Page images

exposed them to the censure os the high


"'. ("613) shipped for New-England, and were not suf'' fered to go; though afterwards, they were upon bet

'' ter thoughts permitted."^) In short James (g) Wasoa,

heartily hated the people of this denomination; and top' 7+*
be a puritan, was with him to be every thing odious
and abominable. How mischievous an effect this pre-
judice of his majesty had, will best appear from a letter
written to the illustrious UJber, from Emanuel Down-
ing* out of Ireland, who is stiled a worthy divine, by
Dr. Parr:

C' Reverend Sir, "I hope you are not ignorant of the hurt that is V come to the church by this name Puritan, and how 'c his majesty's good intent and meaning therein is ?c much abused and wronged; and especially in this '* poor country where the pope and popery is so much '* affected. I being lately in the country had consetc rence with a worthy, painsul preacher, who hath "been an instrument of drawing many of the meer '* Irish there, from the blindness of popery to embrace '' the gospel, with much comfort to themselves, and "heart-breaking to the priests, who perceiving that '' they cannot now prevail with their jugling tricks, "have forged a new device: They have now stirred '* up some crafty papists, who very boldly rail both at "ministers and people, faying, they seek to sow this "damnable heresie of puritanism among them; which ,* word, though not understood, but. only known to "be most odious to his majesty, makes many afraid of '' joining themselves to the gospel, though in conse"rence their consciences are convicted herein: so to '• prevent a greater mischief which may follow, it "were good to petition his majesty to define z puritan, "whereby the mouths of those scoffing enemies would ,c be stopt; and if his majesty be not at leizure, that he '* would appoint some good men to do it for him." (h) {b) Parr'i

. HadliseofUslwf,

p. 16.

commiffion, who suspended, deprived and excommunicated them, notwithstanding the


» . Had a puritan been truly defined, the world would have been at a loss to have known the reason of the severity used towards those who were reproached with

that title. The puritans had their fancies, as well

as their adverfaries. The surplice, the cross in baptism, the ring in marriage, bowing at the name of Jesus, and some other articles of equal importance were the objects of their aversion; they thought they smelt of popery, which they could not bear with. The bishops on the contrary had a very great fondness for these, as well as for the whole hierarchy. A dispute therefore on these subjects was natural; and had it been managed fairly, no_ ill cons-quences could have happened. But the bishops were in power; the king was their friend, and a foe to those who opposed them; and they were determined to carry their point at all adventures. The shortest way therefore was taken. The puritans were silenced, deprived, excommunicated, and all for trifles. I will no; fay but the bishops might have more sense, but the puritans hid more honesty. The first were persecutors, the latter were persecuted ; and consequently were entitled to the pity and compassion of the humane and

(i)Hartley's benevolent. James and his clergy did not under

*'*°s stand the use of sects, " to purify religion, and also to 377?Vol. "set the great truths of it in a full light; and to shew, II. 8»o. "their practical importance." (/) Nor did they know

Se"»lfo hi?'" the ^ Way to ^op the riung o^ neW ^ and

toricji ana " schisms, by reforming abuses, compounding smaller ciiticjl ac- ** differences, proceeding mildly, and not with fanguiHTMhP "nary per^ecutions , ana* taking off the principal auten, note "thors by winning and advancing them, rather than [c] Lond. *t enraging them by violence and bitterness ;" (k) an! til Bacon's consequently instead of crushing, they increased them. eifeyonthe For lord Shafujbury justly remarks, "that there is novicislitude of** thing so ridiculous in respect of policy, or so wrong tfungi. 'c and odious in respect of ctmmon humanity, as a mo


intercession made for them by many persons of quality, and by one of his parliaments.


tl derate and half-way persecution; it only frets the

'• sore; it raises the ill-humour of mankind; excite*

'' the keener spirits; moves indignation in beholders;

"and sows the very seeds of schism in men's bosoms.

"A resolute and bold faced persecution haves no time or . ,

"scope for these engendring distempers, or gathering .

'•' iil-humours. It does the work at once; by extirpa

'* tion, banishment, or masfacre: and like a bold stroke

"in surgery, dispatches by one short amputation, what

"a bungling- hand would make worse and worse, to

"the perpetual sufferance and misery of the patient."

(/)—'—But let us leave these reflections and return to (0 Charac

James, who was as much set on the ruin of puritanism y^'j "y}

in Scotland, as in England. In the Parliament at 95.'

