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themselves such a loose against Protestant Nonconformists, as if nothing was so formidable as that party. In all their sermons, Popery was quite forgot, says Burnet, and the force of their zeal was turned almost wholly against Protestant dissenters. In many country places the parson of the parish, who could bully, and drink, and swear, was put into the commission of the peace, and made a confiding justice, by which means he was both judge and party in his own cause. If any of his sober parishioners did not appear at church, they were sure to be summoned, and instead of the mildness and gentleness of a Christian clergyman, they usually met with haughty and abusive language, and the utmost rigour the law could inflict. There was also a great change made in the commissions throughout England. A set of confiding magistrates was appointed; and none were left on the bench, or in the militia, that did not declare for the arbitrary measures of the court; and such of the clergy as were averse to to this fury, were declaimed against as betrayers of the church, and secret favourers of the dissenters; but the truth is, says the bishop, the number of sober honest clergymen was not great, for where the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. The scent of preferment will draw aspiring men after it. Upon the whole, the present times were very lowering, and the prospect under a Popish successor still more threatening.
It would fill a volume, to enter into all the particulars of these unchristian proceedings, which even the black registers of the spiritual courts cannot fully unfold. The reverend Mr. Edward Bury, assisting at a private fast, on account of the extraordinary drought, was apprehended June 14, and fined 201.; and refusing to pay it, because he did not preach, they took away his goods, books, and even the bed he lay upon. The reverend Mr. Philip Henry was apprehended at the same time, and fined 40. and for nonpayment they carried away thirty-three loads of corn which lay cut upon the ground, together with hay, coals, and other chattels. The informers took the names of one hundred and fifty more, who were at the meeting: they fined the master of the house 201. and 57. more as being constable that year, and exacted 5s. a head from all who were present. Examples of this usage in London, Middlesex, and most of the counties of England, are innumerable.
The Quakers published a narrative of the sufferings of their friends since the Restoration, by which it appeared that great numbers had been fined by the bishops' courts, robbed of their substance, and perished in prison*. Many had been so beaten and wounded for attending their meetings, that they died of their wounds. An account was also published, of the unjust proceedings of the informers, shewing, that at their instance
* Sewel, p. 574. 581.
many had been plundered without a juridical process; that seven hundred of them were now in prison in several parts of England, and especially about Bristol; but remonstrances and complaints availed nothing.
In the midst of this furious persecution, the famous Mr. Thomas Gouge, son of Dr. Gouge of Blackfriars, and the ejected minister of St. Sepulchre's, was taken out of this world: he was born at Bow near Stratford 1605, bred at Eton school, and educated in King's-college, Cambridge*. He settled at St. Sepulchre's in the year 1638, and for twenty-four years discharged all the parts of a vigilant and faithful pastor. He was a wonder of piety, charity, humility, and moderation, making it his study to keep a conscience void of offence towards God and man. Mr. Baxter says, he never heard any man speak to his dishonour, except that he did not conform. He was possessed of a good estate, and devoted the chief of it to charity. He settled schools to the number of three or four hundred, and gave money to teach children to read in the mountainous parts of Wales, where he travelled annually, and preached, till he was forbid by the bishops, and excommunicated, though he still went as a hearer to the parish churches. He printed eight thousand Welsh Bibles†, a thousand of which were given to the poor, and the rest sent to the principal towns of Wales, to be sold at an under rate. He printed five hundred of the Whole Duty of Man in Welsh, and gave them away; two hundred and forty New Testaments; and kept almost two thousand Welsh children at school to learn English. Archbishop Tillotson, in his funeral sermon, says, that, all things considered, there has not since the primitive times of Christianity been any among the sons of men, to whom that glorious character of the Son of God might be better applied, that he went about doing good. He was a divine of a cheerful spirit, and went away quietly in his sleep, October 29, 1681, in the seventy-seventh year of his age §.
*Tillotson's Works, vol. 1. p 265.
In these charitable works, as we have seen before, he was assisted by his friends. The great business of his life was to do good. He annually travelled over Wales, inspecting the schools and instructing the people both in public and private, till he was between sixty and seventy years of age. He sustained great loss by the fire of London, and after the death of his wife and the settlement of his children, his fortune was reduced to 1507. per annum; out of which he constantly expended 1007. in works of charity. He had a singular sagacity and prudence in devising the most effectual ways of doing good: and his example gave the first hint to Mr. T. Firmin of that plan of furnishing the poor with employment, which he so extensively and so generously pursued. His funeral sermon was preached by doctor, afterward archbishop, Tillotson. Palmer.-Ed.
