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Title: Ecclesiastical History of England, from the Opening of the Long Parliament to the Death of Oliver Cromwell - Volume 1—The Church of the Civil Wars
Author: Stoughton, John
Language: English
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                          HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

                               VOLUME I.

                          BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

                       In one volume, crown 8vo.

                Church and State Two Hundred Years Ago:

     Being a History of Ecclesiastical Affairs from 1660 to 1663.

   "A volume that, regarded from every point of view, we can
   approve--contains proof of independent research and cautious
   industry. The temper of the book is generous and impartial

   "Mr. Stoughton's is the best history of the ejection of the
   Puritans that has yet been written."--_North British Review._

   "The thanks, not only of the Nonconforming community, but
   of all who are interested in the religious history of our
   country, are due to Mr. Stoughton for the ability, the
   impartiality, the fidelity, and the Christian spirit with
   which he has pictured Church and State two hundred years

                         In crown 8vo., cloth.

             Ages of Christendom: Before the Reformation.

   "We know not where to find, within so brief a space, so
   intelligent a clue to the labyrinth of Church History before
   the Reformation."--_British Quarterly Review._

                  LONDON: JACKSON, WALFORD, & HODDER,
                         27, PATERNOSTER ROW.


                          HISTORY OF ENGLAND,

                       DEATH OF OLIVER CROMWELL.


                            JOHN STOUGHTON.

                               VOLUME I.

                     THE CHURCH OF THE CIVIL WARS.


                     JACKSON, WALFORD, AND HODDER,
                       27, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.




English literature includes valuable histories of the Church, some of
them prominently exhibiting whatever relates to Anglicanism, others
almost exclusively describing the developments of Puritanism. In
such works the ecclesiastical events of the Civil Wars and of the
Commonwealth may be found described with considerable, but not with
sufficient fullness. Many persons wish to know more respecting those
times. The book now published is designed to meet this wish, by telling
the ecclesiastical part of England's story at that eventful period
with less of incompleteness. In doing so, the object is not to give
prominence to any single ecclesiastical party to the disadvantage of
others in that respect; but to point out the circumstances of all, and
the spirit of each, to trace their mutual relations, and to indicate
the influence which they exerted upon one another. The study of
original authorities, researches amongst State Papers and other MS.
collections, together with enquiries pursued by the aid of historical
treasures of all kinds in the British Museum, have brought to light
many fresh illustrations of the period under review; and the author,
whilst endeavouring to make use of the results so obtained, has reached
the conclusion, that the only method by which a satisfactory account of
a single religious denomination can be given, is by the exhibition of
it in connexion with all the rest.

His purpose has been carefully to ascertain, and honestly to state
the truth, in reference both to the nature of the events, and the
characters of the persons introduced in the following chapters.
He is by no means indifferent to certain principles, political,
ecclesiastical, and theological, which were involved in the great
controversy of the seventeenth century. As will appear in this
narrative, his faith in these is strong and unwavering: nor does he
fail to recognize the bearing of certain things which he has recorded,
upon certain other things occurring at this very moment; but he cannot
see why private opinions and public events should stand in the way of
an impartial statement of historical facts, or a righteous judgment
of historical characters. For the principles which a man holds remain
exactly the same, whatever may have been the past incidents or the
departed individuals connected with their history. Happily, a change is
coming over historical literature in this respect; persons and opinions
are now being distinguished from each other, and it is seen, that
advocates on the one side of a great question were not all perfectly
good, and that those on the other side were not all thoroughly bad.
The writer has sought to do honour to Christian faith, devotion,
constancy, and love wherever he has found them, and never in any case
to varnish over the hateful opposite of these noble qualities. And he
will esteem it a great reward to be, by the blessing of God, in any
measure the means of promoting what is most dear to his heart, the
cause of truth and charity amongst Christian Englishmen.

The plan of the work, and the various aspects under which the public
affairs, the principal actors, and the private religious life of
England from the opening of the Long Parliament to the death of Oliver
Cromwell are exhibited, may be discovered at a glance, by any one who
will take the trouble to run over the table of contents.

Many defects which have escaped the Author will doubtless be noticed
by his critics, and in this respect he ventures to throw himself
upon their candour and generosity. One omission, however, may be
explained. The theological literature of the period needs to be studied
at large, for the purpose of making apparent the grounds upon which
different bodies of Christians based their respective beliefs. Most
ecclesiastical historians fail to exhibit those grounds. The Author is
fully aware of this deficiency in his own case; but it is his hope,
should Divine Providence spare his life, to be enabled, in some humble
degree, to supply that deficiency at a future time.

He begs gratefully to acknowledge the valuable assistance rendered
him by the Very Reverend the Dean of Westminster, in what relates to
Westminster Abbey and the Universities--by Mr. John Bruce, F.S.A.,
for information and advice on several curious points--and by Mr.
Clarence Hopper, who has collated with the originals, almost all the
extracts from State Papers. Nor can he omit thankfully to notice the
special facilities afforded him for consulting the large collection of
Commonwealth pamphlets in the British Museum, and the polite attention
and help which he has received from gentlemen connected with Sion
College and with Dr. Williams' Library. He has also had other helpers
in his own house--helpers very dear to him, whom he must not name.




    Opening of Long Parliament                             1


    Under Elizabeth                                        4

    Under the Stuarts                                      6

    Spirit of Anglicanism                                  9

    Intolerance                                           17

    Ecclesiastical Courts                                 18

    High Commission Court                                 20

    Star Chamber Court                                    26

    Strafford                                             29

    Laud                                                  31


    In the reign of Elizabeth                             40

    Change in the Controversy                             45

    Puritan dislike of Ceremonies                         48

    Sufferings                                            49

    Emigration                                            50

    Bolton and Sibbs                                      53

    Puritanism a Reaction                                 55

    Its defects                                           56

                              CHAPTER I.


    Lenthall                                              59

    Holles--Glynne--Rudyard                               60

    Vane                                                  61

    Fiennes                                               62

    Cromwell                                              63

    St. John                                              64

    Haselrig--Pym                                         65

    Hampden                                               66

    Marten                                                68

    Selden                                                69

    Falkland                                              72

    Dering                                                74

    Digby                                                 75

    Hyde                                                  77

                              CHAPTER II.

    Grand Committee for Religion                          79

    Petitions from Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick           79

    Debates on Religion                                   83

    Pym's and Rudyard's Speeches                       83-85

    Committee appointed to prepare
    a Remonstrance                                        86

    Debates respecting Strafford                          87

    Strafford impeached by Pym                            89

    Impeachment of Laud                                   91

    Puritan Petitions                                     93

    Debate on the Canons                                  95

                             CHAPTER III.

    Presbyterianism in England                           100

    Root and Branch Petition                             103

    Presbyterianism in Scotland                          104

    Scotch Commissioners in London                       107

    Petition and Remonstrance presented to the House     109

    Other Petitions                                      110

    Debate touching Root and Branch Petition             112

                              CHAPTER IV.

    Lords' Committee on Innovations                      119

    Williams, Dean of Westminster                        119

    Meetings in Jerusalem Chamber                        121

    Ceremonial Innovations                               123

    The Prayer Book                                      124

    Episcopacy                                           124

    Resolutions for Reforming Pluralities and removing
    Bishops from the Peerage                             126

    Star Chamber and High Commission Courts              127

    The Smectymnus Controversy                           128

                              CHAPTER V.

    Marriage of the Princess Mary                        131

    The Solemn Vow and Protestation                      133

    Conference between the two Houses                    134

    No Popery Riots                                      136

    Trial of Strafford                                   137

    His Execution                                        141

    Deans and Chapters                                   142

    Bill for Restraining Bishops                         144

    Bill for Abolition of Episcopacy                     146

    Debated by the Commons                               148

    Conference between the two Houses                    150

    Further Debate                                       152

    Discussion on Deans and Chapters                     154

    Discussions respecting Episcopacy                    157

    Complaints against the Clergy                        158

                              CHAPTER VI.

    Laud sent to the Tower                               160

    Bishop Wren arrested                                 161

    Montague's Death                                     162

    Davenant's Death                                     163

    Impeachment of the Thirteen Prelates                 163

    Correspondence between English and Scotch Clergy     163

    Visit of Charles to Scotland                         165

    Dislike of the Lower House to the Expedition         166

    Charles departs for Edinburgh                        166

    Letters from Sidney Bere                             167

    Conduct of Charles in Scotland                       169

    Church Reforms                                       170

    Innovations discussed                                171

    Parliament adjourns                                  172

    Parliament less popular                              173

    Causes of the Reaction                               174

                             CHAPTER VII.

    Bill for excluding Bishops from Parliament           176

    Dering's Speech                                      176

    The Grand Remonstrance                               179

    Debated by the Commons                               182

    Discussion about the Printing of it                  183

                             CHAPTER VIII.

    Return of the King                                   186

    Vacant Bishoprics filled up                          186

    Reception of Charles in London                       187

    The Remonstrance presented                           191

    His Majesty's Answer                                 192

    Arrest of the Five Members                           193

    Royalist Version of the Affair                       193

    Fatal Crisis in the History of Charles               196

    Reaction in favour of the Puritans                   197

    Westminster Riots                                    198

    Protest drawn up by Twelve Bishops                   203

    Presented to the King                                204

    Prelates sent to the Tower                           205

    Their Unpopularity                                   205

    Dismissed on Bail                                    206

                              CHAPTER IX.

    Bishops excluded from the Upper House                207

    Those who died before 1650                           209

    Wright--Frewen--Westfield Howell                     209

    Coke--Owen--Curle--Towers                            210

    Prideaux--Williams                                   211

    Irish Rebellion                                      212

    Protestant Churches in Ireland                       216

    Popish Massacre                                      218

    Fears of the English                                 220

                              CHAPTER X.

    Episcopacy                                           223

    Seceders from the Popular Party                      224

    Opponents of Episcopacy                              227

    Sectaries                                            228

    Flight of the King                                   229

    Charles at Windsor                                   230

    Charles at York                                      231

    Attempts at Mediation                                231

    Manifestoes                                          233

    The Coming Conflict                                  237

    Hostile Preparations                                 239

    The Parliamentary Army                               240

    Royalist Army                                        242

    Nature of the Struggle                               243

                              CHAPTER XI.

    Outbreak of the War                                  246

    Puritan Troops on the March                          248

    Barbarity of the Cavaliers                           251

    Battle of Edge Hill                                  253

    Church Politics in London                            255

    Popular Preachers                                    259

    The Scotch advocate a thorough Reformation           261

    The Fate of Prelacy                                  262

    Negotiations at Oxford                               264

    Proposals from Parliament                            265

    Royal Answer                                         266

    Scottish Petition                                    267

                             CHAPTER XII.

    Westminster Assembly                                 271

    Its Constitution                                     273

    Meeting of the Members                               275

    Parliamentary Directions                             278

    Death of Brooke                                      280

    Death of Hampden                                     281

    Success of the Royalists                             283

    Bradford Besieged                                    283

    Gloucester Besieged                                  284

    Effect of the War upon the Assembly                  287

    Commissioners sent to Scotland                       289

    The Solemn League and Covenant                       292

    Taken by the Assembly                                294

    Battle of Newbury                                    296

    Treaty with the Scotch                               297

                             CHAPTER XIII.

    Death of Pym                                         301

    Court Intrigues                                      305

    Corporation Banquet                                  307

    Marshall's Discourse                                 308

    Iconoclastic Crusade                                 312

    Cromwell at Ely                                      319

    League and Covenant set up                           319

    Covenant imposed upon the Irish                      323

    Meetings of Westminster Assembly                     326

    Presbyterians                                        329

    Erastians                                            330

    Dissenting Brethren                                  332

    Toleration--Chillingworth                            335

    Hales                                                336

    Jeremy Taylor                                        337

    Cudworth--More                                       339

    John Goodwin                                         343

    Busher--Locke                                        346

                             CHAPTER XIV.

    Early Congregational Churches                        348

    Browne                                               349

    Barrowe--Greenwood                                   353

    Penry                                                356

    Jacob                                                357

    Lathrop                                              358

    Independents and Brownists                           365

    Spread of Congregationalism                          369

    Presbyterians and Independents                       371

                              CHAPTER XV.

    Charles at Oxford                                    372

    Royalist Army                                        373

    Reports Respecting the King and the Court            374

    Conduct of his Majesty                               376

    Bishops at Oxford                                    378

    Clergy at Oxford                                     379

    Chillingworth and Cheynell                           381

    Barwick                                              383

                             CHAPTER XVI.

    Ecclesiastical Affairs                               385

    Committee for Plundered Ministers                    387

    Tithes                                               389

    Local Committees                                     390

    Church and Parliament                                391

                             CHAPTER XVII.

    Laud's Trial                                         395

    Accusations against him                              396

    His Defence                                          397

    Bill of Attainder passed                             399

    His Execution                                        401

    His Character                                        402

    The Directory                                        404

    Sanctioned by General Assembly and House of Lords    406

    Ordinance enforcing the Directory                    407

    Dissatisfaction of the Scotch                        408

    Irish Loyal to Prayer Book                           409

    Forms of Devotion for the Navy                       409

                            CHAPTER XVIII.

    Treaty at Uxbridge                                   412

    Debate between Royalists and Parliamentarians        414

    Charles makes a shew of Concession                   415

    Debates at Westminster about Ordination              417

    Debates on Presbyterian Discipline                   418

    Presbyterians and Independents                       419

    Committee of Accommodation                           421

                             CHAPTER XIX.

    Long Marston Moor                                    425

    Naseby                                               428

    Sufferings of the Clergy                             431

    Alphery--Alcock--Alvey                               433

                              CHAPTER XX.

    Jealousy of Presbyterian Power                       436

    Unpopularity of Scotch Army                          437

    The Power of the Keys                                439

    Toleration                                           443

    Divine Right of Presbyterianism                      446

    Assembly threatened with a Præmunire                 448

    Confession of Faith drawn up by Assembly             450

    Revision of Psalmody                                 451

    Character of Assembly                                452

                             CHAPTER XXI.

    New modelling of the Army                            455

    Richard Baxter                                       456

    Religion in the Camp                                 457

    Army Chaplains--Sprigg                               459

    Palmer                                               461

    Saltmarsh                                            462

    Preaching in the Army                                464

    Conference between Charles I. and Henderson          469

    Newcastle Treaty                                     471

    Letters to the Queen                                 474

                             CHAPTER XXII.

    Ordinances for establishing Presbyteries             477

    Final Measures with regard to Episcopacy             479

    Ecclesiastical Courts                                481

    Registration of Wills                                483

    Tithes                                               485

    Church Dues                                          487

    University of Cambridge                              490

    Ordinance for its Regulation                         491

    Commissioners appointed to administer the Covenant   491

    Sequestrations                                       493

    Revival of Puritanism                                494

    Oxford                                               496

    Military Occupation of the University                497

    Parliamentary Commissioners                          497

    Dr. Laurence and Colonel Walton                      499

    Resistance to the New Authorities                    500

                            CHAPTER XXIII.

    Presbyterians and Independents                       504

    Contentions at Norwich                               505

    Presbyterian Policy                                  508

    Attack on the Sectaries                              509

    Supernatural Omens                                   511

    Negotiations between the Parliament and the Scotch   513

    The King at Holdenby                                 514

    Presbyterians jealous of the Army                    515

    Earl of Essex                                        517

    False Step of the Presbyterians                      518

    The King in the Hands of the Independents            519

    Cromwell's attempt at reconciling Parties            520

    Royalist Violence                                    522

    Laws against Heresy                                  523

    Newport Treaty                                       526

    Concessions made by the King                         527

    Military Remonstrance                                528

    Presbyterian Efforts to save the King                529

    Pride's Purge                                        531

    Trial of Charles                                     531

    Execution                                            532

    Burial                                               535



                                VOL. I.

    Page   Line
    114     29      _for_ Simon _read_ Symonds.
    192    note     _for_ Horton _read_ Hopton.
    207      1      _insert_ Bishops.
    210      7      _for_ in 1646. He died _read_ He died in 1646,
    215     19      _for_ Rauthaus _read_ Rathhaus.
    453     22      _for_ condition _read_ erudition.
    521   heading   _for_ Denominations _read_ Demonstrations.

                               VOL. II.

    127}  headings  read _Sir Harry Vane_.
    133      7      _for_ Naylor _read_ Nayler.
    146      3      _the word_ been _is dropped into line_ 4.
    151     31      _for_ Bordura _read_ Bodurda.
    262    note     _for_ according _read_ accordingly.
    361   heading   for _Fox and Cromwell_ read _Fox's Disciples_.
    409     10      _for_ Isaac _read_ Isaak.
    427   1 & 13    _for_ Francis _read_ Frances.



On the third of November, 1640, at nine o'clock in the forenoon, the
Earl Marshal of England came into the outer room of the Commons'
House, accompanied by the Treasurer of the King's Household and other
officers. When the Chancery crier had made proclamation, and the
clerk of the Crown had called over the names of the returned knights,
citizens, burgesses, and barons of the Cinque-ports; and after his
Lordship had sworn some threescore members, and made arrangements for
swearing the rest, he departed to wait upon his Majesty, who, about one
o'clock, came in his barge from Whitehall to Westminster stairs. There
the lords met him. Thence on foot marched a procession consisting of
servants and officers of state.[1]

The King, so accompanied, passed through Westminster Hall and the Court
of Requests to the Abbey, where a sermon was preached by the Bishop of
Bristol. The King's Majesty, arrayed in his royal robes, ascended the
throne. The Prince of Wales sat on his left hand: on the right stood
the Lord High Chamberlain of England and the Earl of Essex, bearing
the cap; and the Earl Marshal and the Earl of Bath bearing the sword
of state occupied the left. Clarence, in the absence of Garter, and
also the gentleman of the black rod, were near the Earl Marshal. The
Earl of Cork, Viscount Willmott, the Lord Newburgh, and the Master of
the Rolls, called by writ as assistants, "sat on the inside of the
wool-sacks;" so did the Lord Chief Justices, Lord Chief Baron, and
the rest of the judges under them. "On the outside of the woolsack"
were four Masters of Chancery, the King's two ancient Serjeants, the
Attorney-General, and three of the puisne Serjeants. To the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal, apparelled in their robes, and seated in their
places, and to the House of Commons, assembled below the bar, his
Majesty delivered an address, declaring the cause of summoning this
parliament. Then the Lord Keeper Finch made a speech; after which, the
Commons having chosen William Lenthall, of Lincoln's Inn, as Speaker,
that gentleman, being approved with the usual ceremonies, added another
oration, in which he observed: "I see before my eyes the Majesty of
Great Britain, the glory of times, the history of honour, Charles
I. in his forefront, placed by descent of ancient kings, settled
by a long succession, and continued to us by a pious and peaceful
government. On the one side, the monument of glory, the progeny of
valiant and puissant princes, the Queen's most excellent Majesty. On
the other side, the hopes of posterity, the joy of this nation, those
olive-branches set around your tables, emblems of peace to posterity.
Here shine those lights and lamps placed in a mount, which attend your
Sacred Majesty as supreme head, and borrow from you the splendour of
their government."

Thus opened the Long Parliament; knowing what followed, we feel a
strange interest in these quaint items extracted from State Papers and
Parliamentary Journals.[2] With such ceremonies Charles I. once more
sat down on the throne of his fathers; and once more, too, clothed in
lawn and rochet, the prelates occupied their old benches. Great was
their power: Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, might be said to discharge
the functions of Prime Minister; Juxon, Bishop of London, clasped the
Lord Treasurer's staff; and Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, had some years
before held the great seal. They and their reverend brethren sat as
co-equals with scarlet-robed and coroneted barons. They represented the
stately and ancient Church of England, in closest union with the senate
and the throne; suggesting, as to the relations of ecclesiastical and
civil power, questions, which are as ancient as mediæval times, and
as modern as our own. Thus too again the Commons' Speaker, in florid
diction congratulated the monarch on the prosperity of his realms.
That day can never be forgotten. Outwardly the Church, like the State,
looked strong; but an earthquake was at hand, destined to overturn
the foundations of both. To understand the crisis in reference to the
Church we must look a little further back.[3]

The Anglo-Catholic and Puritan parties stood face to face in the
National Church, at the opening of the Long Parliament. They had
existed from the time of the Reformation.

Anglo-Catholics, while upholding with reverence the three creeds of
Christendom, did not maintain any particular doctrines as distinctive
of their system. Neither did they, though their peculiarities were
chiefly ecclesiastical, propound any special theory of Church and
State. Under Queen Elizabeth they maintained theological opinions
different from those which they upheld under Charles the First. At the
former period they were Calvinists. Before the civil wars they became
Arminians. Preaching upon the controversy was forbidden; and Bishop
Morley, on being asked "what Arminians held," wittily replied, "the
best bishoprics and deaneries in England!"[4]

Whereas in reference to doctrine there was change, in reference to
ecclesiastical principles there was progress. The constitution of
the Protestant Church of England being based on Acts of Parliament,
and the supremacy of the Crown in all matters "touching spiritual
or ecclesiastical jurisdiction"[5] being recognized as a fundamental
principle of the Reformation--the dependence of the Church upon the
civil power appeared as soon as the great ecclesiastical change took
place. The Act of Uniformity in the first year of Elizabeth was passed
by the lay Lords alone--all the Bishops who were present dissented--and
the validity of the consecration of the first Protestant Archbishop had
to be ratified by a parliamentary statute.[6]

Of the successive High Commissions--which formed the great spiritual
tribunals of the land--the majority of the Commissioners were
laymen.[7] The Anglo-Catholics of Elizabeth's reign were obliged to
accept this state of things, and sometimes to bow before their royal
mistress, as if she had been possessed of an absolute super-episcopal
rule.[8] Yet gradually they shewed a jealousy of parliamentary
interference, and rose in the assertion of their authority and the
exercise of their power. Whitgift availed himself of the lofty
spiritual prerogatives of the Crown to check the Commons in what he
deemed their intrusive meddlings with spiritual affairs.[9] He strove
to lift the Parliamentary yoke from the neck of the Church, and to
place all ecclesiastical matters in the hands of Convocation. He
preferred canons to statutes, and asked for the royal confirmation of
the first rather than the second. But, after Whitgift and under the
Stuarts, Church power made considerable advances. Anglo-Catholics,
under the first James and the first Charles, took higher ground than
did their fathers. Their dislike of Parliaments went beyond what
Whitgift had dared to manifest. The doctrine of the divine origin
of Episcopacy, which was propounded by Bancroft, when Whitgift's
chaplain, probably at Whitgift's suggestion, certainly with his
concurrence--though it startled some English Protestants as a novelty,
and roused the anger of a Puritan privy councillor jealous of the
Queen's supremacy,[10] became a current belief of the Stuart Anglicans.
At the same time the power of Convocation was widely stretched, as
will be seen in the business of the famous canons of 1640. The
encroachments of the High Commission upon the jurisdiction of the
Civil Courts, and the liberties of the subject, produced complaints in
everybody's mouth, and served, as much as anything, to bring on the
great catastrophe. What is now indicated in a few words will receive
proof and illustration hereafter.

Looking at changes in the doctrine and at progress in the policy
of Anglo-Catholics, perhaps, on the whole, the persons intended by
that denomination may be best described as distinguished by certain
principles or sentiments, rather than by any organic scheme of dogma or
polity. They formed a school of thought which bowed to the decisions
of the past, craved Catholic unity, elevated the episcopal office,
exalted Church authority, suspected individual opinion, gave prominence
to social Christianity, delighted in ceremonial worship and symbolism,
attached great importance to order and uniformity, and sought the
mysterious operations of divine grace through material channels. The
Anglo-Catholic spirit in most respects, as might be expected, appears
more shadowy and in less power amongst the Bishops connected with the
Reformation than amongst those who succeeded.[11] Parker, Whitgift, and
Laud represent stages of advancement in this point of view. But from
the very foundation of the Reformed Church of England this spirit, in a
measure, manifested itself, and in no respect, perhaps, so much as in
reverence for early patristic teaching. No one can be surprised that
such tendencies remained with many who withdrew allegiance from the
Pope, and renounced the grosser corruptions of Rome. It is a notable
fact that out of 9,400 ecclesiastics, at the accession of Elizabeth,
less than 200 left their livings.[12] Many evaded the law under shelter
of powerful patrons, or escaped through the remoteness and poverty of
their cures. And it cannot be believed that, of those who positively
conformed, all or nearly all became real Protestants.

The divines of this school, drawn towards the Fathers by their
venerable antiquity, their sacramental tone and their reverence for
the episcopate, did not miss in them doctrinal tendencies accordant
with their own. Even the Calvinistic Anglican of an earlier period
could turn to the pages of Augustine and of other Latin Fathers, and
find there nourishment for belief in Predestination, and Salvation
by faith. But the Arminian still more easily found his own ideas of
Christianity in Chrysostom, Clement of Alexandria, and other Eastern
oracles. The Greek Fathers were favourites with the Anglican party
of the seventeenth century. Whether the study of that branch of
literature was the cause or the effect of the Arminian tendencies of
the day--whether a taste for the learning and rhetoric of the great
writers of Byzantium and Alexandria paved the way for the adoption of
their creed, or sympathies with that creed led to the opening of their
long neglected folios, may admit of question. Certainly the formation
of theological beliefs is always a subtle process, and is subject to so
many influences that, in the absence of conclusive evidence, it is
hazardous confidently to pronounce a judgment.

The fairest side of Stuart-Anglicanism presents itself in the writings
of Dr. Donne, and Bishop Andrewes. In the first of these great
preachers there is a strong "patristic leaven,"--a lofty enforcement of
church claims, a deep reverence for virginity, and an inculcation of
the doctrine of the Real presence--such as we notice in the writings
of the Fathers before the schoolmen had crystallized the feeling of
an earlier age into the hard dogma of Transubstantiation. But there
are also in some of his quaint and beautiful sermons statements of
Christian truth, resembling the theology of Augustine; and at the
same time, from the very bent of his genius, he was led to illustrate
practical duty in many edifying ways. As to Bishop Andrewes, his "Greek
Devotions" present him as a man of great spirituality; and we are not
surprised to learn that he spent five hours every day in prayer and
meditation. The formality of method in his celebrated manual, the
quaintness of his diction, and his artificial but ingenious arrangement
of petition and praise are offensive to modern taste; and, it must be
allowed, his catholic _animus_ is betrayed every now and then, so as
to shock Protestant sensibilities; yet there are Protestants who still
use these Devotions, and find in them helps to communion with God, aids
to self-examination, and impulses to a holy life. On turning to his
sermons, we discover expressed in his sententious eloquence (which has
been rather too much condemned for pedantry and alliteration) doctrinal
statements respecting the Atonement and Justification by Faith, quite
in harmony with evangelical opinions. Though not a Calvinist, he was
free from Pelagian tincture. Andrewes, Donne and others, however,
are not--any more than the Fathers--to be judged by extracts. A few
passages do not accurately convey their pervading sentiments. Orthodox
and evangelical in occasional statements of doctrine, still they are
thoroughly sacramentarian and priestly in spirit. And, no doubt, their
works, especially those of Andrewes, contributed in a great degree to
foster that kind of religion which so much distressed, alarmed, and
irritated the Puritans at the opening of the Civil War.

The admirable George Herbert, too, had strong Anglo-Catholic
sympathies, on their poetical and devotional side. His hymns and
prayers are in harmony with his holy quiet life, and may be compared
to a strain of music such as he drew from his lute or viol, or to a
deep-toned cathedral antiphony, in response to notes struck by an angel

The type of character formed under such culture partook largely of a
mediæval spirit. The saints of the Church were cherished models. The
festivals of the Church were seasons for joy, its fasts for sorrow. The
liturgy of the Church stereotyped the expressions of devotion, almost
as much in its private as in its public exercise. The ministers of the
Church were regarded more as priests than teachers, and their spiritual
counsel and consolations were sought with a feeling, not foreign to
that in which Romanists approach the confessional. The sacraments
of the Church were received with awe, if not with trembling, as the
mystic vehicles of salvation; and the whole History of the Church,
its persecution and prosperity, its endurance and achievements, its
conflicts and victories, were connected in the minds of such persons
with the ancient edifices in which they worshipped. The cathedral and
even many village choirs told them of "the glorious company of the
Apostles," "the goodly fellowship of the prophets," and "the noble
army of martyrs," and "the Holy Church throughout all the world."
They loved to see those holy ones carved in stone and emblazoned in
coloured glass. A dim religious light was in harmony with their grave
and subdued temper. The lofty Gothic roof, the long-drawn aisle, the
fretted vault, and the pavement solemnly echoing every footfall,
had in their eyes a mysterious charm. The external, the visible,
and the symbolic, more exalted their souls than anything abstract,
argumentative, and doctrinal: yet, though their understanding and
reason had little exercise, it must not be forgotten, that, through
imagination and sensibility awakened by material objects, these
worshippers might rise into the regions of the sublime and infinite,
the eternal and divine.

Such religion existed in the reign of Charles I. amongst the
dignitaries of the Church. Occupying prebendal houses in a Cathedral
close, they found nourishment for their devotion in "the service of
song," as they occupied the dark oak stalls of the Minster choir. It
was also cherished in the Universities. Heads of houses, professors,
and fellows carried much of the Anglican feeling with them, as they
crossed the green quadrangle, to morning and evening prayer. Town
rectors and rural incumbents would participate in the same influence.
Devout women, in oriel-windowed closets, also would kneel down, under
its inspiration, to repeat passages in the Prayer book, or in Bishop
Andrewes' devotions. And some English noblemen, free from courtly vice,
would embody the nobler principles of the system. Yet, probably, the
larger number of religious people in England were of a different class.

The following extract from a letter, belonging to the early part of
the year 1641, giving an account of the death of the Lady Barbara
Viscountess Fielding, affords an idea of Anglican piety in the last
hour of life, more vivid than any general description:--

"About twelve of the clock this Thursday, the day of her departure, Dr.
More being gone, I went to her, and by degrees told her of the danger
she was in, upon which she seemed as it were to recollect herself,
and desired me to deal plainly with her, when I told her Dr. More's
judgment of her, for which she gave me most hearty thanks, saying this
was a favour above all I had ever done her, &c.; and when she had, in
a most comfortable manner, given me hearty thanks, she desired me to
spend the time she had to live here, with her in praises and prayers
to Almighty God for her, desiring me not to leave her, but to pray
for her, when she could not, and was not able to pray for herself,
and not to forsake her until I had commended her soul to God her
Creator. After which, some time being spent in praising God for her
creation, redemption, preservation hitherto, &c., we went to prayers,
using in the first place the form appointed by our Church (a form
she most highly admired), and then we enlarged ourselves, when she
added thirty or forty holy ejaculations;--then I read unto her divers
of David's Psalms, after which we went to prayers again; then she
desired the company to go out of the room, when she made a relation of
some particulars of her life to me (being then of perfect judgment),
desiring the absolution our Church had appointed, before which nurses
and others were called in, and all kneeling by her, she asked pardon of
all she had offended there, and desired me to do the like for her to
those that were not there; and when I had pronounced the absolution,
she gave an account of her faith, and then after some ejaculations she
praised Almighty God that He had given her a sight of her sins, giving
Him most humble thanks that He had given her time to repent, and to
receive the Church's absolution; and then she prayed in a very audible
voice, that God would be pleased to be merciful to this our distressed
Church of England for Jesus Christ his sake. After this she only spoke
to my Lord, having spoken to her father, Sir J. Lambe, two or three
hours before, and then at last of all, she only said, 'Lord Jesus,
receive my soul;' but this was so weakly, that all heard it not, nor
did I plainly, but in some sort guessed by what I heard of it."[13]

But the Anglo-Catholicism of the Stuart age presented other aspects.
In a multitude of cases, ritual worship degenerated into mere
ceremonialism. An ignorant peasantry, who could neither read nor write,
and who were destitute of all that intellectual stimulus which, in a
thousand ways, now touches the most illiterate, would derive little
benefit from reading liturgical forms, unaccompanied by instructive
preaching--against which, in the Puritan form, the abettors of the
system were much prejudiced. Though the prayers and offices of the
Church of England be incomparably beautiful, experience is sufficient
to show that, familiar with their repetition, the thoughtless and
demoralized, being quite out of sympathy with their spirit, fail to
discern their excellence. And, when it is remembered, that the Book
of Sports, instituted by King James, was the rule and the reward for
Sabbath observance; that after service in the parish church (not
otherwise), the rustics were encouraged to play old English games on
the village green, to dance around the May-pole, or to shoot at butts;
we ask what could be the result, but religious formalism scarcely
distinguishable from the lowest superstition? Should it be pleaded,
that a pious and exemplary clergyman would impart life to what might
otherwise have been dead forms, and restrain what otherwise would have
been riotous excess; it may be replied, that a very considerable number
of the holders of livings were not persons of that description; they
sank to the level of their parishioners, and had no power to lift their
parishioners to a level higher than their own.

The sympathies of the Church were with the people in their amusements;
a circumstance which contributed to the strong popular reaction in
favour of the Church, when Charles II. was restored. In the reign of
Charles I. the wakes, or feasts, intended to celebrate the dedication
of churches had degenerated into intemperate and noisy gatherings, and
were, on that account, brought by the Magistrates under the notice of
the Judges. But the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Bath
and Wells, backed by the King, came to the rescue. The complaints were
attributed to Puritan "humourists." Alleged disorders were denied. The
better sort of clergy in the diocese of Bath and Wells,--seventy-two
in number, likened to the Septuagint interpreters, "who agreed so soon
in the translation of the Old Testament,"--came together, and declared
that these wakes were fit to be continued for a memorial of the
dedication of churches, for the civilizing of the people, for lawful
recreation, for composing differences, for increase of love and amity,
for the relief of the poor, and for many other reasons.[14]

The charge has been brought against the high Churchmen of that day,
that they were _papistically_ inclined. If by this term be meant any
disposition to uphold the Papacy, and to acknowledge the authority
of the Bishop of Rome over other Churches, even though modified by
a charter of liberties like the Gallican, the charge is unfair. A
distinct national establishment was always contended for by those
who were suspected of the strongest papal leanings. They advocated
an authority not derived from any foreign potentate, but, as they
conceived, of immediate divine origin, and this authority they
considered to be entitled to uncontrolled jurisdiction within the
shores of the four seas. They wished for a Pope--to use the current
language of the times--"not at Rome but at Lambeth." A reconciliation
with the Church of Rome not involving submission, might have been
agreeable to some of the party; yet, it must be acknowledged that, in
solemn conclave, the Anglicans accused the Romanists of idolatry.[15]
If, however, by _papistic_ be meant a tendency to Catholic worship,
and so ultimately to Romish conformity, then may the imputation be
supported by facts. The history of Christendom shews that the Church
gradually passed from its primitive simplicity to the corruptions
of the papacy; that ante-Nicene innovations, with post-Nicene
developments and traditionalism, were stepping-stones in the
transition. The process, on a wide scale, requires many centuries for
its accomplishment; but partially and in individual cases a few years
may suffice for the experiment. Ecclesiastical annals, from Constantine
to Hildebrand, may be epitomized in a brief chronology. Movements may
rapidly pass through stages, like those of the Nicene and Mediæval. And
sharp speaking, in order to maintain a certain ecclesiastical position
against Rome, may immediately precede, and in fact, herald the approach
of pilgrims to the very gate of the seven-hilled city.[16] What has
occurred within our own time in individual instances, was likely to
occur, to a large extent, in the first half of the seventeenth century.

Mediæval sympathies, at the period now under our review, are obvious
not only in the rigorous enforcement of fasting and abstinence,[17]
which had continued ever since the Reformation, but in certain
monastic tendencies, and in slurs cast on the reformers. A document,
prepared in 1633--no doubt under the influence of Laud--by Secretary
Windebank, for the direction of Judges of assize, urged obedience to
the proclamation for the better observance of Lent and fish-days,
because their neglect had become very common, probably in many cases
on Puritan grounds.[18] Monastic tendencies, about the same time,
appeared in the famous Monastery at Gidding, in Huntingdonshire. While
the devotions of the pious family there excited the admiration of Isaak
Walton,--in whose account of it is reflected the more spiritual phase
of the proceeding,--the superstitions, mingled with better things,
provoked the severest animadversions of Puritan contemporaries,[19] who
wondered at nothing more than, that in a settled Church government,
Bishops could permit "such a foundation so nearly complying with
Popery." In connection with this may be mentioned the preface to the
new statutes for the University of Oxford, published in Convocation,
which "disparaged King Edward's times and government, declaring, that
the discipline of the University was then discomposed and troubled by
that King's injunctions, and the flattering novelty of the age, and
that it did revive and flourish again in Queen Mary's days, under the
government of Cardinal Pole, when by the much-to-be-desired felicity of
those times, an inbred candour supplied the defect of statutes."[20]

In the sixteenth century, and far into the seventeenth, intolerance,
inherited from former ages, infected more or less all religious
parties. Few saw civil liberty to be a social right, which justice
claimed for the whole community, whatever might be the ecclesiastical
opinions of individuals. This position of affairs shewed how little
dependent is spiritual despotism upon any particular theological
system, and how it can graft itself upon one theory as well as upon
another; for, while under Elizabeth persecution allied itself to
Calvinism, in the first two of the Stuart reigns, Arminianism--at
that time in Holland wedded to liberty of conscience--appeared in
England embracing a form of merciless oppression. But, though without
special theological affinities, intolerance certainly shewed kinship
to certain forms of ecclesiastical rule. It fondly clung to prelacy
before the Civil War. The relation in which subsequently it appeared to
other Church organizations will be disclosed hereafter. Whitgift and
Bancroft, inheriting intolerance from their predecessors, persecuted
Nonconformists. They silenced and deprived many; whilst others they
excommunicated and cast into prison. The Anglican Canon Law--which must
be distinguished from the Papal Canon Law[21]--remained a formidable
engine of tyranny in the hands of those disposed to use it for that
purpose. That law, of course, claimed to be not law for Episcopalians
alone but for the people at large, who were treated altogether as
subject to Episcopal rule; and neither creed nor worship inconsistent
with canonical regulations could be tolerated for a moment. Only
one Church was allowed in England; and for those who denied its
apostolicity, objected to its government, disapproved of its rites and
observances, or affirmed other congregations to be lawful churches,
there remained the penalty of excommunication, with all its alarming

Anglicanism allowed no exercise of private judgment, but required
everybody to submit to the same standard of doctrine, worship, and
discipline. Moderate Puritans were to be broken in, and Nonconformists
"harried out of the land." It might seem a trifle that people should
be fined for not attending parish churches; but imprisonment and exile
for nonconformity struck most Englishmen as a stretch of injustice
perfectly intolerable.[23]

Ecclesiastical Courts, not only consistory and commissary, but
branching out into numerous forms, carried on actively and continuously
the administration of canon law after the Reformation. Discipline
was, perhaps, not much less maintained after that event than
before.[24] Such activity continued throughout the reigns of Elizabeth,
James, and Charles; and so late as 1636 the Archdeacon of Colchester
held forty-two sessions at four different towns during that single
year. The object of the canon law and the ecclesiastical courts being
_pro morum correctione et salute animæ_, immoralities such as the
common law did not punish as crimes, came within the range of their
authority, together with all sorts of offences against religion and the
Church. The idea was to treat the inhabitants of a parish as members
of the Anglican Church, and to exercise a vigilant and universal
discipline by punishing them for vice, heresy, and schism. Intemperance
and incontinence are offences very frequently noticed in the records of
Archidiaconal proceedings in the latter part of the sixteenth and the
early part of the seventeenth centuries, suggesting a very unfavourable
idea of public morals at that time; and a long catalogue also appears
of charges touching all kinds of misconduct. Some appear very
strange,--such as hanging up linen in a church to dry; a woman coming
to worship in man's apparel; a girl sitting in the same pew with her
mother, and not at the pew door, to the great offence of many reverent
women; and matrons being churched without wearing veils. Others relate
to profaning Sundays and holidays, setting up maypoles in church time,
and disturbing and even reviling the parish ministers. Certain of them
point distinctly to Puritan and Nonconformist behaviour, such as
refusing to stand and bow when the creed was repeated, and to kneel
at particular parts of divine service. Brownists are specifically
mentioned, and extreme anti-sacramental opinions are described.

The method of proceeding _ex officio_ was by the examination of the
accused on his oath, that he might so convict himself if guilty, and
if innocent, justify himself by compurgation[25]--a method, it may be
observed, totally opposed to the criminal jurisprudence of our common
law, and one which became increasingly offensive in proportion to the
increase of national attachment to the English Constitution on the side
of popular freedom. Though, as we look at the moral purpose of these
institutions, and the cognizance they took of many vicious and criminal
irregularities of conduct which did not come under the notice of civil
magistrates, we are quite disposed to do justice to the motives in
which the courts originated, and to admit that in the rude life of the
middle ages they might possess some advantages--we must see, looking at
them altogether, that they became the ready instruments of intolerance
when great differences in religious opinion had appeared; that they
were certain, in Puritan esteem, to attach odium to the old system of
Church discipline; and that they were completely out of harmony with
the modern spirit of Protestant civilization.

In the Tudor and Stuart days, there also existed two tribunals of
a character which it is difficult in the nineteenth century to
understand. The High Commission Court was doubtless intended to
promote and consolidate the Reformation on Anglo-Catholic principles,
by exterminating Popery on the one hand, and checking Puritanism on
the other. According to the terms of the Act of Uniformity, Elizabeth
and her successors had power given them "to visit, reform, redress,
order, correct and amend all such errors, heresies, schisms, abuses,
contempts, offences and enormities whatsoever, which, by any manner
of spiritual authority or jurisdiction, ought, or may be lawfully
reformed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained or amended." Her
Majesty became invested with authority to correct such heresies of the
clergy as had been adjudged to be so by the authority of the canonical
Scripture, or by the first four general councils, or any of them, or
by any other general council, or by the High Court of Parliament, with
the assent of the clergy in convocation.[26] Many Commissions were
successively issued by the Queen.[27] Neal gives an abstract of that
one which was issued in the month of December, 1583. After reciting
the Act of Supremacy, the Act of Uniformity, the Act for the assurance
of the Queen's powers over all states, and the Act for reforming
certain disorders touching ministers of the Church, her Majesty
named forty-four commissioners, of whom twelve were bishops, some were
privy councillors, lawyers, and officers of state, the rest deans,
archdeacons, and civilians. They were authorized to enquire respecting
heretical opinions, schisms, absence from church, seditious books,
contempts, conspiracies, false rumours, and slanderous words, besides
offences, such as adultery, punishable by ecclesiastical laws. In the
first clause command is given to enquire, "as well by the oaths of
twelve good and lawful men, as also by witnesses, and all _other means
and ways you can devise_."[28] With this power of enormous latitude,
instituting enquiry over vague offences, was connected a power of
punishment, qualified by the word "lawful," and by reference "to the
power and authority limited and appointed by the laws, ordinances, and
statutes of the realm." Liberty was given to examine suspected persons
"on their corporal oath"--in fact, the _ex officio_ oath.[29] Any
three of the members had authority to execute the commission.[30]

The Court so constituted extended its range, and increased its
activity, and pressed beyond the boundaries of statute law, so as
to become, in the reign of Charles the First, a means of arbitrary
government intolerable to the country.

Records of the Court are still preserved in the State Paper Office,[31]
shewing the modes of proceeding, the charges of which the Commissioners
took cognizance, and the punishments they pronounced upon the
convicted. Counsel for office--counsel for defendants--appearance
and oath to answer articles--appearance, and delivering in of
certificate--orders for defendants to give in answers--motion for
permission to put in additional articles--commissions decreed for
taking answers and examining witnesses--commissions brought in and
depositions of witnesses published--and orders for taxation of
costs--are forms of expression and notices of proceeding very frequent
in these old Books. Some of them conveyed, no doubt, terrible meanings
to the parties accused. We meet also with "suppressions of motion,"
"agreements for subduction of articles," petitions to be admitted
in "_formâ pauperis_," and reference of causes to the Dean of Arches.
Collecting together heads of accusation, we find the following in the
list--holding heretical opinions, contempt of ecclesiastical laws,
seditious preaching, scandalous matter in sermons, using invective
speeches unfit for the pulpit, nonconformity, publishing fanatical
pamphlets, profane speeches, schism, blasphemy, raising new doctrines,
preaching after deposition, and simoniacal contracts. Descending to
minute particulars, we discover such items as these:--"locking the
church door, and impounding the archdeacons, officials, and clergy," in
the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction; wearing hats in church;
counting money on the communion-table; saying, "A ploughman was as
good as a priest," and asking, "What good do bishops in Ireland?;"
profane acts endangering parish edifices; praying that young Prince
Charles might not be brought up in popery; and submission performed in
a slight and contemptuous manner.[32] Entries of fines and imprisonment
frequently occur.

It should be stated that occasionally other religious offences are
noticed in these volumes, such as possessing a Romish breviary, and
refusing the oath of allegiance. Enquiries also appear, as to persons
who secreted young ladies "going to the nunneries beyond seas."
There are, too, monitions "to bring to the office popish stuff and
books."[33] But such instances are few compared with those relating
to Puritans. Also now and then occur cases of flagrant clerical
immorality, acts of violence, and of criminal behaviour.[34] But it
was the persecution, the intolerance, the irritating control over
so many persons and things, and the harsh treatment, and severe
sentences of this absorbing jurisdiction, emulating as it did the worst
ecclesiastical tribunals of the middle ages, and of Roman Catholic
countries, that so roused the wrath of our forefathers against it.

It is very curious, after inspecting the records of the High
Commission, to open Dr. Featley's _Clavis_, and there to find
sermons, preached by him at Lambeth before the Commissioners, on such
subjects as "The bruised reed and smoking flax," and "The still small
voice,"--sermons filled with the mildest and gentlest sentiments. More
curious, to light on other discourses in the same volume, bearing the
very appropriate titles of "Pandora's box," and "The lamb turned into
a lion." But for the knowledge we have of the preacher and of the
contents of his discourses, we should suppose the former titles were
ironical hits, and the latter outspoken truths. They are neither; but
are chosen, it is plain, with perfect simplicity.[35]

The Star Chamber is commonly associated in the minds of Englishmen with
the High Commission Court. Unfettered by the verdict of juries, not
guided by statute law, and irresponsible to other tribunals, it claimed
an indefinable jurisdiction over all sorts of misdemeanours--"holding
for honourable that which pleased, and for just that which profited."
Though not a constituted ecclesiastical court, like the High
Commission, bishops as privy councillors sat amongst its judges, and it
took cognizance of religious publications. Whilst the High Commission
confined its penalties to deprivation, imprisonment, and fines, the
favourite punishments of the Star Chamber were whipping, branding,
cutting ears, and slitting noses. The barbarous treatment of Leighton,
Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick, will shortly be noticed.

These two arbitrary courts, which, in spite of their difference, were
almost invariably linked together in the thoughts of our countrymen,
concentrated on themselves an amount of public indignation equal to the
fury of the French against the Bastile; and at last, like that prison,
they fell amidst the execrations of a people whose patience had been
exhausted by such prolonged iniquities.[36]

Nor was it only the intolerance of the Church which exasperated
the people, its secular intermeddling did so likewise. Before the
Reformation Churchmen had held the highest offices in the State,
indeed, had controlled all civil affairs; and Laud was now imitating
the Cardinals of an earlier age. But the English Reformation had shaken
off from itself the civil power of the Church; laymen, not the clergy,
now claimed to guide the helm. The Puritanism of the seventeenth
century, and the civil war which grew out of it, were practical
protests against the attempts of Charles, Strafford, and Laud to
revive what the Reformation in this country had destroyed. The modern
spirit of civilization was seen rebelling against the intrusion of the
spiritual on the secular power. It was a stage in the great European
conflict which ended in the French Revolution; it was an assault upon a
system which has now expired everywhere except in the city of Rome.

As was only consistent, the party supporting ecclesiastical intolerance
also supported civil despotism. Never since the English Constitution
had grown up were the liberties of the people so threatened as during
the earlier part of the seventeenth century. The two checks on the
tyranny of the Crown, the aristocracy and the Church, had long been
enfeebled--the aristocracy by the wars of the Roses; the Church by
the loss of independence at the Reformation. The nobles of England had
wasted their strength in the fifteenth century; the Church of England
had prostrated herself before the throne in the sixteenth. Neither of
them had now the power, any more than they had now the will, to defend
popular freedom against the invasions of regal prerogative. It is true,
that the same causes, which weakened them as the possible friends of
the people, weakened them also as actual friends of the Sovereign.
What they did for the Crown in the Civil Wars, was far less than they
might have done at an earlier period: even as what remained in their
power to accomplish on behalf of popular rights was far less. But the
malign aspect of the Church, then the chief power next the throne,
towards the nation at large, and the Commons in particular, was most
manifest and most alarming at the epoch under consideration. Old
English liberties indeed had never been extinguished. The spirit of
English self-government asserted under the house of Lancaster, though
seemingly held in abeyance in the times of the Tudors, so far from
expiring, had come out with renewed youth in the days of the Stuarts,
through the parliamentary career of those eminent statesmen who formed
the vanguard of the Commonwealth army. But against the illustrious Sir
John Eliot, with his noble compeers, High Church contemporaries stood
in defiant hostility. That kings are the fountains of all power; that
they reign "by the grace of God," in the sense of divine right; that
they are feudal lords--the soil their property, and the people their
slaves--were doctrines upheld by sycophants of the Court, and endorsed
and defended by doctors of the Church. Dr. Sibthorpe, a notorious
zealot for passive obedience and non-resistance, monstrously declared,
"If princes command anything, which subjects may not perform, because
it is against the laws of God, or of nature, or impossible; yet
subjects are bound to undergo the punishment, without either resisting,
or railing, or reviling; and so to yield a passive obedience where they
cannot exhibit an active one. I know no other case, but one of those
three wherein a subject may excuse himself with passive obedience, but
in all other he is bound to active obedience."[37] Another preacher
of the same class, Dr. Manwaring, was brought before Parliament for
maintaining, "That his Majesty is not bound to keep and observe the
good laws and customs of this realm; and that his royal will and
command in imposing loans, taxes, and other aids upon his people,
without common consent in Parliament, doth so far bind the consciences
of the subjects of this kingdom, that they cannot refuse the same
without peril of eternal damnation."[38]

The Church of the middle ages had commonly thrown its shield over
subjects against the oppression of rulers: but in contrast with
this, the Anglo-Catholic Church of the Stuart times stood in closest
league with Government for purposes the most despotic. The tyranny
of Buckingham in 1624, with his forced loans, became insupportable,
and the obloquy of it all--alas for the Church of England!--fell
largely upon its dignitaries, because favour had been strongly shown
to the policy of that arrogant minister by such men as Sibthorpe and
Manwaring. Strafford went beyond Charles in imperious despotism; and
Strafford found in Archbishop Laud not only a helper in his "thorough"
policy, but an example of even more violent measures, and a counsellor
instigating him to still greater lengths.[39]

Besides all this intolerance and oppression, it must be acknowledged
that there was in the ministry of the Church of England a large amount
of ungodliness and immorality. To believe that all the charges of
clerical viciousness and criminality were true, would be to imbibe
Puritan prejudice; whilst, on the other hand, to believe that all
were false, would betray a strong tincture of High Church partiality;
so much could not have been boldly affirmed, and generally believed,
without a large substratum of fact. But more of this hereafter.

Rigid ceremonialism, desecration of the Sabbath, sympathy with
Roman Catholicism, fondness for imitating popish practices, cruel
intolerance, alliance with unconstitutional rule, and the immorality
of clergymen, will serve to explain what gave such force to the
antagonistic puritan feeling which surged up so fearfully in 1640.
The Church had become thoroughly unpopular amongst the middle and
lower classes in London and other large places; in short, with that
portion of the people, which in the modern age of civilization, must
and will carry the day. They did not then, with all their fondness
for theological controversy, care so much for any abstract idea of
Church polity as for the actual working of ecclesiastical machinery,
and the character and conduct of ecclesiastical men before their eyes.
It was not any Presbyterian or Independent theory, as opposed to the
Episcopalian system of the Church of England, that swept the nation
along its fiery path in the dread assault which levelled the Episcopal
establishment; but it was the indignation aroused by corruption,
immorality, and intolerance, which kindled the blazing war-torch
destined to burn to the ground both temple and throne. Had the Church
of England been at that time a liberal and purely Protestant Church,
and its rulers wise, moderate, and charitable men; whatever might have
been the influence of ecclesiastical dogmas, its fate must have been
far different from what it actually became.

The person who carried Anglo-Catholicism to its greatest excess,
and who, by other unpopular proceedings, did more than anybody
else, to alienate from the State religion a large proportion of his
fellow-countrymen, was William Laud. Ritualism ran riot under the rule
of this famous prelate. Alienated from the theology of Augustine,
but relishing the sacerdotalism of Chrysostom, he delighted in a
gorgeous worship such as accorded with the Byzantine liturgy, and was
penetrated with that reverence for the priesthood and the Eucharist
which the last of the Greek orators, in his flights of rhetoric, did
so much to foster. Whatever might be the extravagances in Byzantium,
they were nearly, if not quite, paralleled when Archbishop Laud held
unchecked sway. A church was consecrated by throwing dust or ashes
in the air.[40] The napkin covering the Eucharistic elements was
carefully lifted up, reverently peeped under, and then solemnly let
fall again: all which performances were accompanied by repeated lowly
obeisances before the altar. This ceremony was quite as childish and
far less picturesque than the dramatic doings in the Greek Church,
when choristers aped angels by fastening to their shoulders wings of
gauze.[41] Into cathedrals, churches, and chapels, were also introduced
pictures, images, crucifixes, and candles, which, with the aid of
surplices and copes,[42] bowing, crossing, and genuflections, produced
a spectacle which might be taken for a meagre imitation of the mass.
Had not public opinion, which was beginning to be a mighty power,
checked such proceedings, there can be no doubt they would speedily
have reached such lengths, that an English parish church would have
differed scarcely at all from a Roman Catholic chapel.[43]

Laud's size was in the inverse ratio of his activity--for he had the
name of "the little Archbishop," though his capacities for work were of
gigantic magnitude. His influence extended everywhere, over everybody,
and everything, small as well as great--like the trunk of an elephant,
as well suited to pick up a pin as to tear down a tree. His articles
of visitation traversed the widest variety of particulars, descending
through all conceivable ecclesiastical and moral contingencies, down
to the humblest details of village life. Churchwardens were asked,
"Doth your minister preach standing, and with his hat off? Do the
people cover their heads in the Church, during the time of divine
service, unless it be in case of necessity, in which case they may
wear a nightcap or coif?" These functionaries were also required to
state, how many physicians, chirurgeons, or midwives there might be
in the neighbourhood; how long they had used the office, and by what
authority; and how they demeaned themselves, and of what skill they
were accounted in their profession.[44] A report of the state of his
province he presented to the King year by year.[45] Every bishopric
passed under his review, and the substance of the information he
obtained and digested, affords a bird's-eye view of the religious
condition of each diocese, in the Archbishop's estimation. Oxford,
Salisbury, Chichester, Hereford, Exeter, Ely, Peterborough, and
Rochester, were in a tolerably fair condition, although furnishing
matter here and there for some complaint. But in his own see of
Canterbury there were many refractory persons, and divers Brownists
and other separatists, especially about Ashford and Maidstone, who
were doing harm, "not possible to be plucked up on the sudden."[46]
London occasioned divers complaints of nonconformity. Factious and
malicious pamphlets were circulated, Puritans were insolent, and
curates and lecturers were "convented." From Lincoln came complaints,
that parishioners wandered from church to church, and refused to come
up to the altar rail at the holy communion; Buckingham and Bedfordshire
also abounded in refractory people. Norwich had several factious men:
Bridge and Ward are named, and it is said there was more of disorder
in Ipswich and Yarmouth than in the cathedral city. Lecturers were
abundant, and catechising neglected. In the diocese of Bath and Wells,
lectures were put down in market towns, and afternoon sermons were
changed into catechetical exercises. Popish recusants appeared fewer
than before, and altogether the bishop had put things in marvellous

As Laud's eye--that ferret-like eye, which under its arched brow,
looks with cunning vigilance from Vandyke's canvas--ran over his whole
province, and his busy pen recorded what he learned, he sent to the
Inns of Court--the benchers having betrayed Puritan tendencies--and
insisted upon surplice and hood, and the whole service prescribed for
the occasion being used in chapel before sermon. He claimed rights
of ecclesiastical visitation in the two universities, and inspected
cathedrals and churches, as to their improvements and repairs;
condescending even to order the removal of certain seats employed for
the wives of deans and prebendaries, and directing them to sit upon
movable benches, or chairs.[47]

English residents in Holland;[48] chaplains of regiments amongst the
Presbyterian Dutch; Protestant refugees in this country; and the
ecclesiastical affairs of Scotland, all came under his vigilant notice,
and within his tenacious grasp.[49]

In his own diocese and province[50] Laud's hand fell heavily on those
beneath his sway. "All men," it is remarked, "are overawed, so that
they dare not say their soul is their own." The clergy of his cathedral
muttered their dissatisfaction. Reports circulated that they were "a
little too bold with him;" and his remedy was, "If upon inquiry I do
find it true, I shall not forget that nine of the twelve prebends are
in the king's gift, and order the commission of my visitation; or
alter it accordingly."[51] Dean and prebendaries were soon humbled
under such discipline.

In court and country, in Church and State, Laud, next to the Earl of
Strafford, must be considered to have been the most powerful minister
in England.[52] Pledged to a thorough policy of arbitrary kingship, he
helped in all things his royal master, and his able fellow-councillor.
When Strafford was in Ireland as Lord Lieutenant, the Archbishop was
the great power at home behind the throne. "He is the man," said
courtiers, when they would point out the most favourable medium for
approaching royalty.[53] His own power availed for the province of
Canterbury; by the help of his archiepiscopal brother, Neil of York,
it sufficed for all England. Such a man, so bigoted, so imperious, and
so marvellously active, was sure to make many more foes than friends.
He had also ways, altogether his own, of making enemies. As he himself
tells us, he kept a ledger, in which he preserved a strict account of
the theological and ecclesiastical bias of clergymen, for the guidance
of his royal master in the distribution of patronage. O and P were the
letters at the heads of two lists. On the _Orthodox_ all favours were
showered. From those favours all _Puritans_ were excluded.[54]

The Anglicanism of Laud was dear to Charles I. for two reasons. First,
it harmonized with his own despotic principles. The King had been,
ever since he assumed the crown, working out a problem in which the
direst mischief was involved--whether it were not possible for an
English sovereign, without casting away constitutional forms, to grasp
at absolute dominion, to make the Commons a mere council for advice,
or a Court to register decrees, rather than an integral branch of the
Legislature; and, while conceding to them the office of filling the
country's purse, to claim and exercise an independent power of managing
the strings. He disliked parliaments, if they exercised their rights.
"They are of the nature of cats," said he, "they ever grow curst with
age, so that if you will have good of them, put them off handsomely
when they come to any age, for young ones are ever most tractable."[55]
His remedy for troublesome parliaments was dissolution. He preferred
ship money to legal taxation: Anglicanism, from its maintenance of
the Divine right of Kings, favoured his views in this respect, and
divines of that stamp were after his own heart. But there was a
second reason why Charles was drawn towards Laud. It would be unjust
to the King to represent him merely as a politician. Grave, cold,
reserved and haughty--qualities indicated in the countenance which the
pencil of Vandyke has made familiar to us all--he was also a man of
sincere religious feeling; but that feeling appears in harmony with
his natural character. Stately ceremonialism, court-like prelacy,
priestly _hauteur_, and a frigid creed corresponded even more with
the idiosyncracy of the man than with the prejudices of the monarch.
From a youth he had shown a leaning towards the Roman Catholic form of
worship, and this tendency had been nourished by the education received
from his father. "I have fully instructed them," King James observed in
a letter touching his sons, "so as their behaviour and service shall,
I hope, prove decent, and agreeable to the purity of the primitive
Church, and yet as near the Roman form as can lawfully be done, for
it hath ever been my way to go with the Church of Rome _usque ad

As we proceed in our review of parties, we feel the difficulty of
defining the boundary between them. The majority of divines were
thoroughly Anglican or thoroughly Puritan; yet a great many had only
partial sympathies with the one or the other. Nor did they form a
class of their own. In no sense were they party men, except so far
as they were prepared to support episcopacy and defend the Common
Prayer. Amongst these may be mentioned Dr. Jackson, sometime vicar of
Newcastle, (afterwards Dean of Peterborough,) known in his own time as
an exemplary parish priest, and very popular with the poor, relieving
their wants "with a free heart, a bountiful hand, a comfortable
speech, and a cheerful eye;" better known in our day as the author
of a goodly row of theological works, including discourses on the
Apostles' Creed.[57] He was a decided Arminian, and a rather High
Churchman. Bishop Horne acknowledged a large debt to Dean Jackson, and
Southey ranks him in the first class of English divines.[58] But his
writings present strong attractions for those who have no High Church
sympathies, because the reasonings and contemplations of such a man
rise far above sectarian levels, and are suited to enrich and edify the
whole Church of God. Dr. Christopher Sutton, prebendary of Westminster,
the learned author of two admirable practical treatises, "Learn to
Live" and "Learn to Die,"--in which patristic taste and a special
regard for the Greek Fathers appear in connection with a highly devout
spirit--is another theologian of the same period and the same class,
in whom, with some Anglican elements, others of a Puritan cast are
combined. The well-known Bishop Hall is a still more striking example
of the Puritan divine united with the Anglican ecclesiastic.

If Puritanism cared for antiquity it would be possible to make out
for it a lineage extending back to the first ages of Christendom. As
soon as the Church betrayed symptoms of backsliding, persons arose,
jealous for her honour, who recalled her erring children to paths
of pristine purity. When, boasting of numbers, the many who were
predominant relaxed severity of discipline, and conformed to the
world in various ways--a few zealous Novations and Donatists set up
a standard of reform. In some cases they proceeded at the expense
of charity, and in a narrow spirit; but they aimed ultimately at
restoring what they deemed primitive communion. At a later period the
name, and some of the ecclesiastical sympathies of the Puritans, were
anticipated by the _Cathari_: and in the Lollards and Wickliffites
of England, we may trace the spiritual ancestors of the men who
revolutionized the Church in the seventeenth century. Several of our
Reformers went beyond their brethren in ideas of reform; and in the
reign of Elizabeth--particularly amongst those who returned from the
continent, where they had been brought into close fellowship with
Zwinglians and other advanced Protestants--there were persons holding
opinions substantially the same with those adopted by Puritans under
Charles I.; and those who had no doctrinal tenets or ecclesiastical
preferences to separate them from their contemporaries, but had become
somewhat distinguished by objections to certain forms, and more so by
superior religiousness and spirituality of life, were, on that account,
reproached by laxer men as bigoted precisians. As was natural, this
treatment drove such persons into the arms of others who had embraced
distinctive views of polity, between which and the strict habits of
these new allies there existed obvious harmony. The anti-hierarchical
temper of Puritanism, and its presumed favourableness to the broad
principles and popular spirit of the British constitution secured for
it, on that side, countenance from such as were far from adopting its
religious principles. Leicester and Walsingham looked on it with some
favour as a counterpoise to prelatical arrogance, if not for other
reasons. Burleigh shielded the persecuted from the violence of the High
Commission. Raleigh defended the cause in Parliament. Connection with
these politicians gave political significancy to a movement originating
entirely in spiritual impulses.

Whenever any vigorous revival of religious life occurs, a tendency
to "irregular proceedings" will be sure to appear in the movement
party. Accordingly, one peculiarity of the early Protestants is seen
in a love of meeting together for Christian culture and edification,
apart from the formalities of established worship. The proceedings of
these good people were such as would be now pronounced intensely Low
Church. One neighbour conferred with another, and "did win and turn
his mind with persuasive talk." "To see their travels," exclaimed our
old martyrologist, "their earnest seeking, their burning zeal, their
readings, their watchings, their sweet assemblies, their love and
concord, their godly living, their faithful marrying with the faithful,
may make us now, in these days of our free profession, to blush for

Somewhat resembling those meetings in the commencement of Henry VIII.'s
reign were the prophesyings in the time of Elizabeth. A number of
junior divines, present on these occasions, delivered in the order of
seniority discourses on a portion of scripture appointed for the day,
and then an elder brother, of learning, experience, and influence,
reviewed what had been advanced, and terminated the engagement by
prayer. Some of Elizabeth's bishops favourably regarded this practice
as good discipline for preachers, and as affording edification to the
people. Grindal incurred the royal displeasure for not putting down
these prophesyings, for her Majesty would tolerate no innovations
in the Established Church. Nor did she look with favour on popular
preaching at all. Theological questions she reserved to be investigated
by her learned divines. Only moral duties, the most elementary truths
of Christianity, and the worship of God, belonged in her opinion to
the people in general. "The liberty of prophesying," indeed, in those
days so much resembled the liberty of the press--preachers so often
spoke as the tribunes of the people, bringing divers public questions
within the range of pulpit criticism, that the Queen had political as
well as religious objections to the freedom of such orators.[59] To
check Puritan tendencies, uniformity was pressed with rigour; The Queen
assumed the initiative in the proceeding. Pilkington, Bishop of Durham,
disliked the cap and surplice. Grindal, Bishop of London, was reluctant
to force the prescribed habits. Even Archbishop Parker was slow in the
business. At length the Queen's zeal carried all before it; Parker
and his commission set to work, and shewed no want of earnestness.
Aylmer, when he succeeded Grindal in the see of London, though once a
friend to the Puritans, made up for his predecessor's lukewarmness by a
rigorous suppression of all Nonconformity;[60] and Whitgift, tolerant
in his Cambridge days, showed himself a stern persecutor when he became
Primate, and Archbishop Bancroft went beyond them all. The minutest
ceremonies were enforced; clerical garments, odious because of their
Popish fashion, were imposed.[61] Such things were held by one party
to be in themselves indifferent, and by the other party to involve a
grave dereliction of Protestant principle. Yet the former imposed these
things upon the latter. What was only excused by the imposer as an
affair in itself of little moment, except for the sake of uniformity,
was condemned by victims of the imposition as a perilous concession
to superstitious ceremonialism. The cause of conscience on the one side
came into collision with the cause of order on the other; part of the
zeal manifested against Puritanism no doubt proceeded from a desire to
gratify the Queen and prevent her from favouring Popery, and therefore
originated in Protestant policy, but the policy was very short-sighted,
and its injustice was equalled by its folly. Able, faithful, and
learned ministers were silenced. In London especially, where Puritan
ministers were numerous, multitudes of quiet steady citizens, with no
love for schism, were alienated from the Established Church, and a long
account of persecution began to be kept, which, when produced at the
day of reckoning, had to be paid in the endurance of similar sufferings.

The strong leaven of Puritanism in the reign of Elizabeth fermented
in different ways. It produced the memorable controversies between
Cartwright and Whitgift, and between Travers and Hooker: curiously
enough, in both cases, the combatants were unequally matched;
Cartwright being a much abler man than Whitgift, and Hooker vastly
surpassing Travers. In the first of these polemical encounters, the
Puritan maintained the exclusive authority of Scripture against the
Anglican, who appealed to the Fathers: and in his opposition to
prelacy, the Puritan developed views of Church government, hereafter
to be noticed, which the Presbyterians of the seventeenth century for
a while, and in a measure, succeeded in practically carrying out. We
see the battle between Travers and Hooker fought on a wider field,
including points of doctrine as well as matters of polity. The Puritan
contended for the Scriptural authority of Church government, while the
Churchman, looking more to the spirit than the letter of God's law
and holy order, sought to lay the corner-stones of ecclesiastical
polity in general principles. Beyond this difference, as preachers
at the Temple where Travers was Lecturer and Hooker was Master, they
presented rather dissimilar phases of theological doctrine; for it was
said "the forenoon sermon spoke Canterbury, and the afternoon sermon
Geneva." The preachers could not agree upon Predestination.[62] They
had not precisely the same idea of Justification by faith. And further
still--and in an age when the Popish controversy excited such deep
feeling, the difference was of great consequence,--Hooker maintained,
that the Church of Rome, though not a pure and perfect Church, was
a true one, so far that such as live and die in its communion, upon
repenting of their sins of ignorance, may be saved; but Travers said,
that the Church of Rome is no true Church at all, so that such as
live and die therein, holding justification in part by works, cannot,
according to the Scriptures, be regarded as saved. Whatever now may be
thought of this latter teaching, most Churchmen then would agree with
Hooker, most Puritans with Travers.

Puritanism opened its lips in parliament. An effort was made in 1584
to curtail the power of bishops, to supersede or control canon law by
common law, to give the people a share in the election of ministers,
and to erect an eldership which, conjointly with the clergy, should
manage the spiritual affairs of a parish. Attempts also were made at
Sabbath reform; but the whole of this Puritanical movement was stopped
by the Queen. Whitgift wrote to his royal mistress, condemning the
interference of Parliament with ecclesiastical matters, and advising
that whatever alterations were made in the Church should come in form
of canon law from the clergy by _her Majesty's authority_. In this
business we recognize an anticipation of the subsequent relative
position of parties. Anglicanism stood on the side of prerogatives
claimed by the Crown, Puritanism on the side of power claimed by

With the Anglican change of doctrine came a change in Puritan
controversy. Under Elizabeth, both parties in the Church of England
were Calvinistic in their creed. When High Churchmen in the reign of
James I. adopted Arminian views, this naturally excited the opposition
of Low Churchmen, and the battle which had before been waged against
caps and canons assumed a character of higher importance, and
discussions were carried on involving creeds.

The Puritans were the champions of predestination, and _identified_
it with the doctrine of salvation by grace. Whether right or wrong
in this respect, it is necessary that such an identification in
their minds should be remembered, for the just appreciation of their
character and conduct. They did not consider themselves as contending
for mere abstractions, but for truths of the highest practical moment
to the interests of mankind: and certainly many of their opponents in
their anti-Calvinistic zeal shewed little sympathy with Evangelical
sentiments, and contented themselves too generally with a hard, dry,
Nicene orthodoxy, coupled with strong ritualistic predilections.
There may certainly be found not a little of powerful moral teaching,
like Chrysostom's, amongst the Anglican divines of that day, and a
firm inculcation of such views as he held on the person of Christ; but
there is a lack, as in his case, of that teaching which exalts the
atoning work of the Redeemer, and the regenerating and sanctifying
agency of the Holy Spirit. The Calvinistic decisions of the Synod of
Dort--whither King James sent English representatives--did not at all
allay the furiousness of the controversy: and if, in consequence of
the Court instructions of 1622, "that no preacher under a bishop or
dean should meddle with the dispute,"[64] the flame here and there
might smoulder, assuredly the fire was by no means extinguished.
It may be added, that many excellent men in the Church of England,
who were far from embracing the theory of government espoused by
Cartwright and Travers, and who considered as trifles the habits and
ceremonies against which the earlier Puritans so earnestly protested,
nevertheless joined with all their heart in opposing the doctrinal
tenets of the Anglicans. Hence arose the distinction between doctrinal
and ecclesiastical Puritans. To Puritans of both kinds James I. had a
strong antipathy. Though at one time a sturdy Calvinist, he abandoned
the system when it became a Puritan badge, but his most intense
dislike fell on the ecclesiastical peculiarities of the party. When
once he had come across the border, he identified Presbyterianism with
republicanism, declaring that a kirk and a monarchy could no more agree
than God and the Devil; and with a coarse insolence and vulgar spite,
far more intolerable to his subjects than the temper of Elizabeth in
her most imperious proceedings--for the two sovereigns were of totally
different natures--the Scotch King of England declared, "I will harry
the Puritans out of the land, or worse."

We have already noticed the prayer-meetings and the prophesyings of
the sixteenth century. Puritan lectureships, proceeding from the
same spirit, were very much in advance of the other associations.
They sprung from a desire to promote spiritual edification by means
extraneous to the old parochial system, and in fact they practically
anticipated the popular rights of election, and the principles of
ecclesiastical voluntaryism taught at the present day. The lectureships
depended on the free contributions of the people, who exercised the
privilege of choosing as their lecturer the man whose doctrines and
manner of life they approved. As parochial duties did not attach to
the office, the lecturers were relieved of certain ceremonies, and,
consequently, such ministers as felt Puritan scruples preferred to
minister in this more limited capacity. The origin of the institution
is obscure. It was first legally recognized by the Act of Uniformity
at the Restoration; but a Friday evening lecture existed in the parish
of St. Michael Royal as early as the year 1589. Whatever might be the
exact nature of the beginning, the extensive progress of lectureships
is apparent in the seventeenth century. The lecturers stood somewhat in
the same relation to parish priests as the friars of the middle ages
to the secular clergy, and, like them, they exercised large popular
influence; like them too, they received large popular contributions;
and also like them, in some cases, they were found in painful rivalry
and collision with parochial incumbents.

Another form of Puritan activity appeared in the institution of a
body of trustees for the purchase of impropriations, with a view to
secure as many livings as possible for ministers of Puritan opinions--a
proceeding closely imitated in recent times by religious laymen, who
buy advowsons for Evangelical clergymen. Fuller, who, in his own droll
style, tells us of the twelve trustees, that four were "divines to
persuade men's consciences; four lawyers to draw all conveyances; and
four citizens who commanded rich coffers"--goes on to observe what
incredibly large sums were advanced in a short time, and that it was
verily believed, "if not obstructed in their endeavours, within fifty
years, rather purchases than money would have been wanting."[65]

Puritans disliked ceremonies. Earnest as to the spirit of worship, they
cared little--often not enough--about forms. These men did not study,
and could but imperfectly understand, the æsthetics of religion--as
some people now call that which relates to seemly and expressive
modes of divine service, dictated by propriety, common sense, and
good taste. But beyond this, and chiefly, they had conscientious
scruples respecting observances, to which, no doubt, with equal
conscientiousness, the rulers of the Church attached importance. If
conscience, on the one side, had been content to practice and not
impose; conscience, on the other side, would have been saved the pain
of resistance, if not the trouble of protest. The two parties were
ever coming into dogged antagonism--prelates, zealous for uniformity,
and Puritans as zealous against it. The latter, if ministers, would not
wear the surplice, or read the whole liturgy; if people, they would
not recite the creed after the minister, nor repeat the responses in
the Litany and after the Ten Commandments; they would sit when they
ought to stand, or stand when they ought to kneel, or remain erect
when they ought to bow; ministers would preach when they were required
to catechise; people wanted lecturers when they had only rectors or
curates. Rather than yield in these matters they would suffer anything.
Their oppressors called them "proud," "self-conceited," "malapert,"
"puffed up by popular vogue," "indiscreet," "hollow pillars of
Puritanism."[66] They retorted that Popery was overflowing the land,
and they prayed that the Spirit of the Lord would lift up a standard
against it.

To repress these disorders, articles of visitation were drawn up more
carefully than ever, with an increase of minuteness and stringency;
and these were sent to churchwardens and sidesmen. But the power of
spiritual courts, and episcopal and archidiaconal authority were set at
nought by Puritan Protestants. It was asserted by some of the stiffer
sort that bishops have no right to hold visitations without express
commission under the great seal, or to tender articles unless made by
Convocation and ratified by Parliament. People were advised to keep
the visitation articles "for waste paper, or to stop mustard-pots."
Citations to spiritual courts should be disregarded, it was said,
unless the courts were held by royal patent and the processes were
in the King's name. "Depart without more ado," advised these hasty
disposers of ecclesiastical law; "if they excommunicate you it is
void--you may go to Church notwithstanding. If all subjects will take
this course, they will soon shake off the prelates' tyranny and yoke
of bondage, under which they groan through their own defaults and

Such was the spirit shown by some; but in many cases the ecclesiastical
powers could not be so trifled with, and Puritans suffered fines
and imprisonment. Rather than endure this injustice many preferred
exile; some retired to Holland; others to the shores of New England.
Six-score passengers, it was reported, were going out in two ships,
and six hundred more were prepared to follow. Such swarms of emigrants
alarmed their neighbours, who complained of the decrease of the
king's people, the overthrow of trade, and the augmented number of
those who were disaffected towards episcopacy.[68] But the drain went
on, the Puritans saying, "The sun of heaven doth shine as comfortably
in other places; the sun of righteousness much brighter; better to go
and dwell in Goshen, find it where we can, than tarry in the midst of
such an Egyptian darkness as is falling on this land."[69] This was in
the spirit of Dante, who, when an exile from his beloved home on the
Arno, asked, "Shall I not everywhere behold the light of the sun and of
the stars?--Shall I not everywhere under Heaven be able to enjoy the
most delightful truths?"

Baxter has embodied the sentiment in one of his hymns:--

    "All countries are my Father's lands,
      Thy sun, Thy love doth shine on all;
    We may in all lift up pure hands,
      And with acceptance on Thee call.

    "No walls, nor bars, can keep Thee out,
      None can confine a holy soul;
    The street of heaven it walks about,
      None can its liberty control."

Such men were not likely to be subdued by persecution; they had caught
a spirit which all the violence in the world could not crush; and the
only results of that violence were the increase of their own constancy,
surrounded by the honours of spiritual heroism, and the infamy which
will for ever rest on the memory of their cruel oppressors.

It must not be supposed that their cause was unpatronized by men of
influence, or their case unheard in the halls of Parliament. They had
friends amongst the noble; and patriotic tongues were eloquent on their
behalf in the House of Commons. Though for a while protest did not
avail against their persecution, in the end it bore for the persecutors
bitter fruit. It made way for the exposure and chastisement of their
guilt, and was neither forgotten nor found to be ineffective, when, in
the dispensations of a righteous Providence, a day of retribution came.

Puritanism was a reaction against Anglicanism. It was an assertion
of the right of private judgment against Church decisions, of the
exclusive authority of Scripture against tradition, and of the
simplicity of worship against elaborate ceremonialism. The intense
horror of Popery felt by the Puritans was deepened by the papistic
practices of the Anglicans. The strict observance of the Sabbath was
made still more strict by the publication of the "Book of Sports," and
by the practical depreciation of the Lord's day through the immense
importance attached to Church festivals. The defection of the High
Church party from the Evangelical creed, and still more from the
evangelical spirit of the Reformers, riveted closely the attachment of
the Puritans to the articles and homilies, as distinguished from the
liturgy and rubric; and made them more full and earnest in exhibiting
the freedom of salvation through the atonement of Jesus Christ, and
the new birth of the Spirit of God. Also the working out of Arminian
principles in unevangelical ways drove the Puritans into sharper and
more rigid forms of Calvinistic speculation. But, happily for the fame
of the latter, they were led, by the persecution they suffered, to
connect themselves with the friends of political liberty; and thus to
share in the honour belonging to the noble band of patriots, who, not
without some mistakes but with a wisdom and heroism--which it would
be idle to question and unthankful to forget--secured for us those
national privileges which distinguish Englishmen from the rest of

Taking Andrewes and Donne as exponents of Anglican theology, the reader
may take Bolton and Sibbs as representatives of Puritan teaching. Their
works were exceedingly popular with the Evangelicals of Charles I.'s
reign. In rough leather binding they might have been seen on the humble
library shelf of the yeoman's house, or in his hands well thumbed,
as he sat in his window-seat or walked in his little garden. "The
Four Last Things" led many to prepare for the future life; and "The
Bruised Reed" became honoured as the chief means of Richard Baxter's
conversion. The tone of piety in these men partook of a glow and ardour
which made their spiritual life, at times, appear like a rapture, and
rendered their death "a perfect euthanasia." "By the wonderful mercies
of God," said Bolton, "I am as full of comfort as my heart can hold,
and feel nothing in my soul but Christ, with whom I heartily desire to
be." Asked by a friend in his last moments on a sharp December day,
"Do you feel much pain?" "Truly no," he replied, "the greatest pain I
feel is your cold hand." If, to use a figure of Coleridge, the Cross
shines dimly in certain Anglican authors, that Cross is all-radiant in
Puritan theology. If, in the one case, the cloudy pillar hovers in the
neighbourhood of the promised land without entering it, in the other,
it conducts those who follow its guidance straight into a land flowing
with milk and honey.

Let it not be supposed that the doctrinal Puritans in Stuart times were
perpetually preaching, or writing on doctrinal subjects; or that they
had the least sympathy with the sectaries. Thomas Adams is an eminent
doctrinal Puritan of that age, but no sermons can be more eminently
practical than his; they are the furthest removed from Antinomian
tendencies. He is ever combating the vices around him, and insisting
upon a solid scriptural morality; whilst his allusions to Brownists are
caustic enough to have satisfied, in that respect, the taste of the
most decided Anglican.

Puritanism was not so much a creed, or a code, as a life. Though a
reaction, the movement was no superficial phenomenon thrown up by the
chafing together of obstinate minds on opposite sides. The causes
were some of them ancient, and all of them deep. It is possible even
that peculiarities of race and blood might have somewhat to do with
the strong sympathies of the middle and lower classes, in a simple
and unostentatious kind of religious worship. The plain and sturdy
nature of the Anglo-Saxon was still pure, in a multitude of cases,
from Norman admixture in those ranks of society where Puritanism most
prevailed; and the Anglo-Saxon had ever shown himself unfriendly to
that ecclesiastical pomp of architecture and glittering ritual which
delighted the Norman. Traditional opinions and sentiments, opposed
to the spirit of Romanism, had been handed down through the middle
ages, from one generation to another of the English commonalty in
their homesteads and cottages; and, probably, as those opinions and
sentiments had contributed to the outbursts of Lollardism, and helped
on the cause of the Reformation, so also they ministered to the later
development of principles, proceeding further in the same direction.
Beyond all doubt, the Puritan under James was the religious son and
heir of the reformer under Elizabeth; he inherited, and expressed
more boldly and more truly, his father's spirit. Puritanism came only
as the second stage in a progress of which the Reformation was the
first. Such an impulse as Protestantism could not be resisted--set,
as it was from the beginning, decidedly in the direction of change
beyond what the compromise under the Tudors allowed. The pent-up
waters of Protestantism found a vent through Puritanism. Besides,
the persecutions under Mary rendered Rome more hateful to Englishmen
during the last half of the sixteenth century than during the first;
the children who heard of the Smithfield fires were more exasperated
even than the parents who saw them, and they hated with a bitter hatred
everything in the Church which, in their opinion, pointed Romewards.
The Puritan reaction against Popery is to be regarded as also aided
by its alliance with the reactions, moral and political, against
despotism; freedom appeared to the Puritan not merely as something
expedient, and to be desired for temporal ends, but as a heaven-born
right, a gift of God, which it was man's duty to claim and assert, in
the face of earth and hell: and thus kindred forces bore toward the
same point. Puritanism, moreover, presented a strong attraction to
religious minds of a certain class. Multitudes were sinners of a coarse
type, and wanted something infinitely stronger than forms, ceremonies,
orthodox abstractions, and moral advice to put things right between
their souls and God, and to give them holiness and peace. The Puritan
exhibition of the love of God in Christ, of the wonders of redemption,
and of the abounding mercy of Heaven through the Cross for the chief
of sinners, supplied just what such persons required. Nor to these
alone, but to numbers beside, not coarse-minded transgressors, the
full, clear, and unmixed manifestation of the Gospel plan of saving the
lost came as the most blessed and welcome of messages. And finally, in
enumerating the causes of Puritanism, devout minds, at all in sympathy
with it, will assuredly include that mighty wind which "bloweth where
it listeth."

Being in some respects a reaction, I may venture to observe, it had
in it what all reactions have--much onesidedness. It betrayed narrow
views of many subjects, straining at trifles, magnifying unimportant
points, and not seeing that the avoidance of superstition in one
quarter is no security against being overtaken by it in another.
There also often occurred a want of charity in judging other people,
and those who did not adopt the Puritan type were in danger of being
put down as publicans and sinners. Puritans were also prone to use
irritating language to their opponents, and shewed at times little
of that meekness and gentleness, the want of which they bitterly
condemned in others.[70] They were intolerant,--with the exception of
a few separatists,--and cannot be regarded as having understood the
principles of religious liberty. They asserted freedom on their own
behalf, but if they could have had the power, they would have imposed
their own peculiarities on all their fellow-countrymen. They were too
apt to be rigid and precise in their methods of theology, and to take
"tithe of mint, anise, and cummin," though not so as to be unmindful
of "the weightier matters of the law." Their scruples as to liturgical
forms were carried to excess, and they evinced a want of that kind
of taste which marked the Anglican churchman by excluding, as Jeremy
Taylor says, "the solemn melody of the organ, and the raptures of
warbling and sweet voices out of cathedral choirs."[71] And finally,
they did not sufficiently recognize the need of providing innocent
and healthy recreations for the people. Man was regarded by them as a
creature made to work and worship, but hardly to play. Some Anglicans
were ascetic, but they were gleesome at times, and conceded, if they
did not enjoin, rather uproarious amusement in connection with their
festivals. They had their fast-days and lenten seasons, but they
had also the merry feasts of Christmas and Easter, Whitsuntide and
Michaelmas. They went daily to church, were fond of the Prayer Book and
oratory, but they had no objection to revels, masques, May-poles, and
village games. These sudden transitions from what was grave to what
was gay, and this mixing up of things sacred with things trifling, had
a hurtful effect, and the religion thus fostered closely approached
that of France and Italy. Hence the Puritans rushed to the extreme of
putting down many manly sports, and discouraging national pastimes,
which, purified from immorality, were adapted to promote national
vigour, cheerfulness, and good fellowship. While, however, they
abolished church festivals they appointed holidays of another kind,
and had relaxations of their own, hereafter to be recounted. Yet the
restraints they placed upon society in the day of their power were
such, perhaps, as more than any thing else tended to alienate from
them the sympathies of a large portion of their fellow-countrymen.
The broken May-pole and deserted village green had no small share in
bringing about some of the worst resentments of the Restoration.

Blind homage is no honour. To acknowledge the defects of Puritanism
gives all the more force to an exhibition of its excellencies. There
clung around it the imperfections of humanity, but it had in it a germ
of lasting life, a divine element of grace and power.


                              CHAPTER I.

We meet with statements, on the authority of Lord Clarendon, to the
effect that the members of the Long Parliament "were almost to a man
for episcopal government," and "had no mind to make any considerable
alteration in Church or State."[72] On the other hand, we are told that
at the beginning, "the party in favour of presbyterian government was
very strong in the House of Commons, and that they were disposed to be
contented with no less than the extirpation of bishops."[73] Neither
statement conveys a correct idea of this remarkable assembly.

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Let us enter St. Stephen's chapel after the ceremony described in our
Introduction, and see for ourselves.

Dressed mostly in short cloaks, and wearing high-crowned hats,
grave-looking men were seated on either side the speaker's chair, which
was occupied by William Lenthall, a person of dignified aspect, arrayed
in official robes, as represented by the picture in the National
Portrait Gallery. Behind the chair were the Royal arms, and above it
was the grand Gothic window, rendered familiar to us by old quaint
woodcuts. The mace lay on the table by which the clerks of the House
sat, busy with books and papers; and it may be stated, once for all,
that the forms of the House were rigidly observed, during the memorable
war of words through which this history will conduct the reader.

Denzil Holles, younger son of John, first Earl of Clare, sat for
Dorchester. Foremost amongst those afterwards known as Presbyterian
leaders, his influence in part was owing to his rank, and early court
associations--for he had been on terms of intimacy with the King--but
still more his power proceeded from the firm and somewhat fiery
decision of his views, as well as from a reputation for integrity and
honour, which raised him above the suspicion of self-interest or of
factious animosity. Even in the days of James, he had resisted the
encroachments of prerogative; and, in the reign of Charles, he had,
through his adherence to the same course, been not only mulcted in a
large fine, but imprisoned during the Royal pleasure.[74]

[Sidenote: _Members of Long Parliament._]

Glynne, Recorder of London, and a Member for the City, was also
ultimately a decided Presbyterian; and the same may be said of Maynard,
who represented the borough of Totness. In the same class may be
included Sir Benjamin Rudyard, member for Wilton, and Surveyor of His
Majesty's Court of Wards and Liveries, an accomplished gentleman, "an
elegant scholar," and a frequent speaker. In earlier parliaments he had
hotly debated religious questions, though he was conspicuous for loyal
protestations as sincere as they were fervid. At first he advocated
some qualified form of episcopal superintendence, but, from the opening
of the Long Parliament, he condemned existing prelacy, and thus
prepared himself for adopting presbyterian tenets.

All these, and others less known, were from the first not only
doctrinal but ecclesiastical Puritans, and were inspired by an intense
detestation of Popery, and of everything which they believed paved the
way to it. Beyond them, we find another group of men further advanced
in the path of Church politics.

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

[Sidenote: _Members of Long Parliament._]

Few have been more unfairly represented than Sir Harry Vane the
younger, member for Hull. Though son of the Comptroller of His
Majesty's household, and brought up at Court, he was, when a youth,
reported to the King as "grown into dislike of the discipline and
ceremonies of the Church of England." Not long after this, it was
stated in a letter, that he had left his father, (old Sir Harry Vane,)
his mother, and his country, and that fortune which his father would
have left him, and for conscience' sake was gone to New England.[75]
There he became Governor of Massachusetts, and, in that capacity,
carried out the principles of religious toleration with a consistency
and an equity so unique, as to offend many of the colonists, who,
while advocates of religious freedom, persecuted, through mistaken
fears, a sincerely religious woman, only because she was obstinate
and fanatical. Returned to England, young Vane became not only member
of the Short Parliament, but received knighthood from Charles I., and
joined Sir W. Russel in the Treasurership of the Navy--a proceeding
which indicated at the time something of a conciliatory disposition
on both sides. With a philosophical temperament of the imaginative
cast, and with strong religious tendencies in a mystical direction;
smitten also with the charms of Plato's republic, and longing for
the realization of his ideal within the shores of England, Vane
seemed to many of his sober-minded contemporaries an enthusiast and
a visionary; yet it would be difficult to disprove the testimony of
Ludlow, that "he was capable of managing great affairs--possessing,
in the highest perfection, a quick and ready apprehension, a strong
and tenacious memory, a profound and penetrating judgment, a just and
noble eloquence, with an easy and graceful manner of speaking. To
these were added a singular zeal and affection for the good of the
Commonwealth, and a resolution and courage not to be shaken or diverted
from the public service."[76] Probably no man, at the beginning of the
Long Parliament, so thoroughly grasped or could so well advocate the
principles of religious liberty as Sir Harry Vane. There he sat in old
St. Stephen's, with a refined expression of countenance, most pleasant
and prepossessing; a person, says Clarendon, "of unusual aspect, which
made men think there was somewhat in him of extraordinary."[77]

Nathaniel Fiennes, Lord Say and Sele's son, who represented Banbury,
also held rank in the vanguard of religious liberty. Educated at
Geneva--where also Vane had spent some of his early years--he had
imbibed in some degree the spirit of that renowned little republic;
and his opposition to the ecclesiastical establishment of his native
country was, on his entering public life, soon roused by the working
out of Anglo-Catholic principles. He agreed with Vane in his broad
views of freedom, and when the Presbyterian and Independent parties
assumed a definite form, he took his place with the latter. Clarendon
admits his "good stock of estimation in the House of Commons," his
superior "parts of learning and nature," and speaks of his being "a
great manager in the most secret designs from the beginning."[78]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Another individual there--according to the report of a courtly young
gentleman, Sir Philip Warwick--wore a suit which seemed made by a
country tailor; his linen was plain, and not very clean; a speck or two
of blood stained his little band, which, very uncourtier-like, was not
much larger than his collar; his hat had no hat-band, and his sword
stuck close to his side. The man appeared of good stature, but his
countenance looked swollen and reddish, and his voice sounded sharp and
untunable; but he spoke with fervour, and much to the vexation of the
royalist observer, this shabby-looking member was "very much hearkened
unto." "Pray who is that man, that sloven who spake just now?" said
Lord Digby--one who _then_ took the patriotic side--to another, John
Hampden,--who afterwards died for it.--"That sloven whom you see before
you hath no ornament of speech; that sloven, I say, if we should ever
come to a breach with the King, which God forbid, in such a case I say,
that sloven will be the greatest man in England." The speaker was the
sloven's cousin, and, with the intuitive perception of a kindred mind,
saw in that rough piece of humanity some of the rarest elements of
power which this world has ever felt.

Oliver Cromwell began his parliamentary career in 1628, as member for
Huntingdon. In the Long Parliament he represented Cambridge, being
returned by a majority of only one. As early as 1628 he distinguished
himself in a debate respecting the pardon of certain religious
delinquents, by charging some leading Churchmen with Popery; and though
we can see nothing in his speeches but a rough, rude energy, they were
jerked out by his untunable voice in such a fashion that they were
remembered and talked of when many eloquent orations had glided into
oblivion. His house at Huntingdon afforded a refuge to persecuted
Nonconformist ministers. At St. Ives he achieved an unequalled
reputation for "piety and self-denying virtue." And at Ely--whence he
had now come to London, over bad roads in the foggy month of November,
travelling on horseback in humble style--at Ely, dwelling at the glebe
house, near St. Mary's Churchyard, he maintained the same character and
influence, though there he suffered dreadfully from hypochondria. In
part it rose from seeing his brethren forsake their native country to
seek their bread among strangers, or to live in a howling wilderness.

[Sidenote: _Members of the Long Parliament._]

Oliver St. John, member for Totness, was on terms of friendship with
Oliver Cromwell, more so in the later than in the earlier portion of
his history. Eminent for qualities such as help to make the good lawyer
and the useful statesman, there hung round his ways a mystery--the
effect of reticence and moroseness--which impaired his influence, and
gave him the name of "the dark-lantern man!" At first chiefly known in
a legal and political capacity, as time advanced, and events rolled
into ecclesiastical channels, he became active in religious affairs,
and took a foremost place amongst political independents.

Sir Arthur Haselrig represented Leicestershire. He had married the
sister of Lord Brook, and probably shared in what were considered the
extreme ecclesiastical opinions of that nobleman. What these opinions
were will be seen as we proceed, together with the course which the
Leicestershire baronet took, as well on State as on Church questions.
He, at an early period of the Long Parliament, showed himself decidedly
opposed to Episcopacy, and ultimately became a thorough Republican.
With much warm-heartedness and generosity, he had also the rashness
and prejudice which are the dark shadows of such virtues, so that his
enemies said he had "more will than wit," and gave him the nickname of

But far more influential at first than any of these were other men whom
we must describe.

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Of the Parliamentary leaders, the most renowned and influential at the
commencement of the struggle was John Pym. That "grave and religious
gentleman"--burgess for the good town of Tavistock--appeared as
conspicuously in religious business as in that which was strictly
political. His countenance had a lion-like dignity, and, with a
touch of melancholy in eyes and lips, there blended an expression of
invincible firmness, while his shaggy mane-like hair, disarranged,
as he spoke with tremendous energy, were in keeping with the rest of
his majestic appearance. For eight and twenty years he had struggled
against the policy of King, Court, and Church. Wise in council, and
eloquent in speech, though quaint and tedious in the style of his
oratory--a trifling drawback, however, in that age--he stood forward
the most formidable antagonist with whom the High Church party had to
deal. So closely at one time did John Pym connect Church and State--in
this respect widely differing from Sir Harry Vane--that in 1628, he
declared, "It belongs to the duty of a Parliament to establish true
religion and to punish false; we must know what Parliaments have
done formerly in religion. Our Parliaments have confirmed General
Councils."[79] This now would be called a thoroughly Erastian style of
speaking. It proceeded on the theory of the Church being subject to
the State, and in this view many of the ecclesiastical reformers of
that age were _practically_ agreed, however diversified their notions
of Church government might be. Pym, though never a Nonconformist, but
simply professing himself "a faithful son of the Protestant religion,"
from the beginning of his career opposed the spirit and proceedings of
Anglican prelacy; and as to the questions affecting Episcopacy, he at
last acted with those who sought its overthrow. He had a large share
in calling the Long Parliament, as he prepared the petition for that
purpose, and went to York to present it to the King. After the writs
had been issued, Pym and others proceeded on an electioneering crusade,
urging the voters to support representatives who would maintain the
liberties of their country, then so threatened and imperilled. As
popular opinion counted him the author of the Long Parliament, so
common consent assigned to him the position of its leader.

[Sidenote: _Members of the Long Parliament._]

Next to John Pym comes John Hampden--the illustrious member for
Buckinghamshire, universally known for his resistance of ship-money,
and for his brief but brilliant military career. His religious
character and the part he took in ecclesiastical affairs have,
however, been much overlooked; yet, in early life, as the friend of
Sir John Eliot, he had followed that single-minded and unflinching
patriot in his noble resistance of ecclesiastical as well as regal
despotism, and was one of the leaders of the advanced party which
sought to promote reforms in Church and State. In 1629 he was engaged
in preparing bills for enlarging the liberty of hearing the Word of
God, and for preventing corruption in the collation to benefices,
headships, fellowships, and scholarships in Colleges, besides other
measures of less importance in a similar direction. "He was," says
Clarendon, "not a man of many words, and rarely began the discourse,
or made the first entrance upon any business that was assumed; but
a very weighty speaker, and after he had heard a full debate, and
observed how the House was like to be inclined, took up the argument,
and shortly, and clearly, and craftily, so stated it, that he commonly
conducted it to the conclusion he desired; and if he found he could
not do that, he never was without the dexterity to divert the debate
to another time, and to prevent the determining anything in the
negative which might prove inconvenient in the future."[80] All this,
when stript of its manifest unfairness, means neither more nor less
than that this persistent enemy of ship-money must have been also a
skilful parliamentary tactician, possessing a rare insight into men
and motives. His modesty and moderation are acknowledged even by
this prejudiced historian; and the rapid progress of his opinions on
ecclesiastical affairs made him what the same authority truly calls,
"a root-and-branch man"--a fact which, though doubted by one of
his biographers, is correctly maintained by another.[81] His high
intellectual forehead, his delicately chiselled features, his eyes so
calmly looking you through, his lips of compressed firmness, with a
kind of melancholy presentiment imprinted on his whole face--betoken
a man born to a great but sad destiny; and we do not wonder at
the confidence he inspired, whether he appealed to the patriotism
of his tenantry and neighbours in the old family mansion down in
Buckinghamshire, at the back of the Chiltern hills, or stood up to
address the grave assembly in St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster.[82]
Perhaps it is right here to mention a man of a very different stamp,
who sat near these illustrious statesmen and acted with them. Henry
Marten, member for Berks--and, after his father's death, renowned
through the county for his hospitable entertainments in the vale of
"White Horse"--was as gay and humorous, and as fond of fun as the other
two were serious and dignified. Nor can it be denied that he seems to
have been as licentious as they were virtuous--as "far from a Puritan
as light from darkness," and as destitute of religious faith as they
were diligent in its cultivation. Strongly republican, he steadily
opposed the Court policy, and, perhaps through religious indifference,
became tolerant of the religious opinions of others. He belongs to a
considerable class of men who from political feeling are attached to
ecclesiastical reformers, and who join with them in aspirations after
the widest liberty, though incapable of entering into their loftier
purposes. Marten's name does not occur in the early ecclesiastical
debates of the Long Parliament, but he is found afterwards in
connection with political Independents.

John Selden, member for the University of Oxford, must not be dropped
out of this roll. Merely to mention his name is to suggest the idea
of marvellous learning. His reputation--now exalted by distance of
time, and widened by the flow of ages--reached in his own day almost
surprising magnitude, and must have imparted immense authority to his
opinions. Those opinions, in reference to Church affairs, were what are
commonly called Erastian. In the early conflicts of Puritanism, Selden
fought in its ranks against the domineering spirit of prelacy, though
no Puritan himself, and not having any objection to bishops, provided
they were kept in subjection to the State.[83] His strength in public
affairs seems to have shewn itself more in the way of opposition than
in constructive skill. If he did not positively help to pull down
Episcopacy he hindered the setting up of Presbyterianism. Nor should it
be forgotten that, student-like, he preferred his library to the arena
of debate, and notwithstanding his sacrifices at one time to liberty,
he had too great a love of ease--if we are to believe Clarendon, who
knew and admired him[84]--to take much trouble in guiding the helm of
public affairs.

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

[Sidenote: _Members of the Long Parliament._]

Anecdotes are related serving to shew that even after the opening
of the Long Parliament, the reformers had not definitely made up
their minds as to what should be done. One "fine evening," Nathaniel
Fiennes, after dining at Pym's lodgings with Mr. Hyde, afterwards
Lord Clarendon, rode out with him on horseback "in the fields between
Westminster and Chelsea." Hyde, in the course of conversation, asked
Fiennes, "what government do you mean to introduce if the existing
constitution of the Church were altered?" To this he replied "there
will be time enough to think of that;" but he "assured him, and wished
him to remember what he said, that if the King resolved to defend
the bishops, it would cost the kingdom much blood, and would be the
occasion of as sharp a war as had ever been in England; for that there
was so great a number of good men who resolved to lose their lives
before they would ever submit to that government."[85] These words
were uttered in the summer of 1641, when the Long Parliament had
been sitting seven or eight months. At an earlier period, Sir Philip
Warwick--the Court gentleman who quizzed Cromwell's clothes--met the
rough-looking man in the lobby of the House, and wished to know what
the real objects of his party were. "I can tell you," he bluntly
replied, "what I would _not_ have, if I cannot what I _would_." We are
convinced that Cromwell spoke the truth in relation to his views of
both the political and ecclesiastical changes on the brink of which
the nation stood. Changes hovered not in the distance but at hand, and
amongst them some which must modify the ecclesiastical establishment;
but how far, looking at the different opinions of the country, reform
ought to be carried, did not at once appear. Some few had republican
theories--for example, Vane and Marten--and possibly at an early
period they contemplated the overthrow of the monarchy, and with it
the Episcopal Church. The latter of these gentlemen blurted out as
much, with regard to monarchy, only two days after Fiennes' talk with
Hyde, intimating his design to employ certain persons up to a certain
point, and then to use them "as they had used others." But there is no
solid ground for believing that the greater number of the reformers
had at first any further object than that of effectually curbing
kingly prerogative in the state, and bringing down the pomp and pride
of episcopacy in the Church. The course which they actually pursued
shaped itself according to the discipline of circumstances. Their
views widened as they went along. As is often the case in times of
change, these reformers in the end were forced to seek more than they
originally imagined. First denied the little which might have contented
them, they felt prompted to a further struggle, and naturally claimed
more and more: it was but the story of the Sybil, with her books,
repeated once again. Easy is it to point out apparent inconsistencies
in the career of men so influenced, and plausible too are the charges
against them of concealment, treachery, and breach of faith; but an
impartial consideration of facts, and honest views of human nature,
will lead to conclusions at once more favourable and more just. The
truth is, that the members of the Long Parliament were not theorists
intent on working out some perfect ideal, but practical men who looked
at things as they were, and with upright intentions endeavoured to mend
them as best they could. They aimed at reforming institutions much
in the same plodding way as that in which their fathers had founded
and reared those institutions. The opening of the States General in
France presents in this respect a contrast to the opening of the
Long Parliament in England; the brilliant theoristic Frank cannot be
confounded with the sober, practical Saxon. The defiance or treachery
of opponents filled our religious patriots of the seventeenth century
with alarm, drove them to take up a higher position than they at first
assumed, and to encamp themselves behind more formidable entrenchments
than it then entered into their minds to raise.

Another class in the House of Commons requires attention. Many were
favourably disposed to the Church of England, advocating a moderate
episcopacy and approving the use of the Common Prayer, with a few
alterations. They had no liking for Presbyterian schemes of government,
much less for a congregational polity. Their sympathies went with the
Church of their fathers, the Church of the Reformation, the Church
which was built over the ashes of Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer. They
cannot be called Anglican Catholics; but they were to the heart
English Churchmen. Despising the mummeries of Laud, and not liking the
instructions of his school, then so common in parish churches--these
persons loved the old Gothic and ivy-mantled edifices where they had
been baptized and married, and by whose altars their parents slept
under quaint old monuments, which touched their hearts whenever they
worshipped within the walls. They wished to see the Church of England
reformed, not overturned.

