NATIONAL DEBTS, ETC.--BISHOP OF ELYAND'NONJURING FRIENDS--ARCHBISHOP SANCROFT--CONSECRATIONS--CHARACTERS OF PRELATES AND CLERGY IN THE TWO COMMUNIONS--"REGALE AND PONTIFICATE"--DR. WAKE--KENNET--ATTERBURY--MASSACRE AT GLENCOE--TILLOTSON--BURNET--PRINCE OF ORANGE--SUPPLEMENTS--"GALLIENUS REDIVIS"--"REGALE AND PONTIFICATE" ABRIDGED.
LESLIE upon return to London found it in a general state of gloom, panic, and peevishness. William had gone to the Hague for the purpose of organizing a new coalition against France, by which alone he kept his hold upon the throne of England. His policy was to make himself necessary to this country in the conduct of a war upon the Continent, and thus divert attention from affairs at home. The burden was sorely felt in taxation and debt to an enormous and unprecedented extent. Yet English people did not venture more than feeble remonstrance and secret grumbling against their Chosen tyrant. When in Holland he assured his own countrymen, in reply to complimentary speeches, that their interest had been the paramount object of all his undertakings. Then came the story of a plot against his life, attributed of course to the French and the Nonjurors. Even a bad harvest and the increase of crime was laid at the same doors, and Macaulay is not ashamed to say appearances gave colour to the assertion; though it is apparent, from his own reluctant admissions, that the Revolution introduced into England more misery, wickedness, and profligacy than had at any period disgraced it before. In the autumn of 1692 the Usurper came back to London, supporters making great efforts to lend a false glow of enthusiasm to his reception. Russel, the admiral who had betrayed the king, being discontented with the reward from William's Government, was pronounced by his comrades in treason "insolent and a villain;" and Parliament spent a session in wrangles about the ill conduct of the war and scandals of naval administration. Not much comfort was afforded by William's speech, assuring them that the sacrifices were necessary to the English nation and Protestant religion. A new claim for gratitude was devised in the National Debt, an idea never entertained by the house of Stuart, being no less unwise and immoral on the part of a nation than an individual. Burnet has been credited with this invention, though Whig historians dispute his title. It is only certain that William's wars entailed the burden of debt; that Burnet quite approved the plan of borrowing instead of paying, and that once such a system began it naturally and speedily increased. Together with it, a suitable concomitant, came in the practice of stock-jobbing and swindling on a large scale under various pretences, which also has continued to increase under the indefinite name of speculation. Companies and lotteries were started, the very names of which might have been supposed to warn people to beware, if there were any known limits to either folly or avarice. Now the English nation apparently prefer to be robbed by Americans and Germans, but then their own countrymen and chosen ruler emptied their pockets. No plan suggested itself for imputing to Nonjurors the misery resulting from the bursting of those various bubble-companies. Yet it is surprising that Leslie found repose from his vigilant adversaries at this time, because the society he kept exposed him to suspicion and false accusation. Since the prohibition of divine service at Ely House, Bishop Turner had lived at Putney, where he frequently visited with several Nonjuring Prelates, Lord Clarendon, Dr. Hickes, Mr. Wagstaffe, and others. Therefore he might have quite as reasonably been fixed upon for a false charge of conspiracy as the Bishop of Ely; who found it necessary to retreat therewith to France from his persecutors, though their efforts to involve him in what was termed the Preston plot proved a failure. Thus Leslie was deprived of one whom he highly esteemed on many accounts, and who always accorded to him a cordial welcome. Still were left many friends and a wide circle of genial acquaintances, including the accomplished Mr. Evelyn and Mr. Samuel Pepys, among whom he was favourably known for his humour and conversational powers.
In 1693 an event occurred which concerned him very seriously, namely, the consecration of Nonjuring Bishops. Archbishop Sancroft, after his violent ejectment from Lambeth Palace, retired at first to Palgrave Court in the Temple, where intimate friends were graciously received, and from thence to Frcssingfield, in Suffolk, his native place, but at both he sought, as far as possible, seclusion from the world. His eminent piety and learning were only equalled by his gentleness and bountiful liberality. It is therefore surprising that Whig historians, should have industriously laboured to decry his merits, because the only failing he exhibited, a want of resolution and perseverance, a chief cause in the success of the revolution so dear to Having suffered so much, and nearly spent with and infirmity, he may well be excused for shrinking from leadership in a tremendous struggle which he foresaw might involve an ocean of blood; while King James showed him, for his determined attitude previously, scarcely less animosity than William and Mary. One reproach has been needlessly cast upon his memory, of having written to the Princess of Orange, inviting her and her husband over to England; for nothing can be more satisfactorily proved than his own assertion that he, though urgently pressed to do so, firmly refused to write any letter at all, to avoid possibility of misconception afterwards concerning its contents.
When Lord Aylesbury burst into tears at the sight of his reduced estate, his reply, "Oh, my good lord, rather rejoice with me, for now I live again," was characteristic of the beautiful humility which adorned him through life. He went to his rest November 24, 1692. Before that event he made provision for the continuance of the apostolic succession among the Nonjurors. A list of persons deemed suitable for the episcopal office was submitted during his lifetime to King James at S. Germains for his sanction, from whom two were selected for consecration, which took place on the Feast of S. Matthias in the following year. These were Dr. George Hickes, already mentioned, and Mr. Wagstaffe, by the titles of Suffragans of Thetford and Ipswich. The latter's name is now scarcely remembered; but he was justly esteemed in his day. After being deprived of the Chancellorship of Lichfield, he practised as a physician with great success, so that he was better able than several of the Nonjurors to support himself in the Office. Macaulay's hereditary antipathy to the clergy, and utter ignorance of ecclesiastical customs, frequently apparent, have combined to betray him into a ludicrous blunder concerning this excellent divine. He says that "Wagstaffe used to visit his patients in full canonicals,"
This is indeed now a customary formula with reporters of the sectarian press for describing vestments of which they do not understand the distinctive differences. Wagstaffe simply wore an academical gown and wig, such as barristers wear still, no "canonicals at all," the ordinary habit of a clergyman in public at that period and for a century afterwards--as much so as a black cloth coat is now; and he might have known this had he ever considered the origin of his own father's straight collar. Any other dress for a clergyman was deemed a disguise, like the "blue waistcoat." Both at the time and ever since, this step of consecration by Nonjurors has been severely condemned by opponents. Yet it is very difficult to understand what alternative lay open to them, or how otherwise they could have justified their position, when even Dr. Tillotson confessed that presence at Prayers which their conscience disapproved would be "a cheat in religion, of all cheats the worst." Many persons expressed surprise that Leslie was not selected for appointment. Whether he would have accepted it, there is nothing to show. He was certainly consulted on the general subject by King James, and warmly concurred in the selections made at the instance particularly of the good archbishop and Bishop Lloyd of Norwich, another of the deprived, the very antipodes of his namesake. The whole matter was very carefully considered by the persons best qualified to decide what ought to be done under present circumstances, so no doubt they acted for the best nor can regrets be entertained on Leslie's account, still less that of the work to which he devoted himself. Indeed, good reasons are apparent for the omission. His Irish birth and connection might have possibly occasioned prejudice among English people, very undesirable to evoke. His disposition to engage actively in politics, if curbed by the restraint of the episcopal office, was too well known not to have risked greater unpopularity to the whole body. Nor were his pecuniary circumstances such as to have enabled him conveniently to have undertaken it. Whereas his advice contributed greatly to settle the matter to the satisfaction of all parties, and left him free to support their cause further by the powerful use of his pen. This assistance was immediately rendered by "The Case of the Regale and Pontificate," of which the first edition was published while the new consecrations were yet in view. These of course stood upon somewhat different grounds from those afterwards performed, when the deprived prelates had all been removed by death, and the same objection to connection with the Establishment could no longer be urged as imperative on conscientious persons, when also political questions had undergone material alteration by events occurring in the course of divine Providence. If in the first instance names had been of any account--if characters thrown into the scale had possessed any weight in determining which body should be esteemed the Church of England, then Sancroft, Ken, Lloyd, Turner, Kettlewell, Frampton, Dodsworth, Hickes, Wagstaffe, and Leslie formed an army of learning, piety, and integrity, against whom a Tillotson, Sherlock, Stillingfleet, Burnet, Lloyd, and Tenison presented a very feeble staff for comparison. It was quite otherwise. Revolutionists were master of the situation, with tremendous interests at stake, for every one of them was steeped above the lips in treason, and they could not afford to allow weight to such considerations. When the head of any body has become corrupt, it cannot be but the rest is in an unwholesome condition. And such was the state of society in England at that time, both ecclesiastical and civil, by admission of their own party writers. None could point a