Графични страници
PDF файл

staves of English oak, 24 inches thick ; the iron hoops (of which there are 56) weigh from one ton to three tons each : this amazing vessel will contain twenty thousand barrels of porter. It was four years in building, and cost 10,00ol.'

With the plate of the Woman churning Butter, we have a few particulars of the Butter trade. It is remarked that

• Some compute that 50,000 tons of butter are annually consumed in London, which is chiefly made within fifty miles round the city. 210,000 firkins are said to be sent yearly from Yorkshire, Cambridge, and Suffolk, each firkin containing 561bs.

It is surprising that no mention is made of Irish butter, which is imported into the metropolis in large quantities, and some of which, it has been said, is so excellent as to be sold for Epping butter.

Under the article Milk-woman, the number of cows which supply London with milk is stated at 8,500, and the annual value of this commodity is reckoned to be 481,6661.

In the account of the Bishops of England, we are told that • they are Barons and Peers of the realm :' but, if Mr. Pyne in this instance be not entirely wrong, he is erroneous in part. lc is a question whether Bishops are Barons : but it is unquestionable that they are not peers of the realm ; they are only peers of parliament.

Mr. Pyne is equally inaccurate when he reports that-s the sword and mace are constantly placed on the table before the Speaker of the House of Commons, and that Cromwell ordered these useless baubles to be taken away. Whitlock states the words of Cromwell, on the memorable occasion of his violently dissolving the Parliament, to have been, “ take away that Fool's bauble the Mace.” Here no mention is made of a sword.

We apprehend that, under the title Bill-Sticker, the author exaggerates when he remarks that we have lived to see a 30,000l. prize printed thirty thousand times as large'as small picui'- In the explanation also subjoined to the Lottery Wheel plate, another palpable misrepresentation occurs : for the Teader is there told that four sledges are employed for the purpose of conveying the Lottery wheels from Somerset place to Cooper's Hall, two for carrying the wheels containing the tickets, and blanks and prizes, and the other two the cases for the wheels. Are the Lottery wheels sent naked from Somere set Place, with the cases following them; or are they not first carefully secured in the cases, with many locks, as represented in the plate, which on the days of drawing are removed ?

Of verbal errors, several occur; as for instance we have twice statues for statutes, and Utriculari for Utricularii. In a work of such expence, more care ought to have been takea.


Wright. Ostality of sending and Unchartita and Opinions a

ART. VII. An Apology for Dr. Michael Servetus : including an Ace

count of his Life, Persecution, Writings, and Opinions ; being designed to eradicate Bigotry and Uncharitableness; and to promote Liberality of Sentiment among Christians. By Richard

Wright. 8vo. pp. 458. gs. Boards. Vidler. The ashes of a celebrated victim to protestant orthodoxy

are here anxiously collected, and piously inurned by an ardent disciple of the unfortunate martyr. Calvin's share in this foul transaction is pointedly exhibited ; and the proofs of his being the first mover and the real principal actor in this tragedy are placed in the clearest light. The zeal and holy wrath of the reforming patriarch seem to have rendered his bosom inaccessible to the slightest degree of sympathy with the daring heretic, who presumed to rebel against the authority of the Geneyese creed and ritual; and while we detest the ferocity which he displays, we must equally despise the disingenuousness and the unworthy arts to which he had recourse, in order to conceal the part which he acted on this occasion. The care which he took to involve the magistracy and clergy of the reformed cantons of Swisserland in the dark deed betray the forebodings of his conscience, and the little reliance which he placed on the rectitude of the sanguinary proceeding which has fixed so foul a blot on his memory and his cause.

