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Review and Magazine;
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Art. I. Somcrville'j Reign of Queen Anne.
[Continued from r. I Jo.)
AConsiderable time elapsed before the success of Mr. Harley and his tool was ascertained; and it would, probably, have never been so complete but for the concurrence of other favourable circumstances. Never, indeed, was the power of the Whig party so great as when a mine was digging to sap its foundations.
The thirteenth chapter begins with the effects of the Union, particularly in Scotland, where its benefits were not immediately perceived; and where two parties, very opposite in principle and views, continued inimical to a measure, afterwards experimentally proved to have been so salutary. The Jacobites lamented and execrated it as the bane of their hopes, because it guaranteed the succession to those descendants of the royal family who had not, by their religion, disqualified themselves for ascending to the throne of their ancestors; in other words, it secured a Protestant kingdom to No. xiv. Vol. in. Bb Protestant Protestant heirs.* The Presbyterians, then deeply tinctured with that fanaticism, which connection with England, and the consequent effusion of literature has since so fully corrected and moulded into rational Christianity, were apprehensive that intercourse with England might diminish the attachment of the most powerful men to the establishment of ~ their church, and to their confession of faith. These particular views and prejudices, opposite as they were to each other, combined to shut the eyes of numbers to the real interests of Scotland. The discontents of the Scotch encouraged France to prepare for an invasion, in favour of the Pretender. A fleet sailed for Scotland with the young Chevalier on board,, and reached the mouth of the Forth -r but being pursued by Sir George Byng, with a more powerful squadron, did not attempt to effect a landing; and, sailing round the island,, returned to Dunkirk.
Meanwhile, the first British Parliament met. That session was chiefly distinguished by the predominance of the Whig party, the wise and liberal provisions made for expediting and facilitating the beneficial consequences to Scotland from the Union; and by the vigorous resolutions for prosecuting the war. The Duke of Marlborough took the field in Flanders, joined by Prince Eugene, equal-to himself in Military Experience, and second to no other commander in Genius. France, encouraged by the success of the former year/made extraordinary preparations for the campaign of 1708. The combined Generals, in the Low Countries, completely defeated her armies, and captured, beside many other towns, Lisle, a fortress before deemed impregnable. In several quarters, the want of concert among the different members of the confederacy, the pursuit by some of them of private and partial interests, instead of the Grand And- General ObJect Of The Combination, obstructed efforts for the complete discomfiture of France. Had the Duke of Savoy, and some of the German potentates, acted upon the fame great and comprehensive principles as the British cabinet and British leaders, France might have been, in 1708, compelled to accept of such terms of peace as the Allies should impose. The Emp;ror Joseph I. except where Prince Eugene com
* This is the tenor on which the present family hold the throne, and not the people's choice, as asserted by Democrats, with a view of rendering that Monarchy elective which is now hereditary, pcobably thinking they thereby might prepare the way for that total •verthrow of kingly power which Democrats desire and seek. .
manded, tnanded, sacrificed the wise policy on which the war had been undertaken, to very narrow and (hort-sighted views. In a word, the history of foreign politics, in 1708, is pregnant witli instruction to confederacies, formed for some important end, not to deviate from the primary purpose of their combination for secondary advantages.
During this and the preceding year, England was annoyed by a set of enthusiasts as inimical to found reason and rational piety as the most fanatical votaries of methodism; though, fortunately for that age, of only short duration. We shall transcribe the account at full length, as it manifests the hurtful extravagance of those who take their religion from their disordered fancies, instead of their understandings and consciences, coolly and fairly examining nature and revelation. The description, though different in some specific absurdities, yet, in its general principle, applies to the Independents and Fifth Monarchy Men of the last century: the Secedert, Bereans, Anlinomians, Methodijis, and other visionary and puritanical religionists of the present age, whether their teachers be fieldpreachers or chapel-holders; as travelling pedlars, or as shopkeepers, vending their pernicious wares; as fixed quacks, or vagabond mountebanks, dispersing deleterious drugs among the votaries of ignorance and credulity :—
"About the end of the year 1706, several French Protestant*, from the country of the Cevennes, arrived in England. They were generally treated with tenderness and indulgence as sufferers for conscience take, till the extravagant pretensions and frantic behaviour cf some of their leaders disturbed the public peace, and at length required the interference of the civil magistrate. Elias Marion was the principal actor in this strange scene of enthusiasm or imposture; for it Is difficult to decide, whether he was the dupe of his own delirious imagination, or only acting a part in order to gratify a spurious ambition by rendering himself the object of popular admiration. He pretended to be the inspired messenger of Heaven, and to have received authority to denounce judgements, and foretell future events. John Cavalier and Durand Fage, only put in their claim as subordinate instruments in Marion's commission; and co-operated in attesting his authority, and propagating the doctrines revealed to him by the Spirit of God. Although the topics insisted upon by these selfcommiflioned prophets were frivolous or unintelligible; their expressions confused, abrupt, and incoherent; and the attitudes and motions with which they were accompanied, wild and eccentric; but, at the fame time, such as might have been acquired by artifice and habit; yet they met with wonderful success in collecting a multitude of followers of low rank, and even in making a few proselytes respectable for station and character.
