Page images

being highly praised, protected, and favoured by him, [4 D] yea, moreover advanced


Bafe'dict i^fj'with which it is thought their principles are article Mil- incompatible, (j) But be this as it will, it cannot be at ton, note all wondered at, that the protestants in James's reign t°3 should be alarmed at an open toleration of those of the communion of the church of Rome. For they could not but remember the bull of pope Pius the sifth, concerning the damnation, excommunication, and deposition of queen Elizabeth, and the plots which in consequence thereof, were laid against her life: They could not but remember the detestable powder treason; nor could they forget that James himself had publickly avowed that the pope of Rome was antichrist, the man of sin, the mother of harlots, and abominations, who was drunk with the blood of the faints and the martyrs of Jesus. And remembering these things, could they chuse but murmur against the toleration of so bloody a sect, or look on Buckingham the supposed instrument of it, but as a betrayer of king and country, and as odious, (r) Cabala, as ne himself declares they did. (r) p. 244.

[4 D] The church of England under James was in a flourishing slate, being highly praised, protected, and favoured by him.] When I speak of the church, I would not be understood to mean" a congregation of "faithful men" as our articles in an antiquated man(*) See arti- ner desine it; (a) but the clergy, who have for a long de the 19th. time appropriated that term to themselves, and the places in which they ossiciate: And when I speak of the church as in a flourishing state, I mean, what I think churchmen generally mean by it, their possessing power, honor and wealth; and not the increase of unfeigned piety, and real virtue.—That in this fense the church of England flourished under James, is beyond all contradiction. In a speech in the star-chamber, in the year 1616, his majesty complains, "that churchmen were "had in too much contempt,I must speak trewth, fays

* ' he

io riches, honor, and power j whereby she


"he, great men, lords, judges, and people of all deis grees from the highest to the lowest, have too much tl contemned them. And God will not bless us in our "own laws, if we do not reverence and obey God's "law; Which cannot be, except the interpreters of it "be respected and reverenced, and it is a sign of the "latter day's drawing On; even the contempt of the tc church, and of the governors and teachers thereof *' now in the church of England, which I fay in my •' conscience of any church that ever I read or knew of, "present or past, is most pure, and nearest the primi*' tive and apostolical church in doctrine and discipline, "and is sureliest founded oh the word of God, of any ♦' church in Christendome." (b) In the fame speech it) Kinghe tells the judges, " God will bless every good busi-Jimes's *' ness the better, that he arid his church have the pre- *°' s' p' *' cedence." (c) And again, addressing himself to the (c) id. pi judges, he fays, "Let not the church nor churchmen 565*' be disgraced in your charges;—countenance and en♦* courage the good churchmen, and teach the people "by your example to reverence them: for if they be "good, they afe worthy of double honor for their of"sice fake; if they be fauitie it is not your place to ad"monish them; they have another Forum to answer "to for their misbehaviour." (d) And in another tj)M p; place, he tells us, " that as soon as a person hath made 5^. "his choice what church to live and die in, audi earn, il as Christ commands: for his conscience in this must "only serve him for a guide to the right church, but "not to judge her, but to be judged by her." (e) (e) id. p.'

This is very good, and what most churchmen would 5tv. he very glad their flocks did believe. For they then might teach authoratively, and a blind submission would be yielded. Profane wits would not think themselves at liberty to examine the reasonableness of the churches doctrine, but swallow down glibly the most mysterious unintelligible points, to their own great edification, and C42" the

became in a condition to be both dreadecf


the peace of the church. But Janus not only spokewell of churchmen, and endeavoured to recommendthem to the esteem and regard of his subjects, but he heaped on them wealth, and suffered them to enjoy riches in abundance. "He founded a dean and chap"ter of seven prebendaries at Rippon, in Yorkshire; and "settled two hundred and forty-seven pounds per ann. (/) Grey'a '' 0f crown lands for their maintenance." (f) Williams,* ofthefreond dean os WeJlminjUr, retained at the fame time, as himvoiumeof self tells the duke of Buckingham, the rectories of Di— Neal'ihis- mim} JValgrave, Grafton, and Peterborough, and was pUri,ans, p. a"° chaunter of Lincoln, prebendary of Ajgarbie, pre75. 8vo. bendary of Nonnington, and residentiary of Lincoln. {g\ L""^- l736» And when advanced to the see of Lincoln, and made p. 4O0.'1 ** lord-keeper of the great seal, he was continued dean of Westminster, and held his other preserments; so that, 'fays Heylin, he was a persect diocese within himself, as< being bishop, dean, ptebend, residentiary, and parson;

