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part of this account, is, that he possessed a large portion of the affectionate warmth and honest frankness which all men admirę in the conduct of the Apostle Peter. His long residence at Court had made him acquainted with the iniquitous conduct of many persons in authority, whom his zeal for his royal master prompted him to bring to justice ; and, in the performance of such useful services, he felt no scruples about over-stepping what might be deemed the strict duty of his own province. A rigid sense of justice and unbending integrity were the stern guides which he followed ; and he thought it “ savoured too much of worldly cunning"* to exhibit any dread of popular their powerful co-operation, but subjected the Archbishop and his plans to be thwarted by their spleen and animosity. Laud proposed Archbishop Bancroft for his pattern, who had certainly effected greater wonders in the work of Uniformity than any of his predecessors; but it must always be recol lected, that Bancroft succeeded Whitgift the strict disciplinarian, and that Laud was the successor of Abbot, who had relaxed the 'reins of discipline, and through his violent hatred of Arminianism had iutroduced principles of disorganization into the estabishment. This mischief would soon have been remedied by the prompt measures of Laud, but the nation was not then in such a passive condition, as it had been in the days of Bancroft, to endure the caustic remedies which had formerly been applied to good purpose.
* Yet some instances are on record of the Archbishop. having asked, on many occasions, what opinion the public formed of particular measures in which he was concerned; and one of the best answers to Bishop Burnet's charges against him, for “ hotness and indiscretion” and not acknowledging his errors," is contained in the following letter, which he sent to John Selden, Esq. within six months after the Convocation had passed the Canons, that were afterwards made the chief grounds of accusation against him : “ To my much honoured friend, Mr. John Selden, these: Sal. in Christo.
“ Worthy Sir,-I understand that the business about the late Canons will be handled again in your house to-morrow. I shall never ask any unworthy thing of you, but give me leave to say as follows. If we have erred in any point of legality unknown unto us, we shall be heartily sorry for it, and hope that error shall not be made a crime. We hear that ship-money is laid aside as a thing that will die of itself; and I am glad it will have so quiet a death. May not these unfortunate canons be suffered to die as quietly without blemishing the Church, which hath so many enemies both at home and abroad: If this may be, I here promise you, I will presently humbly beseech his Majesty for a licence to review the canons and abrogate them; assuring myself that all my brethren will join with me to preserve the public peace, rather than that any act of ours shall be thought a public grievance. And upon my credit with you I had moved for this licence at the very first sitting of this 'Parliament, but that both myself and others did fear the House of Commons would take offence at it (as they did at the last) and said, we did it on purpose to prevent them. I understand you mean to speak of this business in the house io-morrow, and that hath made me write these lines to you, to let you know our meaning and desires. And I shall take it for a great kindness to me, and a great service to the Church, if by your means the house will be satisfied with this which is here offered of abrogating the canons. To God's blessed protection I leave you, and rest your loving poor friend,
- W. CANTERBURY. “ Lambeth, November 29, 1640. “I mean to move the King this day for a licence, as is within-mentioned." The following letter to Archbishop Usher exhibits marks of a great and liberal mind : It was written at the time when the Irish clergy were required to subscribe the Articles of the Church of England as well as those of Ireland,-a compromise which was effected through the management of Bishop Bramhall, when the Earl of Strafford was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
odium. Some of the King's ministers of State, who were deeper politicians than himself, but not more upright statesmen, took advantage of this trait in his character, and
often placed him in the front ranks of the battle, when they wished to screen themselves from publie observation.* It can, I think, be satisfactorily proved, that he entertained far more correct sentiments concerning civil liberty, than those which have generally been imputed to him; and I should wish to see an impartial comparison instituted between the severe punishment which he inflicted on Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton, and that which Dr. John Owen,t the Independent Vice-chancellor of Oxford and the falsely-styled “ father of English liberty," inflicted on two offending females among the Quakers. (See page 416.) The See page 566. Though Archbishop Laud, and every true friend to the Church of Ireland, would have preferred the adoption of the English Articles, without their being incorporated into those of Ireland, yet, strong, as his feelings were on that subject, he expressed himself in this mild and Christian manner to the Lord Primate of Ireland :
