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the spiritual, and all others animal carnal men,
whether it will not be also a great injustice at this time toward them who pretend not to learn any thing from this unction but what they receive from the doctrine of the gospel, in those books, which have, in effect and in the last result, the testimony of God from heaven that they are his true infallible word und dictate of his Spirit, and who desire to make no other use of this to their own advantage, but only to preserve them in a quiet possession of what by law belongs to them, and a capacity of making good their allegiance to him to whom they have often by law been required to swear it.*
This clause contains a brief but noble plea for the maintenance of the just rights and the loyal principles of the Arminian clergy. Instead of being vexed with sequestrations, they wished only for protection in the "quiet possession of what by law belonged to them," and' for “ a capacity of making good their allegiance to him," their king, “ to whom they had often by law been required to swear it :". And, for both these lawful requests, they could plead express scriptural authority, in opposition to the unchristiau purposes to which the Calvinists applied that Divine sanction.
Dr. Thomas Pierce, iu 1657, adopted the following method of shewing, that the Episcopal Church of England, though then in a state of captivity, was established by the common law of the land. His litigious opponent had expressed his delight" that the British divines at the Synod of Dort were the visible lawful representers of our mother, the Church of England there." This circunstance, though false in fact, was one on wbich the Calvinistic Dissenters from our church delighted to expatiate. Dr. Pierce thus turns the inference which the author intended to deduce : “ Besides, if those very few of our men at the Synod of Dort were the visible LAWFUL representers of our mother the Church of England,' how much more were all those wbo composed the Catechism, the Communion Book, the thirty-nine Articles of our English Church, to some of which some Articles of the Synod at Dort have a most evident repugnance? If so few men at Dort, who were purposely called out by the same King James, are to denominate the judgment of the whole Church of England, how much more may be said for the Commonprayer, which was not only subscribed to by all our English Divines at Dort, but was established by law and Canon, since the times of our reformation, by no less than five acts of Parliament in the days of Edward the sixth, and Queen Elizabeth ?-compiled by those reformers who were not persecutors, but Martyrs ?--and held in practice during the time of no less than four Princes? How much more [may be said) for Episcopacy, which is not only as ancient as CHRISTIANITY itself in this very land, but was particularly confirmed by Magna Charta, and by no less than 32 acts of Parliament? And in the Forty-second of King Edward the third, the first chapter enactetb, that if any statute be made to the contrary, it shall be holden for none. And in the Twenty-fifth of Edward the First (Chap. 1.2.) Magna Charta is declared to be the common law of the land. And I hope an ecclesiastical constitution, whether divine or human, is not the less valid for being corroborated by the whole civil power.”
Such iutrepid conduct as this, in the arbitrary days of Cromwell, was in every respect worthy of a true son of the Church of England. He was molested in various ways by the commou disturbers of the peace of the Church; but he was too courageous to be intimidated by threats of sequestration, when peaceably engaged in the performance of a lawful duty: In his Divine Philanthropy Defended, he says: “I am told Mr. Barlee is angry that I am not thought worthy of sequestration, and that (for my sake only) he would be revenged upon the memory of one that is dead. And to fill up the measure of his comparison, he will have me to deserve as cutting a reproof, as that which Elymas received from Paul! (Acts xiii, 10.) After a' wailing with floods of tears that my Triobulary Pamphlets' (as he was pleased
" A second principle which I must desire you to review, is that upon
which you conclude, that God hath borne testimony to your cause by the many victories which he hath given you. This concluding of yours, first, proceeds upon a premise directly false in matter of fact: For, you say, that the KING, by taking up arms, made his appeal to heaven ; which it is most certain that he never did. Nay, secondly, this concluding or yours will, by the same reason, infer that Christianity is not, and that Mahumetism is the true religion ; because when the Turks asserted one and the Greek church the other, and that difference begat a war betwixt them, it is clear that the Turks were successful, and the Greek church was most sadly wasted and subdued by them, and so remaineth to this hour in that unreturned captivity. Which will therefore be a fit opportunity to make you revert to the trying of that spirit (which inclines you thus to argue) by this touchstone: (1.) By considering and examining whether in the written word any thing be more frequent and visible than the sufferings of God's people, the shedding the blood of the saints, the fastening