finger of reproach at moral delinquency among Nonjurors, though Argus eyes were on the watch for detection of the slightest flaw. Even so late as the eighteenth century Colley Gibber's satire upon "painted piety," an impoverished translation of stolen ideas, was equally false in its pretended application to any among them. Whereas the jests and jibes, the sneers and scorn elicited by personal failings of the Establishment clergy among their own adherents, were unhappily as just as they were numerous and notorious. It was a consciousness of this disparity and inferiority which infused such venom into the attacks of Christian prelates upon nonjurors; though they abstained from retorting generally, and exposing these scandals in the terms they richly merited. Human flesh and blood could not have helped sometimes to be stirred with indignation at cruel calumnies, or refrain from repelling injurious accusations in scathing language. So if Leslie stood somewhat conspicuous for this, it was because he was conspicuously made a target for the other. In general he and other Nonjurors abstained from personalities, addressing themselves to the arguments or exposing errors of their opponents in a manner which should render their works permanently and widely useful when those controversies had passed away. This character the "Regale and Pontificate" clearly bears. Its immediate object of vindicating the new consecrations produced a masterly discourse upon a subject of vast consequence to the whole Church at all times, and the principles laid down are enforced by historical facts and precedents which do not admit of dispute. Subsequently to its publication a controversy rose among some leading divines concerning the points treated of here, to which, therefore, he alluded in a preface to the second edition, but without altering his own book, or entering himself into the dispute further than by way of supplement in reply to some objections which had been made. Nor did he fully accord with the disputants, who were Dr. Wake, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury; Dr. Kennet, who then held the living formerly occupied by Bishop Leslie, and became Bishop of Lincoln; Dr. Hody, already noticed sufficiently as the manuscript discoverer; and Dr. Atterbury. Dr. Wake was a man of fair abilities and attainments, kindly and graceful in manner, who, fond of controversy and a good preacher, soon recommended himself for preferment, being entirely on the revolutionary side, without stooping to unworthy arts to obtain it. Unhappily he lost the use of his mental faculties during the later years of his life; but before that discharged the duties of his high office with great credit to himself and general satisfaction. He wrote on one occasion to Dr. Charlett at Oxford, a mutual friend, but entirely agreeing with him rather than the other: "I hear that Mr. Leslie is about to fall upon me," referring to this question, but probably anticipating from rumours a more direct attack than any intended, and they were on friendly terms. It is remarkable also that he proposed a scheme for uniting the Anglican and Gallican Churches, the very idea of which, when first suggested by Leslie, brought down a vial of personal abuse in the House of Lords upon him from Burnet, as a papist and "most furiocest of all Jacobites." Dr. Kennet entertained the same sentiments, and even more strongly expressed them. His history and some other works bear the same stamp; and he incurred much odium among nonjurors, so much so that he was commonly denominated "the dean, the traitor." A horrible portrait of Judas, in a picture of the Last Supper over the altar in S. Luke's Church, Whitechapel, was said to be intended for him.1 Really Burnet had been designed to be represented, but fear of him led to this substitution with some miserable verses. In either case it was a discreditable exhibition, properly ordered by the Bishop of London to be altered so as no longer to convey any such idea; the disgrace of which, however, did not lie at the door of Non-jurors. Dr. Kennet deserved no such treatment, however erroneous his opinion may have appeared, for not only was he a man of extraordinary ability, immense learning, but great kindness, in which Dr. Hickes largely shared for a long time.
Almost his equal in learning, his superior in the arts of controversy and debate, on the opposite side was Dr. Atterbury, a very great friend of Leslie, and more deserving of superlative censure in the elegant grammar of their adversary. From the deanery of Carlisle he passed on to that of Westminster, and the bishopric of Rochester under Queen Anne, but no man was looked upon with more suspicion in William's time. Mr. Walpole is reported to have held this conversation with him: "Why don't you restrain yourself in the House of Lords?" "I cannot." "Then why not Stay away?" "I have no excuse." "Yes, my lord; say you have the gout." "I cannot." "You may, and I often do. Be quiet, and I undertake to give you privately £5000 a year till Winchester falls." His devotion to the exiled king first brought him to the Tower, when prayers were offered up for him in churches, and his portrait in shop-windows, with these words--
"A second Laud, Whose Christian courage nothing fears but God," collected thousands of admiring spectators. Banished at length by a vindictive ministry, he died in exile at Paris, 1731.
All four showed in Leslie's opinion more heat in discussion than occasion required or than became the subject, so he did not hesitate to say, "I wish with all my heart they had put on more decency and moderation on both sides in the management, and forbore those personal remarks which are a deformity to such learned tracts, wherein the latest is still most to blame, especially where he takes upon him to represent the same fault in others." He pointed out in what respects each had made this mistake and some loose admissions by Dr. Atterbury, "perhaps to smooth the way," then laid down a valuable maxim often overlooked by disputants and critics. "Undervaluing is not the heroical way; the more I give my enemy when he deserves it, it shows I am the less afraid of him, and renders my victory more manly wherein I overcame him."
The importance of this subject at the present day cannot be overrated, when the divine character and original rights of the Church are denied by persons within her own fold, and insidiously encroached upon by successive, often stealthy, steps of State officials, while the excuse for silent submission is the old one, "Better bear this and the other than hazard a breach with the State," so that by this the Church must bear on without end. "If rights are divine, how can they be given up? No human authority can either supersede or limit them; it is a sacrilege to invade them. Suppose the Church were independent of the State as to her purely spiritual power and authority, this would make no separation of communion, nor exempt members of the Church from being likewise members of the State and answerable to it in all civil matters. If the clergy must not so much as speak for their inherited rights to execute the office which Christ has Committed to them, how will they give up their lives for it? Let not the fault be laid altogether upon the State till these have been instructed by those whose office it is to instruct them . . . and so despoil the Church of the proper army of her ministry. Many content themselves to wish every Ash Wednesday that discipline were restored, send one poor longing wish after it once a year, but move neither hand nor foot towards it." How few people warmly interested in what they deem Protestantism are aware that such State control over the Church as they desire mistakenly in her interest is the very thing for which the house of Stuart lost the throne, and which Parliament then forbade ever to be restored. The Star Chamber ordinance, then so obnoxious, has been revived to conceal the means by which policy judgments are procured. One more quotation, out of many reluctantly omitted for the sake of brevity, must close these introductory remarks, and form a double apology for urging the necessity of "resisting invasions of secular authority," standing upon primitive principles, of exorcising that "poor fear of temporal powers" which Erastianism has begotten, and to venture something upon divine protection.
"I have not the least apprehension that I hereby give offence, either to the civil government or to the clergy and true sons of the Church of England; but I would warm some frozen souls if I could, who say 'there is a lion in the way,' and 'are afraid where no fear is.' Let us do what we are commanded and leave the issue to God. If bishops will submit themselves to the yoke of Erastus, who can speak in their defence? They find the keys of their discipline hung at his belt, and would persuade us it is best so, lest Pharaohs increase our burdens." So "circuitous methods" have been openly recommended for interpretation of the Prayer-book, and a "not" interpolated into a rubric to explain its meaning in the middle of the nineteenth century. One of the most recent steps of Erastian encroachment has been to alter the form in which preferments to the Episcopate are announced in the public prints. Formerly the authorized statement was that the sovereign recommended a certain person to the Dean and Chapter for election. Since 1880 this has been altered into an announcement that the bishopric has been conferred by the Sovereign. An insidious innovation, which if permitted to pass unchallenged may after a few repetitions be quoted as a precedent, and so the wedge driven further in.
The ceremony of consecration for Nonjuring prelates was performed with all essential rites, and care to obviate any such spurious objection as had been raised concerning the case of Archbishop Parker. Of course it had to take place in a private house lest Government should interfere, a circumstance which could no more affect its validity than that of an Apostle for the same reason. A stronger objection apparently consisted in the instrument empowering the Bishop of Norwich to act as the archbishop's delegate being said to have lost its power by his death; but this did not invalidate the ceremony canonically and ecclesiastically, whatever its effect in a political point of view. Want of territorial jurisdiction or misapplication of titles was of no consequence at all. The fact that such a step was taken served to put some check on the Government's evident design of completely muzzling the Church of England at the time; and it remains both for a warning and consolation should any similar attempt be repeated at a future period.
