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That they will find the Cardinal to have been an accomplished churchman, in Mr. Philips's sense of the word, we make no doubt ; but we are persuaded that no unprejudiced observer will ever discover in Pole the exalted qualifications of a nobleman of Great Britain. Among the most effential properties of such a character, is the being zealous in the defence of the dignity of the crown and the honour of the kingdom, both which are debased and injured by an abject attachment to the preposterous and slavish tenets of the Roman church.
With the same precipitation Mr. Philips exposes his sentiments in the second page of his history. Speaking of the period at which it commences, he observes, ihat, By the acquisitions of the Spaniards and Portugueze, a gate was opened to Chriftianity in the remoteft parts of the East and West Indies ; at the fame time that Luther in Germany, and Calvin in France, began to oppose the antient faith, and set aside those principles of belief and pra&ice, the necessity of which was never more acknowledged, than since their influence has ceased to be felt.
The principles of belief here alluded to have indeed, thank beaven, in a great measure loft their influence, yet we do not find that the necessity of reviving them is any where acknowledged, unless among the shameless herd of Roman churchmen, wbo basely prostrate themselves to kiss the toe of a dotard, that they in their turns may become the objects of a senseless vene, ration, and live in luxury and indolence, by the spoils of industry and the perversion of true piety. Except among such, the necessity of these principles is so far from being acknowledged, that on the contrary even the most bigotted parts of Christendom find the necessity of withdrawing still farther from their influence. Hinc illæ lachrymæ ! As to the principles of practice, we do not know what practices Mr. Philips here refers to. Does he mean the practices of the ghostly fathers with their lifters in the nunneries? Or does he mean their practices with one another in their own convents? Or does he mean the practice of roasting hereticks alive in Smithfield? We with Mr. Philips had explained himself: but he knows better than to come to particulars. Whatever practices are here intended, we will venture to say, that no truly rational, pious, and disinterested Christian acknowledges the necessity of them.
We come now to the history itself, which opens with the Cardinal's pedigree, as taken from the Herald's office. Regia, nald Pole received his birth at a castle which takes its name from the river Stour, two miles diftant from Stourbridge, in Staffordshire. He was born in March, in the year 1500, which was the 15th of Henry the VIIth's reign, and the ninth of that
Prince's age who succecded him. His father, Sir Richard Pole, was son to Sir Geoffry Pole, knight, descended of ancient gentry in Wales. A courtly behaviour, and great sweetness of difposition joined to equal valour, which he fhewed in Henry's wars with Scotland, recommended Sir Richard to that Prince's favour. He gave him large command in the country, from which they both derived their origin; created him Knight of the Garter, and appointed him chief gentleman of the bed chamber, and governor to his eldest son, Arthur, Prince of Wales. These marks of distinction were still heightened by allying him to a person of the royal blood, Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, daughter to George, Duke of Clarence, Brother to Edward the IV th. and Sister to the young Earl of Warwick, who was sacrificed to the cruel and wicked policy of Henry VII. and Ferdinand of Aragon, father to Queen Ca:harine. This choice was intended by the wary Monarch, not only as a reward of his services, on whom it fell; but to quiet his own fears from a revival of the claim of the Plantagenets, by marrying the next in blood of that family to a person of an unambitious temper, and approved fidelity. From this marriage sprang four fons and a daughter; Henry, the first born, Geoffry, Arthur, Reginald, and Ursula, who being all under age when their father died, were left to the guardianship of the Countess their mother.'
Mr. Philips then proceeds to pass many encomiums on the Cardinal, on account of his diligent application to his studies at the university of Padua, and the early figure he made in literature, which he displayed by collecting, during his stay at Padua, the various reading and emendations of Cicero's works, to which he added his own remarks, with an intent to publish a compleat copy of them, had not the exigencies of his country, as our author observes, required more fubftantial services than classic learning could yield.
The propriety of these encomiums may fairly be admitted, Indeed historians agree in giving a favourable account of the cardinal's abilities and virtues: and he appears to have been qua: lified to have done honour to the highest station, had not a nare row and injurious bigotry perverted the use of those excellent accomplishments.
From Padua, our Author follows the hero of his tale to Rome, whither he went in the jubilee year, and was, we are told, most graciously received, which we are not inclined to dispute. This being about the time of Luther's defection, as Mr. Philips calls it, he takes an opportunity of venting his spleen against honeft Martin, whom he thus characterizes: • Martin Luther had already began a defection from the sec
of Rome, which though inconsiderable at first, foon made that progress, to which so great a part of Germany, and other kingdoms and states, still bear witness. The tenets he advanced had not been known in any prior age of the Christian church ; or, if ever they were set on foot, had never failed of being cons demned, as repugnant to what antiquity had always held. And his doctrine, under the specious name of Reformation, allowed a great latitude both in belief and practice, and gave rise to a variety of jarring opinions, which though they produced endless changes, they wrought no amendment. The characts of the teacher was, in every respect, answerable to his doctrine. He was an Apostate Monk, who lived in an habitual violation of engagements confirmed by the most folemn vews. A turbulent and furious spirit appears through almost every page of his works, which are numerous; and abound with such ribaldry and abuse, as decency and good sense equally disown. At length, being loit to every human sentiment, this distemper of his mind transported him so far, as to give us his Dialogues with the Spirit of Lies, and the arguments with which this instructor furnished him against a capital article of the Catholic Religion. I fhould be wanting to the respea I owe the Reader, was I to put down what he relates of his execrable intimacies with these infernal inmates; it being enough for my purpose, to have observed, that he acknowledges his conversion to one of them, and that he was his Master in a principal point of his Reformation.'
