網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

ELIZA-
BETH.

Ibid.

chap. 10.

72

Ibid.

chap. 14.

the event seems not very unlikely, because when Hacket was executed, he posted immediately towards Scotland.

That some of the Dissenting ministers in London were acquainted with Coppingher's intention, is plainly affirmed by himself. He grants the warrantableness of the business was not denied ; but they thought the weight was more than he could move, and that the enterprise could not be attempted without danger to himself and the cause. This was Egerton's sense, who, notwithstanding he would not venture to approve Coppingher's extraordinary calling, yet for fear of giving discouragement, he threw in this qualified expression, “ that he would be loth to quench the Spirit of God in him, or hinder his zeal.”

To fortify this suspicion upon the Dissenters, it is observed that a great many bold libels were published about this time to overawe the bishops and magistracy, and to fright them into laying the reins on the neck of the faction. Some of the expressions, as Bancroft reports, are very remarkable. For instance, they threaten, “ That if the brethren are disturbed, great troubles will ensue; that it is time to set up the discipline themselves, without waiting any longer for parliaments; that there are greater numbers in this interest than can be suppressed ; that there are a hundred thousand of this sentiment in England, who, if they address her majesty for the discipline, she cannot refuse them without danger ; that the bishops shall be treated here as they were in Scotland, and sent packing with the monks and friars ;"_with a great deal Jbid. more to this purpose.

From what has been already related, it appears that Cartwright, Egerton, Travers, Charke, and others, were acquainted that Coppingher had some desperate design in hand; that he laid claim to an extraordinary calling, pretended a privilege from the common rules of duty, and had discovered a general resolution of doing some things by no means justifiable. Now why did not these ministers combat his enthusiasm, censure his measures, and do their utmost to bring him off his designs? why did not they lay open the iniquity of his principles, and rescue him from so damnable a delusion? Now it does not appear any great pains were taken towards his recovery ; but if they despaired of success, and found him incorrigible, why did they not inform against him, and lay open the

chap. 12.

to the

WHIT- danger to the government? What made them conceal their
Abp. Cant. knowledge, venture the issue, and suffer Coppingher and the

rest to run the length of their distraction? These are ques

tions, I am afraid, not easily answered.
Stone's con- To proceed: the same day Hacket was executed, Thomas
fession with
reference Stone, parson of Warkton, in Northamptonshire, took the oath
Dissenters.

to answer to interrogatories, and was examined in Gray’s-inn,
by the examiner for the Star-chamber. This Stone was, not-
withstanding his living, a Dissenting minister, and had a share
in the consultations and assemblies of the Puritans; he gave
an account of the greater and lesser assemblies, where they
met, how often, and what persons assisted in them. He like-
wise answered several questions concerning the authority by

which they met, who were moderators, what points were de633.

bated, and what censures exerted. Most of which particulars, Fuller, from having been mentioned upon other occasions, I shall pass over.

This confession of Stone was ill taken by his party; they looked upon it as an unkind singularity, and a reflection upon the rest. To wipe off this aspersion, he found it necessary to draw up the reasons of his compliance with the government thus far.

Stone's Con-
fession under
his own
Hand,
book 9.

[ocr errors]

“ First. He thought it unlawful to refuse an oath given by a lawful magistrate in behalf of the prince, for a lawful end.

“Secondly. That having taken such a lawful oath, he had not the liberty to say nothing, and much less to deliver an untruth.

Thirdly. That had he not been under the engagement of an oath to discover his knowledge, yet he conceived such a silence unwarrantable which gave just suspicion of treason, rebellion, sedition, &c.

“Fourthly. He thought such concealment might be of ill precedent, and encourage traitors, and other malefactors, to keep their accomplices undiscovered.

Fifthly. That the clearing of a doubtful fact requires the laying open the circumstances.

Sixthly. That silence which smothers an important truth, and leaves it unsupported with evidence, is unlawful.

“Seventhly. That the concealing matter of fact any longer was impracticable. His reasons were, because several letters of the ministers imprisoned had been intercepted; some false

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BETH.

[ocr errors]

66

לר

Transcribed

from Stone's

brethren had given information; and some weak people had ELIZA-
been surprised into voluntary confessions; and, lastly, because
several Dissenters were of his opinion, and resolved to answer
upon oath when called to it.

Eighthly. That the reputation of a minister especially
ought to be preferred to his liberty, &c. But by this myste-
rious refusing to answer questions, a great many good ministers
have suffered in their character.

Ninthly. Standing mute to interrogatories of this kind has occasioned the commitment of some people, and lengthened the confinement of others; and, over and above, has made them suspected of a practice against the State.

Tenthly. Refusing to answer interrogatories touching religion, argues either guilt or want of courage."

by Fuller
These are the main grounds Stone went upon in his vindica- Letters,
tion. Whether this defence gave his party satisfaction or not Hist. book 9.
is more than I can affirm. However, it is certain the ingenuity
of his confession recommended him to the bishops; and thus,
looking on him as a man of conscience, they suffered him to
enjoy his living, notwithstanding his nonconformity.

