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When it was too late, the Churchmen began to wish they had let the Dissenters alone, and allowed them to stay where they
But now the latter not only would not go out themselves, but threatened to oust the Churchmen, who soon had cause to rue the violent hurry they had been in to make the Dissenters conform, and bitterly regretted that they had compelled them to enter the Anglican Church. They who introduced the principle that might makes right-who mutilated the consciences, and forced the minds and bodies of others to fit in the procrustean bed of the Establishment_have no cause to complain if they be served according to the same measure.
The question of conformity, especially occasional conformity, was the great bone of contention between the parties of Queen Anne's reign.
Dissenters they were to be pressed
To go to common-prayer,
As God were only there :
Or else no place of price or trust
They ever could obtain ;
That “Godliness is gain.”*
James Owen, a dissenting minister, published a pamphlet with a very lengthy title, commencing :
* From "The History and Fall of the Conformity Bill," London, 1703. “Being an excellent new Song, chanted to the tune of Chevy Chace.” On the celebrated bill for preventing occasional conformity (which passed the House of Commons, December 7, 1703, but was rejected by the Lords), Swift remarks, in a letter to Stella, dated December 16, 1703, “I wish you had been here for ten days, during the highest and warmest reign of party and faction that I ever knew or read of, upon the bill against occasional conformity, which two days ago was rejected by the Lords. It was so universal that I observed the dogs in the streets much more contumelious and quarrelsome than usual; and the very night before the bill went up, a committee of Whig and Tory cats had a very warm and loud debate upon the roof of our house. But why should we wonder at that, when the very ladies are split asunder into High Church and Low, and out of zeal for religion have hardly time to say their prayors ?"
Moderation, a Virtue ; or, the Occasional Conformist justified from the Imputation of Hypocrisy. Wherein is shown the Antiquity, Catholic Principles, and Advantage of Occasional Conformity to the Church of England, &c. London, 1703, 4to.
Defoe replied in
The Sincerity of the Dissenters vindicated from the Scandal of Occasional Conformity. London, 1703, 4to.
Leslie attacked both in another long-named pamphlet
By one called a High
The Wolf stript of his Shepherd's Clothing. Churchman.
London, 1704, 4to., pp. 108.
To which Defoe replied in
The Dissenters' Answer to the High-Church Challenge. London, 1704, 4to., pp. 55.
The numerous works published by Defoe and other writers on this subject, for obvious reasons, must be passed over in these pages. It is impossible to give here even a summary of what Defoe has written on party; the most we can do with a man who has published not less than two hundred and ter works is to make a selection.
In the following passage Defoe shows how the spirit of party had diffused itself every where, and leavened all ranks in his time :
The strife is gotten into your kitchens, your parlours, your counting-houses, nay, into your very beds. The poor despicable scullions learn to cry High Church! No Dutch kings! No Hanover ! that they may do it dexterously when they come into the next mob. Here their antagonists of the dripping-pan practise the other-side clamour, No French Peace! No Pretender! No Popery! Up stairs the 'prentices, standing some on one side of the shop and some on the other, throw High Church and Low Church at each other's heads, like battledore and shuttlecock; and, instead of posting their books, are fighting and railing at the Pretender and the House of Hanover. If we go one story higher, the ladies, instead of their innocent sports and diversions, are falling out amongst each other; the mothers and the daughters, the children and the servants, nay, even the little sisters. If the chambermaid is a slattern, and does not please, I warrant she is a High-Flyer or a Whig: I never knew one of that sort good for any thing in my life. Nay, go up to your very bedchambers, and even in bed the man and wife shall quarrel about it. People! people! what will become of you at this rate ? *
The periodical literature of Queen Anne's reign is very remarkable, and deserves the careful attention of all inquirers into the history of English party.
In the early part of this reign the most remarkable periodicals are, The Observator, of which the first number was published April 1, 1702, conducted by John Tutchin, a Whig and Low Churchman. The Review, which commenced February 19, 1704, conducted by Defoe, who comes under the same classification, but, like Henry of the Wynd, generally fought for his own band, and occupied that anomalous position ascribed by tradition to Mahomet's tomb, and assumed in our own times by Dr. Arnold. This periodical was continued until May, 1713, when it was finally relinquished, after a steady publication of more than nine years. А. copy
of the last volume of this work is not known to be in existence. (See Wilson, vol. iii. p. 295.) The remaining periodical of this period of any note is The Rehearsal, conducted by the High-Church champion, Charles Leslie. It commenced August 2, 1704, and was discontinued at the end of March, 1709. Another writer revived it shortly after, but it soon fell to the ground. The Rehearsal was published in folio, and was reprinted in 6 vols. 12mo. in 1750.
