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There are some with the lost and the loved in the grave, | cious industry he has made solid additions to the
Too bright for existence, too blissful to last;
I may search, I may call, in my moments of pain,
historic knowledge of the reading public. The author of every such work has a right to the acknowledgment of our gratitude.
In returning to this work at the present time, we have an advantage which we should have lacked, had we attempted a complete review at the time of our introductory notice in February last. We have had facilities for the formation of a judgment, like those which the Persian king is recorded to have enjoyed in listening to the debate between Mardonius and Artabanus: "When various opinions are not heard we have no chance to choose the better, and must adopt that one which we hear (or which we entertain,) but when
FOOTE'S SKETCHES OF VIRGINIA. various opinions have been uttered we have an
election; as indeed we should not always know the excellence of pure gold by itself, but when we rub it against other gold we then know that which is better."* The question for instance, whether this book of Dr. Foote's is a readable one-that vital question to the lazy skimmers of books, the enervated loungers of literature, the epicurean dreamers of gold and purple dreams of romance, in this age of shallow romancethat question is solved by the fact that many have read the book, and probably every one has regretted, when he came to the end, that it was not farther onward. The question whether the book will take its place, on the standard shelves of the well-informed man, by the side of Campbell's History of Virginia, and Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, all three of them thorough, excellent, Virginia books, well imbued as they ought to be, with the precious old Virginia spirit, that question is answered by the fact that Dr. Foote's volume has certainly gone to that place in many a library, and is as infallibly on its way thither in many more. The question whether the obvious faults in the execution of this work will stand materially in the way of its solid value has also been readily solved by the fact that most or all of its readers-all who know any thing of the author's circumstances, are apologists for its small faults and decided honest eulogists of its greatly preponderating real worth.
It is not a very easy task to furnish the means of a correct estimate of the book before us without trespassing upon grounds which are necessarily prohibited in such a Journal as this. The title of the book does not convey an accurate idea of what it is. It is in fact, a Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Religious Liberty in Virginia, as connected with the instrumentality of the Presbyterians. That is about what it is, and might as well have been called. It is not an easy task to tell how this then entirely new pearl of mental and spiritual freedom was won by one * Herodotus, Book I, 1.
We have read this book with unfeigned surprise at the immense labour it must have cost. "Records of Civil Courts and Ecclesiastical Judicatories, in manuscript, have been examined, volume after volume. Private journals, diaries, memoranda, and family genealogies have been consulted and freely used. Magazines of unquestioned standing, and pamphlets to be relied on, have contributed largely." So says the author. The book shows that the Statutes at Large of Virginia, the Archives of New York, the records of more than one Presbytery, and of more than one Synod, the library of more than one seat of learning, the tombstones in many graveyards, and the memories of many living persons who could tell of the illustrious dead, have been laid under contribution with a diligence and a regard for accuracy which are worthy of high praise. There are provoking typographical errors in this book. They sometimes, by the strange places in which they occur, make the author murder Aristotle, Quintilian, and Lindley Murray outright. They have doubtless arisen from the remoteness of the author's residence from the place at which his book was printed. They may appropriately inspire the reader with the wish that the printer's knuckles were soundly rapped as those of school-boys are wont to be for such blunders. But the book will live. It exhibits very high claims to the boon of existence. A peculiar grace or elegance of composition is not among the claims of this book to the public attention. But marks, every where abundant, of the most thorough investigation, the exhibition of historic facts of capital importance, and a gentlemanly and Christian temper throughout the book, are among its claims. This author has made himself a benefactor to the Domain of History, by not contenting himself with a vamping up of the old modicum of information in lithe and sleek sentences with flying pen, and ycleping that a new History, but by protracted and tena
