Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

a

and no establishment in civil society | ble in patience, courage, sacrif ce, en which their efforts could not upset. throning chastity on the domestic

Forthwith private life was trans- hearth, truth before the tribunals, hones formed. How could ordinary senti- ty in the counting-house, labor in the ments, natural and every-day notions workshop, everywhere a fixed doterma of happiness and pleasure, subsist be- nation to bear all and do all rather than fore such a conception? Suppose men fail in the least injunction of moral jus. condemned to death, not ordinary tice and Bible-law. The stoical energy, death, but the rack, torture, an infinite- the fundamental honesty of the race, y horrible and infinitely extended tor- were aroused at the appeai of an enthusi. inent, waiting for their sentence, and astic imagination ; and these unbending yet knowing that they had one chance in characteristics were displayed in their it!ou sand, in a hundred thousand, of entirety in conjunction with abnegation pardon could they still go on amusing and virtue. tiemselves, taking an interest in the Another step, and this great move. business or pleasure of the time? The ment passed from within to without, azure heaven shines not for them, the from individual manners to public insti

. sun warms them not, the beauty and tutions. Observe these people in their sweetness of things have no attraction reading of the Bible, they apply to them. for them; they have lost the wont of selves the commands imposed on the laughter; they fasten inwardly, pale and Jews, and the prologues urge them to it silent, on their anguish and their ex. At the beginning of their Bibles the pectation; they have but one thought : translator * places a table of the princi“ Will the judge pardon me?” They pal words in the Scripture, each with its anxiously probe the involuntary mo- definition and texts to support it. They tions of their heart, which alone can read and weigh these words : “ Abomi. reply, and the inner revelation, which nation before God are Idoles, Images. alone can render them certain of par. Before whom the people do bow them don or ruin. They think that any other selfes.". Is this precept observed ? No condition of mind is unholy, that reck- doubt the images are taken away, but lessness and joy are monstrous, that the queen has still a crucifix in her every worldly recreation or preoccupa- chapel, and is it not a remnant of idol. tion is an act of paganism, and that the atry to kneel down when taking the true mark of a Christian is trepidation sacrament? “ Abrogacion, that is to at the very idea of salvation. Thence abolyshe, or to make of none effecte forth rigor and rigidity mark their man- And so the lawe of the commande. ners. The Puritan condemns the stage, mentes whiche was in the decrees and the assemblies, the world's pomps and ceremonies, is abolished. The sacrifi

. gatherings, the court's gallantry and ces, festes, meates, and al outwarde cer. elegance, the poetical and symbolical emonies are abrogated, and all the order festivals of the country, the May-poles of priesthode is abrogated.” Is this days, the merry feasts, bell-ringings, all so, and how does it happen that the the outlets by which sensuous or in- bishops still take upon themselves the stinctive nature endeavored to relieve right of prescribing faith, worship, and itse.f. He gives them up, abandons of tyrannizing over Christian conscien: recreations and ornaments, crops his ces ? And have they not preserved hair closely, wears a simple sombre- in the organ-music, in the surplice of hrad coat, speaks through his nose, the priests, in the sign of the cross, in walks stiffiy, with his eyes turned up a hundred other practices, all these wards, absorbed, indifferent to visible visible rites whico God has declared things. The external and natural man profane ? “ Abuses. The abuses that is abolished ; only the inner and spirit- be in the church ought to be corrected ual man survives; there remains of the by the prynces. The ministers ought soul only the ideas of God and con- to preache against abuses. Any maner science,-a conscience alarmed and diseased, but strict in every duty, attentive

* The Byble, nowe lately with greate in to the least requirements, disdaining the Becke), Lond., by John Daye and Willian

dustry and Diligèce recognized by Edm caution of worldly morality, inexhausti. | Seres, 1949: with Tyndale's Prologues.

a

9

of mere tradicions of man are abuses.' isters are dismisseu, hunted out, prose. What, meanwhile, is their prince doing, cuted.* The law declares that any one and why does he leave abuses in the above the age of sixteen who for the church? The Christian must rise and space of a month shall refuse to attend protest; we must purge the church the established worship, shall be imfrom the pagan crust with which tradi- prisoned until such time as he shall sub tion has covered it.*