L^ a** Ss an(* a" tne^e at once- V}) TrHS was a goodly sight in. 'the eyes of Laud, who made use of the example, in retaining with his bishopric of St. David's, not only his prebend's place in the church of Westminster, and his benefices in the country, but also the presidentships of

{,)Id,iby. his college in Oxon. (2). In short the churchmen throve well under James, and were greatly cherished by him. For to the wealth he permitted them to enjoy,, he added real power, and gave them liberty tocrusti all

their opposers. In the canons compiled anno 1603,

to which his majesty gave his royal fanction, we sindthat whoever should hereafter affirm, that the form of God's worship in the church of England, established by law, ?nd contained in the book of common prayer, is a corrupt, superstitious, or unlawsul worship of God,r or containeth any thing in it that is repugnant to the scriptures; whosoever should affirm that any of the.thirty-nine articles, are in any part superstitious or erroneous, or such as he may not with a good consciencesubscribe and envied by her adverfaries. Not so the puritans. These were the objects of his majesty's


subscribe unto; whosoever should affirm that the rites . and [ceremonies of the church were such as men who were godly affected, may not with any good conscience approve them, use them, or, as occasion requireth, subscribe unto them; whosoever should affirm the government of the church of England .under his majesty, •by archbishops, &c. is antichristian, or repugnant to the word of God, were to be excommunicated. See The fame punishment was denounced against the au-""°TM 3* thors of schism, the maintainers of fchifmaticks and4'5' '7" maintainers of conventicles. (/) Thus were church-,^), alien armed with power, with which, we may be as- 9, io> •fured, they took care to defend themselves and annoy their adverfaries. Add to this that the high commission was then in being, in which the bishops were the judges who, by administring the oath ex officio, compelled men to accuse themselves, and then punished them in the severest manner. 'Twas this court which obliged the renowned Selden, to make his submission, and beg pardon for having published his book on tythes; (m) though ("j}^)-'^ must learned men since that time, have acquiesced i n p,^,,,. what he has asserted concerning their original; and be- rians, p. fore this^ we sind by a complaint of the parliament, 39a. that" lay-men were punished by this court for speak*' ing of the symonie and other misdemeanours of spi"ritual men, though the thing spoken were true, anS the speech tending to bring them to condigne punifhr "ment." («)—Such was the power of the clergy under ^ Recnr<) 'James, such was the use that was made of it! honest,0fsome prolearned, and worthy men were called in question, and f-'"^'" ,subjected to all the terrible consequences of that thing ^"mno <Called an excommunication, for daring to tell church-161o/^.25, men of their vices, or denying their whimsical pretences. This at length bred much ill-blood, and issued in dread- . . ful consequences. Let the prince therefore that would jreign gloriously, curb the power of his clergy ; let him <t 3 sieves

highest aversion [4 E] and greatest hatred \


l)ever be made the tool of their wrath or resentment; but by distributing equal and impartial justice to all his subjects, shew himself their common father and sovereign, and thereby establish his throne in their hearts, and render it immoveable.

[4 Ej The puritans were the objects of his highest aversion, &c.] This appears from what has been said in the notes [m] and [mm] so clearly, that I need fay no more concerning it. But James contented not himself with reproaching them, but he let his clergy loose upon them, and subjected them to great penalties, meerly on account of their non-conformity to the established ceremonies. Hutton, archbishop of York, received orders from the privy-council, "that the puritans "should be proceeded against according to law, except "they conformed themselves; tho' I think, fays he, "all or most of them love his majesty, and the present (a) win- "estate." (a) And fays Sir Dudley Carlcton in a let*»ood,Vol. ter to Mr. (j/inivood, dated Feb. 20, 1604, "the poor 44" E' 4°- * ' puritan ministers have been serrited out in all corners, "and some of them suspended, others deprived of their "livings. Certain lecturers are silenced, and a crew of "gentlemen of Northamptonshire, who put up a petition "to the king in their behalse, told roundly of their; P boldness, both at the council-table and star-chamber: f and Sir Francis Ha/lings for drawing the petition, f and standing to it, when he had done it, put from his '' lieutenancy and justiceship of the peace in his (hire: '' Sir Edward Mountague, and Sir Valentine Knightly^ t* for resusing to subscribe to a submission, have the V like sentence: the rest upon acknowledgment of a

(4) Win- "fault have no more faid to them." (b) And his

wood. Vol. majesty summoned the judges into the star chamber,

*•' • *' and in the presence of the archbishop of Canterbury and

the bishop of London, and about twelve lords of the

privy-council, asked of them three questions with regard


« PreviousContinue »