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against what we now call the great constitutional writers of the country, who advocated and established our present limited monarchy. In their ecclesiastical tenets, (so far at least as they differed from their brethren in the Church,) they were at variance with almost all the prelates who were promoted during the reigns of King William and Queen Anne; and while either party will now be thought to have pushed their principles too far, the opinions of the modern clergy may not unjustly be regarded as a modified and corrected compound of them both. Under these circumstances, it is self-evident that much benefit might be derived from a history, or even an abstract, of their proceedings. Few persons have leisure to study the original works. Those who can command their time, cannot always command their patience; and the life and fortunes of a departed controversy, which was too often disfigured by illiberality and violence, require all the wit and talents of its most distinguished supporters, in order to make good their claim to consideration. On these grounds we should most sincerely rejoice to see the subject taken up on a more extensive scale than is compatible with the life of a single individual; and if Dr. D'Oyly rests contented with what he has done, and done so well, and declines presenting the reader with a more extensive work, we trust that the first of living historians may be induced to put his shoulders to the wheel; and we venture to predict that he will find the Church of England in the very crisis of her fate, as noble and even as popular a theme, as the austerities of St. Francis and St. Domimic, the enthusiasm of Wesley and Whitfield, or the bare-faced knavery of Huntington, S.S. With the exception of the years that immediately preceded and followed the Revolution, the life of Archbishop Sancroft is peculiarly destitute of every thing that bears
the least resemblance to romatice. His youth was that of a severe and successful student; and his age that of a respected and busy clergyman; and it would be a mere waste of our own and of our reader's time, to give a sketch of his early fortunes. The volumes be. fore us owe their interest and their value, not to the outline, but to the solid contents. By means of letters and other manuscripts which have been preserved at Oxford and at Lambeth, Dr. D'Oyly has contrived to give us a clear insight into the mind and disposition of Sancroft; and a character of more genuine worth, or an understanding of a more masculine mould has not often been presented to the world. The following letter was written to a friend who had urged Sancroft, then a Fellow of Emanuel College, Cambridge, to comply with those Ordinances of the Parliament which had prohibited the use of the Liturgy and substituted the Directory in its place. The probable consequences of non-compliance, it is to be remembered, was ejectment from his fellowship, and his fellowship was at that season his only provision. But, as on a former occasion he had resolved to refuse the covenant and abide the consequences, and had escaped merely from the circumstance of thc covenant never having been offered to him, so on the present occasion he answered in the tone which became a loyalist and a churchman; and when a new oath was offered in 1648, under the title of the Engagement, he reduced his principles to practice by suffering himself to be ejected rather than subscribe to it:
“‘William Sancroft to Mr. Richard Weller *. “* Dated Emanuel College, May 26, 1645. “To begin with your first caution; a. sure yourself, sweet Sir, the epidemical distempers of the age do not (too much) —T “* Tann. MSS. 60. 148.”
possess my mind, nor do I lay them to heart, so as to endanger my constitution, weak though it be. But yet I must acknowledge I do not, I cannot, look upon this bleeding kingdom, this dying church, with the same indifference as I would read the history of Japan, or hear the affairs of China related. I cannot consider a scattered and broken university with as reposed a spirit, as I would behold a tragedy presented on a stage, or view some sad picture in a gallery. I thank my God, who hath given me so tranquil and calm a spirit, as I do neither fret impatiently, nor cowardly despair. But yet I know full well that 'twere a grand mistake to practise a dull inapprehensiveness, instead of a generous patience. A stoical stupidity is far enough removed from an heroic constancy; and that sour sect, who sought to bereave us of the one half of ourselves, and to free us, shall I say, or rob us, of onr passions and affections, are so far from making a wise man or a Christian, that they have only raised a statue. To say no more, Sir, your spur was here more necdful than your bridle; and, perhaps, a friendly jog to awaken me to a greater degree of solicitude had been more seasonable, than your dose of opium to charm my sorrows and lullaby my cares, which I fear will rather be found on this side the due proportion than beyond it. I am all thankfulness for your loving care and pains in answering my query; and do but still wouchsafe to continue this your affectionate readiness, and your counsel shall always be my better directory. You are pleased to slice my doubt into a double scruple. Whether I may lay aside the one, whether
I may take up the other For the first,
your maxim is, that no law obligeth to a positive obedience where the legislative }. doth not protect. I thiuk you and
shall hardly be two in this particular. Nor do I count myself obliged to go to chapel and read common prayer till my brains be dashed out. But yet, if laws are binding no longer than till inconveniencies accrue to the observer, I am at this present time free from the tie of all the laws of England, and may do whatever is good in mine own eyes: because they, in whom the legislative power is seated, being split into two opposite factions, there is no security left; for whom, one side protects the other threatens. And if the endangering of estate or liberty to be taken away by violence of a prevailing Party be sufficient to absolve us from our obedience, what are your thoughts of those, whose memories are now so preous, who stood up resolutely against
ship-money and illegal taxes, and for not paying perhaps £20 endangered their whole inheritance. Or, to look into that other sphere of the church, of those who, in the days of innovation and illegal encroachments, kept close to canon and rubric, maugre all the suspensions and deprivations in the diocese.
