Page images

part 4.

vanced, they met with unexpected misfortune. For the two houses having brought the war to an end, and dismissed the Scots, resolved the disbanding a great part of the army. But these measures were by no means acceptable to some of the general officers. They were altogether unwilling to quit their commands, and lose the advantage of so much hazard and fatigue. These men therefore declared against disbanding, stood on their guard, and marched towards London, contrary to the orders of the two houses. After this, they proceeded more

directly towards a rupture, and impeached eleven members of Whitlock's the house of commons of high treason. And being sensible Rushworth's how serviceable the king's person would be to them, they sent Hist. Coll. cornet Joice, with a party of horse, to bring his majesty to

their head-quarters at Woburn, in Bedfordshire. Joice executed his commission, and succeeded in the attempt, without meeting with any resistance. And thus the Presbyterians having embroiled the kingdoms, kindled and carried on a calamitous

war, during which, more seats were plundered and burnt, more Dugdale's churches robbed and profaned, more blood spilt, within the of the Trou- compass of four years; and, in short, more frightful scenes bles of Eng opened of ravage, of slaughter and confusion, than had been , . 558.

acted in the long contest between the houses of York and Lancaster; the Presbyterians, I say, after having thrown their country into all this misery and convulsion, met with nothing but infamy and disappointment. For after having wrested the sword out of the king's hands, and brought the rebellion to their wishes, when they thought of nothing less than dividing the

prey, and raising vast fortunes out of crown and church lands, their hopes were suddenly scattered, they were turned out of their scandalous acquisitions, and publicly exposed to contempt and scorn. For now the Independents forced them to retire from Westminster, seized their posts, and made themselves masters, upon the matter, both in Church and State. But of this more afterwards.

As for religion, it was in no better condition than civil interest: the Presbyterians preached up the purity and the power, till they left neither. I shall make a report of this matter from an eminent champion for the cause : it is Edwards, who wrote the 66 Gangræna ;

a book in which the errors, heresies, blasphemies, and lewd practice, which broke out in the last four years are recited. This divine, in his dedication

et deinc.


From 1642 to 1646.


to both houses, sets forth how firm he had been to their ser- CHARLES vice, and how forwardly he had engaged when their affairs were most unpromising. He tells them he had laid out his fortune, and exposed his person in the pulpit and the field; and all this when some of the grandees were ready to disengage and shift for themselves. A man thus well affected, we may be sure would not make things worse than they were, nor paint the new reformation in the harshest complexion. Let us hear then what account the gentleman gives of this matter.

No kind of blasphemies,

tained since


Things every day,” says he, “grow worse and worse ; you Abundance

of heresies, can hardly imagine them so bad as they are. blasphemy, heresy, disorder, and confusion, but it is found fc. mainamong us, or coming in upon us. For we, instead of reforma- the beginning

of the retion, are grown from one extreme to another; fallen from bellion. Scylla to Charybdis; from popish innovations, superstitions, and prelatical tyranny, to damnable heresies, horrid blasphemies, libertinism, and fearful anarchy. Our evils are not removed and cured, but only changed: one disease and devil hath left us, and another as bad is come in the room. this last extremity into which we are fallen, is far more high, violent, and dangerous, in many respects, &c. Have we not a deformation, and worse things come in upon us than ever we had before? Were any of those monsters heard of heretofore, which are now common among us, as denying the Scriptures, &c.? You have broken down the images of the Trinity, Virgin Mary, Apostles; and we have those who overthrow the doc. trine of the Trinity, oppose the divinity of Christ, speak evil of the Virgin Mary, and slight the Apostles. You have cast out the bishops and their officers, and we have many that cast down to the ground all ministers in all the reformed Churches. You have cast out ceremonies in the sacraments, as the cross, kneeling at the Lord's Supper; and we have many who cast out the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper. You have put down saints' days, and we have many who make nothing at all of the Lord's-day and fast-days. You have taken away the superfluous, excessive maintenance of bishops and deans, and we have many that take away and cry down the necessary maintenance of ministers. In the bishops' days we had singing of psalms taken away in some places, conceived

prayer and preaching, and, in their room, anthems, stinted forms, and reading brought in: and now we have singing of psalms spoken against, and cast out of some churches : yea, all public prayer questioned, and all ministerial preaching denied. In the bishops' time, popish innovations were introduced, as bowing at altars, &c.: and now we have anointing the sick with oil. Then we had bishoping of children, now we have bishoping of men and women, by strange laying on of hands. In the bishops' days we had many unlearned ministers; and have we not now a company of Jeroboam's priests? In the bishops' days we had the fourth commandment taken away; but now we have all the ten commandments at once, by the Antinomians ; yea, all faith and the Gospel denied. The worst of the prelates, in the midst of many popish, Arminian tenets, and popish innovations, held many sound doctrines, and had many commendable practices : yea, the very Papists hold and keep to many articles of faith and truths of God, have some order amongst them, encourage learning, have certain fixed principles of truth, with practices of devotion and good works; but many of the sects and sectaries in our days deny all principle of religion, are enemies to all holy duties, order, learning, overthrowing all; being vertiginosi spiritus, whirligig spirits. And the great opinion of an universal toleration tends to the laying all waste, and dissolution of all religion and good manners, &c. What swarms are there of all sorts of illiterate mechanic preachers; yea, of women and boy preachers: what liberty of preaching, printing of all errors, or for a toleration of all, and against the Directory, Covenant, monthly fast, Presbyterial government, and all ordinances of parliament in reference to religion ?- These sectaries have been growing

upon us, ever since the first year of our sitting, and have every Epise. Ded. year increased more and more.”