[Sidenote: _Members of the Long Parliament._]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Lucius Carey, Viscount Falkland, member for Newport, stood among
the chief of this description. His early fate, as well as his high
esteem for John Hampden, must ever link their names in affecting
companionship. For a time they fought a common battle. What Hampden
said at the commencement of the strife about bishops and Anglican High
Churchism we do not know; but we know what Falkland said, and shall
have occasion to record some of his words, which for fiery sharpness
against prelatical assumptions were not surpassed by the speeches of
any Puritan. Attempts had been made to bring him over to Popery, which
had led to his reading the Fathers and pursuing the controversy for
himself.[86] Thus skilled in the knowledge of the whole question, the
result of his studies was not only an aversion to the finished system
of Popery, but a healthful horror of all those insinuating principles
and practices which lead to it. A sounder Protestant did not tread
the floor of the House than Viscount Falkland. Virtuous and brave,
with honour unimpeachable, and with patriotism unsuspected, he wins
our heart, even though we lament the course he ultimately pursued.
His full-length character, drawn by Clarendon, true and faithful no
doubt, though the hand of friendship laid on the colours, inspires
the reader with admiration and love: but we are somewhat startled at
what the historian says of the _physique_ of his honoured friend: his
stature low, his motion not graceful, his aspect far from inviting,
with a voice so untuned that none could expect music from that tongue,
he was so uncomely that "no man was less beholden to nature for its
recommendation into the world." The portrait of Falkland, by Vandyke,
hardly confirms this unfavourable description of his appearance by
Clarendon, though even there, in spite of cavalier silk and slashed
doublet, ample collar tassel-tyed, and flowing locks, the face of the
young nobleman wears a somewhat rustic simplicity, albeit, tinged with
an expression of sincere good-nature.

[Sidenote: _Members of the Long Parliament._]

A chief place amongst Church reformers during the first few months
of the Long Parliament must be assigned to Sir Edward Dering. He
represented the Kentish yeomen, the majority of whom had been driven
into Puritanism by the Anglo-Catholic zeal of Laud; and he expressed
the predominant feeling of the county, when he quaintly said, "he
hoped Laud would have more grace, or no grace at all." Chairman of
a sub-committee for religion, and a frequent and ardent speaker,
he gathered round him the sympathies of the party opposed to the
government, and was hailed by the citizens of London with "God
bless your worship!" while the people--who in those days gathered
about the doors of the House of Commons, as crowds do still, to
cheer their favourite members--pointed to him as the man of the
day, exclaiming, "There goes Sir Edward Dering!" This he tells us
himself--an indication of his egotism. Vanity, no doubt, and weakness
mixed themselves with his impetuous but persistent pursuit of an
object, of which many laughable examples are furnished in the story
of his life.[87] Impetuous and rash, flexible to flattery, neither
firm nor courageous under opposition, he was, nevertheless, amiable,
well-meaning, patriotic, gentlemanly, and even chivalrous. He could
reason with force, and declaim with eloquence, being no less fervent in
his religious affections than in his political sentiments. The comely
person of the Kentish baronet aided his popularity, and so did his
genial manners, in spite of his hasty temper.[88]

Posthumous fame is often not at all in proportion to contemporary
influence. Sir Edward Dering is now by many forgotten, and, even John
Pym, perhaps, does not hold the place in history which he did in life;
yet, in the early days of the Long Parliament, these persons were more
conspicuous in debate, and had more weight with the populace than John
Hampden or Oliver Cromwell.

Amongst the class at first favourable to extensive ecclesiastical
reforms was also that mercurial royalist, Lord Digby, who represented
Dorsetshire, and afterwards became Earl of Bristol. He soon diverged
very far from his early compatriots, and played a part which must
always affix dishonour to his name, whatever opinion may be formed of
the cause he espoused.

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

All the persons now mentioned acted together in ecclesiastical affairs,
more or less intimately, at the opening of Parliament. Those who came
nearest to one another in opinion had meetings for conference. Pym,
Hampden, Fiennes, and Vane the younger, with some liberal noblemen
of the Upper House, were wont to assemble at Broughton Castle,
Oxfordshire, the seat of Lord Say, Fiennes' father, and at Tawsley, in
Northamptonshire, the mansion of Sir Richard Knightley, father-in-law
to Hampden. A story is related--not a very likely one--that in certain
old stone-walled and casemated rooms, shown in the castle, the
worthies[89] used to meet lest they should be detected; and, which
is more probable, that a printing-press, established in the mansion by
Sir Richard's father, was applied to their purposes. Perhaps about the
same time, meetings of a similar kind were also held at Kensington, in
the noble mansion of Lord Holland, one of the statesmen who took part
in these conferences. There were gatherings in Gray's Inn Lane, too,
whither reports came up from the country, and whence intelligence was
distributed amongst the city patriots. After the opening of Parliament,
Pym's lodgings at Westminster became a place of rendezvous, at least
for a select few. But though these consultations so far obtained
amongst certain chiefs, it must not be supposed that there existed
a large organized party, resembling the phalanx which till of late
years used compactly to follow some great leader. The two parties into
which the House of Commons fell did by no means distinctly divide at
first. How, on ecclesiastical questions they formed, and took up their
position, will be seen as we proceed.

[Sidenote: _Members of the Long Parliament._]

Certainly there can be traced nothing like an organized party for
defending the Church. The King and the bishops, with many of the
nobility and a number of the people, were sincerely attached to the
Establishment, and were prepared to admit only slight changes in its
constitution. In the House of Commons, however, where its battle had
to be fought, and its fate decided, there did not appear any strong
alliance, or any distinct advocacy in its favour. It is surprising
that in the early debates, when so many voices fiercely proclaimed its
corruptions, so few made themselves heard in its defence. No chivalrous
spirit stepped forward to resist the band of assailants. The tide
flowed in. Not one strong man attempted to build a breakwater.

Edward Hyde, who did so much for the Church of England at the
Restoration, did little for it in this crisis of its fate. It is true
he was a young man, and without great influence, but he shewed no
heroism on its behalf; indeed, heroism was foreign to his nature. What
he attempted he himself describes, and that the reader will discover to
be paltry enough.

In the Upper House were the bishops, who might naturally be esteemed
as guardians and defenders of the Church in the hour of need. But
there were none of them possessed of that statesman-like ability,
without which it would have been impossible to preserve the Episcopal
Establishment in the shock of revolution. Laud, no doubt, had great
talents and abundant courage, but the blunders he had made in driving
the ship on to the rocks, gave no hope that he would have skill enough
to pilot the ship off, even if granted the opportunity. But he had
not even the opportunity. Hardly did the Long Parliament open when
his indignant enemies thrust him from the helm. The conduct of other
bishops had only served to strip them of the last chance of saving
their order. The best on the bench shared in the obloquy brought on
all by the intolerance and corruption of the worst, while none of them
possessed the mental and moral calibre necessary for dealing with those
huge difficulties amidst which the Church of England had now been

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Puritans too, it should be remembered, sat in the Upper as well as
in the Lower House. Amongst them may be numbered Devereux, Earl of
Essex; Seymour, Earl of Hertford; Rich, Earl of Warwick; Rich, Earl of
Holland; Viscount Say and Sele, Viscount Mandeville, Baron Wharton,
Greville, Lord Brook, and others. Some of these will appear in the
following pages, and of them in general we may observe that they did
not lack astuteness, courage, and power. Anglicanism might be stronger
in the House of Lords than in the House of Commons; but Puritanism, on
the whole, appeared stronger than Anglicanism even there.

One man alone could be found capable of doing aught to preserve the
Church in this hour of her adversity. Could Lord Strafford have carried
out his thorough policy, had he been left free to pursue his course,
had no _coup d'etat_ come in the way to arrest his daring ambition, and
crush his despotic projects; he might, with his subtle brain, brave
heart, and iron hand, have defeated the patriots once more, and so have
saved the Anglican Establishment awhile. Another dissolution, or some
arbitrary arrests, would, for a season, have crushed Pym and his party.
That, however, was not to be.


                              CHAPTER II.

Shortly after the opening of Parliament, Pym met Hyde in Westminster
Hall, and showed unmistakeably, by his conversation, the course which
he intended to pursue. "They must now," he told him, "be of another
temper than they were the last Parliament; that they must not only
sweep the house clean below, but must pull down all the cobwebs which
hung in the top and corners, that they might not breed dust, and so
make a foul house hereafter. But they had now an opportunity to make
their country happy, by removing all grievances, and pulling up the
causes of them by the roots, if all men would do their duties."[90]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

On the 6th of November, the Commons, in pursuance of precedent,
appointed a grand Committee of religion,[91] consisting of the whole
House, to meet every Monday afternoon, at two o'clock. The next morning
came a petition from Mrs. Bastwick, and another from Mrs. Burton, on
behalf of their husbands--"close prisoners in remote islands"--after
having stood in the pillory, and lost their ears, by a Star Chamber
sentence. Immediately upon this, another petition followed from John
Brown, on behalf of his master, Mr. Prynne--"close prisoner in the
Isle of Jersey"--who also had suffered mutilation by authority of the
same tribunal. Scarcely had this arrived when another appeared from
John Lilburne--"close prisoner in the Fleet"--also under Star Chamber
condemnation. A fifth was read from Alexander Leighton, complaining
of his sentence by the same court, in pursuance of which he had been
whipped, slashed in the nose, branded on both cheeks, and deprived of
his ears, and then closely imprisoned.[92]

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

The presentation of these petitions produced an impression most adverse
to the Church. The offences of the prisoners had been the publishing of
books, which virulently assailed prelacy, superstitious worship, and
ecclesiastical despotism. The tone in some of these writings is quite
indefensible, and scarcely to be excused,[93] and had they been passed
over in silence, sympathy might have turned towards those assailed;
but after the liberty of the Press had been violated, and a merciless
punishment had been inflicted on the assailants, the tide of popular
feeling ran in their favour, and they were honoured as martyrs in their
country's cause.

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

The House of Commons at once overrode the authority of the Star
Chamber, and sent for the prisoners. Even in the pillory, and the
prison, Burton and Prynne had received testimonies of sympathy, and
now their return to London was a perfect ovation. They arrived on
the 28th of November, and were "nearly three hours in passing from
Charing Cross to their lodging in the city, having torches carried to
light them." The parish churches had rung merry peals as the liberated
prisoners reached town after town, and their escort into London
consisted of a hundred coaches, some with six horses, and two thousand
horsemen, with sprigs of rosemary in their hats--"those on foot being
innumerable."[94] Afterwards the House resolved that the proceedings
against these sufferers had been illegal and unjust--that their fines
should be remitted--that they were to be restored to liberty, and
that their persecutors should make reparation for the injuries they
had inflicted.[95] Prynne--when vacancies in Parliament occurred
through the secession of royalist members--was elected to a seat; and
thenceforth in the Long Parliament his mutilated ears became constant
mementoes of Star Chamber cruelty, stimulating resistance to arbitrary
government, if not provoking retaliation for past offences. And here
it may be noticed that many members on the patriotic side had suffered
from the despotic doings of past years. Hampden, Holles, Selden,
Strode, Sir Harbottle Grimston, Long, and Hobart had all been in
prison, and some also had paid fines.[96] They would have been more or
less than human if their memories had not aroused indignation against
the despotism of the King and his ministers. Such members seated on
the opposition benches, backed by a majority, were enough to make the
hearts of courtiers quail.

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

Not only did Pym's spirit pervade the House, and manifest itself in
these early proceedings, but his voice was heard enumerating the main
grievances in Church and State. Scarcely had the session of the Commons
commenced, when--according to the Puritan habit of the times--he
denounced the encouragement given to Papists, because their principles
were incompatible with other religions, and because with them laws
had no authority, nor oaths any obligation, seeing that the Bishop of
Rome could dispense with both. He complained further of their being
allowed offices of trust in the Commonwealth, of their free resort to
Court, and of their having a Nuncio in England, even as they had a
congregation of Cardinals in Italy. It would be unreasonable to apply
to a statesman maintaining these views in the seventeenth century,
a standard of opinion belonging to the nineteenth, and also it is
unnecessary to expose the fallacies which underlie such specious
coverings. We must admit that there were special circumstances then
existing, and recent facts in fresh remembrance--some of them will be
hereafter seen--which rendered the position of the friends of freedom
very different from what it is now. Though principles of righteousness
and charity are immutable, the recollection of old evils just escaped,
and the apprehension of new perils just at hand, may well be pleaded
in excuse of measures then adopted for self-preservation. The fear of
the restoration of Popery at that period cannot be pronounced an idle
apprehension. The Reformation was young. Rome was busy. The Queen was
a Papist. Roman Catholics were in favour at Court. Anglo-Catholicism
unconsciously was opening the gates to the enemy. And further, in
connection with this speech by Pym, it is only fair to quote what he
said on another occasion:--"He did not desire any new laws against
Popery, or any rigorous courses in the execution of those already in
force; he was far from seeking the ruin of their persons or estates,
only he wisht they might be kept in such a condition as should restrain
them from doing hurt."[97]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

From the subject of Popery, Pym turned at once to Anglican innovations,
which he regarded as the bridge leading to it. He pointed out the
maintenance of Popish tenets in books and sermons, together with the
practice of Popish ceremonies in worship--which he compared to the
dry bones in Ezekiel, coming together, and being covered with sinews,
flesh, and skin; to be afterwards filled with breath and life. First
the form and finally the spirit of the old apostacy were creeping over
the Church of England, and the corpse buried at the Reformation even
how seemed rising from the grave. The speaker proceeded to complain of
the discouragement shown to Protestantism by prosecuting scrupulous
persons for things indifferent--such as not coming to the altar rails
to receive the communion,[98] preaching lectures on Sunday afternoons,
and using other Catechisms than that in the prayer book. This part of
Pym's speech concluded with a notice of alarming encroachments made by
ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Accused persons were fined and punished
without law. A _jure divino_ authority was claimed for Episcopal order
and proceedings, and articles were contrived and published, pretending
to have the force of canon laws, which the orator declared was an
effect of great presumption and boldness, not only in the bishops, but
in their archdeacons, officials, and chancellors, who thus assumed
a kind of synodical authority. Such injunctions might well partake,
in name, with "that part of the common law which is called the
extravagants."[99] This last charge referred to what had been done in
the late convocation.

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

Other speakers followed Pym, and all adopted the same tone. Sir
Benjamin Rudyard complained of disturbances made on account of trifles,
"where to place a metaphor or an altar," and of families ruined for not
dancing on Sundays; and he asked what would become of the persecutors
when the master of the house should return and find them beating their
fellow-servants? These inventions were but sieves for the devil's
purposes, made to winnow good men. They were meant to worry diligent
preachers, for such only were vexed after this fashion. So it came to
pass that, under the name of _Puritan_, all religion was branded, and
under a few hard words against Jesuits, all Popery was countenanced;
whoever squared his actions by any rule, either divine or human, he
was a _Puritan_; whoever would be governed by the King's laws, he was
a _Puritan_; he that would not do what other men would have him to do,
was a _Puritan_. The masterpiece of the enemy was to make the truly
religious suspected of the whole kingdom.[100]

Sir John Holland, member for Castle Rising, also insisted on
ecclesiastical grievances. Bagshaw, Culpeper, and Grimston proceeded in
a similar strain. Even Lord Digby complained of prelates, convocations,
and canons, the last being "a covenant against the King for bishops
and the hierarchy."

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Perhaps there is not on record another great debate in which such
unanimity found expression, and such volleys of grape-shot rattled
into a regiment of abuses. No question, however, affecting the
fundamental principles of the Establishment was at present raised;
but the corruptions which had covered and choked it were unsparingly
threatened. Towards them nothing but indignation was shown.

When the debate had closed with the appointment of a Committee to
prepare a remonstrance, the House, well knowing that the right way to
obtain a blessed issue was to implore the divine assistance, resolved
to desire the Lords to join with them in requesting his Majesty to
allow so holy a preparation, and, further, to appoint a general fast.

What the next day witnessed is most memorable for its political
consequences, yet it also involved ecclesiastical results of the
greatest importance. The Earl of Strafford, though suffering from the
gout to which he was a martyr, had hastened to London, and reached it
on the 10th of November; fully comprehending the state of affairs,
and meditating measures for stopping the tide of revolution. People
believed he had a project for accusing the patriots of a share in the
Scotch invasion; and that, failing other schemes, there remained the
old expedient of dissolving Parliament.

The Earl, the morning after his arrival in London, went down to the
House and took his seat; being received with all the "expressions of
honour and observance, answerable to the dignity of his place, and the
esteem and credit which he had with the King as the chief Minister
of State. But this day's sun was not fully set before his power and
greatness received such a diminution as gave evident symptoms of his
approaching ruin."[101]

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

His fellow-counsellor and trusty adherent, Archbishop Laud, moved that
from a Committee of the two Houses, to be held that afternoon, he and
four other bishops might be spared their attendance, on account of a
meeting of Convocation. The Prime Minister and the Archbishop left
the House, little dreaming of what would happen before sunset on that
November day.

Pym had heard of Strafford's arrival. Knowing the man, regarding his
return as ominous, and with a keen eye piercing into the heart of his
policy, he felt that he must grapple with him at once. Not merely for
himself had it come to be a question of life or death, but all reform
in Church and State depended on an immediate defeat of Strafford. If
suffered to do what he pleased but for another day, he might render all
the work of the last few months abortive, and bring back absolutism in
triumph. Men said of him, "he had much more of the oak than the willow
about his heart." To bend the oak was impossible, and therefore Pym
resolved to cut it down. Another such instance of timely sternness
there is not in English history.

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Twelve years before, at Greenwich,--when Strafford, faithless to his
party, thought of accepting a coronet,--Pym had said to him, "You
are going to leave us, but I will never leave you while your head is
upon your shoulders." Did those words cross the mind of the patriotic
statesman as he passed through the lobby to take his accustomed seat on
the morning of the most memorable day of his life? Suddenly he rose,
looked round on the well-filled benches, and said he had matter great
importance to bring forward. "Let the strangers' room be cleared," he
went on to ask, "and the outer doors be locked, and the keys laid on
the clerk's table." This done, breathless silence followed. Before the
Parliament of England, now sitting in secret conclave, Pym spoke out
boldly what was in his heart. The kingdom had fallen into a miserable
condition. "Waters of bitterness" were flowing through the land; he
must enquire, he said, "from what fountain? what persons they are who
have so far insinuated themselves into the royal affections, as to be
able to pervert His Majesty's excellent judgment, to abuse his name,
and apply his authority to support their own corrupt designs?"

Pym's speech occupied some hours in delivery. In the midst of it came
interruption. With the usual formalities, a message arrived from the
House of Lords, touching the conference to which the Archbishop had
referred that morning. Though the message itself could not at first
have been contrived with a view of getting at the secret, about which
outside curiosity had risen to fever heat; yet it might have been sent
at that moment, with the hope of worming out what His Majesty's Commons
were doing within locked doors. But the messengers, as they walked
slowly up to the clerk's table, making their measured obeisances, were
none the wiser for their visit. Pym, suspecting some other object
than the professed one, had them quickly dispatched with the answer,
"that as the House was engaged on very weighty business it could not
meet the Lords just then." At the same time, he managed to "give such
advertisement to some of the Lords," that their House might be kept
from rising till his project should be fully accomplished.

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

The messengers dismissed, the doors re-locked, the buzz of conversation
hushed, Pym resumed, and at length ended his speech by demanding that
Strafford should be impeached. The demand found "consent from the whole
House;" nor in all the debate did one person offer to stop the torrent
of condemnation by any favourable testimony respecting the Earl. Lord
Falkland only counselled that time should be taken to digest the
accusation. Pym immediately replied such delay would blast all hopes,
for Strafford, hearing of their intentions, "would undoubtedly procure
the Parliament to be dissolved."

The House at once appointed a committee of seven to draw up the
charges. They retired, and soon returned with their report. The House
at once solemnly resolved to impeach the Earl at the bar of the Lords.

The clock had struck four. The doors were thrown open. "The leader of
the Commons issued forth, and followed by upwards of three hundred of
the members, crossed over in the full sight of the assembled crowd,
to the Upper House." Standing at the bar, with the retinue of members
pressing round, Pym, in the name of the Commons, accused Strafford of
high treason.[102]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Strafford's seat was empty. The Commons withdrew. After consideration
of the message by the peers, the Lord-keeper acknowledged its receipt,
gave credit for due care taken in the business, and promised a further
answer. The Earl was sitting at Whitehall with the King. Swift as
the wind, tidings of the impeachment began to travel, and reached
the accused amongst the first. He had been out-manœuvred. While
preparing for an attack on the enemy's camp he found his own citadel
assailed, stormed, taken. Still dauntless, he coolly remarked, "I will
go and look mine accusers in the face." Then going to the court gate
he took coach, and drove to the House. Advancing to the threshold, he
"rudely" demanded admission. James Maxwell, keeper of the Black Rod,
opened the door. His lordship, with a "proud glouming countenance,"
made towards his seat as well as his lameness would allow. He sat down,
heard[103] what was going on, and, in spite of orders to withdraw,
"kept his confidence and his place till it raised a vehement redoubling
of the former scorn, and occasioned the Lord-keeper to tell him that
he must withdraw, and to charge the gentleman usher that he would look
well to him."[104]

The proud minister found himself detained in the lobby of the House in
which once his word had been law.

The Lords debated further on the message of the Commons, and came to
the conclusion that the Earl, for this accusation of high treason,
should be committed to the safe custody of the gentleman usher, and be
sequestered from coming to Parliament until he cleared himself. Called
in, he was commanded to kneel at the bar. Completely vanquished, he
did so on the very spot where his great antagonist an hour before had
stood a conqueror. He now had formal information of the charge brought
up by Pym, and was taken into custody. Master Black Rod, proud of his
business, required his prisoner to deliver up his sword, and told a
waiting-man to carry it. As the prisoner retired, all gazed, but no man
"capped to him before whom, that morning, the greatest of England would
have stood discovered."[105] Discourteous speeches followed--for
an English mob has little pity for fallen greatness--and, to add to
his humiliation, when at last, amidst the bustle, the Earl found his
carriage, Master Maxwell insolently remarked, "Your lordship is my
prisoner, and must go in my coach."

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

That day sealed Strafford's fate; the only impediment in the patriot's
path lay crushed. Now Pym could do his will, and carry out some great
reform in Church and State. It was time.

"The strong man armed kept his palace, and his goods were in peace. But
now a stronger than he came upon him and overcame him, and took from
him all his armour, wherein he trusted, and divided his spoils."

To some readers, there may appear little or no connection between Pym's
death-wrestle with Wentworth, and the overturning of the Episcopal
Church, the setting up of Presbyterianism, and what followed; yet
really without that death-wrestle the things which happened afterwards
appear impossibilities.

When Strafford had been in the Tower a month, Laud was impeached, and
followed his friend into the custody of James Maxwell.[106]

On the 17th November, a public fast took place, when the House of
Commons assembled in the Church of St. Margaret, Westminster, and
continued in divine worship for _seven hours_.[107]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

A few days after the fast[108] the Commons, according to precedent,
received the Holy Communion, and also according to precedent resolved
that none should sit in the House who did not partake of the
Sacrament.[109] A measure of policy was connected with their piety on
this occasion, which from its having been misunderstood has led to a
misapprehension of the whole proceeding. The fact of its having been
resolved that all should participate in the Lord's Supper has been
cited as a proof that the members were all attached to the Church of
England;[110] but Rapin[111] adopts the subtle theory that, bent upon
assailing the Bishops, the Commons resolved on this communion, to save
themselves from being suspected of Presbyterianism,--as in the reign of
Henry V., the Commons prefaced their assault on the clergy by passing
a Bill for burning heretics, to save themselves from being suspected
of heresy. Yet amidst these speculations upon the subject, the real
purpose of the House--beyond its following a precedent and gratifying
religious feelings--is frankly expressed in the Journal to have been
the discovery of papists amongst the members. The committee who
reported on the subject conceived that some confession of faith and a
renunciation of the Pope should be required from such as were suspected
of popery. At the same time two members of the House were directed to
convey to the Dean of Westminster a desire that "the elements might be
consecrated upon a communion-table, standing in the church, according
to the rubric, and to have the table removed from the altar."[112]

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

The Long Parliament, in its early sittings, occupied much time in
hearing Puritan petitions. Such petitions came from sufferers under
ecclesiastical oppression; from people dissatisfied with Anglican
clergymen; from individuals scandalized at ceremonial innovations; and
from different counties praying for redress of grievances in Church
and State. The latter petitions were brought up to town by troops of
horsemen. Such documents, accompanied by the denunciations of members
who presented them, occasioned searching inquiries into Anglican
superstition and intolerance. Persons alleged that communion-tables
were set altar-wise; that anthems and organs were superseding plain
and proper psalm-singing; that wax candles were burnt in churches in
honour of our Lady; that copes of white satin were worn by ministers;
that boys with lighted torches went in procession and bowed to the
altar; and that Puritans were roughly handled for refusing to make
a like obeisance. Further, such persons declared "flat Popery" had
been preached, as well as performed; transubstantiation, confession,
and absolution, being doctrines maintained in Anglican pulpits.[113]
Cases were brought up of clergymen unrighteously suspended for
refusing to read the "Book of Sports," and for similar offences. The
private gossip of the day touching church matters reached the House
through members anxious to stimulate their partizans. Though such
reports appear undignified enough in senatorial speeches, they are
welcome to the historian, because indicative of the staple talk round
firesides in those boisterous days. Alderman Pennington told how an
archdeacon's son had said, "God take the Parliament for a company of
Puritanical factious fellows, who would wiredraw the King for money,
when a Spanish don would lend him two millions. The King would never
have quiet until he had taken off twenty or more of their heads." In
petitions, according to the Diurnals, very odd references occurred
to the sayings and doings of High Churchmen. One declared "the
Commissaries were the suburbs of heaven, and the High Commission the
Archangels, and that to preach twice a day, or to say any prayers but
the Common Prayers, was a damnable sin." Moreover, the same newspaper
states, that a minister in Shoreditch stood charged with preaching on
the man who went down to Jericho--saying, the King was the man, the
Scots the thieves, the Protestant the priest, the formal Protestant the
Levite, and the Papist the Good Samaritan.[114] Another, being asked
how he could maintain by Scripture the turning of the communion-table
altar-wise, replied, "the times were turned, and it was fit the tables
should be turned also."

A petition came from a churchwarden cited and punished for not
prosecuting parishioners who refused to stand while hearing the
creed, to bow at the name of Jesus, to kneel at public prayer, and
to sit uncovered during sermon time. These breaches of prescribed
ecclesiastical decorum were taken as proofs of Puritan irreverence; but
when Puritans were threatened in consequence with legal penalties, such
acts appeared to them to be full of heroic virtue.

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

The growth of popery formed a fruitful topic of quaint declamation.
The approach of any great personage, it was said, may be known
by the sumpter mules sent on before. And when the Pope travels,
altars, copes, pictures, and images precede his progress. High
Church ceremonies announced the coming Mass. Clerical tricks of this
description prepared for the revival of papal domination. Resistance
had provoked persecution. Fire had come out of the bramble, and
devoured the cedars of Lebanon.[115]

Stories, too, were told of a parsonage worth three hundred a year,
where not even a poor curate remained to read prayers, catechise
children, or bury the dead; and of a vicarage, where the nave of
the church had been pulled down, the lead sold, the bells profaned,
the chancel made into a dog-kennel, and the steeple turned into a

The debate of the 14th and 15th of December, on the canons, was
conducted in the same spirit as other proceedings. Convocation had met
in April, at the opening of the Short Parliament; one of the first
measures adopted being an imposition on the clergy of six subsidies
of four shillings in the pound for six years. Canons had then been
prepared, relative to the regal power for suppressing popery, also
against Socinianism and sectaries, and further, for preventing
Puritan innovations and for promoting uniformity. While discussions
on these subjects were proceeding, Parliament had been dissolved, but
Convocation had unconstitutionally determined as a royal synod, to
persevere sitting until it should be dissolved by the King's writ.[117]
Some of the clerical body had protested against this procedure, but
the King, with the opinion of certain judges, had confirmed it, and
Convocation, then acting as a synod under royal sanction, had completed
the new canons.[118]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

Parliament poured out vials of wrath on all these canons. They included
protests against popery--the third being for the suppression of its
growth, and the seventh charging the Church of Rome with "idolatry
committed in the mass for which all popish altars were demolished," but
the Puritans overlooked or regarded all this as only a pretence for
covering assaults upon themselves. To have done so seems to us unfair,
though considering the character of the men framing the canons, with
whom members of the House of Commons were well acquainted, everybody
must believe the authors of the new laws hated Puritanism more than
Popery. The truth is, Anglicanism, though thoroughly opposed to papal
supremacy, and to some of the dogmas and superstitions of Rome,
fostered sympathy with much of the faith and worship characteristic
of that church, while it had not a breath of kindness for Puritan
sentiments. Such a state of things drove the two parties wide as the
poles asunder, and we cannot wonder that on the question of the canons
the House of Commons, revolting at Anglo-Catholicism, read all which
Convocation had done in the light of those well-known principles by
which Convocation was actuated. Whatever the bishops and clergy there,
might honestly say about popish ceremonies and the idolatry of the
mass, they were chiefly bent on crushing the Puritans, and accordingly
the Puritans grappled with the Anglicans as in a struggle for life.
Matter enough existed in these new laws to provoke destructive
criticism. The first propounded the divine right of kings, and claimed
for them powers inconsistent with the English constitution. The canon
against sectaries was extremely intolerant, and was so ingeniously
contrived as to turn statutes for suppressing popery against all sorts
of nonconforming Protestants.

[Sidenote: _Debates on Religion._]

No one, however, of this ill-fated assembly's enactments had to run
the gauntlet, like the canon relative to the et cetera oath.[119] It
speedily sank under torrents of argument and invective, ridicule, and
satire. Also, the prolonging of convocation as a synod, after the
dissolution of Parliament, incurred condemnation as wholly illegal; the
canons were pronounced invalid; and the entire proceedings subversive
of the laws of the realm.[120]

Heylyn declares that the _et cetera_ was introduced in the draft to
avoid tautology, and that the enumeration was to be perfected before
engrossment, but the king hastened its being printed, and so occasioned
the mischief.--_Heylyn's Life of Laud_, 444.

Archbishop Laud had to bear, in no small measure, the odium of the
new ecclesiastical measures. Doubtless, he had a leading hand in
their origin, but it is also a fact, that before the opening of the
Long Parliament, he wrote by His Majesty's command to the bishops of
his province, to suspend the operation of the article respecting the
et cetera oath.[121] And when the House had been sitting a little
more than three weeks, after Pym, Culpeper, Grimston, and Digby, had
attacked this unpopular clerical legislation, and when a still more
distinct and violent assault was seen to be approaching, the Archbishop
wrote a letter to Selden, member of a committee for enquiry upon the
subject, requesting that the "unfortunate canons" might be suffered to
die quietly, without blemishing the Church, which had too many enemies
both at home and abroad.[122]

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

The vote of the House of Commons administered a blow to Convocation
from which it could not recover. That assembly, indeed, again appeared
as the twin sister of the new Parliament. Representatives of the
province of Canterbury met on the 3rd November, the day on which
the Lords and Commons assembled. The usual formalities having been
observed, a sermon preached, and a prolocutor chosen--Archbishop Laud
addressed the clergy in Henry the Seventh's chapel, in a manner which
shewed that he heard the sound of the brewing storm, and had sense
enough to discern the impending danger. So had others of the assembly.
Accordingly, some one proposed in the Lower House, that "they should
endeavour according to the Levitical law to cover the pit which
they had opened, and to prevent the designs of their adversaries by
condemning the obnoxious canons." But the majority, not willing to
be condemned till formally accused, heeded not this warning; yet the
members avoided giving further provocation, and, feeble themselves,
they only watched the proceedings of their parliamentary neighbours.
When the resolution of the Commons was passed it paralyzed them. The
Upper House did not meet again after Christmas, nor the Lower after the
following February.[123] The assembly of the Convocation of York had
been prevented by the death of the Archbishop, and the new writ issued
came to nothing.

Here we shall pause for a moment to watch other forces coming into


                             CHAPTER III.

Two ideas of Church reform evolved themselves: one already
indicated,--that of separating from simple primitive Episcopacy all
prelatical assumptions,--and another, which amounted to a decided
revolution in the Church, including the extinction of Episcopacy
altogether. While the former rose out of reverence for the Reformation
under Elizabeth, combined with disgust at the history of prelatical
rule,--the latter had a deeper and wider cause.

When Episcopacy strove to maintain itself in England, after the shock
given to ecclesiastical power in the days of Henry VIII. and Edward
VI., Presbyterianism made good its position at Geneva under Calvin, and
at Edinburgh under Knox. The connexion between the two cities and the
two Reformers, and between them both and our own country, everybody
knows. The exiles who had found a home, not only on the shores of the
beautiful Lake Leman, but also on the scarcely less beautiful banks of
the Lake of Zurich, brought with them, when they returned home after
the Marian persecution, strong Presbyterian predilections. Calvin,
also, exercised a direct influence on some of the English Reformers;
and the system of John Knox, in such close neighbourhood as the north
of the Tweed, could not fail to affect those who were studying the
question, "what ought to be the Church of the future?"

[Sidenote: 1567.]

Indications of Presbyterian sentiments in the England of Elizabeth are
very numerous.[124] They wrought within the Episcopal establishment
without producing a severance. Cartwright was a Presbyterian. He
contended for the abolition of archbishops, and archdeacons, and
would retain only bishops or presbyters to preach the word and pray,
and deacons to take care of the poor. Every Church, by which he
meant a "certain flock," was to be governed by its own ministers and
presbyters, and these were not to be created by civil authority, but
chosen by popular election. The directory of government, found in the
study of that eminent Puritan after his death, said to be composed by
Travers, is in perfect harmony with this Presbyterian scheme. Certain
clerical meetings, under the auspices of Cartwright and Travers, took
a decided synodical shape.[125] This element continued in the Church
under the Stuarts, notwithstanding the efforts of bishops to extinguish

[Sidenote: _Presbyterianism._]

Certain Puritans of a Presbyterian turn, formally separated themselves
from the Establishment so early as 1567, and met together for
Nonconformist worship in Plumber's Hall.[127] An organized Presbytery
appears at Wandsworth in 1572,--in the Channel Islands, where the
Government of England could not reach it, the system was fully
established in 1577; and Presbyterian classes may be traced in Cheshire
and Lancashire, Warwick and Northampton, during the last few years
of the Tudor dynasty. Organized Presbyterianism is seen but faintly
in the early part of the seventeenth century, but Presbyterianism,
as a sentiment within the Established Church, is distinctly visible.
Nonconformity of another kind was also on the increase at this period.
Churches of the Independent and Baptist order may be discovered in
Tudor times, but they became more apparent and numerous in the days of
the Stuarts. Their rise and progress will be afterwards described.

[Sidenote: 1640.]

How Puritanism glided into a state of separation, and the nonconformist
in the Church became a dissenter outside its pale, is curiously
illustrated in the Records of the Church assembling in Broadmead,
Bristol. In those records is a story of a certain zealous lady of
that city named Kelly.[128] "She kept a grocer's shop in High Street,
between the Builders' Inn and the High Cross," and that she might bear
a testimony against superstitious observances, "she would keep open her
shop on Christmas Day, and sit sewing in the face of the sun, and in
the sight of all men." Afterwards, when she heard a clergyman she did
not like at the parish church, "away she went forth before them all,
and said she would hear no more, and never did." Puritan emigrants to
New England embarked at Bristol, and would abide with Mrs. Hazzard "if
they waited for a wind." Women actually sought to be confined in the
parish of a Puritan clergyman, to avoid the ceremonies of "churching
and crossing." "The consciences of the good people began to be very
weary." Then "it pleased the Lord to stir up some few of the professors
of this city to lead the way out of Babylon." "Five persons began to
go further, and scrupled to hear common prayer, even four men and one
woman." So that in the year 1640, those five persons met together at
Mrs. Hazzard's house, "at the upper end of Broad Street, in Bristol,
and came to a holy resolution to separate from the worship of the world
and times they lived in, and that they would go no more to it."[129]
In this case, we see how dissatisfaction with the Established Church
gradually led to positive separation, and how extremely feeble, in some
instances, was the commencement of organized dissent. But the spirit
working in the way just indicated, slowly, and without much notice,
came suddenly and boldly on the surface, soon after the Long Parliament
had opened.

[Sidenote: _Presbyterianism._]

Though the incumbents of the metropolis were almost all High Churchmen,
there were many Puritan lecturers in the city with strong Presbyterian
sympathies, supported by wealthy citizens, and in high repute with the
multitude. Amongst them, Dr. Cornelius Burgess is a very noticeable
man--already mentioned as the fast-day preacher--who, in connection
with a lectureship at St. Paul's, held other Church preferment. To
him and his brother lecturers may be ascribed the inspiration of much
intense public feeling against prelatical assumptions, and against
Episcopacy itself,[130] out of which arose an extraordinary memorial,
which has attained no small notoriety under the name of the _Root and
Branch_ petition.

This petition complained that the offices and jurisdictions of
archbishops were the same as in the papal community, "little change
thereof being made, except only the head from whence it was derived;"
that there was great conformity of the English Church to the Church
of Rome in vestures, postures, ceremonies, and administrations; that
the liturgy, for the most part, is framed out of the Romish Breviary,
Ritual, and the Mass Book; and that the forms of ordination and
consecration were drawn from the Romish pontifical.[131] Whoever
prepared this document, it was soon submitted to Mr. Bagshawe, of the
Inner Temple, member for Southwark, who had obtained great popularity
by his lectures against the temporalities of bishops--lectures which
brought on him the displeasure of Laud. But Bagshawe, though zealous
for the reform of Episcopacy, did not desire to see it abolished. He
therefore declined to take charge of the petition, when Mr. John White,
his fellow-burgess for Southwark--afterwards the famous chairman of
the committee for scandalous ministers--arranged its delivery to the
Commons, not however by his own hands, but through Alderman Pennington,
a citizen well known for his extreme dislike to the Episcopal

[Sidenote: 1633.]

A still more effective agency on the Presbyterian side appeared in
London at the same time.

[Sidenote: _Presbyterianism._]

Scotland had silently fostered the Presbyterianism of England for many
years. Head quarters for that polity had been there established. In
the neighbourhood of the Highlands, synods found even a kindlier soil
and a more congenial climate than under the shadow of the Alps. True
to its old French sympathies, Scotland did not follow the example of
reformation set in England or in Germany; it eschewed Saxon examples,
and adopted that form of Protestantism which had been embraced by such
of the Gallic nation as had seceded from Rome, and which bore the
impress of the piety and genius of one of the most illustrious sons of
France. Edinburgh, during the ministry of Knox, saw as complete a work
accomplished as Geneva had witnessed during the ministry of Calvin.
Episcopacy was thoroughly rooted out, and the attempts under Charles
I. to replant it only exasperated the husbandmen of the vineyard, and
made them love the more what they counted "trees of the Lord's right
hand planting." Presbyterianism became doubly dear to Scotchmen when
the grandson of Mary sought to destroy that, which, in the days of his
grandmother, their forefathers had cultivated with toil and tears. To
make the matter worse, when Charles went to Scotland in 1633, and took
with him Laud, then Bishop of London, everything seemed to be done
which was likely to arouse Scotch prejudices against episcopal order
and the English liturgy. Instead of reducing the Anglican ceremonies
to as simple a form as possible, the most elaborate pomp of worship
appeared in Holyrood Chapel. The _Dreadnought_, a good ship, well
victualled, "appointed to guard the narrow seas," was engaged to
transport from Tilbury Hope to the Firth of Forth, twenty-six musical
gentlemen of the Royal Chapel at Whitehall, with their goods and
paraphernalia to perform the cathedral service, so as to impress the
Presbyterians of Edinburgh.[133] A more thorough mistake could not
have been made in a city where even the sight of a surplice and the
reading of the common prayer, a few years afterwards, occasioned the
world-known episode of "Jenny Geddes and her wonderful Folding Stool."

The attempt to impose Episcopacy and its associations on Presbyterian
Scotland provoked a Covenant war, and roused a determination in the
hearts of her sons to carry Presbyterianism over the border, and to
make the two countries one pure Kirk. How the strong Presbyterianism
on the other side the Tweed re-inforced what was comparatively weak at
first on this side the border,--how the Scotch made the system amongst
Englishmen what it became,--how, like a loadstone, it attracted and
brought together the scattered particles of Presbyterian sentiments
throughout England,--how the Church of the North greatly augmented the
mass of Puritanism in the South, and welded it for a while into form
somewhat like its own, will appear as this narrative proceeds.

Meanwhile some passing notice must be taken of the enthusiasm of the
Scotch army in support of Presbyterianism, and it cannot better be done
than in the words of a worthy minister who visited the camp, and whose
_naïve_ and graphic notes on other subjects, we shall have frequent
occasion to use.

[Sidenote: 1639.]

"It would have done you good," the writer says, "to have cast your
eyes athwart our brave and rich hill as oft as I did, with great
contentment and joy; for I (quoth the wren) was there among the rest,
being chosen preacher by the gentlemen of our Shyre, who came late with
my Lord of Eglintoun. I furnished to half-a-dozen of good fellows
muskets and picks, and to my boy a broadsword. I carried myself, as the
fashion was, a sword, and a couple of Dutch pistols at my saddle; but
I promise, for the offence of no man, except a robber in the way; for
it was our part alone to pray and preach for the encouragement of our
countrymen, which I did to my power most cheerfully." The troops were
commanded by noblemen; the captains, for the most part, were landed
proprietors; and the lieutenants, experienced soldiers, who had been
employed in the wars of Gustavus Adolphus. The colours flying at the
entrance of each captain's tent bore the Scottish arms, with the motto,
'For Christ's Crown and Covenant,' in golden letters. There were some
companies of Highlanders, "souple fellows, with their playds, targes,
and dorlachs." But the soldiers were mostly stout young ploughmen, who
increased in courage and experience daily; "the sight of the nobles and
their beloved pastors daily raised their hearts; the good sermons and
prayers, morning and evening, under the roof of heaven, to which their
drums did call them for bells; the remonstrances very frequent of the
goodness of their cause; of their conduct hitherto, by a hand clearly
divine; also Leslie's skill and fortune made them all so resolute for
battle as could be wished. We were feared that emulation among our
nobles might have done harm, when they should be met in the fields, but
such was the wisdom and authority of that old, little, crooked soldier,
that all, with one incredible submission, from the beginning to the
end, gave over themselves to be guided by him, as if he had been great
Solyman. Certainly the obedience of our nobles to that man's advices
was as great as their forbears wont to be to their King's commands." He
further adds: "Had you lent your ear in the morning, or especially at
even, and heard in the tents the sound of some singing psalms, some
praying, and some reading scripture, ye would have been refreshed. For
myself, I never found my mind in better temper than it was all that
time frae I came from home, till my head was again homeward; for I was
as a man who had taken my leave from the world, and was resolved to die
in that service without return."[134]

[Sidenote: _Presbyterianism._]

The writer of this description was Robert Baillie, and he, in company
with two other distinguished clergymen, Alexander Henderson and Robert
Blair, visited London just as the "Root and Branch" petition was being
prepared. They came with a commission from Scotland, under the broad
seal of the Northern Parliament, to settle the quarrel which had led to
the encampment of the covenant army--a quarrel in which the Puritans
and the Long Parliament took part with the Scotch against the King and
his Bishops. Three noblemen, three barons and three burgesses were
commissioned for the same purpose. With the treaty of peace there was
to be the payment of the Scotch troops by the English nation. The
clerical commissioners hoped that there would follow the inauguration
of goodly presbyteries throughout the fair land of the South, an object
which was dearer to them than any political alliance, or than any
amount of money.

[Sidenote: 1640, November.]

On Monday morning, November 16th, long before dawn, after spending
their Sabbath in the little town of Ware, the three clergymen started
for London. They had travelled from Edinburgh on horseback, surprised
at the inns, seeming to them "like palaces," which they thought
accounted for exorbitant charges for coarse meals. In the dark they
trotted forth from Ware, all well, "horse and men, with divers
merchants, and their servants on little nags," the road "extremely
foul and deep;" and by sunrise that cold morning,--as the light
woke up the slumbering city, as the smoke rose through the quaint
chimneys from ten thousand hearths,--the three presbyters entered the
metropolis.[135] They lodged in the city close to London Stone,[136]
in a house which was wont to be inhabited by the Lord Mayor, or by one
of the Sheriffs. St. Antholin's (or St. Anthony's) Church, connected
with the mansion by a gallery, became their place of worship. There
they soon had throngs as great as at their own communions, and daily
the crowds increased to hear Mr. Henderson, so that "from the first
appearance of day to the shutting in the light, the church was never
empty." The lodgings by London Stone became the scene of many an
earnest conference, and there Baillie wrote the letters and journals
which afford us such an insight into public proceedings and religious
life in London during that eventful winter.

The Scotch Commissioners soon saw the famous petition, from "the town
of London, and a world of men, for the abolition of bishops and deans
and all their appurtenances," and were consulted about the time of its
presentation.[137] They seem to have recommended delay, till Parliament
should pull down "Canterbury and some prime bishops;" and Convocation
should be visited with a _præmunire_ for its illegal canons; and
preachers have further opportunity of preparing the people to root out
Episcopacy. "Huge things," Baillie told his friends, were working in
England. God's mighty hand was raising a joyful harvest from long sown
tears, but the fruit was scarcely ripe.

[Sidenote: _Presbyterianism._]

The tide of excitement could not be stayed. The London petitioners had
not more desire, but they had less patience than the prudent ministers.
On the 11th of December, as Baillie tells us, the honest citizens,
in their best apparel and in a very modest way, went to the House of
Commons, and sent in two aldermen with the document, bearing 15,000
signatures. It was well received. They who brought it were desired to
go in peace, and Alderman Pennington laid the huge scroll upon the

[Sidenote: 1641, January.]

Another petition, prepared at the same time,[138] came under Baillie's
notice, who speaks of it as drawn up by the well-affected clergy
for the overthrow of the bishops, and posted through the land for
signatures, and as likely to be returned in a fortnight, with "a
large remonstrance." "At that time," he exultingly adds, "the root of
Episcopacy will be assaulted with the strongest blast it ever felt
in England. Let your hearty prayers be joined with mine, and of many
millions, that the breath of the Lord's nostrils may join with the
endeavours of weak men to blow up that old gourd[139] wicked oak."
Whether the Presbyterian Commissioner had been misinformed respecting
the Petition and Remonstrance, or whether the paper had undergone
alterations after its first issue, this is certain, that when
presented to the House on the 23rd January, it differed materially
from that of "the Root and Branch," inasmuch as it prayed not for the
subversion, but only for the reform of Episcopacy. It contained the
names of seven hundred beneficed clergymen. Other petitions had been
brought to the House. On the 12th of January several arrived, and that
from Kent may be taken as a sample, in which the government of the
Church of England by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, and Archdeacons, was
deplored as dangerous to the Commonwealth, and it was earnestly prayed
that this hierarchial power might be totally abrogated, if the wisdom
of the House should find it could not be maintained by God's word, and
to His glory.[140]

Petitions afterwards flowed in on the other side from Wales,
Lancashire, Staffordshire, and other counties.[141] High Churchmen
talked about the way in which the Puritans and Presbyterians got up
these documents. The signatures were fictitious. People were cajoled
into writing their names--intended for one purpose, they were perverted
for another. Such things might not be altogether without truth. But we
are safe in believing, if tricks were played by one party they were
played by the other also; and as at present, so then, whatever was done
by either faction came in for an unmerciful, and often unrighteous,
share of criticism from exasperated opponents.[142]

[Sidenote: _Petitions._]

While petitioners were busy, and the House of Commons had enough to
do to hear their grievances, and debates were earnest, and two potent
principles were embodied in the strife, the King watched it all with
alarm for Episcopacy rather than with any apprehensions for his
own personal safety. For his subjects were loyal and dutiful, and,
according to Baillie, "feared his frown." He summoned both Houses
of Parliament to Whitehall, on the 25th January, 1641, and, after
professing willingness to concur in the reformation of the Church,
added the following characteristic sentences: "I will show you some
_rubs_, and must needs take notice of some very strange (I know
not what term to give them) petitions given in the names of divers
counties, against the present established Government, and of the great
threatenings against the bishops, that they will make them to be but
cyphers, or, at least, their voices to be taken away. Now I must tell
you, that I make a great difference between reformation and alteration
of Government, though I am for the former, I cannot give way to the
latter. If some of them have overstretched their power, I shall not be
unwilling these things should be redressed and reformed--nay, further,
if upon serious debate you shall show me that bishops have some
temporal authority inconvenient to the State, I shall not be unwilling
to desire them to lay it down. But this must not be understood, that
I shall in any way consent that their voices in Parliament should be
taken away; for in all the times of my predecessors since the Conquest,
and before, they have enjoyed it, and I am bound to maintain them in it
as one of the fundamental constitutions of this kingdom."[143]

[Sidenote: 1641, February.]

After petitions from the people, consultations with the Scotch,
cautions from the Crown, and preparatory proceedings in the House, the
grand debate came on respecting the "Root and Branch" Petition. The
debate lasted throughout the 8th and 9th of February, 1641. In the
course of it, the mercurial royalist, Lord Digby, observed, he had
reason to believe that some aimed at a total extirpation of Episcopacy,
yet, whilst opposing such extreme views, he was for clipping the wings
of the prelates; and, though condemning the Petition, he thought no
people had ever been more provoked than England of late years, by the
insolence and exorbitance of the bishops. "For my part," declared he,
"I profess I am inflamed with the sense of them, so that I find myself
ready to cry out with the loudest of the 15,000, "down with them, down
with them, even to the ground!" Let us not, however," he added, "destroy
bishops, but make bishops such as they were in primitive times." The
independent Nathaniel Fiennes opposed Episcopal rule, maintaining
that until the Church Government of the country could "be framed of
another twist," and more assimilated to that of the commonwealth,
the ecclesiastical would be no good neighbour to the civil: for as
with children afflicted with the rickets, all nourishment goes to the
upper parts, so in the rickety condition of the Church, while the
hierarchy became monstrously enlarged, the lower clergy pined away.
Bishoprics, deaneries, and chapels, he compared to wasters in a wood.
The official Sir Benjamin Rudyard condemned bishops unsparingly, yet
advocated episcopal superintendence: and afterwards the learned Mr.
Bagshawe pedantically distinguished between Episcopacy primitive _in
statu puro_, and Episcopacy _in statu corrupto_, pleading, at the
same time, for a thorough reformation of abuses, and an alteration
of Ecclesiastical government into a Presbyterian form. Sir Harbottle
Grimstone also asked for a diminution of prelatical power.

[Sidenote: _Petitions._]

The speakers who carried the greatest weight in this debate were Pym
and Falkland. We have only a faint echo of the words delivered by
the former. They were to the effect that he thought it was not the
intention of the House to abolish either Episcopacy or the Book of
Common Prayer, but rather to reform both, so far as they gave offence;
and if that improvement could be effected with the concurrence of the
King, Parliament would accomplish a very acceptable work, such as had
never been done since the Reformation.[144] Falkland's speech is fully
reported. Very severe upon the conduct of the bishops generally, he
made exceptions, and expressed himself content to take away what he
said begot the mischief, such as judging wills and marriages, and
having votes in Parliament. He denied the divine right, but would
allow the human expediency of Episcopal rank. His opinion was, "that
we should not root up this ancient tree, as dead as it appears, till
we have tried whether by this, or the like lopping of the branches,
the sap which was unable to feed the whole may not serve to make what
is left both grow and flourish. And, certainly, if we may at once take
away both the inconveniences of bishops and the inconveniences of no
bishops, this course can only be opposed by those who love mutation for
mutation's sake."

[Sidenote: 1641, Feb.]

The only person who boldly defended Episcopacy, and spoke in an
Anglican tone, was Mr. Pleydell, member for Wootton Bassett. "Sir,"
said he, addressing Mr. Speaker, "there is as much beyond truth as on
this side it, and would we steer a right course we must be sure to keep
the channel, lest we fall from one extreme to another, from the dotage
of superstition to the frenzy of profaneness, from bowing to idols
to worship the calves of our own imagination." This honest gentleman
lamented libellous pamphlets, Puritan sermons, irreverence in churches,
and the like; called himself a dutiful son of his distressed mother,
the Church of England; pleaded for referring matters of doctrine to
learned divines; and declared that to venture on any alteration was to
run a risk, the consequences of which no man could foresee.[145]

[Sidenote: _Petitions._]

A scene unnoticed by our historians, but brought to light by the
careful examination of Sir Symonds D'Ewes' journal, occurred during the
debate.[146] Alderman Pennington, Member for London, vindicated the
character of the anti-Episcopal petitioners, and maintained that in
obtaining signatures there "was no course used to rake up hands, for
if that had been done, 15,000 might have mounted to fifteen times
15,000." Then Sir John Strangways, Member for Weymouth, offered a
few words in favour of Episcopacy, observing that "if we made parity
in the Church, we must at last come to a parity in the Commonwealth,
and that the bishops were one of the three estates of the kingdom,
and had a voice in Parliament." Upon this Cromwell rose, and declared
that "he knew no reason of those suppositions and inferences which the
gentleman had made that last spoke." At this point some interruption
occurred, and divers members "called him to the bar." After which Pym
and Holles referred to the orders of the House, that if a gentleman
said anything objectionable, he might explain himself in his place.
D'Ewes followed this up by saying, "to call a member to the bar is the
highest and most supreme censure we can exercise within these walls,
for it is rending away a part from our body, because if once a member
amongst us is placed at yonder bar, he ceaseth to be a member." He then
moved, that if this offence of calling to the bar should be repeated,
the offender should be well fined. Cromwell, who thus appears to have
already become obnoxious to the Church party, must have still more
annoyed his interrupter, when he proceeded to observe, "He did not
understand why the gentleman that last spake (before the interruption)
should make an inference of parity from the Church to the Commonwealth,
nor that there was any necessity of the great revenues of bishops. He
was more convinced, touching the irregularity of bishops, than even
before; because, like the Roman hierarchy, they would not endure to
have their condition come to a trial."[147] This debate resulted in
the petition being referred to a Committee which had been appointed to
prepare subjects to be submitted to the House--the House reserving to
itself the main point of Episcopacy, which was to be afterwards taken
into consideration. The speeches had shewn a remarkable coincidence
of opinion as to the necessity of abridging prelatical power and
Church influence; but they had also brought out discordant views
in relation to Episcopacy itself, though few at present advocated
its total abolition. As yet, it did not seem wise to the Commons to
decide one way or the other on this important point, or to entrust
the consideration of the question to a Committee; but as we look at
the general complexion of the debate, together with the terms of the
resolution, the exceptive clause would appear simply to mean that
Parliament was not yet prepared to abolish Episcopacy.[148]

[Sidenote: 1641, Feb.]

[Sidenote: _Petitions._]

The Committee divided the grievances complained of into nineteen
heads, of which the principal were the inequality of benefices, the
claim of the hierarchy to be a divine institution, the assumption of
an exclusive power to ordain, the temporal power of the bishops, the
holding of pluralities, and the scandalous lives of the Clergy.[149]
The challenge of the divine right of Episcopacy, though it seems to
have come very near to the subject excepted in the resolution, was
pronounced to be a proper point for enquiry; and a long and minute
discussion followed, in which texts of Scripture and passages from
the Fathers were cited and canvassed. It was voted at length that the
"challenge of the divine right of Episcopacy is a question fit to be
presented;"--the Committee in this respect indicating a desire that the
House would proceed to discuss the point reserved, and also shewing by
the tenor of their private conference, the strong Presbyterian element
then at work amongst them. All the nineteen particulars were examined,
and evidence collected respecting each--especially that which bore
upon the conduct of scandalous bishops, whose speeches and quotations
of Scripture are given at length, some in an incredible strain of
impious levity. The Committee sat from the 10th to the 19th February.
No formal discussion of the abstract question about the divine right of
Episcopacy immediately followed the report of the Committee; but the
influence of the report probably told upon the House, and prepared for
an attack upon the bishops, which was made in the month of May.


                              CHAPTER IV.

[Sidenote: _Lords' Committee on Innovations._]

Whilst the Commons were receiving Puritan petitions, the Lords were
presented with others of a different kind. The presence in the Upper
House of Anglican bishops and noblemen, encouraged the Church party
to make complaints to them of Puritan irreverence and interruption;
and these complaints indicated very plainly, how the revolution of
affairs had emboldened certain individuals to commit some very unseemly
acts.[150] At the same time, the gracious reception given by the peers
to anti-Puritan memorials manifested a temper quite different from
that which prevailed in the Lower House. Yet there was not altogether
wanting on the part of their lordships a disposition to make some
small concession to Puritan demands, with the view of saving the
Church of England from changes of a more serious nature. Hence, in the
early spring, they appointed a committee to consider the subject of
innovations. This committee was empowered to consult with any divines
whom they might wish to select; and when the selection had been made, a
theological sub-committee was formed.[151]

[Sidenote: 1641, March.]

Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, and Dean of Westminster, became convener
of this committee of divines, and he presided over all the meetings.
Though possessed of considerable knowledge and ability, and of an
active turn of mind, this remarkable person had not the qualities
necessary for ecclesiastical statesmanship in troubled times such as
those in which his lot was thrown. His whole history supports the
opinion that selfish policy formed the guiding star of his life; and
there is little doubt that a key to such of his proceedings as favoured
Puritanism may be found in his remark that "the Puritans were many,
and strong sticklers; and if his Majesty would but give private orders
to his ministers to connive a little at their party, and shew them
some indulgence, it might, perhaps, mollify them a little, and make
them more pliant, though he did not promise that they would be trusty
long to any government."[152] Williams cannot be honoured for any high
moral or religious principle; he was very much of a time-server, and
fondly loved popularity; indeed his whole history is in keeping with
the keen and cunning expression of his handsome countenance seen in
that portrait of him, with black hat and close ruff, which hangs in the
dining-room of the Westminster Deanery.

[Sidenote: _Lords' Committee on Innovations._]

We can believe what his biographer says respecting his management of
the Committee:--

"The Bishop had undertaken a draught for regulating the government
ecclesiastical, but had not finished it. The sudden and quiet dispatch
of all that was done already was attributed to the Chairman's
dexterity, who could play his prize at all weapons, dally with crooked
humours, and pluck them straight; bring all stragglers into his own
pound, and never drive them in; foresee a tempest of contradiction the
best that ever I knew, and scatter it before it could rise; and won all
his adversaries insensibly into a compliance before they were aware.
To this day they of the Nonconformists that survive, and were present,
will tell you that they admired two things in him, in their phrase--his
courtesy and his cunning."[153]

The members met for a week in the Jerusalem Chamber, and were daily
entertained by the hospitable Dean. This circumstance Fuller could
not record without the witticism, that it was "the last course of all
public episcopal treatments--whose guests may now even put up their
knives, seeing soon after the voider was called for, which took away
all bishops' lands, and most of English hospitality."[154]

Just as Williams was summoning the divines to meet together to enquire
into innovations since the Reformation, and to "examine the degrees and
perfections of the Reformation itself," Laud wrote down in his diary,
"This Committee will meddle with doctrine as well as ceremonies, and
will prove the national synod of England to the great dishonour of the
Church, and what else may follow upon it, God knows."[155]

[Sidenote: 1641, March.]

Though Laud was wrong in the importance which he attached to this mixed
conclave, he was right enough in concluding that it would meddle with
doctrines as well as ceremonies. This appeared very early; for it is
alleged in the memoranda prepared for the Committee that there were
some ministers who preached justification by works, the efficacy of
penance, confession, and absolution, and the sacrificial character of
the Lord's supper; that prayers for the dead were used, and monastic
vows defended; also, "that the whole gross substance of Arminianism was
avowed, and original sin absolutely denied:" and together with these
notices of Romanist tendencies on the one hand, there appear references
to Socinianism on the other. The introduction of these charges could
not but lead to doctrinal controversy, and rumours soon got abroad
that changes in the theological standards of the Church were under

[Sidenote: _Lords' Committee on Innovations._]

The ceremonial innovations complained of were more numerous than the
doctrinal. They included turning the holy table altar-wise; bowing
to the east; the use of candlesticks upon the altar, so called; the
construction of a canopy over it, with curtains on each side; the
display of crucifixes and images upon the parafront or altar-cloth;
reading some parts of the morning service at the table, when the
communion is not celebrated; the employment of credence tables; the
introduction of an offertory distinct from giving alms to the poor;
and "singing the 'Te Deum' in prose, after a cathedral church way,
in divers parochial churches where the people have no skill in such
music." The last of the practices here enumerated might seem to
occasion censure only on the ground of unfitness and want of taste,
such as High Churchmen would disapprove; but all the other particulars
in the paper, of which we have given only specimens, demonstrate
that Puritan, if not Presbyterian pens were employed in drawing it
up. Another proof of this circumstance is found in the reference to
"standing up at the hymns in the church, and always at 'Gloria Patri.'"
The finding fault with that shews the extreme length to which the
Puritans went in their objections; and it is curious to observe, that
standing up to sing, which was in the seventeenth century complained
of as an innovation upon the reformed discipline of the Church,
is now an almost universal practice in all communities of English
Christians.[157] A memorandum follows--which might have proceeded
from the Episcopal portion of the Committee--to the effect that two
sermons should be preached in all cathedral and collegiate churches on
Sundays and holydays, and that there should be at least one lecture
a week; but, again, Puritan influence appears in the expression of a
desire that music should be arranged with less curiosity, and that no
"ditties" should be "framed by private men."

[Sidenote: 1641, March.]

In reference to the Prayer Book, suggestions to the number of
thirty-five occur, of which the following may be mentioned: expunging
the names of some departed saints from the calendar; the disuse of
apocryphal lessons; omitting the Benedicite; the making some discreet
rubric to take away the scandal of signing the cross in baptism, or the
abolition of that sign altogether; the enlargement of the Catechism;
and certain changes in the Marriage[158] and Burial Services, and also
in that for the Visitation of the Sick,--changes of a kind such as have
been commonly proposed by those who advocate a revision of the Prayer

A proposal for reforming the Episcopate which was volunteered by
Williams, and was submitted by him on his own responsibility, without
success, to the House of Lords,[160] does not belong to the schemes of
the Committee. It went no further than to propose that bishops should
preach every Sunday under penalty for default; that none should be
justices of the peace except the Dean of Westminster; and that prelates
should have twelve assistants besides Deans and Chapters. Four of these
assistants were to be appointed by the King, four by the Lords, and
four by the Commons; and in the case of a see being vacant, they were
to present three able divines to His Majesty, who was to nominate one
of them to the Episcopal chair; no Dean or Prebendary was to absent
himself from his cathedral above sixty days.

[Sidenote: _Lords' Committee on Innovations._]

Other plans were drawn up by different persons with a view to the
reconciliation of opposite parties, and there were moderate men who
believed that, "but for some hot spirits who would abate nothing of
episcopal power and profit," a compromise might have been effected.
Perhaps it might; yet supposing some likelihood of peace through mutual
concession at an earlier period, it admits of a question whether any
possibility of it remained, now that the pent-up animosities of many
years had burst out like the fires of a volcano. Theologians of a
spirit like that of Ussher and others might have discovered grounds
of union in spite of different views on some subjects; but a large
majority of the divines who formed the two parties which then divided
the Church, had reached conclusions irreconcilably opposed to each
other. At all events, the semi-Puritan scheme of accommodation came to
nothing. By the middle of May, the Committee had broken up, and when
the reader reflects upon the crisis which affairs had reached, he will
not wonder that the members abandoned the project in despair.

[Sidenote: 1641, April.]

The Committee of the Commons appointed for considering the Ministers'
Remonstrance of the 27th of January, had not been idle. They had made
reports and submitted questions for discussion. The House consequently
passed resolutions for reforming pluralities, removing bishops from
the Peerage and Privy Council, and for excluding all clergymen
from the commission of the peace. Orders were given to frame Bills

One of these Bills, which was introduced on the 9th of March, provided
that no minister should have more than one living; that if he absented
himself from his cure for forty days, he should forfeit his preferment;
and that no member of the University should hold a benefice ten miles
distant from his College, without living in the parish.[162]

[Sidenote: _Debates respecting Bishops._]

Another Bill, founded on the resolutions excluding clergymen from
secular offices, came before the House on the first of April, when
it was read a second time, and committed.[163] The supporters of it
argued:--"That there was so great a concurrence towards the passing
this Bill, and so great a combination throughout the nation against the
whole government of the Church, in which the Scots were so resolutely
engaged, that it was impossible for a firm peace to be preserved
between the nations, if bishops were not taken away, and that the army
would never march out of the kingdom till that were brought to pass."
Mr. Hyde, who afterwards, as Lord Clarendon, became his own reporter,
replied that--"It was changing the whole frame and constitution of
the kingdom, and of the Parliament itself; that, from the time that
Parliaments began, there had never been one Parliament when the bishops
were not part of it; that if they were taken out of the House there
would be but two estates left, for that they, as the clergy, were the
third estate, and being taken away, there was nobody left to represent
the clergy, which would introduce another piece of injustice, which no
other part of the kingdom could complain of, who were all represented
in Parliament, and were, therefore, bound to submit to all that was
enacted, because it was upon the matter with their own consent:
whereas, if the bishops were taken from sitting in the House of Peers,
there was nobody who could pretend to represent the clergy, and yet
they must be bound by their determinations." Lord Falkland, who sat
next to Hyde, then started up, and declared himself "to be of another
opinion, and that, as he thought the thing itself to be absolutely
necessary for the benefit of the Church, which was in so great danger,
so he had never heard that the constitution of the kingdom would
be violated by the passing that act, and that he had heard many of
the clergy protest that they could not acknowledge that they were
represented by the bishops. However, we might presume, that if they
could make that appear, that they were a third estate, that the House
of Peers (amongst whom they sat, and had yet their votes) would reject

What became of this measure we shall see before long. In March and
April, Bills were brought before the Commons for removing the Star
Chamber and High Commission Courts, but they were not presented to the
Lords till the fate of Strafford had been sealed. After a fruitless
attempt by the Peers to modify the Bill respecting the Star Chamber,
that and the measure for extinguishing the other despotic tribunal were
allowed to pass.[165]

[Sidenote: 1641, April.]

Before entering on the principal events of the month of May, it is
proper to glance at a controversy, pending about that time, between
bishops Hall and Ussher on the one side, and certain Presbyterians,
together with John Milton, on the other. Hall had, at an earlier
period, written his "Episcopacy by divine right." Now he appeared as
the author of "An Humble Remonstrance," in defence of liturgical forms
and diocesan Episcopacy. He was answered by five Presbyterian divines,
the initials of whose names formed the word _Smectymnus_, under which
ugly title their polemical production figures in literary history.[166]
The prelate insisted on the antiquity of liturgical forms, and on
the apostolical origin of diocesan bishops. The Presbyters contended
that free prayer was the practice of the early Church, and that no
genuine liturgy can be traced up beyond the third century. They
further maintained that the primitive bishop was a parochial pastor,
or preaching presbyter, without superiority of order or any exclusive
jurisdiction; that Presbyters of old ordained, and ruled, and that
what they did at the beginning they had a right to do still. Hall
published a rejoinder in defence of the Remonstrance. The Presbyters
soon produced a Vindication. The Bishop now sought assistance from his
friend Ussher, entreating him to bestow "one sheet of paper in such
distracted times on the subject of Episcopacy." Ussher complied, and
entitled his tract, "The original of Bishops and Metropolitans briefly
laid down." This, as well as another tract from the same pen, on the
position of the bishops of Asia Minor, issued from the Oxford press
in the course of the year, in a collection which further included
extracts from the writings of Hooker and Andrewes. Ussher argued, that
from the writings of the Fathers a succession of bishops may be shown
to have existed ever since the age of the Apostles; and that the Seven
Angels of the Seven Churches were "seven singular bishops who were the
constant presidents" over them.[167]

[Sidenote: _Debates respecting Bishops._]

[Sidenote: 1641, April.]

Milton, with characteristic ardour and eloquence, plunged into this
warfare, and published no less than five treatises on the subject,
advocating ecclesiastical reform, condemning prelatical Episcopacy,
reasoning against its government, animadverting on the "Defence," and
apologizing for Smectymnus. The poet's genius, and his mastery of
English prose, are conspicuous in these pamphlets; but the ferocity
of temper with which he here uses his scalping-knife is hardly less
than what it was in his onslaught upon Salmasius. Andrewes and
Ussher are treated as dunces by the imperious scholar, and Lucifer
is called the "first prelate angel," by this violent Nonconformist.
Yet, behind his bitterest invectives,--with which mercenary feeling or
personal grudge had nothing to do--may be seen a virtuous indignation
against superstition, formality, and despotism; and it is in the very
midst of this stormy assault, that he pauses to speak of that more
congenial work--the great poem which even then floated before his
imagination--which was "not to be obtained by the invocation of Dame
Memory and her syren daughters, but by devout prayer to that Eternal
Spirit who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out
His seraphim with the hallowed fire of His altar to touch and purify
the lips of whom He pleases."


                              CHAPTER V.

The May-day of 1641 was as merry as usual, save where Puritan opinions
interfered with its time-honoured festivities. The May-pole was
brought into the City and reared at St. Andrew's Undershaft with the
accustomed honours. The morris-dancers, with Robin Hood, Maid Marian,
Friar Tuck, and the other appurtenances of the show, made sport for
those citizens who were attached to the old order of things. And in
spite of Stubbs' "Anatomie of Abuses," which exposed these sports as
heathenish practices, such persons looked on them as the symbols of an
anti-Puritan loyalty, and of an old-fashioned affection for Church and
State. At the same period, preparations were being made at Whitehall
for the nuptials of the Princess Mary and the Prince of Orange; and the
next day, being Sunday, the bride was led into the Chapel by the Prince
of Wales and the Duke of York, "convoyed with a number of ladies of her
own age of nine and ten years, all in cloth of silver," when the King
gave away the bride, and "good Bishop Wren made the marriage."[168] The
destinies of England were mysteriously connected with the consequences
of this royal union, and little could the brilliant party before the
altar, dream that from the wedded pair would spring a son, destined
to cut off one branch of the Stuart dynasty for ever from the British
throne; to complete the series of revolutionary events beginning to
arise at the time of the marriage; and to establish for ages the civil
and religious liberties of the English Constitution.

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

The month so inaugurated proved most eventful. During April the perils
of the nation had been on the increase. Plots were contrived by the
King's friends to bring up the army to London and force a dissolution
of Parliament. Pym, on the 3rd of May, declared that "combinations at
home" corresponded with "practices abroad," and that the French were
drawing their forces towards the English shores; that divers persons
of eminence about the Queen were deeply engaged in these plots; that
it was necessary for the ports to be closed, and that it was time to
ask His Majesty to forbid any one who attended Court to leave these
shores without special permission. Sir John Wray, member for the county
of Lincoln, made a speech immediately after Pym had spoken, in which
he urged, that if ever it was meant to perfect and finish the great
work begun, the right way must be followed, which was to become holy
pilgrims, not Popish ones. This he explained as meaning that they were
to be loyal Covenanters with God and the King; binding themselves by
a national oath to preserve religion in this country, without mixture
of superstition or idolatry, and to defend the Defender of the Faith,
his person, crown, and dignity. Doing this, and making Jerusalem their
chiefest joy, the nation would be blessed; but if the people let go
their Christian hold, and lost their Parliament-proof and old English
well-tempered mettle, let them take heed lest their buckler break, and
their Parliaments melt away, and their golden candlestick be removed
for ever.[169]

[Sidenote: _Debates in the House of Commons._]

In consequence of these appeals, the Commons resolved upon a solemn
Vow and Protestation, to defend, as far as lawful, "with life, power,
and estate, the true reformed Protestant religion" of the Church of
England, against all popery and popish innovations; to maintain the
privilege of Parliament, and the liberties of the subject; and to
endeavour to bring to condign punishment any person who should engage
in conspiracy, or do anything contrary to this Protestation.[170] It
was forthwith taken by every member, and then the document was sent
up to the Lords. The peers present, except the Earl of Southampton
and Lord Roberts, followed the example of the Commons. In two days
the formulary had passed the lips of eighty temporal lords, seventeen
bishops, nine judges, and four hundred and thirty-eight commoners. It
was then printed and sent to the magistrates throughout the kingdom,
with an order that it should be solemnly adopted on the following
Sunday by heads of families and all persons of proper age.[171]

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

Of course, questions arose as to the meaning of the words, in many
cases, no doubt, after they had been sealed by oath. Episcopalians took
the declaration to mean defending the Protestant religion, as in the
Church of England by law established. No such thing, said the Puritan
majority of the Lower House; it includes not the hierarchy. It is
_against_ all popery and popish innovations, not _for_ the discipline
worship and ceremonies of the Church as they stand at present.[172]
The Commons, having so explained their own measure, afterwards passed
a Bill for its universal enforcement, which however was objected to by
the Lords. A conference between the two Houses followed, conducted by
Denzil Holles, who defended the imposition of the oath, as a shibboleth
to distinguish Ephraimites from Gileadites. With his reasons, "after
some debate, the Lords seemed satisfied."[173] The proceeding shewed
the alarm of the representatives of the people, lest they should be
checkmated by their opponents. It indicated a determination to abide
by what had been done, and further to grapple with all Papistical
tendencies; whilst the Protestation itself anticipated the more famous
Covenant of an after year, much to the joy of Robert Baillie, who,
writing from his house in St. Antholin's, on the 4th of May, informed
a Scotch brother: "After much debate, at last, blessed be the name of
the Lord, they all swore and subscribed the writ, which here you have,
I hope in substance, our Scottish covenant."[174] The intolerance and
injustice of the imposition could not be seen in those days as it
is in ours. Intended to secure liberty for such as were counted its
only friends, it in fact partook of that very injustice, which, when
exercised on the other side, appeared intolerable.

[Sidenote: _Debates in the House of Commons._]

The resolute temper of the House of Commons, in resolving upon
the enforcement of the Protestation in spite of the Lords, is to
be ascribed very much to the new position in which the House had
placed itself. Mistrusting the intentions of the King, fearful of
another dissolution, which would frustrate all patriotic plans, the
representatives of the people had passed a Bill to render Parliament
indissoluble until it should dissolve itself. The Bill was read a third
time on the 7th of May, and such was the ascendancy of the Commons,
that the King--either struck for a moment, as if by the eye of a
basilisk, or intending to violate the Act, should it be in his power;
or influenced by "his own shame and the Queen's consternation at the
discovery of the late plot"[175]--gave his assent to the fatal measure
only two days after it had passed the Lords.

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

During the progress of the Protestation, the Londoners manifested the
greatest excitement; crowds assembled in Palace Yard, and the King
sent a message to the House of Lords to say, that, taking notice of
the great tumult and concourse of people, he had called a council to
advise what should be done, and it was his pleasure that Parliament
should adopt some speedy course for preserving peace.[176] A laughable
circumstance occurred amidst this panic. Two fat citizens, in the
gallery of the Commons, stood earnestly listening to Sir Walter Erle,
whilst he was descanting on the dangers of the times. Just then, an
old board gave a loud creak, and Sir John Wray, imagining a second
Guy Fawkes concealed in the cellar, called out, "he smelt gunpowder."
This was enough. Knights and burgesses rushed out and frightened the
people in the lobby, and the people in the lobby ran into Westminster
Hall, crying, "the Parliament House was falling, and the members were
slain." A few, scampering as fast as they could to Westminster Stairs,
took water, and rowing at the top of their speed, reached the City,
where they caused the alarm drums to beat, and the train bands to march
as far as Covent Garden. All this arose from the creaking of a rotten

The exposure of these idle fears did not, however, compose the House;
for, on the 10th of May, members were in such consternation about a
gunpowder plot, that the Serjeant-at-arms received an order to get the
holes of the floor examined and stopped up; also a committee of five
proceeded carefully to search the building to discover and prevent
the designs of any ill-affected persons who might be imitating the
example of Guy Fawkes. Whilst we smile at these unfounded terrors,
we must believe some real danger to have been in the wind, to make
strong hearts, such as beat in the Long Parliament, thus flutter with

[Sidenote: _Debates in the House of Commons._]

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

About the same time London echoed with "No popery riots." The presence
of Marie de' Medicis in England excited immense uneasiness; and the
zeal of that lady and her daughter, Queen Henrietta Maria, on behalf of
the interests of the Roman Catholic religion, came to be regarded by
Puritan citizens as a fountain of intrigue. At the end of April, the
London apprentices--a class always foremost in city frays--catching
the spirit of their sires and elders, gave it violent expression,
by assaulting the Spanish ambassador's house in Bishopsgate Street,
threatening to pull it about his Excellency's ears, and to take
his life in revenge for permitting English Papists to frequent his

Other tumults and a deeper excitement appear in connexion with the
trial of Strafford. Though the charges against him were chiefly of a
political character, and his overthrow was accomplished mainly for
political reasons, yet the religious feelings of the Puritans were
intensely excited against this arbitrary chieftain, as the friend of
Laud, and the abettor of his High Church policy. They saw in him the
evil genius of the past, and his removal seemed to them essential for
accomplishing the ecclesiastical reforms which they desired.[179]
The conclusions which a student will reach, or the doubts that he
will entertain touching the righteousness of Strafford's attainder
and sentence, depend entirely upon the point of view from which he
may regard the question. No wonder that lawyers now pronounce the
attainder infamous.[180] Looking at the statutes of treason, it is
impossible to bring the conduct of the Earl within their scope.
The subversion of the fundamental laws of the kingdom, with which
Strafford was charged, can never be fairly construed into an act of
treason against the King. But politicians, examining the subject on
grounds of expediency, may regard the proceeding as one of necessity
to save the liberties of England. They may also think, as some did at
the time, that "stone dead hath no fellow"--that the only effectual
way of getting rid of so formidable an enemy was at once to put him in
his coffin; and, as a matter of state policy--overriding all statute
and common law--such persons will pronounce the execution of Strafford
perfectly justifiable. But when the moralist comes to investigate the
matter, it assumes a different aspect. He will admit--unless he be
under the influence of strong political prejudices--that the Earl was
guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours; and that, though not guilty
of treason at common or statute law, he was guilty of subverting the
principles of the constitution. On grounds therefore of moral equity,
it was right to inflict some punishment on the offender. But to what
extent? Perpetual imprisonment, with proper precautions against rescue,
might have sufficed to meet all which political expediency required.
Sent out of the way, shut up in some strong castle, the Earl might
have been rendered perfectly innocuous; and it may fairly be contended
further, that such a proceeding would have accomplished the ends of
justice--that such an expiation ought to have satisfied the moral
indignation of the country. Yet, when that point is settled, another
arises, which demands consideration from the historian.

[Sidenote: _Lord Strafford._]

While, free from the excitements of the seventeenth century, we
calmly look at Strafford's deserts, is it fair to apply our standard
of judgment to the patriots and Puritans of 1641 who took part in
his condemnation? Right and wrong, it is true, in themselves are
unalterable and eternal, but there are almost infinite degrees in the
blameworthiness of men doing wrong, as there are in the meritoriousness
of men doing right. Allowance being made for different ideas of
criminal jurisprudence in the times of the Stuarts from those now
current; and excuses being admitted for stern severity provoked by
long oppression,--the patriots and Puritans who put Strafford to death
must not be condemned as men would be who had done such a thing in
our own times. If it be allowed that the Puritans acted under a sense
of mistaken justice; that, standing before the bar of Heaven, they
could lay their hands on their breasts, and plead the convictions of
conscience and the impulses of patriotism; then, however condemnatory
the deed, lenient should be the sentence on the offenders. I am not
however prepared to contend for the absence of all vindictiveness
in the men who brought Strafford to trial, and then sent him to the
scaffold. One cannot but fear that a large amount of alloy was mixed
up with the purity of their justice. But that must be left for the
decision of a far different tribunal from any which we can erect.

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

Every reader of English history is aware of the perplexity of Charles
when required by Parliament to sanction the death of his Minister.
He did not believe Strafford guilty of treason, and he consequently
regarded his execution as unjust. Yet he sought for some method of
pacifying his conscience, and consulted certain Bishops[181] as to the
course that he should pursue. The general advice they gave is reported
by the most distinguished of the counsellors. Ussher puts it thus:
The matter of fact must be distinguished from the matter of law; of
the matter of fact the King may judge; if he do not conceive the Earl
guilty, he cannot in justice condemn him; but as for law, what is
treason, and what is not, the King must rely on the opinion of the

[Sidenote: _Lord Strafford._]

This casuistry of Charles's advisers indicated the timid expediency of
politicians rather than the grave righteousness of God's ministers. But
what followed was much worse. One of them--probably Williams--suggested
a distinction between the public capacity of Charles as a king, and
the private capacity of Charles as a man; a distinction worthy only
of a Jesuit, and such as, if allowed, would tear up the roots of all
morality in official life.[183] It appears that the other prelates
were not responsible for this suggestion. Still reserve is seen on the
part of the best men amongst the monarch's advisers, very unlike the
outspoken habits of old Hebrew prophets. In their conduct there is much
to provoke censure, though in their circumstances there is something to
suggest excuse.

In justice to Ussher, let it be added, that he recommended the King
not to consent to the Earl's condemnation unless he was convinced of
his guilt. Charles himself declared, "After the bill was passed, the
Archbishop came to me, saying, with tears in his eyes, 'Oh, Sir, what
have you done? I fear that this act may prove a great trouble to your
conscience, and pray God that your Majesty may never suffer by the
signing of this Bill.'" The Episcopal party, though they did nothing
decidedly against the execution of Strafford, ever afterwards regarded
it as a dark spot in their royal master's history. They were certainly
themselves not free from blame, for if they regarded the proceeding
as they said they did, it became them to do their utmost to save
Strafford's life. But the truth is, as the Minister was made a Jonah
to still the storm, so the Monarch was made a scape-goat to bear the
responsibility of throwing him overboard. With the superstition natural
to a man wanting in straightforward principle, Charles, in the midst of
his after troubles, promised to expiate his offence by public penance,
should he ever be restored to his throne. That day of penance never
came: but the moral effect of Strafford's dignified conduct in prison
and on the scaffold has been such as to soften the opinion of posterity
respecting his character, and to increase the condemnation pronounced
by history upon Charles for consenting to his death. Strafford's last
moments were the noblest of his life. The scene, as he knelt under
Laud's window in the Tower to receive his benediction, touches English
hearts to this very hour; pity is felt for the man going to his doom on
the adjoining hill, which would never have been inspired had his fate
been imprisonment instead of death. Both injustice and impolicy are
sure to meet revenge, as Providence slowly knits up the threads of time.

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

Strafford fell on the 12th of May. Amidst the mingled awe and
exultation of the moment--whilst the name of the nobleman who had
perished passed from lip to lip through London, and the sawdust on the
scaffold continued moist with blood--the House of Commons calmly sat to
hear an appeal respecting Deans and Chapters. The men, who unconscious
of guilt had brought Strafford to the block, and had thus swept from
their path a huge obstacle, were at this awful moment quietly pursuing
their measures of ecclesiastical reform. The event of the morning,
however, one would imagine, came too vividly before them to allow
of perfectly serene attention to the pleadings carried on in their

[Sidenote: _Deans and Chapters._]

Great alarm had been felt for the safety of cathedral establishments,
although no measure at present had appeared in either House affecting
their dignity or diminishing their revenues. But reports of approaching
danger were rife, which did not at first alarm and arouse the
"prelatical court clergy" so much as it did some others. They waited
to see distinctly what impended before attempting a defence. Now they
bestirred themselves and prepared petitions, and being informed that
the order of the House would not permit of their employing counsel,
they delegated Dr. John Hacket, Prebendary of St. Paul's and Archdeacon
of Bedford, to plead their cause. On this 12th of May, Hacket came up
to the bar of the House to fulfil an office which, he said, had been
assigned to him only the afternoon before. He pleaded, that cathedrals
supplied the defects of private worship, though he quaintly admitted
that--through the super-inquisitiveness of the music--what was intended
for devotion vanished away into quavers and airs, whereof he wished
the amendment; and passing to what he termed "the other wing of the
cherubim," he expatiated on the excellent preaching supplied by these
establishments; refuting, by the way, slanders on lecturers as an
upstart corporation, and shewing that the local statutes of most
cathedrals required week-day lectures. The advocate urged further, that
Deans and Chapters advanced the cause of learning, and provided persons
for defending the Church. Moreover, he said, the institute comported
with primitive usage, being in fact a _senatus episcopi_, and therefore
meeting a want of which some of his reverend brethren complained.
Warming with his subject, he praised the magnificence of cathedral
buildings, mentioned the number dependent on the foundations, insisted
on the excellence of Deans and Chapters as landlords, and their
enrichment of cities by their residence and hospitality. The Doctor
proceeded to uphold cathedral revenues as prizes to stimulate lawful
ambition, and contended for a better maintenance of the clergy than in
neighbouring reformed Churches--that they might not be like "Jeroboam's
priests, the basest of all the people." To destroy Deans and Chapters,
he added, would please the Papists--to preserve them would benefit the
nation. He concluded by observing that the honour of God was at stake
in this matter, that alienation of church property would be sacrilege,
and that "on the ruins of the rewards of learning no structure can be
raised but ignorance; and upon the chaos of ignorance nothing can be
built but profaneness and confusion."[184]

Dr. Cornelius Burgess, a London lecturer of Presbyterian principles,
appeared in the afternoon of the same eventful day, and indulged in
"a vehement invective against Deans and Chapters," their want of
Scripture authority, and their utter unprofitableness. He charged
some of the singing men with debauchery, and all with uselessness.[185]
Yet he considered it unlawful to convert the revenues to private uses.
In his opinion they ought to be consecrated to public purposes of a
religious kind. After hearing the arguments of Hacket and Burgess, the
House allowed the matter to stand over for a while. Hereafter we shall
have to notice its re-appearance.

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

The Commons a few days afterwards (May 17) gave signs of coming
under Presbyterian influence. Having debated certain propositions
presented by the Scotch commissioners, they reciprocated by resolution
the affectionate regards of their brethren, and their desires for
uniformity in Church government. They went so far as to pledge
themselves to proceed in due time with reformatory measures, such as
should "best conduce to the glory of God and the peace of the Church."
Three days subsequently, the House set aside the oath of canonical
obedience, by voting that no minister should be obliged to take any
oath upon his induction, except _such as Scripture warranted_.[186] In
all this, a current of feeling against Episcopacy is distinctly visible.

[Sidenote: _Abolition of Episcopacy._]

The Bill for "Restraining Bishops from intermeddling with Secular
Affairs" came again under debate. It had been sent to the Upper House
on the 1st of May, when Bishop Hall made a speech against it.[187] The
Bill reached a second reading, and was committed on the 14th. Whatever
idea of compromise by passing this measure might have existed among the
Commons, no such idea was entertained by the Lords. They disputed
the question with all the logic and eloquence they could master;
evidently regarding the overthrow of this measure as of vital moment.
The Right Reverend bench stood firm, and the Bishop of Lincoln--to
shew that his committee of accommodation meant nothing prejudicial to
the order--boldly defended it in a speech which was full of learning
and rhetoric. Lord Viscount Newark also strenuously opposed the Bill;
but it received earnest support from the Puritan Lord Say and Sele.
Yet the latter wished their lordships not to regard it as introduced
with any ulterior view,--telling them, it meant not the taking away
of Episcopacy _root and branch_, but only the lopping off exuberant
and superfluous boughs which now wasted the juices of the tree. The
Lords feared the consequence of passing the bill, and deemed the
episcopal status amongst them as of ancient and inalienable right. So
they resolved, that Archbishops and Bishops should have "suffrage and
voice as ever;" but to the other propositions they agreed, viz:--that
prelates should have nothing to do with the Star Chamber Court or the
Privy Council, and that no clergyman should be any longer a Justice of
the Peace. These points a year before--had Strafford and Laud conceded
them when they were in power--would have been counted an immense
concession. But ecclesiastical as well as political matters had since
passed through a whole heaven of change; therefore the three articles
granted by the Lords were by the Commons deemed trifles unworthy of
acceptance apart from the first.

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

On the 24th of May, the resolution described passed the House of Lords.
The impression which it made on the Commons is plain from what ensued.
The patriots knitted their brows when the tidings reached them, and
compressed their lips in firm determination to subdue the lordly
prelates. We now reach an important crisis.

The Commons assembled as usual on the 27th of May. A petition came from
the Lincolnshire farmers and burghers, with many hands to it, praying
for the abolition of the government of Archbishops and Bishops, and
their numerous subordinates.[188] As the gentlemen in broadbrimmed hats
and scanty cloaks with goodly neck-ruffs or ample collars sat gravely
pondering these ominous petitions,--suddenly, from a well-known voice,
a short speech broke on their ears like the explosion of a bombshell.
On the southern, or right-hand corner of St. Stephen's Chapel, a ladder
might have been discovered, leading up to a gallery where certain
members were accustomed to sit. Sir Arthur Haselrig commonly took his
place there. That morning Sir Edward Dering was seen striding up the
ladder to a seat next Sir Arthur. The member for Leicestershire held
close and earnest conference with the Kentish knight. A paper was
pressed into his hands, and after a hasty perusal, with a good-natured
air of importance, he rose, leaned over the gallery, and made the
following impromptu remarks:--

[Sidenote: _Abolition of Episcopacy._]

"Mr. Speaker--The gentleman that spake last, taking notice of the
multitude of complaints and complainants against the present government
of the Church, doth somewhat seem to wonder that we have no more
pursuit ready against the persons offending. Sir, the time is present,
and the work is ready perhaps beyond his expectation. Sir, I am now
the instrument to present unto you a very short but a very sharp Bill,
such as these times and their sad necessities have brought forth. It
speaks a free language, and makes a bold request. It is a purging
Bill. I give it you as I take physic, not for delight but for a cure.
A cure now, the last and only cure, if as I hope all other remedies
have been first tried, then--_immedicabile vulnus, &c._, but _cuncta
prius tentanda_. I never was for ruin so long as I could hold any
hope of reforming. My hopes that way are even almost withered. This
Bill is entitled, 'An Act for the utter abolishing and taking away of
all Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and Commissaries, Deans,
Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, Prebendaries, Chanters, and Canons,
and all other their under officers.' Sir, you see their demerits have
exposed them, _publici odii piaculares victimas_. I am sorry they are
so ill. I am sorry they will not be content to be bettered, which I
did hope would have been effected by our last Bill. When this Bill
is perfected I shall give a sad aye unto it; and at the delivery in
thereof, I do now profess beforehand, that if my former hopes of a full
Reformation may yet revive and prosper, I will again divide my sense
upon this Bill, and yield my shoulders to under-prop the primitive,
lawful, and just Episcopacy; yet so as that I will never be wanting
with my utmost pains and prayers to root out all the undue adjuncts and
superstructures on it. I beseech you read the Bill, and weigh well the

[Sidenote: 1641, May.]

It was an odd speech for any man to make who had undertaken so grave a
business, and it looked doubly odd that Sir Edward Dering should father
such a motion; seeing that, though he was a Puritan, he professed to
love the Episcopal Church. Men stared and wondered. A pause followed.
Then some one moved, that the Bill might not be read:--

"That it was against the custom and rule of the House that any
private person should take upon him, without having first obtained
the leave and direction of the House to bring in a new Act, so much
as to abrogate and abolish any old single law; and therefore that it
was wonderful presumption in that gentleman, to bring in a Bill that
overthrew and repealed so many Acts of Parliament, and changed and
confounded the whole frame of the government of the kingdom."[190]

The Bill, however, was then read a first time. On the motion for the
second reading, Sir John Culpeper, one of the popular party, opposed
it on the ground, that Episcopal government was not beyond all hope of
reformation. He advised the House to see what the Lords would yet do
with the Bill sent up to them. D'Ewes supported the second reading.
Sir Charles Williams, member for Monmouthshire, opposed it, declaring
that he would divide the House, though there should be "but six noes."
For this he was called to account, and compelled to apologize, to "the
good satisfaction of the House." The second reading passed by 139 to
108. On a resumption of the debate, Pleydell and Hyde took the lead
in opposing the measure. The latter argued that Church and State had
flourished many centuries under the present ecclesiastical rule, and
that the Bill must not be hastily adopted, since it contained matter of
great weight and importance. D'Ewes promptly replied, that the existing
ecclesiastical rule had hardly reached its hundredth year. Hyde would
have rejoined, but the House did not allow him so to do. Holles and Pym
followed, contending that bishops had well nigh ruined all religion,
and complaining that they had determined to continue in the Upper
House, despite the opposition of the Lower. The Commons ordered the
Bill to be committed on the 3rd of June. It was then deferred to the
11th of the same month.[191]

[Sidenote: _Abolition of Episcopacy._]

Dering's conduct at the time appeared a mystery. Afterwards he
explained,[192] that he had nothing to do with the preparation of
the measure--that it was entrusted to him by Sir Arthur Haselrig,
who had received it from Sir Harry Vane and Oliver Cromwell. It
further appears, that he scarcely read the motion before moving its
adoption. Haselrig's connection with this bold proceeding, as well as
with Strafford's attainder, are proofs of his having then assumed a
prominent position amongst ultra-politicians; but the character of the
measure would rather suggest that Sir Harry Vane must really have been
its author. Cromwell's relation to it is also worthy of notice, as it
indicates his advanced opinions at the period, and his already active
and influential statesmanship. According to Clarendon, the Solicitor
General, Oliver St. John, "the dark-lantern man," had drawn up the
Bill--a statement, which, if true, shows another of the republican
commonwealth men taking up an extreme position at the outset of the

[Sidenote: 1641, June.]

No doubt the concocters of this design considered that it would meet
with better acceptance if presented by a merely doctrinal Puritan; and
it indicates the excited temper of the Commons at the moment, and how
the resistance of the Lords had wrought them up to a resolution of
frightening mitred heads--that the Bill immediately came to a second
reading, and that too by such a majority. Moreover, it expressed
growing indignation against the course of oppression with which
Episcopacy stood identified. For long years the Church had been sowing
the wind--now, in a few short hours, it reaped the whirlwind. To those
who wished to get rid of Episcopacy altogether, the proceedings of the
Lords, although very exasperating, would not be altogether unwelcome,
as advanced politicians might gather from it an argument against what
they deemed to be half-measures. They asked--since bishops cling so
tenaciously to their temporalities, would it not be as easy to get rid
of both, as to tear one from the other? Some moderate men, discouraged
and annoyed, were thus thrown into the arms of excited companions.
Policy led them on to extremes, hoping that the boldness of the
people's representatives now in the ascendant, would alarm the Lords,
especially the spiritual ones, and induce them to give way, even on a
point where they had staked their fortunes and planted the defence of
their order.

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

As the business of Dering's bill was under debate, a message arrived
from the Upper House, signifying a readiness to concur in the Bill
which they had already received, excepting only the clause for taking
away the bishops' votes. "This message," we are told, "took little
effect with the Commons."[194]

A conference followed on the 3rd of June, when the peers were as
decided as the Commons. They contended that there could be no question
of the bishops' right to sit in Parliament, as well by common and
statute law as by constant practice; and they further declared, that
they knew of no inconveniences attending the privilege; still, if there
were any, they were ready to consider them.[195] In reply the Commons
alleged, that intermeddling with secular business hindered the exercise
of ministerial functions, and that bishops should devote themselves
entirely to their spiritual vocation. They added, that councils and
canons forbid their engaging in secular affairs--that the twenty-four
bishops are dependent on two archbishops--that with a peerage only
for life, they are ever hoping for translation--that of late several
prelates had encroached on the liberty of conscience belonging to His
Majesty's subjects, and would still do so--and that they were pledged
in their parliamentary character to maintain a jurisdiction grievous
to the three kingdoms, and already abolished in Scotland, while it was
petitioned against both in England and Wales. Finally, the Commons
urged that rank as peers placed the prelates at too great a distance
from the rest of the clergy. The arguments of neither House satisfied
the other. The Commons could not accept the answer of the Lords. We
will, declared they, have the whole Bill or none. Then, replied the
Lords, you shall have none; and threw it out altogether. A wedge had
before entered the oak of the English constitution. This blow split the
two branches asunder, and they stood apart wider than before.

[Sidenote: 1641, June.]

The Commons went on their way, and framed a piece of Sabbath
legislation, by prohibiting bargemen and lightermen from using their
barks on the day of rest. Further, they separated ancient usages from
parish perambulations, by requiring that no service should be said, nor
any psalms sung when such perambulations took place. And then--perhaps
to cover the measure against the bishops with some show of zeal for
clerical order--the House reproved some poor people brought before them
for schismatical irregularities.[196]

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

Needing themselves a lesson on religious liberty, the Commons resolved
to follow up their attack on those whom they considered to be its
greatest enemies. "We fell upon the great debate of the Bill of
Episcopacy," observes D'Ewes, in his Diary, June 11. "Robert Harley,
as I gathered, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, and others, with Mr. Stephen
Marshall, parson, of Finchingfield, in the county of Essex, and some
others, had met yesternight and appointed, that this Bill should be
proceeded withal this morning. And the said Sir Robert Harley moved
it first in the House, for Mr. Hampden out of his serpentine subtlety
did still put others to move those businesses that he contrived."[197]
From this passage it appears, that Pym had within six months made a
considerable advance in his advocacy of ecclesiastical reform. It will
be recollected, that in January he "thought it was not the intention
of the House to abolish Episcopacy," but now before Midsummer he
seems to agree in opinion with the "root and branch men." Hampden,
probably, entered the Long Parliament with at least a deep suspicion
of the inexpediency of upholding episcopal rule: and both he and
Pym were now in close conference with Stephen Marshall, the famous
Presbyterian divine: who, by the way, affords an instance of the active
part in political movements for the overthrow of bishops, which even
then had begun to be taken by clergymen of his order. D'Ewes further
reports:--"So after a little debate the House was resolved into a
committee, and Mr. Edward Hyde (a young utter-barrister of the Middle
Temple), upon the speaker's leaving his chair, went into the clerk's
chair, and there sat also many days after." The making Hyde chairman
was a stroke of policy--so he says himself--on the part of those who
were favourable to the Bill, on the ground that thus he would be
prevented from speaking against it.

According to his own account, he amply revenged himself, and proved
no small hindrance, by mystifying questions and frequently reporting
"two or three votes directly contrary to each other," so that after
nearly twenty days spent in that manner, the Commons "found themselves
very little advanced towards a conclusion."[198] The trick indicates
the character of the man; and the confession of it years afterwards,
is a sign of his effrontery; indeed, the whole of his conduct on this
occasion proves how little he could have had at heart the interests of
Episcopacy, not to speak boldly on its behalf, and vindicate that which
he professed was venerable in his eyes, in this the crisis of its fate
and the hour of its humiliation.

[Sidenote: 1641, June.]

In the course of debate, Sir Harry Vane advocated the abolition of
Episcopacy, inveighing against it as a plant which God's right hand
had not planted, but one full of rottenness and corruption, a mystery
of iniquity fit to be plucked up and removed out of the way. Yet he
did not advocate what would now be called the separation of Church
and State; nor did he enter upon the defence or exposition of any
broad principle of religious liberty. At the same time, Waller, the
poet--a lively speaker, who, even at the age of eighty, could amuse
the House with his badinage and wit--protested against further attacks
on Episcopacy, now that its horns and claws were cut and pared. He
was, he said, for reform, not for abolition. Upon the close of the
debate on the 11th--which lasted from early in the morning till late
at night--the committee, in spite of Mr. Hyde's expedients, resolved
on the preamble of the Bill: "Whereas the government of the Church of
England by archbishops, bishops, their chancellors, and commissaries,
deans, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical officers, hath been found,
by long experience, to be a great impediment to the perfect reformation
and growth of religion, and very prejudicial to the civil state and
government of this kingdom."[199]

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

On the 15th June, during an earnest discussion relative to the
abolition of cathedral chapters, Mr. William Thomas, member for
Carnarvon, related to the House the history of Deans, tracing them
up to the time of Augustine, who describes each as having the care
of ten monks; and then he asked, "whether the office, as now it is
exercised, be the same as then?" "They are deceived that urge it,"
the Welsh representative proceeded to say, "and they should know that
this judicious House is able to discern and distinguish a counterfeit
face of antiquity from the true. In vain do they, with the Gibeonites,
labour to deceive us by old sacks, old shoes, old garments, old boots,
and old bread that is dry and mouldy; therefore to no purpose and
causelessly do they charge us to affect novelty, by our offering to
take away church governors and government." He narrated stories of
wicked deans; and said much about church music, as tickling the ear,
without touching the heart, "whilst, as Augustine complaineth of
himself, most were more moved by the sweetness of the song, than by
the sense of the matter--working their bane like the deadly touch of
the asps in a tickling delight--or as the soft touch of the hyena,
which doth infatuate and lull asleep and then devoureth." Sir Benjamin
Rudyard, who had before declared himself for Church reform, and still
advocated it, offered some defence of cathedral establishments on the
ground of their being conducive to the promotion of piety and learning.
He deplored the selfishness which, in certain cases, led to the
alienation of ecclesiastical property at the time of the Reformation;
he warned his hearers against looking on Church lands with a carnal
eye, and he besought them to search their hearts, that they might
pursue sincere ends, without the least thought of saving their purses.
Mr. Pury, alderman and member for Gloucester, produced the statutes
which ordained that Deans and Canons should always reside within the
cathedral's precincts, exercising the virtues of hospitality; that they
should preach the Word in season and out of season, especially in the
cathedral church and attend to the education of the young; and that
they should have a common table in the Common Hall, where the canons,
scholars, choristers, and subordinate officers should meet together.
The Alderman then proceeded to observe, that not one of the statutes
was kept, that the Dignitaries came once a year to receive the rents
and profits of the lands, but did not distribute to the poor their
proportion; that they neither mended the highways and bridges, nor kept
any common table; and instead of preaching the gospel, they neglected
it themselves, and did not encourage the discharge of the duty by
others.[200] Throughout this debate the unpopularity at the time of
that class, commonly termed the dignified clergy, appears in a very
distinct and serious form. They had so completely identified themselves
with the High Church party; they had become so imbued with the spirit
of pride and intolerance; they had been so selfish in the exaction and
enjoyment of their revenues; and they had been so unmindful of their
spiritual duties, as to separate themselves from public sympathy:--a
consequence which no class of religious ministers, whatever may be
their legal and social position, can long afford to brave; a result
which the highest privileged orders have never at last been able to
face with impunity.

[Sidenote: 1641, June.]

The discussion ended with a resolution that Deans and Chapters, and
all Archdeacons should be utterly abolished, and that their lands
should be employed for the advancement of learning and piety, competent
maintenance being afforded to those who might thereby suffer loss,
provided that they were not delinquents. The House further resolved,
that the forfeited property should be entrusted to feoffees, that
the bishops' lands should be given to the King, except advowsons
and impropriations, and that competent funds should be reserved for
supporting preachers in cathedrals, and for repairing the sacred

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

Proceeding with the business respecting Deans and Chapters, the
committee did not drop the question of Bishops. On the 21st of June
no change had come over the pleadings of the originator of the whole
discussion. Dering's anti-prelatical zeal had not yet begun to
wane, although he now complained of his adopted Bill as defective,
and insisted on the importance of deciding on a future form of
government before abandoning the present. He still alluded to existing
Episcopacy in disrespectful terms, and advocated the introduction of a
Presbyterian element into ecclesiastical rule. Dioceses, he said, were
too large, and diocesans needed grave and able divines, assessors and
assistants, amongst whom they were entitled to have the first place
and to exercise the chief power. Then turning to the chairman for an
illustration, the lively baronet observed: "Mr. Hyde, yourself are now
in this great committee; Mr. Speaker is in the House the bishop of
our congregation." "You,"--addressing himself to both gentlemen--"are
in yourselves but fellow-members of the same House with us, returned
hither (as we also are) to sit on these benches with us, until by our
election, and by common suffrage, you are incathedrated. Then you
have (and it is fit and necessary that you should have) a precedency
before us and a presidency over us. Notwithstanding this, you are not
diversified into a several and distinct order from us. You must not
swell with that conceit. You (Mr. Chairman and Mr. Speaker) are still
the same members of the same House you were, though raised to a painful
and careful degree among us and above us. I do heartily wish that
we had in every shire of England a bishop such and so regulated for
Church government within that sphere, as Mr. Speaker is bounded in, and
limited by the rules of this House."[201]

[Sidenote: 1641, June.]

