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But when the campaign was over, his majesty did one of the most popular actions of his reign, which was marrying the princess Mary, eldest daughter of the duke of York, to the prince of Orange. The king imagined he could oblige the Dutch, by this family alliance, to submit to a disadvantageous peace with the French; but when the prince declared roundly that he would not sacrifice his honour, nor the liberties of Europe for a wife, his majesty said he was an honest man, and gave him the princess without any conditions, to the great joy of all the true friends of their country, who had now a Protestant heir to the crown in view, though at some distance. The nuptials were solemnized November 4, 1677, and the royal pair soon after embarked privately for Holland.
This year died archbishop Sheldon, one of the most inveterate enemies of the Nonconformists, a man of persecuting principles and a tool of the prerogative, who made a jest of religion, any farther than it was a political engine of state*. He was succeeded by Dr. Soncroft, who was deprived for jacobitism at the Revolution t. Dr. Compton was promoted to the see of London, in the room of Dr. Henchman, a man of weak but arbitrary principles,
to death." It is not clear, that ecclesiastical judges may not, even now, doom them to the flames, though the civil power will not execute the sentence. High-church Politics, p. 64.-ED.
"I scarce believe (says Dr. Grey), that the moderate, the impartial, the peaceable Mr. Neal, could write down so many untruths, in one paragraph, without blushing." The doctor expresses himself in another place, vol. 2. p. 320, displeased with Mr. Neal for saying, that Dr. Sheldon "never gave any great specimens of his piety or learning to the world," vol. 3. p. 388. In reply to this he quotes bishop Burnet, who allows that Sheldon "was esteemed a learned man before the wars." Here the doctor refers to bishop Kennet, who says that Sheldon "withdrew from all state-affairs some years before his death; and to Echard, who extols his learning and piety, as well as his munificent benefactions, which we have specified, vol. 3. p. 388, note. Dr. Samuel Parker, who had been his chaplain, says, “he was a man of undoubted piety; but though he was very assiduous at prayers, yet he did not set so great a value upon them as others did, nor regarded so much worship as the use of worship, placing the chief point of religion in the practice of a good life." Mr. Granger represents him as "meriting, by his benevolent heart, public spirit, prudent conduct, and exemplary piety, the highest and most conspicuous station in the church." These characters of his grace appear to contradict Mr. Neal. On the other hand, he is supported by the testimony of bishop Burnet, who says, "He seemed not to have a deep sense of religion, if any at all, and spoke of it most commonly as of an engine of government, and a matter of policy:" and the facts adduced above, shew his intolerant spirit. But all agree in describing him as a man whose generous and munificent deeds displayed a benevolent and liberal mind, and whose pleasantness and affability of manner were truly ingratiating. "His conversation (as Dr. Parker draws his character) was easy; he never sent any man away discontented; among his domestics he was both pleasant and grave, and governed his family with authority and courtesy." His advice to young noblemen and gentlemen, who, by the order of their parents, daily resorted to him, deserves to be mentioned. It was always this: "Let it be your principal care to become honest men, and afterward be as devout and religious as you will. No piety will be of any advantage to yourselves or any bodyelse, unless you are honest and moral men." Granger, vol. 3. p. 230. British Biography, vol. 5. p. 25, 26, note; and Burnet, vol. 1. p. 257.-ED.
+"The bare mention of this is sufficient to expose Mr. Neal's sneer upon one of the greatest, the best, and most conscientious prelates." Dr. Grey, vol. 3. p. 376.-ED.
till it came to his turn to be a sufferer Many of the bishops waited on the king this summer, for his commands to put the penal laws into execution, which they did with so much diligence that Mr. Baxter says he was so weary of keeping his doors shut against persons who came to distrain his goods for preaching, that he was forced to leave his house, to sell his goods, and part with his very books. About twelve years, says he, I have been driven one hundred miles from them, and when I had paid dear for the carriage, after two or three years I was forced to sell them. This was the case of many others, who, being separated from their families and friends, and having no way of subsistence, were forced to sell their books and household furniture, to keep them from starving.
