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and openly declar'd for their toleration and
c them; because if these pretend conscience, yet walk
ing disorderly, and not according but contrary to the « Gospel, and even to natural light, they are judged of .
all, and their fins being open, makes them subjects(x) Whit< of the magistrate's sword, who ought not to bear it in lock, p. • vain (x).' In a speech to the parliament, Ap. 3, 614. 1657, speaking concerning the provision made for liber. ty of conscience in the Humble Petition and Advice, he made use of the following words: “ As to the liberty of
men professing godliness under the variety of forms ' amongst us, you have done that, which was never • done before ; and I pray God it may not fall upon the
people of God as a fault in them, or any sort of them, • if they do not put such a value on what was done,
as never was put on any thing since Chrift's time, for (y) Thur. ( such a catholick interest of the people of God (v).'- loe, vol.to These extracts fully evince Cromwell's judgment concerning liberty of conscience, and make appear how zealous he indeed was to restrain men from injuring each other on the account of it: in a word, they fhew the man, the christian, the politician. I must add,
3. That Oliver's practice was conformable to his principles. Though he declar'å himself an independant, (I suppose as that fect avowedly appear'd for civil and religious liberty in its greatest latitude) yet he confin'd not his respect or his favours to them. He had great latitude of judgment, and conceiv'd that as 'twas very possible for wise and good men to differ in their opinions about many points of religion, yet being equally wise and honest, they ought equally to be regarded. We find Manton praying at his inauguration, Ba; ter preaching at his court, and Calamy consulted by him on a point of importance. These were all Presbyterians, little affected to him, but inclin'd to the royal interest. The episcopalians, many of them, were treated with equal favour and regard, though the party, as such, gave him a good deal of trouble. He sent for Dr. Brownrig, bishop of
encouragement. Indeed he constantly was a friend to religious liberty, and an op
Exeter, and treated him with great outward respect; he saved Dr. Barnard's life at the taking Droghedah, and made him his almoner; he invited archbilhop User to him, and us’d him with much civility, conversing with him about the advancement of the protestant religion at home and abroad, and promising him to make him a lease of some parts of the lands belonging to the archbishoprick of Armagh for 21 years, and at his death,
order'd him to be interr’d with great pomp in Il'efimin. partie fier Abby, where Dr. Barnard to a crowded audience Lite of Uth- preach'd his funeral sermon (Z). Dr. Parr, from whom er, p. 73, I have the above particulars, imputes Cromwell's orderlio. Lond.
o ing this so honourable an interment of Ujher's corps, not
1 3686. only to a desire of advancing his own honor, but like
wife to a design of punishing Uper's relations, by putting them to a great expence: but as he owns the Protector contributed two hundred pounds towards it, it is no way likely he had any such view. He probably thought, that sufficient for a very honourable burialthose who exceeded it were to blame themselves, if they were hurt thereby.--- But 'tis very hard to please thote who are dispos'd to find fault.-- Cromwell's behaviour was also equally humane to such as profess’d opinions uncountenanc'd by the many in Britain. To John Biddle who was a Unitarian, and the father of the English Unitarians, in his banishment into Scilly, he allowed a pension of an hundred crowns a year; he admitted Je. remiah White and Peter Sterry into the number of his chaplains, though few speculated more freely on the
ends and designs of providence, or more out of the then
of road; and John Goodwin, though hated by the fashionMr. Thom. able ecclefiaftics, continued constantly in his favour (a). Firmin, p. Nor were even the Romanists that behav'd well, de. Lond. 1698." Sos. ftitute of it. Sir Kenelm Dig by, a man of quality, a
philosopher and a catholic, in a letter to Mr. Secretary Thurloe, dated Paris, March 18, 1656, has the follow
(a) Life of
poser of spiritual tyranny. No wonder therefore that, in the first part of life, he fell (1)
ing passages. “My obligations to his Highness are so • great, that it would be a crime in me to behave my
self so negligently as to give cause for any shadow of o the least suspicion, or to do any thing that might re
quire an excuse or apology. I make it my business
every where, to have all the world take notice how "highly I esteem myself obliged to his Highness, and « how passionate I am for his service, and for his honor " and interest, even to the exposing of my life for them. " I should think my heart were not an honest one, • if the blood about it were not warmed with any the « least imputation upon my respects and my duty to his in the
Highness, to whom I owe so much (b).' Mr. Prynne loe, vol. iv. informs us, that Sir Kenelme was lodged by Cromwell p: 592. • at Whitehall; that he suspended penal laws against
mit and perfect Romilh priests; and protected several of them under narrative of • his hand and seal (c).' 'Tis certain he wrote to the what was governor of Virginia in favour of Lord Baltimore, pro
" en by, and prietor of Maryland, who was of the Catholic perfwa- between fion(d).