The comparison was as amusing as it was pertinent, and fell in with the
prevalent opinion of the Puritan party, that if bishops were retained
in England it must be according to a greatly reduced standard of
authority and power, and one that should resemble the dimensions of the
Episcopal office, as many believed it to have existed in the first and
second centuries of the Christian era.

Before we terminate this chapter, another subject requires notice.
The Long Parliament, at an early period, turned its attention to the
character of the clergy. So many complaints were made against them,
that the committee for religion, in the month of May, divided itself
into sub-committees, whose business it was to investigate clerical
scandals. Their proceedings have been subjected to severe criticism.
It is said by Nalson, that accusations against the best ministers,
by malicious persons, were invited and encouraged, and then admitted
without any proof.[202] But this statement receives contradiction
from the evidence which was laid before the Committees, and is still
preserved; and though some portion of it might be untrustworthy, as is
the case in every kind of judicial trial, other parts of it appear of a
nature not to be gainsayed. In conducting these enquiries the practice
was to receive written evidence, a practice borrowed from the Court
of Arches, where the method of procedure is by libel and affidavit.
Englishmen prefer the _vivâ voce_ testimony of witnesses before a jury;
yet there are not wanting men of judgment, in modern times, who favour
a written statement of fact. At any rate, the Committees could plead
precedent for the course which they pursued, and as the causes which
came before them were ecclesiastical, they did but adopt the usages
of ecclesiastical courts. The constitution of the tribunal, rather
than the mode of trial, is open to exception. There is no vindicating
the former but on the fundamental principle of all revolutions, that
old authorities having become thoroughly corrupt, new ones must be
constituted by the popular power--in such cases the supreme power--to
meet emergencies arising out of previous derangement.

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

Cases which came under the notice of White's committee were published
at a later period in his "Century of Scandalous Ministers."[203] On
comparing that extraordinary volume with the proceedings of the Kent
and Essex Committees, we must be struck with the large proportion
in the former, not merely of allegations touching immorality, but
of charges respecting the foulest and most atrocious crimes. Most
of the complaints before Sir Edward Dering[204] related mainly
to delinquencies of a theological, ecclesiastical, or political
description; and the same may be said of the accusations brought
against the Essex ministers: but on turning over White's pages we
are nauseated with the filthiest accusations and the most abominable
stories. If only half of them be true, he assuredly was supplied with
abundant proofs of the extensive and utter degradation of the clergy.
But some of the narratives seem to us so absurd as almost to defy
belief; yet supposing that they are truthfully related, it is evident
there existed in the parishes of England, at that time, incumbents who
must be regarded as no less thoroughly mad than radically immoral.


                              CHAPTER VI.

While so much of argument and eloquence was expended upon Episcopacy
in the abstract, it is natural to ask what became of the bishops
themselves? At the opening of the Long Parliament a committee had been
formed to prepare charges against Laud. The Scotch busied themselves
with the same matter as soon as they reached London, being exasperated
by the attempts of the prelate to force Episcopacy upon their
countrymen. On the 18th of December the Commons voted the Archbishop
a traitor, and sent up a message to the Lords desiring that he might
be committed to custody, stating also that their accusation would be
established in convenient time.[205]

On the 24th of February articles were voted, and then presented to
the Lords by Mr. Pym. He charged the Archbishop with subverting the
constitution, by publications which he had encouraged; by influence he
had used with ministers of justice; by his conduct both in the High
Commission Court and in reference to the canons; by his tyrannical
power in ecclesiastical and temporal matters; by setting up Popish
superstition and idolatry; by abusing trust reposed in him by his
Majesty; by choosing chaplains disaffected to the reformed religion;
by attempting to reconcile the Church of England and the Church
of Rome; by persecuting orthodox ministers; by causing division in
England, and between the two kingdoms; and, finally, by subverting the
rights of Parliament. Mr. Pym read these articles, and supported them.
A few days afterwards the Archbishop was sent to the Tower.[206]

[Sidenote: _Bishops._]

Bishop Wren, who, according to a witticism of the age, is called the
least of all these birds, and the most unclean among them, was early
arrested (December 22), yet he was allowed to remain at large on bail.
On the 20th of July the articles of his impeachment were presented
by Sir Thomas Widdrington. The bishop--it was alleged, amongst
other things--had ordered that the Communion-table should be placed
altar-wise with steps and rails, and that communicants should kneel as
they received the sacrament. He had enjoined the reading of the "Book
of Sports," and had deprived godly ministers for refusing to submit to
that unscriptural injunction. Prayers had been forbidden by him before
sermon; and clergymen had been required to preach in hood and surplice.
He had also been the means of excommunicating as many as fifty
faithful pastors, and had been guilty of appointing Popishly-affected

[Sidenote: 1641.]

One bishop escaped the enquiry of the Long Parliament by being called
to appear before a higher tribunal. We refer to Richard Montague, a man
of learning, well read in the Fathers, an ecclesiastical antiquary,
but a thorough Anglo-Catholic. Adopting Arminian views, supporting
the encroachments of ecclesiastical power, loving ceremonial worship,
and hating Puritanism with a perfect hatred, this prelate was just
the person to please Archbishop Laud and Charles I. He had written,
as early as 1623, a book against Popery, entitled "A new gag for the
old goose," in which he was considered by many Protestants to have
betrayed the cause he pretended to serve. For publishing this book,
containing sundry propositions tending to the disturbance of Church and
State, the author had been cited before the bar of the Commons, and,
on the same account--and for the contents of his "Appeal to Cæsar,"
and his "Treatise upon the Invocation of the Saints"--articles of
impeachment had afterwards been presented against him. He was charged
with fomenting the King's hatred of the Puritans, abusing them as
"Saint-seeming," "Bible-bearing," and "Hypocritical;" representing
their churches as "Conventicles," and their ministrations as mere
"prating:" and also with sneering at Reformers as well as Puritans,
affirming that the Church of Rome was the spouse of Christ. Yet,
notwithstanding Montague's Popish tendencies and his unpopularity
with all but very High Churchmen, Charles elevated him to the see of
Chichester--the worst episcopal appointment he ever made, next to his
promotion of Laud to the Archiepiscopate. The death of this bishop, in
April, 1641, alone prevented Parliament from instituting very severe
proceedings respecting his conduct.

Davenant, who presided over the diocese of Salisbury, died the same
month. Totally unlike Montague, he had fallen into trouble for contempt
of King James's injunctions relative to preaching on predestination.
His humble and peaceable life, his strict observance of the Sabbath,
his condemnation of clerical pomp and luxury, and his disapproval of
certain court proceedings, had secured for him the sympathies of the
Puritans, and excited the displeasure of the High Church party. His
death corresponded with his life; for in his last illness "he thanked
God for this Fatherly correction," because in all his life-time he
never before had one heavy affliction; which made him often much
suspect with himself whether he was a true child of God or no, until
this his last sickness. "_Then_," says Fuller--whose words we have
followed--"_he sweetly fell asleep in Christ, and so we softly drew the
curtains about him_."[208]

[Sidenote: _Bishops._]

On the 4th of August, 1641, Serjeant Wylde carried up to the House
of Peers a series of articles prepared by a Committee of the House
of Commons, impeaching thirteen bishops of certain crimes and
misdemeanours. The accused were allowed till the 10th of November to
prepare their answer, when they put in a Demurrer; after which the
prosecution was superseded by other events hereafter to be described.

[Sidenote: 1641, July.]

Shortly before the impeachment of the thirteen prelates, a remarkable
correspondence took place between certain Presbyterian clergymen
of London and their brethren beyond the Tweed. It shows the high
spirits of the former excited by recent events, their expectation of a
speedy union with their neighbours in ecclesiastical polity, and the
inspiration of fear from quarters opposite to those which had given
them alarm a few months before. In a letter dated 12th July, 1641, the
London ministers observe, that Almighty God having now of His infinite
goodness raised their hopes of _removing the yoke of Episcopacy_, under
which they had so long groaned, sundry other forms of Church government
were projected to be set up in the room thereof; one of which was, that
all power, whether of electing and ordaining ministers, or of admitting
or excommunicating members, centred in every particular congregation,
and was bounded by its extent. Independency in fact is meant by this
passage, and the writers wished to know the judgment of their Scotch
compeers on the point, as this would conduce by God's blessing to the
settlement of the question. All the more earnestly was this entreated,
because of a rumour that some famous and eminent brethren in the North
were inclined to that form of government. In reply to this, an epistle
arrived from the General Assembly, in which that reverend body assured
their London brethren, that since the Reformation--especially since
the union of the two kingdoms--the Scotch had deplored the evil of
Great Britain having two kirks, and did fervently desire one confession
and one directory for both countries. This they considered would be
a foundation for durable peace, and the two Churches welded into one
would be strong in God against dissensions amongst themselves, and
also against the invasion of foreign enemies. The Assembly grieved to
learn that any godly minister should be found not agreeing with other
reformed kirks in point of government as well as doctrine and worship;
and they feared that if the hedge of discipline were altered, what it
contained would not long preserve its character. After laying down
Presbyterian principles, the writers conclude by declaring themselves
to be of one heart and of one soul; and to be no less persuaded that
Presbyterianism is of God than that Episcopacy is of men.[209]

Other circumstances about the same period encouraged the Scotch. Their
army was to be disbanded, and their troops were to be paid--a point
respecting which the commissioners had been very solicitous--and a
promising treaty between the two countries appeared on the eve of
ratification. To the desire of the northern brethren respecting unity
of religion, it was answered in the treaty, that his Majesty, with
the advice of both Houses, approved of the desire of ecclesiastical
conformity; and since Parliament had already taken it into their
consideration, they would proceed in a manner conducive to the glory
of God and the peace of the two kingdoms.[210] This passage is
equivocal, for it might signify conformity to Episcopal or conformity
to Presbyterian government. The King, no doubt, meant in his heart the
former, but was quite willing at the same time that his subjects in the
North should understand the latter.

[Sidenote: _Royal Visit to Scotland._]

When affairs were coming into this posture, Charles determined to
visit his native land. Into his political motives for so doing this
is not the place to enter--whether he hoped thereby to procure an
adjournment of Parliament; or thought that he should break up the
combination between the northern and southern patriots; or expected
to obtain evidence and assistance against the latter by conference
and co-operation with the antiCovenanters under Montrose. But most
certainly his intention in reference to religion, as appears from his
conduct, was to conciliate his countrymen and to throw them off their
guard by veiling his strong attachment to Episcopacy, under an assumed
friendliness for Presbyterianism.

[Sidenote: 1641, August.]

Charles had determined to start on the 10th of August, and therefore,
having passed certain bills on Saturday, the 7th, he then bid his
Parliament farewell. The House of Commons greatly disliked this
expedition. On the same day they requested the Lords to join them in
petitioning his Majesty to delay his departure at least a fortnight
longer. Only a strong reason could have induced Puritans to meet for
business on the following day, being Sunday, but they did so meet. On
that summer morning the members went down to Westminster, first to
worship at St. Margaret's, and then to debate at St. Stephen's. But
before entering on political affairs they were careful to guard against
this Sunday sitting being drawn into a precedent. Often likened to the
Pharisees for rigid formalism, these men, on this occasion, really
shewed that--with their devout reverence for the holy season--they had
caught the spirit of Him who said, the Sabbath was made for man, and
not man for the Sabbath. Their attempt--on a day they so much loved to
honour by religious exercises--at staying the King's journey northward,
showed how much mischief they apprehended from that visit. But their
effort did not succeed. On Tuesday, the 10th, Charles came to the House
of Lords, and sending for the Commons, gave his assent to the Scotch
Treaty and to certain Bills; after which he again took leave of the
Houses, and started for Edinburgh, at two o'clock in the afternoon,
accompanied by the Elector Palatine and the Duke of Lennox. On the 18th
the Commons despatched commissioners to watch the ratification of the
treaty, and "keep up a good correspondence between the two kingdoms."
Mr. Hume calls them spies; their public appointment and legal
credentials refute that representation; yet it cannot be a question
that their intended business was to keep a sharp eye on his Majesty's
proceedings, and to thwart any sinister design of his which they might
be able to discover.

[Sidenote: _Royal Visit to Scotland._]

By the help of certain letters from Sidney Bere--afterwards Under
Secretary of State, who formed one of the royal suite during this
Scotch visit--we are able to follow the King into some of the religious
and social scenes of the northern capital, which the courtier watched
with much curiosity, and in his own fashion thus describes:--

"The chaplains' places are supplied by Mr. Henderson and another,
who say grace, but I cannot say read prayers, they being likewise
extemporary, one in the beginning, then a chapter or two, after that
another prayer, then a psalm, and so the benediction. This is in the
Chamber of Presence at the usual hours; the sermons have been hitherto
in the parish church, though the chapel here be fitted up, but after
their fashion, without altar or organs."[211]

"His Majesty is neither wanting in pains nor affection, going every
morning to their Parliament, and this Sunday was in two of their
churches, and daily takes the prayer and preachings according to
their form, which gains much on the people. In a word, his Majesty is
wholly disposed to settle both Church and State before he leaves this

[Sidenote: 1641, August.]

"I will only add a relation of a feast, made by this town unto the
King and the Lords in the Great Hall of the Parliament this day,
August 30th. The King and the Prince Elector sat at one table, the
Lords at another, but both in one room. The Duke of Richmond on one
side, General Leslie over against, and next him the Marquis Hamilton,
who gives him the place ordinarily, in respect, (I take it), that his
commission of General is not yet delivered up. The mayor of the town,
like a plain Dutch host, bestirred himself bravely, drank a health
to the King, to the Queen, and the royal Children, and afterwards
insisted with his Majesty to pledge; and so, in this Scotch familiar
way, but with a great deal of familiarity, bid the King and the
Lords welcome, with such hearty expressions as it served both for
mirth and satisfaction. The glasses went liberally about, and the
entertainment was great; indeed, over the whole town there was nothing
but joy and revelling, like a day of jubilee; and this in token of
the union, which, doubtless, is more firm than ever, by reason of the
happy intervention of the unity of form of religion, at least for
the present; and in the King's own practice, which wins much upon
this people. Yesterday his Majesty was again at the great church
at sermon, where the bishops were not spared, but put down in such
language as would a year ago have been at the least a Star Chamber
business, imputing still all that was amiss to ill counsellors, and so
ingratiated his Majesty with his people, who indeed show a zeal and
affection beyond all expression."[213]

[Sidenote: _Royal Visit to Scotland._]

While reading these extracts we cannot help noticing that the services
in Edinburgh, attended by the Anglo-Catholic King, in 1641, were as
different as possible from the ceremonial exhibitions arranged
for Holyrood in 1633, by an Anglo-Catholic bishop, when the musical
servants, with their chapel goods and paraphernalia were despatched
by the Dreadnought for the Firth of Forth.[214] Experience since then
had taught some little wisdom in such matters. Defiance having failed,
conciliation was now attempted, and it would seem that the whole
political bearing of Charles whilst in Scotland was in keeping with
his social and religious conduct at that time. He ratified the Acts
of June, 1640, by which Presbyterianism had become the established
religion of the country; he bestowed fresh titles and dignities on
certain noblemen who had opposed him at the council table, and arrayed
themselves against him in the field; and he consented to the partition
of ecclesiastical revenues amongst Presbyterian claimants, when, as
it was said, "leading men, cities, and universities cast lots for the
garments which had clothed the Episcopal establishment." Such was the
conduct of the Sovereign on the whole, that he alarmed his friends and
encouraged his foes; some on both sides concluding that he meant to
establish Presbyterianism throughout his dominions; but of that idea,
however, he took care to disabuse "his servants," assuring them of
his remaining "constant to the discipline and doctrine of the Church
of England established by Queen Elizabeth and his father," and his
resolution "by the grace of God to die in the maintenance of it."[215]

[Sidenote: 1641, September.]

When the pacification had been effected, the English Parliament
solemnly celebrated the event on the 7th of September, by attending
divine worship.[216] But the two Houses did not agree in the manner of
service. Bishop Williams, as Dean of Westminster, had prepared for the
occasion a form of prayer. The Commons pronounced this to be beyond
his power, and ordered the prayer not to be read in the liberties of
Westminster or elsewhere. When the Lords met in the Abbey, the Commons
went to Lincoln's Inn Chapel, where Burgess and Marshall preached, and
prayers were offered _extempore_.

[Sidenote: _Proceedings of the Commons._]

The Commons, conscious of strength, perhaps a little over-estimating
it, were not slow in pressing Church reforms, though they proceeded
with some caution. At the end of August, they resolved that
churchwardens should remove communion-tables from the east end of
churches where they had stood altar-wise, and that they should take
away the rails, level the chancel floors, and altogether place
the buildings in the same state as they were in before the recent
innovations. Perhaps excitement in our own day, respecting usages
adopted at St. George's in the East, may serve as an illustration of
the feeling awakened in the middle of the seventeenth century, by
Anglican worship. Only it is to be remembered that instead of one St.
George's in the East at that time, there were a hundred in different
parts of the country. In villages and towns with High Church clergymen,
and Low Church congregations, where semi-Popish arrangements had been
adopted in the chancel, while rigid and ultra-Protestant Puritans sat
in the nave, or absented themselves altogether--such feuds arose,
that, to preserve the peace, as well as to check "innovations," the
Lower House deemed it necessary to interfere. The opposition to
Sunday afternoon lecturing, and the refusal of incumbents to admit
lecturers into their pulpits, increased the strife; and, in reference
to this, the Commons interfered by declaring it lawful for the people
to set up a lecturer at their own charge.[217] Bishops inhibited such
proceedings; but the Commons declared the inhibition void. As bishops
were members of the Upper House, all this tended to make the breach
between the two branches of the legislature wider than before.

[Sidenote: 1641, September.]

The question of worship could not be allowed to rest. "Innovations"
were still discussed; it was resolved in the Lower House, on the 1st
September, that scandalous pictures and images should be removed from
sacred edifices, and candlesticks and basins from the Communion-table,
that there should be no "corporal bowing" at the name of Jesus, and
that the Lord's Day should be duly observed.[218] The Peers did not
agree with the other House in all these proceedings; they were prepared
to command, that no rails should be erected where none existed already;
that chancels should be levelled if they had been raised within the
last fifteen years; that all images of the Trinity should be abolished;
and that any representation of the Virgin set up within twenty years
should be pulled down. But the Lords declined to forbid bowing at the
name of Jesus; and--omitting any direct reply to the message on the
subject from the Lower House--they simply resolved to print and publish
the order of the 16th of January, commanding that divine service
should be performed according to Act of Parliament; that those who
disturbed "wholesome order" should be punished; and that clergymen
should introduce no ceremonies which might give offence.[219] The
Commons were highly displeased at this, and immediately published their
own resolution on their own authority, adding, that they hoped their
proposed reformations might be perfected; and that, in the mean time,
the people "should quietly attend the reformation intended," without
any disturbance of God's worship and the public peace.[220]

The Houses, on the 9th of September, adjourned their sittings for six
weeks. When the conflicting orders of Parliament respecting worship
came before the nation, the Anglicans adhered to the one issued by
the Lords for preserving things as they were, the Puritans upheld
the other published by the Commons in favour of reformation: party
strife consequently increased, leading to fresh disturbances of the
peace. Resistance to the order of the Commons burst out in St. Giles'
Cripplegate, St. George's Southwark, and other parishes. There the
High Church party defended the threatened communion-rails, as though
they had been the outworks of a beleaguered citadel. On the other
hand, where Puritanism had the ascendancy, violent opposition was made
to the reading of the liturgy, service books were torn and surplices

[Sidenote: _Reaction._]

A considerable reaction in the state of public feeling began to appear
in many quarters. There were persons who, having hailed with gratitude
and delight the earlier measures of the Long Parliament, now felt
disappointed at the results, and at the further turn which affairs
were taking. Always, in great revolutions, a multitude of persons
may be found in whose minds sanguine hope has been inspired by the
inauguration of change; but, being moderate in their opinions and quiet
in their habits, they are so terribly alarmed at popular excitement,
and by the apprehension of impending extravagances of procedure, that
they call on the drivers of the chariot of reform to pull up, as
soon as ever the horses have galloped a few yards and a little dust
begins to rise around the vehicle. Want of skill, reckless haste, even
mischievous intentions, are sure to be imputed to those who hold the
reins, and the conviction gains ground that speedily the coach will be

[Sidenote: 1641, September.]

So it happened in this instance. People who had cheered on Pym and
his compatriots a few months before, were now becoming thoroughly
frightened. Semi-Puritans, and other good folks, who wished to see
matters mended very quietly, thought changes were going a great
deal too far; also self-interest aided the reaction. Bishops had
been assailed, but bishops as yet had neither been dethroned in the
cathedral nor dismissed from the Upper House. They were provoked
without being deprived of power, irritated without being divested of
influence. They still lived in palaces, and had the establishments of
noblemen, and at the same time they retained the means of attaching to
them such of the clergy as waited for preferment. Persons of the latter
description naturally dreaded the impoverishment of the prelates, and
deprecated taking away the rewards of learning and piety.

They did what they could to make Parliament odious. Many, too, were
"daily poisoned by the discourses of the friends, kindred, and
retainers to so many great delinquents, as must needs fear such a
Parliament." This is stated by a candid contemporary, Thomas May,
secretary to the Parliament, who dwells at large upon the reaction at
this period, and points out its causes. Besides those now mentioned,
he adds: "daily reports of ridiculous conventicles, and preachings
made by tradesmen and illiterate people of the lowest rank, to the
scandal and offence of many, which some in a merry way would put off,
considering the precedent times, that these tradesmen did but take up
that which prelates and the great doctors had let fall,--preaching the
Gospel; that it was but a reciprocal invasion of each other's calling,
that chandlers, salters, weavers, and such like, preached, when the
archbishop himself, instead of preaching, was daily busied in projects
about leather, salt, soap, and such commodities as belonged to those

[Sidenote: _Reaction._]

He then proceeds: "but I remember within the compass of a year after,
(when this civil war began to break out over all the kingdom, and men
in all companies began to vent their opinions in an argumentative
way, either opposing or defending the Parliament cause, and
treatises were printed on both sides,) many gentlemen who forsook
the Parliament were very bitter against it for the proceedings in
religion, in countenancing, or not suppressing, the rudeness of people
in churches--acting those things which seemed to be against the
discipline of the English Church, and might introduce all kinds of
sects and schisms. Neither did those of the Parliament side agree in
opinions concerning that point; some said it was wisely done of the
Parliament not to proceed against any such persons for fear of losing
a considerable party; others thought and said, that by so doing, they
would lose a far more considerable party of gentlemen than could be
gained of the other sort. They also affirmed, that laws and liberties
having been so much violated by the King, if the Parliament had not so
far drawn religion also into their cause, it might have sped better;
for the Parliament frequently at that time, in all their expressions,
whensoever they charged the corrupt statesmen of injustice and tyranny,
would put Popery, or a suspicion of it, into the first place against

This reaction should be kept in mind, as it will serve to explain some
things which followed.


                             CHAPTER VII.

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

After the Commons had resumed their sittings on the 20th of October,
the difference which had arisen amongst the Puritan members became
very apparent. The very next day, Sir Edward Dering questioned the
legality of the recent order of the House respecting Divine worship;
and the day after that, he indicated a still wider divergence from
the policy of his former political friends. Upon a new bill being
then introduced for excluding Bishops from Parliament--a bill which
was, in fact, a reproduction of the old measure which the Lords had
rejected--the Commons resolved to have a conference with the Upper
House, respecting the thirteen accused prelates, and to request that
the other occupants of the episcopal bench should be prevented from
voting on this particular question, which so vitally affected their
own personal interests. All this so alarmed the member for Kent that
he hastily rose, and delivered a speech indicative of a still more
decided veering toward the conservative point of the compass; for
he went so far as to say that he did not conceive the House to be
competent and fit to pronounce upon questions of Divinity. It seemed
to him, he remarked, a thing unheard of, that soldiers, lawyers, and
merchants should decide points which properly belonged to theologians.
Laymen, he considered, should maintain only those doctrines which
were authorized and established, and should leave the exposition and
advocacy of what was new to a regularly constituted ecclesiastical
assembly, in short, "a synod of Divines chosen by Divines." Whether or
not he was animated in his retrograde course by cheers which came from
the conservative benches, Sir Edward the following day bewailed the
miseries of the Church between "Papism" on the one hand, and "Brownism"
on the other; and instead of dwelling, as he had been wont to do, on
"Puritan sufferings," his sympathies were now entirely bestowed on the
opposite party. He related a story of two clergymen who had preached
thousands of excellent sermons, but who now, like other deserving men,
saw their infected sheep, after long pastoral vigilance, straggling
from the fold, and mingling with the sects. Government, he complained,
had begun to permit a loose liberty of religion; and, amidst varieties
of opinion, and the perils of unity, what, he asked, could be thought
of but a council--"a free, learned, grave, religious synod?"[223] Such
a style of address seems strangely at variance with the speaker's
earlier speeches in this very Parliament, and also with proceedings
which the House had adopted in accordance with his own impetuous
appeals. The course which he now pursued was in decided opposition to
his conduct when he spoke from the gallery of the House on behalf of
the bill for the abolition of Episcopacy; and subsequent proceedings by
this gentleman, in the same new direction, are yet to come under our
notice. But, after all, the lapse of four months had not essentially
altered his character. He was in October only the same versatile and
impetuous, but well-meaning person, which he had shewn himself to be in

[Sidenote: 1641, September.]

Another member, who expressed his alarm at the distractions of the
times, was Mr. Smith, of the Middle Temple. While denouncing the "Book
of Sports" and the persecutions inflicted by the Anglican party, he
deplored existing differences of religious opinion, and besought his
countrymen to worship God with one mind, and not go every one a way
by himself. In the stilted euphuism of the day, he lamented that
uncertainty staggers the unresolved soul, and leads it into such a
labyrinth, that, not knowing where to fix for fear of erring, it
adheres to nothing, and so dies ere it performs that for which it was
made to live. Uniformity in religious worship, he proceeded to say, is
that which pleaseth God, and, if we will thus serve Him, we may expect
His protection; and then, passing over to the constitutional question,
the orator declared both prerogative and liberty to be necessary, and
that like the sun and moon they gave a lustre to the nation, so long
as they walked at proper distances. But, he added, when one ventures
into the other's orbit, like planets in conjunction, they then occasion
a deep eclipse. "What shall be the compass, then, by which these two
must steer? Why, nothing but the same by which they subsist--the law,
which if it might run in the free current of its purity, without being
poisoned by the venomous spirits of ill-affected dispositions, would
so fix the King to his crown that it would make him stand like a
star in the firmament, for the neighbour world to behold and tremble
at."[224] Smith did not plunge into that ecclesiastical reaction which
had carried Dering completely away; but he contended for some measure
of uniformity and for the suppression of increasing sects, whilst in
political matters he recommended a course of moderation.

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

Another individual--far different from this pedantic adviser, and
incapable of the tergiversations of the representative for Kent, though
he is not to be confounded with reckless revolutionists--was still
inflexibly pushing forward those ecclesiastical and political reforms
which he had inaugurated by the blow he struck at Strafford, the patron
and upholder of arbitrary power. Pym supported the new bill against
Bishops, and managed the conference respecting the impeachment of
the obnoxious thirteen prelates, and the prevention of the remaining
occupants of the Bench from voting upon this question. He asked whether
those who had made the hateful canons, who had endeavoured to deprive
the subject of his liberties, and who were accused of sedition, were
fit to be continued as legislators? St. John, the Solicitor General,
and "dark-lantern man," supported Pym, and supplied an erudite legal
argument to shew that bishops did not sit in the Upper House as
representatives of the clergy; and that their right of peerage differed
from the claim of temporal lords--they having no vote in judgments
touching life and death, and their consent not being essential to the
integrity of an Act of Parliament.[225]

[Sidenote: 1641, October.]

Change and reaction went on. There had long been much talk about some
"Grand Remonstrance," and a committee had been appointed as soon
as Parliament assembled, to draw up such a document. In April the
committee had been directed to collect a list of grievances, and on
the 22nd of November the long delayed paper came before the House,
to be "briskly debated." This remarkable production deals largely
with ecclesiastical affairs; and the intimate connection between the
religion and the politics of the times is apparent throughout its
various contents. In a series of numbered propositions, amounting
altogether to 206, the history of arbitrary government is carefully
traced from the beginning of Charles' reign; religious grievances are
made distinct and prominent; complaints appear of Papists, bishops,
and courtiers, who had aimed at suppressing the purity and power of
religion, and who had cherished Arminian sentiments; prelates and
the rest of the clergy are depicted as triumphing in the degradation
of painful and learned ministers; and the High Commission Court is
compared to the Romish Inquisition. The vexatiousness of episcopal
tribunals shares in the general censure, and the exile and depression
of Puritans are noticed with the deepest sorrow;--preaching up the
prerogative, sympathy with Papists, superstitious innovations, the late
canons, the toleration of Papists, and the permission of a Papal nuncio
at court, are all deplored as very great evils, whilst an opinion is
expressed that there is little hope of amendment so long as Bishops
and recusant Lords remain numerous, and continue to misrepresent the
designs of the patriots.[226]

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

Yet it is affirmed that there exists no intention of loosing the golden
reins of discipline, and of leaving to private persons and particular
congregations the right to take up what Divine service they pleased.
Horror respecting a general toleration is plainly confessed, and
the remonstrants advocate Conformity "to that order which the laws
enjoin according to the Word of God," even while they are desirous
of unburdening the conscience from superstitious ceremonies and are
taking away the monuments of idolatry. A general synod is suggested as
the remedy for ecclesiastical evils, and care is advised to be taken
for the advancement of learning, and the preaching of the Gospel. The
two Universities are referred to as fountains of knowledge which should
be made clear and pure.

The sting of the Remonstrance is found in its head, not in its tail. In
the petition prefixed, the King is asked to concur with his subjects
in depriving the bishops of their votes in Parliament, in abridging
their power over the clergy and people, in staying the oppression of
religion, in uniting loyal Protestants together against disaffected
Papists, and in removing unnecessary ceremonies, which were a burden
to weak and scrupulous consciences. Such requests were opposed to
his Majesty's ideas of the constitution of the Church, though the
remonstrants were prepared to rebut the charge of there being anything
whatever revolutionary in their proposals and requests.

Looking at the current of Parliamentary debates for the last twelve
months, the Remonstrance may be regarded as presenting to us the
sentiments of the patriotic party. Sir Edward Dering, in May,
had gone beyond this remonstrance, far beyond it; but Sir Edward
Dering, in November, though the same character that he ever was,
had become another kind of politician. The same remarks will apply
to others. He now disputed some of the statements in this famous
political instrument, vindicated several of the accused bishops and
clergy, protested against the spoliation of ecclesiastical estates,
and intimated his apprehension of the perilous consequences which
would follow the changes now set on foot. Other members pronounced
the measure to be unnecessary and unreasonable, because several of
the grievances now complained of were already redressed; and they
declared that the King, after his concessions, ought not on his return
from Scotland to be received by his loyal subjects with ungrateful

[Sidenote: 1641, November.]

More was lying underneath the Remonstrance than appeared upon the
surface. Looking at the character of the King, his obvious want of
sincerity, and his manifest intention to recover what he had lost of
arbitrary power whenever he should have the opportunity; considering
also the reinvigorated spirit of the party opposed to constitutional
reforms; further, taking into account the reaction going on, which
had withdrawn from the remonstrants certain active confederates;
and pondering, too, the unsettled and disturbed condition of the
country at large--the authors of this important measure foresaw that
matters could not rest where they were, and that more must be done,
or everything would be lost. Breaches made in the Constitution by its
enemies, rendered extraordinary efforts necessary for the preservation
of popular freedom. Calculating, therefore, on further and more serious
struggles, the advanced party determined to make their instrument
in question a manifesto, to which they might afterwards appeal in
self-justification when that day of battle should come, which appeared
to them then, both so likely and so near. This must be remembered, or
the Remonstrance will not be understood.

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

Regarded by its supporters as their palladium, it was strenuously
opposed by courtiers and reactionists. The debate upon the measure,
which took place on Monday, November the 22nd, lasted beyond midnight.
After lights had been brought in, the members--amidst the gloom of St.
Stephen's chapel and the glimmer of a few candles--continued hotly
to dispute respecting this great question, with looks of sternest
resolution; very distinct to us even now, although upon the darkness
made visible, there also rest the shadows of two centuries and a
half. Puritans and High Churchmen that night uttered sharp words
against each other, as they stood face to face and foot to foot in
conflict. A division arose on the clause for reducing the power of
Bishops, when 161 voted for it and 147 against it. On the grand
division soon afterwards, respecting the Remonstrance itself, 159
voted that it should pass, 148 took the opposite side. This gave but a
scant majority. Immediately on the announcement of the result, there
arose a discussion as to the printing of the document--a discussion
which became more violent than the former ones.[227] The printing of
the Remonstrance at once, prior to its being adopted by the Upper
House, and prior to its being presented to the Sovereign, could not
but be regarded as a step indicative of the elements of the English
Constitution being thrown into a state of lamentable derangement. Hyde
declared that he was sure the printing of it would be mischievous, and
also unlawful: and then proceeded to assert for himself the right of
protest, which, in a member of the Lower House, was an act as irregular
as even the printing of the Remonstrance could be. Up started Jeffrey
Palmer, "a man of great reputation," and likewise claimed that he
might protest "Protest, protest," rung in wrathful tones from other
lips; and some members, in the storm of their excitement, were on the
point of bringing dishonour upon themselves and upon the House. "We had
catched at each other's locks," says Sir Philip Warwick, "and sheathed
our swords in each other's bowels, had not the sagacity and calmness of
Mr. Hampden, by a short speech, prevented it, and led us to defer our
angry debate until next morning."[228]

[Sidenote: 1641, November.]

In corroboration of this general statement, and for the filling up of
this graphic outline, happily we can turn to the journal of D'Ewes, the
Puritan, who, like Warwick, was present, but who took the other side in
the controversy. In answer to a question, as to who claimed the right
of protest, there were loud cries of "All! All!!" This reporter, who
took part with the patriots, goes on to say: "And some waved their hats
over their heads, and others took their swords in their scabbards out
of their belts, and held them by the pummels in their hands, setting
the lower part on the ground, so as if God had not prevented it, there
was very great danger that mischief might have been done. All those
who cried, 'All! all!' and did the other particulars, were of the
number of those that were against the Remonstrance."[229] Whether or
not D'Ewes was right in attributing these acts of warlike defiance
_exclusively_ to his opponents--in the faint rays of the candle-light
he could not have seen very distinctly all which was going on--he
certainly substantiates the account given by Warwick of extensive
violent confusion, a Parliamentary tempest in short, calmed by the
wisdom and moderation of John Hampden. Before the Commons broke up,
on that memorable night, it was resolved by 124 against 101, that the
declaration should "not be printed without the particular order of the
House," a conclusion which left the publication of the Remonstrance
open for the present.

[Sidenote: _Debates by the Commons._]

"The chimes of St. Margaret's were striking two in the morning," as
Oliver Cromwell came down stairs, and, according to rumour, recorded by
Clarendon, met Lord Falkland, and whispered in his ear, "that if the
Remonstrance had been rejected, he would have sold all he had the next
morning, and never have seen England more; and he knew there were many
other honest men of the same resolution."[230]


                             CHAPTER VIII.

Charles returned from the North improved in spirits, fancying he
had made a favourable impression upon his Scottish subjects, and
pondering sanguine schemes for crushing the power of Pym, and of all
the patriots. The reaction towards the close of the summer of 1641,
which we have already described, was decidedly in his favour--and there
seemed room to expect that Parliament, after the course which the King
now seemed disposed to pursue, might, in its eagerness for victory,
place itself altogether in a false position.

During his stay in Edinburgh, he had been anxious to fill up
certain vacant bishoprics, but delayed doing so at the request of
Parliament. Soon after his return, he made Williams,--then Bishop of
Lincoln,--Archbishop of York; and appointed Dr. Winniffe to succeed
Williams. Dr. Duppa was translated from Chichester to Salisbury; King,
Dean of Rochester, was promoted to Chichester; Hall had the See of
Norwich presented to him in the room of Exeter; where he was followed
by Brownrigg, who had been Master of Catherine Hall, Cambridge; Skinner
went from Bristol to Oxford; Westfield had the former See conferred on
him, and Ussher received the Bishopric of Carlisle _in commendam_. A
conciliatory temper appeared in the episcopal arrangements thus made
by His Majesty, inasmuch as all the prelates whom he now appointed and
advanced were popular men, and were well esteemed by the Puritan party.

[Sidenote: _The King's Reception._]

Charles, on his arrival in town on the 25th of November, received a
welcome which vied in splendour with the renowned receptions given to
our Edwards and Henries. The Lord Mayor and Aldermen in their robes;
citizens in velvet coats; and noblemen richly apparelled, with a goodly
array of trumpeters, pursuivants, equerries, and sheriffs' men, wearing
scarlet coats, and silver-laced hats crowned with feathers, marched
to meet the Royal party at Moorgate, whence they proceeded--the King
on horseback, the Queen in her richly embroidered coach,--by way of
Bishopsgate, Cornhill, and Cheapside, to Guildhall; the streets being
lined by the livery companies, and adorned with banners, ensigns, and
pendants of arms. The conduits in Cheapside ran with claret, and along
the line of procession the people shouted "God bless, and long live
King Charles, and Queen Mary."[231] A grand banquet followed on the
hustings of the Old City Hall; the floor being covered with Turkey
carpets, and the walls hung with rich tapestry. Their majesties sat
in chairs of state, under a grand canopy, and the royal table was
covered with "all sorts of fish, fowl, and flesh, to the number of
120 dishes, of the choicest kinds," with "sweetmeats and confections,
wet and dry." After a short repose, at about four o'clock, the Royal
party advanced towards Whitehall; and as the evening shadows fell upon
the spectacle, the footmen exchanged their truncheons for flambeaux,
"which gave so great a light, as that the night seemed to be turned
into day." Trumpets, bands of music, and the acclamations of the
people,--according to the chroniclers--made the streets ring again.[232]

[Sidenote: 1641, November.]

This exhibition so artistically contrived, which had been a subject
of much correspondence with the King, as well as of deliberation on
the part of the citizens, had a no less religious than political
significancy. A year before, Presbyterians and Sectaries had made
themselves conspicuous by "Root and Branch petitions," and since then,
their activity had not declined, or their numbers diminished. On the
contrary, the sectaries had increased, and had given alarming signs of
zeal, in purifying certain Churches from the abominations of idolatry,
and in organizing ecclesiastical societies of their own quite apart
from the establishment.

In this state of things, the conservative portion of the corporation,
and the citizens who sympathized with them, had, for the purpose of a
party demonstration, elected a Lord Mayor who was a decided Royalist
and a High Churchman. "The factious persons," remarks Sir Edward
Nicholas, writing on this subject to the King, "were making a noise,
and would not proceed to the election, when the sheriff proposed
Alderman Gourney (who I hear is very well-affected and stout) and
carried it; and the schismatics who cried 'no election,' were silenced
with hisses, and thereupon the Sheriff dismissed the Court."[233] This
victory equally gratified Sir Edward and his master, and placed at
the head of the costly civic reception, a gentleman in whom the King
had the fullest confidence. More indeed was intended, both of loyal
and religious demonstration, by the party who now took the lead in
the City, than they were able to accomplish. A present of money and
an address in favour of Episcopacy had been proposed, but without
success.[234] Notwithstanding, the King took care, in answer to the
address of the recorder and corporation--as they stood by Moorgate,
bare-headed,--to assure them of his determination, at the hazard of
his life and of all that was dear to him, to maintain and protect the
Protestant religion, as it had been established by his two famous
predecessors, Queen Elizabeth and his father King James.

[Sidenote: _The King's Reception._]

Some significancy is to be attached to a little display at the south
door of St. Paul's Cathedral, where "the quire in their surplices,
with sackbuts, and cornets, sung an anthem of praise to God, with
prayers for their Majesties' long lives, that his Majesty was extremely
pleased with it, and gave them very particular thanks."[235] For
unobjectionable as this kind of music might now-a-days appear even
to a staunch nonconformist, it had a look, at that period, of stern,
jealous, and watchful controversy, very obvious and very annoying to
presbyterians and "sectaries;" so that, altogether, this City affair
became a decided success for the King and the Church party, and as
such, Royalists and Anglicans greatly rejoiced in it.

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

"Londoners are a set of disaffected schismatics, bent upon upsetting
the godly order of things which they received from their fathers,"
was the opinion of many a country knight and yeoman, as he turned his
attention to the metropolis, and thought of the current stories of the
day. "No," said one, who sympathized with the Court, in a letter he
wrote to a friend just at that time, "you much mistake, if you think
that those insolent and seditious meetings of sectaries, and others
ill affected, who have lately been at the Parliament House, to cry for
justice against the delinquent bishops, are the representative body of
the city. They are not. The representative body of the city is the Lord
Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, who gave the entertainment to the
King, and will stick to him to live and die in his service. As for the
rest, when the House of Commons please to give laws to suppress them,
we shall quickly see an end of these distractions both in Church and
Commonwealth, and, therefore, I pray give no ill interpretation to our
actions."[236] These words show what capital the clique, to which the
writer belonged, was determined to make out of the grand pageant which
had just come off with so much _éclat_.

The King himself, who was disposed to construe the conduct of the
citizens as having a political and ecclesiastical signification, had
on the occasion of his entry, knighted the Lord Mayor and Recorder,
doubtless with a feeling which made it more than a formal ceremony. He
had also conferred a like honour, a few days afterwards, at Hampton
Court, upon certain Aldermen, who had come to thank him for accepting
their entertainment.

The reception of these civic dignitaries in the old palace of Cardinal
Wolsey occurred on the 3rd of December.[237] A very different kind of
audience had been held within the same walls two days before.

[Sidenote: _The Remonstrance._]

A committee for presenting the Remonstrance had been appointed by the
Commons, composed of persons not likely to be offensive to the King,
including Sir Edward Dering, who, in spite of his opposition to the
measure, was requested to read and present the document; but, when the
time came, he "being out of the way," Sir Ralph Hopton took his place.
The deputation started in the afternoon, and their object being well
understood by the populace, they would attract much attention, as they
travelled along under leafless trees, and a wintry sky, and drew up at
last before the old gates at Hampton Court. After they had waited a
quarter of an hour in the anteroom, the King sent a gentleman to call
them to his presence, with an order that no one besides the deputation
should be admitted. He received his "faithful Commons" with some
anxiety, but in addition to his other encouragements, at that moment
there remained the halo thrown round him by the late entry; and it
would not be forgotten by the monarch as the members knelt before him,
that the Remonstrance which they brought--(as obnoxious to royalty as
it was dear to the patriots)--had been after all carried only by a
scant majority. Sir Ralph Hopton, who headed the deputation, commenced
reading the document on his bended knees, when his Majesty commanded
all the members to rise: and as soon as that passage was reached, which
alluded to the desire of the malignants to change the religion of the
country, the King exclaimed, "The devil take him, whomsoever he be,
that had a design to change religion." Upon reference to the disposal
of the estates of the Irish rebels, he added, "We must not dispose of
the bear's skin till he be dead." His Majesty proceeding to put some
questions, the wary members replied, "We had no commission to speak any
thing concerning this business." "Doth the House intend to publish this
declaration?" Charles afterwards asked--thus touching the core of the
matter. "We can give no answer," persisted the reticent diplomatists.
"Well then," he rejoined, "I suppose you do not now expect an answer
to so long a petition." A very reasonable remark, looking at the two
hundred and more clauses which the petition contained.[238] When the
answer did come, it included this carefully-worded paragraph:--

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

"Unto that clause which concerneth corruptions (as you style them) in
religion, in Church government, and in discipline, and the removing of
such unnecessary ceremonies as weak consciences might check, that for
any illegal innovations, which may have crept in, we shall willingly
concur in the removal of them. That if our Parliament shall advise us
to call a national synod, which may duly examine such ceremonies as
give just cause of offence to any, we shall take it into consideration,
and apply ourself to give due satisfaction therein, but we are very
sorry to hear in such general terms, corruption in religion objected,
since we are persuaded in our conscience, that no church can be found
upon the earth that professeth the true religion with more purity of
doctrine than the Church of England doth; nor where the government and
discipline are jointly more beautified, and free from superstition,
than as they are here established by law; which by the grace of God, we
will with constancy maintain (while we live) in their purity and glory,
not only against all invasions of popery, but also from the irreverence
of those many schismatics and separatists, wherewith of late this
kingdom and this city abound, to the great dishonour and hazard both of
Church and State, for the suppression of whom we require your timely
aid and active assistance."[239]

[Sidenote: _Arrest of the Five Members._]

After the Remonstrance had been presented, affairs remained hopeful to
the Royal eye; and as the Commons had issued their ordinance touching
religious worship, the King on the 10th of December published one of
his own, enjoining strict conformity to the form of divine service as
by law established. But whatever advantages he might possess at the
close of 1641, all were forfeited by the monstrously rash attempt to
arrest the five members at the beginning of 1642. That fatal act rung
the death-knell of his hopes throughout the country, startling at
once friends and foes. A letter by Captain Robert Slingsby to Admiral
Pennington gives a Royalist version of the affair, which happened on
the 4th of January.

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

"All parts of the court being thronged with gentlemen and officers
of the army, in the afternoon the King went with them all, his own
guard and the pensioners, most of the gentlemen armed with swords and
pistols. When we came into Westminster Hall, which was thronged with
the number, the King commanded us all to stay there; and himself, with
a very small train, went into the House of Commons, where never king
was (as they say), but once, King Henry VIII." The writer, who remained
in the lobby, then proceeds to report what occurred inside the House;
depending for his information, it appears, on some member, from whose
lips he had eagerly caught up the following account:--"He came very
unexpectedly; and at first coming in commanded the Speaker to come
out of his chair, and sat down in it himself, asking divers times,
whether those traitors were there, but had no answer; but at last an
excuse, that by the orders of the House, they might not speak when
their Speaker was out of his chair. The King then asked the Speaker,
who excused himself, that he might not speak but what the House gave
order to him to say, whereupon the King replied, 'it was no matter, for
he knew them all if he saw them.' And after he had viewed them all,
he made a speech to them very majestically, declaring his resolution
to have them, though they were then absent; promising not to infringe
any of their liberties of Parliament, but commanding them to send the
traitors to him, if they came there again. And after his coming out,
he gave orders to the Serjeant-at-arms to find them out and attach
them. Before the King's coming, the House were very high; and (as I
was informed), sent to the city for four thousand men to be presently
sent down to them for their guard: but none came, all the city being
terribly amazed with that unexpected charge of those persons; shops all
shut, many of which do still continue so. They likewise sent to the
trained bands in the Court of Guard, before Whitehall, to command them
to disband, but they stayed still."

[Sidenote: _Arrest of the Five Members._]

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

The same correspondent then relates what he had himself witnessed in
London. "Yesterday it was my fortune, being in a coach, to meet the
King with a small train going into the City; whereupon I followed him
to Guildhall, where the Mayor, all the Aldermen, and Common Council
were met. The King made a speech to them, declaring his intention to
join with the Parliament in extirpation of popery and all schisms and
sectaries; of redressing of all grievances of the subject, and his
care to preserve the privileges of the Parliament: but to question
these traitors, the reason of his guards for securing himself, the
Parliament, and them from those late tumults, and something of the
Irish; and at last had some familiar discourse to the Aldermen, and
invited himself to dinner to the Sheriff. After a little pause a cry
was set up amongst the Common Council, 'Parliament, privileges of
Parliament;' and presently another, 'God bless the King'--these two
continued both at once a good while. I know not which was louder.
After some knocking for silence, the King commanded one to speak, if
they had anything to say; one said, 'It is the vote of this Court
that your Majesty hear the advice of your Parliament'--but presently
another answered--'It is not the vote of this Court, it is your own
vote.' The King replied, 'Who is it that says, I do not take the
advice of my Parliament? I do take their advice, and will; but I must
distinguish between the Parliament and some traitors in it;' and those
he would bring to legal trial. Another bold fellow, in the lowest rank,
stood up upon a form, and cried, 'The privileges of Parliament;' and
another cried out, 'Observe the man, apprehend him.' The King mildly
replied, 'I have, and will observe all privileges of Parliament, but no
privileges can prevent a traitor from a legal trial'--and so departed.
In the outer hall were a multitude of the ruder people, who, as the
King went out, set up a great cry, 'The privileges of Parliament.' At
the King's coming home, there was a mean fellow came into the privy
chamber, who had a paper sealed up, which he would needs deliver to
the King himself--with his much importunity he was urged to be mad or
drunk, but he denied both. The gentleman usher took the paper from him
and carried it to the King, desiring some gentleman there to keep the
man. He was presently sent for in, and is kept a prisoner, but I know
not where."[240] The arrest, which with its accompanying circumstances
is vividly brought before us in this letter by Slingsby, was a fatal
crisis in the history of Charles I. He thought by one stroke of policy
to crush his enemies, but the avenging deities, shod in felt, were
turning round on the infatuated prince, who could not perceive his own
danger, but was in a fool's paradise, dreaming of restored absolutism.
The liberties of the country having now become more obviously, perhaps
more completely, than before, imperilled by the sovereign's misconduct,
the national indignation was immediately aroused; and whatever Anglican
and Royalist reaction might have set in from Michaelmas to Christmas,
the tide turned, and furiously rushed in the opposite direction after
New Year's Day. Such a defiance of the Constitution by the King, such a
manifestation of despotism, after promising to rule according to law,
left no doubt as to his character, his principles, and his motives.

[Sidenote: _Westminster Riots._]

The arrest was interpreted as an assault upon the interests of
Puritanism, no less than upon the liberties of the nation; because the
one cause had become identified with the other, and the friends of
reformation in the Established Church, and the separatists who stood
outside of it, saw that their hopes would be entirely cut off if the
King were permitted to re-establish his despotic rule, or if he were
allowed to perpetrate with impunity such a political crime as the
arrest involved.

Other circumstances had helped forward the political reaction in favour
of the Puritan cause. Not only had the popular dislike to Bishops
continued in London, Southwark, and Lambeth, in spite of all which
might appear to the contrary in the civic doings on the King's return,
but the revived spirit of ecclesiastical conservation roused afresh
the spirit of ecclesiastical revolution. After petitions had flowed
in from different parts of the country in favour of Episcopacy, the
Aldermen,[241] Common Council, and other inhabitants of London, went
down to Westminster in sixty coaches, carrying a counter petition for
removing prelates and popish peers from their seats in Parliament.
Crowds also assembled on Blackheath for a similar purpose; and the
Puritan clergy of London again addressed the House, for taking
away whatever should appear to be the cause of those grievances
which remained in existence.[242] The Prayer Book--said these
ministers--continued to be vexatiously enforced, and what remedy, asked
they, for this and other evils could there be but the debate of a free
synod, and till that was held some relaxation on matters of ceremony?
The London apprentices at such a time could not be quiet, and impelled
by their own zeal, and perhaps also guided by their masters' commands,
they in large numbers put their hands to a farther "Root and Branch"

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

Every day the lobbies of the Houses were thronged by people eagerly
watching the fate of the documents which expressed their opinions.
Every day the area of Westminster Hall echoed with the tramp of
jostling crowds and the loud buzz of angry talk touching Church and
Bishops. Episcopalians came face to face with Puritans and Separatists.
Staid and sober citizens anxious for reform, were elbowed by rollicking
country squires, who wished to see things restored to the state in
which they had been in the days of Lord Strafford. Cavaliers, full of
pride and state, crossed the path of patriots whom they denounced as
the enemies of their country. Soldiers, with swords by their side,
marched up and down amidst the rabble, who carried staves or clubs.
Roistering apprentices, with idlers and vagabonds of all descriptions,
putting on a semblance of religious zeal, shouted at the top of their
voice favourite watchwords as they went along, and delighted in all
sorts of mischief.[243]

[Sidenote: _Westminster Riots._]

December the 27th, being the Monday after Christmas Day, Colonel
Lunsford, just appointed Lieutenant of the Tower--much to the
disquietude of the Londoners, who denounced him as a Papist, and as
being on that account utterly unfit for such a trust--came into the
Hall; when some of the citizens beginning to abuse him, he and his
companions drew their swords. The same day, Archbishop Williams walked
towards the House of Peers with the Earl of Dover, when an apprentice
lad, seeing his Grace, vociferated the popular cry of "No Bishop."
This so aroused the Welshman's ire, that, leaving his noble friend,
he rushed toward the vulgar urchin, and laid hands on him. This
unbecoming act,--for "a Bishop should be no striker,"--made the wrath
of the populace boil up afresh; and hemming in the prelate so that
he could not stir, they continued shouting in his ears, "No Bishop,"
"No Bishop:" until they proceeded to an act of violence, and tore his
gown "as he passed from the stairhead into the entry that leads to
the Lords' House."[244] It is also stated that he was beaten by the
prentices. A blustering "reformado," named David Hide, mingled in
the fray, and looking savagely on the apprentices with their cropped
hair, declared that he would cut the throats of "those round-headed
dogs that bawled against bishops."[245] "Round-headed,"--the words so
aptly fitted to the London lads--took with the Cavalier gentlemen;
they forthwith applied it to the whole Puritan party, and so David
Hide's impromptu became Court slang, and rose into the dignity of a
world-known appellation.

The next day, certain people in the Abbey, who said that they were
tarrying there a little while for some friends, who had just brought up
a petition, but who were charged with coming to commit depredations
in the sacred edifice, were attacked by the retainers of Archbishop
Williams--who continued Dean of Westminster--and a sort of siege and
assault followed. Amidst the riot and uproar several persons were
hurt, and a stone thrown from the battlements[246] fatally injured Sir
Richard Wiseman, who appeared conspicuous amongst the anti-episcopal

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

[Sidenote: _Westminster Riots._]

On Wednesday, the 29th, between three and four o'clock in the
afternoon, when "the scum of the people[247]" had floated down to
Westminster, there occurred a disturbance which, in a confused way,
is apparent in the records of the period, but which becomes more
luminous when examined in the light of the depositions of witnesses,
still preserved amongst the State papers.[248] The tumult seems to
have commenced by Whitehall Gate. Some military gentlemen were walking
"within the rails," in the direction of Charing Cross. The difficulty
is to make out who commenced the quarrel. One deponent says, the
apprentices called the "red coats a knot of Papists," meaning, of
course, the Royalist officers. Another declared, the gentlemen within
the rails cried, "If they were the soldiers they would charge the mob
with pikes and shoot them." Thereupon--so it was affirmed--the people
replied, "You had best do it, red coats," and threw at them clots of
dry dust. Then the cavalier swordsmen leaped over the rails, and, sword
in hand, dashed into the midst of the mob. Other gentlemen came out
of the Court gate and joined their friends; upon which the parties
fell to, pell-mell. One witness says, that he saw but one sword drawn
on the citizens' side, but he saw many of the citizens wounded by
the gentlemen. Another affirms, that one of the gentlemen received a
wound in the forehead. It is manifest that the disturbance was made
the very most of by each party, so as to reflect discredit upon the
opposite side: for in a letter written the next morning, the writer,
after recording how apprentices were wounded, and how they lost
their hats and cloaks, gravely states, "It is feared they will be at
Whitehall this day to the number of _ten thousand_." The City was in
an uproar on account of the outrage on the apprentices, and the Court
gentry were full of indignation at the abuse which the apprentices
had heaped on the Bishops. The High Church Lord Mayor and Sheriffs,
who rode about all night to preserve peace, had the City gates shut,
the watch set, and the trained-bands called out. By those of a
different class in politics this was thought quite unnecessary; as they
implicitly believed that the citizens would commit no act of violence
if the courtiers would but keep their swords in their scabbards. The
majority of the Commons, too, were jealous of interfering with those
whom they hailed as friends to reform; while the King, the Court, and
the Archbishop, exaggerated the disturbance, and were for coercing the
people as enemies of order. The whole story, as it appears from the
documents we have mentioned, indicates rudeness and insolence on the
part of the populace, but not any disposition in the first instance to
proceed to violence. Their opponents sought to bolster up their own
cause by highly-coloured reports of the uproar; the irritated pride and
hot revenge of a few royalist officers having really brought on the
bloodshed, to be followed by the blackest recrimination on the Puritan
side.[249] The squabble would be beneath our notice, were it not for
the consequences which followed it;[250] and for its significance as
illustrating the way in which religious questions became mixed up with
political ones, and how both, in some cases, sunk down to the most
vulgar level.

[Sidenote: _Protest of the Bishops._]

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

Bishop Hall relates, in connection with the riot, that in the afternoon
of the 28th of December, the Marquis of Hartford came up to the
Bishops' bench, and informed their lordships that they were in danger,
because the people were watching outside with torches, and would
look into every coach to discover them; he adds that a motion made
for their safety was received with smiles; and that some sought the
protection of certain peers, whilst others escaped home by "secret
and far-fetched passages."[251] From the same authority--corroborated
by other witnesses--we also learn, that Archbishop Williams, with the
cry of "No Bishop" ringing in his ears, with a still more unpleasant
recollection of the apprentice's attack, and also alarmed by the
Marquis of Hartford's story, determined to protest against this state
of things, not simply as a violation of his personal liberty, but as
a violation of the freedom and rights of the Upper House. We Bishops,
he argued, can no longer perform our Parliamentary duties if this be
the case, and without the bishops the House of Lords is a nullity in
the legislature. Upon this view being taken, twelve prelates, Williams
being one of the number, repaired to the "Jerusalem Chamber in the
Dean's lodgings"--that room which has witnessed so many ecclesiastical
discussions, and which is so linked to the fortunes of the Church of
England--and there drew up a protest against whatever should be done
during the absence of their order from the House of Lords.[252]

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

To this protest signatures were hastily procured. On the 27th, Williams
was assaulted; on the 29th, the protest reached the house of the Bishop
of Lichfield, between six and seven o'clock at night, he not having
heard of it before.[253]

The document had been drawn up without proper deliberation, and after
being signed, it was immediately presented to the King.[254] Much as
he might sympathize with the prelates, he had prudence enough now to
do nothing more than at once refer the matter to the House of Lords,
who, in their turn, invited the Commons to a conference on the subject.
The Lower House promptly resolved to impeach the prelates;--only one
member offering any opposition, and that simply on the ground that
he did not believe they were guilty of high treason, but were only
stark mad, and ought to be sent to Bedlam. Upon receiving a message,
notifying the impeachment, the Upper House immediately despatched Black
Rod to summon the accused Spiritual Lords to the bar, where they soon
appeared. The same night saw ten of the prelates safe in the Tower.[255]

[Sidenote: _Protest of the Bishops._]

[Sidenote: 1641, December.]

The protest produced an "immense sensation." Unpopular before with
the Puritans and the patriots, the bishops now became more unpopular
than ever, with the former, on account of their alleged pride and
arrogance; with the latter, on account of their esteeming themselves
essential to the integrity of Parliament; and with all, on account
of their obstinately obstructing the paths of reform. Still, the
party most in advance felt rather glad than otherwise at this act of
Episcopal imprudence, since it made the bench increasingly odious; and
therefore afforded another and still stronger argument for hastening
forward its overthrow.[256] Even Episcopalians blamed the protesters,
considering they had much hindered the cause they should have helped;
and Clarendon pronounces their proceedings to have been ill judged.
But an excuse has been offered, on the ground that the conduct of the
Bishops if not constitutional was chivalrous. It has been said, "To go
out in smoke and smother is but a mean way of coming to nothing."
"To creep and crawl to a misfortune is to suffer like an insect." "A
man ought to fall with dignity and honour, and keep his mind erect,
though his fortune happens to be crushed."[257] Without staying to ask
whether there be not concealed under this plea a spirit out of harmony
with the religion professed by the prelates, we may remark that no one
could have blamed them for courageously defending what they deemed
the rights of their order. They might justly have protested against
the tumultuous conduct of the people, and have sought protection in
attending the House; but to protest against what was done in the
Legislature during their absence was quite another thing, and appears
to have been as unconstitutional as any violence employed in order
to hinder their discharge of Parliamentary duties. An accusation of
treason, however, brought against them for their strange proceedings,
appears extravagant; although sufficient grounds existed for censure,
and the imposition perhaps of some kind of penalty: but the lawyers
were spared all trouble with reference to this subject by the abolition
of the Episcopal bench, and the political insignificance to which the
order had been reduced by their extreme unpopularity. The protesting
Bishops remained in confinement until the 5th of May following, when
they were dismissed on bail.[258]


                              CHAPTER IX.

The bill of October for removing Bishops from the House of Peers had
hung fire. On its reaching the Upper House it had been once read,
and then laid aside. The conduct of the bishops, which led to their
impeachment, also induced the Commons to urge upon the Lords the
passing of this measure. After some hesitation, they read the bill
a third time, on the 5th of February; and the Commons, now become
impatient, expressed their sorrow, three days afterwards, that the
royal assent had not been immediately given. The King's reluctance was
at the same time expressed at a conference on the 8th of February,
by the Earl of Monmouth, who said, "that it was a matter of weight
which his Majesty would take into consideration, and send an answer in
convenient time."[259] On the 14th of February came the tardy "Le Roy
le veult." No prelate now remaining to read prayers, the Peers ordered
that the Lord Chancellor's or the Lord Keeper's chaplain should "say
prayers before the Lords in Parliament," and in his absence, the Lord
Chancellor or Lord Keeper should appoint some other person for that
service. The vacant benches, staring their lordships in the face,
appeared unsightly; in consequence of which they named a committee to
consider "how the peers should sit in the House, now that the Bishops'
seats were empty."[260]

[Sidenote: 1642, February.]

Thus fell, after threatening assaults for fourteen months, the temporal
power of the prelates. Their exclusion from the Upper House is opposed
to the ancient laws and customs of the realm, and it does violence
to those ideas of the English Constitution which are based upon the
history of the middle ages. Then Church and State were bound in the
closest ties, and Churchmen, from their presumed superior intelligence,
were esteemed amongst the fittest men to make laws and to direct public
affairs. But matters had undergone a vast change by the middle of the
seventeenth century, and many persons of enlarged minds had come to
perceive, that there was no more necessity for seeking senators than
seeking chancellors from the clerical ranks; that neither the liberties
of the subject, nor the prerogatives of the crown, appeared to be in
danger from the change; and that the removal of the bench of Bishops
would not destroy the integrity and completeness of the Upper House,
or put out of working gear the machinery of the Constitution. On
political grounds they saw no valid objection to the measure, whilst in
a religious point of view they deemed it highly desirable.

The Act which deprived Bishops of their legislative functions did not
touch their revenues; but there followed, within a little more than two
months, an ordinance which absolutely deprived some amongst them of
their estates, personal as well as real, and placed the possessions of
all the rest in jeopardy; so that from affluence they were reduced to
poverty, or to the imminent hazard of losing whatever they had.

Those who lived beyond the year 1650 will be noticed hereafter. Those
who died before that time are recorded now.

[Sidenote: _Bishops._]

Robert Wright, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, one of the protesters,
remained in the Tower eighteen weeks; and when set at liberty, retired
to his episcopal castle of Eccleshall, in Staffordshire, which
he--like a military Churchman of the middle ages--defended against the
Parliament. He died during a siege in the summer of 1643.

Dr. Accepted Frewen, nominated by the King as successor to Wright,
derived but little from his see before the Restoration.[261]

Thomas Westfield, bishop of Bristol, who died in 1644, won the good
opinion of all parties; so that the Puritan committee, appointed by
the ordinance for sequestering delinquents' estates, on being informed
that his tenants refused to pay their rents, ordered them to yield to
him the revenues of his bishopric, and gave him and his family a safe
conduct to Bristol. It is said of him, that "he made not that wearisome
which should be welcome; never keeping his glass (the hour glass in the
pulpit), except upon extraordinary occasions, more than a quarter of an
hour: he made not that common which should be precious, either by the
coarseness or cursoriness of his manner. He never, though almost fifty
years a preacher, went up into the pulpit but he trembled; and never
preached before the King but once, and then he fainted."[262]

[Sidenote: 1641-1650.]

His immediate successor in the see, Thomas Howell, consecrated at
Oxford during the siege of that city, is reported to have been
treated at first by the people of Bristol with great indignity and
violence--his palace being turned into a malt-house and a mill--but
the mildness of his disposition overcame all enemies, and though he
found few well-affected on his appointment to the diocese, he left few
ill-affected towards him at his death. He died in 1646, and was buried
in his own cathedral.

George Coke, bishop of Hereford, forfeited his estate, like the other
protesters. Colonel Birch, a Parliamentary officer, took possession of
his palace on the surrender of the episcopal city in 1645. His wife and
children had an exhibition granted for one year out of his sequestered
estate at Eardsley, on condition that neither she nor her husband
should assist the malignants. He died in 1646.

Morgan Owen, bishop of Llandaff--said to be under the influence of
Laud, and connected with him by the Puritans, in a story respecting
some popish image of the virgin at Oxford--was a protester, and
imprisoned accordingly. His death occurred towards the end of 1644.

Walter Curle, bishop of Winchester, resided in that city when the
Parliamentary forces besieged it. Upon its surrender, he retired
to Subberton, in Hampshire, where he died in 1647, after suffering
the sequestration of his own proper estate for refusing to take the

John Towers, bishop of Peterborough, having been confined for his
connection with the protest, subsequently repaired to the King, at
Oxford, and remained there till its surrender to the Parliament, when
he returned to Peterborough, and there found himself, as a delinquent,
stripped of his revenues. He died in 1649.[263]

[Sidenote: _Bishops._]

John Prideaux, a man of eminent learning, promoted to the bishopric
of Worcester amidst the troubles of 1641, excommunicated all in his
diocese who took up arms on the Parliament's behalf. By such conduct
of course he subjected himself to penalties; and it is related, that
he turned his books and everything else into bread for himself and his
family, so that, when he was saluted in the usual way, "How doth your
lordship do?" he facetiously replied, "Never better in my life, only
I have too great a stomach, for I have eaten that little plate which
the sequestrators left me; I have eaten a great library of excellent
books; I have eaten a great deal of linen, much of my brass, some of
my pewter, and now I am come to eat iron, and what will come next I
know not."[264] This humorous prelate died in 1650, leaving to his
children--"no legacy but pious poverty, God's blessing, and a father's

John Williams, archbishop of York, who has appeared prominently in
this volume, after the imprisonment and sequestration which he brought
upon himself by the conduct which we have already described, took, by
royal command, the charge of Conway Castle and the government of North
Wales, in which country he was born; and, at last--either in accordance
with his established character for trimming his sails according to the
wind, or to gratify a personal grudge against the Royalist captain, by
whom he had been violently displaced--he joined a Parliamentary troop
in order to recover his old fortress; after which military transaction
he ended his strange and chequered career, in 1650, at Glodded, in the
house of his kinswoman, Lady Mostyn. It is related of him, that during
the last year of his life, he rose out of bed regularly at midnight
for one quarter of an hour, when he knelt on his bare knees, and prayed
earnestly, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, and put an end to these
days of sin and misery."[265]

[Sidenote: 1641, October.]

On returning to the complicated web of religious interests and
excitements at the close of the year 1641, some dark threads remain to
be unravelled.

The following letter was written in London on the 4th of November,
1641, and indicates the alarm excited by intelligence just received
from Ireland:--[266]

[Sidenote: _Irish Rebellion._]

"This week hath brought forth strange discoveries of horrible treasons
hatched by the Papists in Ireland, and that upon the 23rd of October
past, they should have been put in execution throughout the north of
that kingdom upon all the Protestants at one instant, who were then
designed to have their throats cut by them; but, God be thanked, the
night before, being the 22nd October, one Owen Connellie, a servant
of Sir John Clotworthy, a member of the House of Commons, being then
newly made acquainted with the wickedness of the plot, by a friend of
his, that the next day should have been an actor in it, went (though
with much ado) to the Lords the Justices in Dublin, and revealed it:
whereupon the gates were instantly commanded to be shut, and a matter
of thirty-eight that were in town of the conspirators taken, whereof
the Lord Marquis and Mac Mahon are the chief, and have since confessed,
that by the next morning they expected to come to their aid twenty well
armed Papists, out of every county in Ireland, that they might all,
upon a sudden, have surprised the castle with the ammunition, and so
commanded the city and the lives of all the inhabitants. The treason
being thus discovered did spread apace throughout the north of Ireland,
where the rebellion first began, and in several places in several
bodies are of the Papists up in arms above 10,000 men, which doth much
perplex the poor Protestants, and [there is] great fear whether they
shall be able to suppress or resist them. Whereupon our Parliament
hath ordered my Lord of Leicester, Lord Lieutenant, and all other
commanders here, speedily to repair thither, and do furnish £50,000 to
carry along with them, which the City of London advances for providing
of men and arms to secure that kingdom. Some blood the villains have
shed, and committed great outrages, and taken some castles and places
of strength; but if they had taken Dublin, upon the rack divers have
confessed, in a short time they would not have left a Protestant alive
in the whole kingdom; but God, in His mercy, hath prevented that
slaughter, and hath turned part of it upon themselves. The traitors
give out the late tyranny of the Lord of Strafford upon them moved them
to it; and that, by the example of the Scots, they hoped to purchase
such privileges, by this means, in their religion, as otherwise they
never expected to have granted to them. You see the distempers of the
three kingdoms--God forgive them that have been the cause of it, and
then to be despatched into the other world, that they may trouble us no
more in this again."[267]

[Sidenote: 1641, October.]

[Sidenote: _Irish Rebellion._]

It is difficult for us--now that the reformation has become a remote
event, and Protestantism holds undisputed supremacy; now that the
principles of liberty are well understood, and the asperities and
virulence of old controversies, except in a few cases, have, been
softened down--to enter into the anti-papal feelings which moved our
stout-hearted fathers more than two centuries ago. At that period, the
Reformation, under Elizabeth, had lasted little more than eighty years.
The parents of some who were now living had witnessed the cruelties
of the Marian persecution; the men and women under Charles the First,
had, as boys and girls, in ingle-nook at Christmas-tide, felt their
blood run cold whilst listening to stories of the Smithfield fires
from eye-witnesses. A few, then in London, had actually beheld with
their own eyes a scene which stirs our hearts when only represented
by the pencil--Elizabeth haranguing her troops at Tilbury Fort. More
had heard, with their own ears, the current contemporary talk about
the Spanish Armada, as it sailed up the channel, and had caught the
first tidings of the proud armament being scattered to the winds--just
after the subsiding of the storm which sunk the accursed ships--and
they could never forget how the nation drew breath after a gasp of
most awful suspense in 1588. These last events were about as near to
the times we are describing, as the Battle of Waterloo is to our
own. The gunpowder plot was an incident of no very distant occurrence;
only as far back in the memory of members of the Long Parliament, as
the Bristol riots, and the Swing rick burning in our own. Numbers of
the gentlemen in high-crowned hats and short cloaks, who walked into
the House of Commons in 1641, filled with alarm respecting Popery,
had participated in the sensation produced by that discovery, which
is celebrated now only by a few boys on the 5th of November. Besides
all this, the sufferings of French Huguenots were fresh in everybody's
mind. Refugees who had escaped the galleys were still in London. The
massacre at Paris, commemorated by the Pope's medal, hardly fell
beyond the recollections of existing persons, whilst new religious
conflicts in France, and the siege of Rochelle, had occurred but a
few years before. The thirty years' war in Germany was not concluded;
and the battle of Prague, the execution of the Protestant patriots in
front of the Rathhaus, the expulsion of the disciples of Huss, and
the barbarities of the Papists throughout Bohemia, were in everyone's

[Sidenote: 1641, October.]

With so many alarming events recently connected with Popery, and
while the question of the Reformation in Europe appeared unsettled,
and Jesuits were intriguing, and catholic tendencies had reached
such a height in the Church of England, it is no wonder that staunch
Protestants at home, who made common cause with staunch Protestants
abroad, had such an intense dread of their old enemy. It was then with
the Puritans of England, as it has ever been, and still is, with the
Protestants of France. The latter have never forgotten the massacre
of St. Bartholomew, and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. They
have cherished, more than we have, the traditions of a suffering
Church, a Church struggling to keep its ground against neighbours
as powerful as they are antagonistic. Catholic tendencies do not
appear amongst the descendants of the Huguenots; the line is distinct
between the two Churches, and the trumpet of defiance, in the case
of French Protestantism, gives no uncertain sound. A like relative
position to papal Europe was maintained by the Puritans of 1641, with
animosities even more intense, inasmuch as the tragedies remembered
were more recent, and the danger apprehended seemed just at hand: and
it explains how the outburst of a neighbouring rebellion on the part of
the spiritual subjects of the Pope, struck terror in all Protestants
throughout this kingdom, from the Orkneys to the Land's End.

[Sidenote: _Irish Rebellion._]

The Protestant Church never flourished in Ireland. Bedell, Bishop
of Kilmore, and Bramhall, then Bishop of Derry, laboured to produce
reform. Bedell, seeing that the native Irish were little regarded
by the Protestant clergy and were left almost entirely in the hands
of the Popish priests, aimed at instructing them in the truths of
Christianity; a wise method, which however did not meet the views of
Strafford, whose policy was "to enforce religious unity by Church
discipline, and to invigorate Church discipline with the secular
arm."[268] Bramhall, in 1633, gave a deplorable account of the Irish
Church to Archbishop Laud. It was hard to say whether the fabrics
were more ruinous, or the people more irreverent. One parochial
church, in Dublin, had been turned into a stable, a second into a
dwelling, and a third into a tennis court, the vicar acting as keeper.
The vaults of Christchurch, from one end to another, were used as
tippling rooms, and were frequented for that purpose at the time
of Divine service. The very altar had become a seat for maids and
apprentices. The bishop also doubted the orthodoxy of his clergy. The
inferior sort of ministers (he said) were below contempt in respect
of poverty and ignorance, and the boundless heaping together of
benefices by _commendams_ and _dispensations_ was but too apparent.
Rarely ten pounds a year fell to the incumbent, and yet one prelate
held three-and-twenty benefices.[269] Such a state of things, not
described by an enemy but by a friend, speaks volumes. Bramhall, in
meditating reform, followed too much Laud's method, first looking at
the external condition of the Church, striving to improve edifices, to
preserve and rightly administer emoluments, to regulate worship and
secure uniformity--doubtless with far higher ultimate aims--instead of
going at once to the root of the evil, and promoting the spread of the
Gospel of Christ, and the revival of spiritual religion. Some outward
improvement followed the Churchman's endeavours, but very little of
that pure vital piety, and that Christian love, without which a Church,
no less than an individual, is but as "sounding brass and a tinkling
cymbal." Protestantism, even with the best endeavours of its advocates,
had not laid hold on the Irish heart; and Papists, who were immensely
in the majority, looked with bitter feeling on the chronic disease of
Ireland--the absorption of ecclesiastical emoluments by a sect in the
minority. Puritanism too was active. People complained of "the unblest
way of the prelacy," of fines, fees, and imprisonments, of silencing
and banishing "learned and conscionable ministers," and of the prelates
favouring popery.[270] Moreover, political heart-burnings mingled with
all this ecclesiastical strife.

[Sidenote: 1641, October.]

The Popish rebellion broke out in October. On the 1st of November,
Mr. Pym rose in the House of Commons, and stated that a noble lord, a
Privy Councillor, with other noble lords, stood at the door, waiting
to deliver important intelligence. Chairs were ordered to be placed
for these distinguished visitors, who entered uncovered--the serjeant
carrying the mace before them. The Commons doffed their hats till
the strangers were seated; when, having covered their heads again,
each, in breathless silence, with eager inquisitive eye, perhaps with
pressed ear, listened to the Lord Keeper, as he proceeded to tell them
the purpose for which he had come. The alarm increased as the Earl of
Leicester, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, one of the deputation from the
Lords, took off his hat, and said: That letters and papers had been
sent from Ireland by the Lord Justices, communicating information of
the shedding of much blood; that all Protestants were to be cut off;
that no British man, woman, or child was to be left alive; that the
horrid deed had been fixed for Saturday, the 23rd of October, being the
feast of St. Ignatius; that the King's forts were to be seized, and
the Justices and Privy Council slain. A timely supply of men and money
therefore was needed to save the country.

[Sidenote: _Irish Rebellion._]

These vague tidings ran through England like wildfire, and then there
followed details of unparalleled barbarities. It was reported, that in
the county of Armagh alone, a thousand Protestants were forced over
the Bridge of Portadown, and drowned in the River Bann. A wife was
compelled to hang her own husband. Two-and-twenty people were put into
a thatched house, and burned alive. Women, great with child, had their
bellies ripped up, and were then drowned. Three hundred Protestants
were stripped naked, and crowded into the Church of Loghill, a hundred
of whom were murdered, one being quartered alive, whose quarters
were flung in the face of the unhappy father. A hundred men, women,
and children were driven like hogs for six miles to a river, into
which they were pitched headlong with pikes and swords.[271] These
instances are only a few taken from the reports: page after page in
Rushworth, and other collections, is filled with the like enormities.
The computation was that between one and two hundred thousand persons
perished in these massacres. Common sense, knowledge of human nature,
and the recollection of rumours in our own time respecting Indian
massacres and Jamaica atrocities, must lead us to suspect the accuracy
of these reports.

Allowance should be made for exaggeration at a time of maddening
terror, and in the case of an excitable and imaginative people like
the Irish. It should also be remembered that our poor sister island
had endured wrongs from a Protestant Government; that the Puritans had
alarmed the Papists; that the Papists had exasperated the Puritans;
and that mutual intolerance increased mutual hatred. But, after all
fair abatements, that Irish Rebellion must be regarded as one of the
blackest crimes recorded in history, as an outburst of demoniacal fury,
which nothing could excuse, and which the utmost provocation could but
slenderly palliate.[272] If, as supposed by some, it was a desperate
stroke for Popish ascendancy in Ireland, encouraged by the example
of the Scots, who by rising in arms had asserted their right to a
Presbyterian Government, it must be admitted by all to have been, as
Carlyle says, "a most wretched imitation."

[Sidenote: 1641, October.]

It is not our business to investigate the sources of the Irish
rebellion, or to weigh evidence as to its horrors. Enough is admitted
by historians of every school to shew that it was a very great
calamity, and all to be done here is to indicate the impression it made
in England, and how it further complicated the already intricate causes
which conspired to complete the great ecclesiastical revolution of the

Puritans in England were terror-stricken. Fasts were held, and young
people were worn out by abstinence and prayer. Amidst a crowded
congregation, near Bradford, where all were groaning and weeping, there
came a man, who cried, "Friends, we are all as good as dead men, for
the Irish rebels are coming; they are come as far as Rochdale, and
Littleborough, and the Batings, and will be at Halifax and Bradford
shortly."[273] Upon hearing this, the congregation fell into utter
confusion, and began to run for their lives,--screaming about the
bloody Papists, and expecting every moment to meet the cut-throats.
Not only were ignorant multitudes thus panic-stricken, but Richard
Baxter believed that the Irish had threatened to come over, and, he
remarks, that such threats, "with the name of 200,000 murdered, and
the recital of the monstrous cruelties of those cannibals, made many
thousands in England think that nothing could be more necessary than
for the Parliament to put the country into an armed posture for their
own defence."[274]

[Sidenote: _Irish Rebellion._]

Not only did aversion to Popery proper increase through what had
happened in Ireland, but that aversion regarded much which bore but a
very partial resemblance to Popery. It was not easy then, with cool
discrimination, to distinguish between things which differed; and some
things, it must be remembered, were more alike then than they are at
present. What would be folly in one age may be something like wisdom in
another; what would be groundless fear now might be caution then; that
which all would pronounce insanity in a Protestant of the nineteenth
century was probably only a reasonable apprehension in a Puritan of the
seventeenth. At that time there not only rose a stronger determination
to resist the power of Rome, but also a stronger determination to put
an end to the power at Lambeth. The tiara became more hateful than
ever, and not less so the mitre: images of the Virgin were pronounced
intolerable, so were all superstitious ornaments in churches. The
Popish rebellion helped on the measure for removing Bishops from
amongst the rulers of the country, and imparted a fresh impulse to the
desire for abolishing Episcopacy.

[Sidenote: 1641, October.]

The actual plot in Ireland gave countenance to the belief of imaginary
plots in England. One day in November, John Hampden went up to the
Lords to let them know that a man had come to the door of the House
of Commons, and sent in word how he had matters of a high nature to
reveal concerning certain noble Peers and honourable Commons. They had
therefore sent the man to their Lordships' House, for examination.
Upon this, one Thomas Beal, a tailor of Whitecross Street, appeared,
who told a long rambling story to the effect, that on that very day,
at twelve o'clock, as he went into the fields near the Pest House, and
was walking on a private bank, he heard some people talking warily.
Going nearer, he heard somebody say, "it was a wicked thing that the
last plot did not take," but that one now was going on which would be
the making of them all. A hundred and eight conspirators were to kill
one hundred and eight members of Parliament--all Puritans--and the
sacrament was to be administered to the murderers. Beal was commanded
to withdraw, and an order followed to arrest certain Jesuits on
suspicion. This conspiracy, as might be expected from the man's story,
turned out to be mere smoke.[275] Yet we relate the circumstance as an
illustration of the excitement of the period; and to exemplify how men,
like the inhabitants of the Hartz mountains looking at the clouds, saw
their own fears reflected in gigantic shadows, which they mistook for
most awful and threatening realities.


                              CHAPTER X.

The cause of English Episcopacy sank into a hopeless condition.
Whatever streaks of light had just before been flickering on its
horizon had now totally vanished; not that the removal of the prelates'
bench from the House of Peers sealed its fate, for, apart from
legislative authority and political position, Episcopal office and
influence might have been retained. But the policy of Laud and Montague
had been such as to estrange from the Order the affections of the
Puritans, then the most active and influential part of the religious
population of the country. The complicity of Church rulers in the
unpopular proceedings of the High Commission and Star Chamber Courts,
and their sympathy in Strafford's scheme of arbitrary rule, had torn
away from them the last ties of attachment on the part of the middle
classes, which, in modern England, form the only trustworthy stays
of power in Church or State. The effect of the protest of Archbishop
Williams and his associates had confirmed the mean opinion in which
all the bishops were held, and had now rendered a case before very
doubtful, wholly desperate. Charles, who from the beginning had been
ready to stake the crown in his struggle for the Episcopal Church,
had by his arrest of the five members exasperated to the utmost the
supporters of the Constitution, and placed himself in a false position
towards the House of Commons; so that, while imperilling his own
prerogatives, he also injured the Church, with which he identified the
interests of his throne.

[Sidenote: 1641-2.]

Even the secession of certain conspicuous advocates from the ranks of
ecclesiastical reform to the opposite side served to weaken, not to
help, the cause of ecclesiastical conservatism.

Sir Edward Dering's course has been described. We have seen him to be
one of those men, who, after looking at both sides of a question, and
endeavouring to keep the mean between extremes, at length come to look
at one side so much more than the other, that they unconsciously swerve
in a direction divergent from their original career, and then, with
exquisite simplicity, wonder that they are charged with vacillation.
Such persons are also apt to be impetuous, and to speak unguardedly
in the heat of debate; and, while honestly hating the character of
turn-coats, they expose themselves to that odious accusation. Sir
Edward had looked at Anglicanism and at Nonconformity, trying to
steer a middle course; but circumstances of late having brought
before him most prominently the dangers of schism, he now inveighed
against it with the same zeal, which, in the spring and summer of
1641, had inflamed his anti-prelatical orations. It is very easy to
make good against this honest but shallow politician the charge of
self-contradiction. It is curious to see in his "Defence" how one who
courted popularity winced under the accusation of being an apostate,
and how he parried the charge of going over to the enemy's camp. At an
hour when parties were plunging into a mortal struggle, a much wiser
man, counselling moderation, would have had little chance of making
himself heard; and certainly Dering's laboured distinction between
ruin and reform did as little toward preventing the first as promoting
the second; and it could only produce a grim smile in the iron face of
a Puritan, when the recent church reformer cautioned his friends, in
classic phrase, against "breaking asunder that well ordered chain of
government, which from the chair of Jupiter reacheth down by several
golden even links to the protection of the poorest creature that now
lives among us."[276]

[Sidenote: _Secessions from the Popular Party._]

[Sidenote: 1641-2.]

Another seceder was Lord Falkland, who though a far different man from
Dering, yet possessed an amount of impetuosity which at times mastered
his wisdom; for instance, when on one occasion the Speaker desired the
Members of the House to concur in a vote of thanks by a movement of
the hat, Falkland, with a sort of childish irritability, "clasped his
hands together upon the crown of his hat, and held it close down to his
head."[277] It is somewhat singular that such a man should be held up
as an example of moderation--that one so impulsive and demonstrative
should have won renown for calmness and caution. The truth is, that he
had looked even more closely than Dering had done at the two sides of
the great controversy, and by dwelling exclusively first on the one
and then on the other, had incurred, like his parliamentary friend,
the charge of tergiversation. He saw more strongly the objections to
a question than the grounds of its support. "The present evil always
seemed to him the worst--he was always going backward and forward;
but it should be remembered to his honour, that it was always from
the stronger to the weaker side that he deserted: while Charles was
oppressing the people, Falkland was a resolute champion of liberty.
He attacked Strafford, he even concurred in strong measures against
Episcopacy; but the violence of his party annoyed him and drove him
to the other party, to be equally annoyed there."[278] Falkland
deserted his former friends in October, on the reintroduction of the
Bill for taking away the bishops' votes; on the ground, that, though
at first he thought it might prove an effectual compromise, and might
save Episcopacy by sacrificing its political power, yet he afterwards
entertained the opinion that it would have no such effect. The charge
of dishonesty never can be brought against him; his character in this
respect, like polished armour, could not be dimmed for more than a
moment by the breath of scandal. A perfect Bayard in his chivalrous
career, _sans peur et sans reproche_, however he might diverge from
his previous path, he can never be justly regarded as a renegade.
The persuasion of his friend Hyde, his sympathies as a tasteful and
accomplished gentleman with the cavalier party, and beyond all, perhaps
a sort of religious reverence for royalty, had more than anything to do
with his change of policy in October, and his acceptance of office in
the King's councils in January. And it does not appear, that, though
he dreaded extreme measures against the Church, he had any more zeal
for prelates after than before his separation from his old friends.
It was for the crown rather than the mitre that he threw his weight
into the royal scale. He approved of moderate Episcopacy, but for that
he did not make his great sacrifice. He could not say with Sir Edward
Verney, "I have eaten the King's bread, and served him near thirty
years;" but he could adopt the veteran's declaration, "I will not do
so base a thing as to forsake him." He was not prepared to exclaim, "I
chose rather to lose my life, which I am sure I shall do, to preserve
and defend those things which are against my conscience;" but he
might have adopted the words of the same brave soldier, "I will deal
freely with you, I have no reverence for Bishops for whom this quarrel
subsists."[279] The heart of many a Royalist went more with King than

[Sidenote: _Secessions from the Popular Party._]

These changes left the staunch opponents of Episcopacy more unfettered
in action, and served to consolidate party elements which, for a
long time, had been held in a state of solution. Though it would be
inaccurate to speak of two distinct and compact parties before the end
of 1641, such parties are to be recognized after the beginning of 1642.
Men were then forced to take a side, to assume a definite position.
A grand issue was joined. Half measures were no longer possible.
Questions became distinct. The device and cognizance on each of the
opposite banners might be as unmistakably understood as they were
plainly emblazoned--on the one side, "Church and King," on the other,
"Constitutional Reform in Church and State." There may be quibbles
about the accuracy of such watchwords, but those now mentioned are
as applicable to the two parties of the seventeenth century, as any
familiar ones now are to the political distinctions of the nineteenth.

[Sidenote: 1642, January.]

Politicians who remained staunch in the defence of Parliamentary
power against Kingly despotism were much more agreed in reference to
the State than in reference to the Church. On the negative side of
ecclesiastical revolution they pretty well understood each other. What
should be put down they knew; but not precisely what should be set
up. That prelacy of the Stuart type should be expelled was a foregone
conclusion in 1642; but what sort of rule should take its place,
whether very moderate Episcopacy, or thorough Presbyterianism like
that of Scotland, the leaders of the movement had not determined. It
is, however, quite evident that great modifications in the direction
of Presbyterianism were under contemplation: for Presbyterians were
numerous in London; their leaders were active amongst the citizens;
and the Scotch, through their commissioners, were earnestly doing
all they could to promote the cause which was dear to their hearts.
But the sectaries, who were hated equally by the Presbyterian and
Prelatist, were also on the increase. So numerous indeed had they
become that Bishop Hall, in his last speech in the House of Lords,
declared with spleen unworthy of so good a man, that there were eighty
congregations of them in London, "instructed by guides fit for them,
cobblers, tailors, felt-makers, and such like trash, which all were
taught to spit in the face of their mother, the Church of England,
and to defy and revile her government."[281] Letters of the Royalists
at that period abound in complaints respecting the increased activity
and boldness of people who were condemned as schismatics. Those so
designated had views of ecclesiastical polity very different from
Presbyterian opinions, and were destined to check the progress of the
latter much more effectually than to contribute to the downfall of
Episcopacy. Some of them even (but only some) went so far as to cry,
"Away with the thought of a national Church. It is impossible for a
national Church to be the true Church of Christ. Let us have no Church
but Congregations, and let them be without superintendency." To this
we may add that the separatists in general objected to the distinction
between clergy and laity, and maintained that the Church is a body, all
the members of which are kings and priests.[282]

[Sidenote: _Royal Flight._]

Charles and his Queen left London on the triumphant return of the five
members to Westminster. So hasty was the royal flight, that befitting
accommodation for their Majesties could not be provided. They first
journeyed to Hampton Court, but their subsequent movements were so
secret, that even courtiers did not know whither the royal pair were
bending their steps.[283]

Under Secretary Bere, writing to Admiral Sir John Pennington, on the
13th of January, thus speaks of the startling events then taking

[Sidenote 1642, January.]

"Sir--The last week I told you but the beginning of those bad ensuing
news we must now daily expect, unless it please God to give a strange
if not miraculous change whereby to settle the distraction of affairs.
The committees, sitting all last week in the city, returned again to
Parliament on Tuesday, and the persons accused with them; for whom
both City and county have shewn so much affection, that they came
accompanied with such multitudes, as had as much of the triumph as
guard: and by water the seamen made a kind of fleet of boats, all armed
with muskets and murdering pieces, which gave volleys all the way they
went. The King and Queen took the day before a resolution to leave
this town, which was also so sudden, that they could not have that
accommodation befitting their Majesties. They went to Hampton Court
that night, next day to Windsor; whence it is conceived they will also
depart as this day, but whither is uncertain. The Prince and Prince
Elector is with them; but few Lords, Essex and Holland being here, who
offered up both their places before his going, but his Majesty would
not accept the surrender. Mr. Secretary Nicholas is likewise gone, and
hath left me to attend such services as shall occur, which, if the King
shall persist in his resolution to retire, will not be much. However,
I will expect the issue, and, if I be not sent for, think myself not
unhappy in my stay, to be freed of an expenseful and troublesome
journey. My Lady Nicholas is much afflicted, and, I believe, as well
as he, would for a good round sum he had never had the seals. My
Lord-Keeper, refusing to put the great seal to the King's proclamation
against the persons accused, did also make tender of his charge, but
howsoever remains still with it; and thus, Sir, you see to what height
of distempers things are come. The public voice runs much against
Bristol and his son, as great instruments of these misunderstandings.
In the meantime they are united in the Houses, and the accord between
the Upper House and Commons grows daily more easy; so that it is hoped
some good and moderate resolutions will be taken for the procuring his
Majesty's return with his contentment (which I pray God may be), for
otherwise there can be expected nothing but confusion.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I understand even now that the King is remained this day at Windsor,
and it is hoped will not go further; the French Ambassador having been
there, and offering to interpose for an accommodation between his
Majesty and the Parliament, in the King his master's name, whence it is
hoped may ensue some good effect. This day divers Lords are going to
Court with a message from the Houses. I had almost forgotten to tell
you of a new Secretary of State made last Saturday, to wit, the Lord
Falkland, and he hath the Diet."[284]

From Windsor, Charles went to York, which now became a focus of
political and ecclesiastical activity and intrigue. Declarations,
manifestoes, and commands were issued by royal authority from the
North to be contradicted and disobeyed by such members of the two
Houses as continued at their posts in the South.[285] The Puritan
patriots flocked to St. Stephen's with petitions complaining of Popish
malignants, Irish rebels, and other hindrances to reform; while
Royalist Churchmen as eagerly besieged the King's presence chamber in
the ancient archiepiscopal city with addresses lamenting the disorders
of the times, and praying for the support of old-fashioned loyalty,
with Prayer Book, Cathedrals, and Bishops.

[Sidenote: _Attempts at Mediation._]

Attempts to mediate between the two contending powers were made
in vain: for no mediator existed possessing such a character for
impartiality as was needful to reconcile, or even mitigate the
quarrel. Louis XIII. of France offered his services, but his
relationship to Henrietta Maria, and his being a Popish and absolute
monarch, disqualified him for the office of peace-maker.

[Sidenote: 1642.]

The Scotch, with the best intentions, but with even more
unfitness--having taken up arms against Episcopacy, having been in
the pay of Parliament, and having fostered a Presbyterian spirit in
England--proffered their help. The Commissioners, who had just returned
to London, and had taken umbrage at the treatment which they had
received from the Royalist and High Church Lord Mayor--complaining that
he had assigned to them lodgings in a plague-stricken house[286]--made
their appearance at Windsor Castle, in the month of January, to tell
his Majesty, that the liberties of England and Scotland must stand and
fall together, and to ascribe the existing disorders of the country to
the plots of Papists and prelates, who aimed at subverting the purity
and truth of religion.[287] Yet, while thus manifestly taking the
Parliament side in the controversy, the Scotch coolly offered their
services to compose the difference between the King and his subjects.
Nothing could come of this, nor of a renewal of the offer in May sent
from the Council in Edinburgh to Charles, at York, through the hands
of their Chancellor. Even the most impartial advice and the wisest
diplomacy now must have been too late, for the dispute had gone beyond
any healing power, since both parties laid their hands on the scabbards
of their swords, and, in fact, the blade was already half drawn by each.

[Sidenote: _Manifestoes._]

[Sidenote: 1642.]

It is not our province to enter upon the question between King and
Parliament, touching the militia. It is sufficient to observe that,
when such a question arose, war could not be far off. Nor does it
become us to notice the simply political aspects of those voluminous
papers belonging to the Civil War which have been collected by
Rushworth,[288] containing the manifestoes of the two belligerents,
who--like all belligerents down to the Prussians and Austrians this
very summer--writing what they know would be read by the whole world,
sought to throw the whole blame of the quarrel on each other; and
while both were buckling on their armour, neither liked to be seen
striking the first blow. It must be confessed, that in these patiently
prepared, and able, though tedious documents, the thrusts at the enemy
are more effective than the counter-thrusts. Both King and Parliament
wished to be thoroughly constitutional in the form of everything which
they said and did; and on the side where justice lay it was far more
easy for them to be so, when assailing their antagonists than when
they were defending themselves. In other words, it was easy for the
Parliament to prove that the King had violated the Constitution; but
it was not so easy to prove that, when taking all power into their own
hands--especially when taking up arms--they kept within the formal
lines of the English Constitution. The legal fiction of arming in the
King's name against the King's person; the separation of Charles Stuart
and the Sovereign of England into two entities; the defence of the
abstract rule by violence against the concrete ruler, are refinements,
which, however sound they may be in political metaphysics, do not
carry conviction to plain English understandings.[289] Besides, the
reasonings of the great Parliamentary lawyers,--which were learned,
profound, and subtle in the extreme,--require much more of erudition
and perspicacity, that they may be followed and appreciated, than
people commonly, either in that age or this, could be supposed to
possess.[290] But putting legal technicalities aside; looking at the
matter on broad grounds of justice; viewing the government of England
at that period as already unconstitutionalized, by the King's aiming to
rule without Parliaments; considering also that a regal revolution had
in fact been going on for twenty years, the vindication of the popular
party is triumphant. To save what was free in the Constitution, there
was a necessity perforce for breaking down, at all hazards, whatever
of arbitrary power had crept into the working of affairs. The King had
been striving to destroy Parliamentary action, and nothing which he had
conceded could remove the suspicion that he remained the same despot
in spirit which he had ever been, and that now he only waited for a
convenient season, when he might withdraw his concessions, lock up
the doors at Westminster, and, with the key in his pocket, entrench
himself at Whitehall, as absolute a tyrant as his brother of France.
Parliament then was compelled, if it would save the liberties of the
country, to work by itself for the repair of mischief already done. The
State had reached a revolutionary crisis; and only by revolutionary
means could it be brought back to a constitutional and normal
condition. What Quin said to Warburton of the execution of Charles, may
be more fitly applied to the taking up arms against him. When asked by
what law he would justify the deed? The witty actor rejoined, "By all
the laws he had left them." "It is the sum of the whole controversy,"
says Walpole, "couched in eight monosyllables."[291]

[Sidenote: _Manifestoes._]

With the religious points of the declarations we have alone to do. On
the 9th of April, the Lords and Commons declared that they intended a
reformation of the Church; and that, for the better effecting thereof,
they wished speedily to have consultation with godly and learned
divines; and because this would never of itself attain all the end
sought therein, they would use their utmost endeavours to establish
learned and preaching ministers with a good and sufficient maintenance
throughout the whole kingdom; wherein many dark corners were miserably
destitute of the means of salvation, and many poor ministers wanted
necessary provision.[292]

[Sidenote: 1642.]

On the 3rd of June, the King stated that he was resolved to defend the
true Protestant religion established in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
to govern by law for the future; and that he had no intention to
make war with his Parliament, except it were in the way of defence. In
June the Parliament presented to the King certain propositions. Those
relating to religion were:--That the laws against priests and Popish
recusants be strictly put in execution, and a more effectual course
be taken to disable them from making any disturbance; that the Popish
lords in the House of Peers be deprived of their votes, and a Bill be
drawn for the education of the children of Papists in the Protestant
religion; that his Majesty do consent to such a Reformation of the
Church as Parliament shall devise, and be pleased to give consent
to the laws for removing innovations, pluralities, and scandalous
ministers.[293] The King replied, that as to the Popish peers he was
content that they should give their votes by proxy through Protestant
lords; as to the education of Papists by Protestants, it was the very
thing he wished: but, touching the Reformation to be made of the Church
Government and Liturgy, he told them he hoped that what he had formerly
declared had been sufficiently understood. He had said, in his answer
to the petition presented at Hampton Court, that, for any illegal
innovations which might have crept in, he should willingly concur
in their removal, and that if Parliament should advise the calling
a national synod he should take it into consideration: but he was
persuaded that no Church upon the earth could be found with more purity
of doctrine than the Church of England, that nowhere did government and
discipline exist more free from superstition; and that he would with
constancy maintain them in their purity and glory, not only against
all invasions of Popery, but also from the irreverence of schismatics
and separatists, for the suppression of whom he required their timely
assistance.[294] Much of the royal reply had a specious look, and, if
honestly meant, might have served as a ground for reconciliation; but
to the Parliament, with their deep conviction of the King's insincerity
founded on the experience of years, all his honied phraseology only
seemed to cover hidden stings: and to persons bent on securing
toleration for the sects--a daily increasing party--there was nothing
in the King's words but what shewed the hopelessness of their cause if
left to him.

[Sidenote: _Manifestoes._]

All these documents considered in reference to what they professed,
were so much waste paper. Ostensibly they spoke of peace--virtually
they meant war.

Indications of a coming conflict were visible. The people divided into
two parties, and gave signs by hoisting colours. Tawny ribbons were
mounted in the hats of the Royalists,[295] the Parliamentarians wore
orange. Cavaliers insulted roundheads, and roundheads retaliated on
cavaliers. The latter, it was reported, put the former to the test by
requiring them to swear "a round oath." Pamphlets were published in
vindication of taking up arms. In one of these publications, bearing
the title of "Powers to be Resisted," it is declared, that if it be
lawful in any case to contend with the sword it is in this; and, in
reply to the objection, "No, not with the sword, but with prayer,"
comes the curious _reductio ad absurdum_, "contend against swine
and dogs with prayer! I never heard the like since I was born; a
vain thing, it is sure, to pray the swine not to trample the pearl
under foot, to pray the dogs not to rend you."[296] Disturbance and
insecurity appeared already. The quaint little newspapers of the day
make complaints of assaults and pillage. The Kent waggoners, for
example, were stopped on the road to London, and the well-laden wains
robbed by cavalier banditti.

[Sidenote: 1642.]

Fearful times had already come, and times still more fearful were
at hand. The people of England trembled at the idea of a civil war;
the insurrection of Wyat, and Kett's rebellion, had left grave
recollections in London and Norfolk; but the blood shed in the wars of
the Roses--a more terrible memory--now rose before peaceful households
in crimson colour. Mental agitation increased at the sight of natural
phenomena, which that agitation interpreted as supernatural portents;
omens were detected in slightly unusual incidents, with a feeling akin
to ancient Greek and Roman hope or terror under the augur's divination.
Signs blazed in heaven--noises burst through the air--people talked
of "a celestial beating of drums," and "discharging of muskets and
ordnance for the space of an hour and more." Not satisfied with a
recognition in the skies of the excitements on the earth, each of
the two parties claimed the Divine Being on their own side, and had
wonders to tell of judgments smiting opponents. Royalist churchmen
related a story of a certain Puritan churchwarden who had taken down
a painted glass window, and within two days his wife was exceedingly
tormented in her limbs, raging and crying most fearfully. Parliamentary
Puritans, with equal extravagance, declared how some wicked Royalist
had stuck on the top of a pole a man in a tub to be shot at, and soon
afterwards the Royalist was seized with convulsions. One who drank to
the confusion of Roundheads, on beginning to dance, broke his leg.
The divine indignation on account of setting up May-poles was equally

[Sidenote: _The Coming Struggle._]

In connection with all this, hostile preparations were made on both
sides. Members of the House of Commons contributed horses, money,
and plate for the service of Parliament,[298] whilst clergymen and
their families sent spoons, cups, and beakers of silver, to be turned
into money for the payment of the forces.[299] On the other hand, the
friends of the King manifested their loyalty and devotion; but they did
not make sacrifices with the same ardour, and to the same extent, as
their fellow-countrymen who embraced the cause of the opposite party.
Clarendon bitterly complains of the lukewarmness of the Royalists, and
observes, that if they had lent their master a fifth part of what they
afterwards lost, he would have been able to preserve his crown, and
they would have retained their property.

[Sidenote 1642.]

