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resolved to perform his duty in a firm yet modest manner, how disagreeable soever the performance might prove to his
Mary to the living of Epworth; and the genuine species of his Whiggism
all the rest, to a steady opposition and confederacy against all such as are “ avowed and declared enemies to God and his clergy, and who deny or dis" believe any articles of natural or revealed religion; as well as to such as
are open or secret friends to the Great Rebellion, or (to] any such prin“ciples as do but squint towards the same practices. So that he hopes they “ are all high-church, and for inviolable passive obedience; from which if
any of them should be so wicked as to degenerate, he cannot tell whether “ be could prevail with himself to give them bis blessing; Though, at the
same time, he almost equally abhors all servile submission to the greatest " and most over-grown tool of state, whose avowed design it is to aggrandize “his Prince at the expence of the liberties and properties of his free-born “ subjects.”—This last sentence seems to be a real veering about to Whiggism, which, in conjunction with its opposite, acted on the minds of several conscientious men of that age in the same manner as the centripetal and the centrifugal forces are said to affect the motions of the material universe. To form a due estimate of the tortured feelings of such individuals, and of their conduct, which seemed ill to accord with their high principles, requires a far larger grasp of thought and extent of research, as well as more compassionate consideration, than fall to the lot of the greater portion of mankind. Those excellent men detested the very idea of even lawful resistance; yet, to defend themselves against Popery," they were compelled at length to revive the public quarrel." See page 692.) A difference, however, was very perceptible hetween these widely opposite partisans, and the belligerent Calvinists who flourished under the Commonwealth : For whilst the ablest of the Whig writers guarded sedulously against the levelling principles of the Republican divines, and drew rather a fine line of distinction between them and their own, 110 Tory of eminence can be found who does not occasionally admit both the lawfulness and the necessity of resistance to arbitrary power. It was the laudable design of the latter, for very obvious reasons, to circumscribe the cases in which such resistance ought to be made; but in trying to confine them within narrower limits than those prescribed by the Calvinists, previous to the Civil Wars, they sometimes ran iuto the contrary extreme, and inculcated the doctrine of christian patience and meekuess, to the entire exclusion of christian remonstrances to the appointed administrators of the laws, or of strong appeals to the established principles of the constitution.
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own feelings or unpalatable to those of others. I quote a few paragraphs from his excellent sermon preached in Westminster
A brief delineation of the opposing principles, which created this conflict in the mind of the venerable Rector of Epworth, will serve to illustrate the feelings and conduct of many of his cotemporaries. His grandfather, Bartholomew Wesley, who, according to some accounts, was originally a masterweaver, and afterwards practised physic, obtained the living of Catherston in Dorsetshire, during the division of Church preferment under the Commonwealth. About a year afterwards, he evinced his zeal for the ruling powers by an attempt to seize the persons of Lord Wilmot and Charles the Second, who, after the defeat at Worcester, were hovering about that part of the country, in daily expectation of a vessel to convey them to the French coast. That attempt was consistent with the promise, exacted from every one who then accepted office, either civil or ecclesiastical, to uphold the existing government, and was consequently a performance of his plighted faith and à discharge of his public duty. His son John, who had 'shewn himself as zealous as his father, in behalf of the Republic, and, like Robert Baylie, (p. 457,) galloped about the country
with his sword by his side, obtained, in 1658, the living of Winterborn, in Dorsetshire. The latter and his father Bartholomew were ejected by the Act of Uniformity.--Educated in the principles of his immediate ancestors, the Rev. Samuel Wesley was designed for the office of the ministry among the Nonconformists. But before he had com pieted his preparatory studies, a change in his views was effected, which is thus related by his son John : “ Some severe invectives being written against the Dissenters, Mr. S. Wesley, being a young man of considerable talents, was pitched upon to answer them. This set him on a course of reading, which soon produced an effect very different from what had been intended. Instead of writing the wished-for answer, he himself conceived he saw reason to change his opinions, and actually formed a resolution to renounce the Dissenters and attach himself to the Established Church.” This resolution he immediately executed, and became one of the most powerful adversaries of that day to the Dissenting interest. His conversion to loyal and Arminian principles had its origin in that strong feeling of revulsion of which I have made frequent mention. This feeling of detestation against « all such as were open or secret friends to the Great Rebellion," elevated his political principles to an undue height, and rendered him one of the ultra-royalists of that period. But the indignation which every true Briton evinces against tyranny, soon afterwards brought down these high principles to a proper level. After the accession of King James the Second, he had shewn himself to be much attached to the interests of that monarch : “ But," (these are the old man's own words,)“ when I heard the King say to the of Master and Fellows of Magdalen College, lifting up his lean arm, If you " refuse to obey me, you shall feel the weight of a King's right hand; I saw “ he was a tyrant, and though I was not inclined to take an active part
against him, I was resolved from that time to give him no kind of sup“port.”—This stirring principle of Whiggism maintained a long contest wiih the loyal clergyman's Toryism. But the latter seemed, at Dr. Sacheverell's trial, in 1710, to have gained the ascendancy. The composition of the speech, which that weak aud pragmatical divine delivered on bis trial, was, at the time, ascribed alternately to Doctors Atterbury, Smalridge, Freind, and Moss. Bishop Burnet says : “ It was very plain, the speech " was made for Dr. Sacheverell by others; for the style was correct, and far “ different from his own." The fact is, that speech was the composition of the elder Rev. Samuel Wesley. In thc concise History of England, wbich was published by bis son John, after an observation similar to that cited from Burvet, he adds a note in the margin, and exhibits a laudable trait of filial affection, by informing his readers, that the superiority of style, observable in Sacheverell's speech, ought to excite no surprise, since it was the production of his owii father, the Rector of Epworth.
