Imatges de pÓgina

Execution, that it opposes not Civil Government in any one instance of it,' printed at London, 1685, in 8vo. This discourse had been seen in manuscript by the Dean and his friend Dr. Stillingfleet, who was also severely reflected upon in it for his Irenicum; and the author called upon them by a letter, printed afterwards in the preface to that book, to retract their own opinions, or to confute his. But the Dean of Canterbury did not think proper to take the least public notice of so confused and unintelligible a writer, whose style is a mere jargon, though Dr. Hickes + is pleased to style him a very learned and orthodox divine, and his book an excellent one; and King James II. had so great a regard for him, as to nominate him to the Deanery of Rochester, in the lat ter end of October 1688, which Mr. Lowth could not obtain possession of, for want of the degree of Doctor of Divinity, before that King's abdication.

"But it will be now requisite to see how the Dean's position, above mentioned, was received by the Nonconformists. Dr. Calamy's account is,§ that King Charles II. having slept most part of the time while the sermon was delivered, a certain nobleman stept up to him, as soon as it was over, and said, 'Tis pity your Majesty slept; for we had the rarest piece of Hobbism that ever you heard in your life.' Odds fish, he shall print it, then, answered the king, and immediately called the Lord-Chamberlain, and gave him his command to the Dean to print his sermon. When it came from the press, the

"Dr. Stillingfleet made some remarks on Mr. Lowth's book in his Epistle Dedicatory, prefixed to his Sermon, preached at a public Ordination at St. Peter's, Cornhill, March 15th, 1684-5. To which Mr. Lowth replied in a letter to him, printed in 1687, in 4to."

"Some Discourses, p. 48." 66 Wood. Fasti Oxon. Vol. II. col.


"Memoirs of the Life of Mr. John

Howe, pp. 75, 76, edit. London, 1724, in 8vo. Dr. Calamy says, p. 78, that the person from whom he had the story, committed it to writing presently after he had received it from Mr. Howe him


Dean sent it as a present (as he usually did most of the pieces which he published) to Mr. John Howe, one of the most learned among the Nonconformist ministers, and who had been chaplain to the Protector Oliver Cromwell. Mr. Howe immediately perused it, and was not a little troubled to find a notion there of so ill a tendency. Upon this he drew up a long letter, in which he freely expostulated with the Dean for giving such a wound to the Reformation, intimating to him, that Luther and Calvin, and the rest of our Reformers, were (thanks be to God) of another mind. The Christian religion, says he, both as to its precepts and promises, is already confirmed by miracles: and must it be repealed every time a wicked governor thinks fit to establish a false religion? Must no one stand up for the true religion, till he can work a miracle? He signified to him how much he was grieved, that, in a sermon against Popery, he should plead the Popish cause against all the Reformers; and insisted upon it that we had incontestable evidence of the miracles wrought by the apostles, and that we are bound to believe them, and take religion to be established by them without any farther expectations. Mr. Howe carried the letter himself, and delivered it into the Dean's own hands; and he, taking a general and cursory view of it, signified his willingness to talk that whole matter freely over; but said they could not be together where they were without interruption, and therefore moved for a little journey into the country, that so they might have freedom of discourse. They accordingly agreed to go and dine that day with the Lady Fauconberg, at Sutton Court, and Mr. Howe read over the letter to the Dean, and enlarged upon the contents of it as they were travelling along together in his chariot. The Dean at length fell to weeping freely, and said, that it was the most unhappy thing that had a long time befallen him; and that he saw, what he had offered was not to be maintained. But he told him, that it was not his turn to preach as on that day; but the person who was to have done that office falling sick, the Dean was sent to by the Lord-Chamberlain to supply his place. He added, that he had but little notice, and so considered

