Page images

sently resolved to make him know his masters. The Fifth. Monarchy-Men, under Sir Henry Vane, raised a violent clamorous party against him among the city sectaries, A. D. 1659. But the assembly at Wallingford House did the main business; it was there determined, that Richard's parliament must be dissolved : and it was almost as soon done as determined. As he sought not the government, so he was resolved it should cost no blood to keep him in it; and there. fore he resigned it by a writing under his hand, and retired.

The nation being tired with changes, soon discovered their uneasiness. Sir G. Booth and Sir 7. Middleton raised forces in Cheshire and North Wales for K. Charles, but being disappointed in the cavaliers who should have joined them, Lambert soon routed them: and at the same time Sir Arthur Haslerigg seizes Portsmouth for the Rump. Monk purges his army in Scotland of Baptists, and marches into England. The Rump party with Haslerigg divided the army at home, and so disabled them to oppose Monk, who marched on, to the great surprise of all. At first, he joined with the Rump against the citizens, and pulled down the city gates to terrify them; but at length, being invited into the city by Sir Thomas ! Allen, then Lord Mayor, he joined with them against the Rump, which was the very thing that turned the scales, and brought in the King. Monk calls together the old secluded members, agreeing with them that they should sit but a few days, and then dissolve themselves and call another parlia. ment. They consented, appointed a council of state, and dissolved themselves. In this council it was put to the question, " Whether they should call in the King upon treaty and covenant, or entirely confide in him?" After some debates, it was resolved to trust him absolutely. The new parliament meeting, presently appointed a day of fasting and prayer for theinselves. The House of Commons chose Dr. Gauden, Mr. Calamy, and Mr. Baxter, to carry on the work of the day. The very next morning, May 1, 1660, they unanimously voted home the King, who being sent for from Holland, Mr. Calamy, Dr. Manton, Mr. Bowles, and others were deputed by the parliament and city to attend him. His Majesty gave them such encouraging promises, as raised in some of them very high expectations. When he made his entrance, May 29, 1660, as he passed thro' the city towards Westminster, the London ministers, in their places, attended him with acclamations, and by the hands of old Mr. C2


Arthur Jackson, presented him with a richly-adorned Bible; which he received, telling them “ It should be the « rule of his government and of his life.”

SECT. III. Attempts for a Coalition. The Savoy Conference, and its

fruitless issue. W HEN the King was received with the general accla

W mations of his people, the expectations of men were various, according to their several interests. Some plain and moderate Episcopalians thought of an union with the Presbyterians. The more politic part of them knew that all their ancient power, honour and revenues would be restored, and none suffered to share with them. But many of ihe Presbyterians were in great hopes of favour. Besides pro. mises from men in power, they had an assurance from K. Charles himself, in his deciaration from Breda, April 4, | 1660, in these words, “ We do declare a liberty to tender « consciences, and tliat no man shall be disquieted, or called « in question, for differences of opinion, which do not dis. “ turb the peace of the kingdom.” To cherish their hopes, ten of them were made the King's chaplains in ordinary, tho' none of them ever preached, except Mr. Calamy, Dr. Rey. nolds, Mr. Baxter, Dr. Spurstow, and Mr. Woodbridge, once each. By this means, having easy access to his majesty, they waited upon him with Lord Manchester, recommending to his serious consideration the union of his subjects in relia gious matters, begging that only necessary things might be the terms of it. The king declared himself highly pleased with their inclinations to agreement, and resolved to do his part to promote it ; but told them, “ It could not be expect. är ed but by abating something on both sides, and meeting in 6 the midway. He therefore desired them to offer him some i proposals, in order to an agreement about church-govern. “ ment, this being the inain difference, and to set down the “ most that they could yield to.” They also begged that their brethren on the other side might do the same. The king promised they should.

After this, the ministers met from day to day at Sion College, to consult openly with any of their brethren that would join with them, that none might say they were ex. cluded. Many of the city ministers assembled, and many


country ministers, then in town, joined thein, of whom Mr, Newcomen was the most constant. In about three weeks they agreed to a paper of proposals, in which (after an humble address to his majesty, and four preliminary requests, viz. That serious godliness might be countenanced, and a learned and pious minister in each parish encouraged ; that a personal public owning the baptismal covenant might precede an admission to the Lord's Table; and that the Lord's Day might be strictly sanctified) they offered to allow of the true primitive presidency in the church, with a due mixture of presbyters, in order to the avoiding the evils which are inci. dent to the administration of a single person; and for reform. ing which they proposed, that Bp. Usher's Reduction of episcopacy into the form of synodical government received in the ancient church," should be the ground-work of an accommodation; that suffragans should be chosen by the respective synods; the associations be of a moderate extent ; the ministers be under no oaths, or promises of obedience to their bishops ; and that the bishops should not govern by their own will only, but according ta leanons and constitutions to be established by act of parliament. They owned the lawfulness of a prescribed form of public worship; but desired, that some learned, pious, and moderate divines, of both parties, might be employed either to compile a new liturgy, or to reform the old ; adding some other forms in scripture phrase, to be used at the minister's choice. As to the ceremonies, they humbly represented, that the worship of God was perfect without them; that they had ever since the reformation been matter of contention; that they were at best but indifferent, and in their own nature mutable; and therefore they begged, that kneeling at the sacrament might not be imposed ; that the surplice, the cross in baptism, and bowing at the name of Jesus, might be abolished; and that care might be taken to prevent future innovations contrary to law.

