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inflicted, goods rifled, estates seized and embezzled, houses bro. ken up, families disturbed often at unseasonable hours of the night, without any cause or shadow of a cause, if only a malicious villain would pretend to suspect a meeting there; ... a dreadful storm of persecution that destroyed not a small number of lives in gaol. Surely, with such a system, charity demanded that no communion, however occasional, should be held ; and considering that they had the gospel in their hand, we are not sure that Defoe did not rather compliment them, than otherwise, by comparing them with the worshippers of Baal.
By the consistent dissenters,' whom Mr. Hewlett mentions under marks of quotation, obviously intended as a sneer, those who are now struggling for the separation of Church and State are doubtless the persons alluded to; and, whether it can be reconciled with good taste or common prudence, that the editor of a great classical work, which belongs to all ages and all parties, should avail himself of a very accidental and unexpected position, to sneer at any party, and especially a party so liberal and en. lightened as the one mentioned, we shall not stop to inquire. But, that there is any thing in the conduct of 'consistent dissenters,' when compared with the great principles laid down by Howe, to warrant such a sneer, we most unequivocally deny.
In the Case of the Protestant Dissenters, Represented and Argued,' Howe, for example, lays down, as the basis of his nonconformity, the following great and glorious principles,—That there is no authority in religion but from God—That God has given to no man authority to make laws against Himself, as revealed in his word – That laws opposed to God's authority are not to be obeyed, 'until it can be well proved that they who made such laws made the world too'-That though the political representatives of a people may, according to the constitution of a government, make laws for them about the things they entrust them with, it is an absurdity to suppose that the people of England have entrusted them with their religion and their consciences -That, in religion, a man can be no more represented in a council, than at the day of judgment—That every man's soul and conscience must be in his own keeping, and can be represented by no man-That laws opposed to God's laws, whether dispensed with or not, are no laws, and not to be kept-That even, among Pagans, a revelation was always pretended as the ground of any religious institute, upon the implied principle that, in such matters, human power could not oblige the people's consciences.
Such, then, are the principles of Nonconformity, as laid down by Howe in 'The Case of the Protestant Dissenters Represented,' Za document which he drew up in the name of the whole body, in his ripest years, and published to the world : and why Mr. Hewlett, who has spoken so largely of Howe's plea for occasional conformity, should have passed over in all but absolute silence such an exposition of his nonconformity, we do not profess to explain. But, before he pretended a warrant from Howe to sneer at consistent dissenters,'he certainly ought to have shown either that no such principles as the above are to be met with in Howe's writings, or that the union of Church and State is consistent with such principles. That the Anti-State-Church Society will survive the sly shafts, or rather, little birdbolts of our editor, we are not in the least afraid ; but, in justice to the memory of Howe, we cannot allow him to feather them with so illustrious a name. It is not in the power of man to see every thing at once: and it detracts but little from Howe's greatness, that, involved, like many other leading men of his day, in a perpetual struggle for liberty of worship, he overlooked the application of his principles to the separation of Church and State. But if, as he expressly declares, a parliament can no more represent a man in religion than at the judgment day, and the laws contrary to revelation are no laws and not to be obeyed, unless those who make them well prove that they made the world too,' the separation of Church and State directly follows, as a matter of course. And, from the whole tenour of his life—from his hatred of all tyranny-his unconquerable love of liberty; and from the readiness with which he shared in the responsibility of a great political revolution, for the overthrow of civil and religious despotism-we firmly believe that, under the same circumstances with the dissenters of the present day, he would be amongst the foremost to insist that nothing should be rendered unto Cæsar which belongs to God.
For the present edition of Howe's works, however, notwithstanding the exceptions just mentioned, and the want of a more copious index, we return both the publishers and the editor our cordial thanks; heartily recommending it to our readers as the one which, if unfurnished, we should certainly purchase for ourselves.
With regard to Mr. Willmott's Biography of Taylor, our space will only allow us to say that it is a very interesting, sprightly, admirably written little book, with much in it worthy of high praise, and with not a little, in the way of clerical bigotry, that deserves to be severely censured. Among the contemporaries of Taylor, he passes by the names of Howe, Baxter, Owen, Charnock, Poole, and the whole host of puritan divines, with as much silence as if they had never existed. In his representations, moreover, of the conduct of the two great opposing parties towards each other, facts are shamefully perverted; and, in speaking of Jeanes, he tells us, with astonishing assurance,
that he had been a contemporary with Taylor at Oxford, and had carried over to the Puritans considerable supplies of erudi. tion and honesty, of which they stood so largely in need. We should be extremely sorry to suspect a gentleman of Mr. Will. mott's profession either of gross ignorance, or of uttering what he knows to be untrue; but, till he directs our attention to a clerical work of greater erudition than the Synopsis Criticorum of Poole, or to a nobler combination of learning and integrity than we meet with in the lives and writings of Milton and Howe, it will be extremely difficult to reconcile his assertion with common honesty or common sense. For the insight he has given us into the beauties of his favourite preachers and theologians, we heartily thank him; but there is a black drop of bigotry in his eye, which blinds him to the worth of all parties but his own: and of that, before he writes again, we would seriously recommend him to get cured.
