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to call a parliament that shall meet in November next at farthest."
This declaration was published in the usual manner, and ordered to be read in time of divine service in all churches and chapels in and about London, May 20th and 27th ; and in all the rest of England and Wales on the 3d and 10th of June following, upon penalty of being prosecuted in the ecclesiastical commission.* For this purpose the bishops were required to cause it to be distributed throughout their respective dioceses : some of them (says Burnet) carried their compliance to a shameful pitch, offering up their allegiance to the king without limitation or reserve. Dr. Crew, bishop of Durbam, Barlow of Lincoln,t Cartwright of Chester, Wood of Lichfield and Coventry, Watson of St. David's, Sprat of Rochester, and Parker of Oxford, went all the lengths of the court, and promoted addresses of thanks to his majesty in the most exalted language, for the promise he bad made in his late declaration, to maintain the church of England as by law established; though nothing was more evident than his desigo to subvert it. An address came from the clergy of Chester, justifying the declaration, as issuing from the prerogative of the king's
* Gazette, No. 2344. † Dr. Grey thinks that bishop Barlow could not be so forward a promoter of such addresses, because that in a letter to one of his clergy, dated May 29th, he informed him, that the clergy in London generally refused to read the declaration : and added, “ as to myself, I shall neith. er persuade nor dissoade you, but leave it to your prudence and couscience, whether you will or not read it. But only this I shall advise, that if, after serious consideration, you find that you cannot read it bat reluctante vel dubitante conscientia, in that case to read it will be your sin, and you to blame for doing it." Notwithstanding, bishop Barlow wrote so candidly on the matter, in this instance, he sent up a letter of thanks to King James for his first deelaration, published reasons for reading the second, and asserted and vindicated, in an elaborate traet, the regal power of dispensing with penal laws. This bishop was not a consisteot character; he was timid and complying, accommodating himself to the times, anil ready to side with the strongest. At one time he was a seeming friend to the papists, then a distinguished writer against popery. Now an enemy to the duke of York; then ever ex. pressing his submission to King James ; and afterwards taking the oaths to his successors. Biogr. Britan. vol. i. article Barlow, Godwin de Praæsulibus, p. 305, Ed.
Gazette, No. 2374.
supremacy, and insisting that the clergy were obliged by
However, the majority of the clergy were of different sentiments; eighteen bishops, and the chief of their clergy, refused to publish the declaration, so that it was read (says Burnet*) only in seven churches in London ; and in about two hundred all over England. The commissioners for ecclesiastical affairs sent out citations by the king's order, 5 requiring the chancellors and archdeacons to send in lists of all who had obeyed, and of those who had not obeyed the order of council; together with the places where it had been neglected. Most of the bisbops disobeyed, and gen. erously undertook to stand in the gap, and screen the inferior clergy from prosecution : seven of them met at Lam
* Page 178. + Some who read it on the first Sunday, ebanged their minds before the second Others declared in their sermons, that, though they obeyed the order, they did not approve the declaration. And one, more pleasantly than gravely, told his people, that though he was obliged to read it. They were not obliged to hear it; and stopped till they all went out, and then read it to the walls. Burnet's History, vol. iji, p. 178. Ed. Burnet, p. 184,
| Gazette, No. 2364.
beth, and after consultation signed an address, in behalf of themselves and several of their absent brethren, setting forth, that they were not averse to the publishing his majesty's declaration for want of duty to his majesty, or due tenderness towards dissenters, in relation to whom (say they) we are willing to come to such a temper as shall be thought fit, when the matter comes to be considered and settled in parliament; but the declaration, being founded on such a dispensing power as may at present set aside all laws ecclesiastical and civil, appears to us illegal, and did so to the parliament in 1672 ; and it is a point of such great consequence, that we cannot make ourselves party to it, so far as the reading of it in the church in time of di. vine service will amount to, and distributing it all over the kingdom."'* Signed by Sancroft archbishop of Canterbury,t Lloyde bishop of St. Asaph, Kenn of Bath and Wells, Turner of Ely, Lake of Chichester, White of Peterborough, and Trelawny of Bristol.
The king was startled at the address, and answered, in a very angry tone; “ I have heard of this before, but did not believe it ; I did not expect this from the church of England, especially from some of you ; if I change my
• Burnet, p. 176. Welwood's Memoirs, p. 184, 6th ed. † Arehbishop Sancroft, in this instance, acted contrary to what had heen his conduct and avowed principle in the former reign. For when, in 1681, Charles II. published his declaration to satisfy his people about dissolving his parliament, Sancroft moved that an order should be added to it, requiring the clergy to publish it in all the churches in England. This was looked on (says Burnet) as a most pernicioas preeedent, by which the clergy were made the heralds to publish the king's deelarations, that might, in some instances, come to be not only indecent, but mischievous. But this, whatever was now his judgmeut, had been his decided opinion. For, on the present occasion, Dr. Cartwright, the bishop of Chester, who had been one of the prebendaries of Durham, it appears, from a paper among the MSS. of Mr. Talents, of Shrewsbury, which fell into the hands of Mr. Archer, of Tunbridge, could produce, and did shew to the king, a revised copy of the liturgy in 1661, given by bishop Cosins to the library at Durhain ; in which Sancroft had added to the rubrie, where it was said, "Nothing is to be read in churches but by the bishop's order, or the king's order." Yet, when King James commanded a declaration in favor of the dissenters to be read, this archbishop was amongst the first to oppose it, in contradietion to the clause which he had dictated, and the example he had given. Calamy's History of his own Life, vol. i. p. 173-6. 'Ed. VOL. y.
