« PreviousContinue »
This learned prelate, as has been observed, seemed to have an overbalance of affection for the foreign Protestant Churches. This put him upon some strain to vindicate their orders, and make their ministrations valid. For this purpose he revived the novelty of some of the schoolmen, and made no scruple to affirm that the office of bishop and priest was the same as to
substance, and only different degrees of the same order. Davenant's Bishop Davenant was likewise of Usher's opinion in this point.
But with all reasonable deference to this most learned primate, Q. 42.
there appears more charity than caution in this latitude. This
straining of courtesy for the Protestants abroad, seems to Dum texit throw us off our guard, and weaken the English Reformation.
It is the safest way to keep close to the earliest ages. These Halæsus,
were times of light and truth, of zeal and union, of disinterestinfelix telo dat pectus
edness and courage. It is dangerous to cross upon the judginermum.
ment of the first five centuries, and desert the practice of the Virg. Æn.
primitive Church. As for the modern distinctions of Christianity, it may, in my humble opinion, be most advisable to stand aloof, and wish them well; to leave them to their own recollection and God's mercy; to pray their prejudices may be no longer too strong for them; that they may disengage from their novelties, and govern themselves by the ancient standard. As to the archbishop's opinion upon this question, it is some
what remarkable, considering his publishing “St. Ignatius's A.D. 165. Epistles:" for in the genuine writings of this martyr, the dis
tinction between bishop and priest is plainly marked ; the prerogative of the former set very high, and the supreme direction of ecclesiastical affairs lodged with him?.
But notwithstanding this charitable bias, Usher made no difficulty to censure the practice of the English and Scotch Presbyterians. He would neither allow their orders, nor communicate with them. He charged them with downright perjury and revolt from the bishops ; to whom they had engaged their faith, and sworn canonical obedience; that their ministrations were sacrilegious invasions of the episcopal privilege, and that they had no colour for their schism. And here it must be observed, that this archbishop, notwithstanding his relaxations already mentioned, maintained that bishops had a peculiar extent of spiritual authority. That this superiority
1 Usher's views are somewhat more orthodox than Collier would seem to infer, and in those views may yet be discovered a method of reconciling many ecclesiastical differ
was no concession of councils, no privilege of after ages, but CHARLES settled by the apostles themselves. To conclude the archbishop's character; he was a great genius, a person of inde- 869. fatigable industry, and in his life altogether regular and Id. unblemished. And as to his attainments, to omit other instances of his proficiency, he was a great master in ecclesiastical learning and chronology. The learned works, either April, written or published by him, are too long to mention. He a.d. 1656, was buried in Westminster-abbey, Cromwell allowing two hundred pounds for the expense of the funeral.
This year, James Naylor, and some others imprisoned at &c. p. 632. Bristol, being charged with blasphemy, the house ordered a committee to send for them, and examine the witnesses. Naylor was accordingly brought to the bar of the house, and, upon hearing the cause, they resolved him a grand impostor, and guilty of horrid blasphemy. The sentence pronounced against this criminal was, to stand in the pillory two hours at Westminster, to be whipped from thence by the executioner to the Old Exchange, and there to have his punishment in the pillory repeated; his tongue was likewise to be bored through with a hot iron, and his forehead stigmatized with the letter "B.," with some other circumstances of correction'.
Id. 643, 644. It was ordered, at the grand committee for religion, that a A committee sub-committee should advise with Dr. Walton, Mr. Hughes, ing divines Mr. Castle, Mr. Clerk, Mr. Poulk, Dr. Cudworth, and such touching the others as they thought proper, to consider of the translations the English of the Bible, and to offer their opinions to the committee ; of the Bible. and, to speak in the language of those times, the care of this Feb. A.D. business was recommended to the lord-commissioner Whitlock. This committeee met frequently at Whitlock's house, consulted several of the most celebrated men for the oriental tongues, furnished themselves with learned observations
this subject, pretended to discover some mistakes in the last English translation, which yet they agreed was the best extant. But this design, as Whitlock reports, miscarried by the dissolution of the parliament. About the latter end of this year, Dr. Walton published the The Poly
glot Bible Polyglot Bible.
published. The Anabaptists, disappointed by Cromwell's ambition, and harassed with his arbitrary excesses, applied to the king.
In | This Naylor was a Quaker of great notoriety.
this address, they declaim with a great deal of warmth, and lament their own misbehaviour in very remarkable expressions. I shall give the reader part of it in the words of their address :
The Ana- “ We must confess," say they, “we have been wandering,
' address to deviating, and roving up and down, this way and that way, the king.
through all the dangerous, uncouth, and untrodden paths of fanatic and enthusiastic notions, till now, at last, but too late, we find ourselves intricated and involved in so many windings, labyrinths, and meanders of knavery, that nothing but a divine clew of thread, handed to us from heaven, can be sufficient to extricate us, and restore us. We know not, we know not, whether have juster matter of shame or sorrow administered to us, when we take a reflex view of our past actions, and consider into the commission of what crimes, impieties, wickednesses, and unheard-of villanies, we have been led, cheated, cozened, and betrayed by that grand impostor,” &c.
