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justice of those who sought to profit by oppressing the natives, prevented its fully attaining its object, it has, nevertheless, been productive of great and permanent good; and what was formerly the wildest and most barbarous part of Ireland, is now the best cultivated, and in industry and civilization approaches the nearest to England.
In the fifteenth year of his reign, 1617, the king revisited his native realm. The chief objects of this visit were to extend his powers in matters of religion, and to approximate more closely the churches of England and Scotland. Between the avidity of the great lords, who had robbed the church of its landed property without shame or remorse, the levelling system of the Reformed preachers, and the feebleness of the crown, the ancient system of church government in this latter country had been unable to keep its ground. Episcopacy had been abolished, and another form, called Presbytery, established in its place. But man is still man under all forms ; and the assumptions of immunity from civil jurisdiction put forth by Melvill, Black, and others, having led to a tumult in Edinburgh, in which the person of the king was exposed to some risk, the parliament was induced to pass a law establishing the authority of the crown over the clergy ; and James even prevailed in obtaining the consent of the clergy to his appointment of fifty-one of their number to titular prelacies, who were to sit in parliament as representatives of the church. It was in this state of things in Scotland that James succeeded to the crown of England.
In 1606, an act of the legislature restored to the bishops a part of their revenues ; they were some time after made perpetual moderators of the provincial synods ; and they finally, in 1610, regained all their original powers, the rights of ordination and spiritual jurisdiction being vested in them. When the king visited Scotland in 1617, he required that certain of the rites of the Church of England should be adopted, such as kneeling at the eucharist, administering it to persons on their deathbeds, and the practice of
STATE OF RELIGION.
Episcopal confirmation. These were rejected by the first ecclesiastical assembly: but, in the following year, means were found for securing their reception, and thus the Scottish clergy were brought into a partial and reluctant agreement with a church which they regarded with the deepest aversion.
The state of religion in England during this reign was far from being satisfactory. After the death of Archbishop Whitgift in 1603, the king conferred the primacy on Bancroft, bishop of London, a prelate distinguished by his zeal against Presbytery and Puritanism. The Puritan ministers were subjected to the persecution of being silenced, disgraced, and imprisoned while Bancroft lived: but his successor, Abbot, was a much better man, and had a leaning even towards their opinions ; so that, under him, they were rather favoured than otherwise.
Hitherto the Protestants generally had held most of the opinions which are termed Calvinistic, especially in relation to predestination, or the absolute decrees of the Deity, as explained in the writings of St. Augustine: but, about this time, the opposite doctrines of the Greek fathers were promulgated in Holland by Arminius, from whom they afterward took their name. James, who had been reared in Calvinistic sentiments, was highly incensed when Vorstius, who held Arminian opinions, was appointed to a professorship at Leyden. To propitiate him, the States were obliged to deprive and banish their new professor, the king at the same time hinting that they might as well have committed him to the flames. Yet James himself, and a portion of the prelates and clergy, afterward adopted the Arminian tenets. It is not a little curious, that those who thus became the most strenuous asserters of the freedom of man's will, should be also the stoutest upholders of the doctrines of divine right and passive obedience.*
* The following anecdote is well known : “ On the day of the dissolution of the last parliament of King James I., Mr. Waller, out of curiosity or respect, went to see the king at dinner, with