Mr.Prynne, I will add but one thing more. 'Tis well known
&c. the 7th Cromwell (though a believer in the prophecies of the Old 1659. 400. Testament, equally, to say the least, with our modern without controvertists) was willing to harbour the Jews in Eng- plas
* name of land; that he appointed an assembly of men of several printer. professions to consider of the expediency of it; and thao (d) Thur: 'twas not owing to him or his council that it prov'd loft .
loe, vol. i. labour. All these considerations will, if I mistake not, abundantly make appear the truth of the text, that bigottry made no part of Cromwell's character. It may be said this was all policy - If it was it was not the policy of bigots, who break through every tie, human and divine, in order to promote their implanted nonsense and superstition.
(c) He fell in with the puritans, greatly oppref:d.] The controversy between the prelatists and the puritans
in with the puritans, greatly oppressed on
will appear in the eyes of most, in this age, as very trifling and insignificant, and very unworthy of the attention which was formerly paid it. They were a ftiff kind of men, many of them, of both sides ; of weak capacities or uninform’d understandings; who impos'd unreasonably, and resisted obstinately. But on the behalf of the puritans, it must be observ'd that they always pretended conscience for their nonconformity, and, probably, as they were very great sufferers, they were sincere. This recommended them, as well as their regular behaviour, to the favour of the friends of civil liberty, and the lovers of virtue. These gentlemen, probably, saw many of their weaknesses, but they approv'd their honesty and integrity, us'd their interest to bring them out of trouble, and generously help'd them in their difficulties. ---Another thing there was, which ajded not a little to their worth in the eyes of many of the most considerable persons of those times, namely, an adherence to the doctrinal articles of the church of England, in the sense of the compilers, and a Itrong aversion to popery. The gentry then read and wrote books of religious controversy, and very many of them became converts to their party. But however, this is certain, the puritans were sufferers ; sufferers for conscientiously refusing to practise things which, in the opinion of their adversaries, were of no worth or value ; sufferers from men who pretended to be rulers and governors in a Protestant church, whose doctrines they disa own'd in many points; and sufferers from men whose pride, ambition, avarice, and cruelty had render'd them odious to the people in general, as well as to wise and considerare men. These persons here meant were courtprelates, in the times of James and Charles I.
Such as for their bellies fake Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold.
account of their nonconformity, and appear'd
as Of other care they little reck’ning make, Than how to scramble at the shearers feast, And shove away the worthy bidden guest. Blind mouths ! that scarce themselves know how to hold A sheep-hook, or have learn’d ought else the least That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs! What recks it them? what need they? They are sped, And when they lift, their lean and Kashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched ftraw; The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread: Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said. Milton.
This is not meerly a poetical exaggeration. Soon after these lines were written, a polite writer, who declares himself no puritan, speaks of these bishops in the following terms.- The more our prelates enjoy, the " more still they seek; and all our three kingdoms are
grown so sick of their pride, injustice, and pragma( tical faction, that scarce any remedy but blood-let
ting can cure them. We find in Scripture the most ( high and holy offices of religion performed by princes, o even amongit and above the greatest of priests ; but • we scarce find any instance at all where priests inter• medled with any state affairs, either above or under • princes: and yet with us now the employing and en
trusting of clergymen in temporal business, is held as - politick as it was in the times of popery: although no 6 time could ever justly boast of that use. But to pass cover temporal businesses, how violently have our bi• shops been in their own canons about ceremonies, and
indifferencies? and what disturbance hath that vio• lence produced? They strive as for the beauty and
glory of religion, to bring in the same forms of liSturgy, the same posture of the communion-table, the " same gesture at the communion, &c. in all our three