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gifts, but chiefly, that we may prophesy; which the apostle explains to be a speaking to instruction, edification, and comfort, which the instructed, edified, and comforted, can best tell the energy and effect of.
“ Now, if this be evidence, take heed you envy not for your own sakes, lest you be guilty of a greater fault than Moses reproved in Joshua, when he envied for his sake. Indeed you err through mistake of the scriptures. Approbation is an act of convenience in respect of order not of necessity, to give faculty to preach the gospel.
“ Your pretended fear, lest error should step in, is like the man that would keep all the wine out of the country lest men should be drunk. It will be found an unjust and upwise jealousy, to deny a man the liberty lie hath by nature, upon a supposition he may abuse it. When he dota abuse it, then judge.”
The governor complained to the general, that the parliament at Westminster had fallen from their principles, not being true to the ends of the covenant. And then adds with the ministers, that men of secular employments had usurped the office of the ministry, to the scandal of the reformed churches.
In answer to the first part of this expostulation, general Cromwell desired to know, whether their bearing witness to themselves, was a good evidence of their having prosecuted the ends of the covenant ?.6 to infer this (says he) is to have too favorable an opinion of your own judgment and impartiality. Your doctrines and practice ought to be tried by the word of God, and other people must have a liberty of examining them upon these heads, and of giving sentence."||
As to the charge of indulging the use of the pulpit to the laity, the general admits it, and adds, “ are ye troubled that Christ is preached? does it scandalize the reformed churches, and Scotland in particular ? is it against the covenant ? away with the covenant if it be so. I thought the covenant and these men would have been wil. ling, that any should speak good of the name of Christ; if & Whitlocke, p. 458. Collier's Ecclesiastical History, p. 863.
|| Collier's Ecclesiastical History, p. 864. VOL. IV.
not, it is no covenant of God's approving; nor the kirk you mention so much the spouse of Christ.”
The general, in one of his letters, lays considerable stress upon the success of their arms, after a most solemn appeal to God on both sides. To which the Scots governor replied, we have not so learned Christ, as to hang the equity of a cause upon events. To which Cromwell answers, ci We could wish that blindness had not been upon your eyes to those marvellous dispensations which God has lately wrought in England. But did not you solemnly appeal and pray? Did not we do so too? And ought not we and you to think with fear and trembling on the hand of the great God in this mighty and strange appearance of his, and not slightly call it an event? Were not your expectations and ours renewed from time to time whilst we waited on God to see how he would manifest himself upon our appeals? And shall we after all these our prayers, fastings, tears, expectations, and solemn appeals, call these bare events? The Lord pity you
From this correspondence the reader may form a judgment of the governing principles of the Scots and English at this time; the former were so inviolably attach. ed to their covenant, that they would depart from no. thing that was inconsistent with it. The English, after seeking God in prayer, judged of the goodness of their cause by the appearance of providence in its faror; most of the officers and soldiers were men of strict devotion, but went upon this mistaken principle, that God would never appear for a bad cause after a solemn appeal to him for decision. However, the Scots lost their courage, and surrendered the impregnable castle of Edinburgh into the hands of the conqueror, December 24, the garrison liaving liberty to march out with their baggage to BurntIsland in Fife ; and soon after the whole kingdom was subdued.
The provincial assembly of London met this year as usual, in the months of May and November, but did nothing remarkable; the parliament waited to reconcile them to the engagement, and prolonged the time limited for tak. ing it; but when they continued inflexible, and instead of submitting to the present powers, were plotting with the
Scots, it was resolved to clip their wings, and make some examples, as a terror to the rest. June 21, the committee for regulating the universities was ordered to tender the engagement to all such officers, masters, and fellows, as had neglected to take it, and upon their refusal to displace them. Accordingly in the university of Cambridge, Mr. Vines, Dr. Rainbow, and some others, were displaced, and succeeded by Mr. Sydrach Sympson, Mr. Jo. Sadler, and Mr. Dell. In the university of Oxford, Dr. Reynolds the vice-chancellor refused the engagement, but after some time offered to take it, in hopes of saving his deaory of Christ church ; but the parliament resenting the example, took advantage of bis forfeiture, and gave the deanry to Dr. John Owen, an independent divine, who took posses. sion of it March 18, 1650-1.5
Upon the resignation of the vice-chancellor, Dr. Daniel Greenwood, principal of Brazen-Nose college, and a presbyterian divine, was appointed his successor, October 12, and on the 15th of January following Oliver CROMWELL, now in Scotland, was chosen unanimously, in full convocation, chancellor of the university in the room of the earl of Pembroke lately deceased. I When the doctors and masters who were sent to Edinburgh, acquainted him with the choice, he wrote a letter to the university, in which af. ter a modest refusal of their favor, he adds, “ if these arguments prevail not, and that I must continue this honor till I can personally serve you, you shall not want my prayers, that piety and learning may flourish among you, and be rendered useful and subservient to that great and glorious kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; of the approach of which, so plentiful an effusion of the holy spirit upon those hopeful plants among you is one of the best presages-" When the general's letter was read in convocation, the house resounded with cheerful acclamations. Dr. Greenwood continued vice-chancellor two years, but was then displaced for his disaffection to the government, and the honor was conferred on Dr. Owen. Thus by degrees, the presbyterians lost their influence in the universities, and delivered them up into the hands of the independents.