the general fears of Popery, and his text offering itself, he thought the notion resulted from it. And,' said he, immediately after preaching, I received a command from the King to print the sermon, and then it was not in my power to alter it.' It was probably one of the Nonconformists, and no inconsiderable writer among them, who, soon after the publication of the Dean's sermon, printed in 4to. Short Animadversions upon it, so far as the said Sermon asserteth the power of the Magistrate in things of Religion over his Subjects, the same with that of a Master of a Family over his Family. The Unlawfulness of preaching the true Religion by Minis ters, where a false Religion is established by Law, without an extraordinary Commission confirmed by Miracles; and the Hypocrisy of such Ministers as think themselves obliged to preach Christ (though contrary to a law) in their own country, because they do not go and do the same in Turkey or Spain. All which Assertions are shortly examined. The first proved to be uncertainly true. The second condemning the practice of all the first Ministers of the Gospel after the Apostles, and of those that have laboured in Reformation. The third most uncharitable and groundless.' This piece is written with the utmost civility to the Dean, whom the author acquits of any thought of encouraging a persecution of Protestant Dissenters, at a time when it was the most advisable project for the popish design imaginable, because,' says the ani madverter,* ' he hath appeared to the world such an eminent assertor of the true religion against Popery; and as he is a man of judgment and learning above thousands of others, so he hath always appeared a man of temper and exceeding great moderation.' He declares himself likewise far from the base disingenuity of those who can see nothing good in their adversa ries, that though he thought himself obliged to enter his dissent to some things said by the Dean concerning the power of the magistrate in mat tera of religion, and the force of some human lares prohibiting men to preach

"P. 1." VOL. XVIII.

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the gospel; yet he was so far pleased with the rest of the discourse, that I do,' says he, for myself, and I dare venture, in the name of all Dissenters, to give him thanks for what he hath said in it in defence of the Protestant religion, (that hogen-mogen thing, as a late dialogist, who would be thought a Protestant, is pleased to call it,) and to aver, that if there were no more said by any in the world to loath people of that religion, and to make it an abhorrence to all good princes and all good men, than he hath said in thirteen or fourteen lines, p. 31, nor any more said than he hath said to baffle their popish arguments from universality and antiquity, yet there needed no more; for all the Papists on earth can never either wipe off the first or answer the latter.' The Animadverter then remarks, that all that he had to enter his dissent to, lies in five pages, the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, of the Dean's sermon; nor should he have done that, if he had not judged, that by some assertions in them the magistrate is warranted, if not in the slaying, yet in the banishment or se vere punishing of his subjects dissenting, not in the essentials of religion, but only in the circumstantials, yet such, as in the doing, or not doing of them aright, the soul may become guilty before God: and also that by those assertions, whosoever succeeded the apostles in the plantation of the gospel, in countries where a false religion was before established by a law; and all those glorious martyrs, who had suffered for publishing the gospel in England, while Popery was here established by law, or in other countries; and so,' continues he, all the Reformers are most inconsiderately condemned, as doing that they had no right, no authority to do; and all those divines condemned for hypos crites, who take themselves bound in their native country, and to their neighbourhood, under a necessity to preach the gospel, and cannot think that they have an equal obligation upon them to traverse the world, to make the gospel abound from London to Constantinople, Rome or Madrid.' He assents to the main proposition of


2 D

"Pp. 4, 5."

the Dean, pp. 9, &c., that, 'to countenance and support the true religion, and to take care that the people be instructed in it, and that none be permitted to debauch and seduce men from it, properly belongs to the civil magistrate' but then proceeds to his exceptions against some of the subsequent passages in the sermon. And the Dean himself thought proper to review it, and to publish a new edition of it the same year, though without taking notice in the title-page that it was a second edition; in which he made an alteration or two in the passages excepted to; particularly in that, where in the former edition he spake of religion's being the strongest band of human society, and God so necessary to the welfare and happiness of mankind, as he could not have been more, &c., he changed the word he into it; and in p. 12, after the word permission, he added, [or connivance,] of the magistrate. These alterations were preserved in all the subsequent editions and in the first in 8vo., in the third volume of his sermons in 1686, Sermon IX. he added a paragraph of near a page after the words permission or connivance of the magistrate, beginning thus:Not but that every man hath a right,' &c. and ending with the word sufferings.

"The Animadversions above mentioned came to his hands while he was in residence at Canterbury, in July 1680; but they did not seem to him very considerable, as he wrote on the 27th of that month to his friend Robert Nelson, Esq. 'However,' added he, I am sorry that any thing of mine should occasion so much talk and noise.'" *

LETTER I. "June 2d, 1680.