Calamy, vol. 2. p. 8.
§ The learned and excellent Dr. William Lloyd, then bishop of St. Asaph, who endeavoured by argument to remove the scruples of the dissenters, and to bring them back into the church by mild and Christian methods, after some private conferences, called on Mr. James Owen to produce his reasons for preaching without ordination by diocesan bishops, at the public hall of Oswestry, on the 27th of September of the year 1681. The bishop was attended by the learned Mr.
While the tories and high-church clergy were ravaging the dissenters, the court was intent upon subverting the constitution, and getting the government of the city into their hands. June 24, 1682, there was a contest about the election of sheriffs, which occasioned a considerable tumult. And when the election of a lord-mayor came on at Michaelmas, the citizens were again in an uproar, the lord-mayor pretending a right to adjourn the court, while the sheriffs, to whom the right belonged, continued the poll till night; when the books were cast up, each party claimed the majority according to their respective books. The contest rose so high, that sir William Pritchard, lord-mayor, was afterward arrested at the suit of Mr. Papillon and Dubois, and detained prisoner in Skinners'-hall till midnight. But when the affair came to a trial, the election was vacated, Papillon and Dubois were imprisoned, and the leading men of the whig party, who had distinguished themselves in the contest, were fined in large sums of money, which made way for the loss of the charter.
The court would have persuaded the common-council to make a voluntary surrender of it to the crown, to put an end to all contests for the future *; but not being able to prevail, they resolved to condemn it by law; accordingly a quo warranto was issued out of the court of King's bench, to see whether its charter had been duly observed, because the common-council, in one of their addresses, had petitioned for the sitting of the parliament, and had taxed the prorogation as a delay of justice; and because they had laid taxes on their wharfs and markets contrary to law. After trial upon these two points, the chief-justice delivered it as the unanimous opinion of the court, that the liberties and franchises of the city of London had been forfeited, and might be seized into the king's hands, but judgment was not to be entered till the king's pleasure was farther known. In the mean time the lord-mayor and common-council, who are the representatives of the city, agreed to submit to the king's mercy, and sent a deputation to Windsor, June 18, 1683, to beg pardon; which the king was pleased to grant on condition that his majesty might have a negative in the choice of all the chief magistrates--that if his majesty disapproved of their choice of a lord-r -mayor they should choose another within a week—and that if his majesty disapproved their second choice he should himself nominate a mayor
Henry Dodwell; Mr. Owen's supporters were, Mr. Philip Henry, Mr. Jonathan Roberts of Slainvair, in Denbighshire, an excellent scholar and warm disputant. The dispute began at two in the afternoon, and ended between eight and nine. Several points, connected with the main question, "concerning the necessity of ordination by diocesan bishops, in uninterrupted succession from the apostles," were debated. The effects of this discussion were various but no converts were made by it. The bishop procured respect by his exemplary candour; and Mr. Philip Henry, by his prudent and primitive temper, and the mildness of his manner, recommended himself to the high esteem of the prelate and the company. Mr. James Owen's Life, p. 29-35.-ED.
* Burnet, p. 354-357. Rapin, p. 727.
for the year ensuing; and the like as to sheriffs, aldermen, &c. When this was reported to the common-council, it was put to the vote, and upon a division, one hundred and four were for accepting the king's regulation, and eighty-six against it; but even these concessions continued no longer than a year. The charter of London being lost, the cities and corporations in general were prevailed with to deliver up their charters, and accept of such new ones as the court would grant, which was the highest degree of perfidy and baseness in those who were intrusted with them, especially when they knew, that the design was to pack a parliament, in order to make way for a Popish successor.
Thus the liberties of England were delivered up to the crown; and though the forms of law remained, men's lives and estates were at the mercy of a set of profligate creatures, who would swear any thing for hire. Juries, says Burnett, were a shame to the nation, and a reproach to religion, for they were packed and prepared to bring in verdicts as they were directed, and not as matters appeared upon the evidence. Zeal against Popery was decried as the voice of a faction, who were enemies to the king and his government. All rejoicings on the 5th of November were forbid, and strict orders given to all constables and other officers to keep the peace; but the populace not being so orderly as they should have been, several London apprentices were fined twenty marks for a riot, and set in the pillory. These were the triumphs of a tory and Popish administration.
