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Their own meetings were occasional, and when they met, one or another spake as they were moved from within, and sometimes they departed without any one's being moved to speak at all.
The doctrines they delivered were as vague and uncertain* as the principles from which they acted. They denied the Holy Scriptures to be the only rule of their faith, calling it a dead letter, and maintaining that every man had a light within himself, which was a sufficient rule. They denied the received doctrine of the Trinity and incarnation. They disowned the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper; nay, some of them proceeded so far as to deny a Christ without them; or at least, to place more of their dependence upon a Christ within. They spake little or nothing, says Mr. Baxtert, about the depravity of nature ; about the covenant of grace ; about pardon of sin, and reconciliation with God: or about moral dutiest. But the disturbance they gave to the public religion for a course of years was so insufferable, that the magistrates could not avoid punishing them as disturbers
The account which Mr. Neal gives of the sentiments and practices of the Quakers in this and the preceding paragraph, is not drawn up with the accuracy and precision, not to say candour, which should mark the historic page. It has too much the appearance of the loose desultory representation, which those who had not investigated their principles, nor looked into their writings, would exhibit of this sect. It is, I think, introduced at an improper place, in too early a period of their history; when Mr. Neal himself has related only what concerned George Fox, and before his followers were formed into a body. At that time it was not to be expected, that their principles should be made into a system ; and their doctrines being delivered as the assertions of individuals only, and deriving their complexion from their different tastes, capacities, and views, would to the public eye wear the aspect of variety and uncertainty. But long before Mr. Neal wrote, their principles had assumed å systematic form. Penn had published his key, and Robert Barclay his Catechism and Confession of Faith, and that elaborate work his Apology. The propositions illustrated and defended in this treatise exhibit a concise view of the chief principles of the Quakers; and that they may speak for themselves we will give them in the Appendix, No. 12.-Ed.
† Baxter, p. 77. 1. This quotation is not correct. Mr. Baxter's words, concerning the strain of their preaching, are these : “ They speak much for the dwelling and working of the Spirit in us; but little of justification, and the pardon of sin, and our reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ.” Here is nothing said about their neg. lecting to insist on“ moral duties." The great object of Fox's zeal, we are told, was a heavenly temper and a life of righteousness: and his endeavours to propagate true religion and righteousness were not confined to public or private meetings, but exerted in other places as occasion offered; particularly, in courts of judicature, to admonish to justice, and caution against oppression : in markets, to recommend truth, candour, and fair dealings, and to bear his testimony against fraud and deceitful merchandize ; at public houses of entertainment, to warn against indulging intemperance, by supplying their guests with more liquor than would do them good : at schools and in private families, to exhort to the training up of children and servants to sobriety, in the fear of their Maker; to testify against vain sports, plays, and shows, as tending to draw people into vanity and libertinism, and from that state of circumspection and attentive consideration, wherein our salvation is to be wrought out, forewarning all of the great day of account for all the deeds done in the body. This was certainly insisting on moral duties, and bringing home the principles of righteousness to the various circumstances of human life, with much propriety and energy. Gough's History, vol. 1. p. 67. 75. - Ep.
of the peace; though of late they are become a more sober and inoffensive people ; and by the wisdom of their managers, have formed themselves into a sort of body politic, and are in general very worthy members of society.
FROM THE CORONATION OF KING CHARLES II. IN SCOTLAND,
TO THE PROTECTORSHIP OF OLIVER CROMWELL. 1651. The coronation of king Charles by the Scots, which had been deferred hitherto, being now thought necessary to give life to their cause, was solemnised at Scone on New-year's-day 1651, with as much magnificence as their circumstances would admit *; when his majesty took the following oath: “I Charles, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, do assure and declare by my solemn oath, in the presence of Almighty God, the searcher of all hearts, my allowance and approbation of the national covenant, and of the solemn league and covenant; and faithfully oblige myself to prosecute the ends thereof in my station and calling; and that I myself and successors shall consent and agree to all the acts of parliament enjoining the national covenant, and the solemn league and covenant, and fully establish Presbyterian government, the directory of worship, confession of faith, and catechisms, in the kingdom of Scotland, as they are approved by the general assembly of this kirk, and parliament of this kingdom; and that I will give my royal word and assent to all acts of parliament passed, or to be passed, enjoining the same in my other dominions; and that I shall observe these in my own practice and family, and shall never make opposition to any of these, or endeavour any change thereof." This oath was annexed to the covenant itself, drawn up on a fair roll of parchment, and subscribed by him in the presence of the nobility and gentry t.
