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lation to it. What concerned botb Houses of be in danger; not from her majesty's adminis. Parliament, was supposed to be the Vote passed tration, but from Papists op the one hand, and four or five years before, about the Church be- Fanatics on the other; from these her proing in danger: and as to that, it was affirmed, fessed enemies, and from False Brethren,' the Church was then in danger, was still in It was owned, there were some warm expres. danger, and, it was to be feared, would always sions in the Sermon preached at St. Paul's :
to civil liberty as tyranny itself. For civil li- | as the basis of bis administration, the duty of berty rightly understood, consists in protecting obedience follows of course ; and therefore the the rights of individuals by the united force of apostle adds in the very next verse: "Where. society: society cannot be maintained, and of fore we must needs be subject, not only for course can exert po protection, without obedi-wrath, but also for conscience sake, enee to some sovereign power: and obedience " On this principle it is, that kings and mais an empty pame, if every individual has a gistrates are reputed God's vicegerents : On right to decide how far be bimself shall obey,” this principle it is, that their authority is de
rived from him: And consequently that their Dr, Tucker, the celebrated dean of Glouces.
subjects cannot even fear God, in the manner ter, thus expresses himself in his • Treatise concerning Civil Government :
they ought to do, without honouring bis mi
nisters and representatives here on earth. “ Hooker certainly was no favourer of the de “But supposing that these vicegerents should basing doctrine of absolute and unlimited pas-act contrary to their commission : Supposing sive obedience and non-resistance : and if that that they should no longer conduct themselves is sufficient to denominate a man a Lockian, I as the ministers of God for good. In such a too, must bumbly request to be inrolled among case, what is to be done ? I apswer it is very their number, for I maintain the right of resist apparent from the terms of their commission, ing in certain cases of extreme necessity as that they are no longer entitled to the obediwarmly as any modern patriot whatever." ence of the subject, as a point of duty and con
And again: “As to public grievances and well science. But nothing farther can be inferred founded pational complaints; what would have from the mere words of Scripture; all the rest been the gospel doctrine concerning the extent being left to men's natural feelings and discre. of passive obedience, or that degree of patient tion, to do the best they can io such an unhapsubmission, which ought to be paid to the higher py situation: Only we should always bear in powers, in case they were to be notorious- mind this necessary caution, that though we ly guilty in the abuse of their trust: this ques - are free, “we ought not to use our liberty as a tion was never started: Therefore the gospel cloak for maliciousness, but to behave as the of Christ is totally silent on tbat bead. And servants of God.' perhaps it would always be the better, and the “And as the Holy Scriptures are thus averse safer course, to leave these points, as the gos- to the giving any countenance to popular tumults pel has left them, totally undecided.--I say it and insurrections, it is very observable, that would be the better and the safer course; be- | the English constitution acts with the like caycause, as obedience is a general duty, and dis- tion and reserve. For the boundary line beobedience or resistance only an excepted.case, (tween resistance and obedience is no more on some extraordinary emergence, the natural marked out by the laws of England, than it is sense and feelings of maokind are seldom or in the gospel of Christ:-Cases and exceptions ever wanting to apprize them in any point, there undoubtedly are, in which it would be where a duty is to be relaxed. Nay, it is well right not to obey, and even to repel force by if they are not too quick-sigbted, and more offi- | force. But nevertheless the English constitucious than they ought to be in suggesting ex- tion doth not point out those cases, for fear ceptions and dispensations.
