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dulged” themselves in idolatry and other pollutions; so do savages: hence the bishop might as well conclude that such corruptions are not aguinst the law of nature, although that must ever be congenial and consistent with reasonable beings. It is too a dangerous paradox to maintain that the apostle's meaning of “fornication" applied only to the violation of “ the Jewish prohibited degrees” of marriage; for this is what appears to be the meaning of the author in reply to the well-founded objections of his friend. The distinction between the degrees of intermarriage prohibited by nature, and those by the Jewish laws, is eminently just; but the author evidently labours under a very gross and unaccountable misconception both of the moral law and the law of nature. A somewhat similar error, perhaps occasioned by this of Warburton, led the late ingenious but ill-judging Madden into the most extravagant and absurd notions of social virtue. We think however that Bishop Hurd, after witnessing the danger of the instance just mentioned, should either have accompanied this letter with some remarks tending to expose and obviate such a serious misconception, or have withheld it entirely from the public: the latter mode indeed was certainly preferable, as all such discussions tend only to raise, instead of settling, doubts on subjects which are so selfevident, that none but the depraved or the visionary could ever hesitate on the matter. On ecclesiastical law, Bishop Warburton is more worthy of attention, though here top his peculiar mode of thinking is apparent.
“ Under the Norman and Plantagenet lines," he observes, “the prerogative rose or fell just as the pope or the barons ruled at
But the principle of civil liberty was always in vigour (we night say that it is indigenous to the soil]. The barons were a licentious race in their private lives. The bishops threw them out a bait, which they were too wise to catch at. Subsequent marriage by the imperial laws, as well as canons, legitimated bastards as to succession. The common law kept them eternally in their state of bastardy. The barons' castles were full of bastards—the very name was honourable. At a parliament under Henry III. ro
gaverunt omnes episcopi ut consentirent quod nati ante matrimo' nium essent legitimi -- et omnes comites et barones unâ voce respon
derunt quod nolunt leges Angliæ mutari.' Coke-Littleton, 1. 3. c. 6. § 40. This famous answer has been quoted a thousand and thousand times, and yet nobody seems to have understood the management. The bishops, as partisans of the pope, were for subjecting England to the imperial and papal laws, and therefore began with a circumstance most to the taste of the barons. The barons smelt the contrivance; and rejected a proposition most agreeable to them,
for fear of the consequences—the introduction of the imperial laws, whose very genius and essence was arbitrary despotic power. Their answer shows it, • Nolumus leges Angliæ mutari; '--they had nothing to object to the reform, but they were afraid for the constitution.
“ After the Reformation, the Protestant divines, as appears by the homilies composed by the wisest and most disinterested men, such as Cranmer and Latimer, preached up non-resistance very strongly; but it was only to oppose to popery. The case was this: "the pope threatened to excommunicate and depose Edward-he did put his threats into execution against Elizabeth.
This was esteemed such a stretch of power, and so odious, that the Jesuits contrioed all means to soften it. One was by searching into the origin of civil power, which they brought rightly (thongh for wicked purposes) from the people; as Mariana and others. "To combat this, and to save the person of the sovereign, the protestant divines preached up divine right-Hooker, superior to every thing, followed the truth. But it is remarkable that this non-resistance, that at the Reformation was employed to keep out popery, was at the Revolution employed to bring it in --so eternally is truth sacrificed to politics!
P. 198-200, " lny studying this period"(the civil wars, observes Dr. Warburton in a previous letter), 's the most important, the most wonderful in all history, I suppose you will make Lord Clarendon's incomparable performance your ground-work. I think it will be understood to advantage, by reading, as an introduction to it, Papin's reign of James I., and the first 14 years of Charles I. After this will follow Whitlocke's Memoirs. It is only a journal or diary, very ample, and full of important matters.
