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have leave to depart the kingdom with his wife and children ; but to no purpose : hc and the other, both anabaptists, were burnt alive in Smithfield; and my author adds, suffered death with great terror and deep groans.
Tho'king James I was educated a presbyterian, and when in Scotland, « blessed “ God for honouring him to be king over “ such a kirk, the sincereft kirk in the ” world;" yet upon his accession to the throne of England he persecuted those of that
very kirk, and indeed all who diffented from the epifcopal church. Some of his bishops flattered his vanity most egregiously; and in return he let them loose on the people, many of whom, and several of them excellent persons, were used with great cruelty.
His son and successor, Charles I, followed the example of his father. Laud, who was a most haughty, turbulent, and merciless prelate, .would suffer no opposition to the superstitious and popish rites and ceremonies which he was so fond of; and used many worthy and learned protestant gentlemen and divines with the utmost indignity and barbarity for not complying with his will
and 1 Abrid. of Brandt's Hiftory of the Reformation, Vol. I. p. 168.
and pleasure. But this violent man drove on so furiously, that he brought himself to the block, and was a great cause of overturning both church and state ; by which means the sectaries obtained the government, and established their religion. When these people, who had been so 'lately persecuted themselves, had gained their point, with how much lenity, moderation, and christian charity did they behave? With just as much as all other churches and fects do when armed with fufficient power :—they persecuted all who differed from them. But their reign was cut short by the restoration of king Charles II.
This prince had little or no religion himself, nevertheless he suffered his bishops and priests to harrass and worry his subjects in a most outrageous manner,
Instead of soothing and comforting the people, when distressed by a conflagration which destroyed most part of this capital city, and by a plague that swept away multitudes, he greatly aggravated their misery by fines, sequestrations, deprivations of thousands of learned, eminent, and pious men, banishments, imprisonments, &c. And here it may be worthy of notice, that the very persons who were, on account of their religion, banished to New England, in which country they obtained the government, there perfecuted, even to death, the poor quakers, who are certainly one of the most innocent, harmless, and primitive-like fects among christians.
KING James II, in the beginning of his reign, by continuing persecution, followed the footsteps of his brother, and acted agreeably to his own inclination and the precepts of his religion. However, not long after his accession to the throne, he published a declaration for a general liberty of conscience. This was artfully done, merely to introduce the open and undisturbed profession of
popery, which he was determined, at all adventures, to establish in these kingdoms : and if he had succeeded, what must have been expected from a prince naturally cruel, and a bigotted, popish, fiery zealot? This fine country would foon have become a nest of unclean birds, a prey to priests, and a field of blood : but the happy revolution averted these impending mischiefs, and faved the nation from utter destruction.
DURING the reign of king William III, who was no bigot, but as has been said of his ancestor William I, prince of Orange ",
approved all virtuous men, whatever religion they were of,” and who was placed
m Abrid. of Brandt's History of the Reformation, Vol. I. p. 169.
on the British throne by the consent and affiftance of all denominations of protestants amongst us ; during his government persecution lay dormant: but in the latter part of the following reign, a church' firebrand having set the nation in a flame, protestant persecution began to growl, and Thew her horrid fangs and claws; but the death of that princess put an end to the defigns of the then governing party, and buried those wicked projects and perfecution in the same grave, from whence may they never rise again to plague and torment this happy country.
RELIGIOUS cruelties have not, we see, been 'confined to those of the Roman Cathor lic persuasion : but tho? Persecution, that infernal goddess, has sojourned with, been entertained, and more or less obeyed and worshipped by all the different churches or fects of christians who have had it in their power to execute her will and commands;- yet it must be acknowledged, that in the chunch of Rome The has taken up her constant abode, erected and established her merciless throne, 'weilded her iron fceptre, brandished with the greatest execution her laughtering sword, and been cloathed with all her terrors.
are more cruel, and have been guilty of more horrid barbarities, than other persons of a civilized and learned education,
we take a view of the enormous cruelties exercised by these churchmen without the least provocation, and many times upon some of the most innocent, virtuous, and pious of mankind, and for no reason but because they worship God according to the dictates of their consciences, it will evidently appear, that no other persons of a civilized