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sores being yet uncured, he had the other ear “cut off; the other side of his nose slit, and the “ other cheek branded. He continued in prison, “ till the long parliament set him at liberty. Arch“bishop Laud had the honour of conducting this “ prosecution.”
The singular feature of the persecutions, thus inflicted by the protestants of the establishment on the puritans, is, (to use the expression of Neale *) thát,“ in point of faith, there was no substantial “ difference in doctrine, between the church of
England and the puritans; so that these were “ turned out of the church, for things, which their " adversaries acknowledged to be of mere indiffer
ence; whereas the puritans took it in their con" sciences, and were ready to aver, in the most “ solemn'manner, that they deemed them unlaw“ ful. Incredible as it may appear, the point “ which principally occasioned this animosity was, “ the habits,—that is, the dress,-particularly the
surplice, of the clergy.
But nó sooner were the presbyterians possessed of the power of the state, than in their turn they became persecutorst.
“ In 1643, the long parliament,” continues Mr. Robinson, interdicted the freedom of the
* Chap. iv.
+ Dr. Gauden, in his petitionary remonstrance to the protector, states the number of sequestered clergy to have been between 6,000 and 7,000.
press; and appointed licensers of the press
a singular introduction this,-to the establish“ment of the liberty they promised.
“ In 1645, an ordinance was published, subject“ing all, who preached, or wrote against the pres
byterian directory for public worship, to a fine, “not exceeding fifty pounds; and imprisonment, “ for a year, for the third offence, in using the
episcopal book of common prayer, even in a
private family.—Such was the spirit of presby" terian toleration !
“ The following year, when the king had sur“ rendered to the Scots, the presbyterians applied " to parliament, pressing them to enforce unifor“ mity in religion, and to extirpate popery, pre
lacy, heresy, schism, agreeably to the solemn “ league and covenant; and to establish presby“ terianism, by abolishing all separate congrega
tions, and preventing any, but presbyterians, “ from all offices under government. A resolution “ of greater folly, madness, and persecution, was “ never formed by any fanatics, which have disgraced the world.
The parliament did not approve of this madness; and the independents, (a sect, which first asserted general toleration), opposed it, with becoming spirit.
“ Those infallible teachers, the London presby“ terian ministers, and the ministers in Glouces
tershire, published their protest, and testimony
against all errors; and especially that greatest " of all errors, toleration. They seem to be at a
“ loss for words to express their deep abhorrence “ of the damnable heresy, called toleration, or an “indulgence to tender consciences.” They call it, “ the error of toleration, patronizing and pro“ moting all other errors, heresies, and blasphemies “ whatsoever, under the grossly-abused notion of
liberty of conscience. These wise gentlemen “ needed no liberty of conscience they were
right;—others were blasphemous heretics; to “ be damned for their pleasure hereafter; and “ who ought to have been burnt, for their satis“ tisfaction and delight here.
« On the 2d of May 1648, the English parlia“ment, being ruled by the presbyterians, published “ an ordinance against heresy, as follows; viz. " that all persons, who shall maintain, publish, “ or defend, by preaching or writing, the follow
ing heresies, with obstinacy, shall upon complaint, or proof by the oath of two witnesses, before two justices of the peace, or confession of the party, “ be committed to prison, without bail or main“ prize, till the next gaol delivery; and in case the “ indictment shall be found, and the party on his “ trial shall not abjure his said errors, and his de“ fence and maintenance of the same, he shall “suffer the pains of death, as in case of felony, with“ out benefit of clergy; and if he recant or abjure, * he shall remain in prison till he find securities, “ that he will not maintain the said heresies or
errors any more; but if he relapse, and be con“ victed a second time, he shall suffer death." Şuch were the offences of each party against
the sacred duty of religious toleration. Much has been said, and is still daily said, of the persecuting spirit of the catholics.—That they have been frequently guilty of persecution, must be acknowledged :--but, is the spirit of persecution less discernible, in the instances which Robinson has enumerated, and which we have just cited from him ? - It is not a little remarkable, that, while the puritans were suffering under these laws, and filling the world with their just complaints against them, the were, by an unaccountable inconsistency, uniformly clamorous for the execution of the laws against the catholics, and even for fresh enactments against them. They also repeatedly forced, both the first James and the first Charles against their own views of policy, and their own natural dispositions, into the most sanguinary measures. The fact is, that the doctrine of toleration was neither understood, nor felt, by any party: all were equally guilty: men, otherwise most humane and charitable, many of them learned, and, in other respects, enlightened in the highest degree, were the warm advocates of persecution. • A fairer, or a more honourable name than that of archbishop Usher, or a more learned man, the church of England cannot produce :-yet, did this venerable man, with a file of musketeers, enter the catholic chapel, in Cork-street Dublin, during the celebration of divine service, seize the priest in his vestments, and hew down the crucifix: yet, did this venerable man, with eleven other Irish prelates, sign, what is termed, “ the judgment of “ divers of the archbishops and bishops of Ire
land, on the toleration of religion,”—and declare by it," that the religion of the papists was
superstitious and idolatrous; their faith and “ doctrine erroneous and heretical; their church,
in respect to both, apostatical : that, to give them, therefore, a toleration, or to consent that they may freely exercise their religion, is a grievous “sin.” It is observable too*, that the circumstance, we have just mentioned, took place, at a time when Charles the first was in his greatest distress ; and the catholics of Ireland were straining every nerve to assist him.--Surely, the archbishop must have forgotten the just rebuke, which, not long before this time, himself had given to a clergyman, for a want of charity.-Being wrecked on a desolate part of the Irish coast, he applied to a clergy: man for relief; and stated, without mentioning his name, or rank, his own sacred profession. The clergyman rudely questioned it, and told him peevishly, that.“ he doubted, whether he knew “the number of the commandments.” “Indeed I “ do," replied the archbishop mildly,” there are “ eleven.” “ Eleven!" said the clergyman; “ tell
the eleventh, and I will assist you.”—"Obey “ the eleventh,” said the archbishop, “and you
certainly will. A new commandment I give " unto you,--that ye love one another.”
• See Mr. Plowden's Historical Review of the State of Ireland, vol. i. c. iv.