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This quotation introduces us to the labours of Archbishop Laud, a man who has suffered in his character more unjustly than any individual of that age, and principally because he opposed the unhallowing speculations of Calvinism," and promoted the inculcation of the practical principles of the gospel. The very foibles of the individual and his peculiar opinions
and found, at the latter end of his life, no consolation but in the atonement by the blood of Jesus, and wished that all bis books could die with him! This has been testified, not only by his daughters, but by all who were with him before his end."
This was a noble triumph to the mild and tolerant principles which guverned the conduct of Grotius, and proves the truth of his remark in the text, may often by affability and kindness communicate instruction to such persons, as by your harshuess and severity you would render still more hardened.” I frankly confess, though I look upon all Socinians with a sorrowful countenance as upon men “ who not only deny THE LORD that bought them,” but who try to deprive“ the poor in this world” of their best consolation, yet I seldom pass through the cloisters of Christ's Hospital, in which is erected a sepulchral tablet to that eminent Socinian philanthropist, Thomas FIRMIN, without reflecting upon his eminent services to the church and nation. And, while I profess not to know the possibility of those being saved who pertinaciously reject the scriptural evidence of our Lord's Divinity and Atonement, I recollect one of our blessed Saviour's declarations, “That many shall come from the East and from the West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven ; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.” If this passage be thought in any respect applicable to a Socinian, I hope it will be in the way in which it is applied to the case of Crellius,-“ in turning to the Lord and calling upon him as his Lord and his God.” It must also be thus applied to FIRMIN, if the inscription ou “ the monument erected by his sorrowful widow,” conveys correct information; for, after an enumeration of his virtuous and benevolent labours, it is added : “ Yet, after all, he ascribed nothing to himself; acknowledging on his death-bed, that he had been an unprofitable servant, and he professed that he hoped for salvation only from the mercy of God through the mediation of Jesus Christ."-The calumny of Socinianism which was fabricated against Archbishop. Tillotson, in consequence of his intimacy with Mr. Firmin, has been satisfactorily disproved, by Firmin's biographer, and by Dr. Williams and Bishop Burnet.
* Few circumstances gave more serious offence to the Puritan clergy, than the method adopted by Archbishop Laud to abridge their licentiousness and cumpel them to confine their prayers to the forms contained in the Rubric; of which his biographer gives the following account:
“ Nor was the clamour less which was raised against such of the Bishops as either pressed the use of his Majesty's instructions concerning lecturers and silencing the Arminian controversies, or as urged the miuisters of their several and respective diocesses to use no other form of prayer before their sermons than that which was prescribed, Canon 55. It had been prudently observed, ' That by suffering such long prayers, as had accustomably been cused of late before the sermons of most preachers, the public liturgy of the • Church had been much neglected: That the Puritan preachers for the most
part had reduced all God's service in a manner to those pulpit-prayers : • 'That the people in many places had forborne to go into the church, till the public liturgy was ended and these prayers begun; and that by this means such preachers prayed both what they listed and how they listed, some so seditiously that their very prayers were turned into sin, others so ignorantly
and impertinently that they dishonoured God and disgraced religion. For remedy whereof it was thought convenient, by the Archbishop and some other Prelates, to reduce all to the form of prayers appointed in the canon abovementioned, according to the like form prescribed in the injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, and before her time by King Edward the Sixth, and before his time also by King Henry the Eighth ; practised accordingly in the times of their several reigns, as appears by the sermons of Bishop Latimer, Bishop Gardiner, Archbishop Parker, Bishop Jewel, Bishop Audrews, and geue
concerning celibacy in the clergy* have been employed to injure his reputation. Coming into power at a period when the monarch rally by all divines of the Church of England ; till, by the artifices and endeavours of the Puritau faction, these long prayers of their own making had been taken up to cry down the ļiturgy, which being in charge in the visitation, and afterwards in the articles of several bishops, made as much noise amongst ignorant and factious people, under colour of quenching the Spirit of God, expressed in such extemporary prayers of the preacher's conceiving, as [had been done by] silencing the doctrines of Predestination, changing the afternoon's sermons into catecbisings, and regulating the extravagancies of some of their lecturers, under the colour of a plot to suppress the gospel.”
