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what is truth-principles so generally conceded amongst us, that we are liable to forget they were ever controverted, and may be again.
Nor were the Protestants of France enthusiasts. In this respect they were more consistent than some of the friends of religious reform in England. You will look in vain in the history of the Huguenots for such excesses as were not infrequent among ihe Roundheads and Quakers. They loved the truth for its own sake, and were not ambitious to tear down, but to build up. This point needs no discussion ; a race which could survive the massacre of St. Bartholomew's and the siege of Rochelle were not enthusiasts.
As a party, they are now extinct; but the seeds of their experience are scattered broadcast over christendom.
As Americans, our interest in the history of the French emigrants is increased, and our respect for them heightened, when we are reminded of the distinguished services which their descendants have rendered to our country in the cause of civil and religious liberty. Gabriel Mani. gault, of South Carolina, whose parents had found an asylum here, assisted this country in its struggle for independence by a loan of two hundred and twenty thousand dollars. This was done at an early period of the contest, when no man was certain whether it would " terminate in a revolution or a rebellion.” Says Ramsey, in his History of South Carolina, “ Three of the nine presidents of the old Congress, which conducted the United States through the revolutionary war, were the descendants of French Protestant refugees, who had migrated to America in consequence of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes." Or, in the words of Mr. Winthrop, in his address upon the life and services of James Bowdoin, “ He was one of that noble sect of Huguenots ... which has furnished to our own land blood every way worthy of being mingled with the best that has ever flowed in the veins of either southern Cavalier or northern Puritan.” " He was of that same noble stock which gave three presidents out of nine to the old Congress of the confederation; which gave her Laurenses and Marions, her Hugers and Manigault's, her Puileaus and Gaillards and Legarés to South Carolina ; which gave her Jays to New
York, her Boudinots to New Jersey, her Brimmers, her Dexters, and her Peter Faneuil, with the Cradle of Lib. erty, to Massachusetts."
Thus closely associated are the Puritans and the Hugue. nots in the history of our country. Both exiles from religious oppression, they sought these shores on the same holy errand. In life they were united, and in death they are not divided. May we, descendants of the one or of the other who have entered into their rest, profit by their illustrious devotion to the principles of religious liberty, imitate their many virtues, and revere their memories.
W. H. R.
The Protestant Reformation of the Fourteenth Century.
The great success of the Protestant reformation, under the lead of Luther, in the early part of the sixteenth century, has had the very natural effect of eclipsing the merits of earlier efforts to throw off the fetters of spiritual despotism. In point of fact, the work of Luther was but the harvest, the first seeds whereof were sown at least two-we may perhaps say three-centuries before the German reformer denounced the sale of indulgences. The combustible material had been the gradual aggregation of a long, though not very well determined period, when the torch of Luther occasioned the explosion which shook papal Europe to its centre. The Protestant reformation, which in the sixteenth century proved a palpable success, broke out on the continent. The honor of origi. nating the movement of which this great success was the final development, belongs to England, and to the fourteenth century. We propose, in this article, to give some of the leading details of ihe Protestant movements of this early period—to show wherein the fourteenth century was the precursor of the sixteenth-to do some measure of justice to an age and a people whose achievements in the great cause of religious freedom, do not, as it seems to us, find a deserved measure of acknowledgment at the hands of the historians.
The date of such a movement as the one of which we are about to write, cannot, from the nature of the case, be fixed with any approach to precision. The declaration of a war, the settlement of a peace, or the fall of a dynasty, is distinctively a matter of date; and the year, day, perhaps hour, can be given. But revolutions of mind, of opinion, religious faith, ecclesiastical notions and practices, are not sharply bounded off on the map of time, and the act of fixing their date, is like the attempt to delermine the moment when the darkness of night is exchanged for the light of day. The human mind, in its passage from darkness of error to the light of truth, must have its period of twilight; and the fixing of the point of time when it leaves the one period for another, can, at the best, be but an arbitrary decision.