mankind should make a bad use of such an in" It is true, the precepts in Scripture, which re-| terpretation ; for fear crafty and designing men quire obedience to the higber powers, urge such should mislead the giddy populace, to deem motives, as by a natural construction may imply, that to be legal liberty, which in truth and reali. that where such motives are wanting, there ty is no better than a rampant licentiousness, and lies no obligation to obey. And I freely grant, Jawless anarchy; and which therefore must, in that such an inference may be fairly made: the course of ihings, end in the despotism and But nevertheless the Scriptures are silent about tyranny of some cunning bold usurper.” it: They make no such inference, but leave the relaxation of this duty to those whom it
[This last topic had been very well treated may concern. Thus, for example, the reasons
in a 30th of January Sermon, preached befor obeying the civil magistrate, as alleged by
fore the House of Lords, by the admirable St. Paul, are, . Because he is a terror to evil
bishop Butler, to whom dean Tucker had been doers, and for the praise of them that do well;
chaplain.] See more as to the doctrine of Nonbecause he is the minister of God for good, at
resistance, in vol. 8, p. 1016, vol. 11, p. 1171, tending contidually on this very thing ; for
and the places there referred to. which purpose he beareth not the sword in Bolingbroke, in his Letter to sir Williama vain, being a revenger to execute wrath on Windham, speaks of what he calls the violent them that do evil. Now this being supposed prosecution of Sacheverell,' as one of the wn
and no wonder that a true son of the Church the Church, ber doctrines and ministers, to of England should express himself with some blaspheme the name of God, and to insult, and warmth and vehemence against the liberties treat with contempt, every thing that is sacred. that were taken, and with impunity, to revile To this little was returned, besides bitter invec
popular measures, which might create the oc- man, with a very small measure of religion, casion, and encourage the queen in the resolu- virtue, learning, or good sense, but he resolved tion, to change her parliament and ministry in to force himself into popularity and prefer1710." Swift, vol. 5, p. 81. See also Swift, ment, by the most petulant railings at Disvol. 22, p. 62, vol. 23, p. 150.
senters, and Low-Churchmen, in several SerI observe that after the period of Sache
mons and Libels, wrote without either chasteverell's silence had expired, he preached before
ness of stile, or liveliness of expression: all the House of Commons, on the 29th of May
was one unpractised strain of indecent and
scurrilous language. When he had pursued 1713, and on the next day he received the thanks of the House for his sermon, and was
this method for several years without effect,
he was at last brought up by a popular elecdesired to print it.
tion to a church in Southwark, where he Of the Doctor's mathematical knowledge, began to make great reflections on the ministry, the following proof is stated in the Encyclo- representing that the Church was in danger, pædia Britannica, (art. Sorcery') to occur in being neglected by those who governed, while one of his compositions. “They concur like they favoured her most inveterate enemies. parallel lines meeting in one common centre." At the assizes in Derby (where he preached The same thing is related in Number 59, of before the judges) and on the fifth of November the “ Review of the State of the British Na- (preaching at St. Paul's in London) he gave tion,” for the year 1709, written I suppose by a full vent to his fury, in the most virulent De Foe, and elsewhere in animadversions upon declamation, that he could contrive, upon these Sacheverell's conduct and his tria). In this | words of St. Paul's, • Perils from false brework tbe blunder is exposed in the following thren ;' in which, after some short reflections epigram, such as it is:
upon Popery, he let himself loose into such in6. As brother Creech hung in the sacred twine,
decencies, that botb the man and the Sermon So may it please this reverend wise divine
were universally condemned: he asserted the To hang himself, 'twould make a parallel line.
doctrine of Non-Resistance in the highest Then my credit, and all but my soul, I would ven
strain possible, and said, that to charge the tore,
Revolution with Resistance, was to cast black If the Scriptures are true, they will meet in the
and odious imputations on it; pretending, that centre :
the late king bad disowned it, and cited for the O how it would please our modern phanatics, proof of that, some words in his Declaration, To see high-church banging in such mathematics." by which he vindicated himself from a design Of this Trial of Sacheverell, Swift in his
of conquest. He poured out much scorn and “ Enquiry into the Behaviour of the Queen's
scurrility on the Dissenters, and reflected last Ministry," says, that “ it was a general
severely on the Toleration, and said the muster of both parties.” And in his “Consi
Church was violently attacked by her enemies, derations upon the Death of the Queen," be
and loosely defended by her pretended friends : says, that is it drew the populace as one man
he animated the people to stand up for the into the party against the ministry and parlia
defence of the Church, for which he said he ment.”