His majesty also signed a declaration, in which he acknowledged the sin of his father in marrying into an idolatrous family; and that the blood shed in the late wars lay at his father's door. He expressed a deep sense of his own ill education, and of the prejudices he had drunk in, against the cause of God, of which he was now very sensible. He confessed all the former parts of his life to have been a course of enmity to the word of God. He repented of his commission to Montrose. He acknowledged his own sins, and the sins of his father's house, and says, he will account them
The ceremonial of this coronation is given at length by Dr. Grey, vol. 3. .p. 111-124.-ED. + Oldmixon's History of the Stuarts, p. 391. History of the Stuarts, p. 387. Burnet, vol. 1. p. 78. Edinb. edit.
his enemies who oppose the covenants, both which he had taken without any sinister intention of attaining his own ends. He declares his detestation and abhorrence of all Popery, superstition, idolatry, and prelacy, and resolves not to tolerate them in any part of his dominions. He acknowledges bis great sin in making peace with the Irish rebels, and allowing them the liberty of their religion, which he makes void, resolving for the future rather to choose affliction than sin ; and though he judges charitably of those who have acted against the covenant, yet he promises not to employ them for the future till they have taken it. In the conclusion, his majesty confesses over again his own guilt; and tells the world, the state of the question was now altered, inasmuch as he had obtained mercy to be on God's side, and therefore hopes the Lord will be gracious, and countenance his own cause, since he is determined to do nothing but with advice of the kirk.
Our historians, who complain of the prevarication of Cromwell, would do well to find a parallel to this in all history; the king took the covenant three times with this tremendous oath, “ By the Eternal and Almighty God, who liveth and reigneth for ever, I will observe and keep all that is contained herein.” Mr. Baxter admits*, that the Scots were in the wrong in tempting the young king to speak and publish that, which they might easily know was contrary to the thoughts of his heart; but surely his majesty was no less to blame, to trample upon the most sacred bonds of religion and society. He complied with the rigours of the Scots discipline and worship: he heard many prayers and sermons of great length. “I remember (says bishop Burnet t) in one fast-day, there were six sermons preached without intermission. He was not allowed to walk abroad on Sundays; and if at any time there had been any gaiety at court, as dancing, or playing at cards, he was severely reproved for it, which contributed not a little to beget in him an aversion to all strictness in religion.” And the Scots were so jealous that all this was from necessity, that they would suffer none of his old friends to come into bis presence and councils, nor so much as to serve in the
While the Scots were raising forces for the king's service, a private correspondence was carried on with the English Presbyterians ; letters were also written, and messengers sent, from London to the king and queen-mother in France, to hasten an accommodation with the Scots, assuring them, that the English Presbyterians would then declare for him the first opportunity.
*.“. It seemed to me and many others (says Mr. Baxter), that the Scots miscarried divers ways : 1. In imposing laws upon their king, for which they had no authority : 2. In forcing him to dishonour the memory of his father by such con. fessions : 3. In tempting him to speak and publish that which they might easily know was contrary to his heart, and so to take God's name in vain : 4. And in giving Cromwell occasion to charge them all with dissimulation.” Baxter's Life, p. 66.-ED.
Ť P. 73.
Considerable sums of money were collected privately to forward an expedition into England; but the vigilance of the commonwealth discovered and defeated their designs. The principal gentlemen and ministers concerned in the correspondence, were some disbanded officers who had served the parliament in the late wars; as major Adams, Alford, and Huntington; colonel Vaughan, Sowton, Titus, Jackson, Bains, Barton; captain Adams, Potter, Far, Massey, Starks; and Mr. Gibbons. The ministers were, Dr. Drake, Mr. Case, Watson, Heyrick, Jenkins, Jackson, Jacquel, Robinson, Cawton, Nalson, Haviland, Blackmore, and Mr. Love. These had their private assemblies at major Adams's, colonel Barton's, and at Mr. Love's house, and held a correspondence with the king, who desired them to send commissioners to Breda to moderate the Scots demands, which service he would reward when God should restore him to his kingdoms.
