Page images
PDF
EPUB

mention of this circumstance, in a letter to his brother in 1637: “ The king, by his Commissioner, a person of the Reformed Heligion who presided over the Synod, issued his edict to the Re

ingly he remained only one night at Paris concealed in a friend's house, and the next day proceeded with all haste on his journey towards Sedan, where he was received as Minister and Professor of Divinity:–He had, it is said, drawn down the king's anger upon himself by his imprudence, and by meddling with matters that did not belong to his office. It is reported of him, that he had written a letter privately to the King of Great Britain, in order to excite bis Majesty to espouse the cause of the Reformed in France; and that, after King James had read the letter, he threw it away with indigpation; but one of his domestics, having found it, handed copies of it about, till at length one of them was sent to a Privy Counsellor of France, by whose means it came to the knowledge of the French King, and was the c bis displeasure against Du Moulin."-Brandt then adds the reflection, quoted page 255. In his letter he informed King James, that “ unless hé lent his powerful aid to his son.in-law, the King of Bohemia, the Calvinists in France could have no great notion of his affording them any effectual assistance."

The following account of this transaction is given in Status Ecclesiæ Gallicanæ, published in 1676. The author states it as having been Du Moulin's intention, on his return from Alez, “ to go out of the way to see Rochelle. A little before he took that journey, the Lord Herbert of Cherbury, then Ambassador of England in France, urged him to write to tbe King his master, to exhort bim to undertake vigorously the defence of his son-in-law, the King of Bohemia. So the Doctor writ to the King, and delivered his letters to the Lord Ambassador's Secretary: Then immediately he went to Alez, where he was ehosen President of the Synod. In the mean while, his letters to King James were delivered to the Council of State in France, how or by whom the Doctor could never learn. Scarce was he in Languedoc, when it was concluded at Paris in the Council of State, that he should be apprehended and committed prisoner, for exhorting a foreign King to take arms for the defence of the Protestant Churches. And because the Council was informed, that the Doctor would return by Rochelle, (a place which then gave great jealousies to the Court, they would not take him before he had been there; the informers against him intending to make his going to Rochelle an article of his indictment. The Synod at Alez being ended, Doctor Du Moulin bearing how the Protestants would keep a politic assembly at Rochelle against the King's will. judged chat it was an ill conjuncture of time for him to go to Rochelle, and took the way of Lyons. In that resolution he was guided by a good Providence ; for if he had gone to Rochelle, be should have been apprehended not far from that town after his coming out of it. At Lyons he received a letter from Monsieur Drelincourt, Minister of Paris, which gave him notice of his danger. This warning made him baulk the highway; yet be went to Paris, and entering the city in the night, went directly to the Lord Herbert, who bade him to fly in haste for his life, which was in danger by the interception of his letters to the King bis master; which he did, and the next night travelled toward Sedan, a place then ackuowledging the old Duke of Bouillon (a Protestant Prince) for Sovereign. To Sedan he came safe in the beginuing of the year 1621, and was kindly received by the Duke to his house and table. This was his parting with the Church of Paris, wbere he had lived one and twenty years. And although great means were made to appease the Court, and albeit many years after the indictment againt him was taken off, and leave was given him to live in France, yet was it with that exception, that he should not live in Paris.-About the year 1623, the famous book of Cardinal Du Perron against King James of famous memory, came forth. That book was extolled by the Romanists with great brags and praises. His Majesty being especially interessed and provoked by that book, was pleased to recommend the confutation of it to his old champion, Dr. Du Moulin, who undertook it upon his Majesty's command. And that he might attend that work with more help and leisure, his Majesty invited him to come into England. Aud formed Pastors, to instruct the people of their charge that it is unlawful to take up arms against kings-to shew their congregations a pattern of obedience in their own conduct,—to propound their doctrines with modesty,—to abstain from the opprobrious epithets of Antichrist and Idolatry which they had forinerly bestowed on their adversaries,—to allow no minister to exercise the pastoral functions beyond his own district, to hold no assemblies of deputies from various provinces, and to open no foreign letters addressed to them, without having consulted the magistrates," &c. Now, in such a state of affairs, and when the union of Protestants and Papists was a favourite measure with the Prime Minister of France, it is not wonderful that Grotius should unite his efforts with those of the noble band of Peace-makers who were his predecessors, such as his countryman Erasmus, Melancthon, Cassander, Duræus, &c. But there were other weighty reasons why, as the Ambassador of a Lutheran nation and a lover of good men among all religious denominations, Grotius should not with-hold his influence from this godlike undertaking. Some of these reasons he has clearly stated in the following paragraph, from a letter to his brother in 1640; in which Grotius, it will be seen knew how to distinguish between many of the exellences and deformities of Popery: “ Images may be seen among the Lutherans, and in many parts of England. Bishop Mountagu and others have declared, that a wish to be assisted by the prayers of Apostles and Martyrs is not an act of idolatry.--Every preparation is made for a placid conference, which will be holden as soon as these wars have abated, and which will, I hope, be productive of beneficial results: For, both the Spaniards and the French have consented to have the power of the Pontiff confined within prescribed limits. It is our duty to beware, that we do not give the Pope more followers than necessary. Peruse at your leisure what Mark Antony De Dominis [the Archbishop of Spalatro] wrote while in England, respecting the agreement of different ages and nations in the moderate honouring of saints, and concerning the use of images. My own opinion indeed is, that those churches which discard images, pursue a safer course; and I admire and applaud the spirit of the men, who, while they themselves address holy prayers immediately to God or to Christ without employing any circuitous mediation, do not at the same time condemn or deride those persons who fatter themselves with hopes that it is possible for them to receive assistance from the exertions of Angels or Saints in their behalf. Reflect also, whether I ought to accuse the Greek Church of a dreadful crime, when both the Lutherans and the Calvinists have on more than one occasion wished to hold communion with her. The Genevan divines say, that death must be in. fficted, for all those offences to which the law of Moses adjudges that punishment. But the Mosaic law punishes all idolaters with death; and the Genevan teachers account all Papists idolaters. You perceive, therefore, the consequences that would follow, if they (the Calvinists] were possessed of power.”