sounded the trumpet, and desired them to put In Swift's Correspondence is a Letter from
on the whole armour of God. The court of Sacheverell, dated January 31, 1712, by which
aldermen refused to desire him to print his it appears that Swift had been pleased to un
Sermon; but he did print it, pretending it was dertake the generous office of soliciting my
upon the desire of Garrard, iheu lord mayor, good lord treasurer's favour" in Sacheverell's
to whom be dedicated it, with an inflaming behalf. The writer also says, “I should be
epistle at the head of it. The party, that opproud of an opportunity of expressing my gra.
posed the ministry, did so magnify the Sertitude to that eminent patriot" [Mr. Secretary
mon, that, as was generally reckoned, about St. John, 7 " for whom no one that wishes for
40,000 of them were printed, and dispersed the welfare of his church or country, can have
over the nation. The queen seemed highly too great a veneration."
offended at it, and the ministry looked on it
as an attack made on them, that was not to be The following is Burnet's account of the pro- |
despised. The lord treasurer was so described, ceedings against Sacheverell:
that it was next to the naming him, so a par
liamentary impeachment was resolved on; “ The great business of this session, that Eyre, then solicitor general, and others, thought jook up most of their time, and that had great the short way of burning the Sermon, and effects in conclusion, related to Dr. Sacheverell : keeping bim in prison during the session, was this being oue of the most extraordinary trans- the better method ; but the more solemn way actions in my time, I will relate it very copi- was unhappily chosen. pusly. Ds. Sacheverell was a bold insolent “There had been, ever since the queen
tives against the Sermons; and particularly cording to order; Dr. Sacheverell was called against the doctrines of Passive Obedience and in, and, at the bar, was examined touching the Non-Resistance.
two Sermons yesterday complained of to the
House : where he owned the preaching, the December 14.
directing of the printing and publisbing the The House being informed, that Dr. Henry Sermon, preached the 5th of Novernber, 1709, Sacheverell and Henry Clements attended, ac at the cathedral church of St. Paul, and the
came to the crowd, an open revival of the doc. When it was moved to impeach him, the lord trine of Passive-Obedience and Non-Resist-mayor of London, being a member of the ance, by one Lesley, who was the first man | House of Commons, was examined to this that began the war in Ireland; saying, in a point, wherber the Sermon was printed at his speech solemnly made, that king James, by desire or order ; upon his owning it, he would declaring himself a papist, could no longer be have been expelled the House ; but he denied our king, since he could not be the Defender he had given any such order, though Sacheof our Faith, nor the head of our church, verell affirmed it, and brought witnesses to dignities so inherent in the crown, that he who prove it: yet the House would not enter upon was incapable of these, could not hold it: a that examination ; but it was thought more copy of which speech, the present archbishopdecent to seem to give credit to their own of Dublin told me he had, under his own member, thongh indeed few believed him." band. As he animated the people with this [But as to this see in the text the account of speech, so some actions followed under his what passed in the House of Commons.] conduct, in which several men were killed ; " Some opposition was made to the motion yet this man changed sides quickly, and be for impeaching Sacheverell, but it was carried came the violentest Jacobite in the nation, and by a great majority : the proceedings were was engaged in many plots, and in writing slow ; so those, who intended to inflame the many books against the Revolution, and the city and the nation upon that occasion, had present government. Soon after the queen time sufficient given them, for laying their was on the throne, be, or his son as some said, designs: they gave it out boldly, and in all published a series of weekly papers under the places, that a design was formed by the title of the Rehearsal, pursuing a thread of Whigs, to pull down the Church, and that arguments in them all, against the lawfulness this prosecution was only set on foot to try of Resistance, in any ease whatsoever; deriv- their strength; and that, upon their success ing government wholly from God, denying all in it, they would proceed more openly. right in the people, either to confer, or to Though this was all falsehood and forgery, coerce it: the ministers connived at this, with yet it was propagated with so much applicawhat intention God knows.
