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Having thus conducted the reader through the most remarkable events of that distracted period of our national history, and having connected Dr. Twisse with the Assembly of Divines, I will now give a few more particulars of the Doctor's life and writings : We left him at the Court of Heidelberg, (page 242,) and it appears from his own account of the journey, that he remained only a few months in the Palatinate and did not proceed to Bohemia. In Mr. Reid's Memoir of Doctor Twisse, the remaining transactions in his life are thus narrated :
“Upon his return to England, his native country, he was made vicar of Newbury, a mayor and market-town in Berkshire, fifty-six miles from London according to Entick.* The disposition of his mind was such, that he neither sought the riches of this world nor yet ecclesiastical dignities and preferments, but modestly rejected them when they were offered to him.+ He declined being Warden of the College at Winchester, after he was chosen and earnestly requested to accept it, though it was a very lucrative place. He afterward refused a Prebend at Winchester, when offered him ; returning thanks to Dr. Moore, his father-in-law, who was prebendary of Winchester, and other friends, but in
* This reference to Entick does not speak much in favour of the depth of my author's erudition, though it is a' token of its complexity, and is a very excusable notice on the part of a person dwelling in a remote part of Scotland.
+ This is repeated by several of his biographers, one of whom adds, “ No man ever sought more industriously to obtain ecclesiastical promotion than he did to avoid it.”-But I could never learn how this species of voluntary humility comported with the following very significant bint to the Queen of Bobemia, to whom he dedicated his Vindication of the Grace, Power and Providence of God. In allusion to his early residence in her family as English Chaplain, he says : “From this circumstance I have had experience, that the protection of your name has been in some slight degree fortunate to my person. For, it was for your sake, and on account of my having held the situation of preacher to your Royal Highness, that the favour of your brother Charles, our most serene kiug, had nearly encompassed me before I was aware of the honour intended, and I narrowly missed an ecclesiastical digpity. But though his Majesty yielded to the importunity of other people who were striving to oppose my preferment, he did not allow my reputation to be blackened with the calúmnies with which some persons endeavonred to asperse it. All these occurrences transpired without my having indulged in any expectations about their issue; but the recollection of them could have no other effect than to remind me of the potency even of your name, which has thus been the means of presaging my prosperity.” This is evidently an allusion to the ill offices supposed to be done to him by those who were then at the bead of affairs ecclesiastical, who certainly could not with the slightest appearance of consistency recommend Dr. Twisse to preferment in the church, when he had shewn himself to be a most violent Predestinarian and Nonconformist. In his immoderate zeal against Arminius, many of whose expressions he either did not understand or wil fully distorted, he was regardless of consequences, and wished to publish to the world his metapbysical lucubrations, strangely intermixed as they were with humorous sallies and touches of ridicule : Because he was not permitted to complete his purpose in England, he became still more embittered against the civil and ecclesiastical government of the country, and lent kimself to the constitution-menders of those days and entered heartily into their desolating measures.
