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ful in their object. On this occasion it was an- 1 and addresses were delivered by the chairman, nounced, through Mr. Posgate, the secretary, and Revs. A. Bowden, J. P. Chown (Bradford), and Mr. Swindell, the treasurer, that the subscriptions Dr. Brewer; Messrs. Stocks, Bingley, Andrew, received in Halifax, and the assistance obtained Edwards (brother of the minister), Wilkinson, and elsewhere, amounted to a sufficiently large sum to others. The various speakers referred in feeling pay off all liabilities and leave in hand a balance language to the great success which had attended of £129. The meeting was addressed by the Rev. 1 the labours of their late pastor, and expressed deep Dr. Acworth, of Rawdon College; the Rev. Mr. regret that indisposition had rendered it necessary Dowson, of Bradford ; the Rev. Mr. Betts, of for him to leave Leeds. In the course of the evenBradford, and the Rev. Mr. Horne. Mr. Frank ing the chairman presented to Mr. Edwards an Crossley, M.P. (who was called to the chair at an elegant time-piece, as a small token of affectionate advanced stage of the business, in consequence of
regard. the mayor being obliged to leave), kindly offered to increase the balance in hand from £129 to £140, BRAINTREE, ESSEX.--On New Year's day a tea which is to be appropriated to the painting and meeting was held in connection with the Baptist beautifying of the chapel.
Chapel, Braintree, for the purpose of improving
the advent of the New Year, on which occasion an Glasgow.-There has existed, for some time
elegant tea and breakfast service was presented to back, a growing desire on the part of many bre.
the pastor, the Rev. J. Mostyn. Upwards of 250 thren here, for an extension of the Redeemer's
persons sat down to tea. The number after tea kingdom in connection with the Baptist denomina
increased to 400, when the Rev. J. Carter (Inde. tion. It has been believed that among a population pendent) made a most encouraging speech, and in of 500,000, there is ample room for one or more the name of the people presented Mr. Mostyn with additional active working churches. The visit of
the above testimonial. On receiving the presentathe Rev. T. W. Medhurst to this city, in November tion, Mr. Mostyn, in a suitable address, feelingly last, led a few brethren to consider and resolve
acknowledged the token of affection on the part of that steps should at once be taken to carry out the
his people. The meeting was also addressed by the object desired. With this end in view, they gave Revs. -Jones, of Earls Colne, and C.F. Vernon, in their demissions of church-membership, which of Thaxted, and Messrs. Bagg, Adkins, Tunbridge, were received, as they were given, in the spirit of
and Game. brotherly love. Mr. Medhurst was invited to the pastorate : but he considered it to be his duty to NORTH SAIELDS.--The forty-seventh anniversary remain at Coleraine, so long as the Lord continued of the North Shields Baptist Sunday School was to bless his labours there. Meantime, the bre. held on Thursday, 26th December, in the large thren continue to meet together, and wait the hall, formerly used as a chapel, foot of Stephensonfurther leadings of God's hand, in the hope that street, the Rev. J. D. Carrick, president of the he will soon lead to them a man of his own choice, school, in the chair. The report, which was read fitted by him for the occupancy of so important a by Mr. Murray, the secretary, was encouraging. sphere of labour.
The numbers had increased during the year, and NEWPORT, Mon.-The Rev. J. W. Lance, of
generally the attendance had improved. Addresses Newcastle, having accepted a cordial invitation to
were afterwards given by Mr. Atkinson, the superbecome the pastor of the English Baptist Church,
intendent, and Messrs. Sharp, Townsend, Lee, Commercial-street, Newport, special religious
Hedley, and others. services were held on Tuesday, January the 7th
MINISTERIAL CHANGES.-The Rev. Jabez Daw. inst. The Rev. W. Landels, of Regent'g-park,
son, for the last twenty years minister of the BapLondon, preached a very eloquent sermon from
tist chapel at Buxton, near Norwich, and formerly 1 John i. 1-3. At two o'clock the ministers and
of Sheerness, and also of Blandford-street Chapel, friends dined together at the King's Head Hotel,
London, has announced his intention, on the ground and at five a public tea-meeting was held, at which
of his very advanced years and increasing infirmiabont 250 friends sat down. In the evening a large
ties, to relinquish the pastorate of that church public meeting was held in the chapel, presided
next Lady-day.--Mr. J. G. Davies, student at the over by R. C. Slade, Esq., the senior deacon,
Baptist College, Haverfordwest, has accepted an when addresses were delivered by the Revs. W.
