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tified the clergy so much, that the pulpits throughout England resounded with thanksgivings; and a numerous set of addresses flattered his majesty, in the strongest expressions, with assurances of unshaken loyalty and obedience, without limitation or reserve. Among others was the humble address of the university of Oxford; in which, after expressing their sorrow for the death of the late king, they add *, that they can never swerve from the principles of their institution, and their religion by law established, which indispensably binds them to bear faith and true obedience to their sovereign, without any limitation or restriction, and that no consideration whatever should shake their loyalty and allegiance. And the university of Cambridge add, that loyalty [or unlimited obedience] is a duty flowing from the very principle of their religion, by which they have been enabled to breed up as true and steady subjects as the world can show, as well in doctrine as practice, from which they can never depart. The Quakers' address was more simple and honest +; "We are come," say they, "to testify our sorrow for the death of our good friend Charles, and our joy for thy being made our governor. We are told thou art not of the persuasion of the church of England no more than we, therefore we hope thou wilt grant us the same liberty which thou allowest thyself; which doing, we wish thee all manner of happiness §."
The king began his reign with a frank and open profession of his religion; for, the first Sunday after his accession, he went publicly to mass, and obliged father Huddleston, who attended his brother in his last hours, to declare to the world that he died a Roman Catholic. His majesty acted the part of an absolute sovereign from the very first; and, though he had declared he would invade no man's property, yet he issued out a proclamation for collecting the duties of tonnage and poundage, &c., which were given to the late king only for life; and in his letter to the Scots parliament, which met March 28, he says, "I am resolved
clergy that fell under the king's displeasure, and felt the weight and pressure of his arbitrary power. Historical Account, p. 96. Burnet, p. 620.-ED. * Gazette, no. 2018.
Sewel, p. 594.
Echard, p. 1051.
§ Mr. Neal refers, as one authority for giving this address of the Quakers, to Sewel; but it is not to be found there. A modern historian, who censures it for the "uncouthness and blunt familiarity of expression," calls it," a fictitious address;" the members of this society, he observes, "were not in the custom of paying complimentary addresses to any man :" if the sufferings of their friends impelled them to apply to their superiors for relief, "their addresses, though expressed in their plain manner, were comprised in respectful terms; void of flattery, but not indecent; unceremonious, but not uncivil." There is no account of their being in the number of the congratulatory addresses on the accession of James. Their first application to him was to recommend their suffering friends to his clemency. At the death of Charles, notwithstanding that petition upon petition had been presented to him for relief, one thousand five hundred of this society were in prison on various prosecutions. "So that a people paying a strict regard to truth could hardly term him their good friend." The above address was first published by Echard, from whom it should seem Mr. Neal took it, trusting probably to the exactness of his reference; if he did quote Sewel for it. Hume and others have since published it. Gough's History of the Quakers, vol. 3. p. 160, 161.- ED.
to maintain my power in its greatest lustre, that I may be better able to defend your religion against fanatics."
Before the king had been two months on his throne, he discovered severe resentments against the enemies of his religion, and of his succession to the crown*. Dr. Oates was brought out of prison, and tried for perjury in the affair of the Popish plot, for which he was sentenced to stand in the pillory several times, to be whipped from Aldgate to Newgate, and from thence to Tyburn; which was exercised with a severity unknown to the English nationt. And Dangerfield, who invented the Meal-tub plot, for which he declared he had received money from the duke of York, was indicted for a libel, and was fined 500l. He was also sentenced to be pilloried, and whipped from Newgate to Tyburn, and in his return home was murdered in the coach by one Frances, a barrister at law, who was afterwards hanged for it. The whigs, who went to court to pay their duty to the king, were received but coldly; some were reproached, and others denied access, especially those who had distinguished themselves for the bill of exclusiont. In the election of a new parliament, all methods of corruption and violence were used to get such members returned as might be supple to the king's arbi
* Burnet, vol. 3. p. 29, Edin. edition.
