Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

In 1681, Ken published a “ Manual of Prayers for the Scholars of Winchester College.” He was made Bishop of Bath and Wells not many days before the death of Charles II. On the 8th of June, 1688, he was among the seven bishops committed to the Tower for seditious libel. On the 30th of June, the day of the acquittal of the seven bishops, a messenger was sent to invite William of Orange, who landed in Torbay on the 5th of November. William and Mary became King and Queen of England on the 13th of February, 1689. But

EVENING HYMN. All praise to thee, my God, this night, For all the blessings of the light! Keep me, I keep me, King of kings, Beneath thine own almighty wings.

William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, and four more of the seven, including Ken, refused to take the oaths of allegiance to the new sovereigns, and, with about four hundred clergymen and members of the university, they were deprived. Ken was housed and cared for by his friend Lord Weymouth, at Longleate House, until his death in 1711. In these latter years he was suffering excruciating pain from chronic disease, and “for many years travelled with his shroud in his portmanteau, as what he often said might be as soon wanted as any other of his habiliments.” During these years of suffering he wrote several poems entitled “Anodynes," of which these are two :

have been written in the fourth century by St. Ambrose, for Pentecost. In the year 1100 it was inserted in the office for the consecration of a bishop, and afterwards into that for the ordination of priests. It was retained, as opening part of the same ceremony, in the Lutheran churches. This is Dryden's Paraphrase :

PAIN.

Since 'tis God's will, Pain, take your course,
Exert on me your utmost force-
I well God's truth and promise know.
He never sends a woe,
But His supports divine
In due proportion with the affliction join.

Though I am frailest of mankind,
And apt to waver as the wind -
Though me no feeble bruised reed
In weakness can exceed-
My soul on God relies,
And I your fierce, redoubled shocks despise.

VENI, CREATOR SPIRITUS. Creator Spirit, by whose aid The world's foundations first were laid, Come, visit every pious mind; Come, pour thy joys on human kind; From sin and sorrow set us free, And make Thy temples worthy Thee. O source of uncreated light, The Father's promised Paraclete! Thrice holy fount, thrice holy fire, Our hearts with heavenly love inspire ; Come, and Thy sacred unction bring To sanctify us while we sing. Plenteous of grace, descend from high, Rich in Thy sevenfold energy! Thou strength of His Almighty hand, Whose power does heaven and earth command; Proceeding Spirit, our defence, Who dost the gift of tongues dispense, And crownst Thy gift with eloquence; Refine and purge our earthly parts; But, oh, inflame and fire our hearts ! Our frailties help, our vice control, Submit the senses to the soul; And when rebellious they are grown, Then lay Thy hand, and hold them down. Chase from our minds the infernal fue, And Peace, the fruit of Love, bestow; And lest our feet should step astray, Protect and guide us in the way. Make us eternal truths receive, And practise all that we believe : Give us Thyself, that we may see The Father and the Son by Thee. Immortal honour, endless fame, Attend the Almighty Father's name : The Saviour Son be glorified, Who for lost man's redemption died : And equal adoration be, Eternal Paraclete, to Thee.

Patient, resigned, and humble wills Impregnably resist all ills. My God will guide me by His light, Give me victorious might: No pang can me invade Beneath His wing's propitious shade.

EASE. In pity my most tender God Now takes from me His rod; And the transporting Ease I feel, Enkindles in me ardent zeal, That love, joy, praise, may all combine, To sing infinity of love divine.

My love, joy, praise, all powers within,
Your heavenly task begin!
My love shall ever keep on wing,
Incessantly shall heaven-ward spring;
Love, the beloved still keeps in mind,
Loves all day long, and will not be confined.

CHAPTER XI. FROM THE ENGLISH REVOLUTION TO THE DEATH

OF QUEEN ANNE.—TILLOTSON, LOCKE, BURNET, STEELE, ADDISON, BLACKMORE, ISAAC WATTS, AND

OTHERS.-A.D. 1689 TO A.D. 1714. John DRYDEN remained firm to his principles, and died a Roman Catholic, on May-day of the year 1700. There is a paraphrase by him of the hymn to the Holy Ghost, “Veni, Creator Spiritus,” said to

The religious aspect of the Revolution as it was regarded by a leader among the clergy who most favoured it, may be found in “A ThanksgivingSermon for our Deliverance by the Prince of Orange," preached at Lincoln's Inn Chapel, by Dr. John Tillotson, on the 31st of January, 1689.

