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“ Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jegus Christ himself being the

chief corner-stone."

APRIL, 1862.


CHAP. III.-ON THE WORD OF A KING. CROMWELL’s death gave a new and deeper significance to the title he had worn. The Protector had rescued England from the vexatious tyranny of Charles I., had moderated the strife of sects and parties at home, and made the name of England a terror to evildoers abroad, protecting the nation at once from the evil results of intestine divisions and foreign enmities. No sooner did the reins of empire fall from the grasp which only death could unnerve, than it became apparent how strong and large was the hand which had held them. His death was an irreparable loss. There was no man likeminded with himself to carry on his work. Growing more generous and tolerant year by year, the closing years of his rule had been distinguished by an equal and clement administration, political and ecclesiastical, such as England had never known before. Had he lived a few years longer the whole tone of our subsequent ecclesiastical history would probably have been set to a higher key. The bench of bishops was all but vacant, no prelate having been appointed for many years ; the Presbyteriads were somewhat abating their ancient bigotry and intolerance, and began to allow that, their covenant apart, men might be saved; and the Independents, taught and disciplined by Cromwell, were imbibing a larger and more catholic spirit.

The Protector's death was the signal at which the discordant elements that he had hushed, and, had he lived, might in good measure have reconciled, broke out into open strife. The Independents, stunned by their loss, could resolve on no definite and upited course. The Presbyterians, always more numerous and of higher culture and more commanding social position than the Independents, naturally took the lead in public affairs. The City of London was their stronghold ; and, at such crises in national history, the metrcpolis commonly exerts a disproportionate influence. The Scotch were, of course, their allies. Monk, the ablest as well as the most taciturn of Cromwell's lieutenants, was won over to their side. So that, once again the Presbyterians were in the ascendant, and held the destinies of the country in their hands.

On the whole they used their opportunity wisely. A great change had come over them, induced by the humiliations they had suffered during the ascendancy of Cromwell. The very men who, fourteen years ago, had made it a crime to read the Book of Common Prayer even in private, and had contended for the Presbyterian order as the only ecclesiastical method sanctioned by the Word of God, were now for the most part content to accept a moderate Episcopacy on the scheme of Archbishop Usher (i.e., a scheme which provided that the bishops should be elected by the synods), and the liturgy of the Church, provided that it were in some particulars reformed. There was, therefore, no insurmountable ecclesiastical barrier between them and the Episcopalians, who now began to lift up their heads. Nor was there any political barrier. The Presbyterians were royalist. They had suffered much for Charles I. The majority of them had given only a reluctant and grudging obedience to the Protector. Some of them had been concerned in the various plots to restore Charles II. which disturbed the peace of the Commonwealth. Still they were at first somewhat unwilling to attempt the restoration of the King. Previous attempts of that kind had been disastrous failures. The army was Independent, and had its angry suspicions and forebodings of the issue about to be raised. Danger was in the wind — danger and fear. For even if the King were restored, the Puritans had no guarantees that their rights, civil or sacred, would be protected. Hence they hesitated and wavered, “letting I dare not wait upon I would, like the poor cat i’ the adage.”

Great pains were taken to win them over to the King's side. The King himself wrote them courteous letters. Clarendon* sharply rebuked certain of the royalist clergy who had imprudently betaken themselves to menaces, bidding them “to make better use of their late sufferings than to retain any bitterness or uncharitableness in their hearts.” Morley—whom, as Bishop of Winchester, we shall meet again-came over from Breda, and had many interviews with the leading Presbyterians, t promising “ that all former offences and animosities should be forgotten, that there should be henceforth meekness, charity, and moderation.” At last they were won. Forthwith they used all their influence against the party which still contended for a republican form of government. They prevailed. In unwise haste, and in simple reliance on the word of Charles and his counsellors, the King's return was decreed.

