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well as in the case of all his faithful servants, never did and never will fail to defend them in the most availing manner, in all places, at all times, and in all those varieties of situation in which their highest interests may seem to be endangered, or their faith and patience be brought to any extraordinary trial. Under his heavenly care every thing connected with their present well-being, and with their immortal perfection and happiness, is unceasingly safe. Hence it obviously follows, that the Jewish shield or buckler, in order to its being the appropriate symbol of that protection, which a king is bound to secure to his subjects; and with which the Supreme Being ever surrounds his saints, must have been of considerable size, and so formed as to guard the body in the most complete and effectual way. This inference is fully confirmed by the Greek term Opeos, which is regarded by the best scholars, as adequately representing the Hebrew designation. Its derivation is from Oupa, which signifies a door, and the piece of armour it is meant to describe, should of course be viewed as bearing a general resemblance to that indispensable part of a commodious habitation. Homer repeatedly employs the word, to denote a great stone set upon the entrance of a cave, as may be seen on referring to the 9th Book of the Odyssey. An eminent Lexicographer brings it before us in the following language, “ Scutum forma majori eaque oblonga quod totum fere corpus tegebat, et corpori muniendo pariter ac hostium telis repellendis accomodatum erat, ita dictum a Oupa janua, quia januæ similitudinem referebat." This description we believe exactly to represent what we are to understand by the Hebrew terms already noticed. A brief account of the piece of armour thus denominated, might therefore be given in these words : “ It was a large oblong shield, sufficient in length and breadth to cover almost the whole body, and of strength enough to resist the darts which were cast at the men who bore it." Such was the noble safeguard which the Jewish warrior took, when called to encounter the manifold perils of the battle field.
Adopting the above as an accurate description of the shields generally in use among the Jews, it may be asked, of what kind were those more commonly borne by the brave combatants of the heroic age? We must bestow a few remarks upon this enquiry. It has been shown, that there was a strong resemblance in the modes of warfare, and in the offensive weapons among each people, and from this it might be fairly inferred, that their defensive armour would exhibit points of the closest similitude, not only in the materials of which it was made, but also in every other peculiarity. We are perfectly aware, that the illustrious men of Greece and Troy, were accustomed to use several sorts of shields differing both in size and shape. But there are two, which, during these primitive times, were employed more frequently and with greater success than any others, viz. the Oupeos which we have already seen was oblong, and the aons, which was round. Both were equally distinguished for the greatness of their size. Hence they are constantly marked by epithets which display this feature in the most lively manner. In reading the Homeric poems, and those of the Greek
tragedies which depict scenes and actions contemporary with the heroic age, we very often meet with such phrases as the following, ảonidaç etkóklovs, “ well-orbed shields," donidas a'uouspóras, “ all-protecting shields.” Concerning the last adjective, the spirit of which we have endeavoured to give faithfully in rendering it “ all-protecting,” Eustathius thus speaks, os augi töv Bporov kai OKETÓvons ólov avtov, i. e. “ of a shield reaching round the man, and covering him all over.” Josephus, describing those which were carried by the Romans, calls them Supeoùs en INNKELS, “ oval shields of extraordinary length.” Of Ajax there is a truly noble picture in the 7th Book of the Iliad, v. 219, where it is said, ègyútev na Je, gépwv oukos, nóre núpyov, “ he came near, bearing a shield like to a tower,” a hyperbole no doubt, but what an idea does it raise in the mind of the size and magnificence of that shield, with which he was about to defend himself! The poet in the 15th Book, v. 646, calls the shield of Periphetes moÔNVEKès épkoc acórtwy, “ a defence against darts, reaching down to the feet.” The epithet hodnVEkès of which we have given the above literal translation, is declared by the ablest annotators to have the same signification, as the term avepopirans, “equal in size to the stature of a man.” We would venture only upon one more quotation; and this must be from the tragedy of Æschylus, from which a passage has already been introduced. The messenger announcing to the king the station of the fourth chief, presents to us an impressive conception of the warrior himself, and of the depth and vividness of his own feelings at beholding him. His words are these,
ito sa? $750 "Alw did mollny, donioos kúrlov Xeyw, : .oli
"Eppuča divnoavtos; 485-6. “ But as he rolled his vast orb, I mean the circle of his shield, I shuddered.” Here we close the train of illustrations, drawn from the fertile pages of classical antiquity. Enough we are sure has been quoted and written to accomplish the intention of the present article, which was to show that between the Jewish warriors and those of the heroic age, there existed the most striking similarity in their mode of joining battle, in their weapons of offence, and in the shields which they carried for protection in the hour of darkening
There are other peculiarities belonging to these shields upon which we would gladly dwell, did our limits permit, especially the care taken in preserving them; and the shame which attached to losing them or casting them away. On both these points there are many curious and affecting references in the Scriptures, and also in the works of ancient authors. But into these rich and inviting fields we must not now enter. It may never be our lot to be summoned to engage in any physical conflict; but happy, thrice happy will it be for us and our readers, if we are found good soldiers of Jesus Christ, waxing valiant in spiritual fight, and daily carrying abont with us " the shield of faith, wherewith we shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” y Bienes Raj wont en
The History of Protestant Nonconformity in England, from the
Reformation under Henry the Eighth. By Thomas Price.
