Protestantism In England And Scotland Under James I. And Charles I. (1603-1649)

Chapter VII --Protestantism In England And Scotland Under James I. And Charles I. (1603-1649)


Right of lineage, as also the last words of Elizabeth, pointed to the Scottish King as her proper successor. Accordingly James, the sixth of that name among Scottish rulers, and the first among English, son of the murdered Darnley and the executed Mary Stuart, was welcomed to the sovereignty of the united kingdoms. It seemed a happy consummation, that the neighboring realms, which had so often been in conflict with each other, should peaceably join in acknowledging a common sceptre. But there was one serious fault in the new adjustment. James I. did not know England; and, what was worse, he showed little aptitude to acquire this most necessary knowledge. He never learned to estimate rightly the political and ecclesiastical factors with which he had to deal. Both in his foreign and in his domestic policy he ran counter to the judgment and the sympathies of a majority of the people. Herein he prefigured the course of the Stuart dynasty. It was essentially an alien dynasty, pertinaciously out of harmony with the national development, so that its ultimate expulsion appeared rather as the demand of national health and safety than as a deed of revolutionary caprice.


In his relations with the Scottish Church James had given significant indications of his ecclesiastical affinities. Still he had not carried a particular scheme so far but that opposing parties in England hoped each to derive advantage from his favor. The school of Whitgift and Bancroft found encouragement in the fact that James had shown inclinations to episcopacy. The Puritans might naturally suppose that a prince who had been nurtured in the plain Scottish Kirk would give some heed to their demand for pruning ceremonies. The Roman Catholics could refer to words and acts of James as grounds for expecting an alleviation of the burdens and legal prescription under which they labored.


A short time only was needed to show where the smile of royalty would rest. The deferential, not to say obsequious, bearing of the English prelates was in striking contrast with the boldness which James had seen in the synods and preachers of his native country. It went straight to his heart, and wonderfully gratified his enormous self-complacency. The Anglican hierarchy, he concluded, was a natural ally of monarchy, and it was not many months before he uttered his curt maxim, "No bishop, no king." The Hampton Court conference, held in January, 1604, made it clear to the Puritans that the hand of James would be quite as heavy against them as had been that of Elizabeth. Indeed, he expressly declared his intention to allow no quarter to non-conformity.

The most noted grace, perhaps, which was awarded by James to the Puritan representatives at this conference, was his endorsement of their request for a revised translation of the Bible. The project was soon taken up, and the new version was ready for publication in 1611. A full list of the translators, the rules under which they worked, etc., is given by Thomas Fuller, Church History of Britain, edited by J. S. Brewer, vol. v. pp. 370-377.


To grant large indulgence to Roman Catholics, while repressing non-conforming Protestants, would have been a scandal in the face of the public. James felt compelled, therefore, by consistency, as well as by the jealousy of the nation at large towards the adherents of the Pope, to make a show of executing the laws against Romanists. There was the less motive to spare them, as the evil reputation which a restless faction had gained for them in the reign of Elizabeth was enhanced by new plots. In the first year of James, a wild project was set on foot to seize his person, and two years later was devised one of the most atrocious conspiracies known to history,--the plot to destroy King, lords, and commons, at one fell stroke. Several thousand pounds of gunpowder were stored beneath the Parliament building, and all the preparations were made for firing the train, as soon as the King and the two houses should be convened at the opening of the session. About a dozen laymen had full knowledge of the Satanic enterprise, and several priests were privy to it, though the measure of guilty encouragement which they may have given is not very clearly determined. Among these was Garnet, Superior of the Jesuits in England, who fell into the hands of the government and was sent to the scaffold.

