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the said error, and his defence and maintenance of the same,

he shall suffer the pains of death, as in case of felony, without benefit of clergy; and if he recant or abjure, he shall remain in prison, till he find sureties that he will not maintain the said heresies or errors any more; but if he relapse and is convicted a second time, he shall suffer death as before." There were about seven other real or supposed heresies, besides that which we have just instanced, which were all and every one of them thus punishable by fine, imprisonment, and death. Such was the spirit, which at that time influenced those who had caused the press to groan with publications about persecutions, liberty, and the right of private judgment. The clamours however about the divine right of Presbytery at length ceased, and the rights of conscience began to be better understood and more generally allowed.

Oliver Cromwell, though he, in some degree, favoured the Presbyterians, disarmed their discipline of its coercive power. Their church censures consequently lost their force, and at length were in a measure discontinued. When Richard Cromwell had resigned the protectorate, the period of their sufferings again commenced. Duped by General Monk, and deceived by Charles II. whose restoration they had effected, and the life of whose predecessor they had endeavoured to save from the cruelty of the Independents, they were made to discover that their expectations concerning the establishment of a Presbyterian government were to be cut off. Although, when the King came to Whitehall, ten of them were made his chaplains, before the expiration of the year 1660, many of the parochial clergy were prosecuted for not using the book of common Prayer; the justices and others insisting that the laws returned with the King. The sequestered clergy came out of their hiding places, and took possession of their former livings, by which some hundreds of the Presbyterian clergy were at once dispossessed; in short, the Church of England was restored to its former

power, except only the peerage of the bishops.

Now it was that the nation became as completely deluged with licentiousness, as it just before had been by enthusiasm and bigotry. The virtues of the Puritans were forgotten or despised, and a torrent of vice and irreligion issued from the court, and overwhelmed the people. Ancient religious ceremonies were revived, and an evident leaning towards popery manifested itself. “ To appear serious," says Neale,“ to make a conscience of one's words and actions, was the way to be avoided as a schismatic, a fanatic, or a sectarian. They, who did not applaud the revived ceremonies, were marked out for Presbyterians, and every Presbyterian was a rebel.” The vindictive spirit of the restored bisho ops manifested itself against the unhappy people in every possible way. They were alternately elated with hopes of peace and liberty, and sunk to despair by disappointment and abuse. The doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance were revived, and an open and flagrant persecution of the Prebyterians was commenced, which continued to increase until the triumph of episcopacy was completed by the Act of Uniformity, which began to be in force on St. Bartholomew's day, in the year

1662. By this act two thousand of the worthiest and most learned men of the time were ejected from their livings, and exposed to every species of insult, deprivation, and distress.

Thus, did the hypocritical Charles reward those to whom he was indebted for his restoration to the throne of England. The Presbyterians had now no hopes of justice left, except what they owed to the King's private attachment to the Roman Catholics, and to the exercise of an illegal power in their sovereign, by which the entire liberties of the country might one day be destroyed. This was called the King's dispensing power, under colour of which he pretended to dispense with the execution of the established laws of the realm; thereby, in effect, creating a power above that of the law, and making the monarch an absolute sovereign. It was a painful alternative to the Presbyterians, either to suffer the most shamesul deprivations or countenance the exercise of this usurping power, and thereby endanger the liberties of their country by a kind of unnatural union with the Roman Catholics. In the succeeding reign, when this artifice of universal toleration and the dispensing power, was again attempt. ed to betray the protestant interest, the Presbyterians manifested the most honourable disinterestedness, and refused to accept any toleration for themselves that might endanger the interests of religion, or give countenance to those popish sentiments, that had so often deluged their country with the blood of its inhabitants.

In the year 1666, happened the memorable fire of London, a calamity so great and humiliating, that the rancour of bigotry and persecution was somewhat abated by it. This heavy judgement taught the persecutors some useful lessons of righteousness, and the despised Presbyterians were for a time connived at They built wooden tabernacles to preach in, and their places of worship were crowded with penitent and devout auditors. In two years, however, after the fire of London, their persecutions were revived, and their private assemblies were dissolved. Drs. Patrick and Parker, afterwards bishops, wrote bitterly against them; but Parker met with a formidable, though a sarcastic ar tagonist, in the famous Andrew Marvel. In 1670 the conventi

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cle act was revived, by which the Presbyterians suffered again the most cruel and vexatious persecutions.

The last penal statute against the Presbyterians was the test act, for the repeal of which, there was, a few years ago, a very warm but unsuccessful petition from the united body of Protestant Dissenters in England. This offensive act, which was passed in the year 1763, imports, that every person in office or employment, shall take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy;"receive the sacrament in some parish church before competent witnesses," and subscribe a declaration, renouncing all belief of the real presence in the eucharist. From this period to the year 1681, various attempts were made by the successive parJiaments for the toleration of Dissenters, and for putting in force the laws against popish recussants; and many books and pamphlets were published in their defence, but all in vain; the court and the papists contrived, to the end of the reign, to oppress the Presbyterians in every possible way. In February, 1685, died the thoughtless, the merry, the dissolute Charles II., and with him all hopes of redress or justice on the part of the Dissenters; for whatever were the errors in this prince's conduct, and the blemishes in his character, he was personally beloved by his people, who were overwhelmed with grief and astonishment at his death. He died in the communion of the church of Rome, having received just before his death the sacrament at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest.

