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High Prelatic party. If we omit to expose at equal length the not less oppressive acts of their warlike rivals, it is only because our paper has already far exceeded the limits which we had set to it. Not in England only, but abroad, on the Continent of Europe and in America, the Puritans brought discredit upon themselves and upon the faith which they pretended to vindicate. For the High Court of Commission was never guilty of cruelties more revolting, than the execution of Robinson and Stevenson, and of Mary Dyer, the quakeress at Boston. At the same time let us do justice to the great man, who without assuming the kingly title, exercised for some years more than kingly power in this country. Cromwell was no persecutor for religion's sake. His views were tolerant to a degree which his contemporaries could not understand. Yet even Cromwell's vigorous arm with difficulty bent the elements of confusion into something like order; and when he died, chaos came back again. The people became impatient under it. They regarded all the sufferings of the last years as God's judgments upon the nation for its behaviour to a king whose faults had never been visible except to the leaders of the Opposition, and whose violent death had more than atoned for them, even in that quarter. As soon, therefore, as General Monk was known to be in favour of a restoration, the entire English nation assented to it. No conditions whatever were made with Charles II.; so that free and unfettered, except so far as a sense of gratitude might bind him, he returned to occupy the vacant throne.
And here, as it appears to us, an opportunity was afforded to the Church of England, of gathering under her wings almost the entire population of the realm. Charles II. had no religious predilections or antipathies one way or another. His own creed, if he had any, was the Creed of Rome. He felt his obligations to the Presbyterian party, which, with Monk at its head, had done more than any other to effect his restoration, and was inclined to favour them as far as might be compatible with a monarchical government. On the other hand, the Church of England, understanding the term in its constitutional sense, could not be said to have had at this time any existence. Episcopacy was abolished by an Act of Parliament, to which the late Sovereign had given his consent, and the rites and ceremonics which used to wait upon it were fallen quite into disuse. The measure to be undertaken, therefore, was not so much the alteration or modification of an old system, as the establishment of a new. And so the Presbyterian party regarded it, when among the first acts of his reign, Charles selected ten or twelve of their most influential divines to be his domestic chaplains.
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Nay, more, the King's answer to his chaplains when urging him to take steps for easing the consciences of that large section of the people to whom they ministered, could be interpreted in no other way, than as conveying an assurance that conciliation would henceforth be the rule of his policy. Among the divines who took part in this conference we find Calamy, Reynolds, Shenstone, Wallace, Bates, Manton, Cox, and Baxter; Ash and Newcome, their contemporaries and equals, declined to take office about the Court.
It is well known that by this time the term Puritan had fallen into disuse. All who from whatever cause felt indisposed to welcome back the Laudian system, called themselves Presbyterians; whether, with Baxter, they preferred the Independant polity, or with Lords Manchester and Holles, were favourable to a modified Episcopacy. In perfect good faith, and hopeful of the King's support, they set themselves to consider rather how much, than how little, of the ancient Church system they could accept. And it did so happen that they found a scheme concocted to their hands, of which Archbishop Usher, Primate of Ireland in the reign of Charles I., was the author. This scheme did not seek to overthrow the Episcopate,—far otherwise. It suggested, indeed, a curtailment of the worldly state which enabled Whitgift to make his visitations followed by a train of 500 horsemen, and to keep on foot, ready when need should arise, 100 infantry, and 50 cavalry, equipped and disciplined for war. But it aimed at a large increase to the number of Bishops, by requiring that in each rural deanery throughout the Kingdom a suffragan bishop should be planted, and that each of the existing dioceses should become an archbishoprick; and that the two primates should assume the spiritual rank, and execute the spiritual offices of patriarchs. The suffragan bishop, however, was not to act without consulting his incumbent clergy, whom he was to meet once a month in synod. The diocesan archbishop was to meet a diocesan synod in like manner yearly, and each primate to assemble a convocation once in every three years, and to preside over its deliberations. Before these several courts all questions of discipline and difficulty were to be brought, appeals lying from the lower to the higher, till they should be finally settled in convocation.
Having agreed among themselves to this form of government, the Presbyterians went on to consider the doctrines and services of the Church. To the former they made no objection: the Thirty-nine Articles satisfying all their wishes. Into the latter they desired to see various modifications introduced. Though
generally approving of the Book of Common Prayer, they wished it to be treated rather as a directory than a liturgy. They objected to the sign of the cross in baptism, to the use of the ring at marriage, to the kneeling posture in receiving the communion, to bowing at the name of Jesus and towards the altar. You admit,' they say to the Prelatists, that these 'things be in themselves indifferent; they are not so to us who 'behold in them a rock of stumbling;' and quoting the words of King James, they add, it is not enough that public 'worship be free from blame, it ought also to be free from 'suspicion. We pray you, therefore, not for such occasion 'to hazard the peace of the Church.' It is much to be deplored that propositions upon the whole so moderate should have been met in a spirit, not merely of hostility, but of contemptuous hostility. The opening sentences, in the reply of the High Church party, changed entirely both the tone and object of the discussion. We must first observe,' they write, that they, 'the Presbyterians, take it for granted, that there is a firm agreement between them and us in the doctrinal truths of the 'Reformed Religion, and in the substantial parts of divine worship; and that the differences are only about mere various 'conceptions about the ancient forms of Church government, and more particularly about liturgy and ceremonial forms, 'which makes all that follows the less considerable, and less. 'reasonable to be stood upon to the hazard and disturbance ' of the peace of the Church. This we deny.' Here was a direct charge of heresy. The Presbyterians threw it back with scorn; and a breach, which appeared at one moment on the point of being healed, grew wider than ever.
