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tain degree of violence are necessary, both in assaulting and dismembering that kingdom of discord which has too widely
“ An attack of a different kind has, in later times, been made on the Liberty of Prophesying, arraigoing not the principles of the work, but the motives and sincerity of the author in maintaining them. He has been represented as arguing, not from his own personal conviction, but as an advocate, and to serve the temporary euds of kis party ; since, though a Churchman, he was a Dissenter when the Liberiy of Prophesying was written. • He was then,' proceeds the writer, [Mr. Orme,] froin whose work this charge is taken, pleading for toleration to Episcopacy. He must
either have written what he did not himself fully believe, or, in a few years, • his opinion must have undergone a wonderful change. With the return of
monarchy, Taylor emerged from obscurity; wrote no more on the Liberty • of Prophesying; and was a member of the Privy Council of Charles the . Second, from which all the persecuting edicts against the poor Non-conformists proceeded. It deserves to be viewed, therefore, as the special
pleading of a party counsellor, or the production of Jeremy Taylor, deprived • of bis benefice and the privileges of his profession, imploring relief; of ' which Bishop Taylor, enlightened by the elevation of his Episcopate, and
enjoying, with the party, security and abundance, became ashamed, and, in his owu conduct, published the most effectual recantation of his former
opinions or sincerity.' Aud, on this supposed tergiversation of Taylor, the writer proceeds to ground the sweeping censure, that it is vain to look for • liberality or forbearance from the menibers of an establishment.'-With the logical accuracy of the vulgar maxim, ' ex uno disce omnes,' or with the degree of christian candour which the above application of it exhibits, I have, at present, no concern; though it is possible that Mr. Orme would be displeased, and I am sure he would have sufficient right to be so, if I had reasoned, like him, from the faults or inconsistency of any single individual, to the prejudice of all the other members of the Independent persuasion. But I ain only concerned with his charges against Jereiny Taylor; and am anxious, therefore, inform him-what he might have easily learned for himself, and what it was his duty to have inquired into, before he brought such a charge as persecution against the fair fame of any man,—that though Bishop Taylor was a nominal member of the Irish Privy Council, there is no reason whatever to suppose that he took a part in the measures of any administration; that the adininistration of Ireland did not, in fact, during the reign of Charles the Second, persecute the Dissenters; that Taylor had not even an opportunity of concurring in the severe measures of the English government; and that no action of his life is known, which can justly expose him to the suspicion of having been a persecutor himself, or having approved of persecution in others. That he did not write any more about Liberty of Prophesying, while his former work was in every body's hands, and while its principles remained unanswered, is no very serious charge against a man whose time was, in many otber ways, abuudantly occupied. But, that he was not ashamed of his former treatise on this subject, is apparent from the fact, that it appears in a prominent situation in the successive editions of his controversial tracts, of which one, the second, was published when be was actually Bishop, and amid the recent triumph of his party. Nor, though there are, unquestionably, some passages in the Liberty of Prophesying where Taylor speaks, rather as urging what may be said in behalf of the more obnoxious creeds, than as expressing his own opiniou, can I conceive that an intelligent and candid reader will find any dificulty in distinguishing between such passages and those where he pleads (with every appearance of the deepest and most conscientious conviction,) the commou cause of all christian sects under persecution. That, in so doing, he might be animated with the greater zeal by the circumstance that his own sect was thus unhappily situated, I am neither obliged nor ioclined to deny. Nor do I couceive that this circumstance alone would lead a candid mind to suspect his sincere belief of those general principles on which he proceeds ; or his anxiety, that not the Church of England alone, but all other christian communions,
extended the limits of its domination, and which long ago drove down its roots to a great depth,mand in erecting and establishshould be partakers in the benefit of his arguments. Had it been otherwise, indeed, he would rather, as an artful advocate, have applied himself to the palliation of the particular differences existing between the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians, than have offended the prejudices of these last, in the pride of their new-blown success, by advancing principles which they were so little prepared to receive, and encumbering his cause with the patronage of those secis who were the objects of still greater abhorrence and alarm than his own persecuted communion.The truth is, however, that, if we cousider the moment at which the Liberty of Prophesying appeared, and consider also, not only the spirit of mutual concession which it breathes, but the principles on which it rests, and the natural consequences which flow from them, we shall perceive that the Presbyterians were not the only party for whose instruction it was designed, and ibat its object was to induce vot only an abatement of the claims which they were then urging on the King, but a disposition on the King's part, and on the part of his advisers amoug the Episcopal Clergy, to concede somewhat more to those demands than their principles had as yet permitted them. The circumstances of the times, in 1647, were such, indeed, as to offer a greater probability than