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laries of the English church - and no candid mind can deny them-as little can such a mind deny that its prevailing spirit is essentially Protestant. It is so in its Articles—in any but Mr Ward's non-natural sense of them; and throughout almost the whole Book of Homilies, it is even fiercely Protestant. Nay, of the fact of its Protestantism, its very existence as a separate church-made what it is by men, many of whom would have gone further if they could, many of whom would not have gone so far, and none of whom had any reason for doing the one or the other, except their private judgment’-is, and ever will be, an unanswerable argument. The writer, indeed, on whom we have commented, tells us, that they (the Reformers] are not authors or builders of the Church ; they are men whose honour, be it what it may, must arise wholly from this, that • they handed down, in better disclosed proportions, that which
had been handed down to them.' * But then, what determined the measure of their disclosures,' and their notion of the said proportions,' but their own judgment? As well might an ancient Greek have denied that Phidias was the fabricator of the statue of Jupiter, on the ground that he only chiseled out, in welldisclosed proportions,' what had previously existed in the marble.
At the same time, it must be admitted, that the founders of the Church of England—for so we must call them—frequently indulged in language respecting the authority of the Fathers, antiquity, and tradition, which gives but too plausible a handle to the divines of the Oxford School ;-language which was in fact inconsistent with what they were at the very moment doing. It is certain that they were as far from adopting, either in its letter or spirit, the model of the church of the fourth century—the church of Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, or Basil-as that of Luther; and yet they profess to be solicitous to follow the pattern of the ancient church,' and glibly appeal to the above Fathers of the fourth century among the rest! To account for the misquotations, false references, and irrelevant extracts, with which the * Book of Homilies' abounds, Mr Taylor propounds an ingenious theory, which we have no doubt has some truth in it.f He conjectures that the Reformers, having read the Fathers in early life, very often cited the passages which would most plausibly countenance their doctrines in the hour of need, from their commonplace books, without a special reperusal of the originals, or much solicitude to examine the drift and connexion of passages.
* Foreign Quarterly, Oct. 1843, p. 577.
+ Ancient Christianity. VOL. LXXXI, NO. CLXII.
That there is some truth in this we have no doubt; indeed, it is not possible to attempt to verify the citations of the much more accurate controvertists of the next century-for example, Jeremy Taylor or Hall- without discovering, to our cost, in what a very loose way they often quoted the Fathers, and how much may be produced to confront such quotations, often even from the immediate context. But this is by no means the whole of the mystery. The simple fact is, that the Fathers contain insulated passages, which may be cited, with the utmost degree of plausibility, on both sides--the earlier ones yielding a greater number for Protestants
, and the later for Romanists ; and though we firmly believe that upon the whole-especially if we go as far as the end of the fourth century--the Romanists will ever have the best of the argument in this precarious appeal to Patristic authority, there are unquestionably insulated passages, not a few, which will enable a Protestant to give some probable colouring to his views. These passages are of course more numerous the further we go back, and gradually desert us as we advance. Still the great develop* ment' or corruption' (whichever it be called) was continuous; and the contest may be maintained by both sides at each point of this long frontier. Those gradual changes were from the very first in progress, which issued in what we call the gross delusions of the fourth century; but which the Oxford divines would call the mature and full-blown system of Christianity. If, in the begin
ning,' as Gibbon truly observes, of the fifth century, Tertullian 'or Lactantius had been suddenly raised from the dead, to assist 6 at the festival of some popular saint or martyr; they would have gazed with astonishment and indignation on the profane spectacle, which had succeeded to the pure and spiritual worship of
a Christian congregation. It is nevertheless quite as true, that in the age of Tertullian and Cyprian, the church was lavishing those exaggerated honours on martyrs and confessors, which naturally and successively paved the way for the superstitious worship of saints and veneration of relics. The ratio of change was not greater between the beginning of the third century and the end of the fourth, than between the end of the first and the middle of the third ; and the change was continuous all the way.
The present conflict of opinion must terminate either in a vigorous reaction—the symptoms of which we think we can already see—which will give the doctrines and principles of the Reformation a revived hold on the public mind, and the Biblical and Protestant elements in the Church of England their legitimate expansion; or we shall be led back, step by step, to the darkness and superstitions of the Middle Ages. The ground of church
• principles'—of authoritative tradition, of the Fathers, of antiquity—is seen, by the progress of the Oxford school itself, and its present distractions, to be the most intenable of all; indeed, the whole theory is, and can be, only an indefinitely enlarged appeal to the exercise of private judgment, conjoined with the pleasant condition that there shall be none; and an infallible method of multiplying diversities of opinion, with an assertion at the same time of the absolute necessity of Catholic unity.