But it is easy to be wise after the event. We can see that they would have done well to exact formal securities for their civil and religious liberties from the King before they voted his return. It would have been hard for them to see that. The emergency was urgent and most critical. There was little time for deliberation. “England was in imminent danger of falling under the tyranny of a succession of small men, raised up and pulled down by military caprice. To deliver the country from the domination of the soldiers was the first object of every enlightened patriot; but it was an object which, while the soldiers were united, the most sanguine could scarcely expect to attain. On a sudden, a gleam of hope appeared. General was opposed to general, army to army. On the use which might be made of one auspicious moment depended the future destiny of the nation. Our ancestors used that moment well. They forgot old injuries, waved petty scruples, adjourned to a more convenient season all dispute about the reforms which our institutions needed, and stood together, Cavaliers and Roundheads, Episcopalians and Presbyterians, in firm union, for the old laws of the land against military despotism. The exact partition of power among Kings, Lords, and Commons, might well be postponed till it had been decided whether England should be governed by King, Lords, and Commons, or by cuirassiers and pikemen. Had the statesmen of the Convention taken a different course, had they held long debates on the principles of government, had they drawn up a new Constitution and sent it to Charles, had conferences been opened, had courtiers been passing and repassing during some weeks between Westminster and the Netherlands, with projects and counter projects, the coalition on which the public safety depended would have been dissolved ; the Presbyterians and Royalists would certainly have quarrelled, the military factions might possibly have been reconciled, and the misjudging friends of liberty might long have regretted, under a rule worse than that of the worst Stuart, the golden opportunity which they had suffered to escape."

* Somers' Tracts, p. 352. + Marvel's Works, vol. ii. p. 212.
# Macaulay's History, vol. i. pp. 158, 159. 8vo. Edit.

The character and circumstances of Charles, moreover, might well induce hope. Of an amiable temper and quick intellect, tried by the strangest and extremest vicissitudes of fortune, at an age when the heat of youthful passion was overpast, and when body and mind had arrived at their highest perfection, it might well have been thought that he would have proved a wise and noble king.

But that which most of all conciliated and won the trust of the Puritan party was the celebrated Declaration from Breda. This State paper was the only guarantee the Presbyterians had for the conservation of their civil and ecclesiastical rights. Had Charles been a man of firm principle, or even an ordinary man of honour, this would have been sufficient. The Act of Uniformity was a direct and scandalous violation of the solemn pledge it contained. Among other passages of hopeful promise were these :-“We do grant a free and general pardon, which we are ready, upon demand, to pass under our great seal of England, to all our subjects of what degree soever, who, within forty days after the publishing hereof, shall lay hold on this our grace and favour ; . . . . . wel desiring and ordaining that thenceforward all notes of discord, separation and difference of parties, be utterly abolished among all our subjects, whom we invite and conjure to a perfect union among themselves, under our protection, for the re-settlement of our just rights and theirs in a free Parliament; by which, ON THE WORD OF A KING, we will be advised. . . . . Because the passion and uncharitableness of the times have produced several opinions in religion, by which men are engaged in parties and animosities against each other; which, when they shall hereafter unite in a freedom of conversation, will be composed, or better understood: We do declare a liberty to tender consciences, and that no man shall be disquieted, or called in question for differences of opinion on matters of religion, which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom ; and we shall be ready to consent to such an Act of Parliament as, upon mature consideration, shall be offered to us, for the full granting that indulgence.” All circumstances considered, no more explicit promise could well have been made. The Declaration meant, if it meant anything, that the Puritans should be comprehended in the pale of the National Church, so soon as an Act of Comprehension should have been matured; and that, meantime, they should be undisturbed, unless they taught sedition. It was understood in this sense. The intention of those who framed it was that it should be so understood.