1 Garnet claimed that he knew of the plot only under the seal of confession. A specially careful and competent historian renders this judgment: "Garnet's own statements are so mingled with known falsehoods that no reliance can be placed upon anything that he said. The whole case against him rests upon circumstantial evidence. This evidence, though it would now rightly be considered insufficient to justify an adverse verdict, was quite enough to convict a prisoner in the days when looser notions of the laws of evidence prevailed, and is of itself sufficiently strong to leave no reasonable doubt in the minds of historical inquirers." (S. R. Gardiner, History of England from 1603 to 1616, i. 258, 259.)
The result of the conspiracy was what might have been expected in an intolerant age. Punishment was not limited to the guilty few. The heavy penal yoke which already rested upon the necks of English Romanists was made still more heavy. The disabilities, the restrictions, and the liability to fines were increased, and a new oath of allegiance was devised, designed to expose to special penalties those who would not renounce the temporal pretensions of the Pope.
2 Lingard says of the new penal code: "It repealed none of the laws then in force, but added to their severity by two new bills, containing more than seventy articles, inflicting penalties on the Catholics in all their several capacities, of masters, servants, husbands, parents, children, heirs, executors, patrons, barristers, physicians." (History of England, ix. 61.).
How far this code was enforced depended much upon the temper of the sovereign. James certainly was not inclined to a persevering and rigorous enforcement. His predominant desire to ingratiate himself with the leading Roman Catholic States naturally placed him under bonds not to deal too severely with his Romish subjects. While negotiating with Spain, and then with France, to secure the hand of a Roman Catholic princess for his son, he expressly stipulated that the penal laws against the domestic practice of the Romish religion should not be executed. Still it was a poor service which James rendered to the Romanists. To say nothing of the odious custom, nourished by his lax favoritism, which permitted court parasites for their own private benefit to exact fines from the recusants, his promise of tolerance in defiance of the law, and at the dictate of a country whose name was a synonym for Roman Catholic intolerance and aggression, was the reverse of a service to the persecuted. Its inevitable result, so far as it was revealed to the public, was to strengthen the national bent to grant no standing place to the Romish religion. Charles I., like James, felt the force of opposite demands, and in his lack of settled principle leaned to one side or the other as interest or necessity seemed to dictate. At one time he indicated a disposition to keep his promises with France, and pleased his Roman Catholic wife by suspending the penal laws against her co-religionists. At another time he yielded to the national judgment and jealousy, and fulfilled his pledge to Parliament by ordering the penal laws to be executed. Such double dealing was naturally a failure. The nation at large received no lesson in religious tolerance, and the minds of zealous Protestants were embittered with the suspicion that the high-church Anglicanism of the King would eventuate in Romanism.


Whilst the Roman Catholics were in the hands of the government, to take such indulgence as might be given, the Puritans were advancing to a strength which qualified them to contend with the throne. In the course of the reigns of the first two Stuarts the name of "Puritan" acquired an enlarged significance. Several parties came under the designation. There were the political Puritans, intent upon the maintenance of national liberties, champions of the privileges of Parliament over against the prerogatives of the Crown. Another class might be called ecclesiastical Puritans, their leading interest being in the government and worship of the Church. All of these agreed in the opinion that the existing system should be modified; but as respects the nature of the changes to be introduced they differed. Some would have been content with a limited episcopacy; others were zealous for the Presbyterian system; others were advocates of a congregational polity. A large proportion of the ecclesiastical Puritans might further be described as Puritans in doctrine. Their adherence to the strict Calvinistic faith was sufficiently prominent to give the name of Puritan an association with that type of theology, and we find instances in which it was so employed at the time. One other element was included in the term: the Puritan was the advocate of an austere morality. This characteristic was no doubt shaped in very different degrees. Not every Puritan moved in an air of perpetual solemnity, or made it a duty to frown upon all forms of gayety and mirth. It is the extremists of the party whom Macaulay describes when he says: "Morals and manners were subjected to a code resembling that of the synagogue, when the synagogue was in its worst state. ... It was a sin to hang garlands on a May-pole, to drink a friend's health, to fly a hawk, to hunt a stag, to play at chess, to wear lovelocks, to put starch into a ruff, to touch the virginals, to read the Fairy Queen. Rules such as these, rules which would have appeared insupportable to the free and joyous spirit of Luther, and contemptible to the serene and philosophic disposition of Zwingli, threw over all life a more than monastic gloom." 1 History of England, i. 61. As a class the Puritans were undeniably chargeable with some lack of genial sympathy with the pleasurable and artistic side of life. But this with many of them was no offspring of mere poverty and narrowness of spirit. It was due largely to their moral earnestness, their sense of the seriousness of life, their intense stress upon the thought of personal responsibility to the God of judgment and justice. The creed of the Puritan forbade him to lose himself in the mass, or to take up with the easy standards which happened to have currency. He felt obliged to consult higher authority the claims of conscience, the will of God. By this disposition he lost something of the plasticity which gives smoothness and affability to social intercourse. But he secured no mean compensation in firmness of moral fibre. Moreover, if he was disposed to withhold his steps from the general circle of worldly and social pleasures, he bestowed all the more care and honor upon the home.

