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While the Editor makes his sincere and grateful acknowledgments to these Gentlemen, and to all who have favored his undertaking with their approbation and assistance; he begs leave to solicit their further encouragement and aid ; and any communications from others, that can contribute to the accuracy or completion of the work which he has before announced, and which he still has in contemplation; namely, “An History of the Protestant Dissenters, and of the Progress of FREE ENQUIRY and ReLIGIOUS LIBERTY from the Revolution to the present Times." He cannot ascertain to what extent this work will reach; but be will aim to comprise the historical, literary, and biographical information, it will include, in as short a compass as possible; and he proposes, lest life and health should not be enjoyed to finish it, to bring it forward from the press in such detached parts as will correspond to the periods into which, he apprehends, it will naturally divide itself, so that each part may form a complete historical survey of the subjects it treats of, down to the time at which it closes.

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Mr. Neal's History being voluminous, though as an original work and a book of authority it will retain its value, the Editor, with pleasure, informs bis Readers, that his worthy and much-esteemed friend the Rev. Joseph Cornish, of Colyton, Devon, is preparing for the press, a new, corrected, and much-improved edition of his “ Brief and Impartial History of the Puritans," in 12mo, which will be peculiarly adapted for the use of youth, and of those who have not leisure to go through Mr. Neal's larger work, and to assist the recollection of those who are acquainted with it.

TAUNTON, August 11, 1796.



From the King's Declaration of Indulgence to the Popish Plot.

THE French declare war with the Dutch and overun their country.
The prince of Orange stadtholder, and the De Wits murdered. Proc-
lamation against spreading false news. The beginning of the mer.
chants' lecture at Pinner's-hall. Death of bishop Wilkins, of Mr.
Joseph Caryl and of Mr. Philip Nye. The parliament awakened.
Arguments for and against the dispensing power. The house of com-
mons vote against it. Alderman Love, in the name of the dissenters,
renounces the dispensing power. The king gives up his indulgence.
Shaftesbury deserts the Cabal. Bill for the ease of protestant dissent-
ers. It miscarries. The commons address against the papists. The
test-act brought into the house. Debates about it. It receives the
royal assent. The act itself. Remarks. Summary of the penal laws.
Consequences of them. The duke of York's second marriage. Fur-
ther fruitless attempts for a comprehension. Death of Mr. William
Whitaker and of Mr. Janeway. Severity of the court against the dis-
senters revived. Others plundered, imprisoned, and ruined. Peace
with the Dutch. Parliament prosecute the papists and the cabal.
Death of Mr. John Milton. Archbishop Sheldon's circular letter
against the dissenters. Attempts for an accommodation frustrated by
the bishops. People begin to compassionate the suffererings of non-con-
formists. Proceedings of the court to establish arbitrary power. A
bill in the house of lords for that purpose. It is dropt. Remarks.
Iosolence of the papists, produces another attempt for toleration.
Duke of Buckingham's speech for it. Cry of the danger of the church.
of Sir Roger L'Estrange. Corbet's principles and practices of the
non-conformists. Pamphlets in favor of seperate meetings. Of the
inforiners. Their method. Their infamous lives and deaths. They
are encouraged by the court and the bishops. Death of bishop Rey-
nolds. Dangerous state of the nation. Marraige of the prince of Or.
range with the princess Mary. Death of archbishop Sheldon, and
promotion of Compton. Death of Dr. Manton. Biographical account
of Mr. John T'ombes. Death of Mr. John Rowe.


From the Popish Plot, to the Death of King Charles II.
Peace of Nimeguen. The popish plot alarms the nation : not ered-
ited at court. Aet to qnalify papists to sit in parliament. Occasion

of dissolving the long parliament. Remarks on the popish plot. Death

of Mr. Thomas Vincent and of Mr. Gale. A new parliament. Meal-

tub plot. Death of Mr. Matthew Poole, and of Dr. Thomas Goodwin.

