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the most prejudiced of all writers, the most inveterate enemy of Charles and his council, can convict the government of no stronger evidence of Popery, than toleration extended to the Papists.
To allay the clamour, and to avoid unnecessary opposition, all the Papists throughout the kingdom were forthwith disarmed, and orders were issued for enforcing the laws against Jesuits; al. though the chief offence of the Catholics, at the time, was their having furnished the King with money towards resisting the Covenanters. “ Did this in Cæsar seem ambition ? Is it thus that Popish attachments are manifested * ?
In Ireland, however, a short time after, the more barbarous Papists, emboldened by the success resulting from the intimidating measures of the Scots, disgraced Christianity, by one of the most horrid massacres recorded in the page of history of : an insurrection, in which the Puritans 1. * The army had been greatly composed of Catholics; and here it was sarcastically remarked, that the Queen's army of Papists was gone to establish the Protestant religion in Scot land.
f A committee of accommodation sat in March, having ten bishops, and twenty lay lords to out-vote them. A subcommittee prepared matters for their consideration ; and here we find the names of Usher, Hall, Prideaux, and Edmund Calamy. These bodies complained of the discipline then in use as too Popish and Arminian; they proposed several alterations in the ceremonies and Liturgy, and meditated the lopping of episcopacy, with a view to prevent its being felled. But this, with several other projects of ecclesiastical reform, came
saw their advantage, taking occasion to rail at the friends of the hierarchy as privy to the commo. tion, and as identified with Papists *.
to pothing ; the anti-episcopal party « not caring to shave the beards of those whose heads they intended to cut off.”
One of these plans, which the brandy-drinkers despised, as being no more than a milk and water potation, was the bill for putting down deans and chapters. Hacket, prebendary of St. Paul's, spoke with much force in their defence before the House of Commons. He urged that their daily service was useful in cathedrals, for supplying the defect of private prayer, and adding to religion the charm of celestial music. Their funds afforded a provision for learned and virtuous younger brothers, gave dignity to the Protestant religion, and honour to God; supported preaching, advanced learning, and kept in repair the most ornamental structures in the land. The clergy ought not to be like Jeroboam's priests. They paid first fruits, tenths, and subsidies ; nor was it just that they should be disturbed in their hereditary charters. Burgess, in the evening, disputed on the other side, that though cathedrals were unnecessary, and quiremen scandalous, their land could not be given to private persons, or alienated to secular uses, without the guilt of sacrilege. It is pretty plain he wished to obtain a slice for himself,
Two other plans of mediation were dismissed for similar reasons; the one drawn up by Williams, for regulating the bishops, by adding to each twelve assistants; the other by Usher, for a mongrel church government-a mule begotten - by Presbyterianism upon Episcopacy: Deeper projects than these were now in meditation. It is doubtful whether even Usher's scheme would have satisfied the Presbyterians; and · the Root and Branch men would still have been malcontents. · * See Neale.--- Not without the knowledge of the court;"
although he confesses the King's sanction of the insurrection to have been a forgery.
XXXI. It may be necessary to stare, that the High Commission Court took arbitrary cognizance of heresies; and the Star Chamber of civil offences beyond the reach of the law. These two engines of tyranny were now abolished; the King giving his consent at the request of the bishops, who interfered in their proper character of peacemakers. Now was the time for all real friends of liberty to return, satisfied, to their allegiance; but factioni rose upon the condescension of authority, and the flimsy veil of pretended love of reform dropped off from the features of disaffection. Charles seeined already marked out as a victim : his unmeaning words, his most trivial actions, were strained and tortured into evil constructions; and rumours of his tyrannous intentions were industrionsly cir. culated, having no other foundation than in the malice of his enemies. By these artifices the more furious Puritans expected to provoke the King into some violent exertion of power, which they might point out as urging the necessity of diminishing what was thus abused. Nor was it long before he fell into the snare thus arifully laid for him. But we pass over the impeachment of Strafford, and other civil transactions, confining ourselves to matters purely ecclesiastical.
XXXII. The bishops still forming, in the House of Lords, a formidable phalanx of opposition to the Puritans, thirteen of their number were impeached as chiefly guilty of promulgating
the late canons, in a manner contrary to the rights of Parliament, and dangerous to liberty. A respite of three months was granted for preparing their defence; and, in the mean time, a dispute arising between the two houses, concerning the continuance of the Liturgy, they adjourned themselves by mutual consent, each appointing a small committee. A report being spread, that the King having extended condescension to the Scots, designed to introduce Presbyterianism into England, he denied it in a letter froin the North, and at the same time issued five congé d'elires for the filling of vacant sees; while the bishops introduced on this occasion were men against whom no exception could reasonably be taken by the Puritans*. To a petition directed chiefly against the bishops, and the state of church government and discipline, the King delivered a most moderate and reasonable answer, signifying his determination to oppose Popery, and to abridge any excessive privileges of the clergy; but reininding the petitioners, that the bishops by law and usage had a right to vote in Parliament; and that he was resolved to support the church government and discipline against the irreverent attacks of separatists.
XXXIII. The inveteracy of the Commons THE REIGN OF CHARLES I. [17th Cent. against the Episcopal votes in Parliament, was increased by the opposition made by the bench of bishops, the body guards of the King, to all measures of hostility levelled against churches, which originated in the lower house. Deter, mined to remove this obstacle to their designs, they stirred up the porters of London to petition against the spiritual lords, and a mob of apprentices, Burgess's myrmidons, to beset both houses of Parliament in an intimidating attitude, under pretence of obtaining an answer to their petition. With an admirable knowledge of cause and effect, these wise heads pronounced that Popery and prelacy had ruined trade. So at Rome, when the Tiber overflowed its banks, the inundation was said to bę owing to the Christians; and so it was given out once by an old broom crier, that her besoms were rendered dearer by the French revolution* Froin a shower of stones discharged by these politicians, the bishops, com. ing by water to Parliament on St. Stephen's day, had very nearly shared the fate of St. Stephen, A proposal having been made for the suppression of the tumult, Pym advised that the people should not be discouraged in manifesting the public sen
* Hall was removed to Norwich, and Prideaux appointed to Worcester ; while Usher received the see of Carlisle in commendam. These were the last changes, until the total abolition of episcopacy in 1646.