tion and zeal, and the tools employed in it, " Whilst these seditious papers had a free were so well supplied with money (from course for many years, and were much spread whom was not then known) that it is scarce and magnified; one Hoadly, a pious and judi- credible bow generally it was believed. cious divine, being called to preach before the “Some things concurred to put the vulgar lord mayor, chose for bis text the first verses in ill humour, it was a time of dearth and of the 13th chapter to the Romans, and fairly scarcity, so that the poor were much pinched : explained the words there, that they were to the summer before, ten or twelve thousand be understood only agajust resisting good go-poor people of the Palatinate, who were revernors, upon the Jewish principles; but, that duced to great misery, came into England ; those words had no relation to bad and cruel they were well received apd supplied, both governors: and he asserted, that it was not by the queen, and by the voluntary charities only lawful, but a duty incumbent on all men, of good people: this filled our own poor with to resist such; concluding all with a vindi- great indignation ; who thought those charities, cation of the Revolution, and the present go-to which they had a better right, were thus invernment. Upon this, a great outcry was 'tercepted by strangers; and all who were ill raised, as if he had preached up rebellion ; affected, studied to heighten these their resentseveral books were wrote against him, and he ments. The clergy did generally espouse Sa. justified himself, with a visible superiority of cheverell, as their champion, who had stood in argument, to them all, and did so solidly over- the breach ; and so they reckoned his cause throw the conceit of one Filmer, now espoused was their own. Many Sermons were preached, by Lesley (that government was derived by | both in London and in other places, to provoke primogenitore from the first patriarchs) that the people, in which they succeeded beyond for some time, be silenced his adversaries: but expectation. Some accidents concurred to it was an easier thing to keep up a clamour, | delay the proceedings; much time was spent than to write a solid answer. Sacheverell did, I in preparing the Articles of Impeachment : with great virulence, reflect on him, and on | and the Apswer was, by many shifts, long deme, and several other bishops, carrying his layed: it was bold, without either submission renom as far back as to archbishop Grindal, or common respect; he justified every thing whom, for his moderation, be called a perfi- in his Sermon, in a very haughty and assumdious prelate, and a false son of the church. ing stile. In conclusion, the Lords ordered Dedication of it; and also, that the Epistle De- |sion of that Sermon, wbich he directed to be dicatory to the Sermon, preached at the Assizes | printed and published, And being withdrawn,
Derby. the 15th of August, 1709, was and a question being proposed, That the said agreeable to that which he put to the impres Dr. Henry Sacheverell be impeached of High the Trial to be at the bar of their House ; but out by the late king, while he was Prince of those who found, that by gaining more time, Orange, did not come up to that, for which be the people were still more inflamed, moved quoted it; he ought not to be censured because that the Trial might be public in Westminster his quotation did not fully prove his point. As hall; where the whole House of Commons for his invective against the Dissenters and the might be present: this took so with unthink Toleration, they laboured to turn that off, by ing people, that it could not be withstood, saying, he did not reflect on wbat was allowed though the effects it would have, were well by law, but on the permission of, or the not foreseen: the preparing Westminster-hall was punishing many, who published impious and a work of some weeks.
