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fhew more good sense and solidity of reflection, no Jess than greater impartiality and love of truth, than most of the celebrated writers of later times. In a word, Sir, can we suppose those ages to have been deftitute either of learning or taste, which produced, and knew how to admiré, an Anselm, a Bernard, a Jobin of Salisbury, an Aquinas, (i) à Gerfon, a Tostatus, (2) a Danté, a Petrarch, and a Chaucer?

if, from surveying the state of literature during the ages, which you speak of with so much contempt, we turn our eyes to the condition of the arts, we shall find, in the mouldering monuments of theni, specimens capable of humbling our pride

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the English historians whom he was acquainted with, both for judiciousness and fidelity. Ret. Anglic. Scrip. Ep. Ded. In our own times Warburton has affirmed the same of Mathew Paris.].

(1) Ii is very much the fashion with modern writers to ridicule the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, as specimens of false reasoning and nonsense, who, at the fame time, have never so much as looked into them, which Dr. S. acknowledges to be the cafe with himifélf, p. 66. Were it in my power to persuade any of these gentlemen to try their kill in refuting the first half dozen conclusions they meet with, in the Summa Theologiæ, 1 am perfuaded they would that the book with a much better opinion of the author's talents than they opened it. If after this they will take the trouble to analyse, in a regular logical way, the arguments of some of the most celebrated treatises and discourses of the present day, and observe in what manner the conclufions are frequently drawn from the premises, they will discoveř the advantage of the ancient syllogistic method of investigating truth over the vague and inconclusive style that has prevailed in later ages.

(2) Alphonsus Toitatus was a Spanish divine of the 15th century, of such univerial and profound learning, that he has been allowed to be worthy of the following epitaph, which was made upon him :

“ Hic stupor eft mundi, qui fcibile discutit omne.”

at the present day, with all our fuperior advantages. (1) Look at the works of Wykeham and of Fox, or at the chanteries of Beaufort and Waynferę in our own cathedral Survey King's College chapel, Lincoln cathedral, or York minfer, and reflect, Sir, what sublimity of invention, what maa. thematical precision and combination, and what delicacy of execution, were requisite to make those sacred edifices what they originally were. If York minster were now destroyed, it is acknowledged, that all the science and art of the Royal Academy coulu not restore it. And if architects and artists were even found for the work, it would exhaust the purse of a sovereign to carry it into execution.

The most important part, however, of the present inquiry is, that which regards the state of religion and morality during the middle ages. Yon, Sir, with most modern writers, represent these as sunk into superstition (2) and vice, and you argue

as

(1) Amongst other arts or useful inventions, for which we are absolutely indebted to the middle ages, are printing, the mariner's compass, gunpowder, artillery, spectacles, telescopes, looking-glasses, glass windows to our houses, bells, organs, the musical scale, clocks, watches. Nor are we less indebted to them for what they have abolished, namely, lavery, gladiators, wars of extermination, &c.

(2) On the subject of superstition Dr. S. refers me to Tetzel's Theses, which he knows to have been condemned by the Pope's nuncio, Miltitz himself, and to the Rev. Mr. Townfond's 'Tra. vels, whose reflections in general on subjects of religion, partly from prejudice, and partly, from misapprehenfion, are a-kin to those of Dr. S. himself. [Dr. $. now says, p. 142, “ Indeed I did not know it ;" viz, that Miltitz condemned Tetzel's extravagancies. He will however find this to have been the case on consulting Mofheim by Maclaine, Fleury's Continuation, Maimbourg, and the historians of the period in general, who represent Tetzel to have died of chagrin in consequence of his treatment. ]

