Imágenes de páginas

were not satisfied with the Oaths to King William and Queen Mary, and so had been deprived for preferring Conscience to Preferment: Which, as I ever after resolved to do myself fo had I at the Revolution written, tho' not printed, a very small Paper against the Lawfulness of that Oath; tho' tenderly, and with a Caution suitable to so young a Man'; as being then but 21 Years old. However, tho' I have a Copy of that Paper by me, yet, because I soon afterward more throughly examined that Matter, and satisfied myself of the Lawfulness of that Oath, at least to those who had not taken an Oath to King James, which was my Case; and wrote fully for the Title of Princes, as not to be derived from Hereditary Right, but from the Choiće and Recognition of the People in my Scipture Politicks, of which hereafter, I think it no way proper to infert it in this place. Yet do I too well remember, that the far greatest Part of those of the University and Clergy that then took the Oaths to the Government, seemed to me to take them with a doubtful Conscience, if not against its Dictates. Nor confidering the Doctrines of Passive Obedience and Non-Resistance, they had generally been brought up in, and generally signed before, was it to be otherwise expected. Whether the Imposers of such doubtful Oaths and Subscriptions, or those that take them while they are dissatisfied, are under the greater Guilt I cannot determine. The great Day must determine it.


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

However, I most fortunately pitch'd upon the great Bishop Lloyd, who had been Bishop of St. Afaph before the Revolution, and was then Bishop of Coventry and Litchfield, in the Neighbourhood of Tamworth. To whom that Year 1693, I brought my College Testimonial, with a Letter from Mr. Langley, Minister of Tamwortb, who was one of the best and mof conscientious Clergymen in that Diocese, and known by the Bishop to be fo. When I therefore desired that his Lordship, would please to give me Deacons Órders on St, Matthew's Day September 2ift, and Priest's Oders on the Sunday following, being the publick Ordination.

He told me,

" that he “ knew what College Testimonials were : And that “ had it not been for Mr. Langley's Letter, I “ might have gone away re infesta: Yet did his Lordship favour me with a private Ordination, to be a Deacon, on the Holiday : And after a most uncommon, but vastly improving Examination and Instruction in the Cathedral beforehand, with a publick Ordination into the Priesthood, the next Lord's-Day; Dean Addison, the present Bishop Chandler of Durbam, then his Lordship's Chaplain, and the late Bishop Smalridge, laying their Hands on me in Ordination, as Presbyters. Where it will be proper to observe, that when Mr. Langley was once at another Ordination with this Bishop, he, as one of the Senior and most considerable Presbyters then present, was defired to lay his Hands upon the Persons to be ordained Priests, he refused so to do; unless he had


[ocr errors]

examined them himself, and found them fit for that Holy Function, which is an Example, I think, worthy the Imitation of other Bishops and Presbyters, also in like Cafes.

But upon occasion of this Introduction of Bishop Lloyd, it may not be amiss to say something relating to him, which I myself know to be true. I remember to have heard him once say, that after the Affafination Plot A. D. 1696, the Odium of it was so great, that not a Jacobite would have remained in the Nation, had not the extream Rix gour of the following Act of Parliament against those that would not Sign an Affociation, kept up that Spirit of Opposition to the Government ever afterward; which

puts me in mind of the like Case of two of the Nonjurors of St. Jobn's College Cambridge ; Mr. Billers and Mr. Baker, who loved their Religion and their Country as well as any Jurors whomsoever : But having once taken an Oath to King James, could not satisfy their Consciences in breaking it, while he lived, for any Confideration whatsoever. These two were long my particular Acquaintance: And I well remember, that when King James dyed, which was 1701, they began to deliberate about taking the Oath, and coming into the Government, till the unhappy Abjuration Oath, which was made the same Year, had such Clauses as stop'd all their farther Deliberations. I wish, heartily wish that almost all our Oaths were abrogated, excepting that of Allegiance, and those in Courts of Justice; as the Principal, if not the only Oaths of any publick Necessity or Advan

tage ;

tage ; in order to clear our very wicked Nation from those horrid Crimes of false or needless Oaths; for which the few, very few throughly good Men in our Land, have long mourned: As did the Land of Israel formerly Mourn because of Swearing. Jer. xxiii. 10. Nor can I avoid taking Notice of the foolish and trifling Manner of giving Oaths, even in our supreme Courts of Justice ; which I have often seen myself with great Wonder, and Dissatisfaction. A thorough Correction of such gross Instances of Profaneness would afford me more Hope of Success as to our Arms, from the only' Giver of all Victory; and of a peaceable Settlement of our publick Affairs, when we pray to the Almighty, to give Peace in our Time, O Lord, than all the Po. litical Measures we take for those Purposes without it. And now I am speaking of this truly great and good Bishop, who took me into his Bosom, and loved me, as I did him most sincerely; he understood the sacred Chronology, the Holy Scriptures, and particularly the Prophecies therein contain’d, far better, I believe, than any few or Christian in the World · before him ; and whom I have heard thank God for being able to read the Prophecies as be read History. However, I shall now say somewhat to that common Objection which unthinking People too unjustly make to the Accomplishment of some of the Bishop's Predictions; made not from any Impulse of his own, for I have also heard him fay, that he was neither a Prophet, nor the Son of a Prophet, but from his judicious Interpretation of Scripture Pruphecies only. 'Tis true, that both he and I at first



mistook some Places in the Apocalypse: Of which fee my Literal Accomplishment of Prophecies, p. 90. 113. But that either of us properly mistook our grand Period, of the End, or Ends of the 1260 Years of, the Persecution under Anticbrist, as is commonly said, I utterly deny. See my Esay on the Revelation of St. John, p. 319, 320, 322, 323, 324. And since it is made out undeniably in that Effay, p. 1984-221, and p. 238-242, that Bishop Lloyd truly foretold the Restoration of the Vaudois 1690, and the End of the Turkish War 1698; both which he lived to see accomplished: It is very unjust to blame him for any other leffer" Mistakes in such Matters. We all gain Light by Degrees; and if I, or any one else, since his Days, have gained more Light either in the Prophecies or Doctrines of the Gospel, and in Part also by his Means, we ought not to insult over him, but to thank God Almighty for such farther Illumination : Remembering that excellent faying of the great Mr. Mede himself, which I make the Motto of my own Esay on the Revelation, Illud pro certo habens, Nifi in hifce talibus liberius paula fentiendi, imo et errandi venia concedatur, ad profunda illa et latentia veritatis adytá viam nunquam patefa&tum iri.

As to Bishop Lloyd's interlined Bible, and his Notes in Short-Hand, thạt vast Treasure of sacred Learning, I took


Years ago to have it decyphered, by that eminent Chronologer Mr. Marshal of Naunton in Glocestershire, who married a Relation of the Bishop's, and knew his


« AnteriorContinuar »