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been founded as a Puritan college ; and, soon after,
to consider some grievances at Wadham College,
Oxford. In 1642, when money and plate were con-
veyed from Cambridge to the King at the commence-
ment of the Civil War, soldiers had been sent under
Cromwell, who committed great ravages at that
University. But these were merely preliminary
skirmishes. The real struggle began when the
ordinance for ' regulating the University of Cam-
bridge ' was passed in 1643. Of the country com-
mittees, none were so active as those under the Earl
of Manchester in what were called ' the associated
counties ' — that is, the seven Eastern counties of
Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincoln, Huntingdon, Cam-
bridge, and Herts — and Cambridge became the
centre of this association. The University was not
now, as it had once been, the stronghold of Puri-
tanism ; it was the training-place of some of the
most prominent Churchmen of this and a later day,
and many of these were resident Fellows. John
Cosin, Peter Gunning, Barnabas Oley, John Bar-
wick, and his brother Peter, Isaac Barrow the elder,^
Herbert Thorndike, Benjamin Laney, and many
others who were in the forefront of the battle in their
day, were Cambridge men. Cambridge therefore
required to be purged, and it was purged most
effectually. Twelve out of the sixteen heads of
houses were ejected by the Earl of Manchester, and
Fellows and scholars in the same proportion. In the
congenial work of ravaging the college chapels,
breaking the painted glass, smashing the organs, and
tearing up the monuments, the committees had been

1 His far more famous nephew of the same name was only
an undergraduate when the Civil War broke out.


anticipated by the soldiers. The general result of
the ' Regulation of Cambridge ' is epigrammatically
summed up by Dr. John Barwick in his ' Querula
Cantabrigiensis.' It was ' to plant a new University
for propagating at least, if not inventing, a new re-
ligion, and, seeing that they could not make the
University of Cambridge rebel, to make at least a
rebellious University at Cambridge.'

Oxford had to wait a little longer before the
reformers could carry out their peculiar view of
reformation there. It was the headquarters of the
King, and was not surrendered to the Parliament
until June 24, 1646. An ordinance for visiting the
University was passed May i, 1647. Sir N, Brent
(the very same man who had been Archbishop Laud's
Vicar-General !) and twenty-three other visitors were
sent to make the most searching inquiries. The result
was that by the middle of 1648 the commissioners
had ejected about 600 members of the University,
including ten professors and all the heads of houses
except two. But the University utterly refused to
submit to the visitation, and it was not till the close of
the year 1649 that a complete purgation was effected.

But before that date was reached a change had
taken place which upset the new fabric of Church
government so laboriously reared. The second
Civil War of 1648, consequent upon the unnatural
alliance between the King and the Presbyterians,
English and Scotch, issued in the triumph of the
army, under Cromwell. Though the Long Parlia-
ment continued to exist for nearly six years longer,
its power was virtually at an end ; at any rate, it
was powerless to maintain the Presbyterianism it
had set up. For the extraordinary man who now
VOL. II. 39


ruled the destinies of England had views of his
own on religious matters ; and they were the
matters on which least of all he was likely to give
way ; for the religious influence which he had brought
to bear upon the conflict was the real secret of his
success. There was nothing on the Parliamentary
side to balance the enthusiastic loyalty of the Cava-
liers ; patriotism was too vague and cold an abstrac-
tion to lire men's ardour in the same way that
personal devotion to the Lord's anointed did. As
early as 1643 Cromwell said to that true patriot,
John Hampden, ' You must get men of a spirit that
is likely to go on as far as gentlemen will go, or you
will be beaten.' Cromwell was then, of course, only
one officer out of many, but he tried the plan with
conspicuous success in his own regiment, which he
describes as * a lovely company, no Anabaptists, but
honest, sober Christians.' It was religious en-
thusiasm quite as much as valour and discipline
which won the day at Marston Moor and at Naseby,
at Dunbar and at Worcester. Every battle was an
appeal to God ; and every victory was a token of
God's favour, rendering, through the confidence it
inspired, the next victory more certain. ' Now let
God arise, and let His enemies be scattered !' ex-
claimed Cromwell, as he grimly watched the Scots
moving down the hill behind Dunbar to the narrow
space at the foot, on which he knew he could attack
them with advantage. Writing of the decisive vic-
tory of Naseby about a month after the battle, he
says : ' When I saw the enemy draw up, and march
in gallant order towards us, and we a company of
poor, ignorant men to seek how to order our battle
... I could not, riding alone about my business, but