Wbiggism, however, may be said to have ultimately gained the victory. The strength which it had acquired was manifested in his own family, iu a remarkable manner. His wife was a daughter of Dr. Samuel Annesley, whose republican principles may be seen in the extract which I have given
Abbey, before the right honourable the Lords Spiritual and Tema poral, in 1710, because they contain a most important comment on many of the occurrences recorded in this volume, and especially on the prophesying humours of the intolerant Predestinarians. The text on which the pious Bishop founds his
from one of his sermons in page 387. Before she was thirteen years of age she had examined, for the satisfaction of her own mind, the controversy between the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians, and, through the force of conviction, quitted the communion of the latter and became a member of the Established Church. The same re-action of religious and political principles may be discovered in the quality of her Arminianism and Loyalty, as in those of the great man who afterwards became her husband. Out of a strong aversion to the unproductive dogmas of Calvin, she embraced a species of Arminianism, which, though not of the same heterodox complexion as that imbibed by Bishop Taylor and others of his cutemporaries, (p: 804,) was not sufficiently evangelical to assign to Divine Grace its due supremacy, in the renewal of the human heart“ in righteousness and true holiness." "Through pure hatred of the recent Republican excesses, she was likewise trausformed into a high Tory, and could not divest herself of the doctrine of complete passive obedience at the Revolution in 1688. On this subject her son John relates the following anecdote: “ The year before King William died, iny “ father observed my mother did not say Amen to the prayer for the King. “She said she could not ; for she did not believe the Prince of Orange was “ King. He avowed he never would cohabit with her till she did. He then “ took his horse and rode away; nor did she hear any thing of him for
a twelvemonth: He then came back, and lived with her as before. But, “I fear, his vow was not forgotten before God.”—Thus, in two individuals “ of the same family, loyalty to the Sovereign, and attachment to the Constitution, assumed different characters. This, though related only of a single clergyman, (and he no changeling, was the experience of hundreds; and it ought always to be borne in mind, when we ialk either about the Whigs or the Tories of that age, that our judgment of their conduct may be mixed with a goodly portion of charity.
As a close to this long note, it may not be improper to add, that the controversy between the Rector of Epworth, and Mr. Palmer, his Nonconforming antagonist, exhibits in an admirable manner the rival suppleness of the Tories in the Church, and among the Dissenters, towards King James the Second. On a review of the productions of Palmer and Wesley,
an eminent Whig has justly observed: "'The character, for which honest British Protestants contend with respect to their behaviour under this unhappy reign, [James II.] is not about their loyalty, but about their disaffection to that oppressive government. They vie with one another, and happily contend for the higher praises and superior merit of giving the briskest opposition, and making the bravest stand, against the measures of that unfortunate Prince. I call this a happy contention, because it issues in a noble and just agreement against the late King James and all his abettors : For, seeing all sides look their non-compliance with his illegal courses to be a brightening of their character and an establishing of their
merit, their contending with one another about that question, which of them was most vigorous and early • in that glorious enterprize for rescuing our religion, liberties, and all that • is dear to us, from his violent Popish counsels,'—is, under God, one of the best securities we can have againsi the return of that intolerable bondage, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear, or to shake off, unless the immediate band of God (by an almost miraculous Providence) had interposed in our greatest extremity for our relief. It was a great happiness to the nations, that many of the gentlemen and clergy, who were so frolicsome as to gratify King James with their lofty addresses in favour of Arbi, trary Power in the Prince, and of Passive Obedience in the People, were so bonest as to repent and join in a good cause.
