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of the greatest service. The Parliament granted him the desired charter, which bore the date of March 14, 1644. Important and harassing as his duties in England were, he found leisure for the composition of the two works included in the volume now published by the Hanserd Knollys Society. He was naturally surprised to find Mr. Cotton's Letter to himself in print and circulating in England. He immediately published his Examination and Answer, and, with greater candour than is usually exhibited in controversy, reprinted, paragraph by paragraph, the Letter to which he was replying. Williams found the great question of religious toleration occupying the public mind in England as well as in the colonies; and in order to forward the cause dearer to him than life, he composed during the time of his stay in London (" eaten up” as it was “in attendance upon the service of the Parliament and city”) his
Bloudy Tenent of Persecution.” It was published in London in the year 1644, but without the author's name, and immediately attracted a large share of public attention. It was denounced by the leading Presbyterians and some Independents as "full of heresy and blasphemy."* It would appear from a passage in Samuel Richardson's Necessity of Toleration, published in 1647, that the “ Bloudy Tenent” was in many cases burnt by those who opposed its principles. Amidst a great number of questions he asks, " Whether the priests were not the cause of the burning of the book, entitled. The Bloudy Tenent, because it was against persecution ? And whether their consciences would not have dispensed with the burning of the author of it?" The “Bloudy Tenent” is a very pleasing specimen of the religious literature of the seventeenth century. Its leading principles have been already stated. Independently of the important cause which it adrocates, it pleases by the frequent beauty of the style, and by the gentle spirit which it breathes. Its interpretations of those passages of scripture which bear on the subject of the rights of conscience, are for the most part judicious, and such as have approved themselves to the best commentators in succeeding ages. We have already given several extracts, and must content ourselves with one other passage, which we choose for the very interesting anecdote which it relates.
In 1620, there was printed“ A most Humble Supplication of many of the King's Majesty's Loyal Subjects, ready to testify all Civil Obedience by the Oath of Allegiance or otherwise, and that of Conscience; who are persecuted (only for differing in Religion), contrary to Divine and Human
Testimonies." This singular tract is supposed to have been the production of a Mr. John Murton. Respecting him and his tractate against persecution thus writes Roger Williams :
" The author of these arguments against persecution, as I have been informed, being committed by some then in power close prisoner to Newgate, for the witness of some truths of Jesus, and having not the use of pen and ink, wrote these arguments in milk, on sheets of paper brought to him by the woman, his keeper, from a friend in London, as the stopples of his milkbottle. In such paper, written with milk, nothing will appear; but the way of reading it by fire being known to this friend who received the papers, he transcribed and kept together the papers, although the author himself could not correct nor view what himself had written.
* Tracts on Liberty of Conscience, p. 270, note.
" It was in milk tending to soul-nourishment, even for babes and sucklings in Christ.
" It was in milk, spiritually white, pure and innocent, &c.
“ It was in milk, soft, meek, peaceable and gentle, tending both to the peace of souls and the peace of states and kingdoms.
“ Peace.* The answer, though I hope out of milky, pure intentions, is returned in blood-bloody and slaughterous conclusions-bloody to the souls of all men, forced to the religion and worship which every civil state or commonweal agrees on, and compels all subjects to, in a dissembled uniformity—bloody to the bodies, first to the holy witnesses of Christ Jesus, who testify against such invented worships ; secondly, of the nations and peoples slaughtering each other for their several respective religions and consciences.” Pp. 36, 37.
This passage explains the title of Roger Williams's book. Mr. Cotton first wrote in reply to the arguments in the Humble Supplication. Against Mr. Cotton's plea for persecution, Williams wrote his “Bloudy Tenent.” In 1647, Cotton replied in a work which he entitled, The Bloudy Tenent washed and made White in the Bloud of the Lambe: being discussed and discharged of Bloodguiltinesse by just Defence, &c. Whereunto is added a Reply to Mr. Williams's Answer, &c. In 1651, Williams published a rejoinder in a work entitled, The Bloody Tenent yet more Bloody by Mr. Cotton's Endeavour to wash it White in the Blood of the Lambe, &c. This work (which we have never seen) is thus described by Mr. Underhill : “It is characterized by the kindest tone, the most affectionate spirit, and a considerate treatment of Mr. Cotton's perversions, errors and mistakes, which he did not deserve."
