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Reformed Church was established, and forthwith turned its arms against all dissidents. The Roman clergy were expelled from their livings, the monasteries and nunneries were pillaged and destroyed, their revenues confiscated. The nonconforming Puritans were fined, imprisoned, mutilated, burned.
Still, for many years, all English Protestants were united by a common danger, a danger which threatened them both at home and from abroad. The Roman Church, waxing desperate at the loss of so large and wealthy a province, made frantic efforts to recover its ground. Foiled in all its endeavours, during the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI., it nursed its wrath, and kept it warm. At Queen Mary's accession it found the opportunity for which it had waited so long. The thunders which had muttered in the distance, swept and broke over the land, destroying many of her noblest sons. The cruel and bloody persecutions of that time are well known. The Church has taken care of that; and in recounting the story of her long roll of famous martyrs, has a little overlooked the Nonconformist martyrs, not less worthy, and hardly less numerous, who suffered death at the hands of Henry and Elizabeth. It is to their eternal honour, that not all the Nonconformists suffered at the hands of Queen Elizabeth abated one jot of their loyalty. Cruel as she was to them, she was at the head of the Protestant interest in Europe. If she persecuted them, she extended her protection to their brethren abroad. The whole continent was plunging in conflict. Everywhere Catholic and Protestant were contending for victory. And though, since Mary's death, there was no national party in England which dared to fight for the supremacy of Rome, there were endless Catholic plots against the Queen's life; and abroad, in the harbours of Spain and the Netherlands, an Armada was gathering, the sole object of which was to reimpose Catholicism on the stubborn necks of English heretics. In all likelihood, the fate of England and of all the Reformed Churches hung on the life of Elizabeth, and the success of her administration. The Nonconformists saw this, and “even in the depths of the prisons to which she sent them, prayed, and with no simulated fervour, that she might be kept from the dagger of the assassin, that rebellion might be put down under her feet, and that her arms might be victorious by sea and land.” One of them, immediately after his hand had been lopped off, waved his hat with the hand which was still left him, and shouted, “ God save the Queen!” Both their patriotism and their Protestantism urged them, despite the cruel usage to which they were subjected, to strengthen the hands of the Government in its long and perilous struggle against the Pope and the Emperor.
But when James I. came to the throne, there was no longer any reason why they should defer and submit. The Armada had been sunk. Philip was dead. The United Provinces had successfully resisted the Spanish power. The Reformation had established itself in Germany, and Switzerland, and the Netherlands. State and Church were secure. The time had come when the Church must be reformed; the power of the State limited and defined. Many of those who had accepted the compromise on which the Church is based, had been taught to doubt the wisdom of that step. The two parties in the Church, which even at first had held somewhat aloof from each other, which throughout had been united only by their common fear of the Pope and his abettors, drew gradually asunder. Nor is it difficult to see how, by all the influences of their time, they were forced apart, driven into antagonism.
The Puritan party in the Church were by no means disposed to submit to human authority in matters of religion. They bowed only to the authority of Scripture. Relying on this authority, they had “risen up against a church strong in immemorial antiquity and catholic consent. It was by no common exertion of intellectual energy that they had thrown off the yoke of that gorgeous and imperial superstition; and it was vain to expect that, immediately after such an emancipation, they would patiently submit to a new spiritual tyranny. Long
accustomed, when the priest lifted up the host, to bow down with their faces to the earth, as before a present God, they had learned to treat the mass as an idolatrous mummery. Long accustomed to regard the Pope as the successor of the chief of the apostles, as the bearer of the keys of earth and heaven, they had learned to regard him as the Beast, the Antichrist, the Man of Sin. It was not to be expected that they would immediately transfer to an upstart authority the homage which they had withdrawn from the Vatican; that they would submit their private judgment to the authority of a church founded on private judgment alone; that they would be afraid to dissent from teachers who themselves dissented from what had lately been the universal faith of western Christendom."* The persecutions of Mary had driven many of them for refuge across the sea. They had sat at the feet of the great doctors of the Reformation at Frankfort and Geneva. There they had been accustomed to a simpler mode of worship, a more democratical form of church government. Some indeed, the Diocesans as they were called, retained their love of Episcopacy, and its liturgies and ceremonies. But most of them became Disciplinarians, and were for the Genevan way of worship, i.e., for a plain and simple ritual, and for a Congregational or Presbyterian form of government. When, on the death of Mary, they returned to England, they brought these views with them; and, being men of great piety and learning, obtained for them a wide currency among their brethren. The Diocesans, how ever, gained the ear of Elizabeth. The Disciplinarians were discountenanced, silenced, persecuted. All ministers and schoolmasters were compelled to subscribe to Episcopacy, or to forfeit their livings. The most devout and able of the clergy were ejected. They were persecuted, some of them even to the death. À faction was thus created out of a sect. It was found that the arguments used against Episcopacy might be turned against Royalty; that the arguments which proved that the supreme spiritual power should be vested in a Synod, went to prove that the supreme political power should be vested in a Parliament. Persecution defined their opinions, and made them more rigid. Gradually the Puritan became Pharisaical. The Old Testament was preferred before the New. The Christian Lord's-day was converted into a Jewish Sabbath. Sumptuary laws were enacted, as inflexible as those of Moses. The fine arts were proscribed. Garb and gait grew precise and formal. “It was a sin to drink a friend's health, to fly a hawk, to hunt a stag, to play at chess, to wear lovelocks, to put starch into a ruff, to read the · Faery Queen.”
