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tion was not only false, but destructive of all authority, human and divinė. Upon this the whole nation almost was filled with tragical exclamations against the abominable assertion of one of the disputants at the Savoy, “ that " things not evil of themselves, may have accidents so evil 6 as may make it a sin to him that shall command them." And thus ended the dispute at the Savoy, and all endeavours for reconciliation upon the warrant of the king's commis. sion.
It may not be amiss to add some remarks upon-the temper and carriage of the commissioners on both sides ; several of whom seldom or never appeared : as Dr. King bishop of Chester, Drs. Heylin, Barwick and Earle. Sheldon bishop of London seldom attended, though he, with Henchman and Morley, had the chief management of affairs. . Others who were present, did not much concern themselves
in the debate, as Dr. Freren archbishop of York, Bishops Lucy, Warner, Saunderson, Laney, Walton, Sterne, Dr. Hacket, and Dr. Sparrow. Dr. Morley was the chief speaker. His manner was vehement, and he was against all abatements. He frequently interrupted Mr. Baxter. Bishop Cosins was constant, and though inclined to moderation, said some very severe things. He appeared well versed in the canons, councils, and fathers. Bishop Gauden was never absent. He often took part with the Presbyterian divines, and was the only moderator among the bishops, excepting Reynolds, who spoke much the first day for moderation, but afterwards only now and then a qualifying word, though he was heartily grieved for the fruitless issue of the conference,
Of the disputants, Dr. Pearson (afterwards bishop of Chester) disputed accurately, soberly and calmly, and procured for himself great respect from the Presbyterian ministers, who thought, if all had been in his power, it would have gone well for them. Dr. Gunning was the most forward speaker, and stuck at nothing. Bishop Burnet says, “ that so he used all the arts of sophistry in as confident a manner " as if they had been sound reasoning: that he was un6. weariedly active to very little purpose, and being very st fond of popish rituals and ceremonies, he was much set s upon reconciling the church of England to Rome.” Accordingly when Dr. Bates urged it upon him, that on the same reasons as they imposed the cross and surplice, they might bring in holy water, and lights, and abundance
of such ceremonies of Rome, which we have cast out; he answered, “ Yes; and I think we ought to have more, and " not fewer."
peared, nor Dr. Drake, because of a misnomer in the com. mission. Dr. Lightfoot, Dr. Tuckney, and Mr. Woodbridge were present only once or twice. Dr. Bates and Dr. Manton behaved with great modesty. The chief dis. putant was Mr. Baxter, who, (says Mr. Neal) “ had a very metaphysical head and fertile invention, and was one of the most ready men of his time for an argument, but too eager, and tenacious of his own opinions." Next to him was Mr. Calamy, who had a great interest among the ministers in town and country. .
Among the auditors, there was, with the bishops, a crowd of young divines, who behaved indecently. Among the few that came in with the Presbyterians, were Mr. Miles and Mr. Tillotson, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury.
At the close of the last day it was agreed that nothing should be given in on either side to the king, as charged on the other, but in writing ; and that they should on each side give this account, That they were all agreed upon the ends, the welfare, unity and peace of the church, and his majesty's happiness : but after all their debates, they disagreed about the means.
The dispute being ended, the Presbyterian commissioners met by themselves, and resolved to draw up an account of their endeavours, and present it to his inajesty, with a petition for his promised help for those alterations and abatements, which they could not procure of the bishops. But all availed nothing; and they were generally entertained with reproach, and branded as rigid Presbyterians, though they pleaded for primitive episcopacy. They were represented in the common conversation of those who were gaping for preferment, as the most seditious people in the world, unworthy to be used like men, or to enjoy any liberty. It was the constant cry, that they were plotting, or setting the people against the government..
In the latter part of this year many worthy ministers, and respectable gentlemen and others, were imprisoned in different counties, under a pretence of being concerned in such plots. In November, Mr. Ambrose Sparry (a sober learned minister, who had never espoused the Parliament's cause, and was for moderate episcopacy) had a wicked
neighbour, who bearing him a grudge for having reproved him for adultery, thought he had now an opportunity to be revenged. He or his confederates, framed a letter, as from a nameless person, directed to Mr. Sparry, -" that he and 6. Captain Yarrington should be ready with money and arms " at the time appointed, and that they would acquaint Mr. Osland and Mr. Baxter with it.” He pretended that he found this letter under a hedge, where a man had been sitting, who pulled out a great many letters, all of which he put up again, except this, and went away. This vile informer car. ried the letter to Sir John Packington, (a zealous man in such business,) who sent Mr. Sparry, Mr. Osland, and Captain Yarrington* to prison.
Many upon this occasion, especially Mr. Sparry, lay long in prison ; and even when the forgery was detected, they had much difficulty in obtaining a release. Though Mr. Baxter was named in the above letter, he was then, and had been for some time in London, so that he escaped ; and yet wherever men were taken up and imprisoned, in distant counties, it was said to be for Baxter's plot.
SECT. IV. The Act of Uniformity; and Reflections upon it. N OTWITHSTANDING all their discouragements, Mr.
V Calamy, and some other ministers still used their interest with men in power, to get the parliament to pass the king's declaration into a law; and sometimes the Lord Chancellor and others gave them some hope of success.
