Page images

that the reformation in Scotland having been begun by a parity among the clergy; prelacy in the church was a great and insupportable grievance to the kingdom. The bishops and their adherents, having left the convention, because not summoned by writ from King James, the presbyterians had a majority of voices; whereupon the abolishing episcopacy in Scotland was made a necessary article of the new settlement. The episcopal party sent the dean of Glasgow to Kivg William, to know his intentions concerning them, who answered be would do all he could to preserve them consistent with a full toleration to the presbyterians, provided they concurred in the new establishment; but if they opposed it he should not enter into a war for their sakes. The bishops, instead of submitting to the revolution, resolved unanimously to adhere firmly to King James, and declared in a body with so much zeal against the new settlement, that it was not possible for the king to support them. The clergy sent for King James into Scotland, and the earl of Dundee collected some thousands of Highlanders to make a stand; but general Mackay, who was sent with a body of forces to disperse them, routed them at a place called Gillicranky, and killed the earl of Dundee upon the spot. So that episcopacy in Scotland fell a sacrifice to the interest of King James.

But though it was impossible to stop the torrrent of the Scots people's zeal for presbytery; and though the king had only presbyterians on his side in that kingdom, yet the suffering it to take place, increased the disaffection of the English clergy. Reports of the king's dislike of the hierarchy were spread with great industry; the leading men of both universities were possessed with it (says Burnet*) though the king bad joined in communion with the church, and taken the sacrament according to law; but it was given out, that men zealous for the church were neglected, and that those who were indifferent to the ceremonies were promoted.--His majesty promised the Scots clergy to moderate matters in their favor, and lord Melvil, secretary of state, engaged very solemnly for the same purpose ; but when the presbyterians threatened to desert the court if they were deserted by them, Melvil thought it the king's interest

• Burnet, p. 40.

[ocr errors]

to secure them in all events, which could not be done but by abandoning the ministers of the episcopal persuasion. Such therefore as refused to read the proclamation of King William and Queen Mary by the prefixed day were deprived of their livings; which being published up and down England, and much aggravated, raised the aversion of the friends of the church against the presbyterians so high (says bishop Burnet*) that they began to repent their hav. ing granted a toleration to a party, who, where they prevailed, shewed so much fury against those of the episcopal persuasion. It ought, however, to be remembered that this was a government case, that the fate of the revolution in that kingdom depended upon it; and that the bishops and episcopal clergy, almost to a man, were determined Jacobites, and refused to take the oaths to King WILLIAM and Queen Mary. Besides, what reason had the Scots presbyterians to trust the episcopal clergy, when it was in their power to do themselves justice? Had they not deceived them out of their discipline in 1662, and persecuted them cruelly ever since ? Whoever peruses the dreadful sufferings of the kirke in the reign of Charles the second, will judge how far they had reason to replace them in the saddle, and deliver the reins into their hands.

But the disaffection of the high church clergy stopped not short of the king bimself, who was made uneasy by their maliguant spirit and restless endeavors to clog the wheels of his government;f insomuch that his majesty sometimes declared, with more than ordinary vehemence, that he would not stay in England and hold an empty name; that it was not easy to determine which was best, a commonwealth or kingly government; but he was sure the worst of all governments was, a king without treasure, and without power. He once resolved to return to Holland, and leave the government in the queen's bands, imagining they would treat her better;t and he communicated his design to the marquis of Carmarthen, the earl of Shrewsbury, and others, who besought him with tears to change his resolution, and at last prevailed: but had his majesty declared this from the throne, the nation was in a temper to have done him justice on the incendiaries ; for notwithstanding their clamors,

Burnet, p. 42. Ibid. p. 49. Ibid. p. 55, 56.

they knew their desperate situation if the king should desert them, having renounced their allegiance to King James, and gove such lengths as he could never forgive. But King William, having a generous mind, imagined they might be gained by gentleness and kindness, and therefore took up with a motley ministry, which distressed him to the last. Thus the tories and high church clergy, enjoyed the advan. tages of this GLORIOUS REVOLUTION, while they acted a most ungrateful part towards their DELIVERER, and a most uukiod and ungenerous one to their dissenting breth. ren.

