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him," services which he could not conscientiously render to a usurper; He continued, however, to attend the Church prayers until new bishops were consecrated to the sees of the deprived prelates; and even after that, with all his heat against the intruders, and his conviction that the Church had become schismatic by accepting them, he never assented to measures which were likely to prolong the secession beyond the death of the last of those in whom he believed the canonical possession to continue. As that event approached, he labored earnestly to prepare his friends to take advantage of it; and a year before his death, he had the satisfaction, as we have seen, of carrying back with himself a large number of the seceders to the communion of the national Church.
A few personal traits of this rather remarkable man are worth recording. His simple nature was pleasantly illustrated by the circumstances of his marriage. He was in his fifty-second year when it took place, but although so late in beginning family life, he showed himself as prolific of children as of books, his olive-branches mounting up to the respectable number of ten. He had in his bachelor days intended certain of his kinsmen to be his heirs; they, however, died off, and their removal appeared to him to be a call of Providence to beget heirs for himself. His friend and biographer, Mr. Brokesby, thus quaintly describes the result:--
"While he thought of this change of his condition, God happily suggested to his thoughts a person in all respects fitted for
him, viz., one in whose father's house at Cookham he had at several times tabled,
and whom he had in her younger years
instructed in the principles of religion, in afterward had just reason to believe that which he found her a good proficient, and such principles had influence on her mind and conversation, and hereby fitted her for that relation. How much she was suited to his circumstances, how good a wife she was, and how careful a mother
she continues to be, must not, she being yet alive, be here insisted on, lest I should be censured for a flatterer.”
In character Dodwell was irreproachable. Pious, kindly, full of good works, simple and somewhat ascetic in his habits, he entirely deserved the esteem and affection entertained toward him by his friends. What defects he had were rather in his head than his heart. Like most book-ridden recluses, he was little suited to deal with the exigencies of real life. How he lived in his books appears from his habit of making his journeys on foot, that travel might not interrupt his converse with them. For this purpose he converted himself into a walking library. Clad in a coat well furnished with convenient pockets, and stocked with volumes of a suitable size, he used to plod along the roads, drawing out now a portion of the Hebrew Bible, now a Greek Testament or a prayer book, which after a while he would exchange for a treatise of St. Augustine or some other father of the church, or for the De Imitatione, which was one of his especial favorites. A life of such unintermitted study, unbalanced by experience of the world and its affairs, not unnaturally exposed him to the domination of narrow or impracticable ideas. Episcopacy became a sort of monomania with him. No salvation except through bishops became the keynote of this theology. To the scandalizing of his associates
this maggot in his brain attained such portentous dimensions that he wrote a book to prove the derivation of the soul's immortality, in the case of all the heirs of eternal life, from the hands of the episcopal order. Of this extravagant work, which it certainly requires a desperate effort to get through, we give the full title as a curiosity:- ·
"An Epistolary Discourse, proving from the Scriptures and the first Fathers that the soul is a principle naturally mortal, but immortalized actually by the pleasure of God to punishment; or to reward, by its union with the Divine baptismal spirit. Wherein is proved that none have the power of giving this immortalizing Spirit, since the Apostles, but only Bishops.'
By this theory of the natural mortality of the human soul, Dodwell flattered himself that he got rid of several serious theological difficulties. It seemed to him to "clear the Catholic doctrine of original sin from exposing mankind to eternal torments for the single and personal act of Adam;" to account easily for the doctrine of reprobation; and to relieve theology from the difficulty of finding a reason "why the sins of finite creatures should be punished with infinite penalties." Like some in our own day, Dodwell appears to have forgotten that to deny human nature a native spiritual faculty is as good as to deny human responsibility altogether, and reduce religion to mere fatalism. To our mind there is something peculiarly grim and revolting in his defence against the charge of letting off sinners too easily. "I do not think," he wrote in the "Præmonition" to the second edition, "that any adult person whatsoever, living where Christianity is professed, and the motives of its
credibility are sufficiently proposed, can hope for the benefit of actual mortality. What he meant was, as the title of his book shows, that the souls of unbelievers, instead of being allowed to become extinct according to their natural constitution, would be miraculously endowed with the gift of inperishableness at death, for the purpose of rendering them capable of enduring endless pain. Can the vanity of speculation, we would ask, upon this inscrutable and awful subject be more forcibly shown than it is by the fact that this amiable theorist could imagine himself to be smoothing away difficulties, by flinging out with a light heart the ghastly notion, that naturally mortal souls shall be "immortalized actually by the pleasure of God to punishment?"
