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of the author's fame. The matter is confusedly arranged; some interpretations of Scripture are such as no modern critic would allow ; and some of the arguments are such as no modern reasoner would adopt. There are violations of taste characteristic of the age, and a narrowness of view common among the Puritans. The method pursued is often obscure, the style is frequently crabbed, and to read the whole is very wearisome. But the book contains a trenchaat exposure of absurd and unscriptural arguments in support of persecution. It exhibits a good deal of analytical power.
Its home thrusts are, at times, tremendously staggering. A perception of the main points in hand is clear throughout. The author honestly follows out his purpose, and completely demolishes his adversary.
To criticise some of the principles laid down by Williams would be beside the mark, and would involve us in a discussion unfit for these pages ; but we must acknowledge the service which the author has done to the cause he so devotedly loved, and honour the ability with which he accomplished his task.
He was not the first to take up his pen in defence of religious freedom. A Baptist writer, Leonard Busher, had taken the lead in this department of literature. John Robinson had been a pioneer in the same direction, but Roger Williams, perhaps, went beyond them in the breadth of freedom which he vindicated ; and placed the subject upon a deeper and stronger foundation than had been laid before. The cause of toleration is thought by some to be mainly indebted for its prosperity to religious indifference. Certainly the advocates of toleration in the seventeenth century were not men known for their religious indifference, nor did the Revolution of 1688, which placed the liberties of England on a constitutional basis, proceed from any such cause. If any political movement in this country was ever mainly helped on to a successful issue by a religious purpose, it was the Revolution of 1688. It stands as a landmark of religious power in national life. And who were the advocates of toleration before, and at the time of its legal establishment ? Not infidels and sceptics, and men of no religion, but such men as Roger Williams-men to whom religious convictions and aspirations were dearer than life. Cromwell and the Independents, with all their defects, powerfully advanced the interests of freedom in this land ; and they were all intensely religious-fanatically so in the estimation of those who uphold the theory now noticed.
Jeremy Taylor advocated Liberty of Prophecy,” and we need not say what Jeremy Taylor was religiously. Milton and Locke, though laymen and broad-thinkers, were deeply and conscientiously religious. Tillotson and Burnet, though to some extent latitudinarians in theology, were devoted to the service of Christianity as sincerely and earnestly as it was possible to be. It is a paradox in philosophy to maintain that full freedom to promulgate religious convictions comes as a result of scepticism in religion ; and the maintenance of such a paradox is no less a contradiction of facts.
Williams published, in 1643, a work entitled “ A Key into the Language of America ; or, a Help to the Language of the Natives in that part of America
called New England, together with brief observations of Customs, Manners, Worship, &c." He informs his readers that he prepared the materials of his volume, whilst he was at sea, as a help to his own memory, lest he should lose what he had “ dearly bought in some few years' hardship and changes among the barbarians.” And in dedicating his publication to his “Wellbeloved friends in Old and New England,” he says : “ This key respects the native language, and happily may unlock some rarities concerning the natives themselves not yet discovered. A little key may open a box where lies a bunch of keys."
Williams, when living at New Plymouth, and at Salem, cultivated acquaintance with neighbouring Indian tribes; but after leaving Salem, as he travelled on foot or by boat, in the vicinity of Narragansett Bay, he had ample opportunity of studying their peculiarities, walking with them in the forest-watching them in the chase and the war dance-tarrying with them in their wigwams-talking with the squaws under the spreading trees—or playing with the red-faced little ones on the banks of a stream; so he came to understand their speech, their habits of thought, and their modes of life, better, perhaps, than any white man of his day. His patience, curiosity, good temper, and benevolent disposition would fit him to improve these opportunities of acquiring an intimate knowledge of the American aborigines ; nor could he help deriving advantage, even in such unique researches, from his Oxford training in learned languages, and from his acquisition of modern tongues, for which—according to all accounts—he must have been remarkable. When in England he read Dutch to Milton, and Milton could read in
many more languages” to him, a circumstance which Williams incidentally notices in one of his letters.
