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pendence lofty as that of any age and clime, embraces its corroding chains. The bibliographical triumph of Alcala awakens a general fear, and its six hundred copies, evidently intended only for the learned, were barely licensed by Leo X., and that after hesitation and five years' delay. The sovereigns and - the nations were cajoled that their extirpation of heresy, in the
banishment of the Jews and the expulsion of the Moslems, by espiery and fagot, was the cause of heaven's favour towards them in the magnificence of their new-won possessions. Extirpation ! Ferdinand's eyes are just closed; the death-mist is hovering over those of Ximenes; they have done their utmost; their engine of extirpation has done its worst; there is but a year between their end; and Luther has already, at Wittemberg, published his thesis against the doctrine of indulgences, and, in five years more, Europe strains its ear that it might listen to him at the diet of Worms. Extirpation! The Reformation had begun already. Much of inefficiency might thus be charged on the Inquisition. Its sanguine cloud could not quench the orb of day.' But locally it did answer its design. It destroyed inquiry, and overpowered conviction. It closed each clink against the admission of light. It drank the blood of the saints. The same bigotry launched its Armada against England, and met its reward. It provoked a signal reprisal in the sacking of Cadiz. And what is Spain ? Torn by parties, convulsed by revolutions, its mighty colonies rent from it, with the exception of a single isle. Where is its once wide-wafted commerce, potent negotiation, and warlike state ? Where is its navy, which swept the seas? Where is its banner, which was simultaneously unfurled on three continents? Where is its literature and its virtue? Where is the crown of Ferdinand and Isabella, with its streaming rays ? For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.'
One more cause may be assigned why the Spanish monarchy, of then unprecedented extent, of then beneficent promise, failed: it was not only persecution in the genus, but a particular direction of it. The procedure of God in his ban upon the commonwealth of Israel, his pursuance of a fearful doom, involve no duty on our part. We are not the assessors of his judgment-seat. He does not commit the sentence to us for execution. He still avenges them on their oppressors. They may have blindly accomplished his purpose.
He reckons with them according to their motives, The nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge,' said God. “I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.' What power ever despoiled and
trod down this people, but itself suffered the curse ? God is still round about them: he is mindful of them: he remembers them still. Peculiar hypocrisy was to be observed in Spanish outrage against them. Many of them had professed Christianity; they filled high offices and trusts. It was enough to bring them into the toils, if they retained an ancestral usage, if the tint and feature of their nation were not extinguished. It was but a foul extortion of their wealth. It was robbery and pillage. Then the spectacle of the auto-da-fé became indifferent, so that the flames were fed. Little care was there who might be the victims. Bonds were cancelled, and debts discharged, by the stake. The Jew was a large creditor: thus was he to be paid. His religion was but the pretext.
Of one it is told that he seemed to waver as he was led in his benito to the scene of death. The crowd, fearing the loss of their amusement, actually encouraged his resolution in his heresy : Sta ferme, Mosè.'
All, all is lost-so far as we can see-of an apparatus of power and freedom beyond all account, and almost beyond all imagination! The glory is departed, the shield is vilely thrown away, the diadem of every arch and gem is broken-and persecution has done it all! The very land mourns! Yet this desolation will not be in vain, if we will hear and heed the voice which speaks to us from the majestic ruins. Unlike those of Babylon and Palmyra, the ruins are not of broken column, and wall, and tower ; they are the fragments which can livesunken character, humiliated mind, and blasted virtue. Yet patriotism heaves no contrite sigh, and weeps no elegiac tear!
Whatever attempts religious uniformity, by any secular means, is at core persecution. The principle of a civil incorporation of Christianity cannot avoid this consequence; there is civil privilege or loss as we adhere or dissent. It might be independent of general impost; if not, the case is absolutely unjust. Public money is exacted for an establishment which is already invidiously placed as to many of those who must contribute it. The scale of persecution has its degrees. Interference with personal inquiry and conscience-whether by death, by imprisonment, by deprivation, by contumely, by depression, by slight, by neglect
-is its root and sap. Ximenes as much persecuted by bribes as by tortures.
Our adorable Saviour, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession,' supplies the solution of all civil strifes and safeguards in the promotion of his cause. • If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.' He states an instance, but he legislates a principle. If his kingdom took hold of worldly interests and passions, if it were a thing of present
and secular jurisdiction, then would it, like all such organization, admit of force or of some worldly sanction; then might his servants fight for it as for any other social institution. But it is not from hence; it is wholly spiritual—it is the kingdom of God. There must be no lordship, no enthralment; none must rise by it in external advantage, nor suffer by it. It is entirely out of the battle-ground of earthly competition; therefore the servants of Christ do not fight for it. But Christianity, by its coalition with worldly passions and interests, became an adventure for the most unholy. It was an ensign for the soldier to follow, an emolument for the sordid, a distinction for the aspiring, a power for the ambitious. Why should they not fight for it as for any other prize ? Attach but one worldly element to Christianity, and you give scope for every worldly disposition to contend for it. We want none other key.