together being moved with compassion by the adversities the Doctor had suffered for his sake, he offered him a refuge in England, promising to take care of him, and to employ him in one of his Universities. He accepted that Royal favour.–Soon after King James fell sick of the sickness whereof he died. The death of his Royal Patron, and the plague raging in London, soon persuaded the Doctor to return to Sedan. So he returned to his former function in the Church and University, serving God with cheerfulness and assiduity, and blessed with great success. He lived at Sedan thirty and three years from his return into England unto his death, without any notable change in his condition.".

The same book contains his letter to the Assembly at Rochelle. Dr. Bates, in his Vitæ Selectæ, furnishes us with nearly the same relation; but the attempts to make Du Moulin appear a loyal subject, are nullified by the very documents adduced for that purpose and by others of the man's own publications. But it was then the fashion of the party, to blanch the reputation of every one that was a zealous Calvinist.

Having seen the base purpose to which all these prophetic vagaries were directed, let the reader connect with the ravings of the foreign Calvinistic prophets, who foretold glorious things to Cromwell and his commonwealth—those of Lilly, Booker, * and others hired astrologers in this country,—those of the en. raptured ministers or elders whose wishes were swelled into certainties, when they spoke, at the commencement and during the progress of these troubles, about the future glory of their civil and religious republic,--and those of the second-sighted Calvinists from beyond the Tweed, who were in that age deeply tinctured with the spirit of divination into the mysteries of futurity, and proved themselves apt disciples of the prophetst Knox and Walsh,--let

* See, in Mr. William Lilly's History of his Life, what he said, as Astrologer-Géneral to Lord Fairfax, at Windsor, when sume difference existed between the Parliament and the Army: “ We are confident of God's going " along with you and your army, until the GREAT WORK, for which he ors dained you both, is fully perfected, which we hope will be the conquering 6 and subversion of your's and the Parliament's enemies.

