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'ers to that Assembly, at the very accurate and extemporary
replies that many of them usually make. They harangue long and very learnedly. They 'study the question well beforehand, and prepare their speeches; but withal the men are exceeding prompt, and well spoken.' None were called upon to speak, but all rose of their own accord, and spoke as long as they pleased without interruption.* All speeches were addressed played against Bishop Mountagu for bis Arminianism and love of Christian Antiquity, his relative seems to intimate, that these were not the only expressions employed at the hour of bis dissolution ; for, in " commending his soul into the hands of his faithful Creator," he uttered " many heavenly ejacnilations."-I have always viewed Dr. Featly as one of those trimmers who reserved themselves for the most convenient season to declare with which uf the contending parties it was their pleasure to co-alesce.
But though his loyalty to his king, to whom he stood in the relation of chaplain, was as dubious, and his attachment to the Church of England was nearly as slender, as those of Dr. Twisse, yet, feeble as they were, they became substantial accusations against him, and enabled his clamorous and more crafty brethren, White and Nye, to induct themselves into two of the livings out of which he was quickly sequestered. The pious Archbishop Usher, whatever portion of blame he had incurred from some persons on account of certain parts of his conduct on former occasions, amply retrieved his high character for sterling honour and loyalty, by abandoning the Calvinistic brotherhood and their seditious measures; and when Dr. Featly, who had adhered to the faction for sinister purposes and in hopes of having his eloquence duly appreciated, received a feigned message from his aged friend, his heart sinote him, and, in the laudable yet awkward attempt to escape out of the snares of the fowler, he became still more wofully entangled. The compunction which he evinced at the very sound of the loyal Archbishop's name, reminds one of that trying period in St. Peter's life when “ the cock crew, and the Lord turned and looked upon him : And Peter remembered the word of the Lord,”. &c.-The disingenuous trick employed by the Parliamentarians to sound the Doctor's views and feelings, is a fair specimen of those artifices in which that party decidedly excelled, and which, on my mind at least, have always operated as strong corroborations of the serious charges preferred against them on account of the vile principles by which they were actuated. For every man who has only a superficial knowledge of the allowable stratagems of war, must be aware that one half of them are of such a description as to exclude a CHRISTIAN from engaging in their execution : Yet these, and much worse than these,-arts which had never before been practised in warfare between two belligerent nations, the lowest species of cunniug and espionage in private families, &c.—were celebrated among the Parliamentarians as clever achievements, in some of which the Calvinistic pas. tors boasted of having been the principal performers. This demoralizing system attained its perfection under the regimen of C'romwell, when refinement in hypocrisy seemed to be the chief qualification wbich entitled its possessors to rewards and preferment. The sad effects upon all religious profession were too visible during the whole of the succeeding century; for when a man conscientiously abstained from the very appearance of evil, every mark of his scriptural precision and of his desire to walk uprightly was interpreted into a covert attempt to act the hypocrite from mercenary motives.
But the most remarkable feature in the parrative, is, the employment of the imprisoved Doctor, as the champion of the Protestant Interest, in the name of the reverend Assembly : This circumstance, when thoroughly examined, will not be pleaded, by the admirers of that Calvinistic Synod, as any valid argument in favour of the profound learning and eminent attainments of the Assembly of Divines.
* This is not correct, as the author himself intimates, in another part of his narrative, in which he says, “ The great contentions and warm debates in the Assembly of Divines much disturbed Dr. Twisse's thoughts," &c.
to the Prolocutor. And when they had spoken whatever they pleased upon every proposition and text, and the replies and duplies were heard, the most part called to the question. Upon No one can be surprised at the grief of mind which the poor old Doctor felt, when brought into contact with a company of men whose principles would not permit them to acknowledge any pastor as their ecclesiastical superior. In allusion to these indecent squabbles, Mr. Reid, their historian says : “ In the debates of the Assembly of Divines, there was often much heat. -Using the language of one who was a witness of their proceedings, ' This * was partly owing to their divesting their Prolocutor, or Moderator, of all
power, as the House of Commous did their speaker, and converting him into a mere chair.' Mr. Henderson greatly lamented tbis evil; and, on a Fast.day, after the religious exercises were ended, he embraced the opportunity of bringing the members to a free and brotherly conference on the subject, in which having seen their fault, they resolved to guard against such excesses in time to come.”