In the succeeding reign, also, the most remarkable party periodicals are three in number, The Scourge, The Entertainer, and The Independent Whig.
The Scourge, in vindication of the Church of England, was edited by Thomas Lewis, and contains forty-three numbers, 8vo., commencing with February 4, 1717, and ending November 25, 1717. It was reprinted in a handsome 8vo. vol. in 1720, with a rubricated title-page and a frontispiece, containing in five medallion portraits the royal family of the Stuarts. The title runs
* From Defoe's ironical Reasons against the Succession of the House of Hanover.
“Si Populus vult decipi decipiatur:" London, 1713, pp. 45.
The Scourge : in Vindication of the Church of England. To which are added, 1. The Danger of the Church Establishment of England, from the Insolence of Protestant Dissenters, occasioned by a Presentment of the Fortysecond Paper of the Scourge at the King's Bench Bar, by the Grand Jury of the Hundred of Ossulston. 2. The Anatomy of the Heretical Synod of Dissenters at Salters' Hall. By T. L. : London, printed in the year M.DCCXX. Price six shillings, pp. 384.
The latter tract has a curious frontispiece prefixed, representing the Synod.
The next on our list is
The Entertainer : containing Remarks upon Men, Manners, Religion, and Policy; to which is prefixt a Dedication to the most famous University of Oxford. . . . . London, printed by N. Mist.
It contains forty-three numbers, from November 6, 1717, to August 27, 1718; pp. 307, 12mo.
The Independent Whig contains fifty-four numbers, from January 20, 1720, to January 18, 1721. In the preface to the last edition the editor says :
To gratify the usual curiosity of readers, I have, at the end of each paper, put the initial letter of the name of the gentleman who wrote it. As there were only three gentlemen concerned in the undertaking, and as their names are well known, it will be easy to distinguish them by this mark.
The initials appended are G., T., and C. The first stands for Thomas Gordon; the second for John Trenchard; (?) the third initial.
The last edition (the eighth) was issued in 4 vols. 12mo. in 1752; but the original periodical ends at p. 173 of the 2d vol. The editor, Thomas Gordon, has added the remaining pages himself. The title of the 1st vol, is
The Independent Whig; or, a Defence of Primitive Christianity, and of our Ecclesiastical Establishment, against the exorbitant Claims and Encroachments of Fanatical and Disaffected Clergymen. By Thomas Gordon, Esq. The eighth edition, with additions and amendments, in 4 vols. : London, 1753. The 2d vol, has the same title : the 3d the same, except that it is “ the third edition." The 4th is entitled
The Independent Whig: being a Collection of Papers, all written, some of them published, during the late Rebellion. The second edition. After a scurrilous dedication follows " A Letter to the Publisher," full of rancour against the famous Bishop of Sodor and Man, Dr. Wilson, with that prelate's “Bull against The Independent Whig," and extolling that "honest and brave magistrate, the Governor of Man, Capt. Horne," for his conduct in the affair.
The titles of some of the papers may serve to give some idea of this work :
7. Of Uninterrupted Succession. 12. The Enmity of the High Clergy to the Reformation, and their Arts to defeat the end of it. 13, 14. The Church proved a Creature of the Civil Power by Acts of Parliament and the Oaths of the Clergy, by the Canons, and their own public Acts. 15. The Absurdity and Impossibility of Church Power, as independent of the State. 16. The Inconsistency of the Principles and Practice of the High Church, 17. Reasons why the High Church are the most wicked of all Men. 19. Ecclesiastical Authority, as claimed by the High Clergy, an Enemy to Religion. 21. A Comparison between the High Church and the Quakers. 33. The Ignorance of the High Church vulgar, and its Causes. 37. The Enmity of the High Clergy to the Bible. 42-46. Of High-Church Atheism. 51. Of the three High Churches in England.
In the index to the 1st. vol. we have
High-Church priests .. subscribe the Articles without believing them, and abuse those that do. Mislead those that follow them, and curse those that leave them. Allow us to read the Bible, but not to make use of it. Damn all the world, without taking one step to convert it. Low Churchmen