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impeachment. Like every other heresiarch, who has been called to account for his errors, he maintained that the charges against him were deduced from a forced construction of words and sentences, selected from unconnected passages, and arbitrarily joined together. He was, indeed, as is confessed by one of the most forward of his friends, hard put to it to maintain hereditary right and the unlimited doctrine of nonresistance, without condemning the revolution;* but he asserted that he had laid down a sound doctrine, though he had omitted to specify those exceptions to it which might arise out of particular circumstances; and to vindicate the propriety of his doing so, he appealed to the authority of the scriptures, to acts of parliament, to the articles and homilies of the church, to the opinions of the most pious protestant divines, and even to the sermons and other writings of some of the existing dignitaries, now his judges, and distinguished both for orthodoxy and attachment to the constitution. With regard to toleration, he maintained that the word was not to be found in the statute book, and, approving entirely, as he did, of the exemption granted to the dissenters, when he spoke in disparagement of toleration, he meant something beyond this, and therefore had not calumniated the law. That the church was in danger, he attempted to prove, from the abounding of immorality and blasphemy, and from the many recent publications of a heretical tendency. He denied that by chief men and false brethren he intended to libel her majesty's ministers, and insisted that all his expressions that had been so construed, ought, agreeably to the authority of scripture, to be applied, as he intended them, to persons of rank and influence, too many of whom in every age had been enemies to religion and the church; and, in contradiction to his notorious principles and conduct, he concluded with a solemn appeal to the Searcher of hearts, that he never had the smallest intention to calumniate the memory of king William, to censure the revolution, to foment party distinctions, or to defame her majesty's administration.
The accusation and defence being thus finished, the lords entered into warm debates, and, after many ridiculous as
* Lockhart Papers, vol. i. p. 312.
sertions and foolish speeches on both sides, the doctor was, on the twenty-second of March, found guilty by a majority of seventeen voices, his sermons ordered to be burnt by the hands of the hangman, and himself suspended from preaching for three
years. A sentence so very trivial, after accusations so heavy, and such a parade of preparation, could not fail to have all the weight of an acquittal upon the public mind. By the tories it was considered as a real triumph, and as such, celebrated by bonfires and illuminations in every quarter. Higher censure was no doubt intended, but the sovereign mob of England had taken up the doctor's case as peculiarly its own, as had also her majesty the queen, who, by her interposition, influenced several of the lords to be especially tender on the point of punishment, and the leaders of the prosecution were probably glad to save appearances by a small censure, when there seemed to be a very general disposition to bestow a vote of thanks. The Scotish Jacobites took a most peculiar interest in this trial, and improved it diligently for promoting their views. The duke of Hamilton, the earls of Marr, Wemyss, and Northesk, voted for the doctor's acquittal, and the duke of Argyle, though he voted him guilty, made ample atonement by the zeal with which he exerted himself in favour of a lenient punishment.
The faction of the disaffected having thus gained a complete and unexpected triumph, resolved to improve it to the utmost. Her majesty they humbly addressed from all quarters, censuring all resistance as a rebellious doctrine, founded upon antimonarchial and republican principles; and as Sacheveral had abundance of leisure, being only forbidden to preach, though he held all his places and emoluments, he was paraded through the country as a kind of divinity, the mob every-where huzzaing at his heels, drinking in his divine doctrines, and, as a proof how much they were benefited, outraging the feelings of the whigs, reproaching their names, misrepresenting their motives, insulting their persons, rifling their houses, and pulling down the meeting-houses of the presbyterians, whom the doctor taught them to consider as “plagues, growing evils, and incarnate devils !"
To favour and to prolong this scheme of exhibiting, and to
pour contempt upon the sentence of the lords, Sacheveral vas presented to a rich benefice in Wales; to take possession of which, he went in procession with all the pomp and magnificence of a sovereign prince. He was sumptuously feasted by the university of Oxford, and by noblemen, who, while they worshipped him as the idol of their party, could not but despise in their hearts the object of their adulation. In towns he was received by the magistrates in all their formalities, and often attended by a body of a thousand horse. At Bridgenorth he was met by Mr. Creswell at the head of four thousand horse, and an equal number of foot, wearing white knots edged with gold, and leaves of laurel in their hats, the hedges being for two miles dressed in flowers and lined with people. The steeples, wherever he came, were ornamented with streamers, flags, and colours, and nothing was to be heard but the cry of the church and Dr. Sacheveral.*
Confirmed in what were most probably her original views, by the flattering addresses of the tories, and having her resolution, which was naturally feeble, strengthened by these demonstrations on the part of the moh, the queen chose a new cabinet, dissolved the parliament, and issued writs for a new election.
