Page images

Searcher of all hearts, that their principles do not allow them to take up defensive arms, much less to avenge themselves for the injuries they receive from others. That they continually pray for the king's safety and preservation, and therefore take this occasion humbly to beseech his majesty, to compassionate their suffering friends, with whom the gaols are so filled, that they want air, to the apparent hazard of their lives, and to the endangering an infection in divers places. Besides, many houses, shops, barns and fields, are ransacked, and the goods, corn and cattle swept away, to the discouraging of trade and husbandry, and impoverishing great numbers of quiet and industrious people; and this for no other cause but for the exercise of a tender conscience, in the worship of Almighty God, who is sovereign lord and king in men's consciences."

But this address made no impression ;* all things proceeding triumphantly on the side of the prerogative;t the court did what they pleased; the king assumed the gov. ernment of the city of London into his own hands, and appointed a mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen, without the election of the people; sermons were filled with the principles of absolute obedience and non-resistance, which were carried higher than ever their forefathers had thought of or practised. The university of Oxford passed a decreef in

* The king was touched, for the moment, with the exhibition it gave of the unreasonable and unnerited sufferings of the quakers, and said to one of his courtiers standing by, “What shall we do for this people ? the prisons are full of them ?". The party to whom this query was put to divert his attention, drew him into conversation upon some other topic, so that little or no relaxation of the oppressive measures resulted from this address, during the remainder of the king's reign. Gougl's Ilistory of the Quakers, vol.iii. p. 8, 9. Ed.

+ Kennet, p. 410. # This deeree was drawn up by Dr. Jane, dean of Gloucester, and the king's professor of divinity, and subscribed by the whole convocation. It was presented to the king with great solemnity on the 24th of July following, and very graciously received. It was ordered, in perpetual memory of it, to be entered in the registry of the convocation, and to be stuck up in the different colleges and halls. Further to counteract the spread and influence of the propositions against which it was levelled, all readers, tutors, catechists and others, to whom the instruction and care of youth were committed, were commanded to instruct and ground their scholars in that most necessary doctrine, which in a manner is

[ocr errors]

full convocation, July 21, 1683, against certain pernicious books and damnable doctrines, destructive to ihe sacred persons of princes, their state and government, and all human society.* It consists of twenty-seven propositions, extracted from the writings of Buchanan, Baxter, Owen, Milton, J. Goodwin, Hobbs, Cartwright, Travers, and others, who had maintained that there was an original contract between king and people ; and that when kings subrert the constitution of their country, and become absolute tyrants, they forfeit their right to the government, and may be resisted: these and other propositions of a like nature, they declare to be impious, seditious, scandalous, damnable, heretical, blasphemous, and infamous to the christian religion. They forbid their students to read those writers, and ordered their books to be burnt. But how well they practised their own doctrines at the revolution, will be seen in its proper place; and one of queen Anne's parliaments ordered the decree itself to be burnt by the hands of the common hangman.

Dr. Benjamin Calamy, rector of St. Lawrence Jewry, in one of bis printed sermons, intitled a Scrupulous Conthe badge and character of the church of England, of submitting to every erdinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the panis liment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well; leaching that this submission is to be clear, absolute, and without any exception of any state or order of men.” High-church Politics, p. 89.

* Another proof of the intolerant spirit which dictated the decrees of the university at this time, offers in its trentment of Dr. Whitby, præeentor of the church of Sarum. This learned writer published in this year, 1683, without his name, his “ Protestant Reconciler,” humbly pleading for condescension to dissenting brethren, in things indifferent and unnecessary, for the sake of peace; and shewing how

unreasonable it is to make such things the necessary conditions of communion. This book gave such high offence, that it was condemned by the university on the above-mentioned day, and burut by the hands of the marshal in the schools quadrangle. The author was also obliged by Dr. Seth Ward, to whom he was chaplain to make a public retraction of it on the 9th of the ensuing October. And in the same year, to remove the elamor, his piece had raised, be published a second part, “ earnestly persuading ihe dissenting laity to join in full communion with the shareh of England, and answering all the objections of the Non-conformists against the lawfulness of the submission to the rites and constitutions of that chureh," Birch's Life of archbishop Tillotson. p. 103-105. Ed.