all kind of contumelies on such, particularly that reproach of Thou bloody man !, upon David who was a king after God's heart, the sending or permitting an host against the daily sacrifice to cast down the truth to the ground, and to practise and prosper. (2.) Whether it were not Rabshakeh's argument against the people's adhering to their lawful king Hezekiah, that his master's arms had been invincible? (3) Whether that saddest fate of Nebuchadnezzar, (who, for conquering of God's people and others, was by God stiled his hammer and battle-axe of the whole earth,) may not be expected the final lot of others also ;—first, to destroy men, and then to be cast oul into the field, to inhabit among beasts ?* (4) Whether it were not a crime complained of by the people of God, in those who, when God was a little displeased, did, as adversaries, help forward this affliction ? And (5.) Whether the Psalmist lay not the like ill character on all who persecute those whom God hath smitter, and who talk how they may vex them whom God hath wounded ?* By all which it is most evident,
to call them) had received the applause of no mean persons, and drawn disciples from their school;' he presently stirs up, hís brethreu to finish • the plot which they had begun of an Ecclesiastical association ;' that, by their Presbyterian censures, such a sorcerer as I may be delivered up to the devil.'—When I compare these things with many like passages in his book, (especially page 232,) I cannot choose but conceive that he would threaten me into a silence; and hopes I may think it my safest way, to make as if I were nonplussed by him and his seniors. Much indeed might be done, if I were able to be afraid of such as fear not the Lord of Hosts : But í seriously profess I do not know which way to do it. For I have learned to distinguish betwixt things necessary, and things convenient. I hold it necessary to keep a GOOD CONSCIENCE; whereas it is but convenient to keep a
I know a man may be persecuted, and yet be saved." Dr. Hammond here shews bimself to be a better prophet than those whom he reprehends. Not only the soldiers whom the Doctor here addresses, but their Calvinistic Chaplains, and those who so expounded the Scriptures as to convert them into a sanction for rebellion, were by a wise retribution of Divine Providence severally punished for their reprehensible participation in these bloody transactions. Let it be granted, that many of those who in the reign of Charles the Second eagerly, engaged in this punitive process, were not men distinguished for piety: This concession, however, is only another illustration of the same rule in the Divine Economy,- for God does not
generally commission GOOD MEN to be the executioners of his wrathful purposes; but He over-rules the wrong dispositions and the unrighteous practices of the wicked, to effect his own inscrutable yet beneficent designs.
* Were we toezive credence to all that has been written by Calvinistic Dissenters in prejudice of the Episcopal Clergy, prior to the commencement of the Civil Wars, we must account the latter to have been an abandoned race of evil-doers. The following is one of the mildest descriptions, of the multitude of those which Richard Baxter has given to the world: “ În some places, it was much more dangerous for a minister to preach a lecture, or twice on the Lord's Day, or to expound the Catechism, ihan vever to preach at all. Hundreds of congregations bad ministers tbat never preached, and such as were common drunkards and openly ungodly.". Common prudence will however suggest the usual caution to be observed in receiving the testimony of sworn adversaries, many of whom were“ fattening op sequestrations." If any impartial mau will peruse the productious of those Arminian Divines who flourished at that period, and who on account of their attachment to the Episcopal Church were refused the common benefit of Toleration conceded to other religious denominations under the Protectorate, he will discover that their ARMINIANISM, their enforcement of Christian duties as well as Christian privileges, was the real cause of the obloquy to which they were exposed and the persecution which they endured. A few of them, indeed, to avoid the cant phraseology of the times, seem to have insisted too much on the fruits of saving faith, without describing its nature and the necessity of its reception : But it must be recollected, that the auditors whom they addressed' had been strongly charged with solifidian doctrines, and were consequently the less liable to incur the charge of LEGALITY.-Yet the great body of these Divines were the real saints of the Most High, and God's peculiar treasure, and their writings prove them to bave been, of all men, the least addicted to “ Lime-serving and soul-lulling practices.” They were, therefore, as Dr. Hammond observes in tbe text, not fit snbjects for persecution ; and though under the visible chastisements of the Almighty on account of a nation's crimes and offences, they were not to be vexed by Calvinistic task-masters with impunity. It was well said by Richard Baxter, when in possession of his usurped benefice : “ God will not be satisfied with words when his servants are persecuted, his churches destroyed, or his interest trodden under-foot.". The retribution of Divine Providence speedily demonstrated the truth of this remark, but in a manner exactly the reverse of good Richard's meaning, --for bis words were intended to apply only to “ the servants of God" who held the opinions of Calvin.