This year  died the Rev. Dr. Tho. Manton, ejected from Covent-garden: he was born in Somersetshire 1620, educated at Tiverton-school, and from thence placed at Wadham-college, Oxon. He was ordained by Dr. Hall, bishop of Exeter, when he was not more than twenty years of age: his first settlement was at Stoke-Newington, near London, where he continued seven years, being generally esteemed an excellent preacher, and a learned expositor of Scripture. Upon the death or resignation of Mr. Obadiah Sedgwick, he was presented to the living of Coventgarden by the Duke of Bedford, and preached to a numerous congregation. The doctor was appointed one of the protector's chaplains, and one of the triers of persons' qualifications for the ministry; which service he constantly attended. In the year 1660, he was very forward, in concert with the Presbyterian ministers, to accomplish the king's restoration, and was one of the commissioners at the Savoy conference; he was then created doctor of divinity, and offered the deanery of Rochester, but declined it. After he was turned out of his living in 1662, he held a private meeting in his own house, but was imprisoned, and met with several disturbances in his ministerial work. He was consulted in all the treaties for a comprehension with the established church, and was high in the esteem of the duke of Bedford, earl of Manchester, and other noble persons. At length, finding his constitution breaking, he resigned himself to God's wise disposal,
Dr. Grey affects to doubt, whether Mr. Neal designed this character for bishop Henchman or bishop Compton; though Henchman is the immediate antecedent whose character more properly follows the mention of his death. The doctor appeals from Mr. Neal to Mr. Echard, who commends bishop Henchman's wisdom and prudence, and his admirable management of the king's escape after the battle of Worcester. Mr. Neal, in speaking of his arbitrary principles, till he was pinched, undoubtedly refers to his conduct, when the declaration for liberty of conscience was published. On this occasion he was much alarmed, and strictly enjoined his clergy to preach against Popery, though it offended the king. This prelate was lord-almoner, and he was the editor of Gentleman's Calling, supposed to be written by the author of the "Whole Duty of Man." Granger, vol. 3. p. 233. Bishop Compton's character will appear in the succeeding part of this history.-ED.
+ Baxter, part 3. p. 171, 172.
and being seized with a kind of lethargy, he died October 18, 1677, in the fifty-seventh year of his age, and was buried in the chancel of the church of Stoke-Newington. Dr. Bates, in his funeral sermon, says, he was a divine of a rich fancy, a strong memory, and happy elocution, improved by diligent study. He was an excellent Christian, a fervent preacher, and every way a blessing to the church of God. His practical works were published in five volumes in folio, at several times after his death, and are in great esteem among the dissenters to this day+.
About the same time died Mr. John Rowe, M.A., born in the year 1626, and educated for some time at Cambridge, but translated to Oxford about the time of the visitation in the year 1648. Here he was admitted M. A. and fellow of Corpus-Christi-college. He was first lecturer at Witney, in Oxfordshire; afterward preacher at Tiverton, in Devonshire, and one of the commissioners for ejecting ignorant and insufficient ministers in that county. Upon the death of Mr. William Strong, in the year 1654, he was called to succeed him in the abbey-church of Westminster; at which place, as in all others, his sermons were very much attended to by persons of all persuasions. On the 14th of March, 1659, he was appointed one of the approvers of ministers by act of parliament; but on the king's restoration he gave way to the change of the times, and was silenced with his brethren by the act of. uniformnity. He was a divine of great gravity and piety; his sermons were judicious and well studied, fit for the audience of men of the best quality in those times. After the Bartholomew act, he continued with his people, and preached to them in Bartholomew-close, and elsewhere, as the times would permit, till his death, which happened October 12, 1677, in the fifty-second year of his age. He lies buried in Bunhill-fields, under an altar
Calamy, vol. 2. p. 42; and Palmer's Noncon. Mem. vol. 1. p. 138.
+ Dr. Manton was also in great estimation for his activity and address in the management of public affairs, and was generally in the chair in meetings of the dissenting ministers in the city. Dr. Grey questions the truth of Mr. Neal's assertion, that he was ordained at the age of twenty years, especially as he gives nɔ authority for it. "Bishop Hall (he says) was too canonical a man to admit any person into deacon's orders at that age." If the fact be mis-stated, he must be destitute of all candour who can impute this to a wilful falsification. Archbishop Usher used to call Dr. Manton a voluminous preacher, meaning, that he had the art of reducing the substance of volumes of divinity into a narrow compass. But it was true, in the literal sense, he was voluminous as an author: for his sermons run into several folios, one of which contains one hundred and ninety sermons on the one hundred and nineteenth psalm. The task of reading these, when he was a youth, to his aunt, had an unhappy effect on the mind of lord Bolingbroke. In a letter to Dr. Swift, he writes, "My next shall be as long as one of Dr. Manton's sermons, who taught my youth to yawn, and prepared me to be a high churchman, that I might never hear him read, nor read him more." Granger's History, vol. 3. p. 304, note.-ED.
Mr. Rowe was a good scholar, and well read in the fathers; and had such a knowledge of Greek, that he began very young to keep a diary in that language; which he continued till his death; but he burnt most of it in his last illness. Palmer.-ED.
monument of a brick foundation*. The words with which he concluded his last sermon were these: "We should not desire to continue longer in this world than to glorify God, to finish our work, and to be ready to say, Farewell, time; welcome, blessed eternity; even so; come, Lord Jesus!"
FROM THE POPISH PLOT TO THE DEATH OF KING CHARLES II. IN THE YEAR 1684-5.