2 There is at least an element of truth in this remark of Green: "Home, as we conceive it now, was the creation of the Puritan. Wife and child rose from mere dependents on the will of husband and father, as husband and father saw in them saints like himself, souls bellowed by the touch of a divine Spirit and called with a divine calling like his own. The sense of spiritual fellowship gave a new tenderness and refinement to the common family affections." (History of the English People, iii. 19.)

Under ordinary conditions it would have been difficult to bring the different classes of Puritans into any close alliance with one another. But so great were the grievances of which each had to complain, and so serious were the evils which threatened the nation, that they were driven in large measure to make common cause.


In the administration of the State and the Church alike they saw occasion for grief and alarm. While the nation was outgrowing the Tudor regime, and was advancing to a consciousness of self-governing faculty, the Stuarts were bent upon exercising unrestricted authority. Though possessing but little of the tact of the Tudors, they claimed all their prerogatives, and more. The most extravagant assertions of the divine right of kings were received by them as acceptable sacrifices. James insulted his Parliament, and declared it an utter impertinence for subjects to say what the King cannot do. Charles early came to the conclusion to discard Parliament altogether. His ideal of monarchy was such as was then being exemplified in Spain and France; and in Thomas Wentworth, who was made Earl of Strafford, he found a congenial agent for the working out of his ideal.


While the monarch was thus challenging the hostility of every Puritan by grasping at arbitrary power, the prelates were doing the same. Men like Bancroft and Laud saw in the House of Commons, with its large Puritan element, a foe to their scheme. By policy, therefore, as well as by a natural affinity with despotic rule, they were led to make a close alliance between monarchy and prelacy. They supported the most extravagant pretensions of the Stuarts, and published canons which were designed to leaven the Church with the doctrine of passive obedience.

1 See Canons of 1604 and 1644 especially the latter. Cardwell's Synodalia, vol. i., gives the full text. The first Canon of 1640 says: "The most high and sacred order of kings is of divine right.... For subjects to bear arms against their kings, offensive or defensive, upon any pretence whatsoever, is at least to resist the powers which are ordained of God; and though they do not invade, but only resist, St. Paul tells them plainly they shall receive to themselves damnation."
Laud, who held a commanding place in the councils of Charles up to the eve of the civil war, was the conscious, energetic, persevering ally of Strafford in his project of royal absolutism.


With the political grievance there was coupled an ecclesiastical one that was very bitter to many of the Puritans. They found not only that the demand for uniformity was pressed with increased rigor, but that they were under a system which was coming into more and more undisguised affinity with Romanism. A stress was laid upon the divine right of episcopacy, which unchurched their Protestant brethren upon the Continent. The communion table was turned into an altar, and the practice of obeisance before it was promoted. Auricular confession was frequently inculcated. A doctrine of the real presence conspicuously near to the Romish theory had its advocates, and some of the bishops did not shun to commend the invocation of saints, and prayers for the dead. Such developments naturally awakened deep anxieties. Not a few suspected that Laud was secretly intent upon bringing back the English Church into the Roman communion. Even Romanists seemed to judge that he was not hopelessly remote from their standpoint, else their motive in offering him a cardinal's hat is not very intelligible. It is to be allowed, however, that Laud was misjudged upon this point. While he was devoted to a scheme which would have eaten out the heart of Protestantism, he had no desire to subject England to the Papacy. His model was Byzantine rather than Roman. The utterly Erastian theory of church government which he abetted and sustained was contradictory to the theory of papal supremacy. Only by a change analogous to that which transpired in Becket could he have welcomed the headship of the Pope.


The apprehensions of radical Protestants were rendered the more lively and painful by the fact that the management of foreign relations seemed to be of a piece with that of home affairs. They feared that the marriage with a Roman Catholic princess, which was coveted and consummated, would give England a Roman Catholic king,

1 Fuller indicates in his quaint may how the negotiations for the hand of a Spanish princess, which seemed at one time on the point of being effectual, were viewed. "The Protestants grieved thereat, fearing that this marriage would be the funerals of their religion; and their jealousies so descanted thereon, that they suspected, if taking effect, more water of Tiber than Thames would run under London Bridge." (Church History, v. 531, 532.)
--as in fact it did in the next generation. It disquieted them exceedingly, too, to see England reduced almost to a cipher in the great struggle - so ominous of loss and disaster for Protestantism-- which was going on in Germany. 2 For the foreign policy of the first two Stuarts, see especially Gardiner's histories.