In thus' attempting to blacken Luther, Mr. Philips acts in character; and in truth Luther's violence and impetuofity of temper, which are often sparks of integrity, have given his cool and crafty opponents fome pretence of impcaching the decorum of his conduct. But when Mr. Philips talks of Luther's intimacies with infernal inmates, the circumftance is so laughable, that no man who was not at a great loss for defamatory matter would have thought it worthy of serious animadversion. After all, were we to allow Luther's conduct to have been as bad as his enemies would represent it, were we to admit him to have been as black as the infernal inmates with whom he is supposed to have been so familiar, yet how does this affect the principles of the Reformation? Is it necefliry that the author of an improved system fhould himself be perfect in every respect ? Does not every man of sense separate the principies from the perfon? and would it not be almolt as fair to quarrel with the Revolu. tien, because our great Deliverer had a hooked nose?..
Mr. Philips, ever true to his end, takes this opportunity of cafting a reflection on Henry VIII. whose zeal he tells us for the faith of his ancestors was exerted by a work, in which the principal errors which Luther had advanced, were refuted: of which the king either was, or deyired to be reputed the author. He adds, that the book is still preserved in the Vatican library, and shewn to strangers, particularly the English. There is a diftich at the bottom of the last page, by which the King addresses the work to his Holiness, and his Majesty's name in his own hand-writing.
The next memorable circumstance which occurs relates to Henry's divorce, which, tho’bad enough in itself, our uncandid hiftorian endeavours to ageravate by the most unfair misrepresentation. "The witnefies, he fass, (from what authority we know not) had been garbled chicfly out of the kinsinin or creatures of the King and Mrs. Anne Bullen. The facts, to which they deposed, were the age of Prince Arthur and the Lady Catharine, at their marriage; the confummation of the inarriage; and Henry's protest, in his father's lifetime, againft his affiance with the Queen.' Here our author forgets to tell us that this consummation was proved, as Rapin affures us, by as inconteftible evidence as any thing of that kind is capable of. Indeed Prince Arthur's health and vigour of constitution, not to mention the declarations which he made himself the next morning, afford the strongest testimony that the marriage had been consummated. But in truth the account of this divorce, which our author treats very much at large, without affording us any new lights, is altogether foreign from the history of the Caidinal's life, as he, being then very young, was no way interested in the transaction, any farther than discovering a general disapprobation of the king's intentions: notwithstanding which, Henry did not withdraw his favour from him, but conferred several rich bei nefices on him, and sent him to the university of Paris, with repeated marks of his bounty. The Cardinal, however, did not make any returns of gratitude: for though Henry, as Rapin assures us, condescended to send him a manuscript, which contained his Apology, and the Reasons for the Measures he took against the Pope, yet Pole very disrespectfully answered him by a treatise called Ecclefiaftical Unity, couched in the most injurious terms, wherein he compares the King to Nebuchodonozor, and exhorted the Emperor and all other Sovereigns to turn their arms against him. This charge however our author endeavours to palliate. But from what authority? Why, from the Cardinal's own apology to Edward the Sixth, wherein he cannot expressly deny the charge neither, but attempts to elude it, like an accomplished churchman, by a quibble : for he confesses that he advised the Emperor and the King of France to employ threats, and to break off all intercourse and communication with Henry, if offices of persuasion and friendship were to no effect. Now, as he must have known that Henry was not a Prince to be moved by vain threats, his advising them to ule menaces was indirc&tly
exhoring exhorting them to turn their arms against him. We should not have wondered, however, if so accomplished a churchman had told a flat fib on such an occasion.
We pass over our Author's absurd reflections on the Lay Supremacy, a headship with which he tells us all antiquity was unacquainted. Fie, Mr. Philips ! leave the Fathers, and turn over the pages of history; where you will find, on the contrary, that, during all antiquity, the head of the state was, in every well regulated kingdom, the head of the church. Were it otherwise, we must admit of an imperium in imperio, which is the most monftrous of all absurdities; and which, while it continued here, was attended with fatal consequences : witness the reigns of Henry II. King John, Richard Ii. &c. and witness the many acts of parliament which, even in the days of Popish bigotry, were made to restrain the usurpation and tyranny of his Holiness, and his ghostly band.
It would lead us greatly beyond our limits, were we to animadvert on all our Author's bigotted reflections. He is such an accomplished churchman, that he gives no quarter to any man who dares to shew a disposition of thinking and judging for himself. Thus the facetious Erasmus falls under his las, and his admirable ridicule of holy imposture is censured as impiety and prophane sneer. Poor Mr. Pope likewise comes in for his share : he is lashed for his ambiguous principles, and for presuming to entertain advantageous sentiments of Erasmus. We must not omit however taking notice of the extravagant encomiums he palles on the delicacy of the Cardinal's conscience, who withdrew rather than submit to the Lay Supremacy. It will be well if the Author is able to thew that his hero displayed the same delicacy in Queen Mary's time. It will be a task worthy of his cafuiftry, to shew' how an ecclesiastic of a delicate conscience could step into the fee of the unfortunate Cranmer, on the very day on which he was burned for his faith. An act so gross and precipitate, that many accused him of haftening the death of that prelate, out of avidity to seize his possessions; though others, in truth, maintain that he disapproved of the barbarity of such executions. But if he disapproved of them, why did he not withdraw from such bloody councils ? Why did he continue to act as prime minister,-a post in which he might be presumed to influence the proceedings of state ? Lastly, why did he greedily seize on the spoils of a vidim sacrificed against his own judgment? But we will not farther anticipate the subject of the en. suing volume.
It will be to no purpose for us to follow our Author through the account he gives of the several embaflies and public employ-.