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or the encouragement of any favourite in the other, whose covetousness was gaping at the patrimony of the church. They who will consult the works of our venerable Hooker, or the account of his life, or more particularly the letter written to him on this subject, by George Cranmer, † may see by what gradations they proceeded; from the dislike of cap and surplice, the very next step was admonitions to the parliament against the whole government ecclesiastical; then came out volumes in English and Latin in defence of their tenets; and im
*The learned and judicious Richard Hooker, one of the most eminent divines of the church of England, wrote a treatise upon Ecclesiastical Policy, in which he vindicates that communion, both against the Puritans and Papists. It is in eight books; five were published during Hooker's lifetime, and the other three after his death. The last are supposed to be interpolated, as they bear some passages tending to impugn the doctrine of non-resistance, which at that time was a shibboleth of orthodoxy. Hooker died in 1600. His Life, to which Dryden refers, was written by the worthy Isaac Walton, better known as the author of the "Complete Angler;" a delightful work, where the innocent simplicity, unclouded cheerfulness, and real worth of the author, beam through every page. His Life of Hooker was published about 1662. See HAWKIN's edition of the Complete Angler, Introduction, p. 19. Athena Oxon. Vol. I. p. 302.
+ George Cranmer, whom Wood calls a gentleman of singular hopes, was grandson to Edmund Cranmer, arch-deacon of Canterbury, brother to Thomas the primate, who suffered martyrdom in the reign of Queen Mary. He was bred to state affairs under Secretary Davison; and after serving in various diplomatic capacities, became secretary to Lord Mountjoy, Lieutenant of Ireland. On the 13th November, 1600, Cranmer was slain in a skirmish at Carlingford between the English and the forces of Tyrone. Camden thus records his death: "Cecidit tamen ex Anglis, præter alios, Cranmerus, Proregi ab epistolis, et ipsi eo nomine longe charissimus." He wrote to Hooker, under whom he had studied, the letter mentioned in the text concerning the new church discipline, which is dated February 1598. It is inserted by Walton in his Life of Hooker. Athena Oxon. Vol. I. p. 306.
mediately practices were set on foot to erect their discipline without authority. Those not succeeding, satire and railing was the next; and Martin Mar-prelate, † (the Marvel of those times,) was the first presbyterian scribbler, who sanctified libels and scurrility to the use of the good old cause: which was done, (says my author,) upon this account, that their serious treatises having been fully answered and refuted, they might compass by railing what they had lost by reasoning; and, when their cause was sunk in court and parliament, they might at least hedge in a stake amongst the rabble, for to their ignorance all things are wit which are abusive; but if church and state were made the theme, then the doctoral degree of wit was to be taken at Billingsgate; even the most saintlike of the party, though they durst not excuse this contempt and vilifying of the government, yet were pleased, and
↑ John Penry, or Ap Henry, better known by the name of Martin Mar-prelate, or Mar-priest, as having been a plague to the bishops and clergy of his time. He was a native of Wales, and originally a sub-sizer of Peter-house, in Cambridge. Afterwards he obtained the degree of Master of Arts in Oxford, and, having taken orders, was for some time a regular clergyman. But being a person "full of Welch blood, of a hot and restless head," Anthony Wood tells us, he became a furious Anabaptist, and the most bitter enemy to the church of England that appeared in the long reign of Queen Elizabeth. He wrote a great number of pestilent pamphlets, with burlesque titles; such as, "Oh, read over John Bridges, for it is a worthy work. Printed over sea, in Europe, within two furlongs of a bouncing Priest, at the cost of Martin Mar-prelate, gent." All his writings were filled with the most virulent invectives against the Episcopal church. At length, being apprehended, and tried for writing and publishing infamous books and libels against the established religion, he was condemned and executed at St Thomas a Watering, 29th May, 1593. Dryden compares him to Andrew Marvel, the well known opposer of the court, during the reign of Charles II.