John Tillotson (whose great-grandfather had changed the family name from Tilston to Tillotson) was eldest of three sons of a clothier at Sowerby, in Yorkshire, and was born there in 1630. He entered Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 1647, commenced B.A. in 1650, and M.A. in 1654. His tutor had been a Nonconformist who was among those in controversy with Stillingfleet. Writings of Chillingworth had much influence upon his mind, and he had a long personal friendship with Dr. John Wilkins. In 1656 or the beginning of 1657 Tillotson left college to be tutor at Ford Abbey, Devonshire, to the son of Edmund Prideaux, who was then Cromwell's Attorney-General. At the Restoration, Tillotson had been ordained, and acted with the Presbyterians, but he submitted to the Act of Uniformity. Tillotson was curate at Cheshunt from 1661 to 1672, with which office he held others, including that of preacher at Lincoln's Inn. To this he was elected in November, 1663, and he liked it so well that he made Lincoln's Inn his head-quarters. He took great

THE GREAT DELIVERANCE OF 1688. The case in the text doth very much resemble ours. And that in three respects. God hath sent great judgments upon us for our evil deeds and for our great trespasses : He hath punished us less than our iniquities have deserved, and hath given us a very great and wonderful deliverance.

1. God hath inflicted great judgments upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespasses. Great judgments, both for the quality, and for the continuance of them. It shall suffice only to mention those which are of a more ancient date. Scarce hath any nation been more calamitous than this of ours, both in respect of the invasions and conquests of foreigners, and of our own civil and intestine divisions. Four times we have been conquered; by the Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans. And our intestine divisions have likewise been great and of long continuance. Witness the Barons' Wars, and that long and cruel contest between the two Houses of York and Lancaster.

But to come nearer to our own times, what fearful judg. ments and calamities of war, and pestilence, and fire, have many of us seen ? and how close did they follow one another? What terrible havoc did the sword make amongst us for many years? And this not the sword of a foreign enemy, but a civil war; the mischiefs whereof were all terminated upon ourselves, and have given deep wounds, and left broad scars upon the most considerable families in the nation.

. . . . Alta sedent civilis vulnera dextræ.! This war was drawn out to a great length, and had a tragical end, in the murder of an excellent king; and in the banishment of his children into a strange country, whereby they were exposed to the arts and practices of those of another religion; the mischievous consequences whereof we have ever since sadly laboured under, and do feel them at this day.

And when God was pleased in great mercy at last to put an end to the miserable distractions and confusions of almost twenty years, by the happy restoration of the royal family, and our ancient government; which seemed to promise to us a lasting settlement, and all the felicities we could wish: yet how soon was this bright and glorious morning overcast, by the restless and black designs of that sure and inveterate enemy of ours, the Church of Rome, for the restoring of their religion amongst us. And there was too much encouragement given to this design, by those who had power in their hands, and had brought home with them a secret goodwill to it.

For this great trespass, and for our many other sins, God was angry with us, and sent among us the most raging pestilence that ever was known in this nation, which in the space of eight or nine months swept away near a third part of the inhabitants of this vast and populous city, and of the suburbs thereof; besides a great many thousands more in several parts of the nation. But we did not return to the Lord, nor seek Him for all this.

And therefore the very next year after, God sent a terrible and devouring fire, which in less than three days' time laid the greatest part of this great city in ashes. And there is too

[graphic][merged small]

pains with his sermons, endeavouring to make them clear and unaffected in their style and reasoning. Several of his early sermons, like that of 1664, on “ The Wisdom of being Religious," which he enlarged before publication into a small treatise, were directed against the growing tendency to Atheism. Under Charles II., Tillotson became Dean of Canterbury, and chaplain to the king, who did not like him. Dean Tillotson warmly supported the bill for the exclusion of the Duke of York, yet both he and his friend Gilbert Burnet sought to persuade Lord William Russell, before his execution, to acknowledge the unlawfulness of resistance to authority, and as Lord Russell's chaplain, Mr. Samuel Johnson, afterwards put it, “ to bequeath a legacy of slavery to his country." But Tillotson recovered ground, and became a trusted friend of Lady Russell. At the Revolution this is the reference to political events in his Thanksgiving-Sermon, on a text from Ezra ix. 13, 14:-“ And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that Thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations, wouldst not Thou be angry with us till Thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping ?"

