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such a compound of wickedness and nonsense as is hardly to be paralleled in the history of judicial tyranny. But the validity of pretences was little attended to at that time in the case of a person whom the Court had devoted to destruction.” In the proceedings of the House of Commons after the Revolution, reversing the attainder of Russell and Sidney, the term “murder" is applied to their executions.

During the interval between his condemnation and execution, at the earnest solicitation of his friends, Sidney petitioned the king to grant him a new trial, setting forth in his “Apology "the irregularities of the proceedings of the Court of King's Bench, in his case. This paper is still preserved, and serves as a monument both to his own integrity and to the infamy of those who compassed his death by means so iniquitous.

The conduct of Sidney after he was assured that it was the fixed purpose of his enemies that he should die, was such as at once bespeaks the Roman and the Christian. His manner was quiet, and, apparently, he felt no fear of death. He engaged the attendance of one or more Independent ministers as spiritual assistants, to whom he expressed a deep penitence for his past sins, and an unshaken confidence in the mercy of God. When the warrant for his execution was shown him he examined it with apparent unconcern, and in everything manifested a quiet cheerfulness that surprised all who saw him. He met death with characteristic intrepidity and insensibility to fear. There was no vain parade or display, no proud exhibition of animal courage; as on the other hand there was no shrinking and unseemly dread of a momentary pang. As he came to the scaffold he handed a paper to the sheriff, adding, “I have made my peace with God, and have nothing to say to men." He then laid aside his outer garments, and added, “I am ready to die; I will give you no further trouble.” He then knelt down for a few moments, apparently engaged in prayer, and then rising up calmly laid his head upon the block. The executioner, according to custom, asked him if he should rise again. "Not till the morning of the resurrection---strike on," was his reply; and a single blow severed the head from the body. Thus died Algernon Sidney, a martyr to the cause of civil liberty,—a cause that had ever called forth the warmest aspirations of his heart with a steadiness of devotion that knew neither abatement nor variableness. His death was among the last sacrifices offered by tyranny in England upon the altars of despotism. In less than ten years after his demise the principles for which he suffered were embodied in the new frame of government set up in his native country. As he had lived to pur

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pose, so his death was not in vain. Perpetual generations of freemen shall venerate his name.

A few remarks as to the personal character of our subject must close this article. An indefinite notion has prevailed that he was sceptical in matters of religion; and indeed Hume classes him with Harrington and Challoner, as a rejecter of Divine revelation,-a statement by which the audacity and ignorance of that writer are alike evinced. Burnet, though better informed and more just, also speaks doubtfully upon this subject. “He seemed to be a Christian,” is the language of that gossiping prelate, “but in a particular form of his own; he thought it was to be like a divine philosophy of mind, but he was against all public worship, and everything that looked like a Church.” It is easy to conceive how opposition to the senseless and pernicious forms with which public worship was burdened in the English Church, might, by such a man as Burnet, be mistaken for opposition to all public worship. No doubt Sidney's Christianity was somewhat peculiar, as he avoided alike the vapid formalism of the Church and the wild enthusiasm of the sects. But probably there was more justice in the bishop's remarks than would appear at first notice. A philosophical quietism was then much cherished by some of the most devout persons in the kingdom—the vital principle of Quakerism; and though Sidney was no Quaker, yet he is known to have been familiar with, and much esteemed by Wm. Penn, and there was evidently a considerable degree of sympathy between these two distinguished persons. No one at all conversant with Sidney's history can, for a moment, suppose he was sceptical as to the divine character of Christianity; he appears also to have been a devout

His dying testimony is sufficient proof on both these points; for such a testimony at this day would seem rather to indicate distinguished faith and devotion than to be compatible with partial scepticism and doubtful faith.

In his private character he was above reproach. This is said with a full knowledge of the fact that the pen of the defamer has been moved against him. Hume arraigns him for a breach of faith, in “applying for the king's pardon, and then on his return entering into cabals for rebellion”—a grave charge indeed, but without foundation. He neither asked nor would accept of the king's pardon, and when he returned into England he did so without conditions or stipulations; nor is it proved that he entered into “cabals for rebellion," as the only proof of that fact is the utterly worthless testimony of Lord Howard, who himself had stated just the contrary in a variety of cases. A more serious charge has been brought against him for receiving a bribe from the king of France against his own


country. The evidence of this is found in the despatches of Barillon, the minister at the English court, to the French secretary. Among the sums there accounted for by that minister, as expended in his secret service, is one charged to Sidney. This is certainly rather inadequate evidence on which to convict a person, of an almost-romantic elevation of character, of a base transaction. One may fancy a variety of ways far less improbable than the supposition of corruption in Sidney, in which such a statement might have originated. It is not certain that Sidney had not a just and honorable claim for the sum charged to him for services wholly distinct from court-intrigues; nor is it a violent supposition to suspect that Barillon might have made use of the money intrusted to him in a way that he did not choose to communicate to his superiors, and so chose to make an entry against a person well known at the French court. Sidney at that time was not worth buying, as he was almost completely without political influence; por was he in a position to need money as he had been while in France, where he proved himself to be above the power of temptation. The accusation therefore rests upon evidence quite too slight to entitle it to a moment's credit, though the calumny is endorsed by Macaulay and some other liberal writers.

Sidney's education and associations in life gave him an elevation of manner that was sometimes taken for pride and haughtiness of character. Bishop Burnet, in the sketch already quoted from, further remarks, “ He was a man of extraordinary courage, a steady man even to obstinacy, sincere, but of a rough and boisterous temper that would not bear contradiction.

