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about this fact seems to be, that their recognition of the King's supremacy would have been taken as a title to clemency that would have saved them.” (Vol. II. p. 375.) With regard to the execution of More, Mr. Turner tells us, that “although we have not the detail of the arraignment or of the proofs, the preceding facts are sufficient to shew that it was not for merely declining to acknowledge Henry's supremacy that he was convicted" (p.381). In support of his assertion that the Carthusians could not have suffered for denying the supremacy, Mr. Turner, in a note, refers to the 26 Henry VIII. cap. 1, which, he tells us, enacts that the King is Supreme Head of the Church, but adds no penalties and mentions no treason; and hence he infers, that no one could be convicted of high treason for denying the supremacy. The crown lawyers of that day were, however, rather more skilful ihan Mr. Turner in devising treasons, and it was certainly not difficult, notwithstanding Mr. Turner's positive assertions to the contrary, to convert the denial of the supremacy into an act of treason. The 26 Hen. VIII. c. 1, it is true, contains no penalties and mentions no treasons; but it enacts, as Mr. Turner must have seen, “ that the King shall have and enjoy all honours, dignities, pre-eminences, &c., to the dignity of Supreme Head of the Church belonging and appertaining.” By a later statute, passed in the same session of Parliament, (26 Hen. VIII. c. 13,) also cited by Mr. Turner, it was made treason “to maliciously wish or desire, by words or writing, or by craft imagine, invent, or attempt, any bodily harm to the King or Queen, or to deprive them of the dignity, title, or name, of their royal estates,” &c. Now, by 26 Hen. VIII. c. 1, the King's supremacy was declared to be one of the royal dignities, and to deny it was surely “ maliciously to wish or desire to deprive him of his dignity,” within the 26 Hen. VIII. c. 13. That Sir Thomas More was charged in the indictment with this treason, amongst others, most clearly appears from his own defence : “ The second charge against me is, that I have violated the act made in the last Parliament; that is, being a prisoner and twice examined, I would not, out of a malignant, perfidious, obstinate, and traitorous mind, tell them my opinion whether the King was supreme head of the Church or not.” Howell's State Trials, Vol. 1. p. 388. That this was in truth the charge upon which More was conricted, appears from the following circumstance: When the Jury, after a deliberation of only a quarter of an hour, had brought in the verdict of guilty, the Court, eager to condemn their venerable prisoner, were about to pass sentence upon him without observing the ordinary form of inquiring what he had to say why judgment should not pass upon him, when More interposed. On being desired to state his objection, he did so, in these words: “For as much, my Lords, as this indictment is grounded upon an Act of Parliament directly repugnant to the laws of God and his holy Church,” &c., clearly referring to the Supremacy Act. The opinion of Sir John Fitzjames was then asked by the Court. “My Lords all," replied Sir John, “by Saint Gellian I must needs confess, that if the Act of Parliament be not unlawful, then the indictment is not, in my conscience, invalid.”(Ibid.) Unless the charge against More had been that of denying the King's supremacy, for what purpose, we would ask, was Rich examined at the trial to prove the conversations which had taken place between the prisoner and himself, in the Tower, upon that subject ? Such are the proofs that More suffered for denying the supremacy. Let us now examine Mr. Turner's authorities for stating, that it was for the commission of other treasons that he was convicted. We have first a letter from Cromwell to the English ambassadors in France, in which the writer says, “ Touching Mr. More and the Bishop of Rochester, with such others as were executed here, their trea
ith the degree in which raise and reconcile the
speculation; the prorine, and error in the Christians in their saes and intrigues which of Christians in geneIristory of some of the Ints of the professors its and ecclesiastical of diffusion among legree in which their Ingy to that of the erary institutions of which much infora real and faithful pursuing inquiries utterly opposed to lot merely to learn
frame of society kes have, in our Infounding states, totally dissimilar. le progress of an vide, as accurate d deal must, of vriter, reasoning im scanty mate1 and analogic the difficulty, of the state of 1, we conceive, hould not wish nd one result it would be, early history licableness to ity, therefore, istence to any would be from od to avoid any struction, A. D.
we contemplate , a great deal of now forms the dry vould be offered of on, piety, simplicity recepts of the gospel in
many a practical lesson and many a warning against 4 adding to divine truth the
sons, conspiracies, and practices, secretly practised, as well within the realm as without, to move and stir dissension, and to sow sedition within the realm, intending thereby not only the destruction of the King, but also the whole subversion of his realm, being explained and declared, and so manifestly proved afore them, that they could not avoid or deny it.”. “ It is not likely,” observes Mr. Turner, " that a Minister of State would have used such strong language as this without some adequate grounds.” Is it then improbable that Comwell should have attempted to impress upon the mind of the ambassador at the French Court, where his Master's cruelty had excited so much surprise and horror, that More had suffered justly, whatever his offence in fact was? The next authority is the King's letter of the 25th of June, which mentions.“ the treasons traitorously committed against us and our laws, by the late Bishop of Rochester and Sir Thomas More,” and a proclamation, which says, that More was justly attainted and convicted of divers and sundry and manifest and detestable high treasons.” Does Mr. Turner imagine that the slightest credit is to be attached to statements like these, emanating from the very person whose injustice and cruelty they are cited to disprove? According to Mr. Turner's ideas of historical authority, he might, with equal propriety, adduce the proclamation of the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth against James II., in order to prove that Charles II. was murdered by his brother.
