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even is commemorated by him in an eclogue, in the most pathetic strains that affectionate sorrow could suggest.
The state of the nation at this time he thus describes: “On my return from I found all mouths open against the Bishops ; some complaining of their vices, and others quarrelling with the very order: and thinking, from such beginnings, a way might be opened to true liberty, I hastily engaged in the dispute, as well to rescue my fellow-citizens from slavery, as to help the Puritan ministers who were inferior to the Bishops in learning."* One of his biographers, Birch, says: “ His zeal for liberty in general therefore engaged him in a warm opposition to episcopal authority. He, in the first place, published two books on the Reformation from Popery, which were dedicated to a friend. In
. the first of these he proved, from the reign of Henry the Eighth, what had all along been the real impediments in the kingdom to a perfect Rebeing tied up a day, and that to make them tame; and at night, just to guard the house and keep it from thieves.” Who among them, even if they had been qualified, would have undertaken, upon Milton's terms, to have been his assistant? If Milton was poor and unknown, he had no crease in his neck.”-See Esop's Fable, No. xix.
* In a volume, entitled “Clarendon and Whitlocke compared,” published in 1727, the author having repelled (p. 81) the mean and unsupported assertion of Clarendon, who has
formation. These he reduces to two heads; the first, the popish ceremonies which had been retained in the protestant church; and the second, the power of ordination to the ministry having been confined to diocesan Bishops, to the exclusion of the choice of ministers by the suffrages of the people. Our ceremonies,' he says, "are senseless in themselves,
said, “I am confident there was not, from the beginning of the Parliament, one orthodox or learned man recommended by them (the Assembly) to the Church of England,” proceeds to mention some: four of them, who, after the Restoration, accepted of bishopricks—Dr. Seth Ward, Dr. John Gaudin, Dr. John Wilkins, and Dr. Edward Reignolds; also, Drs. John Conant, Cave, Usher, Gataker, Tuckney, Lightfoot, Wincop, Gouge, Twisse, Manton, Bolton, Pool, Jacomb, and Bates. Of the latter of these the writer (the author of the Critical History of England) remarks: "Dr Bates, for learning, eloquence, beauty of thought, style, and life, is without parallel, except we might compare with him his fast friend, the Most Reverend Dr. Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury. When such men as these are characterised, as by Lord Clarendon, seditious and schismatical, what must we think of those that are, in the same page, perhaps, termed orthodox and pious! Besides the deficiency here as to truth, how deficient is it in charity! How different from those truly orthodox Fathers aud Pastors of our Church, who maintained a brotherly temper with scrupulous Protestants, after the Uniformity Act had made their religion what the Earl makes it-schism and sedition! I was infinitely pleased,” adds this writer, “ with a certificate, signed as follows: (Calamy, vol. ii. p. 10.) John Tillotson, Benjamin Whitchcock, Edward Stillingfleet, Matthew Pool, Thomas Gouge."
and serve for nothing else but either to facilitate our return to Popery, or to hide the defects of better knowledge, and to set off the pomp of prelacy.' As a specimen of his style and manner, 1 extract a few paragraphs:
“Sir,—Amidst those deep and retired thoughts, which, with every man, Christianly instructed, ought to be most frequent, of God, and of his miraculous ways and works amongst men, and of our religion and works, performed to him; after the story of our Saviour Christ, suffering to the lowest bent of weakness in the flesh, and presently triumphing to the highest pitch of glory in the spirit, which drew up his body also, till we, in both, be united to him, in the revelation of his kingdom: I do not know of any thing, to take up the whole passion of pity on the one side, and joy on the other, than to consider, first, the foul and sudden corruption, and then, after many a tedious age, the long deferred but much more wonderful and happy reformation of the Church in these latter days.” Speaking of the Popish corruptions, he thus satirizes them: “They hallowed it, (religion,] they fumed it, they sprinkled it, they bedeck’t it, not in robes of pure innocency, but of pure linen, with other deformed and fantastic dresses, in palls and mitres, gold and guegaws, fetched from Aaron's old warehouse, or the Flamin's Vestry; there was the Priest sent to con his motions, and
his postures, his Liturgies, and his Lurries, till the soul, by this means of embodying herself, given up justly to fleshly delights, bent her wing apace
downward ; and finding the ease she had from her visible and sensuous colleague, the body, in the performance of religious duties, her pinions now broken and flagging, shifted off from herself the labour of high-soaring any more, forgot her heavenly flight, and left the dull and droyling carcass to plod on in the old road, and drudging trade of outward conformity."
He thus describes Wicklif's preaching, “at which,” he says, “all the succeeding reformers more effectually lighted their tapers ;” who “ was to his countrymen a short blaze, soon dampt and stif’d by the Pope and prelates for six or seven kings' reigns. To prove
that the Reformation owed nothing to the Prelates, he says: “And for the Bishops, they were so far from any such worthy attempts, as that they suffered themselves to be the common stiles to countenance, with their prostituted gravities, every politick fetch that was then on foot, as oft as the potent statists pleased to employ them. To bring down the Protector, (Somerset,] LATIMER was employed to defame him with the people; who else, 'twas thought, would take ill the innocent man's death, unless the reverend bishop could assure them there was no foul play.”
“As for the queen herself,” (Elizabeth,) he says, “she was made believe, that, by putting down Bishops, her prerogative would be infringed; and why the Prelates laboured, it should be so thought, ask not them, but ask their bellies. They had found a good tabernacle; they sate under a spreading vine; their lot was fallen in a fair inheritance.”
“To the votaries of antiquity,” he says, “I think I shall have fully answered, if I shall be able to prove out of antiquity, first, that if they will conform our Bishops to the purer times, they must mow their feathers, and their pounces, and make but curb-tailed bishops of them; and we know they hate to be dockt and clipt, as much as to be put down outright. Secondly, that those poorer times were corrupt, and their books corrupted; save often, thirdly, that the best of those that then wrote, disclaim that any man should repose on them, and send all to the scriptures.”
“Then flourished the church,” says he, “with Constantine's wealth; and therefore were the effects that followed: his son Constantius proved a flat Arian, and his nephew Julian an apostate; and there his race ended. The church, that before, by insensible degrees, walked and impaired, now with large steps, went downhill, decaying; at which time, Antichrist began first to put forth his horn, and that saying was common, that former times