A reply appeared which called for a supplement from our author, but it is of no consequence, as the writer evidently misapprehended the whole subject. Yet in the nineteenth century a prelate could adopt such a statement of his as this: "Whatever courts are in this country must have their origin in the sovereign." He has been answered by Charles Leslie, therefore, already. [Bishop of Carlisle's Visitation Charge (Dr. Goodwin).] "This is the most magnificently scandalous part of the Regale which submits even Christ to the king, for he cannot by this ratify the censures of His Church in heaven without his Majesty's licence." Such objectors do not understand the distinction between jurisdiction in foro exteriori and jurisdiction in foro interiori. There can be no end to contradiction, if exploded and disproved errors are to be reproduced as if they had not been so. And when men are told that this or that "will not be tolerated in this country," it is some comfort to remember the same sort of prediction was ventured about other things now taken for granted. Whatever happen to establishments and "those who warm themselves at palace fires," the Church and the people will find a modus vivendi together. Regale may in a general way be taken to denote the sovereignty or royal power; the Pontificate spiritual power in the episcopate, or Sacerdotal authority, by readers of this Treatise.
Whilst these matters engaged attention in the ecclesiastical world, a terrible crime had been committed in the political, to which Leslie's thoughts were much diverted. The massacre of Glencoe had been mentioned in his answer to King, but little heed or credit was attached to the story, though freely commented upon at Paris. News travelled 'there from Scotland almost quicker than to London, where also the English Government exerted great pains for concealment. Every allusion was diligently suppressed in public papers; pamphlets like the "Answer," being unlicensed, had only a limited circulation, and in that the matter appeared to be overweighted in interest by the rest of its 1 contents. Scotch authorities even more anxiously than English endeavoured to hush the matter up, or dismiss, it as a mere piece of "Jacobite mendacity" unworthy of denial. Gradually, however, whispers grew louder; this 1 very laboured silence provoked inquiry; and at length ouf~l author by republication of the tragic circumstances in "j detail rendered longer secrecy impossible. Even then, i when the subject was mooted in Parliament, inquiry was ; promised and pretended only with a view of stifling it; only : by degrees the truth came out that the scenes described had been really enacted in all their horrible enormity under express direction from William. If the transaction did not wear so ghastly and guilty a complexion even at this distance of time one might smile at the feeble artifices employed by Whig historians to conceal his deep complicity. None of them, however, can do more than repeat the poor shameless plea first suggested by Burnet, who also held his tongue as long as possible, affecting ignorance or incredulity that William signed the order for massacre without reading it. ["History of England," vol. vi. p. 211.] Macaulay improves on this, by saying that all who know anything of business can testify it to be a common practice! One who was the minister of an English Sovereign in these better days ought to have refrained from an excuse which most people rejoice to think is not the case. Were it even so, William's conduct remains as black as ever; for what Macaulay has omitted to mention, though he borrowed his account from Leslie's pamphlet almost entirely, is a most condemning fact, that the order was signed by William in two different places--at the beginning and the end; a most unprecedented circumstance, the reason of which is obvious, that criminal agents responsible for its execution wished to provide for their own security when discovered, as they foresaw must be the case sooner or later, and to shelter themselves behind the throne. In result, the scheme of evasion and delay proved only too successful; inquiry dragged its length along so slowly that interest in the subject became superseded by other events. Action was deferred again and again in Parliament by ministerial manoeuvres; a few inferior agents ultimately were sentenced to punishments never completely executed, though of no severity commensurate with their crimes. The prime movers escaped, and the guiltiest of all remained shrouded in the pretence of ignorance. Leslie's account narrated a similar enormity perpetrated in Ireland, and appeared in 1695, on its republication under a new title, "Gallienus Redivus, or Murder will out; being a true account of the Dewitting of Glencoe, Gaffney," etc., which he explained himself to have been adopted from a parallel in ancient history, fitting the present case so exactly that one might suppose the one to be copied from the other. This atrocious massacre of seven hundred and fifty persons, intended to include six thousand, is harclfy paralleled even by his story of Gallienus. William wrapped himself in impenetrable silence, as usual, leaving Sir J. Dalrymple, commonly called the Master of Stair, a secretary of Scotland, his chief assistant in the plot, to invent the best excuse he could for himself, pledging to secure if he could not screen him. What did the prelates and priests of the Establishment say? Did the pulpits ring with declamation when they heard it, which had sounded so loudly against James for a Declaration of Indulgence? No; they were silent as the grave. Did seven prelates go with a protest to the king, ready for the Tower? Not they. All knew it, archbishops and bishops, but not a word escaped their lips in Parliament or Church. Burnet confided his guilty knowledge of this with "secret vices" to his manuscripts, and smoked on serenely. Did Sharp say nothing, who had been foremost to sound a trumpet of alarm in London in the former reign? No; he aired the imperious insolence of an upstart Archbishop of York, and stamped out any embers of pious zeal among the clergy, but on this matter had no suggestion to offer. And Sherlock, if he sent circulars to the clergy, Xantippe must have adroitly detained them from the post. Surely, dissenting ministers proclaimed their abhorrence? No; they too now remained passive and silent as the priests of Baal when Naboth was murdered. Only one man acted the part of Elijah in the little remnant of Israel, and openly, with unfaltering voice, denounced the shedding of innocent blood; but, as a Non-juror, his impeachment was ignored as a piece of Jacobite mendacity. Here are proofs of guilt: "It will be proper for the vindication of public justice to extirpate that set of thieves.--W.R. Dalrymple says in the letter enclosing these bloody instructions, "Argyle tells me that Glencoe hath not taken the oaths, at which I rejoice. It is a great work of charity to be exact in rooting out that damnable sect. This is the proper season to maul them in the cold nights." When an order was desired for the execution of that butcher, his own intimate associate and secretary, William refused to sign it; yet we are to believe that he signed and countersigned this order for extirpation of the Macdonald tribe without knowing what it was. Leslie thus seems almost prophetically to have remarked, "The Dewitting in Holland was almost forgotten; he wants but a good historian that he may not lose his character to after ages." [See Macaulay, vol. vi. p. 206.]
Another person most deeply involved in the whole transaction was William's private counsellor, chaplain, and secretary, Carstairs, a Presbyterian minister commonly nicknamed the "Cardinal," on account of his influence in ecclesiastical affairs in Scotland. It is said he could do kind acts when they did not interfere with his designs, as for instance providing poor episcopal clergy in Scotland whom his party had reduced to destitution with clothes and money, who never knew their benefactor. He ought to have this acknowledgment whatever it be worth as a set-off against his many crimes, for he was a man with whom conscience was an unknown quality and blood a familiar thing. Leslie performed a painful public duty in dragging into light this horrible business at no slight risk to himself. The seizure of his "Answer to King," no doubt, had been partly in consequence of this exposure of Glencoe and Gaffhey's affair; but the second publication could not be so easily suppressed, or else the Government had been spared the necessity of even a mock investigation.
A narrative from the venal pen of De Foe was issued for the purpose of exculpating William, which only made the matter worse; for, avowing its inspiration from "his Majesty's lips," it proceeded to justify the slaughter on grounds of nature and necessity in war, such as "giving no quarter to a garrison which resists," "desperate mischiefs require desperate remedies," etc., which were at once obviously inapplicable and shocking.
The affair in Ireland of Gaffney was equally atrocious, though fortunately less extensive. No one cared to defend it or answer Leslie's complaint; and of what consequence could be the death of a single Irishman, however unjustifiable to that party which has always wished to "rest and be thankful" in office?
Dr. Tillotson died on November 21, 1694, stricken with apoplexy four days previously during evening Service at Lambeth Chapel. Shortly before he had published Sermons preached on several occasions, with additions and corrections, to clear himself from a charge of Socinianism widely prevalent. To that volume Leslie undertook to reply, because if let go by default the imputation might be presumed sufficiently refuted. Here it might be supposed was occasion for remembrance of the old maxim, "De mortuis nil nisi bonum;" and that was his own view, so that, though his treatise had been already written and a licence obtained for its being printed, he resolved to withdraw it. But vindicators came forward, professedly in honour of Tillotson's memory, to assail Nonjurors in unmeasured terms; the most eminent being Burnet, a Dr. Williams, and Sir Robert Howard in the Establishment, with a number of Socinians, Deists, and Dissenters outside. This altered his intention, and any apparent harshness must justly be attributed to their officious zeal. Moreover, Dr. Tillotson had been well aware that heretics quoted his sermons in their own justification without repudiating this inference till the very last, and had read Leslie's "Reflections" if he liked before licensing them. He had also allowed Burnet and Williams to attempt his defence, while alive, in terms as objectionable as the productions of his own pen. Nay, still he is held up as a pattern by Latitudinarians in assemblies where a majority can have no intelligent appreciation of his real conduct or opinions--a proceeding not reflecting much credit upon the honesty of such eulogists.