We believe that the greater and more respectable part of Calvin's followers in our own country reprobate this act of their founder, and are most averse from the spirit in which it originated : but we fear that this can not so truly be said of an amphibious body among us, who avow the theological tenets of the reformer, but pretend to reject his church discipline ; who call themselves members of a hierarchy, to the heads of which they pay no obedience, and with regard to whom their followers are impressed with sentiments very opposite to those of reverence ; -- who profess themselves to be the only genuine members of a church, the service of which they forsake, in order to follow teachers whose names are entered on the records of our courts as the ministers of opposing altars. We apprehend that this class, which adheres strictly to every iota of the terrific creed of the reformer of Geneva, has receded as little from his persecuting maxims as from his forbidding tenets. It is this body which we consider as the instigators and abettors of that intolerant spirit, which in the present day has attained such strength and prevalence in this once highly enlightened country; and which is as repugnant to the dictates of true religion and to the maxims of justice,


as it is adverse to the interests of the empire in the arduous times on which we have been thrown.

While we bestow unqualified commendation on the senti. ments and professions contained in the following passage, we are under the necessity of observing that the writer does not act up to them through the whole of his volume. Agreeing fully with him in condemning the conduct of Calvin, and in detesting persecution, we find much that is questionable in his account of the opinions and conduct of Servetus.

• The evil tendency of bigotry cannot be better exemplified than by exhibiting its malignant influence on the temper and conduct of a man otherwise great and good. If the unchristian temper and conduct of the reformers be described and reprobated, it is not with a view to depreciate them; for on many accounts we revere their me. mory; but in order to render bigotry and uncharitableness odious, among whatever party of christians they may be found, and to show that the most celebrated names shall not escape uncensured if stained with the blood of the persecuted. To promote free enquiry, candor, and christian liberality; to eradicate bigotry, party spirit, and all uncharitableness ; to rescue from undeserved censure virtuous and good men, who have been branded with the name of heretics ; are the avowed objects proposed in this work, and which have been kept in view in the composition of its several parts. It is hoped that, whatever may be found its imperfections, its tendency will be allowed to be the promotion of peace and goodwill among christians. The Lord of his infinite mercy grant that happy time may soon arrive when all the disciples of Jesus shall love one another as brethren, and live together in peace.'

The irresistible curiosity, which is felt to learn the particulars of the birth and early education of persons who attain to high fame or notoriety, must not be disregarded by us in the present article. We are hence induced to insert the subsequent passages :

Writers are not agreed as to the place where Servetus was born. Having called himself in the title of some of his books Michael of · Villanova, and, in others, an Arragonian Spaniard, some have con

cluded that he was born at Villanova, or Villa Neuva, in Arragon ; but this seems not to be the fact. It appears from his own confes. sion, in his examination at Vienna, that he was born at Tudelle in Navarre. Some have conjectured that his ancestors had lived origi. nally at Villanova, and had removed to Tudelle. This is not improbable. The place of his birth is of no consequence any further that it might furnish a clue to the discovery of where he imbibed his religious opinions, and the circumstances which might lead his thoughts into so new and singular a train. From all the information that can be collected, it seems most likely that he descended from a Spanish family which had lately removed from Arragon, and at the sims of his birth resided in Navarre. They might still call themselves

of Villanova, having lately left that place, and, probablý, possessed some estate there.

"Servetus was born either in the year ! 509, or 1511; for about the time of his birth historians are not agreed. His father was a Notary. Who were his teachers we are not told, but it is evident his education was liberal. It is said he had naturally a great deal of ingenuity, and inclination for the sciences; and from his earliest youth applied himself incessantly, to the most serious studies, wherein he made such a rapid progress, that at fourteen years of age he is said to have understood Latin, Greck, Hebrew, and to have had a pretty extensive knowledge of philosophy, mathematics, and the scholastic divinity. We are told, that when about fifteen years of age he was taken into the scrvice of Charles the Fifth's Confessor, called Quintaine, and went into Italy among the attendants of that emperor, whom he saw crowned at Bologna. It is probable it was on his return from Italy that his father sent him to the university of Thoulouse, to study the civil law; for that he sent him to that university good writers posi' ively assert, and the fact has never been disproved, At Thoulouse, it seems, he devoted much of his time to the study of the scriptures. After he had been two or three years there, it is said, he resolved to retire into Germany and set up for a reformer. It appears he had meditared a great plan of reform, the bringing the christian world back to the simple doctrines of scripture. This was a Herculean labor. He did not enter precipitately upon it; but first conferred with some of the reformers. He went to Basil by way of Lyons, and Geneva ; and having had some conferences at. Basil with Oecolampadius, he set out for Strasburgh, being extremely desirous to discourse with Bucer and Capito, two celebrated reformers of that city. Al his departure from Basil, he left a ma. nuscript which he had written against the trinity in the haods of Conrad Ruuss, a bookseller, who sent it afterwards to Haguenau. Servet us went thither to get it printed, in the year 1531. This is all we know of him prior to the publication of his first book.'

