« ForrigeFortsæt »
now be taken for the better and more perfect tion, that I know of, is intended, but in things establishment of it. It was visible to all the declared to be alterable by the Church itself
. nation, that the more moderate Dissenters were And if things alterable be altered upon the generally so well satisfied with that stand which grounds of prudence and charity; and thiogs oor divines bad made against Popery, and the defective be supplied ; and things abused be many unanswerable treatises they had publish: restored to their proper use; and things of a ed in confutation of it, as to express an unusual more than ordinary composition revised and readiness to come in to us. And it was there. improved; wbilst the doctrine, government fore thought worth the while, when they were and worship of the Church remain intire, in alt deliberating about those other matters, to con- the substantial parts of them; we have all reasider at the same time what might be done to son to believe that this will be so far from ingain them, without doing any prejudice to our juring the Church, that, on the contrary, it selves.
shall receive a very great benefit by it."* The scheme was laid out, and the several And now, my lords, let any impartial person parts of it were committed, not only with the consider, what was there in such a design that approbation but by the direction of that great could be justly esteemed prejudicial to the conprelate, to such of our divines as were thought stitution of our Church? Wherein would our the most proper to be entrusted with it. His canons have suffered, if those already made grace took one part to himself ; another was had been more strongly enforcer; and some committed to the then pious and reverend * new ones bad been added, for the reformation dean, afterwards a bishop of our Church. of manners; for the better punishing of noThe reviewing of the daily service of our li- torious offenders; and to render our public dis. turgy, and the communion-book, was referred cipline more strict and severe? This we have to a select number of excellent persons, twot been wisbiog for ever since the Reformation, of which are at this time upon our bench; and What harm would it have done our Church, I am sure will bear witness to the truth of my had it now been effected ? Or how would our relation. The design was, in short, this: To excellent liturgy have been the worse, if a few improve, and if possible, to inforce, our disci- more doubtful expressions had been changed pline; to review and enlarge our liturgy; by for plainer and clearer; and a passage or two, correcting of some things, by adding of others; which, however capable of a jusi defence, yet in and if it should be thougbt advisable by autho- many cases seem harsh to some even of our rity, when this matter should come to be le- own communion, had either been wholly left at gally considered, first in convocation, then in liberty in such cases, to be omitted altogether; parliament, by leaving some few ceremonies, or been so qualified as to remove all exception confessed to be indifferent in their natures, as against them in any case ? If such collects, indifferent in tbeir usage, so as not to be neces- as are not yet adapted to the festivals or gospels sarily observed by those who made a scruple of to which they belong, had been made more full, them; till they should be able to overcome and apposite to both; if some of the occasional either their weakuesses or prejudices, and be offices had been enlarged, and new ones added : willing to comply with them.
If, for example, there bad been a greater vaHow far this good design was not only known riety of prayers, psalms and lessons appointed to, but approved of by, the other fathers of our by authority, instead of the compositions of Charch, that famous petition, for which seven private persons, now necessarily to be used, for of them were sent to the Tower, and which ihe visitation of the sick ; and new forms comcontributed so much to our deliverance, may posed for the use of prisoners for debt or suffice to shew. The “ willingness there de- crimes: For the greater solemnity of receiving clared of coming to such a temper as should be proselytes into our Church; of reconciling thought fit with the Dissenters, when that matter penitents to it; and of casting notorious of should be considered and settled in parliament fenders out of it: These were some of the and convocation ;” manifestly referred to what main things that were then designed. As for was then known to several, if not all, of the any favour to the Dissenters, none that I know subscribers, to have been at that very time of was intended, but what should have been enpoder deliberation. And that nothing more tirely consistent with our own constitution : was intended than I before said, is as evident And I hope it will not be thought any crime from what was publicly declared in a treatise for the bisbops and clergy of our Church to be purposely written to recommend the design, willing to enlarge its communion, by any mewhen it was brought before the two Houses of thods which may be likely to gain others, and Parliament, in the beginning of the late reigo; yet not injure our own establishment. aod licenced by the autbority of a noble peer, But to satisfy your lordships that nothing now present, wbo was at that time secretary of could have been designed to the detriment of state: In the very beginning of which there the Church; be pleased farther to consider, is this remarkable passage, which I shall beg leave to read to your lordships: “ No altera - * A Letter to a member of parliament in fa
vour of the Bill for uniting Protestants: Li* Dr. Patrick, bishop of Ely. Former Edit. cenced by the command of the earl of Shrews. + The archbishop of York and bishop of bury, April 1, 1689. Ja. Vernon, pag. %. Ely. Former Edition.