i Lucan's “Pharsalia," bk. i., line 32 —

“Nor thou, fierce Pyrrhus, nor the Punic bands,

This waste have made; no sword could reach so far;
Doep pierce the wounds received in civil war."

(May's "Lucan.") Tillotson, quoting from memory, wrote "manent" for "sedent."

The plague of 1665 : in which year there were 97,306 funerals in the City of London within the Bills of Mortality; and of these, 68,596 were of persons who died of the plague, besides many of whom no account was given by the parish clerks, and who were privately buried.

much reason to believe that the enemy did this : that perpetual and implacable enemy of the peace and happiness of this nation.

And even since the time of that dreadful calamity, which is now above twenty years agone, we have been in a continual fear of the cruel designs of that party, which had hitherto been incessantly working underground, but now began to show themselves more openly; and especially since a prince of that religion succeeded to the crown, our eyes have been ready to fail us for fear, and for looking after those dreadful things that were coming upon us, and seemed to be even at the door. A fear which this nation could easily have rid itself of, because they that caused it were but a handful in comparison of us, and could have done nothing without a foreign force and assistance; had not the principles of humanity, and of our religion too, restrained us from violence and cruelty, and from everything which had the appearance of undutifulness to the government which the providence of God had set over us. An instance of the like patience, under the like provocations, for so long a time, and after such visible and open attempts upon them, when they had the laws so plainly on their side, I challenge any nation or church in the world, from the very foundation of it, to produce. Insomuch, that if God had not put it into the hearts of our kind neighbours, and of that incomparable prince who laid and conducted that great design with so much skill and secrecy, to have appeared so seasonably for our rescue, our patience had infallibly, without a miracle, been our ruin. And I am sure if our enemies had ever had the like opportunity in their hands, and had over-balanced us in numbers but half so much as we did them, they would never have let it slip; but would long since have extirpated us utterly, and have “made the remem. brance of us to have ceased from among men.”

And now if you ask me, for what sins more especially God hath sent all these judgments upon us ? it will not, I think, become us to be very particular and positive in such determi. nations. Thus much is certain, that we have all sinned and contributed to these judgments; every one hath had some hand, more or less, in pulling down this vengeance upon the nation. But we are all too apt to remove the meritorious cause of God's judgments as far as we can from ourselves and our own party, and upon any slight pretence to lay it upon others.

Yet I will venture to instance in one or two things which may probably enough have had a more particular and immediate hand in drawing down the judgments of God upon us.

Our horrible contempt of religion on the one hand, by our infidelity and profaneness; and our shameful abuse of it on

he other, by our gross hypocrisy, and sheltering great wickedness and immoralities under the cloak and profession of religion.

And then, great dissensions and divisions, great uncharitableness and bitterness of spirit among those of the same religion; so that almost from the beginning of our happy Reformation the enemy had sown these tares, and by the unwearied malice and arts of the Church of Rome, the seeds of dissension were scattered very early amongst us; and a sour humour had been fermenting in the body of the nation, both upon account of religion and civil interests, for a long time before things broke out into a civil war.

And more particularly yet; that which is called the great trespass here in the text, their joining “in affinity with the people of these abominations," by whom they had been detained in a long captivity, this, I say, seems to have had, both from the nature of the thing, and the just judgment of God, no small influence upon a great part of the miseries and calamities which have befallen us. For had it not been for the countenance which Popery had by the marriages and alliances of our princes, for two or three generations together, with those of that religion, it had not probably had a continuance among us to this day. Which will, I hope, now be a good warning to those who have the authority to do it, to make effectual provision by law for the prevention of the like inconvenience and mischief in this nation for ever.

