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that the later races and times have been of incomparably more importance as to their effect on our present situation.
An ample share of attention is given to that grand but most enigmatical phenomenon, Stonehenge, a most interesting subject in the hands of so indefatigable and well provided an investigator, who in addition to all that description can convey to the reader, could present such striking images as those which meet the eye in the accurate and elegant engravings. He states fairly and fully the various theories, if they may be so denominated, preceded by the monkish legends, respecting the origin and design of this mysterious structure. And it is really curious to see with what confidence, and, in some instances, with what palpable deficiency of even the attainable information, ingenious or learned men have been capable of pronouncing on the subject. One or two of them are quite positive that this .gigantic construction was the work of the Danes! Inigo Jones was sent to the spot by the erudite king James I., with orders to make himself and his royal master certain of all about it; and he dreamed that he saw there a Roman temple, of the Tuscan order, dedicated to Cœlus. He dreamed too, (for it is now clear he could not have seen any such thing,) that the great trilithons forming one of the inner circles, (if we may be allowed to use the term so inaccurately,) were in a regular hexagonal order. Mr. John Wood, another architect by profession, was equally inattentive to the evidence of the senses with respect to the positions of these trilithons. Even the learned Camden gives such a description of the work as to induce a suspicion that he never saw it. The plan which Sir Richard judges to be the most accurate, was published by Dr. Smith, in 1771, in a work in which Stonehenge is maintained to have been erected by the Druids for observing the motions of the hea'venly bodies.' This plan differs but slightly from that of Dr. Stukely, for whose discriminating judgement, and industry in research, our Author testifies the greatest possible respect, considering his work as far more valuable than all others on the subject.
It should seem that Stukely was the first detecter of a circumstance which alone was sufficient to put several of the theories to flight, namely, that in the barrows in the vicinity there are chippings of stone of identical qualities with the stones of the structure, (of one of which qualities there are no stones found elsewhere in Wiltshire,) and therefore clearly shewing whence they came. Such chippings repeatedly occurred in our Author's excavations in this enchanted neighbourhood. This proof of the priority, in time, of the structure to the tumuli, combined with the proof supplied by the primitive characteristics of the interments, that the tumuli are more ancient than the
Roman period, makes an instant end of no small share of vain speculation, and at one sweep clears the view all the way up to the British period; but then it closes in utter and final darkness.
Our Author is extremely cautious of speculating on the design of this mysterious monument of what may be so appropriately denominated the dark ages. He does not even, with any confidence, associate its origin and uses with Druidism, though he sometimes employs the denomination of Temple. Some of the acutest of our recent investigators of Celtic and Druidical history, have shewn, that even if Druidism was ever established in the part of Britain where Stonehenge remains, (one of the mightiest of those monuments which, instead of revealing, preserve inviolate the secrets of the past,) there is, in the ancient authors, no evidence that the horrid solemnities of that superstition were perpetrated in structures of stone. Dark groves are uniformly represented as its temples: and it is justly remarked that the locality and vicinity of Stonehenge, afford no traces or traditions of having ever been overshadowed with the gloom of deep forests of oak. After all the learning, enthusiasm, ingenuity, and confident opinion, of which this colossal circle, this Chorea Gigantum' has been the subject, and after the important and interesting process also of excavations in the surrounding tumuli, by which this last meritorious antiquary has summoned the ancient dead to give evidence, we must submit to acknowledge, that though this grand array of rocks must have constituted an object and a place of the highest imaginable importance to the Britons, might, perhaps, as Sir Richard presumes, have had to their minds, as much sanctity or attraction as Mecca to the Mahomedans, we have absolutely no means of deciding what it was that was done in its adytum or precincts; no means of knowing whether the scene now so solitary and silent, but once probably animated at some seasons with a vast assemblage of wild and inspirited countenances, was the grand court of barbarian judicature, or was the central imperial seat of a gloomy superstition, or drew the multitudes to the solemnities of both these national concerns. Nevertheless, it will probably be found that antiquarian ingenuity does not even yet despair; and, meanwhile, all who feel any interest in the monuments of the primitive race, must acknowledge great obligations to Sir R. Hoare, for the severe scrutiny with which he has surveyed the whole of the enchanted locality, for his patient, resolute industry in referring the confused ruins to the order of the original plan, and for the perspicuous and beautiful delineations.
It was reserved for Mr. Cunnington to suggest the idea,
which our Author has adopted, and which every observer who should be merely wishing to compliment the taste of the original designer of Stonehenge, will be disposed to adopt, that the two circles of smaller uprights are a later addition, foreign to the primary plan: they spoil its noble simplicity, and they are of a quite different kind of stone. The matter of taste is made extremely clear in an engraved view which is here given of the structure as it would have looked when complete in its grand exterior circle, and its interior oval of still more majestic trilithons; but this is of no weight as evidence to the matter of fact, because, in our ignorance of the purpose of the whole work, we cannot know but the ranges of smaller stones might be essential to that purpose.
In the next portion of his work our Author is to give the results of his investigations among the nearly annihilated remains of the still more ancient and enormous circle of stones at Abury.
Here we close this extended article. It is extended because we wished to give our readers not the general substance merely, but many of the distinct particulars, of a work of great interest, great cost, in every sense, and extraordinary merit. We have aimed to give strictly a representation of matters of fact, declining, like our Author, the hazardous, and, in some directions, hopeless ground of speculation.
