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eminent modern historians. The great and general causes of the reformation are to be discovered in the absurd doctrines of Popery, the profligate lives of priests, and the rapid diffufion of knowledge, which, after the invention of printing, took place in the fifteenth and fixteenth centuries. Thele causes operated alike in the several countries of Europe which embraced the reformed faith ; but the particular mode of reformation adopted by each community, depended on a series of events, which, as they are less palpable and obvious, have generally escaped observation. · To point out, and to explain the events of this kind which immediately produced the ecclefiaftical eftablishment peculiar to Scotland, is the principal subject of the work before us; which, we will venture to pronounce, is the clearest and most comprehensive, as well as the most entertaining performance that we have met with respecting this important branch of history.
In explaining the immediate and particular causes of reformation, great attention ought to be paid to the characters of the principal agents employed by Providence to effect this remarkable revolution. Dr. Stuart has bestowed on this part of his subject the attention which it deserves, and he displays equal industry and ingenuity in describing the motives, manners, and character of the persons introduced on the scene of action. As a specimen of his abilities in this way, we shall take the liberty of inserting his character of Lord James Stuart, who was the chief promoter of reformation in Scotland.
• This illuftrious man was the natural son of James V. by Margaret, the daughter of John Lord Erelkine. He had been appointed, at an early age, to the priory of St. Andrews ; but he posiefed not that pacific inind, which, uninterested in the present world, delights to look to the future, and to busy itself in the indolent formalities of devotion. The activity of his nature compelled him to seek agitation and employment; the perturbed period in which he lived upplied him with scenes of action; and the eminence of his abilities displayed itself. He discovered a pallion for liberty and a zeal for religion; and he diftinguished himself by an openness and fincerity of carriage. These popular qualities pleased the Congregarion, and procured to him their confidence. The love of liberty, however, was not, in him, the effect of patriotism, but of pride ; his zeal for religion was a political virtue ; and under the appearance of opennels and tincerity, he could conceal more securely his purposes. Power was the idol which he worthipped ; and he was ready to acquire it by methods the most criminal. He was bold, firm, and penetrating. His various mind fitted him alike for intrigue and for war. He was destined to flourish in the midit of difficulties. His fagacity enabled him to foresee dangers, his prudence to prepare for them, and his fortitude to unë them. To his talents, his genius, and his resources, Scotland is indebted for the Reformation.
But by this memorable archievement, he meant nothing more than to advance himself in the road to greatness. To this point all his actions were directed. It gave the limits to his generosity, which has been extolled as unbounded. His praise, his carefles, and his services, his ditsimulation, his perfidiou soess, and his enmities, were all sacrifices to ambition: and miscarriage, which has ravished fa many laurels from great men, did not tarnish his glory. His success was so coofpicuous, that he seemed to have the command of fortune.'
From the merit of this specimen we are led to regret that the Author has not attempted to give a delineation of the character of the famous John Knox. Dr. S. has probably restrained himself from this undertaking, because Knox had been so often painted by former writers, of great reputation. We could wish, however, that he had still added a few strokes of his pencil, which, we are persuaded, would not have hurt the resemblance, and which, indeed, was to have been expected on this occasion, as Knox is so capital'a figure in a reformation piece, that, he has a just title to be placed in the foreground, and to be drawn at full length. · Dr. S. discovers a happy talent for relating political trans. actions and debates; of which we have a striking example in his account of the project of the Queen Regent, for-introducing a ftanding army into Scotland.