“ May 10th 1635. My very good Lord, I thank you heartily for your letters; and am as beartily glad, that your Parliament and Convocation are so happily ended, especially for the Church ; and that, both for the particular of your letting leases which is for maintenance, and for the quiet and wellordering and ending of your Book of Capons. I hope now' the Church of Ireland will begin to flourish again, and that both with inward sufficiency and outward means to support it. And for your Canons, to speak truth and with wonted liberty and freedom, though I cannot but think the English Canons entire, (especially with some few amendments,) would have done better; yet since you and that church have thought otherwise, I do very easily submit to it, and you shall have my prayers that God would bless it. As for the particular abont subscription, I think you have couched that well, since, as it seems, there was some necessity to carry that article closely : And God forbid you should, upon any occasion, have rolled back upou your former controversy about the articles. For if you should have risen from this Convocation in heat, God knows when or how that church would have cooled again, had the cause of difference been never so slight. By wbich means, the Romanist, wbich is too strong a party already, would both have strengthened and made a scory of you. And therefore ye are much bound 10 God, that, in this nice and picked age, you have ended all things canonically and yet in peace. And, I hope, you will be all careful to continue and maintain that which God hath thus mercifully bestowed upon you. Your Grace's very loving friend and brother. W.CANTERBURY.'
* See a succeeding note from Lord CLARENDON's Life. + Many other republican personages, beside Owen, might be adduced as fit objects of comparison, over all of whom the Archbishop would gain a triumph. But when the conduct of the dominant ecclesiastics under the Commonwealth is compared with the very worst specimens of episcopal severity, (which, it must always be recollected, did not extend to half the dioceses in the kingdom,) the superiority of Episcopacy will be manifest. Much truth is contained in the subjoined quotation fróun Bishop Gauden : “ The sharp severities and early rigours of both which parties (Presbyte · rians and Independents], and their consectaries, grew quickly both remarkable and intolerable to sober christians. For as they were bred and boru, like Pallas, armed, full of anger, revenge and ambitious fierceness ; so they have acted, even in their infancy and niinority, far beyond what regular, sober, and true Episcopacy ever did in its greatest age and procerity, here in England : Yea, its greatest passion and transports did not exceed the aims of these new masters, buth ecclesiastical and civil, which was, either to rule all or to ruin all. Bishops commonly justified their real or seeming severities by those laws, either civil or ecclesiastical, which were in force against all such as did not conform to them. Hence were occasioned (much, I ain con
Archbishop deserves to be venerated by all good patriots for his spirited and successful attempt to destroy that pernicious system of selecting from the nobility and retaining at Court a professed royal favourite, through whom all honours descended to those that were so happy as to obtain in such a circuitous manner a reflection of his Majesty's bounty or patronage. This practice had been the bane of the realm during the reign of King James and the early years of that of Charles ; to those therefore of the nobility who aspired to that eminence, after the death of the Duke of Buckingham, the endeavour to destroy its pestiferous influence could not be viewed with indifference. Other noblemen looked with jealousy upon the motions of the Archbishop, on account of the bold enquiries instituted by him into some of the alienated possessions of the Church, which, even after the despoliating days of King Henry the Eighth, had in various ways become the property of titled laymen, and which, from Laud's exemplary love for the Church, would undoubtedly have been reclaimed.-- Those who have accurately examined the best chroniclers of that eventful era must know, that Archbishop Laud was made a political scape-goat; and, in the estimation of posterity, he has had to answer for crimes which he did not commit and for counsels which he never tendered. I refrain at present from any further delineation of his character ;* for it is my intention, in Appendix H, to compare fident, to the grief and against the desire of the most grave and godly bishops,) sometimes those so oft declaimed-against and aggravated persecutions of some unconformable yet otherways godly ministers, by silencings, suspensions, deprivations, &c., which sometimes were but just and necessary exercises of discipline, (as I conceive,) if meu will maintain any order and government in any Church or State. Sometimes, it may be, some Bishops pressed too much upon the strictness and rigour of law, aggravated by their private passions beyond what might with cbarity and moderation safely have been indulged to some able and peaceable ministers, though in some things dissenters, yet, as to the main, good and useful to the Church. Yet all these old almanacks, these stale and posthumous calculations of episcopal severities, did not, upon true account, (no not in one hundred years,) equal the number and measure of those pressures and miseries which have been acted or designed in one fifteen years by such as now profess Presbyterian and Indepeudent principles, against alí Bishops and ALL THOSE MINISTERS which are of the episcopal persuasion. I think it may, without any stroke of rhetoric or hyperbole, be said with sober truth, that the little finger of
Presbytery and Independency, with the warts and wens of other factions growing upon them, hath been heavier upon the episcopal, which was the only legal clergy of England of late years, than the loins of any sober and godly bishops ever were for any one century, yea, and [hath been) equal to the burdens of the most passionate and immoderate bishops whatsoever in any age, who commonly were most imperious when the Church had most
peace and civil prosperity.' But the Presbyterian thunder and Independent lightening urged most upon all bishops and all episcopal ministers, then when they were most scared, 'pillaged and harrassed by a civil war, wbeu most tossed by those sad storms, and almost overwhelmed by the impressions of those sad dissensions."