smile out to God in praises, in assurance of victory,
because God would by things that are not bring to
naught the things that are.' His men thoroughly
caught the spirit of their leader ; in fact, he would
have none but those who were sure to do so. He
desired to have none but Independents in the army
of the Eastern Association ; and when he had found
religious enthusiasts, he not only encouraged their
enthusiasm, but let them fan it themselves, allowing
his soldiers and their ministers the largest license of
preaching and praying. When the victory had been
finally won, was it likely — was it even fair to expect —
that he would suffer these religious conquerors to be
domineered over, and forced to bend their faith to
the will of men who had not been able in the day of
battle to show that the God of battles was on their
side ? Cromwell had never willingly submitted to
the Presbyterian discipline. He had been forced to
take the Covenant in order to qualify himself for
military command, but he had done so with great
reluctance. He had expressed himself with contempt
about the assembly of divines, ' who,' he said, ' had
persecuted honester men than themselves.' He had
never any affection for the Scots, and his love of
them was not increased by the part they had taken
in the Civil War. Personally, he was inclined to be
an Independent, and with Independents the Presby-
terians agreed as little as they did with the Church.
The religious element had assuredly no slight share
in making the breach between Cromwell and the
Parliament. He perpetually reminded that Parlia-
ment of the necessity of establishing the toleration
promised in the vote of September, 1644 ; he appealed
to the services which the Independents had rendered



to the great cause at Naseby and elsewhere. But
the Parhament were not incHned to grant any general
toleration ; and the relations between the Presby-
terians, who were at least as intolerant as the Church
had ever been, and Cromwell, the tolerator of all
sects, became strained. Matters, however, were
promptly settled in the autumn of 1552 by the inter-
vention of five or six files of musketeers, who * took
away those baubles ' — the Speaker and the mace —
and the whole of the Parliament with them. The
Little or Barebones Parliament suited Cromwell
better, being composed, as he naively declares, of
' men nominated by myself and my council of officers,
persons fearing God, and of approved fidelity and

On December 14, 1653, Cromwell was installed as
Protector, and a scheme for Church government on
the Independent platform was established. For a
time it seemed as if the new regime would be more
favourable to the Church than the old. Since 1644
the Solemn League and Covenant had been a hope-
less barrier to the clergy ; no clergyman could sub-
scribe to it without a glaring violation of his ordina-
tion vows, though it is to be feared that some
contrived to reconcile it to their consciences to do so.
But Cromwell, who had never liked the Covenant,
substituted for it a simple Engagement, by which all
who desired to exercise their ministry had to swear
that ' they would be true and faithful to the Govern-
ment established without King and peers.' It was
no violation of Church principles to submit to a
Government de facto without admitting thereby that
it was also a Government de jure. So sound a
Churchman as Dr. Sanderson not only took the


Engagement himself, but wrote in favour of it. There
was a difference of opinion among Churchmen, but
it seems to me that, on the whole, the Church accepted
the Engagement less unwillingly than the Presby-
terians, who thought it a poor substitute for the
Covenant, and a step in the direction of that 'accursed
intolerable toleration '^ of any views except their own.
In fact, it really seemed for a while as if Cromwell
might really form an alliance with the Church, as a
set-off against the Presbyterians. He is said to have
taken counsel with Dr. Brownrig, the deprived Bishop
of Exeter ; he certainly showed favour to the great
Archbishop Ussher, whose chaplain. Dean Nicholas
Bernard, he took for his own chaplain and almoner ;
he was a man of strong family affections, and it
seemed possible that he might be influenced by his
two daughters, who were both staunch Churchwomen.
But such an alliance was impossible on both sides.
On the one hand, the Church could never have for-
gotten the terrible tragedy of January 30, and who it
was that was chiefly responsible for the murder of
him who had certainly died a martyr in her cause.
On the other hand, whatever else Cromwell was, he
was not a Churchman. He had no sympathy what-
ever with the Church's system. When he was
Governor of the Isle of Ely (1643), he suppressed the
choral service at the cathedral as ' unedifying and
offensive ' ; and now he showed the same spirit on a

^ The expression occurs in a pamphlet by Daniel Cawdry,
entitled ' Independence a Great Schism.' Thomas Edwards,
author of the ' Gangraena,' uses still stronger expressions. See
his ' Casting Down of the Last Stronghold of Satan, or a
Treatise against Toleration and Pretended Liberty of Con-


larger scale. The very toleration which he granted
to almost all sects only emphasized his enmity to the
Church. * The liberty for tender consciences ' had
been the watchword of the Independents against the
Presbyterians ; this liberty the Protector granted to
all, with two exceptions — Popery and Prelacy. Per-
haps, as a matter of fact, more leniency was shown
to individual clergy under Cromwell than under the
Parliament, but legally the status of the clergy was
far more intolerable.