Dr. Featly also tells us, that when he had in that Assembly tendered bis reasons for not imposing the Covenant on the nation, (though those reasons, on inspection, seem to have borne somewhat of an equivocal character,) he was not permitted to produce bis sixteen arguments in favour of Episcopacy, but was compelled to be silent.
The subjoined quotation, from Mr. Reid's Dutice of Philip Nye, will shew, that even his obstreperous lungs were forced to cease their motion; for be was, on more occasions than these, “ cried down as impertinent."
“ By the favour of the Earl of Manchester, be became minister of Kimbolton in Huntingdonshire. In the year 1643, he was appointed one of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, sitting in which he had the rectory of Acton near London conferred upon him. He was one of the disseutiug brethren in that Assembly. Mr. Baillie says, speaking of Mr. Nye, When it
came to his turn in the Assembly to oppuse the Presbytery, he had, from “ Mat. xviii, drawɔ in a crooked unformal way, which he never could get in
a syllogism, the inconsistence of a Presbytery with a civil state. In this he was cried down as impertinent. The day following, when he saw the As.
sembly full of ihe prime nobles and chief members of both Houses, he • entered on that argument again, and veryboldly offered to demonstrate, that our way of drawing a whole kingdom under one national assembly, is formidable; yea, thrice pernicious to civil states and kingdoms. All cried • him down, and some would bave had him expelled the Assembly as sedi
tious. Mr. Henderson shewed, that he spake against the government of our's,and of all the reformed churches,
as Lucian and the Pagavs were wont to stir up princes and states against the christian religion. We were all bigbly offended with him. The Assembly voted him to bave spoken against the order ; which was the highest of their censures. Maitland was absent; hut enraged when he heard of it. We had many consultations what to do : at last, we were resolved to pursue it no farther, only we would not meet with him,excep the acknowledged bis fault. The Independents were resolved not to meet without him,and be
was resolute to recal nothing of the substance of what he had said. At last, we were intreated by our friends to shuffle it over the best way might be, and to go on in our business. God, who brings good out of evil, made that miscarriage of Nye a mean to do him some good ; for, ever since, we find him, in all things, the most accommodating man in the company.'
Apother of Mr. Reid's paragraphs will afford some curious particulars conceroing the strange topics on which the Assembly wasted much of their valuable time and mental energies :
“ When Mr. "Baillie is speaking respecting the Independents having the communion every sabbath, without any preparation before or thanksgiving after, little examination of the people, and the like, he adds: “Mr. Nye • told us his private judgment was, that in preacbivg he thinks the minister • should be covered, and the people uncovered; but in the sacrament, the
minister should be uncovered, as a servant, and the guests all covered.' Mr. Baillie also says, • As for the Assembly, these three weeks, Mr. Nye, and . his good friend Mr. Herle, have kept us on one point of our Directory alone,
this, the Scribe rose from the table and went to the Prolocutor's chair, who read the proposition from the Scribe's book, and said, 'So many as are of opinion that the question is well stated
in the proposition, let them say, Aye. When the Ayes were heard, the Prolocutor desired those who thought otherwise to say No. When the Ayes and Noes could be readily known, then the question was ordered by the Scribes, and they went on to debate. If the Ayes and Noes were nearly equal, the Prolocutor called upon them separately to stand up, and they were numbered by the Scribes and others. When the weather became cold, the Assembly went to the Jerusalem chamber, a fair room in Westminster Abbey. At the upper end of it there was a chair set on a frame, about one foot above the floor, for Dr. Twisse, the Prolocutor. Before it, on the ground, stood two chairs for the Assessors, Dr. Burgess and Mr. White. Before these two chairs stood a table, where the two scribes did sit, Mr. Byfield and Mr. Roborough. The Scotch Commissioners sat on the Prolocutor's right hand. All warrants from the Parliament to sit in this Assembly were presented to the Prolocutor. He welcomed the Scotch Commissioners into the Assembly, at their arrival, by a long speech. Mr. Baillie, speaking concerning him as Prolocutor of this Assembly, says, The man, as the world
knows, is very learned in the questions he has studied, and very good, and beloved of all, and highly esteemed.' And Dr. Calamy says, “That he was very famous on account of his wit, • learning and writings.' It hath been said, that he spake little in this Assembly ; and some have interpreted this as an argument either of his weakness, or at least of the decline of his intellectual powers at that time. But as Sophocles, when his sons charged him with dotage, is said to have recited a tragedy of Edipus Coloneus, which he had last written, and had in his hands; and to have asked, whether that seemed to be the verse of a dotard : So Dr. Twisse could easily have silenced such bold censurers, by the exhibition of those vigorous masculine pieces which he penned in the different periods of his life. But his disposition to decline verbal conference in matters of disputation, (for reasons already mentioned,) his modesty and humility,* the recommending of the communicants coming up to the table to commu
nicate. Their way of communicating, of some at the table, and some • about it, without any succession of companies to more tables, is that • whereon we stick, and are like to stick longer.'