Therefore a brief sketch of his history will fittingly precede consideration of the charges against him. He was the son of an Anabaptist minister in a Yorkshire village.
A question respecting his baptism has been satisfactorily settled since, therefore he was justified in not condescending to answer it in his lifetime, like a successor against whom the same objection was current. At Cambridge University he acquired popularity and the credit of considerable talent among contemporaries. After Ordination his easy and lucid style of preaching in various posts won general admiration, and though now his sermons are accounted dull reading, it is sufficient that such judges as Dryden and Addison have pronounced in their favour. A charm of voice and manner lent additional attractiveness in large audiences, so that preferments quickly fell to his share. His loyalty at the time of King Charles II. admitted of no question, passive obedience being a favourite theme. Yet there were, including the king, some who entertained suspicions how deeply it was seated. On the eventful Sunday for reading the Declaration, the Doctor like some other divines had occasion to go into the country, returning when William had secured the throne of King James, and swimming henceforth on the full tide of revolution. The slight reluctance felt or feigned to be installed in the archbishop's place was easily overcome, nor did he offer him any portion of the revenues when in straitened circumstances; but he cannot be charged with avarice, for he left but a poor pittance for his widow, a niece of Cromwell, which had to be supplemented by a generous donation from William for her comfortable maintenance. That his private life was exemplary need hardly be added. William and Mary were naturally much grieved at his death, and his loss by the revolutionary party deeply felt Those who could not mourn had been well content if permitted to observe a respectful silence. What Leslie was concerned alone to arraign were his public conduct and opinions, and these because so ostentatiously and defiantly extolled. That he was to some extent unconscious of heresy is very probable, and certain that he was sincere and honest; but these considerations do not meet the necessity of defence for a Metropolitan of the English, Church. The gulf between its doctrine and his cannot be bridged over by any vindication yet offered, while his practice on different occasions pointed decidedly in the same direction. He said himself that his "merits forced some who had no kindness for him to advance him;" yet King Charles whom he meant pretty well gauged his character as an anecdote shows. In divine service at the Royal Chapel, instead of bowing at the Saviour's name, Tillotson used to step a little backwards, glancing upward with an air of superior devotion, upon which Charles observed that he "bowed like Quakers to their friends, the wrong way." His inclination, in fact, anticipated that substituted for the honest curtsy of old ladies in modern circles of fashion. Another well-authenticated story illustrates the same inconsistency. In a funeral sermon upon Dr. Whichcote, Tillotson spoke highly of his liberality in allowing his predecessor when deprived of a College Provostship, half of the income, and bequeathing to his son;£iOO; the very thing himself did not, nor even offer a farthing to Dr. Gunning, a poor man wrongfully deprived of a College office to which he succeeded. Then his practice of administering the Sacred Elements in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar to persons up and down the church in various postures, was in direct disobedience to the rule of the Church, which he above all others was bound to observe. Blount, Toland, and other infidels were on terms of familiarity at Lambeth Palace, when it was equally notorious devout Christians found no admission there. He professed to "leave men to their own discretion in small matters," but what were small he reserved to himself determination of. By the same rule of liberality a modern prelate can countenance omission of the Athanasian Creed, while prohibiting a vestment which he dislikes. Lathbury has undertaken to throw a shield over the Doctor which can only damage his cause, for in it he betrays too clearly that he possessed a very limited acquaintance with the works on both sides which he presumed to criticize. Had Dr. Tillotson remained in the communion to which he originally belonged, it had been better for the Church over which he was unfortunately called to preside, and for his own reputation. The above particulars, among several others that might be related, will indicate sufficiently whether he did not furnish grounds for the suspicions entertained of his heretical tendency, which an impartial examination of his writings abundantly confirms. The proofs furnished in Leslie's examination and charge are overwhelming, therefore it was his duty to make them public, for an archbishop is a public man.
Another prelate involved in the same charge, or rather who volunteered to share it, was Dr. Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury, of whom the less is necessary to be said, because his lifelong antagonism to Leslie renders mention of him frequent in other parts of this volume. His father was an attorney at Edinburgh, who, nominally an Episcopalian, had decidedly Puritan tendencies, and his mother a Presbyterian, which accounts for the sectarian leaven so strongly developed by young Gilbert in mature years. Relinquishing study of the law, and ordained in 1665, he became Professor of Divinity at Glasgow; but intimacy with the Hamilton family opening better prospects in England, he obtained the preachership of the Rolls and a Court chaplaincy. From this latter post he incurred dismissal by a most improper sermon, insinuating a charge of Popery against King James, which he had not courage to stand by, and retired to Holland, where he was noticed as the chief plotter of the Revolution. His writings are voluminous, and like his sermons, which, though carefully committed to memory, were delivered with an easy fluency much admired, distinguished by marks of great ability in composition, but so tainted with bitterness and a want of veracity towards opponents as to have lost all claim to credit. No man ever hungered more for popularity yet was less popular all his life, for he embittered adversaries, made friends afraid of him by bustling and gossiping habits, insulted the clergy, and had so little sympathy with the people that even at the grave his remains were shockingly insulted by a mob.
In the same year, shortly after Dr. Tillotson, died Mary, Princess of Orange. A woman who, with many amiable qualities and good intentions, spoilt all in devotion to a husband, who tempted her to rob her father's crown, and quarrel with her sister, yet gave her not the love to purchase which these things were done. So when she turned her back upon the Countess of Dorchester, no wonder the affronted woman, though richly meriting her own rebuke, exclaimed, "I beg your Majesty to remember that, if I broke one of the commandments with your father, you broke another against him." Her death was occasioned by the small-pox, and perhaps hastened in some measure by injudicious treatment of physicians, who did not recognize the symptoms till the disease had made rapid inroads upon her constitution. When assured of her danger she made what preparation she could, and calmly met her end; though she never acknowledged her offences, nor was moved to repentance by the attending prelates in her last hour.
ABRIDGMENT OF "GALLIENUS REDIVIVUS, OR MURDER WILL OUT. BEING A TRUE ACCOUNT OF THE DEWITTING OF GLENCOE, GAFFNEY," ETC.
Gallienus (emperor A.D. 253-265), as he was dissolute and abandoned, so was he passionate, severe, and cruel against both soldiers and citizens. There is extant a letter he wrote to an officer about such another massacre as Glencoe, showing how a luxurious person can be most cruel if necessity furnish occasion. "You will not satisfy me if you only destroy those in arms, who would perish by the fortune of war. The whole male sex, even old men, must be extirpated without fear of censure. . . . Slay, kill, destroy; you can understand my disposition." Here was a great deal to do, and many words about it. Our milder order bade only to extirpate, not making distinctions, only the whole tribe. Short work best, and few words.
Macjan, Macdonald, Laird of Glencoe, a branch of the Macdonalds, one of the greatest clans or tribes in the north of Scotland, came to Colonel Hill, Governor of Fortwilliam, at Inverlochy, some few days before expiration of the time for receiving the indemnity appointed by proclamation for January 1. He entreated him to administer the new oaths so that he might have the government protection. [Reproduced by Macaulay, vol. vi. pp. 196, 216.] The Colonel received him with all expressions of kindness, yet shifted administration of the oaths as not belonging to him but to the Sheriff. Macjan, complaining that he might be wronged by time and weather and roads, got protection under Colonel Hill's hands, and was assured no order should be put in execution against him till he had time to appeal to king or council for his safety. With all imaginable haste he posted to Inverary, and craved of the sheriff, Sir Colin Campbell, the indemnity, who scrupled about the time, but on his representing weather, etc., administered the oath to him and his attendants. Mac Jan went home and lived peaceably and quietly. A party of the Earl of Argyle's regiment came to his country, Glencoe being convenient for quartering, on pretence of collecting hearth tax (never known in Scotland till 1690, after the English Parliament had eased themselves of it). The Laird and his sons asked them if they came as friends or as enemies; the officers answered as friends, and gave their parol of honour to do no harm to him or his concerns; upon which they were welcomed, and promised the best entertainment their place could afford. They lived in mutual kindness for fifteen days, and the last day of his life he spent in company with Captain Campbell, playing cards till six or seven in the evening, and parting with mutual protestations of friendship. That day Campbell had orders from Major Duncannon to fall upon the Macdonalds and put all to the sword under seventy, with a special care that the old fox and his sons did not escape, by five o'clock in the morning at the king's special command.
