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have rendered it far more valuable than it was before, especi. ally in connecting its subject, by so many remarkable points, with those times as to make it greatly more illustrative of them. While, as intimately present with the immediate family, the reader is made to see much more of what was doing or suffering by that illustrious fraternity, to which, by the character of their piety and zeal, they belonged.- Very curious too are the various notices which
be considered as simply antiquarian. And the very copious index puts every part of the contents at the reader's use.
I am willing to believe that the labour has been a pleasure to you; else I should feel something very like a commiserating sympathy; for the industry must have been very great and protracted. Unthinking readers are little aware what it has cost an author or editor, to arrange and elucidate a multitude of particulars involved in the obscurity, perplexity, and scattered variety of authorities, of the history of a distant age. As to some departments of history and biography, I never can bring myself to feel that it is worth while to undergo all this labour; but with respect to that noble race of saints, of which the world will never see the like again (for in the millennium good men will not be formed and sublimed amidst persecution), it is difficult to say what degree of minute investigation is too much,--especially in an age in which it is the fashion to misrepresent and decry them.
The portraits, besides being what may be believed individual sikenesses, form a very characteristic addition to the work, as being so strikingly puritanical, not only in attire, but in the very cast and character of their looks. That is to say, one capnot help feeling that they look somehow different from what the very same countenances would have done if Mr. and Mrs. Henry had not been puritans,-more unworldly, more honest, more calmly firm, more absolutely good.
I trust that both the editor and the readers will be better for the more intimate acquaintance with them obtained through these researches and illustrations. I do not know what may
be argued as to the extent of circulation; but if we may believe that the reprints of religious books of the former age obtain a fair proportion of readers, there ought to be a favourable probability for a book of the same class when brought out in so greatly improved a state.
Wishing you health, and every good of the still higher order,
I am, dear Sir,
CXLII. TO JOHN EASTHOPE, ESQ. M.P.
Stapleton, May 23, 1827. .... I reckon our London noncon. people of all sorts and classes will be often at you for the favour of your name, 'now that it can exempt their country friends from one item in their taxation. You will find that there are more Dissenters that have been taught to write than you had ever dreamed of.
... How does the new elevation seem to agree with you? Does the lofty character of a legislator, a senator of Great Britain, a member of that Assembly where all the wisdom and virtue of a great nation is presumed to be concentrated-does it sit on you easily and gracefully?... I own I am sorry you are there,—from an apprehension of more evil befalling yourself than can be countervailed by the good which, as an individual, you can render to the nation. I could not help being pleased that you beat the rascals at St. Albans, but sorry there could not have been some better reward than a seat among no better men in St. Stephen's..... But, on which side of the House * have you
taken that seat? If on the right side, how very queer you must feel your situation,-having gone into the House in the expectation of being in endless battle array against that fortress of power, and any gang that was likely ever to garrison it. You must feel a sad quenching of that fine ferocity with which you were prepared to stand to your gun on the assailants' battery. Can you be perfectly free from all suspicion that there is some shrewd turn of the Black Art in the case, when you, the whole tribe of you, patriots, reformers, democrats, and what not, find yourselves suddenly transported through the air, from your warlike position, in front of Canning, to a station of alliance and fighting co-operation beside him and behind him,—while he has not made so much as a hypocritical profession of any change of principles or measures? The riddance of a good quantity of the most rotten aristocracy from the administration is plainly enough a good thing, so far. But we folks, who are at a great distance from the grand central monopoly of wisdom, and therefore of slow and obtuse intellects, cannot well comprehend this zealous coalition of the avowed enemies of all corruption with a minister who has been, through all times and seasons, its friend and defender,and more than so, fairly tells them, as if in easy scorn of their gullibility, that he will continue in his old course, explicitly scouting beforehand their parliamentary reform, their attempts in behalf of the Dissenters, and all that. To us it would really seem that this novel and odd sort of league is made at the sole expense of what had been thought the wiser and better-meaning party; and that the reformers, economizers, &c., are consenting to forego all their best projects, and even principles, for the honour of being denominated ....“his honourable friends.” The nation, truly, is to be a mighty gainer by this famous compact.
* “ The Commons' House will doubtless be a far better thing than the old one-a miserable hole when I was in its vile gallery, on my feet about eighteen hours together, once on a time, when Pitt and Fox were on the opposite sides of the table.”-Mr. Foster to Sir John Easthope, Oct. 23, 1834.