grinned at it with a pious smile, and called it a judgment of God against the hierarchy. Thus sectaries, we may see, were born with teeth, foulmouthed, and scurrilous from their infancy; and if spiritual pride, venom, violence, contempt of superiors, and slander, had been the marks of orthodox belief, the presbytery, and the rest of our schismatics, which are their spawn, were always the most visible church in the Christian world. *
It is true, the government was too strong at that time for a rebellion; but, to shew what proficiency they had made in Calvin's school, even then their mouths watered at it; for two of their gifted brotherhood, Hacket and Coppinger, as the story tells us, got up in a pease-cart and harangued the people, to dispose them to an insurrection, and to establish their discipline by force; † so that, however
* The court writers at this period were anxious to fix upon the presbyterians and the non-conformists in general, the anti-monarchical principles of the fanatics, who brought Charles I. to the scaffold. Their arguments may be seen at length in a book entitled, "Seditious Teachers, ungodly Preachers exemplified." These charges are carried too far; yet as the Episcopalians made church and king their watchword, the fanatics, on the contrary, in England, and the Huguenots in France, had a certain tendency to oppose monarchical government. One of their authors, as early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, maintains, that if kings and princes refused to reform religion, the inferior magistrates or people, by direction of the ministry, might lawfully, and ought, if need required, even by force of arms, to reform it themselves.-Whittingham's Preface to Goodman on Obedience to Superior Powers.
+ The freaks of these unhappy enthusiasts may be seen in the histories of the time. Hacket, a man of some learning, had his brain turned by enthusiasm, and seduced Coppinger and Arthington, two fanatic preachers, by his example and exhortation, to sally forth into the streets of London, where he proclaimed himself to be the Messiah, and Coppinger and Arthington, his prophet of mercy, and his prophet of judgment. As they continued to utter the most horrible blasphemies, and to exhort the citizens
it comes about, that now they celebrate Queen Elizabeth's birth-night, as that of their saint and patroness; yet then they were for doing the work of the Lord by arms against her; † and in all probability they wanted but a fanatic lord-mayor, and two sheriffs of their party, to have compassed it. ‡
Our venerable Hooker, after many admonitions which he had given them, towards the end of his preface, breaks out into this prophetic speech: "There is in every one of these considerations most just cause to fear, lest our hastiness to embrace a thing of so perilous consequence, (meaning the presbyterian discipline,) should cause posterity to feel those evils, which as yet are more easy for us to prevent, than they would be for them to remedy."
How fatally this Cassandra has foretold, we know too well by sad experience. The seeds were sown in the time of Queen Elizabeth; the bloody harvest ripened in the reign of King Charles the Martyr; and, because all the sheaves could not be carried off without shedding some of the loose grains, another
to take arms, to further the reign of Hacket, who, they said, was come with his fan in his hand to purify the discipline of the church of England, they were seized and lodged in prison. Hacket was executed, though fitter for Bedlam, persisting to the last in the most insane blasphemy. The discipline of the prison restored Arthington to his senses, and he published a recantation, expressing great remorse for his errors. Coppinger starved himself to death in jail. This explosion of madness took place in 1591. Hacket is stated by Camden to have been a determined enemy to Queen Elizabeth, and to have stabbed her picture with his dagger.
+ The birth-night of Queen Elizabeth was that which the Whigs chose to solemnize, by their grand pope-burnings and processions; considering her as the patron of the Protestant religion. Yet Queen Elizabeth was very severe against the Puritans, and passed several statutes against them.
See the notes on " Absalom and Achitophel," Vol. IX. pages, 280. 404.
crop is too like to follow; nay, I fear it is unavoidable, if the conventiclers be permitted still to scatter.
A man may be suffered to quote an adversary to our religion, when he speaks truth; and it is the observation of Maimbourg,* in his "History of Calvinism," that wherever that discipline was planted and embraced, rebellion, civil war, and misery, attended it. And how indeed should it happen otherwise? Reformation of church and state has always been the ground of our divisions in England. While we were papists, our Holy Father rid us, by pretending authority out of the Scriptures to depose princes; when we shook off his authority, the sectaries furnished themselves with the same weapons, and out of the same magazine, the Bible; so that the Scriptures, which are in themselves the greatest security of governors, as commanding express obedience to them, are now turned to their destruction; and never since the Reformation has there wanted a text of their interpreting to authorize a rebel. And it is to be noted by the way, that the doctrines of king-killing and deposing, which have been taken up only by the worst party of the Papists, the most frontless flatterers of the pope's authority, have been espoused, defended, and are still maintained, by the whole body of nonconformists and republicans. It is but dubbing themselves the people of God, which it is the interest of their preachers to
*Lewis Maimbourg, a secularized Jesuit, wrote a History of Calvinism, in which he charges upon the Huguenots the principal share of the guilt of the civil wars of France. He charges them particularly with the conspiracies of Amboise and Meaux against the crown; and alleges, it was their intention, by the assistance of England, and the Protestant states of Germany, with whom they corresponded, to establish a republic in France. His arguments are controverted in an "Apology for the Protestants of France, in six letters." London, 1683.