"I received your letter and the papers enclosed, which having perused I do now return. And I cannot think myself to be really much concerned in them, because they grant all along that the obligation of duty ceaseth when there is no probability of suc

cess; and this principle is the true ground and bottom of my assertion : so that unless upon the same principle contrary conclusions can be built, there must be some mistake in the reasoning of one side. But whether I be really concerned in it or not, I have great reason to think that it will generally be believed that this discourse is particularly designed against me; and that the same malice which raised so groundless a clamour against my late sermon will be very glad to find me struck at in the odious company of Spinosa and Mr. Hobbs, as of the same Atheistical principles with them; a blow which I least expected, and for that reason should be very much surprised to receive from your hand. I could be glad to meet with that kindness and candour which I have ever used towards others; but if that may not be, I must content myself with the conscience of having endeavoured to deserve well of all men, and of the Truth itself.

"I am, Sir, with great sincerity, as I have always been,

"Your affectionate friend and servant, "JOHN TILLOTSON."

The second of these letters was addressed to Mr. Sylvester, the friend and biographer of Baxter, and was sent by post with the superscription that will be found at the end. The signature is only T., but the handwriting is Tillotson's, and the contents are such as Tillotson would have written upon the occasion, which was an answer to an application from Sylvester for information concerning Baxter, whom the Archbishop had known intimately for a great many years. Tillotson's newly-acquired ecclesiastical dignity in the see of Canterbury might cause him to feel the expediency of not subscribing his name at length to such a letter, but it is truly pleasing to see his Christian affection for the veteran Nonconformist, lately deceased, his catholic spirit towards the Nonconformists in general, and his anxiety that the projected work should be honourable to the subject

Life of Tillotson, 2d ed. 1753, pp. of it, and useful to the cause of truth and freedom.



"Wedn. Feb. 3rd, 9.


"I return you my thanks for yours, and am glad to hear you intend to write our Rev. and beloved Mr. Baxter's Life. You do it not only or chiefly to satisfy some people's curiosity, nor to honour him who will live in his works, but to give glory to God and benefit those that shall read it. And, therefore, Sir, I would not have you make too much haste in it, (to which many will be pressing you,) but take time enough to do it well; and not (as too many others in the like cases have done) to murder him while you would make known his life. I need not desire you to set before you the lives that have been written of late more accurately, as that of Mr. John Bruen, Dr. Hammond, Mr. Elliot, and others amongst us, Scultetus Curriculum Vitæ suæ, &c, &c. abroad, and of M. de Renty, and Philip Nerius, &c., by the Romanists, which greatly instruct and move while they are read; and I doubt not but you will digest things under several heads, as concerning his piety, temperance, charity, preaching, writings, reproaches, sufferings, (insisting especially on that before my Lord Jeffreys,) his patience, &c., and of his life in the several places where he resided. His writings, his conversation with you, and many others in London, will furnish you abundantly, and I cannot pretend to add any thing material, yet I will scribble something while I take the pleasure to recollect Some few things in my acquaintance with him, which hath been near forty years.

"I remember I heard him relate, that when he was at Ludlow in his youth, having some thoughts of belonging to that Court, there were two young men of his acquaintance that were deeply convinced of sin, earnest in prayer and profession of religion, that fell away after notoriously; the particulars, which were very affecting, I have forgot, but that wrought much upon him, and the sense of it abode on him when he related it to me, many years after...

"One of the chief things, for which I first began and always continued to love and honour him, was his profession of love unfeigned to all that love Christ,

and that if he lived in a place where it was wholly at his liberty, he would worship God sometimes with the Episcopal, sometimes with the Congregational, sometimes with the Anabaptists, if they would permit him, to shew his union with them, but usually in his own way he thought the best.


Riding with him one day, he told me the fable of an old man and a young boy, that rode to the market on a poor little ass. As they went, the people cried to this old man and boy, Are you not ashamed both to ride on the poor ass and kill him?' Then the boy alighted. The next that met them said, 'Thou old fool, art thou not ashamed to ride and let the little boy go on foot?' Then the old man alighted, and set the boy on his back. The next that met them said,

You young jackanapes, are you not ashamed to ride and let the poor old man go on foot?' Then the boy alighted, and went on foot with the old man and led the ass empty. The next that met them said, Thou old fool, dost thou and the child both go on foot, and have an ass unloaden with you?' &c. Saying he could never do any thing to purpose till he was got above the censures of people, it being impossible to please all.