He was stiff in all republican principles. He had studied the history of government in all its branches, beyond any man I ever knew. He had a particular way of insinuating himself into people that would hearken to his notions and not contradict him.” He had studied with the zeal of an amateur the characters of the old Romans, and it is said that he made Marcus Brutus his model in life and manners.

The strength of his patriotism is sufficiently proved in his history. His private virtues adorned every period of his life, and the stern integrity of his character made him more formidable to his enemies than all the machinations of the heartless intriguers that agreed with him in loathing the perfidious court. But those qualities which we admire in contemplation unfitted him for successful co-operation with the men of his times. He was too honest to enter into their designs; for though the end proposed might be approved by him, his soul abhorred the means by which those ends were often sought to be obtained. In other times he might have found companionship in kindred spirits, with whom his virtues would have been appreciated and his sacrifices rewarded; as it was, he lived in the seed-time of civil and religious liberty, rather than at the harvest,—it is ours to reap the rich reward of his labours and sufferings.



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§ 6. The Apostolate. It belongs to the conception of an apostle, that he should have been an eye and ear witness of the principal facts of the life of Jesus,--above all, of the resurrection, (Acts i, 21, 22; compare 1 Cor. ix, 1,—and that his call to office should be directly personal from Christ himself without any human intervention. Here rises at once, however, a difficulty in regard to Matthias and Paul, who were brought into the original college after the ascension. Matthias possessed indeed the first qualification, but was chosen of men by means of the lot, and this also without any Divine direction, as it would seem, on the mere suggestion of the precipitate Peter, who supposed that they must at once proceed to fill the vacancy created in the sacred twelve by the crime of Judas, without waiting for the promised outpouring of the Spirit. Paul, on the contrary, had not known Jesus after the flesh;* but in place of this the glorified Christ appeared to him in visible form on his way to Damascus, (1 Cor. ix, 1; xv, 8,) and clothed him with the commission of an apostle for Gentiles and Jews. He lays special stress on the fact, moreover, that he had been called to his office not by any human mediation but directly by the Lord himself, and had received his Gospel, not even from the older apostles, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, (Gal. i, 1, 11, seqq.) If then we are still to hold fast the necessity and symbolical significance of the sacred number twelve, i

0 From 2 Cor. v, 16, indeed, some expositors would infer the contrary; but without sufficient ground. At all events such acquaintance would have been for him of no use, as he was then an unbeliever, and must have counted the Saviour either an enthusiast or an impostor.

Ť The number twelve was so fixed, that the apostles are often styled simply oi dódeka; Matt. xxvi, 14, 47; John vi, 67; xx, 24, etc.; and this even after the resurrection, when the college was no longer full, 1 Cor. xv, 5.

which refers not merely to the twelve tribes of the Jews, but to universal Christendom as the true spiritual Israel, (yea, even the foundation stones of the heavenly Jerusalem itself, we are told, bear " the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb,” Rev. xxi, 14) there is no alternative but to pronounce the election of Matthias a well-meant but still rash and invalid proceeding, and to substitute Paul for him as the legitimate completion of the apostolic college At all events it is not advisable to extend the number of proper regular apostles beyond Paul, although there were undoubtedly a number of apostolical men.*

From this peculiar personal relation of the apostles to Christ, we may understand now their office and its significance for the Church. They are the representatives and vicegerents of Christ, the bearers and infallible organs of the Holy Ghost, the founders and pillars of the universal Church.† That Peter styles himself a “fellow-elder," (ovu trpeoßútepos, 1 Peter v, 1; comp. 2 John 1, and 3 John 1,) does not show, by any means of course, that they were merely presbyters, or congregational officers, just as little as the title “commilitones” from a Roman general to his soldiers can be taken to mean that both were of the same rank. The apostles were in truth deacons and bishops, but at the same time much more; their office looked,

* So before all Barnabas, one of the two candidates for the vacant place of Judas, the mediator by whom Paul was first introduced to the older apostles, (Acts ix, 27,) the companion of his first missionary tour, (Acts xiii, 2, 3,) and afterwards an independent labourer in the work of the Gospel, (Acts xv, 39,) whose name is always mentioned with honour. Possibly also he wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. Paul joins him with himself, 1 Cor, ix, 6, (he speaks here, however, not merely of the apostles, but also of the brethren of the Lord, and Timothy is honoured with the same juxtaposition in the inscriptions of several of his epistles ;) in the Acts of the Apostles Barnabas is first put before Paul, (even after the council of Jerusalem, xv, 12, though the reverse order is found already, xiii, 43, 46, 50,) and twice, xiv, 4, 14, he is made to share with him the title åróotool, while yet he is never called úróoroos separately. In other places, where the word is used of mere fellow-labourers of the apostles, it is to be taken in its wider sense of messenger or a person sent. Epaphroditus, Phil. ii, 25, is styled utóctonos as the delegate of the congregation at Philippi; and in the same way the unbotoko! TūV ÉKKANOLõv, 2 Cor. viii, 23, are to be considered deputies representing particular Churches. When it is said, Rom. xvi, 7, of the otherwise unknown Roman missionaries Andronicus and Junia, (some, as Chrysostom and Grotius, take 'lovviav as an accusative from 'lovvia, and understand thús the wife of Andronicus,) that they were trionuoc év tois úrootóhols, it is to be referred to the good credit they had with the proper apostles. So it is explained by Beza, Grotius, Meyer, and others of the best interpreters.

† Compare such passages as Matt. xvi, 18, seq.; xviii, 18; John xx, 22, seq.; xiv, 26 ; xvi, 13; Acts i, 5; ii, 4; 2 Cor. V, 20; Eph. ii, 20; Gal. ïî, 9; Rev. xxi, 14.

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