invitation from the church at Beulah, MonmouthLandels, J. W. Lance, Dr. Thomas, of Pontypool,
shire, and purposes entering on his labours on the S.R. Young, of Abergavenny, J. Bailey, of Canton,
17th of February.- Mr. D. Matthias, who has re- Pollard, and E. Thomas, of Newport.
ceived an invitation from the churches at PantyNEW-COURT CHAPEL, NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE.
celyn, Salem, and Llanwrtyd, and Mr. D. James The annual tea-meeting of the congregation
(both of Haversordwest College), who has received worshipping in this chapel was held on Thursday
à similar invitation from the church at Pontestyll, evening, 27th December. Tea was dispensed to a
intend leaving for their respective spheres of labour numerous assemblage, from five to half past six.
in March.-The Baptist church at Llanfaircaereinion After tea the meeting was addressed by the Rev.
bave given Mr. John S. Jones, of Haverfordwest Dr. Angus, of Regent's-park College, London; the
College, an invitation, with which he has engaged Rev. J. D. Carrick, of Shields; the Rev. George
to comply at the close of the present session. The Bell; the Rev. B. W. Carr, pastor of the church,
Rev. Watson Dyson, formerly of Offord, Hunts, and other gentlemen. In the course of the even
has accepted an invitation to the pastorate of the ing several of the speakers congratulated the con
General Baptist church, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, gregation and the Rev. Mr. Carr on the intimate
and has commenced his labours.--The Rev, R. R. relation about to be formed between them, and
Griffiths, of Ponthir, bag accepted an invitation expressed their best wishes for the success of the
from the church at Bethany Chapel, Cardiff, and will new pastor.
commence his labours in February.—The Rev. J.
D. Williams, of Canton, bas accepted an invitation LEEDS. The members and friends connected from the Welsh Baptist Church, Temple, Newport, with the Baptist Church, Sonth-parade, Leeds, Mon., and will commence his labours there in took leave of the Rev. Fred. Edwards, B.A., as March.- The Rev. S. Packer has accepted the pas. their pastor, on Thursday, December 26ta. After torate of the church in Witney-street, Burford, tea, John Barran, Esq., was called upon to preside,' Oxon.
ohn 8. surchatLlanteries of labour:
“Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the
THE SAINT BARTHOLOMEW EJECTMENT.
CHAP. II.-PURITAN AND PRELATIST. We have already described the origin of the two great parties in Church and State known as Disciplinarians and Diocesans, more widely known as Puritans and Prelatists. We have also shown how the secret antagonism which, as springing from their respective convictions, existed, and could not but exist, between them from the first, grew and developed into open conflict. It is to be borne in mind throughout our narrative of that conflict, that between these two active and opposed parties there lay a great number of moderate men, belonging to neither, though having affinities with both; men who, for the most part neutral, sometimes came to the rescue of one or other of the contending parties, oscillating to and fro with the changing temper of the times. But with this intermediate section we shall have little to do, save as every now and then it reinforced either of the two more active sections in their contention with each other.
The Prelatists gained the first victory. During the time of that sham Solon, James I., they had secured the high places of authority in the Church. With Charles I. on the throne, they rose to exclusive power. The king was himself à zealous Episcopalian, and a no less zealous Arminian. To him even a Papist was not so objectionable as a Puritan. He was, moreover, a firm believer in the divine right of kings, holding the political as well as the religious creed of the prelatical party. Hence arose that faithlessness which was the chief blot of his character, that fatal insincerity and unveracity, which were the cause of his ruin. Nothing could bind him, not even his own word or oath. By divine right he was not only king, but despot; free to do, despite the provisions of the Constitution and the promises of fidelity to it wrung from him by the exigencies of the passing moment, whatever he thought good. As the natural result of this creed, his whole reign was a series of attempts to reduce the power of the Parliament, and to establish an uncontrolled, irresponsible authority over the consciences and liberties of the nation. Archbishop Laud, his great abettor in ecclesiastical affairs, caricatured the principles of the High Church party, carrying them to an absurd excess. Narrow, malignant, superstitious, with no touch of ruth or charity for those who held a creed differing from his own, no scheme was too rash or cruel for his adoption which promised to secure conformity to the Church which he loved not wisely, but too well. Under the guidance of Charles and Laud, there commenced a persecution of the Puritans more harassing and vexatious, though somewhat less bloody, than any known in Tudor times. Fasting, praying, and other religious exercises, were punished in the Bishop's Courts more severely than drunkenness and swearing. Afternoon sermons and
lectures were put down. The “Book of Sports” was ordered to be read. Pious ministers were suspended for not reading it to their congregations, or for refusing to observe any of the appointed ceremonies. Innovations, such as bowing to the altar, were introduced. Some of the bishops went so far as to administer the et cætera oath,* an oath which bound their clergy not only to what they had done, but also to whatever they might choose to do or ordain in the future. Every corner of the realm was subjected to a minute and incessant inspection. Even the devotions of private persons did not escape Laud's lynxeyed spies, or the heavy punitive hand of their master. If any man did but pray in his family, or read a sermon, or sing a psalm, he was denounced as a rebel or Roundhead, and “all his money and portable goods were proved guilty, however innocent he himself might be.” So searching was the inquisition, and so terrible the penalties inflicted, that most men, whatever their opinions, affected conformity. On the very eve of the storm which swept off the head of the king and overthrew the stately ecclesiastical fabric which he had laboured to uprear, several bishops were able to report, “that not a single dissenter was to be found within their jurisdiction.”