* One of the finest delineations of Archbishop Laud's character, and certainly the most impartial in the English language, is that which was written by Bishop Gauden, who approved of the project of ecclesiastical pacification
some parts of his conduct with those of Archbishop Abbot, and to clear him from much of the undeserved obloquy under which he has laboured.
invented by Archbishop Usher, and recommended it for adoption, in one of his productions the year before the Restoration. The Primate of Ireland was bis favourite, and he could not therefore be expected to indulge any improper bias towards Archbishop Laud. After vindicating some excellent Prelates, with whom he had been well acquainted, he proceeds in the following manner to clear others, “to whom he was most a stranger:".
« The first and greatest was [Dr. Laud]the last Archbishop of Canterbury, who was by many suspected and charged, not only as Popisbly affected himself, but as a poisoner of the whole stream and current of the Reformed Religion in England; at last, he was treated either as a Heretic or a Traitor, or both, to Church and State.
“ It becomes not me to sentence either the sentenced, or the sentencers that adjudged him to death,-his and their judgment is with the Lord ; only as to the aspersion of his being Popish in his judgment, (which reflected, in the repute and event, upon all the Bishops of England,) truly his own book may best of any and sufficiently vindicate bim to be a very great Anti-papist : GREAT, I say, because it seems, by that learned dispute, that he dissented from Popery, not upon popular surmises and easy prejudices, but very learned and solid grounds, which true reason and Religion make good, agreeable to the judgment of the Catholie Church in the purest and best times. And in this the Archbishop doth, to my judgment, so very impartially weigh the state and weight of all the considerable differences between the Papists and the English Protestants, (not such as are simple, futile and fanatic, but learned, serious and sober,) that he neither gratifies the Romanist, por exasperates bin, beyond what is just ; neither warping to a novel and veedless super-reformation which is a deformity on the rigặt hand, nor to a subreformation which is a deformity on the left, but keeping that golden mean which was held by the Church of England and the greatest defenders of it.
“ As to his secret design of working up this Church by little and little to a Romish conformity and captivity, I do not believe he had any such purpose or approved thought; hecause, besides his declared judgment and conscience, l'find no secular policy or interest which he could thereby gain, either private or public, but rather lose much of the greatness and freedom which he andother Bishops with the whole church bad: without which temp: tation, no man in charity may be suspected to act contrary to so clear convictions, so deliberate and declared determinations of his conscience and judgment in Religion, as the Archbishop expresses in that very excellent book.
