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ly feared that her ingratitude should not long lack punish. ment. And to the Queen herself, Knox wrote a letter to the same purpose, telling her " that it was God's peculiar and extraordinary providence that brought her to the kingdom, and that she was not to plead her right by defcent ur law;" and he plainly says “ that if she began to brag of her birth, and to build her authority and regiment upon law, her felicity would be short, flatter her who so lifteth."*
In this opinion Knox did not stand alone; the same re. bellious doctrine which went to the root of hereditary mo. narchy and the English constitution, was publicly maintained by some of the principal nonconformists in England, parti. cularly by Christopher Goodman and William Whittingham.
But this was not the only instance in which these reformers attacked the civil government and the regal prerogative, Their first and fundamental proposal of the popular election of ministers, and that no person should be admitted to a be. nefice without being chosen and called by the people, was a direct invafion of the rights of the crown, and the property of the universities and other corporations, as well as of pri. vate individuals who were poflefled of advowsons.
In the famous “ Admonition to Parliament" drawn up by Cartwright, in the name of the dissenring brethren, is the following modest request;
“Your wisdoms have to remove Advowsons, Patronages, Impropriations, and Bishops' Authority, claiming to them. selves thereby right to ordain ministers; and to bring in that old and true election which was accustomed to be made by the congregation.”
This scheme entirely took away the right of Patronage, how juftly soever acquired, and must have occasioned great confusion and disturbance in the nation; and in many places where the people were still popishly inclined, have opened a door to the election of popish priests. Nor do we find at this day, any such good effects from popular elections of the clergy, as to recommend that method to our practice. No body pretends that those clergymen who are chosen by the people, are remarkably diftinguished, either for learning or behaviour, from such as are presented by the proper patrons.
• Strype, ubi sup. VOL. XIV.
F. Chm. Mag. Jan, 1808. ..
The propofition, however, was flattering to the populace, and the earneftness with which the puritans contended for what they called the Rights of the People, increased their consequence, and multiplied their followers.
But in the reign of Elizabeth, the vigilance of government prevented the mischiefs which the puritanical principles were calculated to produce. The faction, however, continued their secret operations, and by a masked conformity in the ensuing reign sowed the seeds of fanaticism and rebellion with such diligence all over the kingdom, as produced the catastrophe we this day commemorate.
Under the denomination of lecturers, the ministers of this cast contrived to get possession of the pulpits in many of the churches of the metropolis and large towns, from whence they diffused the principles of disaffećtion to the ecclesiastical government, and of disloyalty to the civil power.* They made all religion to consist in long prayers and much preaching, to the contempt of the prescribed liturgy, and the falutary praca rice of catechising. The doctrines commonly preached were matters of speculative enquiry, well adapted to make men arrogant and presumptuous in the estimation of their own religious character, from the fancied knowledge and spiritual feelings which they possessed, and at the same time rigid and uncharitable in their judgment of others, whom they treated as mere carnal or moral professors.
The inculcation of the plain Christian virtues, and the practice of obedience, formed no part of the preaching of these men, whose aim was to pass for teachers divinely called and instructed of the Spirit, and as ministers deeply acquainted with the things of God.
· A spirit of insubordination, and refractory discontent, was the concomitant of puritanism, and as its principles spread
* These lecturers were generally chosen by the people, but some were maintained by a corporation of puritans who also bought up what livings they could, in order to place therein the most violent or zealous men of their party. There was likewise a running lecture, so called, because the lecturer went about from village to village for the purpose of illuminating the dark corners of the kingdom. Such were the artifices and exertions of the old puritans, in which they are followed by the puritanical metho. dists of the present day, who have their associations for the support of seminaries, the purchase of livings, the maintenance of lectures, and the establishment of itinerant missions, to spread the light of the gospel, as they pretend, in the dark corners of the land.
among the people, their minds became soured against the civil government, and impatient of controul. Artful demagogues in the parliament did not fail to take advantage of this powerful inftrument to promote their factious views. The outcry against ceremonies, the hierarchy, and Arminia. nism, was echoed from the pulpit to the senate, and by means of seditious fermons, inflammatory speeches,' and scandalous libels, produced all the effect that the rebels and fanaticks could desire. Religion was made the ground for rebellion, and the poor déluded people were roused to take up arms against their fovereign by the popular preachers, who pretended that the cause of the parliament was the cause of God, and that they who refused to espouse it were accursed. . .