Nor were the civil tribunals any defence against the ecclesiastical tyranny. The judges were mere creatures of the king, holding office at his pleasure, and hardly ever daring to thwart his will, to whatever unjust ends it might be bent. As if this were not enough, the infamous High Commission, an ecclesiastical court created by the Tudors, was invested with unheard-of powers; and, in defiance of all law, daily inflicted fines and imprisonment, mutilation and the pillory, on the most loyal and godly of the lieges.
It was not likely that a brave, free-spirited people, who had taken by the beard monarchs of a far loftier and nobler stamp than Charles, would long continue to submit to these oppressions. All who loved liberty and held the truths of religion as “stuff o' the conscience," made common cause against them, the Puritans leading the van. The civil war ensued. As it went on, the minds of the most calm and moderate were inflamed. Longing for peace, they were driven to take up arms and espouse a cause. The debauched rabble which followed the king's armies took all who lived a sober godly life for foes. “So that if anyone was noted for a strict and famous preacher, or for a man of piety, he was either plundered or abused, and in danger of his life. . ;. This filled the armies of the Parliament with sober, pious men. Thousands had no mind to meddle with the wars, but greatly desired to live peaceably at home; but the rage of soldiers and drunkards would not suffer them. Some stayed till they had been imprisoned; some till they had been twice or thrice plundered, and had nothing left them. Some were quite tired out with the abuse of all that were quartered on them; and some by the insolence of their neighbours. But most were afraid for their lives, and so sought refuge in the Parliament's garrisons.”of Such a contest could have but one issue. The Church, deserted by her friends, fell before the rush of those who were her reluctant and compelled enemies. The Prelatist triumph came to a sudden end when Charles fell from power.
The second victory lay with the Puritans. Episcopacy, indeed, was never expressly abolished by law; but the Long Parliament passed ordinances which virtually abolished it. Guided by the learned and accomplished Selden, they resolved that the spiritual power should henceforth be subordinate to the temporal power. Refusing to declare any form of Church government to be of Divine origin, and so to have the sole claim upon them, they determined to adopt the Presbyterian modes of rule and worship. But scarcely had the new regulations been framed, before they were laid aside. Middlesex and Lancashire
* “Nonconformists' Memorial,” vol. i. p. 6.
were the only two counties in which they were established even for a time. A new power was rising in the State,-a power hardly less averse to the Presbyter than the Bishop.
For now we have to mark that the Puritans were themselves divided into two parties—the Presbyterian and the Independent. The Presbyterians were for the most part Conformists and Monarchists. They had retained their offices in the Church, though longing to have its polity reformed. They retained their love for the monarchy, though they had felt compelled to aid in the dethronement of Charles. During all the troubles of the Civil War they preached against disloyalty. When Charles was in Cromwell's power, they drew up a petition to the Lord General, “ declaring their abhorrence of all violence against the person of the king, and urging him and his army to have no concern in it”-a petition which was signed by some sixty of the Presbyterian ministers of London, and many of the country ministers. Some of them, at great personal risk and loss, refused to take the “engagement” to Parliament, which would have pledged them to be “true and faithful to the Commonwealth," and without taking which no man could sue another, or travel more than a prescribed distance from his house. Others were sent to the Tower, one or two were even beheaded, for aiding and abetting the Scotch plot for imposing Charles II. on the nation.
