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OTHER OPINION DISAGREEING WITH THE TRUTH,
and ORTHODOX Church, shall be reputed a capital enemy to the Kingdom and COMMONWEALTH!”
This fact is singular, from its being the first symptom of that spirit of ruthless domination, which, under these leaders, Pym and Cromwell, one Presbyterian and the other Independent, subverted the Altar and the Throne - and now for the first time “the COMMONWEALTH” is spoken of in Parliament!
But let us analyse a little this "infallible" decision ! “He shall be reputed a CAPITAL enemy to the Kingdom and Commonwealth, who shall seem to extend any other opinion disagreeing from Truth and the ORTHODOX CHURCH !” Under this infallible scale who might hope for toleration? For who might not “ seem to extend” any opinions “disagreeing from the truth,” according to the “truth” of the Puritans of 1628!
Laud hitherto had not shown any kind of severity but he was the impugner of “TRUTH,” that is, of Calvinism, in doctrine and discipline! His life was now threatened! Dr. Lamb, at eighty years of age, had been almost literally torn to pieces for being the Duke of Buckingham's conjurer! The Duke of Buckingham's Bishop was the next object; and he felt that the general tone of the people against him was expressed by the billet found in the Deanery-yard of St. Paul's :
“ Laud, look to thyself !--assure thyself neither God nor the world can endure such a vile counsellor and whisperer to LIVE!”
The storm of hate and religious fanaticism was now deepening over his head. He was indeed panic-struck by the various signs of this popular deadly hate; and his Diary, at this time, showed at once his terror and the consciousness of innocence. In his Diary of 1632 appears this entry : “Lord, I beseech thee to deliver me from those who hate me without a cause!”
The first person whom he censured, and that for the most personal invectives, in a sermon on “ Idolatry”. was the Minister of Ware! Did his ruthless Diocesan deprive him? Suspend him! Nombe was requested to write a submission, in Latin! The charges of “dust thrown in the air”—the “kneeling”—the“ bowing” — the “repairing painted windows” — I disdain to answer.
I cannot conclude without noticing the vote in Parliament-at the time when the Speaker was held forcibly in the chair.* This vote was," the Parliament ought to establish the true religion, and PUNISH the false !" what they pronounced false was indeed afterwards punished in the true spirit of such Legislators of the “Truth!” Parliament by this vote signed the death-warrant of the King, who, on the same day in which he signed the death-warrant of Strafford, and the perpetuity of Parliament, signed his own death-warrant.
* Leighton was sentenced by the Star-Chamber, 1633.Rushworth.
CHEYNELL'S OWN ACCOUNT OF HIS CONDUCT AT CHILLINGWORTH'S FUNERAL.
Cheynell's account of the death and funeral of Chillingworth is entitled “Chillingworth’s Novissima.”
Dr. Johnson says, “it being Chilling worth's dying request that the office for the dead in the Prayer-book should be read over him, Cheynell did not refuse it.” Whereas Cheynell's words are these : “ It was the earnest desire of that eminent scholar whose BODY LIES BEFORE You, that his corpse might be interred according to the rites and customs approved in the English Lyturgy, &c. His first request is denied for MANY REASONS!” Such was the charity of this creature to one he called his friend, and whose talents and eloquence he professed to admire.
After the scorn and horror excited by such charity, the reader might sinile when he finds the same man asserting that Chillingworth did not die a GENUINE Son of the Church of England! Certainly not, — if the charity or doctrines of the Church of England be taken from such an example! Cheynell complacently proceeds: “Touching the burial of his corse,” (without any ceremony or service whatever, like a dog!) “it will be most proper, for MEN OF HIS PERSUASION, commit the body of their deceased friend, brother, MASTER, to the dust; and it will be most proper for to hearken to that counsel of my Saviour, 'Let the DEAD bury the dead!' but 'Go thou, and preach the Kingdom of God:' and so I went from the grave to the pulpit.” He adds: “I dare say I have been sorrow
* That is, that “the Bible is the religion of Protestants."
ful, and more meRCIFUL to him than his friends at Oxford !” Let the Christian reader guess the reason “ Because his sickness and OBSTINACY cost me many a prayer, and many a tear!” His obstinacy for not giving up his reason and his Bible, for such fanaticism! Ob, yet hear this pious bewailer!" I did heartily bewail the loss of such strong parts and eminent gifts! so much learning and diligence! Never did I observe more acuteness and eloquence, so exactly tempered!” And what was the charitable conclusion ? “ DIABOLUS ab illo, ornari cupiebat!” adds this Prince of Puritans! Nor let the indignant reader, for one moment, suppose that this exemplary example of Calvinistic piety — was a kind of monstrum sui generis! He was the great, active, leading, accredited representative of the whole godly party at that time predominant in Oxford — when the “blind guides,” such as Chillingworth, and those we have spoken of, were expelled, and forbid to appear within five miles ON PAIN OF DEATH!
After the Godly visitation of Oxford, and the death of the pious Lord Pembroke, Cromwell was invited to fill the Chancellor's Chair. Cromwell was in Scotland: he affected to hesitate, before he consented to become the illustrious head of the famous University, now restored to its purity! He says nothing here of “seeking the Lord.” His letter from Scotland is a striking proof of his consummate art, or masterly duplicity, showing how well he was prepared to doff his iron casque, and sit in his robes as Chancellor, and Doctor of Laws, in the Convocation.
I transcribe an extract from his letter « To the University of Oxford :"
“But if these” (apologies) "prevail not, and that I
must continue this honour till I can personally serve you, you shall not want my prayers, that that seed and stock of piety and learning so marvellously springing up* among you, may be useful to the great and glorious Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the approach of which so plentiful an effusion of the Spirit upon these hopeful plants is the best presage! and in all other things I shall, by Divine assistance, improve my poor abilities and interests, in manifesting myself to the University, and yourselves.”+
The Author of the Rambler, speaking of Cheynell's constant expression, the “ power of religion," tells us that this powerful religionist entered into Sussex to exercise his ministry, in a place where there had been, as he expresses it, "little of the POWER OF RELIGion either known or practised!” The Doctor, with grave simplicity, adds: “As no reason can be given why the inbabitants of Sussex should have less knowledge or virtue than those of other places, it may be suspected that he means nothing more than a place where the Presbyterian discipline was practised."
Certainly it may be “suspected!” The great Author of the Rambler and Lives of the Poets, living in Boltcourt, did not seein to be aware of the common boast of all these Pharisees! nor even that they, in their public worship, rejected the Lord's Prayer - as the Baptists do at this day.”
I have thought it my duty, in writing the life of an Episcopal Christian, to set before Christians the faithful picture of Puritanism. The same spirit is abroad,
* Of which the learned and pious Cheynell was a proof! + Cromwell's Letter to Oxford.