• In another improvement, which the Queen Regent attempted by the advice of her French council, the manners and genius of the nation were not sufficiently confulted. There are precautions and inftitutions of great utility in themselves, which do not suit particuJar conditions of society, and which politicians and statesmen can.' not establish with propriety or success, till circumstances and time have pointed out and illustrated their expediency. Though a standing army had been long familiar to the French, there could be nothing so impracticable as its introduction at this time into Scotland, which was governed by the free and peculiar maxims of the feudal law. Yet the Queen Regent was induced to venture the experiment. It was proposed that the pollellions of every proprietor of land in the kingdom Mould be valued and entered into registers; and that a proportional payment should be made by each. The application of ihis fund was to maintain a regular and standing body of soldiers. This guard or army, it was urged, being at all times in readiness to march against an enemy, would protect effectually the frontiers; and there would no longer be any necessity for the nobles to be con. tinually in motion on every rumour of hoftility or incursion from English invaders. No art, however, or argument, could recommend these measures. A perpetual tax and a ftanding army were conceived to be the genuine characterittics of despotism. All ranks of men considered themselves to be insulted and abused, and three hundred tenants of the crown assembling at Edinburgh, and giving way to their indignation, sent their remonftrances to the Queen Re. gent in a strong and expreflive language.
• They informed her, that their ancestors had been able not only to protea Scotland, but to acquire renown by carrying their arms into England. They were not degenerated from their ancestors ; and England was now less powerful. No necefity exifted for a bumiliating taxation, and for bands of mercenaries. The lives and eftates of all the landed proprietors of the nation were at its call. Soldiers, allured with pay, bad no sentiment of honour. It was a wild infatuation to confide in them in preference to men who fought for every thing that was most dear to them, their country, their reputation, their families, their fortunes. Money was a feeble tie of duty, and the service it bought was cold and languid. And, if mero cenaries, when they archieved their belt, were ineffectual and without zeal as a defence and a barrier, it ought to be remembered that this defence or chis barrier, weak as it was, could not be relied upon as certain and secure. A bigher bribe could compass its treachery; and the kings of England knew how to apply their treasures. In consenting to the elevation of the Queen Regent, they had expressed the good opinion they entertained of her ; but whatever confidence they might repose in the rectitude of her intentions, they were not fure that this tax, and this army, for which she was fo anxious, would not be abused by their own princes. From such innovations the most destructive calamities might proceed. They respected their conftisation as sacred ; and in its ftability they acknowledged a decifve proof of the wisdom with which it had been framed. They could not, therefore, fubmit to any mockery of its forms, and were not difposed to surrender any of their natural or political rights. If the fundamental principles of their compact and union were invaded, they would yield to the duties which they owed to themselves and to pofterity; and, drawing their fwords, would employ them to ophold that venerable fabric, which had been built and cemented by the valour and the blood of their ancestors.'
We shall not attempt to give any summary of the tranfactions which, in the course of about thirty years, led to the final settlement of the Presbyterian form of worship in Scotland ; an event which happened in the beginning of the year fifteen hundred and fixty-one. There is a rapidity in Dr. Stuart's narration which makes it agreeable to read, but renders it difficult to abridge his work. We Thall therefore conclude this Article with the fenfible, manly, and spirited reflections which we find at the end of this instructive and entertaining history.
