Imágenes de páginas

have regarded as its fundamental basis, their invariable resolution never to depart, either among themselves, or in their relations with other States, from the strictest observation of the principles of the right of nations; principles which, in their application to a state of permanent peace, can alone effectually guarantee the independence of each government and the stability of the general association. Faithful to these principles, the Sovereigns will maintain them equally in those meetings at which they may be personally present, or in those which shall take place among their Ministers; whether it shall be their object to discuss in common their own interests, or whether they shall take cognizance of questions in which other governments shall formally claim their interference. The same spirit which will direct their councils, and reign in their diplomatic communications, shall preside also at these meetings; and the repose of the world shall be Constantly their motive and their end. It is with such sentiments that the Sovereigns have consummated the work to which they were called. They will not cease to labor for its confirmation and perfection. They solemnly acknowledge, that their duties towards God and the people whom they govern, make it peremptory on them to give to the world, as far as in their power, an example of justice, of concord, of moderation; happy in the power of consecrating, from kenceforth, all their efforts to the protection of the arts of peace, to the increase of the internal prosperity of their States, and to the awakening of those sentiments of religion and morality, whose empire has been but to much enfeebled by the misfortune of the tiines."

This declaration was preceded by five unanimous resolutions, or determinations, of the contracting parties. The third is not of a general nature. The others are as follow.

1. That they are firmly resolved never to depart, neither in their mutual retations, nor in those which connect them with other states, from the principles of intimate union which has hitherto presided over all their common relations and interests-an union rendered more strong and indissoluble by the bonds of Christian fraternity which the Sovereigns have formed among themselves.

2. That this anion, which is the more real and durable inasmuch as it depends on no separate interest or temporary combination, can only have for its object the maintenance of general peace, founded on a religious respect for the engagements contained in the treaties, and for the whole of the rights resulting therefron.

4. That if, for the better attaining the above declared object, the Powers which have concurred in the present act, should judge it necessary to establish particular meetings, either of the Sovereigns themselves, or of their respective Ministers and Plenipotentiaries, to treat in common of their proper interests, in so far as they have reference to the object of their present deliberations, the time and place of these meetings shall, on each occasion, be previously fixed, by means of diplomatic communications; and that in the case of these meetings having for their object affairs specially connected with the interests of the other States of Europe, they shall only take place in consequence of a formal invitation on the part of such of those States as the said affairs may concern, and under the express reservation of their right of participation therein, either directly or by their Plenipotentiaries.

5. That the resolutions contained in the present act shall be made known to all the Courts of Europe, by the subjoined declaration, which shall be considered as sanctioned by the Protocol, and forming part thereof.


We hope to be able, in our next number, to present our readers with the speeches of the Rev. Mr. Huntington and the Rev. Mr. Dwight, at the meeting of the Boston Foreign Mission Society.

The collection, after the sermon by the Rev. Mr. Gile, was 8203, of which $50, given by one person, was appropriated to the Foreign Mission School. There was another contribution of $50, from a single person.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

CXXIII, Neal's History of the Puritans. Vol. V. Boston, 1817. To seek the degradation of an adversary by reproachful epithets, when the occasion demands that his arguments be answered, is considered the invariable mark of a bad cause, or a bad temper in him who advocates it. The substitution of abuse for reasoning, though it may not be perfectly satisfactory to the sufferer, is, nevertheless, so compendious a method of evading the force which cannot be met on fair ground, that it is likely to remain in fashion. The invention of the word Furitan, and its application to designate a large body of men in the English nation,

a has been remarked as one of those lucky expedients, which save a vast expense of labor and study to those who wished to reproach serious religion. By such an odious term, ready coined to his hand, the man whose heart is overflowing with resentment can readily give it a currency, which would never have been in his power, if obliged to clothe his vague conceptions in a drapery of his own fabrication. The sufferings endured by the people reproached with this name, through a long course of years, are but imperfectly known, and notwithstanding the endeavors of our author, must forever remain so.

A favorite objection of infidels has always been found in the animosities of Christians. That the professors of the religion of the Prince of Peace should seek to injure and destroy their brethren, is the permanent theme of crimination. The standers contrived and propagated to the reproach Christians, on the ground of their differences among themselves, have been repeated as often, and assumed as many shapes, as could be expected from the talents, zeal, and irrcconcilable enmity, of those whose miserable cause needed such wretched support. On the other hand, those of the same nation, and holding the same common faith, have shamefully forgotten the sacred principles of the religion they profess, and instead of exerting their strength against the common enemy, have hitherto directed their attention to the differences between each other, magnified the peculiari. ties of their dissenting brethren, and exhausted their powers of wit and argument, to detect and expose all who might not think like themselves. Far worse than this, they have quitted the arms of fair and open discussion, and used the sword to compel the homage or enforce the conformity, which they value more than truth, and for which they have been ready to sacrifice every thing else. VOL. XV.