as if they were extinct and no longer to be found upon the earth, until they were revived by the agency of such reformers as were Luther, Calvin, Henry VIII, Cranmer, the duke of Somerset, and queen Elizabeth! The very idea is revolting to persons conversant with the history of the ages in question. To convince yourself of your error, let me request you to turn to the canon of the councils that were so frequently held during those ages, and to examine whether the vital principles and the genuine spirit of Christianity were not constantly maintained and enforced in these representative affemblies of the universal church. Read the works of the most celebratedarcetical writers of the times, viz. those of a Bernard, a Bonaventure, an Antoninus, a Vincent Ferrier, a Thaulerus, a Gerson, and a Thomas of Kempis. (1) Peruse the accounts that have been left us of their lives, with those of their contemporaries who have been equally celebrated for their fanctity, such as an Edmund Rich, a Thomas Cantelupe, a Richard de Wyche, a Francis of Afiffium, a Louis IX of France, or a Henry VI of England, and tell me,

whether

(1) Amongst numerous other works of this author, written in the fame {pirit, was the celebrated one under the name of The Following of Christ, which has been translated into most modern languages, and is well known to Protestants as well as to Catho. lics.- Dr. S. assigns as one of the causes of the Reformation, the dispersion of the learned Greeks throughout the West, on the capture of Constantinople. But if they contributed to reform us, why did not they make any advances towards reforming themfelves? It is an indisputable fact, that the Greek church, feparated as it has almost always been from the Latin church, since the 9th century, has nevertheless uniformly maintained every one of the distinctive articles which Catholics support against the different classes of the Reformation.

whether the practice of all the Christian virtues, inculcated by our Saviour Christ in his divine fermon on the mountain, (1) could be more strongly recommended both by precept and by example than they were by the writers and the holy personages whom I have mentioned. But not to go out of the precincts of our own city, tell me, Sir, fincerely, whether

you

think that its first prelates of the reformed persuasion, viz. Poynet, Horne, Watson, Cooper, and Bilson, are to be preferred to, or even compared with, their predecessors, White, (2) Fox, Langton, Courtney, Waynflete, Beaufort, (3) and Wykeham, for assiduity in prayer and other fpiritual functions, for chastity, self-denial, meekness, and works of piety and charity in general.

I grant, however, there was an increasing spirit of irreligion and immorality amongst different nations, and in none more so than in our own, during a considerable time previous to the Reformation. But the question, Sir, is, whether this fpirit contributed to produce that event, as a cause which produces its effect, or merely as an occasion, namely, by exciting men of piety and morality to counteract it? In order to decide this question we cannot make ufe of a better criterion than that which is laid down in the gospel, viz. to judge of the tree by its fruits.

If

(1) St. Mat. chapters iv, v, vi.

(2) I do not speak of Gardiner, because he played a double part, having been equally active and violent on both sides.

(3) See a Vindication of Beaufort's religious character, from the misrepresentations of Shakespear. Hift. vol. i, pp. 301, 302.

If then the authors and abettors of the Reforination were found to be the persons most distinguished in each country for their piety and purity of life, or if even a visible amendment in their religious and moral conduct was the consequence of their embracing it; in a word, if the bulk of the people who went over to this cause were proved to be thereby more addicted to prayer and alms deeds, more chaste, more temperate, more meek, and patient, more {ub. missive to their lawful superiors, and more amenable to the laws of the respective states under which they lived, than they had been whilst they were Catholics, this will form a strong prefumption of their being influenced by motives of religion and genuine reformation in the choice they made, and that this work was truly the work of God. But if it appear,

tliat the Reformation was in every place where it prevailed, attended with precisely the opposite consequences, I shall leave you, Sir, to draw the conclufion. To elucidate this important subject I will not here have recourse to Catholic authors, or in deed to any others, except to those whom you your felf have celebrated, namely, the fathers, founders, and chief abettors of this very cause.

Let us first hear. Martin Luther, who is well known to have set on foot these religious changes in, Germany, in the year 1517.

Some of his words to the present purpose are these : “ The world

grows every day worse and worfe." It is plain that men are much more covetous, malicious, and relentful, much more unruly, fhameless; and full of vice, than

they

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