The Puritans had also their doctrinal grievance. While the distinguishing features of the Calvinistic system had not the same prominence in the writings of the early Protestant theologians of England which they commanded in some of the Continental communities, Calvinism, so far as the doctrines of grace are concerned, was in general the creed of the English Church up to the reign of James I. But Laud was pronounced in favor of the Arminian tenets which the representatives of England in the synod of Dort had helped to condemn. Moreover, he gave the full force of his patronage to the spread of these tenets, so that a bishop, being asked what the Arminians held, could reply with truth as well as wit, "They hold the best bishoprics and deaneries in England." To ardent Calvinists this seemed like an apostasy from the Reformation. Moreover, they learned, to their special exasperation, that they were to be hampered in the defence of their faith by a one-sided censorship over pulpit and press, --a censorship which was virtually under the sole direction of Laud at the time of his ascendency.


In addition to all else, the strictness of the Puritans in respect of pastimes was set at naught. Especially were their scruples regarding Sunday license rudely overridden. As early as the days of Elizabeth they had begun to agitate for a more perfect sanctification of Sunday as the Christian Sabbath. A work of Dr. Bound, in 1594, which attributed to the fourth command the nature of moral precept, and taught that it is of perpetual obligation as respects the sacred use of one day in seven, found ready acceptance among them. 1 Neal, History of the Puritans, i. 208.


What then was their dismay when James, in 1618, issued his "Declaration of Sports," encouraging the people, after leaving the church doors, to fill up Sunday with jovial pranks and amusements.

1 The royal declaration has this paragraph: "As for our good people's lawful recreations, our pleasure is, that after the end of divine service our good people be not disturbed, letted, or discouraged from any lawful recreations; such as dancing, either of men or women; archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any such harmless recreations; nor from having of May games, Whitsun-ales, or morris-dances, and setting up of May-poles, or other sports therewith used, so as the same be had in due and venient time, without impediment or let of divine service; and the women shall have leave to carry rushes to church for the decorating of it, according to their old custom. But withal we do here account as still prohibited all unlawful games to be need on Sundays only, as bear-baiting, bull-baiting, and (at all times in the meaner sort of people by law prohibited) bowling." (Wilkins, Concilia, iv. 483; Fuller, Church History, v. 452.)
Still more obnoxious to them was the act of Charles and Laud, fifteen years later, in republishing the declaration, and requiring all ministers to read it from their pulpits on pain of deprivation.
2 Some read the declaration, and then turned at once and read with emphasis the fourth commandment; others refused outright to read it. Respecting these Fuller says, "Some were suspended from office and benefice, some deprived, and more molested in the High Commission." (Church History, vi. 100.)


Under the pressure of these multiplied grievances, many of the Puritans turned their faces toward the shores of New England. But this and all other forms of protest had no effect upon the chief agents of the government. Regardless of public feeling, moving forward with the remorseless constancy of a mechanical appliance, Laud and Strafford gave no slightest token of concession till in the final outbreak they were hurled to the prison and the scaffold.


The crisis was precipitated by the attempt to conform the Scottish Church to the Anglican model. This change was undertaken with the fatuity of the blindest despotism. No effort was made to reconcile the minds of the Scots to the innovation. Indeed, they were not so much as consulted. In 1636 a body of canons for the government and discipline of the Scottish Church was issued on the sole authority of the King.

1 "On no record of ecclesiastical council or other deliberative body is any trace of their formation or adoption to be found. A complete code of laws for the government of a church, issued by a sovereign without official consultation with the responsible representatives of that Church, is unexampled in European history." (Burton, History of Scotland, vi. 398.)
The next year, in precisely the same autocratic fashion, a new liturgy was assigned to the Scots. A few of their bishops, it is true, had part in its preparation; but it came without the official recommendation of any ecclesiastical body whatever. The royal fiat was its only sanction. This gave a thorny cover to the book, and naturally caused the inside to be scrutinized with suspicion. Examination showed the contents to be no more agreeable than the cover. It was the old English Prayer Book which Knox had censured as containing too much of the "dregs of Popery," with points of revision that were thought to savor of Romanism, and to have been introduced on purpose to infect the Scottish Church with the Roman virus.
2 The intent of the compilers may have been innocent enough, but some of their emendations of the Anglican Liturgy were such as could hardly fail to excite anxious inquiries. A clear statement of the objectionable points is given in Fuller's Church History, vi. 145-147.
Popular feeling was kindled to a flame of resentment. The Covenant of 1581, a national oath or pledge against Popery, was brought forward, with some modifications, and was eagerly signed. The new regulations were declared abolished, and even episcopacy itself was swept by the board.