“‘But for the second, your conclusion is, that I may cheerfully, may that I am tied, to conform to the new model. And why I pray f 1. Because I am bound to do my ultimum quod sit for the glory of God. 2. Because I am bound, by my place, to read the Scriptures and pray, First for your conclusion, then for your arguments. And truly that cheerfulness in complying which you seem to require of me is much abated by these considerations, which, to my weakness, appear to carry some weight in them: 1. Because to comply would be a tacit consent to that extravagant power which the two Houses now first challenge (having before disclaimed it,) of repealing acts of parliament by ordinance, which opens a wide gap to all manner of arbitrariness: for, if they may in some cases aunul laws, and they themselves be the judges of those cases, we are not sure that one law shall stand. And yet that protestation which both you aud I took, binds us, with our power and estate, nay, with our lives, to maintain and defend the lawful rights and liberties of the subject; the chiefest part of whose birthright it is, as I apprehend it, to be free from illegal impositions. But 2ndly, to comply, would be to throw a foul aspersion on the whole church of God in England, since the Reformation; as if the public worship of God here used, which, for aught I know, was the most complete piece which auy church upon earth had, were unlawful and anti-christian, or, at least, in the highest degree inconvenient. For such language the Preface to your Directory speaks, and thereupon infers an absolute necessity. of removing it. Now thus to cast up, dirt in my mother's face, and kick out her Liturgy as an abominable thing, which hath so long been made good against all the noise and clamour of weak opposites, is an exploit, I confess, which I cannot look upon with any such complacence, as to undertake it with an extraordinary measure of cheerfulness or alacrity. And, 3dly, to comply would be to set to my seal that the Houses have power to reform religion, without the supreme magistrate; that their journeymen of the synod are lawfully convened: the truth of which, I confess, I cannot so clearly see, no not with the help of a synodical pair of specceived me. However, in despite of all mutabilities, I shall ever be, most unchangeably, “‘Your faithful friend and servant, 44 & W. S.’ wo Vol. I. P. 35.
tacles. And, while my apprehensions are thus planted, be you judge how much it would be for the glory of God, for ine thus to run counter to the dictates of my conscience, which is God's voice in my soul, and to me as binding. I am bound, 'tis true, by the statute, shall I say, or rather the custom of the college, to read prayers in my course; but I am bound by a higher law of the kingdom, and under greater penalties, to use no form of public worship but that established. If I be wanting to my duty in this, I am confident they will answer it who lay the restraint upon me. You mightily applaud that piece of freedom, that I must make my prayer myself, but yet, you know, they bind me in their materials: and shall I pray for your synod and armies, or give thanks for your Covenant? Truly, Sir, I am not yet satisfied, and therefore long impatiently to see you, for I hope your charitable desire of informing me still continues. What remains, I will reserve till then, because I cannot but reflect upon my rudeness already committed in this talkative paper. “‘At the close you interpose a word or two concerning your mutability. Good Sir, do not phrase it so. When I wrote that passage which you aim at, I intended only to convict fanie of a lie; to let you know there is more brass in her forehead than in her trumpet; and to applaud the poetical fiction in the choice of her sex, because I find l:er such a babbler and busy-body. I know that Mr. Weller's principles are so well and so deeply grounded, so strongly fortified, that all the logic at Westminster cannot alter them; and that it should be done before, I see no likelihood. Coelum non animum mutant. Sir, I look npon an opinion once entertained by you, as Hull or Gloucester, or if there be a more impregnable castle. I know you can stand out against all opposition; you know well how to ward the blows both of the right hand and the left. You slight the proffers of advantage that would woo you to give up, as much as you scorn the danger, and sit above all apprehensions of it. I know you'll dispute every inch before you quit it; being underneath titpaywros, like a die, however you be thrown down, you cannot lose your squareness, for you still fall upon a sure basis. So that, should any one tell me he saw you take the Covenant, I should be bold, if civility gave me leave, to give him the lie. Nay, should I myself see you lift up your hand and subscribe your name, I would strait turn sceptic and couclude my eyes de