• I have thus endeavoured to describe the rise, progress, and esta. blishment of the Reformation in Scotland; employing a narrative which aims at fimplicity, and which is ambitious to record the truth. From the order and the laws of our nature it perpetually happens that advantages are mixed with misfortune. The con ficts which led to a purer religion, while they excite, under one aspect, the liveliest transports of joy, create, in another, a mournful sentiment of sympathy and compassion. Amidst the felicities which were obtained, and the trophies which were won, we deplore the melancholy ravages of the parlions, and weep over the ruins of ancient magnificence. But while the contentions and the ferments of men, even in the road to improvements and excellence, are ever destined to be polluted with mischief and blood, a tribute of the highest panegyric and praise is yet juftly to be paid to the actors in the Reformation. They gave way to the movements of a liberal and a resolute spirit. They taught the rulers of nations, that the obedience of the subje& is the child of justice, and that men must be governed by their opinions and their reason. Their magnanimity is illuftrated by great and conspicuous exploits ; which at the same time that they awaken admiration, are an example to support and animate virtue in the hour of trial and peril. The existence of civil liberty was deeply connected with the doctrines for which they contended and fought. While they treated with scorn an abje&t and a cruel fuperftition, and lifted and sublimed the dignity of man, by calling his attention to a fimpler and a wiser theology, they were ftrenuous to give a permanent security to the political conftitution of their stare. The happieft and the best interests of society were the objects for which they buckled on their armour; and to with and to act for their duration and Aability are perhaps the most important employments of patriotism and public affeaion. The Reformation may suffer fluctuations in its forms; but, for the good and the prosperity of mankind, it is to be hoped tha: it is never to yield and to submit to the errors and the superftitions which it overwhelmed ; that it is to guard with anxiety against their advances, to be fcrupulously jealous, and to take an early alarm. In this enlightened age of philosophy and reflexion, it is difficult indeed to be conceived that any ferious attempts to establish them shall be made ; yet, if by some fatality in human affairs, such endeavours fhould actually be tried, and should succeed, it may be concluded, without the posibility of a doubt, that all the boafted freedom which the Reformation has foftered would then perish for ever. The sentiment of liberty, and she fire of heaven which our fathers transmitted to their pofterity, would expire and be extin. guilhed. Men would know the debasement of servility, and forget the honours of their kind. They would renounce their patural, their religious, and their political rights; and be contented to creep upon the earth, to lick its duft, and to adore the caprices and the power of a tyrant.'
We have only to add that, annexed to this History, we have a judicious selection of the most valuable papers and records rea specting the establishment of the reformed religion in Scotland. -For our general opinion of the Author's style, see our remark at the end of our account of his View of Society in Europe, in the Review for March, 1778, p. 207; and a farther ftricture at the close of the critique on his Observations concerning the Law and Conftitution of Scotland, Rev. April 1779, p. 280.
ART. JI. A Grammar of the Bengal Lauguag!. By Ntha:el Brafo
sey Halhed Printed at Hoogly, in Bengal. Small 4to. Il. Ise
1778. Sold by Elmiley in London TH
HE wisdom of the British parliament having, within
thele few years, taken a decisive part in the internal policy and civil administration of its Afiatic territories, and having, by a formal act of authority, in the establishment of a supreme court of justice, incorporated the kingdom of Bengal with the British empire, it is the duty of a good citizen to put in execution every measure in his power that may tend to complete the great work which has been so happily begun. No measure appears more proper for this purp.se than the cultivation of a right understanding, and of a general medium of intercourse between the Government and its subjects ; between the natives of Europe, who are to rule, and the inhabitants of India, who are to obey.'
In order to contribute his share toward the public service, the Author has attempted the present grammatical explanation of the vernacular language of Bengal, a language extremely different from that idiom, which, under the name of Moors, has been supposed to prevail over all India.
The native language of Bengal is intimately connected with the Shanscrit, the grand source of Indian literature, and the parent of almost every dialect, from the Persian gulph to the Chinese feas. The Shanscrit tongue, which was of the greatest extent, and of the most venerable and unfathomable antiquity, is at present shut up in the libraries of Bramins, and appropriated to the records of their religion. Traces of its general prevaJence may be found in the Persian and Arabic; and the Hindoftanic or Indian language has exactly the same connexion with it as the modern dialects of France and Italy have with pure Latin; the groundwork being the same, the inflexions and arrangement different. But of all Oriental languages, the Bengalese is the nearest to the Shanscrit in exprellion, construction, and character.
This circumstance will doubtless recommend the present performance to the curious, especially if we may credit an afdertion which the Author gives on the authority of the Raja of Kishenagur, the most learned and able antiquary that Bengal has produced within this century. The Raja says that he has, in his own poffeffion, Shanscrit books which give an account of a communication formerly subsisting between India
• Though printed, in the East Indies, in 1778, this Grammar was not published in London till the year 1780.