Duncannon's orders from Colonel Hamilton were of the same date, February 12, 1692. The soldiers being dispersed three or four in a house, according to the numbers they were to assassinate, the poor people little suspected their guests were to be their murderers. At five o'clock in the morning they began their bloody work, surprising and butchering thirty-eight persons. Macjan himself was a stately, well-favoured man, and of good courage and sense, as also the Laird of Auchentruchen, a gentleman of more than ordinary judgment, who had Colonel Hill's protection in his pocket. I cannot without horror relate how a boy about eight years of age was murdered. He, seeing what was done to others, ran out in a terrible fright and grasped Campbell by the leg, begging for mercy, and offered to be his servant for life. Campbell inclined to spare him, but one Drummond barbarously ran his dagger through him. Mac Jan was killed while dressing and giving orders for the entertainment of his murderers; shot through the head, he fell dead in his lady's arms, who through grief and bad usage died the next day. Most were killed when asleep. The night being boisterous, many had an opportunity of escaping. They set all the houses on fire, drove the cattle and sheep to Inverary, which were divided among the officers.
It pleased God that two of Macjan's sons escaped, for the younger, having a strong impression that some mischievous design lurked under specious pretences, prevailed at length upon his brother to go with him to their father, who allowed them to try what they could discover. Hearing some remarks of a soldier, that he "liked not this business," they retired as quickly as they could to inform their father, but hearing guns and shrieks preserved their lives.
The instance which I have to give exceeds that of Glencoe. The murder of Gaffney in Ireland by command of Lord Coningsby. The very words of the article against him and Sir Charles Porter were--that the lords justices did in council, by word of mouth, order one Gaffney to be hanged without trial, being a witness against one Sweetman for murder. Sweetman, giving all his real estate, beside £500 for bail, was never prosecuted, and the said Gaffney Was immediately executed. Every tittle of the charge was proved, all Coningsby saying in his vindication being that "unless he had hanged him so, he could hot have hanged him at all." Now comes the astounding wonder; the House of Commons could not frame any excuse for the execution without trial, yet, considering the state of affairs, they did not think fit to ground on it an impeachment. What was the state of affairs? It was in the winter of 1690, when all Ireland except Limerick was in the obedience of William, the courts of justice open and lords justices sitting in peace and grandeur. If any rebel parliament could have found a Gaffney or Glencoe against King Charles I. or his sons, what a noise would they have made!
AN ABRIDGMENT OF "THE CASE OF THE REGALE AND OF THE PONTIFICATE." STATED IN A CONFERENCE CONCERNING THE INDEPENDENCY OF THE CHURCH.
It has been agreed on all hands that the State cannot deprive bishops of their episcopal character, and their episcopal acts are valid except acts of jurisdiction in that particular diocese out of which they are ejected by the State; but because bishop is a relative word, and implies a flock since the days of the apostles, therefore the question is whether the State can dissolve the relation between a bishop and his particular flock, and deprive him of the exercise of his jurisdiction within his own proper district, and substitute another bishop in his place. To stop the execution of a commission is to render it ineffectual. No authority less than that which gives any commission can stop its execution. There is a spiritual relation instituted by Christ between a bishop and his flock, and those who keep outward communion with their bishop partake of inward communion with Christ. This relation or marriage cannot be dissolved, nor we divorced and married to another bishop by any other means than those which Christ has appointed, and a second bishop is an adulterer while the first lives not divorced by competent authority. The Church has suffered more under heretical kings than heathen; and an heretical king can corrupt the doctrine of the Church more than a heathen. A good and orthodox king may turn apostate. How can he then be head of a Church who denies the faith of it? Or be the head of different communions? Who shall judge of a King's apostasy? It is not to be supposed he will condemn himself. A king may return from apostasy or heresy, and if he lost his Regale for that, recover it. So that it is not fixed, but fleeting and casual. And then who shall be judge of the sincerity of his conversion or pretences to religion? The professions of princes when a crown is the bait are a slender security. We can have no security to our religion, at least none equal in human appearance to the primitive foundation whereon Christ placed the Church; independent as to her whole spiritual authority of any earthly power, though with sufficient guard for obedience in civil matters. Then we need be in less pain for the religion of our prince except for the good of his soul. In revolutions and rebellions the Church must either change sides and principles or undergo persecution, and her spiritual authority, like secular commissions, take out a new charter under every new head. It is said that upon the conversion of kings and states to Christianity there was a compromise made between them and the Church; that it being incorporated into the State, made concessions to it in lieu of protection and other advantages.
No such compromise appears, nor is there any record of it. Kings disown it, and claim the Regale to have been given by God, attested in holy Scriptures, and to have been always so. Such grant if made would be void, because no trust can be transferred, especially that in which the souls of men are concerned. Bishops may assist one another, but cannot delegate their power to those who are no pastors, to presbyters without episcopal consecration, much less to laymen. The Church in England and other places has been reduced. If she gave up her power to the State for advantages, the bargain is broken. . . . Whereas no society can subsist without meeting and consulting concerning affairs, and giving orders as occasion shall require: if one cannot meet without leave of another, then is that society dissolved, being dependent upon the mere will and pleasure of the other. The common objection of an imperium in imperio breeding nothing but confusion is answered thus, that sacred and civil powers are like two parallel lines which never meet, so that each act independently upon the other without confusion or interfering. Confusion arises when the one will put a sickle into the other's harvest; when the civil power will take upon it to control the Church in the exercise of her spiritual authority, or the Church do the like to the State in temporal authority. Our blessed Saviour, in His all-wise providence, set up His Church independent of all powers upon earth, so He gave her no authority that could possibly interfere with civil powers. He gave to Caesar all that was Caesar's, but the things of God and the administration of the spiritual kingdom of heaven upon earth He left in the hands of His Church, accountable to none but Himself. Bishops being made lords of Parliament, the king should have the choice of them, but this ought not to extend the Regale to the choice of persons, because that is an encroachment upon the divine commission to the Church, and carries with it all the consequences of Erastianism. As she has no title from heaven to make choice of kings, as little has a king for the nomination of bishops.
In all ages and religions those who served at the altar were reckoned distinct, and the Chief of the Estates of the nation. We find by experience that the State, particularly in England, have been out in politics in reducing the Church to a low ebb of credit and authority with the people, for laws and constitutions have proved too weak to restrain the unruly passions and ambition of designing men. The State has no such security as when the people are taught to obey for conscience' sake. But when they see bishops made by the Court, they are apt to imagine that they speak to them the Court language, by which means the State has lost the greatest security of government; and it insensibly draws men into a disesteem and suspicion of religion in general, whose foundation they cannot think to be divine while they see the Church disposable by the State. The Erastian principle has had two visible effects in England; it has turned the gentry Deists, and the common people Dissenters--for the Dissenters one and all pretend to divine commission independent of all the powers upon earth; therefore the people run to them and look upon the Church of England as a Parliamentary religion and establishment of the State; and Deists can never think there is anything divine in that which they see to stand or fall by their vote.
The Regale is a perpetual seed of jealousy and discontent; for a king may look upon those who are zealous for religion and the Church of Christ as seeking to impair his prerogative; and friends of the Church may be tempted to think his Regale an encroachment upon her original and inherent rights.
In Sweden the king is absolute in civil affairs, yet leaves the Church entirely free in all ecclesiastical; nor is he offended that in the Liturgy they pray for the Church and clergy before him and ministers of State.
It is thus in all Liturgies except ours.
The king in our Litany is thrust in between the Church and the bishops, and the whole royal family are drawn in with him.
The effects in Sweden are remarkable, for they have no Dissenters there, and between the Church and State are no disagreements, for the ground and foundation of them, the Regale, is out of the way. Can the king be a nursing father and yet have no authority of her? This objection vanishes when the whole of that verse, Isa. xlix. 23, is read out--"They shall bow down to thee with their face towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet." David ordered the courses of the priests and Solomon thrust out Abiathar; what they did by extraordinary commissions from God is not to be brought in precedent for the ordinary power of kings. What David did was given to him by the Spirit in writing; and not needed if he had done it by his own power as king. If kings had such power, then had not the great and victorious Uzziah been smitten with leprosy, nor Saul dethroned, nor Jeroboam cut off.
