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. The family of Vane,” he tells us, “was of the ancient nobility, tracing itself clearly back to the earliest dates of English history. six generations are distinctly recorded before the battle of Poictiers in 1356, when the honor of knighthood was conferred upon Sir flenry Vane, for his valiant behavior. After the lapse of several more generations, one of the branches of the family altered the name Vane to Fane, and gave rise to the noble house of which the parl of Westmoreland is the present representative. The Vanes continued to figure conspicuously in the wars and in parliament, until, in 1611, James the First knighted the father of the subject of this memoir.”

Sir Henry Vane, the elder, filled numerous important offices under the governments successively of James and Charles the First. He was member of parliament for Carlisle, cofferer to Prince Charles, and a member of his majesty's privy council. In 1631 he was sent to Denmark as ambassador extraordinary, and subsequently in the same capacity to the court of Gustavus Adolphus; in both of which he concluded satisfactorily important treaties. Finally, in 1639, he was made treasurer of the household, and principal secretary of state.

Sir Henry Vane, the younger, was born in 1612, and was one of a numerous family, through whom he became connected with some of the most powerful houses of the realm. The present duke of Newcastle, the earl of Chichester, and Lord Yarborough are among their descendants. These facts serve to show the position he sustained in society, the influence under which he came forward into the world, and the prospects which opened before him.

He was placed at the collegiate school at Westminster, where at the age of about fifteen, he tells us, “God was pleased to lay the foundation or groundwork of repentance in him." From that time his character as a Christian was marked with uncommon energy and decision. At the age of sixteen he became a gentleman commoner at the university of Oxford; but when the time of matriculation arrived, he refused to take the requisite oath of supremacy and allegiance. This act, by which he forfeited his membership in that community of learning, will be acknowledged as a strong proof of mental independence; and as he never swerved from his principles aiterward, it must be regarded as something more than the petu. lance of a froward boy. There was in it the maturity, and strength, and constancy of more than ordinary manhood.

He now went over to the continent; visited Holland and France, and spent some time in Geneva. While abroad his views of religion were confirmed, and he returned home less than ever disposed to yield to the claims of the hierarchy. His father, finding him rather unmanageable, employed the notorious Archbishop Laud, then bishop of London, to convince him of his errors. But his lordship found himself overmatched in the young Puritan, and as he was at a loss for arguments, he gave him a specimen of what his admirer and eulogist Clarendon calls his “hasty, sharp way of expressing himself." The interview, thus closed with Laud's characteristic violence, no doubt served to strengthen Vane's opposition to

the national Church, and confirm him in the principles he had adopted.*

His situation being now rendered uncomfortable by the excitement against him, it was thought advisable that he should retire for a season from the storm. He determined on a visit to the NewEngland colonies. He landed at Boston in 1635. The rank, accomplishments, talents, and piety of Mr. Vane secured for him, in an eminent degree, the favor of the colonists, a striking proof of which they gave by electing him the following year to the office of chief magistrate, although but twenty-four years of age. It is this fact, his being governor of Massachusetts, that entitled him, in Mr. Upham's view, to a place in American biography.

He commenced his administration with vigor and sagacity. Of his address the following instance may serve as a specimen :

“ There were, at that time, fifteen large vessels in port. It occurred to the leading men of the colony, that the presence of such a large force of foreign vessels was in itself a formidable and disagreeable circumstance in the condition of a feeble settlement, which could not rely upon the sympathy of the mother country, any more than it could upon the friendship of other powers. It was also obvious to every reflecting person, that the influence of the manners and habits of the officers and men of these ships could not be other than injurious to the morals and social condition of the inhabitants of the town.

6. The first act of Governor Vane's administration was to prevent the evils that threatened to spring from this source. Within a week after assuming the government, he accordingly took measures with this view, which illustrate his tact in affairs, and his skill and success in managing men. He invited all the captains of the ships to dine with him, and availed himself of the opportunity to lay the whole case before them. The conversation was conducted with so much frankness, and in such a friendly spirit, that the captains consented, readily and cheerfully, to the following agreement. First, that all inward bound vessels should come to anchor below the fort, and wait for the governor's pass before coming up to the town. Secondly, that before discharging their cargoes, their invoices should in all cases be submitted to the inspection of the government. And thirdly, that none of their crews should ever be permitted to remain on shore after sunset, except under urgent necessity.”+