how what was thus at first projected in private, croft. The next who openly approved of it by select persons, and in a difficult time, when were the commissioners who met upon it in no countenance was to be expected from au- the Jerusalem-Chamber : A set of men, than thority to any such purpose, was afterwards, if which this Church was never, at any one time, ever, to have been brought to maturity? And blessed with either wiser or better since it was a this being a matter of public notice, the rela- Church : Who it was that * presided in the tion of it will admit of no exception.
convocation of this province, to which this proNo sooner were their late majesties, of glo- ject was next to be referred; and who had it rious memory seated in their thrones but this gone on, must have had a chief hand in the design was openly espoused by them. A com- management of it, I need not say. Every one mission was issued out, under the great seal who knows any thing at all of his character of England, to a large number of bishops and and I am sure your lordships are none of you other eminent divines, to meet together, and to strangers to it) knows him to be too good a consider of these matters. What they did, friend to the establishment of our Church, to having not had the bonour to be one of them, i bare been capable of being engaged in such a shall not presume to say. This we know, that villainous design, as Dr. Sacheverell pretends
, whatever they did, it was to have been car for the subversion of it: or had be been otherried on from them to the two convocations wise, yet still the major part of that venerable of Canterbury and York: And after it should body must have been as great Achitophels as have passed their approbations, it was finally himself, or no harm could have been done by to have been laid before the two Houses of him. Pardon me, my lords, if the course of Parliament, and so to have gone ou to the my argument obliges me to rise yet one deroyal assent. This, my lords, was the course gree higher, and to say, that the like majority through which all that was designed, or should of your lordships, and of the House of Comhave been done in this matter, must have mons, together with his late majesty, must all passed : And I am persuaded nothing very in- bave come into the plot against the Church; jurious to our Church's welfare will ever be or all the skill and malice of the inferior Achi. able to pass through all these.
tophels would bare signified nothing. And Having thus given your lordships a true ac- what censure that man deserves, who has the count of that design which Dr. Sacheverell confidence to insinuate to the world, that the mentions under the name of Comprehension, I bishops, the other clergy, the convocations, the doubt not but that your lordships will now be parliament, pay, and the late king bimself, our amazed to bear, what a false and scandalous glorious deliverer; or at least the greater part report he bas made of it. In the 16th page of of all these, were engaged in a projects his Sermon he thus speaks of it: “ The worst monstrous, so romantic, and absurd,” (for here adversaries of our Church says he, were to be I am content to use his own expressions) that let into her bowels under the holy umbrage of it is hard to say whether it had more of vilsons; who neither believed her faith ; owned lainy or folly in it;" I shall submit it to your her mission; submitted to her discipline ; or Jordships to consider. All I design in taking complied with her liturgy. For the admitting notice of this part of his Sermon, is only to of this Trojan horse, big with arms and ruin, clear the memory of many excelleot persons into our holy city, the straight gate was to be who are dead; and to vindicate the reputation laid quite open ; her walls and enclosures to of some still living, and in the highest stations be pulled down; and a high road made in upon of the Church, from that load of infamy which her communion. Her articles to be taught the this rash man has with so much virulence of confusion of all senses, nations, and languages." speech cast upon them: And to let your lord
This my lords, is a very strange representa- ships see tbat nothing was intended in all that tion of so good a design as that I before re- affair but what was both honourable to those counted to your lordships. Yet this represen- who engaged in it, and, I am persuaded, would tation did this bold man, as confidently, as fals- have been for the interest and peace of our ly, make of it in the House of God, and pub- Church and State, had it been accomplished. lish to the view of the whole nation. For tbus I come now to that wbich is the he goes on :
