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JUNE 1, 1824.- No. 1.
Lectures on the Philosophy of Modern History ; delivered at the Uni
versity of Dublin, by George Miller, M.D. M.R.I.A. &c.– Vol. 5
and 6; 8vo. pp. 528-524. 31. 12s. Dublin. Murray, London. The fifth and sixth volumes of Dr. Miller's Lectures exhibit that interesting period comprised between the commencement of the reign of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, and the English revolution of 1688 ; that almost sacred period, when the spirit of free enquiry, after its long suppression by the barbarism of the feudal ages, burst forth with renovated vigour, and assumed an inextinguishable energy. The subject is especially interesting at the present period; not only on account of its bearing a striking resemblance to the period of the reformation, but because the investigation of past motives, principles, and effects, will furnish useful admonition, at a time when the “monarchal principle” has pledged itself, by word and act, to extinguish the free opinions which are again budding into life from every part of the European soil, in a deluge of human blood, which may leave no pausing-place for the “ sole of the foot” of peace; nor any mountain-top, on which the ark of liberty may rest.
The forty-second lecture, after exhibiting a masterly analysis of the political system of Europe, demonstrates its tendency to unite its states into extended combinations of federative relations ; the great improvement characterising the three concluding centuries considered in these lectures. The originating causes which have affected the political situation of the various states of Europe are principally the alteration of the systems of commerce, and the reformation. After pointing out the agency by which the latter great revolution was effected, the historian thus surveys the character of Luther, who has contributed to much to change the moral surface of society :
« The character of the reformer was singularly compounded of a fearless courage in conduct, and a cautious and even diffident timidity of opinion. Driven early into the monastic life by the shock experienced at the sudden death of a friend, whom lightning had killed by his side ; he appears to have been disciplined by it to habits of patient Crit. Guz. Vol. 1. No. 1.