The enlistment of soldiers was still more important than filling the
military chests; and here again the advantage was on the side of the
Parliament; the militia increased more rapidly than the forces
gathered by the King's commission of array.[300] Hampden, as the wheat
ripened in the Chiltern Hundreds, was engaged in raising volunteers;
Cromwell made himself useful in Cambridge and the Fen Country after
a similar fashion; Lord Brooke, too, rode up and down amongst the
fields and orchards of Worcestershire on the same business; and soon
England bristled all over with officers beating up recruits. As
cavalier nobles and squires assembled their tenantry under the royal
standard, there were other landed proprietors who espoused the popular
cause, and who were still more successful in securing followers. At
the same time, town halls and market-places echoed with appeals to
citizens and burgesses to fight for the liberties of their country;
whilst in various places ammunition and stores were collected with
corresponding activity and zeal. Castles and manor-houses were stripped
of armour which had hung for years upon the time-stained walls; and
parish churches yielded up from the tombs of ancient knights rusty
helmets and hauberks. Old bills and bows, matchlocks and pistols,
pikes and lances, and even staves and clubs, were piled up as part of
the extemporised equipment. After a little while, military matters
took something of artistic form, and regiments well accoutred might
be seen marching under the flags of their respective colonels.
Redcoats, following Denzil Holles, tramped along the streets of
London; purple rank and file drew up at Lord Brooke's command under
the tower of Warwick Castle; Hampden saw with pride his green coats
winding through the vales of Buckinghamshire; and Lord Say and Sele
appeared at the head of a regiment in jackets of blue. Haselrig led
on his troops of "lobsters"--so called from the cuirasses worn by
his horsemen; and last, but not least, Cromwell rode at the head
of cavalry, who, from the completeness of their armour, as well as
the invincibleness of their courage, have always been known as his
"Ironsides."[301] The Parliamentary officers tied an orange scarf over
their accoutrements, and the standard of each regiment bore on one side
the colonel's device, and on the other the Parliament's watchword,
"God with us." Presbyterian divines became Parliamentary chaplains, in
which capacity Dr. Spurstow was attached to John Hampden, and Simeon
Ash--"good old Ash," as afterwards he used to be called--followed
Lord Brooke. Marshall and Burgess attended upon the Earl of Essex,

[Sidenote: _Character of the Army._]

The character of the Parliamentary army was not at first what it
afterwards became. When the war commenced, as Cromwell subsequently
remarked, "there were numbered among the soldiery, old, decayed
serving men and tapsters," who dishonoured the cause; Papists,
too, were reported to be in the ranks, strange as that report may
appear. Charles, after the battle of Edgehill, flung the reproach in
the face of his enemies, and declared that all men knew the great
number of Papists who fought under their banner.[302] The Parliament
indignantly repelled the accusation, as utterly inconsistent with
their avowed opinions and designs. So undoubtedly it was, and if any
adherents of the popish religion actually existed in the patriot camp,
they could be there only as Jesuits in disguise, in order to corrupt
the good affection of their comrades; still, it would appear that such
a charge could never have been hazarded but for the miscellaneous
character of the troops at the commencement of the outbreak. Religious
instruction and discipline, however, were speedily instituted; the men
were furnished with copies of the Scriptures;[303] the preaching of
the Gospel prevailed in every place where the forces were quartered;
and various means were employed to improve the moral and spiritual
condition of the soldiers.

[Sidenote: 1642.]

Turning to look for a moment at the Royalists, we observe that there
were sound-hearted Protestants and truly religious men amongst them,
but there were also considerable numbers of Roman Catholics;[304]
others--we fear they were the majority--cared very little, if at
all, for religion, either in substance or form. Some scoffed at sacred
things, and made a boast of their profanity and licentiousness. If
Puritans quoted Scripture, sometimes with more reverence than wisdom,
Royalists could use it with a blasphemous kind of vulgar wit which
it is shocking to record. For example, on an ensign captured in
Dorsetshire, a cannon was painted, with this motto: "O Lord, open thou
my lips, and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise."

[Sidenote: _Nature of the Struggle._]

[Sidenote: 1642.]

The ecclesiastical aspects of the civil war may be seen in the State
Papers issued at the time. For the present, it suffices to observe
that the English and the Scotch differed in their views respecting the
relation in which the religious and political questions of the day
stood to each other. The Scotch entered the field under the banner
of Church, Crown, and Covenant, to carry on a contest, if not purely
religious, yet one which was so in the main. Political considerations
were subordinate: the flag was unfurled, and the sword drawn for
Presbyterianism against Popery and against Prelacy. The rights of
synods, and the interests of pure and undefiled religion, more than the
privileges of Parliament, constituted the precious national treasure,
to secure which the veteran General Leslie encamped with that great
host, which Baillie so graphically describes. In the case of the
Parliamentary army of England, it was otherwise. In the beginning,
indeed, the Lancashire Puritans, when taking up arms, proceeded
entirely on religious grounds, and emulated their more northern
neighbours in that respect. They dreaded the Papists living amongst
them; and it was against those Papists, not against the King, as they
expressly declared, that they threw themselves into the civil war.
During the siege of Manchester, the inhabitants, in their answer to the
Royalist Lord Strange, identified his proceedings with the cause of
the Roman Catholics, many of whom were marching under his flag.[305]
And in connection with this prominence, in one part of the country
at least, given to the religious phase of the conflict, it should be
remembered that English Puritans never counted religion in any of its
relations as less than supreme; that they always professed obedience to
Christianity as the supreme law of life; and that they were thoroughly
religious, as to motive and spirit, in all their military service.
So completely was this the case, that no Crusader could be more
devout, as he buckled on his sword to fight for the rescue of the Holy
Sepulchre, than the Roundhead was, when he buttoned his 'souldier's
pocket bible' in his waistcoat, and shouldered his musket to fight
against Rome and the devil--as well as against political despotism.
But still, this latter object appears most conspicuous in our civil
war. Pym and his associates were emphatically Parliament men: they
engaged in a Parliament struggle, to save the English Constitution from
the absorbing encroachments of the King's prerogative. Ecclesiastical
questions necessarily connected themselves with such as were political,
but the former were kept subordinate; and, when appearing in State
documents, they occupy a far less space, and are treated with much less
minuteness and fulness than the latter. The previous history of our
country had given this shape to the controversy. As prior circumstances
in Scotland had made the war for the Scotch principally one on behalf
of the rights of the Church, prior circumstances in England made it for
the English principally a war on behalf of civil liberty. Through a
victory achieved for the Church, the Scotch intended to establish the
political well-being of their country; through a victory obtained for
the Parliament, the English meant to promote the spiritual interests of
the Church. The relation between the two aspects of the conflict, in
each case, came to be regulated accordingly.


                              CHAPTER XI.

To employ an apt but homely figure used by Mrs. Hutchinson, the
smoke ascended from the tops of the chimneys before the flame broke
out. As early as April, the King appeared at the gates of Hull,
where he was denied entrance by Sir John Hotham. In the middle of
June, the Commission of Array at Leicester came into collision with
the Parliamentary militia. In August, the brave Lord Brooke set out
from Warwick Castle with three hundred musketeers and two hundred
horse, gathering round him recruits to the number of three thousand;
the country sending "six loads of harrows to keep off horses, and a
cart-load of bread and cheese, and great store of beer."[306] Reluctant
to shed blood, the Puritan commander charged his soldiers, for the
kingdom's sake, not to fire a single pistol except in self-defence.
Happily, there arose no occasion for firing at all, as the Royalists,
under the Earl of Northampton, threw down their arms, and ran away.
The King, in revenge of Brooke's conduct, bestowed that nobleman's
castle as an escheat on the Lord of Compton-Winyates, after which the
patriot, in defiance of this injustice and insult, planted ordnance at
the gate and keep of his feudal fortress, and on the top of Cæsar's
tower. Lord Compton, forcibly claiming the royal grant, assailed the
stronghold left under the charge of Sir Edward Peto, and planted cannon
on the church to bombard the castle. Dislodged by shots, the besieger
endeavoured to starve out the garrison; but Sir Edward, with grim
Puritan resolution, hoisted a flag displaying the figures of a Bible
and a winding sheet, which presented very significant symbols of the
objects and spirit of the rising war.[307]

[Sidenote: _Outbreak of War._]

On the afternoon of Monday, the 22nd of August, there occurred the
world-famous act of setting up the King's standard at Nottingham. After
dinner, he with his company rode into the town from Leicester Abbey.
The standard was taken out of the castle and carried into a field
behind the castle wall. It resembled one of the city streamers used
at the Lord Mayor's show; it had about twenty supporters; on its top
hung a flag with the royal arms quartered, and a hand pointing to the
crown, with the motto, "Give Cæsar his due." It was conducted to the
field in great state by the King, Prince Rupert, and divers Lords. A
proclamation respecting the war had been prepared, which his Majesty
read over, and, seeming to dislike some expressions, called for pen and
ink, and with his own hand crossed out or altered them; after which,
when the paper was read, the multitude threw up their hats and cried,
"God save the King." It was now late in the month of August, the days
were closing in, and the evening shadows fell on the King and his
staff as they engaged in this act which finally plunged England into a
civil war. A violent storm of wind arose and blew down the standard,
almost as soon as it was unfurled.[308] As the cavaliers, in the dim
twilight, wheeled off from the spot, did not their hearts beat with a
sense of something very awful done that night?

[Sidenote: 1642, August.]

As from one end of England to the other rumours of war were current,
pious men betook themselves to the exercises of devotion; and the two
Houses of Parliament, on hearing that the standard had been set up at
Nottingham, published an ordinance for observing, with more than usual
humiliation, the monthly fast, the services of which were to last from
_nine in the morning till four in the afternoon_. At the same period,
a religious service in London, known as "the Morning Exercise," was
commenced, in connection with which special intercessions were offered
up on behalf of the Parliamentary forces.[309]

But whilst peaceable Puritans were praying, their armed brethren were
marching through the country. In the State Paper Office there are
letters, probably intercepted ones, written by a Roundhead soldier
named Wharton, reporting to a friend the adventures of the regiment to
which he belonged. They are so curious and interesting, and throw such
light on the feelings of a religious nature which existed in the hearts
of the Parliament soldiers, that we cannot forbear making use of them
largely in this part of our narrative.

[Sidenote: _Troops on the March._]

He informs us, that in the month of August, 1642, he and his comrades
marched to Acton, and were belated. Many were constrained to lodge in
beds "whose feathers were above a yard long." They sallied out into
the town, and coming to the house of one Penruddock, a Papist, they
were "basely affronted by him and his dog;" whereupon they entered
and pillaged the dwelling; and then proceeded to the church, where
they "defaced the ancient and sacred glazed pictures, and burned the
holy rails;" the soldiers brought more holy rails to be burnt, and
abstained from pillaging Lord Portland's house, together with another
inhabited by Dr. Ducke, only in consequence of a prohibition from their
commanders. Mention is made of converting the surplice at Hillingdon
into handkerchiefs, of burning the rails and also a service book at
Uxbridge, and of similar outrages, perpetrated in other places; as well
as of soldiers visiting Papists by stealth, and forcing them to give
loaves and cheeses, which the captors triumphantly carried away on the
points of their swords. Colonel Hampden, accompanied by many gentlemen
well-horsed, welcomed these detachments to Aylesbury with great joy;
after which they marched out with 400 musqueteers and a hundred horse,
to Watlington, in Oxfordshire. At Great Missenden they had noble
entertainment from the whole town, and especially from Sir Bryan
Ireson, and the minister. On Sunday, a pulpit was built in the market
place of Aylesbury, where they heard "two worthy sermons." Grievous
complaints are made of their Lieutenant-Colonel, who is described in no
measured terms, as one whom they all desired that the Parliament would
depose or God convert, or "the devil fetch away quick."[310]

[Sidenote: 1642, September.]

From Northampton the same correspondent writes informing his friend
that on Wednesday a fast was kept at Coventry--which is described as
a city, having four steeples, three churches, and two parishes, and
not long since, but one priest--where they heard two sermons, but
before the third was ended an "alarum" came for them to march. By
ten o'clock they got their regiments together, and about two in the
morning proceeded towards Northampton.[311] The military pillaged the
parson of Barby, and brought him away prisoner with his surplice and
other relics. At Long Buckby the soldiers had hard quarters, insomuch
that they were glad to "dispossess the very swine, and as many as
could quartered in the church." Some stragglers sallied into the
neighbourhood of the town, and returned "in state, clothed in surplice,
hood, and cap, representing the Bishop of Canterbury." On Friday
morning, Mr. Obediah Sedgwick "gave a worthy sermon," and Wharton's
company marched rank and file to hear him. Mr. John Sedgwick had been
appointed to preach in the afternoon, but news having arrived that
Prince Rupert had plundered Harborough, and fired some adjacent towns,
this circumstance spoiled the service. On Sabbath morning Mr. Marshall,
"that worthy champion of Christ," preached, and in the afternoon Mr.
Ash officiated. These by their sermons "subdued and satisfied more
malignant spirits than 1,000 armed men could have done, so that we have
great hopes of a blessed union."

[Sidenote: _Troops on the March._]

Writing from Worcester (September 26th), Wharton complains of the
barbarity practised by the cavaliers--relating how they stripped,
stabbed, and slashed the dead, and then states that on Sabbath morning,
his fellow-soldiers entered a vault of the college where his Excellency
was to hear a sermon, and found secreted there eleven barrels of
gunpowder and a pot of bullets. It is added that his Excellency
prohibited any soldier to plunder churches or private houses under pain
of death. In another communication, (dated September 30th), after an
interesting account of the situation, buildings, and curiosities of the
city, he paints its moral and spiritual condition, in most frightful
colours, as so vile, and the country so base, so papistical, so
atheistical, and abominable that it resembled Sodom, and was the very
emblem of Gomorrah, and doubtless worse than either Algiers or Malta,
a very den of thieves, and a refuge for all the hell-hounds in the
country. Though the citizens cried _peccavi_ their practical motto was
_iterum faciam_; but they only did as they were taught by Dr. Prideaux,
lately made bishop, and by other popish priests, who had all run away.

[Sidenote: 1642, October.]

Respecting Hereford, he remarks, October the 7th, "On Sabbath day,
about the time of morning prayer, we went to the minster, where the
pipes played and the puppets sang so sweetly, that some of our soldiers
could not forbear dancing in the holy quire, whereat the _Baalists_
were sore displeased. The anthem ended, they fell to prayer, and
prayed devoutly for the King and the bishops, and one of our soldiers
with a loud voice said, 'What! never a bit for the Parliament,' which
offended them much more. Not satisfied with this human service we went
to divine, and, passing by, found shops open and men at work, to whom
we gave some plain dehortations, and went to hear Mr. Sedgwick, who
gave us two famous sermons, which much affected the poor inhabitants,
who wondering, said they never heard the like before, and I believe
them. The Lord move your hearts to commiserate their distress, and to
send them some faithful and painful minister, for the revenues of the
college will maintain many of them. I have sent you the gods of the
cavaliers enclosed, they are pillage taken from Sir William Russel, of
which I never yet got the worth of one farthing."

The writer of these letters was a stern Puritan, with an almost equal
hatred of Prelacy and Popery, and also a fierce Iconoclast, with
not an atom of regard for what is æsthetical in worship--tearing up
surplices as the rags of the mother of harlots, and looking with
grim satisfaction on altar rails crackling in the fire as so much
superstitious refuse and defilement swept out of the Church of God, and
meet only to be destroyed.

Contemporary with these epistles is one from a minister at Berwick,
which presents to us another illustration of what happened in those
times, by revealing to us his secret troubles--thus indicating the
violence of feeling prevalent amongst the Roman Catholics of the wild
Border Country, towards zealous apostles of Puritanism: "Never had
I more need of your prayers than at present: the Papists are very
insolent, use me most basely by railing on me, &c. But especially the
Scottish fugitives, Mr. Sideserfe and his adherents, are so exasperated
against me for my fidelity, that there is no small fear of my life
and safety. One in his cups said yesterday, that they would not be
satisfied until they had my life; but I say with the apostle, my life
is not dear unto me, that I may finish my course with joy and fulfil
the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus. They rail upon
the Parliament, and threaten to send for a troop of horse to fetch me
from Berwick, but my times are in the Lord's hands. I have one hundred
pounds in London: I would the Parliament had it for and towards the
defence of the kingdom, if it would be accepted. The Lord maintain His
own cause, go out with His armies, and make a good end for us, for I
know your prayers will not be wanting."[312]

As the Parliamentary soldiers were marching up and down the country,
after the fashion described in Nehemiah Wharton's letters, Royalists
were working out their will in another kind of lawless way. They had no
psalm-singing or prayer, they built no pulpits in market-places, and
if they did not retaliate upon conventicles the puritan treatment of
parish churches, it was simply because conventicles did not exist, or
were not within their reach. Royalist excesses were of another order.
Whitelocke, describing the plunder of his own house, tells us that
the enemy consumed whatever they could find, lighted their pipes with
his MSS., carried away his title deeds, littered their horses with
his wheat sheaves, broke down his park pales, killed his deer, broke
open his trunks and chests, cut his beds and let out the feathers,
and seized his coach and horses. In a word, they committed "all the
mischief and spoil that malice and enmity could provoke barbarous
mercenaries to commit."[313]

[Sidenote: _Battle of Edgehill._]

[Sidenote: 1642, October.]

The first serious conflict between the two armies happened at Edgehill,
on Sunday, October the 23rd. The Puritan forces were marching to
worship at Keynton church, when news reached them of the enemy being
only two miles distant. Upon hearing this, they proceeded that
morning--as the autumnal tints dyed the landscape--to a broad field at
the hill foot, called the Vale of the Red Horse, where, as they took
up their position, the Royalists came down and arranged their forces
in front of them. Amongst the cavaliers rode Sir Jacob Astley, whose
prayer and charge were so characteristic of the bluff piety of the
best of that class, "O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day.
If I forget Thee do not forget me. March on, boys!" Then began the
rush of pikes, the crack of musketry, and the roar of cannon, which
lasted till dark. Richard Baxter was preaching that day at Alcester,
and heard the tumult of the distant fight. Some fugitives ran into the
town, startling and alarming the inhabitants with the news, that the
Parliament had been defeated; but early next morning other messengers
relieved the panic-stricken inhabitants by the assurance that while
Prince Rupert's men were plundering the waggons of Lord Essex's routed
wing, the main body with the right wing had prevailed and won the
day. The preacher walked over to the spot next morning, and found the
Parliamentary General in possession of the field.[314]

The battle decided nothing, but it nourished the hopes of Parliament.
A few days afterwards, the House of Lords ordered the Lord Mayor of
London to summon a Common Hall at five o'clock, when a committee of
peers and commons met the citizens, and amidst the gathering shadows of
the afternoon, told the eagerly-listening crowd the story of the fight;
Lord Say and Sele closing his speech with the exhortation, "Up and be
doing, and the Lord be with you."[315]

On the 8th of November, the citizens again assembled. Charles was
moving up to London, Rupert was scouring the suburbs, and within the
walls there was general alarm. Lord Brooke, who attended the meeting,
after giving a confused report of what had been done at Edgehill, urged
his audience to stand up for liberty and religion. "When you shall hear
the drums beat," he exclaimed, "say not, I beseech you, I am not of the
train band, nor this, nor that, nor the other--but doubt not to go out
to the work, and fight courageously, and this shall be the day of your

[Sidenote: _Church Politics in London._]

A few days later the Royalist forces were at Brentford. The City
volunteers now rallied round old General Skippon, whose homely words
went to their hearts: "Come, my boys, my brave boys, let us pray
heartily and fight heartily. I will run the same fortunes and hazards
with you. Remember the cause is for God, and for the defence of
yourselves, your wives, and children." The train bands marched out on
Sunday, the citizens, after sermon, carrying them provisions.[316]
At the time when the cavaliers were spurring their horses toward the
metropolis, a declaration of the two Houses appeared in answer to one
by his Majesty. In the course of a general argument which the document
contained, there occurred a disavowal of any intention to reject the
Book of Common Prayer. It was intended, they said, only to take out
of it what was evil and justly offensive, and what was considered
unnecessary and burdensome. They also protested against Brownists and
Anabaptists, entirely disavowing any sympathy with such persons; though
they said they agreed with many who were falsely designated by such
opprobrious appellations. These references were made to the Separatists
because the King and the Anglicans were always reviling them, sometimes
in strong terms; for example, the Earl of Newcastle declared that they
were worse than Papists, and deserted a heavier punishment.[317] Such
abuse really was pointed at the Commons themselves, who were not only
suspected but often broadly accused of schismatical predilections. His
Majesty's wrath also boiled over, and in one of his many declarations
he told his "loving subjects" of seditious members, who being joined
with the Anabaptists and Brownists of London, first changed the
government of the city, and then by their pride and power would fain
undo the whole kingdom. Pennington, who now occupied the mayoralty, was
described as guilty of treason, and also as reviling the Prayer Book;
and as robbing and imprisoning whomsoever he thought fit, and with the
rabble who composed his faction giving law to Parliament.

[Sidenote: 1642, November.]

The quarrel between the King and the City now became still darker
and deeper. A letter from the Hague, directed to Secretary Nicholas,
and brought to London in a Gravesend boat--which was stopped at
the moment of shooting London Bridge--contained evidence of the
King's negotiations for bringing over foreign troops: this letter
consequently was soon printed and circulated through the city. The
two Houses ordered the clergy to read it in their churches; and the
devoted Lord Mayor requested them to make it a ground of appeal to the
parishioners respecting a sum of £30,000 which was about to be raised
for Parliament. Churchwardens were to hold meetings after service in
the afternoon on the 27th of November, to raise "a proportionable
fund,"[318] which we may well imagine that we see accomplished by dim
candle-light in churches, vestries, and other places, on that wintry
Sunday night.

[Sidenote: _Church Politics in London._]

The City and the Parliament were thoroughly united this midwinter; and
therefore the City and the Sovereign continued in violent opposition.
At a Common Hall, held on the 13th of January--when all the companies
came in their city habits, and there were present the Committee of both
Houses, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, and such a confluence of liverymen
as had not been seen in the memory of the oldest man--a petition to the
King was read, and then the royal answer, in which his Majesty asked
his petitioners whether they believed that the indignities done to the
Prayer Book, the violent treatment of Episcopal clergymen, and the
cherishing and countenancing of all manner of sectaries, were likely
to defend and maintain the Protestant religion. Mr. Pym, being present
at the meeting, delivered a speech, in which he denied his Majesty's
allegations, maintaining that the magistrates did not give countenance
to the sectaries; adding this home-thrust, which Charles so often had
to meet, that if they did, his Majesty could not consistently object,
inasmuch as, having sworn to support the Protestant religion, he, in
the meantime, raised an army of Papists.[319]

[Sidenote: 1643, January.]

Another City meeting followed on the 17th, when Alderman Garroway
appeared as an advocate of the Episcopal Church; and it will be
instructive to notice his speech, as shewing the line of remark which
at the time was adopted on that side of the controversy. "Mr. Pym told
us," said the Alderman, "there was no proof that my Lord Mayor and the
other persons named were countenancers of Brownists, Anabaptists, and
other sectaries. Where should this proof be made? Do we not all know
this to be true? Are they not all so much countenanced, as there is no
countenance left for anybody else? Did not my Lord Mayor first enter
upon his office with a speech against the Book of Common Prayer? Hath
the Common Prayer ever been read before him? Hath not Captain Venn said
that his wife could make prayers worth three of any in that book? Oh,
masters, there have been times that he that should speak against the
Book of Common Prayer in this city, should not have been put to the
patience of a legal trial. We were wont to look upon it as the greatest
treasure and jewel of our religion; and he that should have told us he
wished well to our religion, and yet would take away the Book of Common
Prayer, would never have gotten credit. I have been in all the parts
of Christendom, and have conversed with Christians in Turkey. Why,
in all the reformed churches there is not anything of more reverence
than the English liturgy; not our Royal Exchange, or the name of Queen
Elizabeth, so famous. In Geneva itself I have heard it extolled to the
skies. I have been three months together by sea, not a day without
hearing it read twice. The honest mariners then despised all the world
but the King and the Common Prayer Book. He that should have been
suspected to wish ill to either of them would have made an ill voyage.
And let me tell you, they are shrewd youths, those seamen. If they
once discern that the person of the King is in danger, or the true
Protestant professed religion, they will shew themselves mad bodies
before you are aware of it."[320]

Whilst the Alderman was speaking, there arose, according to the
reporter, much interruption. Citizens hissed, and cried, "No more, no
more!" It was an hour after he rose to speak ere the uproar ceased. He
was not to be put down, however, but patiently continued repeating
the same sentence till people were quiet. At last the Court broke up,
and every man departed--"so great a company going before and following
after Alderman Garroway to his house, that the streets were as full
as at my Lord Mayor's show." Some one recommended them to act with
discretion. "Discretion!" exclaimed a butcher, "we shall be undone
with it. Let us proceed as these people have taught. When we asked
them what we should have in the place of bishops, they told us bishops
were naught we all knew, and, when they were gone, we should think of
somewhat that is better in their room. Let us now take away what we
know is naught, and we shall do well enough after. I owe them a good
turn for the honour they have done my trade."

[Sidenote: _Popular Preachers in London._]

Whatever truth there might be in the charge that the sectaries were
encouraged by Pennington and others, certainly Presbyterianism
received the support of by far the majority of the London citizens.
Two Presbyterian clergymen at this time enjoyed great popularity in
the metropolis--Stephen Marshall and Edmund Calamy. Marshall held the
lectureship of St. Margaret's Church, Westminster. His pulpit talents
were of a superior order, and were employed in the exhibition of truths
dear to Puritan affections; but, like others of his age and creed,
he introduced into his sermons the absorbing questions of the day.
Knowing that they filled the minds of his hearers, and deeming them of
vital interest to his country and the Church, he judged that by such
preaching he really walked in the footsteps of old Hebrew prophets.
We find Calamy, the historian, admitting that Marshall encouraged the
taking up arms for securing the Constitution, when it appeared, not
only to him and his brethren, but to a number of as worthy gentlemen
as ever sat in St. Stephen's chapel, to be in no small danger.[321]
Men, in those troublous times, must not be judged by such standards of
propriety as are upheld amidst the comfortable respectability of our
own peaceful era; and the same allowance must be made for both sides.
If we do not wonder at the stern animosity of the Royalist churchman,
neither should we be surprised at the martial zeal of Parliamentary

[Sidenote: 1643, January.]

The lectureship at St. Margaret's brought Marshall into close
connection with the Commons, which naturally, under the circumstances,
imparted a political tinge to his oratory. But Calamy,[322] being
perpetual curate of Aldermanbury, had to do with parishioners whose
spiritual wants came immediately under his notice; and he delighted
in that experimental strain of discourse which ever touches the
hearts of men. What made him acceptable to the citizens in his own
neighbourhood, made him acceptable to the citizens generally. No church
was so thronged as his. Admired by the Puritan, he was lampooned by
the Royalist. "Well, who's for Aldermanbury?" asked the latter, in
one of the scurrilous party tracts, of which some are reprinted in
well-known collections, and many more are preserved in the British
Museum. "You would think a phœnix preached there. A foot-ball in
cold weather is as much followed as Calamy by all his rampant dog-day
zealots." Reporters, not for the press, but for private edification,
waited on the divine, as we learn from the pamphleteer, who proceeds to
exclaim, "Instead of a dumb shew, enter the sermon daubers. Oh! what a
gracious sight is a silver ink-horn. How blessed a gift is it to write
short-hand! What necessary implements for a saint are cotton wool
and blotting-paper. These dabblers turn the Church into a scrivener's
shop. A country fellow, last term, mistook it for the six clerks'
office."[323] This vulgar ridicule at once testifies to the popularity
of Calamy, illustrates the manners and customs of the time in places of
worship, and shews that, whatever might be the religious extravagances
of some Presbyterians, they were more than matched by the godless
ridicule of people who claimed to be exceedingly zealous for Episcopacy.

[Sidenote: _Popular Preachers in London._]

Coincident with the increasing popularity of these preachers, the
actual outbreak of the Civil Wars, and the excitement in London
respecting ecclesiastical affairs, were certain measures adopted by
Parliament for abolishing Episcopacy. The Scotch did not fail to
press this subject most earnestly upon their English brethren. They
looked at it in the lurid light which their own annals had thrown on
the institution, and in their view it had become identified with the
arrogance and intolerance of Popery and Anglicanism. Unable to rest
till England was saved from what they considered to be the secret of
its weakness, and the precursor of its ruin, the General Assembly of
Scotland sent a letter to Parliament, urging a thorough reformation,
with a view to "one confession of faith, one directory of worship, one
public catechism, and one form of Church government."[324]

The answer of the English Parliament was both cautious and promising.
No assurance was returned that organic unity with the Scotch should be
attempted, but a hope was expressed of more free communion in worship,
of security against Papists and "other sectaries," and of the gathering
together in England of an Assembly of learned Divines. The fate of
prelacy, however, was sealed by the following important declaration,
which was embodied in the answer:--

"That this Government by Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and
Commissaries, Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical
officers depending upon the hierarchy, is evil, and justly offensive
and burdensome to the kingdom, a great impediment to reformation and
growth of religion, very prejudicial to the State and Government of
this kingdom; and that we are resolved that the same shall be taken

[Sidenote: 1643, January.]

On the 30th of the following December, a Bill for the utter abolition
of Episcopacy was read a first time;[326] and on the 26th of January
following, 1643, the Bill was reported in the House of Lords as having
been approved by the committee and read the third time. What had been
threatened for nearly two years was done at last in a few hours. The
emergency of the moment, and the critical state of the war, caused now
the hasty passing of the measure, for which a long train of events had
opened the way.

Other acts of a like complexion gather around this central one. On the
23rd of December, an order was given to secure the library, writings,
and goods in Lambeth House, belonging to the see of Canterbury, and to
take the keys of the palace, which was now to be used as a prison. On
the 3rd and 5th of January, a similar disposal was made of Ely House
and the palace of the Bishop of London, near St. Paul's. On the 30th
of December, the Lords and Commons, ignoring altogether the laws and
customs of the Episcopal Church, ordered a clergyman to be instituted
to the vicarage of Chard, in Somersetshire; and on January the 7th, a
Bill against pluralities and non-residence received a third reading by
the Lords.[327]

[Sidenote: _Negotiations at Oxford._]

Be it remembered, that all these Bills, after passing both Houses,
remained without Royal assent; and therefore could not be regarded
as Acts of Parliament according to the principles of the English
Constitution: a circumstance which, of course, the Sovereign and the
Royalist party took care to urge against them.

The Scotch Presbyterians, after having failed in their attempts at
the beginning of the year 1642 to mediate between the King and the
Parliament, continued anxiously to watch the progress of affairs in
England, with a view to the accomplishment of that union between the
two countries upon which they had already set their hearts. Willing,
and even anxious, to take a part in the war, they waited until such
applications for aid should be made by either of the belligerents as
might seem most likely to terminate the strife in favour of their
own Church schemes. Doubtless they would have helped the King, if,
on the one hand, he would have renounced Episcopacy and embraced
Presbyterianism, or if, on the other hand, Parliament had opposed
Presbyterianism and maintained Episcopacy. But Charles despaired of
their assistance, knowing well the religious antipathies existing
between himself and them; and Parliament at first forbore to solicit
their military help, not then feeling their very great need of it.

Even when a turn in affairs made it appear valuable, Parliament did
not ask for it with as much earnestness as the northern brethren
would have wished. It is plain, from Baillie's letters, that he and
his friends were readier to draw the sword for the true Kirk on this
side the Tweed than the English at present were to enter on a military
alliance with Scotland for ecclesiastical objects. After a diplomatic
lull--in which for a long time, says the worthy man, we "lay verie
calm and secure,"[328] and when intrigues amongst the Scotch Royalists
filled the Presbyterian magnates with alarm--they turned their thoughts
towards Oxford, and sent Commissioners to treat with the King.

[Sidenote: 1643, January.]

The Earl of Loudon, now Chancellor of Scotland, came to Oxford as the
principal lay commissioner, and Alexander Henderson accompanied him
as an ecclesiastical one. The latter bore a petition from the General
Assembly, prepared by himself. This petition dwelt upon the insolence
and presumption of Roman Catholics, and entreated that there might
be an established uniformity in religion. It was urged that, since
prelatical government had been taken away, a government by assemblies,
as in other reformed kirks, should follow.[329]

[Sidenote: _Negotiations at Oxford._]

Another embassy, with somewhat different designs, reached the same
place soon afterwards. It included the Earl of Northumberland, with
other noblemen and gentlemen, Bulstrode Whitelocke, who relates
particulars of the visit, being one of them.[330] They were sent by
the Parliament to confer with the King for an ultimate peace with an
immediate cessation of arms, upon terms which were strictly prescribed
in their commission. These ambassadors were not plenipotentiaries,
but they were selected for their known moderation, as persons likely,
on that account, to be acceptable to the monarch. They travelled with
the King's safe conduct in a style which was no doubt very superior to
that of the emissaries from the North. They had "six gallant horses in
every coach," and the whole party was attended by a number of servants
on horseback. This imposing procession, however, failed to awe the
"rascality of the town;" for they, and even "some of better rank but
like quality," reviled the distinguished visitors as so many rebels
and traitors. However, Charles received them all in the gardens of
Christ Church very graciously, and held out his hand for each to kiss.
Immediately they proceeded to business, and the Earl of Northumberland,
"with a sober and stout carriage," read to the King the propositions
of the two Houses. The Monarch began to interrupt. The Earl smartly
replied, "Your Majesty will give me leave to proceed." Charles
stuttered out, "I--I," and then paused, allowing the bold nobleman to
have his way.

[Sidenote: 1643, February.]

The ecclesiastical proposals were as follows:--[331]

(1) "That your Majesty will be pleased to give your royal assent unto
the Bill for taking away superstitious innovations;

(2) "To the Bill for the utter abolishing and taking away of all
archbishops, bishops, their chancellors and commissaries, deans,
sub-deans, deans and chapters, archdeacons, canons and prebendaries,
and all chanters, chancellors, treasurers, sub-treasurers, succentors
and sacrists, and all vicars choral and choristers, old vicars, and
new vicars of any cathedral or collegiate church, and all other their
under officers out of the Church of England;

(3) "To the Bill against scandalous ministers;

(4) "To the Bill against pluralities; and

(5) "To the Bill of consultation to be had with godly, religious, and
learned Divines. That your Majesty will be pleased to promise to pass
such other good Bills for settling of Church government, as, upon
consultation with the Assembly of the said Divines, shall be resolved
on by both Houses of Parliament, and by them be presented to your

To these five propositions no explicit reply was given by the King;
but, in reference to religion generally, he said that, as he would
"readily consent (having done so heretofore) to the execution of all
laws already made, and to any good Acts to be made for the suppressing
of Popery, and for the firm settling of the Protestant religion, now
established by law; so he desired that a good Bill might be framed for
the better preserving of the Book of Common Prayer from the scorn and
violence of Brownists, Anabaptists, and other sectaries, with such
clauses for the ease of tender consciences as his Majesty hath formerly

Such an answer virtually negatived what the Parliament proposed. It
does not seem that any debate arose on the ecclesiastical points
between the King and the Commissioners. Their diplomacy entirely
referred to the question of a cessation of arms, which, after all,
could not be effected; and the embassage returned to Westminster
without accomplishing any part of their object.

The Scotch were not more successful; but in the King's council their
petition created much discussion, the main question being, "What answer
shall be given to these gentlemen from the North?"

[Sidenote: _Answer to the Scottish Petition._]

"Many of the Lords," says Clarendon, "were of opinion that a short
answer would be best, that should contain nothing but a rejection of
the proposition, without giving any reason; no man seeming to concur
with his Majesty, with which he was not satisfied, and replied with
some sharpness upon what had been said. Upon which the Lord Falkland
replied, having been before of that mind, desiring that no reasons
might be given; and upon that occasion answered many of those reasons
the King had urged, as not valid to support the subject, with a little
quickness of wit (as his notions were always sharp, and expressed
with notable vivacity), which made the King warmer than he used to
be; reproaching all who were of that mind with want of affection for
the Church; and declaring that he would have the substance of what he
had said, or of the like nature, digested into his answer; with which
reprehension all sat very silent, having never undergone the like
before. Whereupon, the King, recollecting himself, and observing that
the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not yet spoken, called upon him to
deliver his opinion, adding, that he was sure he was of his Majesty's
mind with reference to religion and the Church."[332]

[Sidenote: 1643, February.]

From Clarendon's narrative we discover, that with all Falkland's
vivacity, he shewed lukewarmness in the cause of Episcopacy, and that
the zeal of the King on its behalf went beyond that of his advisers.
The historian reports his own speech, in which he recommended that
reasons should be given, but not in the way his royal master wished.
The result may be seen in a paper in the King's name, probably drawn
up by the Chancellor.[333] No concessions, it was stated, could be
made until propositions in a digested form should be submitted to the
free debate of both Houses. The King would not be unwilling to call a
synod of godly and learned Divines, regularly chosen according to the
laws and constitutions of the kingdom, to which representatives from
Scotland might be admitted--an Assembly which, in fact, would be a
Convocation, whose spirit and proceedings were very well known. He gave
no opinion on any Bills offered to him, but only expressed his wonder
that the royal judgment should be prejudged, and that the Divine anger
should be threatened for his non-consent. A sentence occurred towards
the end which, though by no means agreeable to those for whom it was
intended, certainly contained a large amount of truth. "Nor are you a
little mistaken, if either you believe the generality of this nation to
desire a change of Church government, or that most of those who desire
it, desire by it to introduce that which you only esteem a reformation,
but are as unwilling to what you call the yoke of Christ and obedience
to the Gospel, as those whom you call profane and worldly men, and so
equally averse both to Episcopacy and Presbytery; for if they should
prevail in this particular, the abolition of the one would be no let
to the other, nor would your hearts be less grieved, your expectations
less frustrated, your hopes less ashamed, or your reformation more

[Sidenote: _Treatment of the Scotch._]

The Scotch mission ended in disappointment. Much hope had been built
upon the King's friendliness towards Mr. Henderson during the royal
visit to Edinburgh. All remembered the minister's standing next the
royal chair in sermon time, and the loving cup which passed round
at the banquet. People fancied "Mr. Henderson would do wonders with
the King;" and perhaps the King thought he could do wonders with Mr.
Henderson, for he strove to persuade him of the justice and necessity
of taking up arms against the Parliament. But as that gentleman did
not find the King so pliable as he wished; neither did the King find
that gentleman so "credulous as he expected." Charles "did at once
change his countenance," we are informed, when he discovered that his
Scotch chaplain had written the petition which he had received, and
that the document had been already circulated throughout the kingdom.
Reports also had reached the royal ears of certain violent sermons
and prayers uttered in Edinburgh, which tended to make the visitors
at Oxford "verie unsavourie." Their life in the University city--so
they complained--was uncomfortably spent. They were wearied out with
delays; they had no private nor familiar conference, but all was done
"in public, in a very harsh way;" letters sent to them by their friends
were opened; and, in addition to this great insult, they were abused by
all sorts of people, and they even feared that they should be poisoned
or stabbed. "This policy," adds Baillie, "was like the rest of our
unhappy malcontents' wisdom extremely foolish; for it was very much for
the King's ends to have given to our Commissioners far better words and
a more pleasant countenance."[334]


                             CHAPTER XII.

[Sidenote: _Westminster Assembly._]

Some desire for a conference of Divines manifested itself immediately
after the opening of the Long Parliament. Baillie had scarcely reached
London, on his first mission, in 1640, when he began to speak of an
Assembly in England, which was to be called together to perfect the
work of reform; though, with characteristic wariness, the Scotch
Commissioner said that such an Assembly "at this time would spoil
all," because the clergy were so "very corrupt."[335] Dering, in the
debates of October, 1641, as we have seen, recommended a synod of grave
Divines; and the same measure was sanctioned by the grand Remonstrance
in the winter of the same year. The Puritan clergy also, in a petition
presented on the 20th of December, intreated that the consideration of
ecclesiastical matters might be entrusted to a free synod, differing
in constitution from the Convocation of the clergy.[336] Other proofs
of the prevailing wish might be adduced. At length, on the 15th of
October, 1642, a Bill was introduced into Parliament for the purpose
so much desired; and on its passing through a committee of the Commons
two significant resolutions were adopted; first, that the vote
against Bishops should be appended to the Bill; and secondly, that the
Parliament did not intend wholly to abrogate the Prayer Book. These
additions indicated the existence of an anti-episcopal spirit, together
with a lingering love for the ancient liturgy. Revolutionary ideas were
still kept in check by conservative instincts, and whilst the tide of
change was at the flood, sweeping the Church forward to a new position,
the legislators were not prepared to let it drift away entirely from
its ancient moorings. For want of the royal assent, this Bill for
an assembly, after having passed both Houses, was, constitutionally
considered, a dead letter. So, to remedy as far as possible the
defect--the country having reached the crisis of a revolution, and the
King's concurrence in the measure being hopeless--Parliament, convinced
of its urgent importance, boldly issued an ordinance, bearing date
the 12th of June, 1643, commanding that an Assembly of Divines should
be convened at Westminster on the 1st of July following. The document
recognized the Church of England as still undestroyed, by alluding
to "many things in its liturgy, discipline, and government requiring
further and more perfect reformation." The theory of proceeding was not
to overturn and ruin one establishment first and then to create and
fashion another, but only to alter that which continued in existence;
yet the resolution to abolish prelatical government as soon as
possible, being cited in the ordinance, that instrument, though it did
not in itself go so far as formally to extinguish episcopal rule, left
no doubt of a foregone conclusion in the mind of the legislators that
an end must be put to the ancient hierarchy. Ecclesiastical government
was to be settled so as to be most agreeable to God's Word, and most
adapted to procure and preserve the peace of the Church at home, as
well as to promote nearer agreement with the Church in Scotland, and
other reformed communions abroad. This document, without mentioning
Presbyterianism, plainly pointed to it.

[Sidenote: 1643, July.]

Thirty lay assessors were named first, and the priority of their
enumeration indicates that the lay element occupied no subordinate

Some of the persons selected were so eminent that it was impossible
they should not occupy a very influential position in the conference to
which they were called. John Selden, Bulstrode Whitelocke, Oliver St.
John, Sir Benjamin Rudyard, John Pym, and Sir Harry Vane were of the
number. Selden and Whitelocke frequently attended, and took a leading
part in some of the debates.

[Sidenote: _Constitution of the Assembly._]

Lay names were followed by those of one hundred and twenty one Divines.
Episcopalians were not excluded. Ussher, of world-wide celebrity,
Archbishop of Armagh and Bishop of Carlisle; Brownrigg, Bishop of
Exeter; Westfield, of Bristol; and Prideaux, of Worcester, are to be
found on the roll, with five more persons included, who afterwards
became Bishops.[338] These appointments would fall in with the views of
such Members of Parliament as still wished for a modified Episcopacy.
But names of this order, whilst they saved appearances and gave
additional weight to the convention, were too few to tell in divisions;
nor could any Episcopalians, identified with a sinking cause, and
unbacked by any strong party amongst the Commons, expect to have much
influence in the proposed deliberations. A small band of persons,
called _Independents_, of whom we shall have to speak at large, were
also amongst the theologians summoned: but what they lacked in numbers
and in position was compensated for by force of character and vigour of
intellect, and by what availed even more--the enjoyment of friendship
with those who were destined ere long to guide the entire affairs of
the kingdom. Indeed, according to Calamy--a safe authority for the
statement--one of the Independent brethren, Philip Nye, had "a great
concern in choosing the members of the Assembly of Divines who were
summoned from all parts."[339]

The decided, nay, the overwhelming majority of those summoned to
Westminster were Presbyterians. For that party in England had by this
time been greatly multiplied, and it had also much power in Parliament,
and derived advantage from the favour naturally manifested towards it
by the Scotch.

[Sidenote: 1643, July.]

The Assembly of Divines was appointed by secular authority: in this
respect, however, it only resembled other ecclesiastical conventions.
Œcumenical synods, as they are ostentatiously called, have in
point of fact been "Imperial gatherings."[340] That they owed their
existence to the civil power was a necessity arising from the union
between Church and State; and the necessity is recognized in the
twenty-first Article of the Church of England, where it is said that
"General councils may not be gathered together, but by the commandment
and will of princes." Convocations of clergy according to this
Article, and according to the fundamental principles of the English
constitution, are entirely dependent upon the Crown. Parliament,
therefore, by constituting the Westminster Assembly, so as to make it
rest on a political basis, did not invade the ecclesiastical rights
of the Establishment, it only usurped the ecclesiastical power of
the Crown. And it may be worth observing that the same authority,
in selecting the place and time of meeting, in making provision for
those whom it called together, and in paying their expenses,[341]
did but adopt the policy of Constantine at the Council of Nicæa. But
the Parliament went still further in the appointment and control of
the Westminster Assembly than emperors and kings had ever done in
reference to Œcumenical councils and national convocations.[342] It
first nominated the individuals who were to be members, and then it
took the direction of affairs entirely into its own hands, without
relaxing its hold for a moment: the carefully-worded warrant allowing
no liberty beyond this--that the Divines should consult and advise
on matters and things _proposed to them_ by both or either of the
Houses, and give their advice and counsel as often as required; and
in all cases of difficulty refer to the authority which had called
them together. A clause is inserted forbidding the assumption of any
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, or any power whatever, except that which
the ordinance carefully defined. And also--in this respect, exceeding
the regal control over Convocation--Parliament chose the Prolocutor of
the Assembly, and filled up vacancies when they occurred. Nor should it
be forgotten that the State exercised in reference to ecclesiastical
matters all the functions which we have described, not because there
remained no Episcopal clergy to elect members of Convocation, nor
because there existed no Presbyteries to delegate members to a General
Assembly, but simply because a perfect horror of ecclesiastical
despotism had taken possession of the minds of those who had now become
the civil rulers of the realm.

[Sidenote: _Meeting of the Assembly._]

On the day appointed (Saturday, July 1, 1643), many of the Assembly,
together with a large congregation of other persons, gathered within
the walls of the grand national abbey of Westminster, "both Houses
of Parliament being present."[343] The Prolocutor, Dr. Twiss--of
whom it was said that the school, not the pulpit, was his proper
element--preached from John xiv. 18, "I will not leave you
comfortless, I will come to you;" from which text he exhorted his
hearers faithfully to discharge their high calling to the glory of God
and the honour of His Church; and, whilst lamenting that the royal
assent was wanting to give them comfort and encouragement, the preacher
hoped through the efficacy of their prayers that the sanction of his
Majesty might in due time be obtained, and that a happy union might be
accomplished between King and Parliament. After the conclusion of the
discourse, the Divines and other members ascended the broad flight of
steps leading to Henry the Seventh's chapel, where, upon the roll being
called over, sixty-nine persons answered to their names.

[Sidenote: 1643, July.]

[Sidenote: _Meeting of the Assembly._]

The vaulted roof springing from the clustered pillars in the
walls--like branches of lofty trees interlaced together, forming
a rich canopy of leaves, while the bossed pendants resemble
stalactites--though appearing to most persons now, even those who
feel strong Puritan sympathies, a monument of exquisite taste and
consummate skill--would be regarded by those who on this occasion
assembled beneath its shadow, as mainly, if not exclusively, a symbol
of that "petrifaction of Christianity" which to their great grief had
over-arched mediæval Christendom. Dressed in black cloaks, and wearing
bands, and skull caps, as they walked over pavements heretofore trodden
by prelates and priests in mitres and copes, they would be reminded
of what they deemed superstitious and idolatrous worship; and as
they now met in assembly where Convocations had before been wont to
gather,[344] they would think of obnoxious canons, and of Archbishop
Laud, with feelings of pain--if not of bitterness--such as the charms
of Gothic architecture had no power to subdue. Their principles,
and the principles of the Church before the Reformation, were in
mutual opposition. And, as we watch the Divines entering within those
gates--well described by one who himself came from the land of the
Pilgrim Fathers, as "richly and delicately wrought, and turning heavily
upon their hinges, as if proudly reluctant to admit the feet of common
mortals into this most gorgeous of sepulchers"[345]--we may fancy that
the gates, if they had sympathy with those who caused them to be hung
there, would open that morning more reluctantly than they had ever done
before. Altogether, the scene and the purpose for which the Assembly
met marked a new era, not only in the history of the Abbey but in the
annals of the Church and the nation.

[Sidenote: 1643, July.]

Westfield, Bishop of Bristol, and some few other Episcopalians out
of the number summoned, were present at this first meeting; and, as
Fuller says, they "seemed the only Nonconformists amongst them for
their conformity, whose gowns and canonical habits differed from
all the rest."[346] The majority of the Episcopal Divines, however,
declined to attend, because the Assembly had been prohibited by royal
proclamation; and because, not being chosen by the clergy, it had no
proper representative character. They objected to it also on account of
its containing a mixture of the laity; whilst all its members, whether
divines or laymen, were of the Puritan stamp, and were, according to
the terms of the ordinance which gave it existence, virtually pledged
to the demolition of the hierarchy. The reply which was afterwards
given by the Parliament to the objection that the Assembly had not been
ecclesiastically elected, instead of mending the matter in the eyes of
a High Churchman, would only make it appear all the worse; for the
Parliament plainly declared the Assembly to be no national synod or
representative body at all, but only a committee of advice;--adding
that the civil power had a right to choose its own counsel, and ought
not to be dependent for that upon the nomination of clergymen.[347] For
the reasons just indicated, the few Episcopalians who at first appeared
in the Assembly speedily dropped off. Brownrigg, Bishop of Exeter,
sent a letter on the 12th of July, excusing absence in consequence of
"the tie of the Vice-Chancellorship in the University that lay upon
him:" probably there were other ties which hindered his Lordship's
attendance, but what they were he did not care to specify.

[Sidenote: _Parliamentary Directions._]

On Thursday, July the 6th, the Divines and lay assessors assembled
again, when they received further directions from Parliament of a
very precise description. The directions were, that two assessors or
vice-chairmen should be associated with the Prolocutor to supply his
place in case of absence; that scribes or secretaries should keep a
record of the proceedings; and that these officers should be Henry
Roborough and Adoniram Byfield, Divines not members of the Assembly;
that every member, on his entrance, should make a solemn protestation
not to maintain any thing but what he believed to be truth; that
no question should be resolved on the day it was propounded; that
whatever any one undertook to prove to be necessary, he should make
good from Scripture; that no one should continue to speak after the
Prolocutor had silenced him, unless the Assembly desired him to
proceed; that the members should have liberty to record their dissent
from the conclusions adopted by the majority; and that all things
agreed upon and prepared for the Parliament should be openly read and
allowed.[348] The bye-laws which were to regulate their proceedings
were thus so minutely prescribed, that very little indeed was left
for the Divines to perform in the way of preliminary arrangement. All
which they actually did in this respect was to nominate Mr. White[349]
and Dr. Burgess as assessors, and to resolve that the sittings should
be opened with prayer; that afterwards the names of members should
be called over; that the hour of meeting in the morning should be
ten o'clock, the afternoon being reserved for committees; and that
three of the Divines should officiate weekly as chaplains--one to the
House of Lords, another to the House of Commons, and a third to the
Committee of both kingdoms. Still further, to illustrate how, with this
modicum of liberty in relation to the management of its own business,
the Westminster Assembly found itself under the authority of its
neighbouring masters, especially those in St. Stephen's Chapel--we may
observe that on the 27th of July an order from both Houses was read,
requiring a letter to be written to the United Provinces in behalf of
Ireland. On the 28th of July an ordinance from the Commons followed,
for appointing a committee to examine plundered ministers, with a
view to their admission into sequestrated livings; and on the 14th of
August there came a command to send divers metropolitan divines up and
down the country, to stir up the zeal of the people in the cause of
patriotism, and to vindicate the justice of Parliament in taking up
arms for the defence of its liberties.[350]

[Sidenote: 1643, October.]

The first subject of a strictly theological kind submitted to
the Assembly was the revision of the Thirty-nine Articles of the
Church of England. A sub-committee spent ten weeks in debating upon
the first fifteen; and the result appeared in a draft of proposed
alterations.[351] In the middle of October, we discover the Divines,
through the dim light thrown on their proceedings by Lightfoot's
Journal, "busy upon the sixteenth Article," and upon "that clause of it
which mentioneth departing from grace," when an order came from both
Houses of Parliament, commanding them speedily to take in hand the
discipline and liturgy of the Church.

The circumstances of the country shaped the proceedings of the Divines
no less than those of the Legislators. It may be said of the new system
they were engaged to construct that--"the street" of the city was
built again, and "the wall, even in troublous times." War had begun to
kindle its fires far and wide; and it is necessary for us to turn our
attention to military affairs and the fortunes of the battle-field, in
order that we may understand what followed in the Westminster Assembly.

A heavy blow had befallen the Parliament in the month of March, 1643,
when Lord Brooke had been killed at the siege of Lichfield. He had
prepared for an assault on the Royalist troops, who were in possession
of the cathedral; and just as he was standing under the porch of
a house, and directing a battery against the Close gate--the spot
is still pointed out to the visitor in that quiet little city--the
Puritan commander was shot by a musket ball. His death created a great
sensation, and was differently interpreted by contemporaries, according
to their political and ecclesiastical opinions. Laud pronounced it a
Divine judgment for Brooke's sins. Parliamentarians celebrated it as a
glorious sacrifice offered up in the cause of patriotism and religion.

[Sidenote: _John Hampden._]

[Sidenote: 1643, June.]

Another loss had to be sustained in the month of June. Early one
Sunday morning, Prince Rupert, with a skirmishing party, drew up his
men in order of battle amidst the standing corn of Chalgrove Field.
John Hampden, who had spent the night in the immediate neighbourhood,
adventured, contrary to the wishes of his friends, to throw himself
into this at first apparently unimportant action. With characteristic
bravery, he led an attack, and, on the first charge at the head of his
troops, received in his shoulder two carbine balls. He rode off the
field, "his head bending down, and his hands resting on his horse's
neck." Though fainting with pain, he cleared a brook on the road to
Thame, and on reaching that town had his wounds dressed. Conscious
of danger, he first despatched letters of counsel to Parliament, and
then prepared for his departure from the world. After six days of
severe suffering, and about seven hours before his death, he received
the Lord's supper, declaring that, "though he could not away with
the governance of the Church by bishops, and did utterly abominate
the scandalous lives of some clergymen, he thought its doctrine in
the greater part primitive and conformable to God's word, as in
holy Scripture revealed." Dr. Giles, the rector of Chinnor, and Dr.
Spurstow, the chaplain of his regiment, attended him in his last
moments. He died in prayer, uttering, "O Lord, God of Hosts! great is
Thy mercy, just and holy are Thy dealings unto us sinful men. Save
me, O Lord, if it be Thy good will, from the jaws of death; pardon my
manifold transgressions. O Lord, save my bleeding country. Have these
realms in Thy special keeping. Confound and level in the dust those
who would rob the people of their liberty and lawful prerogative. Let
the King see his error, and turn the hearts of his wicked counsellors
from the malice and wickedness of their designs. Lord Jesus, receive
my soul! O Lord, save my country! O Lord, be merciful to...." As he
uttered these words, his speech failed, and then, falling backwards, he
expired. His remains were conveyed to the churchyard of Great Hampden,
close beside the old family mansion, where the patriot had spent so
much of his life in the studies and the sports of a country gentleman.
Through lanes under the beech-covered chalk hills of the Chilterns,
a detachment of his favourite troops, bare-headed, carried him to
his last resting-place--their arms reversed, their drums and ensigns
muffled--mournfully chanting, as they slowly marched along, the dirge
from the Book of Psalms: "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in
all generations;--thou turnest man to destruction;--thou carriest them
away as with a flood;--they are as a sleep; in the morning they are
like grass which groweth up, in the morning it flourisheth and groweth
up, in the evening it is cut down and withereth." When the funeral
was over, the soldiers, returning from the village church to their
quarters, made the green woods and the white hills that summer day
resound to the beautiful prayer and the cheerful song, so appropriate
to their present circumstances: "Judge me, O God, and plead my cause
against an ungodly nation. O, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust
man! For thou art the God of my strength, why dost thou cast me off?
Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? O send out
thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let me bring them unto thy
holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of
God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee,
O God, my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou
disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is
the health of my countenance and my God."[352]

[Sidenote: _John Hampden._]

The death of Hampden was bewailed even more than that of Brooke. "The
memory of this deceased Colonel," said the _Weekly Intelligencer_, "is
such that in no age to come but it will more and more be had in honour
and esteem; a man so religious, and of that prudence, judgment, temper,
valour, and integrity, that he hath left few his like behind him." The
old newspaper was right in its prediction of Hampden's growing fame.

Other calamities overtook the Parliament cause. From the spring of the
year, success had followed the King's banners. Royalists occupied Devon
and Dorset; and the Earl of Wilmot had beaten Waller at Lansdowne and
at Devizes. Summer saw the defeat of Lord Fairfax in Yorkshire. But
Charles' victories at that period culminated in the taking of Bradford,
after the battle of Atherton Moor, and in the capture of Bristol just
before the siege of Gloucester.

Bradford and Gloucester were Puritan towns, beleaguered by what they
looked upon as prelatical armies; and the incidents connected with
the siege of each serve at once to bring out some curious features
in the memorable strife, and to shew the declining condition of the
Parliament, at the time when the Westminster Assembly held its first
sittings. Bradford had suffered assault so early as December, 1642.
The Royalists, who were encamped at Bowling Hill, had selected Sunday
morning, as the Puritans were attending church, to plant their guns
against the steeple; but a snowfall, the bursting of a cannon, and
other misadventures on the part of the besiegers, for a time saved
the besieged. The following midsummer, the church, which was still
the prize in dispute, endured "many a shake," whilst the people hung
up wool-packs by the side of the building, only to see, however,
almost immediately afterwards, the ropes cut down by the shots of the

On Lord's-day morning, the Royalists beat drums for a parley, and spent
all the day in removing their guns "into the mouth of the town," the
inhabitants being so reduced that they had little ammunition, and for
their matches were compelled to use "untwisted cords dipped in oil."
About sunset the parley ended, when a shot killed three men who were
sitting on a bench; and during all night the valley shone with the
flash of artillery. When resistance became useless, the vanquished
thought that the Earl of Newcastle, who commanded the King's troops,
would shew them no mercy; but he gave them quarter, on the ground, as
was superstitiously rumoured, that an apparition on a Sunday night had
pulled the clothes from off his bed several times, crying in tones
of lamentation, "Pity poor Bradford." "A young Puritan gentleman,"
reported as having attempted to break through the enemy's lines, became
famous in after days as David Clarkson, the Nonconformist divine.[354]

[Sidenote: 1643, August.]

[Sidenote: _Siege of Gloucester._]

The siege of Gloucester was commenced on August the 10th, 1643. The
Parliamentary committee, believing that the metropolis would not be
safe if Gloucester were taken, sent a strong force for its relief,
under the Earl of Essex, for the better furtherance of the service,
and required all persons "dwelling within the lines of communication"
immediately to shut up their shops, and to keep them closed till
the beleaguered should be delivered. The King, sitting down about a
quarter of a mile distant from the old cathedral city, despatched two
heralds to demand surrender. They returned to the royal camp with two
men, lean and pale, of "bald visages," and in such strange garb and
carriage--according to Clarendon[355]--that the merriest were made sad,
and yet even the grave were provoked to laughter. These poor Puritan
envoys, whom the Royalist historian saw with jaundiced eyes, manifested
not a little bravery and firmness, when they delivered a message from
their fellow-townsmen in these memorable words--"We do keep this city
according to our oath and allegiance, to and for the use of his Majesty
and his royal posterity; and do accordingly conceive ourselves wholly
bound to obey the commands of his Majesty, signified by both Houses
of Parliament; and are resolved, by God's help, to keep this city

[Sidenote: 1643, September.]

The Gloucester men, made of this sturdy mettle, forthwith set to
work and raised entrenchments; and the Gloucester women seem to have
caught the spirit of their husbands and fathers, for matrons and
maids wrought all the afternoon in the little mead, fetching in turf
to repair the works, whilst the soldiers, on the other side, cut off
the pipes which supplied the city conduits, and diverted the waters
which drove the mills. On Sunday, which seems to have been with the
Royalists a favourite day for such work, the engineers planted pieces
of ordnance on a battery at Gawdy Green, and thence plied their shots;
but breaches were no sooner made in the fortifications than they were
mended, through the untiring energy and courage of the inhabitants, who
employed wool-sacks in repairing the damage done. From day to day for
three whole weeks, some incident occurred to alarm or encourage the
people, till, on Sunday, September the 3rd, when they were at church,
news came that the besiegers had planted a store of cannon-baskets at
the east gate, and that it was supposed they intended there to spring
a mine. The Puritan preacher hearing this, dismissed his audience
without any sermon, when the men, equally prepared to pray or fight,
immediately began to line the houses over the east gate, and to make a
strong breastwork across the street.

The renowned William Chillingworth, we may observe in passing, "was
in Charles's camp, engaged in bringing his classical knowledge to
bear upon the contrivance of engines ("after the manner of the
Roman _testudines cum pluteis_.") They ran upon cart wheels, we are
told, with a musket-proof covering to conceal the assailants, who
shot through holes; and these machines--which were odd things for
a clergyman to make--were also furnished with a protection to rest
on the breastworks, and so to form a complete bridge over the ditch
into the city. The employment of a divine in military matters was
then by no means a peculiar circumstance; for it is a little curious
that his antagonist, Francis Cheynell, Fellow of Merton College,
Oxford, accompanied the Earl of Essex into Cornwall, where he shewed a
soldierly courage, and where it was said his commands were as readily
obeyed as the general's own.[357]

After much suffering by the citizens of Gloucester, the siege was
raised by the Earl of Essex, on the 5th of September.

[Sidenote: _Effect of War on the Assembly._]

These military events at the very beginning powerfully influenced the
Westminster Assembly. As the members mourned the loss of illustrious
captains, reports of disastrous turns in the fate of war would be
brought to London from Yorkshire, by the letter-carriers, who rode
along the dusty roads in those long summer days; and the Divines,
amidst their theological discussions, would anxiously listen to tidings
respecting the army. The success of their cause, if not their personal
safety, depended upon the acquisition of some military advantages
at that critical juncture, and therefore--whilst feeling that only
God could help them--they presented, on the 19th of July, to the two
Houses, a petition, in which--after expressing their fear of the
Divine wrath, manifested by the sad and unexpected defeats in the
north and west--they implored, as watchmen set on the walls of the
Church and the kingdom, that a day of solemn fasting and humiliation
might be fixed for universal observance throughout the cities of
London and Westminster: and with a further view of removing Divine
displeasure, they entreated, that Parliament would speedily set up
Christ more gloriously in all His ordinances within the kingdom, and
remove throughout the land all things which were amiss. Then followed
a painful enumeration of national evils, including brutish ignorance,
pollution of the Lord's Supper, corruption of doctrine, profanation of
the Sabbath, blind guides and scandalous ministers, and finally, the
prevalence of vice, idolatry, and superstition.[358]

[Sidenote: 1643, August.]

The fall of Bristol on the 26th of July, preparing as it did for the
siege of Gloucester, further alarmed the Assembly, who would not fail
also to watch with trembling anxiety the progress of the assaults on
the latter city. In the month of August, all London too was in a state
of excitement, as disastrous news from the west reached it day by day.
Some of the citizens were in favour of propositions of peace voted
in the House of Lords; others--the majority--influenced by Alderman
Pennington and by Pym, who eventually prevailed on the Commons to
reject the Peers' propositions, were for resisting the royal army to
the utmost, though the waves of war should surge up to the very walls.
In the strife the pulpits had a share; and on the Sunday after the
propositions were submitted to the Commons, the Divines of the popular
party eloquently appealed to their disheartened hearers in favour of
opposing the overtures of the Upper House, at a moment when the Monarch
was successful in the field, and persisted in his proclamations against
the freedom of the Parliament.[359]

In the midst of these untoward events, help from Scotland had become
more than ever necessary, and the eyes of Statesmen, Divines, and
Citizens were turned in that direction. Yet some even of the staunch
Presbyterians of England were reluctant in this extremity to rely
upon their neighbours; and Calamy, in a speech at Guildhall, when the
question was mooted, pronounced it a great shame that Englishmen should
stand in need of others to aid them in the preservation of their own
lives and liberties.[360] Repeated references to the unwillingness
of the nation to ask and receive assistance from the north occur in
Baillie's letters.[361]

[Sidenote: _Commissioners sent to Scotland._]

But Parliament, being compelled by circumstances, resolved, as early as
July, to send Commissioners to negotiate a treaty of assistance with
their brethren of the north. Sir Harry Vane was one of the number.[362]
With this embassy the Westminster Assembly determined to unite an
ecclesiastical deputation, and chose for the purpose Stephen Marshall,
the Presbyterian, and Philip Nye, the Independent. Letters were sent
through their hands both to the Convention of States, and to the
General Assembly, seeking succour for the war and the addition of some
Scotch Divines to the meeting at Westminster. The letter to the General
Assembly of Scotland set forth the deplorable condition of England, as
on the edge of a precipice, ready to plunge into the jaws of Satan; and
the perils of the Church, as threatening the safety of Protestantism
at large. Prayers and advice were implored with a view to promote the
kingdom's peace with God, and to strengthen the people in standing up
against Antichrist.

On Monday, the 7th of August, the English Commissioners landed at
Leith; and Baillie reports that the Lords went down to welcome them at
the harbour, and then conveyed them up to Edinburgh in a coach.

[Sidenote: 1643, August.]

The General Assembly shewed how impressed it was with the idea that
the visit now paid was no ordinary one. "We were exhorted," says our
informant, in all these minute matters "to be more grave than ordinary;
and so, indeed, all was carried to the end with much more awe and
gravity than usual." With a punctilious formality, borrowed, it was
said, from the like usage in the reception of their own Commissioners
by the English Parliament, the Scotch arranged that the access of the
delegates to the Assembly should be at first only that of private
spectators; "for which end a place commodious above in a loft, was
appointed for them." Then followed an interview between them and a
deputation from the General Assembly, to whom were presented the
documents brought from London. One paper, subscribed by above seventy
English Divines, supplicating help "in a most deplorable style," as
soon as it was read drew tears from many eyes. The loss of Bristol
was reported, and fear was expressed lest his Majesty might march to
London. Cautiously did the Scotch consult sundry times with the prime
nobles, in the Moderator's chamber, before taking any decided step. One
night all present were bent on peaceful mediation, proposing to act
as friends between the belligerents, and not to espouse exclusively
the side of either. Lord Warristone "alone did shew the vanity of that
motion and the impossibility of it." Words now would come too late, and
the Scotch must arm or do nothing; they must cross the Tweed with pike
and gun, or leave English Puritans to their hard fate. The Assembly
at length decided on recommending military aid on these grounds:--the
war was a religious one; the Protestant faith was in danger; gratitude
for former assistance required a suitable return; both Churches were
embarked on the same bottom; the prospects of uniformity between the
two kingdoms would strengthen the Protestant cause all over Europe;
and, finally, the English Parliament stood in friendly relation to the
Scotch, who felt that they could never trust King Charles.[363]

[Sidenote: _Commissioners in Scotland._]

Terms of union now became the absorbing question, and hard debates
ensued. The English Commissioners preferred a civil league, and the
Scotch were earnest for a religious covenant. The former wished for
a bond of reciprocal aid between nation and nation to maintain the
interests of civil liberty; the latter longed for a holy confederation
between church and church, for the maintenance of Protestant truth and
worship, against papal and prelatic superstitions. As Vane and Nye
belonged to a party in England which advocated religious toleration,
and as the latter avowed himself an Independent, they would both
be averse to the establishment of such uniformity as was advocated
by Presbyterians, and would be anxious to keep a door open for the
admission of congregational liberty. "Against this," Baillie states,
"we were peremptory." What was to be done? Succour from the Scotch
was indispensable, but the Scotch had determined not to grant it save
on their own conditions. The English Commissioners therefore felt
compelled to enter into a compromise; and stipulating that it should be
a _League_ to meet their own views of it as a civil compact, they yet
allowed it to be a _Covenant_ for the satisfaction of those who chiefly
valued its religious character and bearings. Without impugning the
motives of either party, we must say, now that the lapse of more than
two centuries has hushed to silence the tempestuous controversy, that
this modification of the compact seems very much like playing at a game
of words, and that, after all this hair-splitting, the two contracting
powers became equally bound to the whole agreement, however they
might choose to interpret the phraseology. The English Commissioners,
by accepting the Covenant, pledged themselves to the cause of which
the Scotch Presbyterians regarded it as the symbol; and looking at
the ecclesiastical opinions of Vane and Nye, we cannot defend their
conduct on this occasion against the charge of inconsistency. The
Commissioners believed they had accomplished an important object by
what they had done; and when the Solemn League and Covenant came before
the General Assembly, a hearty affection toward England was "expressed
in tears of pity and joy by very many grave, wise, and old men," as
the moderator, Mr. Henderson, after making an oration, read over the
document twice amidst loud applause.

[Sidenote: 1643, August.]

Three Scotch Commissioners, with Philip Nye, set sail on the thirtieth
of August; but eight days before they started, the English had
despatched a ketch, with a duplicate copy of the famous instrument, and
on the first of September it reached the Westminster Assembly.

Some of the members, especially the Scotch Divines, were prepared
to receive it exactly as it was, cordially sympathizing in all its
sentiments, but others, particularly Dr. Twiss, the Prolocutor, Dr.
Burgess, and Mr. Gataker, stumbled at the condemnation of _prelacy_.
They were averse "to the English diocesan frame," and if that was
meant by the word prelacy they could agree in the condemnation of it;
nevertheless they were advocates for the ancient and moderate form
of Episcopacy, with some admixture of Presbyterian rule, and could
not agree to the use of any expression which, with regard to that
rule, might seem to convey any censure. To meet this difficulty, a
parenthesis was introduced describing the exact nature of the prelacy
opposed viz., "Church government by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans and
Chapters, Archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical offices depending
on that hierarchy."[364]

[Sidenote: _The Covenant._]

Covenants were, of old, favourites with the nation of Scotland,
and they present in their spirit, though not their form, a strong
resemblance to that very noble Hebrew one, in the days of Asa, the king
of Judah, when "the people entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God
of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul"--"and
they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice"--"and all Judah rejoiced at
the oath."[365]

The first Scotch Covenant was taken in 1557, "to establish the most
blessed word of God and His congregation," and to "forsake and renounce
the congregation of Satan;" by which, of course, we are to understand
the apostate Church of Rome. Another succeeded in 1581, protesting
against Popish doctrines and rites, as being full of superstition and
idolatry. In 1638, a third is found, including a transcript of the
confession of 1581, a summary of Parliamentary acts condemnatory of
the Papal religion, and a new declaration drawn up by Henderson; the
subscribers to which swore they would continue in their Protestant
profession, defend it against errors and corruptions, and stand by the
King in support of the religion, laws, and liberties of the realm.[366]

[Sidenote: 1643, September.]

The New League and Covenant of 1643, the origin of which we have just
described, differed from former ones by the addition of an express
resolve to extirpate _prelacy_ as well as popery. It consisted of six
articles, pledging subscribers to preserve the established religion
of Scotland, to endeavour to bring the Church of God in the three
kingdoms to the nearest possible uniformity and conjunction, to
aim at the extirpation of popery and prelacy, superstition, heresy,
schism, profaneness, and whatsoever is contrary to sound doctrine and
the power of godliness, to preserve the privileges of Parliament and
the liberties of the kingdom, to search out malignants, and promote
peace, and to defend every one belonging to the brotherhood of the

With intense ardour was the engagement entered into by the Scotch,
who venerated and loved these symbols of confederation. The Covenant
passed from city to city, from town to town, from village to village,
gathering together the men of the plain and the men of the mountain,
like the fiery cross, which summoned the clan round their chieftain's

    "O'er hill and dale the summons flew,
    Nor rest nor pause the herald knew,
    Not faster o'er thy feathery braes,
    Balquidder speeds the midnight blaze,
    Rushing in conflagration strong,
    The deep ravines, and dells along.
    Each valley, each sequester'd glen,
    Mustered its little horde of men
    That met, as torrents from the height,
    In highland dales, when streams unite,
    Still gathering as they pour along,
    A voice more loud, a tide more strong."

[Sidenote: _Taking of the Covenant._]

The Scotch wished to see the Covenant embraced with the same love
and zeal in the cities, towns, and villages of England, but in this
they were disappointed. The adoption of the Covenant, however, at
Westminster, was a very solemn ceremony. The Assembly met on Monday,
September the 25th, 1643, in St. Margaret's Church--an edifice almost
lost in the shadow of the neighbouring Abbey, but deeply interesting
as the place of worship still used on special occasions by the Houses
of Parliament. The building then was somewhat different from what
it is now, for it did not possess at that time the antique centre
window of stained glass; but the graves of Sir Walter Raleigh, and of
Caxton, the printer, existed beneath the pavement, and their names
were symbolical of the art and the enterprise which had contributed
largely to the great revolution betokened by this notable gathering.
Besides the Divines, and the rest of the Assembly, the House of
Commons, and the Commissioners from Scotland attended the service.
White of Dorchester commenced the service by offering prayer to the
Almighty. Then Philip Nye read and explained the terms of the Covenant,
commending it as a defence against popery and prelacy, and a stimulus
to further reformation.[368] Dr. Gouge presented a second prayer.[369]
Mr. Henderson, the Scotch Commissioner, described the deliverance of
his countrymen from prelatical domination, declared the purity of their
intentions in what they had done, and gratefully acknowledged the
blessings of heaven upon their work and service. After the Covenant
had been read, the Assembly rose, and with that solemnity which marked
the Puritan mode of performing such acts, they lifted up their right
hands to heaven, worshipping the great name of God; by their gesture
reminding us of another oath, less spiritual but not less solemn, sworn
by the Swiss patriots, under the shadow of the Seelisberg, on the rich
green slope by the shore of the lake of Uri. After this ceremony,
the Commons and the Divines adjourned to the chancel, and there
wrote their names on the parchment rolls, containing the words of the

[Sidenote: 1643, September.]

On the 20th of September, being the Wednesday before the Monday on
which the Covenant was sworn, a battle was fought at Newbury; and the
particulars of this action must have reached the Assembly before they
held up their hands to heaven; perchance some held them up all the
more firmly in consequence of what they had just been told respecting
the persistent valour of the army. For all along the valley, more than
half a mile in length, Essex's men, wearing fern and broom in their
hats, had fought from four o'clock in the morning until ten at night.
After a struggle, hand to hand, in the darkness, the King's forces
stood in order on the further side of the Green, and Essex expected
a fresh engagement next day; but the enemy retreated in the night,
and consequently the Parliament claimed the victory. One fell in that
engagement, whose death, with its never to be forgotten touches of
sadness, deeply affected some who faced him in battle, after sitting
beside him in council. Lord Falkland, on rising that morning, had
put on a clean shirt, saying he would not be found in foul linen
amongst the slain; and when his friends attempted to dissuade him from
fighting, replied, "I am weary of the times, and foresee much misery to
my country, and believe I shall be out of it before night." And so he

[Sidenote: _Treaty with the Scotch._]

[Sidenote: 1643, November.]

The Covenant prepared in Scotland having been adopted in England, the
two countries entered into a treaty on the 29th of November, 1643.
The first of the Articles declared, that the Covenant now to be sworn
throughout both kingdoms was "a most noble near tie and conjunction
between them against the papist and prelatical faction, and for
pursuance of the ends expressed in the said Covenant." The Scotch
agreed to levy and send an army of 18,000 foot, 2,000 horse, and 1,000
dragoons, to be ready at some general rendezvous near the borders of
England; and the English promised that the charges so incurred should
be refunded when peace was settled, with Scotch consent. The money
was to be raised out of the forfeited estates of papists, prelatists,
malignants, and their adherents; and £100,000 was to be paid at
Leith or Edinburgh with all convenient speed, half of the sum being
conveyed at once by the bearers of the treaty.[371] English solicitude
respecting this compact oozes out in the quaint old diurnals of that
day. "The Covenant," say they, "will doubtless give more life to the
preparations of their brethren, if they be not already on their march
into this kingdom, which we have good grounds to surmise they be; but
no letters as yet come to confirm the same." A communication from the
north is joyfully quoted, to the effect that the artillery, ammunition,
arms, and men were all in readiness; and it is added, "upon the first
notice of your agreement in the Covenant and propositions, they will be
setting forward without doubt."[372] On the 6th of September we read of
a consultation about the Scotch Covenant, and the advance of moneys,
and of letters sent to hasten forward their preparations. The northern
rulers stipulated that the war should be carried on for the sake of
the Covenant; and bleeding England, accepting help on such terms, and
agreeing to pay expenses, the journalists waited eagerly for tidings
of the advancing troops. Baillie, in his manse at Kilwinnin, writing a
news-letter which would make some columns in the _Times_, informed his
reverend dear cousin, Mr. William Spang, about a fortnight after the
newspaper had circulated rumours of Scotch preparations, that so soon
as the Covenant was signed by any considerable number in England, and a
certain amount of money remitted to Scotland, he and his friends would
turn to God by fasting and prayer, and promote the levy of 32,000 foot
and 4,000 horse. This number far exceeded what had been stipulated for
in the treaty; but no doubt the exaggeration was simply owing to the
heated zeal of the honest news-writer. In the same quaint and lively
pages, which, while they reflect passing events, also indicate what
the Scotch thought of their own proceedings and of the condition of
the English, we find Baillie saying, "Surely it was a great act of
faith in God, and huge courage and unheard-of compassion, that moved
our nation to hazard their own peace and venture their lives and all,
for to save a people so irrecoverably ruined both in their own and in
all the world's eyes." In December, writing from Worcester House, in
the Strand--a mansion which had been fitted up by Parliament for the
Commissioners with furniture taken out of the King's wardrobe--the same
writer alludes to the undecisive conduct of the English war, adding,
"they may tig tag on this way this twelvemonth. Yet if God send not in
our army quickly, and give it not some notable success, this people
are likely to faint; but it is the hope of all the godly, it is the
confidence and public prayers of all the good ministers here, that God
will honour the Scots to be their saviours." "All things are expected
from God and the Scots."[373]

[Sidenote: _Treaty with the Scotch._]

[Sidenote: 1643, November.]

The articles of the treaty, together with these waifs and strays sifted
out of early newspapers and old letters, enable us to comprehend how
matters stood in relation to the Covenant. The Scotch contingents were
to march across the border for ends set forth in that document: and
the adoption of it in England was demanded before a single pikeman
would cross the Tweed. The feeling of our neighbours, in short, had
culminated to this point, that England resembled the man fallen among
thieves, and that they themselves were playing the part of the good
Samaritan. And so much of truth lay at the bottom of this assumption,
that it must be admitted our fathers did most surely need the military
assistance of their brethren; and that not without a sufficient
consideration--partly religious and partly pecuniary, for the whole of
which a careful stipulation was made--could the assistance be secured.
Without charging the North with a huckstering policy, or representing
the South as over-driven in the bargain; we must regard the taking
of the Covenant, and the affording of the required supplies, as so
much payment rendered for so much help. Nor does it seem at all less
plain, that the army marched under the banner of the Covenant for
the establishment of uniformity. The Assembly in Edinburgh, and the
Parliament under its control, shewed as strong a zeal for a single
form of religion as English Kings and English Bishops had ever done.
The contrast between the duplicity of Charles and the honesty of
Henderson--between the ritualism of Laud and the simple worship of
Baillie--certainly ought to be recognized; but then, also, it must
be admitted that all these persons had their hearts fixed on the
establishment of one Church, one creed, and one service, without the
toleration of a second; in other words, the enjoyment of full liberty
for their own consciences, but not the bestowment of a shred for the
conscience of any one besides. The Church of the Covenant is not
specified by name, it is simply described as meant to be "according
to the Word of God and the example of the best reformed churches;"
but as we know the persons who drew up the instrument, what but
Presbyterianism can be understood as the ecclesiastical system intended
by these expressions?


                             CHAPTER XIII.

In the month of December, 1643, just after the Scotch treaty had been
ratified, and while the Puritans waited for their allies, a great man
passed away from the scene of strife. A journal reported how some at
Oxford drank "a health to his Majesty, by whom we live and move and
have our being; and to the confusion of Pym, his God, and his Gospel."
Whether the report be an exaggeration of fact, or, as we would hope,
a pure fiction, certainly Pym was an object of intense dislike to the
Royalists, and his death removed a formidable antagonist. Crushed by
toil and anxiety, his health had rapidly failed; and, while his body
suffered from disease, and his mind from anxiety, he had to endure
the fury of a populace which now sought to dash in pieces the god of
its former idolatry. As the patriot lay on his death-bed, men, in
women's clothes, instigated by those who wished to thwart the rigorous
prosecution of the war, besieged the House of Commons, madly crying
out, "Give us the traitor, that we may tear him to pieces, give us the
dog Pym!"[374] The brutality of the mob had its match in the malignity
of the Royalists, who, if rumour be true, kept horses idle in the
stables, waiting to carry down to Oxford tidings of the wished-for
stroke.[375] Report further spoke of knighthood as promised to the
first who should bring the news. It was also stated that the night
after Pym's decease, bonfires were blazing in the University streets to
celebrate the event.[376]

[Sidenote: 1643, December.]

[Sidenote: _Burial of Pym._]

Westminster Abbey has witnessed many noble funerals. The pavement has
but just closed over the remains of a renowned parliamentary chief,
and we have a fresh remembrance of the long procession and the solemn
service, the crowds of spectators and the general mourning at the
burial of Lord Palmerston. The obsequies of John Pym were perhaps still
more imposing. Preceded by servants and friends, by numerous persons of
distinction according to their rank, and by the Westminster Assembly
of Divines, attended also by some little pomp of heraldry, the remains
of that illustrious statesman were borne on the shoulders of certain
of his fellow-commoners up the nave of the cathedral, followed by his
family, and by the members of both Houses of Parliament.[377] They
crowded the vast building, whilst Stephen Marshall preached a sermon
describing the virtues of the deceased. "He maintained," said the
minister, "the same evenness of spirit which he had in the time of his
health, professing to myself, that it was to him a most indifferent
thing to live or die; if he lived, he would do what service he could,
if he died, he should go to that God whom he had served, and who would
carry on his work by some others. To others he said that if his life
and death were put into a balance he would not willingly cast in one
drachm to turn the balance either way. This was his temper all the time
of his sickness." "Such of his family or friends who endeavoured to be
near him (lest he should faint away in his weakness) have overheard him
importunately pray for the King's Majesty and his posterity, for the
Parliament and the public cause, for himself begging nothing. And a
little before his end, _having recovered out of a swound_, seeing his
friends weeping around him, he cheerfully told them he had looked death
in the face, and knew, and therefore feared not the worst it could
do, assuring them that his heart was filled with more comfort and joy
which he felt from God, than his tongue was able to utter, and (whilst
a reverend minister was at prayer with him) he quietly slept with his

[Sidenote: 1643, December.]

This incident--in an early stage of our Civil Wars--of Pym carried to
the grave by his fellow patriots, forcibly reminds us of the interment
of Mirabeau with similar honours, at the beginning of the French
Revolution. Unlike as to moral and religious character, these two
eminent men, as to ability for guiding public affairs, and swaying a
nation's destinies, had much in common: and whilst we speculate on
the probable consequences of the lengthened life of the brilliant
Frenchman in curbing party excesses and preventing terrible scenes, we
may also conjecture that happy consequences would have followed, had
the illustrious Englishman been longer spared. The loss of John Hampden
is often deplored, as of one whose wise counsel and force of character
might have saved his country a series of mistakes and much suffering,
had Divine providence lengthened his days. The loss of John Pym, for
reasons of the same kind, is probably still more to be lamented.

[Sidenote: _Court Intrigues._]

At this period, plots were of frequent occurrence.[379] Basil Brooke,
a noted Royalist and Roman Catholic, planned a scheme for detaching
the City of London from the cause of the Covenant, and from the Scotch
alliance. By means of defeating Presbyterian schemes, he aimed at
procuring peace favourable to the King. Propositions from his Majesty,
and signed by his hand, were to be presented to the Lord Mayor, so
that the latter should be obliged to convene a meeting to petition
Parliament to treat with the monarch: upon which, should Parliament
refuse, "a party in both Houses would appear with the City, and so
either carry all to the King, or put all in confusion." The utterly
idle conception of achieving a desired result by means in themselves
impracticable, or, if even carried out, not such as to ensure the
effect contemplated, only led to exposure and defeat. Keen-witted men
in Parliament and in the City discovered the plot, and turned it to an
account the very opposite of that which the plotters intended.

[Sidenote: 1643, December.]

The court party at the same time endeavoured to intrigue with the
Independents, whose want of sympathy in Presbyterian projects had
become obvious to all. Flattering offers were made to them if they
would break with the Scotch, abandon the Covenant, join the Royalists,
and agree to the establishment of a moderate Episcopacy. Toleration
was promised upon these conditions, and it was said: "Mr. Nye should be
one of the King's chaplains, and several other Independents should be
highly preferred and rewarded."[380] With these larger intrigues were
mixed up certain minor ones for the purpose of inducing officers of
the garrison at Windsor Castle and Aylesbury to betray those places
into the King's hands. The person who appears most prominently among
the Royalist agents in these schemes was one Serjeant-major Ogle, who
had been taken prisoner by the Parliament, and who was lodged in
Winchester House. References to him, as a notorious plotter in the
service of his Majesty, occur in the publications of that day, and
he also figures in that capacity upon the pages of the Parliamentary
journals.[381] His own version of the part he played comes to light in
the following letter found in the State Paper Office. Giving an account
of himself at a later period, he says:--

"It pleased his Majesty," that blessed martyr, my ever-blessed master,
to give his express orders unto me (then a prisoner in Winchester
House, only upon his Majesty's interest), to proceed with Mr. Nye,
Goodwin, Homstead, Grafton, Moseley, Devenish, and some other of the
Independent faction, according to a letter of mine unto the Earl of
Bristol, intimating their desires to his Majesty, on their own and all
the rests' behalf, in order to their plenary satisfaction and freedom
from pressure of conscience in point of worship, which they judged
might more easily and safely be obtained, and by them more honestly
and honourably accepted from the King than the Covenant then in its
triumphant career in London, they having failed of their expectation
from the address they made to his Majesty by Sir Basil Brooke. Upon
receipt of which warrant from his Majesty, I did conclude upon certain
articles, or rather propositions, in order to a treaty upon their
coming to Oxford, for which purpose I received a safe conduct from his
Majesty, with a blank for such names as I thought fit to insert, and
a hundred pounds out of his Majesty's county, towards relief of my

[Sidenote: _Court Intrigues._]

"The general, upon which all particulars were founded, was, that if
his Majesty pleased to give them assurance of liberty of conscience,
upon their submission to the temporal authority, they would employ
their whole interest in opposition to the Scotch Covenant, to serve his
Majesty against the two Houses, and submit to a moderate Episcopacy,
which they judged to be far more tolerable than the other, and, indeed,
the only way to settle the nation: and from this general one particular
was, that they would deliver to the King Aylesbury and Windsor
garrisons as pledges for performance of their future assistance upon
his Majesty's command, after their coming to Oxford, and satisfaction

It is to be observed that Ogle's letter plainly implicates the King as
a prime mover in these wished-for intrigues with the Independents.

[Sidenote: 1644, January.]

In the midst of these contrivances, and immediately after the detection
of that in which Sir Basil Brooke was the chief actor, the corporation
of London, (according to civic custom on occasions of great public
interest), invited the Houses of Parliament to a grand banquet, as a
proof of union in one common cause, and as a celebration of recent
victory over common enemies. The invitation was formally accepted, and
entered in the journals, and the Commons added to their acceptance
of the invitation a request that, on the morning of the festive day,
there should be in such place as the City might think fit, and by such
a minister as the City might choose, a sermon for the commemoration
of the recent deliverance. The Assembly of Divines also received an
invitation to the festival; and further, the sheriff and aldermen, in
chains and gowns, called on Baillie and his colleagues at Worcester
House to join the other notabilities who were to be present at the
municipal entertainment. On Thursday, the 18th of January, the
Parliament, the Assembly, and the Scotch Commissioners met between nine
and ten o'clock in the morning at Christ Church in the City, to hear
Stephen Marshall, the preacher selected by the corporation to deliver a
sermon at the request of the Commons.

The exordium to his discourse was ingenious.

[Sidenote: _Stephen Marshall's Discourse._]

"Right honourable and well-beloved in our Lord,

"This day is a day purposely set apart for feasting, and it is like one
of the Lord's feasts, where you have a feast and an holy convocation,
and you are first met here to feast your souls with the fat things of
God's house, with a feast of fat things, full of marrow; and wine on
the lees well refined; and afterwards to feast your bodies with the
fat things of the land and sea, both plenty and dainty. But if you
please you may first feast your eyes. Do but behold the face of the
assembly. I dare say it is one of the excellentest feasts that ever
your eyes were feasted with. Here in this assembly you may first see
the two Houses of Parliament--the honourable Lords and Commons, who
after thus many years wrestling with extreme difficulties, in their
endeavouring to preserve an undone kingdom, and to purge and reform a
backsliding and a polluted Church, you may behold them still not only
preserved from so many treacherous designs, and open violences, but
as resolved as ever to go on with this great work which God hath put
into their hands. Here you may also see his excellency my most honoured
lord, and near him that other noble lord the commander of our forces
by sea, as the other is by land; and with them abundance of lords and
resolute commanders; all of them with their faces like lions, who after
so many terrible battles, and abundance of difficulties, and charging
in the faces of so many deaths, are yet all of them preserved, and not
a hair of their head fallen to the ground. Here also you may behold the
representative body of the City of London, the Lord Mayor, the Court
of Aldermen, the Common Council, the militia, and in them the face and
affection of this glorious city; this city which, under God, hath had
the honour of being the greatest means of the salvation of the whole
kingdom, and after the expense of millions of treasure, and thousands
of their lives, still as courageous and resolute to live and die in the
cause of God as ever heretofore. Here you may likewise see a reverend
assembly of grave and learned divines, who daily wait upon the angel in
the mount, to receive from him the lively oracles and the pattern of
God's house to present unto you. All these of our own nation, and with
them you may see the honourable, reverend, and learned commissioners of
the Church of Scotland, and in them behold the wisdom and the affection
of their whole nation, willing to live and die with us; all these may
you behold in one view. And not only so, but you may behold them all of
one mind, after so many plots and conspiracies to divide them one from
another. And, which is yet more, you may see them all met together this
day on purpose both to praise God for this union, and to hold it out
to the whole world, and thereby to testify that as one man they will
live and die together in this cause of God. Oh, beloved, how beautiful
is the face of this assembly! Verily, I may say of it, as it was said
of Solomon's throne, that the like was never to be seen in any other
nation. I question whether the like assembly was ever to be seen this
thousand years upon the face of the earth. Methinks I may call this
assembly the host of God; I may call this place Mahanaim, and I believe
there are many in this assembly that would say as old Jacob did when he
had seen his son Joseph's face, 'Let me now die, seeing my son Joseph
is yet alive.' And for mine own part, I am almost like the Queen of
Sheba, when she had seen the court of Solomon, it is said that she had
no spirit in her; and I could send you away and say that you had no
cause to weep to-day or to-morrow, but to eat the fat and drink the
sweet, and send portions one unto another; and I should send you away
presently, but that I have first some banqueting stuff for your souls,
such as the hand of God hath set before you for your inward refreshing;
the ground whereof you shall find in the twelfth chapter of the first
book of Chronicles, and three last verses:--'All these men of war, that
could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David
king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart
to make David king. And there they were with David three days, eating
and drinking; for their brethren had prepared for them. Moreover, they
that were nigh them even unto Issachar, and Zebulun and Naphtali,
brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and
meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil,
and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.'"[383]

[Sidenote: 1644, January.]

After the preacher had delivered a pertinent discourse from this text,
which was felicitously chosen, the guests who had attended the church
marched in long and imposing procession to Merchant-Taylors' Hall,
where the banquet was served.

[Sidenote: _Corporation Banquet._]

Train bands lined the streets. Common Councilmen in their gowns
walked first. The Mayor and Aldermen, arrayed in scarlet, followed
on horseback. The General and Admiral of the Parliament, with the
rest of the Lords and the Officers of the Army, trudged on foot. Then
came the Commons, with their Speaker and his mace-bearer; and next to
these the Westminster Divines. It had been appointed that the Scotch
Commissioners, clerical and lay, should have a post of honour between
the Commons and the Assembly, but as Lord Maitland went with the other
lords, the modesty of his clerical companions would not let them take
precedence of the English brethren. So Baillie and his colleagues
"stole away to their coach," and when there was no room for coaches
along the thronged streets, they went on foot, "with great difficulty
through huge crowdings of people." Passing through Cheapside they
saw,--where the Cross used to stand,--a great bonfire kindled, "many
fine pictures of Christ and the saints, of relics, beads, and such
trinkets," being piled up for the special entertainment of the reverend
gentlemen, and kindled into a blaze just as they marched by. The feast
cost £4,000, though, in the spirit of Puritan moderation, it included
neither dessert, nor music, only "drums and trumpets." The Mayor sat
on the dais. Two long tables supplied the Divines; Dr. Twiss the
Prolocutor, sitting at the head. The Speaker of the Commons proposed
the health of the Lords. The Lords stood up, every one with his glass,
and drank to the Commons. The Mayor toasted both in the name of the
citizens. The sword-bearer, wearing his cap of maintenance, carried the
loving cup from the chief magistrate to the Commissioners. The whole
ceremony was to them a "fair demonstration" of union between those
whom the Oxford plotters endeavoured to divide. The feast ended with
the singing of the 67th Psalm, "whereof Dr. Burgess read the line."
"A religious precedent," says Vicars, in his Chronicle, "worthy to
be imitated by all godly Christians in their both public and private
feastings and meetings."[384]

[Sidenote: 1644, January.]

[Sidenote: _Iconoclastic Crusades._]

The Cheapside bonfire of papistical trinkets illuminated the spot where
once stood the famous cross. That cross, also the one at Charing,
and even the venerable building of a like description in St. Paul's
Churchyard--although so rich in memories of the Reformation--had
been destroyed by the axes of puritanical zeal. In his honest hatred
of superstition, the Puritan did not perceive that objects once
devoted to its service, if intrinsically beautiful, might yet deserve
preservation, and that monuments of antiquity, though they may not
advance the cultivation of taste, may render valuable aids to the
study of history. But the use and appreciation of ancient art is of
modern growth, and the Puritan must not be blamed for being, in this
respect, only on a level with the reformers of an earlier age, and
with many of his own contemporaries of a different creed.[385] The
House of Commons had early taken in hand the destruction of what were
deemed relics of idolatry, although, being unsupported by the Lords,
they accomplished little. But in the spring of 1643, by order of the
two Houses, Sir Robert Harlow executed the iconoclastic crusade just
noticed, which proved the beginning of a wholesale destruction which
continued throughout the following winter. Acting under the advice of
the Assembly, as well as in accordance with their own impulses, the
Commons, in the month of August, issued an ordinance for demolishing
altars, for removing tapers, candlesticks, and basins, and for defacing
crosses, images, and pictures of the persons of the Trinity, and of
the Virgin Mary.[386] Monuments of the dead, not commonly reputed
for saints, were to be spared. Accordingly, in December, images in
Canterbury Cathedral were dashed down, and stained windows broken
in pieces. Something of the same wilful destruction followed a few
days afterwards in Westminster Abbey; copes and surplices, it may be
observed, having been taken away in the previous October, up to which
time they had been in use even there.[387] St. Paul's Cathedral[388]
shared a like fate, and sacred articles of silver belonging to it
were sold for the replenishment of the war treasury.[389] As to the
defacement of churches, the Puritans have been blamed for things in
which they had no concern. What was really owing to the violence of
reformers, the depredations of Royalists, and the neglect and folly
of churchwardens has been put to their account. Yet when all this is
allowed for, enough remains to sustain serious indictments against the
accused, and little mercy would they find at the hands of a tribunal of

[Sidenote: 1644, January.]

[Sidenote: _Iconoclastic Crusades._]

In the city of Norwich, (January, 1644) the Puritan corporation
appointed a committee to repair several churches, and take notices of
scandalous pictures, crucifixes, and images:[390] whereupon they went
to work, breaking windows, filing bells, tearing down carved work,
stripping brasses off monuments, and pulling down the pulpit with
its leaden cross in the green yard. Popish paintings, taken from the
cathedral and other churches, were burnt in the old market-place, "a
lewd wretch" (according to Bishop Hall) walking before the train
with his cope trailing in the dust, and a service book in his hand,
"imitating in an impious scorn the tune, and usurping the words of the
litany."[391] There is further evidence of remorseless destruction
in the journal of William Downings, of Stratford, a parliamentary
visitor, appointed under a warrant from the Earl of Manchester, for
demolishing superstitious pictures and ornaments within the county of
Suffolk, in the years 1643 and 1644. But in some places the populace
opposed the execution of the Parliamentary decree. At Kidderminster the
Puritan churchwarden set up a ladder, which was too short to enable
him to reach the crucifix on the top of the town cross; and, while
he was fetching another, a mob assembled to defend what many admired
only for the reason that their neighbours disliked it.[392] Baxter,
then minister in the town, calls these defenders of crucifixes and
images "a drunken crew," and declares that they beat and bruised two
neighbours who had come to look after him and the churchwardens, and
would have belaboured both in the same way, could they but have caught
them.[393] If sometimes the iconoclasts were defeated, at other times
they overcame their adversaries. A church near Colonel Hutchinson's
house at Owthorpe, in Nottinghamshire, had a painted window with a
crucifixion, the Virgin Mary and the Evangelist John. The clergyman
took down the heads of the figures, and laid them by carefully in his
closet, and tried to persuade his churchwardens to certify that the
Parliamentary order was executed; but they took care to call on the
Colonel and bring him to see the church and the minister, who was at
last compelled to blot out all the paintings and break all the glass
which was tainted with superstition.[394]

[Sidenote: 1644, January.]

[Sidenote: _Iconoclastic Crusades._]

[Sidenote: 1644, January.]

The amount of damage done in different parts of the country would
depend on circumstances, on the disposition of the magistrates, and
especially on the conduct of the military. It is certain that the
havoc of Downings' iconoclasm is not a specimen of what generally took
place. The state of numerous churches throughout the kingdom shews
that Puritanism in many places touched them lightly, if at all. We
know more about the cathedrals. These suffered severely. Peterborough,
perhaps, was treated worse than any, the choir being stripped of its
carved fittings and coloured glass, the cloisters being completely
pulled down.[395] Part of the nave at Carlisle was destroyed, in order
that guard houses and batteries might be constructed. The chapter house
of Hereford was ruined, and 170 crosses torn up.[396] At Chichester,
ornaments, monuments, and windows were destroyed. Sawpits were dug in
the nave of Rochester. The lady chapel of Ely was cruelly shattered.
Norwich Cathedral sustained much injury; and so did Lichfield,
which the cavaliers turned into a citadel. Monuments were smashed
at Gloucester and Lincoln. But, in Winchester, though Waynflete's
chantry was defaced, the cathedral is said to have suffered less than
it otherwise would have done, from the circumstance of the captain of
the troop stationed there being an old Wykehamist. Though stalls were
pulled down at Worcester, numerous monuments and effigies still remain
within that edifice. Only painted windows were taken down at Exeter
and Oxford; some of the latter being preserved after their removal.
Notwithstanding what is reported in the _Mercurius Rusticus_, the
ornaments of Westminster Abbey, which at the beginning of the conflict
fell into Puritan hands, so far escaped violence, that it is said "a
history of ecclesiastical sculpture, from the reign of Henry III. to
the present day, might be fairly illustrated from the stores of that
Church alone."[397] Other noble cathedrals were but slightly damaged.
Salisbury was free from "material profanation."[398] There is no
mention of harm done at Bristol, Durham, Chester, and York. Throughout
England, tradition is constant in her story, that the violation of
churches was the work of soldiers.

The excess to which ceremonial worship had been carried by the
Laudian clergy, and the almost Popish reverence with which images
and pictures had been regarded by some of them, inspired an intense
Protestant indignation in numbers of Englishmen. They prized the
Reformation, and thought they saw in the Anglo-Catholicism of their
day a national defection from the faith of their fathers, like setting
up the calves in Bethel and Dan, or the idolatrous service of Baal
in Samaria. And whilst fearing the return of Romanism, with Romanism
they identified things which have no necessary connection with it.
Their zeal, though religious and disinterested, lacked wisdom, and had
mixed up with it such alloy as commonly adheres to that passion in the
breasts of mortals. It resembled the fierceness and fury of a noted
reformer of Israel, who "brought forth the images out of the house
of Baal and burned them;" nor was it untouched by a spirit of proud
self-complacency like his when he cried: "Come see my zeal for the Lord
of Hosts." Again and again, as we mark Puritan doings in cathedrals and
churches, we are ready to exclaim: "The driving is like the driving of
Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he driveth furiously."[399]

[Sidenote: _Cromwell at Ely._]

A broad construction was given to the meaning of orders for suppressing
superstition and idolatry. In the month of January, 1644, when
Oliver Cromwell was Governor of Ely, a Mr. Hitch officiated in the
cathedral in the usual way. No express law, as yet, had been made
against the Prayer Book or choral worship. But, interpreting the
latter as "superstitious," and apprehending that its continuance would
irritate his soldiers, Cromwell wrote to this clergyman and required
him to forbear a service which he styled "unedifying and offensive."
The clergyman persisted. The Governor,--wearing his hat according
to custom,--with his men, entered the church, and found Mr. Hitch
chaunting in the choir. "I am a man under authority," said Oliver, "and
am commanded to dismiss this assembly"--the only authority, in fact,
being the order about superstition, backed by the probability of a
disturbance in case the service was continued. When Hitch determinately
went on, Cromwell's words, "Leave off your fooling and come down, sir,"
broke up the cathedral worship, and shewed the sort of man the clergy
had to deal with.

[Sidenote: 1644, February.]

While crosses, images, and choral services were put down, the Solemn
League and Covenant was set up. The zeal with which the Parliament
attempted the last, scarcely fell below that with which they
accomplished the first. An exhortation on the subject by the Divines
at Westminster publicly appeared. It contains no threatenings of
penalty in case of refusal, but only an abundance of argument and
rhetorical persuasion. Various objections are answered--one especially,
which, read in connexion with the events of the Restoration, is rather

"As for those clergymen who pretend that they, above all others, cannot
covenant to extirpate that Government because they have, as they say,
taken a solemn oath to obey the bishops _in licitis et honestis_, they
can tell, if they please, that they that have sworn obedience to the
laws of the land, are not thereby prohibited from endeavouring by all
lawful means the abolition of those laws when they prove inconvenient
or mischievous; and if yet there should any oath be found into which
any ministers or others have entered, not warranted by the laws of God
and the land, in this case they must teach themselves and others that
such oaths call for repentance, not pertinacity in them."[400]

Though no threats are found in the exhortation, Parliament sent
instructions to commanders-in-chief and governors of towns and
garrisons, that the Covenant should be taken by all soldiers under
their command. The committees of the several counties had to see
that copies were dispersed over the country, its contents read in
the churches, and the oath tendered to ministers, churchwardens, and
constables. Law officers under the Crown were subjected to loss of
office, and lawyers to restraint from practising in the Courts, if
they did not submit to the new test.[401] If a minister refused to
present it to his parishioners, the committee was to appoint another
minister to do so in his place.[402] It was ordered, at an earlier
date, that no one who declined the Solemn League should be elected a
common-councilman of London, or have a vote in such election, or hold
any office of trust in the City.[403] Every congregation was to obtain
a copy of the document fairly printed in large letters, fit to be hung
up in the place of worship.[404]

[Sidenote: _The Solemn League and Covenant._]

[Sidenote: 1644, March.]

Sermons were preached and published, containing numerous scriptural
quotations, pertinent and impertinent, in favour of covenanting. The
Presbyterians regarded it as a symbol of their Church, and made it
a bulwark of their system; and others, who had no sympathy with
them, and who afterwards opposed their proceedings, were, at first,
scarcely less extravagant in extolling its merits.[405] The devices
of the engraver came under contribution, and there may be seen a
curious series of plates executed at that period, one representing
the Divines swearing to the Covenant with uplifted hands; and another
exhibiting Prelatists in gowns and caps coming out of Church, whilst a
Puritan is shutting the door upon them, saying, "Every plant that my
heavenly Father hath not planted shall be plucked up."[406] Copies of
the instrument, with a long array of names appended to it, sometimes
present themselves amongst corporation records and parish archives,
suggestive of scenes once enacted in church-porches and chancels.[407]
Other written vows belong to that covenanting age. At Nottingham, the
governor and garrison took between them a mutual oath to be faithful
to each other, and to hold out until death, without listening to any
parley, or accepting any terms from their enemies. Lucy Hutchinson
describes how women as well as men entered into such pledges;[408] and
an instance of a female adherent to the famous bond is found in a MS.
life of Mrs. Stockton, preserved in Dr. Williams' library.