In maintaining the ground which they had taken, the Scots resorted to arms. The King accordingly found himself in such straits that he was obliged to convene Parliament. Once assembled, Parliament became the avenger of grievances. As the King was unwilling to give satisfactory security against arbitrary rule, and moreover had earned the mortal distrust of a great part of the nation, the dispute deepened into the ordeal of civil war. Amid the excitements and exigencies of the conflict, Parliament became a revolutionary body, and usurped an authority quite as subversive of constitutional government as that which the King had claimed, until at length the instrument of its power became its master, and the army ruled England. Under this military regime, Charles I. was sent to the block, January 30th, 1649.


When Parliament assembled in 1640, a majority of its members had no design to subvert the episcopal establishment in England. But dependence upon their Scotch allies soon reconciled them to this revolutionary measure. Accordingly, they assented to the terms of the Scotch as expressed in the Solemn League and Covenant, the plain import of which was that the Presbyterian form of church government, with a uniform system of discipline and worship attached, should be established in the three kingdoms. To assist in perfecting the new model, the Westminster Assembly was convened in 1643, --an advisory body, which was invited to lay its recommendations before Parliament, but had no legislative authority. In the Assembly the Presbyterian element was largely in the ascendant. There were, however, two other parties which claimed a hearing: the Erastians, led by the learned Selden, who adhered to the theory, largely prevalent in England up to the days of Bancroft, that ecclesiastical government, instead of being a matter of divine prescription, falls properly under the regulation of the State; and the Independents, who claimed Scriptural warrant for the self-governing prerogative of the individual congregation. These parties had opportunity to defend their respective views, but further satisfaction they could not gain from the company of divines. The Assembly not only elected the Presbyterian polity, but declared it to be of divine right. This declaration was rejected by Parliament. It refused also to give as large powers to spiritual tribunals as the Assembly desired. With these modifications, it accepted the proffered scheme. Presbyterianism received legal establishment. This meant persecution for the clergy who still clung to the old Anglican system. Many hundreds were deprived of their livings in the first years of the civil war, for refusing to subscribe the Solemn League and Covenant, and the list was probably enlarged in subsequent years to an aggregate of several thousands.


The legal establishment of Presbyterianism was not followed by its actual introduction except on a limited settle. One great hindrance in its way was the intolerance of its advocates. A large proportion of the Presbyterians were scarcely more patient toward dissent than Laud himself. They insisted rigidly upon uniformity. This demand alienated the army, which had imbibed in large measure the views of the Independents. The soldiers of Cromwell had no inclination to put on a Presbyterian yoke, that promised to be as heavy as the prelatical one which they had cast off; and what they undertook to veto had small chance of enforcement.


The doctrinal scheme of the Westminster divines met with wider acceptance than their plan of church government. The Assembly was unanimous in its opposition to Arminianism, and Parliament found little difficulty in accepting the elaborate confession which it presented, the sections relating to polity alone excepted. In Scotland the entire confession was readily adopted.


It is gratifying to observe in this era, when Puritan rigor followed close upon the despotism of Laud, tokens of liberal sentiments and principles. In the very midst of the impassioned conflict there arose a plea for religious liberty more potent than had been heard before in England. This came in part from the side of the Puritans. The Independents as a class, if they did not construe the subject in the broadest and most generous manner, were for practising a larger tolerance than had been advocated either by the prelatical or the Presbyterian party.