discourse, is 2 Kings viii, 13, And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog that he should do this great thing? :
“ This day reminds us of the huge and numberless calamities the people of this kingdom underwent from a long unnatural war amongst ourselves; and it reminds us of an everlasting stain laid on the honour of the English nation, by adjudging their King to death, against all reason, all law, and all example of our ancestors. Nor did our miseries end here ; that execrable day concluded only the misfortunes of that Prince; neither his friends nor enemies ceased to suffer with him. Such an atrocious impious fact must, as it did, call for a world of lives, and liberties, and confiscations of estates, and other cruel and vexatious oppressions of our countrymen, and laid the foundation of such an enmity as is, I fear, to last for
“ Had any one foretold what miseries these unhappy people would bring upon their nation, I make no doubt, they would have soon returned, with Hazael, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do these great things ? Yet many, now alive, remember well they did them. I see no reason to believe, that any single man, or party whatever, could intend, at first, the evils they afterwards effected; but I do not see that this is so much an excuse for them, as a great matter of caution to others, how they at first embroil public affairs, and enter on the weighty matters of reforming Church or State, though with a good design enough, but yet by methods illegal and untried. It is only God can say to the waves, Hitherto shall ye go farther!, and so it is with the madness of the people; a little matter will inflame a multitude, when a hundred men that can render a reason shall not be able to dismiss it peaceably: Small are the beginnings of the greatest mischiefs. But men àre at their liberty to act, and shall answer for their actions ; and they are capable of seeing and considering consequences, and therefore are accountable for the neglect of doing so, when mischiefs follow probably, and easily, and commonly. The good intentions of the heart will secure the heart; but I am not able to say, with certainty enough, how far they will authorize the executions of the hand; even those that follow immediately, and are in nature and reason fitted to obtain the end of those intentions. But in this I will be confident, that the first good intentions will not reach all subsequent acts that are not good. Let some, of all conditions, be presumed to enter on our wars with good intentions,* and others with no bad ones,
* Some of the intentions of that race of Puritans were undoubtedly good; yet I know orly of one of them which was subsequently realized,-in a manner of which they could then have had no co
and at a time when nearly the whole of them were mouldering in the tomb. I refer to their hopes concerning the good Queen of Bohemia, who was deservedly a
--and I think he must be much a stranger to our story that will not allow of this,—though we may see, perhaps, that the great favourite with the Puritans. Her sister-in-law, the Queen of King Cbarles the First, bad been married five years before she had living issue; and the antipathy of the English nation to every appendage of Popery, appeared in the premature but secret rejoicing at Henrietta Maria's supposed sterility, and at the remote possibility of the royal offspring of the Queen of Bohemia succeeding to the throne.
This strong national aversion to Popery and attachment to the cause of the Elector Palatine, had been displayed wbile the youthful Charles, with his imprudent favourite the Duke of Buckingham, was in Spain soliciting the hand of the Tofanta. The Duke's culpable bebaviour in that affair very naturally gained him many enemies at Court; concerning wbom Dr. Heylin says: “The news of these practices in the Court Fof Eugland), made the Duke think of leaving Spain, where he began to sink in estimation; and of hasting his return to England, for fear of sinking lower here than be did in Spain. Some clashings there had been betwixt him and the Conde d'Olivarez, the principal favourite of that King : And some caresses were made to him by the Queen of Bobemia, inviting him to be a God-father to one of her children. In these disquiets and distractions, he puts the Prince in roind of the other game he had to play; namely, the restitution of the Palatinate, which the Spaniard would not suffer to be brought under the treaty of the match ; reserving it, (as they pretended, and perhaps really intended), to be bestowed by the Infanta after the marriage, the better to ingratiate herself with the English nation : Which being a point of too great moment to depend upon no other assurance than a Court compliment only, it was concluded by the Prince, That since he could not prevail in the one, he would not proceed to the consummation of the other.-a Parliament is summoned to begin ou the 17th of February then next following. Not long after the beginning whereof, the Duke declared before both Houses how unbandsomely they had dealt with the Prince when he was in Spain; how they bad fed him with delays; what indignities they had put upon him; and, finally, had sent him back, not only without the Palatinate, but without a wife; leaving it to their prudent consideration what course to follow. It was thereupon voted by both Houses, That his Majesty should be desired to break off all treaties with the King of Spain, and to engage himself in a war against bim for the
recovery of the Palatinate, not otherwise to be obtained. And that they might come the better to the end they aimed at, they addressed themselves unto the Prince, whom they assured, that they would stand to him in that war, to the very last expence of their lives aud fortunes; and he accordingly (being further set on by the Duke) became their instrument to persuade his father to hearken to the common votes and desires of bis subjects, which the King. (pressed by their continual importunities) did at the last, but with great unwillingness, assent to."-Thus, it is seen, that the King of Bohemia's cause became then, as it did throughout the reign of King Charles, only a secondary consideration, a specious cover to other motives and designs. This will be rendered still more obvious to all those wbo have had the infelicity to peruse the correspondence between King James, Prince Charles, and the Duke of Buckingham,—than which cothing was ever beheld more degrading, not merely to royalty, nobility, or to a true British spirit, but to humanity itself.
But the preceding remarks receive further illustration by the subjoined quotation from Dr. Heylin's Life of Laud, under the year 1630, when Charles the Second was borp : “ 'The birth of this young Prince, as it gave cause of great rejoicings to all good subjects, so it gave no small matter of discouragement to the Puritan faction, who had laid their line another way, and desired not that this King should have had any children : Insomuch that, at a feast in Friday-street, when some of the company shewed great joy at the news of the Queen's first being with child, a leading man of that faction (whom I could name, were it worth the while,) did not stick to say, That he could see no such cause of joy as the others did. Which said, he gave this