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were already 70,000 persons, scattered all over Germany, which he used; but I have no doubt in my own mind who recognised bis episcopal authority, and that that at all that the reply is to be taken in its evangelical number was constantly increasing. The Government, too, signification,—“ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, was very friendly to him ; and so many Christians were confessing your
sins." entitled to receive support for their nuinistry. Of course, Some desultory talk followed about England. He political feeling had, no doubt, something to do with seemed interested in the appointment of a successor to the movement, but he firmly believed it to be an the Bishop of Winchester ; and was curious to know essentially spiritual one.
what the “ fellow" of a college was. But nothing As the bishop seemed to assume, in all he said in occurred further that seems worthy of special record. this connection, that the principle of what we call in And I may only add that I bade him farewell with a this country “concurrent endowment,” was self-evi- feeling of sincere respect, being convinced that persondently reasonable, I asked if the Jansenists' ministers ally he is a man of undoubted earnestness ; and that, as were sustained by the Dutch Government.
an ecclesiastic, he represents a cause which is not “ Certainly,” he said ; whenever they can show that merely venerable by reason of its historical associations, there is a congregation of worshippers, and the need of but in the highest degree interesting, on account of the State help, that help is given.”
service it promises to render to the cause of Pro“And the Roman Catholics, are they treated in the testantism. same manner ?”
In concluding, I may remark that the history of “ Yes."
Jansenism supplies lessons which Old Catholicism “ In reference to them, how are they now governed ? would be wise to study. Why has that interesting I observe that, for a century and a half at any rate, community of which we have been speaking shrunk to they did not restore the hierarchy which was broken its present dimensions ? It is because it has insisted up by your opposition to the Jesuits. Is Holland still
on retaining in its constitution what tended to make its directed by vicars apostolic ?”
protest against Romanism feckless and ineffective. “No. For a long time it was so, but in the reign of For one thing, it started with a bitter and unreasoning William I. the Pope approached the Government of the prejudice against the Churches of the Reformation. time, and asked its concurrence in the appointment of Jansen himself speaks of Protestants as being no Roman bishops to the old sees. The Prime Minister better than Turks; and says, that “they had much objected, saying, that there were Bishops of Utrecht more reason to congratulate themselves on the mercy and Haarlem already (meaning the Jansenist bishops); of princes, than to complain of their severities, which, and that to 'put two cocks into the same nest would be as the vilest of heretics, they richly deserved.” They to provoke a fight;' but he at the same time ex- habituated themselves, also, from age to age, to think pressed his willingness to approve the erection of en- of Rome as their Mother Church, from whose hearth, tirely new Catholic bishoprics ; such as those, for indeed, they had been unjustly banished, but to whose example, of Amsterdam or Leyden. This offer, how- bosom they hoped, by-and-by, to be restored. Then, erer, did not suit the notions of the Vatican ; and it though they have an open Bible, and maintain the docpreferred to wait for a better day. That came in the trines of grace, they mixed up with their evangelism reign of the third William ; and now we have two so much of the sacerdotal system, that the good must Archbishops of Utrecht, two of Haarlem, and two of have been almost neutralized by the evil. The Mass Deventer."
still held a central place in their worship-it was There was just one other question which I took it matter of life or death to them to have a validly orupon me to put in a deliberate way, apologising, at the dained priesthood ; and over all fell that tremendous same time, for the liberty I took in submitting it in so shadow of “ The Church," under cover of which explicit a form.