[Sidenote: _The Solemn League and Covenant._]

Parliament imposed the Covenant upon the Irish. The Royalist
authorities did all in their power to resist the imposition. The
Lords-Justices and the Council laid an embargo on its adoption by the
military, and condemned it as seditious. But old Scotch officers,
commanding troops in the sister island, heeded not the mandate, and the
proscribed symbol received a warm welcome in the camp, and also in the
northern cities, where the Protestants rallied around it. With great
solemnity, the soldiers swore to it in the church of Carrickfergus.
Throughout Down and Antrim it became popular. At Coleraine it contended
with opposition, but at Derry, which place abounded in anti-prelatists,
it won a tumultuous victory over the opposite party.[409]

[Sidenote: 1644, March.]

As it has been from the beginning in the history of tests,[410] so it
was with the Covenant. It bore the character of a compromise; and,
accordingly, that which was meant at the same time to declare truth and
to accomplish union, received different explanations from different
persons. First, the Presbyterians thought themselves bound by it to
oppose schism as well as prelacy; next, the Independents, it was said,
deeming Presbyterianism superstitious, conceived that the Covenant gave
authority to oppose that system; and, thirdly, the cavaliers, swearing
by it to preserve and defend the King's majesty, concluded they might
lawfully oppose both the other parties. In this way the subject is
represented in a publication of later date, written by one who had no
sympathy whatever with the movement; and there is much truth, no
doubt, in the representation, as well as in the following remark by
the same writer, in reference to the ambiguity of the terms employed
in the symbol: "It must needs own almost anything, especially seeing
the sense of it hath never been plainly demonstrated, but left to men's
own interpretation in several particulars."[411] But whilst each could
discover something in the Covenant of a negative kind, which he could
turn to account in opposing his adversaries, nearly all persons in
England, except the most advanced Presbyterians, saw there were things
in it of a positive kind, which they knew not how to adopt.

Hence, in spite of its various interpretations, and also in spite of
Parliamentary orders and Presbyterian activity, great numbers refused
or evaded the test.[412] Where zealots were able, they enforced it
rigorously; but in unsettled times the imposition of anything of the
kind is sure to be encumbered by great difficulties. Some even who
held Presbyterian opinions disliked this form of expressing them; and
we find that Richard Baxter prevented his flock at Kidderminster from
submitting to the Covenant, lest, as he said, it should ensnare their
consciences; and also he prevailed on the ministers of Worcestershire
not to offer it to their people.

[Sidenote: _The Solemn League and Covenant._]

The truth is, that while the Covenant in Scotland was a reality,
inasmuch as it sprung from the hearts of the people, and expressed a
sentiment to which they were devoted, the case was far otherwise in our
own country. Imported here, it never rallied around it the sympathies
of the nation. Exasperating High Churchmen, it did not please the
Puritans. Many could not go so far as it went and many were anxious
to go much further still. Moderate Episcopalians were reluctant to
adopt it, because they were not prepared for the total abolition of
Episcopacy; and, on the other hand, many Independents disliked it,
because its condemnation of schism, they knew, was regarded in some
quarters as a condemnation of themselves. They were advocates for
a liberty and a toleration to which the spirit of the Covenant was
thoroughly opposed. That the Scotch should insist upon its adoption by
the English, and that the rulers of this country should accept the
condition, and endeavour to enforce it upon all their subjects, was
an unfortunate mistake, destined to be attended in some instances by
failure, in others by mischief, in all by disappointment.

[Sidenote: 1643, September.]

The adoption of the Covenant by the Westminster Assembly will be in
the reader's remembrance; and to the subsequent proceedings of that
venerable body his attention is now to be directed.

The Divines first met in Henry the Seventh's Chapel. That stone
building, pleasantly cool in summer, became too cold for them as autumn
drew on. They then, by order of Parliament, adjourned to the Jerusalem
Chamber.[413] "What place more proper for the building of Zion, as
they propounded it," asks Fuller, "than the Chamber of Jerusalem, the
fairest of the Dean's lodgings where King Henry IV. died?" Romance
and poetry, through the pens of Fabian and Shakespeare, have thrown
their hues over this memorable room; other and higher associations now
belong to it as the birth-place of a confession of faith still dear to
the Church of Scotland, and as the spot where the Puritan advocates of
religious liberty fought one of its early and most earnest battles.

[Sidenote: _The Westminster Assembly._]

The Chamber adjoins the Abbey, at the south corner of the west front.
There is a painted window on the north side, and two plain ones give
light on the west. The walls are hung with tapestry, representing
the Circumcision, the Adoration of the Magi, and, apparently, the
Passage through the Wilderness. A portrait of Richard II.--generally
considered the oldest extant picture of an English sovereign--hangs at
the south end of the apartment; and a curiously-carved chimney-piece,
put up by Williams, Dean of Westminster, spans the fire-place. The room
was rather different in appearance at the time of the Assembly. The
situation of the fire-place was the same, and the mantel-piece had but
just been erected. The arras, however, was brought into the Chamber
after the coronation of James II., on which occasion it had been used
in the Abbey; and the portrait of Richard II. did not come there till
1755, when it was removed from the Abbey choir.[414]

[Sidenote: 1643, September.]

Baillie paints the place and the Assembly as he saw it. Near the
door, and on both sides, were stages of seats; the Prolocutor's chair
being at the upper end, "on a frame." In chairs before him were the
assessors. Before them, through the length of the room, ran a long
table, at which sat the secretaries, taking notes. The house, says
Baillie, was well hung with tapestry, and a good fire blazed on
the hearth--"which is some dainty at London." Opposite the table,
to the right of the president, on the lowest of the three or four
rows of forms, appeared the Scotch Commissioners, Baillie himself a
conspicuous individual of the group. Behind were Parliament members
of the Assembly. On the left, running from the upper end to the
fire-place, and at the lower end, till they came round to the seats
of the Scotchmen, were forms for the Divines, which they occupied as
they pleased, each, however, commonly retaining the same spot. From the
chimney-piece to the door was an open passage; the Lords who now and
then dropped in, filling chairs round the fire. There must have been
plenty of room in the Chamber for the accommodation of the Assembly, as
ordinarily there were not present above threescore members. Everything
proceeded in perfect order, and each meeting commenced and closed
with prayer. As we read Baillie's description, we can see the Divines
divided into committees, can watch them preparing matters for the
Assembly, and can hear them speak without interruption, as each one
addresses the reverend Prolocutor. The harangues are long and learned,
and are well prepared beforehand with "replies," "duplies," "triplies."
Then comes the cry, "Question--question;" the scribe, Mr. Byfield,
immediately rises, approaches the chair, and places the proposition
in Dr. Twiss's hand, who asks, "As many as are in opinion that the
question is well in the stated proposition, let them say Aye;" "As many
as think otherwise, say No." Perhaps Ayes and Noes "be near equal;"
then the Prolocutor bids each side stand up, and Mr. Byfield counts.
When any one deviates from the point in hand, there are exclamations of
"Speak to order." Nobody is allowed to mention another by name, but he
must refer to him as "the reverend brother who lately or last spoke, on
this hand, on that side, above, or below." These methods of proceeding
deeply interested Robert Baillie, who, by his minute description of
them, greatly interests us. The Prolocutor, far too quiet a man for the
Scotch delegate, is represented by him as "very learned, but merely
bookish, and among the unfittest of all the company for any action;
so after the prayer he sits mute." This, most persons will think, a
chairman ought to do; but Baillie wished to have a President with more
zeal for Presbyterianism, and therefore he preferred Dr. Burgess--in
his estimation "a very active and sharp man," who supplied, so far as
was "decent, the Prolocutor's place."[415]

[Sidenote: Members of the Assembly.]

Twiss did not long retain the office which his modesty and infirmities
had made him reluctant to accept. He fell down one day in the
pulpit, and "was carried to his lodgings, where he languished about
a twelvemonth," and then expired, July the 20th, 1646.[416] His
preference of a contemplative to an active life appeared in his
exclamation after the attack which proved his death-stroke: "I shall
have at length leisure to follow my studies to all eternity," and
throughout he seems to have been as loyal as he was religious; for he
often wished the fire of contention might be extinguished, even if it
were in his own blood. A funeral in Westminster Abbey marked the public
opinion of his worth; and there Dr. Robert Harris preached a sermon for
him on Joshua i. 2, "Moses my servant is dead." The Assembly and the
House of Commons followed his remains to the grave. Mr. Charles Herle,
educated at Exeter College, Oxford, succeeded him in the office of

[Sidenote: 1643, September.]

There was an overwhelming majority of Presbyterians in the Jerusalem
Chamber. Amongst the most eminent were Burgess and Calamy, Marshall and
Ash. In the notes of the Assembly's proceedings taken by Lightfoot,
these names repeatedly occur, together with the less familiar ones of
Herle, Seaman, Cawdry, and others. The Scotch Commissioners, Henderson
and Baillie--with whom were associated George Gillespie, a young man
of rich promise, and Samuel Rutherford, whose "Letters" on religious
subjects are well known--likewise took a prominent part in the debates.
It is proper here also to remember that Presbyterianism, predominant
in the Assembly, was at the time supreme in the Senate. All the
staunch Prelatists, and many moderate Episcopalians, had left the Long
Parliament in St. Stephen's Chapel to join Charles's mock Parliament at
Christ Church, Oxford. Advocates who exposed ecclesiastical abuses with
the view of simply reforming the old establishment had disappeared. Of
those who remained it would be uncandid to deny that some were sincere
converts to the new system; and it would be credulous to believe that
there were not others who, seeing which way the stream flowed, struck
in with the current. At any rate, a Presbyterian policy prevailed in
1644. Holles, Glynne, Maynard, Rudyard, Rouse, and Prynne, together
with Waller, Stapleton, and Massey, were the most distinguished members
of the party; yet, though possessing amongst them considerable ability
and learning, they were none of them men of great intellectual power or
of any political genius.

[Sidenote: _Members of the Assembly._]

The Erastians, as they are called, must not be overlooked. John
Selden, already noticed, led the van, and his learning and reputation
made him a formidable opponent. To gain any advantage when breaking a
lance with such a person was counted a high distinction in theological
chivalry, and this honour has been duly emblazoned by Scotch heralds
more than once in favour of young George Gillespie, whom we have just
mentioned. The solid and industrious Bulstrode Whitelocke, and St. John,
"the dark-lantern man," helped to form a small body of reserve on the
same side, who, on special occasions, behaved themselves valorously
in the Westminster field. The chief Divine who thoroughly advocated
Erastianism was Thomas Coleman, Vicar of Blyton, in Lincolnshire, of
some considerable note in his own day. But a far greater man--acting,
however, only occasionally in connexion with the party--was the
renowned Dr. Lightfoot, who in rabbinical lore may be regarded as
equal, if not superior, to John Selden.[417]

But another class, entertaining different views, claim our
attention: the five dissenting brethren--Nye, Goodwin, Bridge,
Burroughs, and Simpson.[418]

[Sidenote: 1643, September.]

Philip Nye, a man of ability in some respects, and of bustling habits,
stands out as chief of the five. Zealous in his commendations of the
Covenant, he with equal zeal opposed Presbyterianism: the very thing
which, according to the fairest rules of interpretation, it must be
held to symbolize. He has been charged with disingenuousness; but
experience in the matter of subscription makes charitable people slow
to urge the charge. Those who vindicate subscription in "non-natural
senses" ought to be the last to fling a stone at Philip Nye; and those
who take the opposite side can hardly praise him for consistency of
conduct. How the Covenant could be adopted by any one professing
Independency is a puzzle, and the puzzle in Nye's case is the greater,
because, not content with quietly assenting to it as many others did,
he appears to have been a chief instrument in bringing it over the
border, and in enforcing it upon his companions.

Thomas Goodwin surpassed Nye in learning and in other respects.
His writings present him to us as an accomplished theologian, and
a many-sided thinker, and shew that scarcely any forms of thought
in metaphysical divinity escaped his notice.[419] The breadth and
excursiveness of his reflective powers are the more remarkable when
viewed in connexion with his rigid Calvinism. He joined Philip Nye
in a preface to "Cotton's Keys," and in it expounded ecclesiastical
opinions, in accordance with those of the New England churches.

[Sidenote: _Members of the Assembly._]

William Bridge--once a Norwich clergyman, then a refugee in
Holland--won a reputation for learning as well as piety. His library,
well stocked with fathers, schoolmen, and critics, so attracted him,
that he rose at four o'clock both winter and summer, that he might have
time for reading these favourites. Being a man of broad sympathies, he
accustomed himself to enquiries beyond the range of his profession, and
boldly handled constitutional questions. Adopting the opinion, that
"the people formed the first subject and receptacle of civil power;"
an opinion which was the mainstay of the Parliament's policy, Bridge
shrunk not from declaring, "In case a prince shall neglect his trust,
so as not to preserve his subjects, but to expose them to violence, it
is no usurpation in them to look to themselves, but an exercise of that
power which was always their own."[420] He had suffered under Laud,
and knew what it was to walk in paths of confessorship, so that his
exhortations had no little power to comfort, when he said to his people
in trouble: "Certainly, if God's charge be your charge, your charge
shall be His charge, and being so, you have His bond that they shall
never want their daily bread."

[Sidenote: 1643, September.]

Jeremiah Burroughs seems to have possessed singular candour, modesty,
and moderation, and probably was the gentlest of the five; perhaps he
was not always quite consistent,[421] being no lover of controversy,
but a man who felt himself at home in devotional meditations. He died
before the Westminster Assembly broke up,[422] and one of the last
sermons which he preached was entitled "_Irenicum_, or an Attempt to
heal Divisions among Christians."

Sydrach Simpson bore a character for learning, piety, and moderation
though at one time he was silenced by the Assembly, for differing from
them in matters of discipline.

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

The discussions in which the Independents engaged with their brethren,
turned upon the office of Apostles, the distinction between pastors and
teachers, the character of ruling elders, ordination, the election of
ministers, and the like; but their main controversy hinged on a deeper
question. The Presbyterians were anxious to meet the difficulties
felt by the Independents, so far as the establishment of one uniform
religion would allow; the former were prepared to permit in their large
and carefully ramified scheme of ecclesiastical government some little
liberty of action, provided that on the whole there was obedience to
the established system. Freedom from synodical censure upon certain
points was to be conceded to those who upon others submitted to
Presbyterian authority. The Assembly would build a huge cathedral
for the nation, with small side chapels here and there for the use
of certain crotchety people, who might privately pass in and out if
they would but always enter through the great door, and walk up the
main aisle. This is not what men, calling themselves 'Independent,'
have ever liked. The five dissenting brethren did not object to the
cathedral being built for those who wished it--but for their own parts,
they desired their own places of worship to be quite outside.

[Sidenote: 1643.]

It will be instructive here to pause a moment, and to compare the
ground taken by the Independents in this controversy with that occupied
by other advocates of toleration of a different class at the same time.
Chillingworth, in his famous work on the "Religion of Protestants,"
observes in a passage of singular eloquence, that the imposing of the
senses of men upon the words of God, and the laying of them upon the
conscience under penalty of death and damnation--involving the vain
conceit that we can speak of the things of God better than in the words
of God--is the only fountain of all the schisms of the Church, and
that which makes these schisms immortal. He brands the practice as the
common incendiary of Christendom, and that which tears into pieces, not
merely the coat, but the members of Christ. "Take away," he says, in
burning words, "these walls of separation, and all will quickly be one.
Take away this _persecuting_, _burning_, _cursing_, _damning_ of men,
for not subscribing to the _words of men_ as the words of God; require
of Christians only to believe Christ and to call no man Master but Him
only; let those leave claiming infallibility that have no title to it,
and let them that in their words disclaim it, disclaim it likewise in
their actions; in a word, take away tyranny, which is the devil's
instrument to support errors, and superstitions, and impieties, in the
several parts of the world, which could not otherwise long withstand
the power of truth--I say take away tyranny, and restore Christians
to their just and full liberty of captivating their understanding to
Scripture only; and as rivers, when they have a free passage, run
all to the ocean, so it may well be hoped, by God's blessing, that
universal liberty, thus moderated, may quickly reduce Christendom to
truth and unity."[423]

John Hales, in his little tract on "Schism," complains that it has
been the common disease of Christians from the beginning, not to
content themselves with that measure of faith which God and Scriptures
have expressly afforded us, but to attempt devising things, of which
we have no light, either from reason or revelation; "neither have
they rested here, but upon pretence of Church authority (which is
none) or tradition (which for the most part is but feigned) they have
peremptorily concluded, and confidently imposed upon others a necessity
of entertaining conclusions of that nature; and, to strengthen
themselves, have broken out into divisions and factions, opposing man
to man, synod to synod, till the peace of the Church vanished, without
all possibility of recall."

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

The object of both these great reasoners was, without violating
conscience, to secure union. They aimed at comprehension, but it was
comprehension such as all Puritans condemned. Chillingworth would have
had "the public service of God conducted so that all who believe the
Scriptures and live accordingly, might without scruple, or honesty,
or protestation against any part, join in it;" and Hales went so
far as to say: He did not see that men of different opinions in
religion might not hold communion in sacred things, and both go to
one church. "Why may I not go," he asks, "if occasion require, to an
Arian Church, so there be no Arianism expressed in their liturgy? And
were liturgies, and public forms of service so framed as that they
admitted not of particular and private fancies, but contained only
such things as in which all Christians do agree, schisms on opinion
were utterly vanished." It is needless to say that this is a species
of latitudinarianism which most religious men would consider to be
inconsistent with a definite doctrinal belief.

[Sidenote: 1643.]

The most remarkable treatise on the subject of toleration belonging
to that age is Jeremy Taylor's "Liberty of Prophesying." In point of
eloquence no other work of the kind can be compared with it; and though
defective it is still worthy, for the sake of its reasoning as well as
its rhetoric, to be a text book for the student of religious liberty.
The author dwells, in his own matchless way, on the difficulties of
Scripture, the uncertainty of tradition, the insufficiency of councils,
the fallibility of popes and fathers, the incompetency of the Church,
in its "diffusive character," to be judge of controversies, and the
impertinence of any pretence to such a possession of the spirit as
preserves from error. Reason is pronounced the best interpreter, and,
though some causes of error in the exercise of reason are culpable,
many are innocent.[424]

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

To base toleration on the uncertainty of truth is a very insecure
method of proceeding. The alliance of scepticism damages the cause
of freedom. Colour is given to the charge, that religious liberty
springs from religious indifference. It has cost two centuries of
experience and discipline to indoctrinate society with the lesson,
that the decision of religious questions without any imposition of
human authority is a right of conscience; and that the more earnest
we are in the love of truth, the more careful we should be not to
sully its sanctity by the unrighteous enforcement of its principles.
Taylor fought manfully for freedom, but he did not see the highest
vantage ground within his reach. Moreover, in his Essay, comprehension
within the Church often seems confounded with religious liberty in the
State. No clear distinction is maintained between principles which
regulate the one, and principles which vindicate the other. Yet the
reader of the treatise may pick out and sort them, for there they are.
Taylor teaches the doctrine--that the duty of faith is completed in
believing the Articles of the Apostles' Creed; that to multiply tests
of orthodoxy and to require assent to points of doubtful disputation
"is to build a tower on the top of a bulrush;" and "that the further
the effect of such proceedings doth extend, the worse they are." With
an amiable self-delusion, characteristic of his pure and child-like
nature, he dreamed of a church, combining all varieties of belief
consistent with faith in the fundamental verities of the gospel.
Though protesting against persecution, he contended for discipline,
but confined excommunication simply to an act of spiritual severance.
It is difficult to catch exactly what he means by "communicating with
dissenting churches"--yet the tone of his remarks, and his reference
to the Greek Church, prevent us from supposing that he used the
appellation in the way it is commonly employed at present. The division
of kingdoms seems to have been with him the only justification of a
division of churches; and probably his theory of a national church
would not be very different from Dr. Arnold's. He, at the same time,
claims toleration for all _opinions_, not expressed in overt acts
injurious to the State; and though he hampers his principle with
certain qualifications, which threaten the civil rights of some persons
hostile to Christianity, yet his views, if consistently carried out
in his own gentle and charitable spirit, would leave little to be
complained of by any one. On the whole, Jeremy Taylor was fuller and
more satisfactory in his views of comprehension and liberty than was
either Chillingworth or Hales.

[Sidenote: 1643.]

Dr. Ralph Cudworth and Dr. Henry More, though they did not propound
any theory of toleration, advocated principles and breathed a spirit
in their teaching such as could not fail to promote the interests of
religious liberty. There is a beautiful sermon by the former of these
Divines preached before the House of Commons, in 1647, in which the
following characteristic passage occurs:--"The golden beams of truth
and the silken cords of love, twisted together, will draw men on with
a sweet violence, whether they will or no. Let us take heed we do not
sometimes call that zeal for God and His Gospel, which is nothing else
but our own temptations and stormy passions. True zeal is a sweet,
heavenly, and gentle flame, which makes us active for God, but always
within the sphere of love. It never calls for fire from heaven to
consume those that differ a little from us in their apprehensions. It
is like that kind of lightning (which the philosophers speak of) which
melts the sword within, but singeth not the scabbard. It strives to
save the soul, but hurteth not the body."[425]

More, who went beyond Cudworth in decided attachment to Episcopacy;
sharing in the spirit of his great contemporary, strongly condemned
rancour and persecution. "He thought," observes his biographer, "that
all persons making conscience of their ways, and that were themselves
peaceable and for granting a liberty unto others, ought not to be
severely used or persecuted, but borne with as befits weak members till
God shall give them greater light."[426]

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

The groundwork of toleration selected by the Independents differed
from that of the Episcopalians. The Independents had ideas of
Christian faith, Christian worship, and Christian discipline far more
definite and fixed than those of Chillingworth or Hales, or even
Taylor; and could not join in any acts or associations inconsistent
with their deeply-formed and devout opinions. Arianism, for example,
might be deemed simply an intellectual error by men like Hales; but
no Athanasian could be stronger in his maintenance of the doctrine
of the Trinity, and the importance attached to it, than were these
dissenting brethren. They were as remote as possible from anything like
latitudinarian theology. Christian dogmas, so called, were held by them
with an intense tenacity. Toleration is sometimes reckoned a daughter
of indifference, but most certainly in their case toleration can be
ascribed to no such parentage. Moreover, the very general kind of
devotion in the house of God which would have satisfied Chillingworth,
would have starved the spiritual cravings of Jeremiah Burroughs and his

[Sidenote: 1643.]

Nor did the brethren wish for only one church, as did those eminent
Episcopalians. They could not, for it was their primary principle
that "churches" or "congregations"--with them identical terms--ought
to be many. In the existence of one holy Catholic Church, embracing
all true Christians, they firmly believed; but they held in perfect
consistency with this, that there must be numerous and distinct
organized communities, not only in the world, but in the same realm,
to be united only by common Christian sympathies. On this point they
would be at issue with Jeremy Taylor, as well as with Chillingworth and
Hales. They would object to his notion of national churches, as well as
to his standard of Christian faith. Their ideas of communion were much
more strict, though the extent of their toleration in some respects was
more comprehensive. With Taylor's Catholic predilections they would
have no sympathy, nor could they agree with him in all he said about
Anabaptists. When they came to the same conclusion with the eloquent
Churchman, it was by a different course of reasoning.

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

The fundamental principles of Independency, consistently carried out,
could not but lead to the advocacy of a perfect freedom of profession
and worship. If churches be select communities composed of Christian
believers, standing apart from political powers, and independent of
each other in their organization, then it clearly follows that no
ecclesiastical authority can touch those who are outside the pale of
all particular churches that no temporal penalties can be inflicted
on those who are within any such pale and that full liberty of action
must be allowed to religionists of every class, and to those also who
have no religion at all. Accordingly, Mr. Hallam, an unprejudiced
enquirer into this subject, has declared that "the congregationalist
scheme leads to toleration, as the national church scheme is adverse to
it, for manifold reasons which the reader will discover."[427] A few
Independents at an early period discerned the legitimate consequences
of their principles. A Brownist petition prepared in the year 1640
prays, "that every man may have freedom of conscience," not excepting
Papists; and in a pamphlet published in 1644 it is asked, "whether if
security be taken for civil subjection, Papists might not be tolerated?
Otherwise," it is added, "if England's government were the government
of the whole world, not only they, but a world of idolaters of all
sorts, yea the whole world, must be driven out of the world."[428] But
the five brethren did not advocate the cause of liberty to that wide
extent; and afterwards, during the civil wars and the Protectorate,
many Independent Divines, including the leaders of the party, carefully
limited their conception of religious freedom.[429]

[Sidenote: 1643.]

But there was one Independent clergyman--John Goodwin--not a member of
the Westminster Assembly--who with pre-eminent perspicuity and force
expounded the doctrine of toleration. Justice has not been often done
to this very able man, owing, perhaps, to the prejudice against him
on account of his Arminianism, and to his bold defence of Charles's
execution. Calvinists and Royalists were likely to look at him with
jaundiced eyes; and it cannot be denied that when assailed, as he often
was, Goodwin could give a Roland for an Oliver; and that in a way such
as severely galled the victims of his criticism.[430] He remained until
1645 vicar of St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, and at the commencement
of the sittings of the Westminster Assembly, though suspected by
some of holding Calvinism very loosely, he had not yet entirely
abandoned that system. Open and earnest in his advocacy of Independent
principles, defending them both from the pulpit and from the press,
he also, whilst remaining vicar and discharging his parochial duties,
gathered in his parish an Independent church; not, however, preaching
separately to that community, but in his more private relationship as
an Independent pastor, praying and holding religious conversation with
them in his own house--whilst the doors were thrown open for any one to
attend the meetings who pleased.

Goodwin heartily approved of the "Narration," though he had no part in
the composition of that performance, and when it came under the attack
of Presbyterians, he broke a lance on its behalf with the assailants,
in a very chivalrous fashion. We do not remember any other statement of
the doctrine of toleration in the writings of the Independents of that
day so unequivocal as his, expressed in the following words:[431]

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

"The grand pillar of this coercive power in magistrates is this angry
argument: 'What, would you have all religions, sects, and schisms
tolerated in Christian churches? Should Jews, Turks, and Papists be
suffered in their religions, what confusion must this needs breed both
in church and state!' I answer: If, by a toleration, the argument means
either an approbation or such a connivance which takes no knowledge
of, or no ways opposeth such religions, sects, or schisms as are
unwarrantable, they are not to be tolerated; but orthodox and able
ministers ought in a grave, sober, and inoffensive manner, soundly
from the Scriptures to evince the folly, vanity, and falsehood of all
such ways. Others, also, that have an anointing of light and knowledge
from God, are bound to contribute occasionally the best of their
endeavours towards the same end. In case the minister be negligent,
or forgetful of his duty, the magistrate may and ought to admonish
him that he fulfil his ministry. If a person, one or more, being
members of a particular church, be infected with any heretical or
dangerous opinion, and after two or three admonitions, with means of
conviction used to regain him, shall continue obstinate, he ought to
be cast out from amongst them by that church. If it be a whole church
that is so corrupted, the neighbour churches, in case it hath any,
ought to admonish it, and to endeavour the reclaiming of it. If it be
refractory, after competent admonition and means used for the reducing
of it, they may and ought to renounce communion with it, and so set a
mark or brand of heresy upon the forehead of it.

If, by a toleration, the argument means a non-suppression of such
religions, sects, and schisms by fining, imprisoning, disfranchising,
banishment, death, or the like, my answer is--_That they ought to be
tolerated; only upon this supposition, that the professors of them be
otherwise peaceable in the state, and every way subject to the laws and
lawful power of the magistrate_."[432]

[Sidenote: 1643.]

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

There is a good deal of controversy as to who was first in the field
of toleration. The honour most likely belongs to Leonard Busher. He
will be noticed hereafter in connection with the early Baptists. But
the controversy is of little importance in relation to the general
interests of mankind, compared with the fact that John Locke, at a
later period, was the apostle to teach the doctrine effectively to the
English nation. He discovers who proves, and the merit of discovery
is due to him who first establishes a principle; but he, who adopting
what was established before, is more successful in his advocacy of
it than his predecessors were, will and ought to be regarded as a
superior benefactor of his race, though he may have attributed to him
more of the merit of originality than he deserves. Locke brought the
doctrine of toleration out of the domain of theology, and placed it on
the basis of political righteousness;[433] he established it by common
sense reasoning adapted to the English understanding; besides, he did
this in the exercise of a peculiar and independent genius; and, what
is a more important consideration, his contemporaries were prepared
for his instructions by preceding struggles and by possessing already
an instalment of legal toleration. Locke is to be distinguished from
Busher, Goodwin, and Owen, and from Chillingworth, Hales, and Taylor.
He comes more in a line with the first than with the second three
names; but he did what they had none of them the power to do--he made
the doctrine popular. A parallel may be drawn in this respect between
the history of the principle of government non-interference with a man
and his conscience, and the principle of government non-interference
with commercial interests and the natural laws of demand and supply.
Long after the discovery and illustration of the latter principle,
a great statesman made plain to the common understanding of his
fellow-countrymen what had been before apprehended by only a few
philosophers. John Locke occupies a position in the history of
toleration like that of Richard Cobden in the history of free trade.

After all, the Independents must be reckoned the chief and most
influential of the early apostles of toleration, and to their rise and
progress we shall direct attention in the following chapter.


                             CHAPTER XIV.

[Sidenote: _Early Congregational Churches._]

A Congregational Church existed in London so early as 1568. It
consisted of poor people, numbering about 200, "of more women than
men," who openly separated from the Establishment, and sometimes in
private houses, sometimes in fields, and occasionally even in ships,
held meetings, and administered the sacraments.[434] Some of these
early Independents were sent to Bridewell. In a declaration signed
by Richard Fitz, the pastor, occurs the following brief statement
of principles:--"First and foremost, the glorious Word and Evangel
preached, not in bondage and subjection, but freely and purely;
secondly, to have the sacraments ministered purely only, and altogether
according to the institution and good word of the Lord Jesus, without
any tradition or invention of man; and, last of all, to have, not the
filthy canon law, but discipline only, and altogether agreeable to the
same heavenly and almighty word of our good Lord Jesus Christ."[435]
In these quaint words of Richard Fitz, and his obscure brethren, lie
folded up the great truth that the Christian religion is simply a moral
power, based on a Divine foundation, not asking, because not needing,
support from political governments, or aid from physical force. These
humble men really believed that Jesus Christ established His empire
upon the consent and not the fears of man, "and trusted Himself
defenceless among mankind."[436] Not caring for earthly sanctions, they
threw themselves on the world with only Heaven for their protector.
Through Christian faith they did what at the time they could not
comprehend, being utterly unconscious of the importance of the act
which they performed.

This Church in London existed before the well-known Robert Browne
appeared as the advocate of advanced Nonconformist views. In 1571 he
was cited on that account before the commissioners at Lambeth; and
ten years later the Bishop of Norwich, in a letter to Lord Burleigh,
referred to him as a person "to be feared, lest if he were at liberty
he would seduce the vulgar sort of the people, who greatly depend on

[Sidenote: 1581.]

Burleigh said in reply:--[437]

"I understand that one Browne, a preacher, is by your lordship and
others of the Ecclesiastical Commission committed to the custody of
the Sheriff of Norfolk, where he remains a prisoner, for some matters
of offence uttered by him by way of preaching; wherein I perceive,
by sight of some letters, written by certain godly preachers in your
lordship's diocese, he hath been dealt with, and by them dissuaded from
that course he hath taken. Forasmuch as he is my kinsman, if he be son
to him whom I take him to be, and that his error seemeth to proceed
of zeal, rather than of malice, I do therefore wish he were charitably
conferred with and reformed; which course I pray your lordship may
be taken with him, either by your lordship, or such as your lordship
shall assign for that purpose. And in case there shall not follow
thereof such success as may be to your liking, that then you would be
content to permit him to repair hither to London, to be further dealt
with, as I shall take order for, upon his coming; for which purpose
I have written a letter to the sheriff, if your lordship shall like

[Sidenote: _Congregationalism--Robert Browne._]

Sir Robert Jermyn, in a letter to Burleigh (1581), alludes to Browne
as a man who "had many things that were godly and reasonable, and, as
he thought, to be wished and prayed for, but with the same there were
other things strange and unheard." He further begged the Lord Treasurer
to advise Browne to be more careful in his conduct, and to threaten him
with sharp censure as an example to others, since he was but a mere
youth in age and experience. The Bishop of Norwich, also, writing to
the Lord Treasurer about this troublesome clergyman, observed "that
Mr. Browne's late coming into his diocese, and teaching strange and
dangerous doctrine in all disordered manner, had greatly troubled the
whole country, and brought many to great disobedience of all law and
magistrates--that yet, by the good aid and help of the Lord Chief
Justice, and Master Justice Anderson, his associate, the chiefest of
such factions were so bridled, and the rest of their followers so
greatly dismayed, as he verily hoped of much good and quietness to have
thereof ensued, had not the said Browne returned again contrary to his
expectation, and greatly prejudiced those their good proceedings,
and having private meetings in such close and secret manner that he
knew not possibly how to suppress the same."[439] Browne, at length,
through the influence of his illustrious relative, succumbed to the
ecclesiastical authority which before he had daringly resisted,
and became master of St. Olave's Grammar-school, in Southwark. His
subsequent career covered him with disgrace. He had a wife with whom
for many years he never lived, a church in which he never preached,
and the circumstances of his death, like the scenes of his life, were
stormy and turbulent.[440] Whatever sympathy with some of Browne's
principles might be felt by the Independents of the next age, they
repudiated any connection with Browne's name, and held his character
and history in the utmost abhorrence.

[Sidenote: 1583.]

Browne's influence told considerably in the Eastern Counties, where
a strong leaven of ultra-Protestantism has existed ever since the
Lollard days. Even Kett's rebellion, often treated as a Roman Catholic
outbreak, looks more like a peasants' war in aid of the Reformation
than anything else. Bury St. Edmunds, where Brownism flourished,
witnessed the death of Copping and Thacker, two Congregational
martyrs, hanged in 1583. In Essex, a movement which looked like
Congregationalism won some measure of sympathy from the upper classes,
and even the wife of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great
Seal, attended meetings held in Rochford Hall by Mr. Wright, who had
been ordained in the Netherlands. Writing to Lord Burleigh, that lady
observed, "I hear, them in their public exercises, as a chief duty
commanded by God to be done, and also I confess, as one that hath
found mercy, that I have profited more in the inward feeling knowledge
of God his holy will, though but in a small measure, by such sincere
and sound opening of the Scriptures by an ordinary preaching within
these seven or eight year, than I did by hearing odd sermons at Paul's
well nigh twenty year together."[441]

It is a curious circumstance to find Lord Bacon's mother connected
with a minister who maintained, as Wright did, that every pastor was a
bishop, and that he should be chosen by his own congregation, opinions
which constitute the essence of modern Congregationalism. From these
opinions the ecclesiastical authorities sought to convert him by
imprisonment; and with that forcible argument another was associated,
which is so original that we cannot resist the temptation of quoting
it. Mr. Barwick, a conforming clergyman, commended to Wright the Church
of England as a church most admirable on account of its being free from
the two opposite extremes of Popery and Puritanism. "God delights in
mediocrity," says this logician, and the logic is worth being noted for
its curiosity: "Man was put in the _midst_ of Paradise; a rib was taken
out of the _midst_ of man; the Israelites went through the _midst_
of the Red Sea, and of Jordan; Samson put firebrands in the _midst_,
between the foxes' tails; David's men had their garments cut off by
the _midst_; Christ was hanged in the _midst_ between two thieves."

[Sidenote: _Congregationalism--Henry Browne._]

Perhaps Henry Barrowe,--a lawyer of Gray's Inn, and in his young days
a courtier,--of all men in the reign of Elizabeth, propounded the
clearest views of Congregationalism. He strongly objected to forms
of prayer, especially the Common Prayer Book; to the sacraments, as
administered in the Church of England; to the ecclesiastical laws and
canons; to the idea that the establishment was a true church; to the
extent of the Queen's ecclesiastical supremacy, and to the abolition
of the judicial law of Moses. He denied that it was lawful for any
private person to intermeddle with the prince's office, and to reform
the State without his good liking and licence; but he virtually
admitted the right of private Christians to share in the regulation of
ecclesiastical matters: for he expressly contended that the government
of Christ's Church belongeth not to the profane or unbelieving, neither
could it, he said, without manifest sacrilege, be set over parishes
as they then stood in confusion, no difference being made between the
faithful and unbelieving, all being indifferently received into the
body of the Church; but over every particular congregation of Christ
he concluded that there ought to be an eldership, and that every such
congregation ought to aim at its establishment.[442]

[Sidenote: 1593.]

In 1592 a Church was formed in Nicholas Lane. Spies were on the look
out, and a wary doorkeeper admitted the little congregation as they
stealthily dropped in one by one. Mr. Francis Johnson and Mr. Greenwood
were of the number. The first of these rose and prayed for half an
hour, and, opening his Genevan Bible, discoursed to the assembly
on the constitution of primitive brotherhood. The brethren formed
themselves into such a communion, and gave to each other the right hand
of fellowship. Mr. Johnson was chosen pastor, after which he baptized
seven persons. "But they had neither godfathers nor godmothers; and
he took water and washed the faces of them that were baptized." He
afterwards broke the bread, consisting of five white loaves, which,
with a cup of wine, were distributed amongst the members by Mr. Bowman
and Mr. Lee, who had been elected deacons: after which a collection was
made for the poor.[443]

Not only in Nicholas Lane, but in Aldgate and Smithfield, were
gatherings of this description, and especially in Islington, where
meetings of persecuted Protestants had been held in Mary's reign. As
the dew sparkled on the grass, as the birds twittered on the hedges,
and as the sun bathed the landscape in golden light--the memories of
the congregation in the Islington woods would go back to Roger Holland
and his brother confessors, who on that very greensward, and under the
shadow of those old trees, had studied their Bibles, and then been
burned for doing so.

[Sidenote: _Barrowe and Browne._]

Barrowe and Greenwood were indicted at the Old Bailey, in 1593, for
publishing seditious books, but from the examination preserved in the
Egerton papers,[444] it appears that the specific accusations against
them related simply to religious opinions.

By a refinement of cruelty these poor men were conveyed to
Tyburn in the death-cart--to receive a delusive respite under the
gallows-tree--to be brought back again to Newgate--and when they
had thought that the bitterness of death was past, to be a second
time dragged to the place of execution, to return no more. This
extraordinary proceeding, which at first looks like a piece of
intentional barbarity, receives its explanation from a contemporary
letter in the State Paper Office.

[Sidenote: 1609.]

"The Parliament is to end this week. * * * There was a bill preferred
against the Barrowists and Brownists, making it felony to maintain
any opinions against the ecclesiastical government, [which by the
bishops' means did pass the Upper House, but found so captious by the
Nether House, as it was thought it would never have passed in any
sort, for that it was thought all the Puritans would have been drawn
within the compass thereof. Yet by the earnest labouring of those that
sought to satisfy the bishops' humours,] it is passed to this effect:
That whosoever shall be an obstinate recusant, refusing to come to
any church, and do deny the Queen to have any power or authority in
ecclesiastical causes, and do, by writing or otherwise, publish the
same, and be a keeper of conventicles also, being convicted, he shall
abjure the realm within three months, and lose all his goods and
lands; if he return without leave it shall be felony. Thus have they
minced it, as is thought, so as it will not reach to any man that
shall deserve favour in a concurrence of so many faults and actions.
The week before, upon the late conventicle you wrote of last, Barrowe
and Goodman,[445] with some others, were indicted, arraigned, and
condemned upon the statute of writing and publishing seditious books,
and should have been executed, but as they were ready to be trussed
up were reprieved, but the day after, the Court House had shewn
their dislike of this bill, were early in the morning hanged. It is
said 'their reprieval proceeded of [a supplication made to the Lord
Treasurer, complaining that in a land where no Papist was touched for
religion by death, their blood (concurring in opinion touching faith
with that which was professed in the realm) should be first shed.
Desiring, therefore, conference to be removed from their errors by
reason, or else for satisfaction of the world, touching their opinions,
which was communicated by him to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who,
notwithstanding, was very peremptory, so as the Lord Treasurer gave
him and the Bishop of Worcester some round taxing words, and used some
speech to the Queen, but was not seconded by any, which hath made him
more remiss, as is thought. It is plainly said that their execution,
proceeding of malice of the bishops, to spite the Nether House, which
hath procured them much hatred among the common people affected that
way."][446] * * * *

John Penry, another Congregational martyr--who uttered the following
memorable words:--"If my blood were an ocean sea, and every drop
thereof were a life unto me, I would give them all, by the help of the
Lord, for the maintenance of my confession"--perished on the gallows
for the advocacy of his opinions, as if he had been the worst of
criminals, at a place in Southwark called St. Thomas-a-Watering. Roger
Rippon, of the same religious profession as Penry, died in prison;
and his friends, moved by intense sympathy with the sufferer, and
by indignation against his unmerited fate, paraded before the house
of Justice Young (the magistrate who had committed him) the coffin
containing the sufferer's remains, on the lid of which appeared
the following inscription:--"This is the corpse of Roger Rippon, a
servant of Christ, and her Majesty's faithful subject; who is the
last of sixteen or seventeen, which that great enemy of God, the
Archbishop of Canterbury, with his High Commissioners, have murdered
in Newgate within these four years, manifestly for the testimony of
Jesus Christ. His soul is now with the Lord, and his blood crieth for
speedy vengeance against that great enemy of the saints, and against
Mr. Richard Young, who in this and many the like points hath abused
his power, for the upholding of the Romish Antichrist, prelacy, and

[Sidenote: _Congregationalism--Jacob._]

[Sidenote: 1632, May.]

Henry Jacob is a commanding figure in Congregational annals.[448]
Originally a clergyman in the county of Kent, he had written in
defence of the Church of England, but afterwards, perhaps influenced
by an answer to his book from the pen of Francis Johnson, a zealous
separatist, he warmly espoused the cause of Nonconformity.[449] To him
has been attributed a tract, published in 1609, entitled: "An Humble
Supplication for Toleration and Liberty to enjoy and observe the
Ordinances of Jesus Christ in the Administration of His Churches in
lieu of Human Constitutions." In this publication it is maintained,
that "our Lord Jesus hath given to each particular church or ordinary
congregation this right and privilege, namely, to elect, ordain, and
deprive her own ministers; and to exercise all the other parts of
lawful ecclesiastical jurisdiction under Him." Toleration is sought
in order that "each particular church may put in execution this her
particular privilege;" but, the writer adds: "We do humbly beseech
your Majesty not to think, that by our suit, we make an overture and
way for toleration unto Papists, our suit being of a different nature
from theirs. The inducements thereof, such as cannot conclude aught in
favour of them, whose doctrine is heresy, and a profession directly
contrary to the lawful state and government of free countries and
kingdoms, as your Majesty hath truly and judiciously observed."[450]

In other tracts which bear Henry Jacob's name,[451] he explained his
views of Independency, and in accordance with them he founded a church
in the year 1616. The ceremony connected with the institution is
described as consisting of fasting and prayer, and the joining together
of the hands of the members as they solemnly covenanted to walk
together in all God's ways and ordinances, according as He had already
revealed them, or should further make them known. Jacob was succeeded
in the pastorship of the Congregational Church by John Lathrop,[452]
who suffered from the tyranny of the High Commission Court. With
reference to the proceedings carried on against him and certain members
of his flock, some fresh information may be gathered from one of the
Rawlinson MSS. As it illustrates both the extent to which private
meetings of the Separatists were carried, and the interruption which
they experienced, we will here introduce a few passages from that
curious document.

[Sidenote: _Persecution of Congregationalists._]

On the 2nd of May, 1632, certain conventiclers, as they are called,
were taken at the house of Barnett, a brewer's clerk, residing at
Blackfriars.[453] At first John Lathrop, who is described as their
minister, did not appear, "but kept himself out of the way awhile;
therefore the man of the house wherein they were taken, was first
called." He was asked when he last attended the parish church? He
replied that he was present in the parish church at the time when,
according to the allegation, the meeting was held at his house, but
that his wife did not then attend worship with him. The accused persons
were all required to take the _ex officio_ oath, but they excused
themselves from doing so at least for the present, and requested time
for further consideration of that subject. Archbishop Abbot addressed
them as follows:--

[Sidenote: 1632, May.]

"You shew yourselves most unthankful to God, to the King, and to the
Church of England, that when (God be praised) through his Majesty's
care and ours you have preaching in every church, and men have
liberty to join in prayer and participate of the sacraments, and have
catechisings, and all to enlighten you, and which may serve you in
the way of salvation, you in an unthankful manner cast off all this
yoke, and in private unlawfully assemble yourselves together, making
rents and divisions in the Church. If anything be amiss, let it be
known; if anything be not agreeable to the Word of God, we shall be
as ready to redress it as you; but whereas it is nothing but your own
imaginations, and you are unlearned men that seek to make up a religion
of your own heads, I doubt no persuasion will serve the turn, we must
take this course; you are called here, let them stand upon their bonds,
and let us see what they will answer; it may be they will answer what
may please us." Laud, then Bishop of London, proceeded to observe, in
a very characteristic manner--"It is time to take notice of these; nay
this is not the fourth part of them about this City. You see these came
of set purpose; they met not by chance; they are desperately heretical;
they are all of different places, out of Essex, St. Austin's, St.
Martin's le Grand, Buttolph's, Aldgate, Thisleworth, (Isleworth) St.
Saviour's; let these be imprisoned. Let me make a motion. There be
four of the ablest men of them; let these four answer and be proceeded
against, and the while if the rest come in, they shall be received,
but if they will not, I know no reason why four or five men should not
answer for all."

When Lathrop was present before the Commissioners, the Bishop, after
having asked some very insulting questions, demanded, "Where are your
orders?" to which Lathrop replied--"I am a minister of the Gospel of
Christ, and the Lord hath qualified me." "Will you lay your hand on
the book, and take your oath?" enquired the Court; to which question
the minister returned a distinct negative. The following curious
conversation between the Commissioners and certain accused parties is
worth being transcribed. Eaton, together with "two women and a maid,"
appeared, and were asked by the Court why they were assembled in a
conventicle, when others were at church?

[Sidenote: _Persecution of Congregationalists._]

_Eaton._ "We were not assembled in contempt of the magistrate."

_London._ "No! it was in contempt of the Church of England."

_Eaton._ "It was in conscience to God (may it please this Honourable
Court); and we were kept from church, for we were confined in the house
together by those that beset the house, else divers would have gone to
church, and many came in after the sermons were done."

_London._ "These were first discovered at Lambeth, and then at other
places, and now taken here; they have in their meetings books printed
against the Church of England."

_Archbishop of Canterbury._ "Where were you in the mornings before you
came hither to this house?"

[_Eaton._] "We were in our own families."

_Canterbury._ "What did you?"

_Eaton._ "We read the Scriptures, and catechised our families; and may
it please this honourable Court to hear us speak the truth, we will
shew you what was done, and (free us of the contempt of authority) we
did nothing but what you will allow us to do."

_London._ "Who can free you? These are dangerous men; they are a
scattered company sown in all the City, and about St. Michael of the
Querne, St. Austin's, Old Jury, Redriffe, and other remoter places.
Hold them the book."

_Eaton._ "I dare not swear, nor take this oath, though I will not
refuse it; I will consider of it."

_Sir Henry Marten._[454] "Hear, hear! You shall swear but to answer
what you know, and as far as you are bound by law. You shall have time
to consider of it, and have it read over and over till you can say it
without book if you will; when you have first taken your oath that you
will make a true answer."

[Sidenote: 1632, May.]

_Eaton._ "I dare not; I know not what I shall swear to."

_King's Advocate._[455] "It is to give a true answer to articles put
into the Court against you, or that shall be put in touching this
conventicle of yours, and divers your heretical tenets, and what words
and exercises you used, and things of this nature."

_Eaton._ "I dare not."

_Archbishop of Canterbury._ "What say you, woman?"

_Sara Jones._ "I dare not worship God in vain."

_Bishop of London._ "Will you not swear and take an oath when you are
called to it by the magistrate?"

_S. Jones._ "Yes! I will answer upon my oath to end a controversy
before a lawful magistrate."

_Earl of Dorset._ "What dost thou think, woman, of these grave Fathers
of the Church, that these here be not lawful magistrates?"

[_S. Jones._] "I would do anything that is according to God's word."

[_Richard Neile_] _Archbishop of York._ "Would you? then you must take
your oath now you are required by your governors; you must swear in
truth, in judgment, in righteousness."

[Sidenote: _Persecution of Congregationalists._]

_S. Jones._ "Yes, and they that walk in righteousness shall have peace;
but I dare not forswear myself."

_Canterbury._ "Come, what say you?"

_Pennina Howes_ (a maid). "I dare not swear this oath till I am better
informed of it, for which I desire time."

_Sir Henry Marten._ "Must you not be ready to give an account of your

_P. Howes._ "Yes! I will give an answer of my faith if I be demanded,
but not willingly forswear myself."

_King's Advocate._ "What, will you take your oath, good woman?"

_Sara Barbone._ "I dare not swear; I do not understand it; I will tell
the truth without swearing."

_Archbishop of Canterbury._ "Take them away."

So they were all committed to the New Prison. And it was appointed that
at the next Court, being a fortnight after this, because of Ascension
Day, they should be brought again to the Consistory at St. Paul's,
because of trouble and danger in bringing so many prisoners as these
were over the water to Lambeth.

These people were immediately committed to the New Prison; and on the
8th of the same month (May) they were brought up again before the
same tribunal, when again they declined to take the obnoxious oath.
On the 7th of June, it was reported to the Court that some of the
conventiclers had escaped; and on the 17th more persons were arraigned,
who had been seized at a meeting held in a wood near Newington, in
Surrey. These also refused to be sworn, after which the Bishop of
London and the Archbishop of Canterbury repeated their expostulations.
The High Commission, on the 21st, had brought before it Ralf Grafton,
an upholsterer, dwelling in Cornhill, and reported to be a rich man,
charged with being a principal ringleader of "those conventiclers that
met at Blackfriars." Upon his declaring, "I dare not take the oath,
and I am no ringleader of any to evil," the Archbishop said: "You met
without law; you had no authority; _pœna ad paucos_, _metus ad
omnes_; wherefore, the Court, for his contempt in refusing to take the
oath, set a fine of two hundred pounds upon him, and committed him to
prison." Grafton replied: "I have bail here ready, if you please to
take it; I do tender it to you." Upon this the Bishops exclaimed: "No;
away with him to prison; if he come not in by the day of mitigation,
let the fine stand!"[456]

[Sidenote: 1630.]

In connection with these notices of persecution endured by frequenters
of conventicles, we may present the following picture of their method
of worship, as depicted by one of their enemies in that style of minute
and graphic detail which so characteristically marks the narrative
of events given by common people in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries:--"To shew the manner of their assembling, or dissembling,
in that house where they intend to meet, there is one appointed to
keep the door, for the intent to give notice if there should be any
insurrection, warning may be given to them. They do not flock together,
but come two or three in a company. Any man may be admitted thither,
and all being gathered together, the man appointed to teach stands in
the midst of the room, and his audience gather about him. He prayeth
about the space of half an hour; and part of his prayer is, that those
which came thither to scoff and laugh, God would be pleased to turn
their hearts, by which means they think to escape undiscovered. His
sermon is about the space of an hour, and then doth another stand
up, to make the text more plain; and at the latter end he entreats
them all to go home severally, lest the next meeting they should be
interrupted by those which are of the opinion of the wicked. They seem
very steadfast in their opinions, and say, rather than they will turn,
they will burn."[457]

[Sidenote: _Independents and Brownists._]

Though certain Independents of the seventeenth century disavowed all
connection with the Brownists, that name was often applied to them;
and in some instances it is difficult to decide whether by the title
we are to understand persons whose origin might be traced to the
teaching of Cecil's relative, or persons who had been made converts by
more recent apostles of Independency.[458] Allusions are discovered
in the Corporation Records of Yarmouth for the years 1629 and 1630 to
Brownists then living in that town. The Earl of Dorset, writing in the
latter of these years to the bailiffs, aldermen, and commonalty, after
a reference to the party spirit prevalent in the borough, observes:
"I should want in my good care of you if I should not let you know
that his Majesty is not only informed, but incensed against you for
conniving at and tolerating a company of _Brownists_ amongst you. I
pray you remember there was no seam in our Saviour's garment. _Root out
that pestiferous sect forth from your town; they are as dangerous to
the soul as the plague is to the body._ But I know not whether in this
you be traduced, as well as (I am sure) you have been in other things.
They are arrows shot forth from the same quiver, and drawn by the same
hands; and perhaps the mark aimed at through that false perspective
is but to place in his Majesty an ill opinion of you. If you be
innocent, let me know, and I shall endeavour to clear you. Howsoever,
I pray, give testimony of your obedience and good zeal to religion in
_chasing those companions from your society. God cannot prosper you
while they live amongst you, and you willingly protect and harbour
them_; and I am sure it will alienate his Majesty's respect from you
and enforce him to take some course against you, when you shall so
neglect your duties in that kind."[459]

[Sidenote: 1630.]

[Sidenote: _Independents and Brownists._]

The Corporation gave heed to the Earl's exhortation, and in reply,
dated the 13th of September, 1630, manifested abundant zeal in rooting
out schism.

"Concerning those _separatists_ by your lordship mentioned, we must
acknowledge that there be amongst us still some persons of that sect,
to the number of thirty, and not above; the most of them women; not
any one of them ever yet bearing the meanest office amongst us, and,
one only excepted, not any one of ability to be a subsidy man. What
courses we have taken from time to time for the suppressing of them,
the Lord's Grace of York, whilst he was our diocesan, could bear us
record, to whom (as we have since done to our present diocesan, as
also to the Lord Bishop of London) we tendered an impartial list of
all their names, without favour or affection, craving his lordship's
aid for their reformation. The ecclesiastical courts have from time
to time received presentments of them. The judges of assize have
been solicited by us. What authority soever the law has put into our
hands, we have not spared to execute to the uttermost, by indicting
them constantly at our public sessions, by fining them according to
statute, by imprisoning the ringleaders amongst them, and by _forcing
some of them to avoid, not only the place, but the kingdom_. If, beyond
this, we could be directed by and to any course whereby we might free
ourselves of them, we should not only willingly, but thankfully embrace
it. In the meantime, vouchsafe the acceptance of this our humble
protestation, that, as for ourselves, being the representatives of the
town, we are, all and every one of us, free from faction and schism,
either in religion or discipline, and every ways conformable to the
doctrine and government of this Church, whereof we profess ourselves to
be members."[460]

[Sidenote: 1630.]

[Sidenote: _Independents and Brownists._]

In connection with this reference to the Brownists and the poor
Separatists of Yarmouth, (for amongst them, it is said, there was not
"one subsidy man,") it may be observed that two classes of Independents
are distinctly visible at that period. As some Independents, mostly
the obscure, went further than others in their doctrine of toleration;
so some Independents, principally of the same class, went further than
others in the doctrine of voluntaryism. Any broad and philosophical
exposition of that now much discussed principle we have not been able
to discover in the writings of that day; others, better acquainted
with the immense pamphlet literature of the times, may prove more
successful. But, at an earlier period, in a Confession of Faith
published in 1616, there occurs the following simple and explicit
statement on the subject:--"We believe that tithes for the pastor's
maintenance under the Gospel are not the just and due means thereof.
Howbeit, yet we do not think these tithes absolutely unlawful, if
they remain voluntary; but when they are made necessary we think
them not to be so lawful. The same do we judge also of whatsoever
other set maintenance for ministers of the Gospel is established
by temporal laws. We grant, that for the minister's security, such
established maintenance is best; but for preserving due freedom in the
congregation, sincerity in religion, and sanctity in the whole flock,
the congregation's voluntary and conscionable contribution for their
pastor's sustenance and maintenance is, doubtless, the safest and
most approved--nay, it seemeth the only way; wherewith the Apostles
caused their times to be content, neither did they care for other order
therein; which certainly they would and should have done if other order
had been better. Only they are careful (and that very religiously)
to command all churches of conscience and duty to God to give (not
sparingly, but liberally, and not as alms, but as duty), for upholding,
advancing, and countenancing of the holy worship and service of God,
which is either much strengthened or weakened, much honoured or abased
among men, according as is the pastor's maintenance."[461] And in
other tracts, largely quoted by Mr. Hanbury, in his "Memorials," there
are passages expressing ideas on the subject of ministerial support
in advance of those which were entertained by more distinguished
Independents. The latter countenanced and advocated the acceptance of
tithes; but in a Puritan tract, written before, though not published
until 1644, notice is taken of a very sharp attack on the tithe system
by the sect commonly called Brownists or Separatists. It is objected,
say the Presbyterian authors, "that we are not maintained according to
the direction Christ hath given in His Testament; but our maintenance
is Jewish and anti-Christian." "Our ministers receive maintenance
from all sorts of men in their parish without difference." This they
call "an execrable sacrilege, and covetous-making merchandize of
the holy things of God; a letting out of ourselves to hire, to the
profane for filthy lucre." Tithes, in particular, are denounced by
these Nonconformists, but the principle of their objection goes to a
much deeper point than to touch or remove these particular imposts;
it also cuts at the root of all kinds of ministerial support, except
that which is exclusively voluntary.[462] In another publication,
written by Burton against his late fellow-sufferer William Prynne,
there is a decided assault both on tithes and on parishes; the former
being pronounced unapostolic, and the latter a human and political
institution. But, whilst maintaining that Christ will provide for His
faithful and painful ministers, this champion of voluntary churches
puts in a caveat in favour of the state appointing some kind of
"maintenance for the preaching of the word, as is done in New England
to those who are not members of Churches."[463] At a later period,
Independents objected to tithes, yet they accepted support from the
Government in another form.

[Sidenote: 1642.]

Upon the opening of the Long Parliament, Congregationalism took deep
root, and afterwards spread its branches over East Anglia. As the Dutch
church in the city of Norwich, the Dutch aspect of Yarmouth Quay, and
the settlement of a colony of Flemings in the village of Worstead, shew
that there was an early intercommunication between the inhabitants of
the Low Countries and the county of Norfolk; so also the connection
between the English Independents in Holland and the Nonconformists
of the eastern counties indicate that there was intercourse between
the people of the opposite shores at a later period, in relation to
Puritanism and Independency. Links of union appear in the persons of
the Congregational pastors, Robinson and Bridge, who each resided one
part of his life in Norfolk and another in Holland.

The oldest Congregational Church in the county of Norfolk was formed in
Yarmouth, and consisted of persons who had just returned from Holland,
where they had been in exile for conscience' sake.

"Inchurching," as it is quaintly termed, created much solicitude, and
the Yarmouth people wrote to Rotterdam for sanction and advice before
taking any decided step. In 1642, a formal document of dismissal was
sent; after which it became an enquiry, whether the Church should
choose Yarmouth or Norwich as the place of assembly. Unable to settle
this question, they deferred it for a time, and simply resolved upon
"inchurching, judging ten or twelve to be a competent number." Soon
afterwards, an answer came "that Yarmouth was safer for the present,"
and a Church covenant having been adopted and ratified at Norwich, the
people unitedly chose Mr. Bridge as their pastor. The Independents of
Norwich held religious worship by themselves in some private house,
and joined with the townspeople of Yarmouth only in the celebration
of the Lord's supper. But at length, becoming tired of their journeys
in passing to and fro, the former constituted themselves a distinct

[Sidenote: _Presbyterians and Independents._]

The Presbyterians at Yarmouth betrayed some jealousy of their
Independent neighbours; for Sir Edward Owner, an alderman and justice
of the peace, who represented the town in the Long Parliament,
waited, in company with the Presbyterian Incumbent of the parish of
St. Nicholas, upon Mr. Bridge, to express displeasure at his having
gathered a Church in what was called the "Congregational way." After
this occurrence, the Church resolved "that for a time they would
forbear to receive any into their fellowship, until they gave notice to
the town that they could forbear no longer."

Mr. Bridge, when elected to the pastorate of this new community, held
the office of town preacher in Yarmouth, and was also a member of
the Assembly of Divines. He had preached before the House of Commons
in February, 1643; and it was in the May of the same year, whilst at
home, during a temporary suspension of his Westminster duties, that his
brethren called him to be their Bishop. Notwithstanding his position at
Westminster and his Congregational office at Yarmouth, the Corporation
retained him in his municipal chaplaincy and allowed him fifty
pounds a year during his absence. The continuance of this connection
no doubt led to the interference of the bailiffs with his pastoral
relations, and explains the effect produced by the interview; but
the Church, notwithstanding this circumstance, speedily asserted its
independence, and by doing so did not at all affect the public position
of their pastor, or diminish the influence which he exercised over his


                              CHAPTER XV.

[Sidenote: _The Royalist Army._]

Charles went to Oxford after the battle of Edge Hill, and there,
during the civil wars, set up his head quarters. Occasionally he was
absent with the army, but that central city, which was so convenient
for the purpose in many respects, he made his fortress and his home.
It underwent great alterations. Fortifications were contrived by
Richard Rallingson, who also drew "a mathematical scheme or plot of
the garrison;" and in an old print, by Anthony Wood, may be traced
the zig-zag lines of defence, which were drawn on every side about
the city.[465] Gownsmen transformed themselves into cavaliers, and
exchanged college caps for steel bonnets. Streets echoed with the tramp
of war horses and the clatter of iron-heeled hoots. Wagons, guarded
by pikemen, and laden with ammunition and stores, rolled through the
picturesque gateways; and valiant and loyal subjects rallied around
their Sovereign in the hour of his need, ready to shed their last
drop of blood beneath his standard. The colleges melted down their
plate to supply military chests; and Magdalen especially stood true to
the King's cause. Rupert took up his residence there, and the sound of
his trumpets calling to horse disturbed the silence of the beautiful
cloisters. Whilst most of the Fellows, being Divines, could only help
with their prayers and their purses, one of them, who was a doctor of
civil law, raised a troop of under-graduates, and fell fighting in his
Majesty's service.[466] Amidst the excitement which followed the King's
turns of fortune, he gathered together the relics of his court, and
established in Christ Church Hall a mock parliament, which was intended
to rival the real one at Westminster. Charles had grasped at absolute
power, now nothing remained but the shadow of dominion. At Oxford he
but played at kingship.

[Sidenote: _The Royalist Army._]

[Sidenote: 1643.]

In the Royal army, of which, perhaps, the worst portion might be
found at Oxford, the principal officers were men of high spirit and
courage, with a strong dash in them of old English chivalry; but, with
some of the virtues of mediæval knighthood, they possessed a more
than ordinary share of its vices. In retired parts of the country,
especially in Cornwall, yeomen and peasants, of pure life and artless
manners, followed Royalist commanders with a sort of feudal devotion;
but it must be admitted, with regard to most of the regiments who
fought for the King, that the men in the ranks were worse than those in
command--for, wanting that tone of manners which marks the well-bred
gentleman, they had nothing to check the ebullitions of coarse impiety
and brutal ruffianism. We are not concerned to vindicate the soldiers
on the other side. No doubt they were chargeable with excesses, some
of which have been indicated in these pages. Irreligious people mixed
with Puritans; tapsters and serving men appeared among patriots;
but, whatever the drawbacks on the reputation of the Parliamentary
forces, there is but little doubt that the moral character of the men
on the other side was far worse. Indeed, this is virtually admitted
by Royalists themselves; for Clarendon paints dark pictures of the
debauchery of the Lords Goring and Wilmot; and Chillingworth, in a
sermon preached at Oxford in the autumn of 1643, while charging the
enemy with Pharisaism, hypocrisy, falsehood, want of justice, and
pretence of reformation, is also unsparing in his reproofs of Royalist
profanity, irreligion, and blasphemy.[467]

Fiery resentment burned in both camps, and was industriously fanned by
the newspapers of the day. Parliamentary journals had nothing but what
was good to say of their own party, and nothing but what was bad of
their adversaries. Led away by idle rumours, editors and correspondents
made mountains of molehills, and often stated as facts what only
existed in their own distempered brains; all this the scribblers for
the Oxford press paid back with interest.

[Sidenote: _The Royalist Army._]

Reports were industriously circulated throughout the country affecting
the religious character of the King and court, upon the tender point
of popish sympathies. An Irish minister, who had spent seven weeks at
the University in the summer of 1643, afterwards declared that Irish
Papists, who had committed atrocious barbarities in the rebellion,
were received at court with signal favour; that Franciscans and
Jesuits encouraged the soldiers to fight against the Roundheads, and
were themselves enrolled as cornets; that Roman Catholic worship
was performed in every street, and, _he believed_, that for every
single sermon in the city there were four masses.[468] How much of truth
there might be in these broad accusations, it is impossible for us to
determine; but the adage no doubt is applicable here, that where there
is much smoke there is some fire.[469]

[Sidenote: 1643.]

Charles met all such charges with recriminations. He felt shocked,
he said, at the impieties and profanations which were committed in
sacred places; at the countenance which was given to ignorant and
scandalous laymen who had usurped the ministry; at the suspension and
reviling of Common Prayer which had become so prevalent; at religion
being made the cause and ground of rebellion; and at the destruction
of discipline in the "most unblemished Church of Christendom."[470]
Nothing could appear right in his estimation which the Parliament did,
and even their ordinances for national fasts were met with counter
ordinances for fasts at another season. Prelatists and Puritans would
not, even for the sins of the nation, fast on the same day; for as at
Westminster one party commanded that the last Wednesday in the month
should be devoted to humiliation and prayer, at Oxford the other
party denounced that appointment, and substituted the second Friday.
The Royalists threatened to sequester the estates of such clergymen
as would not obey their command; and, amidst all this most unseemly
strife, we hear Thomas Fuller exclaiming, in his "Meditations on the
Times," "Alas! when two messengers, being sent together on the same
errand, fall out and fight by the way, will not the work be worse
done than if none were employed? In such a pair of fasts, it is to
be feared that the divisions of our affections rather would increase
than abate God's anger towards us. Two negatives make an affirmative.
Days of humiliation are appointed for men to deny themselves and their
sinful lusts. But do not our two fasts more peremptorily affirm and
avouch our mutual malice and hatred? God forgive us: we have cause
enough to keep _ten_, but not care enough to keep _one_ monthly day of

To rebut the charge of popery, the King publicly received the sacrament
at the hands of Archbishop Ussher, in Christ Church, at the same time
making a solemn protestation, that he had prepared his soul to be a
worthy receiver, that he derived comfort from the blessed sacrament,
and that he supported the true reformed Protestant religion, as it
stood in its beauty in the days of Elizabeth, without any connivance at
popery. He imprecated, in conclusion, Divine wrath upon himself, if his
heart did not join with his lips in this protestation.[472]

[Sidenote: _The King at Oxford._]

For his conduct on this occasion he is accused of hypocrisy, because
a few days afterwards he agreed to a truce with Ireland, and to the
toleration of Papists in that country. To grant such a truce and such
a toleration would not in the present day be deemed inconsistent with
the sincerest Protestantism; but the matter was otherwise regarded
at that time, and most advocates of religious liberty then denied
the privilege to Roman Catholics, because they knew that Catholics
would deny the privilege to them. Indeed, they reckoned such persons
no better than social incendiaries, and incorrigible rebels against
constitutional government; and, however unreasonable it may seem to
us, they considered that to allow any scope for popish worship was
to connive at the practices of popish treason. Charles himself was
by no means prepared to place the toleration of Roman Catholics on
its righteous grounds. He was willing, when it served his purpose, to
declare himself of one mind with those who condemned all religious
freedom; and he must have wished the declaration made by him, upon
receiving the Lord's supper from the hands of Ussher, to be understood
as meaning that he would not tolerate popery at all. Therefore,
to proclaim toleration to Irish Catholics immediately after this
declaration could not but lay him open to the charge of hypocrisy on
the part of his contemporaries. But at the same time we have no doubt
that his expression of attachment to the Protestant religion as it
stood in the days of Elizabeth, understanding by that expression a
religion both anti-papal and anti-puritanical, was perfectly sincere.
Prelacy was an essential principle in the reformed religion of Charles;
and with prelacy were associated in his mind forms of worship which
many of his subjects pronounced to be "flat popery." His notions of
reformation, perhaps, mainly hinged on a separation from Rome, with the
abolition of monachism and the removal of certain gross abuses which
had been prevalent in the mediæval church. He inherited, in fact, the
Protestantism of the Tudors: but at the same time he had none of the
magnanimity of Elizabeth, none of that religious patriotism which made
her the idol of her subjects, none of that indignation against popish
wrongs and cruelties, which she so strongly felt and expressed--as,
for example, when she dressed herself in deep mourning to receive the
gay French ambassador after the St. Bartholomew massacre:--in short,
Charles had none of that spirit which made Elizabeth appear, without
any tinge of hypocrisy, so much more of a Protestant than she really
was. And we may add, that he had a trick of saying and doing things
with a smooth artificial gravity which awakened suspicion, so that even
when really honest he found it difficult to obtain credit for sincerity.

[Sidenote: 1643.]

It is remarkable that we do not find any High Church Bishops with
the King at Oxford. Even Skinner, Bishop of the diocese, had retired
from the city to the rectory of Taunton. The absence of others may be
attributed to personal restraint, or the dangers of travelling in a
time of civil war, or a sense of duty towards their scattered flocks,
or a disinclination to throw themselves into a military camp. But some
other prelates and clergymen of a different character come under our
notice, as present at Oxford at this critical period.

[Sidenote: _Bishops at Oxford._]

Bryan Duppa, Bishop of Salisbury--whose fine face and silvery locks,
set off to advantage by the robes of the Garter, may be seen in his
portrait on the walls of Christ Church--upon being stripped of his
episcopal revenues waited on his Majesty, and was entrusted by him with
business of the greatest importance. Archbishop Ussher preached before
the court, carried on his literary labours in the University, and, as
an opponent of the toleration of Papists, took part in a discussion
held in the royal presence upon that subject. Soon afterwards he
further offended the Roman Catholics by a discourse from the words of
Nehemiah, iv. 11:--"And our adversaries said, they shall not know,
neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them,
and cause the work to cease." In this discourse he contended, that
no dependence could be placed on Romanists, and that on the first
opportunity they would act towards the Protestants of England as
they had recently done towards the Protestants of Ireland. He also
preached sermons to his Royalist auditory in a tone of remarkable
fidelity and earnestness, dwelling upon the folly of expecting that
God would prosper the cause of those who provoked Him to anger by the
dissoluteness of their lives.[473]

Perhaps Jeremy Taylor also might be found at Oxford, after having lost
the rectory of Uppingham, in Rutlandshire. Wood says that he preached
before the King, and followed the Royal army in the capacity of a
chaplain; and probably it was during this part of his life that he
reaped some of those military allusions which we find in his sermons.
As, for example, when he compares the man who prays in a discomposed
spirit, to him that sets up his closet in the outquarters of an army,
and chooses a frontier garrison to be wise in: and when he speaks of
the poor soldier, standing in the breach, "almost starved with cold and
hunger," "pale and faint, weary and watchful," and of the same person
in his tent by dim lantern light, having a "bullet pulled out of his
flesh, and shivers from his bones, and enduring his mouth to be sewed
up, from a violent rent, to its own dimensions."[474]

[Sidenote: 1643.]

Dr. Thomas Fuller, we may add, after being deprived of his preferment
at the Savoy, and leaving behind him his library, found refuge in
Lincoln College, and preached before the King; the losses which this
cheerful Divine suffered at the time leading him to observe, with
his accustomed humour, "that his going to Oxford cost him all that
he had, a dear seventeen weeks compared with the seventeen years he
spent in Cambridge." Whilst Fuller tarried in the former University,
there arrived Lord Hopton, an eminent Royalist officer of moderate
opinions and of a pacific disposition. The ejected minister of the
Savoy became a chaplain to the regiment of this brave soldier and
sincerely religious man, and he hoped by filling this office to wipe
off the stain of disaffection with which his enemies had endeavoured
to spot his fame. He accompanied Hopton to the west, where he accepted
a nominal chaplaincy to the infant Princess Henrietta, who was born at
Bedford House, in the city of Exeter, on the 16th June, 1644.[475]

[Sidenote: _Clergy at Oxford._]

Another eminent churchman was now at Oxford. William Chillingworth,
after the raising of the siege of Gloucester, left the construction
of his Roman _testudines_, and more befittingly employed himself in
preaching before the University, and in writing polemical tracts,
especially one, entitled "The Apostolical Institution of Episcopacy."
This publication, which was not answered for years afterwards, is
very characteristic of its author, and takes a ground of defence for
the Church of England not at all agreeable to high Prelatists; for he
reduces Episcopal government to the smallest dimensions, specifying its
essence to be no more than the appointment of one person of eminent
sanctity, to take care of all the churches in a diocese--his authority
being bounded by law and moderated by assistants. Even this scantling
of rule he seems to defend rather than enforce--stating as the ground
of adopting it, that there is _no record of our Saviour against it_,
that it is _not repugnant_ to the apostolic government, and that it is
_as compliable_ with the reformation of the Church, as any other kind
of polity.[476] Chillingworth did not long survive his employment at
Oxford; and the short remaining history of his life is so curious, so
illustrative of the religious aspects of the war, and of the oddities
of people engaged in it, that we venture to transfer it to these pages.

[Sidenote: 1643.]

He was taken prisoner in Arundel Castle; whither, in the month of
January, 1644, he had repaired, to recover from an indisposition
brought on by the inclemency of the winter. As he was not fit to travel
to London with the captured garrison, the victorious Parliamentarians
removed the distinguished Episcopalian to Chichester, a favour for
which he was indebted to Mr. Cheynell, whose story is curiously
entwined with his own. Cheynell, a rigid, zealous Presbyterian,
"exactly orthodox, and very unwilling that any should be supposed
to go to heaven but in the right way," had been ejected from his
living in Sussex by the Royalists, and happened to be at Chichester
when Chillingworth reached it as a prisoner. With sympathy for his
old antagonist, Cheynell procured for him lodgings in the bishop's
palace. Chillingworth, who had never been violent enough to please
the Royalists, was infamously denounced by one of them; but Cheynell
defended his reputation, guarded his health, and, as he informs us,
took care of "something more precious than either, to wit, his beloved
soul." Yet he wearied him with interrogations and arguments about King
and Parliament, Prelate and Puritan. "I desired," he says, "to know
his opinion concerning that liturgy, which had been formerly so much
extolled, and even idolized amongst the people; but all the answer that
I could get was to this purpose, that there were some truths which
the ministers of the gospel are not bound, upon pain of damnation,
to publish to the people; and, indeed, he conceived it very unfit to
publish anything concerning the Common Prayer Book or the Book of
Ordination for fear of scandal." "When I found him pretty hearty one
day, I desired him to tell me whether he conceived that a man living
and dying a Turk, Papist, or Socinian; could be saved." No doubt the
question was so pointed, on account of the dying man's reputation for
latitudinarianism, or as he believed it to be, charity, and in this
respect Chillingworth was consistent to the last. "All the answer that
I could gain from him," says Cheynell, "was that he did not absolve
them, and would not condemn them." It is pleasant amidst all this
gossip, and much more of the same description, to find Cheynell telling
his old friend and controversialist that he prayed for him in private,
and asking him whether he desired public intercession as well. He
replied, "Yes, with all his heart, and he said withal, that he hoped he
should fare better for their prayers."[477]

[Sidenote: _Clergy at Oxford._]

After Chillingworth's death, Cheynell had the corpse laid out in a
coffin covered with a hearse-cloth. The friends of the deceased were
entertained, according to their own desire, with wine and cakes. Those
who bore his remains to the grave were Episcopalians; and--as a
further touch of description to illustrate those times--it may be added
that, according to the custom of the country, they had each a bunch of
rosemary, a mourning ribband, and a pair of gloves. Different opinions
were expressed as to where the churchman ought to be interred. It was
at last decided in favour of Chichester, liberty being granted to "all
the malignants" to attend the hearse. When they came to the grave,
Cheynell, as he held in his hand what he called the "_mortal_ book" of
the great Protestant advocate--the very book which has received the
praises of all generations since as _immortal_--proceeded with strange
infatuation to denounce it in terms of the most violent abuse, after
which he flung the volume into the open grave.[478]

[Sidenote: 1643.]

Charles, whilst remaining at Oxford, had amongst the Episcopal
clergy other staunch friends residing elsewhere. Of this number was
John Barwick, a Fellow of St. John's, Cambridge,[479] who acted as
chaplain to Bishop Morton during the civil wars, and who continued
with him as long as he remained in Durham House. This he did, his
biographer tells us, for the express purpose of being serviceable to
the King; concealing himself there "as in a great wood," carrying on
a private correspondence betwixt London and Oxford, conveying, on the
one hand, to the loyalists his Majesty's orders and commands, and,
on the other hand, to his royal master, what he could pick up of the
"designs and endeavours of the rebels." Resolving to tell no lies, but
rather "with silence to answer all captious and ensnaring questions,"
he yet clandestinely wrote and received letters in cypher, the key
to which he carefully kept. The letters were slid in by stealth,
amidst pedlar's wares, and carried to and fro, "as it were through
a lattice, and enveloped in mist." He employed adventurous women to
disperse everywhere, among friends and foes, books favourable to the
Royal cause; such emissaries trudging on foot, receiving the books
from bargemen on the Thames, and distributing them wherever they had
opportunity. Letters were sometimes sewed in the covers of volumes,
and secret marks were given to notify their insertion. When the Royal
cause became desperate, and the King was shut up "as in a net within
the walls of Oxford," he continued to write to Barwick to do what he
could, especially by securing, through favour of the Parliamentary
authorities, those individuals for his personal attendants, upon
whose faithfulness his Majesty could depend. These notices, extracted
from "Barwick's Life"--not, on the whole, a very trustworthy book,
though accurate enough, no doubt, in reference to his contrivances and
intrigues in favour of the King--throw an interesting light upon a
great deal which was clandestinely going on at the time in the royal


                             CHAPTER XVI.

[Sidenote: 1643.]

The Long Parliament, almost from the beginning, took ecclesiastical
affairs entirely into its own hands. It assumed control over church
property, not, indeed, touching the rights of Puritan patrons, but
interfering to a large extent with those advowsons and presentations
which belonged to High Churchmen.

As time rolled on, and especially when the war began, not only rights
of this description which had belonged to Royalists were forfeited
entirely; but we may state in passing, that a wholesale sequestration
of property followed, it being then enacted that the estates real
and personal of Bishops, Deans and Chapters, and other persons, who
had either taken up arms against the Parliament, or _contributed aid
or assistance_ to such as did, should be seized, and employed for
the benefit of the Commonwealth.[480] Such nets swept within their
meshes an abundance of spoil. Ecclesiastical corporations and Royalist
nobles, squires, and clergymen, suffered the deprivation not only
of their ancient privileges, but of their property and possessions.
One forfeiture in particular may be mentioned, illustrative of the
control which Parliament assumed over the benefices of the Church. An
ordinance appeared commanding the Archbishop of Canterbury to collate
to benefices such persons, and such persons only, as were nominated
by Parliament.[481] For disobedience to this ordinance he was the
following month wholly suspended from the duties and privileges of
his office. The temporalities of the archbishopric were claimed by
the High Court of Parliament, which ordered that Edward Corbet, a
Puritan clergyman, whom Laud had refused to collate, should be by the
Vicar General inducted to the living of Chartham, in Kent, a benefice
in the Archbishop's gift. The revenues of Deans and Chapters were
collected and administered by committees, who paid such sums to such
persons for such purposes as Parliament might appoint. The system of
pew-rents adopted in some places, like everything else in the Church of
England, now came under Parliamentary control. Numerous benefices had
been vacated through the death or the ejection of incumbents. How were
the vacancies to be filled up? In some instances returned refugees,
who had suffered in the days of Laud, were instituted to the vacant
benefices.[482] Scotch Divines, and ministers of other Protestant
Churches, were also declared eligible for appointment. At the same
time Episcopal ordinations were not nullified, and the validity of all
Presbyterian ordinations, as a matter of course, was acknowledged by a
Presbyterian Parliament.

[Sidenote: _Committees for Ecclesiastical Affairs._]

The Committees for _scandalous_ ministers had early in 1643 been
followed by a Committee for _plundered_ ministers, that title being
used to designate clergymen who had been ejected from their livings
by the Royal army. The Committee for plundered ministers provided
them with relief; and the instruction given to this body directed
their attention to malignant clergymen, holding benefices in and about
town, whose benefices after being sequestered might be appropriated
to ministers of a different character. As the plundered were thus put
in the place of the scandalous, the Committee for the plundered took
cognizance of what had previously been submitted to the Committee
for the scandalous. In July they received power to consider cases
of scandal apart from charges of malignity, and to dismiss those
whose characters would not bear examination. On the 6th of September
the Commons ordered the Deputy-Lieutenants and the Committees
of Parliament, or any five or more of their number, to take the
examinations of witnesses against any ministers who were scandalous in
life or doctrine, and also against any who had of late deserted their
cures or assisted the forces raised against Parliament.[483]

[Sidenote: 1643.]

This order, upon being examined, shews that subordinate authorities
were appointed to co-operate with the superior one--that they were
commissioned to discharge magisterial functions in the provinces by
collecting evidence, which they were required to transmit to the
Committee sitting in London. It is also obvious that this parent
Committee itself stood in the same relation to Parliament as other
Committees, and that its business was to communicate information
to the House, not to exercise any independent control. A very
notable puritan phenomenon is this often-vilified body, with its
manifold provincial ramifications. Persons may fairly object to
Parliament men being invested with such ecclesiastical powers, and
they may also consistently complain of the innovations made by such
an arrangement upon the ancient ecclesiastical system of England;
but nobody can charge this Committee with setting to work in an
unbusiness-like manner, or with acting in an arbitrary and impulsive
way. No sinecurists--anything but idle--toiling day by day, and that
for several hours together, they did their work from beginning to
end by line and rule. No committee ever proceeded with more order
and with greater regularity. They had definite principles of action,
and they carefully followed them. The minutes which they kept, with
the signatures of the chairmen, are still extant,[484] and speak for

Therein we see how one day they resolved to report to the House the
conclusions at which they had arrived, and the course which they
recommended to be pursued; and how, another day, they finally declared
what should be done "by virtue of an order of both Houses."

Dipping into these records, we find the Committee resolving upon the
augmentation of poor livings. For example, £8 payable to Ussher, Bishop
of Carlisle, out of the impropriate tithes of Allhallows, Cumberland,
and the further annual sum of £20, out of the impropriate tithes
forfeited by a delinquent, are granted, March 3rd, 1646, for the
purpose of increasing the stipend of such minister as the Committee
should approve to officiate in the church of Allhallows. A grant of
£40, out of a Papist's impropriation, is made on the 15th of July,
1646, for the maintenance of a minister to a chapelry in Lancashire,
subject to the approbation of the Divines appointed by ordinance of
Parliament for examination of ministers in that county. The incomes
of several vicarages are noticed as augmented by grants out of
forfeited revenues. Grants also appear for weekly lectures by assistant
ministers; for instance, at Tamworth, "by reason of the largeness
of parish, and the concourse thereto from other places." A petition
to the Committee for sequestration which met at Goldsmiths' Hall is
reported as coming from the parish of Benton, and from two contiguous
chapelries, complaining that there was but one minister for all those
places, and that he was a reader and an alehouse keeper; and also
stating that, by reason of the corruption of Episcopacy, only £10 a
year out of the glebe lands and tithes had been paid to a curate, who,
on account of his poverty, was constrained to keep an alehouse.

[Sidenote: _Tithes._]

[Sidenote: 1644.]

Tithes, of course, were payable when harvest came. Each rector
would, as of old, have the right of sending an agent among the corn
shocks, that he might affix to every tenth some twig or other sign of
ecclesiastical appropriation. But the revolution at the commencement
of the civil wars had thrown into jeopardy such ecclesiastical claims.
Not only could the farmer then, as always, expose the rector to damage
and loss, but he could also successfully resist the setting out and
appropriation altogether. Greater hazard still, perhaps, attached to
the demand "of rates for tithes;" and altogether it is plain that the
distress of the clergy must in some cases have been very great.[485]
Consequently, on the 8th of November, 1644, Parliament issued an
ordinance stating, that there remained not any such compulsory means
for recovery of tithes by ecclesiastical proceedings as before had
been the case; and the remedy now provided was to make complaint to
two justices of the peace, who were authorized to summon the person
complained of, and after examination on oath, to adjudge the case with
costs; a method which, at least for its simplicity and summariness,
presented a striking contrast to all previous modes of procedure in
ecclesiastical or civil courts. In case of non-payment, distraint
might be made by order of the justices, and if there remained nothing
available for that purpose, the defaulter could be committed to
prison.[486] The city of London was exempted from the operation of the
ordinance, an exemption afterwards repealed. We may add that vicars
probably would be exposed to special inconvenience in collecting their
small tithes, whilst their incomes, even when fully paid, would in many
cases be very inconsiderable. Hence, on turning over the Parliament
Journals, we find orders given for the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to
consider how poor vicarages and cures could be raised to a competent
maintenance out of Cathedral revenues and impropriate parsonages.

We may further observe that in the Norwich Corporation Records there
are numerous entries illustrating the ways in which local Committees
co-operated with the Committee at Westminster, for uniting parishes,
enquiring into cathedral revenues, and supporting city clergymen.

The House however was not content to leave all the details of
ecclesiastical business even to their own farreaching and laborious
Commissioners, but Argus-eyed, and Briareus-handed, looked into and
managed almost everything itself.[487]

[Sidenote: _Church and Parliament._]

Although Parliament claimed the absolute right to control benefices,
there were some things needful for the induction of clergymen
which could not be comprehended within the range of Parliamentary
functions. Ministers already accredited, having received Episcopal
or Presbyterian orders, found no difficulty in the way of collation;
but what method was to be pursued relative to ministerial candidates
still unordained? To meet this difficulty the Westminster Assembly
recommended the temporary appointment of committees for the ordination
of ministers--only their temporary appointment--for whenever
Presbyterianism should be fully established, then the Church would of
course do all things after a Presbyterian fashion. Yet not without
difficulty did the Divines reach a conclusion on this subject, as the
Independents and Presbyterians differed to some extent respecting the
nature of ordination.

[Sidenote: 1644.]

[Sidenote: _Church and Parliament._]

The entire control of Church temporalities centred in Parliament.[488]
The arrangement had great inconvenience. How such a scheme (had
it continued) would have worked in the long run, may be conjectured
from the contests inevitably arising, whenever the civil and sacred
authorities have come into such close connexion. The quarrels of
Hildebrand and Henry IV. are but conspicuous, perhaps extreme
illustrations, of what naturally results from an intimate alliance
of two such powers as Church and State when guided by different
impulses. Only so long as sympathy prevailed between the two bodies at
Westminster could coincident authority continue. The moment that any
change of feeling arose between them, their co-operation would be at an
end. The temporary rules which were adopted with regard to ordination
were the same as those established with a view to permanence the year
following.[489] They required candidates to take the covenant, to
undergo an examination in religion and learning, and to prove a call
to the ministry. If the candidate happened to be deficient in Hebrew,
Greek, and Latin, he had severer tests applied to his knowledge of
logic and philosophy. But the machine did not always work smoothly.
For example, the Committee for plundered ministers sequestered a Mr.
Leader, vicar of the parish of Thaxted, in Essex, and settled in
his room a Mr. Hall. The patroness, Lady Maynard, would not present
Mr. Hall, and preferred to appoint a Mr. Croxon, a man represented
as notorious for drunkenness and profanity. Articles accordingly
were exhibited against the latter, in consequence of which Croxon
was sequestered. Lady Maynard being allowed again to nominate, the
well-affected parishioners protested against the concession of that
privilege. The Commissioners, however, stood by her ladyship's rights
as patroness, and she now recommended another person of the same name
as before. But on his being submitted to the Assembly, they would not
sanction his appointment. Three times they declined, and the Lords
approved of the refusal, yet after all, in some clandestine way, the
candidate obtained an order for induction. This person, whom the
Divines pronounced the most troublesome they ever had to do with, came
to Thaxted Church, and insisted upon preaching. The sequestrators stood
at the door of the desk to prevent his doing so; but the mayor and
churchwarden espoused his cause, as did also the rabble of the parish.
The latter assaulted the sequestrators, tore their hair, rent their
neck-bands, and seized their hats and cloaks. "Let them alone," said
the mayor, "and let the women decide the case." This fray in the parish
church ended in the commitment of parson, mayor, and town-clerk to
prison, "whence they were released on submission." This case gives us a
curious insight into the local church politics of those days.[490]


                             CHAPTER XVII.

Laud, the principal author of the evils which induced the revolution,
remained a prisoner. He had become a helpless old man; and it would
have been better for the Puritans had they checked their resentment,
and suffered their vanquished enemy to linger out his days as a captive
or an exile; but unfortunately they determined otherwise. The Scotch
Commissioners had presented Articles against him in the House of Lords
on December the 17th, 1640; and on the following day the Commons
had resolved to accuse him of high treason.[491] In the following
February, articles of accusation had been exhibited by the Commons,
after which his case had been kept in abeyance for more than two years
and a half. Though the idea of bringing him to trial had never been
abandoned, mild views of his punishment had been entertained; for, in
a newspaper published in May, 1643, it is stated that "the sending of
the Archbishop of Canterbury and of Bishop Wren to New England had
been agitated in the House, and that Parliament would not banish them
without a trial."[492] In the opening of the year 1644, it was resolved
that Laud should take his trial.

[Sidenote: _Laud's Trial._]

The trial lasted from March to July. The accused prelate received
three or four days' notice of the time of his appearance, and of the
particular articles which were to be alleged against him. From ten
until one o'clock the managers of the prosecution stated their case and
produced their evidence, when an adjournment followed till four o'clock
in the afternoon. Then the prisoner made his defence, and one of the
managers replied. The proceedings terminated between the hours of seven
and eight, when the fatal boat moored at Westminster,--which had so
often glided backwards and forwards on errands of vengeance,--returned
with its grey-haired passenger to the archway of the Traitors'

[Sidenote: 1644.]

The principal managers for the Commons were Serjeant Wylde, Mr.
Maynard, and Mr. Nicolas. Prynne acted as solicitor, and arranged the
whole proceedings. He had suffered so much at the Archbishop's hands,
that, however watchful he might be over himself, he could scarcely
suppress feelings which were incompatible with a just discharge of his
legal responsibilities. With all his learning and great ability, we
must admit that he was not remarkable for self-control; and the utmost
stretch of candour cannot prevent our receiving, from his conduct on
this occasion, the unpleasant impression that, in preparing materials
for the conviction of his old enemy, he was swayed, to some extent at
least, by personal resentment.[494]

The accusations brought against Laud may be reduced to three: first,
that he had aimed at subverting the rights of Parliament; secondly,
that he had attempted to subvert the laws of the land by his conduct
in reference to ship-money, by his illegal commitments, and by his
support of the Canons of 1640; thirdly, that he had endeavoured to
alter and subvert God's true religion established in this realm, to set
up instead of it Popish superstition and idolatry, and to reconcile
the Church of England to the Church of Rome. In support of this grave
indictment relating to religion, much stress was laid on such facts
as these: his introducing innovations, using images and crucifixes,
consecrating churches and altars by superstitious rites and ceremonies,
commanding the Book of Sports to be read, upholding doctrinal errors,
persecuting Puritans, corresponding with Roman Catholic priests, and
discouraging foreign Protestants.[495]

[Sidenote: _Laud's Trial._]

Laud, in his defence, when speaking of his ecclesiastical career, did
not profess that he had sought, as the highest objects of his life,
the gathering of souls into Christ's fold, and the promotion of truth
and charity; but he plainly said that his main endeavour had been to
secure an outward conformity. Nor did he, as most men would have done
under the same circumstances, qualify his avowal of ritualistic zeal by
expressing large and noble Christian sentiments. On the contrary, he
simply declared: "Ever since I came in place I laboured nothing more
than that the external worship of God (too much slighted in most parts
of this kingdom) might be preserved, and that with as much decency and
uniformity as might be; being still of opinion that unity cannot long
continue in the Church, where uniformity is shut out at the Church
door; and I evidently saw that the public neglect of God's service in
the outward face of it, and the nasty lying of many places dedicated to
that service, had almost cast a damp upon the true and inward worship
of God, which, while we live in the body, needs external helps, and all
little enough to keep it in any vigour."[496] Yet we must confess that
for Laud to adopt this strain was honest; and certainly, amongst his
many faults, hypocrisy is not to be reckoned. Indeed, he made it his
boast, and he had ground for so doing, that he did not shift from one
opinion to another for worldly ends; and that he had never attempted to
slide through the difficulties of the times by trimming his religious

[Sidenote: 1644.]

In dealing with the evidence against him, the Archbishop maintained
that personal resentment influenced the witnesses in the statements
which they made; and in that opinion probably he was to a considerable
extent correct. Certain of their allegations had, no doubt, a spiteful
appearance; but then it is impossible to forget how this merciless
man had provoked such conduct towards himself by his own inexcusable
demeanour towards others; and that by a law of Providence, righteous
in itself, though executed by instruments not free from blame, such
delinquents as Laud, after having sown the wind, are sure, sooner
or later, to reap the whirlwind. Prynne, of course, tried to make
everything tell against his enemy; yet even he could not help allowing
that the prisoner at the bar "made as full, as gallant, and pithy a
defence, and spake as much for himself as was possible for the wit
of man to invent." This special pleader proceeds however to say, the
very moment after making this admission, that Laud spoke "with so much
art, sophistry, vivacity, oratory, audacity, and confidence, without
the least blush, or acknowledgment of guilt in anything, as argued
him rather obstinate than innocent, impudent than penitent, and a far
better orator and sophister than Protestant or Christian."[497] Prynne
attributed the Primate's boldness to the King's pardon which he carried
in his pocket.

[Sidenote: _Laud's Trial._]

When the whole evidence had been presented, a question arose whether
the facts which had been adduced legally proved him to be guilty of the
crime of treason. The Peers were not satisfied that such was the case;
and in the present day, there are few, if any, constitutional lawyers
who would admit that the proofs alleged brought the Archbishop within
the scope of the Statute of Treasons. Owing to legal difficulties, the
prosecution, in its original form, was dropped, and a Bill of Attainder
was brought in. The Bill, after having been read a third time in the
House of Commons, was sent up to the House of Lords. They admitted, as
they had done before, that the accused was guilty of endeavouring to
subvert the law, to destroy the rights of Parliament, and to overthrow
the Protestant religion; but still, they asked, can all this prove him
to be traitor to the King?[498] The old points were debated over and
over again. But what did that avail? Popular feeling against him had
become intense; the London citizens were now more earnest than ever
in petitioning for speedy justice against all delinquents; and some
individuals went so far as to shut up their shops, declaring they would
not open them until righteous vengeance fell upon the head of this
arch-enemy of the people of God.[499] Influenced by such clamour, if
not convinced by the arguments of the Commons, the Lords present in
the House on the 4th of January, 1645, passed the fatal Bill;[500] and
afterwards it was in vain that the condemned produced a pardon, under
the great seal, in arrest of execution.

[Sidenote: 1645, January.]

The fatal proceedings against Laud are easily accounted for. The
causes are found in the growing power of the anti-Episcopal party;
the ascendancy of the Presbyterians, who for a long time had felt the
deepest horror at Laud's career; the influence of the Scotch, who had a
special hatred to the Primate for his designs on their country; and the
activity of Prynne, who certainly had sufficient cause for detesting
the mutilator of his ears. But the sentence of death executed upon him
cannot be justified. Lord Campbell pronounces it "illegal, barbarous,
and unprovoked," "as little to be palliated as defended." Hallam speaks
of the whole business as "most unjustifiable," and "one of the greatest
reproaches of the Long Parliament." Even Godwin admits that the
prelate "fell a victim to the Scots, to the Presbyterians, and to the
resentment of an individual who had formerly been the subject of his
barbarity."[501] We may add that the same legal objections apply to the
Bill of Attainder against him which are urged in the case of Strafford;
and further, that in one respect the treatment of the prelate was worse
than the treatment of the statesman; inasmuch as, whilst some persons
may defend the putting of the Earl to death as a political necessity,
no one can regard in the same light the execution of the Archbishop.

[Sidenote: _Laud's Execution._]

[Sidenote: 1645, January.]

Many men who have committed great errors have afterwards, in the midst
of suffering, behaved in such a manner as somewhat to redeem their evil
reputation. To a considerable extent it proved so in this instance. On
its being proposed to him by the renowned Hugo Grotius that he should
escape--a step which he believed his enemies were not averse to his
taking--Laud replied: "They shall not be gratified by me in what they
appear to long for; I am almost seventy years old, and shall I now go
about to prolong a miserable life by the trouble and shame of flying?"
"I am resolved not to think of flight, but continuing where I am,
patiently to expect and bear what a good and a wise Providence hath
provided for me, of what kind soever it shall be."[502] He delivered
on the scaffold a speech which was prefaced by the first verse of the
twelfth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews,[503] as if it had been
a sermon; though, after the exordium, it forsook a homiletic form. He
referred to himself as a martyr, declared that he forgave his enemies,
and endeavoured to clear himself from the charge of favouring Popery
and disliking Parliaments. Then, after praying, and pulling off his
doublet, he said that no man could be more willing to send him out
of the world than he himself was to go. Upon being asked by Sir John
Clotworthy what special text of scripture he found most comfortable,
he replied, "_Cupio dissolvi et esse cum Christo_." "A good desire,"
answered the knight, who added, "there must be a foundation for that
desire and assurance." Laud had no notion of Puritan "evidences," and
simply rejoined, "No man can express it, it is to be found within."
"It is founded," the Presbyterian went on to say, "upon a word though."
Laud closed the conversation by adding, "That word is the knowledge of
Jesus Christ, and that alone."[504] The Archbishop's last prayer is
the most beautiful thing connected with his history, and reminds us of
Shakespeare's words--

                  "Nothing in life
    Became him like the leaving it."

"Lord, I am coming as fast as I can; I know I must pass through the
Shadow of Death before I can come to see Thee, but it is but _umbra
mortis_, a mere shadow of death, a little darkness upon Nature, but
Thou, by Thy merits and passion, hast broke through the jaws of death;
so, Lord, receive my soul, and have mercy upon me, and bless this
kingdom with peace and plenty, and with brotherly love and charity,
that there may not be this effusion of Christian blood amongst them,
for Jesus Christ's sake, if it be Thy will."[505]

[Sidenote: _Laud's Character._]

So perished William Laud, a man who has been magnified by one party
into a martyr, and degraded by another into a monster. He was neither,
but a narrow-minded individual, with little or no sensibility, fond
of arbitrary power, a thorough bigot, and a ceremonialist to such
an extent, that he acted as if salvation depended on adjusting the
position of altars, presenting obeisances, regulating clerical attire,
and "adding to it some of the frippery of the Romish ecclesiastical
wardrobe, which had lain neglected ever since the Reformation."[506]
His religious weaknesses were not tempered with the smallest degree of
Christian charity. Contemptible trifles he pressed upon the consciences
of people with an iron hand. Yet Laud's reputation does not come down
to us tainted with the vulgarities of avarice or sensuality. He was
liberal and chaste; and, though proud, he was not addicted to luxury
or ostentation. Possessed of considerable learning, and remarkable for
activity and acuteness of mind; he patronized such studies as accorded
with his tastes; and it should not be forgotten that, at Windsor,
Reading, and Oxford, there still remain noble and lasting monuments of
his beneficence.[507]

As one of England's most conspicuous Churchmen, he may be ranked with
Dunstan, Becket, and Wolsey;[508] but he had not the princely bearing,
the knowledge of mankind, and the skilful statesmanship of Wolsey--nor
did he evince the high-minded spiritual ambition and independence of
Becket--nor do we discover in him the mystic tone and artistic taste of
Dunstan. But he had the pride, the intolerance, and the superstition of
all three. In the middle ages he would have made as to ritualism a good
monk, and if severity of discipline be a proof of excellence, by no
means a bad abbot.

[Sidenote: 1645, January.]

It was on the very day of Laud's attainder that Parliament established
the Presbyterian Directory, and prohibited the Anglican Prayer
Book.[509] That book, profoundly reverenced by all Anglo-Catholics, and
held in scarcely less honour by some doctrinal Puritans, excited only
the opposition of the Presbyterians and the other sects. Tracts of the
period irreverently represent the liturgy as being the very _lethargy_
of worship; the litany, as not merely "a stump, or a limb of Dagon,
but the head of the Mass Book;" and the surplice, as "a Babylonish
garment, spotted with the flesh," and as worse than the "plague-sore
clout," which had been sent "to infect Master Pym, and the rest of the
House."[510] For this coarse abuse, the whole Presbyterian party must
not be held responsible; but such abuse indicates the existence of
feelings with which leading Presbyterians had to deal on their own side.

Many persons disliked all prescribed forms, and represented them as
muzzling the mouths of the saints, and stopping the course of the
Spirit of God. "True prayer," they said, "is first in the heart, then
in the mouth, but this sort of prayer is in the mouth before it can
come into the heart at all: it is an abortive birth which never had
a right conception."[511] Yet the chief oracles both of Parliament
and the Assembly, though advocates for _extempore_ devotion, were
not disposed to leave ministers altogether to their own impulses in
conducting public devotion. They adopted a middle course, and whilst
abandoning particular forms of prayer they provided a General Directory
of worship.

Parliament issued an order for that purpose to the Assembly, sometime
in October, 1643, but the business stood in abeyance until the
following May, when the subject came up for discussion in the Jerusalem
Chamber. Minor questions arose, such as whether laymen might assist
clergymen by reading the Scriptures--a question determined in favour
of probationers; and whether the Lord's Supper might be received by
communicants sitting in pews--a question negatived by a resolution of
adherence to Presbyterian usage. But the grand debate of the Assembly
at that time related to the suspension of improper communicants. This
matter involved principles of Church discipline, which could not be
settled without much controversy, and which long perplexed statesmen
and divines.

[Sidenote: _The Directory._]

The preface to the Directory, which is a very important part of the
book, adverts to the liturgy used in the Church of England, as an
offence both to many of the godly at home, and to many of the reformed
abroad. The imposition of it had heightened past grievances, and its
unprofitable ceremonies had been a burden to the consciences of not a
few. By it people had been kept from the Lord's table, and ministers
had been driven into poverty and exile. While esteemed by Prelates as
if it set forth the only way in which God could be worshipped, Papists
had counted its use a concession to themselves, and a compliance with
their Church. Moreover, a liturgy, it is said, encouraged an idle
ministry. Therefore, it was now to be set aside, not from affectation
of novelty, or to the disparagement of the first reformers, but as
a further reformation of the Church of Christ, the easing of tender
consciences, and the promotion of uniformity in the worship of God.
The Directory contains no forms of prayer, but only suggestions as to
topics of public supplication.

[Sidenote: 1645, May.]