The sentence upon Abiathar was a civil, not ecclesiastical one; banishment and a reprieve as to his life, but not a full pardon. If the text be understood to imply a deprivation, it will also prove a degradation which our kings do not pretend in regard to bishops; and so the text would imply an extraordinary commission to Solomon. But from apostles' times to this there have been no bishops in the Catholic Church but of particular districts. And if the secular magistrate can put another bishop in the place of one deprived, then may the State alter and model the whole episcopal college, and consequently the whole authority of the Church of Christ. Putting Zadok in place of Abiathar was not advancing Zadok above Abiathar, for he always was so, as if the Archbishop of Canterbury had the rule given him over the province of York during an incapacity. In the time of our Saviour the succession of the high priest was reckoned from Zadok. And in all things the temple economy was wholly divine, and not established by an ordinary Regale or any human authority. ... If Eli was high priest not from God, it is most probable he usurped the office when he was judge, and then he will stand the first example of the civil magistrate's encroachment upon the Church; which was attended with remarkable judgments. But it is to be considered how dangerous and uncertain an argument is mere example in Holy Scripture where many things are told very shortly, and the reasons not always set down. There being but this one example of Solomon, it is a very dangerous method to build upon it.
The commission that Cranmer took out for his bishopric from Edward VI., and the like done by other bishops, is to be understood only of civil power and authority derived from the king, nothing of which was granted by Christ. In Cranmer's commission there was an exception made "over and above those powers and authorities given by God." These the king did not pretend to grant. And it was asserted by the bishops that they were the messengers of Christ to teach the truth of the gospel, and to loose and bind sinners, etc.
The convocation who made the submission of the clergy under Henry VIII. were all Roman Catholics, though we ever since have been upbraided with it. As our laws stand at present, the Church is left wholly independent of the State as to her purely spiritual power and authority. Article 37th excludes precedents drawn from extraordinary acts of Moses, David, or Solomon, giving to godly princes such prerogative as had always been given, to restrain with the civil sword. The bishops opposed the oath of supremacy, therefore Queen Elizabeth laid aside the title of "head of the Church," instead of which the word "governor" was put in, as it stands to this day. See also the Homily, second part, on the "Right Use of the Church."
Encroachments are made by degrees, and the best time to stop is at the beginning, before we have given precedents against ourselves, have yielded the cause and are entirely subdued; then it will be too late, the power will be more irresistible, and men's courage grow less. To comply with the wickedness of another is to make myself guilty of it. Therefore to admit lay deprivations to be unjust and invalid, yet to argue for our compliance with them, is to do evil that good may come.
Dr. Wake sets up the Regale to the very height merely upon precedents, which is the same as saying it has no other right. Some of these precedents are modern and of no authority; others are not truly related with the necessary circumstances; and others truly related make nothing to the purpose, while some are directly against it. But none are of authority sufficient to establish or justify the Regale; beside contrary precedents, and that Dr. Wake, when he comes to reasoning, overthrows all the power of the Regale which he had built upon the authority of precedents. Donatists were the first who appealed to the secular power in any ecclesiastical cause. But Constantine refused their appeal as not belonging to him but to bishops only, which he called "the heavenly judgment." After heretics carried on the same cause. In France, when Pope Lucius II., to court the favour of Louis VII., A.D. 1148, sent him a bull to dispose of the first vacancy in every cathedral and enjoy the mean profits, he burnt it with indignation. Count Alphonsus not only renounced the Regale, but condemned it.
Bishop Burnet's "History of the Regale" shows its dismal effects in the Greek Church. There can be no supposed consent of the Church, for none dare oppose absolute emperors; and there are several canons of councils called general against the Regale. There are precedents against it in Britain of the most primitive times, which are the more considerable because they were before Austin the monk came into England, and consequently before there could be the least umbrage that this was any part of Popery.
After this the Regale began to obtain in England, and is an effect of Popery; though at first sight it seems contrary to it. Popes found they could not maintain their usurpations over other bishops without the assistance of kings, with whom, therefore, they were content to divide the prey; both enlarging their powers upon the ruin of episcopacy. The conge d'élire in England, though to no purpose but to show the ancient right of the Church to elect her own bishops, may one day prove a handle to recover it. Its form originally was not by way of command to the clergy, but of request and desire only. The king called it his petition to the clergy, which shows plainly where the right of election lay. We must elate the original of the Regale in England from the times of Popery, and not pass it as a novelty of the Reformation. Its principle has carried with it consequences totally inconsistent with the notion of a Christian Church.
He who has no right but possession has no right by his possession; it may continue so long that those who have a better title are all extinguished; then a right grow up, since there are none who claim a better. There are those who, to make way for the Regale, deny all priesthood; but Church and priesthood seem to be convertible terms. We must either part with our priesthood or the Regale. Dr. Wake, speaking of the power of the prince, says "it reaches not only in matters of discipline but in matters of faith too." This he proves by the example of Henry VIII. in modelling the Articles; and he makes the law the standard of heresy. But he comes round and overturns every stone that he had laid; for he says that "princes may abuse this power to the detriment of the Church. And whenever the civil magistrate shall so far abuse his authority as to render it necessary for the clergy by some extraordinary methods to provide for the Church's welfare, that necessity will warrant their taking of it." This makes the clergy judge of the necessity, and then they may take these methods when they see cause. No necessity can create any authority, though it may sometimes excuse the exercise of it in an extraordinary manner, therefore the clergy have authority independent of the State. If Christ left no more authority with His Church than He thought necessary for the ends for which He instituted it, then a less authority will not be sufficient. The Church is a society spread over the earth, and therefore cannot be dissolved in any one kingdom; nor can the concession of any national Church oblige the Church Catholic, nor that national Church herself, otherwise than according to the rules of the Catholic Church. It is not one of the least evil consequences of this principle of the Regale that it begets a secular spirit in the clergy, which soon eats out the evangelical spirit of Christian simplicity, the (parrhesia, or) open and fearless but modest courage in asserting the truths of the gospel against all opposition. The pope's claim to universal supremacy was the great cause of schism in the Western Church; and the doctrine was not known in the days of Gregory the Great, who wrote against it when set up by John of Constantinople. We may lay good claims to other popes also before they arrived at their full height. When they had got free themselves the popes were content that other bishops should be kept still under the yoke, and made a new diversion of the spoil, allowing to kings by concordats the presentation to some preferments that they might securely enjoy the rest. A remedy has been thought of for all these things; and it may be said the Western Church has (like her Divine Master) been crucified between the usurpations of the Pontificate and the Regale.
If the king's supremacy and power of the State were reduced to a civil power only, though in ecclesiastical causes and over ecclesiastical persons, and if the pope's supremacy were brought back to the limits of his first patriarchate, then the primitive episcopacy would revive, and their correspondence by communicatory letters. Then, and not till then, religion will be restored to its ancient lustre, will be venerable and glorious.
The notion of priesthood has been dwindled in late times to make way for those who have no commission to show for usurping the sacred office. Therefore they have Deduced it all to preaching, and loved the name of preachers better than that of priests. Whoever has thought himself a gifted man has applied himself to the liking of the people; and poor people have been very fond of having authority put into their hands to give a call for their teacher. It is blasphemy against God to act in His Name or give commission to others without His express warrant. Such commission must be outwardly given, and God never made a priest but by an outward commission. Christ did not take this honour to Himself till outwardly called; nor leave it to the inward call of any of His disciples to make themselves apostles. The same commission has descended by outward ordination, given by those to whom He left that authority. Some who call themselves "clergymen" deny there is any priesthood at all. If the people's dishonouring the priests of God be a profanation of Him, what must their condition be who prostitute and profane their own character?
The root and bottom of all this was the bringing of the priesthood at first under the Regale, whence it became subject to everybody else, even to the beasts of the people. The true notion of a Church and priesthood has been utterly lost where Erastianism has .prevailed, consequently the reverence due to religion and to God has sunk with it, also the benefits annexed to the holy offices of the Church, as means of grace appointed by Christ our Lord, on which are founded our hopes of glory. Political government is called earthly, secular, or temporal, because it operates only in this world. The Church lasts for ever; and it is the same which is in heaven and upon earth; they are not two Churches, only two parts of the same, one militant the other triumphant, having the same Head and King. The communion of saints extends to heaven; we bless God for them, and pray that with them we may be partakers of the heavenly kingdom. They pray for us, for our consummation and bliss, and rejoice with us at our conversion.
Hence the Church on earth is called the kingdom of God; and her government is dignified with the same name as that of the heavenly host, a hierarchy or sacred government, as being all of the same family or society. The power of the Church extends to the other world, and will be exercised there over angels as well as the world.