Of a very different temper from Dodwell's was the next most prominent of the original Nonjurors, Dean Hickes, who had been selected, on Sancroft's recommendation, to become one of the first two bishops of the schism. He was the fire-eater of the party, pugnacious to an extreme, and fanatical enough to regard the peace of the realm and the interests of the Church at large as trifles in comparison with the maintenance of the doctrine of non-resistance. He had been a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, Oxford, from whence he was promoted to the deanery of Worcester. Of his intellectual ability and the sincerity with which he professed his extreme opinions there can be no question; and especially as an Anglo-Saxon scholar, and the author of the great Thesaurus of Northern languages, he has left behind him a good reputation for learning. But as an ecclesiastical controversialist he was as bitter
and one-sided as he was voluminous. At Tillotson he did not scruple to fling the epithet of atheist, and even Ken was dubbed by him "a halfhearted wheedler.” On the nomination of a successor to his deanery after the time of grace for taking the oath of allegiance had expired, the world was amused by the vehement protest which he affixed to the cathedral doors, warning the chapter to beware of permitting any infringement of his legal rights. It has been embalmed in one of the satirical pamphlets which flew thickly about in those days of anonymous scribbling, entitled Passive Obedience in Actice Resistance, a sentence or two of which will be enough to show its pungent flavor:
"How he stormed, foamed, fumed, and swaggered against sovereign authority, and tore the very curtains of his stall for madness and vexation; and in what a rage he signified his vain fury to the sub
dean and the rest of the prebendaries: Heavens! who could have thought that Christian, lamblike, passive obedience could have flustered and blustered and
ranted and hectored at this rate!"
We have already seen how strenuously he opposed the reunion of the party with the national Church, after the death of Lloyd in 1710, and, unhappily, succeeded in persuading a moiety of it to keep up the schism. Nothing can better evince his ir reconcilable temper than the small volume which he wrote on the occasion, though not published till after his death, entitled, The Constitution of the Catholic Church, and the Nature and Consequences of Schism. In substance it consists of thirty-nine articles of ecclesiastical doctrine, enunciated in the loftiest tone of infallibility, and followed by a fortieth which declares the application
of them to the existing state of things.
Among the first generation of Nonjurors a front rank must be accorded to Charles Leslie, son of an Irish bishop, and best remembered now for the small treatise of some forty pages which he wrote against the deists. In the recent biography of this acute controversialist, the reader will find ample particulars of his life and multifarious writings, but will be disappointed if he ex pects it to furnish him with any dis criminating appreciation of its subject. Ecclesiastical pedants, who think to measure the world by patristic precedents and canonical rules, are not exactly the persons best qualified to take a large view of the affairs of nations, or of the characters and policy of statesmen, as in the whirl and rush of human aims and passions the destinies of mankind are accomplished. If by an unkind fortune such persons should be betrayed into meddling with these high themes, narrowness and eccen tricity of treatment are but too likely to ensue. Luckily for our space, Mr. Leslie has enabled us to produce in a single sentence evidence from which it is easy to judge, how far he is affected by this kind of quali fication for historical criticism. Having occasion to mention the death of William III., to whom, whatever were his faults, we suppose no sane student of history can deny that both England and Protestant Europe owe no small debt of gratitude, Mr. Leslie singles out for notice the pathetic clinging to the Earl of Portland of the dying monarch, for the purpose of hanging upon it the astonishing remark, that it "relieved with a solitary ray of
light his dark and terrible career!" We venture to submit that serious history is not to be constructed on the assumption, that a denial of the divine right of legitimacy is the one fatal heresy in politics, and to be the instrument of emancipating a nation from despotism the one unpardonable sin. If in the thick of the pressure and turmoil of our revolutionary period some shadow of an excuse for entertaining such a view might have been pleaded, it has certainly long since ceased to be available. We can feel amused when we read such slashing invective of Charles Leslie's as the following excerpt from his works: "I now say that a Whig is not so good as a Pagan: are not these men literally heathens? They are worse than Mahometans. Your giving heed to these men, or bidding them God-speed, is directly enlisting yourselves under the banner of the devil. But his biographer aust pardon us if a somewhat different feeling is excited by the reproduction of such sentiments now that the heat and passion of the revolution are removed from us by a couple of centuries.