The book is a great curiosity. It contains thirty-two chapters on salutation, eating, entertainment, sleep, slumber, relations and consanguinity, religion and government, and some of these subjects remind one of the contents of Murray's Travel Talk. No foreign European language, however, contains such specimens of interminable and unpronounceable words as are furnished by an Indian vocabulary, if we are to judge from the marvellous combination of letters quoted by Cotton Mather. But Williams' object was not only to convey information respecting the natives to Englishmen who had emigrated to North America, but also to increase the knowledge, to improve the character, and to save the souls of the natives themselves. Hence he dwells upon religious topics ; and in what he says on the subject of a Supreme Being, he alludes to the confirmation he had received from Indian conversations, of those two points, “that God is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
Most anxious was Williams to promote the spiritual welfare of his tawny brethren. Not only does “the key” we have noticed prove this, but the history of his life, both before and after his banishment from Salem. One of the objects kept in view by the Pilgrim Fathers of Plymouth, and the Congregational founders of Massachusetts, was the conversion of the Indians ; but no one in the earliest period of New England history did so much in this department of Christian effort as the founder of the city of
Providence. He succeeded to a great extent in securing their confidence, and he successfully interposed for settling quarrels and abating animosities between them and their English neighbours. His influence with the Narragansett tribes was very strong, and to him mainly is ascribed their engagement in a treaty of peace with Massachusetts. When, during Philip's war, his efforts to secure peace were unavailing, a circumstance occurred which showed the high estimate they had formed of his character. Taking his staff, he went out to meet them, like one of the saints of the Middle Ages amidst knightly wars, hoping to appease the Red Indians' vengeance. He told them Massachusetts could raise thousands of soldiers, and that when they were killed, the King of England could supply their places as fast as they fell. "Well," it was answered, “let them come ; we are ready for them. But
Brother Williams, you are a good man; you have been kind to us many years ; not a hair of your head shall be touched.”
It should be added that Williams, when war arose between Massachusetts and the Indians, manifested no resentment towards the rulers of the colony, whom he regarded as having treated him harshly and unjustly : with the opinions he entertained of their conduct, his feeling towards them, and his endeavours on their behalf among the Narragansetts, certainly deserve the highest praise.
Williams' enlightened views of religious liberty ; the force with which he advocated them in his writings, and the decision and perseverance with which he carried them out in his new settlement; his treatment of the Indians, and the kindly sentiments which he continued to cherish towards the Massachusetts authorities, would redeem his character from the sweeping condemnation pronounced by many critics who look only or chiefly at his eccentricities of behaviour, his want of prudence in certain matters, and his crotchety opinions on some political and theological points.
Williams' portrait has been painted in very different colours according to the prejudice of the artist. We wish to take an impartial view of so extraordinary a man, and whilst we cannot be blind to his defects, we are compelled to do homage to his abilities and his virtues.
He has received high encomiums from men, of tastes and temperaments the opposite of his own. Robert Southey speaks of him as one of the best men who ever set foot upon the New World, a man of genius and of virtue, in whom enthusiasm took the happiest direction, and produced the best fruits ; and Archbishop Whately—though by a common mistake he attributes the banishment of this worthy to the Pilgrim Fathers, who really had nothing to do with it—alludes to him as “the ever-venerated Roger Williams, who was compelled to flee to Rhode Island, where he founded a colony on his own truly Christian system.”
Not only is kindness due to every one, but a special kindness is due to every
Kindness is not kindness unless it be special. It is in its fitness, seasonableness, and individual application, that its charm consists.
Rome and the Bible." To identify the mummeries and innovations of Ritualism with the daily practices of Old World idolatries would not be a difficult undertaking, since Popery, from which our Anglican renegades have learned their catechism, partakes more of the pagan element than it does of the Christian. We believe it was Robert Hall who said that Constantine stabbed religion under the fifth rib when he allied it with the State ; and certainly the tide of worldliness which overran the Church consequent on the emperor's patronage lends some colour to the sarcasm of the great preacher. Hitherto the Church had thrived apart from the smiles and favours of earthly rulers ; but its alliance with the civil government brought good neither to the Church itself nor to the State. It is somewhat humiliating for those who boast of Apostolical succession to be told that “Archbishops, bishops, canons, &c., date their existence from this period, as also the union of the Christian Church into one ecclesiastical body.” The State alliance at once gave scope for the exercise of human pride and ambition until the bishop of Rome, advancing step by step, proclaimed the rights of an ecclesiastical despot, virtually proclaimed himself a demi-god, while by a pagan-like arrogance and love of persecution he proved himself to be the very anti-Christ pourtrayed in Scripture.