The successors of the apostles must be content to pass, as they did, through evil report and good report; as deceivers and yet true. They must not, to save themselves from reproach, let religion go to wreck, expose the commission of Christ to be trampled upon, divest themselves of the proper arms of their ministry, and suffer the devil without opposition to ravish out of their hands those souls for which they must answer. Christ left no more power with His Church than He knew was necessary; to make it less will be to defraud themselves and render it ineffectual to the people, as S. Cyprian said: "It is a most dangerous thing in divine matters for any one to recede from his full power and authority." The Regale among us has much varied and lessened from the height in which it was set up by Henry VIII. The writ of conge d'élire was taken away by Act of Parliament (Edward VI. ch. 2) as too great an encroachment upon the Regale, but our kings, ashamed of that, still continue the method.
The terrible schism in the Western Church might be healed if every bishop would make himself free from encroachments both of the Pontificate and Regale, and act according to his own conscience. If such should remove images, forbear elevation of the host, and invocation of saints, give the cup to the laity, and have the service in the vulgar tongue, what should hinder our communion with such a bishop? No man is bound to ask or tell his private opinion on other matters. On the other hand, there is nothing in our Liturgy but what Roman Catholics approve; they may think it deficient, but not in any necessary point. While we stand out against the plenitude of papal supremacy it is not the interest of the Church of Rome to heal the breach of communion, because that only keeps up the breach of parties amongst us. The schism between Rome and our Reformed Church is of much greater consequence to the Christian Church (as a whole) than that of Dissenters, and takes in even them; therefore if healed would cure the whole: but whatever lawfully may be done ought to be done for the healing of any schism. Our rites and ceremonies are not the cause of their schisms, only a pretence. Episcopacy was the heir of which they said, "Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours." Their case, therefore, can be no parallel to that reconciliation proposed with bishops in communion with Rome. The same method and the same principles would open communion between the Eastern and Western Churches, whose liturgies and public worship might soon be adjusted so as to give no cause for a breach. It is the papal supremacy which alone stands in the way to oppose such a glorious reunion of all Churches.
In the great work there is a most glorious step to be taken by that king whom God should inspire to take his Regale out of the way. He would truly deserve the titles of "most Christian," "most Catholic," and would be in good earnest "the defender of the faith," following the examples of Constantine and Louis VII. of France, rather than of Jeroboam, Saul, Uzziah, Constantius.
ABRIDGMENT OF THE "CHARGE AGAINST DR. TlLLOTSON CONSIDERED."
This author in his four sermons, though he seems to speak home sometimes, yet has taken special care to avoid the only shibboleth which the Christian Church could find out to discover the several sorts of Arian and other heretics who denied the Divinity of Christ, which was consubstantiality--that God the Son was of the same substance with His Father. Several of them would allow Christ to be of like but not of the same substance. It is very strange that he should forget this only material word, the very heart of the whole cause and expressly asserted in the Creed, especially considering that in the third sermon he quotes the words which follow them. To say that Christ is truly and really God "by office and by divine appointment and constitution "is a vain distinction; for God by office must be by nature, other He could not be so really and truly. Being necessitated to use the word Persons, he does it very grudgingly and slightly. "Here then I fix my foot: that there are three differences in the Deity which the Scripture Speaks of by the names of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and everywhere speaks of them as we used to do of three distinct Persons; and therefore I see no reason why in this argument we should nicely abstain from using the word Person; though I remember that S. Jerome does somewhere desire to be excused from it." This "somewhere" of S. Jerome's was a strange quotation for so grave a. doctor. A much more learned person than himself has shown that o. Jerome did not scruple to use the word Person and in the same sense with us at the present day, but his scruple was concerning the Greek word hypostasis, which he thought needed some explanation or caution. For example, in Phil. ii. 6, the doctor would have the sense to be. "He did not arrogate to Himself to be equal with God"--quite contrary to the words literally translated--He thought it not robbery to be equal. To bring himself off from seeming to favour Socinians, he pretends to prove the divinity of Christ from it thus--"He made no ostentation of it." That means more easily--He had none to make ostentation of. Let the text lie in its plain grammatical interpretation and its words are not to be answered by Socinians; for if it was no robbery in Christ to be equal with God, it follows unavoidably that He was true and real God by nature.
Let us come now to the doctrine of satisfaction. The doctor mumbles it like thistles. He says there is no certainty, because there was no need of any satisfaction to God's justice at all; and that God's justice is to be considered no otherwise than as a "politique" to secure His government, and therefore does not infer any punishment of sinners, but that His threats may be only in terrorem, or so far to be inflicted as may secure His government from the rebellion and usurpation of wicked men; as if God were afraid of being deposed by them--a strange notion of the justice of God! But this new doctrine of making hell precarious totally overthrows the doctrine of the satisfaction of Christ, and plucks it up root and branch; for if there be no certainty of a hell there can be no necessity of satisfaction for sins, which by this means are remitted without it. He says that "remitting sins by the death of Christ was a way very honourable to the justice of God and the authority of His laws;" and this is every word he says on the subject. The nature of justice requires that a full and adequate satisfaction be made, otherwise God is no more justice. Besides, if there was no necessity of satisfying justice, it was not only not very honourable in God, but even not reconcilable to any notion we can have of justice to take the life of an innocent person. He makes the foundation of it to be some foolish and wicked fancies which got into people's heads, in compliance with which God sent Christ, and took His life. Those revelations which God gave at the beginning to Adam and afterwards to the patriarchs and prophets, more expressly of the promised seed--and those types and institutions which God from the beginning did appoint as shadows and sensible representations of the expiatory death of Christ upon the cross, such as sacrifices which were commanded to Adam, and descended by uninterrupted tradition even to his heathen posterity,--all these the doctor thinks to be only fancies and imaginations, and that to comply with these was the end of Christ's incarnation, death, etc. Whereas the institutions of false and idolatrous religions were but imitations of the true religion instituted by God; that the devil was but an ape of God Almighty; whence arose the saying, that where God has a church the devil has a chapel. Hence the devil has his sacrifices, his priests, his feasts, etc. He did not invent, but only imitate, as I Kings xii. 32. But this author turns the tables, and would have the devil, or wicked men by his inspiration, to have first invented these religious rites, and then God to have framed His religion after the pattern of theirs. The notion of a Mediator he calls "superstition." If it were superstition, is it not so still? And yet to comply with this the doctor makes the end of Christ's coming to be our Mediator. This man makes no more of the mysteries of our religion than to satisfy men's foolish curiosities. As Christ was incarnate for no other end but to make People wonder and gaze, that. He was crucified only to outdo the inhumanity of heathen sacrifices; that is, to cure the wickedness and folly of men by overacting them in both!
They were wont to sacrifice not only beasts, but one man for another; an innocent person for the guilty. Was this not a very wicked and inhuman custom? Yet the doctor would have compliance with it to be the reason why God sacrificed Christ. On the contrary, Christ Himself assures us that He came to destroy the works of the devil, not to compound with him; much less to gratify him in following his wicked suggestions. The doctor gives two answers to this objection, first that God did not command His Son to be sacrificed, but His providence permitted the wickedness and violence of men to put Him to death. If there was no more than bare permission, how was Christ's death a sacrifice more than the death of any other man? Was not God's covenant with Him before it more than a bare permission? How did God then make Him both a priest and a sacrifice by His death? This cannot be called bare permission. "God did determine it before to be done." Though He permit evil, you will not say that He does determine or order it to be done; and God sent His Son for this very end or purpose. It was His express will and pleasure that He should suffer, therefore Christ said, "Not My will, but Thine, be done;" and did voluntarily and resignedly submit to it.
He says that "the sacrifice of Christ was to comply with an unreasonable expectation men had of being saved by the vicarious suffering of some other in their stead." If it was unreasonable for them to expect it, it was unreasonable in Christ to surfer it. God could not have pardoned sin without satisfaction made to His justice, either by the offering of the sinner himself or of a sacrifice in his stead.