But it is not merely of the want of accuracy and research that we must complain in examining this portion of Mr. Turner's History: we must notice with disapprobation the principles which he promulgates, in order to shew that the Duke of Norfolk, and other distinguished men who formed Henry's cabinet, did not " kill men tyranically for differences of opinion or mere theoretical speculations.” Mr. Turner enters into an elaborate argument, the substance of which is, that when a government prescribes a certain doctrine to the people, no inatter what it is, right or wrong, and the people choose to deny that doctrine, they are guilty of what Mr. Turner terms “a revolutionary revolt,” and to kill them is not to act tyrannically. They are not killed for differing in opinion from the government, but for saying that they differ in opinion; and the reasoning of Mr. Turner has this singular result, that it is impossible for a government to put a man to death for a difference of opinion. If he is silent he cannot be put to death, for no one knows that he entertains the obnoxious opinion; if he speaks, he is put to death, not for entertaining the opinion, but for expressing it, and thus being guilty of a “revolutionary-revolt.”
We find a distinction somewhat resembling this in Burnet: “ It cannot but be confessed that to enact, under the pain of death, that none should deny the King's title, and to proceed upon that against offenders, is a very different thing from forcing them to swear the King to be the Supreme Head of the Church.”. Burnet's Hist. of the Ref., Vol. I. p. 35).
We cannot forbear transcribing the sensible and judicious annotation of Mr. Hargrave upon this passage, more especially as it affords a very complete answer to the reasoning of Mr. Turner in the note to which we have above alluded: “ This
sounds more like an apology than just reasoning. Enforcing the oath of supremacy by the penalty of treason, was resorting to the highest punishment known to our law. Wherein, too, consisted the material difference in point of rigour between treason for not swearing to the king's supremacy, and treason for denying it? Was it not equally the object of the statutes creating both crimes to compel the acknowledgment of the King's supremacy by the same extremity of punishment ? Can there be any reason to suppose that those who were concerned in the deaths of Bishop Fisher and
Sir Thomas More for denying the supremacy, if it had been requisite, would have been so scrupulous as to hesitate about construing the refusal of the oath a denial ? When it is objected to Henry as a cruelty, that many were put to death for not swearing to his supremacy, without doubt every
denial of it, whether implied by refusing the oath or expressly by words, was meant. Therefore it is foreign to the spirit of the remark to say, that they were thus punisbed for denying the supremacy, not for refusing to swear to it . So verbal an answer to the animadversion of Henry's enemies would scarcely have escaped the learned Bishop if he had not been insensibly inAluenced by a fear lest the justice and propriety of the Reformation should be prejudiced by the cruelty of Henry's measures in its commencement. But the cause of truth is never finally helped by an ill-founded argument. The Reformation rests on a better foundation than the humanity of Henry's actions, nor is there any necessary connexion between the one and the other; bad and cruel princes being frequently the casual instruments of great good to society." Howell's State Trials, Vol. I. P. 471.
The writings of Mr. Turner have been so long before the public that it is perhaps unnecessary for us to make any observations upon the style of the volume before us, which is greatly deficient in simplicity. The same error may be remarked in the writer's sentiments, which are frequently far-fetched and sometimes fantastical. We cannot name a more striking example of this than the parallel between the Deity and Cardinal Wolsey, Vol. I. p. 198:
"In contemplating such an extravagant specimen of human arrogance and vanity as Wolsey in his mature age chose to become, it is delightful and consoling to the mind to remember, that the most stupendous Being in nature is peculiarly distinguished by the absence of all pride, and by the perpetual practice of that amenity in himself which he has enjoined to his creatures,"
ART. III.-Primitive Christianity, or the Religion of the Ancient Chris
tians in the First Ages of the Gospel. By William Cave, D. D. Abridged, &c., by John Brewster, M. A. Rivington. 1825. This is a pious little work, abridged with some care, and accompanied by practical and doctrinal observations'; but from the plan of its arrangement, it is not very interesting to the reader, and certainly not very well calculated to impress on the mind a distinct view of the singular state of
society which it is designed illustrate. The latter object is indeed a very ! difficult one to accomplish, especially in a work of strictly historical detais.
The whole frame of society, in the first age of Christianity, must be so essentially dissimilar, the same names and words must often represent subjects so totally different in reality from the ideas which they now convey to the mind, and the points on which any thing like detailed views of the social ştate are preserved, must be so insulated and disjointed, that any exposition becomes either so laboriously erudite as to fatigue the ordinary reader, or so meagre and vague as to disappoint instead of satisfying the curiosity.
It need hardly be observed, that the materials for an accurate description of the rise and progress of the church, the state of society, and the formation and establishment of opinions and discipline on many subjects during the greater part of the first two centuries, are very scanty, and the closest research tends greatly to diminish the number of direct sources on which we can rely with confidence in their authenticity. The Patres apostoloci must, it is now very generally admitted, be confined within considerably smaller limits than Lardner would wish to assign; and Rosenmuller, Michaelis, and