Quickly after the king's return, many hundreds of worthy ministers were displaced, because they were in sequestrations where others had been cast out by the parliainent. The ministers, waiting upon his majesty with their proposals, signified their full satisfaction that all such should be cast out as were in any benefice belonging, formerly to, one that was not grossiy insufficient or debauched ; but humbly, begged, that all who had succeeded scandalous persons might hold. their places : as also where the old incumbents were dead;

and that his majesty would be pleased to publish his pleasure that no oath or subscription, or renunciation of orders, might be required of any, till it was seen what was the issue of the desired agreement. The king treated theni very respectfully, and renewed his professions of desiring an accommodation; told them he was well pleased that they were for a Jiturgy, and yielded to the essence of episcopacy; and promised them that the places in which the old incumbents were dead, should be confirmed to the possessors. But they were much disappointed to find none of the divines on the other side appear. After waiting some time, they received a severe answer from the episcopal party, who reflected on the pro. posals they had made to his majesty: saying that they did not perceive any necessity for their preliminary requests. As to church-government, they declared for the former hierarchy without any alteration. Bp.Usher's Reduction, they rejected, as being at best but a heap of private conceptions. The Jiturgy chey applauded as unexceptionable, and thought it could not be too rigorously imposed, when ministers were not denied the exertdse of their gifts in praying before and after sermon; which sort of praying, they declared however, to be the continuance of a custom of no great authority, and grown into common use by sufferance only. As for the Ceremonies, they could not part with one; and they concluded with saying, “ Were any abatements made, we are satisfied « that unquiet spirits would but be thereby encouraged to " make farther demands."

Shortly after, instead of the diocesans' concessions, the mi. nisters were told, that the king would put all that he thought meet to grant them into the form of a declaration, and they should see it before it was published, and have liberty to signify what they disliked. A copy of the said declaration was accordingly sent them by the Lord Chancellor. Having made some remarks upon it, they drew up a petition to the king, and delivered it to the Lord Chancellor ; but he never called them to present it, only desired the particulars of what alterations they would insist on. They delivered him a breviate of these, which he took time to consider of. A day was appointed for his majesty to peruse the declaration as the Lord Chancellor had drawn it up, and determine on the particulars, upon the hearing of both sides. The king accord. ingly came to the Lord Chancellor's, with the dukes of Albemarle and Ormond, the earl of Manchester, &c. Dr. Sheldon, bishop of London, and several other bishops and


clergymen, on one side; on the other, Dr. Reynolds, Mr. Calamy, Dr. Manton, Dr. Spurstow, Mr. Baxter, and others. As the Lord chancellor read over the declaration, each party was to speak to what they disliked, and the king to determine how it should be. There were various altercations about prelacy, re-ordination, and other particulars. When the whole was perused, the Lord Chancellor drew out another paper, intimating that the king had also been petitioned by the Independents and Baptists for liberty, and iherefore he read an additional part of the declaration, to this purpose, “ That others also be permitted to meet for religious ** worship, so be it, they do it not to the disturbance of the " peace; and that no justice of peace or officer disturb “ them.” This being designed to procure liberty to the Papists, there was a general silence upon the reading it, At length, Mr. Baxter, fearing their silence might be mis. interpreted, spake to this purpose : “ That they desired not s favour to themselves alone, and rigorous severity against $ none; but as they humbly thanked his majesty for his de" clared indulgence to themselves, so they distinguished the “ tolerable party from the intolerable: for the former, they 6 humbly craved just lenity and favour; but for the latter, 66 (such as Dr. Gunning had before mentioned) Papists and " Socinians, they could not make a toleration their request." To which his majesty said, “ That there were laws sufficient 66 against the Papists." Mr. Baxter replied, “ They under• stood the question to be, Whether those laws should be 66 executed or not d' Upon which the matter was dropped. But before the breaking up of the meeting, the king, having determined what he would have stand in the declaration, as to the sense of it, named. four divines to determine on any words in the alterations, if there were any difference, viz. Bishop Morley, Bishop Hinchman, Dr. Reynolds, and Mr. Calamy; and if they disagreed, the Earl of Anglesea and the Lord Hollis were to decide. At length it came out so amended, that it was fitted to be an instrument of concord and peace, if settled by law, and the liturgy altered as the declaration promised. Several of the ministers were offered preferments : v.g. Mr. Calamy the bishopric of Coventry and Litchfield ; Dr. Reynolds, that of Norwich ; and Mr. Baxter, that of Hereford ; Dr. Manton, the deanry of Rochester ; Dr. Bates, the deanry of Coventry and Litch. field; and Mr. Edward Bowles, the deanry of York : but they all refused, on account of the uncertain continuance

Rotter, thatd; Dr. Re Calamy the min

« PreviousContinue »