And while this change was passing on the Disciplinarians, the Diocesans were suffering a change even more perilous to the interests of true religion. Now that they had rest from their fears of Rome, when many years of possession had given them security, and nine-tenths of the nation had become heartily Protestant, their hostility to the Roman doctrines and practices was in much abated. As their hostility to the Romanists waned, their secret antagonism to the Puritans waxed more and more strong, more and more manifest. Old controversies were revived; new controversies were opened. Their theology, once as Calvinistic as that of the Puritans—as the Articles and Homilies attest-became Arminian. The Lambeth Articles, indeed, drawn up by Archbishop Whitgift towards the close of Elizabeth's reign, contain a creed more Calvinistic than many would now care to subscribe. But before James had long sat on the throne, Arminianism was the popular creed at Court, and among all who aspired to the high places of the Church. “A divine of that age,” says Macaulay, “who was asked by a simple country gentleman what the Arminians held, answered, with as much truth as wit, that they held all the best bishoprics and deaneries in England.” Nor was the change merely a theological one. It extended to all matters of church government and ceremony. Episcopacy, which in Henry's,
* Macaulay's “ History of England.”
and even in Elizabeth's time, had been defended simply as permissible, was now held to be indispensable, divine. The ritual of the Church, which at first most men deemed too close a copy of that of Rome, was now pronounced too scant and simple; it was shorn of much which it would have been well to retain. And celibacy, which the Early Reformers denounced as a doctrine of devils, prolific in scandals and crimes, was now lauded as a means of grace; married priests were discountenanced, in some quarters at least, and even laymen were encouraged to vow themselves to a single life. With this change of view in matters religious, there took place a corresponding change in matters political. As the extreme Puritans tended to republicanism, 80 the extreme Prelatists tended to despotism. The doctrine of the divine right of kings, with all its fantastic sequences, found a wide acceptance among them. They held and taught that hereditary monarchy was the only form of government which had a divine sanction; that nothing could deprive the legitimate prince of his claim on the allegiance of the people, no folly nor crime on his part, and no legislative action on the part of the nation; that his authority was necessarily despotic, to be limited by no concessions which he might choose to make, or the nation might have the power to exact;
Thus grew up those two great parties in Church and State, the struggles between which gave shape to the whole after-history of England. Obviously enough they could but contend for the mastery. The secret antagonism which had existed from the first had now become manifest, irreconcilable. There was no common ground which they could occupy. Henceforth there was open and inevitable war between them. How they fared in the conflict, and how the Bartholomew ejection was but one of the phases through which that conflict passed, it must be left to subsequent papers to disclose.
FAITHFUL IN LITTLE, FAITHFUL IN MUCH.
BY THE REV. A. M'LAREN, B.A.
