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It is pleasing, however, to add, that while Usher declared against toleration in Ireland, Dr. Jeremy Taylor advocated it in England, in his “ Discourse on the Liberty of Prophesying, "-an immortal work; abounding in passages of the closest reasoning and strains of eloquence seldom equalled. It was published in 1647; and, therefore, long preceded the liberal treatise of Grotius " De Jure summorum principum circa sacra,” published in 1661 ; Bayle’s “ Commentaire Philoso
phique, sur ces paroles de Jésus Christ, con" traignez les d'entrer,” first published in 1686,— and Locke's Six Letters upon Toleration, the first of which appeared in 1689.--By preceding the treatises of Grotius and Bayle, Dr. Taylor has conferred on his country the honour of having produced the first regular treatise on toleration. Long, however, before this time, its existence in Utopia had been supposed by sir Thomas More :—and long before Utopia was imagined, St. Martin of Tours had refused to communicate with the persecutors of the Priscillianists, on account of their religious intolerance; and long before Tours was edified by the virtues of St. Martin, the Son of Man had rebuked the sons of Zebedee for wishing that a shower of fire might descend on the incredulous Samaritans.
A new edition of Dr. Taylor's Liberty of Prophesying has been recently published. The work concludes with the following apologue; it would be well that every child should learn it by heart:
_"When Abraham sat at his tent-door, according “ to his custom, waiting to entertain strangers, he
espied an old man, stooping, and leaning on his staffe, weary with age and travel, coming towards him,—who was 'an hundred
of “received him kindly, washed his feet, provided
supper, caused him to sit down; but, observing, “ that the old man eat and prayed not, nor begged " for a blessing on his meal, asked him, why he did “not worship the God of heaven? The old man " told him, that he worshipped the fire only, and “ acknowledged no other god : at which answer, “ Abraham grew so zealously angry, that he thrust “ the old man out of his tent, and exposed him to “ all the evils of the night, and an unguarded con“ dition. When the old man was gone, God called " to Abraham, and asked him where the stranger
was: he replied, “I thrust him out, because “ he did not worship thee: God answered him, “ I have suffered him, these hundred years, " although he dishonoured me; and couldst not “thou endure him one night, when he gave thee
no trouble?' Upon this, saith the story, Abraham “ fetched him back again, and gave him hospita“ ble entertainment and wise instruction.-Go “thou and do likewise; and thy charity will be “ rewarded by the God of Abraham!”
JAMES THÉ SECOND.
1685. NotwithSTANDING his imprudence and weakness, --notwithstanding even his offences against the constitution, a generous mind will always read the history of James the second *, with compassion; and this compassion will rise to a higher feeling, when he considers, that the misfortunes of the monarch were owing, in a great measure, to his sincere and undissembling mind; and to the treacherous counsels of his principal minister,the earl of Sunderland,—who even formally embraced and most openly professed the romancatholic religion, in order to deceive his royal master the more effectually. We shall present our readers, I. With some miscellaneous observations on his character: II. With some account of the principal events, which led to the revolution in 1688: III. Of the visit of James to the monastery of La Trappe: IV. Of his death : V. And with transcripts of those parts of the historical poems of Dryden, which relate to the occurrences in the reigns of Charles the second and James the second, in which the English roman-catholics were particularly concerned.
• The fragment of the history of this reign, by the late Mr. Fox, though open to objection, is a noble production, and doos honour to his memory.
LXVI. 1. Miscellaneous Observations on the Character of James.
The sincerity, which we have ascribed to James, has generally been admitted. His industry, perseverance, and skill in the official details of busi ness, have been universally allowed. Never, since his reign, has the nation been without obligations to him : “ It does not appear,” says Mr. Clarke*, " that the difficulties, which James had to struggle
with, have always been sufficiently considered by “ historians; nor does it appear, that the essential “ and lasting service, which James rendered to his
country, in compacting, and, as it were, building
upits naval power, have been sufficiently weighed. “ It is not generally known, that the naval regulas
tions, now in force, are taken, almost verbatim “ from those which he established; or that, when
lately the board of naval revision wished to add “ to, and improve the naval regulations, they sent “ for the papers of Pepys, the marine secretary of “ James, as being the best materials whence they “could obtain the object they had in view.” It isa : The sincerity of James, has, it is true, been questioned in those reiterated promises, which he made of preserving the liberties of the nation; and which, in every part of his short reign, he re
• In the preface to his edition of the “ Life of James the “ second, collected out of Memoirs written with his own hand,"
This objection is, however, satisfactorily answered, by observing, that these invasions of the national rights were perfectly reconcileable with the monarch's own notions, however erroneous, of the constitution ; so that, although they were certainly gross infractions of it, still they were not such in his opinion.
His disturbing the legal settlement of the religion of his country, has been a subject of still more severe reprehension. Had he maturely examined what was the greatest degree of toleration, which the actual temper of the times, and the welfare of his country, would allow him to procure for his catholic subjects ; had he prepared the public mind to receive this favourably; and had he established it by a legislative act,--then, it would have been a salutary measure, and have placed him among the benefactors of humanity. But,-(even if he contemplated nothing beyond complete toleration), he yet aimed at more than the times would bear; and he attempted to accomplish his aim by means, which were wholly repugnant to the constitution. His aim may, perhaps, admit of some excuse ; the means, to which he resorted, admit of none.
Still, one circumstance should be related, which seems to show, that he possessed the true spirit of toleration. On the revocation of the edict of Nantes, a large proportion of the Hugonots took refuge in this country. The hospitality, with which they were received, was most exemplary; and James himself animated the spirit of the nation, both by his ex