But so numerous a confederacy was hardly to be concealed from the watchful eyes of the new government, who had their spies in all places. Major Adanis, being apprehended on suspicion, was the first who discovered the conspiracy to the council of state. On his information warrants were issued out for apprehending most of the gentlemen and ministers above mentioned ; but several absconded, and withdrew from the storm. ministers who were apprehended were, Dr. Drake, Mr. Jenkins, Jackson, Robinson, Watson, Blackmore, and Haviland, who after some time were released on their petition for mercy, and promising submission to the government for the future; but Mr. Love and Gibbons were made examples, as a terror to others. Mr. Jenkins's petition being expressed'in very strong terms *, was ordered to be printed; it was entitled, “ The humble petition of William Jenkins, prisoner, declaring his unfeigned sorrow for all his late miscarriages, and promising to be true and faithful to the present government; with three queries, being the ground of his late petition, and submission to the present powers."
The reverend Mr. Love was brought before a new high court of justice erected for this purpose, as was the custom of these times for state criminals, when Mr. Attorney-general Prideaux, June 20, exhibited against him the following charge of high-treason : “that at several times in the years 1649, 1650, and 1651, and in several places, he, with the persons above mentioned, had maliciously combined and contrived to raise forces against the
The most remarkable positions in this petition were : That the parliament, without the king, were the supreme authority of the nation : that God's providences are antecedent declarations of his will and approbation; and appeared as evidently in removing the king and investing their honours with the government, as in taking away and bestowing any government in any history of any age of the world : that the refusal of subjection to their authority was such an opposing the goveroment set up by the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, as none can have peace either in acting or suffering for: and that it was a duty to yield to this authority all active and cheerful obedience, in the Lord, for conscience sake. Dr. Grey's Remarks, vol. 3. p. 127. --Ed.
present government-that they had declared and publisbed Charles Stuart, eldest son of the late king, to be king of England, without consent of parliament - that they had aided the Scots to invade this commonwealth--that the said Christopher Love, at divers times between the 29th of March 1650, and the first of June 1651, at London and other places, had traitorously and maliciously maintained correspondence and intelligence by letters and messages with Charles Stuart, son of the late king, and with the queen his mother, and with sundry of his council--that he did likewise hold correspondence with divers of the Scots nation, and had assisted them with money, arms, and other supplies, in the present war, as well as colonel Titus and others of the English nation, in confederacy with them, to the hazard of the public peace, and in breach of the laws of the land."
To this charge Mr. Love, after having demurred to the jurisdiction of the court, pleaded Not guilty. The witnesses against him were eight of the above-mentioned gentlemen. The reverend Mr. Jackson was summoned, but refused to be sworn, or give evidence, because he looked on Mr. Love to be a good man ; saying, he should have a hell in his conscience to his dying day, if he should speak any thing that should be circumstantially prejudicial to Mr. Love's life. The court put him in mind of his obligation to the public, and that the very safety of all government depended upon it. But he refused to be sworn, for which the court sent him to the Fleet, and fined him 500l.
But it appeared by the other witnesses, that Mr. Love had carried on a criminal correspondence both with the king and the Scots. With regard to the king it was sworn, that about a month after his late majesty's death, several of them met at a tavern at Dowgate, and other places, to concert measures to forward the king's agreement with the Scots, for which purpose they applied by letters to the queen, and sent over colonel Titus with 100l. to defray his expenses. The colonel, having delivered his message, sent back letters by colonel Alsford, which were read in Mr. Love's house; with the copy of a letter from the king himself, Mr. Love being present. Upon these and such-like facts, the council for the commonwealth insisted, that here was a criminal correspondence to restore the king, contrary to the ordinance of January 30, 1648, which says, “ that whosoever shall proclaim, declare, publish, or any ways promote Charles Stuart, or any other person, to be king of England, without consent of parliament, shall be adjudged a traitor, and suffer the pains of death as a traitor.”
The other branch of the charge against Mr. Love, was his correspondence with the Scots, and assisting them in the war against the parliament. To support this article, captain Potter, Adams, and Mr. Jacquel, swore, that letters came from Scotland to colonel Bamfield with the letter L upon them, giving a large narrative of the fight at Dunbar, and of the Scots affairs for three months after