“ This pious design of making our ject of the present debate ; namely, to offer house of prayer a den of thieves, of reforming such passages to your lordships, as I humbly our Church into a chaos, is well known to have conceive do plainly and fully make out the been attempted several times in this kingdom, Second Article of the Commons Impeachment and lately within our memory, when all things against the preacher ; and prove him to bave seemed to favour it ; but that good Providence spoken with more freedom iban he ought, but which so happily interposed against the ruin only of the Dissenters themselves, but of the of our Church, and blasted the long projected Toleration, or, (as he bad rather we should call scheme of these ecclesiastical Achitophels." it) the indulgence granted by !aw to them. To say pothing more of the design itself, of And here, as I remember, it was not deniel which I have given an account before; pray, either by his counsel or himself, but that he my lords, who were the Achitophels that pro- bad spoken, and spoken with warmıh too, jected it, and must have concurred to the exe-against Toleration. The only question is, What cution of it? I have already named the first and chiefest of them, the late archbishop San- * The Lord Bishop of London,
the Toleration is against which he spake? | page 15. And that these again are the same Whether it was that which has been granted persons who have a right to the legal indul. by law to the Dissenters ? Or whether it was gence, is so very clear, that I do not see how only against a general Toleration of Atheists, it is possible for any one to make the least Deists, Socinians, men of no principles, perhaps doubt of it. Page 18. He describes them as of no religion? Or at most, against such of the Occasional Conformists to the Church. Page Dissenters as abused the indulgence granted 19. As tbose. wbo had the old leaven of their them by law; and made use of it to purposes forefathers still working in them : and, in the not at all warranted by it? The former of these next sentence he expressly talks of the religious the Commons charge upon him: the latter he liberty which our gracious sovereign has inpretends ; the better to clear himself of their dulged them. This in the very same sentence Charge.
he calls their Toleration ; (for the ductor bimTo determine this point, I must in the first self is not tied up to any niceties of expression ; place beg leave to observe, that among the he may call it so, though others may not :) several sorts of False Brethren enumerated by these are the persons, and the only persons, of the preacher, with relation to God, Religion or whom he speaks in all that part of bis disthe Church; the second kind is of those, who course ; let us see what he says of the indul. give up any point of the Church's discipline gence granted by law to them. and worship, page 8. To this be adds, that And first, he tells us, page 18. “ That it those are False Brethren who defend Tolera- cannot be denied, but that though they do subtion and Liberty of Conscience. And that we mit to the government, their obedience is forced may the better know what Toleration and and constrained ; and so treacherous and unLiberty of Conscience he means, be specifies certain, as never to be trusted. That they are the very persons to whom he refers, and of as much occasional loyalists to the State, as whom he speaks; the Dissenters: “ If, (says they are occasional conformists to the Church; he,) to comply with the Dissenters both in pubiic and will betray either whenever it is in their and private affairs, as persons of tender con- power, and they think it for their advantage. science and piety, to promote their interests in That nothing but a sottish infatuation can so elections, to sneak to them for places and pre- far blind our eyes, and our judgments, as to ferments, to defend Toleration and Liberty of make us believe that the same causes should Conscience, and, under the pretence of modera- not produce the same effects; that the same tion, excuse their separation, are the criterions latitudinarian and republican notions should not of a true Church-man; God deliver us all from bring forth the same rebellious and pernicious soch False Brethren!”
