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imprisoned; and of them five hundred were in and about London, and the suburbs; several of whom were dead in the jails.* But these were only the beginning of sorrows.
Religion, which had been in vogue in the late times, was now universally discountenanced; the name of it was hardly mentioned but with contempt, in a health or a play. Those who observed the sabbath, and scrupled profane swearing and drinking healths, were exposed under the opprobrious names of Puritans, Fanatics, Presbyterians, Republicans, seditious persons, &c. The Presbyterian ministers were every where suspended or deprived, for some unguarded expressions in their sermons or prayers. Lord Clarendon was at the head of all this madness, and declared in parliament, "that the king could distinguish between tenderness of conscience and pride of conscience; that he was a prince of so excellent a nature, and of so tender a conscience himself, that he had the highest compassion for all errors of that kind, and would never suffer the weak to undergo the punishment ordained for the wicked." Such was the deep penetration of the chancellor; and such the reward the Presbyterians received for their past services!
The profligate manners of the court, at the same time, spread over the whole land, and occasioned such a general licentiousness, that the king took notice of it in his speech at the end of this session of parliament. "I cannot but observe (says his majesty) that the whole nation seems to be a little corrupted in their excess of living; sure all men spend much more in their clothes, in their diet, and all other expenses, than they have been used to do; I hope it has been only the excess of joy after so long suffering, that has transported us to these other excesses, but let us take heed that the continuance of them does not indeed corrupt our natures. I do believe I have been faulty myself; I promise you I will reform, and if you will join with me in your several capacities, we shall, by our examples, do more good both in city and country, than any new laws would do." This was a frank acknowledgment and a good resolution, but it was not in the king's nature to retrench his expenses, or control his vices, for the public good. †
⚫ Sewel, p. 346. Kennet's Chron. p. 651.
"Some were put into such noisome prisons, as were owned not fit for dogs. Some prisons so crowded that the prisoners had not room to sit down altogether. In Cheshire, sixty-eight persons were thus locked up in a small room. No age or sex found any commiseration. Men of sixty, seventy, or more years of age, were, without pity or remorse, subjected to all the rigours of such imprisonments under the infirmities of a natural decline; many times they were forced to lie on the cold ground, without being permitted the use of straw, and kept many days without victuals. No wonder that many grew sick and died by such barbarous imprisonments as these." Gough, vol. 1. p. 538.-Ed.
In the preceding year died, on the 22d of December, aged seventy-two years, Mr. Thomas Lushington, a scholar of eminence, and a favourer of the sentiments of Socinus; who translated into English and published, Crellius's Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, and a commentary on that to the Hebrews from the Latin of the same author, or some other Unitarian writer. He
Though the revenues of the crown were augmented above double what they had been at any time since the Reformation; and though the king had a vast dowry with his queen, whom he married this spring, yet all was not sufficient to defray the extravagance of the court; for besides the king's own expenses, the queen-mother maintained a splendid court of Roman Catholics at Somerset-house, and might have done so as long as she had lived, if she could have kept within moderate bounds; but her conduct was so imprudent and profuse, that she was obliged to return to France, after three or four years, where she died in the year 1669. A lady of such bigotry in religion,* and intrigue in politics, that her alliance to this nation was little less than a judg
ment from heaven.
To procure more ready money for these extravagances, it was published, among other works, two sermons on Matt. xxviii. 13, and Acts ii. 1, entitled, "The resurrection rescued from the Soldier's Calumnies." He was reckoned more ingenious than prudent, and was more apt to display his fancy than to proceed upon solid reason. At one time he personated in his sermon a Jewish Pharisee and persecutor of Christ, descanting on the whole life of our Saviour in a way suited to draw scorn and aversion on him and his attendants: he then changed his character, and speaking as a disciple of Christ he answered the cavils and invectives before thrown out with such dexterity, that his hearers broke into such 'oud and repeated applauses, as hindered him for a good space from proceeding in ais sermon. He was a native of Sandwich, and matriculated at Broadgate's Hall, in Oxford, when he was seventeen, in 1606-7. He graduated, as master of arts, in Lincoln-college, in 1618. In 1631, bishop Corbet gave him the prebendal stall of Bemister Secunda in the church of Salisbury; and afterward bestowed on him the rectory of Burnham Westgate, in Norfolk. In the rebellion he lost his spiritualities, but on the return of Charles II. was restored to them. He died and was ouried at Sittingbourne, near Milton, in Kent. Wood's Athen. Oxon. vol. 2. p. 71, 72.-ED.