On the title-page of the biography Leslie is defined by the expression "Nonjuring divině." It is true that in the Oxford edition of 1832 his theological works fill seven volumes in octavo; but all the same we should class him as a politician rather than a theologian. His mind was of the legal order, both by native complexion and by training. After graduating at Dublin, he studied law at the Temple, and was called to the English Bar. It was only want of success which took him back to Ireland several years later,
where he entered into holy orders, and became a beneficed clergyman, a county magistrate, and Chancellor of the Diocese of Connor. On his return to London after being deprived for refusing the oaths, he plunged into controversy, and became celebrated as one of the hardest hitters of the time. Wherever Churches, Sects, or Parties were contending, Leslie smelt the battle from afar, and rushed to join in the fray. His seven volumes of theology are entirely controversial, the Quakers being the foe in the larger part of them. As to their general style and temper, perhaps the less said the better. Such titles as The snake in the grass, Satan disrobed from his disguise of light, The Wolf stripped of his shepherd's clothing, savor more of the keen, satirical polemic, than the edifying diving. They are all hopelessly dead now; even the once famous Short and easy method with the Deists, the tone of which is happily unexceptionable. Of this little performance it is enough to say, that it was written in consequence of a request for "one topic of reason which should demonstrate the truth of the Christian religion;" and as only in an age when the Apol,etics of faith had become mechanical and rationalistic could the enterprise of demolishing the walls of the deistic citadel by a single blast have been deemed possible, the attempt, however ingenious, was doomed to fail. The divine authority of the doctrine of Christ is certainly not to be established by the single assertion, that the two institutions of Baptism and the Eucharist may be historically traced back to the first century of our era;
and in that assertion the entire substance of the Short and Easy Method is contained.
Leslie's versatility as a controversialist is best shown in his periodical, the Rehearsal, which for more than four years he maintained singlehanded, issuing it in a small sheet at first weekly, and afterward twice a week, till, when the 408th number was reached, a threat of prosecution brought it to an end. The title, he says, was taken from "that most humorous and ingenious of our plays;" and its purpose was "to unravel the more pernicious papers and pamphlets of this age, or as he put in his racier phrase, "to roast the Whigs." In this curious medley argument, sarcasm, irony, buffoonery, were poured forth with unstinted profuseness, in the dramatic form of dialogue, not without effect it would seem in stimulating disaffection toward the Revolution-settle
ment. At any rate Leslie began to feel the country too hot for him, and took refuge for a time in the Pretender's little court at Bar-le-duc, where he was permitted to officiate as an Anglican chaplain, and was the usual medium of communication between the Nonjurors and the exiled Stuarts. He died in Ireland in 1722, in the communion of that section of his party which adhered to the Book of Common Prayer, and rejected the "Usages" introduced by Collier and Brett.
From the list of the original Nonjurors the name of the elder Sherlock ought not to be entirely omitted, although it was only for a few months that he was associated with them. If we may judge from the howl of execration with which his speedy desertion was greeted they
must have put a very high value on his adherence to their cause. Next to their episcopal leaders, he was certainly the most conspicuous personage of the party. Having himself published a work in favor of doctrine of non-resistance; he then scrupled to acknowledge William and Mary, and incurred suspension from the Mastership of the Temple; but prior to actual deprivation he professed himself convinced by a passage in Bishop Overal's Convocation book, that the authorized Anglican doctrine included de facto princes among the powers that are ordained of God," took the oath of allegiance, retained his office, and was shortly after promoted to the deanery of St. Paul's. One good fruit was borne by his suspension, for it produced his immensely popular Discourse concerning Death, celebrated in Prior's verse:
"Easy in words thy style, in sense sublime,
On its blest steps each age and sex may rise;
'Tis like the ladder in the patriarch's dream, Its foot on earth, its height above the Diffused its virtue, boundless is its power, skies. 'Tis public health and universal cure; Of heavenly manna 'tis a second feast, A nation's food, and all to every taste."
A curious coincidence is mentioned in Noble's continuation of Granger's Biographical History of England. Sherlock's son, it may be remembered, became like his father Master of the Temple, and was promoted in succession to the sees of Bangor, Salisbury, and London, and had the refusal of the pri macy. Now it was just after the victory of the Boyne that the father gave in his adherence to William III.; and just after the victory at Preston that the son pronounced in