It is not to be inferred from these remarks, that we are enemies to religious controversy in all possible circumstances. Nor can it be necessary to prove that any man, believing in the essential doctrines of Christianity, is not to sit down quietly and hear those doctrines denied. Those who wish to sound the praises, and magnify the value, of their own charity, may enjoy the distinction of believing that no truth of the Bible is worth contending for;—that themselves alone can discover what parts are true, or genuine, and what are spurious; that all who maintain the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, are bigots or enthusiasts. These men may enjoy the reputation acquired by indifference or hatred to the most prominent truths of the Bible. Such were not the opinions of the primitive Christians, of the prophets er the apostles,

The sufferings of the puritans, during the reign of Charles II. are very imperfectly known. If any people can have a deeper interest than others in the remeinbrance of the persecution, which drove so many of them out of the kingdom of Great-Britain, it must be the descendants of those pilgrims, who first planted New-England, as an asylum from persecution. Some of our readers, whose opportunities may not have thrown the statutes of England in their way, may be willing to see a list of the acts to prevent the non-conformists from the exercise of their religion, passed in the single reign of the second Charles. The enumeration is thus introduced by the author. Speaking of the test act,” he says,

“This being the last penál law made against the non-conformists in this reign, it may not be improper to put them all together, that the reader may have a full view of their distressed circumstances; for besides the penal laws of queen Elisabeth, which were confirmed by this parliament; one of which was no less than banishment: and another a mulct on every one for not coming to church,

There were in force,

1st. “An act for well governing and regulating corporations. 13 Car. II. ch. 1. Whereby all who bear office in any city, corporation, town, or borough, are required to take the oaths and subscribe the declaration therein mentioned, and to receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites of the church of England. This effectually turned the dissenters out of all corporations.

2nd. The act of uniformity, 14. Car. II. ch. 4. Whereby all parsous, vicars, and ministers, who enjoyed any preferment in the church, were obliged to declare their unfeigned assent and consent, to every thing contained in the book of common-prayer. &c. or be ipso facto deprwied: and all school-masters and tutors are prohibited from teaching youth, without license froin the archbishop or bishop, under pain of three months imprisonment.

3d. “An act to prevent and suppress seditious conventicles, 16 Car. II. ch. 4. Whereby it is declared unlawful to be present at any meeting for religious worship, except according to the usage of the church of England, where five besides the family should be assembled; in which case the first and second offences are made subject to a certain fine, or three months imprisonment, on conviction before a justice of peace on the oath of a single witness; and a third offence, on conviction at the sessions, or before the justices of assize, is punishable by transportation for seven years.

4th. An act for restraining nonconformists from inhabiting corporations, 17 Car. II. ch. 2. Whereby all dissenting ministers, who would not take an oath therein specified, against the lawfulness of taking up arms against the king on any pretence whatever, and that they would never attempt any alteration of government in church and state, are banished five miles from all corporation towns, and subject to a fine of forty pounds, in case they should preach in any conventicle.

si sth. Another act to firevent and suppress seditious conventicles, 22 Car. II. byen. 5. Whereby any persons who teach in such conventicles are subject to a natrualty of twenty pounds for the first, and forty pounds for every subsequent imefence; and any person who permits such a conventicle to be held in his house, s liable to a fine of twenty pounds, and justices of peace are empowered to

reak open doors where they are informed such conventicles are held, and take: the offenders into custody. az 6th: "An act for preventing dangers which may happen from popish recuante, commonly called the test act, which requires, "that all persons bearing any office of trust or profit, shall take the oaths of supremacy. and allegiance in public and open court, and shall also receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, 1-faccording to the usage of the church of England, in some parish church, on

some Lord's day, immediately after divine service and sermon, and deliver a cererificate of having so received this sacrament, under the hands of the respective ministers and church wardens, proved by two credible witnesses upon oath, and.

upon record in court. And that all persons taking the said oaths of supremacy re and allegiance shall likewise make and subscribe this following declaration. I,

A. B. do declare, that I believe there is no transubstantiation in the sacrament of the 45 Lord's Supper, in the elements of bread and wine, at or after the consecration

thereof by any person whatsoever. The penalty of breaking through this act, is disability of sueing in any court of law or equity, being guardian of any child,

executor or administrator to any person, or of taking any legacy or deed of gift, or of bearing any public office; besides a fine of five hundred pounds." pp. 27-29.. bel be! Although this last act was aimed principally at the Roman Cathod'lics, as its title shews, nevertheless, all dissenters were effectually ex:

cluded from public employment, by the conditions required from the candidate for office, and this test act remains in force until this day. The consequences of all these restraints upon the religious principles of men, and such long.continued attempts to enslave their consciences, may be easily imagined. But we are not left to conjecture on this subject. The numbers who quitted their country, and the almost incredible sufferings of those who remained in the kingdom, speak a language which cannot be misunderstood.

