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"HISTORY OF THE PURITANS;'
ENTERED IN AN EDITION OF THAT WORK
Extract from a Letter of the Bishop of GLOUCESTER, [Dr. Warburton] to me, Feb. 26, 1765. R. W.*
"NEAL'S History of the Puritans, in three volumes, now in the Library at Durham, which in one of my residences "I took home to my house, and, at breakfast-time, filled the "margins quite through; which I think to be a full confutation of all his false facts and partial representations."
Dr. HURD, at that time Bishop of Worcester; author of the Introductory Discourse prefixed to this Edition of Bishop Warburton's Works.-Sce Vol. I. p. 74
VOL. I. 8vo. Ed. 1732, London..
HAP. III. p. 89. You have the word, &c.-This is to lie, under the cover of truth. Can any body in his senses believe that when the only contention between the two parties was, Who had the word; that the more powerful would yield it up to their adversaries?— Without all doubt, some protestant member, in the heat of dispute, said, We have the word; upon which the prolocutor insultingly answers-But we have the swordwithout thinking any one would be so foolish as to join the two propositions into one, and then give it to the prolocutor.
Ch. iv. p. 178. Yet Fuller, &c. who had the liberty of perusing. But did he peruse them?
P. 186. (Fox) had no preferment, &c.-This is a mistake; for he was installed in the third prebend of Durham, October 14, 1572, Pilkington being then Bishop, who had much the same sentiments with Fox, but held it not long, Bellamy succeeding to the same stall, October 31, 1573.
P. 191. Because his [Bucer's] head was not square. -I think his head was out of square.
P. 192. The grand question, "Whether they "should desert their ministry, or comply."-What then? must they needs be more in the right in this trifling question, than they were in that important one of religious liberty, in which the author thinks, and truly, that they were all wrong? Dr. Horn, &c.
and this was very consistent.
P. 194. Till [the habits] are sent to hell, &c.—If they came from hell, they certainly were not indifferent: but the devil has better merchandize for souls, than this gear, pharisaical purity and spiritual pride.
Our first reformers ascribed no holiness, &c.-Who ascribes any holiness or virtue to them now, I pray? Decency, indeed, they do, and that is enough to justify their use.
P. 231. « Each party blamed_the_other.”—The Church of England doubtless was right in exacting conformity to their terms of communion. Then it was, they became offenders, when they denied a toleration to those who would not accept their terms of communion: for their refusal proceeding from an opinion (however weak and foolish) that the terms were sinful, they had a right to worship God in their own way; and the crime of schism, if they were guilty of it, they were to answer for to God only, who was the only judge how far the sincerity of their erroneous conscience rendered them excusable.
P. 240. Natural right, &c.-With what face could the author speak of the natural right every man has to judge for himself, as one of the heads of controversy between the Puritans and Conformists, when his whole History shews that this was a truth unknown to either party; and that, as the Conformists persecuted because they thought themselves in the right, so the Puritans insisted on their Christian liberty, because they were in the right: not because all sects (whether in the right or wrong) have a title to it; in which foundation only true Christian liberty rises.
Ch. v. p. 243. "Prove that."-They might easily have proved that every particular church has this authority, because it is of the essence of a religious society, as such; and when the state unites with, and establishes, any particular church, then the civil magistrate, as head of the church, has this power.
P. 294. "And it may have settled them."-Can there be a stronger proof than this, of Christ's not instituting a discipline for the church, as Moses did for the synagogue, That he left the matter to particular churches to institute, such as each thought most convenient?
Ch. vi. p. 365. The Bishop of London, &c.-This is an unfair charge, which runs through the History. The exacting conformity of the ministry of any church, by the governors of that church, is no persecution: indeed, the doing more than simply expelling them from the communion is so; much more the not permitting them to worship God in their own way, as a separate sect.--Whether the terms of communion or conformity were not too narrow, is another question.
P. 369. Mr. Stubbs' right hand, &c.-This was infinitely more cruel than all the ears under Charles the First; whether we consider the punishment, the crime, or the man.
P. 369. Jan. 10. The Commons voted, &c.-If this was only a fast for themselves, there was nothing in it contrary to law and equity; but, if they enjoined it to be observed without doors, it was a violation of all order and good government, as well as law.
P. 372. Satyrical pamphlets, &c.-Without doubt, the punishment was much too severe for the offence: but a fair and impartial historian would have spoken in much severer terms of such satirical pamphlets as Martin Mar-Prelate, &c. &c. for these are the pamphlets he alludes to.
P. 374. Men that act on principles, &c.—It is just the same with men who act upon passion and prejudice, for the poet says truly,
Obstinacy's ne'er so stiff
As when tis in a wrong belief."
P. 380. Influence on the next generation, &c.-It had, as is seen from the overthrow of the constitution both in church and state by the generation so influenced.
P.381. In defiance of the laws, &c.-Were the Jesuits more faulty in acting in defiance of the laws, than the Puritans? I think not-They had both the same plea, conscience; and both the same provocation, persecution.
P. 386. The Bishops will be a distinct, &c.-The Puritans were even with them, and to the Jus divinum of Episcopacy, opposed the Jus divinum of Presbytery, which was the making each other Antichristian.
P. 389. It seemed a little hard, &c.-That is, It is hard that the dispensers of poison should be hanged