Ritualism is now doing its best to Romanise the Church “What answer,” I asked, “would he, as a Jansenist, of England. Occupying the position it did, Jansenism give to a sinner who came to him in a state of anxiety has all along been fighting a losing battle with the of mind, seeking to know the way of salvation ?" Papacy. Rome had always a great backing. All the
“I would say to bim," he answered at once. --- currents were in its favour; while the Jansenists then66 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and confess your selves played into its hands, by trying to maintain the sios."
family likeness. No wonder, then, that the result was, Some to whom I have mentioned this reply, since that Rome became greater and greater, and Jansenism coming home, have asked me in what sense the con- ever less and less. And that will be the issue of Old fession of sins was understood-hinting that what was Catholicism also, if it does not come to show a bolder and meant was confession to a priest, with a view to sacer- a freer spirit. As long as it retains its pervasive sacerdotal absolution. But I have no reason, but the dotalism, Rome will continue to mark it as its own. It contrary, to think that this was the sense of the bishop's may run an independent course for a time, and that words. His language was translated to me by the time will be longer or shorter in proportion to the Dutch interpreter, and I give the ipsissima verba strength of the current which is now driving them
from the centre; but the string is not broken, and the given to them, and also in the emancipating effects of strain recalling them will by-and-by begin. We see how Ronian arrogance and presumption. We have seen hov the thing is now working in England, where three cen- recent events have told in the way of opening the eyes turies ago the revulsion from Rome was far more intense of a Jansenist bishop to the true character of the Papacs, than that which in our day is leading men to hold con- and we may indulge the expectation that with the regresses at Constance or Cologne. And unless matters coil from Ultramontanism there may come a wakening mend, we may reasonably dread that the German Re- up out of the delusion entirely, and a resolution to build formation will prove a movement in a circle. Our only their Church directly, and not sentimentally, on the hope lies in the opening up of the Scriptures to the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the people, and in the increased attention that is being chief corner-stone.
BY THE REV. W. H. WITHROW, M.A., CANADA.
F the two thousand nonconforming clergy | sively assumed the functions of curate of the parish.
who in the year 1662 abandoned their liv- But the religious teachings of his godly sire, and the ings rather than perjure their consciences, study of the family Bible, which was all his library, save
none was more conspicuous for learning some pedlars' ballads and tracts, and a few borrowed and piety, for zeal and suffering, than Richard Baxter. books, were the most important elements in the formaIndeed, no nobler nature sprang from that stormy age tion of his character. From his sixteenth to his nine which produced a Cromwell and a Hampden, a Marvell teenth year he attended the Wroxeter grammar-school, and a Milton. But never was more heroic soul en- where he acquired a fluent though uncritical use of slerined in a frailer tabernacle, or assailed by ruder gusts Latin, and a partial knowledge of Greek. Few glimpses of fortune. His life was one long martyrdom of disease of his boyhood occur, although he tells us that he was and fiery agonies of pain. His physical infirmities were addicted to orchard-robbing and to the inordinate use aggravated by unremitting toil and study, and by cruel of fruit, which he believed induced his subsequent persecution and imprisonment. But the tree that physical infirmities. His constitution was further uswrestles with the storm upon the wind-swept height dermined by an attack of small-pox, which left behind acquires a firmer fibre and a sturdier growth than that symptoms of acute phthisis. which nestles in the sheltered vale. So the stern Puritan Shortly after attaining his twentieth year Baxter as nature, buffeting with the blasts of adversity, developed induced to try his fortunes at Court. Thither he sea strength of moral fibre, an unfaltering will, and daunt-cordingly repaired, fortified with a letter to the Master less daring, that 'a blander atmosphere might have of the Revels. The frivolous amusentents and fashionenervated or destroyed. The study of that heroic able follies of Whitehall, however, proved distastefal to life cannot fail to quicken noble impulses and in-. his naturally serious disposition, and within a month be spire a lofty purpose even in an age of luxury and self- returned to his quiet and studious life at Ronton.I indulgence.