The writer was learned in his own profession; thought largely in religion by the advantage of his friendship with Selden; for the rest, he is vain and pedantic; and on the whole a little genius. Ludlow's Memoirs, as to its composition, is below criticism; as to the matter, curious enough. With what spirit written, you may judge by his character, which was that of a furious, mad, but I think apparently honest, repobJican, and independent. May's History of the Parlinment is a just composition, according to the rules of history. It is written with much judgment, penetration, mauliness, and spirit; and with a candour that will greatly increase your esteem, when you understand that he wrote by order of his masters, the parliament. It breaks off (much to the loss of the history of that time) just when their armies were new modelled by the self-denying ordinance. This loss was attempted to be supplied by Sprigge's History of Fuirfar's erploiis non passibus æquis. He was chaplain to the general; is not altogether devoid of May's candour, though he Þas little of his spirit.
Walker says it was written by the famous Colonel Fiennes, though under Sprigge's name.
It is altogether a military history, as the following one of Walker, called The History of Independency, is a civil one; or rather of the nature of a political pamphlet against the Independents. It is full of curious anecdotes
; though written with much fury, by a wrathful presbyterian member, who was cast out of the saddle with the rest
by the Independents. Milton was even with him, in the firm and severe character be draws of the presbyterian administration, which you will find in the beginning of one of his books of the History of England, in the late uncastrated editions. In the course of the study of these writers, you will have perpetual occasion to verify or refute what they deliver, by turning over the authentic pieces in Nalson's, and especially Rushworth’s, voluminous collections, which are vastly curious and valuable. The Elenchus motuum of Bates, and Sir Philip Warwick's Memoirs, may be worth reading. Nor must that strange thing of Hobbes be forgot, called The History of the Civil Wars: it is in dialogue, and full of paradoxes, like all his other writings. More philosophical, political, or any thing rather than historical; yet full of shrewd observations. When you have digested the history of this period, you will find in Thurloe's large Collection many letters that will let you thoroughly into the genius of those times and persons.” P. 148–150.
The last topic we shall notice is the character of the celebrated antiquary, Dr. Stukeley, and antiquarian literature.
“ You say true, I have a tenderness in my temper which will make me miss poor Stukeley; for not to say that he was one of my oldest acquaintance, there was in him such a mixture of sim. plicity, drollery, absurdity, ingenuity, superstition, and antiquarianism, that he often afforded that kind of well-seasoned repast, which the French call an ambigu; I suppose, from a pound of things never meant to meet together. I have often heard him laughed at by fools, who had neither his sense, his knowledge, nor his honesty; though it must be confessed that in him they were all strangely travestied. Not a week before his death [at 84], he walked from Bloomsbury to Grosvenor-square, to pay me a visit ; was cheerful as usual, and as full of literary projects. But his business was to solicit for the prebend of Canterbury: For,' added he, one never dies the sooner, you know, for seeking preferment.'
“ It is as you say of Percy's Ballads *. Pray is this the man who wrote about the Chinese? Antiquarianism is, indeed, to true letters, what specious funguses are to the oak; which never shoot, out and flourish till all the vigour and virtue of that monarch of the grove be effete, and near exhausted of."
Similar allusions occur very often in these letters; and, whereever Dr. Hurd has first made an observation on any writer or his work, Dr. Warburton contents himself with expressing his approbation in this manner: the reader of course is obliged to guess or remain totally ignorant of the opinion of both writers, in consequence of Dr. Hurd's letters being withheld from the public.—This is not one of the least faults of this publication. Rev.
+ This condemnation of " antiquarianism,”, will be of “ infinite service” to the Bridge-street knight, who may found a volume or two on it, as he did on a sentence in Gray's Letters respecting travellers' descriptions. Red.