Vol. 1. 8vo. pp. 550. London. W. Ball. 1836. By means of the results, we are authorized to conclude, that the design of the Supreme Governor, in his last moral dispensation-the Christian religion--was to bring into bold relief, not only his own character, but also that of man, both as a fellow creature, under the depraving influence of sin, and as a recovered spirit, in whom remaining depravity struggled against sovereign grace. That " God set forth his Son to declare his righteousness in the remission of sin, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus," virtually includes a display of the whole moral character of God, which consists of justice and grace; and that the character of man, both as an apostate and as a reconciled creature, has been more fully developed under the christian system than in any former administration of the divine government, the whole history of the christian church proves. The human mind, left free to work, according to its own tendencies, has produced such a corruption of religion, as has completely converted the best thing into the worst, Christianity into popery, Satan's master-piece. Here, the crafty serpent is seen in fearful combination with the fiery dragon. But the fall of this power, as well as its rise, was destined to develope the tendencies to human depravity; and as the man of sin rose by degrees, so it fell, step after step: and that which was hundreds of years in reaching its acmé, has been ages in advancing towards complete destruction.
Nothing displayed the craft of the prince of darkness more than his undertaking to act the reformer; for he seems to have said, “Since antichrist must be pulled down, let me help to do it.” In all countries, the worldly policy of bad men, joining with the convictions of good men, to produce the reformation, confirmed catholics in their prejudices, and robbed protestants of their advantages. The political scheming of the German princes, as well as the passions of Luther and his errors, embittered the latter end of the great reformer's life. In France, the warlike spirit of the Hugonots, and their alliance with the princes of the blood, as a political party, soon poisoned the fountain, and deprived the fairest portion of Europe of the substantial benefits of the Reformation. But it is in England that the most fearful exhibition is given of the working of the serpent reformer. For here, Henry the Eighth was so fitted to fix a brand of infamy on whatever he touched, that the catholics might be excused if they adopted the maxim of the ancient fathers concerning Nero, “ when we consider who he was, we feel it an honour to have had him for our first and fiercest foe.” His daughter Elizabeth, however her legitimacy may have been disputed, was of his true blood; and James the First added, to whatever was hateful in her, all that was contemptible; so that upon his son, Charles the First, fell the vengeance that had been accumulating during several reigns.