Baxter's Life, p. 64.
To strengthen the hands of the government yet further, the parliament, by an ordinance bearing date Sept. 20, took away all the penal statutes for religion.* The preamble sets forth, “ that divers religious and peaceable people, well affected to the commonwealth, having not only been molested and imprisoned, but brought into danger of ab. joring their country, or in case of return to suffer death as felons, by sundry acts made in the times of former kings and queens of this nation, against recusants not coming to church, &c. they therefore enact and ordain,
6 THAT all the clauses, articles, and proviso's, in the ensuing acts of parliament, viz. 1st Eliz. 23d Eliz. 35th Eliz. and all and every branch, clause, article, or proviso, in any other actor ordinance of parliament, where. by any penalty or punishment is imposed, or meant to be imposed on any person whatsoever, for not repairing to their respective parish churches; or for not keeping of holy days; or for not hearing common-prayer, &c. shall be, and are hereby wholly repealed and made void.
6 And to the end that no profane or licentious persons may take occasion, by the repeal of the said laws, to neglect the performance of religious duties, it is further ordained, that all persons not having a reasonable excuse, shall on every Lord's day, and day of public thanksgiving or humiliation, resort to some place of public worship; or be present at some other place, in the practice of some religious duty, either of prayer or preaching, reading or expounding the scriptures.--"
By this law the doors were set open, and the state was at liberty to employ all such in their service as would take the oaths to the civil government, without any regard to their religious principles.
Sundry severe ordinances were made for suppressing vice, error, and all sorts of profaneness and impiety. May 10, it was ordained, “ that incest and adultery should be made felony; and that fornication should be punished with three months imprisonment for the first offence; and that the second offence should be felony without benefit of clergy. Common bauds, or persons who keep lewd houses, are to be set in the pillory ; to be whipped, and mark
* Scobel, p. 131.
ed in the forehead with the letter B, and then committed to the house of correction for three years for the first offence; and for the second to suffer death; provided the prosecu . tion be within twelve months."
June 28, it was ordained, “that every nobleman who shall be convicted of profane cursing and swearing, by the oath of one or more witnesses, or by his own confession, shall pay for the first offence thirty shillings to the poor of the parish ; a baronet, or knight, twenty shillings, an esquire ten shillings; a gentleman six shillings and eight penee ; and all inferior persons three shillings and four pence. For the second offence they are to pay double, according to their qualities above-mentioned. . And
the tenth offence they are to be judged common swearers and cursers, and to be bound over to their good be. havior for three years. The like punishment for women, whose fines are to be determined according to their own or their husband's quality.”||
August 9, an ordinance was passed, for punishing blas. phemous and execrable opinions. The preamble takes notice, that “though several laws had been made for promoting reformation in doctrines and manners, yet there were divers men and women who had lately discovered monstrous opinions, even such as tended to the dissolution of human society; the parliament therefore, according to their declaration of Sept. 27, 1649, in which they said, they should be ready to testify their displeasure against such offenders, by strict and effectual proceedings against those who should abuse and turn into licentiousness, the liberty given in matters of religion, do therefore ordain and enact,
“ THAT any persons not distempered in their brains, who shall maintain any mere creature to be God, or to be infinite, almighty, &c. or who shall deny the holiness of God; or shall maintain, that all acts of wickedness and unrighteousness are not forbidden in holy scripture ; or that God approves them. Any one who shall maintain, that acts of drunkenness, adultery, swearing, &c. are not in themselves shameful, wicked, sinful, and impious ; or that
6 Scobel, p. 121. 1 Ibid. p. 123.