The Presbyterians took Charles at his word. They rejoiced in the prospect of living under a religious and tolerant King, and were forward to do him honour. When the Lords and Commons sent messengers to Breda to attend the royal exile on his return, they sent a deputation of their most distinguished clergy to wait upon him. These the King received with more than his usual grace, granting them free access to his person, acknowledging their services, assuring them of his favour. At the same time-if Clarendon is to be credited—when they besought him not to use the Book of Common Prayer, he replied, with some warmth, “That while he gave them liberty, he would not have his own taken away." How little of sincerity there was, whether in his concessions or his refusals, may be inferred from the following anecdote: --“While* they were once waiting in an antechamber, his Majesty said his prayers with such an audible voice in the room adjoining, that the ministers heard him : he thanked God that he was a covenanted King; that he hoped the Lord would give him an humble, meek, forgiving spirit; that he might have forbearance toward his offending subjects as he expected forbearance from offended Heaven. Upon hearing which, old Mr. Case lifted up his hands to heaven, and blessed God who had given them a praying King!” With this impious and degrading farce, Charles met the supreme crisis of his life. Had he been a saint and hero, instead of a profligate blasphemer, his return

* Neal's History of the Puritaus, vol. ii. p. 470.

could not have been hailed with a more enthusiastic joy. “He was proclaimed with pomp never before known. A gallant fleet conveyed him from Holland to the coast of Kent. When he landed, the cliffs of Dover were covered by thousands of gazers, among whom scarcely one could be found who was not weeping with delight. The journey to London was a continued triumph. The whole road from Rochester was bordered by booths and tents, and looked like an interminable fair. Everywhere flags were flying, bells and music sounding, wine and ale flowing in rivers to the health" of the smart, gay monarch, who, astounded at these extravagant demonstrations of delight, said: “It can be nobody's fault but my own that I have stayed abroad so long, when all mankind 80 heartily wished me at home.” At St. George's Fields the cortége was joined by the Lord Mayor and the Corporation of the City. It passed through streets hung with tapestry, lined with the trainbands and civic companies, and resounding with acclamations, to Whitehall. As the long and superb procession wound through the City, old Mr. Jackson, on behalf of the Presbyterian clergy, presented the King with a large and richly-adorned Bible, which he graciously received, telling them, “It should be the rule of his government and his life.” And, then, having received the fulsome addresses of Lords and Commons, he passed on to the lodgings of his avowed mistress, Mrs. Palmer, afterwards Lady Castlemaine, to spend his night!

Ex uno disce omnes. As he kept this promise, so he kept all other promises by which he had cajoled the Presbyterians. The Bible, which, “on the word of a King,was to be the rule of his life, did not keep him from the arms of a harlot; nor did the Declaration which, on the same sacred authority, pledged him to deal justly and tenderly with those who had called him to the throne, keep him from excluding them from the Church, from silencing the lips of those whose words had won him a crown, or from casting into prison those who had re. stored him from exile. For a time, indeed, the farce first played at Breda held the stage of public affairs. Ten of the leading Presbyterian clergy were placed on the list of royal chaplains. The pledges of the Declaration were enlarged and confirmed. The Declaration of Breda bore date April 4,1660. And so late as October 28th of the same year, the King was still engaged in beguiling the Presbyterians with vain hopes. In a public declaration of the later date, the King expresses the highest opinion of their loyalty and zeal for the peace of the Church. He promises that they shall exercise their functions, and enjoy the profits of their livings, without being compelled to take the oaths and subscriptions to which they objected. He assures them that he will use his best endeavours to effect a compromise between the contending sects ; to have the spiritual jurisdiction divided between bishops and synods; to have the Liturgy revised by a body of learned divines, one half of whom should be Presbyterians; and to have the vexed questions respecting the surplice, the posture at the Eucharist, and the sign of the cross in Baptism, settled in a way which should set tender consciences at ease. But not one of these promises was redeemed. The “word of a King"{proved, as we shall hereafter see, of no greater worth than a dicer's oath or a lover's vow.


BY THE REV. JAMES MARTIN, B.A. “ The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”-Romans viii. 16, 17.

(Continued from page 64.) The believer in Jesus a CHILD OF GOD! | lished, there is still more involved; and we This is the fact to which the Spirit bears | proceed at once to noticewitness. But this fact being once estab- 1 III. THE PROSPECT WHICH THE RELA

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