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courtier, statesman, and man of the world kneels before the cross; and we gain a different idea of him altogether.

William Laud was born at Reading in 1573. His father was à clothier of that town: his mother's family had rather more pretensions, and boasted a city knighthood in the person of Sir William Webb, a lord mayor of London, and a salter by trade, Laud's maternal uncle. The puritans did not forget this fact of a mercantile origin in his days of power, and ornamented it with very circumstantial additions. He was born of obscure parents in a cottage,' was Prynne's account: he was born between the stocks and the cage,' says the Scots' Scout."A courtier,' he adds, one day chanced to speak thereof,

whereupon his Grace removed them thence, and pulled down • his father's thatched house, and built a fair one in the place;'-a gratuitous and rather ungracious mode of stating the simple fact, that Laud built and endowed an almshouse in his native town. The subject of his birth was a prolific one; and libel after libel,' as he said, “raked him out of the dunghill.' Even with his long and intimate experience of the power of puritanical language, Laud was sometimes horrified with the intensity of abuse which poured in upon him on the subject of his origin. Heylyn found him one day walking in his garden, at Lambeth, looking troubled ' - disgusted, in modern language : Laud showed him one of these virulent papers : he pleaded guilty to the fact of not having the good fortune to be born a gentleman;'‘yet he thanked God he had been born of honest parents, who lived in a plentiful condition, employed many poor people in their way, and left a good report behind them.' "And therefore, continues Heylyn, ' beginning to clear up his countenance, •I told him as presently as I durst, that Pope Sixtus the Fifth,

as stout a pope as ever wore the triple crown, but a poor man's *son, did use familiarly to say, in contempt of such libels as • frequently were made against him, that he was domo natus * illustri, because the sunbeams, passing through the broken walls . and ragged roof, illustrated every corner of that homely cottage • in which he was born with which facetiousness of that pope (so applicable to the present occasion) he seemed very well pleased. We doubt whether Heylyn's precise case in point would have operated as a consolation to a very marked aspiration after high birth: but Laud's disgust was occasioned by the animus of his libellers, and not by the fact of his own origin.

• In my infancy,' says the Diary, I was in danger of death by sickness.' Laud carried with him from his birth one of those constitutions which are always ailing, and never failing. He had never good health for long together; and his fierce attacks of illness brought him sometimes to death's door, leaving him, however, as



strong for work again as ever, as soon as they were passed. A creaking gate lasts : weakness and iron often go together in the bodily constitution. There are different kinds of health; rude and full; slender and wiry: in-doors health, and out-of-doors health: reading health, and hunting health; the healths capacitating respectively for mental and for bodily work. Laud had the weakly kind of health eminently; a vigorous, obstinate, indoors constitution. His ailings, except when they broke out violently, seem only to have operated as a sort of unconscious stimulus, and mental mustard-plaster, perpetually keeping him up to his work—his internal puritans.

He went to the school of his native town, and had the benefit of a disciplinarian hand over him. After a wonderful preser‘vation in his infancy,' we are told, from a very sore fit of sick

ness, he had a happy education in his childhood under a very * severe schoolmaster. He was appreciated, however, for his master “frequently said to him, that he hoped he would remember * Reading School when he became a great man.' One of the prognostics, it is curious to notice, was his dreams:' the boy had strange dreams ;' the religious grotesquenesses, superstitions, or whatever critics may call them, of the Diary, seem to have been born with him. We will add that he must have been exceedingly clever to have made the recital of them tell so much in his favour. There is no subject matter that tasks human power more to make interesting. We have no disrespect for the thing itself, for the dream per se, for the world of sight, sound, and action, that sleep introduces us into: nevertheless nature herself yawns, and the face of social life lengthens into despondency, as soon as ever the public communication of a dream commences—as soon as ever the preparatory note and prelude is heard—What do you think I dreamed of last night? A man's dream interests himself because it is his own-a plain intimation of reason that it is meant for his own peculiar enjoyment. However, the little Laud had, it appears, very striking dreams; and his schoolmaster saw mind in them. Genuine nature gives a character wherever she is the originator; and the native productions of a soil have a charm about them. We like Laud's dreams for being born with him. He seems to have a right to them; and their shadowy fragmentary character shows an imaginative element in his mind, and points back to a more vivid chillish prototype. He appears, in his school-days, to have been what is called a regular sharp boy: and his witty speeches, generous spirit, great apprehensions, and notable performances, raised people’s expectations about him.

At sixteen, he went up to Oxford, and entered at St. John's College; became a scholar the next year, and four years afterwards


fellow. • He was at that time, we are informed by Wood,

esteemed by all who knew him, (being little in stature), a very ' forward, confident, and zealous person;' a not unnatural line of character for a young man to fall into, who had great talents, great earnestness, a strong religious bias, and a considerable disgust for the tone of opinion which surrounded him.