Modern readers can form only very faint conceptions of the joy expressed by these men when the Archbishop was beheaded. They were then at liberty tó utter an extempore prayer of an hour's length, as many of the chief preachers did during the Inter-regpum, according the accounts of their own historians. I have a curious pamphlet, printed in 1645, part of the title of which stands thus : “ The Life and Death of William LAUD, Late Arch
bishop of Canterbury: Here is a brief Narration of his doings all his life " long; faithfully given-out.- First, That his Sayings at his death may not “ be a spare to the perdition of souls.-Secondly. His Doings and Sayings “ being compared and weighed together, his sayings are found infinitely too " light, yet of weight sufficient to press every man to make a three-fold use “ from all, of infinite concernment to his eternal soul.-By E. W. who was
acquainted with his Proceedings in Oxford," &c. Oue of the four mottoes in the title is the following quotation
from Lord Bacon : " Blood-letting, is as often necessary in effecting (bodily] cures, as murders are in civil cases. As the author's comment on the Archbishop's prayer at his execution contains a good description of the feeling of the Puritans on that occasion, part of it is here subjoined:
“ His prayer at the foot of his sermon takes with a world of people, as his sermon did. Indeed, we are very prone to make an idol of our last prayer; we hope we may fly unto it when we are slaying, as Joab did unto his Sanctuary. God will hear our last words,' thiok we, “though we re• garded not to hear his words all our life long. This is but a conceit, a false hope, aud will deceive us, as it did Joab, and as it has deceived all the wicked in the world, who cried, but there was none to help; even to the Lord, but He answered not ! I dare not censure that which learned men do approve : But I am persuaded, that the soul shall find as little comfort in the time of need from his prayer so formed, and so suggested unto him, as his palate finds relish now in the white of an egg. Beware of having an hand or voice in restraining prayer, or binding it to forms. Thou art no more able to do this, that thou canst restrain the sweet influences of Pleiades, or bind the sunbeams : (Job. xxxviii, 31.) But beware of having a mind or purpose in thy heart to do it, as this late Archbishop had, and these Lords of the world have at this day. Remember how it fared with this man, how peut-up and restrained his spirit was at his death. He was putting-up a prayer then, which he hoped would pierce the heavens and reach the bosom of his Father there, A miserable deceit! He had no help to form his prayer but his hand; nor to suggest, or prompt, or to teach him how to pray, but his eye. Ah Lord ! A prayer so formed, so taught and suggested, can do more reach heaven, than you can the highest star with the shortest finger! And yet the adversary and enemy will have bis Service-Book brought into the Churches again. God shall be served, after their manner, with forms the hand has framed, and with prayers the eye hath taught. Well, we shall see whose word shall prevail,-man's or God's; and how the Lord will recompence these proud men.
* The following very eloquent and sound observations on the advantages of a married clergy, will be a good antidote to the Archbishop's views on this subject : They were delivered in " a Sermon before the Sons of the Clergy, at their Anniversary Meeting in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Dec. 6, 1709, by Francis ATTERBURY, D.D.," who was afterwards banished.
“When Marriage, at the Reformation, was first allowed to the clergy of this kingdom, there is no doubt but that some who then sat at the helm and gave no good proofs of any real regard for religion, intended it as a politic
was encircled with Papists, and when the Queen and the principal persons in her confidence were of the Catholic comdevice to lessen their interest aud keep them low in the world. And yet so has God ordered matters, that even from hence many signal advantages have redounded to our church; some of which I shall so far presume upon your patience, as to lay before you.
“ Aud' first, several temptations, under which the Popish clergy lay, towards embracing an interest distinct from that of their country, are, by this means, effectually removed ; and all uneasy jealousies of our riches, greatuess, power, and union, are, in good measure, abated. And this, in times when even the diminished revenues and privileges of the church are looked upon with a suspicious eye, is some advantage to her ; as it gives her leave to enjoy those poor remains of ancient piety which she possesses, without that envy and ill-will which would otherwise attend them. Little réasou there is, God knows, to envy her on this account ; for, notwithstanding the large incomes annexed to some few of her preferments, I will be bold to say, and do not doubt but to prove, that this church, in proportion to the numbers of its clergy, hath, in the whole, as little to subsist on, as almost any even of those Protestant churches which are thought to be most meanly provided for. However, since this little is by some thought too much, and vain jealousies of our strength and power are on this account entertained or pretended, it is well, that these apprehensions are qualified by a sense of our marriage circumstances, which even they, who are pleased to think us under no other tie to the true interest of our country, will allow to be an effectual curb upon us. They who marry give hostages to the public, that they will not attempt the ruin or disturb the peace of it; since, in the public safety and tranquility, that also of their wives and children, that is, of their nearest and dearest relations, is involved, according to those remarkable words of the prophet Jeremy, directed to the Jews in Babylon, . Take ye wives,' says he, and beget sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters ; that ye may be increased there and not diminished: And seek the peace of the city, whither I have caused you to be carried. For in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.' (xxix, 6, 7.)