blasphemous books; and a collection was " At last, on the 27th of February, the Trial made, of passages in books, full of crude imbegun. Sacheverell was lodged in the Temple, piety and of bold opinions. This gave great and came every day with great solemnity in a offence to many, who thought that this was a coach to the Hall; great crowds ran about his solemo publishing of so much impiety to the coach, with many shouts, expressing their con- nation, by which more mischief would be done, cern for him in a very rude and tumultuous than by the books themselves; for most of manner. The Trial lasted three weeks, in them had been neglected, and known only to which all other business was at a stand ; for | a small number, of those who encouraged this took up all mens thoughts: the Managers them: and the authors of many of these for the Commons opened the matter very books had been prosecuted and punished for solemnly : their performances were much and them. As to those parts of the Serinon, that justly commended : Jekyll, Eyre, Stanhope, set out the danger the Church was in, thongh King, but above all Parker, distinguished both Houses had some years ago voted it a themselves in a very particular manner: they great offence, to say it was in danger, they did copiously justify both the Revolution, and said it might have been in none four years ago, the present administration. There was no when these votes passed, and yet be now in need of witnesses; for the Sermon being danger : the greatest of all dangers was to be owned by bim, all the Evidence was brought apprehended, from the wrath of God for such from it, by laying his words together, and by / impieties. They said, the reflections on the shewing his intent and meaniog in them, which administration were not meant of those, im. appeared from comparing one place with ano. ployed immediately by the queen, but of men ther. When his counsel, sir Simon Harcourt, in inferior posts : if bis words seemed capable Dodd, Phipps, and two others, came to plead of a bad sense, they were also capable of a for him, they very freely acknowledged the more innocent one; and every man was lawfuiness of Resistance in extreme cases, and allowed to put any construction on his words, plainly justified the Revolution, and our de. that they could bear. When the counsel bad liverance by king William : but they said, it ended their Defence, Sacheverell concluded it was not fit, in a sermon, to name such an ex. with a speech, which he read with much bold ception ; that the duties of morality ought to beat; in which, with many solemo asseverabe delivered in their full extent, without suppos tions, he justified his intentions towards the ing an extraordinary case: and therefore queen and her government; he spoke with re. Sacheverell bad followed precedents, set by our spect, both of the Revolution and the Protestant greatest divines, ever since the Reformation, Succession; he insisted most on condemning and ever since the Revolution. Upon this they all Resistance, under any pretence whatsoever, opened a great field ; they began with the de without mentioning the exception of extreme clarations made in king Henry the 8th's time; necessity, as his counsel had done : he said it they insisted next upon the Homilies, and was the doctrine of the Church, in which he from thence instanced in a large series of was bred up; and added many pathetical ex. bishops and divines, who had preached the pressions, to move the audience to compassion, duty of submission and Non-Resistance, in This had a great effect on the weaker sort, very full terms, without supposing any excep while it possessed those, who knew the man tion; some excluding all exceptions, in as posi- and his ordinary discourses, with horror, when tive a manner as he had done : they explained they heard him affirm so many falsehoods with the word Revolution, as belonging to the new such solemn appeals to God. It was very settlement upon king James's withdrawing; plain the speech was made for him by others; though in the common acceptation, it was for the stile was correct, and far different from understood of the whole transaction, from the his own. landing of the Dutch arny, till the settlement I “ During the Trial, the multitudes that folmade by the Convention. So they under- lowed him, all the way as he came, and as he standing the Revolution in that sense, there went back, shewed a great concern for him, was indeed no Resistance there: if the pressing about him, and striving to kiss his passage quoted from the Declaration, given, hand: money was thrown among them; and
Crimes and Misdemeanours; he was called in And after being heard, he was directed to again, and asked, If he had any thing to offer withdraw. to the House? When he spoke to tbis effect: Then the question was insisted on, for im
“ Mr. Speaker; I am very sorry I am fallen peaching the Doctor of High Crimes and Misunder the displeasure of this House; I did not demeanours. And several gentlemen spoke imagine any expressions in my Sermons were against it, desiring he might rather be proseliable to such a censure as you have passed cuted by the attorney general; and if the Serupon them. If you had been pleased to have mons were seditious, if they did reflect on ber favoured me so far, as to have beard me before majesty and government, the happy Revoluyou passed it, I hope I should have explained tion, and the Protestant Succession as by law myself so as to have prevented it.”.
