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and they intended to go much bishops also of that reign; but farther in conformity to Scripture, when Jewel, Pilkington, Grindal, rather than designed their settle- &c. were dead, they who ment for a continuance; but the ceeded them were of another stamp, immature death of that excellent and grew fond of securing niprince hindered the farther refor- formity by rigorous methods. The mation intended. Dr. Peter Heylin silenced disciplinarians did, by therefore declares, that he could their writings, secret conferences, not reckon that prince's death an and preaching, and their godly infelicity to the Church of Eng- lives, work much upon such as land.
were inclined to serious religion; The severities of Queen Mary's but the bishops and their courts reign drove our learned men in had the power in their hands, and great numbers beyond the seas sometimes made use of it in such into Germany, where they were ways as not a little exasperated kindly received and entertained, the sufferers. but sadly divided among them In the reign of King James I. selves. Some were fond of all the clergy fawned upon
that the particulars of King Edward's prince, and engaging to advance settlement, without allowing of his prerogative, he in return made any alterations; while others were it his business to confirm and adzealous for a more plain and vance their power. There was a serious
way of worship and a conference between the two parties method of discipline that had a appointed for forms' sake at Hampagreter aptness to securc the pu- ton Court, but without effect. No rity of the church and its members. alterations of any moment could
When they returned home in be obtained. The ruling clergy the reign of Queen Elizabeth, that put Episcopacy, and the Liturgy, party that was for diocesan Pre- and ceremonies together, into the lacy, and the old Liturgy, and subscriptions which they imposed against any considerable alterations on all that would be ministers or either in worship or government, school-masters, and so cast, and prevailed, and were preferred, and kept out many worthy had the Queen's favour.* The other Three hundred pious ministers party petitioned, and hoped, and were at once silenced, suspended, waited, but were discountenanced, and deprived, An. 1603; and many and rebuked, and by law re- that conformed, and took pains to strained. The discountenanced promote serious piety, being uneasy party were fervent preachers, and under the ceremonies, were stigof holy lives, and so were the first matized as Puritaps, and many
ways discouraged and browbeaten, Dr. Burnett in his Letters from Suit- while but little was done to check zerland, pages 50–53, mentions, that or discountenance impiety and iramongst the archives of the Dean and religion. Chapter at Zurich there is a vast collec
In the reign of King Charles I. tion of letters bound up, which makes a
under the influence of Bishop great many volumes folio, addressed by the English Reformers to Bullinger, in Laud, the strict use of the cerewhich many interesting facts relating to monies in every punctilio, was the Puritan controversy, and the opi- pressed to the utmost height, and nions of the Reformers thereon, are recorded. If these still exist, what an im
new things were introduced, a conportaut field for research do they present
formity to which was josisted on to some future historian of that period. with great vehemence. Many
were suspended for not reading in them, and valuing their labours, the public churches a declaration, which they had found protitable allowing all manner of sports and and advantageous, met privately pastimes on the Lord's-day; and for worship, in separate assemblies; several were driven into New upon which severe laws were made England, that they might there both against ministers and people, enjoy their liberty, who could not to restrain and punish them; and at home have freedom to worship they were executed with great God according to their consciences, rigour, (excepting that now and without being many ways molested. then a little shortlived indulgence, A design of a coalition with the or breathing-time, was granted Gallican Church was set on foot; them and that rather by conniand the prerogative was advanced vance than any just authority) till to such an height by many of the the nation grew pretty generally clergy, as not a little endangered sensible that there was no small liberty and property : and an oath danger of a common ruin from the to the church government that ob- Papists. tained, without any alteration, was This was so plain in the reign imposed by the Convocation, with- of King James II. that the clergy out the consent of the Parliament; who had been so vehement in using and things were driven to that ex- rigour to promote uniformity, protremity, that a general confusion fessed to see their error and be was the consequence, which at ready to make abatements, and last issued in the overthrow of the lay aside bigotry and persecution, bierarchy and the whole eccle- and come to a temper towards siastical constitution, notwith them, and treat them as brethren. standing that we are assured by But after the Revolution, under the Lord Clarendon, that at the King William, of glorious mebeginning of the civil war there mory, they too generally forgat were not more than five in both their promises in the time of their Houses of Parliament, that were distress and fear, and though they enemies to the Church of England. were earnestly pressed by that
At the restoration of King prince and bis royal consort, (they Charles II. there were fair pro- being both of them zealous to promises, and great hopes of more mote an union which had long lenity, and an accommodation. been desired,) would yield to no But it appeared at a conference alterations. The Parliament gave held at the Savoy, by virtue of a liberty to all that were not satisRoyal commission, Ån. 1661, that fied to fall in with the Church of the spirits of the ruling clergy England, (provided they owned were too much heated; for the doctrine of the Trinity, as abatements could be obtained, and they of whom I am giving here a most moving petition for peace an account did, and do univerwas made light of. A law passed sally,)* to act according to their in 1662, that made conformity to the ecclesiastical establishment in * Here we have the important testisome respects heavier than before. mony of one of our best informed dis
senting historians, that the doctrine of the Above two thousand ministers Trinity was universally owned by the Disa were ejected the public churches, senters of London in 1717.