2. Another parallel between our case and that in the text is, that God hath punished us less than our iniquities did deserve. And this acknowledgment we have as much reason to make for ourselves, as Ezra had to do it in behalf of the Jews; “Thou our God hast punished us less than our iniqui. ties deserve." Thou, our God, hast punished us; there is the reason of so much mercy and mitigation. It is God, and not man, with whom we have to do; and therefore it is that we, the children of men, are not consumed. And it is our God likewise, to whom we have a more peculiar relation, and with whom, by virtue of our profession of Christianity, we are in covenant. “Thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve.” He might justly have poured forth all His wrath, and have made His jealousy to have smoked against us, and have blotted out the remembrance of us from under heaven: He might have given us up to the will of our enemies, and into the hands of those whose tender mercies are cruelty: He might have brought us into the net which they had spread for us, and have laid a terrible load of affliction upon our loins, and suffered insolent men to ride over our heads, and them that hated us with a perfect hatred to have had the rule over us: but He was graciously pleased to remember mercy in the midst of judgment, and to repent Himself for His servants, when He saw that their power was gone, and that things were come to that extremity, that we were in all human probability utterly unable to have wrought out our own deliverance.

3. The last parallel between our case and that in the text is the great and wonderful deliverance which God hath wrought for us. And whilst I am speaking of this, “ God is my witness, whom I serve in the Gospel of His Son,” that I do not say one word upon this occasion in flattery to men, but in true thankfulness to Almighty God, and constrained thereto from a just sense of His great mercy to us all, in this marvellous deliverance, in this mighty salvation which He wrought for us. So that we may say with Ezra, “Since Thou our God hast given us such a deliverance as this :” so great that we know not how to compare it with anything but itself. God hath given us this deliverance. And therefore, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Thy name be the praise.” For Thou knowest, and we are all conscious to ourselves, that we did nowise deserve it; but quite the contrary. God hath given it, and it ought to be so much the welcomer to us, for coming from such a hand. “It is the Lord's doing," and therefore ought to be the more “marvellous in our eyes." It is a deliverance full of mercy, and I had almost said, full of miracle. The finger of God was visibly in it; and there are plain signatures and characters upon it, of a more immediate divinity interposition. And if we will not wisely consider the Lord's doings, we have reason to stand in awe of the threatenings of His: “Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up.”

The report was that the Roman Catholics had plotted to burn London, Pope expressed his indignation at this in his reference to the inscription on the Monument, cut in 1681, erased under James II, re-cut under William III., and finally erased in 1831.

“ Where London's column, pointing at the skies,
Like a tall bully lifts the head and lies."

(“On the Use of Riches.")

It was a wonderful deliverance indeed, if we consider all hardly be a fouler and blacker ingratitude towards Almighty the circumstances of it: the greatness of it; and the strange-| God, than to slight so great a deliverance, only because it ness of the means whereby it was brought about; and the came to us so easily and hath cost us so very cheap. suddenness, and easiness of it.

I will mention but one circumstance more, which may not The greatness of it: it was a great deliverance from the be altogether unworthy our observation : that God seems, in greatest fears, and from the greatest dangers : the apparent this last deliverance, in some sort to have united and brought and imminent danger of the saddest thraldom and bondage, together all the great deliverances which he hath been pleased civil and spiritual; both of soul and body.

to work for this nation against all the remarkable attempts And it was brought about in a very extraordinary manner, of Popery, from the beginning of our Reformation. Our and by very strange means: whether we consider the great- wonderful deliverance from the formidable Spanish invasion ness and difficulty of the enterprise ; or the closeness and designed against us, happened in the year 1588. And now secrecy of the design, which must of necessity be com just a hundred years after, God was pleased to bring about municated at least to the chief of those who were to assist this last great and most happy deliverance. That horrid gunand engage in it; especially the Estates of the United Pro powder conspiracy, without precedent and without parallel, vinces, who were then in so much danger themselves, and was designed to have been executed upon the fifth day of wanted more than their own forces for their own defence and November; the same day upon which his Highness the Prince security : a kindness never to be forgotten by the English of Orange landed the forces here in England which he nation. And besides all this, the difficulties and disappoint- brought hither for our rescue. So that this is a day every ments which happened, after the design was open and way worthy to be solemnly set apart and joyfully celebrated manifest, from the uncertainties of wind and weather and by this church and nation, throughout all generations, as many other accidents impossible to be foreseen and prevented. the fittest of all other to comprehend, and to put us in mind And yet in conclusion a strange concurrence of all things on to commemorate all the great deliverances which God hath all sides, to bring the thing which the providence of God wrought for us, from Popery, and its inseparable companion, intended to a happy issue and effect.