treating them to give him leave to abide at Newbury, to attend the flock over which God had placed him ; saying, he thought himself unfit for a cathedral employment ; it was hard for him, among such eminent men as the prebendaries of Winchester, either to sing musically enough, or to preach rhetorically
enough. Robert, Earl of Warwick, also offered him a rectory; which, because it was a smaller parish than Newbury, and old age was creeping in upon him, and his bodily strength failing, he thankfully accepted, provided that the Earl would take special care to send a pious faithful pastor to Newbury. The Doctor waited upon the Archbishop of Canterbury, with whom he had been well acquainted while they were students together at Oxford, concerning this business. The Archbishop entertained him courteously, and promised to grant his request; adding, that he would
represent him to the King for a pious and learned man, and no Puritan. But the Doctor was quick enough to perceive, from such treatment and language, that snares were laid for him.* Accordingly he returned to Newbury, and thought no more of leaving it. He came to be so well known in the learned world, and in the church of Christ abroad, by his elaborate and celebrated Latin work in answer to the much-famed book of Arminius against Perkins, that the States of Friesland sent him a pressing invitation to accept the place of Divinity Professor in the University of Franeker. This is the highest preferment that a minister of the gospel was capable of in that country. And the States took order to clear the expenses of his transportation; but he refused this invitation also. `Dr. Twisse refused to read the King's proclamation, commonly called the Book of Sports, wherein the people were allowed to use certain sports on the Lord's Day ; and which was commanded to be read in all churches, on pain of suspension both from office and benefice : yea, he declared against it. Other faithful godly mi. nisters did the same, for which that severe penalty was inflicted upon them. But when King James was informed of Dr. Twisse's refusal, he secretly commanded the bishops not to meddle with him. The King knew well, that though Dr. Twisse had only a small estate, and lived meanly at home, yet his fame was great in all the reformed churches, and that nothing could be done
* It is difficult to imagine how any more “snares could be laid for Dr. Twisse” in bis new vicarage than in his old one, unless he was a man to be easily bribed. Archbishop Laud could exercise no stricter control over him in the one situation than in the other. But such surmises as these shew well npon paper, and answer all the purposes of detraction. It was no blemish in the character of the Archbishop, to call off every clergyman within the reach of his influence from the niceties of Calvinism tu the inculcation of christian promises, precepts and duties. His private interviews for this purpose with several famous individuals, which are on record, redound greatly to his honour, and prove him to have been a man that had a good understanding in the practical doctrines of the Church of England, and in the proper method of applying them to general instruction and edification.
hardly against him, but it would redound greatly to the disgrace of those who did it. King Charles I. renewed his father's edict for allowing sports and recreations, on the Sabbath-day, to such as attended public worship ; and he ordered his proclamation for that purpose to be publicly read by the clergy after Divine service. And, the Puritans refusing obedience to this disgraceful command, were therefore punished with suspension or deprivation.* Dr. Twisse still continued to set the trumpet to his mouth, to shew the people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. (Isa. lviii, 1.) And he spared neither King nor Parliament, but engaged them with their own weapons set against them: like David, when he cut off the head of Goliah the Giant with his own sword. (1 Sam. xvii, 50, 51.) He, with great ingenuity, turned the Act of their own Parliament, concerning the Sabbath, against themselves. He managed this with great propriety and energy, displaying his usual forcible and animated reasoning on the subject. He also appeared against the publications of these times, in support of Sabbath-profanation, as the translator of
* I shall shew in another part of this work, the form, which, through the perverseness of both parties, the Sabbatarian controversy assumed in the reign of King James. It became still more a party question in the reign of King Charles, when the doctrine of the strict observance of the Sabbath was generally embraced and defended by the Calvinists, though many Arminian divines at the same time appeared in behalf of the sanctity of the Lord's-day. Respecting the early Calvinists in England who promulgated this doctrine, Dr. Heylin says:
Whereas those who first did set on foot these doctrines, did, in all their other practices to subvert this church, bear themselves continually on the authority of Calvin, and on the example of those churches which came most near unto the platform of Geneva, they had, in these their Sabbath-speculations, not only none to follow, but they found Calvin and Geneva, and those other churches, directly contrary unto them. However, in all other matters, they cried up Calvin and his writings ; yet here, by his leave, they would forsake him, and leave him fairly to him. self, ibat they themselves might have the glory of a new INVENTION.”