In 1654 Cromwell appointed a central board of

* Triers,' who were to test the spiritual state of every
candidate for a vacant benefice. He regarded this
scheme with the utmost complacency, declaring that

* there hath not been such service to England since
the Christian religion was perfect in England.' The
Triers were not to exclude any from Cromwell's com-
prehensive Church who would come within the range
of the 'three denominations,' as they were afterwards
called. ' Of the three sorts of godly men,' he said,

* Presbyterians, Baptists, and Independents, though
a man be of any of these three judgments, if he had
the root of the matter in him he may be admitted.'
But there is an ominous silence about the vast
numbers who still clung to the Church of their bap-
tism : were there no ' godly men ' who ' had the root
of the matter in them ' among these ? A check was
at once put by this 'new Inquisition,' as it was rightly
termed,^ to a movement which was at this time made
for bringing back some of the clergy to the exercise,
under the strictest limitations, of their ministry.
For the intention of the Triers was ' to get rid of the
episcopal clergy who still retained their benefices,

^ See Sadler's 'Inquisitio Anglicana.'


and to take care that no fresh episcopal clergy should
come back to them.''-

But a still more stringent measure soon followed.
Almost the only chance which the deprived clergy
had of maintaining themselves and their families was
by tuition. In this department there was a great
opening for them ; for a large proportion of the
country gentry were Royalists and Churchmen at
heart ; and it was a common custom for them to
employ some deprived clergyman as tutor to their
families, while others of the clergy gained a pre-
carious subsistence by keeping private schools. But
a Royalist conspiracy in the West, which was speedily
quashed, gave occasion for putting forth an edict
(November 24, 1655) that, ' after the first of January
next, no one might keep in their families as chaplains
or schoolmasters for the education of their children
any sequestered or ejected minister, and that none
who were sequestered or ejected might keep any
school, public or private, nor preach in any public
place or private meeting of others but his own family,
nor administer baptism or the Lord's Supper, or
marry any persons, or use the Book of Common
Prayer, etc.'^ This was more than . a proscription
of the Church : it was an actual starvation of her
ministers who remained faithful to their spiritual

But, after all, the State was utterly powerless to
crush the life out of the Church, which was never
more vigorous than during these twenty years of
apparently suspended animation. It could not even
stop her in the exercise of common worship. All

1 Walker's 'Sufferings of the Clergy,' p. 182.
- See Perry, p. 480.


sorts of means were devised for keeping up that
essential feature of her life in spite of prohibitory
laws. Some used the Church prayers from memory,
making some slight variations in them so as to satisfy
the letter of the law. Dr. Sanderson compiled a
form, nearly but not quite identical with that of the
Prayer-Book, which was used by many ; Dr. Jeremy
Taylor also drew up a substitute for the book ' for
use under the present distress,' after a meeting of
clergy at which it was agreed that, under the circum-
stances, the Prayer-Book might be dispensed with.
Some boldly used the Prayer-Book, and defied the
consequences. This was done by Dr. Hewett in
S. Gregory's Church by S. Paul's, where Cromwell's
own daughters were worshippers ;^ by Dr. Peter
Gunning at the chapel of Exeter House in the Strand ;
by Drs. Fell, Dolben, and Allestree at Oxford. It
is even said that ' three hundred Episcopalians used
to meet at Oxford every Sunday, with the connivance
of Dr. Owen, Dean of Christ Church.''^ The system
of lectureships,, which, as we have seen, had long
been a thorn in the sides of Churchmen, was now
utilized by them. It was of the essence of the system
that the lecturers should be independent of parochial
organization. So now ' Hamlet and Laertes changed
rapiers ' ; the parochial ministers advocated Puritan,
the lecturers Church, principles, ' the door,' as it was
quaintly said, ' being left so widely ajar that there

* In 1657 Dr. Hewett privately married Cfomwell's daughter
Mary to Lord Falconbridge. In the next year (June 8, 1658)
Dr. Hewett was beheaded on Tower Hill 'for holding cor-
respondence with Charles Stuart, for publishing him to be King
of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and for sending him money.'
See Neal, ii. 688.