Through long weary years Italy groaned and smarted beneath the tyranny and iron rule of Pope Gregory XVI. and his minister, Cardinal Lambruschini. When things have reached their acme of badness any change is welcome as likely to be for the better; and hence, when Pius IX. was elected to fill the papal chair, it was hoped that his accession would be the signal for the introduction of some needed reforms. Whatever hopes were based on the man's humanity and liberality of sentiment were speedily doomed to be disappointed, for it was soon proved that popes, like others, can be trimmers, selfish, and time-servers. Thus :
“ Previous to his election to the papal see, Pope Pius IX. had been a traveller and a soldier, and doubtless his contact with the world had made him recognise the advisability of following the spirit of the age as far as such concessions did not affect his personal position and power. It soon, however, became evident that worldly policy alone had dictated these liberal acts ; for when, as a test of his good faith, the people demanded from him, in the form of a constitution, the further reforms which the suppressed manifesto had called for, they for a long time received nothing but vain promises, and finally, when pressure was used to induce him to issue the promised constitution, every clause of it was found to concert more firmly the Church's power, and his own supremacy as its head."
The events which followed in the succeeding years of Pius IX.'s pontificate simply proved that earthly powers cannot hinder the progress of liberty. The achievements of Victor Emmanuel, Count Cavour, and Garibaldi in the cause of Italian liberty are too recent to render any particular allusion
The Bible in Rome.” By Ellen Barlee. London: Hatchards, Piccadilly. “ Italian Pictures drawn with Pen and Pencil.” By Samuel Manning, LL.D. Religious Tract Society.
necessary ; and the triumph of liberty seemed to be complete when the Pope was shorn of his temporal power consequent on the withdrawal of the French troops from Rome. What a sequel to the promulgation of the dogma of infallibility, and to the brilliant celebration of the eighteenth centennial of St. Peter's martyrdom was the fall of Napoleon III., which had the effect of separating Rome from papal thraldom.
When the Italian army entered Rome on the 20th of September, 1870, a little carriage laden with Bibles, and drawn by a dog, was seen to follow the troops through the breach, and from that day the Word of God has been freely offered for sale in the old capital of the Cæsars. The excitement of the hour was well-nigh unparalleled. The citizens warmly greeted the invaders, the troops were glad to capitulate, while others “ took forcible possession, in the name of Victor Emmanuel, of a printing office, and there composed and printed the first free Italian paper that was ever issued in Rome.” Meanwhile the Bible-seller took up his stand in a prominent position in the city and offered the Book for sale. "Why offer us your books?” asked the people who passed by. “We have driven away the priests, and we don't want their teaching.” Persons who had embraced infidelity as preferable to the revolting system of the papacy would naturally ask questions similar to these. They have no faith in a profession which does not foster charity and the more tender traits of human nature.
When, however,” says Miss Barlee, the colporteur explained it was not the priests' teaching he offered them, but the very books they had prohibited and excommunicated, lest their contents should hasten on the cause of freedom, then a rush was made to purchase them, and he had to return and fetch further copies.”
But the down-trodden population needed even more than the Bible ; they required the capacity to read the life-giving pages. Places of worship, where the Gospel should be plainly preached, were not more sorely needed than were elementary schools for the reception of the neglected children who on all sides were being reared in ignorance akin to heathen darkness. Our author tells us something about the juveniles who first entered the Protestant schools, and they appear to have belonged to a genus peculiar to Popery :
“For the first few days there was enough to do in finding out what the children knew, and trying to teach them to think. It was once evident that they knew nothing. Not one of them could tell the days of the week, the months of the year, or the year in which they were living. They had not the slightest idea of geography, history, or the elements of natural philosophy. Some of them could spell words of one or even two syllables, but had never received a single idea from anything they had read. One boy wrote beautifully, but did not read a word of writing. As to their religious instruction, I cannot say that I ever examined them in the lives of the saints ; but one day I told them the story of the birth of our Saviour. I went into all the details ; of the star in the east, and the journey of the wise men ; of the song of the angels, and the worship of the shepherds; of the wicked king Herod, the murder of the innocents, and the flight into Egypt. They listened with great interest, and when I had finished I said, “Tell me, my children, who was this little baby?' Not one of them knew."