THE king having concluded a peace with the Dutch, became mediator between the French and the confederates, at the treaty of Nimeguen; where the former managed the English court so dexterously, that the emperor and Spaniards were obliged to buy their peace, at the expense of the best part of Flanders.
From this time to the end of the king's reign, we meet with little else but domestic quarrels between the king and his parliament; sham plots, and furious sallies of rage and revenge, between the court and country parties. The Nonconformists were very great sufferers by these contests; the penal laws being in full force, and the execution of them in the hands of their avowed enemies.
No sooner was the nation at peace abroad, but a formidable plot broke out at home, to take away the king's life, to subvert the constitution, to introduce Popery, and to extirpate the Protestant religion root and branch. It was called the Popish plot, from the nature of the design, and the quality of the conspirators, who were no less than pope Innocent XI., cardinal Howard his legate, and the generals of the Jesuits in Spain and at Rome †. When the king was taken off, the duke of York was to receive the crown as a gift from the pope, and hold it in fee. If there happened any disturbance, the city of London was to be fired, and the infamy of the whole affair to be laid upon the Presbyterians and fanatics, in hopes that the churchmen, in the heat of their fury would cut them in pieces, which would make way for the more easy subversion of the Protestant religion. Thus an insurrection, and perhaps a second massacre of the Protestants was intended; for this purpose they had great numbers of Popish officers in pay, and some thousands of men secretly listed to appear as occasion required; as was deposed by the oaths of Bedloe, Tongue, Dr. Oates, and others.
*Calamy, vol. 2. p. 39. Palmer's Noncon. Mem. vol. 1. p. 142.
The discovery of this plot spread a prodigious alarm over the nation, and awakened the fears of those who had been lulled into a fatal security. The king's life was the more valuable, as the Popish successor was willing to run all risks for the introducing of his religion. The murder of sir Edmundbury Godfrey at this juncture, a zealous and active Protestant justice of peace, increased men's suspicions of a plot, and the depositions upon oath of the above-mentioned witnesses, seemed to put it beyond all doubt; for upon their impeachment, sir G. Wakeman the queen's physician, Mr. Ed. Coleman the duke of York's secretary, Mr. Richard Langhorne, and eight other Romish priests and Jesuits, were apprehended and secured. When the parliament met, they voted that there was a damnable and hellish plot contrived and carried on by Popish recusants against the life of the king and the Protestant religion. Five Popish lords were ordered into custody, viz. lord Stafford, Powis, Arundel, Petre, and Bellasys. A proclamation was issued against Papists; and the king was addressed to remove the duke of York from his person and councils.
Though the king gave himself no credit to the plot, yet finding it impracticable to stem the tide of the people's zeal, he consented to the execution of the law upon several of the condemned criminals: Mr. Coleman, and five of the Jesuits, were executed at Tyburn, who protested their innocence to the last; and a year
The death of this gentleman, an able magistrate and of a fair character, was deemed a much stronger evidence of the reality of the plot, than the oath of Oates. The foolish circumstance of his name being anagramatized to "I find murdered by rogues," helped to confirm the opinion of his being murdered by Papists. His funeral was celebrated with the most solemn pomp. Seventy-two clergymen preceded the corpse, which was followed by a thousand persons, most of whom were of eminence and rank. Granger's History of England, vol. 3. p. 400. 8vo.
This shews the interest which the public took in this event. So great was the aların this plot raised, that posts and chains were put up in all parts of the city, and a considerable number of the trained-bands drawn out night after night, wellarmed, and watching with as much care as if a great insurrection were expected before the morning. The general topics of conversation were designed massacres, to be perpetrated by assassins ready for the purpose, and by recruits from abroad. A sudden darkness at eleven o'clock, on the Sunday after the murder of sir Edmundbury Godfrey, so that the ministers could not read their notes in the pulpit without candles, was looked upon as awfully ominous. The minds of people were kept in agitation and terror by dismal stories and frequent executions. Young and old quaked with fear. Not a house was unprovided with arms. No one went to rest at night without the apprehension of some tragical event to hap pen before the morning. This state of alarm and terror lasted not for a few weeks only, but months. The pageantry of mock-processions, employed on this occasion, heightened the aversion to Popery, and inflamed resentment against the conspira. tors. In one of these, amidst a vast crowd of spectators, who filled the air with their acclamations, and expressed great satisfaction in the show, there were carried on men's shoulders, through the principal streets, the effigies of the pope and the representative of the devil behind him, whispering in his ear and caressing him (though he afterward deserted him, before he was committed to the flames), together with the likeness of the dead body of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, carried before him by a man on horseback, to remind the people of his execrable murder. A great number of dignitaries in their copes, with crosses of monks, friars, Jesuits, and Popish bishops with their mitres, trinkets, and appurtenances, formed the rest of the procession. Dr. Calamy's own Life, MSS. p. 67, 68.--ED.