(Concluded from our last Number.) Now, in the second place, in another, we did them, and sore temptations that point of view, FAITHFULNESS IN SMALL | were dragging us down on our way to the DUTIES IS EVEN GREATER THAN FAITH- | performance of them,—are really great and FULNESS IN GREAT. We may legitimately lofty. Only, the little duties that had no adopt the distinction of great and small mighty consequences, and the little duties a distinction which is founded upon truth that had no large glittering splendour -in regard to the different kinds of duties about them, and the little duties that which devolve upon us in our daily life, if had not much strife with temptation only we remember that all such distinctions before they were done,-may be as great, are very superficial; that the great and the as great in God's eye, as great perhaps in small, after all, run down into one. Re- | their consequences, as great in their rewards, membering that, we may then fairly mea as the other. sure our different actions by two standards ; Still, keeping the distinction for what it one is, the apparent importance of the con is worth, and remembering that it is only seq uences, and the apparent splendour of surface, I think it is quite true that it is a the act ; and the other is, the difficulties great deal harder, in ordinary cases, for us with which we have to contend in doing it. to go on doing the little things well, than Great things that are great because they for us to do the great things well. What seem to have very wide-reaching conse we call small duties—why, just look how quences, and seem to be lifted up upon a difficult it becomes to do them, for several pinnacle of splendour; or great things reasons. Nobody sees them, nobody takes that are great because there was an awful any notice of them, there is no pomp of resistance that had to be overcome before surrounding spectators, there are “none to
praise, and very few to love." We go on less honour to those whose names, forgotperforming them, not dreaming that we ten on earth, are only written in the Lamb's shall receive any honour or notice, or much book of life, and who, with no excitement, sympathy from our brethren, or even those on no lofty pedestals, with no great crises, dearest to us, because we do them. They have gone on in Christian faithfulness, and, are matters of course, common and insig. by “patient continuance in well doing,* nificant, and pass without observance. But have sought for glory, honour, immortality, the things that people call great deeds, and have received eternal life! To keep why, they are done ringed with applauding ourselves clear from the world, never to crowds generally, or at any rate assured of break the sweet charities that bind to praiseworthy commemoration in coming gether the circles of our homes, to walk time. The small duties of daily life, our within our houses with perfect hearts, to be common deeds,—there is not only nobody honest over the pence as well as over the to see them, but they come so constantly, pounds, never to permit the little risings of that we do not think it worth while to momentary anger that seem but a trifle bebring to bear the largest and noblest mo cause they pass away so quickly, to do the tives upon them, and we think we can go small duties that recur with every beat of the about them carelessly and indifferently, and pendulum, and that must be done by preget through them tolerably. Ah, my bro sent force .and by instantly falling back ther, it is a far harder thing, and it is a far upon the loftiest principle, or they cannot higher proof of a thorough-going persistent be done at all,—these are as noble ways of Christian principle woven into the very glorifying Christ and being glorified in texture of my soul, when I go on plodding him, as any to which we can ever attain. an- patient, never taken by surprise by any I Let us neither repine at our narrow small temptation; than when, gathering spheres, nor fancy that we can afford to live myself into the strength which God has carelessly in them because they are narrow. given me, and expecting some great storm | Some of us may be longing-passionately, to come down upon me, I can stand fast | impatiently, sinfully longing for another and resist it. It is a great deal easier to kind of work, for a larger species of service die once for Christ than to live always for | --to do something that shall tell more luim. It is a great deal easier to do some | widely upon the earth; and, may be, thinksingle mighty act of self-surrender, than ing that this little task that we are set down daily- unnoticed, patiently, constantly to—this quiet, patient, right doing in daily in "crucify the flesh with its affections and life-is very, very insignificant. And most lusts.” If you are saying to yourself, My of us are living not screwed up to the highlife only affords scope for monotonous ser est pitch, because we fancy that the duties vice and little deeds, ask yourself whether are so easy. “Who keeps,” says one of it is not harder, whether it is not more | our wise old poetsefficacious, whether it is not more needful
" Who keeps no guard upon himself is slack,.. therefore, that I should do the constant
And rots to nothing at the next great thaw!" little things well, than that once in a lifetime I should do the great? All honour “He that is unjust in the least is unjust be to them who, spurred and stimulated also in much." It needs all your Christian by some sudden excitement, and borne up principles, and it needs all the help that by the necessity that great sorrows and God's Holy Spirit will give you, to fit you great difficulties bring, the necessity for to do the insignificant duties that are lying gathering all one's force into oneself—and at your door to-day, or that will be waiting consoled by the thought that the grave for you next Sunday morning when you was but for a moment and the glory leave your chapel, and go back to your quiet would be for ever- have done the things houses. You cannot afford to be superand endured the things that have writ cilious over your smallest duties. You ten their names high on the roll of the cannot afford to think, Ah! I have done Christian Church! All honour be to the them every day for the last twenty years, martyrs and the apostles—the Pauls, and and it is a poor affair if I cannot do them The Peters, and the Luthers !—but no less now! Present grace, my brother, present