class of Christians who were not the favourites | years for our jewels, we confess, at least by imof Cæsar, from another class who were the fa- plication, the worthlessness of the present genevourites of Cæsar, and who had formerly enjoy- ration. And however frequently this may coned exclusive possession of that pearl; to point tinue to be said in the quarters in which it is now out all the difficulties which attended the tardy said, and though it may be said hereafter even and reluctant divorce of Church and State; and more than it has been heretofore with a certain to show these things with any thing like the clear Sardonic piquancy of air, which betrays somestriking shape and sharp angularity of meaning, thing deeper and bitterer than mere calm judgwith which they certainly occurred in fact in the ment, and though it should come to be said in far days of old-it is no easy task to do these things more respectable quarters than those from which as they ought to be done, and yet avoid as clearly it at present comes, yet it does not follow, and it as we would wish to avoid, the prohibited ground is not so. We have no occasion to be greatly trouof controversies. We cannot therefore adopt bled by these amiable accusations. Thank God, such a course of remark as the work before us we have a Past. We have a Past worthy of the would justify, but must be coutent with such an explorations of the Historic Muse. We have a one as is demanded at our hands by the proprie- Past rich in already written glories, and rich in ties of the circumstances under which we write. yet unwritten glories. And when civilization, so We have obtained the pearl, religious liberty. All called, shall roll forwards so fast and so far that voices are now joined in praising the pure lustre it becomes reproachful to have a history, reof the pearl. Few persons will now admit that proachful to think and speak of the spirits of the they do not prefer perfect religious liberty. To mighty who shed a golden light over that histomake such an admission would be to confess the ry, reproachful to render due honors to their lofty intrinsic weakness of the principles which they deeds and high daring and great virtues, then we hold who might make it, and which they would shall be well content and proud to receive such desire to see abetted by the civil arm; for the ad- reproach, and to part company with the car of vantage of a state of complete freedom of reli- such a picayune civilization. We shall willingly gion is, that religious principles then stand or become confessors and martyrs, so far as our fall, as they ought to do, by their own intrinsic shabby inquisitors can confer the crown of marstrength or weakness. In the great struggle which tyrdom, to that truth which is as old as Greek this volume records, both parties did indeed set civilization, that man is a being who looks at the a high value on the right to worship God, both past and the future, as well as that small segthose who then enjoyed a monopoly of that right,ment of time which lies beneath his nose. se. We and those who struggled to share it in common. shall treat those wicked and silly Iconoclasts who They differed in this respect, that the one party would deface the Images of Glory which Time thought the privilege would not be less valuable and Nature and God have hung before our eyes to any, by being made common to all, while the in the Temple of History, with as keen a rebuff other party seem to have thought that their own as we would treat some spiritual saw bones, enjoyment of it might be taken away by making some surgical fiend, who should bring his saw others participants of it. But this mistake has and scalpel from the world of wicked spirits, to passed away, and all are now satisfied with the amputate memory from our minds, to dissect from result. It cannot therefore be just cause of of- our spirits their high joys over the nobleness of fence to any truly Virginian heart, that we should souls in other days, to put out that eye of our take in hand at length and all too tardily as it has souls which gazes with delight on the loftiness been, to render due honor to the spiritual heroes of the virtues of other years. Thank God, we of our olden times and of the peculiar mould of have a past! Aye, we will indeed talk of Washour own State, not one of whom, we rejoice to ington and of Henry. We will remember Marsay, not a single one of whom, was a Yaukee shall and Jefferson. We will not forget Madison Puritan the great old men from the North of and Giles. We will mention Mason and RanIreland, from Scotland, from France, as well as dolph. Nor shall Makemie and Davies, and from the more liberty-loving parts of England, Waddell and Smith, and Graham and Hoge, be who strove so earnestly for the priceless pearl, unremembered and unhonored in our future hisand won it, and have left it to us all, in its native, tories. They are ours. We will not be cheated clear, shining purity. of them. The right to claim them is ours. We shall assert that right. If this be weakness, then we are very weak. Neither are we as yet become ashamed of our weakness. We yet dare to say that we would rather read these deathless names in our annals, we would rather see these
The present people of the Commonwealth of Virginia, are incessantly twitted, in certain quarters, with making empty and undue glorification over the great names with whose fresh and thick honors the annals of our Past so greatly abound.