at any former period of the war, that moderate counsels would prevail, and that an arrangement of mutual toleration might be adopted, which would preserve the kingly government, and heal, in a certain degree, the religious feuds of the nation. King Charles was removed from the custody of the parliamentary Commissioners to, what were supposed, the more indulgent hands of Cromwell and the army. His person was treated with far greater respect than formerly. His chaplaius were allowed to officiate in bis presence according to the English Service-book; and all parties were so situated, that it seemed the interest of all to court him. The Parliament and the Army were at open variance: and the two prevailing sects, the Presbyterians and Independents, were scarcely less incensed with each other than with the Episcopal Clergy: Even these last were not yet universally ejected from their benefices; and the force of private character, the fame of extensive learning, and, perhaps, the ties of blood and friendship, were of sufficient weight, till this year, to protect Hall in his Episcopal Palace at Norwich, and Sanderson and Hammond in their public situations at Oxford. All which seemed wanting to an accommodation, was, to convince the several parties that the points in question were those on which they might conscientiously give way to the opinions or prejudices of their brethren; and that, so far from being bound to destroy each other's persons, they might meet in the same places of Worship, and conform to that government, and those rites (whichever of the contending parties should be most favoured in them,) which might be agreed on by the King and Parliament.--That this was Taylor's own opinion, and that he desired his arguments to take effect on all the different parties of the nation, is apparent, I think, from the fact of his having dedicated this work to so strenuous a high Churchman as Hatton, as well as from the anxiety which he expresses, not only that persecution for religious opinions might cease, but that contention about them might be suspended that the churches of Christ should be distinguished by no other names than those of the nations in which they were established; and that each church might receive to its bosom men of various opinions, even as that Heaven of which the christian church ought to be the living image. And it is evident, that, if his arguments had produced their due effect on both sides, the main obstacle would have been removed to a treaty between the King and his people; a grievous dissension healed in the churches; and not only the Episcopalians relieved from their immediate oppressions, but the opposite party preserved from those severities wbich, on the restoration of kingly power, were most unwisely exercised against them. Meanwhile (and the observation will be found of some importance to justify Taylor's consistency), it plainly followed from his principles, that, in points of themselves indifferent, (even granting that it might be tyranny to impose a rule,) it was causeless rebellion to resist
ing the abode of concord, which Satan unceasingly tries by cunning or force to demolish and overthrow. The benignant Deity will favour such benign undertakingsthat they were already undertaken ! Let us earnestly entreat God, by hearty and unwearied supplications, to be pleased to bestow, upon the men who engage in such attempts as these, suitable gifts for the completion of this enterprise.
“ Concerning a late illustrious person, who was not less.a warm defender of the cause of the Remonstrants than a strenuous advocate for the peace of the Church, I have heard that he discussed plans of this kind, in concert with his most excellent Majesty Charles the First, King of Great Britain, and with the most reverend William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury; and that he [Grotius] did not then despair of a successful issue, and had expected some good consequences from it had not that deplorable calamity [the murder of the King and of the Archbishop] intervened. John Dury, a man of no small celebrity among the Scots, afterwards engaged in the same enterprise. But while, on the one hand, he was, in the judgment of some excellent men, not a sufficiently equitable promoter of peace; on the other hand, his overtures were resisted by the Lutheran divines, particularly by those of Alsace and Sweden, who complained, that the very opinions professed by themselves had been exploded at the Synod of Dort and condemned in Holland. This was indeed a very just accusation ; because the Dort Fathers were undoubtedly guilty of a grievous offence, when, impelled by the impetuous fervour of contentions, they ventured to do what had never been attempted by any Synod since the first propagation of christianity. Yet this will not operate as an excuse to justify the Lutherans, in not admitting the peace which was proffered ; because it was possible to procure the abolition of that which had been badly determined, especially when all the Reformed with one consent believe Synods, not only liable to be endangered by errors, but likewise seldom to be actually free from them. But if this shall appear to be too great a concession, it was possible at least to have removed the necessity of subscribing the Canons of that Synod, which imposition was indeed a yoke most iniquitous and bitter, because such a sublime authority as that belongs only to the scriptures, which alone are Divine and placed beyond the liability of error or defect. Most men are in doubt which order his most serene Majesty, King Charles the Second, will hereafter prefer to govern the Church,--the order of those divines who are favourable to a rule already imposed; and it followed also, (which was still more important under the peculiar circumstances of the times,) that concession and moderation were to be expected at least as much from those who desired a change, as from those who were content with the forms and institutions of their ancestors."