James, Duke of York, brother to the late King, was crowned with his Queen on the 23rd of April, 1685. He commenced his reign by disclaiming arbitrary principles, and at the same time declaring he would abide by and maintain the religion established by law. James soon gave the nation to understand what he meant by toleration on the one hand, and an adherence to established usages on the other. By toleration, he meant to encourage the principles and the practices of popery, and by his support of the established religion, he meant the support of the doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance. In these principles and determinations he found himself supported by the articles of the English creed, and the importunities of numerous hot-headed Jesuits, by whose influence he suffered himself to be almost invariably gaided.

Notwithstanding the plausible pretences of James Il. of granting a free toleration to the Dissenters, his drift was easily seen through; and the Dissentcrs, much to their credit, as we have already remarked, joined with their persecutors of the established church, generously giving up their private sentiments,

however just, to their fears of popery and slavery, which were making large strides towards the destruction of civil and religious liberty, of which the dispensing power, and the declaration for liberty of conscience, were to be the principal engines. This wise conduct of the Dissenters certainly saved the church and state. Thus, an end was put to the persecution of the Protestant Dissenters, by the penal laws; though the laws themselves were not legally repealed or suspended till after the Revolution in 1788. From this happy period of English history, the condition of the Presbyterians, and other Dissenters, began gradually to improve. William and Mary, who succeeded to the throne of England after the abdication of it by James II. were favourable to the Protestant religion, and the right of conscience. Not. withstanding the violent opposition which William met with from the high-church party, who were a numerous and powerful body, he succeeds in many points, to soften the rigors, and abate the national prejudices against the Dissenters. Little else has ocurred, since the happy era of the Revolution, but fruitless attempts for a repeal of the corporation and test acts. It is to be hoped, that the time is not far distant when these and some other statutes of an oppressive nature, will be repealed, and Englishmen, of whatever persuasion, shall tell and acknowledge, that no difference of opinion can divide their interests as Britons, nor disunité their affections as Christians.

of the religious tenets of the Presbyterians, it is not necessary to enlarge very much. They continue to be one of the most numerous and respectable sects of Protestant Dissenters in Eng. land; are, doubtless, the richest and most learned body of men out of the pale of the establishment; and have now almost entirely forsaken the rigid and severe maxims of their forefathers. They are denominated Presbyterians, from their assertion, that the government of the church as appointed in the New Testament, is by presbyters. They acknowledge no head of the church but Jesus Christ. According to the original constitution of the Presbyterian church or congregation, they acknowledge the unity and equality of three persons in the Godhead, but the greater part of the Presbyterians of the present day are Unitarians, either what are opprobriously called Arians, or Socinians.

They acknowledge the authority and suficiency of the Holy Scriptures to salvation. They generally believe that all corruption and depravity is contracted, and not original. They are for the most part Pædobaptists, and admit the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which, Dr. Watts says, “is eating bread and drinking wine in the church in remembrance of the death of

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Christ.” They generally reject the doctrine of predestination, and some other doctrines intimately connected therewith. . The belief and practice of the modern English Presbyterians are pretty faithfully described in - An Abstract of a Profession of Faith made at a public Ordination at the Old Jewry, in 1754;" and also in some “Questions proposed to the Rev. Thomas Wright, at his Ordination, May 31, 1759, with the answers thereunto.” These papers may be seen in the History of Religion," published anonymous, in 4 vols. 8vo. in the year 1764. We close ouraccount of the Presbyterians, by observing, that a lecture first set up in the year 1695, at Salters Hall, London, is still continued on the original foundation, and is supported by the contributions of the friends of Presbyterianism, in the city of London and its vicinity.

CHAPTER XVI.

EPISCOPALIANS.

In the modern acceptation of the term, belonging more espe-cially to members of the church of England, and derive this title from episcopus, the Latin word for Bishop; or, if it be referred to its Greek origin, implying care and diligence, with which bishops are expected to preside over those committed to their guidance and direction. They insist on the divine origin of bishops and other church officers, and on the alliance between church and state. Respecting these subjects, however, Warburton and Hoadly, together, have different opinions, as they have also on the thirty-nine articles, which were established in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. These are to be found in most Common Prayer Books; and the Episcopal Church in America has reduced their number to twenty. By some the articles are made to speak the language of Calvinism, and by others they have been interpreted in favour of Arminianism.

The Church of England is governed by the King, who is the supreme head, by two archbishops and twenty-four bishops. The benefices of the bishops were converted by William the Conquerer into temporal baronies; so that every prelate has a seat and vote in the House of Peers. Dr. Benjamin Hoadly, however, in a sermon preached from this text, "My kingdom is not of this world," insisted that the clergy had no pretensions to temporal jurisdiction, which gave rise to various publications, termed by way of eminence the Bangorian controversy. Hoad

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