^ Hallam's 'Constitutional History,' ii. 314, note.


was room for Rutulian as well as Trojan to enter in.'
Thus, Nathaniel Hardy ' maintained a loyal lecture '
in London, at which monthly collections were made
for the suffering clergy ; Dr. Warmestry was lecturer
at S. Margaret's, Westminster ; Dr. Anthony Faring-
don at S. Mary Magdalen's, Milk Street ; Thomas
Fuller at S. Bride's, Fleet Street, and, for a time, at
other churches also ; John Pearson at S. Clement's,
Eastcheap — indeed, his immortal ' Exposition of the
Creed ' was really the substance of lectures given to
the congregation of that church during the troubles.^
Perhaps it was under the cloak of a lectureship that
Jeremy Taylor preached as a Churchman to Church-
men in 1654, though he afterwards ministered in a
private house.

It is fair to the authorities to state that they con-
nived at many country clergy still holding their
livings, in which they taught Church doctrines.
Thus Lewis Atterbury, father of the famous Bishop,
held the living of Milton ; Edmund Pocock, the great
Orientalist, that of Childrey ;- Edward Stillingfleet,
that of Sutton ; George Bull, that of Suddington ;
Robert Sanderson, by a sort of exchange of
prisoners,^ that of Boothby Pagnell.

Among the many clergy who officiated as chaplains
in private families, the most notable were Jeremy
Taylor, who, to use his own stately language, ' in the

^ See the beautiful 'Dedication' to 'his parishioners at
S. Clement's, Eastcheap,' prefixed to many editions of the

2 Pocock was all but ejected from Childrey for ' insufficiency •'
by Cromwell's Triers, but Cromwell had the sense to see the
absurdity of pronouncing one of the first scholars in Europe,
who was also leading a most blameless, useful life, ' insufficient.'

^ See haak Walton's ' Life of 15ishop Sanderson.'


great storm which dashed the vessel of the Church
in pieces, was cast on the coast of Wales, and in a
little boat thought to have enjoyed the rest and
quietness which in England he could not hope for ' —
that is, in plain prose, was chaplain in the family of
Lord Carbery, at Golden Grove, in South Wales
Bishop Juxon, who was chaplain at Chastellon
House, the residence of a family named Jones^ ;
Bishop Morton, in the household of Sir Christopher
Yelverton, at Easton Mauduit ; Dr. Henry Ham-
mond, in that of Sir John Pakington, at Westwood.
We have numerous instances of the confidence
with which Churchmen looked forward to the
restoration of the Church to its old position. When
some were lamenting to Dr. Hacket the downfall of
the Church, ' the good doctor advised them better,
that the Church of England was still in being, and
not destroyed, rather refined by her sufferings,' and
he himself was ' full of faith that he should still live
to see a better world one day.'^ A number of
anonymous Churchmen kept Salisbury Cathedral in
repair, feeling sure that it would some day be required
for its old purposes.^ When Bishop Ralph Brownrig
privately collated' Dr. Seth Ward to the precentor-
ship of Exeter Cathedral, and thereby incurred the
ridicule of many, he was ' in full confidence that the
King would be restored, and the precentor confirmed
in his office.'^ When Bishop Skinner ordained Bull

^ See Dr. Hook's ' Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury,'
William Juxon, vol. xi., ch. xxxix., p. 419.

'^ Plume's ' Life of Bishop Hacket.'

■' See Pope's ' Life of Bishop Seth Ward,' pp. 62, 63.