mind you shall hear from me; if not, I expect my commands shall be obeyed."* And added, that they should be made to feel what it was to disobey him. The six bishops who brought the address replied, The will of God be done,
Let the reader now judge, whether the slavislı doctrine of non-resistance and unlimited obedience, which the high church party had been preaching up for above twenty years as the doctrine of the church of England, had not brought the nation to the very verge of ruin. A doctrine destructive of all law, and of the safety of society, and which has been fatal to many crowned heads. If the king had not relied on the flattering addresses of these meny under which it seems there was a reserve, he would have stopt short, and taken other measures; but he did not perceive the mine till it was sprung, and blew up his whole government at once. This was the crisis upon which the fate of the nation depended.
While the king was deliberating what to do with the bishops, he was for some time in great perplexity ; several of the popish nobility pressed him to retreat; but at length, at the instigation of father Petre, Mr. Lob, and some oth: ers, he ordered the bishops to be prosecuted; and they, refusing to enter into bonds for their appearance at the King's-Bench bar, on account of their peerage, were sent to the Tower by water,t Juve 8, but were discharged within a week, upon entering into bonds for small sums, to answer to the information that day fortnight. On the 29th of June they were brought to the King's-Bench baz
* Burnet, p. 177. + The bishops, as they took boat, looked all very cheerfully: and the people flocked round them in great numbers, to condole with them, and ask their blessing. When they were confined, ten non-conformist ministers visited them. Which the king took very heinously, and sent for four of them, and reprimanded them. Their answer was, "that they could not but adhere to the bishops, as men constant and firm to. the protestant faith.” Even the soldiers that kept guard would frequently drink health to the bishops; and when an order was sent to the captain of the guard, to see it was dove no more, the reply was, " that the soldiers were doing it at the very instant, and would, during the imprisonment of the bisbops, drink no other health.” So that in af early stage of this prosecution, one of the privy council owned, that had the king known how far the thing would have gone, he had never enjoined the reuding the declaration in the churches." Reresby's Me. moirs, p. 261, 62. Ed.
in Westminster ball, attended by several of the nobility, and a vast croud of common people; and, after a long trial of ten hours, were acquitted : * upon which there was a general joy, and such loud acclamations, as resounded not only in the eity, but even in the army at Hounslow.ll
The bishops address was printed by authority, with a satirical paraphrase, setting forth, that though the bishops had, without any bowels of tenderness, exercised many in . human cruelties upon the dissenters, they promise now to come to a temper, but it is only such an one as they them. selves should settle in convocation; and though they had all along vigorously endeavored to advance above all law that arbitrary power upon which they suppose bis majesty's declaration was founded, when it could be strained to the oppression of dissenters, yet now they oppose it, and are desirous in this juncture (as in the year 1672) that the laws for persecution should retain their force, and the dispensins power not be countenanced, though designed for a general good.
But this was too late ; the controversy between the court and the church was now no longer to be decided by the
* “ There were," Dr. Welwood observes, “two remarkable things in this trial. King James saw the illegality of his new assumed prerogative exposed on one of the most solemo causes, in Westminsterhall, before one of the greatest anditories, by the council of the bishops; who boldly and learnedly argued against the dispensing power, and proved it, by invincible arguments, to be an open violation of the laws and constitution of the kingdom." Another remarkable circumstance was, “ that they, who had contributed to enslave their country by false notions of law, now changed their opinion; and others who through two successive parliaments had, at the expence of their own sufferings stood up for the liberty of their country, did now endeavor to stretch the prerogative beyond its just limits, as they had before opposed it. So hard is it for inankind to be, at all times, and upon all turns, constant to themselves.” Welwood's Memoirs, p. 185, 6. Ed.
11 The bishops were complimented on their victory, in the highest manner, by all orders of men. They were ranked with the primitive confessors, and loaded with praises : they were compared to the seven golden candlestics, and to the seven stars in Christ's right hand. Their pictures were publicly sold in all print-seller's shops, and bought up in vast numbers, as guardians of the laws, liberties, and religion, of their country. Their conduct affected King James more than any other opposition he met with. Dr. Grey's examination, vol. iii. p. 420, 2t. Anil on the day after the trial, he was observed to labor under a very great disturbance of mind. Sir Jolo Reresby's Memoirs, p. 264. Ed.