Perth, in the year 1606, he got an act passed eniituled

the restitution of the estate of bishops: afterwards they

were declared perpetual moderators, and had the high.

commission put into their hands. In 1610, the king

sent for three of the bishops elect, in order to have them

consecrated in England, which was done without first

giving them deacons or priests orders; and consequently

the validity of their former orders were acknowledged.

Soon afterwards they had great power committed unto

them, to the no small uneasiness of ministers and people.

(/») In the year 1617, James made a progress into (») Spots.

Scotland, in order to bring the Scots nearer to conformity ""^ p*

with the church of England. - ciderwood,

"But his majesty, fays Heylin, gained nothing by p. 616. "that chargeable journey, but a neglect of his com'' mands, and a contempt of his authority. His mas* jesty therefore took a better course, than to put the '* point to argument and disputation; which was to »* beat them by the belly, and to withdraw those aug"mentations which he had formerly allowed them out '' of his exchequer: which pill so wrought upon this ft indigent andpbstjnate people, that the next year, in an

*' assembly

In Scotland he pursued them with rigour, and was not contented till he set up episcopacy, though contrary to the inclinations of


"assembly at Perth, they pasied an act for admitting ,' the five articles, for which his majesty had been (n) Li/e of "courting them for two years together." (») These Laud, p. articles which his majesty had courted them so long to admit, it must be owned, were very important. The first requires the blessed facrament to be celebrated meekly and reverently upon their knees. The second allows the lawfulness of private communion. The third permits private baptism. The fourth commands confir(o) Spots- m'ation. The fifth the observation of some sestivals. («) wood, p. "These articles being thus settled, order was given to 5'' "read them in all parish churches; the ministers were

*' likewise obliged to preach upon the lawsulness of "them, and exhort their people to submission. And "to give them the greater authority, the king ordered "them to be published at the market cross of the prin"cipal burroughs, and commanded conformity under u pain of his displeasure. But all this not being enough "to enforce such a conformity to the ceremonies as was *: expected, it was thought, surther necessary to establish "them by the fanction of an act of parliament, and to "give them the force of a law, this was done accords') Craw- "ingly in the year 1621." (/i) A prince must be fora s Llves» strangely infatuated, and strongly prejudiced to employ p' ' his power and influence in establishing such matters as these! Let us grant episcopacy to be the most expedient government of the church (and expedient enough it (o) Sesspi- must be acknowledged in proper places (q) and rightly tit of Uws, executed, by overseeing the manners of the clergy, and Vol. 11. p. keeping them within the bounds of decency and regularity ;) yet what man of sense will think it worth establishing at the risk of the peace of the community? Let rites and ceremonies be deemed ever so decent; who will fay they are sit to be imposed by methods of severity and constraint? yet by these ways, we see, these mat



ministers and people. Being seized with art, ague, he died March 27, 1625, in the 59th year of his age [4 F] not without suspicion •


ters were introduced among the Scots; to the disgrace ©f humanity, and the eternal blemish of a prince who= boasted of his learning, and was forever displaying his abilities.

[4 F] He died not without suspicion of having been poisoned by Buckingham.] "The king that was very "much impatient in his health, was patient in his sick"ness and death. Whether he had received any thing '* that extorted his aguish fits into a sever, which might "the sooner stupify the spirits, and hasten his end, era* "not be asserted; but the countess of Buckingham had "been tampering with him, in the absence of the doc"tors, and had given him a medicine to drink, and "laid a plaister to his side, which the king much com"plained of, and they did rather exasperate his distetn-' "per than allay it: and these things were admitted "by the insinuating persuasions of the duke her son, "who told the king they were approved medicines, and *' would do him much good. And though the duke after "strove to purge himself for this application, as having "received both medicine and plaister from Dr. Rem"ington, at Dunmow, in Essex, who had often cured "agues, and such distempers with the fame; yet they "were arguments of a complicated kind not easy to *' unfold; considering that whatsoever he received "from the doctor in the country, he might apply to the "king what he pleased in the court. Besides, the act "itself (though it had been the best medicine in the "world) was a daring not justifiable; and some of the *' king's physitians muttered against it, others made a '' great noise, and were forced to fly for it; and "though the still voice was quickly silenced by the '• duke's power, yet the clamourous made so deep im*' preslions, that his innocence could never wear therrs


« PreviousContinue »