« AnteriorContinuar »
is not, here, my intention, as it is no part of my province, to detail or discuss accusations merely of a civil nature ; although it may be just hinted, that Laud's principle of defence was a solid one; namely, that a crime, such as treason, cannot be constituted by any accumulation of circumstances, no one of which is separately treasonable f. But
it, the more particularly sincé. Laud, wbo, though furnished with counsel, rested chiefly on his own, resourses, could not promptly answer the preconcerted charges and arguments urged by his learned antagonists * ; since the managers in their replies were guilty of the grossest mis-statements, and, lastly, since the most popular accounts of the proceedings are either garbled and imperfect, or taken from Mr. Prinne's narrative; the narrative of a determined enemy to the archbishop. it
† Among the charges, one accused Laud of having declared, that Parliament could not alter the state of religion, without consent of the clergy; whereas the clergy were adverse to the Reformation. He maintained that he only alluded to the power of the church to judge concerning truth and falsehood, as they respected heresies. The repairing of St. Paul's was one of his faults; but he had paid towards that work 12001, from his own coffers. The charge of bribery he heard with the liveliest indignation; and it appeared that this alluded merely to a butt of sack which a person had smuggled into his cellar, and
* * The counsel for the Commons were Wild, Hayward, Brown, Nicholas, and Hill (which last person, as he said nothing, the archbishop termed Consul Bibulus), with Prinne for the solicitor. Laud's solicitor was his own secretary ".
The late republication of some edițions and abridgments of Neale, suggest also the propriety of correcting, here as elsewhere, that author's nuinerous and pernicious distortions of truth.
* See Wharton's Hįstory of Laud's Troubles, 223, &c
the third general accusation being purely of a religious nature, demands particular attention. In substance it imputed to Laud an attempt to introduoe idolatry, and to reconcile the church of England to that of Rome *.
which, when he discovered it, he ordered to be removed. It was urged that he had accepted commutations for fines; this, however, was not done clandestinely, but by warrant under the great seal, and in order to raise a fund for repairing the metropolitan cathedral. To the imputation of bringing the temporal power into subjection to the clergy, he answered, that he had only endeavoured to exempt the clergy from lay oppression. In short, he had asserted the prerogative only where the law was silent; and all the acts complained of were not properly his, but those of the whole council-board. . ..* The first particular specified was his partiality for images and pictures, evinced in the repairing of the stained-glass windows of his private chapel in Lambeth, contrary to the stat. 3 and 4 Edward VI. and the injunctions of Queen Elizabeth ; the erection of crosses in various churches, and of a stone figure of the Virgin in St. Mary's, Oxford; with the summoning of Mr. Sherfield before the Star-chamber, for defacing an idolatrous sculpture in a church near Salisbury. To this Laud replied, that images were in use so early as the time of Constantine, and earlier; that Tertullian mentions a congregation who had a picture of Christ on their communion chalice ; that even Calvin allowed the historical use of scriptural representations, since he says (Instit. lib. i. c. 11, § 12), “ Neque tamen ed superstitione teneor, ut nullas prorsus imagines ferendas censeam, sed quia sculptura et pictura Dei dona sunt, puram et legitimam utrusque usum requiro.” An historical account of images is given in the Homilies (p. 64, 65); but though it might be granted, that they were forbidden by that publication, one might surely subscribe the Homilies as godly
Laud, in his closing speech, complained of want of time for preparation ; of the seizure of his
and profitable for THOSE times, yet not believe them as to every direction necessary at all times. He did not approve of images of God the Father ; though some vindicated the use of them, from Dan. vii. The similitudes of Lambeth were neither wood nor stone, but glass windows. As to crosses and pictures, images of things visible, they might be serviceable for ornament and admonition. The statue of the Virgin had been set up by Bishop Owen: nor was it in proof that he even was aware of its existence, and Mr. Sherfield was sentenced for violently destroying the ornaments of a church without autho, tity from the bishop of the diocese. .....