The new cabinet consisted of Sir Simon Harcourt, the defender of Dr. Sacheveral, now created lord chancellor of England, lord Dartmouth and Mr. Henry St. John, secretaries of state, Robert Harley, chancellor of the exchequer, &c. &c. The great lord Somers was dismissed from the presidency of the council, which was bestowed upon the earl of Rochester. The lord-lieutenancy of Ireland was given to the duke of Ormond, the command of the forces in Portugal to lord Portmore, and the lieutenantship of the county palatine of Lancaster was bestowed upon the duke of Hamilton.
the duke of Hamilton. In short, with the exception of the duke of Marlborough, whom it was not thought, as yet, prudent to dismiss, there was not a whig left in the enjoyment of any place of consequence.
The wisdom of these measures, and the happy selection of the new cabinet, were every-where extolled by the tories, and addresses the most fulsome were got up in all quarters, to give
Smollets History of England.
the new administration countenance, and courage to proceed in that career of dishonour which they had already marked out for themselves, and especially to enable them to carry all the elections, and give them a tory parliament, which alone was wanting to render their triumph complete. “ Unheard of methods," says Burnet, “ were used to secure them (the elections].—In London, and in all parts of England, but more especially in great cities, there was a vast concourse of rude multitudes brought together, who behaved themselves in so boisterous a manner, that it was not safe, and in many places not possible, for those who had a right to vote to come and give their votes for a whig. Open violence was used in several parts. This was so general through the whole kingdom, all at the same time, that it was visible the thing had for some time been concerted, and the proper methods and tools had been prepared for it. The clergy had a great share in this; for, besides a course for some months of inflammatory sermons, they went about from house to house, pressing their people to show, on this occasion, their zeal for the church, and now or never to serve it.”* Nor were the managers of the faction a whit less diligent in Scotland, and in as much as there never was any thing there like the voice of the people heard in elections, their business was so much the more easily accomplished. Had there been there any thing like a popular voice, their success had indeed been small; for, to the fears of the pretender and popery, there was now added the immediate danger of presbytery, which, it was well known, was particularly obnoxious to the party that had now obtained the ear of her majesty, and the direction of her government. “The tories,” it is remarked by one who has been at no little pains to exhibit himself as one of the most important of their number, “spake little above board, but underhand among themselves represented, that now or never was the time to do something for the king (James), and by restoring him dissolve the Union.” Accordingly, all of them who had any influence hastened to take the oaths to the queen, that they might, by voting or being voted for, serve more effectually the interests of the pretender. The dukes of
* History of his own Times.
Hamilton and Argyle, with the earl of Marr, also hastened home to Scotland, where they threw the whole weight of their influence into the scale of the tories, who, in consequence of these exertions, carried the whole sixteen peers, and nearly twothirds of the commons. That they did not carry the whole, is ascribed, by Lockhart, solely to the circumstance of the ministry not having changed, as by the Jacobites they had been frequently desired, the whole of the Scotish revenue officers.
Matters had, indeed, been going on in Scotland with very little noise, during the time that faction had been shaking the whole administration of the three kingdoms. The General Assembly of the church sat down, according to appointment, on the fourteenth of April, 1709. After sermon, by the Reverend Principal Carstares, moderator of the last assembly, Mr. John Currie, minister at Haddington, was chosen moderator, David, earl of Glasgow, was again honoured to be the queen's commissioner. This assembly met under the same favourable aspects, and was hailed with compliments similar to those of the preceding year, which were answered in a similar manner.
The first object of this assembly's attention was the outward order and decency of public worship, for promoting which they passed an act, in which “it is seriously recommended to persons of all ranks, that considering in whose presence they are, and with what deep humility the glorious God is to be adored by sinful men, they would forbear bowing, and other expressions of civil respect, and entertaining one another with discourses while divine worship is performing, and holy ordinances are dispensing.” The propagation of the gospel in the Highlands and Islands was also, as it had been for many years by-past, particularly attended to, by ordering every possible facility to be afforded to students who had the Irish, or Gaelic language, and by recommending to the care and diligence of ministers and people the design of a society for propagating christian knowledge in these parts, for which her majesty had already promised her letters patent erecting it into a corporate
* Lockhart Papers, vol. i. pp. 319, 320. Rae's History of the Rebellion,