Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

were antecedent to the creation of man, viz. God's knowlege, will, providence, election, and reprobation; secondly, of those which were subsequent to that event, viz. the fall of man, his restoration, vocation, and conVersion, divine grace, free-will, perseverance, and the last judgment. The doctrine of the whole book is then brietly recapitulated ; and a distinct chapter is annexed, containing an analysis of the seventeenth article of the Church of England, and shewing its conformity to that opinion respecting the main question, which the author, throughout his Treatise, maintains,

From this work the editors have thought fit to select for republication, the twenty-first chapter, which treats of the seventeenth Article of our Church; prefixing the Introduction, and the Sir First Chapters, as explanatory of the several opinions to which the author adverts, and therefore necessary to the full elucidation of the subject. The questions of predestination and election, being those on which all the other points in the controversy depend, whatever affords a solution of these questions will serve to clear the rest. Having, therefore, in a former number, revived Dr. Winchester's valuable Dissertation, designed to shiew what were the real sentiments of the compilers of this article, on the subject of the Divine decrees, the editors apprehend, that these extracts from Plaifere's : admirable Treatise, containing arguments drawn from the Article itself, to ascertain its time, purport, and signification, will be received as an useful Appendix to that Dissertation. For, as it has been some:imes insisted, that the Compilers of our Articles were known and avowed Calvinists, and therefore that this article must necessarily have been intended to convey Calvinistio doctrine ; sa has it conversely been argued, that the article itself is manifestly Calvinistic, and therefore it must be inferred, that the compilers of it were of that persuasion. That the antecedent in the former syllogism is unfounded, Dr. Winchester's Dissertation affords irrefragable proofs ;that the antecedent in the latter is «qually untenable, we trust the present, publication will abundantly evince.

Little is known of the author of this tract, but in addition to what the Cambridge editors gave in their preface; we have here a few particulars, by which we learn that Mr, Plaifere was admitted Fellow of Sidney-Sussex College in the year 1600; thaủ he was in that same year ordained both Deacon and Priest, by John, the suffragan


Bishop of Colchester; and that he was presented in the year 1605 to the rectory of Debden, in Suffolk, in which he continued above twenty-five years.

The following memorandum is drawn up from the archives of Sidney College :

6. The name of John PLAYFER does not appear to be entered in the register of admissions, but it is to be found in the list of Fellows in the master's possession, in which he is said to be---ex F. S. R. de Depden Com. Suff :---. e. Fellow on the Foundation of Mr. Smith, and rector of Depden; to which description there is the following addition in a different hand, Autor Libri docti et acuti cui nomen Appello Evangelium.

" Mr. Leonard Smith, the founder of the Fellowship, directed by his will, that William Durant, M. A. and then of the College, be first admitted to it, and after him John PLATFORD, if he shall be found fit. In the audit book, J. P. appears to have received a stipend as Fellow, for the first time in the year 1602; which shews that he must then have been a Master of Asts, no Fellow of Sidney being allowed any emolument till he has completed that degree. It shews also, that he must originally have been a member of some other college, no admissions into Sidney having taken place before 1598."

The subsequent extracts are taken from the Register of Depden church.

“ Johannes Playrert, clericus, sepultus fuit vicesima quinto Aprilis, 1632."

"Margaretta, uxor Thomæ Silvester, et prius relicta reve, rendissimi viri JOHANNES PLAFERT, quondam Rectoris Ecclesiæ Pastoralis de Depden, placidè obdormuit in Domino, decimo octavo die Novembris, anno ætatis suæ septuagesimo sexto, sepulta vicesimo die mensis ejusdem, 1666.”

In forming the present publication, régard has been had to the original edition of 1653; occasionally, however, are inserted the translations given in the Cambridge edition of the Greek and Latin quotations; and the quotations themselves are transferred from the text to the foot of the page.

The following character of the work, as given by the editors at the close of their preface, is so just and so completely expresses the sentiments which we have always had of Plaifere's performance, that with it we shall close our report.

"The sound learning and laborious investigațion which the tract exhibits, as well as the great candour and dis



passionate judgment by which it is distinguished, recom mend it to serious attention: and although the editors mean not to pledge themselves for the strict propriety of every phrase or expression which may occur, yet they are persuaded that the general argument will be found solid and incontrovertible, and well-adapted to answer the purpose for which it is revived,- that of clearing an important article of our Church from a great deal of misrepresentation and abuse."

While we take occasion to return our thanks to the conductors of the CHURCHMAN'S REMEMBRANCER for. having rescued from oblivion so many excellent per-. formances ; we trust they will excuse us for pointing out to them Bishop Bull's incomparable sermon on the Fall of Man, as highly deserving their attention. A republication of it we cannot but think would be highly useful at this time.