"By the vigorous execution of these laws, the non-conformist ministers were separated from their congregations, from their maintenance, from their houses and families, and their people reduced to distress and misery, or obliged to worship God in a manner contrary tn the dictates of their consciences, on penalty of beary fines, or of being shut up in a prison among thieves and robbers. Great tumbers retired to the plantations; but Dr. Owen, who was shipping off his effects for New England, was forbid to leave the kingdom by express orders from King Charles himself. If there had been treason or rebelion in the case, it had been justifiable; but when it was purely for non-conformity to certain rules and ceremonies, and a form of church government, it can deserve no better name than that of persecution." p. 29.

"The revocation of the indulgence, and the chispleasure of the court against the dissenters for deserting them in their designs to prevent the passing the test et, let loose the whole tribe of informers. The papists being excluded from places of trust, the court had no tenderness for protestant non-conformBes; the judges therefore had orders to quicken the execution of the laws against hem. The estates of those of the best quality in each county were ordered to se seized. The mouths of the high church pulpiteers were encouraged to open

is loud as possible: one, in his sermon before the house of commons, told them hat the non-conformists ought not to be tolerated, but to be cured by vengeance.

He urged them to set fire to the faggot, and to teach them, by scourges or scorpions, and open their eyes with gall. The king himself issued out a proclamaim, for putting the penal laws in full execution, which had its effect.

"Mr. Baxter was one of the first on whom the storm fell, being apprehended as he was preaching his Thursday. lecture at Mr. Turner's. He went with a

constable and Keting the informer, to Sir William Pulteney's, who demanding the warrant, found it signed by Henry Montague Esq. bailiff of Westminster. ! Sir William told the constable, that none but a city justice could give a warrant to apprehend a man for preaching in the city, whereupon he was dismissed. Endeavors were used to surprise Dr. Mantod, and send him to prison upon the Oxford or five mile act, but Mr. Bedford preaching for him, was accidentally apprehended in his stead; and though he had taken the oath in the five mile aci, was fined twenty pounds, and the place forty pounds, which was paid by the hearers.

"The like ravages were made in most parts of England; Mr. Joseph Swaffield, of Salisbury, was seized preaching in his own house, and bound over to the na assizes, and imprisoned in the county goal almost a year. Twenty-five persons were indited for a riot, that is, for a conventicle, and suffered the penalty of the law. The informers were Roman Catholics, one of whom was executed for treason in the popish plot. At East-Salcomb, in Devonshire, lived one Joan Boston, an old blind widow, who for a supposed conventicle held at her house, was fined twelve. pounds, and for non payment of it threatened with a goal. After some weeks the officers broke open her doors, and carried away her goods to above the value of the fine. They sold as many goods as were worth thirteen pounds, for fifty shillings; six hogsheads valued at forty shillings, for nine shillings, and pewter, feather-beds, &c. for twenty shillings, besides the rent which they demanded of her tenants. -Mr. John Thompson, minister in Bristol, was apprehended, and refusing to take the Oxford oath was committed to prison, where he was seized with a fever through the noisomeness of the place. A physician being sent for, advised his removal; and a bond of five hundred pounds was offered to the sheriff for his security. Application was also made the bishop without success; so he died in prison March 4th. declaring, that if he had known when he came to prison that he should die there, he would have done no otherwise than he did. " Numberless examples of the like kind might be produced.” pp. 31, 32

In every country where the government is administered according to the forms of law, it becomes a necessary part of the system of operations, that the judicial departments be filled with men of corresponding tempers with their masters; or in other words, that when the executive has recommended and sanctioned the acts of a legislature, the interpreters of the laws should follow up by their decisions, the intentions wbich dictated and enacted the statutes of the nation. So plain has this always appeared, that whenever any odious measures are taken by a corrupt administration, they know it is not sufficient to pass severe resolves, until they find men prepared and fitted to see them executed, without much regard to conscience or honesty. The profligate Charles and his abandoned courtiers were careful to provide a fit instrument to carry their bloody intentions into execution. Such an one they found in the person of the infamous Jeffries, who has been appropriately named “the ruffian of the law." His character cannot be better given in a sentence than in the words of Mr. Neal, nor a fairer illustration of it than in his treatment of Mr. Baxter.

Jeffries, now lord chief justice of England, who was scandalously vicious, and drunk every day, besides a drunkenness of fury in his temper that looked like madness, was prepared for any dirty work the court should put upon him."

p. 106.

The commons having addressed the King, James 11. desiring him to issue his royal proclamation to cause the penal laws to be put in execution against dissenters from the church of England, the writer continues.

« AnteriorContinuar »