Nor have these gentlemen ceased to discover their en. mity to the dissenters since that time, as often as the pow. er has been in thrir hands. It was impossible to injure them while King William lived, but no sooner was Queen ANNE advanced to the throne than they endeavored to cramp the toleration by the bill against occasional confor. mity, which was brought into the house one sessions after another, till at length it obtained the royal assent in the latter end of the year 1711, under the specious title of, An act to preserve the protestant religion, and to confirm the toleration, and further to secure the protestant succession. It makes some few concessions in support of the toleration, but then it enacts, “ That if any persons in office, who by the laws are obliged to qualify themselves by receiving the sacrament, or test, shall ever resort to a conventicle or meeting of dissenters for religious worship, during the time of their continuapce in such office, they shall forfeit twenty pounds for every such offence, and be disqualified for any office for the future, till they have made oath that they have entirely conformed to the church, and not been at any conventicle for the space of a whole year.” So that no person in the least office in the customs, excise, or common council, &c. could ever enter the doors of a meeting-house, But the reader may peruse the act at large in the Appendix, Nomber XIV.

In the last year of Queen Anne the toleration was further straitened by an act to prevent the growth of schism ; for with these gentlemen all dissenters are schismatics, and in order to prevent their increase, the education of their children was taken out of the hands of their friends, and in

trusted only with such who were full and entire conformists. And if any school-master or tutor should be willingly present at any conventiele of dissenters for religious worship, be shall suffer three months imprisonment, and be disqualified as above, from teaching school for the future, The act was to take place August 1, 1714, the very day the queen died; but his late majesty King George I. being fully satisfied that these bardships were brought upon the dissenters for their steady adherence to the protestant succession in his illustrious house, against a tory and jacobite ministry, who were paving the way for a popish pretender, procured the repeal of them in the fifth year of his reign. The last-mentioned act, with the repeal, is inserted in the Appendix Number XV. and XVI. together with a clause wbich forbids the mayor, or other magistrate, to go into any meeting for religious worship with the ensigns of his office.

Many of the ejected ministers of 1662, and others, survived the revolution, and made a considerable figure in the reigns of King William and Queen Mary. As, The Rev. William Bates, D.D. The Rev. Mr. John Quick Obad. Grew, D.D.

Mr. Nathaniel Vincent,
Sam. Annesly, D.D.

John Collings, D.D.

Mr. Rd. Stretton, M.A.
Mr. Richard Baxter,

Mr. George Hammond,
Mr. Vincent Alsop, M.A.

Mr. John Howe, M.A.

Mr. Richard Kentish,
Mr. Tho. Doolittle, M.A. Mr. H. Newcome, M.A.
Mr. Phil. and Matth. Hen Mr. Matth. Sylvester,

Mr. Christ. Nesse, M.A. Mr. John Flavel,

Mr. John Humphreys,
Mr. Matthew Barker,


Mr. Richard Mayo,
Mr. George Cockayne,

Mr. Matth. Clarke, sen.
Mr. John Faldo,

Isaac Chauncey, M.D. Mr. W. Lorimer, M.A. Mr. Sam. Slater, M.A. Mr. Tho. Gilbert, B.D.

Daniel Williams, D.D..
Mr. Jos. Hill, B.D.

Mr. John Spademan,
Mr. Robert Bragge,

Mr. Matth. Mead,

Mr. Robert Billio,
Mr. Jas. Forbes, M.A.

Mr. Rich. Steele, M.A.
Mr. Tho. Cole, M.A.

Mr. Nath Taylor,
Mr. Geo. Griffith, M.A. Mr. R. Flemming, M.A.
Mr. Nath. Mather,

Mr. Daniel Burgess,
Mr. Edward Veal,

Mr. James Owen, &c.

ry, M.A.

These and others who deserve an honorable mention were learned and useful men, and most of them popular preachers, serviceable to the societies for reformation of manners, and eminent confessors in the cause of liberty and scriptural religion ; but their deaths not happening within the compass of this work, I must leave them to be remembered by the historians of after-times.

« PreviousContinue »