A little before this died old Mr. Thomas Case, M.A., educated in Christ-church, Oxford, and one of the assembly of divines: he was peculiarly zealous in promoting the morning exercises, but was turned out of his living at St. Mary Magdalen, Milk-street, for refusing the engagement, and imprisoned for Mr. Love's plot; he was afterward rector of St. Giles's, and waited on the king at Breda. He was one of the commissioners at the Savoy, and silenced with his brethren in 1662. He was an open plainhearted man, an excellent preachier, of a warm spirit, and a hearty lover of all good men. He died May 30, 1682, aged eighty-four §.
Mr. Samuel Clarke, the ejected minister of St. Bene't Fink, was an indefatigable student, as appears by his Martyrology,
• Burnet, vol. 2. p. 403. Calamy, vol. 2. p. 13.
§ He survived every one of the dissenters that sat in the assembly of divines. Mr. Baxter styles him "a holy faithful servant of God." It is painful, however, to reflect, that a man whose character appears in general to have been venerable and amiable, should be so transported by the heat of the times, as, in a sermon preached before the court-martial in 1644, to say, "Noble sirs, imitate God, and be merciful to none that have sinned of malicious wickedness;" meaning the royalists, who were frequently styled malignants. This, as Mr. Granger observes, is sanguinary. It may be added, that it conveyed also a false idea of the divine clemency, which extends its exercise, on repentance, to all characters; to sins of malignity as well as of infirmity. Granger's History of England, vol. 3. p. 317, 318. -ED.
his Lives of eminent Divines, and other historical works: he was a good scholar, and had been a useful preacher in Cheshire and Warwickshire, before he came to London; he was one of the commissioners at the Savoy, and presented the Presbyterian ministers' address of thanks to the king for his declaration concerning ecclesiastical affairs; and though he could not conform as a preacher, he frequently attended the service of the church as a hearer and communicant. He died December 25, 1682, æt. eighty*.
While the liberties of England lay bleeding, the fury of the court raged higher than ever against the Nonconformists, as inflexible enemies of their arbitrary measures +. Mr. Baxter was surprised in his own house by a company of constables and other peace-officers, who arrested him for coming within five miles of a corporation, and brought warrants to distrain upon him for five sermons, amounting to 1957. They took him out of his bed, to which he had been confined for some time, and were carrying him to jail; but Dr. Cox the physician, meeting him in the way, went and made oath before a justice of peace, that he could not be removed to prison without danger of his life, so he was permitted to go home again to bed; but the officers rifled his house, took away such books as he had, and sold even the bed from under him. Dr. Annesley, and several other ministers, had their goods distrained for latent convictions; that is, upon the oaths of persons they never saw, nor received summons to answer for themselves before a justice of peace. This was stabbing men in the dark. Some were imprisoned on the corporation-act. The reverend Mr. Vincent was tried and convicted at the Surreyassizes on the 35th of queen Elizabeth, already mentioned: he lay in prison many months, but was at last released by the intercession of some great men. The dissenting laity were harassed everywhere in the spiritual courts, warrants were signed for distresses, in the village of Hackney alone, to the sum of 14007.
When Mr. Clarke was ejected, he had been forty years in the ministry, during which time he had been seven or eight years a governor, and two years a president of Sion-college. The most valuable of his numerous works are reckoned to be "Lives of the Puritan divines and other persons of note." "The author and the bookseller (says Mr. Granger) seem to have been thoroughly informed of this secret, that a taking title-page becomes much more taking, with an engraved frontispiece before it; and that little pictures, in the body of the book, are great embellishments to style and matter." He was more a compiler than an author. His name was anagrammatised to Su(c)kall Cream, alluding to his taking the best parts of those books from which he collected. One is sorry to find, in the list of his publications, A discourse against Toleration. He enjoyed about nine years the living of Alcester in Warwickshire, where his preaching was very useful, and the town became exemplary for sobriety, which had borne the character of "drunken Alcester." He met death with a lively sense of eternity upon his mind, and a comfortable assurance of his own title to future blessedness. Palmer's Noncon. Mem. vol. 1. p. 88, &c. Granger's History, vol. 3. p. 321.-ED.
Mr. Clarke was the great grandfather of Dr. Samuel Clarke of St. Alban's, the patron of Dr. Doddridge's youthful studies.-ED.
Part 3. p. 191.