consequences. That we shall be convinced to The Toleration, therefore, and Liberty of our sorrow, if we do not apprehend that the old Conscience, against which he speaks, must leaven of their forefathers is still working in necessarily be that of the Dissenters; those the present generation : and that his traditional who separate from our Church : be names no poison still remains in this brood of vipers to others; but carries the same persons through sting us to death. That they have advanced the whole sentence, both before and after those themselves from the religious liberty which our expressions. Either therefore it is no reflection gracions sovereign bas indulged them, to claim upon the Act of Indulgence to say, that all a civil right; and to justle the Church ont of those who defend the Toleration of the Dis- her establishment, hy hoisting their Tolerasenters, and are for allowing Liberty of Con- tion into its place. That to convince ys wbat science to them, are False Brethren with alone will satisfy them, they insolently demand relation to God, Religion or the Church, page the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts, 6, 7, and such against whom we onght to pray which, under her majesty, is the only security to God to deliver us all, page 8: orifihis cannot the Church has to depend upon : and which (if with any reason be either said or supposed, we may believe bim) they have so far eluded then it must remain that Dr. Sacheverell has by their abominable hypocrisy, as to have unbere said what the Commons charge him dermined her foundations, and endanger the withal; and that in express terms, viz. That government, by filling it with its professed enehe is a False Brother who defends the Tolera- mies." His meaning is plainly this, that the tion, not of Deists, Socinians, and I know not Dissenters, whom we are so foolish as to inwhat monsters of irreligion, but of the Disc dulge, are a parcel of false and treacherous perSenters : those same Dissenters, who by the sons; enemics both to our Church and State; Act of Indulgence bave a right to that Liberty and such as, if not timely suppressed, will conof Conscience of which this gentleman speaks vince us to our sorrow of the weakness and so very bardly; and prays God to defend us folly of taking such vipers into our bosom, as from all socb False Brethren as shall presume watch only for a fair opportunity to sting us to to excuse it.
death. But not to insist upon a single passage which But what then must we do to secure ourmay be supposed to have dropt unwarily from selves against these dangerous enemies? Why him: in the second part of his Sermon, he pro- first, the Doctor assures us, that they are never ceeds to shew the great perils and mischiefs of to be gained by any favour that can be shewed those False Brethren against whom he was to them. “ That he must be very weak, or before speaking, both to the Church and State, something worse, that thinks, or pretends ibat
the Dissenters" (for of these he still speaks) | this means, “His son fell a martyr to their " are to be won over by any other grants and fury; his unhappy offspring suffered such disindulgences than giving up or whole consti- astrous calamities, as made the royal family tution."* This shews the folly of trying the one continued sacrifice to their malice.” And soft way of indulgence with them: and there all this for want of those wholesome severities, fore he concludes, “That he who recedes the which the wise queen, his predecessor, had least tittle from it” (our constitutiou) “ to satisfy used utterly to suppress that factious people
. or ingratiate with tbese clamorous, insatiable This, my lords, is the Doctor's narrative; church-devouring malignants, knows not what and I have given it you in bis own words. The spirit they are of; or he ought to shew who is application is plain and bome. The Dissenters the true member of our Church.”
are now again tolerated, as they were heretoThis, I think, comes fully up to what is ob- fore under queen Elizabeth : there is a perfijected against him; namely, * That Dr. Sa- dious prelate (perhaps in his opinion a great cheverell does in his Serinon suggest and main-many) who, like archbishop Grivdall
, help to tain, that the Toleration granted by law is un- delude another queen into the toleration of reasonable and the allowance of it unwarranta- them. These eight years past (for the very ble.” For so it needs must be, if the Dissenters number of years is remarkable) her majesty be such men as he tells us they are ; and will has borne the restless spirits of this factious be satisfied with nothing less, than he assures people; and had no quiet for them. It is now us they will. And yet what next follows, is, if high time for her to alter ber measures, as possible, still more express to the same pur. queen Elizabeth wisely did. It is the only pose. It is objected against him by the Com- way to make the crown sit easy and Aourishmons, that he had affirmed in bis Sermons, ing upon her head. And if this be not plainly “Queen Elizabeth was deladed by archbishop to speak out what he would have done with the Griodall," (whom he scurrilously calls a false. Act of Indulgence, I must despair of ever beson of the Church, and a perfidious prelate) ing able to know any mau's meaning by his " to the toleration of the Geneviau discipline." expressions. Such examples are not only the The fact is not denied, but the expressions are most likely to enforce, but the most proper and excused ; and the truth of tbe allegation is en- lively methods to convey a man's sense
, even deavoured to be made out by historical me- to the dullest capacity ; and make him clearly moirs : and it is hoped that your lordships will perceive, if not what he ought, yet I am sure not account it a High Crime and Misdemeanor, what the preacher would have bím to do. to have spoken too hardly of a prelate who has The truth is, so plain was his meaning, that been so many years in his grave.