* In Dr. Twisse, the virtues of modesty and humility were very sparingly exhibited. Before a company of bold Independent and Presbyterian preachers, and members of both Houses of Parliament, all of whom had been long accustomed to extempore speeches, and could consequently deliver their sentiments with ease and freedom, he would feel his inferiority, and might speak with a degree of embarrassment, on account of the inflexible nature of those habits which had been induced by his previous avocations: This sort of diffidence would bear the semblance of the virtues here specified. But no traces of this semblance can be discovered in his metaphysical productions, in which he often manifests more of the Rhetoricianthan
with the place which he occupied in this Assembly, may sufciently account for his speaking little there. Besides, Dr. Baillie informs us, that four parts of five did not speak at all ; and that among these were many of the ablest divines, and known by their writings and sermons to be much abler than several of the speakers; that silence was no reproach in that Assembly and did not hinder the work.
" I shall-here favour the reader with an anonymous remark, in manuscript, on this subject, which I received from London, in a book of Dr. Twisse's : * The whole scope and intent of Dr. • Twisse's writings is to set forth the absolute sovereignty and lordship of God over all created beings, both angels and men ;
and to shew, that no man in nature's state, with all his acquired abilities, can possibly put forth one act pleasing to God.'* He often affords considerable entertainment to his readers, by the vivacity of his genius and the sharpness and elegance of his wit. He sometimes uses jocose or historical diversions, to animate the spirits of his readers, and to preserve them from weariness. The contentions in church and state broke his heart. He often wished heartily, that the fire of contention might be quenched, though it were with his own blood. My soul hath long dwelt ' with him who hateth peace. I am for peace ; but when I
speak, they are for war.'+ (Psalm cxx, 6, 7.) He was much of the logical and accurate divine, and either bespatters with calumpy, or tries to overwhelm with irony, all who dissent from his opinions, whether they be found in the long list of his friends or of his enemies. In the selfcomplaisant estimation which he had formed of himself, of his scholastic attainments, and of the new arguments which he employed, he betrayed insufferable arrogance and vanity.
* Both these propositions, when properly explained, are very just and scriptural; and no objections have been hitherto raised against them by Arminius or any of his orthodox followers. When Dr. Twisse and other unreasonable Calvinists attempt to destroy the harmony of the Divine attributes, by elevating God's sovereignty or power above the other perfections of his nature, the Arininians object to such a course of proceeding, and inform their erring brethren, that God has been pleased to represent bimself to us in his blessed word not only as a Great King," the Sovereign of the Universe, but as a Gracious Father, a Kind and Considerate Master, an Equitable Judge, and a Righteous Dispenser of rewards and punishments “ according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or whether they be evil.” Several of these latter relations seem to be forgotten by the Calvinists when they wish to establish their soul-lulling dogmas, which seek to obtain countenance or support only from the partial consideration of God as a dread Sovereign, but which can find none in his equally important character of a Father and a Friend, reconciled to us by the blood of his Son, our Divine Mediator and Advocate.