had quickly enough of the Court," he says, “ when I On the 12th of November 1615 was born, in the saw a stage-play instead of a sermon on the Lord's-day pleasant village of Rowton, Shropshire, the child who in the afternoon, and saw what course was there in was to influence so largely the religious destiny of his fashion." From the seriousness of his deportment he own and of future times. His father was a substantial early acquired the name of Precision and Puritan; but yeoman, who cherished the fear of God in a period of though at first nettled at the sneer, he soon learned to general spiritual declension. King James's “ Book of regard as an honour an epithet which was daily heaped Sports" seemed almost to enforce the desecration of by the worst upon the best of men. the Sabbath ; and Baxter complained that in his youth But mere sobriety of life could not satisfy the demands the fanıily “could not on the Lord's-day either read a of an awakened conscience. A severe illness soon chapter, or pray, or sing a psalm, or catechise or instruct brought him to the borders of the grave. Deep convica servant, but with the noise of the pipe and tabor, and tions took hold upon his mind. His soul was shaken the shoutings in the street, continually in our ears. with fearful questionings. Dark forms of unbelief asSometimes the morris-dancers would come into the sailed him,-doubts of the future life, of the credibility church in all their linen, and scarfs, and antique dresses, of the Scripture, of the very existence of God. The with morris-bells jingling at their legs; and as soon as very
foundations of faith seemed to be destroyed. But common prayer was read, did haste out presently to he bravely wrestled with his doubts. He boldly conin."
fronted his spiritual difficulties, and he came off victoHis early instructors in secular knowledge were a rious, but not without receiving in the conflict mental stage-player and an attorney's clerk, who had succes- scars, which he bore to his dying day. His convictions
were in wrought into the fibre of his being. His faith ent at the sieges of Bridgewater, Exeter, Bristol, and henceforth was founded upon a Rock.
Worcester, ever striving to mitigate the horrors of war, At the age of twenty-three he was ordained, and be- and to promote the spirit of peace and good-will. came the curate to a clergyman at Bridgenorth. Two Compelled by ill health to leave the army, he returned years after, he was appointed to the cure of souls at to his beloved Hock at Kidderminster, and gave to the Kidderminster, and entered with enthusiasm upon his world the undying legacy of his “Saint's Rest” and parochial duties. His earnest ministrations and sedu- “Call to the Unconverted;" written, he tells us, " in the lous pastoral care disturbed the spiritual apathy of the midst of continual languishing and medicine......by a town, and soon wrought a wonderful improvement in man with one foot in the grave, between the living and the manners of the people. Nor was he less mindful of the dead.” The one seems like a blissful anticipation the ills of the body than of the maladies of the soul. of that heaven in whose very precincts he walked ; the For years he practised among them the healing art, other is almost like a call from the other world, so frail till, finding the tax upon his time too great, he secured was the tenure of his life when it was uttered, but the residence of a professional physician.
echoing through the ages in many a strange land and The times were full of portents. The political atmos- foreign tongue.* It has aroused multitudes from their phere was surcharged with elements which must ere fatal sluniber, and led them to the everlasting rest. long produce an explosion. In the oppressive lull, like Baxter was no sycophant of the great. He fearlessly that before a storm, could be heard the far-off mutter- declare:1, even before Cromwell, his abhorrence of the ings of the thunder about to burst over the astonished execution of the King, and of the usurpation of the nation. Society was to be plunged almost into chaos Protector. Invited to preach at Court, he boldly deby the violence of the shock. The Puritans, from being claimed in the presence of the great captain against the a religious sect, were gradually becoming a political sin of maintaining schism for his own political ends. power. Oppression and persecution only confirmed them With a candour no less than his own, and in honourable in their principles. They were gradually attracting to testimony to his work, and to the value placed upon themselves the noblest spirits of the realm,—those who his esteem, Cromwell sought to convince him of the loved God and loved liberty.
integrity of his purpose and justice of his acts. But Baxter's religious sympathies were almost entirely the Puritan Royalist was faithful to the memory of his with the Puritans, but he was loyal to his sovereign. slain king. He left the Court, where advancement The storin burst in his immediate neighbourhood. The awaited him, and consecrated his wealth of learning and iconoclastic zeal of the Roundhead soldiery attacked eloquence to the humble poor of Kidderminster, resome lingering relics of Popery in the Kidderminster joicing in their simple joys, sympathizing with their church ; a riot with the townspeople ensued. Baxter, homely sorrows, warning every man and teaching every as a man of peace, retired to Coventry as a city of refuge man as in the sight of God. till the return of quiet times. “We kept to our own Baxter sympathized strongly with the exiled sovereign, principles,” he says ; we were unfeignedly for King and preached the thanksgiving sermon at St. Paul's on and Parliament.” Invited by Cromwell to become chap- Monk's declaration for the king. On the Restoration lain of the troops at Cambridge, he declined; but after- he accepted a royal chaplaincy, and in conscientious ,ward visiting the Parliamentary army, he found, as he discharge of the duties of his office he preached a twoconceived, much theological error in its ranks, and hours sermon of solemn admonition, ungraced by courtly accepted the chaplaincy of Whalley's regiment, as phrase or compliment before the yawning monarch. affording an opportunity of converting the Anabaptists He was jealous of the interests of religion, and in a perand Levellers to the orthodox faith.* A skilled polemic, sonal interview with Charles, to use the words of Ncal, he challenged his adversaries to a public discussion. “honest Mr. Baxter told his majesty that the interest The theological tournament took place at Amersham of the late usurpers with the people arose from the church, in Buckinghamshire. “I took the reading- encouragement they had given religion ; and he hoped pew,” says Baxter, “and Pitchford's cori and troopers the king would not undo, but rather go beyond, the good took the gallery; and I alone disputed against them which Cromwell or any other had done.” from morning until almost night.” He sought a nobler Invited to present a plan of ecclesiastical reformation, antagonist in the person of the General himself; but he framed one on the basis of Archbishop Usher's Cromwell, he complains with some bitterness,“ would “Reduction of Episcopacy;" but his comprehensive and not dispute with me at all.” But he witnessed other moderate scheme was rejected. Notwithstanding the and direr contlicts than these ; and after many a bloody specious promises of the royal Declaration, the perfidy skirmish, ministered to the bodily and ghostly necessities of the wounded and the dying. He was also pres
* During Baxter's life as many as twenty thousand copies of
the “Call to the Unconverted" were sold in a year--a vast num* Edwards, a writer of the period, in his “Gangraena," or Col- ber for that period. It was translated by Eliot into the Indian lection of Errors, enumerates sixteen prevailing varieties of heresy, dialect, for the use of the American savages. and quotes one hundred and seventy-six erroneous passages from translated into most of the languages of Europe, and multiplied current theological literature,
almost beyond computation.
It has since been
of the king and court was such that Baxter refused the both crimes were animated by the same spirit of relioffer of the mitre of Hereford as an insidious bribe. He gious intolerance. Two thousand "worthy, learned, sought instead permission to return to his humble flock pious, and orthodox divines," as Locke has styled them, at Kidderminster. He asked no salary, if only he might were forcibly banished from their roof-trees and hearthlabour among them in the gospel ; but his request was stones, and driven forth homeless and shelterless, for no refused.
offence save worshipping God according to the dictates Baxter was a prominent member of the celebrated of their conscience. While the courtly revellers of Savoy Conference, in which for fourteen weeks twenty- Whitehall were celebrating the nuptials of King Charles one Anglican and twenty-one Presbyterian divines- and the fair Catherine of Portugal, from cathedral close twelve of the former being of episcopal or archepiscopal and prebendal stall, from rectory and vicarage, the dignity-attempted a reconciliation between the con- ejected clergy went forth, like Abrahan), not knowing tending ecclesiastical factions. But this project was whither they went. This cruel Act, says Burnet, raised defeated by the bigoted opposition of the bishops. Their a grievous cry over the nation. Many must have lordships were in the saddle, says the contemporary perished but for private collections for their subsistence. chronicler, so they guided the controversy their own "They cast themselves,” continnes the bishop, “ on the gate. From the same authority we learn that "the providence of God and the charity of friends.” “ Many most active disputant was Mr. Baxter, who had a very hundreds of them,” says Baxter," with their wives and metaphysical head and fertile invention, and was one of children, had neither house nor bread.” Many of the the most ready men of his time for an argument; but,” | ministers, being afraid to lay down their ministry after he adds, “ too eager and tenacious of his own opinions." they had been ordained to it, preached to such as would He gave especial offence by drawing up a “Reformed hear them, in fields and private houses, till they were Liturgy," in the language of Scripture, which he pro- apprehended and cast into gaol, where many of them posed as an alternative to the venerable form conse- perished. “Some lived on little more than brown bread crated by the use of a hundred years.
and water," says the Conformist Plea. “ One went to The prelatical party were eager to return to the plough six days and preached on the Lord's day. livings from which they had been so long excluded. Another was forced to cut tobacco for a livelihood." Even clergy sequestered for public scandal, reinstated in The expulsion of these "learned and pious divines * their forfeited privileges, threw off all the restraints of was in wanton disregard of the spiritual necessities of their order. Every week, says Baxter, some were taken the nation. Although many illiterate, debauched, and up drunk in the streets, and one was reported drunk in unworthy men were thrust into the sacred office, as the the pulpit. A flood of profligacy swept away all the author of the “Five Groans of the Church" complains, barriers of virtue and morality. The king sauntered yet many parishes long remained under a practical from the chambers of his mistresses to the church even interdict-the children unbaptized, the dead buried upon sacrament days. The Court became the scene of without religious rites, marriage disregarded, the churches vile intrigue. Dissolute actresses flaunted the example falling into ruin, and the people relapsing into irreligion of vice, and made a mock of virtue in lewd plays upon and barbarism. the stage. The “Book of Sports” was revived, and Sab- One of the most illustrious of this glorious company bath desecration enjoined by authority of Parliament. To of confessors was Richard Baxter. With broken health be of sober life and serious mien was to be accounted a and wounded spirit he was driven forth from the scene schismatic, a fanatic, and a rebel. Engrossed in perse- of his apostolic labours. The sobs and tears of his cuting schism, the National Church had no time to re- bereaved congregation at once intensified and soothed strain vice.
the pangs of parting. He espoused poverty, contumely, The excesses of a faction of Fifth Monarchy men, who persecution, and insult. His home thenceforth alterin the name of King Jesus raised a riot in the city, gave nated between a temporary and precarious refuge among an occasion of persecuting the Puritan and Presbyterian friends, and the ignoning and discomfort of a loathparty. In the very year of the Restoration, and almost some prison. coincident with His Sacred Majesty's Declaration of But he went not forth alone. Woman's love illumined liberty of conscience, the dungeons of London were that dark hour of his life, and woman's sympathy shared glutted with prisoners for conscience' sake. Among these and alleviated his suffering. It is a romantic story that were five hundred Quakers, besides four thousand in the of his courtship. He had often declared his purpose of country gaols. For “devilishlg and perniciously abstain- living and dying in celibacy. His single life, he said, ing from church,” attending conventicles, and like bad much advantage, because he could more easily take heinous crimes, John Bunyan languished in prison for bis people for his children, and labour exclusively for twelve years, and bequeathed to the world its noblest them. There was little in his outward appearance to uninspired volume.
win a youthful maiden's fancy. Nearly fifty years of The Act of Uniformity went into effect on August pain and suffering had furrowed his wan cheek and 24, 1662, the anniversary of the Massacre of St. Bar- bowed his meagre form. His features were rather tholomew-an omen of sinister significance, inasmuch as pinched and starved-looking, and decked with a scanty
beard. His nose was thin and prominent, his eyes were latter, which he prized most of all his possessions, were sunken and restless. Tufts of long hair escaped from stored in a rented room at Kidderminster, eaten with beneath his close Geneva skull-cap. Broad bands and worms and rats, while he was a fugitive from place to black gown complete his portrait.
place, and now he was forced to lose them for ever. Margaret Charlton was scarce twenty years of age, But with pious resignation he adds, “I was near the well-born and beautiful, endowed with gifts of wit and end both of that work and life which needeth books, fortune. But Love is lord of all; and these two appa- and so I easily let go all. Naked came I into the world, rently diverse natures were drawn together by an irresist- and naked must I go out.” ible attraction. The Puritan divine had been the He was once arrested in his sick-bed for coming maiden's counsellor, her guide and friend ; and mutual within five miles of a corporation contrary to the statute ; esteem deepened into intense and undying affection. and all his goods, even to the bed beneath him, were For nineteen years, in bonds and imprisonment, in distrained on warrants to the amount of £195 for preachsuffering and sorrow, in penury and persecution, the ing five sermons. As he was dragged to prison he was winsome presence of the loving wife soothed the pain, met by a physician, who made oath before a justice that inspired the hope, and cheered the heart of the heroic his removal was at the peril of his life ; so he was husband, whose every toil and trial she nobly shared. allowed to return to his rifled home. On one occasion, The witlings of Whitehall did not fail to make merry finding him locked in his study, the officers, in order to and bandy jests --not over-refined-concerning these starve him out, placed six men on guard at the door, to strange espousals ; and some even of Baxter's friends whom he had to surrender next day. Had his friends sighed over the weakness of the veverable divine. “The not become his surety, contrary to his wish, to the king's marriage was scarce more talked of than mine," amount of £400, he must have died in prison, “as he says. But the well-nigh score of happy wedded many excellent persons did about this time," naïvely years he passed are the best justification of this seem- remarks his biographer. Although he enjoyed the ingly ill-matched union. There was nothing mercenary friendship and esteem of Lord Chief-Justice Hale, of in bis love, nor was it the mere impulse of passion. He whom he wrote an interesting Life, yet even his influence renounced the wealth his wife would have brought, and was powerless to resist the persecutions of the Governstipulated for the absolute command of his time, too ment. If he might but have the liberty that every precious and precarious to be spent in idle dalliance. beggar had, of travelling from town to town, he some
wbat bitterly remarked, so that he could go up to
London and correct the sheets of his books in
would consider it a boon. “I am weary of the noise of After his ejection Baxter preached, as occasion offered, contentious revilers,” he plaintively writes, “and have in town and country. In one London parish, he writes, often had thoughts to go into a foreign land, if I could were 40,000, and in another, St. Martin's, 60,000 persons, find anywhere I might have a healthful air and quietwith no church to go to. He felt that the vows of God ness, that I might live and die in peace. When I sit in were upon him, and he might not hold his peace. His a corner and meddle with nobody, and hope the world heart yearned over these people as sheep having no will forget that I am alive, court, city, and country is shepherd; and in spite of prohibition and punishment still filled with clainours against me; and when a he ministered, as he had opportunity, to their necessi- preacher wants preferment, his way is to preach or ties. During this period occurred the awful events of write a book against the Nonconformists, and me by
the Almighty upon a perverse nation. Yet persecution But perhaps his most scurrilous treatment was bis
raged with intense fury. A High Church pulpiteer, in arraignment before the brutal Jeffreys, Lord Chiefa sermon before the House of Commons, told them that Justice of England—the disgrace of the British bench, “the Nonconformists ought not to be tolerated, but and the original of Bunyan's Lord Hategood--for his to be cured by vengeance.” He urged them " to set alleged seditious reflections on Episcopacy, in his Parafire to the fagot, to teach them by scourges or scor- phrase of the New Testament, written for the use of pions, and to open their eyes with gall.”
The Latin indictment sets forth that Baxter was several times imprisoned for his public “Richard Baxter, a seditious and factious person, of a ministrations, for privately preaching to his neighbours, depraved, impious, and unquiet mind, and of a turbufor having more than the statutory number of family lent disposition and conversation, has falsely, unlawfully, prayers, and for similar heinous offences. If but five unjustly, factiously, seditiously, and impiously, made, persons came in where he was praying, it could be con- composed, and written a certain false, seditious, libellous, strued into a breach of the law. So weary, he writes, factious, and impious book ;” and proceeds by garbled exwas he of guarding his doors against vile informers who tracts and false constructions to bring it within the pencame to distrain his goods for preaching, that he was alties of the law. forced to leave his house, sell his goods, and part with The partisan judge, of the brazen forehead and the his beloved books. For twelve years, he complains, the venomous tongue, the mere tool of tyranny, surpassed