he himself began to fear that he had gone 3 I am, my lords, very far from thinking, that little too far in what he said of this matter. And the Commons ever intended to charge Dr. Sa- for that reason, he added that one poor setcheverell as guilty of High Crimes and Misde- tence which immediately follows, and of which meanors for speaking scandalously of that good he has made such good use since: “That he archbishop. Their concern was not for his would not be misunderstood as if he intended person, what respect soever they may have to cast the least invidious reflection upon that had (as all true friends of the Reformation indulgence the government bad condescended must needs have a very great one) for his me- to give them (the Dissenters):” but what then mory. But the truth of the matter is this: did he intend by all this bitter invective against the preacher complains, page 19 of his Sermon, them; and that very instructive piece of bis. “That queen Elizabeth was deluded by arch tory with which he concluded it?' He has told bishop Grindall, to the toleration of the Gene. us,“ That the Dissenters are False Brethren, vian discipline.” He adds, " That the arch- destructive both of our civil and ecclesiastical bishop was a perfidious prelate, for deluding rights: that they are occasional loyalists to her to tolerate ihat discipline. That she found the State, as well as occasional conformists to it such a head-strong and encroaching monster, the Church; and will betray both whenever that in eight years she saw it would endanger they have it in their power, and it shall be their the monarchy as well as the hierarchy: and interest to do it: that it must be a sottish inlike a queen of true resolution, and pious zeal fatuation to believe that the same latitudinarian for both, she pronounced that such were the and republican notions, should not bring fortli restless spirits of that factious people,t that no the same rebellious and pernicious consequiet was to be expected from them, till they quences : that we shall be convinced to our were utterly suppressed. That this, therefore, sorrow, if we do not apprehend that the old like a prudent princess, she did by wholesome leaven of their forefathers is still working in severities; and the effect was, that by this the present generation : that they have already means the crown for many years sat easy and maile dangerous encroachments upon the gofourishing on ber head: but that her succes- vernment, and published treasonable reflections sor, king James, did not follow' her wise poli- upon ber majesty: that they have advanced tics.” And the result was as deplorable on his their indulgence into a civil right, and justled side, as it had been glorious on hers: for by the Church out of her establishment, by hoist
ing their Toleration into its place : that they • Sermon, p. 19.
have by their abominable hypocrisy, under + Ibid. p. 20.