But no human prospects are unchanging. Governor Vane’s * Of Laud, Clarendon says, “He was a man of great parts and exemplary virtues, allayed and discredited by some unpopular infirmities; the greatest of which was, (besides a hasty, sharp way of expressing himself,) that he believed innocence of heart and integrity of manners, was a guard strong enough to secure any man in his voyage through this world.” Yet this very man, whose greatest infirmity was too sure a reliance upon his integrity, he tells us in the next page, "when he came into great authority, it may be, retained too keen a memory of those who had so unjustly and uncharitably persecuted him before; and I doubt was so far transported with the same passions he had reason to coinplain of in his adversaries," &c. This is a singular instance of the tendency of partizanship to blind the eyes and pervert the moral judgment.-Hist, of the Revolution, vol. 1, p. 165, Boston edit. 1827. + Winthrop's History of New-England, Savage's edit., vol. i, p. 187.

administration was destined to come to an early close, and to terminate in commotion and dissatisfaction. This fact has been used by his enemies, greatly to his disadvantage. Yet if the circumtances be inquired into, it will be found owing to the same cause which rendered him unpopular at home—his principles were too pure and liberal for the age. The first occasion of dissatisfaction was the ground he took in regard to hoisting the British flag in Boston. A difficulty arose between the colonists and the officers and men of the British vessels lying in the harbor, from the absprice of that token of respect to the king. The colonists would have had no objection to perform the part of liege subjects, but for one unlucky circumstance: the British flag contains a representation of the cross ; and this was so strongly associated with papacy, that no good Puritan could allow it to pollute his eye sight, or Aoat in the atmosphere he breathed. Governor Vane could not exactly sympathize in their antipathy to this innocent emblem. Seeing the difficulty in which it was likely to involve them with the royal government, believing their scruples absurd and childish, and deeming it no more than right to hoist his majesty's flag in his acknowledged dominions, he maintained the propriety of a compliance; and finally, supported only by Mr. Dudley, he actually hoisted it on his own responsibility, though hugely to the offence of the worthy colonists.

Notwithstanding this petty affair, as it now appears, Governor l'ane continued to enjoy the general confidence and affection of the people. Soon afterward he made a tour through the towns on the north and east side of the bay, and "made a public entrance into Salem." Our author deems it very unfortunate that no " authentic records” of this event have been preserved, and to supply the sad omission, draws upon his imagination for a picture, which occupies somewhat more than two pages. As we do not think the janciful sketch of any greater importance than the event itself, we shall not trouble our readers with it, notwithstanding the compliment it pays to the “witcheryof the Salem belles.

A second cause of difficulty between the governor and many of the colonists, grew out of the Hutchinsonian controversy. Governor Vane became the advocate of Mrs. Hutchinson. We need not suppose, however, that he justified all her extravagances or indiscretion; he probably did no more than approve of her general principles, and above all, resisted the measures taken against her. The authorities of the colony, instead of attempting to correct her irregula rities and improprieties, determined to proceed against her as a heretic! Yet she was accused of heteredoxy only on two points. She insisted that the Holy Spirit dwells personally in all believers : and secondly, that sanctification is no certain evidence of justification. It is not at all clear that she meant any more by the first, ihan the scriptural doctrine of a spiritual influence in believers : and as to the second, in an age when the length of the hair, the cast of the countenance, the very tones of the voice, as well as peculiar phraseology, were accounted evidences of grace, it must surely be admitted that hypocrisy was rendered very easy, and a warning voice against it was salutary. There was, it is true, something very reprehensible in the manner in which she made known her sentiments, and expressed herself concerning the clergy. Yet with all the vituperation and singular ribaldry of Mather's Magnalia, it is impossible to prove that she was guilty of any very serious error, much less of any flagrant crime. Yet she was examined, tried, convicted, and banished as a heretic. Her end was truly shocking. Having settled, ultimately, after the death of her husband, on Long Island, she was butchered by the Indians with her whole family, excepting only one daughter, who was carried by them into captivity.

These proceedings against this indiscreet and unfortunate woman were entirely contrary to Vane's sentiments on the rights of conscience and religious liberty. By his maintenance of those views and defence of Mrs. H., he gave great umbrage, so that at the next election for governor, Mr. Winthrop was restored, and Vane and his friends, ejected from office. The Bostonians, however, still ad. hered to him, and immediately elected him and some of his warmest adherents to represent them in the General Court. The prevailing party declared their election void; but the Bostonians, with the true spirit of '76, “returned the same men back to the house, by a new election, the very next day !"