Of the petitioners for the sitting of the parliament, and of the Abhor-

gers; which gave rise to Whig and Tory. Of the Whigs. Of the

Tories. Proceedings of the parliament. Bill of exclusion brought in

a second time. Attempts for a comprehension. Speeches against it.

Others in favor of it. It is lost, and a bill for toleration, or easing

them from the penalties of the 35th of Elizabeth, introduced : with-

drawn by the clerk of the crown. Votes of the commons. "Dr. Stil."

lingfleet writes against the dissenters. Various answers to his sermon.

Death of Mr. Charnock.

A biographical account of Mr. John Corbet.

The Oxford parliament. They revive the bill of exclusion. Their
proceedings about withdrawing the toleration bill. Fitz-Harris' sham
plot designed against the dissenters. His libel. He is executed. Sud-
den dissolution of the parliainent. The king's declaration of reasons
for it. Address from the universities of Cambridge. Treatises pub-
lished in favor of dissenters. The conduct of the High-church clergy.
Sufferings of the non-conformists, and of the quakers. Death of Mr.

Thomas Gouge. Contests about election of magistrates. Charter of

the city of London forfeited. Remarks. Death of Mr. Case. Mr.

Baxter and others severely prosecuted. Rye-house plot. Lord Russel

beheaded. The non-conformists charged with the Rye-House plot.

The Quakers purge themselves, and declare their sufferings. The

Oxford deerce. Sufferings of Mr. Delaune, and of Mr. Bampfield; of

Mr. Ralphson, and of Mr. Salkeld, London cases published. "Death of

Dr, John Owen.

A biographical account of Dr. Benjamin Whichcote.

Further sufferings of the Whigs. The constitution of England gir-

en up and destroyed. Mr. Baxter again in prison. Trial of Mr. Rose-
well. He is condemned. Sufferings and death of Mr. Jenkyn, and of
Mr. Benjamin Woodbridge. Summary of the persecution in Scotland.
Character of the Scotch bishops and clergy, and of the people. Pro-
ceedings of the government : occasion an insurrection. Of house and
field conventieles. Effects of the persecution. King Charles II's
death and character.


CONTROVERSY about laying on of hands. A dispute with the
Quakers. Hicks's and Penn's publications : a meeting to hear the
charges against Hieks; a second meeting for the same purpose. The
issue of these meetings. The confession of faith published in 1677.
The history of it, and of its impressions. Other confessions of faith
published, particularly one in 1678. An account of Mr. William Delt

and of Mr. Francis Cornwell; the effect of his visitation sermon. Mr.
Blackwood's change of sentiment on the questions relative to baptism.
Mr. Cornwell's piece written against the ordinance of parliament.
An account of Mr. Blackwood and of Mr. Benjamin Cox. Effect of
Mr. Tombe's being appointed a trier of candidates for the ministry :
and resolution of the triers to own the baptists as brethren.


THE quakers avail themselves of the declaration of indulgence;
procure the release of their friends in prison, and assist the other dis-
senters. A generous declaration of George Whitehead, Sir Orlando
Bridgeman's generosity. The quakers a bulwark to the other dissent.
ers. Persecution of them renewed. Particular instances. The eccle-
siastical laws enforced. The penal statutes rigorously executed. The
case of a poor man, with a wife and five children. Pines levied by dis-
traints. Violences of the mobs. Appeals ineffectual. Sufferings in
Gloucestershire, at Plymouth, and other places. The parish-officers
instigated to severity. A persecution at Bristol. Women insulted.
The prisons eronded. Religious meetings held in prison; kept up by
women and youth. Persecutions at Chester, in Somersetsbire, and Lon-
don. Assemblies held in the open air at the severest seasons. Sir
Christopher Musgrave's reflection. The sufferings of several distin-
guished individuals ; viz. George Fox and Thomas Lower; the gener-
osity of the latter ; removed by an habeas corpus ; tried at the assizes
in 1674; recommitted to prison; bailed ; appears to traverse the in-
dietment; imprisoned again: seized with a severe sickness; his for-
titude ; is removed by an habeas corpus; honorably discharged. Sir
Matthew Hale's upright conduct. Fox sued for small tithes; a seques-
tration obtained; his disinterested conduct with regard to his wife's es-
tate. The sufferings of George Whitehead and Thomas Burr, at Nor-
wich; the former lined several times. The injustice of the distrainers.
Two friends prosecuted for a riot. The amount of the fines levied on
the quakers. The case of Richard Vickris. The application of the
quakers to the judges. An account of sufferings by confiscations laid
before the parliament. The application of Fox and others for relief;
unsuccessful in England, though he had been heard in Ireland. Rob
ert Barclay's intercession for friends prosecuted in Scotland. George
Fox publishes a declaration in defence of bimself and friends. The
quakers exert themselves to promote liberty of conscience. The grant
to William Penn ; the consequences of it. The prognostications of
Penn verified.