The liberties of England are so much indebted to the Puritans, that we feel little disposed to dwell on their errors : but historical truth requires that their character should be fairly represented. In piety and correct moral conduct they were, on the whole, superior to their opponents; but then they were harsh, inquisitorial, and censorious, and, to a fault, scrupulous about trifles. The persecution of them by the government was of a character calculated rather to annoy and irritate than to suppress, and the publication of the “ Book of Sports” did much more harm than good. The following was the occasion of it. The Puritans had been gradually converting the Lord's Day into a day of rest and devotion, and of abstinence from all worldly pleasures and pursuits. The Catholics, who made it, in part, a day of recreation and amusement, took occasion to censure the Reformed religion for this gloom and moroseness, as they called it, and the king and his clerical advisers thinking differently from the Puritans on the subject, a proclamation was issued, forbidding any one preventing the people from having, after divine service, dancing, archery, leaping, vaulting, and other sports, as also May-poles, May-games, Whitsun-ales, and morris-dances. Bull-baiting, bear-baiting, interludes, and bowls, were prohibited. No recusant, however, was to avail himself of this liberty, which was allowed to whom were Dr. Andrews, the bishop of Winchester, and Dr. Neal, bishop of Durham, standing behind his majesty's chair. There happened something very extraordinary in the conversa. tion these prelates had with the king, on which Mr. Waller did often reflect. His majesty asked the bishops, ' My lords, cannot I take my subjects' money when I want it, without all this formality in parliament?' The Bishop of Durham readily answered, God forbid, sir, but you should; you are the breath of our nostrils.' Whereupon the king turned and said to the Bishop of Winchester, Well, my lord, what say you ? “Sir,' replied the bishop, “I have no skill to judge of parliamentary cases.'. The king answered, “No put-offs, my lord.' Then, sir,' said he, ‘I think it is lawful for you to take my brother Neal's money, for he offers it.' Mr. Waller said the company was pleased with this answer, and the wit of it seemed to affect the king.”-Life of Waller, prefixed to his poems.
BOOK OF SPORTS.
those only who had attended divine service in the Established Church on that day. The “Book of Sports,” as it was called, was prepared with reference to these circumstances, and was ordered to be read aloud in the churches. But primate Abbot forbade it to be read in his presence at Croydon, and it merely afforded to the Puritans an occasion for representing their opponents as being totally devoid of religion.*
The houses of commons during this reign were deeply imbued with the puritanical spirit: a most convincing proof of its prevalence throughout the nation. Hence it was that, with their zeal for repressing the abuses of the prerogative, and securing the liberties of the people, were joined an anxiety for the suppression of the Catholics, and a continued effort to extend the rigid principles of their own party.
* It is needless to say, that the views of the Puritans as to the strict religious observance of the Sabbath are essentially agreed in by Protestants generally of the present day, at least in Great Britain and our own country, as being most in conformity with the divine requirement and the intended purposes of the day; though in Catholic countries, and in those where the Greek religion is predominant, different views still prevail, and Sunday is regarded and treated, so much of it as is not actually employed in religious worship, as a day of amusement.-Am. Ed.
King's Marriage.-First Parliament.--Expedition to Cadiz.-Im.
peachment of Buckingham.--Arbitrary Taxation.- War with France.-Expedition to Rochelle.- Petition of Right.-Murder of Buckingham.-Sir Thomas Wentworth.-Third Parliament. -Harsh Treatment of Sir John Eliot.
The new monarch, now in the twenty-fifth year of his age, offered, in his morals and character, a favourable contrast to his father. He was grave and serious in his deportment, regular in his conduct, an enemy to licentiousness and riot of every kind, and a lover and patron of the fine arts.f He had, however, imbibed to the fullest extent his father's absurd notions of the divine rights of kings, and their accountability to God alone for the discharge of the duties of their high office. All attempts to limit his authority he regarded as usurpation and rebellion; and, as we shall see, he held that any concessions extorted from the monarch were revocable by him at pleasure, as being contrary to his duty to God to grant. Charles was sincerely attached to the episcopal form of government in the church. To his misfortune, he was also blindly devoted to the insolent, rapacious, self-willed, domineering upstart, whom the folly of his father had gorged with wealth and offices,f and made ruler of himself and his kingdom.
* The principal authorities for the reign of Charles are, Clarendon, Whitlock, and Rushworth.
+ See Mrs. Hutchinson's Life of Colonel Hutchinson, p. 65, 4to edit.
He was lord-high-admiral of England and Ireland, warden of the Cinque Ports, master of the horse, justice in oyre of the forests and chases this side the Trent, constable of Windsor Castle,