· * Dr. Calamy says, that Captain Yarrington was a man of an established reputation; who in the year 1681, published a full discovery of the first Presbyterian sham plot : in which he declares he related nothing but what he could prove by letters, and many living witnesses; and his account was never publicly contradicted. He says, that many, both of the clergy and laity, disliking the king's declaration concerning ecclesiastical affairs, resolved to run things to the utmost height : and that some of the leading Churchmen were heard to say, “they would have an act so framed as would reach every Puritan in the " kingdom : and that if they thought any of them would so stretch their con• sciences as to be comprehended by it, they would insert yet other condi“ tions and subscriptions, so that they should have no benefit by it.” To render them odious to government, they contrived what they called a Presbyterian plot, which was laid in about thirty-six different counties. That the general cry occasioned by these sham plots much promoted the Uniformity-Bill, which passed that session, will easily be judged by any one that will peruse Yarring. ton's narrative,
But when it came to the trial, they were disappointed ; and all attempts for union and peace were at an end. Nay, a rigorous Act was brought in for UNIFORMITY, clogged on design to inake the weight of conformity heavier than ever. UNIFORMITY seemed to be accounted the one thing neces. sary by those who had got the reins in their hands ; so necessary that no reason must be heard against it, and those called Presbyterians must be forced to do that which they accounted public perjury, or be cast out of trust and office, both in church and commonwealth.
While this act was depending, the ministers, still interposing as they had opportunity, had preremptory promises given them by some persons in office, that care should be taken before the act passed, that the king should have power reserved to him to dispense with it, in favour of such as de. served well of him at his restoration, or whom he pleased. But at length the act passed the house, and all their great friends left them in the lurch. And when afterwards, upon the utmost encouragement from men in power, they had drawn up a petition* to his majesty for indulgence, they
The petition was this:“ May it please your most excellent majesty, « Upon former experience of your majesty's tenderness and indulgence to “ your obedient and loyal subjects (in which number we can with all clear“ ness reckon ourselves) we, some of the ministers within your city of Lon“don, who are likely, by the late Act of Uniformity, to be cast out of all pub" lic service in the ministry, because we cannot in conscience conform to all " things required in the said act, have taken the boldness humbly to cast our. “ selves and concernments at your majesty's feet, desiring that of your prince“ ly wisdom and compassion you would take some effectual course whereby " we may be continued in the exercise of our ministry, to teach your people “ obedience to God and your majesty. And we doubt not, but by our “ dutiful and peaceable carriage therein, we shall render ourselves not altoge. “ther unworthy of so great a favour.” This was presented August 27, three days after the act took place, by Mr. Calumy, Dr. Manton, Dr. Putes, &c. Mr. Calamy made a speech upon the occasion, intimating that “ those of his per“ suasion were ready to enter the lists with any for their fidelity to his majes" ty :--that they did not expect to be treated as they had been :-that this ~ was the last application they should make, &c.” The king promised to consider of their business. The next day the matter was fully debated in council, when his majesty declared he intended an indulgence. The friends of the ininisters spoke freely on their behalf. But Dr. Sheldon Bishop of London, in a warm speech, declared, “ It was now too late to think of suspending that *" law, for he had ejected such of his clergy, as would not comply with it, the - Sunday before ;-that, in this case, he should not be able to maintain his “ authority among the clergy,--and the legislature would be rendered con“ temptible ;-and, if the importunity of such disaffected people were a suffi. s cient reason to humour them, neither the church nor the state would ever " be free from distractions.” Upon this, it was carried that po indulgence should be granted.
were threatened with incurring a præmunire by so bold an attempt.
This rigorous act when it passed, gave the ministers, who could not conform, no longer time than till Bartholomew. day, August 24th, 1662, when they were all cast out. When the clay came, it caused much gladness to some, and sorrow to others, and occasioned many and very different reflections*. The following remark, inade by a man of note, deserves to : be recorded. “ Had all the ministers (said he) conformed, “ people would have thought there was nothing in religion; " and that it was only a thing to be talked of in the pulpit, " and serve a state design ; while the ministers turned and “ changed any way with the state : but these men giving “ up their livings, and exposing themselves and families to « outward evils, rather than they would conform to things “ imposed, not agreeable, (as they apprehended) to the
gospel they preached, have convinced men there is a " reality in religion, and given a check to atheism." This act of uniformity which made such an alteration in all parts of the kingdom, by ejecting so many valuable and useful persons (of whom a particular account is here to be given) was passed in a heatt, but its effects have been dreadful and lasting. So that we may well, it is hoped without offence, drop a tear, upon the remembrance of so many worthies in our Israel, who were buried at once in a common grave.
This was an action without a precedent: The like to this the Reformed church, nay the Christian world, never saw before. Historians relate, with tragical exclamations, that between three and four score bishops were driven at once into the island of Sardinia by the African Vandals : that 300 ministers were banished by Ferdinand, king of Bohe. mia ; and that great havoc was, a few years after, made
* It is generally said, It was carried but by very few votes: and that some who were against it were kept from the house by stratagem. Dr. Bates, in his sermon at Mr. Barter's funeral, speaking of this act says, " that the old « clergy from wrath and revenge, and the young gentry from their servilę “ compliance with the court, were very active to carry on and compleat s it."
+ A dignitary of the church of England, when a worthy gentleman shewed some regret that the door was so strait, that many şober ministers could not have admission, replied, “ It is no pity at all; if we had thought « so many of them would have conformed, we would have made it straiter." VOL. I. NO. I.