From the Death of King Charles II. to King James Ild's Declaration

for Liberty of Conscience.
State of the nation. The king begins his reign with arbitrary and
severe methods. His sexerity towards his enemies. A new parlia-

ment. Persecution revived. Mr. Baxter's trial. Duke of Monmouth's
rebellion. Jefferies’ and Col. Kirk's cruelties in the West. His severe
prosecution of the whigs. The king's speech to his parliament. Sonne
turn from the church to the dissenters. Progress of the persecution.-
Methods of the dissenters to conceal their meetings. Progress of
popery. Clergy forbade to preach against popery but they write
against it. Reasons of the dissenters not writing. The clergy's writ-
ing begins an open war between the king and chureh ; and brings lib-
erty to the dissenters, by virtue of the dispensing power, which is de
clared by the judges illegal. Non-conformists caressed by the court.
The end of the prosecution of the dissenters by the penal laws. Account
of the Quaker's. Computation of the number of sufferers, and estimate of
the damages sustained by the non-conformists in the two last reigas.
Reasons of their numbers vot decreasing. A commission of enquiry
into the losses the dissenters had sustained by the church party. An
ecclesiastical commission erected. A standing army to support it.
Affairs of Scotland and of Ireland. The bishop of London suspended.
The privileges of the university invaded ; and of Magdalen-college,
Oxford. Both king and church court the dissenters. The king's
speech in council for liberty of conscience. His Majesty's declaration
of indulgence. Another for Scotland. Remarks. Dissenters admit .
ted to serve offices; but will not acknowledge the dispensing power.-
Their addresses of thanks. They are nevertheless jealous of the king's
conduct. The church in distress apply to the dissenters for assist-
ance, with strong promises of favor in better times, by the interest of
the prince of Orange. Remarks. A letter to the dissenters. Meas-
ures of the court to obtain a legal toleration. The king goes a progress;
changes the magistrates in corporations. Reasons of the dissenters
not being for abrogating the penal laws at this time. Behavior of Sir
John Shorter, the dissenting lord-mayor., The king goes into rash and
violent measures by the advice of his priests. Bishop Parker writes
for the court. Protestants displaced, and Roman-catholics put in
their places. Death of Mr. Clarkson, of Dr. Jacomb, and of Mr. Col-
lins. Some account of bishop Pearson and of bishop Fell.


From King James's Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, to the

Act of Toleration in the reign of King William and Queen Mary.

The king attempts to convert the princess of Orange to popery.-
The princess's reply. He attempts the prince. His Highness's reply
by pensionary. The

queen declared to be with child. A public form
of prayer for her Majesty. A second declaration for liberty of con-
science, appointed to be read in all churches; with which some of the
bishops comply. Different behavior of others. Their address. The
king's answer. Remark. Seven of them sent to the Tower, but ac-
quitted. The dissenters courted. Archbishop Sancroft's circular let-
terOiber assurances. Remarks. Suspected birth of the prince of
Wales. Prince of Orange's expedition ; of which the king has intel-

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