mit; and if he does not submit at the Such are the ideas conceived by end of three months, he shall be tanib hese uncultivated minds. Fancy the ed the kingdom; and if he returns, pu imple folk, more capable by their sim- to death. They allow this to go on, and plicity of a sturdy faith, these free- show as much firmness in suffering as holders, these big traders, who have scruple in belief; for a tittle about ie sat on juries, voted at elections, delib- ceiving of the communion, sitting rather era ed, discussed in common private than kneeling, or standing rather than and public business, used to examine sitting, they give up their livings, their the law, the comparing of precedents, property, their liberty, their country, all the detail of juridical and legal pro-One Dr. Leighton was imprisoned cedure; bringing their lawyer's and fifteen weeks in a dog's kennel, withpleader's training to bear upon the in- out fire, roof, bed, and in irons : his terpretation of Scripture, who, having hair and skin fell off ; he was set in once formed a conviction, employ for the pillory during the November frosts, it the cold passion, the intractable ob- then whipt, and branded on the forestinacy, the heroic sternness of the head ; his ears were cut off, his nose English character. Their precise and slit; he was shut up eight years in the combative minds take the business in Fleet, and thence cast into the common hand. Every one holds himself bound prison. Many went cheerfully to the to be ready, strong, and well prepared stake. Religion with them was a cov. to answer all such as shall demand a enant, that is, a treaty made with God, reason of his faith. Each one has his which must be kept in spite of every difficulty and conscientious scruple t thing, as a written engagement, to the about some portion of the liturgy or letter, to the last syllable. An admithe official hierarchy: about the dig- rable and deplorable stiffness of an nities of canons and archdeacons, or over-scrupulous conscience, which certain passages of the funeral ser- made cavillers at the same time with vice ; about the sacramental bread or believers, which was to make tyrants the reading of the aprocyphal books after it had made martyrs. in church; about plurality of benefices Between the two, it made fighting or the ecclesiastical square cap. They men. These men had become won. each oppose some point, all together derfully wealthy and had increased the episcopacy and the retention of in numbers in the course of eighty Romish ceremonies. Then they are years, as is always the case with men imprisoned, fined, put in the pillory; who labor, live honestly, and pass they have their ears cut off ; their min. their lives uprightly, sustained by a

powerful source of action fro3 prith. * Examination of Mr. Axton: I can't con- Thenceforth they are able to resent to wear the surplice, it is against my conscience ; I trust, by the help of God, I shall sist, and they do resist when driven to never put on that sleeve, which is a mark of extremities; they choose to have reh : beast "-Examination of Mr. White, “a course to arms rather than be driven # not going to the parish church, “The Parliament assembles, defeats the king,

tantial citizen of London " (1572), accused back to idolatry and sin. The Long whole Scriptures are for destroying idolatry, and every thing that belongs to it.">Where purges religion; the dam is broken, is the place where these are forbidden?"-"In the Independents are hurled above the Deuteronomy and other places; . by Isaiah commandeth not to pollute ourselves Presbyterians, the fanatics above the with the garments of the image."

mere zealots; irresistible and over. + One expression continually occurs: “Ten- whelming faith, enthusiasm, grow into derness of conscience”_"a squeamish stomach "_" our weaker brethren.'

a torrent, swallow up, or at least dig. The separation of the Anglicans and disturb the strongest minds, politicians senters may be dated from 1964

in.

[ocr errors]

1994.

no more.

[ocr errors]

lawyers, captains. The Commons oc-1 a schemer, above all amoitious, yet ho cupy a day in every week in delibera- was truly fanatical and sincere. His ting on the progress of religion. As doctor relate i that he had been very soon as they touch upon doctrines they melancholy for years at a time, with become furious. A poor man, Paul strange hallucinations, and the frequent Best, bring accused of denying the fancy that he was at death's door. 'Two ['rinity, they demand the passing of a years before the Revolution he wrote decree to punish him. with death; to his cousin : “Truly no poor crea James Nayler having imagined that he ture hath more cause to put himself was God, the Commons devote them forth in the cause of his God than I selves to a trial of eleven days, with a ... The Lord accept me in His Sua Hebraic animosity and ferocity: “I and give me to walk in the light-think him worse than possessed with and give us to walk in the light, as the devil. Our God is here supplanted. He is the light !

blessed be My ears trembled, my heart shuddered, His Name for shining upon so dark on hearing this report. I will speak a heart as mine!” Certainly he

Let us all stop our ears and must have dreamed of becoming a stone him.” * Before the House of saint as well as a king, and aspired to Commons, publicly, the men in author. salvation as well as to a throne. At ity had ecstasies. After the expulsion the moment when he was proceeding to of the Presbyterians, the preacher Ireland, and was about to massacre High Peters started up in the middle the Catholics there, he wrote to his of a sermon, and cried out: "Now I daughter-in-law a letter of advice have it by Revelation, now I shall tell which Baxter or Taylor might willingly you. This army must root up Mon. have subscribed. In the midst of pressarchy, not only here, but in France and ing affairs, in 1651, he thus exhorted other kingdoms round about; this is his wife : “My dearest, I could not to bring you out of Egypt; this Army satisfy myself' to omit this post, al. is that corner-stone cut out of the though I have not much to write. Mountaine, which must dash the pow. It joys me to hear thy soul prospereth: ers of the earth to pieces. But it is the Lord increase His favors to thee objected, the way we walk in is without more and more. The great good thy president (sic) ; what think you of the soul can wish is, That the Lord lift Virgin Mary? was there ever any pres- upon thee the light of His countenance, ident before, that a Woman should which is better than life. The Lord conceive a Child without the company bless all thy good counsel and example úf a Man ? This is an Age to make to all those about thee, and hear all thy examples and presidents in.” | Crom- prayers, and accept thee always.” * well found prophecies, counsels in the Dying, he asked whether grace once Bible for the present time, positive jus received could be lost, and was reastifications of his policy. “He looked upon the Design of the Lord in this tion for his policy in Psalm cxiii., which, on