* One cannot avoid pitying the old man, who in the decline of life uttered this complaint, after he had become a principal member of such a warlike cabal. But if we admit one of his own principles, that the Almighty overrules one sin in such a manner as to cause it to be the punishment of another," we shall see, in this instance, that he who had formerly, with no great show of justice, lamented his supposed sojourning “s in Mesech" as a woeful”, circumstance, was at length compelled to dwell, “ in the tents of Kedar," among men of his own spirit, who disregarded the Apostolical caution, “If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."
grieved and displeased to see liberty given to heresies and blasphemies.* He constantly kept a monthly fast in his own family, whereby he endeavoured to quicken his prayers, by which,
* This is the phraseology usually employed by the Nonconformists who were members of the Westminster Assembly, when they wrote or spoke abuut the toleration of any other religious denomination than that of the Presbytery, to wbich they had been long attached, and which they foudly hoped would soon have become the only Religion professed in the country. When it was perceived that these expectations were unfounded, sueb inconsistent characters as Dr. Twisse had 'ample reasons for “ being much grieved.” Iu their clamours for innovation they had intended only a change of name, (as good Joshua Sprigge has shewn, page 442,) without the least change of the persecuting spirit or practice of which they had themselves most bitterly complained under the Episcopal Regimen.
The views of this class of divines are well defined in the following brief extract from a sermon, (on Revel. xx, 1, 2,) preached Aug. 26, 1645, before the House of Commons, at St Margaret's, Westminster, by Dr. Lightfoot, in which he gave full vent to his joyful feelings on beholding their great achievements “ in platforming Classes and Presbyteries,” and asserted his. cordial belief " that what had been done was according to the pattern in the Mount.” Against LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE he said : “ I shall not go about to determine the question, Whether the conscience may be bound or not: Though, for mine own satisfaction, I am resolved it may; and I do hold it a truer point in Divinity, that errans conscientia liganda, than ligat. [That is, 'an 'erring concience does not bind any man, but must itself be bound.'] But certainly the devil in the conscience may be bound, nay he must be, or else you act not according to that vigour that Christ requireth at your hands, nor according to that exactness that Christ hath put into your hands. It is true indeed, which is so much talked of, that Christ alone must reign in the conscience : But it is as true also, 'that He doch so by the POWER
that He hath put into the hands of the magistrate,' as well as by his word and Spirit.”
This was an invocation of the sword of the Civil Magistrate against their own dear Calvinistic brethren the Independents, and the various sects that sat under their shadow and would not conform to Presbytery! The persecuting principle was still more clearly expressed, in the same church, three months afterwards, in a Sermon preached before the House of Lords, by John White, one of the reverend Assessors of Dr. Twisse in the Assembly of Divines : “ There are some who boldly assemble in congregations, poisoning the unstable against us. When we crave the help of the magistrate's sword, it is answered, that there is no established law that warrants them to proceed against them. Let me therefore humbly heseech you, by the mercies of Christ and in his name, to hasten some speedy remedy for these evils, lest the blood of the souls that perish by these seducers be put into your account at the last day:
Hundreds of other extracts from the triumphant Nonconformists, equally intolerant, might be quoted : But these will suffice to exhibit in a true light the men who wished to tyrannize, with increased vengeance, over the unsettled consciences of their brethren. It is amazing to find a man of such an amiable natural disposition, as Dr. Lightfoot was, expressing himself with the violence and asperity which are too apparent in various parts of the sermon which I have transcribed. I here insert part of the beautiful apology for him, which was written by Dr. George Bright, and prefixed to the folio edition of his Works :
“ It was no wonder if some good and innocent men,-especially such as he, who was generally more concerned about what was done in Judea many centuries since, thau wbat was transacted in his own native country by the intrigues and designs of enthusiastical or hypocritical politicians ; - I say, it is no wonder if some such were borne away to some compliances, in some opinions and practices in religious and civil matters, which they themselves, afterwards upon more sedate and serious reflection, did not allow. And yet, it seems, his innocency from any self-interest or design, together with his