To prevent the growth of heresy, a most extraordinary law was now enacted. Many persons, supposed to be favorable to Mrs. Hutchinson's sentiments were shortly expected over; and it was accordingly ordained that a heavy penalty should be exacted from such individuals or towns as should give entertainment to any stranger coming there to reside, unless sanctioned by a member of the standing council, or two of the magistrates. Such a law was an outrage on all liberty. It was far, however, from being universally approved. Indeed, so strong was the opposition to it, particularly in Boston, that the otherwise excellent Winthrop was constrained to take up his pen in its defence. Mr. Vane was his opponent, and as his production is remarkable for the clearness of its reasoning, and the soundness of its views, especially for that period of the world, we think our readers will be pleased to see it transcribed.

“ Winthrop introduced his argument by the following definition of a common weale or body politic,' such as the colony of Massachusetts was. The consent of a certain company of people' united 'together, under one government, for their mutual safety and welfare.'

" To this definition Vane objects, that' at the best it is but a description of a commonwealth at large, and not of such a common wealth as this, (as is said,) which is not only Christian, but dependent upon the grant also of our sovereign; for so are the express words of that order of court to which the whole country was required to subscribe.

“Now if you will define a Christian commonwealth, there must be put in, such a consent as is according to God ;-a subjecting to such a government as is according to Christ. And if you will de

“ The penalty to private persons was forty pounds, and twenty pounds beside for every month ihey continued in the offence. And any town which gave or sold a lot to any such stranger was subject to a hundred pound penalty."-Hutch. inson's History of Massachusetts, vol. í, p. 64, third edition, 1795.

fine a corporation incorporated by virtue of the grant of our sove. reign, it must be such a consent as the grant requires and permits, and in that manner and form as it prescribes, or else it will be defective. The commonwealth here described may be a company of Turkish pirates, as well as Christian professors, unless the consent and government be better limited than it is in this definition ; for sure it is, all pagans and infidels, even the Indians here amongst us, may come within this compass. And is this such a body politic as ours, as you say? God forbid. Our commonwealth we fear would be twice miserable, if Christ and the king should be shut out so. Reasons taken from the nature of a commonwealth, not founded upon Christ, nor by his majesty's charters, must needs fall to the ground, and fail those that rely upon them. Members of a commonwealth may not seek out all means that may conduce to the welfare of the body, but all lawful and due means, according to the charter they hold by, either from God or the king, or from both. Nor may they keep out whatsoever may appear to tend to their damage, (for many things appear which are not,) but such as, upon right and evident grounds, do so appear, and are so in truth.'”

" Another important point in Winthrop's argument was this :The Churches take liberty (as lawfully they may) to receive or reject at their discretion; yea, particular towns make orders to such effect; why then should the commonwealth be denied the like liberty, and the whole more restrained than any part ?'

“ The following was Vane's reply. Though the question be here concluded, yet it is far from being soundly proved; yea, in truth, we much wonder that any member of a Church should be ignorant of the falseness of the groundwork upon which this conclusion is built ; for, should Churches have this power, as you say they have, to receive or reject at their discretion, they would quickly grow corrupt enough. Churches have no liberty to receive or reject at their discretions, but at the discretion of Christ. Whatsoever is done in word or deed, in Church or commonwealth, must be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Col. iii, 17.) Neither hath Church nor commonwealth any other than ministerial power from Christ, (Eph. v. 23,) who is the head of the Church, and the prince of the kings of the earth. (Rev. i, 5.) After that Cornelius and his company had received the Holy Ghost, whereby the right which they had to the covenant was evidenced, it is not now left to the discretion of the Church whether they would admit them thereunto or not. But can any man forbid thêm water? saith Peter. He commanded them to be baptized. (Acts x, 47, 48.) There is the like reason of admission into Churches. When Christ opens a door to any, there's none may take liberty to shut them out. In one word, there is no liberty to be taken, neither in Church nor commonwealth, but that which Christ gives and is according unto him. (Gal. v, 1.)

" He thus expressed his views respecting the proper treatment of heretics. “As for scribes and Pharisees, we will not plead for them ; let them do it who walk in their ways; nor for such as are confirmed in any way of error, though all such are not to be denied cohabitation, but are to be pitied and reformed. (Jude 22, 23.) Ishmael shall dwell in the presence of his brethren. (Gen. xvi, 12.)'

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