We have already assigned the Reformation, which forms our present theme, to the fourteenth century. We deem it safe, however, to look for the first visible symptoms of rebellion against the Roman Catholic church, to the century preceding this. The event to which we assign so much importance, was, in its first character, but an act of self-defence-rather of self-preservation on the part of the government of England. It is admitted by historians that the aggressions of the Roman See were carried to their greatest height in the English realm, and that they reached their culminating point under that proud pontiff, Innocent Third. It was to this pontiff that King John, the weakest of the English kings, with a view to release from oaths binding him to certain contracts with his people, actually surrendered the kingdom as a fief of the holy see, binding himself and his successors to pay an annual tribute, as vassals of the pope! This was in the year 1213. Rome never attempted-at least, never consum*mated-a greater stretch of political aggression; and in this memorable act its ascendency reached a culminating point. In extorting this monstrous contract from King John, the policy of the pontiff overreached itself. It had imposed on a great nation an obligation which was utterly
beyond the temper of the people of England, servile as superstition had made them, to endure. The promised tribute, though paid occasionally, soon fell into desuetude. The over-bent bow of papal insolence lost somewhat of its elasticity. The greatest swell of papal aggression was followed by a return wave. And in the reaction-trifling at first, but in the end destined, through the fresh causes and occasions it called into action, to effect mighty revolu. tions in thought and practice—we may consider ourselves as having the first movement towards the great Protestant reformation of a succeeding age.
The English annals of the thirteenth century are meagre and fragmentary as regards alike the purposes of both civil and religious history. Macaulay compares the history of England at this period to the sources of the noblest rivers, which sources are "to be sought in wild and barren mountain districts, incorrectly laid down in maps, and rarely explored by travellers." We cannot therefore trace, with minuteness of detail, the movements of the English mind and government which followed the humiliation brought upon the realm by King John, in which movements was indicated the growing restlessness of the people under the bit of papal exaction. It seems clear, however, that the particular in which the aggressions of the papacy were chiefly felt to be a grievance, was not directly in the degradation it brought upon the people, nor in its unprecedented interferences with the secular and ecclesiastical prerogatives of the realm, but in the money exactions to which such degradation and interferences led. In fact, the ambition of the popes was fed by their cupidity; and their motive in tyrannizing over the kingdom of England, was not tyranny in itself, but rather the money which only tyranny could extort.
There were various methods by which the machinery of the church was made to swell the treasury of Rome at the expense of England. An obvious method was that of filling the church offices of the kingdom with obsequeous favorites of the pope, who would of course seek the pecuniary interests of their master, rather than of the kingdom. Accordingly we mark the growing cupidity and ambition of the Roman pontiffs in their gradual yet constant assumptions of power with reference to the ap
first the pope uld be the arcrarily annulling
pointment of ecclesiastical dignitaries in England. At first the pope assumed no more than to volunteer advice as to who should be the archbishops and bishops; at a later date we find them arbitrarily annulling the election of such as did not suit their purposes, and ordering new elections; finally they become presumptuous and authoritative, not only appointing the archbishops by their own act, but also making appointments in anticipation of vacancies. In 1228 the appointment of Walter de Heme. sham as Archbishop of Canterbury, was set aside by pope Gregory IX. In 1278, just a half century later, John Peckham, a Franciscan Friar, was not recommended, but in due form appointed to the same oflice by pope Nicolas III.
The same principle of interference was carried out with reference to the inferior church offices, till in time the scandal became so great that nearly all the places of profit in the church were filled by the hirelings of Rome. The grievance, sufficiently great in itself, was made more intolerable by the fact that very many of the appointees of the pope were not Englishmen, the native-born subjects of the kingdom, but Italians, the countrymen of their master; ignorant alike of the language, the customs, and the spiritual wants of the people in their several dioceses and parishes. Out of this abuse grew still another. Many of the church-officers, yielding to the temptation to reside in their native land and in near proximity to the papal head, forsook their functions, and appointing no substi. tute to officiate in their absence, churches were closed, and the offices of religion suspended—the renegade clergy all the time not neglecting to receive the livings which were affixed to their deserted stations! And thus it came to pass that the ecclesiastics of the land were but so many leeches fastened upon the vitals of the nation, serving no other end than to suck away the life-blood of its industry and income. · The aggregate result of the various contrivances of popish cupidity, appears in the fact, that in the thirteenth century about one-half of the landed property of England had become the possession of the church, and through the church of the Roman see ; and in the fourteenth cen. tury, a point of exaction had been reached in which the