We must now take our leave of the interesting conversations of these truly learned and, we doubt not, good men. The style of these epistles, which is not very dissimilar to that of the more finished works of their re. spective authors, is simple, sufficiently elevated, and perspicuous, but by no means either very correct or elegant. There is throughout these letters a philosophical and a sincere conviction of the importance of Christian faith and duty; yet they are as perfectly devoid of all affected piety, or the odious
cant of methodism," as they are of superstition, of which they are much freer than those of Hume or Voltaire.--Those who absurdly pretend that Christian faith is incompatible with rigid reason, need only read these confidential and private communications of two distiuguished prelates, to be convinced of the falsehood of this notion. True Christianity indeed is but the perfection of right reason, and science is a necessary handmaid to both.
We shall only observe; that our quotations have been taken from the octavo edition; and we cannot express our approbation too warmly of the honest plan of enabling the public to indulge individual taste, by the purchase either of a costly splendid quarto, or a modest octavo at half the price
. Independent also of the charitable purpose to which the profits of these volumes are consigned their intrinsic merit, notwithstanding their personalities and too often repeated complimentary expressions, will recommend them to the serious perusal of a very numerous and very respectable class of readers.
Malcolm's London during the Eighteenth Century.
[Concluded from Vol. 31, P. 413.] IN the anecdotes of depravity we find many particulars of that infamous deception, the South-Sea scheme, and a. long list of other plans intended to get money by other practices than industry: gaming was the favourite of that day, as much as of the present; and the public were as easily duped by the bold assertions of projectors.-- In this chapter occur the following particulars of the Cock-lune ghost, which we extract for the information of the present age, as we are well aware that several attempts have been, made of late years again to take advantage of popular credulity, in regard to presumed superpatural agencies. To
deprive these practices of their force and mischief, is best effected by an exposure of the arts that have been detected on similar occasions.
“ There is something so absurd and ridiculous in the terrors spread by Miss Parsons, that I think it hardly fair to class her operations with really serious offences against the laws of morality; but, recollecting that her knockings indicated a charge of poisoning, my scruples are removed, and I proceed to sketch the principal outlines of an incident that agitated the public mind till 1762, when all who had “three ideas in continuity” were convinced that the spirit possessed no supernatural powers.
“ For two years previous to the above date, knockings and scratchings had frequently been heard during the night in the first floor of a person named Parsons, who held the office of Clerk to St. Sepulchre's church, and resided in Cock-lane, near West Smithfield. This man, aburmed at the circumstance, made several experiments to discover the cause, and at last had the amazing good fortune to trace the sounds to a bedstead, on which two of his children reposed after the fatigues of the day; the eldest of whom, though a most surprizing girl of her age, had numbered but twelve winters. Justly supposing the children might suffer some dreadful injury from the knocker, this affectionate parent removed them a story higher; but, horror upon horror, the tremendous noise followed the innocents,' and even disturbed their rest for whole nights. But this was not all: a publican, resident in the neighbourhood, was frightened into serious illness by the form of a fleeting female ghost, which saluted his vision one fatal evening when in Parsons's house; nay, that worthy clerk saw it hinselt about an hour afterwards.
“ Facts of this description cannot be concealed : reports of the noises and of the appearance of the phantom spread from the lane into a vast circle of space; numbers visited the unfortunate house, and others sat the night through with the tortured infant, appalled by sounds terrific; at length a Clergyman determined to adjure the Spirit, and thus obtain direct replies to the following questions: • Whether any person in that house had been injured?' The answer, expressed by the number of knocks (as the ghost was denied the power of speech, and of shewing herself within reach), was in the affirmative. • Was she a woman?'- Yes;' the Spirit then explained, that she had been kept by Mr. -, who poisoned her when ill of the Small-pox, and that her body was deposited in the vault of St. John's church, Clerkenwell.' During this examination, the girl exhibited a considerable deal of art, but betrayed herself decidedly in several instances. The result was, that the Spirit ardently desired the murderer might be punished for her alledged death. A wise-acre, who narrated the above particulars in a newspaper of the time, observes, with wonderful sagacity, , • What is remarkable is, that the Spirit is never heard till the • children are in bed. This knocking was heard 'by the supposed
woman when alive, who declared it foretold her death.' Another account of the affair asserts, that the person accused had married