Episcopacy, or of those who are attached to Presbytery. I
upon men of
* The following very seasonable advice was given, by the celebrated author of “ JURA Cleri, a few months after the restoration of King Charles, and before the form of the future government of the Church was settled :
“ The goodness of your God, and favour of your Prince, bave once more restored you to your charges, your patrimonies, and (it is hoped) will ere long to your honours and privileges, which sacrilege and usurpation, for many years, have detained from you. Now it stands upon you seriously to consider, what design the Lord had in thus humbling you: for certainly his wise provideuce did not bring all this to pass for nothing. Be entreated then in the bowels of our common Redeemer,, (though by one of the meanest in your number, yet a passionate well-wisher of the sacred function,) to hear the divine commands, the royal declarations, the prayers, groans, and sighs of your country, which all with one voice cry aloud to you for diligence in your callings, and uprightness in your conversations. These will make our English Zion prosper, and our Jerusalem a praise in the earth. But if through plenty you forget Him whose person you represent, and through security turn again unto fully, my heart trembles to think what the issue will prove, if the indignation of the Almighty once more break out. Many eyes are fastened upon you, so that the least blemish will be espied: And as your virtues bring greater honour to the gospel than those of private persons, so do your vices more reproach. It hath pleased the Great Disposer of all things, once mo reto make trial of you. Let your moderation be known unto all men, that none may complain of your jurisdiction, (if re-established, which the unquestionable practice of all ages will abundantly justify. May your goodness equal your greatness; your humility shine in the midst of your honours; the memory of your late afflictions and vows, made in your low estate, never die with you. Let your conversation be without covetousness, that the hungry bellies of the poor and needy may find the benefit of your happy restoration, that no euvious eye may repine, vo foul mouth rail at your large incomes, but all may confess it is more for the glory of God, and for the good of the nation, that your charity be intrusted with those revenues, than the griping avarice of your sacrilegious adversaries.”
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with the king's disposition and prudence entertain not the least doubt concerning his majesty's choice of such men, of whom in that country there is no scarcity.”
Such were Poelenburg's reflections and joyous anticipations, at the Restoration of the Royal Family in 1660! Every one, who is conversant with our national history, knows, that these just expectations were not realized in the reign of King Charles the Second. Much acrimony was excited among the dominant Calvinists, when the King chose BISHOPs, and not PRESBYTERS, to govern the Church of England. It was long before the bad spirit, which was then raised, had spent its rage and subsided. One of the methods which were supposed to perpetuate these mutual bickerings, but which, on a consideration of the aspect of those times, seemed to have been rendered necessary to counteract the buddings of treasonable principles, was that of the mournful commemoration of the Thirtieth of January, the anniversary of the decapitation of King Charles the First.' But had all the remarks on the various actors in that tragedy, which were uttered by the reverend divines who preached on that occasion for many years after the Restoration, been as judicious and dispassionate as those of Dr. William FLEETWOOD, then Lord Bishop of Asaph, the minds of the formerly belligerent Calvinists would have been less exasperated, and loyal principles would have been far more effectually inculcated.
But that excellent Whig Bishop* was * I call Dr. Fleetwood a “ Whig Bishop :" But the epithets of Whig and Tory do not apply so appropriately to many of the most eminent of the Clergy, between the years 1661 and 1748, aš many people imagine, who, from mere report or popular prejudices, are accustomed to employ both those terms towards individuals to whom they can by no means attach. Let such persons try to class Sancroft, Atterbury, Tenison, Wake, and some others,-pot according to the political principles of those ministers of State who happened successively to be in power after their elevation to the Episcopal dignity, but according to their own private opiuions recorded in their writings,-and they will find some difficulty involved in the attempt.Thus some Bigots, who read Bishop Fleetwood's fine testimony to the character of King Charles the First, quoted in page 823, will not feel any inclination to own him as a staunch Whig; But though he did not imitate some of his cotemporaries on the Episcopal Bench, in aspersing the character of King Charles and Archbishop Laud, and in extenuating the faults of the Scotch Presbyterians and some of the Eoglish Republicans, yet he was a better patriot than those who made larger pretences. The same remarks will apply, in a more restricted sense, to the first paragraphs in a succeeding quotation from Bishop Atterbury, (p. 825,) who has been generally depicted as a high Tory.
But the Rev. Samuel Wesley, rector of Epworth, presents as fine an example of the difficulty of this undertaking,-of fixing the Toryism or the Whiggism of a clergyman, -as the reader could wish to behold. He was Whig enough to be among the very first in these realms who wrote in defence of King William's lawful title to the crown of England: And he had the singular honour of dedicating his principal literary productions to three British Queens in succession-bis “ History of the Life of Christ” to Queen Mary,--that of “the Old and New Testament" to Queen Anne,-and his “ Dissertations on the Book of Job" to Queen Caroline. For his poetical 16 Life of Christ,” which was published in 1693, he was presented by Queen