The paper and typography of the book are of the richest kind; and a special tribute of applause is due to the plates, engraved by Basire, after drawings by Sir Richard's surveyor and draughtsman, Mr. P. Crocker. If we are less pleased with eight or ten maps of stations, than with the other seventy plates, it is not that they are not of good-manual execution, but that they throw the face of the ground into an unnatural form. The ranges and branches of the eminences on the great plains, are made so roundly prominent, so defined, so cramped in at the base, that they suggest the idea of a large peeled oak cut down, and resting with its branches extended on the ground. But the plans of camps, mounds, and barrows, (a sort of combination of map and view,) are excellent, and the very numerous plates of the spoils of the tumuli are superlatively so,
Art. II. A(An) Historical View of the State of the Protestant Dissenters in England, and of the Progress of Free Enquiry and Religious Liberty, from the Revolution to the Accession of Queen Anne. By Joshua Toulmin, D.D. pp. 592. Price 12s. Longman and Co, 1814,
MANY years have elapsed since the respectable Author of this volume announced his intention of preparing a History of the Protestant Dissenters. Such a work could not
perhaps have been undertaken by a more proper person than the Editor of Neal's History of the Puritans, whose studies and connexions, combined with his well known and ardent attachment to the genuine principles of religious liberty, peculiarly. qualified him for the office. The first part of the projected work is now before the public. The circumstances by which its earlier appearance was prevented, are stated in a Preface, from which it seems that the Author's plan would have required two additional volumes for its completion. But with the volume now before us, Dr. Toulmin's labours have terminated, and the work in its unfinished state, must be classed among the numerous instances of disappointed hopes, and of purposes broken off by death..
The contents of this volume are divided into six chapters. The first includes the History of Dissenters as blended with. the political occurrences of the times and the measures of government. The second exhibits a view of the Controversies which were agitated in the period between the Revolution and the death of King William; among which, the controversy respecting the rights, powers, and privileges of Convocations, the discussion of the Trinitarian question, and the disputes on the subject of Justification, among Dissenters, are the principal. The third treats of the internal history of the Protestant Dissenters, and contains accounts of their academies, and of the different sects as they existed at the Revolution. The fourth, notices the charitable institutions of the time. The fifth contains a concise review of theological publications. The sixth presents us with biographical sketches of eminent persons and writers among the Dissenters. An Appendix of useful documents is added to the whole, and many interesting and valuable notes are interspersed throughout.
The transactions which are detailed in the first part of this volume, are of a most important kind. They constitute a new era in our national history, and ought deeply to interest the Christian, the philosopher, and the politician.
We have in a former article traced the progress of Nonconformity through the oppressive reigns of Elizabeth, James the First, and Charles the First, during which periods the penal laws which had originated in a despotic authority assumed over the conscience, were enforced with insulting rigour. sketch terminated at that iniquitous event which served to try the virtue and to display the heroism of so many illustrious confessors, while it exhibits in the most forcible manner, the evil tendency of ecclesiastical establishments. The Act of Uniformity, so long as it remains unrepealed; must, in spite of
* Vol. III. N. S. p. 274.
attempts to palliate its enormity, be considered as a disgrace on the annals of the Church of England.
On his restoration, Charles II. renewed and solemnly promulgated his declaration issued from Breda, in which he published his resolution to promote the power of Godliness, to encourage the public and private exercises of religion, and to "take care of the due observation of the Lord's day, to grant 'indulgence to tender consciences, and that no man should be 'called in question for differences in matters of religion which 'did not disturb the peace of the kingdom.' These were the pledge and promise of a prince.
Scarcely had the declaration circulated through the land, when, in direct violation of its stipulations, the Corporation Act was passed, by which all who refused to conform to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, as by law established, were excluded from municipal offices. In the course of the same year, the Quakers, who had petitioned for a toleration, were subjected to the operation of a new law, which prohibited their assemblies, confiscated their property, and doomed their persons to banishment. Thus early was the nation taught the sincerity of the monarch's most solemn promises; and thus early were the infatuation and the wickedness of the restored house of Stuart, unequivocally manifested, and which, at the distance of no long period, wrought out their final ruin. "Put not your trust in princes," was the ominous exclamation of the unhappy Strafford in reference to his ungrateful master; and no sooner had the succeeding monarch received the sceptre from the hands of a free nation, who might then have transferred it, as they afterwards did transfer it, to other hands, than he began, in utter contempt of every principle of honour and equity, to persecute, with fine, imprisonment, and exile, many of the best men in the kingdom, merely on account of their religious opinions, which he had pledged his word should subject them to no molestation whatever.
The Act of Uniformity was so constructed, that it could not' be efficacious for the purification of the Church from error and corruption; it could only avail for the expulsion of the conscientious and the pious from its community. Besides the preposterous 'assent and consent to all and every thing in the Book of Common Prayer,' which it prescribed, it required from the ministers of the Church a declaration, that it is not lawful on any pretence whatever to take arms against the king;' a demand which could not be conceded without sacrificing the rights of the nation. If for the conduct of the Dissentients in this particular, modern Churchmen presume to censure them, they must, to be consistent, impose equal condemnation on their conforming fathers, whose resistance to the authority of James the