The observations of Dr. D'Oyly upon this portion of the Archbishop's life are too just and too important to be omitted:
“It is highly interesting to observe the firm and resolute line of conduct which Mr. Sancroft maintained during this season of trial to all loyal subjects and all faithful sons of the church. It happened then, as it happens in all revolutionary times, that various hypotheses were started, to make men's consciences easy under compliance, to induce them to truckle without scruple to the authorities which prevailed, and to measure their notions of what was just and right, by their feeling of what was most conducive to their present interests. The specious arguments which were invented on this side of the question, wrought upon many highly estimable persons, both amongst the clergy and the laity, who probably sincerely reconciled to their consciences compliance with all the oaths and engagements imposed by the government of the day. But Mr. Sancroft's conscience was formed of a firmer texture, and from less yielding materials. Bred up in loyal attachment to his sovereign, and ordained a minister of God's church on earth, he had sealed his ties to the service of both, in the sight of heaven, by the most solemn of all engagements; and, having done so, he could not be induced by any earthly consideration to bind himself in allegiance to those by whom the monarchy had been torn up from its foundations, and the holy church laid prostrate in the dust.
“His firm and inflexible behaviour at this earlier period of his life finely illustrates the motives from which he afterwards acted at the time of the Revolution. It shows that the scrupulous regard to the obligation of an oath which he them maintained with excessive rigour, sprang from no feeling hastily or suddenly contracted, but from a principle which was deeply rooted in his heart, which formed an original and integral part of his character, and by which, under all the varying circumstances of his life, he steadily directed his course.” Vol. I. P. 62.
“Modern Policies” and “Fur Praedestinatus,” works which are as useful and as applicable to present times, as to those for which they were written, and the author of which could hardly have been that morose and unamiable being that Bishop Burnet has described. He appears, on the contrary, to have been a very affectionate and a very constant friend. A letter to his father, which we regret our inability to transcribe, deplores the death of a young fellow-student in terms of equal piety, tenderness, and good sense; and the letters which are addressed to Sancroft by his correspondents in the University, plainly prove their opinion of his good-humour and sociable disposition. One of them, Paman, who was his pupil at Cambridge, and whose intimacy continued to the close of his life, recounts several characteristic anecdotes of the time in which he wrote. He tells us that Hugh Peters, who in returning thanks #. Blake's victory over the Dutch, had said, that “the business was so long doubtful that God was brought to his hums and hawes which way to fling the victory,” preached at Cambridge one Sunday, and, “in the general, cheated the expectation and the company with a sober honest sermon; only he was not so severe as altogether to forget what many came for, but satisfied them sometimes in words and sometimes in action. At Ely he told the people the draining of the sens was a Divine work, having a resemblance to the work of the third day." Another preacher is described by the same lively pen, Mr. Boreman, who officiated at the funeral of Dr. Comber, Master of Trinity College; “who had leave to be buried in his own vineyard, though he might not live upon his own ground.” Mr. Boreman is reported to have said, that Comber “was born on New-Year's Day, and then it was presaged he would be a deodate, a fit New-Year's gift REMEMBRAneer, No. 29,
for God to bestow on the world. He was a Joseph, the twelfth son, and christened on Epiphany, the twelfth day. He drove the chariot of his college for fourteen years, till a boisterous northern storm cast him out of the box. These are some fragments which I make bold to send you of that long meal we had without one drop of liquor.” There is more in the same style, particularly from a Commencement Sermon upon “ the wind bloweth where it listeth.” We are furnished with the following extracts from the sermon and the prayer: “A twig from the stem of Jesse, whipped Nicodemus into a right understanding of regeneration:” and, “Lord the babe of grace in the womb of our souls, has not yet leapt at the tidings of our salvation.” These extracts are surely sufficient to shew that neither Sancroft nor his friend were much addicted to mor0Seness. At the Restoration he returned to England, after an absence of about three years; one half of which he appears to have passed at different towns in Holland, and the other in