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while Barillon asserts that it was mentioned only twice, there is no difference between the two accounts. Had they differed, we see no reason why Barillon should be credited rather than Burnet, he was not a more veracious person. But in fact Barillon, the only person present,' so far from impugning the testimony of Burnet, has, upon the showing of Miss Strickland herself, completely confirmed it; leaving on our minds the unavoidable impression, that in other instances also, the account of the bishop must be true.

We do not presume to account for Miss Strickland's apparent likings and antipathies; perhaps her prejudices are strong, or, perhaps, she intends to exemplify the most generous of all precepts, in returning good for evil, by lauding all the friends, and abusing all the opponents, of the family who stole her plate.

Nor do we quarrel with her for having opinions of her own— only those opinions ought not to be allowed to give their colour to a semi-historical work, nor to influence an author in the setting forth of character.

Art. VIII.-1. Tracts and Treatises of John de Wycliffe, D.D., with Selections and Translations from his Manuscript and Latin Works. Edited for the Wycliffe Society, with an Introductory Memoir, by the Rev. Robert Vaughan, D.D. 8vo.

2. Select Works of the Reverend and Learned David Clarkson, B.D. Edited for the Wycliffe Society, by the Rev. Basil H. Cooper, B.A. With Historical Notices of the Life and Writings of the Author, by the Rev. John Blackburn. 8vo.

3. Tracts on Liberty of Conscience and Persecution, 1614-1661. Edited for the Hanserd Knollys Society, with an Historical Introduction, by Edward Bean Underhill. 8vo.

THE appearance of these volumes affords an opportunity for calling attention to the societies by which they are issued, of which we readily avail ourselves. We hailed their establishment as an era in dissenting literature: and, regardless of the denominational features by which they are distinguished, we cordially wish them success. Something of the kind has long been wanting. The deficiency has been felt by the more reflecting and better informed Nonconformists, and a variety of schemes have been suggested with a view to supply it. The difficulties anticipated have, however, prevented the

adoption of any plan, and nothing has in consequence been done. Purchasers, it has been assumed, would be wanting, and the fear of pecuniary loss has therefore deterred several from the enterprise, who would otherwise gladly have embarked in it. It is disgraceful that it should be so. It reflects surely no credit on the dissenting body, that there should be any ground for such an apprehension. Considering their number and wealth, the significance of their history, and the importance of their principles, an adequate demand to place loss out of the question, ought to exist, and in many cases an intense curiosity might have been expected to operate. However, so it is. Our men are the men of a day. They have forced their own way upwards amidst many difficulties, and under the necessity of continued secular exertion. We have few of inherited wealth whose youth afforded leisure for the cultivation of literary tastes. Most of those who have been enriched by the exertions of their fathers, have yielded to the seductions of a secular establishment, and have, in consequence, either left us wholly, or been greatly estranged from an enlightened and earnest sympathy with our principles. Their aid has therefore been withdrawn from a generous patronage of our cause, at the very time when their circumstances specially qualified them to render it.

Our historical and ecclesiastical literature has thus been sadly neglected. Vast stores, deeply interesting and important, on which our forefathers prided themselves, and by which they manfully served the cause of truth, nave lain neglected. They exist in various forms, from the brief tract to the ponderous folio; but their voice, though the clear utterance of truth, is not heard; their very existence is known only to a few; they lie unheeded and forgotten, the glory of a past, and the disgrace of the present generation.

We have long mourned over this state of things, and have asked, if it were always to continue. In very bitterness of heart we have contrasted the excitement, and stir, and noise, created by some modern ephemeral productions, with the apathy and contemptuous indifference evinced towards the nobler works of a former age,-works instinct with life, through which the human soul acting under the loftiest inspirations, has sought the instruction and benefit of its fellows. When surrounded with these living memorials of the dead, listening to their voice, gazing on their expressive forms, we have involuntarily inquired, Can it be that such companionships are relinquished without a sigh; that these oracles are unheeded; these master spirits forgotten, while the feeble voice and confused teachings of many modern instructors are regarded. refer not now to the outward form or garb of truth. The more


modern may, in this respect, be preferable. We allude to the power of the teacher; the intellect that was concentrated; the vital strength and moral energy which characterized those who were as lights in a dark place,-God's champions against an impious and persecuting world. Improbable as the case may be, it is matter of fact, and the solution of the problem is not difficult. This, however, we shall not now attempt. It is sufficient for our purpose to remark, that what individual enterprize was incompetent to, has been undertaken by a combination of the parties mcst deeply interested. Combination is the order of the present day. It is the new element which is working such marvels around us, and before which the most gigantic and formidable forces are giving way. Its power is recognised in politics and in literature. We rejoice in its application to the objects specially contemplated by the societies whose publications are before us.

The Wycliffe Society was the earliest in its formation, and is the most comprehensive in its plan. It originated from a memorial presented to the autumnal meeting of the Congregational Union, held at Liverpool, in October, 1842, 'recommending the formation of a society that should rescue from oblivion the scarce and almost extinct tracts and treatises of the ablest advocates of further reformation, from the time that popery was abolished till the revolution was effected.'

