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and the chief Nonconformist bodies were on matters of comparatively little moment.

They were in this respect of the school of Leighton, and still more clearly of the school of Chillingworth, and there can be no doubt that they carried with them the great body of educated laymen in the towns. Three men-Chillingworth, Locke, and Tillotson-had set the current of religious thought in this class, and their influence extended with but little abatement through the greater part of the eighteenth century. On the other hand the great body of the clergy, who hated the Revolution, the Toleration Act, and the Dissenters, and who perceived with rage and indignation that political ascendency was passing from their hands, strained all their energies to aggrandise their priestly power, and to envenom the difference between themselves and the Nonconformists. The Nonjuror theology represented this tendency in its extreme form, and exercised a wide influence beyond its border. The writers of this school taught that Episcopalian clergymen were as literally priests as were the Jewish priests, though they belonged not to the order of Aaron, but to the higher order of Melchisedek; that the Communion was literally and not metaphorically a sacrifice; that properly constituted clergymen had the power of uttering words over the sacred elements which produced the most wonderful, though unfortunately the most imperceptible, of miracles; that the right of the clergy to tithes was of direct divine origin, antecedent to and independent of all secular legislation; that the sentence of excommunication involved an exclusion from heaven; that the Romish practice of prayers for the dead was highly commendable; that the Church of England, in violently severing itself from the authority of the Pope, proscribing the religious worship which before the Reformation had been universal in Christendom, persecuting even to death

numbers who were guilty only of remaining attached to the old order of things, and branding a leading portion of its former theology as 'blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits,' had done no act at all savouring of schism, but that all non-episcopal communities who dissented from the Anglican Church were schismatics, guilty of the sin and reserved for the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Aiming especially at sacerdotal power, these theologians had naturally a strong leaning towards the communities in which that power had been most successfully claimed, and negotiations were accordingly at one time opened for union with the Gallican, at another with the Eastern Church. Some of them contended that all baptisms except those by Episcopalian clergymen were not only irregular but invalid, and that therefore Dissenters had no kind of title to be regarded as Christians. Brett, some time before he joined the sect, preached and published a sermon maintaining that repentance itself was useless unless it were followed by priestly absolution, which could only be administered by an Episcopalian clergyman, and both Dodwell and Leslie were of opinion that such absolution was essential to salvation. The former of these writers, who was perhaps the most learned of the party, contended in one of his works that there is no communicating with the Father or the Son but by communion with the bishops;' in another that all marriages between members of different religious creeds are of the nature of adultery; in a third that even the immortality of the soul is ordinarily dependent upon the intervention of a bishop. Our souls, he thought, are naturally mortal, but become immortal by baptism, if administered by an Episcopalian clergyman. Pagans and unbaptised infants cease to exist at death; but Dissenters who have neglected to enter the Episcopalian fold are kept alive by a special exercise of the divine power

in order that they may be, after death, eternally damned.'


It was in this conflict of opinions during the reign of Anne that the terms High and Low Church first came into use, and it is a very remarkable fact that the episcopacy was the special representative of the latter. The one party, which included many grades of sacerdotal pretension, and was characterised by intense hatred of Dissenters, carried with it the sympathy of the great body of the country clergy, of the country gentry, and of the poor. The other party consisted of perhaps onetenth of the clergy, but it contained a very disproportionate number of adherents of high position and of great ability, and it exercised a commanding influence over the educated classes in the towns. The co-existence of these two schools adapted to different orders of mind and education may perhaps have in some cases extended the religious influence of the Church, but it in a great degree paralysed its political action. One feature of the struggle has been curiously reproduced in our own day. It might have been imagined from the solemnity of the ordination vow, and from the peculiar sanctity supposed to attach to the clerical profession, that clergymen would be distinguished from lawyers, soldiers, and members of other mere secular professions by their deference and obedience to their superiors. It might have been imagined that this would have been especially true of men

See Dodwell's One Priesthood, his Discourse on the Obligation to Marry within the True Communion, annexed to Leslie's Sermon against Mixed Marriages, and his Discourse on the Soul wherein is proved that none have the power of giving this Divine immortalising spirit since the Apostles, but only the

bishops.' For the other Non-
juror notions, see especially the
works of Hickes, Leslie, and
Brett. Lathbury, in his History
of the Nonjurors, has summarised
many of their works. See, too,
Burnet's Own Times, ii. 603,

2 Burnet, ii. 347.
3 Macaulay.

who were continually preaching the duty of passive obedience in the sphere of politics, and the transcendent and almost divine prerogatives of episcopacy in the sphere of religion. As a matter of fact, however, this has not been the case. If the most constant, contemptuous, and ostentatious defiance both of civil and ecclesiastical authorities be a result of the Protestant principle of private judgment, it may be truly said that the extreme High Church party, in more than one period of its history, has shown itself, in this respect at least, the most Protestant of sects. While idolising episcopacy in the abstract, its members have made it a main object of their policy to bring most existing bishops into contempt, and their polemical writings have been conspicuous, even in theological literature, for their feminine spitefulness, and for their recklessness of assertion. The last days of Tillotson were altogether embittered by the stream of calumny, invective, and lampoons of which he was the object. One favourite falsehood, repeated in. spite of the clearest disproof, was that he had never been baptised. He was charged, without a shadow of foundation, with infamous conduct during his collegiate life. He was accused of Hobbism. He was accused, like Burnet and Patrick, of being a Socinian, though the plainest passages were cited from his writings, as well as from those of his colleagues, asserting the divinity of Christ. One writer, who was eulogised by Hickes as a person of great candour and judgment,' described the Archbishop as 'an atheist as much as a man could be, though the gravest certainly that ever was.'1 Nor was this a mere transient ebullition of scurrility. All through


Birch's Life of Tillotson, p. 269. Dr. Jortin says, 'I heard Dr. B. say in a sermon, "If anyone denies the uninterrupted succession of bishops, I shall not

scruple to call him a downright atheist." . . . This when I was young was sound, orthodox, and fashionable doctrine.'-Jortin's Tracts, i. 436.

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the reign of Anne, and for several years of the Hanoverian period, the bishops were the objects of the incessant and virulent attacks of the High Church party. Bishops complained pathetically in Parliament of the factions formed and fomented in their dioceses by their own clergy, of the opprobrious names the clergy gave their bishops, and the calumnies they laid on them, as if they were in a plot to destroy the Church.' One would be provoked by the late behaviour of the bishops,' said a prominent Tory member under Anne, 'to bring in a bill for the toleration of episcopacy, for, since they are of just the same principles with the Dissenters, it is but just, I think, that they should stand on the same foot.' 2 A satirist of the day faithfully and wittily described the prevailing High Church sentiments when he represented the Tory fox-hunter thinking the neighbouring shire very happy in having 'scarce a Presbyterian in it-except the bishop'!3

The antagonism between the higher and lower clergy was very apparent in Convocation. This body, from the time when it was deprived of its taxing functions, had sunk into insignificance. Having crushed the scheme of William for uniting the Dissenters with the Church, a period of ten years elapsed before it again sat. The clergy, however, at last grew impatient. An anonymous 'Letter to a Convocation Man,' which appeared in 1696, asserting the right of Convocation to meet for the transaction of business whenever the lay Parliament was summoned, excited a violent controversy in the ecclesiastical world, which raged for several years, and in which the most remarkable disputants were Wake and Kennet on the side of the civil power, and Atterbury on the side of

See e.g. the complaints of Patrick, Hough, and Burnet. Parl. Hist. vi. 496, 497.

2 Parl. Hist. vi. 154.

* Freeholder, No. 22.

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