"The Ministers and Elders of the French chapel in the Savoy begun to be uneasy on account of these irregularities, lest they should bring
Bb 1 reproach reproach upon their own congregation, and give authority so prejudices, unfavourable to the Protestant refugees, which some of the citabii'hed church discovered a strong inclination to foment. The leading members of ihat congregation applied to the Bishop of London, is their ecclesiastical superior, that they might be enabled to take effectual measures for suppressing an imposture, so injurious to their own particular credit, and the interest of the reformed religion in general. Having received powers for this purpose, they summoned the three persons already named to appear before them, and give an account ot their pretensions. Elias Marion only appeared, and with a sullen obstinacy maintained his claim to divine illumination. The Commissioners condemned Ills pretension* as blasphemous and dangerous; and ordained their sentence to be entered in their register, and to be read in the several Protestant ch'apeh with which they weie connected.
"Instead of being checked or overawed by the censures of their Protestant brethren, the pretended prophets became more bold, inso.lent, and assiduous in the propagation of their tenets, and in their zeal to rnake proselytes. Tt-.ey now delivered their exhortations and prophecies every day in the streets to credulous and increasing multitudes; they inveighed against the Ministers of the established church; they denounced woeful judgements against the city of London and the English nation; and they committed their discourses to the press, to give them a diffusive circulation.
"This last step furrrtshed the Protestant congregations, whose indignation was inflamed by the contempt with which their authority was treated, with grounds for calling in the aid of the civil magistrate." p. 302—304.
In 1709. the Whigs still continued pre-eminent in power; and thereby very vigorous preparations were made for the campaign. Tiie French King having, during the winter, proposed to open a negociation for peace, sent the Marquis de Torcy to the Hague. Lord Townlhcnd was appointed to act jointly with the Duke of Marlborough as Plenipotentiaries for the Queen of Britain. The terms offered by the Ministers of the several confederates were such as they could not have believed France would admit, and shew that the Allies -did not really wish for peace. Louis thus finding a peace unattainable, except on such terms as he could not concede, as indeed they were subversive of his own honour and the independence of his people, had recourse to the loyalty of his subjects, who, by contributions, and every other effort, endeavoured to empower their Monarch to defend him and themselves from the necessity of submitting to such exorbitant demands. An army was prepared under Marshal Villars, which, though ultimately unsuccessful, made a more obstinate stand against Marlboroti»h and Eugene than they ever experienced rienced jointly; Marlborough separately, or, indeed, Eugene separately, but once. The battle of Malplaquet, though, at last, decided in favour of the confederates, was more bloody to them than even to the French; the former having lost eighteen thousand men, the latter fifteen thousand. In Spain, and at sea, Britain, and her Allies, were also superior.
At the opening of the session, 1709-10, a decline of the Whig interelt began to appear, and dissatisfaction to shew itself among the people. Many circumstances concurred to nourish this spirit of discontent, and to quicken it into action. The non-performance of engagements, of which the allies had been repeatedly convicted, notwithstanding the superior advantages procured to them by that success to which England had molt profusely contributed, excited disgust and impatience for a separation of interests. The rapacious disposition and unprecedented emoluments of the General tarnished the honour of his matchless talents in the field, and of his eminent services to his country. The overgrown fortunes of other individuals who had been employed in the public service, imprudently and ostentatiously displayed, excited envious suspicions of the partiality and extravagance of those ministers under whose patronage they had been acquired. The fruitless result of the late negociations, notwithstanding the concessions made by the French King, evinced the disinclination of the present ministers to put an end to the war, and constrained impartial men to associate that event with their dismission. To these causes in the conduct of the Whig partisans various others not depending on them added great weight. The influence of German refugees, driven by famine from their own country, and admitted here, by the generous hospitality of England, was supposed to have increased the scarcity of provisions, then very dear, from the badness of the preceding season. The people were incited against them by the leaders of the opposite party, who represented the charity afforded them as arising from bad motives, and interfering with the donations, of which, they alledged, the poor ot the country ought to have been the exclusive objects. Of the incentives to discord, agitated at this period, none were more banefully successful than those which wrought upon the religious prejudices of the people. The history and state of opinions respecting the church, from the accession of William III. to this period, is concisely exhibited. The author attempts to ddircate the character of Dr. Henry Sachcverell, and the influence which he had obtained over the public mind. But his own prejudices prevent him from displaying that portion of judgement and temper which isindispenlibly needsary for the proper dis.
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