The patriots, as the eneinies of the king were called, had, other views than a regard for religion, in kindling that unhappy war, but they knew that without making this the ostensible pretence, they should not be able to gain over the people to their side; and on that account they encouraged the sectaries against the church as the furest and shortest way to ef., fect the destruction of monarchy. Of this the noted Hamp. den was very sensible, for being asked by a friend " why he and his party pretended religion for what they did, when the chief ends were liberty, property, and temporal matters," he replied, “Should we not use the pretence of religion, the people would not be persuaded to assist us.”
li has been roundly asserted by the historian of the puri-" tans, that the ministers of that party never preached against the king ; but, that on the contrary, though they inveighed severely against the vices of the clergy, they inculcated the religious observation of the political maxim that the king can do no wrong.' In answer to this, and to give a specia men of that pernicious eloquence which proved so fatal to the constitution, it may be worth while to select a few quotations from the public sermons of the most esteemed preachers of that party." ? 'In the year 1641, at the very breaking out of the rebellion, Edmund Calamy preached a Sermon before the House of Commons, in which, instead of healing advice and loyal exhortation, he made use of this language : " You must know that God repents as well of his mercies, as of his judgments; when God made Saul king, and he proved stubborn and dif. obedient, he repented that he had made him king.” If the hearers mistook the proper application of this remark, it must be confessed that it was not owing to any want of plain
ness in the preacher. But what shall we think of the same Calamy's speech at Guildhall, in O&tober 1643, where lie, exerted his oratorical powers and personal influence to pre. vent a restoration of peace between the king and the parlia. ment ? " If you would have a peace with popery," says he, “a peace with slavery; if you would have a Judas peace, or a Joab his peace, you know the story. He kissed Amasa, and then killed him: If you would have a peace, that may bring a massacre with it, a French peace ; if you would have such a peace, it may be had easily : but if you would have a peace that may continue the gospel among you, such as the godly in the kingdom can desire, I am confident such a peace cannot be had, without contributing towards bringing in the Scots." "Here was a minister of the gospel of peace exhorting his fellow-citizens to subscribe liberally, not in the ser. vice of love and charity, but to call in a band of mercenary cut-throats against their common sovereign!
Thomas Brook, a minister much followed in the city, and whose works are still held in great repute among the Calvinistic methodists, made the following declaration in a Falt. Sermon before the House of Commons, December 26, 1648, at the time when the execrable faction were about to bring the king to the block:
“ Right honourable," says this meek minister of the golpel, “ con&der this, those persons who have neglected the execution of justice upon their most implaçable enemies when God has given tliem into their hands; these God has left to perish basely and miserably. See it in Ahab : God gives Benhadad inio Ahab's hands : “ Because thou haft let å man go, that I had appointed to destruction, therefore thy life shall be for his life." So concerning Saul's sparing Agag, he would shift off the cominand, and therefore God shifted him out of the kingdom; when he neglected to do justice to an implacable enemy when God had given him into his hands.” If this was not a call upon the men in power to mur. der their royal captive, under the pretence of doing justice, there is no meaning in words. The day after that bloody deed was committed, the hypocritical Commons had a solemn fast, when the celebrated Dr. John Owen preached before them, and thus vindicated the infamous act: “When kings command unrighteous things, and people suit them with willing compliance, none doubts but the destruction of them both is just and righteous."
But it was not in their Sermons only that these men justia fied rebellion in the name of religion; they had also the
abominable audacity to make the Almighty a party in the cause, and in their prayers to address him with the coarseft familiarity.
Mr. Evans, preacher of St. Clement's, in the Strand, thus expoftulated in his prayer before sermon: “ O Lord! when wilt thou take a chair and fit amongst the House of Peers ? And when, O God! when I say, wilt thou vote amongft the Honourable House of Commons, who are so zealous of thine honour ?” And Mr. Vines, a leading man among the Pref. byterians, in his prayer in the same church, made use of this language : “ ( Lond! thou hast never given us a victory : this long while, for all our frequent fastings : what dost thou · mean, O Lord! to fling us in a ditch and there leave us ?”
One Mr. Cheshire, who was also much followed and admired as a preacher, in a prayer before his printed Sermon preached at St. Paul's, says, “ Lord! thou hast been good one year; yea, Lord, thou hast been good to us two years; Lord, thou haft been good to us fourscore years; but, Lord, thou art wanting in one thing." ?
After the exhibition of these testimonies from the principal men of the faction, and many more might be adduced, who can doubt for a moment that Puritanism was the great source of the rebellion which blackened the annals of this country with the horrid murder we are called upon to de... plore on this day? The fact is notorious; and is proved, not! merely by the declaration of historians, but by the printed ! discourses of the men themselves, which clearly shew that schism is nearly allied to rebellion, and that fanatical pria. . ciples in religion, so far from being innocent and harmless, are the most destructive of the loyalty of the subject, and dangerous to the security of the state. .
ON MR. LANCASTER'S MISSION, &c.
· TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S