« AnteriorContinua »
Which is the true state of the matter, and hereby left to consideration.” "13th June, 1648. £1727 ordered to be accepted for the fine of Sir John Acland, a delinquent in arms against the parliament, he coming in upon the articles of Exeter at the surrender thereof."
Our loyal baronet, if still living at the date of the last mentioned order,* could have survived it but a few hours, since we find a resolution of the standing committee of Devon, dated the 22nd of August, and made in pursuance of another order of the 16th of June, 1648, for the delivering, "unto the executors or administrators of John Acland, of Columbjohn, Esq., deceased," of all such writings of the said Mr. Acland as they had in their custody. And this is followed by the petition of the widow, that she might be permitted to enjoy her "small jointure."
To this may be added, that, in a letter from Nicholas Rowe, (a commissioner for the city of Exeter,) dated 7th April, 1648, inclosing "a list of such delinquents and papists, together with the value of such persons' estates as are now in sequestration," &c., in which list the name of Sir John Acland Occurs as "a notorious delinquent," the writer states the following query:-"I beseech you, tell me your opinion in this, If a delinquent die under sequestration, and make no composition, is the sequestration absolutely to be discharged his death?" We do not find any answer to this quesupon tion; but under date 30th May, 1650, his name is entered as discharged" from the sequestration.
In the case of one Ralph Richards, we are presented with some curious particulars, both as to the part taken by Sir John Acland in the beginning of the disturbances, and the nature of the informations on which the charge of delinquency was ordinarily exhibited. We give the depositions in the order in which we find them. The first of these depositions (referring to those upon which the charge was originally founded) is in favour of the delinquent, and appears to have been taken on the occasion of some application being made to mitigate his fine.
"Depositions, 13th October, 1650. James Erisey, of Ware, (gentleman,)-That during the time the king's army was before Exon, deponent had frequent conferences with the said Richards, and found that he did respect the parliament, and lean to that side, more than the king. That he knows Thomas Halmore, who is reputed a drunkard
* His death is stated in the Baronetage to have taken place the preceding year.
and incontinent; and that what is presented by him against the said Richards is out of malice.
"John Levell, of Thorveston, yeoman,-That Richards was constable of Hayridge Hundred at the time of the siege, and well affectioned to the parliament, &c.; that Thomas Helmore was constable of Cadleigh, and believes his presentment is out of malice, in revenge for a former prosecution against Helmore as a collector, in which Richards had given evidence.'
Then follows the deposition of Helmore referred to by the two former, and which is, in substance, that he (deponent) being a prisoner to the king's party at Columbjohn House, Richards brought in a warrant under the hands of the parliament commissioners, and then declared to Mr. Acland, that he had prosecuted too many of them already; and then voluntarily brought in unto the said Acland a horseman and arms, and said, he would freely give the same unto him for the service (Columbjohn being then a garrison for the king). Upon which, Acland said, "Then now I see there is some goodness in thee;" and, afterwards, Richards did send in provision to the garrison. Also, the depositions of John Moggridge, of Cadleigh, yeoman,That, he being sent by Mr. Nutcombe with a letter to Mr. Acland at Columbjohn, (then being a garrison,) the said Richards was then there present. At that time, Mr. Acland demanded what he (Richards) did there? To which Richards replied, that he had brought him a horse, and said, “I will freely give him to you for the service." Mr. Acland further demanded, why he had not brought a man and arms. Whereto Richards replied, that he had done so already. Mr. Acland then said, "I thought thee, Richards, hadst been a rebel; but now I see thou art an honest man.' And that afterwards, when Colonel Wilding had sent forth warrants for bringing in provisions for the parliament army at Taunton, deponent, being then with Mr. Nutcombe, as constable of the hundred of Bampton, he (Wilding) sent deponent with a warrant to Richards, who, on delivery thereof, demanded, "How durst thou deliver such a warrant unto me?" To which deponent replied, he knew not what it was; and Richards said, if deponent brought any more such warrants, he would see him hanged, whatsoever did become of him.
"Information, (grounded on the above depositions,) May 29, 1650.-That Ralph Richards, of Thorveston, in the county of Devon, did, about five years since, send a man and arms to Sir John Acland to Columbjohn, at the time when the king's party kept a garrison there
This is a truly Hudibrastic reason for impeachment of veracity.
to serve in the King's army against the parliament, and by his threats, and through his means, caused divers to do the like. Also, at the same time, did find ammunition for the use of the said garrison."
We cannot take our leave of this baronet, without remarking the singularity that Prince, who, in his Worthies of Devon, devotes his first article to the praises of another Sir John Acland, (the great uncle of our loyalist, by whom the estates of Columbjohn and Killerton were first acquired to the family,) makes no mention of his descendant, although so great a sufferer in a cause which he constantly represents as entitling its advocates to the reward of martyrdom. For ourselves, we make no apology for a length of detail which, to some, may appear (perhaps) unimportant and frivolous, conceiving that a few pages of The Retrospective Review cannot be filled more properly than in illustrating, by the cause of an individual, the nature of proceedings which embraced, in their effects, so large a portion of the property of the kingdom; and it is probable that we may, at no distant period, recur to the subject.