While some of their cotemporaries were wasting their energies in lamenting the decline of high Calvinistic principles and the prevalence of Arminianism, these good men sighed and cried for all the abominations that were done in the midst of Jerusalem, and sedulously endeavoured to effect their expulsion. Where can be found a more eloquent and scriptural specimen of this ministerial faithfuluess, than in the subjoined paragraph from a Lent Sermon, entitled CARIST AND BARABBAS, preached in 1643, by Dr. Hammond, before the Court at Oxford ? It is scarcely necessary to premise, that, by a very reprehensible practice which had obtained, the high Caveliers generally distinguished themselves from their adversaries in conversation by uttering a multitude of profane oaths, instead of interlarding their common discourse with scriptural phrases, and profanely introducing the name of God ou trivial occasions, which was the almost equally reprehensible custom of the Roundheads. The alarming exteut to which this feeling of aversion was actually carried by the Royalists after the restoration, is scarcely credible: It was this which caused Deau Swift to read family
(without any necessity of defining or demonstrating any thing of the justice of the cause,) that most commonly the
prosperity of arms hath not been the lot of the most righteous, but that either the chastisement of the sword is thought fit to be their discipline, or that the comforts of peace (and not the triumphs of war) their blessing in this life.”
Towards the conclusion the pious Doctor adds, “ The last principle to be reviewed is this, that there having been much blood spilt in this kingdom in the late wars, there must now be some sacrifice offered to God, (that is, some more blood shed,) for the era piation of that sin of blood guilliness, before God can be pacified or reconciled to the land.-On which particular, it will (1.) be worth your serious enquiry, how it should appear that that great issue of blood, let out in the late wars, (which hath with great reason been looked on as the sharpest of God's plagues, and the saddest part of punishment of the former sins of this nation,) is now the main and only sin of the land with which God is not reconciled. Or, (2.) if it were supposed to be so, yet how it can be thought that a general reformation of that sin, an humiliation before God for it through the whole land, and a resolution never to spill one drop more, were not a more christian probable means to pacify God, than the proceeding in cold blood to the effusion of more : The blood of men being never thought a fit sacrifice for any, but the evil spirit ; and peaceable-mindedness, charity, and prayers to his domestics in the most private part of his mansion ; and which induced some (otherwise) excellent med to neglect many pious observances, that they might escape the dreaded imputation of being Puritans and hypocrites.
* Consider but a few of that glittering train of reigning sins in this our land, in this my auditory, and be astonished, 0 earth, that they should ever be received in competition with Christ! The oaths, that all the importunity of our weekly sermons (when) turned into satires against that sin, cannot either steal or beg from us,-what gain or profit do they afford us? which of our senses do they entertain, which of our faculties do they court? An empty, profitless, temptationless sin, sensuality ouly to the devil-part in us, fumed out of hell into our mouths, in a kind of hypochondriacal fit: an affront to that strict command of Christ to his disciples, But I say unto you, Christ ians, swear not at all : The best quality that it can pretend to, is that which Hierocles of old mentions with indignation, 'to fill up the vacuities of the speech,' to express and man a rage; that is, to act madman the more perfectly. What shall that man give in exchange for his soul to get it back again, which he hath parted with so cheap without any barter, sold it for nought and taker. no money for it, (in the Psalmist's phrase,) and now cannot redeem it with all his patrimony? It would grieve one, 1 confess, that did but weigh this sin in this balance, and observe the Tekel on the wall over against it, how light and kexy and impertinent a sin this is, to hear that any body should be dainned for it in another world, part with such treasures for such trifles, make such African voyages, carry out the substantial commodities of a good land and return with a freight of toysor monsters, pay so hugely dear for such perfect nothings ! And yet it would grieve one more, that this sin should glitier in a Protestant Court, and become part of the gallantry and civility of the place, ay and defame and curse our armies; that the improsperousness, ruin, perhaps NavoreOpia [tbe destruction), of a whole kingdom should be imputable to one such; and [that] all our prayers to heaven for you be outsounded and drowned by that most contrary eluquence!"