And, after having railed plentifully upon Cromwell, they go on in this tragical manner against themselves : “ What have we done,” say they,—“nay, what have we not done,—which either hellish policy was able to contrive, or brutish power to execute ? We have trampled under foot all authorities ; we
have laid violent hands upon our own sovereign ; we have A. D. 1658. ravished our parliaments; we have defloured the virgin liberty
of our nation; we have put a yoke, a heavy yoke of iron, upon the neck of our own countrymen; we have thrown down the walls and bulwarks of the people's safety ; we have broken often repeated oaths, vows, engagements, covenants, protestations; we have betrayed our trusts; we have violated our faith; we have lifted up our hands to heaven deceitfully; and that these our sins might want no aggravation to make them exceeding sinful, we have added hypocrisy to them all; and have not only, like the audacious strumpet, wiped our mouths, and boasted that we have done no evil ;' but in the midst of all our abominations (such as are too bad to be named amongst the worst of heathens,) we have not wanted impudence enough to say, Let the Lord be glorified : let Jesus Christ be exalted : let his kingdom be advanced : let the Gospel be propagated : let the saints be dignified : let righteousness be established :
pudet hæc opprobria nobis aut dici potuisse, aut non potuisse CHARLES refelli".""
It must be said this is downright confession and honest re-rendon's pentance : this plain dealing looks much better than artificial vol. 3. distinctions; than retiring under the protection of Knox and Calvin, and applying to varnish and palliation.
During this usurpation, though the year is not mentioned, a paper was drawn up by some of Cromwell's divines for admitting the Jews with limitations. I shall report their resolution on this point in their own language :
“ The Jews desiring it," as these divines determine, “ may A resolution be admitted into this nation, to trade and traffic and dwell of some of amongst us, as Providence shall give occasion.
touching the “ This, as to point of conscience, we judge lawful for the permitting magistrate to admit, in case such material and weighty consi- Jews to settle derations as hereafter follow be provided for: about which, kingdoms. till we are satisfied, we cannot but in conscience suspend our resolution in this case.
“ I. That the motives upon which Manasses Ben Israel, in behalf of the rest of his nation, in his book lately printed in the English tongue, desires their admission into this commonwealth, are such as we conceive to be
sinful for this or any other Christian state to receive them upon.
“ II. That the danger of seducing the people of this nation by their admission, in matters of religion, is very great.
“ III. That their having synagogues, or any public meetings for the exercise of their worship or religion, is not only evil in itself, but likewise very scandalous to other Christian Churches.
“IV. That their customs and practices concerning marriage and divorce are unlawful, and will be of very evil example amongst us.
“ V. The principles of not making conscience of oaths made, and injuries done to Christians in life, chastity, goods, or good name, have been very notoriously charged upon them by valuable testimony.
“VI. That great prejudice is like to arise to the natives of this commonwealth in matter of trade, which, besides other
| The Anabaptists seem at last to have become aware that rebellion must always entail a countless host of miseries and disappointments, for a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit.
dangers here mentioned, we find very commonly suggested by
the inhabitants of the city of London. 870. “ VII. We humbly present,
“]. That they be not admitted to have any public judicatories, whether civil or ecclesiastical ; which were to grant them terms beyond the condition of strangers.
“ 2. That they be not permitted to speak, or do any thing to the defamation or dishonour of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, or of the Christian religion.
“ 3. That they be not permitted to do any work, or any thing to the open profanation of the Lord's-day, or Christian sabbath.
“ 4. That they be not admitted to have any Christians to dwell with them as their servants.
“ 5. That they have no public office, or trust, in this commonwealth.
“ 6. That they be not allowed to print any thing which in
" 7. That so far as may be, they be not suffered to discou-
tend to convince them of their error, and turn
posed upon them, who shall apostatize from Christianity to Paper-office. Judaism 1 "
After Oliver Cromwell's death, the usurpation appeared more
eldest son, having sat at the helm about half a year, was laid
iniquity was likewise pressed in the pulpit by their clergy. But
bert and Fleetwood, and some other officers of rank. These
generals put down the Rump's council of state, and settled a Hist. of “commission of safety :" but the administration rested but a Independ.
little while in their hands. Upon petitions from several parts Feb. 20, 1659-60.
of the kingdom for a free parliament, the Rump recovered. April 25,
1 To the exertions of Menasses Ben Israel may be traced many of the privileges the Jews now enjoy in Britain--privileges which may yet be extended with advantage.