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ACCORDING to the precedent of the former reign, a deputation from the three Dissenting denominations, headed by Dr. Williams, went up to the Court on the accession of Queen Anne, to the Court of
Queen Anne. present an address from the ministers in London, declaring their cordial allegiance, and expectant of some assurance of the royal favour. They were not received with the benignant smile that greeted them from William and Mary, but the new Sovereign graciously promised her continued protection, and declared that she would do nothing to forfeit her interest in their affections. For the time the Nonconformists felt relieved by this answer to their address, and began more distinctly to avow their principles, but they were soon undeceived as to the real intentions of the Court. At the opening of Parliament, shortly afterwards, the Queen intimated to the House of Commons that she was resolved to defend and maintain the Church as by law estab. lished.” The House responded heartily to the sentiment. “Your Majesty has been always,” they said, a most illustrious ornament to this Church, and has been exposed to great hazards for it; therefore, we promise ourselves that in your Majesty's
reign we shall see it perfectly restored to its due rights and privileges, and secured in the same to posterity : which is only to be done by divesting those men of the power who have shown that they want not a will to destroy it.”
The non-jurors who adhered to the cause of the Stuarts watched their opportunity to regain their
influence in political affairs, and, whilst Activity
refraining from overt acts of disloyalty, Non-jurors.
secretly laid their plans for the restoration of the exiled Pretender. The Jacobite clergy inculcated the doctrine of non-resistance, and the obligation of kings to defend the Church and to secure its independence of the civil power. Dr. William Nicholls, in a discourse “ On the Religion of a Prince,” said :
“A further reason why princes should take care of and protect religion is, because it is not endowed with sufficient power Nicholls on
to defend itself, and to provide itself of those advanthe Religion tages which are requisite for its subsistence. Now, of a Prince. this is a sufficient plea to a generous mind for relief and assistance. And since God Almighty has lodged so much power in princely hands, they cannot make that good use of it which Providence expects of them unless they lay it out in the assistance of those who want it. This has occasioned the succouring of orphans and widows from the usurpation and ravages of powerful men to be a point of justice which has in all ages claimed the magistrate's aid ; and to deny it where disregard has been esteemed to be a sort of renouncing the pity and tenderness of human nature. Now, it has pleased Almighty God to constitute His Church in a state of pupillage, and to deny it that coercive authority which He has vested the secular power with.
“ And sinc in a Christian government the Church is so mutually blended with the State, that in some respects they make up one body, whatever power the Church wants for the support of its constitution, and for the defence of it against its adver
saries, it must borrow of the chief magistrate of the State, to the end that those evil persons who are not to be restrained by Church censures, whose penalty is only spiritual, they may, by the smart of secular punishment, be either forced into their duty, or be obliged to forbear their injuries offered to the congregation of the faithful; and this is more especially necessary in these latter ages of the Church, when the power of miracles is ceased.”
Helpless and dependent as the Church described to be with respect to temporal power, its spiritual self-sufficiency was asserted in the most unqualified terms. Dr. George Hickes, in describing the “ Constitution of the (Anglican) Catholic Church,' says:
“The Church is a spiritual kingdom," "independent of the secular powers." “The Bishops are the governors of this spiritual kingdom.” “Every diocese is part of the
Hickes on Church." “ The Church is in the rightful Bishop and the Church his flock." “ None but members of the Church have and Civil
Power. any title to the promises of the gospel.” “All who communicate with unlawful Bishops cut themselves off from the Church.” “All the promises of the gospel are made to Christians, as actual members of the Church; and as no man, however eminent for personal virtues, can in the ordinary way of salvation claim the benefit of them before he is a member of the Church, so no man who, by any act of his own or of the rightful Bishop, ceases to be a member, can lay claim to them or any of them, not so much as remission of sins.”
CHARLES LESLIE, a zealous supporter of the Pretender, defined more clearly the independence of the Church, fostered by the State, and indicated the point at which the Anglican Church and the Church of Rome might meet, and, under propitious influences, blend together in principles, authority, and influence.
The Pretender, meanwhile, actively pursued his
The Pretender and
object in correspondence with the Pope, urging his claims for support on the ground that the Church
of Rome could only regain its power in
Great Britain by the restoration of the the Pope.
Stuart dynasty. By virtue of the authority received from his Holiness, he appointed Cardinal Sacripanti Protector of the Kingdom of Scotland, Cardinal Imponali Protector of Ireland, Matthieu Pritchard Recolez, Vicar-Apostolic in England, and Cardinal Gualterio he nominated to attend to his affairs in Rome. The network of agency was complete. FRANCIS ATTERBURY and Viscount BOLINGBROKE were apprized of every movement, but maintained for a time a prudent reserve.
The more impetuous of the party began to raise an outcry against Dissenters. Joseph Glanvil, formerly chaplain to Charles II., complained that the “profest Dissenters ” would not support the Church.
“Men who are stiff by will and not by conscience," he said, "dispute the claims of the clergy. The present way of recovery
of these dues are changeable, and scarce effectual at Glanvil's
The refusers usually will not appear when
cited to Bishops' Courts, and to run them up to excommunication when the debt they are cited for is very small in particulars, looks odiously on the minister's part. And if they are excommunicated, they will stand so, without taking any notice of it, except they are prosecuted by the writ de excommunicato capiendo, which is chargeable to the prosecutor, and sounds harshly; and when they are taken up, many of them will lie by it, and so all the charge and trouble is lost, and the minister gets nothing but the name of a persecutor after all.
“ The way by treble damages will not quit cost for small dues. The way by the Exchequer comes to gaol, too, at last, and if the person be not willing to pay, or be in close durance, he fees the gaol keeper and goes in and out as he pleaseth, so
that generally the livings in corporations are fallen from what they were before our unbappy troubles a third part at least in their value. But the work and difficulties are as much increast. Preaching twice every Lord’s-day is everywhere expected, and not omitted without great offence and advantage given to Dissenters." *
The agitation became fierce and general on the anniversary of the execution of Charles I. Torrents of invective were poured forth against Dissenters, as implicated in the guilt of murder.
Amidst the clamour kept up incessantly, some voices were heard on the side of equity and moderation. DANIEL DE FOE, in his inimitable style of irony—mistaken for sober truth wrote his “Short Way with Dissenters,” to expose the violence of High Churchmen by urging their demands in a logical appeal for the employment of physical force. Pretending to reply to objections, De Foe said :
“The Dissenters are very numerous, they say, and we cannot suppress them. To this may be answered: 1. They are not so numerous as the Protestants in France, and yet the French king effectually cleared the nation of them at once, and we don't find that he misses them at home. But I am not of opinion they are 80 numerous as is pretended. Those mistaken people of the Church who are misled by their wheedling artifices to join with them make their party the greater. But these will open their eyes when the government shall set heartily about the work, and come off from them, as some animals, which they always desert a house when 'tis likely to fall. 2. The more numerous, the more dangerous, and therefore the more need to suppress them. 3. If we are to allow them only because we cannot suppress them, then it ought to be tried whether we can or no.
But I am of opinion 'tis easy to be done, and could prescribe ways and means, if it were proper; but I doubt not the government will
* 8, P. Dom.