And to dismiss this author, he reckons no less than one hundred and seventy-six heretical and blasphemous tenets, maintained by the sectaries in the compass of time abovementioned'.

The next remarkable occurrence, is the treaty in the Isle of Wight. In this island his majesty was confined after his

· Edwards's Gangræna affords an awful warning to those who by means of rebellion, would bring about reform, and do evil that good may come.


Lord Cla


escape from Hampton-court. The party of the two houses, CHARLES who were willing to preserve the king, though under their own direction, prevailed so far as to send commissioners down, and 856. propose an accommodation. The treaty commenced on the fifteenth of September. I shall only relate that part of it in Sept. 15, which religion is concerned. And here the two houses con- The treaty sented that several bishops and other divines might wait on at the Isle of his majesty, inform him in any points of controversy, and resolve any difficulties intervening upon the course of the argument. The divines, who attended the king, were Juxon bishop of London, Duppa bishop of Salisbury, Dr. Sanderson, Dr. Sheldon, Dr. Fern, Dr. Henchman, Dr. Morley, and some others. Notwithstanding this liberty, the commissioners acquainted his majesty, they could not admit any person should be present in the room where the treaty was debated: Fuller. this preliminary made the assistance of the bishops and the rendon. rest, in a manner, insignificant. At last the commissioners Warwick's and his majesty agreed, that the bishops and divines might stand behind a curtain, and hear what passed: and when any difficulty occurred, the king might retire to his chamber, call thuse he thought proper to advise with, and then return to the commissioners, argue farther upon the point, and declare his resolution. The parliament divines were Mr. Stephen Marshal, Mr. Joseph Caryll, Mr. Richard Vines, and Mr. Lazarus Seaman. The question debated was, Whether episcopacy was of Divine institution? The method was by exchanging of papers. The king's argument was read by Mr. Philip Warwick, and Mr. Vines read what was drawn up by himself and his assistants. The business of the king's first Oct. 2. paper was to prove that the Apostles, by commission from our Saviour, exercised a distinguished and peculiar authority in ordinations, in settling Church regulations, and inflicting censures : that St. Timothy and St. Titus had a character conveyed to them from the Apostles for exercising the said power in the three branches last mentioned: and that the Angels of John xx. the seven Churches, mentioned in the Revelations, were all fit. i. 5. single persons, had an authority paramount over their re- Rev. ii. & iii. spective Churches, and superintended both pastors and people. From these grounds the king inferred the Divine institution of episcopacy, and supported his conclusion from the records of the primitive Church, from St. Ignatius's Epistles, and other testimonies of the ancients : and lastly, his majesty desired to

ment divines' paper

be satisfied concerning the substantials of Church government settled by our Saviour and his Apostles, in whose hands the administration of these essentials are deposited ? Whether they bind to perpetual use, or whether they may be relaxed on

occasion, and how far ? The parlia

The next day the parliament divines delivered in their

answer, and confessed the places of Scripture cited by his against majesty, proved the conveyance of a power for the purposes episcopacy. 2 Tim. iv. 5. abovementioned: but then they denied the persons exercising

that authority were bisbops in the modern restrained sense, or governed the Church under that distinction.

And here, omitting their coincidences with Henderson, I shall only relate what is farther suggested upon the question.

They affirm Timothy and Titus were Evangelists, and seem willing to infer an inconsistency between this office and an episcopal character.

2. They pretend these saints could not be bishops, because they were not fixed to a diocese, but frequently removed from place to place.

To the text in the Revelations, they answered, Angels of the Churches was an allegorical addition, and there was no solid arguing from such figurative expressions: and, besides, that these letters of St. John, though superscribed to one, were, in the meaning of them, sent to the whole body of the Church.

They seem to give little credit to the writings of the ancients, and the testimony of the Church posterior to the Apostles, and throw off Ignatius's Epistles, as if they were the forgery of later ages. As to the point of substantials in Church government, instituted by our Saviour, they gave only this general and evasive answer, that such substantials were to

be found in the Scripture. October 6. After three days the king replied to their paper. And here, The king's waiving his majesty's reasons urged against Henderson upon

this head, I shall only report what was returned to their objections above-mentioned. Their endeavouring to turn off the force of the text touching St. Timothy and St. Titus, by retiring to a notion of their being Evangelists, is clearly confuted by Scultetus, Gerrard, and other Protestants of eminency. And that Timothy and Titus were bishops, is confirmed by the consentient testimony of antiquity. And here his majesty cites St. Jerome, and a list of twenty-seven bishops of Ephesus

« PreviousContinue »