“ By this means also, the foul impurities that reigned among the unmarried, especially the monkish clergy, and the scandalous reflections which fell upon the whole order on that account, have been prevented. It is true, these enormities have been thought more and greater than they really were. It was the interest of those who thirsted after the possessions of the clergy, to represent the possessors in as vile colours as they could ; and many of those poor people were, doubtless, frightened and betrayed into false and disadvantageous confessions; the general prejudices of the time falling in with these accounts and procuring them an universal reception, and our historiaus taking them afterwards upon trust, as their credulity, laziness, or partiality led them. However, after all the abatements that can be made, there was too much truth in some of these representations ; so much as brought the whole function into disgrace, and made the offering of the Lord to be abhorred. And it is plain, that the cure of this evil is one of those many blessings which have arisen, to our religion and church, from a married clergy.
“ Another is, that great numbers of men descended from them, have been distributed into all arts and professions, all ranks and orders of men amongst us; and have, by the blessing of God upon their industry, thriven so well, and raised themselves so high in the world, as to become in times of difficulty a protection and a safeguard to that altar, at which their ancestors ministered, And I question not, but there are many here this day, who will have the same success in the world and will make the same use of it. We may say to our countrymen, as Tertullian, in his Apology, did to the Romans, 'Hesterni sumus, &c. We, the sons of the clergy, are but of yesterday, as it
were; and yet the country, the city, the court, the army, the fleet, the bar, • the bench, and the senate-house itself, hath had, and still bath, a large
share of us :' Men ofteu famous, often highly useful in their generations ; useful in their public and in their private capacities ; useful to their country, and useful to the Church ; being an honour and a support to that order from
munion, he conducted himself with exemplary prudence; and while he boldly reprehended the practices of the Priests who
which they descended. The lot of the sons of the Clergy, in this case, is like that of the sons of Levi, of whom it is said, I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. (Gen. xlix, 7.) This dispersion of that particular tribe, among the rest of the tribes, was intended as their punishment; but it proved in the event, and in many respects, a great blessing, both to them and to the whole Jewish community.
“Again, even the secular cares and avocations which accompany marriage, have not been without their advantages; inasmuch as the Clergy have, by this means, been generally furnished with some measure of skill in the common affairs of this life, have gained some insight into meu and things, and a competent knowledge of what is called, The WORLD-a knowledge to which most of the order, while under the obligations of celibacy, were great strangers. And of this kind of knowledge they have made admirable use in their profession, towards guiding and saving souls; for it has enabled them to preach to their flocks after the most rational and convincing, the most apt and sensible manner, rightly dividing the word of truth, like workmen that needed not to be ashamed, (2 Tim. ii, 15.) and so explaining and applying the general precepts of morality contained in the gospel, as that the consciences of those to whom they addressed their doctrine should readily bear witness to the truth and feel the power of it. It is, perhaps, for this reason among others, that our practical divinity is allowed to excel, and to be as sound and affecting as that of our Popish neighbours is flat and unedifying. For he that preaches to man, should understand what is in man, to such a degree as is requisite to qualify him for the task : And that skill can scarce be duly attained by an Ascetic in his solitudes, or a Monk in his cloister. I speak the sense of St. Chrysostom; who, as great a lover and recommender of the solitary state as he was, declares it to be no proper school for those who are to be leaders of Christ's flock and the guides of souls; and thinks such persons best qualified for the pastoral charge, who, to innocence of life, have joined so much worldly experience and prudence, as may enable them, in the course of their ministry, to address themselves to men in a way suited to their several exigences and tempers, to their various ranks, conditions and characters. I need not say, what advantages, in this respect, belong to a married clergy, particularly to those of the Church of England.
“ Nay, farther, the married state of parochial pastors hath given them the opportunity of setting a more exact and universal pattern of holy living to the people committed to their charge, and of teaching them how to carry themselves in their several relations of husbands and wives, parents and children, by domestic patterns as well as by public instructions. By this means, they have, without question, adorned the gospel, glorified God, and benefitted men, much more than they could have done in the devoutest and strictest celibacy. And their usefulness in this respect to others hath not been without some advantage to themselves ; it hath raised the credit of the order, and promoted the reverence that is justly due to it.