All men conversant with this topic of controversy will assent to the followiog remark by Bishop Burnet : "The question about the morality of the Fourth Commandment, was an unhappy incident, that raised a new strife.” Dr. Peter Heylin rendered himself exceedingly obnoxious to the most pious of his cotemporaries and of posterity, by his sincere but misguided zeal in this matter. It was indeed somewhat preposterous for that very clever man, to be the champion of bowing towards the altar, and at the same time of engaging in pastimes on the Lord's day. In his History of the Sabbath he has justly represented the practice of the Calvinistic Churches on the continent, which are at this day nearly as careless, as formerly, about the due observance of the christian Sabbath. I never reflect ou this controversy and its baneful results, without being reminded of a letter addressed to Mr. Glen in 1636, (only a few months prior to the appearance of the Doctor's work,) by the celebrated Hobbes of Malmesbury, in which that infidel writer says: “I loug infinitely to see those books of the Sabbath, [Dr. Heyliu's History,] and am of your mind, they will
pụt such thoughts into the heads of vulgar people, as will confer little to their good life. For when they see one of the fen Commandments to be Jus Humanum merely, (as it must be if the Church can altér it,) they will hope also, that the other Nine may be so too. For every man hitherto did believe, that the Ten Commandments were the moral law, that is, an eternal law.". These are judicious observations; and the desecrating consequences of Dr. Heylin's doctrine prove Hobbes to have been well acquainted with the corruptions of human nature.
Dr. Prideaux's Lectures, and others, who came on the field in course, concerning the doctrine of the Sabbath. And such faithful testimony-bearing, against this very glaring evil, was not in vain in the Lord : it had its good fruit, its salutary effect in due time. For, when the Parliament went on vigorously with their intended reformation, in the year 1643, they applied themselves to that of the Sabbath also. And on May 5th, this year, the book tolerating sports on the Lord's day was ordered to be burned by the hands of the common hangman in Cheapside, London, and other usual places, which was done the 17th of May, 1643; and all persons having copies thereof were requested to deliver them up to one of the sheriffs of London to be burnt. And it was probably on account of his spirited appearances against the corruptions and evils of these times, that Dr. Prideaux once said, * *that the Bishops did little consult their own
* The learned Professor Prideaux and Dr. Twisse were two of the most decided and bitter Calvivists of that period : Yet, it is seen, they were not unanimous in their judgment concerning the proper method of keeping holy the Sabbath-day. This diversity of sentiment was by no means an uncommon circumstance either among the Calvinists or the Arminians: For in each of the two parties were found judicious men, who deduced their opinions on that subject from the word of God, and disregarded the opposite conclusions of their brethren. Mr. Reid has, in a preceding sentence, alluded to Dr. Prideaux's Lectures in reference to the Sabbath ; the reader is here presented with a compendiuin of the doctrine which he delivered ex cathedra :
“ At last, some four years after his Majesty's declaration before remem · bered, Anno 1622, Doctor Prideaux, his Majesty's professor for the University of Oxon, did, in the Public Act, declare his judgment in this point, de Sabbato; which afterwards, in the year 1625, he published to the world with his other lectures. Now, in this speech or determination, he did thus resolve it. First. That the Sabbath was not instituted in the first creation of the world; nor ever kept by any of the ancient Patriarchs, who lived before the law of Moses : Therefore, no moral and perpetual precept, as the others are. Secondly. That the sanctifying of one day in seven, is ceremonial only, and obliged the Jews ; not moral, to oblige us Christians to the like observance. Thirdly. That the Lord's-day is founded only, ou the authority of the church, guided therein by the practice of the Apostles; not on the Fourth Commandment, which he entituleth' a scandalous doctrine;' nor any other authority in holy scripture. Fourthly. That the Church hath still authority to change the day, though such authority be not fit to be put in practice. Fifthly. That, in the celebration of it, there is no such cessation from the works of labour required of us, as was exacted of the Jews; but that we lawfully may dress meat proportionable unto every man's estate, and do such other things as be no hindrance to the public service, appointed for the day. Sixthly. That on the Lord's-day all recreations whatsoever are to be allowed, which honestly may refresh the spirits, and increase mutual love and neighbourhood amongst ús; and that the names whereby the Jews did use to call their festivals, (whereof the Sabbath was the chief,) were borrowed from an Hebrew word, which signifies to dance, and to make merry, or rejoice. And, Lastly. That it appertains to the christian magistrate, to order and appoint what pastimes on the Lord's-day are to be permitted, and what prohibited; not unto every private person, much less to every man's rash zeal,' as his own words are, who, out of a schismatical Stoicism, (debarring men from lawful pastimes,) doth incline to Judaism. This was the sum and substance of his resolution, then : which, as it gave content unto the sounder and the better part of the Assembly; so it did infinitely stomach and displease the greater numbers, such as were formerly possessed with the other doctrines ; though they were wiser than to make it a public quarrel.'