the contrile heart, being the special, if not only sacrifices, which we find mentioned in the gospel
. Or, (3.) how it can appear that if God require any such sacrifice, you, or any but those whom the known laws of the land have placed in a tribunal, (and that legally erected for such cognizances,)* have any right to put yourselves into the office of Gentile Priests, as the only persons appointed to slay that sacrifice. Nay, (4.) it will be worth your observing, that Christ disclaimed the office of a judge; and thereby rendered it very unfit for any of you to put yourselves into that office by virtue of no other title' but that of being his disciples. And, lastly, it is worth your saddest thoughts, whether by your present councils, and the necessity by you supposed of changing the former Government, it do not now appear, that the defence of the established laws was on the King's part the occasion of his taking arms, and on your parts, the de. sign of altering those laws, and introducing others" more suitable to your inclinations.”+
“ Yet for a few military men, of their own accord, to control the Parliament, to put the sovereign to death, and completely to overthrow the civil constitution of the country, was an atrocious assumption of power, wbich nu concurrence of circumstances could possibly justify. The life of any ruler can only be at the disposal of the constitutiou; or of that system of laws and regulations by which his snbjects should be governed. If his life be taken away by any means hut those provided by the constitution, it is murder: No pretended or even proved acts of tyranny, can justify his being put to death in any other way. And what consiitution in the civilized world provides for the infliction of death upon the supreme magistrate ? Every such infliction either against law, or without its sanction, is murder, by whomsoever perpetrated.” Jackson's Life of Goodwin.
+ For this constitutioual appeal, in defence of the rights of his sovereign, Dr. Hammond was stigmatized by those whose feet were swift to shed blood, and by their republican defenders, as an advocate of tyranný. But after ali the advantages which we, as a nation, have derived from our political experience in the subsequent epochs of our national history, we can find no proposition in the Doctor's Address which will not be readily approved in our days by men of moderation and piety, whether they be Whigs or Tories.
He had urged it as an objection to one of his adversaries, who afterwards became a rigid defender of the regicides,-that, according to the testimony of the Ancient Fathers, all the primitive christians, in the various persecu. tions which had devastated the infant church, imitated their Lord and Master in meekly, giving their backs to the smiters, and their cheeks to them that plucked off the hairs,' (Isa. I, 6.) and were memorable examples of patient and unresisting suffering. Buí this Christian doctrine not sait the hot spirits of Calvin's followers; and Dr. Hammond's antagonist, who had learnt his levelling principles in the predestinarian school of those times, coolly replied, that God had hidden from the first christians this liberty of RESISTING SUPERIORS, as part of his counsel to bring Antichrist into the world: but that he had then manifested it to his people (the Calvinists] as a means of casting Antichrist out. It is unnecessary to state what was understood by the English Antichrist.
I might have elucidated this part of the revolutionary history from the productions of many able Arminian writers; but I have preferred Dr. Hammond, because he was accounted the most heretical of his brethren by the Calvinists of that period. In 1648 he had the HONOUR of having his name inscribed with disgrace in A Testimony to the Truth of Jesus Christ, and to our solemn League and Covenant ; us also against the errors, heresies, and blasphemies of these times, and the toleration of them : Subscribed by the mi.