“ But Catholic Emancipation! Catholic Emancipation !" Why, yes,—very well so far, if that, even so much as that, were in any likelihood to be effected; but this worthy Minister has consented to abandon even that to its feeble and remote chance. For, as left to its own shifts, what chance has it in “ the Lords ?”
But even supposing this most virtuous and patriotic Minister, backed by his scores of converts and new friends, could, would, and did, carry this measure
what then ? Will he alleviate the oppressive burdens of the country ? Will he cut down the profligate and enormous expenditure of the government? Will he bring any of the detestable public delinquents to justice? Will he blow up a single
otten borough ? Will he rout out that infernal Court of Chancery? Will he do anything toward creating an effective police through the country, every part of which is, every night, in complete exposure to attacks of plunderers and ruffians ? Or (to glance abroad) will he do anything for Greece, or anything to real, effectual purpose, for what is cantly named the Peninsula ? Nay, will he do anything at last for even amendment of the West Indies, which he has palavered so much about? No, nothing of all this. So that the good of having got this same admirable Prime Minister consists in—the good he will not do !
To revert to Catholic Emancipation (I hate that “ Catholic,”—“ popery,” and “popish,” were the more proper words with our worthy ancestors), but, Catholic Emancipation. Well; if I were on your bench, or any bench in the House, I should most zealously vote for that measure; but with a very different cast of feeling from what seems to prevail among its advocates in that House. They will have it that Popery, that infernal pest, is now become (if it ever was otherwise) a very tolerably good and harmless thing—no intolerance or malignity about it now-liberalized by the illuminated age—the popish priests the worthiest, most amiable, most useful of men. Nay, popery is just as good as any other religion, except some small preference for our « National Establishment." Nothing so impertinent, nothing so much to be deprecated and condemned, as the idle and mischievous fanaticism of attempting to convert papists to protestantism. To hear some of your wise men talk in that house, one would think that the Reformation, some centuries back, had been almost a needless thing. " Don't be so silly and methodistical as to cant about the restoration of the Christian Religion to its simplicity and purity. The popish church are just as good Christians as any of yourselves can be. And as to their claim to an entire equality of civil privileges, it has not the slightest speck of reasonable doubt
it.” Now, my dear Sir, is not all this most infamous ? Does any sensible man honestly doubt whether popery be intrinsically of the very same spirit that it ever was! Does any mortal doubt, whether, if it were ever to regain an ascendency of power, an uncontrolled dominion in this country
it would reveal the fiend, and again revel in persecution ? When did ever the Romish Church disavow, in the face of the world, any of its former principles, revoke any of its odious decrees, or even censure any of the execrable abominations, the burnings, the tortures, the massacres, the impostures, perpetrated under its authority? And look at its zealots, even in Ireland; what is the spirit of its partizans ? what is the language of its Doyle and Co. ?
If I liad to preface a vote in the “House” with a sentence or two, it would be to this effect :-“ I would urge this measure most earnestly; not that I can profess to feel this demand strongly grounded on a strict claim of right; for I believe there is essentially and inseparably in popery, something of deadly tendency to the welfare of a state. That point, however, I deem not worth debating in the present case, where the measure comes with such an overpowering claim of policy, of expediency, of utility. Without adopting this measure, you absolutely can never tranquillize the people of Ireland. And to have Ireland continuing in the condition in which it will otherwise continue, is an evil and a danger so tremendous, that any possible evil to be apprehended from the emancipation is reduced to an utter trifle in the comparison. But what evil, what danger can there be to apprehend from the emancipation ? Are you so dreaming, or so lunatic, as to fancy it possible that popery, whatever civil privileges were given it, can ever acquire an ascendency, or even any material power, in the British state ? What!! popery attain to an overawing power, in spite of the rapidly augmenting knowledge and intelligence of the people—the almost miraculous diffusion of the Bible --the spirit of licence, and fearless discussion of all subjects-the extension of religion, and of dissent from all hierarchies—with the settled, deep, and general prejudice against popery into the bargain—and the wealth, power, rank, and influence, nine-tenth parts of them, on the side of protestantism? How can you keep your countenances, how can you help laughing outright, while you are pretending to entertain any such apprehensions ?”
But what presumption it is, for a sitter in an obscure country garret, to be writing opinions about state matters to a sitter in the “ Imperial Parliament ! ”