidity and imbecility. Its proscriptions, massacres, murders, and all the various forms which its cruelties assumed, the miseries which it heaped on the objects of its vengeance, its merciless treatment of them, and the grasp of its iron sway, seemed at one time to leave no room to hope for the liberation of the human race. Surely nothing can appear more hideous than this power in its real colours: it leaves the mind full of horror at its cruelties! - We are aware of the use to which this true representation will be perverted; of the inference which the weak will draw and which the designing will contend are fairly drawn from it, namely, that the professors of a religion, which has in times past been such a curse to the world, are not now to be trusted with the exercise of their civil rights by a free community. To persons of little reflection, it may appear strange that men of understanding should acknowlege the spiritual supremacy of a chief whose predecessors were for centuries the instruments of inflicting such evils on the world, and who so long held the human mind in such bondage: but they do not consider in what degree the chance of birth determines religious persuasion. The simple acknowlegement of the supremacy of the Pope in spiritual matters, and submission to him in that character, ought to be separable from any admission of his temporal power, and cannot on any principle be construed into an approbation of the usurpations and enormities of which his predecessors have been guilty. As well, we think, might the English people be reproached and stigmatized for the cruelties of their ancestors towards the original inhabitants of this island, as the present generation of Catholics be held subject to any disabilities on account of the persecutions of the church of Rome in antient times. This is not the inference which the author draws from the same premises. It was no part of his intention to furnish weapons for the odious cause even of honest bigotry, much less fof that of the hypocritical bigotry of the present
day. He has merely adhered to the truth of history, and fairly pursued his subject; and no blame attaches to him, if a wrong use is made of that which it was his duty to relate. He does not fail on any fit occasion to bear manly testimony to the inspiring cause of religious liberty, to which he appears to be a well-informed and zealous friend.
For JUNE, 1814.
I . RELIGIOUS. Art. 16. The Predestined Thief ; or a Dialogue between a Calvin.
istic Preacher and a Thief condemned to the Gallows ; in which is represented, in a Copy drawn as it were from the Life, the InAuence of Calvinistic Principles in producing Crimes and Impieties of every Sort, and the Impediments placed by those Principles in the Way of the Sinner's Repentance and Amendment of Life. [With an Application to the recent Case of Robert Kendall, who was executed at Northampton, August 13.1813.] Translated from the original Latin, published, London, 1651, without either the Author's or Printer's Name. 8vo. 35. Nichols and Son. 1814.
The author of this dialogue, who is said to have been Archbishop Sancroft, holding the doctrine of rigid and exclusive Predestination in abhorrence, endeavours in a familiar way to argue mankind to reject it and to shun the preachers of it. In this dialogue, therefore, between the thief and the Calvinistic minister, the language of the original Calvinistic school is introduced, and its immoral tendency is placed in a strong point of view. The thief contends that the necessity of sinning was imposed on him on the part of God;' and the Calvinist, on his avowed principle of eternal and immutable decrees, is unable to vanquish the thief in argument. We give a short specimen :
• Thief. Are not all then elect?
« Preacher. By no means; for God of his own mere good pleasure, without any respective consideration of their future impiety or wickedness, bath ordained the greatest part of mankind to eternal damnation!!
* Thief. Tell me then, in good earnest, what think you of my state? Am I elect, or reprobate? Do you answer -- or are you doubtful as to the enquiry ? Speak! - involve not your meaning in . uncertain expressions ; think not one thing while you speak another; let your words and your judgment coincide ; candidly and clearly tell ine your sentiments. It is absolutely necessary I should know the truth. If I am reprobate, I should believe a lie ; for Christ hath obtained no grace for the reprobate. If I am elect, I shall follow the truth, and not a lic; but, for enquiry into the truth, the Gospel is a necessary guide. Above all things, I would know whether I am elect or not.