+ Cellyer, 902.

science, invited the non-conformists to examine what each party bad to say for themselves with respect to the ceremonies imposed by the church, and inforced by the penal laws, calling upon them modestly to propose their doubts, and meekly to hearken to, and receive instruction. In compliance with this invitation, Mr. Thomas Delaune, an anabaptist school-master, and a learned man,* printed a Plea for the Non-conformists, shewing the true state of their case, and justifying their separation. But before it was published, he was apprehended by a messenger from the press, and shut up close prisoner in Newgate, by warrant from the recorder Jenner, dated Nov. 30, 1683. Mr. Delaune wrote to Dr. Calamy to endeavor his enlargement: “ My confinement (says he) is for accepting your iovitation ; I look upon you obliged in honor to procure my sheets, yet unfinished, a public passport, and to me my liberty-tbere is nothing in them but a fair examination of those things your sermon invited to, and I cannot find that Christ and his disciples ever forced scrupulous consciences to conformity, by such methods as sending them to Newgate; I beseech you therefore in the fear of God, as you will answer it to our great Lord and Master Jesus Christ, that you would endeavor to convince a stran

Mr. Delaune was born at Brini in Ireland, about three miles from Riggsdale. His parents were papists and very poor, and rented part of the estate of ---- Riggs, Esq.' This gentleman, observing the early and forward parts of the young Delaune, placed him in a friary at Kila crash, seven miles from Cork, where he received his education; when he was about fifteen or sixteen years of age, he removed to Kinsale, and met with Mr. Bampfield, who, discovering his genius and learning, made him clerk of his pilchard fishery there, and was the means of giving his mind a pious and virtuous turn. After some years, during which he enjoyed the high esteem and friendship of major Riggs and Mr. Bampfield, persecution and troubles induced him to leave Ireland, and come over into England, where he married the daughter of Mr. Edward Hutchinson, who had been pastor of a congregation at Ormond, but was also come to England on account of the troubles of the times. After this Mr. Delaune went to London, kept a grammar-school there, and fell into an intimacy and strict friendship with Mr. Benjamin Keach, and translated the Philologia Saera, prefixed to his celebrated work, entitled “ A Key to open Scripture Metaphors.” The narrative published with the subsequent editions of his ~ Plea for the Nonconforinists,” fully represents the series of sufferings under which he sunk, and the process of the iniquitous prosecution to which he, his wife and children, became a sacrifice. Ed.

ger by something more like reason and divinity, than a prison.” The doctor at first said, he would do him all the kindness that became 'him.* But in answer to a second letter, he said, he looked upon himself as unconcerned, because he was not mentioned in that sheet he saw with the recorder. Mr. Delaune insisted that his honor was at stake for his deliverance, and prayed him at least to perforun the office of a divine, in visiting him in prison, to argue

him out of his doubts ; but the doctor, like an ungenerous adversary, deserted him. Mr. Delaune therefore was to be convinced by an indictment at law ; for that on Nov. 30, he did by force of arms, &c. unlawfully, seditiously, and maliciously, write, print, and publish, a certain false, seditious and scandalous libel, of and concerning our lord the king; and the book of common-prayer, entitled, A Plea for the Non-conformists. For which offence be was fined one hundred marks, and to be kept prisoner till he paid it; to find security for his good behavior for one year, and his books to be burnt before the Royal Exchange. The court told him, that in respect of bis being a scholar, be should not be pilloried, though he deserved it. Mr. Delaune, not being able to pay his fine, lay in prison fifteen months, and suffered great bardships by extreme pova erty, having no subsistence but on charity. He had a wife and two small children with him, who all died in the gaol,