Mr. Wright then asks • by what means was the character of Serverus formed? What excited in him the train of thought he pursued, and led him to form the opinions in defence of which he sacrificed his life?' He admits that he can no otherwise satisfy these inquiries than by conjecture, and thus proceeds :

The family of Servetus had resided in a country where a high degree of civil and religious liberty had long been enjoyed, in comparison of what existed in the neighbouring nations; for Spain was not always the footstool of superstition, the victim of civil and religious despotism. While the Moors ruled in that country the people were free in all matters of religion and conscience; and arts, manue factures, and erade flourished. When the christian government re. vived and extended, tepecially in Arragon, it was governed by law, and the governors, as well as ihe governed, were amenable to the laws.

Then the Arragonian stood erect, he dared to think, and to speak and act according to his thoughts. It was gradually that civil des.


[ocr errors]

potism, aided by its faithful ally, ecclesiastical tyranny,that undermined and trampled on the laws and liberties of the people, and so introduced persecution and slavery. It seems unitarianism had flourished in some parts of Spain until the country was enslaved.

• If the ancestors of Servetus left their native country because its laws were subverted and its liberties no more, and to aroid the cruel fangs of merciless inquisitors, which is not improbable, they would naturally cherish the love of liberty, and instil it into their off-pring; they would endeavour to excite in him a manly spirit and an abhorrence of civil and religious tyranny. If they came from Villanova, in the county of Urgel, which has been called the old seat of unita• rianism, it is probable they brought with them to their new residence, unitarian principles ; and of course would communicate them to their son. Mr. Robinson says, Servetus • was an Arraconian of the old cast, and seems to have imbibed both the political and religious principles of his ancestors; for it is far more probable that he was trained up in those principles, in a country where it is known they had always been inculcated from the times of the Goths, than that he learne ed them all on a sudden in Italy.'

In Navarre, where we suppose Servetus was born, and received the first rudiments of his education, some degree of civil and religious liberty still existed. • There (says the above writer) Jews, Moors, and Christians, lived at ease, and there most likely he received his education and his notions of civil and religious libetty, as well as his knowledge of physic, and his peculiar sentiments of religion.' Brought up amid the vallies and mountains where the Waldenses had once flourished, many of whom were unitarians, an ingenious and studious youth might meditate on their history, and it would be natural for him to catch something of their spirit, and have his mind excited to the examination of their principles. He might converse with Jews and Mahummedans, without crossing to Africa, and be instructed by them in the doctrine of the divine unity.'

Servetus, having written against the Trinity, and being den termined to assume the medical profession, went to Paris in order to follow his studies, where he became acquainted with his future persecutor:

• As Servetus made no secret of his religious opinions, Calvin op. posed his sentiments, and, it is said, a time was fixed for them to dispute with each other. This disputation Servetus declined. We are not told what were his reasons for declining it. They were much of an age, and it seems Servetus had no great opinion of the genius any more than of the opinions of Calvin : yet it is not likely he would decline the contest either out of contempt of the abilities of his antagonist, or because he was afraid of his arguments : his freely corresponding with him afterwards showed that he did not despise him, and his general conduct and writings prove that he feared no opponent.

• After being admitted Doctor of Medicine, Servetus went and professed 'mathematics in the Lombard College. It is supposed it was about this time he was employed in preparing for the press a

Rev. JULY, 1808.



« ПредишнаНапред »