* lu Blondel's Modest Declaration of the Sincerity and Truth of the Reformed Churches of France, it is said, “ Knox was endued with a spirit " of prophecy, by which, according to the testimony of his own country6 men, he foretold several things which have since happened, as Whitaker “ observes in his works, De Eccl. q. 5, cap. 13.”—This is matter of authentic church-history among all the Scotch writers of that era.

In po single ecclesiastical history are these prophesyiug propensities of the Scotch Covenanters and the English Puritans depicted with such truth of colouring as in several of those recent magic productions which are generally attributed to the prolific genius of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. The man whose mind is well stored with the historical details of the various epochs in our vational aifairs, which are there delineated, will obtain from the perusal not only entertainment, but important instruction. Those scenes of past ages with which he has contracted a familiarity, will live again in his recollection, and be impressed with greater force on his mind by the lrilliant images with which they are associated, and by the domestic scenery with which they are surrounded. I am glad to find, in his last production (January, 1823,) few traces of those irreverent appeals to Scripture authority, which were, perhaps, too commonly in the lips of his early herves, and which operated as a shock on the minds of several modern readers, who

all these engines of fanaticism be connected together, as they are related with marvellous simplicity by the different historians of the Puritan party, and the reader will then be qualified to form some adequate notion of the extraordinary spirit which actuated those intolerant and infatuated zealots.* He will then

considered such expressions to he greatly overcharged. But to those who are conversant with that eventful page in our history, his specimens will not appear to be too bighly coloured ; and it would not be a work of difficulty to verify many of them by apt quotations from various writers of that period. It is pleasing, however, to hear the following confession, in answer to tbe objection, that the manners depicted in his last work are even more incorrect than usual; and that his Puritan is faintly traced in comparison to his Cameronian : “I agree to the charge ; but although I still consider hypocrisy and enthusiasm as fit food for ridicule and satire, yet I am sensible of the difficulty of holding fanaticism up to laughter or abhorreuce, without using colouring which may give offence to the sincerely worthy and religious. Many things are lawful which we are taught are not convenient; and there are many tones of feeling which are too respectable to be insulted, though we do not altogether sympathize with them."

* When Richard Baxter wrote his pamphlet entitled, The Grotian Religion Discovered, in 1658, he was a bolder champion in defence of Calvinism, than he shewed himself to be after the Restoration. At the former period he could return the following answer to an adversary that reproached him with growing fat or lusty upon sequestrations,"--" I must confess to you, that it is not only my opinion that the thing is lawful, but that I take it for one of the best works I can do, to help to cast out a bad minister, and to get a better in the place: So that I prefer it as a work of mercy, before much sacrifice. Now if I be mistakeri in this, I should be glad of your help for my conviction : For I am still going on in the guilt.”This is a very curious excuse for usurping another man's liviug, especially when the usurper is himself constituted one of the judges for determining the sufficiency and ability of those who were not Calvinists, and who were consequently ejected.

While Richard was in possession of his good living, the actual proceeds of which, he afterwards preteuded, were scarcely worth any godly man's attention, he employed much of that sleight which has already been a subject of reprehension : (See Note, page 251 :) He endeavoured to clear the grand body of the Calvinists, who were thén in power, from being the promoters of the preceding civil troubles ; and singled out, as usual, the Quakers, Anabaptists, &c. as the real culprits. In his Grotian Religion, (sect. lxvi,) he says: “Yet this I will say now, to satisfy Doctor Sanderson and my own conscience, that of late I begin to bave a strong suspicion that the Papists had a finger in the pie on both sides, and that they had indeed a hand in the extirpation of Episcopacy. But my jealousies will not warrant me to affirm it, or to be confident of it, or to accuse any." Here then is Baxter's own admission, that the Calvinists had been connected with Papists,-a crime wbich they had formerly imputed solely to the Armiviaus. But when Arminianism and Episcopacy were both destroyed, no fartber necessity for coucealment existed ; and the intimacy of Calvinists and Papists is openly avow. ed. When Dr. Thomas Pierce suggested, that in charging some of the members of the Church of England with Popery, "it had been well if he had named those Papists and then have publicly declared that he meant no more;' Baxter replies (sect. lxixò: “ By this time I suppose both you and all men see that the Papists are crept in among all sects, especially the Quakers and Seekers, whom they animate, and also among the Anabaptists, Millenaries, Levellers, yea and the Independents, and if this week's Diurnal say true, one was taken that was a pretended friend to the Presbyterians. Must I needs uame all these, or else say nothing of them? Or are you able yourselves to name all the Papists, the Friars and Jesuits, that are now under the Vizor of any of these sects, playing their parts in England? You would take it to be an unreasonable motion : when yet you know, or have reason to believe, that at this day there are hundreds of them here at work."