established, the Doctor would be convicted, and
they were animated to such a pitch of fury, the House of Commons, were named to be that they went to pull down some Meeting managers, and they spoke very zealously for houses, which was executed on five of them, as public liberty, justifying the Revolution. Holt, far as burning all the pews in them. This was the lord chief justice of the King's-bench, died directed by some of better fashion, who followed during the trial: he was very learned in the the mob in hackney coaches, and were seen law, and had upon great occasions shewed an sending messages to them : the word, upon intrepid zeal in asserting its authority; for he
hich all shouted, was “ The Church and ventured on the indignation of both Houses of Bacheverell:” and such, as joined not in the Parliament by turns, when he thought the law shout, vere insulted and knocked down : be- was with him : he was a man of good judgfore my own door, one, with a spade, cleft the ment and great integrity, and set himself with skull of another, who would not shout as they great application to the functions of that imdid. There bappened to be a meeting-house portant post. Immediately upon his death Dear me, out of which they drew every thing Parker was made lord chief justice : this great that was in it, and burned it before the door of promotion seemed an evident demonstration of the house. They threatened to do the like the queen's approving the prosecution ; for execution on my house; but the noise of the none of the managers had treated Sacheverell riot coming to court, orders were sent to the so severely as he had done; yet secret whisguards to go about, and disperse the multitudes, pers were very confidently set about, that and secure the public peace. As the guards ads though the queen's affairs put her on acting the vanced the people ran away ; some few were part of ope, that was pleased with this scene, only taken ; these were afterwards prosecuted ; yet she disliked it all, and would take the first bat the party shewed a violent concern for occasion to shew it. them; two of them were condemned as guilty “ After the trial was ended, the debate was of bigb-treason ; small fines were set on the taken up in the House of Lords : it stuck long rest; but no execution followed ; and after on the first article ; none pretended to justify the some months, they were pardoned: and indeed Sermon, or to assert absolute non-resistance : this remissness, in punishing so great a disor all who favoured him, went upon this, that the der, was looked on as the preparing and encou- duty of obedience ought to be delivered in full raging men to new tumults. There was a se- and general words, without putting odd excepcret management in this matter, that amazed tions, or supposing odious cases : this had been all people : for though the queen, upon an ad. the method of all our divines. Pains were also dress made to her by the House of Commons, taken to sbew, that his Sermon did not reflect set out a Proclamation, in which this riot was, on the Revolution : on the other hand, it was with severe words, laid upon Papists and Non said that since the Revolution had happened so jurors, who were certainly the chief promoters lately, and was made still the subject of much of it; yet the proceedings afterwards did not controversy, those absolute expressions did answer the threatenings of the Proclamation plainly condemu it. The Revolution was the
6 When Sacheverell bad ended his Defence, whole progress of the turs, from the prince the Managers for the House of Commons re- of Orange's landing, till the act of settlement plied, and sbewed very evidently that the words passed. The act of parliament expressed, what of bis Sermon could not reasonably bear any was meant, by the abdication and the vacancy of other sense, but that for which they had charg- the throne; that it did not only relate to king ed him; this was an easy performance, and James's withdrawing himself, but to his ceasthey managed it with great life: but the bu- ing to govern according to our constitution and mour of the town was turned against them, and laws, setting up his mere will and pleasure as all the clergy appeared for Sacheverell. Many the measure of his government: this was made of the queen's chaplains stood about him, en- plainer, by another clause in the acts then couraging and magnifying bim; and it was passed, which provided, that if any of our given out, that the queen berself favoured him ; princes should become Papists, or njarry Pathough, upon my first coming to town, which pists, the subjects were, in those cases, declared was after the Impeachment was brought up to to be free from their allegiance.” the Lords, she said to me, that it was a bad Sermon, and that he deserved well to be pu. There is a curious passage about Sacheverell nished for it, All her ministers, who were in in Harris's James 2nd, p. 184.,