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here designated a few honest but undiscerning men" were in reality “ a company of wild enthusiasts,” and gloried in identifying themselves with “the leaders in these tragical scenes," with whom, be truly asserts, “ religion was merely the pretence."
To afford every impartial man an opportunity of forming a cor, rect judgment of the part taken at that period by various Calvinistic ministers of eminence, and of the degree of criminality which actually attaches to their principles and actions, I shall transcribe a few passages from their Sermons before the Long Parliament, Of those extraordinary productions, which are among the very best chronicles of that eventful æra, I possess nearly an unbroken series of original quarto editions—the form in which they were ordered by the two Houses to be printed:
1.-The Puritan Ministers the grand Instigalors of the Civil Wars.' · The first extract, illustrative of the intimate connection between the Puritan ministers, and “the designing sagacious leaders," is from “honest John DURYE," who had for many years preceding been employed under the auspices and at the expence of Archbishop Laud, in trying to effect a general union among the Pros testants of Europe. His sermon is entituled “Israel's call, to march out of Babylon unto Jerusalem," and was preached before the House of Commons, November 26, 1645. It is scarcely pea cessary to say, that Episcopacy, then in ruins, is the thing intended by the term BABYLON in the following sentences: “God hath, since the beginning of the Reformation of His church from Popery and anti-christian superstition, intended to bring his vessels out of Babylon unto Sion. The way hath been opened, by the preaching of the Gospel, a long while ago. The nations of Europe, some more, some less, frequently have begun their marches in several troops; and the spirits of many Magistrates and of many Ministers have been stirred up, and called upon to bear the ves sels of the Lord, and, by their care, power, authority, assistance, and vigilancy, to bring them to Sion, ihere to be fully settled in the right use of the ordinances of God. But none of all the Ma.) gistrates or Ministers of other nations have, ever given such an answer to this call, as you and WE OF THE MINISTRY and this people hath done: For WE ALL have undertaken the cause in the full extent thereof; therefore we are, in this employment, nearer anto God than any others; and he is more interested in you and in Scotland, than in any nation whatsoever. And if this be so, do not you think, that God will have a nearer respect unto you, than unto others ; and that He doth expect a more exact performance of this charge from you, than from others? You, and WEALL; have fastened the cause we have in hand upon Him; and, for this cause, we have no foundation to build on, but upon Him: And He hath none other employment for us, but that WE ALL should carry his vessels carefully out of Babylon. If you do this faith
fully according to your promise, and make it your aim to fulfil your Covenant to this effect with Him, you may be sure that He will bear you up, and bear you out, in all your difficulties. But if you have any other aim, and do not make this your glory that the vessels of the Lord are committed to your trust, if you cast them off in your heart, and think them a wearisome burden and heavy to be borne,-if, I say, any doth but in his heart quit the charge eommitted unto him, will not God require it at his hands ? The only way, then, for you to be supported by Him is this, that you be sure to support with all your heart and might his vessels : For, you must know, that it is only for their sake that you are and shall be a sure nail fastened in the wall of this kingdom ; only, I say, for this end that the vessels of your Lord's house, and the glory thereof may be hung upon you. But if you cannot be made use of by Him to this effect, though the nail, be never so strong, and fastened in a place never so sure, it shall be broken and pulled down, for the Lord hath spoken it !" • My remaining extracts shall be coạfined to discourses delivered in the year 1646-7 when the Parliamentary interest was most flourishing, when their enemies were vanquished, and the King in the hands of the Army. The prosperous state of their affairs, and the deliberative as well as active employments of the Calvinistic Pastors, are well described in the dedication to the House of Commons, which Herbert Palmer prefixed to a sermon preached before them, September 30, 1646, and in which he says:
- The REFORMATION OF ENGLAND is the great expectation of the world, I think I may say, of Angels as well as men; and the Pare LIAMENT OF ENGLAND, under God, is the great hope of the Christian world, to bring this reformation about. If any would set himself to study abstractly, how God might prepare a company of men to carry on such a work, he would not easily find out any thing, which God hath not already filted the Honourable Houses with:Greal pressures, to help to make them humble before their meeting :- Manifold dangers all along from the beginning of their meeting, to help keep them humble:-A mighty concurrence of providence, to necessitate their meeting together:—And an unpa. ralleled over-ruling of hearts, for their continuance together, without limitation of time, other than their own prudence should determine: -A watchful eye and a strong hand, to preserve them from all sorts of attempts to dissolve their meeting :- Marvellous and manifold actings of God's Almighty power and rich grace, in making their enemies fall before them, notwithstanding their frequent expectations and most probable hopes of swallowing them up suddenly; and in making the people every where to stoop to every part of reformation by them promoted, notwithstanding all their habituated and doted-on customs to the contrary :- The most solemn engagements to carry the work on for God, and accordingly to God, that are to be found upon earth or are directed by heaven :--A
spirit of reformation in the hearts of many thousands throughout : the Kingdom, and more particularly near unto the place of their sitting, breathing out prayers and supplications to God for them day and night, with giving of thanks, that the reformation may prosper in their hands and be perfected by their hands :-And finally, most frequent intercourses between God and them, by his sending to them, (and even directing them to call to themselves,) his servants in great variety and frequency to pray with them daily, to fast and pray with them monthly, besides extraordinary days of humiliation, and to pray and give thanks with them upon ex® traordinary days of thanksgiving, and these extraordinary days both of the one and the other sort being not a few, put them all together; and upon all these public and solemn occasions, to speak to them, in the name of God, words of direction and encouragement; and all this as a joint body together, with the advantage of having every affecting sermon perpetuated to them, by printing such as they see cause, or approve; while in the mean time the several members have the opportunity of constant hearing from God every Sabbath, and many of them every morning :- And, with all this, to have a selected number of men, chosen by themselves to attend years together, merely upon giving them advice about this reformation :-May I not now say in the close of all, what could have been done more for such a company of men, to make them willing: and able to do God's whole work for his Church and people, for a full and perfect reformation? And is not this your story, honourable and worthy? Is it not the manifest story of God's pròvi. dence toward the Parliament of England ? And what doth he now expect from you, or what may we expect further from Him? Surely from Him, for my part, I can expect no less but that his; intents are though yet through some further difficulties, perhaps,). to carry your spirits, and the spirits of the whole Parliament, strongly and powerfully on, to finish this so blessed a work. He hath pardon, and grace, and wisdom, and strength enough to, answer and overcome all that can be said or thought to the con- ; trary; in this persuasion I have divers years lived, and I hope in, it I shall die, if I must die before the work be perfected." ;
The activity of these ministers, and the delight which they felt; in adverting to their pragmatical behaviour, will be apparent to : every one, in the three extracts subjoined:
Thomas VALENTINE preached before the Commons, September 29, , 1646, from Rev. iii, 18, I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the
• These men needed pardon from Heaven : But this method of applying the holy doctrines of Christianity, as sacred unction, to the consciences of men then openly engaged in rebellion against their Sovereign, was one great cause why evangelical piety, or true experimental religion, came afterwards into much dis. 1 repute, and was greatly neglected. This sad consequence, the reader will pere, ceive, is adverted to and lamented in pages 296 and 804, as well as in other passages.
fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, fc." In his “use” of the doctrine, he says: “Give me leave to make a further application to you that are the Great Coun. cil of the kingdom ; and let me tell you, that the people of this land look for this pure gold and white raiment; and, to purchase them they have offered fair-their plate, their money, their horses, their servants, and their sons! They begin to fear they shall not have these commodities which they have bidden well for, because, in all this time, they had little else than ends of gold and silver. We will persuade them to wait longer, and to help you by their prayers, that you may become the happy instruments of the kingdom's good, in making the gold and raiment in the text as plentiful, as the material gold was in Solomon's time." : Thomas Case, in the sermon quoted page lxviii, describes the following, as some of the advantages which the Long Parliament possessed to execute the designs which he has there proposed : “A ministry neither ignorant, nor unfaithful, nor driving their own interests to serve you, to bring in the hearts of the people to you, which (till some taught otherwise) they did with such success, that your interest in the affections of the subjects was such, that you commanded their purses and their persons, their livelihoods and their lives, with as much freedom as ye did the wives of your bosoms or your hired servants. Oh that it were with you as in the days of old !”