We may be often tempted to despond, when we study great epochs like that which we have now surveyed. There seems a retrogradation in the affairs of men. Spain is reduced in its fame and in its power. But this is retribution. That fame was forfeited ; that power, arrogantly vaunted and mercilessly abused, is taken from it. But did this reign exist for a vain show?' It answered ends which have not yet run out, and many of its fruits we still may reap. What though that country seems only fading from us, shorn and dimming like a receding star,its population dwindled, its soil languishing, its wealth wasted, its power disarrayed, its spirit fled ? Let us stand on a higher watch-tower than its Pyrenees, and look forth on a world. Does it grow old? Does its mind stagnate? Are its movements theatrically frivolous ? Are its inventions arrested ? Do its hopes sicken? Do its inhabitants weary in their career? Nor need shame and despair be branded on Castile. Another Isabella sits upon the throne. Could she avoid the guilty policy of her great ancestress, she might retrieve the monarchy. Let her tread out the last ashes of the Inquisition; let her seek the constitutional freedom and moral regeneration of her people ; let her explode superstitions far more corrupting than those which the Ante-Tridentine ages knew; let her exemplify religious liberty-the only security of civil, but by no means even its ordinary accompaniment; and then, though the Colossus which strode from the Mediterranean to the Pacific, while the Atlantic rolled between its feet, cannot again configure and exalt itself, yet may Spain lift up its brow once more, honoured and greeted by younger states. The same sun shines on it; why should it not send gladness over its fields and cities? The same rivers water it; why should they not refresh and fertilize
its plains and valleys? Why should man alone be degenerate there? Surely it is written of it in heaven,-martyrs, and it had many, pray for their country, and not that their blood be laid to its charge; Paul trod its ground, or purposed to do so; and with his visit, or the thought of his visit, spread over that destination a cloud of prayers. Surely shall this land be recovered from the desolations of many generations ! Surely shall a country so grandly and so independently set, with its harbours and headlands, amidst an almost circumfluous deep, not be lost to its continent, if that continent have any other task to fulfil! Once the pioneer, bursting open a way for that continent to a new world, we cannot forebode that all its work is done! When shall the nobler aspirations of a true religion soar in this people like their heaven-climbing mountains, and their spirits be free as their waves ?
Thoughts, big and mighty, coine to our aid and solace, when we mourn, in mortification and anguish, over the failures which history records. There was not wanting many a crisis when the Reformation seemed about to spring up in Spain. Personages were beheld in its monasteries and its palaces who might, from their peculiar conformation of character, have struck the blow. It appeared to hang as by a thread, whether it should not have claimed the glory of banishing persecution for ever from its shores, and of smiting it down for ever in the world. These results are constantly shadowed out, and we still wonder why they were withheld. But our mortal progress is slow; a large research is demanded to yield the proper conception. We must look afar. One Pleiad lost darkens not the heavens; endless concentricities do not deform them. But ours is the delight of the astronomer, who not only sees the successions of the firmament which strike the vulgar eye, but marks the influence of an inscrutable attraction bearing the entire sidereal system forward, notwithstanding its apparent intersecting rotation in its wonted paths,-some sublime pivot on which the whole vibrates, and some inconceivably wider orbit through which the whole revolves!
ART. VIII. The Public and Private Life of Lord Chancellor Eldon,
with Selections from his Correspondence. By HORACE Twiss, Esq. one of her Majesty's Counsel. In three volumes. Second edition. London : John Murray, Albemarle-street. 1844.
LORD CHANCELLOR ELDON was one of the most prominent actors in the great political drama which terminated the Georgian age. At the most critical juncture of that period, he was brought into public life. He chose his own part, certainly not a subordinate one, as it regarded the office which he held, whether we consider him as a lawyer or a statesman ; while he occupied the anomalous position of being the keeper of the conscience of his sovereign, and at all times, and under all circumstances, that of his ready and obsequious minister. The consciences of the master and the servant never clashed. Wolsey's . Ego et Rex meus' was, in the case of Lord Eldon, reversed, and it was the king who might have said Ego et Cancellarius meus.'
In almost every written communication, the emphatical phrase which his majesty employed in addressing this great officer of staté was, 'the king has found his chancellor's letter '—the king is much pleased with his excellent chancellor's note—the king fully authorises his most excellent Lord Eldon. No doubt, the personage thus addressed, persuaded his conscience that, in yielding to every dictate of the royal will, he was promoting the interests of his country. History will tell the result. The king's will, in matters of government, was the chancellor's law; and all the measures in parliament, which he either originated or supported, were not to advance constitutional liberty, but to stretch beyond all reasonable limits the prerogatives of the crown. to escape the storm of tumultuous "democracy-a phantom which had been artfully conjured out of the French revolution, the Lord Chancellor, following the example of the memorable apostate ostensibly at the head of the administration, was ready to sacrifice the constitution to royal influence. With Lord Eldon and his colleagues, absolute monarchy was the panacea for popular discontent, which, though excited and aggravated by themselves, was to be annihilated by the total extinction of popular freedom. Toryism-such, happily, as is little known to the present generation-pervaded the country, and Eldon was its impersonation; a toryism so ruthless, that could its reign have been perpetuated, the Dey of Algiers might have envied the occupant of the British throne. A writer of the period thus describes the state of public affairs, when the office of attorney-general was entrusted by the monarch to