Oates was whipped a second time, while his back was most miserably swelled with his first whipping, and looked as if it had been flayed. He was a man of undaunted resolution, and endured what would have killed a great many others. He was, in his religious profession, a mere Proteus, but appears to have been uniformly capable of villany. His first education was at Merchant-Tailor's school; from whence he removed to Cambridge. When he left that university he gained orders in the church of England, and after having officiated for a time as curate to his father, he held a vicarage first in Kent and then in Sussex. But previously to this, he was, in his youth, a member of a Baptist church in Virginia-street, RatcliffeHighway. In 1677 he reconciled himself to the church of Rome, and is reported to have entered into the society of Jesuits. After having left the whole body of dissenters for thirty years, he applied to be again admitted into the communion of the Baptists, having first returned to the church of England, and continued in it about sixteen years. The Baptists, through a prudent jealousy of him, spent almost three years in trial of his sincerity, before they received him again: so that he complained it "was keeping him on the rack; it was worse than death in his circumstances to be so long delayed." He was restored to their communion in 1698 or 1699, but in less than a year was again excluded as a disorderly person and a hypocrite. He then became a conformist again. "He was a man of some cunning (says Granger), more effrontery, and the most consummate falsehood." At one time he was a frequent auditor of Mr. Alsop at Westminster, after the Revolution: and moved for leave to come to the Lord's table, but was refused on account of his character. Crosby has detailed a long story of a villanous transaction, to ruin a gentleman, to which he was instigated by the spirit of revenge. Dr. Calamy says, "that he was but a very sorry foul-mouthed wretch, I myself can attest from what I once heard from him, when I was in his company." The parliament, after the Revolution, left him under a brand, and incapacitated him for being a witness in future. But a pension of 4007. a year was given him by king William. "The era of Oates's plot (remarks Mr. Granger), was the grand era of whig and tory." Whatever infamy rests upon his name, he was, observes Dr. Calamy, the instrument of Providence of good to this nation by awakening it out of sleep, and giving a turn to the national affairs after a lethargy of some years. Calamy's Historical Account of his own Life, vol. 1. p. 98, 99. Granger's History of England, vol. 4. p. 201, 349; and Crosby's History of the Baptists, vol. 3. p. 166–182. -Ed.
Burnet, vol. 3. p. 12, 13. Edin. edition.
trary designs. When the houses met, May 22, the king repeated what he had declared in council, that he would preserve the government in church and state as by law established; which, Rapin says, he never intended; for he insinuated in his speech, that he would not depend on the precarious aids of parliament, nor meet them often, if they did not use him wellt. But the parliament unanimously settled all the revenues of his late majesty upon the king for life, which amounted to more than two millions a year; and presented an address, May 27, to desire him to issue forth his royal proclamation, to cause the penal laws to be put in execution against dissenters from the church of England.
This brought down the storm, and revived the persecution, which had slackened a little upon the late king's death. His majesty was now encouraged to pursue his brother's measures. The tories, who adhered firmly to the prerogative, were gratified with full licence to distress the dissenters, who were to be sacrificed over again to a bigoted clergy, and an incensed king, zealous for their destruction, says bishop Kennet, in order to unite and increase the strength of Popery, which he favoured without reserve. Upon this, all meeting-houses of Protestant dissenters were shut up, the old trade of informing revived and flourished; the spiritual courts were crowded with business: private conventicles were disturbed in all parts of the city and country. If they surprised the minister, he was pulled out of his pulpit by constables or soldiers, and, together with his people, carried before a confiding justice of peace, who obliged them to pay their fines, or dragged them to prison. If the minister escaped, they ransacked the house from top to bottom; tore down hangings, broke open chambers and closets; entered the rooms of those who were sick; and offered all kinds of rudeness and incivilities to the family, though they met with no manner of opposition or resistance. Shopkeepers were separated from their trades and business; and sometimes wives from their husbands and children; several families were obliged to remove to distant places, to avoid the direful effects of an excommunication from the commons; and great sums of money were levied as forfeitures, which had been earned by honest labour. Dissenting ministers could neither travel the road, nor appear in public but in disguise; nay, they were
Dr. Grey quotes here Echard and Carte, to prove that the new parliament consisted of as many worthy and great, rich, and wise men, as ever sat in the house. -ED. + Gazette, no. 2036.
"The commons, charmed with these promises, and bigoted as much to their principles of government as the king was to his religion, in about two hours voted him such an immense revenue for life, as enabled him to maintain a fleet and army without the aid of parliament, and consequently to subdue those who should dare to oppose his will. In this manner, and without any farther ceremony, did this house of commons deliver up the liberties of the nation to a Popish arbitrary prince." Warner's Ecclesiastical History, vol. 2. p. 631.—ED.
afraid to be seen in the houses of their friends, pursuivants from the spiritual courts being always abroad upon the watch.