M. Taine says that Cromwell found justificaday to be the freeing of His People looking out, I found to be “an exhortation to from every Burden, and that was now praise God' for His excellency and for His accomplishing what was prophesied in mercy,” a psalm by which Cromwell's conthe 110th Psalm : from the Considera- | Carlyle's Cromwell's Letters, etc., and saw,

duct could nowise be justified. I opened then tion of which he was often encouraged to in vol. ii. part vi. p. 157, the same fact stated, attend the effecting those Ends, spend but Psalm cx, mentioned and given,-a fai ing at least an hour in the Exposition more likely psalm to have influenced Cromwell

. #tha. Psalm.” | Granted that he was Guizot, Portraits Politiques, p. 63, and to

Carlyle refers to Ludlow, i. 319, Taine to

Carlyle. In louking in Guizot's volume, 5th Burton's Parliamentary Diary, ed. by ed., 1862, I find that this writer also mentions Ruft, 1828, 4 vols. i. 54.

Psalm cxiii. ; but on referring finally to the * Walker's History of Independency, 1648, Memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, printed at P. 49.

Vivay (sic) in the Canton of Bern, 1698, I read, | This passage may serve as an example of in vol i, p. 319, the sentence, as given above the difficulties and perplexities to which a therefore Carlyle was right.--TR. translator of a History of Literature must * Cromwell's Letters and Speecure ad always be exposed, and this without any fault Carlyle, 1866, 3 vols. i. 79. of the original author. Ab uno disce omnes. + Idem, ii. 373.

part ï.

.

a

sured to learn that it could not, being, terminable. Women, suldiers, suddenly as he said, certain that he had once got up into the pulpit and preached been in a state of grace. He died with Tbe strangest ceremonies took place in this prayer : “Lord, though I am a public. In 1644, says Dr. Featly, the miserable and wretched creature, I am Anabaptists rebaptized a hundred men in Convenant with Thee through grace. and women together at twilight, ir And I may, I will, come to Thee, for streams, in branches of the Thames, Thy People. Thou hast made me, and elsewhere, plunging them in the though very unworthy, a mean instru- water over head and ears. One Oates, ment to do them some good, and Thee in the county of Essex, was brought service. . . . Lord, however Thou do before a jury for the murder of Anne dispose of me, continue and go on to Martin, who died a few days after her Jo good for them ... and go on baptism of a cold which had seized he: with the work of reformation; and George Fox the Quaker spoke wit: make the Name of Christ glorious in God, and witnessed with a loud voice, in the world."* Underneath this prac- the streets and market places, against tical, prudent, worldly spirit, there the sins of the age. William Simpson, was an English element of anxious and one of his disciples, was moved of powerful imagination, capable of en- the Lord to go, at several times, for gendering, an impassioned Calvinism three years, naked and barefoot before and mystic fears. † The same con- then, as a sign unto them, in the martrasts were jumbled together and rec-kets, courts, towns, cities, to priests' onciled in the other Independents. In houses, and to great men's houses, tell1648, after unsuccessful tactics, they ing them, so shall they all be stripped were in danger between the king and naked, as he was stripped naked. And the Parliament; then they assembled sometime he was moved to put on hair for several days together at Windsor sackcloth, and to besmear his face, and (o confess themselves to God, and seek to tell them, so would the Lord beHis assistance ; and they discovered smear all their religion as he was be. that all their evils came from the con- smeared.* ferences they had had the weakness to “ A female came into Whitehall propose to the king. “And in this path Chapel stark naked, in the midst of the Lord led us,” said Adjutant Allen, public worship, the Lord Protector him‘not only to see our sin, but also our self being present. A Quaker came to duty; and this so unanimously set with the door of the Parliament House with weight upon each heart that none was a drawn sword, and wounded several able hardly to speak a word to each who were present, saying that he was other for bitter weeping, partly in the inspired by the Holy Spirit to kill every sense and shame of our iniquities; of man that sat in the house.” The Fifth jur unbelief, base fear of men, and car- Monarchy men believed that Christ aal consultations (as the fruit thereof) was about to descend to reign in per: with our own wisdoms, and not with son upon earth for a thousand years, the Word of the Lord.” | Thereupon with the saints for His ministers. The chey resolved to bring the king to judg: Ranters looked upon furious vocifera. ment and death, and did as they had tions and contortions as the principal resolved.