It is said that by this incessant pointing to former awful forms in our history, than to gaze on
shabbier forms and stir our spirits with the exam-
soon as he becomes visible, anxious anticipations of the most momentous and lasting consequences. He comes as a stern, bold man, with a spirit full of life, and nerves strung for all events, and sets his foot down among these rising colonies, to try if liberty of soul may be had, and This work of Dr. Foote's, if we do not mis- what he deems pure truth may be spoken among take, has made permanent additions to the Vir- them. It is true that before his settlement in ginia Pantheon of illustrious historical charac- Virginia, the Revolution in England had occurters. Its attentive readers will long remember red, the royal fool who lost three kingdoms for certain very striking tableaur almost vivants pre-a mass," the worst and last of the wretched dysented in it. They will often recall to their nasty of the Stuarts, had been hurled from the mind's eye, FRANCIS MAKEMIE standing before English throne to a piteous dependence on the Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury, Governor of king of France, and William of Nassau was king New York, accused of preaching the Gospel of Great Britain. And it is of course rememSAMUEL DAVIES confronting Peyton Randolph to bered by every reader that the Act for the relief assert toleration in Virginia-and JAMES WAD- of their majesties' subjects dissenting from the DELL standing blind at the communion table with established church, commonly called the Act of William Wirt in the audience. The names of Toleration, was passed in the first year of the reign of William and Mary. But the American colonies had been so completely isolated from the great forty-six years' struggle, by which the hearts of men in the father land had been taught a distaste for inquisitorial cruelties, that they on this side the Atlantic had missed the precious lesson which had been learned there, and what was there the era of the end of the struggle, was here about the era of its commencement in good earnest. Severe Acts of Uniformity were passed
The admirer of historic curiosities will find the year 1683 a remarkable and memorable one in both hemispheres. On that year occurred the great siege of Vienna by the Turks, which was raised by Sobiesky of Poland with the aid of a by the Virginia House of Burgesses as early as great eclipse of the moon, acting on the super-1659, 1660, 1661, and 1662, against Quakers and stitious fears of the besiegers. On that year other Separatists. A congregation of Puritans, Lord Russel and Algernon Sydney were behead- who had settled in the county of Nansemond as ed in London. On that year the first house was early as 1648, in the very hour of the power of built in the city of Philadelphia. And on that Cromwell, had been persecuted and scattered and year Francis Makemie, the father of the Pres- are not heard of afterwards. The great Act of byterian church in the United States, was ordain- Uniformity went into operation, in England, on ed by a Presbytery in the North of Ireland and St. Bartholomew's day, (24th August,) 1662, designated for a mission to America. He first more than a year after the restoration of Charles went to the island of Barbadoes; and came II. So that it will be seen that the Virginia thence to the county of Accomac in Virginia, Statutes of Uniformity were actually in advance about the year 1690. His dwelling and also one of the English. Yet until the days of Makemie, of his points for preaching, was at a place called when the English Act of Toleration had given Pocomoke in that county. His chief preaching some foothold for liberty, there could hardly be place was Snow Hill, then in Somerset, now in said to be any contest of much consequence Worcester county, Maryland. With him the against the establishment, as there was no legal problem commenced to be wrought out, whether ground to wage one. The first colonists of Virthe blood which was even then flowing in Eng-ginia were not, like those of Massachusetts, refuland and in Scotland on religious accounts under gees from oppression, either civil or ecclesiastithe heel of the Sadducean tyrant, Charles II., cal. They came here, as their children have and the blood which was soon to flow so copi- since gone to Kentucky, to Missouri, to Alabama, ously in France by the Revocation of the Edict to Florida and to Texas, to obtain greater affluof Nantes under the still worse, because abler ence than they might have had at home.‡ They and more respectable tyrant Louis XIV., should brought with them their attachment to the Church be followed by similar flowings of blood in America, on similar accounts. He looks almost like a mythical personage, making his appearance on lier refugees who came here in the days of the English the stage of history as it were unexpectedly to Commonwealth, some Puritans after the restoration, some the beholders, and yet suggesting to all minds, as Whigs at Monmouth's rebellion.
+ Ibid, p. 31.