The religious atmosphere of the University at this time was, as is well known, Calvinistic in the extreme. The developed Reformation theology was predominant there. The divinity professorships were in the hands of strong Calvinists; and the Genevan doctrines were the regular authorized teaching and standard of the place. First in power in the University was Dr. Laurence Humphries, President of Magdalen College, and Regius Professor of Divinity; a disciple of Zwinglius, and a correspondent of Calvin. “The best that could be said of him,' says Heylyn, 'by one who commonly speaks well of that party

(the historian Fuller], was, that he was a moderate and conscientious nonconformist. He was, however, a clever man, a fluent lecturer, and master of a good Latin style. The Divinity Schools were his great field, and his lectures, which consisted of strong expositions of all the Calvinistic tenets, and fierce denunciations of the Pope, moulded the theology of the University students. He sowed in the Divinity Schools,' as we are told, such seeds of Calvinism, and laboured to create in ' the younger men such a strong hate against the Papists, as if ' nothing but divine truths were to be found in the one, and ‘nothing but abominations to be seen in the other. His college felt its head : Magdalen' was stocked with a generation of nonconformists,' and became a conspicuous nursery and hotbed of Calvinism. A change has passed over the face of that society since these religious movements. The incongenial effervescence, under a happier influence, subsided, and has not returned ; and Laurence Humphries, were he to visit the scene of his labours again, would have to mourn over his lapsed college; the rigours of puritanism no longer predominant within its walls; the five points untouched; and a fellow of Magdalen not ipso facto a supralapsarian.

The Calvinistic party had aid from the political world. Humphries had a warm coadjutor, indeed, in the Lady Margaret Professor; but as if this was not staff enough for the work: as if these two, says Heylyn, did not make the distance wide

enough between the churches, a new lecture must needs be founded.' New theological lectures were the protestantizing machinery of those times, as they have been since. The government of the day favoured the Calvinistic side. Walsingham, the Secretary of State, and the Earl of Leicester, Chancellor of the University, both leant a ready ear to the suggestions of Humphries and his school; and Oxford puritanism was in close and intimate alliance with political power at head-quarters. Walsingham is described by our historian as 'a man of great 'political ability, an extreme hater of the popes and Church of • Rome, and no less favourable unto those of the puritan faction.' Doctor John Reynolds, President of Corpus Christi College, a learned and rigorous puritan, stood high in Walsinghain's good graces : he was appointed to the new lectureship, and joined the other official disseminators of the Calvinistic doctrines in the University.

The coalition engendered a great feeling of security and strength in the party. A party feels itself strong that has a back to lean against; that has reinforcements to call in when it wants them. Confidence is seated in a background; and the mind of the partisan expands with self-complacency and hope as it feels the remoter and more exoteric circle of sympathy and assistance. “Our friends in the government'-'our parliamentary supporters '-' our friends in the country'-and our friends in town,' are indefinite sources of self-gratulatory strength to a side, and the sure aid at a distance has double weight at home. Parties under such circumstances grow easy, boastful, and contemptuous: they ride over the field, clear their way unscrupulously, vote opposition to be ipso facto absurd, urge the territorial right, implant themselves in the soil, engraft their own system and character, feel at home, and cover the ground. The Calvinistic party at Oxford enjoyed their alliance with the political world, and nipped all opposition to them in the bud, by simple weight and impetus. They had it all their own way: those who thought differently from them kept their own opinions to themselves, rather than face the storm of censure and vituperation, which they would have encountered by expressing them. Heylyn mentions two names of fellows of colleges as the only public, open, orthodox ones existing in the place at this time. There, doubtless, was another school all the while in embryo, but it was only an embryo one. It had not courage to come out, or voice to make itself heard. It wanted a leader and mouthpiece, somebody to bring it out and make it speak, elicit its powers, encourage its efforts, and mould it into shape and compactness.

Oxford was only a sample of the rest of the country. The Reformation in this country ended in showing itself a decidedly Calvinistic movement. The theology of our native reformers, where it did not run spontaneously in this direction (as it did not in some), was too weak to resist its irruptions; and Calvin and the foreign reformers stepped in almost as soon as the movement had begun, threw their whole impetus into it, and turned it their own way. A movement shows itself in its fruits: the Reformation produced Calvinism: Calvinism was its immediate offspring, its genuine matter-of-fact expansion. The divines that the Reformation directly produced, its actual disciples and sons, were everywhere of this school; and the Calvinistic foliage sprouted with all the freedom and exubeance of nature.

Laud commenced his course in this state of University theology: and had to push his way through this adverse system. He fought at a disadvantage. He did not start with Laudian station and authority : far from it; he had authority regularly against him, and stood a simple individual, and fellow of a college, against the whole official stream of academical opinion, against the favourite and cardinal doctrines of vice-chancellors, heads of houses, and divinity professors. Laud's ultimate historical position is so prominent in our minds, that we hardly think of him in his previous humbler one; as if he had never not been an Archbishop, and been born, on the principle of Minerva's leap out of Jupiter's head, in full-blown metropolitan maturity and canonicals. The Caroline Court and the Regale, appear born with him. We picture him the man of pomp and station to begin with ; with all the paraphernalia of ecclesiastical power ready made to his hands, and leave him only the easy

ask of laying down the law, and punishing the rebel, bringing down the terrors of suspension on the nonconformist, and of the pillory on the libeller. It was very different in fact: Laud certainly made full use of his powers, both ecclesiastical and secular, when he got them; but it was a long time before he got them. He was long all but alone, and had an up-hill course. Dignitaries condemned, acquaintances avoided, even friends suspected him: he endured a humiliating discipline and a severe succession of rubs. He laid his own groundwork, and created his own authoritativeness; we see the result, and forget the process which led to it; we antedate the man of power, and give him what he made himself before he made it.

He appears before us, in short, in the first instance as an innovator upon the dominant and authorized theology of the day. A high Churchman of the old school' can now appeal to his sanction and name; but Laud was not one of an • old school' himself; there was no old school' of highChurchmanship for him to belong to: the established school' of the Church was then Calvinistic; Calvinism was the theology of the Church dignitary, the Bishop, the Dean, the College Head. The maintainer of another system had to assume the character which thinks for itself, and will not follow the lead; a free,

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