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But, as this laird continues, when the Presbyterians CHARLES held the reins, neither minister nor laird, no condition or sex, had the least share of indulgence. All people were forced to comply, and swear to the length of the Kirk's appointment, notwithstanding these guides knew many of the people practised one thing and believed another. Farther, that though they complained so much of the grandeur and pompous distinctions in the bishops ; though they have not assumed the title of lords, they have exceeded the jurisdiction of the bishops, and strained up to a papal authority, and that their little finger has been heavier than the weight of the episcopal body. He wonders they should assert the same Presbyterian government is established by law in England, when it is well known the Presbyterians there have no such power of censuring, or forcing men upon oaths: that by such a permission the commonwealth of England would disimprove their con
867. dition, and make the restraints of conscience more troublesome than those they lay under from the prelates. That success hardened the Kirk against compassion, and made them more intolerable, and excepting pike and musket, was the strongest argument they ever used. At last he charges them with very remarkable rigour; that they had set up an inquisition against him, and that when other evidence failed; they forced his servants to swear the discovery of their knowledge of what passed in the house. This laird's name was Irving. Id. p. 500.
April, A.D. To return to Westminster. Several passages in the Cracovian 1652. Catechism being reported to the house, this summary of belief Id, P: 505. was voted to contain matters “blasphemous, erroneous, and vian Cascandalous,” and all the printed copies of that book were ordered to ordered to be burnt'.
Cromwell, who was now strengthened in his interest, and elated by a course of victory, grew weary of the Rump-parliament. At these men, lying cross to his greatness, and hindering his ambition from mounting, he resolved to make a bold push ; and having concerted the design with his officers, he marched to the parliament-house with some troops, placed a guard at the door, and entered the house with a file of mus- Cromwell queteers. His manner of address was suitable to his military
Rump-parappearance : for, with an air of haughtiness and passion, he liament in a
disgraceful commanded the speaker to leave the chair ; told the house manner.
turns out the
I This is the favourite Catechism of the Socinians.
Fuller's Ch. Hist. book 11.
they had sate long enough, unless they had done more good ;" pointed to some of the members, and gave them coarse lan
guage; bade one of his soldiers “take away that fool's bauble, Id. p. 529. the mace;” stayed till the house was empty, and then ordered April, A. D.
the doors to be locked. The assembly of divines at Westminster, who had gone less and less for some time, and dwindled to a committee, were now entirely disabled, and sunk with this long parliament.
The first usurpation being thus melted down, Cromwell cast June.
it in a new mould of his own contriving; and after some days of “humiliation, and solemn pretences of seeking God,” he issued out circular letters to a select number of his creatures
to take upon them the government of the commonwealth. Barebones! This set of men was called Barebones' parliament. These 1d. p. 532. members, for a proof of their zeal and capacity, voted down
tithes, discouraged the ministry, harassed the universities, attempted almost an entire change of the constitution, and ran to the last extremes of folly and extravagance. This overdriving was ill relished without doors, as might well be expected. The enthusiasts, therefore, being apprehensive they might be called to an account, quitted their post, and resigned the government to Cromwell, who accepted the overture under the title of lord protector. The administration was conveyed to him by a solemn instrument; by which, amongst other things, a provision was made for successive triennial parliaments.
To go back a little: the Scotch Kirk, which had struggled rity of the
with the English commonwealth for some time, was now quite broken entirely broken. In July last a general assembly met at bis hincong- Edinburgh, and, after a sermon, went to their house and entered upon
business. But before they had made any progress, lieutenant-colonel Coterel, breaking in upon them, mounted a bench, and made proclamation, “ that no judicatory ought to sit that had not authority from the parliament of England." Upon this, ordering them to retire, he guarded them off till they had passed the west gate. The next command they received, was to throw themselves into a circle, then surrounding them with his troops, he reprimanded them for the presumption of their meeting, took away their commissions, commanded them to disperse, not to meet three together, but to quit the town immediately, and repair to their respective dwellings.
Dec. A. D. 1653.
Collect. &c. fol. 279.
Cromwell, now seated in his protector's chair, summoned a CHARLES pretended parliament, where Lenthall was speaker. These members passed an act for settling a committee of triers, for 4 committee the approbation of public preachers. Those who were admitted settled. to any benefice or lecture, were obliged to pass the test of this committee, and receive an instrument equivalent to letters of institution or induction. It is true, the majority of these triers were ministers; but since eight of them were laymen, and any five enabled to execute the powers of the act, it might some- Marche times happen that none but secular men might act in this post, and determine upon the qualifications of those who were to preach and administer the sacraments. This act was confirmed Scobell's in the next pretended parliament, held in the year 1656. .