The Independents on the other hand were Nonconformists, and for the most part Republicans. Both their Nonconformity and their Republicanism had been, in large measure, thrust upon them. Because they would not subscribe articles of faith which, as they read them, ran counter to the word of God, they had been thrust out of the Church. Because they would not submit to exactions and usurpations which ran counter to the common law of England, and to the oaths of the king himself, they had been compelled to take up arms. It was not likely that they should love the Church which cast them out, and then persecated them for being out of its pale ; or the despot who put all the machinery of a. lawless tyranny into operation against them because they stood up for their legal rights. It was imposssible but that, in their unhappy position, they should begin to question the authority which had forced them into it. The mere instinct of self-justification would urge them to study the political and ecclesiastical problems involved in their case, and bring them to that study with a secret bias toward a foregone conclusion. Above all they would be compelled to study the one volume on which their opponents rested the claims both of Church and King. With that sacred volume in their hands and hearts, they could but conclude such a monarch and such a hierarchy to be utterly alien to the will of God-a king without truth, a Church without charity. Nor was it unnatural that in the simple congregational order they should find a method of ecclesiastical rule, and in the simple republican order a method of political rule, more just and equal, having therefore a more manifest and Divine sanction, than those from which they had suffered. At all events, under these political and ecclesiastical forms, they would have a voice, and no longer be the mere mute puppets with which men, dressed in a little brief authority, had played their fantastic tricks.
Their intense and faithful study of the word bred in these men a lofty, if somewhat fanatical, temper. It taught them to see God in all things, and to bold all things as dross that they might see and serve him. “They recognised no title to superiority but his favour; and, confident of that favour, they despised all the accomplishments and all the dignities of the world. If they were unacquainted with the works of philosophers and poets, they were deeply read in the oracles of God. If their names were not found in the registers of heralds, they were recorded in the Book of Life. If their steps were not accompanied by a splendid train of menials, legions of ministering angels had charge over them. deir palaces were houses not made with hands; their diadems, crowns of glory,
which could never fade away. On the rich and the eloquent, on nobles and priests, they looked down with contempt; for they esteemed themselves rich in a more precious treasure, and eloquent in a more sublime language, nobles by the right of an earlier creation, and priests by the imposition of a mightier hand."*
These were the men who raised Cromwell to the supreme power, and who rose with him; these the men who, by sheer force of an intenser faith, bore down the Presbyterians, albeit these were more numerous, more learned, more influential than themselves, and snatched the victory from their faltering hands. It is not a little to their credit, that in this, their day of triumph, men so austere, and in some respects fanatical, should have shown a moderation unknown to their opponents. We do not forget that they could be, and were, intolerant; that they denounced severe punishments on any who publicly defamed their modes of worship; that they defaced many churches, and destroyed many works of art; that they passed sharp laws against betting, and punished adultery with death; that they proscribed many innocent amusements, together with many which were by no means innocent; that they gave a somewhat austere and gloomy tone to the national life; and that they ejected many of the clergy from their livings. This is a long indictment, and a serious ope; but we deny none of its counts. And yet, notwithstanding all these, and all other things which can be alleged against them, we claim for them a more merciful and tolerant spirit than the Prelatist party evinced in the times of their supremacy. Much which all men now condemn is, no doubt, to be attributed, on both sides, to the spirit and custom of the age. Much, too, is to be excused the Independents, because of the persecutions which had soured and embittered them. But we can say more for them than this. “Under no English government,” affirms Lord Macaulay of Cromwell's administration, “has there been so little religious persecution. The clergy of the fallen Anglican Church were suffered to celebrate their worship on condition that they would refrain from preaching about politics. Even the Jews, whose public worship had, ever since the thirteenth century, been interdicted, were, in spite of the strong opposition of jealous traders and fanatical theologians, permitted to build a synagogue in London.” Neither cleric nor layman was harassed with oaths of fidelity to the Protector, or with subscriptions to the articles of any creed. All who would live quietly and peaceably-Churchmen and Cavaliers, no less than Roundheads and Congregationalists—were left to hold their own opinions. Even the divines who were ejected,--and many of them were ignorant and immoral to an incon-. ceivable degree,—were allowed a provision sufficient at least to ward off starration-a precedent which the Prelatists overlooked in their subsequent day of triumph. Even the Triers—a committee of Independent ministers, with a few Presbyterians and laymen, appointed to examine all candidates for the clerical office, and without whose certificate no benefice could be held-even these muchmaligned Triers are admitted, their adversaries themselves being at once witnesses and judges, to have done the church good service. “With all their faults, thus much must be said of these Triers :—that they did a great deal of good to the church; they saved many a congregation from ignorant, ungodly, drunken teachers : such as either preached against a holy life, or preached 28 men who were never acquainted with it, and used the ministry but as a common trade to live by; such as these they usually rejected, and in their stead admitted of any able serious preachers, who lived godly lives, though of different opinions.” And, again, an able and accomplished writert affirms, “Of the parochial clergy who were expelled from their livings, scarcely a man was so dealt with except on grounds affecting his competency to his office, or his moral character." It would have been well if a like spirit had been shown by the Church at the * Macaulay's Essay on Milton.
+ See British Quarterly, No. LXIX,