* credit, because they had not preferred Dr. Twisse, though ' against his will, to some splendid ecclesiastical dignity. He thought, no doubt, that this would have been an effectual mean to stop his mouth from speaking against them, and the sins of the times. Hence it appears, that Dr. Twisse was an eminent champion for the grace of God, the morality and sanctification of the Sabbath, and that Puritan divinity unto which the honours of the good old way belong.—He was esteemed an able disputant. Dr. Baillie,* who had considerable opportunity of knowing what his talents were this way, says, in one of his letters addressed to the Presbytery of Irvine, dated London, February 28th, 1641, · Dr. Twisse, to our great comfort, is here turned a remono strant.
Dr. Twisse, if there be any dispute, offers to be one. • He is doubtless the most able disputer in England. He generally wished to decline a verbal conference with regard to matters of disputation. And for this, he gives the following reasons:-Because, these things may be done more quietly by writing; the managers of the controversy will then be kept free from foreign discourse ; the arguments on each side may
be more properly and deliberately weighed; answers returned
* The reader is already familiar with the name of Robert Baylie, and has read some of bis opinions : But Robert did not content bimself with mere opinions, which are bloodless matters; he was one of those ministers who attended the army of the Scotch Covenanters iu 1639 and 1640. In bis letters, he says: 'I furnished, to half a dozen of good fellows, muskets and pikes ;
and to my boy a broad sword. I carried myself, as the fashion was, a sword, and a couple of Dutch pistols at my saddle; but, I promise, (they were] for the offence of no man, excepting a robber in the way: For it was our [the chaplains'] part alone, to pray and to preach for the encouragement of our countrymen ; which I did most cheerfully to the utmost of my power.
Every company had, fleeing at the captain's tent door, a brave new colour, stamped with the Scottish Arms and this motto, FOR CHRIST'S CROWN AND COVENANT, in golden letters.-Hald you lent your ear in the morning, or
especially at even, and heard in the tents the sound of some singing psalms, some praying, and some reading scripture, ye would have been refreshed. For myself, I never found my mind in better temper than it • was all that time since I came from bome, till my head was again home
ward : For I was as a man who had taken my leave from the world, and ' was resolved to die in that service, without return. I found the favour of God shining upon me; and a sweet, meek, humble, yet STBONG and vene“MENT spirit leading me all along; but I was no sooner on my way westward, after the conclusion of the peace, than my old security returned.'
Who that reads these expressions can wonder at the enthusiasm displayed by the Covenanters, both Scotch and English ? Yet we are told, by Mr. Orme, (page 389,)“ the Puritans and Independents were not the visionary fanatics of the age." Perhaps this is a sly method of throwing all the fanaticism upon the Scotch Presbyterians ; but one of the latter denomination informs us, in a subsequeat note, that“ while the most eminent and suitable divines continued with the several [Parliamentary] regiments, none of the enthusiastic follies, which afterwards appeared and were truly reproachable, discovered themselves.” This is a grand and sweeping excuse, every way worthy of such a lover of “ the Covenanted Reformation" as Mr. Reid. But, unhappily for his consistency as an author, he has bimself furnished too many documents, similar to this extract from Baylie, by which we may form a tolerably accurate judgment concerning the existence of those “ enthusiastic follies which were truly reproachable."