“Let me add one instance more, wherein the marriage of the clergy hath redounded to their honour, inasmuch as it affords a remarkable argument of God's particular providence towards them and their families. For,-considering ihe chargeable methods of their education, their numerous issue, and small income, -considering the expences incumbent upon them, in point of hospitality and charity, and the proportion (the at-least-equal proportion) they bear in the public burthens and taxes,-it is next to a miracle, that no more of their children should want, and that so many of them should be in such prosperous circumstances, as we have good reason to think there are, even from this day's solemn appearance. Happy art thou, O Israel, • O people, saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of
thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee. (Deut. xxxiii, 29.) No weapon that is formed against thee, shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn. 6 This is the heritage of the servants
of the Lord, and their righteousness is * of me, saith the Lord.' (Isai. liv, 17.)
were in the service of her Majesty, * he tried all the mild and politic arts which he could devise for reclaiming, from the communion of the Romish Church, those who had been seduced
“ However, still one inconvenience there is, with which the marriage of the clergy is too visibly attended,-the poverty of some of them ; an inconvenience, which is,'as you have heard, balanced and outweigbed by many signal advantages; and which we are so far from dissembling, that we meet this day to do, every one of us, somewhat, as God hath enabled and shall incline us, towards removing it. This is the only specious objection which our Romish adversaries urge against the doctrine and practice of this Church, in the point of celibacy, the only matter of just reproach wherein they visibly triumph. Since other arguments have, by our excellent writers, been wrested out of the enemy's hands, pity it is that they should remain in possession of this ; that we should not be able to justify our Reformation in every respect, and to make this church, like the true spouse of Christ, a glorious church, having neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing, that may blemish her lustre, deform her beauty, and expose her to any degree of that ungodly scorn, with wbich proud and irreligious minds are ever ready to pursue her. We are not indeed, of ourselves, sufficient for this work. However, more may be done by us, towards it, than at first we are apt to imagine,"&c.
*Our pity for the misfortunes of King Charles, and our admiration of his magnanimity under them, must not tempt us to overlook the weaknesses apparent in his character. He was undoubtedly in imminent peril when surrounded by advisers, who were Papists and under the Queen's control. See page 630. But when, at the commencement of the civil wars, that confederacy was dispersed, his majesty displayed the sterling, integrity of his spirit, and rose superior to his adversities. In a letter to Chancellor Oxenstern, dated_Dec. 12, 1636, after having alluded to the negotiations commenced at Ratisbon' by the Earl of Arundel, (page 611,) Grotius says : “ The third way[proposed for the restoration of the Elector Palatine] is, that two new Electors be added to the seven, in which number the Duke of Bavaria is already included; and that of those two one should be a bishop, the other the Elector Palatine. Although this last plan cannot be completed without a regular convention,-and though it must be a work of difficulty to persuade the rest of the Electors to sauction it, because their honour is lessened in proportion to the increase of their number,-yet the project is agreeable to the Pope, as I learnt from Lord Scudamore the English Ambas. sador, who visited me yesterday. A certain person, who is well acquainted with the Court of Rome and intimate with the Nuncio, assures me, that the Englishman who resides at Rome, does not, as it was said, transact business with the Pope in the Queen's name, but in that of the King of England bimself. From this fact and from other indications, it is amazing what hopes the Papists conceive about England; but my hope is, that by the prudence of the king, of the Archbishop, and of the discreet and well-affected part of the nobility, these Popish expectations will be rendered fruitless. The correspondence between the Earl of Arundel and the Court of Rome is of an ancient date. If the affair respecting the Palatinate be amicably concluded, the court of France and that of England might enter into a treaty, to defend each other mutually in those conquests which a peace may either give them or leave in their possession; and there might then be à renewal of that treaty, which was I think formerly promised, for the one kingdom to refrain from assisting those subjects of the other who might fail in their allegiance, although their disobedience might be veiled under the specious pretext of religion."
This extract affords many subjects for reflection to those who have studied with attention that part of our national history, and who are acquainted with the character of the parties introduced ; but the expectations which Grotius entertained of seeing the projects of the Papists blasted, were founded upon his confidence in the prudence of king Charles, Archbishop Laud, and the Protestant nobility.