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which brought toleration to the pastor of a Nonconformist church, left the head of a Nonconformist seminary open to vexatious proceedings. An attempt was made after the Revolution to suppress Mr. Frankland's academy in the north, which from the beginning spent a migratory sort of existence; being driven about from place to place by the stormy weather of persecution. Sharp, Archbishop of York, was requested by some of the clergy to crush the good man's work. He consulted Tillotson as to the best method of procedure, and received this reply :—“His instructing young men in so public a manner in university learning, is contrary to his oath to do, if he hath taken a degree in either of our universities, and, I doubt, contrary to the bishop's oath to grant him a license for doing it; so that your Grace does not, in this matter, consider him at all as a Dissenter. This I only offer to your Grace as what seems to me the fairest and softest way of ridding your hands of this business.”* To explain this advice, it is proper we should remark, that in the middle ages, factions arose at Oxford and Cambridge, and hosts of students, under some favourite professors, would march off to Northampton or Stamford, to set up rival schools and grant degrees. Hence an oath came to be required of the university graduates, to the effect that, in no other places than in those favoured retreats on the Isis and the Cam, would they ever establish a scholastic lecture. It was in harmony with Tillotson's characteristic wariness to give such cautious counsel, but it was hardly worthy of his reputation for gentleness and catholicity, to put the disconcerted prelate up to the trick of masking the batteries of intolerance, under the specious cover of antiquated and obsolete precedents. The academies were also assailed from the press; and one grieves to see the name of Samuel Wesley, the father of John, appended to a pamphlet, dated 1703, entitled, “A Letter from a Country Divine to his Friend in London, concerning the Education of the Dissenters in their Private Academies in several Parts of the Nation;"* containing an attack as unjust as
* Life of Archbishop Sharp, vol. i. p. 359.
* Mr. Wesley after this defended his first pamphlet, which was followed by a second reply from Mr. Palmer: to this Mr. Wesley published a rejoinder. Dr. Calamy notices the controversy, and
it is virulent. He depreciates the learning, and impugns the loyalty of the Dissenters, at the same time traducing their schools as nurseries of immorality and irreligion. This course was the more abominable, from his having been formerly a Dissenter himself, and one which received a merited exposure, and a truthful condemnation, in the reply written by Samuel Palmer, of Southwark. But Nonconformist seminaries only multiplied and prospered under these assaults, when, in 1714, the unprincipled Bolingbroke, on the eve of his fall, planned the infamous Schism Bill, Atterbury, the Corypheus of the high church fanatics, sitting at his elbow helping in the concoction. It was to prevent any one in Great Britain from keeping public or private schools, or acting as tutor at all, without subscribing a declaration of conformity, and obtaining a license from a bishop. To make the provision most effectual, the license was not to
says :-“Mr. Wesley, after his conforming, drew up and published a letter concerning the education of the Dissenters in their private academies. Mr. S. Palmer writing in defence of the Dissenters, (though he himself thought fit afterwards to desert them and turn conformist) Mr. W. wrote a reply, and discovered an unbecoming bitterness towards his quondam friends.”—Life, vol. ii. p. 505.
be granted until the party produced a certificate of having received the sacrament in the Church of England, within the last year, and taken the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. Violators of this law were to be committed to prison without bail. This measure, which transferred the whole education of the country into clerical hands, and pointed a pistol at the throat of religious liberty, was actually carried, and was to be put in operation on the 31st of August; but poor Queen Anne, on whose frail life the success of the cause of intolerance had come to depend, died that very day. The act remained a dead letter, and was repealed a few years afterwards.
The character of the education given to candidates for the ministry in these institutions may be inferred from the pre-requisites for ordination noticed by Samuel Palmer. The young man had to undergo an examination in the learned languages, in logic, ethics, and metaphysics. He was to defend a thesis in Latin, and the examiners, we are informed, put “nice and curious questions,” and required grammatical and theological criticisms on difficult places in the Greek Testament. It is rather
amusing to find it stated, that “if the candidate were fearful of his performance in Hebrew, he was admitted upon his promise to spend a year in the study of that language.”* Secker, who at the time was reading his Greek lessons to the Presbyterian minister at Tewkesbury, the learned Samuel Jones, details a very respectable curriculum as he gives an account of his studies in a letter to Dr. Watts, little thinking that he and his schoolfellow Butler were one day to have their brows bedecked with mitres.t
At the time when young Doddridge was aiming at the ministry, there were several academies in existence. Henry Grove, who retains a respectable, though not brilliant place in our theological literature, was, in connection with Mr. James, pursuing his work as a tutor amidst the scenery of Taunton, a town not less dear from its association with Joseph Alleine's holy memory, than attractive from its vale-embosomed borders. John Reynolds, too, whose warm-souled piety threw a glow over his learning, was, with Dr. Gyles, super
* Defence of the Dissenters' Education, 1703, p. 4.
+ Jeremiah Jones, the learned author of the “Canon,"—often confounded with Samuel Jones,—was a fellow student with