In the year 1661, or soon after the Restoration, died also Mr. Henry Denne, whom we have mentioned before, vol. 2. p. 387, note. He began his ministry in the church of England, and in 1641 drew great attention by a sermon which he preached at Baldock, in Hertfordshire; in this discourse, he freely exposed the sin of persecution, and inveighed against the pride and covetousness of the clergy, their pluralities and nonresidences, and the corrupt practices of the spiritual courts. He was reckoned by one, who had a great hand in the public affairs of the age, "to be the ablest man in the kingdom for prayer, expounding, and preaching." When the government declared their design to reform religion, Mr. Denne and many others were led to extend their inquiries, after religious truth, to points which before they had only taken for granted: and, it appearing to him, in his researches, that the practice of baptizing children was without any foundation in Scripture, or the writings of the Christians for the two first ages, he publicly professed himself a Baptist, and was baptized by immersion at London in 1643. This exposed him to the resentment of those who sat at the helm of ecclesiastical affairs: but notwithstanding this he obtained the parish of Elsly in Cambridgeshire. Meeting with opposition and persecution, he quitted his living and went into the army, and gained reputation in the military line. In 1658, he held a public disputation, concerning infant baptism, with Dr. Gunning, in St. Clement's church, Temple-bar; in which he is said to have afforded strong proofs of his abilities and learning, as a good scholar and complete disputant. Mr. Edwards gives him the character of
a very affecting preacher." A clergyman put on his grave this epitaph:
"To tell his wisdom, learning, goodness, unto men, I need say no more, but here lies Henry Denne." Crosby's History of the English Baptists, vol. 1. p. 297, &c.-ED.
* It was the grand argument with the duke of York, for his adherence to the tenets of Popery, that his mother had, upon her last blessing, commanded him to be firm and steadfast thereto. Reresby's Memoirs, p. 16.
resolved to sell the town of Dunkirk to the French, for 500,000l. The lord-chancellor Clarendon was the projector of this vile bargain, as appears by the letters of count D'Estrades, published since his death, in one of which his lordship acknowledges, that the thought came from himself. Several mercenary pamphlets were dispersed to justify this sale; but the wars with France, in the reigns of king William and queen Anne, have sufficiently convinced us, that it was a fatal stab to our trade and commerce: insomuch, that even the queen's last ministry durst not venture to make a peace with France, till the fortifications of it were demolished.
But to divert the people's eyes to other objects, it was resolved to go on with the prosecution of state-criminals, and with humbling and crushing the Nonconformists: Three of the late king's judges being apprehended in Holland, by the forward zeal of Sir G. Downing, viz. colonel Okey, Corbet, and Berkstead, were brought over to England by permission of the States, and executed on the act of attainder, April 19. They died with the same resolution and courage as the former had done, declaring they had no malice against the late king, but apprehended the authority of parliament sufficient to justify their conduct.
Before the parliament rose the house addressed the king to bring colonel Lambert and sir Henry Vane, prisoners in the Tower, to their trial; and accordingly, June 4, they were arraigned at the King's-Bench bar; the former for levying war against the king; and the latter for compassing his death. Lambert was convicted, but for his submissive behaviour was pardoned as to life, but confined in the isle of Guernsey, where he remained a patient prisoner till his death, which happened about thirty years after. Sir Henry Vane had such an interest in the convention-parliament, that both lords and commons petitioned for his life, which his majesty promised; and yet afterward, at the instigation of the present house of commons, he was tried and executed. Sir Harry made a brave defence; but it was determined
• Dr. Grey is much displeased with Mr. Neal for imputing the sale of Dunkirk to lord Clarendon: and remarks on it, that "had the count D'Estrades declared positively that the lord Clarendon had no concern therein, it is probable that his authority would have been rejected or passed over in silence. But lord Clarendon was a great friend to monarchy and episcopacy; and therefore lord Clarendon's character must at all adventures be run down." The reader will determine concerning the candour and fairness of this censure. The passages in which D'Estrades ascribes this transaction to lord Clarendon are to be seen in Rapin, and in Dr. Harris's Life of Charles II. vol. 2. p. 192-198. Dr. Grey, on the other hand, refers to Kennet and Roger Coke, esq. as acquitting his lordship from advising the sale of Dunkirk. Bishop Burnet, it may be added, says, on the information of his lordship's son," that he kept himself out of that affair entirely." To reconcile the nation to the sale of Dunkirk, the king promised to lay up all the money in the Tower, and that it should not be touched but upon extraordinary occasions. But in violation of his word and of decency, it was immediately squandered away among the creatures of his mistress, Barbara Villiers. Burnet's History of his Own Times, vol. 1. p. 251.-ED.