Art. II.-A Narrative of the Expedition sent by Her Majesty's Govern
ment to the River Niger, in 1841, under the command of Captain H. D. Trotter, R.N. By Captain William Allen, R.N., and T. R. H. Thompson, M.D., R.N. Published with the Sanction of the Colo. nial Office, and the Admiralty. London: Bentley.
The lapse of centuries has failed to dissipate that mystery, which the remotest traditions reveal, hanging over the interior regions of Africa. From periods beyond the reach of history, we discover bold and daring navigators, endeavouring to circumnavi. gate her iphospitable shores, and to push their discoveries into the heart of a continent so completely girdled by an array of danger and difficulty that it defied the enthusiasm of the most eager, while as each glimmer of light fell upon the mysterious region, and revealed the shape of some new feature, the curiosity of the voyager was sharpened, in proportion as his efforts met with failure. Tradition tells of adventurous travellers, who, in ancient times, journeyed into unknown countries, as the pioneers of commerce, and oftener still of conquest. Herodotus describes a company of young men, who pushed their researches deep into the solitudes of a strange land, first traversing a densely peopled region, then entering a country abounding in wild-beasts, and subsequently striking out upon broad, desert plains, and making their way southward. After travelling for many days over barren sands, they came to what we infer must have been an oasis, where trees were growing, having pleasant fruit upon their branches. While engaged in eating this fruit, a number of little men were observed advancing towards the wanderers, and spoke in a strange language. However, they found means of communicating with each other, so that the Nasanionians, putting themselves under the guidance of their strange companions, were by them led over vast morasses to a great city, built on the banks of a broad river, flowing from the west to the east. The inhabitants were a race of black men, all of the same diminutive stature.
This account gave occasion for much discussion. Some assert that the Nasamonians laid the scene of their discoveries on the banks of the Nile, while others contend that they journeyed among the regions traversed by the long hidden waters of the Niger. Evidence carefully weighed, and submitted to a severe test, goes to prove that the latter was the case, that the great stream mentioned by the ancient historian, as flowing from west to east, was the river which has since become the subject of so much research. However, the question has not hitherto been, and may never be, totally set at rest. While the shadow of uncertainty remains, inquiry will be busy, and investigation will not cease. We ourselves, are inclined to take our stand among those who consider that the Nasamonians were entertained in a large and populous city, mud built, on the banks of the Niger.
Meanwhile one fact is obvious, namely, that the curiosity of the world has for ages been excited by rumours of a mighty river, flowing from the west, which appeared to offer an easy entrance into the remote provinces of Africa. The enthusiasm of the traveller, the avarice of the merchant, and the curious spirit of the antiquarian, had long been baffled by the obstacles opposed to their endeavours. The first ardently desired to extend his wanderings into a region so wonderful and obscure, the second longed for the rich metals and precious commodities which rumour spoke of, and the third excited his imagination with the idea of opening up a new, and as yet unrevealed page in the history of the past. All alike were anxious, and all alike met with disappointment. It may readily be conceived, therefore, that reports, concerning a navigable river which promised to lend its aid to the barque of the discoverer, met with an echo in the minds of all who were interested in the long-bruited question, Of what does the interior of Africa consist? These rumours, at first vague and indefinite, gradually acquired shape. The unknown regions concerning which so much curiosity existed, were peopled by the imagination of Europe with strange races, the woods and forests were filled with birds and beasts of
varied species, and the bowels of the earth were said to be rich in gold and the other precious metals. The hopes of the navigator and the trader were thus awakened, and nothing was so earnestly desired as the discovery of a passage into countries teeming with such rich promise. No wish was more deeply felt than that of dispelling the gloom which hung over those untraversed regions, of bringing to light the mysterious Niger, and tracing its course from the spot where it took its rise, as was then supposed, in the ancient kingdom of Gorham,* to where it rolls its immense flood of waters, through many mouths, into the Gulf of Guinea.
The curiosity and interest thus excited, never died away. It is not our purpose, however, to describe the progress of those discoveries which opened a way for the expedition of 1841. They were numerous, and made under different circumstances. Mungo Park turned his attention to the question, and his adventurous career, his extraordinary experience, and remote researches inspired the world with still deeper solicitude, while his unhappy fate did not deter others from following in the same track. Our task shall be to accompany Captain Allen and Dr. Thompson, through their interesting narrative of an expedition, which, though not crowned with the brilliant success anticipated by some, yet resulted in much good, and will doubtless prove the source of more. And here we cannot refrain from remarking on the unamiable spirit evinced by several writers, especially in the popular journals, when speaking on this subject. Impelled by we know not what motives,—though jealousy, doubtless, lies at the root of their actions,—they have, since the return of the Expedition, unceasingly clamoured about the ill-fated enterprise, the total failure which attended the efforts of our countrymen, the paltry success succeeding so enormous an outlay, the miserable result of so great preparation. But the Niger Expedition has not, as we, on a former occasion, observed, proved the utter failure that such writers would have us believe. On the contrary, it will be long ere the extent of its results can be ascertained, long ere the impression created among the natives, by the appearance of the steam-vessels on their river, will be effaced, long ere the conviction of our strength and power will die away, long ere the influence exerted by our anti-slavery measures will be lost.
Our limits being somewhat confined, we shall not attempt to follow our authors on their voyage from England, until they reached the Nun River, the branch by which the entrance of the Niger was intended to be effected. Nothing had been neglected
• See Heeren's Historical Antiquities.