mined the foundation of the Church, and en
dangered the government, by filling it with its might the better draw a sense out of them, conprofessed enemies : that tbey are clamorous, trary to his meaning. I shall trouble your insatiable,church-devouring malignants; whom lordships but with one part more of it, to the no other grants or indulgences can win over, same effect, page 24, 25, where he comes to bat the giving up our whole constitution : that consider, what should be the result of his long ever since their first unbappy plantation in this discourse ? I shall read it to your lordships in kingdom, they have improved, and rose upon his own words, page 25, “ Let us therefore,” their demands in the permission of the govern- says he, “as we are unbappy sharers of St. ment: that queen Elizabeth, who tolerated Paul's misfortune, to have our Church in perils them for eight years together, was forced at amongst False Brethren, follow his example last to soppress them by wholesome severities: and conduct in a parallel case. He tells us in that this made her crown sit easy and flourish- bis Epistle to the Galatians, c. 2, that he was ing on her head; whereas kiny James the first, obstructed and pestered in preaching the Gosby not pursuing the like methods, ruined the pel, by False Brethren unawares brought in, #bole royal family: that nothing better could who came privily to spy out his liberty which be expected from such miscreants, begot in re- he had in Christ Jesus, that they might bring bellion, born in sedition, and nursed up in fac. him into bondage. To whom he gave place tion." All this Dr. Sacheverell has said in these by subjection, no not for an hour, that the truth Fery plain, and emphatical words. If he did of the Gospel might continue with the Church. not intend by all this to shew the necessity of Doubtless this brave and bold resolution did the suppressing ibese factious people, these vipers, Apostle take by the peculiar command and inwho are just ready to sting us all to death, I spiration of the Holy Ghost: and yet if our would be glad to know what it wasthat he did in- Dissenters bad lived in those times, they would tend by it? Could hesay all this and with such a have branded him as an intemperate, hot, fusingular strain of impetuous eloquence, and yet, rious zealot, that wanted to be sweetened by " pot intend to cast so much as the least invidi: the gentle spirit of charity and moderation forous reflection upon that indulgence which the sooth.” government has thought fit to give them ?" I Here we have again the persons of whom the must freely own, my lords, I could never have preacher speaks: they are our Dissenters, not imagined this: nay, I must be excused if I the Deists, Atheists, Socinians, Hypocrites, of add, that notwithstanding this poor evasion, I our times. And accordingly what follows, cannot yet believe it. But the act of Indul- plainly refers to them : for thus be goes on, gence stood in his way: that Act the queen in Schisin and faction are things of impudent had declared her resolution to maintain : your and encroaching natures; take permissions for lordships and the Commons had often shewn power; and advance a Toleration” (for so the your steadiness to the same effect. Even those Doctor is still at liberty to call what we must who pressed so violently against occasional stile Indulgence) "immediately into an estabcommunion, yet thought it necessary to say, in lishment." Your Jordships will please to obthe very preamble of that Bill, That the Act of serve, by the way, that this was the very thing Indulgence ought inviolably to be observed : he had before said of these same persons, page and therefore Dr. Sacheverell thought it need. 19, and thereby plainly shews, that he speaks ful to add somewhat that he knew would not in both places of those Dissenters who have a take off any thing from the force of his invec. right to the Toleration or Indulgence, granted tive, yet might serve to excuse the severity of by law to Protestant Dissenters. Let us now it, and be made use of to the purpose it now is, bear what he would have done with them. if he should chance to be called to account for why he would have them “ treated like growit. This, my lords, I conceive to be the true ing mischiefs, or infectious plagues ; kept at a meaning of that one single passage, so utterly distance, lest the deadly contagion spread." repugnant to all the rest of his discourse; nor And the method he proposes in order therecan I put any other interpretation upon it. For unto, is this, “Let us therefore,” says he, bad I the same opinion of these men, their “ have no fellowship with these works of darkprinciples and their designs, that Dr. Sacheve- ness; but rather reprove them.” These works, rell bas, I should be so far from thinking them schisin and of faction ; for these, and these fit to be indulged, that I should account it my only, he bere speaks.' This is the people's daty, and the duty of every true friend to our part, and the inferior pastors: " As for the suChurch and Government, to take the same me- perior pastors, let them do their duty, in thunthods of wholesome severities with them that dering out their ecclesiastical anatheinas against queen Elizabeth did: and I hope, by God's them." Against whom, my lords? what grace, that should I be questioned for it, I works of darkness ? Still the same he before should not dissemble my opinion, but should mentioned : our Dissenters, those are the perhave the courage honestly to own it, whatever sons: their schism and faction; those are the I might chance to suffer for it.
works of darkness to which he refers.
« And I have, my lords, insisted the longer upon let any power on earth dare reverse a sentence this part of ihe Doctor's Sermon, because I ratified in heaven.” would not willingly fall under the censure of This, my lords, was the last part of the picking out disjointed sentences, and putting Commons Impeachment upon this second them together from distant places, that so i Article : and it is so plainly expressed by the