In this, as in almost all other disputes of the kind, blame may be pretty equally shared between the contending parties. The gauntlet was unquestionably thrown down by the Prelatists; but it would have been good for themselves, and indeed for the Church at large, had the Puritans proved less eager to take it up. Ere yet the Savoy Conference was well begun, the King had pressed upon their leaders, bishopricks and other high dignities. With the exception of Reynolds they all declined the preferment, alleging as a reason, that till the points in dispute between them and their rivals were settled, they could not, with a safe conscience, accept office in an Episcopal Church.
It is not worth while to pursue the subject farther. The points in dispute between the Presbyterians and their rivals were not settled, and Baxter, Manton, and Bates, and Bowles, instead of acting with Reynolds in convocation and in the House of Lords, stood aloof to witness the passing of a new Act of Uni
formity, which, under other circumstances, they might have resisted, and even defeated. Then followed the ejection of 2,000 ministers-most of them pious, many learned, and able men- and the permanent establishment of a systematic nonconformity which neither active nor passive persecution could eradicate, and which, in various shapes, comprehends at this moment, about half the population of the kingdom.
Such in substance is the tale which Mr. Marsden tells, if not with the philosophical indifference of a judge summing up for a jury, still in a spirit of commendable candour and perfect honesty. That he has his leanings no one who reads his book can doubt: but he is not the prejudiced advocate either of a cause or of its champions; for he exposes with great impartiality, the faults as well of the one side as of the other. His volumes, moreover, deserve to be studied quite as much by such as are anxious about the future, as by those who content themselves with looking continually to the past. It is clear that at the root of this continued opposition and strife lay neither questions of dress, nor forms of Church government, nor points of doctrine exclusively. These might be used, from time to time, as watchwords or battle-cries; but what the Church of England wanted then, to command the undivided loyalty of the English people, was, that which she seems destined in the present generation to receive, whether to the same good purpose, who shall undertake to foretell. For, in truth, the Reformation in England remains to this day a work incomplete; it was far more incomplete at each of the critical periods of which we have been writing. In renouncing Popery and its doctrinal errors, our Church retained too much of the pomp and circumstance of the Popish system. Her bishops continued unnecessarily raised by wealth and station above their clergy her clergy, as priests, continued to exercise too stringent a dominion over the consciences of the laity. Beautiful as her Liturgy is, it contains expressions which jarred, three centuries ago, and still jar the convictions of thoughtful men; and its extreme length, as well as the many repetitions which occur in it, weary. Moreover, while to tender consciences the Thirty-nine Articles may be very acceptable, because of the wise comprehensiveness of their style and doctrine, there are expressions in one, at least, of the Church's Creeds, which, however capable of being explained away, continue to be regarded by the less instructed as marvellously bold, not to say presumptuous and unchristian. So also the services for the visitation of the sick, the burial of the dead, and even the baptismal service itself, are encumbered with phrases, which would lose nothing of their true
force, while they gained greatly in appearance, were it possible by the mere substitution of modern for obsolete words, to modify We say nothing of canons which the whole body of the clergy subscribe, without pretending to the power, even if they had the will to obey them; or of rubrics having the force of law over both clergy and laity, to which neither clergy nor laity will submit. Of those things the world has heard of late rather too much; but it is manifest that they, like other less prominent blemishes, remain, simply because the Church of England as a reformed branch of the Church Catholic, has not yet assumed the constitution which she ought to assume. What shape this is to put on, it would ill become us, at the close of a long article, to specify; but these features, at least, will not, we trust, be wanting to it:-A modified episcopate; the creation of Church Courts, in which the lay element shall be adequately represented; a due supply of clergy to the waste places of the land, and such a reform in cathedral bodies as shall render them the ornament, not the great blot, upon our whole ecclesiastical system.
ART. IX.-1. A Military Tour in European Turkey, the Crimea, and on the Eastern Shores of the Black Sea, with Strategical Observations on the probable Scene of the Operations of the Allied Expeditionary Force. By Major-General MACINTOSH, K.H., F.R.G.S., F.G.S. Two vols., with maps. London:
2. The Conduct of the War. A Speech delivered in the House of Commons, Dec. 12th, by the Right Hon. SIDNEY HERBERT, M.P. London: 1854.
3. The Prospects and Conduct of the War. A Speech delivered in the House of Commons on December 12th, 1854, by AUSTIN HENRY LAYARD, Esq., M. P. for Aylesbury. London: 1854.
4. A Month in the Camp before Sebastopol. By a Non-Combatant. London: 1855.
o retrace the brilliant exploits of the Allied Armies in the Crimea, which have so recently excited the whole interest of the nation, and rendered the names of Alma, Balaclava, and Inkermann as familiar to our ears as those of Talavera or Vittoria, would in this place be a superfluous task, for we can add nothing to the vivid touches of that literature of the camp which has seized upon all the emotions caused by the present war, and the materials are still wanting for a more complete and dispas