This memorial was favourably received, and vigorous efforts were resolved on, with a view of securing an adequate number of subscribers. The subject was referred to the executive of the Union, which adopted the present title of the society in honour of our first reformer; and appointed a distinct committee for the more efficient accomplishment of the object proposed.' The subsequent history of the society, prior to the appearance of its first volume, is thus detailed in the printed abstract of the committee's report for this year. The narrative is disgraceful, and we could willingly suppress it, but the interests of truth require its publication, and we therefore give it in the words of the report.

The first prospectus was issued early in that year, in which it was stated that they could furnish three volumes, with an aggregate of 1,500 octavo pages, if they should succeed in obtaining not less than 1,500 subscribers; this was followed by a second in the autumn, in which their need of 1,500 subscribers, to enable them to fulfil the engagement to give three volumes for every pound subscribed was distinctly repeated,- No work will be put to press till the list contains that number of names.'

At that time not 700 subscribers had been registered; the ommittee therefore continued to use all the appliances of the press and

the post office; and by public advertisements, and private circulars, sought to augment their number. Most languid was the response to these appeals, so that in a fourth prospectus, dated July 1844, they could only announce that 'Nearly eight hundred members have enrolled their names, and the subscription list will be kept open until at least fifteen hundred subscribers have been obtained. No considerable augmentation having followed these oft-repeated appeals, it became a grave question with the committee whether they should not publish the failure of the project, pay off the expenses already incurred, and return to the subscribers the balance due to each.

'Anxious, however, to avoid a course which would so signally dishonour the Congregational body, they were willing to hope, from the experience of similar societies, that the publication of the first volume would immediately produce a great augmentation of subscribers. They therefore resolved to proceed, and to print 1,500 copies, that they might be ready for the anticipated influx of new


The first volume issued consists of The Tracts and Treatises of John de Wycliffe,' under the editorship of Dr. Vaughan, than whom, no man could be found more eminently qualified for the task. His previous labours in this department of ecclesiastical literature, his extensive and thorough acquaintance with the writings of Wycliffe, and his knowledge of their influence, in moulding the views and policy of our subsequent reformers, pointed him out to the committee, and precluded the possibility of the work being devolved on any other. The publication of Wycliffe's Tracts and Treatises being resolved on, Dr. Vaughan's editorship followed as a matter of course. The volume consists of three parts, the first of which is biographical, 'containing facts and observations concerning the life of Wycliffe.' To those who are acquainted with Dr. Vaughan's more extended Life of Wycliffe, the assurance will not be needful that the ninety-four closely printed pages, of which this portion of the volume consists, contain the results of extensive research, conducted in the best temper, and with a view to an honest elucidation of the great reformer's history and opinions.

The second part of the volume is analytical, supplying a brief account of the writings of Wycliffe still in manuscript, with numerous extracts, and a translation from the original Latin, of the most important chapters of the Trialogus: whilst the third part contains those tractates of the reformer which have been already printed at different periods and in various forms.' The liberties taken with the text of his author, are thus candidly stated by the editor.

In the extracts presented in the first section of the first book, I have not retained every obsolete word, and in a few instances, an

illegible or obscure sentence has been omitted; but those passages exhibit throughout the substantial and idiomatic language of the reformer, and cannot fail to make precisely that impression on the reader, which would be made by them if read from the original manuscript. It has not appeared to me necessary, or desirable, that I should affect greater accuracy in that portion of the work.'

As a whole the volume is highly valuable, though, as we shall presently remark, its selection as the commencement of the series was, in our judgment, scarcely expedient.


The second volume, issued by the Wycliffe Society, has been edited with great care by Mr. Cooper. This was a work of no trifling difficulty, on account of the extremely defective and inaccurate state of the posthumous treatises' of the author. An historical notice is prefixed by Mr. Blackburn, in which a large amount of interesting information is brought together, and full justice is done to the learning and piety of Mr. Clarkson. He was born at Bradford, in Yorkshire, in the month of February, 1621-22. Nothing is known of his early training: but about 1640 he entered Clare Hall, Cambridge, where he distinguished himself as a scholar and a Christian, and secured the friendship and confidence of his associates.' He was in his native town when it was invested by the Earl of Newcastle in the early part of the civil war, and a contemporaneous piece of biography, written by Joseph Lister, an apprentice of Mr. John Sharp, the brother-in-law of Clarkson, gives an interesting account of the capture of our young divine by the royalist forces.

"My master,' says Lister, 'being gone, I sought for my mother, and having found her, she, and I, and my sister, walked in the street, not knowing what to do, or which way to take. And as we walked up the street, we met a young gentleman, called David Clarkson, leading a horse. My mother asked him where he had been with that horse. Says he, I made an essay to go with my brother Sharp, and the army, who broke through the enemy's leaguer; but the charge was so hot I came back again, and now I know not what to do.' Then I answered, and said, Pray, mother, give me leave to go with David, for I think I can lead him a safe way;' for being born in that town, I knew all the by-ways about it.

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David also desired her to let me go with him, so she begged a blessing on me, and sent me away, not knowing where we could be safe. So away we went, and I led him to a place called the Sillbridge, where a foot company was standing; yet I think they did not see us, so we ran on the right hand of them, and then waded over the water, and hearing a party of horse come down the lane towards the town, we laid us down in the side of the corn, and they perceived us not. It being about daybreak, we stayed here as long as we durst for being discovered, it beginning to be light. Well, we got up, and went in the shade of the hedge, and then looking

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