This year the university of Dublin was founded by queen
Elizabeth.

About this time the contest between Hooker and Travers The contest
began. The first was master, and the other lecturer, of the Hooker and
Temple. Hooker was a general scholar, and particularly well Travers.
read in the Fathers, councils, and ecclesiastical history. Tra-
vers was a good orientalist, and seemed farther improved in
words than things. He was of the same college with Cart-
wright, and had made an acquaintance with him. From
Cambridge he travelled to Geneva, where he fell into an inti-
macy with Beza and the consistory, and was much affected
with their new discipline. After some time he returned into
Flanders, and was made a minister by the presbytery of
Antwerp; that is, they did what they could towards giving This appears
him a holy character. And here he preached with Cartwright ficate of May
to the English factory. When he came over, he was recom- 14, 1589.
mended to the lord Burleigh, who entertained him as chaplain.
And now nothing but his scrupling conformity could have hin-
dered his preferment; but not being able to pass the test of
the ceremonies and articles, he found himself embarrassed.

WHIT- However, the interest of his patron procured him the lecture Abp. Cant. of the Temple; and here, managing with address, and preach

ing plausibly, he was much valued among the students. He had several good qualities to recommend him; for his gestures were moving and graceful, his delivery affecting enough, his method was clear and artificial, and his style rhetorical. By these advantages he gained upon the long robe, disinclined them to the English hierarchy, and brought them to a fancy for the Geneva model. And it was thought the wrong impression the lawyers received from Travers's preaching, made some of them afterwards abet the Puritans in the house of Commons. Travers being thus planted in London, and having the character of a celebrated preacher, made a figure among the Disciplinarians, presided for the most part in their classical meeting, and transmitted their resolutions to their Churches in the country. Upon this raised ground Travers stood when Hooker was made master of the Temple. This divine was a thorough Conformist, and a person of great learning and judgment. He made it his business to recover the audience to a due regard for the worship and government of the English Church. Nothing could be more solid and instructive than his matter; but then his manner was not very engaging ; his voice was neither musical nor strong; his gestures were languid, and his periods drawn out too far. In short, there was neither sound or motion to make his way, and he had little more than the strength of his reasoning to assist him; and bare argument, without equipage and oratory, is not always successful. However, the more judicious part of the audience reached the sense through these disadvantages; and thus his sermons were not without their effect. Travers was ill pleased with Hooker's management, and made it his business to confute that in the afternoon which the other preached in the morning. Hooker, being a man of a gentle unpretending temper, took no notice of this usage for some time; but at last, concluding these pulpit combats might prove unserviceable, he complained to the archbishop. This complaint happened to be made at a seasonable juncture; for now Cartwright, Snape, and some other leading men of the Puritan persuasion, were brought before the High Commission.

And thus the commissioners finding the Nonconformists pushsilenced by ing and troublesome, they signed an order for the silencing Commission. Travers in the Temple and elsewhere. The order was passed

Travers

BETH.

לי

success.

upon these suggestions: “That he was no lawfully ordained ELIZAminister according to the Church of England; that he preached without being licensed; that he had openly presumed to confute such doctrine as had been publicly delivered by another preacher, without giving notice of these controversial sallies to the lawful ordinary; and that this liberty was contrary to a provision made in the seventh year of this reign, for avoiding disturbances in the Church.”

Travers had too much spirit and interest to acquiesce under He petitions this discouragement. He petitioned the lords of the council but without for redress, and excepted to the legality of the proceedings against him. But when the articles were pressed close, he made but a weak defence. For instance: to the charge of his 634. executing the function of a presbyter without lawful orders, he replied no more than that, by virtue of the communion of saints, all ordinations were equally valid in a Christian Church. As to his preaching without a faculty in form from the diocesan, his answer was, the bishop of London had recommended him by two letters to the Templars, and this he conceived tantamount to a licence for preaching to that congregation. And lastly, as for his clashing with Hooker, and endeavouring to disprove his sermons, he conceived St. Paul's withstanding St. Peter to his face would justify his conduct; for where truth is likely to suffer, all regard to persons must be overlooked. Hooker, in his answer to Travers's supplication, rubbed out these colours; and thus Travers miscarried at the councilboard: the archbishop not forgetting to remind the lords of what ill consequence it might be, to suffer a man so dangerously furnished, both with parts and principles, to harangue the inns of court.

This disappointment was made easy in some measure to Travers, by an invitation he received from Adam Loftus, archbishop of Dublin, and chancellor of Ireland. This prelate gave him an offer of the provostship of Trinity-college in that city, which he accepted. He lived not many years in this island; whether his being unacceptable upon the score of his nonconformity, or a prospect of that kingdom being embroiled, brought him back into England, is uncertain. After his return hither, he was less enterprising, and the edge of his zeal was somewhat abated. And thus, though with a slender fortune, he passed Fuller's the remainder of his time more comfortably.

History.

Church

« 上一頁繼續 »