Arbitrary Power. And we may then say with the holy And we must not here forget the many worthies of our psalmist, “This is the Lord's doing, it is marvellous in our nation, who did so generously run all hazards of life and eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will fortune, for the preservation of our religion and the asserting rejoice and be glad in it." of our ancient laws and liberties. These are all strange and unusual means; but, which is

As Dean of Canterbury, Dr. Tillotson exercised · stranger yet, the very counsels and methods of our enemies did prepare the way for all this, and perhaps more effectually

archiepiscopal jurisdiction after suspension of the than any counsel and contrivance of our own could have

primate, Dr. Sancroft, for refusal of the oaths apdone it. For even the Jesuits, those formal politicians by

pointed by the Act of Parliament of the 24th of book and rule, without any consideration or true knowledge

April. The same oaths were refused by Dr. Ken, of the temper, and interest, and other circumstances of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and by the Bishops of people they were designing upon, and had to deal withal; Worcester, Gloucester, Peterborough, Chichester, and indeed without any care to know them: I say, the Ely, and Norwich. Sancroft was deprived of his Jesuits, who for so long a time, and for so little reason, have office in 1690, and Tillotson succeeded him as Archaffected the reputation of the deepest and craftiest statesmen bishop of Canterbury in 1691. Tillotson's age was in the world, have upon this great occasion, and when their then sixty-one, and he died in 1694. whole kingdom of darkness lay at stake, by a more than King William offered in Parliament to excuse ordinary infatuation and blindness, so outwitted and over the oath to the non-juring clergy ou condition reached themselves in their own counsels, that they have that Dissenters might be excused the sacramental really contributed as much, or more, to our deliverance from test ; but the legislature overruled his wish for an the destruction which they had designed to bring upon us, even-handed policy of toleration. The old discord than all our wisest and best friends could have done.

about Unity continued, and a small series of nonAnd then, if we consider further, how sudden and sur-|

juring bishops, in a separate free church, continued prising it was, so that we could hardly believe it when it was

to exercise their functions and consecrate non-juring accomplished : and like the children of Israel, “ When the

priests down to the year 1779, when Dr. Gordon, Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them

the last of the line of non-juring bishops, died. The that dreamed.” When all things were driving on furiously,

breach might have been healed after the death of and in great haste, then God gave an unexpected check to

James II. in 1701, if the Act of Abjuration had not the designs of men, and stopped them in their full career.

required acknowledgment of William as king by Who among us could have imagined, but a few months ago,

right of law as well as by fact of possession. 80 happy and so speedy an end of our fears and troubles ?

George Hickes, best known in literature for his God hath at once scattered all our fears, and outdone all our

studies of First English and the Northern languages hopes by the greatness and suddenness of our deliverance. “O that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for

of Europe, was one of the chiefs of the non-jurors. His wonderful works to the children of men.”

He was born in 1642 at Newsham, Yorkshire, And lastly, if we consider the cheapness and easiness of

educated at Northallerton School and St. John's this deliverance. All this was done without a battle, and

College, Oxford, became D.D. both of St. Andrews almost without blood. All the danger is, lest we should

and of Oxford, and in 1683 was made Dean of loathe it, and grow sick of it, because it was so very easy.

Worcester. One of the most energetic of the nonHad it come upon harder terms, and had we waded through jurors, he was deprived of his church offices at the a red sea of blood, we would have valued it more. But Revolution, openly opposed the government, and had this surely is great wantonness and, whatever we think of it, to leave the country. In 1694 he was consecrated one of the highest provocations imaginable: for there can by three of the non-juring bishops to a new bishoprie

« AnteriorContinuar »