Ten years though generally men of good
after (1727) the General Body now ineetworth, and valuable abilities.
ing at Red Cross Street Library, was Many of the people adhering to organized, and Dr. Calamy was then
a leader amongst them, the avowed adyo.
consciences in matters of religion, 1710 : which three books I there, the benefits of which law they still fore mention to you, that I may enjoy.
not trouble you with the titles of In the reign of Queen Anne, the many tracts and volumes that though the Dissenters
are written in our own language firm in the principles upon which upon the same subject. King William's revolution was Their common principles may bottomed, and as zealous for the be considered, either with respect Protestant succession in the illus to the civil government, or in retrious House of Hanover as any ference to religion. men whatsoever, they yet were so As to civil government; they unkindly used, as to be by law in- thankfully own it an ordinance of capacitated from holding any place Almighty God, for the good of of profit or trust under the go- mankind. They readily acknow. vernment; though at the same time ledge a conscientious subjection to they are not only exposed to such the government they live under (be offices as are chargeable in com it one form or another) to be the inon with others, but continued duty of all Christians: and pay liable to severe pecuniary mulcts,
such a deference to the magistrate, for not serving some offices, which even in ecclesiastical matters, as to yet the law leaves them in no ca be ready to give him satisfaction, pacity of serving. They have also that they take no methods that are been by law denied the liberty of destructive to the civil peace. Nor educating their own children, than have they any notions opposite to which they could not well have absolute passive obedience and been exposed to a greater hard. non-resistance, but such as are comship, or been brought under a more mon to them with the best friends disheartening mark of distinction. both to the government of King
For their objections against the William, and the Protestant sucterms of conformity required by cession. law, I shall refer to the learned As to religion; they agree in Mr. Hickman's Apologia pro Mi- making the Holy Scriptures the nistris in Anglia vulgo Nonconfor- standard of faith, worship, and mistis, printed in 1664. And their discipline; disowning any power pleas against the Hierarchy and of men, under any pretence whatEcclesiastical constitution, ever, of framing or imposing any opened at large, and strenuously new articles of faith, or new modes enforced, in a book printed long of worship, or of making any setsince, called, Altare Damacenum, tlements as to the government of which was reprinted, in quarto, at the church, to the detriment of that Leyden, An: 1708. And their purity in worshipping assemblies vindication of themselves from the and their several members, which charges that are brought against all in their respective stations are them may be found in Vindiciæ by the gospel rule bound to be Fratrum Dissentientium in Anglia: studious to promote and secure. Auctore Jacobn Pierco, 8vo. Lond. That God has appointed govern
ment in his church, they freely cate of Trinitarianism, and often preached own. And it is an opinion that before his brethren on the occasion of
prevails much among them, that their meetings. The General Body was not then compelled to justify its consis
no one particular form of church tency by asserting, as its members now government is of right divine ; but do that it is a purely political association! its being managed by more or
fewer persons, with more or less of the subject and mode of Baptisma superiority and subordination, they They are for deferring it till people look upon as comparatively indif are of age to receive instruction, ferent, so that the end, which is and personally give their consent Christian purity, be but subserved. to the Christian covenant; and for And such friends are they to that baptizing by plunging, while in Christian charity, upon which the other things they differ vot from writings of the New Testament lay their Brethren. so great a stress, that while those But, notwithstanding these and of the Established Church are ge some other such differences among nerally for confining their com- themselves, they generally agree munion to such as are of their own in the doctrinal articles of the way only, a number of the Dissenters Church of England, (which they have from the first (though they subscribe) the confession of Faith, declared they foresaw the disservice and larger and smaller Catechisms it would do to their particular in- compiled by the assembly of diterest,) owned
themselves free vines at Westminster, and the for occasional conformity with judgment of the British divines at Christians of all forms, who agree the Synod of Dort, about the Quinin the essentials of religion, in tes- quarticular controversies. timony of their esteeming them Their number is far from being brethren, notwithstanding their dif- inconsiderable : they have above ferences in lesser matters.