.. .. In answer to this defence, it was argued by the managersy that Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Tretiæus, and Lactantius, agree in the denying images to have been found in the primitive churches; that Epiphanius, in holy indignation, rent an image in pieces; that the Homilies, part ii. p.: 39, show ancient councils and many pious emperors to have been averse from images; that Tertullian relates only that those heretics to whom he wrote had such a chalice as Laud alluded tos and that Calvin, in the sentence quoted, must refer only to the use of sculpture and painting in common life, since his next words affirm that the church had no inages for 500 years, and that to paint images of God is unlawful, since he hath himself forbidden it: In this manner the trial proceeded; Laud being allowed only' one short and almost unpremedi. tated answer, while the managers had the first blow and the last in each particular charge. It is therefore a just debt to the memory of the archbishop, to examine the pleadings of his antagonists; and with this view it may be observed that the managers, with dexterous management, suppressed the distinction betwixt images as ornaments, and as objects of worship. The managers had asserted that the stained window
papers and diary, not to substantiate but to construct a charge ; and of the sifting of these docu.
at Lambeth was repaired from the model in a Roman missal : whereas, Laud merely attempted to restore what had been defaced. This window, which was afterwards destroyed in the civil wars *, represented the scripture history from the creation to the last judgment. In two side windows were portrayed the types and anti-types. Now if Laud had indeed tepaired such a window from a missal, where would have been the mighty harm? But it seems this repairing was unlawfuls because the window had been defaced at the Reformation. It is unpardonable then to correct any mischief occasioned by the wild and riotoas excess of a good principle. And now let us examine the 3 and 4 of Edward VI. and the injunctions of Queen Elizabeth. The statute 1 Eliz. c. ii. f refers to this act of Edward VI. and orders matters to stand as they did at the time of its passing: bat. the act of Edward VI. com mands only the destruction of images in wood, stone, and ałabaster, speaking nothing at all concerning glass windows; and containing an express clause for the preservation of IMAGES on monuments, &c. provided they were not reputed to be mints. The act then was rather favourable than otherwise to the repair of the Lambeth window. But the act 1 Eliz, c. ii. was passed in the year 1558; whereas the INJUNCTIONS were delivered in 1559, and may be conceived as intended to explain or qualify the act. And what is the language of these injunctions ? After commanding the demolition of images in the churches, they add, "PRESERVING nevertheless and repairing both the walls and GLASS WINDOWS; these then might be repaired with STAINED glass, provided saint-worship were not introduced. · II. The second charge accused Laud of superstition in the · • Ducarel's Lambeth, p. 26; and Lyson, vol. i. p. 259.
it See Gibson's Codex, and the Collections of old Canons. i
CIVIL WAR TO [17th Cent. ments to the bran. The articles he said were general and vague. He had been charged with
consecration of churches, and instanced those so well known of St. Catharine Cree and St. Giles's. * This was said to be contrary to the judgment of Bishop Pilkington and Archbishop Parker. The consecration of altars, pattens, chalices, altarcloths, and even of the knife which should cut the sacramental bread, the dedication of churches to saints or angels, and the promotion of annual commemorative feasts, were likewise subjects of complaint f. . · The consecration of churches, said the Archbishop, is as old as the days of Moses and Solomon, who thus hallowed the tabernacle and the temple. Christian churches were consecrated in the reign of Constantine, or as soon as they began to be built ; and that of Tyre is specified by Eusebius : nor does Parker condemn consecrations in general, but Popish consecrations, which mine were not, for I had the forms of them from Bishop Andrews I.
There was no consecration, replied the directors of the trial, for 300 years after the birth of Christ.-It is true that Eusebius, in the life of Constantine, cap. 45, mentions the con. secration of a temple with prayers, &c.; but there was no
• Prynne, p. 114, 497.
Consecrations are advisable for the sake of solemnity: and as to distinguishing churches by the names of saints and angels, it was an ancient practice; but the dedication was only to God. Our Lord honoured a feast of dedication with his presence; and such feasts are useful for maintaining hospitality and good neighbourhood. They were prevalent in Popish times, and have led to occasional excesses ; but are all vines to be rooted up, because some men will intoxicate themselves with the juice of the grape ? Further, the altar is necessarily holy; for we know ihat it sanctified the gift : ought it not then to be consecrated or set apart from common uses ? And were not all its.appurtenances hallowed in this manner, what could be understood by the crime of sacrilege?