We have little space left for the other incidents in the life of the founder of Rhode Island. He appears to have undergone various changes of religious opinion subsequently to his separation from the community of New England churches. In 1639, he became a Baptist, and, together with eleven others, established the first American Baptist society. For this act of heresy, he was cut off by the church at Salem, the minister who had succeeded him there being the celebrated Hugh Peters. But he does not appear to have continued long in communion with the Baptist church. Judge Durfee, in the Appendix to his poem, states that the religious sentiments of Williams became more and more liberal as he advanced in life; that whatever rigid forms those sentiments might have assumed in the early part of his career, they gradu. ally melted down and blended themselves in that warm and deep feeling of universal benevolence, which had given birth to his great principle of Religious Freedom; that he learned that there were good men in all societies, and freely joined in worship with all, and imparted his instructions to all who were disposed to hear him. To the Indians, particularly the Narragansetts, he devoted much labour, and he had the satisfaction of converting many of them to Christianity.
In 1652, Williams a second time visited England on behalf of the Rhode Island settlement. He was during a portion of this visit the guest, at Belleau, of Sir Harry Vane. It appears that Williams would not put the State to any unnecessary charges, but provided for his own support. A short passage having reference to this fact exhibits him in literary association with Milton.
* The whole book is in the form of a conversation between Truth and Peace. + What Cheer, p. 195.
“It pleased the Lord to call me for some time, and with some persons, to practise the Hebrew, the Greek, Latin, French and Dutch. The Secretary of the Council, Mr. Milton, for my Dutch to him, read me many more languages."
Milton, Williams and Sir Harry Vane !—what a noble triumvirate! If it were permitted us to hold converse with the mighty dead, could we select three greater or nobler spirits than these?
When the persecutions arose against the Quakers in Boston, Williams, true to the great principle of his life, received them in Rhode Island, but he at the same time strove in public and private to rescue them from their fanatical errors. In his 73rd year he engaged in a public discussion, which lasted three days, with the celebrated George Fox. Notwithstanding his age, Roger Williams, with his accustomed hardihood and self-reliance, rowed himself to Newport, a distance of thirty miles, only reaching that town at midnight, a few hours before the time appointed for the discussion. This controversy occasioned his pub. lishing a work entitled “ George Fox digged out of his Burrowes,” to which the founder of the Friends replied in his “ A New-England Firebrand Quenched.”
One other work of Williams's remains to be mentioned. It was entitled, The Hireling Ministry none of Christ's, &c. We have never seen this very rare tract, but it is described by Mr. Upham* as being not, what its title would lead us to suppose, an argument against the pecuniary compensation of ministers of the gospel, but an argument against an Established Church and the support of the clergy by law.
Williams's life was protracted to a great age. The evening of his days was clouded by anxieties and troubles growing out of the war with the Indians. A new race had grown up, who knew not the untiring virtues of this great apostle of liberty and peace. He had, in 1676, the intense sorrow of beholding the greater part of his beloved PROVIDENCE burnt and sacked by those fierce savages. In the end, the Indians were completely subdued, and the prisoners were reduced into a state of servitude. The captives allotted to PROVIDENCE were enslaved for various periods, but all eventually (if they lived) were restored to freedom. Roger Williams, in assenting to their hapless servitude, perhaps regarded it as the only means left untried of subduing their wandering and predatory habits, and bringing them under the influences of civilization. Such a life as that of Williams ought, however, to have had a brighter and less stormy close.
The day and the month of Williams's death are unknown. It occurred early in 1683; he was in his eighty-fourth year. To the last, his intellect was without a cloud. He was buried at Providence in a sepulchre, the site of which the patriarch had himself selected. The whole colony followed him to his grave, and the long train of mourners included his aged widow and all his children. Truly, he was one of God's noblest creatures !
* American Biography, Vol. XIV. p. 218.
BISHOPS RUNDLE AND HAMPDEN. HISTORICAL parallels are chiefly valuable because they exhibit the operation of similar causes with the diversities arising out of the influence of dissimilar circumstances, and so teach the historical student to distinguish the essential from the accidental,-a very important chapter in the book of practical wisdom.
We presume our readers to recollect the recent Church squabble which ended in the appointment of Dr. Hampden to the Bishopric of Hereford, in opposition to the Dean and a minority of the Chapter, and after a remonstrance of a majority of the Bishops, headed by the Bishop of London, Bishop Wilberforce, of Oxford, having in good time retracted his opposition, and Archdeacon Julius Hare having distinguished himself by a very able exposure of the unworthy artifices of Dr. Hampden's Puseyite enemies. We shall therefore no otherwise allude to the facts of this case than by a statement of the case of Dr. Rundle, as it appears in the recently published Memoirs of Lord Hervey, in which Memoirs certainly the anti-church feelings of the noble narrator are as evident as the pro-church predilections of his right honourable editor, Mr. Croker.
