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There are some hereditary strokes of character, by which a family may be as clearly distinguished, as by the blackest features of the human face. Charles the First lived and died a hypocrite. Charles the Second was a hypocrite of another sort, and should have died upon the same scaffold. At the distance of a century, we see their different characters happily revived and blended in your Grace. Sullen and severe without religion, profligate without gaiety, you live like Charles the Second, without being an amiable companion ; and, for aught I know, may die as his father did, without the reputation of a martyr.”
King James, in his Basilicon Doron, a book which he wrote for “the exercise of his own ingenie" and the instruction of his son Prince Henry, gives him advice on the subject of filial piety which may appear to have considerable reference to paternal interests, notwithstanding it is pretended to be grounded altogether on filial interests. “Suffer not your princes and parents to be dishonored by any; the infaming and making odious of the parent, is the readiest way to bring the son into contempt. I never found a constant biding by me in all my streights, by any that were of perfit age in my parent's days, but only by such as constantly bode by them ; I mean specially by them that served the Queen my mother.” Seven copies only of this book were at first printed, and the printer was sworn to secresy.
But the contents of the work were soon known and canvassed by the public, and when Queen Elizabeth's life became precarious, James thought it prudent to reprint and publish the book, with a preface accommodated to the alteration of his circumstances.
Erskine, in his celebrated defence of Hadfield, tried for shooting at the king in his box at the theatre, in adverting to the advantages afforded a prisoner on a trial for High Treason, makes an eloquent use of the notion that the king is the father of his people; the Roman Emperors assumed the title of “Pater patriæ,” but, as Juvenal observes, Cicero had the title conferred upon him by free Romans. “ Gentlemen of the Jury, when this melancholy catastrophe happened, and the prisoner was arraigned for trial, I remember to have said to some now present, that it is, at first view, difficult to bring those indulgent exceptions to the general rules of trial within the principle which dictated them to our humane ancestors in cases of treason against the political government, or of rebellious conspiracy against the person of the king. In these cases, the passions and interests of great bodies of powerful men being engaged and agitated, a counterpoise became necessary to give composure and impartiality to criminal tribunals ; but a mere murderous attack upon the king's person, not at all connected with his political character, seemed a case to be ranged and dealt with like a similar attack upon any private man. But the wisdom of the law is greater than any man's wisdom ; how much more, therefore, than mine! An attack upon the king is considered to be parricide against the state, and the Jury and the witnesses, and even the judges, are the children. It is fit, on that account, that there should be a solemn pause before we rush to judgment. And what can be a more sublime spectacle of justice, than to see a statutable disqualification of a whole nation for a limited period, a fifteen days quarantine before trial, lest the mind should be subject to the contagion of partial affections !"
On the exalted theme of filial love and obedience which is
treated of in Milton's Paradise Lost, readers are not com
monly aware that they are imbibing Arianism-Milton's tracts, as well as his great poem, indicate that his opinions were those which were first entertained by Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria in the fourth century, and afterwards by a numerous sect, including Dr. Clarke and several eminent English Divines. They believed that Jesus was subordinate to the Father, but was the first of created beings.
There are high and low Arians, according to the dignity they assign to
Some Arians, as Milton in the Paradise Lost, suppose that the Son created the earth. ·
Silence, ye troubled waves, and thou, Deep, peace.
Creation, and the wonders of his might. With this clue, it is curious to notice the difference of style and language which Milton assigns to the persons of the Trinity, scarcely, if at all, adverting to their unity. He would probably have supported his views by a stronger argument from scriptural authority than Klopstock could urge for the introduction of a penitent devil. This character of Abadona in the Messiah, (a poem which engaged Klopstock more than twenty years, and which formed an epoch in German literature,) is warmly eulogized by the Baroness Stael ; she calls Klopstock the “ David of the New Testament.” One example from Milton will shew his views of the Son's subordinate character, which assists the allusion of Satan maintaining a fight at all, however short-lived the struggle.
Go then, thou Mightiest, in thy Father's might,
That shake Heav'n's basis, bring forth all my war ;
lle said, and on his Son with rays direct
Father, O Supreme of heav'nly thrones !
my bliss. Besides the Arians, the Christian sects relating to the person of Christ have been distinguished as Trinitarians, Athanasians, Sabellians, and Socinians. Another class of sects relates to the means and measure of God's favor, predestination and grace; and another class to the modes of Church Government. Bossuet, in his Variations of the Protestant Churches, argues, from such a diversity of sects, in favor of the Roman Catholic Church. Dryden's poems of the Religio Laici, and the Hind and Panther, one written whilst a Protestant, and the other after he became a Catholic, are fine compositions on both sides of the controversy from the same vigorous pen. It is to be observed, however, that Walter Scott, in his life of Dryden, endeavours to reconcile the opinions in the two poems, in order to palliate Dryden's conversion. It took place at a time, when it was very opportune for his interest, as Poet Laureat to a converted King. James had less success with his court physician Rad
cliffe, who banters the attempts to convert him (and two priests were employed by the king for the purpose) in several amusing letters ; he begs his majesty to leave him in the enjoyment of a Physician's Religion ; probably alluding to Chaucer's Doctour of Phisicke.
Of his diete mesurable was he ;
Young, in his Night Thoughts, it has been before obseryed, revels in antitheses; the subject of the Trinity elicits the full bent of his genius in this direction.
Distinct, not separate,
Greater than greatest ! It may appear remarkable, that, in the Catechism of the Church of England, it is said that “the body and blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's supper.” In point of fact this was inserted by Cranmer, rather a shifty theologian, who, at the time, professed a belief in the harmless but ridiculous doctrine of transubstantiation. When the King of the Houynhnms asks Gulliver what were the motives that made creatures like himself go to war ; he enumerates, among other causes,
difference of opinions has cost many millions of lives ; for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine; whether whistling be a vice or a virtue ; whether be better to kiss a post or throw it