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SKETCH

OF THE

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

OF

THE

SUBSTANCE OF

IN TWO PARTr,

DELIVERED IN THAT TOWN,

DECEMBER 1820.

WW DAT!© Mffi® Atta

PASTOR OF THE FIEST CHURCH IN IPSWICH, MASS.

PUBLISHED BY RE&OEST.

HAVERHILL, Mass.

PRINTED AT THE GAZETTE AND PATRIOT OFFICE.

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A DISCOURSE

PART FIRST.

WHEN we survey this vast continent; when we consider the number, power, and wealth of its inhabitants; its cities, its fruitful fields, and institutions of learning, and the progress made in arts and sciences; and reflect that 330 years ago it was totally unknown to the civilized world, and that 220 years ago there was no permanent English settlement upon it; our minds are filled with wonder, astonishment, and delight. With hearts, warmed with pious gratitude, we should exclaim, What hath God wrought!

The discovery of thte country, by Columbus, in 1492, was one of the most interesting and important events, recorded in modern history.

The conquest of South America was marked with avarice, injustice, and perfidy, disgraceful to humanity, and distressing to benevolence. Who can read the history of the conquest of Mexico and Peru, and not bleed with pity at the fall of the great and generous Montezuma, and the brave Guatemozin and Atahualpa, and burn with indignation at the depredations of the intrepid, but treacherous and inhuman Cortes and Pizarro?

The first settlers of North America were actuated by love of religious liberty.—The settlements of New England were occasioned by those religious disputes which attended the reformation from popery in the land of our fathers. The rise of popery is commonly reckoned from A. D. 606, when Pope Boniface 3d procured the title of universal bishop. From that time profound ignorance reigned. The most entire subjection to the pope was required. Early in the 13th century, a decree passed, that all heretics, meaning all who maintained any sentiments, different from those of the church of Rome, should be burned. Vast numbers were burned, and some for presuming to doubt, whether the bread, used in the eucharist, was the real body of Christ. Just before the reformation, the pope declared himself the sovereign of the world, as well as the supreme head of the church; and undertook to dispose of different parts of the earth at his pleasure. John Wickliff, who appeared a little before the year 1400, was the morning star, and Martin Luther, who shone about the year 1520, was the sun of the reformation.

In 1534, Henry 8th, King of England, renounced the authority of the pope, and caused himself to be proclaimed, under Christ, the supreme head of the church of England. He did nothing however to purify the church from popish errors and superstitions; but destroyed indiscriminately papists and protestants, who refused to acknowledge his own supremacy.

Edward 6th, son and successor of Henry 8th, the Josiah of his day, gave new spirit and strength to the protestant cause, and became its bright ornament and firm support.

Edward was succeeded by his sister Mary, a bigoted papist, who persecuted the protestants with unrelenting fury. "The bloody scene," says Dr. Goldsmith, "began by the martyrdom of Hooper, bishop of Gloucester, and Rogers, prebendary of St. Paul's. They were condemned to be burned, Rogers in Smithfield and Hooper at Gloucester. Rogers, beside the care of his own preservation, lay under very powerful temptations to deny his principles, and save his life. For he had a wife, whom he tenderly loved, and ten children. But nothing could move his resolution. Such was his serenity after his condemnation, that the jailers, we are told, waked him from a sound sleep upon the approach of the hour, appointed for his execution. He desired to see his wife; but Gardiner told him, that, being a priest, he could have no wife. When the faggots were placed around him, he seemed no way daunted, but cried out, * I resign my life with joy in testimony of the doctrine of Jesus.'*" This was A. D. 1555.

On the accession of queen Elizabeth, who was a protestant, die reformation begun by Edward was partially restored. "Then was established that form of religious doctrine and ecclesiastical government which still subsists in England." The 39 articles were adopted in 1563. And the clergy were required to subscribe, not only to these articles, but also to the ceremonies ; prescribed by authority. This many of the greatest and best - ministers refused to do. And this refusal marks the epoch of non conformity. The church of England, retaining, as was thought, some remains of the Romish superstitions, "they who desired a further separation from those superstitions and a more pure and perfect form of religion were denominated puritans." Elizabeth wished to preserve the ornaments and habits worn by the clergy, when the Romish religion and rites prevailed. But many of the puritan clergy refused to wear them, as they considered them badges of popery, and for this refusal, in which they acted conscientiously, they were deprived of their offices, imprisoned, and variously persecuted.

"The puritans disapproved of the bishop's' affecting to be thought a superior order to presbyters, and claiming the sole right of ordination, and the sole exercise of ecclesiastical discipline. They complained of the exorbitant power arid jurisdic

* Goldsmith's History of England.

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