an hundred several places of worIn the meantime, there are some ship,* (larger and smaller) in and things in which they differ among themselves. Fo some of them
* The present number of places of are most desirous of the Presby- worship in the metropolis belonging to terian Form of church govern- the three denominations of Dissenters ment, as it is legally established has not been, we believe, correctly asin North Britain : others are rather certained, though we imagine it does not
exceed one hundred and forty, which may for the Congregational form of perhap sbe fairly allotted in the followgovernment, by each worshipping ing proportions : assembly within itself, having no other references to classes or sy
Presbyterians (Unitarian and Orthodox)
22 nods, than for advice in cases of Independents need, according to the way which Baptists · obtains in New England: others
140 are rather for a superintendency
This appears but a small increase for for life, (unless great irregularities more than a century, especially when the should prohibit) over all the pas- rapid growth of the metropolis and the tors and churches, divided into extensive diffusion of dissenting princilarger or smaller districts, accord- ples are considered.
It must, however, be remembered, ing to convenience: and there are
amongst other things, that the majority yet others, who think a mixture of of the congregations to which Dr. Ca. the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and lamy referred, were the Presbyterian,
most of which have long ago disappeared, Congregational method together,
through the baneful influence of Somight hest answer the end, and cinianism, and their places have been, most effectually secure unity and therefore, supplied by many new intepeace. And the number of this rests. Besides this, he classed with the latter sort seems to grow and in- larger places chapels which are now There are some also who the more modern erections. In his day
greatly exceeded in their dimensions by have particular sentiments as to Monkwell Street, Bartholomew Close,
about the cities of London and tain and Holland for academical Westminster, and Borough of education. Southwark: and in other cities, They are zealous for a learned and corporations, and trading parts ministry. And, therefore, after of the kingdom, their number is several years spent in preparatory proportionable.
studies, young men are carefully They are denied the advantage examinedamongst them, before they of educating their youth either are allowed to enter upon preachat Oxford or Cambridge, by oaths ing in public: and upon their being and subscriptions that are imposed; in time called to take the pastoral and, therefore, besides private se- charge of any Christian society, or minaries, where philosophical and after they have continued so long theological lectures are read, they candidates, as to have evidence of send their children to North Bri- the acceptableness of their gifts,
and to be able with freedom to
make choice of the ministry for the and Jewry Street Meetings would have employment of their lives, they been enumerated amongst the more important Presbyterian places of worship, are solemnly ordained, by fasting as we suppose that Collier's Rents, Haber and prayer, and imposition of dashers’ Hall, and the Pavement Meet- hands, after making a public coning Houses, were amongst the Indepen- fession of that faith, in which they dents, and Prescot Street and Old Devonshire Square amongst the Baptists.
engage to make it their business to We scarcely need remind our readers instruct others. And this examiof the relative position which these nation and ordination is managed ancient places now occupy, when com
according to the rules laid down in pared with the more modern edifices. Orthodox Presbyterians have Albion and the Directory published by the Well Street Chapels, much larger, we
Westminster Assembly, about the judge, than any Presbyterian Meeting of year 1644, which also gives direcDr. Calamy's day in London.
tion about the several parts of pubThe Independents can refer to the lic worship, which are geverally Poultry Chapel, White Row, Hackney, Dr. Burder's, Walworth, G. Clayton's
approved among iis. Whitechapel, Mr. Reed's, and to Chapel Their ministers meet together Street, Soho, and to several of the cha- for consultation about matters of pels which have originated with one benevolent individual, we mean those at
common concernment, in greater Hoxton, Pentonville, Somers Town,
or smaller numbers, as occasions Paddington, and Oxford Street, as spe- require. In such meetings, without cimens of places of Worship, such as pretending to exercise authority, were unknown amongst them in the days ihey give their judgment in such of Calamy, with, perhaps, the solitary exception of the venerable Meeting matters as come before them, House at Stepney
are referred to them: and they The Baptists, though their progress has keep up a correspondence with their not been like that of the Independents, brethren in North Britain, and in can refer to Camberwell and Hackney, to New Devonshire Square and Salters Ireland, and in the American PlanHall as places more important tlian any tations, in all which places the numof their ancient Meeting Houses, at the ber of those that are of the same period referred to. After all, we are com. sentiments with them, are very conpelled to record our conviction that the comparison ought not to be regarded as
siderable. satisfactory, and theopulent Dissenters of Their stated public worship on London will do well to imitate the splen- the Lord's-days (which they condid example we have referred to, if they scientiously devote wholly to revalue the principles they profess, or pity ligious purposes) is thus managed. the untaught population by whom they are surrounded.
The minister in each Christian so