may confidently predict in what way the conflict will terminate, of which indeed it were almost treason to truth to entertain a doubt. Nor is it unfair, if we consult history, to draw even from the very extravagance of the pretensions and theories on which we have commented, an omen of brighter days. Many of the most memorable advances which the human mind has ever made in the direction of truth and freedom, have been made after a period of apparent retrocession; as if error and delusion must attain a certain degree of intensity, and be presented with a certain measure of grossness, before the indolence of the human mind can be adequately roused to vindicate its rights, and with these the claims of truth and of God. The darkest hour has ever preceded the dawn. It was the last insufferable insults of a Tetzel that roused the energies of Luther, and led to the Reformation. It was the attempt to neutralize concessions which had been already granted, that sealed the fate of the first Charles. It was the retrograde movement of James the Second that secured the Revolution. In like manner we predict, that the very progress of high church principles will precipitate their doom, by rousing the human mind, after a period of temporary delusion, to re-examine them. The present retrogression is but the recoil with which truth is preparing herself for a more energetic spring. It is the reflux, not of the ebbing, but of the advancing wave.
ART. II.-The Life, Voyages, and Exploits of Admiral Sir Francis
Drake, Knight. By John BARROW, Esq. 8vo. London: 1843.
others to lose, in dignity and importance, when the achievements by which they have acquired a right to remembrance are collected from the pages of general history, into the form of biographical narrative. To the last class belong many of the favourites of fortune, and of those whose reputation is more owing to the happy conjunctures which brought out their energies, than to talent of that order which makes a way for itself; those, also, who are signalized by great but irregular actions, standing prominently forth in the course of an unequal life. The first comprehends especially those whose lives present marked features of unity of purpose and steadiness of action—whose performances are not merely great as insulated facts, but as developments of character-the men who abide in remembrance as substantive personages, not as mere names which serve as an index to the several interesting occurrences with which they are connected. Such a man, in an eminent degree, was the old maritime hero, whose life forms the subject of the interesting and instructive volume with which Mr Barrow has enriched our biographical literature.
The name of Drake is familiar enough to our imaginations in conjunction with many memorable accidents of his positionas the earliest of English sea-captains—the first freebooter who showed the way to the treasure-house of the Indies'—the first circumnavigator of the globe-the conqueror of the Armada. But it is not until we have read his personal history that we are aware how much he really performed and underwent, and how much more he discovered and indicated to others—how much he influenced, in his own turn, that prevailing spirit of his age which made him what he was—and what a complete heroic narrative, in its degree, his career presents, when its circumstances are brought before the reader in continuous story.
As long as the old bucaniering spirit survived, Drake's life was a popular manual with all who took an interest in exploits of that character-in whose estimation he ranked as a superior kind of Captain Morgan or Blackbeard. His early adventures on the Spanish Main and Islands, when those regions, as yet untouched and defenceless, were ransacked by his handfuls of men, as they had been by Cortez and Pizarro, were the favourite portion of the narrative, and remained longest part of our popular
literature. The original authority for great part of these, was the curious old tract entitled, Sir Francis Drake revived-calling
upon a dull and effeminate age to follow his noble steps for gold and silver'-published by his nephew in 1626, and copied, with more or less variation, into all the early compilations of voyages. It was even versified by Davenant, in one of his most trumpery operas, which is only curious as having been acted by an evasion of the law before the Restoration. Another principal source, is the relation of his voyage round the world, entitled the World Encompassed,'-—also compiled by his nephew-seemingly in great measure from materials afforded by the Admiral himself;especially if we are to judge by the test by which Dugald Dalgetty ascertained the identity of the Earl of Argyle, viz., that no one else would have spoken so well of him-for some important circumstances and transactions are evidently coloured in a remarkable manner. Most of the romantic history of Drake, if such we may call it, is to be found in these two publications ; but, in process of time, the romance of bucaniering went out of date, and, though that of maritime discovery remains always popular, yet the story of the Golden Hind,' and her fortunes, was superseded by newer and more exciting narratives of sea-adventure. Sir Francis Drake, therefore, gradually shared the fate which ultimately befalls most mere men of action, and retired from the catalogue of popular heroes into that of bare names appended to great events.
The last popular Memoir of his life, in as far as we are aware, is that written by Dr Johnson for the Gentleman's Magazine,' which presents nothing of particular importance, except that parts of it are well written, in the sage's nearest approach to an ordinary style. Among the critical and antiquarian writers who have resuscitated the old hero in modern times, he who has performed the task with the greatest love and zeal is Dr Southey; who has devoted many chapters to him in his . Maritime History of England.' Allowing something for the sermonizing fashion in which the late Laureate was apt to treat all events and
personages, he has done full justice to his materials; and not the least interesting part of his account of Drake's expeditions consists in his selections from Spanish authorities ; which show how completely England and Drake were identified in the imagination of the enemies whom he fought, and bring his figure into bold relief from among the multitude of brother warriors who were engaged in the same illustrious service with himself. But the present author has added a new feature to the portrait of Drake, and which was wanting to its completion, by bringing together, from the national archives, many of his despatches and other writings, when employed in the public service.' Some of these, it is true,