One of the first who came into trouble was the reverend Mr. Baxter, who was committed to the King's-bench prison February 28, for some exceptionable passages in his paraphrase on the New Testament, reflecting on the order of diocesan bishops, and the lawfulness of resistance in some possible cases. The passages were in his paraphrase on Matt. v. 19. Mark ix. 39., xi. 31. and xii. 38-40. Luke x. 2. John xi. 57. and Acts xv. 2. They were collected by sir Roger l'Estrange; and a certain eminent clergyman, reported to be Dr. Sh-ck, put into the hands of his enemies some accusations from Rom. xiii., that might touch his life, but no use was made of them. Mr. Baxter being ill, moved by his counsel for time; but Jefferies said, he would not give him a minute's time to save his life. "Yonder stands Oates in the pillory," says he, "and if Mr. Baxter stood on the other side, I would say, two of the greatest rogues in England stood there." He was brought to his trial May 30, but the chief-justice would not admit his counsel to plead for their client. When Mr. Baxter offered to speak for himself, Jefferies called him a snivelling, canting Presbyterian, and said, "Richard, Richard, don't thou think we will hear thee poison the court. Richard, thou art an old fellow, and an old knave; thou hast written books enough to load a cart, every one as full of sedition, I might say of treason, as an egg is full of meat; hadst thou been whipped out of thy writing trade forty years ago, it had been happy. Thou pretendest to be a preacher of the gospel of peace; as thou hast one foot in the grave, 'tis time for thee to begin to think what account thou intendest to give; but, leave thee to thyself, and I see thou wilt go on as thou hast begun; but, by the grace of God, I will look after thee. I know thou hast a mighty party, and I see a great many of the brotherhood in corners, waiting to see what will become of their mighty don, and a doctor of the party [doctor Bates] at your elbow, but by the grace of Almighty God, I will crush you all." The chief-justice having directed the jury, they found him guilty, without going from the bar, and fined him five hundred marks, to lay in prison till he paid it, and be bound to his good behaviour for seven years. Mr. Baxter continued in prison * about two years, and when the court
Dr. Grey has given us, with apparent approbation, what he calls a characteristical epitaph, drawn up for Mr. Baxter by the Rev. Thomas Long, prebendary of Exeter. It shews what different colours a character can receive, according to the dispositions of those who draw the picture; and how obnoxious Mr. Baxter was to some, whose calumnies and censure the reader perhaps will think was true praise. It runs thus: "Hic jacet Ricardus Baxter, theologus armatus, Loyolita reformatus, heresiarcha ærianus, schismaticorum antesignanus; cujus pruritus disputandi¶
"These words (says the author of the article, Baxter, in the Biographia Britannica) are an allusion to sir Henry Wotton's monumental inscription in Etonchapel, Hic jacet hujus sententiæ primus author, disputandi pruritus ecclesarum
changed its measures, his fine was remitted, and he was released.
The rebellion of the duke of Monmouth furnished the court with a plausible handle to carry the prosecution of the whigs and dissenters to a farther extremity. There was a considerable number of English fugitives in Holland at this time, some on political accounts, and others on the score of religion. The king, being apprehensive of danger from thence, obliged the prince of Orange to dismiss the Duke of Monmouth from his court, and to break all those officers who had waited upon him, and who were in his service: this precipitated the counsels of the malecontents, and made them resolve upon a rash and ill-concerted invasion, which proved their ruin. The earl of Argyle, imagining all the Scots Presbyterians would revolt, sailed to the north of Scotland with a very small force, and was defeated with the effusion of very little blood, before the declaration* which he brought with him could have any effect. After him the Duke of Monmouth, with the like precipitate rashness, landed June 11, with an inconsiderable force at Lyme in Dorsetshire; and though he was joined by great numbers in the west country, he was defeated by the king's forces, made prisoner, and executed on Tower-hill; as was the earl of Argyle at Edinburgh.
Though the body of the dissenters were not concerned in either of these invasions, they suffered considerably on this occasion. Great numbers of their chief merchants and tradesmen in the city,
peperit, scriptandi cacoëthes nutrivit, prædicandi zelus intemperatus maturavit, ecclesiæ scabiem. Qui dissentit ab iis quibuscum consentit maximò: tum sibi, cum aliis nonconformis præteritis, præsentibus et futuris: regum et episcoporum juratus hostis ipsumq; rebellium solemne foedus. Qui natus erat per septuaginti annos, et octoginta libros, ad perturbandas regni respublicas, et ad bis perdendam ecclesiam Anglicanam; magnis tamen excidit ausis. Deo gratias." Grey's Examination, vol. 2. p. 281, note.-ED.
A full view of the assertions and purport of the duke of Monmouth's manifesto is given in my History of the Town of Taunton, p. 133–135. It was secretly printed in a private house hired for that purpose at Lambeth by W. C., a man of good sense and spirit, and a stationer in Paternoster-row; who imported the paper. His assistant at the press was apprehended and suffered he himself escaped into Holland, and absconded into Germany, till he came over with the prince of Orange, who, when he was settled on the throne, appointed him his stationer. William Disney, esq. was tried by a special commission upon an indictment of high-treason, for printing and publishing this declaration, and was convicted, and sentenced to be drawn, hanged, and quartered. Dr. Grey's Examination, vol. 3. p. 403-404.-ED.
scabies;' i. e. Here lies the first author of this opinion, The itch of disputing is the leprosy of the churches.'" This writer has given the above epitaph in English, thus: "Here lies Richard Baxter, a militant divine, a reformed Jesuit, a brazen heresiarch, and the chief of schismatics, whose itch of disputing begat, whose humour of writing nourished, and whose intemperate zeal in preaching brought to its utmost height, the leprosy of the church: who dissented from those with whom he most agreed from himself, as well as all other nonconformists, past, present, and to come; the sworn enemy of kings and bishops, and in himself the very bond of rebels: who was born, through seventy years and eighty books, to disturb the peace of the kingdom, and twice to attempt the ruin of the church of England: in the endeavour of which mighty mischiefs he fell short. For which thanks be to God." Biographia Britannica, vol. 2. p. 18, second edition.-ED.