no longer wonder at the prophecies uttered by the Quakers, the Anabaptists, the Fifth-Monarchy men, and various minor seets, that had other objects in view than those of the grand Calvinian phalanx, who had collected their forces, corporal and spiritual, from every part of Europe to fight the battles of the Lord, as they termed their attempts to accomplish their own sinister designs against the regimen established both in Church and State, and particularly against what they were pleased to call “ Armini. anism."*

The fact announced in the last clause is very remarkable; and though the shifty purpose for which it is introduced will be very apparent, yet there are maltitudes of other corroborative testimonies of the same fact. The following from Foxes and Firebrands, or a Specimen of the Danger and Harmony of Popery and Separation, 1682, is one of the most curious :

“Mr. John Crooke, some time bookseller at St. Paul's Church-yard, at the Ship, in London, and since stationer and printer to his most serene Majesty in Dublin, told this story following unto Sir James Ware, Knight, now deceased : Anno 1656, the reverend divine Dr. Henry Hammond being oue day in the next shop to this said John Crooke's, and there reading the works of St. Ambrose, a red-coat casually came in, and looked over this divine's shoulder, and there read the Latin as perfect as himself, which caused the Doctor to admire that a red-coat should attain to that learning. Then speaking unto him, he demanded how he came to that science. The red-coat replied, " By the Holy Spirit.' The Doctor hereupon replied, 'I will try thee further :' and so called for a Greek author, which the redcoat not only read, but construed. The Doctor, to try him further, called for the Hebrew Bible: and so for several other books, in which this red-coat was very expert. At last the Doctor recollecting with himself, called for a Welch Bible, and said, 'If thou beest inspired, read me this book, and construe it.' But the red-coat being at last catched, replied, I have given thee satisfaction enough: I will not satisfy thee further; for thou wilt not believe, though an angel came from heaven.' The Doctor smelling out the deceit, caused the apprentice to go for a constable; who being brought to the shop, the Doctor told the constable, he had something to say against this red.coat; and bade him bring him before Oliver Cromwell, then called the Lord Protector. The red-coat being brought to White Hall and examined, he, after a rustic manner, thoued and theed Oliver : but being suspected, it was demanded where he quartered. It being found out at the Devil Tavern, the Doctor intreated bis chamber might be searched; where they found an old chest filled partly with his wearing apparel, as also with several papers and seditious popish books; amongst which there being a pair of boots, and papers stuck in one of them, they found a parchment bull of licence to this impostor, granted under several names, io assume what function or calling he pleased. These being brought before Oliver, for what reasons it is unknown, yet the red-coat éscaped; bringing several proofs of what great service he had done: and the greatest affliction which was laid on him was banishment; and what proceeded further, we know not.”

of “ After the subversion of the hierarchy, there were also several divines of great learning and talents, who held most of the distinguishing tenets of Arminianism; but as they were inflexible loyalists, they were stigmatized as 'malignants,' and driven into obscurity by the scourge of persecution. The great body of Mr. Goodwin's Puritanical friends and connections viewed Arminianism, ai the period when he adopted that system, as a deadly east wind, which, when permitted by angry heaven to blow upon the garden of the church, withers every flower, and produces a general blight. Or rather they regarded it as a region,

Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
Abominable, unutterable, and worse
Than fables yet have feign'd or fear conceiv'd,
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimæras dire. -

« PreviousContinue »