■* 'Some Particulars of the Life, etc., of Seth Ward, Bishop
of Sarum.'


in 1655, he would not give him letters of orders, but
' withal assured him that when the ancient Apos-
tolical government of the Church should be restored,
which he did not question but a little time would
bring about, they should be sent him.'^

This last incident leads us to a point of vital im-
portance. If bishops were not allowed to perform
their office of ordaining, how was the succession to
the ministry kept up ? Break the chain, and the
continuity of the Church is interrupted. But, at
imminent hazard, some of the deprived bishops
bravely persisted in ordaining fresh clergy, and, in
fact, many of the most eminent clergy of the next
generation were privately ordained during ' the
troubles.' Thus Simon Patrick was ordained at this
period by Bishop Hall, Thomas Tenison by Bishop
Duppa, Edward Stillingfleet by Bishop Brownrig.
None of the deprived bishops was more indefatig-
able in this most essential part of episcopal work
than Bishop Skinner of Oxford. The little village
of Launton, between Oxford and Bicester, was the
scene of his ordinations. Attended by Dr. Ralph
Bathurst as his Archdeacon, or by Dr. Thomas
Lamplugh, who is said to have made 300 journeys
from Oxford to Launton ' on ordination business,'
he secretly went out thither and ordained many.
Thomas Morton, also, the aged Bishop of Durham,
in spite of his advanced years, had the courage to
hold secret ordinations at Easton Mauduit. Care
was also taken to supply fitting candidates for the
ministry. Largely through the efforts of Henry
Hammond, who in this, as in many other respects,

' Nelson's ' Life of Bishop liull,' p. 40.


was quite the foremost clergyman of the period,
money was raised among good Churchmen for the
education of young men of sound principles at the
Universities, so that, when the time came, there might
not be ' lacking fit persons to serve in the sacred
ministry of Christ's Church.' Happily, there were
still opportunities of indoctrinating the young with
such principles from their boyhood ; for it is a re-
markable fact that the stern prohibition of tuitional
work for the clergy did not touch the most famous
school of all. Dr. Richard Busby, a staunch
Churchman and Royalist, was allowed to rule West-
minster with wonderful success, and, if tradition be
true, with great severity, all through the period. A
large proportion of the great Caroline divines, as
well as the leading statesmen of the next generation,
passed through Dr. Busby's hands during these
twenty years ; and thus the Doctor must be credited
with a large share in the training of the Church of
the future.

Some of the silenced clergy employed their en-
forced leisure in laying up stores of theological know-
ledge, which then or afterwards bore fruit in works
which are the glory of the Church of England.
Jeremy Taylor, Isaac Barrow, John Pearson, Robert
South, Henry Hammond, Herbert Thorndike, John
Cosin, William Beveridge, William Cave, Peter
Gunning, Edmund Pocock, Brian Walton, George
Bull, Robert Sanderson — in fact, most of the Church
luminaries of the seventeenth century — either wrote
or prepared for writing during this period. Never,
either before or since, has there been such a galaxy
in the firmament of the Church.

Of course, however, those who have the talents to


employ their leisure to any purpose in such a wa}-
must always be a very small minority ; the}' were
enough to preserve the vitality of the Church, but
they were not enough to prevent its restoration to
anything like effectiveness from being a most arduous
and length}' task, as the next chapter will abundantly



The Church in the Reign of Charles II. (1660- 1685).

Reaction against Puritanism — Apparent strength of Presby-
terians — ^The Savoy Conference — New Parliament — Con-
vocation revised Prayer-Book — The Clarendonian Code —
Corporation Act — Act of Uniformity — Declaration of In-
dulgence — First Conventicle Act — Five -Mile Act — Evil
effects upon the Church— Herculean task which the Church
had to do — Prelates of the period — William Juxon — Gilbert
Sheldon — John Cosin — Peter Gunning — Robert Sanderson
— Other prelates — Great divines and good parish priests —
Conduct of clergy during the Plague of London — Attitude
of Church towards science, especially in regard to the
Royal Society — The clergy and the persecution (i) of
Nonconformists, (2) of Roman Catholics — Test Act —
Exclusion Bill — Doctrine of Divine right — Titus Gates
and Bedloe — Rye House Plot — Restoration of cathedral
and parish churches — The Religious Societies - Death of
Sheldon, and appointment of Sancroft to the primacy —
Thomas Ken made Bishop — Spiritual and political types
of Churchmanship.

The restoration of the monarchy involved the
restoration of the Church as a matter of course, and
the nation at large was as ready to welcome the
latter as the former ; for it was at least as weary of
religious as of civil anarchy. When the strong hand
of Cromwell was removed, the strange ecclesiastical
fabric which he had raised fell to pieces at once.

Online LibraryJohn Henry OvertonThe Church in England (Volume 2) → online text (page 9 of 34)