“I am indeed prone to think, that possibly he wished there could have been any fair close or accommodation between all christian churches, the same which many grave and learned men have much desired : And, it may be, his Lordship thought himself no unfit instrument to make way for so great and good a work, considering the eminencies of parts, power, and favour which he had. Haply be judged, as many learned and moderate men have, that, in some things between Papists and Protestants, differences are made wider, and kept more open, raw and sore than need be, by the private pens and passions of some men, and the interests of some little parties, whose partial policies really neglect the public and true interest of the Catholic Church and Christian Religion, which consists much in peace as well as in purity, in charity as in verity. He found that where Papists were silenced and convinced in the more grand and pregnant disputes,--that they are novel, partial, and unconform to the Catholic Church in ancient times ; as,
iu the cup withdrawing, in the peremptory defining of transubstantiation, in public Latin prayers such as common people understaud not wbat is prayed or said, in praying to angels and saints, in worsbipping, reliques and images with divine worship, in challenging of a primacy of Divine power and jurisdiction to the Bishop of Rome over all, in their adding Apocry. phal books to the proper and ancient Canon of the scripture, in their fore bidding marriage to the clergy,' and the like when in these points the
The reader will have perceived, in pages 517---543, the different form which Archbishop Laud's alleged innovations assume, when explained by such a competent interpreter as Mr.
Romanists were tired, discountenanced and convinced, then he found they recovered spirits, and contested afresh against the unreasonable transports, violences and immoderations of some professing to be Protestants, who, to avoid idolatry and superstition, run to sacriledge and rudeness in religion, denying many things that are just, honest, safe, true and reasonable, merely out of an excessive Antipathy to Papists. Hence some are run so far that they will have, as no material churches built or used or consecrated, so no Liturgy, vever so sound, solemn, and easy to be understood; so, as no Bishops never so holy and orthodox, so no ministers rightly ordained by them, no orderly ceremonies or decent rites whatsoever used by the Papists, though they first had these from those Churches which were yet beautiful and pure in their primitive health and integrity.
“The truth is, it would make a wise man mad to fall under the sinister censures and oppressions of all vulgar opinions, who still urge in things indifferent that unsociableness which is between light and darkness, truth and error, reformation and superstition; never suspecting themselves for superstitious, iu being so anti-ceremonious, anti-liturgical and anti-episcopal : nor are they jealous lest any thing, that bath the heat of their zeal, might want the light of true judgment, and be like a tailor's goose or pressing iron, hot and heavy enough, but neither bright nor light, neither seeing nor shining. Truly, I find the calmness and gravity of sober men's judgments is prone to improve much by age, experience, and reading of the ancients, hereby working out that juvenile leaven and lee, which is prone to puff up and work over younger spirits and less-decocted tempers in their first fervours and agitations. Possibly the Archbishop and some other Bishops of his mind did rightly judge, that the giving an enemy fair play, by just, safe and honourable concessions, was not to yield the cause or conquest to bim, but the more to convince him of his weakness; when uo honest yieldings could help him any more, than they did indamage the true cause or courage of his antagonist.
« This charitable sense I suppose I may justly have of this very active and very unfortunate Prelate, as he stood at a great distance from me and eminence above me; against whom, I confess, I was prone in my greener years to receive many popular prejudices, upon the common report aud interpretation of his public actions. In one of which I was never satisfied, as to the piety or policy of it;-that when his Lordship, eydeavoured to commend the Liturgy of England to the church of Scotland, (which was a worthy design, as to the uniformity of devotion,) yet he should affect some such asterations as he might be sure, like Coloquintıda, would make all distasteful. Such was that in the prayer of consecration and distribution at the Lord's supper, which was after the old form of Sarum, and expunged by our reformers as too much favouring transubstantiation; besides some other changes in that and other things, of which possibly his Lordship could give a better reason than I can imagine or have yet heard.
"Toward his decline I had occasion to come a little nearer to his Lordship; where I well remember, that, a few days after his first confinement, when he seemed not at all to despair of his innocency or safety, baving occasion to wait on him, and being not only a stranger wholly to him, but under some prejudice with bim as to some relation I then had, yet he was pleased, after some accesses to him, to invite me to some freedom of speech, asking me (among other things) what the sense of people generally was of him and his actions. I freely told him, 'the vulgar jealousies and reports
were, that his Lordship, hy secret approaches, did seek to betray the Re.formed Church of England to the Roman correspondency and communion; • which was so tender and just an apprehension in all people, out of their zeal to their religion, that 1 humbly conceived it were great wisdom to avoid all suspicion of it. Nor did it seem an hard matter so to do, in ways, as much to God's glory and the church's bonour, so less exposed to people's jealousy or. obloquy; common people being easily won or lost by persons