ART. IV. MISSALE ROMANUM, ex decreto Sacrosancti Concilii Tridentini restitutum; PII V. Pont. Max. jussu Editum, &c. 8vo. Parisiis, 1604.
Every body knows that, according to Sir Thomas Lethbridge's prediction, and the prophetic terrors of the old women of Wells and its vicinity, the Irish Catholics were to have come over in about the month of March last, to cut the throats of us English Protestants; every body knows, that they had some good reason for not coming at that time, and that their blood-thirsty design is only put off, not abandoned. A Catholic's taste for roasted heretics is too decided, to allow us the least shadow of rational hope :
"Fee, fy, fo, fum!
They smell the blood of the Englishmen ;
Be they alive, or be they dead,
They will crush our bones, and eat them for bread."
A good friend of ours, in -shire, whose stake in the Protestant establishment is not more than a thousand a year, has assured us of his positive knowledge, that not only is a design on foot to instal the very reverend the Vicar Apostolic in the Protes
tant primate's throne, but that his own living has been conferred on the reverend Patrick O'Shaugnesey, P. P., and that Lord Arundel's retired shoe-black is nominated for parish-clerk. It is undeniable, that transactions of this kind took place in the damnable reign of the bloody papist, Mary. No scepticism can reject this fact; and as such things have been, why may they not be again?
Before the enacting of this tragedy, which will put an end, at once, to our religion and our Review, we propose to take advantage of the interim, by shewing-up some of the leading idolatries of the Romish church. We intend to die. like martyrs: we wish it to be said hereafter that we also wrote, and were roasted; and when the lion-shewer of Smithfield shall point out, in after times, the spots where the faggots of the nineteenth century were piled, we wish him to enumerate ours amongst the most illustrious; and when he has told some gaping rustic that "there was the Archbishop's, there the Lord Chancellor's stake," he may add, "and there was the faggot of a Retrospective Reviewer!" Before we are spitted, as we assuredly shall be, we shall endeavour to do all in our power to deserve so glorious a fate; and how can we begin better than by printing the result of a few inquiries into the Sacrifice of the MASS?
Now, let it be remarked, that we have nothing to do with the doctrine. The differences between the reformed and the unreformed churches are, by no means, so plainly marked as to render this safe ground. Mr. Wix, who has been labouring these twenty years, to amalgamate the two sects, finds no great difficulty in the doctrinal part of the operation. He thinks there is more in the diversity of form than substance; and he is probably right in believing, that a creed is an easier thing to change than a hierarchy. Opinions do little more than identify the persons who possess that substance of orthodoxy, the incorporeal hereditament, as the lawyers have cunningly called the corporeal part of the church establishment. So, at least, Mr. Wix seems to think, and we shall not quarrel with such authority.
We shall, therefore, leave opinions to shift for themselves, and attach ourselves to the consideration of the exterior form in which those opinions have been clothed in the Catholic ritual. This is more a matter of romance than of theology. Not but that it suggests reflections of deep importance to the philosopher, and in that view the reader may consider it, if he prefer instruction to amusement; but it is, also, a fit subject for poetical imaginations, to observe with what nice attention to stage effect" the pomp and circumstance" of the greatest
of the seven sacraments has been got up by the managers of the Vatican.
In the Catholic church, the ceremonial has completely excluded the contemplative and moralizing-we are careful not to say moral-forms, into which religion naturally runs under a simpler exterior. It has none of the metaphysical disquisition, and but little of the sentimental piety, which are the respective resources of the men and the women where there is nothing for the eye to rest on but the four walls of a rectangular meeting-house, and a coloured deal reading-desk. With the exception of the worship of the Virgin, and the prayers for the dead,-two beautiful episodes of the Romish my thology, there is little but outward shew and glitter. The effect is mainly produced by sensual objects. It has been the policy of the Catholic church to render the theatrical part of worship as attractive and absorbing as possible. This is the natural policy of all churches pretending to universal empire. Their object is to deaden the intellectual faculties, to repress the spirit of inquiry, to stifle any feeling that might lead to the least diminution of the clerical despotism. They have no need of the speculation and enthusiasm which are essential to the existence of smaller sects. The feelings, the passions, the affections of the human heart, over which the sectarian pastors exercise an influence at once so easy and so powerful, are avoided as dangerous, or rejected as useless, instruments, by the directors of these iron superstitions. The dogmatic part of their theology is remarkable for its dry formality; the poetical, for its cold and barren exaggerations. Every thing like beauty and fervour of expression, or elegance of fancy; every thing pathetic, every thing affectionate, every thing which stirs the imagination, or warms the heart; is rigidly excluded. In this respect, the Catholic ritual is strikingly different from the splendid, the beautiful, the poetical superstition of antiquity. Both were equally religions for the eye and the ear; both equally delighted in pictures, music, and odours: but the one was furnished with statues from the hand of Praxiteles, with poetry from the lips of Pindar; her priestesses were taught to move with the most captivating grace, to sing with the sweetest cadence; the whole pageant was at once an object of reverence and wonder to the illiterate, and of elegant amusement to the refined. But the religion of Greece and Rome, in the state in which we view it, was the work of a polished age and a cultivated priesthood, grafted on the barbaric stock of their ancestral superstition. The Romish edition of Christianity was a coarse dish served up by Vandal hands to Vandal appetites. Equally adapted to the taste of those for whose subjec