Yet the mysterious counsels of God seem to have determined, that where the enemy mixed most mischief with the reformation, there the greatest good should be the result. In no country of the world, during no era of human existence, is there such a field for instructive history as the English reformation affords. It has, therefore, tempted many pens; and though they have given different, and even opposite representations of events, we hail the appearance of another. Puritanism, nonconformity, and dissent, designate the different stages, or eras rather, of the struggle to create in this country a more thorough reformation than state policy chose to adopt. From the rise of the reformation to the restoration of Charles the Second, the authors of this struggle were called Puritans; from the passing of the Act of Uniformity, by that ungrateful and dissolute monarch, those who refused to submit were termed Nonconformists; but the Act of Toleration, under King William, gave to those who formed separate congregations, the denomination of Dissenters. Of the first period, Neale, in his History of the Puritans, has given a full and fair, though a dull and heavy narrative. Baxter and Calamy, to whom may be added Gough, in his History of the Quakers, and Crosby, in that of the Baptists, have recorded the efforts and sufferings of the Nonconformists. Bogue and Bennett's History of the Dissenters * has brought down the narrative to within the last quarter of a century. Brook, in his History of Religious Liberty, and in his Lives of the Puritans, and Ivimey, in his History of the Baptists, have laboured in different sections of the same interesting work. Dr. Price, in the work before us, seems to include, in the idea of nonconformity, the whole course of the struggle against the hierarchy, from the dawn of the reformation to the present time. The first volume, which we now announce, includes the period that elapsed from the quarrel of Henry with the Pope, to the death of James the First. Bluff Harry's spoliations of the church are here detailed more fully than in most histories of the kind ;-a variation which gives additional value to Dr. Price's labours. From his views and reasonings we sometimes differ, as when he suggests, that the rebellions of the greater religious houses led to their suppression; for we think, that rapacity was the true, we had almost said, the only cause; and when a plausible pretext is eagerly sought by a tyrant and his cabal, where may it not be found? The abbots lived most quietly on their pensions, when turned out of their sumptuous mansions : a3 the inhabitants of St. Edmond's Bury point to the house, where the ejected superior of their most splendid abbey resided in an obscure street.
When Dr. Price speaks of the nobles as elevated in character, and
* We are happy to find that the concluding volume of this work, bringing it down to the present time, is announced as in a state of forwardness by the surviving author, Dr. Bennett.
rendered independent in mind by the immense fortunes they acquired from the plunder of the monasteries, we should be disposed to show the servility of their order during the three successive reigns, as proving the contrary. Who was it that resisted the arbitrary rule of Charles I.? Not the nobles, but the commons. The independent minds that, in every age, have benefited the world by their principles, their labours, and their sufferings, have been nourished, not in palaces, or in princely domains, but amidst the res augusta domi.
Cranmer fills, of course, a large space in the early part of the history of the reformation, and to him has been given more praise than is his due, for the part he took in the translation of the Scriptures into English. That he concurred in the forbidding the reading of Wickliffe's books, is utterly discreditable to the metropolitan's me. mory; and while we are amused at Stokely's refusal to have any thing to do with putting into the hands of the vulgar a book so fatal to prelatical claims as the Scriptures, it appears to us, that whatever was done well for the Bible was by the voluntary efforts of individuals, and not by the authority of either church or state.
Dr. Price seems to think that the part which Henry VIII. took in the reformation has invested him with a false glory, and induced our countrymen to regard him as an ornament to the British throne. As far as our knowledge of public opinion goes, it leads us to the conclusion that all well informed British protestants, as well as catholics, view him in his true light, as an odious tyrant, who had no religion but the worship of self, which made him quarrel with the pope, merely to gratify his own lust, and suppress the religious houses, to enrich himself with their spoil.
The abject subserviency of the clergy to the state, during this period of transition, is happily and faithfully exhibited in page 72.
The process of manufacturing the liturgy, given in page 73, suggested to us the wish that some one would enter, with Dr. Price's ability and spirit, into a complete history of this affair, which must still be classed among the desiderata.
The lofty reasons for the priest's robes, assigned at the time that they were put upon the protestant ministers, were to us amusing; but, to many of our aristocratic clergy, any thing but welcome. What! Could no more dignified reason be found than the necessity for hiding a shabby suit of clothes ? But in sober sadness, we may ask, if this were the true reason for retaining the attire of the masspriests, why is it not laid aside, when the clergy can have, not only a good coat, but livery servants and splendid carriages?
The radical vice of subjecting religion to the will of the magistrate, is justly exposed by Dr. Price, who never suffers a fair opportunity of expressing good principles to escape, and never injures those principles by any thing unjust in reasoning, or unkind in spirit, for though he has once exhibited the church of England “as dripping with blood,” it is on an occasion when every generous mind will say, “On such a theme, 'tis impious to be calm.”
A remark made by Dr. Southey is here pronounced equally true and beautiful, though it appears to us, like many of that writer's remarks, a mere ad captandam stroke. He praises the married clergy, as the most faithful martyrs of the early part of the reformation, suffer