[merged small][ocr errors]

The Reality of the Powder Plot vindicated from some

recent Misrepresentations. A Sermon preached before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's, on Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 1805. By Ralph Churton, M. A. Archdeacon of St. David's, Rector of Middleton-Cheney, and late Fellow of Brasen-nose College, 4to. pp. 29. НАТ

AT Popery is always the same, is a maxim not

more frequently asserted than proved. We constantly observe the same spirit of intrigue, the same sophistry and cunning in its apologists at all times, and under all circumstances ; while the dangerous principles, which, in former days, produced the most diabolical actions, remain without the least public renunciation. But though no additional evidence is wanted to prove the indelibility of the bestial mark, it certainly could not be imagined that the most hardy veteran of the school of Bellarmine would contrive to fly in the face of all historical truth, by denying the reality of the Gunpowa der Plot: Yet such bas been the case. Dr. Milner, in writing the History of Winchester, has endeavoured to


clear his Church from this foul stain, and to make the whole an invention of Secretary Cecil's. On this Mr. Churton fairly took occasion in his sermon before the University of Oxford, the last fifth of November, to enter into a minute discussion of the question; and we shall not hesitate to say, that he has most-clearly overthrown the Catholic Bishop's positions, and proved him to be as deficient in literary verity, as in liberality of sentiment.

In this excellent discourse, which ought to be read by every inhabitant of these realms, the learned author considers, “ first, the authenticity of the common account; next, some of the providential circumstances, which were visible in the discovery and discomfiture of this audacious enterprize; and lastly, he offers a reflection or two, which such a view of the matter suggests."

One of the narratives of this conspiracy was published by authority within a few weeks after the event, and the facts contained therein were admitted by the traitors themselves, who suffered death for their crime. Against this authority, Dr. Milner opposes what he terms that of

many reputable Protestants :" but after so pompous an assertion, he adduces two names only, neither of whom, even if they were deserving of any particular credit, confirms the point by his evidence, since both Osborn (in his Memoirs of James the First) and Bevil Higgons in his Short View of the English History,) merely notice what they had heard reported.

A reference is indeed made to a third writer, but the Dr. only mentions him by the curious enigmatical abbreviation of “ Pol. Gram.” “Of this book," says Mr. Churton, “I have not been so fortunate as to meet with one who knows what work is thereby intended.”

We will not presume to say that our conjecture is right, but, as critics are not infallible any more than Churches or Popes, we may be forgiven should we err.

We guess then, for we have not the book at hand, that the riddle may mean “ The Political Grammar, or Instructo ions for rising at Court,” printed at the beginning of the last century, but without a name. It is, as the title imports, a satyrical perforiñance, and till now, we believe, was never thought of as a book of historical reference. Yet on such miserable authorities does the Catholic historian endeavour to impeach the character of an illustrious statesinan, by fostering upon him the odious charge of inventing this conspiracy; for the infamous purpose of persecution.


But to this let Mr. Churton speak:

“ The accuser of Cecil, compelled to allow the reality of the treason, is unwilling to own the traitors : they were a set of desperadoes, poor oatcast youths of no consequence® Desperadoes they were certainly; but it was religion, as they con-, ceived of it, and what they stile without remorse,

“ the best cause, t" that instigated them on in the desperate attempt; their scruples, where they had any, being quieted by the superior of the Jesuitsi, a personage of note and authority with those of his communion. Of the rest that are named, there was but one, or at most two only, that were below the rank of gentlemen. They engaged to spend some thousands, Ro mean suin in those days, in promoting their schemes, Some of them had been einployed 'as agents and ambassadors for the English Catholics at the court of Spain, in the Netherlands, and at Rome; and had their machinations succeeded, there can be no doubt they would have been caressed and applauded at home and abroad, as some of them are actually enrolled in the list of martyrs on account of their sufferings for this very treason.g" ". On the whole, then, it must be confessed, that this nefarious conspiracy, the atrocity of which makes us, for the sake of human nature, wish to disbelieve it, stands op a broader and firmer foundation of public notoriety, and indubitable truth, than almost any other fact in our annals; and if we allow, as perhaps we may, that Cecil had some knowlege of treasonable practices going on, and suffered them to ripen, that the guilt might be evident, and the proofs irresistible ; yet if we go further, and make him an agent and plotter in the business, we must not only give him, what some perhaps would not hesitate to bestow, the malignity of Satan, but we must also invest him with a por tion of his power; he must have been invisible in himself and his emissaries, while he tempted men to sin, or the treachery would inplicitly have been disclosed.' Sooner or later, when the plot was blasted, if not before, some one would have told who

*" Desperatc. wretches,” Hist. Winch. p. 392, “rash youths como paratively of small consequenct looked upon as apostates and outcasts." Lett. p. 171.

# « 20l, which I kept in my hands for the good of the best cause." Sir E. Digby, Gunpowder Treason, p. 174. He had before said, “No other cause drew ine to hazard my fortune and life, but zeal to God's religion," p. 169. "The cause which I love more than lite.” po 171. S“ It is true indeed,” said Garnet, “that I prayed for the good success of that great action." Ib. p. 117.

| Gunp. Treason, (p. 31.-33, 51)." The wretch himself in hands. doth confess, That there was no cause moving him or them, but merely and only Religion.p. 6, 38.

$ Bp. Barlow's Pref. to Gunp. Treason, p. 14. Vol. XI. Churchm. Mag. for July 1806 I


« AnteriorContinuar »