a tour through the southern parts of Europe. His reputation as a divine and a loyalist was so well established, that all the honours of his profession were opened to him without delay. He was successively made Prebendary of Durham, Dean of York, Master of Emanuel, Dean of St. Paul's, and Archdeacon of Canterbury. So rapid was his advancement, that the latter Deanery was conferred upon him in 1664. In 1667 he succeeded Sheldon in the archiepiscopal chair of Canterbury, and it seems certain that he was not indebted for this extraordinary rise to any thing but his own character and worth, and the high opinion that was entertained of him by the leading members of the Church. His political sentiments were such as might naturally please at court—but there is not the slightest reason for believing that he was R r
considered an active partizan. On the contrary he was remarkable for abstaining from politics as much as possible; and when he did interfere it was not in the spirit of a subservient courtier. The most remarkable service in which he was engaged in the reign of Charles II. was rebuilding St. Paul's Cathedral, which had been destroyed by the fire of London. This task fell naturally within his province, as Dean; and the enterprise appears to have been mainly indebted to him for its success. As Archbishop he was punctual in the discharge of his various important duties; and more especially endeavoured to suppress what was then a crying evil, and which has continued to exist, in a mitigated form, to the present hour—undue facility with which Orders are too often obtained, and the criminal negligence, under the name of good nature, with which testimonials to character are filled up. The Archbishop addressed a letter to the Bishops of his province, strongly recommending this subject to their most serious consideration. But we must pass rapidly over these and other acts of his primacy, and come at once to the aera of the revolution. It is his conduct on that occasion which peculiarly distinguishes Archbishop Sancroft, and entitles him to a place not merely among the learned and pious pre
lates of our Church, but among the - one.
distinguished characters that grace the most important page of English history. On the conduct of king James it is quite unnecessary to to dwell—though Dr. D'Oyly has enabled us to view some parts of it in a new light, by publishing from Tanner's MSS. a narrative of what took place at several interviews between king James and the Bishops. The narrative is partly written and partly corrected by Sancroft. We extract the account of a scene which took place in the king's closet, after the designs of the Prince of Orange
had become perfectly notorious. The king's object was to induce the Bishops to sign a paper declaring their abhorrence of the Prince's designs; and he urged them to do so by way of contradicting a proclamation in the Prince's name, which stated that he was coming by the invitation of the Bishops.
“ On their admission into the closet, the Archbishop began to this effect:“‘Sir, we think we have done all that can be expected from us in this business. Since your Majesty has declared you are well satisfied in our innocency, we regard not the censures of others." “Here the Bishops of Peterborough and Rochester, having been absent from the former meeting, made their personal protestations, (as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London had done before,) that they had, neither by word or writing, directly or indirectly, invited the Prince of Orange to invade his Majesty's dominions, nor did they know of any that had. “The King.—My Lords, I am abundantly satisfied with you all, as to that matter. I had not the least suspicion of you. But where is the paper I desired you to draw up and bring me? “The Bishops.-Sir, we have brought no paper. Nor (with submission) do we think it necessary or proper for us to do it. Since your Majesty is pleased to say
that you think us guiltless, we despise
what all the world besides shall say. Let others distrust us as they will, we regard it not: we rely on the testimony of our consciences, and your Majesty's favourable opinion. “The King.—But I expected a paper from you. I take it, you promised me I look upon it to be absolutely necessary for my service: and seeing you are mentioned in the Prince of Orange's Declaration, you should satisfy others as well as me. “Here the king, taking notice that the Bishops of Peterborough and Rochester had been absent the time before, took out the Declaration, and read to them what concerned the birth of the Prince of Wales, and the Prince of Orange's resolution to come to England for the preservation of its religion and laws, being invited by a great many of the spiritual and temporal lords. “The Bishops.-Sir, we cannot think ourselves bound to declare publicly, under our hands, against a paper come forth in