[Sidenote: _The Directory._]

The Directory, upon being dispatched to Scotland,[512] obtained there
the sanction of the General Assembly; and on its return, after the
book had been endorsed by the English Commons, it was presented to the
House of Lords, who gave it their sanction. Presbyterian statesmen are
sometimes charged with a rash abolition of old ecclesiastical laws,
without the previous or immediate institution of others to occupy their
room. It is alleged that these men short-sightedly pulled down the
ancient buildings and left them in ruins, and that they were for some
time not prepared to raise a new structure on the ancient site. This is
an incorrect representation. Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity, it is very
true, fell into desuetude from the opening of the Long Parliament; also
many Puritans in the Establishment laid aside the Liturgy, and even
reviled it. Notwithstanding, no specific law appears against it, until
the Directory had been sanctioned by Parliament. The same ordinance
which forbids the Liturgy enforces the Directory. In the first place
that authority rehearses and repeals the statutes of uniformity, and
at the same time declares that the Book of Common Prayer should not
remain in any place of worship within the kingdom of England or the
dominion of Wales. The same ordinance then goes on to declare that
the Directory should be observed in all public religious exercises
throughout the realm, and that fair register books of vellum for
births, marriages, and burials should be kept by the minister and other
officers of the Church. It is remarkable that no penalty whatever is
mentioned for a breach of this ordinance. So far as the terms of it
are concerned, it looks as if it might be broken with impunity; and
it was so broken. In country parishes where Royalism was predominant,
and such parishes were very numerous, parsons and churchwardens set at
nought the enactment of the two Houses, and would not acknowledge as
law that which had not received the Royal sanction. The Prayer Book was
dear to them from associations with the past in their own lives and
those of their fathers; and they were resolved still to read its litany
and collects. Finding that simple advice and exhortation produced no
effect in many quarters, Parliament adopted more stringent measures.
It would appear that, as early as the month of May, 1645, penalties
for contempt of the new enactment were under consideration,[513] but
an explicit threatening for disobedience was not uttered until the
month of August. Then came an ordinance[514] which--after providing for
the supply of printed books of the Directory, and commanding that it
should be read the Sunday after it was received--proceeded to declare
that any person using the Book of Common Prayer in church or chapel
should, for the first offence, pay the sum of five pounds, for the
second offence the sum of ten pounds, and for the third offence suffer
one year's imprisonment. Every minister was to pay forty shillings each
time he offended. Those who preached or wrote against the Directory
fell under additional liabilities to pay not less than five, and
not more than fifty pounds. Thus a new Act of Uniformity succeeded
the old one. The High Commission Court had been abolished, but its
spirit had migrated into another body. Happily it is no easy thing to
change a people's religion by Act of Parliament. Wherever the exercise
of reason, and the study of Scripture are neglected, there remain
sentiments, perhaps prejudices, which are too deeply sown to be raked
out by any legal instrument, however sharp and close-set its teeth may
be. Human conscience, whether rude and ill-informed, or disciplined
and wise, always hates all tools of state husbandry employed for such
ends. Accordingly, a good many people in England, when its rulers would
force them into a new form of worship, deliberately and resolutely
rebelled, some having to endure a considerable amount of suffering for
conscience' sake.[515]

[Sidenote: 1645, August.]

[Sidenote: _The Directory._]

The Scotch soon began to lament the inefficacy of the new enactment.
They complained that the Prayer Book was still used in some parts of
England, where Parliament had undisputed authority; and, of course,
in a kingdom which was cut up into two hostile camps, where Royalism
remained in the ascendancy, the Liturgy would continue to be honoured,
and the Directory would be disused. Errors, heresies, and schism were
also deplored as still prevalent, by the brethren from the north,
who watched with pious zeal all that was going forward on this side
the Tweed, and were greatly distressed at the tardy progress of
ecclesiastical reform, and at the little enthusiasm which was enkindled
by the Covenant. In Ireland, the Directory met with an adverse fate.
The bishops and clergy of Dublin in particular remained loyal to
the Prayer Book. They pleaded their ordination vows, the oath of
supremacy, the Act of Uniformity, the communion of the two Churches
of England and Ireland in the bond of Common Prayer, the legality of
its use, the freedom of the Church, and the attachment to the Liturgy
cherished by the people. The Bishop of Killaloe, and several other
dignitaries, signed a protest, and whatever opinions may be formed of
their arguments, posterity will do honour to their conscientiousness.
This was in 1647. Some persons continued, in spite of Parliamentary
orders, to use the Prayer Book. The last instance of its being publicly
read in Dublin occurred when the aged and venerable Archbishop Bulkeley
delivered to his clergy a valedictory discourse in St. Patrick's

[Sidenote: 1645 August]

In connection with the Directory, notice should be taken of certain
forms of devotion which were published for the use of seamen. A book
of that period exists, without date, entitled "A Supply of Prayer for
the Ships, that want Ministers to pray with them." The preface states
that there were thousands of ships without any ministers, and that the
crews, therefore, either neglected religion altogether or used the Book
of Common Prayer. What is glanced at as a matter of necessity might
perhaps in some cases be matter of preference. Alderman Garroway, in
his speech at Guildhall, it will be remembered, spoke of sailors as
being fond of the old liturgy; and such sailors must have remained in
the fleet even after the Presbyterian Earl of Warwick had become Lord
High Admiral. Though the navy, as far as rulers were concerned, might
be called Presbyterian, numbers of the men would feel no attachments
in that direction. At all events, to avoid inconvenience, it was
thought fit to frame prayers for the navy, "agreeing with the Directory
established by Parliament." By whom the work was done we do not know,
but clearly the spirit of it is Presbyterian. "Heal our rents and
divisions," and "preserve us from breach of our solemn Covenant," are
expressions found amongst its petitions. Eschewing the Apocrypha, it
prescribes psalms and chapters from the Old and New Testament. Forms of
devotion are given, rather as specimens and guides than anything else.
"The company being assembled, they may thus begin with prayer," are the
cautious words employed by the sturdy opponents of ritualism.[517]


                            CHAPTER XVIII.

Proposals were still going on for a Treaty of Peace between the King
and the Parliament. His Majesty, from what he heard of dissensions in
the popular party, felt encouraged to hope for favourable terms. He
had also an idea that the House of Peers, and some in the Commons,
really wished for a reconciliation.[518] Laud's trial was at the time
in progress, and the sympathies of the Royalists, of course, were
with the prisoner. Accordingly, overtures were forwarded, from Oxford
to Westminster, and, in return, Commissioners were despatched from
Westminster to Oxford.[519] Their treatment, however, on reaching the
latter city, was not such as to inspire much hope of a prosperous
issue. The people reviled them as traitors, rogues, and rebels, and
threw stones into their coaches as they rode to the quarters appointed
for their entertainment at "the sign of the 'Catherine Wheel,' next
St. John's College"--"a mean inn," as Whitelocke describes it, only a
"little above the degree of an alehouse."[520] The conduct of Charles
in sending a sealed reply telling the Commissioners they were to carry
what he pleased to place in their hands, although it should be but the
_Song of Robin Hood and Little John_, certainly did not tend to an
amicable adjustment of affairs; and his duplicity in calling the Lords
and Commons at Westminster a Parliament, whilst he entered upon record
in his council book that the calling them so did not imply that they
were such, proves that his only object was to pacify his opponents for
a time, that he might do what he liked with them whenever they should
be again within his power.[521]

[Sidenote: 1645, January.]

[Sidenote: _Treaty at Uxbridge._]

At length, the preliminaries of a treaty were arranged, and a meeting
was fixed to take place in the town of Uxbridge in the month of
January, 1645. The propositions of Parliament related to religion,
the militia, and Ireland; and the Commissioners were instructed to
stipulate that the subject of religion should be considered first, on
the ground of its supreme importance.[522] When they assembled, the
town, selected as the theatre of their negotiations, was divided into
two parts; the north side of the main street being allotted to the
Parliamentarians, the south side to the Royalists. So crowded was every
corner of the place, that some of the distinguished personages were,
as Whitelocke informs us, "forced to lie, two of them in a chamber
together in field beds, only upon a quilt, in that cold weather, not
coming into a bed during all the treaty."[523] The house chosen as
most convenient for deliberation was Sir John Bennet's residence,--a
picturesque building at the west end, still in existence, containing
a "fair great chamber," with curiously wainscotted walls. Courtesies
were exchanged between the diplomatists, but it soon plainly appeared
that two hostile camps had pitched within the precincts of this little
town. On a market day, just as the business of the treaty was about to
commence, a lecture had to be preached in the parish church, according
to established custom. Christopher Love, a young Presbyterian divine,
full of fervour and zeal, happened then to be officiating as chaplain
to the garrison at Windsor, and he had just travelled to Uxbridge
in order to perform there this popular service. Farmers who came to
sell their corn, and even persons in the train of the noble visitors
from Oxford, contributed to increase the congregation which crowded
the church. The preacher's discourse was reported by certain hearers
to the authorities on the south side of the High Street as being of
a seditious and intolerable character. On the following morning a
paper was handed over to the party on the north side of the street,
complaining of the sermon, and alleging that the preacher had gone so
far as to declare that the King's representatives had "come with hearts
full of blood, and that there was as great a distance between this
treaty and peace as between heaven and hell." They therefore desired
justice might be executed upon this fomenter of strife. The same day
saw an answer returned, to the effect that Love was not included in the
retinue of the Commissioners from London; that they wished all causes
of offence to be avoided; and that they would report the circumstances
which had occurred to the Lords and Commons, who, they were quite sure,
would consider the matter "according to justice."[524] So the matter

[Sidenote: 1645, February.]

It is curious to find Clarendon lamenting that Uxbridge Church was now
in the possession of the Presbyterians, and that, according to the
ordinance just issued, the Directory had there taken the place of the
Prayer Book. The King's Commissioners, therefore, who would willingly
have gone to church, were restrained from doing so, and had to observe
days of devotion in "their great room of the inn," where, as the
historian states, many who came from town and from the country daily
resorted.[525] The tables were turned; Episcopalians and Presbyterians
had changed places; and his Majesty's followers found themselves at
Uxbridge in the ranks of dissent.

[Sidenote: _Treaty at Uxbridge._]

Three weary weeks of debate ensued; religion, according to the
stipulated arrangement, coming first under discussion.[526] The four
grand ecclesiastical propositions which were placed in the forefront
by the Parliamentary Commissioners were the following: _first_, that
the Bill for abolishing Episcopacy, which had passed the two Houses,
should now receive the Royal sanction; _secondly_, that the Ordinance
for the Westminster Assembly should be confirmed; _thirdly_, that the
Directory, and the scheme of Church government annexed to it, should
be enacted for the reformation of religion and the accomplishment of
uniformity; and _fourthly_, that his Majesty should take the solemn
League and Covenant, and concur in enjoining it upon all his subjects.
Touching these several particulars, there may be seen in Dugdale and
Rushworth a mass of papers, very dull and dry to all appearance now,
but which had in them abundant light and fire, when they were exchanged
and read in that large "fair room" at Uxbridge.

[Sidenote: 1645, April.]

Before the debates on religion closed, the King made a very plausible
shew of concession, by professing his willingness to allow that
all persons should have freedom in matters of ceremony, and that
bishops should be bound to consult their presbyters, and constantly
to reside within their dioceses. He promised, too, that poor livings
should be improved, pluralities abolished, and ecclesiastical
jurisdiction reformed.[527] Yet, while making these smooth and pleasant
offers--calculated, if not to induce the Parliament to come to terms,
at least to raise the Royal cause to a somewhat higher position in
public esteem--his Majesty wrote to his secretary, Nicholas, in the
following style: "I should think, if in your private discourses, I no
wise mean in your public meetings with the London Commissioners, you
would put them in mind that they were arrant rebels, and that their end
must be damnation, ruin, and infamy, except they repented, and found
some way to free themselves from the damnable way they are in (this
treaty being the aptest), it might do good."[528] This double dealing
shews that Charles, in his negotiations with Parliament, fancied he
had to do with creatures of a kind fit only to be inveigled into traps
and snares; and it also shews that, at least, he had so much of
Romish morality as consists in not keeping faith with heretics. His
antagonists felt persuaded of this fact, though they could not put
their hands so easily on the proofs as subsequent revelations enable us
to do. But what they did actually discover made them very suspicious
of his Majesty's proceedings, and induced them to act towards him
sometimes in a manner which appeared not only ungracious, but
inexpedient; we, however, now seeing the whole series of events from
beginning to end, are enabled to discern in some of the most repulsive
acts of the liberal and popular party the keenest foresight and the
broadest prudence.

[Sidenote: _Debates about Ordination._]

To return from Uxbridge to Westminster.

The Presbyterians, working with the best intentions, striving to reform
the people of England and to drive out error and evil, had much trouble
with other matters besides the enforcement of the Directory. Churches
wanted ministers, for scandalous clergymen had been dismissed and aged
clergymen had become incapable. Some too had died, and some had removed
to take charge of other parishes.[529] The Oxford University, wholly
in the hands of Royalists, yielded no candidates for the ministry, and
Bishops would not ordain persons to serve in the new Establishment. In
consequence of these circumstances vacancies were irregularly filled
up, and uneducated persons were wont to thrust themselves into the
sacred office. Amidst this disorder the Presbyterians, sorrowful on
the one hand because of such destitution, and displeased on the other
with the irregularity in such a mode of supply, and at the same time
mortified by the taunts of Royalists and Episcopalians, vigorously
devoted themselves to the business of supplying churches and ordaining
ministers. In the month of April, 1645, Parliament ordered that no one
should preach who had not received ordination in the English or some
other reformed Church, or who had not been approved by the authorities
appointed for the purpose.[530]

[Sidenote: 1645, April.]

It was specially enjoined that this rule should be put in force
throughout the army, because in some regiments Presbyterian
ministrations and worship were not held in high esteem; and the
Lords, who cherished strong Presbyterian sympathies, also directed
the Assembly to prepare a form according to which clergymen might be
ordained without the offices of a diocesan bishop. Long and tiresome
debates arose amongst the Divines in connexion with this latter
subject;--Presbyterians, Independents, and Erastians differing from
each other in the ideas which they entertained of what ordination
meant. This controversy has been long since buried, and we shall not
disinter it from amidst the dust of "old diaries" and "grand debates;"
but the point raised by the Independents, who contended for the right
of each congregation to choose its own ministers, has some vitality
for people in these days. Of course the Presbyterians carried the
question according to their well-known views, and after they had done
so, Parliament, adopting the decision of the Divines, declared by
an ordinance, that the solemn setting apart of presbyters to their
holy office was an institute of the Lord Jesus Christ; that certain
rules ought to be observed in the examination of candidates; that
publicity should be given to the testimonial of the examiners; and
that ordination should be performed by the laying on of the hands
of the presbytery, accompanied by a public fast. It was expressly
stated at the conclusion of the ordinance that it should stand in
force for twelve months, and no longer--a provision which stamped
the arrangements with something of a tentative character. Until
presbyteries could be duly organized, the duty of ordination was vested
in the Assembly; and no wonder that Baillie, in a letter written from
London in February, 1646, laments the onerous and absorbing engagements
which this new law entailed upon the Divines.[531]

As the question of Presbyterian discipline came under discussion, the
debates in the Assembly increased in energy, learning, and acuteness,
as well as in prolixity. No person who has read Dr. Lightfoot's notes
of the proceedings can deny the erudition and controversial acumen of
the disputants on both sides; and all who have glanced over Baillie's
lively pages will admit that this battle for great principles was
waged with sincerity and earnestness. A very important point of
enquiry arose in the month of April, 1644, Whether "many particular
congregations should be under one presbytery?" The Independents pressed
to be heard on the negative side, and spent twenty long sittings in
advocating their opinion. Goodwin was foremost in the debate, but the
rest of the dissenting brethren took their turns. The champions well
acquitted themselves, their enemies being judges. "Truly, if the cause
were good," wrote Baillie, "the men have plenty of learning, wit,
eloquence, and above all, boldness and stiffness to make it out; but
when they had wearied themselves, and over-wearied us all, we found
the most they had to say against the presbytery, was but curious
idle niceties, yea, that all they could bring was no ways concluding.
Every one of their arguments, when it had been pressed to the full, in
one whole session, and sometimes in two or three, was _voiced_, and
found to be light unanimously by all but themselves."[532] There can
be little doubt of this. The reasoning of the Independents would of
course be found wanting when weighed in the Presbyterian balance, and
the majority of the Assembly would naturally consider their own votes
an ample refutation of their adversaries' arguments. "They profess,"
says the same authority in another place, respecting the Independents,
"to regard nothing at all what all the reformed or all the world say,
if _their sayings be not backed with convincing Scripture or reason_.
All human testimonies they declaim against as a popish argument." The
simplicity of the writer is perfectly amusing as he thus insensibly
glides into the position of papal advocates, and tacitly acknowledges
the authority of general opinion in the Church; on the other hand,
the firmness and consistency of these genuine Protestants is truly
admirable, as they resolutely adhere to the only invincible method of
argument by which the cause of the Reformation can be defended.

[Sidenote: _Presbyterians and Independents._]

[Sidenote: 1645.]

While Independent principles favoured universal toleration, the
Presbyterians, by advocating the establishment of classes, synods,
and a general assembly, and by calling on the magistrate to enforce
the authority of the Church, plainly interfered with the civil rights
of the people. The thoughtful among the Independents therefore became
more and more averse to the Presbyterian scheme; they saw that it
would be fatal to those very liberties for which the nation had so
valiantly contended in the field. Accordingly, we find that Philip
Nye, in the March of 1644, boldly contended before the Assembly that a
presbytery was inconsistent with the civil state. This was a galling
accusation, and the Presbyterian party indignantly cried down the
assertion as impertinent. Great confusion arose in the Assembly; but,
undismayed by the combined opposition of a large majority, the champion
of Independency on the following day renewed the impeachment. It was
an aggravation of his offence in the eyes of his adversaries, that he
took advantage of the presence that day of some distinguished noblemen
and others to make his bold avowal. He would enlighten these personages
on the great question. He repeated that the liberties for which the
people fought would be unsafe if Presbyterianism were established.
Again the Presbyterians endeavoured to silence him. The meeting was in
a tumult. Some would have expelled him; but the Independents rallied
round their intrepid friend, declaring their resolution not to enter
the Assembly again if he should be excluded. Whether, after this scene
of excitement, during which it is not improbable that Nye manifested
some warmth of temper, he really became more calm in the advocacy of
his principles; or whether it was a mere expression of triumph on
the part of one who helped to form the majority of the convocation,
and to overcome by clamour the voice of reason, we do not venture to
determine,--but the Scotch Commissioner concludes his account of that
memorable day's proceedings by observing, "Ever since we find him in
all things the most accommodating man in the company."[533]

[Sidenote: _Committee of Accommodation._]

[Sidenote: 1645, November.]

As Presbyterians and Independents thus frequently came into collision
at Westminster, at last a Committee of Accommodation was appointed,
with the view of healing the differences betwixt these two parties.
This committee arose out of a suggestion by Oliver Cromwell; and
the Parliament who appointed it in 1644 directed the committee, in
case union should be impracticable, to devise a plan for meeting the
scruples of tender consciences. The committee selected six of their
number, including two Independents, to draw up propositions for the
purpose; from which it appears that the Independents claimed for their
male Church members the power of voting upon ecclesiastical questions,
and that they contended for the necessity of signs of grace as a
qualification for membership. These positions were irreconcilable with
the scheme of their opponents, which placed the Church under the power
of presbyters, and admitted to communion all who were not scandalous in
their lives. No method could be devised for combining the Independent
with the Presbyterian scheme, although the Independents professed
themselves ready to make the trial; for the Presbyterians determined
in the first instance that their own form of Church government should
be settled as a standard, and that until that was done the exceptions
of the dissentients should not be taken into consideration. As the
Presbyterians resolutely pushed forward the completion of their own
model, the dissenting brethren at last abandoned all attempts at
comprehension, and drew up a remonstrance complaining that they had
been unfairly dealt with. In the month of November, 1645, the Jerusalem
Chamber witnessed further debates between the two parties; but the
question had now reached this point, how far tender consciences,
which cannot submit to the established ecclesiastical government,
may be indulged consistently with the Word of God and the welfare
of the nation? The Independents pleaded for a full toleration, to
which the Presbyterians would not consent, and the former could not
without difficulty be brought to propose any measure of liberty to
be enjoyed exclusively by themselves; yet urged by their opponents
to state what they required in their own case, they replied that
they did not demur to the Assembly's Confession of Faith, and that
they merely sought liberty to form their own congregations, to have
the power of ordination, and to be free from Presbyterian authority.
"In our answer," observes Baillie, "we did flatly deny such a vast
liberty." All the indulgence conceded was that Independents should not
be compelled to receive the Lord's Supper, nor be liable to synodical
censure; and this amount of freedom was made dependent upon their
joining the parish congregation, and then submitting in all but the
excepted particulars to the new ecclesiastical government. Baillie,
who supplies some knowledge of party secrets, informed a friend that
had not the Presbyterians allowed some indulgence, they would have
brought upon themselves insupportable odium, and that in making their
limited offer they were persuaded that it would not be accepted.
The Independents of course were not content with the result of the
controversy, and still sought the liberty of forming Churches of their

[Sidenote: _Committee of Accommodation._]

The threadbare argument about the abuse of liberty and the opening of
a door to all manner of sectaries was zealously urged against any such
toleration as the Independents claimed. Altar would be set up against
altar, it was said, the seamless robe of Christ would be rent, and
the unity of the Church would be destroyed. At last, Burroughs rose
and declared "that, if their congregations might not be exempted from
that coercive power of the classes, if they might not have liberty to
govern themselves in their own way as long as they behaved peaceably
towards the civil magistrate, they were resolved to suffer, or go to
some other place of the world where they might enjoy their liberty.
But while men think there is no way of peace but by forcing all to be
of the same mind, while they think the civil sword is an ordinance of
God to determine all controversies of Divinity, and that it must needs
be attended with fines and imprisonment to the disobedient; while they
apprehend there is no medium between a strict uniformity and a general
confusion of all things;--while these sentiments prevail there must be
a base subjection of men's consciences to slavery, a suppression of
much truth, and great disturbances in the Christian world."[534] The
expression of such wise and beautiful sentiments closed the debates of
this fruitless Committee.


                             CHAPTER XIX.

The Scotch army had crossed the Tweed in the month of January, 1644.
Isaak Walton had seen them marching along with their pikes, and
wearing on their hats this motto, "For the Crown and Covenant of both
kingdoms,"[535] but the quiet angler was not able to understand clearly
what he beheld. These soldiers proved of far less service to England
than was expected. The indiscretion of generals in the field involved
regiments in disaster, and political and religious jealousy at an
early period sprung up between some English and Scotch commanders.
Grounds of difference existed, inasmuch as certain of the southern
captains felt little sympathy with the covenanting zeal of their
northern allies. Both, however, had begun to find out that the enemy
was much stronger than they had at first imagined, and Baillie, in
the month of March, 1644, deplored the persistent attachment of the
Royalists to Episcopacy and absolute monarchy, and the absence from
their consciences of all remorse for their past misdoings. Indeed, he
speaks of so much confidence existing at Oxford, that the popular cause
was there accounted to have sunk into a hopeless state; and the Scotch
presbyter himself complains that the ways of the Parliament were
endless and confused, being full of jealousy, and of other faults. The
Independents, he also says, prevented Church matters from being settled
as he wished; Antinomians and Anabaptists were on the increase, and, in
short, things were altogether in a bad condition.[536]

[Sidenote: _Long Marston Moor._]

The military prospects of the Parliament did not much improve as the
spring advanced. The patriots longed for something to be done. The
Earl of Manchester was besieging York, and upon the consequence of the
expedition in the north, depended the affairs of the Church, scarcely
less than the affairs of the State. When, on July the 2nd, 1644,
Cromwell and Leslie met Prince Rupert on Long Marston Moor, it was
for the purpose of settling an ecclesiastical as well as a political

[Sidenote: 1644, July.]

The two armies stood face to face on that memorable spot, eyeing each
other for hours, within musket shot,[537] the Parliament horse and
foot being ranged along the south side of the moor on rising ground,
amidst fields of standing corn, now tall and wet with rain, whilst the
King's forces were protected by a deep ditch and hedge in front. When
the sun was going down over the wide plain the action commenced. At
first it proved in favour of the Royalists, so much so that the Earl of
Leven's men fled, and the Scotch might be heard crying, "Waes us, we're
a' undone!" Forthwith news of victory flew to Oxford, greeted there
by bell-ringing and bonfires, to be only, however, speedily followed
by very different tidings; for before midnight Cromwell and Leslie
plucked a victory out of the enemy's hands. They charged a brigade of
greencoats, and put to the rout the remainder of the Royalist army. The
chase was continued to within a mile of the walls of York, the dead
bodies, it was said, lying three miles in length, the moon with her
light helping somewhat the darkness of the season.[538]

The part which Cromwell took in this fierce battle gave no little
triumph to the Independent party, who made the most of the Scotch
flight, and hardly did justice to General Leslie.[539] This vexed the
Presbyterians, and already the breach between the two assumed a serious

[Sidenote: _Naseby._]

Though the victory of Marston Moor was of great advantage to the cause
of the Parliament, it certainly did not decide the conflict. So far
from that being the case, the fortunes of war afterwards favoured the
Royalists. In August the Earl of Essex found himself so circumstanced
in his western campaign that he suddenly capitulated to the King--an
untoward event, which naturally called forth the lamentations of the
Westminster Divines.[540] Later still, amongst those persons who were
anxious thoroughly to humble their High Church adversaries, and to
bring the King to terms of complete submission, there might have been
heard complaints to the effect that two summers had passed without the
nation being saved; that victories gallantly gotten by the army, and
graciously bestowed by Heaven, had been put into a bag with holes; that
what was gained one day was lost another, that the summer's victory
became a winter tale; and that the whole game had to be played over
again. The secret of this want of complete success was said to be the
unwillingness of the Presbyterians to crush the Royalists, and their
desire for such an accommodation of differences as would place their
own ecclesiastical polity close by the side of the English throne. The
Independents, therefore, who were loud in making complaints of the
description just indicated, seeing as they did that the Presbyterian
scheme threatened the extinction of that religious liberty with which
their own interests were identified, resolved that there should be
a revision of the whole war policy on their own side, and an entire
reformation effected in the character and tactics of the army. Out of
this determination arose the famous new modelling of the army, and the
self-denying ordinance. These changes were accomplished in the winter
of 1644, and the re-organized forces, under Fairfax and Cromwell, were
ready to take the field by the spring of 1645. When all this had been
accomplished, hopes revived, but the siege and capture of Leicester
by the Royalists, at the end of May, inspired new fears.[541] These,
however, were not of long continuance, and were wholly dissipated by
the memorable battle in the month of June.

[Sidenote: 1645, June.]

On Saturday, the 14th, in the afternoon, the lines of the new-modelled
army were drawn across certain fallow fields in front of the village of
Naseby, whose trim hedges, numerous trees, and solitary windmill are
quaintly depicted in an old wood engraving inserted in Sprigg's history
of the battle; whilst in the open country, in front of the Parliament
troops, the King's forces were stretched out in full array. As at
Marston Moor, so now at Naseby, victory at first seemed to wait upon
Prince Rupert; but he, ever hot-headed, lost his advantage by pursuing
the enemy too far, and came back to find the tide of battle turned
against him. There had been, during his absence, desperate charges
amidst the furze of the rabbit warren, and the swords and pistols of
the Ironsides had proved too much for the well-mounted cavaliers.[542]
This engagement proved decisive beyond question, and its place in
the history of the Civil Wars is most conspicuous, resembling in
this respect the locality where the battle was fought. As Dr. Arnold
observes: "On some of the highest table land in England, the streams
falling on one side into the Atlantic, on the other into the German
Ocean; far away too from any town, Market Harborough the nearest, into
which the cavaliers were chased late in the long summer's evening."

[Sidenote: _Naseby._]

[Sidenote: 1645.]

Fast as a horse could gallop, the news was carried up to London, and
there for days the talk ran on the standards, the field pieces, the
much powder and shot, and the royal coach and baggage, with cabinets
and letters, which had been seized by the conquerors.[543] The
surrender of Leicester to the Parliament resulted from this victory,
and as a further consequence came the second relief of Taunton.[544]
That town was held on behalf of the Parliament by Robert Blake--the
man who said, when the enemy strove to starve him out, that he had not
eaten his boots yet, and who had shewn throughout the siege a patience
which was equalled only by his courage. The remembrance continued fresh
amongst the Taunton people of the Puritan minister's sermon, preached
in the grand old church of St. Mary, on the words, "I am the Lord,
I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed;"--and of
the shouts of "deliverance!" "deliverance!" which rang through the
edifice before the sermon was finished, and which echoed from street
to street as Welden's squadron of horse dashed through the east gate
to the market-place;--nor could any forget the pause which followed in
the church after the tidings had been heard, when all the congregation
knelt down and thanked God for their deliverance. And now, again, the
faith of the inhabitants was rewarded by the arrival of most timely
succour; for the battle of Naseby set Fairfax free to turn his forces
southward, and to scatter the forces of Goring, who had been such
a pest to the county of Somerset. Not only was Taunton effectually
delivered; but Bristol, Bridgewater, Ilchester, and Langport fell into
the hands of the Parliament.

[Sidenote: _Sufferings of the Clergy._]

As the war proceeded, and as blustering Cavaliers galloped over the
country, singing ribald songs and plundering their neighbours; and as
Roundheads, equally stern and demure, marched up and down, singing
psalms and sacking the houses of Royalist malignants, it necessarily
happened that the clergy were great sufferers in the confusion, for
they were required to take a side, wherever the soldiers of either
army came. Those who went not up "to the help of the Lord, to the help
of the Lord against the mighty," fell under a Puritan malediction,
very much like that which was imprecated on Meroz. On the other hand,
such as held back from fighting the battle of their King, were treated
by Royalists as rebellious scoundrels. Between the two, little peace
fell to the lot of country ministers where the torch of war happened
to be kindled. And, indeed, such were the issues at stake, and so
inextricably were religious questions interwoven with political ones,
that it seemed next to impossible for any man whose views were not
hemmed in by the boundaries of his own little parish, not to take part
in the far-spreading and momentous strife.

[Sidenote: 1645.]

The Puritan who espoused the side of Parliament laid himself open
to the violence of Royalists. They would attack his house, break
open his chests and cupboards, take away his little stock of plate,
cut the curtains from his bed, and steal his linen, even to the
pillow-cases. Patience, under such circumstances, became a sign of holy
confessorship, and it was told long afterwards with admiration--akin
to that of a Catholic repeating the legend of a saint--how a good man
so treated, exclaimed with Job, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath
taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."[545] If a clergyman or
chaplain happened to be discovered as a refugee in any castle or in any
camp, he would of course be seized as a prisoner of war; and a story is
told of one such, who was sentenced to be hanged unless he would ask
pardon of the King; which, if he did, he should have not only his life,
but a good church-living; whereupon, conscious of his integrity in the
part he had taken, the stout-hearted man replied--"To ask pardon, when
I am not conscious of any offence, were but the part of a _fool_, and
to betray my conscience in hope of preferment, were but the part of a
_knave_; and if I had neither hope of heaven, nor fear of hell, I would
rather die an honest man, than live a fool or knave." It was hard to
crush or to ensnare any one who was made of this kind of mettle; and
this person, whose name was Balsom, after being delivered from the
halter, went on preaching to the Royalist garrison, declaring--"While
I have a tongue to speak and people to hear, I will not hold my

[Sidenote: _Sufferings of the Clergy._]

But all Puritans did not adopt the political cause of the Parliament.
Some, though incensed at the conduct of Archbishop Laud, still clung to
the fortunes of King Charles. They would never wear a surplice, they
would never make the sign of the cross; but at any time they would
cheerfully die for their sovereign and their country. Such individuals
suffered from the Parliament army almost as much as their brethren
did from the Royalists. The Rector of Okerton,[547] whose reverence
for the Crown was equalled by his dislike to ceremonialism, was four
times pillaged by troops of Roundheads, was twice sent to prison,
and was reduced to such straits that he had to borrow a shirt.[548]
Cases also occurred in which ministers disapproved of an appeal to
arms altogether. A clergyman, who would not keep any days of public
fasting and thanksgiving--because, as he said, he would not give
thanks to God for one man killing another--was persecuted on that
account, and was sent to prison by the governor of Boston for keeping
a conventicle. So all drank of the sorrow-cup by turns; it being
handed sometimes by one man to another, when both of them were alike
Puritans. Walker has collected numerous instances of hardship suffered
by the Royalist clergy during the wars. A distinction is to be made
between the extravagant statements and vituperative remarks in the
first part of his most uncharitable book, and such anecdotes as are
related on the authority of correspondents in the second part. These
latter partake of a legendary character, and are doubtless coloured
highly by their authors; but there is no reason why we should discredit
them altogether; and it is very interesting and instinctive to compare
them with the traditions of confessorship on the Nonconformist side.
Mikepher Alphery, rector of Woolley, in Huntingdonshire, was pulled
out of his pulpit by a file of musketeers, and lived for a week in
a booth under the trees of his churchyard; Lewis Alcock, rector of
North-Stoneham--who seems to have been a "muscular Christian"--when
threatened by the Parliament soldiers, brought his bed down into
the parlour, and with his gun charged, resolved not to give up his
parsonage except with his life. Eldard Alvey, of Newcastle, had to
relinquish everything he possessed, and to provide for the safety
of himself, wife, and seven children, in the night time, whilst his
two curates were threatened with a pistol-shot, if they did not give
up reading prayers. Daniel Berry concealed himself under a pile of
faggots, where his pursuers discovered him by thrusting their swords
into the heap.[549] Other similar cases might be mentioned.

[Sidenote: _Sufferings of the Clergy._]

[Sidenote: 1645.]

The largest amount of suffering experienced by the clergy belongs
to the period when men's passions were exasperated by war. Soldiers
on both sides were the ministers of vengeance. The fiery excitement
kindled in the battle-field was carried into peaceful homes, which
became identified with the camp; and ministers of religion, pious,
faithful, and devoted, might be found, who, if they did not privately
prompt, failed publicly to disapprove of the persecution of their
brethren. In many of the biographical sketches supplied by Walker,
no indications of spiritual religion appear on the part of those
whose livings were sequestered. By some, too, as is evident from
the instance just cited, the most determined resistance was offered
to their persecutors. The spirit of the High Churchman during the
civil wars comes out occasionally in strong contrast with that of the
Puritan after the Restoration. Yet we cannot doubt but that on the
Anglican as well as on the Puritan side there were sufferers, who bore
their Master's cross; that for His sake, from loyalty to what they
conscientiously regarded as His truth, they bravely endured reproach
and wrong. It is amongst the mysteries of Divine Providence, that holy
men in this life have to suffer sometimes in a cause which, although
by themselves accounted good, is by brethren, equally honest, branded
as evil; and that thus there comes to be, in ecclesiastical conflicts,
so much pain, at once conscientiously inflicted, and conscientiously
endured. No calm thinker can fail to discern the anomaly; and no loving
heart but must long for that blessed future, when the fruits of such
strange discipline will be reaped by souls now divided on earth, but
who will then be united in Heaven amidst the purest charity and the
humblest joy.

Only ignorance of the history of those times can lead any one to
suppose that the main ecclesiastical questions at issue were settled
entirely, or even chiefly by the debates of either divines or of
statesmen. What occurred far away from the Jerusalem Chamber, and
from St. Stephen's Chapel, had much to do with the proceedings within
those walls. Naseby fight struck the last blow in the struggle with
Episcopacy, and by crushing the Royalist party, rendered the cause
hopeless; and it also, though in a less obvious manner, materially
affected the fortunes of Presbyterianism, by controlling its excesses,
and preventing the concession of its inordinate demands.


                              CHAPTER XX.

The Naseby triumph was won, not by the Scotch army, or by the English
Presbyterian generals, but chiefly by Cromwell and his Independent
Ironsides. They sustained the hottest brunt of the battle, their
charges bore down the brilliant cavaliers; and they, therefore,
claimed the greenest laurels reaped on that memorable field. They had
become the sworn opponents of the men who were so busy in laying the
corner-stones of the new ecclesiastical establishment. Jealousy of
Presbyterian power was an influence which, combined with a disapproval
of the mode of carrying on the war, produced the self-denying
ordinance, by which certain officers of that persuasion were removed
from command. Not that Cromwell and others had any great distaste
for Presbyterianism considered in itself, since in doctrinal tenets
and religious feeling they agreed with the Genevan school; but with
the exclusiveness and intolerance of its ecclesiastical polity they
were at issue: and they were determined that, while they had tongues
to speak and hands to fight, they would not allow a Presbyterian any
more than an Episcopal Church to trample upon the liberties of other
denominations. They had fought for religious freedom as their own
right, and were prepared to concede it, with certain limitations,
to their brethren; nor would they now, in the hour of their success,
surrender the prize for which they had fought and bled. As the Naseby
heroes assumed an attitude of resolute opposition to the Presbyterians,
the effect soon became visible at Westminster.

[Sidenote: _Unpopularity of the Scotch Army._]

New elections contributed to alter the relative position of these
parties. New writs were issued by the Speaker of the House of Commons,
in August, to fill up vacant seats. Before the end of the year, one
hundred and forty-six fresh members took the oath; and within twelve
months eighty-nine more did the same, amongst whom were Blake, Ludlow,
Algernon Sidney, Ireton, Skippon, Massey, and Hutchinson.

[Sidenote: 1645.]

There was another cause at work in the same direction. The Scotch army
had been the main pillar of Presbyterian hope. In almost every letter
which the indefatigable Robert Baillie wrote home to his friends this
fact appears. No doubt, in the simplicity of his heart, and without any
consciousness of inconsistency, he could stand up in any Edinburgh or
London pulpit and take for his text, "The weapons of our warfare are
not carnal;" and yet, no man was more filled with the idea that the
success of Presbyterianism in England depended upon Scotch soldiers.
To take one instance from a sheaf of quotations. "If by any means we
would get these our regiments, which are called near thirty, to sixteen
thousand marching men, by the blessing of God, in a short time we might
ruin both the malignant party and the sectaries. The only strength
of both these is the weakness of our army. The strength, motion, and
success of that army, in the opinion of all here, is their certain and
quick ruin.... It's our only desire to have the favour of God, and
to hear of the speedy march of our army."[550] But at the time of
which we now speak the Scotch soldiers had become very unpopular. Our
laborious correspondent expostulates with the authorities of his own
country, not only on the dilatoriness of their military movements, but
on the demoralized condition of their troops; so that, as he said, if
justice were not done "on unclean, drunken, blasphemous, plundering
officers," Scotland would "stink in the nose" of England. He was
frightened to hear what many told him of ravishers, blasphemers, and
Sabbath-breakers, being left unpunished. No one could be more zealous
for the discipline of the forces than he who thus discloses his bad
opinion of their character and his fear of the ruinous consequences.
Letters in the State Paper Office indicate what ground there was
for Baillie's apprehensions. These letters complain of the lawless
behaviour of Major Blair's men, stationed in Derbyshire, who broke open
houses, beat women, and robbed the carriers as they came to Winkworth
market. And so it happened, that while the Scotch Presbyterian army,
which was meant to be England's saviour, was sinking into had repute,
Cromwell's Independents were being praised up to the very skies.[551]

The case stood thus. The Scotch and most of the Presbyterians of the
Westminster Assembly were, on the one side, for putting down the sects,
and setting up an ecclesiastical rule which should have government
support without government direction, and exclude from toleration
systems different from their own; and on the other side were the
army, the Erastians, and the Independents, who, differing from each
other in religious opinion and character, were politically united,
forming an irresistible phalanx, which exhibited as its watchwords
such mottoes as these: "State Control over a State Church;" "For other
Churches full Toleration." Two questions had to be decided. Should not
Presbyterianism, established by the civil power, be subject to the
interference of that power? Should not freedom of worship and polity be
allowed to sects dissenting from the Establishment? There was also a
third--Was Presbyterianism of Divine right?

[Sidenote: _The Power of the Keys._]

[Sidenote: 1645.]

Let us see how the three were handled.

I. The question touching "the Power of the Keys" was debated in the
Assembly, and then in the House of Commons. According to Presbyterian
doctrine, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were committed to the
ruling officers of the Church. They had power to call before them any
member, to enquire into his spiritual state, and to suspend him from
the Lord's Supper, if found unworthy of communion. Church censures,
however, while independent of the magistrates' authority as to their
origin, were, in their execution, if necessary, to be supported by the
magistrates' assistance. The Independents agreed with the Presbyterians
thus far, that the most careful order ought to be maintained in the
Church of Christ; but the Independents contended that discipline was a
duty pertaining to the congregation at large, and that no individual
should be set aside, or cut off from Christian privileges, except by the
votes of the community. At the same time, they excluded all magisterial
interference, and could not accept of any enforcement of their own
decisions by legal penalties. The Erastians took a very different
view, and believed that communion ought to be perfectly open, and that
it should be left to every man's conscience to decide respecting his
own fitness for receiving the Lord's Supper. Crimes only, they said,
deserved social penalties, and these were to be adjudged by civil
tribunals. The Presbyterians carried their own point in the Westminster
Assembly. The keys, contrary to the Independent idea, were to be in the
hands of Church officers, and not to be held by the congregation at
large. The keys, contrary to Erastian notions, were to be exclusively
under spiritual, not at all under civil control.

When this question passed from the Assembly to the Commons, and the
time came for deciding the matter, the conclusion of the Assembly
was annulled. The House determined, that if any person found himself
aggrieved by the proceedings of a Presbytery, he might not only appeal
to a superior Church tribunal, but he might bring his case for final
adjudication before the High Court of Parliament. Criminal charges were
reserved entirely for the magistrates' decision, whose certificate was
necessary for the suspension of offenders. A committee of Lords and
Commons also had vested in them a discretionary power to adjudge any
cases of scandal unspecified in the rules for suspension which had been
drawn up by the Assembly.[552]

[Sidenote: _The Power of the Keys._]

The Erastians, who were at this time the leaders of the political
Independent party in the House of Commons, thus defeated their
opponents. By fixing the control of ecclesiastical judicature in
the civil magistracy and in Parliament, they established their own
distinctive principle, which was utterly subversive of the polity
advocated by the Presbyterians. The Church was altogether degraded from
its position as a kingdom not of this world; and also discipline became
so fettered, that in many cases its exercise proved to be impossible.
The rules prepared by the Assembly, and sanctioned by the Commons,
appeared sufficiently formidable to fence the Lord's table against the
approach of improper communicants; yet the very minute specification of
sundry offences, as in all cases of precise canon law, really presented
an obstacle in the way of discipline respecting unspecified offences
against morality and religion. All such minute rules are inherently
vicious, and are singularly out of harmony with New Testament methods
of legislation. Moreover, the interference of magistrates and of
senatorial committees were likely to render these rules inoperative;
and in cases which the rules did not reach, such interference was not
calculated to produce ecclesiastical purity.

One object of the Presbyterians was the establishment of a Church of
incorrupt religion and of undefiled morality. The Puritan Presbyter
resembled the Anglican Archbishop as an apostle of uniformity; but
the former thought much more of moral reformation, and much less of
ritual worship, than the latter. The Church discipline of Presbyterian
courts came nearer to the Church discipline of Archdiaconal ones than
many people suppose; but what is truly moral and religious was raised
by Presbyterians above what is ceremonial in a measure far beyond the
conception of Romanists or Anglo-Catholics. The old ecclesiastical
courts were overturned, many cases of immorality were no longer subject
to jurisdiction; and Presbyterians, who, like Anglicans, treated the
nation as a Church, aimed by their own system to supply what they
considered a great defect in the moral government of the people.

[Sidenote: 1645.]

The English Presbyterians essayed to walk in the path of their Scotch
brethren; and the general conviction of the latter as to the divinity
of that system must be borne in mind. Amongst an equal number of
persons, where one man in England believed prelacy to be a divine
institution, a dozen might be found in Scotland, who were not only
assured that their Church rested upon the foundation of apostles and
prophets, but were resolved also, in its defence, to go to prison,
to the gallows, or to the stake. Church power bore in their eyes the
stamp of Heaven, and owed nothing to Acts and Ordinances of Parliament.
In Scotland, the Reformation had not been, as in England, mainly the
revolt of the laity against the clergy. The clergy had led the way,
like a grand prophet choir, they had headed the host. They had been
in the van as the nation marched out of Egypt; and Moses did not more
rejoice over Pharaoh than John Knox had done over the Man of Sin. Some
will say there was plenty of fanaticism in the Reformation on the
other side the Tweed; but it must be admitted that there was certainly
no time-serving. Braver men never trod God's earth; and the sons now
brought some of their fathers' fire over the border.

But, however admirable the purpose of the Presbyterians might be, the
means employed for its accomplishment were inappropriate, dangerous,
and unjust. They were _inappropriate_, because purity of discipline
has ever been found impossible in a State establishment, whether it
be the superior, the ally, or the subordinate of the civil power; for
a Church which comprehends, or is meant to comprehend, a whole nation
within its pale, must necessarily be open to great laxity of communion.
The means, too, were _dangerous_, because to vest the power of
discipline, entailing civil consequences, in a body of local officers,
was to place the social position and interests of individuals at the
mercy of a few in their own parish, who possibly might be induced
by unworthy motives to give trouble and annoyance. And the means
also were _unjust_, because the penal enforcement of uniformity in
doctrine, worship, and polity, contravened the rights of conscience,
and deprived all Nonconformists of religious liberty. It was not on
the side of opposition to strict discipline and pure fellowship that
religious Independents had any sympathy with the Erastians in their
anti-Presbyterian warfare. Most earnestly did the former inculcate
the importance of these very things, and, for the sake of them, were
prepared to sacrifice many temporal advantages. What they objected
to was, first, the secular power which the new Church wished to
manage and employ for its own purposes; and secondly, the intolerance
towards rival sects with which the supremacy of that Church would be
connected. The Independents maintained, what wise and thoughtful men,
though widely removed from Erastian tendencies, have ever since done,
that if there be an Establishment at all, it is far better that the
State should be mistress of the Church than that the Church should be
mistress of the State. No doubt, the political alliance between the
Erastian and the Independent damaged somewhat the apparent consistency
of the latter; but in this respect, as to what he suffered, he only
shared in the common fate of religious persons when entering into
political combinations; and as to what he did, he only acted like many
individuals since of eminent conscientiousness; for in fact he was glad
of help, from whatever quarter it might come, in his endeavours to
prevent despotism and to resist intolerance.

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

[Sidenote: 1645.]

II. The question of the keys, if it did not exactly involve, certainly
approached the question of _toleration_. At any rate, Church
censures, when left to the presbytery of a parish, gave little hope
of religious liberty being conceded to the parishioners. But, beyond
mere implication and probable contingency, there existed the fact that
the Presbyterian regarded the suppression of opinions and usages
contrary to his own as an inexorable obligation. In addition to the
legal enactment of discipline, he asked power to punish sectaries.
The ministers were ardent in endeavouring to prove the magistrates'
duty to put down heresy and schism. It formed the theme of numerous
sermons preached in St. Margaret's to the House of Commons. The City
Divines, in their weekly meetings at Sion College, debated upon the
best method of securing that end. The zealots of the party would, if
possible, have moved the Corporation of London to throw its influence
into their scale; but, just then, certain political complications
checked the movement, and deep lamentations over the faithless
citizens immediately ensued. So far did some of the Londoners go in
this kind of backsliding, that they even spoke of the Assembly being
dissolved[553]--an extreme measure, which the Lords Say and Wharton,
in their jealousy of ecclesiastical encroachments upon the liberties
of the people, had also proposed in the Upper House.[554] At the
same period, books and pamphlets were written by Prynne and others,
to establish the claims of the new ecclesiastical polity, and the
righteousness of treating all sectaries as obstinate offenders.[555]
One of their advocates, in the heat of his eloquence, declared,
"that to let men serve God according to the persuasion of their
own consciences is to cast out one devil, that seven worse might
enter."[556] The Scotch were too much interested in the subject, and
took too prominent a part in the settlement of ecclesiastical affairs
in England, to be silent at this crisis.[557] But the style of the
letter which they sent to Parliament ruffled the tempers of many of
the members, though it received at the time a courteous and dignified
notice; but two months afterwards, when another address of a similar
character, yet less offensive in style, came from the same quarter, and
was published without authority, the Houses voted the "papers false and
scandalous, and, as such, to be burnt by the hand of the hangman."[558]

[Sidenote: _Toleration._]

[Sidenote: 1645.]

The Presbyterian advocates, as they insisted upon the excision of
heresy and schism by the sword of the State, never attempted to do
so on grounds of political expediency with the idea, that by hunting
out heresy and schism they would be getting at serpents of treason
hidden underneath. Very different were the grounds of their policy
from some selected by the Anglican Church at the Restoration. Fidelity
to Christ's crown--pure zeal for His covenant--were put forth, and
sincerely felt in a number of cases, as the main, if not the sole,
motive of the Presbyterian crusade against hated sects. Perhaps
sometimes Independents and Presbyterians did not clearly understand
one another. The former might, at times, seem to countenance the moral
toleration of error and sin, and to be thinking more of liberty than of
truth. On the other hand, the Presbyterian polemic might sometimes only
intend to pour out his fiery wrath upon sympathy with falsehood and
evil when he denounced toleration; but certainly this was not always
the case, and it may be added that, generally, he prized truth much
more than liberty. Neither side seemed to discern that the defence of
freedom in religion must rest simply on the _civil right_ of every
man to pursue his own course, to declare his own opinions, and to act
according to his own convictions, so long as he does not interfere
with his neighbours who wish to do the same. We are prepared to judge
favourably of the motives of the Presbyterians; but if their motives
in some degree redeem their character, it must be admitted that men
holding the opinions of toleration which many at least of that party
did, though they may act under the influence of the best feelings, are
very dangerous persons to be at the head of public affairs. If, under
the idea that they have a mission from Heaven for the purpose, and
with a desire to promote the glory of God, they set to work to gather
the tares from amidst the wheat, woe be to the culture of the field
altogether, and to the growth even of the good grain. He who perfectly
understood this subject interdicted all such interference, no matter
how pious the intent, and laid down a law which is utterly inconsistent
with all intolerance--"Let both grow together to the harvest." After
His decision on the subject, for any persons, however wise and good in
other respects, to attempt the extermination of error and evil by the
scythe of civil penalties, is sheer fanaticism, whether the endeavour
be made by a Protestant ecclesiastical court or by a Roman Catholic

[Sidenote: _Divine Right of Presbyterianism._]

III. The doctrine of the _Divine right of Presbyterianism_ was bound
up with its scheme of discipline and its principle of intolerance. The
majority of the Westminster Assembly would not rest content with the
establishment of their Church by the simple decree of Parliament. They
required it to be recognized by the State as _of Divine authority_. Not
only did the Presbyterian say that he believed--which was consistent
and proper--that his own system rested upon the teaching of the New
Testament; but he demanded that the highest power in the realm should
say the same, and enforce its peculiarities, as requirements clothed
with a celestial sanction. This doctrine the Independents opposed, on
the ground that they considered their own Church polity to be nearer
the Word of God. The Erastians also opposed it, because they did not
believe in the Divine foundation of any ecclesiastical rule at all.
Both parties alike opposed it on the principle, that if the State chose
to endow a Church, the State must be left to do so on its own terms.
In this way it happened, as it often does in controversy, that parties
proceeding from different and even opposite points, found themselves
at length side by side, in honest and hearty alliance, so far as
related to a resistance of common foe. But it should be borne in mind
that it was not in the character of religionists that Independents and
Erastians formed their combination, but in the character of patriots
and politicians, who were agreed in resisting a body of men whose
success in the advocacy of intolerance they judged would be as inimical
to the temporal welfare as it would be destructive to the religious
liberties of the nation.

[Sidenote: 1645.]

There were debates on the _jus Divinum_ in the Assembly, and sterner
and more important debates on the same subject in the House of Commons.
The five brethren argued from Scripture for Congregationalism against
Presbyterianism; and Whitelocke and Selden employed their learning and
logic to prove that the Bible did not decide the question one way or
the other. At length a crisis came. The Presbyterians of the Assembly,
in concert with their Scotch brethren, complained of the Erastian
clauses in the Parliamentary ordinance for discipline, and asserted
the Divine right of the scheme of government. The House of Commons
declared that the Assembly had no right to complain of the decision
of Parliament, since the Divines had been called together simply to
give advice, and that with giving advice their functions came to an
end. Members spoke of the penalties of a _præmunire_, and held up that
which has been described as the "fatal spell before which spiritual
pretensions sunk exorcised, mysterious as excommunication and no less
terrible in its vagueness."[559] At the same time, they called on the
Assembly to answer certain queries as to the nature and extent of the
_jure Divino_ claim. This was done simply with the view of putting
off a serious collision with the Assembly. But whatever want of
earnestness there might be on the side of Parliament in proposing the
questions, no want of earnestness is seen on the side of the Assembly
in answering them. Yet, when the replies were ready in July, 1646, the
Assembly became afraid of a final rupture, and, under the terror of
a _præmunire_, abstained from publishing what they had prepared. The
Divines of Sion College, however, took up the controversy, and would
have vigorously pursued it, had not Parliament cut short the matter by
peremptorily insisting that the ordinances issued in March should be
obeyed. After relieving their consciences by an explanation of their
views, these reverend persons submitted[560] to the authority which
they found it impossible to resist.

[Sidenote: _Westminster Assembly._]

As we shall not have occasion again to notice the Westminster Assembly,
it is convenient here to conclude its history. No Convocation ever
sat so long. Gathered in the summer of 1643, it pursued its work till
the autumn of 1647, when, the main business of the ecclesiastical
commission being completed, the Scotch members took their leave.
But from that time up to the winter of 1648-9, a few of the Divines
continued to examine ministerial candidates; and afterwards a small
committee met for the same purpose every Thursday morning, even as late
as the spring of 1652. Upon the breaking-up of the Long Parliament
by Oliver Cromwell, this appendage silently disappeared without any
formal dissolution. Neither before nor since did any convocation of
the Church in England go over so much ground, and accomplish so much
work. In this respect it rivals the Council of Trent. The whole range
of dogmatic divinity, together with ecclesiastical polemics, and
devotional formularies, came under discussion. Notice has been taken
of the partial revision of the Thirty-nine Articles, of the Directory
for worship, and of the humble advice for the ordination of ministers,
and the settling of Presbyterian government. It is almost needless to
say that the Westminster Divines prepared a confession of faith. A
committee, including Reynolds, afterwards Bishop of Norwich, drew up
this document. They divided themselves into sections, each taking a
specific topic. When a chapter had been fully prepared it was submitted
to the Assembly, and then again subjected to minute examination,
sentence by sentence, and word by word. There were long and tough
debates on the doctrine of election. Neal says, "All the Divines were
in the anti-Arminian scheme, yet some had a greater latitude than
others. I find in my MS. the dissent of several members against some
expressions relating to reprobation, to the imputation of the active
as well as passive obedience of Christ, and to several passages in
the chapters of liberty of conscience and Church discipline; but the
confession, as far as it related to articles of faith, passed the
Assembly and Parliament by a very great majority."[561]

[Sidenote: 1643-52.]

The confession consists of thirty-three chapters--the first on the
Holy Scriptures, the last on the final judgment. The doctrines of
Calvinism are sharply defined in an order and in a form which many
theologians of the present day, substantially Calvinistic, cannot
adopt. Certain chapters, interspersed with the rest--the twentieth, on
Christian liberty and liberty of conscience, the thirtieth, on Church
censures, and the thirty-first, on synods and councils--plainly exhibit
the intolerance of the times in connection with the principles of
Presbyterian government. As everything which the Assembly did had to be
submitted to Parliament for its sanction, this theological manifesto
came under the consideration of that supreme court. The doctrinal
portions were ratified by the two Houses, but the particulars as to
discipline were "recommitted;" which, under the circumstances, though
it did not amount to a formal, yet proved a virtual rejection.[562]

[Sidenote: _Westminster Assembly._]

Two catechisms, the longer and the shorter, were also prepared at
Westminster,--the last of which, with its scripture proofs, was much
more familiar to the children of Nonconformists in past generations
than in the present. The Annotations which bear the name of the
Assembly were, in fact, the production of a committee appointed by
Parliament, including learned men who never belonged to the Assembly
at all. The Assembly also undertook the revision of psalmody, which
has obtained less notice than it deserves. Congregations were getting
tired of Sternhold and Hopkins; consequently Parliament recommended
there should be a new version. One, by Mr. Rouse, found favour with the
Commons, and was submitted to the consideration of the Divines, who,
after a careful perusal and some emendations, pronounced it "profitable
to the Church, should it be publicly sung." But Mr. Rouse had a rival
in Mr. Barton, who likewise had prepared a new psalter. He petitioned
the Lords in favour of his own work, and obtained their patronage. They
passed a resolution, enquiring of the Divines why Mr. Barton's book
might not be used as well as others? The Lower House soon afterwards
decided that Mr. Rouse's psalms and no others should be sung in all
churches and chapels within the kingdom of England, the dominion of
Wales, and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The Assembly, in answer to
the queries of the House of Lords, replied that, if liberty should
be given to people to sing whatever translation they liked, several
different books would be used even in one and the same congregation
at the same time, "which would be a great distraction and hindrance
to edification." This was such an extraordinary contingency, that
to contemplate it as at all probable, indicated the existence of an
astonishing amount of disunion and obstinacy. It is a significant fact
that, whilst in the Episcopal Church of England, after the imposition
of the Prayer Book, the choice of a form of psalmody was left to the
discretion of the clergy and their congregations, the Presbyterians,
when in power, would not allow such liberty, but endeavoured to secure
uniformity in the worship of praise, such as in the worship of prayer
they did not even permit.[563]

[Sidenote: 1643-52.]

The Westminster Assembly has seldom been treated with justice. By
Episcopal Churchmen, too generally, it is depreciated; and by some
it is dismissed with a few words of unconcealed contempt. Scotch
Presbyterians have extravagantly extolled it; and Neal, the Independent
historian of Puritanism is accused of damning it with faint praise.
Clarendon speaks of the Assembly in words of scorn; and Walker, still
more deeply prejudiced, writes against it with wearisome vituperation.
Milton, who had incurred the censure of the Divines by his doctrine
of divorce, could not be expected to pronounce an equitable judgment
on their merits; and we do not wonder at the resentment which burns
against his censurers through certain magnificently sonorous sentences
in the third book of his History of England.[564] Baxter's words have
been often quoted on this subject, and though not free from partiality,
they deserve more than those of any other man to be repeated: "The
Divines, there congregate, were men of eminent learning and godliness,
and ministerial abilities and fidelity; and being not worthy to be one
of them myself, I may the more freely speak that truth which I know,
even in the face of malice and envy, that, as far as I am able to
judge by the information of all history of that kind, and by any other
evidences left us, the Christian world, since the days of the apostles,
had never a synod of more excellent Divines (taking one thing with
another) than this synod and the synod of Dort were."[565]

[Sidenote: _Westminster Assembly._]

[Sidenote: 1643-52.]

This is high praise; but it comes nearer to the truth than the
condemnatory verdicts pronounced by some others. The godliness of the
men is proved by the spirit of their writings, and by the history of
their lives. Their talents and attainments even Milton does not attempt
to deny. No one would think of comparing any of them with Jeremy Taylor
in point of eloquence; and in breadth of sacred learning, in a certain
skilful mastery of knowledge, and in the majesty and grace of polemical
argument, the best were not equal to Hammond and Pearson. Cosin would
surpass them all in some branches of study, which they would account
useless. Certainly, none of them had the sagacious quaintness of Bishop
Hall, or the inexhaustible wit of Thomas Fuller; but quaintness and
wit are qualities not needed in theological conferences. Even superior
eloquence and large accomplishments may, in such case, be dispensed
with. The Westminster Divines had learning--scriptural, patristic,
scholastical, and modern--enough, and to spare; all solid, substantial,
and ready for use.[566] Lightfoot and Selden were of ponderous but not
unwieldy erudition; and Arrowsmith and Calamy, though less known to
literary fame, were ripe and ready scholars. Caryl and Greenhill had
abundance of knowledge; Dr. Goodwin was, in many respects, the greatest
Divine amongst them all. Moreover, in the perception and advocacy of
what is most characteristic and fundamental in the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, they were, as a body, considerably in advance of some who could
put in a claim to equal, and perhaps higher scholarship. They had a
clear, firm grasp of evangelical truths. The main defect and the chief
reproach of the Assembly consisted in the narrowness and severity of
their Calvinism, and in the fierce and persistent spirit of intolerance
manifested by the majority.


                             CHAPTER XXI.

The new modelling of the army was a necessary measure, and produced a
very great moral improvement. Even Hampden had spoken of the insolence
of the soldiers, and, after the fall of Reading, complaints of their
conduct reached the Earl of Essex. It was declared that they had grown
"outrageous," and that they were "common plunderers." According to
report, they had ransacked five or six gentlemen's houses in a single
morning. In fact, the Roundheads, in some instances, had grown to be
as odious as the Cavaliers; and, without better discipline, they were
threatening to prove a ruin, rather than "a remedy to this distracted
kingdom." Having claimed an independence incompatible with military
subjection, these volunteers needed a thorough re-organization, such
as was accomplished by the new model. Fairfax, in his first march
after the reform had commenced, resolved on "the punishment of former
disorders, and the prevention of future misdemeanours." Offenders were
tried and justice was summarily executed. A "renegado" was hanged _in
terrorem_ upon a tree at Wallop, in Hampshire, as certain troops were
marching through that parish; and the next day a proclamation was
issued, threatening with death any one who should dare to commit any
act of plunder. There is no reason to doubt the testimony of Joshua
Sprigg, Fairfax's chaplain, that a moral reformation ensued upon the
adoption of the new military constitution, and that the men became
"generally constant, and conscientious in duties; and by such soberness
and strictness conquered much upon the vanity and looseness of the

[Sidenote: 1646.]

But the state of religion chiefly concerns us. If the church at Oxford
had been turned into a Royalist camp, the camp of Fairfax and Cromwell
might now be said to be turned into a Republican Church. Not that there
existed any organized ecclesiastical government, or any uniformity of
worship; but, according to the authority just quoted, "the officers,
many of them, with their soldiery, were much in prayer and reading
Scripture," an exercise which before they had "used but little." "Men
conquer better," adds the chaplain, "as they are saints than soldiers;
and in the countries where they came they left something of God as well
as of Cæsar behind them--something of piety as well as pay."[567]

[Sidenote: _Religion in the Camp._]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Richard Baxter spent some time with the army, and has largely recorded
his opinion of its condition. He found that an "abundance of the
common troopers," and that many of the officers were honest, sober,
and orthodox; but he complains of a few proud, hot-headed sectaries,
amongst Cromwell's chief favourites, who by their "heat and activity
bore down the rest, or carried them along with them." Baxter, with
all his large-hearted charity, was not free from prejudice with
regard to this subject, and his accounts of the "sectaries" must
therefore be received with caution. He tells us they were hard upon
the Presbyterian ministers, putting some gall into their wit, calling
them "priest-byters, dry-vines, and the dissembly men." Honest
soldiers of weak judgments, and little theological knowledge, were
seduced into a disputing vein, sometimes for state democracy, and
sometimes for church democracy, sometimes against forms of prayer,
and sometimes against infant baptism,--sometimes against set times
of prayer and the binding themselves to any duty before the Spirit
moved them, and sometimes about free grace and free will, "and all the
points of Antinomianism and Arminianism." We are by this reminded of
the description of the Eastern Church by Gregory, of Nyssa. He tells
us that knots of people at the street corners of Constantinople were
discussing incomprehensibilities; in the market-place money-changers
and shopkeepers were similarly employed. When a man was asked how
many _oboli_ a thing cost, he started a discussion upon generated and
ungenerated existence. Enquiries of a baker about bread were answered
by the assertion--that the Father is greater than the Son. When
anybody wanted a bath, the reply was, the Son of God was created from
nothing.[568] With some allowance for the extravagance of the satire,
and with a change of terms to suit the Commonwealth controversies, the
description of his countrymen by the Greek preacher may be applied
to many of the soldiers of the new-modelled army. Here a field
opened for controversy, adapted to Baxter's subtle and debate-loving
nature. Honest as the day, with a passionate desire to reform the
army, he went from tent to tent, with the Bible under his arm, whilst
his eyes flashed with fire burning in the very depths of his soul.
Everybody who knows the man will believe him when he says: "I was
almost always, when I had opportunity, disputing with one or other
of them, sometimes for our civil government, and sometimes for church
order and government, sometimes for infant baptism, and oft against
Antinomianism and the contrary extreme." Well armed with theological
weapons, he was as much in his element with "the sword of the Spirit,"
cutting down regiments of ghostly errors, as any pikeman or trooper
could be as he was stabbing an enemy or firing a pistol at his breast.
Baxter particularly records an encounter he had at Amersham. Bethel's
troopers, with other sectarian soldiers, accompanied by some of the
inhabitants of Chesham, had a pitched battle with the Presbyterian
Divine. He occupied the reading pew, and his antagonists, "Pitchford's
cornet and troopers," took their place in the gallery: the church being
filled "with poor, well-meaning people, that came in the simplicity of
their hearts to be deceived." The debate went on till nightfall; Baxter
stopping to the very last, lest his retirement should be construed into
a confession of defeat.

[Sidenote: _Religion in the Camp._]

It is remarkable that this champion of orthodoxy assures us that he
found nearly one half of the religious party either sound in their
belief, or only slightly tinged with error; and that the other half
consisted of honest men, who, with kindly and patient help, seemed
likely to be recovered from their theological mistakes. There were, in
his judgment, only a few fiery spirits, and they made all the noise
and bustle. One of the heaviest charges which he brings against the
sectaries will, in the present day, redound to their honour; for he
observes: "Their most frequent and vehement disputes were for liberty
of conscience, as they called it, that is, that the civil magistrate
had nothing to do to determine anything in matters of religion, by
constraint or restraint, but every man might not only hold, but
preach and do, in matters of religion, what he pleased--that the civil
magistrate hath nothing to do but with civil things, to keep the peace,
and protect the Churches, liberties."[569] In short, it appears that
the Roundhead army really contained a set of men who anticipated John
Locke's doctrine of toleration, and something more.

[Sidenote: 1646.]

The chaplain of Fairfax was Joshua Sprigg, an Independent minister,
already mentioned. Breathing the spirit then prevalent in the camp,
he advocated the toleration of extreme opinions; but does not appear
himself to have been a man of extravagant views. His history of the
army is creditable to his intelligence and judgment; and, though
tinctured with the peculiar rhetoric of the day, it is singularly free
from all fanaticism. Another Independent Divine holding a chaplaincy
under General Fairfax was the celebrated John Owen. The General had
his head quarters for a time at Coggeshall, where Owen officiated as
vicar, and in 1648 he preached before his Excellency and the Committee
two sermons, which are published.[570] They commemorate the surrender
of Colchester, and the deliverance at Rumford; and with an oratorical
flourish, which has been severely criticised,--but which really means
nothing more than that Providence had given success to the arms of
the Parliament--the preacher speaks of the God of Marston Moor. The
accommodation of the passage in Habakkuk--"God came from Naseby,
and the Holy One from the West; His glory covered the heavens, and
the earth was full of His praise," is less defensible--though the
excitement of the moment, the flush of victory, and the aspect of a
military audience, may be allowed to mitigate our censure of Owen's
want of taste on the occasion;--and taste is hardly to be looked for in
a military preacher, amidst the throes of a revolution full of fire and
blood. The martial zeal appearing in some parts of these discourses is
only a specimen of what blazed up much more fiercely in the addresses
of other ministers who fulfilled their vocation in garrisons and tented
fields. What must some of the sermons have been, where there was not
Owen's learning, judgment, and devoutness to check the orator! And
let us not here omit to remark, that Owen was true to the principle
which was the guiding star of the new army, and insisted strongly in
these sermons upon the iniquity of persecuting men for religion. In
this respect there were few, if any, of the religious teachers popular
amongst Cromwell's troops, who did not sympathize with the Coggeshall

[Sidenote: _Religion in the Camp._]

It is useless to pick out the names of chaplains now unknown. Many of
them, no doubt, if we were fully acquainted with their history, would
be found more respectable and worthy men than were others whom we see
thrown conspicuously on the surface, to attain by no means an enviable
notoriety. Hugh Peters is chief of this class. He certainly must have
been a man of considerable ability to have gained the influence which
he possessed; and in earlier life he could have been no worse than
a coarse but energetic preacher, followed by crowds of the common
people. Escaping to Rotterdam to avoid persecution, he became colleague
with the learned Dr. William Ames in the pastorate of an Independent
Church.[571] The man bore a good reputation then, and, it is said,
procured £30,000 for the relief of the Irish poor. He also visited New
England, and for a long time after his return did not give up the idea
of going back to America. In Sprigg's "History of the Army," Peters,
who early became a military chaplain, is introduced repeatedly as a
messenger to Parliament with tidings of victory, for which he received
handsome rewards. A chaplain might have been better employed than in
conveying messages of this nature, yet such an occupation was not so
unsuitable to his sacred character as some other employments in which
he was engaged; for it is related of him that he acted as a recruiting
officer in market towns, entered into treaty with Royalist commanders
for the surrender of garrisons, and even acted as a general of brigade
against the Irish rebels.[572]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Another individual, less known to posterity, who combined the offices
of chaplain and captain, was Thomas Palmer, of Nottingham, the account
of whom by Lucy Hutchinson gives us an insight into a kind of character
then very common. He had a bold, ready, earnest way of preaching, and
lived holily and regularly as to outward conversation, whereby he
obtained a great reputation, which swelled his vainglorious, covetous,
contentious, and ambitious spirit. He had insinuated himself so far as
to make these godly men desire him for their captain, which he had more
vehement longing after than they, yet would have it believed that the
honour was rather forced upon him. Being at that time in the castle
with his family, he came to the governor and his wife, telling them
that these honest people pressed him very much to be their captain, and
desiring advice on the subject. They freely told him, that, as he held
a charge of another kind, they thought it not fit for him to engage in
this new one, and that he might equally advance the public service and
satisfy the men who made the request by marching with them simply in
the character of chaplain. He went away, she said, confused, observing
that he would endeavour to persuade them to be content; but afterwards
he informed her that they would not be otherwise satisfied, and so he
was forced to accept the commission.[573]

Allowing for the lady's prejudices, her story of Palmer may be admitted
in the main; and we may add that, in another part of her narrative,
she mentions four hundred people, whereof "more than half were high
malignants, who enlisted under one Mr. Coates, a minister and a godly

[Sidenote: _Religion in the Camp._]

John Saltmarsh, another of the army chaplains, was a somewhat different
character. He must have been a man of irreproachable spirit, for,
according to a report preserved by Anthony Wood, "he always preached
the bonds of love and peace, praying that that might be the cord
to unite Christians in unity." "He meddled not in the pulpit with
Presbytery and Independency," but only "laboured to draw the soul
from sin to Christ."[574] Yet strange stories are told of him. He had
visions just before his death. He visited Windsor Castle, where he
refused to take off his hat to Fairfax and Cromwell, because, he said,
the Lord was angry with them for committing the saints to prison. After
administering reproof which was equally distinguished by faithfulness
and fanaticism, he took his leave, remarking that he had finished
his errand and must depart never to see the army any more. Returning
home, cheerful and in health, to his wife at Ilford, he told her he
had finished his course and must go to his Father; and then lying down
immediately afterwards upon his bed, he died quietly the next day.
These facts taken together indicate a disturbed condition of the brain
just as the soul was about to shake off its mortal coil. But on turning
to Saltmarsh's "Sparkles of Glory, or Some Beams of the Morning Star,"
the only book which we have read of his, we notice in it some of the
clearest expositions of religious liberty which can be found in the
literature of those times. The spirit of the treatise is singularly
beautiful, and the teaching of such a man must have been of a healing
tendency. It is very true he undervalued the baptism of water, and
depreciated all outward ceremonies--in fact, entertained many opinions
in common with Quakers; but he had an intense craving after spiritual
unity, believing that he found God in lower as well as in higher
things, in purer as well as in more corrupt administrations, and
expressing "his tenderness and respect towards Episcopalians at home
and abroad, though he did not approve of their forms." A mystical
element pervades his books, strongly reminding us of John Tauler; and
that person is to be pitied who can read the writings of such men
without deriving interest and edification. Each exhibits an imaginative
mind, striving eagerly to catch glimpses of the infinite and eternal,
united to a tremulously sensitive heart, which reacts on the intellect
and electrically touches it, so as to make every idea quiver with
emotion. There was an abundance of mysticism in the Parliamentary camp;
it might and did run into phantasies; but beneath much of what some
keen men of the world would ridicule as jargon and absurdity, there may
be felt the pulsations of the old patriarch's desire, "O that I knew
where I might find HIM!"

[Sidenote: 1646.]

[Sidenote: _Religion in the Camp._]

The religion of the camp, in which Fairfax and Cromwell had the rule,
will not be fully understood unless we notice the ministrations of
those officers who became theological teachers, although they claimed
no clerical character. By them indeed the distinction between clergy
and laity was quite broken down. Cromwell, Harrison, Berry, and others,
preached and prayed in a manner esteemed by many of the soldiers more
edifying than that of some Presbyterian, or even some Independent
clergymen. It would be idle to judge of them by rules applicable to
the arrangements of a standing army of the present day; although few
now would object to religious efforts for the welfare of soldiers
such as were employed by the late lamented General Havelock. But,
nobody can deny that fondness for preaching became a monomania in the
Parliamentary army. It led to inflammatory harangues, and also to dry
and distressing diatribes. Ninety-seven divisions might be numbered
in discourses by these sermonizing majors.[575] A preference for the
style of preaching peculiar to such persons, or a prejudice in favour
of doublet and cuirass over Genevan cloak and bands, or a belief in
current scandals touching the parochial clergy, made the Roundhead
soldiers at times disgracefully impatient under the preaching of
regular ministers:--as, for example, when Captain Pretty, at Taunton,
"with much admirable incivility," commanded the Presbyterian, Master
Shepherd, to come down from the pulpit, publicly charging him with a
"disorderlie walk."

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Thank God, by the side of this fanatical folly, and even mixed up with
it, there may be discovered also much of honest devotion and Christian
morality. In many a military assembly during the civil wars, gathered
in town or country church--or under some canvas roof in the midst of
a camp--or in the open air by the hill-side--or in the depth of a
valley--or upon a village green--or under the shadow of a secluded
grove--where some unlettered soldier preached the gospel and prayed
with his comrades--though there might be not a little to shock a
cultivated taste, there would be very much more which was acceptable to
Him who is a Spirit, and who overlooks much which is annoying to us, if
men do but worship Him in spirit and in truth. Favourably would these
simple and irregular forms compare with more orderly and imposing modes
of religious service in cathedrals and churches and chapels,

    "Where men display to congregations wide,
    Devotion's every grace except the heart."

Those who fought at Marston Moor and Naseby could not have cultivated
so much communion with the Invisible as they did, without thereby
gaining strength for carrying the daily burdens and fighting the common
battles of human life. There is hardly more of poetry than of truth in
the picture of a Puritan trooper with his helmet on the ground, and his
sword-belt unfastened, sitting by his tent door in the heat of the day,
to talk with the angels of God, whom faith in the well-worn book on his
knee had enabled him to behold:--or, of another veteran of the same
class, the night before a great battle, with clasped hands, looking up
to the bright stars, seeking by prayer the help which he needed from
the God above them. And all this kind of experience must have made such
people not only better soldiers, but better men. It might not correct
those obliquities of vision with which they regarded the character of
their own cause, and the conduct of its enemies; but, where the great
questions of the day did not interfere with their judgment and their
will, prayer and the Bible helped to make them what it was their duty
to be in the common relationships of human life, in their neighbourly
charities, and in their habitual behaviour as fathers and husbands,
as brothers and sons, as friends and citizens. We are convinced that
multitudes of those who fought for the liberties of their country in
the civil wars, were not the contemptible fanatics which they are
frequently represented as being, but noble-hearted men, of whom the
world was not worthy, and England may well be proud.

[Sidenote: _Religion in the Camp._]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Some years afterwards, Whitelocke, the Commonwealth Ambassador to
Christina of Sweden, had a curious conversation with her Majesty,
respecting the religion of the army. "I have been told," said the
Queen, "that many officers of your army will themselves pray and
preach to the soldiers; is that true?" Whitelocke replied, "Yes, madam,
it is very true. When their enemies are swearing, or debauching, or
pillaging, the officers and soldiers of the Parliament's army used
to be encouraging and exhorting one another out of the Word of God,
and praying together to the Lord of Hosts for His blessing to be with
them; who hath shewed His approbation of this military preaching by
the successes He hath given them." "That's well. Do you use to do so,
too?" asked the Queen. "Yes," said the Ambassador, "upon some occasions
in my own family, and think it is as proper for me, being the master
of it, to admonish and speak to my people, when there is cause, as to
be beholden to another to do it for me, which sometimes brings the
chaplain into more credit than his lord." "Doth your General and other
great officers do so?" she proceeded to enquire. "Yes, madam," returned
Whitelocke, "very often, and very well. Nevertheless, they maintain
chaplains and ministers in their houses and regiments; and such as are
godly and worthy ministers have as much respect and as good provision
in England as in any place of Christendom. Yet 'tis the opinion of
many good men with us, that a long cassock, with a silk girdle, and
a great beard, do not make a learned or good preacher, without gifts
of the Spirit of God, and labouring in His vineyard; and whosoever
studies the Holy Scriptures, and is enabled to do good to the souls of
others, and endeavours the same, is nowhere forbidden by that Word, nor
is it blameable. The officers and soldiers of the Parliament held it
not unlawful, when they carried their lives in their hands, and were
going to adventure them in the high places of the field, to encourage
one another out of His Word, who commands over all; and this had more
weight and impression with it than any other word could have, and was
never denied to be made use of but by the popish prelates, who by no
means would admit lay people (as they call them) to gather from thence
that instruction and comfort which can nowhere else be found." The
Queen complimented the theological envoy. "Methinks you preach very
well, and have now made a good sermon. I assure you I like it very
well." The politeness of a courtier was not wanting in return. "Madam,
I shall account it a great happiness if any of my words please you."
Her Majesty continued to say, "Indeed, Sir, these words of yours do
very much please me; and I shall be glad to hear you oftener on that
strain. But I pray, tell me, where did your General, and you, his
officers, learn this way of praying and preaching yourselves?" "We
learnt it from a near friend of your Majesty," he added, with truth and
adroitness, "whose memory all the Protestant interest hath cause to
honour." "My friend," replied the Queen, "who was that?" "It was your
father," rejoined Whitelocke, "the great King Gustavus Adolphus, who
upon his first landing in Germany (as many then present have testified)
did himself in person upon the shore, on his knees, give thanks to
God for His blessing upon that undertaking; and he would frequently
exhort his people out of God's Word; and God testified His great liking
thereof, by the wonderful successes He was pleased to vouchsafe to
that gallant King."[576] But we must leave the religious exercises of
Cromwell's army, as our history now requires us to follow King Charles
to the Scotch camp.

From May to July the Divine right of Presbyterianism formed a salient
topic of conversation and debate amongst citizens and statesmen.[577]
From May to July the same question was agitated at Newcastle between
King Charles and Alexander Henderson.

[Sidenote: _Charles I. and Henderson._]

The backbone of the King's strength having been broken at Naseby,
and his midland capital being environed with a Parliamentary army,
the monarch, defeated on all sides, resolved to flee. Though every
reasonable hope had vanished, still he kept up his spirits--trusting to
his own talent for intrigue, to some wonderful interposition of Divine
Providence, and, above all, to that divinity which "doth hedge a king."

In a state of entire indecision as to whither he should bend his
steps, the royal fugitive rode out of Oxford, and pursued the road to
London. A thoughtful journey it must have been; and, at last, as he
approached the metropolis, at Hillingdon, his heart sunk within him,
when, pulling his bridle to the left, he galloped off through a cross
country to the Scotch camp at Newark.[578] Arrived there, his treatment
by those into whose arms he threw his fortunes without his confidence,
was sufficient to cast him into absolute despair but for that strange
hopefulness to which we have just referred. Removing with the army from
Newark to Newcastle, the annoyances of his position considerably
increased.[579] In his letters to Queen Henrietta Maria--his dear
heart, as he fondly called her--he complained of being barbarously
baited and threatened, of new vexations which happened to him every
day; declaring to her that there never was a man so lonely as he, and
then with a beautiful touch of tenderness he assured the woman--really
the star of his evil fortunes--that she was his last comfort, and that
her letters in cypher were around him all day, and under his pillow all

[Sidenote: 1646, July.]

[Sidenote: _Charles I. and Henderson._]

Alexander Henderson sought to effect the King's conversion. Sheets and
sheets of closely-written paper passed between them throughout those
wearisome months. Each did his best. Day after day, night after night,
these controversialists read and reflected, wrote and revised, and
it must be allowed, to the credit of the King, that the intelligence
and acuteness which he brought to this undertaking appear exceedingly
respectable, even in comparison with all the accomplishments of his
clerical antagonist.[581] Charles contended for the _jus Divinum_ of
Episcopacy, and the apostolical succession of bishops; Henderson for
the _jus Divinum_ of presbyteries and the human origin of prelacy.
The monarch upheld the authority of the Fathers as interpreters
of the Bible; the minister the interpretation of Scripture by
Scripture--declaring patristic writings and traditions to be unworthy
of trust. The royal disputant contended that inferior magistrates and
the people had no power to reform religion; the clerical respondent
that such persons did possess it, and that it became them to exercise
it when even kings failed to perform their duty. The Prince urged that
he was bound by his coronation oath to preserve the Church of England,
and that he could be released only by the voice of the Church itself;
the Presbyter that Parliament had sufficient authority to remove this
obligation. His Majesty asked what warrant there was in the Word of
God for subjects to force the royal conscience, and to make a ruler
alter laws against his will? The reverend gentleman replied that when
a man's conscience is misled, he necessarily does that which is amiss,
and that his duty is to have his conscience better informed, and not
to move till he has struck a light, and made further discoveries. This
question involved another, as to the right of the subject to take
up arms, which, of course, Charles held to be absolutely unlawful;
whilst Henderson asserted the right of defensive war against unjust
authority. It is enough to give this summary. Inconclusive arguments
were advanced on both sides, and each was more powerful in attack than
he was in defence. Under the circumstances, no good could come out of
the controversy, for neither of the disputants would concede one jot;
and what is still more important to be borne in mind is this, that the
arbitrament of the question between them now rested in other hands.

[Sidenote: 1646, July.]

The Parliament in July again held out propositions for peace. Papers
duly signed by the clerks of both Houses were formally entrusted to
the Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, to the Earl of Suffolk, and to
other commissioners, attended by Stephen Marshall, who acted as their
chaplain. They travelled to Newcastle on the 24th of July. Thither they
and the Scotch commissioners went in their coaches, at two o'clock in
the afternoon, to wait upon his Majesty. He resided in a fine old
house, with ornamented gables, goodly bays, mullioned windows, and a
door-way guarded by columns--a mansion now totally demolished, but
once the pride of Anderson's-place, in that famous town on the banks
of the Tyne. When the visitors had entered this temporary palace, the
King came forth into a large chamber which was made use of for the
chamber of presence, and there stood at the end of a table until each
had kissed his hand. He intimated his pleasure that they should follow
him into another room, where the Earl of Pembroke stated that they had
brought the Parliament's propositions for his Majesty to consider.
"Have you power to treat?" asked the monarch, anxiously looking at the
commissioners. "No," they replied; upon which he uttered one of those
blunt, petulant speeches which did him almost as much damage as his
proverbial insincerity. "Then, saving the honour of the business, an
honest trumpeter might have done as much." As the propositions were
read, the King listened attentively, and at last observed: "Gentlemen,
I hope you do not expect a very speedy answer, because the business is
of high concernment." They said their stay was limited to ten days,
whereupon he promised despatch, and so terminated the interview.
Mr. Marshall preached the next Sunday before the King, and took as
the subject of his discourse, Isaiah xxxii. 17, "And the work of
righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness
and assurance forever."[582]

[Sidenote: _Newcastle Treaty._]

The propositions stipulated, that his Majesty should call in his
declarations against the Parliament; place the control of the militia
in its hands for twenty years; make void all peerages which had been
conferred since May the 20th, 1642; punish such delinquents as had
been proscribed; and disannul the Irish treaty. With these political
demands others were coupled in relation to the Church. First, his
Majesty must take the Covenant, and enjoin the same on his subjects;
next, the ecclesiastical reformation must be completed, and Popery
for ever crushed. Moreover, the bill, which had been transformed into
an ordinance for constituting the Westminster Assembly, must receive
the royal assent; and besides these, other measures, five in number,
which he had not sanctioned, and which he was desired to confirm,
were repeatedly mentioned in the negotiations: (1) The abolition of
the hierarchy; (2) the due observance of the Lord's Day; (3) the
suppression of innovations; (4) the advancement of preaching; and (5)
the prevention of non-residence. Such were the objects to which the old
bills referred, and a new one is mentioned as about to be framed for
regulating the Universities and Schools of England.[583]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Charles did not at once break with the Presbyterians when these
proposals were made to him; on the contrary, he professed a
conciliatory spirit, and kept alive their hopes of his at last making
some considerable concessions;[584] yet all the while he felt a most
intense antipathy to their whole system. As a staunch Episcopalian,
he hated Presbyterianism in itself, and he hated it also, and perhaps
still more, because it touched his royal prerogatives, and because,
if established, it would leave him only the name of a King; since,
under pretence of a thorough reformation of religion, it would in
reality take away all ecclesiastical power from the crown. All this he
had said in letters which he wrote to the Queen; and, in one written
from Newcastle (September the 7th), six weeks after the Parliamentary
Commissioners had read their paper to him in the Council-room, he
thus expresses himself to his "dear heart:"--"I assure thee that
(by the grace of God) nothing can be said or done to me which shall
make me quit my grounds; as, for instance, neither to grant the
London propositions as they are (without great amendment), or sign or
authorize the Covenant, without which, I must again tell thee, I am
more and more assured that nothing can be expected from the Scots."

Allusions in his private correspondence to the Covenant for awhile
betray no excitement: they are calmly expressed; but at last, doubtless
harassed by solicitations on that point, enough to try any man's
temper, he bursts into a violent passion, and writes to his wife in the
following language: "This damned Covenant is the child of rebellion,
and breathes nothing but treason, so that, _if Episcopacy were to be
introduced by the Covenant, I would not do it_."[585] It was impossible
for him to have said anything stronger than this; and with such
feelings on the part of the King, the Newcastle Treaty came to an end.

[Sidenote: _Newcastle Treaty._]

If a good deal of manœuvering appear in the negotiations with the
Presbyterians carried on by Charles at Newcastle, there is as much
downright intrigue with other parties to be discovered in his conduct
at the same time. He inherited some portion of his father's love of
kingcraft, and he employed to the utmost whatever ability of that
description he possessed. To repair his broken fortunes, he sedulously
endeavoured to make tools of the Independents, watching with great
satisfaction the animosity existing between them and the Presbyterians,
and hoping, as he says, that one of the factions would so address him
that he might without difficulty attain his ends.[586]

And with the one great object of this part of his life in view, he
was prepared to make terms with the Papists. In a letter from Oxford,
March the 12th, 1646, addressed to his wife, he speaks of a former
communication in which he had said: "I will take away all the penal
laws against the Roman Catholics in England as soon as God shall enable
me to do it, so as by their means I may have so powerful assistance as
may deserve so great a favour and enable me to do it; and furthermore
I now add, that I desire some particular offers by or in the favour
of the English Roman Catholics, which, if I shall like, I will then
presently engage myself for the performance of the above-mentioned
conditions. Moreover, if the Pope and they will visibly and heartily
engage themselves for the re-establishment of the Church of England and
my crown (which was understood in my former offer) against all opposers
whatsoever, I will promise them on the word of a King to give them here
a free toleration of their consciences."[587]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Of course, all this intriguing involved much duplicity. The collection
of letters which were written by Charles in 1646, and which are
now published, will be found to exhibit this prominent feature of
the King's character. Whenever he formally conceded any point, some
quibbling about words, some dishonest reserve, some loophole out
of which he might wriggle, is sure to appear in connection with a
Jesuitical conscientiousness which was ever weaving casuistic theories,
and starting ethical questions, in order to cover with a veil of
seemliness the most dishonest and fraudulent acts. Charles was not
rashly false; he did not heedlessly tell lies; he had undoubtedly
certain notions of rectitude, which served occasionally to disquiet his
spirit; and he wished to appear to himself honest and true, even at the
moment of his wishing to deceive others. His mind, however, in these
respects, is but a specimen of a large class of persons in this world
of many-coloured falsehoods and delusions.


                             CHAPTER XXII.

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Before Parliament sent its propositions to Newcastle, it had commenced
the business of establishing Presbyterianism. The Directory had been
ordained, and the Prayer Book abolished. Still more was done.

On the 7th of July, 1645, the Westminster Assembly sent up to the
two Houses a thoroughly-digested and complete scheme of Presbyterian
government.[588] Modified as already represented, the scheme was
embodied in an ordinance on the 19th of August, establishing a
Presbyterian polity in the city of London. This ordinance commanded
that a Congregational Assembly should be formed in each of the city
parishes, and that a Classical Assembly should be gathered in each
of the twelve classes, or districts, into which the ecclesiastical
province of the metropolis was by the ordinance divided. Towards the
end of September, the Houses decided that certain persons should
try the fitness of lay elders; the triers being three clergymen and
six laymen for each class. This was an Erastian arrangement, very
displeasing, of course, to the Presbyterians, and, consequently,
they refused to carry the measure into effect. In the March following
(1646) it became loaded with an additional and still more objectionable
provision. Instead of Parliament being constituted simply a final
court of appeal, it was now to choose certain Lay Commissioners, who
were to act in the first instance as judges of scandalous offences--in
fact, were to have in their hands the entire control of Church
discipline.[589] This was a measure which weighed too heavily on
Presbyterian forbearance; and, therefore, a compromise followed in
the month of June, when the Lay Commissioners were withdrawn, and a
committee of Lords and Commons was appointed to determine such cases of
scandals and offences as had not been already specified. This plan was
in accordance with an earlier direction, to the effect that Members of
Parliament sitting in the Westminster Assembly should be constituted
a tribunal to decide respecting causes of suspension from the Lord's
Supper. On the 2nd of October, the county palatine of Lancaster was
divided into nine classical presbyteries;[590] and on the 21st of
January, 1647, a committee of the two Houses ordered that Essex
should form a province including fourteen classes.

[Sidenote: _Presbyterian Church Government._]

Still, presbyteries were not actually formed. In April, 1647, appeared
resolutions of the Houses, entitled, "Remedies for removing some
Obstructions in Church Government;" and after this, on the 3rd of
May, the first Provincial Assembly met in the Convocation House of
St. Paul's, including about 108 members. Dr. Gouge, the prolocutor,
opened the meetings by a sermon in his own parish church of St. Anne,

On the 29th of the January following (1648), another Parliamentary
ordinance appeared, commanding the committees and commissioners
throughout the country--with the assistance of ministers--to divide
their respective counties into distinct classical presbyteries; and
also specifying that the Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, and heads of
houses should establish the same in the two Universities, and certify
the accomplishment of the fact before the 25th of March.

On the 29th of August, a more elaborate order issued from the Lords
and Commons, to the effect that all parishes and places whatsoever in
England and Wales should be under the government of Congregational,
Classical, Provincial, and National Assemblies.[592] To see how the
system thus elaborated upon paper, and thus enforced by successive
ordinances, worked in this kingdom; or rather, with some exceptions,
failed to work at all, we must wait till we reach the history of the
Commonwealth Church in the next volume.

[Sidenote: 1646.]

It is now time to direct attention to the final measures adopted with
reference to Episcopacy. There remained the old bill of 1642, which
had been bandied about between the Parliament and the King, to which
the latter had never given consent, and which, therefore, according
to the monarchical constitution of the country, had never become law.
Virtually it took effect, but constitutionally it had no authority.
Other measures were in the same predicament. Parliament, therefore,
in the autumn of 1646, commenced a revolutionary proceeding, which
really turned England into a republic. The Houses determined that their
own ordinances should be valid and sufficient. Ecclesiastical changes
were amongst the first to be ratified by this proceeding. The old bill
relative to Episcopacy being thrown aside, a new one came before the
Lords and Commons, and received the sanction of both Houses on the 9th
of October.[593]

This ordinance abolished the titles, sequestered the Church property,
and extinguished the jurisdiction of the hierarchy of England.[594]

[Sidenote: _Ecclesiastical Courts._]

The name, style, and dignity of archbishop and bishops were to be known
no more. At one sweep church property belonging to them was transferred
to other hands. "All counties palatine, honours, manors, lordships,
stiles, circuits, precincts, castles, granges, messuages, mills,
lands, tenements, meadows, pastures, parsonages, appropriate titles,
oblations, obventions, pensions, portions of tithes, parsonages,
vicarages, churches, chapels, advowsons, donatives, nominations, rights
of patronage and presentations, parks, woods, rents, reversions,
services, annuities, franchises, liberties, privileges, immunities,
rights of action and of entry, interests, titles of entry, conditions,
common court leet, and courts baron, and all other possessions," with
all and every their appurtenances, became vested in ecclesiastical
commissioners. Another ordinance, bearing date the 16th of November,
gave authority to the commissioners to sell such property for the
benefit of the Commonwealth, with a special reservation in favour of
the _jura regalia_ of the palatine of Durham, and the _jura regalia_
of the bishopric of Ely.[595] No cathedrals, churches, chapels, or
churchyards, however, were to be disposed of; neither was anything in
the ordinance to affect the property of Serjeants' Inn, or Lincoln's
Inn. Careful provision is made by the ordinance for securing the
property to purchasers, and for preserving the funds so realized.
The first of these ordinances also stated that no one was to use any
archiepiscopal or episcopal jurisdiction; that the sheriffs of counties
where any felony was to be tried should present to the judge some fit
person to do such things as, by the office of the ordinary, had used to
be done, and "that all issues triable by the ordinary or bishop shall
be tried by jury in usual course."

[Sidenote: 1646.]

[Sidenote: _Ecclesiastical Courts._]

That last line legalized an extensive revolution. Ecclesiastical Courts
in England, as noticed in our introduction, were of high antiquity
and of large jurisdiction. From the time of the Conqueror they had
taken cognizance of church matters and public morals. After the
Reformation their authority continued. Moral offences, not provided
for by common law, heresy, schism, and ecclesiastical disobedience,
questions touching marriage and divorce, together with the proving of
wills, remained, as before, subject to the ecclesiastical courts.
Though interfered with to some extent by the Court of High Commission,
the old Church Courts retained much of their former business down to
the time when the Long Parliament was opened. Consistories held in
provincial cathedrals might be somewhat quiet, but proceedings before
Archidiaconal tribunals were often exciting enough when enquiries
were made into village scandals; whilst Doctors' Commons continued a
centre of the greatest activity. There sat the Consistory Court of
the Bishop of London, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and the
Court of Arches. The judges and advocates received no small attention,
and were paid no little reverence, as they appeared in black velvet
caps and hoods lined with taffeta or miniver; the proctors being
only a little less dignified with their hoods of lambskin, whilst
actuaries, registrars, and beadles were busy in their attendance.
Citations, bills, and answers, proofs, witnesses, and presumptions,
with all their slow and expensive machinery, were patiently kept at
work by ecclesiastical lawyers, and were anxiously waited for and
watched by ecclesiastical and lay litigants. But with the opening of
the Parliament came a change. Amongst the many _jeu d'esprits_ of
the time is one belonging to the year 1641, entitled, "The Spiritual
Courts epitomised in a Dialogue between two Proctors, Busy-Body and
Scrape-All," with a woodcut on the title page representing the Bishops'
Court in great confusion.[596] Complaints couched in very exceptionable
phraseology indicate that the Prerogative, the Consistory, and the
Archdeacon's Courts, which "used to be crowded like money in a usurer's
bag, are very quiet and peaceable now;" "no more false Latin," no
more "ten pounds for a probate to Mr. Copper-nose, the English
proctor," "and no more prying into people's actions." An end had come
to inventories, such as terrified all Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Long
Acre, and Beech Lane. No more pretended caveats, and bills which would
exceed a tailor's. On a curious broadside, entitled, "The Last Will and
Testament of Doctors' Commons," the same exultation over the decline
of the courts is rudely and vulgarly expressed in very queer cuts and
in very bad English. The Court is represented as very aged, and sorely
shaken both in body and mind by a Westminster ague. That which affected
Doctors' Commons would shake all the consistorial and commissory courts
throughout the country.

Ecclesiastical causes necessarily fell into confusion. The ordinance,
however, of October, would settle the question, and sweep all issues,
determinable of old by the ordinary or bishop, into the common law
courts, there to be tried by juries in the usual way. This would effect
not only a great professional change disastrous to ecclesiastical
lawyers, and apparent in the deserted yard of Doctors' Commons, but
would occasion a great social change also. People would now carry
cases touching marriage and divorce to the sessions or the assizes.
As to one important point, however, that of wills, the authority of
the old courts of registration survived the ejection of bishops, and
the abolition of their order. In the Bishop's principal Registry and
Consistory Court at Exeter, wills are found in the first case up to
the year 1653, in the second, up to the year 1650, when a gap occurs
as far as 1660. In the Archdeacon of Sudbury's Registry, wills also
are found belonging to 1652, and the years preceding. In the Chapter
House of York, there are transcripts of wills to 1650, and from 1650
originals occur. In the Archdeaconry of Taunton, wills did not cease
to be registered till 1649, in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon, not till
1653.[597] A new law with respect to the probate of wills was passed in
the last-mentioned year.[598]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

The effect, in relation to public morals, of the abolition of Bishop's
Courts, and of the disuse of those which were Archidiaconal, has been
too much overlooked. Though the old church discipline, by calling in
the aid of the civil power, contradicted the spirit of Christianity,
though it was often completely frustrated, and though for really
religious ends it proved generally ineffectual; yet it would, in
some cases, check the immorality of a parish, whatever might be the
evils--in the way of slander, injustice, and heart-burning--which it
called into existence. And, at any rate, the destruction of a tribunal
before which people were liable to be cited for unchastity and other
vices not cognizable by the secular courts, is an important fact in the
history of those times, and indicates the occurrence of a considerable
judicial and social revolution. No doubt the Presbyterians, in their
scheme of discipline, and the Long Parliament, in its acts against
immorality, endeavoured to supply what they considered a defect, after
they had accomplished the abolition of the old system.

[Sidenote: _Payment of Tithes._]

The ordinance just described only transferred into the hands of
commissioners the property and revenues pertaining to bishoprics; it
did not touch advowsons and tithes in general, or affect parochial
and other ecclesiastical edifices. The right of presentation to
livings remained in the hands of patrons, where the right had not been
forfeited by delinquency, and tithes continued to be claimed as in
former days; but the method of recovering them had undergone a change.
Public opinion appears to have become altogether unsettled respecting
the question of ministerial support.

In the month of November, 1646, "The Moderate Intelligencer" informs
its readers of a petition from the county of Kent being presented to
Parliament against the support of ministers by the payment of tithes.
It was submitted to the legislature that all clergymen should receive
the same amount of salary, according to the part of England in which
they resided. These Kentish advisers recommended that in parishes north
of the river Trent the stipend should be £100 per annum; and that on
the south side of it ought to amount to £150. The reason alleged for
equal salaries being paid to all incumbents in each of these districts
was, that the arrangement would prevent ministers from hunting after
preferment. The petitioners notice that some people said--who had
"little scripture or reason for their opinion"--that tithes were
unlawful, and that "men should be at the pleasure of the people," in
other words, should be left to be provided for on the voluntary system;
others, it is observed, would, to avoid strife, fain have ministers
paid their tithes in money, not in kind, and they also advocated the
repeal of statutes forbidding the clergy to hold farms, or to cultivate
the practice of husbandry. It is also mentioned that some persons
advocated a new division of parishes, making them all of the same size.

[Sidenote: 1647.]

However truly the newspapers might reflect diversities of opinion on
this subject, whatever sympathy some puritan farmers or some puritan
parsons might feel with these inhabitants of Kent, Parliament firmly
maintained the rights of tithe property. In August, 1647, came forth
another ordinance,[599] confirming the prior one of 1644, and removing
doubts raised as to whether it extended to ministers inducted by
parliamentary authority. It mentions appeals brought into Chancery
for vexation and delay, and ordains that no such appeals should be
admitted until the party appealing paid into court, or into the hands
of justices of the peace, the value of the tithes in dispute. This
ordinance was to continue in force until the first of November, 1648.
The April of that year brought another ordinance,[600] cancelling a
proviso in the ordinance of 1644, for placing beyond its reach the city
of London, and committing the enforcement of these ecclesiastical dues
to the Lord Mayor and justices within their jurisdiction.[601]

[Sidenote: _Church Dues._]

A newspaper of the 4th of November, 1646, informed the public of a
bill introduced that day for repairing churches, and for giving power
to compel people to contribute towards needful and pious works; the
power to be vested not merely in churchwardens, but in justices of the
peace. Mention is also made of a committee to meet in the Star Chamber,
for the purpose of considering what course had best be adopted, whether
by commitment or otherwise, in order to compel payment from those who
refused to contribute according to the ordinary assessments. More
than a year after these reports were printed, the Lords and Commons,
on the 9th of February, 1647-8, ordained that churchwardens should be
chosen annually by the inhabitants of every parish and chapelry, on the
Monday or Tuesday of Easter Week, and that they, with the overseers
of the poor, should, upon public notice, "make rates or assessments
by taxation of every inhabitant." Churchwardens were also to receive
any rents and profits which had been given for repairing parochial
edifices; and, when churchwardens became negligent of their duties,
two neighbouring justices of the peace were empowered to interfere,
and to give order for necessary repairs. The ordinance was not to
extend to churches "ruined" by the "unhappy wars, extremity of age, or
other casualties," nor was it to apply to any cathedral or collegiate
churches, all of which were "to be repaired as formerly they have been
used and accustomed."[602]

[Sidenote: 1645.]

Apart from sweeping revolutions in cathedral establishments, the
colleges of Westminster, Eton, Christ Church, and Winchester
experienced changes peculiar to themselves. It was provided in 1642
that none of the revenues assigned for scholars and almsmen should
be interrupted in consequence of the sequestration of the rents and
profits of Archbishops and Bishops, Deans and Chapters. In 1645, a
special ordinance provided both for the college and the collegiate
church of Westminster, the Deanery being virtually extinct. The Dean
and prebends had become delinquents, with the exception of Mr. Lambert
Osbolston, who, whilst being a canon of the cathedral, was also master
of the school. The school, the almsmen, and the offices, having no
one to take care of them now that the ecclesiastical corporation
of the Abbey had been dissolved, Parliament proceeded to nominate
commissioners, consisting of the Earl of Northumberland and others,
who were invested with powers similar to those previously possessed by
the Dean and Chapter. Mr. Osbolston was exempted from the forfeiture
of the prebendal income, which had been inflicted on all his brethren
occupying stalls in the Abbey. With the new Commissioner, the Master of
Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Master of Westminster School, were
associated in the election of scholars for the latter foundation. The
Committee was also directed to make allowances out of the revenues of
the collegiate church to the minister who should perform Divine service
within its walls.[603]

[Sidenote: _Universities._]

The sequestered estate and profits of the provost of Eton were
entrusted to Sir H. Cholmeley, without prejudice either to scholars
or fellows. Dr. Richard Stewart was ejected from the provostship,
and Francis Rouse appointed in his room.[604] After some discussion,
Parliament left new elections in the hands of the provost and fellows.

Great changes came over the Deanery of Windsor and the Chapel of St.
George. Spoliation went on without mercy. Precious treasures were
seized for military uses. The revenues were sequestered, and out of
them the yearly sum of fifty pounds was voted for any such minister as
should officiate in the parish church.[605]

As the educational uses of Eton, Westminster, and other public
foundations of the kind, preserved their revenues from confiscation,
the same also was the case with the two Universities. Their history,
which we have hitherto passed over, now demands our attention, and
requires us to go back for a few years.

