« AnteriorContinuar »
sufficiently expose it to ridicule ; that rivalship would act as a spur to the Protestant clergy; and that the having already conceded a partial, proved the propriety of affording a still more enlarged, toleration. To these arguments the anti-tolerants replied, that Papists were only more submissive through policy, and retained all their dangerous notions as to deposition of kings, &c.; and that in France, toleration had been yielded to the Hugo. nots through fear. The King of Heaven, they observed, is to be served, before the king of Spain. Though truth be stronger than falsehood, the latter supplies its want of strength by its activity. The multitude did not reason, and might be ensnared by the splendours of Popery. That is strange policy which admits the wolf, for the sake of in- . creasing the vigilance of the shepherd. In fine, if the Papists are already tolerated, they have what they ought to have, and should be satisfied. These latter arguments were chiefly delivered from the pulpit, a pulpit which now stood in need of a corrective hand. "The people's duty was preached to the King at court, and the King's to the people ' in the country. Sermons were converted into sa
tires against Papists and non-conformists: and preachers, treating the profound subject of predestination, were themselves bewildered in attempting to lead their flocks. To remedy these mischiefs, as well as to abate the violence of the Arminian and Calvinistic controversy, Jaines is,
pulpit, a pred
vs The pen the King's
sued directions for the resumption of catechizing in the afternoon, and ordered that preachers should abide by texts warranted by the thirty-nine articles and book of homilies; that in the afternoon of Sundays the discourse should illustrate the Catechism, Lord's Prayer, Creed, and Ten Commandments ; that no preacher under the de. gree of bishop or dean, should harangue a popular auditory on the topics of predestination, universal redemption, irresistible grace, or the limits of the sovereign power; that they should adhere to the topics of faith and good works, and abstain from invectives against Papists or Puritans. He likewise directed that the preaching licenses should only be directed in future by the courts of faculties, on recommendation from the bishops in the respective dioceses of the applicants. Against these directions a violent outcry was raised : mán was alleged 10 have forbidden' what God enjoined; starving souls had .but one meal a-day, with a mess of milk for supper; predestination, the tree of life, was pronounced a forbidden fruit, and the Word of God had, what God himself had not, respect of persons. "Papists and Puritans were linked together, while the precedence of honour was given to the former. Lecturers, the flower of piety, were discouraged.
The King's friends, however, were not 'remiss in replying, that a prudential regulation amounted not to a prohibition of preaching ; that” babes
composed the majority of a congregation, and milk was their proper food; and that predestination, which should, in truth, be an antidote against despair, was converted by preachers into a poison, În answer to the remaining objections, it was stated, that bishops and deans were men of age and experience, and cathedral auditories more intelligent than village congregations; that the mentioning of the Papists before the Puritans pointed them out as the more obnoxious offenders ; and that lecturers were not recognised in the Church of England, being usually non-conformists and irregular persons, who supplanted the incumbents in the affections of their people, . '
XVIII. 1624. On the 24th of March James was seized with a tertian ague, which speedily brought his life to a close. He bore his last sickness with resignation and piety. Having rehearsed the Creed, received the eucharist, assured his attendants how much that viaticum had tranquillized and refreshed his spirit, and declared his being in charity with all men, he quietly resigned his spirit: intrepidus emisit animam beatam *. That this prince wished to tolerate the Papists, seems the unpardonable offence in the eyes of several historians, which has stamped him in their contracted volumes with the opprobrious title of the weakest and worst of kings. That he was
not ashamed to scrutinize and mistrust 'his own' theological opinions, or to open his eyes rational doctrines of Arminianism ; that in his jealousy of the Puritans he did not fly to the ex. treme of Popery ; and that in any severity which he'exercised against either Puritan or Popish recusants, he considered their political, and not their religious sentiments, ought to conciliate towards him all enlightened ininds. His attachment to handsome favourites seems to have sprung from an opinion that the countenance is the index of the heart : for it is mentioned by Grainger, that the appellation Stenney, which he bestowed on the Duke of Buckingham, was a contraction of Stepheny, and allụded to that passage in the history of the first martyr, which describes his face as the face of an angel. - Mild, humane, affable, generous, temperate, he possessed a mind, neither influenced by ambition, nor rendered sordid by avariçe, His literary talents were by no means contemptible; and, in the judginent of Mr. Pope, his version of the Psalms is the best in the English language. His theological acquirements quae lified him to take a leading part in the religious controyersies of his age, and preserved him from þeing a dupe to the designs of any artful political ecclesiastic. All his observations at Hampton Court' were sagacious ; and with the penettation of a strong intellect, he perceived the hypocrisy of that zeal which the Puritans pretended for the
hunour of his supremacy; while he foresaw the danger to which the monarchy would be exposed, when the fence of the hierarchy should be broken down. On the third day of the conference he is reported to have discoursed, to the unfeigned admiration of all the civilians. Nor did he show himself less prudently jealous of Catholic interference. Pending the negotiations for the Spanish match, he was particularly anxious that the English worship should not suffer in any way. His reign, in short, because the narrative of it is not stained with battles, or with accounts of the artifices of ca.. binets, makes no figure in the pages of civil history.' The monarch himself is usually held up to contempt, as a pusillanimous and prating pedant. Surely, however, honour ought to attend that prince's memory, whom the worst censure distinguishes as too fond of peace; and accuses of pushing to excess his favourite pursuit-to study the eternal interests of his subjects. « Un des grands vices de l'his? toire est, qu'elle n'est interessante que par les revolutions ; les catastrophes ; tant qu'un peuple croit prospère dans le calme d'un paisible gou, vernement, elle n'en dit rien. Il n'y a que les mé : chans de célébres ; les bons sont oubliés our tournés en ridicule *.” il ".
. In illustration of this remark, Bishop Burnet denominates James, the scorn of the age, a mere