Their next statute provides for removing scandalous and insufficient ministers and school-masters; that is, those who had continued firm to the Church and Crown. For this
purpose a considerable number of secular commissioners are nominated for each county. There is likewise a list of ministers, a. . 1654. throughout the same divisions of the kingdom, appointed for this purpose. By the act, the lay-commissioners could determine nothing without the approbation of the ministers, who were joined in commission with them. It must be said, these usurpers did not plunder and persecute without some resemblance of compassion ; for by the act a fifth part of the The fifth profits of the benefice is allowed to the wives and children of profits and the ejected ministers. And here likewise the ordinance for
benefices due payment of the tithes and other duties, made in the
clergy. 1647, is confirmed ; and so was this act afterwards in the year Id. fol. 335. 1656. It must not be forgotten, that, by a clause of this act, none was permitted to teach a school in the parish whence he had been ejected. And to make the pulpits more inoffensive, by an act passed soon after, no clergymen ejected for delinquency were to be re-admitted by the triers, without express order from his highness, as they called him, and his council.
This pretended parliament, grasping at the administration, Jan. 22, and endeavouring to recover their former sway, were in the latter end of this year dissolved by Cromwell.
In February, the next year, James Usher, archbishop of Primate Armagh, departed this life. This most learned prelate was death and born at Dublin, in the year 1580. He was extracted from an ancient and considerable family of the surname of Nevil. In the reign of king John, one of his ancestors, who was gentle
Id. fol. 366.
A.D. 1654-5. 868.
man-usher to that prince, changed his name to that of his office. His father, Arnold Usher, was a lawyer of character, and one of the six clerks of Chancery. His mother's father, James Stanyhurst, esq., was recorder of Dublin, one of the masters of Chancery, and speaker of the house of commons in three parliaments. The archbishop made an early progress in learning, and gave extraordinary proof of his capacity and improvement at eighteen years of age. His inclination leading him to the study of divinity, he entered into orders, and made a very considerable figure in that profession. In his younger time he adhered to the Calvinian side of the predestinarian controversy. However, he afterwards drew the union canon between the Churches of England and Ireland. But the warmth of his affection to the Protestant interest in general, and his zeal for a close correspondence between all the reformed Churches, made him depart a little from the primitive government, give too great an allowance to the Presbyterian scheme, and qualify the episcopal jurisdiction too much in favour of the schismatics. And it is supposed the relaxations made upon the head of episcopacy by the late king, in the Isle of Wight, were suggested by Usher. When the rebellion broke out, this archbishop was nominated by the parliament in the list of the assembly divines : but being dissatisfied with the convening authority, and foreseeing the fatal consequences of that meeting, he refused to appear.
When the king made Oxford his head quarters, the archbishop retired thither, declared strongly against the rebellion, and both by his sermons, other discourses, and letters, confirmed several who were wavering, and recovered some from an
When Cromwell took the title of lord protector, he treated Usher with particular marks of esteem, sent for him to his court, and pretended to suggest a scheme for promoting the Protestant interest both at home and abroad. A regard for the Protestant religion was then a plausible cover to keep the usurpation out of view. For at this time of day Cromwell had not quite pulled off the mask, but by his discourses to Usher, seemed tolerably reconciled to the Church of England and episcopacy. But this year Cromwell finding himself strong enough to explain his malevolence, published a declaration, by virtue of which, those of the loyal clergy who either managed private schools, or officiated in noblemen's families, were
Id. et Parr's
ordered to be imprisoned. When a new storm threatened CHARLES those who had lost their fortunes before, some of the ejected divines desired Usher to use his interest with Cromwell, and try to prevail for some abatements of rigour. The archbishop addressing the usurper, requested the episcopal clergy might have a share in the common indulgence, and use the liturgy without disturbance from the soldiers. Cromwell promised to recall the declaration, or at least to prevent its being executed, provided the clergy were inoffensive in their discourses, and stood clear from meddling with matters of State. But when Usher made him a second visit to get this promise signed, the usurper told him, “that having advised with his council, and farther considered the matter, himself and the rest were of opinion that it was not safe for him to grant a liberty of conscience to those men who were declared enemies to his government.”
To proceed: the primate had a slender opinion of the Sep- Usher. tuagint. For he would allow that nothing but the Pentateuch was at first translated. And thus far Aristæus, Josephus, and St. Jerom agree with him. That this first translation, lodged in Ptolemy's library at Alexandria, was destroyed by the accident of a fire. That the other version, made not long after, comprehending all the books of the Old Testament, and used by the Hellenist Jews and primitive Christians, was made after the fourth year of Ptolemy Philometer. That it was the performance of an obscure Jew, who was very unequal to the undertaking. That this man had taken an unaccountable liberty with the text, and made a great many omissions and interpolations : and that the difference between the Hebrew original and the Greek, is owing to this foul dealing. That the Jewish priests and Levites who officiated in Onias' temple at Heliopolis in Egypt, were imposed on by negligence and sloth, and took this version upon content.
These are some of Usher's singularities upon this subject, for which he was called to account by the learned Valesius.
Usher, as has been remarked, was a strict Calvinian, and Hist. Eccles. held the predestinarian controversy in the sense of the Lam- Euseb. in beth articles. But sometime before his death he changed his Prefat. Graopinion touching the “five points,” came over to the other vers. 70. side, and was reconciled to bishop Overal's sentiment. That this is matter of fact, appears by the signed testimonies of Dr.
Smith's Bryan Walton, Mr. Peter Gunning, and Mr. Herbert Thorn- Vit. Jacob. dike.