*Foote, pp. 34-35.
these men, with several others which may be
of England, and indeed ministers of that church to civil affairs. "All the elements of the Virginia as their chaplains and pastors. According to character," says Dr. Foote, "in its excellencies Governor Berkeley in 1670, however, they were and follies were in operation in 1688, wealth, generally the worst of the Church of England love of ease, profusion of expense, generosity, ministers who were sent here. Perfect unifor-unrestrained passions, chivalric attention to the mity in religion was the golden dream of men fair, high sense of honour, personal independence, every where in that age,-in Holland, in Scot- carelessness of money, sense of superiority, and land, in France, in England, in Massachusetts easy manners." As early indeed as the year and in Virginia. They had not yet learned the 1666, one hundred and ten years before the great wickedness of such a requirement by any earthly revolutionary struggle, the House of Burgesses power. The great mind of Oliver Cromwell of Virginia had claimed against Sir William first conceived, in modern times, the idea of a Berkeley the right to lay the levy of their own general toleration; and even he excluded from taxes, in their own House, and had successfully it the Papists. maintained that right by obtaining from under the Governor's own hand his written assent to this claim, "to remain on record for a rule to walk by for the future." But this spirit of independence of English Laws never appears among the cavaliers of Virginia in reference to ecclesiastical matters. Their loyalty to the King as Head of the Church is unquestionable.
The great legal question which Makemie, Davies and others brought up before the courts in the colonies was, Whether the Act of Toleration applied to the colonies. That act was passed for the relief of Dissenters from the Church of England. It permitted them to enjoy their own modes of worship, provided they adopted the Articles of Religion of the State- Makemie obtained from the county court of Church, except the 34th concerning Traditions, Accomac the license of two preaching places in the 35th concerning the Homilies, the 36th con- October, 1699. But his main trial was in the cerning the consecration of Bishops and Minis- city of New York. There was no religious esters, and so much of the 20th as declares that tablishment in that Colony. This was in 1707. "the Church hath power to decree rites and Queen Anne was on the British throne, and ceremonies, and authority in controversies of Edward Hyde, her own cousin, was Governor faith." That is, the Dissenters agreed to the of New York, under the title of Lord Cornbury. doctrinal articles of the State-Church, but reject- This man Cornbury was the grandson of the ed the ceremonial articles and those concerning great Earl of Clarendon, the historian, and son Church power. They held unanimously that of that Earl of Clarendon who figures in the "power to decree rites and ceremonies" and "au- pages of Macaulay in the reigns of Charles II. thority in controversies" were divine prerogatives and James II. He came to America with a belonging to the Head of the Church. They very sorry character, and did nothing to improve were required by the Act of Toleration not to lock, it after his coming. “A young man of loose bolt or bar their houses of worship; and also to principles, slender abilities and violent temper," make known their places of worship to the Bishop, he had been among the earliest to desert his Archdeacon, or Justices of the Quarter Ses- Royal Uncle, James II., on the landing of the sions. On their complying with these conditions, Prince of Orange. Blake, in his Biographical the Clerk or Register gave them a written cer- Dictionary, records the following characteristic tificate of the fact that they had complied with anecdote of Cornbury after he came to New the terms of the Act, and that certificate was the York: " A great sickness prevailed in New York license of a preaching place. in 1703. Lord Cornbury retired to Jamaica on Long Island; and as Mr. Hubbard, the Presbyterian minister, lived in the best house in the town, his lordship requested the use of it during his short residence there. Mr. Hubbard put himself to great inconvenience to oblige the governor, and the governor in return delivered the parsonage into the hands of the episcopal party, and seized upon the glebe."-Art: CORNBURY.
Before this man as Royal Governor, came Francis Makemie under the charge of having preached a sermon in an open and public manthe dwelling house of William Jackson
The Legislature of Virginia distinctly recognized the application of this Act to their Colony when in 1699, ten reluctant years after it passed at home, they provided for the exemption of dissenters from penalties according to its provisions. They also recognized it in their Revisal in 1705.* It does seem to us that this recognition, by the Legislative authority, of the Act of Toleration, ought at once and conclusively to have settled the question which we shall afterwards see to have been so tediously mooted between Davies and Peyton Randolph. There was, it is true, among the Colonists about this time a sort of spirit of independence of English Laws, manifested in reference *Foote p. 49.
*Foote, p. 37-38.
+ Macaulay, vol. 2, p. 461.
on Pearl Street, New York. The provincial infancy, but which would be mighty, and should
law for the settlement of a “good and sufficient At this point we are constrained to pass unno-
In the county of Hanover in Virginia, a preparation had been going on for seven years, for the coming of such a man as Davies, and for the influences which such a man as Davies would bring with him, in which it would seem that any eye, which ever sees such a hand at all in human affairs, might see a higher hand than that of man. George Whitfield had passed through the state