onour to the quiet Johns, whose business help, the present realising of the awfulness was only to “tarry till I come”! All of duty and the awfulness of sin, present honour to those whose names are posses. dependence upon God's Holy Spirit and sions to the whole Church for ever ; but no 1 Christ's implanted righteousness — these alone will fit us to do the least things well, and if we look at them either in reference and these will lift us above, and make us to the apparent greatness of their conseable to do the loftiest things well too. quences, or to the difficulty of doing them
The smallest duties, then, are often -then, in both of these aspects, it is true harder— because of their apparent insigni that “he that is faithful in that which is ficance, because of their constant recur least” will be fitted to be, and will get the ence-harder than the great ones. But do occasion for being, faithful in that which is not let us forget that if harder, they are on greater. Of course, it is quite easy to see the whole more efficacious and more need how, if once we are doing what I have ful. The world has more need of a great already said is the hardest task-doing the number of Christian people doing little little things wisely and well, for the love of things like Christians, than it has need of Christ and in the fear of God we shall one apostle preaching like an apostle, or be fitted for the sorest temptations and one martyr dying like a martyr. As a shall be made able to perform far larger and means of spreading the Gospel, faithfulness far more apparently splendid acts. Every in doing little things is a mightier engine power strengthens by exercise. Everythan all the power of the pulpit or all the thing that I do, I can do better next time eloquence of a preacher." From you,” | for å previous apprenticeship. Every said an apostle once, “ from you the word temptation resisted weakens the force of of the Lord hath sounded out, so that we | all other temptations of every sort. Every need not to speak anything." "Those time that a Christian acts for the sake of members of the body which seem to be Christ, that motive is made stronger in his more feeble, are necessary, and the less soul. Every time that a rebellious and comely parts have more abundant come seducing voice, speaking in his spirit, is liness;" which just holds a principle true withstood, his ear becomes more attuned about the individual members of Christ's to catch the lowest whisper of his Master's Church, and true about the scale of all our commandments, and his heart becomes Christian duties -- that the insignificant more joyful and ready to obey. Every act things, in their sum total, are more worth of obedience smooths the road for all that than the loftiest single significant ones. shall come after. To get the habit of being The mass of trifles makes magnitude. The faithful wrought into our life, and becomlittle things are greater than the great, ing part of our second and truer self, that because of their number. They are more is a defence all but impregnable for us when efficacious than the single lofty acts. Like the stress of the great trials come, or when the air which in the lungs needs to be God calls us to lofty and hard duties. And, broken up into small particles, and diffused on the other side, the same process exactly ere it parts with its vitalizing principle to goes on to make men, by slow degrees, unthe blood, so the minute acts of obedience, faithful in all. Tampering with a trifle ; and the exhibition of the power of the saying, Oh, it is a small matter, and I can Gospel in the thousand trifles of Christian venture it; or, It is a little thing, too little Lives, permeating everywhere, will vitalize for mighty motives to be brought to bear the world, and will preach the Gospel in upon it,—that ends in this, " unjust also such a fashion as never can be done by any in much.” The habit of unfaithfulness, the single and occasional—though it may seem habit of forgetting that I am a steward, to be more lofty and more worthy-agency. that grows as well as the better habit, and Honour the trifles, and you will find your plunges us at last deep down in the mire self right about the great things! If I may of constant forgetfulness, and in the slip180 the simple old English proverb, “Take pery places of constant disobedience. One care of the pence, and the pounds will take of the Apocryphal book3 says a truth, care of themselves.” Be « faithful in that “He that despiseth little things shall fall which is least,” and the accumulation of by little and little.” “He that is unjust minute faithfulnesses will make the mighty in the least,” give him time, and he will faithfulness of a life.
be “unjust also in much.” He that begins Lastly: FAITHFULNESS IN THAT WHICH by one faint, trembling, fearful step over the 5 LEAST IS THE PREPARATION FOR, AND boundary that separates faithfulness from LCURES OUR HAVING, A WIDER SPHERE IN | faithlessness, it is only a question of time WHICH TO OBEY GOD. I have already said how far he will go. He is across the
t we may properly give some force to the boundary, and that is the thing! And so, stinction between great and small duties; just as two roads that may diverge and part