In the battle which the Parliament had to fight with the heads of
houses, Cambridge commenced hostilities. In 1642, the Masters and
Fellows of the Colleges there sent money and plate to the coffers
of the King at York, "many wishing," says Fuller, "that every ounce
thereof were a pound for his sake, conceiving it unfitting that they
should have superfluities to spare whilst their sovereign wanted
necessaries to spend."[606] The University press was employed in
printing the King's declarations, and the University pulpit was made
to resound with diatribes against the King's enemies. When a demand
came for contributions to the Parliament, the University returned
a blank refusal. The men who thus took part in the opening strife
subjected themselves of course to the fortunes of war. The kingdom
being rent in twain, two encampments being pitched face to face, such
as threw themselves into the one had no friendship to expect from the
other. Hence there followed imprisonments for the plate business,
and for like belligerent acts. The Masters of St. John's, Queen's, and
Jesus, were lodged in the Tower, where they were joined afterwards
by the Vice-Chancellor. Thus far the collision was purely political.
University men were treated as malignants.

[Sidenote: _University of Cambridge._]

But in January, 1644, another issue was raised. Political delinquency
being still prominently kept in view, it became associated with
religious and ecclesiastical criminations. Many complaints--said
the ordinance for regulating the University of Cambridge--were
made that the service of the country was retarded, that the enemy
was strengthened, that the people's souls were starved, and that
their minds were diverted from the care of God's cause by the idle,
ill-affected, and scandalous clergy. Commissioners therefore were
empowered to call before them all provosts, masters, fellows, students,
and members who were scandalous in their lives, or ill-affected to the
Parliament, or fomenters of the war, or that should wilfully refuse
obedience to the orders of the two Houses, or desert their ordinary
places of residence. Persons found guilty of any such offences were to
suffer the sequestration of their estates and revenues; at the same
time, ministers approved by the Westminster Assembly were authorized to
succeed to the vacant posts. The Commissioners had power to administer
the Covenant under penalties, and to examine and inhibit all persons
who should obstruct the reformation sought to be accomplished by the
Parliament and the Assembly. The ordinance evidently placed at the
mercy of this new Committee every one who, though _not scandalous in
life_, should decline the Covenant or oppose the Westminster decisions.
This document bears date the 22nd of January. On the 30th of the same
month, an order appeared to make void the places of all officers,
ministers, or other attendants upon Chancery, the King's Bench, and
the Common Pleas, who should be guilty of the same offences.[607] The
ground on which the Presbyterian party now in power chose to place
the controversy with the authorities at Cambridge and elsewhere is
sufficiently apparent.

The justice of their final policy ought to be tested by the principles
upon which it was avowedly based, not by any laxity of method in the
carrying of it out. It is said that, in several instances, those who
were entrusted with the execution of the ordinance were very lenient,
and did not eject all who refused submission; but this does not affect
the character of the enactment. According to Archbishop Tillotson, most
of the fellows of King's were exempted through the interest of Dr.
Witchcot--an exception which is not at all irreconcilable with Fuller's
statement--himself a Cambridge man--that "this Covenant being offered,
was generally refused, whereupon the recusants were ordered without any
delay to pack out of the University three days after their ejection."
Fuller does not say that the order took effect in all cases.[608]

[Sidenote: _University of Cambridge._]

A document in the State Paper Office opens a window through which
one can plainly see how sequestrations went on at Cambridge. Houses
were rifled, and goods seized. The effects were sold according to
appraisements. The books of Dr. Cosin, Master of Peter House and Dean
of Durham, were valued at £247 10s., and must have formed a good
library for those days. The furniture of Dr. Laney, Master of Pembroke,
is all inventoried, down to "blankets," "leather chairs," and "fire
irons." The books of Mr. Heath, of Barnet College, are valued at £14;
and Mr. Couldham's, of Queen's, at £10. Horses and furniture are
mentioned, and articles are described as taken away in carts under the
care of soldiers. Zealous partisans received rewards for information
relative to concealed property. An infamous soldier was paid for
divulging the secret where books belonging to his brother might be

[Sidenote: _University of Cambridge._]

Thus a political offence provoked the anger and occasioned the
interference of Parliament. But the interference aimed at a religious
result through a revival of Puritanism. The East-Anglian University,
true to its traditional liberality, fostered that movement towards
the end of the sixteenth century, as it had promoted the Reformation
fifty years before. In 1565, the University was restive under the yoke
of ceremonies, and almost all the men of St. John's came to chapel
without hoods or surplices.[609] When Mildmay had founded Emmanuel
College (1585), the Queen said: "Sir Walter, I hear you have erected
a Puritan foundation." He replied: "No, madam; far be it from me to
countenance anything contrary to your established laws; but I have set
an acorn, which, when it becomes an oak, God alone knows what will be
the fruit thereof."[610] The fruit proved Puritan to the heart's core;
and the fact is commemorated in a satire about thirty years afterwards.
Its unconsecrated chapel, standing north and south, instead of
orientating after the prescribed fashion, has been pronounced "typical
of its doctrinal sentiments."[611] Sidney, too, was Puritan, and so
was Catherine Hall, the last so persistently, and to such a degree,
that it is said not to have contributed one fellow or scholar to the
number of the ejected in 1644.[612] Cambridge had the credit of being
"a nest of Puritans" in the middle of King James's reign. Perkins and
Sibbs, ministers of that class, were exceedingly popular with both the
gownsmen and the townspeople. The University for many years supplied
by far the majority of the leading Presbyterian Divines;[613] and
four out of the five dissenting brethren at Westminster were from
Cambridge.[614] Traces of Puritanism existed in Trinity College even so
late as 1636. In some tutors' chambers "the private prayers were longer
and louder by far" than in chapel.[615] But, before the civil wars, a
change in the opposite direction set in. Peter House under Cosin, St.
John's under Beale, Queen's under Martin, and Jesus under Sterne, were
becoming more and more centres of Anglo-Catholicism. The influence of
Laud may be distinctly traced through the last two of these heads of
houses--Martin and Sterne having been chaplains to the Archbishop.
Nor was the Archbishop himself inactive at Cambridge. The reports
about Trinity just noticed were placed in his hands preparatory to his
intended visitation in 1636. So far did some go in the anti-Puritan
movement that, according to report, at the commencement, in July, 1633,
Dr. Collins eulogized Bellarmine, and Dr. Duncan defended some of his
theses.[616] Complaints were made by Puritans of altars, vestments, and
Jesuit activity. Organs were erected, and the worship in Peter House
Chapel incurred the displeasure of the Long Parliament.[617] To judge
of the extent to which anti-Presbyterian views prevailed at Cambridge
in 1644, we may state that, of residents, it seems about a tenth part
of the number was ejected.[618]

The history of Oxford is not altogether like that of Cambridge.
The source of three religious impulses of very different kinds,
connected respectively with great theological names of very different
character--Wesley, Pusey, and Jowett--the Midland University, central
and many-sided in its religious spirit, as it is in its geographical
position, did much to promote the Reformation, and did something
to foster Puritanism. It produced Reynolds, the Presbyterian, and
Owen, the Independent. A Puritan wave stirred the waters of the
University in 1640. But influence of that kind at Oxford was feeble,
compared with its sweep at Cambridge; and the Laudian impetus to
Anglo-Catholicism most strongly marked the elder University. Laud was
Chancellor of Oxford, and here, of course, his restless brain and
untiring hands would specially prosecute the favourite business of
his life. Accordingly, instances of his minute, constant, and zealous
interference abound throughout his memoirs and papers.[619] He had a
very large share in producing that opposition to Puritanism and the
Parliament, which characterized Oxford at the commencement of the civil

[Sidenote: _University of Oxford._]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Phases of conflict, similar to those in the case of Cambridge, may be
recognized with greater distinctness in the case of Oxford. We have
seen already, from our account of the military occupation of the latter
University by the King, that it assumed an attitude of determined
defiance towards the Parliament. What would be figurative in reference
to Cambridge is perfectly literal in reference to Oxford. Colleges
became barracks, and gownsmen soldiers. The University therefore could
not be regarded as otherwise than in a state of rebellion against the
Parliament--now actually the supreme power. Consequently, when the
city was taken, the University was treated as a conquered enemy. To
demand subscription and fealty was the least thing which the conquerors
could do. To remove from office those who were disaffected was but a
measure of common prudence. Besides, such a state of demoralization
had come over the whole institution,[620] and war had so driven away
learning and discipline, that reformation was imperative. Accordingly,
in September, 1646, Commissioners went down to Oxford. Citations were
issued requiring officers, fellows, and scholars, to appear at the
Convocation House, between the hours of nine and eleven o'clock in
the forenoon. The Presbyterian visitors had worship, and a sermon,
which detained them till nearly eleven. A story is related, that the
Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Fell, had the clock put forward, so that it
struck the hour before the Commissioners arrived. At all events, as
the latter were coming in, they were met by the University authorities
going out, the beadle in attendance, exclaiming, "Make way here for Mr.
Vice-Chancellor." The visitors did so, when Mr. Vice-Chancellor moving
his hat, passed by them, saying, "How do ye, gentlemen, 'tis past
eleven o'clock." After this indignity a new Commission was appointed,
but the visitors on the second occasion fared no better than their
predecessors. Their orders were not only disobeyed, but also "despised
and contemned." The heads of Colleges asked, by "what authority they
were summoned;" and resolutely refused to give up books and papers,
the keys of the Convocation House, and the beadles' staves. The
Proctors protested against the citation they had received as illegal,
and claimed to be exclusively under the authority of the King and his
visitors. Patiently persisting in the assertion of its own power,
Parliament allowed the malcontents to be heard by counsel; after which,
their answer was pronounced an insult to the authority of the two
Houses. Fell was then declared to have forfeited, by his contumacy, the
deanery of Christ Church; but the declaration, when posted on the walls
of that establishment was torn down and trampled under foot. Mrs. Fell
also gave much trouble, and being imbued with an obstinacy like her
husband's, had to be forcibly carried out in her chair, by the hands
of the soldiers, into the quadrangle. Possession could not be taken
of Magdalen, All Souls, and other Colleges, without breaking open the

[Sidenote: _University of Oxford._]

There, as in Cambridge, notwithstanding the virulence of the
opposition, some of the Parliamentarian party were willing to wink at
evasions of the Covenant. Isaak Walton tells a story of some one who,
"observing Dr. Morley's behaviour and reason, and enquiring of him, and
hearing a good report of his morals, was therefore willing to afford
him a peculiar favour." He proposed that Morley should ride out of
Oxford as the visitors rode in, and not return until they left again,
undertaking to secure for him his canonry without molestation. The kind
offer, though gratefully acknowledged, was respectfully declined.[622]

An instance of practical gratitude may also be mentioned in connexion
with the Oxford ejectment. Dr. Laurence, Master of Baliol, and Margaret
professor, had, during the wars, shewn marked kindness to Colonel
Valentine Walton, an officer in the Parliament army, who had been taken
prisoner after Edge Hill fight, and confined at Oxford--the prisoner
being indebted to the professor for his release. The obligation
thus contracted, Walton repaid when Laurence suffered ejectment. He
settled on his friend a little chapelry called Colne, in the parish of
Somersham in Huntingdonshire, augmenting its value by adding to it the
tithes of Colne. This benefice Laurence had become qualified to enjoy,
by receiving a certificate of the Oxford Commissioners, to the effect,
that he had engaged to observe the Directory in all ecclesiastical
administrations--to preach practical divinity to the people--and to
forbear teaching any opinions which the reformed church condemned.[623]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

After the University in general had been subdued, a few scholars
continued incorrigible. They abused the new authorities, and scattered
about the streets scurrilous tracts, entitled, "Pegasus taught to
dance to the tune of Lachryme"--"The Owl at Athens"--"The Oxford
tragi-comedy," and many more.[624] At last, a serjeant, attended by a
file of musqueteers, published before all the College gates by beat
of drum a proclamation, that if any persons expelled by the visitors
should persist in remaining within the precincts of the University,
they should be taken into custody. And a few days afterwards another
proclamation appeared, to the effect that if any of the proscribed
individuals tarried within five miles of the city, he should be deemed
a spy, and be punished with death. This was enough. Oxford was soon
cleared of its obnoxious inmates. Probably the University had been
encouraged in its resistance by the knowledge of the differences
existing between the Parliament and the army. These differences had
become so serious, and had been brought so near, that some of the
soldiers in the Oxford garrison, sympathizing with the army at head
quarters, refused to obey the order of Parliament. Like King Charles,
the University hoped to escape under cover of the strife between the
two parties who had become their conquerors. In that hope, however, the
University, like the King, proved to be mistaken.

[Sidenote: _University of Oxford._]

Looking at the quarrel between the Parliament and the University,
we must admit that the Parliament had on its side a right such as
invariably follows victory, and such as always waits on established
government. But another aspect of this affair remains to be considered,
corresponding with the second phase of the Cambridge proceedings. What
was ecclesiastical became mixed up with what was political. Not content
with requiring obedience to the civil authority, the victors aimed at
extinguishing all spiritual power in Oxford save their own. If, in
justification or excuse it be pleaded that this came as a necessity,
arising out of the civil establishment of religion, then the same
plea of justification or excuse is valid in relation to the conduct
of the now ejected, but afterwards restored Prelatists, when they
turned out Presbyterians and Independents in 1662. The cases, so far
as ecclesiastical imposition is concerned, appear to be alike. Those
who think the proceedings of 1662 were unrighteous, and that national
universities ought not to be subjected to ecclesiastical tests, must,
if consistent, also think that the proceedings of 1644 and 1647 were
unrighteous in the very same respects.

To remove men of scandalous life was proper, and nobody could complain
of the punishment of those who violated university statutes, or wasted
university property. Persons also who had taken up arms against the
Parliament might be justly considered liable to some kind of penalty.
But the articles of enquiry, instead of being confined to such points,
were extended so as to embrace the neglect of the Covenant, and all
opposition made to the Directory, or to any doctrine, "ignorance
whereof doth exclude from the sacrament of the Lord's supper.[625]"

[Sidenote: 1646.]

[Sidenote: _University of Oxford._]

This kind of ecclesiastical inquisition served, as it often did, to
put Parliament in an utterly false position. Armed in this manner,
the ruling power stood up, not as the shield-bearer of order, but as
the sword-bearer of persecution. The University availed itself of the
circumstance, and instead of attempting to justify its resistance
of the new government--which would have been a difficult task--it
immediately betook itself to the doing of what was easy, and employed
its ablest pens in drawing up an elaborate paper in Latin and English
against the imposition of the new spiritual tests. In this way, men who
only paid the penalty of insubordination were enabled to appear, as if
carrying in their hands the martyr's palm. The Oxford champions did not
plead for religious liberty. They did not found their case on any broad
principle of toleration. They did not assert the rights of conscience,
or expose the evils of persecution. Sentiments in favour of arbitrary
government occurred even in this very manifesto, and a good deal of
the reasoning they employed was one-sided, full of special pleading,
and altogether unsatisfactory. Yet some of their objections were
forcible, as when they urged that the adoption of the Covenant would be
incompatible with their subscription to the Prayer Book, and when they
complained of Prelacy being ranked with Popery and profaneness. They
slyly intimated that they thought reform a necessity in Scotland, as
well as in England, and truly said that the policy of the Parliament
made the religion of England look like a Parliamentary religion. The
following remark, which they offered on the fourth article of the
Covenant, was not more galling than it was just:--"That the imposing the
Covenant in this article may lay a necessity upon the son to accuse the
father, in case he be a _malignant_, which is contrary to religion,
nature, and humanity; or it may open a way for children that are sick
of their fathers, to effect their unlawful intentions, by accusing
them of malignity; besides, the subjecting ourselves to an arbitrary
punishment, at the sole pleasure of such uncertain judges as may be
deputed for that effect, is betraying the liberty of the subject."[626]


                            CHAPTER XXIII.

[Sidenote: _Presbyterians and Independents._]

Oliver Cromwell, in a letter from Bristol, after its surrender in 1645,
makes this remark:--"Presbyterians and Independents all have here the
same spirit of faith and prayer. They agree here, and have no names of
difference. Pity it is it should be otherwise anywhere." A pamphlet
entitled "The Reconciler," published in 1646, affords another example
of the spirit which was thus manifested by the illustrious general,
and abounds in sensible remarks and salutary reproof applicable to
both parties. In other places, also, besides Bristol, persons bearing
these different religious names lived in unity and co-operated in the
promotion of the spiritual welfare of their fellow-citizens, and in
other publications besides the "Reconciler," sentiments of candour and
charity were expressed.[627] But, for the most part, the contention
between Presbyterians and Independents was absurdly fierce, and
numerous tracts appeared on both sides filled with unchristian and
disgraceful invectives.

[Sidenote: 1646.]

[Sidenote: _Presbyterians and Independents._]

The city of Norwich supplies a remarkable instance of this kind of
strife. Puritanism had strongly established itself there before the
civil wars, and had borne earnest witness against the innovations of
the Anglo-Catholics. When Episcopacy had been dethroned, numbers of
the clergy and citizens shewed themselves zealous in supporting the
Covenant and the Directory,--backed, as they were, by an order of
Parliament bearing the name of the Speaker.[628] They endeavoured to
set up in all the churches which crowded the narrow streets of that
hive of manufacturing industry on the banks of the Wensum, the new
model of worship, and to fashion the religion of all the inhabitants
after the newly authorized type. But Independency had also grown up,
and was beginning to flourish within the walls; the Church planted in
1642 presented signs of vigorous vitality, and probably other persons,
not in religious communion with it, favoured its interests from
political motives. The Episcopal party remained strong, and succeeded
in resisting, to some extent, the reforming policy of their energetic
Puritan neighbours;[629] but the latter, instead of uniting all their
strength to maintain a common cause against those who were opponents to
them in common, engaged in a vehement paper war one against another,
which threw the whole city into a state of feverish excitement. There
are extant two curious publications, the one entitled "_Vox Populi_,"
an organ of the Independents, and the other, bearing the name of "_Vox
Norwici_," issued by the Presbyterians. In the Independent "_Vox
Populi_," we find the authors maintaining that every man ought to be
left to the liberty of his own conscience; that the Solemn League and
Covenant was the same engine of tyranny in the hands of the presbyter
that the massbook had been in the hands of the priest, or the Book of
Common Prayer in the hands of the prelate; that immoral ministers were
allowed to remain in their incumbencies without any attempt to remove
them; that nothing was heard in parish pulpits but the subject of
church discipline and ecclesiastical uniformity; that the Presbyterian
clergy domineered over the Corporation; and that they were actuated
mainly by self-interest, inasmuch as they had been at one time as
ready to submit to surplices, tippets, liturgies, and canons, as they
were now zealous in casting such things away. The object and animus of
this publication cannot be mistaken; and the character of the "_Vox
Norwici_" is equally intelligible.[630] It leaves what the Independents
had said in reference to the Covenant to be censured by authority, and
to be confuted by the pens and tongues of learned men. It vindicates
the character of the Presbyterian ministers, and declares that if in
their preaching they ever meddled with the topic of discipline and
uniformity, it was "but a touch and away." It asserts that when they
attended the court of the City Corporation, it was as petitioners,
"with their hats in their hands," and that they were, notwithstanding
the imputations cast upon them, disinterested men, as proved by
their conduct, and the amount of their preferments. It affirms that
the covenants of congregational churches--which had incurred the
disapproval of Presbyterians--were vague and useless, and allowed
people to draw their necks out of Christ's yoke. The tract proceeds to
maintain that it was owing to the influence of the Presbyterian clergy
that the magistrates of the city had doubled the poor-rates, so that
the condition of the lower class had become considerably improved;
but at the same time it admits that in congregational churches the
poor were still better off, owing to their small number--poor members
not being so easily admitted to such communion as were sisters in
"silk-gowns." And then, as a last sting for their adversaries, the
Presbyterians add this curious observation: "Besides, you can get so
many good women to you, that their husbands cannot bear the charge of
our poor, because their wives prove so chargeable to them."

[Sidenote: 1646.]

[Sidenote: _Presbyterians and Independents._]

It has been pointed out in these pages already how the military
success of Cromwell, and the unpopularity of the Scotch, together with
changes in the House of Commons, helped the political Independents to
curb Presbyterian churchmanship and intolerance. But in those outside
circumstances, if we may so express it, which materially affected the
interests lying within the proper sphere of religion, a considerable
change occurred during the latter part of the year 1646. A lull of
peace in the midst of the civil wars, through the complete defeat of
the King's army, and the capture of his strongholds, had deprived
Cromwell and his soldiers of any further opportunity to increase
their laurels. The Scotch, having the King in their camp, and being
engaged in negotiations with Parliament for the payment of arrears,
occupied an improved position, and further changes in the Lower
House, altered again somewhat the relative strength of the two great
parties. The policy of the Presbyterians on political questions, was
moderation. They were averse to republicanism, and wished to retain
the old constitution of King, Lords, and Commons. Some of the new
members with strong revolutionary sympathies, who had entered the
House in 1645, came by a natural influence to be more moderate when
called themselves to bear the responsibilities of legislation, and
when brought into close contact with persons against whom they were
previously prejudiced. These now felt disposed to side somewhat with
the Presbyterians.[631] Moreover, new members had been returned by
constituencies loyal to the King, and they thought they should best
aid the royal cause by voting with the Presbyterians. Consequently,
the Independent party lost ground a little in the arena of their
recent victories,[632] and the alteration speedily manifested itself
in the turn given to ecclesiastical proceedings. The Presbyterians
availed themselves of their partially recovered supremacy to attack
once more the hateful sects, and, by the iron foot of penal law, to
crush out the life of error and evil. On the 26th of May, 1646, the
Corporation of London, whose courage revived after the debates upon
"the keys," presented a remonstrance to the Lords and Commons, in
which they expressed their devotion to the Covenant, gave Parliament
credit for not desiring to let loose "the golden reins of discipline
and government," and complained of private and separate congregations
daily erected in divers parts of the City, and commonly frequented;
and of Anabaptism, and Brownism, and all manner of schisms, heresies,
and blasphemies vented by such as, touching the point of Church
government, professed themselves to be Independents. So that they go
on to say: "We cannot but be astonished at the swarms of sectaries,
which discover themselves everywhere, who, if by their endeavours
they should get into places of profit and trust in martial and civil
affairs, it might tend much to the disturbance of the public peace
both of the Church and Commonwealth."[633] The Presbyterians made a
motion that the House would take the matter into consideration, which
upon a division they were able to carry.[634] In the winter of 1646,
the Clergy of London, whose influence was paramount with the citizens,
made the pulpits ring with invectives against parliamentary delay in
the work of lifting the Church above the State; and when December came,
the Lord Mayor and Corporation clamorously beset the House with their
grievances. Contempt, they said, was put on the Covenant. Heresy and
schism were still growing. Soldiers usurped the ministry and appeared
in the pulpit. The petitioners entreated that the Covenant might
be imposed on the whole nation, under penalties such as Parliament
might think fit, that nobody should be allowed to preach who was not
an ordained covenanter, and that separate congregations, which were
all "nurseries of damnable heretics," might be suppressed.[635] Upon
this appeal a parliamentary declaration appeared in condemnation of
a lay ministry, of everything derogatory to presbyterian government,
and of those who should disturb any preachers in holy orders. Shortly
afterwards, the London clergy, assembling at Sion College, published a
treatise, entitled, "A Testimony to the Truth of Jesus Christ, and to
our Solemn League and Covenant, as also against the errors, heresies,
and blasphemies of these times, and the toleration of them, to which
is added a Catalogue of the said Errors." The ministers of the
counties of Gloucester, Lancaster, Devon, and Somerset declared their
concurrence with the London brethren.[636]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

Other circumstances contributed to augment the confusion of the times.
In the newspapers and pamphlets of the latter part of the year 1646
there are several traces of terrific apprehensions entertained by
religious people, such as greatly increased the excitement of the
period. The harvest was late. In October, lamentations appear of
corn in the north not gathered in, and of vetches still standing in
the fields. A famine threatened the population; and such a calamity
appeared the more probable from the continuance in England of the
Scotch army, which, of course, consumed a large quantity of provision.
Wailings over heavy rains and floods in the months of November and
December were of frequent occurrence. "Where are our dry days," it was
asked, "the divers-coloured bow of heaven? If the weather continue, the
nation must abandon their walls of stone, and have recourse to walls of
wood. Heaven weeps for us, yet we cannot weep for ourselves, because we
have hearts of stone; like the offspring of Deucalion's people, we must
partake of Deucalion's punishment."

[Sidenote: _Supernatural Omens._]

[Sidenote: 1646.]

It will help to illustrate the superstitious feelings which mingled
with such fears if we notice the frequent references to supernatural
portents about this time. In a curious quarto tract, entitled "Strange
Signs from Heaven," published in the spring of the same year, we
read the following passage:--"At Brandon, in the county of Norfolk,
the inhabitants were forced to come out of their houses to behold so
strange a spectacle of a spire-steeple ascending up from the earth,
and a pike or lance descending downward from heaven. The Lord in mercy
bless and preserve His Church, and settle peace and truth among all
degrees, and more especially among our churchmen! Also at Brandon, in
the county aforesaid, was seen at the same time, a navy or fleet of
ships in the air, swiftly passing under sail, with flags and streamers
hanged out, as if they were ready to give an encounter. In Marshland,
in the county of Norfolk aforesaid, within three miles of King's Lynn,
a captain and a lieutenant, with divers other persons of credit, did
hear in the time of thunder a sound, as of a whole regiment of drums
beating a call with perfect notes and stops, much admired at of all
that heard it. And the like military sound was heard in Suffolk upon
the same day, and in other parts of the Eastern Association. In all
these places there was very great thunder, with rain and hailstones of
extraordinary bigness, and round, and some hollow within like rings.
The Lord grant that all the people of this kingdom may take heed to
every warning trumpet of His, that we may speedily awaken out of
our sins, and truly turn to the Lord, fight His battles against our
spiritual enemies, and get those inward riches of which we cannot be
plundered, and so seek an inward kingdom of righteousness and peace,
that we may be more capable in His good time of a settled peace and
state in the outward kingdom, and all through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

While Heaven was interpreted as frowning upon the earth, people were
accused of indifference to religious duties. A religious newspaper,
called the "Scottish Dove," described as "sent out and returning the
28th of October and the 4th of November"--after quaintly remarking that
the Dove had rested on the public fast--goes on to inform the reader
how the country neglected, slighted, and contemned the ordinance of
God, and of the Parliament for days of humiliation--not only in the
country towns, where ignorant people ordinarily ploughed, threshed,
hedged, and ditched, but also in the great city of London. Though the
country was suffering, how thin were the congregations on a fast day!
How full the cookshops, ordinaries, and taverns! "Do men indeed believe
there is a God?" asks the indignant editor. Such lamentations remind
us of similar ones expressed by St. Chrysostom, when comparing the
scanty attendance at church with the multitudes assembled in places of

[Sidenote: _The King at Holdenby._]

[Sidenote: 1647.]

Amidst all these fears and complaints, negotiations were continued
between the Presbyterians in Parliament, and the Scotch authorities
relative to the payment and the disbanding of their troops and the
surrender of the King into English hands. When arrangements for the
purpose had been effected between the two parties, his Majesty, at
the end of January, 1647, delivered himself up to the Parliamentary
Commissioners at Newcastle, whence he was conducted to Holdenby House,
in the county of Northampton--a stately Elizabethan mansion, which had
been built by Sir Christopher Hatton--a retreat, however, certainly not
selected in consideration of the fallen monarch's feelings, since it
was within a short ride from Naseby, the scene of his final and most
inglorious defeat. Notwithstanding this circumstance, he graciously
expressed himself as glad to come a little nearer to his Parliament;
and no doubt, with all sincerity, he also declared his perfect
willingness to bid farewell to his northern hosts. His journey was
retarded by unfavourable weather, yet thousands of spectators greeted
his approach to the old mansion; whilst bells rang and cannons fired
"with a gallant echo."[637] The English Presbyterians were greatly
elated on obtaining the charge of the royal person, a prize which, they
hoped, would bring to them other advantages in its train.[638] Charles,
after reaching Holdenby House, requested to be allowed the attendance
of his episcopal chaplains. The request was refused. He was informed
that no one who did not take the Covenant could be permitted to remain
in his household. It is very well known how his Majesty amused himself
whilst at Holdenby--sometimes walking in the pleasant neighbourhood;
sometimes riding over to a bowling-green a few miles distant. Other
matters, too, not often noticed by historians, but characteristic of
the royal prisoner, occupied his attention. As the opening spring
covered with bright green the Northamptonshire fields, and as the pear
trees in the orchards of Holdenby exhibited their snowy types of the
resurrection, the royal and episcopalian churchman naturally desired
to commemorate the holy festival of Easter, so endeared of old to the
hearts of Christians.

[Sidenote: _The King at Holdenby._]

"I desire," said Charles, in a paper he wrote at this time, "to
be resolved of this question: Why the new reformers discharge the
keeping of Easter? The reason for this query is, I conceive, that
the celebration of this feast was instituted by the same authority
which changed the Jewish Sabbath into the Lord's Day, or Sunday; for
it will not be found in Scripture when Saturday is discharged to be
kept, or turned into Sunday, whereas it must be the Church's authority
that changed the one and instituted the other. Therefore, my opinion
is, that those who will not keep this feast may as well return to the
observation of Saturday, and refuse the weekly Sunday. When anybody can
shew me that herein I am in error, I shall not be ashamed to confess
and amend it. Till then, you know my mind.--C. Rex."

To this, Sir James Harrington--who had been appointed by Parliament
to attend upon him at Holdenby--replied, that the changing of the
Sabbath and the instituting of Easter were "not by one and the same
equal authority and ecclesiastical decree, upon which the reason of his
Majesty's query seems to be built." "The Easter festival is a church
appointment; but the observance of the Sabbath is according to the
fourth commandment, and in the New Testament there is evidence of the
change of the day."[639]

[Sidenote: 1647.]

With the King in their keeping, and with a majority still on their side
in the House of Commons, the Presbyterians were full of confidence,
and their religious affairs seemed to promise a favourable issue.
But the army became to them an increasing difficulty. To disband it
appeared most desirable; but how to accomplish that object was the
question. The soldiers did not choose to be disbanded. They said
they were not Turkish janissaries, nor Swiss mercenaries--not mere
adventurers of fortune, paid to throw their lances in a cause they
did not care for--but Englishmen, who had been struggling for their
rights, fighting in defence of hearth, home, and a free church; and,
before they laid down their arms, they would know that their country
had obtained what they and their brave comrades had shed their blood
to win. They were entitled to be paid before they were dismissed, and
paid they would be; but, what was more precious to them far than pay,
they would secure for themselves and their fellow-countrymen liberty
of conscience. To use Clarendon's words: "Hitherto there was so little
security provided in that point, that there was a greater persecution
now against religious and godly men than ever had been in the King's
government, when the bishops were their judges."[640] This is
exaggeration; yet it was thus that men talked around their camp-fires
on frosty nights during that memorable winter. The army petitioned
Parliament in the spring of 1647. Parliament objected to army
petitions. The petitioners vindicated their rights in this respect; and
some troopers boldly sent a letter to the honourable House, declaring
that they would not disband until their requests were granted, and the
liberties of the subject were placed beyond peril. A debate followed
this appeal, and speeches were prolonged to a late hour. Denzil Holles,
the Presbyterian leader, full of that passion and prejudice which often
blinded his strong intellect and pushed on his resolute will, then
hastily took a scrap of paper, and wrote across it, as it lay upon his
knee, a resolution declaring the petition to be seditious, and that to
support it was treason. Holles' resolution fell like a spark upon an
open barrel of gunpowder.

This was in the month of April. In March, the House had resolved that
every officer in garrison, and under the command of Fairfax, should
take the Covenant, and conform to the Church by ordinance established.
The vote aimed a blow at the Independents, and those who sympathized
with them--Cromwell, Blake, Ludlow, Algernon Sidney, Ireton, Skippon,
and Hutchinson.

[Sidenote: _Earl of Essex._]

[Sidenote: 1647.]

The Presbyterians were now walking in the dark on the edge of a
pitfall. Their great general, the Earl of Essex, was dead.[641] The
only son of Robert, Queen Elizabeth's favourite, he had enjoyed much
of his father's popularity. Trained to arms in the Netherlands, he
became an accomplished soldier of the old school; and, having served
with distinction in the wars of the Palatinate, he had acquired the
reputation of a Protestant champion before he was called upon to draw
his sword within the shores of his native land. His military fame and
his religious character pointed him out as a Parliamentary commander
at the outbreak of the civil wars. A moderate Episcopalian in the
first instance, yet wishing to see bishops excluded from the peerage,
he glided into Presbyterianism, and at last would have been glad to
bring about such a settlement of affairs as would give ascendancy to
that system without the destruction of monarchical rule. In all
respects moderate--fearing a decisive victory, such as would crush the
King, scarcely less than he feared such a defeat of the Parliamentary
army as would restore him to his former power--the history of the
military career of the Earl of Essex in England was more cautious than
brilliant, and from first to last abounded in Fabian delays. Nominally
retaining supreme command of the forces till the year 1645, the
influence of this nobleman had declined with the siege of Gloucester,
in 1643.

The surrender of his army in the west, in the autumn of 1644, brought
a cloud over his military career, though it left untarnished his
personal honour. The old officers being displaced by the self-denying
ordinance, Essex had to resign his baton. Without military command,
he notwithstanding continued to be a man of great influence; which
personal vanity, as well as higher considerations, prompted him to
employ. Sympathizing with Presbyterians, and jealous of Independents,
he incurred Cromwell's displeasure; and Cromwell, after the passing of
the self-denying ordinance, became disliked by him. Had Essex lived,
it was thought--though without sufficient reason--that he might have
allayed party feeling and have prevented the terrible catastrophe
which was not far distant. His death, however, struck at the hopes
of compromise cherished by his Presbyterian friends, whilst, by that
event, Cromwell and his party, as Clarendon reports, were wonderfully
exalted, Essex being the only one "whose credit and interest they
feared without any esteem of his person."[642]

[Sidenote: _The King and the Independents._]

It should also be considered how unwise the Presbyterians had been
in paying off and dismissing the Scotch army, which, so long as it
continued on English ground, might be reckoned as an ally and a
defender of the new Church. At least, that army remaining here would
have served to hold the English one in check, and to render its
commanders more prudent, if it did not make its men less bold. But
the march of the Presbyterian regiments over the border left Cromwell
and his brother officers free from all apprehensions of military
resistance. The Independents thus became masters of the situation.

[Sidenote: 1647.]

A very bold stroke they in their turn struck at Presbyterian plans,
when, in the month of June, they sent Cornet Joyce to fetch his Majesty
from Holdenby House that they might take care of him themselves;[643]
and they almost reconciled him to his new captivity by relaxing the
restraints which he had endured, and by allowing him to have his own
chaplains. Sheldon, Morley, Sanderson, and Hammond, now "performed
their function at the ordinary hours in their accustomed formalities;
all persons, who had a mind to it, being suffered to be present, to
his Majesty's infinite satisfaction."[644] The restored surplice and
prayer book were a great comfort to the unhappy prince. The concession
appears to have resulted from policy; for as the Presbyterians had
been in treaty with him for the furtherance of their ends, some of the
Independent officers now thought of effecting their own reconciliation
on terms of their own. Into the story of the conferences between
Sir John Berkely and the King on the one hand, and between Sir John
Berkely and certain chieftains of the army on the other, it is not
our business to enter. We would only say that the sincere purpose
of Cromwell, in reference to ecclesiastical matters, seems to have
been to secure toleration, within certain limits, for the religious
opinions and observances both of the people and of the Monarch, and to
prevent the exercise of either Episcopalian or Presbyterian tyranny.
We are inclined to believe that, on such a basis--with due securities
for political liberty, and in connection with official arrangements,
in which, of course, so distinguished a man could not but expect to
have some conspicuous place--Cromwell felt not unwilling to aid in
the restoration of Charles. But the insincerity of the latter and the
opposition of the republicans prevented the scheme from proceeding far.

Cromwell also aimed at reconciling the factious members of the two
parties. He invited certain Presbyterians and Independents to dine with
him at Westminster, and he held conferences with the grandees of the
House and with the grandees of the army. All this, however, proved to
be of no effect. Ludlow tells a story of the hero of Naseby, at the end
of a conference, flinging a cushion at his head and then running down
stairs, and of his overtaking the general with another cushion, which
"made him hasten down faster than he desired."[645] Ludlow, with all
his prejudice against Cromwell, was not the man to invent an untruth,
even in so small a matter; and one may note this flash of fun after
severe debate, as indicating a genuine Teutonic temperament in the two
rough soldiers, akin to what we read of in old Norse mythologies, of
grotesque tricks played by Woden-like chiefs, and quite in keeping
with what we know of that Teutonic hero, Martin Luther, who could laugh
and joke, as well as preach and pray.

[Sidenote: _Royalist Demonstrations._]

Although Cromwell could not reconcile ecclesiastical adversaries,
or come to terms with the captive King, there remained no hope for
Presbyterian uniformity. Active men in the undisbanded army, true to
their purpose, still insisted upon securing the right of toleration,
together with certain other points of a political nature; and, seeing
that there were Presbyterians at work in the House of Commons with a
view of thwarting their designs, they boldly impeached eleven of them.

Immense excitement ensued. Trained-bands, apprentices, mariners, and
soldiers, petitioned that the King might be brought to London, with the
hope of securing a reconciliation. Riots followed. The House of Commons
was besieged; and Sir Arthur Haselrig, the political Independent,
persuaded the Speaker, at the head of a large number of members, to
leave Westminster, and to fly for protection to the camp. The Speaker,
having "caused a thousand pounds to be thrown into his coach, went down
to the army, which lay then at Windsor, Maidenhead, Colnbrook, and the
adjacent places."[646]

[Sidenote: 1648.]

Notwithstanding these extraordinary attempts on the part of the
opposition, the Presbyterians did not lose their ascendancy in the
House of Commons.[647] Their cause received vigorous and influential
support from the London ministers. The Corporation also manifested
similar zeal by taking care to place in all municipal offices
Presbyterians of a true blue tint. The party further strengthened
itself in some quarters through its Royalism, and in consequence of
the repugnance which was felt by numbers of people at the growing
Republicanism of the Independents. Republicanism, besides its inherent
defects, had the disadvantage of appearing to the practical minds of
Englishmen as at the best an untried theory, which, whatever advantages
it might seem to promise, would be found miserably wanting when tested
by being put into practice.

Outbursts of Royalist violence occurred in the spring of 1648. The
city of Norwich had a Royalist and Episcopalian mayor, whom the
Parliament deposed from office, appointing another alderman in his
place. The citizens who took part with the disgraced chief magistrate
abused his successor, and threatened to hang the pursuivant and
sheriff upon the Castle Hill. It being reported that the gentleman
who had been thus set aside would be carried off by his enemies in
the night, his friends seized the keys of the many-gated city, and
assembled in the market-place, giving out as their watchword, "For God
and King Charles." Large crowds afterwards openly avowed that they
were for his Majesty, and that they would pluck the Roundheads out of
the Corporation, and put in honest men who would serve God and go to
church. The city found itself filled with rioters who were breaking
windows, entering houses, plundering them of food, wine, and beer, and
seizing the fire-arms kept in the magazine. All was confusion, and the
tradesmen shut up their shops. But Colonel Fleetwood's troopers, then
in the county, were quickly despatched to quell the riot. The rebels
ran away after being attacked by the soldiers, and retired to the
Committee House, where the county ammunition was kept. By accident or
from design ninety-eight barrels of gunpowder there exploded, which not
only blew up several persons "into the air, but by the violence of the
shock, which was perceived in the greatest part of the county, many
windows were shattered in pieces, and much mischief done by the stones
and timber at a great distance."[648] A riot of a similar kind happened
at Bury St. Edmunds.[649]

[Sidenote: _Laws against Heresy._]

Out of these Royalist demonstrations Parliament made capital at the
moment of putting them down. On the 28th of April, 1648--two days
after the Norwich Corporation had determined on a thanksgiving for
the suppression of the tumult[650]--the House of Commons carried a
resolution that the future government of England should be by King,
Lords, and Commons, and that a treaty should be opened with Charles
for peace and settlement. What kind of settlement it was to be,
ecclesiastically considered, the Presbyterian Commons foreshadowed by a
law made a few days afterwards.

[Sidenote: 1648.]

[Sidenote: _Newport Treaty._]

As early as April, 1646, a bill had been in preparation for preventing
heresies and blasphemies. In the September of that year it had been
read a first and second time. In the following November the House had
voted that the penalty for such offences, in certain cases, should be
death. Subsequent political confusions had arrested for a while the
progress of this measure, but now, on the 2nd of May, 1648, under the
renewed ascendancy of Presbyterianism, an ordinance came forth of the
following character:[651]--The denial of God by preaching, teaching,
printing or writing, of His perfections, or of the Trinity, or of
the two natures of Christ, or of His atonement, or of the canonical
books of Scripture, or of the resurrection of the dead and a final
judgment, was to be deemed a capital offence; and the offender was to
"suffer the pains of death, as in case of felony, without benefit of
clergy." In case of recantation, he was to remain in prison till he
found two sureties who would answer for his never again broaching the
said errors. The ordinance specified a second class of heresies:--That
all men shall be saved--that man by nature hath free will to turn to
God--that God may be worshipped by pictures and images--that there
is a purgatory--that the soul can die or sleep--that the workings
of the Spirit are a rule of life, although they be contrary to the
written Word--that man is bound to believe no more than his reason
can comprehend--that the moral law is no rule of Christian life--that
a believer need not repent or pray--that the two sacraments are not
of Divine authority--that infant baptism is unlawful or void--that
the observance of the Lord's day, as enjoined in this realm, is not
according to the Word of God--that it is not lawful to join in public
or family prayer, or to teach children to pray--that the churches
of England are not true churches--that Presbyterian government is
anti-Christian--that the magistracy established in England is unlawful,
or that the use of arms is not allowable. To publish or maintain
any of these doctrines, entailed imprisonment until the offender
found sureties for his not offending any more. In conclusion, it was
provided that no attainder by virtue of the ordinance should extend
to a forfeiture of estates or a corruption of blood. We have given
this piece of legislation almost entire. It throws light on the nature
of the errors which at that time were prevalent. The ordinance is
pointed at Atheism, Infidelity, and Socinianism, also at Pelagianism,
Universalism, and Popery. It levels its bolts at Quakerism,
Antinomianism, and Anabaptism. It fixes its eyes on fifth monarchy
men, and will allow no anti-Presbyterian to escape its vengeance. But,
in seeking to crush what were mischievous errors, these legislators
really brought within danger of prison and death a number of persons
who, though belonging to none of the proscribed sects, yet might refuse
the exact formulary of belief which the words of the act enjoined.
A person might devoutly believe in the divinity of Christ, and yet
he might object to a definition of the Trinity; he might accept the
Scriptures as Divine, and yet he might doubt the canonicity of certain
books. Notwithstanding such a man's substantial faith, the ordinance
threatened him with a felon's doom. Some of the opinions specified were
merely intellectual, and, socially considered, perfectly innocuous.
But, supposing a man entertained the very worst sentiments coming
within the view of this minutely specific law, such an enactment only
served in the instance of a courageous heresiarch to make him all the
more obstinate in his misbelief. And then the folly of requiring in
such cases sureties for good behaviour! No doubt the statesmen who
thus meddled in the region of religious opinion, proceeded upon other
principles than those of mere political expediency, and would have
met all objections based on the inefficacy of their policy for good,
its social injustice, and its violation of the rights of conscience,
with this argument--that the highest duty of the magistrate is simply
to maintain God's truth irrespective of all consequences; that as a
defender of the Church he is not to bear the sword in vain; and that
he is to tread in the steps of Israel's heroes, walking through the
camp of God, Phineas-like, javelin in hand. But however disposed one
may be to do justice to the motives of these men, as honestly desiring
to advance the glory of God, it is impossible not to regard proceedings
like theirs in the instance before us as inspired with a monstrous

[Sidenote: 1648.]

[Sidenote: _Newport Treaty._]

In the month of September, 1648, not long after the ordinance had
been passed for more effectually settling Presbyterian government,
boats crossed the water between the Hampshire coast and the Isle of
Wight, conveying Noblemen, Gentlemen, Divines and Lawyers to take
part in a new conference with the fallen sovereign.[653] He was
allowed to have, as assistants in the discussion, certain learned
Episcopalians, including Juxon, Hammond, and Ussher, who were to stand
behind his chair; but they were not to speak except when the King might
wish for their advice, which could be given by them only in another
room. The Parliament sent down on its own behalf five noblemen, with
four Presbyterian Divines--Dr. Seaman, Mr. Caryl, Mr. Marshall, and
Mr. Vines. The principal topics debated were of an ecclesiastical
nature--as on other points the King, being now reduced to the last
extremity, yielded his consent to the demands of Parliament. He
took his stand on the merits of Episcopacy, and the demerits of the
Covenant. His arguments were in the main the same as those which he
had adduced at Newcastle, and some Episcopalians have thought that the
royal theologian, in this renewed controversy, derived little benefit
from his Episcopal advisers.[654]

Circumstances compelled him now to make large practical concessions.
He would abolish the hierarchy, except the simple order of bishops.
He would for the space of three years allow no other ecclesiastical
government than the Presbyterian, and afterwards would not permit
any Episcopal rule to be exercised except such as Parliament might
allow; indeed, he went so far as to say if he could be convinced that
Episcopacy was not agreeable to the Word of God he would take it
entirely away. Afterwards he promised that for the next three years he
would appoint no new Bishops, that Bishops should receive no persons
into holy orders without the consent of the Presbyters, that another
form than the Common Prayer should be used in the royal chapel, and
that mass should never be said at Court.[655]

[Sidenote: 1648.]

Charles at last resolved to make no further concessions. To the three
demands made by Parliament through the Commissioners, first, for the
abolition of Bishops, secondly, for the sale of their lands, and
thirdly, for the use of the Directory by himself, he gave a decided
denial. If, said he, the Houses thought it not fit to recede from the
strictness of their demands in these respects, then he would with all
the more comfort cast himself upon his Saviour's goodness to support
him and defend him from all afflictions.[656]

[Sidenote: _Newport Treaty._]

A Royalist reaction now sprung up amongst the Presbyterians, and the
former alienation between the army and the Parliament burst into open
warfare. The army, tired of treaties which made not the slightest
provision for religious liberty, tired also of one-sided Presbyterian
zeal, which sacrificed the liberties of the country to the adored ideal
of a covenanted uniformity, and further tired of long and fruitless
negotiations, addressed a stern remonstrance to Parliament--as long too
as it was stern--demanding justice upon the misguided monarch.[657]
Then came a declaration of the advance of the army towards the
City of London. Thus threatened, the Presbyterians were put on their
defence. To submit to the army would be to give up their idol. More
hope remained for Presbyterianism now in pushing a treaty with the
King than in yielding to the pressure of the Independents. The courage
and calmness of the advocates of this policy at such a moment command
our admiration. Amidst all their fondness for the Covenant, and all
their aversion to Episcopacy, there appeared a disinterested spirit of
loyalty to the King's person, and of great anxiety for the preservation
of the King's life.

[Sidenote: 1648.]

On Monday, December the 4th, after tidings had been received of the
removal of Charles across the water from Carisbrook to Hurst Castle, by
officers of the army--the Commons were in deep debate. They declared
that the removal had been accomplished without their consent or
knowledge, and then they grappled with the all-absorbing question,
whether the royal answers to the propositions of both Houses could
be considered satisfactory. Whilst Sir Harry Vane, Mr. Corbet, and
others of the Independent party contended that those answers were not
satisfactory, the Presbyterians put forth all their remaining strength
to save his Majesty. Sir Benjamin Rudyard, Sir Harbottle Grimstone, and
Sir Symonds D'Ewes came to the rescue; but Mr. Prynne stood forward
as the chief advocate of the false and fallen prince. In a speech,
continued long after candles had been lighted, he went over the whole
ground of the long dispute. He could not, as he said, be suspected of
any undue partiality for his Majesty, seeing that all the royal favour
he had ever received was shewn in cutting off his ears; but still he
argued with immense elaboration and great ability that there was enough
in the results of the recent negotiations to warrant the conclusion of
a treaty. The political concessions which had been made he maintained
were amply sufficient. Such as were ecclesiastical, he proceeded
to observe, though they did not meet the Parliament's demands, yet
went so far as to warrant a hope of a satisfactory issue. For hours
he continued his speech, and at the end of it the majority--so the
orator himself reports--declared both by their cheerful countenances
and by their express words that they were abundantly satisfied.
After the Speaker had taken some refreshments there came a division
on the question, that the answers of the King "are a ground for
the House to proceed upon, for the settlement of the peace of the
kingdom." Ayes, 140, Noes, 104. It was Tuesday morning; the clock had
now struck nine, and the debate had lasted from the morning of the
previous day. Although the doors had never been locked, there were
present in the House at one time as many as 340 members: many of them,
however, because of age and infirmity, could not remain throughout the

Whatever opinion may be formed of the Presbyterian policy, everybody
must acknowledge that such a debate with the army at the door brought
out some noble characteristics, and that Prynne shewed himself a brave
man, with such armed odds against him, thus to stand up for peace with
Charles, at the moment when his death-knell had begun to be rung in the
camp. Zeal for Presbyterianism, hatred of Independency, and jealousy
of the army were powerful motives with this singular person; yet with
these feelings were blended sentiments of the purest loyalty.

But eloquence proved no match for steel. The Scotch army had set up the
Covenant; the English army now pulled it down. As at the beginning
of that great mistake, so at the end, force had more influence than
reason, violence than argument. Pride's purge carried all before it.
Prynne had not recovered from his exhaustion before the army had
cleared the House of all opponents. Above one hundred members were
excluded before the end of December; others withdrew. Thus by one and
the same blow the fate of monarchy and of Presbyterianism was decided.
It is vain to talk about constitutionalism at such a crisis. Revolution
had marched through England gaunt and grim. Its black shadow had
darkened the land, and now it fell over Parliament itself. The army
had fought for liberty of conscience, certainly not the least of the
prizes in dispute, and that being now in jeopardy, a strong hand was
put forth very unceremoniously to beat down the obstacle which hindered
its attainment.

[Sidenote: _Execution of the King._]

[Sidenote: 1649, January.]

As it was with Lord Strafford and with Archbishop Laud, so it was
with King Charles I. The noblest scene in his whole life was the
last. He appeared to infinitely greater advantage at the bar, and on
the scaffold, than he had ever done before. His religious demeanour,
when he came to die, was all which his admirers could wish. Without
refusing the prayers of Presbyterians and Independents, he availed
himself of the counsels and devotions of Bishop Juxon; and he said to
that prelate on his offering some expressions of condolence--"Leave
off this, my Lord, we have no time for it. Let us think of our great
work, and prepare to meet the great God to whom ere long I am to give
an account of myself, and I hope I shall do it with peace, and that
you will assist me therein. We will not talk of these rogues in whose
hands I am. They thirst after my blood, and they will have it, and
God's will be done. I thank God I heartily forgive them, and will
talk of them no more." In a message to his son, he declared his faith
in the apostolical institution of Episcopacy, and, as a last request,
earnestly urged him to read the Bible, which in his own affliction, he
remarked, "had been his best instructor and delight." He said to his
attendant, on the morning of his execution, "Herbert, this is my second
marriage day, I would be as trim to-day as may be, for before night I
hope to be espoused to my blessed Jesus." "I fear not death, death is
not terrible to me. I bless my God I am prepared."[659] On his way to
the block he hastened his attendants, remarking that he now went before
them to strive for a heavenly crown with less solicitude than he had
often encouraged his soldiers to fight for an earthly diadem.

His words, as he stood with Juxon at his side,[660] before the axe
of the masked executioner, were broken and confused; but he declared
himself a Christian, and a member of the Church; that he had a good
cause and a gracious God, and was going from a corruptible to an
incorruptible crown.

[Sidenote: _Execution of the King._]

The impression which the tragedy produced on two eminent persons has
been fully recorded. Parr, in his _Life of Ussher_,[661] relates how
the Irish primate came upon the leads of Lady Peterborough's house,
"just over against Charing Cross," as the King made his final speech,
and how, when his Majesty "had pulled off his cloak and doublet,
and stood stripped in his waistcoat," and the men in vizards put up
his hair, the good Bishop, unable to bear the dismal sight, grew pale
and faint, and would have swooned away had not his servants removed
him. He could vent his excitement only in prayers and tears; and ever
afterwards he observed the 30th of January as a private fast. Matthew
Henry states that his eminently-godly father witnessed the execution,
and used to tell his children, at Broad Oak, of the dismal groan
amongst the thousands of the people when the axe fell--a groan the
like of which he had never heard before, and hoped he should never
hear again; and he would also mention the circumstance of one troop of
horse marching from Charing Cross to King Street, and another from King
Street to Charing Cross, to disperse the crowd as soon as the awful
deed was done.[662]

The execution of Charles, however it may be deplored as mischievous,
criticised as impolitic, or condemned as unjust, was perhaps--looking at
the natural resentments and fears of men under the circumstances--only
such a sequel to the civil wars as became probable after long experience
of the King's invincible duplicity. Like Strafford, he had become too
dangerous to live; and now it was thought that, like Strafford, he must
die. Moreover, visions of republican bliss dazzled the imagination of a
few who believed that they would be nearer the attainment of their hopes
when the head of Charles should have rolled in dust.[663] One result, it
appears, they did not contemplate. They made a martyr of their victim,
and thus so deeply stained their cause in the estimation of the largest
portion of posterity, that all their patriotism and religious
consistency in other respects have not sufficed to wipe out the blot.

[Sidenote: 1649, January.]

The Presbyterians ought not to be reproached for the fate of Charles.
Their statesmen did what they could to prevent it; and their Divines
courageously protested against his being put to death, as a national
crime. Nor should the Independents, as a religious sect, be made
to bear the responsibility. It is true that some of them were
members of the High Court of Justice--Bradshaw, the president, and
Corbet, to mention no others, were in communion with Congregational
Churches[664]--but there were also Independent ministers who openly
declared against the sentence; and the silence of others upon the
subject is no more to be construed into approval than is the silence of
Episcopalians.[665] What extravagant things might be said by such a man
as the notorious Hugh Peters, or even by John Goodwin--a different sort
of person it is true--ought not to be charged upon the Independents in
general. Yet some amongst the best of them, it must be acknowledged,
approved of the deed. Lucy Hutchinson relates the conflicts of her
husband, shewing how a sense of duty decided him in the part he took
in the proceeding. Dr. Owen preached before Parliament the day after
the King was beheaded; and though he does not allude to the event of
the preceding morning, he preached in a strain not at all consistent
with any reprobation of it, as an act of injustice. Although, in our
opinion, it was a blunder, it has been vindicated even in the present
day by writers of undoubted piety and honour: no wonder that good men,
amidst a struggle which we can imperfectly imagine, were impelled to
do what good men in the serener atmosphere of two centuries later
deliberately justify.

[Sidenote: _The Funeral._]

[Sidenote: 1649, February.]

The King was buried at Windsor on the 9th of February. Thither his
remains were conveyed by Mr. Herbert and others; some of his faithful
nobility, accompanied by Bishop Juxon, arriving at the Castle next day.
They shewed the Governor-General, Whitchcot,[666] an authority from
Parliament for their attendance at the funeral, and requested that the
body might be interred according to the rites of the Church of England.
The Governor refused, on the ground that the Common Prayer had been put
down. To their solicitations and arguments he replied it was improbable
that the Parliament would permit the use of what it had so solemnly
abolished, and thus virtually contradict and destroy its own act. To
which they rejoined: "There was a difference betwixt destroying their
own act and dispensing with it, or suspending the exercise thereof;
that no power so bindeth up its own hands as to disable itself in some
cases to recede from the rigour of their own acts, if they should see
just occasion." The plea proved unavailing. Whitchcot would not yield.
As the funeral procession moved from the great hall in the Castle, and
entered the open air, "the sky was serene and clear; but presently it
began to snow, and the snow fell so fast that by that time the corpse
came to the west end of the Royal Chapel, the black velvet pall was
all white." The soldiers of the garrison carried the body to its
resting-place under the choir. Over the coffin hung a black velvet
hearse-cloth, "the four labels whereof the four Lords did support. The
Bishop of London stood weeping by, to tender his service, which might
not be accepted. Then was it deposited in silence and sorrow in the
vacant place in the vault (the hearse-cloth being cast in after it)
about three of the clock in the afternoon."[667]


[1] There is a document amongst the State Papers, headed "Proceeding
to the Parliament of the Most High and Mighty Prince, King Charles,
on Tuesday, the 3rd of November, 1640, from Whitehall by water
to Westminster Stairs, and from thence on foot." The document is
interesting in connection with Clarendon's statement: "The King himself
did not ride with his accustomed equipage, nor in his usual majesty, to
Westminster, but went privately in his barge to the parliament stairs,
and so to the Church, as if it had been to a return of a prorogued or
adjourned Parliament."--_Hist. of Rebellion and Life_ (in one vol.),
68. The paper exhibits the following programme: "Messengers; trumpets;
the Sergeant-trumpeter alone; Master of the Chancery; the King's Puisne
Sergeants-at-law; the King's Solicitor and the King's Attorney-General;
the King's two ancient Sergeants-at-law; Masters of the Requests,
two and two; Barons of the Exchequer; Justices of the Common Pleas;
Justices of the King's Bench; Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer: Master
of the Rolls; the two Lords Chief Justices; Pursuivants-of-Arms; Privy
Councillors; Heralds; Lord Finch, keeper of the Great Seal of England,
and many other lords and gentlemen."

[2] See _Journals of the Lords_, to the words of which I have closely
adhered, and _Parliamentary History_. (Cobbett), ii. 637.

[3] No one can see more clearly than myself the defectiveness of these
views of the state of parties. We must begin somewhere. To go very far
back is unsatisfactory, because the glimpses given of remote periods
must be indistinct and confused, and are apt to convey inaccurate
impressions. To commence with notices of what took place just before
our history opens, is also exposed to objection, because it leaves out
of sight so much which served to prepare for what followed. The history
of the Commonwealth requires a previous study of the history of the
Reformation, and that again the history of the Middle Ages. Notices of
the early Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists will be found in
subsequent chapters.

[4] This oft-told story rests on the authority of his friend, Lord
Clarendon.--_Hist. and Life_, 928.

[5] _Stat._ 1 _Eliz. C.Q._, lv. 3, 15.

When the Bills of Supremacy and Uniformity were read a third time
in the House of Lords (April 26 and 28, 1558), the Bishops of York,
London, Ely, Wigorn, Llandaff, Coventry and Litchfield, Exon, Chester,
Carlisle, are mentioned in the Journals as dissentients from both the
Bills.--_Strype's Annals of the Reformation_, i. 87, (Oxford edition.)
In connection with the history of the Bill of Supremacy in _Strype's
Annals_ the student should read the history of convocation in _Strype's
Memorials_, Vol. i. Chap. xvii. An extraordinary paper in favour of the
King's supremacy, attributed to Gardiner, is given, p. 209.

[6] 8 Eliz. c. 1, "declaring the manner of making and consecrating
of Archbishops and Bishops of the realm to be good, lawful, and
perfect."--_Strype's Life of Parker_, (Oxford edition) i. 109-121.
See also "paper of arguments for the Queen's supreme power in causes
ecclesiastical."--_Strype's Life of Whitgift_, iii. 213.

[7] Selden says so in his _Table Talk_, 38. Mr. Bruce informs me, "I
have no doubt that Selden was right. Many great persons holding offices
in the State and Household were appointed Commissioners by reason of
their offices, but never attended. The business fell into the hands of
the Bishops (or rather some three or four of them) and a few civilians
from Doctors' Commons--the Judge of the Arches, the Judge of the
Prerogative Court, and a few other such persons. The sentences that I
have seen have been signed by from 15 to 20 persons, generally such as
I have indicated."

[8] "Turning her speech to the Bishops, she gave them this admonition,
'That if they, the Lords of the clergy (as she called them), did not
amend, she was minded to depose them, and bade them therefore to look
well to their charges.'"--_Strype's Whitgift_, i. 393.

[9] _Strype's Whitgift_, i. 391. Whitgift has been called an Erastian,
and Warburton (_Works_, xii. 386), on Selden's authority, attributes
to him the publication of the _De excommunicatione_, under fictitious
names of the place and printer. I do not know the ground of Selden's
statement. The proceedings of Whitgift were inconsistent with
Erastianism. The famous work of Erastus will be noticed hereafter.

[10] _Strype's Whitgift_, i. 559. See Sir Francis Knolly's objection
to Bancroft's doctrine, reduced to a syllogistic form (560). Knollys
had encouraged Parker to oppose the use of burning tapers, and of the
cross, in the Queen's chapel.--_Strype's Parker_, i. 92.

[11] Parker was kept up to the mark in enforcing uniformity by
the Queen, who in this and some other points was more decidedly
Anglo-Catholic than her Protestant prelates. See her letter to him
"roundly penned." _Strype's Parker_, ii. 76.

[12] Strype, (in his _Annals_, i. 106,) says 177. He adds "In one of
the volumes of the Cotton Library--which volume seemeth once to have
belonged to Camden--the whole number of the deprived ecclesiastics
is digested in this catalogue: Bishops, 14; Deans, 13; Archdeacons,
14; Heads of Colleges, 15; Prebendaries, 50; Rectors of Churches, 80;
Abbots, Priors, and Abbesses, 6; in all, 192. Camden, in his _Annals_,
little varies, only reckoning 12 Deans and as many Archdeacons."

[13] Paper endorsed--Dr. Bardesy; "Of my Daughter's Death, 1 April,
1641;" ¼ ho. _ante_ ho. 9, post Mer.--_State Papers. Charles I.

[14] _Mr. Bruce's Calendar of State Papers, Domestic_, 1633-4, p. 275;
_and Preface_, xviii.

[15] _Lathbury's History of Convocation_, 253.

[16] This is illustrated in the Tractarian movement, as appears in _Dr.
Newman's Apologia_.

[17] Roger Ascham's application to Cranmer in the reign of Edward
VI., for a dispensation during Lent is very curious. So is the grant
of it in the King's name under the Privy Seal, at the Archbishop's
suggestion.--See _Strype's Cranmer_, i. 238, 240.

[18] "Many choose to be wanton," it is said, "with flesh at that time,
rather than at others." February 13.--_State Papers, Domestic._

[19] See "_The Arminian Nunnery_, or a brief description and relation
of the late erected monastical place called the Arminian Nunnery at
Little Gidding, in Huntingdonshire." 1641. Compare _Walton's Lives_,

[20] _Rushworth's Historical Collection_, ii. 324. No doubt, sometimes
the charge of Popery was unjustly made, and there is force in what
Sanderson says in the Preface to his Sermons, p. 74. The passage is too
long for quotation.

[21] See _Hale's Precedents and Proceedings in Ecclesiastical Courts_.
Introductory Essay, xxxiv. Compare _Hallam's Const. Hist._, i. 99.

[22] See _New Canons_, iii. to xii., made in 1604.

[23] Whitelocke, when Recorder of Abingdon, was accused and cited
before the Council Table because "he did comply with and countenance
the Nonconformists there, and refused to punish those who did not bow
at the name of Jesus, and to the altar, and refused to receive the
sacrament kneeling at the high altar, &c."--_Whitelocke's Memorials_,

[24] _Hale's Precedents in Criminal Causes_, xxxix., xliii.; compare
_Hallam's Const. Hist._, i. 180. The extracts from Court Books
in Hale are my authority for what follows. I may add here that,
soon after the accession of Elizabeth, the bishops complained of
interference with their office in discipline, and correction of evil
manners, by inhibitions obtained from the courts of the Archbishop of
Canterbury.--_Strype's Parker_, i. 161.

[25] A clear account of compurgation, transferred from old
ecclesiastical courts to the Court of High Commission, is given by
Mr. Bruce in his _Preface to the Cal. Dom._ 1635-6, xxxi. A man was
restored "to his good name" by swearing to his own innocence when
objectors did not appear, and his neighbours, the compurgators, swore
that he was to be believed.

[26] It is very remarkable that this Act, the only one which fixes the
authority for deciding what heresy is, vests that spiritual power in
the secular government, only with clerical "assent."--_Stat. 1 Eliz._,
c. 1, s. 36.

[27] 1562, July 20. A commission was issued for ecclesiastical causes
in the diocese of Chester.

1576, April 23. A commission was given to Grindal, Archbishop
of Canterbury, and other bishops, for exercising ecclesiastical
jurisdiction throughout the nation.--_State Papers_, cviii., No. 7.

The "proceedings of the Archbishop of York" in 1580 are preserved in
the State Paper Office, cxli., No. 28. At a private meeting on the
2nd of August, 1580, held in Richmond, "the Court is informed that
Robert Wythes, of Copgrave, gentleman, made fast his doors against the
messenger; that a little damsel was set to attend at the door, who made
answer he was not at home, and refused to receive the process, so the
messenger waxed it to the door." Vol. cxli., No. 3.

[28] _Neal_, i. 410, gives a copy of the commission from a MS. I
have sought in vain for the original. Mr. Bruce informs me it is not
preserved among the _State Papers_.

_Neal_, i. 414, explains "all other means and ways they could devise"
as including the rack. Brodie (_British Empire_, i. 197) disputes
this, saying, "Besides that, the rack never was attempted; the other
clauses distinctly show that it never was contemplated." On carefully
examining the commission printed in Neal, it will be found that the
qualifying expressions "lawful," &c., are connected with the infliction
of _penalty_, not the business of _enquiry_. The penalties were to be
according to law, but that restriction would not necessarily apply
to the mode of examination. I do not see that Brodie's argument is
conclusive; still I do not think that the rack was used. The absence,
however, of the word "lawful" in connection with "ways and means" in
the first clause is remarkable.

[29] _Brodie_, i. 198. He adds: "Though fines were _imposed_, not one
was _levied_ in Elizabeth's time by any judicial process out of the
Exchequer, 'nor any subject, in his body, lands, or goods, charged
therewith.'"--_Coke's 4th Inst._, 326, 332; _4th Inst._, 331.

In various printed books the legality of the Court was questioned. The
_ex officio_ oath was objected to as a sinister practice of the Romish
clergy, and contrary to fundamental laws of liberty.--_Burn's High
Commission_ (a pamphlet published by J. Russel Smith, 1865), 14.

[30] "To you, or three of you, whereof the Archbishop of Canterbury,
or one of the bishops mentioned in the commission, or Sir Francis
Walsingham, Sir Gilbert Gerard, or some of the civilians, to be
one."--_Neal_, i. 410.

There are subsequent commissions for the diocese of Norwich, 1589; for
Manchester, 1596, 1597; for England and Ireland, 1600.--See _Rymer_,
Vol. vii. 173, 194; xvi. 291, 400.

A commission was issued, 1629, to the Archbishop of Canterbury, &c., to
exercise all manner of jurisdictions, privileges, and pre-eminences,
concerning any spiritual or ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the
realm; also to enquire, hear, determine, and punish all incests,
adulteries, &c., and disorders in marriage, and all other grievous and
great crimes.

[31] Four folio books of proceedings, from 1634 to 1640, are in the
State Paper Office. At Norwich there is a book of proceedings from
1595 to 1598, and at Durham two volumes of Acts and Depositions from
1626 to 1639. These are the only records known to exist.--_Burn's High
Commission_, 44 & 52.

[32] See _Cal. Dom._, 1633-4, 1634-5. Lady Eleanor Davies alias
Douglas, (evidently insane) is mulcted to the extent of £3,000 for
certain fanatical pamphlets. Richard Parry has a fine of £2,000 for
disturbance of divine service and profane speeches, mitigated to
1,000 marks.--_Cal._ 1634-5, 176. A fine of £1,000, from Theophilus
Brabourne, for maintaining and publishing heretical and Judaical
opinions touching the Sabbath, is repeatedly mentioned, with notices
of respites, suspension of sentence, and mitigation. A silk weaver
was committed to the Gate House for fetching a parcel of schismatical
books. The most preposterous suspicions were entertained, leading
to outrageous injustice, as in the case of "two poor foolish boys,
taken amongst others, at Francis Donwell's house, the aleholder, at
Stepney," for "sitting at the table with Bibles before them." "They
were, by order of the court, discharged," but not till after many days'
imprisonment. "They were taken on Sunday last past was fortnight, the
1st of October, 1635."

The following entry occurs relating to Richard Walker Clerk, prisoner
in the Gate House: "Defendant having lain a twelvemonth in prison for
preaching a scandalous and offensive sermon here in London, and having
promised by his subscription to carry himself peaceably and conformably
to the orders of the Church of England, he was ordered to be enlarged."
_Cal._ 1634-5, p. 544.

[33] _Cal._ 1634-5, p. 177, 118, & 110.

[34] Some strange specimens of puritan "faithfulness" are given;
(_Cal._ 1634-5, p. 319,) but the question arises, were the passages we
find correctly reported?

[35] Some things appear in the Commission Records strangely
illustrating the state of society. Sir Richard Strode and Sir John
Strode, near kinsmen, quarrelled about the possession of an aisle in
the parish church of Cattistock. Sir Richard came with his lady on
Easter-day to receive the sacrament armed with a pistol charged with
powder and small shot, and directed his servant to carry a sword. He
was also accused of entertaining a degraded minister, who "pronounced
prayers extempore, and expounded a passage of scripture. On behalf of
Sir Richard, it was proved that he carried the pistol secretly, and
that no disturbance ensued."--_Cal._, 1634-5, p. 121.

Since writing this Introduction I have been permitted to peruse the
_Rawlinson MS._, A., 128, which affords many new illustrations of the
proceedings of the High Commission and of the Star Chamber also. I
shall have occasion hereafter to notice some parts of this _MS._ The
whole will be published by the Camden Society.

[36] The Court was threatened before the opening of the Long Parliament.

"We are growing here at London into some Edinburgh tumults, for upon
Thursday last, the High Commission being kept at St. Paul's, there came
in very near 2,000 Brownists, and, at the end of the court made a foul
clamour: and tore down all the benches that were in the consistory,
crying out they would have no Bishops nor High Commission. I like not
this preface to the Parliament, and this day I shall see what the Lords
will do concerning this tumult."--_Laud's Letter_, 186. _Works_, vi.
585. Oxford edition. _Diary, Oct. 22, 1640_, iii, 237.

[37] _Rushworth_, i. 423. After Worrall, Laud's chaplain, had signed
the Imprimatur to Dr. Sibthorpe's famous sermon, 1627, Selden told
him, "When the times shall change, and the late transactions shall
be scrutinized, you will gain a halter instead of promotion for
this book." Worrall withdrew his signature, but Laud appended his
own.--_Life of Selden_, p. 129.

[38] _Rushworth_, i. 594.

[39] See _Hallam's Constitutional History_, i. 456; and _Eliot's Life_,
by Forster, i. 246; ii. 398; 409; 450.

[40] In _Rushworth_, ii. 77, is a full account of these ceremonies,
with notices of Laud's defence. The latter is found more fully in the
history of his _Troubles and Trial_. _Works_, iv. 247. He denied he
threw up dust, but leaves it to be inferred that he threw up ashes.
He also contradicted other statements made respecting this famous
consecration. Whatever exaggeration there might be, enough is proved to
show the extraordinary superstitiousness of the proceeding.

[41] Bunsen's _Hippolytus_, iv. 197.

[42] Wearing a cope in cathedrals at the Communion by the principal
minister, is, however, prescribed by Canon xxiv.

[43] Southey says of Laud, "Offence was taken because the University
of Oxford, to which he was a most munificent and judicious benefactor,
addressed him by the titles of His Holiness, and Most Holy Father; and
because he publicly declared, that in the disposal of ecclesiastical
preferments, he would, when their merits were equal, prefer the single
to the married men."--_Book of the Church_, 448. Laud furnishes an
elaborate defence of some of the titles applied to him.--_Works_, iv.

See curious entry in _Laud's Diary_ of a dream he had that he was
reconciled to the Church of Rome.--_Works_, iii. 201. He afterwards
says (264), "I hope the reader will note my trouble at the dream, as
well as the dream."

Zeal in crushing dissent, appears in a letter addressed to
justices of the peace, which probably Laud procured from the High
Commissioners:--"There remain in divers parts of the kingdom
sundry sorts of separatists, novalists [_sic_], and sectaries, as,
namely,--Brownists, Anabaptists, Arians, Traskites, Familists, and some
other sorts, who, upon Sundays and other festival days, under pretence
of repetition of sermons, ordinarily use to meet together in great
numbers, in private houses, and other obscure places, and there keep
private conventicles and exercises of religion, by law prohibited, to
the corrupting of sundry his Majesty's good subjects, manifest contempt
of his Highness's laws and disturbance of the Church. For reformation
whereof the persons addressed are to enter any house where they shall
have intelligence that such conventicles are held, and in every room
thereof search for persons assembled, and for all unlicensed books,
and bring all such persons and books found before the Ecclesiastical
Commission as shall be thought meet."--_Cal._ 1633-4, p. 538.

At an earlier period, Laud says:--"We took another conventicle of
separatists in Newington Woods upon Sunday last, in the very brake
where the King's stag should have been lodged for his hunting next
morning." P.S. to letter of Laud, June 13, 1632.--_State Papers._
Printed in _Laud's Works_, vii. 44.

[44] Articles for Diocese of Winchester. _Laud's Works_, v. 419-435.
Numerous visitation articles, injunctions, and orders appear in this
volume, highly interesting as illustrations both of the Archbishop's
minute superintendence, and of the religious life of the period.

[45] Reprinted in _Laud's Works_, v. 315, 370.

[46] _Laud's Works_, v. 331.

[47] See _Cal. Dom._, 1633-4, and Laud's Annual Accounts of his
province just referred to.

[48] There is an extract of a letter in the State Paper Office (dated
1633, March 18, from the ambassador at the Hague) in the handwriting
of Laud's secretary, upon the uncanonical proceedings of the English
Congregation there.

[49] These points receive abundant illustration in _Mr. Bruce's
Calendar_, 1633-4, and in his very interesting preface.

[50] Laud's power extended even to America. In a special commission
for the colonies, "the Archbishop of Canterbury and those who were
associated with him, received full power over the American plantations,
to establish the government and dictate the laws, to regulate the
Church, to inflict even the heaviest punishments, and to revoke any
charter, which had been surreptitiously obtained, or which conceded
liberties prejudicial to the Royal prerogative."--_Bancroft's United
States_, i. 407.

[51] _Letter in State Paper Office_, Dec. 19, 1633. Most of Laud's
letters found amongst the State records are printed in the last volume
of the Oxford edition of his works.

[52] Indications of his wonderful activity are to be seen in his
numerous letters, collected in the Oxford edition of his works, to
which my references apply. (Vols. vi. and vii.) Laud's enemies have not
done justice to his abilities. His diary reveals his mental weaknesses,
but his correspondence and theological writings exhibit his mind under
a different aspect. Many persons are too prejudiced against Laud to
think of looking into his _Conference with Fisher the Jesuit_; but
whoever will take the trouble of doing so, whatever he may think of
Laud's line of argument at times, must admit the learning and ability
displayed in the discussion. No book more clearly shows both the
resemblance and the difference between Anglo-Catholicism and Popery.

[53] We are here reminded of what Dunstan's biographer said of
him--"Nec quisquam in toto regno Anglorum esset qui absque ejus imperio
manum vel pedem moveret."--_Angl. Sac._, ii. 108. Dunstan, too, like
Laud, descended to the notice and regulation of trivial matters. There
can be little doubt that Laud, as an ecclesiastical and political
statesman, was inferior to Dunstan. A man who grasps at such extensive
influence is sure to be unpopular in England. Sir John Eliot accused
Buckingham of this ambition, and in the memorable peroration to his
speech in that nobleman's impeachment, when he instituted a parallel
between him and the Bishop of Ely, in Richard II.'s reign, Eliot
included this point--"No man's business could be done without his
help."--See _Speech in Rushworth_, and _Parliamentary History_, and
from his own MS. in _Forster's Life of Eliot_, i. 551.

[54] Diary, Tuesday, April 5, 1625.--_Laud's Works_, iii. 159.

[55] _Strafford's Papers_, i. 365.

[56] _Halliwell's Letters of the Kings of England_, ii. 180.

[57] Coleridge ranks Jackson with Cudworth, More, and Smith as
_Plotinist_ rather than _Platonist_ divines.--See Note, _Literary
Remains_, iii. 415.

[58] _Life of Southey_, v. 283.

[59] See remarks on this in _Bancroft's United States_, i. 284.

[60] Aylmer is supposed to be represented anagrammatically in the
Morell, and Grindal in the Algrind of _Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar_.

[61] _Strype's Parker_, i. 300-345. For measures adopted to enforce
conformity, see _Strype's Parker_, i. 420-447. Parker had a hard time
of it when engaged in this unpopular business. He did not receive the
support he wished. The Puritans condemned him for doing too much, the
Queen for doing too little. "An ox," he exclaimed, "can draw no more
than he can."--_Ibid._, 451.

[62] It appears from Foxe that some of the early Protestants were very
strong believers in predestination.--See the godly letters of John
Careless. _Foxe's Book of Martyrs_, viii. 187-192. Catley's edition.

[63] _Neal_, i. 451. For his statement respecting bills for reformation
he gives MS. authority. _Strype's Whitgift_, i. 391, contains the
letter to the Queen, dated 24th of March, 1584-5. Parry says in
_Parliaments and Councils_, 1584, December 14, "three petitions are
read touching 'the liberty of godly preachers to exercise and continue
their ministry, and for the speedy supply of able and sufficient men
into divers places now destitute of the ordinary means of salvation.'"
Cobbett supplies a brief account of the debate.--_Parl. Hist._, i. 824.

[64] Dr. Donne preached a sermon at Paul's Cross on the 14th September,
1622, in which he took occasion "for the publication of some reasons
which His Sacred Majesty had been pleased to give, of those directions
for preachers which he had formerly set forth."--_Works_, vi. 191. The
preacher declared the King was "grieved with much bitterness, that
any should so pervert his meaning as to think that these directions
either restrained the exercise of preaching or abated the number of
sermons."--_Ib._ 220. One is sorry to find such a man as Donne excusing
James's despotic interference with preaching, and to read the absurd
eulogium on his royal master's "books." "Our posterity shall have him
for a father--a classic father--such a father as Ambrose, as Austin
was."--_Ib._ 221. Such sycophancy on the part of Donne and others
greatly tended to prejudice the people against them and their teaching.

[65] _Fuller's Church History_, iii. 362.

[66] See _Cal. Dom._, 1633-4, p. 298.

[67] _Cal._ 1633-4, p. 345.--The cases of Samuel Ward, Anthony
Lapthorne, and George Burdett, noted Puritan ministers, are largely
illustrated in the _Cal. Dom._ 1634-5, 361, 263, 537. Mr. Bruce notices
that Ward, who suffered so much from the High Commission Court, appears
himself as a complainant against certain persons at Ipswich holding
Antinomian opinions, 1635-6, _Pref._ xxxvii.

Illustrations appear amongst the State Papers of the popularity of
Puritanism. Dr. John Andrewes writes to the Chancellor of Lincoln,
(dated June 5, 1634, Beaconsfield) acknowledging a request to preach
a visitation sermon:--"He is contented to show his obedience, howbeit
he knows that any other priest in those parts would be better accepted
both of laity and the generality of the clergy; and the main reason is,
because he is not of the new cut, nor anywise inclining to Puritanism,
wherewith the greatest number (both of priests and people) in those
parts are foully tainted, insomuch that he is called the most godly
who can and will be most disobedient to the orders of the Church. He
enumerates things out of order in his own parish. 1. No terrier of
Church lands. 2. Elections held in the church. 3. Gadding on Sundays
to hear Puritanical sermons in other parishes. 4. Few come to church
on holidays. 5. Many sit at service with their hats on, and some lie
along in their pews. 6. Many kneel not at prayers, nor bow at the name
of Jesus, &c. 7. The churchwardens do not levy the 12d. from those who
absent themselves from divine service."--_Cal. Dom._, 1634-5, _June 5_,
p. 64.

Complaints were made of people forsaking the parish churches.--_Ibid._,
p. 149.

[68] _Cal. Dom._, 1633-4, p. 450.

[69] _Heylyn's Life of Laud_, p. 367.

[70] While quite indisposed to attempt defending in the Puritans what
is indefensible, I would add, they inherited many of their faults from
the early Protestants. On the whole, I should say, the Puritans of the
seventeenth century will bear favourable comparison with their fathers
of the sixteenth, some of whose worst failings arose from the bad
education received in the Church of Rome before they abjured her errors.

[71] Irreverence in worship is often regarded as an offence
characteristic of Puritanism. But popish priests, at the time of
the Reformation, then loudly complained of irreverence in their
congregations--irreverence such as their successors were not guilty
of.--_Strype's Memorials_, i. 213

[72] Neal follows Clarendon in this respect.--_History of Puritans_,
ii. 362.

[73] This is Rapin's view.--_History of England_, ii. 652, adopted by
Godwin, in his _Commonwealth_, i. 64.

[74] _Tanner MS._, quoted by Sanford.--_Studies and Illustrations of
the Great Rebellion_, p. 159.

[75] _Strafford's Letters_, Vol. i. 463, quoted in _Forster's Life
of Vane_, p. 7, as written to the Lord Deputy. The letter is in the
State Paper Office, calendared as if written to Lord Conway.--See
_Calendar of Colonial Papers_, 1574-1660, p. 214. In the same Calendar,
p. 211, there is notice of a letter by Vane to his father, in which
he "requests his father to believe, though as the case stands he is
judged a most unworthy son, that however jealous his father may be of
circumventions and plots entertained and practised by him, yet he will
never do anything that he may not justify or be content to suffer for.
Is sure, as there is trust in God, that his innocence and integrity
will be cleared to his father before he dies. Protests his father's
jealousy of him would break his heart, but as he submits all other
things to his good God, so does he his honesty. The intention of his
heart is sincere, and hence flows the sweet peace he enjoys amidst his
many heavy trials."

[76] _Forster's Statesmen of the Commonwealth_, Vol. iii. 49.

[77] Clarendon (_Hist._ 75) says of Vane's father and mother, "they
were neither of them beautiful,"--a statement fully borne out by their

[78] _Clarendon_ (_Hist._ 454).

[79] _Rushworth_, i. 647.

[80] _Hist._ 74.

[81] Compare _Nugent_ and _Forster_.

[82] Hampden was reported at a Visitation for holding a muster in
Beaconsfield Churchyard, and for leaving his parish church. To avoid a
suit in the Ecclesiastical Court, he applied privately to Sir Nathaniel
Brent, and satisfied him by explanation and concession.--_State Papers
Cal._, 1634-5, p. 250.

[83] "The Puritan would be judged by the Word of God; if he would speak
clearly he means himself; but he is ashamed to say so, and he would
have me believe him before a whole church, that has read the Word of
God as well as he." _Table Talk_, 160.

Selden, in the same book (p. 13), while denying the divine right of
bishops, maintains they "have the same right to sit in Parliament as
the best Earls and Barons." Yet he signed the Covenant.

[84] _Life_, 923.

[85] _Life_, 936.

[86] In the State Paper Office is a letter by Laud, July 20, 1634,
addressed to the King, in which the writer speaks of two daughters of
the late Lord Falkland being reconciled to the Church of Rome, "not
without the practice of their mother." He alludes to Lord Newburgh's
request that she would forbear working on her daughters' consciences,
and suffer them to go to their brother, or any other safe place. The
archbishop appears anxious to save them from Popery. The letter is
printed in _Laud's Works_, vii. 82, with illustrative notes.

[87] He tells us he was stopped in Westminster Hall, and asked by a
root-and-branch man, "Art thou for us or for our adversaries?" but he
does not report his answer.

[88] Mr. Bruce's interesting introduction to the volume of
_Proceedings, &c._, in connection with the Committee of Religion
appointed in 1640, (printed by the Camden Society,) gives a minute
history of the baronet's love adventures.

[89] It is stated on the authority of a letter in the possession of the
Trevor family, that, "to escape detection the oppositionists resorted
to the place of rendezvous with disguised faces." _Johnson's Life of
Selden_, 30.

[90] _Clarendon's Hist._, p. 69.

[91] The appointment of a Committee of Religion was debated and delayed
in the first Parliament of this reign; One was appointed immediately
after the assembling of the second--and also on the meeting of the
third.--See _Journals_, June 25, 1625; Feb. 7, 10, 12, 1625-6; March
20, 1627-8.

[92] The sentence on Leighton is given by _Rushworth_, ii. 56.

_Neal_, ii., 218, follows Rushworth and states the particulars of
Leighton's punishment as being recorded in Laud's Diary. But in the
Diary, 4th November, _Works_ iii. 212, there is nothing beyond a
reference to Leighton's degradation in the High Commission Court. Neal
adds that Laud pulled off his cap, and thanked God for the sentence.

For this anecdote, authority may be found in a curious book, by
Leighton, entitled _An Epitome of the great troubles he has suffered_.
In the course of his narration, after defending himself against the
charge of being a Conventicle keeper, a libeller, a schismatic,
a traitor, and a factious person, he says, in relation to his
trial.--"The censure was to cut my ears, slit my nose, to brand me in
the face, to whip me at a post, to stand on the pillory, ten thousand
pounds fine, and perpetual imprisonment; and all these upon a dying
man, by appearance

--instant morientibus ursæ.

The censure thus past, the prelate off with his cap, and holding up
his hands, gave thanks to God, who had given him the victory over his
enemies."--pp. 69, 70.

"I being put thereafter on the pillory an hour and a half, in frost and
snow, they inflicted the rest, and would not let me have a coach of my
own to carry me to the Fleet; but I was forced to be carried by water,
for I was not able to go. I lay ten weeks under the canopy of heaven,
in the dirt and mire of the rubbish, having nothing to shelter me from
the rain and snow, in a very cold season."--p. 85.

In connection with Leighton's statement, the following passage from the
Rawlinson MS. is worthy of notice:--"In the Court of High Commission,
19 April, 1632, the King's Advocate against Joseph Harrison, Clerk,
Vicar of Sustorke, 'the sentence was presently read by the Archbishop
of Canterbury, In Dei nomine, Amen, &c., &c., Deum præ oculis
preponentes, &c.,' at which words I marked some of the Bishops to look
upward, and put off their hats devoutly." From this passage it would
appear to have been a practice in the Court, when sentence was passed,
to pronounce it in the name of God, and for the Commissioners to take
off their hats in token of reverence when these sacred words were
uttered. The question arises, did Leighton mistake what was a customary
act for a special expression of Laud's feeling in this particular case?
or, did Laud really go out of his way to indicate his gratification
at the sufferings of Leighton? I must leave the reader to judge for
himself, who, however, ought to bear in mind Laud's character. Leighton
gives the following account of his sufferings:--

"The aforesaid censure was executed in every particular in a most cruel
manner and measure: the executioner was made drunk in the Fleet the
night before, and also was hardened the very same day with very strong
water, being threatened to do it with all rigour: and so he did, by
knife, whip, brand, and fire, insomuch that never a lash he gave with
a treble cord, but he brought away the flesh, which I shall feel to my
dying day."

[93] Yet, looking at the persecution which the Puritans suffered, the
same plea will avail for them that has been urged on behalf of the
early Protestants. "It was, as they thought, like exhorting a Caligula
and a Nero to clemency, and advising the poor subjects to compliment
such tyrants, to remind them gently of their defects, and humbly to
entreat that they would be so good and gracious as to condescend to
alter their conduct."--_Jortin's Life of Erasmus_, i. 212.

From a _Biographical Narration_, by Burton, it appears he had been
Clerk of the Closet to Prince Henry and to Prince Charles. The
narration contains many curious particulars. There is an important
letter about Burton, by Bishop Hall, in _Forster's Life of Eliot_, ii.

[94] _Hanbury's Historical Memorials_, ii., 52.

[95] _Rushworth_, iv. 207.

[96] _Forster's Life of Eliot_, ii. 84, 562.

[97] _Forster's Life of Pym_, 96.

[98] It was a charge against Burton that he carried the sacred elements
to the communicants on their seats.--_Dow's Innovations_, 186.
_Lathbury's History of Convocation_, 261.

[99] _Forster's Life of Pym_, 99.

[100] _Rushworth_, iv. 24.

[101] _Quoted in Sanford's Illustrations_, 310.

[102] _Clarendon_, 69. _Sanford's Illustrations_, 310.

[103] Clarendon says Strafford did not come to the House at all
that day till after his impeachment. I attach little importance to
Clarendon's statements, when inconsistent with what is said by so
accurate a man as D'Ewes. From his journal it appears that Strafford
_did_ go to the House in the morning. _Sanford's Illustrations_, 310.

[104] _D'Ewes Journal_, _Sanford's Studies and Illustrations_, 312.

[105] _Baillie's Letters and Journals_, published by the Bannatyne
Club, 4to, i. 272. Other minute particulars are taken from the same

[106] See his _Journal_, 1640, Dec. 18. _Works_, iii. 238.

[107] Burgess and Marshall preached on the occasion from Jeremiah l. 5,
and 2. Chron. xv. 2. The sermons were published, and may be found in
the library of the British Museum. They relate to covenanting with God,
but I do not see that the preachers make any reference to the Scotch
covenant, though Nalson charges them with having had their eye on that
symbol all the way through.--_Collection_, i. 530.

[108] November 20. See _Commons' Journal_.

[109] See Journals, February 9, 1625-6, and March 10, 1627-8.

[110] It is so regarded by Neal and those who follow him.--_History of
Puritans_, ii. 362.

[111] _History of England_, ii. 653.

[112] _Journals_, November 20. A collection was made after the
communion, amounting to £78. 16. 2.--_Nalson's Collections_, 1. 700.

[113] _Memorials of English Affairs, Whitelocke_, 38. _Journal of
Commons_, Nov. 25, 1640, and pamphlets of the period.

[114] The minister complained of was John Squire, of whom Walker gives
an account in his _Sufferings of the Clergy_, Part i. 68.--These
illustrations are gathered from _Diurnals and other Tracts_ in the
Library of the Brit. Museum.

[115] _Speech of Mr. Rouse in Rushworth_, iv. 211. See also _Speeches
of Sir Ed. Dering and Sir John Wray_.

[116] These particulars, and many more, are found in _A Certificate
from Northamptonshire_, 1641. Brit. Mus. The "great scarcity of
preaching ministers" was early noticed, and a sub-committee appointed
to consider it.--See _Journals_, 19th December, 1640. Extracts from
the _Register of the Archbishop of Canterbury_, shew that the number
of benefices in England was 8,803, whereof 3,277 were impropriations,
and that the number of livings under £10 was 4,543; under £40, 8,659;
and that only the remainder, being 144, were of the value of £40 and
upwards.--_Cal. Dom._ 1634-5, p. 381.

[117] _Lathbury's Hist. of Con._, 246.

[118] _Nalson_, i. 545.

[119] This oath "approved the doctrine and discipline of government
established in the Church of England, as containing all things
necessary to salvation;" and denied all "consent to alter the
government of this Church by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons,
&c., as it stands now established."

[120] _Journals of the Commons_, Dec. 16, 1640.--The matter came before
the House again on the 7th June, 1641.

[121] The letter is in _Laud's Works_, Vol. vi. 584.

[122] _Laud's Works_, vi. 589.

[123] _Lathbury's Hist. of Convocation_, 267.

[124] See _Letter to Bullinger by Sandys_, 1573.--_Zurich Letters_, 294.

[125] _Fuller_, ii. 504-5.

[126] It frequently appears in the records of that period. There is a
curious example in the introduction to the will of Humphrey Fen.--_Cal.
Dom._, 1633-4, p. 468.

[127] They claimed as precedents the Protestants in Queen Mary's
time, and the exiles at Geneva, that used a book framed by them
there.--_Strype's Parker_, i. 480.

There is at Horningsham, in Wiltshire, an old meeting-house, with a
large stone in the end wall, bearing date 1566. When the stone was put
there is not known, and whence it came I cannot learn, but the Rev.
H. M. Gunn, of Warminster, informs me that, according to tradition,
some Scotch Presbyterians, disciples of Knox, came over from Scotland
to build Longleat House for Sir John Thynne, in 1566. The building
went on for thirteen years, when Sir John died. They refused to attend
the parish church, and obtained a cottage in which to meet for Divine
service, with a piece of land attached for a grave-yard. This house,
Mr. Gunn says, turned into a chapel, has been preserved till now.
Though originally a Presbyterian, it long since became an Independent
place of worship.

[128] Afterwards Mrs. Hazzard.

[129] _Records of the Baptist Church_, Broadmead, Bristol, 10-18. See
also _Cal. Dom._, 1634-5, p. 416, for arguments by Dr. Stoughton, on
the duty of separation.

As women were active in promoting Puritanism, so they had been a
century before in promoting Protestantism.--See numerous examples in
_Foxe's Book of Martyrs_.

[130] _Dugdale's Troubles in England_, 36, 62, 65.

_Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses_, ii. 347.

[131] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 674.

[132] Bagshawe's own account, in _Hanbury's Memorials_, ii. 141.

[133] See _Cal. Dom._, 1633-4, p. 33 _et seq._; also _Preface_, viii.

[134] _Baillie's Letters and Journals_, vol. i. 211-214.

[135] _Baillie's Letters and Journals_, i. 271.

_The Lords' Journals_, Dec. 10, 14, 1640, shew the sensitiveness of
the House upon what concerned the honour of the Scots and the English
lords, who favoured them, and in reference to all which indicated
popish sympathies.

[136] The first night they tarried at lodgings, "in the Common Garden."
Baillie adds: "The city is desirous we should lodge with them, so
to-morrow I think we must flit."

[137] Hallam says: (_Const. Hist._, i. 527) The petition was prepared
"at the _instigation_ of the Scotch Commissioners." Baillie's letters
do not support this statement. The Scots, however, were very early in
the field against Laud. _Lords' Journals_, January 2, 1641.

[138] "At London we met with many ministers from most parts of the
kingdom; and upon some meetings and debates, it was resolved that a
committee should be chosen to draw up a remonstrance of our grievances,
and to petition the Parliament for reformation, which was accordingly
done."--_Clark's Lives_, page 8.

[139] Cross-grained, twisted. _Baillie's Letters_, &c., i. 286.

[140] _Rushworth_, iv. 135.

[141] The Somersetshire churchmen expressed themselves in moderate
terms.--_Hallam's Const. Hist._, i. 527.

From Cheshire came two petitions, one signed by Episcopalians, the
other by Puritans, calling prelates "mighty enemies and secret
underminers" of the church and commonwealth.--_Nonconformity in
Cheshire. Introduction_, xiv.

[142] Amongst the petitions of that period was one by Master William
Castell, parson of Courtenhall, in the county of Northampton: "for
the propagating of the gospel in America and the West Indies." While
condemning the proceedings of Spaniards, and lamenting the indifference
of English, Scotch, French, and Dutch, the petition expresses the
desire of the petitioners, "to enlarge greatly the pale of the
Church;" to make the synagogues of Satan temples of the Holy Ghost;
"and millions of those silly, seduced Americans, to hear, understand,
and practise the mystery of godliness." A large number of names are
appended, approving the petition. The learned Edmund Castell, Robert
Sanderson (afterwards Bishop of Lincoln), Joseph Caryl, and Edmund
Calamy, appear in the list, and it is added that the petition had the
approbation of Master Alexander Henderson, and some worthy ministers of
Scotland. The union of such different men in this missionary endeavour
is worthy of notice.--_Anderson's History of the Colonial Church_, ii.

[143] Abridged from _Rushworth_, iv. 155.--Baillie says that, as to the
part about the bishops, there "was no hum; and no applause as to the
rest."--_Letters_, i. 292.

[144] No traces of Pym's speech are found in _Rushworth_, _Nalson_, or
_Parliamentary Debates_. It is not mentioned in _Forster's Life of the
Great Statesmen_, or in _Sanford's Illustrations_. The extract I have
given is from _A Just Vindication of the questioned part of the reading
of Edward Bagshawe, Esq._, 1660, p. 2-4. The tract states that Pym's
speech was delivered when the petition was read and debated in the
House. _Hanbury's Memorials_, ii. 141.

[145] _Rushworth_, iv. 170-187.

[146] 9th Feb., 1641.

[147] Quoted in _Studies and Illustrations, by Sanford_, 319.

[148] Mr. Godwin, in his _History of the Commonwealth_, i. 58,
interprets the resolution as meaning "we are not yet decided to
maintain Episcopacy." The debate, and even the words themselves, seem
to me inconsistent with that view.

[149] These particulars are taken from the _Journal of Sir Ralph
Verney_, a member of the Committee. Lord Nugent, in his _Life of
Hampden_, gives some account of this MS.; but Mr. Bruce has published
the entire notes in a volume of the Camden Society, with many valuable

[150] The following extract from the _Lords' Journals_ is an

"Mr. Etheridge, minister, and Mr. Carter, the curate, and William Till,
clerk of the parish, Ben Parsons, Tho. Chadwick, were examined at the
bar, concerning the riot lately committed in the church of Halstead, in
the county of Essex; as striking the Book of Common Prayer out of the
curate's hand as he was baptizing a child at the fount, and kicking it
up and down the church, and for taking the clerk by the throat, forcing
him to deliver unto them the hood and surplice, which they immediately
rent and tore in pieces; and other misdemeanours and outrages were
committed in the said church, on Simon and Jude's day last, in divine
service, by Jonathan Poole and Grace his wife." 10th December, 1640.

Certain Nonconformists of St. Saviour's parish were complained of to
the House for illegally assembling for worship. The House directed they
should be left to the ordinary proceedings of justice, according to the
course of law. _Journals of the Lords_, January 16th. See also 19th and

[151] As the accounts of this committee given by Fuller, Neal, and
Cardwell, are incomplete in consequence of the writers having neglected
to consult the Journals of the House of Lords, I subjoin the following
entries relating to this business:--

_10 die Martii, 1640-1._

After an order that the Communion-table in every church remain where
it is accustomed to be, it is ordered, "That these lords following are
appointed to take into consideration all innovations in the Church
concerning religion:--The Lord Treasurer, the Lord Chamberlain,
Earls of Bath, South'ton, Bedford, Hartford, Essex, Dorset, Sarum,
Warwick, March, Bristol, Clare, Berks, Dover, and Lord Viscount Say
and Sele; Bishops of Winton, Chester, Lincoln, Sarum, Exon, Carlile,
Ely, Bristol, Rochester, Chichester; and Ds. (Dominus), Strange,
Willoughby de Earseby, North, Kymbolton, Howard de Charlton, Grey de
Werk, Robarts, Craven, Pawlett, Howard de Escrick, Goringe, Savill,
Dunsemore, and Seymor.

"_6 die Martii._

"That the Committee for Innovations in Religion do meet on Wednesday
next, and the committee to have power to send for such learned men as
their lordships shall please, to assist them.

"_10 die Martii._

"That the Committee for Religion do meet on Friday next, in the
afternoon, and no other committee to sit that afternoon, and their
lordships to have power to send for what learned divines their
lordships shall please, for their better information: as the Lord
Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Prideaux, Dr. Warde, Dr. Twiste (Twiss) Dr.
Hacket, who are to have intimation given them by the Lord Bishop of
Lincoln to attend the Lords' Committees."

The following names, given by Fuller, Collier, and Neal must be taken
as a list of the sub-committee. Williams, Bishop of Lincoln; Ussher,
Archbishop of Armagh; Morton, Bishop of Durham; and Hall, Bishop of
Exeter; Drs. Ward, Prideaux, Twiss, Sanderson, Featley, Brownrigg,
Holdsworth, Hacket, Burgess, White, Marshall, Calamy, and Hill. Morton
of Durham does not appear on the list of the Lords' Committee. Cardwell
places in the list the name of Montague, but I find it mentioned by no
one else. He is not a likely person to have had anything to do with
the Committee, and he is probably confounded by Cardwell with Hall,
who succeeded him in the bishopric of Norwich, being translated, on
Montague's death, to that see from Exeter.

[152] Quoted in _Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors_, iii. 187.

[153] _Hacket's Memorial of Williams_, Part ii. 147.

Sir N. Brent, in a paper dated September 9, 1634, gives an account of
his "metropolitical visitation" of Williams's diocese. He describes the
Communion-table at Lincoln as not decent, and the rail worse; organs
old and nought; copes and vestments embezzled; ale-houses, hounds,
and swine kept in the churchyard; Hitchin church and churchyard out
of order; curate of Stowe accustomed "to marry people with gloves and
masks on."--_Cal. Dom._ In another paper, probably pertaining to 1634,
Boston seeks to free itself from the suspicions of Puritanism by saying
that there were 2,000 communicants at church, who, for want of room to
kneel, were compelled to receive the Lord's Supper standing.--_Ibid._
p. 422.

[154] _Fuller's Church History_, iii. 415.

[155] _Laud's Works_, iii. 241.

[156] The following letter (without signature) illustrates this point:
"A new Committee for Religion was appointed to have sat on Monday in
the afternoon last, but there being neither meeting nor adjournment,
it was left _sine die_: yet, on Thursday in the afternoon, the Bishops
of Lincoln, Durham, Winchester, and Bristol met, where the assistants,
attended by some threescore other divines of inferior rank, were
present, and many temporal Lords; and many points of doctrine and
Church service being questioned, among the rest one Lord said, that it
ought to be put out of the creed '_that Christ descended into Hell_,'
which he did not believe. Yesterday in the forenoon, without any
intimation or notice given to the other committees, the same spiritual
Lords and divines met at the Bishop of Lincoln's lodging, where, in
less than two hours, they condemned, (as I am informed by the Bishop
of Bristol, present), about fifty points in doctrine, what they had
met with in several treatises and sermons of late printed amongst us.
They had culled out a passage of my Lord of Canterbury in his Star
Chamber speech, which they say is, that _Hoc est corpus meum_, is more
than _Hoc est verbum meum_: which the Bishop of Lincoln censured, for
that _verbum_ did make _corpus_; but would not further hear, because
his grace was likely to answer it shortly elsewhere."--April 10, 1641.
_State Papers, Chas. I. Dom._

[157] I say _almost_, because the practice of sitting, while singing
hymns, which was common in Nonconforming places of worship when I was
young, may still linger in some quarters.

[158] The following query appears respecting marriage:--

"Whether none hereafter shall have licences to marry, nor be asked
their banns of matrimony, that shall not bring with them a certificate
from their Minister that they are instructed in their Catechism."

[159] The specified alterations are: "I give thee power over my body;"
"knowing assuredly that the dead shall rise again;" and "I pronounce
thee absolved;" instead of the well-known forms so often objected to.

I have gone fully into an account of what was proposed to this
Committee, not only because it may have a particular interest for those
who are active in promoting a revision of the Prayer Book, but because
there are such diversified statements in relation to the subject in
our historians. Compare Fuller, Collier, and Neal. Neal presents his
condensation of the papers with inverted commas, as if placing before
the reader the original documents. (In other cases, too, he gives
his own abridgment in this fashion, so as to mislead the student.)
An entire copy of the proceedings of the Committee may be found in
_Cardwell's Conferences_, p. 270, taken from _Baxter's Life and Times_,
Part i. 369.

[160] _Neal_, ii. 465.

[161] See _Journals_ for March 9th, 10th, 11th, and 22nd. _May_
says, "Doctors and parsons of parishes were made everywhere Justices
of Peace, to the great grievance of the country, in civil affairs,
and depriving them of their spiritual edification."--_Hist. of Long
Parliament_, 24.

[162] _Rushworth_, iv. 206. This Bill was under discussion in the
Lords, in October, 1641.--_Nalson_, ii. 496.

[163] _Journals._

[164] _Clarendon's Hist._, 94.

[165] July 1.--"The Lords, upon the reasons offered by the Commons,
were satisfied to consent to pass the Bill to take away the High
Commission Court both here and at York, but argued to have the Star
Chamber Court not quite taken away, but bounded, limited, and reduced
to what power it had in Henry VII's time."--_Rushworth_, iv. 304. Both
Bills received the royal assent, July 5.

[166] The writers were: Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thos. Young,
Matt. Newcomen, and Wm. Spurstow.