+ Rapin, p. 630, 631.
to sacrifice him to the ghost of the earl of Strafford; and when his friends would have had him petition for his life, he refused, saying, if the king had not a greater regard for his word and honour than he had for his life, he might take it. Nevertheless bishop Burnet says, "He was naturally a fearful man, and had a head asda rk in the notions of religion; but when he saw his death was determined, he composed himself to it with a resolution that surprised all who knew how little of that was natural to him. He was beheaded on Tower-hill, June 14, where a new and very indecent practice was begun; it was observed that the dying speeches of the regicides had left impressions on the hearers, that were not at all to the advantage of the government; and strains of a peculiar nature being expected from him, drummers were placed under the scaffold, who, as soon as he began to speak to the public, upon a sign given, struck up with their drums. But this put him into no disorder; he desired they might be stopped, for he knew what was meant by it. Then he went to his devotion; and as he was taking leave of those about him, he happened to say something again with relation to the times, when the drums struck up a second time; so he gave over, saying, It was a sorry cause that would not bear the words of a dying man; and died with so much composedness, that it was generally thought the government lost more than it gained by his death." The Oxford historian says, he appeared on the scaffold like an old Roman, and died without the least symptoms of concern or trouble.
But the grand affair that employed the parliament this spring, was the famous act of uniformity of public prayers, &c. designed for the enclosure of the church, and the only door of admission to all ecclesiastical preferments. The review of the Common Prayer had been in convocation three or four months,+ and was brought into parliament, with their alterations and amendments, before Christmas‡; the bill was read the first time in the house of commons Jan. 14, and passed, after sundry debates, but by six voices, yeas 186, noes 180; but it met with greater obstacles among the lords, who offered several amendments, which occasioned conferences between the two houses. The lords would have exempted schoolmasters, tutors, and those who had the education of youth; and in the disabling clause, would have included only livings with cure §. But the commons being supported by the court, would abate nothing||, nor consent to any provision for
* Burnet, p. 237, 238.
+ Dr. Grey is at a loss to understand how the act of uniformity could come into the convocation, and continue there for three or four months: for the two houses never send their bills thither for their perusal and approbation. He thinks, therefore, that Mr. Neal's mistake must be owing to their review of the Common Prayer. Examination, vol. 3. p. 320.-ED.
Kennet's Chron. p. 604.
§ Ibid. p. 677.
The reason for extending it to schoolmasters was, we are told, to guard against the influence and force of education. Exam. p. 321.-ED.
such as should be ejected. They would indulge no latitude in the surplice or cross in baptism, for fear of establishing a schism, and weakening the authority of the church, as to her right of imposing indifferent rites and ceremonies*. And the court were willing to shut out as many as they could from the establishment, to make a general toleration more necessary. When the lords urged the king's declaration from Breda, the commons replied, that it would be strange to call a schismatical conscience a tender one; but suppose this had been meant (say they), his majesty can be guilty of no breach of promise, because the declaration had these two limitations, a reference to parliament, and so far as was consistent with the peace of the kingdom. May 8, the result of the conference with the house of commons, being reported to the lords, the house laid aside their objections, and concurred with the commons, and the bill passed; but, as bishop Burnet observes, with no great majority. May 19, it received the royal assent, and was to take place from the 24th of August following. This act being prefixed to the Book of Common Prayer, and lying open to public view, I shall only give the reader an abstract of it. It is entitled,
"An act for the uniformity of public prayers, and administration of sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies, and for establishing the forms of making, ordaining, and consecrating, bishops, priests, and deacons, in the church of England."
The preamble sets forth, "That from the first of queen Elizabeth, there had been one uniform order of common service and prayer enjoined to be used by act of parliament, which had been very comfortable to all good people, until a great number of people in divers parts of the realm, living without knowledge and the due fear of God, did wilfully and schismatically refuse to come to their parish-churches, upon Sundays, and other days appointed to be kept as holy days. And whereas, by the scandalous neglect of ministers in using the liturgy during the late unhappy troubles, many people have been led into factions and schisms, to the decay of religion, and the hazard of many souls; therefore, for preventing the like for time to come, the king had granted a commission, to review the Book of Common Prayer, to those bishops and divines, who met at the Savoy; and afterward his majesty required the clergy in convocation to revise it again; which alterations and amendments having been approved by his majesty, and both houses of parliament; therefore, for settling the peace of the nation, for the honour of religion, and to the intent that every person may know the rule to which he is to conform in public worship, it is enacted by the king's most excellent majesty, &c.
"That all and singular ministers shall be bound to say and use the morning prayer, evening prayer, and all other common prayers,
* Kennet's Chron, p. 679.