In his Sermon before the Commons, August 26, 1646, Jeremiah BURROUGHES makes the following pertinent remarks concerning the early labours of himself and his Puritan brethren: “ It is righteous, that those that are delinquents should be punished. What was the great title of our war, but the raising of the Posse • Regni for the taking of delinquents, and bringing them to con
dign punishment ?' We made very much use of this argument continually, for the satisfying men in the justice of the war. If a judge in the country shall have the command of the Posse Co. mitatus to fetch in delinquents that are rebellious, then the Parli. ament hath the power of the Posse Regni. Now then, if God bath given them into your hands, there will not appear that righteousness as heretofore was thought to be, if they escape without condign punishment.” 2. The spirit of Railing with which the Puritans were infected, and
the lurking Attachment of the People to Episcopacy. · One of their own body, the Rev. William Jenkyn, “Minister of God's Word at Christ Church, London," has also well described that race of Puritans who overturned Church and State, in a sermon which he preached in the Abbey-church at Westminster, before the House of Peers, on the 27th of January, 1646. The Bishops had then been expelled from the Upper House, and in allusion to this event, the preacher informs their Lordships in his
Epistle Dedicatory: “ The Lords spiritual (so called) grew too temporal ; but the Lords temporal cannot be too spiritual. Temporal pragmaticalness ruined them; spiritual practices must uphold you. The power of Godliness is the only means to save your souls, and the best to silence your foes.”—In the discourse itself he thus complains of “the insensibleness” of the Long Parliament: “Insensible we are of noises and stirring. How loud hath been the voice of the word in our ears, but how deaf have we been! Rare is the operation of the word in our congregation; the bellows are burnt, the lead is consumed, and yet the founder meltcth in vain. (Jer. vi, 29.) Ministers are spent both in strength and numbers, and yet our lusts in neither : And, for the Parliament, it is a common observation, that it is sermon-proof! You command us to preach before you: Oh that God would command you to practise before us! You enjoin us to print: But it will be an unanswer. able dilemma another day-rither the sermons you caused to be printed were good or bad: If bad, why were they so much as printed. If good, why not more than printed and practised also ?"-He then describes himself and brethren, in the following language: “Painful zealous ministers, that will tell us of our sins, are now looked upon as busy men, as those that meddle with the State: They are bid to keep to their texts ;* as if that preach,
• Some of the Puritans attended strictly to this advice : Thus, in his sermon before the House of Commons, January 27th, 1647, from Rev. xii, 1, 2: " A woman clothed with the sun, &c. and she, being with child, cried, travailing in " birth, and pained to be delivered ;” – Dr. John Arrowsmith kept well to his text, as the reader will perceive when he has perused that discourse.
Stephen Marshall, before the House of Lords, October 28, 1646, also kept well to his text, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained
strength, because of thine enemies,' &c. (Psalm viii, 2.) “ I principally speak to your Lordships," said Stephen, “ to take care that this magazine of the mouth, the powers that come out of the mouth of babes and sucklings may be preserved and recruited, and not any-ways disbanded. It is now a great dispute, among you that are wise statesmen, what we should do with our armies ? Whether there being no visible enemy in the field, it would not be fittest to disband our present armies ? A dispute I have nothing to do with : But this I have to do with, and make bold to tell you, whatsoever you do with other armies, you must not disband the Forces of the Babes and Sucklings, out of whose mouth comes your strongest help. You are far from having your work done as yet: Ireland is in a sad condition : England is woefully unsettled : Terrible divisions are found every where. Look to it, that you have a force about you. What other Forces are needful, I leave to your wisdoms; but, sure I am, these Babes and Sucklings are the Triarii, the Veterani, the old soldiers, the life-guard of England. Dis, band them once, and you are lost.-Give all the assistance possible, that these soldiers may be encouraged and multiplied in all parts of the land : I mean, that the gospel may spread, the preaching of the gospel, that saints might be won, and that the church might be enlarged, be settled in peace, that there might be freedom to seek God, and to serve him according to his will; and know you for certain, that every soul which shall be won to Christ, be it the soul of a woman, or of an old man that stoops for age, or of a child, yet every soul won to Christ, and so numbered among these Babes and Sucklings, will be as stout a soldier as ever you did employ, and will, in your extremity, do more than all the expe. rienced Captains that tread on English ground," &c.