[167] _The Reduction of Episcopacy_, which bears Ussher's name, was not
published till after his death, in 1656. Baxter says in reference to
it, "I asked him (Dr. Ussher) whether the paper be his that is called,
_A reduction of Episcopacy to the form of Synodical Government_; which
he owned, and Dr. Bernard after witnessed to be his."--_Life and
Times_, part ii. 206.

I may here observe that the Archbishop, according to his biographer,
Elrington, appears always to have spelt his name with a double s.

[168] _Baillie_, i. 351.

[169] May 3, 1641. _Parl. Hist._, ii. 776.

I have here and elsewhere, in giving the substance of speeches, adhered
to the quaint phraseology employed by the speakers.

[170] For the protestation, see _Parl. Hist._, ii. 777. Alterations
were made which throw light on the fears of returning popery.--_Verney's
Notes_, published by the Camden Society, 67-70.

[171] Instances of the taking of it are numerous. In the _Register
Book of Wansted_ it is found with the names of the principal
inhabitants.--_Lyson's Environs of London_, iv. 243.

Whitaker, in his _History of Richmondshire_, mentions an endorsement on
the Return Roll for the parishes and townships of Bentham, Ingleton,
Thornton, Sedberg, Dent, and Garsdale:--"The names of those persons who
refused to make protestation within Garsdale parcell of the township of
Dent, viz: George Heber Gent, Abraham Nelson, chapman, who publiquely
refused before the whole Dale in the Church."--vol. ii. 363.

[172] See _Journals of the Commons_, May 12th.

[173] August 2nd. _Parl. Hist._ ii, 895. Compare _Nalson_, ii. 414-417.

[174] _Baillie_, i. 351. He refers here to the Commons.

[175] _Hallam's Const. Hist._, i. 524. The sagacious author justly
remarks--"And thus we trace again the calamities of Charles to their
two great sources; his want of judgment in affairs, and of good faith
towards his people." The Lords passed the Bill on the 8th; the royal
assent was given on the 10th.

[176] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 778.

[177] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 783. May 5. D'Ewes gives another amusing
version of the story, (under date May 19).--_Sanford's Illustrations_,
373. Baillie's account is somewhat different.

[178] _Maitland's London_, i. 338.

[179] The bitter Presbyterian feeling against Strafford is plain enough
in Baillie's letters.

It belongs not to the scope of this ecclesiastical History to enter on
the details of the trial, but I cannot resist the temptation to insert
in the Appendix two letters found in the State Paper Office, giving an
account of the way in which the bill of attainder was introduced.

[180] See Speeches by Lane and St. John (_Rushworth's Trial of
Strafford_, 671, _et seq._); then read what follows:

"It certainly does astonish us that men, however they may have
condemned the conduct of Strafford, could bring themselves to believe
that he was guilty of the crime of high treason; for they could hardly
have been deceived by the wicked sophistry of St. John that an attempt
to subvert the fundamental laws of the kingdom was high treason at
common law, and still remains so, or by the base opinion delivered by
the judges--that this amounts to high treason under the Statute of
Edward III."--_Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors_, iv. 15.

[181] Ussher of Armagh, Juxon of London, Morton of Durham, Potter of
Carlisle, and Williams of Lincoln.

[182] Slightly abridged from _Elrington's Life of Ussher_, 213.

[183] That such a distinction was suggested seems generally admitted.
Clarendon attributes it to Williams, (_Rebellion_, 140.) This,
considering the historian's prejudice respecting the Archbishop, is not
perfectly conclusive against Williams, any more than the silence of
Hacket (_Life of Williams_, pt. II., i. 161,)--who only speaks of the
advice given in common, founded on the distinction between facts and
law--is conclusively in his favour.

Clarendon is corroborated by the circumstance, that Ussher and Juxon
were freed from the charge by the King himself (according to the report
of Sir Edward Walker), and of the remaining prelates Williams was the
most likely to give such advice as Clarendon mentions.

[184] _Fuller's Church History_, iii. 421.

The author says he copied what he gives of Hacket's speech out of his
own papers. _Nalson's Report_ (ii. 240) seems to be an amplification
of what is contained in _Rushworth_, iv. 269. Verney entirely agrees
with Fuller (_Verney Papers--Camden Society_, 75), but only in a few
particulars with Nalson. Nalson is also wrong in saying Hacket answered
Burgess. Hacket spoke first. Burgess answered him.

[185] _Fuller_, iii. 422. According to _Verney's Notes_, Burgess speaks
of "Choristers and officers as fellows that are condemned for felons,
and keep ale-houses, and so they may still," 77.

[186] _Rushworth_, iv. 276.

[187] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 773.

[188] _Sanford's Illustrations_, 363.

[189] _Nalson_, ii. 248.

[190] _Parry's Parliaments and Councils of England_, 353.

[191] _Sanford's Studies and Illustrations_, 364.

[192] Dering published an apology in 1642.

[193] The following letter by Sydney Bere, secretary to Sir Balthazar
Gerbier, afterwards to Sir H. Vane, is preserved in the State Paper

"Whitehall, 17th June, 1641.

"You will surely have heard that the utter abolishing of the bishops
and all titular ecclesiastics, with the dependents, hath been agreed
upon in the House of Commons, and met with less noes in the debate
than the business of the Earl of Strafford had. This day they voted it
again, and now it is to be engrossed, a draft of the Act goes herewith.

"The business of the bishops will be of dangerous consequence, they
being violent and passionate in their own defence, and having engaged,
as it were, the Lords, by their late votes in their favour, to the
maintenance of their cause; whereas the Commons seem as resolute to
pass the Bill for their utter extirpation, and so transmitting it to
the Lords, according to the custom; and then it may be justly inferred
the city will prove as turbulent as they were on Strafford's cause."

Sidney Bere became under-secretary upon the appointment of Nicholas, in
November, to the chief secretaryship of state.

[194] _Rushworth_, iv. 279.

[195] _Nalson_, ii. 529.

[196] _Journal_, June 7, 1641.

_Verney's Notes_ bear evidence that the same day the feeling of the
House was unfavourable to Episcopacy. Monday, 7th June:--"Sir John
Griffin, the elder, said, I see it is distasteful to this House to
speak for the government of the Church."--_Verney Papers_, 83.

On the same day, in the course of a debate, the subject of
ecclesiastical canons came again under consideration. Mr. Maynard
"transmitted the votes about the canons." According to _Verney's
Notes_, (84) in which this appears, the debate touched generally on the
power of the clergy to make canons. No formal resolution or vote is

[197] _Sanford's Illustrations_, 365.

[198] _Clarendon's Hist._, 110.

[199] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 822-826.

Sir Ralph Verney notices the debate on the 12th, but his notes are
unfortunately very brief, and run thus:--

"Actions constant at all times to men of one order, 'tis a great sign
of their malignity.

Oil and water may be severed, but oil and wine never.

Pledwell's arguments might have been used for the pope as well as for
other bishops.

Vaughan.--Three things considerable in bishops: election, confirmation,

_Os Episcopi_ is a chancellor.

_Oculus Episcopi_ is the commissary.

_Consilium Episcopi_ is the dean."--_Verney Papers_, 94.

Letters in the State Paper Office show the excitement produced by the
Commons' proceedings. Slingsby says, 10th June, "The discourse of all
men is they must now strike at root and branch, and not slip this

[200] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 828. _et seq._

[201] _Rushworth_, iv. 295.

[202] _Nalson_, ii. 245.

[203] White was grandfather of Susannah Annesly, the mother of the

[204] For cases which came before Dering, see "_Proceedings principally
in the County of Kent, &c._" Edited by the Rev. L. B. Barking, with
preface by John Bruce, Esq. _Camden Soc._

[205] _Rushworth_, iv. 113-123.

[206] _Rushworth_, 194, 195.

See _Laud's Journal_, March 1, p. 240.

March 1, Monday.--"I went in Mr. Maxwell's coach to the Tower. No noise
till I came into Cheapside. But from thence to the Tower I was followed
and railed at by the 'prentices and the rabble, in great numbers, to
the very Tower gates, where I left them, and I thank God he made me
patient!"--_Laud's Diary._

[207] _Rushworth_, iv. 122-351.

Widdrington's speech on presenting the impeachment is a curiosity in
its way. Amongst other odd things he says of Wren: "Without doubt he
would never have been so strait-laced and severe in this particular
(_i. e._, his hatred of extempore prayer), if he had but dreamed of
that strait which a minister, a friend of his, was put into by this
means. The story is short. A butcher was gored in the belly by an ox;
the wound was cured; the party desired public thanksgiving in the
congregation; the minister, finding no form for that purpose, _read the
collect for churching of women_."--_Parl. Hist._, ii. 888.

[208] _Fuller's Church History_, iii. 418. See also _Worthies_, ii. 359.

[209] _Hanbury's Historical Memorials_, ii. 97-100.

Thomas Wiseman, in a letter (July 1, 1641) _State Papers_, says of the
Scotch, "God send us well rid of them, and then we may hope to enjoy
our ancient peace both of Church and Commonwealth, for till they are
gone, whatever they pretend, we find they are the only disturbers of

[210] _Rushworth_, iv. 368.

[211] _State Papers, Dom., 1641._ Letter of Sidney Bere, August 18.

[212] _Idem._ Letter of Sidney Bere, August 22.

[213] _Letter of Bere._ August 30th.

In a manuscript diurnal, also preserved among the _State Papers_, it is
remarked: "Mr. Henderson is in great favour with the king, and stands
next to his chair in sermon time. His Majesty daily hears two sermons
every Sunday, besides week-day lectures."

[214] Baillie's notices are to the same effect as Bere's: "Mr.
Alexander Henderson, in the morning and evening before supper, does
daily say prayers, read a chapter, sing a psalm, and say prayer again.
The King hears all duly, and we hear none of his complaints for want of
a liturgy or any ceremonies." _Letters_, i. 385.

[215] _Nalson_, ii. 683.

[216] _Parry's Parliaments and Councils_, 365.

[217] On the 8th September, "upon Mr. Cromwell's motion, it was
ordered, that sermons should be in the afternoon in all parishes of
England, at the charge of the inhabitants of those parishes where
there are no sermons in the afternoon."--_D'Ewes' Journals. Sanford's
Illustrations_, 371.

[218] _Commons' Journals. Parl. Hist._, ii. 907.

[219] _Nalson_, ii. 483. _Parl. Hist._, ii. 910.

[220] An attempt was made in the Lower House to revise the Prayer Book,
but it failed.--_Rushworth_, iv. 385.

[221] London was in a very troubled state that autumn, as appears from
a letter by Thomas Wiseman, dated October 7th.--_State Papers Dom._

"The city is full of the disbanded soldiers, and such robbing in and
about it that we are not safe in our own houses, yet this day there is
an order come from the Committee of Parliament to send every soldier
away upon pain of imprisonment, and leave granted to any of them that
will to transport themselves for the low countries into the service
of the States. On Tuesday last the post was robbed between this and
Theobalds, and the letters to the King and other Lords in Scotland,
from the Queen and the Lords of the Council, were taken away by fellows
with vizors on their faces; such an insolence hath not been, however,
before, and who they were, or who set them to work is suspected, but
not yet discovered. We have the most pestilent libels spread abroad
against the precise Lords and Commons of the Parliament, that they
are fearful to be named. And the Brownists and other sectaries make
such havoc in our churches by pulling down of ancient monuments, glass
windows, and rails, that their madness is intolerable; and I think
it will be thought blasphemy shortly to name Jesus Christ, for it is
already forbidden to bow to his name, though Scripture and the practice
of the Church of England doth both warrant and command it."

[222] _May's History of the Long Parliament_, 113-115.

[223] See his speeches in _Rushworth_, iv. 392-394.

[224] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 924.

[225] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 919, 920.

[226] _Rushworth_, iv. 438-451.

[227] Sidney Bere says in a letter dated 25th Nov., 1641 (_State Papers
Dom._): "For the business of the Houses of Parliament, they have been
in great debates about a Remonstrance, which the House of Commons
frames, shewing the grievances and abuses of many years past. The
contestation now is, how to publish it, whether in print to the public
view, or by petition to his Majesty--it was so equally carried in a
division of opinion, that there were but eleven voices different. This
day is a great day about it, but what the event will be I shall not be
able to write you by this ordinary. It seems there are great divisions
between the two Houses, and even in the Commons House, which, if not
suddenly reconciled, may cause very great distractions amongst us. It
is the fear of many wise and well-meaning men, who apprehend great
distempers, which I pray God to direct."

[228] _Memoirs by Sir Philip Warwick_, 201.

[229] _Forster's Grand Remonstrance_, 324. I refer the reader to this
valuable work for minute particulars respecting this debate.

[230] _Clarendon. Hist._, 125. Compare _Carlyle's Cromwell_, i. 161.

[231] So Queen Henrietta Maria was then commonly called.

[232] _Nalson_, ii. 679-681.

[233] _Nicholas' Correspondence. Evelyn's Diary_, iv. 82.

[234] "I observe since my coming to town, a very great alteration of
the affections of the City, to what they were when I went away. They
say a great present is to be presented to the King after dinner, and
a petition such as he will be glad to receive, the contents I hear
not yet, only one clause for the maintenance of Episcopacy and the
suppression of schism."--_Robert Slingsby, State Papers Dom., Nov. 25._

Respecting the King's reception, Wiseman says, "I confess it was a
great one every way, and so acknowledged beyond the precedent of any
made to former Kings, that history makes mention of, which well suits
with the goodness, sweetness, and meritorious virtues of so gracious
a King as ours is. The present mean estate of the Chamber denied the
form of a gift, but this of the hearts of the citizens and those of
the better sort, and at this tune so seasonably expressed, was of
greater import to His Majesty than, for my part, I dare take upon me to
value."--_2nd Dec., 1641. State Papers, Dom._

[235] _Nalson_, ii. 681. _Rushworth_, iv. 432.

[236] Letter of Thomas Wiseman, addressed to "Sir John Pennington,
Admiral of his Majesty's fleet for the guard of the Narrow
Seas."--_State Papers Dom._, 9th Dec., 1641.

[237] In the same letter to Sir John Pennington, Wiseman says,
"His Majesty was pleased, with a return of many thanks for his
entertainment, to set a mark of his favour by knighting the seven
aldermen, whereof your cousin the alderman was none, whose ways, as
you partly know, are rather to please himself than to strive to do any
acceptable service for the king, if it stand not with the sense of the
preciser sort of the House of Commons."

[238] Sir Ralph Hopton gave a report to the House of the
interview.--_Parl. Hist._, ii. 942.

[239] _Rushworth_, iv. 452.

[240] _State Papers Dom._ Letters of Robert Slingsby, dated (by
mistake) 6th Dec., 1641, and properly placed under Jan. 6th, 1641-2.
Slingsby is not perfectly accurate in his account of what took place in
the House.

[241] The High Church Lord Mayor Gourney would not accompany them.

[242] _Nalson_, ii. 764.

[243] There were other disturbances in London.

"For the proceedings of the Parliament, you have them here enclosed
until Monday, which day there happened some disorder concerning
the prisoners in Newgate, who being to suffer, and understanding
the priests condemned with them were not, but in hope of reprieve,
they found means to seize the jailor's keys, and so made themselves
master of the prison, but the train bands coming up that same day
forced them to surrender, and the next they were hanged, not without
great murmuring of the common people. The saving of the priests is
yet a point debated in Parliament, and, as I am told, will hardly be
obtained. In the meantime, these intervenient things add much to the
distractions and distempers of the time, which I pray God to give a
better end unto than at present there is any great appearance for to
hope it." * * *

"I am told the House did yesternight vote the printing of the
Remonstrance."--_State Papers._ Letter of Sidney Bere, 16th Dec., 1641.

[244] _Bramston's Autobiography_, published by the Camden Society, 82.

[245] _Rushworth_, iv. 463.

Cutting the hair short was a Puritan reaction, occasioned by the
opposite Cavalier fashion of wearing locks profusely long. It is worth
notice, that the nickname given to Elisha by the boys at the town gate,
as they watched the prophet passing by, was just the same as that
given to the Parliamentarians. "Baldhead," is really "_roundhead_," in
allusion to shortness of hair at the back of the head.--_Ewald_, iii.
512.--_Smith's Dict. of the Bible_, i. 537.

[246] The following letter by Captain Slingsby relates to this
disturbance. It will be noticed that the writer says, "none were
killed;" but Fuller states one man died of the injuries he received.

"I cannot say we have had a merry Christmas, but the maddest one that
I ever saw. The prentices and baser sort of citizens, sailors, and
watermen, in great numbers every day at Westminster, armed with swords,
halberds, clubs, which hath made the King keep a strong guard about
Whitehall of the trained-bands without, and of gentlemen and officers
of the army within. The King had upon Christmas-eve put Colonel
Lunsford in to be Lieutenant of the Tower, which was so much resented
by the Commons and by the City, that the Sunday after he displaced him
again and put in Sir John Biron, who is little better accepted than the
other. Lunsford being on Monday last in the Hall with about a dozen
other gentlemen, he was affronted by some of the citizens, whereof the
Hall was full, and so they drew their swords, chasing the citizens
about the Hall, and so made their way through them which were in the
Palace Yard and in King's Street, till they came to Whitehall. The
Archbishop of York was beaten by the prentices the same day, as he was
going into the Parliament. The next day they assaulted the Abbey, to
pull down the organs and altar; but it was defended by the Archbishop
of York and his servants, with some other gentlemen that came to
them; divers of the citizens hurt, but none killed. Amongst them that
were hurt one knight, Sir Richard Wiseman, who is their chief leader.
Yesterday, about fifteen or sixteen officers of the army, standing
at the Court gate, took a slight occasion to fall upon them and hurt
about forty or so of them. They, in all their skirmishes have avoided
thrusting, because they would not kill them. I never saw the Court so
full of gentlemen. Every one comes thither with their swords. This day
500 gentlemen of the Inns of Court came to offer their services to the
King. The officers of the army, since these tumults, have watcht and
kept a Court of guard in the presence chamber, and are entertained upon
the King's charge. A company of soldiers put into the Abbey for defence
of it."--_State Papers_, December 30th, 1641.

[247] "There has been great store of the scum of the people who have
gone this holidays to Westminster, to have down Bishops, and against
Lunsford, who is now dismissed from being Lieutenant of the Tower, the
King having given him £500 pension per annum, and hath invested one
Sir John Biron in that place. All things are in much distemper, and I
fear that they yet will grow worse."--_State Papers._ Letter of Capt.
Carterett to Sir J. Pennington, dated London, 29th Dec.

[248] I drew up this account from documents in the Record Office, dated
the last few days of December, 1641, when I had no opportunity of
consulting what Mr. Forster says of the disturbances, in his careful
history of the _Arrest of the Five Members_.

[249] See _Rushworth_, iv. 695, for examples of exaggeration in the
royalist statements. This disturbance became a subject of controversy
between the King and Parliament.--_Rushworth_, iv. 710.

[250] "Here," says Mr. Forster, "and not in any dispute as to whom the
powers of the militia should reside with, really began the Civil War."
_Arrest of the Five Members_, 66.

[251] _Hall's Works for Hard Measure_, xiii.

[252] _Fuller's Church History_, iii. 431. He gives a copy of the

[253] See his speech on the 4th of March--_Parl. Hist._, ii. 1111.

[254] _Bishop Hall's_ account in his _Hard Measure_ would seem to
imply that the King had not seen the paper before it was brought under
the notice of the Upper House by Lord-keeper Littleton, but it is
clearly stated (_Parl. Hist._, ii. 993) that what Littleton did in
this matter was by his Majesty's command. "The Jesuitical faction,"
says a letter of the day, "according to their wonted custom, fomenting
still jealousies between the King and his people, and the bishops,
continually concurring with the Popish lords against the passing any
good Bills sent from the House of Commons thither; and their last plot
hath been their endeavour to make this Parliament no Parliament, and so
to overthrow all Acts past, and to cause a dissolution of it for the
present, which hath been so strongly followed by the Popish party, that
it was fain to be put to the vote, and the Protestant Lords carried
it to be a free and perfect Parliament as ever any was before. This
did so gall the bishops that they made their protestation against the
freedom of the vote, and the Parliament; and in their protestation
have inserted such speeches as have brought them within the compass of
treason, and thus the Council of Achitophel is turned into foolishness.
The Earl of Bristol and his son have been chief concurrents with them
in this and other evil councils, for which they have been impeached and
branded in the House of Commons."--_State Papers_, Letter of Thomas
Smith to Sir J. Pennington, dated York House, 30th Dec., 1641.

There are allusions to these proceedings in other letters (_State
Papers_) which all blame the bishops for want of wisdom.

[255] Hall says, "On January the 30th, in all the extremity of frost,
at 8 o'clock in the dark evening, are we voted to the Tower. The
news of this our crime and imprisonment flew over the city, and was
entertained by our well-wishers with ringing of bells and bonfires."
_Hard Measure._

[256] "This day the bishops have made a protestation against the
proceedings of this Parliament, declaring it no free Parliament. This
makes a great stir here. The favourers of them think it done too soon,
the other side do seem now to rejoice that it is done, having thereby
excluded themselves from it." _Slingsby to Pennington. State Papers_,
30th Dec., 1641.

[257] _Collier's Ecclesiastical History_, ii. 819.

[258] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 1206. The bishops were: Dr. John Williams,
Archbishop of York; Dr. T. Moreton, Bishop of Durham; Dr. J. Hall,
Bishop of Norwich; Dr. Robert Wright, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield;
Dr. John Owen, Bishop of St. Asaph; Dr. William Piers, Bishop of Bath
and Wells; Dr. John Coke, Bishop of Hereford; Dr. M. Wren, Bishop of
Ely; Dr. Robert Skinner, Bishop of Oxon; Dr. G. Goodman, Bishop of
Gloucester; Dr. J. Towers, Bishop of Peterborough; Dr. M. Owen, Bishop
of Llandaff.

In _Parl. Hist._, ii. 998, Warner is mentioned as Bishop of
Peterborough, but he was Bishop of Rochester. See list of the thirteen
impeached in August.

[259] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 1080.

[260] _Lords' Journals_, Feb. 16th.

[261] It is related of this eccentric person that, as master of a
household, he never allowed the presence of a female servant.--See
_Worthies of Sussex, by Mark Antony Lower_.

[262] _Harl. MSS._ in _Lysons_, iii. 56.

[263] There is a curious letter from Towers, then Dean of Peterborough,
dated December 30, 1633, in which he seeks to make interest with Sir
John Lambe, Dean of the Arches, for the succession of the bishopric. He
says he should be almost as glad to see his friend Dr. Sibthorpe in the
deanery as himself in the palace. _State Papers Dom., Chas. I._

[264] _Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy_, part ii. 78. The few
particulars we have given respecting the bishops rest chiefly on his

[265] _Hacket's Memorial_, ii. 226.

[266] The following _State Papers Dom._, (_Chas. I._), was written at
the same time:--

"Sir--What passeth in Scotland I presume you have already understood
from Mr. Bere, so that I shall only say, that I believe the great plot
there may prove much ado about nothing. Howsoever I am advertised that
all the distractions thereupon have suddenly composed, which gives
great hope of his Majesty's return ere it be long. Our Parliament, I
mean the House of Commons, were very hot in getting the Lords to pass
a bill which they had voted, and sent up against the bishops; but the
news of a rebellion in Ireland made them cast that by, and ever since
Saturday last both Houses have bestowed their time upon this business,
and at length have concluded to send away the Lord Lieutenant speedily
with 1,000 men and £50,000 in money, which is to be taken up of the
city, if they can get it there, for the citizens of the best rank are
at this time much discontented with the Parliament about protections,
whereby they are stopped from getting in their debts to their great


"_Charing Cross, 4th Nov., 1641._"

[267] Letter of Thos. Wiseman, dated 4th Nov., 1641. (_State Papers
Dom., Chas. I._)

This letter discloses to us facts which were the subject of many
a letter, and many a conversation in the autumn of 1641. Public
indignation was awakened by these atrocities in a way resembling that
with which we were all sadly familiar at the period of the Indian

[268] _Mant's History of the Church of Ireland_, i. 467, 470.

[269] _Bramhall's Works_, i., _letters_, p. 79. The Lord Deputy's
letter in 1634 also gives a lamentable description.--_Strafford's
Letters_, i. 187. See also _Petition of Irish Convocation_.--_Collier_,
ii. 763.

[270] _Mant's Church of Ireland_, i. 548.

[271] _Rushworth_, iv. 406.

[272] For the Roman Catholic view of the case, see _Lingard's History
of England_, x. 41.

[273] _Lister's Autobiography_, 7. The places named are on the great
highway from South Lancashire to Halifax.

[274] _Calamy's Ejected Ministers_, i. 45.

[275] _Nalson_, ii. 647-688. Cogan (servant to some one addressed by
Nicholas as Rt. Honble.) in a letter dated Charing Cross, November
18, 1641, after relating the story told by the tailor of White Cross
Street, continues--"he went with all speed to the House of Commons,
unto whom being with great importunity admitted, he at large related
all the aforesaid passages, and withal shewed in how many places of
his cloak and clothes he was run through; and after long examination
of him they sent him up unto the Lords, who in like manner questioned
him a long time, and ever since there hath been a great coil about the
finding out of this matter, by searching of Recusants' houses, as my
Lord of Worcester's in the Strand, St. Basil Brooke's, and others. Now,
whether this be a truth or an imposture, time will resolve."

[276] _Nalson_, ii. 673. Dering's subsequent history does not belong to
our pages. It is enough to say he was expelled the House, his published
speeches were burnt by the hangman, he joined the King, and served in
the army; and then, after all, made his peace with the Parliament.

[277] _Clarendon_, 433.

[278] _Macaulay's Essays_, i. 160.

[279] Quoted in _Forster's Grand Remonstrance_, 172.

[280] As to Royalists of the mean and selfish class, see _Brodie_, iii.

[281] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 990.

[282] _Nalson_, ii. 673.

[283] _Letters_ of the 13th and 14th of January, in the State Paper
Office, indicate the excitement of the period, and the uncertainty felt
about the King's movements.

[284] _State Papers Dom._, under date January 13, 1642. Parts of this
letter, of which I have not transcribed the whole, are inserted by
Mr. Forster in his _Arrest of the Five Members_. I had intended to
introduce other interesting letters of that date, but as they are
already printed by him, I refer the reader to his pages.

[285] March 28, 1642.--A conference was held respecting a petition from
Kent, which prayed for a restoration of the Bishops, and the Liturgy,
&c., &c. Some parts of the petition were voted scandalous, dangerous,
and tending to sedition.--_Lords' Journal._

April 21.--Both Houses made a curious order against
counter-petitions--"As no man ought to petition for the Government
established by law because he has already his wish; but they that
desire an alteration cannot otherwise have their desires known, and
therefore are to be countenanced."

April 28.--The Commons, by Mr. Oliver Cromwell, acquaint the Lords
"that a great meeting is to be held next day on Blackheath, to back the
rejected Kentish petition." 30--"The Men of Kent come to the House,
and again present their petition formerly burnt. Several are committed
to the Gate House and Fleet."--_Parry's Parliaments and Councils of
England_, 385, 386.

[286] This appears from a letter by Slingsby.--_State Papers_, December
2, 1641.

[287] _Rushworth_, iv. 498.

[288] See also _Neal_, ii. chap. xii., and _May_, 247-265.

[289] July 28, 1642--The Lords give judgment against John Marston,
Clerk, who had said--"The Parliament set forth flams to cozen and
cheat the country and get their money, &c. He is deprived of all
ecclesiastical preferments; made incapable hereafter to hold place or
dignity in Church or Commonwealth; imprisoned in the Gatehouse; and
ordered to give sureties."--_Parliaments and Councils of England_, 396.

[290] The Royalists sometimes appealed to Scripture.--There is amongst
the _State Papers_, one containing texts of Scripture relating to royal
authority:--1. Pray for the King; 2. Speak not evil of the King; 3.
Exalt not thyself against the King; 4. The King's confidence in God; 5.
The King loveth judgment; 6. The King ought to be feared; 7. God's care
of his anointed; 8. Punishment of his adversaries; 9. Exhortation to
obedience; 10. His triumph and thanksgiving.

There is also a paper of arguments in defence of taking up arms in
maintenance of the true reformed religion:--From the law of nature.
From Divine authority out of God's word. From human authority;
Citations from fathers, &c. From reason. From practice of Reformed
kirks, France, Holland, Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland, Hungary, and
Sweden, which had all taken up arms for defence of religion against
authority. From the custom of Kings in Reformed kirks--Elizabeth
against Spain--James, in his _Basilicon_, approves reforming of
Scotland--Charles sent a naval force to help French Protestants.

[291] I may add the following sentence from _Hook's Lives of the
Archbishops of Canterbury_, iii. 291:--"The first lawyer whose writings
we possess, Bracton, asserts, '_Lex omnium Rex_.' A king not less than
a subject may be a traitor."

[292] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 1168.

[293] These papers are given in full by _Rushworth_, iv. 624, 722. They
are also to be found in _Neal_, ii. 553, 556, 563, as extracts from
_Rushworth_, though much condensed.

[294] _Rushworth_, iv. 733.

[295] In the _Weekly Intelligencer_, October 18, 1642, mention is made
of a woman called Moll Cutpurse, who wore both, saying she was for King
and Parliament, too.

[296] "_Powers to be resisted_, or a dialogue arguing the Parliament's
lawful resistance of the powers now in arms against them, and that
archbishops, bishops, curates, neuters, all these are to be cut off
by the law of God, therefore to be cast out by the law of the land,
etc."--London, 1643. p. 13.

See also John Goodwin's _Anti-cavalierisme_.

That the people have a right to resist their rulers when they do wrong
was a common opinion amongst Reformers in Mary's reign. See _Maitland's
Essays on Reformation in England_, vi.

[297] All these particulars are mentioned in pamphlets of the King's
collection.--British Museum, years 1642, 1643. Marvels and Monsters
were rife at the time of the Reformation.--_Maitland's Essays_, 184.

[298] A list of contributors is printed in _Choice Notes, Historical_,
p. 55.

[299] Such a contribution from William Bridge and his family is
described in the _Yarmouth Corporation Records_.

[300] Baxter assigns a number of reasons which induced godly people
to take side with the Parliament.--_Life and Times_, part i. 33. Mrs.
Hutchinson, in the _Memoirs_ of her husband, gives amusing sketches of
some who joined that party for sinister ends, pp. 105-116. _The Life of
Adam Martindale_, p. 31, indicates how Royalists sought shelter amidst

[301] It is worthy of remark that Cromwell began his military course
at about forty, the same age as that at which Cæsar commenced his
victories. Cæsar, however, when a young man, had served in the army,
which Cromwell had not. It is a curious parallel that both should have
been such successful soldiers after so long an engagement in peaceful
occupations. Both died at the age of about fifty-five.

[302] _Rushworth_, v. 39.

[303] A small volume was published containing portions of Scripture,
and was entitled _The Souldier's Pocket Bible_.

[304] As to the presence of Roman Catholics in the two armies, the
following passages from Baxter and Hallam should be considered:--

Baxter, whose prejudices against the army must be borne in mind when
he refers to the subject, only expresses suspicion. "The most among
Cromwell's soldiers that ever I could _suspect_ for Papists were but a
few that began as strangers among the common soldiers, and by degrees
rose up to some inferior offices, and were most conversant with the
common soldiers; but none of the superior officers _seemed_ such,
though seduced by them."--_Life and Times_, part i. 78.

Hallam leans to the idea that the common reports had some foundation.
He remarks: "It is probable that some foreign Catholics were in the
Parliament's service. But Dodds says, with great appearance of truth,
that no one English gentleman of that persuasion was in arms on their
side.--_Church History of England_, iii. 28. He reports, as a matter
of hearsay, that out of about 500 gentlemen who lost their lives for
Charles in the civil war, 194 were Catholics. They were, doubtless, a
very powerful faction in the court and army."--_Hallam's Const. Hist._
i. 587.

[305] _Hibbert's History of Manchester_, i. 210.

[306] "_Some Special Passages from Warwickshire._" _King's Pamphlets,
Brit. Mus. Acts and Orders_, i. 124.

[307] _King's Pamphlets, Brit. Mus. Acts and Orders_, ii. 124.

[308] _Rushworth_, iv. 783.

[309] These were commenced by Mr. Case, of St. Mary Magdalen, Milk
Street, and afterwards circulated from church to church for the
convenience of the citizens.--_Neal_, ii. 592.

[310] Letter of Nehemiah Wharton, dated Aylesbury, August the 16th,
1642. Addressed to his much honoured friend, Mr. George Willingham,
Merchant, at the Golden Anchor, Swithin Lane.--_State Papers, Chas. I.,

[311] In a letter, dated September 7, Wharton says of Northampton, for
situation, circuit, stateliness of buildings, it exceeds Coventry, but
the walls are miserably ruined though the country abounds in mines
of stone. He also complains of certain soldiers of his regiment who
discovered their base ends by declaring they would surrender their arms
unless they received five shillings a man, which they said was promised
them monthly by the committee. He alludes further to dissensions
between foot and horse soldiers. In another letter he mentions a
soldier's winter suit made for him, "edged with gold and silver lace,"
which he hoped he should never stain but in the blood of a cavalier.

[312] Letter of William Harrison, Berwick, dated 7th Sept., 1642, to
his good friend Mr. Thomas Davison, at London.--_State Papers, Chas.
I., Dom._

[313] _Whitelocke's Memorials_, 65.

[314] _Rushworth_, v. 35. _Baxter's Life and Times_, part i. 43.

[315] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 1495-1504.

[316] _Whitelocke_, 65. _Sanford's Illustrations_, 535.

[317] _Rushworth_, v. 81.

[318] November 26th.--_Rushworth_, v. 69-71.

[319] _Parl. Hist._, iii. 59.

[320] The speech is printed in the _Harleian Miscellany_, v. 224.

[321] _Calamy's Continuation_, ii. 737.

[322] Edmund Calamy, the popular clergyman of the Commonwealth, was
grandfather to the historian of that name.

[323] _The Loyal Satirist.--Somers' Tracts_, vii. 68.

[324] August 3, 1642.--_Rushworth_, v. 388.

[325] _Parl. Hist._, ii. 1465.

[326] On the 20th of January Maynard "spoke very earnestly that we
should not abolish the jurisdiction of bishops until we had replaced
another government in the Church: which he thought would not be very
soon agreed upon, some being for a presbytery, some for an independent
government, and others for he knew not what."--_Harl. MSS._, clxiv. p.
1078, A. B. _Sanford's Illustrations_, 550.

[327] See _Commons' Journal_ and _Lords' Journal_.

[328] _Baillie's Letters and Journals_, ii. 58.

[329] _Rushworth_, v. 399-406. The papers were presented in February,
1642-3. The petition bears date 4th of January.

[330] _Memorials_, 67. The safe conduct bears date 28th of January,

[331] _Rushworth_, v. 166-169.

[332] _Hist._, 962.

[333] _Rushworth_, v. 459.

[334] _Baillie's Letters_, ii. 66, 67.

[335] _Letters and Journals_, i. 287.

[336] _Nalson_, ii. 766. Thomas Fuller advocated the calling of a
synod.--_Life, by Russell_, 124.

[337] _Rushworth_, v. 337. _Husband_, 208.

"There must be some laymen in the synod, to overlook the clergy, lest
they spoil the civil work; just as when the good woman puts a cat into
the milk house to kill a mouse, she sends her maid to look after the
cat, lest the cat should eat up the cream."--_Selden's Table Talk_, 169.

[338] Hacket, Bishop of Lichfield; Morley, Bishop of Winchester;
Nicholson, Bishop of Gloucester; Prideaux, Bishop of Worcester;
Reynolds, Bishop of Norwich.

[339] _Calamy's Continuation_, i. 28.--Bancroft, on the authority of
Winthrop, says that the colonial Churches of America were invited to
send deputies to the Westminster Assembly. But Hooker, of Hartford,
"'liked not the business,' and deemed it his duty rather to stay in
quiet and obscurity with his people in Connecticut, than to turn
propagandist and plead for Independency in England."--_United States_,
i. 417. Did Philip Nye seek to strengthen the Independents in the
Assembly by inviting brethren from America?

[340] "It was almost implied in the meaning of the word. An 'Œcumenical
Synod,' that is an 'Imperial gathering,' from the whole οἰκουμένη,
or empire (for this was the technical meaning of the word, even
in the Greek of the New Testament) could be convened only by the
emperor."--_Stanley's Lectures on the Eastern Church_, 80. The first
council of Arles, inferior only to a General Council, was called by the
Emperor Constantine.--_Euseb. Hist._, _lib._ x. _c._ v.

[341] The Divines were allowed by the Parliamentary ordinance four
shillings a day.

[342] Perhaps some one better versed in the controversy touching powers
of Convocation than I am might shew that, after all, the power of
decision, and the liberty of discussion in the two Houses, do not far
exceed what was allowed to the Westminster Assembly. It is admitted
on all hands that Convocation cannot meet without a royal writ, nor
make canons without licence, nor publish them without confirmation by
the Great Seal, and some contend that Convocation may not even discuss
any matters _without royal licence_.--See _Lathbury's History of
Convocation_, 112.

While I am revising this book for the press, I find the following in
to-day's _Times_, January 11th, 1866: "Convocation is nothing more
whatever than a general commission of enquiry into the affairs of the
Church empowered to report its opinions to the Crown." Change "Crown"
into "Parliament," and this passage describes the Westminster Assembly,
so far as its power was concerned.

[343] _Rushworth_, v. 339. It does not appear clearly whether the
sermon was delivered in the abbey or the chapel. Rushworth, after
mentioning the sermon and the presence of the two Houses, says of the
Divines, "After which they assembled in the said chapel:" as if the
"Houses" had heard the sermon in some other part of the abbey.

I do not find any notice of Twiss's sermon in the list of his works.

[344] The Upper House of Convocation met in Henry the Seventh's Chapel
both in 1572 and in 1640.--_Gibson's Synodus Anglicanus._

[345] Washington Irving.

[346] _Fuller's Church History_, iii. 448.

[347] _Neal_, iii. 60.

[348] _Journal of the Assembly. Lightfoot's Works_, xiii. 3.

[349] This was Mr. John White, of Dorchester, great grandfather of John
and Charles Wesley.--See _Kirk's Mother of the Wesleys_, 18.

[350] _Lightfoot_, xiii. 7-9. _Hetherington's History of the
Westminster Assembly_, p. 114.

[351] This will be inserted in the Appendix.

[352] _True and faithful Narrative of the Death of Master Hampden_,
quoted in _Nugent's Life of Hampden_, 363.

[353] Scarborough church was stormed in 1644 by the Parliament
soldiers, and afterwards fortified by them. It is remarkable to find
church towers so constructed, as to shew they were intended for warlike
purposes. Melsonby and Middleham, in Yorkshire, and Harlestone, in
Northamptonshire, are examples.--_Poole's Ecclesiastical Architecture_,

[354] _Joseph Lister's Narrative_, 23. Bradford was taken on the 2nd of

[355] _Hist._, 416.

[356] _Rushworth_, v. 287.

[357] _Rushworth_, v. 290. _Calamy's Account_, ii. 675. _Palmer's Non.
Con. Mem._ ii. 467.

[358] _Rushworth_, v. 344.

[359] _Sanford's Illustrations_, 575.

[360] _David's Annals of Nonconformity in Essex_, 535.

[361] _Vol._ ii. 103, &c.

[362] Instructions given are inserted in _Parl. Hist._, iii. 151.

[363] _Baillie_, ii. 88, 97.

[364] _Baxter's Life and Times_, p. i. 48.--He adds that this public
explication was given by Mr. Coleman, when preaching on the Covenant to
the House of Lords: "That by prelacy we mean not all Episcopacy, but
only the form which is here described."

On the 12th of September, the Solemn League and Covenant was proposed
to the Parliament, who, on the 21st, ordered it to be printed.

On the 20th, the Lords declared that none shall have command till they
have taken the Covenant.

[365] _II. Chron._ xv. 12, 14, 15.--The 15th verse is printed with
two other texts on the title page of the Solemn League and Covenant,
published Sept. 22nd, 1643.

[366] _Cunninghame's History of the Church of Scotland_, i. 315, ii. 81.

[367] The Solemn League and Covenant will be inserted in the Appendix.

[368] _Nye's Exhortation_ was published, and a portion of it, extolling
the Covenant, may be seen in _Hanbury's Memorials_, ii. 215.

[369] Gouge was a Puritan divine who died in 1653, after being minister
of Blackfriars nearly forty-six years.

[370] In the State Paper Office is the following letter written by
Falkland in the spring of the year.

"Sir,--If my health were not so ill as yours, with all my business to
boot, I should not hope to be excused for being so slow in giving you
thanks for two so great favours. I heartily wish we were in a condition
of being able to make use of any good inclinations to us beyond sea,
and perhaps they are the kinder, because they find it safe to be
so, whilst we are as we are, that is, unable to take them at their
words, and make use of their kindness. Of Mr. Wightman's commitment I
never heard before I read your letter: the petition for him is in Mr.
Secretary's hands, but I will assist it to my power; though I conceive
it indiscreetly done of the Company to send so obnoxious a person, and
yet more indiscreetly done of him to be sent, who could not but know
that he was such. My desire of peace, and my opinion of the way to it,
agree wholly with yours, for which I congratulate with myself, and wish
the second followed (but both sides must then contribute) that the
first might be obtained, and I might then have occasion to congratulate
with the kingdom too. His Majesty hath commanded me to let you know
that he is very sensible of your present condition, and that he is
sorry for nothing more than that his friends (especially so honest and
deserving a man) should be in danger for being so, and be not able to
protect them, but that if retiring of yourself hither out of their
power would stand with your occasions, he assures you, you shall be
very welcome, but what to advise you, if you stay, I find he knows not,
and I am sure I know as little. I wish, whether you stay or come, it
might be in my power to serve you. I assure you, Sir, if there were
any occasion of doing it by my readiness to catch at, and my diligence
in pursuing it, you should find what I must now desire you to believe,
that I am, Sir, your very really humble Servant,


"18th April."

(Addressed) "For the Right Honourable Sir Thomas Rowe, Knight, one of
His Majesty's most honourable Privy Council."--_Dom. Car._ i., April
18, 1643.

[371] _Rushworth_, v. 486.

[372] _Perfect Diurnal_, 2nd of Sept., 1643.

[373] _Baillie's Letters_, ii. 99, 113-115.

[374] _Rushworth_, v. 358.

[375] "Horses have stood ready in several stables, and almost
eaten out their heads, for those that were to go with the news to
Oxford."--_Parliament Scout._

[376] The Diurnals which supply these statements are not trustworthy.

[377] Amongst the _State Papers_ is the following programme, or, as it
is entituled, "The proceeding" of Mr. Pym's funeral:--

Two Conductors. Servants in Cloaks. Friends in Cloaks. Esquires.
Knights. Baronets. Divines. The Preacher. _The Pennon borne by_ Mr.
Faulconer. Rouge Dragon _Helm and crest_. Lancaster _Coat of arms_.
+---------+ | | | The | Supporters | | to the Pal | Body. | | | Mr.
Anth. Rous, _supporter_. | | Mr. Chas. Pym, _supporter_. +---------+
Mr. Alex. Pym, _chief mourner_. Mr. Simons and Mr. Nicholls. Mr. Askew.
Mrs. Symons and Mrs. Katherine Pym, and other Ladies and Gentlemen.
Then the Lords. Then the Speaker of the House of Commons.

An endorsement shews that the three officers of arms allowed by the
committee for this funeral were appointed £20 apiece, making a sum of
£60. The following names also appear on the back of the document: Mr.
Solicitor, Sir Arthur Haslerigge, Sir John Clotworthy, Mr. Knightley,
Sir Gilbert Gerard, Sir Harry Vane, Mr. Stroud. Probably all these were

[378] Pym defended himself against imputations on his religious
character, by saying that he had ever been a faithful son to the
Protestant religion, without the least relation in his belief to the
gross errors of Anabaptism or Brownism. He had sought a reformation of
the Church of England--but not its overthrow. Neither envy nor private
grudge against the bishops, who were personally inimical to him, made
him averse to their functions, but only his zeal for religion, which he
saw injured by the too extended authority of the prelates, who should
have been upright and humble, "shearing their flocks and not flaying
them."--_Rushworth_, v. 378.

Marshall in his _Sermon_ and Baxter in his _Saint's Rest_ would not
have spoken of Pym as they did, had they not been satisfied that
charges against his moral character were utterly untrue. Marshall
includes chastity in the catalogue of his virtues. I can find no proof
of anything improper in his intimacy with the Countess of Carlisle. For
extracts from _Marshall's Sermons_, and the _Diurnals_, see _Forster's
British Statesmen_, vol. ii. 294-302.

[379] Baillie says: "The plottings are incessant."--_Letters and
Journals_, ii. 132.

[380] This is stated in a curious book, called _Magnalia Dei Anglicana;
or, England's Parliamentary Chronicle_, by John Vicars, part iii.,
entitled _God's Ark Overtopping the World's Waves_, 135. A full account
of these plots is given from the writer's own point of view. Vicars was
a violent Presbyterian, and his book is full of party prejudice and
curious information. Baillie notices these plots pretty fully, ii. 137.

[381] Mr. Nye and Mr. Goodwin entered into conference with Ogle only
that they might entrap him. In the Journal of the House of Commons,
January 26th, 1643-4, it is recorded "that Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Nye, with
the privity of my Lord General and some members of the House, had
conference with Ogle--Resolved, 'that it doth appear upon the whole
matter, that the King and his council at Oxford do endeavour and
embrace all ways to raise and ferment divisions betwixt us and our
brethren of Scotland, and amongst ourselves under the fair pretences
of easing tender consciences; that during these fair pretences their
immediate design was the ruin of the kingdom by the destroying and
burning the magazines thereof; that thanks be returned to Mr. Nye and
Mr. Goodwin from both Houses.'" We learn from Baillie, ii. 137, that
_John_ Goodwin is the person here intended.

[382] _State Papers_, April 13, 1651. Bundle 646. Ogle is here styled

[383] _Vicars' Chronicle_, iii.

[384] _Vicars' Chronicle_, iii. 128, _Baillie_, ii. 134, and _Perfect
Diurnal_. In the _Perfect Diurnal_ of Thursday, June 19th, 1645, there
is an account of another City feast. After dinner, and grace said by
Mr. Marshall, both Houses of Parliament, the Assembly of Divines, the
Aldermen of the City, and all the rest being assembled in the hall,
they sung the 46th Psalm, and after that they departed.

[385] Mr. Bruen, of Tarvin, in the Deanery of Chester, an eminent
Puritan (born 1560, died 1625) "the phœnix of his age," distinguished
himself as an iconoclast. Finding in his own chapel superstitious
images, and idolatrous pictures in the painted windows, and they so
thick and dark that there was, as he himself says, "scarce the breadth
of a groat of white glass amongst them," took orders to pull them down,
indeed by the Queen's injunctions utterly to extinguish and destroy all
pictures, paintings, and other monuments of idolatry and superstition,
so that there might remain no memory of the same in the walls, glass
windows, or elsewhere within their churches and houses. The Bible
and ecclesiastical history are appealed to as further authorities.
_Theodosius abscondit simulacra gentium, omnes enim cultus idolorum
cultus ejus abscondit; omnes eorum ceremonias obliteravit. Ambrosii
Orat. in Mort. Theo._--See _Hinde's Life of Bruen_.

[386] _Rushworth_, v. 358.

[387] _Oct 3. P. Diurnal._ "The Commons, for the better taking away
of superstitious ceremonies in churches, as in wearing the surplice
and the like; which they had noticed (notwithstanding all former
orders) was still used in sundry places--especially at the Abbey of
Westminster--agreed in a further order, for the taking away of all
copes and surplices, belonging to the said Abbey of Westminster, and to
forbid the wearing of them in that or any other church or cathedral in

[388] Laud was at work upon the restoration of St. Paul's in 1640, "the
whole body was finished with Portland stone excellent against all smoke
and weather, and the tower scaffolded up to the top with purpose to
take it all down and to rebuild it more fair." After his apprehension
"the scaffolds were taken away and sold, with some of the lead which
covered this famous structure."--_Chamberlayne's Anglica Notitia_, part
ii. 155.

In the State Paper Office there is a document by Montague, Bishop of
Chichester, containing an exhortation to the clergy of his diocese,
giving thirteen reasons for their contributing to the fund for
repairing the Cathedral of St. Paul. He dwells upon the dignity of St.
Paul's as, in a sort, the mother church of the kingdom, and stimulates
the persons addressed to liberality by a consideration of what was done
by their predecessors.--_Calendar_, 1633-4, 384.

[389] _1643, May 27._--Resolved, an ordinance for borrowing the plate
in all cathedrals superstitiously used upon their altars.

_1644, April 24._--Ordered, the mitre and crosier staff found in St.
Paul's Church to be forthwith sold, and the brass and iron in Henry the
Seventh's Chapel.--_Parry's Councils and Parliaments._

Whatever was now done in St. Paul's, worse things had been done
there and elsewhere at the time of the Reformation.--See _Strype's
Cranmer_, i. 251. Besides spoiling, embezzling, and taking away
ornaments, he says, "they used also commonly to bring horses and mules
into and through churches, and shooting off hand guns." It should be
recollected, that the Puritans of the seventeenth century were familiar
with such memories, and that reverence for sacred places had long been
on the decline.

[390] Corporation Records in the Guildhall.

[391] _Hard Measure_, prefixed to _Hall's Works_, p. xviii. The
proceedings at Norwich were of an infamous description, yet more
shameful acts had been perpetrated by the Roman Catholic fathers of
these very citizens. In 1272, we are told "_Quam plures de familia,
aliquos subdiacanos, aliquos clericos, aliquos laicos in claustro
et infra septa monasterii interfecerunt; aliquos extraxerunt et in
civitate morti tradiderunt, aliquos incarceraverunt. Post quæ ingressi,
omnia sacra vasa, libros, aurum, et argentum, vestes et omnia alia quæ
non fuerunt igne consumpta depradati fuerunt: monachos omnes, præter
duos vel tres, a monasterio fugantes._"--_Anglia Sacra_, i. 399.

[392] The following appears in the records of the Norwich Corporation:
"Ordered that the churchwardens shall demolish the stump cross at St.
Saviour's, and take the stones thereof for the use of the city."

[393] _Calamy's Abridgment of Baxter_, 24.

[394] _Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson_, p. 80.

[395] This was in spite of orders "to do no injury to the church."
Before these wars the cathedral suffered through neglect, as appears
from a draft letter written by Archbishop Laud to the dean and chapter,
in the name of the King, complaining that the dotations and allowances
were very mean, and that there was "little left to keep so goodly a
fabric in sufficient reparation."--_State Papers, Domestic_. (undated)
vol. cclxxxi. 57.

[396] Mr. Britton asserts that numbers were removed when the cathedral
underwent repairs in 1786. Two tons of brass were taken to the
brazier's shop.--_Winkle's Cathedrals_, iii. 43.

[397] _Poole's History of Ecclesiastical Architecture_, p. 260.

All the mutilation of statues must not be put down to the Puritan
account, nor the destruction of the mosaic pavement in the choir. "One
half of its eastern border was entirely destroyed when the altar-piece
was put up at the commencement of the last century." The rest but
narrowly escaped.--_Neale's History and Antiquities of Westminster
Abbey_, p. 20.

Oliver Cromwell has been charged with despoiling the tomb of Henry V.,
but we read in _Stowe's Annals_: "A royal image of silver and gilt was
laid upon his tomb, which Queen Catherine his wife caused to be made
for him; but about the latter end of King Henry VIII., the head of the
king's image being of massy silver, was broken off and conveyed clean
away, with the plates of silver and gilt that covered his body." p. 363.

It is a common story amongst cathedral vergers, that Cromwell turned
churches into stables. Like stories are told in the East, with
judgments superadded. "It was related to us by our Tartar, that about
fifty years ago, Tamr Pasha turned the church into a stable, _and next
morning all his horses were found dead_."--_Badger's Nestorians_, i. 68.

[398] It appears from the following entry that when the wars were over,
the cathedral was desecrated by being made a prison. "That a letter be
written to the Mayor of Salisbury, to let him know that the Council are
informed that the Dutch prisoners who were lately sent to the town, to
be kept there, have done much spoil upon the pillars of the cloisters,
and to the windows of the library there, being committed to custody in
that place, and also that by reason that due care hath not been had
over them, some of them have escaped, &c." _October 10, 1653._--_State
Papers, Order Book of Council._

[399] Again we may remark that like excesses had been committed in
Roman Catholic times. In the annals of Rochester, 1264, we find:
"_Portæ, siquidem, ejus circumquque exustæ sunt, chorus ejus in luctum,
et organa ejus in vocem flentium sunt concitata. Quid pluras, loca
sacra, utpote oratoria, claustra, capitulum infirmaria, et oracula
quæque divina, stabula equorum sunt effecta; et animalium immunditiis
spurcitiisque cadaverum ubique sunt repleta._"--_Anglia Sacra_, i. 351.

After the Reformation Ridley was prevented from giving Grindal a
prebend in St. Paul's by the King's Council, who had bestowed it on
the King, for the furniture of his stable.--_Blunt's History of the
Reformation_, 244.

In 1561, according to Strype, the south aisle of the cathedral was used
for a horse fair.

[400] _Rushworth_, v. 476.

Instructions were given for the taking of the Covenant throughout the
kingdom, "the manner of the taking it to be thus:--The minister to read
the whole Covenant distinctly and audibly in the pulpit, and during the
time of the reading thereof the whole congregation to be uncovered; and
at the end of his reading thereof, all to take it standing, lifting up
their right hands bare, and then afterwards to subscribe it severally
by writing their names (or their marks, to which their names are to be
added) in a parchment roll or a book, whereinto the Covenant is to be
inserted, purposely provided for that end, and kept as a record in the
parish."--_Husband's Collection_, 421.

[401] _Husband's Coll._, 416.

[402] _Neal_, iii. 81.

[403] _Husband's Coll._, 404.

[404] In the State Paper Office are additional instructions, (dated
March 6th, 1643-4,) to the Earl of Rutland, Sir W. Armyn, Bart., Sir
H. Vane, and others, to declare to our brethren of Scotland that the
Parliament have settled a course for taking the late Solemn League and
Covenant throughout this kingdom and dominion of Wales, "we do hereby
give you full power and authority by yourselves, or such as you shall
appoint, to cause the said League and Covenant to be taken throughout
the several places and counties where you shall come."

Vane, on the scaffold, said, respecting the Covenant: "The holy
ends therein contained I fully assent to, and have been as desirous
to observe; but the rigid way of prosecuting it and the oppressing
uniformity that hath been endeavoured by it, I never approved."

Wood states, (_Ath. Ox._, ii. 84), that Strode made a motion to the
effect, "that all those that refused the Covenant, (being certain
ill-wishers to the laws and liberties of this kingdom,) might,
therefore, have no benefit of those laws and liberties." He adds, "that
motion being somewhat too desperate, was waived for the present, and
took no effect."

[405] See _Sermon on Solemn League and Covenant, by
Saltmarsh_.--_Tracts in Brit. Mus._, vol. 253.

[406] These also are in the British Museum; I think in the same volume
as the former.

[407] Bishop Hall went on ordaining Episcopal clergymen in spite of
the Covenant. He says: "The synodals both in Norfolk and Suffolk, and
all the spiritual profits of the diocese were also kept back, only
ordinations and institutions continued awhile. But after the Covenant
was appointed to be taken, and was generally swallowed of both clergy
and laity, my power of ordination was with some strange violence
restrained; for when I was going on in my wonted course, which no law
or ordinance had inhibited, certain forward volunteers in the city,
banding together, stir up the mayor, and aldermen, and sheriffs, to
call me to an account for an open violation of their Covenant."--_Hard
Measure, Hall's Works_, p. xvii.

[408] _Memoirs of the Life of Col. Hutchinson_, 143-191.

[409] _Mant's History of the Church of Ireland_, i. 580.

[410] Eusebius observes, in his Epistle respecting the Nicene Creed,
that he and his friends did not refuse to adopt the word ὁμοούσιος,
"_peace being the end in view_, as well as the not falling away from
sound doctrine." He excused the damnatory clause, simply on the
ground that it aggrieved none by prohibiting the use of unscriptural
phraseology.--_Socrates' Ecc. Hist._, b. i. c. 8.

[411] "Epistle" by John Canne, quoted in _Hanbury's Memorials_, iii.

The following passage occurs in a paper by the Dissenting Brethren
in 1646, also quoted in _Hanbury_, iii. 62:--"This Covenant was
professedly so attempered in the first framing of it, as that we of
different judgments might take it, both parties being present at
the framing of it in Scotland." "It is as free for us to give our
interpretation of the latitude or nearness of uniformity intended, as
for our brethren."

[412] The following passages illustrate the state of public feeling in
reference to the Covenant:--

"Men cry shame on the Covenant. Those that took it down cast it up
again, and those that refuse it have given a world of arguments that
it is unreasonable, which arguments our Assembly, like dull, ignorant
rascals, never answered. I know, my Lords, many of our friends never
took this oath, but they refused it out of mere conscience." ... "I
hold the Covenanters extremely reasonable. Though some malignants take
it, yet many refuse it; and, as some who love us do hate the Covenant,
so some who hate us do take it. Yet our friends who hate it do love to
force others to it, for their hatred to malignants is more than to the
Covenant; and, as the one takes it to save his estate, so do others
give it to make him lose his estate. They both love the estate, and
both hate the Covenant."--_A learned Speech spoken in the House of
Peers by the Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery upon the 28th July last,
taken out of Michael Ouldsworth's own Copy. State Papers, 1647._

"All this while I did not take the National Covenant, not because I
refused to do, for I would have made no bones to take, swear, and
sign it, and observe it too, for I had then a principle, having not
yet studied a better one, that I wronged not my conscience in doing
any thing I was commanded to do by those whom I served. But the truth
is, it was never offered to me, every one thinking it was impossible
I could get any charge, unless I had taken the Covenant either in
Scotland or England."--_Sir James Turner's Memoirs of his own Life and
Times, published by the Bannatyne Club_, 16.

Turner was a Royalist.

[413] _Journals._, Sept. 21st.--It was resolved by the Commons: That
the Assembly of godly Divines, who, by Ordinance, July 1st, 1643, met
in King Henry the Seventh's Chapel, shall, in respect of the coldness
of the said chapel, have power to adjourn themselves to the Jerusalem
Chamber, in the College of Westminster.

[414] For some of this information I am indebted to the kindness of the
Dean of Westminster.

[415] _Baillie's Letters_, ii. 108, 109.

[416] This is stated on the authority of _Brook's Lives_, iii. 15. His
account of Twiss's illness is confused, so is _Clark's_ (_Lives_, p.
17,) to which Brook refers.

[417] As Erastianism is a word vaguely used, I subjoin the principal
theses in the _Book on Excommunication_, by Erastus, and his own
account of the occasion of his writing it.

"Excommunication is nothing else but a public and solemn exclusion from
the sacraments, especially the Lord's Supper, after an investigation by
the elders."--Thesis viii.

"In the Old Testament none were debarred from the sacraments on account
of immorality of conduct."--Thesis xxiii.

"Christ did not hinder Judas, who betrayed Him, from eating the paschal
lamb."--Thesis xxviii.

"It is not the will of Christ that His kingdom in these lands should be
circumscribed within narrower limits than He appointed for it anciently
amongst the Jews."--Thesis xxxi.

"As in the account given of the celebration of the sacraments we see
no mention is made of excommunication, so neither in the history
of their institution can anything warranting that practice be
discovered."--Thesis xxxvii.

"'Tell it to the church' means nothing else than tell it to the
magistrate of thy own people."--Thesis lii.

"I see no reason why the Christian magistrate at the present day should
not possess the same power which God commanded the magistrate to
exercise in the Jewish commonwealth."--Thesis lxxii.

"If then the Christian magistrate possesses not only authority
to settle religion according to the directions given in the Holy
Scriptures, and to arrange the ministries thereof, but also, in like
manner, to punish crimes, in vain do some among us now meditate the
setting up of a new kind of tribunal, which would bring down the
magistrate himself to the rank of a subject of other men."--Thesis

According to Erastus, an ignorant man, a heretic, or an apostate should
be excluded from the sacraments. But sins were to be punished by the
civil magistrate.

The theses were handed about in MS., and not published till 1589--six
years after the death of the author--with only the fictitious name
"Pesclavii," 1589. The work was reprinted at Amsterdam, in 1649. Two
old English translations exist, published in 1659 and 1682. There is a
modern one by Rev. R. Lee, D.D., Edinburgh, 1844.

The occasion of writing the theses, Erastus says, was a proposition
that a select number of elders should sit in the name of the whole
church, and judge who were fit to be admitted to the Lord's Supper,
which he thought would introduce dangerous divisions.

Theodore Beza wrote a reply, published at Geneva, 1590. Selden's views
of excommunication in his _Table Talk_ (p. 56) are similar to those of
Erastus, though not so full.

Hobbes wrote his _Leviathan_ in 1651, in which he says (pt. iii., ch.
42, p. 287, London edition), "The books of the New Testament, though
most perfect _rules_ of Christian doctrine, could not be made _laws_ by
any other authority than that of kings or sovereign assemblies." His
doctrine with regard to Christianity is, that socially considered it is
"good and safe advice," but not obligatory law till the government of a
country shall make it so. This part of the philosopher's theory runs on
the same line with Erastianism, only it is pushed further.

[418] Altogether there were ten or eleven Independents in the Assembly.
Baillie mentions Goodwin, Nye, Burroughs, Bridge, Carter, Caryl,
Philips, and Sterry.--_Letters, &c._, ii. 110.

[419] His works have been recently republished. His _Commentary on the
Epistle to the Ephesians_ illustrates what is said here.

[420] See _The Wounded Conscience Cured, &c.,_ by William Bridge,

[421] Baillie remarks: "Liberty of conscience, and toleration of all
or any religion, is so prodigious an impiety, that this religious
Parliament cannot but abhor the very naming of it. Whatever may be the
opinions of John Goodwin, Mr. Williams, and some of that stamp, yet Mr.
Burroughs, in his late _Irenicum_, upon many unanswerable arguments,
explodes that abomination."--See _Tracts on Liberty of Conscience_, 270.

[422] Neal says he died of consumption (_Hist._, iii. 377), but
the following appears in the _Perfect Occurrences_, 13th November,
1646:--"This day Mr. Burrows, the minister, a godly, reverend man,
died. It seems he had a bruise by a fall from a horse some fortnight
since; he fell into a fever, and of that fever died, and is by many
godly people much lamented."

[423] P. 190.

[423] I do not attempt to vindicate this great man against the charge
of inconsistency. One side of a subject was everything to him while
he gazed at it. He had no faculty for harmonizing apparently opposite
truths, and was apt, as ardent men are, to fall into errors, from which
his clearly expressed opinion on certain points ought to have saved
him. Mr. Hallam (_Literature of Europe_, iii. 112), in whose severe
judgment of Taylor's inconsistency I cannot coincide, thinks that one
inconsistent chapter, (the seventeenth) was interpolated after the
rest of the treatise was complete. This is possible, but it is also
possible that Taylor when first writing his book might suddenly swing
from one side to the other, and then come round again. It has been
said that Taylor forgot his liberality when he became a bishop. His
biographer, Bishop Heber, attempts to meet this charge.--_Works_, i.
30. It may be added, that the _Dissuasive from Popery_, published in
1664, proceeds on the same principles as the _Liberty of Prophesying_.
See _Dissuasive_, part ii. book i.--_Works_, x. 383.

How Taylor's work was regarded by a Royalist and an Episcopalian may be
seen in _Mrs. Sadleir's Letter to Roger Williams_. "I have also read
Taylor's book of the _Liberty of Prophesying_, though it please not me,
yet I am sure it does you, or else I know you would not have wrote to
me to have read it. I say, it and you would make a good fire. But have
you seen his 'Divine Institution of the Office Ministerial?'" _Life of
Roger Williams_, 99. Mrs. Sadleir was daughter of Sir Edward Coke. A
writer in the _Ecclesiastic_, April, 1853, p. 179, remarks: "Whatever
Taylor may have been thought of since, certainly his contemporaries
amongst the Church party had no very high opinion of him."

[425] Sermon preached before the House of Commons, March 31st, 1647.

[426] _Ward's Life of Henry More_, 171. I have here confined myself to
those in the Church of England who advocated toleration, pointing out
the grounds which they adopted as distinguished from those occupied by
the Independents. Others, who proceeded in the same advocacy on the
broadest principles of justice, will be hereafter noticed, _i.e._, John
Goodwin, Leonard Busher, and Sir Henry Vane. Of the last of these it
may be remarked that so early as 1637 he used this memorable language,
in New England: "Scribes and Pharisees, and such as are confirmed in
any way of error, all such are not to be denied cohabitation, but are
to be pitied and reformed; Ishmael shall dwell in the presence of his
brethren." (_Bancroft's United States_, i. 390.) The most thorough
advocate of intellectual liberty in the New World was Roger Williams,
who, though in many respects an impracticable man, and wanting in
catholicity of spirit, appears to have been an original and intrepid
champion for the political independence of theological opinions, as
well as a noble minded and disinterested leader in colonial enterprise.
Milton advocates toleration in his _Areopagitica_, a speech to the
Parliament of England for the liberty of unlicensed printing, 1644.
Harrington's _Political Aphorisms_, in which liberty of conscience
is justly placed on a political basis, was not published until 1659.
Episcopius and Crellius were early advocates for toleration. See
Hallam's Introduction to _Literature of Europe_, iii. 103, 104.

[427] _Const. Hist._, i. 612.

[428] The petition is largely quoted by Waddington in his _Surrey
Congregational History_, p. 32, and the pamphlet, entitled _Queries of
Highest Consideration_, is quoted in _Hanbury_, ii. 246.

[429] For proofs and illustrations of this we refer to our second
volume. In the meanwhile we may observe that in _An Attestation_,
published by the Cheshire ministers in 1648, allusion is made to some
of the Independents as "averse in a great measure to such a toleration
as might truly be termed intolerable and abominable"--meaning by that
universal toleration.--_Nonconformity in Cheshire._ Introduction, xxvi.

[430] _Life of Goodwin, by Jackson_, 93.

[431] _A Reply of Two of the Brethren to A. S._, 1644. Quoted by
Jackson, p. 116. Goodwin states "that the part which treats of
religious liberty was the production of his own pen."--_Jackson_, 57.

[432] Baillie, writing to Mr. Spang, May 17th, 1644, (_Letters_,
ii. 184,) says: "The Independents here, finding they have not the
magistrate so obsequious as in New England, turn their pens, as you
will see in M.S.," (which he had before identified as Goodwin's, of
Coleman Street,) "to take from the magistrate all power of taking
any coercive order with the vilest heretics. Not only they praise
your magistrate who for policy gives some secret tolerance to diverse
religions, wherein, as I conceive, your Divines preach against them
as great sinners; but avows that by God's command the magistrate is
discharged to put the least discourtesy on any man--Jew, Turk, Papist,
Socinian, or whatever, for his religion." "The five will not say this,
but M.S. is of as great authority here as any of them." Yet, though
this sentiment is by Baillie confined to Goodwin, and expressly said
not to be shared by the five, it has by some been put into the lips of

[433] As I have already observed, Harrington also did this. One of his
political aphorisms on the subject is admirable, "When civil liberty,
is entire it includes liberty of conscience. When liberty of conscience
is entire, it includes civil liberty."

[434] _Letter from Grindal to Bullinger, June 11th, 1568. Zurich
Letters, First Series._

[435] This is extracted from p. 12 of a small volume entitled
_Historical Papers, First Series, Congregational Martyrs_, published by
Elliot Stock. The document bears internal signs of genuineness, but it
is not said where the original may be found.

[436] _Ecce Homo_, 16.

[437] April 21st, 1581.

[438] _Fuller's Church Hist._, iii. 62.

[439] _Strype's Annals_, vol. iii. part i. 22-30.

[440] _Fuller's Church Hist._, iii. 65.

[441] _Lansdowne M.S._, 115, art. 55. Lord Keeper Bacon had a chaplain
of Puritan tendencies. See _Strype's Parker_, ii. 69. Lady Bacon
shewed her learning and Protestant zeal by translating _Jewel's
Apology_,--_Ibid._, i. 354.

The Rev. Thomas Hill, late of Cheshunt, informs me:--"It is undeniable
that there was a congregation of Separatists as early as the days
of Elizabeth, in the neighbourhood of Theobalds. One or more of the
ministers suffered persecution and imprisonment, but I do not think
it improbable that the influence of Cecil, Lord Burleigh, who then
resided at Theobalds, may have afforded some degree of protection to
the Nonconformists of the neighbourhood."

[442] _Hanbury_, i. 38. _Harl. Miscellany_, ii. 21.

[443] _Strype's Annals_, iv. 245. _Hanbury_, i. 85.

[444] Published by Camden Society.

[445] This is the name written in the MS., no doubt intended for

[446] Letter from Thomas Phillips to William Sterrell, April 7, 1593.
_State Papers, Dom._ The bracketed portions are underlined in the
original, the writer desiring, in a postscript, that the passages so
marked, should be "disguised with cipher."

[447] _Strype's Annals_, iv. 186. _Hanbury's Mem._, i. 90. The
Archbishop referred to was Whitgift. Rippon died in 1592.

[448] "He was a person most excellently well read in theological
authors, but withal was a most zealous Puritan, or, as his son Henry
used to say, the first Independent in England."--_Wood's Ath. Oxon._,
i. 464.

[449] Jacob's book, printed at Middleburgh, 1599, was entitled: _A
Defence of the Churches and Ministry of England. Written in two
Treatises against the Reasons and Objections of Mr. Francis Johnson
and others of the Separation called Brownists._ Johnson replied in an
_Answer to Master H. Jacob, his Defence, &c._ 1600.

[450] _Hanbury's Mem._, i. 226.

[451] See _Hanbury's Mem._, i. 227.

[452] His name is spelt in different ways.

[453] The church of which Lathrop was minister is said to have
been formed in Southwark; if so, the fact of its now assembling in
Blackfriars shews how, in times of persecution, the places of meeting
were changed according to circumstances. As they had no chapels, and
were proscribed by law, they met where they could.

[454] His name was ordinarily spelt "_ten_," although it stands "_tin_"
in the MS. He was Judge of the Prerogative Court, and father of Henry

[455] Dr. Thomas Rives was the King's Advocate.

[456] In an interesting volume, just published by Dr. Waddington,
entitled _Surrey Congregational History_, the following entries taken
from the records of the High Commission in relation to Lathrop and
Eaton, at a later date, are inserted, p. 20:--"June 12, 1634. John
Lathrop, of Lambeth Marsh. Bond to be certified, and to be attached, if
he appear not on the next Court-day.--June 19, 1634. Bond ordered to be
certified, and he to be attached for non-appearance.--October 9. Samuel
Eaton and John Lathrop to be attached for non-appearance, and bonds to
be certified.--February 19, 1634-5. Samuel Eaton and John Lathrop, for
contempt, in not appearing to answer articles touching their keeping
conventicles. Their bonds ordered to be certified, and they attached
and committed."

[457] _The Brownist's Synagogue_, 1641.

[458] Henry Jacob, probably, is the first who used the term independent
in relation to a Christian Church. "Each congregation," he says, "is
an entire and _Independent_ body politic, and endowed with power
immediately under and from Christ, as every proper Church is and ought
to be."--_Declaration and Plainer Opening of Certain Points, &c._,
1611, p. 13.

[459] I am indebted for this and other extracts from the Yarmouth
Corporation Records to a MS. history of the Yarmouth Church, compiled
by my friend, the late Mr. Davey, of that town.

[460] The words printed in italics are underscored in the copy from
which these extracts are transcribed.

[461] This Confession is described, and extracts from it are given in
_Hanbury_, i. 293. It is attributed to Henry Jacob.

[462] _Hanbury's Memorials_, ii. 279-281.

[463] _Ibid._, ii. 409.

In a pamphlet by Katherine Chidley, it is asserted the Separatists
supported their own poor.--_Hanbury's Memorials_, ii. 112.

[464] The whole account of Congregationalism in Yarmouth is drawn up
from the records of the Corporation, and of the Independent Church

[465] See _Oxoniana_, iv. 188; and copy of the woodcut in _Knight's Old

The Parliamentarians made a great mistake in not planting a garrison
at Oxford, as they might have easily done when the war broke out.--See
_Whitelocke's Memorials_, 63. The shrewd lawyer was not destitute
of military insight, and justly blames Lord Say, who was opposed
to the Parliament's taking possession of the city, because of the
"improbability, in his opinion, that the King would settle there."

[466] _Macaulay's Hist._, iii. 18.

[467] _Life of Chillingworth, by P. Des Maizeaux,_ 277.

[468] _Rushworth_, v. 354.

[469] A year afterwards, we find the following statement in _Perfect
Occurrences_ (June 17, 1644), where after describing the cruel
spoliation of Abingdon and Worcester by fire by the Cavaliers, the
news-writer thus continues:--"I could here insert the platform of all
their projects, had I room to bring it in, set forth in a picture,
intended to be sent to Seville, in Spain, and to be hanged in the
great cathedral there, this day brought before the Parliament, where
the Queen directs the King to present his sceptre to the Pope, and all
the Cavaliers with him, and popish leaders with her, rejoicing to see
it, he having a joyant, [this means perhaps, _joyan_, _a jewel_] to
resemble his Majesty and she the Virgin Mary, and this motto upon the
cases: '_Para Sancta Aña de Sevilla_.' This picture is to be hung up
for public view, and is enough to convince the strongest malignant in

[470] _Parl. Hist._, iii. 236.

[471] _Meditations on the Times_, xvii.

[472] _Rushworth_, v. 346.

[473] _Ussher's Life, by Elrington_, 238.

[474] _Life_, by Heber prefixed to his _Works_, i. 21, and another, by
_Willmott_, 112.

[475] _Memorials of Fuller, by Russell_, 142, 148, 151, 153.

[476] He however maintained that Episcopacy was Apostolic. _Life_, 299,

[477] There are several papers relating to Chillingworth in the Lambeth
MSS. Nos. 943, 857-935.

[478] Yet Cheynell says, while some thought him uncharitable,
others were of opinion he had been too indulgent in suffering Mr.
Chillingworth to be buried like a Christian.--See _Life of William
Chillingworth, by P. Des Maizeaux_, for the particulars we have given.

It has been stated that Cheynell was deranged, and certainly his own
account of his conduct towards Chillingworth would indicate that at
least he was touched. But then, after all this, we find him sent down
as a visitor to Oxford, and made President of St. John's. Hoadly
says he was as pious, honest, and charitable as his bigotry would
permit. Eachard refers to him as a man of considerable learning and
great abilities.--_Neal_, iii. 470. We have introduced this type of
character, not as common, but as one without which an account of the
religious phases of the time would be incomplete.

In 1658, Hartlib, writing to Pell, observes: "Cheynell is not shot as
was reported, but certain that he is fallen distracted, and is sent to
Bedlam."--_Letters in Vaughan's Protectorate of Cromwell_, ii. 462.

[479] _Life of the Rev. John Barwick, D.D._, written in Latin by his
brother Dr. Peter Barwick, Physician in Ordinary to King Charles II.,
and translated into English by the editor of the Latin life. Though a
fierce royalist production, and, in some respects, untrustworthy, yet
it relates several curious facts not elsewhere found.

[480] 1st April, 1643.--_Husband's Collection_, 13.

[481] May 16th, and June 10th, 1643. _Husband's Collection_. Laud gives
a detailed account of this business in the History of his _Troubles and
Trials_.--_Works_, iv. 16. The Vicar General was Sir Nathaniel Brent,
who, when he saw the Presbyterians begin to be dominant, sided with
them. _Wood's Ath. Oxon._, ii. 161.

[482] A case of this kind is mentioned in _Blomefield's History of
Norfolk_, ii. 424, in a note relating to John Peck, A.M., of Hingham.

[483] _Commons' Journals_, 27th of July, 1643. _Husband's Collection_,
311. Persons accused were to have timely notice, in order that they
might make their defence.

[484] The following illustrations are from the volumes in the Record
Office.--_Dom. Inter._, 1646.

[485] In the State Paper Office I find a case submitted to Lord Chief
Justice Heath, in March, 1644, relative to sueing for tithes, in which
his lordship gives opinion "that where the bishop, or other inferior
judge, will not, dare not, or cannot do justice, the superior Court may
and ought to do it." _State Papers, Dom._, 1643, March 22nd.

[486] See _Scobell_ (1644), 45; (1647), 85; (1648), 110.

[487] The Parliamentary Journals testify to various kinds of
ecclesiastical affairs which came under the notice of the whole
House, such as allowances to ministers, the collecting of pew-rents,
contributions in churches for those who suffered in the wars,
appointments to livings, &c., &c.--See Entries, August 26th, Sept. 7th,
11th, 19th, October 14th, and Dec. 16th, 1644.

[488] Parliament conferred powers on Lord Fairfax in February, 1644,
whilst he was in the north, and the next month, commissioners there
received the following warrant:--

"Whereas we are credibly informed that many ministers in the
several counties of Nottingham, York, bishopric of Durham,
Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, the town and county of
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the city and county of the city of York, and the
town of Nottingham, are not only of scandalous life and conversation,
but leaving their charges and cures, have withdrawn themselves
wilfully from the same, and have joined with such forces as are raised
against Parliament and Kingdom, and have aided and assisted the said
forces, and that many that would give evidence against such scandalous
ministers are not able to travel to London, nor bear the expenses of
such journeys, you have therefore hereby full power and authority
to call before you, &c., &c., and to eject such as you shall judge
unfit for their places, and to sequester their livings and spiritual
promotions, and to place others in their room, such as shall be
approved, godly, learned, and orthodox divines, &c., &c. And further,
you shall have power to dispose a fifth part of all such estates as you
shall sequester for the benefit of the wives and children of any the
aforesaid persons, &c., &c."--_State Papers, Dom._, March 6th, 1643-4.

With the sword of Fairfax, a real Andrea Ferrara, and other relics
of the Commonwealth, there is preserved at Farnley Hall, Yorkshire,
the silver matrix of a seal for the licensing of preachers. It shews
within a circlet of leaves an open Bible, inscribed "The Word of God,"
with the words running round the edge, "The Seal for the Approbation
of Ministers." It is engraved in _Scott's Antiquarian Gleanings in the
North of England_.

See Resolutions in Journals, August 29th, 1644.

[489] _Rushworth_, vi. 212.

[490] _Great Fight in the Church at Thaxted_, 1647. Quoted in _Davis's
Nonconformity in Essex_.

[491] _Rushworth_, iv. 113-123.

These articles, charging him with introducing Popish innovations into
Scotland, are given by Laud, together with his replies, in the _History
of his Troubles_. _Works_, iii. 301. Laud's answers are not those of a
Papist, but those of a thorough Anglo-Catholic. Another set of charges
was presented against the bishops generally. _Works_, iii. 379. How
the thing was talked about in Scotland appears in the _History of the
Troubles in England and Scotland_ (Ballatyne Club), 275.

[492] Laud, in his Diary, March 24, 1642-3, alludes to plots to send
him and Wren to New England.--_Works_, iv. 19.

[493] _Neal_, iii. 176. Laud says, under date January 22,
1643-4:--"This day the Thames was so full of ice that I could not go by
water. It was frost and snow, and a most bitter day. I went, therefore,
with the Lieutenant in his coach, and twelve wardens, with halberts,
went all along the streets." "So from the Tower-gate to Westminster I
was sufficiently railed on and reviled all the way. God, of his mercy,
forgive the misguided people! My answer being put in, I was for that
time dismissed; and the tide serving me, I made a hard shift to return
by water."--_Works_, iv. 45.

[494] It has been justly remarked that the Greek orators were careful
to impress upon their audience that, in bringing a charge against any
one, they were actuated by the strongest personal motives. Æschines,
in his oration against Ctesiphon, expresses his intense personal spite
against Demosthenes. Christianity has taught us a different lesson, and
happily the authority of that lesson is acknowledged, and its spirit
generally exemplified by the English bar, and in the British Senate.

With regard to Prynne, let me add that, though his prejudices might
warp his judgment, he shewed himself throughout his whole life to be
an honest man. Of his learning, there cannot be two opinions. His
great work on Parliamentary writs, in four volumes, is pronounced by
a competent judge to be so admirable, that "it is impossible to speak
of it in terms of too high commendation."--_Parry's Parliaments and
Councils_, Preface, 21. See also _Spilsbury's Lincoln's Inn_, 283.

[495] See _Rushworth_, v. 763-780. A fuller account of the trial may be
found in _Neal_, iii. 172-242.

[496] This is taken, not from Rushworth's report (v. 777), but from
Laud's own copy of his speech. They differ somewhat.--_Works_, iv. 60.

[497] Quoted in _Neal_, iii. 239.

[498] Laud said in his defence: "The result must be of the same
nature and species with the particulars from which it rises. But 'tis
confessed no one of the particulars are treason, therefore, neither is
the result that rises from them. And this holds in nature, in morality,
and in law."--_Works_, iv. 380.

In reply to Serjeant Wylde's argument, that the misdemeanours together,
by accumulation made up treason, Laud's advocate wittily observed: "I
crave your mercy, good Mr. Serjeant, I never understood before this
time that two hundred couple of black rabbits would make a black horse."

[499] _Walton's Lives_, 390.

[500] Heylyn says, in his _Life of Archbishop Laud_ (527), that Stroud
was sent up to the Lords with a message from the House of Commons, to
let them know that the Londoners would shortly petition with 20,000
hands to obtain that ordinance.

The arguments of the Commons in support of the attainder, as presented
to the Lords, are given in the journals of the latter, under date, _Die
Sabbati, 4 die Januarii_.

Heylyn (528) states, that only seven Lords concurred in the sentence;
Clarendon (519), that there were not above twelve peers in the House
at the time. In the Journals the names of nineteen appear at the
commencement of the minutes of the sitting.

[501] _Lives of the Chancellors_, iii. 204; _Const. Hist._, i. 577;
_Hist. of Commonwealth_, i. 428.

[502] _Life of Pocock, by Dr. Twells_, 84. See also a curious tract
respecting Laud in _Harleian Miscel._, iv. 450.

[503] _Rushworth_, v. 781. "Let us run with patience that race that is
set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising
the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

[504] _Rushworth_, v. 785.

[505] A newspaper notices that:--Whereas he had been the archpatron of
those who branded honest men with the name of roundheads more than hath
been usual, his own head when cut off, though sawdust had been laid
about the block, "did tumble once or twice about like a ball."

[506] Henry Rogers.

[507] See _Bruce's Account of Laud's Berkshire Benefactions_.

Mr. Bruce, who has had ample means of judging of Laud's character,
observes:--"A winking at a little finesse designed to accomplish some
end, supposed to be for the good of the Church, is all that may be
brought home to him--his hands were never defiled by the touch of a
bribe."--_Calendar of State Papers, Dom., 1635. Preface._

[508] Overstrained parallels between Laud and Wolsey were drawn in the
pamphlets of the day.--See _Harl. Miscell._, iv. 462.

I may add that Dunstan and Laud were alike _insular_ men, if that
term may be used to distinguish them from Becket and Wolsey, both of
whom had large intercourse with the Continent. Dunstan and Laud were
narrower in their feeling and character than the other two. I have
before noticed the resemblance between Dunstan and Laud in point of

[509] _Journals of the Lords_, January 4th, 1645.

[510] _An Anatomy of the Service Book, by Dwalphintramis. Southey's
Common-place Book_, iii. 40.

[511] See _Christ on the Throne_. 1640.

[512] A letter by George Gillespie, on the Directory, being
forwarded to Scotland, shews the difficulty there was in getting it
passed.--_Baillie_, ii., _App._ 505. He says, May 9th, 1645: "I pray
you be careful that the Act of the General Assembly, approving the
Directory, be not so altered as to make it a straiter imposition."
"Sure I am, the Directory had never past the Assembly of Divines, if it
had not been for the qualifications in the preface. This is only for
yourself, except ye hear any controversy about it in your meeting."

[513] _Baillie's Letters_, ii. 271.

[514] _Scobell_, 97.

[515] The following should be recorded to Whitelocke's credit. 1646.
Oct. 26. "Indictment in Bucks for not reading the Common Prayer
complained of. Ordered that an ordinance be brought in to take away
the statute that enjoins it, and to disable malignant ministers from
preaching. This was much opposed by me and some others, as contrary
to that principle which the Parliament had avowed of liberty of
conscience, and like that former way complained of against the bishops
for silencing of ministers."--_Memorials_, 226. The diarist here shews
that the use of the Prayer Book was not considered by the Royalists to
be legally abolished.

I may here add that Whitelocke was not a party man. He sympathized
with Presbyterian leaders in wishing to save the monarchy, but he
co-operated with Independents in advocating religious liberty.

[516] _Mant's History of the Church of Ireland_, i. 587-594.

[517] _Lathbury's History of Convocation_, 497.

[518] _Clarendon's Hist._, 515.

[519] While the Oxford Lords were in London on the embassy, there was,
according to the Diurnal, entitled _Perfect Occurrences_, December 28,
a great auditory to hear the chaplain preach and read prayers. After
the sermon, it is said, the people were very merry, and a young lady
and gentleman went dancing by the river side, and fell in--"good for
them to cool their courage in frosty weather."

[520] _Whitelocke_, 112. The entire propositions for peace may be seen
in _Parl. Hist._, iii. 299.

[521] _King's Cabinet opened._--_Neal_, iii. 250.

[522] _Parl. Hist._, iii. 339.

[523] _Memorials_, 127.

[524] All the documents during the attempts at a treaty are given by
Dugdale in his _Short View of the late Troubles_.

A full account is also given by _Rushworth_, v.

[525] _Clarendon's Hist._, 521.

Secretary Nicholas writes to the King, 5th of February, 1644: "This
morning we are to observe the fast, according to your Majesty's
proclamation; but it must be done here in the inn, for we cannot be
permitted to have the Book of Common Prayer read in the church here,
and we resolve not to go to any church where the Divine service
established by law may not be celebrated." "You have done well, but
they barbarously," Charles writes in the margin. But in the prayer
appointed by the King the war is described as "unnatural," and the
Almighty is entreated "to let the truth clearly appear, who those are
which, under pretence of the public good, do pursue their own private
ends." It was not likely the Parliament would allow that prayer to be
used.--_Nicholas' Correspondence, Evelyn_, iv. 136.

[526] The other chief subjects were the militia and Irish affairs.

[527] _Rushworth_, v. 818.

[528] _Evelyn_, iv. 137.

[529] In the British Museum there is a petition, presented in the year
1647, complaining of many hundreds of towns and villages destitute of
any preaching ministry, by occasion whereof ignorance, drunkenness,
profaneness, disaffection, &c., abound.

[530] _Husband's Col._, 645.

[531] See ordinance dated November the 8th, 1645, in _Rushworth_, vi.
212, and _Baillie's Letters_, ii. 349.

[532] _Letters and Journals_, ii. 145.

[533] _Letters and Journals_, ii. 146.

[534] _Neal_, iii. 309.

[535] _Lives_, 380.

[536] _Baillie's Letters_, ii. 157.

[537] The religious feelings of the two armies are thus stated by an
eyewitness:--"Consider the height of difference of spirits; in their
army the cream of all the Papists in England, and in ours, a collection
out of all the corners of England and Scotland of such as had the
greatest antipathy to Popery and tyranny."--_Sanford_, 597. He gives a
careful account of the battle.

For the state of feeling in general after the victory, see _Baillie_,
ii. 201, _et seq._

[538] I adopt some of the words quoted by Sanford.

[539] There was one of the Royalist soldiers at Marston Moor wounded in
the shoulder by a musket ball, who afterwards became Archbishop Dolbon,
of York, 1683-1686. The following incident is interesting:--"Mary,
daughter of Sir Francis Trappes, married Charles Towneley, of Towneley,
in Lancashire, Esquire, who was killed at the battle of Marston Moor.
During the engagement she was with her father at Knaresborough, where
she heard of her husband's fate, and came upon the field the next
morning in order to search for his body, while the attendants of the
camp were stripping and burying the dead. Here she was accosted by a
general officer, to whom she told her melancholy story. He heard her
with great tenderness, but earnestly desired her to leave a place
where, besides the distress of witnessing such a scene, she might
probably be insulted. She complied, and he called a trooper, who took
her _encroup_. On her way to Knaresborough she enquired of the man
the name of the officer to whose civility she had been indebted, and
learned that it was Lieutenant-General Cromwell."--_Sanford_, 610.

[540] See _Lightfoot's Journal_, September 9, 1644.

[541] Here we may mention that it is probable that John Bunyan was at
that time in the Royalist army, and that while he was fighting for the
King the incident occurred so often related of his post being occupied
by a comrade who could handle a musket better than he could do, and
who, on account of his superior skill and bravery, unfortunately
received a fatal carbine shot which otherwise might have killed our
matchless dreamer. Nobody can say what the world lost by that poor
fellow's death, but everybody knows what the world gained by John
Bunyan's preservation.

[542] For a full account of the battle of Naseby see _England's
Recovery, by Joshua Sprigg_, 1647. It is he who reports the complaints
we have noticed. See p. 6 of his interesting narrative.

[543] There is an interesting letter by Cromwell, dated July 10, 1645,
giving an account of the Naseby fight, reprinted in _Sanford_, p. 625,
from pamphlets in Lincoln College, Oxford. As the letter is not in
_Carlyle_ (2nd edition), I give the following extract:--"Thus you see
what the Lord hath wrought for us. Can any creature ascribe anything to
itself? Now can we give all the glory to God, and desire all may do so,
for it is all due unto Him. Thus you have _Long Sutton_ mercy added to
_Naseby_ mercy; and to see this, is it not to see the face of God? You
have heard of Naseby; it was a happy victory. As in this, so in that,
God was pleased to use His servants; and if men will be malicious, and
swell with envy, we know who hath said--'If they will not see, yet they
shall see and be ashamed for their envy at his people.' I can say this
of Naseby, that when I saw the enemy draw up, and march in gallant
order towards us, and we a company of poor ignorant men, to seek how
to order our battle, the general having commanded me to order all the
horse. I could not (riding alone about my business) but smile out to
God in praises, in assurance of victory, because God would, by things
that are not, bring to nought things that are, of which I had great
assurance, and God did it. Oh, that men would therefore praise the
Lord, and declare the wonders that He doth for the children of men!"

[544] Nevertheless, Royalist hopes were unquenched as late as the month
of September, 1645.

"If you consider," it is said in an anonymous letter of that date, in
the State Paper Office, "the strange extremities we were then in, the
progress which we have made, and our wonderful success at last in the
relieving of Hereford and chasing away the Scots, at a time when, in my
conscience, within one week there had been a general revolt of South
Wales (which is now likely to be entirely settled), you will think that
it promises to us and portends to the rebels a strange revolution in
the whole face of affairs; and if to this you add the miracles done by
the same time by my Lord Montrose, in Scotland (who hath made himself
entirety master of that kingdom), you will have reason to join with
me in the confidence, that we shall have, by God's blessing, as quick
a progress to happiness as we have had to the greatest extremities. I
must confess, for my part, that these miracles, besides the worldly joy
they give me, have made me even a better Christian, by begetting in me
a stronger faith and reliance upon God Almighty, than before; having
manifested that it is wholly His work, and that He will bring about His
intended blessings upon this just cause, by ways the most impossible to
human understanding, and consequently teach us to cast off all reliance
upon our own strength."

This letter is dated September the 9th, 1645, and is addressed to Lord

[545] _Life of Dod._--_Brooks' Lives_, iii. 4.

[546] _Brook_, iii. 80.

[547] _Wood_, ii. 89, says this was _Aulkryngton_, commonly called
Okerton, near Banbury, in Oxfordshire; but I cannot find in
Topographical Dictionaries any mention of such a place.

[548] _Brook's Lives_, iii. 10. See also p. 63.

[549] _Walker's Sufferings_, part ii. 183-185, 193.

I have lighted on the following scraps in newspapers of the day:--

Mr. Bullinger, of Lincolnshire (sometime chaplain to a Regent of the
King), grandchild to the old bishop, being newly returned from France,
where he hath lately been, is sent up by the Committee of Dover, very
poor, in a gray suit, and neither cloak to his back nor money in his
purse; and yet he scruples the taking of the Covenant, and desires time
to consider of it. His examinations were this day taken.--_Perfect
Occurrences_, 18th of December, 1646.

A story is told of a singing man from Peterborough, who went to
Wisbeach, as clerk, and then read the burial service, when he was
insulted in the rudest manner, and knocked down, the poor fellow crying
out, "I am a Covenanter."--_Moderate Intelligence_, January, 1647.

[550] _Letters_, ii. 274.

[551] _Letters_, ii. 298, 299.

Baillie complains of the growing influence of the Erastians.--_Ibid._,
311, 318, 320.

[552] These rules are given in _Rushworth_, vi. 210.

[553] _Baillie's Letters and Journals_, ii. 362, _et seq._

[554] _Ibid._, 344.

[555] _Godwin_, ii. 10.

[556] _Neal_, iii. 311.

[557] See _Letter to Parliament_, in _Rushworth_, vi. 234.

[558] _Baillie_, ii. 367. For the Parliament's notice of what the Scots
had said, see _Declaration_, in _Rushworth_, vi. 257. The notice is
only in the way of general allusion.

[559] _Froude's History of England_, vii. 340.

[560] _Neal_, iii. 330.

[561] _Neal_, iii. 381. _Hetherington's History of the Westminster
Assembly_, 300.

[562] _Rushworth_, vii. 1035. At a conference between the Lords and
Commons, on March 22nd, 1648, the latter declared their consent to
the doctrinal parts, with the desire that the same be "made public,
that this kingdom and all the reformed Churches of Christendom may
see the Parliament of England differ not in doctrine." It is added,
"particulars in discipline are recommitted." Of the confession of
faith the title was altered to "_articles of faith_, agreed upon by
both Houses of Parliament, as most suitable to the former title of
the Thirty-nine Articles." The Covenant was legally enforced, but the
Westminster Confession never was. Only part of it, under the title of
_Articles_, ever became law at all.

[563] _Baillie_, iii., _Appendix_, 537, _et seq._ A full account is
there given of Rouse's revised version, 1646, in connexion with the
present Scotch version, published in 1650, p. 549.

[564] _Prose Works_, vol. ii., 40.

[565] _Life and Times_, part i. 73.

[566] Hallam speaks of the Assembly as "perhaps equal in learning, good
sense, and other merits, to any Lower House of Convocation that ever
made a figure in England."--_Const. Hist._, i. 609.

[567] _Sprigg's England's Recovery_, 326.

[568] _Opera_, iii. 466.

[569] _Life and Times_, part i. 53-56.

[570] _Owen's Works, edited by Russell_, xv. 96.

[571] I find the following reference to Peters in the State Papers:--

"Dec. 10.--The fifteen articles and covenant of Hugh Peters, minister
of the English congregation in Rotterdam, stated in an indorsement,
which is in the handwriting of Sir William Boswell, to have been
proposed to that congregation before their admission to the communion.
The following are examples of these articles: '1. Be contented with
meet trial for our fitness to be members. 2. Cleave in heart to the
truth and pure worship of God, and oppose all ways of innovation and
corruption. 3. Suffer the Word to be the guider of all controversies.
10. Meditate the furthering of the Gospel at home and abroad, as
well in our persons as with our purses. 11. Take nearly to heart our
brethren's condition, and conform ourselves to these troublesome times
in our diet and apparel, that they be without excess in necessity. 14.
Put one another in mind of this covenant, and as occasion is offered,
to take an account of what is done in the premises.'"--_Calendar of
State Papers, Domestic_, 1633-4, p. 318.

[572] The imputations on Peters's moral character were no doubt
malicious falsehoods.--_Brook's Lives_, iii. 350.

[573] Abridged from _Life of Colonel Hutchinson_, 151.

[574] _Ath. Oxon._, ii. 287.

The Westminster Assembly condemned certain positions in Saltmarsh's
writings, as well as in the writings of Dr. Crisp, and Mr. John Eaton,
for their Antinomian tendencies.--See _Neal_, iii. 68. Neal does not
say what the passages were. Edwards, in his _Gangræna_, part i., 25,
26, gives a list of their tenets, but we place little dependence on
his accusations. It is very likely, however, that Saltmarsh might lay
himself open to the charge of Antinomianism. We have not seen his book
on _Free-grace_, in which perhaps the dangerous tenets he was charged
with are to be looked for.

[575] As an example of the kind of preaching by these officers we may
mention a tract entitled "_Orders given out--the word Stand fast_, as
it was lately delivered in a farewell sermon, by Major Samuel Kem, to
the officers and soldiers of his regiment in Bristol, November 8th,
1646." The discourse is full of military allusions.

[576] _Journal of the Swedish Embassy_, 1653-4.

[577] _Neal_, iii. 330.

[578] This is the account in _Ashburnham's Narrative_, ii. 72.
Rushworth says the King came to Brentford and Harrow, and then went to
St. Albans, vi. 267. Ashburnham's is, no doubt, the correct story.

Hacket tells the following story in the _Life of Archbishop Williams_:
"His Majesty, unwilling to stay to the last in a city begirt, by the
persuasion of Mons. Mountrevile, went privily out of Oxford, and
put himself into the hands of his native countrymen and subjects at
Newcastle. 'What,' says Mr. Archbishop, when he heard of it, 'be
advised by a stranger, and trust the Scots; then all is lost.' It was
a journey not imparted to above ten persons to know it, begun upon
sudden resolution against that rule of Tacitus: '_Bona consilia morâ
valescere_.'"--_Memorial of Williams_, ii. 222.

[579] There is an important memorandum for Lord Balcarras "anent the
King's coming to the Scots' army," in _Baillie's Letters and Journals_,
ii. 514. _Appendix._

[580] _Charles I. in 1646._ Letters published by the Camden Society.

[581] _Neal_, iii. 336-347.

[582] _Rushworth_, vi. 319.

[583] _Rushworth_, vi. 309.

[584] _Mercurius Civicus_, Oct. 8-15, 1646.

"By letters from Scotland we were this day advertised that the Estates
of Edinburgh have sent up their determination to the Commissioners at
Worcester House. One, 'That Presbyterian government be established, as
that which will suit best with monarchy.'"

It was commonly said at Newcastle, that his Majesty would take the

[585] _Charles I. in 1646_, 63, 86.

[586] _Charles I. in 1646_, 6, 11. See also Ogle's letter, printed in
this volume, p. 306.

[587] _Ibid._, 24. In reading Charles's correspondence we observe that,
whatever may be said of fanatical ideas of providence entertained by
Puritans, ideas equally fanatical were entertained by the King.--See
_Mr. Bruce's Introduction to the volume of Letters_.

[588] See Journals under date. Godwin, in his _Commonwealth_, ii. 66,
236, 246, after a careful examination of the Journals on the subject,
explains distinctly the series of enactments with regard to the
establishment of Presbyterianism.

[589] _Baillie_, ii. 357. "They have passed an ordinance, not only for
appeal from the General Assembly to the Parliament, for two ruling
elders, for one minister in every church-meeting, for no censure,
except in such particular offences as they have enumerat; but also,
which vexes us most, and against which we have been labouring this
month bygone, a court of civil commissioners in every county, to whom
the congregational elderships must bring all cases not enumerat, to
be reported by them, with their judgment, to the Parliament or their
Committee. This is a trick of the Independents' invention, of purpose
to enervate and disgrace all our Government, in which they have been
assisted by the lawyers and the Erastian party. This troubles us
exceedingly. The whole Assembly and ministry over the kingdom, the body
of the city, is much grieved with it; but how to help it, we cannot
well tell. In the meantime, it mars us to set up anything; the anarchy
continues, and the vilest facts do daily encrease."

[590] _Husband_, 919.

[591] _Neal_, iii. 385.

[592] _Scobell_, (1647-8,) 139, 165.

[593] 1646. October the 8th.--On the question in the Lords for passing
the ordinance, "the votes were even, so nothing could be resolved on
at this time." Only nine earls and five barons were present. October
the 9th.--"And the question being put, 'Whether to agree to the said
ordinance as it was brought up from the House of Commons?' Audit
was agreed to in the affirmative." Seven earls and five barons were
present.--_Lords' Journals._

[594] _Husband's Collection_, 922.

[595] _Husband_, 934.

[596] Printed in _Harleian Miscellany_, iv. 419.

[597] This information respecting wills is drawn from Sir H. Nicholas'
_Notitia Historica_, 144-205. In the month of November, 1644, an
ordinance of Parliament appointed Sir Nathaniel Brent a Presbyterian
master or keeper of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, in the room of
Dr. Merrick, a Royalist Episcopalian.--_Husband_, 582.

In the Windsor churchwardens' accounts an instance occurs of money
paid in 1651-2 for searching the Prerogative Court for the Countess of
Devonshire's will, then lately deceased.--_Annals of Windsor_, ii. 267.

[598] We shall describe this law in the next volume. It should be
noticed that the ordinance of 1646, respecting bishops, said nothing
about deans and chapters, or archdeacons. How they were afterwards
dealt with will also be seen hereafter.

[599] _Scobell_, 129.

[600] _Ibid._, 146.

[601] In September, 1647, the certificate of certain Cheshire
justices touching a refusal to pay tithes to a Puritan, Mr. Smith, of
Tattenhall, came before the committee. Some Royalist Episcopalians
took encouragement, in their refusal, from two petitions of the
sequestered clergy to the King and Sir Thomas Fairfax. It is
certified, "from the said justices, that they conceive the ordinance
of Parliament for payment of tithes cannot be put by them into
execution without bloodshed." The Serjeant-at-Arms is commissioned
to bring these delinquents "in safe custody to answer their said
contempt."--_Nonconformity in Cheshire_, 472.

The objections to paying tithes at that period went much further
than such objections as are urged by Paley.--_Moral and Political
Philosophy_, book vi., iii. A corn-rent, as he suggests, or such
commutation of tithes as is now adopted, would not have met the
objections. A fixed and uniform stipend paid by the State was widely

[602] _Scobell_, 139.

"1646, 15th December.--It is ordered that Mr. Tooley, &c., shall treat
with the dean and prebends about mending the windows and repairing
the cathedral church, and to consider whether it be fit to remove
the pulpit to the former place where it stood or not, and to examine
whether there be £100 a year appointed for the repairing of the church,
and how much thereof is in arrear."

"1647.--8th November. It is ordered that the sheriffs shall give
entertainment to the preachers who come to preach at the cathedral
in such manner as the former sheriffs did, and that they shall give
like allowance for the same as they did."--Extracted from the _Norwich
Corporation Records_.

[603] _Husband_, 758. The following minutes are extracted from a MS.
volume of proceedings in the library of Sion College, London.

December, 1644. At a meeting of the governors of the school and
almshouses of Westminster:--

Whereas the governors of the schools and almshouses of Westminster,
have, by their former order, nominated and appointed Mr. Strong to be
minister of the Abbey Church, Westminster, in the room and place of Mr.
Marshall, and in regard Mr. Marshall cannot well perform the service
any longer, without inconveniency to him; it is ordered that the said
Mr. Strong be desired to undertake the service so soon as possibly he
can, and he is to have the allowance of £200 and a house; being the
same allowance as the said Mr. Marshall had for his pains, to be taken
therein. And the trustees are to pay him the same £200 and quarterly by
even and equal portions. The first payment to commence from the time he
shall begin the service, and to continue till he shall leave it.

At a committee of the Lords and Commons for the College of Westminster,
sitting in the dean's house, the 3rd March, 1645-6:--

After reciting the ordinance of the 18th of November the committee "do
nominate and appoint Mr. Philip Nye, minister of God's Word, to preach
the term lecture in the said collegiate church, and receive the yearly
stipend and allowance for the same. And the Reverend General of the
said College for the time being is hereby authorized and required to
pay the same unto the said Mr. Philip Nye, at such time as the same
hath been heretofore usuall