* Mr. Neal's account of Dr. Calamy's conduct towards Mr. Delaune, is drawn from the injured sufferer's narrative; and it must be allowed, that it reflects on the doctor's character and memory. But though by not replying to his book, nor visiting him, he appeared to desert hica; yet it appears that the behavior which Mr. Delaune, in his afflicted situation, felt as a severe neglect, was tempered with more attention to his case and kindness than he seems to have known of. For Dr. Ed. mind Calamy says, “ that his uncle took pains with Jefferies to get him released, but could not prevail, which was no small trouble to him." Dr. Calamy was a man greatly respected ; and, though a true son of the church, averse to persecution. He was a man of great humanity, courteous and affable in his deportment, and exemplary in his life. His sermons were reckoned to possess great merit. No books in his study appeared to have been so much used as Mr. Perkin's works, especially his - Cases of Consciences,” which were full of marks and scores. He died when a little turned of forty years of age. The treatment which his ueighbor and particular friend alderman Cornish received, greatly affected him, and is thought to have hastened his end. Dr. Calamy's own Life, MSS. and Biographia Britannica, vol. ii. 2d ed. Ed. VOL. V.


through the length and closeness of the confinement, and other inconveniencies they endured ;* and at length Mr. Delaune bimself sunk under his sufferings, and died in Newgate, a martyr to the challenge of this high-church champion.

Mr. Francis Bampfield suffered the like, or greater hardships; he had been educated in Wadham-college, Oxford, and was minister of Sherborne in Dorsetsbire.f After the

* The story of Mr. Delaune is very affecting, and cannot but, at this distance of timo, move pity and resentment. “ 'The fate of himself and family, perishing in Newgate for want of 701.” observes the candid editor of the Biographia Britannica, 2d edit. “is not only a disgrace to the general spirit of the times, but casts peculiar dishonor on the nonconformists of that period. Though there was probably something in his disposition which occasioned his having but few friends, a man of his knowledge, learning, and integrity, ought not to have been so fatally neglected. Perhaps the only apology which can be made for the dissenters of King Charles II's reign is, that whilst so many of their ministers were in a persecuted state, it was impossible for every case of distress to be duly regarded." To this may be added the great number of cases of distress, arising from the prosecution and sufferings of the lay-dissenters. Mr. Jeremy White told Mr. John Waldrou of Exeter, that the computation of those who suffered for non-conformity, between the Restoration and the Revolution, amounted to seventy thousand fainilies ruined, and eight thousand persons destroyed; and the computation was not finished, when this number was ascertained. The sources of beneficence were also dininished by the effect of the measures pursu. ed on trade. For the customs paid in Bristol only arose, in Charles's persecution, not to 30,000l. per annum; but in king William's reign They advanced to near 100,000l. Waláron's copy of Neal, penes me. Ed.

Mr. Bampfield was descended from an ancient and honorable family in Devonshire. The first living he held was more valuable than that of Sherborne, being about 100l. per annum; and having an annuity of sol. per annum settled on him for life, he speot all the income of his place in aets of charity, by employing the poor that could work, reliering the necessities of those who were incapable of any labor, and distributing bibles and practical books. Soon after his ejectment he was imprisoned for worshipping God in his own family, and it is remarkable, that notwithstanding he was prosecuted with severity, he had been zealous against the parliament's army and Oliver's surpation, and always a strenuous advocate for the royal cause. Wliep he resided in London he formed a church on the principles of the Sabbatarian Baptists at Pinner's-hall, of which principles he was a zealous assertor. He was a celebrared preacher, and a man of serious piety. He bore his long imprisonment with great courage and patience, and gathered a church even in the place of confinement. His fellow-prisoners lamented him, as well as his acquaintance and friends. Pahner's Noncon. Mem. vol. i. p. 468-72. Crosby's History of the Baptists, vol. i. p. 368-68. Vol. ii. p. 355-61. Ed.

« PreviousContinue »