In 1734, Lord Chancellor Talbot had warmly recommended Rundle to Sir Robert Walpole for the Bishopric of Gloucester. “This man lay under the suspicion of Arianism : but as this was a crime that could not be proved upon him, the objection the Bishop of London made to him was, that about fourteen or fifteen years ago he had in private company spoken disrespectfully of Abraham, which one Venn, a parson then in company, had told to the Bishop of London, and was ready to testify on oath. Lord H. concurs with those who imputed a selfish, not a conscientious, motive to this clerical informer, and says that “no one doubted that the Bishop's sole reason” was, that he wished to check lay recommendations. For this assertion he is reproved by his editor; but certainly the edifying account given of the discussion between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor altogether turns upon points of influence and policy, with the least possible consideration of spiritual interests. Then the Prime Minister used to the Chancellor the very arguments which his successor had to hear a hundred and fifty years afterwards. Perhaps it was that Sir Robert felt himself less strong than Lord John, that he was obliged to solicit the Chancellor that “ he would not press this promotion if the consequence of it must be the dividing a weight in the House of Lords that had hitherto gone entire, and was so essential to the ease of carrying on the King's business.” The Chancellor threatened the Bishop with a præmunire for refusing to consecrate, but found that as the Bishop acted as a substitute of the Archbishop, who was ill, he was not subject to the penalty. And the Chancellor also anticipated the future Premier in the remark, that if the Bishop conquered, “ instead of the election made by a Dean and Chapter being only a matter of form, the King's recommendation itself would become only a form, and the Bishop of London must give the King a congé to nominate, before the King could ever order a congé d'elire."
The excuse made by Sir Robert for his yielding to the Bishop is so edifying, that we must e'en copy it. “As for the Bishop of London's VOL. IV.
stickling for Church power and Church discipline and Church tenets, he thought him in the right, since whoever would govern any class of men must appear to be in their interest; and I would no more, said he, employ a man to govern and influence the clergy who did not flatter the parsons, or who either talked, wrote or acted against their authority, their profit or their privileges, than I would try to govern the soldiery by setting a general over them who was always haranguing against the inconveniences of a standing army, or than I would make a man Lord Chancellor who was constantly complaining of the grievances of the law and threatening to rectify the abuses of Westminster Hall.” Lord Hervey related the account given him by Sir Robert and the other parties, which is very credible; and we must smile at the naïveté with which the main inducements to make Bishops and Chancellors is confessed. We have been informed, and believe it to be true, that endeavours were made to persuade Dr. Arnold to withhold his famous pamphlet on “ Church Reform." He was told that he stood in the list for an early Bishopric, but that the author of Church Reform” could not possibly be tolerated by the clergy. “Church Reform was published, and we recollect during the first contest concerning Hampden, when there was a report of his being nominated for a Bishopric, that the Standard (the High-church organ) asserted that the appointment of the Dr. would offend the clergy more than that of any other man, except Dr. Arnold. Rundle was banished to Ireland, and Arnold died unpromoted.
Mr. Croker endeavours in foot-notes to support the Church party in this business; and as he could not well omit to season his book with Swift's poignant verses, he atones for this by declaring them to be nearly the worst Swift ever wrote, in opposition to Gilbert Wakefield, whose “anti-church prejudices,” he says, “ thought them excellent:"
“Make Rundle Bishop! fie-for shame!
By coupling Orthodox and Arians ?" Lord Hervey also relates the history of Hoadly's translation from Bangor to Winchester, which he considers simply as a matter of party policy. This, it seems, was also forced on the King and Queen, who were shamed into keeping a promise they wished to break, and which the historian thus explains : " It is true the principles which Hoadly professed, and the doctrines he propagated, could be agreeable to few princes, as they could only please such as preferred the prosperity of their people to the grandeur of their crown, the liberties of their subjects to the increase of their own power, the rights and privileges of mankind to the usurpation of sovereigns, the true end of government to the capacity of abusing it, and the cause of justice to the lust of domination.”
As a set-off against the liberal predilections of his author, the editor introduces in a note a contemptuous sneer at Queen Caroline, who “patronized the less believing clergy," by Horace Walpole, who says, “ The Queen's chief study was divinity, and she had rather weakened her faith than enlightened it." The Queen's great favourite was Dr.