signs of faith. The Seekers thought Around them, fanaticism and folly that religious truth could only be seized gained ground. Independents, Millen- in a sort of mystical fog, with doubt arri arians, Antinomians, Anabaptists, Lib- fear. The Muggletonians decided that artines, Familists, Quakers, Enthusi-“ John Reeve and Ludovick Muggleton ests, Seekers, Perfectionists, Socinians, were the two last prophets and messen. Arians, anti-Trinitarians, anti-Scriptu- gers of God; " they declared the ralists, Skeptics; the list of sects is in. Quakers possessed of the devil, exor* Cromwell's Letters, ed. Carlyle, iii. 373. cised him, and prophesied that Wiliar,

• See his speeches. The style is disjointed, Penn would be damned. I have before obscure, impassioned, out of the common, that of a man who is not master of his wits, and A Journal of the Life, etc., of that An who yet sees straight by a sort of intuition. cient, Eminent, and Faithful Servant Cromwell's Letters, i. 268.

Jesus Christ, George Fox, 6th edit., 1836

like

upon her.

mentioned James Nayler, an old quar. | assemblies in such appeals was juri termaster of General Lambert, adored divino, and by the will and appointment as a god by his followers. Several of Jesus Christ ? and a hundred other women led his horse, others cast before questions of the same kind. Parliahim their kerchiefs and scarves, sing- ment declared that, according to Sariping, Holy, holy, Lord God. They ture, the dignities of priest and bishop called him “ lovely among ten thou were equal; t regulated ordinations, sand, the only Son of God, the prophet convocations, excommunications, jurisof the Most High, King of Israel, the dictions, elections ; spent half its time eternal Son of Justice, the Prince of and exerted all its power in establishPeace, Jesus, him in whom the hope of ing the Presbyterian Church * So, Israel rests.” One of them, Dorcas with the Independents, fervor engen E bury, declared that she had lain dead dered courage and discipline. Crom for two whole days in her prison in well's regiment of horse were most of Exeter Gaol, and that Nayler had re- them freeholders' sons, who engaged in störed her to life by laying his hands the war upon principles of conscience ;

Sarah Blackbury finding and that being well armed within, by him a prisoner, took him by the hand the satisfaction of their consciences, and said, “Rise up my love, my dove, and without with good iron arms, they my fairestone : why stayest thou would as one man stand firmly and among the pots?” Then she kissed charge desperately.” † This army, in his hand and fell down before him. which inspired corporals preached to When he was put in the pillory, some lukewarm colonels, acted with the soof his disciples began to sing, weep, lidity and precision of a Russian regi. smite their breasts; others kissed his ment: it was a duty, a duty towards hands, rested on his bosom, and kissed God, to fire straight and march in good his wounds.* Bedlam broken loose order; and a perfect Christian made a could not have surpassed them. perfect soldier. There was no separa

Underneath the surface and these tion here between theory and practice, disorderly bubbles the wise and deep between private and public life, between strata of the nation had settled, and the spiritual and the temporal. They the new faith was doing its work with wished to apply Scripture to “ establish them,-a practical and positive, a po- the kingdom of heaven upon earth,” to litical and moral work. Whilst the institute not aly a Christian Church, German Reformation, after the German but a Christian Society, to change the wont, resulted in great volumes and a law into a guardian of morals, to comscholastic system, the English Refor- pel men to piety and virtue ; and for a mation, after the English wont, resulted while they succeeded in it. Though in action and establishment. “How the discipline of the church was at an the Church of Christ shall be gov- end, there was nevertheless an uncom. erne 1;” that was the great question mon spirit of devotion among people which was discussed among the sects. in the parliament quarters; the Lord's The House of Commons asked the day was observed with remarkable Assembly of Divines : If the classical, strictness, the churches being crowded provincial, and local assemblies were with numerous and attentive hearers jure diriny, and instituted by the will three or four times in the day; the and appointment of Jesus Christ? If officers of the peace patrolled the they were all so? If only some were streets, and shut up all publick houses ; 8C, and which ? If appeals carried by there was no travelling on the road, or the elders of a congregation to provin- walking in the fields, except in cases of cial, departmental, and national assem absolute necessity. Religious exercises blies were jure divino, and according to were set up in private families, as readthe will and appointment of Jesus ing the Scriptures, family prayer, reChrist? If some only were jure divino? peating sermons, and singing of psalms, And which ? of the power of the which was so universal, that you might • Burton's Parliamentary Diary, i. * See Neal, Hist. of the Puritans, ii. 418

Neal, History of the Puritans, iii., Supplt.

+ Whitelocke's Memorials, i. 68

[ocr errors]

173.

450

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »