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theory of biography. The "life" of a man without'a letter, or an anecdote, or some contemporary portrait of him with living traits distinctly marked, is not a life at all. We may have a chronological record of events : if his works have survived him, as in arts or letters, we may have a critical account of his genius ; if they have passed away in the act of execution, like a battle or a speech, we may have an estimate of his and their influence on mankind. This, however, is criticism or history, not biography. It is an abstraction of qualities and results, not a picture of the living individual man. Except for the last month of his life,—his persecution and martyrdom, materials are altogether wanting for the biography of Patrick Hamilton, the first Scottish preacher of the Reformed doctrine, whose cruel death kindled a deeper and wider flame than any orator could have raised. His father, Sir Patrick Hamilton, was illegitimate, but very nobly connected, and married to a lady of the blood royal. The year of Patrick the martyr's birth is not known ; it is supposed to have been 1504. He was held to have been educated at St. Andrews, till the researches of Mr. Lorimer discovered that he was trained at the celebrated University of Paris, having been admitted Maobistri Jurati in 1520, and probably left Scotland in 1517; which (if the received year of his birth is correct) was a very early age to send, a boy to Paris. On his return to Scotland, he had some formal or complimentary connexion with the University of St. Andrews, according to two entries of 1523 and 1524; having been intended for the church, he became Abbot of Fern; a preferment which in those times might in Scotland, as a matter of practice, be held by a layman. It is supposed that in 1526 Patrick Hamilton began to preach his new convictions ; for early in 1527 Archbishop James Beaton "made faithful inquisition" into the nature of this preaching, and had little difficulty in finding it heretical. Informed of the contemplated proceedings against him, Hamilton " Patrick Hamilton, the First Preacher and Martyr of the Scottish Reformation: an Historical Biography, collected front original Sources, including a Vieto of Hamilton's Influence upon the Reformation down to the Time of George Wishart. With an Appendix of Original Letters and other Papers. By the Reverend Peter Lorimer. Professor of Hebrew and Exegetic Theolon., English Presbyterian Colege, London. Published by Constable, Edinburgh; 'Hamilton and Adams, London. left Scotland for Germany, and resided some little time at Wittemberg and Marbourg ; where he saw or made the acquaintance of Luther, Tynedale, the translator of the Bible, and many other leaders of the Reformation. There too, he wrote the only work of his pen that has been preserved; "Patrick's Places,' as Fox called it when he translated and published it in his Acts and Monuments. In the autumn of 1527, Hamilton returned to Scotland ; married, according to a statement of Alesius which the labours of Mr. Lorimer have exhumed; recommencedhis preaching; and in the February following, 1528, was summoned to St. Andrews, tried, condemned, and put to death the same day—it is supposed, to prevent an attempt at rescue by the forces which his powerful family were raising and preparing to march upon St. Andrews.

Such is substantially all that is known of the life of Patrick Hamilton, up to the time of his trial and execution. On his closing scene a good deal of light is thrown. Some records of the trial are preserved ; Knox, Pittscottio, Spottiswood, and other writers, more or less contemporary, have given accounts of the martyrdom; pertinacious labour has enabled Mr. Lorimer to -peruse the works of Alesius, a forgotten theological writer, whom he identifies with Alane a canon of St. Andrew's, and a friend who accompanied Hamilton to the stake, lint this is an episode in a life, by no means enough to constitute a life itself. Patrick Hamilton must always occupy a conspicuous place in the history of Scotland's Church or the story of her martyrs ; but rather as an historical character than an individual person. His death was no doubt deemed by the Romanists a bold and successful stroke ; decided, prompt, defying to the laymen of all ranks, especially the nobility. But it was a two-edged sword, and cut both ways. The patience and prolonged sufferings of the martyr—the execution is said to have lasted six hours—must have sunk deep in the popular mind. The nobility, especially the younger part of them, upon whom education was beginning to have sonic influence, must have been touched alike in their pride and their pity. The more learned and moral of the clergy, whom the corruptions of their own church must have led to examine the Lutheran doctrines and the Scriptures, were, it is known, greatly moved by this martyrdom. Mr. Lorimer, like most divines, is given to exaggeration ; but it is almost impossible to exaggerate the influence of Patrick Hamilton's death upon the downfall of the Papacy in Scotland.

If it be asked how a book can be written from such slender ma terials, it must be answered, by eking out. Various genealogies of the Hamiltons and other families arc introduced •, there arc stories of the martyr's father, Sir Patrick, heraldically told, and losing what interest they might possess by their mode of introduction; there are assumed accounts of the family views, opinions,

and accomplishments, and their supposed influence in the forma

tion of the hero's mind and character. More real and mighty subjects are introduced, which aro collateral or contemporary to

the life, but not of it. Little, it might be said nothing, is known of Patrick Hamilton's student life at Paris and possibly at Louvain : the chapter is devoted to an account, and a very good account, of tho influence which the scholarly reforming proposals of Erasmus and his followers had upon the minds of students, and, by rousing them to shako off old trammels on learning, had prepared them to listen more readily to the Lutheran disousssions on faith and practice. The life of Hamilton in Scotland is occupied by a sort of picture of the Church ; a very necessary subject for exposition, and essential to the true understanding of Hamilton's martyrdom and the consequences that flowed from it. This account could have been better done : the grasp of the subject is deficient in breadth and depth ; it suffers perhaps from being stuck into a biography, in a measure disappointing the reader, who gets an historical disquisition where he looked for an individual life: there is rather too much of the pulpit and platform about it. Mr. Lorimer, however, has collected a great number of particular instances' which throw a light upon the gross abuses of the Papal Church in Scotland. The following facts respecting Linlithgow have been furnished to Mr. Lorimer by a local antiquary, Mr. Henderson.

" The beautiful church of St. Michael, though of no great size, had as many as sixteen altars erected in its aisles and side-chapels; and to these the burghers came not only with their rosaries sod prayers, but with the substantial oblations of numerous annual-rents. These altars were endowed with no fewer than 228 such rents, all chargeable upon tenements in the town, except u few which were derived from houses in Edinburgh. All the houses of the burgh could not have much, if at all, exceeded that number of rent-charges. Two of the altars were dedicated to the Virgin and received between them as many as fifty-nine of these endowments. 'The altars of St. John the Baptist and St. Ninian had each twenty. St. Andrew, St, Katherine the Virgin, St. Bridget, and St. Anne, were also regarded with considerable favour • and St. Peter, St. Elimium and St. Michael, were not forgotten. One alte'r was styled the altar of 'Corpus Christi, another was the altar of the Lamp and Light of the Sacrament, another was styled of the Holy Cross, and a fourth was the attar of All Saints. This large number of foundations was no doubt owing to two causes: Linlithgow was a favourite royal residence, and as such was the frequent resort of the nobility and prelates; and a large portion of the property of the burgh and county was in the hands of churchmen. "It appears from authentic records still extant that the burghers of Linlithgow had not only to sustain the numerous priests who ministered at these superstitious altars, but were obliged also to bind them down by solemn instruments and by many sureties to observe the plainest rules of honesty and decorum. A curious document of this kind has been preserved in the charter-chest of Linlithgow, and is now for the first time brought forward as a witness to the melancholy corruption of the Scottish Church. It is a deed of obligation of the year 1455, on the part of Patrick Brone, or Brown, chaplain of the altar of Corpus Christi in the church of St. Michael, and bears the seals of six Itorrovns' or sureties, his relatives and friends. In this deed Brown binds and obliges himself to the bailie and community of Linlithgow, not merely to do divine service at the altar of Corpus Christi and in the choir of the church, and to learn diligently to read mid sing in augmentation of God's service, and for pleasance of the said baffles and community,' but also not to sell, wadset, (pledge,) nor analie (alienate) any part of the graith ' (furniture) of the said altar, such as books, chalice, chasuble, albs, towels, &T., for no pinch or necessity that may happen at any time to arise ' ; and also 'to govern his person in honesty, and to be of honest conversation in meat and drink, lying and rising, and to use no unreasonable excess,' and to have no continual concubine.' And ' gif he should happen to do the contmir, he shall, at the ordinance of the said bailies and community, desist and amend under pain of deprivation.'

" Such was the very moderate amount of virtue expected or required from the altar-chaplains of Linlithgow; and such was the singular method adopted by its honest burgesses to enforce it. In the absence of all efficient ecclesiastical discipline, the only way they could think of to secure the decency of their pnests was to take half-a-dozen sureties for the good behaviour of each of them, and to bind them by a legal instrument to submit, in case of transgression, to the deprivation of their offerings and rents."

When the lower order of churchmen were of this stamp, we may judge what must have been the conduct of men of family ana power, who could rule the laws that might occasionally be employed to punish small offenders.

"The ignorance and incapacity of some of the prelates were in truth almost incredible. George Crichton, who was Bishop of Dunkeld after Gavyn Douglas, thanked God on one occasion that he knew neither the Old Testament nor the New. He boasted that he knew nothing but his breviary and his pontifical. Hence it became a common saying in Scotland, Ye are like the Bishop of Dunkeld, that knew neither the new law nor the old.' "'A bishop,' adds St. Paul, must be blameless, the husband of one wife, of good behaviour, and having his children in subjection with all gravity.' The apostle never imagined that a time would coins when prelates calling themselves his successors would have children to rule over without having even one wife, and who were so far from ruling well their own houses that their palaces were often converted into stews of vice, instead of being the homes and retreats of religion and virtue. At the very time when Patrick Hamilton was a resident in St. Andrews there was a flagrant example of this kind exhibited there. The archiepiscopal see laboured under yet worse evils than the unprincipled covetousness of a Forman and the restless factiousness of a Beaton. The young Prior of the monastery, Patrick Hepburn, nephew of John Hepburn, whom he succeeded in 1522, and Secretary of State front 1624 to 1627, was notorious for his profligacy. His criminal intrigues, even with married women, were numerous and well known. They were carried on in some cases within the priory itself, in contempt of all decency and discipline. To abate the scandal, the Archbishop required him on one occasion to remove one of his mistresses whom he had lodged within the walls. But the haughty and powerful offender defied Beaton's authority, and even assembled a body of armed men to compel him to desist from his interference. But for the interposition of the -Earl of Rothes and David Beaton Abbot of Arbroath, the two parties would have conic to a bloody encounter. Extreme and incredible as this last incident may appear, we have it on the authority of Alexander Alesius, who was a canon of the priory at the time it took place ; and the audacious profligacy which it implies is only too amply attested by the public records of the kingdom. These contain numerous letters of legitimations in behalf of Hepburn's children. The Prior was even accused in the pulpit by Friar John Arth of having boasted to his gentlemen' that lie had gone beyond them all in the number of his intrigues and adulteries. How utterly hadthe discipline of the Church been prostrated, and how pernicious was the example which she held up to the nation, when a monster of vice like this could be suffered to stand at the very head of the monastic institutions, and could obtain promotion to one of hor bishopries—as he did only a few years later to the see of Moray—with such a stigma of infamy on his brow ! "