"He told me another time, that one discoursing with him, asserted, that besides the Understanding and Will, there must be a third Principle of Action; because we oft cannot perform many inward acts, though we heartily will to do them; which he said he closed with, and was useful to him in his threefold principle, which from the Trinity he insists upon downward very much.

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At Kidderminster he practised the physician amongst the country people, and gave them the physic also freely; some commending him much for that, some others said, though he will take no money, his housekeeper will take as many pigs and hens, &c. as you will; so finding that ill requital, he sent for Dr. Jackson amongst them, and let them pay for their physic and their doctor too.


They kept many private thanksgiving as well as fast-days; (it were well if we did so ;) and then had a good dinner, and only the cold meat that was left at supper. One of the good men (whose name I remember

not) said, they ought to have good hot meat at supper as well as at din ner, for else it was but a fast-and all that he and others could say, could not move him from the conceit.

on him, you will not forget. Tis said of Calvin, scarce ever any was more belied and abused than he; so that, besides many others, M. Drelincourt, one of the Protestant ministers at Paris, anno 1667, printed a handsome large book in defence of him, which is worth the reading.

"Of his great and many sufferings from the high episcopal party, though he was so much for peace, (which many others of them much disliked,) to the everlasting shame of such; especially that carriage of my Lord Jeffreys, when before him in his house, (Mr. Jacomb, as I remember, was by then,) when his lady (yet living) desired him to be more fair; and how used in Westminster Hall; nothing more honourable than when the Rev. Baxter stood at bay, berogued, abused, despised; never more great than then. Draw this well. (You will say, this will not be borne; it may, if well done; and if it will not be borne now, it will hereafter, and the time will come when it may and will be known.) This is the noblest part of his life, and not that he might have been a bishop. The apostle (2 Cor. xi.) when he would glory, mentions his labours and stripes and bonds and imprisonments; his troubles, weariness, dangers, reproaches; not his riches and coaches and honours and advantages. God lead us into this spirit, and free us from the worldly one which we are apt to run into.

"I heard him say he would not be willing to have an account to give to God for above a hundred pounds a year for his maintenance in the ministry.

"I have admired his discourse above his writings; for putting him upon any point that was more difficult and intricate, I have observed, he would take his rise a good way off, and by several steps fairly linked together, with much clearness go on to what he asserted.

"You will mention his writings in the order he wrote them, with the occasion and some plain though brief account of them; and especially I would have you clearly and briefly lay down his judgment concerning justification, (which few do clearly and fully understand, which of late some in the city have so opposed,) and shew he really magnifies Christ and faith and grace, and doth not really differ from honest, true Protestants; and that his hypothesis may differ from others, (as many of the astronomers do,) but that he asserts the same realities with them.

"I have oft pressed him to let his books lie by him some time, and to review them again and again, but could never prevail with him, who said, they must come forth so or not at all. And, Sir, as God is pleased in the Holy Scriptures to mention the failings of his greatest saints, so you will take a fit occasion to do it hand. somely, and that amongst his great excellencies he was not to be looked on as infallible, nor without some failings; one of the chief of which was, his high and peremptory censuring those he dissented from, the famousest writers, synods, &c., with too much magisterialness, and all other Protestant divines in managing the controversies with the Papists, especially concerning the Revelation. It will be to his honour to have a handsome veil drawn here, and that herein he is not alone, but in the same fault with divers of the ancient fathers and modern writers, Hierom, Luther, &c.

"The horrid lies and reproaches cast

"And be sure to give a clear account of the transactions at the Savoy (1660), of which he hath told me he had a fuller account amongst his papers than any yet extant, and how truly he foresaw and told what would follow, on the course they took; and take notice of the misrepresentation of him by Bishop Morley, and the rather because Dr. Turner, (since Bishop of Ely,) in his Animadversions on the Naked Truth, (1676,) licensed by the Bishop of London, p. 14, mentions the notable effect that conferences with the leaders of the Nonconformists might have; which (says he) appears in what the Bishop of Winchester (then of Worcester) printed of what passed in that short one of the Savoy; that so soon as it came to writing in syllogism, they were driven to assert, that whatsoever may be the occasion of sin to any person must be

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