1 Neal says, referring to the time of the Westminster Assembly: "The Independents pleaded for a toleration so far as to include themselves and the sober Anabaptists, but did not put the controversy on the most generous foundation; they were for tolerating all who agreed in the fundamentals of Christianity, but when they came to enumerate fundamentals they were sadly embarrassed, as all must be who plead the cause of liberty, and yet do not place the religions and civil rights of mankind on a separate basis." (History of the Puritans, part iii. chapter vi.)
Herein they found an ally in Selden, who joined with his theory of the supremacy of the civil power the view that its authority should be a safeguard against the persecution of one faction by another. Gardiner, Prince Charles and the Spanish Marriage, i. 204, 105. But the most decided voice from the ranks of the Puritans in favor of religious liberty was that of John Milton. At the beginning of his public career he was connected with the Presbyterians, and several pamphlets which he wrote in 1641 and 1642 supported the general features of their church system. But his temper was quite other than that which dominated the party. He accordingly receded from its fellowship, and went forward to represent the most ideal and individualistic side of Puritanism. Ecclesiastical structures, with whatever claims or boasts set off, were of small account in his estimate. He regarded the individual as the unit of value. For the individual he saw no worthy development or destiny save in the free use of his faculties in searching for and working out the truth. From this standpoint he wrote in 1644 his famous plea for the liberty of the press.
2 "Areopagitica, a Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing." Ranke says that this "must be ranked as high in the literature of pamphlets as any of Luther's popular writings, or the Provincial Letters of Pascal." (History of England, ii. 449, 450.)
It was an eloquent and powerful treatise, and left but little room for improvement by a subsequent hand.


Whatever service to the cause of religious liberty may have come from the Puritan side, it was equalled or surpassed by that which the moderate Churchmen of the era, rendered. Here belong the names of William Chillingworth, Lord Falkland, John Hales of Eton, and Jeremy Taylor. 3 For an interesting sketch of each of these, see John Tulloch. Rational Theology and Christian Philosophy in England in the Seventeenth Century, vol. i. The opinions of these writers may have taken some tinge from the Arminians in Holland, who were opposed to elaborate and exacting terms of communion, and asked only for agreement in fundamentals. In common, they limited the value and the necessity of mere orthodoxy, and found a basis for tolerance in the principle that the errors of an honest and devout inquirer involve no forfeiture of Divine favor. This is set forth with great cogency by Chillingworth in his celebrated work, "The Religion of Protestants a Safe Way to Salvation," published in 1637. Speaking of those who fall into mistaken beliefs, he says: "If they suffer themselves neither to be betrayed into their errors, nor kept in them by any sin of their will; if they do their best endeavor to free themselves from all errors, and yet fail of it through human frailty, so well am I persuaded of the goodness of God, that if in me alone should meet a confluence of all such errors of all the Protestants of the world that were thus qualified I should not be so much afraid of them all as I should be to ask pardon for them." Works, p. 46. With like emphasis he declares the refusal of a just latitude of opinion to be the bitter spring of contentions and schisms: "This presumptuous imposing of the senses of men upon the words of God, -- the special senses of men upon the general words of God, and laying them upon men's consciences together, under the penalty of death and damnation; this vain conceit, that we can speak the things of God better than in the words of God, thus deifying our own interpretations, and tyrannous enforcing them upon others; this restraining of the Word of God from that latitude and generality, and the understandings of men from that liberty wherein Christ and the apostles left them, is and hath been the only fountain of all the schisms of the Church, and that which makes them immortal, the common incendiary of Christendom, and that which tears in pieces not the coat, but the bowels and members of Christ." 1 Works, p. 253.


The same view is thus urged by Hales: "It is not the variety of opinions, but our own perverse wills, who think it meet that all should be conceited as ourselves are, which hath so inconvenienced the Church. Were we not so ready to anathematize each other, where we concur not in opinion, we might in hearts be united, though in our tongues we were divided, and that with singular profit to all sides. It is the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, 'and not identity of conceit, which the Holy Ghost requires at the hands of Christians." 2 Works,ii. 94. Hales had an emphatic conception of the rights of reason in religion, and of the impertinence of mere authority. This appears in his robust comments on the function of councils. Each individual of a council, he says, may err. Why then should a majority vote be free from all suspicion of error? "It was never heard," he pungently remarks, "in any profession, that conclusion of truth went by plurality of voices, the Christian profession only excepted ; and I have often mused how it comes to pass that the way which in all other sciences is not able to warrant the poorest conclusion should be thought sufficient to give authority to conclusions in divinity, the supreme empress of sciences." 3 Works, i. 65, 66.


Jeremy Taylor, whose silver trumpet was to be heard once and again in after years, presented in 1647 a fit companion to the Areopagitica of Milton. His "Discourse on the Liberty of Prophesying" was an offering to the liberty of speech which ranks with the great Puritan's contribution to the liberty of the press. Taylor rests here upon the platform of Chillingworth and Hales, though his mind was undoubtedly of a somewhat different cast from theirs. He opposes the multiplication of dogmatic restrictions, declares the Apostles' Creed a sufficient compendium of necessary beliefs, and finds no surer path to right opinions than a diligent search of the Scriptures and a conscientious use of private judgment.