"God did not want goodness to have forgiven sin freely and without any satisfaction." Now, justice cannot be satisfied without full payment made. God is not crippled or stinted in His justice more than in His mercy, for He is justice itself; what is necessary to the nature of justice must be so to His nature, for they are the same. In his sense the attributes of God fight against one another; but in ours they rejoice and exult together, and one extols and glorifies the other. Then God's justice is magnified in requiring full satisfaction, His wisdom in finding it and His mercy or goodness in giving that satisfaction for us. I say that from the very nature of justice, which is God, there was a necessity for a full and adequate satisfaction to be made. The person must be infinite who could pay an infinite debt (for such is sin, being an offence against infinite goodness), and likewise must be man, that the same nature which offended Should make the satisfaction. Hence He took all our natural but none of our personal infirmities; our Redeemer must be God-man, none other but Christ. He prayed that "if it were possible, the cup might pass from Him," which shows that it was not possible for Him to accomplish the redemption of man without suffering death; otherwise, no doubt God would not have refused the petition of His well-beloved Son. It is no impeachment of the wisdom of God to say there was no other way possible; on the contrary, it is carrying wisdom to the utmost height to find it out. Socinians say Christ suffered for us or for our Sakes; whereas others would have it, in our stead, which the doctor thinks "a mere controversy of words." He would make us believe there is no more between Socinians and us, than whether Christ died for our sake or in our stead.
He not only speaks the very Socinian language of the Trinity, but he really undermines the unity of God by setting it upon a foundation which himself overthrows. His great proof is the "general consent of mankind concerning the unity of God." And yet, speaking of the heathen idolatry, he says that "the generality were grossly guilty both of believing more gods and of worshipping false gods." All the salve for this most palpable contradiction is what he offers--"that the unity of the divine nature was the primitive and general belief of mankind, and that polytheism and idolatry were a corruption and degeneracy from the original notion."
I do not doubt but Adam worshipped the true God. It is as true that idolatry came in very soon; some say Cain introduced it. The Scripture tells of a general corruption before the Flood; after it we know the whole world was swallowed up in a universal idolatry, except only the family of Abraham, and after him of the Jews, who were continually lapsing into it. What then becomes of this author's "greatest part of mankind" and his "always"?
Next, as to the Trinity he speaks the very Socinian language. "Neither the word Trinity, nor perhaps Person, in the sense of divines are anywhere to be met with in Scripture." But he brings himself off thus: "Yet it cannot be denied that there are three spoken of by the names of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in whose name every Christian is baptized, and to each of whom the highest titles and properties of God are in Scripture attributed." And in conclusion he is willing to compound for the word "Person," so long as we mean by it neither more nor less than what the Scripture says in other words. Yet he said before there is no such thing to be found in Scripture in the sense of divines; and what other sense he means is easy to tell, for the present controversy is only between the sense of divines and of Socinians. . . . When his sermon on Hell was first published, it was handed about among the great debauchees and small atheistical wits more than any new way Dr. T. has opened the way to heaven so broad and wide as to let in the latitudinarians; and he has determined that God is not obliged to execute His threats, though He is to perform His promises. Again, he makes the chief and only business of religion to respect the peace and quietness of the world. . . . He makes a woman giving out her child to nurse to be a more heinous matter than to renounce Christ and all revealed religion, because it is a natural duty. Yet he justified the present revolution from the visible finger of God in it; and from miraculous interpositions (such as the uncertainty of the weather) he justifies those whom he calls "the worthies of our nation," who deserted, betrayed, and took arms against King James. I compare our natural light or knowledge to the creation of the first day. And it is the light of the first day which we enjoy still, but not as it was that day created. It was regulated and modelled on the fourth day into the sun, moon, and Stars; and now we have no participation at all of the light of the first day, but what we have from its regulation on the fourth day, and conveyed to us from the sun; which I compare to revealed, that is the Christian, religion. . . . Now that Christ is revealed, the true knowledge of God is to be had only in the face of Jesus Christ; for none know God truly "but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him."
SOME REFLECTIONS UPON THE SECOND OF DR. BURNET'S "FOUR DISCOURSES CONCERNING THE DIVINITY AND DEATH OF CHRIST," 1694.
Here is set down such a notion as should make a Christian's ear tingle. He gives the same account as Unitarians of S. John i. 14--"the Word dwelt in or did inhabit the person of Jesus Christ." This is far from the full import of the words "was made flesh," which means much beyond bare inhabitation. Our soul may be said to dwell in our body, but there is something more; the properties of each are attributed to the person who partakes of both. Man is called mortal because his body is such, and immortal because his soul is such. So Christ is called God in respect to His divine nature, and man in respect to His human. All the attributes of the divine, and properties of human nature, are predicated of Christ. Nothing short of impersonation could make Him to become flesh, or make that flesh adorable without the highest idolatry. Dr. B. thinks to solve all this by comparing God's indwelling in Jesus to that in "the cloud of glory" in the temple, and says that "the Jews worshipped the cloud of glory because of God's resting in it." They did not; that were idolatry; and upon such reasoning it were idolatry to have worshipped Christ. . . . God spoke out of the fire on Mount Horeb with an audible voice; yet He strictly forbade the worshipping of anything they saw there, or making any similitude of anything there, lest it should corrupt them to idolatry. If God has not assumed our nature into His own person, only dwelt in Christ as in the temple cloud, though in a higher degree, Christ cannot be our God, and, we are idolaters in worshipping Him, as much as the heathen in worshipping their idols from the supposed inhabitation of God in them. "Christ is our Lord, as the Eternal dwelt bodily in Him," says the doctor. How then is He adorable? How Is He God by nature? Worshipping of Christ must by this rule be the most direct idolatry, if we suppose no more than an indwelling of divinity in Him, and not that His human nature was impersonated with the divine.
He adds that "this indwelling is a vital one, not an assisting one like inspiration." But this will not meet the consequence above told, for there may be a vital indwelling, short of impersonation (Acts xvii. 28). He says that "the union of the divine and human nature in Christ is represented in Scripture as the compounding one person, as much as in other men the union of soul and body makes one man." This, indeed, is fairly said if it be as sincerely intended; but thus he could never have explained it by the indwelling of God in the cloud, nor scrupled against use of the word "Person," nor have made a distinction between Christ's assumption with a high dignity, and the dwelling of the eternal Word in Him. It is very plain that he does not think the man Christ to be God, or that Christ is God and man, but only God in man.
Dr. B. passes on to the other great point, the satisfaction of Christ. He first endeavours to remove the ground-work of any satisfaction being due to God's justice for sin, advancing that notion of justice which Dr. T. did in a sermon of hell. He calls it only "a right of punishing vested in Himself which He may either use or not use at His pleasure." God is not accountable to any other, in respect of outward compulsion. But on the other hand He is, if I may so say, tied up to His own inherent rectitude and all the perfections of His nature. This is no stinting of His prerogative, but the height of it. Now, justice is as much an attribute of God as His mercy. ... To forgive is rib part of justice; it will exact to the uttermost farthing, otherwise it were not justice; and whatever is essential to it must be so to God. But mercy and justice do not thwart or overcome one another in God as in man, because in Him each is infinite.
Upon their ground of the no necessity to satisfy God's justice for sin, they cannot find out any reason why Christ should have died. Sometimes they say to confirm the truth of His doctrine. But that does not confirm it, for men have died for errors. And Christ vouched His miracles, not His death, to confirm the truth of His doctrine. At other times they say it was only to show God's abhorrence of sin. How? To excuse the guilty and punish the innocent? This upon their way of reasoning would show rather God's acceptance of sin and abhorring of innocence. It cannot stand with justice any other way than upon the doctrine of satisfaction, nor can the death of Christ be otherwise rationally accounted for. What need was there for Christ being sacrificed? No need at all, say the doctors; but we find in Scripture often mention of God's covenant in Christ, and we suppose this to be it. But the Scripture gives quite a different account, namely, that in order to remission there was a necessity for Christ's suffering. Sometimes they fall foul upon God's justice for suffering an innocent person to die. But if they could understand Christ as our Surety, satisfying the utmost demand, they would find the reason of the inexpressible agony of Christ our Redeemer, who had an adequate notion of the infinite demerit of sin.
The doctrine of satisfaction as I have set it down is strictly pursuant to the doctrine of the Church of England, which they once stated in the prayer of consecration in the service of Holy Communion, in the Homily for Good Friday, and in the Homily of Salvation. Yet these adversaries roar in the midst of our congregations, and set up their banners for tokens.
"A Supplement upon Occasion of a History of Religion supposed to be written by Sir R. H------d," calls only for a very brief notice, because the book itself was for the most part a compilation from such writers as the infidel Blount; and the best points of this review are expressed elsewhere in reply to other writers. Sir Robert Howard was a man of some genius, with a taste for poetry, but too indolent to have ever accomplished any great work in prose or verse. His politics were adapted to the times in which he lived, like those of so many more under King Charles II., James II., and the Usurper. In religion he professed to be an admirer and disciple of Dr. Tillotson, but his practice was as negative as his creed.